Monday, May 02, 2016

Casa de Borgia

As usual our Madame Borgia isn't happy.

Fortunately at least for this particular instance, I'm not the one in her target range. According to the incredibly efficient servants' rumour mill, it seems the new palace isn't entirely to her liking. Despite hiring the finest astrologers and necromancers to find the location of her new demesne ( not to mention the timing of the move ), Madame Borgia hadn't quite counted on a matter of taste.

Something even the best of feng shui masters can't quite predict from their endless esoteric diagrams. So you can imagine the absolute uproar when she finally alighted from her carriage to find everything in the new palace absolutely insufferable.

Paul : Exactly what does she dislike? The location?
Calvin : She hates that.
Paul : The building?
Calvin : She hates that.
Paul : The doors? The windows? 
Calvin : Hates. 
Paul : Surely not the entire building.
Calvin : She hates the doors. She hates the windows. She hates the rooms. She hates the colours. She hates the garden.
Paul : Wow. 

Turns out it's all hate at the moment. Someone even said she was that close to murderously stabbing all her retainers with her hairpins in a fit of uncontrollable rage.

Paul : Don't see anything wrong with the palace! I like it.
Calvin : You wanna buy it?
Paul : I'm not gonna give you money for it if that's what you mean. 

Doubt you could put it more succinctly. For someone who was absolutely adamant on the move initially, Madame Borgia seems to have made a contrary turnaround. Short of demolishing the entire palace for a new one to be built ( surely never in time for the said auspicious dates! ), there doesn't seem very much else that can be done.

Since her children never could talk her into anything, it was up to me to spin this palace fiasco into something a little more positive. Not that Herculean a task seeing that all Madame Borgia wanted was some constructive advice on her admittedly ambitious interior decorating plans.

I managed to talk her into keeping the shell of the building at the very least. Minus almost everything else.

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Posted by savante at 4:16 PM 0 comments

Monday, April 25, 2016

One Way or Another

With the uncertainties in the oil and gas industry affecting the city - and also the livelihood of many including Charming Calvin, we decided to downsize our wanderlust dreams into something far more financially manageable. For him at least. Somewhere reasonably close, somewhere acceptably affordable and somewhere incredibly enjoyable.

Didn't really take much for us to decide on another quick jaunt up north to Bangkok. Shopping. Eating. Sightseeing. Sounded just great for a break from the monotony of working life.

Timed it just right several days early to avoid the throngs of shirtless gay boys for Songkran. Some might find themselves understandably horrified that we would readily miss the circuit parties but with the rising temperatures brought upon this region by El Nino, the city of Bangkok certainly wasn't short of beautiful barechested boys.

How do the boys keep getting hotter? Is it the tom yum?  

In fact they seemed to be everywhere this time! Which didn't bode well for Calvin's self-esteem despite all my assurances. Me, I was too busy ogling to obsess over my pathetically troll-like appearance in comparison to these gods. Why bother about my ever-growing flab when there's so much tight abs to drool over!

Fortunately this time I also had my cousin Lispy Lori around to help point them out! A recent transfer brought her over to Bangkok which has given us even more reason - not that we needed it - to visit.

Only this time with her did I realize that being brash could just be hereditary since Lori seemed almost shameless wherever she went. Unabashedly outspoken even more so when faced with a bargain at the street market.

Paul : Price is a little steep. Any cheaper? 
Shopkeeper : Already cheap! Very cheap. 
Paul : Well I-
Lori : No no, must give discount. More discount please. 
Shopkeeper : Already give. Very cheap already. 
Lori : A bit more. 
Shopkeeper : Cannot. Later my boss kill me. 
Lori : Then give us souvenir. This little trinket for us all? 
Shopkeeper : But -
Lori : I take three yeah. 
Paul : You're so gonna get murdered one day. 
Lori : If I'm monstrous, I take after you. 

Horrifying indeed.

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Posted by savante at 6:44 PM 0 comments

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

The Pimple and the Preposterous

Remember that familiar gay fairy tale featuring our ever-anxious Cinderfella? The hapless apothecary's assistant who spends his time utterly preoccupied with conjuring every possible obstacle to a relationship; therefore inadvertently dooming it before anything begins? As it turns out, even his fairy godfathers are throwing up their manicured hands in despair!

Hard to blame them when such self-inflicted misfortunes emerge right after saying once upon a time! Dozens of eligible paragons have ridden by his lil shop; but while he shamelessly drools over their virile masculine beauty, he also desperately searches for inexplicably ludicrous reasons not to start the expected chase.

Godfather : Now there's a handsome prince sitting by the fountain just waiting for someone to come along. Well mannered, highly intelligent, generous to a fault etc. etc. etc.
Cinderfella : Oh he is terribly handsome for sure. But-
Godfather : But what? Surely there's nothing to lament over his exceptional looks! You could bounce a quarter off that tight ass!
Cinderfella : He has a pimple.
Godfather : What?
Cinderfella : Just behind his right ear. 
Godfather : You'd refuse a fellow because of a minuscule - most probably temporary - pimple behind his right ear. 
Cinderfella : Maybe?

And if it's not something negligible like acne vulgaris, it's something similarly inconsequential. The way he blinks, the way he sits, the way he laughs etc.  If there's even the tiniest bit of imperfection in a seemingly perfect prince, our overly critical Cinderfella would be sure to find it.

Even one upstanding prince charming Cinderfella stubbornly repudiated for having too many friends.

Prince : That wasn't a pimple dammit! It was the angle of the light!

Surely enough to drive any enterprising fairy godfather into furiously snapping his magic wand.

No doubt these trivial rejections on his part stem from a tragically evident fear of failure but knowing the reason doesn't make it any less maddening. Talk about obsessive nitpicking!Has he never heard the wise words of Sam Keen?

'We come to love not by finding a perfect person, but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly.'

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Posted by savante at 5:32 PM 2 comments

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood.

Even with Robert Frost telling us the mundane details, we all know how that poem goes since most of us, as much as we might want to, can't travel in both directions at once. In fact most times there are even more choices available to us which makes the decisions ever more crucial.

After going through the various pros and cons of whatever outcomes possible to make the final decision, I rarely think back on the whys and wherefores after. Short of having a magical time machine readily available, there is very little we can do to reverse a momentous decision already made.

There are times when we stumble onto the more challenging path in life - possibly what everyone else would erroneously label as the wrong turn. Just because the road travelled gets more strenuous at certain junctions doesn't make it wrong.

Still as fallible human beings, we do occasionally indulge in wondering about the What Ifs. What if I'd gone down the other road in the yellow wood? What if I'd found a more beautiful pasture with a Spanish hacienda filled with bountiful treasure and staffed by dark-haired, brown-eyed Adonises? What if? What if.

Oh yeah a bit of Pietro Boselli would definitely make that decision so much easier. 

Isn't it a wonder why we always envisage reasonably optimistic outcomes rather than conceive horrific endings instead? Yes, what if something better had come along - but what if you'd walked down that road only to fall into a dark pit full of snakes and spiders? Ever thought of that?

Maybe it's a pitfall of the job but I've always seen far worse outcomes than whatever I'm facing currently. Really, I could be battling far worse than an irritating pen-pushing bureaucracy.

If only I could turn back time indeed!

Though I might put them onto pen and paper, I've tried not to fixate on alternate realities that could be; preferring instead to direct my attentions to what I could do now. Very little we can do about regret. Instead of focusing on the What Ifs, perhaps change it into thinking about the future. Work towards what you want instead - think about What Can You Do.

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Posted by savante at 3:51 PM 0 comments

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Brutes, Brigands & Bandits

Friend : Oh when are you moving? I heard you have a brand new place? 
Paul : It's not really ready yet. Cabinets and all. Still needs that final touches here and there. 

At least that's what I usually reiterate when questioned. Surprisingly frequent these days. Apparently it is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good house must immediately move in.

Truth be told the brass key to the gates of Hartfield has been hidden in my front pocket for the past few months or so. The walls are done, the lights are up and the only hitch would be me repeatedly cautioning the fanatical contractors against placing up the final fittings before it's ready for the dazzling debut.

Though the thought of finally bringing out Hartfield to society thoroughly thrills me, there is still a little nagging splinter of worry in my ever anxious mind. That's all due to the brutes, brigands and bandits that abound in that remote district. As much as I adore the vast breadth of Hartfield, that doesn't make me forget that it also lies in the similarly vast, unexplored remoteness of the dreaded Backwoods.

Practically terra incognita in these parts since they cleared parts of some uncharted wildlands for the building of Hartfield.

Maybe the rolling mists would be able to hide Hartfield from the barbarous bands of brigands. 

Sounds almost romantic, you might say! True enough; perusing through the tattered pages of one of my favourite novels Wuthering Heights while reliving the harrowing tale of the tragic Earnshaws might seem riveting ... but the very real thought of residing by myself in a lone mansion amongst the lonely, rugged moors without a single neighbour for miles would be a tad too overwhelming.

Especially with so many blackguards roaming the lawless Backwoods. With the degree of policing even in the more populated districts being quite suspect, you can imagine how shockingly criminal this lonely, inaccessible area could be. Probably would drive me insane with creeping paranoia.

Is it any wonder Heathcliff went just a bit batty living all alone - if you don't count the help - in the moors?

Calvin : So that means you'll never move? 
Paul : I'll just wait it out. 
Calvin : Wait for? 
Paul : Wait for the other residents to move in. 
Calvin : To have a more convivial atmosphere? 
Paul : No, to provide alternative targets. Let's make sure the raiders and robbers get the fill of all the other homes in the Backwoods first.

Good idea, no?

Perhaps I've just gotten a little too comfortable in Netherfield. 


Posted by savante at 4:51 PM 0 comments