Saturday, September 30, 2006

Dragon Eyes and Love Fists

Since I find myself running ragged this weekend, lemme give you some updates...

1. Exams suck.

Especially mock ones. Has anyone ever told you guys that?

2. Love hurts.

Unfortunately. No, it doesn't have anything to do with me but someone dear to me has suffered a minor fist in the gut - and I doubt it's gonna be the first. Love hurts, people.

Heartbroken. Sigh.

But it certainly doesn't mean giving up, does it? Easier to bandage up the wound and start afresh after all.

3. Management rules.

Seriously. Let me explain. One of the restaurants that Charming Calvin - aka the ever-lovin Pork Eater - and I love to frequent is a particular chain of Chinese restaurants that feature mini Chinese dumplings in the menu. And a succulent dish that obviously Calvin adores. Me, I prefer crispy carrot pastry and Huang Xiaoming.

There's always been a number listed in their comment card that mentions a person to send a message to improve the services. Since the service on that day was more than excellent - albeit a little juvenile - I wrote immediately to congratulate the management.

To my astonishment there was an almost immediate response from the extremely efficient 'Top Management'! Almost fell into the la mian bowl in surprise but managed to read the extremely enthused reply from an obviously desperately bored and extremely jobless manager locked up someplace in an anonymous cubicle. So terribly thankful that it wouldn't surprise me if they hired Huang Xiaoming to serve me several slices of pork ribs slathered on his naked chest - and a privilege card tucked suggestively into his seductively lowered drawstring pants.

4. Jack's mine!

Placed an order for Dr Jack Shepard. Soon to be MINE!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Till Pork Do Us Part

Warning : A thousand apologies to all those whose delicate sensibilities might be offended by the matter ahead.

Since I had taken off from work - and Charming Calvin had pleaded desperate illness to get the day off ( poor boy was coughing away ) , we managed to share an early breakfast. Calvin's usually the quiet, unobtrusive sort who refrains from making sudden inflammatory comments but today during our impromptu breakfast, he blurted out a surprising pearl of wisdom.

Share pork with someone you love.

Stared at him in consternation for at least ten seconds before I was able to digest what he said. Assumed he was joking since there was that glint of quiet humour in his eyes but it could just be the light refracting from the shiny teacups.

Seriously. I have no idea what came over his mind while he was saying that. Perhaps it's an old ancient Chinese idiom that cropped up during the Period of Six Squabbling Nations and Dirty Autumn when the King of Wei made nefarious plans to infiltrate the lair of the Hui, the hunky butcher. Or perhaps it was the amount of cholesterol-laden pig lard ( aka dim sum ) that was percolating around in Calvin's veins that clogged up the functions of his poor brain :)

Still it got me thinking about certain relationships that had fizzled out due to certain warring ideologies or differing cultures - and believe it or not, even pork-eating habits. Don't get me wrong. I love my delicious pork ribs but I'm certainly not gonna dump Brandon Routh if he told me he's strict vegetarian. Come on, we're not talking about total opposites such as a hyperactive, gun-toting redneck with a penchant for Metallica and burning the tails of dead cats and a peace-loving, plant-loving Brahmin who worships Enya - and even then I'm sure they can work out some sort of truce.

It's just food, people.

You'd dump me because I don't take pork?

Food taboos certainly don't faze me. After all, I've gone through my own particularly idiotic potato / yam phase so I do understand that all of us have our own idiosyncrasies ( and for some of us, strict religious don'ts that forbid certain foods ). Although I adore crabs, shells and prawns ( despite a patent disability when it comes to dismantling the parts ), Charming Calvin has a serious, inexplicable aversion to seafood but that certainly doesn't mean I'm gonna dump him by the wayside just because he can't get it on with a crab claw. After all, I certainly didn't run screaming when Big Bicep Barry produced his sickly green alfalfa-cucumber-rawegg protein crap ( although I did feel a mite nauseous ) and that had to be the worst ever.

Although I'm certain there are certain habits that I'd find damnably irritating and near impossible to live with ( such as a tittering crystal-breaking cackle for a laugh ), I hope that I'm tolerant enough to accept certain sociocultural habits and practices that have been ingrained into my future partner.

Or at least grit my teeth and hold my tongue :P

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The Mockingbirds

My deep, sincere loathing ( and deep-seated fear ) of exams should be quite apparent by now from my previous posts. Quite obvious also that the wily ancient Chinese must have invented this as a subtle form of mental punishment centuries ago - possibly in a bid to drive all the poor deluded barbarian infidels insane.

Ever since we took our first tentative steps into primary school, we have been practically snowed in with neverending tests, evaluations and exams. Barely a month went by without a stern teacher shoving a stack of blank sheets in our astonished faces demanding answers. With the sheer volume of exams questions thrown at us, is it any wonder that we're heartily sick of the system by the time we're in our late teens?

On the last day of medical school, I finally heaved a sigh of relief - and after the ritual burning of all my horrific lecture notes, I naively assumed that I'd never see the door of the examination hall ever again.

Obviously I was a little premature in that hope.

And now they have to introduce mock exams for us poor buggers over here. Why the hell do we need mock exams? Seriously. Isn't the killing stress at work enough to drive us to drink?

Exams. Sigh.
Hyperactive, obsessive doctors would surely enjoy the challenge ( and the hidden threat of young hypertension ) but for me, I never could see the point of mock exams. If there's an excellent pass with flying colours, it certainly doesn't mean a definite pass in the real exams - while a fail would only make us all dispirited prior to the real event ( and prompt aspiring physicians to attempt possibly fatal bungee jumps without the safety cords ).

Maybe they just enjoy mocking us. :)

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Don't Leave a Light On

One of the things I'm always reminded of by my well-meaning ( though occasionally naggy about my sad lack of partners of the feminine persuasion ) mother is to marry someone who can understand the eccentric vagaries of my job. After all, it does take quite a guy to tolerate the odd unsociable hours, the frequently missed appointments and the ever-changing mood swings.

Hear that, Calvin? :) Consider that a blanket apology early on in the relationship though I have to admit I'm thankfully not all that prone to the mood swings.

Mood swings? Me?!
I'm the freaking soul of contentment.

It's not easy being married to a harassed doctor - or to anyone else whose lives ( what fucking lives! ) are invariably tied to their work. Certainly an ongoing problem that features prominently on many of the medical dramas that I'm such an avid fan of ( just so addictive watching someone else sweat and stumble at work for a change ). Think House. Think Grey's Anatomy. Think ER. Think about it, do these insane workaholics ever seem to leave the hospital?

Still, I do try my best to sympathize with their loved ones for putting up with such unfortunate circumstances. There are a rare few though that I find impossible to understand - such as the infamous Adele Webber, the long-suffering virago / wife of the Surgical Chief of Seattle Grace. Making her tempestuous way into the corridors of the imaginary hospital, the lady rants and rages over the unreasonable hours he spends there.

I never get it. Seriously. You marry the guy knowing his job sucks, his hours suck and then you complain incessantly that he doesn't pay enough attention? Sorry, darlin, you made your choice, you bought the entire package knowing what's in store for you so you get no pity points from me.

All I wanna do is smack Adele around. No doubt she's entitled to give the man lots of grief over his torrid little affair ( you all know how me and my sharp little scalpel feel about infidelity, right? ) but to rile at him over his job? Why marry him then? You want a guy who has all the time in the world to pay attention? Get yourself hitched to a struggling, penniless poet. Makes me wonder exactly what the shrew was thinking when she married him. Did she seriously think the man would change? A hyper Type A personality who's meticulous, obsessive and ambitious simply isn't going to walk away from the job while he's cruising at the top.

Let's face it. Never could understand what exactly makes them tick but some maniacal guys ( with me as the exception ) are just plain married to their work - they live work, they eat work, they breathe work - and if you didn't see it from the beginning, you were just awfully blinded by love.

So please don't leave a light on for the insane lil buggers - the bulb's jes gonna burn out that way.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Raise the Red Lantern

Rigid traditionalists around the world love to mope and moan over the gradual erosion of cultural traditions and ancient festivals under the relentless tsunami waves of globalization. Takes a lot to withstand the brainwashing powers of MTV and McDonald's after all - and obscure traditional practices are being slowly swept away by the more prevalent media-friendly Western culture.

Surprisingly there is one cultural festival over here that actually seems to be getting larger and more prominent with time. Not sure exactly what's been driving this peculiar phenomenon but I suspect it's a diabetic conspiracy hatched by the nefarious sugar manufacturers.

Years back, I could just recall a handful of red lanterns and several half-eaten mooncakes commemorating the occasion - but nowadays everyone seems to be getting on the loony mooncake bandwagon when the autumn equinox approaches. Lanterns and mooncakes flood the streets as prominent restaurants and confectionaries go all out during the ( no doubt lucrative ) Mooncake Festival, touting their various delicacies in the most creative manner.

Little lanterns everywhere!

Oddly enough while almost everyone celebrates the spirit of the season, no one's really all that sure of the actual date of the event. There's a vague sense of the festival approaching with the ubiquitous mooncakes making their presence felt but by then, everyone's already too busy rhyming verses by moonlit rivers to care about the actual date. No doubt the combination of the free-flowing wine and the sugar-rich mooncakes helps in the creative writing process.

Of course not all of us are aspiring poets who pen sentimental stanzas after the inevitable alcohol / sugar rush and there are some who invariably insist on putting their own unconventional spin on the festivities.

Paul : What are you gonna be doing this Mooncake festival?
ISO : Clubbing.
Paul : What? What does that have to do with the festival?
ISO : Everything. Trust me. I'll be busy sampling savoury mooncakes and tasting their sweet, delicious filling.
Paul : Seriously. How can you make everything sound filthy and degrading?
ISO : It's a talent we both share.

Unfortunately I can't argue with that.

Still, not everyone's busy gorging themselves on the local fare this auspicious season. Doing his sedate bit to garner business for his ample products, Big Bicep Barry's usually busy mooncake shopping this time of the year.

Paul : Busy distributing mooncakes again?
Barry : Yeah. Gotta placate the loyal clients.
Paul : Sweeten their lips? Do I get some sugar?
Barry : If you are a good boy.
Paul : So are you giving any sugar to Bad-Ass Brenda?
Barry : You've gotta be kidding. Brenda is not getting any mooncake of mine!
Paul : Glad you don't hand your mooncakes around indiscriminately then.
Barry : Are we still talking about the same thing?

Not sure what I'm gonna be doing on that day but the alcohol bit is starting to
sound good. Wonder what Charming Calvin is up to on that night.

Sunday, September 24, 2006


Funny things happen on Sundays that I'm on call.

Although I don't get to talk face-to-face with my friends - since I'm literally cooped up in a small room with four walls akin to a jail cell - I nevertheless have somewhat dependable internet access and a mobile which keeps me somewhat clued in to the outside world. Sometimes those are the only two things keeping me somewhat sane - and not chewing off the furniture or something similarly loony - while I'm literally running ragged tending to wailing patients. Otherwise it's quite possible that I'd have to be forcefully straight-jacketed and sedated since I'd be trying to injure myself on the padded walls. :)

Running ragged is certainly no joke since I've been paged from the north, south, east and west all day long - till I'm barely aware of where I'm actually standing at any given moment. Sometimes I almost wish that I could turn into the infamous Multiple Man just to please everyone and reply instantaneously to all emergency calls ( and still have the time to pay a visit to a half-nekkid, slumbering Charming Calvin ). One clone running helter-skelter to attend the collapse in the ER. One clone rushing upstairs to score some much-needed glucose and H2O. One clone to bark threateningly at the poor innocent interns. One clone to manage the thankfully sedated patient while monitoring the vitals. And one clone to rule them all.

Eric Dane!
Imagine the Multiple Man Orgy... forget about fourgies! You can have an army of delicious studlets to obey your every nefarious wish!

Now, wouldn't that just be cool? Only thing is as Jamie Madrox finds out, you never know just which set of personality quirks would surface in that particular clone. The crazed murderous Paul with that large arrogant chip on his shoulder might toddle along to Calvin's Cosy Crib while the amorous Paul with naughty hands ( who hums along to Timberlake's Sexyback in his spare time ) hurries over to the ER. Not a very good idea.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Fairytale Endings

I'm a guy who's a sucker for happy endings. Always have been - which is why I stay away from pathetic tearjerker tragedies and rail endlessly over delusional anti-romances with blah endings where one of the protagonists ends up taking a leap over the balcony and the other dies slowly of incurable lung disease.

Seriously. If I wanted mindless tragedy, I'd go to work.

When I was a kid, I used to stay up late past my bedtime with a torch under the covers just to finish the storybooks. Never could understand how anyone could put down a book when they haven't reached the end ( delayed gratification my foot! ). Always wondered how Cinderella was going to find that missing Swarovski crystal glass slipper and how Snow White would escape from the wicked clutches of her oddly psychotic schizophrenic stepmother ( with an obsession for eating live beating hearts? GROSS! ). Hell, even what was going to happen after our little Red Riding Hood bumped into the nasty Big Bad Wolf on her merry way to the old folks' home.

When the job starts to look pointless, when things start to look really bleak, when life seems to be leading nowhere, we always retreat to our childhood fables. Even as seeming adults in this cold, cynical world, we all hold on to our favourite fairytales - whether we hope for that enchanted fairy godmother to come by and grant all our deepest wishes or whether we hope for that prince charming to swoop down in a shiny Harley and lift us up from the pitiful squalor we're living in to some beautiful IKEA-inspired castle someplace.

Let's face it, there weren't any gay heroes back then - although I had my deep suspicions about the seven vertically challenged men who lived happily together in a gay commune. After all, Prince Charming certainly didn't diddle around with the growling Beast in a magical singing castle with dancing brooms and talking candelabras while he waited around for his sleeping beauty to wake up.

Still it didn't stop me from wondering every once in a while. Perhaps the Big Bad Wolf was actually having a torrid affair with the hunky Woodsman.

A kiss for my sleeping beauty...

Take a look at dronio's art from deviantART. Don't you just love the gay modern take on Sleeping Beauty? Check out the cute details that pay homage to the original such as the delicate rose design on the tiles and the three little shampoo bottles with the names Flora, Fauna and Merryweather.

And I just love that sweet loving kiss on the forehead. :) Certainly appropriate for me and Calvin - since Calvin, the Lord of Perpetual Yawn is really hopelessly attached to sleeping.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Stealing broadband

For those of us who have taken on the burden of adulthood, one of the chores that most of us have as boring, dyed-in-the-wool responsible men - apart from the interminable bills - is servicing the car. The few lucky buggers around the world with excellent public transportation should count their blessings since there's nothing quite as frustrating as getting the car serviced since it involves careful, precise planning ( taking the day off and such ), excellent coordination ( between the harassed mechanic and yourself ) and plenty of dull hours catching up with outdated magazines.

Despite Charming Calvin's enthusiastic praise for the seemingly efficient train service, I have my suspicions. In most developing Asian capitals, the public transportation still needs more than a little ... tweaking ( if not a desperate overhaul ) - and till that happens, speeding around in a personal vehicle seems to be the easier option. And while it does raise my stress levels some ( raising the terrifying spectre of early hypertension ), it does give me some alone time to think.

Still that doesn't make servicing any easier. Bringing the car in for servicing certainly marks another adult milestone since I can easily recall my dad catering to such dull chores when I was a kid.

Over in the mechanics' workshop, one would reasonably expect studly, gorgeous specimens of manhood, all stubbly, sweaty and liberally painted with grease, dressed in only painted-on jeans that has seen better days. Usually offering a free oil check and engine tune-up - while tugging on his burgeoning gearshift.

Could you fiddle around with my gearshift?

Obviously most of those steamy apprentice mechanics have been hired by the gay porn studios since what we find in the workshop is usually far from palatable. What we get instead is a portly uncle with belly overflowing his straining pants leering as he runs his fingers over the car hood and talks about engine thingamajigs. While scratching his rapidly thinning head, the mechanic would be rattling on about the mileage and the oil usage and I'd be nodding away semi-knowledgeably while my curious gaze runs over the workshop searching futilely for a greasy Chris Evans lookalike hopefully stashed away somewhere under the hood. No such luck however. Somehow or rather in the midst of such overwhelming testosterone and grit, any trace of feather boa swishiness seems to melt away leaving a grunting neanderthal in place and even my voice drops an unbelievable octave when I mumble rubbish about horsepower and pumping pistons.

Then I look up again and I see the uncle with an oil-stained finger up his nose. Which is how I usually end up with the outdated magazines mentioned above.

Then I realized that I needed to write up some reports for work and brought out my laptop only to find the wireless LAN blinking away. Hell, who'd ever guess that the isolated workshop acually received wifi - God knows from where. Life's certainly full of surprises and I spent the time tapping away at the keyboard - writing this post - vaguely imagining the uncle drooling over porn sites in between fiddling with carburetors.


You know what! I take it all back. I'd marry the old portly uncle, fuck the belly.

Hell, he practically left me penniless selling medical prescriptions by the highway. For the amount of money he just made off me - and of course for changing my tyres - I might as well just bend over and let him have it all. :) Might as well marry him. Then of course I'd slowly poison him with my knowledge of pharmacology, take over his shop and hire studly young apprentices to man the shop.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

A Stethoscope's Tale

Symbols have meaning. Like the police officer's shiny badge. Like the fireman's helmet. Like the Marine's dog tags. Each conveys a certain meaning attached to it, a certain indefinable sense of self and identity.

Deep thoughts!
Damn.. where did I leave my stethoscope now?

Like the legendary Rod of Asclepius and the ubiquitous white coat, the stethoscope has long been intimately associated with the medical profession. Shockingly enough, I've had mine for close to a decade. Has it actually been that long? I just recounted the years and it's pretty close ( and I am seriously aging, folks ).

Not long after we entered medical school, the Littman sales team arrived with their boxes of equipment and their usual spiel - which none of us actually bothered to listen since it was obvious that we'd buy it all anyway. After all which doctor ever lived without a swinging stethoscope? When the goods arrived, the hyper-enthusiastic medical students swarmed over them like crazy bees to precious honey and it took a while before I even got mine, after stepping on a few toes and breaking a few wrists.

Some of the wannabe doctors played around with it, perhaps trying it on for size, but I didn't touch mine till I reached the relative privacy of my dorm room. It was only then that I took it out of the box and stared at myself - and that shiny new symbol - in the mirror with some faint surprise. Hell, made it almost official that I really was going to become a doctor. Goodness gracious. Before that it was all dull, dry lectures and equally boring textbooks so the very novel idea hadn't really sunk in before. Me a doctor? You gotta be fucking kidding me!

Reading my blog, you'd expect my stethoscope to be a flashy gay pink with gold sequins and red feathers but it's actually a boring conservative navy blue. Never felt any real need to stand out in the crowd here since my frequent uncharacteristically loud rants already do more than enough to gain attention.

Still, the faithful thing's been with me for a while. Can almost recall every little sha la la la and every dub dub dub that it gifted me with. Loyally stuck with me through the unimaginable horrors of medical school to the brief nightmarish episode of living hell that we call housemanship. Even when I first returned to my hometown, it came along with me strapped to my travelling bag.

Even had it along during a trying Chinese New Year when I had to drag it out to use on an ailing neighbour who had developed acute pulmonary oedema throughout the night. And that one time I had to attend to a roadside injury when I was flagged down by the paramedics. Till recently actually when I started functioning partly without my own stethoscope since we had several on hand at work ( don't even ask me about ear infections ). Still, it was placed carefully in my backpack that I carry to work.

Then today I took a curious look while unpacking and realized that the diaphragm was hanging loosely from the stethoscope, flailing about like a pathetically broken limb. Thought of falling to the ground, raising my hands to the heavens and singing an aria to my devastating loss but I settled for a single wail, pregnant with feeling. Isn't it funny how we gain sentimental attachments to the oddest things?

It would be simple enough to do a little botched up DIY job with plaster and cast but I think it's time to retire the faithful old soldier. Place it up amongst my precious mementoes in the glass teak cabinet.

What the hell. Maybe my next one would be fuchsia with gold sequins. Wonder whether Littman makes those.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Closet Troubles

Coming out is certainly a slippery business. As you fumble over the wet spots, you never know exactly when you're gonna stumble and fall.

Unless you make the slip inadvertently in conversation.

Gordon : Hey! You free to talk?
Paul : Sure. How are you and the wife?
Gordon : Fine. Just wanted to hear from you. How's life? Seeing anyone?
Paul : Yeah.
Gordon : Oh?
Paul : There's this guy I've been seeing.
Gordon : Oh!
Paul : A guy. XY.
Gordon : Oh.
Paul : Think I told you that before. You still don't sound shocked, by the way.
Gordon : I think I kinda guessed when you praised my wife's earrings for matching her fabulous shoes. Usually guys don't reach that far vertically when they're looking at a woman.
Paul : Oh.

Shows that it's sometimes quite possible to come out twice to the same person.

Straight guys don't have much of a problem when it comes to their sexuality. There's certainly no need for them to ever come out of the closet since everyone already expects the obvious. Hell, mindless drooling over humps and lovely lady lumps - and then making like a booty nomad is almost a badge of their obvious virility. Before a guy settles down to responsibility and family, society at large expects a man to sow his wild oats - and heaps admiring, half-envious accolades on the most diligent farmers. As Louisa May Alcott once wrote...
Boys will be boys, young men must sow their wild oats, and women must not expect miracles.

Certainly not the first time I've said this but for most gay men, every day is a coming out day. Telling the neighbour. Telling the butcher ( trust me, strike it up when he's not holding that sharp cleaver! ). Telling the Haagen Dazs hunk ( and hopefully getting his number if he's a member of the familia ). After all, no one really expects that touch of deviant pink in the average joe - and it always comes as a faint surprise, occasionally tinged with a touch of distaste ( unfortunately! ). At times I don't have much of a choice on whether to reveal myself since my blog has gained some little notoriety. Fortunately those that I've spoken to have proven surprisingly accepting - certainly a good sign that Asian youths have gotten more tolerant of alternative sexualities.

Deeo thoughts!
No apologies. No regrets...

But for the guy who's thinking of coming out to his friends - yeah, Sammy Sunboy, I'm talking to ya - it all depends. Revealing that hidden yet insanely fabulous side of you can be an extreme relief since carrying the heavy burden of secrecy can be quite tiring at times - but I also recall a certain poignant Brian Kinney quote I heard a little while back.

Unless I'm fucking you, it is none of your business.

Makes perfect sense once you think about it.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Something to Talk About

Despite the passing surface resemblance we share, let me reiterate that Charming Calvin and I are not the same guy :) Dating myself would be quite an intolerable nightmare since I'd probably end up garroting myself which is why I'm glad that Calvin couldn't be more different. Let me outline one of the obvious differences.

Paul : Update the blog dammit.
Calvin : With what? I can't find anything to write about!
Paul : OMG. You serious?!

The man just isn't the type to kid around about such things. Find it quite amazing that he finds himself at a loss actually since on any given day, I find dozens of things to write about from the mundane minutiae of my so-called life. Perhaps I really am a Chatty Cathy since sometimes I find so many small hilarious incidences during my workday ( I swear the oddest things happen in the hospital! ) that I have to prioritize and pick out only the most appealing. And sometimes the most palatable since I doubt talk of regurgitated stomach contents and flying placental bits is suitable for public consumption.

Deeo thoughts!
Hell, what should I write about...

And the things I see on my regular trips to the mall - waiting for Calvin - can be quite amusing too. Such as the giggling gaggle of Iranians huddling around the weighing machine waiting for their turn. The amazing thing was they were all husky, hairy and - male. Perhaps the heaviest would be excluded from paying for dinner. Or the fact that I bumped into a sexy male model in a bookstore the other day and could barely keep from falling over to bite his ass.

Yet there are things that I miss out during the week and fail to note in this online journal. Such as Big Bicep Barry's Bowwow Banquet. An advocate of proper meals consisting of cucumber, tofu and alfalfa, the man was suitably horrified to find that his intrepid foreign workers have been adding some unusual forms of protein into their diet. And though I was distinctly hopeful, it wasn't the liquid protein sort advocated by Bel Ami. Seriously. Little puppies and poodles, please beware. Really. No wonder you probably won't find stray dogs around that particular industrial area.

Or the day I met the Christian Charismatic who wishes to salvage my wicked soul and whose burning ambition it is to lead me back into the flock. Sorry. Unless you're hot, hung and armed with big guns like the guy in the pic above, it's gonna be difficult persuading me :P

Or even Handsome Hui's latest inamorata who insists on being an unsolved mystery - that I half suspect he's a runaway South American Drug Lord. Hell, if beauteous Gong Li can be a believable Cuban in Miami, Scruffy Saul can certainly be Colombian.

So. Nothing to say, Cal?

Saturday, September 16, 2006

The Banquet

If you've ever wondered what irregular people say after a regular chinese banquet, wonder no more.

For the uninitiated, it simply means here be poison!

Not only poisons galore enough to delight the heart of the darkest assassins but along with her various venomous schemes, a certain queen biatch also stabbed my upstanding dream husband in the neck with her womanly weapon.

Don't panic before I've had a chance to explain. No worries, kind souls, Charming Calvin remains in the pinkest of health with no near fatal wounds on his neck apart from some unsightly teeth marks.

Feng Xiaogang's latest martial arts blockbuster, The Banquet, is a loose adaptation of the perennial favourite tale of the tragic princeling Hamlet - transplanting the story to ancient China in unstable times after the Emperor has been murdered and the throne usurped by his brother. The ever-luscious and suspiciously fey Daniel Wu plays the sadly diminished pivotal role of the doomed Crown Prince Wuluan while Zhang Ziyi takes on the role of a lifetime as the passionate, duplicitous Empress Wan who surrenders everything to protect her power, her position and the man she loves.

What can I say? As usual with all the up-and-coming Chinese directors, the sets are lavishly decorated ( with candlestands I wouldn't mind having in my home! ), the cinematography is visually opulent ( not to mention liberally sprayed with copious amounts of blood ) and the score is hypnotic. Unfortunately there are almost no sympathetic characters in the movie ( and Zhang Ziyi unfortunately not suitably diva-esque enough to carry off the plum role of the Empress ), and it's nearly a relief when most of their plans turn hopelessly awry during the inauspicious banquet.

Huang Xiaoming!
My dream husband...

Yet the memorable part of the whole film - apart from watching Zhang Ziyi try her best, and ultimately fail, to weave her delicate web of deceit and treachery - is a mini cameo by the deliciously yummy Huang Xiaoming ( hereby referred to as my dream husband ) who plays the ambitious, upstanding General Yin who finds himself irrevocably drawn into the subtle intrigues of court. Hell, the man can make a shapeless gunny sack look good - what more the delicious armour of an imperial guard. Huang Xiaoming can certainly arrest me, clap me in chains and torture me with melted candles anytime.

Unfortunately the mean queen biatch I mentioned had to do the stabbing thing.

During the movie, Calvin and I concluded that I must have spent one of my fascinating past lives as a conniving Chinese concubine who schemed her wicked, wily way into the imperial court whilst coolly poisoning her numerous unfortunate enemies - not to mention secretly manipulating / romancing babealicious generals such as my dream husband above. Only made sense since I predicted almost all the evil Empress' moves. No doubt in that iniquitous past life I must have reached an untimely end since karmic redemption - and surprisingly judgemental Chinese cinema - would deem it so.

A Shanghai triad hoodlum and now a scheming court jezebel? Not sure why I am always typecast in such roles! Wonder what Calvin would have been in that past life? Possibly one of the unfortunate goody-two-shoes courtiers I secretly stabbed with my trusty yet painfully sharp hairpin?

Friday, September 15, 2006

Ain't No Other Man

Since burning the brassiere turned out in vogue decades back, women have learned to roar when pressing situation calls but it seems the unfortunate payback is that some men of today are barely making a whimper. Let's face it, women's lib has been around for generations and yet gender stereotyping still exists.

After years of political correctness, men and women are still judged by different standards. Judging by a radio commentary today ( overheard on my way back from work ), if for some obscure reason a man lives off a woman, he's branded a spineless leech, a ne'er do well, a useless parasite - while if a woman does the same, she'll probably be given a firm salute for achieving many a parent's goal, possibly even an object of envy for many of her peers. Quite glaringly obvious from the number of lunching tai tais sauntering lazily around the malls during working hours in their Pradas and their Guccis. If a healthy, reasonably intelligent man were to do so, he'd probably be clapped up and stoned in the public square.

All man?Even the traditionally 'feminine' arts are not looked on favourably. When a man takes up knitting or ( God forbid! :) ) fashion design, he's automatically tagged a limp-wristed fag, nelly or a sissy while a strapping Amazon who's holding a bloody machete in one hand and a loaded machine gun in another is lauded for advancing women's rights. Seriously. Would you prefer a slinky Versace gown with ornamental safety pins or several crying orphans in a war-torn country?

Due to unforgiving societal expectations, men are required to be intelligent, smart, resourceful and able to hold down a reasonably stable job. Any small aberration from the above and they'll be relegated to the lowly, unsavoury company of bums and drunks. On the other hand, there would be no raised eyebrows if some little girl were to make a wish to snag a wandering prince charming and live happily ever after with her three Indonesian maids, limitless credit and a walk-in wardrobe full of designer couture.

And along with all that material success, men are supposed to be sweet, sensitive and submissive. Holy Stepford Husbands! Talk about a near impossible benchmark! Be without those paragon-like qualities and the significant others would start wailing in distress to their chic girlfriends over Cosmopolitans. Has anyone ever bothered to wonder why it's rare to find guys complaining about their girlfriends to their buddies in the sports bar?

Trust me. Women love to rage occasionally about the difficulties of being all female ( and I certainly do sympathize but you have strappy Manolos to compensate! ) but really, it isn't all that easy being a guy either - much less a heterosexual guy. After all that, does it come as any surprise that most sensitive new age guys are turning gay? :)

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Culinary Creations

Practice certainly does make perfect.

It has been a while since I really cooked anything substantial - apart from making the occasional inedible pancake and burnt toast for breakfast.

Was ambitious enough to try frying some fish bites for lunch yesterday but found it almost impossible to begin, wracked with hesitant nerves. After a certain lapse of time away, the kitchen becomes a place almost terrifyingly alien to the relative beginner. Spoons and ladles start to resemble unforgivable IT thingamajigs that are nigh impossible to understand even with a multi-language manual and kitchen ovens mutate into hideously fanged monsters that drive fear into the faint of heart.

The Joys of CookingInstant microwave meals and easy-bake cakes aside, never was all that handy in the kitchen in the past since I never had much cause to cook - especially since my lovably eccentric mother derives near-orgasmic enjoyment from perfecting a dish. Practically a cause celeb for her to organize a dinner party.

It was only when I returned alone to my hometown after my housemanship that I found myself facing the stove for the first time on my own. Since I'd always grown up imagining that milk was produced by carton shaped cows and eggs grew on trees, even cooking oil seemed like a foreign substance to me. Thankfully my mother left the larder fully stocked with the latest electrical appliances all ready for my scientific experiments.

Although I have budding ambitions to be that perfect househusband and my kitchen would serve as a designer's template, I'm certainly no Martha Stewart protege and my culinary disasters are legion - running the gamut from barely toasted fish ( more like raw sushi actually ) to chicken wings burnt sadly to a crisp in the oven. There was also the cake fiasco of 2003 when the chocolate cake just refused to rise ( lack of Viagra perhaps? ).

One of my first experiments in cooking was frying Japanese tofu. For the uninitiated, it isn't actually all that easy to manage despite its deceptive simplicity. Since my first attempt was disastrous to say the least ( with the outside burnt beyond description and the insides still frozen ), generally getting the tofu crispy golden with the insides warm is certainly a feat worthy of some applause!

Still unlike my unfortunate previous attempts, my fish bites yesterday turned out perfect :) Not ready to test out my recipes on Charning Calvin yet though since I wouldn't want to risk poisoning him this early in the relationship.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

The Return of the Sandman

As everyone knows by now, sleep is extremely precious to me - and even slimy Gollum would have some difficulty cheating me of my preeecious...

Perhaps it's because with my frenetic pace at work, I have so little of it. Or perhaps I never had enough of it as a child when I was frequently assaulted by on-off near-debilitating attacks of insomnia. Then again, I could simply be a lazy fuck who enjoys my sleep.

My precious!
My precious sleep...

Whatever the reasons, I take my sleep extremely seriously now and practically plan my entire life around it. Woe betide anyone who interrupts me while I'm going through my regular rounds of REM and non REM cycles - since obviously hell hath no fury like a sleeping gay man. By midnight I'm usually in bed counting sheep and it's near impossible to drag me out then.

Everyone has their own distinctive sleeping patterns ( blame the circadian rhythms ) and I just realized that I generally wake up without prompting only at around 9 ( yeah, I took the day off today! ). Without the armed battalion of clocks that surround me sounding the alarms in the morning, I seriously doubt I'd even make it to work. Even then I always have this insane urge to smash the little buggers into little non-operable pieces before setting them on fire.

Don't get me wrong. I like waking up early. Those extra hours in the morning gives me just enough time to get most things done. But come on, it's just such a sinful pleasure waking up with the sun shining warm on your face - unlike my normal drudge days when I rush off to work before the sun even rises and reach home after it sets. Is it any wonder that most doctors are preternaturally pale?

Still I managed to drag myself out of the bed for a bit of shopping by noon - hey, it's one of the few things that I wake up early for, apart from some dim sum and a naked aroused man. Unfortunately can't sleep the day away... and after all, Charming Calvin has a sadly spartan home that needs some lovely knick knacks to give it that homey lived-in look. Like any good gay man, I made my way to IKEA ( of course that's only till we have places like Habitat ) to furnish his cosy crib.

Then again, I took a quick nap again after I finished my errands.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The Devil and Prada

Let's face it. I'm certainly no fashion maven. When I'm cavorting in public, I do try to dress myself in accordance to the style befitting my lowly status in society and hopefully not disgrace myself amongst my learned peers. Rare enough that you'd find me trotting around town in tattered singlet and stained shorts. Although I might even be able to tell the difference between a Prada and a Gucci, I don't pretend to be a vaunted sartorial guru the likes of chilly Anna Wintour.

Being a keen fan of music channels such as MTV and Channel V ( due to a preponderance of sexy, hawt, distinctly unavailable VJs such as Dominic Lau and Colby ), I have begun to note that there is a distinct difference when it comes to cheap couture these days.

Just watch the videos playing and you'll get what I mean. Seems like the clothes are getting small and tighter for the ladies ( are they actually wearing anything substantial? )while it's the exact opposite for the rapping homeboys.

Seriously. The heterosexual men and our lesbian sisters are having the times of their lives. Between the whole preening, pouty posse of Pussycat Dolls, there's hardly a sheer yard of cloth to share between the whole butt-shaking, boob-waving femme fatales. Any more bootylicious shaking and pushing buttons - and some sort of serious wardrobe malfunction is bound to happen.

In comparison, our straight gangsta homies however are finding themselves covering some mighty fine booty in sports tees large enough to make generous caftans for three oversized African grammas and pants low enough to render lowly road sweepers obsolete. Wonder exactly what they're trying to hide from the general public. Sometimes the pants are low enough around their narrow waists that I wonder what exactly is holding it up! I have a vague idea but it's pretty crude - even for me :P Don't even get me going on the shiny, tacky bling blings.

Maybe I'm getting old and cantankerous but.... VJ Colby darling. You're hot. Toss those oversized stuff, just get into a sleeveless tee and tight pants. It works.

Before the large tees!
Before the tees and the bling blings come along...

Fortunately the budding gay boys still know exactly what catches the eye - and have remained faithful to the tried and true. Ephemeral fashion trends might come and go but tight tees and skintight jeans have never actually left the wardrobe of any good ole circuit party boy. Step into any fabulous thumpa-thumpa gay disco and you'll still find hordes of boys in shiny baby tees filched from their tween queen sisters and sprayed-on pants dangerously tight enough to cut off the circulation.

Now if they'd only spread the word to the rest.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Holy Matchmaker

Like I've said before, everyone has their own quirky foibles. Charming Calvin enjoys ironing clothes and riding trains. My brother enjoys playing make-believe financial games and intimidating helpless bank clerks. I like reading fanciful stories and torturing fellow colleagues over the telephone.

And my mother has her own private matchmaking agency.

Since her latest vain attempts in matchmaking has fizzled out, she has lately turned her prodigious talents to other pressing matters. Rather than accosting bewildered unsuspecting bank ladies only for my perusal, she has decided to widen her scope to my other bachelor mates. Like every hopeful ( hopeless? ) matchmaker since the infamous and shockingly successful Mrs Bennet, she believes that singlehood is a besetting crime and finds it imperative that every available gentleman gets permanently hitched to the ball and chain before middle-aged insanity sets in.

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.

Believe me, my mother has that archaic phrase etched indelibly in marble someplace. Along with that, I'm sure there's a very odd roster of names somewhere with names of lovelorn bachelors and bachelorettes - possibly with imaginary red dotted lines linking them. And since my unfortunate friend, Big Bicep Barry, turned out to be the oldest single gent on my buddy list...

Paul : She wants you to come by for dinner sometime.
Barry : If I'm free, sure. Why the sudden invite?
Paul : You're next on my mother's list.
Barry : What list?
Paul : Her matchmaking list.
Barry : Uhh. Did you tell her about my severe debilitating commitment phobia?
Paul : She says you just haven't met the right woman.
Barry : Woman?
Paul : She has already prepared a whole list of eligible ladies for your perusal. Around your age. There's a certain Fanny Flake, merchandising extraodinaire, that she wants you to meet.
Barry : Fanny Flake? My age?! Can't you tell her I'm still heartbroken from a previous love that died tragically from leukaemia?

The last of the free bachelors...

Guess this prospective groom isn't biting the bait. As a sworn friend - and a fellow human being, felt it my duty after all to warn poor oblivious Barry about his impending nuptials. At least I have given him some time to start dreaming up some plausible excuse.

Maybe he should pretend to be gay :P

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Oriental Dreams

The old clocktower struck midnight a while back but my ears were still ringing too loud to hear then. Hour's getting late but the night's just getting started in Club Shalom where my vodka's waiting. Guests in all their glam and pearls are starting to glide in to the smoky little nightclub just down the way and I find myself heading there myself - with my pistol still warm and my scraped knuckles hastily bandaged with a dead man's shirt.

Bang. You're dead.

Dreams are funny, aren't they? When the legendary Sandman decides to pay a visit, there is no absolute certainty of what can happen since anything within the realms of possibility - and impossibility - can happen in dreams.

Eventhough I didn't have such a frenetic work pace last night, I still found myself needing at least an hour or two of downtime to recharge. Being dead tired usually, I probably fall straight into non REM sleep which precludes dreaming of any sort ( possibly missing several REM cycles :P ) Never can understand how some guys can recall with perfect clarity every minute detail of their passing dreams when I find myself groggily wondering how exactly I've fallen off the bed - or fallen into someone else's bed.

Yet this afternoon I actually found myself in the oddest dreamtime. Not only was I dressed in a sleek Mafia-like all-black suit - looking surprisingly dishy - my ISO was dressed in the exact same manner, and we'd both just returned from gleefully strangling one of our competitors in a darkened alley.

Who knows what exactly our purported triad was peddling, perhaps pirated DVDs? Perhaps opium? But whatever it was, the competitor had definitely pissed us off and it was our sworn duty to toss his barely breathing body into the cold unforgiving arms of the Huangpu. Not only did we strangle the guy quite without qualms ( after beating him to a bleeding pulp with slow-mo martial arts sequences worthy of a John Woo blockbuster ), the only passing concern I had was getting his bloodstains on my white cuffs.

Such a bother. Seriously.

Then in the Club Shalom I mentioned, we arranged a clandestine meeting with Shameless Shalom who had her brimming assets squeezed into a slinky red cheongsam while she blew tendrils of smoke lazily out of a cigarette. Showing us to a darkened booth in a secluded corner that somehow still managed to secure a commanding view of the small stage and the front foor ( in case we had a crazy shootout ), Shalom tried to interest us in some of her more nubile submissive girls but we both pleaded a headache ( obviously still vaguely homo even in my dreams ).

Nubile girl?!
A nubile girl!??!

Shalom was undeterred however and remained by our side even as her entertainers took the stage for the night. For some obscure reason, she seemed to be a breathless femme fatale club owner by night and a schoolmarm teacher by day since she started talking oddly enough about Secondary School History. The salient facts and historical dates that tumbled out of her heavily rouged lips were amazingly accurate - which actually made me wonder briefly why my hot-tempered ISO who was no fan of history didn't take out his revolver and blow her brains out. Obviously the possibly narcotic-laden smoke she was blowing into his handsome face was causing a hypnotic effect together with the copious amounts of alcohol he was imbibing.

Not being the discriminatory sort, obviously my other friends were in on the Shanghai Bund fantasy too. In the periphery I could even recall Handsome Hui flirting with the customers and Preity Posh fluffing her ravishing furcoat as she sauntered lazily into the club.

And then Charming Calvin came out on the small stage with the spotlight focused on him and started belting out a tune with the help of the small orchestra. Anyone expecting some golden oldie from Shanghai's celebrated heyday would be disappointed since what came out instead was Christina Aguilera's Aint's No Other Man. Fortunately he didn't have blond pageboy curls on his head nor was he wearing some slinky barely-there flapper dress.

Which is when I woke up.

Obviously taking dim sum before sleep conjures up outlandish oriental dreams of Shanghai in the Roaring Twenties.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Simple Threesomes

Surprisingly haven't done a meme in quite a while and I guess someone must have noticed it too since I just got tagged by Lifecafez for a threesome - or was that a triple play?

Threesomes are fun!

3 favourite local food

How can I possibly stick to three when I have tons to add! Still, at random and just off the top of my head...
I. Dim Sum ( almost all kinds! I LOVE Dim Sum! )
II. Thai Green Curry
III. Otak Otak

3 Favourite Beverages

Usually stick to plain H2O actually.
I. Fresh Orange Juice
II. Soya Milk
III. Black coffee

3 favourite items on McD

GASP! Why no KFC!
I. Apple Pie
II. Chicken Foldover
III. Big Mac ( hey, it's the best! )

3 favourite colors

I. Aquas
II. Deep maroons
III. Dark browns
So obviously my home is full of browns and aquas - with a single room all in reds.

3 Dreamjobs

Well, I'd prefer being a beach bum / toy boy but I doubt anyone would ever hire me... Sigh.
I. Househusband - with a generous allowance!
II. Interior Designer / Visual merchandising exec
III. Professional Buyer

3 animals I like the most

Hmm... not exactly a great animal lover but here goes...
I. Dog
II. Hamster
III. Panda

3 Places I must visit in my life

I. Iran - yeah, once they get over the threat of being firebombed!
II. Morocco
III. Florence, Italy - kinda specific but I just need to buy some stuff!

3 Wishes in Life

I. Being healthy, wealthy and wise.
II. Cherished hopes for my loved ones.
III. Waking up and suddenly looking like Brandon Routh!

3 types of people I hate the most

Seriously. I don't hate that many people. :P
I. Liars
II. Insincere folks
III. Mat Rempit

3 Favourite Blogs

Seriously can't name only 3 since I love so many! Which obviously explains the long roster of blogs on my links :) So those who enjoy their threesomes are certainly welcome to continue this particular meme.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Paul at the Bookstore

Seems like I'm spending lots of time in the bookstore waiting for my cherie amour these days - which unfortunately isn't terribly good for my straining wallet since I can't resist piling on various books in my shopping basket. Yes! I really do carry a basket in the bookstore which gives you an idea of you how many books I buy. Don't even tell me about the tax break since I usually go above and beyond that pathetically limited amount of RM 1000 ( with books being extortionately priced, that's only averaging 30 books a year! ). God knows a freakish spendthrift like me probably splurges all that on books in less than a month.

And that's not even counting my shopping for books online.

Easy enough for Charming Calvin to find me in the bookstore - at least I think its easy! - snce I usually veer from the popular fiction titles to some of the more serious stuff for a quick browse before popping over for a look at the graphic novels. And then if he's a bit late, I'll usually be found going through the various interior design hardcovers.

Reading books is sexy!

Since my niece has started recognizing alphabets and numbers though ( and muttering far more intelligible gibberish ), I've been dropping by the children's section on a semi-regular basis. Just like any sad expectant gay uncle with insanely high hopes, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that she'll turn out to be an interior design savant with an eye for high fashion and fabulous books. Doubt her traditionalist father would be pleased with that ambition though.

Or at the very least I hope that she'll inherit my family's love for books ( although I have a sinking feeling that she's leaning the way of her internet-savvy, MTV generation mother who oddly enough eschews the written word - at least in paperback form ). Still hopefully ( fingers crossed again! ) with all the books cramming up the house, hopefully she'll develop the reading habit by sheer osmosis. After all from my mother's taste for angsty Ayn Rand and literary classics to my brother's dreadfully dull self-help books to my increasingly varied tastes running the gamut from gory crime fiction / thrillers to bodice-ripping romances, there has to be something that the lil girl favours :)

Still it's amazing how varied children's stories are these days. From modern takes on old classics such as the Monkey God and the Magic Paintbrush to the anniversary of my sassy Eloise and Skipperdee at the Plaza, I think it's great to be a child reader now. Swear it never was like this when I was a kid - when I used to stare longingly at the colourful books and wish that I could afford them. Seriously. Possibly that's one of the reasons my insanely throbbing subconscious is buying them like crazy now to make up for lost time. Positively Freudian.

Before you get the idea that I'm a sadly deprived Dickensian orphan, let me tell ya that one of the things my parents have always granted me leeway to buy is books :) As a kid though, I usually balked at the price of the books since my allowance back then was paltry at best. Not so much of a problem now though.

Let me leave you with one of my favourite quotes.

When I get a little money I buy books; and if any is left, I buy food and clothes. - Desiderius Erasmus

I must have said that in a past life.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Real Men eat Ice Cream

All of us have our own peculiarly distinct comfort foods.

Mine is simple enough... cholesterol-laden fried chicken dripping with oil and dollops of whipped potato drizzled heavily with creamy gravy somehow or rather reminds me of lazy evenings back at home with my family... that homemade peanut butter and jelly sandwich brings back nostalgic memories of teabreaks at school...

Charming Calvin has his ice-cream.

Abs and ice cream
Lick me!

Seriously. Don't even think of getting in between Calvin and his ice-cream! The guy with the insatiable sweet tooth is truly madly deeply in love with his ice-cream confections - and nothing gets in his way ( he's taking lessons in painful evisceration from me )! Not satisfied with the boring run-of-the-mill flavours such as vanilla and chocolate, he goes for the most peculiar flavours from black walnut to strawberry cheesecake ( you guys can already guess what a dull conservative guy like me would favour ). Fortunately the man is no snobby elitist and he's quite as satisfied with fast economical sundaes at McDonald's as he is with that slow orgasm-inducing bite of Dulce de Leche at Haagen Dazs.

For those who assume that all we do is take naked showers ( to conserve water! ), cannibalize at Chili's and shop endlessly at IKEA, you'll be glad to know that we have expanded our repertoire somewhat :) It has become almost a routine to round up our evening dinners with a quick stop at one of the above - where Calvin licks and slurps his way through the latest cone while I try to distract myself from leaping over to lick him in public by discreetly checking out the various Middle Eastern hotties that have recently hit town ( I do point out a few Arabian gems to him too ).

Seems like it's going to be another month of endless ice-cream though since Calvin has to make up a sizeable quota for a membership card with the guys at Haagen Dazs. There goes the diet.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Melting Pot Malaysia

Has anyone noticed a slew of foreign television programs coming to our cable networks lately? Since I was hit by a spell of sheer ennui last night - and since there was nothing particularly tantalizing on the other channels, I surfed through several of the aforementioned foreign channels to get a taste. To my astonishment, we not only have Middle-eastern pseudo-belly dancers and Venezuelan viragos raging at each other, we also have teary-eyed Filipinas and squabbling Taiwanese families.

Seems like we are truly becoming quite a cosmopolitan place. If I hadn't gotten a clue from the veritable United Nations roster of names that comes through the hospital admissions, I'd have gotten that just from the sheer variety of channels that we have here. Wouldn't surprise me if we suddenly had a channel catering solely to the wandering Inuits.

What amuses me about the channels is the surprising lack of subtitles. Always makes me wonder how the regular Malaysian viewer is expected to understand what exactly is going on - or have all my fellow Malaysians suddenly turned into multi-lingual geniuses ( fluent in Tagalog, Thai, Portuguese, Arabic etc. ) when I had my back turned? Surely the channels aren't broadcasted solely to cater to the foreign workers? Although I'm sure we have some genially benevolent bosses around, I seriously doubt that the average salaried foreign worker would have satellite dishes installed in their cramped cellblocks - not to mention that it would seriously interfere with the makeshift shower that they've installed just outside.

I could write a whole article about makeshift open showers and hot, half-naked foreign workers but I won't - since I'm trying to maintain some semblance of decorum.

Vietnam beef!
Just imagine me under a shower...

So while watching a sentimental Vietnamese tearjerker, my father and I started making up wild stories for the tragic family - in lieu of having the true subtitles to guide us in our interpretation. Yeah, it's obvious where my wacky reprehensible sense of humour came from. So the simple conservative Vietnamese family drama ( at least that's what I was cheerfully informed later by Big Bicep Barry, a surprisingly cunning linguist ) soon turned into a heaving emotional pool of licentiousness, homosexuality and murder as the protagonists wept and wailed over their torn ao dais.

Barry : It was a story of a son finding his long-lost parents.
Paul : Seriously? I thought the guy was having an affair with an older ailing woman and his slutty sister was sleeping with the lecherous neighbour.
Barry : It's not Wisteria Lane.

Thought I liked my version better. Maybe that's why they leave out the subtitles.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Travelling Light

Watching one of my colleagues gleefully plan her trip to Manila today had me gritting my teeth in serious envy - especially since I've been effectively grounded by various unavoidable circumstances. Was all I could do not to squash myself into her suitcase and beg her to bring me along.

It's been a long while since my last trip abroad - well, a long time since I went anywhere further afield than Bangkok. What can I say? It's always wonderful thinking of going someplace new, just seeing new places, meeting new people, trying new tastes - and also enjoying new men, altough I don't think Charming Calvin would appreciate knowing that :)

Have always had itchy feet - and I think I might have come by that peculiar trait quite honestly since my mother and my brother have done their share of travelling too. Although my brother has started cutting down on his wild rambles ever since he now has some precious baggage ( my little niece! ) in tow. My mom's quite the opposite since now with more frequent breathers at work, she has had time to start planning her next spectacular sojourn again.

Although that desperate wanderlust has always been there, I've tried to tamp it down - not only for various financial reasons ( since I now have various material responsibilities - a house and car to pay for ) but recently, also because of some blind misplaced hope that I might possibly spend the time better by mugging my medical journals instead :) Exams coming perilously close and I think backpacking around the verdant fields of Tuscany certainly wouldn't endear me to the unforgiving examiners. A little difficult to concentrate on books now of course when I'm dreaming of Moroccan lamps and Japanese dolls - and Spanish men :P All places I haven't been to by the way!

Travelling light!
I couldn't help it! The guitar and the boots were a helluva bargain from an old lady in a caravan!

Then again, it never pays to underestimate me. Always been a crazy creature of impulse and perhaps next you hear from me, I might be writing from a little internet kiosk in the deserts of Tajikistan with several bargain-price ethnic ornaments strapped to my back. Yeah, leave nothing but footprints - but hell, I grab everything I can on the way back :P

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Dim Sum Detective : The Affair of the Missing Fishball

Unavoidably woken up at some ungodly hour by an emergency call, all I could think after I'd effectively dealt with that case was MEAT.

Seriously. Hot sinfully delicious meat - and since I didn't need to dial-up some crotchety old man for some gruff sex talk or depend on downloaded gay porn anymore with the availability of Charming Calvin, I made for his cosy pied-a-terre as soon as I was done, surprising him bleary and half-awake at his doorstep. More than a little bashful at the sudden brash intrusion and balking at my testosterone-and-caffeine-fueled ardour, poor Calvin was utterly non-plussed but gave in easily to my advances after little persuasion.

The man knew what I wanted and it didn't take much to have him talking. Which is how we ended up together searching every available nook and cranny along the highways and the byways for this. 點心. Or more commonly known as dim sum of course.

Where is the dimsum!
The mystery is afoot

Although the man cried out under my wicked methods of torture that he didn't know of any depraved hives of dim sum activity, I knew that there had to be one somewhere close. Since Calvin lived in what I'd recently termed Ah Beng Central, it was impossible to imagine that the mini chinatown enclave didn't have a single joint capable of seating gangs of bored retired uncles in their beat-up singlets and shorts and the desperate housewives set after their regular morning marketing. And let's face it, where else could the nefarious ah bengs go after their late night intrigues - peddling pirated booty, maiming unfortunate victims and shagging indiscriminate ah lians?

After taking a slow drive around the unsavoury neighbourhood, the scent of hot tea, steaming century egg porridge and fragrant steamed pork dumplings immediately drew us close to the notorious dim sum dealers and it wasn't long before we were willingly sucked into the decadent pleasures of the meat. Previously an occasional salad-nibbler, poor Calvin has had to adapt quickly to my voracious ( and frequently depraved ) carnivorous appetites. Ever the good Hakka boy though, Calvin struggled his way through some heavy lotus leaf rice while I - unburdened with his genes - dug in several plates of siu maai and pork ribs with much gusto.

Have always loved going for dim sum in the morning - nothing like just being deliberately lazy whiling away the time with the sunday papers and nibbling little bits of delicate pastry while waiting for the hot tea to cool.

If only I could get up that early during most weekends of course. :)

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Harvest Time

Oddly enough, chilly autumnal months such as September and October seem to be extremely bountiful, not only with the various fruits of the harvest but also with fresh new bundles of joy. Makes you wonder exactly what's going on in the darkened backseats of parked cars in the early months of the year - obviously more than the wet grass gets a lift during February.

Autumn bounty!
The hot stallions going into hibernation?

Still.... so much for the faint hope that the enceinte ladies have all given up their precious burdens on Merdeka Day. Seems like more than a handful have lost possession of their timely calendars and have missed that auspicious date - with similarly stubborn babies who are desperately clinging on to the warmth and safety of the womb. Or perhaps even some technical-minded baby zealots who insist that Malaysia was actually born on a later date in September ( rather than the much celebrated date in August ).

Whatever myriad reasons they are holding on to, there seems to be a seeming avalanche of deliveries today - and what that means is I'm half exhausted by dinner time. Pretty sure Paediatrics is full to the brim with gurgling babies.

Although that also means that I have had the time to finish three-quarters of the Morrigan's Cross, the latest paperback from the shockingly prolific Nora Roberts. Yeah, I'm a terribly scary speed-reader ( unless you're talking about boring, serious-minded tomes of medicine ) and I devour cheap paperbacks like so much candy. Just get so involved sometimes that it's nigh impossible to put down the book!


Just an added note here but I'm so glad that Kinokuniya has put me on their mailing list! How cool to find out that one of my favourite books, the Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time has a sequel! Always thought that the book deserved a better ending.

Friday, September 01, 2006


Sassoon lives on it. Godiva lived in it. Samson certainly couldn't live without it.

Hair. Love it or hate it, whether long, short, straight or curly ( or teased up, streaked and mangled beyond description ), most of us find it simply impossible to live with and yet nearly impossible to live without.

Gay men are easy enough to recognize by the amount of time they spend primping up their hair. Some opt for million dollar haircuts to look fabulous while others remain fabulous even with a twelve dollar haircut in ten minutes, and then there are Brit Jays who change their hairstyles faster than Lindsay Lohan. :)

Mine's perfectly straight - utterly without curl, innately resistant to change and like the recalcitrant bastard that it is, challenges the laws of gravity in the early hours of the morning. By late evening it's usually out partying on its own, shaking and flinging in all directions without care. Unfortunately, any vain attempts I make to tame the wild unruly crop only seems to make it angrier, tempting it to mount a dangerous revolution.

However some people find other more unconventional ways to deal with their hair. Not sure what are his exact plans but I assume that Handsome Hui is trying to enact some sort of sadistic punishment on his naughty chin by allowing a growth of blackish curls to sprout, shielding it forever from the healing powers of the sun. Even Shameless Shalom found herself temporarily speechless. Not sure what possessed him to grow that little tuft of curls on his chin - oddly resembling a mini hairy hamster that had taken up stake on his face - but I seriously came this close to calling an emergency code blue just to excise that malignant hair tumour / parasitic hamster from his handsome face. :)

Abs and hair
Naked abs always go with any kind of hair!

Perhaps that little tuft is a living testament to his virility. Perhaps it's an unusual experiment on his obvious attractiveness. Perhaps it's his way of empathizing with the desperate plight of the disappearing billy goats.

Still as a true friend, I should be providing support, standing with him through hairy and sparse, and not making fun of the hair tumour / parasitic hamster. So my suggestion is that he should take a look at site for goatee management.