Tuesday, October 31, 2006

FutureSex LoveSounds

I'm an old-fashioned guy.

By all known accounts - and possibly from some of the wildly unconventional, counter-culture things that have accidentally cropped up from my irrepressible mouth, there are some who might dissemble with this unprecedented declaration. It's true nonetheless. Despite advocating some peculiarly queer notions such as two men actually living together in Pottery Barn inspired harmony ( GASP! ), at the base of it all I actually have some pretty dull, square run-of-the-mill conservative values.

Of course I don't blindly leap all the way into the conservative bandwagon since a quick check on that particular baggage claim area would find such items as opposing big government, gun control, environmentalism and homosexuality. Certainly not that easy ( not to mention takes lots of self-loathing ) opposing homosexuality when you're sleeping with men.

Of course I do have my very own outre twist on traditional values. Respect for your elders, filial piety and celibacy before marriage ( oops! ). Seriously. Don't laugh. Obviously somewhere along the way, some of the missionary school doctrines they harped endlessly about did manage to chisel their way into my brain. Don't be shocked but even legalized abortion still has me shaking my head in disbelief sometimes. Just skipping merrily into a clinic to have a life torn out from deep inside? Hmm...

With my strong views on infidelity, open relationships with threesomes and fourgies on a weekly basis would have me staring in strictly bourgeouis astonishment. Commitment's a word that's practically etched in marble for me and although the idea of checking out the hunky gardener's hedges might be deliciously titillating, it certainly wouldn't occur to me to stray. Unless it was Brandon Routh and Chris Evans - but I mean, they have to be considered extenuating circumstances, don't they? :) At the most, I could consider them temporary hormonal insanity.

Isn't it interesting to see that even with Justin Timberlake's current take on Futuresex Lovesounds, he does manage to come up with some very old-fashioned words on his new single, My Love?

This ring here represents my heart
But there is just one thing I need from you
Saying I do

Albeit a marriage proposal of sorts with some marvellously avant garde riffs, unintelligible rap and fancy footwork. It's far from high-brow Shakespeare for sure but the surely the sentiment remains. Nice to know that even in the future, sex and love sounds obviously wouldn't have changed that much :)

Monday, October 30, 2006

Trays of Gold

I know people have marvelled over the amount of time I've put into my blog and imagined that I lie around for hours wracking my brains on what to blog about ( honestly, it probably takes less than half hour a day actually ). A few have even wondered how someone with my hectic crazy-packed schedule can find the time to even scribble a few lines for the blog post everyday.

Simple reason enough. I enjoy it actually. Not only do I love writing - as evidenced by my little menagerie of bedtime stories which I have yet to reproduce on a new site online - but I also enjoy shifting through other blogs reading about the lives of others. Through my playing the inquisitive voyeur, I've managed to expand my severely limited social circle ( due to my oddly antisocial behaviour ) by getting to know several new online friends ( even a few I've actually met in real life shockingly enough ) and even a sweet charming guy with an indefatigable ironing fetish called Calvin. Certainly beats going through hours of hopeless speed dating, parading through the online personals or even sweating my guts out at the local gay nightclub getting turned down by that hot clubkid de jour :)

What can I say? When he's not preoccupied with ironing that perfect crease or imagining vindictive conclusions for a certain deposed Persian Overlord, Charming Calvin's great :) - though occasionally given to fits of deep introspection and melancholia but hey, I'm superficially shallow & positive-minded ( possibly manically hyped up on volatile gases ) enough to balance that out. Could also tell you all about his irresistible moans and groans but I bet that would be a little TMI after all :)

And yeah, every once in a while, you do get a wonderfully unprecedented birthday surprise ( FEDEXED! ) like a lovely silk-screen lamp :) What does it feel like having a deliveryman drop by with a gift from someone unexpected? A blog pal, no less. Think that first Christmas morning. Think that sudden lottery winning that you never expected. Of course for my astonished father unceremoniously woken up by the urgent knocks, it was more like a suspiciously ticking package delivered by an armed terrorist.

A thoughtful package from a sweet someone and yet I think it's worth more than trays of gold :)


BTW as a side note, over the seeming holidays ( seemingly since I was working throughout ) I've gotten a new obsession, this new serial family drama called Brothers and Sisters which stars amongst other luminaries the irrepressible stickwaif Calista Flockhart, the ever-fabulous Sally Field and the talented Rachel Griffiths.

gay kiss!
Not that starched-up after all

Oh yeah, and one of the brothers mentioned is incidentally gay - and kinda hot despite his uptight, buttoned-up personality ( then again, those are the guys you wanna slam down on the office table, tear their conservative suits apart and fuck them hard, right? ). Nothing fey about serious solicitor Kevin Walker so it's gonna be interesting watching him find his feet in the gay dating world as he romances the fabulous Scotty with some tongue action.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Hey La Hey La The Ex is Back

Haven't had any mention of my ISO for a while since he's away on some working trip. Or at least that's what he claims. Sometimes it's hard to differentiate what he means - when work for him could actually mean lying suntanning on a tropical paradise somewhere getting a rub with luxurious oils from eager, half-naked cabana boys.

Yeah. Work.

Still, from what I saw in the background - don't you just love spying webcams? - he did look like he's getting crazy bored out of his skull in an oddly generic city hotel room. Then again, the man is some kinda idiot savant techwhiz and it wouldn't surprise me if he had fiddled with the little thingamajig to present a fake pre-recorded image. But then I shouldn't badmouth the man when he very nicely nudged me online to wish me a happy belated.

Paul : I'm old.
My ISO : Nah, not old. Aged like fine wine.
Paul : You're only saying that cause you're older.
My ISO : You've got a good point there.

The usual of course. Talked about some of our old friends and what's been happening in their lives. Who's getting married, who's getting separated, who's getting that nose job - or nowadays, who's finally getting pregnant? At this particular stage of our lives, most of our terribly adult thirtysomething peers have already started moving into the young hopeful ( hopeless? ) father routine. Just simply amazing to imagine some of the brash, unruly idiots we knew back in school shopping for diapers and comparing prices for laundry detergent. Honestly, some of the guys I knew can barely be trusted to keep a cactus alive.

Not what I saw on the webcam

As usual, I bitched about my terrible hours and pathetic pay. Blessed with a healthy bank balance, he could only complain about the hours of course - and the fact that he's obviously stuck in God-knows-where Timbuktu staring at a foreign television screen without subtitles.

My ISO : What about this Calvin guy? Hey, we should all meet up.
Paul : Like that's gonna happen! You'll scare him off.
My ISO : Hey, I'm a sweet gentle reticent soul. Thousands can attest to that.
Paul : Funny. Gonna have him insanely, madly attached before I'll bring him around to meet the beast.
My ISO : And that's gonna take a while, right?
Paul : Hey!

Still. Knowing me, the smart man bought gifts ( from what he showed me on his tiny webcam ) and I simply can't strangle someone who wraps them up as beautifully as he does :) With frilly bows and glitter... now, how gay is that?

You know what they say. Never look a gift horse and all that...

Saturday, October 28, 2006

The Big 3-0

How does the big 3-0 feel? Pretty unsure actually since I imagined that I'd wake up immediately feeling more mature, more adult and possibly sexier ala Brad Pitt.

Unfortunately that doesn't seem to be the case. Not only did I find that I might have some graying hairs ( horrors! To pull or not to pull! ), I realized that I didn't miraculously mature overnight apart from the inevitable hint of middle-aged love handles. Rather than scream the building down as I was wont to do, I kept my cool, meditated a little and went into deep denial. Not to mention, I also counted my savings in my head - hoping that it would be enough to cover the cost of some radical reconstruction and liposuction. Not forgetting a heavy dye job to turn the grays back to black.

Deep thoughts
Solemn ponderings

Sadly however it also turns out that I'm practically impoverished and only a smidgen better off financially than the proverbial illegal immigrant worker begging by the wayside. While your ex-classmates are whizzing by in their foreign imported cars, you'll gazing enviously from the backseat of the struggling trishaw while desperately holding on to your worldly possessions strapped together in a plastic bag. At this rate of inflation, I'll soon be rendered destitute bartering medical examinations for food and drink in the seedy backlanes of Chow Kit. Aspiring doctors-to-be, if you're hoping for a prosperous life of wealth and luxury, I suggest you find easier alternative means such as plumbing, car mechanics or frying kuay teow. Compared to the miserable pittance that the majority of doctors earn ( apart from the few high-flyers who practically mint their own gold coins ), that's all certainly far more lucrative, I assure you.

And you'd be far less prone to getting lawsuits - apart from the occasional unfortunate bloke choking on a barely cooked cockle. :)

Don't worry, ye young whippersnappers. It's not all doom, gloom and gray hairs. There are good things ( not many! ) about turning 30. Despite being close to being a pitiful pauper, I won't be outrunning the arm-breaking creditors anytime soon. Finally have my own house and car - which is quite a relief since hobbling around on public transpo sucked big time when I was younger. And I don't get as stressed out over the little things these days - won't wail and weep a river of tears over my boyfriend missing a date for instance, nor will I get all shook up from exam pressures since hell, there are bigger things in this life. And hopefully, youthful follies and silly indiscretions will remain a thing of the past.

Still. I would trade all that for a youthful six-pack :)

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Burning of the Books

Regardless of what we all think of books - whether we actually read them or use them as incidental bedside props - just the simple term burning of the books already gives rise to all sorts of raised protests. Could there be anything more controversial than the reputed paper bonfire started by Shih Huang Ti to wipe out all prior existence of Chinese culture before his imminent rise to power?

Albeit a little less drastic than the draconian measures taken by the Chinese Emperor, the Home Ministry has taken it upon themselves to arbitrarily ban several printed works. Makes me wonder whether any of them actually sat through a thorough book reading before vetting it - or do they just, cliched as it sounds, judge a book by its cover? Book censorship isn't raised as much in the media since let's face it, only a small ( but significantly growing! ) number of Malaysians actually read.

My thoughts on mindless censorship remain but honestly, is there ever a case for actually banning books? Although I might not personally agree with some of the topics mentioned - and I'd probably never read them even if they were shoved in my face, I certainly wouldn't disallow some other obscure reader from perusing such esoteric titles. Come on, does anyone actually read those books? Thought it would please the government that at least someone's actually picking up a book - no matter how latently subversive the content - rather than only purchase ( read? ) two books a year as the purported average Malaysian does.

Rather than taking the pains to educate the majority to choose what's right, quite obviously the powers above wish to remove that choice altogether since we all know Malaysians are guileless jejunes easily led like mindless sheep into immorality. Talk about simplistic notions.

If they know so much about Malaysians, don't they also know that Malaysians are also prone to going all ga-ga over something right after it's been summarily banned? Prior to that, the banned books are probably sitting on pseudo-intellectual shelves gradually gathering dust but just say no and immediately it becomes that irresistibly sought-after paperback. Hell, even God must have learnt His lesson about the apple embargo especially after Eve went ape-crazy over that first temptation.

Who knows! One day they might even ban Men's Health for all the suggestive poses - to Big Bicep Barry's dismay!

Unsurprisingly, the majority of the works seem to revolve heavily around sex and religion, two controversial issues that seem to provide much illicit fodder for the Malaysian media to titillate the ever-voyeuristic though highly conservative mores of the society at large. Just put those two words on a major publication and it sells, trust me. Not exactly sure how such books could possibly contribute to immorality - and a possibly rapid descent into hedonistic debauchery and mindless chaos - but obviously the generally naive, tractable Malaysian reader would find it easy enough to be influenced by such mind-bending Svengali works such as the eloquent Eminem : Taking and The Big Bang. And we all know that reading about contented lesbian couples leads to buying that sturdy CRV, moving into a farming / quilting co-op with six other butch dykes on bikes and indulging in ... muffins.

Seriously. If turning people gay were that simple, I'd be handing free gay sex manuals to every sculpted hunk in sight. It'd be Sodom and Gomorrah all over again.

Just go read what the fabulous Bibliobibuli has to say about censorship. Is it me or all the Sharons hot tamales? :)
Index : On Censorship

UPDATE : Some bloggers got together and even wrote a blog about it! Go check out...
Manuscripts Don't Burn

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Buli balik

One thing I forgot to mention about things that keep me up in the wee hours of the morning is video games. Really. In the dead of night while everyone else is busy gallivanting gaily in the Land of Dreams and I'm stuck in the deepest bowels of the hospital, I usually click on to one of the games in my PC.

Maybe the games that we play actually do tell us a little about ourselves. For myself these days, I'm normally into strategic turn-based games such as Civilization and Rise of Nations. Obviously I'm heavily into nonstop expansion, peace-keeping and building tons of dramatic theatres and libraries for my cultured citizens - but of course that doesn't make us whiny, namby-pamby wusses since once the envious neighbours piss me off, I casually drop a nuke on them vaporizing their pitiful nation without remorse.

Since Charming Calvin loaned me his wonderful SIMS ( which I doubt I'm ever returning! ) I've been hooked - it's a mythical Wisteria Lane with lovely suburban Pottery Barn inspired homes where gorgeous, immaculately-dressed gay dads socialize with their civilized neighbours over tea and crumpets in the late evenings while their son indulges in oil painting and the occasional shirtless basketball game ( is that what they're calling it? ) with the sexy gardener.

ScorpionUsed to be heavily into detective / adventure games such as my late lamented Laura Bow ( and the hunky droolsome Steve Dorian ) and the absolutely hilarious, irreverent Indiana Jones / Monkey Island sthick but I haven't had the time to seriously delve into such games for a long time - and anyway, they just don't make them like they used to :) With prepubescent, hormonally imbalanced kids getting more sadistically violent these days, innocent little PG-rated mystery games unfortunately just aren't going to cut it. Violent shoot-em-ups and gory bloodfests give me a massive headache and I tend to stay away from such mindless gratuitous mayhem - although on the rare occasion, I do enjoy making like a Scorpion and causing a vicious cervical-snapping fatality or two.

Still, I doubt any of the gamers could have anticipated a game such as this. Just look at what gay gamers have discovered about Rockstar Games' uber-controversial Bully. Here's the premise of the game: "You play tough kid Jimmy Hopkins, who enters Bullworth Academy as a last resort after numerous expulsions from better places. Bullworth turns out to be a totalitarian state, where the jocks, bullies and teachers rule with no mercy, and the nerds live in fear. Will Jimmy emerge as their leader and hero?"

All-male prep academies certainly never looked like this.

But then you just never can tell about these thuggish Neanderthal-like bullies since controversial gay urban legend has always claimed that these seemingly homophobic boys are only trying to mask their hidden insecurities ( and the fact that they're awesome kissers ). Seriously though, I certainly never had such randy encounters in all my years in an all-boy school! If I'd known it was this easy to get a hunky blond jock to swap saliva, maybe I would have given out more presents.

Yeah, they sure don't make games like they used to :) And sometimes very rarely it's for the better.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The Coming of the Magi

Presents. Seriously, who doesn't like them?

Unpleasant surprises are one thing but surprise boxed gifts wrapped neatly with a pretty pink bow are always welcome. Just look at how the Trojans celebrated when the wooden horse was brought in, and the Greeks didn't even bother to wrap it up back then. Although they are wonderful, presents for birthdays and Christmases are par for the course - and hardly reason for any extreme bout of astonishment. These days unruly packs of spoilt brats can even be seen in large department stores demanding presents at Christmas and whining tragically till their spiteful faces turn blue if their wilful demands aren't met.

Spank the lot, I say. Don't they know how special a present is? Christmas gifts are always great but there's just something delightfully extra about receiving a gift for no particular reason. Just for being you. Just because the sky wasn't gray that day. Just because.

Managing to get the whole Deeparaya break through a combination of mad bribery, sheer luck and ancient black magic, Charming Calvin ( the lucky dude! ) made a mad rush down under for a spot of rest and relaxation. Unfortunately with my packed schedule during this time of the year, I couldn't quite make it but he made up for my damned sacrifice by returning today bearing gifts. Perfectly wrapped with a ribbon too especially since I once made a withering comment about his handing over a gift that hadn't been wrapped to his friend - with price tag still tackily attached!

Pooped out!
Dead tired!

Though my poor Lord of Perpetual Yawn certainly didn't look like he'd managed any rest. Elbowing his way through the crowded malls for the gift and then wrapping it must have tired him out, the poor thing :)

Monday, October 23, 2006

Morning Queue Evening Pledge

Since I'm still recovering from what turned out to be an awful on-call last night, just a short review of the events of today...

Morning Queue

Seriously. Queuing for food should only be reserved for torturous Siberian gulags and starving Dickensian orphanages. What can I say? I'm not made out to wait interminable centuries for my food, especially when I'm forking out good money for it. Give me more than a ten minute wait and I'm surely out of there. Unless they're giving it away free of charge, books and mags ( preferably with artistic male nudes ) are available for brief perusal and the chef resembles a hotter, steamier Dominic Lau, don't even think of making me stand in line even for the best chinese dumplings this side of the galaxy.

Blissfully fantasizing that the long holidays would mean empty coffeeshops in the city, that faint hope faded fast when we ( me and my desperately famished friends from work ) arrived only to find a literal river of humanity standing in line for a seat in the packed house. For a relatively seedy, crummy makeshift stall with a gruff less-than-charming proprietor who doesn't resemble Dominic in the least despite the tight singlet and vaguely amnesiac waiters who serve as they please rather than what's ordered, it's doing helluva well. Not sure what everyone else was doing there but obviously there are insane people who are willing to wake up in the wee hours of a morning and brave the crowds for breakfast.

Seems like the Chinese would do almost anything for a good bowl of pork noodles.

Evening Pledge

Fortunately the free movie later in the evening made up for the earlier morning wait. Eager to catch the latest screening, Big Bicep Barry had already purchased the movie tickets the night before - and since it's his first evening off in an age ( the man even had to slog today! ), I pledged to make it despite being more than a little groggy. But with Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale coming along for the ride, how could I possibly refuse?

Hugh Jackman

From the simple straightforward synopsis about the bitter enmity between two rival magicians in 19th century London, it would be easy enough to dismiss it as boring docu-drama but the Prestige turned out to be quite the enigmatic sleight of hand with each suspenseful moment adding another mind-boggling layer of complexity. Certainly getting curiouser and curiouser.

Seriously. Watch closely. Nothing is quite as it seems with these masters of illusion and trickery as they battle it out, stealing tricks and sabotaging each others' acts.

Christian Bale

The fact that I found the characters surprisingly unpalatable would surprise those who have gotten a pretty accurate reading of my wickedness - but really, scrape a little deeper underneath the crusty layers of cynicism and you'll find a naive soul who actually believes that good triumphs over evil, that the meek shall inherit the earth. In this oddly amoral movie, none of the above actually happens. Not easy to root for either wayward, morally ambiguous magician since both are equally culpable in their manifold crimes that they commit to undermine the other in their mindless obsession.

Single-minded and calculating the characters may be but you just can't help but get absorbed into their spine-chilling madness - played to intense perfection by the two actors. And hell, if nothing else, you can ogle the two of them... as Shameless Shalom put it so succinctly, Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale. 'nuff said.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Wake me up before they go go

One of the things that we're most afraid of during a draggy on-call is falling asleep. Sure when disastrous untoward events occur despite our vigilance and the adrenaline rush is pumping through the veins, we're wide-awake and hyper-alert. But when the event's over, the patient stabilizes and the rush fades, the sweet, tender arms of somnolence start reaching for us again.

Difficult to resist the siren call of sleep especially when the slow beep beep of the monitors tend to lull softly like a lullaby. Thank God there are several things that do help...

a) Midnight food runs
What can I say? There's nothing quite as deliciously wicked as this - making a quick run for it, escaping to the nearest food junction. Anything has to be better than the nutritionally sufficient, bland tasting hospital gunk.

b) Torrid romances and trashy magazines
Seriously. Medical text can only keep me interested for an hour at the most before the words star to blur and my head starts to tip forward. Thank God for wild unbelievable, suspenseful romances and the ever delicious Brangelina affair.

c) Heavy metal / pop on the radio
Slow sentimental music or classical? Please, that would certainly knock us out faster than a dose of Sevoflurane. Nothing like some pounding thump-thumpa beat to keep our eyes wide open.

d) Sending messages
Yeah, it happens. I keep myself updated with my friends with all sorts of kinky, naughty messages that aren't quite suitable for public viewing. Hitherto sterling reputations are shredded into little pieces during the fraught discussion.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Do you want to be a millionaire?

What would you do if you just received 8.7 million US dollars?

Seriously. I'd probably faint disgracefully from the shock - desperately clutching the cheque in a near-death grip. Whoever said that money doesn't buy happiness obviously didn't have quite enough of it.

Never been all that rich. Laypeople always have this odd assumption that doctors ( apart from the lucky few printing money in their lucrative private practices ) earn the big bucks when usually the reverse is true. Trust me, most people underestimate them but the truly wealthy dudes are the mechanics, the plumbers and the hawkers. Most doctors barely scrape enough to make a decent living - which my ISO fully comprehends hence the freeloader meals.

Well, we all know by now exactly what the idealistic Dr Isobel Stevens would do with the sudden windfall ( especially if you've been catching up with the recent episode of my guilty pleasure Grey's Anatomy ) but hey, not everyone's gonna be satisfied just having the precious cheque pinned to the fridge with a magnet or left hanging around the kitchen waiting for orange juice to be spilled on it. Certainly not materialistic me. Like my fair Miz Dolly once said, wealth is meant to be spread around like manure, helping young things grow.

And I certainly love spreading wealth around :) No worries. I won't just go stircrazy and impulse-purchase some twenty foot yacht with my name on the bow or some hedonistic pleasure such as the secluded island of MenmEnmeN.

Just let me loose in a large department store with an impressive bookstore and you can just see me at work. Think fabulous leather-bound books with gilt edges on oak shelves in a floor-to-ceiling library. Think super-sized walk-in wardrobe with suits, sweaters and slacks out of a menswear magazine. Not to forget to-die-for butter-soft leather shoes. Of course that's all after my jetsetting round-the-world trip picking up persian carpets, matrushka dolls, murano glass, moroccan lamps, japanese yukatas and every other odd desperately expensive thingamajig that might catch my eye.

Allan Wu!
Spreading the wealth!

Admittedly there will be generous politically-correct souls who'd consider handing part of the cheque over to charity. Unfortunately altruism would come in rarely - all depending on the worthiness of the charity - but still it would be terribly rare since hell, I'm practically a charity case myself! How can I give it away before I've finished enjoying spending it on me, my family and friends? And boy, you guys do know that Charming Calvin has some pretty expensive tastes, right? :) Gotta keep him happy with extravagant Haagen Dazs after all.

Just before my conscientious brother starts ranting endlessly about my serious lack of financial management though, I'd invest some of it in solid blue chips. Wouldn't want to run out of all that lovely cash now, would we? And hell, it'd shut him up.

Friday, October 20, 2006

The Hungry Masses

It's that time of the year again when two major sociocultural ( religious? ) festivals coincide at almost the same time triggering a massive exodus out of the major cities leaving it almost blissfully empty.

Or so I thought. Naively hoping that the coming Deeparaya festivities would leave the capital devoid of any signs of life, I happily agreed to meet up with Charming Calvin and our nomadic globe-trotting Jersey pal, Distinguished Drew, for an evening out. Those vague fantasies of audacious kampung brats busily blowing themselves to pieces with homemade DIY bamboo fireworks ( not your typical sweet, idealistic Petronas ad ) fizzled out just as quickly since trust me, everyone else and their Muslim / Hindu sistas are still busy gallivanting along the major arteries in the city picking up last-minute ketupats / murukkus.

Wasn't a waste going bumper-to-bumper though since I finally scored an introduction to one of Calvin's unholy trio of 'angels' - hereby dubbed the Crazy Calvinettes, comprising the likes of the Solicitor, Sandstone and Steel. Although he has met more than a couple of my friends, I haven't yet suggested meeting up with his convivial friends since... I'm bitterly antisocial in the first place, my schedule's always pretty tight and anyway Calvin's deathly afraid that I'll scare his meek friends off.

Prim and properEver the social creature, the Solicitor organized a fabulous soiree celebrating the B-day of their mutual friend and cordially extended an invite. Obviously Calvin must have finally realized that keeping the borderline psychotic, homely hideous elderly boyfriend safely hidden from the prying eyes of his trusted cronies just wasn't going to work forever. I have to go out and work after all.

Instinctively knowing that I'd probably make a desperate run for it if the number of hungry masses totaled more than a reasonable five, the poor man fudged a little.

Calvin : Umm... a few?
Paul : How many?
Calvin : Maybe five?
Paul : Seriously? Kinda sad. Including me, already two strangers at the party meaning only three of you at this party?
Calvin : Yeah, five. No more.

Wasn't fooled even a bit but I decided to play along. :) Fortunately I'd just finished a short lecture at work - albeit with white coat on so my shirt was mildly creased - so I hope I was still somewhat presentable. Hopefully the Solicitor & Co didn't think that Calvin had dragged me out of some pathetic Salvation Army loser boyfriends rejectbin.

Made me see the vast difference in social contacts that we have. In comparison to his serious, prim-mouthed ( certainly much less vulgar ) buds, my friends and I are unfortunately semi-slutty skanks and licentious adulteress whores. Can't even imagine my ISO and I tearfully discussing career woes when we're much too busy catching up with who exactly is sleeping with whom ( and who's cheating behind their backs too! )! Although swear words don't regularly pepper our daily conversation, for some reason nearly every other line is subtly laced with some scandalous innuendo, and that's only if we're not busy bitching about having some reprehensible cad ( whose hitherto secret love life has already been thoroughly dissected prior to the final execution ) forcibly strung up, tied and quartered. With his balls tacked up separately to the wall beside.

Yeah, we can be cruel sometimes.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Office Politics

Nope, not gonna share my own dull office politics since honestly there isn't all that much here to talk about. Sure we do have our little squabbles at work ( that honestly are far from work related ) but there's very little jostling for position since there are only limited steps in our career ladder anyway. Certainly no need to viciously tear someone down from the rung above and fling them to the brawling masses on the way to the top.

At least I assume that's what they fight about in the office. Unless they actually argue over who skanky adulteress Meredith should have chosen in Grey's Anatomy like we do in the few seconds that we bump into each other at the pantry. Over here it's usually straight to the wards or to the clinics in the wee hours of the morning with very little time in between to pick fights since we're working working working till we drop ( some literally! ).

Since I've never actually worked in an anonymous office cubicle from the proverbial 9 to 5, I've always wondered what it's like. What do a bunch of disparate folks locked up together in an office get up to? Do they squabble over who's getting the larger accounts? Do they scheme secretly in the night over ways to discredit their colleagues ( possibly burying them in the trunk of the company car )? Do they catfight over petty trifles like coveted parking lots and company bonuses?

What an ideal office dogfight should look like...

From what I overheard from a bunch of libellious ladies who lunch the other day, it sounds absolutely fascinating. Ever the good old boy, Charming Calvin always chides me for listening intently to other people's conversations - but honestly you do hear the most interesting things! Not only did they bitch about their inherently evil superior - and his overly superior, tackily dressed assistant, they also tore the already tattered reputations of their sadly absent colleagues into tiny shreds. Not even the way they walked or talked was safe from their caustic disparagements. A particularly obsequious associate - after being pilloried and reviled for her fawning behaviour - had her pathetically limited wardrobe dissected, discussed and denounced by her fellow judgmental peers.

Sounds deliciously wicked. Miranda Priestley would have been proud. Would have loved to stay on as they panned the miserable love lives of their workaholic colleagues but unfortunately I had to go back for an afternoon at work.

Wonder whether anyone's casting animadversions over here.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Love Handles

If you'd been anywhere close to the vicinity of a Zara clothing store this evening, you'd have heard a deathly loud scream of intense horror before an ensuing thud of blissful unconsciousness - followed by the panicked sounds of a storewide commotion.

Time enough that I had a wardrobe change and the recent sales has given me some slight incentive. And although there's no way I'd ever find a formal occasion ( in our sultry weather! ) to wear a spiffy wool suit, that certainly doesn't stop me from trying them out for size. Unfortunately Father Time just had to throw a spanner into the works.

Not only am I approaching the big old 3-0, I also realized that something else is also increasing rapidly in double digits. Surely I didn't expect to remain a scrawny undernourished Twiggy waif forever but this evening I came to realize that I certainly wasn't going to fit into my secondary school pants any longer. Cholesterol-laden, obese couch potato genes run in the family but I was hoping that it would skip a generation at least but once I picked up the slim-fit khakis ( possibly made with superslim, near-anorexic studs like Justin Timberlake in mind ), I knew that I was rapidly losing the neverending Battle of the Bulge. No way was I gonna fit into that obscenely tight pair without either an abdominoplasty & radical gastric stapling or sucking in my breath so deep that I'd probably expire once I took a step out of the changing room.

Sucking it in caused the thud mentioned earlier.

Making a change

Hate to pander to the general notion that gay men are all gifted with a sublime though admittedly shallow obsession with their looks and I certainly have no dying ambition to develop that much-adored tight six-pack ( doubt I'd have the insane dedication to starve myself to a less than 5% fat content )... but hey, I'm a realist. I'd just like to squeeze into my old pants without a corset, maybe even a tight chest-revealing tee or two. :P Nothing too drastic like a radical surgical / mental / physical Swan makeover. Losing just a handful of kilogrammes would be more than enough to satisfy me.

Calorie-counting near-vegetarian Big Bicep Barry was right after all. Damn the sinfully oil-dripping fried chicken. Damn the delicious awesome blossom of onion rings. Damn rich high-calorie Haagen Dazs.

Sigh. I will miss them. From now on, it's alfalfa and bean sprouts. Anyone have any good diet plans? Does that mean I'll have to hit the dumbbells again?

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Wandering Weres and Wicked Witches

One of the things I'm never without while I'm doing one of my 24 hour stints in the hospital is a good paperback. Stern higher authorities would decree that a serious medical textbook would be more appropriate but in the cold, silent wee hours of the morning, reading endless rattle about lung volumes and cardiac potentials can be quite as detrimental as listening to faintly soporific strains of Brahms' Lullaby. Which is why the radio's usually blaring out screaming pounding rock and I'm busy delving into the troubled, convoluted love affairs of wandering werewolves and wicked witches.

People who don't like to read - yeah, these people actually do exist! - frequently find it amazing that I can find such simple pleasure in the written word. Not only pleasure in fact since I can literally get so bloody involved in the plot that even an invading half-naked all-male Spartan Army with a bootylicious hunk of a general would find it near impossible to pry me away.

Near impossible since hey... I did mention the half-naked all-male part right?

Scott Speedman!
You like the movie more? Are you serious!

Some of them even profess to prefer watching televised adaptations rather than read the actual book. Sheer blasphemy, I tell them! How can any single film - apart from the amazing LOTR franchise - possibly compare to the vivid technicolour imagery of one's boundless imagination? Reading broadens the imagination and I frequently sketch alternative endings and fanciful side-plots for the characters involved, wondering what happens next in my own version of the fan-fic.

And yeah, there's more than a small element of slash in my fan-fic :P

Slash isn't all that uncommon. Non-readers of the paranormal - Charming Calvin being one of them - would be surprised to note that these days, that nasty all-pervading virus we all call homosexuality has actually spread its tentacles into these realms. Forget all about Count Dracula drooling over Mina. Not that uncommon nowadays to find that devilish suave vampire actually eschewing swooning vestal virgins for a taste of some red-blooded Toms, Dicks and Harrys who'd make a far better meal instead. Or even the nerdy sorcerer spiffing himself up with some love charms before going for a night out at G.A.Y. Or borrowing a page from my own long misplaced stories ( back soon I hope with help of a friend I call Cute Cris ), a sexy brooding hunk of a werewolf.

YUMPerhaps it's an easier pill for the unwashed masses to swallow rather than two regular joes cohabiting. After sucking on the marrow of a rabbit killed during a shapeshift or plunging your fangs into some nameless hobo in the subway, somehow swapping spit with a member of the same gender seems almost shamefully pedestrian.

Really doesn't seem quite as threatening for an otherworldly demon to indulge in some other form of deviancy. After breaking all ten commandments, what's one more sin after all?

Monday, October 16, 2006

The Lucrezia Borgia Affair

DaggersIf anyone wants a life full of adventure, suspense and mystery, you need not look any further.

For some unfathomable reason, seems like I might soon be plunged into a deep morass of deceit and duplicity especially since Charming Calvin took note of my secret engagement plans ( well not all that secret anymore ). The idea pleased him somewhat although he did remind me that there be dragons. According to my usually silent partner, any such public announcement would possibly have me at loggerheads with his formidable mother, possibly the Asian reincarnation of the aforementioned Lady Borgia. Seems like I'll be in her black books for trying to educate her innocent scion in all the despicably low, sinful ways of the Sodomite.

Zounds! That's me! The wicked corrupter of the patently unspoilt! Always been an oddly contrary fellow. Once already tarred and feathered, I don't see any use in trying to reclaim any lost reputation... why not be as despicable as possible. :P

Sounds like I'll have to start sharpening my hidden dagger soon. Or if all else fails, away we fly to the anvil at Gretna!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

That Touch of Formality

Sounds like it won't be long before I'll be caught and cross-examined by the relentless heartless hounds AKA my matchmaking aunts with their wicked ringleader, my mother, again. Not only is my birthday approaching fast despite my attempts to outrun it but just two days ago, I received an urgent writ of summons via e-mail to appear at my cousin's wedding at the end of the year.

Always the groomsman... Don't get me wrong. I love weddings but this time, I certainly will attract some amount of flak since I'm the pathetic missing link amongst my bevy of married cousins, one of the few remaining unattached right smack in the center of all the helplessly adoring couples, the lone eligible bachelor with all the prerequisites of a home and a career but no wife to manage it all.

Oddly enough my lack of a partner has everyone else quietly assuming ( or should I say loudly gossiping ) that I'm the one desperately in love with my hectic career when it's actually the opposite. Seriously doubt they could find anyone more willing to leave the bloody office behind to take up a mop and a broom. Not to scare my poor Charming Calvin away with talk of serious commitment and matching platinum rings but really I just can't wait to be married. Seriously. Just not to a blushing virgin in a white veil.

Perhaps one with hairier and wider shoulders.

Wedding bands!

Not sure why modern couples today all want that ill-planned, barely choreographed slipshod wedding - sadly it has almost become perfunctory and meaningless for most of them who just want to get the whole boring deal over with as soon as possible. That's a direct quote from a bored blasé bride, believe me. You can easily imagine my horror - and my barely repressed urge to strangle the idiot who's able to get married legally while it's tantamount to sacrilege for me to kiss someone I love. But let's not get on that particular sociopolitical bandwagon now.

That bridezilla certainly wasn't joking about the ASAP bit. Hastily booking tables at the nearest makeshift restaurant, jumping into any damned white gown for the cheapest bargain photo session and catching the closest holy man just isn't going to do the trick for me. Life's certainly gotten more fast-paced these days but shouldn't there be time to slow down for things that are important? What happened to meticulously planning that most beautiful day ever? Sobbing over the fact that the caterers can't make that perfect though improbable wedding cake? Quarrelling with the groom over the flowers and the infamous guest list?

Just like every fabulous gay boy, I want that amazing Vera Wang inspired fairytale wedding. Evening garden wedding at the Eastern & Oriental Hotel terrace. Tables beautifully decked out in shades of cream and hints of gold ( not so much that it resembles a gaudy tacky wedding pls! ) with bouquets of elegant calla lilies and diminutive sprigs of lavender. Little handmade placecards for each individual guest with their wrapped wedding favours. Five-man jazz band playing unobtrusively in the background as the prettily dressed guests - all in light pastels holding their gilt-edged letter-press invitations - mingle in the courtyard. A staff photographer who'll shoot the impromptu images in moody black and white for the wall I've reserved just for it.

Ah. A wedding. I think I can hear Calvin running screaming just about now :)

Friday, October 13, 2006

Mr Notorious

Started this blog a while ago as a place to pen my thoughts - kinda an extension of the heavily guarded journal I used to keep once upon a time as a kid. Back then, the journal was locked with three different locks and combinations and hidden in a safe place known only by a cryptic secret map that even the wily Indiana Jones would have found problematic to decipher. Life caught up with me later - not to mention my writing progressively deteriorated to an unseemly scrawl - and I found it difficult to maintain a regular journal.

Till the blog arrived. Started writing posts on my blog almost two years back, detailing my frequent rants, occasional exploits, and the rare men. Although it was on public domain, I always imagined that it'd be safe from prying eyes - especially from mere acquiantances that I've met in real life. Just a little hideaway for my deepest thoughts. Obviously sheer dimwitted naivete forms a part of my internet psyche since it never occurred to me that I'd gain some little notoriety from this blog :) With the blog, the original six degrees of separation seems to have shrunk into a mere two or three. People that I work with have found it child's play to recognize others - and most horrifyingly, even themselves in the veiled descriptions that I mention every once in a while.

Obviously not as vague as I once imagined.

Really I'm not babbling incoherently, actually leading somewhere with this... :) Never really expect people I know to read it since it's just a minute insignificant thread in the internet quilt, so small that it's always a surprise to have someone stumble on it. Although it doesn't come as much a surprise as it did when it first happened months back, I still managed an astonished gasp when an old friend from school rang me up. Lavish Louis did take his time to get to the point however.

Louis : Uhh. Ahhh.
Paul : Yeah?
Louis : I have something to tell you.
Paul : You're married with ten kids and your girlfriend doesn't know.
Louis : Not about me. I found out something about you.
Paul : I'm married with tens kids and my boyfriend doesn't know?
Louis : I read your blog.

Seriously, each time someone tells me ( with much trepidation, mind you ), they obviously expect me to keel over dead from the heart-stopping shock. Or else to immediately decapitate them with a blunt katana to keep the secret hidden. Well, maybe the first outing by Shameless Shalom did give rise to some mild palpitations, some degree of hypotension and a sinking feeling but I've grown steadily acclimatized to all that by now.

Maybe if I hide, they won't see me!

Still, it literally amazes me that this little blog has grown... quite oddly notorious in spite of my faultless angelic behaviour. Really! Haven't even propositioned a handsome stranger in months - since I doubt Charming Calvin would find it amusing!

Still, the odds are amazing how anyone I know can possibly stumble across this... Maybe I should buy that gay Da Ma Cai lottery that Will mentioned.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

A Matter of Class

Somehow I always imagined when the charming yet militant Frenchwomen stalked down the cobbled streets of Paris screaming vive la revolution, the seemingly insuperable barriers between social class and status would have started to fall like the poor bloodied heads of the aristocracy. That however doesn't seem to be the case nowadays.

There's a friend of mine... let's call him Laksa Lim. Let's not get all melodramatic with wailing violins but he's this sweet, intelligent scion of enterprising hawker parents who's currently contemplating seeing a wealthy mogul's son. Simple enough, you'd think.

Lim : I don't know if it's gonna be a problem.
Paul : You have got to be kidding, right? It's the 21st Century, not the 18th.
Lim : He's a rich man's son and I'm ...
Paul : A great guy?
Lim : Hawker's son lah.
Paul : Seriously? You're not pulling my leg? Does that really matter?
Lim : It might!
Paul : If it does, dump him.

Honestly I swear I didn't take this sadly cliched plot from a Hindi-Tamil tearjerker.

Jamie Dornan!
Hot peon

In ancient times, a strict distinction between the social classes kept the disreputable riff-raff and rabble away from the hallowed doors of their social betters. For example my wicked aristo alter-ego of my past ( possibly murdered out of hand for his/her iniquities ) certainly wouldn't have deigned to spare a glance at some lowly menial of the working class, much less speak to them. Of course if they be comely, sordid, base dalliances would be quite acceptable behind closed doors but by morning, the unfortunate peon should have been summarily dismissed and swept out the backdoors.

Is it any wonder that more than a few lost their pretty little powdered heads at the hands of the bloodthirsty Madame Guillotine? Not only the haughty Europeans but even the practical Chinese had their own hierarchies once upon a time before the impetuous Red Guards marched in to dismantle the rapidly crumbling social structure, erect distasteful monuments on demolished temples and summarily adopt the most hideously bland mono-toned uniforms.

But in the current liberal, free-wheeling, laissez-faire world of today, does social status and class really matter? How would you actually place someone and how do we define class? Who actually gets into the upper rungs of society nowadays? The ubiquitous Paris Hilton, her pampered lap dog and the like?

Should we dump Mr Right ( come on, Mr Perfect would just drive me insane with his perfection! ) just because he doesn't 'belong' in our social milieu? Like, if he eats with the wrong fork, we toss him out of the dining room without further ado? If he wears cheap denim and a tanktop on black tie night, we strip him... okay, that's not what I was going to say... we turn our backs and utterly refuse to acknowledge him? If his parents are honest working class folks, we hastily transfer to another state, change our names and vociferously deny parentage?

Or from the other side of the looking glass, even if he was the son of some sinfully wealthy Arabian oil sheikh, so what?

Certainly not descended from a distinguished line of kings myself and honestly it doesn't really matter - apart from the sadly materialistic fact that I'd love to have castles, crown jewels and comely courtiers. Come from what I assume is strong, hardy peasant stock on my dad's side ( really, all of them are strapping dudes who look as if they could carry a buffalo with one paw and rake the fields with the other ) and possibly scheming, wicked misadventurers on my mom's side ( the whole deal... pirates, opium dealers and such ), and hell, I'm proud of it. :P

Always found it odd that we maintain such pointless pomp and circumstance for folks fortunate enough to have ancestors bloodthirsty and ruthless enough to hang on to a throne or to those lucky enough to fall into the lap of luxury. Class and protocol be damned, I'd stare down the Queen of Sheba herself ( though I'd ask her where to get the cheapest Eastern carpets! ) so does it matter what family my boyfriend comes from?

Seriously. Does class matter that much?

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Let's talk Politics

Perhaps it's the way I was brought up or just pure habit but one thing I can't live without in the mornings ( apart from my sole pathetic cup of coffee ) is my regular newspaper. Just for those who assume that I'm only a desperate shallow purveyor of male flesh who skips through the morning news pausing only at pictures of half-naked men, you'd be utterly mistaken. Although I admittedly do gawk at more than a few titillating shots, I do also skim through some of the more heated current events!

Just to show ya that I'm not a mere himbo, that I do actually have some serious thoughts rattling around in my sadly empty skull and that I am quite capable of semi-intelligent discourse :) Rare it is indeed for me to even make an inflammatory comment but though I'm a naive correspondent, I simply can't help it sometimes...

The ever-pervading haze

Please. If a neighbour lights a raging bonfire once in a blue moon or unfortunately gets his house on fire, I'd be sympathetic, desperately bleeding with the milk of human kindness, possibly even offering a water bucket ( offering to smother the fire especially if hunky firemen are in the vicinity ) or a warm pallet to sleep on. But annual bonfires that spew smoke and ash all over my lovely manicured lawn? Please. You'll be talking to the authorities. Oh yeah, and my lawyer.

Indonesian men

The ever-increasing bombs

Seriously. You can't afford to feed everyone in your family and you're busy making little phallic nuclear weapons. Pray tell me why? Is it a game of one-upmanship? Perhaps my cojones is bigger than yours? Seriously. Grow some rice first. Lil Kim and Moon look hungry.

The ever-present quota

Really. The implemented quota system has its benefits. Let's help our brethren in need, the poor, the needy, the helpless - regardless of race or denomination. Doubt anyone has any problems with that. But when large quantities are distributed to a tiny elite portion of that particular race or denomination? When unfortunate sons of farmers and fishermen are left straggling behind while fortunate sons of rich cronies flit around in their swanky exported cars to foreign schools? Really. Explain how it works to me again?

Politics. It's always a potential minefield. :)

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Death Becomes Her

How do we all deal with death?

It's a significant milestone for a physician to encounter their first death, to have a patient finally succumb to their multitude of illnesses despite their best efforts - and the mind-boggling barrage of superantibiotics and inotropic bullets pumped into their veins. Sometimes when it's time to finally let go, there's really not much that modern medical science can offer - apart from a call for prayer.

On table!
What's gonna happen next...

Sometime ago ( seems like a lifetime ago when it's actually been five years ) when I was a nervous, fearful house officer / intern making my first baby steps in the hospital wards, I encountered a cheerful teenager with a bleeding disorder. Playing football was his life and getting swollen knees with bleeding cuts really bummed him out. Thankfully at that time, all his blood investigations were in the normal range, he had finally stopped bleeding and most of us felt he was fit for a discharge the next morning. Pleased with the announcement, his doting father had brought over a late supper of satay for his son, talking to him as they shared their simple meal.

Well, there's nothing certain in life. We can do all we can, hope, trust and pray but in the end, some things are actually left to fate.

One small ineffectual cough was all it took - which led to a torrential outburst of fresh blood from somewhere deep inside. Just my first few weeks into medicine and to see that gushing river of scarlet pumping out of the kid's slack mouth had me staring for at least a full second before I started yelling orders.

One hour was all it took. And he was gone. Fortunately since I was too much the naive, wet-behind-the-ears greenhorn, my thankfully far more experienced nurses had the forethought to shut the curtains - which were sadly blood-spattered at the end. At that time I also had a senior resident on hand to break the news since I was much too shaken and shell-shocked after that to do it alone. It's never easy being the bearer of such bad tidings. Especially to a grieving father who was convinced that the last satay had erroneously caused the injury.

As doctors, our first encounter with a dead body is typically in the first year of medical school. That cold, anonymous cadaver we share tutorials, scalpels and lunch with for the whole semester is treated as an object of learning rather than invoking any emotional responses. You don't know their name, you don't know where they came from, you don't know what they did when they were alive. You don't know how he lights up when his father walks into the ward at 7 in the evening.

They certainly never taught us that the death of a patient is infinitely more devastating.

One of my junior colleagues had her first a few days ago. I could see the anguished look in her face and remember my first, could easily see what was going through her troubled mind. What could we have done? Could we have changed the management in any way? If only we had known what could have happened? Too many coulds and ifs. Too many imaginary variables. First and foremost, physicians are trained to heal their patients and for most of them, a patient's recovery is a success; death is an unforgivable failure.

Most doctors use something akin to denial to their advantage, building a hard, protective callus to get them through some rough spots in their practice. And somewhere along the line, some form of emotional blunting is acquired, distancing themselves from the patients without investing emotionally. These two techniques, denial and emotional blunting, allow a doctor to remain coolly composed and almost clinically detached when facing the most grotesque situations. Unfortunately for most laypeople, this sometimes leads them to believe that there is a serious lack of compassion among doctors.

Seriously? It's just the opposite if you ask me.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Beers, Blogs and Barry

My first weekend back home in quite a while - and catching up with what's going down back home is what I do. Of course I'd rather laze around at home and flip through my collection of unwatched pirate DVDs but most times, I get irresistible distress calls to leave for drinks at the Havana Club.

Not sure what it is but perhaps revolutionary Nepalese foreign workers, roasted canine dinners and the perpetual haze enveloping his workplace must be getting to the usually unperturbable Big Bicep Barry - who normally exudes a regular laid-back surfer dude persona. The man was as usual a bit bummed about work - hence the alcoholic drinks. Seriously though, I don't think it's all that easy working in the traditional Chinese family business. Imagine having your dad throwing a conniption about accounts and spreadsheets in the office - and then later at the family dinner table too. How nightmarish. Would probably make me wanna throw up the tepid homecooked tofu.

Beach bums!
Hot beach bums

Still, being stressed at work didn't stop the man from splurging on some snazzy ( and terribly expensive for fucking shorts ) board shorts during a quick stop at Quiksilver and when I mentioned it in passing, he said it was retail therapy. Instead of spending loads of moolah on shorts of all things ( regardless of the superior quality, improved details and all that shmuck ), I automatically blurted out a suggestion of writing as alternative therapy.

Paul : Maybe you should write a blog.
Barry : What?
Paul : Did I really just say what I think I said?
Barry : Write a blog? You did.
Paul : Forget what I said. That never happened.
Barry : Yeah, you did. It's a good idea actually. I should write a blog, unload my feelings, improve my English. Hey, you never told me where your blog was.
Paul : And you'll never know.
Barry : Why not? I could get some pointers.
Paul : Because I used to write filthy, nasty things about what I'd do to your naked body.
Barry : Huh.

Guess there are some things we can't talk about. :P Still, he seems more than a little enthusiastic so don't be surprised when you see a link to a Barry on my blogroll one day.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Medical Fallacies

Seriously. Judging from some of the fallacies I've heard recently from ... well, anonymous acquiantances ( since naming them would probably mean I'd be run over by some vindictive drivers ), some people still have the oddest ideas about modern medicine. That's apart from the odd scientifically unproven myths and legends that they perpetuate about doctors and medical personnel. Superstitions and beliefs are always partly believable and most are probably grounded in some truth, no matter how outlandish they may seem.

Getting caught in the rain and falling ill? Let's not argue about that. In certain temperate countries where the weather can admittedly get really chilly - with the icy winds aiding and abetting, I won't argue about waifish, undernourished stick-thin debutantes catching their death in a brief shower but for a strapping gym-fit guy to get pneumonia from a quick 100-metre dash through the pouring rain in our country is just unheard of! Unless steroids play a part in those pretty muscles but let's not go there.

Heal me!
Giving the wonder drug!

Antibiotics and the common cold? Frequently, patients in the clinics come demanding immediate miracle cures during consultation and being denied their regular antibiotic fixes only makes them awfully cranky. Since I'm frequently an unwilling victim of those nasty colds, I can easily sympathize.

Seriously, a great number of colds are caused by viruses - mainly rhinoviruses and coronaviruses from what I can recall from ye old days of mugging with the dull Microbiology textbook. Therefore, most times antibiotics are not needed - unless there's a serious bacterial co-infection. Just remember antibiotics do not treat viral infections ( can just imagine the naughty viruses sitting at the sidelines giggling and pointing at the ineffectual antibiotics ), and thus are ineffective against the common cold.

Trust me. Antibiotics are not the magical cure-all panacea that they claimed it was decades back when they discovered it ( though that doesn't make it any less amazing! ) - which seems to be what most of the uninitiated are thinking even now. God has blessed us all ( despite Adam's seeming betrayal ) with a kick-ass immune system and it's more than sufficient to tide us over through the minor ailments. Even I with my inherently pathetic immune system don't resort to antibiotics till it gets really awful and I have to be forcibly strapped and pushed into the emergency department in a gurney.

There's more ( like hypertensive patients who go off meds claiming they have been miraculously cured by heaven's will ) but Charming Calvin's ringing the alarm about his blog template and I gotta go.

But hey, tell me, what else have you heard lately?

Friday, October 06, 2006

The Devil's Protege

After last night, I have developed a new goal in life.

Forget all about wallpapering and reupholstering the sofa. Forget about CPR and saving lives in the hospital. Forget about the coming exams that are giving me a minor migraine and major ulcers.

It's obvious that I have been going at it the wrong way!

All I wanna do now is get fabulous slinky Jimmy Choos, overly large grandma-like Chanel shades, tailored designer jackets that look like a million bucks and a subtle purse to the lips that would sink a promising fashion collection to the forgotten depths of obscurity. And then after work, help out with the charities by handing out spectacular freebies like Bang & Olufsen designer cellphones and Marc Jacobs slingbags to all my envious, drooling cronies before leaving for a spectacular society gala. Then go home to a delicious young journalist who greets me at the door dressed only in the latest unpublished manuscript from JK Rowling.

Sigh. Like Thursday's child, I still have very far to go.

Training out!
Starting to get tough!

It is obvious that I'm far from the wicked witch from the west that I aspire to be - and hard, rigorous training is needed to achieve the heights of greatness that house the disreputable likes of Miranda Priestley. Come to think about it, for a she-devil in Prada like her, possibly the deepest bowels of hell.

Come on, it's obvious enough that being a charming do-gooder doesn't score me that amazing brownstone mansion in Park Avenue nor does it get me fabulous goodies like Versace jackets and Ferragamo pumps. Time enough to make a change. Since I've already been tarred and feathered for being wicked, I might as well play the role to the evil hilt. So from tomorrow onwards, I shall have to perfect that particularly chilly tone with the whispery diction as perfect as my ramrod straight posture just enough to excoriate the next unfortunate incompetent that comes my way and make them cry all the way home to their mamas. Scurry, ya little interns, if you know what's good for ya. Listen to the strut of my big bad Italian leather boots and shiver.

Oh yeah and I'll have to stop eating ( or drink blah cucumber / alfalfa leaf juices in place of regular meals ) just to fit in the designer stick-thin clothes I'll be receiving once I commence work on Runway.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

The Gift

Seriously. God's gift to man ( and women too, come to think of it ) is plain white cotton briefs over flawless golden tanned skin on a tight, hard butt. Doesn't have to be fancy or prettied up with black leather, white lace or colourful mascots. Just plain no-frills white.

Calvin Klein was one smart fella.

White briefs
Aren't the white briefs enough to make you wanna look?

Came in to the changing room today only to be stunned by the sight of perfection - so stunned in fact that I almost had a devastating head-on collision with a open locker door. Alas it was only a short evanescent glimpse of heaven before it was obscured by boring generic polyester-blend pants and a cloth belt. Didn't even get to see the identity of Mr Hot Ass before the he hurried out ( stunned by the quantities of drool dripping out of my slack mouth no doubt ) - and anyway, I was a bit more preoccupied with what was going on south of the border to noice what was going on north of the equator.

Sigh. Obviously some things are not meant to be. :)

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Manay Po

Isn't it ironic that two of the arguably most ultra-conservative, staunchly Catholic countries in the world can be so seemingly tolerant of homosexuality in comparison to everyone else? Right now, shockingly it's legal to get hitched to that meltingly hot Spaniard in the streets of Barcelona with ushers and bridesmaids while aspiring studlets in Manila are busy locking lips on searing celluloid at the cinemas. Now, whoever said that the Catholic Church wasn't progressive? :)

Since I am having some difficulty getting a Spanish husband smuggled in through the suspicious folks at immigration, I've decided to try my luck with the Filipino hunks instead. Surely Manay Po! isn't going to win the prestigious Oscar but then, that isn't what it sets out to do. It's here to entertain ( with a passing moral advocacy about acceptance of homosexuality ) and it surely does that with the improbable tale of a doting mother Luz Catacutan with her three gay sons.

Count that! Three! Surely the statisticians out there are having a coronary since the likelihood of all three brothers turning out gay ( and unbelievably enviably, uniformly gorgeous dammit! ) is impossibly slim.

Simple enough plot with the eldest, Oscar, being a painfully closeted gay man hiding behind his beard while his erstwhile lover / best friend pines endlessly. Played by a marvellously husky, rugged Polo Ravales ( who strains against the tight tees he wears to perfection ) any presumably wooden acting can certainly be excused. Anyway, Oscar is supposed to be a conservative, macho tight-ass after all. Yum. Anyway I was too busy ogling his nips.

Polo Ravales!
See why I got distracted?

Orson is the out-and-proud, super-camp flamboyant middle child who swishes around the campus with his fabulous galpals while his seemingly straight best friend starts to grow uneasy with their friendship and finds an ultra-bitchy girlfriend to erase all nagging doubts about his own sexual orientation.

Won't even mention the youngest kid brother Orwell - who takes the role of the confused budding homo-adolescent who's just coming to terms with his sexuality - since that would make me a crazed pedophile but let me tell ya, I certainly wouldn't object to watching the three handsome brothers slick it up in a small glass-enclosed shower with some steam, soap and shampoo. Especially if their husky boy-toy of a stepfather Gerry ( played by a suitably fit, body-baring Christian Vazquez ) joins in the sweaty incestuous fun. Does that make me a lecherous perv - or an aspiring Bel Ami director to be?

Ending was unbelievably saccharine-sweet with pretty little pink bows tying up all the loose ends perfectly - and certainly a disappointment to all bitter cynics who expect gay Brokebacks to end up in tear-jerking tragedy. I, for one, am glad to wallow in a gay fairytale ending for once.

Somehow I have this sudden inexplicable urge to rush out and purchase a plane ticket to Manila. Not sure what they are feeding the boys there but .... hot damn.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Scientific Superstition

Seriously. I know we're all doctors - and supposedly learned men of science. But believe me, no other career apart from flamboyant show business carries more superstitious baggage.

Deaths come in threes ( and occasionally sevens ). Wear that lucky surgical cap with the dancing hippos. No wearing blood-red in the maternity wing. No talking about the hospital wards being terribly quiet that night. And certainly no swapping on-calls unnecessarily.

Perhaps it's because medicine might be primarily based on facts and figures but there's still a whole lot of the mysterious unknown rolled up in that volatile mix - with differing amounts of faith, luck and magic. Who can ever predict what's going to happen to a patient? Even with the greatest mathematic calculations or scientific explanations, no one can ever tell whether someone's going to take a turn for the worse or miraculously get better.

Which is why I didn't swap calls tonight. So I'm not gonna tell you how good ( or bad ) it's going so far today since I wouldn't want to jinx myself unnecessarily. :)

Monday, October 02, 2006

Teenagers in Love

I have this theory.

Not only my patented theory of course since I've seen this particular hypothesis expounded several times elsewhere - and the number of caffe mochas I've shared with my ISO as we argued over late nights can back this claim up. If you'll recall, I mentioned something about love hurts a few days back so here's my take on that.

Though I'm sure I'll hear a hue and cry denouncing such a blasphemous claim, a large number of gay men are all little hormonally-driven, prepubescent teens when it comes to love. Hence the frequent chaotic drama and hysterical soap-operatic complications therein.

It's not our fault. Seriously. Throughout our school life, we try our best to suppress all our deepest feelings and budding emotions - hiding even the smallest hint of our sexuality like a tightly guarded Vatican conspiracy in fear of exposure, out-machoing even the biggest brainless jocks in school in the hopes that no one would even dare raise a question while blatantly bluffing our way through the various rituals of straight boy culture. And then hastily averting our secret lustful gazes when the self-same high school jocks start to strip for the showers.

Locker room rules!
What if I just took a bite?

Hiding your budding feelings for the hunky football hero. Trying not to shiver in an obvious manner as that increasingly handsome best friend brushes his hand against yours. Afraid to make a move in case everything goes wrong and bloodshed ensues. That's a whole lot of suppressed emotions and hormones boiling within just waiting for the right trigger to make it explode.

Then once we're free from the restrictive ball-and-chains of high school, we go all out crazy wanting to try out the delicious smorgasbord of men available for sampling, vainly trying to compensate for what we all missed out years back in school when everyone else ( heterosexual that is! ) was too busy in the proverbial backseat finding out what the whosits and whatsits were for.

Whether we're 20 or 30 ( sometimes even 40! ) when we finally break out of that infamous closet, we're still all awkward pimply freshmen at heart. Is it any wonder that when we first come out, our woeful dating skills are sadly almost comparable to those of a blubbering, oversexed neanderthal?

Adam : Duh.
Steve : Ugh.
Adam : You. Me. My cave. Ooga ooga.
Steve : Ugh.

Sometimes - no matter how blatantly sexy and fuckable he looks in that shocking pink Armani tank top and painted-on denim ( or Ferragamo fig leaf as the case might be ) - Steve doesn't even progress beyond that monosyllabic grunt. Still. A whole decade of pent-up boiling testosterone drives us and honestly, there's very little discernment when the blood's running hot in the veins. At that time, I'd have fucked a damned letterbox if it would stand still long enough. Add that to the fact that despite several amazing evolutionary leaps, we're still all faithless, wandering males ( albeit a little bent ) searching for that impossibly perfect genetic mate and it's obvious that commitment's practically a four letter word to some.

Still there is hope. We do grow up in time - and start yearning for that Pottery Barn inspired home with Himalayan whistle kid included in the package. But for some of us, it takes more than a full decade of reverberating thumpa-thumpa gay disco beats before that happens. Patience is the keyword here. :)

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Foreign Matters

Immigrants always bear the brunt.

Seriously. Ever since some bright spark in prehistoric times decided to take a blissful joyride on that floating log in the rushing river, people have been been on the gadabout - travelling constantly from place to place and occasionally setting up camp and willingly remaining stranded in a foreign land. Fortunately these days we can depend on far more reliant methods than a rickety waterlogged branch.

Braving the dangers of the roaring river and killer piranhas wouldn't be the worst of his predicaments of course since the moment that adventurous soul disembarks from his trusty log onto foreign soil, he'll be faced with the suspicious, unwelcoming stares of the natives.

Probably an animal survival instinct, we have always been suspicious of the untested, untried and unknown. Even more so when it's a relative stranger from abroad who's come deliberately a-knocking at our proverbial door in search of a new job - and a better life.

After a few months or so of overworking the sod till the point of starvation, we start laying blame at the poor fella's door instead. Dirt and disease. Famine and failures. Rape and robberies. Let's not deny the unfortunate fact that more than a few of the so-called foreign workers have veered off the righteous path in search of the easier ( albeit desperately felonious ) shortcut - but surely there are a handful who are honestly here in search of that promised land.

Lest we forget, almost all of us here are immigrants in a way. Somewhere along the line, our intrepid forefathers once took the path these brave souls are taking now, whether we're from the banks of the Ganges, the hills of Fujian to the hinterlands of Java. Hell, even Adam and Eve must have packed their bags ( probably a fig leaf or two in their Samsonite ) once for their one-way jungle trek out of Paradise so there's hardly anyone who can sufficiently claim that their blue-blooded ancestry dates back to the first living amoebae that ever set pseudopod on that particular piece of land.

So let's not sneer at their hardship.

Myanmar MAN!
Rangoon Ranger

Which is why I say we should all embrace our husky foreign fellows. Especially the more comely ones who have brought a higher level of testosterone goodness to our fair land. Think of the perfect Pakistani pappadam lifting sandbags at the construction site. That virile Vietnamese beef serving you soup in the restaurants. The sexy Surabaya slavegod cleaning the windows during lunch break. God, you gotta know that the whole raging rhethoric had to lead somewhere.

And this doesn't even have to do with the bevy of hunks bathing half-naked on a daily basis at Big Bicep Barry's factory.

Well, this one leads to Beautiful Bhimraj, the indisputable jewel of Rangoon. Fresh out of the verdant forests of the Myanmar, he has made his way here to live a dangerous life as a mall security guard and the moment I saw him, I was this close to offering home, house and hearth to the ravishing dark and beguiling-eyed Rangoon Ranger. Of course, I spoke a few words to him as he in turn stuttered prettily through the few words he possessed - all while I imagined the Rangoon Ranger forcefully slammed against the elevator wall moaning ecstatically as my fingers travelled up his raging Mandalay.

Didn't get his number though since he was obviously the bashful sort - and spoken English didn't seem to be his forte ( looking manly and utterly delectable in a suit was though ). Still, I had some plans for that nightstick of his.

Unfazed by my reprobate behaviour, Charming Calvin only smiled and told me not to be naughty.