Friday, March 31, 2006

Please Disturb

What can I say? Surely most guys I know can tell that I'm a sucker for travel and I make it a priority to make it out of the country at least twice a year. As a kid I used to twirl the sadly faded globe over at my grandfather's house and imagine the places I would go. Haven't covered even half of the places yet but I'm working my way happily through my personal travel Blue List.

Oddly enough one of the things I love most about travelling is staying in hotels. Seriously! I'm sure the busy, jaded business travellers who jetset around the world would find the sight of another hotel suite an utter bore but for me, it's always the start of something novel and exciting - and as it's usually the first thing that see in a new destination, certainly the gateway to an exhilarating adventure. So much to see, so much to do - and certainly so much to buy :)

White sheets

Did the crazy backpacking thing with the prerequisite super-cheap, tacky hostels in my youth and that certainly has its own quaint charm but there's nothing quite as divine as coming back from a hectic travel schedule to a lovely, well-appointed suite facing the sea. Beds freshly made with my shirts nicely folded into neat piles on the side table. Bath salts ready to be tossed into a tub just perfect for a relaxing bath after a tiring day out. And when it comes with broadband wi-fi as most hotels do nowadays, it's practically heaven.

Surely this is one of my odd quirks but as always, staying in hotel rooms gives me this weird, forbidden thrill which brings to mind some of the wicked little assignations I've had before ( terribly few in number, believe me! ) and makes me more than a little naughty. Cute hotel receptionists get saucy winks and hot bellboys get massive tips. And I can easily recall such times like that day in October when I tossed those white sheets with that funny Scotsman in a bed and breakfast in Edinburgh.

Damn. I should have become a jetsetting pilot like Will!

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Crouching Sluts, Hidden Diamonds

Don't be shocked but I've actually taken a few days off from work to rest and relax. Overwhelmed by work and deadlines, Big Bicep Barry calls me a lucky devil but I call my break a desperate, much-needed attempt to regain some semblance of sanity. Despite my tak ape, laid-back demeanour, the inevitable work stress does get to me and without my periodic breaks, I might just morph into a raving mad, axe-wielding serial murderer.

Although retail therapy would come first on my list for ways to unwind, a short holiday on the beach comes a close second. Even as I write this, I'm sipping a cup of earl grey while watching a bunch of young guys grapple around with a volleyball ball on the beach ( not each other unfortunately but I have a devious, imaginative mind that can fill in the blanks ).

The old cynicHowever even the sight of half-naked men can't make me forget what a friend confided the other day. I've always assumed that it takes a while to gather disillusionment and cynicism about life. Aren't we all supposed to be just a tad idealistic when we're young? Isn't spinning pretty castles in the air and dreaming of that handsome prince coming to the rescue the exclusive province of a charmed youth? Even in my admitted senility, I'm certainly not immune to such rose-tinted fantasies myself!

Well, that dream certainly suffered a tremendous letdown when a certainly younger gay man - Disillusioned Dan - that I know came out with the airy comment that gay relationships are essentially doomed to failure especially since men are genetically engineered to stray. Took me a while to swallow that surprisingly cynical maxim since I was too busy catching my breath after choking on my tea ( Yes, tea. After cutting down on my obsessive caffeine intake, I've been weaning myself with hits of green tea - not the same sadly ).

Dan : Men can have one apple in hand but they certainly won't be able to resist taking a bit into a fresher, nicer looking fruit if they have the opportunity.
Paul : Number one, you cynical manchild, that doesn't run true for all guys. I ain't greedy and I'd stick to munching on that sweet apple of mine. And you never know that pretty new fruit could have a worm or two inside. Number two, hey, you're a nice looking fruit yourself.
Dan : Let's say you're in a relationship. Don't tell me you wouldn't say yes if a hot looking guy...
Paul : Stop right there. Only for Chris Evans - and that would be placed in small print on the marriage certificate so there's certainly no misunderstanding.

One failed relationship certainly doesn't make me chatty Oprah, purveyor of all romantic relationships, but isn't that a horrible thought to carry in one's head? Let's face it, fidelity seems to be a foreign concept to circuit boys and gay diamond anniversaries are few and far in between but to seriously think that all gay relationships are doomed from the beginning can't be all that healthy.

If I seriously imagined that all men are cheating scum - and for the most part some of them are - it would seriously impair any chances I had in a future relationship. Why enter into a gay relationship at all with the idea that it would inevitably crash and burn in a few months?

All I'd like to tell Dan is to think positive. Not all fags are pondsucking faithless frogs crouching in the bushes waiting for the next opportunity, search a little harder and surely there are princes out there worth more than gems.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Have some seconds

Just a tad before I go to sleep - seeing as I'm post oncall and I'm groggy from several late nights in a row - movies, booze and wakes. Certainly not as young as I once was.

If you recall, there was a mention a few days back about the oft-touted urban legend that men, being the horny testosteroney dogs that they are, think about sex on a regular basis - almost every 9 seconds. As an aside, I think that women do think about it quite often too but social convention doesn't allow them to readily admit such blatant indulgence in sensual pleasures.

Although by random sampling of the guys I know it came out to be quite an erroneous conclusion, it still surprises me that a fit guy like Big Bicep Barry could be a undersexed ascetic. Gotta trust me on this but there doesn't seem to be a lack of manly testosterone from what I can see.

Then yesterday morning I received several insanely funny messages that I just had to share - despite the underlying threat that he might actually be reading this whereupon I shall have to pack my bags and shift to the unscaleable heights of the Himalayas to escape from the sheer embarassment - and the fact that he could strangle me with one muscular arm tied behind his brawny back. Till then I shall have to hold on to his oft-mentioned claims that his non-stop backbreaking work curtails any unwarranted internet surfing.

Barry : Let me retract that earlier statement. I thought about sex twice already this morning!
Paul : An improvement. Good for you. Thought you were taking steroids.
Barry : What steroids :O Where are you going with this!? I blame it on you.
Paul : On me? What do I have to do with anything? I'm the soul of innocence.
Barry : You corrupted me.

Come sin with me
All hail Saint Wicked...

Well, that's me. Saint Wicked. Corrupter of the Innocent. Wouldn't surprise me if Barry held a crucifix to ward me off the next time round.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Seven seconds of sex

I admit it. I'm Paul. And I'm possibly a sexaholic.

Why possibly, you might say? It's a common, cherished assumption that men think of sex every 28 seconds - how to get it, where to get it, what to do once they have gotten it - but even more shockingly, queer guys are supposed to think of sex every 9 seconds. Just think of what Michael Novotny once said...

"The thing you need to know is: It's all about the sex. They say men think about sex every 28 seconds. Of course, that's straight men. With gay men, it's every nine seconds."

Obviously an erroneous conclusion since most of the guys I've met seem to think of sex only occasionally. Or on a weekly basis. Or on that sunny Sunday on the beach during the annual holiday. Like one of my study respondents, Charming Calvin only thinks about it every two days.

Underwear boy
Wonder what he's thinking about now...

Since I was bored, I confronted another respondent Big Bicep Barry with my scientific findings only to have him watching me warily as he would a crazed child predator. If I'd made any sudden moves, I wouldn't have been surprised if the skittish stallion took off running into the night.

Barry : Seven seconds? You've gotta be kidding me.
Paul : I think mine's five. Whoops. Look, your shirt is partially unbuttoned and I can see your chest. See, I thought about it again.
Barry ( laughing nervously ): Very funny.
Paul : This is fucking unfair. What is wrong with everyone? I can't be the only freaking oversexed guy around! How about you?
Barry : Definitely not every five seconds. Uhh... maybe once a day?
Paul : Once a day!
Barry : Fine. Maybe twice.
Paul : You only think of sex twice a day!
Barry : What I think is you need to calm down and drink your tea.

Okay. So I was yelling the word sex a bit too loudly and drawing the attention of several curious ( and obviously shocked ) onlookers.

Seriously. Am I the only one?

Check out my package

Don't tell anyone I said this but just the smell of it gets me high. The untouched, pristine like-a-virgin texture, the irresistible, distinctive scent, the sexy, sultry, come-get-me covers... there's nothing I love more than to have a new package of books waiting at my door.

Everyone that knows me can tell what's my major obsession - well, apart from hot men. It comes a really close second though and sometimes I can find myself wavering between a choice of following that cute stud's mighty fine ass out of a bookstore or trailing that amazing new bestseller I reviewed online. No prizes for guessing what I do with the cute stud actually reading a bestseller. :)

It's hard to keep track of all the good books, trade paperbacks and graphic novels out in the market - and thankfully, we have the Internet for that. At the top of my pile of books was Gotham Central - Half a Life, one of the series that I follow semi-regularly.

He'd rather talk about books than spend time with me...

Even for those without an interest in comics, books or even the Dark Knight ( come on, a sexy, brooding hunk in a dark leather suit, what is there not to like? ), Half a Life is certainly not to be missed. Told in the gritty, realistic manner reminiscent of today's cop shows, Gotham Central details the police procedurals of the a dedicated group of police officers in the same city as one of the world's most famous vigilantes and many of the world's most notorious criminals and bizarre supervillains.

Since cops are on the headline, a murder plotline is part of the story but it's the tale of a woman leading a double life that takes center stage. Those who're not in touch with the events in the fictional Gotham wouldn't know her but Renee Montoya has been a mainstay of the world of Batman for a few years now, and now, her story is finally being told.

As the murder investigations start pointing the finger at her, Renee's personal life is highlighted and her secret affair becomes public. Even in today's world, it's not that easy falling in love when it's with another woman. The script is beautifully written, intense and emotional at the same time as it deals with Renee's hurt and fear when her colleagues - and then her strictly religious, conservative family - find out about her predilections as she's publicly outed by a hidden enemy. Her only safe harbour in this raging sea or chilly silences and recrimination is the occasional call she makes to her lover, Daria, and it's absolutely beautiful how she clings on to that one moment of respite from all her troubles.

Whoever said being a dyke was easy?

Friday, March 24, 2006

Come look at my larder

Sometimes the oft-joked-about maxim about a bachelor's junk-laden fridge can actually come true. This afternoon, I came back tired from work hoping to get some quick bites from the fridge only to realize that the pantry is almost empty. As usual.

Since my last attempt at a substantial breakfast comprising of Nigella Lawson-like pancakes, I have yet to replenish my supplies apart from adding a couple of eggs and milk. As I stared at my woefully empty pantry, I realized that healthy diet proponent Big Bicep Barry would certainly develop an apoplexy if he made a quick inventory of my fridge.

Do not do this at home, kids.

1) A box of Turkish Delight - desperately hoarding them till I can pay another visit to Istanbul to replenish
2) Several boxes of Cadbury chocolates - for the occasional chocoholic fix
3) A large jar of Peanut Butter and Jelly
4) Hershey's Chocolate Syrup - also for the chocoholic fix
5) A tub of Haagen Dazs Bailey's Irish Cream ice cream - good for wailing over faithless men
6) Leftover curry brinjals - from two days back when I stumbled through dinner myself
7) Four eggs
8) Two cartons of milk
9) Guinness Malta and 100 Plus soft drinks
10) A dozen cheese-filled pork sausages - yeah, cholesterol laden heart-attack / stroke heaven
11) Two packets of Twisties Cheese Flavoured Corn snack - courtesy of the visiting samaritan Daniel on one of his mercy missions to the starving poor

Oddly enough for an Asian, there's no rice in my larder. Add that to several packages of instant noodles, some half-empty muesli cartons and I can already see Barry shaking his head in mock recrimination. Seriously, apart from the fortified muesli and the hi-calcium, low-fat milk ( that Barry claims to drink almost religiously since he's *ahem* a growing boy ), I doubt there's anything even vaguely healthy about my diet. Conscientious nutritionists everywhere are suffering from nervous qualms just reading this, I'm sure. Luckily these days I have Charming Calvin to commiserate with - the man subsists on guavas for dinner with some ironing for dessert!

Horrifying. However since I certainly wasn't up to stir-frying anything ( in my groggy post-call state, I just might fall face-first into the burning wok ), I ended up with my usual PB&J sandwiches - which although possibly nutritionally deficient turned out to be absolutely delicious.

Finger Licking Good

A short note here. To any prospective husbands reading this, never fear. Once I turn into a dedicated housefrau ( for my hopefully jet-setting hunk of a husband ), I shall be Stepford clone Bree van Der Kamp personified and shall not leave my larder similarly bereft!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Walk the Line

Well, y'all know what a sucker I am for a fine romance. Why else would I be such a wide-eyed optimist with spectacular rose-tinted glasses? It's why I soldier on despite my faltering Blue List. Despite my distinctive brand of wicked cynicism, I do have a streak of romance a mile wide - and all it takes is one good man to walk that line.

Just like that awesome feeling of love, it all starts with a thrumming pulse which hides quietly in the background but gets louder and more insistent - that steady thump that remains no matter how hard we try to push it away. Even muffled behind the thick walls of a penitentiary, it's near irresistible and then we start to hear the distinctive driving freight-train chords of Johnny Cash playing in Folsom Prison.

Joaquin Phoenix
Time we all walked that line...

Picking the magnetic Joaquin Phoenix to play the man in black was an inspired choice, showing us Cash's vulnerability, loneliness and his intense, overwhelming yearning for the lady that he loves but can't be with, June Carter, played by the award-winning Reese Witherspoon. The excellent performances of Phoenix and Witherspoon truly carry the show - and the conviction they bring to the special bond between the characters they play, the way a deep, meaningful friendship leads the way to a powerful, intense love that brings us into their burning ring of fire.

In this moving love story, it's hard not to sigh when Johnny watches June with his heart in his eyes. Even while he battles his addiction to stardom and drugs, the no-nonsense, tougher-than-she-looks June perseveres in loving her man through his wrenching emotional ups and downs. Looks like it ain't easy loving such a man but she done did good.

Swear I ain't never heard any songs of Johnny Cash which just amazes me seeing his obvious popularity. Not sure why it is but country music never made it all that big in my household. With all the recent talk of his biopic movie Walk the Line, I made a search amongst my friends and found only one guy who's even heard of his songs. Don't be surprised but my sole weight-lifting buddy, Big Bicep Barry, actually has a few songs from Johnny Cash on permanent replay in his CD rack.

Swear that man listens to hell everything!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

An apple a day

Over dinner the other day, I actually found another unusual myth that people have about physicians. One of the oddest preconceptions about doctors is the fact that as a general rule, all of us eat a healthy diet. Seriously, we are all supposed to consume a balanced meal with the right amount of carbohydrates, fat and proteins - with the prequisite amount of vitamins and minerals - as prescribed by the much vaunted food pyramid. Hell, I couldn't live on shoots and leaves! After all, I'm not the forever-dieting, near-vegetarian ( except in the vicinity of the nearest Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise ) alfalfa-munching Big Bicep Barry who claims that eating well makes him look and feel good.

I tell ya kids say the darndest things these days.

Barry : That roti tisu can't be that healthy. All sugar and carbs, right?
Paul : Sometimes you need to do what feels good, not what is right.
Barry : Very funny.
Paul : What the hell! You're not eating that egg?
Barry : Already did that actually, three herbal eggs. Just don't take the yolk.
Paul : That's the best part!
Barry : Just took half a yolk. Healthy diet, doctor. Need to tone my abs.
Paul : Uhh.. what's that?

Lemme whisper this bit of truth then. Sorry but I can tell y'all that it's essentially an urban legend and not at all true.

Most of us are stressed-up, crabby workaholics - but then you all know this :) Crammed as we are in the confines of the hospital with a scarcity of food supplies ( unsurprisingly I don't count the stale, plastic hospital regulation food as edibles fit for human consumption, no matter what the staff dietician says ) and a limited amount of time for food preparation and consumption ( gobbling up food in miliseconds between rounds doesn't exactly count ), we're not exactly the ideal proponents of a healthy diet. Essentially we're like starving human vultures who prey on whatever scraps of food are left around the pantry, gobbling up bits and pieces of leftovers to sustain enough energy to go on till the next day.

Hunka Grey Anatomy
Sure he looks good but do you know what's been going into that mouth?

And then when we leave the hospital, we go amok. At lunches, dinners and the occasional buffets. Nothing seems to be safe from our voracious appetite - not even the thickest slabs of luscious meat literally dripping with oil and animal fats, practically a screaming advertisement for a cholesterol laden heart attack. Life is certainly too short to squirm over the occasional calorie or twenty and after all, we've seen enough of healthy, gym-going dieters get run over by the occasional runaway bus to care ( I half-suspect driven by some enraged obese buffet-eaters keen on wiping them out ).

Every once in a while though, there is the occasional upstart doctor who preaches the art of healthy living but we're trying our best to eradicate them. Slowly. Painfully. Death by Big Macs.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Walking away

There are days when I wonder how in the world I ever ended up with my ISO. For those who are wondering, that would be my oft-mentioned ex who has been busy with his work lately which explains his rare appearances in town.

I keep him around for his enviable credit limit - and the fact that once he was set free to roam the savannah for easier, slinkier prey, he actually turned out not to be such a big beastly bastard after all. Even passes for human at times.


My ISO knows about my blog and though he does joke about leaving some skanky comments to tease me, he has promised not to look for it without my permission - although he wasn't very pleased by the fact that I've butchered and blackened his character mercilessly. I do tell him bits and pieces of my boring life every once in a while - including censored details about Big Bicep Barry and Charming Calvin - as he regales me with the far more prurient details of his life. And occasionally there are split seconds when I actually see why I dated the man.

ISO : Waitaminute. Would that be me on your Blue List?
Paul : Yeah. Hurts, doesn't it.
ISO : Hey, aren't you supposed to be over that?
Paul : What can I say? Residual bile.
ISO : Well the list sucks and you deserve better.

What can I say? I was stunned speechless.

And this time I bought him lunch. Such unwonted praise - no matter how untruthful it might be - certainly deserves a steak.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Thou shalt not covet

Forgive me for I have sinned.

It doesn't surprise me that such a tenet has been written even in the Holy Bible. Obviously my namesake Saint Paul must have noticed the crazed pilgrims clamouring for free fish and loaves of bread and thanked God for placing that tenet in the leftover Commandments - that weren't tossed down Mount Sinai by a pissed off Moses.

Do not be envious of your neighbor's wife, his slave, his maid, his ox, his donkey, or anything else that is your neighbor's.

Obviously not coveting other's precious possessions remains quite relevant even in today's world of material wealth. Surely not the maid and his wife, I'm sure but perhaps that gorgeous Chris Evans lookalike slave he dragged back in chains from his travels in the wilds of Germania. Now, that would be something to covet.

Makes you thing about things that we covet. Perhaps even more so especially when I was faced with such a wild display just this morning - when I faced the insane pandemonium in the exhibition hall during the lunch break. Reminiscent of a bunch of starving vultures descending upon their carrion prey, we had a swarm of ravenous white-coated physicians alighting on the hapless drug sales representatives demanding their various goodies.

Caught up in the ensuing madness - and no doubt envying my neighbour's possessions, I couldn't help but participate in the all-out madness but at the same time, I felt an almost hysterical laughter bubbling inside of me. God, I was going insane. What the hell am I gonna do with a dozen bags, a thousand notepads and a million pens? Open my own stationery store? Sigh.

Although I am not at all hyper-religious, I believe I shall try my best after this not to covet my neighbour's assets. Watching a bevy of half-delirious doctors fighting over the fricking notepads was quite enough to make me a repentant. Ten Hail Marys.

A wash

Although I have to admit - albeit guiltily - that I occasionally covet my neighbour's extremely healthy, virile son. Sure he's a kid almost a decade younger but he grew up damned fine. Five feet seven of pure golden suntanned masculinity, a cheerfully confident young man who finds pure enjoyment in the occasional half-naked weekend carwash therefore pandering to my prurient voyeurism. Nothing serious surely but it's always nice to have the occasional eye-candy to go with my morning paper and coffee.

Tell me, would coveting that man be breaking the commandments?

Impromptu speeches

You know what I've said about being afraid of the limelight?

Well, I am. Honestly. Impromptu speeches suck. There's nothing more terrifying for me than being thrown into the open stage with a mike - and absolutely nothing to say. Well unless you count my fear of turning celibate only to have Chris Evans declare his mad undying passion for me the day after. Still, it doesn't help to think of Chris Evans when I have the spotlight shining on my pimply forehead - yes, I still do get acne every once in a while, stress like impromptu speeches don't help.

Deep breaths here.

Sure, I might be a wordsmith on paper - and online - but I can barely get a word out when everyone's attention is solely on me. Blame it on my upbringing. Seriously. Unlike our expressive kin in the West, Asian children simply aren't brought up to voice out their feelings in a decisive, coherent manner. Praise is also given sparingly ( unlike the effusive praise thrown by Paula Abdul on Idol ) so self-esteem issues are rampant. Usually we mumble our thoughts sotto voce, cower and try to remain as unobtrusive as possible in a darkened corner. Seen but not heard as the adage goes.

Terrifying. So what happens when I'm suddenly thrust onto the pedestal - due to a disappearing presenter - at an important dinner? Easy enough when I have a prepared speech in hand with nifty slides to back me up but to suddenly take the stage without any hypnotic-sedative drugs beforehand? Sure, I can command my voice enough to present a relatively cool demeanour but hell, my hands were trembling like an old, athritic aunt with Parkinson's and I had to keep them off the podium or I'd have literally rocked off the stage. If I had a paperbag nearby, I'd probably have fallen into a hyperventilatory state. Unfortunately I knew I was having dinner with a bunch of trigger-happy doctors who would probably rush unerringly to my aid - whether I wanted it or not.

Made me forget all about Big Bicep Barry and his incomprehensible mention of bedtime stories.

Oh, there it is again. Well, the man claims he doesn't know anything about blogs. Blogs, he says. What is that, he says. A coincidence?

The game is afoot, Watson!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Popcorn Chase

Certainly was a movie marathon for me yesterday - it left me wondering at the end whether I was floating on the dead sea with a brooding Jewish sabra or running from vengeful vampires down darkened hallways with a hunky werewolf-demon hybrid. Either way, it's all good. Then again, dating a werewolf could be a domestic problem since all that shedding fur on my turkish rugs can't be good. Perhaps I could keep him leashed.

Okay. I need a moment for that image.

Instead I was munching popcorn in the cinemas while struggling to find a black-suited Kate Beckinsale slipping through equally pitch-black basements that lacked functioning electrical lamps for some reason. Half the time all I could see were her flashing fangs and blood flying all over the place. Dang. Should have brought my special vamp vision glasses instead. Gifted with far better sight than my own impaired eyeballs, nice guy Big Bicep Barry maintained the occasional sotto voce narration to keep me up to date.

On the backseat
Musing quietly...

However since the blood and gore onscreen ( and the dull generic horror plot ) didn't need my focused attention all that much - and you all know my endless obsession with multitasking, it left me some time to muse quietly in my seat.

1) What is it about cinemas that draw couples to the backrows to neck? Seriously, I know it's dark, it's comfy but hell, why there? It's bloody uncomfortable twisting in the seats, there isn't all that much space and there are people watching the movie barely a few feet away who don't actually want the movie spoilt with the sounds of smooching and licking off-camera. Get lost and grope at the local motel.

2) Grrr... after hitting the gym, he drinks mineral water and eats a corn ( I wouldn't dignify that morsel by calling it a kernel of popcorn ) and gets me a large tub of non-salted popcorn with soft drink. Is he trying to make me fat? :O

3) Everyone has their own weaknesses. Superman has his Kryptonite. Storm has her claustrophobia. Big Bicep Barry has his fried chicken with eleven herbs and spices. I shall get my revenge yet!!

4) God, I am presenting on NSAIDs in a week. Could anything be less interesting? Well, perhaps Kate's sad monochromatic wardrobe. Shows a lack of imagination.

5) Hey, Barry's cell is ringing again! Could it be that bosomy bitch Bountiful Betty? Perhaps I could accidentally spill the coke on the phone. Whoops, silly clumsy me.

6) Waitaminute, is that Handsome Hui behind me? Supposedly he once caught me at the cinema with a guy and kept it quiet for months so... Nah, he's at a course. It couldn't be. Could it?!

7) With all the upheavals in his life, I wonder how Charming Calvin is doing.

So you can imagine what I do when I'm online. I'm usually multitasking - drinking tea, typing my blog, checking out drug information, chatting, watching television and sometimes even talking on the phone. Still it left me a little confused at the end of Underworld. Too many sleek, sensual Goths running up the walls.

So confused - and possibly distracted that I had Big Bicep Barry lean over and whisper in my ear, "So would this be your bedtime story?"

I almost choked on a popcorn.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Mystery man

Mysteries have always been a favourite of mine.

Perhaps it's the fact that I've been weaned off the Famous Five, then the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew. The old mainstays such as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Agatha Christie and Edgar Wallace line my shelves alongst with some newer, lesser known mystery authors such as Lindsey Davis ( introduced to me by our lovely hrugaar ) and the ever prolific JD Robb. The meticulous, dandified Hercule Poirot and the redoubtable granny on the loose, Jessica Fletcher, have remained as my greatest heroes - with the cynical Roman gumshoe Marcus Didius Falco and his paramour Helena now added to the mix.

It isn't that common however to find a gay detective in residence. And even rarer to have a television movie made about a private eye with homosexual tendencies. Thanks to modern technology - and obviously no thanks to our tenacious censors, I'm able to watch Donald Strachey doing what he does best. Based on the really excellent mystery novels by Richard Stevenson, Third Man Out tells the story of hardboiled, cynical gumshoe Strachey - who just happens to be gay and heavily involved with his straight-laced partner, Timothy Callahan. Played as the gay equivalent of Nick and Nora Charles, the daring duo uncover clues about the political mysteries in Albany while trading witty banter and expresso.

The gay detective duo

Doesn't it make you want to get snazzy shades, a sleek black trenchcoat and nondescript tie - and then trail a certain big biceped guy around town searching for homosexual clues?

Or was that just me.


Another movie caught my eye during my regular DVD pirate visit - sorry guys, but the ones over here just aren't that hot - and since I've caught some pretty good reviews online, I got my hands on it. Sometimes the high calibre of movies that are smuggled over here by our uncivilized pirates literally amazes me. The critics didn't lie however and the thriller / spy buddy flick Walk on Water was surprisingly excellent, giving a provocative examination of the Israel's uneasy relationship with Germany.

Lior Ashkenazi
Now, wouldn't you want him waiting for you?

Starring the meltingly gorgeous Lior Ashkenazi as Eyal, the callous, macho Mossad hitman who walks coolly away after a kill only to return to Israel to find himself getting a fluff assignment playing an ingratiating tour agent to uncover the family secrets of the gay grandson of an ex-Nazi officer. As the hypermacho, reactionary Eyal travels through the mesmerizing sights in Israel with the Berlin bohemian Axel, they both start to realize that both have a lot to learn from each other.

Trust me. Just the sight of Lior's smouldering eyes is enough.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Miss Conception

With the occasional raging rumour being whispered behind my back about my hidden sexuality, I sometimes take it for granted that most of my friends - Shameless Shalom included - have had their suspicions confirmed sometime or other in the period of our friendship. The rumours don't exactly bother me since for some obscure indefinable reason, I've often been the object of speculation ( and hell, I do more than my share of gossiping ). Although I don't regularly swish around with my flamboyant feather boa in the hospital - and probably fade into the average joe background, I am just as gay as the next desperate faggot crouched behind that darkened bush in the neighbourhood park and it always strikes me as surprising that it isn't as apparent to everyone.

That delusion suffered more a little today. Obviously my pink passport isn't as apparent as I thought since I had a surprising encounter with Willowy Wanda just this morning. Although we work in neighbouring departments, we don't get together all that often apart from the weekly chats in the hallways as we meet. As a happily married bridezilla, she has made it her unswerving mission to spread her mindless dogma to the rest of us heathens - hoping to save us from the bitter sinful depravity of singlehood.

Wanda : Ummm.. hate to ask you this but are you seeing anyone?
Paul : Uhh.. sort of but not exactly. Why?
Wanda : Wait a minute. Sort of but not exactly?
Paul : Trust me, much to complex to explain. Anything?
Wanda : Hope you don't mind but well, I have this lawyer friend I want to introduce to you.
Paul : No problem. We might not hit it off but it's always good to have a lawyer friend.

( Which is true btw. You never know when you're gonna need to get bailed out )
Wanda : Think smart, good-looking and funny.
Paul : Sounds like a winner.
Wanda : So how about it?

A lawyer?My answer should be pretty obvious. Since I didn't see anything wrong with smart, good-looking lawyers, I readily gave my enthusiastic assent along with my various contact numbers - short of giving away my blood type which is O positive btw. As I've mentioned before, my personal Blue List isn't doing all that well anyway so I didn't see any harm in doing so. Then as I walked away, it struck me that the lawyer she mentioned might not be tall, broad-shouldered and male.

Miss Conception is probably female.

Good grief. What have I done?

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Pulling teeth

For a seemingly gregarious guy with heaps of acquiantances scattered all over the peninsula - and possibly several neighbouring tropical islands, Handsome Hui can be a remarkably reticent fella. Despite giving off a generally wholesome regular guy image, the boy keeps his darkest secrets close to his chest - and like the bitter cynic that I am, still waters only serve to make me helluva suspicious. Like dammit, what the hell is he hiding and why don't I know it!

What can I say? It's actually like a trade. Ever since he caught me months back on one of my clandestine outings with Big Bicep Barry, I've been dying to get some illicit information in return. Isn't that the fair thing to do?

Keeping a watch
I bet he's hiding something! Maybe he buried his wife in the bottom of the swimming pool!

I know. God, I can be such a freaking snoop ( courtesy of all those Nancy Drew / Hardy Boys novels I devoured as a kid ) but I can't help myself! Like the amateur sleuths of Wisteria Lane, I find myself irresistibly drawn to unsolvable suburban mysteries. However, extracting information from him is akin to pulling out teeth. Terribly painful, chockful of profanity and nigh impossible without resorting to violent, primitive methods.

Since his last bemoan about a lack of social activities in his calendar, all of us have been trying to get him literally involved - well, I've practically twisted his arm backwards to force him out of his comfort zone. On the rare occasion, we've even traded lewd, possibly profane messages dealing with cow tongues and saints. Don't even ask.

Terrorizing the poor kid with relentless questions and barely veiled threats like I did previously obviously forced him to stubbornly clam up even more. Obviously a change of interrogation methods was in order. What I should have done instead was corner him in a darkened room, ply him with endless java, stuff him with fried chicken and lull him into seemingly insane boredom.

Which I did. Last night. And it worked.

He opened up somewhat. I learned that he wasn't a rampaging sex maniac with forays abroad for satisfaction ( which is a disappointment since I was expecting disgusting scandalous details that I could display to the voracious public ), he realized that I wasn't at all interested in his tight, gym-fit bod ( well, perhaps aesthetically... and uhh, there was that sweat soaked dream once but what the hell, I am a red-blooded homosexual after all! ), and we did all that without resorting to dental pliers.

Friday, March 10, 2006

What If

Working in the local hospital setting, I get to meet people from all walks of life. Transexual streetwalkers and tightlipped nuns share drinks from the water dispenser. Local hoodlums stare balefully at their teachers from across the corner. Caught up in the intensity of work, I tend to hastily dismiss these poignant little vignettes of our society in favour of saving a life - but tend to shelve them in my rapidly deteriorating memory for later perusal. Occasionally a familiar face brings a flash from the past.

Friends that we make from childhood tend to stay fresh in our memory - yeah, even in my blighted brainbox. Perhaps it's something inherent in the sweet, innocent friendships we make before we develop that thick, prickly shell of adulthood. Juvenile naivete allows us to present our various warts and faults to their perusal without fear of reprisal. Well, at least that's how it works for me :)

I have to admit I've changed since my schooldays, learnt a whole lot of myself, picked up a heap of confidence, gained more than a few pounds and gotten a helluva lot of red in my hair.

Although more than a decade has passed since I last talked to Daredevil Dan, it seemed almost like yesterday. Friendly sort that I am, I dragged him off for a spot of tea. The rough, brash schoolboy with the tough talk and the bruise on his chin from his latest fight had somehow turned into a respectable family man while I wasn't looking. Instead of the foul words that used to pepper his salty language, he spent the time describing his childrens' tribulations in primary school and his earnest wish that they study hard.

Damn. For a brief moment, I felt as close to being a failure as I ever did - and felt alarmingly close to hyperventilating. Seriously, what did I have to show for my years of study and work? Almost nothing. Sure, the shallow material things were there - the house, the car, the clothes - but things like that didn't fulfil my desperate housefrau needs. Somehow as the years go by, I find myself drifting farther away from the childish dreams I had when I was still playing mindless pranks on Dan back in school. No partner to share my dinners with - and to have silly food fights over the most trivial arguments. No children driving me crazy with their repeated inquisitiveness.

Hot Daddy
Dammit I should be this guy here! Then again what am I saying, I want to be WITH that guy!

As he rattled on about his wife's woes, Dan was obviously not privy to the fact that I was suffering from a nervous breakdown - and close to collapsing onto my Earl Grey, spilling the contents on his leather shod feet.

Serious whining ahead. Look away if you're allergic. :)

Later as I searched through my blog furiously, I found that my dating log for the year is seemingly George Costanza pathetic. Only four men have made my personal Blue List this year, all with varying degrees of commitment. One wouldn't commit. One is too far away to commit to any sort of relationship. One is having too many problems of his own to commit ( and might be committed at this rate unfortunately ). One is practically forcing me to commit murder with his gay-vagueness.

Seriously. Surely there are good men somewhere out there but the men I know suck - and not in a good way. :) Have I been shortchanged by being a fag?

Thursday, March 09, 2006

The Last Stand

Since the course ended early - shhh... don't tell anyone... - I hastily sneaked back home as soon as the certificates were handed out. Sure, rather than being a pain in the ass, this particular medical course has turned out to be a lazy, sleepy margarita-soaked weekend at the beach - with free internet access. What else could a man ask for?

I did ask for the prerequisite hunky cabana boy but the organisers claimed that financial constraints precluded such frivolous perks.

Well, we can't have everything. But I did have my stolen rewards - an early afternoon back home resting on my Balinese teak daybed rifling through my comicbook collection. It has been a while since I've actually been able to concentrate on the complicated storylines. Since I've been busy with work - and on the rare occasion with my studies, I haven't been able to regularly follow the sexual shenanigans of Scott and Emma ( still don't understand what the hell's up with the terribly mismatched mutant pair ), the tribulations of Dick Grayson ( my future husband! ) or even the schooltime blues of Smallville's Conner Kent.

Most times - since I haven't been keeping up with the regular issues, I usually drop by the bookstores to purchase the collected trade paperbacks and graphic novels - haggling amongst the pimpled adolescent boys brawling over their precious Magic cards.

Way back when, what started me on comics? Well, doubt I could answer that question. Perhaps it was the secret identities of the heroes - hiding their true selves - that rang true for me back when I was hiding amongst the shadows in an all-boys school. Or perhaps the embattled Homo Superior battling prejudice and distrust from their ivy-covered mansion in Salem struck a chord in me. Then again, it could be as simple as the hot guys in the tight spandex.

Hugh Jackman. Ah.

So you can expect news of the X-Men's latest movie, the Last Stand, to have me singing a happy tune. One of my favourite characters, the indomitable yet much maligned Jean Grey rises from the proverbial ashes, and we get to see Logan display his big biceps again ( not to mention the husky Colossus ). Now, doesn't that make you wanna sing?

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Men and ties

Apart from an excuse to pig out at the endless luncheons, a medical course seems like the perfect time for doctors to slack off and turn into absolute slobs. Not that they're all perfectly turned out at work ( only immaculate dresser I can think of is Handsome Hui - and that's actually one of the ticks I have on his possibly gay list ) but somehow once they're out of the office, they seem to delight in showing off their collection of garishly coloured, paisley-patterned ties. Sure I'm no sartorial guru but honestly, orange and lime only looks nice on a fruit, figuratively or otherwise - just think Stanford Blatch, the enviable fag who managed to hook a hunk with abs good enough to grate cheese on.

For some incomprehensible reason, the majority of male doctors find wearing ties a singularly punishing burden and tend to leave the tie half-askew, as if they just stepped out half-soused from a lowly dive or so tightly knotted, it looks like they should be hanging lifeless from a slowly twisting ceiling fan. A number even have pitifully sloppy knots that seem to have been hurriedly tied by an unhandy toddler already overdosed with sedative hot milk.

Fashion wise, men are actually hemmed in by societal prejudice. Quick to take advantage of the situation, the savvier ladies of the past century have snatched all the laces and the frills for their own - leaving our fashion-challenged ancestors with staid shirts, simple slacks and plaid colours. Seriously, apart from jauntering about in shocking neon pink hot pants or resorting to man skirts, changing ties seems to be the only logical way of showing any form of expression at work, sartorially speaking. Somehow, I doubt any of our patients would enjoy the sight of their doctor rushing about in hot pants.

Naked but for a tie
Don't I look hot in a psychedelic tie?

Looks like I'm probably in the minority here ( judging by this informative treatise on ties ) but I actually love ties. Don't get me wrong. I'm not obsessed with ties - I certainly wouldn't die for an Italian silk tie ( so smooth, so shiny! ) but I would probably shed a tear or two over one that was irreparably lost. The tie is like that deliciously smooth icing on the top of the cake - doesn't have to be there to be sure but it just gives the cake that final finishing touch. When we met, Charming Calvin's first gift to me was a tie - which was absolutely perfect if you ask me - a dazzling silk confection of chocolate and cream that just begs to be savoured.

Recently on my shopping trip, I purchased two extravagantly priced ties that I've just been waiting for an opportunity to show off - and there's nothing like a medical course for that. :) Guess I'm just as bad as the rest of them.

And let's face it, ties make a man even hotter.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Saint Wicked

Much better today - as I've apparently recovered from my earlier computer-related malady. No headaches today and fortunately so since I had an unscheduled social event in the evening that required loose, easily removable cotton clothing, lots of water to ward of dehydration and plenty of tissues.

And no, unfortunately it isn't Wild Orgy Tuesday.

Getting read for Wild Orgy Tuesday!
It's Wild Orgy Tuesday!

Then again, I wish it was always Wild Orgy Tuesday. Obviously not privy to my salacious wishes, Tiny Tom and Thumbelina - and a few of my other colleagues, including the ubiquitous Shameless Shalom - came up with the idea of an early supper in the form of a steamboat. Seriously, the only way to make me love this culinary form is to have Chris Evans naked and sweating profusely beside me.

For those who are wondering, steamboat is a uniquely Asian malady ( also known in certain places quite unfortunately as the hot pot ) where raw meat and vegetables are tossed into a slowly simmering pot while the poor, starving diners are forced to drool longingly over the cooking pot - while steam rises and envelops all in a pea-soup fog. Think picnic barbecue in a Swedish sauna.

I could get on my soapbox and complain to the rafters about my patent dislike of steamboat ( sweat, oil and more sweat!! ) but I promised myself I wouldn't. Since the course I mentioned practically stuffed us to the gills, I found myself only able to nibble down a few fishballs at the most. Shades of Big Bicep Barry and his vegetable obsession to be sure.

As usual we waited for the food to cook, the unusual antics at work ( more than a few instigated by our ever more eccentric superiors ) were brought out and carefully dissected for the humour factor. Laughter and jokes aside though, I still managed to find the time to tease Handsome Hui - who was unavoidably detained with some errands. The poor boy. Poked fun at him with my skanky messages and even floated several unmentionable sexual innuendoes that probably had him blushing to his innocent ears.

Still it had him coining a term that had me grinning - and certainly matches some part of my Internet-certified wickedness.

Saint Wicked, he called me. :)

Monday, March 06, 2006

Just because

Please excuse my occasional incoherence today - the reasons will be explained soon. After yesterday's mini rant of sorts, took a while today to post something up since... well, I swear I had manifold reasons behind it...

Jake Gyllenhaala) couldn't think of anything particularly saucy to write about since let's face it, cute, available and morally loose men are a bit rare these days
b) the server on blogger was honestly a bit wonky and after it took me ages to get this up, I found myself literally speechless
c) got distracted by Jake Gyllenhaal strutting by the red carpet in a tux on Oscar Night
d) yeah, my head aches.

The last bit? Yeah you'd be wondering about my aching head, I'm sure. Today after I was forced kicking and screaming to a dreadfully dull course, I surprisingly found myself sitting at a computer terminal with a broadband connection. Just like receiving your greatest wish unexpectedly, it was like finding out that Chris Evans had decided to move in permanently with me - sans wardrobe. You can guess that I must have gone more than a little crazy. Well, you know what they say about gobbling too much at one go.

Since I'm not exactly used to it, staring at the computer screen all day long obviously left me a little woozy with my eyeballs feeling fit to burst. Didn't even need Mongolian vodka to give me that alcohol high. Unsurprisingly, I'm obviously not cut out to be an office drone.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Gay Virus II

Genetics or choice?

It was a question that was posed during dinner tonight. While Big Bicep Barry and I munched on greens and sprouts ( okay, that's a blatant lie. He nibbled on greens. I gobbled on fried chicken ), I found myself pondering the same question that has haunted gay men for centuries past. Don't be shocked but I actually do participate in some form of intellectual discourse - in between cheap gossip and skanky comments about ladies with sad delusions that paisley becomes them. Ever the good samaritan, Barry tolerates the cheap gossip but deals with the skanky comments with a disapproving grunt.

Damn, I'm gay!The world has always wanted to know what makes gay men tick. Always thought it was a moot question. I don't need multimillion dollar worldwide genetic trials or pheromones sprayed on t-shirts to tell me the answer. The answer is simple enough. If I'd taken the straight, easy road, I'd be impossibly heterosexual, married happily to my improbably adoring wife and blessed with three squabbling children in a lovely IKEA-inspired suburban home - to the utmost approval of my family and friends.

Instead I've chosen the harder path, the one not taken by the majority of the population, possibly leading to a lifetime of misery and loneliness, bitterly ostracized ( if not chased down the streets and stoned to death ) by certain morally rigid sections of society as depraved deviants. And I've chosen men. Come on, we all know this. A large number of men are actually stereotypically lazy, hairy, stinking slobs with pathetic genetic tendencies to stray - hence the loneliness I mentioned earlier.

Seriously, why would anyone in their right mind choose the harder path? If genetics didn't play a part, why bother making such a difficult choice?

Obvious answer would be it isn't as simple as making a choice.

A sweet, charming friend of mine has recently had that question shot repeatedly at him as certain members of his family have found themselves at odds with the path he has chosen. I have gay friends who wonder why their close friends and family frown upon the choice they've made. Why shouldn't they? Not only are we walking a dark, lonely path lined with prickly thorns and razor-edged stones, we're more likely to walk that path alone. Let's face it, I doubt any of our wellwishers would want that for us.

After all that, there is a choice to be made. The choice whether to hide in the shadows ( like the Ennis del Mar's of the world ) or to be open with who you are. So for all those out there still grappling with their sexuality, think hard and think twice before making your choice.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Breakfast Blurbs

Damn, I have bills to pay!Thought this might come as a surprise to those who marvel at my incredible volubility, there are actually days when I find myself running out of things to blog about. Some of the things I do on an everyday basis are so pathetically mundane I doubt even I could bear reading it myself. Like every other average salaryman, I rush out of bed to go to work in the mornings and come back late in the evenings after running my various errands. In these jaded times, paying bills, buying groceries and dragging my clothes to the laundry just doesn't seem to excite as much attention as it probably did in the times when wandering cavemen would find a flickering flame near miraculous.

Then fortunately, something momentous occurs that practically begs to be posted. That happened just this morning and despite my groggy, semiconscious state, I just had to write! Somehow during the process of writing my blog, I've gained some little notoriety online and that has apparently caught up with me since just this morning as we had a celebratory post-call breakfast, Shameless Shalom suddenly blurted out that she's been following my scandalous exploits.

It was quite the anti-climax for the both of us actually since no glaring spotlight flashed on me ( much as I always imagined it did for the Paul of biblical times as he wandered aimlessly around Damascus possibly searching for the mall ), the earth didn't crack open to swallow the hardly-ever-sinning heathen ( though some sin with Chris Evans certainly would be worth the penance ) and thankfully, I wasn't accosted by a throng of militant gay bashers armed with broken bats. Already hideous homely enough and I wouldn't need bloody bruises to add to my charm.

Since it wasn't the first time I'd come out to someone, it actually didn't occur to me to scream like a schoolgirl, issue a blanket denial and crouch under the table in hiding either. Hell, it might have come as a bigger shocker to me ( and certainly far more titillating tidbit of gossip! ) if Shameless Shalom had revealed to me that she was harbouring the lusty unborn child of Handsome Hui.

Still it was a bit of a surprise - that my blog has obviously found its way to the computers of even my close friends! How did that happen!! - and a little embarassing to realize that some of my less savoury comments might have been read by the presumably innocent. :) What must they think of me?! That I'm some crazed, libidinous sex maniac who lusts after oblivious big-biceped guys? Well, that's partly true but that doesn't mean I'd want it broadcast to the public :)

So despite railing over our overly politically-correct, mealy-mouthed generation, I shall have to lay off some of my skankier comments ( like the fact that I found one of my fresh-faced patients yesterday absolutely scrumptious and would have gladly asked for his number if he wasn't obviously pure jailbait! ) and at least make a fair attempt at some proper decorum.

And obviously since she could be lurking silently around ( instead of composing a blog of her own! ), I shall only speak of Shameless Shalom from now on in impossibly glowing terms - with no mention of her cavorting in a supertight figure-hugging sarong kebaya and her jiggling kerongsangs :P

Oops. I did it again. Ah hell, she already knows I'm evil.

You Are 84% Evil

You're the most evil person you know.
The devil is even a little scared of you!

God, this doesn't sound very good, does it? No wonder Big Bicep Barry's scared.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Devilish Dante

Have to admit, last night was pretty surreal and I don't think I've actually gotten over it yet. Unsurprisingly, duty called him away - the ever-productive factory that's open almost all hours unfortunately! - before he could bare his soul and spill more delicious secrets.

But before all that, I typed my first post online while someone was actually sitting right behind me watching - well actually glued to the television screen. But he wasn't oblivious to the fact that I was downloading soft gay porn while typing my blog. The half naked men flashing intermittently on my screen was a dead giveaway after all.

As Big Bicep Barry's mind wandered off during certain staggeringly slow scenes on Brokeback, he did make some comments.

Barry : What's that you're doing?
Paul : Downloading gay porn.
Barry : Very funny. Thought you were writing that blog of yours? Where is it?
Paul : It has indiscriminate details of my life including you. I could tell you but then I'd have to kill you.
Barry : Might be worth it. ( pause ) Oh wait, what did Ennis say? Rewind that part!

Come on, it's not all bleak drama. But certainly better lines than the cheesy gay soap opera / thriller series I've been watching. Still, Dante's Cove is like one of those horribly tacky, cheesy snacks that naughty boys like me just can't get enough of. All of us have our own weaknesses - dumb plots with cute boys are mine. ( Barry's fatal Kryptonite is fried chicken but that's something else entirely! )

After all, it isn't often we see oiled, muscular guys slamming each other against the shower room walls on mainstream television. Unlike plain porn though, there is actually a paper-thin plot - and some pitiful high-school acting - tying all the naked boys cut scenes together. Vengeful witches and cheating men in the past leave a lasting impression on the present hotel in Dante's Cove where suspiciously good-looking men converge to shed their scanty clothes baring impossibly perfect, perpetually sweat-slicked bodies.

Makes you wanna run out - go crash dieting, enroll for a gym membership and get a tummy tuck! Seriously. Beautiful bodies abound.

Come lick my neck!
Now, doesn't that make you want to tune in...

Of course I didn't offer to share Dante's Cove with Barry - although if I'd known his reaction to Brokeback earlier, I'd have given him a sneak preview just to raise a response of any sort. As freakishly cheesy as it is anyone but a freaking fag would hate the series. I'm a bloody snoop after all - and a recurring mystery only serves to drive me slowly, maddeningly insane.

Maybe the next time he comes around?

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Evening matinee

Since poor Big Bicep Barry has been terribly busy at work - judging by the erratic messages I receive every once in a while griping, I didn't expect to get a call for a movie this evening.

On the phoneRostered to the intensive care unit lately, I've been running ragged in the mornings which leaves me pretty tuckered out by five so I'm usually napping at home before dinner. After my refreshing catnap, I'd just about dragged myself from the couch to head out to dinner when I got an interesting message from him.

Barry : Are you on-call or something?
Paul : Uhh.. no. Napping.
Barry : Ops. Am I bothering you?
Paul : Nah. Already woke up. Wassup?
Barry : Wanna go for a movie? Any damned movie. I need a break.

Obviously all that work-related stress ( compounded with the recent fuel-price hike ) has dampened somewhat his usual bonhomie. Unfortunately the common fare showing at the cinema didn't seem at all appetizing so we ended up watching Brokeback Mountain over at my place. With his incomprehensible obsession for munching on shoots and leaves, any offers of calorie-laden chips and popcorn was violently repudiated especially since he claims to have put on some possibly imaginary weight since Chinese New Year. However he did accept a glass of plain water for sustenance.

As I flicked on the DVD player, we settled on the couch comfortably - and I maintained a respectful distance two pillows apart since I'd committed myself to certain strict principles of avoidance - apart from a certain someone I have my eye on.

There's no doubt about it though, the movie is just as captivating and engrossing the third time around ( and unfortunately Ennis del Mar still mumbles incoherently with his thin-lipped mouth shut ). Although I managed to control my emotions this time - without bawling quite uncontrollably like a bubbling waterpot, it was clear that Barry was seriously moved by the heartbreaking tale since there were visibly unshed tears in his eyes near the haunting end when the silently grieving Ennis del Mar grips his lover's shirt in his fists.

Paul : So you don't think Ennis is a two-bit coward / loser?
Barry : You're too harsh. It must be hard denying his own feelings. Obviously he was just as angry with himself and his patent inability to trust his own instincts.
Paul : Hmmm...
Barry : Hell, I don't blame him. Even I'm lousy with commitment.
Paul : You are?
Barry : Trust me. I might look like the sensitive new age guy but I'm actually deathly afraid of commitment.

Hmmm... so where is this coming from?