Sunday, December 31, 2006

The Mousetrap

Since I obviously don't have much time on my hands ( especially with all the shopping, movie-watching and bloogging that I do ), I haven't actually had the chance to catch up on some of the more... intriguing games on the market. Obviously not a significant problem for the happy-go-lucky, career-challenged Strapping Shane.

During on of his many forays into the gaming world, he - and the equally leisurely Dashing Dan - managed to find Trapt, a game amazingly well suited to my abilities.

Playing the deadly Princess Allura who turns hunted fugitive after being accused of slaying her father, this little mistress of entrapment has more than a few devious tricks up her sleeve ( especially after she's been marked by a demonic fiend who demands souls ). Although she appears deceptively fragile and doesn't do much in the game apart from fleeing her dangerously equipped pursuers ( in a shockingly flirtatious hip-swaying run ), our wicked little diva does take the time to set her vicious little traps for her unfortunate enemies. In this gory game of cat and mouse, nasty sadistic traps are certainly guaranteed to poison, maim, decapitate, crush, burn, electrocute - or whatever means there are to inflict as much near-fatal damage on her opponents as possible.

Flood
Death by acid rain?

Not much of a plot however - and seriously slow, lumbering enemies who don't seem all that intent on their task of dispatching the treacherous assasinating princess - but still what can I say? Come on, it's a role that's obviously tailor-made for me. Who hasn't thought about siding with the devils as the deliciously evil mastermind creating unholy traps for all those idiotic meddling do-gooders.

Not bad spending New Year's Eve releasing frustration on some unfortunate virtual folks. :)

Friday, December 29, 2006

A Night at the Museum

Certainly must have felt that way for a certain postpubescent adolescent today.

Not sure what Scrappy Shep could have been thinking when suddenly faced with the unwelcoming spectre of his brother Strapping Shane's friends - the freakish likes of the Baffling Babbling Buffoon, the Sufferingly Silent Sphinx and the Leering Lance. Definitely terrifying exhibits straight out of a concerned parent's worst circus nightmares - and being suddenly thrust into our company, the poor unsuspecting boy must have been permanently traumatized by the overexposure to the unhealthy perverted elements of society! :)

The Freaks
The Three Stooges meet Shep...

Well, at least that's what I initially thought.

Then again, he could be wondering how boring homosexual folks like us - especially dull harmless average me - could possibly pose a serious danger to society. Unfortunately ( not receiving Shane's memo about meeting his brother ) I forgot to pack my slinky feather boa and three-inch stiletto leather boots so all Shep got to see was my boring doctor persona. Somehow, cookie-cutter white-collar salaried men don't seem dangerous enough to shake the conservative pillars of society.

Apart from the occasional slip-up - especially the odd inflammatory injections from Charming Calvin otherwise known as the Sphinx - we managed to keep the conversation perfectly whistle-clean and PG-13, in view of the tender sensibilities of our younger audience. Tough enough to restrain our usual boisterous selves so we still had to resort to covering his ears for certain censored bits of our conversation. Still, that certainly didn't keep Shep from being interrogated about his future academic pursuits.

And all that just to get a glimpse of Ben Stiller during his night rounds at the museum. Think poor Shep saw quite enough odd caricatures of gay life even before the screening of the movie to last him a lifetime.

After meeting the likes of us, wouldn't even surprise me if he turns out staunchly, unbearably straight. Now, who said homosexuality was an infectious disease. :)

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Wailing Women

The one word that would strike fear into any emergency medicine physician's heart would be hysteria.

Seriously.

The very thought of a whole freaking busload of wailing teenage vixens with seemingly improbably disconnected symptoms would drive any doctor screaming - away from them. Unearthly possession would be the common theory of the scared, suspicious layman and frequently local bomohs / shamans would be called in to confer - and possibly read a few Quranic verses over the said hysterical hussy.

As usual with medical science dismissing any supposedly unfounded supernatural correlations ( which I do believe at times ), hysteria would be counted as a sociocultural phenomenon peculiarly associated with local Malaysian culture. Somehow or rather lock up a group of hyperactive girls in a hostel / factory - and somehow the combination of unbearable heat, inescapable tension and sheer mind-blowing estrogen drives them starking mad. Almost akin to amok - where psychotic men race around instantly emptied villages wielding bloodied parangs...

Obviously something Big Bicep Barry isn't used to since he balked when one of his factory maids started screaming away while at work - and while he was in the midst of a meeting with his clients.

Barry : What do I do? Should I get ear muffs?
Paul : Hysterical factory girls? Sounds familiar.
Barry : Really?
Paul : Sit them down. Calm them down. Splash water on them. And if all else fails, slap them around.
Barry : What! I don't think my new clients would enjoy seeing us abuse our staff unnecessarily. Although have to admit the Japanese client seems intrigued.
Paul : Probably taking pics for youtube.

Away from the insanity
Maybe she'll be quiet if I stay outside...

Dealing with a wailing woman in his arms, Barry wasn't amused by the light banter though - but he somehow managed to calm her down without resorting to a display of sheer physical strength. Of course if he'd actually whaled on her, with his arms he'd probably snap her like a dry twig. Not sure exactly how the man managed such a feat calming her down ( offer her a raise and a free meal with him? ) but still he was obviously relieved as hell when it all ended.

Barry : Pent-up stress and repressed emotions? You know what? I could be next. Promise me you won't slap me around.
Paul : Not even a light playful semi-fraternal spanking?
Barry : Very funny.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Crowns, corsets and chrysanthemums

Judging by the simulation games that I play, if I were king - far from being a kind, benevolent ruler, I think I'd be a megalomaniacal tyrannical czar who'd rule with the proverbial iron fist, certainly worthy of being villified by fearful future generations. Refractory provinces would be violently razed to the ground, insurgent rebels slaughtered by the bloody thousands in the name of the king ( and then displayed in suitably grisly fashion as a deterrent to all ) and any possible challengers imprisoned in miserable, decrepit dungeons on far-off uninhabitable environs. Such villainy would require an extremely adept military literally armed to the teeth - and of course a personal imperial guard.

Of course my devoted liegemen apart from being fearsome men with very little moral values and an inexplicable for blood - would also be extremely handsome, well-built, virile ( bearing a strong resemblance to Huang Xiao Ming ) and highly-sexed. All lean, mean fighting machines, but not averse to a bit of man-lovin in my Palace of MenmEnmeN ( to paraphrase a famous flying fairy :) ). But that's something else entirely.

Big bad kahuna, I know. But that's certainly the meaty role that was played by Chow Yuen Fatt in Zhang Yimou's latest ancient Chinese historical epic, the Curse of the Golden Flower. Taking place during the Tang Dynasty when nubile maidens purportedly jiggled around in their scandalously low corsets while their male counterparts marched around covered from head to toe in miles of golden armour, Chow plays Emperor Ping, a quietly menacing ruler who tyrannizes over all including his seemingly subjugated family of three ambitious sons and his outwardly quiescent wife with a penchant for embroidery and black fungus.

Not sure why but lately cuckolding Chinese empresses seem to be all the rage, especially with underaged stepsons but the gloriously bedecked palace is certainly filled to the brim with deceit, betrayal, manipulation, rebellion, and murder. Almost deliciously Shakespearean even! Of course when you have a glorious, passionate empress played by the amazingly luminescent Gong Li, it would be near impossible to refuse, even when she persists on stitching endless chrysanthemums despite her failing health. Surely no empress has remained so effortlessly regal, even standing alone at the end with everything tumbling down to shambles around her.

Jay Chou
Would you follow me to battle?

Though the role of the shockingly dutiful son torn between his fractious parents ( not the incestuous prince fortunately ) would have been better played by an actor of higher calibre - especially next to noted luminaries such as Gong Li and Chow Yuen Fatt, pop starlet Jay Chou still managed to surprise me with his acting prowess. Personally I do think he should have taken the role of the Crown Prince instead since he just doesn't seem to have the commanding presence required by his role.

Perhaps someone like Huang Xiao Ming would have made a more believable Captain of the Guards. I'd certainly follow him to battle :P

Monday, December 25, 2006

Almas Del Silencio

From my prolific posts, perhaps some of you guys out there have come to the erroneous conclusion that I am the sort of wildly gregarious social butterfly who flits from one blooming occasion to the next. Honestly, lately it seems like even Charming Calvin has started to think along those lines - which is far from the truth since honestly, I see myself as the shy, retiring sort.

Endless rounds of parties and social events leave me cold since I actually dislike making meaningless small talk and honestly, laudatory introductory speeches always leave me utterly tongue-tied. How many insincere plaudits can I give myself after all? Either I ramble on endlessly on some inconsequential topic making like a mindless blathering fool or I end up secreting myself in a hidden corner with a platter of food for an excuse for my antisocial behaviour, being the silent observer which is what I do best.

And I can always take notes to blog about some of the caricatures I meet :P

Definitely improving though ( with the demands of my career ) since now I've at least steeled myself to socialize a little, slapping on a sincere smile and forcing out a hello - instead of receding into the background like the proverbial wallflower.

Bashful Boy
But I am shy...

But my little love, Charming Calvin, certainly puts me to shame since he took on the role of a stoic Sphinx all throughout Christmas Dinner for some inexplicable reason :P For him, it was truly a silent night, apart from a brief exchange of grunting monosyllables with one of the guests, Bony Betty ( not to be confused with Big Bicep Barry's Bountiful Betty ). While decent company manners insist on us making at least a fair attempt at polite, civil conversation with those sitting at our immediate sides ( though we might abhor their company ), Calvin remained unspeaking, unresponsive and unmoved, utterly focused on his platter.

Admittedly the scrumptious fried calamari certainly took up a large share of my attention but still...

The man assures me that he hasn't developed a sudden inexplicable dislike of my friends which leaves me wondering at his unpardonable reticence. An undiscovered vein of sheer bashfulness? An instant attack of debilitating acute laryngitis? Blatant admiration for the delicate hand-drawn design on the Turkish plate? :)

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Dinner party

Have always wondered where I inherited my insane Martha Stewart's proclivities - just come look at my gaudily bedecked Christmas tree and assorted decorative ornaments around the hall - and recently it occurred to me that I've probably gotten the Stepford homemaker gene from my mom. Outwardly passing for normal but just whisper the words dinner party to the woman and she turns radically psychotic. Two egg nogs short of a gleaming butcher's knife for the turkey.

Quite possible that my mom keeps a hidden folder titled Dinner Parties just for such special occasions since she miraculously came up with a zillion ideas for a Christmas feast made specially for the Holy Family, the Three Wise Men and their entire flock of sheep. Even the Little Drummer Boy come to think about it. The assorted dishses she came up for the dinner menu astonished me since I doubt even Nigella Lawson has heard of some of them.

Christmas Boys
The Three Wise Men get prepared for the Christmas informal

And the numbers invited? Just short of a trailer-sized circus tent placed outside my house with little homemade signs ( in lieu of the North Star ) inviting all and sundry along the roads leading to the way to the impromptu kenduri. Really.

If I'd thought that my overly ambitious cousin had invited the whole village and their mothers over for his Big Fat Chinese Wedding dinner, well this time my mom certainly prepared enough to feed the whole lot. Terrifyingly enough with the truckloads of food-glorious-food being delivered to my doorstep, it was as if an entire starving barely-developing African nation had been invited over for supper. And boy, were they famished!

Even famed ragamuffin Oliver Twist couldn't have asked for more.

And here, I'd only invited a handful of my close friends for the assumed informal meeting. Not sure exactly how my mom misinterpreted what I said.

Paul : No problem. I'll invite a friend or two - Tom and Dick possibly.
What mom obviously heard in her deranged dinner hostess trance : I am gonna invite every Tom, Dick, Harry and all their living relatives in a 200 miles radius for a winter formal.

Who knows what we're gonna do with the leftovers? Maybe donate them to the unfortunate homeless flood victims?

Friday, December 22, 2006

Kid Brother

Never actually had a kid brother. Being the younger of two ( and having a senior who enjoys throwing his weight around :) ), it's a definite impossibility unless my doting father somehow produces a lusty lovechild from the murky depths of his purported dark past. Though the unwelcome thought of being squashed into the easily dismissed middle did trouble me a little ( forgotten middle child syndrome anyone? ), I've always enjoyed the hypothetical idea of having a younger sibling.

A poor lil scapegoat brother to pass over some of the more menial mind-bogglingly dull household chores such as dishwashing or ironing ( bleh! ). Or perhaps even someone to tease and torture to submission when I need some urgent stress release ( yeah, I am quite the monster ).

History Boys
Brothers Be

And now we have Strapping Shane. Although he towers above me ( the giant! ) since I'm the vertically challenged descendant of dwarf farmers, he's still very much a kid at heart - and of course most importantly in biological age too - which is how he's perpetually being referred to as the Kid. Inadvertently stumbled onto his blog one fine morning, struck up an unlikely fraternity / friendship and shockingly realized that he lived barely a stone's throw away.

What can I say? Terrifyingly enough, I'm actually an aging, ailing 30 - and a fresh young scamp of 20 seems so terribly young, effortlessly juvenile and barely out of school somehow :) Was I ever that young?

Like any concerned parent, his mother usually wonders exactly what we get up to when Strapping Shane's in our delightful ( ahem ) company. Little does she know that far from supporting him in his impulsive leap into the pink universe ( or indulging in mindless orgiastic delights seen previously only in exclusive Bel Ami / Falcon videos ), Charming Calvin and I are actually trying to stall some of his more adventuresome instincts. After all we do know that lecherous man-eating sharks abound out there, don't we? And we do know how much they enjoy fresh meat. :P

And yeah, I do want the best for little Shane. Which is why the poor guy usually gets the brunt of our nags, especially when it comes to his studies. Can't help it really! Charming Calvin is a purported maths whiz and I've somehow miraculously blundered my way through academics - so anyone who scores below our sadly mediocre results deserves a hard spanking to say the least. Ever optimistic, Shane promises a stronger showing in the future so we shall see :)

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Around KL in 80 minutes

With the day that we had just yesterday, seems like Charming Calvin and I should be packing our bags to join the wild, wacky and adventuresome ( though frequently quarrelsome ) duos on Amazing Race! Especially since an unsuspecting Strapping Shane sent us both on a wild goose chase around the city environs yesterday evening.

Denim!
Are you ready for a wild ride?

Picture this. From PJ to Bangsar to Pudu to Ampang to Gombak to Wangsa Maju to Titiwangsa. Those who are wondering what that's all about only need to imagine us driving around in ever smaller concentric cirles around the jam-packed city - or better yet refer to this. And make that at the absolute peak of rush hour with rude, inconsiderate drivers ( including me actually! ) barging their way through gridlocked highways while death-defying motorcyclists and blissfully oblivious pedestrians weave maniacally in between the bumpers - not knowing how close they were to an untimely meet with the Grim Reaper.

Was just this close to bumping off a few belligerent roadside nitwits ala Grand Theft Auto - but a more altruistic, humanitarian Calvin intervened at the last minute to save their unwary souls. Certainly like a whirlwind tour of the city in 80 seconds though my own faithful Passepartout could do little but hang on for dear life as I whizzed by stunned police officers ( looking especially fine that day in their tight black spandex for some reason but it could also be due to sheer vertigo due to my innate need for speed! ).

Blame the impromptu treasure hunt on the unwitting Shane since the lost boy sketched out a poorly-drawn map of his whereabouts. With hardly any clues or landmarks, it was almost akin to searching for the proverbial needle in the haystack.
( Needle=Shane, Haystack=Kuala Lumpur ).

Denim!
Where are we?

Took the better part of an hour before we finally chanced upon him, and even then when we finally found Shane secreted away in the Unseen Gray Tower - covertly concealed in the dense foliage of a towering tropical rainforest, there was only a long, lonely winding way up the steep slope. Seriously. Talk about climbing a mountain in search of knowledge. Even the courageous Samwise Gamgee would have balked at such an unfriendly trail.

Didn't have the heart to berate Shane though since he seemed a little crestfallen ( did I hear a sniffle? ) that day. Details to follow in his blog, I'm sure :)

Still, it certainly proves that I'm mondo excellent at treasure hunts, with or without clues. Managed to find that needle, didn't I? Not sure what I would do with my Lord of Perpetual Yawn though - who seems to tire easily enough ( though he did perk up quick enough when I was about run down a brainless motorist in a grisly coup de grace ).

Hmm... maybe bring along a pack of Gatorade so he'll be able to charge up faster? :P

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Excuse me sir

Seriously. What are young teenage boys thinking about these days?

Have raged about this previously - about the peculiar idiosyncrasy of today's testosterone-charged virile youth who persist in hiding their lean, mean forms under shapeless, unflattering sports tees. What's that all about? Teenage rebellion, anti-establishment and a touch of sloppiness sure but do they have to look bad while doing all that? Haven't they seen James Dean, the original Rebel without a Cause? Now that man combined all the above - and still managed to look helluva hot doing it.

But that's not the worst of it. Heterosexual teenage boys have fallen even lower on the sartorial scale. Just today, I saw a youthful hip-hop-rapper wannabe / dirty Bel Ami twink parading in town with his red flamingo boxers brazenly showing underneath his low-hanging jeans ( how exactly do they keep them from falling?! ). I was just this close to giving his jeans a good hard tug to send them tumbling - or to give him an inadvertent wedgie.

Denim!
Just acceptable!

Look, I don't mind a little bit of label showing ( pretty hot actually! ) but having half your butt hanging off the edge if a bit much. Come on, not even my wet dreams matinee star Chris Evans could pull off that look - and that's saying a lot!

Why exactly do they do that? Can't they afford belts? Are well-fitting trousers far beyond their limited reach? Doesn't anyone find it odd that the girls are getting tighter, skankier and more revealing ensembles while the boys are edging towards tent-like burqas and denim so low that their collective ass cleavages are showing?

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Le Jinx

After doing a brief rotation in intensive care, I've slowly come to the sad conclusion that I'm actually quite a jinx. Seriously! Obviously the singularly bad karma during my eventful housemanship - where I was one of the few with the unfortunate misnomer of the Angel of Death - must have carried over to my current stint since my oncalls here are.... nerve-wrackingly insane to say the least.

All I need is to walk into the place to cause instant mindless chaos as patients destabilize, machines deteriorate and nurses defibrillate. Just a fateful slam of the doors and the ward turns into a literal suspenseful heart-pumping medical drama with people rushing about setting up monitors, filling up much-needed syringes of adrenaline / atropine and me standing still, grunting out the usual barrage of orders.

You know, sometimes I think I need to get a bath sprinkled with the blessed flowers of a thousand spring mornings - or whatever people to do to get rid of such jinx. Anyone have a potent cure-all for such a jinx?

Monday, December 18, 2006

Return of the Gay Disco

Reformatory gay activists, have faith and don't despair. Change is coming.

Sometimes even faster than imagined. Puritanical zealots might have laid serious inroads into the religious strongholds of the north but lo and behold, even they have seen fit to allow certain liberties for the more demanding, rebellious youth.

And surprisingly rather than seek greater personal freedoms, breaking the tight shackles of censorship or even demanding democratic rights, the youth obviously want to dance.

Welcome to the fabulous Islamic disco. Brilliant though shockingly progressive thinkthanks in the northern state of Kelantan have come up with revolutionary ideas that would allow the setting up of discos and nightcubs that cater only to members of the same sex without the horrifying intermingling between the sexes - and no alcohol.

A nightclub without booze ( well that sucks ) but only men. Hmmm... Seriously, would any redblooded gay boy even think of opposing such an ingeniously crafted plan? Hell, I'd be raising banners in support them if I could. Of course in such a traditional heartland, club / techno music would certainly be frowned upon - but then again, maybe some innovative young deejays would be able to work around that bureaucratic tape by splicing and dicing the booty-shaking disco music of Donna Summers, Kylie and Madonna with the dikir barat strains of local instruments. Even indecent, too-revealing Western clothing remains taboo but I doubt many of us would object to virile, dark-skinned traditionally dressed sarong party boys.

rOCK ON!
The new hotspot in town!

A provincial local government that sanctions sweaty boy-on-boy action. I doubt even Castro or West Hollywood could compare.

Who knows what they will think of next. Perhaps set up deep, verdant parks ( with plenty of leafy bushes ) in the center of the town for men to meet and exchange verbal intercourse. Maybe in a year or two, we'll even be courting the fabulously lucrative pink follar as gay cruiseships come to anchor at the ports of Kota Bharu in search of local culture. Oh yeah, and a bit of dancing.

And of course you guys know how to take this with a strong dose of sarcasm.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

The Dragon and the Archer

Since Big Bicep Barry's birthday falls squarely in the midst of next week, we decided to go out for a celebratory pre-birthday supper tonight. Started a little late since both of us had made prior engagements we couldn't get out of, me with my convivial ex-colleagues and him with some of his much less convivial clients.

Still it was good to see him looking all hearty, happy and extremely fit especially after a more vigorous gym regimen to lose the dreaded pounds prior to the coming inevitable end-of-the-year bashes. Exchanged our birthday / Christmas gifts, had our quick repast together ( his as usual much much less than mine ) and ended up going to Alagaƫsia together.

No, it isn't a peculiar little-known euphemism for a dirty orgiastic experience but a fictional land, once peaceful ( aren't they all? ) and now terrorized by a sinister megalomaniacal overlord living in his dark, dank fortress of evil ( why do they persist living in all that filth and squalor? Can't they afford a glittering Versailles? ) - soon to be overthrown by a sexy underaged blond Bel Ami farmboy in leather and his pet fire-breathing dragon.

Edward Speleers
Come play with my fire-breathing dragon

Unfortunately only one gratuitous, titillating shirtless scene to speak of - and thankfully it's of the Bel Ami boy - and not the muddied overlord or his ill-kempt servants.

Barry : You are drooling.
Paul : Look closely, he's a hotter Simon Baker.
Barry : And a juvenile, don't forget.
Paul : We'll just assume he's safely above the age of consent.
Barry : Fat chance.
Paul : But none on him. Look at his abs.
Barry : Bah. I have better pecs.

True. He does. I checked.

Well blond twinks and hot marketing execs aside, think of Eragon as the intergalactic soap opera Star Wars placed in the dwarves-and-elves populated forests and glades of Tolkien's Middle Earth. Albeit with none of the adult angst and intricate complexities of the former since the story has been simplified and dumbed down for the edification of adventuresome tweens everywhere. They do have wry talking dragons with alarmingly accelerated growth rates though.

Still, the startling similarities with the life of a certain Luke Skywalker can be quite jarring at times though I hope we don't have to see the elven warrior princess wearing the infamous donut braids in future sequels. Though I doubt there would be any unless more titillating scenes abound ( featuring the blond twink mentioned above ) since Eragon sadly doesn't live up to the hype.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Vanity, thy name is...

The old days when that answer would reasonably be women seems to be over.

Seems like these days, it would be gay men mostly :) Although I do occasionally pander to the generally-held ( though largely erroneous ) notion that the majority of gay men are all shallow, superficial, splendidly-built beings far more interested in a good time ( preferably in the cloistered relative safety of the seedy backrooms ) than anything substantial, that doesn't mean that I actually ascribe to all the rules.

Mirror image
Ooh I am so pretty

Honestly, never been all that interested in fancy frills and finery... sure I might ogle the beautifully dolled up mannequins posing in expensive stores and purchase a respectable shirt or two as a reasonable deterrent from looking like a slob ( we do have a meagre clothing allowance after all ). But that's about it.

Without the aid of radical reconstructive surgery - or an excruciatingly taxing bodybuilding regimen, there's only so much Raoul can do after all :)

Hell, I know how I look and I'm certainly not going to be winning the Cleo Bachelor Award anytime soon ( despite how far the standards might have fallen lately ). It's alright actually, capricious genetics just didn't see fit to gift me with gloriously unblemished sunkissed skin, radiant raven curls and a toothy smile that would be the pride of an orthodontist. Know myself well enough and I know my strengths and weaknesses - so any untoward praise on my miserably average looks would only garner strong suspicion.

Getting ready for a day out doesn't take much time on my part. Apart from taking a short time to choose a reasonably conservative ensemble that hopefully doesn't blind an unwitting passerby ( or lead to an arrest by the progressive fashion police ), I only take the time to run a comb through my unruly, untameable hair - without which it'd look like I'd been running through a screaming wind tunnel.

Certainly far from the average gay boy who spends more than an hour in the bathroom preening in front of the mirror with a shocking parade of facial cleansers, hair products and other assorted beauty regimen paraphernalia lined up in front. Forget about anorexic celebrity nymphettes. There are gay men out there who haven't eaten a grain of rice in months in a desperate bid to achieve that near-impossible sculpted six-pack. And did you hear there's the one who'd walk for miles braving fire, ridicule and torture just to retrieve his spectacular James Dean shades for a dance class. And even that man who'd risk almost certain corneal ulceration just for the sake of looking fab without his regular prescription glasses.

Hell, even Charming Calvin has his little quirks like his peculiarly touch-me-not hair that withstands even the tempestuous force of a hurricane :)

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Evil Personified

Although I do glance through the daily horoscopes, I usually don't pay it much thought. Never actually thought that there could actually be a kernel of truth in all that ridiculous ballyhoo.

Scorpion
The Scorpion finds a mate

Let's face it, Scorpios are reputed to be the wicked bad boys of the horoscope - no matter how shiny a paragon the boy might be, there's always a moment in his past when a Scorpio delves into the deepest darkest places in a human soul searching for his true self, hopefully coming out from the life-altering experience on the better side.

Since I haven't indulged in wild sadistic whipping orgies, hallucinating drug raves nor have I committed gruesome inhuman acts that would have had me condemned to a scorching eternity down under in purgatory, I figured that I've escaped that particular Scorpio stigma. Sure I've imagined thousands of malicious excruciatingly painful ends for some of my merciless tormentors but I've certainly never acted upon any of them ( gotta get grace points for saying no to temptation surely ). Hell, the only sin I've probably committed - at least in the eyes of the ultra-conservative Bible-thumping zealots - is the wicked ways of Sodom.

Till today when I found out that I have a deep, pulsating, near-sentient streak of evil just waiting to ooze forth. All it took was a little prompting from Strapping Shane who needed a springboard for his scripts and I was sprinting down that road to perdition fast enough that sleepy Charming Calvin's head spun. Well it certainly would have spun if he had been awake long enough to hear since the lord of perpetual yawn was already fast asleep on his feet.

But together with Shane, we came up with such devilish horrific storylines that showcased the dark, depraved facets of the human psyche... such a heinous well of foul betrayal, sinful acts and ingenious murders ( covering all the seven infamous sins, I'm sure ) that even I was a little appalled - and a tad dismayed - myself at the end. Best friend slaughtering friend. Severed fingers in chicken pies. Nefarious scalpel-wielding surgeons.

Bloody hell. Was I meant to be a sinister B-grade horror movie Hitchcock wannabe? What kinda twisted imagination do I have!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Spousal pitfalls

Calvin : When can I meet up with you?
Paul : Uhh.. maybe next month?


My poor endlessly patient Charming Calvin has finally started to see the inevitable pitfalls of dating a doctor. Not only does he have to contend with the inevitable psychotic mood swings and the occasional sex-crazed monster, he also has to deal with the case of the amazing disappearing boyfriend.

For unbeknownst reasons, the past two weeks have been particularly hectic for me since I have been doing an endless stretch of 5 mind-bogglingly busy oncalls in less than 12 days. If it sounds like sheer sadistic Guantanamo Bay-prescribed torture... well, it is.

What that essentially means is practically camping out in the hospital environs for almost a week running helter skelter trying to keep up with rapidly destabilizing patients. There's just barely enough time to shovel food and drink into the mouth to keep the body functioning before rushing off to attend the next trauma case. So being dead on my feet is almost an understatement as I usually reach home after excruciating rounds only to fall comatose on my bed for the next little while ( and that's after braving a really really dangerous drive home ).

Sleep
The new Lord of Perpetual Yawn

And that also means missed appointments, tardy arrivals and exceedingly late sms replies ( try a barrage of replies at midnight ) for Calvin. Despite wanting very much to meet up with him, I've been a little too tied up with ( bloody! ) work lately. Even when I do make it out for our regular meals, I'm usually a tad too groggy to do anything as wild as swapping passionate lovebites in the men's room - unlike some naughty boys I could name :)

For a gregarious crowd-loving soul like Calvin, it has to be an acute torture - which has led him to start singing lonesome litanies inspired by Akon at impromptu solo karaoke sessions.

See! I should have been an engineer dammit!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

My Big Fat Chinese Wedding

Judging by the ensuing events of this weekend, my budding ideas for a dream wedding certainly wouldn't mesh with some of the more colourful notions of my ... dare I say it.. provincial cousins. Don't get me wrong. Certainly not a culture snob, I enjoyed myself insanely this weekend but I fear they wouldn't say the same at my far more sedate, potentially more dull wedding. Faint stringed instruments in the background, cream coloured tablecloth lined with gold borders and staid, civilized chatter over wine and cheese would certainly bore some of my aunts ( certainly my uncles ) into a soporific stupor.

Somehow or rather like any other Chinese family, I think they'd prefer mindless insanity, deafening cacophony and exceedingly late arrivals. Let's see, this is what they would expect for a dream wedding.

1) Disorganized chaos as bewildered guests run helter skelter all over the hall in search of nonexistent numbered seats, occasionally battling it out over the more coveted hall positions - away from the ear-splitting speakers, the freezing air-cond draft and the none-too-steady waiters ( imagine sparkly haired aunties in their best flashy cheongsams bitchslapping each other with their beaded handbags )

2) A slick mustachioed master of ceremonies who resembled nothing less than a flashy circus ringleader waving his beribboned baton and top hat

3) Scantily dressed nymphette Lolitas belting out the latest Cantonese pop fare loud enough to wake the dead while gyrating in sexually suggestive moves that would make Shakira proud ( and would make their parents cringe in embarassment, I'm sure ) - not to mention emulating the Dance of the Seven Veils as their scanty ensemble became ( impossibly! ) increasingly revealing throughout the night

4) Drunken Hawaiian-shirt clad uncles stumbling about in alcoholic daze as they toured the crowded hall waving their cognac bottles with seeming amiability - before the whole lot fled to the men's room later during dessert to collectively upchuck the vile poison

5) Mismatched orange plastic tableware with the most garishly scarlet tablecloth ( certainly the stuff of Martha Stewart's darkest nightmares while on the lam ) - not forgetting the interesting melange of conflicting tastes after using the same plate throughout an eight-course Chinese dinner

6) Acne-speckled, underaged waiters scurrying about in stained t-shirts tossing towering food platters onto the dining tables with little regard to fishball trauma or curry splatter

For Chrissakes, the erstwhile groom read law in London but I guess even erudite Brit scholars couldn't rid him of the peculiar notion that karaoke and a wedding dress goes together.

Still, the convivial company certainly made up for it though my boisterous cousins and I had to resort to primitive sign language ( fortunate enough for my poor laryngitis-stricken cousin ) since the speakers were blaring out Cantonese hip hop that drowned out any civilized attempts to communicate. And we certainly weren't going to strain our voices yelling across the table like uncouth fishwives in the market!

Grooms
Groomsmen changing before the big day

And btw, no hunky best men around ( and believe me I looked really really really hard ) so I had to spend the time drowning in cheap cognac dreaming of wicked bachelor nights attended by naughty groomsmen with liberal sexual habits and the loose morals of alleycats :P Reality never is as raunchy as a porn vid.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Romancing the Stone

Perhaps I am in the sad minority when it comes to this but I might be one of the few guys who finds himself inevitably put off by an saccharine-sweet overdose of sentimentality. :) Though I might harbour a secret fetish for sappy romances judging by the volumes I have in my personal library, I don't actually believe in reciting such overblown surreal haikus of the heart seemingly favoured by those drowning in the dissipations of love - much to the chagrin of my endlessly patient paramour.

Seriously. Faded literary aspirations aside, I haven't even penned a single romantic stanza - unless you count the bawdy limerick I wrote about naughty bishops back in high school. Though I know it's all metaphorical in nature, I really doubt whole mountain ranges or rushing tributaries could be moved by my passionate ardour nor do I think that any inspirational words I pen could possibly describe the sheer six-fathoms-depth of emotion that I feel.

Amour
Pledging amour beneath the balcony

Till I met Charming Calvin and his other lovelorn ilk online of course. Though he would vehemently deny such an unpardonable accusation, I know the man secretly sighs and swoons over literary phrases that counts the many varied ways of loving him while comparing his beauty to a summer's day.

Which I find odd since I've never actually believed in the purported might of the pen. Despite being an extremely voluble writer, I've always been a firm believer that actions inevitably speak louder. Perhaps there's a strong vein of practicality in me that prefers a piping-hot bowl of chicken soup when I'm sniffling to a beautifully written ode to my curly-tressed raven locks.

Paul : If I gushed all over you, praising your virtues to the sky, what would you think?
My ISO : That you were drunk or high on some new designer drug?
Paul : Precisely what I'd say! What's wrong with us?
My ISO : We're just cold-hearted realists?

Is that it? Have we become too cool for mushy romance? Has the general mode of remaining perpetually blase and unaffected changed us into such unfeeling stubborn cynics that we only seek to mock when hopelessly dewy-eyed lovers pledge their troth forever and always? That sentimental sonnets from the portuguese recited beneath the sighing boughs of a willow under a balcony leaves us hardly shaken, never stirred and perhaps more than a little embarassed by the sheer mawkishness of it all.

And that's even if I don't start searching for solid objects to stone the unfortunate swain and his accompanying troubadours. :)

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Bad Education

Sometimes I watch my little niece at play ( let's call her Chatty Carmen since leaving her anonymous would be plain sad ) and I pity her since I can imagine the sheer burden of exceedingly high expectations she has to carry on her tiny shoulders being the eldest in her generation.

Ever since the first syndicated examinations were held to torture recalcitrant folks in ancient China ( those lousy sadistic buggers!! ), education has always - and probably always will be - paramount in a conservative Chinese household. Since learning their ABCs or their equivalent in Chinese, every small child has been literally drilled on the importance of attaining the all-important paper qualifications, preferably in the more seemingly prestigious fields.

Not sure exactly what pushes me to study. Certainly not a relentless thirst for knowledge since I'd rather not know half the things I do know. Certainly not from some compulsion to better myself. Would say that it was subtle, almost subliminal pressure from my stern parents but my mother would probably issue a vociferous rebuttal the minute I made mention of it.

Study
A quick study

Admittedly I never had that much obvious pressure from my parents when it came to my schooling career. Apart from the odd, exceedingly rare reminder to mug for the coming exams, I have never gotten a stern lecture from my parents on this particular subject. Perhaps it was because I already looked stressed enough about the idea of exams without them adding to it - anymore and possibly I'd run crazily amuck through village wielding a heavy textbook while tearing out the pages to festoon the electrical lines.

Or perhaps it was because there was no one else to be held in comparison since we were the eldest in our generation - while the previous generation had just stepped off the proverbial boat from China. My elder brother thankfully wasn't that far ahead in years from me so our academic feats were hardly worth the critical analysis.

But since then of course, we've had dozens of top-scoring younger cousins who have performed shockingly well in exams and it would be nigh impossible to top the whole lot of us, short of winning a Nobel Prize at eighteen. Anything else would have been done before - and possibly better - by someone else in the family. In my really really large tribe, it's easy enough to get lost in a crowd.

Honestly I'd love to say that above average academic results don't mean much in the long run, that sheer hard work and determination will see you through - but astonishingly enough, I can't. Such platitudes wouldn't ring all that true ( sure everyone knows academic excellence doesn't mean much but it does smoothen the path a little! ) since I can easily imagine the sheer consternation if my own daughter were to return with less than satisfactory results.

Poor Carmen. :) Not only would she get flak from her dad, she'd get a sadly uncompromising uncle too.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

That Devil in Me

For those who actually do read this blog on a semi-regular basis ( and I sincerely thank the both of you, Calvin - and oh yeah, that dedicated nomad in Ulan Bator :) ), you'd know that every once in a while that peculiar devil in me just comes to the fore, making me do the strangest things.

Strange medical syndrome and I actually blame it on a particularly strict religious upbringing ( bwahahaha! ) and restrictive societal mores. So when the going gets tough, I start rolling a little oft-kilter. While the occasional conservative Malay runs amok or turns hysterics when the world's seemingly falling down, I mysteriously transform into Psycho Paul. Thankfully it's not of the maniacally cackling, bloody chainsaw wielding variety but more of the wacky crazy dude sort... which is exactly what happened when Strapping Shane happened to make a passing comment that his mother is curious about the disreputable company he keeps.

Shane : Maybe my mom would like to meet your for dinner. See that I'm in good hands.
Paul : Good hands?

Apart from having vividly illicit fantasies about adventurous hands and Strapping Shane, I also sensed the wickedly impulsive devil in me stirring. Why else do I have a sudden near-irresistible urge to don a flashy lemon-yellow wig, a scarlet mini and matching skyscraper stilletos and go with a flattering swish in my walk to meet Strapping Shane's doting mom?

No wonder Shane warned me to be casual. You think he noticed the horns sprouting on my head?

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Tokens of Love

What does it feel like to be newly in love?

Just the first irresistible stirrings of that powerful emotion makes even the brainiest Einstein resort to utterly foolish demonstrations, all in the name of love. Brave nightly renditions of sentimental stanzas below the balconies of a loved one, chocolate-covered candy hearts ( the novel tau sar pneah for some... ) and these days with the advance of technology, that barrage of embarassingly mawkish messages on the cellphone.

And what more when that love is returned and accepted wholeheartedly? Well it leads to furtive whisperings, secret glances and clandestine caresses when no one's looking.

Glances
Sharing secret glances

Or at least when they blindly hope no one's looking. Still I gotta admit it's not easy to keep a new love secret in public. The signs are always there - that magical glow, that devilish twinkle in the eyes - all dead giveaway signs. Would like to say that awkward painful walk after that first night but that would be crass, wouldn't it? :P

And it's especially difficult keeping it quiet when you have a busybody snoop like me watching closely ( since everyone knows people watching is one of my secret hobbies ).

Which is how I started wondering when I caught Dashing Dan giving Strapping Shane the look. And it wasn't the usual lusty I-wanna-lay-ya-tonight look. Since I'm the sappily sighing romantic sort, all sorts of diabetic sugar-coated fantasies came to mind with images of gentlemanly courtship and tender tokens of love. Please I am not even going to imagine the other more base, elemental needs of a relationship. They are my friends after all.

And it's sweet :)

You make me comfortable...

Come on, say it with me. Awww... sweet. Certainly not in the hallowed ranks of the infamous 'You complete me' or even the 'I wish I knew how to quit you' but it's alright for a relative beginner, especially for a certain reticent someone.

Makes me recall the first time I saw Charming Calvin myself standing at the stairs of the train station waiting patiently for me with that boxed up tie and that earnest look on his face.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Stonewall and Riot

Have you read a comicbook today?

It's surely one of the significant milestones of the passage to adulthood since abject poverty and apocalyptic battles notwithstanding, which growing boy hasn't had at one time or the other read a comic? Surely in all of us there's this indelible image of an adolescent pimpled kid stealing into his treehouse sanctuary to fumble through his hidden cache of comics ( and furtively groped stash of porn - whether gay or otherwise ) during one of those late seemingly endless days of summer.

What can I say? Always been a fan of the masked adventurer ever since I first got a glimpse of the suave Scarlet Pimpernel. Yeah, I can see some of you looking agog at the hitherto fabled name - especially Charming Calvin looking nonplussed over there :) But the man's actually one of the predecessors to most of the 'split personality' heroes that we know now such as the ubiquitous Batman, Superman and even Zorro. Who can possibly forget the endlessly charming Sir Percy Blakeney, wealthy, simpering British nobleman by day and daring, swashbuckling revolutionary by night with that mysterious penchant for that little common red flower.

They seek him here, they seek him there,
Those Frenchies seek him everywhere.
Is he in heaven or is he in hell?
That damned elusive Pimpernel.

Like any other red-blooded boy, I spent my time dreaming wildly improbable fantasies of dodging bullets and lasers in my masked persona whilst battling evil in all its multicoloured spandexed guises - but there the similarity with other straight boys ends since I doubt many of them actually dream of going home with Superman to find his burgeoning Clark Kent. With Brandon Routh in the spandex suit, those dreams still live on actually :)

Gay heroes are still quite rare these days though the numbers are slowly rising as closets are being thrown wide open. Easy enough to imagine gay men fighting the good fight with Apollo and Midnight leading the way.

Still even my wildest fantasies could hardly live up to the Falcon / Bel Ami inspired wet dreams of Stonewall and Riot. For the few zealous activists amongst us who seek to redress the lack of gay visibility in the media, look no further for gay superheroes in animation. Not only are they obviously gay, both Stonewall and Riot seek to prove their point again. And again. And again.

In various shockingly graphic positions straight out of the pages of a homosexual kamasutra.

Stonewall and Riot!
Stonewall and Riot!

This isn't the usual saccharine-sweet singing-to-the-doves Disney kid fare, folks. Not only do Stonewall and Riot borrow heavily from the famed daring duo of Batman and Robin - albeit with a decidedly queer slant - the other assorted villains are also hilarious campy spoofs of noted villains. Courtesy of the talented Joe Phillips, the sinister Joker dons fishnet stockings and a fey pseudo French accent to become the French Tickler while the sensuous Catwoman switches side to take on the role of the decidedly masculine Polecat with a marvellously defined tail.

Certainly not going to win an Oscar for Best Screenplay but man oh man, none of the bad boys are afraid to show off their considerable assets in this fiercely erotic caper - and sometimes that's really all we want, don'tcha think? Who cares about thespian skills when there's a pec shelf hard enough to stop speeding bullets?

Fear not, gentle readers. For those who prefer their heroes a little gay but far more sedate - and possibly less sexually adventurous, look no further than the other daring duo in Young Avengers, Wiccan and Hulkling. Troubled powerful teens with rampaging hormones... and yet they find themselves far too preoccupied with homework, housework and saving the planet from hostile alien conquerors.

What's a boy gotta do!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Counting the hours

What's the time now?

Used to find it hilarious that average 9-5 salarymen actually stand by the punch clock to watch, waiting for that precious moment when they'll be free from their job constraints. Although clocks abound in the hospital ( if they actually do function normally ), it's rare indeed that any of us actually has the luxury of going home at the appointed time - hence the frequent missed appointments and dates ( and the neverending barrage of furious heated messages from frustrated spouses / partners that come through during ward rounds that drag past the end of working hours ).

Coming home later from work is certainly part and parcel of the trade.

But like any other job, counting the hours till the end of the working day seems to be the norm. Especially since I'm actually doing it right now. Not only have I been doing frantic oncalls every other day for the past week, I haven't been sleeping all that well in between - making me unfortunately even crabbier if possible :P

And since I've fielded a thousand prodding questionaires from concerned relatives, replied hundreds of nagging questions from the nurses, glibly ordered dozens of investigations for various ill folks and successfully dodged the self-esteem crushing bullets from my stern superiors, I am actually... dead on my feet. Feel like my head's gonna leak out of my skull at any moment. :)

Which is why I'm counting the hours.

YAH!
Wouldn't you run home to this guy!

Really, let's update that familiar adage about schoolgoing kids. Salarymen walk to work but they run home. Well, at least the borderline sane ones do. :)

Fortunately music does soothe the beast. I have an MP3 player courtesy of a forgetful Strapping Shane who left it behind to use and abuse ( in lieu of leaving himself behind to use and abuse, I guess ) - though it plays the most peculiar collection of songs. Young folks are certainly listening to the oddest music these days ( maybe it's the broadcasting gene ). SR71? Cut Copy? The Fray? Tsukiko Amano anyone?

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Endless Patience

Patience.

Yeah. I've decided it's certainly not one of my strong suits. Confirmed that fact today when I found myself getting progressively grumpier as I drove in monotonous circles around the dark, dank interiors of a suburban shopping mall in search of that elusive parking space. Seems like everyone and their sainted mother was going mall-hopping today and I'd gotten caught in that particular sticky web of traffic ( since obviously generic family minivans tend to operate at a snails pace ).

Compounded by the fact that I'd gotten little to no sleep during my oncall the night before, I was literally gritting my teeth, just bare inches from reaching out of the car to violently manhandle the nearest unfortunate driver to release my pent-up frustrations. Or perhaps to throttle and bitchslap the next blithering idiot wandering aimlessly in search of their vehicle only to find it in the next lane - or the next floor!

Fortunately Charming Calvin was at hand to soothe the beast.

YAH!
Yeah. I need to cool down!

Still that waste of my half hour searching had me zipping off in a huff at the end - in search of greener, less populated pastures.

Those who know me would probably say that I'm characterized by a near jittery maniacal intensity, akin to the eternally vibrating Sonic the Hedgehog, influencing all my deeds and actions. Unfortunately living in that particularly high energy, permanently high-velocity speed makes me sometimes slightly impatient... when it comes to work. When it comes to leisure. When it comes to life sometimes.

Perhaps I hate to be left waiting twiddling my thumbs. Perhaps it's all due to the fact that my time is precious and sorely limited - hemmed in by the impossible constraints of the job. Perhaps it's because I'm part of a fast-moving, mobile generation that demands speedy near-immediate satisfaction where the simple word patience has become almost a taboo.

Or perhaps it's plain genetics - and I'm just a plain impatient kinda guy.