Wednesday, January 31, 2007

You've been Screened

I'll admit the worst.

Although not many would admit it ( the shame! ), I believe everyone has done it at least once in their lives. Some people do it furtively in the dark hoping no one ever discovers their deep dirty secret while some honourable souls tend to do it only when pushed by extenuating circumstances. Me? Of course Charming Calvin has his suspicions but he'll never spill my secrets ( unless he gets tickled mercilessly in the right spots ) while my ISO, that wicked wicked man, does the same nefarious deed but he's not exactly the sort of shining example you seek to emulate.

Haven't been indulging in that disgusting habit all that long actually but my work seems to have affected it adversely, possibly making it worse. All depends on the time and circumstance of course but yeah.... I really do screen calls occasionally. Most especially calls that are foreign to me - obviously without caller id.

Josh DuhamelSeriously. It's embarassing to have the cellphone trigger off during a busy ward round, having it trill endlessly with everyone stopping in their tracks to stare balefully at the unexpected interruption. Or even worse so when my hands are busy juggling IV cannulas, dangerous drugs and thrashing patients ( or demanding nurses? ) - perhaps not the best time to have Gwen Stefani croon Wind it Up.

Or goodness gracious, when I've finally gotten five precious minutes off from a hectic workday to finally rest my head on the couch ( or some forgotten gurney somewhere ).

So my cell is usually set in silent mode which gives me the time to check out the eligibility of the caller before picking up the call. Horrible but it's a necessity sometimes. Trust me, even Calvin gets screened which is why he's stopped calling ( unless in the event of a dire emergency - lately covering the patent inability to cover his medical bills ) which is why we've resorted to an SMS relationship.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Cents of a Calvin

Ancient Chinese anthologies frequently tell the terribly cliched tale of the destitute but desperately filial orphan who finds himself having to sell off all his threadbare material goods - and finally bartering himself into slavery - just to pay off his recently deceased father's extortionate burial expenses. With each variation of the oft-repeated tale like many a repeated rumour, it tends to get a bit more outlandish - though none to compare with my particularly licentious thoughts of authoritarian masters and submissive slaves.

Did I mention whips?

But I digress.

Though it certainly exists in certain marginalized pockets of society, it's hard to imagine in these days of bourgeouis capitalism someone driven to such straitened circumstances as indentured servitude. Though I am sure there are more than a few who have had to resort to nefarious means of recovering their wealth, I doubt many would even think of offering themselves up for slavery to recoup their losses. Then yesterday I came to realize that not all old folk tales are plain hearsay and some are actually based on real life. Since everyone likes a little allegory every once in a while, come sit ye down and let me tell you a story.

Take these with a pinch of salt and call me in the morning!

Once upon a time ( well, actually just yesterday morning ), a sweet charming fella somewhere abouts in the verdant gardens of Cheras found himself profoundly stricken by a mysterious malady. Rising up from his slumber with bones aching and seemingly aged with disease, he dug around in his belongings in search of coin but found his pockets utterly to let. Not only was our hero desperately mired in debt, he found himself without a single cent to call his own, hardly enough to even purchase the services of a travelling medical practitioner.

Without giving up hope, the poor man bravely made his way to the doors of several respected financial institutions in search of a credit loan ( though hopefully no clandestine visits to the ubiquitous limb-hacking ah beng loan sharks ) but summarily found himself being turned away due to equally mysterious circumstances. The Mystery of the Disappearing Credit anyone? No one could tell what exactly had gone wrong but I believe an inexplicable glitch in the computer system could have been the culprit ( but this is a pseudo-medieval folk tale after all! ).

Desolation and despair shook his very soul but he wasn't one to give up all hope. So instead of seeking help from his equally beleaguered friends ( or rather than accept charity ), our depressed discomfited hero resolutely sought refuge several miles away - farther than the crow flies, I'm sure - in a suburban strip mall as he busked to earn dollars and cents to pay his medical bills. Possibly strumming Nobody's Child as sympathetic passersby in the mall tossed spare change into his precious money hat.

Fortunately there was just enough made from his earnings to supply him with enough herbs and medicines ( from a medical charlatan no doubt ) to last a week. All's unwell that ends well.

And I hear tell his partner's a physician. Sigh. What is the world coming to?

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Wouldn't it be Loverly

Like a surprising majority of gay men, I was brought up - stereotypically enough - with a staple diet of terrifically gay musicals. All of my bad stormy days were soothed by the happy thought of raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens. Even my initial break up with my ISO had Nellie Forbush vigorously washing that man out of her hair in the background - interspersed with Eliza Doolittle defiantly ( and grammatically incorrect ) telling her learned tormentor Just You Wait.

Ooh, raindrops on roses!

Happy days were different of course and there were days when the corn grew high as the elephant's eye that I was only too glad to wake up singing Oh What a Beautiful Mornin! And if my feet start to move, I'll know it's alright since I can only dance all night on the street where you live.

Of course not overjoyed enough that I start enjoying being a girl like Linda Low Kwan in Flower Drum Song. Swear it would take more than a hundred million gender-bending miracles for that - although I did dream of dancing in a wondrous billowing dream of cream and silver on a marble floor in ancient Siam with the stern King.

Came as quite a surprise today to learn that my sweet Charming Calvin has been ensconsced in a time warp all these years isolated from all these great old melodies. Seems like I've been the only one staying up late nights on weekends catching up with the old greats. All the time I've babbled endlessly about musicals must have sounded like freaking Bloody Mary doing the Happy Talk to him.

To me, the Sound of Music only brings to mind the guitar-crazed Fraulein Maria ( after her wild mountain climbing days ) and her unfortunately deprived Aryan wards in pre-WWII Salzburg but to my MTV-generation-boy Calvin, all he can think of is Gwen Stefani hamming it up in Wind it Up. And My Fair Lady doesn't have a brash flower-girl getting all uppity but instead, he only has licentious thoughts of a fair fergilicious dutchess going down like a London Bridge.

Shockingly bad education, I know :)

Still Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man but I guess I know what he's going to be getting for presents every year from now on. A gift of music. Now, wouldn't that be loverly?

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Carmen Gets Her Groove Back

Everytime I think of subscribing to the notion of the established gay man happy in suburbia with his domestic partner and adopted indigent Himalayan children, I quickly have a rethink - especially lately when I've volunteered for the task of occasionally babysitting for my brother.

Don't get me wrong. Really, my niece is a darling. In the early mornings when she first wakes up all fresh from a good night's sleep ( if she ever gets one without the occasional nightmarish awakening ), you'll believe that butter won't melt in Chatty Carmen's pretty cupid bow's mouth. We have our morning breakfast with pancakes and orange juice while grooving to Beyonce - believe me, Carmen makes a mean impression while babbling the entire lyrics to Irreplaceable!

Groovy baby!

Seriously. You'll actually be fooled into thinking that little girls are actually made up of sugar and spice, and everything nice.

Those who've handled children in the terrible two stage would know that this sweet phase is only temporary before the inevitable transformation. Honestly after hours of close observation, I am starting to believe that's only one of her budding personalities. Depending on the hour, the seasonal weather and possibly her swinging hormonal imbalances ( acute infantile PMS? ), the tempestuous tyke takes on several distinct personas throughout the day from Cute Cooing Carmen who sings songs to chattering bluebirds in the garden - to the horrific near-demonic Crying Crabby Carmen who tosses Lego bricks aside in her mini King Kong impersonation.

Really. When crabby Carmen's throwing one of her tearful tantrums - and coming close to dramatically twisting her head 360 degrees, I swear I'm this close to calling the nearest amateur exorcist at hand to remove the vengeful spirit that seems to have possessed her. Other than a quick, cleansing splash of holy water, I'm not sure what else to do apart from standing at a decent distance while staring in fearful astonishment.

Obviously not ready to be a full-time father at the present moment. But then I guess real-time experience does help. After a thousand nights of dealing with a maddening monster, I guess even a relative bumbling amateur figures out some novel ways of dealing with the problem. At the moment ( nearly tearing my hair out with frustration ) unfortunately I can only think of several drops of Chloral Hydrate.

Not exactly a paediatrician-sanctioned way of dealing with a cranky child.

Wonder how Charming Calvin would deal with Crabby Carmen - or any other infants to come. Doubt even his vaunted sleepiness would hold under her ear-splitting sonic screams. :) With his penchant for ironing, bet he'd enjoy doing the extra laundry though.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Alternative Roads

There comes a certain point in life when we all stand at a crossroads, wondering which path to take, or even wondering if the road taken was even the right one. My turn hasn't arrived yet so far since all I see ahead of me is a long straight road with several seemingly insurmountable obstacles ahead - but with a destination that I'm somewhat contented with. Certain other desirable detours I'd love to take along the way but I'll come along to that decision once I reach it.

Not everyone is that happy with the road they've chosen though. With the unbearable stress of dealing with downsizing projects, unreasonable clients and far more disapproving bosses, seems like Big Bicep Barry has come to his own unfortunate crossroads lately. Fortunately he has abandoned any wayward plans of running away to set up a lucky tiki / vegetarian alfalfa produce shop on a tropical island somewhere as Beach Bum Barry.

Barry : Not sure what else I can do.
Paul : You could always go back to your primary degree.
Barry : Accounting?
Paul : True. I can't imagine you crunching numbers but you could be the hottie Clark Kent of accounting.
Barry : Hmmm...
Paul : Gym instructor?
Barry : Also possible.
Paul : Hate to tell you this again but male burlesque?
Barry : No!
Paul : Maybe a swimsuit model.
Barry : Not gonna happen. Hate Speedos. Prefer board shorts.
Paul : Hello, have you seen Daniel Craig? HAWT!
Barry : Very funny. Can you imagine me in Speedos? I'd be close to bursting.
Paul : Exactly my point.
Barry : That's not what I meant!
Paul : Can't you just leave me with my prurient fantasies?

Not sure what the man's gonna decide in the end ( not that I was much of a help :P ) but after I talked him down from his highly stressed state I think he might stick it out for a little while longer. After all, it's a family business.

Beach Bum Barry?

Financial woes have a way of changing one's perspective of course. Charming Calvin has just started on his own road but he's already finding it hard staying the course. Seems like he's questioning whether he picked the right career path especially since there's very little job satisfaction in what he does - and so he claims, very little monetary renumeration as well.

Just like Barry, poor Calvin has shown signs of veering off the engineering highway to find greener pastures in alternative careers such as education. Certainly the last field I'd have chosen myself since not only do I have passing acquiantance with the unforeseen difficulties of being a teacher ( seeing that both my parents have dabbled somewhat in education ), it's quite obvious that I also don't have the required temperament.

Student : Sir, could you explain again?
Paul : I just did that. Twice.
Student : But I didn't understand all that well the first time.
Paul : Tough.
Student : Sir, please.
Paul : Do I have to write it out for you? Perhaps print out little flash cards?
Student : Uh.
Paul : Google it!


Of course if the student resembled a hot version of Chris Evans / Brandon Routh even in the slightest, things could be different.

Hottie legal-aged student : Sir, could you explain this again?
Paul : No problem. Take off your shirt. Maybe the tight tee is constricting your thoughts.
Hottie legal-aged student : But ...
Paul : On second thought, take off your pants too.

Hmmm... I'd be tempted to reconsider my poor teaching attempts but even then, I'd still be wishing sorely for a caning rod ( Oooh... S&M! ). Patience isn't my strong suit, I'm afraid.

No, I am not cut out to be a teacher. Learnt my hard lesson years back during my house officer days when I attempted - and failed - to guide a budding student ( who'd found herself sadly stuck in the hospital after an appendicectomy ) through the divine art of geometry. Only the Hippocratic Oath kept me from strangling the sadly bewildered girl, I'm sure.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Bloggers Bloc

Time really does move when you're having fun.

Or at least it does when the savvy retailers say so. Just barely after the last tinsel and holly has been taken down, red packets and peach blossoms are already festooning the hallways of the local shopping malls. Hell, I haven't even gotten over the bad eggnog of Christmas Past and the novel thought of 2007 hasn't even sunk in, and now I've got to get ready for Chinese New Year?!

Has it been that long?

It has also taken me this long to realize that it's been almost two years since I started writing this blog - and boy, things certainly have changed. When I first started, blogs were inconsequential little diaries written by so-called nobodies in cyberspace for the amusement of their close peers. Few people even know what blogs actually meant.

Since then, bloggers have started attracting wide mainstream attention, veering away from trivial thoughts about mundane everyday life to sharp, witty commentaries on the current issues and political affairs - which obviously hasn't endeared many of them to the dogmatic authorities. However, the recent furore with two of Malaysia's most prominent political pundits / bloggers ( Jeff Ooi and Rocky Bru ) being sued for defamation by a noted news publication seem to have had the opposite effect on most bloggers.

Rather than lie low and suffer in silence, the defamation suit seems to have brought bloggers out of every nook and cranny in support for one of their own. Suddenly lawyers ( who probably blog in secret ) are offering pro bono work and there's even talk of setting up a fund to defend them, as well as other unfortunate bloggers who might face the same problems in the future.

Don't get me wrong. There should be maximum freedom of expression for everyone but the undisputed rights of the individual not to be defamed shouldn't be ignored either. I wholly support democracy and the right of the publication to defend itself against any note of slander but honestly, their punitive legal action certainly smacks heavily of David versus Goliath.

And we all know how that ended, right?

But still this disturbing chain of events certainly sparked of a shocking solidarity amongst bloggers that's quite heartwarming to see. Virtual strangers are reaching out to help each other by virtue of freedom of expression.

Suddenly I am proud to be a Malaysian blogger.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Talk to Me

Every time there's a significant dearth in public issues to harp on, our savvy politicians tend to meander back to the heated issue of language, moaning and crying over the sad erosion of the English language in our country. Nothing like beating a long cremated horse to prove a point especially since hardly anyone would argue over the much-belaboured point that Malaysians seem to have lost their grasp on the language.

Yes. We do speak English over here although some might think otherwise ( those same folks who still think we wear grass skirts, worship stone idols and live on makeshift trees ) :)

Somehow during our first decades of independence in the desperate bid to uphold the sacred sanctity of our national language, we seem to have stubbornly turned our backs on the English language, seemingly the language of the colonialists. Obviously much to our own detriment. Not sure how we slipped from being world renowned for speaking the proper Queen's English ( surely earning the unadulterated praise of a certain Professor Higgins ) to having bumbling airline pilots who find themselves struggling to finish a prepared speech welcoming passengers aboard.

Seems like everyday that I manage to bump into an unlettered bumpkin who can hardly speak a word of English - or even Bahasa Malaysia for that matter - even after obviously suffering a decade of indifferent public schooling in both languages. Even my paltry attempts at trying to draw out something more than a monosyllabic grunt amounts to nothing.

Paul : Why are you here today? Any complaints?
Bumpkin : Uh. Ah.
Paul : Yes?
Bumpkin : Eh.
Paul : Kenapa? Encik boleh cakap dalam bahasa ke?
Bumpkin : Duh.
Paul : Ni hui buhui jiang hua yu?
Bumpkin : Uh.

At this point I'm usually found fuming with my hands bunched up to keep from committing bloody mayhem with my pointed pen. You can't believe how exasperating it is sometimes to find myself confronted with a confusing string of dialects.

Talk to me
Fortunately I didn't have this at hand...

Sad to say, most of the bumpkins above were brought up here in the city so the argument of city versus country education doesn't hold water here. For the sake of Charming Calvin who's probably raising a banner upholding Chinese education right about now, I could hope that they'd be able to carry a decent conversation in Mandarin ( and I'd be able to stumble blindly through along with them ) but it seems that majority seem to have spent their school years peddling pirated DVDs at the pasar malam - and obviously neglecting their more formal studies.

And I haven't even mentioned the so-called nationalistic homeboys who still insist on the superiority of the Malay language - and don't feel the least need to learn about anything outside their closed borders. Have they heard about that frog in a shell?

Don't get me wrong. I don't believe all of us should learn the language if we don't see a need - but after ten years of strict enforced learning in our schools, surely some of us would have picked up a smattering of pidgin English. Even if you spent the time daydreaming staring at the clouds like I did, some elementary knowledge must have at least seeped through that thick skull purely by osmosis. Hell, even my immigrant grandmother who literally stepped off a slowboat from China can understand rudimentary English.

And let's not forget the small but growing number of desperate housewives casually picking up foreign tongues on shockingly non-subtitled dramas on Astro Kirana. With the amount of serials we're bombarded with on a daily basis, don't be surprised to find our kids speaking in Vietnamese and Spanish soon.

At least that's what I thought of the average Malaysian before. Until I sifted through the entire plethora of Malaysian blogs and found that on a whole, we do still have a certain enviable international standard. A couple of blogs I've read so far ( complete with Shakespearean-like poetry! ) could give even a native speaker a run for his/her money so at least it's nice to know we don't all sound like disenfranchised illiterate baboons.

Or at least I hope I don't.

So all hope is not lost for Malaysians yet.

Monday, January 22, 2007



No matter how much we might publicly decry salacious rumours, deep inside we all just love listening to every juicy delicious detail. Nothing's quite as morbidly fascinating especially when it's happening to that seemingly perfect Stepford neighbour.

Although I've been a target of such malicious rumours as well, I don't mind them. Much. Come on, if they actually stopped talking about me, I'd have to be dead I'm sure. After all your envious rivals would talk regardless of what you allegedly did, your true friends wouldn't care anyways so who does it actually hurt?

These days I find the rumour mill refreshing actually, solid proof that the world does go on, that people continue living their lives one day at a time - and the rest continue talking about what they did. Hardly any news passes by the immense hospital grounds that my trusty nurses haven't gotten wind of it. Every wicked little caper. Every sordid little affair. Every little piece of dirt some poor soul thought was forever swept beneath the carpet.

Believe me, my nurses and my colleagues are better at digging for character assasinating information than all three CSI teams put together.

Then I hear about this from a little bird.

Fit Fred was a colleague of mine back when we were slogging through school. Never really got all that close to him despite our shared schedules and co-curricular activities. Laidback, easygoing guy with a near-spotless reputation ( apart from a few mindless juvenile antics ), liked by most who knew him. Still last I saw of him, he'd settled down considerably with a stable career, gotten happily married with two kids - and possibly more to come.

What did you hear about me?

And then I hear that little rumour. Not only infidelity but deviant little tricks behind dark leafy bushes with men of a similar persuasion. Am I shocked? Yes. Am I appalled? Yes, since I've always abhorred infidelity. Am I amused? Once I got over the initial astonishment, hell yeah!

Although my macho friend always displayed a healthy interest in girls, I'd always found it a little forced, perhaps a little overdone... but then I could be imagining that. Sure I've always thought that he had a certain quality but at that time being overcome by pesky hormones, I imagined everyone ( including my grandmother ) had that quality. Still I never imagined that Fred would start picking up comely fellas over at the town park / public facilities ala George Michael.

Rumours. You just never know what you're going to hear once you place your ear to the ground. Next I'll hear that one of my colleagues has decided to headline a Vegas drag show.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Bitemporal Romance

Been a lot of talk about love lately.

Swear I haven't turned into a sighing lovesick fool - but it's hard not to talk about it when the weekend comes around and I spend my time with Charming Calvin catching up on movies that we've both missed ( rare, I know but we do miss out on a few gems here and there ).

Most of my friends know that I'm not a fan of movies with contrived tragic endings ( Up Close and Personal, anyone? ) so I tend to stay away from any movie that even vaguely hints at an untimely demise for either one of the protagonists. Come on, I don't want to spend two hours getting emotionally involved with an intriguing character only to have them plunge off a deadly ravine to their grisly deaths at the last minute. Suffice to say, I've never actually enjoyed the tragic Shakespearean Romeo and Juliet. Always say that a well-deserved spanking would have done the lovelorn balcony-loving pair much good.

Which is how I deliberately missed the Lake House when it came around the cinemas first time around.

Surely the premise of the movie with two unwitting lovers separated by a span of two years but mystically connected by a time-travelling mailbox (?) bodes ill for the ending. Especially the fact that the movie essentially begins with the shocking fatal accident of an unknown young stranger in the arms of the protagonist, Kate Forster - which then leads her to the refuge of the serene lake house.

Come on, even a blind bat can see where the plot's going.

But suspend all logic and belief, dismiss the many credibility gaps here and there ( like the amazing shady tree in front of her apartment building ) riddling the plot with holes like Swiss Cheese - and you'll find two believably appealing characters who fall in love in the most fantastical circumstances.

Alex Wyler ( played by the charmingly dishevelled Keanu Reeves ) is a disgruntled architect with an estranged parent who makes the old lake house his sanctuary while Kate Forster ( played by Sandra Bullock ), a depressed physician finds peace in the same lake house that she once lived in with her ex boyfriend. Both live in the same improbably unstable glass-and-steel contraption by the lake but separated by a gap of two years. Time-travelling paradoxes don't seem to confound either one of them and they are both soon sending pensive love notes and playing imaginary dates through their trusty magical mailbox / chat room.

Keanu Reeves
Dude, I've got mail...

As they start making serious commitments through their intimate epistolary tango - despite the seemingly insurmountable chronological obstacles, the couple make plans to meet at a fancy restaurant named Il Mare ( paying homage to the Korean film that this movie was based on ) in 2006, but later she shows up and spends the entire evening alone waiting. What could have happened to him in those intervening years? Happily married with three kids? Civil partnership with another man!? Won the lottery with the numbers she gave? A new career in the wilds of Alaska? Or are there far more sinister reasons behind his no-show?

Really. Just leave your scientific thinking cap behind, concentrate hard on the sappy romance and you'll be able to sit through the movie. Otherwise the obvious time misalignment ( and the mind-boggling alternate realities ) would give you a severe migraine.

But as all time-travel romances, it does beg the eternal question on how long you would wait for someone you love. Do you put your life on hold for two years placing all your bets on a cherished relationship that might not even materialize? Or do you move on with what you've already got in hand?

Keanu Reeves
I'd pick his cherry anytime...

And hey in spite of it all, I'm still a fan of the wooden, expressionless Keanu. Somehow he gives off a laidback, cool dude vibe that you can't help but like. How else could I have enjoyed the otherwise mediocre Walk in the Clouds?

Saturday, January 20, 2007

First Throes of Love

As I watch my young friend go through the throes of a first love, I marvel at the sheer energy it takes. Looks like it might be dead exhausting ( weeping one minute, laughing the next ) at times. And yet I find myself just a little envious.

Patrick Dempsey
Come tell me about love...

Nothing's quite the same as falling in love that first time after all. In that first flush of youth when we meet that seemingly perfect paragon ( before we start dissecting to find out all the flaws and that clubbed foot ), we all fall in love - and if we're very lucky, that divine someone happily reciprocates. Then it's all endless days of wine and roses, neverending nights of champagne and chocolates.

After all the birds and the bees do it, even educated fleas do it :)

In the sweet wonder of a first love, everything seems to come alive somehow. Practically a zip a dee doo dah day everyday - the colours are brighter, the feelings clearer, the sounds louder and somehow more alive. Amazing, but it's like getting all the five senses ( maybe sixth if you're paranormal ) supercharged by that indescribable new emotions called puppy love. Anything's possible.

However the course of true love never did run smooth. Even mini-breakups are filled with thunder and fury, little tsunamis in a teacup start teetering and threatening to topple from the edge. So much anger, tension and drama that even a Venezuelan tearjerker telenovela could compare. Quite possible that they do believe in Robert Browning that without love, earth is like a tomb.

Then age catches up, the sense get dulled and the bittersweet combination of heartbreaking disappointments and fallen wishes start building a prickly emotionless shell around the heart. A little sad but true. I'd love to feel like I could dance all night again but these days, I tend to tread a bit softly rather than follow where fools rush in.

Still, one of my favourite paragraphs about love comes from Dr Iannis in Captain Corelli's Mandolin.

Love is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion. That is just being "in love" which any of us can convince ourselves we are.

Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Your mother and I had it, we had roots that grew towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossoms had fallen from our branches we found that we were one tree and not two.

Some blame for my newfound cynicism has to go to my past experience with love which is why I had a chat with my ISO while I waited for Charming Calvin to pack his entire wardrobe into a minute suitcase for our weekend getaway.

Paul : What's wrong with us?
My ISO : What? You wanted to wail and moan about love? We'd have driven each other crazy in two days. Face it, we're not the die-without-love type.
Paul : Weren't we ever that passionate?
My ISO : Bet it would be exhausting but I believe we were. Didn't I have a lovely lamp in my place before you broke it?
Paul : I tripped over it.
My ISO : That's what you always say.
Paul : You're right. I should have hurled it at your face.
My ISO : But it's such a pretty face.
Paul : And I didn't break it on purpose.
My ISO : You did.

And no. I didn't break his lamp on purpose.

Friday, January 19, 2007


Although I do indulge in a fair bit of impromptu shower concerts, I've never actually gone public with my shameful vocals. Unlike Big Bicep Barry who has a surprisingly pleasant singing voice to go with that tough physique ( as he once surprised me one drizzly night in November ), most of my vocal acrobatics are done indoors in the privacy of my bathroom. I've heard myself after all, I can carry a reasonable tune - enough that I don't have the audience lobbing rotten tomatoes at me - but I'm certainly no legendary Orpheus bringing the dead back to life.

Never could understand untalented blokes who display their pathetically minimal talent to the unappreciative audience in those hideous joints we call karaoke. Sure sweet Charming Calvin might have been swayed by the seductive siren pull of the mystical Red Box KTV but I'm hoping to pull him back from the disastrous brink before the change becomes irreversible.

Oh yeah, idolize me!

So what brings all the freaks to town for an Idol audition? Seriously every time the infamous Idol bandwagon comes around, seems like every deformed tune-deaf nutcase crawls out of the hidden cracks to perform their own awful song-and-dance number just for their two seconds of fame. Exactly what could they be thinking of? Have they gone totally deaf? Haven't they heard themselves sing?

Self-absorbed, overly confident buffoons that pompously claim to be the next world-famous operatic diva ( after being puffed up by their equally hearing challenged relatives ) but turn out sounding akin to miserable croaking frogs. Is it any wonder that the stern judges sometimes find themselves utterly at a loss after an inhuman rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody from a Kelly Clarkson wannabe?

Honestly I blame the parents and everyone else around them. Look I'm not a fan of negative criticism ( leading to years of low self-esteem and endless sessions of therapy ) but sometimes going to the other extreme with too much positive encouragement can't be good either. After little Willy has been inundated with floods of senseless praise for his yearly amateur performances by his doting parents, how is he ever going to deal with the grim, demoralizing wake-up call from the judges?

But really, I know you have ten years of vocal training from a tone-deaf teacher and a degree of performance from the University of Nitwits but...
You can't sing to save your life. Get off the stage.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Road to Splitsville

What do you do in the event of a breakup?

Let's face it, all of us ( excepting those lucky few who meet their twin souls in infancy ) have been through an excruciating breakup that involved name-calling, plate-smashing and possibly car-jacking.

Okay, maybe not the car-jacking for everyone else.

Sad to say in the shockingly evanescent world of gay relationships, a committed relationship is anything that lasts beyond that second date and the fortunate couple that goes beyond the month threshold seem almost set for matching wooden rockers in front of the nursing home. Contrast this with the extreme of our speedy lesbian sisters who tend to start shopping for matching china and that comfy minivan right after saying good night on their first date. :)

It's barely two weeks into the new year and I've already seen two relationships steadily crumble into nothingness. Certainly not an encouraging sign for the rest of us but hey, we still soldier on, picking up the pieces and moving on.

After the dust of a forgotten relationship has settled ( along with tossing out the broken glass, his leftover shirts and various lovey-dovey mementoes ), it's time to move on. Some immediately leap into disastrous rebound relationships though I doubt the efficacy of this particular solution ( unless it's leaping into a bed with me! :) ). Some would advocate cruel sadistic punishment for the ex ( did anyone say me? ) but honestly it's a futile attempt that only makes the recent split much harder and painful than it's supposed to be. Much easier to just walk away and leave it all behind. Let sweet Karma deal with the rest.

It's a break
On a break...

Although we all have our own ways of dealing with the loss, my friends and I ( and possibly some helpful tips from talk-queen Oprah ) have discovered that some things are essential for the recovery period.

1) Showers
Seriously. After that first few days of indulging in bouts of grief while pouring out forgotten grievances to the understanding teddy ( and listening to endless renditions of All By Myself ), it's time for a hot shower. Puffy tear-stained faces, nasty bedhair and six days body odour doesn't help make you feel better. Get into the shower.

2) Support Shoulders
Really we all need that shoulder to cry on - and even in the most abusive fucked-up relationships, all of us mourn that particular loss. It's human after all. Preferably more than one shoulder to cry on of course since endlessly weeping weenies do tend to wear out even the most steadfast best friend. You'll hear your share of 'this too shall pass' and 'other fish in the sea' but bear with it. It's far better than 'I told you so'.

Unfortunately if you dated your best friend ( like I did ), it's going to be one tough lonely road.

3) Comfort food
Bet all the gym-bound gay boys are staring in utter astonishment but this does help. Could tell you all about stimulating endorphins and all that rubbish but why bother when we all now the indescribable feeling of sinking into that delicious bowl of peanut butter chocolate ice-cream on a hot summer's day? Food is not love of course but one small bowl isn't going to tip that dieting gay boy into Michelin Man world.

And if you're worried about turning into the post-breakup blimp, there's always seaweed, celery sticks and wheat crackers though I doubt the effect would be half as good as chocolate chip cookies :)

4) Blog / Journal
Well, what can I say? I'm a guy who lose himself by writing as it helps me focus my thoughts ( no matter how insanely erratic they might sound sometimes :) ) Provides a reasonably cathartic outlet for the anger, the pain and all those red-hot emotions running through - which helps distract from the vengeful criminal ideas that can sometimes land one behind bars.

5) Books / Movies
Some would indulge in a mindless marathon of weepy melodramas and disastrous Romeo-and-Juliet tragedies but I certainly wouldn't recommend such a move. Give the tearducts a break. Humour and laughter would be an easier way to go and would also offer a temporary respite from the relentless Kleenex mauling.

After you've packed all his stuff into a box to the left ( as Beyonce advocates ) and realized that he's not irreplaceable, the good news is life does get better. The hurt takes a while to heal but hopefully there will come a day when you'll share lunch with the ex, smiling and laughing about what happened before. Of course I'll stick my ISO with the bill but that's something else altogether :)

So how do you get over a broken heart?

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Broken Resolutions

Well, it certainly didn't take long for me to break one of my resolutions :) Barely two weeks in the new year and I'm already sliding towards the dark side - but I guess you can say that there were aggravating factors in the form of the Sith.

Just imagine this hypothetical situation.

Finished work today when my colleagues and I were discussing several cases by the counter when a tempestuous whirlwind of heat, rage and blue scrubs stormed through the doors. Scalpel Sith certainly knew how to make an enviably diva-ish entrance and it wasn't long before she was on a misguided tirade as she lambasted one of my stunned colleagues about a patient recently discharged.

Not only did she get her facts absolutely wrong, she spoke in such an inelegant, unpolished manner that I quite imagined she was possibly brought up in an unrefined, ill-bred den of iniquity.

Some would cower in fear from the unprecedented attack, some would flee from the menacing adversary - but all I could feel were my horns slowly, steadily erupting from my head. My far more genteel colleagues were shell-shocked at the sheer uncivilized savagery and could hardly speak to save their lives but I could hardly hold my own tongue still. Didn't bite her head off of course - remained perfectly civil and courteous throughout the conversation though it was hard to keep the sheer glacier-cold sarcasm from creeping into my voice. Hard not to since I was practically staring chilly daggers at her.

Hot Blond
The devil's back!

Really. Is professional courtesy a sad thing of the past? Are impromptu raging tirades her way of communicating her hidden inner conflicts, a secret cry for help perhaps? Not sure what prompted her sudden attack ( PMS? Mood swings? Upset stomach? ) but she certainly got some of her own in return. Probably off licking her fatal wounds right now ( or cowering in embarassment after her uncool behaviour ) after I slashed her back in return.

In a well-bred manner of course.

Yes. Meowr. Saint Wicked is back.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Back to School

You know what. There's certainly no need to relive your past and change it especially when you can do it the virtual reality way. This weekend I went back to school and decided to change how I did things the first time around. Certainly no more Mr Nice Guy. No more attending classes on time. No more finishing schoolwork regularly. No more making friends at break time.

Really. That's so 80s!

Not only am I a delinquent troublemaker named Jimmy Hopkins with a wicked sneer, a devilish crewcut and a juvenile rap sheet a mile long, I also have a new stepfather who's certainly mad enough with my antisocial behaviour to send me to the aptly named Bulworth Academy in the hopes of achieving the impossible.

Seems like pretty much the wrong move for reform since I immediately begin cutting classes, sneaking out of school by a secret passageway through the autoshop and playing truant in the nearby town, knocking down silly ex-beauty queens with my speedster bike, beating up innocent shoppers in the back alleys for their petty cash and generally raising hell in the previously serene little town.

Of course the long arm of the law is never too far away and I spend a large fraction of my time outrunning them. Once caught however ( if I find myself unable to stomp and shove my way free from the remarkably efficient coppers ), I find myself causing quite as much havoc back in school. What happens when I'm sent to a school where the inept administrators seem clueless that the whole campus is being ruled by incessantly warring social cliques.

Precocious little Bulworth Academy kids scream and shiver in fear of me as they soon find themselves unwittingly dunked in toilet bowls and stuffed into lockers when I'm close by. None of the usual teen school cliques are free from my near-psychotic mindless abuse - the jocks, the nerds, the prefects, the greasers, the preppy richboys... all get their share of stink bombs, rotten eggs, slingshots, firecrackers and their regular helping from my handy fists.

Of course school isn't all mischief, torture and gangfights since I do take the time to learn all about the birds and the bees. Although juvenile Jimmy is barely up to my shoulder in real life, he certainly makes it up in oodles of charm since the boy manages to get around with the oddly susceptible ladies - from the misunderstood Goth princess to the snooty undisputed queen of high school, all fall easy prey to his sloppy preteen kisses. Not even the boys are left out since Trent Northwick, the blond teengod finds himself all too willing to succumb to Jimmy's charms ( although the hard-to-get stud does demand some romance, love and attention first in the form of some freshly-cut blossoms ).

Hot Blond
I'm too sexy for this shirt!

And that's not counting the other easily swayed boys... Vance, Cornelius, Gord and Kirby... who seem to enjoy having that bit of extracurricular boy-on-boy saliva-swapping on their resumes.

Best of all, fervent kissing restores health. Don't forget that, lil girls and boys ( of a reasonably legal age of course )!

Bulworth Hottie
But I'm shy and I'm keeping my shirt on!

Other than that little bit of shocking homosexuality, it's certainly a clean-cut PG-13 game though since drugs and alcohol are literally banned from the premises - and there aren't any shady dealers lurking around the school fences either ( believe me, I looked ... hard ). And for a bunch of troublesome testosterone-driven boys, there's surprisingly little sex going around for these monkish celibates since nothing happened no matter how hard I tried to get into the horny, terribly willing preppie Gord's pants ( believe me, I tried... hard ). After all, he did invite me to check out his new trousers.

There's not even a meltingly hot Bel Ami shot of the boys soaping it up in the gym shower!

Guess not everything's that great in virtual world after all :)

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Man Dates, Boy Toys

Haven't had a sleepover since.... well, since my irrepressible schooldays when my classmates and I ran through endless hours of UNO, Trivial Pursuit and every imaginable card game possible. No sharing of secret hopes and dreams over frilly pink pillows, boxes of chocolates and Barbies please. Hey, I'm a prancing homo but we're still boys after all.

Sleepovers conjure up all sorts of possibilities from mind-blowing horror midnight movie marathons that leave the rapt viewers dead hoarse in the morning ( from all the nonstop screaming ) to furious playstation sessions that leave the thumbs screaming instead - and in the eyes of the regular red-blooded heterosexual boy, eventually leading to the usual soft-porn girl-on-girl slumber party / pillow fight in slinky negligees and teddys. In my eyes of course, a sleepover is always virile, oiled up men in dank secret dungeons getting ready for some wild man-on-man action but then again, I've always had an overly licentious imagination.

Sleeping man

Fortunately for the relatively innocent Strapping Shane, I forbore on the leather straps and slick baby oil leaving his so-called Azoth intact :P - and instead we all took turns escaping from villainous mercenaries, prankster aliens and wayward ronin in a virtual reality extravaganza. What a waste, I know. We could have been traversing the unimaginable heights of human ecstasy instead. :)

But boys will be be boys after all.

Far from his usual taciturn guise of the Lord of Perpetual Yawn, Charming Calvin was uncharacteristically sprite, chattering quite loquaciously with the occasional drunken idiom thrown in. No doubt the man downed quite a few tipples during his charity dinner last night - although he defensively proclaimed that he wasn't exactly three sheets into the wind :)

I'll grant him two sheets then.

Still it was well worth every potato chip, ngan yin peanut and coca cola bottle to finally see the nefarious Princess Allura reach her bloody end ( multiple ends and all ).

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Medicus and the Disappearing Hours

With a father who's an avid history buff with a shockingly well-stocked library filled with dusty historical tomes seemingly smuggled out of Alexandria, is it any wonder that I've always been relatively well-versed in the subject?

Although I might be relatively senile when it comes to mundane everyday matters ( such as paying bills and picking up essential household items ), I can still recall almost to the day the invasion of Malacca by the colonial-minded Portuguese. Not that the bewildered locals put up much of a fight if you ask me since sticks and stones can hardly be compared to cannons and gunpowder. While car license number plates remind people of all sorts of myriad occasions and situations, all I can think of are dates of important events such as 1511, 1826 and 1957.

Still I wasn't actually a huge fan of historical fiction till a friend of mine Ronin Ru kindly handed me the gift of a few volumes detailing the intrepid exploits ( and wickedly dry humour ) of the infamous Roman agent Marcus Didius Falco and his patrician wife Helena.

Gerard Butler
A future Spartan!

That obviously led me to the dilapidated doors of Gaius Petreius Ruso, the long-suffering medic seconded ( a rash decision after a failed marriage ) to the untamed wild outpost of Roman Brittania after a seemingly successful stint in Africa. After arriving in the dreary gray climes of garrison town Dewa ( modern day Chester ), the down-on-his-luck doctor soon finds himself knee deep in mounting debts, struggling with mental block in his quest to write his medical bestseller, Concise Guide to Military First Aid, and in continual conflict with the supercilious bureaucratic administrators and the local disgruntled Britons.

His unhappy ex-wife has disappeared into the unknown, the weather is as lousy as the ill-equipped hospital and even the wine stinks as piss, but it seems that the despondent doctor's luck is about to change. The novel only starts to pick up when he finds himself the reluctant saviour of the injured slave girl with the beguiling eyes, Tilla - and inadvertently discovers a mysterious rash of disappearing dancing girls.

Now, what would any curious detective wannabe do?

Interesting enough to see how medicine is practiced in those ancient times - especially after actually standing myself in front of the ruins of a medical clinic in Ephesus. Analgesic opiates abound even in those times in the unprocessed form of the rare and expensive poppy flower but obviously doctors in those desperate times occasionally dealt with rougher, far more brutal methods of surgery. Occasionally a leather strap to the teeth - or even a swift kick to the head - is dealt out before amputating a diseased limb. Honestly can't even begin to guess how the eye surgeons back in ancient Rome worked on their cataracts.

Anaesthesia certainly has come a long way.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Green Eyes

A wise old lady once said that she'd take the time to pick more daisies if she could live her life again.

Pick more flowers!

Not that I'm already battling my twilight years at the moment but I do feel much the same ( especially right now when I have a set of chronically ill children who might not even have the chance to start their journeys ). By some odd unforeseen coincidence, I seem to have fallen into a group of like-minded individuals who are all at the least a handful of years younger - just imagine them all still in primary blues while I'm already finishing my secondary years and there you have the alarmingly significant age gap.

Even now trying to imagine Strapping Shane in blue shorts running about with chocolate ice-cream on his face boggles the mind. I'd probably have spanked him then for dirtying the carpet. I still would but for reasons entirely different now :P

Perhaps that age gap does make a difference. Sometimes I look at them struggling through their studies and find myself telling them to take it easy. Not to sweat the small stuff. That everything will somehow work out fine in the end.

Believe me when I think back to my schooldays ( seems so far away now! ), I recall the occasional fun times ( where I spent my time punkin my classmates ) but I also remember the tense nail-biting hours before the all-important exams, when missing a day of school work seemed so alarmingly calamitous. Getting a detention seemed almost akin to being imprisoned in Guantanamo to face merciless torturers. Not that my parents ever pressured me but I somehow had this unusual notion ( possibly coded in subliminal messages from my cunning parents ) that the entire universe would possibly come to a halting stop if I didn't clear my exams with a minimum CGPA.

How foolish, I know :)

If I could live those days all over again, I'd probably play truant more often. Skip more classes. Wouldn't worry all that much about homework. Even gotten drunk on cheap alcohol behind the storerooms and tossed up my lunch.

Life is short, kiddos.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Scarlet Tears on Cherry Blossoms

For those who are starting to believe that I might be the living incarnation of evil, you might not be too far from wrong. Not only have I started enjoying the far-from-innocent delights of Trapt, I have started out on an entirely new and far more nefarious mission.

Imagine seemingly serene 18th Century Japan with innocently wandering geishas in their pastel-coloured kimonos, pretty as cherry blossoms in the the height of spring, giggling as they charmingly tiptoe past the grinning gentlemen loitering in front of the many teahouses.

Here I come to spoil the day!

Then here comes me, the big bad Scorpion Samurai swaggering into town with my charmingly decorated Noh mask and unfortunately my far-less-charming gleaming ten-foot blade of burning death. And soon for no apparent reason ( other than some mild irritation over their good-hearted cheeriness ), the giggling geishas find themselves unwitting victims of an unprovoked assault, sliced and diced to pieces with their blood splattering the wooden screens while the stunned gentlemen find themselves struggling to keep their bowels from spilling out of their gaping abdomens while wriggling desperately on my stained sword. Grisly but true.

And in the Way of the Samurai, not only can we go about decapitating wayward European tourists with impunity ( who have an odd but extremely apt tendency to babble endlessly about harakiri ), we can also go local by randomly slaughtering umbrella-wielding Anglophile Japanese women, dismembering boring, chattering magistrates and slashing unfortunate herbalists - not to mention doing a dazzling three combo move on a trio of weight-challenged gossipy washerwomen.

Scorpion Samurai : Wash my undergarments, woman! What do you mean you think I'm the evil ronin slaughtering innocents? How dare you make such an accusation! Taste my blade!

The life of the Samurai is often one of modesty, patience, and discipline, but this game simply debunks all that since this is one game where free will reigns - a bloody reign though it might be. Refreshingly, based on the decisions that are made, we get to see different story sequences, battles, and characters. Shockingly almost anything goes. Short of physically accosting other characters in an amorous manner ( oddly Puritanical this game ), nothing seems to be sacred in this free-form, non-linear game. Holier-than-thou paragons would probably help the innocent and the poor while upholding truth, justice and the little japanese hamlet way - but servants of the dark side such as myself just thrive on chaos, mayhem - and the occasional screeching washerwoman disemboweled and hung on the clotheslines.

Scorpion Samurai : What do you mean my clothes aren't ready yet? Dry THIS!

Of course as in real life, in no time we start developing distressingly menacing reputations in the small village ( with the sadly depleting population ) and everyone is soon gunning for our blood ( usually the local village thugs ) - or else scurrying helter skelter at the sight of us ( geishas and other assorted gentlemen ). Which means sharpening our blades and swordsplay - and even more bloodshed.

Charming Calvin is getting really worried these days.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Life catches up

The new year always seems to be brimming with possibilities and beginnings but for some, it's just another arbitrary check on the calendar. Seems like Whispery Wilhelmina ( and her Wifely Woes ) isn't the only person dealing with some life crises lately.

Two guys who play significant roles in my life have been going through their own annus horribilis recently. Not my ISO of course who tends to glide through life like a trapeze with the greatest of ease, enviably enough.

The Currency Crisis of Charming Calvin

After all this time, I'm afraid I'm actually quite a high maintenance kinda dude. Although I don't mind the occasional roadside teh tarik or economy rice lunch, I tend to gravitate towards the finer things in life especially when it comes to dining out. With all the extravagant dinners in elegant restaurants that we've been to, seems like it's been taking a toll on poor Calvin's pockets as he finds himself verging onto the red at the end of each month.

Maybe I should sing for my supper...

Not that he's resorted to filing for chapter 11 yet ( or taking out loans from the dubious chinese moneylenders with a penchant for avant-garde paint jobs and hacking limbs ) but he's already scanning the perfect spots to set up busking, singing evergreen Chinese melodies for something more than a song.

The Big Bad Business of Big Bicep Barry

Life catches up with Big Bicep Barry as he finds the frustrations of the job finally getting to him. For him, I can truly empathize since I can't imagine driving up and down the West Coast on his black hulking SUV peddling his ample wares to grumpy unappreciative clients while fending off the unwelcome advances of big business broads - not to mention the disapproving scrutiny of his paterfamilias.

Barry : Feel like running away.
Paul : Your dad will just hunt you down. Where is he gonna find a marketing exec like you?
Barry : I'll change my name, settle down on an island paradise somewhere and become a beach / surfer bum. Life will be simple, I will have cheap fish and no stress.
Paul : Not to mention the wooden necklaces you love.
Barry : True.
Paul : You can even benchpress coconuts.

My brilliant earlier ideas for him to debut as a male burlesque dancer were brushed aside as he claimed to be a dim-witted klutz who didn't have the moves. Not sure what he meant by that since I doubt anyone actually pays attention to their exotic dance routine.

It's all about the package, dude!

Maybe I should pack and move...

He wasn't as amused by that spot of whimsy of course but I managed to talk him from ending his life on some godforsaken two-by-four tropical isle by offering to buy him a small cocktail umbrella though.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Some Like It Rough

Picture this. A dedicated physician with a thriving practice, a working engineer husband and two adorable kids. Sounds like the perfect Stepford family, doesn't it? But as usual, nothing is as immaculately Wisteria Lane picture-perfect as it seems behind closed French doors.

Tension mounts as angry voices are raised over trivial matters. Balled-up fists are poised to strike.

And then it happens. One hit.

What happens next?

Fortunately never been placed in that position since I know exactly what I would do. Hell hath no fury as a woman's anger but I can certainly raise some vindictive fire if I had to. Some rough-and-ready slam-on-the-wall sex is welcome enough but physical violence anywhere else is an anathema to me. God knows I'll probably be hauled into court for assault and battery ( if not cold blooded murder with my hands bloodied after my grisly trapts ) after taking that unwitting first lump or two. But that's all evil wicked Paul, and we all know what a vengeful Scorpion's vendetta can be like.

But for some ladies, spousal abuse can take different turns. Like me, some would stand and fight. Some turn and walk away. And there are some - like my friend Whispery Wilhelmina - who wipes away their disappointed tears, spreads foundation over their bruised eyes - and carefully bites their tongue the next time it happens.

Spousal abuse. It happens.

Hit me baby one more time?

And as much as I'd like to sympathize/empathize with their desperate plight, I always feel a maddening fury coming on instead. Surely the tendency is to blame the barbaric neanderthal of a husband but sometimes I think we have to look at the battered spouse too. Exactly what is going on in their heads? Have they all buried significant parts of their self-esteem - and possibly their spine - in their childhood closets sometime after their wedding day? Doesn't women's emancipation mean anything to them? What can they possibly mean by staying in such a broken lopsided marriage?

Whispery Wilhelmina : But it has never happened before and he promised...

Yeah. Promised that he'll change. Really? Does a raging leopard change its spots? I'll grant you that one redeeming chance but to take a beating time and again like the proverbial human punching bag while hoping beyond hope that something will change? What kinda seriously cock-eyed optimism is that?

Whispery Wilhelmina : But maybe it's my fault. I shouldn't have done...

Give in to him. Bend over backward ( easier without that spine after all ), will ya? A petty argument over bedlinen ends up in a bitter quarrel with flying fists? What happens next when something large comes up? A bloody machete? Getting tossed out of the 20-storey apartment through the window?

Whispery Wilhelmina : But I have to stay for the children...

For the sake of the children? Seriously? You think a child doesn't know when her mother pales at the sight of her father's anger? You think she doesn't hear her mother cry in the night on her pillow? And didn't she learn anything about the vicious cycle of abuse in medical school?

Still, I held my tongue as best I could. Was stunned as hell when she related bits of the tale to me ( more like I dragged it out of her ). Counselled her as much as I could ( without giving in to the need to throttle her for being such a submissive dolt ). Told her to seek help if she needs it. However all is well at the moment and she steadfastly claims her brutish husband remains attentive as ever without any signs of morphing into the violent beast.

But it only takes that small straw to break.

Adult life is certainly not all ha ha hee hee after all.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Crouching Monster Hidden Demon

If you'd recall the crazy tussle I had at work after the three kings left? Well, it was certainly a memorable event and I'd certainly have written about it if I wasn't half laughing ( and half tearing my hair in frustration ) still at the time.

Well you see we had this kid, a deceptively angelic child who'd taken a bad turn after both his kidneys failed for some obscure genetic reason - and by the time he turned up on the godforsaken doorstep of the emergency department, his bad blood was obviously percolating with myriad disposable wastes that his temporarily malfunctioning kidneys had just refused to offload. So obviously drowning in gallons of urea and creatinine, he's more than a little deranged, drowsy and disoriented. Really, it's quite possible to fluctuate between the three. Still, he seemed relatively docile in between, answering in a suitably polite sotto voce when questioned and all.

The Exorcist
Bad kidney be gone!

The Book of Revelations in the Bible says to beware of the Beast and his canny wiles. How terribly true. Similarly, the kid was suitably quiet and submissive till he arrived in the intensive care. Talk about awakening the beast by prodding it.

Blood taking is usual per new arrivals and we came over to him, explaining the minor procedure while preparing the local anaesthetic. And before you know it, the little brat opens his eyes, spews out his medication in a fit of blinding rage - and then out pours a filthy concoction of swear words, expletives and obscenities that even a crusty seasoned sailor would be proud of.

Fortunately I'd earlier ordered the doting mother out of the room for a moment while I finished my work, otherwise she'd be astonished to see her gently reared little darling cussing expletives that practically melted my ears - and probably seared the walls. And that was before he started trying out some of his crouching monster, hidden demon moves by attempting to launch himself into the air and helicopter-kicking the nurses.

If I wasn't cursing softly under my own breath - and struggling in vain to keep him still, I would have certainly found it secretly amusing. Here's this bucking bronco boy spewing out nasty profanities in much colourful detail ( seriously, there were characters, situations and subplots ) with me trying to keep my cool while the easily shocked nurses find themselves appalled - if not kicked into submission by his flying feet of death. One of his chubby fists even landed on my absentminded nurse's forehead leaving a pint-sized bruise. Fortunately she is used to wayward demonic children.

Honestly I half expected his head to swivel around 360 degrees ala Exorcist bad girl.

While I didn't have to resort to holy water and several verses of the Holy Book while subtly performing the sign of the cross, my nurses and I still had to try some WWF-sanctioned rough-and-ready methods to overpower the possessed creature of the damned before he threw himself off the bed. Endlessly patient exorcising reverend I am not. God would have forgiven us our many sins, I hope.

See why I'm glad my friends weren't around to witness my violent bar brawl with the pint-sized minion from hell? Still, he seemed to calm down a bit after we managed to clear him of his unearthly poisons with haemodialysis.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Struck by a Meme

Had a surprise visit at work from Charming Calvin and his cronies today at work. Shocking since I doubt the man would be able to find his way to the hospital without a clearly drawn map, a GPRS kit and an experienced Sherpa guide / tracker.

The Three Kings
We Three Kings Disoriented Are..

Although obviously Calvin has seen me on duty, my other friends haven't seen me running about in my blue scrubs and it certainly stunned Strapping Shane - secretly I think he probably assumed that I'd fabricated the fact that I was a doctor. Not sure if he even made off with a blue scrub of his own as a memento of his visit. :P

Had a short chat while they toured the uncharming environs of the hospital - possibly remarking at the dilapidated state of the building while getting the shivers over the palpable eerieness of the silent hallways ( reminiscent of screamer Silent Hill honestly ). Managed to grab some food when they came - if that's what they call the inedible matter served in the cafeteria. Luckily they left before one of my patients arrived causing a tempestuous scene punctuated by hysterical yells and karate kicks.

Since I expressed a peculiar fondness for memes just a few days back, I've been getting quite a few sent my way via e-mail. Fortunately having a calm period in between minor storms at work so I'm taking a quick break to reply a few.

1. The phone rings. Who do you want it to be?
The billion dollar lottery win.

2. When shopping at the grocery store, do you return your cart?
What else? Of course.

3. In a social setting, are you more of a talker or a listener?
A little bit of both though I tend to jump in here and there is the talker's slowing down.

4. If abandoned alone in the wilderness, would you survive?
Depending. Hope I would but chances are, I'd go insane from boredom staring at the trees.

5. Do you like to ride horses?

6. Did you ever go to camp as a kid?
Plenty of times. Too many to count.

7. What was your favorite board game as a kid?
Again, too many to count. I guess I do enjoy playing Careers, Cluedo and Trivial Pursuit.

8. If a sexy person was pursuing you, but you knew he/she was taken what would you do?
Hmm... tough question. Still, all's fair in love and war. If I were single, I'd be eminently flattered, flirt back and possibly end up in a messy entanglement.

9. Are you judgmental?
Read my blog and you'll know. I am. Terribly so.

10. Would you date someone with different religious beliefs?
Not a problem. Just read my pork love post.

11. Are you continuing your education?
YES. Sigh.

12. Do you know how to shoot a gun?
No, but certainly wouldn't mind learning.

13. If your house was on fire, what’s the first thing you’d grab?
Not sure. Possibly my laptop :P

14. How often do you read books?
On an hourly basis.

15. Do you think more about the past, present or future?
Do we even have to ponder about it? What's past is past. Can't do anything about the future. Living the present.

16. What is your favorite children’s book?
The Magic Paintbrush.

18. How tall are you?
A midget standing at 5'6". WIsh I was taller dammit!

19. Where is your ideal house located?
Definitely an amazing brownstone right in the center of the city within walking distance of the shops.

20. Last person you talked to?
My nurses.

22. When was the last time you were at Olive Garden?
Never been. Anyone care to take me?

23. What are your keys on your key chains for?
Car keys. House keys. Locker room keys.

24. What did you do last night?

25. Where is your current pain at?
In room 10 screaming his angry little head off since his parents loped off for dinner.

26. Do you like mustard?
Do I have to choose? Not a big fan.

27. Do you like your mom or dad?
Yes, I do. Both surprisingly fun characters.

28. How long does it take you in the shower?
Depends on where I'm going. Usually 10 minutes or less. 2 seconds if I'm at work and I hear the pager.

29. What movie do you want to see right now?
Can't think of any that would interest me...

30. Do you put lotion on your dog or cats?
Why would I do that?! I'm not Paris.

31. What did you do for New Year’s?
Celebrated with family and Calvin. Quite a good year :)

32. Do you think The Grudge was scary?
Not really. Seen worse in real life after all.

33. Do you own a camera phone?
Shockingly yes. THough I hardly take any photos to speak of.

34. What’s the last letter of your middle name?

35. Who did you vote for on American Idol?
Depends on the season... but anyway, I'm not eligible after all.

36. How many hours of sleep do you get a night?
6-7 minimum. Need all that for work after all.

37. Do you like care bears?
Non-committal. Think they are too sweet but I wouldn't run them over on a road.

38. Do you know how to play poker?
Rarely but yeah, when the company's good.

39. Do you wear your seatbelt?
Seen any broken patients to wear my seatbelt.

40. What do you sleep in?
When I'm at home, in a bed. When I'm at work... on a couch, a gurney, a swivel seat, a wall...

41. Anything big ever happen in your hometown?
Midnight masses on Christmas.

42. Is your tongue pierced?
Ouch. Infection. No.

43. Who’s the funniest person you know?

44. Do you like funny or serious people better?
Funny people definitely. Serious people make me sleep.

46. Did you eat a cookie today?
At work right now, only have dried snacks unfortunately. Would kill for a choc chip cookie.

47. Do you use cuss words in other languages?
Hardly cuss. I am really prim-mouthed.

48. Do you steal or pay for your music downloads?
Charming Calvin does enough for the both of us.

49. When was the last time you said “i love you” and meant it?
Always mean it. If not I wouldn't bother saying it.

51. Is your cell usually on vibrate or ring?
Ring softly. Hardly pick up though.

52. Do you need a boyfriend/girlfriend?
A hot boyfriend would be nice :P

Friday, January 05, 2007


Have you ever heard the oft-repeated saying about that little butterfly who could? The one that flapped its minute wings in some secluded slice of paradise in Borneo causing a chain reaction leading to a devastating hurricane on the other side of the world.

So how much more damage could an earthquake in Taiwan cause?

Well apart from the usual unfortunate calamites in the immediate surrounding area, there's also widespread random chaos and frustration in the self-involved world of bloggers everywhere as most find themselves with patchy connections due to oceanic upheavals.

Making a move
What do I do now?

Seriously, the sheer amount of brou ha ha lately seems amazing as previously occupied people now scatter around aimlessly with nothing but time on their hands - especially with the undersea communication cables still down after the cataclysmic event. Inveterate bloggers ( with shockingly more homos like me favouring such social networking sites ) have found themselves wondering what to do with the rest of their lives, especially without an infamous blog to write it on. E-mail queens have suddenly found themselves having to resort to other more mundane, old-fashioned ways of communication such as the telephone ( what's that!? ) or even ( horrors! ) by snail mail. Obsessive net freaks are finally realizing that there's actually a world away from the virtual reality that has been their home for several years now, creeping from the cool, dark confines of their caverns to discover a whole new reality.

Don't get me wrong. I abhor the sudden Neanderthal throwback to the past with connections moving slower than a snails pace but for me, the downtime has served me well since I've finally had the time to catch up on some light reading ( amassed a huge pile of reading material lately that I have yet to start on ), some writing and thankfully, some time to sleep ( something I never seem to get enough ).

And of course catch up with television reruns like one of my old favourites, the slick, clever Pierce Brosnan remake of the Thomas Crown Affair.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Sailing Ships

Call my ISO up to tell him that Fable : Wolves was out on sale and just had to pop in something extra to shock him.

Paul : Do you think we could have worked out?
My ISO : We would have worked each other out in time.

Retrospective thought just isn't one of his finer points. Although I'm sure cynical souls like my ISO - and myself as well - would scoff at such a fanciful notion, I've always likened relationships to little wooden sailing crafts traversing the waters.

For some, it's easy enough to get on board a relationship. Just one look, that quick stirring spark of desire/lust and the ship's up and running like a well-oiled machine.

In the beginning, budding relationships are more like strange uncharted waters, filled with hidden obstacles in the deep ready to entrap the unsuspecting sailor. In that way, heterosexuals have it easy - with centuries of hard-won experience from intrepid sailors who have gone before them bringing home beautifully rendered maps detailing the dangerous reefs where unprepared relationships have floundered helplessly, the ever-present lure of bewitching sirens ever ready to wreck havoc and also thankfully the occasional lighthouse to cling on to. Warning signages placed on the map cry out Breakup Island and Infidelity Bay - and yet, even then a large number of straight relationships find it almost impossible to stay the course.

Easy enough to find more than a handful marooned on the Shoal of Separation.

Making a move
All it takes is just one look..

How much more difficult would it be for a gay relationship to steer the way? Very few have made their way through such alien waters, without maps and signs to show the way only depending on sheer luck and fortune to pull them through. As kids, we're all brought up to envision a heterosexual partnership where the roles are already perfectly spelt out - no matter how sexually typecast they may be. From previous clearly defined examples like their parents, they already know vaguely their assigned duties and lines.

So what happens when there are two guys in a relationship? Who takes the wheel to steer the course? Who slogs in the galley? Who holds the ship together when the winds of change batter the sails? Is it any wonder that the shipwrecks of gay relationships largely outnumber the successful expeditions that make it safe to home port? Happily-ever-after seems to be an island paradise shrouded in mystery for most gay sailors.

Interesting thought especially with a creative friend of mne, Strapping Shane, envisioning a gay new drama series as an assignment for his classes. How many lasting gay relationships do you know in real life?

Even I can hardly claim to be unscathed by shipwrecks. My ISO claimed that both of us desperately craved the wheel - though I actually imagined that I was quite content to let him steer since I preferred slogging in the galleys anyway. Unfortunately the lure of the siren call - in the form of half naked virile mermen who regularly take the clubs as their regular haunt - was too much for him especially since he hadn't quite gotten used to his sealegs yet.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Broken Resolutions

Although I was hoping not to make - and break - them, I think I must reluctantly list out a few of my resolutions ( or at least my goals and objectives this year as the meme puts it ). What can I say? I'm a sheer meme slut and can never resist them.

1) To be a better person
Yes. Really. I can already hear the mocking titters from the disbelieving backbenchers.

The Dark Side
The Dark Side..

As much as I enjoy the occasional sadistic fantasy about decapitating and dismembering my unfortunate enemies, I have decided to turn over a new leaf. For some reason Pauls are obviously prone ( Biblically proven ) to sudden inexplicable 180 degree personality changes. Lately, my growing already mile-wide streak of maleficence has started to make Charming Calvin extremely nervous and he's already starting to think about increasing his insurance premiums ( in lieu of delivering a pair of fraternal twins to strike a balance of the Force ) - so I shall try my best not to succumb to the encroaching dark side.

So I guess I won't be executing bungling nitwits / selfish road hogs with my glowing light-sabre this year. Will even try my best not to eat little house officers and incompetent medical staff for breakfast.

2) To travel someplace exotic
Seems like my travel plans got derailed by that obstacle called examinations last year so I'm gonna get back on that lifelong journey soon. Not sure where that particular train's gonna be heading but I have a vague half-realized image of sultry, dark-eyed matadors, late afternoon siestas and towering Gaudi-inspired spires.

Or perhaps intricate glass lamps and flying carpets.

3) To practise fiscal prudency
Not a surprise since judging by the amount of shopping I do, I'm always trying my best to outrun the unforgiving creditors. Thankfully I haven't resorted to loaning from dye-blond loansharks yet so I have no fear that they'll be coming by my home to deface the front door - or worse, break it down with a bloody pickaxe.

4) To lose some weight
Seriously. Do I even need to explain this? Not only is it good for the heart, it's also good for the image - and come on, isn't this the one on every gay man's new year resolutions? Surely it's every gay man's dream to have a face and physique that would cause traffic to come to a screeching halt - not to mention inspiring the hunkalicious police officer to drop trou.

Not sure how I'll be achieving this miraculous feat but I foresee frequent fainting spells at work from hypoglycaemia and possible torture-visits to the gym. Failing that, there's always Naughty Nancy, my friendly neighbourhood plastic surgeon.

5) To be a friendlier, more gregarious sort
Always been a shy, timid little mouse but I am trying my best this year and I seem to be coming out of my shell gradually. Despite my antisocial temperament, I met up with more than a handful of bloggers and managed to keep from morphing into a stuttering tongue-tied fool so I guess that does show an improvement. Not sure how I'll get Charming Calvin talking though.

6) To have more sex
'Nuff said. With my packed schedule ( and the Lord of Perpetual Yawn pleading unconsciousness ), not sure how I'll get this resolution done either. Understanding my distress and ever willing to lend a helping hand, my ISO offered himself as a willing sex toy / partner but I turned him down.

So what do you plan to do this year?

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Auld Lang Syne

While everyone else was out busy partying, screeching Auld Lang Syne in an off-key fashion and watching the blazing fireworks the night before last, I was getting ready for another day at work. Bravely navigating the eeriely deserted streets of the city in the wee hours of the morning seems to be the bane of people in my career ( damn working on public holidays! ). Somehow sharing the toast of the new year with a bunch of sedated guys just isn't as much fun.

Don't usually make any resolutions since I don't want to end up berating myself for regularly breaking them :)

Unsurprisingly, the hospital is always hopping this time of the year. Turned out to be quite an eventful day as well since there were a slew of frantic admissions ranging from tipsy alcoholics who imbibed a little too much of their favourite brew ( and ended up slamming themselves against an unmoving lamppole ) to the ubiquitous Mat Rempits who just had to join in on the grisly New Year fun. Not forgetting the occasional poor ailing makcik who must have suffered an acute myocardial episode after being rudely awakened by the startling bang of fireworks - or even the ill-fated streetwalker with the bloodstained cough ( shades of the doomed songstress in Moulin Rouge anyone? ).

Is it any wonder that by about 6 this morning, I was literally walking into walls? To distract myself from imagining lovely images of sweet, sweet slumber, could have sworn that my mind had started to drift towards viciously cunning strategies of entraptment, imagining various deviant methods of decapitating my unfortunate foes with the sliding doors of the ICU airlock. Delicious fun but it still didn't keep me from nearly nodding off in front of the console.


Is it morning already?

Which is why I've always thanked god for the miraculous blessing of coffee. Sure, it's a temporary picker-upper but it works dammit, no matter how evanescent the effect. Kept me going for another half hour at least before I literally dropped comatose on a reasonably soporific horizontal surface somewhere.

Though I doubt I looked even half as fetching as the boy lounging on the couch above.

And realized when I woke up that I'd nearly slept through morning rounds! As did my equally exhausted colleague - who'd actually nodded off face-first on the computer console. Fortunately as we rushed out of our rooms crying we're late we're late - like the distressingly tardy rabbit in wonderland, we thankfully realized that our usually stern ( and amazingly prompt ) consultant wasn't wielding her whip that day. Somehow the spirit of the new year must have taken possession of her - actually she was quite amazed that we'd managed on our lonesome with the insane chaos that was the intensive care unit.