Wednesday, February 28, 2007

You Look Fabulous

How do you give a compliment?

Sounds simple enough in context but in the seemingly peaceful but desperately riddled minefield of straight guy relationship, it can be potentially disastrous. Stereotypically, girl-on-girl conversation deals with style, fashion, clothing etc and thankfully, that's true even for a giggly gaggle of diva doctors in the pantry. Always find it hilarious that the girls find it so simple to compliment each other while otherwise erudite boys can hardly find the words.

Gal A : Darling, that blouse looks great!
Gal B : It does? Where did you get that pashmina?
Gal A : Last week's sale at Prada, darling! God, where did you get those pants?

And they can go on. Sugary sweet compliments from the way they style their hair to even the amazingly supportive uplift their new bra gives ( I seriously kid you not ). For potentially hours judging by the low low low call rates they are charging these days.

In comparison, guys are different. Genuinely voiced compliments on pimped-up vehicles, bitchin' stereo equipment ( or other technogadget paraphernalia ) and insuperable athletic skills are all par for the course, and well accepted amongst straight boys wherever you go. Certainly almost guaranteed to get you in da house.

But comments on personal appearance are something else entirely. Seems almost like a masculine badge of pride for a heterosexual teenage boy to appear quite as filthy / unkempt as possible - or at least appear vaguely oblivious as if his good looks are naturally God-given, occurring from a genetic mischance rather than endless hours of preening and buffing in front of that toilet cabinet mirror.

Fredrik Ljungberg
Tell me, does this make me look fat?

In the proverbial male flock, no straight boy would wish to be mistaken as that vain prissy peacock. Lest he be misguidedly painted as the gay bird.

And even in this learned day and age, that particular schoolboy stigma still haunts. Which is why apart from that particular breed of metrosexuals popping up here and there, straight guys have a peculiar way of exchanging compliments on each other's appearance, usually cleverly disguised as a lukewarm compliment ( only offered after heavy prodding ) but heavily spiced with derision.

Straight Guy B : How do I look?
Straight Guy A : Yeah, you don't look puke-in-my-pants hideous today.
Straight Guy B : Fuck off.

Of course followed by the obligatory hearty pat on the back as an affirmation of undeniable machismo and fraternal camaraderie, possibly even by a disgusting hack and spit onto the ground.

Anything more than that bit of male bonding starts feeling a bit dodgy, possibly verging on unforgivable fagdom as homosexual panic invariably sets in.

Gay man : My God. That shirt looks fabulous on you. I'd fuck you in a New York minute.
Straight man : Grr....Mind if I tear out your spleen?

Seriously. Don't try this at home, or anywhere else - unless you have the uncanny mutant ability to run really really fast ( as most adolescent gay boys have learnt the hard way ). Even I - with my wholly outrageous mouth - would think twice before saying that. Short of a serious hearing disability - or some nascent gay gene, the aforesaid heterosexual hunk would probably feel irresistibly compelled to shed some blood to regain his impugned masculinity. Nothing like a nice bout of painful fisticuffs to resolve the issue of his maligned sexuality.

Not a good way to gain friends, I'm sure. Just take this comparison. Girls can talk about the fit of their jeans complimenting the curve of their butt but can you imagine a bunch of straight guys in the locker room talking about the merits of the Wonder Jock? Doubt even famed metrosexual David Beckham would go around complimenting Ronaldo's sculpted abs after a game. :)

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The Dragon Roars

Not sure why it took so long for me to hear this but then again, there are some things that you simply can't find in the English papers. Honestly, for groundbreaking news that's simply seditious, desperately salacious and just plain weird ( think National Enquirer weird ), you have to depend on the super-efficient Chinese newshounds.

Which is how I just heard about the mysterious Dragon King.

I know. Ketinggalan zaman.

Since time immemorial, devastating natural disasters have plagued mankind - and each time, we have all tried to find reasons and causes behind the cataclysmic event, sometimes looking to the supernatural. Floods wreaked havoc in a southern neighbouring state last month but rather than blame aggressive urban redevelopment, some superstitious folk have decided to find a simpler scapegoat.

Sea man
I come from the sea...

After all, there's nothing like unearthing an ancient Chinese myth, is there? And the poor Sea Dragon King can hardly refute the slander.

Barry : Haven't you heard about it? It's all in the news last month.
Paul : Dragon King? Is that a new rice brand?
Barry : No. That's the guy who caused the floods in Johor. Supposedly some fishermen caught one of his numerous progeny in their nets and that blatant act of war has outraged the Dragon King.
Paul : The Sea Dragon King of Chinese mythology?
Barry : Yeah! That's why he flooded the cities.
Paul : Have you been lifting one weight too many? Downed a bad alfalfa sprout?
Barry : Not saying I believe it but look here!

No, he wasn't asking me to admire the heft of his tight pecs but I did that nonetheless - despite the fact that he was actually waving an old issue of a local Chinese daily ( literally old newspaper ) in front of me. Yes. Big Bicep Barry does love his esoteric news. Even had an accompanying multimedia show with a blurred video of the alleged crime against dragonkind.

Would have preferred a shot of him doing a naughty striptease but he shyly demurred. :P

For those who are wondering - in Chinese mythology, the Dragon Kings are the divine rulers of the four seas who live in dazzling aquatic crystal palaces with their loyal retinue of crab generals and shrimp guards ( not sure if they perform the occasional Caribbean medley with Ariel and sisters tho ), occasionally flooding cities when provoked.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Won-ton Destruction

Slow start this morning. Practically lazed half the wee hours off staring out the window contemplating the melancholy end of my blissful weekend - looking so woebegone that I'm possibly making more than a few of my neighbours worried.

Matt RothReally, I believe every day should be a cheery saturday morning with that peculiar anticipatory tingle wondering what wild wacky adventures await for the rest of the weekend. Not like dreary sunday evenings awaiting the beginning of a new work week :P

Since Charming Calvin's down for the count nursing the encroaching hints of a coming infection, I'm left to my own devices today. Not sure what brought him down but a few late hours of violently crashing into numerous inconsequential victims vehicles to cause devastating mind-blowing explosions could do it to ya... ( yeah, I do love that game! ). Poor Calvin certainly got burned out after last night.

Of course I ( or else my evil alter ego Saint Wicked who appears after midnight ) just loved watching things getting blown up though I think poor impressionable Scrappy Shep must have gotten quite a scare.

Shep : You seem to like the game.
Paul : Nah. They should have a game where we could run over glitzy blond princesses carrying little purse chihuahuas and old ladies pushing baby prams.
Shep : OMG.
Paul : Whatever. See how they run. Then splat. Bwahahahaha.

Hmm.. guess he isn't coming to my clinic anytime soon.

No burning tires and breaking windcsreens for me today but I do have a bunch of graphic novels to keep me entertained. Now now, for all the high-brow bibliotheques out there who are probably sneering down their noses, don't look down on graphic novels. Comic books have grown up from the amateurish picture books of yesteryear and these days as an alternative media, graphic novels are downright intense and gritty, shockingly ground-breaking and going places that most mainstream media would probably never touch with a ten-foot-pole.

Like Vertigo's DMZ. Imagine New York City as demilitarized zone with the United States embroiled in a civil war post 9/11. Then imagine what you'll do if you're ( or rather Matt Roth, the photojournalist protagonist ) trapped in that violent, desperate no man's land where ordinary citizens would kill for a bottle of fresh water. Think equal parts Escape From New York, Fallujah and New Orleans right after Katrina blew in.

Manhattan burns...

War is hell. And the DMZ certainly pulls no punches in revealing the island of Manhattan as a smouldering husk, riddled with bullets and reduced to rubble, populated by cynical rag-tag survivors who have carved the remaining bombed-out boroughs into militant enclaves.

Not all gloom, doom and won-ton destruction though since people still live, work and breathe in the war-torn zone but you'll have to read it to see.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Read Me

Several years back, the shocking Malaysian statistic placed the average reading habit at around 2 books per year ( excluding textbooks and work-related material natch ). At that time, there was the usual hue and cry with ambitious politicians leaping up on their soapbox to decry the statement along with thousands of beautifully orchestrated plans guaranteed to turn the nation of seemingly illiterate couch potatoes into dedicated bookworms haunting the libraries of the nation.

Doubt that figure has actually changed much despite all the reading campaigns carried out sporadically. Sure, we do have a small clique of obsessive bibliophiles who devour the written material on a daily basis - probably the same folk crowding the giant bookstores in the weekends - but those are the same people tipping the scales on the far end. Almost embarassingly, I admit I swallow one book per day ( barring the occasional supremely dull novel where I have to plod on for two days at least ) which leaves me with very little else to read sometimes - practically have to select books randomly to find a new author to obsess over.

Sounds unbelievable but it's true. I read like a haunted victim of torture consumed by an unnatural obsession, forgoing food and water while I desperately scan through the written pages to reach the final shocking twist in the end. Doesn't have to be serious high-brow literature all the time - though I dabble in it occasionally - since even frothy, bubbly chick-lit can be endlessly entertaining. Seriously, it would nothing short of a devastating natural disaster to tear me away from an engrossing read.

Ooh. Good read...

And here I have friends who actually are part of the national statistic, reading only two books in a year - if not less. Ever the stubborn creature, Charming Calvin tries to read every once in a while ( after being prodded endlessly by yours truly ) but falls prey easily to his vaunted namesake, the Lord of Perpetual Yawn.

Calvin : I must read! I am reading.. *yawn* reading... *yawn* reaaaaading.... *snooze*

And then there's the bright-eyed broadcasting boy.

Paul : You should try this. It's a really good read.
Shane : Has it been released as a movie yet?
Paul : Yeah, but the book's better.
Shane : Bleh. Will catch the movie.

Typical :) Like I've said before, name me a movie that actually surpasses the written word. Not many but a small handful only I'm sure. How can any vaunted SFX possibly compare to the countless breadth of a man's imagination?

Unless the man be oddly unimaginative. And I have met a sad few.

But I digress. The first memory I have is not of a mother's smile but of her reading to me. In my mind's eye even now I can easily see Gorgons and Medusas raging as they are chased away by bronzed Greek heroes of myth. Hmm... Greek heroes. I can see how the germ of homosexuality took root here.

But again I digress. It's certainly a gift beyond compare so to repay that, I bought her a book today :) Love You Forever by Robert Munsch. Unbearably mushy but then, she likes mushy. After searching for hours, couldn't find a book for myself though so some good suggestions would be welcome.

Friday, February 23, 2007

One Night Only

Finally Dreamgirls has managed to reach our shores - albeit two months two late - but still, I think any gay man worth his salt is gonna find this movie fascinating to say the least. Screaming divas, overblown dramatics and shiny, sequinned costumes... hell, it's just one crystal ball short of a gay disco. And no matter how much we hate pandering to misguided stereotypes, honestly which gay men doesn't love getting some of that?

Hopin and wishin
C.C. White...

Although sadly the only hunk worthy of note is the one playing the softspoken songwriter, the movie does pay homage to the drooling gay fans by inserting a particularly cute scene reminiscent of Studio 54 with gyrating gymbots and shirtless bartenders.

Jaunty Jared ( of Jumping Jalopy fame ) wasn't all that interested in watching this musical extravaganza since he's interested in far more esoteric music such as obscure Tibetan chants, Aboriginal didgeridoos and African tribal drums but we managed to hog-tie the boy into the cinema. Since I love Steppin' to the Bad Side, tried to do other more salacious stuff as well but the poor boy kept squealing and wailing about propriety that I couldn't get much done.

And I had to keep my eyes onscreen anyhow.

We all know delicious diva Beyonce plays one of the titular roles with the other played by the sexy sista, Jennifer Hudson. Well as expected, lots of hollering, howling and yelling going on throughout the movie as the two run through several octaves worthy of the vaunted Mariah but still it's entertaining watching the fabulous Dreamettes power their way through life towards their lofty dreams not knowing yet the painful sacrifices that would follow.

And hell, who doesn't want to watch other unfortunate folk go through several horrifying eras from the psychedelic flower power hipsters to the sequinned Afro-powered disco years.

Honestly at one moment I seriously expected four Scandinavians to come running onstage singing about their dancing queen.

All throughout the movie, Charming Calvin remained disastrously enraptured by the tearful hysterics onscreen and I'm sure by next week, I'll be entertained by his eeriely exact reenactment of some of the dramatic scenes we saw, possibly channelling the howling Effie White in shrieking 'And I Am Telling You I Am Not Going'.

And I'll say...
Move (You're Steppin' on My Heart )! :P

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Pimp my Ride

You know what, I think I know what to get for my next vehicle.

Not only must it be big, black and bulky - capable of running small inconsequential gnats off the road and scaring the living daylights out of terrified pedestrians kinda like Big Bicep Barry's Black Bruiser - it must also have a helluva ginormous back seat spacious enough to host the entire marine platoon.

Learnt my lesson today when I finally had a chance to get into Jaunty Jared's Jumping Jalopy.

Baby, it was like stepping into a pimped ride, seriously. If there was a hip happening homo version of Pimp my Ride of course. Think fluffy pillows and plush seats for the interior, decor and entertainment magazines littering the extendable back for entertainment and thumpa thumpa house music in the background. Honestly, it was like stepping into a gay disco without the distracting smoke and booze - and ( unfortunately! ) without the fifty shirtless gay boys in body glitter gyrating their sexy stuff on the dancefloor.

Hopin and wishin
Come check out my backseat...

But then Jared's Jumping Jalopy had a backseat large enough to accomodate quite a number of those sweaty hotties actually - as I'm sure Jared has had the opportunity to test out that particular salacious theory :P

No doubt Charming Calvin and I were reluctantly intrigued by the appropriately named Pimpmobile. And certainly game enough to give the backseat a try.

Unfortunately I forgot to warn him that it's also backbreaking, hell on the knees and best left to raging oversexed teenage hormones. :)

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Lemme Play Doctor

Just yesterday I had a sexy half-naked god in the bedroom, managed to talk him out of his shirt and into the bed ... but alas, nothing happened.

I know. All terribly anti-climactic. Blasted monogamy.

Seriously. :)

Happened this way actually. If you'd recall, I have this husky young bachelor boy in the house next door who's back for the recent new year festivities. Wet jerk-off dream - seriously, think cute innocent boy-next-door type with the ripped body of a martial arts champ. And don't forget the God-I-wanna-lick-them eight-pack abs.

Yeah. Eight-Pack Eli. You could lick him up with a spoon.

Unfortunately for the past few days, the poor boy has been having this irresistible itch down his back that he simply can't scratch and wanted me to take a look. Me, being the good neighbourhood samaritan ( and nothing like the proverbial drooling Big Bad Wolf really! ), immediately jumped on that tempting offer.

After all, how many times ( apart from work natch ) do I get the chance to order a hot hunky ( possibly straight! ) guy to strip in a bedroom?

Hopin and wishin
Yes, sir. Where do you want me, sir...

Don't jump to conclusions though. Despite the fact that he'd torn off his shirt in a blink of an eye leaving only skimpy shorts, nothing much happened. Turns out the boy had developed an acute rash - possibly fungal in origin which needed nothing more terrifying than a salve. All very precise, platonic and professional - far from anything featured on the infamous - though I gotta admit my hands lingered just a moment longer than seemly on his abs.

Didn't stay all that long though since I don't think Charming Calvin is much in favour of threesomes on the side. :P And hell, he's a patient now!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Get Weird

Managed to tear myself away from my crazy cadre of cousins to return home - only to find myself inexplicably locked out from cyberspace. Horrifyingly enough for an internet addict like me. Fortunately after many desperately hysterical complaints to the lackadaisical broadband provider ( futile attempts, I'm sure! ) I somehow lucked out on a free wi-fi somewhere around my housing area.

Simply miraculous! Talk about a gong xi fa cai!

Hopin and wishin
God, send me back my broadband...

Well, the connection's iffy ( almost as slow as dial-up sometimes, I swear! ) and I'm possibly committing serious bandwidth crime but hell, it's better than staring at sheer nothingness.

Or ogling the sexy, frequently shirtless neighbour's son but that's something else entirely.

Got tagged by Calvin - not the Charming Calvin that you guys know so well but one of the numerous bloggers out there in cyberspace. Guess all he wanted to know six weird habits of mine. Actually think six is way too short for a seriously neurotic creature like me ( hell, I'm only a shiny spandex costume and a snazzy nickname away from the renowned Arkham Asylum ) but here goes...

1) Usually take a while to leave the car in the parking lot since I frequently check all the doors to confirm that it's locked. Then I usually return five minutes letter to check again. Same goes for checking the house to make sure all the doors and windows are securely shut. Seriously. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder?

2) Always leave items in the fridge in even numbers. Since I'm an incurable romantic, I've never left anything alone. Even the peanut butter jelly jars are placed side by side with the marmalade.

3) Egg yolks are always left for the last. Usually finish every other item on the plate before heading for what I love best. Delayed satisfaction, I'm practically a master at that.

4) Despite what I do for a living, I actually have an alarming phobia for needles. Don't be shocked. Point them at me and I'll scream. I know I deal a lot with them but I just can't stand them myself. Come on, they hurt dammit!

5) Although I tell everyone that I love the colour blue, I actually love red. Brilliant dramatic splashes of it, no weak pastels for me. Witness my blinding scarlet and maroon ensembles every Chinese New Year. Even my bedroom would be in dazzling red but I wouldn't want to wake up in a sodding temple.

6) When I was a kid, I used to finish all my homework desperately in school. Never ever brought it home since the one time I took it home, I grouched, complained and swore ( quite creatively too actually! ) all over the homework - bitterly cursing all my despised teachers for seven generations to come. Model student, I think not.

So should I don cape and cowl as the crusading Saint Wicked yet?

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Reunited and we feel so good

If any of you were out late at night yesterday watching a movie somewhere in Penang, you might have noticed an extremely rowdy motley crew ranging from tweenage to kadults in the famed back benches raising a helluva ruckus. Popcorn tossing, candy pelting and petty name calling seems the norm for these barbaric scoundrels but thank goodness, these little heathenish hooligans managed to calm down before the movie started.

Hell I'd have called the police on them! Unfortunately ( much to my everlasting embarassment ) I'm part of that heathenish gang.

Over in our family, we don't ascribe to many of the old-fashioned notions held by other households but we do follow one simple tradition, that is to remain awake till the wee hours of the morning the night before Chinese New Year. Not sure how my cousins and I were conned years back by some conniving elderly relative but for the past decade or so, it's been a sacred yearly tradition to break out the ang pow bank ( hence the need for a banker ) to purchase tickets for our midnight movie marathon.

So after the regular reunion dinner, it's off in a cavalcade of cars to the nearest cineplex. Usually end up struggling to maintain my sanity through whatever unintelligible rubbish the evil moviemakers have cobbled up together for the festive occasion. For the past years, I've sat through numerous mindless Chow Sing Chi fanfests to the Godawful-get-me-out-of-the-cinema-now Himalaya Singh - and now to the slightly more palatable Lady Iron Chef.

You can see how I end up tossing popcorn at my cousins to keep myself amused. Just because I'm one of the eldest doesn't mean I have to maintain dignified decorum, does it?

And then thank God we go for supper where I usually drown myself in endless jugs of saccharine-sweet teh tarik to rid my mind of whatever sickening movie-trash I've been subjected to ( tortured with, more like ). Then over mountains of chappati, we start gossiping yet again - yeah, this family really lives on gossip fodder.

Man aat rest
Is it morning yet...

So does it surprise anyone that we're usually all mindlessly groggy in the morning till irrevocably woken up by the deafening cymbals and drums of the approaching lions? :)

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Kopitiam Kitchen Candour

Once I reach back home in Penang after my boring 5 hour drive ( isn't it odd that I still refer to a place as home though I haven't actually stayed there for more than two decades? ), the first thing I do is make a beeline for the kitchen. For those who haven't been to a pre-war colonial shophouse, you should know that the kitchens at the back are amazingly spacious, certainly large enough for a marching brass band, a platoon of sexy marines and then some.

Not to mention an octogenarian granny with a potty mouth :P

Whereas the coffeeshop in the front is a free-for-all amongst my numerous squabbling relatives, no one doubts that the cavernous kitchen is my indomitable grandmother's domain - and surprisingly, usually the place where people gather around to share and compare notes, catch up on what's happening - and generally gossip. Yes, my family's pretty well known for that in these parts, and we even have a somewhat regular email newsletter that gets passed around.

In between juggling her various dishes being steamed, stir-fried and baked ( three stoves and two ovens from last count ) and also listening to the numerous complaints brought to her supposedly hard-of-hearing ears, my unconventional grandmother still manages to find the time to grill me about my unmarried status ( if I don't manage to deflect her attention to the other singleton cousins ).

Minus the pseudo-Yoda accent of course.

Grandmother : And what do you bring me?
Paul : See! Magical flower tea! Am I your favourite grandson or what?
Grandmother : Hmph. And where is the wife?
Paul : Suffocated in the luggage during transit from Hanoi.
Grandmother : Cheeky grandson. How did that happen?
Paul : Genetic inheritance possibly.

Yeah, I do bring her something odd every once in a while since I do enjoy the occasional curio-hunting. Not sure what she did with the insanely ticking Mao Tse Tung clock I bought her last year.

Although we do converse in an odd patois of English / Hokkien, occasionally she mumbles incoherently in native Fuzhou ( oddly enough, a mysterious dialect that sounds like a mixture of plain babble and Neanderthal grunts ) in reply to my questions - since she knows that I only have a rudimentary knowledge of the dialect, understanding only a few passing phrases and cant-terms.

Man on a mission
See. I have a boyfriend!

Half the time I feel like shocking her by revealing a hunky boyfriend in tow but I'm not sure if she'll get a devastating heart attack - or give me a heart attack in return by becoming a zealous PFLAG activist. Never can tell with these wacky old ladies. :)

Of course she also knows how to keep me happy for Chinese New Year.

Grandmother : Money's upstairs in my cupboard. Go pack the angpows. The relatives are coming.

Mwahahahahaha! A Happy Chinese New Year to all!

Happy Chinese New Year

Hope I got that right! No worries, Charming Calvin will tell if I'm mumbling garbled rubbish.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Bring on the Red Packets

In a traditional Chinese family, family hierarchy is valued highly, held almost sacrosanct in some ultra-conservative households, especially during the more essential family gatherings such as weddings and funerals. Everyone from the decrepit white-haired centenarian tottering on her cane to the naive toddler sucking his thumb knows their place in the larger scheme of things, their exact position down the family pecking order. A little hard to steal up the ranks of family without upsetting an elder or two.

This year however I find myself unenviably catapulted to the position of banker. Not in the God of Gamblers mahjong or card games sense of course ( although I get stuck in that role sometimes too ). Each year during the Chinese New Year, my octogenarian grandmother nominates an unfortunate chap - usually the eldest singleton - to take charge of her coveted red packets. Of course the singled out chap usually ends up the target of petty hate-crimes by most of the younger unmarried folks since the banker - like the proverbial Santa - finally decides the exact amount that goes into each red packet, depending on who's been naughty or nice.

Grandmother : This year you come back?
Paul : You don't want me back?
Grandmother : Still no girl? Not married?
Paul : You could import a few Vietnamese brides to cook and clean for me.
Grandmother : Find yourself you must. Old I am. *cough cough* Not long to live, want to see you married.
Paul : That's what you've been saying for the past ten years.
Grandmother : Hmph. This year ang pow you give.
Paul : Me?

Okay. I adlibbed the shades of Yoda with a pathetic off-the-sampan immigrant Chinese accent. In real life, my indomitable grandmother doesn't sound anything like a decrepit old woman and would be insulted at any such insinuation.

Man on a mission

*evil smirk* But the important thing is this year, I have the power! And I'll be handing out red packets in my New year best - though not necessarily in dashingly wicked black since it smacks of bad luck!

By Chinese tradition, it's unlikely that I'll ever be the one doling out red packets - no matter how much I'd enjoy the giving - since it seems even more unlikely that gay marriage would be accepted into the vaunted constitution. Not to mention that I can imagine how Charming Calvin would balk at throwing away money, especially with his current financial crises. Unfortunately ( or fortunately depending ) due to some ancient unclarified taboo, unmarried folk simply don't go around handing out red packets.

Maybe I'll give myself a few more crisp notes for being such a good, good boy this year. At least it will distract me from pelted questions on my perpetual bachelorhood.

Of course ang pows aren't the only things I am giving out this year. The infamous Lucrezia Borgia is also getting some homemade arrowroot chips from me this year ( unless Charming Calvin finishes the lot on the way home ).

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Spank my Chappati

I know it's Valentine's and I should be out spending my time with my loved one - but unfortunately duty calls ( doesn't it always? ) and I'm actually stuck right here in the hospital at the moment.

Depressing, ain't it? But at least I don't have to contend with the dozens of amorous lovey-dovey couples cooing over overpriced chocolates, wilting roses and dim candlelight. Not to mention the saccharine sweet nothings being tossed back and forth by the bantering lovesick fools actually makes me wanna hurl. :P

God, I could be the anti-Valentine. Sure the thought of getting that single rose out of the blue would thrill me to bits but am I the only one who thinks that too much schmaltzy romance can be detrimental to the health?

Fortunately I am not the only one who thinks so.

Paul : What are you doing today?
My ISO : Work. I do work, you know.
Paul : Had me wondering actually. No dates tonight?
My ISO : And pay triple what I usually pay? No thank you.
Paul : Thank God we are on the same page. I'm on-call tonight.
My ISO : No Charming Calvin?
Paul : No worries, he's being consoled by the fabulous ever-loving singletinis, the Crazy Calvinettes.

Man on a mission
Look at my hands...

So I'm having my evening tea with my favourite chappati man. Not only does he make deliciously crispy fluffy chappati... I certainly wouldn't mind spanking his own chappati as well. Not sure which agency is responsible for hiring all these scrumptious men from Myanmar but they certainly have some great taste. Although my dear Hunky Hyun can barely reply in monosyllables to my questions, from the way he plies and kneads the oily dough, I'm sure he has some sinfully inventive ways with his clever hands that I can barely decipher.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Screwdrivers and Hammers

With the malls already awash with sentimental hearts, candy and teddies, even the most oblivious soul would know that the much dreaded V-Day is fast approaching ( tomorrow actually ). Since the ill-fated Saint Valentine's long dead and buried, can't tell whether he'd be chock-pleased over the fact that his special day has been turned into a commercialized hearts-and-flowers extravaganza - or whether he'd be revolted by the diabetic saccharine overload.

Easy enough for the red-blooded straight guys since the stores are stuffed chock-full with goodies to satisfy their lovelorn belles from the cliched silk teddies to extravagant Tiffany diamonds. With sentimental melodies and romantic comedies overloading our senses this time of year, it would take a stingy heartless Scrooge indeed to abstain from the prevalent festivities.

Man on a mission
Me bring you flowers!

But somehow or rather a day like Valentine's tends to veer towards those of the feminine persuasion, so what happens when it comes to gay couples? Wining and dining would be an easy enough proposition but what's the perfect Valentine gift for a guy? Sure some of us do actually lean towards soft cuddly toys, frilly lace appliques and long-stemmed roses but then again, there are guys like me who wouldn't know the first thing to do with a stuffed baby panda - other than take it out for a wicked game of Operation. Blood-red roses and baby's breath are all nice enough but that undeniable streak of practicality in me would demand something far more lasting - perhaps a gift voucher instead.

Utterly unromantic, I know... so I've been duly informed :) Despite my predilection for sappy romances and weepy chick flicks, I have never been a hearts and flowers kinda guy after all. Not sure what it is but somehow I'd much prefer a bowl of hot chicken soup when I'm suffering to a harmonious string of verses dedicated to my perfect left brow.

Perhaps a hammer and a screwdriver for the new homeowner Charming Calvin?

Monday, February 12, 2007

Catch the Rain

I am a kook.

Seriously. Every once in a while, some wacky little switch gets snapped inside me and the inner kook makes an unpredictable appearance. A far different creature from the Saint Wicked persona ( who appears quite often these days on provocation ), this unconventional, impulsive inner kook only makes irregular appearances depending on its fanciful whim. Can't even predict what could possibly trigger off a kooky manifestation.

Today, it was the rain.

As we come close to the Chinese New Year, hot and dry spells tend to occur these parts. Rare enough that we have bouts of rain during the sweltering month of February but the nigh impossible happened today just as I was coming back sweating from work ( and you guys should know that it's rare that I actually start sweating ). Little droplets of hope came falling from the sky down to the parched earth, reviving flora, fauna and man alike.

Man on a mission
Making rain!

And all I could think of at that moment was... Fuck acid rain.

Instead of huddling in the shelter like any paranoid physician would ( could catch my death from pneumonia, you know! ), I climbed out of the car, dropped my white coat and started dancing in the rain, not unlike Gene Kelly - though I managed to stop myself from thoroughly humiliating myself by croaking miserably in the rain. No doubt the intrigued neighbours were mystified at this sudden act of paganistic cloud/rain worship as I performed an impromptu tap-dance over puddles of water forming under my feet.

Of course I got thoroughly drenched in the sudden tropical shower but hell, it was fun - though I have a sinking feeling that the friendly neighbourhood therapist will be knocking on my door one of these days.

Maybe the fact that I mentioned one of my favourite music videos by Madonna to Strapping Shane the other day could have been the trigger.

Wonder what would have happened if I'd told him about Like a Prayer.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Driving Mr Paul

I think congratulations is in order for Charming Calvin since today he achieved a feat I actually never thought possible. For months his compact little MyVi has been branded an interior decor object lying dormant collecting cobwebs and dust in the garage. Citing a patent inability to memorize familiar routes, an inexplicable phobia for maps and a lifelong allergy to long-distance driving, the man has managed to get out of the driving chores for as long as he's had his car.

Which is not much of a problem since I actually enjoy taking the occasional slow evening drive. So it's usually me at the wheel during one of our near daily forays into shopping suburbia.

But I knew this particular situation couldn't go on forever since what if I was somehow incapacitated, dying of an incurable disease and needed help desperately? Certainly couldn't depend on a guy who couldn't find his way to save my life, right? Or what if I was handling the wheel during one of my frequent post-calls and found myself nodding off on the road?


Man on a mission
Man on a mission!

Well this morning after much passive-aggressive threats, tears and persuasion ( and quantities of dim sum ) I finally managed to convince Calvin to give driving that decent college try. And my boy equipped with hastily drawn map - courtesy of Strapping Shane - detailing the various routes, a spanking brand-new Touch N Go card, his handy cellphone and that trusty mineral water bottle started out on his totally excellent adventure. Not sure what exciting experiences and multifanged monsters our intrepid hero encountered along the highway but I'm sure he has it all wonderfully detailed in his blog ( if he ever updates that is! ).

Important thing is that he succeeded in his mission. And we had lunch. Honestly, couldn't be prouder if he'd tracked his way down the Nile to discover a hidden Lake Victoria.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Queen for a Day

What if we actually gained the right to get married?

Talking about Adam and Steve here of course - way back before seductive Eve came along with her bountiful charms. At the very thought of such deviant debauchery sullying the sacred altar of the church, I'm sure the right-wing conservatives are already raising their enraged fists in protest ( if not lifting up weapons of minor destruction ) right about now but as we all know gay men are already making progressive strides in certain parts of the world, even seemingly puritanical Catholic Spain. Obviously not even the Inquisition ( or even Generalissimo Franco ) can keep a good gay man down for long.

Man on a mission
¡ay! Mama!

Although their mothers might have a pretty good chance.

Or at least that's what some Queens would like to prove. Despite various obstacles such as the recent earthquake in Taiwan and work commitments, finally managed the nigh-impossible task of hunting down this hilarious ensemble comedy. Certainly not the first to bank on pre-wedding chaos and mayhem but definitely the first to feature a mass gay wedding in Spain - with the main focus on three affianced couples and their respective in-laws.

What can I say? I obviously love weddings. Sexy man eye candy isn't something I object to. And you guys know I love mothers. So despite the little flaws, such as the much much too brief a glimpse of each quirky couple, and the fact that I obviously don't speak español ( but then all Malaysians are experts at reading subtitles ), I actually enjoyed the movie on the whole.

No matter whether gay, straight or bi, all I can say is a meeting of prospective in-laws ( no matter how seemingly benign and convivial they may be ) can be decidedly stressful for everyone involved. Hence the various emotional hijinks that ensue when the warring in-laws start to rub abrasively - and sometimes rub a little too well - against each other, leading to a secondary quarrel between the couples involved who obviously side with their respective parents.

Which obviously makes for good television. :)

By all accounts, Charming Calvin seems to have gotten along relatively well with my parents despite remaining painfully mute during dinner. Perhaps they're accepted the fact that he's pathologically shy for some obscure reason.

Although from past experience I'm pretty sure I could charm most women alive - apart from the odd uncompromising witch or two ( I'm a nice guy! Really ! ), I certainly haven't met Charming Calvin's sainted mama since he's assured me repeatedly ( complete with relatively graphic Flash presentations and appropriate props! ) that at best, she probably would poison my tea for purportedly corrupting her baby boy.

Food for the wicked
Darlin, is that your mama?
I'm making my special lamb!

Since I'm of a particularly vengeful nature as well, I thought it best to stay safely away at present - lest my Saint Wicked side makes an appearance.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Hall of Nocturnal Fantasies

Some might view him as a staid, serious no-nonsense academician wholly devoid of humour but I'd know better. They couldn't be more wrong though since beneath that stern scholarly surface my father certainly has a kooky, unconventional sense of humour - a deeply embedded vein well hidden from the rest of the world but still we do get a glimmer of its promise every once in a while.

For instance both of us are huge history buffs and on the occasional evenings, we usually end up watching dreadfully dull documentaries on ancient crumbling civilizations much to the disgust of my disgruntled brother. Which is how we managed to tune in to a documentary about the magnificent Forbidden Palace in Beijing.

Let's not argue that the enterprising Chinese people built one of the finest civilizations over there in the fertile Yellow River Delta, erecting achritectural wonders, monuments and palaces. But like any bureaucratic nation - especially staffed with a thousand and one sycophantic eunuchs, is it any wonder that the hoity-toity language of the court deals with a whole lot of grandiloquent gibberish?

Seriously, some of the names given to the chambers and halls in the Forbidden Palace would probably induce an embarassed titter or two. No doubt the meaning in Chinese is simply inspirational but it somehow loses its manifold charm in translation. Sometimes it seems as if some overenthused courtier back in the days of yore had gotten hold of a particularly wordy thesaurus from a particularly conniving merchant and fished out the most impressive sounding ( with the highest number of syllables ) synonym for a match.

Sure I can be occasionally verbose with the occasional five-dollar words but these loquacious court interpreters certainly put me to shame. The Palace of Heavenly Purity? The Palace of Earthly Tranquility? Come on, how can anyone not make fun of the Hall of Mental Cultivation? Call it the damned study or the library dammit! And no doubt we all know what's strictly taboo in the aptly named Hall of Abstinence ( as well as the Gate of Chastity and Obedience! ).

Breaking out of the Hall of Abstinence

Some names are a little harder to comprehend. Maybe we have a vague idea of what's happening in the Hall of Imperial Zenith ( assume it's a display of imperial might and wealth ) but God only knows what's happening in the Hall of All-Encompassing Universe.

With a quietly mischievious twinkle in his eye, my father suggested renaming the rooms in my house for the sake of feng shui. Don't think it would hurt, right? Maybe my kitchen should be the Hall of Heavenly Offerings, and the toilet the Realm of Fragrant Ablution? Then I could stick wooden plaques outside my bedroom proclaiming it the Hall of Nocturnal Fantasies!

Wonder who I should hire as a sexy palace guard. Maybe Rangoon Ranger is still available.

Mr Popularity

Teen #1 : OMG! I can't be seen wearing the same dress twice in a row! Like I could just die!
Teen #2 : Uh Uh, like no way! Especially with gorgeous Shep making an appearance!
Teen #1 : OMG! REALLY!

Seriously. I might be exaggerating a little on the bimboish valley-speak but that's the gist of the conversation I overheard tonight at my cousins. Okay. Not overheard but I did join in a little. Hell, I can be mindlessly sophomoric when duty calls.

Not this shirt, yes? I wore it before? Really?

Sometimes when I see my younger cousins whine and wail over what to wear for their sophomoric parties, I find myself almost smiling. Somehow everything seems so all-important when you're a teenager - hell, even the shade and cut of a skirt could sink a reputation leading to one being shunned by the rest of the seemingly in crowd. Easy enough to remember those heady high school days when homeroom popularity seemed to be everything and warring social cliques ruled the school compound.

Wish I could tell them that things do change in time, that things that seemed so supremely ginormous back then would seem so trivial now - and ultimately assure them that there are bigger, better things ahead but at that rebellious age, who actually listens to adults?

And sadly enough, I think I'm rapidly sinking deeper into the responsible adult category - though my youngers cousins hasten to assure me that I'm still somewhat cool. Thankfully. :)

But honestly I think it's only after school that we discover who we actually are as people. Not easy finding our own when we have to deal with the inescapable stress of schoolwork, bone-crushing peer pressure - and also the inevitable growing pains, already hard enough recognizing our own changing faces in the mirror but to also deal with gangly dysfunctional limbs that seem vaguely alien somehow? Teenagers don't have it as easy as everyone else thinks. Away from the restrictive controlled environment of school ( and even the home ), we find ourselves shedding whatever cookie-cutter roles we've been inadvertently forced into and finding our own true selves.

Sounds like hokey Oprah rubbish, I know.

Out in the real world, we begin with a blank slate all over again and it's up to us what we want the world to see. That brash, trash-talking bastard in school you used to know settles down into a life of middle class stability. That studious little nerd who finds himself frequently stuffed into a locker turns into the sweet charming ( though perpetually yawning ) man that you might one day love. Angry rebel without a cause ISO traded in his endless rage for a more creative ( and far more lucrative ) outlet. And even seriously funny Shameless Shalom found herself blossoming into a swan - or at least that's what Charming Calvin insists upon though I haven't seen that happen as yet. Hell, even Scrappy Shep that quietly mischievious computer whiz will no doubt change in a few years into a cool heartbreaking Casanova.

Hell, even I changed. Although I was hardly Mr Popularity and certainly far from being the BMOC, I had my own small clique of friends that I cherished. But even they couldn't give me the self assurance that I needed desperately back then. Years back the meek little mouse that I was would never dream of going smash up to a sexy stranger to swindle them out of their home phone number. Back then, I never even thought of facing down the terrifying professors to demand our rights, no matter how trivial.

It all takes time. Time to change and grow. Time to gestate in that post-adolescent cocoon before transforming into a butterfly.

Of course not everyone manages to change even with the ample time given, caught in a sticky web of childish insecurites and imagined paranoias. But that's a molting story for another day. :)

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Para Parafreaks

They could be your teacher. They could be your doctor. They could be your brother. Outwardly, they all seem normal, perhaps even functional human beings going about their mundane lives blending seamlessly into the everyday homogeneity. And then when the beat starts to move them, they change, mutate and transform into the fearsome parafreaks.

Join us.

Shockingly I have come to realize that Strapping Shane might be one of them.

Certainly has been a while since I've stepped into an arcade - seems like the last time was when my ISO and I were both pimpled teenagers driving dangerously on the tracks of Daytona USA. No doubt the neverending evening marathons of racing cars ( and the subsequent violent smash-em-ups ) must have added a certain death-defying fast-and-furious element to our maniacal driving these days.

Since those heady days of road rage, technology and creativity have obviously combined to create newer, far more sophisticated games that would appeal to heterosexual teenage boys ( and the various kadults thereof ) into parting with their hard-earned allowance. Comforting to know that the grand staples of arcade fare such as race cars and shoot-em-ups still rule but it's interesting to see some new unforeseen rivals making their presence felt.

Just today, I noted a gaggle of giggling salesgirls in their lunch hour performing a complex routine of drum techniques - a move certainly sponsored by the cashiers department to increase their manual dexterity.

Distracted by the smoky cave-dark environment, the flashing strobe lights and the occasional delectably hot jailbait, we arrived a little too late to save our friend. There we found Strapping Shane literally locked in deadly mortal combat with a relentless demon of dance, sweating endlessly from his fevered brow as the maniacal dance machine forced him to perform the most unusual physical contortions ever devised according to a synthesized thumpa thumpa eurobeat. Shockingly there were entranced followers ( practically foaming at the mouth ) just behind waiting for their turn to be similarly ensorcelled into the para para dance routine.

For those wondering what the heck para para is... it's a peculiarly East Asian phenomenon that involves complex pre-set arm-flapping movements performed to the rhythm of thumpa thumpa mentioned above - that would possibly alienate everyone else on the dancefloor ( if not send all in close proximity to the infirmary after being dealt with multiple slaps and elbow jabs ).

Took a while to release Shane from his voluntary imprisonment but after the token time wore off, he was released and he stumbled out - just in time for another seemingly willing victim ( with mopping towel handy ) to take his place. All his protestations that it's a legitimate form of aerobic exercise seems to be pure bull since from the intense look on their faces, it looked to me like a ghastly form of inhuman torture.

Odd. If these boys wanted some form of aerobic exercise, I'm sure I can offer them some alternative ( and far more pleasurable ) methods of burning calories - where their hip-twisting, arm-bending moves would come in handy. :)

Though I managed to tear him away in time, Charming Calvin seemed reluctantly intrigued and I fear that he might be the next victim.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Beware the Tantric Master

Every once in a while during one of my netsurfing expeditions I stumble onto an interesting quiz - and come on, how could I possibly resist something that promises to reveal your seduction style? Not that I've had any success in that particular field - since if I actually had, the delicious Chris Evans would be lying naked on satin sheets in my bedroom slathered in melted dark chocolate and whipped cream and I'd be feasting off his bronzed torso.

Cooling off
Just a reminder how hot the man is!

Chris Evans. Naked. Chocolate.


Not that I'm a slutty skank or anything since I'm a freaking saint. Really. A saint! I even help tottering old ladies across the street and fish cats out of the trees. So pay no attention to the erroneous results of the following.

Good God. Sure I am deeply depraved and perverted but lonesome spiritualist reciting random passages from obscure texts? What could they have been thinking of?

Sunday, February 04, 2007

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Sometimes I have the most peculiar daydreams.

The one that I had this morning as I was staring out my balcony with coffee mug in hand had me all suited up in a casual Brioni ( why ever picture myself in a burlap sack in a fantasy? ) coming down on a Monday morning to utter mindless chaos as the monstrous adopted Himalayan brats run helter-skelter all over my pristine perfect Pottery-Barn-inspired kitchen even while Charming Calvin tries his level best to maintain some semblance of order by placating the pint-sized mountain rebels.

Can already picture myself drawing my breath trying to contain my mounting anger by counting to ten but not for long though. Is it any wonder that even in my blissful daydreams, I'm usually the raging maniac of a father slamming the kitchen counter with my briefcase threatening them all in a suitably dark, menacing manner to get into their places?

Or else.

Cooling off
Deep breaths! I gotta cool off! Count to ten!

Unsurprisingly Calvin will end up being the Good and I'll be the Bad and Ugly laying down the law. And can I say that I'm a little horrified by the fact ( even hypothetically speaking )that I am rapidly turning into my disciplinarian mother?

Don't worry, I have not turned into a dark, tortured clairvoyant savant artist with a fetish for intravenous drugs and self-mutilation like Isaac Mendez. This particular alternate future fantasy ( unlike my usual sweat-soaked dreams about a naked, oiled Chris Evans ) was possibly prompted by my occasional rants about uncontrollable tykes raising hell in the shopping malls - and how I would raise ( Spank them really! Damn the overly generous bleeding-heart liberals! ) them if they were mine. Usually the only palpable reaction I'd receive from our unfazed hero Charming Calvin is a blissful nod and a sleepy yawn as they run chaotic circles around him - while I'd be the one busy frothing at the mouth.

Once in a while I'd imagine the impossible ( and possibly desperately criminal ) fantasy of actually raising a family with the sleepyhead. Somehow or rather I have the strong suspicion that the kids would probably run amok all over him. Probably have to ride ventre à terre to the inevitable rescue after he's been hog-tied and locked up in the closet by the wily Home Alone rascals.

And mete out the terrible punishment in the proverbial shed.

Like I've reiterated before, I have this sinking feeling that I'll turn into a minor domestic tyrant, growling, intimidating and terrifying the little toddlers into submission as they run in terror into the sheltering arms of my sleeping partner, the Lord of Perpetual Yawn, who'll probably forgive anything and everything ( if not spoil them incessantly ) since he was asleep and utterly oblivious while they enacted their juvenile tantrums at home :)

No doubt I'm forever doomed to be the bad cop in this partnership.


Saturday, February 03, 2007

Take a Holiday

Home delivery can be a little iffy during festive periods such as Christmas but some gifts are still wonderful even savoured a month late. Just like the unexpected lavishly stuffed Christmas basket at the door, The Holiday is one film that never fails to enchant and surprise.

Taking a page from previous holiday romances with an ensemble cast such as one of my favourite mushy movies Love Actually, The Holiday tells the story of two remarkably different ladies from opposite sides of the transatlantic pond, similar only in their mutual bad luck with men. Iris ( played by the quintessentially English Rose Kate Winslet ) is a sweet-natured journalist who's been desperately and hopelessly smitten with her caddish colleague Jasper since forever, while Amanda ( played by the suitably Californian blond beach babe Cameron Diaz ) is the fiercely independent Los Angeles career woman who has succeeded only in pushing away every man who loves her, or at least that's what her philandering ex wants her to think.

Jude Law
Gorgeous Brother Graham
Be serious, wouldn't you sleep with him if he was stupid, drunk and horny?

In a serendipitous meeting online, the heartbroken pair decide on impulse to exchange houses and lives for two weeks and that's where the movie actually begins. While Amanda learns all about playing house in picture-book Surrey with Iris' shockingly gorgeous brother Graham ( played by the amazingly radiant Jude Law ) and his two near criminally adorable children, Iris finds herself in a luxury hacienda striking up a friendship with a reclusive veteran screenwriter who cleverly nudges her out of her wimpy best friend persona into the radiant leading lady that she deserves to be - and in time winning the heart of the witty musician played by Jack Black.

I don't deny that cold-hearted cynics - like me, I'll admit - would find themselves utterly awash and swept away by the sheer schmaltzy syrupy saccharine but give it a chance and the movie actually works, especially with the dreaded V-Day fast approaching ( despite this obviously Christmassy offering ). Charming Calvin certainly enjoyed the sugary fare but then my man has always had a shockingly notorious sweet tooth.

And I've gotta say it worked especially well for me since Amanda's discovery of rural Surrey brought back long repressed memories of that one halcyon summer in the Lake District - where my ISO and I decamped for a weekend to search for the Wordsworth's Daffodils. Actually got stranded by the last train but that certainly didn't cast a damper on two adventuresome boys on holiday. No doubt captured a host of daffodils on camera but most of the time it was long quiet walks down deserted country lanes ( enlivened by our nonstop discussions about life and love ), hearty pub fare consisting of dishes I can hardly recall ( and honestly wouldn't want to know the ingredients ) and hours of fun lampooning dreadfully dull BBC dramas.

Paul : Do you recall that little B&B we stayed in?
MY ISO : The dollhouse one where I had to jump on the bed so that you could open the toilet door?
Paul : And that minuscule attic window where you leaned out yelling obscenities! Just lucky there was no one out at that time of night.
My ISO : Ah. Drunk on a pint. Those were the days.
Paul : Don't forget chips and Bailey's ice cream.

Yes, I can be a sappy fool every once in a while.

Get Me Under

Loo, I'm a dumb drooling fan of the fit young male physique as much as the next red-blooded homo but sometimes too little can be too much.

Sometimes I think the singlet should be a crime ( punishable by serious spanking administered by yours truly ). On the wrong guy, I mean. The numerous professionally airbrushed ads with slick looking young hunks gamely showing off their sculpted biceps through pre-shrunken tanktops / singlets seem to have influenced more than one seemingly bright spark. Witness the endless numbers of scrawny, lanky dudes who march down the hallways proudly sporting tanktops that seek to emphasize their painfully thin, emaciated arms with barely a bump to call a muscle.

Yin overdose
Are you gonna rip the singlet off?

Short of having big macho gym-built guns like Big Bicep Barry ( who actually tried on a muscle tee once and came out blushing beetroot-red mumbling something about his nipples being cold ), it shouldn't even be a matter of choice. There are times - like today - that I actually believe it should be an unpardonable crime to subject us to such a terrifying, distressing display of unmanly prowess. Come on, limp taugeh-like arms that can barely lift a flea? Can't you just hide them under camouflaging rolls of cloth like the rest of us normal humans instead of choosing to bare it all?

Of course that doesn't mean I don't approve of the singlet / tanktop in any other form. On virile athletic dudes ( the arms, man, the arms! ) like Chris Evans it can be seriously bone-meltingly hot. Or for instance, let's take tonight's charming movie The Holiday. Now, the ever-beautiful Jude Law can wear a tanktop. On the other hand, Jack Black should avoid them at all costs.

And then there are the guys who do wear the aforementioned ubiquitous undershirt ( since it originally was created to absorb sweat or something wasn't it? ) but manage to keep it tightly under wraps. Look close enough at that quiet scholarly businessman and you'll see the ribbed tanktop under the stuffy business shirt. Now that I can forgive since I find it tends to lend an indefinable air of... sultry sexiness if you ask me. Nothing like methodically stripping a guy from his business suit, slowly teasing the shirt off to reveal the skimpy singlet.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Yin up the Yang

Like yin and yang, it makes an awful sort of sense, doesn't it... that a man of healing ( well sort of ) finds himself paired with the man of a thousand ills, as he calls himself now. Although I'm hardly in the pink of health myself ( with my occasional bouts of infection ), in comparison Charming Calvin always fares much worse since he seems perpetually in the heated throes of an ongoing battle with nasty Pestilence.

Of course for a seasoned warrior of such bloodied skirmishes, Calvin has developed several peculiar though supposedly sure-fire methods of dealing with the terrifying Plague. Me, the wicked practitioner of Western medicine, I do my best with lots of fluids, hours of rest and the regular vitamin C shots.

Growing up as I did, I never had the chance to deal with much archaic superstition or dusty old wives' tales - since although my maverick grandmother did step off an outmoded wooden junk from China, she certainly didn't consider transporting outmoded hackneyed practices with her ancient dowry chest. Shockingly modern, this educated old lady - possibly one of the reasons all her grandchildren are wild unprincipled heretics.

Little disbelieving rebels all of us, certainly a far cry from Charming Calvin coming from hardy, ruddy-faced peasants' stock. Coming from this esoteric background, my man has all sorts of queer little ideas about food, associating dishes and the different ways of preparation with the ancient forces of yin and yang - practicing what I would call Chinese food therapy.

Like the names itself, Yin foods are cooling, while Yang foods tend to warm the human system. Together, Yin and Yang combined in balance produce the perfect balance, an equilibrium! Which is why at the moment Calvin avoids fried foods, hot curries and red meats, claiming the internal heat in those dishes would only help fuel the inner fire within therefore worsening his illness.

Yin overdose
A little overdose of yin?

My suggestion for him to douse himself in chilly ice water ( that much yin certainly would quench any inner fire, wouldn't you think? ) was only met with a baleful stare so I kept myself silent to listen to his lecture on the venerable recipes passed down from his salt-of-the-earth forefathers. After all although I've been brought up with Western medicine, I do believe that all supposedly silly traditional beliefs have a slim thread of truth somewhere if you look hard enough. Why else would I place so much faith on that noxious black concoction ( supposedly cure-all! ) they serve in chinese medicine stores?

Ooh. Which reminds me I need to get him some winter melon and barley - though I'm curious what happens if it gets too cooling? :O