Saturday, March 31, 2007

Loft, Lobsters and Loot

Some of you must be asking so what did I do on the second day? Spent most of my time on the island today actually, which gives me a brief half hour to update since wifi spots abound here.

1) Loft
Waiters galore

Morning was a visit to the Loft, supposedly a trendy, upmarket dining concept. Think overpriced food court :) Still, the food was great, the view was excellent ( had a lovely panoramuc view of the North Channel ) and the service was sublime. Sublime meaning some droolsome young waiters in tight black pants of course ( unfortunately unlike the ones above ).

And did I mention they have free wifi?

2) Lobsters

Or sea creatures at the least. Think crabs and lobsters. Think seashells and mussels. And think in large amounts. Still happily ensconsced in communal living, my extended family doesn't order anything in small amounts and the plates literally overfloweth. Certainly a feast worthy of a mrauding army - which actually correctly describes the barbaric carnivorous lot that I'm related to :)

None of the crabs made it out alive , especially with my brother and my cousins hard at work sucking out every last succulent morsel of flesh. Getting heartily bored of the eating process, I made it out of the bustling seafood village and made my way to the mall.

You can't be expecting me to go fishing again after yesterday!?

3) Loot

Of course like any good counter-revolutionary, I just had to pay a visit to the local DVD pirate. Sure, the sophisticated KLite pirate can easily satisfy all my needs but lately with all the draconian raids going on, he has been lying low. Possibly keeping to his wine, women and song in some outlying pirate shack. Fortunately up North the sly, dyed-blond pirates seem to be a little more elusive to the unfriendly authorities since quite a number are still operating freely in these waters.

But isn't it the case that whenever I finally make it to the friendly DVD pirate, I find that I can't think of thart particular movie that I want to see?

Friday, March 30, 2007

Hairdressers, Hooks and Heels

For those who think that small towns off the beaten track are dull, slow-moving places, you wouldn't be far wrong. Of course that's also part of the charm which is why I always find it such a relief to find myself back in the old coffeehouse staring at the grandfather's clock as time itself seems to tick just a little slower than most.

Hell, what do I do next!!

Leaving me with so much more time to play with that I usually fill my hours here with dozens of activities. Back in the city, it's tiring enough to even make it for a movie! Over here, I have cousins who actually go for complete spa treatments, shop for a new dazzling ensemble before dinner and a movie.

Now, what do you have to say for small towns now?

Still, I didn't do any of that today. Though my female cousins all made appointments for a spa treatment today. Not sure exactly why since we're scheduled for some sweaty cemetery housekeeping this weekend. Maybe they intend to appear as ravishing as possible while picking grotty moss and weeds off beaten gravestones.

1) Hairdressers

I did get a haircut though, although that hardly counts. Have to admit that the hairapy service given here surely goes above and beyond the norm.

Not only did I get a haircut lasting almost half an hour oddly enough, I also got a cup of tea, some edibles and also a post-haircut massage that... well, if I overtipped just a little bit more I think I could have gotten an erotic Dance of the Seven Veils from the overenthusiastic hairdresser / wannabe masseuse. Halfhearted neck massages are fine by me and seems to be the norm but the slutty small town stylist didn't see fit to stop only there and though I managed to keep my expression straight when she reached lower down my back, when her scarlet-tipped nails started going below the belt I almost jumped off my seat.

I don't think I ordered a brazilian wax! Does it count as sexual harassment when the customer is molested?

That unusual incident didn't sour my small town weekend though since I found it ultimately hilarious - and certainly worth blogging about. Couldn't help telling my cousin Macho Mike though since he seemed to be the only guy around with the girls all off primping.

2) Hooks

Macho Mike would be my stolid, bovine-like cousin who'd easily pass for a linebacker with his placid grunts and tank-like shoulders. When I started telling him more about the Dance of the Seven Veils, he gave another one of his unintelligible mumbles again and handed me his rod.

No. Come on, it's my cousin. Nothing as wildly inappropriate as that but a plain fishing rod. Seems like the man had decided that it was time I took up a manly sport - rather than my normal unmasculine pursuits such as shopping and disco-dancing.

Not gonna describe the whole horrific experience since I found it absolutely nightmarish - and I slept through half of it anyway. I mean, how interested can I be watching nothing nibble at my bait ( which Mike thoughtfully provided with the requisite creepy crawlies ). Still it was pleasant sitting by the muddy creek under the dappled sunlight as I closed my eyes with mellow Jack Johnson playing on my MP3.

3) Heels

Of course even as I write this, my evening is not done. Why heels? Well after the spa treatments, my pretty cousins all in a row came down in their fuck me heels for a night out. Lispy Lori even managed to squeeze her assets into an illegal dress that would shock even our incorrigible granny. Fortunately I have several younger male cousins cast in the same vein as Macho Mike who'd serve as proper bodyguards.

Haven't finished yet - though I begged off for a few seconds to blog. Last I heard there was talk of going for sangria and tapas.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Scent of a Woman

Rather than the usual daily mall-hopping, we decided to do something a little different today. Took a walk instead through the cobbled streets of 18th Century Paris, braving the noxious smells of the muddy river mingled with the sweat and stench of the unwashed masses as we shoved our way through bustling traders, bourgeois merchants and snooty aristos holding their noses high.

The beautiful and the ugly

And oh yes, as we edged our way through the periphery, we also noticed an unusually lean, hungry-eyed perfumer going by the name of Jean-Baptiste Grenouille peddling his wares even while he eyed a sweet virginal redhead making her way through the crowd.

Charming Calvin swears that I'm misjudging the perfumer - those evil eyes! - but God knows what he actually intended to do with her.

But I just wanted to make sweet smelling potions!

Perfume : The Story of a Murderer tells the story from the point of view of our strange, enigmatic perfumer whose incomparable sense of smell and inexplicable lack of a personal scent isolates him from the rest of society. Almost maniacally obsessed with the layered sensory world he alone inhabits, he develops a single-minded obsession in life to distillate the preservation of the perfect scent, characterized by a ravishing yet distant redhead he'd once fallen for. Think spectacular visual feast as the historical smells and sights of Paris as well ( both the beautiful and the ugly ) as rural Grasse in Provence are brought to literal life. :)

Unfortunately as we learn from Grenouille's increasingly unstable acts in collecting his own essential oils ( think blunt trauma, unwilling victims and boiling cauldrons as our obsessive perfumer cuts a homicidal swath through the ladies ), not all are content to only stand and stare ( and smell, in his case ). Although our peculiar anti-hero protagonist is pretty hard to root for, I find myself a little unnerved by the fact that I find it easy enough to predict - and even imagine the monstrous things that he did.

Damn if I'm not turning out to be a little Hannibal Rising.

Honestly though I think a very fine line separates us supposedly sane folks from the would-be criminally insane, hopefully locked up in padded cells muttering Clarice in their disturbed sleep. Stray but a little from that line and bloody mayhem ensues since I believe that every man, given the right provocation and with the correct extenuating circumstances, wouldn't hesitate to kill. Of course some need a little less provocation than others.

But it's still just shocking how such a tiny shred of conscience ( and perhaps unshakeable faith ) can prevent us from committing the heinous acts that we ponder about silently in our heads.

Then again, perhaps I'm the only one with the wicked intentions :)

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Rear Window

What do you get when you look out your window?

Never actually asked myself that since for years I've always been the guy with the unenviable rear window. Made sense since as a younger kid, I usually took the back room which inevitably faced the alley. Not much of a view, I'm afraid, apart from staring directly at the closed window shutters of the house behind. Or else at the stray cats fussily picking on the leftover garbage tossed out the back.

Fortunately no mysterious murders with shockingly silhouetted scenes of bloodied stabbings or even hastily disposed bodies carried furtively through the back door. Certainly wouldn't want to know what everyone else did last summer.

Fortunately these days I've graduated from all that with an enviable view of the street from my pseudo-balcony. Even have the view of several trees offering shade.

Ah, you're the perv watching me!

Given me a whole new hobby these days turning me into one of those busybody snoopy neighbours you see only on Desperate Housewives. Not that I have a gorgeous built stud offering me man-candy pay-per-view directly opposite ( that's the young hunk next door ) but it's interesting watching poignant little vignettes of life playing just outside my window, even as I type this.

Good fellas making plans for later that night, talking about it at the porch while they rev their pimp mobiles in anticipation. Tired housewives brushing their hair at the dressing table while counting the mind-boggling number of chores still left undone. The exhausted partner desperately slapping himself awake to keep up with the latest sports scores even as the remote dangles off his hand.

And me, the semi-conscious physician, keeping watch as the world goes by.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Beercan Boy

Something interesting happened last night.

No. It had nothing to do with ten wet naked marines, a cramped shower and hungry little me.

What happened was a phone call, an impatient man and a broken heart.

My ISO : Hey, you free?
Paul : Not really. Anything?
My ISO : You're lying around at home doing nothing, aren't you?
Paul : Stop reading my mind, bitch.
My ISO : Dinner in twenty. Beercan Boy extends his invitation.

Okay, I admit my friends and I do have an appalling tendency to give awfully unflattering nicknames to everyone and their mothers. Several discreditable names have gone through our roster from Bad Handbag Lady to Stained Underwear Guy. Don't even want to know what they call me when I'm out of earshot. Fag Doc? Saint Wicked?

But I digress.

FYI. Beercan Boy is one of my old schoolmates who actually lives really close by - nice sweet bambi-eyed guy really - but we rarely get the chance to meet, me being busy with love and career ( and a demanding boyfriend ) and Beercan Boy being embroiled in various entanglements with his on-off-on-again girlfriend. My ISO and I coined the name for him six months back during a wedding dinner when Beercan Boy appeared all heartbroken, woozy and alone - shockingly without his high school girlfriend. I say shockingly because for years back in school, Beercan Boy and his sweetheart, Anorexia Alice were the nauseatingly annoying, attached-at-the-hip together-forever Richandamy couple of the school.

Seems like Anorexia Alice decided to opt for a sexy, foreign hip replacement leaving Beercan Boy miserably bereft with a broken heart and a beer bottle. Needless to say, he spent the dinner getting awfully drunk - and spent the drive afterwards getting awfully sick.

One too many beer cans

Hence the name.

Despite our heart-to-heart talk that night six months ago, Beercan Boy didn't seem to have entirely gotten over his failed affair. Possible retrograde amnesia a result of the hurled up liquor along with eight courses of bad Chinese wedding dinner. And possibly a sudden relapse when he saw Anorexia strolling happily together with her new hip replacement, seemingly oblivious to him - the walking wounded.

Still, a limping friend in need.

Of course my far from tactful ISO was brutal as could be. As was I. I know as friends we should sympathize like Oprah, let him vent his troubles and hold his trembling hand. Maybe even shed empathetic tears with him while offering dark chocolates and Rocky Road. But we already did that six months back. And we're guys. And that's just not us.

And probably Beercan Boy didn't need all that liberal talkshow lovin' since he was the one who called us.

We gave him tough love. And without sweet, sweet alcohol to numb the pain either.

My ISO : Breakups are crap and we all hate it. But it's over. She's moved on dammit.
Paul : And it's time you did as well.
My ISO : So stop mooning and hanging over her.
Paul : What he said.
Beercan : You're gonna give me the plenty of fish in the sea comment.
My ISO : Well you're not exactly a trout but I'm sure some tuna's gonna go for you one day ... if you're lucky.
Paul : Perhaps a guppy.
Beercan : You're both assholes.
Paul : Who are sticking you with the dinner bill.
My ISO : Really? Let's get dessert!

A friend in need indeed.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Spiders and Snails, Sugar and Spice

What are little boys made of?
Spiders and snails, and puppy dog tails,
That's what little boys are made of.
What are little girls made of?
Sugar and spice, and everything nice,
That's what little girls are made of.

Babies are unusual creatures, aren't they?

Theoretically speaking, most of us erroneously assume that babies are all mostly similar, with identical basic needs and desires, since personality development takes place a bit later. Or at least that's what games like Sims would have us believe :)

Makes me wonder sometimes since contrary to popular expectation, my niece and my newly christened nephew seem to have such wildly contrasting personalities that they could have been born in different families - possibly even on different continents. Kinda like my brother and me.

Air guitar
Raoul doesn't mind a bit of rock and roll all night

Had the opportunity to bond with my lil nephew Raoul today... and the cute, cooing fella couldn't be easier to take care of. Perhaps it's true that men are far simpler creatures easier to please, since hand the baby boy his bottle of milk and he's happy as can be. Apart from minor complaints when he's not being carried and petted, Raoul made nary a peep, smiling shyly to himself as he batted away at his soft toy mobiles.

Unlike my tempestuous niece Carmen who since the day of her birth, insists on making her royal presence felt :) Certainly no need for an alarm clock when Carmen wakes everyone at the crack of dawn with her urgent summons. Even her regular milk feeds back then seemed something close to the WWF Smackdown as the rebellious litle revolutionary railed mindlessly against perceived authoritarian injustice.

Of course like every little girl, when she's good, she's really really good. So good that butter wouldn't melt in her rosy little cheek.

But when she's bad.... Well, she has monstrous unsociable periods that we've lately termed her PMS episodes. Even now despite her petite size - and her surprisingly feminine ways ( pink bows and frilly dresses of her own choice shockingly! ), Crabby Carmen terrorizes her playschool with her daily list of demands, threatening to shriek down the shaky rafters otherwise - or else incite minor toddler mayhem by pelting other bratz with her ever-ready ammunition of Lego bricks.

Of course my conveniently amnesiac mother claims that she had two perfect little children who never caused her a moment's trouble. Much as I would like to claim that I was the perfect Stepford child, I doubt I could carry such an untruth for long. neither could my brother. Like every other doting parent, believe her agile mind probably blanked out those horrible unspeakable moments of toddler terror in a moment of mental preservation some years back.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Paging Dr Calvin

Sometimes Charming Calvin surprises even me with his peculiar observations.

A while back citing extreme boredom - and some slight interest in the work that I do, an enthusiastic Calvin borrowed the entire first season of Grey's Anatomy from me. Since then I haven't heard a single peep from the fella about the scandalous goings-on in Seattle Grace despite my frequent references to the hit dramedy series. I mean thanks to the talented Shonda Rhimes and motley crew, who doesn't refer to passing hot guys as McDreamy / McSteamy these days? Not to mention McSluts and evil mistresses?

Hell, these days I can't even look at a nasal prong without thinking of a smoking patient.

Paul : You haven't even finished the season? The first season only has nine episodes! Surely you found it intriguing at the least?
Calvin : I am scared.
Paul : Of the blood?
Calvin : No! Just that the doctors are so bitchy! Bailey even warned her interns not to wake her up for anything stupidly insignificant!
Paul : And that's not good?

I do have a skewed perception too.

Seems like the persnickety, loud-voiced Dr Miranda Bailey aka The Nazi who terrorizes her subjugated interns and my frequent reports of the intrigues at work has scared the freaking bejesus out of Charming Calvin, especially since he's been having recurring nightmares of guest-starring as my bewildered intern. Certainly not a pretty sight.

Can't say that I haven't frequently wondered the same since he's just about the right age. Wonder whether we'd get along like a thatched house on fire ( steaming up the janitor's closet hopefully - though Calvin does have a strictly puritanical no-no policy against public displays of affection ) or whether I'd be the rigidly unbending martinet riding herd on him during the entire posting.

Paul : Dr Calvin, are you ready to start rounds?
Calvin : So early ah? I am still so sleepy.
Paul : Well, aren't we all? Let's go then.
Calvin : But.. but.. my breakfast.
Paul : That will still be there when we're done, Dr Calvin. Come along. As someone once said, it's a beautiful day to save lives. Let's have some fun.
Calvin : Okay, I am coming... Huff huff puff puff.
Paul : Why are you lagging behind? Are you coming?
Calvin : Huff huff....I.. I... need... air... running... out ... of oxygen...

( a pause and a silence )
Paul : Sigh. Nurse Zaleha, could you get a chair for the intern. I think he fainted.

Do I look like a happy man, Dr Calvin?

Hmm... no wonder he's having nightmares. I think I'd be eating breakfast alone and he'd be planning my unfortunate hypothetical demise during the rounds.

Fortunately for our relationship, we're in different fields :)

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Baring Fangs

Think my straightforward banter is pretty obvious by now. Just like any other overly garrulous person, when I speak my uncensored words come out pretty much fresh without edit from my disorganized thoughts. There's barely enough time to catch what I'm trying to say as it spills out pretty much like verbal diarrhoea, more so when I get my dander up.

Which is how I probably inadvertently outed myself to a relative stranger. Well, not exactly a stranger but a visiting physician that I'll probably never bump into again. Not sure how exactly we came to a point in the conversation where we were talking about places to visit in town.

Strangelina : Don't really frequent that place so much these days.
Paul : Really? Why? Place much too hot?
Strangelina : No, there are so many... gay couples there. Holding hands and walking. I mean I try to let my children mingle with them but I...
Paul : Find them disgusting? Nauseating? Inhuman?
Strangelina : No. No. Of course not. I mean, I want my children to be open-minded enough to mix with them without prejudice but...
Paul : Infect them with homosexuality?
Strangelina : Just that it's hard to explain when two ladies are together and... not that I think it's wrong or anything.
Paul : Big of you. We deviants thank you.

Admittedly I was being a bit nasty. Though I toned it down a little when she pulled back some of her hasty comments - possibly because she looked a bit scared when my wicked fangs started showing. Maybe even my horns since I could feel smoke rising from my head.

What did you just say?

Look, I'm far from being a zealous homosexual activist. Apart from the little rainbow pin discreetly pinned on my lapel, there's not much I do to broadcast the fact that I'm gay ( though you'd have to be hopelessly blind not to notice ). Never saw the point of telling everyone since that small fact shouldn't matter very much at all. Being gay is part of who I am but I certainly don't want it labelled and stamped prominently on my forehead.

But every once in a while, I just have to speak up and show my colours.

And this surprising comment from a supposedly modern liberal lady - so I can imagine what a bigoted religious conservative must think ( possibly electrocution and incarceration, not necessarily in that order ).

Well, zero steps forward, one step back for the budding homo movement.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Old is Gold?

Sexual peak.

Even the words makes me wanna titter coyly behind an embroidered fan just a little. Guess I do have a lil tranny hidden somewhere deep inside :) Scientists claim that women hit their so-called sexual peak in their early 40s while men reach theirs much earlier in their early 20s.

Have I reached the peak?

Although there are many who drool all over those glowing smooth-cheeked Bel Ami twinks, there are always some men who beg to differ.

Strapping Shane, as you guys know, is my friend who's in his sexual peak so to speak ( ooh how titillating! ). Oddly enough though rather than carousing with his similarly horny peers and indulging in mind-boggling sexual expeditions, he seems to have an inexplicable predilection for the elder, more mature gentleman - or as I call it, a virtuous vocation for caring of the elderly. Not sure how it is but shockingly, sprightly octogenarian grandpas pushing their walkers to the nursing home has our young buck getting nervous palpitations.

Inter-generational romance? Possibly a Freudian cry from his vulnerable subconscious for a missing daddy? Not to talk ill of the dead but perhaps even a touch of the Anna Nicole Smith Syndrome?

Shane : But old men are hot.
Paul : Have you been drinking?
Shane : No! They are hot!
Paul : That's the viagra talking.

Of course, Strapping Shane waxes poetically that men age as wonderfully as wine and cheese - which I actually find odd since most men I know either smell like bad cheese or stink like sour grapes. :) And sometimes taste like an eccentric combination of both.

I have my own thoughts on that since I think every man is an individual with his own peak, or perhaps different phases like the moon as it waxes and wanes. Think of Ken Watanabe. He had to be pretty hot years back but good God, look at how he heats up the screen now. I certainly wouldn't mind having him make a grab for my mizuage anytime. Then think of the hottie Baldwin brothers, look at them meltingly hot then and now. Oh brother, not sure exactly what those brawny boys have been eating but they sure haven't aged all that well.

Honestly, I used to think that guys just after 30 were irresistibly hot. Effortlessly confident, perfectly charming, travelled extensively and now comfortably settled in their lives and careers. The world is at their feet and they have just learned to enjoy themselves - without going all Boys Gone Wild about it like they used to in college. The perfect age.

Then I touched 30 myself and I can tell you, none of the above is even remotely true :P

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Step into the Labyrinth

We all love our fairy tales. All of us have our own personal favourites, those charming tales of handsome princes braving impossible odds to save those damsels in distress. Totally unpolitically correct but what does women's suffrage mean to a five year old huddled under his blanket late at night reading his bedtime stories?

Ofelia's Bedtime Stories

Historians claim that classic fairytales that have been passed down to us have been sanitized and white-washed with the passing centuries, that most were originally parables laden with darker, far more sinister portents than can be imagined. Harboring relics from the olden days when children were ruled by fear: malicious step-parents with sinister hidden personalities; disobedient children who get baked into pies; winged hideous creatures who demand near impossible tasks of a hero.

Obviously the Spaniards - who incidentally brought us the Inquisition - have seen fit to tease us with some of those grim fairy tales.

Despite Charming Calvin's reluctance to view horror flicks, he seemed eager enough to step into the labyrinth. Pan's Labyrinth certainly isn't some sweet, delightful fantasy told to children at bedtime, resembling something closer to a horrific nightmare told to scare the bejeezus out of children who dare stray from the path drawn for them. Think a chilling, far more wicked Wonderland with the innocent Alice's role being taken by the far more intrepid, stalwart Ofelia who tries to find her way through a bewildering time in her life - incidentally set against the background of Generalissimo Franco's Spain torn apart by bloody civil war.

Life isn't all that beautiful then - there's a pervading sense of melancholy throughout - and the other nighttime creatures that populate her imagination don't help much, such as the supposed guide through the maze, the forgotten White Rabbit, who metamorphoses instead into a monstrous ghoulish demonic creature equipped with horrific horns and hoofs.

Surreal child-like fantasy it may be but the director leaves nothing white-washed showing us the savage brutality of the real world - that Ofelia in her childlike innocence tries her best to escape. Heads do roll here and they remain there, decapitated, bloodied and dead-eyed.

Throughout the sombre, dimly lit drama, there are times when you feel chills prickling up your spine - especially when creepy crawling critters make an unseemly appearance. Elves that come in the form of the hunky Orlando Bloom are fine by me but those that flitter about like little insects always make my flyswatter hand itch. More so when they resemble Guillermo del Toro's twisted mutant fairies.

Yet even as the unbelievable fantasy trails to an end, nothing quite prepares you for the shocking, almost disturbing conclusion.

Yes. Unless your mama's the poisoned-apple peddling sort, this is not your mama's bedtime stories.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Bachelor of the Year

You know what. I have found my future husband.

Not only has Singapore's Cleo proven to be far savvier at hunting sizzling bod-delicious, wet-dream inducing men ( compared to the sad, sad haul in our country last year ), they have also managed to fish out my future husband from the swimming mass of trout - well if I'm a really really good boy :P

And it's not Dominic Lau.

Or even Colby.

Lewis Sim

It's Lewis-damn-I-wanna-marry-him-Sim of the treasure-trail-I-wanna-dive-in fame. Charming Calvin isn't too impressed with my choice but then again, I do have some peculiar tastes :P Go check out the rest of the droolsome list and pick out your favourites amongst the catch Down Under this year.

Certainly wouldn't mind canvassing the town for our own Cleo's Bachelors this time around - since they made such a poor soporific show last year. The pink pilot has a reasonable account of our attempts to dissect their choices. Sure, the boys were probably nice, intelligent and reasonably attractive enough in person - but come on, we are looking for the best, the brightest and let's face it, most importantly the most bootylicious. And shallow though it may be ( and totally unpolitically correct ) but by God, the beefcake bachelors had better look good on camera with their shirt off, preferably lying on satin sheets.

Perhaps rather than depend on the biased recommendations of obviously sight-challenged aunties and bribed / besotted galpals, what they need is an injection of gay fabulousness from a serious ( and perfectly unbiased - short of offering disgusting sexual favours which I can't refuse! ) purveyor of manmeat into the prejudging.

Paul : Hello, sir.
Serious Hunk : Yes? Are you trying to sell me insurance?
Paul : No!
Serious Hunk : Then do I know you?
Paul : You don't. But you're hot and I'd like to see you half-naked in public. Maybe even have you play outrageous games where we lick whipped cream off your naked torso.
Serious Hunk : Bloody asshole pervert. You want my fist in your face or what?
Paul : No but I'm canvassing for Cleo.
Serious Hunk : Oh. You want my shirt off now? How about my pants? I can do push-ups!

Yeah, I certainly wouldn't mind. :P

P.S. Of course, wanting Lewis Sim for my future husband doesn't mean I wouldn't do Dominic in a NY minute.
P.S.S. Same goes for Colby. Call me.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Dearth of Marriage

Each time I look around, I note with some surprise the number of eligible singletons remaining unmarried. Most hold down steady jobs, are reasonably attractive and I assume, of sound mind and body as well. Sure I don't expect everyone to pair up smelling of April and May - but still, springtime should come hand in hand with romance, shouldn't it?

Unfortunately that doesn't seem to be the case over here in Malaysia judging by the latest news report on the shocking reduction in those choosing the path of matrimonial bliss. Amazingly the number of couples getting married last year is nearly half that of the years before! Not sure what caused this particular social phenomenon, whether there's dearth of wedding planners that year, a rise in wedding costs or whether the alignment of stars just weren't right.

But it's obviously those around my age who are staying away from the married crowd. While gay men are busy fighting for the right to be married, here we have those fortunate enough to have that choice refusing to tie the knot for inexplicable reasons of their own. Inexplicable to me since I've always been an eager advocate for marriage - whether gay or straight.

Say yes to marriage!

1) Little Miss Independent

Always had an issue with this particular argument. Does committing to an adult relationship and a piece of notarized paper mean that you sign away your independence? Surely the marriage institution isn't a revised form of conquest and subjugation! Sure, I've seen some lovey-dovey cooing couples ( prompting immediate nausea ) who subesequently merge into a single-celled organism with one mind, the dreaded RichandAmy Syndrome, but that doesn't have to hold true for all couples. I know most ladies these days prefer to retain some margin of independence but with the right Sensitive New Age Guy, I'm certain there's room for compromise there.

2) Paper Chase

Come on. I'm sure everyone wants to reach the pinnacle of their careers but that doesn't meant sacrificing everything else, does it? Make time for those you love. As I always say, no one ever goes to their deathbed wishing to remain an extra day at the office desk.

3) Endless Cohabitation

Or otherwise living in sin. :) Come on, I can see this indecisive test-drive bit lasting for a couple of years but for the course of a lifetime? Seal the deal dammit! Sure that little deed of paper doesn't make a marriage last unless the two individuals are firmly committed - but let's face it, that little deed does come in handy when it comes to legal matters, tax breaks and spousal benefits.

And come on, do yourselves a favour! Gay men have been fighting for the right to be married for decades, use that freaking right!

4) Rise of the Gayborgs

What can I say? Lately every which way I turn I actually see two guys holding hands ( or brushing against each other suggestively causing my latent gay-dar to ring alarmingly ) walking the malls, seemingly fearless of the repercussions. Is homosexuality really an infectious disease? Could the number of homosexual couples springing up in the closet account for those missing numbers?

Now won't that little fact just give our stolid statisticians a heart attack :)

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Oh the Horrors!

Has been a good long time since I've actually seen a good horror flick at the cinema.

One is because I just don't feel like doling out perfectly good cash just to be scared out of my wits ( can do that perfectly well on my own, thank you very much ). And anyway if you've screamed at one silly featherheaded heroine who insists on another intrepid turn down that long, narrow hospital corridor where an arm-slashing, decapitating psycho with a grudge resides in wait for her, it's probably been one time too many!

Bimbo : Ooh, I know that crazy psycho killer who feasted on my unfortunate boyfriend's entrails lies somewhere in wait for me in the dark abandoned hospital but I just have to go take a look again. Who knows, I might get lucky.

( takes a tentative step in, making a helluva lot of noise )
Slasher : There you are, my pretty! Take that!!
Bimbo : Ouch. Was that my arm?
Slasher : Yeah. Now take this!
Bimbo : Ouch. I could have used that hand. Now should I run or continue screaming?

Seriously if I was a pretty blond cheerleader with a deranged slasher after me, I'd run far far far away. If I couldn't do so for some inexplicable reason, I'd get my hands on a rusty chainsaw.

But I digress.

Second reason I don't watch horror flicks these days is an easily scared Charming Calvin who refuses to catch anything that bears even the slightest resemblance to a horror flick - eventhough he frequents karaoke joints, which for me seems a million times worse than any legendary Haunted House. And brave though I am, I'm sure as hell not watching slasher films alone :)

Of course we also have oddly masochistic guys like Jaunty Jared who's a massive Scream fan ( along with his doting mama shockingly enough! ). Not sure what exactly prompted the two to form their own Ghosbusting Movie Squad but they seem to have covered every pontianak, vampire and werewolf tale for the past decade or so. Since I've known the guy, not a single movie featuring a bloodied hand armed with a chainsaw or a haunted mirror reflecting a scared witless face has passed by his notice. Think Addams Family Movie Reviewers. Always wondered if their home resembles nothing more than the infamously freakish Bates Motel :)

Hanging out
God, I just know there has to be someone hanging behind me...

Still, despite his recommendations, I'm getting a bit tired of cliched horror flicks - especially those of the Asian persuasion with the 360-degree swivelling heads with spewing projectile vomit and the stereotypical anemic Asian jade with long, streaming unwashed tresses. After all, just how many times can you see one dead-eyed zombiefied boy crawl monstrously in slow-mo down the corridor? And did I tell you my own near-nightmarish experience with Re-cycle?

Which is why Jared recommended something light and easy for me last weekend, handing me a silly but hilarious Korean movie titled the Ghost House which effectively lampoons every Asian horror flick imaginable. At first I was a tad skeptical seeing as I'm one of the few who hasn't been swept away by the so-called Korean entertainment tsunami. Come on, do you think I'll be moved by weepy sentimental Winter Sonatas with wimpy, helplessly hand-wringing protagonists?

Or even worse by spoiled sassy girls who get their groove by beating on their submissive quiet ( yet surprisingly built! ) boyfriends. Really don't get that. Though you know... I am starting to see the appeal of hot Korean boys. :)

But I have to give the devil his due. Let's face it, it's far from Academy Award winning fare but hell, it's entertaining for a late evening with my chips and tea. Hunky Korean ex-marine boy ( with a marked phobia for decapitated chickens ) gets scared out of his wits by an ingenuous ghost who's trying to protect her home by going through every haunted trick imaginable! Now, how cute can that be?

And Big Bicep Barry's always game for some cheap howls after all.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

The Plight of the Speechless Chinaman

What do you dream in?

Courtesy of a predominantly English-speaking background - and possibly years of rigorous education in an all-boys missionary school, my mind speaks in English. Dramas, tragedies and romances unfold in my overdeveloped imagination all subtitled in English with only occasional bursts of other Chinese dialects interspersed. Can't recall with perfect clarity but I assume the many vivid dreams I had - even in old Shanghai - were all surprisingly dubbed in English. Even when I speak in other languages, I think first of it in English, run it through my mind with some brief editing ( perhaps even some colourful alliteration :P ) before translating it into the respective dialects.

Believe that the language our mind thinks in actually affects the way the mind works. Like I'm pretty sure Charming Calvin's mind works in Mandarin. :)

Language barrier?
Do you speak my language?

Although my bookish father's pretty much a cunning linguist in several languages, it's obviously not hereditary. Piles of Ladybird books and endless reruns of Sesame Street taught me all I know about the English language but that's about it. My Hokkien's pretty good, my Mandarin's somewhat passable and my Cantonese is just enough to keep me safe from getting severely beaten up by tattooed, overly burly DVD salesmen ( especially since I tend to garble up my Cantonese while shopping - who knows if I'm actually saying voulez-vous coucher avec moi ce soir to one of those dyed blond studs? ).

Mandarin's new to me actually. Half a decade of deplorable POL ( People's Own Language ) classes, where I actually spent my time doodling endlessly over castles in the sky, barely made a dent so don't be shocked that I actually just picked it up barely three years back. Working in the hospital with a thousand and one patients means, we tend to pick up bits and pieces of other local dialects here and there. Wait till you hear my little broken bits of Tamil and Hindi.

These days, I'm at least able to manage a short conversation in Mandarin before my sadly limited vocabulary runs out. Sadly enough, apart from brief elementary questions on the weather ( and possibly horrible medical diseases ), there's only so much I can put into a sentence before I inevitably have to scratch my head thinking of a word. Complex sociopolitical issues stretch my pathetic grasp of the language a little too much and it isn't long before I start ad-libbing with other words to replace those that I haven't a clue.

Wouldn't be surprised if Charming Calvin hasn't had a titter or two at my expense. :)

At least I managed to stumble through several getting-to-know-you meets in Shanghai about a year back, even with their heavily accented Mandarin. Though it wouldn't surprise me if they were actually hiding behind their wolfish smiles over the inept Overseas Born Chinaman.

Probably sounded something like this.

Paul : Halllloooo... me Paul from Malaysia.
Third Cousin : Good evening. Welcome.
Paul : Fly here from Malaysia I did.
Third Cousin : Yes. Did you have a good flight?
Paul : Fly. Fly. I did fly.
Fourth Cousin : Come in, take a seat.
Paul : Chair. Sit. Yes.
Third Cousin in sotto voce to Fourth Cousin : Do you think he's a simpleton?

Must have thought I'm descended from one of the duller branches in the family.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Sacrificial Altar

According to most reports, the life of a lucky carefree bachelor is seemingly foot-loose and fancy-free - a seemingly dizzying social whirl filled with happening hotspots and endless pubcrawls.

Or so they tell me.

In real life, it's far from the truth - since everyone else assumes the above despite what the oblivious bachelor might claim. Have you ever noticed that in the office, unwanted odd jobs and irksome duties are usually assigned to the unfortunate singletons? Last minute meetings and unprecedented events, sudden unforeseen weekend on-calls and dreadfully dull courses.

Colleague : Oh, there's this lecture on Saturday.
Paul : Yeah. So there is!
Colleague : Hey, you can do it. You're not married mah.
Paul : True. And I'm unlikely to be married if my social life keeps getting stunted by my work.

I know. I can get quite nasty at work too. Still I managed to get my point across ( leaving my poor colleague agog ) which leaves me free this weekend to write this. Sure I believe the duties of a family man bears more weight but that doesn't mean I, being the single guy, should be the unfortunate scapegoat each time some menial task is set upon us.

And that's not the end of it. Somehow or rather it seems as if the seemingly single, carefree bachelor / spinster is usually the one dumped upon with a heap of irksome family responsibilities stemming from a motley assortment of indigent, largely inept relatives - usually ranging from simple tasks such as running simple errands for them to far more complex labours such as dropping by for infrequent home visits / medical check-ups and arranging transport from A to B.

My brother, fortunate man that he is, manages to escape such unwanted attention by happily providing the clan with two hopeful offspring while I'm still the shockingly single son. Said unmarried state obviously making me amenable to all sorts of unreasonable demands from playing indignified emergency chauffeur to last-minute dinner date material.

Mom : Are you free tomorrow evening?
Paul : I should think so. Don't have anything planned just yet.
Mom : I think you have to go pick up Aunt DimWit Della who's finishing her checkup in the hospital.
Paul : Me? What about my brother?
Mom : He's got a family to think of.
Paul : And obviously I think of nothing.
Mom : She's your auntie mah.
Paul : And there are amazing technological inventions called taxis that provide transport which she can well afford.
Mom : She says they are dangerous.
Paul : Sure, it's like a pleasure drive through war-torn Iraq.

Yeah, pull out the yellow guilt card. Like anyone's gonna try putting the moves on the far from desirable Aunt DimWit Della. Not sure why she keeps calling me though since she knows she's gonna end up the unwilling barb of my acerbic jokes.

Demands I don't mind fulfilling!

Sigh. Although it doesn't sound like it at the moment, I actually do love my super-sized family, no doubt about that. I don't think anyone else makes such an effort to remain in contact with their numerous relatives around - including far-flung, unheard-of third cousins. Believe that blood is actually thicker than water.

But that doesn't make me the fall guy of the family, does it?

Actually makes me feel like flying out to Hanoi, engaging the attentions of a ravishing, fertile Vietnamese bride and start procreating like rabbits just to escape the attention. Maybe then they'll start hounding my younger unmarried cousins. :P

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Attack of the Little Fishies

After being tied up by the incessant demands of big business for some time ( and possibly the infamous Bad Ass Brenda ), Big Bicep Barry messaged me today with an interesting proposition.

Barry : What are you doing in May?
Paul : Not sure. Working. Why?
Barry : Wanna go to a hopefully deserted tropical island?
Paul : Sounds interesting, kinda like Lost. Will you be naked, oiled and willing?
Barry : Very funny.

Although it would have been far more interesting if he'd suggested a perverted homosexual weekend orgy, that would have been stretching the truth ( and possibly inspiring unintentional jealousy in Charming Calvin ) since my prim and proper Victorian pal actually called later to tell me he had an extra spot on his diving crew.

Scuba diving that is.

Sigh. I stupidly leapt at the offer having wild irrational thoughts of searching coral reefs for hidden shipwrecks and ancient pirate treasure when all Barry had in mind were colourful Nemos and Dorys - and of course snapping quantities of film with his recently repurchased camera ( so far free from the loathsome techie curse ).

Barry : So how about it?
Paul : You've got to be kidding right?
Barry : But you showed so much interest when I brought my photobooks over!
Paul : Who's looking at the fishes! You and a number of your well-built hottie buddies were all wearing skimpy swim trunks.
Barry : But the fishes...
Paul : Sure, they are cute and all... but I find the really minuscule ones awfully icky.
Barry : Icky? You deal with blood and gore on a daily basis and you find little fishes icky?
Paul : Yeah, just imagine! They could make their way into any one of the bodily orifices.
Barry : And you'd just have to think of that.
Paul : Really. Imagine if it sneaks into your speedos and then goes ...
Barry : Don't even say it!
Paul : What can I say? It's dirty, it's disgusting, it's degenerate - I love it!

Really. There's nothing I love more than travelling. Exciting land tours through ancient walled communities and exotic bazaars, I'm there. Road trips to bustling cities and endless suburbia, I'm there. But I draw the line at goggling over slippery little fishes while struggling to tread water ( and worrying endlessly over the bends and anal-probing sea life ).

I think I just got attacked by some little fishies!

Honestly though, although I don't count myself as all that squeamish, there are still a few things in the world that I find simply... icky.

1) Maggots. Been a persistent nightmare since one of my on-calls when I saw a whole thriving village of maggots nesting in a man's throat. Don't know how the CSI team deals with those wriggling creepy-crawlies but it's all I can do to keep my lunch down when I catch one of those.

2) Worms. Not the usual type you snag onto fish hooks since those are fine by me. These are the disgustingly slimy creatures that dwell in the gut resembling nothing more than the sand monsters in Dune. Imagine them crawling up the oesophagus into your throat - and then taking a curious peek out of your mouth. Saw that once in paediatrics and I almost ran screaming.

3) Hands dangling by the torn tendons. Nuff said, I think.

And now of course we have little mini fishes swimming into my ear - and other bodily orifices.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Mama-sans and Lipstick Lesbians

We've all heard about the streotypically limp-wristed femme gay hairdresser who squeals over the littlest things while busy flapping his palms hysterically. Although we all know that constitutes only a small segment of the varied gay brethren, that particular stereotype seems to reverberate strongly amongst the masses. Simply because it is a stereotype. Small number though it maybe but throw a stone and you're still more likely to hit a flaming homo hairstylist rather than a butch gay marine ( no matter how much we might want that to happen! ).

All four of them gay? Like that's gonna happen out of gay porn!

Gay secretaries and vapid models. Diva actresses and desperate housewives. Sure we'd all love to create that amazingly quirky character who defies definition but stereotypes actually exist for a reason. Which is what I told Strapping Shane ( who knows! Our future Yasmin Ahmad? ) when he enthusiastically showed us rough copies of his really excellent scripts.

Apart from a minor glitch or two.

Paul : It's all good except...
Shane : And there'll be two other characters, one a married lady who later hires a prostitute to indulge her lesbian desires.
Paul : Lesbian prostitute?
Shane : And also a native China girl who comes over here to work as a prostitute.
Paul : Two prostitutes? And you listed the China doll as 43. A 43 year old whore?

Tried my best to keep my tongue between my teeth but he did ask for honest critiques so excuse me while Saint Wicked makes an appearance.

Although I'm sure there are lipstick lesbian ladies who cater to the muff-diving crowd, I don't think it would be all that easy for a closeted dyke to find the numbers. Easy enough for a horny gay man to find a willing cocksucker - just look behind the door of any disrespectable public toilet and you'll have not only numbers but positions, race, height and even blood type. Seriously doubt female masseuse with benefits is even listed in the Yellow Pages. Possible but unlikely. Even then I don't think she'd get all that many hits from loose lesbians.

Like the saying goes, men come from Mars while women come from Venus and never the twain shall meet. Where else would we get the stereotype of lesbians getting a minivan and a shared account after the first date while gay men still search for commitment in their vocabularies after four years of cohabitation. :P

And come on, an elderly mama-san? Sorry to be overwhelmingly ageist but exactly who's gonna pay top dollar for that? What in the world could have possessed this sadly pathetic China doll - who probably has been living a saintly unbesmirched life in those hills farming and tending to the needs of a growing family for two decades - only to suddenly throw it all away for a lucrative life of drifting from dingy nightclubs to seedy brothels?

I know. I can be such a mean critic. Fortunately Charming Calvin was there to mediate. Maybe Miranda Priestley has a position for me.

Monday, March 12, 2007

First Love

Weekends and days off work are usually reserved for outings at the cinema with Charming Calvin and the gang. Has been a tradition of sorts of me since I was in white shirt and blue shorts rushing out of the school gates to catch that first trishaw from school to the nearest cinema hall for the early matinee.

Makes me sound old, doesn't it :)

Nothing could be as wildly contrasting with the movie we saw the day before than the one we saw today. Instead of a perfectly choreographed beautiful ballet of bloody carnage with dozens of gorgeous Greek gods battling evil overlords in 300 while testosterone-laced heavy metal rocks the screen, what we had was a simple tale of first love between a pair of budding tweens set in a typical Malaysian kampung while old-style keroncong plays in the background.

Yasmin Ahmad excels in telling sweet, heartwarming tales that hearken to simpler times ( while still laying hints on deeper sociopolitical undercurrents ) and she doesn't fail in her latest effort that tells the story of the love between her favourite It girl, feisty Orked and her besotted pre-adolescent beau who takes her on innocent dates filled with bicycle rides, tree climbing and kite flying. The simple tagline for this prolific lady's latest movie, Mukhsin is.. everyone has a first love story to tell.

Mukhsin broods

Since my memory's never the best, my true first love's probably consigned to some ancient photo album that I've probably lost somewhere in my old closet. Though it might shock some, wouldn't surprise me if I actually had some well forgotten crush on the proverbial girl next door. I'm a peculiar sort after all. But the love that I recall best - especially since he's still a regular fixture in my life - would be my ISO.

My ISO : My first love? Sorry lah but I think you're the second.
Paul : What? Don't tell me it was one of the teachers!
My ISO : Eeewww! Please! I think I loved that monstrous toad we once shared... that is before you chopped the poor guy up in Biology.

Sure, he remembers Biology lessons best.

Can't remember ever playing hantu galah with him ( unlike Orked and Mukhsin ) but I know I once trounced him in rugby - yeah, I admit I can be a little rough sometimes. Never one to take it lying low, the man took his revenge though by beating me handily in badminton and tennis - which I suck badly since I have zero hand-to-eye coordination.

Better at contact sports after all :P

Doubt I could beat him at any of those games right now since the last time I handled a ball ( get yuir mind out of the gutter! :P ) was way back in school. Still I recall beating him up in Diablo not too long ago so there!

Like mine, my ISO's schedule is somewhat erratic which is why we usually end up meeting up at the oddest hours. Terribly unsociable hours and yet it's good to avoid the pressing crowds. And obviously one of the reasons why a dedicated 9-to-5-er like my Charming Calvin hasn't met him yet.

My ISO : What have you told him about me? Then again don't tell me, I don't wanna know. Whatever it is, I'm sure it's all lies!
Paul : And how would you describe yourself?
My ISO : I'm a sweet, gentle soul who writes bad poetry and helps little old ladies across the road?
Paul : Try another one.

The man told me that's how he wanted to be known so I conceded.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

The Spartan Diet

Forget about excruciating daily body-jams at the gym and munching on zero-calorie alfalfa sprouts to gain that enviable ripped six-pack. I've found the perfect solution.

All you have to do is run away and join the Spartans. Honestly. Just take a look at the brawny King Leonidas and his 300 Spartans with their pumped-up machismo. Not sure exactly what they're feeding those bright-eyed boys in Sparta but never before have I seen so many broad shoulders, tight pecs and defined abs revealed ( short of a sweaty gay disco on a happening Friday night ) with nary an ounce of fat to be found amongst the lean, mean fighting machines.

Starting to have a sinking feeling that those judged wanting ( or a single pound overweight after the weekly weigh-in ) are summarily tossed off the high treacherous cliffs of Mt Taygetos. Really, it's enough to make an entire movie audience of men hold their breath to suck in their stomachs.

Easier enough to join the Spartans, I believe. Training with dozens of other sweaty half-naked musclebound athletes? I believe I can suffer some of that pain.

If you wanna get that six-pack, come join the Spartans!

If you're expecting light romance, high drama and intelligent dialogue in this faithful adaptation of Frank Miller's classic graphic novel that recounts the 480 B.C. Battle of Thermopylae, where 300 Greek warriors from Sparta managed to stem the flood of the 60,000-strong Persian invading army, you'd be well disappointed. There's barely time in all the beautifully captured ( though bloodsplashingly gory ) action and fight sequences to squeeze in the few moments of tender emotion shared by King Leonidas and his shockingly supportive militaristic queen, Gorgo. Certainly not for the squeamish as decapitated heads, slashed hands and hacked-up torsos bathe in red-hot blood in this perfectly choreographed ballet of carnage.

But who cares about all that when you have... abs. And an abundance of it. Decked out like gladiators in a luscious gay wet dream, the testosterone-soaked soldiers from Sparta approach the battlefield in crotch-squeezing leather ensembles that expose as much tight bronzed flesh as our Malaysian ratings would allow. Amazed the astonished Persians didn't drop to their knees in worship of such god-like beings.

I certainly would have. :P

Yeah, I am that shallow.

Though I know queer advocates / critics are wailing over the obvious lack of homosexuality in this ancient Greek city-state, I also do understand some of the reasons behind it ( apart from the possible latent military homophobia these days ). Seriously though... throughout the relentlessly violent movie, there's hardly time enough to portray two men sharing more than a pallet together. Sure there are hints of a closer relationship between two of the warriors but you have to squint really really hard - and extrapolate wildly from their few laconic lines.

Stelios : You fight really well.
Astinos : So do you. Look out for that rhino!
Stelios : Drat that rhino! Oh, you know something... I think I have feelings for you.
Astinos : So do I. Maybe we have some time to steal away before... Ugghh..
Stelios : What? What is it, my love?
Astinos : Feel that sharp point nudging your abs? That's not what you think... I think I just got a Persian spear through my thigh.

So obviously there wasn't much time for love during those troubled times.


Of course there's not much time for loving at work here in the hospital either - unlike those unconventional fiends at Seattle Grace. Hell, look at the time I'm writing this! Sigh. Work never ends here in the hospital.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Tits and Cleavage II

Had an interesting comment in my last post where I talked about seemingly straight boys stumbling hopelessly over compliments when it comes to each other. Always talking about gay men approaching straight guys with devastating consequences ( homophobic bloodbath anyone? ) so what if we actually turned it around?

Boys and Girls
Girls who are boys
Who like boys to be girls
Who do boys like theyre girls
Who do girls like theyre boys!

Simple enough actually. I think we all know what I would do if a girl asked me out on a date... honestly I'd usually say hell yeah, why not. Not that I'm turning fashionably pansexual but hey... nice meal, good conversation, hopefully pleasant company. It's all good. Don't think that human sexuality's all set in stone so with the right buttons being pushed, who knows that she could actually convert me. Actually lead me back to the path of righteousness so to speak.

Or at least she could try :P

Lord knows I'm certainly not a misogynist and I think women are simply fabulous creatures ( come on, multitasking and shopping? What's not to love! ) - so I don't believe that it would be too far a leap to actually falling in love with them.

Then again, going all ga-ga like my drooling breeder brothers over their bouncing hoo hooss and their bodacious ta tas could be a significant problem ( let's not even talk about their hoochie coochies ). Sure, I notice them. Who doesn't? When you've got a significant rack jutting out a mile wide, I think even a blind pedophiliac priest would notice.

Of course sometimes I do more than just check them out aesthetically ( which is all I wanna do, I swear! ).

Paul : Whoa. Check out that rack!
Calvin : That's a girl.
Paul : So? Impressive. Dang, they're certainly not small and humble - and God knows I'm gonna confuse them with mountains.
Calvin : Huh.

Or something like that. My staid, politically-correct man, Charming Calvin disapproves of course. Not sure why though since after all if you have ta tas off the chain, I think that's a reason to celebrate, don'tcha think? Certainly boys with tits and cleavage find all sorts of opportunities for display :)

But answering ryan's comments, same goes for that open-minded straight bloke.

Straight Bloke : I'd so go out with you if I was gay.
Paul : Not a problem. You can pretend. So can I. Man dates are fine by me.
Straight Bloke : Gah.

See. I am flexible.

Thursday, March 08, 2007


Night shifts can be a pain, even for a night owl like me. Although I do enjoy the relative calm that midnight brings to the normally chaotic hospital environs ( short of some sado-masochistic drunken freak with a death wish causing a violent ten-car pile-up on the highway ), working nights for a week does cause havoc on the body's physiologic systems, throwing the normal circadian rhythms out of whack. Not easy getting used to the sudden change in sleeping patterns - and hell, let's face it I'm no longer a fresh-faced idealistic 25 yo intern!

Creaking bones and all that.

Makes it all too easy to morph at the stroke of midnight into pure evil. :)

The Night
See what lurks in the night!

Still there are good points about working nights. Coming home in the wee hours of the morning actually gives you a different perspective on the big city.

There are cities that claim to never sleep but I believe that isn't always true. Just those few special hours right before the crack of dawn, a particularly eerie, serene calm envelops the bespelled city. At that moment, the raucuous sounds of the hectic city life comes to a standstill leaving only silence as even the usual energetic, hyped-up radio deejays take a rest leaving only soporific music to fill the airwaves. Apart from the slow rumble of the mechanical sweepers, the suddenly emptied, dimly-lit streets are practically devoid of traffic, giving way to the peculiar creatures of the night - that odd muttering vagrant with rolled-up mat in tow finding a new nest, the disorderly drunk stumbling out of the closing bars, the berouged streetwalker slinking home after finishing her dues - and even the clandestine lover taking that infamous walk of shame.

Yes, even sleepy overworked interns rubbing their eyes as they crash into walls ( fall into drains ) on the way back to their quarters.

Always tempting to sit and watch as the city slumbers through the twilight hours since that never lasts for long. Just as you're getting used to the still of the night, the amber lights of the city start winking off one by one as the first streaks of dawn streak across the sky. And the city wakes up.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Shaking the Rafters

Gonna blog about something quite intimate, quite oddly embarassing actually. But if even Dr McDreamy can face up to such a problem, then so can I. In recent episodes of Grey's Anatomy, we find out that the titular character Meredith Grey grunts, growls and snores like a passing freeway which keeps poor McDreamy up all night.

He's not the only one.

Seriously. Charming Calvin snores. So do I ( or at least I assume I do ) but he tends to fall asleep like a log - almost instantaneous delta waves really! - microseconds after his head touches the pillow which leaves me, the miserable insomniac, staring at the ceiling for the greater part of the night while the stertorous generator besides me roars to life shaking the rafters.

Not exactly the way I'd want to wake the neighbours :)

Occasionally he asks me over to spend the night and though dying to agree ( who wouldn't want to get their hands on a piece of Calvin? ), I sometimes demur as best as I can. Not that I don't love the man but sometimes I need my 6 hours straight of sleep especially after a particularly busy week - or else I'll morph far too easily into the midnight monster Saint Wicked who chews up interns for breakfast. God knows sleep is such a precious commodity for me sometimes that I'd sooner trade gold for it.

But during the nights that I try to distract myself by counting sheep with my head buried under two pillows - while steam locomotives rumble around me, I tell myself I'm not gonna pick a fight. Certainly not worth crying over a snore or two. Unless you're a hermit monk living in strict seclusion alone, it's a common, mundane problem that the majority of the population faces one time or another. I'm a doctor. I know this.

What to do today?
Exactly how do I tell him?

Yet I find myself getting quite ( irrationally really ) irritable especially on mornings that I have to wake up early - and honestly since my year-long coffee embargo, my growling, grumpy morning self isn't exactly pleasant to be with. Of course that's made much worse when I haven't gotten my full quota of zzzs.

Of course Dr McDreamy solved his problems by getting ear plugs but I don't think I'll have to resort to that yet. My poor Charming Calvin. :) Forgive me, sometimes I really do need my sleep.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Bad Luck Charm

Reputations are pretty hard to break.

Like a lousy first impression, ill repute once gained is almost impossible to be rid of - and nothing makes a worse impression in the hospital than being the unfortunate bearer of ill fortune.

Or more accurately, a bad luck charm.

Seriously. We have an unusual term for these so-called bad luck charms in the hospital. Like the ancient sailors, we call these jinxed doctors Jonah. As dedicated men of science, physicians are supposed to scoff at such superstitious illogical nonsense as bad luck but every once in a while, an inexplicable string of catastrophes happens during that particular unfortunate Jonah's oncall. Dozens of patients destabilize at the same time, new ones drop to the ground at the door, the machines fail to function properly, the electric supply crashes - and then even the roof falls in.

Murphy's Law really.

But bad juju does happen, believe it or not, and most times it can't be explained away as mere statistical chance ( what are the freaking odds! One in a billion? ).

God knows who actually started this peculiar term Jonah over here - whether it's named after the unfortunate prophet Jonah of Biblical fame ( with his fishing misadventures ) or some bewitched physician going by the same name many years ago. Obviously, some disgruntled patient must have cast the evil eye on the poor guy.

More than a few of us have been labelled as Jonah... and honestly I'm one of the unfortunate few - though of late, I feel that I'm starting to shed some of that bad juju ( got my fingers crossed hopefully! ). Still terrible calls are the rule rather than the exception - and going through a grueling 24-hour-call without a minor disaster always comes as a surprise. Even fills me with unwelcome suspicion in the wee hours of the morning as I wonder whether something calamitous has happened somewhere without my knowledge ( or whether my uncooperative pager has died on me ).

Getting it On
Trying on that lucky shirt!

Of course we all have our own ways of dealing with this - and most everyone I know has their own version of a good luck charm. After all no one wishes to be branded as the Jonah to be tossed overboard and swallowed by a passing whale.

Hear that lucky underwear and socks are par for the course though very few would admit to it. Ever the irreverent creature, Shameless Shalom swears on her infamous Red (hair)Band of Courage - though last I heard it was broken and not replaced as yet. Another colleague of mine used to believe in daily flower scented baths at exactly 6 in the evening to ward off evil. Hell, even the folks in Seattle Grace depend on their regular hot chocolate to promote good chi.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Speed Demon

Seriously. I need to know this. Do I walk all that fast?

Just this morning, I was supposed to help a friend by conducting special rounds for some eager-beaver medical interns around the specialized wards. As usual, I go equipped with an MP3 player ( to amuse myself during those extremely dull lengthy treks down empty corridors ), my trusty 'borrowed' stethoscope and of course my leather whip.

I'm kidding about the whip.


Still there were times when I felt this near irresistible urge to crack the damned whip on the slow-mo laggards. Just when I started off on the first leg of my rounds, I took a quick pause at the bank of elevators to find the whole gang huffing and puffing several metres behind me, tripping over themselves to catch up. It was lke watching several aging, creaking centenarian tortoises inching their way down the endless corridor. More than one easily bit the dust.

Paul : Let's go. I'm sure you guys will want to return to your regular scheduled duties after rounds.
Intern A : Huff huff huff....
Intern B : I feel faint. I can't feel my fingers. I need oxygen. Help me.
Intern C : I think I left my feet back in the last ward.

Intern B actually reminded me of Charming Calvin, oddly enough.

The ten-intern pile-up

Honestly. I am not related to Sonic the Hedgehog as some of the other residents have inferred ( don't think I haven't heard! ) nor do I have extremely powerful million dollar bionic / mutant legs that make me fly faster than a speeding bullet. What I do have is a maniacal need for speed ( imagine how cool if I could earn points by knocking folks down like tenpins ) and a serious dislike for those who take their time to dilly-dally. Sometimes when I navigate through packed crowds, I feel like getting a mini-zamboni to shove the unsuspecting lingerers into a nearby storm drain while cackling malevolently. Unfortunately patience has never been one of my virtues ( not that I have all that many ).

But I seriously doubt I actually walk all that fast and furious. Seems a normal regular speed - somewhat similar to the crowds of harassed city workers streaming into the trains everyday. My steadfast nurses don't seem to complain. Of course then again last week one of them had to be resuscitated at the nearby water fountain after rounds.


Maybe I should give the rest a headstart next time.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

The Right Combination

Matchmaking - or busybody meddling as some call it under their breaths :) - can have its inevitable ups and downs. Easy enough to get two people to share a meal for one speedy dinner date but to have them share bed and breakfast for the rest of their lives can be a bit more complicated - evidenced by the unfortunate rash of breakups lately.

Of course my matchmaking mama has her own thoughts on that since she seems intent on shoving dating services under my nose each time I turn around. With my obvious reluctance to involve myself in heterosexual dating rituals, it wouldn't surprise me if she ordered a comely Vietnamese mail order bride soon. :P

Maybe Charming Calvin could dress up in a flowing ao dai and play pretend.

Finding that special someone can sometimes be the cosmic equivalent of striking that milion-dollar lottery against impossible odds. Sometimes no matter how much two people have in common, no matter how amazingly similar their tastes and proclivities lie, no matter that it seems fortuitously written in the karmic stars that they are meant to be together, there just doesn't seem to be that particular spark of chemistry that ignites love.

Fortunately for Jaunty Jared and Lanky Lex cuddling comfortably in their dark, secluded corner of their universe, there seems to be just that spark. Doubt even the cheesy one-hit-wonders of the 80s playing in rotation during the movie could distract the two from their cosy contented cocoon of newfound love ( no doubt shielded by the peculiar sounds of bells and whistles from Phillip Glass that they both adore ).

Backseat petting
Did anybody see that?

Of course they could be indulging in heavy-duty petting for all I know :) Can't say I haven't given in to that urge time and again myself.

OMG! Now I have this odd imprinted image of the two canoodling in the Jumping Jalopy's backseat with Lex leaving a sweaty hand imprint on the windscreen ala Rose Dawson in the Titanic.

Unfortunately for the rest of us watching the movie ( when I wasn't stealing glances at the cooing couple ), neither Drew Barrymore and Hugh Grant could find that elusive spark in this sad romantic mismatch. Seriously, there's hardly enough combustive heat in all of the fractious Middle East to make the eminently likeable duo a believable couple. Half the time as they quarrel and banter, they seem more like lifelong best friends / colleagues who have accidentally stumbled into a misguided one-nighter in Music and Lyrics.

Doesn't mean the movie's a total disaster though. Drew Barrymore despite her understated, near wimpish role still manages to be an audience favourite since even the hardest heart would melt under that sweet, sunny smile - and Hugh Grant despite his divine antics and aging wrinkles still manages to squeeze out enough roguish charm and snappy one-liners to carry the film.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Paperback Hero

Let's be honest here. No matter how I might indulge in trashy bodice-ripping romances, I think I'm certainly not cut out to be a paperback hero of any sort. Surely all heroes should be the embodiment of the strong, silent Heathcliff brooding over his lost love as he gazes moodily over the dark, windswept moors.

Such single-minded obsession sounds damned exhausting and since I'm quite the eternal optimist, it would take a whole lot of alcohol to have me brood that way over anything.

And yet I hear Heathcliff's not the only lovelorn hero trolling the proverbial moors. Hear of lovey-dovey Richandamy couples feeling like their chests have been torn open the minute their loved one leaves the room, that every fiber of their being weeps at the calamitous thought of being torn apart - and yet even with Charming Calvin miles away in a hill resort, I'm not feeling the urge to sing Ain't No Mountain High Enough yet. Sure the man is wonderful, he sings a mean karaoke and yeah, I do miss his company but I seriously doubt my world's simply gonna come crashing to a halting stop the minute he leaves town. After all, he's only gone for a couple of days and barely a stone's throw away ( if Superman were to toss that proverbial stone of course ).

Of course I have friends who have commented over my peculiar lack of sentiment.

Sentimental Sheila : He's gone for that long? Won't you miss him?
Paul : It's a few days, not a lifetime. It's a nearby hill resort, he's not moving to the wilds of Central Asia to join the travelling gypsies.
Sentimental Sheila : But you won't see him, right?
Paul : What? You expect me to pine away weeping copiously? It's a freaking three days at the least.

Of course I'm not the only non-Paperback Hero. I believe Charming Calvin's far too busy leading team cheers and blasting paint guns up in the mountains - certainly no time for him to beat his chest repeatedly crying over my absence.

Chris Carmack
How do I get back to my love?

Absence does make a heart grow fonder but it certainly doesn't mean that I should morph into a nervous wailing wreck, does it? :)