Saturday, June 30, 2007

Singular Weekends

Rather than being joined literally at the hip, some weekends I actually spend alone since Charming Calvin dedicates the last day of the week to his numerous tuition students ( one of the many ingenious ways he's developed to beat crippling credit debt ). Actually only one desperate kamikaze student who plans to complete her entire syllabus in the space of eight intense months. Good luck to her, I say - especially with her erstwhile mentor presumably jetting off to Beijing in a month.

With me in tow a week or so later ( with credit card and shopping cart ).

A weekend like this with a clear morning sky with no particular agenda or mundane errands to run, I find myself traipsing around the antique shops in the historical quarter of town looking hopefully for that special bargain. Perhaps a quiant pair of wooden lions to place under the window sill in my library. Maybe even a pseudo-antique Chinese Ming style cabinet to grace my guestroom. Tnen there's my year long search for the perfect sideboard cabinet to place on the first floor landing. I picture something painted and Tibetan!

Calvin : I'm all alone in the city!
Paul : Like you really want to follow me antiqueing all over the streets of Malacca under the hot afternoon sun?
Calvin : ....

Well he certainly has no reply for that :)

Asian hunk
It's getting hawt in here!

Thankfully as well since I know poor Charming Calvin always finds it a pitiless chore to follow me on one of my trekking expeditions. Whereas I'm usually the epitome of cool - some say I hardly sweat though I know that's patently untrue - Calvin finds it hard to walk more than five metres without the the modern convenience of the air-conditioner. Under the sweltering sun in a cloudless sky through a neverending array of stalls and shops, he sweats, melts and puddles... and very soon, I'll have to get him into the shade before the poor guy gets dehydrated from heat stroke.

And though I find olden-day thingamajigs, moroccan lamps and chinese cloisonne endless fascinating, I do note that Calvin's eyes usually start to glaze over mindlessly as I wander the aisles. Even while I'm shifting through dust and cobwebs to find that particular Venetian mirror, I find that he has already nodded off asleep in the Ming inspired jichi chair. Not sure what he's gonna do in China when I start repro antique hunting.

Yeah. Reproduction antiques. Rarely superstitious but I've always had this eerie feeling that the certified real antiques carry a bad omen for some reason. I mean, we're essentially buying bits and pieces of someone else's past life. Now isn't it quite a wretched tragedy that their luckless descendants have hit upon such a patch of ill fortune that they have resorted to hawking and peddling their family possessions?

Juk juk juk. Serious bad juju. And I haven't even gotten to the part where some afflicted ancestor might have met a calamitous end impaled on the wooden carving of the daybed - whereupon the superstitious servants hastily sold off that said item!

Guess I do have my irrational notions.

Just this morning, chanced upon a beautifully matched pair of wooden carvings ( no doubt snapped off the canopy of a broken down bed in Zhejiang ) detailing the scenes of a woodland glen - that I'm sure would look perfect above the bedroom doors. But I caught myself at the last minute.

Maybe I could get them cheaper in Beijing!

Friday, June 29, 2007

The Significant Others

For any guy, the ex meeting their current partner would count as one of their biggest nightmares. Horrifying visions of bloodshed and manslaughter ( if not double-teaming for murder ) would probably feature large in their minds.

For me, it's a bit more complex than that. There's certainly no basis for comparison between the two since Charming Calvin and my ISO ( InSignificant Other for those wondering ) are as different as oil and water. In a good old Western flick context, my ISO would be the tough, no-holds-barred, straight-talking bandit with little or no conscience ( certainly no qualms about gunning a stranger down ) while Calvin would better suit the role of the serious, earnest greenhorn from the East trying to make it big in the wild, wild West.

Asian hunk
Sorry, sir this is the closest I could get to a cowboy hat!

Me? I'm not sure where I would fit in.

Lately however, Charming Calvin has been making noises about meeting up with my wicked ISO. Praying hard that it wouldn't be the gundown at the OK Corral - so far providence seems to be on my side since our schedules don't match ( thankfully! ) and it has been nearly impossible getting them to meet. Seems like the twain shall never meet since my ISO keeps increasingly odd hours while Calvin sticks to the regular salaryman's 9 to 5.

Still I spend my time heming and hawing over setting a date to meet since it's hard enough explaining my reasons for trying to stall the inevitable.

For one thing, wouldn't it be way weird if they became bosom beer buddies, sharing drinks after hours at the local saloon? What happens when I want to complain, bitch and gripe about my boyfriend's messy freakin-tornado-just-blew-in lodgings? Who do I talk to about his various little iniquities over peanuts and lager? I am sure Calvin would find a ready audience for my endless shortcomings amongst his cowgirls, the Charming Calvinettes but it's a little harder for me.

Oddly enough I don't mind having some of my relationships compartmentalized. Learnt my lesson way back then after all. Ancient history lesson here folks. When I broke up with my ISO way back, I lost not only a partner but a friend. A bit difficult to find a broad shoulder to cry on out in the open range when you've essentially broken up with a best friend too! So you end up staring at an empty cafe chair with warm beer in a mug while muttering maniacally about his manifold flaws and imperfections.

And can you imagine the PG-rated TMI conversations I have with my ISO? Just this morning I met him for a light breakfast before he started work ( damn flexible hours! ) and as usual we got to talking over beans, bacon and sausages. Those expecting him to commiserate with my latest news would be sorely disappointed.

Paul : Calvin might be transferring to Beijing for six months.
My ISO : Interesting. Does that mean we can have secret suck-and-fuck sessions now?
Paul : We're in public! You don't talk like that! And that hasn't happened in more than a year.
My ISO : Ah, but when the cat is away.

Seriously. How would Calvin deal with my scandalous potty-mouthed friend? God knows what shocking information is just waiting to fall from his loose lips.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Boy Culture

Years back, one of the first gay-themed novels I ever read was Peculiar Chris. Certainly wouldn't come as a surprise to anyone my age since it recounts the coming-out tale of a Singaporean boy during national service. What's surprising is that my mother was the one who purchased it particularly for me at a book sale, thinking that I'd be able to identify with the homosexual protagonist's angst and self doubt. Prophetic knowledge, don't you think?

Of course I moved on from there, continually in search of my identity, clutching on any blind items that pinged my nascent gaydar even the slightest - and one of the books I found was Boy Culture by Matthew Rettenmund. Don't bother looking it up in your local bookstores since it's pretty hard to find - and even if you did, it must have come in by fluke since our rigidly conservative customs checkpoint certainly frowns on overtly gay novels.

And what could be more overt than a neon blue-green cover with a half-naked go-go boy on it? :)

Not claiming that the book changed my life but it certainly made me smile on the rainy days when love seemed so hard to find - and when I heard that it'd made the long-awaited jump from page to screen, I waited for it with bated breath.

I'd dump me the second someone better came along.

Just that caustic, self-deprecating confession tells you how the mind of a certain high-priced callboy works. Barely in his mid-twenties and already flush with a bulging bank account, one would think that the main protagonist called X would start walking away from the world's oldest profession. However despite his bitter, cynical attitude, X revels in his seeming conquests sardonically referring to his dedicated clients as his dependable disciples, drolly assigning amusing glib nicknames to each.

X and Andrew
Hallway meetings

Otherwise avoiding non-monetary relationships like a case of the crabs ( no sex with non-paying folks for this otherwise puritanical whore ), our commitment-phobic X nevertheless finds himself attracted to his sexy jock roommate Andrew, a relative newbie coming to terms with his sexuality - while his other roommate, an outrageous drama twink named Joey practically worships the ground X moves on and tries every dirty trick in a gay man's book to bring him to ground. Doesn't stop Joey the self-proclaimed slut from sleeping with everything in pants though.

A pity we'll never see this film over here since Boy Culture could be one of the best gay-themed movies I've seen this year. Certainly not a melodramatic paean to forbidden love like Brokeback Mountain nor a tortured hidden love affair the likes of Asian weepflicks such as Happy Together and Bishonen - the boys here are wildly out and proud. Talky enough though with its many witty one-liners and glib commentaries so I'm sure more than a few twinks would find it deeply soporific.

No doubt my Lord of Perpetual Yawn, Charming Calvin would start nodding off halfway through the show :) But I'm sure he'd keep awake for scenes of the deliciously buff Derek Magyar who plays X.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Whine, Weep and Whimper

Honestly I worry for the boys.

When I look at my little nephew Rambling Raoul shyly smiling from his lofty perch on my shoulder no doubt winning the hearts of baby senoritas everywhere, I find myself hoping that he won't have that hard a time in the future. After all, women's lib and gender empowerment these past few decades have given the ladies a boost in their self-esteem but unfortunately it has left most of our men floundering bewilderedly on the shoals.

Just look at the state of our music. While our precious little princesses are being bombarded with head-banging girl power anthems on a daily basis ( miles away from the old-fashioned sugar and spice ), our little boys are being eagerly spoon-fed sugary sweet melodies from the sentimental likes of James Morrison and James Blunt.

Please. You're so beautiful but I'll never be with you? Please give me something cause you give me something that makes me scared alright?

Love me!

I'm far from a Mr Heavy Cojones Macho Macho Man but ... could they be any more of a wimp? Pathetic wusses practically crawling on the freezing snow for that little crumb of affection? Getting in touch with your feelings is one thing, wallowing in it for months is something else. What really makes them all so drippy wallowing in misery and self-pity are those needy, apologetic lyrics : he's lost and scared, he begs and pleads, he crumbles and crawls...

Seriously. What's wrong with the world today? While the girls are marvelling over being Lil Miss Independents able to buy their own shoes and cadillacs, the crybaby boys are begging them to stay by whining, weeping and whimpering over their mocktails with paper umbrellas.

A new age man with a little sensitivity is damned sexy. Too much ruins the evening. A schmaltzy milquetoast who whines over not hating his wife after being dumped ( especially after giving the best of himself ) should be given a deserving wedgie, tied to a rock and summarily dropped into the vast blue ocean for the sakes of all mankind.

And ladies. Come on, do you actually find that particular spineless quality alluring in a man?

I certainly don't. Two tight bitchslaps is what I'd give them. Strap on a pair dammit.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Beijing Bombshell

I'm not your typical guy.

An obvious enough statement judging by my blog - but I think more than a few still find it a little hard to believe. Always been a little bit of an eccentric - hear tell my doting Pa dropped me as a kid which accounts for it. So when my Charming Calvin drops a literal bombshell on me, you can hardly expect me to have a normal reaction.

Calvin : I have got something to say.
Paul : Speak!
Calvin : What would you say if I got a six-month transfer?
Paul : To where?
Calvin : To Beijing?
Paul : OMG When do we leave?

He was taken aback to say the least. Surely Calvin didn't expect me to display the typical screaming histrionics followed by hair-extension-tearing diva-esque rants favoured by most drama queens. Would he really have enjoyed the embarassing spectacle of me sobbing hysterically while desperately clinging on to his tattered pantleg to make sure he doesn't leave?

Airport goodbyes
Good night, good night!
Parting is such sweet sorrow!

How could I exhaust myself with all that needless drama when all I could think of was the Forbidden Palace, Peking Duck and hot, stern-faced Chinese PLA soldiers ( hopefully uncanny doppelgangers of a certain Huang Xiaoming )? Not to mention the things I could buy there. Think dainty porcelain dolls, kitschy Chairman Mao clocks and traditional wooden couplets! :)

And that's only on the first day.

My poor Calvin. Yes, I'm an eccentric. It's not that I don't comprehend the shocking enormity of the sudden transfer - niggling doubts and worries over the untenable situation already doubtlessly revolving repeatedly around Calvin's stressed out brain. What about his current job here? His leased apartment? His terribly expensive interior decor item - aka the precious MyVi? What about his faraway family and his friends here? What about our budding relationship?

Me, I find it easy enough to solve, given the chance. The job and apartment will always be here - and in desperation ( and financial straits! ) he could always break the lease and bunk with me for a while. Not sure what to do with his pampered car but I figure there's a certain stranded auntie out there who wouldn't mind having the vehicle on loan at least for a while.

What about our relationship? From what I hear, the six month transfer sounds like an excellent step on his climb up the career ladder and I certainly wouldn't want to stand in his way. Would miss him terribly but it's only six months fergodssakes! Although I don't entirely believe in the longevity of long-distance-romances ( far too tempting to stray after all :P ), I doubt a six month break would seriously endanger our relationship. And from what I mentioned above, you can be sure I'll be spending more than a handful of weekends shopping in Wangfujing 王府井大街 if he ever gets seconded there.

Guess I'll be spending the next few days checking out cheap flights to Beijing :)


On a lighter note, take a look at my daemon :P

Sunday, June 24, 2007

China Doll II : Stroll for a Troll

Seems like straight boys can be quite as unfathomable sometimes.

If the astonishing news of married ( and possibly insecure ) women raising vociferous protests against the entry of winsome China Dolls as foreign maids wasn't enough, I find myself even more surprised with the supposedly straight men! Rather than rejoice at the possible influx of Hot Hangzhou Honeys, more than a few men have written in to the papers fearing that the ladies would inevitably turn to a life of vice.

Not only do they fear losing their straying husbands to these Liaoning Lassies and Gansu Gals, now they think that these unjustly defamed ladies would also fall prey to the seamier side of life?

Ouch. I know. What a damning indictment not only on the fidelity of Malaysian men but also on the virtue of the mainland Chinese women.

Not that I'm necessarily agreeing with their skewed, perverted vision that female immigrants who seek work here would inevitably stumble and fall into the dark bowels of the city ( no doubt the sort of prejudiced, discriminatory puritans who blame rape victims for the act itself ) ... but then again I'm seriously taken aback by the comments! Did I hear correctly? Single straight men afraid of female prostitutes?

Somewhere in the seedy backlanes of Puduraya and Chow Kit, I think I hear a thousand fallen angels losing their tattered wings at the terrifying thought. What next? Socialites secretly boycotting furs and jewelry stores? Gay men launching unprecedented attacks against Pottery Barn and IKEA?

How can it possibly be that heterosexual men object to the presence of pleasure workers? :O What exactly would prompt them to admit to such seemingly irrational fear?

Sir? You called?

Much too revolutionary for this country at present ( even Charming Calvin would faint I'm sure ) but let me be the first to say this. Surely I'll be greeted with barely concealed screams of horror from the conservative bastions ( prior to raising pitchforks for mentioning such blasphemy ) but I'm actually in favour of legalizing prostitution.

Before you start throwing religious books my way, imagine this. Laws and regulations governing this much maligned profession - often dubbed the world's oldest profession! Not only would we be able to have a national registry therefore cleaning up the bordello and offering aid to the sick and downtrodden, it'd also be an important source of tax revenue for the nation's financial coffers. Simple enough solution, don't you think?

You want more wicked brothels? Hell, we'll tax you 300%!!
You hurt your rent boys? We toss you in the slammer!
You didn't come for your yearly medical checkup? We rescind your license and fine you!

Not only is hooking ( is that even a word? ) a far worthier profession than heist and hijack, it essentially hurts no one - but the hustler. After all the sex worker offers pleasurable services in return for monetary renumeration - and that's far less sinful in my eyes than mugging grannies and kicking them into the ground.

And please don't blame the poor call girls for that lapse into infidelity and the subsequent breakup of the family institution. Point the finger instead at the person who strays. Maybe it's time you lay the blame on the sinner instead of the sin.

But nevertheless I am open to objections. Speak.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Christian's Discovery

Apart from helping me discover the secret of Physician Peter ( and allowing me to ogle him ), one of the secret missions Comrade Christian has been entrusted with by the higher authorities is to discover himself. Not sure exactly what the objective of such an obscure mission would be but I am sure his holy superiors up above know better.

You see, shockingly enough Comrade Christian has recently professed himself to be an ardent follower of Sodom - a near blasphemous fact that surprisingly didn't cause his moral superiors to immediately order a cleansing bath of holy water followed by instant interrogation and excommunication. Seems like the recent revolutionary reforms of the church have spread down even to the lower orders leading a visionary few to exhort Christian to go forth... and discover himself - rather than multiply as it were.

Christian : Oh father, help me for I have sinned.
Father : Nowhere better to absolve yourself than at LaQueen. I'll even throw in dinner at Frangi's.

Searching for absolution!

And our novitiate has followed their urgent summons. From personals to park stalking, from bathhouses to clubs, from tea parties to foam parties; he has followed faithfully in the cum-stained trails of all those who have come before him. No doubt Sts Sergius and Bacchus are watching in voyeuristic approval.

And yet he finds himself unfulfilled - and distinctly disillusioned by the shallow, superficial homosexual world. Expecting to find that impossible prince charming to lead him to a happily-ever-after, Christian finds his fellow club companions far more interested in playing musical beds, testing out mattresses like latent commitment-phobic Goldilocks-wannabes.

Colour me surprised.

Since here comes the sad conundrum of the homosexual world. The futile search for monogamous true love inevitably brings us back to the ghettoized rainbow clubs most times ( not that many opportunities to socialize amongst ourselves after all ) - and yet luscious club princes who frequent such places simply aren't that interested in wedding after bedding. Rather than offering a fucking happy ending, they seem to be quite happy fucking ends. Inevitably even wide-eyed optimistic newbies find themselves irresistibly drawn to the seductive embrace of this pleasurable ( decadent yum! ) world.

Is it any wonder that a horrified Christian's probably contemplating a return to the monastery?

Friday, June 22, 2007

Cantankerous Tiger, Haughty Dragon

The men in my family are arrogant bastards.


Not that I'm trying to malign my entire patrilineal line but sad to say, it's actually true. You wouldn't guess that from me but unfortunately the majority of men in my family are loud, boorish testosterone-soaked linebackers who like their wine strong, their wives weak - and their songs resembling boom boom cantopop from their flashing car stereos.

Thankfully my own sensible paterfamilias seems to be a slightly watered down version of this chinese alpha male stereotype - otherwise my far more discerning mother would no doubt have left him high and dry years back.

Confucian principles ruled in my father's household back then. Position in the society and the family was adhered to the letter with reverence and service rendered to the seniors - students respected their teachers, sons respected their parents and brothers respected their elders.

Me, I was never very good at listening to the rules.

While we were still in our shortcoats, my brother showed early hints of turning into one of those so-called men's men, playing the role of the spoilt elder son throwing his weight around with his horrible tantrums. Although the little tyrant's roar was certainly worse than his bite, that didn't stop the household from trembling under his tremendous rage. No doubt he'd have turned into a reasonable fascimile of the other despotic men in the family, imagining himself the indisputable master of all he surveyed.

Fortunately that cantankerous tiger had me as a brother ( nature's way of providing a balance no doubt ) and I'd never have allowed such pompous arrogance to continue unabated. Brawls we had aplenty since I never gave an inch - the dragon in me would recognize no one else as master after all.

Brother : Roar! Taste my Leaping Imperial Tiger Kick!
Paul : Take this, my 18 Stance Dragon Claws!

Brothers Brawl
Not this kinda brawl unfortunately!

Fraternal relationships are frequently fraught with difficulties but age and maturity finally settled our differences. There are times when the tiger and the dragon actually find ways to work together after all :)

Unfortunately not all brothers manage to find that righteous path together.

Why this sudden he ain't heavy, he's my brother thoughts?

Too long a story - and certainly a horrid tale that only serves to make my blood boil - so I'll summarize as much as I can. A hapless friend of mine has an older brother whose actions I find utterly despicable - certainly to be reviled by most traditional family-minded Chinese. Not only has this unfortunate fellow been summarily kicked out of his brother's empty apartment to be left homeless ( since the brother cleverly rented out the place from under him ), he finds himself privileged to receive imperious summons from his faraway brother to run mindless errands for him. And now this oddly submissive fellow finds himself obliged to return a secondhand mattress that his brother had previously misplaced and no doubt forgotten all about before the reminder.

Me, I would have torn the mattress into insignificant little pieces, wrapped it in red silken ribbons and mailed it back to him. Since I doubt I would have ever treated a younger sibling this shabbily.

Now isn't that utterly deserving of my famed East Venom Dragon Claws?

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Memoirs of a Gaydar

Never been one to give up easily so my ongoing ( though seemingly futile ) search for the hidden agent remains in place. Although my clandestine blogging activities remains largely unknown to the general public - and my oblivious workmates, the unprecedented discovery by one of my erstwhile colleagues has left me vaguely unsettled.

Enlisted the help of my fellow conspirator who agreed after much persuasion to meet me this evening in a secret hideaway. Although Comrade Christian refused to betray his trusted sources, I brought along several wicked weapons of interrogation hoping that he would break ( though part of me wished that he would refuse therefore forcing me to use the phallic-like implements on his gym-fit physique ).

Met in a sun-dappled woodland glen doubling as a sushi palace - a place I wouldn't have expected existed in this interminable concrete jungle. Barely able to see in the cool, shadowy surroundings - a perfect meeting place for those who don't wish to be seen.

Interrogation Camp
A pity I never had the opportunity to interrogate him!

Then I met a pair of familiar almond eyes, squinting slit-like in the darkness. My gaze swept down to instantly recognizable pectorals with nipples already peaking from the sudden chill. And there in the relative shadows stood Comrade Christian and his eastern compatriot, the vivacious Miz Matahari.

There in that hidden mountain refuge over sumptuous dishes of Flying Geishas and Portobello Pancakes, we spoke - our clandestine topics ranged from Christian's infamous ( though rarely seen ) sex box to Matahari's not so secret charms. There was even a mention of the little known and much disputed Lady of Keningau. All the while though I was wondering whether Christian would agree to having raw sashimi spread on and eaten off his naked sweaty torso - though I wasn't entirely sure whether our Evil Spy Rulebook covered that particular code of etiquette.

Christian : Have you been able to find the agent provocateur?
Paul : Took a while and I haven't been able to ascertain for sure but I'd lay my bets that it's Physician Peter.
Christian : Good God, my brother, how did you know?
Matahari : Yes, it has taken us days!
Paul : Been testing out my secret wonderous homosexual detector. Thought the powers were dormant but they returned to me this past few days. And surprisingly Dour Dylan raised my suspicions as well.
Christian : Unglaublich you're right as well.

All right. Peter pinged my gaydar.

Took me a while but after much thoughtful meditation, I managed to piece together the various parts of the enigmatic puzzle that has been staring me in the face for many days. For the past few weeks, Peter has been but barely five feet from me and yet I only had a small inkling of the subterfuge. Fortunately my much lamented gaydar miraculously returned to its full strength this past few days and it was easy enough to seek out the agent provocateur hidden amongst the nameless masses.

Powerful enough even to uncover the heretofore imperceptible secrets of the inscrutable stranger Dour Dylan. Guess my suspicions have been confirmed after all and I'm certainly not the only deviant walking through these hallowed halls.

So how shall I confront this hidden dragon?

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Sawbones R Us

Doctors come in all shapes and sizes.

Come to think about it, a few aren't even close to human! :P

No matter what their guise, doctors all find our way to the field of medicine in various inimitable ways. Shockingly quite a number are born wailing and kicking into the world with stethoscope clenched stubbornly in their gaumless jaws, practically weaned on the milk of medical journals, syringes and needles. Then there are the hereditary few who are led unthinkingly like sheep by their shepherds to the field - though a few do kick up quite a rumpus before settling down to the work.

And then there are the (un)lucky few like me who find themselves stumbling clumsily onto the field of medicine, staying to graze awhile and finding it quite a good patch of grass after all.

Different? Me?

Maybe that's the reason why I've always been a tad different from the rest. Since I find myself getting quite a few innocent remarks such as the one I had today in the outpatient clinic.

Patient : Wah, doctor. You're so nice. So different from other doctors.
Paul : Really? How so?
Patient : Never expect doctor so funny lah. Usually serious mah.
Paul : Dullards the lot of them.
Patient : Huh?

Not that I'm gonna go around advocating laughter is the best medicine like Patch Addams - but I don't see how it could hurt! :)

Despite doctors coming in all shapes and sizes ( and temperament ) it's obvious that society generally expects doctors to act in a certain manner. Even with the passionate interns of Grey's Anatomy running hog-wild all over Seattle Grace, the age-old stereotype still remains of the aged, knowing physician of yore running his learned arthritic fingers through his white beard while mumbling medical jargon before coming to a formulated diagnosis, all done with utter seriousness and without a hint of a smile.


But the stereotype persists. And many of my colleagues start copying that much revered image so it's not surprising to find patients wondering why we all usually look hot, harried and humourless.

Is it so hard to understand? Apart from the horrific ( though generally improving ) work conditions which turns us into mindless zombies, it's not difficult to see how doctors have come to embody such chilly, unfeeling reserve. Not only are the things we do practically unimaginable in any other field apart from butchery ( we hack, we chop, we saw, we slice - and these are fellow human beings, mind you! ), half the time we're also expected to deliver devastating, grievous news that would potentially change a patient or the family's life forever - and I doubt cracking a joke would make it any easier to take. Certainly wouldn't do to tell a dying man an inappropriate knock knock joke that I doubt he'd be able to appreciate.

Of course there are times when it's alright to relax and converse normally but continually changing temperament in front of the patients isn't easy to do ( not all of us are King of Masks ) so most of us prefer to wear an austere, solemn mien as a mask at work. Makes it so much easier to deal with the more horrific aspects of work sometimes. Hence the image of the unsmiling staid doctor.

But that's only temporary. Just catch us later in the pantry and you'll find some of us can be quite as crazy as everyone else.

Except the engineers. Engineers are a serious lot. :P

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Mark of Intelligence

Been watching Chinese wuxia serials obsessively for the past few days - especially since I found a nifty site that screens them on a daily basis ( not to mention the stack of DVD boxsets I recently purchased ). Hell, it's on all the time, you only need to pick the episode! God bless the internet.

However since my rudimentary knowledge of Mandarin is superficial at best, I have to rely on substandard subtitles to get through the show - especially when the characters start waxing poetic about the moon and the stars.

Hero : My one and only love in my heart, even the milky moonlight under a cloudless midnight sky pales before the radiant glow of your divine beauty.
Heroine : But that hardly compares to the famed skill of your peerless Rain and Thunder swordplay. Just like endless raindrops flying in a summer storm.
Hero : My fragile blossom, I see you underestimate your Five-fingered Devil's Claw of Excruciating Death.
Paul : WTF.

Seriously. Does anyone actually talk like that? Could blame the literal Babel translators of course but I guess we do have to accept that folks from a previous century are far more sweetly sentimental than the practical straight-talkers nowadays who prefer to get down to the nitty gritty. Unfortunately these days it'd probably go something like this...

Hero : Damn foxy, you look bangin' tonight! A burning beacon of raw sexuality.
Heroine : Yo mac daddy, love your sword. Come lemme play wid it.

Far from romantic.

Why have I suddenly been converted into a rabid Chinese serial fan? Apart from the vaunted heroism, boundless patriotism and the death-defying aerial stunts ( not to mention the hilarious though picturesque names given to the various stances and grips ), I find myself liking the varied characters themselves, even with their complex interpersonal relationships. Sure, it's easy enough to extol the manifold virtues of the main protagonists such as the heroic Xiao Feng and Guo Jing - but for me, I've always enjoyed the wily characters. Maybe because I identify more with them but I like characters such as the princely Duan Yu and the cunning Huang Rong who work by wit and guile, and not by sheer strength of muscle or martial art.

Or the prodigious internal energy as they call it :)

Jimmy Lin
Come try my Six Swords Nerve Disabling Stance!

Though most might disagree, I find it far more interesting to watch a hero outwit his opponent by artful cunning rather than disabling the bastard ( who frequently gives that iconic wicked laugh ) with a fulsome show of martial arts prowess resulting in a gory bloodbath. With their astonishing abilities, it would be easy enough to break bone and sinew but how much more difficult to make a villain kowtow to you as a disciple? Or to drive them rabidly insane studying a clandestine martial arts skill that's nigh impossible?

Me, I doubt I'd have made a great wuxia fighter. Far from a paragon of moral rectitude. Hate sweat, practice and heavy weaponry. Though I probably would have picked up Graceful Steps upon the Waves 凌波微步 if only to avoid certain decapitation. But I gotta say I certainly wouldn't have minded playing with poisons and antidotes ( paired with darts and shurikens no doubt ).

Yeah you can call me East Venom. :P

Monday, June 18, 2007

The Anniversary

Surprisingly enough one of the first things people ask about when you're a couple is the anniversary. Ask me anything else and I might have a glib reply ready from my arsenal but I find myself haplessly ill-equipped and stumped with this particular query. With Charming Calvin and myself, I believe it's been about a year now but I could be wrong about that.

Stranger : So how long have you guys been together?
Paul : Together? A year?
Calvin : 13 months?
Paul : Maybe 10 months.
Calvin : But then we met at the...
Paul : But then there was that time...

You can see where I'm going with this.

Now what day was that again?!

With my approaching senility I'm not at all great with dates ( I swear if I didn't have my birthdate clearly stated on my ID, I'd probably forget it ) but tell me, where would you place the date of the anniversary? The day you first met? The day you first went out on a date? The day you got your hands in his pants? The day he finally gave you his apartment key?

Hmm... I do have the day we first met noted in the blog however so that helps.

Straight couples have it easy that way. Dates and occasions, anniversaries and memorial days have all been written in stone ever since Adam and Eve had that first arranged marriage under the Tree of Life with the Devil standing in as best man / maid of honour. Subsequently everyone else had it easier after the first registered heterosexual couple worked through the kinks of married life.

Delilah knew Samson would delight in several seashell hairclips before his infamous haircut. Even without his bureaucratic Roman aides reminding him, Antony knew exactly when to buy Cleopatra that enclasped golden snakehead pendant - or else her beloved pet asps would soon find themselves heading for his side of the marital bed. Romeo - if he hadn't succumbed to poison - knew exactly when to compose an ode to his winsome Juliet's lovely locks.

Usually there's a particular day. The beginning of a courtship. The fateful moving in day ( or elope as it may ). The wedding day. A day that's marked down in deep signal red on the calendar threatening swift retribution if celebrations aren't held on that particular day with appropriate reverent gifts of tribute.

I don't have that calendar. Neither does Calvin - but then who'd be able to find a calendar in the mess that is his apartment? :P

Somehow or rather Charming Calvin and I somehow segued imperceptibly from being casual friends to being a couple without actually realizing it since it happened so naturally. From holding his cellphone number to holding hands to holding that bottle of lube, it all happened in homosexual miliseconds. Perhaps we should have seen fit to place a marker on each day but honestly it never occurred to me while we were seeing each other that there'd be a need for relationship milestones later.

Calvin would say he didn't think it'd last - hence he saw no apparent need to recall significant dates - but I guess we proved his pessimistic predictions wrong. :P

Maybe we should just pick a day and be done with it.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

The Tao of Torch

Did you have any doubts that I'd rush out to grab the tickets for Fantastic Four the minute it was showing?

You can rest easy. I certainly did that - well actually I continuously prodded poor Jaunty Jared till being the sweet, obliging soul that he is, he agreed to go purchase the tickets. Not that the last Fantastic Four outing was all that great ( seriously cheesy anyone? ) but hey it has my ridiculously handsome husband-to-be Chris Evans flexing his perky, lightly furred pecs - and that's already worth the price of the ticket. It could have a paper-thin plot with Chris dictating dreadfully dull definitions from the dictionary and I'd still be there to watch.

And drool.

Shallow, I know. But it's nice to be embarassingly shallow every once in a while.

Human Torch
Love me! Someone come be my friend!

Fortunately we do have the same cast as the first movie with Chris Evans reprising his role of Johnny Storm, the hot-headed, brash and arrogant ladies' man who finds himself literally on fire. This time around, our squabbling superhero quintet find themselves juggling wedding invitations and end-of-the-world news reports.

The producers obviously know who's the steaming hot enchilada on the show since Chris manages to score significantly more screen time - as Johnny deals with the fact that the team might be splitting up, his muddled search for companionship seems futile ( no doubt saving himself for me! ) and his powers might be on the fritz. At least this time he manages to show-off his budding thespian skills rather than spend his time flexing his biceps. But hey you don't see me complaining, do ya?

Have my personal gripes over the show of course ( though it certainly doesn't overshadow the fact that we have smoking hot Chris in skintight spandex ). For one thing dedicated comic fanboys would decry the dumbing down of a significant epic in comicdom history - and the subsequent transformation of the ominious Galactus into an interplanetary storm cloud. Wasn't too impressed with the two-dimensional Silver Surfer myself ( though his interrogation / bondage scene was disturbingly hawt ). And on a frivolous note, Susan Storm's patently fake wig has to go - quite obvious she shares disastrous fashion tips with the X-Men's Storm. And what a cop-out to shift the wedding to Japan when they were already conveniently in Shanghai!

Don't go expecting an Oscar-winning performance with deep, nuanced dialogue and awe-inspiring cinematography - and you just might find it an enjoyable ( though admittedly mindless ) summer watch.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Pretty Boy Woes

Don't hate me cause I'm beautiful.

Not talking about myself of course. For all my wicked, disreputable past lives, God didn't see fit to bless me with glossy GQ looks.

But it's seemingly not that easy being pretty - or at least that's what the beautiful people tell me. For myself I'd like to try that novel experience myself, must be nice being ogled at by drooling strangers :P Despite the shallow benefits of looking helluva good ( landing dates, job offers and such ), supposedly you also get passed on a lot by regular folks who only judge by your looks. Pandering to the infamous stereotype of the vacuous blond bimbo, overly handsome boys unfortunately make a similar impression since there are always people who only equate brains with an unkempt, nerdy Einstein-esque look. So when it comes to the more serious, mentally taxing accounts, pretty boys often get overlooked.

Even in a family-run company.

*Growl* I'm not just a pretty face...

Which turns mild-mannered Barry into a rampaging hulk ( and no, he didn't tear off his shirt despite my hoping he would ). Every once in a while I get frequent furious flurries from Big Bicep Barry on SMS so I decided to look the fella up today before he went crazy ballistic killing his fragile handphone keypad with his muscley fingers.

Could see the broad-shouldered fella a mile away sitting looking blue over at the cafe. Even his perky nips looked a bit downcast.

Barry : Frustrated!
Paul : Sexually Frustrated?
Barry : No! Work!
Paul : Why?

Gonna summarize his entire diatribe here ( with furious expletives removed ) but the gist of it has his entire company board stereotyping him as a male himbo and passing him over for meatier accounts. I don't blame them :P Hard not to assume that his IQ equals his biceps circumference after all since very few actually look past that shiny studly Chippendale appearance. Seriously, people who look at luscious muscleboy Barry would never assume that he revels in obscure scientific treatises, googles ancient sanskrit text or that he possesses a degree in accounting.

Me, I thought he had a brain the size of a pea :P But he certainly proved me wrong.

Paul : Still, better pretty than being ugly, Barry. Look at Betty.
Barry : True but... Betty?
Paul : Ugly Betty?
Barry : Don't tell but it's actually that's one of my secret obsessions. I love the show. Keep missing it tho.
Paul : No need, you're not missing a thing. I am Ugly Betty.
Barry : Nah, you're more sweet Henry to me.
Paul : Thanks a lot!

At least talk of Ugly Betty's scandalous trials and tribulations managed to steer him off his bullish rage. Soon we were talking about whether Betty Suarez would make a better match with her caddish boss Daniel Meade or the nerdy accountant Henry Grubstick. Despite his geeky looks, me I heart Henry too :)

Have learnt that it never pays to underestimate folks since you never know, beneath that unflattering tweed suit, he could have six pack abs :)

Thursday, June 14, 2007

China Dolls

Taking a quick glance at the news these days, you'd find the hot trivial topic of the day revolves around the issue of having domestic maids imported from China to ease the shortage of labour here. After all, these days everything good seems to be made in China ( including hottie Huang Xiaoming! ).

Made in China

Unfortunately the response varies with surprising loud cries of horror coming from the married women of the household who fear cuckolded husbands running into the perfumed arms of their winsome china doll maids. Rather than welcome the helping hand in the kitchen, these women ( including supposedly well educated MPs ) are taking up militant arms against admitting these foreign Shanghai Sweeties. Seriously, so much for women's lib and bra-burning. Even supposedly confident modern working women in my workplace fall apart at the mere mention of the elusive Fuzhou Filly - or even that Dalian Darling.

Hence this surprising conversation in our pantry.

Paul : What's wrong with them taking maids from China?
Ninny : No no... they will steal our husbands. Very very bad.
Paul : Seriously? And how would they do that? Magical love happy potions?
Ninny : Hee hee. Of course not. They pretty pretty girls who can cook tasty dishes mah. Sure win over man's heart.
Paul : That easily? Your husband must be one seriously gullible fellow.
Ninny : Man's heart through stomach mah.
Paul : And you still want such a faithless man who leaves his wife and kids for a some chinese dumplings?
Ninny : Men will be men mah.
Paul : Why stop at the maid? You think he won't stray at the workplace? You think he won't go out with his little secretary?
Ninny : Don't say liddat lah.

Seriously. I was hard pressed not to wring her bimboesque neck. Not sure where Dr Ninny actually hung her medical degree but I believe it must have fallen into a faraway ditch somewhere along with her modicum of brains and self respect.

My mother would have been insulted.

Sometimes I wonder how women of today actually think. With women's lib and equality long established in the workplace, I've always come to assume that the glorious girls of my generation are strong, self-possessed Lil Miss Independents secure of their position in the world. Guess I was wrong.

Fear and insecurity over the pretty Chinese maid leading the naive men astray? Do the ladies have so little regard for themselves that they think their husbands will leave them that easily? Turn their backs on their marriage for some sweet sour pork and some fantan fanny? Have I actually accidentally stepped back into some bygone era when women were treated as mindless chattel to be figuratively clubbed and dragged home, simpering concubines numbered by the dozens and dragon wives were positioned by rank in the household?

And how does a committed relationship work without trust? When the suspicious wife automatically works out the assumption that her husband will stray at the least temptation! Seriously. If you're gonna live with a man you think will cheat, I suggest you get rid of the poor maligned bastard immediately. He certainly deserves better than to be branded an adulterer even before the deed.

Haven't even started on the fact that they actually believe the majority of these Guangdong Gals actually come here to steal their husbands. Come on, a few rotten apples doesn't mean the whole crop's a goner! What an insult to Chinese women. And has everyone actually forgotten the fact that our ancestors actually attempted pretty much the same thing - travelling far and wide to find work in newer pastures? I doubt anyone ever dared accuse my grandmother of being the other woman before her arrival.

But I figure it's alright. If the ladies over here think that competition from some Lanzhou Lovelies and Harbin Honeys would tempt the local heterosexual men too far, I think the government should consent to having Chinese male labourers taking their place then. I certainly wouldn't mind having a delicious Huang Xiaoming lookalike playing naughty maid in my household :)

And if my husband strays with the Shanghai Stud, I'll just kick the adulterous pair out on their collective arses and replace him with a cuter maid. :P

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Kiss of Life

When a patient comes in from the emergency department, we try to find the diseased region, administer relief if possible and come to a quick diagnosis. If at all possible, we opt for the conservative offering antibiotics and panacea - but when all fails, we resort to removing the diseased limb altogether.

So what happens when a relationship becomes diseased? Do we offer expedient treatment with plasters and medication - or is it kinder to amputate? Or has it become too late to even administer the kiss of life?

Quentin and Aaron
God, I'm freaking bored. When do I move on to the next?

A friend of mine, Queer Quentin, has been involved in a committed relationship ( at least on his part ) for almost three years from last count. The other guy in the partnership, a reputedly tall, dark, handsome specimen named Adventurous Aaron has that infamous three month itch. For him, familiarity obviously breeds contempt so after a regular spate of relentless gay monogamy, he develops the itch to venture out into the circuit parties to familiarize himself with the other party boys. Hence the quandary.

Infidelity has always been the wedge between couples, more so I think when it comes to gay relationships. Unfortunately man ever did stray - and when you have two guys with similar proclivities...

Forgive and forget, you might say. Time and again, Quentin has tried his best to forgive the flirty faithless fellow and time and again, Aaron has returned after the deed to enact the timeless role of the prodigal son, offering dopey eyes, boxes of chocolates and broken promises - only to slip inevitably into his buaya ways three months later. Otherwise a seemingly sensible man, Quentin loses his head when it comes to his alluring amour Aaron ( though I've offered my services to do a little Bobbitt for him :P ). Just a broken whisper and Quentin takes him back without a word of admonition.

Me, I'd have tossed him out on his arse months back.

Fool me once, shame on you.
Fool me twice, shame on me.

Of course fool me twice, you also get punctured tyres, slashed khakis and deranged midnight phone calls :P

An open relationship with rules and regulations would be one answer but not all of us are ready to accept that. So where do we draw the line?

As much as we all hope to save a troubled relationship, there is only so much we can do. Lavish all the love and attention we can give - but sometimes the relentless disease just continues to grow. No matter how logical the step, it's never easy letting go of something sickeningly familiar but there are times when it's better to stand back, take a deeper look and realize painfully that things just aren't meant to be. That it might be better to scrape off all that's rotten and diseased, only to start afresh.

Maybe it's time to amputate.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Reasons to Be Nice

Be nice.

Seriously, I think it's a worthwhile adage to remember - despite the striking resemblance to the oft-repeated mind your manners reminders from Sesame Street. Always be nice to everyone regardless of gender, age or class status. Sounds like an unusually ironic statement from me especially since I've been known to excoriate mindless clumsy idiots for accidentally stepping on my Italian leather shoe - I blame it on my inherent bitchy Scorpion - but I'm certainly improving with my anger management classes.

Hell I didn't even throttle the trembling house officer today when Mumbling Minah muttered her way through an entire fabricated history - that later turned out to belong to a very different patient.

Paul : Stop. Did you just say 70 year old Malay lady? How old was she again?
Minah : 70?
Paul : I suggest you look again. Does she look 70 or Malay to you?
Minah : She's a 50 year old Chinese woman?
Paul : She's nodding. Yeah, I believe she's 50 and Chinese. I think the records got switched, go look for it.

Of course I was this close to strangling her with her limp stethoscope but I bit my tongue and relaxed my clawed hands, recalling Nondescript Nick. And calmed myself down. You see I've recently discovered that one of the benefits of being nice is you get rewarded with occasional good karma - and definite eye-candy.

Paul? Paul? You know my face is up here...

Nick is this fellow colleague of mine in the hospital, a quiet, serious fella who pops in and out of my life on occasion. Just an average joe who blends seamlessly into the background with his seemingly Mr Nice Guy characteristics. Always got along well with him which is why he started telling me about some of his work problems while we were changing for work in the oncall room.

Nick : Pretty tough adjusting to life here actually. I mean, the work is okay enough but the environment...
Paul : *Drool*
Nick : Paul?
Paul : Hush. I am talking to your pecs. Have some respect.

Average joe he might be but the fella has lightly-furred sculpted six packs to spare. Seriously, Men's Health cover for sure - at least from the neck down. Talk about an unexpected find, a literal gem in the rough. I think my tongue must have rolled out of my mouth since I was this close to chancing a hasty lick. Nondescript Nick with a six pack. I was speechless.

Obviously in between merging unobtrusively into the walls, the man finds the time to lift weights. Admirable. If it also turns out that Nick has a luscious foot long dong, I'm seriously gonna have a major paradigm shift.

So always remember to be nice to everyone. You never know when that average joe turns out to have abs you can drool over.

Or Minah's elder brother might just turn out to be the Malay version of Chris Evans.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

The Fantastic Four

Don't be fooled by the title of the post. This isn't gonna be about the luscious Chris Evans donning tight-fitting spandex as the Human Torch. Not yet anyway.

Right now I'm doing a meme - tagged by Strapping Shane who obviously feels that I haven't done enough memes of late. Odd since I recall doing something quite similar not too long ago. Still since I don't have much interesting news today - and I actually spent the day with Charming Calvin - I figured I better not bore you guys with tales of our making out in Borders, pigging out at Charms or denigrating amazing frankfurters who read short histories of nearly everything.


1) Doctor. The end. For more details you only need to check out my posts on work. I mean come on, 4 jobs? Went from primary to secondary to university and straight to work. Seriously, slogging through medical school doesn't leave me much time for moonlighting so I've actually had one to speak of ( unless professional shopper counts ).


1) Lord of the Rings. Have I toldya the umpteenth times I've sat through the entire trilogy - the extended version? Really, I could probably imitate some of the stunts Legolas did - if I had his elven skateboard and his lithe, amazingly agile physique of course... otherwise I'd just land splat on the flagstones in need of emergency rescue.

2) Sound of Music. Like any gay boy my age, I think I've gone through a million reruns before we've had cable. Wasn't there a time when they seemed to shove raindrops on roses right into our mouths every public holiday? Until now when the dogs bite and when the bees sting - when I'm feeling sad, I simply remember my favourite things and then I don't feel so bad.

3) Love Actually. Feel-good. Witty. Hugh Grant dancing in Downing Street. Rodrigo Santoro getting naked ( and impossibly rejected for a psycho overweight sibling ). Perfect for Christmastime and everytime I feel blue.

4) Sex and the City / FRIENDS - well, not exactly movies but I can't think of another I'd risk multiple repeats. But both these series are just amazing, no matter how many times I watch.

Rodrigo Santoro
You mean I was hot before 300?


1) London. Written about my British Escapades umpteenth times as well here and here.

2) Shanghai. Simply unforgettable feeling the seabreeze on your face as you take the ferry heading into Shanghai and see your first glimpse of the Bund. And did I tell ya the PLA soldiers are HAWT ( well, not the ones here but I saw one on the train that was fucking steaming pau hot )?

3) Paris. There's nowhere quite as romantic and decadent as this wonderful city for lovers :) And nowhere quite as terribly chic - making you feel like a desperate, indigent refugee just fresh from a sampan. Is there anything better than waking up in the chilly morning to open your french windows to a view of the Eiffel?

4) Istanbul. And ya can read it about it here! BTW the men there have to be the best-looking in the world, almost got whiplash turning around to catch the delicious hotties going by.


1) Marrakesh. Seriously, just imagine the monuments, the mosques and the men. Marvellous, I'm sure. And I'm sure I'll fill up my shopping bags with souvenirs from the bazaars.

2) Florence. God, again imagine the monuments, the museums and the men. Just as marvellous though I doubt I'd have that many shopping bags due to the shocking euro.

3) Xi'an. Yup, as you guessed it... monuments, museums and ( terracotta ) men. And cheap food also lah. Come on, you can praise the hell out of any regional cooking but for cheap hawker fare just off the streets, I think Chinese food is incomparable.

4) Damascus. Same as the rest though it's only monuments and the museums. I think staring at the men would have me drawn, quartered and then shot by some rebels for being a deviant infidel.


1) Curry laksa
2) Otak otak
3) Green curry chicken
4) Dim sum

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Worship Me

For the lovelorn amongst us, desperately in lust with that boyish but thoroughly unavailable hunk next door and in crying need of that patron saint, you'd find almost none to support homoerotic love amongst the endless Christian pantheon - save for the obscure long-forgotten Sts Sergius and Bacchus. Look not to the much alluded and debated relationship between biblical hunks David and Jonathan. Even the deliciously posed St Sebastian remains persona non grata. Pretty obvious after two millenia where the religious Judeo-Christian machinery stands when it comes to such alternative mores.

The oft-quoted fall of Sodom and Gomorrah mean anything to ya? Me, I just think they were much maligned swinging sinners with a faulty drainage system.

But hey don't lose faith, my brothers, cause I've got something special for ya.

After all that's said and done, you gotta love the Chinese. Not only are the mainland Chinese pragmatic, industrious and dedicated to waving the ubiquitous little red book, they always manage to surprise with their sheer resourcefulness. Before the red Communists came about to wipe away all signs of petty, dividing religion - leaving only the almighty yuan for them to worship, the mainland Chinese actually worshipped an endless chopsuey of gods dedicated to almost everything they had in their daily lives. Heck, they even had a god for the kitchen.

Worshippers of the Homo-God?

So it should come as no surprise that there'd be a god specially entrusted with the care of the so-called cutsleeve boys. Or what they call the Rabbit God.

Seems that back in ye good old days of Imperial China, a certain Hu Tianbao 胡天保 fell madly in love with a certain dashingly good-looking Imperial Investigator, practically stalking the poor unwitting fellow even trailing into the restrooms to spy upon him ( seriously, haven't we all done exactly that? ). Unfortunately the Investigator didn't look kindly upon this act of vile debauchery and promptly clubbed him to the death in a fit of homophobic rage.

Obviously far more tolerant of such deviant practices, the kindly Officials of the Underworld understood that Hu's aberrant voyeurism only came out of unrequited love and elevated his position to a Rabbit God to govern mutual delight between men in the mortal world.

Coming as a pleasant surprise, this particular legend actually originates from my area of origin in China, the province of Fujian - shockingly enough a region especially noted for the widespread practice of male love. God, the things you find on Google. Perhaps my grandma might not be so astonished over my passionate peach-biting ways.

Seriously. See that gorgeous dark-eyed way-out-or-your-league hottie standing there alone nursing his vodka at the end of the crowded bar? Don't tear your dyed hair out in helpless despair. Just rush over to the nearest branch of the obscure Hu Tianbao cult, rub some pig intestines ( apologies, folks, it's totally non-halal so obviously not applicable for the kosher gang ) over the god's lips and pray hard that your testosterone-soaked wishes will soon be granted - and moments later you might just that aforementioned stud slamming ya hard against the nearest toilet stall door as you moan in ecstasy.

And you know there has to be a raging homo-god out there when you have this...

For more on homosexuality in China, check this out.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Intern Interruptus

For the past few weeks, I've had the dubious pleasure of yet again having interns / house officers tagging along during my rounds. Sure they do lighten the load - what with blood-takings, clerkings and checking up on the stable patients. And God knows my once impeccable writing has speedily devolved with disuse into unintelligible chicken scratchings on the sand so I'm glad to have them take over some of the writing tasks ( though their inexplicable, garbled shorthand isn't at all better ).

So it's great to have them around but it's hard not to feel a bit creaky and aged with these enthusiastic children around hopping about in para-para eagerness to learn more about the medical life. Spooky how it reminds me of the hyper interns on Grey's Anatomy.

Let me think for a minute what other plans I have...

Even more spooky when they look at you as if you know everything - when in fact you're barely scraping by with the meagre knowledge that you have.

Lulu : Evening, Dr Paul.
Paul : What are you doing here? It's past working hours.
Lulu : Just checking to see if there's any extra work to be done.
Paul : Really? Why don't you stay till tomorrow then? Here, take the pager.
Lulu : You're very funny, sir.
Paul : I'm a freaking laugh riot.
Lulu : Ooh, sir, please teach me how to do a stab peritoneal dialysis. I wanna learn!
Paul : Go stab a ripe watermelon for practice.

Of course I didn't say anything quite as sarcastic as the last bit - since it would have unforgivably dampened her burning ardour for medicine. Though I seriously wanted to ask where she'd gotten her cheerleader pep from - was it from that bubbling tub of tongkat ali caffeine she downed in the morning before rounds?

Damn, I gotta get back on the java line.

Finally caved in to Lucky Lulu's persistent requests, found a suitable candidate in due course ( unfortunately kidney failures are dime a dozen in the hospital ) and I did demonstrate for her while imparting some of my peculiarly unorthodox techniques - come to think about it, maybe I should have placed that in youtube for future reference.

But the honorific sir and the Dr Paul has to go. Makes me feel like I've literally aged ten years! Sure I'm increasingly decrepit with persistently failing memory ( and half of these interns are kids barely legal ) but that doesn't mean I need frequent reminders. :P Even after many attempts to reacquiant them with my given name, the whole lot persist on calling me by salutations - can almost feel my name written in bold sans serif on the clerking notes.

Say my name!

BTW No cute male interns so far though ( why do I keep getting the gals this time? Are they secretly trying to get me married off? ). Where have they all gone?!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Someday My Prince Will Come

Who seeks that happily-ever-after?

Bedtime stories are recited to little girls and boys just before they sleep, enchanting childhood tales of fantasy and romance that enthrall them while inculcating in them the highly non-politically correct but traditional roles that they're expected to play in the not-too-far future. Although animations such as Shrek have overturned that particular trend, there'll always be that overplayed cliche of the lovely, elegant princess waiting to be rescued by the gallant, handsome prince charming.

So what do little gay boys do?

Prince Charming
Someday my Prince will come...

Surprisingly I find not many carrying high hopes of riding that white charger careering about in search of fame, fortune and fellas. Far from identifying with the macho prince, more than a few would rather cast themselves wholly in the role of the chaste, lonesome maiden in the tower calling out a plaintive yet melodic save me while waiting for her magnificent saviour on a charging white steed. Twiddling their fair thumbs waiting to be rescued, tossed thankfully into the waiting lap of luxury, pampered and petted like precious pea princesses.

Me, I've never been all that good with waiting around. And seriously, pet me and I'll claw.

Wimpy whiny protagonists in novels who get shoved around by everyone else including the lowly help have always frustrated me to no end. Half the time, I'd be spending the time tearing my hair out wondering when the wimp would develop a spine. The other half, I'm picturing myself giving them vicious bitchslaps for being such weakling milquetoasts. Is it any wonder that the take-charge Scarlett O'Hara remains one of my favourite heroines?

Sit around waiting for prince charming? Come on, like get a freaking life. Being the resourceful sort - rather than whine about my problems to wandering woodland creatures, I'd have managed to find a way to climb down that tower, thank you very much - and possibly found a way to rescue the hunky prince ( with more than a passing resemblance to Chris Evans ) from getting stuck on that bramble of thorns.

Then of course I'd have torn the hunk's shirt apart and had my dirrrrty common way with the hot blueblood ( hey, I have been stuck in that freaking lonesome tower for ages! ) but that's something non-PG-rated that innocent sleepy children shouldn't hear about.

For example, I give you the quintessential hopeless, helpless heroine - the Little Mermaid. Sure the ever optimistic Disney thinktank might have evolved the winsome wailing waif into a buxom mischievious redhead named Ariel with a penchant for thingamajigs and singing lobsters - but let's not forget the dark, dreary, dreadfully grim fairytale origins that she sprang from.

Rather than wallow in misery after being struck mute in exchange for feet that walk the earth like treading upon sharp knives, I'd have smacked the blithering princeling on his head and taken a hike. Hell, I'm a gorgeous mermaid - I could have certainly done better than that.

Prince : You can speak!!
Mermaid : Yes, I can speak, you blithering idiot. And I'm going back under the sea where life is the bubbles rather than sit around here waiting for you. I'm a freaking sea goddess with the voice of a siren and you'd rather date a limpid simpering blueblood tart.
Prince : But you're lovely. And your voice...
Mermaid : Take a hike. Now don'tcha wish your royal girlfriend was hot like me?
Prince : But I can give you a kingdom! A palace! A carriage! A wardrobe!
Mermaid : Baby, I've got a golden voice that'll sell albums like hotcakes. See ya on the MTV charts.

Let's not even get started on Aurora and Belle.

Seriously, gay princes are certainly running short in supply so don't you think it's time we all made our own happy ending?

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Full Disclosure

Wait. Is anyone listening in?

Killed that hidden transmitter an hour ago but I bet he hears me though.

These days going to work is like trying to walk unobtrusively through the silent streets of Nazi-era Berlin, just waiting for that authoritative Gestapo boothell to drop. Walking stealthily down the endless generic corridors trying not to make a sound, I keep a watchful eye out for that particular V-man out to get me. These days everyone's looking suspicious. It could be that innocent-looking nurse hiding a SIG Sauer pistol under her lacy cap. Maybe even that friendly doctor grinning charmingly while thinking of sadistic interrogative ways to make me betray my secrets.

Or even that shady-looking patient nursing his injured leg wrapped up in plaster of paris - possibly a convenient hideaway for his inhumane tools of torture?

Enemy at the Gates
Of all the bars in all the towns in all the world, he walks into mine!

Deep breaths. Not worth getting all paranoid this early. Though some small conservative quarters might find me guilty of sending out covert treasonous messages through the wire, it's certainly not important enough to alert the blond, blue-eyed Aryan ubermensch - who are just dying to find unwilling victims to torture the hell out of.

Not that I'm complaining :P

But the code of confidentiality is broken - or so my confidential sources tell me. Hard not to believe when the news come from a relative saint, Comrade Christian - told me so when he met me clandestinely at Safehouse 13 under the relative cover of the Brandenburg Gate at midnight. Clad in a bleak gray overcoat that had seen better decades, he still made a welcome sight - and his striking features came alight when he struck a match to light a smoke.

And I briefly wondered why I hadn't gotten him naked under my satin sheets.

Christian : Saint Wicked, someone knows.
Paul : Madre de Dios!
Christian : Reads your blog. Knows about you at work.
Paul : Sacre bleu!
Christian : You know that's all not German.
Paul : Unglaublich! Mutter Jesu!

So my cover has been compromised - though it isn't the first or the last time I'm sure. After all, my work here carries some small notoriety and my cover's not exactly airtight. Curious though why this secret agent provocateur hasn't made a move, at least signalled to me his intentions. Could it be he thinks I might have suddenly developed homicidal bloodthirst over this unprecedented disclosure?

Trust me. I haven't even killed the messenger - though I readily admit I have wicked intentions when it comes to Comrade Christian's gym-fit body.

So when the skeptical V-men aren't looking my way, just come right out and give me some little sign. A twitch of an eyebrow, perhaps a Nazi salute. I won't bite - well, not unless you're hunkalicious Chris Evans ( mmmm.. what a mensch! ) in disguise.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Back When I Was 18

God, this is so cool and I just had to do it. Then again, it might be possible that the slight cold I'm recovering from has spread to my brain - and that deadly combo with the meds I'm taking - has left me with an inane high.

How else would it explain my sudden nostalgia for bad music?

1) Go to Pop Culture Madness site.
2) Pick the year you turned 18 years old ( for some lucky few that might just be yesterday... damn ).
3) Get yourself nostalgic over the songs that year. Write something about how those songs affected you.

Kids have always wanted to grow older but in retrospect I realize that we didn't appreciate some of the things we only had back back then - lack of responsibility, lack of endless bills and loan payments, lack of cellulite :)

Not that being thirty, flirty and thriving is all that bad.

But back to the bad music. Certainly was the return to innocence since the year was 1994. STPM seemed like years away at that time so in between infrequent mugging for our finals, we took some time out to enjoy ourselves. After all for the straight boys, it was the first time they'd been freed from the strict confines of our all-boys monastery into an all new and exciting co-ed world where all of a sudden we had blue pinafores in our midst mingling with our regular dark olive greens. Prior to this exotic Beauxbaton creatures only seen during tea dances and the ubiquitous tuition classes, girls were suddenly in and out of our lives on a daily basis.

For budding gay boys like me, it was a time of shocking bootie-call realization as I started mooning over some of my suddenly ( shockingly! ) desirable classmates - who'd miraculously transformed from loser geeks into fucking hunks behind my back.

That didn't stop us from having some innocent fun of course ( and some not so innocent fun proven by an oops-I-did-it accidental pregnancy :P ). The hotsteppers did a little bump and grind to Real McCoy and Ace of Base, cringed over schmaltzy Endless Love by Mariah Carey back when she hadn't slutted herself up into Skanky Mimi - yes, I am seriously that old - and of course, sang along with Sheryl Crow with her overplayed debut hit All I Wanna Do.

Mario Lopez
Yeah baby... meet me at the canteen for lunch...

Mellow crooners Boyz II Men were just hitting their stride then and as the party started winding down, lovey-dovey couples usually groped to the cheesy tunes of I'll Make Love to You and On Bended Knee. Of course my cynical ISO and I were much too cool to do any of that and usually sneered at the straight couples making out - at the same time trying to hide the fact that there was an odd tingle when our hands met over the punch bowl. Back then I was only slowly coming round to the fact that all I wanted after the exams was a wild night with my Whatta Man ISO.

Despite the fact that he had almost tossed up his dinner after drinking too much and had slicked his hair into a spitcurl with a jar of questionable grease.

Ah, 1994. How foolish we were.

Monday, June 04, 2007

There Goes the Omelette

They say that some motor skills you acquire for life such as cycling and swimming. Even after years of substandard public transportation with charmingly uncouth fellow passengers, give a man a handy bicycle and chances are he'd still be able to get from point A to point B. Albeit with an unbalanced fall or two.

That certainly doesn't seem to be the case when it comes to cooking.

Since I came back early this evening - skipping my lunch to finish some of my work - I found myself subsequently racked by hunger pangs and decided to satisfy my cravings with an early dinner. Nigella Lawson might advocate cooking for the soul but these days I only reach for the frying pan when I'm near dying of starvation. After all, there's always McD and Pizza on delivery ( though I'm dying to know when we're gonna have Chinese takeaway! ).

You see... I actually hate scrubbing up a messy, oily wok. But these days I don't even have that excuse with a maid in attendance all too willing to help out with the dishwashing. Although she volunteered for the cooking task no doubt dreading the clean-up later ( though she had her arms full with laundry ), I told her to let me try out my experiments. Not sure if it was a trick of the light but I think she might have smirked.

Been a while though since I've even gone near a functional kitchen - closest I get these days is the well-stocked pantry at work full of instant 3-in-1 coffee sachets, ready-made sandwiches and easily prepared instant noodles. Even a lobotomized patient would find it easy to prepare a meal worthy of a starving teenager.

Kitchen man
Maybe I should just call delivery

Almost nerve-wracking stepping into that long abandoned sanctum and I took up the knife and ingredients for an omelette with some trepidation, thinking of the various unfortunate victims of culinary mishaps that had come through the emergency department. I should have been far more afraid. Embarassingly enough, my amateurish kitchen misadventures seemed almost worthy of a five minute skit by the Three Stooges. Not only did it take me almost five minutes just to slice up the onions ( tearing all the while ), I almost sliced off my toe during the process.

Yeah. Just imagine how far the wayward blade travelled.

And I could have sworn I used to break eggs perfectly without despoiling the omelette mix with crumbly eggshells. Ah, how the mighty have fallen.

Since I've never been all that good with instruction ( so there go the handy cookbooks from the domestic goddesses ), I usually cook largely by instinct - praying really hard that the mind-boggling mish-mash I'd cobbled together comes out tasting slightly better than garbage. Not forgetting more than a little dependence on long-buried communal memories of my mother slaving away at the stove.

Paul : Hmm... I could have sworn that she put a pinch of this.... maybe a shovel of that...

( Pause )

Paul : OMG. Was that freaking vinegar?

Evidently I lived to tell the tale with all my digits intact. The omelette didn't even taste half bad. I'd certainly have given my sister-in-law a run for her money. Certainly good practice for the day I finally hang up my stethoscope to take up a mop and broom as a househusband - when Charming Calvin finally starts making the big bucks.

Tofu. Eggs. Rice. Soon I'll be able to serve up an entire meal :P

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Rambling Raoul

Quite amazing how little toddlers actually seem to develop a personality of their own! Guess there are some traits that are actually inborn in some of us - so much for the nurture not nature theory.

Like my brand new ( thank God it's a boy to carry on the family name!! ) lil nephew Rambling Raoul. I'm sure he's destined to turn out to be a dangerous little heartbreaker with his big quileless eyes, sheepish smile and decidedly stubborn chin but along with his drop dead gorgeous looks, the lil bugger seems to have developed a clingy personality of his own.

Not sure how it is but it seems impossible to ever place him down on a seat. Usually the boy's all charming, coy and cooing at every little thing I say - but just an instant away from the arms of his caretaker, Raoul immediately clams up before staring up in astonished consternation wondering exactly why he has been left all alone - moments before breaking up in ear-piercing sobs of loneliness over being summarily abandoned by his loved ones.

Yeah like all the best-looking boys, he has issues :) Lil Lord Raoul simply enjoys being carried around, his strong fists bunching up tight on our collars in case we let him go - all the whle hypnotizing us with his limpid, heart-melting goo-goo eyes. Sure I know he's all chirpy baby Sagittarius but I can imagine him in the future turning out to be one of those sweet, overly dependent hunks who goes like this.

Singletini : Night, sweetie. I had a lovely time.
Raoul : Night already. Surely you're not leaving me. All alone, querida. Why must we say goodbye? Each time we part my heart wants to die
Singletini : Raoul baby, you know you're my boo! Is that the sangria talking?
Raoul : Without your lovely arms, I weep. The night so very cold and lonely.

Surely I'm deserving of a hug at least...

Just hope the little charmer's lucky enough to find a singletini with arms big enough to love him :)

And if not, he has a gay uncle who'll find him one.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Right Royal Rumble

Shocking news here. Despite the rampant efforts of militant conservative groups, homosexuality seems to be getting quite prevalent here since you'd notice the growing number of fraternizing male couples ensconced comfortably in the backrows of cinemas - in the intriguingly named couple seats AKA Grope City. Nice to see people getting more tolerant of alternative mores these days.

In a couple of the seats, you'd probably find me pawing Jaunty Jared's pecs even as he valiantly tries to fend off my unwanted pseudo-advances ( while Charming Calvin gives us admonishing hushes to keep it down ). Still I did settle down enough for the movie - unlike some cooing courting couples behind us.

Paul : Would it be wrong if I threw popcorn at them?
Calvin : Don't embarass me. The movie's starting. Hush!

So I did.

Picture by fabulous dronio on deviantart
Heh. Are those guys doing it?

Third time doesn't seem to be the charm though since it's quite obvious that the poor writers from Shrek must be running out of classic European fairytales to skewer. Doesn't mean it's not worth the watch ( since the familiar characters of the stinky ogre and his royal wife, Fiona have inevitably wormed their way into our hearts by now ) but most viewers would probably leave the cinema wishing that it had just a little more bibbidy bobbidy boo.

Bet they regretted zapping the Wicked Fairy Godmother into a puddle of goo early on espcially since poor Prince Charming makes a limp, lackluster villain - even with his glorious mane of shiny, bouncy blond locks. So it doesn't seem at all worth worrying about when our inept prince schemes to benefit from the Frog King's death ( does anyone else find it somewhat disturbing to poke fun over his prolonged death bed scene? ) by whipping up the fairytale villains into a revolutionary coup to take over the land of Far, Far Away - all this while Shrek is away searching for the next heir to the kingdom, a coltish cousin named Artie ( oddly reminiscent of Justin Timberlake ).

Bet even Doris, the transgender stepsister ( or the remarkably mannish stepsister as steadfastly claimed by some quarters ), on her lonesome could have defeated Charming easily ( and I'm sure he/she would have thoroughly enjoyed having the royal bastard on the bottom ).

The movie's one saving grace - and certainly an overlooked plotline that was begging to be expanded - is the fabulous Shrek's Angels. Seriously. When the reluctantly heroic fairytale princesses paying a visit to Fiona are inevitably dragged into the entire revolutionary process, it's to be expected that these pampered royals would all twiddle their thumbs waiting to be rescued. What else would Snow White, Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella do after all?

With kick-ass efficiency the troop of gently bred ( though potty-mouthed ) princesses magically transform in Shrek-esque turn of events into a crack squad that would make even the jaded palace guards cower. From the alpha nature-lovin female Snow White ( raging wild with her animalistic war cry ) to the perpetually exhausted, narcoleptic Sleeping Beauty, these ladies ( including a fab transgender sista! ) are doin' it for themselves this time - and they certainly steal the show from the rest of the boys while trying to stop the attempted coup by Prince Charming.

A pity Doris didn't get her happily-ever-after though. Maybe it's really time for a gay fairy tale though I have a feeling since I'm far from any charming prince on a white charger, I'd be typecasted as the Wicked Witch.

Well, hell I could bespell Chris Evans into becoming my endlessly submissive sex slave.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Look What's in my Pocket

Not long ago, I made a quick note of the things I have in my backpack just as a reminder. But as diverse and unusual though some of the innocuous items might seem, I doubt they could even compare to the things Jaunty Jared keeps in his holey bag.

Seriously, not even the recent incomprehensible Nokia N95 ads could have produced so many seemingly unrelated items from a random pocket. Hell, even the average ladies' handbag pales in comparison.

During dinner when Jared started digging through his belongings and dragging them out one after the other with considerable aplomb, I started staring in bemusement and wondered whether he could be remotely related to a certain Doraemon - the infamous Japanese robot cat with a penchant for digging magical items from his pouch. Then again, the lean, tousled-haired Jared is a far cry from the amiable, roly-poly kitten with the gamine smile.

There's Something in my Pocket!

Stationery items such as pen, pencil and paper are usual enough for the average salaryman. Even a comb and hairgel would be understandable - especially for one as fashionably conscious as Jared. But then he draws out items such as a half dozen cans of chilled soda - including specially ordered lychee drinks for his boyfriend. An MP3 player. Health magazines with well-built, half-naked hunks posing suggestively in explicit poses. Followed by a new unopened tin of lightly salted potato chips. Then a warm woolen sweater for his chilled boyfriend. And then a whole eye-catching ensemble of gay men's couture with tight baby tee, bling-bling belt and supertight jeans.

Near the end of his tunnelling however, I started thinking that the bottomless bag just might be an impossible pocket dimension - since each time he rummages inside, something unusual pops out from this inexhaustible bag of tricks. I bet they have entire kingdoms from far, far away hidden deep inside the confines of his bag.

Seriously, at any given moment I expected him to pull a hunky six foot German stud out from that bag for me - with a three course meal of roast chicken and mashed potatoes coming right behind.

Karl : Ja! Would you like my sauerkraut with that?

Yum. German stud.

Then Jared would produce some tapered candles.

And matches. Maybe even the dining table with a snooty French maitre'd.

My backpack is starting to look a bit dull. :P Maybe I could trade with Jared.