Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Chinese Patient

This evening Charming Calvin boards his flight back.

Though I'm not sure how he's going to survive the trip with his winter flu. Poor fella is racked with severe pneumonia-like symptoms made worse by the icy-cold northern winds of Beijing - and his sinfully extortionate medical blackmail doesn't seem to have done the trick. Not even the brief IV drip rest he had the other day ( which also cost a bomb ) at the clinic helped much.

But the Chinese Patient insists on returning.

Even the Chinese Army has been deterred by the horrible wintry conditions causing widespread havoc for the folks returning for the coming spring festival - but not stubborn Calvin. Doped up on multiple meds ( polypharmacy? ), subsisting only on bread and tea and covered in thick layers like the abominable snowman, he's gonna be trudging home. No doubt bitterly cursing the miserable weather while shaking his fists at the gloomy sky in between hacking up a lung.

Being the natural pessimist that I am when it comes to such matters, starting to have this awful niggling feeling that he'll be carried out of the plane on a stretcher with medical service attending. Poor fella.

I am *hack* not sick! I am resting!

Doubt he can even summon up energy to flirt with the hunky stewards.

Steward : Would you like a cup of tea?
Calvin : Tea...*hack* *cough*
Steward : Sir, are you alright?
Calvin : *Ack* Okay... *ack*
Steward : Excuse me, sir, while I get my uniform disinfected.

Poor convalescent fella. Hope he makes it alright.

Safe journey, my man.

Addendum at 1230am - He arrived safe and sound after all - though a bit mussed up and resembling a revolutionary Chinese dissident poet with his shaggy locks :)

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Surrogate Moms & Wannabe Dads

In my previous relationship any mention of the pitter patter of little feet would have my commitment-phobic ISO getting the dry heaves. Even now, it's quite possible that he'd opt for a vasectomy rather than risk the minuscule chance of paternity - even knowing full well there's no way his male partners could ever bear children.

The only way he'd venture near the infantry is to date them. :P

So judging by the shockingly child-unfriendly homos around these parts, I've always imagined that Charming Calvin wouldn't be all that interested in having children either. I mean sure I've mentioned it once or twice in my blog and he has replied not unfavourably but that didn't seem to mean anything substantial.

Then somehow yesterday he started talking about babies.

Next year!
Christmas comes early this year?

Oddly enough. In the recent past, he's never ever brought up that subject before so I've always imagined that he got the heebie-jeebies whenever anything vaguely paediatrics cropped up. That doesn't seem to be the case however. Not sure whether the prohibitive non-politically-correct one-child policy in China has gotten to him - or whether it's the admittedly polluted ( and personality-changing ) water supply in his building.

Or maybe just some bad mooshu pork.

But in a fit of crazed ( pollutant-chemical-induced? ) belligerence, he came up with a nefarious scheme to coerce an innocent girl we know into agreeing to stand in as our surrogate mother. Yes, the pupil has indeed surpassed the master.

Calvin even came up with a roster of names for the baby. Trust me, it was a surreal discussion as we wondered whether to hyphenate our surnames. An odd notion but I've actually seen it done. And you know how important family names are to the Chinese.

I won't quibble over the Chinese names since I hardly speak a word, much less understand the written word - and Calvin would certainly know better. Nothing that rhymes though. Nor anything that repeats itself so no Ting Ting, Ling Ling or Ching Ching. Nothing that is spelled in an abnormal manner, with multiple xyzs or comes with a hideous hyphen either.

Fine. I am a bloody control bitch.

For a Christian name however, I like simple names. Anne. Emma. Grace. Saloma. While our friend there enjoys the more unusual ( peculiar-sounding names ) such as Avril, Britney and Christina. Somehow I wouldn't want any daughter of mine to become a drunken teenage rockstar with a patent disregard for undergarments. Though it's quite a mouthful, we might compromise with the name Elizabeth.

Hopefully it's a boy though. I know, how Confucianist-sexist am I? But Aaron does sound nice, doesn't it? Or maybe a Nate? Can already imagine standing at the banister yelling at a slacker kid called Nate - 'You'd better get your work done, Nathaniel Christopher Wong Kar Wai, before I get upstairs! You hear that!'

Crazy pipe dreams, I know... but imagine a baby all the way from China! I am already feeling all Charlotte York!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Technophobia : Techno-Himbos Redux

Just when I thought I'd gotten over being a loser techno-himbo ( and thankfully figured out how to work my cellphone ), some spanking new gadget comes along and smacks me right on the forehead! You can imagine how amazing all these modern thingamacallits are to a techno-himbo like me when I'm far more used to horse-drawn carriages and oil-lamps.

And it's not even the Ipod - which I can't for the live of me figure out how it works! Only a button and a dial? And it makes music come alive? How amazingly simple - and yet surreal.

Me, I'm still finding transistor radios a revolutionary invention.

Baby you can drive my car!

Just yesterday I finally got my third car. Yes, I've already had three cars in my life! Amazing how shockingly adult it makes me feel. Shifting some of my cash around while I refinanced my housing loan, I realized it was far more financially prudent to invest in a new car. Don't get your hopes too high though. Meaning it's not my dream silver-gray BMW. The new car is just the same as the previous model, just of a different shade! This time a darker stormcloud-gray, a far more suitable match for my personality than the previous light bronze.

So what did the technohimbo do this time? No, it's not that I got stumped by the gearshift. I can drive the car.

I just can't work my new car stereo.

Really. Beyond shoving my CD into the required slot, I found that I couldn't figure out what else to do with the stereo. That shiny lil gizmo had a dozen lil dials and buttons that seemed to have no probable function - though I did tentatively hit a few experimentally.

Seriously. Ever seen a blind man navigate a cross junction without traffic lights?

Took me several winding blocks before I even managed to switch title tracks - and that was all after an entire tiring process of endless curses as I mistakenly randomized, repeated and neutralized ( huh? ) the entire recording. I won't even tell you how embarassingly long it took me to find an FM radio station.

But by the grace of God, I finally did catch something three storeys down in the parking basement where I managed to get a brief flicker of static from a local hit music station. Could barely make out Justin Timberlake muttering about what goes around. But I was happy. I'd achieved my own nirvana.

Then Soused Soldat comes along to meet me for some liquid lunch. And blithely shows me the technological wizardry of the magical cash deposit machine at the bank. Seriously. It counts money. It deposits money. I don't have to queue. Golly gee-whiz, what will they think of next?

Hello. I'll be serving you today!

Could they make a hunky 6-foot bank-teller for me to take home instead?

And would you believe it, my new purchase comes with a ( hopefully serviceable ) Ipod Nano that is to be delivered next week! Wish me luck.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Best Buys at Barry's Bargains


Big Bicep Barry is forever surprising me.

Abandoning his usual 9 to 5 career, now he's taken to peddling his wares over at Jonker Street. Not that he's shaking his thong-clad hips in a male burlesque with desperate ladies screaming and waving dollar tips to shove at his waist - though I think that's an excellent moneymaking scheme! - but he's decided to set up shop. Figuring it's the road to financial freedom no doubt - and possibly a way to achieve some early new year prosperity.

Our budding entrepreneur is trying his hand at retail with a makeshift stall - somewhat surprisingly close to the dream dive shop he once had once upon a time.

Everybody go surfing! Surfin USA!

For those who don't know about Jonker Street - it's a street of pre-war shophouses in Malacca that has been refurbished selling trinkets and antiques to cater for tourists. And they have the usual weekend market.

Where my friend Barry's now selling flip flops. Turns out a friend of his had too much of a good thing - a mishandled consignment of flip flops - and our man here's doing the buddy thing by helping offload the goods for cheap at the market. That little favour has sparked off an entrepreneurial fervour like none I've seen before as he's started to think of various inventive methods to sell his products.

Slick marketing exec that he is, Barry can surely charm birds down from the trees with his sweet talk - but it was almost painful watching him try to sell his goods at the market ( with uneven success ). Have you tried selling flip flops at a market? Seriously, it's not that easy trying to hawk beach wear during the rainy season!

Not even for the sake of Montserrat mystique.

Even the passing girls who flirted outrageously with him while indiscreetly checking out his biceps couldn't find it in their mercenary hearts - and purses - to purchase a cheap flip flop. Despite his persuasive spiel.

Barry : Dammit. No one's buying!
Paul : Who buys flip flops in January!
Barry : Well, you did!
Paul : That's coz I got to pinch your nipple. That's always worth something.
Barry : Hey!
Paul : You need a gimmick. Maybe you should climb on a surfboard to attract customers. Play up the beachwear theme. Spin some Beach Boys. Kokomo!
Barry : Good idea! I could make a board out of cardboard scraps instead of using mine.
Paul : And drop the hawaiian shirts! You should go dressed in Speedos.
Barry : In public?!
Paul : Sex sells, B. Gotta show some skin to hustle those flops!

He didn't take the bait. Though I could see from his quiet smile that he was considering the idea.

Wonder what else I could get him to sell. :P

Sunday, January 27, 2008


Tuition seems to be a booming concern in this country - especially with the desperate emphasis on the paper chase. These days highly-competitive overachiever parents seem to be obsessed with the pursuit of multiple As for their Burberry-clad scion - and with clumsy toddlers being irresistibly shoved to preschools almost before they can stumble over their own two feet, I can well imagine that extracurricular lessons will be a multimillion industry in the future.

If it hasn't already! Hell, even Charming Calvin gave some math lessons once upon a time.

Me, I don't think everyone needs tuition. It's sheer folly to believe that you can do well in your academics based only on two hours a week tuition classes. It would take more than that miracle teacher to grab you that academic brass ring. Though I hate saying it, you do need the proper foundation from school after all.

But it helps.

Though obviously not everyone thinks so.

Intentions!I admit it isn't easy being the youngest in a generation of perfectionista cousins especially when you have dozens of older, more accomplished sibs such as Hard Rock Harriet and Lispy Lori who have come before you. Some pretty big heels to fill. No matter how well you do, someone else seems to have beaten you to the punch long before.

Frustrating as hell, I can imagine. So when my aunt tried talking her recalcitrant daughter into attending extra classes to boost her lackluster scholastic performace, it seemed a battle already well lost. From the uncooperative pout on Rebellious Reina's face, her mother might as well have been talking about sending her to a chilly, isolated gulag in Siberia.

Reina : Of all the ideas!
Paul : Tuition?
Reina : My mom asked whether I wanted to go and I said no. I just wasn't feeling it.
Paul : Wasn't feeling it?! You had a freakin choice?
Reina : It was only a couple of Cs. It's not the end of the world.
Paul : I doubt your mom thinks so.
Reina : It must have been your idea then! I knew it.
Paul : Shockingly, it wasn't. It really was your mother's idea. After all, I think she got the hint when your results were lining the bottom of the barrel.

Nasty much? Please, it was at the tip of my tongue to overstep my bounds by telling my cousin that I would have said this.. I'm not asking. I'm telling. This family is not a democracy. It's an order - albeit politely phrased - and certainly not a bloody request.

I know academics isn't everything. In the long run, there are definitely more things in life than scoring that perfect CGPA. A string of As is never a guarantee to a lifetime of success. But hard work and perseverance does mean something - and as a full-time student, I'd expect at least a modicum of effort on her part rather than to just shrug off her less-than-mediocre results! Look, I'm not expecting a young Einstein but is it too much to expect performing to the best of your ability?

Yes. Monstrous parent. Papa jahat. Whatever.

Of course I'm far from a sterling example when it comes to such matters. To me tuition has been less about studying and more about socializing. It was the one time ( since we mostly had single-sex education over here ) that the boys and the girls got to mingle - and it was a sight watching certain clumsy teenage slacker boys utterly oblivious to the man-bait lures from the far more sophisticated ( and obviously increasingly frustrated ) convent girls dressed to the nines.

Paul : OMG. You like her? Seriously!
Beercan : Yeah, she's cool!
Paul : Really? Even with those off-season bangs?

Ah. Adolescence. Blessed with the gay gene, I wasn't as clouded by the haze of heterosexual hormones as the rest so I could clearly see the amateurish mating dance of the budding teen scene.

Not that we were left out. The rest of us had our fun as well from gleefully tossing eraser bits into my friend's Afro-curls to passing on lovey-dovey notes as the teacher droned on about organic chemistry. Even to secret party planning as we drew hidden maps on the back of our exercise books to hand out to the rest. So terribly high school. So obviously I didn't mind attending those classes as much.

And after all we always had our regular chi-chi ice-cream party after to gossip about the events.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Medical Mishaps

Sometime I don't blame laypeople for ( erroneously ) assuming that doctors earn the megabucks.

Judging by the hefty amount private medical practitioners charge in our fair city, I shouldn't be at all surprised by the assumption! And if Charming Calvin's reports are true, it's a pittance compared to the shockingly extortionate amount charged by the doctors in Beijing.

Inevitably falling prey to the horrid winter bug, Charming Calvin has been battling several bouts of fever and lethargy for the past few days but has stubbornly refused to seek treatment since he holds an inexplicable prejudice against the local physicians. But after what seemed like several hours of relentless prodding by me, Charming Calvin finally acquiesced and agreed to pay them a visit.

Now, doesn't this look like a face you can trust?

Much to his horror - and mine, after the initial examination, counseling and the prescription, the bill came up to almost a thousand dollars.


For a flu. I could have just dropped by a pharmacy and fedexed him the antibiotics.

How could a medical bill possibly cost that much? Even for a foreigner white devil, surely it shouldn't be a thousand bucks for a simple cough and cold? Surely the antibiotics given wasn't some secret panacea passed down by the sages past from the Tang Dynasty? Or did they somehow perform some magical curative moxibustion while they were examining?

With the price of western medicine, no wonder the local Chinese depend so much on traditional remedies. Maybe it's time Calvin dragged out that old crockpot and started boiling some rejuvenating herbs to balance out his yin and yang ( no doubt out of whack ).

Calvin : Doctor, I have a cough.
Dr Mistopheles : You should have an X-ray done.
Calvin : Okay.
Dr Mistopheles : Then some blood investigations. Some sputum and blood cultures, perhaps a thorough septic workout. And also a CT Thorax and an MRI.
Calvin : Is that all required? I only have a cough and cold.
Dr Mistopheles : Maybe even an angiogram and a endoscope while you're here.
calvin : Hmm.. maybe I should have bought some chrysanthemum tea.

That seems to be the only plausible method I could possibly find to explain how the bill could have amounted to so much. Short of the hospital actually having marble floors, diamond-encrusted elevators and hunky bellboys on every floor!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Lazing with Lorelei and Her 27 Dresses

Certainly having a very feminine week.

Not that I've been tottering around in skyscraper heels and waving a clingy feather boa at the adoring masses but I've been going out with girlie girls all week. First, clothes-shopping for my niece the other day and now mall-hopping with my new girlfriend, Lissome Lorelei.

If you'd recall, she's the one who seemed to know way more about me ( how disconcerting! ) than I did about her at our first meeting - who greeted me with such crazy cheery aplomb chattering busily away a mile a minute while I stood there confused wondering where the fuck I'd seen her before! Somehow it seemed that my notoriety - and the three degrees of separation in the gay world - had preceded me.

Still, her wacky enthusiasm's surprisingly infective.

Lorelei : You're straight? Muahahaha. Tell me another one!
Paul : I know!

Enough that I was irresistibly swayed into tagging along with her on a shopping trip. Another chance to play dress-up doll - but with a live adult version? I am so there.

Lissome Lorelei turned out to be no crazed stalker as I'd half suspected but a really fun, sunshiney ( is that even a word ) person. Think Energizer Bunny - but in a skirt. And boobs too of course. Something tells me she's also a member of the Bright Brainy Bachelorettes.

Surprisingly for such a wild woolly gal, Lorelei turned out to be far more conservative convent novitiate than seductive sea siren. At least fashion-wise. When I leaned towards the slink and the bling to show off her booty, she seemed horrified and clutched at her breasts in the time-honoured fearful virgin stance - obviously far more comfortable with her high-collared Victorian dresses.

Paul : Trust me. That dress back there made you look fat. Hell, it would have made Kate Moss look fat.

But I persuaded her with my pointed argument that she ain't gonna catch no red-blooded fella dressed like Fraulein Maria cantering up the hills of Salzburg. Not unless he has an inexplicable ( and extremely disturbing ) fetish for singing nuns.

In the end we compromised between naughty and nice - with a chic Blair Waldorf prep-girl ensemble. A string of pearls and lace stockings, a sure combination almost no man can resist. Like any good gay pal though, I also convinced her to try super-sizing her bra cups with several valiant attempts to stuff her minicups into D cups. Sure, we wouldn't want to mistake them for mountains but that doesn't mean we'd want a proposal for a flight strip either.

All in a crazy bid to push her towards our fellow colleague Brash Brandon so she can ascertain for certain his wavering sexual proclivities :P

Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Exorcism of Shameless Shalom

Hush. Tell no one but I think Shameless Shalom has changed.

I blame the city.

Poor thing

Ever since her unexpected return to the dark, dingy streets of the city, she has turned into a different person. Even in the fluorescent-lit halls of the hospital, the redoubtable Shalom is near unrecognizable - so unlike her normal jovial self that I find it almost impossible to believe it's the same girl I once knew.

I blame it on the polluted air. Or else there's something nasty in the potable water. Perhaps the ale?

Sweeney Todd!
Good Gods, you look ghastly too!

Not only has Shalom shed all her hilarious Nyonya antics, her proto-feminist stands and her snappy one-liners, she has morphed into the perfect medical physician with red-rimmed sleepless eyes and accompanying eyebags, riotous curls trimmed back in a neat black hairband ( boring! ), and finally plain pencil skirts and flat black espadrilles.

And no make-up.

And all she talks about is catching up on medical journals, writing endless theorems and seeing patients 24/7.

Paul : Hey, have time for a movie and dinner after work?
Sha-Clone : No. Must go to work. Work. Work.
Paul : Are you alright?
Sha-Clone : Work. Work. W-work...
Paul : Ugh, Sha-Clone, I think that screw in your neck just came loose.

While I could sing a rhyme all about the poor thing, poor thing, I'm a lil more worried about the fact that she might have been adult-napped and replaced with a perfect lil exam doppelganger. I wonder if the real gal has been slashed, chopped up and turned into delectable meat pies at Mrs Lovett's!

God, I bet poor Shalom was a cruel victim of a vicious scientific experiment to turn all doctors into dry, boring old clones to troop endlessly through the hospital wards clerking patients 24/7! From Shameless Shalom to What-a-Shame Sha-Clone. Even her supervisor has noted her significant metamorphosis ( far too late! ) and called for immediate attention.

Poor thing

In case she hasn't been diced and stuffed into shepherd's pie, I think she's probably been possessed by a demon. So we seriously need an exorcism of sorts. Some holy water. A crucifix. A sanctified medical textbook. Maybe a miniskirt to replace those damned knee-lengths.

And some M.A.C. products.

Stay tuned.

And if you haven't guessed by the painful laments of poor thing, I've already seen the dreadful Mrs Lovett in action with her handy cleaver at her pie shop on Fleet Street. Lean gents with a stubble and a penchant for bloodshed, make your way upstairs to the demon barber Sweeney Todd's if you're looking for a deadly close shave.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Sugar Or Spice

Little girls are sugar and spice - and supposedly all things nice.

I'd beg to differ of course. But some folks - my surprisingly retro mom in particular - feel that girls are really as mentioned in the oft-quoted rhyme, and they should be dressed apropos in sugar and spice. Making them all look like pretty lil pastel cupcakes in ribbons and curls.


Me, I like them in bold colours and straight lines.

Carmen Speaks!
God, my clothes are so last season!

Don't get me wrong. I like the frills and fuss but just not for my niece Chatty Carmen. Though she's surprisingly hugely feminine, she's not your usual frou frou girl. All stern, angular lines rather than chubby sweetness. Honestly, she's far more Audrey Hepburn than Doris Day. Far more Baby Gap than Somerset Bay.

A single plain bow rather than a dozen of patterned frills with lace eyelets.

My mother disagrees.

So you can imagine the fun we had shopping for clothes with Carmen. :) Stereotypical as hell I know... I mean the whole gay uncle going clothes-shopping with the niece? But come on, which self-avowed homosexual doesn't love the idea of playing dress up? But it was certainly a Pretty Woman makeover day for Carmen as she strolled into one store to another, emerging with heaps of shopping bags.

A surprise that despite her seemingly fierce Tyra Banks demeanour behind closed doors, Carmen turned out to be quite a timid soul in public. No preening over the mirror throwing pouts at the adoring. No prancing around the dressing room for the audience to gawk. It was quite a task getting her to even step out of the changing room. I do hope my own painful bashfulnness wasn't catching.

In the end true to our tastes, my mom got her a pretty princess pink frock full of buttons and bows with matching glittery heels - while I got her a plain ( but undeniably chic ) navy blue A-line dress in bold red patterned prints with a matching ribboned headband. Very Gossip Girl prep-girl chic.

Her pre-school classmates are soooo gonna die. Possibly drown themselves in their blah out-of-season Baby Reject costumes when they see her kiddie couture.

Day out!
OMG! Can you see that? Can you say fashion disaster?

I know. I'm such a monstrous uncle.

I'll have you know I didn't go stir-crazy and pierce her ears. You should only suffer so much for fashion. I did contemplate getting her a temporary tattoo though.

Even tossed in a hoodie for Rambling Raoul since he was such a crib-rockin great sport. Good looks, a gentle disposition and a willingness to shop. The ladies are so gonna swoon over him.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Angels Amongst Us

Do you believe in angels?

Well if you don't, disbelievers... I won't spend an hour preaching like an evangelist on a sweltering Sunday morning to convince you.

Just watch Gabriel.

Talk about an instant conversion. Forget about sending good lil boys to Christian camp, send them to the movies instead. Seriously. Forget all about the hours of catechism and sunday school. One look at Gabriel's electric blue eyes ( played by the delicious oh-praise-God Andy Whitfield ) and I was instantly converted.

Even better than a blinding ray of illuminating light from the heavens.

I bet no one has even heard of this Gothic movie - and I seriously wouldn't blame ya. Even I didn't know the name of the movie though I actually saw the movie poster - as everyone probably did since it's particularly memorable. Hot guy in long coat looking broody over the evils of mankind?

In a nutshell, the movie's all about the angel Gabriel and his trip to Purgatory to reclaim some fallen comrades. God certainly picked the right messenger since while spreading heavenly goodness, this arc angel also kicks some demon arse and takes names. Think slick MTV shots paired with edgy urban CGI realism. Think Constantine meets Sin City. With the minuscule budget they had, this Australian production certainly did alright. Certainly not an Oscar-worthy blockbuster - could have done so much better - but hey, it certainly rocks for two hours.

Andy Whitfield!

And baby, fallen angel or whatever, I'd still do Gabriel! Even ( blasphemous though it sounds! ) on the altar of the fallen-down church. Just a sight of his...*ahem* wings and you'll be transported to a higher level. Trust me, once you see the shots of his... heavenly song, you'd be a true believer too.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Temper Tantrums

Last night I nearly killed someone.

You see, I have a temper.

Much better these days of course. Mellowed with age and experience and all that. Since I rarely let my temper get away from me, folks start assuming that I'm a perpetually sunny, peppy person all the time. Which is as far from the truth as it gets honestly since I do actually possess a temper of my own. Doesn't show itself all that often which is one of the reasons all my best frenemies are quick to point out that I can be quite the ice-cold bitch.

It's certainly not the quick flash of temper that fades away just as fast as it appears - the kind my dad and my brother ( and my niece I think ) share. Where the bark's usually much worse than their bite since they've calmed down reasonably by that time.

My temper's a different kinda monster. Starting with a tiny flicker, it slowly builds up heat and steam as it simmers silently. While I appear perfectly calm on the outside, I'm actually starting to boil a little - and it frequently amazes me that the compacted steam hasn't started pouring out of my ears till I'm just at the brink of a catastrophic explosion.

THAR she blows!

And when it finally blows, everyone within range gets caught in the devastating blast effects - including any innocent bystanders who happen to get caught in the falling debris. Seriously. Like Vesuvius, it explodes but rarely ( maybe once in a couple of years? ) but once it's loose, memorably cutting sarcasm comes pouring out like molten lava turning the unprepared victims around stone ashen. Don't believe in the well-worn adage that words don't hurt as much as sticks and stones. Bruises heal but memories remain.

So when a... misguided colleague ( another Scalpel Sith who's been baiting me for days ) finally stepped on my tail last night, I practically erupted. Talk about a nasty diatribe. Everything from her uncooperative attitude to her uncomplimentary wardrobe to her unmarriageable status got summarized into a cold pithy sentence that left her shocksilenced.

Somehow it's a crazed black rage that I find myself sometimes unable to wrest into control which is why I usually hide away for a spot of quiet brooding meditation counting sheep - at least before I inadvertently wrestle someone to the ground, punch them around and tear their heads off.

Just to see blood spurt.

Violent? I know. Though I usually stick to verbal punches. Doesn't leave me any less remorseful afterward though. Short of being an unfeeling monster without a conscience ( as my detractors would claim ), we're always left feeling a little guilty later. So as the ads go, start counting sheep :P

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Sangria Sniffles

With my inherent belief in the supernatural and the intangible, I'm obviously far from the usual science geek you'd expect to find. But that doesn't mean I can't conduct a little unorthodox experiment of my own - and I trust that I do recall the principles behind them.

After all we already know alcohol has its side effects.

It's Soldat's B-Day. And they'll drink if they want to!
Unless one of his more sober personalities come to the fore...

Soldat : Should we drink? I think we should.
Janvier : No, we're working tomorrow. It's against our principles. We have to keep sober.
Soldat : Get over it, bastard. Fuck you. I'm drinking.
Janvier : NO! Such language! Don't move the arm please!
Soldat : Not me. I'm not moving the arm.
Janvier : Then who... Alfie!
Alfie : Alcohol. Me likey.

Proving to be the less dominant, Janvier obviously lost the battle... so with Soused Soldat ( and his multiple personalities in the collective ) out to celebrate their shared B-Day, there's guaranteed to be plenty of wine to go around. And lotsa willing guinea pigs to test my theories. God-fearing folks such as Jaunty Jared stayed away from the bottle - or else it's possible he feared getting the inevitable alcohol grope ( from me! ). But that didn't stop the rest of the motley crew.

After a bottle or three, the inebriating effects on the brain is obvious enough on the younger folks ( as it was last Christmas ) - with Strapping Shane speaking several decibels louder while Zany Zinedine seemed a tad bitchier - if that's at all possible. Just imagine your friends, just louder, crazier and far more disinhibited.

A number of us even develop some unusual physical reactions to a bout of alcohol. While Lanky Lex follows the Asian norm by turning a brilliant shade of scarlet after downing several glasses of wine, peculiarly Charming Calvin fades into parchment white. Don't know if that bodes well for his liver enzymes :P

Me, I get the sniffles. Or the sneeze.

Seriously. I've followed the progress of my drinking, correlated the evidence and come to realize that each time I pick up a cocktail glass, I will inevitably end up in a bout of sneezing afterward. Histamine reaction? Alcohol allergies?

I call it the Sangria Sniffles. It doesn't last that long fortunately. At least I don't swell up and choke in a catastrophic bronchospasm so I figure it isn't that bad after all. My body can't be rejecting the sins of alcohol, could it?

You'd be excused if you're wondering if I've fallen into a questionable crew of debauched alcoholics.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Details of Zac

Fine. Fine. Tease me all about my wicked lil crush on teenage hunk du jour, Zac Efron, that delicious post-adolescent boy-man fantasy with ( positively legal! ) washboard abs.

So salah, I know.

But just to proof that at least he isn't just pretty boy fluff, check this interview out.

Just disregard that juvenile yo yo yo bit. Like every other gorgeous and available up-and-coming Hollywood hearthrob, he's as usual plagued with gay slander - and rumourmongers have even taken to calling him Zacquisha. But look at what our squeaky-clean ( and unfailingly polite ) Zac has to say...

“I know it’s very addictive to read that kind of stuff. It’s entertainment. Perez has obviously struck a chord in the public eye. He’s doing something right. That deserves admiration—I think he does a great job. Um—” He pauses for a moment, then adds, “Honestly, if the worst he can say about me is that I’m gay, then I think I’ll be fine. I can handle it.”

Looks like our man's pretty cool himself. Talk about a classy way to deal with the persistent gay rumours. Whether he's part of the family isn't the question but at least he managed to accept the gossip without making homosexuality sound like an unhealthy perversion - as the rest of the stars usually do by denying vehemently ( occasionally with lawsuits waving ) and then proceed to snogging the closest trashy celebutante just to prove their obvious machismo.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Lost in Translation

I think I might be cheating.

Or maybe not. :)

Some guys have sex buddies. Unfortunately lack of sexual pull - and a grumpy green-eyed Calvin - has left me with only flirt buddies. Don't look at me that way. You know you do it too!

There's always that guy. Inevitably someone you know - perhaps that charming colleague in the office, that funny acquiantance you met online... even that cute concierge in the lobby of the apartment building. Someone relatively intelligent, deliciously hot and infinitely dateable - but somehow or rather perfectly unavailable for some unfathomable reason.

OMG! Tell me this story again!

For me that guy is Big Bicep Barry. For reasons I've written about before, he remains uncomfortably distant with his innate commitment-phobia - and yet we remain friends close enough that we actually spend the time harmlessly flirting.

Like yesterday when we hid from the pouring rain in a lil seaside tavern at the Portuguese Settlement. Seriously crazy weather! Helping out one of his many business acquiantances ( he seems to have hundreds! ) with a bit of translation, he brought a copy for me to proof-read. Not sure why though since I'm not multilingual like him but it was hilarious trying to make head or tail of his valiant attempts at translating a company newsletter from English to Chinese.

Paul : You are quite the cunning linguist.
Barry : You just had to say that!
Paul : What else are you doing today? Playing naughty boss-man with your workers?
Barry : Hey I don't do that. I'm a sweet man.
Paul : Oh yeah I bet you taste that way as well.
Barry : And wouldn't you like to know? So how is the boyfriend?
Paul : Sweet as well. But not forbidden fruit like some :P
Barry : Hardly forbidden. I still have your teeth marks.

Wrong? Harmless fun? All depends on how you define adultery of course.

The Lord knows the both of us know that this is all going nowhere. After all, we drew that line in the ground a long while back and we won't be bothering with crossing that line ever. Nothing inherently naughty about it and I think he'll be astonished if anyone supposed that he was serious about it. But it's always nice to flirt a bit and laugh.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Love is Blind

Love makes us blind.

Well, make that at least some of us. Somehow love has never blinded me to the faults of my partner, perhaps it even serves to enhance their manifold flaws from my ISO's indecisiveness to Calvin's grumpiness. And for me, that's alright since I never claimed to love a saint.

And then there are the fortunate ( or unfortunate depending ) few who look at love through rose-tinted glasses, finding romance a frothy bubble of champagne. Of course a cynical sod like me would think that bubble looks just ready to be pricked.

One of them being my childhood pal, Beercan Boy. Talk about looking at that broken heart half full! Despite being unceremoniously dumped by his last faithless lady love - and later searching for desperate solace in a bottle, Beercan has taken to rebound like an ugly duckling to water.

Been a while since I last saw him sober so when my ISO texted me for a mandate with Beercan Boy, I agreed readily. A soused straight boy with a broken heart? Can you say ready for new enlightening bicurious experiences?

I was so there.

Unfortunately he met us yesterday without alcohol in hand and rather than the perpetually morose, red-eyed look I'd started to associate with him, Beercan Boy seemed almost giddy. I wondered whether he'd downed some vodka earlier without telling us.

Seemed like Beercan Boy had met someone new though - and he couldn't help gushing like a giggly sophomore on her first date. Despite the raucous gin-soaked atmosphere of the neighbourhood bar, I felt almost as if I'd been transported back to our high school cafeteria.

She's so NOT into you!

However as my ISO and I heard more about this new winsome paramour, we found ourselves shaking our heads. Together. In accord. Very uncommon, I tell ya. It's like God & the Devil shaking hands on a cosmic deal ( didn't they? ).

My ISO : Wait a minute. You were not invited to her birthday party.
Paul : Despite buying her an extravagant gift. Nicely wrapped with a bow as well.
My ISO : Then she left you alone on your birthday.
Paul : And didn't even send you a note. A card. Or even a present.
My ISO : Yet you got a secret gift from someone else.
Paul : And she isn't in the least bit jealous. Then she went on a business trip.
My ISO : And bought you nothing despite your sending her to the airport and picking her up.
Paul : Not even a fucking fridge magnet.
Beercan Boy : But.. she was busy...
My ISO : Should I say it?
Beercan Boy : Say what?
Paul / My ISO : She is so not into you.

God, we felt like Oprah rejects.

Isn't it obvious that she wasn't into him? Or have I ( and my ISO ) become jaded? Don't know why he can't seem to grasp that novel idea but it's quite obvious that blind infatuation has shut down the critical faculties of his brain. At the moment, his pure untainted goddess can do no wrong in his eyes. Judging by his previous relationship where he remained painfully oblivious, he probably wouldn't even believe if she stripped bare nekkid and lap-danced in a thousands laps ( and he'd find a lame excuse for her indecent behaviour even for that ).

For Beercan Boy's sake, I hope we're wrong of course since twice hurt seems far too cruel. Even for someone with his peculiar jinx with the ladies. So what say you?

Don't worry too much about Beercan Boy though. He's a big boy after all - and he has wicked buds like us to watch over him so if ever this seemingly manipulative bitch screws him over...

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The V-Card

Virginity is a bubble in the froth of life - one prick and it's gone.

Odd though this may sound, Zany Zinedine's new year resolution is to lose his virginity. Hope he chooses the right prick though.

I could read Zinedine a trite lecture on safe sex and the nasty pitfalls of STDs but since he isn't a naive backwoodsman, I think he's already gone through the birds and the bees. Not sure if there's a target sell-by date - since I can easily imagine him drawing up a stylish Gehry-inspired calendar with forecast dates marked on when and where to lose his precious V-card. Perhaps even with a traditional deflowering ceremony where he tosses an embroidered red ball ( or auctions off his precious mizuage? ) into the breathless crowd for the suitor he's chosen.

Often highlighted in a number of teenage coming-of-age flicks, the act of losing one's virginity is commonly considered to be a near essential rite of passage. Of course depending on socio-cultural norms, the event can be viewed either as a significant milestone to be proud of or as a secret failure to be ashamed of - with such perceptions heavily influenced by assigned gender roles. None-too-subtle sexism at work but it's quite obvious that boys and girls attach far different premiums on their chastity - with the girls stacking up on the belts while the majority of horny red-blooded teenage boys are in such a hurry to lose it that it becomes almost a competition!

It is regarded as normal to consecrate virginity in general and to lust for its destruction in particular.

But what's the rush?

Can I get a refund?

More than a few are freaked by the initial experience - and let's face it, who isn't! Even the most suave double O superspies find themselves stumbling over their first time sealing the deal. All of us have impossibly high hopes that our first time would be perfectly choreographed like a sleek gay porn version of the Cirque du Soleil with appropriately sexy soft-focus shots - when in reality that first attempt usually resembles far more closely a clumsy Three Stooges debacle filmed with shaky amateur hand-held in the backseat of a Corolla.

Once the clothes come off ( and you can imagine how lightning-fast a teenage boy drops his trou once he figures what goes where! ), nothing's quite as it seems. After all, watching pixellated porn and reading how-to manuals can only teach you so much! Each and every sweat-soaked kamasutra position has been replayed a thousand times in our heads but once put into practice, each step seems impossibly fraught with difficulty ( often with embarassment ) and it's hard not to laugh at some of the more... technically taxing positions.

Short of dating a spineless yoga master.

And the facial expressions can be quite a titter as well. Whoever said that human sexuality didn't have its share of laughs?

Then there's the significant ick factor. Seriously. It's not all about discovering what the lumps and bumps on your body can do. You do know that gay sex has more than its share of bodily fluids, sticky moments and ( despite thorough washings ) the occasional human excrement? Reason enough many squeamish boys I know eschew the joys of anal sex despite popular belief. And yet we see hot cum freely splattering all over on vids without the pornstars even flinching. We see the boys easing through the backdoor what amounts to a 12-inch monster with hardly a single grimace.

For any first-timer, I tell ya it's all bullshit. You're bound to be freaked.

Till you learn to enjoy it of course :)

Still it's a journey most of us finally stumble through on our own - or if we're lucky enough, to discover new experiences with a steady partner.

Judging by my disgust for sexual prudery, you would think that I'd be the first to celebrate the fact that Zinedine wants to lose his virginity in ten weeks but I find myself slightly perturbed. A change of heart perhaps - in my crotchety old age?

Not really. I believe in sexual freedoms - but not necessarily when you're not ready for it. Which is why I'm puzzled by his sudden resolution. Despite no shortage of winsome suitors, the boy has kept his vaunted virtue intact thus far so I don't see any rush in securing a buyer this soon.

At least not until he finds the right person.

Damn, why can't I get Madonna's single Like a Virgin out of my head?

Monday, January 14, 2008

The Road to Hell

Guess you guys are just waiting to hear about my fall from grace! What do they say? That the road to hell is paved with good intentions? Honestly, trying to do the right thing as a good upstanding man isn't that easy after all - it's really so much easier being bad!

Well I found that out for myself when I decided to meet up with McCute for lunch this weekend.

Erroneously believed that I'd already made plans for every eventuality - sabotaging any hidden scheme he and I could have cooked up for a wicked assignation - to plan the perfect platonic mandate! Picked an early lunch - so I wouldn't be tempted to dive into a heady jug of sangria and thereafter into a hotel bedroom with him. Chose a fairly innocuous locality - so full of bustling bystanders and noisy tweenagers that I wouldn't have been able to find a secluded spot for a hasty physical examination.

Even suggested a healthy, low-fat, low-calorie, low-taste salad for an afternoon delight - since there's hardly anything wildly sexy or inappropriate about organic greens, is there?

The road to hell is paved with gorgeous men?

Like always, McCute was prompt. We surely do like our guys to come on time, don't we? Clad in jeans and a tight tee, he looked like a low-fat, low-calorie diet I wouldn't have minded investing in either. After the usual meet-and-greet, I shoved him into the changing rooms for a closer inspection in the direction of the brightly-lit cafeteria. No doubt he was puzzled over my sudden affection for cucumbers and cabbages since he clearly recalled my unhealthy carnivorous habits.

McCute : You eat vegetables like a good boy now?
Paul : I only follow what the good doctors tell me.
McCute : Glad to hear you're adept at following medical advice. How about coming up to my room later then?
Paul : Surely that isn't recommended in our latest guidelines!

Seriously. I was that lame. And that wasn't the only random misdirection I aimed his way.

Perhaps McCute was really only teasing me of course ( or I was reading too much into his actions ) but indeed, what did he see in me? McCute's a relatively attractive fellow, reasonably intelligent - and a surgeon to boot. Surely he can find lots of hunky suitors of his own. Was I his good deed pity-fuck for the year? Not that I minded much but charity cases like me would have liked to know.

McCute was a bright guy though and he caught on to my cheap ploys soon enough. Dropped the sly innuendoes soon enough and we spent an hour or three catching up on our far less scandalous colleagues and their exploits. Innocent enough. And certainly not worth writing home about.

I'm a good boy. Really, I am!

But then after I said my fond goodbyes to McCute promising to keep in touch, I took my leave, walked ten steps and suddenly received an anonymous message from someone named Drew. To quote the sender Let's have some fun later, shall we?

Seriously, I stared agog at the text for almost a full minute. Despite deceptive appearances, I don't actually have a toll-free sex line for my cell number. And I don't usually get strangers suggesting midnight rendezvous.

And yet I found myself irresistibly tempted. Again.

Though it does seem like some horrible nightmare, doesn't it? While the cat's away, I suddenly find a dozen tempting mice out to play? WTF. Talk about the perfect scheme to drive me insane. Now if I suddenly open my front door and find a half-naked hunk wrapped in a bow, I shall know for certain that the devil has suddenly decided to play a cruel prank on me.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Getting Down Under?

They say one of the make-or-break activities for a relationship is the infamous weekend away together. Stranded 24 hours together in an isolated touristy hideaway usually stretches a loving couple's tolerance for each other to the limits, dragging out all sorts of hitherto unknown ( or silently tolerated ) bad habits to the fore. From mundane quirks such as colour-coding closet space and keeping-neighbours-awake snoring to the more terrifying Bluebeard ( homicidal ) habits.

Oddly enough in the two years I've known Charming Calvin, we've not gone on a planned trip together - not unless you count the recent Beijing Bash a trip.

So when a couple of his adoring Calvinettes ( and they seem to have either mysteriously multiplied by cloning or recruited more members! ) suggested a trip together, he immediately jumped on the plan.

And it's to the Gold Coast.

Going down on Calvin is perfectly fine by me but going Down Under with him? Uh. I might have to rethink.

why me!
What's the grouse about eh?

I should be able to summon enough enthusiasm for the trip but I simply can't! Not sure why though since a travel-whore like me's usually the first to impulsively pack up and go! Unfortunately to me, Gold Coast City and its sultry environs remain just a city. A spanking modern metropolis with its share of scenic places no doubt but still a generic city to me. Malls, condos and the beach. Sorry but I've already done the urban OZ journey with a two month trek from Melbourne to Sydney.

I'm sure I'll soon have some patriotic denizens of the Gold Coast whaling on me! :O

But it doesn't have the kasbahs of Marrakech. It doesn't have the flea-markets of Beijing. It doesn't have the spice markets of Istanbul.

Yes. I need my retail therapy - apart from my usual chichi cultural stops - monuments, galleries and the museums. But most importantly where the fuck am I gonna shop for chic trash after all!

Then again, Aussie guys are HAWT. And they do have a Surfer's Paradise.

So I can be persuaded. Tell me, what would you do in the Gold Coast?

Saturday, January 12, 2008


Perfection has its pitfalls. It's never easy being an icon placed on a high pedestal since everyone's just breathlessly waiting for that unfortunate event to tip them over for the inevitable fall. Schadenfreude at work.

One of the sweetest, most agreeable guys I know is Jaunty Jared. Seriously. He's one of the few souls I know who goes out of his way to please everyone - up to and including his occasionally demanding ( though not unreasonably ) horror mama. Wouldn't surprise me to find him voted for Most Liked Fella in his year.

why me!
Do you really want to hurt me? Do you really want to make me cry?
Why do you hate me?

I wouldn't call Jared perfect since he's far from that - I'd certainly vehemently abhor anyone who's a shining paragon after all! Just like any red-blooded guy, Jared has his little foibles after all ( makes me wanna pat him on his lil streaked blond head sometimes ) but he at least strives for perfection.

Obviously clear from my blog that I've long given up on any pretension of achieving perfection.

So during a shockingly informative tete a tete this evening when it was revealed that one of our acquiantance actually secretly disliked Jared in connection with his boyfriend ( someone his boyfriend once had a naughty clandestine fling with ), I found myself secretly amused. To hate Jared? I couldn't see exactly how anyone could possibly find it in themselves to loathe such an agreeable fellow!

Paul : He hates you? MUAHAHAHAHA!
Jared : I don't know why! I tried to make him like me.
Paul : You are dating his ex. Of course he hates you! There should be a law or something. And trying so hard would make him hate you more no doubt!
Jared : But what did I do!
Paul : You exist. Reason enough I should think.

And though he denied it vehemently and claimed he didn't give a damn, it wasn't that difficult to see that Jared was genuinely baffled by the unprecedented enmity. Probably his first time featuring on a hate list - no doubt secretly peeved that someone actually detested him!

Me, I know how it feels. Wouldn't surprise me if I had quite a few frenemies out there just waiting to strangle me, Charming Calvin included :P I wouldn't claim to be a saint after all.

And let's face it, after all despite how unfailingly hard you try ( and what all the simple feel-good melodies claim ) not everyone's going to get along. Lifelong prejudices and shared, often convoluted histories will inevitably cloud relationships. Simply written in the stars that certain personalities are going to clash and remain at sixes and sevens forever.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Feast of the Epiphany

This has simply gone too far.

It's time to rant! When I flipped open the local dailies today, I could already feel my blood boiling with rage. No, it's not the usual rancour over our incompetent politicians. Nor is it from our self-righteous religious zealots who erroneously believe that certain holy nouns belong solely to themselves. Come on, did they copyright those words?

*Deep breath* I am not supposed to rant over the other issues!

No, this time my ire is roused by the fact that women these days have pixellated breasts. Yup, these days women in our country come equipped with a big patch of pixellation over their cleavages.

OMG! Hide your cleavage! Don't let anyone see!

Which I thoroughly object to. Come on, why would you pixellate cleavages? Trust me, the women featured in the newspaper articles are far from naked. Have to admit the daring ensembles these celebutantes were wearing had desperately plunging necklines that just happened to bare more than a teeny wee bit of cleavage. Perfectly harmless if you ask me. I've seen far more scandalous ( and way tackier ) haute couture right here in town.

But you know the salacious-minded religious conservatives would immediately equate generous booty-baring with sexual licentiousness. And then somehow link it to rising sexual crime rates.

For them, any sign of wardrobe malfunction would be a call for rape, I'm sure.

Not that I wanna ogle the enormous jugs - haven't been swinging that way in a while - but hell I respect the rights of that monstrously horny, pimpled adolescent teenager with his tongue drooling at the newsstand. I say let them look. I doubt q quick glance at a well-packed rack is gonna turn them into raving lifetime sex maniacs... so what's up with the bloody censorship!

Sexual harassment? Get over it. Trust me, there's nothing more sexually empowering than a hot mama looking her best in a va-va-voom dress making the dirty dawgs drool mindlessly over her. If you've got it, flaunt it.

Of course rather than celebrate their beauty, the narrow-minded religious conservatives over here - and the well-meaning though sadly foolish PC idiots who pander to them - find the need to cover up these ladies by pixellating their bountiful assets.

So why am I making a mountain out of two molehills ( perhaps bigger actually )?

Well because if you give the conservative zealots an inch, they run and conquer a mile - with religious tomes and concealed terrorist bombs. What next? Segregation of the sexes? All the women covered in the purdah? You might laugh but this is how it all begins.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

The Guy Not Taken

I'm no saint. Quite obvious that I'm far from the poster-boy for moral sanctity - especially since my neo-liberal values lie far from what the conservative religious right would consider 'proper'. Even my unconventional choice of sexual partners would no doubt have them reaching for their pitchforks and torches.

But I have some principles, fidelity being one of them. Though with recent events in my life, guess I'll have to rethink those commandments dealing with adultery again.

The rest of you must be confused as hell so let's backtrack a little for a brief history lesson. You see, way back when in 2 years BC ( coincidentally enough standing for Before Calvin ), I actually dated around and boy, do I have some horror stories. Seemed like the thing to do since Charming Calvin was dealing with various demons of his own at the time.

One of the guys I actually contemplated seeing regularly was this rather cute surgeon I knew up north I dubbed McCute. Delicious slice of manpie, I can tell ya. Certainly made up what he lacked in height with his bubbly enthusiasm for almost everything - left even me exhausted! In fact cute enough that I even had momentarily fleeting ideas of transferring to his hospital just to get to know him better.

getting to know you...

Far from a blushing bride so I made my move ( am I too aggressive? ) when I finally found my way up there. There was the usual early sparks of attraction - at least on my side - and I was never one to hide what I was feeling. No pussyfooting for me. I obviously liked what I saw - and there was no doubt I wanted to get sweaty and naked with him.

Perhaps it was far too early to ask him to my room but despite my woeful blundering, he acquiesced easily ( and surprisingly ) enough. I could practically taste the trickle of sweat on his bare back already. No doubt I'd have gotten McCute under the covers - licking my way up his naked hairless thighs...

If only my grandmother hadn't come knocking on my door.

You wouldn't believe how anticlimactic that can be to a couple of promising hard-ons. Seriously. A good lesson learnt back then - don't book a hotel suite adjoining your nosy relatives. It never serves. If they hadn't come barging in just at that moment - and I had to hastily intro the fella McCute as a physician colleague while instantly cobbling up an imaginary background for him and myself, our lives would probably have turned out far differently.

Of course, fortunately they didn't barge in ten minutes later! As our embattled local politician recently realized, getting caught in flagrante delicto wouldn't be as easy to explain to a captive audience. As it was, McCute and I kept in touch regularly enough but never had the chance to meet up with work and family getting in the way. Occasional messages. The odd phone call.

Then today I got a message from McCute out of the blue that he was in town and wanted to meet up. The road not taken suddenly beckoned.

Can I say I was sorely tempted?

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Jazz Hands

Raise your hand if you've heard of Harry Connick Jr.

Harry Connick Jr!
Nobody knows me?
Sigh. I should write a song.

Now don't roll your eyes like that if you do know the uber-cool jazz crooner. You're in a sad majority! You'd be surprised at how many haven't even heard of his name. When I heard he was scheduled to perform in Kuala Lumpur, I almost stormed the philharmonic to get the tickets. Not sure how I missed his last showing - possibly due to some drastic life-altering event since there could have been no other way I could have missed it.

Eager to share the news, I immediately texted my friends only to get stark blank faces in reply. Seriously. Might as well be talking about Ludovico Einaudi for all the breathless excitement it elicited.

Then again I bet they wouldn't know Sinatra if he walked by singing a tune.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not totally biased. Although I don't mind most other genres, somehow or rather rap makes my teeth hurt. A sign of old age no doubt. And despite the endless piano drills as a kid ( don't even ask me for a dreaded recital! ), I'm far from appreciative and soporific instrumentals still list high on things to put me fast to sleep. Always reminds me of practising scales!

It had to be jazz after all. Have always been a fan of jazz standards. No doubt in some past life, I hung around bars and clubs after work listening to the creamy-smooth crooners of the 50s. Definitely wasn't shoved in the glaring spotlight that's for sure.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Physician Heal Thyself?

A physician who treats himself has a fool for a patient.

Sometimes that extends to family as well. One of the oft-spoken - and yet rarely followed - maxims in medicine is NOT to treat any member of your own family.

After all, who hasn't gotten the odd request for a home visit the minute we put on that white coat? Bet even Hippocrates got midnight calls to ride out to his niece's cottage to treat the ague.

Despite the indigent relatives clamouring at the doorsteps to knock for a free medical referral, chances are the well-meaning advice will usually be taken with an extra pinch of salt and patent disbelief, followed by a general consensus to seek a second opinion. Almost impossible for that aged Aunt Sally to accept the provisional diagnoses - and suggested treatment - of the beloved dimple-faced nevvy she actually diapered way back when.

Sally : Can you tell me what this medication is for?
Paul : Well it's usually used to treat hypertension. In fact it was...
Sally : OMG. You are so cute! You sound almost like a real doctor.
Paul : Grrrr....

Henry Cavill!
I am a doctor! REALLY!?

Seriously. None of that joshing helps in building the confidence of an earnest newly-minted doctor brimming with humanitarian ideas just out of medical school.

Especially when it's obvious that when it comes to our own family, our medical judgement is already somewhat impaired. Emotions cloud logic and rational thinking, and it takes quite an unfeeling android to be able to separate head and heart completely. Either we take it much too lightly ( disastrously sometimes! ) or we take things far too seriously.

Me, I tend to lean towards the latter. And sometimes fall overboard with my nightmarish worst-possible-case scenarios. Err on the side of caution? I do far more than that! A mild spike of temperature seems to be the terrifying beginnings of the exotic tropical Chikugunya Fever. A throbbing headache seems to be the unwelcome omen of an incurable brain tumour. A simple trip on the kerb would have me dragging them off to the casualty department for an X-ray.

So you can easily imagine what I envision when my friends call to tell me they've just sent an unfortunate relative to the hospital. Not for me boring mundane clinic referrals and endless pharmacy queues. Immediately I leap to the erroneous conclusion that said relative is lying moribund in the intensive care with tubes and paraphernalia coming out of every available orifice, pumped to the gills with inotropes galore.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Intensive (Day)Care

Had the pleasure of seeing my niece Carmen finally make her first step into the halls of preschool - with very little complaint surprisingly ( minimal kicking / screaming ) despite her natural disregard for authority. Though I pity the lil gal for having to contend with unnatural schedules and mindless homework at such a young age, I guess we have to keep up with the Joneses after all.

And I believe they send their kids to kiasu preschool as well.

The sooner to indoctrinate the little children into hating school no doubt. All because of parental anxiety. Now instead of having ten god-awful years of peer persecution, teacher torment and endless mathematical sums, we have at least three added years to that seemingly endless prison term. Is it any wonder that these tortured gradgrinds find themselves seeking psychiatric couches as angst-filled tweenagers?

But I won't get on that particular soapbox.

Penn Badgley!
Do I have to go to school?!

Despite her oddly militant mind-set, Carmen doesn't seem to mind.

After all most kids enjoy preschool. Or at least I think I did since I have particularly fond - though vaguely blurred - memories of those nostalgic, sepia-toned days in kindergarten. And though there were a revolutionary handful who wailed endlessly at the gates, I don't remember the rest of us clamouring to leave once lessons started. There was an antique cupboard where I used to snatch storybooks at random during playtime to read - in between stuffing my face with mini-sandwiches and shoving other rugrats into the sandbox. Yeah, just another fun-filled day in kiddieschool.

Even performed in school plays, including a memorable dance with candles during Christmas. Trust me, it wasn't easy balancing lighted candles on miniature plates while performing complicated routines!

Of course my mother remembers it differently.

Mom : You were an intense kid.
Paul : Intense? Me? You sure you're not talking about some other son? My anal-retentive brother perhaps?
Mom : You were so intense. Thought you'd get an ulcer before your time.
Paul : My God. What kinda freak child was I? No wonder I repressed those memories.

Intense. How odd. Am I? You see, my friends and I back in school always had a game where we looked for single adjectives to describe each other. Gotten wicked and effervescent.

But never intense.

And that's way back in kindergarten? :O

Saturday, January 05, 2008

The Original Sin

Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.

One of my favourite phrases honestly since... well you'd know that I'm far from being a saint. So I can hardly point an accusatory finger on others when they actually fall from grace.

By now even though most of the original furore has died down, I think quite a few folks are still buzzing about one of our federal ministers literally caught with his pants down. In flagrante delicto on a sex tape scandal too ( in this era of technological wizardry! ) and no doubt edited clips on youtube for a short while before the authorities desperately seek to ban the copies.

Of course while I deplore the sordid nature of his libidinous ( and adulterous ) exploits, I find it even worse that he was caught for it! :P

Not that I blame the man.

Ananda in the act!
Caught in the act!

Since I find that I'm one of the few who finds that he should just continue to brazenly work it out rather than to step down as a minister. I know the honourable deed would be to gracefully resign but ... hell, he did a good job. Let's face it, there hasn't been that many positive changes in the Ministry of Health ever since he took up the post. Changes in work culture, better working conditions, pay hikes... the man is doing his job.

And I honestly couldn't care less whether he plays golf, does Sudoku or commits sexual indiscretions in his spare time since his personal life has little bearing on his work life. I know a leader should be exemplary - but I think that should only extend to the job. He ain't the Minister of Moral Rectitude. He ain't my priest. As long as he gets the job done ( without corruption galore ), I don't care what goes on behind closed doors in his bedroom. Whether he performs the Dance of the Seven Veils in a lingerie set from Blush or whether he hires twenty male strippers to do a lapdance ... hell, he could wear pig masks while committing scandalous S&M practices and I wouldn't give a damn. I would be plenty titillated though.

But as usual there are always plenty of indignant, holier-than-thou souls around after all ready to cast the first stone.

So what should our political black sheep do now? Well I believe the man should start looking for a savvy political spinmeister. After all, darlings, there is no such thing as bad publicity.

And you can always write a good book. We all love salacious gossip after all.

Friday, January 04, 2008


Talk about the saddest movie ever!

Based on the laudatory novel by Ian MacEwan, the Atonement is hardly the movie to bring Zany Zinedine who was already feeling particularly moody that day. Volatile teenagers! :P

It was obvious enough five minutes into the show that something was going to go tragically wrong! Have you ever seen a movie that simply suspends the emotions - with tears that remain clinging stubbornly to the lashes without spilling over - since there's far more calamitous events happening on the screen?

Even from the beginning with the menacing typewriter snaps as a threatening undertone, there's a feeling of growing uneasiness and looming menace in the darkening horizon. An imperiled England is tottering at the brink of World War II and we have the aspiring writer Briony ( a lil priggish know-it-all honestly! ) finding herself intrigued by the thorny relationship between her aristo sister Cecilia and the brash housekeeper's son, Robbie. Unfortunately with an clear lack of self awareness and hardly any sense, she finds herself misreading Robbie's intentions which leads to a shattering denouement at the end of the first chapter.

Star-crossed lovers?

So a budding ( though painfully aching ) romance that is just at the brink of blossoming finds itself tragically snapped at the stem, all due to the misinformed actions of an irresponsible tween named Briony. Truly ( as some religious conservatives should take note! ) a little amount of knowledge is much worse than having none at all.

Honestly, I'd have easily choked the self-righteous brat and tossed her down the stairs like a rag doll as well - as threatened by one of the protagonists much later. At least our marplot Briony does try her best to seek atonement for her unwitting role in breaking up the ill-fated lovers.



Me. I wish they'd found the happy-ever-after ending they deserved.

If anything it does leave an important lesson to reach out and grasp whatever small bits of happiness you can get in life rather than bide your time. Or else it might be far too late to do anything about it. So do not tarry when love comes your way, grab that winsome fella and give the bloke some tongue before he dies from an infected war wound!

Robbie : Hello. It's been a while, Paul!
Paul : Whatever, stud. *grabs*
Robbie : Wait, I... mmmmmppphhh.....
Paul : Now wasn't that so much more worth it than waiting for societal conventions and norms to change?
Robbie : L-lemme catch my breath first.

Sometimes patience is so over-rated.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Twelve Drummers Drumming

Eleven Drivers Sniping
Ten Lord-A-Sleepin
Nine Prayers Pending
Eight Maids-A-Gossipin
Seven Hours-A-Lazin
Six Tease-and-Lay-Em
Five Golden Things
Four Tangled Hearts
Three Insomniac Men
Two Slaughtered Birds
And A Party in the Pantry

Honesty is the best policy.

Or is it?

Well let me share with you a secret. What if I said that I spent the early hours of the New Year macking with my ex over Bailey's? Well there was mistletoe ( where the fuck did he get them? ) and it's a new year tradition with us so I can hardly be churlish enough to refuse.

Happy New Year!
Fancy seeing you here!

But for reasons unbeknownst - can't even point the blame at inebriation since I barely took a sip - I did decide to spend the night over after the eve. Just took one quick glance at the tremendous traffic crawl after the drunken new year's eve revelry ( where the fuck did they all come from! ) and I changed my mind about tailgating all the way back. Why spend an hour cursing the slowpoke drivers while hitting my head intermittently on the wheel?

Took a quick detour over to his place and spent the hour curled up on his ratty cushions talking about our missing ( and obviously unable to protest ) classmates instead. It was almost like old times - except that rather than Chumbawamba Tubthumping in the background, we had Timbaland claiming the Way I Are.

Paul : Maybe the witch is finally dead!
My ISO : Hardly. I heard her ex-husband wanted her dead, tried and failed. Many times.
Paul : Well, she's impossible to kill. We've been trying for years!
My ISO : I think she undertook a pact with the devil.
Paul : You mean she isn't the devil? What about her devil spawn - remember they tried to climb up the curtains?
My ISO : Hardly! She can't be the devil. Have you seen her sagging... Wait! I haven't told you about Edwin cheating on his girlfriend yet.
Paul : Why am I not surprised? The last one was a blind fool, I'm sure.
My ISO : Our bottle's finished. Wanna play a game?

Yes, we were the original gossip guys. Nothing we love more than dissing our AWOL friends.

And we love to play spin the bottle.

I bet the drummers are drumming.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Eleven Drivers Sniping

Maybe I've been driving in the big city for much too long.

And you know big city drivers are just simply monstrous. I've certainly learnt some of the bad habits associated with urban road hogs such as overtaking from the left, rocketing 2fast2furious just slightly below the speed of sound ( and below the radar of the ever-vigilant cops ) and the horrifying tailgating. Reprehensible driver, I know. Don't learn from me, kids.

Drive faster dammit!

Of course that didn't prepare me for my return last weekend to find small town drivers. God, it's like they're on a leisurely sunday drive with their loved ones enjoying the sights. Not only do they greedily hog the fast lane, they insist on puttering by at a plodding 50km/h in their clunky minivans. I believe a one-legged granny dragging herself with her bloodied bare hands could move faster than that.

Seriously. They even take like an hour just to start revving up when the light turns green and then they slowly inch forward across the junction. God, it drives me crazy.

Me, I feel the road rage slowly taking possession of me. Seriously, if I had a monster truck with giant wheels, I'd just run over the entire lot. *crush* Then push the truck into reverse to finish the job. *DOUBLE CRUSH* Total roadkill.

Paul : Take that, you slowpokes! MUAHAHAHAHA.

Not very Christmassy for the eleventh day, I know.

So you can imagine my shock ( and I admit mild amusement ) to find Lanky Lex driving cautiously like a good lil law-abiding citizen yesterday. Seriously. Cow carts and trishaws move faster. I was supposed to lead the way but I didn't realize that meant literally crawling at a snail's pace!

But then again, he's a brand new driver, he'll pick up the demonic driver skills soon enough. :P

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Ten Lord-A-Sleepin

Nine Prayers Pending
Eight Maids-A-Gossipin
Seven Hours-A-Lazin
Six Tease-and-Lay-Em
Five Golden Things
Four Tangled Hearts
Three Insomniac Men
Two Slaughtered Birds
And A Party in the Pantry

Spotted: It's the New Year and P and A were caught having a heart-to-heart at the Palace over pink martinis. With J in the bag for P, a victory party perhaps?

Paige : Bottoms up, darling. I'm virgin no more.
Andrea : Miss P, were you ever?
Paige : Tsk tsk, let's just keep that news to ourselves, shall we? For the rest of the UES, I'm the sainted virgin. No need to rehash details! Jackson is finally down for the count.
Andrea : Delish. Was he...
Paige : Hush! A lady never fucks and tells.
Andrea : Whatever. Mission accomplished. Let's drink to that.
Paige : Weep, Alexa, weep.
Andrea : I texted Gossip Girl to spread the news. Our golden girl won't even know what hit her pretty peroxide-blond curls.
Paige : Peroxide! Ouch!
Andrea : Wait, I have more heinous news! Seems like our daddy's lil princess, Jordan, was up to some very unroyal behaviour with Seth during the Countdown party last night. Blaming tequila body shots again no doubt.
Paige : Naughty naughty! Looks like Jordan isn't all sugar and spice after all. With Seth no less. No wonder Darnelle looked so livid!

Others sleep in their beds and dream of candy-coloured fluff fantasies where magical winged ponies ride down endless meadows to towering castles with prince charmings waiting with red roses in hand.

Me, I get all the nasty Bs. Back-biting, boyfriend-snatching, bitch-slapping, bad-girl-blogging. It figures.

No wonder I have insomnia.

Gossip Girls!
Oh my gawd! Tell me again!

That's what happens when you spend the weekend voraciously finishing up the latest episodes of Gossip Girl with a wicked ex - and a bottle of Bailey's Irish. Seriously. No good can come of it.

Blondes might have more fun reputedly but somehow I'm always the brunette. I don't do drag but I admit I looked damned fine in a Prada and heels. Being a bitch positively agrees!

Which Gossip Girl Character are you?

You are Blair!! You are one of the most sophisticated and mature people... anyone really knows!! You're very mature but you still know how to have fun. You also have a lot of pride so when bad things happen you still know how to hold your head up high, this may make you seem a little bit distant from others but your true friends love you, and this characteristic makes you very independant and reliable.

Sometimes you may need to cut loose , and you do, however you do it with class and sophistication. The only problem is that sometimes, you may be acting a bit too old for your age, and depending on the situation that could either be a good or bad thing... but your still hot !!

Take this quiz!

Blair Waldorf.

Another B. Figures. Why am I not surprised that I turned into her?