Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Talking Greek

After all, who wouldn't want to get their tongue around a lil Greek? Especially when we had a few barechested muscled ones on stage ready, sweaty and oiled.

Trust me, folks. If you don't like platform heels and sequinned jumpsuits, if you don't like flashing neon lights and disco music, if you don't like cheesy lines and Abba ( and God, are you even gay? ), the very least you can do is love the hunky sweaty men dancing up a storm on the stage of the musical Mamma Mia! In their skimpy trunks, no less.

Dominic Cooper
What? You want me nekkid again?!

Short of a visit to a decadent downtown gay rave, I doubt you'd find that many half-dressed men shaking their delicious bon bons to thumpa thumpa music.

Then again you'd be hard-pressed to find a more gay-friendly musical than Mamma Mia! What with one of the secondary characters turning out to be a raging homo! Mamma Mia! tells of a young bride-to-be who invites three of her mother’s old boyfriends to the wedding in the hope of finding her real father. All to the frantic disco beat of Abba.

Just amazed that it actually made it here to our overly prudish shores, dancing queens, single mothers and all! No doubt the zealous censors were drugged by the surprisingly addictive Abba music. What could I do but lend my support! Along with Charming Calvin and my mom who came along for the frenetic ride.

Eventhough the said ride was in our sadly minuscule Istana Budaya. Don't even think the Phantom's choir organ could fit into that tiny closet space!

Mamma Mia! managed it though. The musical was a blast despite the small space - and the shockingly restrained audience. Even with the frequent exhortations by the bubbly cast in the papers to stand up and dance in the aisles to the infectious tunes, the conservative Malaysian patrons stayed firmly in their seats till the very end ( or at least till Waterloo ). Not that we cared particularly much for the staid bunch since we sang our hearts out - or at least discreetly under our breath - much to the consternation of the uppity gals in the front row. Obviously audience participation wasn't high on their list of things-to-do in musicals.

Usually spontaneous displays of raucuous singing would be reason enough to be clapped up in gaol but surely when the players in a musical are pleading for a sing-along, we could at least tap our feet to the beat. Maybe it's time to have controlled substances pumped into the air to release their inhibitions.

Then perhaps the audience could learn to voulez vous as well.

But just to whet your appetite...

Just imagine his character Sky - the gorgeous groom - strips to his undies on stage. Honey honey how he thrills me. I almost drooled on sight. Now, wouldn't you want to lay all your love on him?

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Holly Jolly Christmas Party

Well here it is again. The annual Christmas fete. Almost the same as the one last year with additional guests ( including my Lushes! ), a green / gold theme and of course this year I had Charming Calvin along to celebrate.

Rather than sweat it out with the barbecue as we did last year ( and risk a fire! ), we decided to take it easy with a turkey and duck to feed the masses. Well that is until my mother decided to lend a hand. Even roped in a few of my early bird guests to help with the arrangement. Evidently my mother subscribes to the notion that not a single guest can leave the table without being filled to the absolute brim - and the table must still have dishes left to spare.

So yeah, food we had aplenty.

Which was fortunate since we had some unexpected guests who came from afar :) From new friends such as Neonatal Nate and my new gerbil to old buddies like the Fable Frog who enthusiastically hopped on over from his side of the pond. At practically five to midnight!

Obviously lost his way following the star of Bethlehem.

Bacardi and a boy! The perfect gifts for Christmas!

Of course the one guest I could depend on was our reliable Jaunty Jared - gotta give him tons of credit after all. Folks, please invite him to your parties! A true renaissance man - not only can he look pretty in his peculiar gaga pants ( skirt? pants? skort? kilt? ) while he plays the gay cater-waiter, he can also take on the role of the extra manny babysitting the riotous rugrats who threatened to bring down the tree.

Not everything was that wholesome PG-13 tame of course. Since it is Christmas time - and you have a gaggle of gay men together, the usual scandalous drama ensues. Breakups and betrayals, greets and gropes. Even a brief episode of body heat transfer in the study.

And yes, the same shameless faces turning red with alcohol. After all it's hard to say no to the inebriated collective known as Janvier - who kept everyone happily sloshed with drinks.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas Gerbil

Christmas gifts are always a surprise. Like a box of chocolates, you really never know what you're gonna get.

Till the gifts are opened on Christmas day. Sure, every year I get the usual staples such as books and shirts. Both which are fine by me - despite the serious lack of imagination! But I still have to give credit to my benefactors since I know I'm not an easy one to shop for. Shop almost thrice a week so you can expect the number of things I buy!

But my friends persevere. Hence the amazing festive loot I have laid up on my desk at home.

I've got a gift for you!

Of course there are those who prefer to think of the original. Such as Big Bicep Barry. Been a while since I've seen him so my Christmas List obviously lost it's way. Since Lanky Lex had some thoughts of purchasing a couple of guinea pigs, I posed several questions to Barry through phone messages.

Certainly a mistake especially when I opened my door Christmas morning only to find him waiting with a cage in hand.

Paul : You thought I wanted a gerbil?
Barry : But you said your friend wanted it.
Paul : Yeah, my friend.
Barry : It wasn't a metaphor then? Some sort of hint?
Paul : No!
Barry : Try it then.

Seriously though. Being a doctor doesn't automatically make me a friend of all things living. Half the time I can't even stand some of the human beings. :)

Much less a gerbil.

Despite how cute it might look traipsing happily on a wheel. Or curled up in a corner taking a nap. Sure I've got the food and shelter covered ( at least I hope I have! ) but it's a bit difficult claiming it as a pet when I don't particularly care for it. Hell, I can't even hold the wriggling ball of fur in my hand - especially when the furball comes with itty bitty sharp claws.

Wonder whether Jaunty Jared needs a new pet.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Winter Games

Trust me when I say this but lawyers trump doctors. Or at least it seems that way in this game we call Life.

The board game that is.

After all, it's Christmas - and what better way to while away the time with family at home than to dust off the old board games from the attic? Living with my brother in a suburban home far away from the rest of our schoolmates, we learned to rely on each other - and our various board games - during our times of boredom. Risk. Cluedo. Monopoly. Careers. You name it, we've probably played it sometime in our adolescent years.

So my sister-in-law had to rack her head to find the one game we haven't played. Somehow, despite going through the board game route my brother and I never stumbled across this particular game.

Going on a ride with Life!

So once my brother had been given the game of Life, we figured there wouldn't be a better time to test it out. As soon as my niece and nephew were tucked up safely in bed, we started setting up the board game. Turns out the game's far more complex than I had first expected - with various mountains, bridges and houses to be placed on the board. Not to mention the lil plastic cars full of blue and pink pegs.

Understood the gist of the endless rules after the first read so I picked up a snazzy red sportscar and placed my blue peg in the driver's seat - safely buckled as recommended. Rather than opt for the obvious career choice medicine, this time I grabbed the law degree and prepared to run the rest of my opponents off the road.

Or failing that, sue their pants off.

Turns out my sister-in-law picked medicine instead ( supposedly taking night classes whlie working as a beat cop in the day ) and bought that million dollar mansion she always wanted after winning an idol contest. Not everyone fared as well of course. Capricious life had Charming Calvin losing his plush job as a computer designer after the dot-com bubble burst to hock second-grade antique fakes at a weekend market.

But lawyers trump doctors as I said. After crazed ambulance-chasing for my entire working life, me ( also my partner and my peg child ) retired to the tune of 2.4 mil at the end of the game. Sounds pretty good, huh?

Maybe it's time to seriously think of changing careers!

And if I had any doubt that my brother knows that I'm gay, he actually turned to me when I got married early on - at least in the game - and asked me whether I should reconsider placing a woman beside me as a life partner. Practically shoved the blue peg at me.

Well, Christmas is for coming out, isn't it?

Thursday, December 25, 2008

The Eve

'Twas the night before Christmas,
when all through the house.
Not a creature was stirring,
Not even a mouse... .

Well maybe at night but it was still daytime in the mall - and the crazed last-minute shoppers ( Lanky Lex amongst the lot ) were busy filling up their stockings for presents for their nearest and dearest. There always are a charming handful who wake up the morning before Christmas realizing that Santa's not dropping by on his magical reindeer-drawn sleigh and they'd have to get the gifts on their own.

So showered and dressed after work - only mildly groggy after a mistaken 3 am wake-up call, I made my way down to meet my friends as they scurried around finishing their christmas list amidst the sales on the Eve. Downed several jugs of caffeine before facing the inevitable crowd.

'Twas the day before Christmas - so you can imagine the relentless press of insane desperation. With the sound of the ringing choir bells adding to the rising panic, Lanky Lex darting about busy hunting for the last vibrating dildo in town. :)

Fortunately I had all my gifts ready and wrapped under the tree already. All ready for the unwrapping with friends and family this morning :)

A Merry Christmas to all.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Angels We Have Heard On High

Don't worry, I'm not going to talk about drunken angels. :)

If you believe in the cheesy tele-movies around this time of year, you'd know that awesome miracles seem to take place during Christmastime. Jolly octogenarians in fat suits flit around on reindeer throwing down gifts, dreaming Scrooges turn into philanthropists overnight and yes, little angels actually come down to earth for a party on that special night.

For anyone else that would constitute a miracle. For my niece however, it seems more like a fearful nightmare.

Unfortunately for my niece Chatty Carmen, this year the angels seem to have made her the chosen one for a brief Christmas chat. Guess Mother Mary's busy preparing for the coming festivities. Not sure exactly what they tell her in secrecy but it seems her angels are pretty much silent about lottery tickets and hidden treasure troves.

Paul : What do you have to tell me?
Carmen : I see angels.
Paul : Not dead people?
Carmen : No, I see angels. Why do they come?
Paul : To watch over you? It's their job.
Carmen : Oh.
Paul : They talk to you? and you understand?
Carmen : Of course! They speak in English!
Paul : Not in heavenly tongues? What do they look like?

Disappointingly it seems as if the angels don't resemble sculpted blond god Chris Evans in the least! Damn. Fittingly in her eyes, they only look like plump lil cherubs who giggle endlessly while they string their harps.

Wow. Sir, are you a real angel?

Of course then it was time to allay her fears with talk of angels as wonderfully sweet kind guardians who watch over all of mankind. Not sure if she believed my ecclesiastical sales pitch but it did make her look a little more kindly on the heavenly hosts. Maybe the next time Raphael and Gabriel drop by for a visit, Carmen wouldn't be so freaked out.

Hope that constitutes my one good act this year :)

Of course her angelic chats seem more like a by-product of an overactive imagination - triggered by the wistful angel bust I keep on the window sill! Possibly hereditary since I had some wild wacky nights when I was a kid myself. Fairies, demons and monsters leapt all over my bedroom as I tossed and turned restlessly - while my sonorous brother snored the night through. Don't remember talking to angels though.

Probably gave me a pass since I wasn't exactly a paragon of sainthood even back then.

Not being able to talk to them certainly doesn't stop us from enjoying the voice of angels heard on high :)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Hark the Herald Angels Sing

Doubt even the priest in my old parish could listen to this news without getting a minor conniption. Despite how tolerant he might have been.

And that was certainly welcome way back when I was confessing my heart out about being a raging homo with sinful desires. Rather than hand me the regular Establishment's catchphrase of 'Loving the Sinner but Hating the Sin', the father couldn't have been more understanding! In a time when my friend and classmate was struggling with coming out by skipping classes, throwing hysterical fits and feasting on staples, it was certainly a relief to find a reliable ear to listen.

Of course I shlepped my way to a church far, far away from my home district.

You want to borrow my manger for what?!

Even then, I doubt the tolerant father could stomach the blasphemous thought of two Josephs helping two gay ole Marys to deliver the Chosen One. But that's exactly what's been proposed out there in queer Amsterdam. A Pink Christmas with a homosexual nativity scene! Seriously! Joseph as a beard for Mary? Certainly makes me wonder what the Three Kings got up to on the way to Bethlehem!

Shocking scandal I'm sure! Don't think the religious right is gonna enjoy this unwarranted adaptation of their beloved biblical tale - and I can hardly blame them. Messing with the faith certainly isn't going to garner any sympathy for the gay movement.

But seriously... if the Virgin Mary had been a swinging faghag way before it became fashionable ( and isn't it that the open-handed, tolerant Christian way? ), I'm sure her faithful gaypal would have made that little stable way more happening for the Coming. Embroidered throw pillows, window dressing and possibly a hand-crocheted onesie for the baby! Surely he's gotta keep his hands busy during the uncomfortable donkey ride from Nazareth to Bethlehem.

Gay pal : Oh sweet Mary, the baby looks beautiful! And hey there's a shining star right above him!
Mary : We'll call him Jesus.
Gay pal : Well, Jesus, Joseph and Mary! Catchy phrase! Hey, look we have visitors.
Mary : Wait! I'm not dressed for company.
Gay pal : It's a stable, darlin. Here, wear that lovely blue veil we got on sale in Nazareth.
Mary : But I don't want to be stereotyped wearing blue! Are they the Three Kings?
Gay pal : Who cares. Check out the hot drummer boy who came with them.
Mary : Don't be naughty!
Gay pal : Hey, you have sexy Joseph over there. I have no one - I'll probably have to marry a Pharisee.

Of course there are others who have their own thoughts on being gay on Christmas.

Giddy-up boys, Christmas is three days away :)

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Songs of Lorelei

With all our differing schedules, it's not easy catching up with all the Lushes at the same time. Even worse with Fabulous Fiona busy seeking knowledge of alternative medicine through the annals of acupuncture in the east. To avoid being shortchanged, we obviously needed to even out the number so we tried searching for our missing partner, Lissome Lorelei.

Took quite a while since sea sirens can really make themselves scarce. Last we heard the wicked siren had been holed up somewhere up north in an underground grotto trying to cram as much esoteric wisdom into her head as she could. Believe I even heard Lorelei was boiling notes etched into seaweed in her potent magical brew to drink!

Possibly learned from her six-month tutelage under the late Ursula the Sea Witch. Not even hunky sailors with camparis could draw her away from her studious mission.

Hard at work.

But we were undaunted. Through our excellent spy network, we managed to catch Lorelei just as she emerged for a quick breather from the deep blue. So of course we snatched her from her hidey-hole and dragged her reluctantly kicking and screaming towards the surface. Been a while since she was exposed to the brilliant sights of the land so it dazzled her quite a bit.

However Lorelei started to assimilate to the sights and sounds as she strolled past the stores singing out bargains. Though she had been away for so long, it wasn't long before we heard her own siren song.

Lorelei : Look at this stuff, isn't it neat? Wouldn't you think my collection's complete? Wouldn't you think I'm the girl? The girl who has everything?
Paul : Well, you don't have that Karen Millen dress.
Lorelei : Look at this mall, treasures untold! How many wonders can one boutique hold? I want gadgets and gizmos a-plenty! I want who's-its and what's-its galore!
Paul : You want thing-a-mabobs? It's on sale at 70% off.
Lorelei : I want more! I wanna be where the people are! I wanna see, wanna see 'em shopping!

How was I to refuse? Short of being forcibly chained to a post with plugs in his ears, I doubt any man could say no to such a seductive siren call.

Freedom on land.

Obviously flippin' her fins, she don't get too far! Fortunately Lorelei had some quick legs - short though they were. Together with the rest of the Lushes - and Charming Calvin, we then headed for a whirlwind tour of every boutique in the valley shoving skimpy lil numbers at the siren. Think a re-enactment of the 27 Dresses.

Sirens obviously love their shiny trinkets.

Friday, December 19, 2008

All I Want for Christmas

They say a good man is hard to find. And the girls are saying the good ones are already taken - or gay. Sounds like that's not really true.

Especially since there are twins for sale over in Austin.

Don't say Santa never brought gifts for the straight gals :) It's Christmastime, the sales registers are ringing all over town and yet the tree at home's looking sadly bereft of presents. Now what's a lil girl with muscular dystrophy to do when she can't earn enough cash to buy proper gifts for her friends and family? Simple, she auctions off dates with her cute twin brothers.

Kristin Walters hopes to repay her brothers' kindness by getting them dates for Christmas :) Sounds like the sweetest thing ever.

But guess what, the best they can do at last count is only 300 hundred.

Talk about hard to please! Come on, you stingy Miss Scrooges! Where's that charitable holiday spirit! Surely you can fork out a bit more this time of year. For these two boys, I'd pay at least ten times that if not more. Sweet 22 yo boys who'd auction themselves online ( and sing embarassingly mushy tunes from Celine Dion on air! ) just to please their lil sister for Christmas? They certainly can't be brash, rowdy monsters, can they?

Boys on sale. Not the Walters but hey, they are quite as cute!

Hot sexy twins tied up in matching bows for Christmas. Whoa. Now that's all I'd want in my stocking this year. I'd need a sweet gay porn moment just to think about that. Come on, who hasn't dreamt about bedding twins!

Except they're both hopelessly straight. Damn.

If the twins were gay, I think they'd have broken the bank by now.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

My Dorota

Although my brother and I were never born with a silver spoon, we were fortunate to have parents who have always tried to give us all the best. Even relatively pampered perhaps? For example, we've always had a domestic maid ready to help at home. And I'm sure this will have you all fainting in your seats - but shockingly I never knew how to tie my shoelaces till I entered secondary.

Yeah. I was kinda a dimwit. Still am anyway.

Even now, I doubt I could do without a maid even were I to turn in my white coat to be come a househusband for real. Honestly I just hate scrubbing toilets and dirty woks. Anyone tried getting sticky greasy gunk out of oily woks? Everything else is fine by me.

In fact, I still have my own Dorota at home to help me clean up. Hired her when the last Dorota went home two years back - after a difficult DIY Get-Your-Own-Maid process. Had a crazy scheme to avoid domestic help agencies by getting my own - what a mistake that was! Jumping through bureaucratic hoops and endless paperwork wasn't fun.

And no, I couldn't get a hunky Myanmar stud as a maid.

Her housekeeping leaves something to be desired.

So I'm settled with my new Dorota who seems to have fit in wonderfully. Picked her straight from a domestic help book filled with snapshots of happy, happy maids.

Crazy homesickness aside, I sometimes wonder whether she has the cushiest job in the world ( second only to a geologist! ). There are hardly any kids around to run after ( unless my rambunctious niece & nephew drop by ), no cranky octogenarians to watch over ( unless you count my dad! ) and hardly any work to be done in the small terrace house. I take my breakfast early at some ungodly hour of the morning and leave for work only to return after dinner sometimes. Hardly ever take meals at home so that's one less chore for Dorota.

So all she does is the sweeping, mopping and the laundry. Which she does in a jiffy every afternoon. Wonder what she does with her spare time apart from surfing channels and reading cookbooks. In her boredom, she's started her own lil vegetable patch outside growing tomatoes and bok choy. Still I'll admit I don't know much about her. My maids come and go and I've started to lose track of the number.

But then I've always drawn the line between the family and the help. Makes me wonder whether I'm wrong ( and possibly elitist! ) when I see Charming Calvin treating them the same. Quite as affable as the way he treats the rest of the family. Me, I'm a tad chilly and formal.

Paul : Dorota, would you mind getting us some tea?
Dorota : Yes, sir. Immediately.
Calvin : No problems, I don't mind doing it.
Paul : Are you the maid?

I would ring the bell but I think Calvin has it hidden somewhere. Sure we don't abuse them but surely Dorota's place should be hidden unobtrusively in the background like all good help?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Crossing a Threshold

To make up for my annual Christmas break, I've been literally buried in work and on-calls lately trying to catch up. Already up to my eyeballs in paperwork and patients - so much so that I had to beg off from attending my cousin's wedding. A pity since it would have been fun enough to see the crazy lot of them.

Turns out it didn't matter much since my wacky cousins - undaunted by my disappearance - still managed to drag me to the party with the unwitting aid of modern technology. Obsessive cam-whores the lot of them so you can imagine the number of Nikons at work that night. From the endless pixels taken on their cameras - from every possible angle and shot, it certainly made me feel as if I was actually there that very night!

Lispy Lori's elder - the one we all call Bitchy Barb - was the one tying the knot. Turns out she finally found the man she could club and drag home by the hair.

Gay wedding
Gay wedding?

But rather than giving in without a fight, the poor groom was made to jump through several humiliating hoops before bringing his bride home. Quite a novelty in my family since we've never had this tradition before. Unlike my other more easygoing female cousins, Barb obviously wanted to give the fella a hard time storming her ivory tower.

I found it a lil crass though. Honestly I find that the tradition of fetching the bride from her home has morphed into a terrifyingly nightmarish reality game show ( akin to the Amazing Race! ) with the formidable bridesmaids tossing out nigh-impossible challenges and endless roadblocks to the pitiful groom. From the more mundane antics such as singing juvenile verses in praise of the bride to the queasier tasks of downing improbable concoctions of wasabi, tabasco and raw eggs.

Then there was the time a troop of groomsmen were forced to wax their hairy legs before storming the gates.

Frankly I'd have walked away :)

But it's obviously true love since even the glorious sight of Bitchy Barb in her Cantopop-inspired wedding dress wasn't enough to scare him away. Though I swear I saw him flinch a little when the glare from her scary pink sequins hit him.

Honestly though, family weddings make me a bit apprehensive these days. As usual with the coming nuptials, there's the inevitable twenty questions about my marital status. Seems like everyone else in the family ( and my mother ) is desperately anxious to auction me off to the highest bidder on the marriage mart. Of course some of my cousins already know and suspect the reasons behind my remaining a swinging bachelor - thanks to the help of the ever-intrusive facebook.

A few have even given me an inquisitive poke or two regarding my obviously public relationship.

Gay wedding
Gay wedding?

Unwanted familial interrogations aside though, lately I've found myself feeling that tiny bit of resentment about the marriage business. With all my cousins getting hitched one after the other in perfect sequence, it's hard not to feel sidelined. Not because I don't want to partake in the solemn rites of marriage but because I can't. Despite how wildly tolerant the folks in my generation can be, I doubt I'd be able to undergo a tea ceremony introducing my spouse to the family anytime soon.

Not unless they're drunk enough to miss the all-important fact that it's a man.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Close to a Madding Crowd

Family seems to be getting in the way lately with long-lost cousins bugging me on a daily basis. Forget what I sad about Richie Runt being the black sheep of my family. There are much worse relations on the other side.

This time it's from my maternal cousins farther afield from the more scandalous side of the family. Obviously life is a cheek-slapping, hair-pulling Thai soap opera for these folks.

With me playing the role of the recurring cold-eyed bitch with sarcasm dripping from every word. What other part could I play especially when faced with cousins I've dubbed the spineless samaritan and the snake-oil salesman.

Seriously I could start with an entire ranting recital of their manifold wrongs but let's start with the worst. At least in my honest opinion.

Flashback sequence. Forced to fly back up north several years back, I was left standing aghast at their father's deathbed stuck with a humongous medical bill that I had to pay for - while the two above slipped unobtrusively to the hallway. And then the ungrateful duo had the cheek to send gaudy bouquets to their father's funeral while I stood there greeting the wellwishers. Just as if I was the chief mourner.

Pay for your fathers fucking bill dammit!

And when the will was read, they dared to even bargain with me on the payment. Can give discounts ah? You can imagine the nasty expletives that came swiftly to my tongue.


I'm far from the most filial son but at least I try. Don't the Asians have a timeworn legend about the sons selling themselves into slavery to fund the funeral? I would have some naughty salacious dreams about it but the thought of my slimy cousins spoil the image.

Honestly if Charming Calvin had thought I was spitting-nails-furious during the aftermath, he should have seen me at the conception of this entire sordid affair. If looks could kill, there would have been two charred ( and yet familiar ) silhouettes left on the hospital walls the minute I received the bill. One cousin far too spineless to stand while the other slick enough to have any insults roll right off his oily back.

And now my mother's ( who's obviously a tad more forgiving! ) thinking of sending them a care package since she's going up north. Obviously food's scarce up there.

Insert sarcastic eyeroll here.

Mother : Maybe we should buy them some bird's nest.
Paul : Only if I get to boil them together in it.
Mother : Maybe some chocolates.
Paul : Any melamine in there? Get it large enough that they can choke on it.
Mother : Juk juk. Forgive and forget. How about a batik shirt?
Paul : Sure I'll donate batik for their funeral shrouds.
Mother : And they might be around for Christmas.
Paul : Can I hang them on the tree?

Yes, I'm nasty. But let's take notes here, shall we? Scorpios never forget.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Endless Hallways

No, I'm not scared.

At least that's what I tell myself - in a hastily muttered mantra - when I'm scurrying down the empty hallways of the hospital at 2 in the morning to answer a call. Certainly comes as no surprise that creepy B-grade horror movie producers just adore hospital hallways ( possibly only third to haunted houses and basement parking lots ).

Look, it's the perfect setting. Plain, nondescript corridors with unnumbered doors, countless rooms and faulty track lighting. Ceiling lights that sputter and fizzle at the terrifyingly unexpected moment while phantom footsteps echo endlessly down the long, long deathly silent hallway. Eeriely emptied of the endless human traffic that stream by in the daytime.

Then we have surprisingly hidden supply closets perfect for the crazed serial killer / demonic nurse ( let's not talk about the undead just yet! ) to emerge unexpectedly from to scare the living daylights out of their victims. And let's not forget the emergency staircases dimly lit. You just know the scared lemmings are gonna head down that way.

Well there's no one down here...

Not exactly good thoughts to have at 2 in the morning. All I have in my hands - if confronted with a monstrous intruder with a bloodied knife - is my pen, my pager and possibly my stethoscope. Possibly bean the fella with my pager and strangle him with my stethoscope? Not exactly weapons I can rely on. More likely I'd have to run down the halls randomly hitting on closed doors while screaming my lungs out like the stereotypical blond sophomore on the escape.

And just to add to the general creepiness, I also had Ayumi Hamasaki wailing about Ourselves in my earphones.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Fading Twilight

There's no such thing as the perfect prince charming - that exists solely in fairy tales - so it's pretty much a futile mission searching hills and vales for him. Unfortunately despite the scarcity of princes, evil rat-bastards abound away from the pages of the bedtime stories.

And yet the swooning princesses still find themselves hopelessly charmed.

Just imagine this fella Edward Cullen.

So parchment-white that doctors would be dying to transfuse at least four pints of blood into him. So sadly gauche that he broods about with lingering looks in school while dressed in equally drab blue-black shades. So hopelessly uncharming ( despite being undead for almost a century already! ) that he tells the girl he loves that she's like his personal brand of heroin. So sadly lame that he takes her on a date up a pine tree, crawling up like a gibberish monkey - and that's after careering dangerously on slippery roads in his tiny sportscar. So terrifyingly stalkerish that he watches the girl as she drools in her sleep.

Like eeew.

Seriously. Would you even consider dating him? Trust me, a guy like that wouldn't even make it on my shortlist.

Edward? Eeew.
I'd rather go for his blond dad ( preppy hunk immediately to the right ).

And yet Bella Swan falls for Edward Cullen. Seems like not only giggly half-brained sophomores like Bella fall for the featured vamp in the latest book-turned-movie Twilight, even my serious-minded Lushes do as well. Supposedly - or at least as Shameless Shalom creditably tells me - girls like to be swept off their feet by undead fellas.

Or at least dragged up a giant pine tree in the Washington forest.

Me, I think he's just as wooden as the trees.

If you haven't heard, the bestselling novel Twilight tells the story of a modern-day schoolgirl ( a rather vapid, clumsy one ) who falls for a vampire who subsequently has to restrain his bloodsucking impulses to make her his breakfast surprise. So Hollywood took that from a much-raved novel to a shockingly edited, badly scripted movie that's just so-so for me. Most probably due to the fact that Edward Cullen did nothing for me.

Edward : Paul, we shouldn't be friends. If you're smart, you'll stay away from me.
Paul : Whatever.
Edward : I can't restrain my urges to suck you dry.
Paul : Not the first time I've heard that. But at least you're making progress from talking about mitotic phases.
Edward : I can't live with myself. I have to be away from you!
Paul : Not a problem. At least you won't be creeping outside my window anymore. Hey is your hunky dad Carlisle available?

Somehow I think they got his character lost in translation.

As princes go though, frankly I have seen better. Brooding buggers who can't manage three sentences without a mournful woe-is-me are so dead to me. Far from any Nightingale desire to save him, all I'd want to do is taser him. Someone get me a vamp with a modicum of charm ( and a sense of humour! ) please.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Jingle Bell Pork

I swear if you want a great party planned, call a geologist. Not sure what they actually learn about rocks in college ( pop rock? acid rock? hard rock? ) but they are fab at finding the oddest nooks / crannies and they can sure make the earth move.

Or at least to get a dozen gay men to arrive punctually at a party.

Now that's a miracle in itself if you ask me. Lately I've come to realize that the gay men?

Really not so good with the time.

Still Jaunty Jared managed to coerce at least this tardy lot to come on time. Or at least close enough to have a reasonable number around to greet Lanky Lex's birthday! So there we were, the same group we had last year with a surprising handful of new admissions to the list from hunky architects to twinkie surprises.

Time to get this party started!

Have a suspicion that this year's bonus must have been sinfully substantial - since it was certainly a shockingly lavish banquet of pork, pork and more pork at Neroteca.


Kosher-eating folk in the five-mile radius must have squealed in horror from the sweet scent of roasted suckling pig that must have carried for miles around. We had a few shocked screams from the table as well.

Fortunately Zany Zinedine came equipped with a plastic breastplate to protect him from the terrifying porcine invasion.

With a thick cholesterol-laden river of pork lard in my bloodstream bolstering my alcohol intake ( courtesy of the birthday boy! ), I stayed sober enough this time around although we still managed to get Lex appropriately tipsy enough. As we all know by now, a tipsy Lex is always so much more fun.

He even did a Katy Perry.

Or was that the other way around?

Not sure Lex liked the taste of cherry chapstick though. But it's his birthday and he can kiss a girl if he wants to. Now that would certainly make jingle bell rock for his hopeful momma. :)

Monday, December 08, 2008

Coffee Cup Capers

What are your thoughts on petty theft?

I can already see some of you shaking your heads in disapproval, tsking all the while. Me, I'm a lil more ambivalent on this thorny issue. So tell no one - and I'll strongly deny such shockingly malicious accusations of course since this is all hypothetical and certainly not a confession! - but in my ( far from ) rebellious teenage years, I used to get the occasional kicks from pilfering items every once in a little while.

Hell, I'm not immune to the forbidden thrill even now - though I try very hard to resist. Not something to be proud of but at least I managed to outgrow that peculiar kleptomaniac phase. And I'll admit I can reasonably afford most items these days.

So don't even try to psychoanalyze my screwed-up motivations :)

But I've been an angel ever since.

Well at least till I bumped into Janvier and Genial Graham one late night in a coffee house. Consider this imaginary scenario. After chatting for a while, the store started closing on us leaving us sitting at the table with the half-finished cups surrounding us. As they shut the doors on us, the baristas didn't even bother collecting them. So rather than just leave the store, Janvier ( or possibly one of his more larcenous personalities - Soused Soldat perhaps ) and I decide to repossess the cups we'd used.

To the endless astonishment of Genial Graham.

Janvier : Take the cup?
Paul : The boyfriend doesn't count so no witnesses. No cameras. Yes.
Janvier : Aye. The collective agrees.
Graham : God, do I even know you?!

Gotta love Janvier. Somewhere in that deep collective of personalities, I bet there's a soul who used to be crime buddies with me in my past life. Possibly a Bonnie & Clyde combo.

Can add him to the list of fellows I'd call if I needed to bury that body.

Planning our next move...

We made our quick getaway of course but a very nervous twitchy Graham looked as if the cops would round up on him at that very moment to throw him in the slammer for the petty theft. A successful heist of course and the very generous Janvier decided to hand me the loot to celebrate.

Hence the pilfered cup standing on my desk today.

Well if it was true. Since this is all hypothetical.

So when I tried to repay the favour by getting a mug for Janvier, I got Charming Calvin watching me in a similarly reproving judgy-judging way. Probably the same look Genial Graham gave Janvier the other day.

Calvin : What are you doing?
Paul : Cleaning the mug.
Calvin : You are not taking it.
Paul : Hmm...
Calvin : Look, I'll pay for it.
Paul : Where's the fun in that?
Calvin : God, do I even know you?

Don't you just love cups and mugs?

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Say My Name

Name that is.

What's in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;
So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call'd,
Retain that dear perfection which he owes
Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name,
And for that name which is no part of thee
Take all myself.

I think Juliet might be wrong. Besotted adolescent that she was, she might think a rose remains the same but I think having a name like stinkypoo or mugwort would make the rose smell just a lil less.

So yes, names are important. Traditionalist that I am, I like simple names. Nothing too fancy or complex. Names that have lasted the test of time kinda like Adam and Eve.

Wait. Am I writing the right name on the wall?

But then we have our own countrymen who insist on twisting ( pretzeling? ) their names into unusual derivatives for the sake of being original! Working in the hospital seeing dozens of personalities drift by gives us an opportunity to catch some of the most peculiar names from Letronika to Dandelion. Of course some of the newly minted monikers are intriguing enough but some just make me wanna scratch my head in disbelief.

I've mentioned the oddly named Cherry before. Sounds girlish enough till you figure that it belongs to a strapping fellow. I'm sure he gets enough jokes about his cherry being plucked.

And hey, Spoon anyone? Come on, are the siblings called Fork and Knife? Would her parents be the Ladle? Will the children be called Teaspoon? Sounds like a culinary cabaret! The mind boggles.

But that isn't as awful as the Stiff. Seriously. Not sure if he's talking about the appendage or the corpse but both carry equally shocking implications.

Then we have the simple Biblical name of Daniel. Not only did I see a Danell but I also caught whiff of a Darniel. Won't be long before we have a Danyell of course.

And then I had the opportunity last week to meet a young gentleman who rejoiced in the name of Wrestley. Seriously. That would be Wrestle with a Y. Reason I know for sure is because I kept saying Wesley to no avail only to have him correct me with his proper spelling.


Maybe I should start calling myself Pol. Or Paule. Or maybe Prawle.

Or maybe I could always go back to plain Lorenzo Mercanti.

Friday, December 05, 2008


The scene's chilly, dark and faintly smoky. Puffs of steam rise slowly from the grates to join the smoke from the cigars of the wearied patrons of the sushi bar. Overhead the broken neon light flashes a sign hocking california rolls to intrepid customers daring to brave this shady bylane in the darker, crueler parts of the city for a nondescript sashimi.

The almost incongruent strains of a J-pop diva crooning spreads across the smoke and a shady lady enters the scene. Uptown looks not often seen in these parts, so much so that even the jaded customers take a slow glance her way. Sleek red bob of hair paired with a scarlet trenchcoat straight out of Pratunam Market, she slinks her way down the alley carefully, trying her best to keep her expensive Manolos out of the pools of muck.

Or was that blood?

She tries her best not to confirm the fact. The lady's here for a reason. Though she's been fighting against the urge for weeks, she knows she has to have it.

A couple stand waiting in the shadows just steps away from the garish lights of the sushi bar. An unlikely couple. The average joe you'd miss even if he fell shot-gunned in front of you - if not for his fetching fedora - and the towering amazon of a dame all dirty dominatrix in a dangerous sheath of black leather.

Chad Allen
Damn. Did I leave my fedora behind?

The lady approaches the duo. "S, you've got my goods?"

The amazon named S doesn't even deign to reply so the man in a fedora answers instead. "What do you need it for, F?

"I must have it, P. Without it, I just might die." Her voice is desperate. A ship bound for the heady lights of Shanghai waits for her at the port that very night. Her destiny awaits but without the goods, her life really could be in danger.


P only smiled. "You know the melamine antidote costs a bit extra."

Her eyes widened at the hidden innuendo but F hadn't come so far to crawl back where she'd come from. Even the lady knew when sacrifices had to be made. "I'll do anything. You know I would. Even right here."

The amazon lifted a chilly brow while the man just chuckled through the strained silence that followed. "Sorry, babe. I don't do the ladies."

"Don't play with the lil lady." The amazon speaks. "Just take the meds and go, F. You'll pay when the time is right."

****** And cut scene.

And this all happened in real life. Well, maybe minus my fedora hat.

Eager to take up pins and needles to practice acupuncture, Fabulous Fiona's leaving the country in a desperate hurry and she needed medical reinforcements that only the Lushes could provide. But of course we all needed to trade sushi for drugs.

Me, I was only wondering why acupuncture couldn't cure a cough and cold?
Surely a jab in the right place would displace the bad chi?

Thursday, December 04, 2008

The Doggie Position

Well you'd be shocked at the local gay men's stand on the doggie position. Prudish fella that I am, I wasn't so amused.

Lex : Go for the doggie!
Jared : Do the doggie! HOWL!
Shane : Try it. Better than sucking all the time. I'm sure you'll enjoy the doggie!

Seriously, who let the dogs out?

Obviously all my friends are very much into the doggie. Bet you've never seen so many gay hound-dogs in your life! Neither have I but I finally gave in to force majeure and decided to give it a try.

Why let sleeping dogs lie, right?

So there we were in the dark cavernous room searching for a dim light and a place to start the doggie. I'm a lil fastidious when it comes to such shenanigans and I needed some time to settle in to position. The rest of the boys didn't seem to have any problems getting in on the canine fun. Fortunately my ever-faithful PA, Jaunty Jared had secured seats for us in the cinema just in time for us to catch the doggie movie ( rather than the vamp movie ).

Or what the rest of you would call Bolt.

Fortunately I'm more into dogs than cats. Following in the tradition of other loveable canine Disneys such as the spotted Dalmations and the rich Tramps, the producers have come up with the adorable white german shephered Bolt though they've super-charged ( pimped? ) him with powers such as incredible strength, laser vision and a powerful superbark. Or at least that's what he believes as the oblivious canine star of a hit TV show.

Homeward Bound

Shades of the Truman Show only with a bark.

However when a Hollywood mishap accidentally ships him away to New York City, the idealistic canine has to shed his delusions as he begins his biggest adventure yet – a cross-country Homeward Bound journey to his owner / co-star Penny. Of course as in any Disney movie, he comes with congenial buddies that he meets along the way, the slinky streetcat, Mittens and TV-addict hamster, the inappropriately named Rhino.

And we caught it all in 3D. Certainly no need to tell you how lame we all looked in the glasses! Fortunately Bolt made it all worth it.

Oh yeah, that and the fact that Jaunty Jared had adorably stripey pants. *giggle*

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Little Wrapper Girl

Come they told her, pa rum pum pum pum

One chore we all have to live with this time of the year is gift wrapping. Any other time of the year, buying only one birthday gift and wrapping it isn't such a big deal - but when it comes to Christmas time and there's a mountain of gifts lying beside my desk waiting to be wrapped... oh yeah, that's a chore.

Makes me wonder whether Santa would lend me some of his elves.

I know what you guys are gonna say. Just grab the loot, march off to the nearest gift store and hand it over for wrapping.

Our finest gifts we bring, pa rum pum pum pum

Unfortunately I can't. I'm a tad obsessive compulsive and possibly more than a lil anal. No surprise there. So I can't very well use generic wrapping papers from the stores that don't match my theme. Then I also need them to match all the other gifts, I need the bows to be unique, I need the gift cards to match the tree and the surroundings. It's just a whole feng shui thing.

Don't tell anyone but I even hide the uglier gifts with garish tacky wrappers under mine ( since they match the tree! ).

That's fit to give the King, pa rum pum pum pum

So you can imagine how stressed out I get during gift-wrapping season. Reason enough to start early.

Fortunately this year I found my little wrapper girl to help.

Paul : Ta-da! The loot!
Fiona : You want me to wrap all that in a week? You must be crazy!
Paul : And a Merry Christmas to you too, Dorota!
Fiona : I'd better get a hunky lil drummer boy under my tree for this.
Paul : Pa rum pum pum pum.

Seeing a friend in need, Fabulous Fiona kindly offered a hand with my troubles. Fresh out of a project - with her orphan-handling and tap-dancing days over, Fiona has decided to extend her Christmas charity to me.

Then she smiled at me, pa rum pum pum pum

Turns out our little Lush is a whiz at wrapping gifts - like all good girls are - so I had one chore less to do. All I did was hand her my packages with the matching papers and I got back in return beautifully wrapped presents with all the bells and whistles.

Seriously lovely enough to have my toddler nephew poke around to see what's inside. Hell, I wanted my own toys gift-wrapped by her as well.

Now to move on to finishing the tree.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Jinjang Joes

Well this used to be my playground.

Or at least it was. Used to be I'd drop by the retail environs of Bukit Bintang after classes just for a brief walk, down a cup of mocha or two before hitting the endless shops. Maybe settle down for a nice dinner before hurrying back to the dorms. Did it so often back then that I could have navigated every forgotten lil corridor in the dingy, cavernous maze that's Bukit Bintang - practically knew the place like the back of my hand. Even with the mindless crush of sweaty, harried shoppers there.

But that was years back. I honestly haven't been to that area in a long, long while - especially on a weekend. Newer malls, better shops and all that. And braving the city crowds ( and the crazy tourists ) on a lazy weekend wasn't my idea of fun.

Well that's until Charming Calvin dragged me there yesterday.

Good God. No wonder I've steered clear. The entire playground has become unrecognizable.

Excuse me for my snotty valley girl bitch moment but like... eeeew. Seriously. Talk about slumming it.

If only these boys gathered instead.

Tell me when did Bukit Bintang turn into a jinjang gathering area where Middle Eastern tourists, ah bengs and kampung boys stand milling about the sidewalks. Sure, I'd forgive the confused tourists but what excuse do these boys have for being there? Apparently it's the mecca for shiftless teenage boys to gather with no particular aim but to melepak ( loiter? ) at the crossroads watching the cars stutter by.

Hell. It's not Times Square, people. Stop gawking. Get a move on.

Instead of buskers playing the blues on our streets, we have these juvenile street kids providing us with their own brand of entertainment. Even heard a few of the gang heckle the girls as they hurried by with their shopping bags. Do the boys seriously think crowding around the traffic lights in their sloppy jeans would garner the attention of any worthy female? Hardly. Small wonder the serious fashionistas kept a wide berth of the entire unsavoury area.

Like.... eeeew.

Exactly where are the overzealous sauna-raiding authorities when it comes to combating such social ills? Surely loitering punks aren't that good for business in Bukit Bintang. Now wasn't there a draconian law against illegal gatherings in public places?

I know the bleeding hearts are gonna blame blatant consumerism / rapid urbanization affecting these disenchanted youths who have no other place to go - but hey let's not play the haves and the have-nots here. Cry me a river seriously. If they wanted to have, they could bloody well work for it ( by hocking sales items at the stores! ) instead of loitering about.

Only makes me feel like a disgruntled public citizen. Not a cantankerous dad yet but it always makes me wonder... do their parents even know that they're out?

Monday, December 01, 2008

Losing Their Marbles

I've always held to the opinion that a number of my colleagues are missing their marbles. More than a handful are eccentric enough to veer towards the near-psychotic.

So I'm glad to note that our ministry obviously thinks very much the same with our director commenting that at least five doctors fly over the cuckoo's nest every month. Supposedly housemanship is driving our doctors crazy.

I ain't crazy, I tell ya!

I'm just amused to hear a mild hue and cry over the matter from the general public. Shocked that most doctors have some odd idiosyncrasies? Don't be. Is it really that surprising that most doctors are a little... off-center? How could any normal human being with a sensible mind do what we do?

Cram through endless exams and tutorials just to work an unregulated 100-hour week ( if not more? ) of saving lives in the hospital? Add that to the head-pounding stress of dealing with shouting superiors, cranky colleagues and dying patients. All that just for for a tiny pittance of an allowance, a cranky automobile and a closet of an apartment?

Let me give you an example of what happens on our first day of work. Orientation? Don't dream of it. On the first day as a houseman, you'd get thrown into this.

Doctor : It's my first day. Hello.
Nurse : Doctor, these are the patients who need their blood to be taken and sent to the lab by 9, these are the summaries you'll have to complete at the end of the day, four procedures waiting for you in the rooms. And there are six new patients waiting to be clerked in the front cubicle.
Doctor : Uhh..
Nurse : Oh yeah, and a patient just arrested behind you.

So you'd better hit the ground running.

Trust me. Anyone who hasn't lost their marbles wouldn't even consider it.

The job's certainly not for the faint-hearted. Though sometimes the weak-minded manage to slip through the cracks hence the curious oddities that you find wandering the hallways of hospitals. But are we going to discriminate and kick them out of medical school? Where do we draw the line? Do we toss the incipient personality disorders out as well? Looking about the Gungho Ginnys, I can bet we have tons of obsessive-compulsive sorts all around.

More than a few anal-retentive folks as well.

I know doctors these days are all about preventive medicine. Sure, barring these students from the gates of medical school could be one way to stem the disease but maybe we should also treat the cause as well. Better working conditions in the hospital would certainly help alleviate some of the stress these sick doctors are feeling.

Then maybe they'd be able to hold on to their marbles.