Monday, March 31, 2008

That Big Yellow Taxi

Really. Lemme ask you guys this. Is it so wrong to take a taxicab home from the airport?

Had this conversation online this morning when Charming Calvin casually dropped the loaded mention that he'd be back on a certain date. The hint for a pick-up was obvious enough. Unfortunately I'm scheduled to be oncall on the same date ( Calvin calls it the Beijing Syndrome! ) so I'm definitely unavailable for personal chauffering services. I then made the mistake of suggesting a taxicab from the airport.

You can imagine the horror ensuing from the rest of my friends. You'd think I'd come up with some horrifically sadistic method of torture.

Sandy : Take a cab? A taxicab?
Paul : No, I actually suggested bungee-jumping with a fraying rope as a method of transportation. Of course a taxicab!
Calvin : I will find someone else to pick me.
Sandy : Yes, you deserve to be pampered.
Paul : What kinda archaic damsel-in-distress way of thinking is this? I'll pamper you with a damned paddle. Get a fucking taxicab.
Sandy : It's our right to be pampered.
Paul : I say this with love, okay. But find some balls, be a man and take the cab.

Right to be pampered, my ass. In case you're wondering, Submissive Sandy is a guy.

No doubt most of these guys assume that taxicabs are actually mobile dens of iniquity with lecherous mustachioed drivers putting their vaunted chastity ( and their even more precious wallets ) in dangerous peril. A task that obviously warrants a knight in shining armor to ride to their hapless rescue on his white steed.

Or crusty jalopy as the case may be.

Could you give me a ride?

And you know how I feel about guys waiting to be rescued! Obviously sensing the yin-yang imbalance in gay relationships, some serious bottoms ( Sandy? ) have usurped the unenviable role of the damsel-in-distress - helplessly twiddling their manicured thumbs waiting to be picked up at the airport rather than flag down an easily available taxicab.

Sigh. Where have all the real men gone?

Honestly, I don't see the problem. Hell, I've been doing it since I was back in school actually. Even at an intrepid 13 if I recall correctly - during my first solo flight to Penang. Though the dingy provincial airport seemed suddenly flush with suspicious characters, I managed to ward off the attentions of pushy strangers, steered clear of the touts and found the one kindly uncle in his trusty cab ( with a working meter! ). Since then I've never had any problems travelling alone.

Just recently, I mimed my way to Calvin's pad from the airport in Beijing with a written placard. You can imagine the difficulties I had with the driver's heavily-accented Mandarin - especially with my sad rudimentary knowledge of the language.

But if you can find your way about in a foreign country, I don't see how much more difficult it could be navigating in your own country. Take a big yellow taxi dammit.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Speak English

Just a few days back, someone mentioned in passing the scarcity of medical jargon in my blog! No doubt casting some doubts on my legitimacy as a practising physician.

Made me smile at the thought. Relax. No worries, I can certainly toss out quaint medical phrases such as code blue and torsades de pointes without missing a beat during heart-thumping emergencies. Just did that two days back. Swear I don't even stumble tongue over heels pronouncing complex words such as osteogenesis imperfecta.

Of course there are days I'm sure some of my colleagues would wish I wasn't as proficient.

Colleague : Could I put up a patient with a potassium of 1.8 for an emergency removal of implant?
Paul : Sure, we live to serve. Of course with that extent of untreated hypokalemia, you'd have to take the unfortunate patient back in a body bag. Sans implant though.

But out of the hospital, I tend to censor most of my medical lingo. Doubt many of the laymen around would understand when I complain about how the more irritating house officers around ( only a couple fortunately! ) seem to have undergone collective lobotomies during their oncalls. So myocardial infarcts turn into heart attacks, arrythmias into palpitations and pneumonias into that lung infection.

Even have some valid reasons behind it. Since I started work in the big city, I've found that my workmates and my after-work friends - well how do I put this? - they rarely overlap. Placed into separate compartments, they certainly don't mix together as well as I'd imagine - though to give them both proper credit, I honestly haven't had much chance to bring the twain together.

Good God. Duck! Bad joke coming!!

And honestly the jokes I tell at work? Certainly not as easy to explain to the horrified friends out of work. Laymen tend to take medicine extremely seriously ( and so they should! ) so somehow the morbid, zany black humour we have at work doesn't translate as well outside.

Paul : Imagine the intern enthusiastically presenting the case when the patient's already keeled over dead behind him. God, I was desperately holding onto the oxygen tank to keep from laughing out loud.
Jared : He was dead? OMG. He was dead?
Paul : Yup.
Jared : He was dead?
Paul : I think you're missing something.

I admit you gotta be there. It does lose something in translation.

Oh btw, that little test I mentioned. I passed it.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Just Say No

I've always been just a bit outspoken.

Quite the understatement actually since my brash tactlessness ( and unbridled tongue ) frequently lands me in hot soup - but a few grazes and burns never hurt me. Certainly gave me a tougher hide to bear the relentless, harsh slings and arrows of fate. Came to my forthright manner quite naturally since my mother isn't exactly known for keeping her trenchant opinions to herself as well.

Which is why it frequently irks me when folks remain reticent about their true feelings refusing to voice out their sentiments. My fellow colleagues for one thing - relentlessly churned out by our local gradgrind universities and made to follow the subservient yes-men pack, most of them wouldn't know how to make a stand even if it killed them. Rather than rock the boat and make a change for the better, they prefer to behave like obedient lemmings instead.

Hoping that someone else would risk making that revolutionary change.

Make no mistake. I'm a pretty shy, reserved fella but when I want something badly enough, I make no apologies about making it known. In big, clear capital letters marked in traffic red if need be. Taken a while for me to gain the confidence but these days, just saying no seems to be getting easier for me.

Certainly don't need tutorials to do so.

Stand up for your rights!

Unlike Jane who forgets herself and her needs in a hopelessly tragic bid to please everyone else. Idealistic, romantic and completely selfless - the perennial bridesmaid whose own happy ending is nowhere in sight despite going through 27 Dresses. Lacking the sheer chutzpah to just speak up about her hidden emotions - even allowing the man she obviously cares about to ride off into the sunset with her conniving sister without making a peep. Hell, she can't even say no to organizing their wedding.

Me. I'd have been livid.

Not that I'd have said no ( after all I LOVE weddings ) - but hell, I'd have sabotaged the proposed wedding to bits. Hello. Someone stealing my dream guy? You'd better believe that I'd work to stop it!

Certainly help drive his partner stir-crazy up the wall during the preparation forcing her into psycho Bridezilla mode just to showcase all her unflattering qualities. Trust me, Julia Roberts in My Best Friend's Wedding has nothing on me.

Paul : Sorry the caterer can't make it. They only managed to send us sandwiches and sprite.
Bride : W-what?
Paul : The band is caught in the rain. The violinist has the flu. There's a marimba quartet out there though.
Bride : What!?
Paul : So sorry. The cake's arrived but it's the wrong one. Etched in black with red letterings, it was meant for a Gothic Harajuku party.
Bride : WHAT?!
Paul : Oh, wait latest news, I think the groom's been sent to the wrong church.
Bride : Are you fucking kidding me?!
Paul : By the way, your dress. I think you just spilled some wine on it.

I ain't no saint.

Far from being such a villainous monster, Katherine Heigl certainly makes our selfless plain Jane likeable enough in this sweet rom-com. Anyone else I'd probably have the homicidal urge to strangle for showing such a serious lack of spine. Instead of kidnapping her dream bachelor as I would have done, she represses her emotions, stows away her frustrations and proceeds to help with planning their wedding instead.

Just because she can't say no.

As you can see, a lil bit of selflessness isn't all that bad if it lands you James Marsden. Seriously. My favourite scene in the movie.

Though you gotta admit it's hard to imagine a gorgeous thing like Miss Heigl literally going through 27 bridesmaid dresses without snagging a straight guy. Or anyone turning down hunky James Marsden practically begging for a date.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Madness of McWacky

Whoever said that excessive studying doesn't lead to any harm has another think coming. Finally have proof positive that desperately cramming medical textbooks late into the night produces all sorts of erratic behaviour. I believe far too much unwieldy information zapping across the overworked neurons causes a few microstrands to unravel in the brain leading to a palpable hint of insanity.

Don't just take my word for it.

After all I've got my proof right here. Although far from medically proven fact, this is based on personal experience and from my keen observations of a particularly odd specimen named McWacky.

And coming from an oddity like myself, you can imagine how much more peculiar McWacky should be.

Doctors come in all shapes and sizes after all. We've got the perky, over-enthusiastic ones like GungHo Ginny ( and I have to admit Lissome Lorelei as well ), then the cynical bastards like Brash Brandon and me - and then you have the kooky lunatics like McWacky.

Why you looking at me that way?
That's not a straight-jacket! It's a normal jacket!
I swear!

Shades of a benevolent Patch Adams crossed with that spaced-out hobo by the street. Minus the social graces.

I believe medical students should take heed. Obviously holing up in their dens cramming - and eschewing regular social interaction - can lead to patently unhinged behaviour. I can think of at least half a dozen oddities ( and social faux pas ) from Dr McWacky but at the moment let me give you two examples.

This one happened at the pantry where I was lining up to rinse the plates. McWacky here marched up without much ceremony and after mumbling excuse me in his monotonous robotic tone, he proceeded to gradually shove me to the side. When I say gradually, I actually mean John Woo slow-mo slow. Even I was gobsmacked. Found myself far too speechless by such unprecedented behaviour to reply with a stinging retort. Or at least bash him on the head with the mallet.

Come on, it was so shockingly weird that I found it amazing that he's even from our planet. Obviously he finds normal accepted human behaviour far too taxing to emulate.

Then came the other day when I bumped into McWacky on the way home. As work colleagues, normal social interaction would require me to at least acknowledge him with a friendly wave - which I did. Instead of responding in a similar fashion, McWacky continued on his relentless march for at least 10 metres. By that time I'd already given up on any sort of logical behaviour coming from him so I turned away.

Only to see this singular fella pause abruptly in his tracks and reverse his steps. And I mean reverse as in walking backwards ( ? ) rather than making an about turn. Obviously his internal schematics doesn't allow for sudden turnabouts. Then he lifts his arm in a creaky disjointed fashion and mechanically twists his hand in a semblance of a wave. Then resumes on his journey.

Hard to describe. You just gotta be there.

Haven't even gone into the weird things he says. Some days I don't know whether to applaud him for being an unconventional rule-breaker - or to bop him on the wacky noggin. Certainly refreshingly eccentric eh.

And I know what you're gonna ask. McWacky isn't a McDreamy. If he was, I'd have gone bonkers over him already.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Glass Menagerie

Surely it's a common (mis)conception that gay men actually replace an innate need for offspring with an entire menagerie of pets? Since Charming Calvin is taking quite a while getting ahold of a Beijing Baby, I've decided to consider a pet instead. No worries though! Swear I won't be the type to kiss / cuddle all the time, dress them in glitzy Elvis outfits and call them cutesy-poo names.

Haven't had a regular pet since the awful Goldfish Debacle of '92. Still I soldier on, taking on an entire jungle of houseplants rather than risk potential cruelty to an innocent animal. Wouldn't want to have the vengeful RSPCA knocking on my door with pitchforks.

Sit Ubu Sit. Good Dog.

Been inspired by Big Bicep Barry actually - who's taken to selling hyperactive hamsters along with the regular flip-flops at his Bargain Bin though I find it hard to make the connection. But I find hamsters are cute, cuddly creatures that don't look all that difficult to maintain after all. Loads of love and affection, a spoonful of feed, a sip of water and an exercise wheel. Strictly low maintenance, just the very type I need.

And easy enough for an indolent creature like Charming Calvin to pamper.

Of course that doesn't mean I didn't keep an eye out the other day when we all dropped by the petting zoo. Certainly a pet lovers paradise.

Found myself astonished by some of the things I saw. Imagine a cool thou just for a pedigreed schnauzer! Hell, I know it's been a pure-breed since the fucking Middle Ages - probably the star of the Elizabethan court even - but paying several thousands just for a dog? And that's not even counting the regular monthly maintenance - the canine chow, the swanky dog palace and the weekly dog salon treatments. Let's not forget the tacky Viva Las Vegas costumes.

Even a shirt that goes I Am Not A Plastic Dog. Anya Hindsmarch would not have been pleased.

And what's with all the creepy-crawlies - tarantulas, snakes, lizards and other critters. Seriously. Would you date a guy with such pets at home?

Boy #1 : God, you are so sexy.
Boy #2 : Oh yeah, kiss me.
Boy #1 : Wait a minute. What was that on my foot earlier? Feels cold and wet.
Boy #2 : Oh, it's my pet anaconda, Baby Betty. Here, say hello.
Boy #1 : OMG. Bloody hell, what's gotten in my hair?
Boy #2 : That's the tarantula I got from Mexico, Chico. And over there on your butt is my new baby scorpion, Lambada.

Cutting it just a lil too close for comfort, I'd say.

Freaked yet? Haven't even started talking about the terrifying mini-monster grizzly known as the gerboa! Big feet, leering tongue, long tail - come on, anyone else think it looks like a beastly gargoyle?

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

That Medical Gollum

Deep inside every generally respectable, well-adjusted physician, you'll no doubt find a desperately kiasu medical student cowering in the shadows. Perhaps you'll have to shuffle through several layers of slick, shiny ego and shift through the muck of arrogance but believe me, dig deep enough beneath their personalities and there's still the shadow of their pasts.

Medical students. Type A personalities found easily enough in the corridors and halls of major teaching hospitals along with the occasional generic coffee houses downing expressos by the gallon to keep awake. Certainly a breed onto themselves - practically worthy of a genus and species of their own. Seemingly independent hermits holed up in their cave-like dormitories who live and breathe medical text ( transforming academia into glucose through the Craps Cycle ), dusty tomes and smeared PDAs never that far from the energy bars that keep them jittery and awake, prone to spontaneously blurt out ( vaguely perverted ) acronyms to dozens of obscure medical diseases.

And characterized by a particular sort of kiasuness where failing is simply not an option. Muttering deep into the wee hours of the morning about scores, CGPAs and book prizes with the occasional wicked cackle.

Away from me, thy foul creature!

Of course after the graduation, this particular breed finds itself lulled into relative dormancy and evolves into something resembling the rest of the human race - almost indistinguishable from the common man! Yet deep inside there still rests this peculiar medical student breed who hibernates deep only to spring back to life during medical conferences, bargain basement sales and the occasional competency tests.

Sad to say that our medical courses usually tend to bring out the worst in us. Happens when you have little tests and exams scattered throughout the week-long course that only feeds this devilishly competitive monster deep inside waiting to be brought into light.

Medical Student : I must do well! I must score! I must beat all the rest. MUAHAHAHAHA. They shall eat my dust.

Monstrous, eh. I've seen more than a few who've let this depraved creature carry them into unspeakable places.

Like universities and such.

After leaving medical school behind, I've done my best to bury this perverse creature as much as I can - so you won't find it making an appearance all that often. But then today when I flipped open a coursebook - for this course I'm attending for the next few days, I suffered a major relapse. Seriously.

There were two thick textbooks covering almost ten chapters each and also an accompanying CD with additional practice sessions and tests. Realizing this at the last possible moment would have given the medical student in me an acute myocardial infarction. There was a brief moment when the medical student ran amuck flipping through the pages while my heart went through cartwheels of ventricular arrythmia.

Fortunately I came to my senses after at least an hour of panicking ( no doubt bringing the medical student to the fore ) and actively memorizing flashcards with handy mnemonics. Stuffed the medical student back into the darker reaches of the brain and took deep fortifying breaths. Looked out the window and reminded myself that life doesn't come to an end even if I don't score top marks.

Quite an achievement for an obsessive-compulsive Type A personality like me.

Then I went out shopping.

I certainly have evolved. From medicalstudenitis to shopaholic. Hmmm.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Bonfire of the Vanities

Though I frequent bookstores ( an understatement if any! ), I do tend to stay clear of certain areas. Non-fiction and self-help for one - the likes of Deepak Chopra and his kin - not to mention treatises on science, religion and such.

And let's not forget the academic section.

Lots of reasons abound of course. For one thing, non-fiction's usually an anathema to me since I usually find them all ( with very few exceptions! ) generally dry and dreary. I'll admit freely I need to escape to some fluffy fantasy fiction once in a while after dealing with way too much gritty realism at work. So what if it isn't real? I need some sweet escapism dammit.

And God knows I couldn't be happier if I didn't need to see another textbook in my life!

Of course Lanky Lex practically lives in both these restricted areas ( a peculiarity that I always find baffling ) which is why we found ourselves practically hidden away between Physics and Mechanical Engineering during the pouring rain this evening.

Somehow we got to talking about Physics. A dreaded subject for me.

I'll admit not all hand gestures are as unequivocal!
And that's not the Fleming's Right Hand Rule in case you were wondering.

And found out that a remarkably simple hand gesture can mean altogether different things to a doctor/pharmacist, a geologist and a physics teacher. Try it. The infamous Fleming's Right / Left Hand Rule? For someone with a knowledge of human anatomy, the shape's surprisingly similar to the orientation of the three semicircular canals of the vestibular system in the inner ear. Of course to a geologist like Jaunty Jared, it's something else entirely - some kinda soil density measuring mumbo jumbo.

Finally admitted ( to Lex's horror! ) that I razed all my notes and manuscripts from my schooldays after my finals in Form Six. Seriously. Prior to the final exams, I made a pact with myself - and possibly some heathenish idols - that I'd burn all my notes in a celebratory bonfire if I successfully leapt the final hurdle into university without a hitch.

Well, obviously I did.

You know how I personally abhor the act of burning books so consider this an uncharacteristic flight from logical behaviour. So all the painstakingly handwritten notes from my entire secondary school got consigned to the sacrificial flames on the very same evening my results were announced. And beautiful notes they were too, with drawings, doodles ( mostly caricatures of my beastly tutors ) and additional notes in multicoloured neon script. Not to mention the obsessive anal-retentive diagrams and tables.

Yes, along with little sketches of my ISO's patrician nose.

I'll admit that I did dance a lil jig on the ashes.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

For the Love of Siam


You guys all know I'm far from the lush, weepy romantic who cries at the drop of a hat! So you can imagine that having a lump in my throat during a showing of the movie, Love of Siam makes it real significant. Trust me, it's a beautiful, sweet, earnest movie about puppy love. Throw in some teenage angst, personal tragedy and family drama - btw did I mention that the puppy love actually involves two boys, Tong and Mew? - and you have Love of Siam.

And rather than be cold asexual creatures who remain at arm's length, these two actually do share a shy tentative kiss.

All that with an ambiguous ( bittersweet? ) ending - that unfortunately leaves me nearly frothing at the mouth. You know how I hate unresolved issues.

Let me warn you though that spoilers abound below. So I suggest you go catch the movie first and then return to share your thoughts with me.

Love of Siam
Schoolboys in love

But tell me... what would you do when that unbearably cute hunk you love tells you this? And remember, you're a teenage boy in the throes of your first love.

Tong : I can't be your boyfriend but that doesn't mean I don't love you.

Seriously, I don't know about the rest of you but doesn't that make you feel like tearing off his handsome head? Especially when it turns out he might be dropping you for a ditzy ice princess with less personality than a glazed donut ( and nicknamed the same unfortunately ). And all I get is a coconut santa's nose? Frankly I'd be insulted.

And furious. Maybe I'm a horrifyingly violent monster but rather than weep piteously in resignation, my reaction would be this. Sorry, I don't do wimpy victim roles.

Tong : I can't be your boyfriend but that doesn't mean I don't love you.
Paul : YOU MUTHAFUCKA! @&%%@&*%! What kinda fucking excuse is that!
Tong : Uhh. Wait, you need to calm down. I have to think of my family - they will never approve of this relationship. We can still be friends though.
Paul : I'll kill that Donut! Where is she? Pound her into cheap dough. She's going into the frying pan again for sure.
Tong : Paul?!
Paul : Just friends?!
Tong : Yes, friends. I still love you.
Paul : Fine. Let's be sex buddies then. Is that alright? You don't have to be my boyfriend.
Tong : What?
Paul : So buddy, you mind if I go down on you right now?

I know. I ran off a tangent after the initial self-righteous indignation but hey, it's Mario Maurer ( who plays Tong ). I'll take what I can get. And I'm not stupid enough to toss a great friendship down the drain just for that - especially when I can have all sorts of added benefits. What can I say? When I was a teenager, I was hopelessly addled with hormones and generally indiscriminate - which made me kind of a slut.

Mario Maurer
One Night in Bangkok...

Then again, hopefully what Tong actually means is I can't be your boyfriend - at least not right now. It would be heartbreakingly depressing otherwise - and I've gotten quite enough of tragic gay-themed movies. After all with the crazy upheavals in his dysfunctional lil Catholic family, it's quite understandable that Tong would steer clear from stirring up controversy for the next little while.

Hmm... maybe I shouldn't have torn his head off.

Friday, March 21, 2008

The Anti-Calvin

Don't worry - I'm not starting a Calvin-Hating Club with clandestine ceremonies at the witching hour gathering the masked members together to denigrate his manifold virtues, tear apart his hitherto spotless reputation and plan malicious ends for him.

Far from it.

You see, today I had a leisurely lunch with my friends and Zany Zinedine gave us prior warning that he'd be bringing someone new along. A fellow colleague and ex-classmate he actually termed a rabidly homophobic religious zealot ( from Zinedine's hush hush accounts anyway ) so you can imagine we all stared agog at the message he sent.

And then Zinedine then took pains to remind us all to remain on our best straight-acting behaviour.

Beware the Anti-Calvin!

Seriously. The thought of bringing an aggressive red-necked homophobe to a collection of fags already boggles the mind. Might as well wave a red flag in front of a raging bull. Wasn't he afraid that we'd all turn into drunken Maenads, fall into a crazed, savage fest of violence and tear him into little pieces? Or worse, fall so desperately in lust with his virile flesh that we'd all collectively leap onto him like sex-starved godless degenerates - that he no doubt assumes all debauched gay men are?

So we waited for the coming of the Homophobe. Coincidentally we later found out that the man shares the exact same name as Charming Calvin so I started dubbing him the Anti-Calvin instead.

Have to admit I was a tad disappointed. Was half-expecting a drooling red-neck Bible-thumper with blood in his eye and a rusty axe in his hand to cull the earth of debauched devil-worshippers - when all I saw was a regular guy. Actually seemed nice enough even when Anti-Calvin came up for an introductory handshake. Now I couldn't very well hawk spit onto his hand, backhand him and stalk away, could I? After all I hadn't even seen any proof of his supposed prejudice.

Anti-Calvin : Hi.
Paul : I'm queer. I'm gay. I'm homosexual. I'm a poof, I'm a poofter, I'm a ponce. I'm a bumboy, battyboy, backside artist, bugger, I'm bent. I am that arsebandit. I lift those shirts. I'm a faggot-ass, fudge-packing, shit-stabbing uphill gardener. I dine at the downstairs restaurant, I dance at the other end of the ballroom. I'm Moses and the parting of the red cheeks. I fuck and am fucked. I suck and am sucked. I rim them and wank them, and every single man's had the fucking time of his life. And I am not a pervert.

Stuart Alan Jones would have been proud.

Of course I didn't manage to reproduce that particular monologue. Zinedine ( who was busy watching our reactions ) would probably have stabbed me dead with his dining fork. And despite the Chinese Exemption, I don't think Calvin would appreciate me going around forking shamelessly.

But what do you do when faced with homophobia?

There are some gay men who'd cower and hide behind their relentlessly straight persona, erasing that particular lisp in their voice while making sure their pinkies are all held in tight. Me, I suddenly had this uncontrollable urge to stick my tongue down Jaunty Jared's throat, run my feet up Lanky Lex's thigh and limp-wrist my way through the conversation peppering my sarcastic one-liners with repeated lashings of dahlings and fahbulous. Oh, and grab my pink fluffy feather boa.

Men lovin
Unashamedly gay.

I'm unaccountably peculiar that way :P Just that wicked self deep inside that feels that rules were meant to be broken. Doubt poor ( prudish ) Jared and Lex would have approved though.

No doubt Zinedine breathed a sigh of relief when I did none of those things. Since Anti-Calvin didn't say anything remotely discriminatory, I couldn't very well go on the offensive. Turns out finally that Lanky Lex was the one who so very innocently let the cat out of the bag.

Lex : Oh, so are you going over to {insert gay club here} tonight as usual?

If the Anti-Calvin had been obtuse enough to miss the flagrant fabulousness of Zinedine before ( though how could he! ), surely he wouldn't be able to miss something quite so obvious.

Then again, who knows, we might have unfairly misjudged the fella after all.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Dirty Does It

People start treating you differently when you're an adult. Responsibilities start mounting, bills start pouring in and soon you'll find your back strained under the combined weight. It's not all fun and games being an adult.

Seriously. Even the folks on the street start seeing you differently, especially if you're a single adult male. The seamier side of city life - previously shielded from innocent eyes - starts to bubble dangerously to the shiny surface.

These days as I walk the streets of the city, I find yourself approached at all sides by dubious gentlemen with smarmy mustachioed grins waving their glossy namecards touting massage girls of every known race, religion and caste who give discreet service even after hours with added... benefits. Have yet to be offered some spicy, sexy Myanmar beef so I haven't found it difficult to brush off their indiscreet pimping attempts.

While the brassy ladies I once thought were just tacky, badly made-up street trash hanging about the seedy backlanes actually see fit to make brazen approaches offering their questionable services. Obviously I seem to be quite the worthy chump. They don't seem to notice that I've only turned to look at them to criticize their poor sartorial taste.

Henry Cavill
Tits and ass again?! Bloody hell can't they send me Huang Xiaoming?!

Turns out it's not that easy refusing their unwelcome advances without broadcasting one's sexual proclivities. Some do take pride in carrying the banner of the world's oldest profession so just flatly declining their clumsy overtures only seems insulting to their... varied skills / performances :P

The things you learn as a man.

Just like today when I had the friendly neighbourhood dvd pirate dropping into a seat beside me, furtively looking about the environs and then shoving a stack of dvds my way, giving a quick salacious wink as he does so.

Henry Cavill
Take a look, sir!

Doesn't happen all the time for me but just a brief glance down at the stack assured me that he'd dropped a stack of straight smut - cleverly disguised in between Pixar and Disney animations - into my lap. Fortunately for me, my aggressively feminist pal had just slipped off from the food court to make a run for the pharmacy. Otherwise she'd have been shocked by the suggestive array of feminine flesh paraded for my lecherous perusal. Think The Sexual Attack of the Love-starved Asian Lesbian ( hitherto virginal ) Nun.

Pirate : Oh, was that your girlfriend, sir? Sorry.
Paul : No, that's just a friend. I don't do girlfriends.
Pirate : Well, you'd do these girls. Really hawt.
Paul : I don't think...
Pirate : Well, I see your friend's coming back. If you want some of the... steamier titles, call this number.
Paul : Whoa, a namecard.
Pirate : The name's Warren.

No doubt my lusty horn-dog look ( or my cunning eye-patch ) must have translated easily across the aisles. Though the titles he'd handed me weren't much to my taste - after all, raunchy girl-on-girl action just doesn't rock my boat. What part of I don't do girlfriends didn't he understand? Then again in Warren's rabidly heterosexual mind, he probably thought that I was a faithless playa who didn't do commitment.

Of course if Warren - the robust pirate with the tiger tattooed on his tanned bicep - had offered me similarly libidinous favours instead, I'd have been tempted.

Still I do have his number.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Attack of the Red Eye

A number of my friends have remarked on the relative ease of obtaining an MC - Medical Certificate. Of course I still balked at the very idea of handing them out like sweets as a sop ( how unethical! ) to the overly demanding patients - though it's been proven to me time and again that it's shockingly simple to receive one without much fuss or muss. And without seeing the physician in question even. Unfortunately such unlawful clinics ( with such overly lenient physicians ) find themselves in high demand by the adoring - and obviously truant - community.

Doesn't mean I don't find the widespread practice utterly contemptible! Especially since I usually take pains not to get an MC if I possibly can. Hence the so-called alternative treatments - ayurvedic, aromatherapy and such - before resorting to modern antibiotics.

Seriously, as an intern, I've gone to work wracked with a productive cough ( wore a mask ) coupled with a raging fever with chills and rigors.


Not really. It's more from an acute shortage of staff in the department at that time. Unfortunately just one less does mean a ward catastrophe sometimes ( especially when you already have an unfortunate colleague on a chest drain for pleural effusion ). Practically had to hold myself upright by leaning on the closest solid object lest I fall in a clumsy swoon to the ground.

Ah those torturous days. Small wonder I've tried to erase some of the more harrowing periods from memory.

But the friends I made then I never forgot. Which is why I made my way to Eagle Eyed Eddie when I desperately needed an eye check-up. See, that dratted cough of mine has spread to the eye. Following the usual sequelae of events, the germs have taken a quick weekender into my eye causing conjunctivitis instead.

Drat those germs.

David Beckham
Can you see whether my eyes are red?

So by this morning, my eye was demonically red enough that a number of my more fainthearted colleagues screamed in abject horror ( and then subconsciously flapped their hands as if to rid themselves of the spectre of infection ) before urging me to the closest isolation unit to be quarantined. More like forced me out the door at needle-point.

Paul : G'morning!
Colleague #1 : Beware! Thou hast the foul taint of the plague!
Colleague #2 : Oh waily! He hath touched my skin! I am unclean! My kin! My babes! It's my sad fate to tragically pass on before the day is through.
Colleague #1 : Get thee away from here, Paul! Leave this place!
Paul : Did you guys just get back from a Renaissance Faire?

No doubt the wards I'd visited earlier have been hastily decontaminated by the ever-efficient cleaning crew.

I was summarily dismissed from work only to seek solace with Eye Eddie who after taking one quick glance, shoved some eye drops at me along with a stern admonition ( and an MC! ) not to appear in public for a couple of days at least. Far from sympathizing with my plight, he bade me hurry to hide in an isolation colony else I start an eye epidemic :P

So that's my first official MC for... let's see, two years?

Hell, I do need a break after all.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

A Roma Rack

I admit I'm easily distracted.

Though I try to focus on the job at hand, usually I have far too much cooking at one time so my concentration is usually split between several tasks. Practically a multi-tasking octopus. At any given moment, I might be monitoring the patient, preparing drugs, talking on the phone to a colleague and flipping through the dailies.

And then a heavy rack walks by the counter.

And I drop everything. Whoa, hot mama.

A surprisingly sexist comment from me, I know! Though I do know avowed homosexuals aren't supposed to notice such things - especially on women, sometimes it's hard not to! Especially when you have a pair of ginormous knockers practically shoved up to your nose.

Nurse Overendowed : Doctor! We have a patient in Bed 16.
Paul : Mmmrrrppphhh.
Nurse : What did you say?
Paul : Mmmrrrppphhh!! Get me oxygen!

Hard to provide a reasonable response when you're being suffocated by nature's bounty. Not that I have any particularly salacious thoughts ( I swear! ) but hey, a generous rack's still something to goggle at.

Hi. Call me Mr Nips.

Reminds me of a friend's new beau. A really sweet guy I've termed Genial Graham. Can't name names in case it gets around ( my friend has already threatened bodily harm! ) but this new beau has awesomely tight man-tits. Honestly can't help but focus on it the minute he walks into the room since it's ... just so obviously fresh, healthy n perky that your gaze just fixates on them. Practically twin signalling flags waving for attention :)

Poor Graham might be talking about the complex intrigues of the current government cabinet and all I'd be able to think of is 'Whoa. Nipples'. Monstrous, I know. With my uncontrollable motormouth - and my knack for getting into trouble, just scared one day I might slip and this might happen.

Graham : Hey! How ya doin! I heard you were free today.
Paul : Hi Nipples.

I know. I can be quite the sick puppy.

No doubt once Graham hears of this, he's gonna take to wearing the burqah.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Catch a Spiderwick

You know I love fairy tales.

Blessed with an overabundance of imagination - and obviously prone to flights of fancy, I was the peculiar boy who built quaint country cottages for the visiting fairies out of sticks and stones, set out comfy lil beds made out of requisitioned matchboxes and guava leaves and dredge small routes for them to take through the garden. There was even a time ingenious me hammered together a seriously kewl wooden shack out of ice-cream sticks. Even then, it was a home decor masterpiece of country living.

Of course rather than provide lodgings for assorted mystical creatures on the move ( returning to the Undying Lands? ), my little plot had M.A.S.K. action figurines posed in oddly discerning tableaus of human life. Even then I must have some slight inkling of my burgeoning homosexuality since how else would Matt Trakker possibly be shacking up in the boonies with Dr Julio Lopez?

I was a seriously disturbed child, I'm sure. No doubt my father must have wondered whether I was a fey changeling - and probably considered a trip to the child psychologist.

Jared Grace
Breaking all the rules

But I guess I'm not the only one who believes in fairies, goblins, elves - and everything else monstrous that lives right under the bed. Once ensconced into the spooky Spiderwick mansion hastily abandoned by the last occupant - a dotty aunt clapped up in an asylum, the Grace children are forced to come to terms with this eerie supernatural world as well.

All very Gothic.

After all who could possibly blame Jared Grace for his innate inquisitiveness when he stumbles on a dusty old book ( marked with an ominous caution on the leather-bound cover! ) in the attic. After all, we're all drawn to the forbidden apple as children - no doubt I'd have fallen for the same trick myself! Of course disregarding the warning by opening the book unleashes an astonishing maelstrom of devastation as entire armies of goblins, beasts and demons come rushing up for new copies of Arthur Spiderwick's notorious bestseller.

Some overzealous fans just can't wait for the publication date, fighting tooth and claw for first dibs.

Seems like Arthur Spiderwick's Field Guide to the Fantastical World Around You contains secrets no one should ever know - and every power-hungry megalomaniac of that fantastical world just craves. Reason enough that the three Graces ( HAH! ) must fight to keep it safe.

Dirty boys
Unfortunately most creatures dragged out from the slimy pits of hell don't look like this!

Despite coughing in intervals throughout the movie ( after being talked into some afternoon delight by my ISO ), no one saw fit to hand me a cough lozenge. What a disillusionment. Have the commercials been lying?

Definite recommendation for the movie though. Just an enchanting PG-rated pseudo-Gothic adventure that's far more acceptable to innocent eyes than the previous visceral, oft-malevolent Pan's Labyrinth.

Of course the movie The Spiderwick Chronicles inspired me enough to search for the entire series. After getting talked into it by my ISO, I purchased a treasure chest set of the Spiderwicks. Easy enough reading with some old-fashioned etchings interspersed throughout. Should be enough to while away a few hours of my time.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

To Sir with Love

Time I kneeled down to get knighted since for the first time today, I got to play knight errant. Not a common role for a gay man - though I'm not sure the damsel in distress felt like pinning her heart on my sleeve! Not that I'd have any use for it.

The damsel had reason enough to look a bit worried of course. After all I looked more like an admonitory warning for bird flu - holding an empty bird cage while hacking my lungs out. Certainly not the trustworthy guy in shining armour most girls dream of.

P3 Bentley
Here I come to save the day! And with my dawg too!

Still it gave me time for pause on the way to my brother's car ( a bit under the weather so I got him to drive ) when I spied a lady weeping piteously, her head resting between her knees on the kerb just after the pay machine. Seriously. What reason could there possibly be for a girl to cry in a basement carpark?

a) She's an intrepid heroine sort who just escaped from a crazed serial killer / obsessed admirer in P2 after viciously hacking the bugger ( and his lil dawg too! ) into grungy unrecognizable pieces.

b) She's heartbroken after being summarily dumped - with her bastard boyfriend driving away leaving her biting the dust literally. Possibly even stiffed her with the cheque.

c) She's distressed after losing her car in the dizzying parking maze - no doubt forgetting to commit the image to memory or to her cellphone gallery as Zany Zinedine frequently does.

Of course she could be some wicked unnatural spectre from the underworld but as far as I know, no one's gone missing in that particular basement as yet. And she looked perfectly human ( far from preternatural ) with her bad make-up streaking over her acne, her trashy mini picking up grime on the concrete floor.

Easy enough to walk by her - probably semi-accidentally smacking her head with my bulky purchases - but I decided to do my good deed for the year. My momma raised me right.

Paul : Excuse me, miss, are you alright?
Weeping Damsel : Huh? I'm o-o-o-kay.

Seems like crying in an abandoned basement all alone isn't a good sign of being thoroughly okay. Neither is sobbing out her okay in increasingly high-pitched wails. Of course anything had to be better than her first horrified squeal when psychotic me appeared menacingly from the looming darkness with my faintly glowing white birdcage.

Wes Bentley
The Creature from the Black Basement!

My bad, I'll admit. Fortunately she wasn't armed with mace.

So I left it at that and walked away. Other than summarily dragging her up from the floor, wrestling her up two floors and dumping her in security, I doubt I could have done more.

Hmmm.. then again maybe I was on candid camera.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Something about Laksa

There's something about laksa.

Or maybe it's something about laksa and me. Must be something terribly suspicious ( or gay ) about the way I eat laksa that makes everyone suddenly sit up, swallow hard and take notice.

Racked with chills from an on-going cold ( not helped by the harrowing on-call I had last night ), I hoped that the piquant, spicy heat from the laksa would help offset it. Despite being steeped in science-based academia, I'm still hopelessly swayed by the odd Eastern mysticism of balancing the yin yang. Or at least my own take on it.

Cereal Crunch
Sometimes you just crave for more than bland cereal for breakfast!

Inspired by my choice, my other breakfast companions - all various members of my midnight sausage gang - decided to risk the same. Couldn't be any more reckless than the dubious risk of feasting on a rickety makeshift table only a hairsbreadth away from a rushing storm drain.

We doctors like to live on the edge. All that adrenaline rush, you see. How else would we live on radioactive noodles and moldy bread?

Seems like my enthusiastic recommendation of Queer as Folk the other day didn't go unnoticed by the rest of the gang. One was particularly perspicacious - and despite an odd penchant for limpnecked soft toys and leather boots, seems like our Statuesque Sarah doesn't miss much.

During a lull in the spirited conversation, when Sarah turned to me with a somber look, I knew what the question was even before she posed it. Something in that searching look as if somehow folks always expect the homos ( no doubt looking like a deer caught in headlights ) to screech, turn tail and run when this question comes up.

Sarah : I have a personal question to ask.
Paul : Ask away.
Sarah : What's your preference - guys or girls?
Paul : Guys of course.

Seriously. It was that simple. Could have issued a blanket denial like any sleazy politician would but figured it wasn't worth the bother. Any passing thought I had of misdirection or prevarication faded away a long time back - especially after I realized no benefit would come from denying the truth when it was patently obvious to everyone else around me. Well, maybe all excepting Fab Fiona.

And somehow that is always followed by the gay witch-hunt question of 'who else?'. The only thing I gotta say to that is this... hey if the guy's not telling, leave him alone. Who he fucks is entirely his problem.

Coincidentally this very same question was posed to me during a similar laksa breakfast post-call exactly two years ago by Shameless Shalom. Maybe laksa is the official coming out breakfast. Maybe March is the official coming out month. So yes, I'm gay - despite being the sloppy troll-like antithesis ( antichrist? ) of the slick, coiffed and buffed homosexual clone. No doubt I'd be drummed out of the exclusive pink society if I didn't suck a dick every other month.

So guys or girls? Apples or oranges? Or more likely, oysters or snails? Maybe Antoninus could tell us more.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Chinese Exemption

Alright, boys. I finally got the green light.

Figuring out a way to cure my recent blahs, Charming Calvin has given me an out. In lieu of him being within close reach to satisfy my baser needs ( the poor fella ), he has offered me a single night of faithless tomcatting around without fear of tearful reprisals. A Chinese Exemption if you will. Of course what he actually said was 'You gotta get laid' but ya know, I can read between the lines.

I think.

But of course, first I've gotta find a reliable fuck-buddy.

Hmm.. I wonder whether he'd consent to some cheap, perverse no-strings-attached sex.

If you think horny swingers with loose morals are easy enough to find, you'd think wrong. Not that easy to locate surprisingly since a large number of the guys I know are already heavily involved - ironically enough with each other. Seriously. Mucho lovey-dovey touchy-feely ( and prudish as well ) so the blasphemous thought of straying even an inch wouldn't cross their minds. The rest of them are straight breeder boys who wouldn't go near another guy without a ten foot pole - unless they've recklessly downed a six-pack of brewskis first.

Or so I've heard.

So that leaves me with hitting the clubs. The parks. Or the classifieds. Honestly, I don't know which scares me the most.

Fortunately when push comes to shove, I always have my back-up plan. So I sent him a message.

Paul : I need sex.
My ISO : Did you by any chance misplace your hand?
Paul : I need to slap some naked skin, exchange bodily fluids...
My ISO : And what would the Chinese say about that?
Paul : I have exemption from Beijing.
My ISO : You've obviously mistaken my number for a local phone sex operator but go on.
Paul : Need more than phone sex though.
My ISO : Really? Let me pencil you in for an appointment. I charge RM50 an hour. Yeah, I'll work you over good.
Paul : Saturday sounds good for a pity fuck.
My ISO : True. Let's do breakfast dim sum first.
Paul : Can I lick your savoury siew pau buns first?
My ISO : What kinda man do you think I am? You gotta buy me some chinese tea first.

I know. We have a weird, inappropriate sort of friendship. By the way, that conversation? We actually picked up from that one time we ( after screwing up our courage ) dialed up a callboy in London.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

A Case of the Blahs

Woke up early this morning, felt a bit crabby - and seriously considered skipping work. Rare enough that I feel this way but somehow looking out my window at the pitch-black morning sky, I felt like curling back under the covers for another few hours at least. Of course I soldiered on, slapping myself awake with a splash of icy-cold reality disguised as water and forced myself to work.

So you can imagine how congenial I was at the water cooler today.


Been feeling a lil blah for the past few days. Unfortunately ( don't lynch me ladies! ) I don't even have a spotty menstrual cycle to blame. Despite popular belief, guess I can't be happy all the time - for that I'd need to be permanently on happy antidepressants - and I don't do recreational drugs. Being an analytical sort, I decided to seek out the source. Probably a complex multifactorial cause to my recent case of blahs.

Hormonal imbalance for one thing - probably brought on by premature mid-life crisis. Obviously I sublimate those ridiculous fantasies of purchasing that sporty vehicle I can't afford to attract younger prey... by sleeping on it.

Then there's my recent sexual drought. It's been months. I know religious monks up there in the hillside monasteries can last for decades without slapping sweat and skin but hell, I have baser needs. At this rate, I'm gonna be sexually assaulting the next stud I see. As unlikely as it might seem, I'm starting to wonder whether it is possibly for revirginization to occur!

And possibly the single biggest reason, my itchy feet. Seriously. All from the lack of travel and adventure ( reason enough to avoid the travel channel! ). Wanderlust has hit me hard. In the night, I've taken to covering my ears with the pillow to drown out the piteous cries of my grounded passport weeping in the shelf.

Not as easy finding the cure for the blahs. Alcoholics would of course recommend the simple cure-all of the bottle but I wouldn't want to strain my overworked liver more than it already has. :P Sweaty anonymous sex in the backrooms would help but Calvin wouldn't approve - and I'm a tad short of no-strings-attached candidates at the moment.

Maybe I should experiment with women. Recently returned to the single fold, Fab Fiona has been playfully scouting around for pity fucks. Maybe I could give it a shot. Can't be any worse than the other breeder boys out there. With my anatomy textbook in hand, I'm sure I'd be able to successfully figure out the hee hees and the hoo hoos.

Sex with a younger babe. Certainly a new vista to explore. Now that would easily satisfy all three causes. And I wouldn't even need to buy the Porsche.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Queer as Folk

Straight-acting. I've always hated that word. Makes the slightly fey amongst people like us seem almost abnormal or inferior in comparison - as if succumbing to the pressures of gender stereotyping should be a goal for all of us.

Never been much of a problem for me - well not since I got through the crazy confused years of adolescence. I might not dress in drag ( since the heels are a killer ) but I can certainly fake the limp wrist with the best of 'em. So go ahead and think of me as the resident homo - I've long since accepted the fact that half the department's already branded me as such. Hardly any need to strut around in heels and a feather boa when it's quite obvious that I have the hots for almost anything in pants. Hey, I can't help drooling over hot guys, alright?

I really need that feather boa.

Or at least that's what I thought.

Then today during a gathering of colleagues - close to the same group caught munching on sausages at midnight - I had one of the gang surprising me with her comment.

Fiona : Hey, you should really watch Queer as Folk! IT's really good.
Paul : You think I've never seen Queer as Folk?
Fiona : Yeah, it's a drama series about gay men.
Paul : Naked men fucking?
Fiona : Anything wrong with that?
Paul : Huh.

First time I was actually put on the defensive about homophobia. Could barely hold in a loud guffaw as I fought to keep a straight face whle she ranted on about gay rights. Certainly surprised her when I stopped her diatrible to rattle off a short summary of the series with a recommendation for her to try the original British series.

But what I can't get over is the fact that she thinks I don't know about Queers. And by extension assumes that I'm probably straight. Me? Always thought that it's clear enough for everyone. Thought Fab Fiona knew better.

Knowing Queer as Folk certainly isn't a prerequisite for the pink passport - though I find it hard to believe that any gay boy round these parts hasn't heard of this ground-breaking series. Certainly an eye-opener even for me. Seriously. Asking a gay man whether hs knows the series is like asking a lady whether she buys shoes. Sure there are a few odd ducks here and there who hasn't heard of it but it's awfully rare.

And clearly ( though I might be generalizing ) very few straight boys would even consider watching naked men fucking.

Guess after today, she won't be asking me such questions anytime soon :)

Monday, March 10, 2008

Ghosts of the Northern Capital

Calvin sees dead people.

Now I for one would find it awesomely kewl. No doubt it would freak me out initially ( I assume talking to a passing shade at midnight would disconcert anyone ) but pretty soon I should be out solving paranormal crimes, hitting the Magnum 4D stores and running around unearthing hidden treasure. Seeing dead people doesn't mean I must be a sad, tortured ghost whisperer, right?

If I were that spooked by roaming spectres, I doubt I'd be able to walk down the empty hospital corridors lit only flickering fluorescent in the wee hours of the night. I try to stay positive. Me, I rather think dead people would go about their unearthly business without bothering anyone - if not given undue provocation. Or unless we've somehow wronged them inadvertently.

Of course seeing them would probably scare the bejeezus out of Charming Calvin - who is deathly ( pun intended ) afraid of ghosts. Let's just say he ain't gonna be joining the Spooky Scooby Squad anytime soon.

So fortunately for him, he doesn't actually see dead people.

I see dead people.

But listening to ghost stories can be quite as terrifying for him. And you can imagine that an ancient capital such as Beijing with all its deceitful ( and murderous ) court intrigues would be fool of vengeful spooks, ghouls and poltergeists. Even that infamous hopping Manchu vampire well-loved by generic B-grade horror movies.

So when his colleagues started talking about undead spirits, he resorted to childish methods...

Colleague #A : Did you hear about that old temple ghost?
Colleague #B : The haunted place? I heard that...
Calvin : LALALALA. Not listening. LALALALALA.

Poor Calvin. I have no doubt that when he comes home late at night to his apartment, his over-active imagination goes into automatic overdrive. While to the rest of us, his spiffy apartment would look perfectly normal - though a bit chi-chi chinois, to his eyes there'll be a layer of smoke rising mysteriously from the aged wooden planks while rust and cobwebs instantaneously creeps up the moldering walls ( if not scarlet splashes of blood dripping from the ceiling ). Probably hear the eerie crescendo of a haunted melody playing as the door creaks uneasily open.

Of course he's not the only one easily freaked. I have colleagues who don't leave their houses past sunset on the seventh month - and even one who takes a half hour detour just to avoid driving close to cemeteries. Near impossible seeing as how we live in an old town full of dead people.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Triumphant Tsunami

Things were much simpler when we were kids.

Back in school, woting was a semi-annual exercise, usually forced upon us by the teachers to elect monitors / assistants and the rest of the class reps. Treasurers, secretaries and such. Sprung on us by surprise sometime in the beginning of the year, usually there were no speeches or empty promises, no banners or campaigns. Voting back then was based far more on popularity ( and possibly who they hang with ) rather than qualification, experience or performance. As kids, we didn't have much to base it on anyway. And it was easier to choose those we liked.

After all, all the monitor did was play substitute teacher on the rare occasion, collect assignments and perhaps take on the role of the unpopular tattle-tale if need be.

As we grow older, things get a bit more complex. Our elected representatives hold rather more responsibility and duty - and yes, our votes matter quite a bit more. A matter of state, you might say.

Our voting patterns hasn't changed all that much though.

No! No! This is not the way to win an election!

Haven't said much about the political situation in the country. Far too disheartening sometimes. If I were to start blathering about the inherent corruption and subtle racism in our elected government, I would be ranting myself hoarse on the soapbox for hours non-stop. Don't even get me started on the uneducated rubbish occasionally spewed in the hallowed halls of our parliament. Fortunately I have other members of the far-flung clan already doing a fabulous job criticizing.

By now, the shocking political upheaval ( or in the latest catch-phrase, a tsunami ) that has shaken the status quo in our country - and possibly given the elected government something to think about - has probably begun to sink in. For most of us at least. I still find myself staring agog each time I see the astonishing results of yesterday's general elections.

With the sociopolitical turmoil of the past few months ( along with a more recent legal imbroglio concerning the judiciary and cellphone dramas ) and the dissatisfaction quite clear amongst the people, this opposition tsunami sweeping aside the crusty stalwarts isn't surprising to say the least. What appals me is the lack of faith for some of the incumbent representatives. Not all of them are bad apples. You don't have to throw the baby out with the bathwater after all. A handful of our reps have done excellent work throughout their term of office - and yet their overwhelming dedication and hard work hasn't translated into viable votes by the electorate.

All because they hang with the wrong folks.

Guess we still vote the way we did back then.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

These Old Charades

During the weekends, other gay boys get dressed, go out and shake their collective booty on the dancefloors to the boom-boom beat of the gay disco.

Me, I spend the time indoors watching my friends writhing and gyrating suggestively on the floors. Seriously. It can be quite entertaining. And that's when Zany Zinedine Zapple's not busy running in exaggerated slow-mo to stab, kill and toss angry combative Persians into the air with his imaginary 8-foot spear.

Before you lament the fact that I've fallen heedlessly into a group of cultish friends into crazed orgiastic escapades with gratuitous blood and gore, let me explain by saying a word.


See. It's almost 300!

So the writhing bit over there ( just as inexplicable to the rest of us busy guesstimating! ), imagine rose petals falling gently onto an American Beauty! And Zinedine was trying his best to give a faithful re-enactment of the Battle of Thermopylae - minus the skimpy loincloth. Or at least the homo-erotic tale spun by the imaginative producers of 300.

Yes, my friends and I like parlour games. This time however I didn't get verbal diarrhoea and spontaneously blurt out incriminating taboo words such as pubic hair.

Came to realize that day that you'd need similarly attuned members of the team to come up with proper answers. Come to think of it, forget about attuned. Sometimes you'd need telepathy to figure out the cryptic pantomime :) Otherwise it usually takes quite a while to guess the correct answer ( finally! ). Still it was hilarious trying to come up with proper guesses especially with the other team busy spitting, heckling and pelting red herrings. I'd have preferred rotten tomatoes but I doubt Jaunty Jared would have appreciated the tomatina mess at his place.

The overly fussy neighbours didn't appreciate the maddening din we caused as well :p

Of course some randomly selected words and phrases are almost impossible to do. Like Jane Austen. Stared at it for half a minute wondering how the hell would I be able to pass on the message of Jane Austen. Holding a cup of tea whlie pretending to look uppity Regency belle wouldn't do the trick since it only made me look vapid. Tracing the look of a high-waisted Regency gown would make no sense to the rest - except maybe Zinedine. So I tried pantomiming the book Pride and Prejudice instead.

Turns out it's almost impossible to do pride. Trust me. Have you ever tried pantomiming those words?

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Oh my NOLA

It wouldn't surprise me if Harry Connick, Jr hated us.

Not that he's throwing rotten eggs, sending us hate mail or dedicating virtriolic rants to us.

Far from that. Harry's a classy guy. You remember me mentioning some time back that I was just dying to go for his concert? Well, the only guy I know who knows the name is my ISO. No surprise there since we actually spent a couple of sultry English summers in his grotty flat listening to jazz tunes and fighting over that last bit of takeaway tandoori.

Good God. Were we ever that young?

Oh. We did that naked btw. So tandoori mixed with male sweat and testosterone? Not too bad.

So no prizes for guessing who got asked out by default for a night on the town. Of course the fact that my ISO does have considerably deep pockets - to afford the shockingly pricey tickets - was the deciding factor when I made the call.

Although we enjoyed the music, I think we couldn't help ourselves ( monsters we be! ) when it came to the people-watching. Or the fooling around. Like the time we fiddled around with the monocles - amongst other things - during the Phantom, I should have known that my ISO could never keep still for longer than an hour.

I'll have to admit that with the motley crew in the audience ( think datuks, datins and tai tais ), he did have some provocation.

My ISO : Hey take a look at that mak datin in the third row.
Paul : You mean the wig that ate Kuala Lumpur?
My ISO : Nope, it's the other one. The giant oversized brooch that ate the wig. Paul : OMG. Look at her other accessory. Now, is that her husband? Or her grandson!?My ISO : She wishes. He's as queer as the three dollar bill - gave me the once-over as we walked in.
Paul : Should I play the jealous ex and give him the evil eye?
My ISO : Please do. The inadvertent challenge might bring him over.

Luckily our stage whispers didn't sway our slick music man - and Harry managed to soldier on despite the occasional rude guffaw from the aisles. Surprised he didn't whack my ISO over the head with the trombone :P

Though I swear soldiering on would be a shocking understatement! Despite the far-too-brief musical revue, our jazz maestro was worth every penny of the hefty ticket - and more. So much so that even my boisterous ISO sobered down and started to tap his feet to the big band music. Just in time for me to catch a bit of Harry's sly wit who managed to pepper his wonderful performance with bits of his eventful stay in town dealing with roller coasters, pirated goods and nasi lemak.

Fortunately for him, he didn't get eaten by the giant oversized brooch.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Advocate of the Law


Nicknamed ambulance chasers and shysters, the poor advocates tend to receive the worst sort of publicity. Far from being touted as the exemplary pillars of community they hope to be, lawyers unfortunately tend to get a bad rep amongst the community - being branded lying, cheating, conniving con artists who would screw their own mother for five cents.

Or at least that's what I receive from hearsay.

The majority however are far from the cunning shysters of popular culture. Just like Solicitor, one of the Calvinettes, who does serve the social good according to the letter of the law. So take heart, there really are dedicated advocates of the law out there fighing.

Even on television. Let me present to you the first article of evidence.

Our very own Eli Stone. Described by the producer as a Field of Dreams-type drama set in a law firm where a thirty-something attorney begins having larger-than-life visions that compel him to do out-of-the-ordinary things. Of course the prophetic visions could have come from that Big Fella up above - or from the inoperable brain aneurysm he's just been diagnosed with.

Apart from the fact that I'm a huge fan of musicals ( how can you not love George Michael singing about Faith? ), I actually have a thing for lawyers. And by that, I don't exactly mean because I find it extremely hawt to be pressed against a glass partition wall by a desperately horny suit-and-tie attorney while I search around in tight pants for his briefs.

Hot damn. Order in the court!

Then again, Eli Stone ( played by the delish Brit muffin Jonny Lee Miller ) can take me into the custody of law without prejudice any day.

Eli Stone
Dang, will you just look at the guy? Yup, I'm guilty of Love in the First Degree.

But that's not the reason. Maybe it was from too much exposure to Ally McBeal but honestly I've always wanted to read law. Terribly naive and idealistic I know but I've always had this thing for championing truth, justice and the Malaysian way. And oh yeah, to fight for that sad pathetic widow with a dozen indigent orphans being cruelly foreclosed by some evil nameless megacorporation.

No doubt members of the legal fraternity reading this would be cracking up laughing by now! Possibly imagining me ekeing out a miserable living in a dinky law office in a questionable district defending the despairing downtrodden ( and obviously financially insolvent ).

But I've always believed that we should all start our careers - at least in the beginning - with some vague sense of fiery idealism. If you don't enter law school hoping to change the world by championing the underdog, then why in the world would you read law? To do corporate law and conveyancing? To mitigate lucrative high-profile celebutante divorce cases? To make the slobbering fat cats richer?

Come on, that's not the reason legally blonde Elle Woods left her mani-pedis, her Manolos and her Hollywood mansion!

But that's exactly what Eli Stone thought he would be doing till God - and an aneurysm - showed him the way.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Baby Debate

Horrified by my ( occasional ) talk of parenting these days, my ISO has decided to put a stop to things by ordering me to write a detailed pros and cons list. it's something we've always done - and possibly the same advice I've doled out to dozens of friends as well. Somehow writing something down makes me realize what I've actually wanted all along. Really very subconscious and pseudo-Freudian.

Anyway my ISO - our self-appointed homosexual saviour - is crazily determined to liberate me from a lifetime of boring suburban gay fatherhood with beige interiors, picket fences and 2.5 kids.

My ISO : You're subscribing to the old-fashioned notion that life isn't perfect without hearth and home! With two and a half kids and a 101 dalmations.
Paul : Well I never said that. I just said it's perfect for me.
My ISO : What kinda fuckin lifestyle Oprah mag have you been reading? Throw it back.

So we started listing them down.

Child from Mars
No more sugar for you tonight, young man.

Of course he had plenty of ideas for the cons but certainly no help for the pros. Coming from a broken family, sometimes it's easy enough to see why my ISO hasn't cottoned much to the idea of a family and commitment.

Spreading the love - a kid I could share my love with ( gosh, I have been watching too much Oprah! )
Someone I could play dress up with :P
An heir to the family name ( how conservative patriachal Confucian am I? ) to continue our traditions

Zero sex life
Minimal social life - unless we can hire sitters, we can definitely forget about movies and dinners for sure
Increased expenditure for diapers / milk / clothes
A sudden need for antihypertensives / antidepressants - you know babies drive adults crazy sometimes right?

Sure the cons remain - certainly far more than the pros - but I can't deny that I'm still very much in favour of the former. Ah, what a hopeful dreamer I can be.
Fine. It does look bad. I need more points. Especially since I couldn't find anything else on the pro list ( anyone could help me with that? ).

So maybe it's time to look for a Juno MacGuff. Surely she'd consider giving her baby to me. Sure I might not be the hip interior designer / music composer she'd wanted but I do want to be a father - no matter how awfully domineering I might be. No doubt I'll stumble a few times but I'll work on it.

Anyone know of a savvy, sharp-tongued unwed teenage mother? Surely with the ongoing decline of moral values in society - as touted by the hysterical religious conservatives, we should have quite a number out there. So don't go around leaving your newborns in filthy dumpsters, bring it over to my place and I'll give them a home!

BTW as a Catholic ( though lapsed ) with archaic notions, you should already where I stand on abortion.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Nineteen Candles

As I vaguely recall, at 19 all I could think of was my coming exams. In medical school, they make up regular surprise tests in intervals ( I know it shouldn't be a surprise then! ) as a sadistic method of torture. Supposedly to keep us on our toes - but possibly in a bid to brainwash us into the clones that I spoke of once upon a time. Sadly there seemed to be nothing else in life other than desperately cramming for exams over endless cups of coffee and endless reruns of the top 40 hits.

Sure every once in a while while skimming through endless text on lumps and bumps, I'd have wonderfully wet dreams of tying my ISO ( Insignificant Other ) up with my silk ties but since our study schedules seldom meshed, I didn't have all that much opportunity to put bondage theory to practice.

Certainly no thoughts of advocating liberty, equality and fraternity in my head.

I was a single-track mind kinda guy. Sex and books, that was all.

Actually I still am pretty focused on the above :P

Which is why it was refreshing to meet a young guy whose fiery idealism practically shone like a star. Really, we should all be that idealistic in our youth. Save petty cynicism for the cantankerous old folks like me.

I have a dream.

And to cap it all off, the boy Junior Guevara ( or J Guevara for short ) also speaks in expressive polysyllabic words. Finally, someone quite as loquacious as me.

At his age ( a healthy 19 in case you were wondering ), J's already a budding activist fighting for the rights of the dejected, the downtrodden and the disenfranchised too. The descamisados so to speak. Even surprisingly a defender for the rights of the walking steak dinner.

Whoops. I promised not to say that again. Fine, the defender of the pedestrian rump roast.

There I go again. Fine. Animal rights.

J : Like I would feel so guilty after hitting a cow. Like what of its feelings.
Paul : Feelings?
J : Imagine hitting the cow with your car.
Paul : Imagine how hurt your flimsy car feels! If you prick motorized vehicles, do they not bleed?
J : But the cow might have internal injuries.
Paul : True. So I'd invite all my friends for beef kurma and oxtail soup potluck the next day. Maybe some steaks if there's leftover.

Well I paraphrased. I really need a dictaphone.

Suffice to say, the earnest advocate of the injured bovine wasn't amused by my barbarity. Just to get a rise, I almost said I'd run over a few chickens for good measure ( nothing like fried chicken for a weekend potluck ) but I think J Guevara was already horrified enough by my unfeeling callousness. Probably busy dialing the RSPCA as we speak.

Sharp brains and youthful sexiness. Nice. Of course I would have propositioned him for a quickie tour of the backrooms - but since ( knowing my reputation ) the savvy J had brought an eagle-eyed chaperone along, I figured I'd better err on the side of caution. After all for a guy so well versed in constitutional law, he could be carrying a sexual harassment lawsuit under his tee!

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Smile for the Camera

Every time I see a closed circuit camera installed for security reasons, I can't resist the inexplicable impulse to mug a little for it. Do the irritatingly kawaii poses that folks do in front of photobooth shots. No doubt you have shots of me - looking suspiciously gleeful holding my thumbs up - being passed around the confused mall security officers who probably can't decide whether to book me or strap me in a straightjacket.

Lately we've had a few CCTVs over here in the hospital as well - no doubt my psych colleagues are studying it hard in a bid to confine me to the asylum. :)

Studies seem to claim that the very presence of a surveillance camera in the area manages to deter the petty criminals so you'll find plenty of CCTVs installed all over the city - supposedly to maintain a semblance of security. Seriously though I doubt it works all that well. After all, unless it's virtually manned by a security force of twelve brawny martial exponents, I don't think it's worth a fucking tinker's damn.

After all, what exactly does it deter otherwise?

Without a dirty dozen ready to rumble on the other side of the cam, it seems quite futile if you ask me. Sure, it would be useful after the heinous crime is committed. And I'm sure it's really kewl that you can record every minute detail of the robbery / murder in high-definition with surround sound but no thanks.

Officer #1 : Ooh, look. Hot rich babe walking down a dark alley. Look at those pearls. I bet she's mugged.
Officer #2 : Won't take that wager, my man. Just look behind her.
Officer #1 : OMG. This is better than an episode of CSI! Look, that lady is being robbed!
Officer #2 : Whoa. And she's struggling. The perp has a six-inch blade out! Yikes, look at her neck spurting red. That's gotta hurt!
Officer #1 : Someone save her! Wait. Aren't you supposed to be patrolling?
Officer #2 : Aren't you?!
Officer #1 : Hmm. Well, at least we got some really good pictures.

Paints quite a picture, doesn't it?

Chad White
Aiks. I killed the hottie.

Seriously. It's really too late to find the murderer once the victim's mutilated corpse is floating anonymously face-down along the banks of the city rivers awaiting the local CSIs. Catching the perp after the event is just lousy. And you can bet that posthumous revenge is just not my style.

But I bet the paparazzi would love the titillating shots.