Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Friends Don't Date

Like seriously?

At least that's what Slim Sandy claims. Pretty boy has been playing the dating game for quite a while now and I'm curious as to why he hasn't finished with a game, set and match as yet. Surely many have tried to tap that ass. Always thought it was a case of the Goldilocks Syndrome when it came to Sandy. Too short, too tall, too thin, too fat... you get the point.

So am I a friend?

Well after quizzing him incessantly, he finally admitted he has this peculiar theory on dates. Turns out he has Those He Calls Friends in one exclusive circle and Those He Dates in another. Neatly partitioned! Never the twain shall meet since the two circles don't overlap.

Which prompted an immediate inquiry from me.

Paul : So you have friends. And then you have those you date.
Sandy : Yes. Those who are friends are practically sistas.
Paul : And you can't date a sista.
Sandy : Yes.
Paul : So you can't date friends.
Sandy : No, I can't. It's practically incestuous! Kinda like dating a sibling!
Paul : Still not your sibling!
Sandy : Almost!

Seriously. Even if it was, what's the harm in a little bit of playful discovery amongst boys? Not like any of their intrepid homosexual attempts would sire potentially in-bred freaks. Pressed for successful examples, I tried telling him about the seductive Flowers in the Attic but Sandy wasn't buying that particular brand of incest.

But enough on the kinky brother-on-brother action.

So Sandy's decided to not date friends? Kinda odd, don't you think? I would find it difficult to date anyone I wouldn't befriend. At the rate our sociable pal's lumping all his new acquaintances into the Those He Calls Friends list, wouldn't that leave only monstrous freakenemies on the rapidly diminishing dating list? Hasn't he seen all those sentimental dramas where childhood best buds realize their hitherto clandestine attraction only at the very end?

Isn't there at least one particular friend that he shares a spark of attraction? That little sizzle that could lead to something more?

No, says Sandy vehemently. There are those you fuck with and those you don't - and he stubbornly maintains that those who are friends / sistas should remain as such. What say you?

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Borgia Schemes

Guess I'm definitely an adult now.

Not only do I have a house and car in my name, I actually pay bills and taxes. And now I'm even thinking of purchasing bits of land. Just imagine a small patch of land with my name on the deed. Might even make up a jaunty flag and everything.

Or start up an inviting homey inn as Piratin Patty originally intended. Seems it's always been her lifelong dream to set up shop with a handful of beautifully appointed rooms and a small cafe / bookstore downstairs. With herself in the role of homely innkeeper of course. No doubt our enterprising Patty envisions herself washing laundry by the river and baking bread by the dozen. Wouldn't do any such thing of course - only farming I do is on facebook - but I figured I could be a silent partner.

With that particular view, we set off to scout for suitable locations around the town. Not as easy as we thought it would be. Turns out even the creepy haunted houses cost quite a bit over here. One even resembled an abandoned Bates Motel. Obviously avaricious realtors aren't afraid of no ghosts.

The friendly neighbourhood farmer?

Leading to a nervous Patty changing her idea from an urban townhouse to a more bucolic locale. Which had me recalling the rolling hills of Charming Calvin's rural homestead. Very Little House on the Prairie. Took a sudden detour towards his farm hoping to catch his venerated parents conveniently out-of-town.

No such luck however. Not only did they catch me there, we almost had a head-on collision down the dusty country lanes. To say I caught his parents off-guard would be an understatement. Just thankful his trigger-happy dad didn't load up the shotgun. His scheming mother, Madame Borgia, kept mum the entire time, probably trying to ascertain my seemingly inscrutable intentions.

And I brought a real-life girl which must have confounded her opinions on me. Wasn't I gay? And now I'm buying land with a woman?

Just another jolly good time at the Borgias.

Paul : Guess what? I dropped by to see your mom.
Calvin : Good God. What scheme are you cooking up?
Paul : Nothing.
Calvin : I don't believe you.
Paul : Seriously. Nothing. At least not at the moment.

Hmm. Didn't I hear his dad mention that the neighbour's spread might be up for sale?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

How Much Is That Pitchfork In The Window

Salesman : And what can I do for you today, sir?
Paul : Could I have one of those pitchforks?
Salesman : Perhaps I could interest you in something else, sir.
Paul : No, I want a pitchfork.
Salesman : I'm afraid it's not available.
Paul : There are half a dozen just lying behind you. In different shades no less.
Salesman : Nonetheless quite unavailable, sir.
Paul : But why? I worked my ass off for the damned pitchfork.
Salesman : Well you don't have ten friends.
Paul : I do have friends. They are just out there, not in here!
Salesman : None listed here I'm afraid. Perhaps you could try one of our spades.
Paul : I want a pitchfork - and I'd probably use it to fork you!
Salesman : I'm sorry. That would be quite impossible. You'd need fifty friends for that.


It's hard not to have friends. Especially on facebook. Makes it nearly impossible to progress in most of the games. Almost everything requires audience participation - and in facebook's case, it obviously involves roping as many reluctant friends into the game as possible.

About time we tamed the frontier!

Which explains the dozen or so unanswered requests I have on my own facebook account - whether to accept a runaway goat for my farm, a bedroom suite for my new hotel or even a Greek statue for my own evil empire.

Wonder whether they'd want to join me at the frontier.

Even Charming Calvin isn't spared the invitation. Though he was unsurprisingly reluctant, my man stepped up to the plate ( after being suitably threatened of course ). Oddly enough, the game simply refuses point-blank to recognize Calvin as my neighbour - though he occasionally pops up in my ranch to lend a hand.

Anyone else? Papa needs a pitchfork!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Mandarin Medicine

Turns out you can't actually learn Mandarin by osmosis.

Or even by dating a Chinese fellow. Which is a pity since I never actually had the opportunity to learn the language. Hardly heard it spoken at home, never had classes at school and the horrid People's Own Language ( POL ) extracurricular bits after didn't help. Could barely write my own name for years.

But necessity helps - and when you're at work dealing with hundreds of Chinese-speaking folks, you do tend to pick up a few words here and there. So at the moment I'm only good for the rudimentary bits of the language - ordering from a menu, bargaining for a cabinet and probably talking my way out of a bloody fistfight by apologizing profusely. Though for the latter, I'd probably get a lil banged up trying to come up with the proper words.

But that's about it. When it comes to the more complex functions of the human body, I tend to run out of suitable vocabulary. Unfortunately once the befuddled relatives hear me struggle through a couple of words in pidgin Mandarin, they tend to insist / beg / plead that I continue.

Paul : You mean I gotta talk to the relatives?!
Resident : Yes. And in Mandarin.
Paul : Fuck.

Which always turns out to be a disastrous mistake since my lamentable grasp of the language is only elementary at best.

Relative : So how is my father, doctor?
Paul : Let me get someone to explain. My Mandarin's not that good.
Relative : It sounds alright. So tell me how's my father, doctor?
Paul : Bad, so very bad. His respiratory function ... umm.. his lung... umm... has gotten poisoned.
Relative : Poisoned?
Paul : Tainted? Blighted? Infected?
Relative : Is his condition stable? Will he be able to survive the operation?
Paul : Ill, so very ill. Die, could die.
Relative : OMG! That's terrible!
Paul : Cry, don't cry.

It's hard to deliver tragic life-altering news in a language you're not used to. Especially when I only have ten words at most in my woefully inadequate arsenal.

And I still subconsciously try to translate the words from English.

Seriously. I sound like a mindless simpleton. Pretty sure they'd be wondering where the heck I actually graduated from. Some shoddy, two-bit medical school that hands out shady diplomas online?

Maybe it's time I wrote cue cards for myself.

Friday, June 18, 2010

I Wanna Be Ramona

Flowers, I mean.

As in Ramona V. Flowers from the comic book series Scott Pilgrim vs the World. No worries to the non-comic readers out there, it's being translated into a much-awaited movie so there's no need to slug through six volumes of black-and-white comic frames. The series is all about 23-year-old slacker hero - the eponymously named Scott Pilgrim - who falls in love with American delivery girl Ramona V. Flowers, but must defeat her seven evil superpowered exes in order to date her.

Princes Charming have it hard these days. Gone are the days when a distressed damsel comes complete with seven friendly dwarves.

So why would I want to be a dangerously fashionable, roller-blading delivery girl sending parcels for Amazon?

Well because two of her exes are played by Chris Evans and Brandon Routh respectively. Seriously. These two heavenly bodies in such close proximity would probably result in a spontaneous sexual supernova. And she dated them!

Evil alter ego aside, why would you dump him?

Why any sane heterosexual girl would dump them both in succession is simply beyond comprehension!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Delivery Dolls

Perfect leafy suburban enclaves with lovely finely-appointed bungalows. Pretty little housewives with cookbook in one hand and child-friendly manual in the other. Friendly neighbourhood stores with folks who greet each other by name.

But don't be fooled by the picture-perfect image of suburbia that greets you when you come here. Just like Wisteria Lane, there's a dark, hidden closet in every seemingly innocent household brimming with shockingly unsavoury secrets.

A seedy underbelly that offers dubious services such as the delivery dolls. Rather than have the streetwalkers hook a client while trolling the back-alleys, the ingenious pimps have decided to make it even easier for our instant-satisfaction generation. Dream a fantasy, dial a number and these friendly neighbourhood thugs will deliver right to your doorstep. Not only would they provide an eager-to-please dreamgirl, the offer also comes with a luxury vehicle complete with an ample backseat. No muss no fuss.

Seriously. These dudes think of everything.

Well, maybe not everything.

Since I've always been an advocate for legalizing prostitution, I'm wondering where to sign up. Not that I'd be able to entice any of their doddering clients but I wouldn't mind being a silent partner. Perhaps help them diversify by catering to the gay masses. Surely Miri has its fair share of the pink. With the construction sites chockful of choice specimens, I'd be more than willing to suss out healthy, virile applicants for the working roster.

Of course my straight-laced retinue of good Christian nurses couldn't be more horrified by my wholehearted support of the painted ladies.

Paul : Whoa. I think I gotta reconsider my career.
Nurse : You'd risk catching all sorts of unseemly diseases.
Paul : There are ways to be safe. Regular checkups for one.
Nurse : It's wickedly unChristian! How horrifying! Do they even think of their eternal souls?
Paul : For RM 350 an hour, I'd think about that later.
Nurse : Dr Paul, how can you say so!
Paul : If I were pretty enough, I'd sell myself as well! How could it be unhealthy? You burn calories, you increase endorphins...
Nurse : You talk as if you've had experience. A bachelor like you, surely not.
Paul : Seriously. You think I have to be married to have sex?
Nurse : Holy Mother of God!

Could swear I heard a couple of recited prayers while she hastily made the sign of the cross. I quickly backed off before our evangelizing lady dredged out holy water to sprinkle over me of course.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

IQ Killer

When I first arrived on these eastern shores, I had this brief conversation with Pirating Patty who repeatedly insisted on her wholly erroneous explanation of the eclipse.

Paul : Wait, what did you say was a solar eclipse?
Patty : That's when the sun is in between the earth and the moon.
Paul : And we'd incinerate of course.

I don't think her theory's entirely applicable in nature.

Damn. I'm losing my mind.

At that time, I already figured that IQ points generally drop due to the oil pollution in the waters. Either the oil turns ya gay - or makes ya stupid. Haven't found any other reason to explain the general slippery slide of intelligence once we land here.

Especially since I've started going stupid as well.

Paul : The water floats to the top of the oil.
Patty : What?!
Paul : Oops. Himbo moment.

Duh. Come back in six months and I probably wouldn't be able to string simple words into proper coherent sentences.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Curious Case of the Unflappable Calvin

Charming Calvin remains the most placid person I know.

Though I'm sure others would phrase his imperturbable demeanour in much less complimentary terms. Nothing seems to faze the tranquil guy - not bitchy colleagues, not crazed superiors... not even inconsiderate drivers! Even having his vehicle covertly cannibalized for parts failed to elicit much of a response from Calvin apart from a confused huh.

I'd probably be spitting nails.

Good God. What else can befall me on this God-forsaken day!

So obviously trying to punk such an unflappable fellow yields less than desirable results. In fact it kinda blows.

Quite disheartening especially when I used to be a huge prankster.

But Piratin Patty and her crewmate Nutty Nana were more than willing to test out my theories - and Calvin's endless patience - by playing almost daily pranks on him.

Nana : Good morning, sir, are you Charming Calvin?
Calvin : Good morning. Yes.
Nana : Does you have a Baba Bank Credit Card?
Calvin : Yes I do.
Nana : I believe you've recently purchased an item that costs 50 thousand ringgit?
Calvin : No, I haven't. Not recently, no.
Nana : Well it has been credited into your account.
Calvin : Hmm. Guess I'll have to check on that.

Perfectly cool. Not even a single swear word.

Obviously being the unwitting victim of credit fraud doesn't faze him. So we tried several other tacks. Which failed miserably. Evidently even job retrenchment, near bankruptcy and burning apartment buildings failed to get a rise out of him. Would have tried accidental pregnancy but I doubt that would work.

None of our inventive ploys managed to shake the man.

Dammit. Wonder what kinda drugs he takes to achieve that kinda calm. Or is it the zen ironing?

Friday, June 11, 2010

He's Just Not That Into You

Bet you guys wouldn't recall Scatter-brained Sibyl.

Swear I once wrote about her but honestly I can't recall when! But I at least have to lead in to the story with an explanation of what went on before. You see years back I had a far-flung cousin - the aforementioned creature Sibyl - who had a thing for me. Certainly not a blood relative so there's certainly no fear of disfigured descendants if I'd been so inclined.

I wasn't of course. Not in the least. Not only was I gay ( thankfully! ) but she also turned out to be the ... most irritating pest ever. Though quite, quite oblivious.

Took a great deal of willpower not to wring her neck over her silly, flighty pronouncements. Wouldn't be surprised if Scatter-brained Sibyl's found dead somewhere with a dismayed boyfriend wringing his bloodied hands steadfastly claiming that he didn't mean it.

I would find it hard to blame the poor fellow.

Paul : Now take this wine glass and go stand on the other side of the room!

Fortunately Sibyl transferred miles away from me - since staying longer would mean her imminent demise.

Unfortunately before she left, she also made known her little crush on me. That probably had more to do with the Dr before my name rather than anything else. Since I hardly set out to entice her. Swear I didn't! Not only did she make it known to me, the artful lil minx obviously whispered it into quite a few receptive ears as well.

Which is why my mother was left utterly shell-shocked after receiving a social call from Sibyl's mother a few days back. Seems her sainted mama has gotten an eye for matchmaking after some prodding from Sibyl.

Sibyl's Mama : So how is Paul? Isn't it time he settled down?
Mother : As much as I would like that, it should be his choice.
Sibyl's Mama : Well, as the elders of the family, perhaps we could arrange it for them.
Mother : Huh?
Sibyl's Mama : I think we should know a little better being older and wiser, don't you?
Mother : I don't, and I don't think Paul would appreciate such a stratagem either.

Significant looks all the while that my mother tried her best to ignore.

An arranged marriage for me? Seriously. I'd probably have buried the hatchet in Scatter-brained Sibyl the minute she walked in that door.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Incensuous Affairs

Like any travel-weary nomad, I usually return with an entire caravan's worth of exotic goods from the places I go to. Moroccan lamps, turkish carpets, arabian incense etc. Far from a measly straw on the camel's back, I usually have the goods packed high enough to the brim that it would have my frugal brother's brows knotting in frustration.

Think it's about time I started a curiousity shoppe!

But what else could you buy from the exotic Middle East but incense! Piled high in almost every other store with glittering vials filled with hypnotic scents that harken back to ancient times long past. Seems the use of incense dates back to near-biblical times and may have originated in Egypt, where the gums and resins of aromatic trees were imported from the Arabian and Somali coasts to be used in religious ceremonies.

Brad Pitt
Wonder what else I can buy!

After all if the Three Kings thought it worth the buy for baby Jesus, dare I refuse?

Though frankincense and myrrh they brought as offerings, I doubt they added an incense burner into that particular Christmas package. Since the incense burners offered here are all shockingly pricey, ornate and ghastly to boot. No doubt the austere Mother Mary would have balked at such flashy, tacky bling. What would the judgemental neighbours in Nazareth say!

So I turned up my nose on the frightful metallic towers and opted for a humbler choice. After viewing several dozen burners, I managed to find a particularly simple earthen incense burner in a sleepy back-alley souk. As the mustachioed storekeeper eagerly showed me, it seemed easy enough to light up an incense burner. Or at least that's what I thought.

Obviously just flicking a match and dropping it on charcoal doesn't work. Almost burned the house down before getting the hang of lighting one of those little charcoal disks. Exhausted nearly half my supply of matches - and ended up covered in black soot like the proverbial little match girl. Damn. Should have gotten the handy lil butane torch that the storekeeper offered.

Still I finally managed to get the charcoal - and hence the incense - burning, which is quite fortunate since there seems there's an unusual stench in the air back home. Stinks to high heaven. If I was the sort to leap to improbable conclusions, I might believe that a rotting corpse had been buried in my yard.

It must have been serendipity that I had incense at the ready to mask the stench!

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Pyongyang Blues

One of the iconic images that always sticks in the mind is that of an unflinching North Korean child tenaciously playing a musical instrument during the Arirang Mass Games. An anonymous non-entity in a cast of thousands. Cold sweat trickling down their furrowed brows, patently fake smile pasted on their tense faces.

And who could blame them? One disastrous slip of the bowstring - and it could literally mean the end for their entire family. And nine generations after possibly :P

Imagine my surprise when I found my niece Chatty Carmen looking pretty much the same while playing Band Hero on PS3. All stern-faced unsmiling while she robotically tapped the electronic drums for the game.

Gay dads
Sing out sister!

You'd imagine she was being forced to play for the Supreme Leader Kim Jong-il.

And this for a Playstation game my brother hoped would help her relax. Or at least learn how to.

So much for child's play. Poor girl takes things so seriously. Hoping to please, Carmen looked pitifully crushed even when she missed a few notes, botched the concert and got booed out of the mall of fame. I'd probably have laughed it off but Carmen obviously saw things differently. Wept buckets instead! Telling Carmen it was just an insignificant game didn't seem to diminish any of her pent-up tension in the least.

Sometimes it makes me wonder whether we're giving her just a lil too much stress to excel. Far too many perfectionistas in the family to catch up with!

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Sims It Is

Ah, technology. Far from the bland, cookie-cutter Sims of yesteryear, the characters we play on Sims 3 these days can be individually customized right down to the curl of the eyelash.

Hell, you can even pick out the colour of his earring if that's what you want.

Haven't had the opportunity to pick up the game since the debut last year since I've been busy with final exams, moving to a different city and all. Fortunately Charming Calvin picked up that particular gaming slack and has been playing the game semi-regularly ever since. Even created an alternative family led by a gay couple called the Weis family.

To describe the game as being a virtual dollhouse would be oversimplifying things. My fave part of the game is obviously the Create-A-Sim bit. Tells quite a lot about a person, I think. We're all given a list of traits to pick from for our characters - but somehow we all tend to gravitate to what we know best. An ideal sim of ourselves.

Good sense of humour

Artistic and Bookworm is obviously self-explanatory since I couldn't possibly imagine life without art or books. Even on my Sims.

Why Ambition? Just look at the grotty lil bedsit they start with! Certainly wouldn't want my Sim character to live in a pathetic little lot forever so I figured a bit of ambition wouldn't be amiss. At least work hard enough to afford some charming wallpaper to appease his artistic tastes!

Now who wouldn't want to control him!

Obviously far from Athletic myself - can't catch a ball to save my life! - but I figured I wouldn't want my Sim to turn into a lazy, disfigured schlub. Hoped the Athletic trait would at least help him run circles around tracks and randomly toss balls about. Just to give him a leg up in life, of course I made him a Daniel Wu lookalike to start with.

Though I was seriously tempted to replace the Athletic with the Evil trait.

Evil Sims love the dark, take great delight in the misfortune of others and prefer to lead a life of as far away from goodness as possible

Think I would have slid down that slippery dark path if I hadn't had a lamentable conscience of course. Stealing candy, blowing up stores and randomly running down prams. Just listen to what Eartha Kitt has to say about it.

Now I'm wondering what kinda traits Calvin picked for his Sims.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

A Lil Bit of Hard Work

Going abroad always leaves me a little dishearted for our country.

Over here with a dribble of oil, a heap of sand and a band of traders, they have created a city of dreams out of the inhospitable desert. Towering structures of steel and glass bloom - almost against nature itself - amidst the dry, arid sand dunes. Sure the recent debt crises has hit Dubai hard - but at least they tried.

We even have an example closer to home. With a natural harbour, a legacy of infrastructure and a troop of immigrants, the island just south of us has created a metropolitan city-state that is the envy of many. Singapore began in almost the same way we did yet in so many ways they have outstripped our slowly developing nation.

What a brave new world this is!

Yet our own fortunate country with abundant natural resources, we haven't achieved anything close to what they have done. So blessed by the gods that we hardly need to work to achieve anything. Toss a seed on the ground and you get food. Dip a hand in our rivers and you get water. Drill a hole in the ground and you get oil. What do we actually lack? Almost nothing.

So where have we failed? Have we turned into a nation of lazy-assed buggers just hoping for a handout?

Can there be just a little too much of a good thing?

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Death Becomes Her

Till now Nervous Nancy never fails to surprise me.

Childish altercations with Ebullient Eve aside, I do think Nancy has improved leaps and bounds in her work. Certainly far more confident and far less likely to sigh pathetically as a reply to a question. Though her wavering self-esteem seems to have gotten a welcome boost, that doesn't mean Nancy's less prone to the occasional... oddity.

Pulling a Nancy has become a catch-phrase at work!

Damn. I think she pulled another Nancy!

Like her vehement opinions on burials.

Death comes often enough at work so we tend to talk about during mealtimes. We all have our own opinions when it comes to what comes after. I've heard that traditional Chinese prefer to be buried to keep all their limbs together in the afterlife. Hard to argue with faith of course.

But Nancy came up with an entirely different reason for being buried.

Paul : So you would insist on a burial?
Nancy : Yes. I think cremation hurts.
Paul : Cremation hurts?
Nancy : It burns!
Paul : You do know you'd be dead by then?
Nancy : Doesn't hurt any less.
Paul : Exactly what medical school did you go to?!

First time I've actually heard medical personnel admit that. If Nancy actually thinks cremation hurts, I seriously wonder what she thinks about post-mortems! Wouldn't a dissection knife be quite as painful?