Saturday, June 30, 2012

Return to Southfork

Whenever the suspenseful thrumming theme of Dallas plays in the night, I knew that it was getting late and I should be getting to bed. After all, I was only a primary schoolkid during the glamorous heyday of Southfork with all the wild machinations of the wicked oil barons and sly ranchers - and the scandalous soap opera only came on at the children-unfriendly hour of ten pm.

But my mother was an avid fan obsessed with the shockingly dramatic lives of the Ewings, a wealthy Texas family in the oil and rattle-ranching industries, as they lived through suicides, murders, theft, betrayals etc. And even one prolonged dream sequence with an infamously parodied shower scene. All the elements of a beloved soap opera in the Eighties.

Nothing lasts forever though and the Ewings faded into the obscurity when power-hungry dynasties fell out of favour with the capricious television audience. For my mom, a horrific gaping void barely filled with neverending Korean drama serials.

So it was with some delight that I announced to her the return of the Ewings.

Yes, JR Ewing, that mean heartless bastard is still up to his old tricks - something his surprisingly hot son John Ross seems all too keen to emulate. Apparently a crafty chip off the old block, John Ross seems to be quite as ruthless as his father ever was.

Fortunately on the other side of the coin there's Bobby Ewing, the long-suffering altruistic paragon of the family, batting for the good guys. This time around with his equally commendable son Christopher lending a hand as they try to save the family ranch Southfork from the duplicitous machinations of their treacherous relatives.

Who would much prefer to drill the ranch land for oil.

Ewing cousins at war!

And that's the basic plot as the Ewing brothers / cousins fight tooth and nail over the deed to Southfork. Let's not count in the fake identities, blackmails and espionage just yet.

Gotta say they sure grow them pretty down there in Texas. This time around they definitely picked far more attractive actors to play the starring roles. Of course I would prefer the sexy Ewing cousins to make love rather than war but I doubt the redneck television audience would be quite as receptive. Well, we can always wait for a gay porn spoof of Dallas.

Pretty sure the young gay chicks born this side of the Eighties and the Nineties would have no idea what the hell I'm going on about. :)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Pleasure & Pain

Felix : Do it. Harder. 
Paul : You sure about this? Looks like it hurts! Isn't that a tear? 
Felix : A little bit of pain is okay. Just do it. 
Paul : Hopefully there's a bit of pleasure with the pain. 
Felix : That comes after. Oh God it hurts. 
Paul : Just take it easy yeah. 

Toss in the lube, some condoms and you'd have all the makings of a really cheesy gay porn film.

Thankfully we were both in the neighbourhood beauty salon with a handful of other gawking clients in attendance - and not a single camera in plain sight. Looming close, the grinning aesthetician stood gleefully at hand with twisted cotton thread ready to pounce on the virgin sacrifice. Ever ready to suffer for the sake of beauty, Fabulous Felix had submitted himself to the tender mercies of his first threading experience.

And maybe a bit of eyebrow plucking.

Check out the brows, man!

Ouch. Really.

Especially when I signed up for it right after a groaning Felix climbed off the seat recovering from the harrowing ordeal. Despite his vehement protests, I should have known that budding masochist enjoys a bit of pain with his pleasure.

Basically threading involves using the aforementioned cotton thread spun into a canny cat's cradle to pluck at unwanted stray hairs. Despite the fact that the ancient art of threading has been in practice for centuries with a renowned reputation for quick, pain-free hair removal, I would beg to differ. Sure it feels like a teeny-tiny ant bite each time but imagine an entire battalion persistently attacking at regular intervals! With scaredy-cat physicians famous for having staggeringly low pain thresholds, don't even get me going about how painful the eyebrow plucking was.

How the ladies withstand such agonies on a regular basis, I can't even imagine.

Next time around I'm gonna spray my entire face with lignocaine, I swear. Maybe bring along a few ampoules of morphine just to be safe.

Still, I gotta admit after everything has cleared up.... I really have quite thick well-defined eyebrows! Maybe I'll even take the aesthetician's suggestion and purchase some eyebrow pencils.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Three Strikes and You're Out

Although it pains me, I'l readily admit I wasn't quite the sweetest fellow back in school. Though certainly nothing compared to the likes of mean girl dramas these days, there were the occasional episodes of... reprehensible misbehaviour.

Which is how I actually developed my Three Strikes Rule for members to the club, new acquaintances and such.

Felix : Hey why don't we call Rex out for dinner? 
Paul : I don't have his number anymore. 
Felix : Can't be. I clearly saw him give it to you before. You lost it? 
Paul : No, I deleted it. 
Felix : Wow. Why?
Paul : He violated my Three Strikes Rule. 
Felix : Huh?
Paul : We asked him out a couple of times. He kept blowing us off with seriously stupid excuses. So I deleted the number. 
Felix : Fuyooh! Meanie!

Fading remnants of my misbegotten past, I swear. Didn't even realize I was still actively engaged in such childish transgressions till I was caught redhanded.

Now where the hell is this fellow! Don't tell me he's MIA again. 

Though I'm hardly to blame, am I? Let me put it this way. Friendship is a two-way street, like most other relationships, it takes significant effort from both parties to work. So if a platonic buddy sends out an invitation which you repeatedly decline with increasingly lame excuses each time, what is he supposed to think?

Regarding Rex - well he keeps cancelling on our meets, quite often at the last minute offering some vague justification for skipping out on us. Hardly any rainchecks at all.

Tiring always being the party taking the time and effort to maintain the connection. So yes, three strikes and you're out. Soon you'll just be somebody that I used to know.

Saturday, June 23, 2012


With gay men being the first - and possibly still the largest at-risk population in the developed world for HIV, is it any wonder that we have all become pretty savvy when it comes to safer sex. Despite risky behaviour such as barebacking becoming increasingly common especially in pornography, no glove, no love still seems to be the presiding mantra when it comes to even the most casual sex situations.
And eventhough I haven't indulged in such perilous proclivities in a while, I still keep a trusty condom ( renewed since the last time! ) ready in my wallet. Better to be safe than sorry.

Which doesn't seem to be the motto when it comes to my straight brethren.

Nurse : He doesn't like the condom wor. Says it's comfortable!
Paul : So he prefers unwanted pregnancies? Unfamiliar STDs?
Nurse : But he says there's no feel!
Paul : Not even ultra-thin?
Nurse : Nope!
Paul : Do the ladies still believe such utter rubbish?
Nurse : But there's no feel right?
Paul : Unless he's dead paralyzed from the waist down, believe me he can feel it. 

Still coming up with that old clichéd excuse? Thought only cheap, down-on-their-luck streetwalkers were the only ones who had to swallow that load of crap. Evidently if repeated often enough, even my reasonably intelligent nurses start attaching weight to that bit of falsehood.

Even looking at these two is enough to give me a rise.

Believe me, the penis down there is sensitive enough to detect even a light breeze through thick layers of denim and cotton. At least it does for me. Frottage anyone? Back me up on this, guys. If it doesn't - and that remarkably thin sheath of rubber actually prevents any sort of pleasurable physical sensation, do you think sexually active gay men all over the world would still be using condoms in their random hook-ups?

Hell, when you're in the moment with the right partner, I doubt that little rubber actually makes much of a difference.

At least it makes them last longer, right?.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Marshall Moves Maniacally

If all goes according to plan - and all the gay planets align in proper tandem, there should be a significant increase in the number of Grindr playmates active in this area code by the end of the month. At least the ravenous chicken hawks here would finally have some new meat to satiate their collective cravings.

Though it would take some kicking and screaming on the chick's part to make the trip here. An old colleague of mine, Mercurial Marshall, has been handed his final marching orders - to transfer from his workplace in the East Coast of Malaysia - and it seems his next posting just might be here across the Big Puddle. In the minds of the administrators, a footloose, fancy-free bachelor like him would of course be assigned to the farthest possible station! Much to his growing horror.

OMG Where the hell is this place!

Like all long-time city dwellers ignorant about anything beyond ten miles of the city limits, I had expected Marshall's immediate concern to be the fear of losing all the civilized creature comforts we're used to in the bustling metropolis. After all, it's hard not to develop some erroneous misconceptions about the tropical jungle paradise of Borneo with so little information given about the urban areas. Hell, I expected to be living on generator-powered electricity and brackish well water.  

I was wrong however.

Paul : Don't worry. Though I wouldn't call it a city, the place is really well developed with all the amenities you'd expect in a city. 
Marshall : Don't really care about all that! What about my social life!
Paul : Social life?
Marshall : The boys! The men!
Paul : Oh you mean them.
Marshall : Will I ever get laid again?
Paul : No need to get so melodramatic. It's only a two year stint.
Marshall : It's so far away! Are there guys around?
Paul : Can't be much worse than where you're coming from. 

He certainly has a unique set of priorities.

The man is practically beside himself in rising hysteria at the impending loss of his fabulous gay life.

Though I certainly don't see what Marshall's losing since he's been in an even more desolate backwater for the past few years. Come on, the super conservative East Coast with the overabundance of intolerant religious mullahs can't exactly be a hotbed of gaydom. Doubt there's anyone to even hook up with on Grindr - for fear of being hounded by the irate locals with flaming pitchforks.

Certainly more choice for the discerning gay man here. Should I tell him that Fabulous Felix gets more than his share of sweet, sweet man-loving even here in the boondocks? 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Picture Imperfect

Back in the old days, they used to say that the camera would steal your soul.

Which makes it hardly a surprise that folks captured in turn-of-the-century black-and-white studio photos seem almost daunted by this strangely uncommon event; what with their backs held ramrod straight, their arms uncomfortably stiff at their sides and their eyes opened unnaturally wide in sheer panic.

Certainly no cutesy 10 Asian Poses back then.

Hard to blame them. No doubt it is something encoded in the genes of my camera-shy ancestors which is why I usually fumble when I see a flashy Nikon coming by. Who knows, it really might steal my soul!

Which explains why I am unfortunately the sad equivalent of Kristen Stewart - someone quite incapable of mustering up more than one facial expression when the camera goes click. Other than her signature world-weary blasé expression suggesting mind-numbing boredom.

Of course pictures of me usually show me looking suspiciously at the camera instead. With a hint of barely repressed  resentment.

Care to take a picture?

Reason enough I don't actually own a camera. Apart from the fact that I usually look horrid in pictures ( and yes, in real life as well ), I seem to have only one particular angry pose. Seems a waste of my time to take a half dozen pictures when I might as well just photoshop that face onto different scenes - don't think anyone could tell the difference!

Unlike some of my friends whose faces seem shockingly Jim-Carrey like with mobile, changing facial expressions with every second snap of the camera. Even animated cartoon characters couldn't compete with them. Or even vanity fairs who take a hundred quick shots of themselves just to find the perfect angle and light that catches them in their best position.

Even my usually reticent brother has a camera-ready 1000-watts smile with all his shiny teeth flashing. 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Superhero Gone Gay

I'm a proud gay comic fan boy.

Not as common a phenomena as you might think actually. Though presumably pimpled adolescent boys are the main targeted demographics for comic books, very few actually continue reading straight into immature adulthood. Even amongst my own peers and colleagues, they tend to cluster in either extreme of the reading spectrum; either they are seeming illiterates who can hardly be bothered to glance at the written page - even with the aid of the pretty pictures - or disdainful bibliophiles who would sneer at the lowering thought of reading a mere comic book.

Seriously they don't know what they are missing.

Come on, who didn't drool over these two Avengers? 

Especially with the plethora of gay super heroes these days. Yes, these days the superhero looks great in tights, saves the world and gets the boy too.

Well somewhat.

With controversial GLBT issues such as equal rights and gay marriage being regularly highlighted in the media these days, it didn't take very long for the wily comic book publishers to jump onto that bandwagon. Eager to show their unswerving support for their gay brethren - and possibly their barely concealed lust for the pink dollar, there are at least two prominent wedding proposals coming out in print this month.

Man to man.

Marvel Comics features their prominent out superhero Jean-Claude Beaubier aka Northstar from the pages of the X-Men who finally commits to his boyfriend Kyle Jinadu while DC Comics unveils the newly gay Alan Scott - the soon-to-be Green Lantern - who pops the question to his presumably longtime lover Sam.

While I would certainly raise an ecstatic toast to such wonderfully groundbreaking developments in comic history, there are some reservations.

A sad lack of organic development in their relationships for one thing. Seems almost rushed to meet a deadline. Though highly publicized, the relationship between Northstar and Kyle certainly doesn't deserve all that much fanfare. Unlike many other significant others, poor Kyle hardly makes an impression. In fictional comic time, they probably speed dated for a couple of weeks - in shockingly abbreviated panels - before taking that hasty supersprint down the aisle. Which essentially places their quickie marriage in the unfortunate ranks of the Kardashian nuptials. Compared to the likes of Clark Kent who took literal decades just to start dating his precious Lois Lane. Even Reed Richards and Susan Storm weathered troubling times before tying the knot.

And these kids just leap into it?

Following the hapless path laid before by previous gay tragedies, DC Comics gives us a heartbreaking calamity in the making. Even before we can rejoice over Sam, that deliciously hot gay asian hunk, we see the train they are both on plunging off the tracks into a fiery crash. Since every hero needs a harrowing beginning, that really doesn't bode well for that relationship.

Now if only Marvel would bring Rictor and Shatterstar together instead. Now that would be an event to celebrate.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Call Me Maybe

If you're a man just around your early thirties, you start noticing the rest of your peers almost inevitably taking that doomed march down the wedding aisle. From the early fanfare of the first to take that fearful plunge to the most recent, you find them all slowly but surely changing from callow,feckless youths to responsible, happily married men.

Even the most unlikely fellows. 

Yes, even that deadbeat spending half his college life endlessly stoned on booze and drugs.  

During reunions, rather than the usual litany of complaints about distressing dates and deranged dames, you start getting tales about dirty diapers, infuriating in-laws... and yes, scary spouses. 

Hearing about couples settling into marriage does make me a teensy bit envious especially with Charming Calvin still on the far side of the Big Puddle. So when I hear their increasingly petty gripes and grouses, I'll admit I tend to get a bit exasperated. Very little sympathy from me, I'm afraid.  

Friend : Oh yes, I finally got a promotion last month. 
Paul : That's great! 
Friend : I wonder if I should tell my husband. 
Paul : You haven't told him? 
Friend : You think I should? 
Paul : It's been a month!
Friend : Sometimes I just don't feel like telling him things. Haven't even told him I'm pregnant yet. 
Paul : What!? But you're already four months along!
Friend : I'm sure he keeps lots of secrets from me too!

Seriously, would that count as a dysfunctional relationship? It's like they're intentionally trying to sabotage their own marriage!

Are you hiding something from me dammit?

Sadly that's not the first time I've heard of spouses deliberately withholding information from their significant others, usually for shockingly inconsequential reasons. Even had a colleague who tried to keep the clandestine purchase of an entire apartment a secret from her apparently oblivious husband! Do they actually think marriage is an intricate game of chess based on hidden strategy and power play? Is that what happens after several years into a committed relationship?

A bit disillusioned this week, I'll admit, especially after seeing so many seemingly happily wedded couples stumbling over themselves to head for the divorce courts instead.

So how did I first know Charming Calvin might be the one? Just the very moment I received my exam results. Once I knew that I had passed - and after that first ecstatic scream, I knew there were only two numbers to call; my parents and Calvin. That was when I knew I wanted him in my life. The happiest moments, the saddest moments; the ones you want to share any news with - no matter how trivial sometimes - are the ones you love.  

Friday, June 08, 2012

Seven Layered Face

Fellas, just drop that bar of soap you're thinking about using on your face.

Even straight guys these days should already know that plain soap and water isn't all that good for facial cleansing. But only blithely slapping on some cleanser and toner doesn't do the trick these days. No, it's time to move on to the seven wonders of facial products.

Yes, seven. I was shocked myself.

Seven? Dammit, I'm sure I missed a layer. Does toothpaste count?

Though I would like to think that the magic number seven comes from a mystical scroll full of beauty secrets recently found in a pristine virgin jungle somewhere, it actually comes from the perfectly moistened lips of Beauty Bryan.

Paul : Did you just say seven?
Bryan : Yes, I usually sleep at night with seven layers. 
Paul : OMG. You have seven layers of skin products on your face every night?
Bryan : Of course. Wait... you don't?
Paul : I can barely make it through two. 
Bryan : Well, it's cleansing, then toning. Then I put on some treatment essences, followed by a serum and a moisturiser. If it's the day time, I might add some sunscreen and BB cream. But if it's night time, I'd dab on some eye cream and more moisturiser.
Paul : OMG you're a fucking geisha!

Obviously the sadly inadequate skincare regime I have in hand is totally all wrong. Certainly nothing to be compared with what Bryan, our newly christened official skincare ambassador has been doing all this while! No doubt he has the dewy facial complexion of a newborn infant.

But seriously, with that many prehistoric layers of products on, wouldn't they just slide off one another seismic-shift style? Are there occasional toner eruptions? Had the disturbing image of the poor bewildered skin cells cowering under the relentless onslaught of a veritable tsunami of skincare products as toner, lotion and moisturizer battle for supremacy.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Steam Rooms

Just a brief mention of steam baths in front of a gaggle of genteel gay gentlemen and you'll get the usual knowing snickers followed by suggestive winks. Though steamy affairs in bathhouses were apparently quietly clandestine in the more intolerant past, these days bathhouses have gained a much-deserved notoriety for the baser pleasures amongst my gay brethren.

Despite the obvious carnal delights of anonymous sex readily available, I have never fancied steam baths. After all why stew maddeningly in the sweltering heat of an enclosed room when I can do pretty much the same in my boiling car during our maddening lunch hour traffic!

And honestly getting covered in sticky sweat isn't my idea of fun at all. Far too fastidious for that.

Worst of all... yes dammit, I can't wear my glasses in a steam room for obvious reasons - lens gets all fogged up - so I have to blunder in nearly blind. And that's without the foggy steam further obscuring my already impaired vision so you can imagine me stumbling around the darkened steam room searching for a space to meditate.

Praying to God I don't fall into someone's lap.

Gonna make you sweat!

So you can imagine how I greeted the announcement that a steam room would be added to the gym. Studiously ignored the clouds of steam wafting out from the darkened corridors each time I walked by. Till the day I saw the cute, incredibly fit muay thai instructor wandering in.

Dressed only in a teensy white towel with briefs in hand.

Since I'd already caught our fair Kick-ass Ken twice in wet black briefs, I knew he looked especially scrumptious. So seriously, how could I not follow? Sure Kick-ass Ken might be hopelessly straight but I can still drool in lustful admiration. Hell I practically tumbled off the exercise bike in the hurry to pursue. Work has necessitated a certain expediency to our actions so changing clothes didn't take very long.

Unfortunately when I got in, I realized I was practically blind. Sure I could see the fit fellow lounging on the seats but it was so blurry, I might as well be staring at a Monet up close.

Fark. I need contacts.

Friday, June 01, 2012

The Hidden Blade

Though as much as I would like it to be true,  it seems I'm still far from approaching zen as yet.

Apparently far too much barely repressed work rage simmering beneath the calm surface. So the occasional minor eruptions still occur leaving near innocent victims scorched in the fiery aftermath.  

Mindless rage!
Though much less regularly in comparison to my... more incendiary youth. Hell, I even had one of my infamous psychotic breaks for quite a while! Quite a few of my past colleagues would be amazed at what I allow to pass these days with barely an irritated frown, when similar exchanges in the past would have had me immediately combusting into a searing Vesuvius. Time does mellow even the most irritable volcanoes.

However even the mild spurts of aggravation that spill out occasionally still manages to sting the relatively thin-skinned locals here. According to my nurse Miranda Merry's daily weather reports, some of my nurses are actually afraid to call me - since I tend to bark on the telephone.

Nurse : Hello? 
Paul : What the hell do you want? 
Nurse : I.. umm..
Paul : Could you speak up? I seriously don't have all day. 
Nurse : There is a patient here. 
Paul : Obviously. I don't think you were trying to sell me some insurance. 
Nurse : No, I don't mean to say ...
Paul : You're getting to be a bore. Obviously it can't be that much of an emergency if you can chatter on about rubbish. 

Yes, I have zero phone etiquette.

Obviously not zen enough - even though I am actually so much nicer these days. Really! Seriously nothing close to the scalding comments I used to make at work leaving suicidal interns weeping piteously in my wake. Oh please, even my relatively benign snubs these days are ouchie hurtful?

Fortunately they didn't know me during my monstrous heyday.