Sunday, June 30, 2013

Frequent Fucking Flyer

Or what we would call FFK over here which basically stands for 'Fong Fei Kei'. In its native Cantonese dialect, it means 'those who betrayed or broke a promise / deal made with another party'. Otherwise better known as standing someone up.

Back in the olden times there could be no uncertain vacillation when it came to keeping an appointment. Without easily available cellphones, we had to make appointments hours to days in advance and then keep strictly to the engagement. And once we've all agreed to be there at a certain time, there was no practical, accessible way to retract that statement.

Man, it's already been almost an hour. Did they just FFK me?

Certainly no way to make an easy excuse to disregard said appointment.

Especially with increasingly inane reasons such as a moderate headache or mild lethargy. Even worse to let the date slip from memory. Seriously, the only valid excuses are death, dismemberment or disability.

Anything else is just... lame.

Paul : Hey, we're already here. What would you like? 
Friend ; Oh I forgot. 
Paul : You forgot about a dinner you planned? That you practically arm-twisted us to attend?
Friend : Sorry yeah.
Paul : Well you can still make it. We haven't ordered. 
Friend : Lazy to change lo.  
Paul : Bloody hell. 

Once I make that promise, I try my very best to keep to it. Short of a patient nearing death needing my immediate attention, I will be there. Am I terribly old-fashioned?

Sad to say, the advent of technology with cellphones at our fingertips has made us just a bit lax when it comes to keeping appointments. A tactless practice growing increasingly common where almost everyone's just an easy call - or text message - away. Thus making it almost acceptable for them to commit a social faux pas by not turning up at the very last moment with the most asinine excuses.

Or heading off to another assignation knowing full well that any prior engagements should have precedence.

It's inexcusable. Let me put it out here - it's damned rude to give your friends a pass at the very last moment. In local parlance, the next time if you ever wonder why people bojio you, then you probably have ffk people one time too many.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Art of French Parenting

For some peculiar reason better knownst to himself - even before I told him of my recent babymaking project - our friend Charming Calvin has decided to take up French Parenting. When I first heard it, I wondered if I'd mistook what he'd told me - like did he mean French Painting? French Cooking? French Baking?

Ah, I remember Paris!

Turns out it really was French Parenting! Something I can reasonably assume from his recent obsession with books expounding the relative merits of said Parenting. Whether inspired by the tortured father figure Jean Valjean and his overindulgent upbringing of Cosette or the recent opening of a oh-so-painfully-chic French cafe just a stone's throw away from his workplace... who knows.

Whatever his reasons, the man has taken to walking around with the latest bestseller by Pamela Druckerman guiding new parents to the world of French Parenting wherever he goes, possibly hoping to bring up his own bebe.

Paul : Does that mean you'll be the French parent?
Calvin : Oui oui!
Paul : So while I'll be the mean Asian Tiger parent holding the cane, you'll be donning fetching black berets and eating French baguettes?
Calvin : Mais oui!
Paul : Sure that's the extent of the book? 
Calvin : Oui!
Paul : That's the extent of your French, isn't it?
Calvin : Oui!
Paul : If that is so, you'd better learn to cook like the French as well.

Then Calvin starts with his painfully accurate Julia Child routine. After all that reading I should hope at least he'll learn how to say non when it comes to the bebe!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

It's All In The Genes

Since Father's Day just came and went just a week back, I figured it's time to talk about my plans for impending fatherhood - with fingers crossed and all that.

Longtime readers of this blog would have heard me going on and on and on about surrogacy / adoption etc. Even had more than one friend try to talk me out of it. No doubt I had to shelve all those fanciful daydreams for a while, what with my exams and my subsequent transfer after that. But it seems as if my life has finally settled down for a while, giving me time to dust off those almost forgotten plans of mine.

Especially when a trusted friend of mine gave me a significant nudge by sending me a flyer. :)

So yes despite all the nagging naysayers, I have been checking out surrogacy / adoption plans again, seriously this time. Always just hoping, wishing, thinking and planning about it isn't exactly gonna make it happen. Even roped in the help of a lawyer pal to review any possible legal problems that could crop up in the future.

Think it's about time I considered it.

For a homosexual man, turns out it isn't as easy as getting knocked up after one too many drinks at the bar. Ah so much easier for the straight boys sometimes. Not that many viable choices at hand but I have been going through the options available for me.

Adoption is a possibility but the waiting list is really long. And oddly enough there's nary an orphanage close by, only a foster home which is not exactly open for adoption.

With surrogacy being a definite possibility, it led me to wondering who should be the biological father. Wouldn't automatically assume that I should be the one bearing that responsibility - gosh my hideous troll genes? - but the more I think about Charming Calvin, the more I worry about the potential ramifications. Sure he's cute and smart and all.... but honestly he has the crappy immune system of an aged geriatric with an allergic response quicker to react than the Iranian moral police.

Mailed a couple of fertility clinics to check them out but of course, first I had to find out if I actually had viable swimmers.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Golem & The Educationists

I would consider both my parents thoroughly involved educationists, both in theory and in practice. In fact my painfully optimistic mother vehemently insists that there are no insufferably stupid people, only unquestionably awful teachers.

Lately I'd beg to differ, especially after being saddled with a stolid, simpleminded lackwit at work. Been brought up to shrink from ever using shockingly derogatory terms such as stupid but sometimes there really isn't any other politically-correct alternative.

Let's dub the stupefyingly slow creature as the Golem. Apparently a recent graduate of some dubious nursing school, she supposedly understands all the basics therein - but we've found all that to be patently untrue. Not a day passes at work that we don't find our poor feckless Golem blundering into one unfortunate mistake or another. Like watching a terrible calamity happen in painfully measured slow-motion.

Paul : Dammit the girl's gone bye-bye again. Hello? Anyone in there? 

Just today, our senseless Golem couldn't even tell the difference between a urinary catheter and a nasogastric tube; and tried to substitute one for the other. And let's not talk about shortly afterward when her clumsy attempts at trying to fix the tube to a drainage bag caused a deluge of near-apocalytic proportions.

Repeated reminders only cause her to fall into a near catatonic stupor, close to a complete mental shutdown since apparently she can only accept one command at a time. Otherwise like any other automaton, the Golem crashes under the relentless pressure.

Nurse : Sent the patient out and call the next one in, Golem. Then get the phone and call the surgeon.
Golem : Yes... yes... yes... too many... can't comprehend.
Paul : Dammit.... not again.
Nurse : Did she freeze? What happened to her?
Paul : The Golem can only input one command at a time. Too many random commands at one go causes her to head into a shutdown while she processes her thoughts. 
Golem : Yes... yes... call.. send... call..
Nurse : How do we reboot the Golem?
Paul : Maybe slap her upside the head?

Yes, we can be pretty mean at the workplace. Hard to remain perfectly civil when the Golem falls into her incoherent gaga state during a dire emergency situation.

As my conscientious parents keep reminding me, God knows our Golem can be taught - at least I hope - but what if she doesn't want to learn? Mind you, it has been a couple of months with the rest of the nursing staff offering gentle pointers. Doesn't seem to be having any lasting effect on her.

Maybe rebooting her is the right idea. 

Sunday, June 16, 2013

The BallBreaker

Have to admit school reunions aren't exactly my thing. Last time I actually attended one was about five years back - and though I enjoyed meeting up with my old classmates, drunken carousing at midnight with the all-boys club wasn't exactly my style. Doesn't mean I haven't kept up with the lot of them, especially since modern technology has provided ways and means to connect us all with groups on facebook.

Which is how I found myself almost tittering to myself when I found a picture of the latest high school reunion. Had the usual suspects there of course, the callow boys I knew all turned to mature men now, all a bit more worn, weathered and wrinkled around the edges, but what surprised me was the unlikely presence of a particularly contemptible schoolmaster we all dubbed the Ballbreaker.

Which he actually did literally - ballbreaking, that is. Utterly infamous around our all-boys school for chastening his recalcitrant students by squeezing their barely protected crotches.

Not that I'd ever been a victim of his legendary gropes. Since I was a more conscientious student than most, that meant my projects were always finished in time, my homework was on the table by morning etc. Which significantly reduced the chances of any sort of disciplinary action.

Unfortunately more than I can say for some of my classmates. Since the Ballbreaker taught both an academic subject - and suspiciously enough, physical education as well, his punitive measures tended to extend to the field. So much easier to crush balls with only short shorts to protect the family jewels. Of course I'll have to admit to the slightest stirring of interest when I witnessed some of my hunkier classmates being involuntarily manhandled... down there. Quite an electrifying thrill to see a row of mortified boys yipping, yelping and yowling as they had their burgeoning teenage balls crushed by a knowing man's hand.

Shit, you mean it's my turn to get a crotch grab?

Sounds like the perfect setting for porn; guess I should have known by then that I could be gay. Ballbusting ballsy bad boys? Wouldn't have minded giving him a helping hand. Funny how it's always the fitter, hunkier boys who skive off from schoolwork.

But back then innocent Catholic schoolboys that we were, the very thought of  anything smacking of homosexuality would have been utterly unspeakable, if not impossible. These days, the Ballbreaker probably would be suspended with half a dozen claims of sexual misconduct. Whether he was actually a closet homosexual - or just a cruel sadist who enjoyed the sounds of boys crying out in pain while tip-toe dancing to his incessant abuse, we'll never know of course.

So to find the Ballbreaker taking a photo with some of his unwilling past victims had me smiling. Since most have turned out to be reasonably sane, somewhat rational heterosexual males, obviously the unwarranted abuse failed to leave any lasting mental or emotional scars. Just surprised they haven't clobbered him yet.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Singing in the Rain

Oh God I hate the rain.

How many times have we heard that common lament spoken aloud? As the nebulous dark clouds gather threateningly to herald the arrival of a tropical storm, our increasingly anxious friends and colleagues immediately wail, whine and whimper over the alleged atrocities of rain, blaming the seemingly innocuous falling droplets of water for the endless traffic jams ( true! ) to persistently despondent moods ( patently untrue ).

And of course blithely hoping beyond hope for the imminent return of the sun.

Dang, looks like it's gonna pour. 

Seriously, I can totally understand such blind optimism when you're living in the Big Smoke ( or any other gloomy temperate country ) with unprepossessing daily forecasts of gloomy overcast sky and chilly inclement weather. At least a warm cheery sun bursting through the melancholy clouds would offer a sweet respite from the oppressive dullness of the gray.

But we're in sunny tropical Malaysia where blindingly sunny days and clear blue skies are the norm rather than the exception. So why share in the prevailing Western thought overwhelmingly shared by all that sunny days are oh so great?

Not that I dislike sunny days but hey come on, it would please me to have more cloudy days - at least to quell the horrible sweltering heat we've been having almost year-round.

Nothing better to hear than the soft splish splash pattering of falling rain. Rainy days make me smile. They make me wanna reach out for my vivid yellow umbrella and gray raincoat to dance and sing in the rain.

Rainy days are for getting our feet soaking wet as we splash through muddy puddles. Rainy days are for curling up on a comfortable sofa with a well-thumbed novel and a steaming hot cup of coffee. Rainy days are for gazing out the rain-drenched windows to dream of wispy castles in the air. Rainy days are for pulling up the thick blankets for another few hours of welcome slumber.

Even the occasional crash of thunder and lightning exhilarates me. Guess I am a child of the storm. Bring on the rain. 

Sunday, June 09, 2013

Dream A Little Nightmare

Don't ask me what goes on when a patient actually goes under. Certainly on the top ten list of FAQs for your friendly neighbourhood anaesthetist. Honestly though, we might be able to explain the biological mechanics of it all along with the underlying scientific theories but what actually goes on in a patient's brain when he slips under the euphoric miasma of anaesthetic gases is beyond what we'll ever know.

At least not without employing a specialized highly-trained team of mutant psychics.

Or till some future super-genius figures out a way.

Till then we can only guess what goes on when a patient finally shuts his eyes after counting to ten. As far as I know, excessive emotions usually spill into the dreams or nightmares that follow, all courtesy of the Sandman. So far two patients have actually stood out in my career as the most bizarre cases ever - and one happened this very morning.

Colleague : WTF just happened?
Paul : I was going to ask you the same thing. Mysteries of medicine?
Colleague : Yeah, mysteries of medicine.

  1. Years back when I first started in the department, we had a sweet young lady placed under general anaesthesia for a simple routine procedure. Everything went according to protocol as usual without nothing amiss - at least till the end.

    Once the gases were turned off, as she began her slow return to reality, we all heard a soft moan. Could have been an agonized cry but as the rhythmic moans grew in shocking intensity and volume - along with staccato gasps, it started becoming almost impossible to mistake as anything but a pre-orgasmic sexual symphony.

    And that was all before she started to smile. Still terribly naive - and unfamiliar with such a startling development, I could have sworn my face must have turned three different shades of crimson. Of course once the deliriously ecstatic patient actually woke up - with tell-tale beads of sweat crowning her flushed forehead, none of us even dared ask her what she'd dreamt of.

    Yes, our drugs can occasionally tease out the more amorous desires of a person.

  2. Not to mention it can sometimes play the role of an uncertain veritas serum.

    Which is what happened today when we encountered an even more shocking incident. Slim young fellow, quite charming actually, came in for something utterly untoward as well but the moment we called him back from the drowsy mists of anaesthesia, his eyes flew open wide and he literally screamed bloody murder. 'I killed him. I stabbed him with a sword. I did that!'

    Not exactly a run-of-the-mill confession.

    Needless to say, the nurses and I were a tad bit freaked by the unexpected incident. Hard to tell whether his fearful nightmares have actually merged with hard reality, especially since the fellow can't actually recall what he was dreaming about after, even on repeated questioning.  
Seriously though, working in medicine can be utterly unpredictable, you just never know what's going to come around the next corner.

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Stick A Koyok And Call Me In The Morning

Bet some of you would be wondering what's a koyok. Basically it's a colloquial term for our local medicated transdermal patches used as topical analgesia for various commonplace aches and pains from backaches to arthritis. Rather than relying on medical opioids as Western patches do, the ones here are chockful of esoteric herbal mysteries - even red hot chilli! - that help relieve muscle aches. Think of it as a poultice in a plaster.

Koyok. Something we generally associate with the dangerously decrepit stooped over with age. Along with other dependable time-tested panaceas such as cough syrups and medicated oils, the koyok is kept in the medicine cabinets of almost every Asian home with an elderly representative. Even a whiff of that familiar mentholated scent is enough to signal the imminent arrival of a venerable geriatric.

At least that's what I used to think.

Ow, I wrenched my back. Care to give me a massage?

You see, apart from the occasional lower back sprain when I stoop low over my patients to set impossible brannulas, I generally don't suffer from the usual aches and pains. Fortunately my back remains relatively pain-free, even with my encroaching senility.

Which is more than I can say for my juniors.

Paul : What is that on your back?
Intern : Koyok lo.
Paul : What?
Intern : A medicated plaster.
Paul : I know what it is. I'm just wondering why!
Intern : Well I started having a terrible back ache a few weeks back. Scans all normal, it's just a bad back.  
Paul : At your age?!
Intern ; Having a bit of pain in my knees as well.
Paul : Good God, are you falling apart?

The wear and tear of old age.

And I'm talking about relative striplings more than a decade younger than ancient old me. Even a couple of my just graduated nurses. Just peculiar to see these unblemished, unwrinkled, oh-so-youthful backs riddled with koyoks all over. More often we see them generously applied on weathered, leathery, age-spotted hunched backs.

So what exactly is the problem here? Blame early aging? Blame the ever-addictive computer for their abnormal postures? Blame the oh-so-comfortable cushioned seats ruining their back alignment?

Sunday, June 02, 2013

The Mistress Comes Calling

Build it and they will come.

Of course I didn't realize what that old adage actually meant was building a modest fortune to have the hunters inevitably come sniffing around. Apparently Fabian Fabulouso was right when he said the boys would start coming around, and he did mean hungry boy-toys in search of a lil bit of sugar.

Trust me, I didn't even have to come up with an advertisement.

Like ravenous lil bloodhounds, these enterprising young fellows can somehow unerringly sense the presence of a patron willing to spend on a night of fun - a whiff of desperation and testosterone perhaps - and then find ingenious ways and means to acquire a proper introduction.

Even the unexpected SMS.

And I've always been a curious sort.

Sir, would you like some more? 

Indeed what surprised me wasn't the bartering act itself - their youth and beauty for a handful of cash - but the shocking candor of it all. Blatantly offering blow jobs in return for a tight roll of cash certainly strips away the romance of the chase. Coming from a jaded youth barely past his teens - despite having the enviably tight musculature of an adult Adonis, it leaves me almost speechless. Boy came just short of listing out his admittedly delectable attractions on a salacious menu with indiscreet price tags listed at the side.

Not in the least bit coy. Rather than sly flirtatious seduction at play, in fact it bears all the amorous enchantment of a cold sober financial transaction - which is to say little to none.

Boy : Can pay me upfront or after. 
Paul : Clear enough.
Boy : Prefer cash. 
Paul : Cool. 
Boy : And if it's adequate, perhaps a new laptop for me after?
Paul : That depends on the performance.
Boy : It's only 6 K.
Paul : To dole out that much, I'd need you to be in my sexual servitude for at least a month.

Maybe men look at getting off from a more practical point of view.

But I find it just a tad disconcerting. Perhaps these boys prefer to cut to the chase but in the subtle art of flirtation, they really have much to learn from the beguiling Mata Haris of past. As business-minded as they seem, I wonder if they even issue a tax-deductible receipt after the dirty deed!