|i could go on for 40 days and 40 nights about my blog title and bore you to bits and pieces with 10,000 different ideas i actually had for the name of this blog but because of the 500 characters limit that is imposed upon this mechanism which, by the way, is supposed to promote free speech, i shall shorten it to just two words basically describing what the hell this is all about and who this hell belongs to.|
Monday, April 30, 2007
project 355: it's in your eyes
i had dinner about two weeks back with the boyfriend and his two art school friends, Nic and Gen at our favorite sandwich restaurant, Subway. so there we were happily munching on our dinner and enjoying that fact that there's only 6 grams of fat and a 'healthier choice' symbol awarded to it. all of a sudden, the boyfriend gives a wry smile. that's always a sign of impending scandal and gossip.
'Oh my god! I have something scandalous to tell you about Darren (name changed to protect the not-so-innocent). And it's regarding you!'
this was accompanied with the flailing of his Over-Roasted Chicken Breast in Honey Oat sandwich, which resulted in the unintended descent to the ground of several julienned pieces of lettuce.
Darren, is one of the boyfriend's course mates from stewarding classes. he's very tall, not that dark, and quite the handsome thing if you like chiselled/defined features. throw in the fact that he smokes and he rides a bike, he's the ultimate bad boy. ironically, his girlfriend (i know, i know, he's straight) is only as tall as his mid-torso. but i've talked to both of them before and they are as loving as Romeo and Juliet can be without all the star-crossed crap. and i like loving couples.
but like i said, i met this chap before. it was over a Chinese New Year gathering at one of the boyfriend's course mates and all his gorgeous and good-looking air stewarding friends were there. according to the boyfriend, only he and i were the only homosexual things in that gathering. and if you asked me, it was pretty obvious given that the boyfriend brought along his 'best friend' who cooked the pasta for this particular pot-luck gathering. i was wearing a Pink Ben Sherman polo, which just added fuel to the already salmon-coloured flames.
'What about Darren? *gasp* You mean he's gay? He broke up with the girlfriend and is now trying to have sex with you? Oh, oh.... i knew it all along!! Old news, old news. Move along.'
obviously, i wouldn't be able to guess what exactly happen until it came right from the boyfriend's mouth. which is why i nearly choked on Over-Roasted chicken breast and pickle bits when i heard what the boyfriend said next:
'I came out to Darren!' (flying lettuce)
the boyfriend, if i remember correctly, once said that he would never come out to his stewarding friends for fear of rejection, disgust and the usual range of emotions that appear whenever a gay person comes out to their straight friends. except for Darren. and i think Darren is the type of person who is open to homosexuals. i mean, i've smoked a cigarette with him during that new year gathering and talked to him. and he gives me that impression lah.
'Seriously.... but i thought you wouldn't come out to any of your air stewarding people'
'Darren's special what! And besides, he's the type that's open to this sort of thing!'
just when i thought that the boyfriend coming out to his course mate was going to be the topic of the evening, the boyfriend continued peppering the environment with more scandalous gossip and lettuce bits.
'You know what else he said? He guessed that i was gay because of you! He caught you checking out some of the other air stewarding people there. Something about the way your eyes kept fixating on the guys. Somebody's been naughty ah....'
as i mentioned, the people at the gathering were a bunch of air crew, all hand-picked from interviews. obviously they were judged based on their looks, physique and general character. when a feast for the eyes is laid in front of you, you should not deny yourself the treat. all you need to do is just sit down and partake of your fair share of visual pleasure. it never did anyone any harm. hell, it has zero calories and trans-fats as well.
but i guess the way my eyes had a sparkle while talking to the male air crew at the gathering was a tad too intense. and Darren, being someone of a high EQ could pick up these minute details that most could not. i think what counts at the end of the day is that you just involve the sense of sight and sound when checking out someone. anything beyond that is crossing the line. and i swear to the boyfriend, that i am still quite far from the line.
my only retort to the boyfriend's accusation?
'you also check out other guys when we walk in the streets what!'
to which the boyfriend replied:
'that's different. they are strangers. these are my course mates okay!'
like there's a difference! being the loving boyfriend, i decided to let the other half win this one. i continued munching on the leftover veggies. at the same time, carrying out the boyfriend-ly duties of picking up random pieces of lettuce on the table.
Sunday, April 29, 2007
project 355: fag fagging on the roof
apparently, most of the cigarette butts on the hospital's roof are mine. so i took the time out to make some random art out of them.
Saturday, April 28, 2007
project 355: dinner with the fag stag
it's not everyday that i become keen to have dinner with a heterosexual man. prolly something to do with bad conversation and crude jokes about women's bits. plus, chances are, i would have to use every social and mental prowess available (not forgetting plenty of alcohol), before i can even get him to take off his pants. too tiring when you have an abundance of men's spas in Singapore.
still, i can't deny that when dining with the straight, i tend to partake of grub that tastes way better than what the homosexuals these days are eating. instead of the usual fare of veggies and funky-tasting olive oil-soaked food, you get cuisine best-described with words like 'pan-fried', 'stir-fried' or even 'deep-fried' (*gasp*). as you can see, this normally strikes terror in the hearts (and guts) of the typical gay person. the straight prolly just shrug it off thinking that fat is the new thin.
this is why i'm glad that the Magnus is finally back in Singapore, after a 16 month working stint in Brunei. in case you haven't read, i mentioned Magnus in my previous post about change and the boyfriend. he's the straight guy with the smarmy and somewhat blatant advice ('Fuck lah, just change.'). Magnus and i worked together at the same organization in Brunei previously. both of us picked up smoking there and more often than not had one too many times of instant noodles with diced pork cubes for meals. there was even a period of time when we tried to complete a one-player PS2 RPG together (which is quite an accomplishment given that i'm quite selfish when it comes to the playstation; i hate 2-player games).
however, the most defining thing about the Magnus is that he knows that i'm gay. all this came about through a big hoo-hah caused when someone from Brunei stumbled upon my blog by chance (hint: internet history on shared computers). i had already left the country by then. now, i'm sure everyone back at work knows that i'm the gayest thing to have ever graced the shores of Brunei. i can imagine my ex-colleagues busy replacing all the 'shes' i've ever mentioned with 'hes' and 'girlfriend' with 'boyfriend'. even a story i once told them about anal sex now takes on a totally whole new meaning.
but here's the catch with regards to the gay issue between the Magnus and me: we haven't officially talked about it. and this is the same for many of my other straight friends who happen to know about my blog, but haven't really got the chance to officially talk about my being gay. not that i find it awkward or anything because we always have plenty to talk about. but just like chewing gum in your mouth or a lump of hard shit that refuses to leave your bowels, clearing the issue leaves more options that can be explored (in the above mentioned, oral/anal sex). it's just a metaphor though, so don't freak.
and so it was over har gao and xiu mai at Xin Wang (a local Hong Kong dim sum food outlet) that we recollected all the great times that we had in Brunei. i decided that it would be today that i would break the 'gay news' to the Magnus. it would be a slow and comfortable process with plenty of psychological-landing cushions thrown in for added effect. i was all prepared to leave with my Crumpler if things get really awkward, or worse-still, violent!
little did i know that without saying anything, the Magnus automatically brought up the topic when i mentioned the name of a certain someone i had the hots for in Brunei. of course, i had to spoil this magical moment of harmony between two different sexualities with a really redundant question for the Magnus:
'I'm gay, do you mind?'.
'Fuck you lah, i'm having dinner with you. What do you think?'
that's the Magnus for you.
PS. we ended the evening with cigarettes, beer and dessert at a Coffee Club which was conveniently located outside California Fitness. 'dessert' very much open for interpretation.
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
project 355: chang-chang-change
i woke up this morning, feeling like i really ought to change something in my life.
the relationship is fast reaching a plateau (if not already). no more sweet nothings. no more extra ordinary gifts from whatever exotic destinations. three SMSes a week, and most of them replied at least a few hours after i sent them. hell, we haven't even had sex in slightly over a month. is it me? is it him? what's wrong with us?
i guess when you put two placid people together, you get even more pictures of serene-looking lakes and river brooks. which is all good if you have been over-exposed to change and want some peace and serenity for once.
thus, the Magnus, a fag stag of mine is one who has a tendency to dispense sartorial advice at times like these. an army mate whom i've known since Brunei, he's my gaming buddy, smoking partner, scratch pole and guru all combined in one. a random conversation we had over MSN sorta put me into perspective regarding change.
Magnus: Hey, how's life?
Me: Same ol', Same ol'
Me: Pretty much.
Magnus: You should always try something new in life everyday. Like do something different to the same things to do everyday. That way, it'll be more interesting.
Me: Like for example?
Magnus: Like instead of drinking coffee always, you could try having a cola instead.
Me: But there's a reason why i do coffee, it fuels me with energy
Magnus: Coke also has caffeine what!
Me: But coffee tastes better.
Magnus: Fuck lah. Just change.
which is kinda true for most of us, i guess. we enjoy our old favourites so much that we like to get stuck in the same rut. maybe the mud in the rut is really wonderful and has a great dermatological effect on combination skin, but greater things were never achieved unless something changed. we all need someone in our lives to kick our asses and get us moving us. the Magnus, unbeknownst to him, is sorta like my catalyst for change.
oh well, change is in the air. but your 5 cents and 10 cents worth of opinions are still much appreciated.
PS. for a change, i've decided to not put a picture. or maybe i'm just fucking lazy.
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
project 355: poke it through ma nipples!
(blogger's note: something that i've always wanted to talk about but never got a proper chance to. originally meant for Fridae, but swapped for something else in the end. meant to titillate... literally)
how many people do you know have nipple piercings?
unless you belong to your local BDSM support group, I think there aren’t many people in the Asian context who have knowledge of someone with piercings on the nipples. what more then, to be a proud owner of a pair? but just like piercings on any other part of the body other than the ears, they are mainly meant for reinforcing one’s identity. unless you’re one of those men who find every reason to take off their tops on Sundays at the gay clubs, chances are, that seldom do other people get to see your piercings.
with all that said, let me just say that i have a piercing fetish.
but let me explain first, before you think that I get all orgasmic over screaming girls and gay men who have just seen Wentworth Miller walking down the red carpet... shirtless (*piercing shrieks*).
today’s topic is something that’s of much relevant to those of an exploratory and deviant nature: body piercings. you know... nipple rings, naval piercings, Prince Alberts and anything else that you can possibly think of to decorate the great Christmas tree down south with. and given that I used to have bilateral nipple piercings since the tender age of 16, it’s something that is both literally and metaphorically, close to the heart.
most of the men whom I have had sex with often show looks of surprise and disgust when I reveal my nipple piercings. it happens so often that I’ve come to expect it. A majority of them would normally proceed on as per sexual protocol, taking great care to avoid licking or even touching the nipples. the experienced ones would carry on and titillate. the bad ones took this chance to literally chew through your nipples, as if they were doggie treats, absolutely devoid of pain and sensation. of course, there are the rare few who get so freaked out that they politely request that I remove them before carrying on. Believe me, there’s a lot of uncharted territory when sex and piercings are involved. here's a tip: the key is to treat them like normal nipples, except that they have bits of metals in them. don't rip them off though, it's a bitch having to put them back again.
still, the niprings did not just serve as an ornament to shock and awe. they actually helped me tide through the identity crisis that comes attached with being a gay teenager. There was an entire period of time when I defined my sexuality status as ‘confused’. Those were tumultuous times. Not that I had a girlfriend or even sexual contact with any of the girls. But I thought a lot during that period. And it didn’t help that I didn’t have any social resources that I could share problems with. I, for one, was not part of the ‘in’ and uber-cool crowd that could practically flit through the secondary school setting like social butterflies.
Every village needs an idiot and the school too, requires its fair share of freaks and nerds. And a nerd indeed I was. I hung out with a group of other socially-inept boys who waxed lyrical about video games everyday. We discussed in-game strategies and the statistics about whether using (insert name of strongest weapon in game) or (insert name of 2nd strongest weapon in game) was a better bet to defeat the final boss. Nearly all of us were fighting losing battles against acne. And it didn’t help that I was overweight, sucked at all things sports-related, was crap at studies and had a gay identity crisis that nobody knew about. All this resulted in an overall lack of confidence. Hence I was the unofficial scratch pole for those irritating social houseflies.
It wasn’t until 15 when I chanced upon a website while surfing porn on my 56k. It was a wide collection of pictures meant for gay men with any fetish you could possibly think of. And boy, did it have a wide spectrum of them ranging from the mild (vanilla, shavings, uniforms) to the wild (nipple clamps, vegetables and of course, piercings). I was extremely piqued by the piercings section though. There was something about the macho men and their alternative piercing spots that made me feel like I could relate to them. They were prolly considered as freaks by the mainstream. And as a member of the outcast, that was something I could identify myself with. It was at that point of time that I committed to having nipple piercings.
About a month later, I was sitting in front of the bed room mirror, armed with a safety pin, a lighter, alcohol wipes and some Kleenex. It was a bad decision because I never did any research online and as evidenced by my inability with sports, I was a loser when it came to having a good aim. I’ve learnt that when it involves piercings, you should never do it without seeking the help of a professional. I didn’t have the luxury of ample funding back then, so I mustered what little I had and made do with it.
Still, if you like pain and prefer the route of the DIY, at least get a friend to help. There’s a tendency to over-estimate the exit puncture and end up with a lop-sided nipple piercing, which was what happened in my case. It wasn’t perfect, but it still got the job done. I went back to school the next day, filled with this secret sense of pride for having gone against the mainstream. I remember actually thinking to myself that ‘I’m special’ for being the only person in my school for having nipple piercings.
It wasn’t easy though when one of my classmates discovered my nipple rings during a sweaty PE class. The whole class eventually knew. I was prodded and pinched like fresh fish at the wet market. When people talk to me, their eyes would inadvertently be staring at my chest. And everybody referred to the piercings as ‘it’. The good thing though, was that I wasn’t ridiculed or verbally abused as bad as my pre-nipring days. I guess I had struck a chord of street cred for daring to do something like piercings. Either that or they preferred to express their abuse physically with the pinches and prods. I think I’ll go with the former.
These days, I don’t wear my rings anymore. Because growing up, I realize that there’s so much more than just a pair of nipple rings to one’s character. I’m glad that they were there to help me tide through an identity crisis. But I can’t rely on them to help me stay strong forever right? After all, long term wearing of nipple rings and the effect of gravity on old age tends to cause those nipples to droop. By then, will the girls and gay men at the red carpet be shrieking in delight, or in terror?
Monday, April 23, 2007
project 355: yah lah, yah lah, i took MC
one of my patients made an observation the other day:
'wah! you all seem very understaffed hor? i notice all of you nurses walk up and down very fast! have you had lunch?'
as i hand over his request for a urinal and screen the curtains, i steal a glance at the mirror that's just beside his bed. i'm sweating, my uniform is stained with body fluids of an unknown source, and the supposedly 'super-hold' product that holds my hair in its well-coiffed place is not working that well. the words to describe what i see are 'overworked' and 'starving'. because i haven't had lunch. or breakfast even.
but it always seems to be the case that the typical hospital in Singapore being a severely understaffed place of employment. the fact that the registered nurse in Singapore takes care of twelve patients on average per shift, covers a broader job scope than their (insert random country) colleagues and has a salary that is equivalent to your typical desk-bound office person... i would say it's not very encouraging at all. top that off with the hospital's never-ending emphasis on service-oriented care and you have a crisis in the making. the only things that keep me sane in this job is prolly coffee, and of course, my lovely little sticks of Viceroy.
obviously, not everyone is like me, a big reliant on coffee and cigarettes. i guess, this is why MC (medical certificate) rates are so high in the hospital. every week, there's bound to be someone who takes an MC. don't get me wrong though, i'm not against MCs. in fact, i'm all FOR MCs if you're not feeling that well or perhaps overworked. there's a catch though: everyone else at work has to cover for you when you take that luxurious day off to recover. and this is what starts of the vicious cycle of MCs. the lack of manpower leads to work stress which leads to tired nurses which leads to people falling sick easily which leads to them actually falling sick which ends up with more MCs. and it repeats all over again!
if you ask me though, this is actually the perfect excuse for the tonsillitis-prone me, to take an MC every two months. besides, i am entitled to 14 days of medical leave, why not make full use of it? and i'm not intending to stay with this hospital forever, so i couldn't care less what it thinks of me too.
thus it was with oh-so-great 'reluctance' that i took an MC on Sunday for tonsillitis. i woke up that day feeling crappier than i normally would. my throat was aching like i ignored my gag reflex and swallowed a twelve inch dick the night before. and i had puffy eyes that couldn't be covered with dollops of concealer. all classic signs and symptoms of a bout of tonsillitis for me. which was very agreeable with me, because i haven't had a luxury day off in a very long time. plus, i could skip church given that my body picked a Sunday to fall sick.
why then, the inverted commas accompanying reluctance?
well, remember my anti-team sentiments? i expected the dirty looks when i returned to work the next day. and true enough, my supervisor shot me one (attached with a comment on smoking leading to tonsillitis). several colleagues shot me another few (which i will remember to shoot back to them in due time). but that's the thing about being Asian. everyone else expects you to work as hard as themselves. so much so that taking a break is considered as taboo. many times have i heard of colleagues being rejected for scholarships because of their high MC rates. this is despite a stellar record of good work performance and commendable feedback from many patients.
which brings to mind several questions: when it comes to performance indicators, should MC rates be considered as a factor for rating? is there even something wrong with taking a break when you're not feeling well? or does this whole vicious cycle of MCs come about, simply because of the nature of work in the busy Singaporean hospital setting?
none the less, i had the best rest i had in days, albeit a little drowzy (post-flu medications). and i managed to get some blogging done too. so i think it's beneficial for everyone (including this blog's readers) that i took an MC, no?
que tango, lady justice
next fridae post, in case any of you are too shy to visit the fridae mainpage.
death, dying and a dance with lady tango
the boyfriend is much better now. he still occasionally has one-way conversations with his nenek. but i'm sure she's watching down from above, keeping an eye on the air steward grandson. which is kinda disturbing actually. what if she sees us kiss? *gasp*
all that said, i kinda miss her too.
Saturday, April 21, 2007
project 355: you can sub it MY way!
i have very bad eating habits. and admittedly, most of them are craving-based. i could be a good gay person and be munching on crudites and low-fat salad dip for lunch. by dinner however, you would find me at McDonald's ravenously wolfing down a McSpicy. which basically defeats the purpose of the crudites in the first place.
maybe i lack the self-discipline to calculate my calorie intake, or maybe it's just the fact that i'm bad with numbers. but don't you think it's too troublesome to keep thinking about calorie count when it comes to food? besides, we only live once and in this volatile world where anything can happen at anytime, i feel that one shouldn't deprive oneself of favorite foods, be it healthy or not. i guess this is why i always give in to cravings. mostly, unhealthy ones, unfortunately.
i remember one time when i had a sudden pseudo-pregnancy urge for peppermint milk tea with pearls. right away, i dropped whatever i was doing and tottered my way to the nearest bubble tea shop, buying four cups of peppermint milk tea at a go, all with extra pearls. of course, i skipped eating anything for that entire day. not that it helped, though it did quell the accumulating guilt (and gut).
but tis' true that the world is very divided when it comes to eating habits. obviously, there is a clear line drawn between the ones who eat to live, and the ones who live to eat. equally obvious too would be the fact that i belong to the latter. which prolly explains why the boyfriend is full of love, while i'm just full of love handles.
this is why going out for meals with the boyfriend is indeed a good thing for me. he's in the Unofficial Queen of Nutrition Labels. at the supermarket, he scrutinizes the nutritional facts for any indications of trans fats and calorie content. me on the other hand, will just look at the presentation of food on the packaging. if it looks tantalizing and is accompanied with words like 'low-fat!' or 'reduced sugar!', i will buy the product in all the three different flavors available.
this is also evident when we pick an eatery for meals. i tend to bring up a never-ending list of foods which slowly get gunned down one-by-one (eg. pasta, fast food, Malay food, western sets) for being too oily, too fattening, too expensive, etc. and just when i'm panicking about how boring our food choices have become, the boyfriend will always think of something cheap and healthy. my growing waistline has no choice but to admit defeat. ok lah, not defeat but a truce that benefits both the boyfriend and my pant size.
most of the time though, it's soup and/or sandwiches. and when it comes to sandwiches, there can be only one place that both of us will agree on: SUBWAY. 6 grams of fat and healthier choice symbols come to mind. i've never been a fan of Subway till the boyfriend introduced it to me on a regular basis. there's something about sandwiches for meals that just doesn't fill up the stomach like it's supposed to. that was until i had my first subway sandwich with the boyfriend. add in a coke light and perhaps a Peanut Butter cookie and your tummy is beyond full.
nowadays, instead of bubble tea, i simply have cravings for Subway sandwiches. that's the good thing. the bad thing is, THERE NO SUBWAY ANYWHERE NEAR MY PLACE!! (cue horror theme) i stay in the far west. the nearest Subway i can think of is even further west, all the way in Boon Lay! to make things worse, even my place of employment doesn't have a Subway too! which is why i spend so much money on iced coffee (kopi-peng) instead. it's not as healthy, but it'll do. sigh. maybe the hospital should cut back on publicity and spend on a healthier alternative like Subway.
i'll end this today with a Subway question that the boyfriend and i always have discussions about. how do you pronounce Chipotle? is it KI-POTE-LEH? or CHI-POTE-TLE? because every time we want the Chipotle Southwestern Sauce for our sandwiches, we skip the Chipotle and just say 'Can i have the Southwestern?'. either than or we stick to boring ol' Oil and Vinegar/Mayonnaise/Mustard/Sweet Onion. it's the equivalent of saying 'Can i have item no. 32 on your menu?' at an uber-posh French restaurant. it's as offensive to your Maître d' as it is to your Sandwich Artist. so if you know, please enlighten. because it wouldn't do my Italian 6 inch Beef Steak sandwich with all the vegetables in it any justice unless it's the southwestern sauce.
Friday, April 20, 2007
project 355: the ME in TEAM
of course, everybody in the team is so engrossed shaking hands and patting each other's shoulders that they forgot the big gaping ME that can be found in it. on a side note, team also forms MEAT, which can be interpreted in a carnal sense (eg. team of people + 'meat' = orgy) or perhaps something more contradictory to the nature of team work (eg. You're dead MEAT, people!).
regardless, the hospital i work at is an awfully big place with quite a fair number of staff, both administrative and health-care related. and what better way to reach out to the massive number of clueless staff and patients than mass publicity. everywhere i go in the hospital, it's choke full of self-praise. and you know what they say about self praise, being no praise at all and in fact, an international disgrace. turn to the left, and you see a gigantic wall of charitable works. to the right, an even bigger number of hospital staff who have received numerous awards for good service rendered. up ahead? a large display case with the hospital's rich history for all to see. looking closely at the prints, those posters don't look cheap at all.
all that said, i very much dislike 'oh-so-subtle' corporate messages. most of the time, both the staff and public are confused as to who the people up there are trying to reach out to. is this some form of self-praise regarding team work? is this meant to represent the values of the organization? is the organization trying to make the staff more united? omg! you mean the staff of this organization that's taking care of my (insert random loved one) are not united? either way, nobody seems to get the intent of the message.
and it doesn't help that the hospital has taken it upon themselves this time, to launch a pretty massive campaign for this 'team work' thingamajig. every single lift in the hospital has a 'team work' poster stuck in it and on last count, i think there are about 50 plus lifts in the building. throw in several large banners that scream 'HEY! WE WORK TOGETHER AS A UNITED FAMILY, PEOPLE!', one realizes that it's a lot of publicity money being spent. i can't help but convert publicity money into staff welfare funds and guess what? we can actually afford to air-condition-ize quite a few wards if we cut back on all that self-praise junk. very poignant in humid li'll Singapore.
still, it's undeniable that the ME takes up half the space available in TEAM. i daresay that the metaphor of the ME simply speaks for itself. there will always be a ME person in a team, one that dominates as the leader calling the shots. and you know me lah, the anti-leadership person. or as i always re-butt, leader-shit. i've never been a great fan of leaders or even teams for that matter. the libran in me is just too exhausted to consider everyone's feelings and opinions. it's made even worse when your team members are an incompetent lot and you have to pick up the slack for them.
but i digress. in case you're wondering, you may think that i have anti-conglomerate sentiments with regards to the hospital i'm employed with now. but let me clarify, i love the hospital like a through and through employee. i mean, i have been with them for like what... 4-5 years coming? from my student days all the way till now. and believe me, i have seen the walls change from plain, stoic walls to colorful murals screaming the hospital's charitable deeds. i just feel that some things are just better left unsaid. like the guy who arrives in church early to lay out the chairs for you every sunday? or perhaps the volunteer at the old folk's home making a difference in the lift of your grandmother? the point is, good deeds tend to stand out better if you don't boast about them. i just wished that the hospital share my sentiments on this issue.
and out of point though. TEAM can also be rearranged to form MATE. which is no fun actually, unless you do it in a TEAM of 2.... or preferably more people.
Thursday, April 19, 2007
project 355: i'm Lovin' it (still)
EVERYBODY loves McDonald's.
i can't seem to think of anyone who dislikes the biggest fast-food chain in the world that serves up unhealthy fried food in the fastest time possible. well, okay.... other than the fitness buffs, people who have anti-conglomerate sentiments, the staunch Christian who think that globalization is a sign of the end times, vegetarians, PETA advocates and the atas gourmand. other than those, i'm sure there's still a great majority out there who love the golden arches and it's artery-clogging foods.
personally, i think Macs is very tolerant about everything. i love Macs for their free wireless and smoking areas. it's one of the few restaurants in Singapore that still have designated areas for smokers with WIRELESS. and if you ask me, there's no better way to send yourself to an earlier death than a calorie-loaded Big Mac combined with a nicotine break while punching away at the keys on your keyboard. . i make it a point to visit my local Macs at least once a week for a session of blogging. only problem every time is that i end up sweating like hell given that it's outdoors. and you know what the weather in tropical Singapore is like. hot and humid.
still, if you were born in the Singaporean 80s like me, you would prolly have grown up with Macs ingrained in your heart. after all, it's the cheapest and most profitable reward your parents could have possibly bought you for having aced that spelling test or your mental sums. in those days, the father was not yet a piano teacher, but rather some random technician stuck in an organization that didn't have much prospects for him. and let's get real here, how much bread (let alone golden fries) can you put on the table fixing machinery and random bits of heterosexual machinery? even if you tried to include all the long working hours and the OT he puts in, it still barely made ends meet. despite all that, the father would always make it a point for the family to have Macs on a weekly basis, if not fortnightly. good ol' family days they were, i must say.
the primary school days were much better though. the technician made a drastic career switch into music. as much as i secretly wish that he became a Maksim or a keyboardist in an indie band, he stuck to teaching kids from all walks of life. it brought in a stable and bigger income, and with more money, it also meant more chances of a social life. the father would call up his best friend and ex-colleague from his previous place of employment for frequent family gatherings. sometimes at our place, sometimes at the colleague's, but mostly at McDonald's.
there's this particular bunch that we would always head for in Bukit Timah. The King Albert Park McDonald's, also fondly known by teenagers as the KAP Mac's, is smack right at the corner of a relatively upmarket residential area in Singapore. in case you don't live in Singapore, Bukit Timah is a residential area for people who are living the life of the 'above average, yet below high' class. or at least they think that they are, because i still consider them average income-d. anyways, back in the 90s, the KAP Macs came fully equipped with a playground, a track with a running train attached on the ceiling, a kid's party room and just which featured a very hawt swimming trunks spread.
and who doesn't love the McDonald's parties as well? it's an international thing, i guess. back in primary school, i was ecstatic whenever i received an invite to a McDonald's party. there were like free gifts, happy meals, party games, take-home toys, take-home gifts for the adults , small-sized cokes, hamburgers, kiddy-sized fries, more hamburgers if you request for it, etc. which is why i think any kid growing up in Singapore would definitely want to celebrate their birthday with a Mac's party. i remember my most vivid one involving a very vivacious and over-exaggerating Minah as the party host. she had one of those cordless mics clipped over her ear and she spoke very eloquent and vivacious English. i think she could jolly-well pass off as a telemarketer if not for the fact that she was wearing a McDonald's party hat with a Grimace and Birdie printed on it. i loved McDonald's parties so much that i convinced all my classmates back then to celebrate their birthdays there. at the same time, i ensured i snagged an invite from them too. i was a proud converter of at least 2 party people.
still, if there's one thing about Macs that i appreciate the most, it would have to be the fact that it's global. health-wise, it's a global epidemic. but if you look at it from a sociological point of view, you'll realize that McDonald's is global culture. i think almost everyone in this little planet can relate to a McDonald's experience. everyone has definitely chomped on some McNuggets before. the milkshakes. the crispy golden fries dipped in whatever condiments that your local Macs' serves up. yet, every McDonald's experience is different.
which i why i'm interested in knowing: What Is McDonald's Like From the (insert random countryman)'s point of view? Do they stock maple syrup in Canadian Macs? Ice Cubes in the outlet at Reykjavik? McSpicy Rice Burgers in Japan? which is why i'm going to propose something fun. fun for you and me. what i'm going to need you to do is send me a photo of your McDonald's experience via email. with it, attach your personal particulars (name, email, blog link, cock size, cut/uncut, etc.) and a short little write-up of what your perfect McDonald's experience is like. you could write about how you bonded with your boyfriend over big macs and milkshakes. you could write about your fetish for smearing McDonald's milkshakes all over your chest. you could write anything, as along as it's about McDonald's, regardless of what country you're from.
make sure that the picture is less than 8MB. include your name or if you're really shy, a moniker. it'll be nice to put up a picture of yourself too. send it all to firstname.lastname@example.org. i will post them up on an upcoming post. no prizes here, i guess. i could send you an entire 10GB worth of Japanese porn, but i bet you could do that yourself with the help of bittorrent.
so send them in, i'm waiting.
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
project 355: ignts (i've got nothing to say)
brain block. nothing to say. so i draw. guess the title of the song though.
Sunday, April 15, 2007
project 355: i would quit my job
a random post for today. i have a female colleague who's Malay and quite a beauty too. she's sweet, has a great sense of humor and knows how to do her make-up, definitely air stewardess material. plus, when she laughs she sounds like she's having an orgasm, combining kegal exercises with deep breaths and piercing laughter.
anyways, a conversation we had today:
Colleague: Hey, look at the weather. It's raining...
Me: Men. Hallelujah. It's raining men.
Colleague: (insert kegal laugh) I tell you... if it's raining men, i would quit my job and just sit at the window and stare out everyday. that way, i think i have more chances of finding to nice guy or a boyfriend for marriage! (kegal laugh)
when inspiration strikes, i go into my Issac Mendez moment and start sketching, not the future but just some silly little doodles.
on a side note, the boyfriend just took home my ATM card by mistake and i'm left with zero dollars and five sticks of super menthol light to last me till tomorrow evening. i'm gonna need one now. that makes four.
Friday, April 13, 2007
project 355: the parent's pep talk bingo
the pep talk used to have effect on me. the father would cry over the 'state' i'm currently in (a smoking homosexual), and i might end up crying too out of parental pressure to conform and perform. this is one of the many reasons why i avoid talking to the parents as much as possible. in their eyes, i'm the homosexual who happens to be their son. i think somewhere deep within the recesses of my cold cold heart, there's someone longing to be the son who happens to be a homosexual. so scorned have i been with 'parental love' that maybe that's why i tend to take everything in life with a big dose of cynicism.
none the less, there comes a time every month when i have to no choice but to make Earth to Mars contact with the father. and it's regarding the very touchy topic of money. it's technically MY money because i put $400 with the parents every month so that they can safe keep it for me during occasions when i overspend. the routine would be to release a hundred every Saturday at 0800 hours. but i tend to ask for it on Fridays because everybody goes out on Fridays and when anyone goes out in Singapore, there's bound to be money involved. of course, the parents know better to use this golden opportunity as leverage to talk to me about my current 'state'.
for this occasion, all i asked the father was 'Can you transfer tomorrow's money over today?'
and basically all hell broke loose. the father started his usual pep talk about my 'hedonistic' lifestyle, my money-spending habits, whether my salvation in the Lord Jesus Christ was still intact, the gnashing of teeth in hell (complete with real life demonstration), whoremongers and fornicators (said with much distaste), fire and brimstone, blah blah blah the usual routine. today's finishing move was a bit more special though. he cried. all i did was just sit there and keep my mouth shut, playing a mental game of 'Pep Talk Bingo'. it's something that i came across on the internet, where you write down all the predictable words that someone will say during a counseling session or pep talk or one of those rubbish QC meetings. and in true bingo format, you strike out the mentioned words until you get four in a row (horizontally, vertically or diagonally). the winner must have two rows.
i hit Bingo today apparently, and still got the father to transfer some money.
you may be wondering why i'm being such a heartless bastard, making fun of the father when all he's trying to do is change me for the better. but the big question is 'do i really need to change?' i agree with the bit about my cigarettes and my financial habits, but when it comes to the homosexual lifestyle i lead, i don't think i have done much wrong. i've chosen the path of the gay, and the last thing i need is non-supportive parents who take every opportunity they to express their discontentment over what i've picked in life. besides, from the time i've been out-ed by them till now, they've been going over the same speech again and again that i just had to play a game during the pep talk just to get through it.
many people have told me to say something back or try to rebutt a few points here and there. believe me, i've tried it and it doesn't work. the father has a bible verse imprinted in his head for every occasion available. it's as if God is on his side in this issue. and from the words he uses, it can be quite hurting actually. regardless, i'm still fighting this one-man battle against the big machine. and hopefully, i'll win one day and actually get the parents to see some good in me. otherwise there's always the reset or the power button.
all that said, i'm adding new rules now to the ever-changing rules of Pep Talk Bingo. hangman anyone?
Thursday, April 12, 2007
project 355: free artistic wallpapers
i was bored to death in Brunei.
maybe that's why i visited the gym so much and took one too many luxury showers during that entire period of 13 months. not because there was nothing much to do at work. but because other than work, there's really nothing INTERESTING to do. the line of work that i was doing there required me to just wait around for things to happen. not exactly very exciting when you've just come in fresh from the bustling shores of Singapore.
you say that there's the internet? oh..... don't get me strated. i prolly have come up with many metaphors about the internet speed in my workplace. so here's another one: it's so slow that 5 snails could race around the world and make it back in less than 80 days (and do it again, in less than 160). and what about the large amount of ridiculously cheap pirated DVDs? i bought so much that i don't feel like watching them anymore. ditto for PS2 games.
i guess one of the many reasons why i was bored stiff (a dirty joke if you look at it from a different angle) was because there was a big cultural emptiness that was missing during my time in Brunei. i think it's called art. not that Brunei is totally devoid of art. i've seen a lot of their tribal dances and what they do during the festivals and the King's Birthday to know that they are culturally-inclined. but it's sorely lacking in standards when you compare it to Singapore, where many critics say is already lacking in a lot. you can hardly find anything resembling an art gallery in Brunei. what more, my workplace where everything was very regimental and green?
ok lah, you could watch arty-fart flicks in the comfort of your room on your laptop. but nothing beat the full air-conditioned settings complete with Bose speakers or parquet flooring or plush red seats and royal red carpeting. throw in my colleagues who were not exactly very artistically-inclined either and you get a general malaise of boredom. most of them took art as an 'O' level subject. but after the exams, they dumped all their paintbrushes and batik wax into the storeroom, swearing to never touch them ever again unless they failed the O's.
it was thus, i attempted to introduce some art-awareness to my heterosexual colleagues at my Bruneian workplace. it had a somewhat profound effect on them though.
(colleague walks into room and happens to see my laoptop's desktop wallpaper)
C: art irritates life...
(leaves the room)
ugh. did i mention they were straight?
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
project 355: the blower's daughter / the piano teacher's son
in case you haven't known yet, the father is a piano teacher. this basically translates into free piano lessons from the age of four till sixteen. back in the younger days of yore, i have to admit that i loved playing the piano. the mindless concentration that i immersed myself into just practicing and practicing and practicing for hours in the piano room. and i know that this sounds cheesy and overused in a Yamaha music school kinda way, but playing the piano was really therapeutic for me. it was like a form of escapism, somewhat like watching a movie, whereby i could detach myself from reality and think of nothing else but trills, arpeggios, semi-quavers and dirty little jokes about crotchets.
having a piano teacher father also adds that certain caliber to one's credentials. how many people after all, can proudly say that they have a room in the house that's dedicated to a piano alone? a piano teacher definitely needs a piano at home. and what was supposedly a room for me was hereby declared as the 'piano room' after the father took up music as a career. there it sits, together with a lot of ABRSM CDs, a study table and a PC. frankly speaking, it's actually more like a study room where the father reads his bible every morning and prays for the children in Somalia and global warming. despite all that, i must say that a piano room indeed gives the humble abode a slight touch of class. if i were to be murdered in my home, it would definitely have to be 'Mr Teo, in the piano room, with the candlestick'.
but despite my love for the piano and the piano room, i somehow still have this innate fear of it. i've never liked being alone in an air-conditioned room. and given that the piano room is carpeted and air-conditioned when in use, i daresay it's too quiet for comfort. halfway through playing the piano, sometimes i get the feeling that there's someone or something watching me. sneaking a quick glance, i realize that it's nothing more than my illusive/elusive vision. this is why i like having the metronome going on with its 'ting tock tock tock' in the background while playing random bits of Czerny's technical pieces. not only does it help me get into the rhythm of things, but it also distracts my thoughts from them imaginative ghosts. this is going to sound very stupid, but i used to imagine myself being in some indie baroque-period experimental band, playing some weird-ass metronome-infused number to an inquisitive crowd of mild-mannered, corset-wearing women.
of course, i was stupidly straight back then too.
you must be wondering then, do i still play the piano now?
unfortunately, the answer is as negative as a HIV test. i do not play the piano any more. in fact, the last time i even touched the piano was nearly 6 years ago which of course does not include the random tinkling i do when i have to dust and clean the piano as part of my household chores. for this, i owe it to the father who killed what joy i had in piano. after finishing both the practical and theory exams for Grade three, the father focused solely on exam pieces only. for over a year, six times a week, an hour everyday, all i ever played on the piano were major scales, minor scales, arpeggios, a random sonata, and my exam pieces.
true, i got to pick the jazzy and upbeat pieces for my exams and i was glad for that freedom of choice. but then again, freedom of choice is not really freedom when there's nothing much to pick from in the first place. deep down in my modernist heart, i longed or a bit of Gershwin, some melancholic Rachmaninoff, something avante-garde or one of those cheem cheem Tchaikovsky pieces. i tried ransacking the piano shelves in the piano room for something along the likes of the above mentioned, but all i could find were copies of 'Pop Hitz Vol. 14' to 'Pop Hitz Vol. 23'. and of course, not forgetting to mention every single grade's ABRSM exam pieces starting from 1997. after passing my grade 7 practical, i took leave from the world of piano.
on hindsight, i think the father was trying too hard to make me take up music as a side-line career option. after all, it was music that saved his life when he quit the air force back in the early 90s. he understood the importance of having a skill. i was prolly too young to even understand the reproductive system back then. what more, the need for a back-up plan in case one's career fails? to think i nearly wanted to take up a Diploma in Music after the 'O' levels....
come to think of it, spankthepianoplayer.blogspot.com just doesn't have that much of an oomph to it, no?
Monday, April 09, 2007
project 355: bring your gym shoes
either i'm getting senile or it's one of those evolutionary degenerative 'Heroes' things that's happening to me again. but i'm beginning to forget a lot of things these days. thank goodness that it hasn't made me forget anything during work yet. but it's bad enough that i forgot the little details that keep my life going like a well-oiled machine. take today for example: there i am packing my stuff for a pre-work gym session. and i keep telling myself 'bring your gym shoes, bring your gym shoes, bring your gym shoes, bring your gym shoes'. soon enough, it becomes as memorably monotonous and repetitive like a Buddhist chant. before i knew it, i was out of the house, starting the third super menthol light of the day without my gym shoes. i was wearing flip-flops some more! (*screams in frustration*) i cursed and swore that i would fuck the shit out of my memory if it were something tangible.
good thing though, that i was aiming to work out at the staff gym today rather than the neighborhood one. and if you are one who pumps iron on a regular basis, you know what staff gyms are like then. full of clueless people trying to act like they have been visiting the gym all their life. the usual gym protocol would be to bring along your proper gym attire and at least a towel. i'm guessing that the typical office lady might be a pro at accounting and word processing, but when it comes to Smith Machines and gym etiquette, she's clueless as hell. i guess nobody thought the boy who looked like he worked at the downstairs kopitiam looked out of place in the gym with his crappy flip-flops and even crappier towel (it's one of those white china-made 'Good Morning' towels).
another thing about staff gyms is that they are almost always deserted. and true enough, except for the cleaner and a few other random people dressed in office wear visiting the gym for a strong blast of air-conditioning, i was the only gym rat there. dressed in my crappiest best, no less. come to think of it, i look like i found some sex on IRC and the other party lives just opposite my block of flats.
remember to bring the lube & rubber, remember to bring the lube & rubber, remember to bring the lube & rubber, remember to bring the lube & rubber.
Sunday, April 08, 2007
project 355: hump it!
i love spoofs. or as my really uneducated gay cheena-piang acquaintance (sheena would know better) would always say, 'spoofting'.
Friday, April 06, 2007
project 355: how i survived the raffles-berkeley saga
i think irony plays a very big part in the game of love and life. or at least, the mind tends to see the irony when it wants to see it. in the case of Mr Raffles-Berkeley, i think my mind used irony as a defense mechanism of sorts. which is quite something given that Mr R-B was the first person to ever introduce to me what having a good boyfriend with bright prospects could really do to your life. i mean, i was never brought up in an environment where money came and went as freely as one could possibly hope. in fact, the father tends to stinge a lot when it comes to financing. so the sudden culture shock into the lives of the rich and (perhaps) famous was what i pretty much dealing with. a bit like Ryan suddenly being thrown into the world of the Cohens of The Orange County. except that i was caught off-guard and my speech was terribly peppered with singlish. that kinda marred the whole 'California' opening, didn't it?
in case you are interested in the whole Raffles-Berkeley saga, here's the story in three parts:
part one: i'm this week's special guest on THE OC
part two: the raffles finale
part three: the one who got sloshed during sex
still, things didn't work out and for a while i thought that life was over because i couldn't snag a rich guy for something else other than sex. during that entire phase of :(, i started listening to a lot of Deathcab For Cutie. after all, he basically played the entire Deathcab album during our second session of sex. the first being a random encounter at a local spa. still, you have my signature of approval for Title And Registration being one hell of a good song to get a blowjob with.
still, like an evidential product of a Gloria Gaynor song, i indeed survived a heartbreak. i think i came out out this whole ordeal a much stronger and heartless person. it sucks to break someone's heart. but it sucks even more to get yours broken. moral of the story? don't put all your eggs in one basket. in fact, don't even put any eggs in a basket unless you have guarantee that the basket has passed ISO standards and is widely accepted as a genuine product.
still, it's ironic that i could nearly have entered into his family of doctors. Mr R-B has parents who are consultants are a local private hospital. and consultants are the kind of people you would associate with 'fellowships' as per my church mate, Norman's thinking. i have no idea whether that's true. but i for one can assure you that consultants make big bucks. and that the only 'fellows' that i can put my name to are bedfellows.
oh well, enough of all that heartbreak shit. here's my second favorite Deathcab song.
Thursday, April 05, 2007
project 355: occupations can be punny too!
once again, when i've got nothing to do and a sketchpad at hand, my hand gets itchy. and when my hand gets itchy, it tends to head straight for the other itch in the pants. of course, during times when it's inconvenient to whip it out, i grab a pen and some magic markers instead.
nothing beats drawing and creativity... well, except masturbation.
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
project 355: my ah ma can use firefox okay!
this is the reason why we should send more of the silver-haired generation to the NATIONAL IT LITERACY PROGRAM. in fact, we should import the entire program to our neighbor past the causeway.
The Epitome of Vanity In The IT-Savvy Elderly
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
project 355: nothing patient about patients
I LOVE MY JOB.
or at least that's what i try convincing myself everyday. and it's 80% true, given that most of my patients really do appreciate the fact that not only are we helping them on the beautiful road to recovery, but we are also getting paid for doing it. there are people out there who care about the health-care workers and are fighting for the little things that matter. things like annual leaves and attempts to professionalize the image of nursing in Singapore with local degrees and certification. recently, the local nurses even had a way overdue increment in salary.
obviously the gah-men could do a lot better than a measly 3-7% increment in pay. but it's not like we, the health-care workers, can go on strike and not be arrested ofr illegal assembly. and anyways, we're a passive country by nature, leaving most of the governing to our elected members of parliament. so most of us will be stuck in this rut unless we decide to hop on the next available jet to any 'ang moh' destination. the pinoys and the chinks being very well-versed in this have already left their marks on the world. when will it be the time of the Singaporean Merlion to shout (or actually more like SPOUT) out loud and proud?
still, i'm stuck in this rut for now, trying to gain experience points, leveling up and grinding my way to become a better nurse. all would be well actually, if not for the other 20% that makes my job suck so much. 20 per-fucking-cent all directed to the patient's relatives and their lack of empathy for nurses.
there's a big sign on the door of the High Dependency area in my ward. it says in big blue letters: HIGH DEPENDENCY UNIT MAXIMUM 2 VISITORS AT A TIME PER PATIENT ONLY. maybe it's the blue font on frosted glass, or perhaps the dizzying smells of antiseptic in the hospital. but you would have to be blind, oblivious to your surroundings or purposely ignorant to not be able to see the great warning of impending peril.
despite the sign, the bedsides in the High Dependency seem to always have more than a pair of relatives hanging around and frankly speaking, i don't know what they are doing there. they spend more time talking to each other than comforting the patient. they don't want to help in sponging their loved ones. they refuse to touch diapers. in fact, the only thing i ever see them doing is pressing the call bell to summon the nurses to the bedside. which is not very helpful when they use the call bell for every little emergency like 'can you please turn on the fan?' or 'how do you adjust the height of the bed?'. with our rendered services, you would have expected a tip after all the public education on service and how to make it more appreciated. truth be told, sometimes i feel as though as i owe the relatives a living.
of course, there are the well-off ones who interpret the rules in a much different way. they don't clutter up the ward with pairs of relatives because they are most probably out there making money to maintain their well-off lifestyles. so they bring part of their lifestyles to the ward and park them there. yes, i'm talking about the domestic help. our foreign friends who came to Singapore expecting to cook and do laundry, but end up spending their days in the hospital waiting for an employer's loved one to pass. the more paranoid relatives would tell their maids to watch what the nurses are doing and report any inconsistencies or ill-treatment back to them, all ready to pounce at the first sign of an impending malpractice lawsuit.
but the ultimate and ignorant relatives are the ones who bring an entire platoon of distant cousins and long-lost aunts to visit their loved one who has undergone a very simple case of a hernia repair. if it's just one or two miserable people, we of course do not mind. but if you intend to make your hospital visit a 4-hour family drama complete with cousins twice-removed and Korean heartbreaking storyline in it, i will call security. not that i normally would do that. but for really oblivious relatives who don't get the hint that my patients need to rest in some peace and quiet without reminders of what they will be facing once again (ie. noisy aunties and inquisitive relatives) when they are discharged, i dial the hospital extension 3999 for crowd control straightaway. best of all, the security guard is trained to not reveal who was the one who did the calling. so nobody knows. and i get peace and quiet. quite a fair deal, no?
in fact, just the other day, i was very tempted to get rid of one hernia case and his NOISY relatives who talked like they were wearing permanent megaphones on their voice boxes. i received some complaints from the other patients in the same room, hinting to me to get rid of them. do note that they came complete with curry puffs, rendang, nasi goreng, briyani and irritating children running around like their backs were on fire (i deem them as the bane of pregnancy). the whole place smelt like a visit to the spice market. normally i would be able to deflect whatever the relative has to say with a critical one-liner. this would be followed with walking out of the room before the other party can think of anything else to say. it's a bit melodramatic. but it gets the job done. for this one incident, i just dunno what to say.
Me: (in the most courteous and smiling voice) Hi ma'm. Some of my patients need rest and they can't do it as it's quite noisy here, would you like to take this family conversation downstairs to the food court. They serve good coffee downstairs.
Relatives: Oh is it? Isn't it the visiting hours now? If the patients want some peace and quiet, then they should go get an A or B1 class bed what! (they were lodged in B2 class, it's like cattle class for hospital patients)
i was struck speechless. and when you've got nothing else to say to an irritating relative, what do you, as the nurse who cares for his/her patients do?
you dial 3999. the nurse's best friend.
Monday, April 02, 2007
project 355: the party of John Chua
i've never liked birthday parties. mainly because they always make me jealous about the fact that i COULD have one, but am prolly too lazy to actually go and plan one. that and the many other factors that i tend to over-worry about. will the caterers arrive on time? will my friends who have a tendency to be fashionably late be fashionably late? will the birthday cake get smashed on the way here? will i make a 'profit' from the gifts that i receive? should i invite my parents? so many nitty-gritty details that i can panic over, though i've already got one question answered: NO, i'm not inviting the parents or any single relative for my birthday party. partly because there's bound to be booze involved (what's a gay party without hard liquor?). the other part due to the fact that the mother might start asking 'is there a dress code? because all the men are wearing tight tank tops!'
so it was with some sian-sation that i came back home yesterday afternoon, post-morning shift at the hospital, having spent the whole of last night out with the boyfriend. Sunday afternoons and evenings are always spent at the paternal grandmother's for dinner. it's all very simple actually, i just go there, sit around, have some dinner, make idle chit-chat and updates about my work, and finally when nobody bothers me, sit down and have an hour long nap. at least, that was what i was anticipating yesterday. so imagine how low my spirits sank when the father told me that we were going over to the 3rd aunt's condominium for 'John's Birthday Party'. John in case you haven't read in my previous posts, is the suspiciously effeminate 7 year old cousin that was named after me. he studies in a Christian-mission school and is doing primary one this year. up till today, i still thought that naming their son after me was a mistake. but i've never told them.
and my spirits which had already sunk to the depth of my gut, now descended further into the bowels (or is it the bladder) of depression. the first thing i saw when i entered the function hall of the condominium was this:
it basically screams one thing:
'WE'RE PLAYING GAMES, AND NOT ONLY THAT, WE'RE PLAYING GAMES AS A FAMILY UNIT!'
except that you've got to imagine it without the scores allocated into the charts yet. still, once the entire family saw our group name 'The Teo Family' listed under the score chart, we had that look of dread spreading upon our faces. you know... that feeling of omens and bad things happening in threes. because this meant that we would have to communicate. and that is one thing that this family really lacks. and it's not exactly helpful that we've had prior experience trying to play family games at one church camp about 8 years back. the father, a great piano teacher and a horrible artist, had a go at one round of 'Win, Lose or Draw'. The item to be guessed was 'The Cat In The Hat'. Many of the other participants guessed along the lines of 'The Lion In The Toilet Bowl'.
at least, we didn't play any creatively-inclined games. the proactive cousin was the one who planned these games. the proactive cousin, being the first in the family to bring a girlfriend back to prove his manhood (they wore matching Adidas tees at the party), still goes back to the Boy's Brigade HQ as a volunteer, is taking a polytechnic diploma in Electronics and Engineering now, is an active leader in church, (insert next random achievement), etc. he's the Golden Boy of the paternal family. i'm just the other 'G' boy of the paternal family.
anyways, we played 'Blow, Wind, Blow' and 'Zong Ji Mi Ma' (translated as secret code). 'Secret Code' as many of the cheena-piangs would know, is that game they play on them Taiwanese variety shows with the pop stars and singers. it basically involves guessing a designated number and slowly eliminating the range till you hit the jackpot. i've never liked the game though. it brings back unpleasant nauseous memories of one too many Chivas-Green Tea sessions at Pasir Ris chalets. the parents tried to be fair and fun by letting the sons take turns at guessing the numbers. i couldn't stand the social tension within our family unit and went out for a stick of menthol. thank goodness the last game was over by the time i finished.
i still can't get it though. why must there always be a cake at a birthday party?
okay, so i hear you screaming and grumbling the obvious words: BIRTHDAY CAKE WHAT!
but even then, it doesn't always have to be a cake right? and besides, how often do people get the cakes right in terms of taste and decor? in John's case, his own mother got it wrong. i never knew John liked soccer. i mean, he's quite the wimpy kid who is always armed with a hardcover copy of The Hardy Boys and still throws hissy fits when things don't go his way. to imagine him playing soccer is the mental equivalent of getting me to wear Giordano polo tees (and when it comes to polo tees, i only let anything from Topman and above to caress my pointy nipples).
from all the hushed whispering and chit-chat that i heard though, John actually wanted a chocolate cake. a big brown one that obviously looked like a chocolate cake. and you know how kids are: they can't see beneath most things, tending to take everything at face value instead. little did he know that underneath the gaudy football field was a moist chocolate cake of the most exquisite taste. he was crying by the time we finished the birthday song (another customary thing that i can't understand). and when the family was packing up to leave, i last saw him playing a very bad game of soccer, mostly kicking the ball out way past the designated goal posts. tsk... the self-destructive acts that little gay boys do when they throw tantrums.
all in all, i'm kinda glad that it was over within 3 hours. plus i got one hour of sleep and one stick of Super Menthol Light. more reasons why i shouldn't invite family members to any party that i plan for myself in the future. all this sleeping around and smoking.
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