|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.|
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
project 355: (i could) have sex in a British library
librans are the most accommodating people by nature. being the conflict-adverse people that they are, they would rather avoid making a scene, and perhaps just make lemonade out of the miserable lemons life hurls at them. now when you combine this 'i-would-rather-not-offend-people' philosophy of life with sexual intercourse in the gay context, you end up having very 'accommodating' tops in more ways than one. this is of course, if they are not bottoms already in the first place. well i'll be the first to admit that i'm one such indecisive person.
i have this very bad habit of not telling my sex partners that i don't like something that they are doing, having or doing and having. this results in the other party having a hell of a time mostly, while i end up with also a hell of a time, but well... in not so good a sense. take this one time when i had sex with a stranger whom i met via the IRC (writer's note to self: i'm always having sex with strangers met via the internet). the pulling factor that got me interested in sex with this guy was the venue: a prohibited establishment. one that even had real-life security guards that were paid a minimal wage to carry batons and tasers and ensure that no horny homosexuals like me would trespass the classified grounds. the stranger in question, was obviously one of these security guards.
so there we were in a changing room of sorts enjoying the thrills of security guard sex in the middle of the night. all was going well and dirty until i proceeded with the anal intercourse. i immersed my thing into his thing and proceeded with the fuck. it wasn't long before the funky smells of onions and garlic pierced through the air with the same force and intensity as the way my thing pierced his thing. i assumed it was a bad case of someone's puke in the toilet. but it wasn't till the smell of onions, garlic AND water-based lubricant (and i'm not lying about this!) that hit me that i realized the source of the olfactory disturbance. i'm not very easily thrown off by funky smells, after all, i inhale a wide spectrum of them on a daily basis. bile, piss, shit, pus, necrotic feet, sloughy wounds, etc. you name it, i have prolly smelt it. but this combination of garnishing and lubricant was definitely a page on my list of smells.
apparently, our dear security conveniently forgot about douching himself before the sex. the good news is that i had protected sex (thank God for rubbers!). the bad news is, that i'm still wondering till today what he had for dinner. i'm thinking it must have been some really hardcore rendang (he's Malay). but just like 'why is God so unfair?' and 'why do Asians have such miniature ding-dongs?', there are some questions in life that will always be left unanswered. this is apparently, gonna be one of them.
but really, i get very irritated by people who don't clean out their asses before a fuck. it's rather disgusting actually, having to stick my junk in a trunk that's filled with gunk (NB: it's rhymes!). i have had personal encounters with other bottoms who crave unprotected anal intercourse, but seriously have problems with their pre-sex ablutions. ugh. i'm just extremely grateful that my genitals have been good friends with condoms for many years. still, i could have told the security guard how i didn't enjoy the olfactory treat and the amount of gunk that was slathering around the condom and just stopped with the fucking. but, i didn't.
being a crowd-pleasing libran and having worked for quite some time in a health-care sector that had an over-emphasis on service standards, i felt bad having to tell a bottom that he had a smelly and gunky ass. i mean, you don't go around telling strangers that they have big asses and emit bodily odours. and it's rather ungentlemanly to just stop sex mid-way when both parties have pre-cumming hard-ons. plus you definitely have to consider the fact that i was trespassing on secure grounds and my only key to getting out of the guarded establishment without a police records was the owner of the ass in question. it was thus that i decided to fulfil my top-ly duties and neglected mentioning the smells. i'm sure he prolly smelth it anyways, given that i took several loud sniffs.
i went home at the end of the day feeling rather proud that i had made one person in this world happier and managed to get my rocks off at the same time.
now if only i could transition this 'get my rocks off at the same time' bit into the hospital setting...
i'm not exactly the most sentimental of sorts and neither am i the clingy boyfriend type. but i have to admit that i like making small talk with strangers. mostly after a fuck. you've got to admit that tongues tend to be looser when one makes small talk after anal intercourse. maybe it's the intimacy garnered through the act of it or maybe it's just the sweaty 'oh-i-have-achieved-an-orgasm-with-a-complete-stranger' feeling that washes over people after sex. or perhaps it's just the strenuous aerobic activity that the oral cavity has been put through. either way, prior experience says that people tend to be less guarded about their private lives after sex.
of course, you can't just simply take everything these strangers say at face value. i mean, in closeted ol' Singapore where there are more gossipmongers than fishmongers, one has to be careful about what one reveals about oneself. personally, it's seldom that i am Jonathan the Registered Nurse when i make the rounds at the sauna. my name is Frank. and i have worked in a variety of jobs ranging from marketing assistant to pastry chef. of course, most of the jobs that i've picked are memorized generalities that i've garnered from other people. everything else though, is the truth. simply because what i'm gunning for when making small talk is not so much about the amount we talk about, but rather an honest bond between two complete strangers who have no prior knowledge of each other other than penile length and whether the other party is good at deep-throating. i guess that's the magic of small talk. plus it helps when one is rather keen for a second round.
i'm got to admit that i'm not always supportive about talking and sex. especially talking during sex. i've done it at the sauna with one other gay person who preferred making small talk during intercourse. of course, small talk is a loosely defined term here when you consider the content (oh yeah, you like it huh? come on, tell me you like my ass tight, yeah, oh yeah, you like it huh?) and volume (OH YEAH, YOU LIKE IT HUH? COME ON, TELL ME YOU LIKE MY ASS TIGHT, YEAH, OH YEAH, YOU LIKE IT HUH?) of the small talk involved. i tried spanking his ass to shut him up, but that only encouraged him in turning up the content and volume of things.
this brings to mind one of my regulars who is an excellent bottom with the flexibility of a Chinese controtionist. i enjoy sex with this particular guy because we have done out-of-this-world positions that deserve a page in the kamasutras. plus rather than be a passive bottom who just lies around like a dead fish waiting to get screwed, he keeps his hands busy with nipplework. and boy do i love nipplework. that's extremely deserving of brownie points in my books.
unfortunately, all sex partners despite all their perks and what they can do to keep your nipples perky, always have a flaw of some sort. take me for example, my penis can't go anywhere lower than 70 degrees. i nearly fractured my penis once while attempting an indescribable position with the first ex-boyfriend. let's just summarize that i heard a sickening 'crack' (sorta like when one twists an ankle) and i was rather out of action for about a few hours. that's my flaw. and oh oh, i have a strong preference for silent 'it's-oh-so-quiet' sex rather than (insert hentai-inspired screams and moans).
that is the one flaw that my regular has. he's what i would call, a screamer. the type that makes everybody in the sauna stop dead in their tracks and give some comment like 'crazy motherfuckers' before they continue with their sex. plus the content of what he says DURING anal intercourse can irritate me to bits sometimes:
Partner: Do you like to fuck me, dear?
Partner: Can you call me darling?
Me: Yes, darling.
Partner: Will we meet up the next time for sex, dear?
Me: Of course.
Partner: You forgot to say darling.
Me: Sorry darling.
Partner: Do you like to fuck me dear?
Me: (gives several hard thrusts)
conversations and terms of endearment totally throws me off the sex track. my hands can be at different ends of the body and doing different things at the smae time. but ask me to make intelligible and loving conversation in the heat of sex and i am no better at it than a virgin Chinese teapot. well, except that my spout is a tad bigger than your average teapot's. so why i don't i tell my regular that i don't like whatever he's doing?
for one, sex with him is extremely expensive. we always do it at executive suite hotels because he values his privacy. when one gets to bring home L'occitane shower samples from executive rooms without having to fork out a single cent, one simply doesn't complain about volume and content. plus it's not like i don't have any bad habits or traits that my regular doesn't like to begin with. i have the occasional sinus when the air-conditioning is too cold. and you can imagine what it's like to have sex in the freezing temperatures of your typical executive suite in Singapore.
but that's the magic of the libran's traits. he's accommodating and will somehow want to avoid any form of conflict. he will compromise or at least suggest a more win-win solution to problems. in this case of my screaming/loving regular and me, i play my part and humour him with my 'dears' and 'darlings'. and on his part, i signal to him to hand me the occasional piece of kleenex while keeping my bits perky, if you get my drift. both of us are happy and have really quality sex.
there are a few things though i won't be compromising on though. non-protected sex with strangers is a definite no-no. a one-time experience with onions, garlic and lubricant is enough to put me off for life.
Monday, September 24, 2007
hey people. sincerest apologies for not having updated in a week. promise i will come up with something tomorrow. and more during this week. otherwise, i will... ehrm.... post a picture of my nipples. make that two pictures of two nipples. then you can have fun figuring out which is the left and the right. but seriously, a tumultous week for me this has been. hope you guys understand.
Monday, September 17, 2007
project 355: not too strong, not too light, viceroy's got the taste that's right
an ode to my favourite brand of cigarettes. and to think it's a brand that caters to women and suspiciously chummy men who golf and go fishing with each other.
Saturday, September 15, 2007
project 355: why outdoors sex and the seventh month just don't go
(i re-did this post last night even though i published it in the afternoon, i can't help it if i want to be proud of my work)
everybody has their fears. i mean, i'm terrified of cockroaches, worms, millipedes, centipedes, creepy-crawlies, snails, psychotic killers, vaginas, children, psychotic children covered in creepy-crawlies, snails, worms, millipedes, centipedes, cockroaches and equipped with a... okay. well, let's not go into the details of the combined average of my fears. but if there's one thing above that i fear the most, it's the things of the unearthly. and i'm not talking geography here.
spirits, ghosts and mysterious white things that come in human-form (this sentence needs paraphrasing). i'm terrified of all things spiritual. and you know what the irony is? i've never seen a single ghost in my life before and i've never really come close to an out-of-this-world experience. true, i've read my fair share of Singapore Scariest Ghost Stories (compiled by the mysterious Russell Lee) and countless are the spam e-mails that i have received of spirits captured in jpgs. but how do you fear something that you have never seen or experienced before? is that what they call the fear of the unknown? i'll be the first to assure you then, that i ought to be the most cowardly of the lot. beneath this smart-assed facade of mine, there's nary but a real dumb blonde beneath who's prolly as smart as a g-string.
i remember during the secondary school days when everyone was beginning to discover the joys of e-mailing and sending each other junk mail. that was when i got freaked out over opening e-mails filled with ghostly jpgs. of course, that was also the time i discovered you could receive free daily porn pictures, but that's another story for another post. one of these freaky ghostly e-mails was opened during a computer lab session during secondary school. apparently, everyone got bored with learning how to use Microsoft Word and started checking up on their emails. and as usual, the bloody secondary school kids think it's bloody 'kewl' when they show their friends scary shit. of course, the chap who showed us this particular email attachement never told us anything about it being scary.
i think some of you guys might have seen it before. it's an attachment in the email. there's basically a picture of a bedroom drenched in blue light. and the point of the attachment is to stare at the window at the top left-hand corner of the picture (i'm getting goosebumps as i type these lines and i'm not lying about this) for close to a minute before one will be able to experience a visual effect. of course, being the curious secondary school sucker that i was, i willing stared as closed to the screen as possible. and nearly forty-five seconds later and several 'you're wasting my time, i don't see anything' type of responses, a lady in a white gown and enlarged eyes appeared at the window and appeared to flash towards the edge of the computer screen. the whole thing was over in less than five seconds. but it's a moment in time that got me really freaked out. i couldn't help thinking about those five seconds for the rest of the week. that's how bad these things get to me.
Singaporeans however, are very exposed to the whole ideology of ghosts. after all, we're a melting pot of Asian cultures here in the tropical nanny state. and if there's one thing we're really good at (other than education, setting lame world records and recycling our waste water), it's gotta be ghost stories and our knowledge of the spirits. just look at the seventh month that just passed. the seventh month, in case you're not Asian and are neither living in the Asian countries, refers to the seventh (duh?) month of the Chinese Lunar calendar. the month whereby the spirit and all our deceased ancestors are released in the human realm to par-tay. i have no idea what the spirits really do during this month really. prolly scare a few Singaporeans, relive the bad music of the 80s and perhaps cruise the same ol' toilet that they used to cruise in the days of their gay youth. but they are basically out there doing stuff during the seventh month. that month, has just passed apparently.
the seventh month never meant much to me despite warnings about going out too late at night. i still carried on with life as if the seventh month were the eight, ninth or tenth of the Chinese Lunar calendar. i guess i'm much more irritated by the inconsiderate Singaporean heartlanders. everywhere you turn, you see them burning paper money for the deceased. not in the town-council designated burning bins, but rather just along the streets. a gentle breeze basically sweeps ashes and paper money remnants all over the place. and have i ever told you how big my nostrils are? i can't help but feel like i've stepped into the hellish alternate world of Constantine during the seventh month.
the food offerings are another irritating issue. most people place food offerings of oranges and rice and pork belly beside trees. but there are the inconsiderate few who basically place them in the middle of pedestrian walkways. ditto that for the burnt offerings and ashes. the general rule of respect is that one is not supposed to step over these offerings to the deceased. i mean how would you like if i stepped over your wallet or carbonara? hmph. petty little spirits. none the less, accidents are bound to happen. accidents like my first ex-boyfriend's brother who accidentally kicked some ashes once and woke up the next morning with a set of swollen testes. maybe it's puberty. maybe it's the testosterone. either way, waking up with a set of mysteriously swollen balls is no fun.
it's even more fanatical in the hospital where death and dying occur on a daily basis. according to superstition, there are bound to be vengeful ghosts with plenty of regrets roaming the hospital corridors. after all, who wants to die in a crappy 'C' class ward that has no air-conditioning but rather, a senile old man screaming bizarre things in the middle of the night? the seventh month is apparently the time when all the superstitious Chinese peeps avoid going for operations. they believe that the vengeful spirits would screw up their chances of surviving their hernia operations. to me, it just means a smaller number of people going for operations, translating into an easier workload for the month.
i knew of one colleague who had a mysterious experience during the seventh month though. a bed-ridden patient who managed to tumble off the bed despite the fact that the bedrails were up. and of course, she's bed-ridden. how do you key in a Risk Management Report for things like that? truth be told though, the whole concept of the seventh month seems to be just that, a concept. of course, i might have to change my mind about that when i relate to you this story about having sex in the outdoors and not realizing that it's the month where the spirits are merry-making.
you see, opportunity came knocking on my door when a random search on the net brought forth a stranger with a car. the main aim was to have sex in the car and if the environment permits, outdoors. admittedly, i've never been a real big fan of the great outdoors given the rise of global temperatures and outbreaks of dengue, etc. plus, there tends to be this unproven co-relation between mother nature and spirits. back during the days of green, brown, black and combat boots, the general saying was that if you wanted to pee in the great outdoors, do it at a tree always remember to apologize to the tree before peeing. i felt rather stupid doing it, but then again, a little stupidity never hurt anyone, did it?
thus we met at 2230hrs and drove off in his car. of course, the fear of carbon monoxide poisoning crossed my mind. but that was easily quelled by the abnormal swelling in the nether regions. we drove from the residential area all the way to the industrial areas between Kranji and Woodlands, all the while looking for a secluded spot of sorts. we could have settled for a random multi-story parking lot, but my adventurous spirit refused to settle for sex amongst mere cars.
that's the magic of having a car. it presents an endless number of opportunities. the manual gear stick for example, coupled with the appropriate hand wipes and alcohol swabs, make for an excellent alternative for a category named 'Thing to Put Up Your Rectum'. not that I have tried anything resembling like that, but surely it's an idea that comes to mind. of course, there's all the traveling to distant places that going by foot could never take you as well. and having air-conditioned sex in humid Singapore is bliss. to put it simply, having a car is king. and to put it even simpler, having sex in a car is ehrm... well, whatever that is better than king.
and so we travelled, looking for that desolate spot that seemed so elusive. every single industrial estate was either filled with foreign workers chatting with loved ones on mobile phones or stray dogs barking away. it wasn't until we passed the Kranji reservoir that we saw THE car park - a quiet and lonely spot with several other cars parked around. it was dark, filled with trees and had very dim lighting, just apt for getting dirty deeds done. a few questionable drives around the parking lot revealed a strategic spot snuggled between a red van on the right and some trees on the left. i scanned the surrounding for any signs of human life and true enough, there were none.
it as oh-so-quiet as Bjork. too quiet for comfort though.
it wasn't until i looked at red van that was on the right of us that i realized something was amiss. apparently, there was someone watching us. i'm not sure whether it was the lighting or the reflection or whatever unknown scientific explanation that caused it. but from where i was sitting in the car, there was someone or perhaps something at the red van passenger seat's window. it was blurred, but one could make out the misty reflection of a person, a lady to be exact. a Chinese lady, with very frazzled hair. this is rather irrelevant but the first though on my mind was something like 'this woman really needs conditioner man.'
it wasn't until i realize that this particular lady was staring at us from the window and keeping eerily still, that i realized something bizarre was going on. if she at least moved and said hi or took out a video camera with a flickering red light, i would have been more at ease. but a deeply-ingrained Asian knowledge of spirits and one too many budget Asian horror flicks gives you a general idea that this is definitely not your serial voyeur. now, not only was there something standing in my pants, ditto that for all the hairs on my body too. it's times like these when i'm thank for Fight or Flight. i can assure you that flight is always the best choice in most situations (ghostly or not). i have plenty of smart-arsed quotes saying stuff like 'running away is not only for losers' up my cowardly sleeve.
'let's get out of here,' i said to my partner.
'did you see that?' he asked
'let's just get out of here,' i repeated firmly. i didn't realize it but my hand was gripping rather tightly onto his left hand. his left hand, of course, was tensely placed on that gear stick which presented a myriad of anal-retentive opportunities.
and as quickly (if not faster) as we arrived at the parking lot, we zoomed off with the image of the Chinese lady with the bad hair seared into our minds. not so much about the conditioner-deprived hair, but the bizarre spiritual-cum-sexual experience we just had. i was rather freaked out, having seen the first spirit in my entire life. freaked out to the extent that i had forgotten to button up my pants. and you know what ghosts and a strong blast of air-conditioning can do the the nether regions. brrrr.... once i had gathered back my balls though (literally and metaphorically), we exchange interpretations of what we both saw on the way back to the residential district. the other guy mentioned that the visage had a veil on to which i countered with my version of a woman's bad hair day. we both gave a nervous chuckle and decided to settle for a secluded spot at an industrial vehicle car park.
the image of the woman haunted my dreams as i slept that night. it was an uneasy sleep as that was the first time i had seen anything like that. hell, it was the first time i've seen a ghosts in my entire twenty-three years of mortal living. i mean, i've heard endless stories about friends of friends of friends who had seen ghosts, and they are the sort that you often hear when you overnight at chalets with some alcoholic beverages in hand. but to see it first hand like this, it truly affects the mind and the body. plus i couldn't believe that i had been so stupid as to tempt fate by having outdoor sex right at the beginning of the seventh month. so much so that i developed a debilitating 38.2 degrees fever overnight. i didn't feel like smoking, i didn't feel like eating, i didn't even feel like seeing the doctor. all i wanted to do was sleep and forget all about the previous night. thank goodness for parents because they forced me to do all of the above-mentioned, falling short of the smoking. some ibuprofen, antibiotics and Dunhills later, i was up and running and back to having sex again.
though i'll have to admit, i'm gonna just stick to multi-storey carparks for now and run the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning and perhaps indulge in a bit of 'manual gear-stick fun'.
Friday, September 14, 2007
project 355: a girlfriend after bone surgery
it's not everyday that a loved one of mine goes for surgery in my hospital.
two reasons actually: i don't have many loved ones. and besides, the only person who comes to my hospital of employment for medical check-ups anyway, is the paternal grandmother. now, that's what i call a loved one. in more ways than one, the paternal grandmother is one person that i will be eternally indebted to for making my childhood wonderful.
back in the days of the primary school, the canteen would serve unbelievably small meals at exorbitant prices. in case there are any ang moh readers out there who assume the canteen is like your typical American high-school cafeteria, let me just clarify. there were no cafeteria trays involved, no cafeteria assistants who donned aprons and gloves and served mac & cheese, no jello, no mysterious green substance that all the students avoided and definitely no random Columbine-styled shoot-outs. what they had though, was a miniature food centre of sorts which sold everything from laksa to fried dumplings to chocolate-chip bread. and miniature they definitely were. most of the students in the primary school felt that one serving of whatever they bought was enough to last through the rest of the day. i have never seen eye to eye with them. maybe it had something to do with height difference or a BMI that indicated i was morbidly obese.
but there i was trying my best to scavenge the most of what i could from the school canteen's various food sources. one of these, came in the form of an underweight classmate who was in the 'Milk Program'. the school, you see, wanted to encourage all the skinny shrimps in the school to fatten up, possibly to a size worthy of Tiger Prawns. and they did this via daily ingestion of milk. i remember this fattening up made me shudder because it reminded me greatly of the story of Hansel & Gretel whom the witch wanted to fatten up and sauté for a Christmas dinner with her fellow cannibalistic loved ones. but greed came before fear and my underweight friend would pass over his weekly-issued milk coupons. mainly because he spent recess playing soccer and he also hated milk. and just to digress, he was a formula-fed baby. we found that out one fine day when we were comparing our ministry-issued health records.
so i already had a choice beverage that came in a variety of flavours (chocolate, strawberry or plain). what was lacking now was a diet that came in a portion worthy of my morbidly obese Primary School frame. that, was when the paternal grandmother stepped in. she was the only relative other than my Godmother who would occasionally slip in a coin or two for that extra bit of food. from the eyes of a typical primary school-going kid, these amount were pretty big: a dollar sometimes two. these amounts were enough to buy an extra serving of food for at least several days. i was as happy as a Gourmand could be.
the father didn't like the paternal grandmother doing 'underground' stuff like that, because he wanted to instil discipline in his children - he wanted them to live within their means. but she still persisted and always without the father's knowledge. it was really risky for her as back then before the father saw the light of Christianity, he was like a vial of Chemical X that had been shaken, heated up and tossed around one time too many - he was violent, volatile and temperamental. my buttocks and the cane constantly came into contact with each other, and not in the same way that they would meet in the deviant gay sex context of mine today. i would have gotten more uppity and corporal punishment from the father if not for the paternal grandmother's constant intercession. she was always the one who would stop the father from overdoing the harsh shouting and scolding. and the father, being a son, had no choice but to listen to the grandmother. this is the second reason why i will always be indebted to her.
my paternal grandmother has always had osteoporosis. she takes a really long time to recover from falls and no matter how much Analene and glucosamine she ingests, her bones still remain as brittle as stunt glass. she's already had two surgeries and i have no idea the number of nuts and bolts she's had in her limbs. all i do know is that she's halfway on her journey to integrate man with machine, and give and take a few years, she'll have a vice-like hand grip so firm that she can break the father's arm if he ever gets violent again. i realize how extensive my grandmother's medical history was when i counted the number of x-ray films (44) with the operating theatre reception nurse yesterday.
i was doing the morning shift and extremely lucky to have been able to get to the orthopaedic ward right at the eleventh hour. the health care assistant - a very nice Malay lady - was waiting for the ward nurses to complete the pre-operative check-list. and like a Grandson in Shining Armour, i appeared just at the right moment, smelling of sweat and patient crap. while the ward nurses were busy counting all forty-four of my grandmother's x-rays, we made small talk with the Malay lady. we talked about family and we talked about work. we talked about the fact that there were at least four nurses in the paternal family on last count.
somewhere along the lines of conversation though, the topic of great grandchildren popped up. i knew that i would somehow be dragged into the whole foray about girlfriends and when i was going to bring one along for a show & tell. BAH! what use are grandchildren if they don't produce kids of their own?! truth be told, it was the last thing i expected coming from my grandmother. after all, this is a woman who's about to go for an operation and currently having a high blood pressure reading (fasting for the operation gave her headaches).
and almost like a conspiracy of sorts, the malay lady and grandmother started ganging up on me, trying to softly cattle prod a girlfriend out of my social circle. of course, it's times like these that i have prepared an entire barrage of excuses that i shoot back to relatives with ease. these include basic reasons like 'Oh! I'm too busy at work!' or 'I have no money to feed myself or buy cigarettes, what more a family of four?' the more elaborate ones would beat around the androgynous bush: 'oh i have a partner already, but my partner is still shy to meet the family, give me a few more years, 10 perhaps?'
but i was tired and smelling like crap, so i just gave the all too simply answer of 'Don't have lah!'. thank goodness we reached the operating theatre reception at that point of time and there was no more talk about girlfriends. the OT reception nurse, a familiar face whom i've seen many times and made stupid jokes with, recognized me and helped check my grandmother into the OT. when i told her that this old lady here was my grandmother, she gave me a look on the face that said 'What? you mean you have a grandmother?!'
despite the incredulous look on her face, she still manage to blurt out in Malay, 'Hey, your grandson, does he have a girlfriend or not?'
and here we go again....
Thursday, September 13, 2007
project 355: goodbye Omotesandō, hello Fremantle
i've always suspected all along, that in a previous life, the parents were auditors or treasurers or some job position resembling 'the guy to go to if you wanted approval for so-and-so expenditure'. obviously, this suspicion is only applicable if there were auditors in the early 1900s or if you believe in the concept of a 'previous life'.
you see, the parents are extremely meticulous when it comes to the household finances. meticulous to the extent of almost being an obsession. they are the types that would keep track of every single thing that they spend on. not even a single-kit-kat bar is spared when it comes to the recording of their monthly expenditures. and when i'm talking about their records, i'm referring to extremely detailed ones. the type that involves typing stuff out on Microsoft Excel, tabulating everything, printing spreadsheets out on recycled paper, and filing them away in thick folder labeled 'Financial Expenditures 2007'. i remember once several years ago when i saw the father trying to stapler a thick wad of receipts together with the Microsoft Excel printouts. after several attempts, he realized that the ordinary stapler couldn't do the binding. several days later, he bought a new stapler just for this purpose. this is why i'm thinking it's an obsession of sorts for the father.
of course, with this meticulous behavior comes along with the traits of being practical and cost-efficient people. some would look upon it as stingy and stubborn. while other would just think that it's all about spending on the right reasons. no matter what, the parents have very different financial priorities as compared to mine. they would rather set aside money for relatives' birthdays and the mandatory 10% for God, than buy a new television set. and if you ask me, we seriously need a new TV. the ancient JVC one that we currently own still works fine and all, just that the remote is non-functional.
and guess what? i'm the only person at home who knows how to adjust the television settings (eg. brightness, contrast, sleep timer, access to porn channels, etc) without the use of the remote. call me Mr. Selfish and curse me to reincarnate as a shellfish in my next life, but i'm withholding that information until the parents have decided to replace our decade-old television with something that comes with a functioning remote and preferably High-Definition viewing.
i'm thinking: why spend so much on that miserable birthday gift for that relative, when one could invest in quality high-definition image to accompany family dinners that don't involve putting down cutlery just to change the channel?
i dislike family discussions the same way i dislike bottom who don't clean out the shit in their asses before a fuck. both of the above tend to fill me with dread and a general sense of disgust. but the father likes it and i live in his house, so i can't really help it, can i? the father usually does his family discussions right after a hard day's work - about nine or ten pm - and these are usually done in the piano room. he would put down his work stuff, turn on the air-conditioning and gather the whole family in the uncomfortable silence of the piano room. these discussions are often filled with the cool air-conditioning and imaginary strings of words floating in the air. some fine example of these words are 'big, gaping, uncomfortable silence!', 'awkward....' or perhaps 'it's ten pm i'm getting sleepy and the last thing i want to talk about is family'.
i'm sure every single member of the Teo family feels the awkwardness of being put together in an eerily quiet room for anything more than a minute. which is why the father only has these family discussions when he has an important point to get across to us. most of the points vary from family financial crisis to health problems to death and most of the time, important dates that we had to set aside for family functions. once the father gets his point across to the children, the children do the same. the gist of the message coming from the children would normally be: 'okay, noted, are you done?'
with that settled, the family would usually end with a session of prayer. this normally prolongs the discomforting social mechanics between the family members. simply because the father always makes it a point to ask the children, 'Do you have anything that you need praying for?' the brother who seems to have nary a worry in life would always shake his head and resume his vow of silence. i would normally be very tempted to inject humor into the tense atmosphere and would have to bite my tongue before i blurt something out like 'papa, please pray that God cures me of the crab outbreak in my perineal region.'
thus it was with much dread and irritation that the father dragged ever single one of the family into the blasted quietness of the piano room yesterday at 9.45 pm. i can't help but feel guilty whenever something like that happens. the weight of the guilt increases when i can't figure out what the father has to say to us. i remember one time when the father summoned the family into the piano room just so that they could see punishment meted out for a collection of printed gay porn that i had amassed in a scrap book. there was prayer and counseling involved and i nearly turned back to the path of the straight and narrow because of that. shame (and plenty of prayer, it seems) does things to one's sexuality. tragic it only works one way though (gay to straight, not vice-versa).
i was on the verge of hyperventilating because i knew, i have been a very bad, bad boy. was it the 10.7GB worth of deviant German porn that i had amassed in my laptop? or were they going to start ranting about my financial habits once again? but in my heart, i knew there was nothing bad that i had done recently that would have tipped off the parents. so with the same guilt-laden heart, i made my way to the piano room.
'I have made some phone calls to the tour agent this morning and have made certain arrangements,' i couldn't help thinking that the father was finally granting me my wish of having Boarding School sex. 'Mommy's Tokyo trip has a flexible spending limit of three thousand dollars,' the father continued on. i'm not really picky, they could even send me to a Bangkok boarding school and leave me the remaining $2.5k for 'miscellaneous fees'. that would look nice in 'Financial Expenditures 2007', wouldn't it?
'Because of the seasons in Japan and the expensive cost of living there, we have decided to scrap Tokyo plans. Instead, we are aiming for Perth where the currency rate is better and we can purchase four plane tickets rather than two,' guilt turned into dread and dread produced horrible thoughts of Farmstay sex rather than Boarding School sex now. if there's one thing that i hate more than smelly bottom butts, it's gotta be farms and the great outdoors. hell, i don't even like sheepdogs, cattle, livestock and poultry. give me Starbucks anytime, but just skip the
well, it seems that the family is set on Perth though. the mother's Tokyo prize could be rearranged to somewhere cheaper that would cover four plane tickets, instead of just two. and why Perth is the first place on the parent's mind, is absolutely beyond me. of course, they tried asking the children what other places in interest in this world they had in mind. the brother as usual had to keep in mind his vow of silence and you know what they say about silence and consent. me on the other hand, had plenty of smart-assed answers which i kept to myself. i wanted a European holiday but that would have slashed four tickets to two. Bangkok with the family is no fun because it's not exactly easy to convince the mother to watch a 'pussy ping-pong' show. i've never liked the rage behind all that kim-chi, so Korea's out. American destinations are not exactly a hit with the parents as they have this innate fear against the white power. Sydney and Melbourne we've been there before as a family. and Brisbane's a solo trip i made myself just before i enlisted with the army. and the parents have also watched too much of The Amazing Race to understand why India is a challenging destination worthy of the last leg of the race.
stumped and backed into a corner, i realized that i had no other choice than to resign to a fate of farmstays and long, winding roads of greenery leading to even longer, winding roads of more greenery. so the plan's now for Perth in the month of February. i've praying that Australian cigarettes are worth it. and that there's perhaps a gay bar down the street from the farm that we're staying at.
Monday, September 10, 2007
project 355: returning to work can be a bitch
have you ever gone back to work after a really long break, only to realize that the workplace has moved on from planet A to planet (insert letter that comes after Z)? well, i don't know about you. but if memory serves me right, the last time i disappeared for ten days of annual leave, things weren't so different when i returned. the patients still complained of the same issues, the relatives were still as irritating as flies, the colleagues who produced shitty work still gave plenty of crap and well, pretty much everything remained as same as same could be.
it seems different though this time. the pungent smell of change was in the air the moment i stepped into the staff toilet. perhaps it's the nauseating smell of used sanitary pads in the dustbins or the pungent smell of pee from colleagues who had trouble with the aiming, but things indeed seemed different. take for example, my locker. i had forgotten to bring home my uniform and a pair of socks since the last time i worked. that was two weeks ago and you know how socks are productively fermenting themselves when left alone in lockers. let's just say that they were very far from being a vintage year.
for nearly two weeks, i was stuck at home, mainly sleeping, wallowing under the blankets with fever as a bed-partner, loading up on antibiotics, and generally trying to be as productive as a toilet bowl in the middle of the Sahara. i realized that it was with much difficulty that i had to get the engine up and running again. for one, it was hell having to kick my ass up at five am for work when i have been waking up at eight for the past fortnight. i realized that i haven't written much by hand during the entire fortnight as well, so my signatures and initials at work were nothing more than untidy scrawls that would indeed make a kindergarten teacher proud.
but i wasn't worried as much about myself coping with changes. after all, the resilient Singaporean spirit is so used to the fast-paced and ever-changing face of Singapore. we have survived everything from SARS to a teenager with a SAR 21 in public. we have experienced the brunt of bubble-tea fads, GST hikes, CPF contributions and the ever-increasing value (as in the price, not value-for-money 'value') of McDonald's Extra Value Meals. no. i was more worried about the colleagues and how they would have felt about their smart-ass male colleague who took off from work with a two week medical leave endorsed by the hospital. i tried my best to PR with them whenever i went back to the hospital to see the ENT specialist. i showed them how sick i was by not styling my hair and talking as if my mouth was obstructed by a certain long and hard foreign body (i'm pretty apt at doing this). so hopefully, i got the point across that i was truly sick and not trying to shortchange them in terms of work.
but oh me of little faith. i truly went back to work yesterday expecting a hoard of colleagues armed with torches, pitchforks, tuning forks, forked tongues, salad forks, dessert forks and perhaps a set of carving knives, all ready to burn me and torture at the stake. i was seriously anticipating getting forked all over by them for having taken two weeks of MC. i'm thinking that it's partly due to working in the Asian context, where medical leave is a privilege rather than an entitlement. take the hospital for example, one's MC rate is a major decisive factor when it comes to judging productivity. this in turn affects one's chances at being awarded scholarships, bursaries, extension of contracts, requests for department changes, etc. which kinda sucks if one produces excellent work but tends to fall sick easily. not helping is the fact that one is working in the hospital, the common habitat for superbugs. i actually know of considerate colleagues who are truly ill and are contemplating taking medical leave the following day. but they can't assuage the guilt that comes with taking an MC until they've checked the next day's rostering. 'I don't want to be a bastard and leave everyone else to cover for me when i'm gone,' they would say. tsk, tsk. Asians - such a considerate bunch of people.
thus it was to my surprise, that the closest thing that resembled someone brandishing a sharp fork was a colleagues with a pethidine-filled syringe. and as much as i would have welcomed it, the syringe wasn't even meant for me. the first thing everyone asked me after the casual greeting was whether i have been for a tonsillectomy. i had anticipated and prepared for moments like these by manually penning out what i would reply to the colleagues when i returned to work. i even tried to add in a witty line or two for PR purposes:
'Oh i didn't get to go for the tonsillectomy as the ENT specialist said that i should clear out the infection before go for an operation. otherwise when they cut out the pus-laden tonsil, everything would burst out like a really bad pimple and i would choke on my own fluids in the operating theater and die. and the hospital doesn't want to get sued for anything like that. open bracket remember to chuckle along with colleague at this point of time close bracket.'
of course i didn't verbalize out the bit about chuckling along with the colleagues, but i spent half the time at work desperately trying to make up for the last two weeks. i bought lunch and drinks for the colleagues. i chipped in in terms of work whenever i could. i went for extra smokes with my usual clique. i tried buying their hearts with cigarettes. i ended up having spent a pretty exhausting day. the more i thought about it though, the more i realized that it's pretty silly doing all this post-illness follow-up. why should i feel guilty taking medical leave when i really need it and deserve it? i'm pinning the blame on the whole 'Asian context' thing. i mean, even the father keeps reminding me to 'go and PR with your colleagues and please buy some food for them'.
on a more unfortunate side, i have completely used up this year's worth of medical leave. so that leaves no more room for being sick or completely being a bastard by claiming an MC for 'tension headaches related to work stress' (i have actually used that before and it's officially my patented excuse in the ward now). on the more fortunate side though, i can still be a complete bastard by joining the ranks of angry, stressed-out colleagues armed with the pitch forks and tuning forks.
though i won't be holding on to forks of any sort. i'm thinking of those fermented socks.
Friday, September 07, 2007
project 355: i should be so lucky
luck, just like everything else in life, is all about perception.
to the optimist, 'today's a really sunny day' could mean that Lady Luck has decided to shine down upon our sunny shores. picnic plans would go on as normal, outings to the seaside are made lovely, gay people can get quality tans faster, the stock market will rise, prices of vegetables will decrease and perhaps the general salary of this country's nurses would be doubled.
the realist of course, being the boring realistic people that they are, carry on with life. 'This is fucking tropical Singapore, you moron,' they say 'of course it's sunny today!' picnic plans, seaside outings, gay tans, stock markets, vegetables and nurses salaries will always go on no matter what the weather turns out to be. that's the magic in 'getting real'.
you gotta love the pessimist though. to him, the weather is unpredictable. it's bound to turn cloudy and start raining within a few hours. the weather is never optimal for tanning, the growing of vegetables, the stock market, outdoor activities, etc. and just like death and taxes, there are only two things in Singapore nursing that we can be certain of: high stress and low pay.
there's only one person though, who's the luckiest bastard amongst them all. because rain or shine, he still has an easy time doing his job. after all, for the meteorologist, how hard can it be to forecast the weather in tropical Singapore?
when it comes to draws and contests and anything else that boils down to sheer luck, i'll be the first to admit that i suck at it. well, it's not exactly fair to say that i suck at it, because luck is not exactly a character stat in your typical RPG where all you have to do is put on a 'Ring of Greater Fortune' and all of a sudden one's luck takes a different turn. enemy attacks start missing more often, opening treasure chests leads to greater equipment (a Ring of Even Greater Fortune, anyone?) and perhaps those damsels in distress start turning into damsels in heat. alas, luck in all its truth and reality isn't like that. lady luck seldom grazes my pastures when it comes to lucky draws.
it's a different story for the parents though. they have won a myriad of things before in their entire lives. food hampers, cruise tickets, electric fans, steam irons, kitchen utensils, tupperware. i wouldn't be surprised if half of our electronic appliances are by-products of lucky draws. i know it sounds very 'The Prize-Winner of Defiance, Ohio', but i swear that the parents have never had any intention of winning prizes when they submitted those coupons and slips. they just did it out of sheer convenience and claims of 'because they just happened to ask me'.
so imagine how lucky the mother must have felt when she became 'The First Prize-Winner of (insert corporate hospital the mother works for), Singapore'. apparently, she attended her company's annual dinner and dance last week and she walked away with a delicious dinner in the tummy and a 5 days and 4 night trip to Tokyo for two. i couldn't tell if she was elated or ecstatic because i was running a fever and couldn't even focus on standing. she casually informed me about the trip to Tokyo that night at 11.45pm, to which i replied nonchalantly with an 'Okay, noted'.
for the parents who are old birds at lucky draws and prize-winning, the thrill of winning this Tokyo trip must be very familiar to them. and if you ask me, the prizes seem to get 'bigger' with each passing year. in 2006, it was a rice cooker. in 2007, a Tokyo trip. 2008 should present us with a Class 'C' Mercedes. give and take twenty years, we'll be the proud owners of a space shuttle. alas, i who have never been as lucky as the parents, have only won three times in lucky draws of any sort. then again, you gotta factor in the fact that i'm cynical about these things and will rarely even bother to participate in them. the last time i won was last year. it was an invite to the launch of some lava lounge compilation. the music was too loud and the people were all sitting around trying to make inaudible conversation. there was free flow of Chivas though, so i can't complain. but who cares about the latest when you've got the first? it's always the first that makes all the difference, doesn't it?
that was during the primary school days. i used to be an avid reader of a local kid's publication called 'Young Generation'. it's a monthly magazine filled with comics, word puzzles, short stories from the police force (remember Constable Ah Cai?), plenty of advertisements from stationery companies, and even more lucky draws from companies with kids as their target market. one of those lucky draws that i took part in for some reason, was from Horlicks. maybe it was the catchy marketing slogan (Ho, Ho, Ho and a-grow, grow, grow!) that caught my eye. or perhaps i happened to be a big fan of the tasty malt-based energy beverage back then.
no matter what, i made the mother purchase five packets of their latest product back then: Maltivites or something along those lines. it was basically Horlicks-flavored candy and you had to submit five empty packets of those Maltivites together with a contest form that had a rhetorical question on it. normally these questions would go something like: Horlicks is the only malt-flavored beverage that comes with proteins, calcium, vitamins A-Z, estrogen, whey protein, nitrous oxide, and a mysterious fortifying substance named Chemical X. True or false? i remember giving myself a loud 'DUH?' in my mind as i ticked the 'true' bracket.
several weeks went by and the next issue of Young Generation was published. i didn't think much about winning the lucky draw because what are the chances really? every school-going idiot in Singapore of course knew that Horlicks is the only malt-flavored beverage that comes with yada yada yada. and everybody i knew in school back then loved Horlicks, especially the Maltivites. everyone was offering Maltivites to EVERYONE in school. i'm sure there were a few others who joined the contest as well. so imagine this school-going idiot's surprise when he saw his name printed under the 'contests' section of Young Generation. it was third prize i think. i didn't scream and shout or wave anything about. i think i just did an internal 'yay' and carried on doing my math and chinese homework.
long story short, the mother brought me down to where Young Generation was published to collect the prize. i remember a very nice lady with a saccharine sweet voice handing over the goods. she's the type that would make a very good kindergarten teacher and a very bad bed partner (too clingy and too whiney). but all eyes back on the prize. there was a bottle of that all-fortifying Horlicks powder, a lot of Mativites (and really A LOT of them), some random Horlicks-themed stationery, and several book vouchers.
the mother bought more math and chinese assessment books with the bloody vouchers. which is why lucky draws perhaps, just aren't for me after all.
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
project 355: sleep & thanksgiving
one of the many reasons why i hate adulthood is the introduction to a whole myriad of problems: bills, taxes, general illness, downloading laws, work problems, relationships, the uncertainty of the future, etc. to think that when i was eight years of age, the main concern i had in life was whether there would be anymore episodes of Sonic the Hedgehog on air during the evenings. that and my Chinese spelling test. once you cross the big 2-1 however, for a moment, it seems that a set of problems has been washed away. little did you know that by washing them away, you have done nothing more than make the problems much clearer in sight. one of these problems, irritatingly, is sleep.
now, i have never had problems with sleep during the pre-adulthood days. most of the time, once the head meets the pillow, all i had to do was think of blackness and the next moment i opened my eyes, i would be greeted by a great burst of sunshine and God's General Soundtrack of life during the morning. there was a period of time when i would wake up, only to be greeted by a great burst of the father's groin rather than a healthy dose of vitamin D. let's just say that it was a matter of bed level and the father's need for discipline in his children to wake up before eight am.
i generally require only three to four hours of sleep to function on a daily basis. three to four hours with a lot of coffee and cigarette breaks in between to function on a 'safe-enough-to-not-inject-the-wrong-drug' basis, that is. this happens mostly when i'm doing the afternoon shift the previous day, go drinking with Pangkeng after work, get home by midnight, wash up and check my mail and fall asleep by one am; only to have to get up at five am to do the morning shift again. surprisingly, i still have enough energy left behind for a gym session after work.
on average days though, the body wakes up only under one of two requirements:
- it is eight am (give and take five minutes)
- it has already slept a maximum of six hours (give and take five minutes)
you see, six hours is the maximum that my body can tolerate in terms of sleep. and i'm not kidding you when i tell you that the sleep regulation system that runs in my head can be quite the stingy bitch. any more than six hours, and the body would start tossing and turning about. the body would start feeling the humidity of the morning heat. the noisy jingle-jangle of the parent's keys when they leave for work in the morning. that's what my body usually does to kick me out of bed. well... i mean, it's either that or visuals of the 'great burst of the father's groin'.
between those, i would gladly pick the former, thank you.
have you ever been ill to the point of being bed-ridden?
bed-ridden is one of those words that i learned during Primary school and if you ask me, it's a truly depressing word for a kid under the age of ten. for some reason, i always associate 'bed-ridden' with a deeply-ingrained image of Miss Havisham. i'm thinking it's those PETS worksheets that us Singaporean kids used to tackle during the primary school days. one of the comprehension passages was an excerpt taken from Great Expectations. i'm unsure as to which particular passage it was because it's all so long ago and i've burned and buried most of my childhood together with all the bad memories. the only thing that i'm sure of is that at that moment when i read that excerpt, it left a very deep impression upon me.
the clocks in Satis House all stopped at twenty minutes to nine.
Miss Havisham dressed in a bridal gown.
skin that had not seen the sun in years.
i found myself thinking the same thing when i was down with the tonsillitis the previous few days. i hated the bright sunny mornings so much that i left the curtains permanently down. i kept myself huddled underneath the blankets because i couldn't stop shivering. plus it felt good. my usual habits of smoking, blogging, gymming, writing, creative thinking, wanking, thinking dirty thoughts, were basically the last things on my mind. yeah, i pretty much laid in bed the whole day with absolutely zero motivation for life. it was an awful feeling. if memory serve me right, there was actually one day when i only spent up to two hours our of bed. i tried sitting out of bed read a novel, but ended up falling asleep in the chair. i thought to myself, 'Ahh.... fuck it. since i'm already so well-adapted to sleeping, might as well do it in the bed, no?'
before i knew it, i was fast asleep again. it was during that bout of sleeping and resting though, that i've discovered a good bunch of colleagues who actually gave a damn about my existence at work. kegal laughs sent an SMS in her meena-flavored English after she heard about my 'thOng-cilitis'. according to her, 'that's badd mann'. what can i say? i like a girl who knows her Sean Paul. there's also 'the blurness' who actually gave me a call and entertained me for four minutes with her whiney sing-song voice. they say that she has a crush on me when i'm just there to free-load on her Marks & Spencer Aloe Vera Moisturizer. there's also my smoking buddy whom i have never mentioned in the blogs before. she's tall, she has big boobs and she has the biggest-sized ass that God could have ever placed on a 1.72m tall woman. she sent her regards. my beautiful preceptee. Pangkeng.
these are the people that kicked my ass out of bed. and i'm thankful that they did.
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