Wednesday, July 31, 2013

To A Kingdom for A Suit

A trite and usually hastily forgotten hurdle in a man's life would be the arduous job of choosing a suit. Since even a hideous troll can pass off as a charming prince with a well-fitting suit, shouldn't every sober young gentleman have the undoubted pleasure of having a bespoke suit made from scratch to suit?

Shameful to admit but the last time I actually had a suit made was for my graduation more than a decade past. Sombre, conservative all-black cut to match the sobriety of the occasion.

Swear I'm a little less uptight now. 

Isn't it time we all suited up? 

Though still considerably enamoured with formal wear and much less willing to settle for ready-to-wear. But I seriously doubt ten years of good living would allow me to squeeze into that stern black suit of mine, even if I wanted to - which sadly I can't since I have little recollection of which dusty forgotten corner of the armoire it has fallen into. Not to mention the length of time that has passed would have left the abandoned suit looking quite a bit dated. 

With several weddings on my schedule for the coming months, I could find no better reasons to have a suit made. So during this particular jaunt to Bangkok - the famed home of quick-snip professional tailors and incidentally the place I got my first suit from, I was determined to earn my made to measure pleasure. This time with a little more time and care; far less slap and dash than my previous rushed experience. 

Regular confabs with my cousins in Bangkok failed to come up with anything specific - supposedly they randomly stumble onto disreputable tailors in the cavernous bowels of Mahboonkrong - so I had to rely on racy internet gossip to track down a reliable tailor. My ever-present companion Charming Calvin - who finds off-the-rack suits far too unsuitable for his ... unconventional proportions - came along for the exhilarating tuk tuk ride as we went on a sharp suit search. 

Paul : I might have a three-piece made. Two button jacket. Maybe in dark charcoal.
Calvin : I'll have the same. 
Paul : What?!
Calvin : Why not? 
Paul : You want us to look like carbon copies? 
Calvin : I might look better. 

Ouch. Mayhap I might need an urgent appointment at the ubiquitous Thai aesthetic clinic. 

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Consummation of Marriage

So what constitutes sex when it comes to two men?

Obviously the more anal-retentive would presumably leap to instant sodomy with penile penetration being the final climax of all homosexual sexual intercourse. Lest we forget, a criminal act wholly illegal in our country but yet so irrevocably tied to the gay male identity that it's almost impossible to convince anyone that while some of us do take the occasional stroll through the back alleys, quite a squeamish number have never even ventured close to the Hershey Highway. Pretty sure there are as many complex variations when two penises come to play as there are sticky yellowed pages in the gay Kama Sutra.

In fact our... adventurous friend Mercurial Marshall grades his sexual escapades in his personal classification from light to heavy.

Marshall : Nah, we didn't do anything heavy last night. Just some light stuff.
Paul : He stroked you with a duck feather? 
Marshall : I wish! Just some light kissing and stuff la. 
Paul : On the lips? Or everywhere else? 
Marshall : On the lips. Nothing below my neck.
Paul : That constitutes light sex? That's barely high school! 

Honestly I couldn't even begin to understand how he stratifies them into different grades of ... heaviness though I'll assume straight-up sodomy carries the most weightage.

So tell me, what kinda kink are you into? Something light or heavy? 

But I digress. So why the sudden need to define gay sex? Well it does make an annulment for gay marriage quite a tricky proposition for the men involved. In a straight relationship, consummation is defined as a complete penetration of the vagina by the penis, although it doesn't matter if a condom of ejaculation is involved - hence a marriage can be annulled if one of the couple has the incapacity to perform the act so to speak.

Leaving a quandary for places advocating gay marriages now; how would you constitute consummation for a gay marriage? Would that mean no sodomy, no marriage?

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Playing Hooky

With teacher parents ever obsessed with perfect school attendance, I have never ever missed a day of school. Barring the rare devastating natural disaster, I would probably be walking into the schoolyard by seven thirty at the latest. Apparently my parents hoped that regular school attendance would teach me the much commended values of diligence and discipline.

Lamentably quite the opposite happened since I'm quite the advocate of playing hooky these days. Seriously, missing a few days of school probably wouldn't have skewed my grade point average. Not like some of those sluggish, soporific hours at school were at all beneficial.

Unfortunately like I said before, none of the teachers looked this inspiring

Unlike my conventional brother who insists on teaching his children the same values we learnt - which is how I now have a distraught niece wailing over the thought of missing school. Clearly bending rules and conventions isn't exactly Chatty Carmen's forte.

Paul : They missed the plane? 
Brother : Pretty full that flight.  
Paul : What fun! Woo hoo! No school!
Brother : Not really. Chatty Carmen is weeping over missing the first week of school!
Paul : Crying over missing class?! Who does that!
Brother : Apparently my kids!

I gave him a sideways glance, could have sworn he was smiling just a little. Skip a couple of days and Carmen weeps. Tell me I'm missing school and I'd probably just pull up the blanket for another few days of sleep.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

What Fairytale Princesses Believe

Though the common belief is that fairytales were invented mainly to instill unimpeachable moral values in the impressionable children, I believe it also helped quite a lot in keeping them biddable. Dare to misbehave and you'll be eaten by horrid carnivorous trolls under the bridge. Make noise after bedtime and the monsters under the bed would eat you.

No doubt it also helped stem the otherwise endless stream of enquiries from the ever-inquisitive, apparently inexhaustible children. Sometimes I don't blame their frazzled parents for cooking up inane answers to their impossible questions... all just to shut them up. 

Kid : What is that? What is this? Why is this? Why is that? Who is that? Who is this? 
Father : Everything can be explained by magic. 
Kid : What? Mommy said there's no such thing as magic. 
Father : Well she's wrong. Believe me, it's a thing.

Could I just say it would be seriously tragic if you're an impertinent rugrat who doesn't believe in magic!

Paul : What are you doing?
Panacea : I must pour the tea clockwise three times and anti clockwise twice. That's what my governess told me! It would bring me good luck and fortune.
Paul : WTF.

But as usual, things are very, very different over on this side of the Big Puddle. Rather than our disgruntled junior cynics in the city, we have our very own gently reared fairytale princess Pretty Panacea who was cloistered in a secret convent far, far away, constantly sheltered from every necesssary evil that could ever befall her.

Of course being sequestered all alone with the superstitious abbesses also meant being fed some of the most peculiar old wives' tales ever. After all our gullible Panacea would only accept it as the gospel truth!

Panacea : Oh you're eating mee sua!
Paul : Yeah, longevity noodles. It's a Fuzhou thing.
Panacea : Also good for fertility. Keeps the ovaries pumping.
Paul : *choke* 
Panacea : Yeah it must be something in the noodles. Also makes the uterus springy. 
Paul : WTF.
Panacea : Really, that's what my trusted governess told me!
Paul : Good for my ovaries? You mean I could have gotten pregnant all on my own! 

Well who am I to disabuse her of such a fanciful notion. I bet she believes in fairies as well!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Lights Camera Action

Smile for the camera! 1... 2... 3...

Could any line be more terrifying to me?

Said it before - and I'll say again - I take really awful pictures. Definitely don't photograph well unlike my more photogenic brother - and consequently my niece and nephew - who all have an uncanny mutant ability to predict the presence of an approaching camera lens and to flash a dazzling dimpled smile on cue. Even to mug laughingly for the cameraman.

Me, I usually look unreasonably furious at being caught unawares. Or as my brother says, it's my 'wanna tear the photographer to pieces' look. Well, at least it's not the mulish constipated frown worn by surly male models for their oh-so-painfully-chic glamour shots. Seriously, why are the models perpetually frowning? Genetically gifted with unblemished porcelain skin, impossibly sculpted bodies and effortlessly perfect smiles, do they actually have valid reasons to be at all unhappy?

Umm... hey man, I don't think you're supposed to smile that much. They want us to look angry, ya know!

At least I have a reason to be angry - since none of my pictures actually manage to make me look anything other than a fuming troll. No doubt it would take several magical waves of the Photoshop wand to transform this freak into anything approaching a prince charming.

Unlike the endless waves of unknown pretty boys snapping random pics of themselves on Instagram - and still looking like they just trotted off the covers of the men's magazines.


But this drastically unphotogenic ability of mine obviously came inherited from my camera-imperfect dad. Though he does look pretty nifty in real life, it doesn't show on camera since my dad never ever takes good pictures. Not even when he was in his suave twenties. Like the intimidated fellows caught in the sepia-toned photographs of the early 1900s, my dad usually looks reasonably astonished that such a technological marvel - the camera! - has come to capture his image. Whereas I am the embodiment of fury in my photo gallery, my dad is all pure vague dumbfoundment.

Not exactly the best shot.

Still it hasn't deterred me from getting a cute lil camera for myself.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

All About Wisdom

Turns out wisdom comes at a price.

For me, it came up to about two sleepless nights, a massive headache and a bloodied gauze.

Since I was a kid, I've been fortunate enough not to have much trouble with my teeth. Apart from the horrible two-year brush with nightmarish orthodontia, generally my upstanding chompers have held up pretty well against the brutal ravages of unmindful dietary intake.

Then two nights ago whilst in the middle of dreamless sleep, I sprang up wide awake with a throbbing ache in my jaw. Seriously felt like I'd been sucker punched while I was asleep. Quick look around had me concluding that my teeth had to be acting up since there didn't seem to be an unknown assailant lying in wait.

Oh God that's way too much wisdom for one man to take!

Took me a couple hours of unbearable pain and patchy sleep - not to mention a terribly grumpy half-day at work - before I duly presented myself at the chirpy dentist who cheerfully informed me that I had an impacted wisdom tooth. Figures it took that long for wisdom to arrive.

Paul : Whatever it is, yank it. 
Dentist : Oh it's an impacted wisdom tooth.
Paul : Yank it. 
Dentist : It all depends. We can always..
Paul : Yank it. 
Dentist : Doesn't mean we have to do that all the time. Sometimes it can recover and...
Paul : Yank it.
Dentist : Or we can yank it. 

Pulling out teeth is just as trite as it sounds.

And twice as painful. Rather than the terrifying needles and the monstrous pliers, what pained me the most was the interminable wait at the waiting room while supposedly soporific music played. Face-numbing procedure took all of fifteen minutes as they skilfully yanked the wisdom tooth out while I sat there praying they would just switch off the mind-numbingly dull elevator music.

So now I have only three quarters the wisdom I had before. Hopefully that's enough to last me. 

Sunday, July 07, 2013

Prince in The Tower

'Once upon a time there lived a princess not too far away from here. Educated in the arcane skills of apothecary, she took charge of the royal apothecary upon the return from her studies with the dubious support of some ever unhelpful, always grumpy minions who muttered ever of impending mutiny.

Though she had recently recovered from recent heartbreak, our princess still managed to find love with a Northerner from far yonder, all through the benefit of email. Since she had only seen fit to meet him twice. 

Which didn't suit our princeling well for he insisted on travelling to find his true love. But rather than show him the wonderfully famed sights of her kingdom, the princess immediately locked the poor unwitting prince in the tower for the remainder of his journey to hide him from all who knew her.' 

Prince : I pledge my life to you!
Princess : Very nice but sorry, you're still staying locked up in the tower. 

Not exactly the happily-ever-after you're searching for. We've all heard of despairing princesses being locked up in towers far, far away hoping to for a white knight to rescue them. Over here, we have the reverse happening.

Paul : Seriously. You're locking him in the house. 
Panacea : Well I can't very well let anyone see him in town! Everyone would start talking!
Paul : Let them talk!
Panacea : And call me an unprincipled woman for having an affaire barely weeks after a breakup?
Paul :  So you're keeping the new fellow in hiding?
Panacea : Yes!
Paul : Even from us.
Panacea : I'm not ready for him to meet anyone yet.
Paul : Is he wanted for murder? Is he madly insane? Is he grossly hideous?  
Panacea : Of course he isn't. Why would I date such a man!
Paul : By hiding him from your friends, it sounds like you're ashamed of something.

Don't know what a man would think to have his supposed girlfriend keep him in hiding. On the way here, poor fellow was probably expecting to be welcomed with glad hearts, open arms and possibly a royal wedding. No doubt fooled by our Pretty Panacea's sweet promises. Not exactly the stuff of fairytales to find himself unceremoniously stuffed into the dark, dank closet when guests come by.

Honestly I would be highly suspicious if my partner refused to have me meet any of his friends. Wouldn't there be something really wrong if you wouldn't allow your friends to meet someone that significant in your life? Otherwise what possible reason is there to hide?

Who knows, maybe her prince really is grossly hideous.

Or a hunchback?

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Put a Ring on It

Thinking of rings.

You heard that right. Took me quite a while to get around to it but I am looking at rings since yes, Charming Calvin does make me want to be better. Not sure if the reverse is true though!

No doubt disenchanted cynics would laughingly deride the sentimental value of that simple innocuous band of rock and metal but I've always cherished the inherent significance imbued into a simple ring. A symbol of my commitment. Having that ring on my finger simply means I'm not gonna be jumping into bed with the closest Chris Evans doppelganger no matter how irresistible the temptation.

All bets are off when it comes to the real deal of course, ring or no ring.

Of course, just any damned old stainless steel band wouldn't do for me! No sirree, I utterly refuse to wear a ring made out of my dirty discarded forks. Like I told him, it's gotta be Tiffany's or bust. Guess I did learn a thing or two from Ms Holly Golightly.

Put a ring on it!

Since going bust doesn't seem to be a problem for the both of us - at least for the moment, I saw no reason to delay a quick expedition to the local Tiffany's store. Nevertheless there are some things I learned about myself while browsing through the store.

I can't wear platinum.

As much as I love the idea of a platinum band, I can't wear it. Looks so wonderfully elegant in the pictures but yet somehow it doesn't suit my hand. Tried a half dozen; never sat right somehow. Perhaps it's the lighting? Perhaps it's my skin colouring? Perhaps a dint of cultural upbringing? No matter the reason, a simple plain gold band suits me best.

I despise gems on men.

Never knew that actually. Sure I make a face when I see Liberace's gaudy jewelry-laden digits but I always thought that a single stone would be fine by me. Not really.

I don't like fancy embellishment.

Tried out most of the rings on hand, even the lavish bands with sappire-eyed leonine beasts resting on precious rocks. Wearing it made me look like a pompous Chinese druglord bedecked with ostentatious bling. So back to the plain unadorned band it was.

I am so gonna save on rings.

Yes, I have the larger hand. He has a smaller one. Guess which ring is cheaper.