Thursday, December 28, 2017

100 TRILLION SYNAPSES

Han came over to help me with an interview I’m going for next week. Fingers crossed I get it! We read a joke piece that involved robi737. She also saw my cat Mochi for the first time, and kept sneezing, because Han has asthma. I had a great day. It was a great day.

Did you know that the link between brain neurons is called a synapse, and to prevent the deterioration of Alzheimer’s or memory-related diseases, you can increase the number of synapses there are between your neurons?

For example, if your association with the word “hoe” is an object that is used for gardening, you can also create other bridges across to that word like making a pun on the word “ho ho ho” from Santa Claus, or the derogatory term “ho” which is slang for “whore”. The more synapses and connections you make to things and facts and terms, the more bridges you have to help you get to a word and the harder it will be for such a word to drop off from your memory or your radar of words.

Your brain has a capacity for up to a hundred trillion synapses. Use them and make them. Every fact you know can branch out to a hundred other facts.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

HUH OKAY

i. Do you find yourself saying humanly unacceptable things to your cat bc lbr if you don’t then what even is the point of having a cat tbh

ii. I watched the first episode of the Neil deGrasse Tyson reboot of Cosmos on Netflix, then read a National Geographic issue on astronauts, and thought of Joey bc lbr when do I not think of Joey? Then I got reminded of something Zack said last week. 

He apparently said something really smart but I completely forgot what it was because he followed it up immediately with something really hilarious, he said “take that, brainy SpaceX guy, I’m smart too” which amuses me to No End!!! So cute and candid!

Benchmark for guys to beat is now “brainy SpaceX guy” jesus cool beans but I told Zack I knew he, Zack, was smart too, of course because that happens to be my only prerequisite for dating and attraction, a man just has to be some kind of smart/brainy/intelligent and yet none of my dating adventures have turned out all that well?

Is it that the smarter a man is, the more douchey he could be? Is this a hypothesis to be tested? Perhaps so, my dear Watson, perhaps so, indeed.

iii. Today I came to my own consensus that any man would be lucky to have me. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. This is why I have a cat I can talk to, because she doesn’t voice her opinion even if she disagrees.

iv. If I end up alone in life, it makes me feel better that in the grand scale of the Cosmic Calendar, we are only taking place in the last what, twenty seconds in the 13-billion-year-history of our observable universe? My life does not matter. Somehow, this makes me feel infinitely better. At least I have the cognisance of what has happened in the brief history of time. I appreciate being me much more than I would have liked being a dinosaur.

v. EDIT: perhaps some of me IS actually made of dinosaur dust???? COOL BEANS im so????? Confused???? Can this be true???? Here is today’s inane Google search of the day, holy cheese crackers, sometimes I can’t tell if I’m smart or stupid.
“Can I be made of dinosaur” — Sarah Mei Lyana, (2017)
No but like dyou know what I mean, if we’re made from stardust, what if there was another galaxy or another solar system or whatever world that had dinosaurs and then they became part of the stars that formed the people you and I know now, if there are multiple worlds I’m gonna say this is a possibility, however infinitesimal.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

SATURN RETURNS

Today I went to the market with my grandma. We didn't use any plastic bags, just used the trolley all the way home. This might not seem like a big deal to some of you, but in Singapore, everybody still uses plastic bags and older folks definitely ask for double-bagging for their groceries. Geez.

It worried me a little, shopping with my Nyai. She asked me to get potatoes, and meat, and quite a few things, more than once, after we'd gotten them. :( When Shahida was here last weekend and ate my grandma's cooking, she said, not for the first time, that my grandma is a living treasure. I think it might be high time to start learning to cook/get some of her recipes down before her memory really fails.

She's the one who raised me and up till now, I think she still has qualms about me living overseas on my own. Traditions are hard to break out of.

Today I was too lazy to walk the twenty minutes to the pool so I decided to stay home and do the only thing I can do and enjoy doing -- planking.

One time, I tried to do yoga by myself, did it for ten minutes and somehow fell asleep for an hour. Anyway, I realised that I haven't cycled for a really long while - it's a good thing you can't forget how to swim or cycle.

Time to go for a cross-country cycle? You bet.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

LET IT SNOW

Zack noticed that my earstuds are origami cranes, so he showed me a plastic container of origami cranes he had been folding, because he’d read somewhere that folding a thousand of those grants a wish. It’s slightly different to the meaning of my studs, which I’d got and have been wearing since three months ago, because I think they signify healing and acceptance. He’s currently at sixty-odd cranes. I asked him what he’d loved most about his ex-fiancĂ©e, and I could still feel his love for her, despite what she’d done to him. Then again, if you asked me about people who’ve crossed me, romantically, I could probably still think of them all fondly. Perhaps we are all individually capable of forgiving the people whom we really love. We listened to an NPR podcast about manipulation, it was about false memories and one of the interviewed neuroscientists did research on an Eternal Sunshine-esque memory modification technique, after a recent bad breakup he’d been through. I’d just told Zack that one of my favourite films is Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, countering his favour for superhero movies (what the fuck do people see in superhero shows? I could churn out ten with absolutely no creativity whatsoever). We watched a bit of John Oliver. When I get home, I have some editing to do, for something Han had helped me with on Sunday. I read a piece of news about an Amtrak train accident in Washington, and linked it to her, because she and I had taken an Amtrak from Los Angeles to San Francisco, and it was one of our quaintest, loveliest experiences on our trip — like meeting families travelling together for the holidays and recommending us the best local ice-cream places at each stop. I am so glad to be talking to her again.

Edit: I am home and my pack of horchata arrived.

I already had a glass and you cannot imagine how wide my grin is. It is exactly as I remember! This drink I last had a year and four months ago, on Venice Beach, or in East LA, which is very densely Latino-populated, or wherever the heck else I'd had it, stealing sips from my hosts.

I AM SO HAPPY YOU DONT EVEN KNOW now every time I miss LA/the US I can drink horchata, and oh my God why is the US so far away from us

Saturday, December 16, 2017

FROM ROOFTOP TO RATCHET

As I was leaving work tonight, looking at how I was dressed, many of my colleagues cheekily reminded me that we all have an 8am meeting tomorrow. By tomorrow, I mean in 7 hours, and that means I should be sleeping.

I was wearing a little black dress, I'd painted my nails my favourite colour, I was wearing heels. I was going on a proper date. We went to Southbridge, an oyster bar on a rooftop, overlooking the river and the gorgeously superficial, superficially gorgeous skyscrapers that grace our skyline.

I wanted to take photos, but I was an adult lady, fully accustomed to proper fancy dates, so I didn't. Christ Almighty what has become of me. We shared an array of oysters, hot oysters and cold oysters with different squeezes and sauces, which were really good, aphrodisiac-status-notwithstanding.

I also had duck pastrami sliders, he had tuna tartare.

He's from Sheffield, but he doesn't have a British accent. Which sucks. Why would you date a British person with no Brit accent, when the accent is the sexiest part??? He teased me about my love for America and American boys. Like my best friend G in Paris, he says I have a boy at every port.

That is a completely nonsensical claim. First of all..... I haven't been to many places/ports. Second of all, I don't have any man, anywhere!

I had an enjoyable night, but the only thing that doesn't sit right with me is that he, and I quote, doesn't like the term feminism, and he prefers equalism. I kid you not, he said the term equalism, and I can barely type it with a straight face. Because in a world where girls aren't allowed to go to school, in a world where women aren't allowed to drive, in a world where a woman's right to birth control is in the hands of rooms of men, the issue someone should have is that the term for progress should signify equality to both genders, instead of highlighting the gender that is disenfranchised most often and widely across the world.

I feel like he is the type of person who would believe in men's rights, and that is where I most definitely have to draw the line.

Regardless, I am keeping an open mind, yadda yadda yadda. As you can see, unlike with the people I have loved the past few times, I haven't fallen flat for this man. Usually when I like someone, I go from 0 to 100 on the double, but this time, I'm just enjoying the company. Perhaps this is a good thing.

In any case, I went from rooftop to ratchet real quick. When I got off the train, my feet were aching from my heels, and I had to get McWings for my grandma (she raised me so whatever she wants, goes), so I took off my shoes and walked home barefoot.

Jesus McNuggets, I hadn't been so ratchet since the company's staff party two months ago. On that night, I was drunk and wearing a long skirt with thigh-high slits on either side. After I'd taken the train on two different lines and when I was transferring to my last train, I realised that the back portion of my skirt had ridden up and was tucked into my underwear ever since my visit to the toilet near the bar where the party was held.

I am ratchet queen. But I am happy. Oysters were good. And I guess he was nice, even if he believes in equalism. I cannot. HAHAHAHAHAHA. I'm out. Have a lovely weekend. x

Thursday, December 14, 2017

BURRITO PROBLEMS

So I just finished eating a chicken burrito that had been in my family's fridge for at least seven days, then realised it tasted a little sour so I Googled it. According to Google results, it was good for 3-4 days. That can't be right, if food only lasts 4 days, what use is having a fridge?


One time in high school, I ate an entire pandan chiffon cake that had grown mouldy all over, just so that I could take a medical leave from school. Nothing happened, I didn't feel even the slightest bit queasy so sometimes I'm convinced there's still bacteria from that time in my stomach.

My stomach is the best. Unless... one day I have stomach cancer, which would not surprise me because cancer runs in my family. But also: Brooklyn Nine-Nine needs to load, stat. I'm so stoked, there were two episodes released tonight (that means last night but by the time it gets uploaded online it's the next night here, thanks for nothing Singapore)!

I'm done with my burrito, I have nothing else to occupy my time. But also also: the new iOS kills me. Why, Apple, why?

Edit: Jake just said "are you guys on Venmo" after having to leave the most awkward conversation with Diaz's parents oh my god this is the best show on TV why doesn't everybody watch this help im dead

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

TELL ME MORE, TELL ME MORE
DID SHE PUT UP A FIGHT?

Last night I got home early from work and watched Grease on Netflix. What a silly, gender-divisive show. A few of the songs are still quite catchy, though.

Before I came home, I got myself a new piercing on my helix. When I was going to bed, I knew that I had the piercing so I slept on my left side, but my perverse human brain kept telling me that I was uncomfortable and that I wanted to try sleeping on my right, despite knowing it would be painful. Why do people do that? For things so smart, our brains can be really stupid.

Having a helix piercing reminded me of my adventure with Indy, my industrial piercing. Once upon a time, years ago, when I was still young, wild and free, I got an industrial piercing on my left ear, which is two opposite sections of ear pierced, connected by something called an industrial bar.

I felt cool for all of those few days, until my cartilage got infected and my left ear literally collapsed. I was hospitalised and literally everyone I knew in life visited me. For an ear piercing that nobody else gets hospitalised for. I learned my lesson that of all the things I was in life, I was just not meant to be cool. So I stuck with just my two earlobe piercings for the longest time, until my helix yesterday.

This Sunday, I am meeting Han, my supposed best friend forever, whom I haven't seen for months. I suggested doing the bungy (Singapore's first step-off-a-platform proper bungy) or the giant swing, but Han says she's slowly losing her taste for scary things, so we were gonna do the vertical skywalk, in which you descend the tower by walking facing down, but then we decided not to do that.

If my best friend starts getting more fearful of exhilarating rides or activities, who will I do those things with? Who am I gonna take the world's craziest rollercoasters with?

Truth be told, I also think I should confront my fears and do the swimming with sharks thing as soon as I can, because I might not have the threshold for it beyond my 20s. I've done a real bungy in KL, skydived in New Zealand, the only thing left is the shark cage.

I actually have a real phobia of sharks, my brain always forgets what the phobia is even called. If a shark appears on my feed while I'm holding my phone, I drop or throw my phone, and if a shark appears on TV, I instinctively close my eyes. I don't understand why it gives me such goosebumps, but I guess that's what is meant by phobia.

Where am I going to go for the shark cage? Definitely have to do it in 2018 before I get older and chicken out of such things. I just want to do it and possibly try not to pass out.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

STRING OF LIGHTS

I had dinner with one of my best friends, Pamela, tonight. We talked about a lot of things, and perhaps the things we talked about will be pertinent five months later, or perhaps not. What matters though, is that I am grateful for Pamela and I love her a lot. 

Last night, I got home from work to three packs of classy-looking tea in tins (chamomile, earl grey, rosehip and hibiscus) on my bed. My mum had gotten them for me ‘cos she knows I love tea and she wrote a note asking me to cheer up. The best part is they’re all ethically-sourced/fair traded tea! :)

One of my ex-colleagues at I am... is getting married in a couple of weeks at the start of January. I mention it now because that was where Pamela and I dined tonight, my previous workplace, and my colleague passed me the invitation. Top off my head is what I’m going to wear to the wedding. 

It doesn’t hurt to have thoughts like what to wear, not least when the whole of Los Angeles seems to be on fire (at least it seems to be from all the news reports) and an explosion went off in NY, not half a day ago. Stay safe yall, I don’t believe in prayers but yall are in my thoughts x

Monday, December 11, 2017

DON’T READ THE LAST PAGE

hold on to the memories
they will hold on to you
and I will hold on to you

please don’t ever become a stranger whose laugh I could recognise anywhere

More and more, I am filled with a really quiet, little sort of peace that makes me smile to myself, a small secret smile, just for myself. I listen to lyrics and see photos of the beach and read Malay words and think of birthday celebrations and watch animated films and drink tea and get reminded of the dozens of men whom I have loved, who have made me happy. 

I have lived a rich life. What a life. It is going to be even fuller.

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

COME ON, SKINNY LOVE

25 days to the end of the year. Sometimes, when I meet up with people I haven't seen for ages, they tell me I've lost weight or become skinnier, and out of those times, some people ask how I do it. Well, I do admit that my genes probably help because my mum is tall and lanky and my biological parents are athletes so I don't have to work out much to look fit. The real reason why I'm usually skinny, though, is because every time I get jilted in love or go through a rough patch, I lose my appetite and then I lose even more weight. I try, I try to eat my regular amounts through my ups and downs, but it's hard when I'm depressed and my stomach doesn't feel hungry. So yeah, if you're envious, perhaps you might wanna try getting knocked up, miscarrying against your wishes, falling out with your family and then losing the ability to trust or to maintain a meaningful relationship with anyone. That could work.

Sunday, December 03, 2017

MISMATCHED EXPECTATIONS

I went for dinner with Bhavs and Ekta tonight. We had vegetarian Indian food at Nalan, Capitol Piazza. It was really good. While having cheesecake for dessert at Starbucks, we got to discussing our dating experiences, especially through online dating apps. After some banter, I asked for their respective deal breakers, and Bhavs said she just wants a very nice guy.

I then had to think quite a bit, because I would say I've had a pretty extensive and comprehensive dating experience and even so, I haven't met too many very nice men. I then came up with an idea of making an app specifically for Very Nice Guys.

Bhavna's initial reaction was: "but then you'll find all the men there!"

I would think the opposite though. I think, in our society, and in many societies, men haven't been taught to be nice, or to prioritise being nice. A man is expected and taught that it is important to be successful, to be wealthy, to be handsome, or really intelligent, interesting even. But it is not a man's job to be nice, that is traditionally for the women.

In fact, I would make it hard for men to qualify for the app. First of all, like the way Tinder started out, a man who wants to be on our app would need a verifiable Facebook account, and secondly, he would need five verifiable female Facebook accounts to vouch for him as a very nice guy, to be allowed an account on our platform.

This means that women apart from his mother must agree that this man is indeed a nice guy. Five is a safe number, just because some women, like men, want to see other people burn, but getting five people who want to watch the world burn with you, is quite a stretch, and the way Trump sometimes gets blocked from carrying out his ridiculous executive orders, these five women can now be judges of whether a man is on the app for good and justifiable reason.

I think it's a brilliant idea to get women involved, because women know what hurts other women, and for example, I've never known a lot of females who would help a guy lie to cheat on his current partner. That way, this weeds out all the men who might be looking to stray from their partners. I think women should all be helping other women.

I also think that if a man has been on our platform, and the same Facebook account is back on our app, we would look for his most recent matches and allow these female partners to verify whether he was a nice guy and things didn't work out amicably, or whether she sensed red flags and he was abusing the rules. I say this because I've been on and off Tinder multiple times, probably eight times at least, in the past four years or so, and I'm sure there have been douchebags who have been on the app, on and off, again and again, for at least the same amount of time as I have.

I'm not saying that all men have bad intentions, but to have an app like Tinder where some men are looking for things that girls are not looking for, is just not productive. Men who want to have fun, who are not ready to settle down and find something serious, can stay on Tinder, and match with women who are looking for the same thing.

I'm definitely saying, though, that men abuse girls' trust on Tinder far more often than you think it happens, even when the girl in question (ie. myself as case example) states what she is looking for. You wouldn't think men who are in relationships would be on Tinder, and yet I got inadvertently and unknowingly involved with an engaged man. And somehow, that's not even the worst of it.

If a man is willing to go through the various forms of verification before being allowed to be on our Very Nice Guys app, then you'd know that he's really serious about dating, too. It's a win-win for all parties.

The following questions are things I thought would be useful to ask men who might wonder whether they would qualify for the app. Most are from my own experiences, a few are from my female friends' experiences, and although not the same man might have committed all these little crimes, if you are guilty of at least one of these, as a man, I hope you take some time out to yourself and reflect on what you've done, whether it was worth it, whether you can really call yourself a good person.

Now, I'm not gonna be sanctimonious, I know I've made my own mistakes while dating, but let me assure you, I have never been one to abuse someone's trust while dating. I've always been serious to start dating in a committed relationship, and honestly, I think if that's what he wants, that's half the battle won for a man who wants to call himself a very nice man, who wants to get in touch with girls looking for very nice men.

Questions:

Do you find yourself explaining things to women in a way that they might perceive as talking down to them?
Are you married or in a relationship?
Do women apart from your mother generally tell you you are nice?
Have you ever called a female person a slut/whore for any reason?
Do you feel comfortable when talking to male friends and they call women terms like whore or slut?
Are you ready to commit to a serious relationship?
Do you think it is more important to be nice and good and kind than it is to be any other trait ie. successful/smart/wealthy/handsome?
Have you ever insisted on sexual activity even when rejected by a female partner?
Have you ignored texts from girls unless they are sexual in nature, or responded only in sexual forms?
Have you ever stopped texting or responding to a female partner after having had sex with her?
Are you ready to take on emotional and mental issues your partner may have, with the understanding that it would be mutual for her to accept you and your issues?
Have you ever neglected your partner's emotions or been emotionally isolated and used your previous experiences or issues as justification?
Are you currently recovering from/coping with getting over a recent long-term relationship?
Have you ever done physical things with a girl and, knowing that she already has feelings for you, continued to engage in physical/sexual activities, although you only have platonic feelings for her?
Have you ever found yourself intentionally mirroring someone's experiences to get them to trust you and let their guard down with you?
Have you ever led a girl to think that you would commit to her although you would only want sex from her?
If you have answered yes or no to any of the questions above but regretted it since, would you say you have changed and would not do it again?

I now need an app developer and a psychologist.