Monday, March 5, 2018


Will I always think Teenage Dirtbag is relevant even well past my teenhood? Possibly.

I met my cousin Syafiqah and her husband Ziff at Superloco Customs House for some Mexican food. We shared the fish taco, beef quesadilla, ceviche and a squid dish (I forgot what it was). They're both in the advertising industry, and Ziff does art directing in Saatchi, telling me about their fast track program. They both gave me tips on my portfolio.

The conversation got to the #metoo movement, and Ziff talked about how almost a decade back in Singapore, an ECD at one of the big firms (Ogilvy I think), Robert Gaxiola, had been playing with multiple women, and then those women banded together to write a blog that named and shamed him. Sounds like something I would definitely be in on. I wanted to read it but it has been taken down!

We talked about Aziz Ansari and the Weinstein controversy, and it is always very interesting for me to see the views of other women as well as of men, because geez, do they differ. We were also wondering whether in Singapore, the law recognises that marital rape exists and Syafiqah used her phone to Google "husband rape wife Singapore" at which point Ziff exclaimed "why would you do that to your algorithm?!" because you know, now Google thinks perhaps it is an issue she's facing lolol.

They asked what I wanted to achieve with my novel, like what I want people to compare it to, and I instantly said Black Mirror. I know what I want in the novel, an alternative reality that does not exist, but I want people who read it to feel like it does exist, like it's real. I don't want to write and people to feel like I'm trying to create something that's not already there, it has to exist in the minds of my audience.

You know how when some writers write, the characters feel like they jump out of the page, like you're barely reading words off a page, but you imagine it happening somewhere, even if the technology currently does not exist: I want to craft a world like that - like how Black Mirror is pretty much happening, even though it doesn't, not technically. I don't have the ability to do that, not yet, so I'm reading works that engage that craft, until I do.

Ziff recommended a book about writing/storytelling (not sure which, perhaps both?) called Invisible Ink, so I have to go get that sometime soon.

We moved on to P.S. Cafe at One Fullerton and had yums dessert.

I had the ginger and earl grey pudding, served with ice-cream. Ziff had something chocolatey, and Syafiqah had her favourite sticky toffee pudding, but after tasting mine, she said maybe she would change to the ginger as her new staple. I loved mine, hehe.

At P.S. Cafe, we talked about children and how they can be the devil's spawn, sometimes regardless of how much their parents try. I said that having a diverse group of friends would perhaps help in envisioning the spectrum of people your child could turn out to be, but they were very shocked at this idea. Apparently even if you accept certain people as friends, you would still not want your children to turn out like them. This I found intriguing, try this exercise - if you have friends, people whom you actively choose to socialise with, that you would not want as your children, it means you are not ready for children.

I think it is very amusing, though, because I would think I am that friend people would not want to have as their child, I am insubordinate and I have a mind of my own, and I dunno, I question everything and hate accepting the status quo.

On the way back, Kak Syafiqah talked about how she had silently primed and conditioned Ziff to tweak his toilet-roll-changing habits, and was now trying to get him to tweak his eating habits, to like eggplant and squid ink and all that, and she says she's a little psycho, because she applied and applies behavioural conditioning to her husband after having read about it.

Then I realised, we are all a little psycho and to admit the areas in which you're psycho to other people, those are the best social circles, because it means you're giving the other party an aspect to judge yourself by, and more often than not, you don't get judged because the gesture is reciprocated by the other party making you privy to certain information as well.

We talked about tattoos, because Syafiqah's sister has several, and she is one of the few (maybe three, in a family of twenty-five cousins?) people in our family that has them, so I knew Syafiqah wouldn't quite judge me, although I could tell that she doesn't exactly approve, either.

It was a great Monday, and a great way to start the week. Have a really nice March, y'all.

Today I heard a song from La La Land, and I thought about two of my favourite places, Griffith Observatory and Yosemite, which I visited in winter, and had the most brilliant white snow/nature experience with my best friend at, and I think, I wish I didn't have to hustle so much to decide between going back to my favourite places, and to settle on something more crucial for my life path, because I am but part of the proletariat.

But that's a first world problem, and I can live with it. Hustle hustle hustle.

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