Monday, May 28, 2018

REENACTORS

This morning, I talked to Ben about Bill Clinton, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and his impossibly adorable dog Beast (if you haven't seen, please, please Google it, she's practically a mop). I told him when I was in LA, several of the friends I'd made talked about reenactors whom they knew, in a slightly bashful way, so Ben told me these people reenact scenes from the Civil War. We also talked about the Confederate flag. I'm basically trying to absorb all knowledge of the US, before I become a citizen, so that when I live there, I'm not one of the clueless, misinformed, ignorant ones. I went to the market with my mum and grandma, baked some salmon with lemon butter and baby taters and carrots, and had that satisfying combo of a delicious healthy meal. I'd planned to swim but it rained pretty much throughout the day, so I didn't, but I put on a hair mask and also a face mask. I watched Jake and Amy's wedding episode, and crylaughed over the third act, and talked to Ben about it. Apparently we'd been watching the episode at the same time, and we didn't even know nor planned nor talked to each other while it was happening. Geez. I'm now listening to Rosanna by Weezer because Adam told me about it. Overall, not a bad twenty-eighth day of the month.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

DARWIN DEEZ

Last night was one of those nights. I somehow felt all the waves of emotions I'd suppressed and there was only one way to let them out, and I bawled myself to sleep, the kind of bawling that clogged up my nose and I had to breathe through my mouth to get to sleep. One of my part-time colleagues had said something at work, "I don't know how you do nine-hour shifts five days a week, I feel like I'm rotting here from one shift" and I know it was a completely spur-of-the-moment remark and there was nothing malicious about it, but it got to me, and I'd already been feeling, so tired and so heavy, through the week. Then my colleagues were asking each other hypothetical questions again. One of them, Cheryl, asked which of our colleagues we'd pick to be adopted by, so that that person would be our parent. Cheryl said she'd pick me to be her mother, which rather surprised me, I didn't think we were close enough for her to feel that way. She said I'm more towards the "individualism" side and yet I'm still caring about other people's emotions. I didn't, I couldn't mention to her how much this struck a chord in me, but that was probably the thing that started me feeling and thinking through the night. I have had a weird experience with my parents and their parenting styles, and I know people say you turn into your parents, but I really hope I won't be a helicopter parent like my mother nor narcissistic like my father. I feel like a lot of parents tend to have kids, without thinking of them as adults in the future, without thinking of them as people of their own. I think this tends to apply even more when parents are religious. Some parents think it's okay to believe there is a God, there is a Big Man somewhere out there, that created us all just for us to worship Him (or Her), and so these people are completely okay with having kids for their kids to worship them as parents and basically be mini versions of themselves. And they never ever think it's selfish to do this. And I think I would actually like to have kids, I think I would love my kids no matter what or who they turn out to be, because I generally love people for being people. Yet I know, I would never want to raise kids unless I can guarantee that they won't have to struggle in their lives, with their sexuality, with finances, with capitalism. I don't want to add another person to the population if I have to see them struggling. So I think, perhaps if I mother my colleagues at work, that would be enough. Maybe I don't have to have kids of my own if I can be a mother figure to the people who are already in my life. Speaking of which, some of my colleagues at work who are my "daughters" had gotten me the urban decay x kristen leanne beauty beam highlighter palette for my birthday.



I love it.

But even more than that, I love it when people think of me as a mother.

Friday, May 25, 2018

INERTIA

Today I Skyped with Ben for an hour. He is back in his family home that he grew up in and there was a Harvard scarf (?) or banner or something hanging on his bedroom wall. He also showed me the hall on which fabulous photos of his great-grandparents were hung. There is also a room that he and his brother Aaron, were not allowed in, because of probably fancy stuff, and there was a piano in that room, and then I thought, wow imagine living in a house big enough that you have an entire room that your kids are not allowed in, I've never felt that, lol. Also, oh my God, my colleague Cat came into the stockroom while I was typing this, and she asked if I was blogging, so I said yes. Somehow we both started talking about long-distance relationships, because her boyfriend Dante is in South Africa and she's here in Singapore before they both go to university in the UK in a couple of months. She said "phone sex is weird" and immediately my floodgates were opened because omg yessss????? Today Ben asked whether I was going to screenshot him and I said I wasn't, obviously, and I thought he didn't trust me. And then there is the matter of each of us worrying about whether our doors are locked and someone walking in on us. And then today I just told Cat I was simulating some licking but I actually licked my phone so there was so much spit and my phone now has to be sanitised. And like????? Phone sex is weird.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

PAWN SHOP

Today I saw a cute guy, walking in the opposite direction ie. towards me. We were both wearing black jackets, we both had messy hair, and were carrying backpacks. The first time I looked at his face, he was also looking at mine, so we both looked away. Before I passed him, I tried to sneak another look to assess just how cute he was, and he was also looking at me, so we again had to glance away. What do people who have partners do when they find someone else attractive? I haven't been in a relationship for so long, I forget the proper conduct. Also, am I in a relationship? Are we, are we not? I hear Ben's voice every morning and night, he is back in his hometown of Nanuet, NY. The backyard is so green and lush. We tell each other we love each other, we talk about future plans, but are we together? Yes, no, maybe? I don't know. Could you repeat the question? Modern dating is so weird. Also, Ben has never dated a woman as apparently naughty as I am. Jesus. I swear when I'm there, it will be the opposite of what I expect and I will be more liberal than half the people are. Everything is so weird.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

SAVE ROCK AND ROLL

you are what you love, not who loves you
in a world full of the word yes, 
I'm here to scream
no, no, wherever I go,
trouble seems to follow
I only plugged in to save rock 'n roll
oh no, we won't go
'cos we don't know when to quit, no

Monday, May 21, 2018

OKAY, SO WE'RE DOING THIS

Recently, my workplace has been asking everyone a daily question before the start of our shifts, just to get us into the mood of working, and to let us get to know each other somewhat more personally. Yesterday it was "what would you do if you had one billion dollars?" and then I went into quite a bit of detail, leading my colleagues to say that I was really thinking about it. I was thinking about it, of course, you don't ask someone like me such a question and expect me not to think about it. My brain never stops whirring, and I'm a writer, so I'm always imagining something other than the reality I'm in. Plus, if you're asking a question like that, I take it very literally. One billion dollars is very different from a million dollars, I could stop within an hour of talking about a million dollars, but having a billion dollars, is having a thousand possibilities of spending that million, and I'm gonna fulfill this billion-dollar-potential as much as I can. First, I would pay off my parents' debts, then relocate my household to a nice cosy home in New Zealand, where my mum would like to retire with my stepdad and my family. This would take perhaps two hundred grand, with the migration fees and the house. I would put aside conditional educational trust funds for my six younger siblings, with a cap of three hundred thousand dollars each. If they all used it up, it would only be about two million dollars spent, and I'd have 998 million dollars left! Man, I love being a billionaire. I would take drumming lessons, and learn to drive, go for LASIK so I can be unencumbered by my failing eyesight. I would buy myself a beachfront house in New York, write and read all day everyday, drive out to the city whenever I want, to catch Broadway musicals and concerts. I would sponsor the educations of other women of colour, visit impoverished nations, and bring the brightest minds out and let them study whatever they want to, wherever they want to, in the world. There are way too many bright minds not given their proper spaces to flourish, and the white men with all the money will never change that, so I will. I will build safehouses and give visibility to QTPoC, and people who are no longer accepted by their families due to religious/cultural differences, etc. I will invest money into environmental causes, and also sponsor scholarships for inventors to make the world more plastic-free. I'll buy a bamboo/reusable straw for everyone able to use a straw. I would study fashion and change it to be more sustainable. I dunno, generally I think I'll just pay for less privileged/advantaged people of the world to be educated to try to level the playing field, and hope they do the same for others. I think I'll just keep 100 million dollars for myself to travel, and to live for the rest of my life (in case I do get cancer), that should be more than enough.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

APPLE CINNAMON MUFFIN

We have a colleague Michelle, from China, she grew up there for most of her life, so when she found out some of the people at work were fasting for Ramadhan, she got really curious and asked another of my colleagues, Kyrene (Singaporean Chinese) about it. Michelle said in the part of China where she grew up, they don't have events that would ask people to stop eating, they have festivals that encourage eating more instead, and for some reason, that really amused me. She also told me her elder brother had also come to Singapore to work about a month ago, and that he was a really nice guy, a gentleman. She said, "I'm sorry to your boyfriend, Sarah, but my brother is a really nice person for you" so I laughed it off and said she could introduce him to her other girlfriends but she said she liked me more, hahahahahaha oh, Michelle.

Friday, May 18, 2018

FUCK LIN-MANUEL MIRANDA
(ALSO KNOWN AS: HAS IT BEEN
A MONTH ALREADY?)

anything you can do, I can do, bleeding

I was thinking of using the time after sahur (pre-dawn meal) to be productive with my writing before heading to work because I have the "same number of hours in my day as Lin-Manuel Miranda" then I thought: Lin has never given birth like his wife has, Lin has never battled nor experienced monthly debilitating stomach cramps and figured out how to deal with them, Lin has never felt weak from the lack of iron thanks to losing blood from the vagina he doesn't have, Lin has never had to fight with his parents regarding dressing "appropriately" for his gender and culture, Lin has not had to fight my fights, so fuck Lin-Manuel Miranda, I'm good enough as I am. And that, folks, is how you know my period is impending.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

KING LEAR

I had what Ben called an actor's nightmare, last night. I was the lead character of a stage production, but they'd only given me one day to memorise chunky, heavy, long lines. Despite being given multiple cues, I clean forgot them when I was on stage, and the worst thing is there were people in the audience whom I've always wanted to impress. I don't know what the dream means, besides that I'd eaten a lot before sleeping, but Ben says it was cool because now we share the experience. He used to want to be an actor, he did theatre in Harvard. If Ben says it's cool, it's cool. Naw, I'm kidding. But I do love Ben. I haven't come up with a hashtag for him yet, but I'm thinking perhaps #notmyfavoriteBen, because our inside joke is that my favorite Ben is the one of Ben & Jerry's fame (his name is Ben Cohen).

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

RAMADHAN

It is the start of Ramadhan. Ben and I had a little conversation over text, about the move of the embassy to Jerusalem. Ben is Jewish, and I'm Muslim by association (lolol I dunno how else to put it), so it could have become quite heated, but we saved that for another day, because texting is definitely not the best way to discuss a decades-long complicated issue, in which neither of us wants to see any bloodshed but each of us has a little bit of an interest in sort of opposing sides. He doesn't agree with the move, and I would say I wouldn't agree with all the moves made by any of the parties so far. So. Will I ever learn to cut my run-on sentences short, and write properly? Perhaps. I told Ben that the ink ribbon for my typewriter is sort of drying up (is that what it does? not sure what the proper terminology is), and Hazwani might not have had time to find a replacement before giving it to me for my birthday. I don't know where I can find typewriter ink ribbons, seeing as typewriters themselves are not too common in Singapore, and Ben said he'd look around in Brooklyn when he gets home, and send them to me if he finds them. I love Ben. It's hard to want to sit myself down to write when I remember that I have Ben, who makes me feel so good, and so nice, and so much better about the world, but then I think, to get to Ben, to get with Ben, I have to keep writing. So. Delayed gratification is how it will have to be.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

BRIGHTER THAN SUNSHINE

I had a birthday last week. It was my 28th, so it was pretty special to me.


My family got me a watch, as is their tradition, with the exception of last year, because last year was weird for us as a family, and perhaps they forgot about their traditions with me, but this year, it seems like things could be mended, slowly.


Chloe got me Gold Class movie vouchers, which I love. Going to the cinema is one of my favorite things to do, and unfortunately I did very little of this in 2017. I seem to have taken time out from doing so many things that I like, but now I'm going to try get back to them. Gold Class movie vouchers are such great gifts, because who wouldn't like watching movies in comfortable cushioned reclining chairs, and blankets, and personal tables for your fancy meals? No one. But who would dish out that money on themselves? I wouldn't, lol, I mean regular movie tickets are pricey enough!

My soultwin Viv gave me cash as part of my tattoo fund, which is apt because she's one of my tattoo shifus. Hehehe I cannot wait to go get it with her and Andrea and Han and Pamela. Ben says I deserve better than Bon Jovi, so maybe I'll do Hamilton, I dunno.


My girls: Han, Tiqs and Sha got me fake flowers because they knew I've never liked flowers because they wilt and die, so these ones will never die, and they got a vase for them, and this is amazing. They also got me shopping vouchers, which I think I'll use to get myself a bottle of Chanel No. 5 EDP. It's my favorite perfume, but I only used it once in my life, when my mother got it for me on my 21st birthday. I always loved the powdery, sweet scent but I thought it doesn't really suit me, I'm not demure -- you know, I'm the girl who burps in public and posts videos of myself coughing phlegm on my Instagram stories, but you know, it's my year, I will wear whatever perfume I want to. They're also taking me to watch Kumar next week, which I'm really looking forward to! For someone who wants to do a stand-up comedy session sometime, it's funny that I've never seen a stand-up comic live. I've only seen those on Netflix or Youtube.


Cuifen, Pearlyn, Timothy and Yuriko got me two Pandora bracelets, and they are gorgeous, and pink, and extremely me. One of them has an S charm, because of course my name is Sarah. This is my new staple accessory.


Nabilah got me a handbag from Charles & Keith, which is just the perfect colour and design and which I'm gonna use for Eid this year. Yay, I have something besides my backpacks to carry around!

Dana's gift to me was the gorgeous watermelon cake that was a talking point of the night. The decor of the cake really coincidentally matched my dress and the flowers in my hair.





So, Ben got me a little pink Pusheen plushie, because I was always mewing to him randomly. He also wrote me two cards. One was something for me to read at the party, and the other was an essay of what he loved about me. He couldn't fit it on one page so he continued on the back of that card. This man is so adorable, and he's mine. When we watched Hamilton, I'd cried at the scene of It's Quiet Uptown, because that was when Hamilton and Eliza had just lost their son Philip, and of course it always takes me back to my miscarriage, so I'd been sniffling. Towards the end of the musical, during Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story, one of the lines about Eliza building an orphanage got to Ben, he said it reminded him of his mum, who had been a special ed teacher, and he teared, and I was completely thrown. This man! I've seen the Hamilton bootleg with several men, but none of them responded the way Ben did, and I love him!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We also had a fantastic dinner at National Kitchen by Violet Oon, at the National Gallery. It was his treat 'cos we didn't think he would be staying until my birthday but he extended his trip, and he did grace my party and make it ever more memorable.

Also, on my birthday evening, I was asking if anyone wanted to play games before we ended the party, but most of my friends and family were tired, because we'd already had quite a bit of fun with jokes (#saidpeoplesaidyourself) and confusing anecdotes, and the watermelon cake, and sparklers. Ben then said "I want to play games" and I knew it was because he had been going around with me to prepare the things for the party, and I'd just bought the whiteboard for Pictionary and I just wanted my guests to enjoy themselves, and I wanted to just squeeze him right there and then. We ended up not playing, but my party was really fun and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves, and they all liked each other and commended me for my taste in social circles, anyway, hehehe.



The pièce de résistance was Hazwani's gift, which is a pink typewriter, that is fully functioning and I'm still figuring out how to use all of its magic. My life is now complete, I WANT FOR NOTHING ELSE. This is just my type(writer) of gift, actually all my gifts were my type of gifts.

I am now 28, and I have received such lovely things, but as I said during my little speech to end off my party, I am truly blessed to have the best people as my company. The most important thing they all did for me was to stay by my side through rough storms in my life. I can look around and say how lucky I am to be alive right now (Hamilton reference, for the uninitiated).

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

WAY BACK INTO LOVE

So half a year ago, I was on Tinder in Brooklyn although I'd never been in New York (don't ask why, I'm a little insane sometimes), and I matched with a guy called Ben. I then liked someone else, and got distracted, but Ben and I were Facebook friends. He and I continued to like several of each other's posts, but never really kept in contact. Two weeks ago, he asked me whether I would be free to have a cuppa with him because he would be in Singapore for a weekend. I said yes, of course. In the past two weeks, if I haven't been asleep or at work, then I have been most likely looking into his face. One of the first things I learned about him in person, was that he went to Harvard University, he studied English (read English? I dunno) and at first when he had told me, he said he didn't like how I was reacting and he didn't like to tell people and for people to treat him differently, but I liked it even more. I would think that being from Harvard would make it even higher odds that he could be an entitled highly-educated white prick, and I have met so many men who are intelligent, and none of them better human beings for it. This man, though, the first morning that we'd woken up together, he talked about social mobility. He said it's much harder for black families, they might get their way into the middle class but then fall back down the class ranks again, and it's very different from white families, and there's still a long, long journey to work and fight for. His mum passed away of cancer, and I see him still coming to terms with it, and when I asked him what his favorite food was, he said it was beef brisket the way his mum used to make it, and she taught him the recipe, but that his doesn't match up to hers because she'd been making it for decades, and he needs those decades to improve on his. I've brought him to eat local delicacies, things like laksa, and rendang - voted the most delicious dish in the world, in a poll by CNN International taken by 50000 people, and sambal stingray, and drinking sugarcane. He likes most of it, and he does this cute little review of sorts of our streetside everyday food, and he pronounces it in a butchery white man way, but I correct him, and he tries. Several days ago, my colleagues were having a conversation about whether they approved of Ben, because we have this joke that I am their mum, and they should approve of the man I'm dating, and the banter went back and forth but the consensus was that I was happy, and he was making me happy, and every screenshot I put up on Instastories of a conversation between us was cute and quirky and smart, and they like him. He's also turned up at work several times to fetch me for a meal or to send me home, and they think he is very sweet, and they are right, he is. Sometimes when I ask if I can film him for Instagram, he says "I'm not your show pony!" but then he does it anyway, because he said he likes that I so want to show him off. Last weekend, the public transport system fucked up again, and I hadn't known about it, so we had to take an extremely long detour, and my gripe about it was that nobody who was going along the same train journey as us, had seemed to know, and everybody was confused, and Uber was surcharging because everybody was trying to Uber home, so I said, we are a first-world nation with everyone owning and being hooked on a smartphone, it should have been easier to get the message spread on social media and make us aware of it, but I didn't say this, I yelled it while we had to walk past queues and policemen and volunteers trying to bring order to the situation. I also peppered it with constant "what the FUCK is wrong with Singapore? Fuck this shit!" and a whole lotta fucks, and basically I was in public-transport-rage-mode, and at this point, men usually understand I'm a basketcase with a lot of issues, but Ben, despite telling me he saw a five-year-old girl side-eye me for my rage, said it was normal and healthy, and distracted me and told me stories, and held my hand throughout, and I thought, damn, he does really love me. Whenever I say Jesus Christ, he says Superstar, like the musical, and I Instagrammed this and my manager Aileen was so tickled she kept singing it when I got to work. He dropped out of a community choir because the director kept gaslighting him and he accused Ben of saying that no non-blacks are allowed to sing black songs, and they had an altercation about appreciation and cultural appropriation. He also asked me what it was that I read and watch, to be in the know about such things as race and gender politics, and I told him I'm in an intersectional feminism group on Facebook, and the people on there had really helped me get through my miscarriage. This is the man I love, and this is the kind of white man I like. One of the things I hate people bringing up when the topic of my dating comes up, is that "white men only want sex", which befuddles me, because one, there is nothing wrong with sex, two, everyone wants it - white or men of colour, white women or women of colour, and three, men of colour, especially in Singapore, have not been introduced to the idea of systemic racism and gender politics. They hate being told that they've internalised misogyny, they hate being told that they're mansplaining, they hate being told that perhaps white men deal with gender politics better because they've been called out on their race politics and so have started to think about these things, and are thinking about the issue with a mindset that's a decade ahead than their Asian male counterparts. When we watched the Hamilton bootleg on my laptop, there's a scene in Aaron Burr, Sir, where they knock a beat on the bench and Laurens says "showtime! showtime! I'm John Laurens in the place to be!" and Ben asked if I knew where the "showtime" ref was from, and he said it is how crews start performing in public in New York, whether on train platforms or anyplace, that's how they start, and I told him I'd just read that bit of information in my Hamiltome and I knew it, and I thought, this man is living the life I want. He's living out the Hamilton scene I've been playing in my head over and over. Over the past week, I told him he shouldn't be making me fall in love with him, so he asked if I wanted him to do something horrible so I wouldn't miss him so much. I said, "well are you gonna hook up with someone else and disappear?" to which he responded that that would not be poetic, and followed up with "Hamilton is overrated." He said this knowing my feelings about Hamilton, that it's the American Dream taking place, but the cast is so diverse that black people and Asians and Hispanics see themselves as founding fathers of America, and if there's one thing I love, it's representation. Ben knows which buttons to push that I respond to, and he also knows to tell me he loves me, because I love being told that I'm loved, just as much as I love telling people I love them. This love has been a microcosm, perhaps like all loves, and I have enjoyed it so much, and I will miss you, Ben, always. Thank you for the best two weeks I could have had while turning 28.

Monday, May 07, 2018

PARALLAX ERROR

In secondary school (that's high school to you Muricans), I remember when a friend told me that I had used perverse thinking that it was the same word and meant the same thing as perverted. I later learned that he was right, they were two different things. In polytechnic (that's like vocational school), a good friend I still keep in contact with (Viv - I don't know if she'd ever remember this) told me what "patronising" meant, because I'd again never known. I initially had this impression it was a good gesture, I said "isn't it a good thing if someone is saying you're right and indulging your feelings?" before I really learned what it encompassed. Thinking back, I wonder what took so long for me to learn such words, but every time I think I know something, of course I can be proven wrong, and I must always, always, always remind myself there is always room for me to be wrong, and that I can always learn.

Saturday, May 05, 2018

IN HEAT

Mochi is in heat and mewing non-stop and her eating/litter area is right outside my room so I get woken up most at night. The poor girl seems to be contorting herself and feeling really uncomfortable and it reminds me of my own premenstrual cramps, but at least I know why that shit happens and I get to take painkillers. Poor Moch. I think we've gotta get her spayed/fixed/neutered soon. I also have a gazillion other things to do and say but I am happy, happy, happy.

Friday, May 04, 2018

MAY THE FOURTH BE WITH YOU

I need the time to choose a font, email Maxine (that's @maxinengps on Instagram), reply the email from the girl/lady who reads this blog, write to Freya with regards to her move to Dubai. I will attempt all this through the weekend. I have the same number of hours in a day as Lin-Manuel Miranda. Also, my birthday is in seven days and I accept contributions to tattoo funds, hehehehehe.