Monday, December 30, 2019

END OF AN ERA

Yesterday, Lucas and I built a small wooden house from an arts-and-crafts stencil.



The quality of it wasn't fantastic, it felt like it was 3D-printed material. We broke certain parts, and argued while building because again, our problem-solving methods are not the same. Towards the end, Lucas asked if we should just chuck it out, but I continued putting together the tiny final parts. He then said "you have the most patience" and I joked that I knew and that's why I was with him.

It was a joke, in many areas Lucas is extremely patient with me and in some areas, I am the most persistent person ever.

At work, they asked us to step out of our comfort zones for the new year, and at times I wonder whether my comfort zone is being with Lucas. I have probably never felt this comfortable in my life, but I don't know whether it'll eventually get to a point of stagnation. Comfort is a welcome thing though, I don't remember the last time I woke up from a nightmare in cold sweat, my subconscious now knows that however bad it is, Lucas has my back, literally and figuratively.

For Christmas, Lucas got me a voodoo doll as an inside joke. It's just a basic doll-shaped pillow that came with a few pins as well as a marker. Just the week before that, I was in rage mode at a woman who was holding up the laundry line, in the most inconsiderate manner. I said I wanted a voodoo doll so when Lucas chanced upon one, he got it for me. It is the funniest and somehow best gag gift I've gotten.

He also actually bought me a session at a rage room.


I must make a disclaimer that raging physically is not the solution every time you feel anger, but it is fun and novel, and also helps with alleviating anxiety. If you do have rage issues, you might want to consider a therapist, which I would see if I had all the disposable income in the world, but I don't. Therapy is expensive.

In a couple of hours I will be flying to Vietnam. It will be a nice way to end the decade and start a new one afresh.

The past quarter of the year has been an alright one. I'm still getting accustomed to the birth control pill, hence slowly edging out period pains that used to accost me every month. Thanks to Lululemon, I've been going for yoga and boxing, and I've also been swimming more regularly. I'm gonna say it once, exercise will not and can never make depression magically disappear, but when I'm not in a depressive episode, the exercise and routine really bring much more stability to my life. I'm finally getting muscles in my arms, instead of simply being lean.

It's been a wild ride. I wanna thank everyone who's been there for me, whether or not we're still there for each other at this current moment. What are your twenties for, if not falling for people who might be secretly engaged, or bros who would never take a day off work for you, precisely the ones who remind you of your extremely flawed father, right?? Now fuck off and let me enjoy my thirties in peace.

To be honest, of late I really feel a tension headache and the sort of anxiety that gives you a stomachache, only because of monetary issues. It really presses me that I don't have savings as I should have, at my age, especially comparing myself to my peers.

However, I have been trying to sit with this discomfort and unlearning it. It is precisely a capitalist society that ties personal worth to "productivity" and the measure of financial output someone can bring, that makes me feel this incapable. I am worthy. I face up to the realities of life and accept challenges, I allow myself to acknowledge my flaws and seek help for them, and I have always grown in those ways.

I don't exist in a vacuum, though, so it would be much appreciated if someone could just give me ten thousand dollars. I'll try to invest it and grow it myself, but 10k is nothing to some people!!!!

OKAY this was supposed to be a post to thank the past decade for happening. Peace out, y'all. I'm leaving this decade a much better person than I would have been if not for it. When 2020 and the new decade come along, I invite peace, stability, love, acceptance and wealth into my life, and into yours.

Friday, December 13, 2019

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, TAYLOR SWIFT


One time, I wished someone a happy new year, and he said “we're all just hurtling thousands of miles around the sun.” I'm not sure what that was supposed to mean, perhaps that yearly human affairs of counting seasons mean nothing in the grand existence of the universe. He was right, I guess. I, however, am relieved for an end to my own personal previous decade. It was a decade in which: my mother found out she had cancer and the family battled it for a couple of years, my father's continued cheating tendencies were revealed to me although I didn't seek this information, I got involved with a soon-to-be-married man without my knowledge and I actually quite liked him before I knew, I fell in love with a man who impregnated me, then miscarried and started facing severe depression over the perceived morality of it all, I ended many close friendships because I have become more political than I realized, without much company. Of course none of this matters to the universe, it has always gone on and will always go on regardless of all the tiny nitty-gritties in any one singular human being's life, but boy, am I glad the entire chapter is pretty much over. I have made several choices that might count as mistakes, but above all, I still think many of my decisions validate me as being very human. I'm glad to have lived this life, of having taken every risk I could have taken, after having weighed the pros and cons that I could have seen and known at each point in time. I'm ready to say peace out to this decade and can try to move through 2020 and the next decade with 20/20 vision. This is metaphorically speaking, because in terms of my physical eyes, I have 20/800 vision and yes that's possible, and yes, it also means I'm almost legally blind, if you look at me wearing glasses you will see how much light is refracted through the lenses and how much distortion then happens. 🙃🙃🙃

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

MARRIAGE STORY

I watched Marriage Story on Netflix. It's about a couple played by Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver, who have a young child (six, maybe?) and are getting a divorce, each trying to get custody of their son, between LA and New York, where they both work in theater/TV. There is a running joke about the space in LA (hilarious gag!!!!!!! A++++ execution) and there is a scene somewhere in the middle where they are just realizing how much shit has been thrown at themselves by the other's lawyers, including allegations of alcoholism and adultery, some true and others not. The scene is about four minutes long where they start by wanting to talk things out, but it increases in intensity and they're screaming at each other about all the things they've resented about each other through the years that you must keep bottled up if you treasure any relationship. They're red in the face and physically exploding, not literally, and saying the most hurtful things about each other, and I felt it was really believable, and very, very sad and human. I teared near the end, but by that time, they had resolved certain things and accepted the circumstances while growing apart, and settling into their new lives, because you knew they would always love each other, in certain ways. The lawyers were also really well-acted, super well done, and for a Netflix original, I think this is the sort of family movie you should watch instead of Love, Actually for the holidays this year. Or perhaps you can watch this first, before putting on Love, Actually to end on a more maudlin note.

Saturday, December 07, 2019

I'M THE HERO OF THE STORY
DON'T NEED TO BE SAVED


I don't know if I identify more with Summer or with Tom now. I used to be Tom, because I would break my own heart, I guess you could say. I used to think Summer was a right, real bitch, but now is she, really? Lucas says his mom will be flying to Singapore in January and she asked whether she could bring anything for me, and my fight-or-flight instincts kicked in. I haven't met any of my exes' family members since more than ten years ago, and even back then, I only met one ex-boyfriend's family. A character like myself, I think I'm gonna need much more therapy than I've currently received. On the one hand, I don't like to be tied down, and I'm so contrary. If the government and my family want me to settle down, I don't want to do so precisely because they want me to. On the other hand, I also.... don't like to be alone, I don't think? Or do I? It's so strange now when I think about myself whinging when I was single, I don't quite understand why I do that, I enjoy doing many, many things by myself that are apparently not enjoyed without company. I like watching movies by myself, I read by myself, I love eating by myself, especially in public when I can wax lyrical in my own head about other people's lives. Today I thought about the song I would want at my wedding (if I ever get married), Toploader's Dancing in the Moonlight, I thought about whenever the song comes on, I dance by myself in public, and I wondered whether Lucas would dance freely with me. We've never danced and I've never seen him dance, I know he says he can't dance and so he doesn't do it, but I can't dance either, though I don't let that stop me. I'm going to hyperventilate and also I wonder if I will ever get a stress ulcer because money issues are worrying me to death and I can't change these issues. My insurance agent asked to meet up next week, and I wonder why, she's either gonna ask me to up my premiums or she'll give me money, right? I don't know, why do insurance agents ever want to meet you? If she wants more money, I swear I'm gonna develop a stress ulcer right there and then. I feel like Chidi. Also it just dawned on me that I've only broken up once in my life and every other time, I've been broken up with. Not that it's a scoreboard. Is my life just one giant, continuous session of cuffing season? Is that everyone's life? I'm not having an anxiety attack.

Friday, December 06, 2019

THE SUN IS A STAR


bagai bintang di syurga
dan seluruh warna
dan kasih yang setia
dan cahaya nyata

oh bintang di syurga 
berikan cerita
dan kasih yang setia
dan cahaya nyata

This is one of my favorite Malay songs. It feels like.... the Malay version of The Scientist or Yellow by Coldplay. To me, it's a classic. I was telling Lucas all about the singer, who got caught in a sex tape scandal. This performance also reminds me of Adam, for some reason. It's something I wonder if Adam would listen to and say "this slaps!" Adam and I follow each other on his band's Instagram profile, and I think he has a girlfriend. So I think life is going quite nicely for each of us. What a difference a year makes.





The past three days have been good to me. I've spent some time cooking, swimming, and reading. My current read is Budi Kritik: a collection of essays by and about the Malay community, pertaining to topics such as language, religion and gender, among a selection of others. I have greatly enjoyed the read so far, I think it's important for Malays to read it but also for just about anyone as its principles can translate for any other language or community. Sometimes I do things that are peak-White-Girl, I travel with no regard for my safety and I eat avocado toast for brunch. I will always love my Malay culture though, despite criticizing the insidious patriarchal nature of the decade past, I also love Malay songs at karaoke, and I would feed every stranger in the world my nyai's sambal telur and ayam lemak cili padi. I love codeswitching between Malay and English humor, saying things like “sukati kau la nak.” The pictures are not related except to tell you that my odds are stacked, I'll go back to black. The following is an excerpt from Budi Kritik. Yet, there is something to be said about the uniqueness of a language that makes its loss all the more devastating. The Austrian-born philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein expressed it best when he said, “The limits of my language mean the limits of my world.” Untranslatable words are the very epitome of this erudite line. Let us consider the Malay word ‘sayang’, once a theme of the Singapore Writers Festival in 2016. The term has no one-for-one English equivalent. It infers intimations of love, yet it can also conjure regret, even loathing. Such were the chatter on the ground as the festival unfolds, but it is also notable that the first to get at its multifarious meanings is not an ethnic Malay (sorry not sorry, ultras) but a Singaporean writer of Indian descent, Gopal Baratham. As so eloquently put by his protagonist Joseph Samy in Baratham's novel Sayang (1991), the word “describes a love bound to sadness, a tenderness trembling on the edge of tears, a passion from which pity could not be detached.”
A post shared by Sarah Mei Lyana (@sarahmeilyana) on

I created a trip itinerary on TripAdvisor to try and win business class tickets. I made an itinerary for Old Souls in New York based on my experience. This was what I wrote:
Washington Square Park: You might have seen this park in movie scenes, or your favorite poem could have been written here. Soak up the atmosphere permeated by artsy folk, who have been haunting this joint for centuries, to sing, write and dance in summer. Even in winter, you can feel a buzz of people ringing in the new and inviting fresh memories into their futures.

New York Transit Museum: The entrance to this museum looks like just another entrance to the subway, so be sure not to walk past it! Inside is a collection of all the different MTA train car designs through the decades, for you to take photos and appreciate posters from campaigns past. Don't just do it for the 'gram though, definitely take the subway when in New York to see and interact with the heart of the city: its people.

Brooklyn Bridge: Did you even go to New York if you don't walk across this bridge? No one would believe you did. When I was here, I witnessed a man proposing to his girlfriend, and the entire crowd burst into awwws. There might have been onions around me too. Whatever your expectations are, this city will surprise you in delightful ways. At the very least, crossing the bridge while admiring the skyline of New York City should inspire a little awe, if not a lot of warmth and fuzziness inside you.

The Strand Bookstore: The Strand is a great place to meet other old souls. If you don't like them in human form, then you might want to let yourself get lost in the stories of thousands of books. The book that's been on your wishlist, it's definitely here. That book you've been meaning to write? Could maybe already be found here too. ;)

The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Millennials know The Met from Gossip Girl. Besides its iconic steps, it holds some of the greatest pieces of art within its towering rooms. You don't have to be someone who's "artistic" or a regular museum visitor to appreciate this place: there's something for everyone and when you've found yours, you might stand mesmerized for hours.

Grand Central Terminal: The first time I was here, I was on a first date. I'd like to think I fell in love on that night, yet I will never know why. Perhaps there's something about a crossroads location where thousands of people commute each day, leaving tiny parts of themselves behind, to intermingle with the souls of yesteryears. Time runs thin here, everyone is catching a connecting train to somewhere but if you have a moment, stand from afar as you guess the lives of all who pass through here.

Central Park: All across Central Park are benches with personalized plaques on them. These plaques contain personal quotes, or descriptions of people who have passed, contributed by family members, friends, and anyone whose life has been changed by the subject. One day, I aim to spend an entire day reading every single plaque there is, but until then, perhaps you will find your favorite before I do.
I am such a hopeless romantic. I really done fell in love with the city. Also its people. I love New York City. The magic is in its thousands of people organizing against the police to protect homeless and poor people of color from being criminalized for not paying MTA fare. The magic is in thousands of people like me, going there to change the world, for a change in their own lives, to create things of their own, all of it spilling into one another's bubbles. I miss New York. I miss the way I felt happy to be alive when I was there.

Wednesday, December 04, 2019

FACTS AND FIGURES

I had the luxury of having spare time yesterday so I picked up a copy of Factfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong About The World - And Why Things Are Better Than You Think. I bought it because I wanted to have some hope about the world and our future, and I thought perhaps exposing myself to certain facts would help. I read about a third of the book and I have decided not to continue. Anyone who wants it is welcome to get it from me, I have a physical copy and I don't know what to do with it. The book was published sometime in 2017 and outlines that as humans, we are outrageously bad at knowing the conditions of the world and predicting trends that are expected to happen. There are many good and nice things reported in the book, and indeed most of them are true and factual. In the past two hundred years, the world has indeed progressed at astonishing rates like never before, and the writer predicts that this trend will continue. Something the book sorely lacks is a grounded view of climate change, they do not acknowledge that climate change has happened as a result of our progress and industrialization and therefore the fact that should our financial conditions improve, the climate will also steadily become worse. There are dozens of locations in the world that have been burning non-stop this year. He also brings up only facts that serve his case, meaning economic wealth and overall lifespans may have increased, yet at the very same time, mental health has been on the decline. While we're at it, the fact that mental health has only recently gotten the attention it needs means that there are barely enough resources to equip future generations with dealing with it, so ya. The book didn't make me feel better, it feels like an ostrich burying its head in the sand to avoid looking at hard facts. There are already more critiques of the book readily available online. I read them and they are chock full of more relevant facts than the book is. I really didn't think it would be like this, I read it because I wanted to be hopeful about the future of the world but the way to be hopeful is not in denying reality. I really want to study gender and women's studies, then become a therapist for women, and also write a book while I'm at it. If the world is going to end, I might as well try to go out with a bang, right????

Tuesday, December 03, 2019

DEXTER'S LAB

I was talking to a friend from work, she moved here from the States 'cos her husband got transferred for work. I asked who she would vote for next year, she said she hasn't done her research yet so I tried to sway her to Bernie's camp lolol. I was very transparent about the fact that I like Bernie because he's passionate and he would make college tuition-free. I'm hoping that I would have to only pay for my first two years of tuition (which I enrolled for at a community college so it would be way cheaper) and when I'm converting my associate's degree to a bachelor's the two years after, college would be free in New York! I thought I would take a bank loan and have certain family members as guarantors (who are not my parents because my parents are always struggling with cash, read: four children per parent) but said family members tried to dissuade me from studying once they found out I was an atheist so basically, SNAFU. What else, what else. I still have $28,000 held by the government. I really don't want to spend $28,000 CPF back on the government on a goddamn flat, but that's the only thing I can do. Not that I can even use it to buy an apartment for income unless I get married, so..... Again, whatever. This government hates someone of my demographic and I hate them equally mutually. Will the patron saint of Sarah Mei Lyana please step up and PayPal money into my account?! I said PLEASE!!!! Y'all think I'm a comedy queen but I really ain't playing. I'm going to be broke all my life. Speaking of which, actually not at all speaking of which, y'all need to watch the latest episode of Patriot Act, about why billionaires won't save us, and why billionaires should not exist. Even Bill Gates, or anyone as well-intentioned, should not exist as a billionaire. I would write more on it but tbh Hasan Minhaj and his team has already done all the research and made it humorous enough on his show, so if there's one thing you do for me this year (besides Venmoing me cash) please go and watch it.

Friday, November 29, 2019

ICARUS

I went for another session at CruBox this week. Bebe, the co-founder who was also holding our session, came to my punching bag during a round of knockout (that's when they just let you go ham on the bag) and she said, "this is the day you've been waiting for, go harder and faster" so I did. I also made potato salad and cooked dinner twice this week, and this gives me immense satisfaction. Last night, Lucas and I watched Icarus, a documentary about Russia's state-sponsored doping for their Olympic athletes. They highly likely killed off an official involved but then reported it was a heart attack. Today I ended my shift at Lululemon (this is why I get to claim workout sessions) and the entire mall was jammed 'cos people were shopping out Black Friday sales. Two nights ago, we watched the fast fashion episode of Patriot Act and I have restrained myself from buying any article of clothing, seeing as I don't really need one. My heart sank seeing the massive turnouts at the sale, not that I would blame them, anyway. When you're not in the ruling class and capitalism makes it so hard and expensive to buy things, I understand that splurging on sales to get more value for your money could contribute to some measure of satisfaction. Of course nobody has the time to think of the real cost of all the cheap clothes: the cheap labor that earn close to slave wages, the oils and plastics and unsustainable material that go into each single piece of clothing (I'm not one to talk, I work at Lululemon lol). Today I thought about the Russians who place no value on a human life, who don't see the moral implications in killing someone they used. I thought about the crowds of people spending money that doesn't even technically exist on things that don't matter, and I thought. If climate change wipes us out, maybe it's a way to start over. We started millions of years after our ancestors died in ice ages past, and maybe climate change is yet another factor in the ebb and flow of life and nature. I mean, if you compared the two situations down to the minutiae, we have seven billion people currently in the world, and the average lifespan has increased to the longest a human has ever reached. This is both good and bad, seeing as the misery of billions of people is now prolonged, and on the flipside, we have had much more time to explore our individual and collective potential. We are only as strong as the weakest of us, and there are people who still value new clothes for Christmas or protecting their so-called world reputation over saving humanity, and if that is the case, which it is, then how much of that is really worth saving from climate change? Perhaps as a species, we have all flown too close to the sun. All this to say, there is no answer, but Eleanor is the answer. If you Google the phrase "there is no answer but Eleanor is the answer" you will see the internet having a meltdown over our collective favorite TV couple, the only TV couple that matters and that is real, tbh. There is no answer to life, and you will always be the answer. The Good Place still makes me believe in romance, and I will always laugh and cry at it. Deep down, I will always know what is right, and it is what I have always felt.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

JIMMY EAT WORLD

So today I was so sick of shit I Googled "how do I end the simulation of life" ugh the simulation I'm in really sucks. Come on, what else can I do, I've tried to break all the fourth walls. I'm so sick of this crap. I was listening to a song today and I recalled a memory. When I was dating early this year before I'd met Lucas, I met an Australian guy. I wrote a bit about him but not this part. He works in oil and gas and I think he enjoys a pretty decent position. When we met and I asked what he worked as, he prefaced it with "I'm a bad guy" before telling me he worked in the oil and gas industry. At the time, I don't think I'd told him any of my thoughts about the environment. I don't know if he always prefaces his job with the fact that he's a bad guy, or he'd already read this website and had a gist of the person I would be. I wonder if people think I'm terribly judgmental, because I think I am, but not in a bad way, I don't think? Like it's okay if you're gay, bi, asexual, non-monogamous, but I'm very vocal about working in certain industries. And yet. And yet of course there are always contradictions. I wonder if I will always set the highest expectations knowing they are impossible to reach and for everyone to disappoint me. Can someone goddamn get me out of here, please?

Monday, November 18, 2019

ALPINESTARS

My sister was cleaning her room and found a box of my stuff. This was like, stuff. Kept through years and years of relationships and people and memories. I went and took a look at all of it, and I remembered the emotions I'd had when I first received all of it.



9 years ago, when I was twenty, I won the second prize in an essay-writing competition held by the Irish embassy in Singapore. I received the monetary prize on May 11, it was my birthday, and I remember exactly the way I felt walking by myself that night, I remember smiling and feeling grateful.


I used to have a best friend who introduced me to entire worlds, it is because of her I am filled with knowledge of Hamilton the musical, I used to laugh till it hurt and also cry till it hurt, with her by my side. I used to be completely obsessed with a celebrity Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and he was actually the reason I went to LA the first time, to find him! I didn't ever meet him, but I did eventually meet another Joseph and fell in love with that one instead.

I was terribly infatuated with Spring Awakening, and I made really amazing friends. A girl called Nicole was working in the production and she knew I was infatuated with half of the Spring Awakening cast, so for my birthday that year, she got all of them to write me birthday messages, and compiled them into a card.



There's this Singaporean celebrity called Nathan Hartono, who is super cute and sweet, he also did it. I still stalk his Instagram sometimes, his bio has always been "I stalk each and every one of you too" and I wonder if he remembers he made this fangirl in me deliriously happy with his little gesture. I got a photo with him because Nicole made it happen, I think? I look so young and so happy in that picture but I was such a nerd back then!!!! Am I still a nerd now??? I guess I am.

On one of my birthdays, my best friends at the time got me drumming lessons from the guy I'd had a crush on since high school, Khalis. They made me a certificate in the form of a golden ticket (as in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) and they got me pink drumsticks, because of course. I shopped for real sticks with Khalis, and I still remember exactly what happened that day.

It feels bittersweet to be thinking of all my past experiences with so many people who are no longer in my life, but I really don't regret much anymore. I know that I've grown a lot, all year every year, and my views on life have changed.

I've become more confident in my own views and I know who I want to spend time and energy on. I used to be very aggravated by people who cheat, or don't work towards changing realities for marginalized communities, but eventually I suppose everybody has their own capacities. I can only be proud of myself for my growth and hope to meet other people with similar mindsets and growth trajectories.



I remember what I was wearing the night I received this gift, I had my long hair in two pigtails, and I wore a threadless T-shirt with a dinosaur print.

The first time I went to LA, to find Joseph Gordon-Levitt (this is why all my passwords incorporate Jorah HAHAHAHA), we couchsurfed at a host Nick's place. Nick brought us to his family's Christmas party, and it was the best Christmas party I'd ever been to, maybe because it gets a little cold there (there is no winter at all in Singapore!), and we had delicious homemade food.


We met the guy who voices Patrick Star, and we didn't even know it. He kept doing Patrick Star references during the party, and I was like, what???? Then he gave me a signed copy of the SpongeBob movie. LA is such a weird town to be in. I love it to bits.


These are my favorite books and films.

Last week, I was feeling very overwhelmed, I do think some of it might have been the birth control pill I've been on. But then I looked through all the memorabilia, and I thought, I have to hold on to the memories I've had, all the happiness I've felt through my life, to get me through all the tough times in life.

So I was going through an extremely low point last week, and then my sister Lyssa sent me this in a text:
hello just droppin by to tell you that you're a good person who deserves good things even though you probably know that already

i know you don't share the belief but i still send little prayers your way hoping you're happy it's okie if it doesn't mean shit to you but it means something to me

i hope depression doesn't take someone important away from me

love you girl
I felt better, right.

The very next day, Lyssa felt low because my mother and grandmother asked why she was taking so long with school, and why she's been "wasting so much time doing nothing", so Lyssa texted me instead.

You have to remember that both Lyssa and I have mental health issues, but I think I do better in this regard. I don't know if it's because I have let go of religion and stopped feeling shame and blaming myself for a lot of things, whereas Lyssa still does. I've always been high-functioning and held a job regardless how much I hate capitalism and toiling away at work. I've actually felt survivor's guilt since I left home because I knew that now I'm not there, being the eldest child in the household means that Lyssa would now get the brunt of the parents' critique.

If I had been there and heard my mother and grandma asking her such insensitive questions, I would have told them that neither Lyssa nor I received support for our mental health issues, not after our parents' divorce, not when my mother had cancer and we had to be the adult children, not when I had a miscarriage, never until I recently began demanding it. I would tell them that life isn't a race against each other, and there is no end point to learning, and that Lyssa might take longer because life is generally harder on her and her emotional capacity.

Honestly, one of the things I resent myself for is not saving money when I could have done so, so that I could financially afford to bring Lyssa with me wherever I go, whether in Singapore or otherwise. Then again, I guess she has to have her own course into adulthood and perhaps one day she will be mature enough to fend for herself and let go of anyone who's a detriment to her mental health and happiness. I hope she will be strong enough despite her mental health issues.

Anyway. I hope y'all have a good week.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

OK BOOMER

I think my therapist asked for my goals moving forward into the new year, and I said I wanted to make friends with intention. She laughed and said she'd never heard of the exact phrase about making friends, but I think I was serious, and I really want to practise it. When I do eventually move to the US, I would like to make friends with people who are politically aligned with me. I wouldn't be allowed to vote, of course, but I do support Bernie Sanders. Here are a couple of videos that I think highlight why only Bernie Sanders is worth the vote, you don't have to watch all the speeches, just his and perhaps AOC's if you wanted to.




I do have friends both in the West Coast and East Coast, and if you're voting for anyone else, you are welcome to direct me to materials and resources of your chosen candidates. I do, however, think that Bernie Sanders is the one candidate (backed by AOC, no less) who aims to really overturn inequality, in terms of wealth, especially with respect to systemic racial biases and discrimination.

Yesterday, I got really upset with Lucas. I'd booked a rather fancy restaurant for his birthday next weekend, and I was checking my emails on my phone, when he saw the thread and guessed that I was asking the restaurant to surprise him with a cake. There are several nuances to this.

First, when we are eating out, Lucas usually pays and so this was the one time I'm doing one thing for him, I wanted to give him a real treat and succeed at it. Second, I got really annoyed because he really likes to look over my shoulder to see what I'm doing on my phone. I don't know why! I don't know what he thinks I'm doing, emailing my ex-boyfriends??? I would just like to point out that this is impossible on two counts: I don't have any of my exes' emails (except Adam's, but that's 'cos it's autosaved on my Gmail), and second, if I were in contact with anyone, everyone would know because as you can tell, I cannot keep a secret, nor do I see any point in keeping secrets. I have no secrets from Lucas, and I just wanted to surprise him with a cake, and I goddamn failed!

Anyway, if you feel like I'm spiralling, it's because I am. I have been on the birth control pill for the past three weeks, and this is my week off from it, to allow me to get my period. I started taking it because we'd exhausted the other options for my dysmenorrhea (severe menstrual cramps). When I was having the consultation with my doctor, she said some side effects would be some mood changes. I'd heard from several friends that they'd had bouts of depression when they started taking the pill, so I told my doctor that I was already inclined to mental health instability, so she said she would monitor me.

I think this first cycle of the pill has indeed affected me, some nights I just cry for no reason! I just feel so down and out and I can't help it at all. Also, given that the pill I'm on is for birth control, you'd think it would help in the bedroom, but! Conversely, my libido is now probably lower than a post-menopausal grandmother's. So... physically I guess there are no cramps, but at the cost of my sex life and also my irrational completely bottoming out and melting down into tears? Worth it? I don't know yet. I'll give it the three months of pills I got, before deciding.

Recently, Lucas has been following the impeachment hearings, he watches them while I'm next to him and I can hear it even while I'm not looking at his screen. I know Lucas knows I hate following news of Trump, because the things that Trump stands for directly affect someone like me and how I present to the world. Lucas is a white man, even though he is a Slav, outwardly when he's in the US, nobody will ever know. Even still, he watches the impeachment proceedings and here is the worst part, the only reason he watches is for the political drama. No matter which way the Trump presidency ends, Lucas just likes to watch Trump being stupid and laughing at it.

Also, in the past month of my extreme mood swings, some nights when I'm crying myself out (because there is really nothing I can do besides cry it out), Lucas just sleeps! He's just sleeping it off. So. I guess the bottomline of this is I don't know how people can get married without actually trying to live together, because there are dealbreakers that will drive you crazy, or you are legitimately sort of crazy and are always spiralling like me, at which point you might drive away your partner.

Life is tough.

Monday, November 04, 2019

INGLEWOOD

I went to The Conscious Festival on Saturday. It's basically a festival that's for cleaner, greener, more sustainable living in light of climate change. There was a booth by Underground Theatre Singapore. A performer was wearing a mask, seated in front of a typewriter. They asked if I wanted her to write a poem based on what she thought of me, and she began typing as I watched.

The world may take freedom as a fluffy impractical moss.
But your heart knows better.
That freedom is the fuel of our soul.
And your life is an example for the world to see.
An example that the world needs in this time of strife.
It moved me so much I'm still thinking about it. Sure, perhaps it's just one of several poems or sayings the person might have had and they were lucky to apply it to me, but it still really strikes me as very appropriate.

I went for a session at Crubox, it was the first time I'd tried boxing. I don't know if you know, but you have to keep your hands up at all times when you're boxing, so you can defend your face if you need to. My arms were the most tired they'd probably ever been, but it was fun. I think I'll sign up for a package at Crubox, since my new employment benefits allow me to claim them anyway.

It reminded me of my first ex-boyfriend, he had a punching bag hanging in his room. He said it was a good way to release his anger and at the time, twelve years ago, I didn't understand it and I didn't like this need for an avenue to release anger. Twelve years later, I realize what he meant. At the time I went for the Crubox session, I was going through stuff with my family, so I told myself to just take out my feelings on the bag.

For the past several years, I think when I go through things, I would automatically feel sad and tune into the sadness but recently, I think I've been channeling more and more of it into anger, which is a great fuel for energy.

Last week, I worked for fifteen days straight and I was so tired I ended up spending the last few nights just crying out my exhaustion. Along with Lush, I've also been working at another retail workplace, so when I wasn't at one, I was at the other. I was on my feet for pretty much fifty hours a week.

Sometimes I listen to songs, and I read things, and I know that the strength of a human being extends way past two retail jobs, I know people are struggling in poverty and there are parents juggling three odd jobs and not getting enough rest or sleep. I tell myself this is just how capitalism works, and if someone else can do it, so can I, but honestly, if this is the norm just to survive, it really needs to be changed.

At my new workplace, yesterday, there was a lady who was shopping, and her teenage daughter was waiting for her. The daughter told me she used to also have pink hair, as well as dyed the entire spectrum of colors, before having to shave her head because her hair was pretty much damaged to death. She said she didn't enjoy her head with a shave because she couldn't pull off the look, but her mother came along and said she looked super cute with a shaved head.

This suddenly made me emotional, thinking how some parents are supportive of their children regardless what they do and want to do, and how some parents would flip out if their daughter wanted to shave their head. Sigh.

I only just realized if I move to the US, I would probably be surrounded by people who speak Spanish, so I think those are my next lessons to go for.

You know, and it gets into this whole issue of border security, you know, who's gonna say that the borders are secure? We've got the House and the Senate debating this issue, and it's... it's really astonishing that in a country founded by immigrants, "immigrant" has somehow become a bad word. So the debate rages on and we continue....

I got one job, two job, three when I need them
I got five roommates in this one studio, but I never really see them
and we all came America trying to get a lap dance from Lady Freedom
but now Lady Liberty is acting like Hilary Banks with a pre-nup
man, I was brave, sailing on graves
don’t think I didn’t notice those tombstones disguised as waves
I’m no dummy, here is something funny, you can be an immigrant without risking your lives
or crossing these borders with thrifty supplies
all you got to do is see the world with new eyes

immigrants, we get the job done
look how far I come
look how far I come
look how far I come
we get the job done

it’s a hard line when you’re an import
baby boy, it's hard times
when you ain't sent for
racists feed the belly of the beast
with they pitchforks, rich chores
done by the people that get ignored
ya se armó
ya se despertaron
it’s a whole awakening
la alarma ya sonó hace rato
los que quieren buscan
pero nos apodan como vagos
we are the same ones
hustling on every level
ten los datos
walk a mile in our shoes
abróchense los zapatos
I been scoping ya dudes, ya’ll ain't been working like I do
I'll outwork you, it hurts you
you claim I’m stealing jobs though
Peter Piper claimed he picked them, he just underpaid Pablo
but there ain't a paper trail when you living in the shadows
we're America's ghost writers, the credit's only borrowed
it’s a matter of time before the checks all come
but...

immigrants, we get the job done

the credit is only borrowed
it’s America's ghost writers, the credit's only borrowed

ay yo aye, immigrants we don’t like that
na they don’t play British empire strikes back
they beating us like 808’s and high hats
at our own game of invasion, but this ain't Iraq
who these fugees what did they do for me
but contribute new dreams
taxes and tools, swagger and food to eat
cool, they flee war zones, but the problem ain't ours
even if our bombs landed on them like the Mayflower
Buckingham Palace or Capitol Hill
blood of my ancestors had that all built
it's the ink you print on your dollar bill, oil you spill
thin red line on the flag you hoist when you kill
but still we just say "look how far I come"
Hindustan, Pakistan, to London
to a galaxy far from their ignorance
'cos

immigrants, we get the job done

por tierra o por agua
identidad falsa
brincamos muros o flotamos en balsas
la peleamos como Sandino en Nicaragua
somos como las plantas que crecen sin agua
sin pasaporte americano
porque la mitad de gringolandia es terreno mexicano
hay que ser bien hijo e puta
nosotros les sembramos el árbol y ellos se comen la fruta
somos los que cruzaron
aquí vinimos a buscar el oro que nos robaron
tenemos mas trucos que la policía secreta
metimos la casa completa en una maleta
con un pico, una pala
y un rastrillo
te construimos un castillo
como es que dice el coro cabrón?

immigrants, we get the job done

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

PING PONG

I just got back from meeting my aunt and grandma at my aunt's house. My sister and cousin were also there. We were talking about why my mother and I had fallen out, and my aunt and grandma were trying to understand my point of view, which is that I'm atheist and therefore cannot see eye to eye with my mother when she tries to advise me to be a better Muslim, and the fact that we make each other unhappy when we live in the same house. My mother has tried via texts to persuade me to come home, saying she loves me and misses me, but I know the underlying reason is she doesn't like the fact that I'm living with Lucas while we are unmarried. She even said she knows that I'm happier now, but she still wants me to move back, which then begs the question: why does she want me to move back despite my experiencing more happiness here and now? Do I not deserve to be happy? Despite the fact that I explained many times why I'm an atheist and why I do not want to live under the same roof as my mom, believing that it provides the healthiest solution to both our mental health, my grandma and aunt tried to convince themselves that it was simply an issue of wrong timing, that I haven't received some sort of enlightened vision from "god", and not that I have made an informed decision not to believe, based on all the facts and reality I am able to grasp. Near the end of this discussion, my sister Lyssa, whom I'm actually very close to, disclosed that she's mad at me, because my mother has confided in her that she's sad that I'm not living in her home, and also that several of my relatives have also texted Lyssa, asking about me. This really upset me, for multiple reasons. I have suggested to my mom many times, that she should seek therapy to help with accepting change, yet she hasn't. She carries on praying and praying, seeking a solution that simply does not exist and will not exist. My mother has always engaged in parenthood in a traditional Eastern/Malay/Asian (?????) way, and so she has been used to emotionally manipulating us and guilting us. To her, she loves me and cares about my best interests, and that's why she wants me to live at home, and to listen and follow her ways. She doesn't think it is in my best interests to live on my own, and pursue my happiness the way I see fit, because it will not benefit me in the "afterlife". I have asked her: if you really love me, why would you not want me to continue living with Lucas when I am happy here? She did not reply. Next, my relatives who are texting Lyssa under some pretext of concern for me. Excuse me, I have my own phone number. I am open to conversation. My sister, however, is another matter. She is known to be the quieter one between the two of us, which is why when it comes to difficult conversations with our parents or any family members, you can hear my voice and my controversial opinions, and rarely hers. She never relayed to me that any of my relatives were asking her about me, and she likely would never have. If you have something to say about me, say it to me straight. If you are afraid to say it to me, whether for fear of hearing what I have to say in response, or for whatever reason, keep it to yourself, and don't say it. Don't say it to my sister, don't say it to my mother, don't say it to my grandma. My sister is trying to cope with her own life and readjusting to life back in school. She does not need anyone telling her any comments about me, and I do not appreciate your pretense of concern. If you want to meet me to convince me of your dying concerns, go ahead and make a date with me. I have to warn you though, I hold two jobs and work every single day to save for my education in New York, so my time is goddamn precious. If you have something to say, it better damn well be something good that I've never heard before. Otherwise, keep it to yourself. Lastly, I know that some people (in Singapore) probably think I don't care about my mother and therefore I'm not thinking about her and am not staying with her. I'm going to put it simply. Before I dyed my hair pink, my family had enjoyed a phase of peace and lack of commotion, and I always clown around at home and made everyone laugh. You can ask anyone. I have the personality of a joker, and I know it. I do care about my mother and I have cared for thirty years, but thirty years is long enough. I don't want to be a hypocrite any longer. I want to be an inspiration for the younger generation to know that, you know what, there comes a point of time where you have to stop blaming your parents for your failures and shortcomings, but along with that, you also have to stop living under fear of their reproach. You are your own person, and the only person's happiness you are and can be responsible for, is your own. If my mother chooses to make herself unhappy about me, that's up to her. That ball is in her court, and I'm no longer playing that game. I know I make myself happy and I make many people happy, but if someone chooses to be unhappy about me, I will step away, and let them reflect on their own choices.

Monday, October 21, 2019

FORCE QUIT


Last week, I shared a post by Ryan Creamer on Instagram Stories, with the caption "this man makes me so happy I'm alive at this time if ever he becomes problematic just kill me" bc I think he's super cute. If you don't know who Ryan Creamer is, he uploads wholesome (pure) videos onto Pornhub with wholesome captions and it's just the funniest. For e.g., he has Asa Akira and I Do Not Have Sex at a Hotel, Snapchat Compilation of Me Respecting Your Boundaries, and Secretary and Boss Enjoy Healthy Working Relationship. HAHAHAHAHAHA HIS VIDEOS MAKE ME LAUGH SO MUCH.

Tina replied asking "is that ur ex? jk lol" to which I responded "omg now u mention it i had a photo of him in this exact pose outside spacex lololol" and then we left it at that bc whatever, right? Wrong. Because my life is a simulation, today I found the photo without even meaning to, when I was trying to do something else on my MacBook. The thing is, I was sure I'd done a purge of all things from Summer 2016, and nothing should have stayed anywhere on any cloud?!


Please, can someone please tell me how to exit this simulation?????? How? What is going on? Why???

TBH the real takeaway from this is the entire world should become acquainted with Ryan Creamer's videos on Pornhub.

Friday, October 18, 2019

YEEZUS

Yesterday I said something that made me think "oh no, I am the fuckboi" I'm the fuckboi!!!! Fuck fuck fuck I never thought my life plans would include being a goddamn fuckboi. Time to talk to my therapist. The outro to Runaway (the song) is still amazing to me, it's somewhere in this Runaway film that features multiple tracks - I think it happens at around 20:00.


and I always find, yeah, I always find
yeah I always find something wrong
you been putting up with my shit just way too long
I'm so gifted at finding what I don't like the most
so I think it's time for us to have a toast

let's have a toast for the douchebags
let's have a toast for the assholes
let's have a toast for the scumbags
every one of them that I know
let's have a toast for the jerk-offs
that'll never take work off
baby, I got a plan
run away fast as you can

run away from me, baby, ah, run away
run away from me, baby
run away
when it starts to get crazy
then, run away
babe, I got a plan, run away as fast as you can

Thursday, October 17, 2019

STOP CRYING YOUR HEART OUT

'cos all of the stars
have faded away
just try not to worry
you'll see them someday
take what you need
and be on your way
stop crying your heart out

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

I'M NOT A BAD PERSON

Yesterday, news broke that Sulli, a celebrity in the Korean pop industry, had ended her life, because she had received malicious comments from online trolls. She was outspoken about her feminism and it wasn't perceived well by the Korean community. They hated on her even for having her "free the nipple" beliefs. Beyond just the hate comments, the Korean idol industry has always been rife with strict routines, from their diets to their dating lives, and immense pressure and scrutiny into their work schedules, with little to no regard for each individual's mental or even physical health.

I found out last year that seeing celebrity suicides triggers a response in me. I saw my response at Anthony Bourdain and at Kate Spade's founder's death, and talked about it with one of my previous therapists. One of the things I learned from the community that practices therapy is when someone says "I want my life to end" they very rarely mean that they want life itself to end. Instead, they want life as they have known it to end. They don't want their own life, but if they could have another brain, another body, another sexual orientation, another life where they weren't being bullied or pressured by their community, they would want to live. People commit suicide when they don't see a way out of the lives they have somehow gotten into, and they can't get the help they need. It didn't help Sulli that Korean netizens spew vitriolic remarks on a daily basis. One of them even said she only did it for attention, despite the fact that Sulli is no longer around to receive any attention now that she's dead. Before she died, Sulli had a post where she said "I'm not a bad person."

Another thing I learnt from therapy is if you numb yourself from bad feelings, you will also numb yourself to the good. So I sat with my poorly feelings tonight. I thought about my mother, telling me that nothing I do ever makes her happy, that I have contributed nothing in my adulthood. I know she has tried to reframe her words but the fact is, why do people ever say such things? I understand moments of anger, like say you're waiting for your food at a restaurant and you tell them off for bringing the wrong order, I get that. At what point, though, does a person stop caring at all about another human life as to make a judgment call on their worth as a human being? How does a choice of hairstyle turn someone into a bad person? How much can I try to receive some validation for the self-worth I yearn for, only to have it knocked down again?

I don't know where I'm going with this. I just want to sleep.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

CARTOON NETWORK

The entire day I have been thinking that eleven and fifty-eight make sixty-nine. I don't know why. I remember one of them had 1158 tattooed on their arm and I asked whether it was to help them get home when they're shit wasted. I wonder if that was true. I don't know what I feel about Kanye but I realized I somehow actually know more of his song lyrics than I thought I did. Baby I got a plan, run away fast as you can. Run away from me, baby, run away.

Saturday, October 12, 2019

UNTITLED GOOSE GAME

In the repertoire of things Lucas and I have done together, we have put together an IKEA bedframe. He got a new bed because he's always had a single and obviously we need more space for the both of us. I hope we sleep better now. I have found that I am actually more methodical and systematic than he is, I kept having to bring him back to the manual so we could follow the diagrams but he would simply slot in the parts and screw them on without checking they were the correct parts. His motto was to fail fast and learn fast. Hmmm. Today we both learned something new about bed slats, so if we ever landed on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire and that appears as a question, we could be one step closer.

Tuesday, October 08, 2019

NON-DECISIONS


This is still my favorite movie. I don't know if it will always remain my favorite movie, but it has been so for the past three years. I think I like it a lot because it reminds me of being young, and of being in love. I think I'm kinda more of an "adult" now, I have plans and I'm working on professional goals, etc. I have a little more of a pragmatic stance to love and relationships. Once upon a time, I loved the idea of love and believed in it wholeheartedly, I would wait for a charming prince to sweep me off my feet, we would dance among the stars, just like in La La Land. Sure, it's a frivolous film somewhat, but it's so beautiful. I love the idealism of it. It breaks my heart, all the time, thinking of the what-ifs, the could-have-beens, the consequences to all the alternative decisions I could have made in my life. Los Angeles holds so much beauty in my eyes, and I will always have the softest of spots for it in my heart. Oh, to be young and free and happy. I wish I didn't sound so jaded.

Monday, October 07, 2019

HE ALREADY IN MY DM'S

So, in the past two weeks, the news in Singapore has been that another student from NUS was not fairly punished after having molested a woman, because his university grades showed he had "potential to excel in life".


Preetipls, being our sole vigilante, took to Youtube to release a Truth Hurts parody of the situation.

In other news of my own life, I've been living with Lucas for the past week. I came home a week ago having dyed my hair pink. I'd always wanted a head full of pink hair, seeing as it's my favorite color. My mother went apeshit, she ranted and said I'd contributed nothing to the house even after a decade of adulthood, and that nothing I do ever makes her happy. My sisters were as upset as I was, and I cried with two of my sisters that night. Then I packed a suitcase and left to live with Lucas. My mom has tried to gaslight me and said that she meant differently than what she rambled on that night, but I'm done! I don't need to live in an environment that's unhealthy for me and that tries to mould me into something I'm not. She's right, I'm 29, I can make my own decisions, especially what color I want my hair to be.

You can bet your bottom dollar I'll be taking photos of myself with pink hair because I'm 100% that bitch. There's been a lot of change in my life that I'm still trying to ease into, so the photos will have to take a backseat for now.

Sunday, September 29, 2019

STREET FIGHTER

I went to a session held by Penawar tonight. Penawar sort of means healing in Malay. They have community healing sessions for Muslim-raised women and non-men in Singapore, whether or not those people still identify as Muslim. Today's session was about relationships. One of them said she's also atheist, and she's polyamorous. We discussed societal pressure, mostly from our own family members and communities, to subscribe to conventional relationship structures. We discussed how women get pressured to marry, when they are in relationships or even if they decide to pursue their careers or other passions instead. One of them said a rideshare driver told her that by doing her PhD while she was nearing her 30's, she was basically ruining her chances of getting married, never once asking whether she has any interest in romance. We also discussed healthy strategies in approaching romantic relationships for those who were so inclined. We talked about fighting styles and how we could learn to fight better and more productively, with our partners. We shared our different reconciliation gestures. It was refreshing because this is a community of people who were raised similar to the way I was raised, and they broke out of the same pressures to think the same ways as I do. I felt very validated and affirmed in my life choices. Fifteen people ain't so bad. I don't feel alone and unheard. Yesterday I felt really angry at something silly and irrational from something one of my family members did, and as I was seething in anger by myself, I thought I needed to seek help. Today I learnt that everybody has a dark place when they get really angry, and that anger is just as valid an emotion as any other, as long as you don't choose to act on it to hurt anyone else. People shared their fits of rage, some of which sounded quite violent, and I realized it's only violent if there is destruction. Otherwise, if you scream into a void, it is perfectly healthy because all that overwhelming burst of energy has to go somewhere. Women are particularly disadvantaged because rage and anger are more prescribed as "male" emotions and reactions, and sometimes I don't feel justified in showing my anger, but we are all angry and we have the right to be. Also, many of them chose unconventional ways to be in relationships, and I feel emboldened and empowered by them. Everybody has a different definition of happiness and everybody has a right to pursue it.

Friday, September 27, 2019

ECHO CHAMBER

If I ever decided to raise kids, I would get them into the practice of meditation early in life, and let them be adept in it as a skill for their own future. The thing about meditation is, I used to think it was about emptying your mind, which was impossible to me, but recently I've been using an app for guided meditation. It works wonders (I say, well aware I sound like an infomercial). When I meditate, the person - who has a soothing voice - tells me to think about certain things in the present, in my present, feeling my breath, listening to sounds. I don't know about you, but as a person who consumes as much media as I do food, my brain never stops. In my head, I am thinking about Hasan Minhaj and Jameela Jamil, Tan France and Taylor Swift, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Elizabeth Warren. I think about my ex-boyfriends and about my current boyfriend, I think about whether my current boyfriend will ever become an ex. I think about how much I actually like and accept change now. I think about the impeachment and how much I don't like to consume media about Donald Trump yet am constantly bombarded by such information. I think about brownface and sexual assaults, I think about the games I am good at playing, I think about many, many things and I am always thinking. So when I meditate, I think about one specific thing, and I'm being trained not to think about anything else. Your brain can only focus on one thing at any one time. So I focus on my breathing. It acts as a divider, between my constant streams of consciousness. I like meditation and therapy and I am glad they work for me most times. Sometimes I forget about the tattoo on my spine, it says "the fact that you're alive is a miracle" and I do feel such a way, indeed. I went for my pelvic ultrasound scans last week for the terrible period cramps and will have a consultation with the doctor next week. I hope I am okay.

Friday, September 20, 2019

VINDICATED

I watched the three-part Netflix series about Bill Gates, it's called Inside Bill's Brain: Decoding Bill Gates. It touches on the Bill and Melinda Foundation endeavoring to solve public sanitation in developing countries, eradicate polio, as well as deal with climate change. In one of the episodes, he says when he was young and still coding, he would just lick orange Tang powder off his fingers because the body already has water inside it and it would be mixed for him (!!!!!!!!!!!!). I thought the dynamics between him and Melinda are very interesting, she was also a computer scientist but she doesn't have a brain that processes information as easily as his does. Sometimes Lucas says I am smarter than he is, and I don't like when this happens, any time I'm in a relationship that my partner says I'm smarter, I'm unsatisfied. I don't quite know why. I think it happens quite often in my relationships though, because there is something about me that is relentless in pursuing, consuming and processing information but I feel like... I don't know if this is quite the right way to put it, but I feel like I want to be inspired in life and if I don't have a partner who's "smarter" than I am, then I will not be inspired. Of course, there are many ways to define smart and intellect, so there's a bit of a see-saw on that. In any case, Bill plays bridge with his partner Warren Buffett, and I love playing bridge, it's my all-time favorite card game. Not many people know how to play it in Singapore and I know it has this reputation of being an old-person game, but I love it and enjoy it and could play it for hours and hours. Bill Gates grew up with massive luck and opportunities, his family was well-off, and that connected him to more wealth, monetary and otherwise, in the world. I wonder where I'd be now if I had had his fortune. I don't have his brain, but I do always think I would have achieved much more if I only had the connections to the right resources. Today I learnt that Bill Gates aims to solve climate change by using nuclear energy. Before today, I was under the impression that that would be a staggering risk that's not the wisest choice to make, but the third and final episode of the miniseries made some rather compelling arguments for it. I know by default I'm supposed to hate people like Bill Gates and Warren Buffett because they're rich, old, white men who've amassed so much more wealth than should be necessary for anyone's lifetimes. Morals notwithstanding, he's a genius, and like it or not, at a time of climate change and in an aura of doom, some innovation, intelligence, education and optimism is appealing and very contagious. Whenever I watch shows like this and people are pushing boundaries, I think perhaps there is hope.