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