Thursday, January 28, 2021

THE LONG GAME /
THE BIG SHORT


to all your friends, you're delirious
so consumed in all your doom
trying hard to fill the emptiness
the piece is gone, let the puzzle undone

There's an anecdote about drinking pee, at the start of this performance, and the way he tells the story always makes me laugh. Also, this rendition of Beautiful always gets me through the low episodes much better than Christina Aguilera does. Might have something to do with the rock'n'roll sound. 

I've been going through a bit of a funk, if you can't tell. However, I've still been laughing quite a bit, with all the company I'm fortunate to still keep in my life. It helps, it really helps in keeping on keeping on. I went out with two close friends recently, and we had the funniest honest conversation about sex. Sometimes I don't know who wants what put on here, so I just mention things in the abstract, but sometimes it's really funnier when you can put names to faces. So this one friend and I were commiserating about how it used to be when we wanted to have sex when we were younger, and how it is now that we're thirty. I said when I was younger, I would be wet the moment I was raring to go, but now (or in recent times), if you wanted to have sex, you'd have to look for the lube, and the sex toy, and the everything, and sometimes you really wonder, alive, but at what cost? We're adults now, and take my word for it, adulthood is a drag, guys.

Last weekend, we visited one of our lululemon friends Monica, who has the most adorable baby Ohlin. We played with him and the cat Misty, and we took a long bus ride to her place, and on retrospect, it was a really nice thing four of us had that long bus ride to just talk about everything and nothing. It was such a good way to spend the weekend and have therapy with a baby and a cat, and to catch up with one another and talk things unrelated to work. 

Yesterday I was out with my family. We had KBBQ for dinner and realized how fucking silly we can all be, for a family that I consider quite smart most of the time. My sister Lyssa said her Malay dance teacher used to say undo the Malay way, which is like "oon-dough", and she thought it so funny, but then my mom said she might've been saying undur, which is Malay for reverse/go backwards, which makes much more sense considering she's a Malay teacher, so we all laughed at my sister.

Then I told them that a scrub nurse in the operating theatre is called boki, because that's what it's called on Grey's Anatomy. I was so adamant on it until I searched it up and realized the nurse on Grey's is South Korean and her name is Bokhee, and I had been making up a word for a professional position for a good part of ten years!

I don't know if it translates well into typed text, but I've been thinking about these moments I laughed till I cried. I love them. It's been okay. Keep on keeping on, y'all. Just keep on keeping on, and I'll see you on the other side. I love you, and we can do this. I have a solo four-page 15%-weighted assignment due in 18 hours, and the timezone discrepancies are really not helping me keep tabs on deadlines. Jesus H Christ, please take me to Canada, please. 

Also, the stock market is a farce, and y'all should get in on GameStop if you can. The whole thing, the stock market, money, Wall Street, all of it is a sham, regardless.

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

RHABDOMYOLYSIS

I had been following Lucas and a couple of his friends on Instagram, although I’d muted his stories. Today I clicked into his profile, and saw that he might be dating someone new, because they were cooking together. I decided it was still too sad, I was still too sad, so I unfollowed him and his friends, and removed them from my profile. It’s weird, I know I said I want him to be happy, and I do want him to be happy, but of course I’m human and I’m wistful for something I no longer have, the companionship of a lovely person. Two months ago exactly, I broke up with him. Taylor Swift then dropped evermore, and I listened to happiness about forty times. Tonight I’m listening to it again, and I’m crying again. Perhaps it’s just time for my monthly dose of crying. I’m just going to sit with it. The lyrics are “there’ll be happiness after you, but there was happiness because of you, both of these things can be true — leave it all behind, and there is happiness” and although I can believe it about Lucas, somehow I’m still going back to Ben instead of leaving it all behind. In the past three nights, I have dreamed about Ben three times. I have been thinking about him and looking at his Instagram, but he’s going through his life not thinking about me at all. I know I said I like to take my shot, but I also want to respect boundaries, and he has never shown that I’m on his mind, at all. How am I supposed to say, hey Ben, I looked up student visas of Canada, and spouses are allowed to live and work in the country? Will you marry me? A woman you met two years ago. Will you cook and bake and grow your vegetables there while I study? Will you play board games with me and watch Netflix with me and talk about politics with me and read in bed with me? What the fuck is someone supposed to reply to that? My body aches because I have been feeling too many feelings I haven’t actually allowed myself to feel. I really, really love happiness by Taylor Swift. It is really, well and truly, her pièce de résistance. I read about QAnon and Caleb Cain and how conspiracy theorists fall into the rabbit hole and I read many interesting things today, and perhaps one day I will link it here or simply reproduce here and link the author, but today I’m just going to allow myself to feel. The last time Ben and I got together, it was after I’d broken up with Adam. I was not looking to fall for Ben at all, but you don’t choose who you love, nor where and when. Sigh.

Sunday, January 24, 2021

PETRICHOR

I’m exhausted. Even though the store I work at is closed for renovations, I worked four shifts this week at Ion, the busiest lululemon store in Singapore. Lululemon Singapore was having their friends and family sale this week, and because my store (the second busiest) was closed, Ion was even busier. On two of the shifts I worked, they earned record-breaking sales. Each of the days I worked on, we earned the entirety of my four-year university tuition, close to a hundred thou. In one day. That means I worked for two days and saw two times of my tuition fees being transacted in the store, while I as a meagre employee earned enough to pay for one fifth of a month’s rent. I juggled this with my classes. Vancouver’s timezone is sixteen hours later than Singapore’s. A regular person’s day lasts for sixteen hours, before they go to sleep for eight hours. That means I pretty much start class at about the time I’m supposed to sleep in Singapore. I’ve been trying to break up my sleep into naps, all the time. My body doesn’t understand it because my classes are at different times on different days, so the day after I have stayed up till 4 in the morning, when I’m able to sleep early, my body doesn’t feel like it, and then the next day it’s back to staying up again. My back and spirit are breaking, and I’m so, so, goddamn tired of it. I’m tired of consumerism and capitalism. I’m not just complaining on my own behalf. I live in Singapore, I have a roof over my head, I had a good enough secondary education, I have the brains and somehow the personality and congeniality to scrape my way through every damn time. There are hundreds of thousands of other people who will never have my good fortune, and it sucks that the world is this way. If it’s not me in this position, it will be someone else. Even now that I am in this position, there are still countless others, working three odd jobs, hustling all day every day to make bank, to keep their apartments, to keep their families afloat. The system is broken, and it doesn’t have to be this way. We have to stop exploiting the least fortunate of us, for the most fortunate to live extravagant, lavish lives. It’s the worst form of ableism and worst, it pretends not to be. There are people who were born with privileges they will never acknowledge, who assume that everyone who does not make it never tried. There are too many people born with physical handicaps, with invisible mental illnesses, with neurodivergent conditions, and we exploit them further. When people from low-income backgrounds who are prone to addiction get hooked on drugs like marijuana and petty pills, we put them in jail instead of getting them help to cope with their livelihoods. When bankers and celebrities take coke, it’s cool and no one brings in the law. What kind of world is this when we don’t have compassion for the people who need it most? I’m sick of it, and you can bet your bottom dollar I’m gonna do something about it. 

Friday, January 22, 2021

ILLUMINATE THE 'NO'S ON THEIR VACANCY SIGNS

I wrote this very close to two years ago. 

When it's good, it's easy. Sometimes you try so hard and you blame men for not trying hard enough, but I think I've just now learned that the fact they don't try means they don't think you're right for them, and that's okay. When it's good, you don't have to stay up wondering why they're not holding onto you while you sleep, you don't have to struggle wondering why you're still awake while they sleep, you don't have to make up conversation by yourself while they're driving, you don't have to provide justifications and qualifications for love, you don't have to wonder why they don't seem to say they like you very often, you don't have to grip onto topics of common interest and pretend you understand their lingo, because they won't do it for you. Sometimes it's good, and you can talk about anything, and they will feel warm and comfortable, and you will like their dorky video-game-three-lives-heart tattoo as much as they like the tattoo on your spine, sometimes they will tell you you are beautiful and you believe it, sometimes you think they are just as beautiful and try your best to make them believe it, sometimes they are wonderful and feel just right, and sometimes you play games and it's easy to connect because you like the same things and dislike the same things and sometimes, it's easy because it's good.

I don't know what else to say. I got a 90% on my first Eastern philosophy quiz, and the one question I missed was about detachment. Apparently I don't know how to apply detachment in life nor can I answer it as a concept, geez. I just watched a video for my indigenous gender class, it highlights the mistreatment of the First Nations people in Canada. Class is in five hours, and I'm still here, wondering "what if?" A couple of days ago, one of my sisters asked why I had to make everything about romance, we were watching a film on Netflix and I asked whether the two male (initially rival) protagonists were going to end up with each other. I thought her question to me was an interesting one, and I think she's right, in that I do romanticize many things. I don't know, I guess love is what makes life worth living, for me personally. When I'm in love, I feel most alive. I do care about the environment, I admire Bernie Sanders and I'm political and want to fight for justice, I wish we could tackle human depression and the meaninglessness of existence, I'm so happy when I learn something new, but the thing that makes it worth it, the thing I feel would make my own personal life worth living, the thing I most look forward to for me, is to love and be loved. I miss Ben. I hope to whatever higher existence above (that doesn't exist) he's not romantically preoccupied or I swear I'm going to walk right into a wall. I don't see it on his public Instagram, so I can assume it doesn't exist. That's how Schrödinger's theory works, right? I kid. Ugh, it’s such a different dynamic. With Joey, I could bring myself to text him once a year for four years, because in a way, he was more light-hearted and sometimes he would also just appear in my life so I knew things would never be too serious. With Ben, he didn’t text me once it was over and he’s so much more mature and I don’t want to be that idiot who drunk-texts or booty-call-texts (although of course it is neither) and it feels so high-stakes. Fear is the heart of love?!?!

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

PATAGONIA

The US is on a decline, move to Canada with me.
Let’s have a second first date at the diner.
The world feels like it’s ending and you make me feel safe.
There is no answer but Eleanor is the answer. 
Talk to me and let me talk to you until I begin spouting nonsense while I drift off to sleep. 
The greatest loves of all time are over now.
When you know, you know. You know?
I love you and I like you.
And if my wishes came true, it would have been you.
Eleanor — find Chidi.
Take the Subway, cross the road, walk past the liquor store, and head for Prospect Park. 
You prefer it to Central Park anyway.
When I first met you, I thought you were a fascist hardass.
Which of these are quotes from TV shows and films, and which are off the top of my head? 
Taylor Swift sings some of them.
The first movie we were supposed to watch together was Into The Spiderverse, but then there was a technical glitch.
We never got a do-over, and I would like if we did.
Call it what you want, yeah, call it what you want to.

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

ANTIBODIES

During politics class last night, I realized my classmate’s voice reminds me of Joey’s. It’s got a little bit of a nasal quality to it, especially when he laughs. The way he speaks also sounds similar, maybe because he has a similar voice. I don’t know. If this boy weren’t jailbait, I’d probably like him next or something. I’m not into landing myself in jail, so no thanks. Okay I won’t actually go to jail but the age difference is too big and he’s still a boy by all important factors. I watched another episode of Netflix’s Explained, I think it really is a pretty solid documentary series, in twenty minutes you can learn so many new things. I watched the episode on music, and because my brain’s synapses are strong and varied (or at least I think they are relatively so), it made me think of many different people. The episode is narrated by Carly Rae Jepsen, whom Adam really likes. Then they interview Tokimonsta, a DJ, that reminds me of Joey, who also was a DJ, and who told me the biggest loss he’d be sad about was if he could never make music again. Anyway, the reason they interviewed Tokimonsta is she had a brain condition referred to as moyamoya, and it caused her to no longer understand nor recognize music. This was very fascinating, because apparently humans are one of the few species that recognize all of the qualities that come together to become music, such as pitch, timbre, octave, and so on. It also made me think of LA Dan (because there’s also NOLA Dan). Dan makes music for films and Netflix shows, and sometimes I go through his Instagram just amazed at all the instruments he plays, a good three-quarters of which I don’t even know the names of. I was in the presence of a genius. Yesterday I recalled he has a The Little Prince tattoo on his arm, I don’t know why I recalled it, but I did. One of the things they said was humans might have evolved to understand and create music to charm the people they’re attracted to, and I contemplated how true it was for me. I wish I could play a musical instrument to charm the socks right off a man. I wasn’t raised in a privileged household so at the moment all we have is my sister’s guitar (that she doesn’t play), but what I’d really like is to drum. Did you know, last month, I spent a while flirting with Joey, it started off pretty cutely actually, I think, we were just talking about Trump and the elections and how slowly the states were counting the votes etc. Then he told me about a woman in his life, so I stopped talking to him, because I didn’t think I could bear to see him with someone else (even now! four years after the fact!). At the same time, physically in Singapore, I was also getting comfortable with Jaysen, it began to really sink in, now that I was single, all my interactions I’d had with him during the year of 2020, and how nice it was to have had that connection, without even really recognizing or fostering it. He said the same, but he was also interested in someone else whose identity I don’t know (so don’t ask me!), so I stopped flirting. I did this because I like Jaysen enough to see him be in a relationship with a person he likes, and it doesn’t matter to me, he was just a person I was comfortable with and I wasn’t going to pursue him. I sometimes look at Ben(nett)’s Instagram, and I think — should I? shouldn’t I? I don’t know what I would say, and what the end goal would be. I don’t see the presence of a significant other, but then again you never know, I flirted with two men and both of them had love interests on the horizon. We haven’t spoken for two entire years, since I left New York, and it’s not like I will even be in New York. I think I will die if I talk to him and he doesn’t reciprocate. It’s strange, of all the people in the world, the only two who make my stomach knot up if I see them with other people, are still Joey and Ben. I don’t know what that means (or I do, but I don’t want to say it). I suppose that means I’m a long way away from polyamory. I had a dream after my politics class last night, it was not about politics. I dreamed that I was getting the jab for the Covid-19 vaccine, bro I never knew I wanted the antibodies so much that I’d dream about it.

Monday, January 18, 2021

ANTHROPOCENE

Sometimes I wish the world of Inception were real, or at least select parts of it. In life I never stop wondering what love is and how it happens, but I know how it makes me feel. It makes me feel alive and my heart beats with belonging and happiness and the memory goes on and on without any effort on my part. On nights I wake up from a nightmare, I think of the architectural pillars of where I am when I’m in love, and all other aspects fall in place, and my heart is slowed to a regular pace. I am at Big Wok, a Mongolian BBQ place near Manhattan Beach, I smell the smoke wafting through the air in my brain, the placemat is a disposable paper one with the signs of the horoscope. One of the men I have loved is being sarcastic about the horoscope, and I laugh, because I have the same views about them. We are driving around The Snake, the sun is scorching and I am actually, literally dripping wet in sweat but it’s negated by the speeds of the car, a red Mazda I see him working on, day and night. My heart races, the car is racing, everything is a race against time. The scene is Venice Beach, and it’s my first time drinking horchata. It is not mine, it is his but I’m stealing a lot of it. Horchata becomes my favorite drink. His friend is skating, and it is fun and amusing and lovely. We are on the roof of the bachelor bungalow, and I look up and think, how lucky I am to be alive.

Cut to the opposite coast, two years and four months later. We are walking amongst giants of buildings, my body is feeling like the coldest it’s felt in a long time, having come from Singapore, but my heart has not felt this safe since I was in the West Coast of this country. He tells me about Westworld, and all the sci-fi stuff he geeks out about. At this point, I have not yet mustered up the courage to hold his hand, so I smile and admire the grids of New York City. There are Citibikes to be rented, like the ones he used to cycle to work. We are in a triangular square near a Sephora and Barnes & Noble, where people are doing their stuff on skateboards, and we are talking about the rich. This is the first time I’m hearing such views, but when I get back to Singapore, I will have become a different person and read up all I can about it. The setting is his apartment, and we play with the cat, Tuxedo, named for his coat of fur, of course. Grand Central Station, where he tells me about his mom working at Visa (or Mastercard, I may forget, but I’m pretty sure it’s the former) while he brings me to a spot I can stand and watch and drink and breathe it in, the energy of every single person who’s walked through the space that day, and every day before it. We walk, and walk, and in that moment, I realize how grateful I am that I have always loved walking, and that this man has taken me walking through the loveliest date of my life, and we walk to Central Park. I ramble on until he asks if he can kiss me, and somehow I knew I was again falling in love, and it is night time and the pond is frozen, and I look up and think, how lucky I am to be alive.

Friday, January 15, 2021

GIRL, PUT IN WORK

I have had a nap that lasted pretty much all of today. I really need to map out a nap schedule that incorporates class time, study time, work shifts and exercise, to hold on to some form of sanity. I'm getting a sore throat because I haven't had enough proper rest. I had this short conversation with Tina, we are now legally married, the wedding will come after all this Covid nonsense. 



Of the American numbers I have known, I remember one. The area code happens to be the same as the Singapore country code, and it ends with a 69, so that already makes it twice as interesting. The two digits before 69 are Singapore's age when I met the owner of the number, and I think that's why I don't test too shabbily, because meaningless patterns like that stick in my brain.

Anyways, I got to watch a preview screening of Promising Young Woman, it stars Carey Mulligan. I'm going to talk about the film and reveal pretty much everything about it, so if you don't like spoilers, please get off while you can. I don't mean that in a dirty way. 

Carey Mulligan plays a character called Cassie whose best friend kills herself after she was sexually assaulted in college and all the boys get away scot-free. Cassie then spirals into a weekly pattern of looking for men to take her home while she's seemingly drunk in clubs and seeing how many of them would take advantage of her, before setting them straight. She does this until a chance encounter with an ex-schoolmate from college, who is a paediatric surgeon, and they fall for each other, and it's sweet and adorable. I found myself rooting for them, although you can tell exactly what is going to happen, because it's barely the halfway mark of the movie. The paediatric surgeon, via a little-known-about video taken the night of the assault, was yet another bystander of the assault. If you're a man, chances are likely that you've had drunken college or even work nights, and done regrettable things, or been witness to them. Times are always changing and evolving, what may have seemed acceptable a decade ago would not be acceptable now, so if you're privy to information or have done dubious things to/with women, the best thing to do would be to acknowledge them and apologize before your day/s of reckoning catch up with you, by way of lone female vigilantes seeking revenge for all of womanhood. I would say it's a really good movie, it's done really well. I really liked it and I feel like it's the most impressive one I've seen since Parasite, although I can't say for sure whether that's because I saw fewer movies last year due to Covid.

I recently watched the 2017 Jeopardy Tournament of Champions season, which had Buzzy Cohen, Austin Rogers, and Alan Lin on the finals. The three of them are distinctly amazing hilarious personalities, you can see them animatedly moving their hands about or doing their mathematical calculations (for their wagers) out loud, and it's so, completely cute. Austin is definitely my favorite champion I've seen, for each day of his appearance, he did a little mime/skit at the start of every episode while he's being introduced, and I never saw Jeopardy as such a variety show until he was on. On the first day of the 2-day final of the Champions tournament, all three of them did a robot dance passing from one to the other, and even Alex Trebek picked it up and moved like a robot when he walked onto the set. On the second day, they acted like the three monkeys who see no evil, speak no evil, and hear no evil. Alex himself said he had the most fun during the tournament. It was so heartwarming to see, I'd always wanted to meet Alex in real life (it's strange, I think I might have fangirled Alex Trebek as much as I do Taylor Swift) but it was nice to know the three finalists (and all the contestants) were such fun and made such a family for him. I love Jeopardy and it's so sad to know Alex won't be around anymore. Who is going to replace him???? :((( Also, I'm pretty sure 20% of all the wordplay and puns in my head, I got from Jeopardy. My dream job would be as a clue writer on Jeopardy, but then I'd have to battle Alan Lin for it, although I need the money more than he does. Actually the truth is, as a socialist, in my ideal scenario, I simply do not dream of labor.

Today, I watched the Netflix series Explained, the episode on monogamy and why humans feel compelled to subscribe to it. I feel much more assured seeing all the people interviewed on the episode, and feeling like I'm not so much a deviant. It's only 18 minutes long, which is roughly the same as a Jeopardy episode, so I think y'all should watch it, especially if you're the type to think I'm a deviant for considering non-monogamy. There's some mention of human history in the time of the hunter-gatherers, and it made me think of Ishmael, a book I read on my second time in LA. I don't even remember whose book it was. Was it Dustin? Or Bill's? Jesse? Who knows. I really liked the book though, and it's still one of my favorites. To be honest, I think those are the reasons I feel so at ease in LA or New York. Nothing I consider would even be considered deviant or strange at all. Anything I want, someone else would have already done it and I wouldn't have to explain myself. Today is one of those days my head really hurts thinking of financial workings of the world, and I wonder, if I weren't so straight-laced, would I marry someone from Vancouver so I could get in-state tuition for school? Would I? I don't know, I perpetually joke about such things, but I'm actually quite law-abiding, lol. I am so tired of thinking about money, why does Jeopardy not exist in Singapore?

REQUIEM FOR A TOWER

I have just submitted my first assignment. It was a quiz for my Eastern philosophy mod. We’re going through the Tao Te Ching, basically a Taoist text. The philosophy prof is adorable, he’s old and makes funny jokes and is earnest. He still uses chalk on a blackboard to illustrate concepts and drew a yin/yang symbol. He’s not an artist but oh, so cute. I’ve had two politics classes this week, I like my politics prof too, she’s got a cat and everyone who has a cat is a great person in my book. We got separated into breakout groups for poli, and three of my classmates and I got to know each other better. They were all in awe that I specifically napped and woke up at 2am for our class, they said they wouldn’t have done the same. I also showed them I was still in my blanket during class, and oooof, I think I’m making friends??? We talked about the Black Lives Matter movement and the Capitol raid, etc and they’re all so young so it really fills me with some kind of hope. There are class clowns in my poli class, they were talking about Klondikes, which I’ve never had so I’ll try to have them when I arrive in Canada. My other friends in America say Klondikes are overrated, so I’ll try them and decide. I like classes, I like what I’m learning, but I have a Indigenous Gender class at 630am (in about four hours) because it’s at 230pm in Vancouver, and I’m still not asleep because my class was till 3am last night, so I’m not sure if I’ll be able to wake up if I sleep now. 

I’m getting a little anxious about my daily schedule, I have to go back to work soon and I honestly don’t know how to work my overnight classes, daily work shifts and some kind of sleep into my life??? If you have experience or have any tips for me, I would be very grateful because the anxiety is mounting and I don’t deal well with anxiety. All I’m doing is drinking chamomile every time I start to feel overwhelmed, but I don’t think the chamomile is a long-term (three month) solve. The visa office also still hasn’t moved forward with my application, the last they contacted me was two whole months ago, they’re supposed to request for my passport so we can move it all along, but they haven’t. I don’t know if it’s due to the new strain of Covid, or they were closed for the holidays. I don’t know anything, but I’d like the visa to be approved and settled so I can move everything else along. 

If I asked Ben to move to Vancouver with me, what are the odds that he would? Lol I’m being weird again but fuck that, all these men knew I was weird the moment we got involved, I bet. I know Ben doesn’t mind the cold because I think his base body temperature is a degree lower than average (I know this because I complained of the New York cold when I was there in winter), so he could keep me warm. I mean, not that I would be using him just for that, I clearly have many feelings for him. Also, the US is a bigger hellfire than Canada is anyway, so it’s win-win, is it not? I’m jumping around locations on Feeld, and the men always lead with the fact that they have long hair now because of the lockdown, and you have no idea (or you do) how much I appreciate this fact. Men with long hair and prominent arm veins are my favorite kind of men!!!! All men should have long hair!!! And work out their forearms!!!! Am I objectifying men??? YES. Do I feel bad about it? No!!!! Do I need to sleep!!!! Yes. I am delirious.

Sunday, January 10, 2021

GONE FOR GOOD AGAIN

here’s to the nights we felt alive
here’s to the tears you knew you’d cry
here’s to goodbye
tomorrow’s gonna come too soon

Yesterday I got reminded of a word game that I’ve played only once in my life. It was in my basement room in Queens. Two men brought board games to my room when I lived there, at separate times. For some silly reason, both were Bens, although one was a Benjamin and the other Bennett. I was involved with both but I had more chemistry with Bennett. I don’t know why. I can’t explain my feelings, and any attempt to do so would probably just display the extent of my blithering idiocy. Ben worked at a games café, so he brought his games over and we played the word game. I don’t remember the name, nor do I remember the exact gameplay, nor the props that come with the game. So basically I have nothing to go by. I’ve tried to look for it based on everything I remember of it, but there are so many word games and I haven’t found it. It goes like this, I think there is a base that you’re looking at, and the players have to build as many words or the longest words you can, but the base of it looks nothing like Boggle. I remember being so, completely smitten with this man, who studied linguistics and who told me about the books he read, and his relatively new Kindle, who took me to Grand Central Station and to Central Park, who didn’t quite like his white-boy, prep-school privileged background but-what-can-you-do. He told me about ACAB. On that night, the night he came over to play games, we got distracted and I was being very noisy and loud and expressive when he was uhhhh, working on me (hah!) and then after, I told him my neighbor was home, so Ben got so completely bashful and boy, I could have, I would pay all my money just to drink up that moment again. I could ask him now, what the game was, but I haven’t spoken to him since I left New York and came back to Singapore. The love I have for Bennett, it is a love that I conflate with my love for New York. It is a love of discovery, of a noisy, bustling city of immigrants, of my joy in learning, of fighting for civil rights, of everything and nothing in one. It is the same strain of love I feel for Joey. All my hopes and passions and romance for Los Angeles, the mountains and the observatory, the stars and the racecars, I place them all into one man only, in Joey, and that’s why I could never, will never get over Joey and Ben, nor LA and New York. All this to say, if you have any inkling of what this word game could be, I would be most obliged.

Friday, January 8, 2021

CHAMPAGNE PROBLEMS

I think, if I recall correctly, four years ago, when I was in LA, I matched with a red-headed man on Tinder. He had a red-headed young daughter who was very cute and I think he might have told me he was married to his wife. At that point, I was still very much a greenhorn (and again I still am one now) so I was taken aback and I think I told him I didn’t want to speak with him again. I know it is him again now on Feeld, because I remember the very same photos he used back then. It has been such a turn of time that he has moved from LA up north to Canada. I also saw someone who looks strangely like an ex of mine. It’s either him, or a complete doppelganger of his. I was with him in both Singapore and New York, so I’m well aware of my ex’s face. I don’t think it’s him, because as far as I know, he’s still on the American side of the border and I don’t think he had the kinks I read on this man’s profile, unless he picked them up sometime during quarantine, which would be absolutely fair play. 

I have been reading about relationship anarchy. It is a concept, or a lifestyle, or I don’t know, a way of doing things that doesn’t subscribe to traditional relationship criteria or demands. One of the aspects of relationship anarchy is that you don’t belong to your partner or anyone, and therefore the relationship you would have is an open one. Relationship anarchy also tries to undo the hierarchies among romantic or intimate relationships, as well as familial and platonic friendships and relationships. This means your friends are as important as the partner(s) you choose to sleep with, and/or share different parts of your life with. I don’t know if all this is a thing I could do or want to do, it’s just the first time I’m reading about it in depth.

Sometimes I worry that I don’t want to subscribe to a traditional closed marriage because of my childhood, but realistically I also think it makes sense, especially to a person like me. The same ex I mentioned above, he broke up with me because I mentioned Adam a lot in my posts, while I was with him. In fact, you can see I actually still do, sometimes. I don’t think I have any sexual feelings for him (no, I definitely do not) and he has a romantic partner, and I’m not intimately interested in him. However, I enjoy banter with Adam. I also feel like when I talk about a so-called ideal partner, I don’t want to restrict myself. I like so many different people for so many different things. I love so many different people for so many different things. I want them all to be in my life for such different reasons. 

When I was with Lucas, we got together into a traditional relationship and back then, I wasn’t thinking about this. I don’t know if I could be with one person for longer than two years without thinking of other options. In my head, there are two equally viable scenarios. There are people who are happily married and committed to each other, never entertaining any thoughts of cheating. There are also people who are in an open marriage and primarily committed to each other, who have other partners, who then don’t cheat, because technically cheating is no longer an option. I don’t know which one I am. It’s so hard to say I want to explore, because in my family, I still have anti-vaxxers and I always have to be the one who’s pushing boundaries (I hate it), wondering which step will be my last before they actually excommunicate me.

Four years ago, I met a man who presented me with an option that terrified and almost disgusted me. Here I am now, wondering about those same options. How I have grown? Hmm. I was about to place an order on Amazon, I tend not to do so, because: Jeff Bezos is a terrible man. It had been so long since my last Amazon order, that my default shipping address was still the basement I lived in, on Madison St, in the Queens borough of New York. This brought back so many feelings in my core. This means my last Amazon order was legitimately two whole years ago. 

A few of my colleagues now say that if I approve of them purchasing something, it’s basically God’s word (okay I’m paraphrasing I don’t think God was mentioned per se) and it is only then they’re encouraged to then carry on with their purchase. Capitalism and consumerism feed into an underlying depression and void that we all try to fill. I know this and understand this. I have bought many, many, countless items in countless packages, clothes and hair accessories and shoes. When I’ve confirmed the purchase, I know the little bit of excitement I feel. I think I’ve finally got the thing to complete the outfit and I can rest easy. But it never ends. The system is five steps ahead of me, and there’s always going to be a cuter shoe, a prettier jacket, a better color, and none of it has ever made me happy. It took ten years of mindless ordering and waiting and receiving and repeating through the entire cycle before I realized it was not making me happy. I’m much more mindful now and I think my colleagues see it with the material things I buy (or don’t buy). I like that, if I leave them with one tiny legacy, it’s the legacy of only buying what you truly need. The void that capitalism pretends is in you, is only there because it needs the void to be there for the system to function. The less you feed into it, the less the system of capitalism and consumerism can or will perpetuate.

Thursday, January 7, 2021

MASK IT OR CASKET

Tina told me to download Feeld so I did. Everyone and their wife in Canada is non-monogamous and in an open relationship. Is that what I’m looking for?? Is it???? I was wondering why every profile was poly looking for a third, then I looked up Feeld and found out it’s an app mostly for kinks, I suppose. Today I learned the meanings of hotwife and bull, and I’m pretty sure there’s still more I’ve yet to learn. Someone’s bio was “the advantage to this slow-burn-apocalypse is there’s more time for end-of-the-world sex” and wow, you know I gave that profile a like. I’m still extremely groggy from yesterday and I can’t eat nor keep anything down. Being single while sick is the worst, why did I break up with a dependable, trustworthy, softboi, non-polyamorous man!!!! Tbh if anyone were to explore polyamory, I wouldn’t cross myself off. I don’t like the whole unicorn thing though, I’m not a unicorn and I prefer MMF fantasies if I had to choose. Obviously I’m the kind of woman who wants to be the only woman in any kind of play???? I am feeling so sick ughhhhhh. 

Just yesterday I was seriously thinking about perhaps transferring to the college that I got into in New York after two years, because I’ve been to New York and loved it, and also, I might have mentioned somewhere before, Canada is cold and the cold and I don’t get along very well. It just makes me sad. I don’t like to be sad. However, I woke up to news that white ameriKKKa is at it again! Also, there was no police brutality toward the white supremacists who stormed the Capitol, and y’all know why. It’s ‘cos the police are the KKK, they just traded their white hoods for blue uniform. This is not hyperbole. There is literally no way the racist white trash could have infiltrated the rooms without help from their racist pig brothers. America, please. Y’all have massive systemic issues and you need to solve them. 

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

LIQUID GOLD

Yesterday, I ate cockles with a dip of cut chili in soy sauce. I shared this with my sister Aqilah. I also had mala fries and spaghetti for dinner. Throughout the night and this morning, I think I’ve been suffering from a case of food poisoning, although no one else in the family is affected. I’ve had the runs multiple times, and I’ve thrown up once. There are two types of vomiting, one is when you’ve eaten too much oily food and have to relieve your bloatedness by vomiting, and one is the food poisoning kind. I don’t mind the former because it provides a little relief after, but I am very much in disdain of the latter, which I’ve been doing today. The vomiting caused by food poisoning is a spasming, heaving kind of movement that hurts my core, and it happens intensely, even when there is pretty much nothing left to be vomited out. Every time I heave and hurl, and feel nothing coming up my throat, I wonder if it’s worth it to just die instead. It’s painful and extremely tiring. My grandma has made me a cup of very concentrated tea, it’s one of her old-wives’ home remedies that she believes helps with the runs. I don’t have the energy to risk eating anything, and I like tea anyway, so I have consumed it. 

I actually started writing this post not to describe the ins and outs of food poisoning and diarrhoea, but to wax lyrical about eating disorders. While I was on the toilet, emptying my guts out, there was a part of my brain that said “well at least I can lose some weight this way” and this was when I was in absolute physical pain, doubled over and clenching, and clutching at my stomach. I have fought this voice many times, but it occasionally appears to make itself heard. When I was thirteen to sixteen, I had an eating disorder. I barely ate anything, and I would walk home from school when I could. This was from Anderson Secondary School in Ang Mo Kio back to where we lived back then, in Edgefield Plains, in Punggol. It would take about two hours, and I would walk, following my bus route, either bus 159 or 136. I also skipped rope and ran a lot, and would run up the stairs to our apartment on the 17th storey, every day, which is why my knees now are pretty much fucked to hell. 

I’m currently employed by lululemon, and as you would expect, there are definitely traces of diet culture and eating disorders in a few of my colleagues here. It manifests in many different ways. Sometimes they only eat a certain type of food, and adamantly avoid others. Some consume a limited number of meals per day. Some don’t eat after a certain time of day. Some only allow themselves to eat after they’ve expended the same amount of calories during a workout. Once, I shared my past of having had an eating disorder with a person I used to work with. This person would not wear a cardigan or any more items of clothing even if they were feeling very cold at work. They said the cold burns more energy, helping them to maintain their weight. When I told them I’d left that part of my life behind, they seemed almost appalled. They said “would you really wanna waste all those years that you’ve run and walked and starved yourself for?” 

I’ve since recognized how toxic it is to have an eating disorder. I barely remember what happened during those years of my life, I was always lethargic and sleepy because I wasn’t eating enough, and all I remember of it is the time I spent running, or skipping rope, or walking home. Ever since I’ve come out of that stage, I realize what a grand waste of my life it is, to be so consumed by a number, and the frame of my body. I read more political articles written by anti-diet-culture causes, especially (but not limited to) feminist ones. Every single thing you do in your life has a political value to it. When you’re obsessed with your weight and looks, you won’t have the energy to question the system at large. If each individual is preoccupied with the number on their weighing scale, they are too distracted from wondering why their governments are going to war, why capitalism is still the economic mode at play, why the law serves the powerful but never the people who need help most. If I’d spent the two hours per day reading something, I could have contributed so much more to society, than I can now. The diet industry is one of the biggest in the world, and it’s also one of the most unhealthy and predatory. Your worth is much more than the number on the scale, and you shouldn’t allow a self-serving, exploitative industry to tell you otherwise. Alright, it’s time for me to try to get some sleep. I hope the worst of it has passed.

Saturday, January 2, 2021

BRIDGERTON

she would've made such a lovely bride
what a shame she's fucked in the head


Since the early hours of New Year's Day morning, it rained a heavy, pouring rain, and continued raining a heavy, pouring rain for about 38 hours or so. There were reports of flooding around Singapore. It's strange because it only started in 2021, and the weather had been perfectly normal before that. It would be a bad omen for the rest of the year, but I don't know if I quite believe in the weather signalling any kind of meaning for anything else. The good thing, also, as there always is, is that it has finally stopped, leaving behind only a cool air, as it always does. I was not feeling too good in the day, because with the heavy rain, the sun was blocked out, and the cold dampens my mood. It just reminds me that when I am in Canada, I may have to look into mood-regulating lamps to hopefully balance out the lack of sun and warmth. 

I spent the entirety of today watching Bridgerton on Netflix. They played a strings version of Taylor Swift over what was one of the hottest lovemaking scenes on the show. This is why romance in real life can never measure up to my expectations of romance. There is no universe in which Vitamin String Quartet's rendition of Taylor Swift is going to be playing while I make love, to anyone. I like the period Bridgerton is set in, there is a duel scene, which reminds me of the play Hamilton. In fact, it is set at exactly the same time Hamilton was alive, except of course Bridgerton is a fictional family, and it takes place in Britain. There were many scenarios in which the characters feel stifled by the decorum of the time, as well as their stations in life. I'm not sure if I've said this here before, but one of the sayings I absolutely hate, is "it is what it is." It is what it is feels so resigned, as if we are all mere puppets and none of us has the agency to change anything. It's funny, because the most I've heard it is what it is, is when it's said by Americans, but it's Americans who like to believe they've got freedom of choice, yadda yadda yadda. 

I have been single for just slightly over a month. At this juncture, it would probably be about the common time I re-download Tinder, just to fuck around (whether literally or otherwise). My Tinder account has been disabled, though, apparently because my profile has gone against some such guideline or another. It has actually been that way since two years ago, even before I met Lucas and we got together, and that's why I met him on OKCupid. I could take up a case with them and ask them to restore my account, or I could just wait and try to be okay by myself. When I'm in Canada, I'd want to go back to Hinge. Hinge is the best dating app I've used, but it doesn't exist in Singapore.

Friday, January 1, 2021

還欠你的我不能給

During dinner last week, Jaysen said he was jiak kantang, but then on one of our lululemon friends’ Instagram stories tonight, he was singing Wang Leehom’s Kiss Goodbye on karaoke??? Jiak shen me kantang one this one. The kantang grow in China one. Is call 土豆 one. Actually for all intents and purposes, he really is jiak kantang one la. If he weren’t so good with the English vernacular, I would clearly not be so smitten. Also, I haven’t seen him since we closed the store two days ago and we all met for lunch, but I saw him on a mutual friend’s stories for New Year’s Eve, and tonight I saw him on another friend’s stories for another gathering. So basically I’m going to mute all our mutual friends’ stories so I don’t accidentally see him singing or just being himself?!?! Watch! Me! Mute!!! All our friends!!!! I say this knowing full well that I’m going to see him at dinner next week lol. I’m just being a drama mama, because it’s the first day of the year and sometimes you need a little drama to spice things up. Just a little. No but really. Am I kidding about muting all the lululemons’ stories? Perhaps just for a while? Fuck, sometimes having a decent memory can be a double-edged sword. The moment my brain decided it was attracted to him, every single interaction I’ve had with him in the past year has now been flagged with like, pink Post-its. The Jordan Peterson check-in, the books he’s read and I’ve seen, the times he’s sung Malay songs and asked me for their meanings, the silly verses he makes up with everyone’s names. Mati mampos la, why did my goddamn brain decide to do this????? If I’d just not felt it before we closed, I would be perfectly normal now. Bodoh!!!!!!! Muka kau macam lontong, Sarah!!!! So it’s 2021 and I have a hugeass crush on someone who tells people their faces look like lontong (among other things, depending on his mood)Am I actually thirty years old? It truly doesn’t feel like it. To be honest, it feels great. According to Thinking, Fast and Slow, there are two systems in our brain/mind, the experiencing self and the remembering self, and I do not know which one is active now. I suppose because I am experiencing the feelings now, it is my experiencing self? The experiencing self currently feels simultaneously silly, bashful yet equally youthful because it takes me back to my much younger, carefree times, so it’s feeling rather happy. You know, when I’m accessing my base emotions, I don’t speak in English, I’m giggling and rambling in Singlish and Malay and Mandarin, just amusing myself and it makes me happy. It’s just me going “apa kau merepek ni, Sarah????” However, the experiencing self and remembering self don’t always share similar interests or even the same ways of feeling happiness, so perhaps when this memory is stored, one day my remembering self may not remember this memory as a happy feeling, when it is accessed? Could I feel pathetic if I look back on this in hindsight? Hmmm. Maybe that’s not how it works. Also, if you compare the two posts that have been written today, you can see a clear juxtaposition of my intellectual versus my carnal self. On a day both get to express themselves, I am happy.

MORNING GLORY

I don’t usually care that much for fireworks, they’re not great for the environment and the resources could go toward serving more underprivileged communities. However, Singapore has a lot of money that the amount we spent on the fireworks wouldn’t affect the reserves we could spend on community work, they just choose not to do so, fireworks or not. Also, the entire estate was rowdy and sounding their car horns in cheer or generally catcalling and clapping enthusiastically to send off the bastard year that was 2020, it was impossible not to have been infected. I had a pretty good view of the firework display too, so all in all, a nett positive experience. The store I work at is closed for the month of January, for renovations to be done, so I’m taking a break while transitioning into school. My classes start in exactly a week. In my first sem, I’m taking PHIL 158 Eastern Philosophy, POLI 100 Identities and Communities: An Introduction To Politics, and SWAG 211 Introduction to Indigenous Gender. It’s not the heaviest load because I don’t know how school now is like, and I can’t take heavy loads (or I do, but in other aspects — lol have you realized I’m incorrigible?).

I met my cousin Diyana for coffee last week, and she told me about a course called Facilitating Powerful Conversations. She’s gone for it and she says it’s really made an impact in her life since she attended it last year and made tweaks to her habits. It sounds like a self-improvement book you could read, but I suppose going for such a course and having yourself assessed or exposing your habits to the facilitator and other course attendees could make it stick in your memory for much longer, making it much more effective in application. She says the ministers in Singapore are sent for the course so they can help foster the meaningful discussions that should be held among themselves and the general public. Diy also has a long-term vision that got me really moved and excited, she and her husband have a sort of goal of setting up some kind of framework to nudge Singaporeans into getting more in tune with perhaps their emotions and more sensitive sides. The system in Singapore, like many of the big cities of the world, tends to rely heavily on monetary values and reflections so much so that the greater public are rather emotionally stunted at coping with maybe workplace boundaries, familial relations and so on and so forth. I’m not sure of the exact outcome of their idea, but I have faith.

When I discuss the removal of capitalism from our society, the common question asked is: but what would we use to represent value? It’s because capitalism has been around for so long that it’s a tremendous effort to imagine a world without. One day, hundreds of years ago, they lived before a capitalist world was invented, and someone had to dream up capitalism. It was also a frontier to them, it was something unreal and imagined. That means, it is possible and we can remove it and replace it with something that prioritizes community and care. When capitalism was just being imagined, that was perhaps what the world needed, constant and exponential progress and innovation for societal advancement. They lived in a scarcity mindset. In our current society, there is no scarcity (not yet) and we can and should switch our mindset, before climate change reverses things and we’re back to permanent scarcity. There are enough houses in the world to home all homeless people. There is enough money in the world to support every single person. There are enough resources to give everyone food, water and shelter, and the fact that people are still living in poverty is only highlighting that the system we subscribe to is highly morally corrupt.

The store told us to bring home anything we wanted before we closed and it was torn down. One of the things I took was the store’s Rubik’s Cube. I’ve never solved one before, as far as I can recall I can solve up to two or three sides, I think. I want to know if anyone figures out how to solve a Rubik’s Cube by themselves, or everyone simply watches a Youtube tutorial on how to do it. I suppose I will learn from Youtube, I’m not a genius by any measure and I don’t have the time to waste on learning how to solve a Cube. I’m currently reading Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman and I think my therapist would have liked that I’m reading it. I don’t go to therapy any more, I don’t have the money to go regularly but I did go very regularly for about six months last year, and I think it already made so much difference.

At the start of 2019, I wrote down some affirmation sentences for myself and I filled up a page with each affirmation. They are things like “I am present and patient”, “I will do what is right, even if it is not easy”, “I am brave, honest, kind and compassionate” et cetera. I didn’t have the easiest childhood (nor do I claim to have had the toughest, though) and a lot of my adulthood so far has been about unlearning my childhood and reprogramming myself. That’s the reason I write those affirmations and repeat writing them until the entire page is filled. At a cellular level, I keep having to remind myself and override all previous knowledge and commands, so that they grow used to believing kinder things about me. I’ve written three last week but I want to write five more by the end of this week. I don’t think everyone has to do it, but if you’ve struggled with setting intentions or sticking to your boundaries or anything else like I have, you might want to start 2021 doing something similar.

Next week, I will be starting school online in Vancouver timezones, which is 15 to 16 hours behind Singapore. I’ve never had a regular sleep schedule but this might be pushing it. I hope it doesn’t bring on the depression if I don’t sleep at night and I don’t get my regular amount of sunlight. Please ask me out to sweat, or to the beach, or anywhere in nature, so I can regulate my life even while taking classes literally overnight.

The new year is here. I wish you independence, love, joy and fulfilment, health, and wealth in the most unexpected ways. Excelsior.