Saturday, September 24, 2016

YOU HAVE MARRIED AN ICARUS
SHE HAS FLOWN TOO CLOSE TO THE SUN

(music: Burn - Phillipa Soo)

do you know what Angelica said
when we saw your first letter arrive? she said,
"be careful with that one, love
she will do what it takes to survive"

After Rami Malek won the Emmy for Best Actor, I was very intrigued about the show Mr Robot, and was really pleased to know that it's on Amazon Prime, for which I had a subscription 'cos I wanted to watch The Man in the High Castle.


But, as always, Singapore has a personal vendetta against me, so....


Due to "geographical licensing restrictions".... Mr Robot is not available to me on Prime. Jeeeeez, srsly, Singapore takes away the most minimal of pleasures I can ever hope to find. All I want is to watch a TV show in HQ!!!!!!!

The internet being the internet and the source of all things, I streamed it from another site, albeit with a gazillion times pop-ups and not in HD.


Still managed to finish watching the show by last night. The second season finale just aired this week, so if you're thinking of giving the show a go, I think it's a good time to play catch-up.




If you haven't watched the show and intend to, please skip this entire chunk of text of me rambling about it. There are definite spoilers within. If you're skipping it, ctrl-find the next asterisk or just scroll to the Youtube videos embedded below.

After having watched both full seasons, I think I might be finally starting to like it? I couldn't decide even while I was watching. I think the building up of the premise of FSociety and taking down Evil Corp (whose logo is very reminiscent of either Dell or Enron) was intriguing for the first couple of episodes of season 1, and then it kinda stagnates for a few eps, until the whole Fight Club premise is introduced. There is honestly not much plot progress in between, you could have skipped five episodes in the middle of S1 and not miss much.

I thought Tyrell was a lovely character with control-freak tendencies, until his wife Joanna came about. Holy crap, Joanna Wellick is one of the strongest, sexiest characters I've ever seen on TV. I think she's so freaking interesting, I was wondering whether that's just how all filthy rich people live, with their idiosyncrasies and quirks and power play fantasies, omg I wanna be Joanna Wellick. Head Bitch in Charge alert!!!!! I thought it was ludicrous that Tyrell managed to strangle Scott Knowles' wife to death, is it that easy to kill someone? The guy who played Romero is Ron Cephas Jones, father to Jasmine Cephas Jones, who plays Peggy/Maria Reynolds in the original Broadway cast of Hamilton. Just a fun fact for me.

The Fight Club thing, the two identities of Elliot/Mr Robot was really back-and-forth on the interesting scale in my opinion. Like, on the one hand, when Elliot finds out that Mr Robot has plans that he doesn't agree with, he could have just taken measures to prevent those plans from being carried out..... Until we find out that he was in fact in prison, which just upped the game, like YESSSSSSS, I knew this was not real? Elliot not being able to hack into Ray's marketplace site 'cos accounts are "by invitation only"? Come on, this guy hacks pretty much everyone he knows and he crashed the biggest conglomerate in the world, why wouldn't he have been able to hack into the marketplace??? But anyway, so then he gets released into society, because Mr Robot played a part in dealing with Whiterose/Dark Army to facilitate the early release. At this point, Elliot is cognisant that he intentionally landed himself in jail so that he/Mr Robot wouldn't be able to participate in FSociety's dangerous plans. When he's released, why doesn't he tell Krista that he feels unsafe? Why isn't he institutionalised for the good of society? He clearly needs to be medicated to keep Mr Robot under or away from other people. Or like, he wasn't even really monitored for his mental health, IDK. Just a little weird. Speaking of which, one of my hosts had a housemate who is seeing a psychiatrist, and she did seem a little on the zany side, my host said she kinda has an addiction to Adderall, the way a lot of rich kids in the US have addictions to prescription drugs. I didn't know how strong Adderall is, but if Elliot uses it as a substitute for morphine, it must be pretty damn strong. I don't have experience with anything but weed and magic mushrooms, so I don't know jackshit, lol.

Another thing is WhiteRose, the transgender role played by BD Wong. When he plays Minister Zhang, he speaks Mandarin a little more fluently than when he's in the role of WhiteRose, I'm not sure if it's 'cos he has to maintain a slightly higher pitch in his voice. When WhiteRose (the lady version) speaks Mandarin, it is the most kang kor (awkward) thing ever, like please stop, your voice/language is grating!!!!!!! While we're on the topic of Chinese things, when FBI agent Domique goes to Beijing Airport, it is way nicer than it actually is. I mean, I know of course they didn't really fly to Beijing for the scene, but it's just not true to life, which I can confirm 'cos I was just there for my layover two weeks ago. I had a six-hour layover in Beijing Airport and China is the one place I freaking hate having a layover at. Six hours of sun-up time, with no Facebook, no Instagram, not even able to check my Gmail, and to buy a VPN just for six hours is ridiculous, so all I can do is try not to rot to death. Speaking of VPNs, watching Mr Robot is really tempting me to go on and learn to code. I mean, coding is basically a language of its own, and I'm good at languages, right? I'm good at figuring out "if/then" or conditional statements. Darlene uses her hacking ability to trick Postmates into delivering food to her, and of all the things I watched on the show, I was most tempted by that idea! I could get free food delivered to me whenever I want, HAHAHAHA. Also, I could get around stupid geographical restrictions and watch whatever I want, whenever I want. I already have a learn-to-code app on my phone, could be a great investment of my time. :)

I like Agent Dom, she ups the stakes 'cos now there's like a time limit, can they progress stage 2 before the FBI catches up? I don't know what to make of Angela, I used to like her, until she becomes crazily brainwashed and goes over to the Evil Corp side. I mean, I thought she might have a deeper motivation and try to bring them down from the inside, but it seems as if she truly has become enticed by the power and reputation that working at E Corp allows her. Like... Angela, Y U GOTTA SELL UR SOUL???!!!

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END OF MR ROBOT SPOILERS.


I heard this song on one of the eps, and I found it familiar. If you listen to the bridge and chorus, I feel like you would probably have heard it too. I tried to see which other shows it's been featured on. Apparently Perfume Genius have had their songs on Suits and How To Get Away With Murder, both shows I also watch, but it wasn't this song. Would anyone know whether it could be on any other film or TV show soundtrack, without having been credited on their Wikipedia page?


I was watching Masterchef yesterday, and they played Another Love by Tom Odell ---- one of my favourite songs, I love how it's pretty much a crescendo throughout "and I wanna cry/I wanna fall in love/but all my tears have been used up/on another love/another love/all my tears have been used up", but only the music, so I was wondering, if a show plays only the instrumentals (say, Queen by Perfume Genius as above), would they have to credit it? Maybe not? IDK?

Anyway, I was just looking at the REAL CHUNK OF CRAP I typed about Mr Robot, and it reminded me of the time I sent some stuff to G, my French best friend, and he said this:


In a world where everything is said in 140 characters or less I am quite the resistant. I really, really like words, and I love overflowing with words.

Sometimes I think because I'm a literary geek, I would like a scientific geek to complement my existence. But who knows. Maybe if I have another literary geek as a partner, our offspring (if we have any) will be the biggest literary geek and rule the world of literature. Maybe.

The time I was staying with Bill (my last host), he saw me typing on my laptop, who even knows what it was, I'm always typing on Facebook or my blog, or working on my novel, and he said I'm the fastest typer (typist?) he's ever seen. I'm sure he exaggerates but I do type quite fast, I think. I'm such a millennial. It would really help in my coding aspirations. :P

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Five days after I landed back in Singapore, was Eid-ul-Adha, or the time when Muslims in the world perform the Haj pilgrimage. My extended family had a gathering at my mum's place.


Aqilah and I were part of helping my mum prepare her prawn noodles. Aqilah peeled, I sliced in half. We also ate some of it as a reward for working. ;)



I was so glad it was a major family occasion just as I flew back, 'cos after two months away, I was back to all the glorious Asian food. Imma learn how to cook my favourites before making my next move (the permanent one).





There was so much food, Lyssa and I had two rounds, and of course I fed her. With my hand, not even with a spoon. It's no wonder why Asian families tend to be more close-knit than Western ones. My sister is the most manja person in the world, can you please find me another 20-year-old being fed by her 26-year-old sister???



Fam in the kitchen. You know how one of my favourite quotes is "play to your strengths"? My fam's strengths lie in food, and I'm so blessed.

I was watching Gordon Ramsay's show, the one where he cooks simple dishes with his children, and his rapport with Tilly is the adorablest. When I have kids, I'm gonna teach them to cook from when they're tiny. But first, I need to learn to cook. Or I could use Gordon Ramsay's cooking app. Apps are EVERYTHING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!





Hazwani and the kids were playing the Wii. It was some exercise mode, and Hazwani was twisting her hips round and round, so cute hahahahahaha.

Speaking of cute, have I said how we have the cutest kids in our family?










They were playing in my luggage because: Y NOT?????


SO KIUK, they so manja even until so old! I hope Lyssa and I are like that even till we have grandkids (which one of them does!).






:) :) :) ♥ ♥ ♥




I have no clue if all 9 of my postcards have already arrived, but I know three have, and those three arrived after I was back in Singapore, HAHAHAHA. Jet lag affects even my postcards.

After my family gathering, I decided I had time so I was finally gonna move/settle into my new room for the next nine months or so. (I think I'm gonna make my permanent move in July, after the next Eid.)

First things first, the bar/shelves for my wardrobe were not where I wanted them to be, so for the first time in my life, I worked on them myself.




LOL just 'cos I dated an engineer who liked to fix things himself, I think I can do everything myself now. I went to find my stepdad's toolbox and fixed the shelves. It worked. Of course it did, lol.


This was my room as I unpacked shit from my boxes from the previous flat.

It took one day to unpack/organise, which was more efficient than I'd even expected of myself....




If you've ever wondered what an almost-all pink collection of shoes looks like (no I know you've never wondered, and now you will never have to), here it is.


Lyssa has been my sister for 20 years, but even till now, she opens my drawers and is like "you're so... pink" and her tone is I think split down the middle between impressed and grossed out.

I have this weird niggling feeling that my grandma asked my mum to give me one of the master bedrooms so I would stay in Singapore. She thinks I'm that easy to bribe, hahahahahahah. No but rlly tho, my grandma was really kinda pleading her case for me to stay, I guess 'cos she pretty much raised me and really dotes on me. I'm glad she'll have Lyssa when I'm away, plus Lyssa is her favourite. o.O



I have a bathroom in my own room, I've (my mum and stepdad) pretty much made it in life!!!!!!! :P







For two days, I just watched Mr Robot. I was basically on my bed and watched it day and night.

You know, I was telling my hosts all over the US that my family has usually not been the most financially stable of families. And it really wasn't. But then I came back to this, and it seemed as if we were pretty comfortable. I think my immediate and even extended maternal family may finally have come out of the worst of struggles? It seems like we're a little bit better now.


I was arranging all my little knick-knacks on the ledge/windowsill (is it a windowsill if it's on the inside? lol).






Everything, with the exception of the wand I just purchased for myself at Universal Studios Hollywood, everything, on the ledge, is a gift from someone else. Even my drum sticks were gifts!

I've been reading a couple of articles about people living the 150-items life, to declutter their lives, and I know it's a bit of a classist movement, that you can only even afford to declutter, if you could afford to have many, many things in the first place.

I would really like to aspire to it. If not 150, at least I'd like to keep the number of physical items I have to whatever it is now. I really like and appreciate that you're all the sweetest people ever, I honestly have the best people in my life. Please know that I know this even if you don't ever get me a gift.

Please do not get me anything for Christmas, or for my birthday, or a souvenir from any place in the world. I promise, I know that I, along with other people, am in your mind. Considering that I want to move around/out sometime soon, having a lot of things just doesn't make any sense.

I guess, the only things I would like/accept (NOT that these are obligations) would probably be food --- mmm food souvenirs/sharing meal experiences are the best, or books, which I can pass on once I'm done reading. Otherwise, please please please, I have enough of everything. I'm at the stage of my life where I want to collect experiences, not things.

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I think, despite all the tumultuous stuff that's happened in my families (two separate ones) so far, we're floating on, alright. My paternal grandmother just had a major surgery, and I'm visiting her today. Sometime this week, Lyssa and I went to see her, and we met our father for the first time since.... shit hit the fan last year.

We heard stories from him and our grandma (his mother) and, we kinda softened? It's like, we used to isolate him and never cared to understand anything from his perspective but sometime this week, we just became soft. Some things that you see cannot be unseen and some things that you know, cannot be unknown.

I guess it's a good thing we learned. I hope we get to have a paternal family gathering sometime, with Ira and our grandma, etc. Maybe then I can leave with an easy heart. I don't know. Sometimes I'm just tired for everyone.

I might have a plan for a short travel in November, but I also want to/should spend that money on driving lessons too. I wanna get my driving licence in Singapore before I leave permanently in July. I know you know I'm not rich enough that I can do two expensive things at once, and I should really settle my finances before doing anything exorbitant again. I also really need to be able to drive, so when I'm overseas if I'm moving/moving stuff around, I can do it on my own. I think I'm on the right track though.

I think, things are finally getting better. I wish driving was something you could do at your own leisure, but here, there's not much space to just practise/learn on my own. It's not something I could learn on an app, like coding, lol. We'll see.

I gotta pick my opportunity costs wisely, but now-me is very, very bad at predicting how bad future-me is at following through.

I'm starting work soon, so I think there won't be much updates till maybe November. There were eight posts while I was in the US, one post per week, so y'all can go back and go through those if you haven't. I'll catch up with you soon. So Much Love from Sarah Mei Lyana. ♥