Thursday, October 30, 2014

REAL OR NOT REAL?

(music: Not a Wasted Love - Misty Boyce)

On Monday, I accompanied Pamela to Halley Clinic for aesthetic treatments. Pamela was late 'cos it was raining heavily and she couldn't get a cab from town. Her doctor and the lady "in charge of marketing", Ms Khay Mun, were very nice and hospitable to me.

Khay Mun took me on a short trip around the clinic to introduce the facilities to me and I felt right at home, although I'd never considered getting any aesthetic procedures.

I took photos for Pam.


She was so nervous, I felt worried for her.

I saw every step and move that the doctor made, and I witnessed each transformation happening in Pamela's face, all in real-time.


Putting in fillers for her nose. I saw the nose bridge literally become higher and more prominent.


Chin fillers. This was amazing, okay. Her face shape literally changed from a U-shape to a V-shape, visibly.


The under-eye Botox (or fillers, I'm not sure) also made her eyebags diminish so much, I was so freaking tempted!!! The dark circles and eyebags vanished in a few seconds and I wished so hard it was me getting the procedure! The time I'd save from applying makeup!!!


For every step the doctor made, I kept asking Pamela whether it hurt, because she didn't even flinch. The numbing cream they'd applied on her face must have been extremely effective, because she didn't seem to feel even the shock that I reckon one would register from a normal injection on the arm.

Throughout the super-fast process, I think I became convinced I could evangelise Botox/filler treatments, because I went from someone bent against it, to someone who could be considering it. I used to think it was complicated, but I saw for myself that it was quick and easy!

It didn't even seem like a medical treatment/procedure, because she was awake and each step was so easy, breezy and painless! I just kept thinking the tiny strokes the doctor was making was having such a huge noticeable impact on Pamela's face, it was so freaking brilliant!





Can you see the definitions of her face?! I'm so envious!!!!!

Although I do really admire Pamela's face, I guess I still would never go for the treatment myself.

I've always been raised to accept my body the way I am, because I believe God judges everyone based on their beliefs and thoughts and their personalities, not their looks, and my baseline is not to live for external beauty which humans judge each other for, but for God.

Having said that, now that I've seen the process of such treatments, I can barely discern the difference between Botox and having braces to straighten my teeth (which I'm currently doing), since both are to achieve a more acceptable/standard idea of beauty/confidence. Hmmm.

I totally understand why women go for such fillers/Botox. It's not exactly permanently-restructuring procedures, yet make a world of difference to diminishing your tiredness/flaws, and enhancing your best features. Somewhat natural, and yet so much positive impact that you can't achieve otherwise.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

ET ALORS?

(music: Secrets - Mary Lambert)

I don't care if the world knows what my secrets are (secrets are)
So-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh what?

Guys, I think I might have found my life anthem.

Yesterday, I met Pamela for lunch at Rouse. It was my sixth time there and I still think the food standards are consistently good. I thought I could meet my uncle Asyraf, but he hadn't started his shift yet.



She had the same thing as she had the first time she was there, spicy crab penne, 'cos she'd been craving it.


I had their new main course, Krusty Kari burger. It's delicious. I also really like the accompanying sweet potato fries.

After our meal, we walked over to Haji Lane/Arab Street where she/I work. Pam works as a yoga teacher at Tirisula Yoga.




Love her recently-dyed hair!


:)

She had to go back to work (I should really meet up with her for a yoga session soon!), so I hung out at our I Am.. office for a while.



Amir and Dan were there, and they were being so fucking amusing. I wish I'd seen them today, they'd have cracked me up and cheered me up so much.


This is the Haji Lane cat. It is used to receiving so much attention from both locals and tourists alike that it has adopted quite a haughty and non-manja disposition. I mean, when it's awake.

I found out my boss, Abang Jam had plans to go to a new as-yet-unopened cafe with our own baristas, and I had time before meeting Han at night, so I made impromptu plans to tag along with them.

This cafe is a very niche one, and it's officially launching in a few weeks so I'm not supposed to post any of these, but I don't suppose they'll find out. I won't even mention their name here.



When we stepped in, we all thought it was very futuristic, and I made comments like it looks like an Apple store/a scene out of Fifth Element.

One of our baristas, Rafi, is engaged to a barista Lynn, who works at that cafe, so she was introducing all their brews. Their equipment/siphons/things were all so cool-looking. They tasted the coffees, and I tasted the tea brewed from coffee beans (??) but I didn't much like it.

Lynn could tell that I'm not a coffee drinker so she let me drink their teas, like the lapsang, which has a very smoky taste that I rather liked (really reminded me of smoked duck, as her colleague suggested) the blood orange tea and a gingerbread tea.

Lynn was very nice to me. I like her. I was feeling so out of place while the guys were drinking their coffees. I think it's adorable that they're both baristas engaged to each other. Sometimes she drops by our cafe, and Rafi prepares a cup of coffee and steamed milk for her to pour her own latte art. So cute?!

So anyway, I watched two movies with Han after she ended work last night. We watched The Rewrite (starring Hugh Grant) which was funny and entertaining enough for a one-time-viewing but doesn't leave the most lasting or deepest of impressions.

We followed it up with Gone Girl, although I'd already watched that with Shahida. The first time I watched it, we'd missed part of the beginning and I liked the movie enough, and Han really wanted to see it, so I agreed to watch it again.

If you still haven't watched Gone Girl, please be warned of potential spoilers.

Even the second time round, although I tried to pick up on maybe the subtler nuances, I just could not feel much empathy for Amy. I didn't really see her descent into desperation that could have driven her to such extreme moves, like even killing someone (never mind framing her husband for her own death).

I just think she's a psychopath, especially given that she had already used such conniving, deceitful methods to set up an ex-boyfriend in saying he raped her. She clearly wasn't desperate, she's a crazy bitch!

I do still enjoy and appreciate the film, though, there are so many things I like about it, even if it's possibly the most mindfucking of all that I've seen this year. Regardless, I definitely wanna read the book, I've heard that it's a really good one. Maybe characters would be better fleshed out with words.

After the movie, there was no more train service so Han and I cabbed home together. I dropped at the train station, as I usually do, because the carpark to my block is super complicated and I live just inside the main road, anyway.

So I was playing with this really pretty cat near the train tracks, and it was so very pretty and so very manja, that I started thinking of Reza. Reza would have really liked its prettiness, and I'd just somehow seen photos of him with a cat in his own neighbourhood (he sent them to me) so my mind was just on Reza.

The cat was so, so manja, and I'd never seen or played with it before, though, and therefore I think it was also trying to sniff me and see whether I was trustworthy to mark as its person. I spent about ten minutes with it then decided to walk home.

Just as I was reaching my block, I somehow heard or felt someone's steps had been consistently following mine, so I began feeling suspicious. I quickened my pace. I was also thinking I might/should have taken a long way around so I could lose him and he wouldn't know where I lived, but I was so panicky that I just wanted to end it and get home.

I moved faster, but I still heard him behind me, and then I ran up the stairs, and saw him at the landing behind me. I live on the second floor, so he was technically on level 1.5 when I was in front of my door.

I didn't wanna show him where I lived, but it can only be one of two units (yeah, one of those blocks) so I just stood there and shouted "MUM!" When I turned, he was smirking, and he had his hand on his dick. Yes, his penis.

In my fantasies of ever meeting an assailant, I always thought my fear would kick into all my feminist anger, and I would fight back etc, but in that moment, I was so shocked by the unexpected GALL of him following me all the way and his indecent exposure, my panic just made me weak.

I could not think of anything besides getting into my house away from him. He ran away when I yelled for my mum. I used to have this impression that I'm the hero of my own story (I even have a shirt that says that exact caption), but when that happened, I thought of my mum. I want to be my mum. I want to be my own superhero like her.

I put it on Facebook and told Han about it.


If there is one lesson to be learnt from the incident, it is that I HAVE to enrol myself in self-defence classes before my independent travels of the world.

I slept very poorly, I was just awake feeling angry and dismayed and shocked and hurt and appalled and all things negative. I was physically shaking from fear.

This morning, I received another set of semi-disappointing news. I'd been expecting something really nice, to meet someone I've been anticipating to meet, but my intended plans fell through, so I was really quite upset. (Go figure, no prizes for all 100% of you who will guess correctly.)

I cried at work, because with great expectations, come greater disappointment. I survived through work, though, and then I went home.

When I got home, my aunts were here, and one of them kinda exclaimed "Mum!" to playfully reenact my own yell from last night. I got quite upset because I was reminded of my trauma and my shaking knees, so I pulled a face and went straight to the kitchen.


After the text argument, my mum came into my room and we had another discussion about victim-shaming/blaming and how I feel that for as long as we put ANY responsibility on a girl for physical abuse/assaults, the man still has some leeway.

I just don't understand when women themselves make comments like "she's asking for it" on other girls or women, to their families or on public media platforms, which men can then leverage.

Boys grow up thinking even their mothers and sisters and grandmothers think that skimpily dressed females who stay out late are "sluts" who are "asking for it" so it's a shared responsibility, he can't be blamed for his "hormones".

Conversely, if we all stop looking at any action/circumstance on the part of the girl, not her clothes nor where she was nor what time it was etc, then all the blame is on the man, and maybe men will learn to control their impulses.

Maybe even if not organically from his own conscience, if we make rape a crime that is only rapist-centred and not victim-centred, then maybe the punishments would be harsher, graver, heavier, and men would feel more ashamed and less inclined to do it, instead of shaming the girl for having "tempted it".

Mum and I had a long, drawn-out, heated discussion about India and mental instability and how unfair the world is and how you can't change the world's mindsets if you can't change your own, etc. Regardless, we ended on a good note, and I had a kiss and hug from her.

I recently read a quote that went somewhat like "having a little girl is payback for everything that you've done as a young man in the past" and so I hope this particular man who harassed me last night, never has a daughter, so that she never has to go through terror struck in her heart, paralysing her.

I have cried so many tears today. I am so tired.

Despite everything, and however silly this sounds to atheists (what do I care what you think? you don't care what I think either, lols), I thank God that it didn't go further, and I hope it never does. It was traumatising enough on my psyche, even if he hadn't physically touched me.

Thank God for my mother, who kept telling me she was obviously enraged and upset on my behalf too, and she would definitely teach a lesson to the man if I ever pointed him out to her. I feel very reassured by my mum. I really hope I become as much of a superhero to someone the way she is to me.

Or that I could be my own superhero.


I told G about it, but I felt bad because he's still stressed from work and his grandmother's condition in the hospital. 

For the first time, though, today, although he gave me kisses, I didn't feel much comfort. I just think, what's the point? What's the point of having any guy? I will have to be responsible for my own well-being and safety, what the heck are men for when they're not around in times of trouble?

Saturday, October 18, 2014

AS LONG AS I KNOW HOW TO LOVE

(music: Kylie Minogue)

Yesterday I got two complimentary tickets to a Priscilla, Queen of the Desert production at RWS, courtesy of boss Jam. I didn't even have enough time to Google the show and had no clue what it was about, and Shahida and I went together at the last minute.

I cabbed to Sentosa from work, and the cab driver asked me what I was going to the theatre for. I told him, and he said it's great that all these international productions are being flown in, so there are "standards" for the arts scene.

He said he caught Chicago at West End, and other productions like Cats, Les Miserables, etc, internationally, and he loved the original Chicago musical much more than the recent movie, and I was like, whoa whoa whoa, cabby is cultured and unexpectedly schooling me on artsy stuff. WELL DONE, CABBY. \o/

I recommended Pangdemonium, which he thanked me for. The cab driver said he would try and catch their newest production. He says before he watched his first play, he always thought it wouldn't be for him, but he ended up enjoying it so much, so I told him "don't knock it till you've tried it" about the local scene too.

Outside the theatre, before the show started, Sha and I saw a lot of Australians (we reckon, from the accents) with feather boas around their necks, and other props.



It turns out that the musical was based on a 1996 Australian film about drag queens. It was a really fun performance, possibly the only time I could ever see three drag queens in pink/green/yellow afros "belting out" to Gloria Gaynor.

There were so many puns, about aboriginals and Australian rocks in the desert, and Kylie Minogue, but it also highlighted the atmosphere towards the LGBT community back then (their bus was vandalised with "fuck off faggots" in the play).

Overall, although the production wasn't entirely the best (sounds and lighting were shite, what the fuck, RWS?!) the Australians still seemed very pleased with their national (gay) pride in the production, and Shahida and I had lots of fun.

Towards the end of it, the cast invited the audience to dance along with them, and the local Chinese lady beside me, I think about 40 years of age or so, looked at me, and we were both screeching out "I Will Survive" and we were so unabashed and amused by ourselves.

"did you think I'd crumble? did you think I'd lay down and die?! oh no not I!"

Shahida and I are intrigued in the story though, and we both wanna watch the original movie now.


We saw the Merlion, since we were in Sentosa. G likes when I mention Sentosa, he always reminds me that he went there for the aquarium (he loves fishes) and to gamble at the casino. And I'm like, "yesss, I know, b! I know!!"

The second day we started talking (I think), he sent me a photo of himself with the Merlion, It's so strange how tourists are still interested in the Merlion whereas Singaporeans think it's such a lame thing.

On the way home, Shahida showed me a quote, which she couldn't decide whether was sad or lovely.


Her first impression of it was that it describes a tragic love that has to end, viewed upon with disapproval, so she asked whether it was what I felt with Blob. She says the quote means the circumstances are unfavourable, but the love was intense nonetheless, just like what I used to feel when I was in love with a Christian guy.

I understood her point of view, but she said I had a much more positive view of the quote. When I read it, I didn't think of Blob though. I just thought of love, in general. I had this idea that it applies to all romantic relationships.

Basically, when you're in love with someone, sometimes you just want to be in isolation with that person, because everything else is a distraction. The two of you don't exist in a bubble, so there's work, there's family, there's friends, there's six hours of time difference, there's other people whom either party could feel insecure about.

I mean, sometimes I just feel like I don't want to face the world, I just wanna curl up with one person I love, and that would be enough. And that's what I kinda think the quote is about. I don't think it means that the love is tragic, though. It just means the world is a distraction.

I'm not sure if you get what I mean about the quote. I think Shahida's is a much more relateable point of view, a mindset that I've gotten through, too, anyway.

*

On Monday, G was so grumpy and cranky, he said he felt bad after a fight with his friend so he didn't feel like talking much.

I tried to tell him it was okay to share with me what happened, but he shut up for an entire day (do you know how precious our hours are, considering half the time one person is awake, it's time for the other to sleep?!?!?!).

He didn't say anything, so the next day (as it turns out, I also happened to be PMSing) he apologised and said he was in a better mood, but then I didn't talk to him, and I also blocked him for a while HAHAHAHA. I think it upset him a bit, which I guess is acceptable. If he blocked me I would be fuming mad.

I am such a child.

I mean, I just don't understand. I'm always rambling about my issues but when he goes through a conflict of sorts, he clams up. I don't know if he just doesn't want to talk about it or he doesn't trust me enough?! Do people just not want to talk about problems? Do people like that exist? It's about a world removed from my own behaviour.

We got over that nonsense when we realised I was PMSing, and he manjakan me 'cos I was having period cramps. Hehehe. /child

Yesterday, he told me his grandmother was in hospital and wasn't doing well, and I've just been wanting to be by his side and hold his hand. I have a photo of him with his grandparents, during his birthday two months ago, they're so adorable!!!!

It's slowly niggling at me, how involved we are in each other's lives.

I don't really like using the word "love" in this case, because let's face it, he and I barely know each other, but the amount of care and concern I feel for him. Sometimes I want to punch his face because love means caring for someone at least as much as you feel for yourself, if not more, and I care for him.

Needless to say, I'm such a self-absorbed person, and I'm not well-versed with loving someone else in a selfless way, but all I think about now is "what if something happens to him? or someone he loves? can he cope?"

Then I'm reminded that I can't do anything, and I go and hug my mum instead, because I guess my mum would understand best what I'm feeling.

When you have children, I think every day you worry about them and the worst-case-scenarios of "what ifs" and whether your children will love you back. That amount of sacrifice, man. Will I ever be able to do it?

Love is irrational and I don't know how and why it happens.

Thursday, October 09, 2014

NOTHING FROM NOBODY

(music: Scott Bradlee)

So like, I was listening to Taylor Swift's Shake It Off, and grooving to it in the train (in fact if it plays in the cafe I can't stop myself from dancing to it, I love the song so much - Rhel has videographic proof of this).

I was wondering whether there was a less trashy version so I wouldn't get judged so much for loving the song, and I sort of stumbled upon Scott Bradlee's Youtube channel. I don't know what Scott Bradlee is, whether it's a guy or the name of the band, but their covers - phenomenal.

PLEASE watch at least one of the below. Please?!?!



(HEHE playing on the word bass.)



The above actually has a saxophone that has flames burning up when he plays? I DON'T UNDERSTAND IT.


I LOVE how all the singers have such deep soulful voices, and even the way they pronounce their words are like classic/old-timey, like how they swallow their "R's" and stuff.

I think this is the best thing I have ever come across on Youtube!!!!!!!! I love them!!!!!!!!

*

On Monday I had plans to go cycling with Rose and Paulina at ECP. My mum nagged me for wanting to wear a tank top, so I changed and grudgingly left home in a "feminist" fury.


I Tweeted the above (read from bottom upwards) and my mum read them so she got even more pissed off at me.

I told G about all that and he told me to "stop ranting" and initially I was affronted but then he told me if I ranted I would just get myself stressed, so then he calmed me down instead.

Yesterday, Han texted me the below:


It made sense, even if it's not ideal.

I don't like changing myself to "improve" other people's impressions of me. Other people are not God, so they have no right to judge. I also don't like being a hypocrite because I can see it in so many other people.

I'm sure it's happened countless times in the history of humankind, girls wearing what pleases their parents then changing outside. It's so ridiculous. It's like, the principle is not even THERE. I don't even believe, of my own accord, that I should dress in a conservative manner.

I want to live with my God-given free will. I think everybody loves freedom, and the more parents/other forces try to exert control (eg. the government), the more I wanna retaliate and break free.

I'm too tired to go into a feminist rant right now, so.


In any case, it was really nice catching up with my two sisters from the office times.

Tonight, after a day of my mother and I ignoring each other, I saw a post that Reza posted on Facebook, which made me think of all the good things my mum has done for me, and how much I really, truly love her, and what a waste of time it was to have a cold war with her.

I kissed her, and we talked again.

Speaking of Reza, I'm not sure if the word is disappointed but I definitely feel something negative that he's stopped talking to me. Maybe he really just got tired of my crazy push-pull attitude, maybe he's sick of me posting stuff about G, maybe he just doesn't like me, and I feel like that reflects on me.

I don't know, I just really wanted to go to a cat cafe (one of those I haven't been to) with him. Oh well.

In any case, yesterday G was sick, and he was being so irritable and difficult to please. I was trying to do all I could to cheer him up, but the man was an impossible child.

It's funny that he's often sick, like Han also is. They are both very similar, I treat them as my foils in life. One is my soul sister, and the other my (desired) soulmate. They are the same words, âme sœur, in French, hence the song Hey, Soul Sister.


Both of them have a good impression of each other though, I told G something that Han had once said, and he said she's a wise person. Vice versa, Han (along with most other people who know about him) says G is intelligent and sweet. It's the first time Han has ever had a positive impression of any guy I'm involved with, so...

Mon âme sœur approves of mon âme sœur, both ways! ;P

Monday, October 06, 2014

THAT'S WHAT I WISH I'D DO

(music: Let the Rain - Sara Bareilles)

Yesterday was Hari Raya Haji, which means family and foooood!


Thank God for family members who cook so well!!!!


I thought it was so cute Rayyan's onesies were overwhelming everybody else's clothes. Such a tiny ball but with so much impact. Babies.

I didn't take many photos because Joe Black's battery died (probably from filming too much at Sara Bareilles' concert) and I hadn't brought the spare batt. Sometimes I just don't know when I consciously think.

Hazwani and I spent the better half of the day staying in Faiz's room and um.... bersembang-ing... (codeword for gossip)



Vava was being adorable with their fat cat, Kiki, and we selfied our way with the Bluetooth clicker..

After a night of sugar and United win (thank goodness most of my uncles and cousins have sense to be United supporters, hehehehe), Lyssa and I went to join our second family for our own round of soccer.


Haqim's shoes are all so bright and pretty! His shoe collection ah! Better than a girl's!!!


For his birthday, Hadi got a book on Ibrahimovic and I told G about it because G supports Paris Saint-Germain (clearly, since he lives in Paris), the club that Ibra plays for.

Some of the following photos were not taken by me since I was on the pitch. Most were likely taken by Nora, the cutest game commentator ever (she sempat sing HAHAHAHA).



Sarong bedek banyak.


I got one of Zul right when he was yawning.


Min-ho!!!!!!!!!!!



Danial doing his usual pose that looks like he's doing some worshipping thing. Oh Dan. The cafe has this joke that he is exactly like Ehsan from Upin & Ipin, and Dan does the most UNCANNY reenactment of Ehsan's "selamat pagi cikgu!" chant. So cute anak mak.

Apparently I am now the mother hen of the cafe. Abeh Min and Siti apa???? Grandparents.


Hadi and I were both wearing the same jersey then I recalled I probably got the guys' kit. Hmmm.


This is a very nice photo of Mr Smiley, Firuz. Nora took this.


Team (mostly) kitchen crew.


Team floor crew.


Mr #vsco #vscocam Fadly hehehehe. I think he's our resident photographer, his photos on Instagram ah, wah sehhhhhhh.


The girls, melawar aje tau. Lyssa is wearing my Oranje shirt, which is apt because our cafe is Amsterdam-inspired, hehheh.





We have such pretty girls at the cafe. One of our customers (a girl) called me a "goddess" two days ago, the day I wore a dress, and I'm like "what--- what the heck would you call the other female staff, have you seen them???"

But also I have no problem receiving compliments from ladies. At least I'm not just a sex object to them.


We were fake-laughing for a photo but of course it turned into genuine laughter. Silly girls. :')


We went for supper afterwards and we all had to place our phones in the center so we wouldn't be distracted by all the "dunya" (temporary) things, according to Sarong. This photo because... perfection. HAHAHA. *winks at Lyssa* ;P

Also: I took the photos with my DSLR, because we'd gotten the spare battery when we headed home first. :P


Dunya hanya sementara. Wah Sarah berbual Melayu. Syabas.


The moon was very pretty and we were all looking at it, but my camera does not have the capability of capturing the sky.

I had naan and butter chicken and it was really nice! It was somewhere in Little India.

In any case, I went to sleep knackered and woke up knackered and later this afternoon, I'm meeting my lady ex-colleagues from Atmosphere to cycle at East Coast Park. Soccer yesterday, cycling today, swim tomorrow??

SIAO. Back to work tomorrow, no time to swim!!!! (No energy, more like.)

Have a lovely week ahead, so much love!