Wednesday, June 08, 2016

IN NEW YORK, YOU CAN BE A NEW MAN
(JUST YOU WAIT)

(music: Lin-Manuel Miranda's Hamilton)

the world will never be the same

It has been a month since my last post, and I should really blog more often, so much has happened, I have felt so much. So much can happen within a month, always, all the time. I sound more unstable when I write about being really happy and really sad at one go, instead of breaking them up.

At the moment, I am happy so that's good. It's good good good.

I turned 26 almost a month ago! On my birthday, I went to work, and Pamela took me out to lunch. She brought me to Little House of Dreams at Dempsey, only the second time I've been to Dempsey, because I don't hang out at such atas (premium) places. ;)


Most of the things there were pink, including the coffee machine, which I really liked. The colour pink makes me happy, which explains why it is my favourite. You know when people ask why pink is my favourite, the only reason I have is that it makes me happy.

I would reckon it was as simple to figure out, I mean why is your favourite food say, pizza, or chicken rice your favourite? Because eating it makes you happy, yes/yes? Well, seeing the colour pink very easily makes me happy. That's really all there is to it, there isn't any more.




I had rose tea, in a pink tea set, which made me feel like Alice in Wonderland, and I loved it!


We had truffle fries, which were really good. I don't quite fancy truffle fries, but these were the best I've tried, the truffle oil was just enough to be tasted, yet not overpowering at all.

Speaking of truffle, Sumaya from work let me try her truffle mashed potato from Poulet, and I've decided that truffle mash beats truffle tries without even trying, or maybe Poulet just did it really well.


I had the Big Brekkie, which I liked for the variety. It was quite nice. Nothing to shout about, but nice enough.


Pamela had their Eggs Ben.




We had an earl grey tea cake in a pot. There is nothing a bit of tea can't fix for me. Or ice-cream. Or both. Earl grey ice-cream!!! Oh dayum I want some now, but it is the afternoon and I'm fasting at this moment.






Pamela got me pink heart-shaped balloons and I cannot begin to tell you how much my heart was beaming! I'd never gotten balloons for my birthday, not since I was a little kid and it's slipped my memory or whatever. I think I felt as floaty as the balloons actually were.

It was a novelty because I've been feeling rather heavy this year, so the balloons really lifted my mood.

Here: have some photos of one of my best friends werking it.





Pamela and I are very different people, we have very different values, but somehow we are always telling each other nuggets of TMI about ourselves/our lives. There are some people whom you can admit the weirdest things to, and Pamela is mine.

Digression: I recently had a random guy ask whether I was 420-friendly. I didn't respond. I didn't know this person, it was the first thing he'd ever said to me (via social media), and he chose to ask whether I was 4/20-friendly. I wonder where he got the idea. I take the fifth, although I don't even live in the US. ;)

After work finally ended (it was a completely rubbish day, I almost regretted going to the office), I met my family for dinner.





This year, I am twice Aqilah's age. I still act her age most of the time. Don't let anyone tell you growing old is a must. :P

My parents got me a Fossil watch!!!!!!!!!!!!! I cannot begin to tell you what this means, they are finally initiating me into the same family! Lol, one of our jokes was that Mum always got Fossil wallets/watches for herself and Lyssa, but she never got anything from Fossil for me, no matter how much I grovelled.




It is a nude strap/rose-gold face. I love it. In fact I've worn it so often the nude is already not-so-nude. :/

They also got me an alternative navy strap.




Watches with interchangeable straps are my favourite ever!!!!!!!!! I'm quite fashion-conscious (this is not to say I buy into fashion houses at all, I hate spending exorbitant amounts on clothes, but I do really like coordinating my outfits and I'm usually able to do it at a steal of a price).

So I wear watches that match my clothes (when I can be fucked about it, which is not often, unless it is a special occasion --- work does not count).

It's quite a tradition to receive watches from my Mum.

She bought me this Valentine's Day limited-edition Swatch a decade ago, the one with heart-shaped links for a strap. It still works fine, I got it before I was fifteen! I am now twenty-six.



She also got me a Guess last year, with three different straps.




The Guess watch is a gold/diamante face, with gold/pink/white straps, all in different textures/patterns.

So now I have a gold/white/pink/nude/navy/silver watch for any outfit, and they are all from my mum. :D

The only watch I got for myself was my Casio, the one I run/swim with.


The story behind the pink Casio is hilarious, Lyssa and I got it when we were together, and I got a "discount" for it.

I'm quite a fan of watches, I really like wearing one all the time.

Anyway, we had dinner at BaliThai at Suntec, and all the food we ordered was really good.



Fasting (plus my current preoccupation, you'll see later) is really not making me productive. Everything makes me hungry.


Photobombed by my manja sister Lyssa.


My stepdad is one of those people you have to remind to "smile" when taking a photo, he generally isn't happy to take photos, or forgets to show it, tsktsk.



I loved my balloons.



Lyssa has a problem with me loving my balloons (and myself).



wut r we doin we dun even knw





It's not every day you receive balloons!!!!



There you have it: the Uhum-Peh sisters, a series of our stupidity when we are all out together.

Through the entire day/week, I received well-wishes from my favourite people. Some I've put together here, and some have been left out, but I appreciate them all the same (really I do), because they thought of me and mean the best for me. Some of my family and friends may not see their messages here, but thank you too, I mean some years some of them are craftier with words than others, so.

My favourite day is my birthday because as a completely unabashed narcissist (clearly why I have a blog), it is the day when I can indulge in everybody trying to remind themselves and me of the reasons why they love me. I enjoy it so much hahahahah.

I guess people think it's weird when someone loves themselves, but I think you should be your own #1 fan. It's truly empowering when you can say, "yes, I love myself" and I will not let anyone who's not comfortable with the idea of self-love try to take it away from me. I think to be really comfortable with receiving love from someone else, you must be comfortable with receiving love from yourself.

So anyway, here are the messages which made me awww and gave me feels and stuff:









There are people whose messages are not here but again I stress, I am very aware of the fact that some people are better with words, and others with their actions so whatever you said or did, I am grateful for your intentions to make my birthday happier, someway or another. :)

Throughout the day, my French best friend G entertained me.


While I was having dinner with my family, he wrote essays about his weekend holiday in New York (with his girlfriend and family), because he knows I like having things to read, and also to give me tips for my upcoming potential trip to NYC.








I enjoy talking to this particular best friend of mine, but bearing in mind I've never met him I dunno if we'll even get along in real life.

Also, he lives in a different social setting, slightly removed from mine. He is always talking about hotels, wines and steaks, and he doesn't understand that he's much more privileged than I am. He knows I am struggling with finances, but he doesn't really get it, I don't think he has ever properly lacked or wanted for anything in his life.

As a white man in Europe, he thinks that anything that is within his reach should be just as accessible to me. People from a position of privilege tend to think that everyone is really accorded equal opportunity, never considering that if I achieve just as much, it takes me more effort to get there. It is alright, I learn very many things from him, so I really appreciate his friendship.



It is a strange idea that he was the first to actually wish me on my birthday, and he even ended it too.

I also received a really sweet message from my sister Aqilah:


So sweet, this thirteen-year-old girl, she is wise beyond her years. Wiser than I am, most days.

For my birthday, I also got the pink Timberland shoes I'd been wanting, for my #sarahnadetheworld solo trip.


The tag on my backpack says "oh the places you'll go" and the one on my luggage very very aptly says "I come with baggage" hehehe. Oh my dear luggage, that makes both of us.

Two Saturdays ago, I met my best friends from two different social circles. In the afternoon, I met my best girls from Anderson, and we went to Annalakshmi. It's a place where you can eat and pay any amount you think is right. The staff there are all volunteers, and I'd never dined at a place with such a concept before.


It offers South Indian food, and it was yummy.

As we were celebrating Han's and my birthdays, Tiqs and Sha said they would pick up the tab and donate enough for all of us, so I dunno how much they paid. The place is very ~goodvibes~ though, so it was nice. We also had the mixed fruit lassi, which was super thick and nice.


(I'm wearing Lyssa's navy Timberlands, we bought matching ones lol)



I was thinking of looking for a photo of us celebrating our birthday together ten years ago, and juxtaposing them next to each other, then I recalled that there would be another person there, who is missing from this one, so um. Better not. :/

These girls, these are the people whom even on days I don't want to meet anyone, make me glad that I do meet them. You know those days? When you're insistent on feeling down in the dumps and that no one can do anything to make you feel better and you reluctantly agree to see, but then you're like, how did I forget, these are the people who, by virtue of knowing the worst of you and accept you for it, make you feel like a better person than you really are. Wouldn't trade these ones for the world.






The above is my best friend Hanisah. Dyou know how many people (guys especially) have told me that she's cute? So many. I wish she believed it herself. Nobody ever tells me I'm cute! How can like this one ah, why liddis.

She's wearing her new gift, the silver agate heart matching my own gold one, that Sha got for us.


(my hair is doing the awkward-growing-out thing, it was just not cooperating: unlike India Arie, maybe I am my hair and it is just as awkward and contrary as I am)

It was slightly surprising to still get gifts, I'd told them I didn't want or need anything. It's a good thing they got me small gifts. I've packed my luggage for my trip already, and I honestly don't have space for anything else, I'm at a loss as to which shoes to bring along.

All I need left is either money or food, both to sustain myself, now or on my trip. My gifts were as on point as they could be, though.




Sha got the agate heart necklaces for us, gold for me and silver for Han. This was slightly ironic because on weekends I work for By Invite Only, which sells jewelry made with rocks mined from America or Brazil. Shahida didn't know that I sell this very brand hahahaha.

When I started working there, I got acquainted with natural rocks, and I got reminded of the time Nick was in a rainstorm, and went to look for rocks with his housemate Ramsay. He said he found something for me and would send it to me, but I thought I would get it from him in person one day. One time Nick also asked me if I wanted him to make jewelry for me, from those natural rocks and stuff. I think sometimes my gifted memory is a blessing and a curse.

Aaaaanyway, Tiqs got quote cards for me, and I love-love-love-love these too!









The ones that I chose to place in the wooden stand are my favourites of the batch: "you can always change direction" and "it always seems impossible until it's done" constant, constant, constant reminders to myself.

After lunch, we went for bingsu! They chose bingsu because it would be Korean for Han, and ice-cream for me. You know, having best friends is the best.





After the (ful)filling afternoon, I went to meet two of my best friends from TP.







They treated me to dinner at Badoque (I love Badoque ribs but we didn't have it that night!), and then we had ice-cream for dessert.


Having best friends is literally the best!!!!!!!!!! I love them so much.

While we had desserts and Pearl was somewhat food-comatose, Tim and I talked about his dating expenditures etc. He brought up the whole X-Men hooha over their billboard:



I think, to many of the people I know, I might just be the most feminist person they know, and I'm not even a real activist, all I do is have conversations with the people in my life. It is strange because being born as a Muslim Malay girl, half my battle has already been dictated for me.

As a girl, I must not display any sexuality. Girls do not have any sexuality, it is just a non-issue. Only men somehow are sexual creatures, God forbid that as a woman you have sexual or physical inclinations. And if, you do have such inclinations, it is as a reference to a man, your husband's or whatever.

You will never understand how much I argue with my parents just about my dressing/clothes. It is the biggest point of contention, which makes no sense. My idea is "if it does not affect the person I am, what does it matter if I wear as little as possible" and theirs is "if it does not affect the person you are, why can't you wear as much as possible?"

It will never make any sense, they just don't see that your clothes being policed restricts your freedom of identity, and if anything, I am individualistic. Did you know that if I lived on an island by myself with absolutely no men, I could be stark naked? But the presence of a man instantly changes that fact.

I have to police what I wear in reference to a man. If I am naked in public, I am instantly a temptation. If a man is stark naked in public, there is no danger to him from all the women in society because he is not a temptation?? It doesn't register to some people that what that means, is the man is a danger, and that man can choose not to be a danger.

The man can control himself, but to make it easier for himself (so he does not need any self-control), he controls the woman instead.

Anyway, while I was looking through the photos in my DSLR for my birthday photos, I came across photos from LA, and especially the ones where I can pinpoint right now, was when I realised I liked Nick. It was when he was wrapping his white elephant party gift, and being so stupid about it, I could not stop smiling.



In the photo also are Han, Zsofi and Norah. I think Norah might have liked Nick also, but... Nick and I were a thing that happened first. :B (I am super territorial, and I have to say girls, if you are interested in a man, you have to say/show it because men don't get hints.)


My DSLR (set on Singapore time) says that photo was taken on Christmas Day morning here, so minus about 17 hours, the exact moment I knew I fell for Nick was Christmas Eve at 5pm, in LA. Amazing, technology, thanks for that.

I think discovering the photos brought me on a downward spiral. I cried that night and I remember thinking that when you stop loving someone, it hurts and it's sad because you shut down the part of yourself that loves them. You turn off the lights on that part, you pretend it doesn't exist and it takes a while before you can enjoy the things that used to make you happy about them, and sometimes you lose that part of yourself completely.

In any case! Sometime in the past three weeks, I Facetimed with Irene, who studies/works in Missouri.



This is my face when I realise she is Facetiming me while she is actually driving through a drive-thru to get her McDonald's breakfast.




Look guys, she is literally Facetiming me on her phone while placing her order at McD's.

It's a good thing like two minutes later, she reaches her parking lot.


This is Irene explaining to me that the neighbour's dog is always barking and she can hear it. We had a great Facetime session, it's so good to listen to her talk about her life, and know how much she has progressed, and see how happy she is.

A couple Wednesdays ago, my team and I went to our boss's place to see his newborn son. We also had sukiyaki for dinner.



It was nothing short of delicious, one of my top 3 meals of May, and that's saying something considering May was my birthday month.

My boss has two sons, and one is I think 3 years old, his name is Micah. He was so bright and adorable, and we were so amused by him. He's such an inquisitive child, he would ask "why?" and not stop until he was satisfied, like when he asked why the outside of his glass was wet, and what condensation is.

When his little brother cried, he went over, patted him gently and said "don't cry, I'm here" and when I asked Micah what his little brother's name is, he said "di di", which is little brother in Chinese. SO CUTE and heartwarming.

I would have put photos, but they are not my kids, and I'm very respectful of individual wishes, I don't want to put them on a public domain 'cos I don't know if it would be comfortable. If I were a parent, I wouldn't really want other people to upload photos of my kids (I know, for an exhibitionist, I'm not quite sure how I would raise my kids).

It was a very nice night with them, I miss my team already!

*

Yesterday, I met Huda to break fast. She gave me a little something-something she'd gotten from Daiso just before meeting me.



She got me a collection of pink things, hahahaha. She got me pink gloves (???) and pink socks and peach-flavoured candy.




She made me the above card (with pink watercolours!), that I will bring along on my #sarahnadetheworld travels.




We had sushi and Japanese claypot.

After dinner, I went to her place to lepak and watch a bootleg copy of Hamilton, the musical. THIS is my current fangirling obsession. Thisthisthis.

Hamilton is about one of the founding fathers of America, Alexander Hamilton, and it is, whoa, I cannot begin to scratch the surface. The story told is a quintessential American one, about how, despite the odds being against him, he still worked to build a legacy for himself.

I implore you to watch the video below, of the cast performing the opening track at the White House. The musical is brilliant because the set is amazing, it moves and is interactive, the choreography is mesmerising and their costumes, and their voices are ON FUCKING POINT.

Lin-Maneul Miranda (who identified with Hamilton's story because he's a first-generation immigrant himself) wrote an impeccable soundtrack and I have spent the entire first half of my day (while fasting) reading up on the story and watching interviews and singing along to the refrains.

Above all, above all, a lot of it is written in the style of hip-hop/rap, which is amazing if only because hip-hop emerged through the black community to work through their own issues, to identify with and to have their own voice, which is exactly what happened in Hamilton's times, revolutions and finding the initial voice of America.

The cast also is such a diverse and representative one, with only the most talented people of colour. Oh I could not find a fault with this musical, if I tried!

how does a bastard, orphan, son of a whore and a
Scotsman, dropped in the middle of a
forgotten spot in the Caribbean by providence
impoverished, in squalor
grow up to be a hero and a scholar?



when he was ten his father split, full of it, debt-ridden

two years later, see Alex and his mother bed-ridden
half-dead sittin' in their own sick, the scent thick

and Alex got better but his mother went quick

moved in with a cousin, the cousin committed suicide
left him with nothin’ but ruined pride, something new inside
a voice saying “Alex, you gotta fend for yourself”



I have never found a more intriguing way to learn about the building of America than this musical.


I thoroughly enjoyed this interview done by Emma Watson, of the writer and star of Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda. He rightly deserves the term genius.

It is of course apt that Huda introduced me to Hamilton, I love being surrounded by Huda's family. They are musically-inclined so every time I hang with them, it's always been of them singing, playing some instrument or other, and it was adorable watching Hamilton while Huda and her brother Harith sang/rapped along (beautifully).





Harith doing the rap whoop-whoop, raising his hands in the air to some rap or other.


I love being with Huda's family, they are so artistic and so warm and yesterday I just told Lyssa they are like our real-life Weasley family and one of us has to marry into them HAHAHAH.







Angelica Schuyler has been portrayed in the musical to be such a badass, she is the original female badass, and she is now my hero, and I have hearts in my eyes for her forevermore. ♥_♥ (also my heart goes out to her because what a fantastic, top-notch, exemplary sister A++++)





The above scenes are of Eliza, Hamilton's wife, beatboxing, to set a beat for their son to show Hamilton that he's "inherited his genes" and wishes to relate to him, IT IS SLAAAAAY, this show is so funny and smart and perfect.



Those shadows are of the audience giving a standing vocation, bootleg recording and whatnot.

While watching it yesterday, I teared a little bit at It's Quiet Uptown, I don't think it's possible not to feel so, so sad at that, and at Burn. And Satisfied, oh how I love Satisfied.





 

I have honestly spent the day just exploring the story and the cast's stories and the soundtrack and feeling even more delighted at nuances in the lyrics that I hadn't caught.

"he will never be satisfied / I will never be satisfied"  --- "I'm not throwing away my shot" --- "raise a glass to freedom, something they can never take away" --- "death doesn't discriminate, it takes / and it takes / and it takes" --- "we just assume that it happens, no one else was in the room where it happens" --- "they'll tell the story of tonight" --- "it must be nice, it must be nice/ to get hamilton on your side" --- "da-da-da-da-da!" (oh Jonathan Groff's King George III is delicious and so! witty! and hilarious and entertaining!) --- "who lives / who dies / who tells your story" --- "talk less, smile more"

I have not been so caught up with a play since Spring Awakening. Hamilton on Broadway tickets are sold out till next Jan apparently, but when I'm in NYC this summer, I'm gonna try for the lottery tickets every day I am there (unless of course, one of you is able to hook me up)!

I absolutely must watch this live, oh my God, I missed Spring when it was on last December, I am not missing out on Hamilton!

The thing about Hamilton is he's honest and sticks to his principles to a fault. He practically wrote himself to ruins, and that, that is something I think I might identify, I think honesty is not the best, it's the only policy? It is scary, but it's the truth (lol).

Deffo wanna let myself be mindblown in real life.

*

Huda's family cat, Rahul, is a dream.








I sent photos to G, because my French best friend loves cats and wants one when he finds a bigger apartment for himself.





This drama queen, psh. It is strange that I text him so much, I would have to honestly say I might not be comfortable if my boyfriend texted someone else so much, all the time. I don't know if she's okay with it, but I mean G and I really are only friends, but still. I dunno.

you're like me,
I'm never satisfied