Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Confused Days

Today is Tuesday, but it really feels like a Wednesday. Yesterday was a Monday, but it really felt like a Tuesday instead. This is because on Sunday, Jon was working and I spent the day doing quite a lot of school work - it felt far more like a weekday than a weekend. And so now I feel psychologically confused, and need to think a little bit before I know what day it is. This in itself is a little disconcerting, but I suppose it must happen to a lot of people, for instance stay at home parents with newborns/babies, or someone retired. Either way, I don't quite like feeling so disoriented. 

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Union Strike

Today while walking back home from another early morning babysitting session, I crossed paths with a grand total of three (3) striking workers. They were walking along E. 23rd St, and had that were tied to their necks with thin pieces of string. Their signs said that they were from AFL-CIO, and were electrical workers that were on strike. They seemed to be joking with each other a little, as they shuffled along the street.

I couldn't help but think that this was the saddest strike I've ever seen, not that I've seen a ton to begin with, mind you. But this is what unions apparently look like nowadays, almost 50 years after they had their teeth taken out of them from legislation.

Monday, May 14, 2018


For the past few months I've been intermittently babysitting a baby called Rudo. My babysitting gig is a little unusual in that I'm not with him at his place. Instead, we hang out outside the studios where his mum, Nefertiti, teaches. I also only babysit for about 2-3 hours each time, so not for long durations. I initially had hoped for longer hours (and of course earning correspondingly more money), but I soon realised that even just 2 hours of looking after a baby is super tiring - which of course makes me wonder how I'll cope when Jon and I eventually decide to have kids. Anyway overall, save for the early start times, I'm happy with taking care of Rudo once in a while. It's interesting watching him slowly grow up and learn, plus Nefertiti is a really cool and chilled out person too.

Today was interesting however because while babysitting, I saw a celebrity! Not exactly a huge celebrity, but rather one whose work I know and respect, which makes it better of course. While cuddling Rudo and trying to get him to calm down (he was very fussy today), I saw one of the doors of one of the many trailers lining the street open, and saw Keegan-Michael Key step out on a puffy black jacket with brown furry trim. At first I was thinking "Oh my! It's the guy from Key and Peele!", and then I thought, "No way, can't be. I must be mistaken." But the more I thought about it, the more I was convinced. Still, I was afraid to say anything without verifying what I saw, but in the end I decided I was right and told Victoria, who was working at the reception, and she got all excited with me.

Anyway long story short, I told Nefertiti too when she came out from her class, and she got all excited too. Shortly after Nefertiti finished teaching her second class, Keegan-Michael Key came out of the trailer again, and I told both her and Nefertiti, and they ran to the window to wave at him like maniacs and he waved back with a big smile before returning to his trailer. I feel happy that they got to see him too, and that I wasn't mistaken, hah.

Just last week when Sindhu was here, I was having lunch with her and Shirin at Big Daddy's when she told us that she saw Janelle Monae at a Pastafina near Hell's Kitchen, and I was telling them that I had never seen a celebrity before. I attributed it to the fact that I don't go to ~trendy~ places, and don't exactly pay attention to the people around me. Well, I can no longer claim that I have never seen a celebrity in person.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Valentine's Day

The best Valentine's Day present thus far has been a clear nose. For the past weeks I've been taking various antihistamines to try and deal with a nose that has been alternatively so stuffy that I can't breathe, or flowing non-stop. At several instances where I've laughed over the past week, snot has come out. Things were getting worse too - it was starting to adversely affect my sleep.

Finally yesterday after much complaining on my end, and me feeling like I'm at the end of my rope, Jon came home with Sudafed. I ended up waking up at 7am today with my nose completely stuffed and feeling unable to breathe, and took the Sudafed before returning to bed. I woke up at 10am, to two completely clear nostrils. The realisation was exhilarating. I'd forgotten what it's like to breathe completely unhindered.

Tonight we'll get Mexican takeout for dinner, and I'll probably buy some macarons from the corner bakery. Happy Valentine's Day 2018.

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

First Day of 2018

The first day of 2018 was spent partly in a car ride from Fort Salonga to Manhattan via Sheepshead Bay, in an old teal Sienna filled almost to the brim with groceries and luggage, and a cat of unknown vintage in a black harness with attached leash. This was the first time Saffron was out in a harness and leash combo, albeit within the confines of a vehicle, because he had meowed so pitifully the last few times he had been kept in a carrier during a car trip, and it was fast apparent that he enjoyed being on a leash more than being in a carrier. He was largely well behaved except for wanting to hop onto Jon and explore the driver's seat, but was kept away by Serafin-Dad holding onto his harness and me holding onto his leash in the back seat.

The success of the leash was far more than we could have hoped for given that earlier in the day, Saffron was very upset and resistant. I put the harness on him and he got upset, and when I emerged from the bathroom I was met by Jon telling me that Saffron was currently hiding inside the sofa in his parent's room (according to Daisy-Mum) because he was angry and had trying to escape the noise of the vacuum. This cued Serafin-Dad, Jon and me to try and coax him out of the sofa by closing the doors and alternating between using a hair dryer and treats. While this was going on, Mona, the ancient matriarch cat was sitting on top of the bed, watching us with little interest. Annoyed at seeing little progress in coaxing Saffron out, I went over to Mona and flopped onto the bed, when I realised I saw a darker coloured patch on the air bed next to the main bed. Taking another look, I saw Saffron looking at me, sitting in plain sight on top of the air bed. All this time, he hadn't been inside the sofa at all, but instead must have been wondering what the commotion was.

Now that we had found him, we then tried to feed him a mixture of cat treat and cat melatonin to calm him down for the car ride. He ate a little bit, and then started running around the room wildly. When he realised he was trapped because we had closed all of the doors earlier, he started pushing against the door and trying to scratch his way out. We finally let him out after about a minute, in hope that he would calm down.

About 20 mins later, when the car was fully packed, we were left with the task of grabbing Saffron and putting him in the carrier. Given that he already felt very aggrieved from recent egregious human acts, getting him to go in was difficult. Usually I get him into the carrier by putting treats inside, and he complies with little complaint, but yesterday he was pissed and in between the carrier sliding away from me as I held Saffron and the door closing as Saffron struggled, I had to grab him another time and force him into the carrier. He meowed in an upset fashion as he was carried into the car.

On the way to Manhattan, we stopped by Sheepshead Bay to drop things off at Uncle Jimmy, Uncle Bum, Uncle Boy and Aunt Lulu's houses. I didn't leave the car cause I was holding onto Saffron leash, but we opened the doors to let Uncle Jimmy and Uncle Bum see Saffron. He looked at them and then went to the other side of the car, not the least bit interested in the outside because it was also exceptionally freezing yesterday (as has been the whole of last week, and continuing onto this week).

When we got him, he was the first thing we unloaded. I put him back in the carrier for the trip from the car to the apartment, and he was compliant. The first thing he did after I took off the harness and leash was use the litter box, then drink water. As Jon and I unpacked all the things we had brought to the apartment, Saffron ran about re-exploring. Then for the rest of the afternoon, he lay on our bed and slept.

And this is how our first day of 2018 went. 

Friday, December 08, 2017

Final Paper

I have a final paper due in a week that I haven't started writing yet. Two years ago this would have been behaviour that is completely unheard of from me - I'd be so stressed out I wouldn't be able to sleep and all - but I recently realised that as the priorities in my life have shifted, so does my focus and the things that cause me stress. What would have been extremely stressful before is now more of a thing of more minor grief and irritation.

And on another note, I just had a thought related to my paper topic: Has there been a refugee crisis in the past two decades that has not be caused by the legacy of colonialism?

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Life and Death

Yesterday I felt like the proudest and happiest person on earth, because my niece finally entered the world. After wondering day after day when she would come, we finally received a text on Sunday night at 11pm that my brother-in-law and sister-in-law were headed to the hospital. When I was finished with my fieldwork at about 1:30pm, I got a text just as I was leaving the school with a picture of the baby. I felt so proud that I wanted to go up to random people on the street to show off the picture - look at her, isn't that hair amazing? And I felt slightly amazed at my reaction, cause I didn't expect to feel so overjoyed and proud. I always thought newborns looked like aliens, but this one seemed perfect to me.

Today however the mood I have is one that is considerably more sombre, because of the terrorist attack that happened near my fieldwork school. It's the first time that I've really been in the vicinity of a terrorist attack that took lives, and I suppose it's been down to sheer luck that this experience has only happened to me now at the ripe old age of 27. Considering that I came into age during the era of religious-based terrorism, and have lived in big cities that have experienced major terrorist attacks either before or after my residence there, it's been a strange sort of blessing that I've never had to text or call people to tell them that I'm safe until today. It feels a little unnerving, to be honest. On my walk back home, I also found myself regarding the streets with a keener eye and a more heightened attention than before, and that's when I realised the extent to which I felt impacted by this event. Sort of a delayed reaction, if you will.

Well, only time will tell about the extent to which this event and future others will affect life as we know it.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Sick again

Last night I had a nightmare where I dreamed Jon and I had to plan yet another wedding related thing, and I was super stressed and upset. In my dream I spent a lot of time trying to actually run away from events and hide because I felt so horrid about things, and people kept chasing me to get me to return. Urgh.

In other news, I am sick again. So far since July, I've been sick every two months, and it's driving me crazy. It's frustrating waking up with the sickening realisation that goddamn it, my nose is running and has been back-dripping into my throat all night long. Also now my throat is sore because of the back drip.

Monday of this week was the first time I worked since G- summer camp ended in early August, and although I enjoyed it, I profoundly regret having worked now because in addition to being really tired right before I fell sick, the house is a huge mess and I've got a backlog of school work that I need to deal with. Every day Jon and I get back to the house past 7pm, and we need to leave early in the morning. This means that all the things that need to be done, like cooking and cleaning, have steadily been building up as the week progressed. It's overwhelming especially when you're already so tired. I really have no idea how families with two working parents do it. It already feels like Jon and I are barely holding on to things, and I can't imagining a newborn into the mix. Grargh. 

Monday, October 09, 2017

The Monday After

Last Saturday (7 Oct 2017), I finally got married again in the big religious ceremony + wedding reception. Today, I'm back at work again and struggling to find the words to best represent my thoughts on the topic of my history comprehensive exam. A part of me relishes the joy that comes from productive academia, but another part of me just wants to go back to sleep and play computer games all day after a thoroughly emotionally and physically exhausting day.

Although getting married with a big hullabaloo and seeing my friends again was very nice, DEAR GOD - weddings are a terrible business. I just hope I remember enough of the stuff to make things easier for my friends and my children when the time comes for their weddings, cause I never want anyone else to have to go through the bullshit Jon and I did at the expense of actually getting to thoroughly enjoy our 'big day'.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Avery Labels

One of the most amazing things I learnt from my internship at A- in Spring 2016 was the existence of Avery labels, and that Microsoft Word came pre-programmed (ok maybe not the right word) with layouts where you could easily print directly onto the labels. This blew my mind because I never thought it was that easy to print things onto labels, or that Microsoft Word has such capabilities.

Anyway I'm thinking about this again because I'm trying to get labels ready for wedding favours. I even ordered a dinosaur stamp with "J & M" on it to stamp onto the bottom part of the labels.