The Day Before My Wedding I...

- Sat in Times Square and played Pokemon Go
- Had lunch with Tiffany at Gotham West Market
- Tried on wedding dresses at RK Bridal
- Did laundry
- Made Basque style lamb and beef piperade from a Blue Apron kit
- Finished watching The Master's Sun with Jon
- Looked at Cats That Look like Pin-Up Girls with Jon
- Watched episodes of La Esclava Blanca
- Made Jon's lunch for the next day (a turkey sandwich on sourdough bread, with salad and relish)

Last Min Wedding

Planning a last min wedding is anything but fun, especially when you perpetually feel as disorganised as I am and are still recovering from a cold (hello phlegmy coughs!) Finally thought to create a FB event today to coordinate things, and Deni even created a banner for the event:
Here's to honouring her work, and a good wedding!

White T-Shirts

I am feeling slightly perturbed now because I have just finished doing the laundry, and it has confirmed my suspicion that three of my white t-shirts have gone missing. Two of them, simple crewnecks from Uniqlo, I've had for more than two years and they were starting to go slightly yellow under the armpits (ew, I know). The other one was probably around a year old, and was a v-neck with a pocket, that my Mum said she disliked because it made me look flat. They were my go-to summer shirts, and now for the life of me, I can't find them anywhere. This makes me feel a little like I'm going nuts, especially since I'm the only one that does the laundry and puts them away, and hence should've been able to keep track of them.

I guess I need to go buy more white t-shirts.

Reality

I haven't been able to find a job, and it's been not only disappointing but also self-esteem killing. At the same time, it's also meant extra worries regarding my visa status and staying in the US legally. Last week Jon and I finally remember to get our act together and contact an immigration lawyer, and today I finally spoke to her. Originally I had planned to go home for about a month or so when my visa expired and re-enter the US on a tourist visa, but the lawyer tells me that this is a bad idea and could be perceived as fraud. She also tells me that we should get married (yes, married!) in Sept rather than Oct, even though Oct is when my parents are available to fly to the US to attend.

At this new (and probably wise) information, I feel myself hit with an unbearable sense of sadness. I had foolishly thought that even if my path diverged from my place of birth, I could at least go home and enjoy its comforts before embarking on this stage. As much as I have always been wandering and running away from Singapore, I feel like I have never missed it and my family and friends as much as I am at this very moment. That I can't even go back home to visit fills me with a great feeling of loss, that yes, I am giving all of this up for this other future that I've chosen with Jon. That I cannot have my cake and have even the tiniest nibble of it too.

I miss Singapore, and had been looking forward to going back and seeing my loved ones. I had even started building a small stockpile of gifts, shoving them messily at the bottom of the small coat cupboard. Knowing now that I cannot even go home for a visit in this very significant period of my life makes me feel at a loss.

Bums and Bodies

I've just come back from Fairway after buying items to make for lunch (hello egg salad sandwich), and felt the need to write down the thoughts I had while lining up to pay, which make me feel slightly uncomfortable (hello modern female-feminist-Asian-teacher postionality).

The context: when I was lining up to pay, I noticed there was a large group of people (at least 8) clustered around a single Fairway check out counter. What made me feel disturbed was that among the group of people were a young female teens (seemingly aged from 12 to 15) dressed in tight crop tops and denim hot pants that revealed the bottoms of their bums. My innate reaction was to study their bodies, because after all, so much skin was on show and they were very sexily dressed. Then I caught myself as I realised holy shit, they're so young. This made me feel very disturbed because:

1) If I, a straight female, could so easily and with little imagination scrutinise every single curve of their bodies, other people were definitely doing it too - this I felt was the most disturbing thing of the lot
2) They were with parental/adult figures, and they were obviously OK with this display of flesh - I made a mental note that no child of mine will dare dress like that in front of me, because it seems disrespectful to flaunt your sexuality in front of your elders (they can do whatever they like when they're old enough to go to uni)
3) As an adult female that dresses conservatively, I already get stupid comments and attention from males when I walk by, what more kind of negative attention will these girls get?
4) Were these girls old enough to understand the kind of issues linked to women's bodies and open displays of sexuality (probably not)
5) But, what right do we have to govern the bodies and clothing choices of other people? (I never liked the idea, but this makes me think we should at least exercise a degree of control over the clothing choices of children and adolescents)

So perhaps my takeaway from this isn't necessarily a change in the idea that women should be allowed to wear whatever they wish, but that the word women should be emphasised. Women, implying the age and maturity to go along with the consequences (warranted or not) of what we chose to wear. If a woman in her twenties decided to wear tight crop tops and denim hot pants, I have zero problem with that. When a tween decides to wear tight crop tops and denim hot pants, I cannot help but feel incredibly disturbed out of some misplaced worrying.

NEET Summer

Since become a NEET (not in employment, education or training), my days are mostly unexciting and punctuated with meetings with friends. I feel like I'm coasting along waiting for the next thing that makes my life a complete one (ie: a job), and in the meanwhile am constantly looking for ways to fill my days. The most exciting thing that happened recently was Jon's friend, Scott, visiting us two weekends ago. The Friday night he came, we went to a udon place called Raku in the East Village and had drinks. The next day we visited the Met Bruer for the Diane Arbus exhibition, and the Met to visit some special exhibits, and had the crepe cake at Lady M. Monday night the three of us met with their old uni friends Richa and Sean in K-Town for Korean BBQ and Spot Dessert.

Other than Scott's visit, my week days are almost routine-like in their aimlessness. I wake up, go out for a bit either to run errands or to just walk around, and come back in time to make dinner for Jon and me. During meal prep time, Jon usually studies. Lately we've taken to watching The Master's Sun while we eat dinner. As a result, our little unstained wood side/coffee table has now become seemingly irreparably stained with various food stuff. I look forward to the weekends, because it usually means Jon is around and we can do something different.

Last weekend, Ted Kin was in NYC, and the three of us had lunch at Saravana Bhavan. We had thosai and uttapam. Then I hung around for a bit with Ted Kin while Jon went home. At night, Jon's friend Steven dropped by the visit, then the two of them went out to see an old friend. On Sunday Jon and I went to Brooklyn to go to Target, and we had lunch in Bedouin Tent, a nice little Middle Eastern Restaurant along Atlantic Ave.

It's also been unbearably hot recently, and I've been getting heat headaches almost everyday. NYC at large has christened these few days the "heat dome" and the larger period as a heat wave. When it rains, it's usually a crazy heavy thunderstorm, like the one I was caught in a few weeks ago, and offers little respite from the heat. Going out, as a result, isn't nearly as enjoyable as normal. Yesterday I was out in Flushing with Shirin and Carlos, and my happiest (or at least most comfortable) time was probably when we re-entered the subway and I felt the rush of cold AC air.

I wonder how long this situation will last.

July Showers

Today for the first time in a long time (since the disastrous Mt Snowden climb with Tiff, Jingkai and a girl called Rong Xin in circa 2011) I got utterly drenched by the rain. I had just gotten off the subway after visiting the Bronx Museum of the Arts when I noticed that the sky was really dark and foreboding, and wondered if it was going to rain. I walked about 5m before feeling drops on my head, and started rushing. Just as I was trying to manoeuvre past this guy with a weird hat ("tourist!" I remember thinking to myself), I noticed him looking backwards, towards the West, and laughing.

"Look!" he said, with the glee of someone who knows everything is fruitless. And so I looked, and HO BOY, you could see that just ~50 meters behind us, the entire area was engulfed in a ferocious storm. I think at about this time I said "Run!" and started running myself. I could have easily ducked into a small store or waiting by the side of tiny awning, but I was afraid that the rain would last for too long and that I had better odds making it home.

I ended up running past hordes of people huddling under awnings, some who laughed and said "keep running!" to me and the few other people I saw running. I almost collided with a guy that was running too. It wasn't until I reached 28th and 2nd Ave that I realised I had been running so mindlessly that I had taken a slightly longer route home, partly because that rain had been so fierce that my visibility decreased significantly.

By the time I got home, I was sopping wet. I peeled off all my clothes and instantly headed for the shower. The exertion from running in the rain made me feel sick, my body not having run for two months since my Columbia gym membership expired.

I guess this means I should sign up for a gym again.

White Bread

In what must be a symptom of my growing age and general awareness of healthy living (and/or living and being together with someone who always scrutinises the nutrition labels), I now feel guilty when I buy white sliced bread vs whole wheat sliced bread, or another more fibre-packed alternative. I feel slightly bad that I'm consuming empty calories and endangering my colonic health. At the same time however as a Singaporean person, there is no way in hell that I'm eating kaya toast (which I haven't made yet, cause this is the first time I've bought white bread in a while) on whole wheat or any other sort of bread.

Anyway I just ate a toasted cheese and tomato sandwich on white bread. It was tasty, and I feel happy, especially because its exactly the sort of sandwich I used to eat every Sunday night when I watched Law and Order episodes on Channel i in 2003/2004. Except of course I had a toaster oven then and didn't have to awkwardly keep flipping bread in a pan over the stove. Still, that can be easily rectified. 

Gua-ma

My gua-ma just passed away. Last time I saw her in person was just under a year ago, when I was back in Singapore for the Summer. My main memory of her is of holding her hands, and feeling how papery thin her skin felt in its many folds over her knuckles. I feel sad that I cannot be home, and am reminded of the sacrifices I have had to make (mainly becoming more estranged from the family and friends I love the most) in choosing this path in life.

Downtown

Moved into the new place just over a week ago, and the house is still in a sorry mess despite my best efforts (hello having no furniture until yesterday!).
All I got to say is: every time I move I wonder how the hell I've acquired so many clothes. 


 

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