Say Yes To The Dress


On a budget, it should be called "Say Yes to the Suitably-Cheap/Flattering-Enough/Fits-Personality Dress". Between looking for cheap dresses online and thinking of money saving methods, and blasting my eyes full of different Save the Date and Wedding Invite designs, I am feeling fairly bridal-ed out and longing for more intellectual stimulation.

In other news, Jon and I spent almost the whole of yesterday out with his friend and his wife visiting from Philadelphia. It also happened to be the Saturday that vied for "most hot, humid and miserable" of the Summer, or maybe it was just because I felt that I couldn't cop-out and go "BYE FOOLS, I'M OFF TO GO HOME AND HIDE IN AC". I did that today anyway, after lunch and a walk in Central Park, while the 3 of them went to do goodness-knows-what.

Thankfully, as of tomorrow, the weather drops in temperature again.

S'more

Last week I went with the Tius and their cousins to Gyukaku in Midtown to have Japanese BBQ. The marinated meats were quite salty for my taste, and the sheer amount of meat was overwhelming. I wish we had ordered more seafood or vegetables, but the beef came in a set. Still I enjoyed myself immensely, as Tim and I argued over when the meat was done (Tim likes his meat burnt to a crisp, I like mine still bleeding), and I liked the opportunity to meet Jon's extended family. The best part of the meal however came at the end, when I finally got to try a really American item that I never had before: s'mores.

I had heard about s'mores before as a very outdoor-sy camping kind of meal. Marshmallows would be roasted over an open fire, and then somehow manoeuvred into a sandwich form with chocolate. It sounded dreamy to me, but not something where I would make myself without experience (graham crackers? What were graham crackers?). Plus, I'm not the world's largest fan of sweets.

It turned out that Sona loved s'mores, and was excited to see them on the menu, and I wanted to try them. It was settled then - for dessert we would all have s'mores. When the s'mores came, Sona led the way by instructing everyone on how to best melt the marshmallow (turned out I wasn't the only one at the table who didn't have s'mores before), by turning it rapidly on the skewer just at the top of the flame. However when everyone's marshmallow had melted adequately, mine was still pure white, and I impatiently decided to plunge it into the flame, while remembering at the back of my mind that the internet once told me that marshmallows make great fire starters. Sure enough, my marshmallow caught fire.

As I yelped in panic and the table got excited and laughed, I waved my marshmallow around rapidly trying to put the flame out (I heard Sona saying: "Don't do that! Blow on it!", but it didn't quite register through my panic). By the time the flame was out (I don't remember how, maybe Jon did something?), I was sad because my marshmallow was charred and didn't look pretty anymore. So like a good husband, Jon gave me his.

And then the same thing happened again. I got impatient, and my marshmallow caught fire again. I think I blew on it this time, and reacted faster (I guess I was completely expecting this one to catch fire too), and so the second one was less charred. I made the s'more, and utterly loved the taste when I bit into it.

Over the weekend, Jon and I went to Trader Joe's. As I tried to look for chocolate and hazelnut cookies, I saw a boxes of graham crackers, with bags of marshmallows conveniently shelved underneath them. I grabbed them, and a few pre-packed bars of milk chocolate. I've been eating a s'more every second night since for dessert, heeeee.

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. 


 

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