Today is the first day that is truly, truly, shorts weather in NYC, and I'm not happy about it. I am terrible with both adapting to heat and looking good in shorts/skimpy clothing. So now I feel like an overheated, bleached white-yellow whale (ok, only for my thighs) that is dressed in unfashionable clothing. Fantastic for my self-esteem.
In other news, over the past week I realised that a long of songs I like were sung by Fleetwood Mac. I somehow just never connected the dots. As a result, I have been listening to a lot of Fleetwood Mac over the past week, trying to regain all the time I lost when I was oblivious.

Food Smells

One thing I find exceedingly annoying about living back in a dorm is the crazy amount of food smells we have in our tiny, non-circulating-air kitchen. I was boiling my eggs earlier and watching a neighbour cook his veggies, and realised upon going back to my room and eating my sad fare that my hair now smelled of food and oil. Now as I try to concentrate on Chris Wickham's Framing the Middle Ages, I find myself utterly distracted and repulsed by the fact that I can smell food in my hair. This makes me feel really dirty, and also annoyed with my meagre lunch of boiled eggs and potatoes [I am on a pseudo diet]. ARGHGARGHBARGH.

I have no idea how people manage to go for a few days without washing their hair. They must be the people that don't cook, or don't live with people who cook in a tiny enclosed kitchen. 

The Bronze Horseman

I finished reading The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons a few nights ago, in one feverish stretch where I wanted to see what happened to the characters at the end of the story... and it turned out to be a not-very-happy one. Then I realised it was actually the first book for a trilogy, and immediately went onto Amazon to buy the other two books. I feel slightly annoyed because I wasn't exactly taken with the rather unsophisticated writing and rather melodramatic style of the prose (wanted to murder all the characters several times over), but nonetheless I want to read about a happy ending, while learning just how more miserable the story could get. Tis very much a love-hate sort of thing, a book that's unworthy of serious consideration, but one that makes you want to find out what nonsense it conjures up before it ends.

On another strange note, around the time I was getting very (undeservedly) immersed in The Bronze Horseman, I also started listening to Reflektor by Arcade Fire after putting it off for about two years. As a result, in my mind I now associate the songs with the (sub-par!) story, particularly Awful Sound (Oh Eurydice) and It's Never Over (Hey Orpheus). I cannot listen to them now without thinking about the two characters of the book now, Tatiana and Alexander, which makes me feel simultaneously wistful and annoyed.

I wonder how long Amazon will take to ship the second-hand copies over :x 

More Driving Nonsense

Had my 3rd US driving lesson yesterday, and my test is set for next Friday, 10th April. I am not at all confident in driving :x I realised yesterday that every time I step into a car after quite an interval (like a month!) I forget almost everything. Like which pedal is the brake, and which one is the accelerator. Doesn't quite help that I am unfamiliar with the *special* American ways of turning left. I think when I get my licence I'll just make only right turns.

On the other hand, my US driving instructor (a nice lady called Parveen) has a good mnemonic for parallel parking: Triple R (reverse, signal right, turn the wheel all the way to the right), turn all the way to the left, then drive forward a few inches.

I really hope I pass next Friday (can't stand any more mockery!), but even if I do pass and get my licence, I have no car to drive, and little to no confidence in my skills. Rather silly. 


I am turning 25 on Thursday.

I have a paper due tomorrow at 3pm (16 hours away!), and I have written just 10% of it.

This is not how I envisioned I'd be at 25.

Then again, I'm not 25 yet.

Fucking Horden and Purcell

This term I am taking an advanced level course in Medieval Mediterranean history. So far we have read the two hefty volumes of Braudel's The Mediterranean, which felt like a grandfather story but was largely coherent and very understandable. This week however, we need to read Horden and Purcell's The Corrupting Sea. So far I have made it to page 475. It feels more like page 4750. Goddamnit.

I cannot recall ever having felt so frustrated and so stupid from reading a history book before. I feel like I don't know what the fuck is happening, meanwhile the super dense narrative style of the book makes me want to projectile vomit all over the fucking tome. If I read the word "mutable" or "teological", or "insert-word-that-most-normal-people-require-a-dictionary-for" one more time, I might just go out and murder the next human being I see. Or fling the book out of my window and watch it fly seven stories down and hit the pavement of Amsterdam Avenue. I am that frustrated.

Best of all, we need to do a book review on The Corrupting Sea as a mid-term paper. As the only non-American trained historian (hello British very-different-school-of-thought!), non-Medieval person, non-fucking Columbia College person and non-reader of French/Latin/German/whatever fucking else language, I already feel vastly inferior compared to my classmates. This book just compounds all of my worst intellectual complexes, and makes me feel utterly like shit.

Who knew words had such great and terrible power?

Two Adams and a Brian

I realised last night, counting back in my head while lying in bed and trying to sleep, that I have been single for the past 1 year and 6 months. Maybe that's why now whenever I feel that I have been thwarted by love, I feel such despair and resignation. That Holy Shit Why Not Me? feeling. That maybe, just maybe, I am completely losing my marbles over this thing called 'love'. But then again I have an established track record of losing my marbles. Just that this is a new trigger to me losing my marbles. I don't recall caring so much before, or feeling so emotionally swept up in things.

Perhaps I just need to start exercising more, haha. And remembering that there is hell lot of others things I could be knuckling down to do instead.

Daft, useless emotions.

New Years Resolutions - 2015

Some resolutions for the new year ahead, something I haven't done (that is, actually thought of and resolved to do) for the past few years, we'll see if the ones I made now pan out:
Resolution 1 - Lose weight to 54kg
Reason: Have been middling about 55kg for the past few years, until now when I seem to have hit 56-57kg. Not cool.

Resolution 2 - Visit Mexico, see Aztec ruins
Reason: Meant to book a trip to do it this Winter break, but procrastinated so much/got distracted by other things, and hence never booked anything. UGH.

Resolution 3 - Get a summer internship
Reason: Is very very very important to helping me determine what I want/need to do in my career.

Resolution 4 - Watch an opera
Reason: Again, meant to watch one a few months ago, but kept putting it off, until the Met opera took a break for the winter season. Must watch Carmen within the new few months, if I am ever to experience an opera performance at all!

Resolution 5 - Get a driving licence
Reason: I would like to get this crucial life skill over and done with, thanks.

A List of Lists Of 2014

Places I visited:
1) Ipoh, Malaysia
2) Boracay, Philippines
3) Romania
4) Frankfurt, Germany
5) Philadelphia, USA

Places I have uprooted to from Singapore:
- Skillman, New Jersey, USA
- Teacher's College, New York City, New York, USA

Things I have consumed since waking up today:
- Remaining sliver of bread loaf, with slice of swiss cheese and (awesome) sweet Lebanon bologna 
- One banana
- Leftover brussel sprouts with turkey bacon
- Leftover cauliflower cheese
- Leftover creamed spinach
- Not-nice goldfish crackers
- One hibiscus flower (that tastes like hawthorn flakes)

Music I purchased in 2014:
1) Sia's Chandelier
2) L'amour est un oiseau rebelle, from Carmen
3) Handsome Family's Far from Any Road
4) Etta James' Swing Low
5) One Republic's Counting Stars
6) Lighthouse Family's High
7) Clean Bandit's Rather be
8) Echosmith's Cool kids 
9) Lorde's Royals

Things I have learnt in my first semester of Masters:
W4170x, History of the First Crusade - humans behaviour doesn't really change, but excuses do. Also gained a new appreciation for the many different accounts of events.
A&HH 4070, History of American Education - education can be, and is, a scarily powerful and political tool. Who on earth would've thought to create a whole type of special school devoted to eliminating the Native American culture? Americans did! ALSO: American education system is super fucked up.
ITSF 4613, Peace and Human Rights Education - how education, and even the way how things are taught can eventually effect great changes in society. Also gained much, much, much greater insight into the (lack of) rights of women in greater society due to existing structures).
ITSF 4090, Issues and Institutions in Educational Development - ideas about the function of education and school, awareness of core vs. periphery/north vs. south, ideas and problems about the existing field of top-down, UN large-scale type development

Types of clothes I wore for the first time in 2014:
- Black leggings
- Sweaters
- Jean leggings from Uniqlo
- Semi-sporty North Face winter jacket (because it's so cold and I can't be bothered to use my less-warm Winter coat)
- Fleece pyjama bottoms
- Ankle boots (that my Mum bought for me as a parting gift in Germany, that I absolutely love)
- Sperry topsiders (influenced by Lauren, my cousin)
- Reverted back to wearing plain, fitted t-shirts

Other miscellaneous milestones:
- Receiving no rejections from the 3 universities I applied to (TC, accepted; UPenn, accepted; Stanford, waitlisted)
- Learning how to drive a car, but failing the road test (50/50 for the Final Theory Test though!)
- Learning how to live with cats
- Parasailing with Dad in Boracay
- Cliff diving in Boracay
- Filling in many gaps of knowledge of the Middle Ages
- Finishing puzzles with my Aunt and Uncle over the Christmas break
- Figuring out the damn NYC subway system
- Learning how to use liquid eyeliner, although it still smudges
- Wearing glasses again, because one eye has slightly fuzzy vision
- Participating in qin ming with my grandparents
- Seeing the Thanksgiving float inflation
- (SORT OF) watching the Rockefeller Christmas Tree light up ceremony
- Finishing two different cross-stitch patterns (gifts for my Mum and Aunt Cat)
- Removing all my wisdom teeth
- Learning how to floss, finally
- Quitting my first job
- Tutoring/helping out/experiencing adult education (for GEDs)

Things I want to achieve in 2015:
- Get a driving license
- Visit Mexico, see the ruins!
- See the cherry blossoms bloom in Washington DC
- Finish a third cross-stitch
- Get an internship, preferably in some peace education place

New Favourite Music Video

Clean Bandit's Rather Be, simply because it's so cute. First saw it just under a week ago when I hung out with Shirin and Jerrine in K-Town to celebrate the end of the term (and the successful submission of all my work!)


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