parts of my dreams where my friends from age 9-12 appear


dreamt I was going to school, wasn't sure if this was secondary school or junior college but I was myself, age 18-23, and I was in Singapore. I saw S and J and felt glad that they were there, I hugged S. we were wearing school uniforms it seems, it looked like the ones from RGPS


dreamt I saw R, I don't remember her appearing in one of my dreams before. we were the age we are now, it was as though I had met her irl. I said do you remember me, she said yes, I said do you remember when we were 8 and I stayed over at your house and your mom had to leave for somewhere and we had instant noodles with ketchup and it was the first time I had ketchup on noodles and I was so amazed (this was an accurate recount of what did happen and this is something I would probably have said if I was awake and was recalling this memory)


dreamt I was in a workshop, the kind that's like the UCL Institute of Making, where there were large tables for three or four people to work at, thinking about the image now it seemed as open as a department store except there were just tables, and bright lights, we were working on models of something and the 'whole gang' was there, it felt like I was re-entering a group of friends that I used to be a part of but now was unsure whether my membership still stood, it always feels like that in my dreams with them
Because I liked Jesus' Son (the movie), and because I liked it in a way that made me feel less weird about being alive, I felt like I could trust other people who expressed similar enthusiasm. This is not the same thing as both of us liking pancakes. Everybody likes pancakes. Good for everybody. I'm talking about the kind of Liking that feels like a holy relief. The kind of Liking that involves being a teenager and realizing the other dude with all the acne in your Earth Science class also has a Neutral Milk Hotel t-shirt, which makes you much faster friends with him because you feel like you can let your guard down. Because you feel like he might also understand what it feels like to walk around on what you perceive to be (granted, based a lot on immature self-romanticizing) your fucked-up wavelength. So this kid tells you about The Violent Femmes or Harry Nilsson, and you want to check them out. Not because you want to know all about this kid's summer camp experience in sixth grade, when he accidentally swallowed a frog skull and peed on Jessica Yurtface while he was trying to do the rope course. If he tells you that, you'll sympathize, but you don't really care. What you care about is that his way of shivering before the world seems similar to yours, and he seems to have similar taste in self-indulgent shivering sessions, which seems really important because there doesn't seem much else to do besides die, have babies, and flip pancakes. So you go on the fucking internet and you download Nilsson Schmilsson.
mascara review 17 is out & a flash fiction i wrote is in it: 'low hanging fruit' he says, by natalie chin
if there's one thing you should know it is that
not being afraid of anything + no longer giving a shit
is one of the most powerful things you can feel
i had a mostly nice day today, got out of bed around 7.30am and left the house by 8.30am. i found a table by the window at berwick street and ben came by later, i wrote 600 + words today, but had to compensate for yesterday when i did absolutely nothing (tuesday), and then the day before on monday i wrote 1000+ words, but that had to compensate for not doing anything on sunday. it was colder today than it had been recently, but in the afternoon the light was nice and ben and i walked back to my flat so i could grab food before going to see the doctor

lee kuan yew died on sunday night and it's surreal to recall that when i'm looking for specific quotes in his lectures, that i'm reading the words of a dead man. i don't think i really cared to think about singapore in political terms, before my internship with the ips. that summer i read all of his memoirs, and felt especially touched by his relationship with his wife. i was sitting in bed checking twitter when i saw the tweet by the PMO announcing his death, and i found myself crying and felt surprised; i thought i would cry, but i didn't think i actually would, organically, without trying to move myself to grief. that night i felt grateful to be living in a flat with other singaporeans, i opened my door and said hey, lee kuan yew passed away. i've mentioned this to other friends who aren't singaporeans and they've seemed unsympathetic, which i can understand i guess. if i were in singapore right now i'd want to be placing flowers at the parliament house, i don't care if there's a queue. i wish i were in singapore right now, reading straits times articles like the one announcing the 24 hour mrt service. it feels beautiful to know that a nation can rally around a death as important as his, and remain respectful in spite of everything he might have done. i just opened another article and saw a picture of his coffin and tears welled up - i want to think abt this more at some point, to understand why the death of someone i've never met makes me cry/affects me in a way i don't think i've felt before

lately i've been thinking about the use of the word 'friend', how that seems to cast a wide net over the number of people i know, and yet when i think about trying to tell someone something important i feel lazy, or exhausted, or anticipate not getting the sympathetic reaction that i desire. also don't want to go out of my way to make someone else care about something that only affects me, also the realisation that as much as i might instinctively want to be understood, i don't really need to. i have this space i guess, when i type things here i feel like i understand myself better, and maybe that is as good as speaking to someone else

anyway this morning i had an email that was like thank you for submitting we will be accepting your piece for our journal. and then i thought about the afternoon i wrote that piece, how time slips away when i write, it's like when ben and i talked about our flying dreams, how we are almost always doing a swimming motion, because that's how your body remembers it, floating as though suspended in air, fully in control and able to go anywhere. that's how writing feels like to me

for dinner today i ran out of dumplings and tofu king, so i tossed frozen edamame into the hot pan and then cracked three eggs into it, and put a lot of lao gan ma and my leftover kimchi and i've been working on my dissertation since, just rearranging sentences and trying to be concise. it's so easy to be like 'blah blah blah + three complex ideas woven into one sentence that runs over six lines' & then it takes a while to shave that down. my sleep has been bad lately, i didn't sleep last night - just closed my eyes and let images swim around, unable to regulate body temperature normally again which is why i went to the doctor today. my laptop is running out of battery and i think i'm going to stop looking at my dissertation word document, it is somehow 10pm. i'm at about 4000 words, i think i will be fine as long as i don't panic. finished season five of good wife today and i'm going to watch the first episode of fresh off the boat now it looks good and funny jessica huang is how i want to look like when i'm a wife except i don't think i'll ever have glossy straight asian hair that i can toss over my shoulder when i'm angry
this week is the last week of final/third year, today i was walking towards the library, and noticed that the construction on the corner where waterstone's is has finally been completed; for a while pedestrians weren't allowed to walk on that side of the road, but i would forget, cross over, then have to cross back to the other side after being told that i wasn't allowed to pass. in first year, the building opposite schafer house had been covered in stilts all year round; one day i looked up and there were dark glass windows extending into the sky. the thing about still being here, is that while i know that i will miss all of this in time to come, i can't feel it yet, i don't know what i'll miss. and with exams & essays coming up that's all i've been thinking about, and looking forward to plans for summer, while living here is slipping by so quickly. i guess that's all i really wanted to say, i wanted to type something while this is still the present, for me to look back on when it's over. as though this could serve as some form of consolation, so in the future when i sigh and say i miss london and being a student so much! i can also say, but the whole time, towards the end of it, at least i knew i would miss it!

there was one day this week, when i woke up later in the morning, and i woke up feeling like i was back at hartham house with rowan, when i would wake up after staying up late, the house empty because she had already left for work, waking up to the spring sunlight falling in thick lines through the blinds. it felt like there was no one else around in the flat, and i wouldn't have wanted anyone else to be there to interrupt it. and for a moment there you feel like you can do anything

i keep thinking that i want to be able to construct a house/space that i will be happy in, and now that i have lived in different places for a little bit i have a stronger sense of the things i would like to set as basic conditions, but really all i want is for my bed to be next to a window that lets the morning light fall through, and a kitchen that's large enough for me to cook in without elbowing someone else in the face. thinking about this makes me think about where i'll be next year, but that's still vague and i don't want to think about it yet. although, there's this part in 'preparation for the next life' where zou lei talks about how they would spend so much time outlining the fantasy of a future: they would get married, she would get immigration papers, he would no longer be sad about the war. they would be happy together. ben and i do this sometimes: we'll get to be in the same place, we'll both have jobs and get to live in a place where it's only chilly sometimes and there are 7/11s round the corner where you can get fishballs and chicken nuggets and the food markets close late so we'll have places to get snacks when we're hungry. i'll have the time to write and read and he'll have the time to play video games and work won't be depressing or sad and we won't be exhausted when we come home. but of course that's a dream, the same way this year is/was a dream that will be drawing to a close soon, and for all i know we won't be in the same place after this year ends, and we'll have to make some hard decisions. ben is always like it'll work out don't worry, and i'm like, okay we'll see what happens and figure things out then

really like preparation for the next life and would highly recommend it to anyone. i read it on my kindle, here is a mediafire link to download an epub of it if anyone wants to read it preparation for the next life (epub) free download (lmao) the way i send an epub to my kindle is with this website

don't think i've ever written about my skin before, which is funny bc it's a big part of my life, being itchy and allergic to a million things. when i imagine myself in someplace new - when i go to another city - i forget that i will still be itchy there :) sensitive to a lot of things like dust in old places and a lot of times i wake up and there are little dots of blood on my bedsheet from when i scratched myself in my sleep. whenever i get new bedsheets i'm like can't wait to bleed all over these again! and my dad always says haha well this is proof you shouldn't stay in london the weather is too dry for your skin. my skin seems to always be really warm, like it's giving off heat and is warm to the touch, it makes it hard to sleep at night bc my body isn't regulating temperature properly. whenever i see (western?) doctors they always give me the same things, antihistamines and steroid creams which don't seem like long-term solutions. on the other hand tho, i never need to turn on the heat panels in my room bc i am my own personal heater :) today i googled 'hot blood' and found a lot of tcm articles that seemed to accurately describe my symptoms, in a way that's more detailed and relevant than 'western' doctors. one time i was given a steroid jab and didn't feel itchy for over two weeks and was like omg this is how everyone feels my quality of life would be so much better if i didn't itch all the fucking time. i really should try.. doing a gluten-free diet or alkaline diet but i like food too much.. although i guess since it's getting close to easter / no school / i'll be home all the time it probably would not be that much of an effort to do it, and if it works - eating more spinach and broccoli and kale and fruit isn't a pain, but giving up crisps and shortbread are - i guess it would be worth it. one thing i'm grateful for is that ben doesn't find my skin unattractive, or if he does he's able to ignore it.. i'm not sure i'd be able to do the same. one time he said ur perfect n i said no if i was perfect i'd have perfect skin u dumbass n he said well that's bc it's hard being an angel -_____- ok i hv a sweet bf not actually complaining

what else should i talk about ~ this afternoon after class i came home and watched an episode of good wife (season five is getting good) and the room was cold enough for me to get under thick blankets, and when my whole body is cold i feel so comfortable when i am surrounded by blankets, it feels like i'm sleeping in a cloud. i fell asleep and dreamt that i was eating several things, walking around by myself and then sitting alone in my room holding a bowl of pork dumplings and eating it, and then i woke up from the hunger/desire for pork dumplings, i think mostly bc right before i fell asleep i told myself i would walk to chinatown to buy groceries. when i was younger i would similarly dream of eating, but often this would be a dream in which i binge-ate my way through a cake, or something. and i would wake up with relief that that didn't actually happen. now that does actually happen, except i don't think of it as binge-eating, it's just me regularly eating a lot of food. today in the kitchen carrot was talking about her going to the gym, ~ preparation for summer ~ and i said i don't really care about my weight anymore, and carrot said well it's because you have ben, and i guess that's true - he is what buffers me from the rest of the world. but then i'd like to think that even without him i'd still feel okay about myself / parts that constitute myself

anyway i walked to loon fung and was surprised that they did not have anymore tofu king :( or large packets of vitasoy, so i just bought the tiny 250ml packets that you could get from vending machines in junior college. also bought two packets of pork & coriander dumplings, a packet of frozen edamame, packet of kimchi, packet of medium firm tofu. when i went back to singapore over summer i wanted to eat edamame the way i eat it all the time here (dump it at the last minute into my rice cooker so it is perfectly steamed when the rice is ready) but found edmame really expensive and also never shelled, always sold in pods. in general i guess i've found singapore more and more expensive the last few times i've flown home

not surprised by this but also like ... i don't want to live in the most expensive city ~
also did you know that you can get behind the economist paywall on ur phone by turning ur browser private / opening incognito window idgi why are companies not doing monetisation right if twenty-three year old girl can get around it

re: my age i keep forgetting my age, thinking of myself as somewhere between 22-24, like i'll think... oh yeah, i'm 23, not 22, or right, still 23, not 24. it's bizarre, i don't think i've ever felt that way at other ages, maybe this is just what it'll be like from now on, never really getting used to the age you're meant to be. lately i've been reading articles where 'successful' ppl are described as attaining first achievement by 21/22 and i'm like MAN I'M SO OLD RITE but also, i think i've done pretty ok, the most important thing i did was getting out of the part of my life where i was sad all the time and being like fuck u i'm going to work hard and do well and never look back! and then i met a boy and fell in love, hehe

a thing i was thinking about today was the transparency paradox, i don't remember the actual term for it but it's meant to describe how everyone feels like everyone else can see right through them, can tell what they are thinking or feeling, but like everyone else you are actually really opaque. and you realise that people only know as much about you as you tell them/allow them to know. this is important to realise, i think

i'm having fun typing this but i should start reading the book i borrowed from the library re singapore & globalisation, bc i'm planning to see my dissertation supervisor this week. i really don't like him, i feel like it doesn't matter if i type this here bc i doubt he will see it also not naming him anyway. but the last time i saw him i spoke to him abt my concerns re: tying the different things i was interested in under one cohesive research question, and he responded along the lines of 'that's not what i'm an expert in, why don't you do what i'm an expert in, which is this' and i felt really angry. recently i've noticed myself generalising specific acts of behaviour into evidence for 'white male superiority' and like, i've had to take a step back and ask myself whether it's just one shitty person instead of indicative of some broader race/gender hierarchies

two weeks ago i finally signed up to be a 'reader' at the british library. i really like that they call members 'readers'. the first time i tried to sign up, i didn't have all the necessary identifications, so i had to return another day with my passport and a proof of address. sitting there after i had been waved through there were a lot of other people who didn't bring the ids they needed and they all got really mad at the receptionist. the Folio prize fiction festival is happening soon at the british library interested in seeing ali smith, jeanette winterson, deborh levy as well.. but i've bought tickets to see the 'on betrayal' talk because ben lerner and jenny offill will be speaking & ben lerner's 10:04 and jenny offill's dept of speculation were two of the best books i've read so far. i checked my book blog yesterday and i've read twelve books so far, four each month and that makes me really happy

the reason i'm writing this blog post is bc lisa sent me a snapchat saying she read my blog when she felt like she missed me so i was like i'll give her something proper to read! and rowan also says she reads my blog when she misses me. hello rowan i miss you and i am thinking about you and how nice it was to live with you last year, i took living with a person i could hang out with all the time for granted. last year whenever i felt funny or anxious i could always knock on rowan's door and roll into bed with her, this year it feels more like being cordial and saying hello occasionally, although i know that has more to do with the fact that 1) we don't have a living room/shared space to interact with 2) i'd always pick ben over hanging with anyone else, probably last year if ben was around i wouldn't have gotten as close to rowan as we did

some books i have lined up in my kindle to read: night film by marisha pessl, absurdistan by gary shteyngart, feminism is for everybody by bell hooks, the second sex (oh! i forgot that i was halfway through that) by simone de beauvoir, can't and won't by lydia davis

i can smell ben but he's not here