In today’s news…

It’s been slightly over a month since I’ve been working in news. Well, sort of. My job is to go through the day’s papers that I’ve been allotted to, and cough up related news synopses for the ease of the client/s. While it may sound fairly simple, it’s actually much harder to do because:

  1. My standard daily paper is the 联合早报 (Lianhe Zaobao), which means it’s written entirely in Mandarin and I have to do a translation-cum-synopsis. AKA ” so much s l o w e r”…
  2. I have less than 3.5 hours each day to complete my work. So I get up at 6am daily or earlier (depending on projected news volume).
  3. National events are the worst. News go on for days and days on the same topic/s and it bores the hell out of me re-reading – and rewriting – the same background info.
  4. SPH is a pain in the ass and constantly conks up the Zaobao server, leading to inability to access the day’s news. A printed copy works, but unfortunately fairly inefficient as my eyes have to toggle between paper and PC at a neck-straining angle, and there’s no ability to copy & paste when I need to research a featured person’s proper English name.

The good thing about all this is, the salary is pretty decent for a home-based job and I finish work by 10am daily unless there is an exceptionally high volume of news. That said, based on some other similar job positions advertised, I have a niggling feeling that I’m being slightly underpaid… You see, I saw a job opening for a “news clipper” working 7.30am to 9.30am daily. The job scope was to simply scan relevant news articles and email them in. The listed salary for this was a FIXED $700 per month. Right now I’m taking in a couple hundred more than that, but I have to write + translate?! As far as I know, translation work is not something that pays little, so I will probably be asking for more after I’ve “settled in”.

In other news, I’ve recently picked up a sewing hobby!! It has an amazing ability to clear my mind in a meditative sort of way as I scheme how to turn cloth and old clothes into… clothing pieces. It started as an waste-minimising attempt to refashion a HUGE pile of old clothes thanks to pregnancy and growing kids, but evolved into using actual flat pieces of fabrics. Unfortunately in Singapore, fabric prices aren’t the cheapest so I probably wouldn’t go into making a ton of handmade clothes. (Even though I really want to.) But I’ve found a few great places to shop for cheap fabric, so I’ll be compiling a list and putting them up on a blog page!

Chinatown area is SO NOT the best-priced fabric market like what everyone says. I’ve encountered similar fabrics going for much lower elsewhere!

Finally graduated.

“Enjoy your babies while they are little. They will never need you quite the same way ever again.”

Realising the difference between “new moms” and “old moms” is that one thing every experienced parent tells you from the beginning but you couldn’t begin to understand, let alone take heed. “They’re at their most adorable now”, people would say. And all you could think about was all the poop you’ve been cleaning up after, the screaming, the repetitive stories and songs, the refusal to be put down and the 101 things such a tiny person requires. “This is the worst”, most moms would be saying in their heads.

It’s taken quite a while – three kids to be exact – for me to FINALLY GET IT. Now it’s about grabbing every available sane moment to cherish the neediness, and praising the growing marvels they are – each of them unique and wonderful in their own ways. To muse on their inherited traits, giggle at their quirks, to spur them on, fawn over their achievements and relish their being in existence.

At 4am, it might be an odd time to be enlightened but I had just done a second round of rocking an unwell little one to sleep. And you know what? I’ve never been happier feeling this completely zombied out. :)

“Up” should have been down.

So I’ve finally watched the Pixar animation film “Up”. Maybe it was all the raving reviews from people around me that built up some high expectations for it, but I did not like it.

First off, why did the little boy have to be a fat and dumb Chinese boy?! Personally I feel it’s a tad racist, combined with my lack of tolerance for fat dumb boys – regardless of race/ethnicity – the character of Russell just made most of the movie quite unbearable.

Now, with the main character Carl… He irritates me even more. The film was focused on his days as a grumpy old man and his adventures of trying to park his house on Paradise Falls, but I just couldn’t get past the early scenes of the movie! I was so obsessed with the fact that he had “crossed his heart” and promised to bring his wife Ellie to Paradise Falls but never ever made it there with her until after she was DEAD. Maybe it’s just too similar to my reality, which is pretty effed up that way too except that I’m not dead… yet.

Despite the fact that they had started pooling savings for this dream trip to Paradise Falls, they never made it there due to broken tyres, damaged roof and other bank-breaking “little” problems of life. Which I must say is entirely realistic and believable, so that part I don’t fault.

What really irks the shit out of me is how Carl suddenly seemed to remember about his promise of Paradise Falls and goes out to buy plane tickets immediately. I mean, WTF, if he could just buy it when he remembered it, then why didn’t he do it earlier BEFORE his wife got hospitalised and shortly after, DIED?! How did he even FORGET about their agreement in the first place?! What kind of heartless husband is he?! Do his promises mean NOTHING?! (Yes, like I said, this strikes too close to my heart.)

And the irony of him being able to fly his entire house up to Paradise Falls with an army of helium balloons… and he never once thought of doing that when his wife was still alive?!

Throughout the movie I just kept thinking about how his wife had spent her entire lifetime with him, going through the loss of their child and never having any kids – in return she never even saw Paradise Falls in the flesh. Sure, her character is portrayed as a loving homely woman and never once faulted Carl for not carrying out the promise. Instead, she completed her adventure book and even thanked him for a lifetime of (mundane domestic) adventures. That totally mindfucked me.

Being someone (real) wearing the same pair of shoes, it’s beyond what I can comprehend. True that I definitely am not much of a loving homely woman as Ellie is, but betrayal of trust is betrayal. And how Carl could have forgotten their agreement… that to me is like, WOW what an ass. I mean, they didn’t even have kids! What was he so busy with that he could forget their life-long dream?!

So yeah, I really really HATED “Up”. I don’t care how many awards it was nominated for, and how many it won. It’s just fucked up that they had written the story so true to life in the beginning, then mid-way through had turned so impossibly unrealistic with a house being carried away by balloons, a colourful giant (dodo) bird and a humungous pack of dogs that speak through some ingenious collar.

I’m not too sure what the moral of the story is supposed to be. Is it that women are doomed to spend their lifetimes with unreliable men and never fulfilling their own dreams? Or maybe it’s that old people are crazy? Or that Chinese boys are always fat and dumb? Or that men tend to fulfill their promises when it’s already too late? What message was the movie supposed to send?

But one thing I do know: I hate this movie. It’s just so effed up in so many ways.

 

 

chao banana.

Couldn’t quite figure out how to accurately express the %!@$$%^ frustration and irritation I feel when people mistake me for being a filipino maid.

First was last week, when I went for a walk with Lisa and an elderly woman asked: “You are from Philippines?” 
I told her “I am from Singapore!” while fervently rolling my eyes and walking away. Dunno why so kaypoh… 我是哪国的人又管你什么屁事!  :evil:

Then yesterday, when a door-to-door surveyor asked: “Is your Mam or Sir at home?” 
To which I curtly replied:WHAT Mam or Sir?” 

But yet somehow I couldn’t find it in me to reject doing his NS/Army government survey, so I peppered sarcasm throughout the interviewing… For example, question was: “As a Singaporean, how do you feel the image of the Army affects you?”

I said: “Apparently I don’t look Singaporean, so maybe I shouldn’t be affected.”

Another question: “Your occupation is…?”
“Obviously you think I’m a Filipino maid.”

Yes, I am actually VERY offended when people think I’m pinoy.  :mad:

Want to quit this country.

Time and time again, I’ve been told by expats how much they love it here – the cleanliness, safety, prosperity, etc. But being born and bred here (and without the financial means to upkeep the high costs of living) makes me one doubtful Jane.

But now that I’ve planted the seed of migrating somewhere else, the following has dawned upon me:

  • People who move here are people who can afford the costs of living here – so naturally they would have no complaints about prices they would have known prior.
  • You only move to a new country if there was “something wrong” with the previous one – which is why most who have relocated would give you bad reviews if asked what their previous country is like.
  • There’s something here they want/need/enjoy – for some it’s the all-year tropical weather, for others it’s the business-friendly environment and various schemes tailored for aspiring entrepreneurs. Truth is, as a local, sometimes you just can’t get enough capital to start-up with sky-high rentals and overheads.

So now to find that place on Earth for me and the family where we can be less restrained by the the overpopulation and crampings of finances…

Motherhood Mysteries

How strange that
what the peace & quiet
I envisioned in my head

is nothing but

an awkward loneliness
that I wasn’t
quite prepared for

And all only because the littlest one has started her first step towards an increasing independence – school.

As my emotions spin out of control, Christina Perri’s “Human” keeps playing on loop in my head. Because yes, I’m nothing but human.

Older and jader.

I’m pretty sure age has caught up with me, because things that used to seem SO IMPORTANT are now like… pffffft.

The fancy weddings that last only a night, its memories though may endure a lifetime yet brings nothing more to a marriage except its hefty bill.

True, I might still wish for a lavish wedding if I was rich enough… But nah, I’d rather have that money for a trip around (half) the world and a shitload of fancy things. :mrgreen:

If these young ‘uns are gonna have kids, they probably have no idea what’s coming for the rest of their lives… *evil chuckles*

Hopefully one day I will see through “much needed vacations” for what little significance they really hold. Meanwhile, I’ll just have to learn to make the best out of the 3D2N Legoland trip that the kids so enthusiastically paid for. (Expenses excluded, of course.) But w00t my kids are bringing me on a vacation!

It’s not the gifts.

I have come to realise that the reason why I shun my own birthdays is because no one bothers to celebrate it with me. It’s not about the gifts, but the fact that nobody actually wants to spend the day with me.

Maybe it’s because I’m a terrible person. Maybe I have severe body odor. I don’t know, and honestly at 31 now, I probably shouldn’t even care anymore. Except I do.

It’s about the chalet BBQ where few turned up and proceeded to cluster among themselves instead of around the birthday “celebrity”.

It’s about the year where the husband almost forgot my birthday.

It’s about the time when I was 9 (or 10) and my mom slapped me in front of all my birthday party guests.

This year, I thank the special people in my life who took the time, effort and money to send gifts and spend time with me:

  • Elaine, who sent a Starbucks gift card all the way from Hawaii
  • Charlotte & Ben, who brought their 2 boys and a large durian cake, along with Hello Kitty pastries from Breadtalk
  • Joshua, my firstborn, who gave me 50 cents to “go holiday with daddy”
  • my mom-in-law, who delivered a velvet miu miu angbao  with $xxx inside

As for the husband… more could be done after all that he’s fucked over. So no special mention for him. *flips hair*

 

 

31.

A not-so-happy birthday to me. The boys nearly toppled the entire fridge yesterday.

Fortunately Josh was strong enough to push the fridge back in place, but it couldn’t prevent all the food from falling out. Sigh. Naturally I went berserk and got all ape-shit on them. On the bright side, no one was hurt (except the eggs that were broken).

There are no plans for any celebration of any sort. Not sure if there will even be a cake, since there has been no talk of it.  Everyone has gone on their usual routine, and so must I. So when asked about my birthday plans for this “special day”, I have simply been telling everyone this is what I’m going to do:

  • clean the floor
  • do the laundry
  • take care of Lisa
  • pick up Josh at 1pm
  • pick up Kee at 5.30pm

Yup. Those are my grand plans for turning 31. Basically the same shit that I do every weekday. Nothing special about today at all except legally I am now 31.

2014 has been an awful year so far. Hopefully since everything has pretty much been rock bottom, the only way left now is to UP. *fingers crossed*

 

In a blink…

In the blink of an eye, my children have all graduated from their baby stages and gained newfound independence and confidence.

This morning, Kee exasperatedly announced: “You guys are so slow. I’m going downstairs myself. The school bus is already here! Mommy, can I go down by myself?” To which of course I replied positively – with an understandable amount of mollycoddling mumsy concern – and he gleefully closed the gate behind him as he shouted goodbye.

Moments later, I tried to glimpse for him from the corridor, but only saw the tail lights of the school bus blinking and it drove off! So I called the driver just to double-check Kee’s safe arrival. He said: “Keegan came up the bus by himself. He said all of you were busy so he came down by himself. Your son is growing up to be very independent just like his older brother!”

*cue mom pride*

As for Josh, he has been walking himself to school for the past couple of weeks. I don’t think it started out willingly, but rather under Daddy’s constant nagging. Dad certainly doesn’t mollycoddle his future commandos like the way I do, and whenever the boys are slow or late, he yells at them to hurry up instead of helping them get dressed like the way I would. (He also often forgets to feed them breakfast, citing that the boys should be aware of their own hunger instead of being served.)

The little lady is still very little (in my eyes) but her temperament is slowly improving. Less tantrums, more manners and greater independence. She puts her empty milk bottle away in the sink each time after she’s done, and if I allow it, I’m pretty sure she would get her own snacks. Problem is, being the glutton she is, I don’t allow her to do so because she would polish off every single food item in the kitchen!

Now comes the time when I am counting down to the loss of their baby-like innocence and the gain of my long-lost freedom. It is both exciting yet sorrowful to look forward to. Thus, the neverending contradiction of motherhood.