Thursday, June 28, 2007

Invisible

Do you know what it feels like to sit in a group of males and to ask a question three times only to be ignored on all three occasions?

Maybe I speak to softly and no one can hear me. Yeah that's it, I've a soft voice.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Of Mice and Men

Too many things to say, and I've already forgotten half of it.

It's late, I've bike lesson assessment tomorrow. Today I held the fuckin' clutch for so long my left hand started to go numb. It's ridiculous. I've held off going for this because I want to pass on the first try. So I keep going for circuit revision. All exams should be this way.

The blog title is slightly misleading, because there will be no mention of men in this post.

I've wanted to say something about this particular incident, but I couldn't think of a way to put it. I'll still end up sounding like a preachy, righteous bitch. So there, there's your disclaimer.

And anyway, my memory (and anger) have been somewhat diminished by the passing of time.


The issue has got something to do with male ego, and how I'm sick and tired of it. But that's just a small part. It's largely inconsequential. Many guys get away with their egos because it's harmless. I can tolerate displays of machoism simply because it's so common it's difficult not to get used to it. Like how my colleague puts it, "You want to know why? Because I'm a man."

But really, this is about stupidity and irresponsibility. It's about me feeling judgemental and self-righteous and losing respect for ccertain individuals.

We had a party of sorts earlier in the week, resulting in typical intoxication. There was one particular guy who had drunk more than his fair share, till the point whereby he was slurring and couldn't stand straight.

And he was driving home.


I'm hoping to be able to ride a bike. My father rides a bike to work everyday. I've countless other family and friends who drive or ride. So even if you discount the selfishness (of me not wanting to die), I have motivation because I really don't want anyone (strangers included) to die because some asshole was too macho/cheap to call a cab.

And so this is the point of this post. I just want to say, once and for all:

That all you fuckers who drink and drive, and all you fuckers who let your friends drink and drive - you are all unbelievably stupid and irresponsible.



So in this particular episode, after the drunk guy went to the bathroom, I asked his "friends" whether or not he was driving. And when they said yes, I asked if perhaps it was not such a good idea to let him do so.

This is what one of his "friends" said to me, irritably and loudly:

"I don't give a fuck! He's not going to bring in any money for us anyway!"


This asshole was drunk as well, although not as much as the other guy. The alcohol in his blood made him feel liberated, and he had no qualms about speaking his mind. Just as well, one less person to respect in office.

And just minutes ago, he was ranting on about how he did whatever he wanted to do, wife-be-damned. "Hey! A man's gotta do what a man's gotta do" were his exact words.


I went into the restaurant and asked the waitress for some help. She gave me a class of fizzy soda water, which was supposed to make Mr Drunk Driver feel better. I tried my best to force it on him (I don't know him at all) when he came out, but he got confused and thought I was making him drink more.

The tussle ended soon enough, and he took a tiny tiny sip before heading out to sit with his "friends". But this time, he could barely keep his eyes open.

I stood next to him, like a fucking moron, cajoling him to drink while all his "friends" - whom I didn't know either - pretended to ignore me. It wasn't really working, he couldn't even hold the glass for long.

The painfully awkward scene continued for a while more, till all of them left. I asked one last time, "Do you want a cab?" Drunk dude said he was fine. Sure, of course, aren't they always?

I can't remember when he left, but he did. And still, I tried again. I asked his 'friend', the one who (money=how concerned I should be), if we should try to get him a cab.

I can't remember what he ranted at me, more "i don't give a fuck"s and other things that I must've blocked out of my head because of the sheer stupidity.

I replied, that I didn't really care either if the guy died, but I don't want him to knock down someone like my father while on the road.

Then he said, "Look! I'm not a saint!"

I turned and walked away as he continued, only stopping after he realised I was no longer listening.




I don't know what to think about it. I'm disgusted and slightly upset, because I didn't know what to do. I hate the thought that the same scene if replaying every night at pubs and bars all over Singapore. I wish I didn't have to witness such behaviour, because as it is, I don't really think much of the male species, and this is not helping.

They should have a police hotline or something, to call when this kind thing happens. I couldn't have possibly manhandled his car keys away from him.

Are there really such people around? Was that friend of his talking nonsense because he was drunk? Did he really willingly let a guy go off to his potential death because he was not a potential money tree?

I just keep meeting assholes. I never knew there were so many of these kinda bastards around. What kind of world did I think existed? It's not good, it makes me cynical. And I just haven't learnt how to deal with them, how to put on a smile and pretend I don't feel that overwhelming sense of disgust that fills me when I look at you.

Of course, there are guys I know who would never drink and drive, and who would never allow their friends to do so. I am thankful to know such people.


I just hope no one died last night because I didn't have the guts to be a bigger bitch than I already was.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Funny quote today:


"All that they can do is to blow bombs and not really have the guts to confront us."
-
Afghan President Hamid Karzai

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Bumper Crop

Sometimes things get done when you don't think. Which explains my highly developed procrastination abilities since I think too much. Things also get done when you have a good double-espresso.

Few tasks suck me in so completely as dealing with pics. Finally uploaded my stuff dating from Feb, all done for Lexean. I'm posting them as part of a portfolio and in the name of fair use. Copyright still remains with them, though. Not all the pics were used in the magazine, but this is my own personal selection.

Click on the photos to be directed to the sets on Flickr.



Issue 2 : Beautiful Strangers

Models



Issue 3 : Singapore Insomnia

McDonalds at Admiralty



There's another set I'm not posting here because it's not been published.

So generally I'm not satisfied with anything that I've done. The flaws are too obvious. I need more constructive criticism, but I'm just very glad for a chance to learn from mistakes. I'm not kidding when I tell you all these pics are accurately reflect the way I think. No direction, no instructions. So it was just me and my haphazardness. Which explains why some photos will make people frown and struggle for kind words.

But it's ok guys, I like to believe that I'm my own harshest critic and ego maintainer - all rolled in one.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

It's about what you don't do.

I read this a couple of years back, and read it again this afternoon and I still love it. Utilitarian concepts of charity - I can't argue with it, and I love it, but I still can't do it.


"Then, if we value the life of a child more than going to fancy restaurants, the next time we dine out we will know that we could have done something better with our money.

If that makes living a morally decent life extremely arduous, well, then that is the way things are. If we don't do it, then we should at least know that we are failing to live a morally decent life — not because it is good to wallow in guilt but because knowing where we should be going is the first step toward heading in that direction."

Monday, June 18, 2007

Hot stuff





Slightly obsessed with this character right now.


Yeah i know my last couple of posts may seem self-contradictory, but I assure you they're not. Just prone to bouts of randomness these days.

Nothing new, nothing to update.

Monday, June 11, 2007

I came across some photographs of Johnny Depp that I had collected a couple of years ago.

Sigh.

I read somewhere that they polled dominatrixes and he was the number one fantasy sub.

I can't say I'm surprised. If I had Johnny Depp tied up there's no way I'm letting him go. They don't make ropes thick enough these days.



Sigh.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Dressing digression

I get a fair bit of flak for constantly griping about this topic. No one seems to understand, and most people think I'm making too big a deal out of nothing.

And honestly, I do agree with these people. They do have a point. If you look hard enough, there are just so many things that have the potential to piss you off, and this seems to be one of those cases that should be ignored and over-looked - unless you really are looking to be pissed off. I think they figure that I'm making my life unnecessarily misearble by choosing not to look the other way.

I'm actually talking about me in skirts. Me, in skirts or dresses or any piece of clothing that doesn't wrap my two legs individually.

And even though I wear these to work fairly regularly, because I just don't have that many pants to last the week, it never fails to elicit a comment or two.

Now, this is something I really don't understand.

I'd understand the ribbing if it took place in ST, because I back then I didn't wear skirts at all and it would be ridiculous to do so if you've to be prepared to climb ladders and lie down on floors.

So a comment would be more than justified for the sheer novelty of the situation.

But now?

It's been almost half a year, and I've gone through the wardrobe a couple of times. The novelty should have worn off, although I don't understand why it was even there to begin with. And to be really completely honest, the comments are RARE. But I'm still griping about it anyway because one time is one too much.

Let me be more specific.

There are the women, who make kind and polite comments that girls make sometimes when they're in a good mood - oh I like your dress, you look nice today, where did you get it from.

I don't care about that. I do the same thing too. A lot of these are small-talk fillers when you pass each other in office.

What I don't get, and what I don't like - are the questions that insinuate it is strange for me to be wearing a dress.

"I notice you've been dressing differently these days, eh?" - smirk smirk wink wink

Let me summarise their points:
- I am trying to look more feminine
- I am trying to dress better
- I am putting in effort at looking more feminine
- I've decided to look niceer at work (aka more feminine)

Someone actually said, "Keep it up!"

Fuck. You.

Like I said yesterday before walking away from the conversation, "I don't see the difference between skirt and pants. Clothes are clothes."

The dude replied, oh yes, there is a difference. And he gave an all-knowing smile. Your secret's safe with me, that smirk seemed to say. We both know there's a difference, but I'll let you pretend that you don't agree.



Now, I don't think anyone has followed me long enough to reach this part of the ramble. And I must apologise because I don't think I'm going to do a very good job at explaining myself.

Some disclaimers first. I am (obviously) too sensitive, too defensive and extremely poor at receiving compliments.

A lot of what I say here will be speculation. While I am aware I may be completely wrong, but this is just me trying to explain what goes on in my head and why I get so pissed off.




Let me begin with the word objectification.

A girl in a dress is easier to understand than a girl in pants. In my case, because I seem to be known for being a pants-lover, a cross over to the world of skirts seem to be interpreted that I only did so because I had an epiphany of sorts.

That I've realised, oh! skirts make me look better and more feminine. And because I want to look better and more feminine (after all, which normal female wouldn't??), I will wear skirts.

It doesn't seem possible that there is no reason behind the skirt-wearing. It doesn't seem possible that men are not part of the equation.

Going out furthur on this already precarious limb, let me continue by saying I believe - (some) men derive satisfaction from seeing women feminise themselves.

There could be many reasons for this. A boost of ego from seeing women realise their place in men's eyes? A subconscoius belief that he is amongst the group of men she is trying to attract and impress? A surrender of sorts?

Ah... it turns out Jess was just like the rest of them, she just took a little longer to realise it.

Interestingly enough, the one guy who has not made any comments about me in skirts is also the only guy to compliment me on my dressing when I wore pants.




For some reason, I just have too many negative things associated with this situation. Too many implications come into my head at the sound of one simple remark.

I don't know why I turned out this way, I don't know why I refuse to be associated with the word feminine.

Actually, that's inaccurate. I'm fine with the concept (I have pink pants for god's sake), I just I refuse to let anyone associate me with that word.

So while I'd like to be able to apologise for being a constipated, ungrateful bitch who doesn't appreciate compliments and just has to learn to RELAX and not take things so seriously - I'd like to really understand why I feel this way.





Gender issues have been in the spotlight (in my mind) recently. I don't know what sparked it off. But a lot of what I feel is extremely emotional and instinctive, like some sort of biological-defence-response.

And when I read this article, a lot of it made sense. I can't claim to understand it since I haven't been through the same thing it, but if you'll refer to this blog post I did make a passing reference to how I felt about having to cover up.

But Megan Stack really said it best. The paragraph below describes what happened to her after living in sexist Saudi Arabia:

A view from behind the veil
By Megan K. Stack

Excerpt:

"I would find that I still saw scraps of Saudi Arabia everywhere I went. Back home in Cairo, the usual cacophony of whistles and lewd coos on the streets sent me into blind rage. I slammed doors in the faces of deliverymen; cursed at Egyptian soldiers in a language they didn't speak; kept a resentful mental tally of the Western men, especially fellow reporters, who seemed to condone, even relish, the relegation of women in the Arab world."







And anyone who thinks that Singapore is not sexist - you're wrong.

Friday, June 08, 2007

I can't believe

that the CNA morning news presenter actually got up from his cushy sofa to pseudo-tap dance with two Australian dudes that were performing on set to promote their upcoming Arts Fest show.
He actually did that. When the guys had a good beat going, all of a sudden he popped into view and was flailing his arms about like a monkey and attempting to tap dance. And when he realised he couldn't he just went all out and did his worst.

It wasn't funny.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Let the good times roll

We interrupt everything for this important announcement:

Monday, June 04, 2007

Jessica holds an imaginary conversation with the five girls seated across her.

"Hello, while I think your topic of conversation is highly intruiging, and would love to find out how your debate on whether 'location' is an external or internal factor ends, I would also like to be able to enjoy reading in peace in a public place that has been designated for quiet reading without being distracted by your faint attempts to whisper which in actual fact makes all of you sound breathless and in no way decreases the noise level.

Thank you."
Just some stuff from Jakarta.

Let's start with the mandatory cat shot, shall we?

Port Cat

Most of the cats there were rather sorry-looking, save for this one at the port of Sunda Kelapa. I call this the what-the-fuck look.

And then moving on to the usual silhouette shot:

Sunda Kelapa

Sunda Kelapa, an old port that was my favourite part of the whole trip because I visited it during the off-peak hours and it was nearly empty and extremely peaceful. A far cry from the chaotic mess of the rest of the city.

Kota, Jakarta

And this was in Kota, the old section of the city much akin to our Chinatown. I didn't feel that much of a Dutch presence as I had expected, but that could be because I'm already used to seeing colonial-like houses in Singapore.

I tell people I could live there, and there's some truth to it since I do crave chaos and dysfunction in my cities. But on hindsight, I wonder how long I would survive it.

If there's one thing about Singapore that I won't be bitching about anytime soon, its the ability to walk around alone at 4 am in the morning. That's something I prize highly, and I'm not ready to give that up just yet.