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Misreading

I met R. for lunch today. I think he kept trying to dig information from me, but he didn't want to ask directly. He said, "I don't know how to monetize my blog." I felt like he wanted to ask "How do you monetize your blog" but he did't say directly.

Then he told me he organized tastings for his friends' restaurants to help them to publicize. But he organized so many tastings and he said he only had 2 friends.


Then I asked him if he charged money to help organize tastings. He said no. But I heard from restaurant owners that he did.

Am I misreading him? Is he a good guy?

He told me 3-4 times within 2 hours of his volunteer work. That's a sign of him being nice, right?

The Empty Family

One of the things I like about Colm Tóibín is how he gives depth to stereotypical gay characters, to give hope to hopelessness.

In "Barcelona 1975," there is a possibility of love between two men in an orgy. They met on and off that year, but eventually, the narrator didn't hold on to him, and the other party fell in love with someone else. It would seem to be sad... but the last sentence is "I was ready, once more, for anything." The narrator seems to have learnt from his mistake, and can take on the next relationship.

In "The Street," he imagines how gay Pakistanis can have a happy ending in such a homophobic culture. I didn't think he was particularly successful in this one, because he didn't explain the motivation of the Super who acts like a godlike figure to bring them together.

"The Pearl Fishers," a title taken from opera, is most successful. There are so many things I want to say about the story. About the depiction of the nameless narrator. But I am too lazy. So here is an extract:

Across the city I imagine Gráinne and Donnacha driving to their home in Terenure; I imagined her going over the evening, indignant about some of the things said, satisfied at others. And Donnacha in the driver's seat nodding mildly, making the odd amused remark, or turning serious when a matter of fact was in dispute. I imagined the drive of their house where the car could be parked, the single tree, the flower beds, the mowed lawn, the PVC French windows leading from the dining room to the long back garden. Their sons up watching television. I imagined her in the kitchen, where they kept the computer, making tea and Donnacha sitting with the boys not saying much. I thought of the two of them going up to bed, wishing the boys goodnight, a biography of someone or other on the table at Donnacha's side of the bed, some new books about Ireland and its ways on the table on the other side where Gráinne slept. I imagined lamplight, shadows, soft voices, clothes put away, the low sound of late news on radio. And I thought as I crossed the bridge at Baggot street to face the last stretch of my own journey home that no matter what I had done, I had not done that. No matter how grim the city I walked through was, how cavernous my attic rooms, hour long and solitary the night to come, I would not exchange any of it for the easy rituals of mutuality and closeness that Gráinne and Donnacha were performing now. I checked my pocket to make sure I had my keys with me and almost smiled to myself at the bar thought that I had not forgotten them.

How To Be Honest

I am having problems with an admin of the book club that I am in. She said I was rude and condescending and passive aggressive.

For example, during a recent book club discussion, only 2 (me and another guy) had read the book fully. Some had watched the movie, and some had read the first one or two chapters of the book.

When there was a silence, T. asked me, "Don't you have any more questions for the book club? seeing that you have prepared so much notes?"

I replied, "The questions are more in-depth, and require people who have read the book fully. Since only two of us have read it fully, I want to keep the questions general."

And that was an example of how I was being condescending.

So I called her out on her double-standards. When she is direct, she is honest, but when I'm direct, I'm being rude and condscending and passive-aggressive? What I am to people is more a reflection of their own personality, than what my personality is. What I say is value-free--that is it is factual, without judgement or criticism--but others color their own prejudice to my sentences. How else could I have answered T's question and still be honest and direct at the same time?

Some people have said that I'm condescending, but others have said that I'm earnest. I'm the constant, it's what others bring in with them that is different. 

Zookeeper

Last night, I dreamt I'm a zookeeper in charge of a lion. Over time we establish such a good relationship that I'd let it out at night to roam. In the day, it walks beside me in the zoo and everyone stares in awe. Sometimes we cuddle to take naps.

What does it mean?

Lost Bag Drama

Mom lost her handbag on the bus! How could an adult be so careless?

Sympathy Card Drama

Mother borrowed sister's car and she told her to be home by 6. At 6, mom got my nephew to call my sister to extend the loan.

He is 8 years old. He pleaded he doesn't know the way home.

My sister said, No, return the car at once. She dropped them off at a MRT station. The spoilt boy threw a tantrum.

My sister is very cool and she did the right thing. It will teach mom a valuable lesson, to keep to agreements.

She took about 4 hours to come home because she sent her grandchild home. Hahaha.

Reunion Drama

As I was driving, trapped in a small space with the family, I saw clearly our fates were long laid out for us.

We should come to a time when we stop blaming our parents, but that doesn't mean we can't observe.

WS, the richest among us, has become a very successful surgeon. At 35, he's asked to head a whole centre.

T, single child, traumatized by his Chinese school, embraces the inner Potato Queen; he has rejected what rejects him. Because of his trauma, he didn't go as far as he should. But he went far.

P., single child and single protective parent, couldn't grow up.

As I was driving, I saw my brother's imminent divorce as something already written in the stars. He has chosen a wife too alike as our mother. He couldn't stand her, how could he have stood for the wife?

My mother is a lowly educated woman, unable to see far, not willing to better herself. She has stayed stagnant as brackish water, refusing to flow.

My dad is a weak minded imbecile. I do not say this as an insult, I state it as a description, like how you would say the rock is hard or the sky is blue.

The SIL is very smart. Doing much surface work either to get people on her side or to get custody of child. She came to the reunion dinner without my brother. Smart girl.

Throughout dinner, she tried to use my mother's doddering love for her grandchild to poison against my brother. "We call him the Hulk, because he's angry all the time. He beats the child when he's angry."

But little did SIL know that my mother is a two-faced monster. In front of her, she would sympathize and blame her son. But her love for the grandchild is an extension of her love for her eldest son. She will always be on his side. No matter what.

Trapped in a car, I listened and saw things clearly. I need to transcend my upbringing. I am already 36 but I'll decide the end of my story.

Someone Mistook Me for A Sucker

JUNE.
H. an acquaintance wanted to meet me. I thought why not? Doesn't hurt to make more friends? even though I tire after each meeting.

At the cafe, he brought along two people. I thought they were longtime friends and fans of mine. So I asked, "How long have you guys known each other?"

The "friends" replied, "Oh this is the first time we are meeting."

H. said, "They are selling crockery online and I asked them along to see if we can collaborate. They can provide the crockery, I'll take photos, and you can write for my site. So when people see the plates, they can add to cart and purchase it."

Wow.
1. He used my name to get sponsors for himself. I hate being made used of.

2. Why in the world would I write for him?? I'm the established one.

TODAY

He texted "I'm very keen in the collaboration with you. Firstly I'm humbled and honoured for the chance. In any case may I least understand if I can claim from you for the places I go to to shoot etc. Thank you and have a great evening😊"

WOW. He wants me to pay for his meals?! Anyone else wants me to pay for their meals? Sure. Just send me your receipts and your bank account numbers.

Family of Idiots

I left my passport in my pants in the washer. It got wet. Dad hanged it on the windowsill in the morning and left for work. Who dries things that way???

When mom came home from work, she opened the window without seeing the passport. It fell 15 stories.

Later that night, my dad came home and discovered the passport was missing. He told me about it.

I went downstairs to look. My dad came down and saw that it was stuck in the coconut tree.

DAD SHOOK THE TREE! It's a hardy tree!!! It didn't move an inch.

I did the marginally smarter thing. I threw my slipper at the tree. And one got stuck.

After some practice, I got better with my aim and the passport fell. But one side of the slipper was still on the tree.

This is a comedy about stupid people.

Quote of the Day: Depression

Psychiatrist: "You'll probably be depressed for the rest of your life. We can't cure it, we can only manage the symptoms."