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Things that get my goat

January 22, 2015

1. Racist/Sexist/Any-cist assholes.

I’m the kinda lady who reserves judgment about anyone till I can get a more complete picture. And I am always open to reexamining my prejudices, of which I am sure I have many. How anyone can form stereotypical opinions and judgments of whole groups of people at any one time is beyond me. You can’t just generalise… It is already so difficult to understand one’s self motivations and leanings and these bigots are so sure of their ability to condense whole beings into very simplistic statements.

“Women are always…”

“Muslims always…”

“Old/ young people are all…”

If you ever begin a statement like this, you are making a sweeping statement. Even I have to stop myself whenever I realise I making a general statement that starts with the word “They.” I am making them different from me, “othering” them, in other words. I mean, any university student who studied the arts/humanities will be familiar with this term, but I dont think people are actually be conscious of what they are saying and maybe apologise and take back what they said after they realise it? (Again, this is a generalisation, and I am actually particularly talking about a certain group of people.

Basically, I chanced upon this webpost titled “Islamophobia is perfectly natural” and never have I been more disgusted reading the comments section. This is not your run-of-the-mill daily mail standard kind of commenters, which I can dismiss as ignorant and stubborn. At least, there is a mix of opinions there. Unlike this other site. Okay, I’m too lazy to dissect this.

And its not just because I’m Muslim that I feel strongly about this.

I hate that while conversing with my co-workers, that there is this strong sexism bias. Let’s say the subject is about transporting some objects within the premises. I do not understand why they will start asking me how many males do I have to ask for help to carry stuff. Ladies can do it perfectly fine as well, thank you very much. It is demeaning, when this co-worker (a lady) casually said “OK! this group got some guys, can get them to carry” and I’m just like, why? I cannot carry, is it? One, it assumes, females cannot carry objects heavier than a purse. We all have two arms for a reason. Goodness. And the other is that there is an expectation on male staff to be the carriers. What if some dude has a bad back or just does not have the strength. Have you seen how skinny some men are? Are they less of a man because they have less muscle? Am I more “manly” just because I am more muscley than some men?

I detest such use of words.

This is something I heard and will quote almost verbatim:

(on seeing a few students in crutches) “I see many students getting injured. And these are the boys, you know… not girls! I thought you are supposed to be the tougher ones.”

I think it is casual comments like this that keeps any person who is on the lower “hierarchy” (again generalising) in their place. Are you weaker? Are you slower? Are you generally less capable in any manner? Well! Maybe it’s because you are old/young/a woman/ a man/indian/chinese/malay/asian/white/black/, oh where can I stop?

I think that’s why I am incapable being serious. It seems that, you blend in, people want you to agree with them. and many people around me hold unbalanced views of which they are not comfortable with being challenged. So I must while my time away like a jester.

Monteverde Ceramic Gel Refill P42

September 25, 2014

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So I am posting this picture because I couldn’t find a swatch for the monteverde capless ceramic gel refills that I use for the crayon pen that I use to mark with. Hopefully,  it’ll help some people decide on their more suitable colours.

The red is very bright, and is really “red”. I wouldn’t say that it is very orangey or anything else. It really is a really bright red. Good for marking /grading papers.

The purple, as I found out, is not a grapey kind of purple. As you can see, it leans a bit towards the fuschia side. The ink is also quite transparent,  probably because it is a gel.  Again,  a good choice to mark, as is it distinct from the blues or blacks that my students write with. 

Turquoise is a very light colour compared to the two.  I wouldn’t use this to grade papers because it might be too near to blue to stand out. It is a lovely pretty colour though.

Anyway I love writing with these as they are smooth to write with even when I don’t cap them for long. I got the P42 which is supposed to be fine,  but it looks like a 0.5-0.6 Pilot Gel pen thickness. It might be too wide for people with tiny handwriting.  Anyway,  it’s the first Parker style refill that I’ve tried, and I like it,  so I’ll stick to it.  Only problem is that I go through them very quickly,  and my marking load is not that big. I cannot imagine how many of these a teacher with hundreds of scripts would have to get through.

Also you can see a sample of Sapphire Blue from Diamine Inks as used in my burgundy red Kaweco Sport fountain pen with 1.5 italic nib.  I absolutely love this color.  When you write with it,  it looks very purple, but once it dies, it settles into a nice blue, slightly inching towards a purplish blue but it is still blue and it is also slightly transparent and with this nib, there is a nice shading to it.

That’s it for now. I’m done showing off(but I’m not really showing off)(just trying to do some service to the Internet)

Make up your face and mind

July 2, 2014

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So I decided to be more adventurous with my make up today. It’s just purple eyeliner actually. But it’s layered onto some eyeshadow that pathetically doesn’t show up on my skin. Well. These are the woes of a medium skintone lady. Most websites put their make up colours only on lighter skin toned ladies, so we can’t see what it looks like on anything other than porcelain.

But I shan’t complain (anymore).

Anyway, I feel a bit in a rut with my skin. It’s really really dry but anything too rich will make it super oily. I’m currently using eau thermale avène hydrance optimale uv which comes in both riche n light. The light version is lovely,  just right for Singapore climate. It absorbs almost immediately and is fine for me… Except when I’m in an air conditioned room. 

My days.  My skin dries right up! It becomes flaky especially around the mouth and my forehead gets ultra oily,  just because it’s so dry that the oil factories amp up their production. 

I’m stuck. I don’t really know what to do about it. I don’t know if going to shop for some skincare stuff is gonna be good for me,  because they always show u a gazillion products and I don’t have time / can’t be bothered to deal with that many products in the morning or whenever.

Haish. Speaking of which,  I better go wash this make up off my face now.

On Shakuntala Devi

November 4, 2013

Today, Google is honouring Shakuntala Devi on its doodle. She passed on earlier this year but today would have been another birthday for her. I remember feeling sad when I learnt of her death.

Shakuntala Devi represents my childhood wrapped up in books and my obsession for maths. As a kid, I had one of her books of mathematical riddles and I would read it over and over again trying to figure out the solutions. Even though I read the provided solutions at the end of the book, the young me sometimes still couldn’t understand them so I never could remember them.

And so, as I toddled along with life, her name would pop up here and there reminding me of that time in my life. And then the internet came and I got to know more behind this female Indian name. I guess I was looking for someone whom I could identify with as I was growing up.  When you’re a kid and being told that you have to identify with being “Indian”, well, you try, but it’s hard.

I really do look up to her. She was female, Indian and most of all MATHS! Yay! Now, as I ponder her death, I realise that I don’t really know that much about her and a part of me feels it should be that way… You know, the more you know about your heroes, the less you like them, all that. I think I’ll just continue my quiet and, up to now, private reverence for this lady and keep that memory of the missing dollar problem close to my heart.

 

Shakuntala Devi's 84th Birthday

To new beginnings?

October 6, 2013

So we wrote down our 1 year goals together. We wanted to write our 5-year and 10-year goals too, but the pounding music in the cafe didn’t help.

So here’s to new beginnings? Gonna take it one week at a time, see what happens. I need to get out of this rut, that I’ve already been in for two weeks.

 

In other news, I’m also getting bitten by the green bug. Really want to start planting again, but the light in the corridor is awful. Just going to try it anyway. Nothing says home more than a batch of greenery. 

Now off to find some basil seeds. 

A Special Place in my Heart

September 27, 2013

There is a special place in my heart for some people that I frequently revisit every time I scroll down my contact list on my phone. 

As I flick down the screen, I see last messages exchanged between us. Between friends who have become acquaintances and random people who have become my bouncing buddies. Then, as I go even further down the list, I keep retreating into deeper places, and there’s a tug in my chest, remembering these people that I still want to connect with, want to keep close, yet cannot. 

These people are the ones I’ve shared fond memories with, inside jokes, poking fun at each other. We probably went through a lot together at that juncture of our lives. 

“A pair of non parallel straight lines will always meet once, but they will then forever diverge, never to meet again.”

One such friend once told me this, when we were wondering about intersecting lives and experiences. Its not a negative thought… Lines are never perfectly straight anyway. We’re all wobbly in different manners. So perhaps we’ll meet again, (especially since the universe might curve into itself at some point.)

Anyway, back to the point. I’m scrolling down, scrolling… and I have to stop myself from saying “hey, how are you doing nowadays?” to these dear friends. 

Its funny how with even easier connectivity, I feel like we’re not connecting as much. When I send a message, I’m afraid I might be intruding. Just like how, sometimes I receive messages at an inconvenient time, even if their sudden presence lightens up my day. Then, the message ends up forgotten until I take that trip down the message list again and then realise oh! crap!

Anyway, that’s a rare occurrence. 

I feel like more and more, I’m the one starts to bug these people with whom I’ve shared such depths and heights of emotions with. And I do so badly want to reach out, but I think to myself, things have changed, we’re not the same people we were that manic night that shared together walking down the dark deserted road, laughing uncontrollably as we marched and pretended we were communist soldiers. 

There is so much between us now, so many other people, so much time, and space. And no matter how many times we reach out, no matter how far, there will be that chasm that spreads between us, between friends, and the weight of all our words will be too heavy. It will weigh us down even as we take that leap across that deep dark abyss, and let gravity pull us to a deep black silence. 

Constructs of beauty

July 4, 2013

It occurred to me:

I was looking at my facebook feed and saw this girl from my secondary school days. This girl was in class with me one time and despite us barely knowing each other (i think that was the first time we met) she was talking very very openly about her anorexia, warning me against doing it because it was just plain terrible.

Now never in my life have I ever considered such a thing and so, I did something terrible. I judged her. I thought, well, you’re not that pretty anyway, why would you become anorexic? Now this is leading to a whole discussion about perceived beauty and vanity, but it’s not the time and place for me to discuss this.

But looking at her again, I realized that my perception of beauty has changed. I didn’t base this on her current pictures, but old ones, so it’s not the case of her maturing and developing some major bone structure.

It’s about my time in london, where I realized that what i’ve grown up with is unique to the geography.