sa-train

current obsessions

- a bit fascinated lately with eating red dragonfruit and later pooping purple poop and peeing pink pee.
- quite suan all over with some of annanas' latest workout videos. have been following her "august week 1" routine this week. did so many donkey kicks/holds/whatever until my pigu pain, but my abs seem fine and still have a promiment youyongquan, sadly. maybe i should stop cheating so much on the ab bits. why annanas doesn't even break a sweat throughout the workout but halfway through my mat already wet wet and full of sweat marks... despite having two fans blowing directly at me, lol.
- finished the three extra epis of love is blind and have so many comments about it.
- feel like re-reading my wheel of time series from scratch all over again.
- quite happy to discover i have quite a bunch of back-to-back days off/pph towards the end of next week. but soon i shall be back on the 5/6am shift again (which sux in the morning when i have to roll out of bed, but rox in the afternoon when i knock off).
- my parents harvested my sweet potato leaves today. she bu de trim the flowers off the thai basil to maintain its leaves' edibility; think i shall leave them, though this apparently means the plant will soon die after the flowers go. hopefully its seeds fall nicely into the pot and regrow themselves.
- that's all for now. more if i think if anything else random later.
sa-train

disaster strikes, lol

lesson learnt today: always close windows before going out.

so i spent last night at my parents' place again, but neglected to close all the windows at my place as i wasn't sure at the point of leaving if i'd be back. so this morning around 930am, it started pouring heavily. if it had been only rain, it would have been okay, but it came with like some gale-force wind. so by the time i suddenly woke up and immediately put on my glasses and sprinted back to close the windows, i was greeted with a horrific sight when i opened the door, lol.

the wind was so strong that it had blown the curtain ties off in the living room. and with the curtain ties off, the curtains were free to blow about violently along its line. and they're actually fairly weighty curtains. so the violently-blowing curtains actually knocked over not one, but two pretty weighty plant pots... over the carpet.

it knocked over the ceramic pot with the anthuriums (the red flowers) on the tv console, and broke one of the flowers off its stalk (only one, whew). thankfully the plant was quite rootbound, so no soil actually fell out of that pot; and also, thankfully the ceramic pot fell on the carpet, so it didn't shatter into a million pieces. the wifi router was also knocked down from the tv console. in fact the console was wet... though it's about 1m away from the window.

the wind/curtains also knocked over my precious monsteras... which were on the floor to begin with, so it's really quite ludicrous. thankfully all stems remained intact and i hope the baby leaf emerging will be unaffected (if not, strengthened) by the experience, lol. but the worst thing was half the big pot of the aroid soil was scattered across the carpet beside it, AND the self-watering tool emptied all its water on the soiled (literally!) carpet.

so now i'm left with a double-palm-sized brownish spot on the off-white wool carpet to commemorate the occasion, lol. had a hard time trying to clean it off and probably made it worse. probably also destroyed the carpet-vacuuming head on the vacuum in the process as well. i would have taken a photo of the sight that greeted me when i entered, but in my hurry to rush over, i forgot to bring my phone. also because of that, i could only try to clean up the carpet based on my memory (instead of referring to the internet), so i just sprinkled a lot of baking soda over the wet stained area and tried to vacuum it all up half an hour later.

unfortunately the internet says it should have been accompanied with some soap detergent and white vinegar, involving a lot of dabbing with clean white towels, etc. by the time i found out, it was a little too late, and beside i also didn't have white vinegar, nor was i diligent or brave enough to want to experiment with soapy water and have to dab at it repeatedly. so now the carpet spot is brown/yellow with little clumps of wet baking soda stuck to its fibres... a bit like an old weathered sheep left out in a storm, lolz. considered shaving the top off, like shearing the sheep, but that's probably a stupid idea and will look comical, so i left it in the end.

i'll consider it giving the carpet some "character" and a conversation starter, haha. won't be trying to hide it under some furniture (for now, at least). it's just like how i think whenever my apple watch or leather wallet gets a scratch or dent. basically, this is just a story of how, though i love this place for various reasons, its location also comes with various perils, lol.

on the plants left outside, which are actually less sheltered, a bunch of the guava flowers got blown off. but the guava is hardy, so whatever. the taller baby chillies and okra kinda fainted and keeled over; i feel both heart pain and find it quite amusing. i have some bamboo canes that i'm trying to use to support their stalks now, hope it works. also read before that strong wind might actually strengthen plants cos they know they have to grow thicker and stronger to withstand it. (even so, the wind was really too strong la; maybe lucky that their stems are fairly flexible so they could just bend over instead of breaking.)

amazingly the thai basil (the very fragrant purple one that just produced a pair of flowers) remained standing tall despite being one of the pots most exposed to the wind. maybe it was cos the stems were all grown fairly tightly together as a bunch and is full of leaves? no idea. indian borage also very intact probably cos of its fleshy stem and stiff leaves. the most kkml is my peace lily (situated in the living room, right beside the window, having a full view of the disaster that befell the monstera and anthuriums), actually looks the happiest it has looked in the past few weeks, though the internet has said it should be kept away from wind. i think it's probably a schadenfreude plant, laughing at the others.

so anyway after cleaning up, i repotted the small hanging pothos into a standing pot. was a bit angry to again find the bottom like 5-10cm of the pot packed with styrofoam that the roots had grown into. dunno what's the purpose of using styrofoam other than to save on soil. i bought only two plants from this seller - the other was a pandan, and i found the same thing, except a lot more styrofoam. no wonder the plant was taking in so little water. farking unscrupulous seller. hope the pothos and pandan thrive on their more and better soil now.

in other news, i managed to fit in another growingannanas video before lunch. i'm just kinda doing the same video every day for now (especially when time is tight), cos though repetitive, i at least have a sense of how much i've improved in a matter of days - no longer cheating as much, being able to do more standard reps and faster, holding on for much longer, etc etc. often, despite all the horrors, i'm grateful to npcc for teaching us how to do standard (girl) push-ups so that it's kinda second nature. maybe they should have trained us better in doing the real boy push-ups, though. (and spent less time running around with concrete slabs and heavy logs.)

this new week, i hope to try maybe one or two new ananas videos on top of the old one. and to watch the three new episodes of that trashy netflix reality show love is blind so that we can bitch about it together again and i won't be fomo. i'm sure there are other things i hope to accomplish this week but can't think of them offhand for now lol. bye for now.

p.s.: also, smallbully visited over the weekend and we fantasised about becoming neighbours. that would be kinda great, honestly. then ben can have a flourishing garden and i can get to play with the boys without having them destroy my sofa. and we can do all the random things we used to do together again! and durian can be bought in bulk! lol. so pls give this some serious consideration and consult the real estate agents in the vicinity, haha.
sa-train

the past fortnight

these days, i generally don't post when i'm not working, cos i'm lazy to start up the comp, and the lj mobile app is quite crappy (i'm sure you all will agree wholeheartedly). so i just came back to work (at 5am, no less) after clearing 2.5 weeks of leave. really so sianz. luckily i still have about another 3 weeks left off in lieu till the end of the year, plus the new round of annual leave starts after august ends. could get addicted to life without work and yet still getting paid, lol.

recent updates in my life is that i've finally finished moving everything over to the new place. except for two small shelves of chinese books, which can wait, i guess. most of the planties have been repotted, though i ran out of soil halfway and shall have to retop some pots soon, but lazy. except for 12 slightly botak stalks of kangkong, all the other vegetables have either not survived the fungus gnat infestation or i've put them out of their misery first. lesson learnt: it's important to use good soil (and yet you can't know if it contains fungus fly eggs until you've tried it). all the other non-veggies are still doing okay, thankfully. the aroids, in particular, appear to be doing fantastically... probably because the "bright indirect light" at home is blinding for humans, but yet i can't bear to draw the curtains and deprive them of photosynthesis. so yah, it's okay if i go blind as long as the houseplants are thriving, lol.

that day xty paid me the highest compliment ever when she came over for a visit and after a few hours, she wanted to send winkibo home to take care of meimei and let her spend the night here. hehehehe. i was sooo flattered. wasn't that happy ending up last in the space game, though. i wanted to scream and shout and flip the board, but had to control myself and try to continue the game without appearing upset, in case winkibo scold me for setting bad example for xty. yn was a terrible influence, laughing loudly at me when i got kicked back to zero. must find more new games (that i can win at) for xty's next visit. also, i'm left with a surplus of yakult in my fridge now since i actually prefer vitagen. suddenly recalled that many years ago when we were still schooling, winkibo was the one who brought vitagen to my place after an angsty lj post from me about my dad's yakult/vitagen favouritism. i was so gamdong. <3 <3

another update is i finally got my health report after procrastinating on it for weeks. my fat content is apparently only slightly below the "obese" level, lollolwtfbbq. muscle mass has dipped from my hk days while fat content has risen dramatically - and i don't have the boobs to blame for it. luckily the most dangerous, visceral fat content is still considerably lower than average. even so, i'm supposed to lose 3kg of fat and gain 10kg of muscle in order to attain a healthy weight and proportion of fat/muscle. other key findings are, i have no excuse for my protruding tummy since they did not find any tumour or whatever in the area; i should watch my diet cos my cholesterol level is near the high end of the normal range, my constant backache is probably the result of poor posture, and i should go and get the hep a vaccine cos i have zero resistance to it. so in summary, the results are just a reflection of my sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy diet over the past year plus since i returned.

so lately i've started doing these growingannanas exercise videos introduced by winkibo, ever our trendsetter in terms of what to watch lol. then i found out that my sister was also using the same videos. this anna engelschall is apparently austrian, which makes me feel good about her, and she has a wide range of vids catering to different levels of ability and free time. it's been quite fun doing them, after i got through the painful and discouraging first couple of sessions where i couldn't finish even one 35min video and kinda wanted to die. btw, she's only 26, fml.

okay, gotta end here and get back to work now (it was my lunchtime i spent writing this up btw; don't report me). can't wait to knock off in two hours' time.
sa-sitnwatch

a good friday

hello. this week's work schedule was another one of those messy ones that screwed up my sleep cycle a bit. ended up repeatedly waking from 4am in case i missed the 6am shift, then starting up at 515am to make sure all would be fine. then did one day 3pm, then got assigned to something else for the rest of the week that took me entirely off the schedule. then to prepare mentally for my assignment and while waiting for expert replies (12 of 16 never came and two of those that did were rejections), i slept 14h at my parents' place cos too tired to move, and neglected my plants for a day and a half.

the next day, i went home to two pots of miserably wilting mint and citronella, it was frankly quite funny, lol. so i immediately watered them (and the others), and the mint quickly revived, but after two days, the citronella still seems terribly wilty and struggling; only about three stalks perked up after the watering and more sun. might have to deadhead them eventually, but i lazy.

also, my dad told me to give up on the vegetables cos they are too high maintenance, lol. shall see... as my bokchoys are progressively dying due to a massive fungus gnat infection, and i'm also starting to find them too time-consuming. i got rid of a first infestation by mixing neem oil with soap and water, and spraying them down gently, but it was really quite troublesome and not very nice smelling.

also, have been unable to utilise the sunniest areas outside because the neighbour's renovation left an immensely thick coat of dust (including on my plants initially outside). such that i had to bring them all in and hose them down; and a planterbox of amaranth red seedlings immediately died under the renovation dust. the guava's velvety leaves continue to bear ugly wet reno dust smudges that just cannot be removed. at least new leaves have formed and many old ones have dropped (not sure if that's really a good thing, though). also windows, grilles and gate are coated in that thick dust now, which, being very lazy, i shall hire someone to come and clean when they're finally done.

just now, while waiting the entire day for my graphic to be done, i added some supposedly high-quality aroid potting mix to my monstera, which has been doing pretty well but has had a very low soil level ever since i removed all its overly moist coco husks. now the soil looks pretty but hope it doesn't do the plant any harm. you know, part of the reason i post here is so that i can track when i last watered the monstera and pothos. did m.d tonight, devil's ivy on monday (july 5), and i guess i should probably check on the other pothos tomorrow. i have, true to my word, left them largely alone for the last 10 days and they still look fairly happy, lol.

~~~
on my latest assignment... first of all, i want to say that i'm glad i can now finally go to sleep again without an undone story hanging over my head. i did my usual waiting until the last minute for comments to come in, then decide to ownself goreng something at 10pm, finish story at 7am, went to bed until noon, then woke up to check on feedback and commission charts, etc. i actually find this a very good routine.

got another compliment from laoban just now. it made me wonder if everyone gets one every time they write something, but also made me feel grateful that there are good things about this place and that my time here doesn't feel anywhere like it's over yet, despite sporadic gripes. i didn't apply for that big-name role after all. dragged my feet on it for two weeks and didn't submit my cv, then the headhunter ownself came back to tell me that they've decided to consider other candidates. and to be honest, i actually felt quite relieved and much happier afterwards. i was afraid i would apply and do my best and get the job, since the opportunity had presented itself and it'd be stupid not to try. then i was afraid that the pay would be so good that i'd be compelled to take it even if i didn't really want to leave, because it'd be stupid not to, and that it'd end up being another round of instability, uncertainty, and unhappiness at what i was doing. i think i can do the job, and have also done some version of it when i was much younger; but already in 2018, i chose not to go down that track after some advice from some wiseguy, because it doesn't "create"; the work, while still some form of journalism, is more about "propagation".

so there, on my latest assignment, i felt again happy that i had the freedom and flexibility to turn an initial assignment with some straightforward direction into something else entirely that i'm personally interested in and want to discuss. i think if i were my own boss, i probably wouldn't be very happy working for myself, cos i'm quite a lot more micro-managey in terms of angling. also felt glad to be equipped with the ready tools within myself to make up for a gross lack of expert comments.

i just want to say that i did feel paiseh and self-conscious and guilty to be going around pressing these global health experts to study some relatively meaningless ranking compared with the urgency and importance of the work they are doing. i also felt embarrassingly privileged to be in a near-zero-covid country, discussing "exit plans" like 纸上谈兵 while many of these experts' own countrymen are lying on stretchers struggling for breath outside hospital parking lots and so on. they aren't even thinking of any exit, they're just still struggling to contain their situation. it does feel like singapore is in something of its own bubble, while many of those around us, many of our closest neighbours, are suffering.

in conclusion, i was glad for this random and in fact not particularly interesting assignment, that allowed me to write it in such a way that it reflected my own sincere views and analyses of the matter. like, i'm granted a voice, a platform, couched as some form of journalism, and i actually get paid for it! it's like the time in uni when we'd watcc grey's anatomy because we loved it, and then we'd turn it into our termpaper topic just so we could do what we enjoy and kill two birds with one stone. and then still get A for it. michelle lazar definitely knew what we were up to, lolz.

because i feel so pleased with myself today, i'm now a bit afraid that i'll get some nasty reader feedback or error on the page tomorrow. fingers all crossed that just because i've mentioned it already, it won't happen. my silly little superstitions haha. goodnight.
sa-sitnwatch

the scariness of being responsible for other living things

i resolve to ignore my two pothos for at least a week. and to mostly leave the m.d. alone for the next 10 days or so until its leaves get a wee bit droopy again. showered m.d. thoroughly this evening and he immediately looked much happier. lol. i’d been terrified to water it for about two weeks cos of the previous sad incident where i lost a bunch of leaves due to overwatering, shitty non-draining soil, and overall inexperience and panic. this time round, i removed most of the coco husks that came with it so that the soil could get more air and not stay so wet for so long. i actually really wanna repot m.d. and the peace lily, cos i got some proper aroid mix for them, but am afraid they will start looking unwell after the repotting or they turn out not to like the soil or got some fungus or some other issue, then they might die on me. fml.

meanwhile, i’m also having some anxiety lately over ungerminating seeds. dumped a whole pack of mint, some coriander and leftover chili into three small pots about a week or more ago to see if they’d sprout, but nothing still; the last time i tried the mint seeds more than a month ago also yielded nothing. is it the ntuc seeds expired already? then one planter box of spinach also not sprouting. the rest of the veggie are doing fine, thankfully, and i managed to repel an infestation of fungus gnats with a wee bit of neem oil, for the time being. hope they grow well (preferably faster) and stop losing their bottom leaves from the gnats or whatever other reason. gardening is really a study in patience.

guava has some velvety new leaves; so cute. indian borage and pandans looking fine for now, fingers all crossed, cos i keep worrying that they’re getting not enough sun or too much sun or not enough water or too much water, fml. purple basil crumples up whenever it’s in the shade (or at night) but looks damn happy even when the harsh late afternoon sun is beating down on it. baby chili’s little leaves curled up in that same sun and almost immediately uncurled when i brought it back into the kitchen; and google said it loves the sun!

i am already running out of space both at home and outside to put the plants because the flat was clearly designed to keep out the sun, and i don’t have the space to move everything outside along the corridor; besides, the corridor half wall blocks out the sun too, unlike the newer buildings with their metal barriers with holes for sunlight to dapple through. the newer buildings also have floor to ceiling windows at home so you can just put all the pots on the floor against the windows and not worry about elevating them to get the sun. so envious!!! this is where the grow lights come in and my electricity bills will rise. they have proven very useful though; i like to think that they work, hopefully they really do.

i’m a terrible bungling tiger plant parent. the kind of mini anxiety i have over them, the constant not knowing what they want and if what i’m doing will help or harm them, yet wanting to secure only the best for them so they can have a head start, and all the mistakes i’ve already made (killed m.d., a baby pandan and one small chili seedling)… all these make me immensely relieved that i’m not a real parent. a few years back, i dreamt i had a baby boy and forgot all about him while i was ktving with my friends. when i finally remembered, he was stuck behind the ktv room door, already brain damaged. that sinking feeling, knowing that there was no way i could undo the damage, and in my head, trying to figure a way out of it and not have people find out about my negligence, that terrible feeling even in my dream (nightmare), was unforgettable. so i guess some things turn out the way they do for a reason.

for this reason, i’m also a bit afraid of getting a pet at some point. when we had guybrush, i was just a kid and didn’t know better and didn’t care enough either. we did so many things wrong, all the way to his old age. poor guybrush. but we loved him so and wish we could have given him more of our time and energy and space at home. really don’t know if i will ever find the courage to let another cat into my life again. i almost feel like a timider version of zq… lol. maybe part of me is even subconsciously trying to emulate zq, lollol. too bad she no longer checks into lj to see this lol.

sa-train

annoyed

sorry that i tend to often come here with negativity. but i can't quite let it out elsewhere or directly at others cos i have to maintain civility and all. so i just wanted to say that i really don't appreciate it when people make plans with others way in advance but think of me only last minute when they have no other options, and at 11am message me urgently to demand that i go out for lunch with them at noon and then scold me for lack of spontaneity when i say i'm at a training course 10am-12pm and have work 3pm-12mn. and for the record, i knocked off work also past midnight the previous day, so i'd really appreciate more sleep in any extra time i get (and then am accused of prioritising sleep over them).

so said person then proceeds to tell me to just leave my zoom switched on and go out for lunch together anyway. as for work, person said i should just slack off and nobody would know. plzzz... just cos person can do that because writing your own stories once a week means you can control your speed and quality, doesn't mean the requirements of my work are the same. so i gave person an alternative - i can have lunch on wednesday if you want - and person goes on to say that wtf wednesday is so far ahead, don't ask me now. like, okay, i get how unimportant i am to person, but find it quite rude for person to always be scolding me (albeit semi jokingly) about how i am so unspontaneous and stupid, don't know how to handle work, handle boss, play politics and chaokeng. frankly, if you introspect a bit and consider yourself and circumstances a decade ago when you were my age, you'll see who's the one who's really doing better. really don't appreciate always being lectured just because i let it slide. zzz.
sa-wonder

ambivalent

chat went well-ish. apparently the role will report to an ex-colleague with whom i've worked briefly, during which time i doubt i was particularly notable at all. doubt i'll be one of their top candidates, especially given my being asian and lack of hint of any angmoh accent. also, not sure if that's the path i really want to go down... i dunno. and now the headhunter's given me some homework to do - for a role i didn't seek out - before our next chat. don't know what to think. the name and probably the money are both quite tempting, but don't really want the potential superficiality that may have to come with it. sianz. so my question is: should i go all out to try to get this job that i don't know if i really want?
sa-train

"pedigrees"

momentarily frus about work on some issues with potential long-term downsides for me. actually quite frus and angsty and mad. though i can possibly feel calmer about it in the next few days. doesn't help to have had a headhunter of a big name approach me a few days ago. frankly i don't feel like moving again within such a short time and when i do feel strongly for this place and some of its people (it's where i was "born" in the industry; all the strong fundamentals i have today is from the generosity of time and effort invested in me from the people here). but i dunno... the name is very big, pretty lucrative, and practially all my friends who've ever applied have never even heard a peep back from them, so to have been directly approached by them is a bit of a big deal. the role seems fairly senior, too, and would-be peers are from the other so-called "pedigrees"; but i'm not sure about the environment and culture and taking myself out of my comfort zone all over again within such a short time. anyway, still very early days and having a chat with them tomorrow. meanwhile, this week is absolutely sucky with damn screwed up hours - like 10am-12pm and then 6pm-12am today, and possibly having to work on a citation overnight again thanks to... i don't even wanna go there.
sa-train

new and very bad habit

i MUST NOT buy anything else online for the rest of the month. unless it’s absolutely necessary. grab rides and food are okay. must start being more conscientious about not spending needlessly from next month. just because i’m not travelling anymore doesn’t mean i should spend it all online!!! argh.