I played tennis with Susan this evening. She knows SCW, and earlier today, she asked if I was okay with SCW coming along to the tennis session. Having failed to reply to his message asking if I wanted to meet at Coffee Bean, I thought it would be really weird and awkward if he was there. Besides, I ran into him on Thursday at the same tennis court and it was really awkward. As such, I told Susan that I'd rather if he didn't come along.
After tennis, she asked me why I didn't want him to have a hit with us and I told her the story about how he asked me out and how I didn't reply to his message. Then she revealed that they'd spoken about it amongst themselves, and apparently, he said that it was clear from my lack of a response that I wasn't interested; that he thought I was a nice person for not stringing him along unlike some other girls who would go out with a guy that they have no interest in just to get free food; and that he didn't ordinarily meet many girls that he liked, but that I was one of the few that he liked.
I don't care about the third point because, come on, he doesn't know me at all, so what he really meant was that he thought I was pretty, which doesn't interest me one bit. The second point is true only to a certain extent: I don't go out with guys that I have no interest in because it's a waste of both parties' time, and I don't enjoy making forced conversation that I don't find interesting - which is what tends to happen when one is out with someone in whom one is not interested. But still, it made me feel really bad about how I didn't have the courtesy to reply to his message and how I thought I was all that when I am really not. After all, what is the worth of academic achievements and intelligence and whatever when I am an arrogant piece of crap?
Having sufficiently grossed myself out, I shall abandon my resolution to not make new year's resolution; and I hereby resolve to be more genuinely humble from here on out. Of course, it is rather difficult to change one's true nature, but you know, in this specific context, there is some value in trying, isn't there? Why should we not constantly strive to be better persons?
In other news, here's what I've been up to:
3 January 2016: I had brunch with Mel, Simon, Angela and Baoyue at Drury Lane, Tanjong Pagar. Don't ask me why the cafe is named after a street in London, but what did that matter when the salted egg yolk + grilled prawn + poached egg + steamed bun that I shared with Mel was so delicious? The coffee was also very good. More importantly, the company was great. It's always nice to see friends from junior college or other parts of your past and reconnect as if you did that on a daily basis. Mel also started this trend of marrying me on Facebook: she listed me as her wife, which prompted Angela to do likewise, and Baoyue joined in the fun. I kept asking them to marry each other but nobody listened to me. Oh well, I gained three wives in one afternoon; I consider it a good productive afternoon.
The weird thing is, people are leaving comments on the 'life event' as if they genuinely meant their well wishes. A few are quite obviously trolling us back, but there are some - especially on Baoyue's post - that make me wonder if everyone is all right up there. Still, lots of fun and laughter were had, especially when we clicked on 'see relationship' and looked back on all our embarrassing photos from at least 5 years ago and re-read our silly posts on each other's Facebook walls. I love my friends very much.
2 January 2016: I had lunch with my family at Tambuah Mas, Tanglin Shopping Centre. My brother kept irritating me by listing all the Taiwanese food that I liked because he's going to Taipei over Chinese New Year with his girlfriend and he's going to be the sweetest brother ever by taking pictures of my favourite foods and sending them to me. Thanks but no thanks. He's so evil. In the end, we concluded that I really don't have that much to eat in Taiwan, which goes a long way to explain why I always get bored of the food after four or five days and feel like I have nothing to eat. In Singapore, however, this never happens. I'm really going to miss the food in Singapore when I go back to Cambridge.
After lunch, I went to PS Cafe at Palais Renaissance to hog a table for my hang out with Yun, Pearlyn and Shuting at 3.30pm. I was there at 2.45pm. Shuting was the only person who reached on time. At 3.03pm, Pearlyn texted us to say that she'd just woken up; and yet, she was arrived relatively quickly, at 4pm. Yun arrived at half 5. She is truly amazing! In any event, it was also a lot of fun. They're pretty much the only people that I still keep in contact with from SN; I wasn't really that close to the rest of the group anyway, but these days, everyone is married with kids, so I don't really feel like I have much to talk to them about. I remember the last time I met everyone in Serangoon; there was a lot of talk about breast-feeding. Obviously, I couldn't relate at all.
Anyway, Yun and Shuting went to Peru to see Manchu Pichu, and then to Brazil, and they told us about their trip. Their stint in the Amazon sounded really fucking gross! It's not the lack of fans (obviously no air-conditioning) but the bugs! Yun also said that she saw a snake, which freaked me out! I'm never ever ever going to do this. They spent two nights there, the horrors! If I ever went anywhere near the Amazon, I'd be there for an hour max and then get out of there. I understand that it's nature and everything, but I am not a fan of bug-infested and snake-haunted nature, thank you very much.
The trekking sounded really fun but exhausting, which therefore makes it challenging. I wonder if there are bugs and snakes...probably not, since it's dry, or something, right? I don't know. It's definitely something that I want to do.
I shared the double chocolate whatever cake with Shuting while Yun and Pearlyn had the sticky date pudding. I would've stolen some of the latter but Yun came so late and I was already geared up for dinner by then so I gave it a pass. I kind of regret it on hindsight; it looked amazing!
After that, I met Rui for Macbeth. We both did not like it. I appreciated the English subtitles, which helped me follow what the actors were saying; otherwise, I wouldn't have been able to understand most of it. This isn't due to my ignorance of the play; on the contrary, I spent two years of my life studying this play, and I love Macbeth. The 'tomorrow, tomorrow and tomorrow' soliloquy towards the end is one of the very, very few literary quotes that I can more or less remember (because I don't memorise these things, or anything at all for that matter). If it had been without subs and I didn't understand the lines, it would've been because Michael Fassbender mumbled everything in this monotonous voice.
But that's not even my biggest problem with the movie. My biggest problem is that the interpretation sucked. It was a two-hour music video, all style over substance, with the characters there just to move the plot along. For crying out loud, what's even interesting about the plot? It's about an overly ambitious man who kills the king and steals the crown for himself, all the while goaded by his scheming, manipulative wife in the background. There's nothing interesting about the story; what is really interesting about Macbeth is the characters, especially that of Lady Macbeth. The biggest crime that the movie committed was to completely relegate her to a secondary character, such that she was toothless, pale, boring, useless. The fuck, really? Macbeth the play may be called Macbeth, but Macbeth the character isn't half as interesting as his wife. (Same thing with Othello: the titular character pales in comparison to the villain, Iago.) I was hopeful when I saw that Marion Cotillard was playing Lady Macbeth because she's a good actress, but oh my god, she was almost a non-entity in the movie.
The movie had no soul. It was almost empty. It was 'full of sound and fury, signifying nothing' - that's exactly what it was. I'm really disappointed, but why did I even have any hopes? I'm never watching a Hollywood adaptation of Shakespeare, or any classic literary text, or any serious literary work, ever again. I hate the way the nuances and intrigues and character development in the original are almost always stripped away in the Hollywood adaptation and dumbed down for the audience. What's the point of adapting Macbeth in such a meaningless, over-stylised fashion? I don't even understand why they added a little girl to the three witches and had one of them carrying a baby. Sure, there's this theme of lineage going on in the movie but I don't think that's a more interesting or better explanation for the Macbeths' motives than Shakespeare's - i.e. because they wanted it, period. Macbeth is about the excesses of ambition and the corruptible side of human nature, which are universal themes and always relevant because people are people, and we will never change. I don't even get how losing their kid should spur them to murder the king and claim the throne for themselves (oh sorry, I meant just Macbeth; I forgot that Lady Macbeth is not important in the movie), and I would attempt to think about it but I can't be bothered at all.
(Please note that I studied Macbeth when I was 15 and 16, so whatever I just wrote about the play is based on what I remember. While I really enjoyed studying it, it has been a really long time, so I may not have remembered it accurately.)
1 January 2016: Had lunch with the extended family at Li Bai, and then I went for a run in the evening. It was one of the best runs I've ever had. I ran a slightly longer distance and my pace was faster: 6.02/km. I want to get it under 6. There's a half-marathon taking place in Cambridge in February which I want to try to do, just for the sake of challenging myself and pushing my own limits. Hopefully my next run will be even better.
31 December 2015: I watched TV with my mom. I really liked Adam Lambert's performances in Singapore. The fireworks were meh. My mom and I watched the countdown concert in Taipei where A-Mei (Zhang Huimei) performed. She's put on weight, but she's still so hot with so much stage presence and charisma - and that voice! Oh my god. I wish I could sing like that.
Officially bored of this entry! Tennis with Susan was really good. She's about my mom's age but she's really good and she makes me run! She said she will miss me before I left - so sweet! She's super nice. I will miss her too.
I missed a couple of forehands in a row, and then it got into my head, and I started missing everything. I still think it's interesting how tennis is such a mental game.