...lost in the finals of the Rogers' Cup to Andy Murray. The match was at 1.30 a.m. Singapore time and I had work so I didn't watch it. I did, however, wake up with no help at all from my alarm clock at 3 in the morning because I suddenly remembered, "Oh my god, Roger's playing the final now!"
He lost the first set, I went back to sleep but not without setting my alarm for 5 a.m., woke up at 5 a.m., there was a rain delay, I was SO tired, went back to sleep, woke up at 7 a.m., checked the results, and saw that he'd lost 7-5, 7-5.
I was NOT a happy camper for the rest of the day.
That was despite me knowing that he'd lose due to the consecutive 3-setters he played late into the night prior to the match.
Andy Murray must also have been doing something right if he managed to despatch Rafael Nadal 3 and 4 in the semi-final.
Now Roger's playing Cincy, defending his title, and once again I hope he wins but I am not getting my hopes too high. Anyway, he played his first match this morning Singapore time Denis Istomin retired when he suddenly sprained his ankle. This was the first time since I started watching Roger/tennis in August 2008 that I'd seen an opponent retire against him. Too bad for me - not enough tennis to watch. Too bad for Roger - didn't get a decent match under his belt while his rivals all played a full match.
He plays Kohlschreiber (I CAN STILL SPELL THIS) next, at some ungodly hour in the morning. Have I mentioned already how much I hate the frigging time difference? I hate it.
2. More tennis news, racism
Apparently there was some controversy surrounding Lu Yen-Hsun's retirement against Lleyton Hewitt yesterday. Lu called for a trainer in the second set and had to wait until the third changeover before a trainer came. He was livid and started arguing with the umpire, then retired the match.
I tried searching for news but didn't find anything. I only know this because my dad told me, who only knows it because it was reported in the Taiwanese news. I don't know if we're overly sensitive but the first reaction is, intuitively, what the fuck, the idiot officials at Cincy are a bunch of racists.
Lu did mention in an interview with a Taiwanese TV talk show that he does feel some racism when he plays around the globe (he also had some not-nice things to say about Andy Roddick). I suppose that's unsurprising, but I must say that I haven't had the occasion when I experienced any. Of course, I'd chalk that down to my lack of international travels; but for whatever it's worth, I didn't feel any racism at all when I went on my Europe trip.
Of course, given the history between Asians and Westerners, sometimes you can't help but feel the urge to over-compensate. You go out of your way not to be nice to a Caucasian because all the other idiots in your country go out of their way to be nice to them. You become hyper-sensitive of their presence and are more aware of how you're acting.
It doesn't really have to be this way. Because who really cares, right? For example, my SAT scores (okay lah only for the Verbal sections) owned more than 90% of my fellow score-takers, most of whom were Americans. QED, right?
At work today, the junior partner with whom I'm working on some files called me in for a phone call with one of our clients. After the call ended and he commented on the client's weird accent, we started talking about people we knew who had an unorthodox accent. I mentioned my ex-DJ friend who speaks with a British accent, then told him that she used to be a DJ, and finally ended my comment with, "If it were me, I'd rather be a DJ than a lawyer!"
I think it's become so natural for me to go around saying that I don't want to be a fucking lawyer that it just came out. See, I go out of my way to avoid talking about how much I want to do something else with my life around people in authority, including the junior partner, by the very virtue of the fact that he's a partner, just in case I get myself into trouble. My boyfriend, my family, and my close friends know this about me, but I don't talk about it to people that I'm not close to - which is pretty much everyone in the firm save for Mag. So the second I said "I'd rather be a DJ than a lawyer*", I instantly regretted it. I did NOT want to talk about it at all.
(*Since I hate talking and I don't listen to the radio save for when I'm driving, that more or less means I really don't want to be a lawyer at all. I think a good gauge of whether you like your job would be to think of things that you'd rather do. I can think of at least 10 off the top of my head. That even includes DJing, despite the fact that I hate talking and I don't listen to the radio.)
But Junior Partner didn't brush off the comment. Instead, he pursued it. He asked me if I was jaded, if I regretted this law thing; then I couldn't help but did that which I tried to avoid to do. I said, "I don't know if I actually want to do this."
The truth is, actually, "I'm pretty sure I don't want to do this." Even that isn't really the 100% truth; the 100% truth is more convicted than that. But it was still close enough. Junior Partner then asked, "So what do you want to do?"
I said, I've always wanted to write. But anyway, I really like human rights stuff.
Junior Partner said, I can empathise with that; those subjects are more exciting. You did a lot human rights, international law, constitutional law in school?
I said, Yes. It was really fun. I really hated my first two years.
I thought the conversation would pick up from that. If you noticed, I tried to brush off the writing thing ASAP. It's something that I do not like to talk to near-strangers about because it's pretty personal for reasons that I haven't yet figured out.
But JP actually brought the conversation back to that. It surprised me; I was all ready to talk about how I plan on getting a LLM because that's what people usually pick up on. But he went back to the writing and asked what I liked to write.
WHO ACTUALLY DOES THAT? Okay, in all objectivity, it was just a question, and I did give a generic answer when I said, "Fiction." But he was all, What kind of fiction? Journalistic writing or literature?
Oh my god. I swear, whenever I talk about this I literally feel like I'm giving away a part of my soul. I can write about it till the end of time, but talking about it is not even within the same hitting range. It's hitting out of my comfort zone. And I get incomprehensibly emotional when I have to talk about these things, so I spent a few seconds trying to keep calm and collected - which, thankfully, succeeded, or I would've had to clean up a really awkward mess.
Anyway, I came clean in the end because I'm not good at evading the truth. He was nice about it, and even encouraging. The thing was, though, I did talk to another partner about it once, two years ago, and that partner was also encouraging, but now I find him utterly full of shit for reasons I'm not going to disclose. But JP told me about people in the profession who have embarked on some sort of literary pursuit, including a partner upstairs who apparently wrote poetry (this piece of information was particularly shocking). It was interesting. I don't think I'd ever be one of them because I'm not going to stay in the profession, but it was still kind of heartening to know.
In the end we ended up talking about books. When he asked who my favourite writers were and I said Julian Barnes, I was expecting him to say, "Who's that?" That's the usual response I got. But he told me that he bought the Nothing to be Frightened Of audio book. I almost laughed at that; I honestly didn't think anyone actually bought audio books. He named the Barnes novels that he's read, including "A History of the World in Eight and a Half Chapters".
It's nine and a half chapters, I said.
He said, Oh is it?
I said, in a manner that implied "er yeahhhh I think I'd know, considering I've read all his novels", Yes.
This reminds me - I've been wanting to re-read the half chapter in that book but I haven't got round to doing it. Maybe I'll do so later.
Before I went off, I told him, "It's been a good talk." And it has. It's just been a really long while since I last talked to someone about books, such that I've actually forgotten how much I love my literary fiction and my British writers. He recommended two writers, both of whom are British (one's Japanese British) which means his taste is not bad (I generally - I stress, generally - prefer British writers to American writers. I don't read translated books, so all other nationalities, unless they write in English, are hardly on my radar), which also means I'm gonna go check out that Japanese British guy whose name I cannot remember. But he's really famous. I remember him as the other Japanese guy, the one whose novels aren't translated.
JP also mentioned Ian McEwan, to which I said, "Yeah but the problem with him is that he builds up so much and in the end...nothing." But I must say that I love McEwan's writing - it's as lucid, as vivid, as descriptive as they come. It's so technically brilliant that sometimes it gets rather clinical, which is why I love Julian Barnes: his writing oozes with humanity, even when he's trying not to a la "Arthur and George". Julian Barnes' writing is relatable, emotional, elegantly eloquent. I can't wait for his collection of short stories to come out. I do like Nothing to be Frightened Of but I still way prefer his fiction. I don't read non-fiction anyway.
The conversation put me in quite a good mood. It was a nice reminder of what it is that I really love. I'm distracted by tennis these days but I must say that my passion for tennis cannot even match my passion for literature and writing.
It's a shame, though, that I'm doing so much more of the former than the latter. And it's really sad that my 40 minutes of reading on National Day was the longest period of continuous reading that I'd done in a really long time. (I read Atwood's "Cat's Eye", by the way. Pretty good so far but oh my god, what's ever going to be as good, as brilliant, as beautiful, as "The Blind Assassin"?)
I think the right strategy to adopt here is to stop waiting for my life to happen and start making it happen.
I had a really lovely lunch with Yun, Shuting, Celine, and Shuting's cousin. I love meeting up with them - they're so funny. Yun especially. I'm actually really happy that we're still friends after so long, and that we can still talk like before.
I'm also really thankful for Mag, who makes going to the office, a decidedly dreadful exercise, that much more palatable.
And my Monday lunches with Rui, Mag, and Venetia!
And randomly-fixed lunches with Chloe!
And more randomly-fixed lunches with Olivia!
I swear, my favourite part of the day is lunch. Not even going home makes me as happy.