15.7.13

Little things that have been happening lately

ATMs have started dispensing $100 bills, even when I'm withdrawing just $150 or $200 at a time, at well-utilised ATMs in downmarket locations. I'm not sure when $100 bills moved into higher circulation, and it's a little disturbing. I know the cost of living is going up and sometimes a $50 bill barely gets me any change when I'm buying basic toiletries for the month (think supermarket-brand shampoo, conditioner, shower gel and "feminine hygiene products"). But the psychological effect of having a $100 bill in my wallet --- or rather, of having one briefly and then not-having it, even if I got some change back --- is the kind that sends my brain into a tailspin about how much money I need to be saving for my retirement.

At the other end of the spectrum, I recently came across the new $1 coins for the first time. I'm not sure why we needed a new coin series, other than the anti-counterfeiting features. The first thing I thought about when I saw the $1 coin was: is it still kosher with that story about how the original $1 coin was designed like the Taoist bagua symbol? (See #3 on this list of Singapore urban legends.)  I also realised that the new $1 coins don't fit into the security devices at supermarket trolleys (you have to pop a $1 coin into a slot in order to release a trolley for use within the store; you can pop it out again you return the trolley at a designated spot) --- which is kind of a pain.

In the work/writing department, friends have been contacting me via Facebook regarding work, which is fine and dandy except that Facebook-mail Facebook Messages is not exactly the most search-friendly platform when it comes to long-term archiving of work-related matters (I'm spoiled by Gmail, where I can search for almost every work assignment and conversation I've had since I started freelancing in 2006). Aside from downloading all my Facebook data in one giant clump, I don't think there's any way I can download/save/export a particular message thread, is there?

Friends have also been asking me, "So how's the novel going?" To which I avert my gaze, adopt a sheepish look and mumble something about not having looked at it for a few months. I really should be revising it in order to finish a proper draft to send to my freelance editor and some beta readers, and then revise it some more before the end of this year. So far what I have done is print out the first draft, which makes it more real somehow, but then I left it in a plastic bag in a corner of my office and ... er ... What was the question again?

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