Tattoos, Mothers, and Twitter

My friend and I were talking about tattoos. We both want one, but what if our mothers find out? We may not fear God, but we both fear the wrath of our mothers. My mother keeps me more grounded than religion ever could. There are some decisions I don’t dare to make because of my mother, such as permanently inking my skin. There’s also the issue of marriage. It’s not that I don’t want to get married, because I do. But how much of that wanting to get married is because I personally want to, or because my mother wants me to?

She asked me what kind of tattoo I want to get. For a while now, I’ve wanted to ink the sentence “the enemy’s gate is down” from Ender’s Game across my collar bones. I imagine it will hurt badly, so let’s reconsider the placement of the tattoo later. Not to mention it would be very big and visible there. But I want those words on my skin. It’ll be an homage to my favorite book. It’ll also be a reminder of optimism, strategy, and victory.

All of a sudden, I thought of another tattoo I want to get. A tesseract tattoo. Or ‘warping’ for Trekkies. Check this out:

An excerpt from Madeleine L'Engle's "A Wrinkle in Time" regarding tesseract.

An excerpt from Madeleine L’Engle’s “A Wrinkle in Time” regarding tesseract.

I want a tattoo of an ant, tesseracting from my forearm to my bicep. The tattoo won’t have to be big. I can have a small ant on top of a thin line or a small dot on my forearm. Then the end of the line or the other small dot would be on my bicep. To show the ant tesseracting, I just have to fold my arm and voila! Damn it, now I want that tattoo badly.

It’ll be another homage to my favorite book ♥ and at the same time, it’ll say a lot about me, summarized in a group of tiny pictures. It’ll tell my love for SFF, my muse of and neverending hope in science, and my faith that we’ll travel the stars one day. That we will reach far beyond our eyes can see. It’ll be great to pair it up with the Ender’s Game tattoo.

As for my friend, she wants a tattoo of a cage and a bird. I joked about it being a bird out of its cage and she got mad lol the interesting part is, she wants a silhoutte of a bird as a symbol for many things. I didn’t expect one of them to be Twitter.

I think all millenials would agree that Twitter has not only changed our lives, but it has become a part of our lives. I can’t imagine not having a Twitter. I have retired most of my Twitter accounts, but I don’t delete them. Twitter is a part of my identity, and it’s one of my streams of self-expression. It doesn’t show a full picture of me, but it still shows a lot. It is there where I make and interact with a lot of friends. It’s my number one source of lightning news update. It’s a constant pool of discussion and debates. And you get to share your piece with the rest of the world, through different communities. Twitter is a social magic. It is how we connect these days. It also serves as a micro diary as well as a personal announcement platform. Out of all of my social media accounts, Twitter is the only one I have consistently maintained. It’s not an overstatement to say that it has shaped me into the person I am today, and I believe I’ll still be using it in decades to come.

My future biographer would have a hell lot of material from my Twitter alone.

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The Returnees

I expected neither of them to come back. Their coming back only cemented the statistic that they always return at one point. Except for one. And sometimes I wonder what we would have become, have tried, have gained, and have lost if that one returned, even if it was only for a while. Why do they always come back? Do I look that welcoming to them? I guess that says a lot about me, something that I’m reluctant to admit.

In February, he came back and we spent the night a la Before Sunrise. When it happened, of course I didn’t know that we were living a Linklater. It’s when he disappeared without a trace my hands started to look for him. Shame, embarrassment, disappointment, hope were only some of the things I was feeling as I looked for him. I thought of a hundred ways I could go through just to obtain an answer. I finally chose one and I called him. He hung up. Well, this is it then. No answer is an answer, I get it.

Recently, another one has risen from the dead. We had our brief catch up, something I didn’t expect considering his situation. I don’t want to think too far ahead, but I can’t help imagining it. Explaining what I feel for him is a conundrum unto itself. There’s a thousand reasons I can tell you why I feel this way for you, but at the same time, those thousand of reasons won’t do it justice, because what I’m feeling is more. And I feel like shaking myself hard, yelling, “Open your fucking eyes! Let it go already!” Because there has been no news until today. I was foolish to think I could handle it with a nonchalance. Well, I haven’t been overly emotional until today, so that’s a start.

Since the situation calls for it, I’ve dug up an old playlist I created when I thought of you. I’ve been listening to it over and over again the past few days. By the time I get bored of that one particular song, I hope I’ll also get bored of you.

Are you gonna hide? Are you gonna burn? Are you gonna answer me? Let me take your heart, love you in the dark. No one has to see. I want more. I want more. I want more. I want more. You seek yourself in another way. I try my best but I don’t ever change. I love to watch your body lie. It makes me feel better, makes me satisfied. You could bring it back. Who wouldn’t want it when he looks like that? I want you to stay. And if I try my hardest, would you look my way? I want to leave this curse. I don’t want to feel worse.
– “Memo” by Years and Years

They say you write best when you write about something you’re ashamed of. And this is my deciding not to put this post on private.

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Recent Development: Rap

Generally, I like rap. When it comes to music, I try to keep an open mind. I listen to everything. I pay attention to its creative process and business turn out. Some rap, I can understand. Eminem was a big thing in my teenage years, and he rapped some relatable things with catchy hooks. Some of my favorite artists also occasionally rap. It’s only when it comes to K-Pop I cringe whenever I hear rap. K-Pop has this habit of putting rap into EVERYTHING and I’ve never stopped asking why. And then fate hooked me up with Hamilton.


I’d heard of Hamilton for a while, but never checked it out. It intrigued me that there was even a crossover fanart of Hamilton and Star Wars, which is really weird. At the same time, I was also watching tons of Broadway shows as references for my own musical. I guess it was time for me to see Hamilton.

The first thing I did was download the cast album from Apple Music. Right from the very first line, my mouth gaped open. I thought, oh maybe they’re only going to rap for the first verse. Boy, how I was wrong. They rap their way out the ENTIRE show. How is it even possible? This whole musical is rap and hip-hop! Something I’d never expected to be spawned out of a Broadway show.

Not only Hamilton broke its way out of the old-age Broadway formula, the whole production is great too. I became obsessed with Hamilton in lightning speed. Until today, I’m still obsessed with it. I’ve had experienced Hamilton for hours and hours, and still I can’t get enough of it. There’s a million things I haven’t learned about it. The stage production, the storytelling, the research, the music production, the lyrics writing, and the character development.

Hamilton is a hit EVERYWHERE.

The great annotation project from Genius has helped me a lot in deconstructing Hamilton. Genius analyzed the show through historical, production, literature, and musical lenses. I didn’t even know that you can display character development through their rap lines, as seen on Lafayette (performed by Daveed Diggs). Lafayette is a Frenchman with stuttering English, but as he becomes closer with his American allies, his English gets better and suddenly he has the fastest rap lines in Hamilton. Then there’s also Hamilton himself. They show him as a brilliant man, a wordsmith, by giving him relatively more sophisticated rap lines than his mates. I can feel I’m failing as a writer already.

Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote Hamilton in 7 years. The cast is perfect. Their performances are perfect, their vocals and raps are amazing. I have spent my time obsessing over each and everyone of them. Hamilton has opened my eyes to the poetry that is rap. I was introduced to a whole new world of wit and creativity, and how it can collaborate with other forms of art. Hamilton shows me how rap can tell stories, protests, debates, and inner voices. I’ve been trying to learn more about rap ever since. And black music too in general. I’ve been listening to Raleigh Ritchie a lot, even though he doesn’t rap much. I’ve taken a little taste of Kanye West’s latest album, and am going to listen to his whole discography. The one I really have to pay attention to is Kendrick Lamar and I’m still looking for the right time for it. I have a feeling he’s going to blow my mind. Once it happens, he’s gonna consume my attention like hell.

Now, I want to start dipping my toes into history of rap, but I don’t know where to start. If you have any suggestion, please drop me a comment. Which representative rapper do you think I should listen to?

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Recent Development: Cooking

Are you still reading this? I haven’t stopped recording my days. But I’m getting more and more private every day. Sometimes I google myself and freak out at the search results. I prefer to write on paper, locked diaries. It’s safer. The things I think about are mostly no longer appropriate for public consumption. Or maybe they never have been, I just sucked so hard at discretion.

I have one major decision to make this year. Actually, I already made the decision, I just haven’t executed it yet. There’s some preparation I need to do first. One of such preparation is to save as much money as I can. It led me to another major decision. It’s major because I’m forced to break a habit and learn a new one. Stop dining out and start cooking.

My first attempt at fried sambal. I failed because I don’t have an ulekan. I turned it into spice for the chicken instead.

Boy, how I overspent in my first grocery shopping ever. I purchased big batch of raw food and ended up eating only half. Surprisingly, I didn’t struggle so much with the cooking. I admit I’ve only been cooking simple stuff. But it’s been more than a month in which I feed myself, and it feels like such an achievement!

I was so proud because it looked like the mashed potato I eat in pro restaurants.

Funny thing is I never thought cooking would help me to discover new things about myself. 1) I’m really good at following instruction. I was nervous in the beginning. What if everything I cook turns to shit and isn’t edible? What if I suddenly lose my literacy and cannot read the recipe? But I survived. I’m very good in interpreting the recipe and it’s enough to help me cook out something all right.

The first dish I made. Chicken curry, with a little bit of spinach, and brown rice. I’ve grown to be more confidence in improvising my recipes since the day this dish was made.

2) I dare to improvise. I dare to replace an ingredient with substitutes or other food I prefer. I even dare to cook something without a recipe. Just put everything into the pan based on what I think I know about each ingredient. And 3) it’s not as hard as I expected it would be. I put too much pressure on myself. I’ve been pleasantly surprised to find I enjoy cooking.

Granted, I have only cooked for myself, so there’s no urgency to cook something nice for others. But last weekend I made up something for me and Rara and she said it was nice! Thank you so much for validating my new found skill, Rara.

I’ve been experimenting with chicken. Such an easy meat to process. I intend to tackle beef and salmon once I’m done with chicken. I also want to try baking. Many recipes I find require baking and it looks simple enough. I’ve found some sellers of mini ovens, but no one sells mini baking trays! I gotta look for the latter. I can imagine all the pastry I’m gonna go crazy with.

You might wonder how much I’ve been saving since I’ve started cooking. During the past month, I have saved 50% of my usual food budget. It also helps that I don’t eat that much. I should have started this last year so I could save more. If only I wasn’t so scared of cooking.

Forgive me for the food pictures. Not much of a looker, but I swear they’re edible. Other than cooking, there are also other new developments in my life. Each topic deserves its own post. Sometimes posting an entry here feels like talking to myself, but somehow there’s always one or two of you who tell me that you always drop by and I feel bad (a bit) for not updating anything haha so this post and the next ones are for you. ❤️

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Shadowhunters S01E03 “Dead Man’s Party”

Ok, so this is the episode where Simon is kept in Hotel Du Mort and the Shadowhunters gang is trying to rescue him.


Well, well, well, look who we got here. Camille! She looks petite, light footed, and very young. Considering she’s supposed to be hundreds of years old, it annoyed me that I can’t see the centuries of wisdom in her eyes. And what is she doing kidnapping Simon? Ok, I get it. The series is trying to establish her enmity with the Shadowhunters early on. But what irritated me the most is her magical power. Yup, she can flick her fingers and time stops. How convenient for vampires.

Anyway, they also introduce another new character here, Meliorn the fairy. I thought he would look more elf-like, LOTR-style. But this realistically human-ish one is all right. I like it. And there’s one scene of Izzie and Meliorn getting it on and I had to push the pause button because Toubia is too hot, I can’t control myself seeing her in red lingerie. Nooooooo.

Clary is as dainty as ever, but her chemistry works well with Jace. The show has done a pretty good job so far in establishing the characters’ motivation. Alec keeps asking Jace why the latter cares so much about Clary, and Jace keeps saying that he can relate to Clary. Cliche, and very straightforward, but at least it leaves out the mystery of why the two are together in the future. As rushed as everything seems, unfortunately, still no Malec yet, but maybe in the next episode.

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