Todo lo demás

It has been a gradual and creeping process but I believe that I have become too used to reading, but not writing content.

Yesterday a high school mate told us, laughingly, that he had spent some time writing 300 words on the topic of nose hair. It started off as a plan to review the year past. Somehow, along the way, he lost the plot and started contemplating the more pressing issue of the overgrowth of his nose hair and the point of growing hair out of one’s nose. Then he spent more time tightening his prose and choosing precise words to convey the dismay that he felt when he extracted a half-white one. To be exact, it was black on one end, brown in the middle, and white on the other end.

I don’t believe anyone has read his piece yet. But it appears that his nose hair has inspired another running train of thought that is happily, pointlessly chugging along.

Is High School Mate’s nose hair trying to reach out to the sun? Is that why it has been growing as quickly as it can, even as it is relentlessly plucked, so that it can see the light of the day? Would we finally achieve world peace when the arms race of efficient growing versus efficient plucking stops?

Anyway, I digress. The point is, there is no point. What is the point of art? What is the point of play? What is the point of living? Here I perform some word juggling. What is the point of art, if there is no play? What is the point of play, if there is no living? What is the point of living, if there is no art?

Anyway. Again.

I want to write more in the new year. Some plans are under way, a new domain name, a new website structure, some content ideas. A consolidation of my online identity and content production onto one platform.

As practice, I have been writing about things that have excited me these days, including my progress in solving the Rubik’s Cube without a manual (I am about 5/6 through), the first time that I had properly cooked in months, and certain ideas on the governance of artificial intelligence, which I had been reading about. None of the writings have made it to being published, and my graveyard of dead drafts is now populated with half-baked remains again.

But that’s ok. I wrote. I can’t expect to produce shiny articles or contain my control freak perfectionism within a few weeks, after lacking practice and being in creative prison for so many months. If I continue writing ten drafts, out of which one will be posted, or if I continue fine-tuning my inner critic to stop yelling and giving false alarms (This is a drill that people will hate what I write and judge me until the end of time! I repeat, THIS IS A DRILL! ), maybe this year will be a year of writing and thinking through writing.

The important thing is to start. I believe I have, and I believe I have finally written a post that I can press publish on. Thanks, High School Mate’s nose hair. Never stop growing.

My last post was in February 2016. And scrolling through the graveyard of dead drafts I see that in 2016 I made a few attempts to write something. The last draft drafted was on the 31st of December, 2016. It didn’t make it. In 2017 I hadn’t even tried. Well, up till tonight.

Tonight there’s something racing in my head, a little Tasmanian devil spinning around and around trying to get out of my head, onto the keyboard, splat onto the screen. Tonight I feel as if I have had an overdose of caffeine, even though I haven’t had coffee at all. Tonight I feel a bit of vitality seeping through the cracks of my hardened soul, and if I knock on the right places, maybe we might just break the dam and get me out of this multi-year writer’s block.

I haven’t written in such a while! This business of self-expression has long eluded me. When I started my first blog (in 2005), I wrote for myself, and for the people who I fancied were interested in reading about my life. Looking back, I can’t imagine why they would be – I had a pretty boring life back then. Life has since become multifold more interesting, but at the same time I developed an expanding self-censoring mechanism, a result of growing consciousness of the dangers of exposing oneself in this digital wilderness. A concoction of fears – of unintended consequences due to unintended audiences, from the revelations of my hero Edward Snowden, and of leaving indelible digital footprints for ever and evermore – rendered the impotence complete.

But tonight I’m feeling brave. Exhilarated. I need to tell someone. Hear me, everyone and no one.

I actually don’t know why this has come about. We can find this out together. Writing usually makes things clearer for me. So, while I write this and while you read this, we are on the same page (literally and figuratively), just separated by space and time.

Maybe it has something to do with this overwhelming high that came out of a recent Youtube channel find – Acapella Science – which tickles so many of my fancies simultaneously that I’m experiencing this extreme joy. The below video is my favourite from his collection.

I must have listened to it at least twenty times by now, but I still experience this frisson from how perfect the vocal arrangement is, and how the lyrics snap into place in beautiful precision. That I am dancing to celebrate art and science, together. There’s something spiritual about this. I want to never stop listening to it, but yet I am afraid to exhaust the magical energy that I’m harvesting. At least there are about 10 science songs from his channel that I’m rotating.

And the more that I think about it, the more I feel that the draw to me is not only the marriage between art and science, but how unapologetically nerdy this musical scientist Tim Blais is. The rendition is impeccable, but what shines through is Blais’ strong conviction in his art and science, no matter how obscure and arcane the subject matter might be, or how niche the audience might be. More than beauty, I draw courage from this steadfastness to be true to oneself and to execute that self-expression into perfection.

The result is distilled joy. I am going to bed with a smile on my face tonight.

Maybe, just maybe, I can write again.


So I’ve finally bitten the bullet, beat procrastination, and planted some seeds. I had wanted to do it for the longest time but didn’t, because of one problem or another. Either I didn’t have the right containers, or I didn’t have soil, or I was in Japan.

But tonight the stars aligned and I planted some cucumbers, and four rows of leafy vegetables: 奶白(Nai Pak), red bayam (spinach), Hong Kong Sawi (香港菜心)and round bayam. Writing this down to note the date. All the plants are in recycled containers – the cucumbers are in some old ice-cream cartons, the leafy greens are in polystyrene boxes that I dumpsterdived after the pasar malam yesterday.

I’m excited and cannot wait for the month or so for harvest! Getting ahead of myself – let’s just first look forward to the sprouting of the seeds 😀

It is not often that I am inspired to document what I ate for lunch, so when the inspiration strikes I have no choice but to follow. Here it is, a lunch for two:

Lunch on a lazy Sunday afternoon

Lunch on a lazy Sunday afternoon

  1. Mashed Potatoes (boiled potatoes mashed with milk and butter and chopped rosemary from the garden)
  2. Stir Fry (of yellow zucchini, carrot, yellow cherry tomatoes, onion, and tempeh; seasoned with basil leaves from the garden, garlic, asam leaves, dried chilli and mushroom dark soy sauce)
  3. Salad (of yellow cherry tomatoes, cucumber, basil leaves, olive oil, and one of my dad’s homemade salted eggs, shredded)
  4. Potato Soup (byproduct of 1., basically salt and potato water)

The salad was a bit of an experiment because I had never tried salted egg in a salad before, and I’m happy to report that it tasted like cheese in the salad and not weird. There was a faint hint of duck. No salt was required and the dish had just the right level of saltiness. I guess it’s also because the salted egg was homemade and not overly salty. The stir fry and mashed potatoes were good as usual.

We ate in the balcony, with the company of three sleeping cats and a breeze circling my little garden of edible plants. When we finished, a high five was administered – followed quickly by a comatose nap curled up on the couch.

Not bad for a Sunday afternoon.

So there comes a point in time when one is hiding out in one’s room because one of one’s cats caught a big rat and is flinging a dead rat around in the living room, and one takes this opportunity to write on one’s blog which one has neglected for 2.5 months.

This is one of those times. I’m hungry, there’s a dead rat floundering around outside of my room, and mi novio is out so is unavailable to sweep up the body. Woe is me!

Ooh el novio has returneth and, with great trepidation I peeked out of the room but the rat body was nowhere to be found! The suspect Dos had left the crime scene along with his foster mum Suki, with a presumably innocent Spot snoozing on the sofa, lending a false sense of serenity to the atmosphere. The plot thickens. El novio had started to doubt my words and overestimate my imagination when, finally he found the dead body… in the cats’ drinking bowl. Floating.

And so a dripping Mr. Dead Rat joins the recently deceased Ms. Dead Bird in a growing cemetery of dead-by-cat creatures that we have had to dispose of in a nearby bush outside of the house.

If anything, this has created a blog post out of nowhere, and you, random visitor of the website or long-time stalker can reap the benefits of the circumstances involving a killer cat, a dead rat and a cowardly cat owner.


明天的記憶 (孫燕姿 )


在我最深處 有過你祝福
有花瓣的飛舞 淚水的凝固
輕撫 一路上成長的紋路
再默讀 那些愛的倉促
猶疑的腳步 堅持的酸楚
可是我很清楚 別在乎付出
潛伏 內心最柔軟的感觸
回憶的泥土 讓生命有厚度
讓明天把今天給記住 不是因為孤獨
因為我們追求的專注 不管它起起伏伏
讓今天把明天變特殊 未必因為幸福
因為我們努力不服輸 從來不曾退出

回頭不可數 被誤解的路
現在我弄清楚 那讓我成熟
潛伏 內心最柔軟的感觸
長成了大樹 讓生命有高度
讓明天把今天給記住 不是因為孤獨
因為我們追求的專注 不管它起起伏伏
讓今天把明天變特殊 未必因為幸福
因為我們努力不服輸 儘管失誤
讓明天的記憶不模糊 不是因為孤獨
因為我們執著的態度 不管它起起伏伏
讓今天把明天變特殊 未必因為滿足
因為我們過得不含糊 從來不曾退出






好个咸鱼翻身啊,不禁为年轻的我喝彩 。现在的我,可不可以再来一次?



觉得歌词很有意思的不只这一点,另外我也喜欢它不断强调生命最重要的是过得有意义,幸福不幸福,倒是其次。可能很多人会不解,幸福不是最重要的吗?我觉得生命肯定会有起起落落,如果拼命寻找所谓的快乐、幸福、美满,追求的过程可能会更痛苦。换个方向思考,过程虽然不愉快,只要觉得付出是有意义的,自己是对得起自己的,面对困难是不退缩的… 那到头来,是成是败,已经不是重点。



It is indeed a predicament when one has an imminent deadline with multiple deliverables when one fails to get one night of good sleep and then everything descends into chaos, as one stares into the monitor, her mouse-wielding hand wielding the mouse based on inertia, staring at the endless stream of content that one realises that one is not interested in but consumes anyway because one is bored out of her mind while panicking at the same time, while being unable to focus on one thought in one second without moving into a second thought within that split second, because one does not have the mental capacity to pull oneself together to think coherently because one is so tired and really just wants to have an afternoon off drinking coffee in a cafe watching people and life go by the window, with a good book in one’s hand and the knowledge that she doesn’t have to be anywhere at anytime, just here and now is fine.