Monday, July 6, 2020


Today, my aunt came over to teach me to sew using a sewing machine. I turned some of my old dresses that have become tight for me to wear, into cushion covers. I can use them for decorative throw pillows when I'm in Vancouver. We then watched the political party debate for this Friday's election. It's my second time voting (we're only legal to vote at 21 because the government is highly suspicious of "younger ideologies" and doesn't want to lose their power) and I had to break down to my grandma, why we need to vote opposition this time. It's not my first time saying this, but we've never changed political parties as our government since gaining independence 54 years ago. It's not a coincidence, it's because the incumbent government make it legitimately impossible for us to vote for a strong opposition, given that they don't allow strong opposition parties to form. 

It gives me hope that most of the millennial and younger population are taking to social media to voice very sound ideas, though I do hope there isn't a silent boomer majority going to vote otherwise. My grandmother says she doesn't really understand what goes on, and she's always voted for the incumbent because she votes out of fear. I try to translate the knowledge I have into Malay, so that she understands the Singaporean way of looking out for only yourself, is outdated. That the fear is only there because of the current government, and that we can foster a much healthier, more inclusive and sustainable political environment for ourselves if only we believed in it and voted for it.

Exactly four years ago, I took a plane to Los Angeles for the second time, this time by myself, and it would eventually change my life, in ways I would never expect. It was a very interesting summer. My memory (or perhaps generally everyone's memory) works much better with tactile experiences, and so that's what I remember of LA. I remember when I put my hand on someone's hand while he was holding the clutch and going from 0 to 100. I remember going to a Dodgers game and not following it at all. It was my first time at a baseball game and I got myself a hotdog, not knowing that night was going to be a heck of a night. I remember sushi and a man telling me he didn't used to like sushi until after high school. I went rock-climbing, I slept in the attic of a wooden lodge in Tahoe and watched the Perseid meteor shower. I had sticky date ice-cream. I had lots of ice-cream over two months. I learned what dulce de leche was. I learned what horchata was and really liked it. That was still in the time of Obama so things were still relatively very, very good. It's a very romantic place and I understand why legions of people flock to it, and stay there. I remember everything. Sometimes I forget, but today I remember how it feels to have love coursing through your veins and pumping through your heart to stay alive and to feel alive. I think it's time for a rewatch of La La Land.


When you enter the lululemon store I work at, the floor has a quote inscribed into it. It says: "this is not your practice life. this is all there is." I've been seeing it more and more often now, and I'm trying to decide if it means something to me. Also, last week, a guest asked me whether I had bought any lululemon stock because they're a great investment and my brain was like, "are you gonna buy them for me? If I could afford to buy lululemon stocks, why would I be here on the floor exposing myself to COVID-19 serving you?" I didn't say so, however, I just said yeah, the company is in a good position, which is true. Even with the quarantine, people kept buying lululemon products online to work out at home, and I will sometimes not understand people at all.

Two weeks ago, I asked Lucas whether my tattoo was looking any faded, given that I've been going swimming and my back is exposed to the sun more often. I've had the tattoo for as long as I've known Lucas, which is at least one year. For the first time, Lucas found out the sunflower was joined to its stalk made of the quote, and not a sunflower randomly joined to a vertical string of words. 

.......I've been with him for a year and he didn't know it was supposed to be a stalk! Do I need to have a cover-up tattoo or does everyone else know what it's supposed to be? Given its placement, the only photo I have of it is when I got it done. It looks like a sunflower stalk, right?

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(tattoo by: @maxinengps) There is a sunflower on my spine, whose stalk is a quote from my favorite musical, Lin-Manuel Miranda's @hamiltonmusical, in the song That Would Be Enough. Sunflowers are the only flowers I really like, I'm not much of a flower person. I like sunflowers because they grow tall and towards the sun, drawn to warmth and brightness. I'd like to think I relate to that a lot. The quote is “the fact that you're alive is a miracle”, because as was the case for A. Ham, there were certain points in life that pushed me down, kicked me into the ground, and I would feel it easier to give up and end my life, but instead, I just kept on keeping on. The decision to have a tattoo is not an easy one for me, my family is religiously and culturally Muslim and disapprove of tattoos, to put it very mildly. To them, tattoos mean that a person's skin is perpetually stained, unable to be “cleaned” by ablution and that person is thus unable to perform their five daily prayers. I don't understand instructions with little basis I can identify with. I am a very honest person, I never cheat nor steal, I don't sexually harass anyone, I accompany my grandma to the market for grocery-shopping, I care for animals and the environment, and if a god exists and that god judges me for my skin instead of the intentions within my heart, I don't think I'd want to respect such a figure, anyway, let alone pray to one. I can be good without god, and I am. I also love that this tattoo is as permanent as my body, and as temporary as my life. This life is mine, and so is this body. More words on #tattoo #ink #spine #sunflower #love #life #hamilton

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