Pop21

Reinventing my personal blog

30 Nov 2021

The Moving Calculus

Why do people move and when do they move? What drives them to do that? As an immigrant from Singapore, I am not driven by economic reasons to go elsewhere.
16 Nov 2021

The Antidote to my SADness

Between October and February every year in the northern hemisphere, my brain betrays me and makes me very SAD. Here's a log of some of the things I've tried.
10 Aug 2021

All of my wildest dreams

For most of my life, I've dreamed of a life full of weekend wilderness. Something about that just appealed to me. It's part an obsession with camping gear (all of the best innovations in fabric and materials exist here), and part a desperate aspiration for a different life where I could do things like that without sweating too much. Living in California lets me do that: without ants, cockroaches, sweat, or humidity! This past weekend, I went out with a group to Point Reyes' Wildcat campground and did a bunch of trails. The 2 nights I spent without a shower were worth it. The dehydrated backpacker food was not.
04 Jun 2021

Jharkhand Task List

Some of you may know that I have spent the last 9 years or so working to support children's education in Jharkhand, India. In better times I visit them 2-3x a year. I want to share something that stuck with me the last time I went: one of the girls we work with showed us their daily schedule.
29 May 2021

Backing up iCloud Photos in the command line

There comes a time when you might want to leave the Apple walled garden. Or you just want redundant backups. As part of your photo backup strategy, consider running a cron job to regularly backup your iCloud photos using this cli tool.
21 May 2021

Schrödinger's Lesbian

When non-heterosexual marriages are not recognized by the State, hilarity and sadness ensues.
20 May 2021

A unifying theory of Singapore food that ends in a dream

I'm in Singapore. I write about food.
19 May 2021

How I run PhotoPrism with Docker Compose and reverse proxy

How my plan to self-host a Google Photos alternative is going.
18 May 2021

21 Days of Indoor Projects

I returned to Singapore for some essential travel in the midst of a new COVID-19 surge. The hotel quarantine, initially set at 14 days, became 21 days. We were in a fancy hotel and I got a lot of time to work on side projects. From cooking to server work and learning, I am doing it all.
19 Mar 2021

Intersectional Grieving

It's a rough week. Some notes on grief.
12 Mar 2021

Travelogues, Ten Years On

Once I could, I traveled fanatically and obsessively. I traveled all the time. I never wrote about those days as much as I imagined I would, despite minor blogging celebrity status in those days. I’m not sure why. I didn’t feel ready. I didn’t feel like I knew a lot. I was 18, and I didn’t know a thing at all. Maybe I still don’t, but with the passage of time I feel better equipped to tell those stories without only the romance.
22 Nov 2020

Life in Anxious HD

My therapist says everyone is struggling with not being able to plan ahead for anything, right now. When your planning needs to involve multiple people, passports and locations, it looks a little bit like this.
07 Oct 2020

Letter to my Eighteen Year Old Self

I turn 35 tonight. When I was a younger queer kid I used to wonder, "what will life be like at 35?" Somehow, that age became the barometer for how happy I might be as a queer person in a place and time that was not friendly to any of that. So, what is it like?
09 Sep 2020

The Day the Sky Turned Orange

Woke up this morning to an orange sky. It's 2 in the afternoon, and it's still orange. Here are some photos to remember the day by.
19 Aug 2020

Memories of Home

I recently picked up my film camera again. I forgot how to rewind my film and accidentally leaked light all over the roll. I like the 'spoiled' look, however. In the roll, I have photos from Singapore and San Francisco, both of my homes.
16 Aug 2020

A World of Adventure

Last night, I started posting snippets of the things I have done, the places I have been, the places I have gone. Where they might have felt jumbled up and messy on a blog or Facebook post, the Twitter thread / tweetstorm format seemed to be a natural home for my adventures. Because that's what it felt like: a series of jumping through time and space, zooming through many different challenges, having many opportunities. Today, I am grateful for the mess that my early adulthood sometimes felt like.
07 Aug 2020

Setting up Ghost on Webfaction

If you must used shared hosting, Webfaction is still not a bad choice. Their Ghost installer helps you set up the popular publishing tool easily. Too bad their documentation is not great.
14 Jun 2020

Akhuni

A review of Axone, the first movie featuring Northeast Indians and the issues they face in mainland India. With such big shoes to fill, and so much to say, what did it end up accomplishing?
12 Jun 2020

We Got Married

In August 2018, we got married in Auckland and moved to San Francisco a few weeks after. To say that was a whirlwind might be under-stating it.
12 Jun 2020

Blogging in 2020

Just after the turn of the century, we blogged—a lot. Why did we ever stop? For one, it got harder. The tools got better, but mostly worse.