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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
I was a startup founder for several years. Most of that time was unglamorous, terrible and difficult. It was one of the hardest things I'd done. I wanted to share, at that point, what that was all about.
When I was growing up, I thought all families had the same weekend lunches as mine: a giant cauldron of yellow noodles, simmered. When my grandmother died, I thought about that simple dish often. How she conjured love out of a few basic ingredients.
Between 2012 and 2014 I spent significant amounts of time in Myanmar, which was just 'opening up' at the time. My ability to speak various Asian languages opened up an interesting world of street conversations for me, that helped me learn bits of the country I might have never known in just English.
In 2013 when I had just moved home to Singapore, the country was going through some changes, supposedly because of 'mass immigration'. I had hoped that Singaporeans would welcome all foreigners, not just the 'correct' ones. It was an exhausting time of rising xenophobia.