“I don’t feel like writing today!” I screamed into the void of my self-imposed consistency within my limited and deteriorating personal bandwidth that I have pretty much used up recklessly and without a care for my own health over the years. It is funny how I keep saying to my friends — it’s the pandemic, it’s completely OK for us to slow down, to not do anything, it’s also OK to do something you’d always wanted to do — but when it comes to my own capacity, I tend to be unkind about it. A friend joked that there are two other entities aside from our own critical selves who wouldn’t let us catch a break — bosses and capitalism. And while we snorted over our video call, with a glass of sparkling water and gummy worms for a second dinner — a combination made in heaven (or hell, it depends) I couldn’t help thinking the truth behind it all.
The email above came from the chairperson of my viva a day after I successfully defended my thesis. This year as I made a resolution to commit to journaling more so than ever (even though I have been journaling since 2009), I had also been keeping screenshots of nice things people said to me. They could be from my chats, my emails, my Twitter replies, and even verbally (if I managed to jot them down in the journal). People write — to themselves or to other people — without realising that their words have weight (writer Austin Kleon even weighed his journal before and after filling them in) and this is the kind of heaviness that I’d like to weigh myself down. Not that I do not like to take criticism — heck, I was in tech and I am in academia, being mansplained by both techbros and academiabros is almost a rite of passage for any women I have learned to selectively and critically tune out — but it’s nice to be seen sometimes.
- One of the Black Mirror episodes (again) came to life.
- Shared the article about a group of Tongan boys found shipwrecked that were supposedly to be the ‘real’ Lord of the Flies boys before, only to find it was problematic as it was written to pander to white gaze. Here’s a brilliant article that better situates on who should tell Indigenous stories, written by a real Tongan.
- Iso, covidiot, doomscrolling, corona moaner, zoombombing, etc. How coronavirus is changing our language.
- The un-heroic reality of being an ‘essential’ restaurant worker.
- “The KFC order will only make it to Gaza after crossing checkpoints supervised by Israel, the Palestinian Authority, and finally, Hamas.” The only way to order KFC in Gaza is via an ad hoc Instagram service.
- Japan’s criminal yakuza gangs find the times are tough due to the coronavirus: “being “felled by a tiny virus” would be seen as a sign of weakness in the “macho world of the yakuza”.”
- Here’s another virtual walking tour video: A stroll through the island of Manhattan as it would have appeared over 400 years ago, before the arrival of Europeans.
- “I would call my friends on other devices…”
- Reading: Rereading Angela Davis’ Freedom is A Constant Struggle.
- Listening: Randomly listening to my Spotify Time Capsule playlist, filled with 90’s pop and R&B.
- Viewing: Over the weekend, I watched Prince and the Revolution show from 1985’s Purple Rain tour. Also, an annual Zoom review with dogs.
- Food & Drink: Went out to buy groceries after over 20 days quarantined! Made so much food today for iftar — a stack of French toasts, spaghetti bolognese, some fruit salad, and I even got some good coffee!