• This Is What We Have To Lose

    An alpine lake in the Sierras near with mountains in the background.

    Yesterday felt defeating with the damning report that our climate has indeed moved unfortunately forward into severity and decline. It’s too late for some aspects but not too late to avoid some of the worst aspects.

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  • Four Years Gone

    My father passed away four years ago, on June 18. It was the day that Father's Day fell on that year. My father-in-law, Jen's dad, passed away 11 years ago on June 20th, on that respective year. It's a strange cosmic sign but not uncommon for our relationship where many signs and seeming coincidences are too numerous to be pure chance.

    What follows is a recounting of my father's passing, and the day of his funeral. I published shortly after it happened, fresh in my mind, elsewhere on the internet, and realized this should live here, on my own website. It's an intimate look at a Muslim funeral in Malaysia, and while I'd been to a few during my teenage years in Kuala Lumpur, this was a first, and even for my immediate family, it was an eye-opening and revelatory experience.

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  • Now Reopen for Business

    California re-opened on Tuesday and literally overnight, it feels like everything changed. And it has. The streets are busy again, clear voices can be heard all over, and people are emerging from their cocoons at their pace.

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  • A Second Shot

    It sunk in. Both the needle and the fact that life had indeed changed. I turned to my left and looked at her. She, the same Black woman who had administered the first, and this time I tucked her name away into my memory, having forgotten it in the excitement and overwhelming feeling of gratitude I had then. The same smile. The same calming, warm personality.

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  • Re-entry

    This past Friday on April 16th, I awoke early and decided to go wait in line for my first vaccine shot at SF Gen (as it’s locally known — you may know it better as Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital). I became eligible when San Francisco opened up vaccines to those 16 and older on April 13th, two days ahead of California’s date of April 15th. Happy Tax Vax Day!

    In the days before I had tried to find an appointment through the MyTurn website. As with all technology-based reservation systems, trying to get a vaccine in a region like the Bay Area and San Francisco, in particular, was going to be hard.

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  • Forty Three

    Two weeks ago, on Sunday, March 28th 2021, I turned 43. My second pandemic birthday, I turned 42 shortly after San Francisco went into lockdown. It feels like a lifetime has passed between now and then, and with a sense of deja vu, like it was yesterday. Except that I wasn't at home, and I was on the road.

    Eureka Valley Sand Dunes at dusk

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  • On Racism

    On May 31, 2020, I wrote these words (on Instagram) days after George Floyd was killed:

    I am a brown person. I am an immigrant. I am Southeast Asian. I am Malaysian. And I am an American.

    I’m a third culture kid. I came to the States at 19, alone. I’ve lived here for 22+ years, and at 42 years old, it’s been the longest place I have ever lived.

    In that time, I have had my share of racism. In 2010, a year after we moved to SF, I was walking through the Stockton tunnel towards Chinatown to meet my wife. As I walked through, a young white man, with a shaved head, pointed a finger gun at me while passing me by, touched the tip to my chest, and smiled.

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  • Hi, this is a personal site (again)

    First, this is a redesign, and also a new blog. I’ve been writing on and off on the web since 1998, and those early years only live on as database archives, not easily parsed by tables and database schemas. I could run an SQL query someday, but I doubt there’s much of consequence aside from the journaling of a person in their early 20s.

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