The glorious and triumphant return of now-19 year old Blogger, the revival of a once-grand and dare I say influential webspace that produced daily content, and the crippling anxiety of a young woman who no longer has any time or motivation to write, and feels like any ability she had acquired in the past through repetition and sheer will alone is now slowly slipping out of her grasp. Brief history of the Blog and Blogger can be found here.

Here be personal journal entries, observations, slices of life, questions and conclusions, as well as exploration of social and political topics seen through the lens of a Malaysian Muslim, feminist, lesbian, Marxist, and horse enthusiast.

Friday, December 23, 2011

The Gang's All Here

Day 1

Like I said, after coming home from the whirlwind that was my Johor slash Singapore trip, I had me some spare time to shower, play with Fluffy, go on Tumblr and most important of all, pack. Pack for Raihan's. And then I went out with Maze and Helena for some coffee time. I hadn't seen Maze in a long time, just saw Helena last week, and I can't remember what we talked about but that was basically all we did: talk. At about eleven or something like that, my Dad sent me to Raihan's.

Everyone was already there and squealing over One Direction and by everyone, I meant everyone. Intan, Raihan, Afreena and, of course, Hanna are all apparently super big fans. Super big annoying fans but never mind that. And apparently Nadiah is one as well, albeit less of a conspicuous one. Nisa and I shared many a look over their extremely annoying fangirling, but never mind that as well, because I do have Things to Say on the matter, but they're kind of rude and unnecessary things that can be said just as well on my private blog or my Tumblr, both of which were created to openly criticize people in the first place anyways.

I don't know what it was about that night that I didn't like. Well, actually, I do. Hanging around Nisa and Hanna as of late has become a test of my own willingness to deal with reality. Not one or the other, but both of them at the same time. I mean, I have tons to say on the matter. Tons. But mostly, it's all to do with me, me, me and I'm done with that for now. I just need a break from them about every hour or so because everything I do just feels wrong. I can't say anything for fear of offending anyone or having people just plain old not listen to me in the first place because there are, like, five other voices fighting to be heard. I can't not say anything either for fear of people thinking I'm being up myself or, God forbid, emo. So sometimes it's tolerable, being around people, and some other times, I just know that there is no way in hell we're ever going to get back the night before UPSR results because we were different people back then, perhaps with more of a sense of wonder as to the way the world works, and less cynicism.

After baking and watching The Smurfs a quarter of the way through and exchanging ghost stories (I was only semi-present through all of these activities because I hated everything around me and everything that was going on and I had bigger fish to fry or something like that), I finally took out my earphones after watching What Happens Live or whatever that show's called with Lea and Chris and participated in life-living. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately since it required me to interact with less people), Intan, Raihan and Afreena were already asleep, leaving only Hanna, Nisa and I. We talked about kind of quasi-serious stuff given the involvement of Nisa and then as the night wore on, we started getting on Nisa's case for her inability to have heart-to-heart conversations and somehow that led to my realization that 'heart' and 'fart' were pronounced the same way but spelled differently and I shared this realization with the other two. And before we knew it, it was already 5 and Hanna started drifting off and I started counting cats.

When the azan started distantly blaring, Nisa (who hadn't fallen asleep and didn't want to fall asleep) woke everyone up with a, "Bang, bang!" and I found that utterly hilarious because it was like she was calling everyone 'abang'. So we prayed and then fell asleep. I was the only one on the footer at the foot of the bed and everyone else was on the floor. The space was cramped up so I swung my legs onto the bed. It would have been super creepy because Raihan had shared with us a ghost story from the dormitories of her boarding school, but I hadn't slept all night and it was past six and I just fell dead asleep in a matter of seconds.

Day 2

We had a few timing problems but in the end, Raihan's dad said it was okay for us to go home via LRT. So we went to Pavilion and booked a place at Red Box. Sadly, Intan and I didn't bring any form of identification (note to self: bring forms of identification in the future) so we couldn't use the student discount thing or whatever it was called. Shame, too, because the day before that, I had my passport in my bag. We had brunch (I seem to be having a lot of those lately) and then I guess we just walked around a lot.

It was still a stinging sort of annoying because everyone besides Nisa was still beside themselves with One Direction in-jokes and stuff like that. The whole day. The entire time we were there at Pavilion and when we got back to Raihan's and I bet after Nisa and Hanna and I left, they still continued talking about that. Anyways, we went to Typo and spent a long time there because Hanna wanted a pencil case and couldn't make up her mind. Saw a notebook with a typo on it: 'don't judge a book by it's cover'. Shame. And then after Nisa bought something at Coffee Bean (or... did we go to Dome? Well, my memory is failing me and this has never happened before so what a shock) and we sat around either in our own little worlds or entertaining Nisa by playing Cluedo (the card version) with her. Nisa kept winning, of course.

And then Red Box wherein everyone creamed their pants over that One Direction song I've unfortunately memorized a verse and the chorus of. You would think that going karaoke-ing would be fun, because it always seemed that way in our minds and memories or something, but the actual thing itself is pretty awkward and I always excuse myself to the toilet about three or four times. We went home after. The trip home was kind of a disaster on its own merits, because it was Raihan's first time with this particular form of public transportation. We got on the wrong train once and Raihan got a token she had no idea what to do with and we lost Intan for about a few minutes. Maybe seconds.

When we got back to Raihan's it was praying and taking pictures and looking at pictures and going on the roof. She now has a mini garden sort of thing up there and we are all officially banned from going up on the pointy part of the roof with the tiles and all of that because we have 'grown'. I don't think I grew that much, really, but the roof did let out an almighty creak when I climbed about two feet up. So we took pictures about one eighth of the way up the roof and also near the mini garden. After that, my Dad picked up Hanna, Nisa and I. We went to my house to grab my clothes and then Nisa's to grab hers before my Dad deposited us at Hanna's.

It started out okay, the sleepover. We talked and I think that was basically it before Nisa called Domino's and we talked some more while waiting for the pizza to arrive. Hanna's entire family was out and they came back about sometime after the pizza (bringing a container of takeout pizza for Hanna). And then it started to get really cold for some reason so Nisa wrapped herself up in her measly pink and purple blanket and some pillows because the blanket wasn't enough. I stole Hanna's duvet. Hanna complained that she was kind of hot and we stared at her while she wrapped herself up in a pretty thin orange quilt. Hanna got the projector on but we didn't use it until way later. Basically we just watched Hanna go on Tumblr and Reblog stuff while I asked good questions like "What would you change about your celebrity crush?" and "If you had to propose to your guy, how would you do it?" I think somewhere along the way, we actually had a heart-to-heart. I think that was during pizza. Hanna was opening up and then I couldn't help but crack a smile because I was thinking about how we're finally having one of these and then Nisa looked at me and was like, "Don't say it!" but I said it anyways: "We're having a heart to heart!"

During that question and answer thing that I later on brought up, I asked them whether would they pretend to be someone they weren't just to impress their celebrity crushes and they would only reveal the truth after marriage. Everyone passed the test by saying no, although I just thought that for me, it was a redundant question because then I'd have to pretend to be a guy, and Nisa was like, something about how when I finally told Chris, I could laugh and say, "Haha, you did the right thing!" ...And if that didn't make sense then I apologize but I really don't care right now.

I looked through movies and said we should watch Cloverfield. Hanna vetoed no on that one because she had just recently watched it. I encouraged Nisa to watch The OC so we loaded up the Megavideo page and then when it had fully loaded, Nisa went on Omegle and somehow that fucked up the browser's Flash and we were unable to play the Megavideo video. The previously already fully loaded video. So after a lot of ho-humming as to what to do (because we were seriously out of ideas for what to do and nobody wanted to address the elephant in the room - results the following day), we decided to watch How to Train Your Dragon, which I had recently watched on television but I wasn't about to say no to one of the cutest movies in existence.

I can't believe I fell asleep halfway (well, less than halfway) through it but I did. I guess it wouldn't have happened had I not had a mere three hours sleep the morning before, thanks to Nisa. I woke up sporadically and one of those times, Nisa was telling Hanna that I was asleep and I shocked her by saying, "No, I'm not." Apparently Nisa cried at the end of the movie because it reminded her of her cats. Can't blame her, I cried once or twice after watching it as well.

Day 3

Hanna and I set our alarms to eight but we all woke up at around a few minutes to nine. It was a weird morning because we weren't in the mood to talk about it but yet we couldn't really figure out what else to talk about. We stopped by 7Eleven before heading to school to purchase a box of tissues and we bumped into Raihan's maid. It turned out that Raihan had just left (and keep in mind this was around ten o'clock, the time which the newspaper said we were supposed to receive our results, and Raihan's school was about an hour's drive).

I brought my Pillopet along with me for the sleepover at Hanna's and I was feeling pretty mortified that I had to bring that as well as a couple of clothes hangers inside the school compound but fears were unrealized because my mother was parked right up ahead when we reached school! Surprised, of course, because she arrived before we did. Entering the school was weird because apparently everyone was undecided about what to wear, uniform or not, and I was halfway between with a white cardigan underneath my blazer. But it was definitely nice seeing everyone again. I wasn't scared. I couldn't exactly afford to be scared. As a matter of fact, I was pretty fucking zen.

We waited outside for Nisa's mother. My mother and Hanna's parents were somewhere inside the school. Intan came in a baju kurung and then Afreena came and waited around for people to rush towards her for an embrace. She later on got that five minutes of popularity when we entered the school, Nisa with her mother and her mother with Nisa's breakfast.

It was a long wait and I was astounded at how happy I was to see everyone. The whole 'why me worry' thing was also borderline surprising but not really because when everyone tells you that you're not (never, ever, no way in hell) going to fail straight A's, then I guess it just gets stuck or maybe lodged up in there somewhere. Probably blocking my anxiety button. Saw the crowd of prefects in maroon and hugged them all first. Cassandra looked so cute with her hair tied up. And then I walked up to Zaza and she was biting her nails and Iylia was next to her and aw, hugs. And saw Thivyaa across the way and we waved at each other.

Entering the hall later on was hectic and kind of cruel to all of us because we had waited a long time and now we had to wait some more. Hanna told us her dad told her that the headmistress was on her way and that was why we couldn't have our results yet. Saw tons of other people: Sabrina, bunch of other prefects, Nazureen, Gloria. I asked Gloria what she had been up to over the holidays and she said she had just came back from Singapore. I was already jumping on the balls of my feet when I proceeded to ask her whether she had gone to Marina Bay and whether she had seen Wicked and she said yes to all of the above and so it was her whom I had glimpsed at the waiting area the other day. Man, I felt like such a tool. Saw Thivyaa and hugged. Hugged Nadhrah. I think Xueh Wei came and I hugged her. Found Pri, hugged her. She said that the Transformers ride at Singapore's Universal wasn't even there yet.

And then my English teacher, Pn G, dragged me over to Datin Mary and apparently, they've got Violet, Divya and I all lined up for an interview with the press and I was already shaking and this wasn't exactly fair. Anyways, they dropped Divya for that session and Violet and I hung around awkwardly, trying to figure out how to phrase things in Malay while the RTM crew people fixed their cameras and lighting stuff and when that reporter guy started asking questions, I just blurted out the first things that came to mind and let me tell you, not pretty. There was Divyia and Xueh Wei and Jing Kai and a few others at the sidelines, staring and laughing and there was also this dude, someone's brother, who kept smiling at me whenever I looked his way and that was freaky. So when all was done on my part and he started asking Violet the same questions, I ran far, far away.

Getting the results wasn't much of a story, so who cares. Lines were formed and it took forever to find my class. And then Nina started crying so I side-hugged her. Nisa was like, "Get the tissues!" but they were with Nadiah and we had no idea where she was. And then Nisa started crying big time, and I think Hanna got watery. I didn't feel anything, or at least, I felt a tiny bit nervous, but I guess all that confidence people had in me was really worth something because I didn't give a fuck when I got my results and it turned out to be perfect. So whatever. We took pictures and that was that.

I don't know what to say anymore on the matter, I mean, I knew what I was going to get. I knew there was no chance in hell I would disappoint myself this way. I knew that I deserve it. And grateful to God and the powers that be that I didn't screw this whole thing up completely. I mean, there were moments when I believed the worst would happen, but those passed by almost as quickly as they had came. Mostly, I'm just happy and extremely, super duper proud of Nisa and Hanna (less proud, just more happy for Nadiah because I knew she could do it. She got third or fourth or something in class last year.)

My mother insisted that we take the hundred dollars the school gave away to its students so I had to wait a long time in front of the office for that. My phone was out of battery so I took hers to call up Maze. And then we headed to some hotel my Dad was holding interviews at. I don't know why they didn't just do whatever interview it was at the place where he works, but whatever. So we had lunch. I called my sister and the conversation was literally, "So what did you get?" "8A's." "Okay." and then I told her about Gloria. I still think that's hilarious, though. The chances of seeing someone when you go out here in PJ is sure fire. There is no going out anywhere without seeing someone you recognize. But in Singapore?

The waitress at the hotel restaurant asked me about my results, as I was wearing my uniform and having super posh lunch with my parents and all. When I told her, she said, "Serious?" Oh, whatever. She was nice, though. Before we left, she offered another congratulations. Got home to the ball of (shedding) fur that was my Fluffy and hugged him for a good five minutes before chucking him in my mother's room and told my mother to give him a bath because he reeked. Then I went upstairs and got on Tumblr and just basked in happiness for a while before having a lengthy conversation with Helena and later on Maze via house phone while my cellphone charged. I wanted to call up other people and ask about their results but I decided to just let them come to me.

Also proud of Raihan, of course, and Lynn, Nicolette, Syaz. I fell asleep after catching up with my millions of texts (most of them informing me of the missed calls I had). I woke up at around 6 and that night, I got off from reading the Qur'an with my Dad, pleading laziness and tiredness. After more finding people to talk to and talking to them, I watched It's A Wonderful Life again for the second time in a week at around eleven that night and at the end, I realized that tears were literally pouring down my face. I haven't had tears pour before, not like sheets upon sheets of it, not like rain. I guess it was because of the movie, but also maybe it's just the stress relief that was the entire day. So proud of everything, I feel like adopting kids or baby kittens.

Day 4

Woke up to texts from people whose numbers I don't have saved in phone and Kai. And these pictures. Also super duper proud of Kai. But being proud and morning texts pale in divine comparison to those pictures. It was like, this is my present from the cosmos. I've gotten a present from my sister (the Wicked trip), I'm getting stuff from my parents, and the universe? The universe is giving me pictures of the super hot Chris Colfer in glasses. Well, maybe not the universe. Maybe just Japan. Thanks, Japan! You're welcome for the prayers I sent you earlier on in the year, by the way!

We (and by we, I meant everyone who's anyone) planned a whole-day trip to Sunway Lagoon for Maze's birthday celebrations but a lot of people begged off the activity for lack of money. Heck, I didn't have any money, Helena promised to lend me fifty bucks. Nat picked me up before lunch and it was only then that Maze called to tell us of the cancelled plan. There was something else in its place, though: an all day movie marathon at Leen's house, because her parents were away leaving her older sister and a maid. And she has a huge house. And a projector. And a kick-ass swimming pool. It was supposed to be a potluck movie party sort of thing, where everyone brought a movie each, but of course Nat and I, oblivious of the plan, didn't bring anything. Also on the way, I heard Deck the Halls on the radio and I told Nat about a Christian friend of mine's bastardization of its lyrics and we had a right laugh because even we know the lyrics to that song.

When we got there, tons of people were already gathered, including Sara (whose name I have once again forgotten how to spell - with or without an 'h'?); you might remember her as being the top dog for last year's Drama. She now has kick-ass highlights, and if I could stop saying kick-ass now, that would be fantastic. Also, everyone had already started on a gigantic three-tiered chocolate cake which turned out lopsided and kind of burnt on the bottom, but that was only because the timer was faulty. They did a good job on the cake and I contributed somewhat with decorations by mixing in colors for the icing.

Maze arrived with Elo, Helena and (huge surprise - I screamed) Julie and Leela at about two, after we had stripped the cupboards and fridge of most of the edible foods. Hafriz couldn't make it back for even one week, apparently, but he's got the weekend off whatever side job he's working now (I don't actually hate him anymore, I just don't really think he's the most upstanding citizen and it's all right, Maze feels the same way, I swear.) It was cake and pictures (next to none of them with me in it because I was in the crowd of people taking pictures) (I don't really like chocolate cake) and it's from these pictures that I've managed to compile a list of everyone who was there, and I'm only making this list for memory's sake because even if I have the pictures saved in my computer, I'd like to read about it occasionally: me, Nat, Maze, Elo, Hel, Julie, Leela, Leen, Sara, Dan, Xin Ni, Nazli, Syaz, Kiran, Kaye, Shu Wen, Vin, Farid, Sufyan, Isa, Elizah, (it's so good to see her again after four months!), Eunice, Nicolette, and Derek and don't mind me if I missed anyone because that is a hell of a lot.

We didn't actually get around to watching a lot of movies. There was many a debate as to which movie to watch, as well as a mad scramble for people to copy movies to their pen drives or hard drives. In the end we watched about four, four and a half, which were The Princess Bride, Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang, Almost Famous, The Muppet Christmas Carol, and about a quarter of Friday Night Lights. Everyone got hungry after that and if you can believe it, there was still more cake. It was getting really dark when Nicolette took out a bunch of lanterns that she had brought and we lit them near the swimming pool and everyone went in fully dressed, even though most of us didn't bring a change of clothes.

The night ended with present giving (but not opening) and Leen, hostess extraordinaire, had to help Maze and Elo pile up all the presents into Sara's car. Went home with Sara, with Maze and Elo and Julie. We played Twenty Questions in the car and listened our way through about three mix CDs of Sara's that she had made.

I watched some more movies when I got back home. I was still in that mood. Got my way through Music and Lyrics (Matthew Morrison was in it as that pop star Cora's manager! Oh, my GOD!) and I've just finished watching Disney's A Christmas Carol on TV. Maybe I'll watch The Wizard of Oz again later because I'm still in a Wicked mood (in case you couldn't already tell - I mean, the past two posts had Wicked-related titles). There's tons of pictures of the past few days, sure, but I just don't really feel like posting them? I used to be okay with posting pictures (back when I was both uglier and yet had no crippling anxiety about seeing my face in other people's cameras), but I guess that was also back when I was comfortable using my own camera. Whatever. Times have changed and sooner or later, this is going to turn into a strictly text-only blog.

That would be immensely boring, though.

I don't know. I've been having, in a weird topsy-turvy way, the best few days of my life. I had a rough start with seeing Helena and Maze, because the combination of Helena's wavering worry and Maze's doubtless confidence was kind of throwing me off my game and making me second guess everything, and coming to Raihan's house was definitely a weird experience. I've never walked through her doors in such a beaten-up, slumped down mood before. It's all different now. It's all changed.

And yet there's still Thursday, when I was able to talk to people I have had myriad differences with in the past, like, everything's not suddenly and magically better, or back to the way they were, but just for that moment, just that once, people were happy because they got what they wanted. And that's when they were all soft and pliant and willing to forgive you for whatever things you've wronged them. And with Nisa, whom I was having serious doubts about because I know what kind of person I may seem to her, but she still manages to make me feel like crap whenever she opens her mouth. And Afreena was there and Intan, and I don't even know how she's doing and I'm in not much of a position to offer her any sort of comfort because we've grown that far apart, but I admired her so much yesterday, when she stood with us and took pictures and it's not sympathy, never, because I don't have any of that, it's just being proud of her, but for a different reason.

And today, being happy out of my wits to see Elizah of all people and it really felt like I had finally let that go, like the wound has finally scabbed and hopefully I'll never hear of it again. Seeing Julz and Leela was another amazing thing that happened to me these past couple of days on a very long string of amazing things, and getting to celebrate Maze's birthday with a lot of people who are happy and carefree enough (at whatever costs) to call me friend, and just, the whole thing.

And just, the whole week.

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