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 6, 2013

Sitting Pretty On the Throne

Well, hey. I'm here. For the second day in a row. And it really doesn't feel like I'm forcing myself to do something that I don't want to do, which is good, because if that were the case, I'd be saying goodbye to this blog for another protracted hiatus. But, you know, wouldn't want to jinx things, so let's just see what there is to talk about.

I woke up yesterday, I think, to an iMessage from Ellie that read hey Effie, thanks for existing. Which was. Unexpected. It's not like Ellie and I don't do this often - send incredibly sappy (and might I add incriminating) messages to each other randomly - but I'll admit that I have been so busy lately that I haven't thought about her much? Which is really bad, in the sense that I'm neglecting a long distance friendship and I should really do something about it like, say, reply to her message (which I have yet to do). But it's also kind of good for me to not be obsessing about her too much, in the sense that my instinctual reflex to send Ellie an e-mail every time a tragedy befalls me is probably a sign of codependency and I'm also certain it comes off as needy and annoying (although I doubt Ellie's thoughts would ever precipitate to come to this conclusion). But I should. Reply to her, I mean. I do this thing a lot, where I just don't feel like replying to her messages because they sort of suck out some kind of emotion from me so I just choose to ignore them and pretend like no communication was supposed to pass between the two of us. Bad habit, and the fact that she rarely replies to my e-mails punctually or without prompting is payback fair and square. I'm going to reply after writing this post, though, and I'm just going to tell her the battery of my iPod died for weeks and I only found time to charge it today.

Last Thursday, I went out with Elia, Sya and Roo. I guess I do want to talk about this because no matter what I feel now or what happens in the future, stuff like this is always worth recording for posterity. And what I feel now is... well, I had a good time. We watched Catching Fire. As usual, I got my mom to drop me off earlier than everyone else who were carpooling to the mall. I don't know what I did in the interim... Oh, I bought a pinafore dress at Cotton On, the exact one Sya wore for the day, but hers was maroon and the one I bought, black. After scurrying around like a madwoman trying to find H&M, I got a call from Sya that they had arrived.

It was the first time I met Roo. Roo is a complicated subject for me on account of a) the fact that she once propositioned me for sex and I turned her down by lying - I said that I had to think about it but I was probably going to say no on account of not being quite ready yet, but really, I am just not attracted to her - and this makes every single innuendo she jokingly throws my way slightly more uncomfortable (so, I was in part right, I am probably not quite ready yet if this bothers me so much) because all I want to say to her when she inserts flirtatious sexual advances mid-conversation is, um, stop it. Also, b) I don't really understand what she's saying. I know it's rude to tell someone with an accent that you can't understand them, but I have not been around a lot of thick British-like accents (she's from New Zealand, but whatever, I can't even figure out the way from my house to the nearest grocer's, you really would not expect me to know the difference between accents) apart from people on TV, and it's hard to not blurt out stuff like "Can you speak properly?" when her accent is, I'm sure, perfectly acceptable and normal in New Zealand. Also, she's awkward.

It might be because I'm awkward, or at the very least, I exude an 'I don't like you' aura to people who are meeting me for the first time. That's like a defense mechanism. I have no clue what to talk to people I'm not familiar with about so I just stay shut and either have staring competitions with them, or avoid their eyes entirely. You can see why people would be confused as to what sort of signal I'm giving out. I'm not giving out any signals. I'm just trying to simultaneously not say anything stupid and think of things to say that aren't stupid. Most people find me intimidating because of this. No. I really just do not know what to say, so people who ease the conversation (people like Mei, for instance) are very helpful and I generally get along well with them.

So that's Roo. I was mostly talking to Elia, because Elia has been a friend of mine for 4 years and what's more, she's a school friend, who still calls me Hafizah, and even though we get on famously online, I've built my friendship with her on a very solid and face-to-face foundation. So we don't lapse into awkward silence. Plus I don't really think she ever shuts up or gets upset when she's not supposed to. Elia wouldn't sit next to me in the cinema, though, because I hate Gale so much. She wouldn't sit next to Sya either, so that made me feel better. I ended up sitting next to a stranger, with Sya on my right, Roo on her right and Elia at the end of the row. I was sharing popcorn with Sya and the ads playing before the movie took forever. We were practically done with our medium sized popcorn by the time the movie started.

Naturally, I had Coke. I periodically took sips of it, after which I intended to put my cup back in the cup-holder, but somehow estimated the distance wrongly and ended up dropping my large sized Coke on the floor. And I'm pretty sure a sizeable amount got on the stranger sitting next to me, but he or she had a bag as a buffer, which fortunately took most of the spilled liquid. I didn't care much for that, it wasn't like I spilled my drink on their pants or bare legs or whatever, but I did care about the wasted money that was my large cup of Coke. I had to take small sips out of Sya's Coke, but I couldn't exactly have too much, because it was her drink, even though I paid for it. Elia said that my spilling my drink was retribution for being so mean to her about Gale. But it wasn't my fault Liam Hemsworth is ugly and Suzanne Collins probably took like 3 minutes tops to develop his character. When I went out with Marissa and Sya the previous week to watch Catching Fire for the first time, I leaned over to Sya at the start of the movie and asked her, "Do you like Gale?" Sya shook her head and said, "No," and I replied with, "He's so ugly, right?" And any reminder of this conversation will send Sya and I cackling, as well as any mention of the medallion scene. And let me tell you.

Like it wasn't bad enough the person sitting on my left had to have Coke spilled over them and their bag, I was also laughing for 70% of the movie. I know people find this annoying. I know people find it especially annoying when the movie is dealing with a serious subject matter and laughter is unarguably a disrespectful reaction to what's going on onscreen. I acknowledge this. I also would like to just bring up the fact that I was watching it the first time through actual tears in my eyes, especially during the scene when that guy in District 11 got shot for whistling and holding up his three fingers in the air. But once you've got the case of the giggles, there's no stopping it. And having the person sitting next to you (Sya) completely fail at curtailing her giggles didn't help to mitigate mine. When Gale's face appeared in the very first scene, Sya and I were off like a rocket.

During the scene when Finnick was writhing around in that pond trying to soothe his poisoned skin, Sya and I completely lost it (not that we had a grasp of even a sliver of 'it' before) and I choked on my Coke. Well, her Coke. So I had to go to the bathroom to drink water from the tap because the cloying sweet taste of soda at the back of my throat was really hard to swallow around. I thought I would look totally  unkempt from all the walking and laughing and crying, but hell, my outfit and makeup were still on point as ever (only a tiny bit of mascara from the corner of my eye was smudged due to tears of laughter). When I got back, there was definitely less laughing (also I exited the cinema during the medallion scene because I didn't really want to find out what would happen to me or my mascara or the bag belonging to the stranger next to me were I to sit and suffer through that. And my mom was calling me, so I had to answer the call outside). Somewhere along the way, Elia had taken to throwing popcorn at Sya and I every time we laughed. That was very childish of her.

Roo said she wanted to shop till she dropped, but we didn't actually get around to that. A lot of the shops at OU got a makeover, I haven't been there in so long. I guess we walked around and went into shops, and we had a really late lunch at the food court. I wanted to buy Hanna flowers because she was all upset and moody since her boyfriend broke up with her on the last day of her SPM. I was going to sleep over at her house that night and, well, she's always talking about how much she wants people to give her flowers. I am, of course, useless at talking to the flower shop lady so Elia helped me out tons in that department. I wanted to write a really poignant post about this on my WordPress blog, but it's tiring to write and pretend like you have emotions. The poignant thing was that when I was left alone with Roo to go into a music shop and buy guitar equipment for her (the only time I was left alone with Roo, and it was awkward, so we're definitely not sleeping together), we stood around waiting for someone to come assist us for ages. And we didn't talk because of the whole awkward thing. There were maybe three or four people in there, standing around not doing much, and we couldn't tell which of them were employees. Roo seemed content to just, like, stand and wait, but after a while I got impatient and just blurted out that we needed some assistance and whether any of the guys standing around doing nothing worked there. Only one of them did, as it turned out. But yeah.

Not really moving, I guess. But it was pretty nice for me when I realized that I am not entirely useless, and that friends are often around to fill in your shortcomings with their strengths, like how Elia helped me pick out flowers for Hanna (without her, I would have undoubtedly floundered and bought like Christmas themed wrapping paper and ribbon to wrap the flowers up in) and how I helped Roo out by abruptly, awkwardly, and fumblingly inquiring whether any of the three people standing around doing nothing in a music shop actually worked there. I sure hope I regain my ability to write callous nonchalance but with small hints of sentimentality slipped in there, because right now it just sounds like I'm trying to wrap up an after-school special..

That night, I went to Hanna's. I don't think my mom even knew about this because the next morning, she asked our maid whether I was still asleep. Anyways, I got her the flowers and all. She was very noticeably touched and I told her Elia told me that if she put Paracetamol in the water, the flowers will last more than a couple of days. So we did that (it did not take. Hanna said the flowers are already showing signs of wilting). Of course she had a lot of feelings to share about her recent breakup and I'm very thankful to be privy to her thoughts and emotions. God knows I'm unable to actually form my own, much less voice them out. So I know how important it is to listen to her and add in the right sounds of sympathy and understanding. But I really, really do not give advice. I just clam up and freeze when she leaves huge pauses, as if expecting me to say something to comfort her. I felt like shit during those long pauses. Like, I still do, because it's been going on for weeks now and she can be very consoling if she needs to be (for me and for her other friends) and I am just useless in this area. But I got her the flowers, so I hope she understands that I, the person who suggested we all watched Glee Live in honor of Cory's passing and was the only one who didn't end up sobbing, am not very good at connecting with others, emotionally. Physically is fine. Big showy overtures like flowers is also fine.

It was really funny, though, when we started talking about how we both just came back from going out with our friends, and how we both had just watched Catching Fire... and when Hanna told me she, too, had been at OU, I could only stare at her with my jaw dropped open in disbelief. Only, she was at TGV and walked around the Old Wing a bit, I guess. But she could have bumped into me at literally any time. And it could have been while I was carrying around an armful of flowers.

Hanna came around to my house this week, to do her hair. That made me sound like I was a salon, or at least the go-to person for hair dyeing. Nothing could be farther from the truth. I've never laid hands on other peoples' hair other than that time my cousin asked me to straighten hers and since she hasn't asked me to do anything like that since, I can only assume my first hair styling experience hadn't been a positive one. But I did her hair anyways, with the too big plastic gloves on and the haphazard sectioning off of her hair because for someone who doesn't look like she has thick hair, Hanna sure has lots of it. This was Tuesday. I caught a cold from my Dad on Monday and for a while I thought I should probably just cancel on Hanna and rain check our Frozen date, but being sick's not so bad when you've got company. It keeps the death wishy feelings at bay, at least. I already talked about the extent of my horrible one week illness in the last post (well, I touched on it - suffice to say, it was a bad week and there were a lot of tissues, medicine and looped-out, spacey ramblings involved), so I'm not going to expound on them here. I did sneeze in Hanna's hair a lot but I don't think that affected the hair dye in any way.

Hanna said that her hair looks very red now. I disagree completely but I'm not going to ruin her fun because when I first started coloring my hair, I thought the slight tint I got under fluorescent light was wild as well. But looking back, my hair looked virgin black. The only time you could notice the coloring was when I went out in bright sunlight or when camera flashes captured my hair like in my driver's license photo (I look like I have achieved some type of ombre coloring in it). After the hair dyeing, we watched half of The Princess Diaries before Hanna dozed off and I dug out my old Princess Diaries collection at the back of my bookshelf. And I've been rereading that ever since. The first three books came in a volume, and that book's just really let itself go over the years. It's yellowed and dogeared and torn, and when I started reading it again, the front cover fell off. 

Would you look at the time? It's 2.30 am and I still haven't gotten to today yet. It's Saturday tomorrow and I've got nothing planned except for having an ustaz over at night for a... I guess a family therapy session, would be the best thing to call it. And my stomach is doing that thing where it wants food in the middle of the night, a grim reminder that I should have been asleep hours ago. I'll make a second post when I am well rested and well fed in the morning (or afternoon, more likely).

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