Eli(sha)

Thoughts, and then some.

When I was younger, I found an old book that used to belong to my grandmother – a hardbound, one-inch, burgundy-colored book with yellowing pages. It was filled to the brim with her handwriting, detailing how to cook one dish after the other, newspaper clippings of recipes, and little scribbles of flowers in every one or two pages. I wasn't too interested in what it really contained, but I was absolutely fascinated by the idea of having a notebook to keep all of your worldly knowledge in.

Fast forward to high school, I stuck with the same creative writing class all four years. Our teachers changed year after year, but there was one who started her class by asking us to bring in an empty notebook at our next meeting. Without thinking about it too much, I brought in one of my extra wire-bound ones and called it a day. It turned out that it was supposed to act as our “ugly notebook” for the rest of the year – a sort of commonplace book and diary rolled into one, where I would write anything and everything in it. Very apt, since the notebook I had wasn't pretty, to begin with.

At first, it was hard to get started – I would constantly forget my notebook at home. I used to have a diary, as did any other 5th grader, but it was years since I had written down one coherent thought. Stories (fanfiction) seemed to take on a different route and poured easily out of my head, but inner thoughts? There were days where there was nothing to write, no new knowledge or interesting thing to put in it. Sometimes I felt that it was useless to have it even. But as the months went by, with a bit of practice, I found myself reaching for it more and more. I realized that it's absolutely not true that there's nothing “new” to write – what it really is is a matter of constantly censoring myself, again and again, refusing to acknowledge that my thoughts existed or thinking that they were “dumb” and unworthy to be written down.

I now realize that my teenage years were absolutely riddled with insecurity and self-doubt. Before anyone put me down, I had already crossed that line mentally, thinking that I wasn't good enough. I wish my younger self, the one who's hopes and dreams were only starting to find a voice on the pages of an ugly notebook, felt more confident, more empowered.

The year ended and my teacher left, but the ugly notebook remained.

17/100


I'm currently doing a challenge called “100 Days to Offload” – you can join in the fun too by visiting https://100daystooffload.com

If you'd like, drop me a message here – I would be absolutely thrilled to hear from you!

#100DaysToOffload #Journal

The weekend is finally, FINALLY, upon us and I've retired the work laptop to its rightful weekend throne. These past few days have been immensely stressful and I'm looking forward to scratching off a few personal to-do's I've had stashed away, and resting. It was so busy, I skipped a day of Animal Crossing, so now my nook terminal check-in miles have gone back down to 50 – it's a petty issue, but it really made me sad since I've had that streak going since I started playing over a month ago.

With regards to today's post, yes, I am on Mastodon! For a few days now, I've been playing with the idea of making an account (prompting me to write about it), and after a few days of thinking I thought I'd just go for it – there was no use in internally debating about this for so long. I intend to start baby-step small, so if any of you are interested to see random ugly-delicious food photos on your timeline, I'm @elisha@kith.kitchen.

I actually don't know what to expect from it! It might not be apparent with the way I write, but it takes time for me to feel comfortable in any setting. Maybe I'm just really self-conscious and shy? Heck, I've replied to messages stiffly, and, really, I apologize for being awkward.

Other things —

  • If this week has taught me anything, it's that USB's are still pretty useful in this time and age. I have an 8GB in my pencil case that I have not touched for a year, but since I started doing the video project for work, I've used it countless times to shuttle files to and from three different laptops. Lesson learned, do not take the little, old stuff for granted. And also, keep old tech – they come in handy.

  • I was inspired by someone on the 100 days feed to buy a Go set and it's finally arrived! I totally forgot who it was that first posted about it here (I'm sorry! Please let me know who you are!), but thank you for the idea. I will give this one a Go (punny haha) since my partner has currently beat me at every chess game we've played – maybe this time I can win.

Long weekend, so I'll be able to write something more substantial! But for now, some much-needed rest.

16/100


I'm currently doing a challenge called “100 Days to Offload” – you can join in the fun too by visiting https://100daystooffload.com

If you'd like, drop me a message here – I would be absolutely thrilled to hear from you!

#100DaysToOffload #Journal #PrattlePost

I've been totally overwhelmed and frustrated with work this past couple of days for a project that my team unanimously signed me up to do, and so I've been spending most of my time internally screaming at Adobe Premiere Pro on my laptop. Before this, I've never really touched the software itself but I have a Thursday (tomorrow) morning draft deadline to meet and my inexperienced self is still crawling.

So before I disappear into oblivion and emerge from this, scarred but triumphant on Friday afternoon, I thought I'd write to let some steam off and to enforce the habit of writing. After all, I committed to this as well! Just a few random thoughts and updates on my end -

  • Yet again, I have failed my self-imposed low-buy rule by buying a few things that weren't even on my wishlist. This month's 'damage' was a bunch of loose-leaf tea samples and a bundle box from a no-plastic packaging beauty brand. Of course, I'll probably excitedly talk about them when they all arrive, but I still have some deep regrets. Online shopping is a monster.

    • On that note, I feel absolutely sad that YTers have to apologize if they deviate a tiny bit – like Christina of styleapotheca in her latest video. I follow her for low-buy advice, but unlike little me who can just laugh off buying loose-leaf tea and can try again next month, she's probably got immense pressure breathing down her back every time she even thinks of buying anything. Glad that she's gotten it out of her chest tho and moving forward to better, personal content!
  • Day 6 of consistently taking vitamins and supplements, which I've never done before. I'm scared that taking five all at the same time will be bad for my kidneys, but I'm thinking of hanging on for a little while longer to see some effects. And then maybe go see my PCP after this pandemic is over to talk about it.

This blog has now gone pro! My mind has been racing about all the pictures I can now upload on S.a and here, but for starters, please have this feeling-artsy breakfast picture I took last year during my trip in La Union, Philippines:

Catch you all again on Friday!

15/100

PS: Thank you for all those who sent me a message (or mention) in response to the previous post! I really do appreciate it :)


I'm currently doing a challenge called “100 Days to Offload” – you can join in the fun too by visiting https://100daystooffload.com

If you'd like, drop me a message here – I would be absolutely thrilled to hear from you!

#100DaysToOffload #Journal #PrattlePost

As of today, it has been around more than a year since I swore off all social media, except the bird app (which I made a new account with last July). I'm saying this because, for the past few days, my mind has been dangerously walking the thin line between whether or not I should be making a few new ones, even including the ones that the fediverse has to offer.

But let's backtrack – why in the world did I end up quitting in the first place? I would be lying if I had any philosophical answer to this, so in all honesty, I'm just going to say it: heartbreak. The initial impetus to my whole self-ban was heartbreak, which I'm not too embarrassed to say because it did me a whole world of good in the end. My longest relationship ended not just because of circumstances, but also because we had so many immature, petty fights about being “online” on Facebook Messenger but not being able to reply to me in a timely manner to be pacified quickly enough. The same thing happened in the next rebound relationship I had, but this time it was on Instagram. Believe me, I've learned my lesson and I'm now more calm about it, but there was always this line I would cross and then I'd snap.

After more than a year in therapy, I haven't figured out a lot, but there was one common thing between the two circumstances – it was that green, “online” dot and read status on messages that got the best of me. In my immature mind, I probably thought that if they were online, I could monopolize their time. Being left on read equated to being ignored. During the break-up and recovery period, I had no other choice but to delete my whole account to feel better and at peace.

For the first few weeks of deleting those apps, it was agony. Anyone who has gone through a social media detox will tell you that the withdrawal symptoms can be real – your hand will automatically shoot up to your phone to find an app that isn't there, or you'll fidget and look at your screen, again and again, expecting a notification that will never arrive. You'll find ways to justify trying to get back, but your friends will tell you to stay put.

It was during those weeks that I realized that even if I wasn't active in the social media sphere, things will most probably go on. Besides the friends I told this predicament about, no one reached out to ask where I was, or how I was doing (miserable). When I eventually logged in again, my notifications were mostly things that I had presumably “missed” (which in fact, I couldn't care for at all). The truth came out – if you cared too much about your image, social media became a numbers game. The 500+ people you call “friends” were only present when you posted a random, positive milestone. I hated how relatives who I hardly talked to during reunions would comment on our family photos. I was able to identify the feelings of rage and jealousy within me. Insane, I thought, and it really was. In the years that I had built up my social media account, I had painted an image of me that, after my detox, I could not relate to any longer. Who was that? That was definitely not me.

So I purged them.

I made a new FB account, added my closest friends and my immediate family members, and promptly deactivated it while just keeping the messaging aspect of it, just to stay in touch. I saved all my IG pictures before permanently removing myself off the platform. My Twitter account met the same fate, and it took a lot of months before I was ready to make a new one and start from scratch.

A year in and I feel more at peace now. Being in the “silent” corner of the internet has calmed down my anxieties by strides, and the focus of everything I've done so far has been inward. Who I am here is just really who I am now, and all the ugly-delicious photos and nerdy selfies I have on Twitter are real markers of what I consider as happiness at this current time. There is no desire to “compete” – who am I competing with anyway? The only competition here is with my past self!

Do I recommend people to go on this whole social media detox? Absolutely! It's like trying to find who you really are when no one is looking, and for someone who tied their existence to an ideal image, it was painstakingly hard. Reminding myself of this, but when the journey is over, come back to social media for the right reasons. Things are going to be different, I promise.

14/100


I'm currently doing a challenge called “100 Days to Offload” – you can join in the fun too by visiting https://100daystooffload.com

If you'd like, drop me a message here – I would be absolutely thrilled to hear from you!

#100DaysToOffload #Journal

Currently writing this piece out on my email to test out W.a's post via email function, so apologies if this will be short, sweet, and non-sensical. And also maybe wonky looking? If it is, I'll know tomorrow when I check it and come back to make edits – the inner critic and perfectionist in me will not rest till I do.

The only reason I'm probably doing this is to test all of the platform's features, but if I were to be really honest, I'd rather sit by my laptop and type this all out instead of the small touch screen keyboard on my phone. Don't get me wrong, I can text fast enough to keep up with my thoughts, but there's something comforting about having my fingers physically touching the smooth, worn-out keyboard click-clacking away. I can't explain it properly, but it feels more manageable and personal. 

Or maybe I just associate phones with the concept of convenience. A quick tweet. A simple jot on the shopping list in Google Keep. A simple reply to a text message, a DM or an email. But if I needed to think a reply through, I would hunker down with my laptop. I would probably do this again only in dire moments, or when I'm travelling and on the move, in which case I'm thankful to have the option to do so. 

But definitely, tomorrow's post will not be coming from my phone. 

13/100

#100DaysToOffload #Journal #PrattlePost

Happy Friday everyone! I started to write this out yesterday but was promptly cut short to make way for some much-needed family movie time. No regrets, since we watched an interesting movie called Sunday Beauty Queen – it was slightly hard to watch, and I might write about it in length at another time, but it is what it is. The Filipino “resiliency” is such a romanticized trait, but I honestly think it's a silent cry for help and for change.

So on to today's order of business! I thought I'd do something different and share some of the short stories that I've always found intriguing and fun. I admit some of these came from Literature and English classes back in high school and college, but they've made such a huge impact on me that I still remember their titles off the top of my head, even years later! I've tried to find links for them as well, for the interested.

Sweet Summer by Cyan Abad Jugo

The story that marked my childhood! I definitely resonated so much with the main character because I had always been insecure about how I looked when I was younger (I still am on most days), and had always compared myself to all the other girls my age who were pretty. I've always wished the story didn't end the way it did since Sarah and Frederick looked like they had a genuine connection with each other but in a stereotypical world, boys are “taught” by society to go after the pretty ones.

The Necklace by Guy de Maupassant

I remember reading this in high school and vowing never to pretend to be someone who I wasn't. I couldn't really feel too bad for the main character in the ending because it was definitely a lesson she had to learn (the hard way, in fact), but I would never wish this on anyone either.

The Lottery by Shirley Jackson

I did a bit of research on this one and just learned that it has had two official movie adaptations (one in 1969 and another in 1996), so I'm guessing this one was pretty popular back when it was first published. Nothing, and I mean nothing, prepared me for that ending. Probably my first taste of dystopian literature? It's very chilling just to think about it.

In a Grove by Ryunosuke Akutagawa

At first, I initially hated this because we spent so much time in English class reading it. Maybe my teenage brain couldn't comprehend the nuances between each of the testimonies, but there really isn't a main “conclusion” to this story. In fact, even after watching the movie, writing a paper, and thoroughly discussing it, it really is up to the reader to believe what they want to – a very meta comparison to how news is spread in relation to the truth.

Long Walk To Forever by Kurt Vonnegut

A love story that slightly reminds me of The Notebook, but with less angst and crying. I just love the fact that maybe 60% of it was just dialogue between Newt and Catherine, but it was able to paint and evoke so many emotions from me.

Some notable stories that I need to mention as well:

Dead Stars by Paz Marquez Benitez Servant Girl by Estrella Alfon Merienda – I read this in a book called Bagets, and I'm currently trying to borrow it from the local library!

Have a good weekend!

12/100


I'm currently doing a challenge called “100 Days to Offload” – you can join in the fun too by visiting https://100daystooffload.com

If you'd like, drop me a message here – I would be absolutely thrilled to hear from you!

#100DaysToOffload #Journal #Lists

I bake more than I cook.

This whole obsession in perfecting muffins and cupcakes (that is my whole repertoire if any of you were curious – sadly. no cakes, yet) only started as of late, when I moved a thousand miles from my beloved tropical little country to chilly San Francisco. Philippine cuisine does not require the use of ovens (just stovetops and an outside grill), and the local bakery could supply every home with freshly made pandesal for just cents, so there was really no need for my family to have one. My mom might have dabbled into buying one when I was in college, but it was mostly left untouched and for decor for the “clean” kitchen.

My dad, despite being a pastry cook working on cruise ships, would never have thought of baking anything on the months that he was home on vacation. Much like the idea of taxi drivers not wanting to drive around during their days off, my dad would rather cook Chicken Adobo or Pinakbet or any other of his favorite dishes since he never got to eat those on the boat regularly. I would sometimes bring up the idea of making a cake, but instead of making one, I would come home to my favorite store-bought dessert and that was the end of it.

Fast forward to the present, I now know different baking terms and can execute my own little science project in the kitchen with ease. I'm proud of my blueberry muffins and, with a little help with my dad, I've learned how to wing a few. But I have to admit, big ovens intimidate me – you know the ones below your kitchen stove? They scare the crap out of me. It's way too huge and it's difficult to see in, making me feel like I'm not entirely in control of what I'm doing. All I can do is set the temperature on top and pray for the best.

That's why I prefer using the small oven toaster on the other side of the kitchen. It's tiny, can only fit one pan at a time, and I have to turn my muffin rack halfway to be able to get a good color on all muffins, but it feels manageable. The clear glass gives me some sort of comfort, knowing that I can see clearly how things are progressing inside. The one we have right now has seen all my successes and failures, and if there was a household appliance that I could call my best friend, this oven toaster would be it. I even joked to my mom once that if I moved out, she would have to let me bring the oven toaster with me (she said no).

In the near future, I'd like to expand and eventually try making cookies and bread. I've been super fascinated with the idea of making dough for a week and then baking it every day, but I feel like I would be cheating on rice if I had to consume the whole loaf. And besides, flour is currently scarce, and I'm riding on my last bag to tide me through this quarantine. For now, banana bread it is.

11/100

P.S. Absolutely on the cusp of getting a pro subscription here – I really want to post pictures after all, sans the social media aspect.


I'm currently doing a challenge called “100 Days to Offload” – you can join in the fun too by visiting https://100daystooffload.com

If you'd like, drop me a message here – I would be absolutely thrilled to hear from you!

#100DaysToOffload #Journal

The past two days had me feeling a bit under the weather, as is customary of me every month, and I don't expect the next few days to be any better – the only glimmer of hope I have is that my workload is getting lighter, so I still feel productive while nursing a headache. Might be another prattle post – OH that actually sounds good – but I've had a lot of time to mull a few things over.

From my last post, I said that I decided to do some digital decluttering, and believe it or not, it's still underway. Some websites I've made an account with, like VRV, Viki or Barnes & Noble, didn't have the usual “Delete Account” option, and instead I had to go write them an email to delete my account. I find this absolutely puzzling because either I've been spoiled with the choice of deleting it by myself conveniently and without any other human interaction, or because I don't understand the rationale behind them not having that option in the first place. Shouldn't I be free to withdraw from these services as I please and just slink away to internet-oblivion? Barnes & Noble has a more complicated process to it as well – I had to verify not just my password but a whole lot of other information.

Weird.

But besides that, everything else has been smooth sailing. A few weeks ago I also toyed with the idea of migrating to FastMail and, after a few days with it I think I'll actually push through. My personal biggest hindrance is that email isn't as popular, and yet still necessary. Let me clarify – it's not popular for personal interactions with friends you already have (they're all reachable via Messenger or just a text away), but I would still need to have one for online transactions or other personal related documents and notifications. I have a work email that I rely on heavily for communication with supervisors and clients, but that's a separate thing. I did send my Aunts and Uncles (the usual crowd who still does send me emails from time to time) my new one – just to notify them of the upcoming change.

Which brings me to say, I can't exactly De-Google 100%. Aside from the usual perpetrators (Youtube, mostly), I own a really cute, baby pink Pixel 3XL. Before all this, it has always been my dream phone for such a long time and I scraped up all my hard-earned money to buy it when it went on sale! I was absolutely happy when I got it, and I'm still using it now. I live with my family, and we've set up coordinating most things with a few Google apps, which I can't change. Have you ever tried to explain new technology to older parents? It is a nightmare. I've learned through the years that, at least in my parent's case, familiarity is everything. They don't understand the “concept” of most things on the screen, and rely heavily on the distinct and specific steps and images that they've seen repeatedly – around 100++ times. For example, my dad knows how to use Spotify since he's used it before, but if we transition to YouTube Music, although with the same concept and buttons, he'd have a hard time. Okay, that was a bad example, but I hope it illustrated my point. Bottom line – they are not tech folk, and if I wanted to live a life of peace, we would have to stick with what they already know.

To be honest, I both love/hate how I dabble into things like these, just because no one in my immediate circle understands or is into it. The same goes for my interest in eco-minimalism (which thankfully my cousin can relate too), and books. The most common thing I have with my friends is cooking and games – I should probably write something about those next time!

A few more things:

I should totally stop eating.

10/100


I'm currently doing a challenge called “100 Days to Offload” – you can join in the fun too by visiting https://100daystooffload.com

If you'd like, drop me a message here – I would be absolutely thrilled to hear from you!

#100DaysToOffload #Journal #PrattlePost

I've been really putting this whole thing off, but now that I've switched gears and boarded the Firefox train (in an effort to slightly de-Google), I've been mostly looking at all my online accounts the whole day and purging most of them to oblivion, manually migrating accounts and passwords. I am fully aware that I could just click one button to do this all for me, but for a change, I wanted to do this more intentionally. How else would I have known that I had an account for, say, last.fm when I haven't even used it for years? I deleted it.

So there's nothing much to write about tonight, but here are a few interesting things that I wanted to share:

  • From a long-forgotten Atlas Obscura newsletter, I was awakened to the concept of Mail Art, so now my brother and I are planning to join the Mail Art Project by Jason Brown that's ending this month. It's really just something different to do.

  • In the same newsletter, they talked about the documentary SPACESHIP EARTH. I watched the trailer and honestly, it reminded me so much of Zimbardo's Stanford Prison Experiment, with a hint of science.

  • A friend's recent tweet reminded me of this spoken word poetry performance – When Love Arrives by Phil Kaye and Sarah Kay. Admittedly, this is the only thing I listen to again and again after any break-up and it has helped me pull through some dark and difficult times.

That all sounded like a hodgepodge! Alright, back to work.

9/100


I'm currently doing a challenge called “100 Days to Offload” – you can join in the fun too by visiting https://100daystooffload.com

If you'd like, drop me a message here – I would be absolutely thrilled to hear from you!

#100DaysToOffload #Journal

Unless I intentionally made plans, my Saturdays are now usually uneventful and unproductive (think: PJs all day, lounging in bed, etc). My younger self would have lamented all the wasted time I could've used to get so many other personal projects done or schedule a meet-up (today's alternative would be a Zoom call, thanks to the pandemic), but the moment I hit my birthday last year, my body knew it was done with all that. I now welcome the idea of staying inside and just taking things slow. The memes weren't lying!

I know I mentioned this bit before in a previous post, but now I'm seriously thinking of getting back to reading. The reason I say this was because of an incident that happened a few nights ago- my mom came up to me and asked if I could get a copy of The Witcher series for her to read since Netflix hasn't come up with new episodes. Luckily, she already had a library card (which I pushed her to get a few years back), so I set her up with Libby and checked the book's availability. The waiting period for it was way too long (four weeks, to be exact), so we decided to borrow Crazy Rich Asians instead – and since then, she's been religiously reading it every day to meet the 14-day deadline.

The most striking thing about this whole experience is that my mom's not a huge reader – this is the first time in years that she's ever picked up a book for some light reading! Yet I hear her laughter from across the hall, and sometimes she'd pass by my door and excitedly recount the tidbit/s that she found so funny and interesting.

That is what I miss about reading the most – being so excited about the story that I can't bring myself to put it down, or even just gush about it endlessly to some poor, unsuspecting victim (mostly friends who had no idea what the book was about). At first, I thought that I didn't have enough time to read books, so I got myself a few Mouse Books – and at first, I was diligently reading, but it came to a point where I got a bit overwhelmed about the theme they chose to focus on that I dropped it for a while. Then I remembered that I had a whole set of books I brought back with me from home (the shelf they're sitting on right now is my pride and joy), but it turns out that majority of them were 1) something I've already read in the past and 2) were mostly for collecting than reading.

Yes, I have the time to read. No, the length of the book doesn't matter. No, I can't re-read books in my current state. I refuse to believe that reading no longer holds importance to me because I always feel the urge to come back to it time and time again – I might just not be holding the right book at the right time. I've had a nagging suspicion that my taste in books have changed, but I don't know which direction I should go from there.

I also absolutely hate it when I don't finish a book, but more than that, I don't believe in continuing to read something when it's getting difficult to go past a page. I'm aware that those are two very contradicting ideas, and the quitter side of me is probably using this as an excuse not to pick up anything else (the most recent three books I willingly picked up were duds, sadly), but I've always been on board with this concept. Maybe I also make things difficult for myself.

But god, am I jealous. I am insanely jealous of my mom while she reads her limited-time-only library book. I also want to bury my face in a book or on my Kindle and feel alive – laugh, cry, and animatedly talk about the small details to an unsuspecting audience. Like a helpless romantic pining for their one true love, here's me, hoping that I can finally find that one true book.

PS: I have a Goodreads account! I haven't found a non-Amazon alternative to this, but if you want to, you can follow me there! Not that it'll get updated any time soon.

8/100


I'm currently doing a challenge called “100 Days to Offload” – you can join in the fun too by visiting https://100daystooffload.com

If you'd like, drop me a message here – I would be absolutely thrilled to hear from you!

#100DaysToOffload #Journal

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