Of Struggles, Reason to Fight, and Moon River

When I was a kid, my father almost always worked until very late every day. It baffled me to think that I never had a good, long, conversation with him until I hit puberty—not because we didn’t want to, but because he was never around, to begin with.

After all, he always went to work before I even woke up, and returned home after I fell asleep. And to be perfectly honest, I think there was a little part of me that resented him for that—for not being around when I wanted to talk to him about my day, or anything.

Photo by Cherry Laithang on Unsplash

“I don’t have a choice,” he said one day, during one of the rare moments when he actually got to go home early. I remember it clear as day—the sky was dark, curtains were closed, and my mom had stored all our food in the fridge because that’s what she always did after I finished dinner; my dad never ate at home.

“What do you mean, you don’t have a choice?” I remember myself asking.

“No matter how tough the going gets, I need to work for this family. For you,” my dad replied.

“You mean for the money,” I retorted.

He didn’t deny anything. Instead, he looked at me, let out a long sigh, and gazed at our half-dilapidated, leaking ceilings for a good second or two, before continuing our conversation with a lower tone to his voice that almost resembled a whisper. “Yes, I do this for the money. But you have to remember where the money goes. It goes to our food. It goes to electricity so you can sleep comfortably with the AC on every night. It goes to your school tuition. It goes to our family—hence I do this for the family.”

“But families don’t run on money… right?” I remember my younger self asked him.

Photo by Jude Beck on Unsplash

To be honest, I don’t really remember what he told me that night. Even after I asked my dad about it, he simply said that he already forgot, and proceeded to bombard me with other questions about how my life went, how was work, and so on. But as I try my hardest to paint a picture of that sliver of memory, I imagine my dad would most likely reply with something out of his wisdom bag—something that only a man who worked for money, and worked for a family, could ever have spoken.

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Self Quarantine Recipe: Rosemary Chicken with Creamy Mushroom Sauce

It’s time to drop another recipe. I hope you guys will like this one!

These are the ones my friend and I made

Disclaimer: I was helped by a friend when I cooked this dish in particular. Plus, because we didn’t have potatoes at hand, we decided to order french fries from McDonald’s for our carbs. Naturally, if you have your own frozen french fries, you can always fry your own batch. Or, if deep frying is too unhealthy for you, I’d recommend sautéing skin-on, quartered baby potatoes with garlic and thyme. The kitchen is your playground~

Anyway, without further ado, on with the recipe:

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Self Quarantine Recipe: Aglio Olio Fusili with Garlic Prawn

Self-quarantine due to COVID-19 can be very stressful. Especially if you’re used to eating out with friends and munching on those fancy food on shopping malls or hawker’s districts.

Don’t get me wrong—I don’t claim to be a professional cook, or even a half-decent cook for that matter. All I know is that while I had a lot of time at home, I started reigniting my cooking hobby, and managed to whip up several menu that might help you out.

aglio olio
This is the one I made

That being said, all these stuff are relatively easy to make, so I’m pretty sure everyone can make it. I also try to restrict myself with ingredients that are not hard to come by—so more people can try out at their own kitchens.

Anyway, without further ado, please find the recipe below:

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My Favorite Stationeries – Early 2020

If you know me at all, then you would know that I’m borderline obsessed with stationeries. And I’m not just talking about my obsession for fountain pens—I love all stationeries equally. Want to make me happy, even during my worst days? Just introduce me to some unique, cute stationeries, and 9 out of 10, I would snap out of my bad mood instantly.

I know, I know. With me being a writer, and a stationery addict—pssh. Painfully obvious and common. But I’m okay with that. There’s just no helping it! I just love the feeling when I find a brand new stationery product I could marvel over all day long—be it a new pen, notebook, or anything.

Photo by Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash

And if you clicked on this blog post, chances are, you’re a stationery addict, too! (Or you would just close the page after reading this sentence because I have just generalized my audience. Or because I sound weirdly jollier than usual. I don’t mind. I’m on a happier mood by default whenever I’m talking about stationeries.)

So anyway, here’s a short list of all my favorite stationeries in early 2020, not sorted in any significant order:

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Wishlist for 2020 and How I Plan to Use Them

I don’t know why, but I just have this very strange attraction towards somebody else’s wishlist. Not to be confused with being covetous or anything, but there’s just something so inspiring and weirdly… whimsical about seeing what sparks creativity and productivity in someone else—even more so if the person is a creative.

Photo by Lennart Jönsson on Unsplash

You know, like how you couldn’t resist but to wonder what kind of fountain pen did Tolkien use to pen Lord of the Rings? Or how you wonder what kind of cooking utensils do Martha Stewart use in her own personal, home kitchen?

Knowing what other people use in their own creative endeavors, for me, brings tremendous joy and relief—joy because now I know more stuff I could use to make my own life easier; relief because at least I’m not the only person who hoard stuff, and think that the right pen and paper makes for the best writing experience—the same way the right keyboard makes all the difference when it comes to typing my next novel-length project.

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Alicia Lidwina’s March 2020 Favorites

To be honest, I haven’t done a lot of shoppings this past month, because of the widespread virus and all that jazz. But that doesn’t stop me from having a few personal favourites from my own stash–some of them I bought during my trip to Japan, while some others I just have lying around my room.

By the way, this is also the first time I’m doing this kind of post, so I’m not 100% sure if anyone would be interested in reading them. I do, however, really enjoy reading (or watching!) other people’s favourite items, what’s in their bags, what’s their writing setups, etc., so I digress.


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Wanting to Break Free

The other day, I fell face down in a parking lot–ripped my upper lip, chipped off my front teeth, sprained my knee, cracked my phone screen, and dented my laptop. Not even a week after, I fell again–this time hitting the back of my head against the floor. I wouldn’t lie; this has been one of the worst week ever for me.

Photo by Trym Nilsen on Unsplash

So when I was lying down in the hospital bed, and right after the nurse and the doctor checked whether I had a concussion, I started thinking about this… whole series of misfortune. They came out of nowhere, and they struck like a repeated bolts of lightning. Each with more intensity than the previous one.

What did I do to even deserve this, I had thought. I kept on searching for a satisfying explanation, be it a realistic one or not. Did I lack sleep? Do I suffer from a unique bodily balance deteriority syndrome? Did I upset my ancestors? Did someone hex me into tripping over nothing? It doesn’t matter how illogical the reason is; I just wanted to blame this whole misfortune on somebody. On something.

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