I have been veering way out of orbit the past month. Think Cottee’s vanilla pudding and Charlie’s Honest Quenchers (way overpriced) for an impromptu picnic in the middle of the city center. Here’s the rundown 🙂

The Cooler Lumpur Festival I found this out by sheer accident while dim sum lunching with Sebastian Dettman and Alexander Thong. Sebastian mentioned that Alfian Sa’at, whom I’ve been trying to get a hold of for months now for an interview, would be there. I ended up missing Alfian Sa’at’s slot but bought tickets to two workshops. The first one was a 1.5 hr writing workshop by Benjamin Markovits who taught using one of Frost’s poems which resembles Dylan Thomas’ Baby Burning. And the second workshop was a 3-hr one by Rishi Reddi on plot. Both were held at the beautiful space at Interpr8 and the attendees sat in a large circle, coffee take-aways (in my case orange juice which I ended up spilling while standing up) and notebooks (yes, notebooks!) balanced on laps and knees. There was so much to take away, so many bright new interesting people to meet and so many idea bubbles floating in the air to catch and bring home and attach to your work table.

TRANSLATING A BEAUTIFUL FRENCH TEXT (by a member of Theatre du Soleil!!) My darling best friend Winnie texts me at 7 a.m. on a Saturday morning as I’m rubbing sleep cobwebs out of my eyes: “I’ve a few pages of texts here in French. Could you translate it?”. A friend of hers was looking for someone, anyone who could do a Fr-Eng translation and if I were interested, I should dash this person (whom I shall call Fay)a text which I did at the end of the day, right after work. The next 24 hours that ensued after that text was a flurry of emails and working through the most beautifully expressed piece (which inspired me to want to make a trip to the Carchouterie to watch the Theatre du Soleil the next time I visit Paris). The amazing people Fay worked with were kind enough to email feedback on how much they loved my work, gave me a 10% extra on the bill and a seat for an actor’s workshop they were organizing. Needless to say, I was chuffed!

READING HEMINGWAY AND DYLAN THOMAS If you don’t already know this about me, I adore Ernest Hemingway so much so that I’m doing my best to stall the final chapter of The Moveable Feast, meaning to finish it in a celebratory manner (with cake and cranberry juice!). As soon as I cross things off this week’s list of things to do, I’m going to grab a friend and The Moveable Feast, go to a really good place (Swich, preferably) and polish the last chapter off while munching on some good cake. In the mean time, my stalling method is a complete set of Dylan Thomas’  short stories which I bought for RM8 (yes, E-I-G-H-T) at a book sale earlier this year. Dylan Thomas fascinates me for a good many reasons. First, one can’t say “Thomas” the way one says van Gogh, Hemingway, Joyce, Rimbaud, Obama (but not Rembrandt. Did you know Rembrandt is his first name? Rembrandt van Rijn) .. you get the drift? It just has to be Dylan Thomas. Thomas is my un-scary version of Poe. He’s the literary version of Czerny (those mandatory piano scales people do for technique) to me. I read him to sharpen my mental pencils and learn from his writing. He’s fascinating in a very old-gray-post-war-portrait kinda way  instead of a bright-clean-fun-in-the-sun way. (In case you’re reading this, I’m sorry, Dylan Thomas. You’re a great writer. Lots of other people who aren’t me love you. I promise!)

DOCUMENTARIES on the zaniest things like UFOs and Nephilims which my mum and I watch together right before bedtime. Yup. I do, as a matter of fact,  watch proper documentaries like those screened by theBlack Hole Theater on a fortnightly basis. There’s something about documentaries that should be implemented in classrooms because the Nephilim story wouldn’t let me sleep the entire night from thinking of it! Imagine if kids wouldn’t stop thinking about Math.

DOING A PAPER ON MY OWN  I’m almost through with a paper I’m doing on my own. It feels so good (not because of the control factor but) because it was something I cared about, put effort into and really researched on. I plan to get my supervisor to read it and hand it in to a journal by this month as a joint submission by my supervisor and me. Funny thing is that my collaborative projects are all still hanging in the balance. I guess it does take a lot more time for coordination when you have a couple of brains getting at something all at once.

GETTING PAID TO WRITE AWESOME POSSUM STUFF Right after the translation project (which I took an entire day to finish- only because it was a Sunday. AND only because it was a really interesting text. And also only because a boy I like didn’t want to go out with me. Boo!), I found 2 project proposals in my inbox. You know the thing that just overwhelms me is how I’m being dished out awesome projects these past few weeks. I’m getting paid to translate beautiful texts and write about causes I care for and it gets better .. for people who are such a breeze working with! Super blessed.

MY MUM HAS 2 UPCOMING SURGERIES — one at the end of this year, and the other, very early 2014. Of course this came as an unpleasant shock and I was resigned to an immobile, distraught, coffee-chugging, tear-machine for the greater part of it, but when that is over, I will take after my mum’s example and be a swashbuckling pirate who charges headlong into it and come out triumphant at the other end. This would mean, not talking about it, not letting it stop progress and work, and preparing the family (mentally) and my mum (physically and mentally) for whatever it is we should be doing to make sure this turns out right.

BLENDING an amazing concoction of kiwi, apple, spinach and celery which I christened the keechi smoothie. It’s so good I think I could live off it for my entire life if someone played the “So if you could choose one type of food to live off your entire life without changing, what would you choose?” game.

WASABI LINDT NOIR believe it, baby!

PLANNING A HOLIDAY albeit a mini one to Malacca and back with my mum, Danielle and 3 of my favourite people from Australia. We will have a rented bungalow for two nights, complete with a mahjong board and a lots of space, go on jaunts for delicious food, and most importantly spend time together. The holiday will be slightly before my conference so I might sneak in some prep time >.< There won’t be any off days, for July and August after all.

On an unrelated note, I found wpb2d.com which I will write about once I sink my fingers into it.