Friday, December 09, 2005

Yesterday's Writing Meet

I love our writing meets. Last night, a few of us met at Delicious, Bangsar Village to revive our creative juices. It has been some time since we last sat around after dinner for a round of scribbling, ruminating, reading and entertaining. Delicious was at it is, delicious.

Lud wrote about the fear of heights - a chinese man stuck on the KLCC bridge. Angeline's was a girl who lost her love but is still in denial (a 3 person perspective of the guy, the girl and the friend). Jenny's stories has a fantastical feel to it - like the picture of the snake which seemed to move in the book. Sharon's was about the fear of the years going by - aging - in the perspective of a Greek Goddess. Animah had a gem of the evening with the phrase 'flushed down the toilet of ....eternity'.

I wrote about a girl who was alone in the darkness of her friends' apartment. And the other story was a man who was losing his place at work after retiring. And finally about the friend who was a 'tick'- as in bloodsucking parasite.

And so passes another contemplative evening well-spent.

Sleep with your books

Fancy sleeping in a library? Or a library with beds in it - cream, plush walls, warm comfortable duvets, curled up with a book? *Sigh* A dream come true....New York has such a luxury - The New York Library Hotel where the floors are systematically categorized using the Dewey-Decimal system.

Thanks to such book-lovers such as Eric Forbes, we'd know more about the book-shop world.

Paris' most famous English-Language bookshop, Shakespeare & Co, located on 37, Rue de la Bucherie is also offering an opportunity to make a haven among its books. All its 91-year old charismatic owner, George Whitman, asks is,'you make your bed in the morning, help out in the shop, and read a book a day'.

Former Canadian crime-journalist; Jeremy Mercer, so inspired, wrote Books, Baguettes and Bedbugs: The Left Bank World of Shakespeare & Co. (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, November 10, 2005) - a 5 month account of his life among Shakespeare & Co's books. He also lists his 10 most-loved bookshops in the world on the Guardian.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Scared to drive

Now I know what it's like to have a phobia of driving. Motorcycles scare me the most.

Monday, December 05, 2005

The Lion, The Witch and The Wardobe

This is the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe I remember - the 1979 animated production by Bill Melendez. I think I was 5 or 6 at that time. My mother only let me watch it during the holidays but it was one of my favourite animated movies (my other favourite was Disney's Cinderella). When she gave her permission, I remember my sister and I would be so happy - we'd gladly take out the VHS tape (the small black one),put it in the VCR and let the magic begin. Even after I was 7 or 8, when there was the Fox and The Hound playing in the cinemas, I would still like to watch this cartoon even though it was grainy for want of wear, and the music was turning tinny. I cried at every viewing no matter how many times I watched it.

That was many years ago - memory is misty, the animation looks amateurish now, comical in fact. But I never forgot the immense sense of magic this story gave me (I hid in the big wardrobe in the backroom a few times) Memories remain - chants of "Turkish Delight, Turkish Delight", the haunting melody of the soundtrack and the slight crush on Peter Pevensie.

Fast forward 2005, this monstrous production epic will most probably dwarf all previous movie adaptations of the book. However it would be interesting to wonder if a child of the now will experience that same magic I felt and carry it with him/her far into the future. Probably.

Wall Therapy

This morning, back and shoulders were aching after 3 hours of climbing walls in 1U. Angie and I went to Camp 5, the 'climbing gym' to play spider-man/woman.

It was a test of physical and mental endurance. I started by scrambling aimlessly on some features but discovered that I was supposed to follow the colours. Didn't know that the paths was distinguished by them. Once I got stuck on the 'pink' route and yelled at Angie when she was only trying to help me. (Haha, sorry girl). After a few climbs, I found my arms just giving way despite my attempts to force them to obey. It was great though, I can understand how people can get addicted to this stuff. You could see the 'lean', 'mean' bodies of the more experienced climbers

Teamwork was really important too - it does certainly feel different when someone points the way or cheers you on. There were times when the climber felt frustated by the belayer, or when the belayer was frustrated with the climber but it's all in the game of 'trust'. People there were really helpful and friendly including the other climbers - they would cheer you on even if they didn't know you. That was nice.

Accordingly we were in TP (toprope) stage but the guy we talked to there said we weren't even officially climbing yet. Angie and I have our own definition - being in the "BP" stage. We discovered this while Angie was bouldering using the 'yellows'. Hahah - ask me next time what this is

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Ms L

Lately I have been visitng a policyholder who was willing to come to our company function to give her testimony. Ms L was a very jovial, talkative and alert person. At first I expected her to be the typical Chinese auntie - I only spoke to her on the phone once before visiting her - but life is full of surprises....She was unlike anything I expected.
Ms L apparently has travelled and lived illegally in the US for close to 8 years. After a visit to the states in the 90s, she decided that life suited her fine there and the next thing she knew, she was living and working in an American-Chinese restaurant, keeping the accounts and also occasional day-to-day tasks of the gourmet business.
Looking at her pictures, she was a definite contrast to what she is today.
Proudly showing me her pictures and explaining her experiences in the US, Europe and China, one could see that she greatly cherishes her memories of independent living which seemed like a dream of a distant past. She was quite comfortable in front of the camera and could even speak without me prompting her. You could see she was a woman who knew what she wanted. She is now in a wheelchair and hardly gets out of the house.
One of my colleagues asked if she could get emotional during the testimonial (they wanted people to get touched at the event sadistic la). I told them I doubted it - Ms L didn't seem like the type to get weepy or melodramatic.
However on my last visit ( a few days ago), I only saw the hurt in her when she told me that comparing life now and then, the thought of it was more unbearable than the rheumatic pains of her cartiledgeless joints. I believe the pain to be excruciating. It was the first time I saw her shed tears, but only briefly.
"Life is uncertain, plan your future before it happens!"- ends the video. Learning from Ms L's experiences, I feel that her life easily could have been mine - there were many parallels - working and travelling in a foreign country, making numerous friends, initiating gatherings, living life to the fullest. She didn't plan to be disabled, but she did plan on getting better. Her request (upon asking her what she needed as a gift) was an exercise bicycle to help strengthen her legs. (she rejected the offer of a new wheel chair as she didn't see herself using one in the future) All the best to you Ms L - keep that chin up!