Typing this on my new laptop. Feels strangely liberating, even if the keyboard's layout feels awkward. Can't wait to take it on tour, doing the rolling meditation stuff. Moleskines are so last millennium.
This month's Readings is a bit of a departure, even though it feels like the ship already left the port last month. We had an American expat, a historian, three poets and a medical student, plus a musician and stage actor for after-reading entertainment.
It started with a bit of deja vu involving liquor bottles. Unaware the corkscrews had extensions for leverage, Shahril Nizam and I tugged and tugged and tugged till our faces turned red (not just from the exertion). Sharon had to call in an expert, otherwise we couldn't proceed. And MPH's Tan May Lee (may have) photographed the sideshow.
Oh well, at least it was entertaining.
I'll admit that one main reason why I dropped by was to touch base with Kathleen Choo, whom I last saw at a mutual friend's book launch in 2006. Besides being floored by her poetry slammin', I got a chance to see her smaller-than-notebook notebook PC. Does the speed of technological evolution bring to mind malevolent biological agents from a sci-fi horror script?
Nicholas Wong returns! This was the young poet whose presence at a previous Readings was the condition for a veteran's participation - such is his reputation. Nic channeled Pixar by titling one of his pieces "Oogway" [sic], on top of reading a poem he composed (four pages long!) just two hours before.
With some history by Dr Shih, performances by Kathleen, Sheena Baharudin, Nic and the Wayang Buku (Book Theatre) guys, a bit of comedy writing by a doctor-in-waiting, the July Readings just reverberates with sheer awesomeness.
Another deviation in the usual proceedings is an announcement by some Arab dude (by his own admission) about a reading project. Zain also suggested spreading word about the project via the Internet because "Malaysia has a huge blogging community". Don't believe him? Believe Blogger then; it just announced the availability of the Malay interface because, "...Blogger has a large base of users in Malaysia".
Large number of bloggers, yes. Large number of good bloggers? Well... heh.