Wednesday, September 23

state of mind

I'm so coveting this photo right now (my abject state of broke-ness means I have to be contented with a colour laser print-out of it though). My state of mind at this point in time is such that I'm intently scrutinising messy travel sites for cheap air tickets to New York (even though I leave for Taiwan in less than 15 hours).

Saturday, September 19

september issues

I've been looking forward to September since the beginning of the year, when the above photo (if it can even be called that, it's more like a fleeting moment of pure unadulterated happiness*, captured, that makes sense only to me) was shot at Mayday's open-air concert. Since then, I have been anticipating flying to Taipei for their concert -- on my own expense, which I have never done, being spoilt with junkets in my former incarnation as an entertainment reporter.

So far, September has been turning out to be so bitter sweet that I can barely bring myself put it into words. Too private, too complex, too unknowable, since there are still about 10 days left to the month.

The September issues** that I can talk about seem so mundane: over-spending (retail therapy no doubt due to emotional upheavals), over-working (and feeling aggrieved over the sheer amount of work and aggravating freelance assignments) and over-indulging (eating, drinking, etc etc etc).

I leave for Taiwan in less than a week and I feel strangely reluctant. A tiny bit of this reluctance stems from the same aversion I have towards rereading books which I loved, in case the magic doesn't work the second time round. But most of it comes from this certainty I have that things will never be the same come October. And, to mutilate Green Day's lyrics, I'm not sure I want to wake up when September ends.

* In Averted Vision, which I just reread after being reminded of it by my lurve and fell in love with all over again and cursed my own lousy inability to put my emotions into words as beautifully and succinctly, Tim Kreider*** wrote about travelling down a highway, seeing a Burger King billboard while listening to Van Halen and experiencing one startlingly clear moment of happiness: "This kind of intense and present happiness is heartbreakingly ephemeral; as soon as you notice it you dispel it, like blocking yourself from remembering a word by trying too hard to retrieve it. And our attempts to contrive this feeling through any kind of replicable method — with drinking or drugs or sexual seduction, buying new stuff, listening to the same old songs that reliably give us shivers — never quite recapture the spontaneous, profligate joy of the real thing." I remember being at the Mayday concert and thinking: "I'm happy". And I wonder if going to Taipei is going to end up a futile exercise in trying to recapture that feeling.

** My "five movies a year" quota has been reached with the press preview of The September Issue On Thursday night. The other four movies I saw in the cinema (TV, DVDs and airplane not counted) this year included He's Just Not That Into You (blah), Bruno (the man's a genius), Year One (excruciating) and Up (erm, uplifting?). I intend to exceed the quota with (500) Days Of Summer.

** Another brilliant piece, The Referendum, by Kreider. Shortly after I read it, I sent this text to my lurve: "It's sad. Everyone is moving on. You're married. Karli's leaving. Mama's having a second kid. I feel stagnant and left behind." As Kreider writes towards the end of the piece: "One of the hardest things to look at in this life is the lives we didn’t lead, the path not taken, potential left unfulfilled."

Wednesday, September 2

send me to okinawa

This starving art school student has an ingenious website, which I've always loved. He will send you whimsical, basically worthless stuff from various places if you pay him some token sum.

One of the things on "sale" is the star-shaped sand of Okinawa, the destination which was clearly not meant to be for XY and me (the ferry company between Keelung and Okinawa has gone bankrupt, China Airlines is too exorbitant, not to mention risky, etc etc).

To console ourselves, we will be celebrating Okinawa Day this month. Festivities include partaking of Okinawan delights (apparently there is a restaurant in Liang Court that specialises in them), dressing up as American GIs and wearing a lot of sunblock.

Alternatively, you can PayPal me some money and I will send you the star-shaped sand of my dreams when I get there.