Being Busy

I take my hat off to those bloggers/twitters whom I’ve heard post multiple posts per day. While quality may be suspect, they sure make up for quality with quantity. How do they do it? Where do they get the impulses/inspiration to multi-post? Where do they get the time to post? Is it really worth their while and their readers’ while to read these numerous posts?

While I’ve never intended to be a multiple posts per day blogger, alas… I’ve failed  my new year resolution to write at least a blog a month. If it is not one thing, it has been another that has kept me from sitting still to concentrate and write, e.g. from teaching/coaching commitments, to going to the gym, from storytelling, to being entrapped by Farmville on Facebook. It has been go, go, go for the last 6, 7 months. There has been not much time to breathe…

However, I shall make up for the dearth of blog entries of the last few months by probably blogging relatively furiously during June and July. I am currently not in Singapore to take a breather from this hectic city. Unlike the private mass emails that I sent to various people during my previous long breaks from Singapore (2000/2001, 2003/04, 2007), I will be making my exploits be known to one and all through this blog.

So where am I? I am now in San Francisco staying at the home/office of Robert Kikuchi-Yngojo and Nancy Wang of the storytelling group, Eth-Noh-Tec. I arrived yesterday (3 June) via a UA flight that was over an hour early. Robert came to pick me up from the airport (his wife Nancy is not in San Francisco at the moment – she has gone ahead to prepare for the yearly storytelling festival that she and Robert organise at Orcas Island off the coast of Washington State) and brought me back to 977 South Van Ness Ave, an old Victorian era house, that is full of interesting rooms/nooks and crannies. In respective order, I met Miranda the dog and Robert’s 20 year-old daughter, Xiani (pronounced Shawny).

Life here in 977 South Van Ness Ave is relaxed and comfortable. My room is small in floor area, but tall in terms of height. To make the  most of the space, the bed is one of those loft types in which you have to climb a tall ladder to access, thereby leaving the area under the bed as living space.I have never slept before in this kind of bed. So it is quite an adventure climbing up and down that ladder to access the bed and to get off it.

A most harrowing experience is driving in and out of Robert’s garage. Because the house was built before the age of motor cars, the drive into the garage is extremely tiny. On the return from the airport, Robert, with much skill and experience (and making sure the car’s mirrors are folded in), maneuvered the car through that driveway (with seemingly only 3 or 4 inches spare on both sides of the car) into the basement of the building in which 3 cars are squeezed together, one of them being a SUV. Later on in the evening, I accompanied Robert and Xiani on errands in that SUV. Sitting within the SUV as Robert backed out of the garage, it seemed that the spare room between wall of driveway and sides of SUV had shrunk to an inch.

Thus far, I have not seen or done much in San Francisco – just basically resting and taking it easy. Before he and Xiani leave to join Nancy at Orcas next week, Robert has kindly said he will be introducing me to various members of the storytelling/writing/artistic community that he is in touch with over the next few days. I will continue to stay at 977 South Van Ness Ave until I leave San Francisco on 16 June when I fly to Los Angeles where my family (my mum, sister, 2 nieces) will congregate around my brother’s place. On 18 June, all six of us will fly to Edmonton where we will celebrate the 90th birthday of my aunt. On the 23rd, we fly back to LA. On 29 June, my mother and I will fly back to Singapore. My sister and her two girls will leave one day later.

I will of course update you on my exploits above in due course. But talk about being busy… My last big trip abroad was my US stint in 2007 for the University of Iowa’s International Writing Program. For almost 3 years, I’ve stayed put, more or less, in Singapore. In contrast this summer, I will be a jetsetter.  I return to Singapore on the cusp of 30 June/1 July. I tell a story during Double Deals, MoonShadow Stories’ scheduled performance on 2 and 3 July. On 4 July, I fly to Italy where I will be taking part in the LaMaMa Playwriting Retreat somewhere outside of Rome until 15 July. In Aug, I take part in a storytelling festival in Darwin, called Under the Banyan Tree.



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