Sunday, May 24, 2009

Moving, Movies and Managing a Website

Wow, it does not seem like it has been 2 weeks since I've written... not exactly sure what I've done... I finished my culture class paper... hopefully it turned out okay because I only have grades for 2 classes this semester... haven't found out either one yet... I finished my senior honors proposal (I'm going to make a travel guide for the Hudson River Valley geared toward college students there)... and I finished my application to Doctors Without Borders for the fall... I really hope I get it! I moved to Glebe and finished the Twilight series (hate to admit it, but I loved it).

I also walked to Bondi Beach from work to see it at sunset --

much farther than I had anticipated! I watched Slumdog Millionaire, which I loved and The Jane Austin Book Club, which I also loved, both of those just for fun. I watched Prey (terrible Aussie horror film, my review here), Night at the Museum 2: Battle of the Smithsonian (better than I expected), Shall We Kiss? and Land of the Lost all for the internship... now that I think about it, other than the month I was couch-ridden from my jaw surgery, I have probably watched more movies this month than ever before.
I've written countless reviews and articles for
FILMINK (Offing David, Surrealism Soars) and ran the website last week when Rhiannon left. It was a pretty good week at work because I was so busy all the time. All week I've been trying to go swing dancing, but every night when I get home from work I am just too tired, and I'm starting to get sick, so I figured it wasn't the best idea... maybe next week, or when Alex is here!
The highlight of the last two weeks was yesterday's Sydney Writer's Festival. I picked out a few free sessions I wanted to see and one paid event - "Spoken 4" - a slam poetry performance. I was a little bit late, so I missed the first session, but it actually worked out perfectly, because then I got to go to "Will The Real Writers Please Stand Up?" which was spoken word performers
Sarah Blasko (singer/songwriter), Miles Merrill (a slammer from Chicago and founder of The Australian Poetry Slam), Chris Bray (adventure writer who crossed an island in the Arctic Circle) and Emmanuel Jal (Sudanese "Lost Boy" hop hop artist/writer) talking about who gets to call themselves a writer and why. Sarah Blasko sang and had a beautiful voice, Miles Merrill doubled as moderator and preformed a poem about racism in Australia (which made me realize that Aboriginal jokes do NOT go over well here), Chris Bray read excerpts from his adventures and Emmanuel Jal stole the show with his performance.
From the Writer's Festival Website: "He was seven years old when he was taken from his family home to become a child soldier with the rebel army in Sudan. Put into battle in Ethiopia, Emmanuel was beaten, starved and brutalized. He tried to escape but was hunted down and imprisoned. He was rescued by a British aid worker
who smuggled him into Nairobi. Now a hip hop artist, Emmanuel has won worldwide acclaim for his unique style of hip hop with its message of peace and reconciliation. His music can be heard alongside Coldplay, Gorillaz and Radiohead on the fundraising album Warchild: Help a Day in the Life. He also featured on John Lennon’s Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfur with the likes of U2, REM and Lenny Kravitz. His first book is War Child: A Boy Soldier's Story." He had the entire audience standing up and dancing - even a little toddler who was loving his music. His message was so touching and it will stay with me forever.
I also went to a session with three authors who write historical fiction, the most interesting one being Nava Semel, award-winning Israeli author who has written a book through the eyes of a Holocaust survivor's grandchild. The festival was surprisingly well-attended, and I ended up having to change my schedule while I was there because you had to wait in line for a half an hour usually in order to get a seat at each session.
My last free session was "The Power of Performing Your Words" which was "five writers who perform their work in myriad ways perform live, dissect how and why they do it, and discuss performance as an alternative to publishing." It featured Sonya Renee (US National Individual Poetry Slam Champ -- awesome),

Tom Gleeson (stand-up comedian and writer -- hysterical), Edwina Blush (poet/singer/writer -- kinda strange) and Tug Dumbly (who I am equivilating with Troy of the Galway Players -- the founder of slam poetry in Sydney, essentially -- a bitter jerk who can write well), with participating chair Miles Merrill (that same guy from before -- kinda dorky, but a good writer). They all preformed awesomely and had a good conversation about spoken word.
I had some time to kill in between that session and the night-time slam performance, so I grabbed some wedges (with sweet chili sauce (which is starting to grow on me) and sour cream, of course) and sat in the lobby, writing in my notebook, people watching, and listening to the pianist.
After that, I headed over to the next pier (the whole festival took place in Walsh Bay on the finger wharves, which was really neat) for "Spoken 4," which featured Sonya Renee, Tug Dumbly, Edwina Blush and Omar Musa (2008 Australian National Poetry Slam champion whose poems reminded me of LAS's own Richard Frias (2-time Poetry Slam champ). I loved all of their performances, especially Sonya and Omar's.

All in all, it was a really awesome day and confirmed that I am capable of doing things on my own. Now it's time to bed before a long week at the internship before Alex comes on Friday!!!


omarbinmusa said...

hey thank you! glad you liked the performance- omar

Tonya said...

I see how it is...Alex comes and you leave us all hanging, wondering what you're up to. Well, don't worry. I know what you're up to.

Okay, in all seriousness, you should keep me updated here. And, also, this is my new blog. I'm closing down the last one.

Love you!

Amanda said...

woww all of that poetry sounds like so much fun!! i just have to point out that you wrote "preform" instead of "perform" for most of the entry because it was bothering me =P hahaha miss you!! xoxo

Amy W. said...

Ahh! thanks for telling me Amanda!!! Glad you are home safely :-)