Who drank coffee?

For a record-breaking entire week, Harper drank coffee.

After each day she would interrogate herself with personal, intrusive questions because she has a penchant of terrorising herself at a constant, educational basis.

She was afraid to tell her boss that she drank coffee for said full week, fearing that he will never, ever let her live it down in her entirety at this boisterous company of coffee-drinkers and spillers. Harper believes she may just keep this to herself until the Christmas party.

FM: It’s been a solid 6 months of declaring your love for tea in the entire office.

H: *with a headache* And I’ve never regretted mouthing such prideful words in my life.

FM: Tell us something extraordinary!

H: Two weeks before, I attended a 70’s themed pre-Christmas party. Most of them were younglings and it was such a fabulous affair of dress-ups and boogies. Imagine two lines of 10 kids dancing to YMCA simultaneously. It was glorious.

FM: Do you feel old?

H: I am so swamped at work that I feel like I’ve put on ten years just this past week. Hence, the caffeinated swamp. But I will always be the “baby” at work as they so affectionately (horrendously) call moi. Most are far too engrossed with this band called Midnight Oil while I’m like Tay-waah? Good thing a fellow-person of nine and twenty believes in me.

FM: What’s the hardest thing about graphics design?

H: The severe underestimation. Folks, if you’ve never done graphics designing in your life, stop asking for a turnaround time of today. You’ll get quality American coffee (disgusting).

FM: Imagine yourself three days from now: It’s two a.m., you’ve got your luggage checked-in, Bon Iver as a lullaby, cameras packed, organic, 100%-sugar juice bought at a ridiculous airport price…what’s the takeaway?

H: Sleep! Much, much sleep! I won’t get it until the night of the next day at a country as foreign as my knowledge on the Lord of the Rings and even then, there will be lots of catching up with my soul sister whom I have not seen in two, very excruciatingly long years.

FM: Even though it’s pretty much gone by?

H: Even though. I talk to her pretty much every day. I talk to him pretty much every day too. There’s never a limit to how much one can mean to you.

FM: Last thoughts before sleeping?

H: Don’t buy a gimbal.



The greater purpose.

I’ve been so caught up in the avalanche of workloads that I find my shoulder hurting and my entire self salivating for a bite, just one tiny, minuscule, microscopic bite of a cheesecake forever craved.

I’ve never had such a week where everything seems to have gone wrong. And yet, dear ghosts, I find myself impeccably calm in such situations, uncaring for the personal judgments of my superiors that I felt incredibly liberated from the fatal thoughts of the “what if they don’t like me?”. I suggest you all try it. Freeing.

In the other light, there are so many things to look forward to in the next concluding months of 2 0 1 7. I want to begin with fulfilling numero uno on my list of fernweh’s having started Harper F.M. and that is to visit the vivacious, mountainous, racketeering New Zealand of Down Down Under. Yes, in countable days, I shall be trekking with a Maz-tiff by my side, ploughing down the road with our Brego’s and our Legolas wigs styled the Targaryen way.

And upon the conclusion of that trek (edit: cannot wait), we return to the shores of a few more weeks of the day job before finding ourselves in a time wrap ready for the release of the sequel of the 7th of an instalment that equals to nine episodes. Stoked?


Importantly, on the eve of the eve Christmas, there will be a road trip in there somewhere where I will re-live the days of lying down on an astroturf underneath the Massachusetts stars unearthing my great purpose with my favourite companion of companions, amidst shaking breaths but now, in summery flower dresses and plentiful-a-bug spray.

Melbourne. No apologies.

Before that, let’s rally the real for some fun office ping pong competition, much forgiveness, vigilance, diligence, and no fear. As, there is still much. But deep breaths, H, deep breaths.

You are called for a great purpose. Live it.

Unapologetically free.

Harper fetches a decaf green tea, dodges a chocolate croissant and sits by her newly-acquired desk. Contemplating, whirring, lazily trying to collate her thoughts on the subject of availability.

When she has lunch everyday at five past twelve, rarely anyone joins her. “I like it,” she admits, sipping her tea. “I’m quite antisocial and it wouldn’t be fair to them if I replied to messages while they talked adult stuff.”

Harper says “adult stuff” like the lady to her right isn’t three years older than her. “Yeah, but she’s building a house.” And that was the end of that conversation. She alludes to the rhetoric of being available in a society so nuanced in its busyness. She hardly finds the time nor (definitely) the energy to even sit her butt and finish her little novella, about three years old now.

FM: What’s it about?

H: A limping girl. With a secret.

FM: Sounds obvious.

H: See my dilemma?

And she blames everyone’s attendance in her life though she is mostly preoccupied by napping.

FM: I remember once you saying how cumquats should not look like oranges.

H: Because one grew large enough to be mistaken as a mandarin. Do you know how unfairly disappointing that was? It was summer.

FM: Perhaps this limping girl grows cumquats.

H: And while she’s trimming the plant, she falls on her bad leg illiciting a small cry of pain. And who but comes?

FM: A gentlem-

H: A cat. Or at least, I’d like to think it’s a cat.

Then she drifts off on a tangent about croissants.

Harper finds herself always on the lookout for the presence of wonder. One time she went to climb the peak of a mountain simply to sit and stare. Her best friend panicked, thinking she was about to fall off (and mighty be such death), but she simply shrugs in amnesty. She says that sitting on hilltops or mountain peaks at a summit high above ground makes her grow nervous in anticipation for the wondrous unknowns. She asks, “Have you ever felt that?”

And I am reminded by the time I decided not to climb that gargantuan Redwood tree because I was afraid to get scratched.

“Live freely,” she says, blinking a few times. “Unapologetically.”

How dare you, really.

I sometimes catch myself looking at a person and wondering if they’ve ever been to a musical. Not on it, in it.

Because how many do we pass by in the streets as we juggle our hot cuppas, as we ignore the world with tunes blasting from our headsets, that have been in a musical? Last night, I had the privilege of watching my puppies-before-anything friend’s first time to watch a musical in her twenty-three years of living. And whatever musical it had been, it had to be something that will amaze her, wow her, and shut her splendid in spectacular fashions.

“Colourful,” she says, without ambiguity. It seemed most appropriate with a set so dressed and a stage lit with the ambience of every Disney film we ever loved (still do).

Tragically, I remembered when we booked our tickets months before – May, if I recall correctly. You ask, “Why the long wait?” Because patience is a virtue among those who wait. It yields results contrary to spontaneity that can either equal wondrous or disastrous. There’s never an in-between.

We wanted to be safe and go for the wondrous. We sat in the stalls, very much near the orchestra pit and there were no barriers hingeing our desire to see the stage in all its glory. And glory we did! (I still have tears in my eyes.) But I digress.

The tragedy was our trio reduced to a duo. The 1/3 of our group decided that it best to buy herself some exorbitantly expensive shoes to trample on than sit amidst a crowd to ooh and ahh and gasp at the tumbling acrobats.

Will I forgive said friend for the ditch?

Perhaps not.

Richly flavoured yellow.

I still remember the spring of last year. When September rolled around and the canola flowers bloomed in rich yellow as we passed in our daily haste. I remember feeling the still chilly wind as I ambled around my backyard with my hose, careful, knowing that the thorns will start to breathe life and colour once more.

I took out my journal, 31st of August 2016, dog-eared (an accident) and I’m reading through my flowery script as I regaled nobody – myself – something to do with rainy days and sweepstakes, and missing verdant Massachusetts. The plane ride to Hartford, Springfield from Dallas was a nightmare, but the landing was a dream. Fresh lobsters served butter-hot in our exhaustion, quaint, rustic, American dream house with its trademark squeaky floorboards.

It’s haunting, alluring, and I feel so unapologetic that I fainted while waiting in line for a ride at Six Flags.

Spring has a quality of superstition about it. Hades and Persephone, a fave. It can be dark, but light, humorous, but itchy. I wonder how this year will go. Will it be inescapable? Will it be richly flavoured?

Hmm, hmm, hmm…


I have been ill for three consecutive weeks. I have missed two work days out of five for these three consecutive weeks and it is more than putting a glower on myself, I am feeling a basketful of guilt for leaving the manning of the fort to my two superiors. My two unequivocally professional and beyond worthy to my superiors. They are vastly more improved than I in this profession (I still use the Media and Comms excuse) but their invaluable kindness and mentorship has made it much, much easier for me to be ill. And I say this for the entire company.

The company that knows just how much an individual person is worth.

Even so, in the creative department, I have disappeared upon these pages too. How have you all been? Did any of you have a sweet apple today? Dipped it in yoghurt for a snack? Did someone climb a particularly challenging staircase this week? Or fumbled down the couch as they reach for the remote control?

I know I have done less than dismal of physical activities. If I count walking to the car, walking to the refrigerator, stretching by the bed, using my thumbs as I wreak havoc on a gaming console…

To continue is to make a fool of myself.

Alas, I feel braver. Braver in my insecurity, that is. As oftentimes I catch myself needing to apologise for my human condition of illness. And I thought, why should I?

But it helps. It thoroughly helps when empathy is your ally.

Fashion spiel

I cannot account as to how long it has been since I last shopped at a direct factory outlet. I recall driving past and pausing at our local shopping centre not ten-minutes away, and usually I’ll get driven thanks to some learner pals.

So when I went today, after having returned some notes from my piggy bank, I felt far from disinterested when the sale signs launched their marketing assault. What kind of brands do I silly in?

Pfft, everything, I think to myself as I lunge after that orange box numbered “size 8”. Appalled by my brother’s holeful socks, I did not have time to deliberate. I was taken straight to the counter.

My real purpose was to buy myself a camera bag and some mints but instead, my name was screamed at a store and I was given a 50% discount by my fashionably A+ friend. Here’s my fashion rundown, Tavi Gevinson:

Peach is the new rose gold. Even if a CEO scoffs at it.

Always white shoes over black and white. Because you already have a black and white somewhere, don’t be greedy.

Slightly expensive black socks.


It’s a must.