Sunday, December 31, 2006

happy new years eve

November 8, 2006 - Xinyi Road, looking east towards Taipei 101. Xinyi Road runs along the northern edge of Daan Park, and is to the right in this shot. I'm standing by a barrier in the middle of the road. The construction barrier is there because an MRT line is being built underneath, and an MRT station is being built just a little down the road in this shot.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. The Narrow Way: Part I (Pink Floyd)
2. Babooshka (Kate Bush)
3. Immigrant Song (live BBC) (Led Zeppelin)
4. Honeychain (Throwing Muses)
5. With Every Breath I Take ("City of Angels")
6. Radio, Radio (Elvis Costello & the Attractions)
7. Aging Astronauts (Helium)
8. Stop Your Sobbing (The Kinks)
9. Market Square Heroes (Marillion)
10. Fly On the Wall (XTC)

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Taipei Fine Arts Museum

November 5, 2006 - This is actually the backside of the museum. The front side looks like sewage tunnels, like the Justin Herman Plaza sculpture in San Francisco. Not sure that's the best motif for fine arts, but Taipei isn't known for its arts. At least I haven't heard the greatest things about its arts museums, but I guess I should go in and see for myself. Taipei has other, more objective-type museums that are quite good.

Of course, there's the National Palace Museum, which is often a must-see for visitors. It's more of a Chinese historical/cultural museum, if you like that kind of stuff. I've been to it twice because their collection is so large they rotate it very often. The first time I went, which I posted about earlier this month, was a real yawner. If the exhibits on display interest me less than going to peoples' houses and looking through their cupboards, I have better uses for my time. The second time I went, they had a mind-blowing special exhibit on Sung Dynasty art and calligraphy. Oh, that was today.

I've also been to the Museum of World Religions which is pretty cool, except for getting hit by a car on the way there, unless you consider that sort of thing a religious experience. And way up at the far northern end of the MRT line and a ferry trip across the Danshuei River and then either a 3.5 km walk or a short bus ride is the Shisanhang Museum of Archeology, which is more a museum of the archeological discovery of the remains of a very unique aboriginal tribe that lived in that area. That was a pretty neat museum, especially since it's right on the site where they found the remains - right on the beach on the Taiwan Straits.

There's a park next to the Fine Arts Museum, I think it's called the Arts Park or something. A very nice environment for a museum. Sort of what Yerba Buena Gardens did for the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. We Are What We Are ("La Cage Aux Folles")
2. Awaiting On You All (George Harrison)
3. Let It Be (The Beatles - Anthology)
4. Corcovado (Quiet Nights) (Cannonball Adderly & Sergio Mendes - ultralounge)
5. Talby (Pinback)
6. I Am One (Smashing Pumpkins)
7. My Heart Would Know (The The)
8. Bron-Yr-Aur (Led Zeppelin)
9. Stay (Pink Floyd)
10. You Won't Be An Orphan For Long ("Annie")

Friday, December 29, 2006


There's a reason I'm posting two lomos of the same thing, aside from the fact that I have them. Generally I try not shoot two lomos of the same thing. Here's the first one:

November 5, 2006 - Daan Park on a sunny morning with the exhibit installations by the Taipei Flower Society, a show they put on for the month of November.

Now, a few minutes later (the guy in the first lomo has changed position and is now stretching), from the same vantage point, I shoot a little further to the right, thinking it's a better composition, probably.

Question: What is that thing on the left side of the second lomo with the shadow of me holding Bebe on it? It's not in the first shot, even though the first shot was to the left of the second shot. It's not the wing of a moth because it would have to be huge. It's not a pink elephant ear because I wasn't that drunk yet.

My only explanation is that it's a dimensional rift that tore open just as I took the shot. It's opaque which is why my shadow falls on it, but if anything from our dimension got too close to it or touched it, it would have been sucked into it and sent to another dimension.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. YYZ (live) (Rush)
2. O My God (live) (The Police)
3. Living Loving Maid (She's Just a Woman) (Led Zeppelin)
4. Better Things (live) (The Kinks)
5. Heavy Crown (Shannon Wright)
6. Tropics of Love (Black Heart Procession)
7. Moonlight in Samosa (Robert Plant)
8. What Goes On? (The Beatles)
9. Of the Girl (Pearl Jam)
10. John, I'm Only Dancing (live) (David Bowie)

Thursday, December 28, 2006


November 5, 2006 - For the month of November, the Taipei Flower Society put on a show in Daan Park. And when they put on a show, they put on a show. They transformed the park into a blooming oasis of color and light. The only thing I could have done without was these flower pot robot thingies. They creeped me out.

Rainbow heart arches. And they're all gone now. When they removed all the exhibits, it was like *crickets*. It was like 'why bother going to the park anymore?'.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. Ohio (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)
2. Genki de ne (Rinken Band)
3. Things You Say (Sleater-Kinney)
4. Not Too Soon (Throwing Muses)
5. Space Dog (live) (Tori Amos)
6. Dhak Dhak Karne Laga ("Beta" - Bollywood)
7. The Sun On His Back (Camera Obscura)
8. Denis (Blondie)
9. Miami 2017 (Seen The Lights Go Out On Broadway) (live) (Billy Joel)
10. Dr. Cat (Mary Timony)

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

it's not all about the big building

November 4, 2006 - Taipei 101 with Taipei City Hall on the left. It's uncredible how ugly and uninviting the City Hall building is. It must have been built during KMT rule days. Even a plain, perfectly symmetric cube would be more aesthetically pleasing and architecturally bold. Well, no, I'm sure they could have found a way to make that boring, too. As it is, I look at the City Hall building (I can't bring myself to call it City Hall), and I just don't want to go into it for any reason whatsoever!

iTunes soundtrack:
1. Jimmy ("Thoroughly Modern Millie")
2. Knuckle Down (XTC)
3. Birdhouse in Your Soul (They Might Be Giants)
4. Black Little Stray (Shannon Wright)
5. Savoy Truffle (The Beatles)
6. Mary (Sarah McLachlan)
7. Crepescule With Nellie (Thelonius Monk)
8. Flavor of the Month (Black Sheep)
9. Itsuka Kaze Ni Naru Hi (Chitose Hajime)
10. Tu Que Has Hecho (Compay Segundo)

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

street shooting in the 101 area

November 4, 2006 - Roller girls handing out leaflets. I guess I could've gotten closer in for a shot, but I wasn't quite sure how good they were on those roller blades.

I actually re-crossed the street to shoot the wall of people coming the other way. The second time through is never the same. Really, the first time crossing I thought I was going to be hit by a tsunami of people. I just didn't have Bebe ready, and timing is harder than it looks! Especially since I wanted as few people who were coming from the same direction as me in the shot.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. Spirits in the Material World (The Police)
2. Southern Man (Neil Young)
3. Get Off My Cloud (The Rolling Stones)
4. Bulldog Baby (Echobelly)
5. While My Guitar Gently Weeps (The Beatles - Anthology)
6. Tom Sawyer (Rush)
7. Symphony No. 40, II. Andante (Mozart)
8. Twilight Alehouse (Genesis)
9. Factor 41 (Sleeper)
10. Dai-Bosatsu (Watazumi Doso Roshi - shakuhachi)

Monday, December 25, 2006

new roll

November 4, 2006 - Taipei 101, Warner Village area, Taipei, Taiwan. This was actually the advance frame for a new roll of film in Bebe, but it came out alright. It was a cloudy day as usual, and something was going on down there. Loud music was playing and that stage looked like it was going to be a runway, so maybe it was a fashion thing. I didn't stick around to see, because in this shot, there aren't many people down there, but by the time I got down there, it was pretty crowded with much rubbernecking and elbowing.

It's not called Warner Village anymore, either. Corporate culture is global, so the ephemerality of corporate names is present here, too. Corporate names change like the seasons. All is impermanent.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. Weeping Wall (David Bowie)
2. Taking It All Too Hard (Genesis)
3. Stubborn Kind of Fellow (Marvin Gaye)
4. Whiskey in the Jar (Metallica)
5. Soon (My Bloody Valentine)
6. Barstool (Deadweight)
7. Pyramid Song (Radiohead)
8. Valley of One Thousand Perfumes (Mary Timony)
9. Silent All These Years (Tori Amos)
10. It Would Have Been Wonderful ("A Little Night Music" - Sondheim)

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Taida Campus

November 1, 2006 - I had passed through the Taida campus before, but on the day I handed in my application to the Mandarin Language Center, I got the distinct realization that I might be attending school on this campus. So for the first time I walked around a bit to contemplate the reality of the campus. Unfortunately, it was drizzly and miserable, so I didn't go too far. I did find this nifty artifact, though.

I have no idea what model it is or when it served. Maybe it was donated to the school for engineering students after it was obsolete. I do remember a long time ago during the Kuomingtan's 40 years or so of martial law, before movies they would play a short propaganda movie extolling the glory of Taiwan's military might. In one shot was a formation of 16 fighter jets. I think the joke (or not, I don't know) was that was the entire Taiwanese Air Force.

Jet engine.

Saturday, December 23, 2006


October 29, 2006 - Starbucks, looking from the 2nd fl. at Jian Guo South Road (建國南路) on typical day in Taipei. That's to say rainy. Starbucks, on the other hand, outside of San Francisco, has been fair game to go to because of: A) the importance of coffee; B) the lack of comparable competition; and C) not embarassing at all to go to. They say Starbucks is Evil, but how can you even compare McDonald's to Starbucks. I guess there's the slave wages coffee growers are paid in developing countries unless you buy fair trade coffee. Can't win.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. You're Going to Need Somebody On Your Bond (Taj Mahal)
2. Mary Queen of Arkansas (Bruce Springsteen)
3. For Martha (Smashing Pumpkins)
4. Syeeda's Song Flute (alternate take) (John Coltrane)
5. My Mummy's Dead (John Lennon)
6. Sunny Side to Every Situation ("42nd Street")
7. Ripple (The Grateful Dead)
8. Heartbreak Even (Ani DiFranco)
9. Valentine (Skip Holiday)
10. Kazet (Dance Remix) (Mahlathini & the Mahotella Queens)

Friday, December 22, 2006


October 27, 2006 - Out the window of McDonald's on Fuxing South Road (復興南路). I dunno, as an American, I'm a little self-conscious about going to McDonald's in foreign countries. Actually, I'm a little wary of going into McDonald's in the U.S, but that's a different issue altogether.

It's as if Americans can't figure out or adjust to local customs so they have to resort to that safe port of cultural familiarity, the global language of the golden arches. That's what happened to me in Switzerland and I have no embarassment about having to go to McDonald's there. In Geneva, I couldn't order squat in French, but I could order a Big Mac with a French accent! That mostly amused me because it worked so well.

In Asia, though, maybe the difference is that it's Asia, and I feel inadequate or incompetent if I go to McDonald's here. I know, silly. Not just Taiwan, I avoided it in Thailand and Japan, too. But maybe it was this trip to the U.S. that made me want to go to McDonald's for breakfast after I got back. The price isn't bad, either at about $2 for a breakfast meal. I also had switched my sleeping hours so that I was up all night and would go running at 5 in the morning, or would otherwise be up and out at that early hour. Maybe the running was the justification for the amount of calories ingested.

Over the shoulder blind shot.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. The Boxer (Simon & Garfunkel)
2. Night Shift Gurus (The Cash Brothers)
3. You Can't Stop the Music (The Kinks)
4. Pussy Cat Dues (Charles Mingus)
5. Mr. Me (They Might Be Giants)
6. Crooked Teeth (Death Cab for Cutie)
7. Late in the Day (Supergrass)
8. Tasogare Naki (Tokyo Jihen)
9. Walk On (U2)
10. Sayonara o Matteru (Dreams Come True)

Thursday, December 21, 2006

funky jalopy

October 22, 2006 - Not sure what this is. I was riding around on the riverside bikeways the day I returned from the U.S. to try to get over jetlag. Don't know if it worked. I bonked before I wanted to and had to make a beeline home so as to not fall over on my bike and sleep right where I was.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. More Than Rain (Tom Waits)
2. Matte Kudasai (King Crimson)
3. Shock the Monkey (live) (Peter Gabriel)
4. A Man/Me/Then Jim (Rilo Kiley)
5. Slave Driver (Bob Marley & the Wailers)
6. Holy Night (Nokko)
7. Adia (Sarah McLachlan)
8. The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonight (R.E.M.)
9. Akita Sugaki (Kohachiro Miyata - shakuhachi)
10. I Me Mine (The Beatles - Anthology)

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

the main hall

October 14, 2006 - I was at the monastery with my sister-in-law's family. They went to pray and make offerings because my sister-in-law's older sister was going to have some delicate brain surgery soon. I'm not sure what I think of that. Actually, I'm not sure what they think about that! It's not like they're devout Buddhists or anything. They invited me along (or assumed I was coming along) because of that almost-entering-a-monastery thing I did.

So if it's making offerings and praying to some external being hoping for material favor, I'm not sure I can support that sort of thinking. But if it's a gesture of internal reflection and generation of positive energy, then that's something I'm less skeptical about.

Anyway, it worked and she came out of the brain surgery with flying colors. My sister-in-law reports that when you clap, her sister clucks like a chicken. I can't wait to try that out.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. Star (Belly)
2. The Rhythm of Life ("Sweet Charity")
3. 10538 Overture (Electric Light Orchestra)
4. Waitress (live) (Tori Amos)
5. Symphony No. 8, IV. Allegro Vivace (Beethoven)
6. So Jah Seh (Bob Marley & the Wailers)
7. Escape of the Levitational Trapeze Artist (June of 44)
8. Fugue in G Minor "The Greater" (J.S. Bach)
9. Standing in the Shadows of Love (The Four Tops - Motown)
10. Thirty-Three (Smashing Pumpkins)

Monday, December 18, 2006

Chuang Yen Monastery

October 14, 2006 - The monastery matched Autumn colors! I guess it was a monastery. There were monks there. I think Pure Land Buddhism is more devotional, so I'm under the impression that temples are more important than monasteries as far as the general public is concerned. Temples are where people go to worship, to express their devotion to something they don't feel they really need to understand. Monasteries are where people give up the world to dedicate themselves to practice. It's not just devotion, it's experiential.

I don't know what this building was. The colors were nice.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. She Said, She Said (The Beatles)
2. In the Flesh (Pink Floyd)
3. Someone to Die For (Belly)
4. Rhiannon (Fleetwood Mac)
5. The Bewlay Brothers (David Bowie)
6. The Stalker (Urge Overkill)
7. Ripples (Genesis)
8. Close My Eyes (Matisyahu)
9. Rock the Casbah (The Clash)
10. Wishlist (Pearl Jam)

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Tale of Two Language Schools

Just so we're clear on these things, old school (posted before):

September 18, 2006 - Shida University Mandarin Training Center, a horrible school that I can't say enough bad things about, but I'm probably being jaded and a spoil-sport because there are people who are able to learn the language through their program.

I would recommend this language school for people who have a natural affinity for learning languages, a high frustration threshold for bureaucratic and administrative incompetence, or who don't have money.


New school:

December 1, 2006 - Taida University Chinese Language Division. Unfortunately it was a rainy day when I took this, and not the day when I was walking home and there was a rainbow in the east. Well, actually, that was a shitty weather day, too. Because if there's a rainbow, there's water in the air. The water doesn't have to be raining on you to see a rainbow, but in this case, it was. Spitty, misty, surreal-sunlight rain which fits right in with my weather experience in Taipei. All the science majors were outside looking for the rainbow because they all knew the conditions were right to spot one.

That's my bike front and left. And this is the new lomo fisheye 2 that I still haven't named yet. I think I'll name it Bebebe.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. Stir It Up (live) (Bob Marley & the Wailers)
2. Try, Try, Try (Smashing Pumpkins)
3. Who Dunnit? (Genesis)
4. Good Night (The Beatles)
5. Moribund the Burgermeister (Peter Gabriel)
6. Oh I... (Sakura)
7. Tengoku Rensha de Yukou (Bakufu Slump)
8. Dandy (The Kinks)
9. Red Vines (Aimee Mann)
10. Onaji Yoru (Shiina Ringo)

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Statues of the 18 Luohan

October 14, 2006 - Chuang Yen Monastery, Carmel, New York. I went with my sister-in-law's family to this Pure Land temple in upstate. I didn't know it was a Pure Land temple until we got up there. Not that I think the delineations between different sects of Buddhism make too much of difference. What is Buddhism, after all, but nothing? Just a label. And labeling it Pure Land is supposed to mean something different from labeling it Zen?

iTunes soundtrack:
1. Like China (Phil Collins)
2. Day to Day Thing (The Neville Brothers)
3. Misery (The Kinks)
4. Southampton Dock (Pink Floyd)
5. Does Your Heart Beat Slower? (June of 44)
6. Down, Down, Down (Tom Waits)
7. Eraikocha (Bakufu Slump)
8. Nervous But Glamorous (Rebecca)
9. Miss World (Hole)
10. Rival (Pearl Jam)

Thursday, December 14, 2006

street shots

October 11, 2006 - Back in Philadelphia for the second time that week, this time with my parents and uncle and aunt who wanted to see the new baby girl, Sarah, who was born in July. My brother and his wife were at work, so I didn't see them at all. My parents like to visit on Wednesdays, their day off, but they only go to see the kids and never see my brother. That always struck me as odd.

I didn't want to hang out with a bunch of old people speaking Taiwanese, so I took off on a walk and to study at Starbucks, and ended up in the rain. I think this is Chestnut Street, headed back over the Schuykill River.

October 14, 2006 - West Side Highway, New York City. I drove into New York on Saturday morning to pick up my sister-in-law's sister, Peggy. I was in the lane to get off when I saw this darndest thing, and you probably have to enlarge to see it, a Corvette with "Student Driver" in huge letters on the back! I always thought East Coast people took themselves too seriously to do something like that. Or maybe it really was a student driver. Or a student race car driver.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. Bullet With Butterfly Wings (Smashing Pumpkins)
2. Alarmed (Built to Spill)
3. Yo-Yo (The Kinks)
4. Vera (live) (Pink Floyd)
5. Sour Times (Nobody Loves Me) (Portishead)
6. Lord, Is It Mine? (Supertramp)
7. Just Phrases (Kenwood Dennard)
8. All My Love (Led Zeppelin)
9. No Backrub (Bikini Kill)
10. You Were the Long Way Home (764-HERO)

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Northern Exposure

October 10, 2006 - From the west side of the Empire State Building, shooting north, so Times Square, Upper West Side, the Hudson River and New Jersey are all in this shot. Although I doubt the George Washington Bridge is, even enlarged. My parents and brother live across the bridge.

Looking due north. No airplanes, fortunately.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. 76th Star (Rebecca)
2. Kyoshui (Drummers of KODO)
3. Attitude (The Kinks)
4. Hairspray Queen (Nirvana)
5. I Love to Cry at Weddings ("Sweet Charity")
6. Big Blue Plymouth (Eyes Wide Open) (David Byrne - "The Catherine Wheel")
7. Life On Mars? (David Bowie)
8. Revival! (Me Phi Me)
9. Aloha Lolita (Echobelly)
10. Lions and Tigers (Sleater-Kinney)

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Empire State Building Observation Deck.

October 10, 2006 - Fortunately, I was included in one "group blog", now defunct, that hasn't been migrated to the new blogger interface, so I can use that to upload lomos in the old format that fits to the screen. Although I must say those huge lomos have incredible detail! It's almost worth having to scroll around to see everything in the image... but not.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. We Will Rock You (Queen)
2. E Koto Arusa (Kome Kome Club)
3. Color and Light ("Sunday in the Park with George" - Sondheim)
4. Dead (The Pixies)
5. Cosmic Charlie (The Grateful Dead)
6. Lukin (Pearl Jam)
7. All I Do (+/-)
8. Concertina (Tori Amos)
9. Maggie Mae (The Beatles)
10. Sno Cat (Kristin Hersh)

Monday, December 11, 2006

more 紐約 panoramics

October 10, 2006 - looking due west across the Hudson River at New Jersey. The New Yorkers view of the world.

Looking south and a bit east, across the East River towards Brooklyn.

Urg, anyone know why the new Blogger interface is not creating an image that fits to the screen when enlarged?

iTunes soundtrack:
1. Real By Reel (XTC)
2. Lemon (U2)
3. Wulu Sky (David Darling & the Wulu Bunun)
4. Fly on a Windshield (Genesis)
5. Plastic Man (The Kinks)
6. Wandering in the Street (Black Hand Nakashi - Chinese indie)
7. When I See Red (Echobelly)
8. Taxi Suite (Rare Air)
9. Troubled (Peter Gabriel - "The Last Temptation of Christ")
10. Lizzie Sage (Throwing Muses)

Saturday, December 09, 2006

New York, New York, it's a helluv town

October 10, 2006 - U.S. East Coast trip. The reason I decided to go to the U.S. in October was because my uncle was going, and he's been really nice to me in Taiwan, so I thought it would be a nice gesture to take him around. I had to go to the U.S. anyway at some point for visa reasons. This shot is at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Central Park. Unfortunately, this is the only lomo I have in the museum, as I've mentioned, Bebe is not so good indoors and in low light. It's in one of the Asia themed rooms, as you can see at the bottom the Asian type tiles replicating a roof.

Afterwards we went to the Empire State Building. This is looking northwest at the East River and off to Long Island.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. Brothers and Sisters (Blur)
2. Tame (The Pixies)
3. Larks Tongue in Aspic, Part 2 (King Crimson)
4. Assata's Song (Paris)
5. The Power of Equality (Red Hot Chili Peppers)
6. Queen Bitch (David Bowie)
7. Ramble On Rose (The Grateful Dead)
8. Beautiful Ones (Suede)
9. Taste of You (Echobelly)
10. Scarecrow People (XTC)

Friday, December 08, 2006

Philadelphia II

October 8, 2006 - U.S. visit. The building on the right is the famous 30th Street train station. Actually, I don't know if it's famous, except that my brother identified it as the one where there's a scene in the Harrison Ford movie "Witness". I saw the movie, I liked it, I don't remember any train stations.

I don't know what the building in the middle was, the one I was shooting. From certain angles, it looks like a Jawa Sandcrawler, but I don't know if anyone in Philly has noticed that or if anyone calls it that. They should.

The Schuykill River. I pronounce it skwee-kel, but I'm pretty sure it's supposed to be skoi-kel. Between that and the Sandcrawler building, I'll probably never be allowed to live in Philly. Even though I think their cream cheese is pretty darn good.

My brother lives off the river, and he has close access to this really nice riverside park that goes quite a way. It's much nicer than the riverside parks in Taipei, but mostly because outdoor activities in the sweltering near tropical heat of Taipei is pretty preventative. I don't mind it, but in the Summer, I could go kilometers on the bikeways in the middle of the afternoon without seeing a soul before passing out from heat exhaustion.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. Crayon Sun (Throwing Muses)
2. Añoranzas (Sukay - Andean pan flute)
3. If Only You Had Cared for Me ("Me and My Girl")
4. Man of Our Times (Genesis)
5. After Today (David Bowie)
6. Mystic Rhythms (Rush)
7. Butt in the Meantime (Black Sheep)
8. I Can't Get My Head Around It (Aimee Mann)
9. Positive Vibration (Bob Marley & the Wailers)
10. Two of Us (The Beatles - Anthology)

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Philadelphia I

October 8, 2006 - Trip back to the U.S. in October. It wasn't until I got to Philly to visit one of my brothers that I found chromogenic black & white film for my SLR, so it wasn't until then that I also bought color film for Bebe. I found Kodak BW400CN at Rite-Aid of all places. I crossed the street and straight away loaded both cameras. This is the film advance frame at the beginning of the roll. There were two guys in that car. Probably doing drugs. On a Sunday morning.

Chestnut Street? Walnut Street? It's a short walk from my brother's condo to U of P, where they both work at the hospital.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. Samba de Orfeu (Ray Anthony - ultralounge)
2. Someday You Will Be Loved (Death Cab for Cutie)
3. Symphony No. 9, III. Adagio molto e cantabile (Beethoven)
4. Dirty Movies (Van Halen)
5. The Man Who Loved the Earth/The Hand that Sold Shadows (Peter Gabriel - "OVO")
6. Dirty Fingernails (Modest Mouse)
7. Home is Anywhere You Hang Your Head (Elvis Costello & the Attractions)
8. Still Water (The Four Tops)
9. Twentieth Century Fox (The Doors)
10. So What? ("Cabaret")

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


November 8, 2006 - So with all my griping about Shida Mandarin Training Center, and since I'm posting these lomos more or less in sequence, I forget if I mentioned I applied for the language program at neighboring Taida University and got in. I started this week.

So far, the feel is much more comfortable for me. It's definitely not as crowded and chaotic. As for my class, I don't know. Nine months at Shida, and I still don't understand half of what the teacher is saying, although I'm not sure Shida is to blame for that. I'm not very good at languages.

This is the palm-lined main boulevard of the Taida campus. Really nice campus. Big campus.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. Evacuation (Pearl Jam)
2. If I Needed Someone (The Beatles)
3. In the Mist (Keiko Matsui)
4. The Return of the Giant Hogweed (Genesis)
5. Dusk (Duke Ellington)
6. Complicated Game (XTC)
7. Cowbirds (Throwing Muses)
8. Just as the Tide was a-Flowing (10,000 Maniacs)
9. You're All I've Got Tonight (Smashing Pumpkins)
10. Tattoo (The Who)

Monday, December 04, 2006


September 26, 2006 - last frame on the roll, shot probably on my way to school, corner of Xin Sheng South Road (新生南路 - you can see those characters on the sign) and Heping East Road (和平東路). They've been completely re-doing this footbridge on the southwest corner of Daan Park. When I got here, it was a nice old copper green, as seen in the movie "Yiyi", but now it looks like they want it white, and they're currently replacing all the metal railing with glass. Makes me go "hmm". It's gonna take a lot of Windex to keep that clean. Not to mention the constant vibration from traffic underneath.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. You Had Time (Ani DiFranco)
2. Affirmation (George Benson)
3. I Can't Explain (live) (The Who)
4. Mr. Songbird (The Kinks)
5. Exaltation (Matisyahu)
6. Over the Mountain (Ozzy Osbourne)
7. Perspective (Peter Gabriel)
8. Car Song (Elastica)
9. Town With No Cheer (Tom Waits)
10. Tragedy (The Bee Gees)

Sunday, December 03, 2006

National Palace Museum

September 23, 2006 - National Palace Museum (國立故宮博物院). I gather this is Taiwan's most important museum, with a fascinating history.

Through much of China's history, Emperors would have art brought to the capital from all over China. The accumulation was a huge collection of art, closed to the public until the last emperor was overthrown and the Nationalists took power in the early 20th Century. They established the National Palace Museum in the Forbidden City in Beijing.

When war broke out, the entire collection was wrapped up and moved around to make sure it didn't fall into Japanese hands. Then the Japanese were defeated and the Communists rose to power and chased the Nationalists around China and off the mainland onto Taiwan. The Nationalists managed to take the entire collection with them, fully intact!

After many decades, when it became clear that the Nationalists weren't going to take back China any time soon, they established the National Palace Museum in Taipei. The collection is so large that there is a frequent turnover of exhibits. Which is good, because when I went, I thought it was pretty boring.

I dunno. Collected stuff through the ages - vases, spoons, rocks that look like meat, - don't interest me or necessarily qualify as "art" (I do note that "art" is no where in the title of the museum). I think looking through someone's living room is just as interesting.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. Killing Me With Your Voice (Rebecca)
2. Mr. Wiggles (Parliament)
3. Tear (Smashing Pumpkins)
4. Dear Madame Barnum (XTC)
5. Mother (Pink Floyd)
6. Chevrolet (Taj Mahal)
7. Revelation (Mother Earth) (Ozzy Osbourne)
8. Achilles Last Stand (Led Zeppelin)
9. One Vision (Queen)
10. Unquiet Slumbers for the Sleepers... (Genesis)

Friday, December 01, 2006


September 22, 2006 - Dazhi, Taipei, Taiwan. Waiting for Hyun Ae to see a Korean movie that was playing, "Monster". The Miramar shopping center has this curious ferris wheel on top. I haven't been on it yet. Hyun Ae says she wasn't impressed, as it overlooks nothing but the still-developing wasteland of Dazhi, but I think she's missing something as she was apparently wholly unimpressed by the Grand Canyon. I'll have to go on it myself to see, but for me, just the height and the panoramic view is something.

The movie was pretty good. Korean cinema has been coming along, and this movie was heralded as impressive because of its low budget. I knew nothing about it and was totally surprised when it turned out to really be a monster film! That ruled! An American scientist orders some really toxic material be disposed of in the river, and years later, as a result, a monster comes out of the river and starts terrorizing Seoul. Godzilla eat your heart out. I recommend it if it comes to a country near you.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. Sukiyaki (Selena)
2. Noise (The Kinks)
3. untitled (Blonde Redhead)
4. Roxanne (live) (The Police)
5. Pride and Joy (Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble)
6. Heart of Lothian (Marillion)
7. I'm Still Here ("Follies" - Sondheim)
8. Twilight Alehouse (Genesis)
9. String Quartet No. 7, III. Allegro (Shostakovich)
10. Symphony No. 40, IV. Finale (Allegro Assai) (Mozart)

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Riding to Dazhi

September 22, 2006 - Not sure which park this is, but it's up near the Taipei Fine Arts Museum. It's near the Arts Park, but I don't think this is in it. The map suggests it's Xin Sheng Park (新生公園). I was riding along, taking my time going to Dazhi, when I saw this sculpture and wondered if it wasn't a bit . . . obscene. Probably just me being preoccupied.

中山北路 Zhongshan North Road. When I first got to Taipei, it looked like crossing rivers on bike would be a problem. It didn't look like any of the river crossings accommodated bikes or pedestrians. Eventually I found one crossing. Then I found another. Then I realized from observation that bikes can cross any bridge in Taipei in regular traffic in the motorscooter lane (sometimes even without)! However, this isn't one of those. This one, although with ongoing construction, had a sidewalk.

Finally, I said I wouldn't do it, but weighing a bunch of factors, I did:

It's just as cute as the first one, although maybe not as cute a shot. It has a bunch of nifty features that make it worth it. For instance, just as I was complaining about Bebe's performance in low light, this one has a B setting to hold the shutter open as long as I want. The bulbous viewfinder is removable, but it's actually really cool.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. The Village Green Preservation Society (The Kinks)
2. Pennies (Smashing Pumpkins)
3. Loner Getaway Car (764-HERO)
4. Slow Country (Gorillaz)
5. Breakfast in America (live) (Supertramp)
6. Stop (Joe Henry)
7. Pride and Joy (live) (Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble)
8. Lavender Blue (Marillion)
9. It's Gonna Be Me (David Bowie)
10. Do That Stuff (Parliament-Funkadelic)

Wednesday, November 29, 2006


September 15, 2006 - Trying to shoot Taipei 101 on a rainy day. Still not sure how to capture the enormity of the building with a fisheye.

Hyun Ae and the poor performance of the lomo fisheye in low light. I think we were there on a Friday afternoon to catch the latest Zhang Ziyi film, which was subtitled, fortunately for both of us. Even with her advanced Mandarin abilities, she admitted she wouldn't have been able to follow the film with them.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. Symphony No. 2, III. Adagio (Rachmaninov)
2. Sleepwalkers (100 Watt Smile)
3. Getting Married Today ("Company" - Sondheim)
4. The Spring of Next Year ("Dear World")
5. Suite for Flute & Jazz Piano No. 2, VII. Intime (Bolling)
6. Shotgun (Jr. Walker & the All-Stars)
7. The Tide is Turning (After Live Aid) (Roger Waters)
8. 等無限時批 (陳昇)
9. Prière De "Bon Augure" (Monks of the Gyütö Monastery)
10. In That Quiet Earth (remixed) (Genesis)

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

back to Taipei

August 29, 2006 - a more distinct feature of the Kaohsiung skyline. That's the building that should have an observation deck. It doesn't. In fact, I think they are having trouble filling the building. I forget what my uncle said about it. We don't speak a common language, and he's a little bit nuts. I forget if it was something about Kaohsiung folk being provincial yokels and not liking being way up high.

September 1, 2006 - Back in Taipei, a variation of the sad bikes. Sad motor scooter. It was lying like this for a few days. That red and yellow paper I think is a police notice. It was blocking the sidewalk, so I think it got officially moved, unlike the previous sad motor scooter, which is still there.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. Centrifuge (Rainer Maria)
2. One Half Laughing (The Aislers Set)
3. Medetai Medetai (Island version) (Rinken Band)
4. Kooks (David Bowie)
5. Outta Me Onto You (Ani DiFranco)
6. Slow Water (Peter Gabriel - "Birdy")
7. Untitled (Interpol)
8. Amourissima (Feist)
9. Cossack Dance from Mazzepa (Tchaikovsky)
10. You See Me Crying (Aerosmith)

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Southland II

August 27, 2006 - The lovely Hyun Ae at the Tainan train station, waiting to catch the train back to Kaohsiung before the rain started coming down.

August 29, 2006 - Kaohsiung, Taiwan. Folk in Kaohsiung, Taiwan's second largest city, are . . . well, I don't want to stereotype them by calling them provincial yokels, but they aren't that into panoramic views. When they build tall buildings, and there aren't that many, they don't make a point of reserving an upper floor for an observation deck.

This was the best my uncle could do, in a restaurant in the upper floors of a hotel where my uncle goes to sauna. Not bad. Kaohsiung is pretty non-descript, I can't even tell which direction this is, and I'm geeky about stuff like that. There is just nothing here worth mentioning!

I have to stop writing and publish this. The internet at my house is down and I'm at the public library and the guy sitting across from me is stinking to high hell.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. Marriage Tree (Throwing Muses)
2. Ade (David Byrne - "The Catherine Wheel")
3. Styrofoam Boots/It's All Nice on Ice, Alright (Modest Mouse)
4. Xanadu (Electric Light Orchestra w/Olivia Newton-John)
5. Zooropa (U2)
6. Blow Away (for Bill) (Kate Bush)
7. Symphony No. 8, II. Allegreto Scherzando (Beethoven)
8. Anywhere I Lay My Head (Tom Waits)
9. Gimme Gimme ("Thoroughly Modern Millie")
10. Left-Hand Suzuki Method (Gorillaz)