Saturday, June 30, 2007

Under the Bridge

April 27, 2007 - Under the Zhong Zheng Bridge along the riverside bikeway in Taipei. This is still the Xindian River, before it flows into the Danshui River, which drains into the Dire Taiwan Straits.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. Ishiki (Shiina Ringo)
2. The Planets, Mercury - The Winged Messenger (Holst)
3. Falling Down (Tom Waits)
4. Hollow Little Reign (Supergrass)
5. Nice to Meet You (米米 Club)
6. A Tribute to Willie Dixon (Rob Wasserman)
7. The Pressure (A Tribe Called Quest)
8. Anesthesia (Deadweight)
9. I Should Have Known Better (The Beatles)
10. 少女時代 (原由子 - Yuko Hara)

Friday, June 29, 2007

Ride up to Maokong

April 21, 2007 - The southern mountains of Taipei are a tea region known as Maokong, and I got the nifty idea to ride up there based on maps. Maps - they don't love you like I love you.

This lomo is not too far up the climb. Freeways going through mountains. I was wondering how that worked from the maps, they don't love you like I love you.

Near the top of the climb, I suppose, looking north at Taipei. There were lots of old people running the mountain on that, a Saturday, morning. Very friendly. They all encouraged me, 加油, as I rode up. A cable car is scheduled to open next week leading up to the Maokong tea region. I rode by the terminal which was still being completed in April. I think it will attract a lot of people to go up there, and it will probably change the character of the region. It was fun riding up, but I will check out the cable car.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. Trenchtown Rock (live) (Bob Marley & the Wailers)
2. Let the Loser Melt (Archers of Loaf)
3. Canadian Song (Matt Pond PA)
4. Intruder (Peter Gabriel)
5. Here Comes the Sun (The Beatles)
6. Painted Horses (Mary Timony)
7. Long Distance (The Kinks)
8. Your Dirty Answer (Kristin Hersh)
9. Evacuation (Pearl Jam)
10. Cloudbusting (Kate Bush)

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Nanwan, Taiwan

April 20, 2007 - Same field trip as the last several posts. We went to a formerly aboriginal (I think) village called Nanwan, not too far from Xinzhu. It was a relief for me because I get antsy hanging around the same people for too long, and once we were in Nanwan, we could just go on our own, which I immediately did.

I'm starting to notice a pattern in these aboriginal villages. They all have these quaint footbridges crossing scenic streams, flowing through layers of mountains hiding mystery and making you wonder what's around the bend (usually more trees). I'm starting to wonder what's going on. Are aboriginal villages like modern malls, all looking the same with the exact same stores with the exact same offerings? I'm smelling a government plot.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me) (The Temptations)
2. True North (Bela Fleck & the Flecktones)
3. And I Love Her (The Beatles)
4. Gimme the Car (Violent Femmes)
5. If He Really Knew Me ("They're Playing Our Song")
6. Mr. Crowley (Ozzy Osbourne)
7. Natural Animal (Echobelly)
8. Les Promesses (Autour de Lucie)
9. Chant of the Ever-Circling Skeletal Family (David Bowie)
10. M.P.E. (Public Enemy)

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Finally from Nanyuan

April 20, 2007 - Rich people have nice gardens on their estates. Pretty nice, but again, this was just some rich guy's estate, no historical value. Opening it up for tourism just seems tacky.

I forget what this building was to the rich newspaper tycoon who owned it. Again, no historical interest, no interest at all in it to know what it was to whom. It's now a restaurant. And I find that the fisheye lens is not very flattering to some peoples' posteriors. Must make mental note not to do this again.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. Once I Had a Love (Blondie)
2. Ainu-puri (Shoukichi Kina & Champloose)
3. Going to California (live) (Led Zeppelin)
4. Wait (The Beatles)
5. Mysterious Ways (U2)
6. Up the Hill Backwards (David Bowie)
7. Here Comes the Supernatural Anaesthetist (Genesis)
8. I Shot the Sheriff (live) (Bob Marley & the Wailers)
9. The Fox and the Hound (Mary Timony)
10. Hustle Rose (Metric)

Monday, June 25, 2007

more from Nanyuan

April 20, 2007 - That guy was one of my classmates, from Mexico. Total player scamming on Asian women, but it was funny because he was pretty shameless about it. Came damn near to hitting on the teacher, haha!

Turns out those two people standing there are my classmates this term. The tall guy is Russian. The woman is Japanese.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. Full Disclosure (Fugazi)
2. Door (Shoukichi Kina)
3. Mercy Mercy Mercy (The Ecology) (Marvin Gaye)
4. Push Me, Pull Me (Pearl Jam)
5. 1970 (live) (Mission of Burma)
6. Long Knives (live) (Rainer Maria)
7. Happiness is a Warm Gun (The Breeders)
8. Willing to Fight (live) (Ani DiFranco)
9. Long Way from Home (The Vaughan Brothers)
10. Pencil Rain (They Might Be Giants)

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Nanyuan Estate, Hsinchu, Taiwan

April 20, 2007 - The Chinese language school went on a field trip to this place near Xinzhu (新竹), a city about an hour and a half south west of Taipei, known as Taiwan's equivalent of Silicon Valley. This place, called Nanyuan, used to be the estate of a newspaper tycoon and has recently been opened to the public for tourism. WHO CARES?!! There is no real historical value to this place. It was basically some rich guy's house and he spent an opulent amount of money on groundskeeping. And most of it was in the style of mainland China, so no relevance to Taiwan in that regard, either!

I'm glad I went, though. Now I know never to go on these school field trips.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. End of the Night (The Doors)
2. Do It Again (acoustic) (The Kinks)
3. Car Fiction (Echobelly)
4. Chamber Symphony in C Minor, IV. Largo (Shostakovich)
5. Never Say No ("The Fantasticks")
6. La Fin Justifie Les Moyens (MC Solaar)
7. Patagonia (Julie Plug)
8. Naima (John Coltrane)
9. What How When Where (Why Who) (Ani DiFranco)
10. The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy) (Simon & Garfunkel)

Friday, June 22, 2007

Taoist Temple Taiwan (TTT)

April 19, 2007 - Walking up to a Taoist temple either on 臥龍街 (Wolong St.) or 軍功路 (Jungong Rd.), one of them becomes the other in the south eastern-ish section of Taipei. Nothing special about it, I just saw it while riding by and thought I'd check it out. That guardian deity doesn't look so impressive in fisheye. I really need to get closer to my subjects.

It was a nice day, so I was taking the long way home. This is the view from the temple looking sort of north west-ish towards more urban Taipei in the distance. The temple turned out to be nothing special, so no shots of it. Besides, I get nervous around the thug-like people who seem to hang around at temples. I think they're taxi drivers.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. Friends of the Heroes (The Aislers Set)
2. Just Blues (Kenwood Dennard)
3. Diminushing (Django Reinhardt)
4. Brandenburg Concerto No. 2, III. Allegro Assai (J.S. Bach)
5. Polly (Nirvana)
6. OK/No Way (Mission of Burma)
7. Wasurerareta Big Wave (Southern All-Stars)
8. At Last (Etta James)
9. Lovely Rita (The Beatles)
10. By the Throat (Pretty Girls Make Graves)

Thursday, June 21, 2007

In east Taipei

April 19, 2007 - Raohe St. Tourist Night Market entrance. Of course it was closed during the day, what was I thinking? Actually most nightmarkets have something going on in the daytime, I don't know why this street was totally closed, and certainly no shaved ice shops, which I'm addicted to. I mean the shaved ice, not the shops. This night market is on the eastern side of Taipei, pretty distant from where I am. Actually, since I live in Hsindian now, it's really far.

Freeway interchanges, I think. Just down the street from Raohe nightmarket. This is right near the Keelung River, crossing over into the Neihu District. The freeway leads to points east and north of Taipei, including the north coast and area beaches.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. Moon Dreams (Miles Davis Nonet)
2. I Turned the Corner/I'm Falling in Love with Someone ("Thoroughly Modern Millie")
3. Talk About the Passion (R.E.M.)
4. Time (David Bowie)
5. One More Angel in Heaven ("Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat")
6. People (Throwing Muses)
7. Heart of Lothian (extended) (Marillion)
8. Colors and the Kids (Cat Power)
9. Milk It (live) (Nirvana)
10. Karatachi Nomachi (The Boom)

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

A simple view out my window

April 18, 2007 - Hsindian, Taiwan, shooting southwest. Fuxing Road below is the street I live on. The overpass is Beixin Road, which becomes Roosevelt Road in Taipei once it crosses the Jingmei River just to the north.

The buildings in the distance on the right hand side is a Tzu Chi hospital. Tzu Chi is a Buddhist organization (more so than a monastery) that emphasizes service as a means towards enlightenment. I think it's a notable and noble way of going about it. So it's neat they have their own hospitals. But I think Christians have been doing this sort of thing for a while now. They just believe in God, not enlightenment.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. The Lowest Part is Free (live) (Archers of Loaf)
2. Lounge Act (Nirvana)
3. Rafael (Seam)
4. Wrapped Around Your Finger (live) (The Police)
5. Ticket to the Moon (Electric Light Orchestra)
6. F-Encounter (Bootsy Collins)
7. Guiltiness (Bob Marley & the Wailers)
8. Johnsburg, Illinois (live) (Tom Waits)
9. Eraikocha! (Bakufu Slump)
10. Starstruck (The Kinks)

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

two views of the same thing

April 12, 2007 - Riding north-ish on the riverside bikeway along the Xindian River. This is right near the Gongguan entrance where I get off the bikeway to get to the Taida campus. It's about a 10 minute ride from the Jingmei entrance up to here.

May 2, 2007 - Looking south down the Xindian River. I probably shot this just after I came down the ramp from the Gongguang entrance. The bikeway, aside from going forward to the left towards home, continues behind me to the right. The entrance ramp is behind me to the left.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. Signal to Noise (Peter Gabriel)
2. Me By the Sea (Edie Brickell & New Bohemians)
3. Digit (extended) (Echobelly)
4. Marine Blue (live) (Casiopea)
5. A Piece of Peace (Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra)
6. Bombs Away (The Police)
7. Technopolis (Yellow Magic Orchestra)
8. Mr. Wiggles (Parliament-Funkadelic)
9. Plastic Man (The Kinks)
10. Alarmed (Built to Spill)

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Finishing up Kaohsiung April 2007

I passed on going to Kaohsiung for the 端午節 holiday.

April 6, 2007 - Kaohsiung, Taiwan. Kaohsiung's version of a "central park". More example of their noble attempts at civic improvement. I'm pretty sure there used to be pretty much nothing here before, so anything's an improvement. It doesn't compare to Taipei's Daan Park, which I used to live across from and vaguely miss - but that's probably the only thing I miss about my old apartment. Again I have to say, Kaohsiung is too hot to enjoy these outdoor spaces. And at night, too many mosquitos. But maybe it would be different if I lived there. And if I had friends.

April 7, 2007 - Creepy realistic dog statue on Wu-fu Road along the Central Park.

Xin Guang Wharf by the famous robot building. Taiwanese are fond of naming their buildings by how many floors they have, making this the 85 building. I think it looks like a robot with 85 floors.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. Alabama Song (live) (David Bowie)
2. Mr. P.C. (John Coltrane)
3. Road to Madrid (Seam)
4. Light of the World ("Godspell")
5. Jesus He Knows Me (Genesis)
6. Jockey Full of Bourbon (Tom Waits)
7. Bring the Boys Back Home (Pink Floyd)
8. Trem Two (live) (Mission of Burma)
9. Smile (Pearl Jam)
10. Super-Connected (Belly)

Friday, June 15, 2007

Dream Epoch Mall

April 7, 2007 - Kaohsiung, Taiwan. One of the atriums of the new Dream Era/Epoch Mall, I forget which is the official translation, they both sound fine and mean basically the same thing. I went to see the architecture and to see what people are investing in these days.

When I was growing up in the Land of Malls (a.k.a., New Jersey), malls were just malls. Commercial outlets run by businessmen who dictated their own whims in terms of design and usage, which usually meant bottom line. Now I feel that if people are putting time, energy, and money into an endeavor, it has to mean something more than the bottom line. They have to think about the environment, public enjoyment, and design and aesthetics.

The Dream E/E Mall was very good architecturally, pretty interesting. But I guess I was being weird, because in the end it's just a mall. I'll have to get more pictures the next time I go down. Which might be this weekend since I was just reminded that it's the 端午節 holiday. I'm too lazy to look up what that translates to, but it's the Dragon Boat Races. It's a little short notice to go down today, or even tonight, but I have to find out how many days we have off next week. If we have both Monday and Tuesday off, I'll probably go.

Ferris Wheel on the roof of the mall.

sometimes weird coincidences come up in shuffle play:
iTunes soundtrack:
1. Spirits In the Material World (live) (The Police)
2. Pull Out the Pin (Kate Bush)
3. Watch That Man (David Bowie)
4. Atom (Echobelly)
5. Risky (Ryuichi Sakamoto)
6. Love Rollercoaster (Red Hot Chili Peppers)
7. Working for the Man (PJ Harvey)
8. Caught a Lite Sneeze (Tori Amos)
9. Pavlov's Bell (Aimee Mann)
10. I'm Not the Man (10,000 Maniacs)

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Lara Croft: Tomb Sweeper, pt. 2

April 5, 2007 - Centerpiece of the gravesite. It was pretty clean, no sweeping to be done.

Lighting incense, making offerings, reciting prayers, shooting lomos. . .

iTunes soundtrack:
1. Animal (live) (The Kinks)
2. If You Intend (10,000 Maniacs)
3. Stories to Tell (Stanley Clarke)
4. Blue Cloud (Bakufu Slump)
5. Prove It All Night (Bruce Springsteen)
6. Ajisai no Uta (Yuko Hara)
7. In Too Deep (Genesis)
8. Take This Town (XTC)
9. The Magnificent Seven (The Clash)
10. Something Hot in a Cold Country (Echobelly)

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Lara Croft: Tomb Sweeper, pt. 1

April 5, 2007 - Kaohsiung, Taiwan - My grandparents' gravesite. It's not in a cemetery, this is their own plot of land because my grandfather was some kind of big shot. He was the founder and president of a bus company sometime after the war, and I fathom that is where, partly to my horror, sympathies towards the KMT in parts of my family originate.

The KMT government (which became a political party after democratization) was headed by the part-time butcher, part-time dictator Chiang Kai-Shek, and I imagine it was very difficult for native Taiwanese to mount such a large business enterprise without connections to the KMT.

I'm not sure if there were any reprisals by Taiwanese, I've never heard of any, as Kaohsiung and much of southern Taiwan was fiercely anti-KMT, but I get the sense that my grandfather was well-liked and well-respected. I've met him, and he seemed like the kind of person you can like and respect.

Rainbaby Gracie! One of my cousins's daughter. I was already referring to her as the Original Rainbaby, but not-so-funny I had just read that week that one early indicator of future autism is that when you call their name, they don't respond, they don't even look. And Gracie is totally like that. I mentioned it to her nanny (indistinguishable at the far right of this fisheye), and she tried it out and, right on cue, no response.

So Faye told Gracie that when she called her name, she had to respond, "Wei!", and they practiced a few times, but the last I heard, Gracie's gone back to not responding. It makes sense. Once a baby can recognize their name, if they hear it called, it's an almost automatic, conditioned response to turn and look. Two years old is too young to be copping attitude!

iTunes soundtrack:
1. Cities In Dust (extended) (Siouxsie & the Banshees)
2. Journey from Mariabronn (Kansas)
3. Sarafurimun (Shoukichi Kina & Champloose)
4. Everything is Fair (A Tribe Called Quest)
5. Ellen West (Throwing Muses)
6. Los Tres Deliquentes (Delinquent Habits)
7. A Map Is Not The Territory (edit) (Echobelly)
8. Symphony No. 4, III. Allegro Vivace (Beethoven)
9. Another One Bits the Dust (Queen)
10. 1985 (Archers of Loaf)

Monday, June 11, 2007

from railway to bikeway

April 5, 2007 - In case you didn't believe me that they turned the railway into bike paths, here's a lomo similiar to the one posted below with bicyclists included. It's all so clear now, eh?

The bike path is so much more pleasant than a railroad. The railroad bridge that used to cross the Love River was the last crossing at the mouth of the river. Enjoyment of outdoor surroundings was the last thing on peoples' minds when Kaohsiung was developing. But of course without that, we wouldn't have this, literally and figuratively.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. Just Another Nervous Wreck (Supertramp)
2. Shoot Him (The Sugarcubes)
3. Invisible Touch (live Wembley Stadium) (Genesis)
4. You Get What You Give (New Radicals)
5. Drive Myself Distracted (Echobelly)
6. Down By the Water (PJ Harvey)
7. Is It Luck? (Primus)
8. Wrong Number (The Cure)
9. It's Hard To Be a Saint in the City (Bruce Springsteen)
10. Power to the People (Public Enemy)

Saturday, June 09, 2007


April 5, 2007 - Kaohsiung, Taiwan, 真愛碼頭 (True Love Wharf - I'm thinking of a t-shirt with a googly-eyed Klingon in love on it, yuck). This is part of Kaohsiung's waterfront urban renewal project. It's at the mouth of the Ai River. I'm not sure it is anything yet, if you know what I mean. Urban renewal, public park-age, recreational space . . . but, what is this here? It's a big open concrete space with a Singaporean ship docked next to it, and a clique of socially awkward palm trees.

This is a little better. This area used to serve the Port of Kaohsiung, which is still Taiwan's main shipping port (I think Keelung in the north of Taiwan is still smaller). So this area used to be totally industrialized, but when activity shifted away from this specific area, it fell into disuse and became dilapidated urban ruins. Part of the urban renewal made bike paths out of the old railway. There are still signs of the old railroad as you ride along the path.

April 7, 2007 - Ferry from 新光碼頭 to 真愛碼頭. It's a very short ferry ride, and even though it goes from one wharf to another, I'm not sure it's coming from somewhere to go somewhere in either direction, if you know what I mean. It shortened my walk home, but I'm the only one nuts enough to walk that sort of distance in Kaohsiung. Too hot!

iTunes soundtrack:
1. Silica (Kristin Hersh)
2. Red Light (U2)
3. Teenage Wildlife (David Bowie)
4. High On Sunday 51 (Aimee Mann)
5. Mr. Me (They Might Be Giants)
6. Slipstream (Jethro Tull)
7. I Me Mine (The Beatles - McCartneyed)
8. Tabako ga Suitai (Sekiri)
9. Mali (Charlie Hunter Quintet)
10. War at 33 1/3 (Public Enemy)

Friday, June 08, 2007

High Speed Rail

April 4, 2007 - Ah, I erred in my previous post. I didn't take the regular train to Kaohsiung at 4 and a half hours, but took the High Speed Rail at 2 hours and 10 minutes. That's because, it being the Lara Croft Tomb Sweeper holiday, all the seats on the regular train were sold out.

This is from inside an HSR train at Taipei Main Station about to leave, shooting an HSR train several platforms away.

OK, not such a clever idea to shoot a long exposure out an HSR window travelling at like 280 km/h. Just not a whole lot going on in this lomo! You can see the reflection of the 2's lens off the window in this and the previous lomo.

Even less clever to shoot two long exposures out a moving HSR window. I wonder what I was thinking. But note that mound that moves from the left side of the frame to the right side in a matter of seconds. Not that I have proof that these long exposures are just seconds apart. The time lapse between these two shots might be several minutes, and Taiwan's HSR might really be unimpressively slow. You just have to trust me.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. Chumming the Ocean (Archers of Loaf)
2. Old Brown Shoe (The Beatles - Anthology)
3. Hookworm (20 Minute Loop)
4. Jesus Came From Outta Space (Supergrass)
5. Black With N.V. (No Vision) (Black Sheep)
6. Don't Talk (10,000 Maniacs)
7. Black Star (Radiohead)
8. Downer (Nirvana)
9. In Search of Peter Pan (Kate Bush)
10. Tristessa (Smashing Pumpkins)

Thursday, June 07, 2007


March 26, 2007 - Someone left their motorscooter right in the middle of the sidewalk, Heping East Road. 一個人留了他的摩托車在人行道當中, 和平東路. This is outside the rehearsal studios where you can rent rooms by the hour to practice.

April 4, 2007 - Jingmei, Taipei, Taiwan. Walking home from the bus stop on the Roosevelt Road bridge, which crosses the Jingmei River. Actually I think it's called the Beishing Road bridge, which is what Roosevelt Road becomes in Hsindian.

I take the bus when it rains. On this day, I remember, I was going to Kaohsiung for the Lara Croft Tomb Sweeper holiday. So after class, I went home, finished packing, walked to the MRT station (about 5 minutes), took the MRT to Taipei Main Station (about 20-25 minutes), and hopped on the train to Kaohsiung (about 4 and a half hours), where it wasn't raining.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. Counting Out Time (remixed) (Genesis)
2. Fly By Night (Rush)
3. Mirror Mirror (Versus)
4. Twisted (Everyday Hurts) (Skunk Anansie)
5. Picture Book (live) (The Kinks)
6. La Cage Aux Folles ("La Cage Aux Folles")
7. Crepescule With Nellie (Thelonius Monk)
8. Listening to Astrud (Julie Plug)
9. Farewell and Goodnight (Smashing Pumpkins)
10. Symphony No. 5, I. Allegro Con Brio (Beethoven)

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Taipei 101 - interior exterior

March 28, 2007 - So in the previous post, there's a boxy, little structure at the base of the 101 building. This is the inside of it, looking up. Duh. Not so little.

Walkway leading from Taipei 101 to the Vieshow Theaters area and more shopping, if you're into that.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. Soma (Smashing Pumpkins)
2. Taka ga Koi ya Ai (Dreams Come True)
3. Kiss Them For Me (Siouxsie and the Banshees)
4. Jet Airliner (The Steve Miller Band)
5. Little Babies (Sleater-Kinney)
6. Easy To Be Hard ("Hair")
7. A Campfire Song (10,000 Maniacs)
8. Blow Wind Blow (Tom Waits)
9. Barcelona ("Company" - Sondheim)
10. You'll Follow Me Down (Skunk Anansie)

Tuesday, June 05, 2007


March 24, 2007 - Tour de Taiwan, Stage 7 Criterium. This was the last stage of the Tour de Taiwan which started in Kaohsiung. Not quite the Tour de France (which is next month), but we take what we can get. Unlike the other stages, the Criterium is a short circular course, maybe less than 2 km, that the riders do over and over again, going round and round in circles until they get dizzy and fall over.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. Everybody's Gonna Be Happy (The Kinks)
2. Winter Rose/Love Awake (Wings)
3. Minimum Wage (They Might Be Giants)
4. When I Look At The World (U2)
5. Jumpin' Punkins' (Duke Ellington)
6. The Rover (Led Zeppelin)
7. Fire Myself (Mary Timony)
8. To Sheila (Smashing Pumpkins)
9. Helden (David Bowie)
10. The Rum Tum Tugger (T.S. Eliot - "Cats")

Monday, June 04, 2007

Taipei City Hall

March 24, 2007 - Taipei City Hall. Architecturally yuck. What was who thinking when he or she designed this eyesore? Obviously they were looking forward to the day of reuniting with Communist China and fitting in, but now Beijing architecture is more bold and modern than this architectural equivalent of human rights violations.

OK, maybe it's not that bad, but it sure ain't good.

That short building at the far right of this lomo is the Eslite Bookstore building, where I bought the Fisheye 2. Taipei 101 is behind me to the left.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. The Earth Died Screaming (Tom Waits)
2. Mother Stands for Comfort (Kate Bush)
3. Symphony No. 3, III. Scherzo (Allegro Vivace) (Beethoven)
4. Drum Duet (Genesis - Phil Collins and Chester Thompson)
5. Mita Me ga Taiji (Rankin' Taxi)
6. Hot Honey Rag ("Chicago")
7. I Can't Quit You Babe (live) (Led Zeppelin)
8. Where Have All the Good Times Gone (The Kinks)
9. Garbage ("Dear World")
10. Northern Lad (Tori Amos)

Sunday, June 03, 2007


March 23, 2007 - When I hear Chinese people say they can't stand filmmaker Tsai Ming-Liang, I . . . have nothing to say. I kind of understand them, he does tend to try the common audience's patience. Like this lomo I took in the theater of his latest release, translated "I Don't Want To Sleep Alone" (which is not a translation of the actual title). This is a long exposure. You can see two subtitled lines and Tsai Ming-Liang films are dialogue sparse, and there are two main characters sitting at a table and they barely move for the duration of the exposure. That's a Tsai Ming-Liang film.

He's not a director that pops up prominently on my radar. In fact, after seeing this film and looking him up, I was surprised to find that I had seen two of his previous films at film festivals in San Francisco. The first film I saw of his was "The Hole", which was totally weird but I quite liked. I think that was the film that made me proclaim that Taiwanese directors are "masters of the long shot", and along with Hou Hsiao-Hsien and Edward Yang, I think that's hard to refute.

The other film I've seen is "What Time Is It There?" and I didn't quite understand that film (you mean you understand any of his films?!).

I really liked "I Don't Want To Sleep Alone". I don't think I'd be way off in describing his films as meditations. You have to go into his films with a calm and quiet mind. An open mind also helps. And sometimes a strong cup of coffee.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. Cello Suite No. 6, III. Courante (J.S. Bach)
2. The Employment Pages (Death Cab for Cutie)
3. Don't Walk Away (Electric Light Orchestra)
4. Haru No Katami (Hajime Chitose)
5. Dear Prudence (Siouxsie & the Banshees)
6. No Parachutes (Throwing Muses)
7. Seize (Skip Holiday)
8. Is She Really Going Out With Him? (Joe Jackson)
9. Day Dream (Smashing Pumpkins)
10. Hoshi no Love Letter (The Boom)

Friday, June 01, 2007

looking down on people

March 14, 2007 - Roosevelt Road, across the street from the Taiwan University campus, but I'm not sure if those buildings are university buildings. There's like an elementary school or something somewhere around there, go fig. Actually, those buildings don't look like an elementary school either. Anyway, there's the entrance to the Gongguan MRT station across the street.

March 21, 2007 - From the rooftop deck of my apartment at like 5:30 in the morning. Since I had 8:00 classes last semester, I woke up extra early to fit in 45 minutes of sitting meditation. Then I got the nutty idea of doing walking meditation on the rooftop deck which gave me some nice sunrise experiences. Actually, there's nothing nutty about that, what am I talking about?

That semester ended last week. My next semester starts on Monday and I specifically requested a 3:30 P.M. class, and I got it! Unlike the zombies working the registration office at Shida, the Taida people I think might actually even like me! Haha, I know they like me, they might actually even love me! Yea!

iTunes soundtrack:
1. Neal and Jack and Me (King Crimson)
2. Dive (Nirvana)
3. Art of Dying (George Harrison)
4. Velvet Waltz (Built to Spill)
5. Moonage Daydream (David Bowie)
6. She Caught the Katy (The Blues Brothers)
7. Playboy Mommy (Tori Amos)
8. Hole In My Life (The Police)
9. Tony's Theme (The Pixies)
10. Back In N.Y.C. (Genesis)