Friday, August 07, 2009

November 15, 2008 - Approaching the end of the Keelung River bikeway at the east end of Taipei. I was going on a ride out to the east coast of Taiwan. Look how nice the weather looks.

But on the east coast it was all cloudy. Reminded me of San Francisco, except I lived under the overcast, and rode out to the sunshine.

No sunshine now. It's a typhoon day in Taipei, Typhoon Morakot, and I don't have to work because my Friday shift got switched to Thursday earlier this week. I wonder who's the sucker who got stuck with the typhoon shift. I think they're going to try to knock-off early tonight, at around 11, but it won't make a difference, the typhoon is going to hit in the general area of tonight.

I still ended up riding home in the rain last night because I wanted to get my bike home and not leave it out during the typhoon at work. But I only started riding home because it wasn't really raining so bad when I left. But then it started picking up and picking up and I was pretty soaked by the end.

During typhoons it's all rain and wind, but pre- and post-typhoon, it's really touch-and-go. It may be calm as a lamb one moment, and then raging gusts 15 minutes later.

I have a different mentality during typhoons, which assumes getting soaked. We might have some rainy weather that I wouldn't think of riding my bike or going out in, certainly not without an umbrella, but during a typhoon, it might be much worse and I'll go skipping out into the rain; wind blowing in gusts tempting me to break out in a Michael Jackson imitation.

So I'm apartment-bound for the duration. I think it may still be stormy by my shift tomorrow, so I'll take a bus to work, dress like I'm going for a swim.

I Am One (Smashing Pumpkins)

Thursday, July 30, 2009

October 21, 2008 - Jinshan, Taiwan. Beautiful northeast coast, around where the nuclear power plant is - maybe right across from the street from it, since I remember I stopped there to get a dose of radiation.

I haven't been riding at all. Kinda makes me feel bad about my bike just sitting there doing nothing. It's a got a mechanical problem I should probably tend to, but I'm also worried about exacerbating a knee pain.

Riding from Jinshan to Keelung before turning right and heading back to Taipei. Late in the day with the sun in the west. Long Sailor Moon pose shadow unavoidable.

I've been totally remiss about posting here because I got sucked into Facebook after I got back from the U.S., but the novelty there has worn off, so I can get back to this. But I need to shoot more, I'm running out of lomos! Bleah!

But with insomnia and struggling to get enough rest, it's hard to get out of the apartment except for work. Oh, and also because if this was anywhere else, we'd be in a heatwave, but this is Taiwan and it's already so hot that it seems ridiculous to call it a heatwave just because of a few added degrees. But 88 degrees in my apartment! That got my air conditioner on.

Anyway, a co-worker said she's getting into lomo and will buy an action-sampler soon, so maybe someone else shooting can get me shooting, too.

Combat Baby (Metric)

Monday, July 13, 2009

October 21, 2008 - Taipei, Taiwan, Shilin District up Mt. Yangming, the highest peak in the greater Taipei area. I forget the altitude, but I think it's up there. The climb is comparable to Bay Area peaks and I think the highest point on the climb tops 3,600 feet. This point is more like around 2,000 feet. The Chinese Cultural University is up here, and they boast that they're the highest university in Taiwan.

After climbing up Yangmingshan or the surrounding mountain ranges, it's possible to take various routes down to Taiwan's northeast coast. On this day, I rode down to Jinshan and made way back to Taipei along the coast to Keelung, and then cutting back inland.

I'm back in Taiwan, back to work. Insomnia is back after 3 weeks of no sleeping problems in the U.S. I had absolutely no jetlag flying to the U.S., and surprisingly, I had no jetlag coming back here! Confounding really. Maybe it's the wonders of insomnia.

My Sony Ericsson phone broke a couple days after I got back. I got a Samsung F258 Musicall cellphone to replace the Sony W395 only because the Samsung has a 3.5mm headphone jack, whereas with the Sony you have to use the supplied Sony adaptor.

I can't tell you how much I hate the Samsung. When is the last time I hated something? I can't get rid of this phone fast enough, I'll probably give it to one of my cousins to give to their kids when they are of cellphone age. I want nothing to do with it, and I'll replace the W395 with another W395. I loved that phone.

I guess I bought the Samsung partly because I'm getting a little too caught up in all things Korean:

Girls Generation - Gee

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

October 19, 2008 - The view from the outside hall of my 3rd story floor. The entire floor I'm sure used to be one whole apartment, but my landlord - my cousin's uncle on her mother's side - partitioned it off into separate apartments with a shared kitchen.

A short walk from my building is this roundabout at Minsheng East Road and Sanmin Road. This is a very nice section of town. A lot of residential neighborhoods in Taipei still have their old dump-like quality, so much so that the government is offering building owners subsidies to beautify their exteriors. Not in this section. For most part, residential buildings are very nice by any Western city standards. Not shiny, bright and modern, but this area of town was obviously built with a plan in mind. Not haphazardly.

I'll be leaving New Jersey next Tuesday morning, arriving in Taipei Wednesday evening, back at work Thursday night. Not sure how I feel about going back. As something I have to do, I guess I'm ready, but if I had my druthers, maybe I wouldn't.

I'm hoping to start shooting more. At least a little more than I have been. On the SLR front, I'm "retiring" my Pentax ZX-5n and taking my brother's Nikon N70 hand-me-down, for which I just bought a refurbished Nikon 24mm-120mm zoom lens. Just being a Nikkor autofocus lens is sweet. Much quicker and more accurate than the Pentax. From when I tested the Nikon against the Pentax before, the Nikon blew the Pentax out of the water.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

September 26, 2008 - Kaohsiung, Taiwan - Bike path near the Pier 2 arts center between Fisherman's Wharf and the mouth of the Love River.

Western sun explosion behind a freighter in the harbor. I haven't been shooting much of anything these days. I'm wondering if it's a total loss of inspiration, but I'm just not seeing photographs anymore. It's tough, because I know they're out there, it's just a matter of looking and being in tune with finding something.

I'm back in the U.S. now for three weeks to recharge my batteries, get Taiwan out of my system and see how I feel about staying there once I go back. Of course, I don't know what I'd do here if I came back, so as long as I have a job there, I'll just cruise along.

I'm actually appreciating suburbia this time back. My brother bought a house since I was last here, and I've been coming over everyday . . . since my parents don't have Internet at their house. They live less than a mile away from each other.

Most important is getting my fix of American food. SF Mission District burritos - check; Fort Lee pizzeria pizza and lasagna - check; mac & cheese - check.

Also it turns out my brother is some sort of computer whiz and he switched out my dying, 4-year-old, 60GB hard drive for a new 250GB one, and it's almost like I have a new computer; that's how close to death it was before. It was soooo slow, and I couldn't play audio or visual files, and all my music files were on an external hard drive. Now everything's back up to speed and music files are back on my computer. I'm just still getting all the programs I was using before back up. But I'm happy, laptop's happy, who can ask for more?

I guess it shouldn't be any surprise that my brother is a computer whiz. He ended up becoming a doctor, but he was the OG version of computer geek - an OCG. He was among the first modem users, posting on local "bulletin boards" - I remember everyone wanting to make phone calls and picking up the phone and getting that high squeal of modems talking to each other.

He's got a set up now that I can't even get my head around. He's got it set up so that he can control computers at his home from his office. That may be child's play for big corporations with network engineers and such, but that he set this up more or less himself is pretty impressive. I know he had to call in software engineers whenever code was involved, but he maintains the hardware himself. G'dam.

Friday, June 12, 2009

September 24, 2008 - Kaohsiung, Taiwan. Odd sign at Kaohsiung Harbor, because this is not a major entry point into Taiwan, and the people who use this entry point don't speak English.

Dome of Light at the Formosa Boulevard KMRT station.

I'm just streaming along at work. For a while there it looked like they were going to cut my hours, and if that happened I was going to give notice on the spot. I don't know if my threat made it to my boss, who I never talk to anyway, or if my co-worker who handles scheduling took a more diplomatic tack to make that not happen so far.

Anyway, since there's no communication between in my boss, I was going to interpret a cut in hours as dissatisfaction with my work, and if I'm not doing a job satisfactorily, I don't want to do it at all. And if no one is noticing that newspapers I work on have less major/facial mistakes than papers on days I don't work, then I don't want to work at a place where my efforts aren't recognized.

When I mentioned that to someone, he actually said the boss wanted me to work more hours, full time instead of the 80% that I'm working now, but after thinking about that, I decided that makes no sense. If he wants me to work more hours, cutting my hours is not the way to go about doing it. So if I get back from vacation, and my hours get cut, I'll still quit.

I wonder if any of this has to do with the fact that I'm going on vacation for 3 weeks starting next Tuesday! Yay! It is strange for a worker to take 3 weeks off, but I argued that this trip was long in the planning before I was re-activated, and I couldn't take it earlier because I was waiting to get my citizenship and was still fulfilling the residency requirement. And it was non-negotiable, it was a condition of my accepting re-activation. The new editor-in-chief said OK, but it may have still stuck with him as uncool.

I don't know if I'm excited to go. Traveling is such a nuisance now with swine flu and security checks, and I flying on my father's miles, so the flights there and back are broken into 3 legs and multiple airlines. I definitely want to go, but why can't have someone invented a transporter like on 'Star Trek' yet.

I don't have any plans of what to do there. Think I'll just chill.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

September 24, 2008 - Kaohsiung, Taiwan. Not a very interesting shot of the main bridge at the Heart of Love River. I'm not sure what the Heart of Love River is. Maybe it's supposed to represent some center of Kaohsiung. Or not. It's an extra developed area along the Love River bikeways and is pretty at night. But there's nothing to do there. It's just there.

A not very interesting shot of muddy-looking waters of the Love River, also by the Heart of Love River. I think I was particularly uninspired shooting this roll. Even now. I haven't loaded a new roll since I finished the last one several weeks ago.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

September 20, 2008 - More riverside bikeway. I think this is in Beitou District in northern Taipei. Not having car, girlfriend with car, nor willing to transport by car, I'm not sure what the roadway is overhead, but no doubt it's some bit of freeway to make a few miles go faster. *sigh* what ever happened to US$150 per barrel oil? Funny, though, that bend in the freeway actually looks straightened out by the fisheye. It's actually a pretty sexy line.

Guangdu Temple, a famous Taoist temple in northern Taipei. I haven't been riding this year. I just started running again, but, alas, no motivation to take my bike out yet. I think part of it is psychological. I don't want to just repeat what I did last year. I don't want to get out on my bike and ride the same routes I did last year, and I covered most of them last year. I can't think of many routes that I've noticed and didn't do last year. But I think once I get out on my bike, I'd be happy doing anything. Well, like with running, I won't force anything. It's not like a dog that you have to take out for a walk whether you like it or not. I'll take out my bike when I do.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

September 20, 2008 - Keelung riverside bikeway, clean up about a week after a typhoon last year. Being a relatively large river with a wide flood plain, the Keelung River wasn't so impressive during the typhoon, it just filled with lots of water, and the clean up wasn't all too dramatic either. Some large pieces of machinery pushing debris into piles.

The Keelung River flows east to west through Taipei, with one south to north kink. This is where the south to north part kinks back westward, with Neihu District on the right, north of the river. Rivers in cities fascinate me. Whenever I go to a new city, the first thing I want to know about is the rivers and the role they play.

Like when I went to Geneva, I had to see where the Rhone met the L'Arve, and it was a beautiful confluence since the waters of the Rhone were clear and blue, and the L'Arve was brown and muddy. And in Hiroshima, of course, the Genpaku Dome (ground zero for the atomic bomb) was right at a confluence of rivers.

Still along the Keelung River splitting Zhongshan District across the river on the left with Shilin District to the right. Currently, this stretch is unpassable due to construction. Pisses me off. Last year, Taipei was so good at having miles and miles of seamless bikeway, but recently they've closed huge sections for construction. They had to do it all at once? They don't recognize the importance of the bikeways for Taipei's recreational life and promotion of cycling? It's what I've come to expect of Taiwan, but I was hoping for something better.

Friday, May 08, 2009

September 17, 2008 - Taipei Main Station with its grand looking interior. I should've aimed a little more up. Whenever I look up there, I think what a waste of space, they could've done something with that. Taipei Main Station is a hub that includes regular trains, the transfer station of the two major MRT lines, and the High Speed Rail. On the second floor, where I'm standing, is a mega foodcourt that goes all around this space. Just across the street to the north, they are putting the finishing touches on a centralized bus depot, which I assume will house all the long-haul tour bus companies in one place. It will also be a shopping center, multiplex, office space, and luxury residences.

September 24, 2008 - Kaohsiung MRT Formosa Boulevard Station. Not exactly the equivalent of Taipei Main Station, but as close as Kaohsiung can get to it. Kaohsiung's main train station is just a train station, even though there is a KMRT station attached to it now. It's an old, dingy, no nonsense, get-people-to-their-trains station. But Formosa Boulevard Station is the transfer station for the two lines of the KMRT, and so it's the dolled up, flagship, pride-of-the-KMRT station.

I'm in Kaohsiung now, and I passed right by this impressive public art piece called "Dome of Light" this morning. I took the overnight bus after I got off of work, arriving after 5:30 in the morning.

I'm here because today is the first day of eligibility to apply for getting my Taiwanese citizen ID card, after more than a year of waiting and unable to leave the country.

I had to apply for my ID card back then, and now I had to apply to get it. Go fig. They say I'll get it in 2 weeks, at which point I have to apply for a Taiwanese passport (despite the fact that I already have one), which will take another week. So I've already booked a flight to go to the U.S. in June for 3 weeks.

That's going to put things at work in a real mess, but I've been stuck here since January 2008, and the newspaper gave me the serious shaft for about six months, and even though that was under my old boss, who retired, I'm still holding it against the paper in that I'm not going to go any extra miles for them, and I have no loyalty to them; although I will continue to do the best job I can, just because that's my work ethic, I think, and support the new boss and his changes (one of which included bringing me back full-time, but on my terms, which is 4 days a week), and make the position I'm in as professional as possible - which it hasn't been.

Anyway, we need to hire new people for the position, and the situation in June is turning out to make it absolutely urgent to get trainees in very, very soon, or it will really suck for someone. Not me. I'll be eating the best pizza and lasagna in the world.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

September 18, 2008 - Singer of the band, Andy. I shot this specifically because he told me he found some of my sites. So in shooting this I was kind of saying, "yea, so what? you found my site, I'll shoot you, I'll post you". He was down with that. Note the Avril shirt. That was kind of a joke. I hope.

So we ran the news that Justice Souter is stepping down from the U.S. Supreme Court. Coming from a law background, that was of interest to me. What was Bush 1 thinking? Who knows?

When Souter was being considered for the Supreme Court position, liberals were up in arms, suspicious about anyone Bush 1 would consider. I remember Souter being referred to by some liberals as the "stealth nominee", because no one could peg him, but he couldn't be a good thing.

However, despite being selected by Bush 1, Souter ended up voting left of center and issued some incredibly thoughtful, but decidedly liberal opinions. In any case, I applaud Bush 1 for not choosing politically, but by legal merit. Souter was so liberal that I can only think that Bush 1 was intentionally trying not to be political in choosing a nominee.

But then there's Uncle Tom Clarence Thomas, and I've read his opinions and what an idiot he turned out to be. Seriously. I have a lot of respect for the Supreme Court, even when they publicly seem to be doing something cowardly, there's actually a good and wise reason for doing it. Like dodging an issue because it's not time to come down on it. Justice isn't blind and shouldn't be, according to the Supreme Court. They have to take the temperature of the social climate and respond to reality, not just be guided by blind judicial principle.

I hope Obama chooses a Supreme Court nominee wisely and based on merits, not on political bent. Of course, I'm happy about the way Souter turned out, but if Obama chooses a nominee who turns out to lean to the right, I hope, at least, I can read that person's opinion and be swayed enough by the legal logic to accept it. There were plenty of conservative justices whose opinions I read and was daunted and respected their analysis, even if I wasn't happy with the outcome.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

typhoon pics

September 14, 2008 - Raohe St. where the night market opens up at . . . night. Typhoon means holiday, so people use the road as a normal road and park along it. The numbers on the street are where booths go, obviously, and the chalk stickmen are where pedestrian lanes are supposed to be. That's mostly theory, though, not necessarily practice.

Swine flu all over the news. CNN on constant coverage, we had the words "swine flu" on practically every page of the newspaper today. We don't like to repeat ourselves too much in headlines on one page, so I was pressed to come up with other terms for swine flu - epidemic, virus, the icky icky, that which should not be breathed in, etc.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. Take a Lickin' and Keep on Tickin' (Bootsy Collins)
2. Kid Fears (Indigo Girls)
3. Josephine (Tori Amos)
4. Still In Love (Cat Power)
5. Remedy (Cold)
6. Visions of Johanna (Bob Dylan)
7. West (Pinback)
8. Before They Knew (The Butterfly Effect)
9. O My God (The Police)
10. Birthmark (100 Watt Smile)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

typhoon pics

September 14, 2008 - Keelung River and Maishuai Bridge #2 during a typhoon. I thought the Keelung River would be interesting during a typhoon, but it's too big. It was impressive, but not exciting like the smaller Jingmei River where I used to live, which turned into a raging torrent. The Keelung River just got really full.

Opposite view looking at Maishuai Bridge #1. I don't remember the name of the typhoon - too far back, one of the disadvantages of not posting closer to when I shot - but I think it was a really slow moving typhoon and I went out shooting when the eye was over Taipei for like 3 hours. The storm picked up again later.

Maishuai Bridge #1 from the other side. I still had to go to work that evening, as a daily newspaper has to come out no matter what. I think the storm had died down by the time we finished, and I probably took a bus home no problem. I think the newspaper was willing to pay for a taxi if it was still raging outside.

Everything has changed since then. I took some time off and worked part-time for a while. Now I'm back at about 80%, working 4 days a week, and that suits me fine. New boss, and changing format. It may get interesting.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. DMV (Primus)
2. Citizen Erased (Muse)
3. Soma (live) (Smashing Pumpkins)
4. Texas Flood (live) (Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble)
5. Counting Out Time (remixed) (Genesis)
6. Static (Sahara Hotnights)
7. Midnight Rambler (The Rolling Stones)
8. Anata ga Koko ni Ite Hoshii (Chitose Hajime)
9. The Seven Sisters (Rainer Maria)
10. In My House (PCS Nitrogen Starlift Steel Orchestra)

Monday, April 20, 2009

September 7, 2008 - Art installation outside Taipei 101. And the oft-copied "LOVE" sculpture tiny in the distance.

Motorscooter lot outside the Vieshow movie theater in Xinyi District.

So CNN reports it's been 10 years since Columbine. I never comment on news events as they happen, because they happen and then often they're gone. They're just news events. But I think even news events have a maturation period for their profundity to manifest.

10 years in a life. What would those high school students be now? And how we'd be perfectly happy not knowing a thing about their anonymous lives if they had just been allowed to live, to graduate from high school, to go on to college or jobs or meet someone special or raise families, ideally. Or whatever their ideal was.

And what a special place in Colorado that area is - maybe its the thin air, maybe the beautiful scenery that brings out an organic spirituality. The interviews with parents 10 years on were so grounded and profound. They still have their grief, but they've also grown from it and come to higher or deeper understandings and realizations about life.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. Terrified of Flight (764-HERO)
2. Napoleon (Ani DiFranco)
3. Miss Brand-New Day (Southern All-Stars)
4. Jumpers (Sleater-Kinney)
5. Paperback Writer (The Beatles)
6. Today Tomorrow Sometime Never (Echobelly)
7. D.I.Y. (live) (Peter Gabriel)
8. Moonlit Sea of Clouds (k's Choice)
9. Egypt (Kate Bush)
10. Aqualung (Jethro Tull)

Friday, April 17, 2009

night and day

September 7, 2008 - Songzhi Road in Xinyi District on the footbridge connecting Taipei 101 and the extended shopping area and Vieshow movie theater.

December 24, 2008 - long exposure.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. Razzle Dazzle ("Chicago")
2. Ishiki (Shiina Ringo)
3. Rock Candy Brains (Kristin Hersh)
4. Don't Call Home (The Breeders)
5. Little Palaces (The Costello Show featuring the Attractions)
6. Lovely Rita (The Beatles)
7. Call Me Back Again (live) (Wings)
8. Thru These Walls (Phil Collins)
9. String Quartet No. 8, II. Allegro molto (Shostakovich)
10. Fever Few (Throwing Muses)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

2 lomos that have nothing to do with each other

August 19, 2008 - Shandao Temple on Zhongxiao East Road, Sec. 1. This is an urban Buddhist temple and is the name of the MRT stop one away from the central MRT stop at Taipei Main Station. I've never been inside. Something about it being in the middle of a city and looking huge and ornate puts me off.

September 3, 2008 - Inside a beef noodle shop in my neighborhood. Beef noodle soup is, like, one of the national dishes of Taiwan, although beef has been putting me off lately. Oh, hey, I guess these two pictures do have something to do with each other! Two things that put me off!

I dunno, the last time I ate beef, several weeks ago, I kinda felt sick, but not physically, just like I wasn't thrilled about eating beef. That happened before with seafood a long time ago, too. That time I just felt like a cannibal, which led me to believe I was seafood in a string of previous lives. It's not that I can't eat seafood, I just avoid it if I have a choice about it.

I've been avoiding beef and cutting down on meat in general and I actually have been feeling . . . less . . . something - weighted down? Less heavy? I'm not making a turn for more healthy, just going for what feels better.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. My Weapon (XTC)
2. Starla (Smashing Pumpkins)
3. Sayonara (Dreams Come True)
4. Dissident (Pearl Jam)
5. Revenge (live) (Archers of Loaf)
6. Back of Your Head (Cat Power)
7. Happy Jack (live) (The Who)
8. Moby Dick (live) (Led Zeppelin)
9. Singapore (Tom Waits)
10. Artists Only (Talking Heads)

Friday, April 10, 2009


August 28, 2008 - Minquan West Road and Chengde Road in the late afternoon.

September 6, 2008 - Dunhua North Road and Nanjing East Road with Taipei Arena across the street there. The fascade is a huge jumbotron. I don't know what they're called now. Back in my day, they were called jumbotrons and were exclusively made by Sony.

I got my job back at work after someone got fired this week. I'd been marginalized for the past six months, relegated to working weekends, because I refused to work with her. Then my old boss retired and the new boss apparently felt the same way I did, only he is higher up the food chain.

I'm just being dramatic when I say I got my job back, it's really not like that. From their point of view, the terms of my employment were simply renegotiated, and I'm doing them a favor by agreeing to work more shifts. And apparently everyone knew about the beef between us, as people have been coming up to me asking, "So now that she's gone, you're going to be working more days, right?"

For now. I've agreed to work through April. I still plan to go to the U.S. in May. Whether the job is still there when I get back is up to fate.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. Azanian Freedom Song (Sweet Honey in the Rock)
2. Fading Lights (live) (Genesis)
3. When I Was A Young Girl (Feist)
4. Learn to Fly (Foo Fighters)
5. Play Dead (Versus)
6. Knife Edge (Emerson, Lake & Palmer)
7. From Now On (Supertramp)
8. Funnelhead (Archers of Loaf)
9. Neighborhood (Space)
10. What in the World? (live) (David Bowie)

Saturday, April 04, 2009

August 12, 2008 - Fuxing North Road, along the raised tracks of the MRT Brown line.

August 14, 2008 - Burning "spirit money", Taiwan's unique contribution to global warming. Although such traditions are part of the glue that holds society together and gives a culture its identity.

Strange. Or not. With signs of positive movement in the stock markets, I kinda don't want the economy to recover so quick. I also find Obama losing some of his sheen when he says things like the auto industry cannot be allowed to collapse, although I watched his town hall in Strasbourg, France, and was affirmed that he is a great orator and fundamentally a great president who sincerely first and foremost wants to steer the U.S. and the world into a more enlightened direction. He just can't be as radical as one hopes.

The auto industry can't collapse? Why not? They're dinosaurs and time is coming for its extinction into a being specialized industry. If the auto industry collapses, it may be economically devastating in the short term, but something will emerge to fill in the void it creates. It's only natural. It's natural selection, and if the auto industry can't survive on its own, it's not the fittest for survival. Furthermore, what emerges can focus on the key word for the future of the planet - sustainability. Saving the auto industry is not a move towards sustainability, economically or environmentally.

Same with the stock market recovering and still using "growth" as the measure of wealth and success. I mentioned my problem with growth as a yardstick, and he was like, "without growth, what's the point?". And I think he's exactly right, and that's exactly the problem - it's a mindset we can't even conceive of getting out of.

OK, if the stock market recovers and shows signs of an improving overall economy, maybe that also means that there's nothing fundamentally wrong with the system, and all there needs to be is regulatory tweaking and more, much more, oversight. International oversight.

But going back to any sort of status quo would be a loss of a huge opportunity to move forward. And also stymies our need for sustainability. No one wants to suffer, no one wants to suffer the pain of a long depression. But our fixes, unless sustainability is in every sentence of the fix, to avoid pain for ourselves seems to just add to the hardships our children and future generations might have to face.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. Portia (Throwing Muses)
2. Angel (Belly)
3. Dashboard (Modest Mouse)
4. Glass Onion (The Beatles - Anthology)
5. sola (Kaela Kimura)
6. Circle (Edie Brickell & New Bohemians)
7. Love and Mathematics (Broken Social Scene)
8. Thick as a Brick (Jethro Tull)
9. To Your Love (Fiona Apple)
10. Cool Guitar Girl (J Church)

Monday, March 30, 2009

Random streets outside of Taipei

October 21, 2008 - Keelung, Taiwan. Keelung is east of Taipei on the coast, about 40 minutes on bike. It's a port city with a seedy old Chinese city feel.

December 27, 2008 - Either Yonghe or Zhonghe southwest of Taipei in Taipei County. Not at all seedy or old, just modern, urban and choked in exhaust from burning fossil fuels in mobile vehicles.

I'm starting to feel after 3 years in Taiwan, I really should start venturing out of the greater Taipei area. Or Kaohsiung visiting family. It's a tiny island and transportation is decent, I should just try picking a destination and heading out one morning, planning to come back the next day or a couple days later. I guess it's called travelling. I'm not sure the photography would be any more varied than the above shots, though.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. Wake Up Dead Man (U2)
2. Little Green Men (Steve Vai)
3. Bitter Suite (Marillion)
4. Scratch-N-Sniff (Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble)
5. Death in the Park (Archers of Loaf)
6. A Sorry Heart (Wonder Girls)
7. Animals (live) (Talking Heads)
8. Welcome to the Jungle (Guns N' Roses)
9. Asylum (Supertramp)
10. Parkdale (Metric)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

December 24, 2008 - Taipei 101, Taiwan. Well, we can't call it the tallest building in the world anymore since the Burj Dubai has officially surpassed it in height, but we still can call it the world's tallest occupied building in the world, as I found out from our proud, local media. No doubt we'll be calling it that until the BD goes into business, which may yet take some time.

I thought I ought to clear out the holiday lomos before they become totally irrelevant in the warming weather. This was a wish tunnel, where they set up a corridor lined with lights and wires, and at the end they supply things that people can write wishes and aspirations on and hang them up to create the walls. This was a long exposure with the 2 braced on the stand that people could write on.

Not being a Christian country, Christmas itself isn't a big deal here, but they know it's a big deal elsewhere, so they use it as an excuse to do something using the various imported themes, catering them to local tastes, which means something on the lines of going out and doing something with the family - much better than making it an excuse to shop.

Although that gets taken care of by the extreme "couple culture" here, and young couples buy into the notion that they should buy gifts for their partners. Chinese culture used to frown upon public displays of affection, but Taiwan youth, in its emulation of Western culture, saw Western youth engaging in it, and then they ran with it to gag-worthy extents. In the U.S., yelling "get a room!" is a cliche, but they need to find an equivalent expression for it here. Especially for the high school students.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. For No Reason (Joanna Wang)
2. Call Me Names (Echobelly)
3. Heart Setsunaku (Yuko Hara)
4. Get 'Em Out By Friday (live) (Genesis)
5. Never-Ending Math Equation (live) (Modest Mouse)
6. 3rd Planet (Modest Mouse)
7. So Far Away (Carole King)
8. Baby Love Child (Pizzicato Five)
9. 4:47 A.M. (The Remains of Our Love) (Roger Waters)
10. Shake (Kristin Hersh)

Friday, March 20, 2009

August 19, 2008 - The building fascade of the Indian Beer House on Bade Road, near Jianguo North Road.

August 26, 2008 - I've never been inside, but I hear the decor is also of dinosaur bones. Where to go for a brontosaurus burger.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. She's Lost Control (Joy Division)
2. King Porter Stomp (Benny Goodman)
3. Last Match (The Aislers Set)
4. Show Me the Way (Peter Frampton)
5. The Vision (Victor Wooten)
6. Cello Suite No. 2, II. Allemande (J.S. Bach)
7. Bag Lady (Eryka Badu)
8. Travis Walk (Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble)
9. The Spider (Kansas)
10. Black and Grey (Deadweight)

Monday, March 16, 2009

December 27, 2008 - Construction on the Dahan Riverside parks/bikeways, Taipei County, west of Taipei city. The Dahan River spurs to the southwest of the Taipei region, and its riverbanks are getting the park/bikeway treatment. This is on the east bank looking west where there is a strip of cities in Taipei County before going into Taoyuan County.

Yingge (鶯歌), Taipei County. I think this is the last city in the southwest corner of Taipei County, known for ceramics. It's as far as I've ridden in that direction, crossing that bridge there in either direction and then heading back towards Taipei city. This is on the west bank of the Dahan River, which is more or less done, looking south-southwest-ish.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. Diamonds (Princess Princess)
2. Dance to the Music (Sly & the Family Stone)
3. Lenny (Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble)
4. Underground (Men At Work)
5. Good Morning, Good Morning (The Beatles - Anthology)
6. Down and Out (Genesis)
7. Beach Bum (Sakura)
8. Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 2, Fugue #4 (J.S. Bach)
9. Crazy (Versus)
10. White Light, White Heat (live) (David Bowie)

Friday, March 06, 2009

August 8, 2008 - Taipei, Taiwan. A small street market, near where I worked, off Zhongshan North Road, north of Mingquan East Road. Unlike other night markets, this one stayed open really late. It was often still open after I got off of work after midnight, but I never went to it to eat after work.

September 3, 2008 -A closer view. It's small compared to other night markets, it's just for people with the munchies. Oh yea, and it just occurred to me that it's right next to the closest thing Taipei has to a red light district. It's called the "Zone" or the "Combat Zone", and it's not as infamous as it once was, I gather, but I hear it's still the place to go for a quick pick-up. So yea, that's probably why it stays open so late. And another reason for me not to go there after work to eat.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. Jump for Joy (Duke Ellington)
2. Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 2, Fugue #16 (J.S. Bach)
3. Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 2, Fugue #14 (J.S. Bach)
4. (The Gift of Sound) Where the Sun Never Goes Down (David Byrne - "Music for 'The Knee Plays'")
5. Funky Bird (Galactic)
6. London's Burning (The Clash)
7. Eric's Trip (Sonic Youth)
8. Rocks in My Bed (Duke Ellington)
9. High Time (The Grateful Dead)
10. Shine Like a New Pin (Camera Obscura)

Thursday, March 05, 2009

August 7, 2008 - In front of Taipei Songshan Airport at Minquan East Road and Dunhua North Road, on my way to work in the late afternoon.

I just started a new roll in the fisheye, and the 2 shots in front of the Taiwan High Court posted earlier are, indeed, probably because it was at the beginning of the roll. I take a shot and then wonder if I advanced the film enough, so I take another just to be sure.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. Velvet Days (Kristin Hersh)
2. Oh Yeah (Nokko)
3. No Aloha (The Breeders)
4. Higher Ground (Stevie Wonder)
5. Rapture (Blondie)
6. Leif Erikson (Interpol)
7. Drugs (Talking Heads)
8. Stairway to Heaven (live) (Led Zeppelin)
9. Limelight (XTC)
10. Big Spender ("Sweet Charity")

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

December 17, 2008 - Public art at Linsen and Zhongxiao East Road? The sun was behind me so I had to lie down on the ground to avoid getting my shadow in the lomo. Sometimes you have to lie for your art.

December 18, 2008 - Public Santa outside the Living Mall sphere.

I guess it was wishful thinking Spring had arrived. It had, but like it is everywhere, Winter has to sneak in one last sucker punch to remind us that optimism and forward-looking needs to be tempered. In Taipei, Winter means cool temperatures and overcast, rainy days.

And still it's not as bad, so far, as my first two years here. I'm optimistic that this current drear will not become a constant drear like before.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. Well-Tempered Klavier, Book 2, Fugue #2 (J.S. Bach)
2. Kicked it in the Sun (live) (Built to Spill)
3. Horses (Tori Amos)
4. Else (Built to Spill)
5. Dance Hall (Modest Mouse)
6. Habit (Pearl Jam)
7. For the Turnstiles (Neil Young)
8. Losing My Mind ("Follies" - Sondheim)
9. I'm the Man Who Murdered Love (XTC)
10. All Her Favorite Fruit (Camper Van Beethoven)

Monday, March 02, 2009

January 11, 2009 - Kaohsiung, Taiwan. Lomo of taking wedding pictures for my cousin's wedding. During these my cousin remarked that all he could see was an array of Canon and Nikon. He obviously wasn't looking at me.

I'm happy for my cousin, I've known him as long as I've known anyone aside from my nuclear family. He's my uncle's son on my mother's side. It was still a drag for me to be there, though, since I was the only one who didn't speak Mandarin or Taiwanese. If I opened my mouth, I would draw attention to myself because I would force people to speak English, and whatever I said might have nothing to do with the conversation that was going on. So it sucked, I didn't need to be there, I was there for my parents, and left as soon as I could.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. Nothingman (live) (Pearl Jam)
2. Love (John Lennon)
3. Suffragette City (live) (David Bowie)
4. Bicycle Race (Queen)
5. Look a Ghost (Unwound)
6. Down By the Water (PJ Harvey)
7. Mica (Mission of Burma)
8. Bohemian Rhapsody (Queen)
9. Land of Canaan (Indigo Girls)
10. To Whom it May Concern (Black Sheep)