Tuesday, May 17, 2011

looking sorta up

January 16, 2009 - Dazhi Bridge crossing the Keelung River. Finally, the Taipei International Flora Expo is OVER!! It was a major horticultural show and even though it was criticized for corruption and practicality, I hear it did turn out to be a tourism success, good for the economy, although I wonder how much of that tourism came from China, bad for Taiwan's independent status. The current president seems bent on making Taiwan more reliant on China.

My personal peeve about the flower show was that it closed the riverside bikeway on the south bank of the Keelung River (other side of the river to the right of the bridge) for over a year and a half. By the time I got back from the U.S. this time, the show was over and I rode over to the site and asked a worker when the bikeway would be open and he said it should be open by June.

February 9, 2009 - Taiwan Beer Factory! Mmmm, beeeeer. That's Taiwan pop singer A-mei shilling for Taiwan Beer. For most part, I hate pop music, but I've given A-mei's music a chance and some of it is listenable. Some of it is god awful. Like her song "The Power of Love" just made me think about the power of crappy music to make me hurl. But of course my fandom of K-pop has stripped me of much of my credibility and towering music authority, if not taste, so I should probably just shut up.

Mind you, I am full aware that there is plenty of crappy K-pop. Mind you, there are also very, very few legitimate rock acts from South Korea that I know of (I can't say anything about North Korea, although I hear Kim Jong-Il fronts his own heavy metal band that every North Korean knows every lyric to).

There She Is (Witches): legitimate South Korean rock band. Singer has a cool ass voice.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

things are looking up

Looking straight up, that is:

December 20, 2008 - This roll is the first roll in my 2009 folder, but I started shooting it in 2008. I'm not sure what this is, I should've taken another shot from another perspective and probably will. It's some kind of sculpture with possible Taiwan indigenous tribe influences, and it's pointing east, so I think it may have some significance with sunrises. I dunno, when I saw it, I thought of it as some kind of sun sail.

January 18, 2009 - Just about every neighborhood in Taipei has a small neighborhood park. This isn't my neighborhood park, but it's not too far from me. And it was apparently a nice day in January for me to be sitting out in a park. Wow, this is old. It's a full year before I quit/took a break from my job, and I feel like I haven't been working for quite some time. Hm, it may be time to print up some more money.

Don't forget to back up your digital files:
Back It Up (Jewelry)
I (obviously) feel no need to defend my music cred on this blog, thus the shameless links to K-pop. I'm still waiting for the day that I'll look back and be mortified and embarrassed that I was listening to this pop drivel. It's just so damn catchy.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Flew into Taipei a couple days ago. It was raining when I landed and it's been dreary since, but I don't mind. It's May, so as soon as the sun comes out, it'll get plenty hot plenty quick around here, so I'm not complaining if the clouds are keeping temps just warm.

I really need to change my life around here, I don't want to go back to doing just what I was doing before the trip to the States, and I think shooting more may contribute to that end. Shooting = Getting out of the apartment during daylight hours.

I already bought more color rolls for the Fisheye and I also have my brother's Nikon D80 DSLR to try to shake things up. I think maybe I stagnated with black and white film because of too much coffee and too much stress over whether a shot is worth using a frame of film.

Ironically, the D80 allows a flexibility that I've criticized about DSLRs before, which is it allows mindless shooting of endless frames, and inevitably one of those shots is going to be usable. But that might be what I need now to get over the paralysis and indecisiveness of wondering whether to take a shot or not.

But this is not about black and white, this is lomo, and I still have about 4 rolls of unposted fisheye (only 4 rolls over the whole of 2009-10! bleah.), while I dust off the fisheye 2 and see if I'm seeing anything.

Taipei overview:
December 9, 2008 - Jiankang Street and Nanjing East Road. I still consider this my neighborhood as it's within walking distance, although towards the outer range of my walking distance. 

December 17, 2008 - Freedom Plaza with the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall in the distance. The whole plaza used to be dedicated to Chiang Kai-shek, but he's a controversial character and I thought it was appropriate for the government to take some of that back and dedicate the plaza to freedom and democracy. Chiang Kai-shek was a dictator and a ruthless butcher, but without him, Taiwan's current democracy might not exist.

Oh, and that's a group of Tibetan protestors at the foot of the gate, lobbying Taiwan to protect Tibetan refugees who have escaped from mainland Chinese repression. 

Needless to say, this construction is all complete now. The riverside bikeway on the lower left is complete and open, and the bridge on the middle right -- I forget if that's what they were tearing down or putting up. I think maybe they were putting that one up, and where I was standing was the bridge that eventually came down to improve traffic flow over the Keelung River.

Rock U (Kara)

Monday, May 02, 2011

After a month in the U.S., I'm heading back to Taiwan tomorrow morning, and it just so happens that the concluding frames on this roll of lomo are shots of my neighborhood in Taiwan. Maybe this will ease the shock of being back there. Or not.

December 2, 2008 - Funky winter sunlight in the stairwell leading out of my building. I live on the 3rd floor. Prior to here, I lived on the 6th floor of a building with no elevator. For the first few days after moving here, I kept making this turn out of habit to go up further before realizing I live here.

November 29, 2008 - Neighborhood park just down the alley from me. It's a nice place to stop before going home and munch on something or just decompress. Line dancing occurs here every night, too, one can imagine. They consider it exercise, but it pretty much looks the same as line dancing.

December 2, 2008 - In the opposite direction of the park from me is a local food street a block away, although this one is nothing to write home about. There's only one food stall I go to pretty regularly that has a really good fried onion pancake type thingie which I like with either cheese, tuna or kimchi and a fried egg. Otherwise it's mostly sustenance-level food, not to savor or enjoy.

Considering the events of the last 24 hours, I'm well aware that I'm about to get on an airplane tomorrow and subject myself to the indignities of airport security. I managed to avoid the full-body scanner at SFO coming here because the line was getting so long that security opened up another line starting from the person in front of me, and that line didn't go through the full-body scanner.

Aside from the "U.S.A.!" chanting idiots, my opinions on Osama bin Laden's death is pretty much in line with the rest of America. Actually, I'm even in line with those idiots, I just disagree with that thoughtless, sports-fan expression in response to killing one man who is still responsible for killing thousands of our own. I think such whooping and hollering is disrespectful to their memory.

I did feel a cloud lifted when the news came through, and that was right when the news broke and before the hype of what big news it was started snowballing. It was something that had been left hanging for the past 10 years. It had fallen into the background, but now that it's done, it's clear that it has been something lingering that needed resolution.

Now I'm waiting for the conspiracy theories to arise. This story is ripe for conspiracy theories.

Sunday, May 01, 2011


Dang it, I do, I really do want to get this blog off the ground. Like the kites in the previous posts. Fly, lomoblog, fly! I'll be the flatulence wind beneath your wings.

Shot 2 and a half bloody years ago, here are the last shots from that ride before I went crazy and stopped posting. Fortunately this isn't a current events blog, and pics are just pics, even 2 and a half years later. That's the extent of me being philosophical:
Looks like kind of a fishing village on the east coast of Taiwan. I say "looks like kind of" because I image fishing villages being isolated, but northern Taiwan is largely urbanized and these fishing harbors aren't exactly isolated. Fisherfolk don't even need to live near their boats and non-fisherfolk also inhabit these parts. Or not. I don't know. I don't have the documentation. Sometimes I just like to make shit up. Get off my back.

Shipping containers piled up at Keelung Harbor. The bike ride goes up the coast from Ruifang to Keelung - the largest port in northern Taiwan. I think Kaohsiung in the south is Taiwan's largest port.

After reaching Keelung, the ride heads west back to Taipei. I've been exploring cycling routes between Taipei and Keelung that don't go on what are basically highways, and I've found a network of back roads and riverside bikeways that accomplish this. This was at one of the access points of a bikeway. A fat, laughing buddha. Which is a Chinese folk creation. Has nothing to do with Buddhism per se.

An impressive bridge tower which I can't help but think was built more for show than to hold up a roadway. Seriously, if I took a wider shot, it's just a short piece of road that hardly warrants such a structure.

空に咲く花 Sora ni Saku Hana (Chitose Hajime)