Wednesday, May 31, 2006

The saddest thing ever

In an attempt to get my Mandarin pop fix, in my new existence without a TV, I'm listening to the radio on the internet. I just heard a commercial where a man tells a woman, she doesn't have to worry, there's away she can eat cheesecake and chocolate pudding without getting fat. She can eat Jellybelly jellybeans flavored cheesecake and chocolate pudding.

On one hand, it's pretty cool that I can understand a commercial on the radio. I definitely couldn't before. On the other hand, the actual content is one of the saddest things I've ever heard.

Well, while I'm on my soapbox, why do you think people like white skin so much. This is sort of inspired by the Taiwanese passion for whiteness, but I think it exists other places to. I've been thinking about it lately. I'm curious what the two other people who read my blog that aren't shackled to me by DNA think about this. Those who are biologically related to me are also welcome to respond, as well.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

you know you have no life if

you go to Taibei on your day off, and go to the bookstore to look for readers for your summer reading class. And yet this is exactly what I did.

Saturday, May 27, 2006


their English is atrocious. Posted by Picasa

The mysterious graffiti artist

There's a lot of graffiti in English and sometimes in French in Jilong. However, my theory is that actually it's all one person. Posted by Picasa

Friday, May 26, 2006

Reading classes

so it's been a while since I've actually written about teaching. At my new school, we've opened a couple basic reading classes. This is for kids that have had less than a year of English. So we read 16 pg. picture books over the course of a month and talk about them. Although discussion is pretty limited just based on the book and what they know. They've been pretty successful. I asked my boss to cap the class at 8 which personally is a little too big for a reading class anyway. And we opened one about a month ago, and we're opening a new one tomorrow. It's just an hour, but it's sort of weird because I don't know what the hell I'm doing most of the time and half of the kids just don't say much or pay attention. At the same time, it's kind of fun because it's a lot more free in some ways. Although I don't know if they're really learning a whole lot.

I must say, the story we started with, The Cat in the Tree, was a pretty boring book. Hopefully the new book, The Rope Swing, will be more exciting.

I did mention

it was really misty, right? Posted by Picasa

Left over

gold mining equipment Posted by Picasa

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Looking out the window

I've noticed that the man in the apartment across the way must wear a lot of white undershirts. Posted by Picasa

More pictures of the gold temple

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As you can tell

it was very misty that day. Posted by Picasa

The ruins of the gold temple

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For those of you

who are wondering why I'm posting pictures at 5 in the morning, I drank too much tea at around 10:30 last night and I can't sleep. Posted by Picasa

Pictures from Jinguashi

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Leaving my (old) job and the DaVinci Code

So a couple things of "interest" happened in my otherwise pretty mundane life today. For reasons that I won't be particularly explicit about here, (this is the Internet for Christ sakes) I recently, i.e. about three months ago, broke my contract with the cram school I worked at and went to work for another. However, in order to sort of fulfill the letter if not the spirit of my contract, I still taught one class at my previous school. I.e. the girlfriend Ken and Jerry class. Mostly it was because it was a class that I enjoyed a lot. However, due to a lot of unpleasantness, if you really want to know this you can e-mail me, I can provide you with many details that probably aren't all that interesting to people who don't know me. Anyway that's all finished now very suddenly. I taught them today but my boss at my school talked to my boss at my old school, and now I'm not going back next week. I'm really going to miss some of the kids there, but at the same time, I hate the school so much that I'm also relieved that I won't be going back.

Today I also saw the Da Vinci Code. What struck me most about this highly anticipated movie was that it was a lot like a movie that came out a while ago, National Treasure. However unlike the movie National Treasure, the Da Vinci Code was supposed to have some sort of intellectual content that was controversial. Most of my problem is that I am a grumpy person. The grumpy negative person in me says, "Woo, so Jesus had a wife. Big fucking deal." This isn't really fair because for reasons that I can't remember I was once interested and even read some of the Apocrypha that they talk about as well as the Gnostic texts that they talk about in the movie, so the concept was not entirely new to me.

There were a couple things that I found very interesting about the movie though although I'm guessing they probably aren't really intentional. The movie's premise and possibly the book's premise, although I haven't read it, seems to be that the characters want to reveal the hidden female side of the church and the Christian faith. However, I would hardly characterize this film as one that empowers women. In fact, for a movie that is supposedly about revealing the hidden female truth, it is a pretty male-centric movie. Despite the fact that Mary Magdelene is supposedly the heir to the Christian faith, she relies on and is protected by a bunch of male knights. And it is the male knights that the film focuses on. All of the female characters in the film, which is actually a grand total of one really, are actually symbols for the truth, passively containing the truth or some secret blood which wait for the male researcher or knight or whatever to uncover it. Honestly, I thought the whole God-female thing was more interestingly and originally covered in Kevin Smith's Dogma.

This may also be controversial, but what are the odds that the last descendant, which in and of itself is kind of unlikely, of Jesus Christ would be French? And also not Jewish? It seemed like the movie was also sort of getting around the whole inconvenient part of Jesus. Jesus was a man sure, but he was also a Middle Eastern possibly Arabic Jewish man. And let's be honest with ourselves. If Jesus took a plane in American right now, he'd be "randomly searched" about 15 times on his way to the gate. Instead, Jesus's descendant in the movie is Amelie. Somehow to me this seems a little off.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

The new washing machine

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The bathroom

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The kitchen

A picture of my apartment. In this case, a picture of the kitchen. There's a gas canister. When you run out you have to call the store and get more and then some man has to get on a scooter and lug a cannister of gas up 4 flights of stairs. Posted by Picasa

There was a gyser

in the distance. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Heather and Stephanie

taking pictures. Posted by Picasa

Descending the Hill

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It was a Sunday

and therefore there were millions of people out there. They look like ants, brightly colored ants. Posted by Picasa


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My trip to Yangming Shan

My boss Jennifer took my fellow coworker/roommate/friend Heather and I to Yangming Shan one weekend. Posted by Picasa

Monday, May 15, 2006

It was my birthday. It's not really anymore

Although technically, in the states it may still be my birthday. Probably not though. Anyway, my birthday actually made me kind of depressed. Most likely it just made me miss home for the first time. Also, it made me sort of think about where I've ended up and how it's not exactly where I thought I would be. Although that's not neccessarily a bad thing.

My Chinese teacher told me about a hiking trail literally about 5 minutes from my house. My roommate and I just walked up the hill and there we were. We hiked in there for about 3 hours and we still didn't go everywhere. There was this one time where we started to hear flute music which seemed sort of weird like we were walking in a movie and we followed it and came across this guy playing his flute in the middle of the woods. When he saw us looking he stopped, and when we left he started playing again. Sort of like a wild bird.

Also I lied, I can now read a Bleach comic book in about 16 hours. This is really going to become a very expensive habit. It's funny but once I start reading a comic in one language I don't want to switch. So I read Naruto in English, and Deathnote and Bleach in Chinese. I'm not sure what that means exactly.

Chandelier 2 (I'm still not sure I'm spelling that right)

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Chandelier (Am I spelling that right?)

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Friday, May 12, 2006

NJ Style

There's apparently some hip hop clothing store by the bus station. If you notice, one of the signs says NJ Style. My roommate and I got into a discussion of what this might possibly mean. I maintain that it stands for New Jersey Style.

Any suggestions? Posted by Picasa

Thursday, May 11, 2006


So my reading ability has increased to the point that I can read one Bleach comic book in 3 days. Deathnote is still slightly harder, so about 5 days. Suddenly reading has once again become an expensive habit. So to that end, I decided it was probably time to venture into the wide world of literature. However, I generally get attracted to the classical literature that I can't read yet. It's really frustrating when there's a book that you really want to read right there and you just don't have the skill to read it. Also for a lot of what's on the shelf, I'm not sure sometimes if it's worth reading and authors like for example 莫言或者王安憶 are often too hard.

Instead I read 陳雪 蝴蝶的記號 which was pretty easy. The next story in the collection is harder, I'm not sure if she's being incoherent on purpose or whether that is just me. I've just started 王安憶 現代生活 which is the simplest book of hers that I could find and it seems like I can understand that too. If anyone wants to recommend a book though, I'm open to that.

Imprompto sculpture

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The view from my new apartment

I think those are my clothes hanging on the "line" that I built with a metal rod and rotten rope. Posted by Picasa

It's time for more pictures

aka, I didn't have the internet for a couple days and I'm also busy and kind of tired. I've been some places though. Also, I've discovered the black and white function of Picasa, now I have the best of both worlds, sort of. Posted by Picasa