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June 29, 2004

i nearly forgot!for a bit

i nearly forgot!

for a bit of an extended tour of my apartment.... click on this picture:

ok. thanks for visiting, goodbye.

Posted by james at 5:54 PM | Comments (5)

unicorn beetles and things that are round

yes yes yes!

i taught the class at the Montessori school all by myself today and had a very fine time indeed. the owner is still going to sit in with me to help disipline for a week or so, but otherwise i am doing fine. basically i sit at a table and teach phonics for an hour, than sing songs for another hour. today i had to sing some lame song and read a book about a unicorn beetle. when the owner heard i owned a uke, she suggested i write my own songs and sing them with the kids! so... thats what i have been doing today, writing really really simple kids songs to teach my kids. that is so much more exciting than reading from these dry phonetics books. also... i am working on editing 'everybody have a good time' by archie bell and the drells so that i can make my own lyrics to have them ding and dance too. anyhow... i am happy with my new job.

also... if you are interested, you can see a little video clip of the classroom right here

ok... well, the other grand valley students left yesterday. i fell bad for them. ha. suckers. we had a lot of fun. here is a picture of us taking shelter under giant moutain taro leaves (the non-edible variety of taro)...

also... i saw the nipples at the underworld. that was a fun show.

for a video and audio clip of that click here and/or here. after words we went to the new lesbian bar 'orlandos' where we stayed untill three in the morning. i then found myself back in our living room with 5 lovely ladies serving tea and singing songs such as this thrilling french melody by lyanne until 6 in the morning. this is obviously a very exciting and energetic home.

hmmm... what else.

oh yes.... everyday i get to take a leisurely walk home from work through 'daan' park. i really enjoy that part of my day, especially with a good couple of betelnuts to chew on. ha. don't tell the montessori kids about that though.

also... my new goal is to stay in taiwan until i can afford, and then drive into the ground, a beautifull vehicle such as this...


Posted by james at 5:45 PM | Comments (0)

oh boy... it has been

oh boy... it has been a long week. many exciting things happening. i really like my new apartment, i have very wonderfull roomates and a lovely little cat. i am starting to fix up the basement and hopefully will have it painted this weekend.

but.. i need to be doing homework or going to bed. maybe when things settle down i will start updateing again. i have just been too busy lately.

today i went to bodyworld with some friends. roufy (i think thats how to spell it), i met him at a nice clothing store at hsimen several weeks ago. he brought two lovely girls, peggy and celia (i don't know how to spell that either, what a horrible english teacher i make.).

notice the monsterous cucumber with a hat in the background. thats because it is a cucumber juice stand. hao he.

also, today was my first day at the monosory (again i know thats spelled wrong) school. the kids were great! i wish i brought my camera... it was hillarious.

anyhow... i promised myelf i wouldn't write anything. i really need to go to bed.

wan an

ok... i guess i should at least show one picture of my new apartment.

that is the front door. lovely isn't it. also, i think we might have a typhoon tommarrow. maybe i should get anything of value out of my room, because if it floods, my room will be completely underwater.

Posted by james at 1:10 AM | Comments (2)

June 24, 2004

today was fine indeed

i woke up this morning to find this gigantic monster in my bathroom.

it tried hiding behind the toilet, but i flushed him out with hot water. (ha.. is that a pun? well it wasn't intended).

after that it chased me around the bathroom for a little bit, and all that was left for me to do was capture it with an empty bao bao tea cup before it could finish me off.

it was a very exciting episode, but unfortunalty afterwords i forgot why i had woken up so early in the first place, and failed to prepare adequately for my dictation. i had no idea how hard 'studying' could actually be. i think this is the first time i have honostly tried studying hard. its rather frightening, i had no idea it could be so difficult. and it really is. i have been extremely anxious lately, and have these breif nauseous episodes in the afternoon and i get overwhelmed with everything. i need to realize that i have all the time in the world to learn mandarin. the taiwanese aren't going anywhere for awhile.

oh... but the ukelelle has been a fine release for all this stress. i have written another song (well, enough of a song) to play on the roof. i go up there at least 3 times a day now. once when i wake up, once after classes, and once before i go to bed.

oh yes... today i met a mahayana (or some southern variation) monk from vietnam and discovered that we both love tran anh hung films. we may get together and watch vertical rays of the sun when i get situated. also, this afternoon i met a very lovely girl that just arrived from indonesia and a morman from florida.

oh yes! today we had music lessons at shi da!!!!

the instructer was truely lovely, and i fell in love with her gu zhengs's. in fact, i almost had a lunch date tommarrow to find a good place to buy one. oh boy... i really like the gu zheng. she taught us the toon that the bell rings when its time for class to start. it was lovely indeed. i think i could have a future with the gu zheng. ha. no really, i plan on buying a nice one as soon as i start working. i am actually rather anxious about teaching at the monasory school monday, i have never taught english before. i shall have to began using good pronunciation. when i type, i feel like i am using supurb pronunciation. therefore, i feel justified in mumbling when talking to real live persons. anyhow... here are some more pictures.

that last picture is rather flattering isn't it. also, the gentleman on the right is my roomate until sunday. as you can see, he also got burned rather badly at the dragon boat races the other day. while my burn doesn't look quite that bad, it swear it hurts much worse. i can hardly bear to rub lotion into my head.

anyhow.. i must go. eat. good food. taiwanese food. its all good really. thats why i love it here. also i am moving in. i think i shall buy a big basket of fruit and a bottle or plum wine to present to my new roomates. i am living with to very kind and attractive taiwanese girls and another very kind and attractive girl from canada. unfortunatly, she will be leaving for two months, so we will have some western guy taking her place for a few months. ha. some western guy. i wonder if that is what they said about me too. some western guy. well, i hope he is from chile, or brazil or something. ha. no i am just kidding. he is probably also going to make a lovely roomate. also, once again i will have the pleasure of living with a cat. i am really excited about that. although i hear this cat is very aggressiuve and extremly schizophrentic. ha. the lovely fellow whom i am replacing nicknamed his buisnesses website freakingcat.com after she tried to devour the webdevelopers face.


i really miss oggie. what a sweetheart. i miss having him curled up on my chest everynight, and licking my eyelids every morning. he was a really sweet cat. i hope him and curtis are having a fine time back home. also, zeke.... i hope he can handle the bits and peices of diverted attention. what a great dog.

i am starting to sound like a sap. ha. goodbye. i am going to go beat up some old people and steal a motocha.


oh yes... maybe i will put an '.avi' file of our Gu Zheng lesson here.

Posted by james at 8:16 PM | Comments (8)


alrighi... i am sleepy.

we went to this place today, a museum of sorts out in danshuai (sspelling). wow, i really am tirede. ok. this is it then....

i just liked the architecture.... im not sure i remember what was in it though. i kept falling asleep during the tour. it was kind of embarrassing. i think i am getting jet lag. is that possible? i have been hear almost 4 weeks. jet lag? maybe it is all the genju naicha i am drinking. i have at least one a day. i think i might even start a genju naicha journal on hiho. first i need to learn how to spell it thouhg.......



my eyes are glazing over.

Posted by james at 1:45 AM | Comments (2)

ok... i don't have time

ok... i don't have time for this at the moment, so i will just paraphrase and show pictures.

i found out i have the apartment... it is really lovely and i have lovely roomates. i am moving in tommarow. also, monday i begin teaching at a monasory school. i don't have time to look up how to spell monasory, but i am sure i got the meaning across. also, i have been looking at mopeds on www.tealit.com and have found several i like. but shi laoshi has talked me into getting a new one instead, and we wil be shopping for that as soon as i go to and then return from hongkong with the proper paperwork. well, i don't think i really have to go to hong kong, i could just as easliy make it korea, japan, vietnam, cambodia, laos... any suggestions? i have a weekend to spend wherever i wish.

i went to the annual dragon boat festival and got badely burned. that is our team.... shi da mandarin training center, and our mixed (male and female) team placed second! jia yo shi da! also, i have decided that the easiest way to get myself up early and running around taipei is to join the dragon boat team next summer. otherwise i may never get back in shape. of course that is easy for me to say now, they don't start training again until next april.

also, at the festival, there was a very nice big fountain. it reminded me of childrens day at shanghai two years back. yes, that was fun.

i think this was were i recieved this awfull burn. it hurts to rub lotion on it, and i spend several hours tryign to find a comfortable way to rest my head on my pillow last night. yikes.... i think i may have learned my lesson this time.

Posted by james at 1:37 AM | Comments (0)

oh yes, yes indeed. this

oh yes, yes indeed.

this is were dong ding oolang tea comes from. for all you fans of the dong ding tanins. i decided i want to right a song called 'tannon fodder'. yum. i think i have begun a life long addiction to teas. yup. and betel nuts. argh... what have i done.

ok. the weekend was fine indeed. i listened to cicadas, climbed up to the eyes of heaven and earth, used mountain taro leaves to sheild myself from a torrent of rain as i ran through a bamboo forest (can of pocari sweat in on hand and a big sweet in the other). yum. also, i had some sort of antlerless mountain deer animal cooked over sweet ferns, yum. and wild boar. and more ferns, and lots and lots of bamboo. the best bamboo i ever expect to have in my life.

oh yes.... and i love dong ding oolang tea. i wrote a song about it, did i mention that. its called ding dong oolang. its a rap song. it goes something like this... "ding dong... oolang... asfalkfsd;aksdfjla i don't think i can quite convey the lyrics as i wanted too... so you'll just have to take my word for it when i say its some really fly shiznit.

Posted by james at 1:23 AM | Comments (0)

June 21, 2004

oh so tired


i am back from a lovely weekend in the mountains.
sure, lots of fun stuff happened, but i am too busy to talk about it now. i will show a few pictures though.

Also, when i got back, i noticed the art gallery on our floor of the hostel is now hosting a fabulous looking exhibit that opens tommarow! i sort of recognize the sample peice on the front door, and wonder if this exhibit has any relation to roger shimomura's work which i found while browsing geisha asobi's weblog. anyhow... here is the peice on the entrance to the gallery.

also.. on thursday we had accupuncture lessons, and i do not believe i ever posted pictures from that. so. i guess that is what i will do now. post some pictures. and then go to bed. oh yes. i looked at an apartment today and i think it was really nice. more on that later.

yes that is a burning needle poking out of my arm

and shi laoshi with a needle and magnetic ball in his ear


Posted by james at 1:08 AM | Comments (0)

June 17, 2004

so... i had a test

so... i had a test and a dictation today. it was tough. also, tommarrow we leave to go hang out in the mountains for three days. i may or may not bring my laptop, but i am certain i will not be on the internet until monday.

also... some more pictures from yesterday.

this bear is representing one of the levels of... well... i don't know what its called. something confucious talked about. ha. i forget exactly what the others bears where holding, but its something like this; first is a bear that wants to learn, then a bear with a book, a bear with an instrument, one with a bow and arrow, then with a horse, and then a keyboard, and then... i don't remember, a diploma or something. it has to do with cultivating yourself. you have to honostly want to learn, then you study books and such. then you learn how to play music, then you learn how to fight or hunt to survive and protect yourself. then you learn how to ride well, because then you can travel the country learning from various teachers... i really should know this stuff. ha, but then comes the keyboard? i think it has to do with communicating with the world. like, you practice writing books or teaching or debating.... of course, this is a contemporary statue, so it represents this with a keyboard. i thought that was kind of funny. that made me think though... why does that other bear have a horse? shouldn't it have a moped or something?

either way, it was a very interesting sculpture. i admire the way confucious advocated higher learning and cultivation, and not just academically, but artistically and socially as well. he was the first true public teacher. of course, i don't really know what i am talking about. i should just stop writing before i write something stupid.

tonight i will go look at an apartment down the road, then watch some tex avery cartoons, do some homework, and go to bed.


Posted by james at 12:10 PM | Comments (2)

June 16, 2004

my my miller

i have a lot of pictures, so i will post half today, and the rest tommarow.

we went to the official confucious temple of china. it is in taiwan because last time the direct descendents where on the mainland, their grandfathers dead body was burned from a tree. that is reason enough, i believe, not to have the official confucian temple on the mainland. i don't suspect that family will be sending any of its kids to Beijing University.

this temple was very nice indeed. except it is right near the airport, so planes kept flying right over our heads and distrupting the tour. also, i found lots of herman miller chairs and that made me happy.

also... i should be studying.

Posted by james at 11:35 PM | Comments (0)

so... does anyone know

so... does anyone know when 2046 is comeing to theatres?!?! its driving me crazy... i can't find anything. i know it is released in the uk in october, but it must comeout in taipei sometime before then. either way, i am eagerly awaiting it.

also... i saw this kid on my way back from breakfast today.

ha.. i wonder if he rode in like that. i don't know how he manages to keep that up. oh... so my roomate is watching some basketball game, and i think detroit won. i bet that made a lot of people happy back home.

so... in some other news. a certain ex-president has been resurrected and is now on the republican ticket...

for more news on this bizzarre twist, visit this website.

i was riding the elevator down to class this morning, and 14 people got on from the 8th floor!!! it is such a small elevator, i could hardly breath! then i looked at the sign, and it said the maximum capacity was 11 people!! then i counted, and including myself, there was 15! yikes! plus, i don't know my metric system, but 700kg limit? how many kg do i weight? i don't know, but i thought 60-70. either way, last time i was in the elevator with 12 people, and it had started beeping until somebody got off. how come it let 15 ride this time?

i don't know, but that made me a bit anxious. ha. i think i might be a wuss.

Posted by james at 6:05 PM | Comments (1)

so.today as i was walking


today as i was walking back from class i was feeling pretty good. their were these two girls talking at a booth stationed near the elevator in the foyer as i walked back to my room. on of them kind of threw me a flirty look and blushed. as i glanced back at her a really smarty allec thought came into my head and i imagined saying to her ''take a picture, it will last longer', and for some reason the made me laugh out loud. now, i think she thought i was laughing at her so she returned a (still kind of flirtatious) offended look. well, i wasn't about to apologize or anything so i just kept my cool and swirled around into the open elevator door. ha. i stood there in the elevator laughing out loud for another minute or so. then the door opened and i was still on the first floor, and one of the girls got in. oh boy. ha. how embarrasing. i must have been sitting in the elevator for like 2 minutes without pressing any buttons! ha! i was that entertained by a stupid smart ass comment i made to myself inside my head. hee hee... i don't know why i think thats so funny. anyhow, the girl realized i had been sitting in the elevator and she thought it was pretty funny too. at this point i turned silent and then patiently waited for the door to open again and i curtsied as she got off the floor below mine. ha... how embarrssing. that is ok, i've always appreciated a healthy dose of humility first thing in the morning. and now i have a new subject for a short film! however, in the film i won't be laughing at my own jokes, or typing about it on my weblog. no no, it has to be completely tougne (yikes! how am i ever going to teach english if i can't figuer out how to spell?!?!).. im sorry. tougnge in check. thats how it will be.

i am sleepy.

so i ran into another cheshire cat today and it posed long enough to take a picture.

this one was near the bookstore, where i learned that the owner is not only (im actually just guessing) 10 years older than me, but is married and has a kid that is nearly 8. so, first i start acting brighter, then i get her to divorce the guy and send the kid to a boarding school. right? yes yes, that would be an entertaining plot. my mind is on movies right now, i don't konw why. i saw lady killers yesterday. it was good, but i had hoped for better. the cinematography gets better with each movie however. also... its taken me this many weeks to notice the difference between the posters for spiderman 2 in america and the onces in taiwan. the ones in the states don't have taipei 101 in the background. i didn't put that picture up because it sucks. it was really dark, and i had just stepped out of the movie. anyhow... taipei 101 is the jagged building in the middle. notice how it looks almost the same height as the other buildings? well, its actually nearly 40-50 stories higher than those. its so big. actually, it doesn't look that big in real life. it just looks like all the other buildings are really small. of course, i havn't seen it up close yet. oh man, i haven't been to the living mall yet either! well... i have a lot of time to do all that.

also, i have some new streetart photos and ect... but they all have turned out funny because i still haven't figuered out how to use my flash and they are all at dusk or dark, and unlit alleys. go figuer. i need to carry around a mole kit. also, i might not get around to putting them up until tommarow (not that people really care anyhow) cause i am falling asleep. i am actually in bed right now. uia am sooooo sleepy. sleepy sleepy. i am only still typing because to finish i will have to get out of bed, climb up on top of the dresser, and send this into movable type.


i can make it.


Posted by james at 2:17 AM | Comments (2)

June 14, 2004

I learned a lot of

I learned a lot of very helpful things today at the chinese medicine and therapy class. also, i have no idea what blood type i am, and i really need to know soon. but lo... my parents are in bed, and they may just be the only ones that know. at least i hope they know. either way... im hungry. i am going to go eat food.

thats all i guess.

Posted by james at 5:56 PM | Comments (3)

hiho.so... i didn't update today


so... i didn't update today or yesterday because i have been busy. with what? i don't know; being in taipei. today i played pokemon ruby on my computer. sweet. i am so happy i don't have to buy a gameboy advance. i would much rather hang out with my powerbook than some dirty little handheld contraption. also... i made some things yester day.

i don't konw how much i like them yet... but it was definetly a learning experience.
yesterday we took the bus into the mountains and visited one of shi laoshi's friend's tea plantations. wow... it was beautiful.

that was the view from our table. we were the only ones there; sitting right on the side of a cliff. we had this huge feast and drank fine teas for several hours afterwards. shi laoshi's wifes old school freinds familis came and ate with us, as well as some of laoshi's friends and we had a fine time indeed. their were several kids under the age of ten with us... so i was able to keep myself in very good company, and learned some fun childrens games too. also.. there where tons of butterflys everywhere, and our little pavilion was covered in caccons. ive been teaching myself the chinese names of aniumals, and using them to nickname my pokemon on the gambor emulator, so i have an excuse now to play when i shold be studying. ha. i now know how to say raccoon, gecko, catepillar, butterfly, and bear. ha. slowly but surely.

we had the honor of being visited by the largest female mantis i have ever seen in my life. i was very impressed. she didn't seem scared of us at all, and almost acted pleased to be walking all over my arm.

what was odd, is that when i got back to shi da, there was a huge male mantis waiting for me right out side my window sill! on the 9th story too!

i don't knoww how it got up so high. maybe he picked up the scent off my arm... i don't really know how those things work, but i am rather fascinated with it. at one point in my collegetic (ha... spelling?) career, i was actually considering switching to entomology.

today i went back to that book store and ended up buying 'the little prince' in chinese. i feel like a dork... but oh well. also today i started reading 'mio my son' again. i don't feel like i was really paying attention to it the first time i read it. it was one of those books you keep by your bed and read a tiny bit each night until you fall asleep. i think i was often reading the same page over and over. anyhow... i hate readin gbooks like that. i like to sit down and read it straight through. thats probably why i don't read big books. if i can't finish it in one or two days... i shouldn't be reading it.

ok... this picture has nothing to do with me or my weekend, but note that it is custard having his was with a native american woman. the game is called Custerd's Revenge, and can only be played on your atari game console (or emulator). how did a game like this ever come into existance? i don't know, i am still trying to figuer that out.

also... i have been listening to 'the books' all day. i really like it.

ok... i know i had lots more to right, but i am exhausted. the only reason i am updateing tonight is that i was afraid if i didn't, it would never happen.


edit: oh yes... i was going to mention how incredibly loud the cicadas are in the mountain. i could just sit and listen to them for hours. i will be going out with a dat recorder or something and trying to record it soon. i saw my first cicada today too... it was huge!!

Posted by james at 1:56 AM | Comments (4)

June 11, 2004

bug eyed babies


the other day i was waiting in line for a delicous glass of bao bao tea, when two shi da students asked me to take their poll entitled 'love and sex'. so. several times they asked me about 'making love'. well, i wondered what exactly they meant by 'making love'. they said.... you know... 'making love'. they didn't understand why i was so confused. i tried to explain to them how there are different definitions and that it is important they clarify what they mean by 'making love', it may change some of my answers. so they asked me to explain the differences... and i honostly tried my best. after several minutes of charades, i started to attract the attention of random people at the night market, so i gave up. anyhow, one of the questions was "what is my favorite woman/man for love partner". I didn't understand this question either. i think they wanted to know what i look for in a partner. so i said something like "intelligent, creative, and has good taste". so, they thought it was funny i wanted someone that tastes good. i tried to explain that what i meant was i will only date someone who "appreciates good books, good music, good movies, and good food." I added, "they must have exceptional taste. and they must be doing something productive with their creativity."

anyhow... moments later, i found someone that fit those definitions perfectly! the book store down the street!! hidden at the very end of the shi da night market was the loveliest little rare used book store i have ever loitered in! very petite, fashionable, and quiet... with exceptional taste in books. one of those store where every single book is great! no digging neccesary. in addition, scattered about where the loveliest little big-eyed dolls. i had been seeing these dolls around all the keenest stores in taipei, and grown quite fond of them.

so, i picked out three fabulous books; a collection of 300 T'ang Poems published by the far east book co. 1973, a collection of short stories about the "ladies of the tang" dynasty, published right here in taipei 1961, and a book called "art since pop" by John A. Walker, 1965. i am very excited about all of them. also... the bag i got to take them home in was a very fancy canvas bag... for free! i am going to be using that for all my groceries now!

on top of that, the woman running the store (i suspect she owns it too), was young and very attractive. i bought another book just to try and talk to her. i really wanted to ask her about all the art and dolls she had around the store and pinned up next to the cash register. i asked "who is this artist" pointing at the dolls. "oh? this?" she said. "thats me."


ha. how intimidating. i was very impressed. i think i shall be visiting that bookstore quite often. i certainly won't have any trouble finding books to take home. i really wanted to pick up this one called "new vocabularies in film semiotics", but i am glad i didn't cause now i have an excuse to go back.

so... did i mention my run-in with the cheshire cat? well, i found him. see, the only cats i have found in taipei so far, are hanging out above my head. I see them lounging out on top of neon signs, crawling across the tops of tall walls, and leaping form porch to porch. once i mistook one for a monkey. anyhow... i had just started down snake alley when i heard a 'mao'. instinctivley i looked up, and there was the same cat i had been seeing all over town (or so i imagined, of course whether this is true not depends on your imagination). anyhow, this one was crossing over the alley next too me via some large sign of sorts. then he was climbing up to the cross over to the next building. i followed him down this little alley to try and get a good picture, and found myself surrounded by older women trying to lure me into their dens. i saw a few pimps coming towards me, so i quickly took a picture and walked away as fast as i could. that is the exact part of town i had been trying to avoid. anyhow, the camera wasn't even on...

one of the markets here i visited was called the "old things exclusive area". unfortunatly most of these vendors were not open yet. however i did find some interesting resturants serving treats i haven't yet tried. for example, i don't belive ive ever eaten a shellfish of this size... or anything quite so phallic either...

these ones trying to sneak a peek at its neighbor

im not sure why this indiginous man is trying to shoot at the bald eagle or the crazy pokeball-esque flying saucer behind it. either way, it seems rather funny to me.

also, i wonder why there is a traffic light here. behind the gate is simply a laundry line with 3 pairs of underwear and a n undershirt hanging from it.

also... i just discovered the beauty of emulators! i can play both supernintendo and ninteno games right on my laptop! what a fabulous world this is we live in! ive been downloading roms all day. unfortunatly, ive also discovered the absolutly horrendous "ROM Wars". these sites are horrible!! why do i have to vote for porn sites before downloading donkey kong? this is ridiculous! what a dirty world the internet can be. they must assume that all gamers love naughty anime pictures... because that certainly seems to be their marketing ploy. what chinsey shhh......................................i should go eat dinner. yum.

i am going to try and order something new from my favorite noodle restaurant. it will be hard to break from my nyo ro tong mein addiction. also, i really want to try a beechnut. i am really curious what chewing beechnuts is like, and i want to do it at least once before they get really expensive.

also.. who is the IDSA and why are they such wankers? i really really want to play the mario brothers game for super nintendo. that is the one game ive always wanted to play growing up, and now after.. however many years... of 'not-so-patiently' waiting; i have the means. argh...

Posted by james at 6:14 PM | Comments (6)

that mysterious kitten


i have plenty to share from today... but once again i am exhuasted. this city life takes a lot out of me. hi.... ho..... . either way, in the dying moments of my evening i was able to catch dinner at this fancy little restaurant called... i forgot. here is a picture:

it was fabulous, but strangly unfullfilling. i have found quite the appetite lately. what appealed to me, however, was the lovely assortment of german art scattered around the dining area. check out my favorite one, and visit www.fehmibaumbach.de.

following dinner was another fabulous ice treat. mango this time. i am slowly begining to depend on a daily dose of these heavenly fruit.

no class tommarrow. this is grand. that means i will have plenty od time to share alll about my first time at the Longshan temple. for those that aren't familiar with it... it is the place that hides the ol' snake alley, brothels, and "old things market". also, i should mention my run-in with the one and only cheshire cat. oh yes! and i have my first taiwanese crush!! (on a bookstore non the less. ohhhhh... you should have seen it.)

hmm... i feel like i should share at least one more of this evenings photographs. how about the newest addition to the street art gallery?

good night.

Posted by james at 1:50 AM | Comments (0)

June 10, 2004

hiho!I just got back from


I just got back from a brief visit from Seattle, WA. What a beautifull city! ha... almost as nice as Taipei. It was nice to see my old pals and flat mates. this is me helping Sarah Jean tutor this Vietnamese kid in math...

I think i got off on a tangent with Fibonacci's ratio and the chaos theory when they both fell asleep. after the tutoring, Sarah Nedo, Sarah Jean, Abby (she was visiting from the cape) and i took Romeo and the new dog (i forgot his name) for a walk; i ended up getting a whole tour of the UofW campus.

ha! Both sarah nedo and abby were taking pictures... i think i was looking at the wrong camera. im not very photogenic.

all in all, it was breif but fun. the food in seattle was better than any other place ive been in the states thus far, but no where near as good as taipei's! i look forward to this winter when the these two lovely ladies come to visit!

oi... im pooped. all this flying about and time changing has made me exhausted. i am going to take a nap before dinner... maybe after watching another episode of 'the family guy'. tonight i am going to ssssssnake alley. ha... i love alliteration (is that spelled right? is that even the right word? i don't think so... oh well). anyhow... i'll post the pictures tonight.



Posted by james at 1:42 PM | Comments (12)

hiho so...i made it to


i made it to the National Palace Museum. they simply have the most wonderfull and cheap gift shop i have ever seen in my life! i am certainly go back in october when everything is 20% off. you will have to let me konw before then if you want any books, paintings, or fancy souviners.

i tried taking pictures of my favorite peices, but none of them turned out good. i think it is great that both of the two most famous treasuries there are fashioned after food. there is the jade cabbage and then my favorite... hard stone fashioned like peice of pork. ha! fabulous!! it makes me want to go buy some pork! expect post cards with cabbage and pork on it.

also i swung by chiang kai shek's former residence. i think it is much better than the white house.

they even had fancy waste bins...

and of course, what residancy would be complete without a full set of garden gnomes.

i think they are pretending to be dwarfs; which explains why they accompany snow white.

also, i had a fabulous dinner this evening. at 100 NT (3 USD), this one ways in as my single most expensive meal. also their where several adverstisements in the restaurant boasting how healthy it was. the chilled tea type drink with it was incredible...

ok.. im tired. i have a dictation tommarrow, and i still want to watch an episode of harvey birdman; attorney of law (or something like that).

good night

Posted by james at 1:03 AM | Comments (0)

June 9, 2004

so... it doesn't look like

so... it doesn't look like the typhoon is going to reach taipei at all. oh well... maybe i will get to see the next one. i think this is only the first land warning of this summers typhoon season... their will be more. of course, it still will be nice and cool and rainy these next several days.

more importantly, this morning i did horrible on the test. i completely froze on the first oral question! she said something about a 'famous camera'... and i had never thought of the chinese version of famous being used that way and didn't recognize it. so that completely threw me off and i think my brain sort of faltered on each question after that. sort of like my first day of class. but i think i am starting to get the hang of it. also their was a lot of vocab from earlier sections i haven't learned yet. i really need to get cracking and review those sections i missed.

hey... is there any good new music i should be looking for? how about movies?

Posted by james at 11:24 AM | Comments (1)

June 8, 2004

oh boy... my tounge is

oh boy... my tounge is burning. why? well, i couldnt resist this icey treat at the shi da night market...

i believe i might have devoured it much to fast; my tounge hasn't burned like this since the last time i tried to eat dry ice. also, yesterday we had kungfu lessons on the roof. i am no longer as limber as i once was. i think we were learning the basics of the tiger-crane style or something... i guess im just not that much of an enthusiast.
although i had a good time, it was kind of akward being paired with professor smith... i think i was too rough with him. i often forget that i am stronger than most people. ha, sometimes i feel like lenny. last month when i found out i won the freeman asia scholarship i gave my mother a friendly high-five that may have fractured her wrist. also, some complain that it hurts when i shake their hand. that makes me sad. i think it is best that i keep a distance from small animals.

oh yes! today we did karoke (sp?). the director at NTNU canceled his welcoming meeting with us last week, so he apologized by arranging this karoke class with us instead. ha. apparantly this was a great honor. well.. it was fun, very interesting. he was quite the operatic singer. hee hee. i sang proud mary... and noticed that the accompaning video was a series of shots of beir pubs and german woman walking along a river. i am not sure exactly what river proud mary was supposed to be rolling down... but i am fairly certain it wasn't the rhine or the danube.

That is my professor singing something fancy. if you want to see a few clips of the kids that came on the grand valley trip... click here or here. my camera batteries were dying so i didn't get anything good.

well... i just returned from getting groceries. i had that shaved ice and nyo ro tong mein from my favorite noodle shop. Also, today i discovered the source of my astronimical gas that plaques me each and every morning. i forgot that i am lactoss intollerant... however i am not going to let that stop me from indulging in my favorite little yogurt drink. or... maybe it will. well, i think my roomate will have to hold out at least until the end of the week; I still have a 12 pack to finish.

Actually, i wasn't going to disclose the following information because i didn't want to worry my parents, but im sure they would find out eventually. i had a very specific reason for buying groceries today. apparantly i might have to live off of ramen for the next day or two because all my favorite resturants will be closed due to a monsterous typhoon scheduled to arrive any time in the next 30 hours. This explains why the weather has been so strangly cool this last week rather than stuffy and hot. Being on the ninth floor, I have nothing to worry about. Its not like i own any property. So if it floods, i'll just be stuck in the hostel for a little while. Actually, i am rather excited. this will be my first pacific hurricane! well, my first hurricane period. also, taiwan is built to withstand these things, so its not likely to be a national disaster. i think they are used to it. also, if we are lucky, the eye will pass right over shi da and i can take some beautifull pictures for a few hours. what i am worried about is not eating any of my favorite street foods for the next few days.

ok... so if this typhoon changes course or something, i will be at the national palace museum tomarrow. i am excited about that. also... while my first class was horribly embarrassing and hard, today it was a peice of cake. i think i was just caught off guard the first class, and needed another day to get back on track with my mandarin. also... i met some swedish folk i can talk to about astrid lindgren. that makes me very happy.

ok... i need to study.

oh yes... i now have means of filesharing agian... so i have been downloading music and movies all day. ha. ive already watched three episodes of the family guy. what a great show.

also... i bought another clock. i have completely ruined the other one. oops. i can be so foolish.

Posted by james at 10:26 PM | Comments (2)

baby turtles sporting paperclips

its too late to be on the computer. i think i am studying hard... that is very out of character for me...

yow yow yow... im sleepy.
i had fun today. bought a alarm clock... tried dissassembling it (i couldn't resist), and now it is broken before i have even had the chance to use it. such is my life.

i don't know...
im tired...

Posted by james at 1:58 AM | Comments (2)

June 7, 2004

hello hello hello i am

hello hello hello

i am too exhausted to write in my journal today, so i will simply leave a few notes. today i took the danshui line all the way to danshui and visited the ocean. than i hopped on the number 26 to the fishermans wharf and walked along the peir. i was going to take a boat ride... but didn't. instead i ate lots of fabulous foods. i ate three crabs, several deep fried something or others. i tried some sea snails, ate a whole mango ice treat, and tackled on of those giant soft serve icecream cones (they are literally two feet hight). hmm... i know i had something else substantial, but i can't remember right now.

it was something good.. and their was a lot of it.

anyhow... i have a headache. i recorded some music earlier today, if you want to hear it you can get it right here. i am sure most of you won't appreciate it though... its really just their for the guys back in grand rapids. but, you are welcome to listen too if you are curious. i recorded a few hours of the elevator shaft noises and edited them together along with some sine wave generators. yadda yadda ydad....asd.asdsafavc....my head hurts.asklaskdjak.....

good night...

Posted by james at 12:16 AM | Comments (3)

June 6, 2004

today was a very

today was a very fine day indeed! I took the subway to the largest zoo in south east asia! of course, i get a bit sad at zoos.... but it was very good exersize and i really enjoyed watching this one animal called 'the slower something-or-other'. it was like a funny looking cat, and it moved really slow. it was very odd. it reminded me of spritz... alana's broken calico cat. it walks almost like an iguna. i wonder if this animal walks that way because it likes to, or if that really is the only way it knows how to walk. either way, i want to try walking like that.

In the bathrooms next to the reptile house i found this sign. unfortunatly i still can't work my flash, and it was a bit dark in my urinal, so i can't make out the characters. however, that does not hide the fact that their is a poop holding victory signs in the air. also... i ran into a woman carrying something familiar...

Sarah.... if you read this, i took this picture for you. she is carrying that same astronaut (spelling?) robotish ramen you sent me from seattle. ha. and i think i found the matching juices too...

after i got back from the zoo, i went home and finished 'the little prince' dvd that i found. it is such a grand film... i really love gene wilder. unfortunatly, it is region three. so i have already used one of my three "get out of region free" cards on my powerbook. well, it was worth it.

after 'le petit prince', i took the subway to hsimen and wandered around. i bought a ticket to see harry potter, then stood in line forever to get the best bowl of rice flour soup i have ever had in my whole life!!

ok... so officially i don't know what it was called, but it was something close. this picture was taken several hours after i actually ate their. All it is, is a little both with a giant pot of this soup. then one guy takes the orders, one wipes and pulls out a bowl, another is madly filling the bowls, and the fourth guy dumps some chives, spices, and something else then splashes some soysauce into it. the whole process takes like 10 seconds! it is amazing! and it is extremely popular so people are lined up all around the block to get it, and then people just hang out in front eating it. i really enjoyed mine, but unfortunaltly i had to throw half of it away because i was late for harry potter.

harry potter was great... it made me think of something though. see... i realized that i have a crush on hermine. the problem is, this is obviously not ok... cause i am nearly 8 years older than her. So the crush ends immeditly after i am done watching the movie. the same goes for the books i read. i am madely in love with pippi longstocking, ronia, huck finn, momo... and a slew of other characters. but obviously thats kind of dirty... and i am just now seeing this. i think what happens is, i project myself into the body of the target audience for the book or movie. or maybe jsut the age group of the main charachters. its ok for me to crush on hermine, cause im the same grade, and also attending hogwarts school for witchcraft and wizardry. i wonder if others do that too?

after the movie, i treated myself to the most incredible mango ice shaving thing. yum.

while eating this magnificant creation, i had the pleasure of watching "fatty dance". a performance by a mentally handicapped person that people call "fatty". basically, he enjoys dancing and singing in public. a bit of an expeditionist really. i thought he was doing it for money, so it made me really uncomfortable watching. but i just was told that he does it for fun. in fact, he was even on the news recently. so, i tried to sneak a picture from a distance, and it didn't turn out very well. but click on the photo for an extremely breif '.avi' treat.

anyways.. he always seems so happy to be dancing. see... he has his little ipod in his fist, and he just lipsincs and dances the night away. i really had this incredible urge to join him, but see i have fears and insecurities and other hangups. maybe thats what he is doing it for. to make people uncomfortable.... or to make people realize how uncomfortable they are, how uptight we are. i used to be good at doing that too... what happened to me. when did i start pretending i am so serious? anyhow... i should get a better recording of him dancing. it really is a treat. only my camera already had a full memory. maybe i can lower the resolution and get more footage.

why am i still typing? i should be in bed. yikes...

Posted by james at 2:45 AM | Comments (1)

June 5, 2004

i just ate one of

i just ate one of these...

also.. i just saw F.I.R. perform live at shi da for the watermelon festival. that was quite an experience. i took a friend up so he could get their auto graph and tried to get them to sign a peice of paper so i could put it on hiho... but they 'only sign record covers'. regardless, faye waved me back into line and touched my hand. later, as she was leaving, she winked at me. ha. thats because im totally hot stuff. also, i think i was the only white guy. damn grrl, you don't have a chance with me... who you think you playin?

actually, it was an extremely surreal experience. i was in my room watching their music video on mtv... no, i won't lie. i was watching sheena ringo music videos from the dvd i just bought, my roomate had the tv on. suddenly i noticed that the same song on the television was coming in from our window. i looked out side, and right in the same spot which 2 hours earlier had hosted a magic show and harmonica duets; was F.I.R. in person! in three persons rather! yes... i was drawn outdoors, were i found myself admist (sp?) nearly 500 crazy teenagers (or i hope they were teenagers). ha. it was kind of funny. im glad i noticed and had the chance to attend.

oh yes.... i just realized that many people arn't familiar with the 'watermelon festival'. i think it is to celebrate shi da's birthday... but what happens is everyone drinks watermellon juice, and it is the one night that boys are allowed into the girls dormitory. this is so that they can buy a watermelon and leave it in front of the door of the girl they like. pretty exciting, i bet faye is going to sneak into the 'visiting scholars hostel' and leave a watermelon for me....


p.s. i just got an MSN messenger account, so if you also have one; let me know.

mine is huajiasi@hotmail.com... i think. if that doesn't work try huajiasi@hotmail.com.tw

Posted by james at 12:13 AM | Comments (3)

June 4, 2004

i love bernadette peters.

a uniformed man just escorted me from the roof, he was very kind about it really. see, there is the real roof; the big main one really. This one you are allowed on. But where the stairwell reaches the roof in the very center, another little roof is created which is an extra 8 feet taller than the regular one. because there are so many large structures lingering around the roof, it is impossible to view more than one of the four sides of taipei at once. however, on this extra little roof you can see it all at once. I found a little ladder on the side of it and climbed up to better appreciate this view.

anyhow, while this provides an excellent view of the city (i can see the mountains on all four sides!!), it also provides all of taipei with an excellent veiw of you. soon i noticed that i had attracted the attention of a uniformed man who was standing on the roof directly below my feet. when he had caught my attention he asked 'are you feeling allright?'. I answered 'yes i am, thank you. hen hao (very good)', followed by a very akward pause. "how are you? (i couldn't think of anything else to say.)" To this he simply replied "hao" and kept looking at me. At this point i had no idea what he wanted and had given up trying to figuer it out, so i just turned away and watched the sun bounce off of taipei 101 ad the clouds began to part.

Following this second awkward pause he asks 'sir, are you sure there is nothing wrong?". "yes, im great!" This is when i started to realize how nervous i was making him by being up there. Obviously i was breaking some sort of rule and he was there to enforce it. see, if i wanted to i could have takeing a running jump and aaaaalmost... reach the edge of the building. i thought maybe that was makeing him anxious. "would you like me to get down?" i ask politely. "yes, please. very dangerous. yes please." so i climbed down and he handed me my shoes (which i had kicked off earlier). then he pulled out an extra chair and we sat down for a moment and looked off at the mountains. apparantly what had happened is that someone from another building saw me and assumed i was planning on jumping.

"so you ok right?" he asks me for the third time. "yes, i am fine, really." "why you up there then?" he inquires. "cause I am really happy and i wanted to share it with the whole city" i said, giving him a huge grin... maybe i was glowing. "Why you so happy?" he asks.

EDIT: (*please notice the guards finger obscureing the corner of the first shot. i wonder how he felt about this whole episode)


i had such a good time sitting on the roof playing my new uke. i don't think i have ever played so well in my life!! i beat it out of tune three times before that officer came up. at first i had imgined that i simply lured him up with my amazing uke skills... of course that wasn't the case.

so, i found the uke while looking for a place to have lunch. 500 dollars!!! can you belive that!?!? In USD that is only like 16-17$!!!! It was so hard for me to leave my other uke at home, i didn't even know how much i had missed it until i saw that uke sitting all pretty in the window. of course, this one will never replace the hilo at home... its just a temporary substitute.

i was so excited that i couldn't even sit down for lunch. i ended up buying some sort of corn & crab meat dish wrapped up in a huge homemade icecream cone. i felt kind of funny walking around with crab and corn while others had chocolate and butterscotch with vanilla ice cream. anyhow... i was so excited that i tried playing my uke and eating the crab thing at the same time the whole walk home. wow... i feel like a complete person now! it is great! now all i have to do is learn how to play more than three songs and i can entertain myself for the rest of my life!

oh yes... i found a lovely new stencil today. it looks oddly familiar to the robot i drew for that childrens book i made last year...

Posted by james at 7:15 PM | Comments (5)

billy goat billy boy

ok... i think it is about time i exposed how i have remained online for the past 24 hours straight. i have built myself a little internet hub in which i will never again be forced to depart the world wide web.

granted, this only lasts as long as the maids wish. and if i fall off that table one more time i may have to reconsider the design. this particular method was inspired from being locked on the roof for nearly an hour while using the wireless connection up there.

also... i have fallen in love. i absolutly love Bio-H!!! it is the perfectly sweet and tangy strawberry flavored liquid yogurt drink!! and only 12 quai a peice! i bought a 12 pack and now i have one every morning as soon as i wake up, and every evening before i go to sleep. here it is pictured with my new dvd collection. notice, the only books i have in english are authored by the one and only 'astrid lindgren'.

also... i have begun work on my newest project. the chinese teacher laptop II. here it is pictured on my bed spread. i don't know what is written on my bedspread, but im sure if i figuered it out and told you it would be very boring and you would have wished you were reading someone elses web journal. someone with more aesthetically pleasing and exciting bedsheets. for example... something with mermaids? or transformers?

ok... im going to go have lunch. maybe when i get back someone can tell me how to remove a rubics cube from a kikkoman soy sauce bottle.

Posted by james at 2:40 PM | Comments (1)

more of that stuff...

i love photo shop. it helps me take perfectly ruined photographs like this...

and turn them into this...

i have a lot more that turned out a bit better than that. i put them on that new perculiar section of hiho if you really care to see them. yikes. i should really learn how to operate the flash function on my camera.

anyhow... there is much more to tell, but i am exhausted. also, the sooner i get to sleep, the sooner i get to wake up and have breakfast! i love taipei!


Posted by james at 1:20 AM | Comments (0)

my little hsimen stop


atlas i have some new clothes that i like. thank you hsimen stop. anyhow... i think i found my new favorite part of town.

ok... i just realized that that picture was taken at the night market last night. i don't really have any good hsimen stop pictures that don't include street art (i secretly can't spell graffiti).

ok... that one isn't from hsimen. this next one is, but i am almost to embarrased to post it. i need to learn how to hold a camera steady. this one is for george...


Posted by james at 1:20 AM | Comments (2)

June 3, 2004

stencils are fun for everyone

the new street art section of hiho.org will feature lovely urban designs such as these...

i do recognize one problem with this in the future though. for one, i have obviously not been updating my medialog... and the same fate could easily befall this street art. and second, beyond these first two stencils and the one i posted earlier... i haven't seen anything worth photographing. maybe i am just not looking in the right places. either way, i may have to extend the critirea for this section to include advertisments and unique storefronts.

i just pulled a big chunk of cod from the cavern in my mouth that once held my wisdom teeth. two days ago i used them to store a large chunk of frog legs on one side, and a peice of small intestine in the other. just last night i was slurping up taro milk tea w/ bao baos when what i thought was merely another tapioca ball turned out to be cow stomach lineing from lunch. its amazing what you can find in your jaw in taiwan.

tonight i am taking the Xiaonanmen Line to the Ximen stop to explore the theatre district. Smith Lao Tzu says George spent every other day their two years back, so i expect to be pleased with what i find their. I have found it is easiest to explore when you have a goal in mind. Yesterdays goal was to find a toy store and buy a children's electronic toy that speaks in mandarin. I accomplished this mission by walking in random directions for 3 hours until i stumbled upon a district full of infant toy stores. Out of 12 toddler toy stores, only two had anything remotely similar to what i wanted. I ended up with a 'Kid Learning Laptop II' that is currently in peices on my bed. Tonights goal is to find out when 2046 hits the theatres, and pick a theatre to see it at. maybe i will catch the new harry potter if i have enough time.

ok... i have more to post, but i really should clean my room. it is a bit embarrasing when the maids wade through my stuff and try to change my sheets. also, my wireless connection is acting up. right now i am in the hall, and i don't like sitting in the hall. i feel like im waiting to see the principle...

Posted by james at 5:37 PM | Comments (5)

June 2, 2004

ok.. so it wasn't a

ok.. so it wasn't a very nice evening for pictures, but here it is anyways. maybe i will try and make a better one later.

click on the photo for the larger version.

oh yes! i found anthony lang's "the grey fairybook" in chinese!! my goal is to be able to read at least one of the stories without looking anything up by the end of the school year. a bit ambitious, but i will try anyhow.

Posted by james at 6:51 PM | Comments (0)

the roof is on firewire

my father made a rather brilliant suggestion when he commented on my last journal entry, though i am afraid its execution may make him rather anxious. see... when he suggested to be moved up two floors to get a better wireless connection, he didn't realize i was staying on the 9th floor of a 10 floor building.

i have an extremely generous veiw of taipei in its entirety from up here. i took several pictures and will post the whole panorama of it in a few days when i get the chance to photoshop them. right now i am just going to sit cross legged and watch the pianist. my roomates dvd was too scratched to finish, so i bought the vcd and downloaded divx.

tonight we visit one of the older and larger night markets , i look forward to sharing the pictures with you. also, today i got to experience caligraphy. maybe if i am feeling boistrous later, i will scan some of my attempts and share them aswell.


Posted by james at 5:50 PM | Comments (2)

guess what!!!

i just found out that if i hold my computer up against the ceiling i can connect to sombodies wireless network!!!

here i am; standing on a chair and holding my laptop with one hand over my head, and typing with the other. i am quikly losing my patience with this and don't think its going to last. if you were on instant messenger at noon, then i 'almost' reached you. i think im going to bed.

im starting to get s\dizzy. w\\

wow this is hard..

Posted by james at 1:05 AM | Comments (3)