« June 2004 | Main | August 2004 »

July 30, 2004

oh.... hiho!my chinese is finally

oh.... hiho!
my chinese is finally begining to emerge. i think. i hope.

also. i fixed the problem with my archive. while still not pretty, it does now include the pictures. so, if you are a dear friend whose only now found hiho.org and you wish to see pictures of my apartment, you can dig them up here

i spent much of last night preparing another mix cd for this girl. it turned out rather pretty.

also, i have been listening to bobby birdman lately, and i enjoy it. this is bobby birdman...

and you can buy his new album here

ok... what else.
so much has been happening, i don't even feel like begining to log it. i've been watching my weight lately. when i went to china two summers ago, i lost 10 pounds. i was kind of hopeing taiwan would do the same.
every now-and-then i sneak into my roomates room and sneak a peak at her scale. and to my frustration, each time it hits 175! yikes! im always 175. thats my least favorite number in the world. not because i don't like my weight, but because at biolife plasma, their are two weight classes for donars; above 175 and below it. and back in the states, no matter what i did, i always hit just a few fractions of a pound over 175. which means i had to donate 120% more plasma than if i was below it.

so, anyhow, today i explained this phenomonon to my roomate and so she decided she wanted to see if this was true. in addition, we were both curious to see what the converted to in kilos. so, we grab her scale, i jump on, and once again it hit the same number it always hit. well, 75. and it turns out this whole time i had been reading it as '175', not realizing the scale was indeed measuring kilos.


so their you have it. i have indeed lost weight. and 10 pounds at that. i think 75 kilos translates to about 164. hen hao!


im sure there was something else. yikes... but i forgot.

well... here are some pictures i took of my roomate this afternoon and spend all day messing around with on photoshop. i swear, photoshop will spell the end for me.

hmmm... oh yes. this is the smallest escalator in the world.

curtousy of some girl in japan whom i don't know, and numerous annoying FWD's. sometimes i don't know why i ever give anyone my email address. but... if you want it, it is james - aT - hiho - d0t - 0rG. ha. i'm sure i'll still fall prey to robots but its worth the effort regardless.

i know its not neccassary to write 'also' or 'so' all the time, but i can't seem to stop no matter how hard i try. its like i can't write anything else unless i do. anyhow. hmm... thats another one.

i keep trying to down load cure songs, because i realized i didn't have any, and i keep ending up with this. which really isn't that bad, one i got used to it. i think my next musical project (aside from the guzhong, accordian, and uke) is to compile a song using these fangled chirps and the actual song itself. ha. yeah right. ??????? ?????

**edit** apparantly, chinese isn't that compatible with moveable type (thus the oddly situated question marks). im sure it is though, i just don't feel like figuering out why it isn't.

and, so, also, anyhow, haiyou...


this is what happens when you buy your eggs at 7-11

actually, im sure its quite delicious.

Posted by james at 8:01 PM | Comments (1)

July 26, 2004

today was an absolutely fabulous

today was an absolutely fabulous day!

very musical indeed. i finally picked out my guzhong. oh boy! it sounds so wonderful!! i start taking lessons from that girl next week. ha. i had thought she was younger than me, but rather, she is in graduate school. so she is either my age or a bit older. also, i was very pleased to learn she loves heavy metal and plays the bass in a band. what a lovely suprise. ha. and here i thought she was just some young pretty taiwanese girl whos parents forced to play the guzhong since she was a baby. but its quite the opposite.

if you would like to see her first guzhong teacher tune my new baby in my living room, click here

also... i got my accordian today!!! what fast an reliable service! and... it is definetely an antique and worth quite a lot of money. i am very happy with it indeed.

my roomates are trying to talk me into selling it already, because it is obviously valueable... but i think instead i will be the first professional uke/accordian/guzhong/sine wave generatorist. hmm... yes. that sounds good to me.

also, i get this little beauty in the mail tommarrow.

and that officially brings an end to my spending. the only things left on my list of things i am allowed to buy this summer is a short sleeve shirt, alarm clock, and a Tsai MingLiang film. also, i have officially abandoned the scooter idea. the one i am borrowing is working great and i have all the time in the world to worry about getting a new one.

im drinking some crazy purple drink my roomate made me to help me concentrate on studying. it is solid when at room temperature, which worries me. gooey, purple, and very bitter when hot. oh well... until the package from my family arrives, i need all the help i can get with writing characters.

anyhow... i need to go.


taipei is heavenly...

*edit* i was just informed that the purple stuff is turtle shell and i have to drunk it before it solidifies. ha!

Posted by james at 12:19 AM | Comments (8)

July 24, 2004

oh boy. i was suppose

oh boy.

i was suppose to meet this girl today to go look at guzhongs and maybe grab a bite to eat. of course, we set the date in chinese though, and when it came time to mett with her, i couldn't remember if she said to meet at the entrance of the library next to shida, or the shida entrance next to the library.


so i waited at the wrong spot, for 15 minutes, and then at the other for 15 minutes. so, apparantly she did the same thing. but, i have shaved since then, and she has.... well, i forgot what she looked like. so, i saw her a couple of times, but i didn't realize it was her. anyhow, she called and canceled the guzhong appointment and then i ran into her on her way home. we made plans for tomarrow, but... man, i bumbled around like an idiot. i couldn't speak chinese at all. anyhow... there was this big nervous pause and she said good bye several times, and then i realized that means it was time for me to say goodbye and walk away. then after i walked away i realized why it was so akward... she wasn't saying goodbye, she was waiting for me to suggest we have dinner like originally planned. oh god. if there is anything worse than standing someone up, its doing it, then running into them immedielty afterward, and then saying sorry and walking away without doing what you had planned to do in the first place. ha. i feel like a real idiot. shoot. i just realized i already had plans for tomarrow too.

oooooooooooooaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh........... i need tooooo...

i don't know... snap out of it. wake up and suddenly be fluent in chinese and have a heigtened state of awareness.

im listening to 'the all girl summer fun band' and this song is called "dear mrs. troublemaker (i want to marry your son)".
thats great.

how embarrasing.

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

oh my! i can't decide

oh my! i can't decide on which scooter to buy!
i can't even decide if i can handle a 50cc, just because its pretty. once you drive those 125's, its so hard to go back. anyhow... here are my top (affordable) picks.

so... my favorite thus far is the one in the fuzzy picture. the fiddles are nice too though...

oh boy.

i just bought an accordian.


Posted by james at 3:01 PM | Comments (4)

July 22, 2004

so, i kind of got

so, i kind of got tired of updateing. their are so many other things i should be doing. anyhow, i had two new privates yesterday. really cool kids, 11 and 13. i think that is my ideal age. i don't think ive aged a year since 13. so, they spent 4 years in newzealand, so they can actually read english better than most american kids there age, however, they act like they can hardly speak. so, know i am paid 18 bucks an hour to talk to them about harry potter, pokemon, c.s. lewis, and the series of unfortunate events, all of which they have already read or are reading.

what a life

so... the one boy has read up until book 4 of the series of unfortunate events and i told him i'd get him the fourth book, though i had no idea how i planned on doing that. so, on my way home i decided it was a good time to visit ye olde bookstore. sitting out front i decided if it really was a good idea to go in or not. i mean, honostly, i new she wouldn't have the book, she only has collectibles and rares and such, and just a small stack of randomly assorted books. the chances that she would have ANY of the 11 'series of unfortunate events' books was slim to none, let alone 'the miserable mill" (book four that is). It was then that i realized i was desperatly looking for an excuse to go back and see her. i haden't seen her in over a week. ever since that last episode ive only made attempt to see her, and backed out the moment i noticed she had friends visiting.

so, anyhow, while i was discussing my options with my self, my eyes fell upon a new addition in her window display. to my absolutly amazement, it was book four. not only was it book four, but it was sitting right in the empty spot left from when i bought 'the night kitchen' last week! oh my!


the cleaning lady is over. she is a really sweet malaysian woman. i feel bad, we really just hired her because we needed someone to take out the trash for us because we are never around when the garbage trucks our. but, she is too small, and can't make it at those times anyhow... so it was all in vain. but we still get out house cleaned once a week.

mmm, rather good timing actually, i can flea bomb the house when she is done. the fleas haven't bitten me once, but they are driving julia and nicole crazy.

ha... we almost adopted this stray dog that fell asleep in our living room today. it looked like ti was dying of starvation and her nipples were all swollen like she just gave birth. well, she woke up with me this morning and followed me all the way to class. i couldn't do anything! argh.. what a adorabley stinky and mangy mutt she was. i had to have someone hold her while i got on the elevator, because she kept trying to run in when the doors where shutting.

somone needs to remind me not to feed abandoned dogs beijing duck.

hmm...... this is a very uncolorful entry.
here are some pictures of the upcoming 'series of unfortunate events movie' that i am soooooooooo looking forward to seeing.

wow, i just noticed that count olaf is played by jim carrey. wow, he looks great. i almost thought it was john malkovich in the first picture. also... cedric the entertainer? crazy. also, jane adams from happiness and eterneal sunshine of the spotless mind, liam aiken plays klaus, he's a cute kid from a lot of films including 'i dreamed of africa'. it looks good thus far. i already love the art direction and wardrobe.

ok... what am i doing. i am supposed to be slaughtering countless fleas so that i can take a nap.


Posted by james at 2:13 PM | Comments (2)

July 18, 2004

my sunny little sunrise


and hiho!

it was a lovely and entertaining night, but don't take my word for it...

hmm... it doesn't really look like much, but i swear their were more people. and their was a refreshingly low number of foriegners. i think they were all at the other big party with jon spencer blues explosion and such. ha. i normally would not attend either such parties... but i will enjoy anything with the right company

mmm... it was such a lovely morning. and the water...

Posted by james at 5:10 PM | Comments (1)

July 16, 2004

hey...if you are interested in


if you are interested in going to our beach party, bring a blanket and something you wouldn't mind getting wet. their will be firebreathing and fire dancing, aswell as dj's. to find us, just go to this other party, and walk up (or down) the beach just a tad bit more.

click to enlarge

i don't normally enjoy parties... but i do love bonfires, swimming, and watching the sunrise. ha... that sounds pretty silly. hmm... hi, my name's james, im a gemini, i like mac powerbooks and long walks on the beach.


Posted by james at 2:36 PM | Comments (0)

July 15, 2004

firewalk with me

yet another hiho google image search...

so, last night was pretty exciting. it was jueya's birthday so we went out for a drink. also, joeseph, jueya's boyfreind arrived from shanghai today... he is a real nice guy. after drinks at Jr.'s i rode with a friend over to shida river park and hung out with some crazy kids. every wednesday they convene at this park to rehearse their fire dances and fire-eating and play gamelan instruments. it was very relaxing, a bit hippy, but i really enjoyed myself. an finally i found people who don't think chewing betlenuts is gross. also, i learned how to breath fire. i think i got very good at it too, although i did singe my beard a little bit...

yikes... and my clothes still reak of kerosene.

so... today... i ate lots of good food. yes yes. also, i officially suck at chinese and will never speak it again, or at least for another few hours. annnnnnnnnnnnd.... today (maybe yesterday, was igmar bergmans birthday. annnnnnnnnndd.... i finally realized i can rent videos, and am about to start BR2. i am very excited.

so... i guess thats all.

and i like mark ryden.

Posted by james at 9:13 PM | Comments (1)

July 14, 2004

ha. that little girl i

ha. that little girl i sit with at lunch turned to me today and said, perfectly seriously and with profoundly proper pronunciation and in her deepest voice...

"go ask your mother!"

ha... i think i can guess where she learned that.

Posted by james at 3:30 PM | Comments (0)


i somehow managed to get up extra early today, and decided to hike down the night market to see what vendors had opened. of course, i ended up standing in front of the bookstore... staring into the window for nearly ten-minutes (it was closed mind you). anyhow, i don't even remember what i was thiiking about. it was sort of one of those moments where i must have appeared in deep-thought, but really i was only thinking about how odd it was that i wasn't actually thinking about anything.

well, i reached into my pocket and my hands ran across a peanut that had been in there a few days. my students have been giving me these peanuts everyday, just randomly walking up to me and handing me a single peanut. i always pretend to eat it and then slip it into my pocket to dispose of later. its not that i don't like peanuts, but their is something odd about these, they taste very sour and salty. i imagine they had been clutching it in their palm all morning. anyhow.. i ate them the first several days, but quickly learned the bitter taste doesn't go away too promptly....

wait... i was at the bookstore. so. i got ashamed and realized that i didn't really want anything to eat, i just wanted to see how early the bookstore opened. yikes. whats wrong with me. it would never work out. shes into photography for god's sake! photography! honostly... who would settle for single frame when you could have 24 of them a second! i think i need a break from books. oh boy. yesterday i went to my first big booksstore, i had to be torn away. whats worse was they had the "oh my god i miss you" nara postcards i have been wanting to order. i feel much stronger now that i didn't buy them though.

so... so much to tell. yesterday i had my first private toutoring session. it was interesting. this week at karens all-girl school, they are learning how to describe there 'prince-charming', who coincedently has long blonde hair, blue eyes, and quite a large package. ha, she's 11 years old! i found myself refering the Shrek II frequently.

ok.. todays hiho google image search has yeilded another jem.

also... it is julias birthday today. that means cake! yes...


im done

Posted by james at 10:52 AM | Comments (1)

July 12, 2004

daily "hiho" google image search


for more antique goodness... visit antiqueadvertising.com.

Posted by james at 3:11 AM | Comments (0)

July 11, 2004

upon laundry

the rain today was lovely today...

this is my backyard. a bit slimy on the feet.

unfortunatly every time it rains i have to re-wash the clothing on the line. the acid rain here is smelly.


"im not the milk and the milks not me!"


Posted by james at 9:37 PM | Comments (0)

July 10, 2004

swine on mutt

oh boy. i can be so foolish.

so i went out for lunch this afternoon, and instead of finding myself sitting at a table with a glorious feast in front of me, i found myself chatting it up with the book store lady. needless to say, i couldn't help buying that book ive been eyeing for awhile, which may make george a bit jealous...

today 'the book store lady' changed the window display. I was quite taken aback when i found, in the very middle of 20-30 lovely childrenss books, my favorite 'night kitchen' on hardcover and in chinese (with bopomofo aswell!). how is it that she can read my mind? only last night i asked my parents to send me this book from home. this is crazy! so, today, i bought the two books that have been the center peices for both her window displays this month. i wonder if its entirely a coincedence or not.

so, the saga continues. i further enquired about her collection of blythe dolls and had the oppurtunity to look at a photo album of her own design. she did a lovely job sewing the miniscule clothing each doll wore, and of course the photos were fabulous. one of my favorites included a tiny stuffed piglet, which is how i learned that her chinese zodiac was a pig!


so, the last and single most obvious clue i needed to discern her age. unfortunatly, that opened me up for the obvious 'whats your zodiac'. argh... i new it would come to this. i tried lying and saying i didn't know, but of coure that only led to me giving her my exact date of birth so she could look it up. if i had just said dog, at least she wouldn't have known if i were 22 or 34. although, i guess i am too honost for that.

so... she seemed amused that i was so young, and i heard her laughing about it with some of the other employees that were hanging around. she even went down stairs and said something to her brother about '22 years'. ouch. i always new my age would be the end of me. ha. so, she is either 32 or 33. i guess thats exactly what i had thought, but its still a little intimidating. Of course, its not her age that would deter me, i have dated women that age before (and when i was under 20 non-the-less), but i can hardly expect her to be so libreal. ha. not that i honostly expected to date her, but its just nice to occasionaly think of such things. it makes walking down the road a bit more stimulating.

so... after that breif realization, i suddenly felt the need to defend my youth. i pulled the final string, made my last attempt to gain her interest. i asked her about the music she enjoys. of course i knew she enjoyed jazz, and that was indeed her first favorite, but then i learned she likes british rock music. her favorites, coldplay, jon bon jovi, and rusted root. ha! so that was my oppurtunity! she has good taste, but my musical predjudice caused me to believe that her musical awareness is not quite so broad. so, at least i could share some music with her! right? a mix tape, cd? something that would show i have some thing to offer her aesthetically. so, i asked if she liked some of my favorites... nobukazu takemura, otomo yoshihide, sachiko m... her answer. 'bu cuo, bu cuo'. NOT BAD! ei yei! i am in trouble. so... i tried some others... afterdiner, hoahio, microphones... lucky dragons for gods sake! how is she familiar with states rights records? ah... not that i think i have obscure taste... but honostly she is the first person i've met in taiwan that has ever heard of RIL music. aalllllsdlkahumiliatyhumilityspelspellspell? sjdflasdfsaaaljfdsjkl. obviously i thought i could impress her... jesus i can be so foolish. never ever ever try to impress people. never evererererer.... its embarrasing to realize that unconsiously thats what i was tyring to do...alsd j;jfl;ad and even more embarassing to think that i actually considered i had unique taste, or that i could have actually introduced her to something new... asfdljksdfjs argh sljkad; sfljkasdf well... sdfajk she owns a bookstore for gods sake. hee.


my hands suddenly started shaking, my knees got weak, and i became aware of the plates shifting under my feet. i desperatly wanted to clean my glasses, over and over and over and over again. i felt as though a ghost was plucking the strings of my uke resting 200 yards away on my comforter. my comforter, how i yearned to craddle my comforter, turn all the lights off and squeeze. breathe. breathe james, breathe.

what am i doing buying things! i should be back to work... why do i leave my house?! don't i have enough to do with myself!? what happened to my stencils?!?! my photographs?!!? the books i was reading!??! the story board i was drawing?!?! the two animations and musical soundscapes!?!?! yikes!??! i have no time... their aren't enough wakeing hours in each day!! and my homework???

breathe breathe breathe...


i quietly thanked her for sharing her photos with me, payed for my books (at a generously discounted rate), and slipped out the door. i don't really remember walking home, but i remember losing my apetite and tripping over a speed bump. either way, here i am now... trying to type, while grasping my comforter, in a fetal position, on my bed, in a damp dark basement bedroom, in the middle of shida night market, daan district, taipei, taiwan; floating in the middle of a giant body of salt water...

i love the warmth of my powerbook as my palms rest on its face.
i will always have my baby.

....wo ai ni

Posted by james at 6:10 PM | Comments (2)

hiho!today was fine indeed!i just

today was fine indeed!

i just got back from cruising around town with julia. we had a fine sushi meal for under 200 quai and then wandered around ximen for the rest of the evening. also, i managed not to buy anything! well, almost nothing. i did get this little designer notebook, some icecream, a huge bottle of pocari sweat, and nailpolish remover. again... almost nothing.

i spent most of the afternoon relaxing and listening to new music. i am absolutely in love with states rights records.

they have this new series that i am on the verge of ordering called the 'pregnancy series'. from what i have heard, it is absolutely lovely. ever since lucky dragons and Y.A.C.H.T. played that show in the stairwell, i have been in love with this 'RIL' music. so... check out the MP3's on there website; and then buy me the set and send it to taiwan. yeah!

click here for press release>


Posted by james at 2:00 AM | Comments (2)

July 9, 2004

ah yes... the blythe doll

ah yes...
the blythe doll phenomenom.

pictures courtesy of Gina Garan

these charming dolls where produced in 1972 by Kenner for only one year. Standing 11 1/2 inches tall, these dolls had rooted hair, a disproportionately large head, and a plastic torso with a twistable waist that was poseable. Advertising for the doll in 1972 touted her as being "four dolls in one" with expressions that changed with each eye color. By simply pulling the string in the back of her head, her eyes would change from 'groovy green', to 'bouncy brown', and from beautiful blue to pretty purple. Due to the booming popularity of mattel's barbie, this doll was quickly removed from the market. however, in 2000, the ever tasteful asian market picked up this lovely loppy-headed phenomenon, and it has been a cult favorite ever since.

hijinked courtesy of www.sliceofromance.com

so. since when have i been so interested in dolls? well, i believe that the lady who owns my favorite bookstore may be a photographer for this company. also, ever time i go into her shop, i spend at least half that time admireing her collection. of course, the last thing i need is another hobby, and i especially don't need another place to spend my money. however, i can't help but wish i could own at least one.... :)

If you are interested in learning more about these... check out these great sites. this is blythe and blythe doll.. plenty of fabulous pictures. it seems to me, the best part about owning blythe dolls is taking fashionable photos of them.


Posted by james at 1:08 PM | Comments (1)

July 7, 2004

hiho.i have some weird bug


i have some weird bug in my throat... and it is bothering me. it started when i coughed while eating some nyo ro tong mein and something hen lan shot up the back door of my nasal passage. then i couldn't stop sneazing and tears and snot started dripping down my face like crazy. it was very embarrassing because i was sort of on a date, and i was taking this pretty girl to the resturant i eat at almost every other day. anyhow... i might have actually been entertaining to see me wandering around the restaurant checking everyones tables for napkins will sneezing, laughing, and crying at the same time.

wait... i wasn't really going to write a long entry, i have homework. anyhow... that event, mixed with copious amounts of sandelwood inscence seems to have done a number on my throat and now ti hurts to talk. if it isn't a little better tommarow i will see a doctor.

so, some pictures?

the first is from the lane next to the one i work on... then the other is from a restaurant i like to get healthy little hot pots at. i liked the decor. well.. not really... i just like orange chairs. speaking of... i wonder how my little orange baby herman miller is doing back home with george? oh boy... that reminds me that i never had my aunt pick it up. george... you better take care of her. no standing on it... yadda yadda yadaadsfa lkdsl sa.dm.s,da pictiuers...

i really love taiwan....

Posted by james at 12:40 AM | Comments (4)

July 5, 2004

yak!learning chinese is being difficult...


learning chinese is being difficult...

these are my dear friends and roomates...



and xiao mao...


yikes... i don't like posting pictures of myself... i may have to swipe them. so... kan yi kan while you still kan.
oh boy, i'm suppose to remind myself not to make bad jokes like that...

Posted by james at 11:12 PM | Comments (0)

hiho strangers... ive been hard

hiho strangers...

ive been hard at work this last week.... hen meng.
i spent the weekend with my roomates, and had a spectacular time. i don't think we really did much, but it was great regardless. also, i saw shrek 2. it was very pleasing, up until living la vita loca. i thought they were doing such a fine job with the music too... oh well.

oh yes... my cat has fleas... such a shame. i haven't gotten bit once, but julia and nicole hav bits all up and down their legs and back. im sure my time will come shortly after my roomates dry up. also, i am slowly kicking my tea habit. i think i am down to three steeps a day. so, finally my heart has begun beating at a normal rate. hmm...

ha... one of my kids today said 'im going to kill your face' as she force fed me slices of guava. then she procceded to list every part of my body and tell me she was gong to kill it, and finished by saying she will just kill everyone in the world! ha! kids say the darndest things!

also, today i made my first (yeah right) of language follies. i asked my roomates if they wanted to go menstraul cycle with me, and really confused a waiter when i asked over and over again for a wet comforter. lets see, i have made several others. for one, i can't stop using mrs. in place of mr, and.... shoot... i new there was another. anyhow... my chinese is imporoving, but it has only thus served to humiliate me more.

oh yes! i learned how to ride a motocha the other day! it was fabulous! i even had the oppurtunity to narrowly miss a few speeding taxis! what a lively place i live in!

hmm... well, heavy rains have come and past leaving only minor floodage, so i am no longer worried about waking up under water. also, i have begun a rigurous self discipline program to guarentee that i have an adequate vocabulary by the end of the year. i figuer i have at least 380 days left in taiwan. so, at 5 new words a day, that means by the time i leave i will have a minimal vocabulary of 1900 characters! i am not worried about writing these, because i will be learning additional characters in class, so, all in all, i should have a vocab of nearly 3000 by the end of the year! that is nearly middle school level! anyhow... to be sure i actually keep up with the task i am going to start posting them on my website. that way, ma and pa can write me a concerened email when i havn't posted my new words at the end of the day. ha.

for those that don't konw, my parents will always find a way to keep me ontop of my studies... how else do you imagine i got through college? also, in case my boss asks, i already have a degree, and wil be returning shortly for another. apparantly such little white fibs are all the rage in taipei... and the bosses would rather not no the truth. at least i think thats what she was hinting at me in broken english. either way, i need to stop typing, i have a resume of sorts to work out.


shoot... i was going to post some pictures. i promise i will tonight...

Posted by james at 7:29 PM | Comments (0)