Monday, October 27, 2008


This is a 5 asterisk system.

(*)*Beneath the Underdog: His World as Composed by Mingus - Charles Mingus : Giving this book a star is a formality. I know it ain't easy being a pimp and all, but do you have to spell shit, schitt? If you are really interested in how many bitches Charles Mingus has stuck his joint up, this is your book. Now granted the time, Phil was reading Immortality by Milan Kundara, so exchanging bits of wisdom by respective authors was pretty damn hilarious. Phil told numerous times to just leave the book alone, but I read on. I had about 100 pages left before I had to put the book down for my own health and sanity.

*It really isn't fair to review a book I never finished reading. I just wanted you to know how much I hated this book.

(**) Slam - Nick Hornby: "Meh" is my general feeling about this book. I like Hornby, but this book is subpar in every way. The story is traditional Hornby boy dealing with "maturing", although this time it is a teenager). The whole magic Tony Hawk poster is awkard and unnecessary. The ending is hack writing and screams "I am sick of writing this story!!" It is only mildy funny at times. You won't be mad you spent time reading it like Beneath the Underdog and that is about all I can give this book as far as recommendation.

(****)The Curious Incident of the Dog and the Night-time - Mark Haddon: This book was a delightful read. It is heartbreaking and also tries your patience. Haddon does an excellent job of showing the perspective a 15-year-old autistic boy as he sets out to find the killer of his neighbor's dog. This book made me realize that many of my friends probably have undiagnosed autism. I kid, I kid.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Is it wrong to love bagels and cream cheese this much?

While the amount of Western influence here makes me sad, I really could have kissed my co-worker who went to Costco - yes, they have Costco here - and brought me back raviolis, bagels, cream cheese and a hunk of mozzarella cheese. I feel like such a American whore when I do things like that - eat at McDonald's, PizzaHut, Dominoes, Starbucks, and now we can add, 3rd person shopping at Costco. I have eaten at all of these places, and the comfort of eating there is frightening. The food isn't great, of course, but it's easy and familiar and no one has exchange looks of "I have no clue as to what you are referring to" and I can safely answer yes to all of the questions. But back to the bagels - wonderful, gloriousness.
Taipei is clearly far too big and far too international to force me to have any sort of cultural experience here. I will have to seek it out, and who knows what that really looks like or means. The next generation of Taiwanese seems to enjoy hanging out at McDonald's (McCafe's, and open 24-hours. It's a much more pleasant environment when late night employees don't have to deal with drunk assholes or the fear of armed robbery) *Gasp*

Enough about that...

Feeding the Love. This is a more entertaining idea (says me) started (though probably not invented) by heels - the Ron Paul huggin', cunt of woman she is. She did a lovely post where she said tear-jerkingly nice things about people I love and people she loves as well, so I would like to jump on the wagon. I'm a big fan of love notes. As a person with an obtuse sense of humor and an often malfunctioning brain to mouth filter, I find it's really, really, really, really important to remind people that I truly love and adore them because the ones closest to me often catch the brunt of my wrath. I can't sit down and list everyone I love at one time. It's too overwhelming and exhausting and I start gushing tears. It ain't pretty, so instead of feeding the love as requested, I'm rationing the love. One per post. Requests are welcome. And, well, where to start seems pretty easy...

Dani - I have known you for a really long time. I really love how I can look back and see what twits we were at different times. I think I beat you on length of twit stage, but you are right, you did start out as my best friend's older sister, and then my older brother's friend. I think I can pin point the beginning of my awe and appreciation of the tenacity of how your beliefs and humor mix and mingle when my brother and I went to visit John, You, Emmy, and Spence down at the house near the high school. I think I nearly peed my pants looking at the Mormon brochure you defiled and left on your door as repellent for boys in bicycle helmets, white button-up shirts, and ties. You are hilarious, smart, witty, nurturing, loyal, and still as fierce as ever. These will always be qualities that will be as often adored as misunderstood. You are a gorgeous, rare human being. I am thankful that I know you and your family.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

How do you spell that again?

I have a Chinese name. I've had this name for a while. My friend, Wen, actually named me way before I left for Taiwan. My Chinese name is now officially being used by the university I work for. In order to get paid, I needed a Chinese name. Done and done. Happy as a clam, I took my check issued to 安以仁 to my bank. Yes, that's me. I'm the pretty pictures. (It still hasn't quite sunk in that Chinese characters are anything other than art, even though I can now recognize the Chinese character for scissors)

Then horror of all horrors, the teller asked me to endorse the check in Chinese. After flipping the check back and forth several times, I made my best effort to write my name. The teller looked, laughed, and said, "I go ask. Wait." I heard my Chinese name thrown between her and her supervisor, and then she came back. "She say ok you to cross out, write again." So I crossed my name out, and stood there sweating and embarrassed because I had(have) no clue as to how to write my name. She said, "Thank you, no worry. I write." And she wrote it for me in Chinese. While having someone else endorse my checks is a bit scary, I can't explain how relieved I was.

"What's your name little girl?"
"I have no f-ing clue."

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Oh, anonymity. Why?

I received an e-mail this morning from someone who is not a fan of my friend's blog. And not a fan, as in made an e-mail address and blog titled (name)is.ugly and (name)sucks respectively. This person posted pictures of her and called my friend, in essence, a big meanie head with, like, her, own opinions and shit, and how dare she share these opinions on her (her) blog. What a bitch.

My fatal flaw in this lifetime is expecting people to have some sense. If you don't like her blog, don't read her blog. Or even better, explain why you disagree her opinions without using words such as beatch, cunt, or spelling "can" with a k. Everyone walks away happy.

I think Penny Arcade summed up this dilemma, which happens on the Internets more often than it should, quite nicely.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Attack of the Giant Grasshopper and Happy 10/10

This picture doesn't reveal just how big this grasshopper actually is. This sucker is about 4 inches long and 2 inches tall and damn frightening when it randomly jumps into your path.

Can you spot the grasshopper? (Click the pictures for super spy glasses close-up)

We have today off. It is 10/10. Sort of like Taiwanese Independence Day. More like the Republic of China got kicked out of China by the commies (People's Republic of China) and relocated to Taiwan. You can read more, but not much, about it here