Friday, December 26, 2008


as a child i was confident i could tell the difference between a peanut butter and jelly sandwich
in which the peanut butter and jam had been spread onto opposite sides of the bread and one where they had been spread onto the same side. you see it just doesn't taste as good if you spread them onto the same side.


How do you do it?

Monday, December 22, 2008

Get Ready

The Thundercat Race inspired me to plan my own alleycat.
Get ready for:

Taipei's first epic alleycat. Come join us in March for the "Journey to the West" alleycat. SunYuKong, XuanZang, ZhuBaJie and ShaWuJing must travel from Changan, "The City of Perpetual Peace" to "Vulture Peak" to gather the "Three Collections of Buddhist Scripture" and bring them back to the homeland. All while traveling through deep gorges and tall mountains, all inhabited by flesh-eating demons.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Thundercat Race. Taipei's First Alleycat.

Last Saturday I finally got my bike together! Still working on a name, suggestions welcomed.

It was just in time for Taipei's first ever alleycat, the Thundercat Race or 霹靂貓街頭單車賽.

Started in Ximen at a little after 10. I'm pretty sure close to 200 people came. There were some great bikes and some great riders. Oh and a crazy old man came up to me before the race and said "TWO WIFE!" and then walked away. Every minute for the next 15 minutes he would come back and sing something at me and then say "sorry" and walk away.

The checkpoints
National Taiwan University Main Gate
ZHONGXIAO FUXING Sogo Department Store
Xinyi Mitsukoshi Village Chanel Store.

Here's some pictures (most of which I didn't take)

bikes before the race:

Here comes the crazy again... quick look away:


the finish line:

only the finest. the finish line was in front of the Xinyi Mitsukoshi Chanel store:

blue line, the winners route. red line, my route... oops

Time to ride home:

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Don't worry, I'm fine now.

+ + =

Location#1: Jingmei Night Market
Time: A few weeks ago
Location#2: Cardinal Tien Hospital Emergency Room
Time: A few hours later

The food was damn good.

The food poisoning was bad.

But my Taiwan National Health Insurance got me full emergency room service (Shots, IV, X-Rays and meds) all for about USD $17. Next day I was feeling much better.

Two Dreams

April 28th 2008.

I started working at Mugi Japanese Restaurant again. It had been four years since I’d been into the restaurant. I just walked in and started working like nothing had changed. They are advertising a new sushi roll “fake cream cheese and crab” roll. Many customers ask what the deal was with fake cream cheese.
“it’s a mayonnaise based substitute for those who are sensitive to dairy.”

I go to a table to take some kids’ order and they say “we’d like a few minutes to…”
And motion towards several sticks of incense they’d lit.
“I’m sorry but you can’t burn incense in here.”
“but we always do this before a meal.”
“It will set off the smoke alarms, then the sprinkler system. They’re so sensitive they even go off if we blow out all of the candles at once. We have to do it one at a time.” The kids grumble and put out their incense.

Now I’m playing in a big time soccer game. Red team against blue team. I’m on the blue team. Red team has nice fancy uniforms. We are mix and matched with whatever blue clothing we could find. I am wearing my big blue fuzzy bathrobe, no shirt. We win.

After the game I remember an old black dude in a square top hat and African fusion leisure suit approached to inform me he had won an auction to get a ride home in my classic car.

On the way out they frisk us. I shout, “woo!” when the woman touches my legs and chest.
“do you always wear this robe?”
“it’s comfortable and I can sit on it too.”
I think about how glad I am I didn’t get rid of the robe.

I dream that I wake up, remembering I DID get rid of the robe. I notice blue fuzz on my skin and think “weird…” and wake up for real this time.

December 3rd, 2008.

In a train station bathroom somewhere in Taipei I noticed a group of Japanese, (men and women) packing a couple of babies into a large roller suitcase. The babies didn’t seem to be upset but it still disturbed me. I decided I had a responsibility to say something so I said to them in Japanese そんなことしてひどくない? (isn’t that a little cruel?)

The people said to me “not at all”… it was then that I noticed that the suitcase had a big mesh window-like air vent thing. Similar to that of the roller bag dog carriers I’ve seen… I apologized to the people saying, “hmm, I didn’t notice the vent… interesting thing you’ve go there. I guess It’s pretty convenient…”

Later that morning I was on a bus heading to work, I was on my way to teach a class at the airport, I think. Somehow I accidentally got off the bus way too early. Realizing my mistake waved for the next bus coming down the road… except it was more of a shuttle van. Inside were the Japanese people with the baby suitcases. “oh hi.”

The woman next to me asked me some questions and we discovered we were all going to the airport. I figured that splitting the shuttle ride with 7 people wouldn’t cost much more than bus fare to the airport, and it would get me there a lot faster, which I needed since I mistakenly got off the bus too early.

We stopped to take a break at Taipei station and I got out with one of the women from the shuttle, she was about to ask me a question when someone from my office came running up to me and said “飛機場找你,非常非常得找你” (The airport is looking for you! Really really looking for you!).

“I’m on my way now, and I have plenty of time, what’s the problem?”
“You have western students in your class today, they speak English fluently but they’re just there to participate. It doesn’t matter how you treat them. You can treat them bad if you want. But we just wanted you to know they’d be there…”

and then I woke up.