2019年6月25日 星期二

Going On Vacation 我要放假

I'll be visiting my family in Port Angeles, Washington, USA from June 28 to August 18.  If you want to see pictures and words from that trip click here.  If not I'll see you in September. 六月二十八日到八月十八日我會在美國華盛頓州安吉利斯港市.  如果要看那個旅程的照片請按這裡.  不然的話我們就九月見吧.

Have a good summer! 暑假快樂!

A List of Lists


Anyone else remember the world before the internet?  If you don't, I can assure you it was pretty much like the world of today.  Minus all the people staring at their phones.  If you don't believe me, go watch any movie from the 1980s.

Back in those pre-internet days we had sets of books called encyclopedias.  Inside these encyclopedias - or so we thought at the time - you could find anything and everything worth knowing.  And if the encyclopedias weren't enough we had almanacs.  And if the almanacs weren't enough we had dictionaries.  And if the dictionaries weren't enough we had thesauruses, or thesauri, or however you're supposed pluralize the word "thesaurus."  Oh, and look!  My computer's spellcheck has already told which of those spellings is correct.

We also had books of lists.  My parents had a lot of these.  Even now I'm not exactly sure what their intended purpose was, but I suspect it had something to do with crossword puzzles.  These books were as their name suggested: lists of seemingly random things like "left-handed pitchers" or "cities that start with H" or "authors of banned books."  I never did find any real use for books of lists, but I enjoyed thumbing through them when I was little.

With this in mind I'd like to offer a few of my own lists, all about as random as you'd imagine.  You're welcome to read through them, though I doubt you'll find much use for the information.




Colors I Like

1. light green
2. gold
3. goldenrod
4. red
5. True Colors (the Cyndi Lauper song)

Colors I Don't Like

1. brown
2. Color Me Badd (the boy band)
3. gray
4. purple
5. Color of Night (a terrible movie starring Bruce Willis)

Movies I've Seen Recently

1. Annihilation (2018)
2. Blades of Glory (2007)
3. Quest for Fire (1981)
4. Chariots of Fire (1981)
5. Condorman (1981)
6. Possession (1981)
7. Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981)
8. Inseminoid (1981)
9. Reds (1981)
10. A video of a woman taking a shit on a subway train in front of a crowd of horrified bystanders (Reddit, yesterday)

Movies I Haven't Seen Recently

1. Rocketman (kinda want to, might just wait for DVD)
2. Hellboy (wasn't interested)
3. Countless other movies I haven't heard of

States in the U.S. I've Visited

1. Washington
2. Oregon
3. California
4. Nevada
5. Idaho
6. Utah
7. Wyoming
8. Montana
9. Iowa
10. New Jersey
11. Alaska
12. Washington D.C. (not a state but whatever)

States in the U.S. I'd Like to Visit

1. Florida
2. Mississippi
3. Texas (mostly just Austin)
4. Massachussetts
5. Maine
6. Hawaii

States I Have No Desire to Visit

1. Oklahoma
2. North Dakota
3. South Dakota
4. Kansas

States I'm On the Fence About

1. Everything not listed above

Cities I Like

1. Seattle (my hometown)
2. Vancouver B.C.
3. San Francisco
4. Missoula
5. Salt Lake City (delightfully weird)
6. Osaka
7. Kyoto
8. Taipei
9. Tainan
10. Bangkok
11. Hanoi
12. Kuala Lumpur
13. Hong Kong

Cities I Hate

1. Seoul
2. Siem Reap
3. Pattaya
4. Sacramento
5. Boise
6. Vancouver WA
7. Portland OR
8. Pingtung City
9. Miaoli City
10. Singapore
11. Changhua City
12. Los Angeles
13. Denpasar

Superheroes That Are Cool

1. The Flash
2. The Hulk
3. Captain America
4. Dr. Manhattan
5. Iron Man
6. Thor (in the comics, not so much in the movies)
7. Batman
8. Wonder Woman
9. Spider-Woman
10. Magik

Superheroes That Are Dumb

1. Green Lantern
2. A lot of the lesser known X-Men
3. Robin
4. Captain Marvel
5. Doctor Fate (even if Keith Giffen's art is amazing)
6. The Elongated Man
7. She-Hulk (takes away Hulk's shine)
8. Firestorm (cool powers, stupid costume)
9. Starfox
10. The Falcon

Subjects I Have At Some Time Enjoyed Studying

1. math
2. programming
3. English
4. Chinese
5. history
6. anthropology
7. drama
8. logic
9. art
10. women

Subjects I've Never Enjoyed Studying

1. psychology
2. statistics
3. sociology
4. art history
5. Greek
6. woodworking
7. print production (a vanished discipline!)
8. metalworking
9. tennis (like to play, but the class I took sucked)
10. any Literature class taught by a teacher/professor with an unhealthy obsession with a certain author

My Favorite Holidays

1. Halloween
2. Chinese New Year
3. Christmas
4. Dragon Boat Festival
5. New Year's Day

My Least Favorite Holidays

1. Valentine's Day (pressure for those not in relationships)
2. Mother's Day (always a chore)
3. Father's Day (a non-event)
4. Tomb-Sweeping Festival (death!)
5. Billie Holiday (not a fan)

Bands I Like

1. Megadeth
2. High Tide
3. Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band
4. (The Crazy World of) Arthur Brown
5. Black Sabbath
6. Oingo Boingo
7. The Who
8. Jethro Tull
9. Emerson, Lake and Palmer
10. Meshuggah

Bands I Despise

1. rubber bands that get brittle with age and snap
2. Abba
3. anything with Bruce Springsteen
4. Pearl Jam
5. Creed
6. Limp Bizkit
7. Carly Simon
8. Madonna
9. Greta van Fleet
10. Manowar

Places I Like To Go

1. any pizza restaurant
2. Showtime movie theater
3. the Flowing Lake
4. the rooftop bar near Tiehua Village
5. Eslite bookstore
6. 7-11 or Family Mart if I can drink beer
7. the comic book rental place
8. friends' houses
9. the ocean
10. Taipei

Places I Hate Going

1. the post office
2. the bank
3. McDonald's
4. the tax office
5. Kaohsiung's industrial area
6. gas station bathrooms
7. parties where people I don't want to see are trying too hard to party
8. train stations (even though I like riding trains)
9. areas with too many tourists
10. art museums

Beers I Like

1. Taiwan beer
2. Bridgeport's IPA and Citra IPA
3. Ayinger (the blonde)
4. that purple Asahi I've only had a couple times
5. Dragontooth
6. Pyramid's Curveball IPA
7. Leffe
8. beers paid for by friends
9. beers friends let me buy them
10. all-you-can-drink beer at breweries

Beers I Don't Like

1. DeBeers (diamonds are EVIL)
2. any beer with coffee
3. fruit beers
4. Coors
5. Michelob
6. Killian's Irish Red
7. whatever that Spanish style beer is called
8. Go beer
9. San Miguel Lite (why bother?)
10. that pale lager from Hsinchu that smells like sweat

Stops on the Taipei MRT That are Fun

1. Taipei Main Station
2. Danshui (or however it's spelled)
3. Muzha Zoo
4. Hongshulin
5. Ximending
6. Taipei City Government
7. Nangang
8. Jungxiao Fuxing

Stops on the Taipei MRT That aren't Fun

1. any hospital stop
2. any school stop

Good Science Fiction Authors

1. Frank Herbert (half of his stuff is good)
2. Stanislaw Lem (sometimes pretentious)
3. Arthur C. Clarke
4. Philip K. Dick
5. Douglas Adams
6. Isaac Asimov (even if he wrote a lot of crap)
7. J.G. Ballard (really overlooked)
8. Jules Verne
9. Greg Egan
10. Theodore Sturgeon

Overrated Science Fiction Authors

1. Orson Scott Card
2. Ursula K. Leguin
3. Andre Norton
4. Marion Zimmer Bradley
5. Robert Heinlein
6. Kage Baker
7. Alastair Reynolds
8. Kevin J. Anderson
9. Brian Herbert (terrible)
10. Philip Jose Farmer

10 Yummy Foods

1. pizza
2. hamburgers
3. fried onion cake 蔥油餅
4. beef noodles
5. fried oysters
6. sushi, especially eel
7. French fries
8. dragonfruit
9. dumplings
10. sashimi

5 Foods I Don't Care For

1. bitter gourd 苦瓜
2. shrimp
3. steak (it's ok, but don't love it)
4. soupy foods on hot days
5. ostrich, especially when barbecued

Some Good Moments From My Life Prior to My Arrival in Taiwan

1. when my mom would let me skip school so she could take me to Toys R' Us
2. hours spent in video game arcades in the 80s
3. beating the shit out of that kid in the second grade
4. sex after I figured it out (definitely not the first time)
5. smoking weed and listening to either David Bowie's The Man Who Sold the World or Miles Davis' Miles in the Sky
6. Driving from Seattle to Idaho, to Montana, to Idaho, to Nevada, to California, to Oregon and back to Seattle the first time
7. going to the bookstore in Astoria to buy comics with my grandma
8. visiting Wild Waves/Enchanted Village when I was little
9. reading good books
10. getting published the first time

Some Good Moments From My Life After Arriving in Taiwan

1. finishing my Chinese program at Tung Hai University
2. getting married
3. having kids
4. my first week living in Taitung
5. swimming in the Flowing Lake before they sectioned it off
6. taking my daughters to amusement parks when they were smaller
7. going to Thailand the second time
8. the two weeks (?) we spent in Malaysia and Singapore
9. getting an award from the County Magistrate (even if it was weird)
10. something I can never talk about because it will get me in a lot of trouble

Some Things I'd Rather Forget

1. getting a vasectomy (local anesthetic doesn't work well on me)
2. various arguments
3. when my parents disappeared from my high school graduation
4. Thai immigration authorities trying to refuse my wife entry back into Thailand
5. my first trip to Thailand
6. getting falsely accused of sexual harassment (even if they later apologized)
7. another thing I can't talk about because it will get someone else in a lot of trouble
8. finding that dead guy in California
9. a certain male friend of several years making a really awkward, pervy pass at me
10. that time in college when I though a girl was cheating on me (she was) and almost drank myself into the emergency room

Books On My Desk

1. social studies textbooks for grades 3-6
2. a book for "train aficionados"
3. Dino on the Go! English textbooks for grades 3-6
4. Side by Side Activity Workbook 1

Other Stuff On My Desk

1. a metal car-shaped pencil box
2. a map of the Pacific Northwest
3. a cloth I bought in Kyoto
4. a mug with Taipei MRT stops on it
5. my iphone 5S
6. my hat, purchased at the National Museum of Prehistory
7. another mug of Kaohsiung's famous buildings with pens, scissors, a craft knife, a stapler and a ruler inside
8. a tape dispenser that's run out of tape
9. a desk calendar
10. this keyboard
11. my forearms
12. a monitor
13. a hard drive

A List of Things I Could Be Worrying About

1. death/mortality
2. the Trade War
3. Mainland Chinese designs on Taiwan
4. the next election in Taiwan
5. various social relationships

A List of Things I Could Be Happy About

1. I'm going to the States on Friday
2. the positive consequences of the Trade War
3. the fact that I have two more days of work
4. the fact that it's lunch time
5. various social relationships

Names of Cats I've Owned Which are Now Dead

1. Jessica
2. Marty
3. 大貓
4. Hurstwood
5. Oscar
6. Stripey
7. Muffin
8. (Christmas) Junior

Names of Cats I've Owned Which are Still Living

1. Jojo
2. Christmas
3. Smokey

Approximate Percentages

1. Percentage of "workday" spent fooling around with this entry: 80%
2. Percentage of life spent thinking sexual thoughts: 80%
3. Percentage of actual coffee in the coffee I'm drinking: 5%
4. Percentage of my life wasted on trivial matters: 99%
5. Percentage of a percentage of a percentage I won't tell you about: 4.5%

Clothes I've Owned

1. T-shirts
2. shorts
3. sandals
4. running shoes
5. socks
6. pants
7. a clip-on tie
8. dress shirts
9. hats
10 underwear
11. bicycle shoes
12. bicycle shorts
13. bicycle jerseys
14. head scarves
15. sunglasses
16. bicycle gloves (fingerless)
17. leather dress shoes
18. a raincoat
19. rain gear
20. swimming shorts

Animals Which You Probably Think of in Pairs

1. cats/dogs
2. mice/rats
3. birds/bees
4. Beatles/Monkees
5. tigers/lions
6. squid/octopi
7. Seahawks/Rams (if you follow the NFC)
8. snakes/lizards

DIY List:

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
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