Friday, January 30, 2009

2009-01-25 Wei-lu And Ponyo

I've been on Chinese New Year vacation for 5 days, and only two more days-off left. Looking back what I've done during my days-off, I found I had lived in a nice slow pace but done a lot of things: dinning with friends, seeing movies, hiking, reading, writting, and packing. I didn't disturb my circadian rhythm even though I didn't control my diet well, too much sweet cockies, pies; but I am trying to get my diet back to right track.

On the eve of Chinese new year, the year of cattle, I attened to my friends' family dinner. The dinner we had were really great and rich food. We sat around a round table, around a hotpot on the middle of the table, which let me understand what Wei-lu (圍爐) means. I never sat around a round table to dine with my family for many complicated reasons, and I will never be able to do so. My friends unconditionally shared their family warmth and happiness with me. I really appreciated my friends' kindness.



After dinner, I went to see Ponyo On The Cliff By The Sea, Mr. Miyazaki's animation. I expected that I would be the only moviegoer at the time because most Taiwanese should be Weilu with their family. I was happy because I would enjoyed the movie completely with myself. The room was empty at first, but at the last minute, eight to nine young kids came in. Fortunately, they didn't cause too much noise, and I could immerse myself in the movie.


Ponyo On The Cliff By The Sea is a very good movie, and I think it's Mr. Miyazaki's best work so far. It reminds me of feelings I had after I saw My Neighbor Totoro—delightly to revisit children's innocence. I was amazed with how Mr. Miyazaki tranformed daily ordinary things into vivid scenes, and he fulfilled a lot of day-dreams that kids have in his movie. He brought my memories of childhood back to me: the first taste of honey, the first sight of Keelung harbor. A lot of experiences that made me eyes bright and made me smile came back to me.

Trailer of Ponyo On The Cliff By The Sea with English Subtitles



Theme Song of Ponyo On The Cliff By The Sea

Sunday, January 25, 2009

2009-01-25 Taiwan Radio

I was a part-time worker in a Taiwanese radio broadcast company. I had to work every Sunday. I quitted this part-time job few weeks ago because I wanted to have more free time to study and to go hiking. But I occasionally substitute for some of my former co-workers when they need a break. Today is Chinese New Year Eve, and I substitute for one of my former co-worker because he has to help his father's business in traditional market. So now, I am in my studio, listening to radio programs, taking notes. My responsibility is like Big Brother, monitoring if there are illegal contents in programs. Most programs made by this company are in Taiwanese, and most of them are programs that hosts sell medicine to Taiwanese listeners. But there are few good programs that introduce Taiwanese cultural events or histories.

One of my favorite program is Taiwan Radio (台灣Radio) whose host introduces Taiwanese songs popular in different periods of time or organize songs in different themes, like broadcasting Taiwanese songs about Spril or about Traveling spots. The host has collected Taiwanese songs more than 40 years. Most of his collections are out of print. His collections are really precious. Every time I listen to his program, I always feel delighted and touched. Sometimes I feel proud of being Taiwanese because I get sensation of being rooted in those cultural Taiwanese song performances.

When the show is live, a lot of his listeners like to call in to chat with the host. They talk in Taiwanese or Japanese. I sometimes can't understand the content of their conversation, but I have a feeling that the story of Cape No. 7 is about this group of people even though I don't comepletely agree with the portraits of Taiwanse that Cape No. 7 depicts.

My mother tongue is Taiwanese, I rarely speak in Taiwanese now. But when I listen to those Taiwanese songs, I can sing along easily. I think those cultural elements surrounded around me since I was a kid, and they have influence on me even though I'm not aware of them.

I like to find some popular Taiwanese songs that come to my mind, and bring back some of my childhood memories. Thanks to the Internet and Youtube, I can accomplish the task easier than before.

The song displayed below was a popular song in the 90s. It's mixed with Taiwanese religious elements. Young Taiwanese love it, but it's said that elder Taiwanese think it's a kind of taboo song. Its melody is adopted from songs used Taoism rituals like leading ghosts of family members dead in strange lands back home or summoning gods' protection or possession. I think it was unprecedented at its time.


Title: 倒退嚕 (Moving Backwards)
Singer: 黃克林 (HUANG, Ke-ling)



There is a old lady waving a fan in this music video, she is 阿匹婆, a household name of those whose age is above 30.

Lyrics

倒退嚕

ㄟ~拜請 拜請拜請 東海岸 西海岸 北投西帽山 鶯歌出土炭 草山低勒出溫泉
拜請哩 東營兵 東營將 西營兵 西營將 北營 中營 兵中將
起雄兵這個九千九百九萬千 滴滴工 擱勒春無玲 神ㄟ兵噢 神兵啊
火過火路靈 火過火路靈 鳳梨 西瓜平 欠錢不要還
尖嘴是雞喔 扁嘴是番鴉 灣灣是豬肉 四角是豆干 白白是麵線
拜請勒~你也大仙王爺公 小仙王爺子
我是假影請 你那來我就加了餅
(天頂天公 地下母舅公 北海岸有十八王公)

拜請哩~拜請拜請拜請
阮孝生去愛著 阿琴的查某子 不知有影也無影
有影就喊三聲 (沒影沒影沒影) 紅ㄟ千ㄟ喔紅千喔
四果排甲歸桌頂 紅柿 那芭樂 甲龍眼 要吃就自己撿 三碗兩碗做你排
煙雞股柳來殺 沒錢我不愛 紅包大個做你來拿 ㄟ來喔~~
阿公啊對阮有啊有交待
叫阮咧麻雀粒啊 不通黑白排
碰啊你塊碰啊 到啊我塊到啊 槓頂塊開花是加一台喔

草埔嗎跑阿馬嗎 草啊青青 草埔啊路上啊 草啊掛墘
有孝的媳婦是三餐燒 不孝的媳婦是 過路搖啊過路搖 搖你著搖過橋喔~
獻紙來你嘛燒錢去啊 獻紙啊燒錢 是要買路去啊
獻紙來你嘛燒錢去啊 獻紙啊燒錢 是要買路去哦 行你著行過橋喔~

牛頭馬面啊二將軍 還有日夜啊雙遊巡啊
燒酒排哩咧 銀啊紙獻啦 阿公啊對人是 很啊隨便
行你就行 你就乎伊過橋噢

草埔嗎路上阿 草啊青青 草埔啊路上阿 草啊掛墘
有孝的媳婦是三餐燒 不孝的媳婦是 過路搖啊過路搖 搖你著搖過橋喔~
獻紙來你嘛燒錢去啊 獻紙啊燒錢 是要買路去啊
獻紙來你嘛燒錢去啊 獻紙啊燒錢 是要買路去哦
行你就行 行到觀音佛祖廟 喔~

拜拜哦
來拜觀音菩薩哦

Saturday, January 24, 2009

2009-01-24 NT$3,600 Shopping Vouchers

My NT$3,600 shopping vouchers.

After my glasses broke, I found my hot-water heater broke down as well. Well, it's funny that I always encouter strange problems in Chinese New Year holidays and also other Chinese holidays. I am thinking I should leave Taipei or Taiwan next year.

I had a lot to say about the voucher policy, but I will be busy with fixing my glasses and water heater, and pay the bills with those vouchers. Ah....a lot of thoughts in mind, but I don't know how to express them. Dealing realistic problems is the best policy for me now.

2009-01-24 Broken Spectacles

I haven't undated my blog for a while. I thought I could do it in the past two weeks, but many things went out of my expectation. I made a breakthrough in my research progress, thanks to my advisor's push. I worked on my experimental design for a while, and I revised it by following my advisor's suggestion, and the design became feasible. I am working on collecting proper stimuli, and soon I will have to learn E-Prime to write computerized experiment program.

Things have gon well when it comes to my study.

I still have some free time, but I would rather go hiking than stay home or at lab in front of monitors; so I haven't write things about hikes I've done recently, and I haven't uploaded pictures I took during my hikes, either.

I am getting busy and busier, I won't be able to update my blog regularly. It's been two years since I started my blog, so I don't want to close it. I am thinking what specific feature my blog has and what I should do to maintain my blog. Most of my articles are about my hikes. It's not necessary for me to give information about hiking in Taiwan in English, my written English is poor, and Robert's blog, Pashan, gives way better stories about hiking in Taiwan. My blog isn't as informative as his blog is, and will never be.

Since few weeks ago, I've started using twitter as an alternative interface. I am thinking about adopting similar format here. A post with one picture or two about hikes or life in Taiwn with few comments cost me little time. I think I can manage that.


This is my second broken pair of glasses. Well, I can't believe that I broke it twice. It seems that some accidents always happen when I get extra income. I got NT$3,600 shopping vouchers and then I broke my glasses. I will have to get it repaired and use vouchers to pay off this unplanned expense.

I think I should take some pictures of my shopping vouchers for memorial before my use them all. They are sperical things for all Taiwanese resulted from critical period of time.

p.s. When was posting, there was an earthquake.
p.p.s Second earthquake.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

2009-01-07 Disequilibrium

I've been experiencing a very strange sensation. It's weird, and I couldn't describe it well in the past two days. Tonight, I finally came up with a phrase to describe this kind of bizarre sensation: A soul of sorrow confined to an exuberant body.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

2009-01-06 Daily Photos

昨天下午才從法院書記官處得知,我必須在開調解庭之前遞送陳報狀,這意味著,我今天必須寫完並準備好附件資料。我其實是很會拖縮 (ㄊㄨㄚ ㄙㄨㄚ)的人,所以整個晚上都在逃避現實,喝咖啡、吃起司蛋糕、吃巧克力,然後到政大書城窩著,看些書,耍自閉,然後買幾本書,降低壓力。(我發現自己龜縮的模式大概就是這樣吧!看起來,頗無害,不過甜食吃太多些。)

今天起一大早,開始認份地寫陳述狀。我只要專心做事,可以很有效率地寫完陳述狀。重新看過陳述的內容,還頗滿意的。這些年來,經歷這麼多繁瑣的法律事務,準備資料,也算是得心應手。(真不知道該是高興,還是難過呢!)

準備好資料後,便出發前往台北地方法院的家事法庭。除拖縮一整晚,逃避現實外,另一件幫我調整心情的事情是:家事法庭離我家蠻近的,走路約10到15分鐘即可抵達。減少舟車勞頓的壓力,我可以較正向的態度來處理事情。

出門的時候,很幸運的是:雨停了!我的心情會因為下雨而變差,出門時,還看見一塊藍色的天空。啊!真高興!

另一件讓我高興的事是,看見一隻很醜,但是睡的很可愛的貓。在我走往家事法庭的路上,經過一家餐廳,我看到餐廳裡有隻醜醜的貓咪,睡的好可愛!餐廳還沒開始營業,但是貓咪醜的可愛,我禁不住地摸進餐廳裡,用手機照相機拍下貓咪可愛的樣子。貓咪睡得很熟,一臉幸福的樣子。

老闆娘走過來,看我在做啥。當她知道我喜歡貓咪的時候,她也就放任我拍貓咪照片。老闆娘告訴我,這隻貓原本是流浪貓,她撿到這隻貓,也就留下這隻貓。看貓咪睡的很熟、放鬆的樣子,真替牠感到高興,幸福的貓咪~




我心滿意足地帶著貓咪照片,繼續前往法院。離開餐廳後,我回頭看餐廳的招牌,心想著要再次到這家餐廳看貓咪。發現這家餐廳叫做「圓滿」餐廳。啊!正向情緒字呢!高興!高興!

果然,營造促發正向心情的環境,能激發正向心情;在正向心情狀態下,能營造促發正向心情的環境。這是一種互動的動態關係。

這種大家視為理所當然的事情,可是有研究文獻的喔!請參考:
Tamir, M., & Robinson, M. D. (2007). The happy spotlight: Positive mood and selective attention to rewarding information. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 33(8), 1124-1136.

總之,我已經盡人事,把資料送出去後,決定權就在法官手上。現在只能等待後續的通知或裁定。我應該繼續進行我另一個載逃避現實的事情,正在拖縮我的實驗設計。不能再拖了!XD 得趕快把剩下的部分寫完。

Monday, January 5, 2009

2009-01-03 Daily Photos

My friends from university and I planed to go hiking in Yuan-shan (鳶山) in Sanxia. After I met them at MRT Fuzhong station, I thought it was not proper to go hiking in this circumtstance that most of them were in wrong shoes which could make their knees or ankles injured.


We could only walk the the entry of Yuan-shan hiking trail, and then we turned back to the old street and hade our dinner at Pation 28. So the trip turned out to be a half-day trip in Sanxia.




Even though we didn't complete Yuan-Shan hiking trail, we reached the Bell of Yuan-shan, and it was a 3.2 km walk.

Sheena was not used to long walk and partly she has been busy with her stressful work, she was tired and got drunk after having a half bottle of beer. I didn't take pictures of her when she couldn't stop smiling in Pation 28. Well, but she was funny and cute.

P.S. Mike, I posted pictures of them as I promised. We talked a lot about you during the trip. We are looking forward to the date you come back to Taiwan and to having happy get-together and to enjoying your stories happended to you in UK.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

2009-01-03 Hemeishan 碧潭/和美山

Our lab semester-end outing will take place next Saturday. I was desiganted to organize the outing and I have been looking for a proper spot that would fit every lab partners' needs. The final tourist spot I have singled out is He-mei-shan near Bitan in Xindian.

There are some reseaons. First of all, it has easy access that everyone can take MRT Red Line to Xindian, the terminal station of MRT Red Line. Secondly, He-mei-shan is a small hill whose height is approximately 150m that is not too difficult for my lab partners who rarely go hiking.

Even though He-mei-shan is a small hill, it has great views that hikers can overlook Taipei City and they even can see Guan-yin-shan clearly if the weather is fine. And the trail in He-mei-shan is short that hikers probably only have to spend 30 minutes completing their hike.

After go hiking in He-mei-shan, we can have lunch along the riverbank. And after lunch, my lab partners can take a stroll in Bitan. Bitan has been regenerated and tranformed into a beautiful park. It is pretty nice to take a walk along the riverbank both during daytime or night time.

I am the organizer of this event and I don't like plan going wrong or things get out of my control, so I took a walk in Bitan and went hiking in He-mei-shan this morning, that will help me to visualize most possible situations.

And I try to provide some information for them before the outing, and the below pictures are especially taken for them.




Beautiful Bitan



Bitan Suspension Bridge



I am a Xindianian (I made up this word). I was born and grew up in the vicinity of Bitan. This bridge always brings my childhood memories back to me.


It has become a popular spot for bikers.


To be honest, I really hate those tall buildings.


The trailhead is at the end of 33-1, Bitan Road.

The relic of Bitan Amusement Park. It's was a very popular amusement park.


The entry of the trail


The trail is very easy for novice hikers or visitors. The only difficult part is the few steps long stairs shown in the above picture.

The great views vistors can get on the top of He-me-shan. (I only spent 15 minutes getting to the top.)


Visitors can see Taipei 101 and my apartment when the day is clear.


Visitors actually can see Nan-shi-jiao-shan(南勢角山) and Guan-yin-shan(觀音山).


The overlook of Chingtan (青潭) region.


This is Gordonia (大頭茶), one of Chris's favoriate flowers. They often blossom on the top of trees that hikers can't spot them easily, but they often sprinkle over hiking trails. It's a kind of beautiful scenes.

This is Gordonia's stem and leaves. When Robert and I were on National Zhao-yang hiking trail (朝陽步道), we tried to differentiate Gordonia from other kinds of similar plants, and I couldn't do it well, so I took this picture for reference.


This is where we will have lunch. I haven't had meal in this restaurant, but aparazzi took pictures of famous Taiwanese singer and host dining here, it's probably good.