Saturday, December 27, 2008
Friday, December 26, 2008
Watching this video, you will wonder, briefly, if Chris Dane Owens “means it.” This is an ungenerous thought—dismiss it. You may also wonder why “Shine On Me” is modelled on early ABC and Spandau Ballet and padded out with an unnecessary layer of loud guitars. Irrelevant. What you need to know is that Mr. Owens will live forever—until the dragons rule the earth again (or the first time, whatever)—and that you are going to watch this video more times than you can imagine. You may dream of this video, but the dream won’t be as good because it won’t be this video.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
I just reread an email from a professor describing the huge pile of snow most of you can probably see from your window. Now I feel a little sad. Talking to Taiwanese people about snow seems pointless-most of them haven't experienced it and waste their puffy down jackets on 60 degree weather. It seems fitting that the version of "White Christmas" we play over the loudspeakers every morning replaces all the words with animal noises.
That being said, the upside to missing friends and family is that at least there are friends and family to miss. Merry Christmas to all of you! Have a happy new year!
Monday, December 22, 2008
Shouldn't they have drills for these things?
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
1. Direct daily flights between Mainland China and Taiwan began on Monday! (Take that, Chen Shui-bian, you old bastard!)
2. "Man Who Snatched Wig Will Have Toupee" (!!) Thanks to my roommate Katie for finding this one.
**BONUS ARTICLE: Did you know that adultery is illegal in South Korea?
Monday, December 15, 2008
Sunday, December 14, 2008
But for everyone else who requires a holiday gift of some sort, Roy Blount Jr., president of the Author's Guild, has a suggestion:
I've been talking to booksellers lately who report that times are hard. And local booksellers aren't known for vast reserves of capital, so a serious dip in sales can be devastating. Booksellers don't lose enough money, however, to receive congressional attention. A government bailout isn't in the cards.
We don't want bookstores to die. Authors need them, and so do neighborhoods. So let's mount a book-buying splurge. Get your friends together, go to your local bookstore and have a book-buying party. Buy the rest of your Christmas presents, but that's just for starters. Clear out the mysteries, wrap up the histories, beam up the science fiction! Round up the westerns, go crazy for self-help, say yes to the university press books! Get a load of those coffee-table books, fatten up on slim volumes of verse, and take a chance on romance!
There will be birthdays in the next twelve months; books keep well; they're easy to wrap: buy those books now. Buy replacements for any books looking raggedy on your shelves. Stockpile children's books as gifts for friends who look like they may eventually give birth. Hold off on the flat-screen TV and the GPS (they'll be cheaper after Christmas) and buy many, many books. Then tell the grateful booksellers, who by this time will be hanging onto your legs begging you to stay and live with their cat in the stockroom: "Got to move on, folks. Got some books to write now. You see...we're the Authors Guild."
Enjoy the holidays.
Roy Blount Jr.
The Guild's staff informs me that many of you are writing to ask whether you can forward and post my holiday message encouraging orgiastic book-buying. Yes! Forward! Yes! Post! Sound the clarion call to every corner of the Internet: Hang in there, bookstores! We're coming! And we're coming to buy! To buy what? To buy books! Gimme a B! B! Gimme an O! O! Gimme another O! Another O! Gimme a K! K! Gimme an S! F! No, not an F, an S. We're spelling BOOKS!
Stolen from James Fallows's blog. Now pick up your wallets and go!
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
I was born with beautiful teeth. They're white and they're straight without the help of braces. My dental hygiene regimen borders on neurotic--I floss daily, brush twice a day, use listerine every night, and even wear a nightguard to protect them against nighttime grinding.
The only flaw: they're deeply grooved and therefore prone to cavities. According to my dentist, it's not my fault--the bristles of my toothbrush simply can't fit in these narrow valleys.
Today I went to the dentist for the first time in Taiwan. Apparently I have not one, not two, not three, but SIX CAVITIES! SIX! They're small, and apparently "not [my] fault" but still, six!
At least dental care is covered by our nationalized healthcare. My co-payment today was 100 NTD, or roughly $3 USD. Which is good because they only filled half of the cavities today.
3 down, 3 to go....
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
The official Cape No. 7 Post commemorating the official Cape No. 7 Tour is currently in progress. The event was so monumentally Taiwanese that I'll need a few more days to really capture it in words.
Until then, it's worth mentioning that the children who came along made the trip undeniably awesome. Check out this video. Check out those elephant pants!
On a related note, I'd like to point out that if I were a 10 year-old girl, I would totally have a crush on Roy, the oldest son of my school's Dean of Student Affairs (pictured below on the left). He has Gap model good looks and is well dressed to boot (thanks to his mother). He thinks metal is sweet and easy listening is boring. When he throws rocks into the ocean, they go really far. He's nice to his little brother. His handwriting is especially tidy. A veritable dreamboat for Taiwanese elementary school girls.
Monday, December 8, 2008
Didn't see that one coming...
The drugs are being crushed and then smoked
Anti-retroviral drugs used to treat HIV/Aids are being bought and smoked by teenagers in South Africa to get high.
Reports suggest that the drugs are being sold by patients and even healthcare staff for money.
Schoolchildren have been spotted smoking the drugs, which are ground into powder and sometimes mixed with painkillers or marijuana.Aids patients themselves have been found smoking the drugs instead of taking them as prescribed.
When I return to the US, my suitcase will be full of poached stuffed animalz.
Photos to come. That's a guarantee!
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Jesse Ventura + Adolf Hitler
"Pump Up The Volume" from Jock Jams would make like an appropriate soundtrack choice.
My first trip to a hot spring (in Pingdong County, that's the southernmost part of Taiwan, folks) involved dipping my feet into a pool of goldfish and letting them nibble the dead skin off my feet. Being eaten alive by worms would probably produce the same tickling sensation. The man sitting next to me attracted no goldfish, while a great cloud of orange fins grew at my feet. Is there something wrong with me?
Hot springs are one of those things that you're supposed to love about Taiwan, but I think I'll pass in the future. I'm not sure how I imagined it would be, but it closely resembled a swimming pool minus the chlorine smell which would have assured me of its sanitariness.
On a related note, I also was not crazy about the:
-slimy tiles lining the inside of the pool (related to the sanitation issue)
-required swim cap rule (though I should probably appreciate this)
Friday, December 5, 2008
In the airport terminal, you're neither here nor there, held in some in-between land designed to disorient. Osaka, Japan's Kansai International Airport feels like a space station. All things within its curved ceilings come perfectly illuminated and uniformly cast in colored plastic.
The facility also contains many mini things like tiny hand dryers (for this small-handed nation) and astronaut-appropriate food sources.
On the Sunday afternoon after Thanksgiving, I stopped in the Detroit International Airport, where I have spent every Sunday after Thanksgiving for the past four years. The experience never changes from year to year--the same trilingual announcements (English, Japanese, Chinese), the same lazy people taking the tram to their departure gates, the same IN-HOUSE TIME WARP!
Except this year, my layover lasted for 3.5 hours, giving me enough time to walk past all 128 gates twice and buy $30 worth of American magazines, which seems extremely decadent when you realize that's about 1000 NTD. Esquire Magazine, I hope you're worth it.
Friday, November 28, 2008
In my attempts to find photos of us together from childhood, I have happened upon what (I hope) were the most hideous moments of our adolescence. To make the experience all the more painful, it appears that either you or I were behind the camera every time we took photos-- I guess that's the 7th grade equivalent of holding back a friend's hair. Considering the many years of friendship we've shared together, it's shocking how few photos feature both of us at the same time. This is the best I could do.
The greatest fruit that resulted from our endurance through our *ahem* "awkward" phase was, of course, the beautiful friendship we have now. The second greatest fruit that emerged from that time, however, was this play inspired by our first viewing of Monty Python And The Holy Grail. While you gave your speech at the rehearsal dinner tonight, it struck me how ladylike you've become in the past 10 years--but, you should know that in my heart, you will always be Agent Jean Simmons. I hope you enjoy rereading this as much as I have.
Congratulations on your wedding, Allison! I love you.
Victoria Chao as Agent K. Robuskiali
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Nothing says, "I'm desperate for your tourism dollars" like a good, old-fashioned, trolley-shaped tour bus in a city that traditionally has no trolleys. The naked grab for your expendable income seems especially transparent when you (as in I) can't imagine where that bus would take its passengers. I love this city, but a river decorated in Christmas lights (aka the Love River) and the island's second-largest Hello Kitty Ferris Wheel (yes, this almost-superlative appears on almost every travel brochure) hardly count as tourist destinations.
Not to put down the good people who have worked hard to revitalize Kaohsiung, but I'm tired of the "If we build it they will come" attitude that pervades every attempt to prepare for the 2009 World Games. It's simply not true, and I wish someone with decision-making power would figure that out.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Today Taiping Elementary School held it's 89th Anniversary Celebration (or "Birthday Party," as the principal called it) which, at its core, meant that I had to work on a Saturday, but in the best way possible.
If it seems like I'm enamored with Asian children in matching outfits, that's because I am. Each grade had a different costume theme. The costumes became increasingly bland as the students got older (Kindergarten students wore sparkly, rainbow outfits; 3rd graders wore bright yellow do-rags on their heads; 6th graders made paper crowns.) Obviously, I mostly took photos of the Kindergarten and First grade students.
Of course, the only thing I love more than Asian children in matching costumes is Asian children in matching costumes while dancing in unison. Pictured below are the kindergarteners doing a dance about being healthy and loving exercise. It reminded me of a Barbie aerobics video, but of course, much cuter. (The least adorable performance: belly-dancing 5th and 6th grade girls).
Like school-wide events in the US, the birthday celebration also included races of the three-legged, potato sack, and Teacher Vicky vs. Her Fulbright Adviser vs. Her Principal variety. There were also some relay races I'd never seen before. One race involved two children running together inside a hula hoop, kicking over some bottles, hula-hooping a few times, picking up the bottles, and giving the hoop to the next pair.
And I've definitely never seen these before in my life:
Apparently they're arm-powered and will only move in zig-zags, making even the very short distance of 6 feet take what feels like a lifetime. (Not recommended as a spectator sport)
One thing I didn't expect was for the event to trigger old memories. As a kid, I remember getting dragged to Taiwanese Association events, enjoying the first hour, and then fidgeting in my chair for another two hours while the Taiwanese Association board conducted what felt like the world's longest raffle. (Of note: the only thing my family ever won was a set of locker shelves that were way too wide for any of the lockers I had in my school days--and none of us had a locker at the time). Now I see that the Columbus Taiwanese Association is undeserving of this superlative--apparently all Taiwanese events include a raffle, and all of these raffles are long.
Of course, there is always a reason to stay: THE ULTIMATE PRIZE! THE NEVER-ENDING DREAM!
One dean, the Dean of Discipline no less, was so excited when I pulled his name that he did a jig and almost cried. Imagine this: the man you're most afraid of seeing in the office, a very serious man, is jumping up and down in excitement. I think (I hope) he's giving the bike to his son.
An imagined conversation between Dr. Phil and me as we enjoy massages after losing to Principal Tsai in the running race:
DP: I was impressed. The Principal had a huge head start and you caught up.
VC: Second place is first loser.
Can you see my official staff t-shirt? It has a koala and the word "Cute" on it. How very elementary school!
Thursday, November 13, 2008
I have, however, been checking my email and my friend Chloe sent me a blog that touches on many themes very near and dear to my heart. It's called My Mom Is A Fob. Here's a sample post:
Black men on TV
By mmiaf | November 12, 2008
[At the dinner table, speaking in Mandarin except for names]
Me: Ma, these steaks are amazing!
Bro: Mmmm, so good, wowww… thanks Ma!
Mom: Yes, and my grill is so great because it drips excess oil while it’s grilling the meat! Simple and easy to clean, and keeps us healthier. I bought one for your Aunt Jean in Taiwan, too since it’s so handy. I just love my Morgan Freeman Grill!
[Bro and I look at each other confused]
Bro: OMG… Ma… did you mean… your George Foreman Grill?
Mom: You two always like to pick at my English. Their names are similar okay, and they’re both nice black men I see on TV!!!!
And for those of you who got the Black Pea reference, I hope you're laughing. For those who didn't, I'm sure it'll come up later. It's probably my favorite mom story in recent memory.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
It's been an exciting week in politics, and no, I'm not talking about the recent U.S. election. I'm also not talking about Arrested Development, that most awesome of awesome sitcoms.
Chen Shui-bian, former president of Taiwan's pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) was detained today for alleged corruption. Last week, DPP protesters stormed Taipei to express their displeasure over the arrival of the Chinese envoy Chen Yunlin, chairman of The Association for Relations Across the Straits. And for good measure, I should probably mention that protesters also mobbed the vice-chairman of this association at Tainan's Confucius Temple on October 21.
Here are the images I associate with each event (these are especially important since television news goes too quickly for my poor listening comprehension):
November 11: Chen Shui-bian holds his handcuffed arms up in victory as the police lead him away.
November 6: EMTs carry away a woman who has fainted in the midst of the angry, violent mob. It's night, and lots of people wear long, yellow ribbons that say "Taiwan is my country." The ribbons look like they're made of the same plastic as garbage bags or caution tape.
October 21: Daytime--a small crowd of people pushes down the vice-chairman. Then one of them (I think he's wearing green) jumps on top of the envoy's fancy black car. He stomps around, leaving wide, shallow dents on the roof.
I could have sworn that Chen was already found guilty of corruption, but since the media here is unabashedly partisan, I'm afraid that I've been swayed by my father's political persuasion in believing that he's embezzled 14.8 million NTD (that's $480,500 US). The BBC keeps saying "alleged charges," so I guess I'm wrong.
Here's where I get confused--the BBC has printed the following quotation from Chen:
"The KMT and the Chinese Communist Party see me as their number one prisoner as I am the biggest stone blocking their way to reunification," Mr Chen told reporters, according to the French news agency AFP.
He said the Chinese envoy, Chen Yunlin, "had a bad time in Taiwan... so Ma Ying-jeou wants to put me in jail as a sacrifice to appease China. I am very honoured and proud to play such a role."
Initially, I felt like Chen was just manipulating people's Sino-phobic emotions, but that was before I realized the charges were alleged and not proven. So what if he's not guilty? Is he really President Ma's sacrifice to appease China? To be honest, I still feel like Chen is playing the spin game, but is that my bias talking?
Only time will tell. Until then, I'll be in a perpetual state of second-guessing.
Saturday, November 8, 2008
I know the major news outlets are taking their first wobbly steps in this new world of multimedia. In time, I'm sure they'll figure it out. But I probably won't listen to another NYtimes podcast until someone recommends it.
Friday, November 7, 2008
After graduating from Harvard, my husband and I moved out to L.A. to try to make it as writers. My husband, in a bold move, decided to cold call Michael Crichton and ask him out to lunch. He actually accepted.
They went out to sushi later that week, and all Michael Crichton wanted to talk about for two hours was how much better L.A. was in the 60's because you could tear down the highways as fast as you wanted without worrying about getting caught and have sex with as many women as you wanted without getting AIDS. I mean, I know he probably wanted to tell the young buck about his glory days, but my husband is a skinny little Jewish guy who came this close *sticks out thumb and index finger till they almost touch, starts talking in nasal voice* to going to med school.
I've never read a Michael Crichton book or seen a Michael Crichton movie, not even Jurassic Park, so this is all I have to go on. I like to compare it to James Fallows' goodbye post.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Which is to say, I take back all my griping about the hassles of voting absentee from two days ago. I guess it's the little things that make me proud to be an American.
Well, that and the fact that Franklin County finally voted my way. Way to go, Ohio!
Monday, November 3, 2008
1. Deciphering the first question on the Federal Voting Registration and Absentee Ballot Request: Asking yourself, "am I living abroad temporarily or indefinitely" inevitably leads to an existential crisis about the future.
2. Making 2 trips to the post office (once to mail off absentee ballot request, once to mail off the completed ballot).
***Correlated challenge: locating the nearest post office, hoping its office hours don't conflict with your work schedule.
3. Knowing your address
The moral of the story: please enjoy the relative ease of your voting experience tomorrow. The lines may be long, but at least you don't have to translate your contact information into English.
Please, please, please don't forget to vote (especially if it's for Barack Obama)
Friday, October 31, 2008
The way to get over sadness is, of course, to impose American culture on a country that doesn't celebrate Halloween! Shuting and I planned Halloween activities for the entire week--that's around 20 hours of mummy-wrapping, donut-eating, costume-making and mask parading in 5 days! And that doesn't include the throngs of children banging down our door to beg for candy between classes.
And here's photographic proof:
Favorite costumes include: the pork-jerky monster (aka the girl with wads of newspaper taped to her face) and the transformer (made of a box). More than anything, I'm proud to have such creative students--we didn't let them buy the materials for the costumes and I think they turned out quite nicely!
Basically, my week went a lot like this:
Happy Halloween everyone!
Thursday, October 30, 2008
The Taiwanese have taken candy inequality to a whole new level. Here's a sampling of the stuff we've been giving our kids:
Center: Cola flavor
Bottom center, white color: Milk flavor
Green candy: Creamy Sour Apple
Blue candy: Mystery blue flavor
Pink and yellow wrapper: Yogurt flavor
Top, green and yellow wrapper: Creamy lime
Gold wrapper: Honey Flavor
and my all-time favorite
Right side, orange-red wrapper: Wax Gourd Flavor
Maybe I should hand out toothbrushes. Happy Halloween, everyone!
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Looks like the US Treasury Department, with the help of the Ad Council, has taken on my teaching style--that is, tricking students into learning boring stuff like personal finances (or you know, the alphabet) by making it a game!
The Bad Credit Hotel has a 1930's feel to it, and a Morgan Freeman-esque "worldly gentleman" leads you around the hotel as you try to unlock the secrets to getting into Room 850, the only room in the hotel that isn't cockroach-infested and dim.
It's tacky, but thoroughly enjoyable. It's like a grown-up version of Midnight Rescue or Math Mountain. I'm a little bitter that I spent an entire 30 minutes on the site and still only found 8/10 secrets, but that's the nerdy part of me that also loves National Treasure shining through.
Or if you want the Cliffnotes version of the game, you could check out this video from SNL posted on my roommate Katie's blog.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
- Main Entry:
- New Latin, from Greek myōpia, from myōp-, myōps
- circa 1752
2 : a lack of foresight or discernment : a narrow view of something
I had to look it up when I was reading this article in the NYTimes, but it seems like a fitting word for those of us well entrenched in our quarter-life crises.
Monday, October 27, 2008
Sunday, October 26, 2008
I haven't enjoyed a movie like this in a long time. And, I've never seen a movie quite like Sukiyaki Western Django. If I could, I would give a review of the movie, but I've never seen a spaghetti western, my knowledge of cult films and Japanese films is minimal--therefore I am unqualified. I leave it to rottentomatoes.com:
Synopsis: SUKIYAKI WESTERN DJANGO is prolific Japanese cult director Takashi Miike's samurai tribute to the Spaghetti Western genre. With an irreverent style and an obvious knowledge of the oater canon, Miike sets out to celebrate the factory... SUKIYAKI WESTERN DJANGO is prolific Japanese cult director Takashi Miike's samurai tribute to the Spaghetti Western genre. With an irreverent style and an obvious knowledge of the oater canon, Miike sets out to celebrate the factory line artistry of films such as Sergio Leone's A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS and Sergio Carbucci's DJANGO, while fully embracing the dazzling, post-modern aesthetic of movies such as KILL BILL and DESPERADO. And while homage and cinematic genre mash-ups can both be high on genuine artistic vision, it's clear from the supremely stylized opening prologue--with its transparent set pieces, outrageous kill shots, and cameo from that anointer of cult films himself, Quentin Tarantino--that Miike is out to have fun above all. The story follows a Man With No Name gunfighter brought to a small village in Nevada to protect the townspeople from two rival gangs at war over a treasure hidden in the nearby hills. Themes of honor, tradition, loyalty, and family give the film some dramatic weight, but SUKIYAKI WESTERN DJANGO primarily works as a high-octane action flick, albeit one made by a director with style and smarts. The samurai sword lust, kung-fu bar brawls, and John Woo-style operatic gun play remain completely gripping regardless of plot. Yet though the basic story has been told by everyone from Dashiell Hammett to the Coen Brothers to Akira Kurosawa, it's one that has clearly worked its way into the pantheon of contemporary myth and makes for solid dramatic ground on which an entertaining spectacle can unfurl.Next stop at the Kaohsiung Film Festival: some movie about a Michael Jackson impersonator meeting a Marilyn Monroe impersonator, moving to an impersonation colony with her and throwing a ball? I hope you're as pumped as I am.
Saturday, October 25, 2008
I was going through some papers earlier this week and I stumbled upon a photocopy of this article about being on the last plane out of Burma before Cyclone Nargis hit from the August edition of Outdoor magazine by Patrick Symmes. I'm keeping it because I like his writing style and the way he ends the piece (no spoilers here). It also reminds me of the most important lesson I learned while working at NPR this summer: no one will run a story on Burma (aka Myanmar) unless something changes. Since change seems unlikely at this time, the only news we'll see comes when someone from the western media manages to get inside.
If there is no change, there will be no news. If there is no news, will we forget?
**The answer is yes. In June when all the Zimbabwe stuff was fresh, Peter Maas of Slate Magazine wrote an article on why we don't hear more about Equatorial Guinea. He writes:
The reality of the regime's brutishness nearly hit me over the head as I was being expelled from the country while researching a book on oil in 2004. I had already been chilled by the docility of the people—unlike other countries in the Third World, no one approached me as I walked the streets. (The only place where I had felt a similar pattern of fear was North Korea.)
Friday, October 24, 2008
Taiwan generally has a lot of cockroaches, but today was truly an infestation. The whole situation left my roommates and me wondering: Are they simultaneously hatching? Is there a storm coming? Has the apocalypse arrived?
It ends up that the powers that be in the local government put some sort of toxin into the sewer system to kill the cockroaches. Once the they came into contact with the poison, they emerged from the sewers in droves. On the street, they convulsed until they flipped onto their backs while desperately trying to right themselves by wiggling their spindly appendages in the air. Eventually, the poison got the best of them--their struggle for survival slowly came to an end as their legs shriveled tightly across their abdomens. By 2pm, all of them were dead.
And tonight, millions of ants will feed greedily upon the bodies of the fallen. I've seen it with my own eyes--little black dotted lines converging into a solid mass around each cockroach shell. Should I be grossed out or relieved?
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
My host mom: "Vicky! This seashell looks like a button! You must keep it!"
In spite of all the problems we've had, your love of uniformity can be (at times) quite adorable. Especially when it entails wearing matching caps screen-printed with koala bears.
I hope he never hits puberty
Monday, October 20, 2008
I've never been much of a baseball fan. My family isn't a sports family, and having grown up in a town without a professional baseball team, I've never bothered to "get it." I've done my best to understand football--Columbus is buckeye country, and though I'll never be a true 'Bucks fan, it's hard not to sympathize when the whole town is hungover the day after a big loss.
Here in Taiwan, they're nuts about baseball. When Chinese Taipei played China in the Olympics, the taxi driver who took me home (much to my horror) kept his eyes glued to his mini TV as he drove. I often find New York Yankees paraphernalia at the local street stands; the Taiwanese go nuts over the Yankees because they have a Taiwanese player.
So when in Taiwan, do as the Taiwanese do.
Despite the fact that I've never been able to focus for more than 2 innings of a baseball game, I saw it as an opportunity to both assimilate and stick it to the big shots up north!
We all assumed that Coach Pao would root for Kaohsiung--after all, we live in Kaohsiung. So imagine our surprise when we, all dressed in green for the Kaohsiung La New Bears, saw Coach Pao get out of his car wearing yellow for the Taipei Brother Elephants. He was a fan of both teams, he said, but he could get better seats for the Taipei side of the stadium. So he wore his yellow shirt and we sat in front of these people:
Well, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em (plus yellow is my favorite color).
*The only things I understand about baseball: food and retail opportunities.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Among Fans of Palin, Dudes Rule
1. The part where NYT has to explain what Carhartts are:
“I feel like I’m at home,” Ms. Palin said, looking out at a boisterous crowd of about 6,000. “I see the Carhartts and the steel-toed boots,” she said, the first reference being to a clothing brand favored by construction workers and the burly types who make up much of the “Sarah Dude” population.
2. The parts where the crowds objectify Palin:
Mr. McLain wore a “Proud to be voting for a hot chick” button and was joined by his wife, Shannan (“Read my lipstick” button on lapel), and his 6-week-old son, Jaxon (“Nobama” button on beanie).
The dudes tend to make themselves noticed. “You tell ’em baby,” a man yelled out at a rally Wednesday night on a high school football field in Salem, N.H.
“I came here to look at her,” [a man wearing a John Deere T-shirt in Weirs Beach] said, and his admiration for Ms. Palin’s appearance became more and more animated.
3. The part where the NYT calls someone a dude:
“Marry me, Sarah,” a man implored in Weirs Beach, N.H., while Ms. Palin held up a tow-headed toddler and patted his little chest. She ignored, or didn’t hear, the proposal, but signed the dude’s ratty baseball cap.
From far away, this election feels more like a comedy routine than a pivotal moment that will determine (at least) the next four years of global, well, everything. And as much as I enjoy watching these Tina Fey as Sarah Palin skits on SNL, for the love of god, please don't forget to vote.
Friday, October 17, 2008
but everyone else was in formal attire. Shit.
This year, we were invited to the Taiwan Ministry of Foreign Affair's Double 10 Festival, which celebrates the founding of the Republic of China. The party is a big deal--the equivalent would be watching the 4th of July at the White House. Even President Ma Ying-Jeou was there!
Thankfully, I got the dresscode right this time. And look, they even rolled out a red carpet for us!
As a show of their opulence, the Taiwanese government had ice sculptures everywhere they could fit:
They even served all the food that wouldn't get soggy off of ice sculptures:
Yup... that's a lot of shrimp spread out on an ice sculpture.
The event took place at the Taiwan Guest House, where I guess foreign dignitaries stay when they visit Taiwan. The garden was beautifully lit, though this photo doesn't do it justice:
I'm pretty sure I'll never be invited to a party like this ever again. I love being a "VIP."