Friday, 25 February 2011

Those Beautiful Blogs - VARNISH

VARNISH, a beautiful blog on interior design, taste and 
This is one of the beautiful blogs I'm following. Once again I was fascinated by the playful colour and elegance of the interior design.

My father was an interior designer. Honestly speaking, he's not a successful one and he sort of gave up the business years ago. He isn't always a person of taste and not quite enjoy or proud of his career.

When I was little, I've shown great interest in painting, art and thus went for the art programme in a secondary school. My father always thinks it's a family thing, inherited from him. Yet on the other hand he doesn't reckon it a good idea to pass down his business. When I told him that I'm gonna study interior design in the university and be a designer millions times better than him, he simply said it won't work out. No renowned unis here Taiwan. Arts students often are considered as those who don't study and favour painting. No good future. Interior design is not as popular and well-recognised in Taiwan. People go to IKEA and B&Q or the furniture wholesale warehouse. I didn't like the idea that he blamed the entire society for his failure.

He speaks part of the truth somehow. Perhaps it's good that both of us didn't take it seriously in the end. I am not a interior designer and do not work in the loop.

Gradually, sadly I seem to lose the ability of doodling.

I love art and culture nonetheless.

Find it in another blog, artists rock!!

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Yum Yum

This is cute pic from a animation company (they seem to be duo, designers) called Yum Yum (Oh even the name is utterly adorable!). I love the bright colour and the texture of the clay toy! They make my day!

How fragile how breakable

I just had my jolly humble birthday last night and I learned this morning that a friend's nephew, about the same age as I am, died of meningitis breakout few weeks ago.

She's a really nice Malaysian girl, a hardworking and bright student, a thoughtful daughter and caring older sister and just about to celebrate New Year holidays with her beloved family. And the sudden outbreak. She took good care of her two younger brothers, studied so diligently, had a plan to study as a PhD in the UK.

Heartbreaking. She had a future.

May her rest in peace.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

a quarter of a century is officially coming to an end

I put the link of it on my blog in honour of my 24th birthday, two years later I'm posing the same video on the 26th, nostalgic for the passing days in London and Taipei. And it's been two years since I started this blog! Holy shit.

I'm proudly turning 27 living happily in Taipei yet I feel that I'm stuck here and can't move on occasionally. Thanks to all my friends, in Taipei or in other countries, you've been so supportive as always. This time I'm gonna have a proper birthday party for you, especially for the single ones. Nothing fancy or luxurious, there would be some food and drinks and Hookah and a bunch of new people.

Let's get the party started

the Decemberist - Sixteen military wives

Sixteen military wives
Thirty-two softly focused brightly colored eyes
Staring at the natural tan
of thirty-two gently clenching wrinkled little hands
Seventeen company men
Out of which only twelve will make it back again
Sergeant sends a letter to five
Military wives, whose tears drip down through ten little eyes

Cheer them on to their rivals
Cause America can, and America can't say no
And America dies, if America says it's so
It's so!

And the anchorperson on TV goes...
La de da de da

Fifteen celebrity minds
Leading their fifteen sordid wretched checkered lives
Will they find the solution in time
Using their fifteen pristine moderate liberal minds?

Eighteen academy chairs
Out of which only seven really even care
Doling out the garland to five
Celebrity minds, they're humbly taken by surprise

Cheer them on to their rivals
Cause America can, and America can't say no
And America dies, if America says it's so
It's so!

And the anchorperson on TV goes...
La de da de da de-dadedade-da
La de da de da de-dadedade-da

Fourteen cannibal kings
Wondering blithely what the dinner bell will bring
Fifteen celebrity minds
Served on a leafy bed OF sixteen military wives

Cheer them on to their rivals
Cause America can, and America can't say no
And America dies, if America says it's so
It's so!

And the anchorperson on TV goes...
La de da de da de-dadedade-da
La de da de da de-dadedade-da
La de da de da de-dadedade-da-dedadeda-de de dadede-daaaaa

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Jasmine Revolution 香港雜評: 沈旭暉:卡扎菲獨裁的背後--部落矛盾與東西分裂

香港雜評: 沈旭暉:卡扎菲獨裁的背後--部落矛盾與東西分裂: "【咫尺地球】在一般人印象中,利比亞領袖卡扎菲是獨裁者中的獨裁者,加上一度沉迷「輸出革命」,令他得到「利比亞狂人」的稱號。其實卡扎菲獨裁的背後,隱藏着利比亞分裂的危機。他在位40多年間,國內曾發生多次騷亂,他兒子對「利比亞可能爆發內戰」的警告,並非空穴來風。 「爆發內戰」警告非空..."

I felt so guilty that when part of the third world is revolutionary I am still sitting comfortably in my chair and blogging about fashion and traveling. I am beware of what's happening out there, yet it seems that there's nothing much to do other than watching. All the best to the revolution, either in Egypt, Tunisia, and China.

We Taiwanese have been there, done that and there's still lots to be done before the dawn.

There's no such thing as a successful revolution, but it doesn't end up in nothing.

So many to share

This journey to Hua-Lian and Yi-Lan countryside is full of little surprises along the way. It's not simply an escape from work, as well as living as a non-Taiper in Taiwan. 5 days of the traveling via railways on the east coat, I find myself see Taiwan my hometown in a whole new light.

We love our phones

I love this illustration and the Thai commercial!  It says a lot. So true that our grave addiction to mobile phones and the apps (mostly the social networking) is endangering real life and the relations with our loved ones. 

Is it absolutely necessary to check your friends' statuses on facebook? Think again.

Is there Taiwan Fashion?

From a Taiwanese online shop,
quite typical
I love wandering around those beautiful fashion blogs and sites, reading beautiful people and their clothing on catwalk or street. But I simply can't stand the idea of posing my photos online as many fashion bloggers or the LOOKBOOK users would do.
I love watching people, reading their looks nonetheless.

Off course the style differs from city to city. But it'd be tricky to suggest there's something as 'Taiwanese Fashion'. The way Taiwan people dress and the street style is very much a mixture of a little bit of Japanese, a little bit of Korean and the American.

The three are very much distinctive, take the female fashion as an example: the Japanese tries so hard to look youthful, cheerful and cute; the Korean is rather westernised, more sophisticated and its clothing stresses on the structure, while the so-called American is casual, jeans and T-shirt are essential, just like the university campus wear in any Hollywood movie.

Apparently the style and related dressing code in the first place comes from the climate and the culture. And Taiwan

Taiwan is so much under the influence of the East Asian culture that makes it somehow lose what it supposed to be like. I mean, there should be sort of style called Taiwanese fashion which suits it unique oceanic culture and fickle semi-tropical climate, instead of just mixing the fashion of Japan and Korea.

And the idea of high street fashion and daily dressing up remains new to many who do not care. Financial development is certainly another element of whether a city is eligible to be stylish. I'd say those developed and modern cities who have gone through prosperous economic growth and a couple of downturns would probably to cultivate their own styles. And Taiwan is still young in this light.

Fashion changes, yet style and cultures grow through a significant process of intricate accumulation. And that's how it become classic. And it's often irreplaceable.

I like her look, simplicity and classy,
so cheerful and carefree

Social Network, making friends, and so on

David Fincher is undoubtedly an excellent story teller. Mark Zuckerburg is a typical unsociable computer geek, absolutely bright, yet having difficulties dating girls and his university life can be anything but interesting. However, he created a social networking website called Facebook, and that changes everything.

The story is rather simply: the founder of Facebook Mark Zuckerburg is in two law suits against his university friend, as well as the co-founder of Facebook, Saverin, and the Harvard students, and how the Facebook got the brilliant ideas and became how it looks now.

Social Network is popular for many understandable reasons, one of which is the irresistible American Dream. Everyone wants to be somebody while the reality is that they might end up to be nobody and often become cynical, sarcastic to others. Mark goes to Harvard, which proved him not so ordinary, still, the Harvard game of genius is played by those of on the top of the hierarchy, aka the brotherhood and sinewy guys of the university sport team.

Still, he's the one having trouble getting girl friends and admission into the brotherhood and everything related to be popular.

Part of Mark longs for more friends, being popular while part of him he despise the rules of the society. Thus he creates it. the Facebook. It's a social network so powerful that has changed the way people make friends and share their life online.

Now he's the King of the 500 millions kingdom of social network. And he seemed to rule the world the way he like. As the movie poster suggested, success is followed by the consequent betrayal by friends and lawsuits against those who claimed their ideas are the prototype of Facebook.

Somehow Mark is confused yet wanted to escape from the much more complicated world of business to the simple word of coding. That what he finds real. Therefore he seem to care nothing at all.

Not fame, not fortune, not career, not the brotherhood, not his ex-friends who is now suiting against him, not the number of friends on his Facebook. Only coding and building the ideal virtual world he fancies seem to be the real thing which prove his value in the world. He had proven himself that he can live rather well in this way. Though he's harsh to everyone else.

As a sympathetic lawyer assistant of the firm said to Mark,
'You're not an ass hole, you're just trying so hard to be.'

The Street Is Their Oyster

The Street Is Their Oyster

I read their blogs from time to time, a Parisian and a New Yorker.  It's surprising to know they're actually lovers!

Beautifully together.

Monday, 14 February 2011

How to celebrate Valentine's Day?

Here's an idea.

Let's have a pathetic party for the single ones and prepare a gigantic fire red heart and a baseball bat, and smash it the way you like it.

Plus, drink till you're drunk. Isn't is a brilliant idea?

Hooray! I love Valentine's Day!

An Education

First love is usually admiration, worshiping the one who show you the world.

1960s England. Jenny is a clever and pretty16 year-old A-level public school student, preparing the application for Oxford, which her parents and teachers expected. She's the only child in her middle class family and the smartest student in the school. She works hard, especially in Latin, she loves French chanson, playing Cello, and is getting ready for her prosperous university life, until she met David. To Jenny, David is a wonderful yet breakable sweet dream, everything she had longed for. He takes her to a 'real classical music concert', fancy restaurants, auctions of Pre-Raphael paintings, even Paris, her city of dream.

But she soon found out that she had to carefully protect the dream in order to live in it. And it turns to ugly nightmare along with every little fib she made with David. She happily led the sweet dream made up of lies and even began to doubt the life she had and the supposed future of hers. Is it absolutely necessary to go for an Oxford education if she can enjoy everything she wants when she's with David?

Sometimes it's easier to live in the dream. We were once 16 year-old native girls and boys who believed what we've seen and thought it as reality, no matter it's beautiful or ugly, fancy posh life of the celebs or boring routine chores.

Let's just say an education of life ever ends. It takes pains to grow up. A lot.

Friday, 11 February 2011

巧克力情緣 MARY & MAX 中文正式預告 ∣ 2011年1月7日上映

Merrily Mordant Melancholy, Marry and Max

Mary Dinkle is an eight-year-old little gurl living in the suburb in Melbourne and Max Horowitz is a  44 year-old men living in New York City. They seem to have noting in common, however, when Marry picked up a name from the telephone book and write to Max in order to know if 'the American babies are found in cola can (the Australian babies are from beer glasses, according to Marry's drunkard mother), the two started an usual friendship across lands and ocean.

Surprisingly they have lots in common. They're unhappy, friendless, having trouble getting along with others and do not like their looks. 

Max goes to the Overeaters Anonymous Meetings regularly. 
It would be good if there was a Fat Fairy. She would be a bit like the Tooth Fairy but would suck out your fat. 
Marry's troubled by her birthmark.
Yesterday at school, Bernie Clifford weed on my spam sandwich and called me "poo face" 'cos of my birthmark.

They share their life to each other in a and Marry often asked Max all kinds of questions and despite of his difficulty of dealing with the anxiety an stress from the letters, he tried his best to answer them all. 

From the very beginning of the animation, it makes me smile at Marry's native and blunt question to the world and Max's candour and almost emotionless narrative about his life. However my laughter did not last for long, because it has no intention to make you happy by showing you a colourful, bright, and positive world. The tone of the animation is gloomy grey, well, I'd say it's brown, like the colour of chocolate. 

And this says a lot.  First of all, chocolate links the two. They' send chocolate across the world to each other and share their love for it. A bar of cheery chocolate can simply make the two feel life's easier. Secondary, life, if put it this way, taste like chocolate. You taste the bitterness at first bite, and then, depending on what kind of chocolate you're having, you experience the slight sweetness or the crunchy nuts rubbing your teeth while chewing. Human's not perfect. Life's not easy, not constantly jolly, not always goes as you expected. Shit happens. It goes on. 

Your hateful parents, coworkers, boss, neighbors remains troublesome every single day. And it's good to have someone there care about you. 

Dr Bernard Hazelhof said if I was on a desert island, then I would have to get used to my own company, just me and the coconuts.  
He said I would have to accept myself, my warts and all, and that we don't get to choose our warts.
They are a part of us and we have to live with them.
We can, however, choose our friends and I am glad I have chosen you.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

in a talkative mood








我花了一些時間消化某些情緒,因為這是成熟大人的表現;花了很多時間在論文和工作還有那些具有人生重要意義的事情上,然後也花了一些時間排滿了與朋友們喝酒聚會看戲的行程,反應遲鈍如我,隔了好久好久以後才開始書寫。這是大概可以算是最近更新異常頻繁的Journey to the West的最好註解。

Breakable, by Ingrid Michaelson  Herewith I dedicate this song to my dear friend. We both know that  we're not as brave as we wanted to be. It's totally fine. We need not to compromise, so far.
It'd be my pleasure to your substitute listener, anytime.

Have you ever thought about what protects our hearts?
Just a cage of rib bones and other various parts.
So it's fairly simple to cut right through the mess,
And to stop the muscle that makes us confess.

And we are so fragile,
And our cracking bones make noise,
And we are just,
Breakable, breakable, breakable girls and boys.

You fasten my seatbelt because it is the law.
In your two ton death trap I finally saw.
A piece of love in your face that bathed me in regret.
Then you drove me to places I'll never forget.

And we are so fragile,
And our cracking bones make noise,
And we are just,
Breakable, breakable, breakable girls and boys.

And we are so fragile,
And our cracking bones make noise,
And we are just,
Breakable, breakable, breakable girls-
Breakable, breakable, breakable girls-
Breakable, breakable, breakable girls and boys.

a short note





p.s. 政大的麥當勞附近開了一家摩斯打對台,我感動的都快流眼淚了。


This is a lovely track about traveling. I guess the title can be translated as "Let's go travel', but the lyrics is actually more about the beauty along the journey, all alone.

作詞:魏如萱   作曲:托特巴士大樂隊
編曲:笛岡俊哉 製作:笛岡俊哉


涼涼微風 輕輕吹起
大聲唱歌 大口呼吸

教堂前噴水池 談戀愛

大聲唱歌 大口呼吸


I'm planing the very first railway travel from Taipei to eastern Taiwan...Hopefully I can make it late Feb, on my own.

Let's all go down to King's

Isn't it my uni? wow....

Let's go down to King's!

Tuesday, 8 February 2011


Brilliant books, fine tea, great music.
That's all for the afternoon.

And that's the best way to spend a day.

Wake up in the morning and find that I can still stay in bed until it's time to get up. Have a luxurious breakfast, and tidy things up, preparing for the day to start, in a jolly good mood.

Pick up a book on the shelf, play the light music, wear my favourite perfume, and make a cup of tea.

Start reading.

Pause while getting something in mind, writing them down on my blog.

Then it's time for lunch. Hop on my motorcycle I head for the pizza shop near the uni. Because pizza's the first thing comes to my mind just now. While waiting for my lunch, I visited a bookstore nearby, bought a book that I've always wanted to read.

Home. Have the tasty smoky cheese 8 inches pizza with tea. As usual, tea's perfect for every cuisine, pizza's no exception. Then get back to the reading again. Util it's night.

How wonderful.

my collection

These are another 6 of the cotton shopping bags I bought in the UK (another 6 is here). Each of them reminds me of unique memory of different places. The upper left is the souvenir from Greenwich, where one can stand one feet on the east half of the globe and another on the west. A very popular tourist spot. You have to queue to take photos in front of the silver line of longitude 0 degree.

The upper middle, apparently, is from York, one of my favourite cities in the world. I can always recall some of the details of the travel and the memories of York remains vivid because I travel alone. That was the first two days of the one week trip to York and Edinburgh, therefore I'm so energetic that  I got a 'passport of York' (or name of this sort) and had a great plan to thoroughly go through every spot it mentioned. And I did! And I took hundreds of amazing photos of the beautiful scenery and historical buildings. I guess the consequence is that the rest 5 days in Edinburgh is not as fun... because of my physical inept.

The upper right and the lower middle are from Camden town. Its market is one of my favourite in London. I love its secondhand shops, the river and the live music pubs and everything. Camden town is a subculture of the London life, especially the punk culture. One can see punk hanging around once you hit the town. They're part of the view, an essential part of the Camden town, coexisting so harmlessly and harmoniously with the local supermarket and banks. Indeed like many other tourists' must-visit, it has bars and pubs and sells stuffs similar to other markets, yet it has a unique aroma that turns you a little bit rebel but still, it reminds you a long history of the past through everything around you, starting from the grandpa's trenchcoat and granny's 20s dress in the secondhand stores.

The lower left comes from Primark, a department store aiming to sell goods of fine quality and with cheap price. When I say 'CHEAP', it is real low price, not just for the Londoners but for many other cities as well. They have all kinds of items from ear rings to clothes, from beddings to furnitures, everything! And the price is incredibly low such as necklace for one pound and bath robe for 8 pound! It is no wander Primark has become  a phenomena of globalsing fashion culture and the popularising cheesy 'Made in Chinese' goods. Everyone loves it!

The last one is from the renowned St. Paul Cathedral. Like every other London's must-visits, St. Paul has its own souvenir store. I bought it while I was waiting for a friend and her sister touring inside the grand cathedral. I was eager to finish Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code and it just comes to final few scenes in St. Paul. How interesting that I'm sitting in the basement of St. Paul and reading fictions featuring the ancient legends right here in St. Paul!

When I'm back here, I find it hard to get cotton shopping bags here in Taipei or Taichung. I thought the gov has banned using plastic bags yet I seldom find people using cotton bags. When I finally find good bags, they're usually of price higher than I expected....such a shame... 

Saturday, 5 February 2011

horrible nightmare

新年的第三天我做了個可怕的夢,我夢見我回到King's College繼續我的課程(我想應該不是博班,而是授課式的碩班課程),但是卻不在倫敦,而是在上海所以有種荒謬的感覺(應該是King's的分校之類的),課堂裡是一位感覺很像系辦一點都不友善的助教小姐,讓我非常緊張,幸好看到了以前的同學James,讓我放心了不少。






After I submitted the dissertation two years ago, I seldom thought of how stressful the MA studying could be during the terms. And the application for PhD in history is becoming a prolonged bad dream, constantly hunting me day and night.


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