Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

Dec 19 2002

I was late to sword practice last night, but fortu…

I was late to sword practice last night, but fortunately my teacher and all the other students were even later than I was(my kind of class). It was a good workout; I think I’m getting the new form down, or at least the parts I’ve been taught so far. It’s the 55-step form, longer than the 42- and the 32-step ones I studied before. No contact swordfighting, however. I think I do better with a heavier steel weapon; the lighter practice swords just don’t feel right. Too flippable.

After practice I didn’t feel like getting directly on the MRT at Yuanshan, so I walked down Zhongshan North Road, eventually making my way to the SPOT theater house, formerly the residence of the US ambassador way back when the Republic of China was still recognized by the UN. For years it had sat crumbling, entwined with tree branches and virtually invisible from the road, but the current city government decided to rescue it, so now it’s a hotspot for trendy, vapid people who dress all in black. I’ve had a theory that, the more vapid a Taiwanese person is, the bigger a deal he or she will make of spotting a foreigner. It has nothing to do with education or economic level, as some suggest. As it turns out, SPOT is The place to go for vapid people-watching. I was a hit from the moment I walked in the gate. Points, stares, laughter, the whole bit. The clientel seemed to consist for the most part of serious looking women with glasses, butch dyed hair and somber attire. They all wore somber expressions until the deer-in-the-headlights look resulting from my presence. Perhaps it was just last night, perhaps I was crashing their little party, but I didn’t see any signs saying “No Vagina-hating Man-pigs Allowed After 8pm”, so I assume it was open to all. If I weren’t afraid of bumping into Lesbrianna I would go back another night and see if it’s still like that.

All of the staring was irking me a bit, so I proceeded to the Taipei Railway Station, where I spotted a guy with a guitar slung across his back sketching me on a notepad as I waited for the MRT home. He followed me on the train and continued to sketch me as I sat there. He got off at my stop, but then he went up to the Muzha line, while I exited the station, so I didn’t get a chance to go up to him and say “So, can I see it now?”

I called up Sho to see if he would help me finish up the last scene in Alphadogah. He said he was free tomorrow afternoon, so hopefully the weather won’t be too bad. I’m itching to get this thing done and start on another piece. Using Sho will change the ending from the way it originally was, but I think it will still work. The other day I was walking around when I spotted a DV camera shop sign on a store on the corner of Jianguo and Zhongxiao E Roads. I went in and was confronted with a children’s toy shop. I asked the fellow behind the desk and he told me that the DV shop wasn’t open yet, per se, but they would have stuff in there soon. We talked about cameras; he was really pushing the Sony VX2000, even over the Panasonic AG-DVX100 I’ve been drooling over lately. He opened a Japanese magazine showing small screenshots he felt displayed the superiority of the Sony picture. I personally didn’t see it, and both were using auto white balance in any case. I told him I just wanted to get my hands on a Panasonic and check it out for myself, and he said he might have some later. We’ll see. I don’t think I’ll be buying one, but I’d just like to play around with it and reassure myself that my purchase of the GL2 wasn’t too far in error. From what I’ve seen on Triggerstreet, though, the camera isn’t the biggest problem with most of these films. Most of the camerawork is just fine; most of the fatal flaws lie with the story, the directing and the editing, or lack thereof. I need to do more stuff myself, though, as the only way to get to the good films inside you is to work your way through all of the bad ones that everyone’s got hidden inside them, just waiting to shock people with their badness. I’ve only done a handful so far, so I’m sure there’s plenty that still need to be made so that I can get on to making halfway-decent stuff.

Last night I was woken by what sounded like huge explosions. I pulled back my curtains half expecting to see PLA missiles raining down on the city. It turned out to be a thunderstorm. Well, that works, too.

posted by Poagao at 3:15 am  

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