Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

Sep 18 2002

The weather’s been strange lately, with brilliant …

The weather’s been strange lately, with brilliant days and sudden storms rushing in when you least expect it. I decided to paint my bathtub white to get it in step with all of the bathroom’s other appliances, who had been making fun of it. The sink of particularly cruel, while the toilet would just smirk. But now all three are gleaming white, even though the stench of a harsh mixture of epoxy and oil-based paint has almost certainly the added benefit of scaring away any insects who may be plotting an invasion of my apartment. Just for good measure on that front, after I finished painting the tub last night at about 2 a.m., I set off another roach bomb in the kitchen and spent the night at a sauna instead. Occasionally my stash of free sauna tickets does come in handy, but I really should save them for true emergencies; you just never know when you’re going to need a place to crash in the West Gate District, where the sauna in question, the Rainbow, is located.

This morning on my way from The Rainbow to the West Gate MRT Station I passed the old Red House Theater, which was recently rennovated. It’s become a museum/fruit bar and features many interesting old photographs of the district suspended inside a series of large fishtanks. And old movie projector, bearing a striking resemblance to the one used at the theater on base when I was in the army, stands guard at the entrance. It’s basically a small furnace attached to a lens, and the filament inside must be kept hot enough to glow bright enough to project the image onto the screen. Man, those things are hot to be around when they’re being used. I remember visiting the soldier in charge of operating the projector in the projection room, which was unbearably hot even in winter.

Speaking of movies, I finally saw XXX and liked it in spite of the seeming carelessness of its execution. Vin Diesel has some growing to do as an actor, but he managed pretty well, particularly in scenes with Samuel L. Jackson. I don’t know what is up with the recent trend of Goth Chicks as Love Interests, but it’s gotta stop. Sooner or later we’re going to have to return to Lauren Bacall, and I don’t think she’s up to it these days. I saw XXX at Warner Village, the site of my previous employment, since the Estrogen Mall didn’t have it. They’ve started putting the best trailers before the 15 minutes of commercials you have to sit though, so I miscalculated and missed the Two Towers preview. Damn. It wouldn’t be so bad it they were half-decent commercials, but I didn’t pay NT$285 to sit and watch bad teen actors pop zits to excruciatingly amateur electronic music on the big screen.

I also saw the latest Austin Powers movie, which was as funny as the others and features a cockney rhyming slang bit between Michael Caine and Mike Meyers. The Taiwanese audience became strangely quiet when Fuk Mi and Fuk Yu came on screen. I could almost hear their confusion: Are they making fun of Chinese people? Or Japanese people? Should we be embarrassed? Then they figured out that the two sluts were indeed Japanese, and began laughing again.

I don’t think they should do any more of these films. They’ve done the trilogy, come full circle, and unless twenty years down the road someone wants to do more, I think this will be the end of it.

And speaking of ends, I’ve been wondering lately if I should give in to the Dark Side and upgrade to XP. I might be able to redeem my soul for this unspeakable act by puchasing a Mac, which I intend to do, but the ME I’m using at the moment is just becoming tiresome. I’m just sick of things not working. This was ok for the first decade of popular Internet/computer usage, but the novelty of having such a machine has long since worn off, and now we just want them to work. And they don’t. I don’t know how much simpler I can make it. All it needs to do is work, that’s all. Anyone listening?

A strange collection of large orange pipes has appeared on the stairway landings of the Chungking Mansions Taipei in recent days. I wonder if they are going to reroute everyone’s kitchen smoke to the outside of the building, where it belongs. I doubt, however, that it is anything nearly so clever. It’s probably just part of a plan to ‘modernize’ the image of the old place with strategically placed pieces of plastic in the hallways. I guess we take what we can get. The residents will most likely appropriate the pipes for their own uses, such as pumping even more kitchen smoke into the hallways or burning ever larger amounts of ghost money in the privacy of grease-laden kitchens. At least they’ll look modern doing it.

posted by Poagao at 8:39 am  

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