Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

Mar 01 2003

"It’s the way these things always go," said Dean a…

“It’s the way these things always go,” said Dean after we met at My Other Place before going over to Hindustan for his birthday party. “You invite 20 people and 10 show up.”

Not this time. I don’t know how many people Dean invited, but I’ll wager we got a better turnout than the Oriented Happy Hour. Mindcrime and Janice came, of course, and Maoman, Azuma, Fuad, Shirzi, Richard and Tall Paul were all there, as well as many people I didn’t know. The food was good, much better than the stuff you get at Tandoor these days, but when the bill came everyone left thinking No way I ate that much! Fortunately for anti-social individuals like myself and Mindcrime, the table was long enough that you would only have to deal with a handful of people at one time. Maoman gleefully disclosed the news that he had just dropped a wad of cash on a new Yamaha Majesty 250, which I am eager to see and hopefully test drive. Tall Paul and I talked about his next film project. His last one, “The Big Cheese” is now viewable on Triggerstreet. Since Triggerstreet’s policies have changed recently, rendering it almost useful as a tool for judging short films, I can’t review it, but it’s there to see at least. Triggerstreet was a useful tool when I started using it, but so many people were abusing the system in order to hype their own awful films it was screwing up the ratings, so Triggerstreet did the obvious thing and made it so that only the people who were abusing the system could use it. Of course!

Idiots. All they’ve done is make Triggerstreet even more like Hollywood in general (Hello Prince Roy).

During the party I also learned of another possible job opportunity, one I am very eager to follow up on Monday. If I can land this job I’ll be very happy, since I’ll be able to do it in addition to my present job. Anyway, fingers crossed, knock on wood, and all that. The only problem, again, would be the fact that I don’t have a foreign passport. This issue has popped up so many times lately I’m thinking of finding out which foreign nation has the easiest passport to attain and going for it just to have a foreign passport. It’s ludicrous, but that’s the government for you. Any government.

After dinner we walked down to the Shannon. Or rather, we walked and Fuad put-putted alongside on his scooter, spewing smoke and noise as we ambled down the sidewalk. Finally I told him to get off and let me ride it down to the Shannon, where I’d wait for them. The bar was crowded and noisey. Shirzi put forth his idea for a film. “We’ll go to the Bamboo Grove and fight with swords while you film for four or five hours, and then we’ll edit it!” Which meant, of course, that I would edit it, not an easy task if you spurn the very idea of choreography, as Shirzi does. “Oh!” he continued, “We’ll make it a Star Wars thing!”

“What’s Star Wars?” one of the girls at the table asked. There was an abrupt silence as the entire bar turned and stared at this young upstart in horror.

“You’ve never seen Star Wars?” Even Dean was incredulous. The girl was doing an impression of a deer caught in the headlights. “I’m sure I did, I just….I just don’t remember.” This, of course, caused even more stares. Things were definitely getting silly, so I elected to leave rather than risk falling asleep and walking up on a flight to Paraguay and no recollection of how the ambassador to Lichtenstein had gotten into my luggage.

Yesterday I took a trip over to the Bao-an Temple, situated next to the Confucius Temple about a block away from the Yuanshan MRT station. I was location scouting for a little film project I’ve been working on. While the Confucius Temple was quiet and sedate, as usual, things were much more lively at the Taoist Bao-an Temple, where a puppet show was in loud progress in the courtyard. A crowd of older people were sitting in front enjoying the show and the music, which consisted of gongs and other traditional Chinese instruments played by a live band behind the stage and the puppeteers. It was fun. I took a little video walking down the street between the temple proper and the courtyard, which is this week’s Sight of the Moment. In front of the temple was a statue of four monkeys, which is I suppose the full version of the old saying: “Hear No Evil, See No Evil, Speak No Evil, and Shit No Evil”.

After that I took a stroll down Chongqing North Road. passing an extremely thin building, to the traffic circle at the corner of Nanjing West Road. It used to be the site of a circular grouping of grimy little restaurants, but now they’re building another circular building, this one a modern concrete structure surrounded by glass. I can’t imagine them filling it with grimy little stalls again. For one thing, they’d lose their shirts just on the Windex needed to keep the glass in a reasonably transparent state.

I picked up a new joystick for NT$300 at Nova near the train station, and then joined Mindcrime for some steamed dumplings and rice before retiring to a nearby teahouse, where we talked about movies and D&D amid a dozen tables of card-playing gangster types. All in all a pleasant day. Today’s quite nice as well. It seems like Spring is here, but I’ll wager that we haven’t seen the last of Winter just yet. The water levels in the reservoirs are even lower this year than last year, which was the Year of the Great Drought. Looks like more shortages and rationing this year. Perhaps people will take the measures more seriously this time around, and we can avoid too large a mess over the whole thing.

Along with the new Sight of the Moment, I’ve uploaded Chen Lei’s “Natural Beauty” aka Ziran jiushi Mei (¦ÛµM´N¬OŸ), as the new Sound of the Moment. I love this song. It’s all Taiwanese Taiwanese, if you know what I mean. I’ve also got three more Mirror Project pictures up, including Light Mirror, Overhead, and Traffic. Knock yerself out.

posted by Poagao at 6:36 am  

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