Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

Jan 15 2003

The Tai-chi sword form I’m studying now is the fir…

The Tai-chi sword form I’m studying now is the first one I’ve come across to involve the concept of “Yuan Kong Wei” (­ìªÅ¦ì), which basically means that when you’re doing a move, the focus of that move stays fixed while your body and the sword move around it. Sometimes it’s the tip of the sword that doesn’t move, sometimes it’s a point along the blade, the handle, or even one’s arms and/or legs that stay in the same position, even if you’re moving along a line of action. It took a couple of classes to get used to this idea, but it really serves as a nice way to coordinate one’s motions by interconnecting every part of one’s body into each and every action. A sword thrust may originate in one’s feet, knees, or, most often, one’s waist, but practically never in one’s arms. This concept works in Tui-shou as well, I found after a few sessions grappling with Plasticman. That said, however, even though I’ve come closer to intellectualizing the concept behind moving Qi around, I still find that I am the most effective when I am completely not thinking about it, and stuff just seems to happen. Then I’m surprised and start thinking about it too much, and my performance suffers. I suppose that is just the learning curve, however. Mr. Xu is a very good teacher, I think, and I’m happy to have found him.

Dean and Mindcrime and I met up at The Shannon last night along with a fellow named Mark who is interested in making films. He possessed all kinds of cool toys such as a Canon XL1s and a tricked-out Powerbook, but though we spent hours trying to nail down a single definite idea to film, we left with nothing but a few vague ideas. While Mindcrime is into writing and scripts, and Dean is into coordinating things, Mark is a self-described “visual person”, and so there seemed to be a bit of difference in our respective approaches to such things. I personally abide by the “too many cooks” theory when it comes to an original idea for a film. There’s got to be one person with the original vision, and the crew should adhere to that vision. This is why we rotated directorial and crew positions at film school in New York, which seemed to work pretty well (for our group, anyway). I don’t mean to rain on the parade, though. It could be that they’ll come up with a brilliant idea and pull it off. It could happen.

In the meantime, I finished proofreading the Chinese version of the damn book in two evenings. Taking into account how much slower I read Chinese than most Taiwanese, this probably means that the average person here could probably get through it in an hour or two (Kirk got through the unedited version, which was three times as long as the edited version, in one evening). This is providing they knew what was going on, as so much was cut that many references in the latter parts of the work don’t make sense any more. I fear that a lot more work is going to have to be done on this, which means that the publishing date will most likely be pushed back even further. Oh, well. My publisher insists that Taiwanese don’t buy any books over 50,000 characters or anything over 250 pages, but a trip to the bookstore confirmed that not only are there many books out there over that length, a good portion of books by my publisher are themselves already over that length, a few are twice that size. I can only conclude that they feel the subject matter isn’t serious enough or engaging enough to warrant such a length. I will do what I can, of course, to edit it so that it makes sense, but I fear that no matter what, a lot of story will be missing. Hopefully I can insert a few bits here and there that help the reader make sense of the thing, though.

I had lunch with Li Jian-wei, an old co-worker of mine, today. We used to work at TVBS together, and he is still in the TV business at another studio. He also still lives with his parents in Shilin; his family owns two G4s(!). We talked a lot about cameras, my new camera, watched some films, looked at some of his recent photography, which is quite good. I think the reason we got along at TVBS is that both of us were known to annoy under certain circumstances. Some things never change.

Tomorrow is our department’s “Wei-ya” (§À¤ú) party, a Chinese New Year-thing all companies hold just before the holiday. They’ve arranged for a bus to pick us up at 4pm and take us down to Hsinchu, where the restaurant and most of our offices are; I’ll probably be back late that evening. Hopefully there will be prizes at this gig. I could use a hongbao or two.

Oh, and I fixed the link to this week’s video clip, so have at it.

posted by Poagao at 4:02 pm  

No Comments »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a comment