Saturday, March 30, 2013

TAV Review on SparkJam

The Taipei Artist Village is always a good time. Last Thursday night Simmo Simpson put on a wonderful show featuring himself with three local artists. The dark wood, dim lighting and flickering candles created an inviting and cozy ambiance for the typical cool, damp winter night in Taipei.
I cozied up at a table in the back and watched the acts unfold over the three and a half hour show. First up was Ellery, a blonde, campishly-cute boy with his guitar. A passionate lyricist, his silky voice was the strong point of his performance. He did ramble, which was quite endearing. Aside from what seemed to be a little bit of inexperience, he was a lover of his music and his passion was bright.
Mark Darvill, a well-known musician around these parts, followed Ellery in what is said to be his last show in Taipei (for now). When Mark gets on stage it is easy to see that he is a seasoned, calculating musician. He and his shiny black guitar go together like a man and his mighty stead. Once a duo with partner Caleb, you can see that some of his songs were meant for two, but over time he has really learned to pull it off alone with confidence. As a musician he rubs you the wrong way at times only to double over and rub you the right way in his indie, country-esque tones. One can’t help but be hypnotized tapping their foot and bopping their head throughout his shows and falling deep into the music. His impressive tap tap taping on the guitar creating percussion while pulling off tuning at the same time highlights his obvious talent. Sitting down, he made me just want to get up and dance. Mark just makes you feel good; every time I see him on stage I fall a little bit in love
Next up was Trey Yip. He brought the crowd. While he was playing the cozy room was packed with attentive listeners. It is easy to see why people are drawn to him. He is a strong, clear lyricist with an unusually comfortable, feel-good style. At risk of sounding a bit cliché, I must say he just has that Bob Dylan dirty western vibe with his own unique twist; a great guitar player paired with command over the harmonica is usually a winning combination. I mean who doesn’t love a freshly showered dirty man in a polo? His voice and slam poetry styled narratives proved strong. I felt enveloped in an essence of something fucking awesome, arousing in me a healthy combination of satisfaction and wonder.
Read the rest and see Music Here

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Dog Fry Taiwan

With my sister Katherine and her friend Katherine visiting me in Taiwan, I have been blessed with the opportunity to see Taiwan with a fresh pair of eyes.  

When I first arrived here, everything was new and exciting, but now that I am accustomed to life here, the little things that were once filled with wonder have become mundane, everyday occurrences. 

The two Katherine's have been very curious, asking questions about EVERYTHING.  Many of the questions I can answer, but there are still quite a few mysteries to be solved.  

One such question was about this sign.

“Does it mean don’t eat your dog?” they asked.

At first glance I clearly assumed that it did not.  I scoffed a bit at the idea, but many people have that thought that people eat dog in all of Asia.  This is not the case for Taiwan, but it is so in Mainland China.  So, it is a valid question being that there is a pan on the pooches head.

I took matters into my own hands and sent the picture to my friend Ian, who is from here, asking him the meaning of the sign.   His response made everything make much more sense. 

There are a lot of stray dogs in Taiwan and the sign tells you not to abandon your pets.  Many people adopt a puppy only to release it on the streets when it proves to be more of a chore and responsibility than they cared to take on.  

Also, the symbolism of carrying someone’s black pan in Chinese culture means you are in a situation that you didn’t sign up for.  

This is Ian, a dashing pilot for Eva Air, and one of my favorites here. 

... and I leave you with another sign.  I recently saw this while riding my bike to work.

I'll let you try and decifer the meaning of this one.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Blonde in Taiwan - Where to Get Your Hair Did

2F, #175, Zhongxiao E. Rd. Sec. 5
MRT: City Hall Exit 4

Gettin My Hairs Did.

My sister, Katherine, and her friend Katherine are visiting me from Texas.  Three blonde Texas girls taking over Taiwan.  Quite a site to behold.  Already, we have been dubbed triplets and people keep mistaking my sister for me.  It goes without saying that all blonde, white girls look the same here. 

When I first arrived in Taipei I was worried about my hair.  Yes, its true, I am a bit vain and cared about my hair color, but you must know that this fear all stems from my time living in Buenos Aires.  The blonde there is straight up YELLOW.  I came back home to the loving arms of my friends and family with bright old-yeller hair.  It was not pretty.  

So the seed was planted and the fear was preparing to sprout, when a mutual friend wacked that possible buttery-daisy-problem away by introducing me to Dra's Hair Lab

This is the place for a Blonde in Asia if there ever was one.

Dra lived in Los Angeles and studied hair there, so she has seen a blonde or 5,234,234,123 most likely in her day.  It is dubbed the Expat Hair salon in Taipei and I am always happy with the results. 

As far as prices go, its much cheaper than back home (around US $100 as apposed to US $300+).  Usually they will ask you to send a picture and they will quote you the maximum.  

So, check it out.  Have some coffee, get your hairs did, hang with Dra, read some trashy magazines, sit back, relax and enjoy a good hair do all whilst in Asia.  

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Taiwan and Dog Clothes

Did you know....

Taiwan is the worlds largest producer and exporter of dog clothes in the world. 

Below is a picture my sister sent me of my dog, Floyd, dressed as a pumpkin for halloween, looking ashamed and a little bit angry.