*DISCLAIMER: This site has nothing to do with apes or tacos, except in the broad sense that I am a human that eats tacos, and as a human, I am an ape.


June 2016

Listen, Watch, Read: June 12th & 19th, 2016


Many things, but I want to highlight Siouxsie and the Banshees Join Hands. One of the tracks from this album – their second, released in 1979 – popped up on my Spotify Discover Weekly and I just played it on repeat constantly. I don’t know why I hadn’t heard any Siouxsie and the Banshees before, but I hadn’t. I had assumed they were like pop-post-punk, like the Bangles. Bangles, Banshees. One can get that confused. But also this is why that kind of blanket categorizing of “oh this is a female band so they must sound like the other female bands” is always bullsh*t. Join Hands sounds much more like no-wave / goth rock. My particular fave track is “Icons” and I’ve been obsessed these past two weeks, playing it on repeat constantly and trying to figure out the chords on guitar (but they’re not on the guitar tab/chord websites!).

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Cover Letter* – Storyteller in Various Forms

My name is Erisa. “That’s a pretty name,” some people say when I introduce myself. Then: “Where is it from?” Perhaps Erisa is a name from an exotic part of the world. (It’s not.) Or maybe it means something in a foreign language. (It doesn’t.)

“Where is it from?” they ask.

“A license plate,” I reply.

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Nothing to Fear, Fear Itself, Etc.

The first day I got to Taiwan, I unknowingly ate lotus root. It was delicious and I thought I’d consigned myself to the island of Formosa forever. From then until now, my thoughts on this place have swung like a pendulum – comfort and unease, joy and sadness, disgust and admiration – sometimes within the span of minutes.

Continue reading “Nothing to Fear, Fear Itself, Etc.”

Relation of a Saturday Night Conversation

On Saturday night, loosened by alcohol*, my friends and I had a deep conversation. One of the topics: What is the thing that you want that you are too afraid to admit to yourself because you’re afraid you’ll fail, or you’re ashamed, or you’re guilty.

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Third Graders’ Response to Leaving

A few days ago, I told some students that I was leaving. Most reacted like I’d just told some fact of no importance. Some were sad and gave me and my colleagues, who are also leaving, hugs. Two third grade girls cried ENDLESSLY, one very silent, but the other so loud I thought she was joking at first.

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Listen, Watch, Read: June 5th, 2016


I was binge-listening to Grass Widow pretty much non-stop this past weekend, but I’ve already blogged about them before. Last night I started listening to a relatively new band called WALL. They only have a 4-track self-titled EP (as in 4 tracks, not recorded on a 4-track), but all the songs are “bangerz” as the kids say.

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Through A Bunker Window, Kinmen Island, Taiwan

Last October I was on Kinmen Island for a triathlon. I explored the place a bit and found an abandon bunker surrounded by tide shallows to be particularly interesting. When I was inside the bunker, the beating of a piece of metal was rhythmic and there was a man visible from through a small window. I recorded some video and thought I should do something with it, like a project cutting something together out of the curious sounds and images I’d heard/seen at this location. So this is that. Edited in iMovie because I have no better software. Because the audio is crappy, I morphed it with strange effects in Adobe Audition.

Here’s just the view of the man from within the bunker. I just really liked this shot.

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Offensive Language: Straw, Stick, & Stone Houses

So I was having a conversation with a cis, straight, white man the other day and he was lamenting the fact that whenever he goes back to North America (from Taiwan) he has to deal with people being offended by what he says. His defense of saying things that are “offensive” (by other people’s standards, not his) is that if he dishes it, it means he’s allowing himself to take it, i.e. other people should say “offensive” things back at him.

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Observations on a Saturday Night Conversation

So I was sitting at a table talking with three gentlemen I’d just met. They were – like me – originally from North America (Canada and the U.S.) but – unlike me – they’d all put down roots in Taiwan. The conversation drifted through topics like U.S. politics, work, and family. One of the men had a two-year-old boy and was expecting another child. These men were all friends and so one of them recounted the joke he’d made to the expectant father when he first heard the news: “Way to get it past the goalie!”

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