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APE AND TACO

*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.

Category

Taiwan

People stare at me and I write about it.

Heart / Clock

When I was in Taipei, I was a part of the Taipei Writers Group and wrote a story for their fourth anthology Twisted Fairy Tales for Adults. And since they’ve got the Taipei International Book Exhibition coming up and will be plugging their books, I figured I’d plug the book virtually on my blog!

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I’ve been thinking about the story I wrote in that anthology a lot lately, perhaps because I’m stressed and the story is about stress and how our minds and bodies handle stress. Or perhaps because I’ve been thinking it would make a good audio fiction piece and I’m wondering how to go about doing that (write the script, find some actors, go record… it doesn’t seem that hard…).

“Heart / Clock” is about a woman who is overworked and letting the stress get to her. Then one morning she wakes up and sees her heart on her bedside table. Her alarm clock is ticking inside her chest. Check it out and the other fabulous modern fairy tales in the collection.

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.

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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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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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Actions & Words

I felt proud of myself on Saturday. I don’t think I’m a very good teacher because I believe I lack the necessary patience for dealing with a classroom with 20 kids in it (which is nothing compared to the 40+ kids in the Mandarin classes at my school). I often find myself shouting. But I usually feel good working with kids one-on-one or in small groups where each kid can get my full attention.

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Progress, Failure, and Vincent Van Gogh

I want my podcast to sound good. I bought a TASCAM DR-40 to record interviews as I was reading the manual and playing around with it, I noticed a disquieting hiss on the internal mics. I worried the Amazon-purchased recorder was maybe broken? I went out and purchased an external cheapo karaoke mic. The hiss was still there. I recorded my first 10 interviews this way because I figured this was just the deal. Fix it in Adobe Audition.

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Observations on a Sunday

I just want to highlight two things that happened last Sunday involving humans and their capacity to connect.

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Field Trippin’

A field trip must be the Taiwanese children’s version of the Kentucky Derby: a chance to wear the biggest and/or coolest and/or most ridiculous hat you own.

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Driving

At times i wonder if I could make a life here in Taiwan. If I’m missing out on some grand opportunity by moving home. If maybe I should just move to Taipei and try and five head first into the creative scene. Maybe. Maybe it would work. But maybe not. It feels like it wouldn’t. Like screwing in a Philips head screw with a flathead driver. Some difficulty. Some crunch. Not ideal. But I also wonder if any place really is ideal for me.

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