My friends’ quotes, both questions and responses, are in italics.
3: I’m having a wonderful time at Chinese New Year! I just wish my stomach was bigger without looking bigger, like a Final Fantasy item bag that can fit 99 potions.
5: For want of 20 cents of Oversized Envelope postage on a card I tried to send from one side of Carmel to the other over Christmas, the Postal Service Returned to Sender…I’d written down my Taipei address, and it finally arrived here on Friday.
6: I’ve finished my post-vacation vacation. Chinese New Year is everything the not-quite-Irish want St. Patrick’s Day to be: feasting, family, fireworks, fine arts, and fambling (that word means “low-stakes gambling with family,” and I just invented it to finish my alliterative flurry). Let’s make it an American holiday and call it “Taiwanese New Year.”
6: The difficult stories to translate aren’t the ones with big words; they’re the ones with people doing unusual things. “That can’t be right…I’d better check that sentence again.”
6: Chrono Trigger fans will appreciate this mashup.
7: Five months after moving in, I finally met the friendly compsci student living in the room across from me. I bump into my other neighbors regularly, so he must be teleporting in and out. 可見 he is Neo, and I am part of The Matrix. No he’s actually traveling through the internet connection. After all, he’s compsci.”)
8: Congratulations to the Green Bay Packers, the only team in major American sports owned by its own fans (as stockholders) rather than some millionaire!
9: If our perception of time accelerates as we age, then perhaps babies have trouble sleeping because 24 hours feels like a week to them.
11: It’s my lucky year! Bob Dylan is performing in Taipei April 3, and tickets go on sale on Monday at noon! (On the 14th, “Not so lucky after all. The concert sold out before I could get a crack at any tickets!”)
12: Philosophical question of the day: Can one truly has cheezburger? If you could, you wouldn’t have to go back to the site for more, right?
14: Etta James – My Funny Valentine. Honorable Mention: Outkast’s “Happy Valentine’s Day”
15: Tonight’s youth ministry featured a topic not yet explored in my tenure: One of the kids asked about the compatibility of Socialism with Catholic social teaching. A fantastic question owing to Fr. Ted’s statement (“Socialists would like gov’t to mandate support, and the Church teaches it is our moral obligation to assist those less fortunate”), the first Christian communities described in Acts, the Christian Democratic parties of Europe, liberation theology, the Catholic Church’s relatively close relationship with the Democratic Party prior to Roe v. Wade, and the paucity of discussion of Rerum Novarum. They discovered that over the last 150 years, several popes have written very thoroughly on the subject – and said many of the core assumptions of Socialism make it incompatible. Such as the rejection of private property and Original Sin.
16: For the record, I was rooting for the humans in this latest Jeopardy exhibition.: According to the news, “Watson appeared to have breezed through Double Jeopardy, but that was apparently not the case. During the course of the game, Watson had crashed multiple times during the taping, said NOVA producer Michael Bicks, who had been at the taping of the show. The half hour match took four hours to tape, he said.” Ahh, good. There is still time left for humanity.
17: Because I am no longer a resident of Japan, my hard-earned Japanese driver’s license is no longer valid, but I can only get an International Driving Permit from my own country. The return postage will cost more than the application itself.
18: “I hate hotel pillows with a vengeance. They are the first things I examine when I go into a hotel room, and my heart sinks when I discover that they are too soft or too hard.” -Professional golfer (ergo frequent traveler) Colin Montgomerie. A little too intense, but can anyone else relate?
18: Fox News is the most biased & evil news network I have ever seen. And that means you are blessed. It’s a brutal world outside America’s borders, my friend.
19: I like it when the traditional farmers’ calendar matches the actual weather. Today was 雨水, and there was plenty of Rainwater, all right.
19: In response to criticism of Sonic the Hedgehog: I was too young to know any better when I played them, but the music, especially #2’s (scored by Dreams Come True, one of the biggest Japanese bands of the ’90s), has always stayed with me. Maybe the BGM is what made the games fun to play, actually.
20: One of my teachers said to me one day, “杰輝, I don’t think you like sleeping.” I said, “Of course I do! Who doesn’t?!” I never get around to actually doing it, though, so maybe she’s right.
20: No matter how many times I practice ordering curry over the phone, they can always tell I’m a foreigner. It’s not just your accent. It’s your insufficiently supplicant tone of voice.
20: It would’ve been even more mind-melting if Blake Griffin had dunked over this.
20: Joe Posnanski: Thoughts in a Bookstore
21: I loved the dunk contest yesterday. Serge Ibaka was the best last-place finisher ever. Everyone was so creative that I couldn’t get to sleep right away because my brain kept coming up with new dunks.
22: On Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s Future: If you’re going to push the limits of your mandate, you do it immediately after taking office because if you fail, there’s still time for everyone to forget what happened, and if you succeed, you have more power than you imagined. It’s right out of “The Prince.”
23: Fresh mind, thawed body: first workout of spring.
24: Question of the Day: If you could have a fully-functional Zelda item/gadget, what would it be? (No, you can’t choose the Triforce. You can choose the glass bottle, but you’d be dumb) I used to daydream about having a hookshot, and [a fairy in a bottle for resurrection] would be fantastic. I thought of the Moon Pearl, which would allow me to keep my form if I had to enter the Dark World.
25: Taiwan’s GDP grew 10.82% last year.
26: I’m finishing out the month at a monastery in the countryside (台東)!