Sunday, October 31, 2010

ring bearers / 小花童

My Tiffany


Von has started to take art lessons in Soho Art. He is taught to create with different media every week. I often ask him about the classes, but this is the first time I get to see his artwork in person. I am even more surprised to learn that he means more than lending it to me for a glimpse. It is meant as a gift for me, a simple yet precious one from a sincere four-year-old boy.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Cravings / 渴望


Yesterday when I watched the introduction of the London University of Arts, I was impressed by a sir saying that he created out of cravings cravings and cravings at the end of the video clip. I thus can’t get the words out of my mind. This probably has something to do with my recent fit of cravings, some of which can be immediately satisfied while the others are nothing more than wishful thinking. I decide to turn all my cravings into an image and a little game. I hope I can start all over again after saying them out loud.


If you are bored, please choose a person in the following picture to see if you have the same dilemma as me. Also, select a number that pleases you to see if you have any subconscious longing.

1. 想要吃掉整個香蕉蛋糕

1. craving to eat up a whole banana cake

2. 想要見到一個很久沒見的朋友

2. craving to see a friend whom you haven’t met for eons

3. 想到陽光普照的南法度假

3. craving to take a vacation to sunny southern France

4. 想要感受抱著一個一歲小朋友的溫暖

4. craving to hug a one-year-old baby and feel its warmth

5. 想要明天睡到自然醒

5. craving to sleep in tomorrow

6. 想要不告而別,躲到沒有熟人的世界

6. craving to leave without saying goodbye and hide in a world where no one knows you

7. 想要聞到義大利高級皮革

7. craving to smell high-class Italian leather

8. 想要參加一場婚禮

8. craving to be in a wedding

9. 想要毫無限制地購物

9. craving to go on a shopping spree

10. 想要在六星級的山泉旅館泡溫泉

10. craving to take a hot-spring bath in a six-star resort hotel

11. 想要來一頓艾美酒店的主廚特選早餐

11. craving to have a classic chef breakfast in Le Méridien

12. 想要對某人說我愛你

12. craving to say “I love you” to someone

13. 想要某家小餐廳的白牆上胡亂畫

13. craving to doodle on the white wall of a small restaurant

14. 想要在下雨的傍晚去公園淋雨散步

14. craving to take a walk in the rain on a rainy evening

15. 想要在高鐵的車廂裡大聲唱詹姆斯布朗的「你是如此美麗」

15. craving to sing James Blunt’s “You are so beautiful” in High Speed Rail

16. 想要點一把火把所有的考卷燒掉

16. craving to burn all the test papers with a torch of fire

17. 想要搭一趟三天三夜的航班

17. craving to take a three-day-and-three-night-long flight

18. 想要把頭髮染成七彩

18. craving to dye the hair colors of the rainbow

19. 想聽陽光的聲音

19. craving to hear the sunshine

20. 想住在美術館一晚

20. craving to spend one night in an art museum

21. 想在晚上湖中乘船聊天

21. craving to cruise around and have a relaxing chat on a small boat in the evening

22. 想在芭答雅的海灘上喝辣海鮮湯

22. craving to eat Thai seafood soup on the beach of Pattaya

23. 想一個人在家安靜一天

23. craving to spend a day alone at home

24. 想大聲說,我相信我的人生有無限可能

24. craving to say out loud that I believe that there are infinite possibilities in my life

25. 想要不在意白頭髮

25. craving not to care about hair graying

26. 想要突破瓶頸

26. craving to smash the artist’s block

27. 想畫一張讓自己都驚艷的圖

27. craving to draw a picture that amazes even myself

28. 想在海邊的夕陽下聽你彈吉他

28. craving to hear your guitar music in the company of the sea and the sunset

29. 想把最可愛的科基狗Shorty抱在懷裡

29. craving to hold Shorty, the cutest Corgi ever, like a cushion in my arms

30. 想到亞馬遜河流域探險

30. craving to go on an adventure in the Amazonian rainforests

31. 想把腦裡的細胞撕成碎片再重新組合

31. craving to take apart all the cells in my brain and piece them together

32. 想坐在里斯本的小咖啡館裡發呆

32. craving to sit and do nothing in a small café in Lisbon


As for the three people on the boat:

A. 你已經等不及實現你的渴望了。

A. You can’t wait to realize your cravings.

B. 你的內心因渴望而騷動,但你還在觀望。

B. You stir inside because of your cravings, but you are still hesitating.

C. 你要不是耳根清靜,就是沒有聽到內心的聲音。

C. Either you have a super-zen state of mind, or you do not listen to your inner voice.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

the art of babysitting / 當保姆的藝術


I am kind of laidback on a Saturday morning. Instead of prohibiting the two brothers from doing this and that, I take up the camera to record their exploration of the living room objects. I thus become an objective photographer rather than a nanny. From my new perspective, I find them to be rather creative. When the living room becomes a total mess, we’ll compete to see who can win the title of the best cleaner.


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Little Wing / 小翅膀


This song, recommended by my pal Caterina, is perfect for rainy days. When the rain traps me in the apartment, at least there is still a Chagall-style image to swim in. Along with the relaxing guitar melody, time spent confined to the house can be pleasant in its own way.













Little Wing

by Jimmy Hendrix

Well she’s walking through the clouds

With a circus mind that's running wild

Butterflies and zebras and moonbeams and fairy tales

That's all she ever thinks about

Riding with the wind.

When I’m sad, she comes to me

With a thousand smiles, she gives to me free

Its alright she says its alright

Take anything you want from me, anything


Fly on little wing,

Yeah yeah, yeah, little wing

Monday, October 18, 2010

Getting married / 結婚


My brother Jei is finally getting married. Though we are a reserved family, we still can’t help showing our overflowing joy. Jun and I have even started to imagine being godfather and godmother to Jei’s future kids.


Mom asked my future sister-in-law on the phone: Are you sure of the decision? Having thoroughly known this person’s strengths and weaknesses, are you willing to go down the road of life with him? She stole the priest’s lines, but they were far weightier coming from my mom. The questions symbolize our heartfelt sincerity and love for her.


It’s an impossible dream for me to attend the notarized marriage ceremony at the end of the year in New York, so here are my early best wishes: My dear Jei, happy marriage!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

England in the lane / 巷口的英國

這個星期去剪頭髮,卻像是在黃昏天色轉暗時去了一趟英國。位在巷口的髮廊,藏身在舊公寓的二樓,裡面裝潢得像迷你的精品旅館,設計師是年輕的花美男,因為我摘下眼鏡之後甚麼也看不見,只記得設計師細細長長的手指輕柔地揮著銀色的剪刀,還有他低頭垂下來的棕黃色瀏海;外頭的馬路上車輛不斷飛過,車燈形成延續的模糊的色塊;不過最棒的經驗則是髮廊裡的完美音響反覆播放著James Blunt的歌聲,應該是他的滄桑讓我有置身英倫的感覺,特別是1973這首歌,不僅帶我去了英國,還讓我回想到從前的日子。

I took a trip to the hair salon this week, but it was much more than that. It felt like I was transported to the UK at darkening dusk. The salon, located on the second floor in an old apartment in the lane, is decorated in the style of a boutique hotel. My new designer is a beautiful-looking young man. Since I am practically blind after taking off my glasses, all I remember is his long and slender fingers softly wielding silver scissors and the brownish-yellow bangs that flow when he lowers his head. Cars on the roads outside race by unceasingly, their headlights forming never-ending ribbons of colorful splotches. However, the soul of this experience actually lies in the auditory luxury—the perfect stereo playing out James Blunt’s emotion-stirring voice in the tiny yet enchanting space. It’s the ruggedness in his singing that gives a fantastic touch of British feel, especially the song 1973. The melody and lyrics not only take me to Britain but also remind me of past wild days.








by James Blunt


You're getting older

Your journey's been

Etched on your skin






Wish I had known that

What seemed so strong

has been and gone








I would call you up every Saturday night

And we both stayed out 'til the morning light

And we sang, "Here we go again"

And though time goes by

I will always be

In a club with you

In 1973

Singing "Here we go again"






Wish I was sober

So I could see clearly now

The rain has gone






I guess it's over

My memory plays our tune

The same old song








I would call you up every Saturday night

And we both stayed out 'til the morning light

And we sang, "Here we go again"

And though time goes by

I will always be

In a club with you

In 1973

Singing "Here we go again"

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Where is the moon? / 月亮在哪裡?


I sent four pomelos as the cultural ambassador of Taiwanese autumn to the other end of the world. When I didn’t hear from them long after their departure, I wrote the following story while waiting. Better yet, I made my favorite moon one of the protagonists too.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Be my Cookie Knight / 餅乾騎士


I need to fantasize about different images every day. However, the pictures are nowhere to be found when I concentrate on work. One day when I was about to sink into the swamp of boredom, Pam secretly left a pack of Walkers’ Italian lemon and white chocolate biscuits on my desk. After I savored the lovely dessert, a new and funny image descended, which pleased me more than anything else. Thanks to Pam for being my Cookie Knight!

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Going to the library / 上圖書館


Last weekend I had a lovely discovery when I went to the library: I found many library-goers clad in home wear and slippers. I can’t help interpreting this phenomenon from a very optimistic angle. Reading must be viewed as part of the daily life, and when we read, we should be feel comfy in what we wear. After all, not most of us will agree that reading while dressed in gowns or suits is enjoyable.


I can’t help thinking that inhabitants of Shanghai love to go out in pajamas. Do they also go to libraries in sleepwear?

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Kai / 小楷


This is Kai, one year and four months old. Whenever he falls, it takes him two minutes to cry and leave all the physical pain behind. He can’t help swaying his body upon hearing music, even when he is drinking milk in an adult’s arms. Must have been Latin in his previous life. His favorite pastime is to explore the mystery underneath the clothes of Mom and aunties. There has been an exploding increase in his vocabulary lately. He’s finally learned to say “uncle” and “grandpa.” The moon is no longer classified as a ball, but it sounds like muei, probably the Vietnamese version of “moon.”

Saturday, October 02, 2010

My Wish / 我的願望


This past summer I happened to find one enormous change among several university campuses I visited in Taipei—there is construction work going on where there used to be flat land. The gigantic scaffolds blocked the view, and the sight of cluttered machinery caused me to feel stressed and fidgety.


Von and I would often read Virginia Lee Burton’s The Little House written in 1942. The little house lived in the countryside full of daisies and dancing apple trees. The expanse of land enabled it to experience the beauty of day and night and change of four seasons. However, with urbanization, all kinds of buildings and public transportation were erected around the little house, and it could no longer see anything or feel the change of nature. In the end, the little house was moved back to the country. This looks like a solution. Yet, if we think about the ending from a 21st-century perspective, how many rural areas do we still have left?


When can we realize that architecture should meet humans’ mental and physical needs instead of our being the slaves of buildings and the profit they bring? And an expansive view actually matters more than anything else in mankind’s long-term well being?