adrian is rad


domestic tourism

Filed under: — adrian @ 5:11 am

It’s very popular here. I’m jumping on the bandwagon this weekend, going to Kaohsiung in southern Taiwan by high speed train (208 miles in 90 minutes with two stops!) and staying at the Huahou Hotel.

I’ll report back on how it is.


juno trailer

Filed under: — adrian @ 5:11 pm

This movie look great[1].

Here’s the soundtrack listing. Lots of Kimya Dawson and also Sonic Youth, Cat Power, and Belle & Sebastian as well as the old favorites Buddy Holly and Velvet Underground.

The song at the end of the trailer, if you were wondering, is All the Young Dudes by Mott the Hoople. Classic!

You can also check out four more clips from the movie.

[1] Hopefully it won’t be a Garden State-like great trailer, great trailer, okay movie situation.

sufficiently embarassing

Filed under: — adrian @ 3:44 am

I just made a sufficiently embarrassing phone call.

“Hello, [Hotel/ Apartment]”

“Yes, this is Adrian in room [x]. I managed to lock myself in my kitchen. Could you send someone up to let me out?”

Good things:
a) I have a cell phone.
b) I carry an address card for the hotel with me all the time. It has the phone number.

And, yes, for whatever reason, the kitchen door has a lock.


here’s one thing

Filed under: — adrian @ 11:10 pm

To go to a country, approach people and speak to them in a foreign language and expect them to answer is a very egotistical thing to do. In a purchasing situation, it can almost be justified: exchange of money for product and foreign language skills. But otherwise, it’s something akin to saying your language and culture is more important than theirs [1].

This is not a justification of my actions, this is a fact.

[1] In the case with travel to Chinese-speaking areas it is especially absurd as there is no space for an argument about speaking the dominant language in terms of number of speakers, cultural weight, economic significance or really anything else.

Announcing! September (or October.1) 2007 Mix Tape (vol. 15)

Filed under: — adrian @ 4:13 pm

You’re probably confused. This isn’t September. Originally, the September mixtape was going to be delayed and the I was going to go right to October, skipping the Sept mix entirely. Well, when I was putting together October, I had too much music, by about a factor of 2 [1], so the September mix was back on the table, albeit ridiculously delayed.

The October (October.2) 2007 mixtape will be posted probably Wednesday, so start listening to this one already! This one is more toward indie pop and October is more towards the acoustic.

You can download the zip file with the following:
1. mp3s of the songs
2. liner notes (pdf)
3. playlist files (iTunes txt file and an m3u file)

(for the iTunes file, simply import all the songs to your library and then go to file->import and then select the song list (the txt file). you should now have the 2007sept playlist in your iTunes with all the songs in the correct order).

If you want to read the liner notes before downloading the whole thing, they’re here. I am really surprised sometimes that there is so much good music out there. Great tracks from old favs Jose Gonzalez and Jens Lekman, new tracks from relative unknowns and up-and-comers like Caves, the Cave Singers and Octopus Project.

Adrian’s September (October.1) 2007 mix tape (rapidshare link [1])
(I’m trying this because hosting the zip was a significant bandwidth drain. Let me know your thoughts on it.)

As always this’ll be up for a limited time (~1 week), so grab it now.

If you like the artists or songs, I suggest supporting them by buying their music, going to a show, buying merchandise from them or at least telling other people about them.

[1] My online mixtapes are always between 60-76 minutes long so they can be burnt onto a single mix CD if you choose.

[2] If you’re having trouble with the rapidshare link, here’s what you do, step-by-step. 1) Click on the link. 2) scroll down and click “FREE” 3) chose a mirror (or you can leave it) 4) input the number/ letters they show in the graphic into the box 5) click on “download via…”

Wulai, wedding, Lugo’s catch and the Red Sox, couch, etc.

Filed under: — adrian @ 5:12 am

Wulai. (“ooh-lai”) I spent yesterday in Wulai, which is known for their hot springs and one of the highest water falls in Taiwan. The hot springs were excruciatingly hot. If I hadn’t seen other people in there, I would have doubted that a human could sit in there. I got in and it was nice. But the advice of a fellow bather provied useful: “don’t move”. I think it worked similar to the recommended advice for falling into cold water: if you don’t move the water directly around the body get closer to the temperature of the body and acts as a protective barrier.

I walked to the waterfalls, about 1.5km. There’s a miniature railroad along this route. The cars are about 10 feet long and the tracks are maybe 2 feet apart. It’s really cute and I wanted to ride it but I decided that I’d do so on the way back, only to find I’m misread the hours and I’d missed it! Disaster. I really like riding odd rail and cable transportation[1], especially funiculars (being a son of Pittsburgh [2]) but others as well.

The falls were nice. Nothing like Victoria Falls or Niagara, but something nice to look at for a few minutes. From there I started walking toward Doll Valley, which the guidebook listed as about an hour away. As I walked away from Wulai, the scenery became lusher in the valley I was walking in and the cars and whatnot became sparser. Eventually I turned onto a foot path and saw a few people and a number of smaller waterfalls. I realized that I wasn’t going to be able to get back by sunset if I went to Doll Valley which I deemed a Bad Thing (TM) so I turned back but the hike was nice.

Sometimes it’s good for the head as well as the body, you know?

Wedding. Today I went to a wedding. Correction, I didn’t go to the wedding, which was held in the family’s home and wasn’t attended by many; I went to the wedding “party” (as they called it) or “reception” (as the Americans might call it). It was pretty interesting. For instance, the couple entered along with lasers and fog machines. The bride changed dresses twice (three dresses total) and the couple would reenter to much fanfare each time. As I understand is the case with many Asian cultures, the wedding presents were actually envelopes of cash. The food was largely really good: about 20 dishes (in 7 or so courses). It was way too much food, but I gave it my best effort.

This is a wedding, not a night club?

No one was drinking the bottle of scotch set aside for my table so I was given it to take home. Now it’s just time to see if I still don’t like scotch and if so see if I can change that.

Lugo’s catch (available here). Perfect. Perfectly timed in both execution and in shutting down a rally by the Rockies.

The Red Sox are highly paid but I’d like to note that they’re getting a lot out of players that aren’t very highly paid at all: Papelbon, Pedroia, Ellsbury, and Youkilis are all low paid players.

It made me really happy that Dice-K that got a two run single.

Couch. After two months, I may have found the only marginally comfortable position on my couch. That is a remarkably uncomfortable couch for sitting, lounging or anything else. Despite being aware of the recommendations I am using my bed to sit and lounge with my laptop or book when I get tired of the chair.

Arnold. They seriously show my governor’s movies all the time here. All…the…time. By the way, TV programmers: they’re mostly not very good, those movies.

[1] The best yet is Wuppertal’s Schwebebahn. If you’re anywhere near Wuppertal, it’s worth a trip just to ride that.

[2] at one point I dated a daugther of the American Revolution. she was really into that.

three more things I didn’t get a photo of

Filed under: — adrian @ 3:08 am

I didn’t get any photos of these things. Sorry!

  • yummy season: A sign for Subway had these words along with a lot of chinese characters. It is yummy season
  • ninja cupid: a shirt I saw on the subway said this along with a few chinese characters and a depiction of what is apparently a ninja cupid. I am definitely buying one of these if I see it.
  • boring pie: a cookie/ biscuit-like product with this name and the slogan something along the lines of “get out of boring time.”

Note: I carry my camera around a lot, but I can’t always get a photo of everything.



Filed under: — adrian @ 5:29 am

One of the weirder wikipedia pages: list of people who have disappeared.

The older ones are full of mystery and are pretty interesting. The newer ones are largely kidnapped kids; kidnapping kids is not interesting or fun; kidnapping kids is sad.


Filed under: — adrian @ 5:24 am

Wes Anderson and Owen Wilson are strange.

Chuck Klosterman is strange.


other things that makes me happy

Filed under: — adrian @ 7:45 pm

The security guard at my work building’s big head nod greeting and “Zao” (meaning “‘morning”, short for “zao an” meaning “good morning”) every morning.

Kinder Chocolates (and other Kinder products like Kinder Bueno and Kinder Ueberaschung!) are widely available and reasonably priced. Delicious!


best jacket I’ve seen recently

Filed under: — adrian @ 4:52 pm

Riding on a scooter down Ruiguang Rd., a man wears a jacket with embroidered letters (as may be for a sports team):


Still not my favorite but it’s close and the simplicity of this one does win some points.


I would have watched it but it was showing at 3am for me

Filed under: — adrian @ 4:20 pm

Springboks win. World champions! Vrystaat!

Update: This is likely better news for Southern Africa, though Zim is still screwed as far as anyone can tell.

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