Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Francy phoned. “Hi, Yugan, what are you up to?”

“I'm cleaning my porch.”

Pause. “….. you're what?”

“I'm cleaning my porch. I've got water and detergent and a brush and I'm cleaning the porch.”

Long pause. “Yugan, are you all right?”

“Sure, I'm fine.”

“Tell me, Yugan, has something happened?”

“No, everything is fine.”

“You're sure you're fine?”

“I'm sure I'm fine.”

“And you're washing your porch?”

“That's right.”

I could hear Francy starting to sob. She calmed herself and said, ”Really, Yugan, if something has happened and you want to talk about it, I'm right here for you.”

“No, I'm fine, really. The porch was dirty, so I decided to clean it.”

Pause. “…. The porch was dirty so you decided to clean it?”

“That's right.”

“And you're fine, you haven't gotten sunstroke or heatstroke and everything is okay?” she asked cautiously.


Francy pulled herself together. “Okay then, Yugan. Come by my office after you finish and I'll give you the keys so you can clean my balcony, too.”

Monday, June 21, 2004


The Hsintien Stream 新店溪 leaves the mountains at Chingtan/Green Pond 青潭 where it turns left, or east and flows into the Taipei plain at the edge of the city, at Pitan, Bluegreen Pond 碧潭. The north bank of Bluegreen Pond is flat, with the edge of mountains a short distance away. The south bank is hilly, with cliffs hidden in the lush vegetation.

At Bluegreen Pond, the stream widens to about fifty meters across. This is a favorite scenic and recreation spot for Taipei residents, so there is a row of shops on the north, or city, bank. This is where my pottery teacher is located. Friday I got there for class early, so I strolled upstream to the ferry, certainly the last manual (unmotorized) ferry in the Taipei area. A teenaged girl was pushing the oar to ferry across her sole passenger, a middle aged man who chatted with her as she pushed and twisted the oar; it simply can't be as easy as she made it look. Then she picked up an old lady and her grandchild and headed back, backing out and turning her twelve meter boat with a few efficient motions.

I could hear a drum. Tuesday is the Dragon Boat Festival. For thousands of years, boat races have been held on 端午節the fifth day of the fifth lunar month, and Bluegreen Pond has been the site of dragon boat races for decades. Two crews were practicing rowing their long boats; since this is just practice, the dragon heads have not been affixed on the boats. On Tuesday, before the races are held, the boats will be resplendent with dragon heads, and their eyes will be ceremoniously painted in. Yesterday was just practice, though. The rowers shouted cadence to the drum and their stokes as they whisked their boats through the evening mist rising off the river and flowing down from the south bank jungle.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

昨晚興致勃勃地到中正紀念堂國家音樂廳去聽陳孟亨女士直笛演奏會。 應有盡有,Bach 、Telemann 、Vivaldi都到齊了。小提琴、中提琴、大提琴、鍵盤(時大鍵琴,偶管風琴)伴奏直笛。潦響美妙,渾厚扎實,只覺得場地太大: chamber music嘛!台上最穩的是大提琴。後來與巴洛克長笛演奏Telemann,也效Amsterdam Loeki Stardust Quartet,四個直笛吹 Bach 的 Fugue,心滿意足。

下半場就不同了。 先看四個小男生上台,準備電吉他、爵士鼓、鍵盤。他們穿白褲、蘋果綠無袖大領襯衫,土氣十足(鍵盤手還帶上墨鏡…),陳女士穿著鑲亮片的禮服,在大管風琴前演奏起爵士樂,實在不倫不類。我想到爵士樂,不會想到電吉他,更不會想到直笛。觀眾面面相覷,再來是東張西望,繼以俏俏地往太平門逃脫。很可惜。


Saturday, June 12, 2004

I'm back from the family reunion. I was amazed with the openness and honesty with which everybody dealt with family issues. Made me feel honored to be a member of this nutty family.

But by Tuesday, when we had a big meal at Aunt Helen's, things were winding down. Uncle Ted and cousin Connie had gone back to the east coast, and Mom and Steph were leaving the next day. Shortly after dark (9 PM in northern Colorado), there was a terrific hail storm. And do you know why?

Hail, hail, the gang's all here!

Thursday, June 03, 2004

I've got a great idea. This evening I start out on a twelve hour flight across the Pacific. But what to do on such a long flight? I know! I'll spend the whole time practicing making fax machine noises! With all that practice, I should be pretty good by the time I get there, so that means I can entertain all the passengers around me on the fourteen hour flight back!

PS: please remember that I want to be cremated.
(supposing, that is, that the other passengers
leave enough of me to cremate)

Wednesday, June 02, 2004


鋼琴、小提琴,學琴的人那麼多,還有長笛、豎笛,在臺灣學過樂器的人實在很多,少則音樂有些基礎,進而頗有成就,大有人在。 然後呢,要『休閒』就拿起卡拉OK麥克風,叫的像難產中受百般折磨的產婦,音感全無,只有力求聲大音長。花那麼多心血培養的音樂素養到哪兒去了?? 真搞不懂。

難道教育只是一個形而已嗎?教育理應薰陶身心氣質;若身心氣質沒薰陶,教育到底在作啥? 真搞不懂。