Saturday, November 28, 2015

A lady wearing a tee shirt that had a picture of a cat and underneath said:
Come play
my pussy

Friday, November 27, 2015

Overheard near NTU/臺大
She: For English Lit, it’s better to have a Taiwanese teacher.
He: How so?
She: Cultural difference. The English teacher tells us things we don’t know, but the Taiwanese teacher tells us things we already know.
是啊,萬一上課學到新東西怎麼辦呢?That makes sense. What would happen if a teacher told you something you didn’t know?

Thursday, November 19, 2015

唐、段成式著筆記小說集「酉陽雜俎」,說不定清朝以來沒出版過。想看,無書,幾年前史國興教授給我「四部備要」中「酉陽雜俎」的PDF檔,而現在Wikisources也有。可是電腦看,不過癮:半夜睡不著不想開電腦,清閒更不想看電腦。前幾天剛好無聊,看著Wikisources,想搜尋一下,很意外地發現,今年七月中華書局出版了!四冊,而最開心的是,用正體直書。毫不猶豫訂了一套,今日收到了,樂矣! YouYang Tzatzu is a collection of miscellaneous stories from the Tang dynasty, the 9th century. It hasn’t been published for centuries, but fortunately, Curtis Smith sent me a PDF copy and it’s on Wikisources. But reading on a computer isn’t so much fun. The other day I just happened to google it, and found out that just this July, a new version was published! Wonderful! Four volumes, in traditional script, top to bottom, right to left, what more can you ask for (okay, no punctuation would be nice, but good enough!)
You probably have never heard of this collection, but there is one story in it that everybody knows: it is the earliest recorded version of the story of 葉限link Yeh Hsien link, which traveled thousands of kilometers for over a thousand years to become better known as Cinderella. 

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

This morning a mosquito whining by my ear woke me up. I wondered, why do mosquitoes always whine?
I guess they’re whining about their bloody line of work.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015


Friday, November 13, 2015

在羅斯福路,從萬隆往景美,早就注意到有一間小小的打鐵店。最近去看看。師傅姓謝,苗栗客家人,在這裏打鐵已經四、五十年。他剛來時,羅斯福路旁都是竹林。現在是大樓林立。Some years ago I noticed a small smithy on Roosevelt Road, so recently I finally went to take a look. The smith is Mr Hsieh, a Hakka from Miaoli. He has been working here for 40 or 50 years. When he set up shop here, this was outside the city, but now it’s crowded with buildings.
問他打鐵店的店名。他說,「沒有名字。…以前有,可是被颱風吹走,所以現在沒有名字…。…反正,景美只有這麼一個打鐵店。」I asked him the name of the smithy. He said, “It doesn’t have a name…. It used to have a name, but it blew away in a typhoon, so now the smithy doesn’t have a name… There’s only one smith in this area anyway.” 

他用廢車彈簧的鋼為我做了這把刀。手感很好,刃背很重,適合砍樹砍竹。He made this knife for me out of steel from a scavenged car spring. 


Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Come unto me, my brethren and sistren, and I shall tell unto you the story of Joseph and the Goat of Many Colors.
In days of yore*, there lived a man named Jacob and he didn’t believe in planned parenthood, so he had boy child after boy child after boy child until finally he got one he liked. He liked this child so much that he named him Joseph, which in the language of the Israelites means Joseph. One day he found a goat with many colors, and as a sign of his special preference, gave said goat unto Joseph, which caused Joseph to put on airs. His brethren, sorely vexed, sold Joseph to a caravan for twenty shekels, killed the goat, cooked it, and told their father that alas, Joseph and the goat were murdered by some crazy Baptists from Westboro for eating figs, that they had buried Joseph and retrieved the remains of the goat. Jacob asked for a second serving.
Time passed. Many years later, Joseph, having been sold into servitude in Egypt, worked his way up to the ladder until he was CEO of Egypt. Whereupon there was a great famine in the land of Israel, whereupon the brothers decided to try their luck begging in Egypt, whereupon they were arrested for loitering and taken before the CEO, whereupon they recognized him not but he recognized them, whereupon he forgave them and fed them and everybody was happy again.

This story teaches us that selling your little brother into servitude is a shrewd investment, because you can not only earn twenty shekels, but many years later, in time of need, he will show his magnanimity by feeding your starving carcass. Smart move, big brothers. 

* In the days of yore mama’s mama’s mama’s to the Nth power mama.