Oops, slipped…

Yeah, guess I kinda forgot that this thing existed for a while there. Don’t worry, all is well in the land of Cannonball. I’m just too damned busy with life’s multiple pleasantries to have bothered with blowing the dust off the blog. By the time I remembered about it I needed an industrial vacuum cleaner just to graze the surface.

So what’s poppin’ daddy-o? What’s the word on the street? Well things haven’t moved on considerably from the last update – Taichung’s still entrancing me and working its magic at every turn. The past six weeks have seen me finally tapping into the music scene – supposedly dead if you believe the majority of westerners here but still alive and kicking in an underground ‘fight the power’ kind of way, kept alive by the vigour and determination of youth and by the unstoppable force of rawk. This long-overdue immersion in a buzzing live scene has had two major effects on me, primarily quenching the thirst for music which has dogged me since Thailand where the best you could hope for was a semi-decent version of Thee Cranberries’ ‘Zombie’ or the ever-present ‘Desperado’. To finally rediscover the kids rocking their socks off has been a most pleasant revelation.

However, one thirst is quenched only to see a fresh hunger arise. Standing in the audience for  an all-day concert partly organised by an acquaintance of mine at Stock 20 I suddenly felt my fingers itching, feeling for frets and pick, my right toe seeking out the comforting click of the ODB3. I need to join and band and I need to do it now, lest the forces of disgusting rock thunder rising in my belly burst through my chest a la John Hurt. Specifically I need to join an original local band – I’m loving the Taiwanese music vibe and have an urge to add my own sleazy bass to that mix, no offence to the many ex-pat bands out there! The feelers are out and I may have a spot in a covers band set up by some friends of a friend but there are creative urges stirring within me and it may finally be time to unleash my own musical malevolence upon the unsuspecting populace. Think Kiltreiser Mark 2 mixed with the sleaze of Zodiac Mindwarp, the swagger of Monster Magnet and the psychosis of White Zombie. Think of that and weep for the future…

In other news, the Chinese learning is coming on at pace thanks in no small part to the efforts of An Xien, my fantastic teacher. Since the last post I’ve made my first forays into typing in Chinese using ZhuYin/BoPoMoFo as an intermediary but it’s a hellishly slow and painful process. For starters I don’t have a Taiwanese keyboard on either laptop, meaning I’m forced to look at an image of such a keyboard, memorise the keys required for the relevant symbols and then enter those on my chosen application. Then, if I’m lucky, the correct translations will magically appear on my screen. If. If I’m lucky. Usually I’m not and my knowledge of Chinese characters is abysmal so I’m forced to cycle through the seemingly endless alternative possibilities which correspond to my ZhuYin entry, eventually entrusting my literary fate to the vagaries of Google Translate (at times my best friend or worst enemy).

So no Chinese for you this time around but my plan is to write my next post all in Chinese. That’s right. If I start now it’ll be finished by Christmas…

On the ‘other news’ front, the endless summer seems to finally be on the way out here and the temperature has dropped a glorious ten degrees or so since last week. The difference this has made to my ability to sleep has been immeasurable and I already feel more energised. Just as well because the cooler climate makes cycling to work a possibility again. This shopping list keeps growing – bass guitar, bass distortion pedal, new road bike (old one to be donated to Pedals For Paws), smartphone, more bedroom furniture. Just as well I no longer give so much of a damn about saving seeing as I’m likely here for the long haul now.

Also I managed to meet  with an old flame for a pleasant wander around the parks and galleries of Taichung. Admittedly I was a touch nervous beforehand – okay, really fucking nervous – but it was almost like we’d gone back to the friends phase we enjoyed before we became involved with each other. Hopefully this means it can happen more often with a similar lack of awkwardness, sadness or anything else. To add to the Thailand-related news, another old friend is finally leaving the land of smiles and is almost certainly heading for these shores, yay for familiar faces. I’m still working on getting another one to abandon the wild cornfields of Iowa for the gentle pace of Taichung, will see how that goes…

Well, this Chinese homework isn’t going to finish itself so time to get the nose back to the grindstone. Until next time – which I promise will not be as long coming as this was – 拜拜.


3 responses to “Oops, slipped…

  1. I, too, have felt the pull of the stage again recently. Though I’ve not really played for several years, I still carry a couple of harmonicas around by habit, and a young busker in town allowed me to sit in on a string of Muddy Waters and Elmore James songs the other week. We drew quite a crowd, and the old itch is back…

  2. I don’t think the itch ever disappears, it’s just sometimes you get stronger ones which let you ignore it for a while! I knew something was amiss, it just didn’t click what it was till I was watching those bands and had to hold myself from getting onstage with them :p

  3. Thinking on it, you’re right. I may not have played much, but I’ve never stopped writing down snippets that pop into my head as a good line or two for a song. Damnit, stop encouraging me! 🙂

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