Friday, April 23, 2010

pictures from my desktop

If there is one thing the internet is good for, it's amazing images. I have a habit of saving any interesting pictures I come across from my internet whereabouts and save them in a folder that rotates them on my desktop. I've been at it for a few years now and here are some of my favorites with a brief explanation. Above is a medieval painting by a nun named Hildegard of Bingen who used to get visions from the Lord and record them. This is her impression of recieving those visions, so I presume those strange red things coming out of her eyes as the grace of God and she is hurriedly recording them .

This comes from a Japanese horror film from the 80's called "House"

Meet Ros Soroysothea, she's a singer famous in Cambodia during the 1970's before the craziness from the Pol Pot era killed her and all the other musicians that made the rock scene there truly special and probably the best I know of

A gorgeous poster for a film I've never seen

A picture from the Russian Soviet future, in the early 80's.

I want a laser baby

I found this picture while looking up information for a band named Supersister

Ross found this picture of a sad fat girl with a disappointing pony. I have a thing for cake pictures and especially like this one

This is courtesy of and comes from a manga comic

A turn of the century Russian circus poster

A still from a telenovela from the late 70's with Veronica Castro, one of the big haired, heavily made-up women from my childhood who still haunt me (in a good way) to this day. It says the name of the soap opera which translates as "rich people also cry"

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Eastern Peak Mountain Temple (东岳庙)

One snowy Sunday in January Ross, our close friend Chao (超) and I, all went to eat Cantonese dim sum at a new restaurant and to our surprise found a neat little temple right next door. Here is some history about the temple. In a nutshell, it is a Daoist temple founded in 1319 and rebuilt several times through the centuries. In the 20th century it served several secular and governmental functions until a few years ago when it was declared a national treasure and restored.

Above, Chao is taking a picture though he looks like he's getting shot. Behind him are some stelae with all kinds of records inscribed in them. They look to Westerners like gravestones, but more often than not they record things deemed important or noteworthy... like test scores, decrees, new laws and notable visitors.

Ross slipped in the snow, it was really funny

Below are plaster dioramas with people, mythological monsters , gods and spirits all intermingling; representing the 76 departments of the Daoist supernatural world. They are situated in 76 rooms surrounding the main courtyard. Among the different Departments are
"The Department of Individual Destiny", "The Department of Rewarding Good Conduct", "The Department of the Rain Gods", "The Department of Gods and Monsters", "The Department of Controlling Bullying and Cheating and Department of Suppressing Schemes", and my favorite "The Department of Urging" ... whatever that means.

the character in the palette above is read "ling", it means order

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Snow days

This past winter was especially snowy. The pictures above and below are from the first snowfall on November 1st which was the earliest in decades and later announced as "artificially induced" by the government.

The scene above is just downstairs from our apartment. Under all that snow lies Ross and my bikes as well as Silvia's old bike and some of our neighbors's.

A red curtain in a crazy temple we visited on a different snowy day

One of the three wheeled cars (三轮车) for quick, cheap transport in any of Beijing's neighborhoods

An example of the heavy condensation that happens inside of heated buildings and vehicles on cold, snowy days

Thursday, March 11, 2010

I'm sorry.... so sorry....

It's been over a year since my last entry. I had just arrived home in Beijing after a friend-filled escape to Europe when I last posted. At that time, the Chinese government became increasingly hostile towards internet freedoms and expression; so around May, Blogspot, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and many other websites were suddenly not accessible. Proxys and other scramblers and unblockers were ok for a while but even they faltered and my blog became a small casualty of all the hullabaloo.

A lot has happened since then. I said goodbye to quite a few really close friends, travelled to Inner Mongolia and other places within China, began working again, had little adventures around the 'Jing, went home to America for a few weeks, and now I find myself with a HUGE backlog of pictures and stories ready for posting.

This is the weekend when things change. Ross and I just paid for a proxy, so I'm safe from internet censorship for a year :)

I'll be sure to get my €34 worth

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A wonderful reunion

Armando, Jackie and I were all good friends in New World high School. We've all managed to keep in touch through the years, but haven't hung out together since those days. Just about 8 years later we managed to meet again and spend a great few days in the south of Germany.

My brother/best friend and I in Munich, at Alexanderplatz

above and below: a great afternoon wandering the many beautiful parks in Munich with two people very special to me

Left to right; Armando, his great girlfriend Christine, Jackie and I enjoying coffee in the main square in Augsburg, where Armando and Christine currently call home.

Friends in Paris

Myself with some of the Martha Graham dancers (left to right) James, Jackie and Lloyd along with the one rented bicycle we all had to share

The guys

James and I after a long, long, long day at the Louvre

above and below: Jackie and I and beautiful, beautiful Paris

Parisian streets

Walking around Paris is a wonder. There's so much city and detail to discover at every single corner . This all sounds tacky, but you really have to be there to understand fully.

That's the island where Notre Dame Cathedral and a million other famous things are located or nearby.
Jackie and I wandering near the theater she performed at before the show.

This is one of my favorite store window display in Paris, it's a an extermination supply store and taxidermist? I think... anyway, it made me laugh a whole lot.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

More of my favorite art, The Musee d'Orsay

The Musee d'Orsay has the best collection of major French Impressionist and Post-Impressionist painting anywhere in the world. It also has a few other great period pieces. A visit there was a nice and peaceful way to spend an afternoon, exactly what I feel Impressionism was made for.

I saw this Manet a few years ago at the Met in New York, still looks the same I reckon.

Above and below: The museum has a great collection of Art Nouveau furniture and decorations, this section was my personal favorite despite the plethora of famous Manets, Monets, Degas, Tolousse-Lautrecs, and other rediculously famous paintings.

These are from a wall display I loved featuring the props from a famous shadow puppet theater from in Paris during the late 19th century. Other figures include soldiers, armies, bourgoise figures, farmers, animals and more.

A great painting I remember nothing about :(