Monday, November 22, 2010

Spider-girl, Spider-girl...

So Trudi has become a big fan of the 1967 Spider-man cartoon series. She's always liked watching YouTube videos (with parental supervision, of course) of sharks, snakes, and spiders, and sometimes clicks on the related videos at the right to see more of the same. Well, after watching some spider videos, she saw the link to the Spider-man theme song cartoon and asked to see more. I downloaded some of the original cartoons for her and she was hooked.

This morning, Vanessa was carrying Izzi into the bedroom for a diaper change, but Trudi ran ahead of her, blocking her from entering.
"Wait, I'm Spider-man!", she said, holding up her hand.
"How long do I have to wait?", asks Vanessa.
"Wait one minute", says Trudi.
Trudi enters the room, dramatically looks left and right and then makes a circular motion with her hand. "Ok, you can come in now - I'm making a web!"

How can you not love kids? Something as mundane as a baby sister's diaper change becomes a big adventure with just a little imagination...

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Wang Shijian (王世堅) and Che Guevara (切·格瓦拉)

Wang Shijian (王世堅) and Che Guevara (切·格瓦拉)
Originally uploaded by Anthony van Dyck

Ok, so it's election time here in Taiwan again, and this DPP candidate has the iconic image of Che and the slogan "G.I. Jian is on the march!"

I'm not sure how much he really knows about Che, or if he really wants to be associated with the guy. He probably just likes the image. I'm sure there are a few politicans who admire Hitler for his moustache as well...

Sunday, October 10, 2010

100 years of the ROC. ~yawn~ Now what?

So it's been 100 years since the Wuchang Uprising, the rebellion that led to the downfall of the Qing Dynasty, and paved the way for the Republic of China, which was established a couple of months later.

100 years later, and we've got a financially-successful nation, a healthy democracy, a free press, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and a modern, happy, well-adjusted society. And yet, what does it mean to be the R.O.C. in today's world?

China's not going to be joining this republic any time soon, and it is very determined to keep the R.O.C. a pariah nation. Sadly, that's the best-case scenario we have for the future!

What is more obvious is China's unceasing efforts to intimidate and threaten Taiwan. Saying it's a part of China isn't enough - China wants to bring Taiwan under its actual control, and neither the current Taiwan administration nor the rest of the world has the courage to do or say anything about it.

In the past, I never really cared that much - I was an outsider and although I've always loved Taiwan and had opinions about its place in the world, its status didn't directly concern me.

It's a little different now. My children are Taiwanese, as well as being Canadian, and their national identity isn't just an intellectual exercise for me. I don't want them to be citizens of a country that doesn't respect itself enough to stand up for itself, nor do I want them to be citizens of a fascist dicatorship. I just want them to be Taiwanese. I just want Taiwan to be Taiwan.

Taiwan's hope lies with optimistic young people in Taiwan like this, with the passage of time, with the implied support of the United States, and with China's reluctance up to now to actually commit overtly hostile acts of aggression against Taiwan. I fear though, that there aren't enough people in Taiwan who are willing to stand up, that time is running out, that the United States lacks resolve and that China's willingness to get nasty is getting stronger.

One thing is for certain. While Taiwan will always be around in one way or another, as an oppressed minion of China or not, the Republic of China is an anachronism. It doesn't represent Taiwan, it doesn't represent China, certainly nobody recognizes it, and it doesn't stand for anything. I doubt that it will exist in 20 years, never mind another century. In the end, it will be nothing more than a curious artifact of history.

But hey - Happy Birthday, anyway!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Holy Nightflier, Batman!

So there I was, zipping along the riverside bike path, enjoying being back on my bike after a four day absence, loving the night breeze, when WHAM! A freaking bat flies right into my face! Does it fly off? NO! It gets its freaking wing entangled in my chin strap and flaps around wildly. Five seconds later (an eternity!) it gets loose and flies away, leaving me a little scratched up and completely grossed out.

If that bat infected me with anything other than super powers, I'm going to be severely pissed off!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Sunday March 14

Hmm, it's been a while since I wrote anything. Oh well. What with Facebook and, it's not like I'm off the Internet or anything.

Trudi is now 3 years old, and Izzi is 5 months old. Both of them are gorgeous, and fill my life with joy. It's kind of hard to describe the degree to which they make me happy, because I never imagined it before. It's very strange, but in a wonderful way.

The other day we got home from work and Trudi was still up. Isabel was too, of course. She always gets a midnight feed before we put her to bed for the night. Anyway, after a few minutes of family snuggling on our bed, we told Trudi that it was time for her to go to bed and go to sleep. For the first time ever, she wailed, "but Isabel doesn't have to!!!" She was acutely aware of the unfairness of the situation. We told her that it was different - Izzi is a baby, and therefore has a different schedule, but Trudi went to sleep crying bitter tears anyway.

Still, we're lucky. Trudi is a very doting, loving, sister to Izzi. She takes her role very seriously, and is very happy when she can hold Izzi or help take care of Izzi in some way. We haven't seen ANY manifestations of jealousy yet, and while I know they may come, I'm optimistic that it won't be too bad. Frankly, I get more jealousy vibes from Gustav than I do from Trudi.

After a fairly unpleasant winter, the weather this weekend is rather nice. It's sunny-ish, and almost warm. I think we'll go our for a walk around the lake in a bit, and then I know the girls will have a nap. Tonight Vanessa and I are going to the St. John Passion at the National Concert Hall. Helmuth Rilling is conducting, so I'm looking forward to it. We rarely get to concerts nowadays - usually only once or twice a year, because we only really have Sundays available, and most concerts are on Fridays and Saturdays. It would be nice if this could somehow change in the future. Time for another cup of coffee, and some work on Taiwanease and Taiwanted. Later, gator.