Serial Saturday #18: An Interview In Penghu

The two cars were speeding north toward their destination and Wei-Ting couldn't stop looking out the window. He had never been to Penghu before and was struck by the contrast with Kinmen. Where Kinmen was lush, green and almost choked with vegetation, Penghu was flat, green and full of wide, open spaces. As they passed some wind turbines, the land dropped away as they headed out over a bridge and Wei-Ting turned back to the conversation he had only been half-listening to ever since they left the airport.\ "They ran aground on the Kentei rocks just north of Niaoyu Island," the Penghu County Inspector who had met them at the airport was a rotund, middle aged man by the name of Hu Yaodong. '"Now, we've got a precinct out there, but it's too damn small for a mess this size, so we've been shipping them into the Baisha Precinct all morning." "What were they carrying?" Mei-Shan asked. "The usual," Hu shrugged. "Ton of ephedrine

Sci-Fridays #1

Editor's Note: I love Science Fiction and Fantasy- they're probably two of my favorite genres and I consume just about any version of media- books, TV, movies, streaming that I can get my hands on. Sometimes, though, I'll have some thoughts that don't really fit into a blog post, so I've decided to launch a periodic (I'm hoping once a month) blog post where I nerd out about this kind of stuff. So, please enjoy this inaugural edition of Sci-Fridays! Star Trek Discovery Season 3: I approached Season 3 with a lot of optimism and it turns out that optimisn was right on the money. Personally, I thought the choice to send Discovery into the future at the end of Season 2 was brilliant- almost as brilliant and canon-subverting as J.J. Abrams decision to destroy Vulcan in the first Kelvinverse Trek- the inherent problem with Star Trek is that 50+ years of canon means that you're always getting something wrong and there will always be someone out there somewhere

Serial Saturday #17: What They Serve At 7-11 in Taipei

Wei-Ting looked around as they got out of the car. He hadn't been in Taipei for years- so he wasn't sure where they were. There was a gas station tucked under the elevated road across the way, but Mei-Shan and Shan were walking towards an entrance along the side of the 7-11 that led to a set of stairs. The apartment was on the second floor and Mei-Shan knocked three times before the door opened a crack and Wei-Ting saw the face of the young man in the picture. He was older now, of course and exhaustion was etched on his face. He opened the door the rest of the way and sighed. "I must be getting sloppy in my old age," he said. He turned and made his way back into the apartment. "Come on in." They entered the apartment with Shan coming last and checking the hallway before closing the door. The apartment was small, with a kitchenette, a bed shoved under the window and a couch, coffee table and television and not much else. The young man was moving around the sp

Squawk Box: The Right Stuff/Bridgerton

 I didn't really know how to feel about the Disney+ version of The Right Stuff . My initial reaction was: "...but why?" and really, can you blame me? I mean the 1983 film is a classic- Sam Shepherd as Chuck Yeager? That whole opening sequence of him breaking the sound barrier? The rest of the cast of the movie: Scott Glenn, Ed Harris, Lance Henriksen, Dennis Quaid, Barbara Hershey, Veronica Cartwright? Incredible! Plus, my memory of The Right Stuff involved watching it in science class in high school and the science teachers were cool enough not to be scandalized and fast forward through the Sally Rand fan dancing sequence (at least I don't think  they fast forwarded through all of it) which was totally educational, I swear. In short, this concept felt like: "Let's remake Lawrence of Arabia and turn it into an 8 episode mini-series and put it on Disney+" it doesn't seem to make a lot of sense, but happily, if you're into the early history of th

Tiki Tuesday #6: Navy Grog

So, I was going to take a run at a Queen's Park Swizzle- but then I saw this picture on Reddit and realized that I had no mint and if you take away the mint, you're essentially making a Daiquiri and even with using snow instead of crushed ice, it was still a bit boring and would never look as good as that picture! I had plenty of grapefruit laying around the place and I scored a couple of limes and then I realized what I should make: The Navy Grog. (Historical tidbits: per Smuggler's Cove , Richard Nixon was a fan of these: Legend has it that he would slip away to the D.C. Trader Vic's, Sixteenth and K, housed within the Capitol Hilton Hotel. Often, according to Henry Kissinger, Nixon would insist on having cabinet members in tow. Later, during the Watergate hearings, story has it that after everyone had gone home, Vic's would keep the bar open with just one bartender, and Nixon would sneak in a back entrance at three in the morning, have a few Navy Grogs, and pour

Netflix & Chill #90: The Hundred-Foot Journey

I don't know what it is about movies involving food, but I'm a sucker for all of them and The Hundred- Foot Journey is no exception. Described by Wikipedia as a 'comedy-drama' film it was directed by Lasse Hallstrom with screenplay by Steven Knight and released in 2014. (It's based off the novel of the same name by Richard Morais.) The film opens in Mumbai, where the Kadam family runs a prosperous restaurant. The second oldest son Hassan (Manish Dayal) is being groomed to take over from his mother (Juhi Chawla) as the restaurant's main cook. He accompanies his mother to the market to shop for sea-food and can smell to find out the best quality one. Following an election dispute, a mob attacks and firebombs the restaurant. Abbu Kadam (Om Puri) get the guests out, but Hassan's mother dies in the fire and the family flees, seeking asylum in Europe- first in London, then onto mainland Europe, searching for the best place to rebuild their restaurant. The brakes

Serial Saturday #16: Not Going Back To Kaohsiung

The rain was unrelenting, but Wei-Ting didn't care. He was soaked to the bone within seconds and had no idea where he was going or what the plan was, he just kept walking. He made it all of three blocks before he heard the car pull up beside him. "Kid!" Pei-Shan had rolled down the window. He ignored her and kept walking. "Kid, come on!" He kept walking. It was over. His career was done. His one chance at a different life. Gone. He'd have to go back to Kaohsiung and back to his old life. Maybe Pei-Shan still knew the names of those dirty cops in Tainan so he could avoid his old crew. He wanted to laugh out loud at that thought, but  forced it back down and just kept walking. "Kid! Would you stop for a second and listen to me?" He ignored Pei-Shan and kept walking. "Kid, if you're going to act like this every time you get suspended, you're going to have a bad time in this profession." He stoppd and turned on his heel, walking up to