KTV room in Taiwan

Singing (Karaoke) in the Rain

A wise man once told me, “Nothing good ever happens if you stay in one place. You gotta keep moving.” In December 2018, I very quietly resigned from my position as writer and editor of a publishing house in Taipei, Taiwan, following over a decade of service. Meanwhile, despite having gained permanent residency on the island, it was time for me to leave Taiwan. There’s … Continue reading Singing (Karaoke) in the Rain

Van Halen on roller-skates

Van Halen’s Top 10 Under-Appreciated Songs

At this point in life, I don’t begrudge anybody’s appreciation of the Sammy Hagar-era albums. I don’t even care if you happen to love Van Halen III featuring Gary Cherone. Just don’t confuse that music with the true genius of Van Halen and The First Six Albums – which I’ll get to in a minute. In 2015, Rolling Stone ran a piece entitled 20 Insanely … Continue reading Van Halen’s Top 10 Under-Appreciated Songs

Three Relatively Obvious and Simple Ways to Improve Your Writing Right Now

  Three Relatively Obvious and Simple Ways to Improve Your Writing Right Now The following three ways of improving your writing are obvious and simple yet seldom discussed in the writing forums because they’re obvious and simple. But it wouldn’t hurt for all of us to revisit them right now. 1. READ YOUR SHIT OUT LOUD (RYSOL) RYSOL is by far the most effective and … Continue reading Three Relatively Obvious and Simple Ways to Improve Your Writing Right Now

Testing, Testing…Is This Thing On?

It’s been seven months since the last post and I have a fairly decent explanation for my absence: I’ve been busy. I’ve been busy with work, family, travel, music, and of course, writing, since that’s what I do for a living. And I’m fortunate to have this life. Work-wise, I’m still doing 9-to-5 at a publishing company in Taipei, and freelancing on the side, which … Continue reading Testing, Testing…Is This Thing On?

Freelancer’s Delight: Top 10 Questions You’ll Be Asked in China, and How to Respond in Mandarin

Freelance writing is by far the most variable, infuriating, and futile work I’ve done in my life…so far. Have you seen my resume of dead-end jobs? It’s pretty impressive. Barback, barista, bartender, busboy, carpenter’s apprentice, delivery driver, doorman, dishwasher, entertainer, ESL teacher, file clerk, food runner, garde manger, general construction laborer, general manager of small Italian bistro, grocery clerk, guitar teacher, fry cook, hardware salesman, … Continue reading Freelancer’s Delight: Top 10 Questions You’ll Be Asked in China, and How to Respond in Mandarin

Robert Plant Didn’t Ruin It For Anybody

I used to think that Robert Plant ruined it for everybody. One could argue that rock music does not have a single, universally-beloved figure, for lack of a better term. Nobody can agree on The Beatles vs. The Rolling Stones; some people never liked Elvis or Bob Dylan; Nickelback may be the most hated band to have been certified platinum. The rock niche of music … Continue reading Robert Plant Didn’t Ruin It For Anybody

Let the Drummer Have Some!

Drummers are the foundation of modern rock music, but let’s face it; a good drummer rarely if ever carries a middling band. Televised network “talent” shows never feature standalone drummers because (almost) nobody wants to hear two minutes of drums and nothing but drums. Neil Peart wouldn’t make it past the second round of American Idol – not that anybody is suggesting he should. My … Continue reading Let the Drummer Have Some!