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

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

1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die…Or Not: 1991 – 1992

There was one morning I woke up in 1992 and I felt like I’d been asleep for a couple of years. Right here, right now, at this very moment, I think the 1001 Albums list should end and start over. The book and list should be split into two volumes. It’s got nothing to do with me being a lazy dirt bag, which is also … Continue reading 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die…Or Not: 1991 – 1992

1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die…Or Not: 1989 – 1990

Comparatively speaking, we’re going to breeze through this period. There’s a revolution of sorts on the horizon. At this point, recording artists are either making records that sell, or they aren’t making records. There will be fewer suggested alternatives simply because 1001 AYMHBYD already named most of the Must Hear records. You could almost skip both 1989 and 1990 and not miss much. Almost. Key: … Continue reading 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die…Or Not: 1989 – 1990

1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die…Or Not: 1987 – 1988

If 1985-86 is a dead zone for Albums You Must Hear Before You Die, then 1987-88 is a black hole. Mainstream popular music was more about hairspray and pastel colors than artistic achievement. How bad was music in 1987? It was Bruce Willis – The Return of Bruno bad. It was Whitesnake and Tawny Kitaen on the hood of a Jaguar dreadful. It was Richard … Continue reading 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die…Or Not: 1987 – 1988