23 January 2012

I'm Popeye The Sailor Man

(Listen to 'I'm Popeye the Sailor Man' by Billy Costello, the original voice of Popeye in animated cartoons)

Another recently purchased record for Chinese New Year!

Like many cartoons, such as Snoopy and Dennis the Menace, Popeye is a character originally created for a comic strip which is later adapted into an animated cartoon.

I can't remember if I've read any Popeye newspaper comic strips or individual comic books in my childhood, but I am sure I'v watched tonnes of Popeye animated cartoons on TV.

On TV Popeye always turned many hopeless situations around after gulping some spinach from a tin, which boosted his muscles and physical strength immediately. Therefore Popeye was taken as a healthy eating role model by parents to encourage vegetable-phobic (is there such a word?) children to eat more spinach.

I actually came to know this record through a radio programmed in an old newspaper circulated in Taiwan back in 1936. This record was once played over the air in Taiwan.

I was so amazed how producers at the then Taipei Radio Station (台北放送局, call sign JFAK) would collect and introduce music from the West, not only 'classical' works but also other popular tunes, to the audience in Taiwan. I then discover this record on eBay, bid and won.

22 January 2012

Another DIY new year couplet for the year of the dragon

Although I am definitely not good at Chinese calligraphy at all, again I write my own new year couplet (春聯 chunlian) with a Chinese writing brush, rather than buying a commercially mass-printed one.

As usual, my DIY couplet must have something to do with music and the academia and thus this year I compose a pair of lines which may be translated roughly as

"Joyfully play music and spread [it] throughout the globe (喜奏笙歌傳四宇);
Graciously welcome guests and converse over the history (高迎雅客論春秋)."

I have to admit that the handwriting gets even worse than the one I did last year. It looks indeed like homework or something at secondary school level.

However, I can't blame myself, as I do it only once a year. Thus, happy new year, the year of dragon. Have a happy and prosperous year.

01 January 2012

New Year's Day before the New Year's Day of the Year of the Dragon

(Click to enlarge and see how I have changed over the past few years, from 1st January 2007 to 2012)

The Chinese New Year of the Dragon falls on the 23rd of January in 2012. Before running towards a whole series of traditional rituals, I am obliged to herald the Gregorian New Year with thousands of revellers on streets.

For the sixth time in a row since the year end 2006, I went to the Taipei 101 fireworks show again last night, with my wife of course and, as I had spoken last year, my son, who is old enough now to join us.

While I am busy marking students' essays, striving to finish the manuscript of a paper which is scheduled to be published by the end of January, blah, blah, blah, I insist on maintaining the ritual of counting down to New Year at the same spot and then taking a photo thereafter.

I am so glad that Blogger is still in business and I am able to upload a set of comparative photos this year.