Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Keep Your Eye on the Fish

On Sunday, i caught my friends' band (a husband wife couple). Their name translates to something like The Cat Outside the Fish Shop. i think they could be my new favourite Beijing band. All their songs were capital U cute, w/ clever and smooth compositions, slick programmed backdrops, and a quirky female lead whose voice i can't imagine with any other music style.

They're definitely not for everyone, but i think they're rad.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

2008 Year In Review

2008 was a full 365 Gregorian days, that's for sure. (unless it was a leap year, i don't really pay much attention).

i finished my 1st school year in Beijing. i signed on for 2 more years. i got the flu on Hainan beaches, and i got horrendously hung over in Shanghai. Somehow i got lots of kids to think i was a great teacher, though they pbly didn't realize how much of my enthusiasm was ... a tad forced, shall we say. (Maybe that's the skill of a great teacher).

i had great experiences in India, though they were less pivotal (of course) than from my first trip there, which had totally turned my universe inside out, and threw in a few carbon copies to boot.

i also got dumped in the vacation's afterglow, and that has brought on countless new changes to my life in BJ, mostly good i think.

However, i admit i'm in a pretty pissy mood as i write this, so my overview of the year could be a bit tainted.

I was thinking today about when a few years ago, i was having a heart to heart w/ this drunken teenager, and me and my friend were telling him in all sincerity that the older you get, the better life gets. And i don't know if that rings true anymore. I didn't exactly mean that the passage of time = growing happiness, but at the time i really felt that that was my experience.

Well i guess it was bound to switch up sooner or later, and it's pbly better to get that out of the way before 2009, when the whole planet and its dog might move closer to economic misery.

Anyhow, 2008 was pretty fucking rich in its experiences. Like more than 2002, for sure! And i mostly still think i'm doing a decent job at doing what i'm supposed to do. Somehow. Even if i do have more bad moods and crankiness than i ever have. And even if i punch walls occasionally. And even if the unoriginal words "i hate my job" have started cropping up in between my synapses. And even if i'm drinking and smoking more than i ever have.

Well, actually in the past couple weeks i haven't been drinking or smoking all that much. So i can still claim some sense of responsibility. Though i irresponsibly got my date badly hammered on tequila last week. Oops.

So to sum up. i give 2008 a B. Almost a B+, except that there were too many grammatical errors.

Friday, December 26, 2008

The Dating Game: Part 2 - (You Pbly Expected Part 2)

Well a month ago maybe my artist friend introduced her art student/painter friend, Y, to my brother and i. We all had a pretty fun time. Me and my bro and Y ended up in the Bed Bar til pretty late, whereupon we decided to call it a night. Then Y mentions that she's locked out of her uni dorm, but she can sleep on a couch in the foyer or something.

So of course we could hear chivalry beckoning us all back to my apartment for another drink and a spare bed. And then back in my pad i found myself lighting candles, and you might guess what direction the traffic patrollers were pointing me in.

Anyhow, point being is that me and Y are dating. She's very sweet, and we get along quite naturally.

however i feel i need to be particularly conscious of how i'm handling myself in this relationship considering that... well today, she turned nineteen years of age.

Shocking, i know. i wouldn't have expected it myself. i'm not even into younger girls. But i was introduced to her by a woman who's like 1/2way inbetween me and Y's age gap, and i think it may have been a tiny bit of a set up. Anyhow, thus far things have shown themselves to be quite positive.

Also i immediately did my homework (thanks, Dan), to make sure that i know what i'm getting into and that i'm handling myself appropriately. And i recall all too well my first relationship when i was 17 or 18, and how me and my gf and my peers and their partners were all trying way too hard to make our relationships way more serious and more deep and more meaningful and more soul-matey than they ever were destined to be.

And looking back, i have also contemplated how cool it could be to have been with someone who wasn't trying to everything mean capital L love; someone who was more like, "hey you're really cool, but this isn't IT. But we can still totally learn from each other and support each other and have an awesome rad fun time."

One friend of mine said, yes she's young, but if its not a problem, it's not a problem. If it becomes a problem, then it'll become a problem. So that's where it's at.

And i know it ain't perfect. It's quite clear that we live in 2 different worlds (not to mention opposite ends of the city, a potential 3 hr commute). And that i have more experience. And that she's less emotionally mature (hence the drama which affects her in her university life). All of which we've discussed. And then we hang out and everything seems ok.

So no big plans, but we did postulate that i could swing by her hometown on my summer train trek through China. Anyhow we'll see where it goes.

Down Up, Up Down, Down Up, Up Down

I should mention that this past wk, i haven't been 1/2 as cranky as the weeks previous. Maybe just 1/6 or so. Ha.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Dating Game Part 1

Guess what.
Not everything in my life makes it onto the blog.
Forgive me for holding back, but sometimes i need some space to figure out what the hell's going on, and some things just aren't blog-material.

But here's an omitted detail or 2 for you.

A couple months or so vago, i had a few dates w/ this chinese woman i met online, who i thought was crazy gorgeous ('cause she was). The night we met we got kinda tipsy, then hit a hiphop club packed w/ grinding college kids. It was pretty hilarious. Afterwards she coyly asked if i needed a lift anywhere and ended up dropping me off in her bedroom. It was a fun night, though i thought it wise to save actual intercourse for a later date. 'Cause like hey, why not? She was surprised and commented on my self-control, which i found rather amusing.

Then she came out for a quick drink w/ my friends the next night.

Then due to scheduling probs, it wasa long 3 wks or so before we saw each other again. Then we had another date and went bk to her apt and wound up having sex. Or "making love" as we called it. i think it was a translation issue, but it felt fine. i admit that considering the span of time that had strainedly stretched out between hook ups, i partly wanted to do the deed as a means of moving things forward: likely an error.

It was quite hot, but right afterwards i felt like i wanted to leave. That's the 1st time i ever had that post-coitus emotion, and i felt kinda bad about it (i've heard about that kind of guy before). Anyhow, we hung out a bit in the morning and everything seemed cool. Later we made plans to meet up the next wkend to chk out art galleries.

But then that wkend she went AWOL, and didn't return my txt or phone calls. It was weird. i called her later but she needed to call me back, which she didn't. i was pretty bummed for a while.

The end.

Except that i often see her on msn, but figure it best to just leave her alone. Although one time a few weeks ago she got me on Chat, and we had some pleasant small talk and never addressed anything from before.

The end.

i definitely felt obsessive in the gaps between seeing her, and not knowing what the heck was going on. We really did get on pretty well, but there's no doubt i was feeling a tad needy, nor was she was the best communicator, (potentially compounded by language issues), and also her life and schedule was like craaaazily dominated by her work. Seriously. i don't know if i can handle being w/ someone who puts in hours at work worse than i do, and willingly so. i totally couldn't handle being on call 24-7 on top of 50 hr work weeks.

Friday, December 19, 2008

My Depressed Stance

well at least i'm trying.
i mean my moods are far from uppity these days, though i don't seem to be so directly pissed off about work itself. Actually i was feeling pretty self-satisfied today that my students pbly think i'm almost as happy go lucky as usual, when really i'm not.

a couple things going on which i won't get into here, but i'm feeling pretty unimpressed w/ myself for my impatience and for being so fucking edgy these days.

But so as not to just be a whinger, i have at least started running a bit, biking a bit, doing pushups and pull ups. i have started flossing again. (it was said on Oprah that it stimulates some happy nerves). i have been forcing myself out of the apartment, even if there's no reason whatsoever to do so.

Then the other day i was on the bus, seriously thinking that all the work i've done in this life to be balanced and healthy and happy didn't seem like it had done much good. i was feeling pretty pissed off.

At the same time, i fully recognize that these moods are totally self-indulgent. It's fully possible that i'm just enjoying being sullen too much to let it go. i mean hey, how often does statusq get all grumpy and sullen? Seriously. So let a guy indulge once in a while, it's no skin off your back.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Zoo

*Oops, here's a post i thought i posted a week ago.

i tend not to go to zoos, 'cause i don't approve of them, but my friend suggested it as a good backdrop for a photoshoot. Anyhow, it was only like $2 to get in anyhow. And there was maybe 10 or so pandas there. And i maybe you've seen pandas before. they're pretty cute. Especially when 5 of them are rolling all over each other like it's an orgy for toddlers.

Also there were lions and tigers and a panther and a cheetah. This part was totally depressing. The animals were so incredible and majestic, and seeing them in this sickeningly inadequate and humiliating environment was an affront on my own humanity.

i couldn't even take pictures of them. Well, i tried one time, 'cause the tiger was sleeping. But then he opened his eyes, and i put away my camera.

Then we did more photos and video stuff at my friend's apt, and that was great.

It's Beginning to Feel a Teeny Tiny Bit Like Christmas

Basically, i have other things to think about.
Ok, so i'm feeding a few xmas carols to the students. (the sad ones).
And i'm wondering if i can get outta bj for the boxing day wkend.
But i realized when i got a very sweet homemade xmas card in the mail today, that there's no way i'm gonna get any xmas cards out on time this year.
So sorry folks, i guess i won't be passing on the love and good will this year. (what a jerk).

But i will remind folks that people are welcome to visit bj, and i do have an extra bedroom w/ 2 beds in it, just waiting for visitors. Until June, anyhow. i tried to convince the married couple to let me take on their 1 bedroom apt, but they didn't want to bother. Damn their eyes.

Almost Famous

My wonderfully talented friend Joy posted pix from our photoshoot day last week. Check out the pix of me and my bro here.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

No Witty Title. So Sue Me.

Sometimes i get cranky.
But now i get cranky more than i ever have in my entire life.
Sometimes i get in a bad mood.
But now i get in bad moods more than i ever have in my entire life.
It might be related to my job.
Sometimes i hate my work.
Which is too bad, since the work isn't totally awful.
though there is too much.
Sometimes my teaching is pretty mediocre.
And i have trouble mustering up energy to do things which would pbly streamline my work.
i'm thinking about life after teaching.
i'll stick out this year for sure.

i still like living in beijing.
i like the weekends.
Even though i always have to work some.
Maybe i can get into some other business here.

i really hope the cranky wil doesn't become the regular wil.
He swears too much.
He's kind of a shithead.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

A Small Speech for a Small Boy

I was asked to find a speech that one of my gr 1 students could read at the new years ceremony, but i figured it would be easier to write something appropriate myself. Here's what it looks like.

Hi everyone, how are you?
My name is David!

2008 is over.
Some people finish the year and they are happy.
Some people finish the year and they are sad.
But I'm not sad.
I feel great!
Do you know why?
Because I'm a small boy and i have lots of fun.
Some adults work a lot.
They think about money a lot.
i never think about money, because I'm a small boy.
I play with my friends and i go to school.
Some students don't like school because they have to work.
Not me.
At school i sing songs and play with my friends.
I think school is fun!

And now 2008 is finished.
That's great!

The Olympics are also finished.
That's great!

I am a small boy, so i am happy that i am growing bigger.
I am like a seed that grows and grows into a big plant.

Plants are great!
2008 was great!
Do you think 2009 will also be great?
I do!

Because my name is David and I am a small boy!
Thank-you and happy new year!

i'll be pissed off if David doesn't get to read this Obama-rivalling piece of oral art.