Monday, November 30, 2009

Day 30: Analysis

Huh, well that was actually easier than i thought it'd be: 1 post daily this month. Although on wkends i only slightly bent the rules, as i was sometimes had no internet access.

Anyhow, let's look at Status Red's readership over the years.

Hm, there's a massive spike in readers for last yr's 3rd quarter. i can only assume that people dig a good break up, as i can't fathom any other explanation. It's true: there was a lot more drama and wall-punching etc going on bk in those dreamy days.

And admittedly things are tapering off, but hey: the months not over yet! Call in now! YOU can make a DIFFERENCE! YOU can take this once in a lifetime opportunity to ready, yes read somebody's thoughts about their own life!

And i do often wonder who the heck reads this thing: "Hey you over in Newton Upper Falls, Massachusetts! What's up? Does Matt Damon still hang around the corner sometimes?"

Well i know i'm no Perez Hilton, but it's still cool to know that people i know and a few i don't for some bizarre reason have an interest in my rants and meanderings. And all that without acute descriptions of cysts or pubic hair!

But why? Maybe in spring it was entertaining as i dated a bizarrely long string of women. But frankly, even i know that occasionally the writing's less than effervescent. Ah well.

Knowing that there's at least 4.5 people out there following, i'd pbly write it pretty much the same. For now i've shelved the idea of writing part/full time next year, since the teaching work has gotten more livable.

Although, i do have one writing project on the back burner: one that's so damning, incriminating, and bloody well embarrassing that it's never hit the www, nor would it likely ever be published under my real name. If i could find anyone to publish the damn thing. Um, i dunno. i pbly shouldn't even mention it.


Sunday, November 29, 2009

Day 29: Just the asides

Personal crises aside, i did have a nice time meeting up with a friend for meditation and a bit of a jam session, him using his guzheng: a traditional chinese instrument that's a bit like a table guitar. Anyhow, there's postulation that we could throw together some songs and play a show or something. It was all rather catchy, if i do say so myself.

Later that night we met up for a bluegrass show. Who woulda thunk that you'd find 7 laowai up on stage doing some rather good ol' americana tunes.

Day 28: Serious Question

If someone seriously needs to see a doctor, but hates hospitals and doctors, then what possible action can one take to get the alleged to the req'd professional help?

The only answer i've come up with is: nothing. Which is a pretty ineffective and shitty answer.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Day 26: Nothing Day

Too deadened to even appreciate the weekend.
No plans.
No exorbitant amounts of impending hilarity.
A horrific pile of work in my bag to mark.

i sound like a bit of a downer today.

Day 26: Squush Gets A Surprise

Squush the Slug was nicely well-rounded and minimally happier than the other garden slugs. Every evening he would wake up and curiously sniff away at anything he could leave a tasteless slime trail on.

Generally he would just nibble away at the grasses, and sometimes exchange sperm with passerby slugs.

The ladybugs and the ants all get along with him. Even the grumpy caterpillars thought he was a alright.

Sometimes the aphids or beetles would disclose details of their personal lives, or the lives of others to Squush, and Squush would generally keep things to himself, even stuff that impacted his life directly and he wanted to talk or write about it.

Then one day Squush got a message from Blogger saying:
"Some readers of this blog have contacted Google because they believe this blog's content is objectionable. " So he peeked at the Content Policy and was still kinda confused. He assessed his blog.

No adult content
No child porn
No hate speech
No [particularly] crude content
No violence
No impersonating others
No use of other's personal info.


Ok. Copyright violation? Maybe. Squush had likely used images and omitted to give credit.
Possibly he could get nailed for using the Ohlympic mascots w/out proper permission.

Squush wished there was a specific complaint about the content of his blog.
So until then, he will continue on and see if anyone pulls out the pesticide.

Hopefully there'll be no trouble before he completes the last few days of Nablopomo.

Squush kindly requests that if anyone knows what the objectional material is, that they let him know, because the only material Squush wants is decomposing organic material.

Good luck, Squush!

Image from

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Day 25: A statusq By Any Other Name

In the 1st mandarin course i ever took, my teacher told me to ask my parents for a chinese name. After a strangely long absence of reply, i learned that they had been squabbling about it for weeks. My dad had made suggestions, and my mom had found them all inappropriate, then they would both get all annoyed about it.

Eventually i just said to my dad (who is the mandarin speaker of the 2) "Look, i don't care. Just give me a name. My teacher's been hassling me about it."

So he suggested 3, from which i like Wang Hui Ping. Cool, no prob. and the name has something to do with Equality, which resonates with my libran nature. Good.


Enter China, people here pretty much unanimously giggle and state that
a) it sounds like a girl name
b) it doesn't suit me.

Furthermore, they think the name's a bit odd.

Ok, i don't really care about a) since i'm pretty confident in my masculinity for a dude who others consider to be pretty metro.

But a bunch of people who's judgement i trust don't think the name's very appropriate for me. It's pretty old-fashioned, they say.

So i may shortly mention it to my parents that (yet again) i'm going to change my name. i hope they don't mind so much. They found it to be a bit annoying the 1st time i did that when i was 20 or something.

i'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Day 24: In With The New, Out With The Old

It's kinda cool that when you walk around the city, or the suburbs, you can often see people dancing in any chunk of flat paved service, where 1 or 2 or 3 people have lugged out a stereo system to pound out the beats.

Usually it's older couples doing some sort of waltz-y dance to traditional songs, though it's also common to hear 90's dance music, salsa, or even Indian bhangra.

Also, you can catch people doing very traditional sort of chinese line dancing, waving scarves or flags or pompoms or something in unison. Maybe 25 of 'em (98.4% women, i believe) will jilt around in symmetrical patterns as 3 old guys will bang on drums and play a horn. They often wear traditional costumes to do this, regardless of swiftly dropping temperatures. You may even be lucky enough to catch a guy in drag, as (similar to Elizabethan times) women didn't take to the stage.

Anyhow, as i was walking past with my bro last time, deciding i wasn't interested enough to stay and watch, i realized that these people are on the tail end of a dying art. Once they've passed on, hardly anyone will continue their tradition of social gathering and dance. That's a shame, since there's a richness in it, even if i don't feel like joining the line and dancing in the same circle for 15 minutes on end, as they do.

after that, i felt kind of sad about it. But i still walked away.

Oh well, cultures die and change. What else is new. Maybe people will continue on in the public spaces with the bhangra or something.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Day 23: God, Another Post About Food

Since i've come to China, i've eaten

Durian. I tried eating it a decade ago, and honestly tried to, but i just couldn't get this fruit which stank to high heavens of putrifying toes close enough to my mouth. However, when purchased pre-peeled and prepared, the fruit itself tastes mild and pleasant as promised.

Century eggs. My dad used to eat these blackified gelatinous eggs when i was a kid. i always thought it smelled pretty good w/ the tofu and sesame oil, but fuck did they look rank. However, now i don't care much, and can happily eat them, though preferably cut into small pieces as a garnish rather than the main event.

Frogs legs. i recall once being served them as a kid, and being stoked to eat the stuff which smelled like awesome chicken, but when i was informed about the amphibious extremities, it's like a concrete wall had sprung up between the steaming meat and my face. Can't say i dug it much. Too much bone and cartiledge. Tastes a bit like... chicken. Imagine that.

i've always been game to have a bite of dog, which is particularly common in the korean restaurants, but noone i know ever orders it. Apparently a bunch of the dog meat served in restaurants comes from strays. A bit creepy. Maybe later, who knows.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Day 22: Barefoot Gen

For my birthday, i was stoked to receive from my brother a couple graphic novels which i've been interested in for a long time, about life in Hiroshima before and after the holocaust.

He read the largely autobiographical Barefoot Gen some time ago, and reported that he had to stop reading it before bed because it started giving him such bad dreams. i heard a detail or 2 about a physically and emotionally devastated population of people who had no idea what radiation was or the sickness it inflicted. Anyhow, my interest was piqued.

i finished book one recently, and concur, the book is hard to put down. Even before the bomb, life in wartime Japan was hellish enough, particularly if your father doesn't support the wall, your family is labeled traitors, the father is badly beaten by the police, children are constantly fighting over food, etc etc.

It's all pretty intense, and the narrative is overflowing with details about the stress and trauma of wartimes. And that's all before Little Boy, made its descent on its unsuspecting victims, whereupon life takes a turn for the horrific. An immense flash of heat turns people into monsters with their skin all dripping off their faces and bodies, stumbling through a flattened city to find water, loved ones, and racing fire.

Anyhow. Sorry if i spoiled it. There's a big bomb that happens near the end. Of book 1. There's 9 parts more to follow.

Also, i'm keen to go to Japan sooner or later, and Hiroshima was already pretty high on my list of locales.

If you can find it, it's def worth a read.

Day 21: Great, Just Great.

Q is out of town for work this wkend. Last night got quite drunk w/ a bunch of foreigner teachers, only 1 of whom works in my school. The others are from the other neighbourhood school. Some of whom i never met before. All quite young. Anyhow, it was pretty fun, considering we didn't even leave the 'hood.

Woke up w/ a bit of a hangover (though nothing near as bad as before), and went out to the great wall on a staff field trip. i think most staff was a bit hung over from people's various outings last night.

Anyhow, after many trips to the wall, i have finally got to get out of bounds onto some really crumbly falling apart at the lack of mortar great wall. Set out solo (since everyone else was too f'ing busy chatting ans stopping to take pix. And most people didn't go out of the in-zone anyhow) . I covered some distance and eventually found a sunny spot on top of one of the towers and sat peacefully nibbling on roasted chestnuts.

The end.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Day 19: Lazy Mofo

UBC tuition paid off in full, thx to the VPN client internet access they provide alumni. Which allows me to waste horrendous amounts of time trying to find something entertaining, but also granting me access to fabuloso videos such as this:

So rad.

And since i'm on the topic of music videos, did you see that Taylor Swift vid that won the MTV Best Female Video award? God, what piece of melted shit that was. Me and my bro watched it, and we both had that queasy feeling in our gut as a result.

Think Avril Lavigne but way cheezier and countrified and way way WAY more cliche'd. F'ing bad. And so ever since seeing the vid, i think Kanye's "jack-ass" behaviour was pretty much justified. i can't say the Beyonce video really makes me sweat, but it's not half bad, i'll admit.

Ok. Enough about that. i think it's a faux-pas to talk about this stuff more than 2 weeks after the event, right?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Day 18: Mad William

I was pumped to watch Mad Max last night, 'cause i had this feeling it would be rad, but despite some visual style, really it was pretty dumb. (Yeah yeah, go ahead and shake your heads).

In fact, i was thinking of the next flick Mad Max 2: the Road Warrior, a flick where Max shares a can of Alpo with his dog, where guys tear through the desert in vehicles slapped together from scrap metal and wreckage, wearing the remnants of civilization, and killing themselves over an oil tanker truck.

Because a while ago, a coworker commented to me that he was stoked for the future to come: to a time when people by choice or necessity had pulled their shit together and created carbon neutral civilization, all public transit, etc. Yes, a nice dream, but i felt it a bit naive.

'Cause despite my optimistic outlook on many things, i don't believe humanity can get it together in time to avoid ecological catastrophe. Yes, of course there's some smart motherfuckers out there, who will make their little eco-havens, replete with solar powered wi-fi.

But there's no doubt in my mind that millions of people and governments will not be able to even come close to getting their shit together in time.

Which i imagine will make for a very dangerous situation of Haves and Have Nots. And then it dawned upon me that Mad Max might turn out to be prophetic.

Mad Max 2 begins with a prologue backstory; a narrator informs us that the world has "crumbled and...the cities have exploded;" uprisings and social disorder due to energy shortages have destabilized the country; and that "two mighty warrior tribes" had gone to war over "oil." The crumbling remnants of the government attempt to restore some form of order, but life has become a "whirlwind of looting and a firestorm of fear, in which 'men began to feed on men.'"

(from Wikipedia)

Shit, i can really SEE it. Except maybe on more of a global scale. No wonder it became a cult-classic.

i'm tempted to download part 2, but frankly, the battle scenes available on Youtube are pbly good enough.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Day 17: 2012


Maybe 8 years ago i was hanging out in Roberts Creek and 2012 was a secret buzz word limited to progressive hippy types. And now the director of Independence Day has brought the potential disaster to the forefront of public consciousness via the Hollywood machine.

The movie takes the end of the world as its mechanism, and from a quick view of the trailer, the special effects look AMAZING. A quick peek at Rotten Tomatoes also reveals that the movie is pbly the narrative dud that i'd imagined. After all, i found Independence Day rather painful to sit through.

Well i dunno about things elsewhere, but people in BJ seem to know about this movie. People ask me, "Do you know about 2012? Are you worried? What do you think is going to happen?"

It's said that not only does the Mayan calendar reach completion, but 2012, may have other things going for it: geomagnetic reversal (aka polar shift), a black hole alignment, and a maxing out of Terrence Mckenna's "novelty" calculations. Aka Timewave Zero, as supported by the I-Ching (my brother swears by the I-Ching, btw).

I don't expect global meltdown, but i do think that its certainly as good a time as any for it to happen.

Although tidal waves and undulating landscapes make for exciting visuals, i expect some sort of slow shift to happen to the consciousness of humanity.

Maybe that will be an opening of the mind. i have heard it said that taking the drug DMT was the best preparation for this impending opening consciousness. If that happens, my advice to everyone is: relax. It's all good. Even if it feels as fucked up as possibly imaginable. Somehow or another, i suspect people will drag themselves in wonderment to their jobs, purchase their toilet paper and other necessities, and microwave dinner.

Maybe i'm wrong.

But hey: I read it on the internet, so it must be true!

If not the above, perhaps the collapse of capitalism could be a worthy second best. Eh?

pic stolen from

Monday, November 16, 2009

Day 16: Recent Scores

i mentioned before that chinese people like eating chinese food.


i also like it.

But i also like other stuff.

i used to complain that where i live the only non-chinese food is KFC and McDonalds.

But then someone installed a restaurant called Aftertaste (yes, Aftertaste) that claimed to do Italian food. The food was pretty mediocre i found, until only recently i discovered that their mediocre menu holds within it some pretty decent pizza. Yay!

Also, downtown is a trendy shopping area, which i generally dislike, and pretty much go there a LOT since Q's been running the only art gallery in the 'hood there. And this wkend i finally tried this little burrito joint, and son of a rooster, i had the best nachos that i've had in YEARS.

That's swell.

Other than that, i've started cooking a LIIIIIITTLe bit more than before. Which is to say, a little bit more than zero.

And, don't worry, i haven't lost my touch.

In case you were worrying.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Day 1: Fleas

Do you love the Red Hot Chili Peppers? Do you love Flea? Did you wonder why Flea named himself after a flea?

Well now i have 1st hand experience with fleas.

Fleas are tough motherfuckers. you can squish them with you finger, HARD, and they may squirm around uncomfortably afterwards, but it won't kill them. You have to squish them with something hard. Ok, ok, your fingernail will suffice.

They're fast. They can dart around into unseen depths of fur before you can get a finger on 'em.

They can jump. Surprsingly far and surprisingly fast. And they often do, at that critical moment, leaving their hunters cursing.

And frankly, the idea of camping out on some warm animal and sucking its blood seems pretty clever to me.

J was a bit annoyed as i expressed my flea admiration as we combed through XiaoQiao's fur, but them's the breaks.

This isn't even meant to be tongue in cheek, and yes, it's a shame that the fleas helped kill XQ :(

Day 15: To Cry Or Not To Cry

i've been dwelling on my emotional response to XiaoQiao's death.

At school i was like, "Too bad. So long, bugger." Even dead, she was really cute. Then i went to take a leak, and suddenly tears started flowing along side of my piss.

Later, i cried when i buried her.

Later, i cried when i blogged, and watched the video (and i usually hate cute animal vids).

Later, i cried at Q's when her cat crawled into my lap and started purring.

Anyhow, i wonder if this outpour of emotion is indulgent. It's like you can choose to cry, or you can choose to keep it together.

If i had more pressing tragedies in my life, then i assume XiaoQiao would get bumped down in the emotional priority list. Well, seeing as how there isn't any other pressing tragedies at present, i've been free to delve into whatever came up.

What a luxury.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Day 13: Bye Bye Kitty

i feel sad.

i just buried XiaoJiao. She died this afternoon, despite all our hot water bottles, flea-picking and force feeding.

i was making plans for our future as buds and roomies. i was planning a kitty door to let her outside in summer. i was cursing how she was taking away my wkend freedoms. i uncomplainingly wiped her diarrhea off of my lap. i'd already arranged a full to the brim litter box.i searched for fleas and wiped her bum at 1 am.

i was all excited to see her come back to life, but she never did.

And it's extra sad 'cause she seemed more lively when we first picked her up, as shown.

And everybody coo'ed and oo'ed whenever she made her strange little dinosaur squawks. (her name alludes to them).

Anyhow, i'm not sure if i'm surprised at how quickly i got attached to the poor little bugger. i feel bad that she was dying from cold, and now she's underground with no heater, no hot water bottle, and no possibility of ever again climbing into my friend J's cleavage.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Day 11: No time to write

Big bro leaves tomorrow am.
Had din tonight w/ Q and friend and D.
Now we're trying to play w/ a kitty.
It's already past my bedtime!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Day 10: Chubby Cultural Differences

Here's just a quick note about how on the weekend me and Q and my bro were invited to a friend's for tea. (He was really excited to drink Puer tea in his new apt for the first time). A couple more of his friends swung by, one of whom Q had met about a year ago.

He didn't recognize her at first because she's fatter now than she was then. Personally i found it a touch rude, and Q was a bit embarrassed as indeed she does think she's a bit overweight. It's true she doesn't exercise much, but her BMI (for whatever credibility it has) says if anything, that she's underweight.

Anyhow, she agreed, and that was about it. It wasn't taken as rude by anyone, even in the context of a particularly cordial afternoon chilling out.

So, next time a chinese person calls you fat, (which they often do), you can remember it's a cultural thing.

Amd since i'm on the topic of food, i forgot to mention in yesterday's post, my ongoing dharmic question as to whether being lean and borderline underweight justifies full on indulgence with gluttony. Seriously. On the one hand, i think it would be nice to put on a few pounds for winter so i'm not freezing my butt off so often, and it sure is nice eating as much as i want as often as i want. But i do feel that it's indulgence and gluttony, and it definitely doesn't feel healthy to eat to the bursting point, as i do regularly.

Any opinions on this?

Monday, November 9, 2009

Day 9: eat, Eat, EAT

1. My brother extolls his disgust at being able to count my ribs when viewing my backside. He thinks i should start everyday off w/ a fat mug of protein powder. Or (as more traditionally minded folk think) eat meat.

2. I feel pretty accustomed to my body after 35 years of being... slim.

3. My Body Mass Index says i'm NOT underweight.

4. Though i am on the brink.

5. And anyone who knows me, knows i eat copiously regularly.

6. Notably moreso since the temp dropped lately.

7. So.

8. I've started eating more meat.

9. Which is to say that i'm picking less of it out of my portions at school than usual.

10. i justify it by thinking that essentially i'm against the meat industry, and eating or not eating the scraps dished out in the caf basically affect the industry like zilch.

11. Anyways, it tastes pretty good sometimes.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Day 8: Sharks

Last night i watched Sharkwater. Until the dvd jammed maybe 1/2 way through.

It was pretty good. i learned a few things about Sharks.

For example:
The annual average of death from shark attacks is five.
More people die from mishaps with pop machines.

Also, as we know, Sharks are at the top of the food chain, and have been for centuries, remaining virtually unchanged through two major periods of extinctions. As such, they have shaped the development of all creatures below them, and are like the bosses of the foodchain below them.


If the bosses are gone, then we can expect a lot of unruliness to come up, and it's hard to know what that will look like, but it's quite likely it could make for a massive ecological mess.

Anyhow, i hope to watch the rest of it someday, and likely bash away more of the remaining fear i have of sharks.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Day 7: Big BJ, Little BJ

The municipality of Beijing has 17million plus registered residents.
Which sounds like a lot of people to get lost amongst.
But when you meet a few people, then you meet a few other people.
Who know other people.

Then the city starts feeling like a cozy little gang.

For example.

I go to see a friend's show. Then backstage i meet a singer songwriter. When we hang out later, he gives me his cd, and copy of his video (both of which i rather like). Later i show my gf, Q, the video, to which she exclaims, "The drummer is one of my best friends!"

Then last night, Q and my bro acquiesce to go to Mao Livehouse, since a guy i know invited me to his book release party, since he just found a non-independent publisher. i knew quite a few people there, and didn't even realize that my friend was playing guitar in one of the performances w/ a "famous" singer. (and earlier i was considering inviting him out).

And Q, who is sometimes reluctant to come out, was keen to see the last performance because unbeknownst to her, the famous singer turned out to be an old friend of hers.


At this rate, the whole scene's gonna be incestuous before i even move to downtown.

Day 6: Spring Is Here

Although this may not be of great interest to many of you, today i am SO HAPPY because i have learned the answer to a problem which has irked me for more than a decade.

Which is:

How does a spring work?
Why does it always bend back?
How can you forge metal in such a way that it stores energy for decades or more?

So on a whim, a good 3 minutes before class started, it was the ideal time for distraction.

Thus i learned:

You can attach one heated metal to pre hardened metal, and then when it cools, it shrinks, and...


The damn thing is locked in a perpetual state of stress and anxiety!
Forever bound to release drivers from bumps in the road.
To firmly clamp hair to the iron.
And make novelty penises bounce happily forevermore.

What a life!
Oh, the humanity!

Well then.

i hope you have enjoyed today's lesson.

Pop quiz on Monday.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Day 5: Breathe Easy

The air doesn't look so good today.
Didn't smell anything, but it's kinda thick and hazy, and you can feel it in your lungs a bit.

In spring my cousin had a baby, and we were talking about life in bj.

She was born here, and loves living in bj (even though she's out a ways even farther from dntn than me). She's comfy here,and doesn't want to live anywhere else.

i like it too, and neither me nor the other beijingers seem to be suffering from toxins, but still everybody knows it ain't good for you.

However, if i were a parent, the cause for concern would obviously be higher. (my cuz said the pollution is the ONLY reason she'd want to leave BJ. i kinda agree).

Especially since, did you know that of all the toxins accumulated in the human body, the highest concentrations of those toxins is found is... mothers' breast milk?

This phenomenon has been demonstrated in dolphins' high calf mortality rate, from high mercury levels. The most safe and natural seeming activity killed them. That's pretty depressing.

Anyhow. Nonetheless, i don't want to waste too much time on the internet, hence i will presently make an effort to exit the premises, hop on a bike, and get some fresh air.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Day 4: Time (same old same old)

Every day i wake up at 7:04am.
1st class at 8.
Last class done at 2:40.
Dinner at 5.
Usually home before 6.
Usually kill 2 hrs or more on the internet doing stuff like
writing a blog
checking a news site or 2
wasting time on FB, and Youtube
(thx to my newly acquired from UBC VPN,
which also allows me to blog)
and other possibly unmentionable websites
possibly marking some student work
possibly watching a bit of a video

But then virtually every night i hope to get in bed by 10:30.
Considering how hard it is to wake up in the morning each day.
But it never happsns.

right now it's 23:02.
And i still need to brush.
And do my daily meditation,
which is about a measly 8 min
before i decide that sleep is the priority
to enlightenment.


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Day 3: Adventures in Democracy

I'm a bit surprised that i find this Confederation stuff rather interesting.

And teaching it in China is more interesting.

However, you may consider from time to time, that teaching this stuff in China is... different.

For example:

In one class i was teaching the kids about how in early canada (pre confederation), the govt was shitty, so the people protested, and then the govt shot the protesters. "Actually this has happened in many countries. It happened here in Beijing even, not long ago."

Some kids were like "what? i've nver heard that!"
Others said, "It's true!"

Then they started blabbing in Chinese for a couple seconds before i said,"Ok ok, let's just keep going w/ the book. i pbly shouldn't even say anything about that."

Then the nxt day the principal individually talked to all staffers, to say that our official position, in the foreign, Canadian-styled school, if it comes up, is that we can and will talk about it, but w/out judgement. Which was a pretty bold stand for him to take in dealing w/the chinese admin, methinks. Apparently the chinese govt's official position is that It Never Happened. i mentioned my previous classroom discussion to him, to which he responded, "Really! Funny, i thought this stuff would never come in your class." He obviously doesn't know me that well.

I've discussed the T-incident w/ a small handful of folks, and some have awareness about it, (occasionally first hand!), and some donet. However, H and her bf were surfing Wikipedia one time, and H clicked on the Tian o men link, and could hardly believe that it connected. Her bf, it turns out, had never heard of the event, and was quite sickened to read about it.

As the govt manages to keep the incident out of the history books, it's interesting to see how it seems to have become an oral history. Of course, it's also a history that will be largely limited to the educated and urban. However, i've been told that younger students aren't as likely to know anything about it, and it doesn't seem like the older students are all hype to stir the pot either.

Well, at least there's Hong Kong, where they have their T-anniversary candle light vigils, and open letters to the PRC govt, and ongoing calls for the release (still!) of imprisoned dissidents.

Note: the title of this post is a bit tongue in cheek. Although i do feel that democracy is generally a pretty great (ahem) idea, i don't necessarily feel like its the holy grail of political systems. Well, not yet, anyhow.

Picture from

Monday, November 2, 2009

Day 2: Halloween Catch up

Generally, Halloween's not so big in China. However, in Beijing it's bigger than most places around here. If you hang out in the right spots.

So this year, Halloween was on a wkend, thus i figured i'd do it up for the 1st time on this here continent. Me and some coworkers hit up an 80's night Halloween gig, which did deliver up free mystery shots and highballs for those in costume, though the place wasn't super-populated.

Then we hit up another bar which was pretty full of young drunk people, but hardly a costume in sight. Oh well. 1/2 a beer there on top of the previous mystery drinks was a groggy enough of a mixture to convince me to have a quick puke as soon as i flopped out of the taxi outside my apt building.

Which is a bit odd, considering i didn't even feel so drunk beforehand. Then i promptly brushed my teeth and passeed out immediately in bed, and had a great sleep.

That was ok, but really the funnest part of the night was when we were all throwing our costumes together, papers and tape and scissors and makeup all getting their workouts, music rumbling, and a sip of gin here and there.

Not quite as epic or as underground as Halloween gets in Van, but not so bad either. Better than staying at home watching Twilight, anyhow.