Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Fucking Convenience

So it's true that for the last couple years i've been trying to avoid air travel out of concern for the environment.

i often have the luxury of time which has allowed me to do so free of complaint.

And there have also been times, such as the recent cancellation of my Japan flight, which did cause significant inconvenience and monetary penalty.

Maybe i have made myself into an example for others, and maybe that's a problem.

One time i felt like my coworkers were attacking me for my decision to cancel my flight, as understandably they may have felt like i was condemning their own flights as environmentally terrible.

And in fact i do think all flights are just that, but that's nothing i said to them. Truthfully, i just did so for my own peace of mind, and to rid myself of the feeling that i was being a hypocrite.

i have a lot of trouble in trying to factor in how my own ego affects everything. Is it the hypocrisy in the eyes of myself or others that causes me discomfort? How much of each one? Don't know.

Tonight Q has suggested that she doesn't want to take a 9 hr train to Dalian, in favour of a 1 hr plane ride that's not that much more expensive. It put me in a bad mood. Ok, maybe it wastes too much time; ok maybe the train will be dirty; ok maybe it's very inconvenient for her, and inconvenient for her to come to the train station.

i refrained from making any argument because maybe any argument i would make would equally be an argument from a self-righteous ego. i was silent for a bit and then said ok, albeit in a grumbly way. Eventually i suggested maybe just taking the train one way back to BJ.

There's no doubt that when i fly i feel pretty guilty and shitty about it. i also feel that hey, i've flown a plenty in 35 yrs on this planet, and am more responsible for more than my fair share of carbon emissions. Who the fuck am i to tell others not to fly? So i don't. People can and will do whatever the fuck they want. Sorry if people take offense to my decisions.

This seems a lot bigger than the eating veg thing. It seems so extreme to people that i want to fly less. It's practically unheard of. I don't want to be extreme. i have zero f'ing desire to be a guy who you can't travel with, or who's a pain in the ass to deal with. i dunno, i feel kinda alone in this, however that happened.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Copin' Hagen

Um, i feel like the best you can do is believe what you read. And i read a lot of different things. Pros. Cons. China fucked it up. The USA was no action. Copenhagen screwed everything up beforehand in how it set up meetings.

And at least a few articles saying, huge steps taken none the less.

My own moods swayed considerably depending on whatever article i fell into. i too am disappointed. i too had hoped for much more.

i felt a bit pissed off at living in the very country who had held things back considerably. i feel angry at China and any other country who (understandably) puts the welfare of its own people above that of humanity and every bloody living creature on the bloody planet.

i also feel pissed off that it's no coincidence that China hasn't got much internal pressure to push hard for enviro safeguarding. That is to say, the public consciousness of the issues at hand aren't well understood by the general population. Because... the media here is worse than it is back home.

And people who don't know much about China or global enviro issues definitely don't know about some distant faraway city called Copenhagen. Funny that. 'Cause China generally likes to boast about how important and international it is, but when Premier Wen Jiabao goes to Copenhagen, it's not hyped much. Ok, it's not hidden from the news, but you can't expect the People's Daily to say ANYTHING negative about China, just like you can't expect The Province to say anything bad about logging or whatever.

Anyhow, so people say we have made progress, but we have a long way to go still. Others were saying that Copenhagen was now or never. Unfortunately we'll have to wait until climate change gets so ugly that we're forced into our next international summit.

When it happens, i imagine i'll just keep my fingers crossed and tend my compost.

Death Penalties

Well, the Briton got it.
Caught smuggling 4kg of heroin into China, the reported mentally ill man got a lethal injection.

China executed 1,718 people in 2008, according to Amnesty International
Last year 72% of the world's total executions took place in China, the charity estimates
It applies to 60 offences, including non-violent crimes such as tax fraud and embezzlement
Those sentenced to death are usually shot, but some provinces are introducing lethal injections

China defended itself stating, "The amount of heroin he brought into China was 4,030g, enough to cause 26,800 deaths, threatening numerous families."

Maybe they had a point in that noone was able to show them any medical record of his condition, but they never assessed him either.

I'm not one for the death penalty myself, but at least i think China's more efficient at it, which should be a relief for tax-payers.

Sad for the man and his family anyhow.

Everything cited from

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Um, Scratch that last post, sorry

First, i should say that one of the reasons i was dallying on the last post was the very fact that issues about the break up felt... unresolved. i felt hesitant to talk about it w/ people since i didn't really know where things were at since Q had called communications to a halt, and i was trying to practice a bit of patience.

Then on xmas eve, i got a txt from her saying i could crash at her apt i was downtown and needed a place to sleep. FYI, Christmas eve is a big party, club, and KTV night in China. Go figure.

It looks like me and Q are together again.

This is the 1st time that i have gotten bk together w/ someone post break up. However, i should note that it didn't feel like much of a break up since i never knew exactly what the reasoning was for her decision.

i too was a bit passive in the affair, since at that point i felt like i wasn't capable of investing much more into it than i was.


When we met up that evening, it felt like i was talking to the Qianqian i had fallen in love with. We talked quite a lot this wkend about things, and how we felt, and about concerns and worries for our relationship. i admit i still have some reservations about how things may play out in the future, but for now, i have enough faith in things to see where we can go.

And i'm happy to see Q also reconnecting w/ her friends, after a stint of seclusion. Eating regularly. All good signs.

Also, i find it strange that at least two people had said, "Well, maybe you'll get back together," after i'd shared the latest. Odd, i thought.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

And So This Is Christmas

Um, sorry i've been not so blabby as of late. Been taking a bit of time digest and figure out what i'm thinking about, aka working and doing not much of anything exciting.

Almost a wk ago, Q and i let our relationship fizzle out. She'd been at times crazily despondent, and though i know she has had difficulties with emotions, i felt like it was difficult for me to put much more energy than i was into the relationship.

After a particularly trying night, she suggested we split up, and i found myself strangely ambivalent about it.

Shame, because she really is great, she could also be someone i don't recognize so well. The person i fell in love with wasn't showing up very often in the last couple months, that's for sure. i felt a bit selfish, but i didn't feel so attached to this new Q.

i have since become a cancellation machine.

After canceling my plane ticket to Japan, i decided to have a trip to Dalian for the xmas long weekend. Originally me and Q were planning to go for NYE, but i decided that it would be better to get the hell out of town sooner rather than later, just to keep myself busy. Then i found out that my friend's going away party is this Saturday. i decided to skip the party, but then had a dream about my friend reiterating that she wanted me to come so i canceled the tix. Then i woke up, and she reiterated that she wanted me to come, so i canceled the tix.

There's a staff xmas eve dinner, but i can't say i ever felt any urge to attend it: especially since the chinese staff bigwigs will be in attendance, and hanging out w/ that gang is NOT the way i want to chill out, even if a few other western staff are there commiserating in their xmas in a strange and distant from family situation.

In fact, i feel a bit blessed in that earlier i was kinda dreading an xmas of killing time, but the few people i know in this city have invited me out to hang out.

On that note, i should say that i feel splitting w/ Q leaves a massive gaping hole in my social life. We did spend a fair bit of time together, but often at the exclusion of hanging out w/ other people. She could be very critical of people, and didn't like some of my friends, or even her own. Not ideal i guess. i kinda like meeting and hanging out w/ people. But now i feel a bit unsure about my life in bj, and the plan to move dntn next year. i think about the millions of people, surrounded by crowds, yet living in awkward desolation. (Thanks, Morrissey).

At any rate, i'm not feeling so christmasy this year, despite showing xmas cartoons to couple classes today, and pissing off students by telling no, we weren't going to have fun; we were gonna take notes on a powerpoint about the Hudson Bay Company and the Canadian Deed of Surrender, and did you know that the HBC is only interested in money, and even at christmas they didn't want to share or have fun, but the Metis wanted to sing christmas carols and have fun, but the HBC said no; if HBC was alway being mean, is that bad? So then at christmas some ghosts came out to scare HBC...

That's my monologue intro to Mickey's Christmas Carol.

So, Merry Christmas, everyone. Haha, you can say that in China, and noone bats an eye.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Japan transportation woes

Originally i wanted to go to Japan for Spring Festival. Then i got invited to Q's hometown. But then she determined that she only gets a wk off for break (vs my 4 wks) so she figures i might as well exploit Japan.

So i will. Egged on by newly disclosed details about bizarre sleeping arrangements in her parents household.

Anyhow. So i chked on flights and found something that looked reasonable, and convenient.

the next day, i was talking w/ my chinese coworker about it, and about how i usually try to avoid flying because of carbon emissions. She translated this for a handful of people, and they all started laughing, which rather disheartened me.

Then to try and explain why it's a problem i did a slight bit of websurfing and sent her this ad.

Later i explainer to her what it was about/meant. i commented," maybe i'm worse than most people 'cause i know it's bad, but i still fly sometimes."

And then lying in bed last night at 3am, i decided to cancel my plane ticket in exchange for a train and a ferry to Japan. A 4 wk holiday affords me the luxury of time to kill, thankfully. And frankly, 4 wks even in the cheapest of Japanese hostels adds up to a considerable sum.

Otherwise, the switch from skies to waters isn't really saving tons of money, but the boat trip will pbly be nice anyhow.

My apologies to the fish dealing w/ the effluents and sewage.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

i ching therefore i am

My brother has sworn by the i ching for some time. It's a bit like tarot cards, but its of chinese origin, and it involves the tossing of sticks (traditionally) or more commonly the tossing (spinning) of coins to represent hexagrams. It takes 18 spins, and then you can punch the results into a website, which serves up the reading from the book.

i have generally abstained from using it simply because i rarely have questions i want answered that time won't serve up the answer for sooner or later anyhow.


i recently have found myself in some uncertain waters.

Hence i used the i ching to at least let me know if i was reading a situation wrong or if the action i was considering was misled.

Anyhow, the reading i got looked to be SPOT ON. Although i did chk in w/ my bro to make sure i wasn't misinterpreting it. Later, Q confirmed that it was a strangely accurate description of a situation.

Sorry to hold bk the entirety of the situation, but i just wanted to report that the reading really let me relax about something which ordinarily would seem to be serious cause for concern.

i checked in w/ it one other time, and the reading was less obvious: took more time to tease the meaning out, but yet again, the reading was totally appropriate, and a positive confirmation about what i was thinking of.

So. If you find yrself w/ a question, you may try this out.

i do wonder about how it works. Is the I ching god different from the Tarot god? Carl Jung used it extensively and he postulated that synchronicity was its mechanism.

Feel free to drop me a line, if you want any more details about how to use it. Since now that i've used it a whopping two times, i'm obviously an expert.

pic from

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Gossip

So when you plop a handful of kookie teachers into a city suburb where they can't socialize very well outside of their circle, and take into acct that most of them are in their 20's and a generally good looking bunch of young men and women... then stuff happens.

Which is to say that they meet other people outside of the circle and stuff happens. And stuff happens inside of the circle and stuff happens. And the truthiness of things told is occasionally suspect, regarding different issues of interest to all of us professionally (really) and otherwise.

Anyhow, i'm far from "in the loop."
But one person does pass on info to me now and again.
To which i generally respond, "i don't know if i should know about that."
In many ways i wish i didn't know, as it changes my perceptions of people/person who, via my own experience, i have no opinion.
So i wonder if that stuff changes my dynamic w/ said person/people. Dunno.

i admit some of the info is stupendously entertaining and fascinating. As i understand it: there was a "leak". Somebody told somebody a secret, but the burden of the secret was too great to bear for said individual. It kinda puts a spin on things where the secret teller was the victim, not the guilty party.

i usually lend my ears after hearing something like,"s/he never told me it was a secret," or, "it doesn't matter if you hear it or not."

Which may or may not be true.