Monday, May 24, 2010

Hanging w/ the Band

Q's friends w/ this German guy who's in this band, and they came to BJ on tour.

Quite fun hanging out w/ them. Such a chipper and friendly gang, you'd never guess that (particularly in comparison w/ their previous tour in China) this tour was plagued w/ bad luck, accidents, poorly promoted shows, and had turned into a financial nightmare.

Q helped them shoot footage for a documentary they're putting together. Hit 3 shows in 3 nights in 3 venues.

One show was opening for Marnie Stern who's been getting some extremely impressive press as of late. Funny how as soon as she started, EVERYONE was like, "the drummer's great, but everything else SUCKS." So we made a break for it.

Along w/ a ocunded up hitting up KTV, since nobody in the band had done karaoke in China yet. We all drank lots and sang awfully. Then briefly stepped into a club w/ obscenely loud and disturbingly loud music.

Throughout that night and the next one, it was interesting to hear battered tales about touring. Kinda made me glad i'm not a musician.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Great Wall Marathon. 2.

Sluggy wake up, rushed exit, tense taxi ride to catch 3:30 am bus by small margin.
Sunny coolish morn turns to sunny hot day.
Aerobics warm up.
I'm one of the few people calling out "woo woo" since i feel bad for the aerobics girl sadly trying to get people excitied enough to yell "woo woo".
Although i really wasn't into "woo woo" in the slightest.

Run up the hill for 5 km.
Run w/ friend Jessica who runs up the hill faster than i want her to.

Run on the great wall.
Up stairs,
Down stairs.

Jessica's knee is less than stellar at descending stairs, and after finishing the wall section, she decides she must walk the rest of the course.

My stomach tells me i should've eaten more than a banana before the race.
i purchase some overpriced chemical chocolate-cookie-marshmallow thing.

Run through small town, and farmer fields.

Decide to run til the finish line.
Decide to run faster for the end stretch.
The end stretch takes an unpleasantly gruelling time to appear.
(omg, where the f*** is it, already?)

Before: contemplated doing the full marathon next year.
Now that seems like sheer stupidity.

Finish the race.

Wait in uberlongo lineups for food that also deserve a finish line.

Eat a sandwich from the Veg box, but later realize it's beef.
But not much beef.
And who cares, the sandwich is easily 2x bigger than last years.
Plus there was a beer thrown in.
Which i admit, i hardly enjoyed.
Oh well.

But dang, that was one helluva sandwich, that's for sure.

Photo of me and my surprisingly sweaty back by Jessica.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Unbelievable Knifings

Turns out China's more violent than anticipated.
Lots of attacks in the last month, most notably, THREE of which took place in NURSERY SCHOOLS, injuring and killing children, in three different locations.

All of this news comes from English news sources, seeing as how 90% of the news i read about China comes from the UK's Guardian. I did peek at China Daily just to confirm, and yes, the news is there, though details are conspicuously absent.

Details such as... numbers of people attacked, number of victims injured or murdered. You know: details.

Disturbing snippet from the Guadian:

Since March there have been at least six attacks on nurseries and schools resulting in 18 murders, two suicides, an execution and more than 40 children being injured by cleavers, knives and hammers.
I haven't broached the topic w/ any chinese staff yet, but am curious to know if they have heard about it. Alongside of increased police presence around schools, teachers have been equipped w/ defensive poles.

Anyhow, it's all pretty nuts.

That's about all i have to say about that, except that i hope that after a (mentally ill or not) scapegoat or 2 gets what comes to them, things become a touch less violent.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Visa Vis

Boy, us Canadians don't know how good we have it.
With minimal hassle we can generally get into most any country we want. We'll complain if we need to get a visa beforehand, which generally amounts to an application.

Not so for Chinese (and other developing country) folks.

Canada is particularly wary of young, educated, English-speaking people hopping over the True North Strong and Free border for fear that people might decide to stay.

So they dug up some red tape and strung it around.

To tell the truth, i haven't been too careful figuring all this stuff out, 'cause there's not much i can do for a lot of it.

What i have had to do has involved things like getting all appropriate and strangely inapplicable info details into my parents' letter of invitation for Q. i secured the current 3rd party confirmed financial statements of my parents' incomes. Collected my dad's proof of citizenship and immigration status. i am currently hassling Q and my dad to start emailing each other so we can print off the emails so as to "prove the correspondence" between inviter and invitee. Trying to get an early contract from work so as to have proof that i too am returning to BJ for Sept. And other less exciting details. I also should try and find pix of Q and i together and maybe try to hack together an album so as to "prove" our relationship.

Q doesn't seem too worried about it, compared to, say H and her BJ bf who is also planning to go to Vancouver this summer. He's actually got his parents to "sell" him their car and put 1/2 their apt under his name, so as to show he's got assets he should be unwilling to leave behind. H has also put together a sickeningly sweet photo album as mentioned above. Unfortunately, it's true i don't have so many of that kind of photo. Generally not my shooting style, which i never thought was a problem until presently :P

Anyhow, it's only a couple months before the plane departs, so hopefully this stuff all pulls through w/ minimal hassles. Feel free to cross fingers for us.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

ByeBye Poo Machine

First, take 4 1/2 minutes to watch the ever so eloquent Dan Savage wax on adoption issues. IMO, flawless.

I have often reflected on this 4 1/2 minute vid clip considering my own issues regarding Hulu, the Weird But Strangely Lovable Cat. Hulu the cat who has developed a frustratingly regular habit of defacating on the floor near the litter box, in the garbage next to the litter box, on the sofa, then on the towel which covered the sofa, then on the cardboard that covered the towel that covered the sofa.

Q expected to zip off to Cambodia for 10 days, so we didn't want the trouble of moving Hulu and accessories back to her apt, just to bring him back here.

Tried a number of things, read multiple websites, but didn't find anything which notably curbed said problem.

Q also at a loss of what to do. She considered giving someone money to take him on, but we both baulked at the thought of someone who wouldn't put up w/ any probs and throw him out. That said, i felt he oughta prepare for potentially spending more time outside, so i started putting him out myself. Hey, you'd think for a cat w/out enough space, this would be a dream come true.

However, his poor eyesight and lack of fighting abilities tended to make him constantly hover by the apartment. He couldn't even get himself down .6 metres out of the cubby hole to take a shit on the ground.

Anyhow, in the end I placed an ad, and found a new owner for him. Often i considered myself like one of the hetero lousy parents mentioned by Mr Savage, whereupon i find myself taking care of a little one, find myself unable to deal w/ the ongoing problems it presents, and decide to shove its responsibility onto someone else.

Yes, the owner knows about the poopoo problem. If however the poopoo problem turns out to be too much to bear, then perhaps Hulu will come back to my/Q's care.

However, the hope is that in a new home where he has more company, much less time alone, and a bigger space, he'll be less inclined to misbehave. As far as first impressions go, the woman seemed to be pretty gaga over him, and has reported already that he poo'd once in his litter box, and once in his travel box, but said "no problem."

Anyhow, i sincerely wish him and his new family the best. Hopefully they will have many long and happy years together, with much litter box sand under the bridge.

Here is a decided un-cute picture of him.