Saturday, December 31, 2011

So Long Last Year, Hello This One

2010 ended with an argument with my girlfriend, in the midst of a stressy getaway to the seaside city of Qingdao. The plan to even go out for midnight got scrapped.

From there, the months started rolling by. Here's what i think of when i think of 2011 highlights.

  • Super stressy negotiations and secret meetings about bullshit decisions made by ill-qualified educators.
  • Travelling solo to Chengdu and Chongqing, eating MSG laden street food intensity.
  • Sort of quitting, sort of getting fired, and thank God for that.
  • Tuesday meditation nights, barely attended, but generally ongoing.
  • Trigger happy photoshooting w/ my GF in Vienna.
  • Lucky enough to score a new job.
  • Generally lucky all around.
And for NYE, a bunch of friends spent midnight underneath the world's 2nd biggest television screen along w/ a couple thousand people. Then we slipped into an underground dance club where i was happily drunk and the GF was happily sober, and the music was a lot better than we'd expected.

As for 2012... i have a feeling that it's going to be pretty different from 2011.

Not sure about Mayan calendar mayhem, but... i suspect that energetically, things could be more intense than usual. So i reckon that taking that into account, it could be particularly beneficial to be self-aware, doing your best to promote your own good karma, as well as that in others.

And of course, i won't be surprised if global economic/environmental meltdown starts happening. i know, i know, patience is its own virtue...

Cheers, everyone. Hope that your 2012 is as balanced, forgiving, epiphanic, wild, and peaceful as you need it to be.

Photo: not mine.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Modern Technology

A old friend who sometimes spends too much time on the computer recently informed me that he checks my blog too frequently to chk for updates.

And i thought: wow, cool, but what waste of time considering that i sometimes have a month or so without a post.

Well now, in today's days of high tech wizardry, you can RSS feed it (which i don't know how to do exactly) or you can get an automatic email reply from each of my (possibly) elucidating, enlightening, and downright entertaining ramblings.

If you ACT NOW you'll get a FIFTY PERCENT DISCOUNT, and we'll even send you a FREE bottle of SKIN TONER!!!

Just drop me a line if yr interested.


Wow, i just realized that the architecture articles and the sound piece i did actually got linked to quite a bit.

But, when some boneheads go and post to the audio file, but include a picture of Steven Holl's Moma (above), as opposed to any of the building's that were actually written about in the article, well that's just a disgrace.

Not to say that the Moma building isn't great. It is. Good cafe and arthouse theatre there too.

But those boneheads are still boneheads.

But mostly it was fun to see that a bunch of architecture and design sites were interested in my articles.

More interest in that than in my rather tardily submitted radio piece about nonconsumerist xmas. Which we did, btw. Not buy presents, i mean.

Oh yeah, merry Christmas, everyone, btw. If you celebrate it. i'm Buddhist, so don't tell anyone that i said that, 'kay? but in China, everyone can get away w/ saying merry Christmas. Most people have never even considered that Christmas is, like, religious, or anything. And Kwanzaa's not the thing here quite yet.

pic from

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Hitting the Air Waves

Well, i definitely feel that this could be a better product, but it's not bad for a 1st go, after teaching myself Adobe Audition, and how to use the recording studio, blah blah.

i submitted it to a radio head, and she aired it on China Now. Then the weird thing, is the next day, my brother says he listened to it on Global Times, which is not even the state media i work for.

Anyhow, for those interested in my 1st ever self-produced radio piece, i present to you:

The Changing Face of Beijing Architecture

Here's some pix of the buildings too.

Galaxy Soho

Local car attendant: "It's beautiful. Of course I like [Galaxy Soho], but I can not live in it." [Photo: Wang]

Wangjing Soho

Phoenix International Media Center

Friday, December 16, 2011

Life, as per normal.

Bumped into an unexpeceted somebody at an unexpected place and got some totally unexpected news. 

All i can say is that life is a pretty weird thing. Or to be more accurate, nothing is weird, but thinking makes it so. (or feeling). 

Enough about that already. 

Believe it or not, i'm not actually trying to be cryptic at all, ha.


Spoke w/ a couple dear but far removed friends recently, and while not exactly happy to hear about their problems, i felt like i could relate, y'know? And felt happy that they could relate to me. 

i dig life, but it's true, i am pretty far removed from many loved ones, and certainly could do a better job staying in touch. Drop me a line, and i'd be happy to set up a skype date, yo. 

News alert?

Um, wow, nobody told me that Jack Layton died while i was vacationing in Europe. 

That stinks. 

i thought that he was a pretty decent guy. He was a lefty, but looked like a righty. A fierce sheep in wolf's clothes. 

i'm pretty darn out of touch w/ Canadian politics. Can anyone give me an update on how things have shifted since that Conservative majority? 

Aside from that f'ing sickening disappointment that came out of the Durban talks, that is... 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Wet Dreams

The other night i was asleep in bed, cozily snuggled under the heavy blankets. It's bloody cold in a house that lacks working central heating, don't you know. And i was having this dream that somebody had spilled tea in the bed, and the tea was turning colder by the minute. Well dang, that ain't cozy or comfortable.

In a state of semi-consciousness, the bed was indeed wet. Oh fuck, some idiot spilled tea in the bed. Hm? That's weird who could've done that? Maybe... i reached down and stuck my hand in my underwear to reassess the situation, and sadly confirmed my suspicions.

(Oh fuck, did i really just do that? What the hell, i haven't done that in months decades!!!)

So i crawl out into the cold air, take a(nother) piss, throw my wet jammies in the hamper, and figure... well hell, everything's already soaked through. No point in disturbing Q in the middle of the night.

So i crawled bk into the wet spot and fell back into dreamland.

Anyhow, i have no explanation for the above incident. i had had one single drink of fake scotch at a bar, hours previous to hitting the sack, but took a leak as per normal before bed.

Just one of those situations where you feel blameless, 'cause it's not like you (consciously) DID anything, y'know?

Jerry Seinfeld told his daughter once, "It's good if you're embarrassed. That means you're making other people feel good." Well screw Seinfeld! Who says i'm embarrassed? i posted it on my own f'ing blog for crying out loud!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

It's Not Pathetic: It's Ascetic

Hung out the other night with a guy who's adopted an ascetic life style.

He's pretty hardcore.

He's from Santa Barbara, CA, and came out to Asia on a spiritual quest of sorts. For the last 11 months he has neither worn shoes (or socks) or touched money. 

In fact, he hadn't planned on doing this for so long. He's on a journey to India, but a lost passport kinda threw a wrench in the works. Well, the embassy got him a new passport somehow, but... he has no visa. He can't leave China without one, and he can't get one without buying one. With money. He's kinda up the creek on that one, thinking about how to sneak over Tibetan borders. 

First question. How does he eat?

He would walk through restaurants and grab food that customers hadn't finished. "French fries are good for picking up." Sometimes, he'd go for 3 days without food. Sometimes people would give or buy him food. Veg only. And sometimes he's teach english at a monastery and dine with the monks. He was definitely thin, but seemed fine.

Food is the only thing he let's people pay money for. Although when a handful of us went for dinner, we hopped on the bus, and he got all stressed out that we paid for his 15 cent bus ride. "I guess I'll just call that part of the dinner cost," he said forlornly. 

He can't speak chinese, but he can more or less write it. 

2nd question. Why no shoes? Dunno. But he did say he's intentionally framed himself as an outsider. His feet were pretty dirty, though the rest of him seemed quite clean. His hair was long, his face unshaven, but you know... he was clean.

3rd question. Where does he sleep? Usually on the street. Do note that it's pretty darn cold at night in BJ these days, below zero for sure. Sometimes he's invited to spend a night at someone's house, but he only allows himself to stay at one person's place for one night. 

He calls himself a prisoner to the rules that he created for himself, accepting the hardships as His Path. But he admits that he hopes that he can get to India soon, since he feels like hanging around BJ is a total waste of his time. Well, i don't know if my own spirituality would keep me uppity either in his shoes. 

So. Yes, his lifestyle is extreme. Yes, he has a life filled with hardships. For example, when i commented on his red eyes, he said that he's been wearing contact lenses in his eyes for 8 months straight, since he has no saline solution or lens case; he's well aware that his "rules" are f'ing with his health. But, talking with this young guy, he struck me as an intelligent, articulate, and sensitive guy. I'm sure I'll see him again sometime. He might join in for meditation night sometime, but i don't know how Q would handle him at this point. Hey, i'm well-acquainted w/ leftcoast hippies, so i can get on this guys level okay!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Alex Kristof 1994-2011

In what has been the worst possible outcome of events, Alex Kristof has passed away, at the young age of 16.

He was a really cool kid, intelligent, and respectful. i'm thankful that i got to spend more time than usual with him this summer, cycling and camping.

My thoughts are with his parents (mom and stepdad) whom have been two of my closest friends for many years. My thoughts are with his younger sister. With his friends, peers, and community. i hope everyone can make their peace.

Weird how all stumble through this life, making the best decisions we can, sometimes getting lucky, sometimes unlucky, getting some things right, some things wrong. I hope we can accept that terrible, unjustifiable tragedies happen, and that there still is a power greater than us trying to steer each one of us where we ought to go.