Thursday, November 29, 2012
Yoyo's nervous. i feel pretty normal. i think her mom's excited. Yoyo's parents thought she'd never get married. Yoyo herself figured that if she was still single by the time she reached 30, she'd just marry any ol' random dude. Luckily she met a different random dude first.
So tonight we hop on an overnight train to Xian, where i'll meet her mom, her mom's sister, her mom's sister's husband, her cousin, her cousin's husband, and her cousin and cousin's husband's baby (whom i've seen a photo of).
This is a big deal in China, since it basically implies that yr gonna marry said daughter. Which i'm ok w/. It's all kinda impromptu, so there's bn no time to think about a gift for Y's mom, nor is one required, she thinks.
But i'm annoyed that we thought we could get something for teh baby, but Yoyo thinks we should spend 500yuan on something, since apparently the mother only dresses the 6 month old kid up in western brand names. Which i think is pretty lame.
Throwing down for New Zealand baby formula, i can understand, but imported Gap Kids stuff that'll be outgrown in 6 months? Well, maybe for the Christmas party...
"Hey handsome guy! [that's me] Looking for a cellphone?"
"No, i have one already."
"Want to get another one?"
"Why would i want that?"
"Cause it's cheap."
Later, i got bored and started asking people, "Can you find love here?"
"Everyday thousands of people come here. Can people find a husband or wife here? Not me. i have a girlfriend. i'm just curious."
"Probably. I'm not sure."
Also, i got a new hard drive to put into my screwy Mac and a Bluetooth mouse. Yay!
Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Today i had some free time to kill w/ Yoyo, so we watched some Sigur Ros vids online. Music to sigh to. And the above vid is the best thing i've seen since Double Rainbow. Not to equate the two. Derrick likes it but thinks it borders on pretentious. i disagree, though the WTF factor is likely pretty high for non-artsy types.
Also, note the lead male. It's f'ing Shia LaBeouf from Transformers! Can't blame the guy for not wanting to be pigeonholed as The Transformers guy, and wanting to do some more like... acting. He looks pretty damn good in this piece. Good one, Shia.
Sunday, November 25, 2012
Oh, China. Sometimes you really fuck things up. Big things and small things. Ok, everyone (in the west) knows you oppress Ti bettin' peoples, minority groups, fallin' gong yadda yadda.
Yeah, you got a pickled carrot up yr ass when you throw bloggers in jail for crackin' jokes.
And yr corruption that allows thugs to do the govt's dirty work, and causes homeowners to self-immolate in a fight over property rights sickengingly churns the stomach.
But truthfully, the way that you piss me off the most is by hacking Google. Perhaps my hatred for Bing is exagerated. Google works fine: sometimes. And sometimes, it doesn't. Websites it links to refuse to open, as you (patiently?) watch the swirling Page Loading indicator. Google Images is particularly prone to stalls.
Fuck it, if i have to i can use Bing, even though i'm well versed in anti-Microsoft rhetoric.
More frustratingly, Gmail simply can't be opened (occasionally). This is enough to make you punch walls, depending on what simple task you're trying to accomplish. Other times, it opens, but excruciatingly slowly.
Yoyo says (almost reasonably), "That's why you shouldn't use Gmail in China." Sorry Yoyo, but simple logic like that can't be easily applied on a guy who sadly enjoys getting all riled up about social and digital injustice.
Saturday, November 24, 2012
A dream ago, i'd planned to run 3 marathons this year. i registered for this last one but ended up doing zero preparation for it. i figured, ok, i can still do a 1/2, even though my fever 2 days ago had me struggling to stay on my feet after an hour.
But the final blow came this morning when the BJ Air Quality Index came in reading 340: Hazardous.
My limit for exercising outside is 250 (over 200 is already "Very Unhealthy". A couple weeks ago, the AQI was 240, and i really wanted to do the one hr bike ride to work, so i figured i risk it. Plus i have a mask. But 40 min in, i realized i need to recalibrate my limit. My lungs were feeling tight, my breath was raspy and my throat felt like i'd been drinking something too acidic. i slowed down. i felt like my effort to be healthy was in fact poisoning me.
Today, the five people in my running group who were registered to run all decided to forgo the event.
But i had already eaten a carb-heavy breakfast, and Yoyo and i had downed our coffees. So we went down anyways just to have a peek. Also i had some coworkers who were there.
We got there 5 min before staring time. At my insistence, my coworker had left my race package outside subway exit B for me, but it had shockingly disappeared by the time i got there.
Friday, November 23, 2012
Today (despite being kinda sick) i went out to the Zoo Market to do some research and interview some folks about this massive 8 story market that has some of the cheapest clothes in Beijing, but also is considered pretty fashionable.
The work was a bit hard since the goods are pretty much all of questionable origin, so most people were shying away from interviews and pix, and def wouldn't give me a name.
But anyhow, I rather dig the place. Lots of young people, girls who apply mascara and eyeliner for people who forgot their glasses, and tons of clothing that's not exactly what you or i call "fashionable." Lots of loud colours, buttons, frills, and bad English. Pretentious it's not.
Xidan Market used to be more like this place, but Xidan caught up with contemporary fashion annoyingly fast. It was a lot more interesting before Uniqlo and H&M influenced everything over there. Places like the Zoo Market are from a slightly different frame of reality, which is great. To me it's quintessential China.
Thursday, November 22, 2012
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Went for lunch w/ an office intern today. He started talking about astrology signs. "I don't believe in it, but women like to talk about it," he said.
i mentioned of course that i do believe in it. And other stuff. i mentioned the I-Ching, too. He reasonably answered that these things say stuff that anyone can believe in, yadda yadda.
Back in the office he was curious enough to try out the website i mentioned. He asked a question, and got . Which amazed him. Since he'd just been debating whether or not to forget pursuing English studies to get into uni abroad.
It's been a pretty long time since i've asked the I-Ching a question, which is the way i prefer it, but it is reassuring to know that there's this window to a wiser perspective just there, for some strange reason.
Monday, November 19, 2012
Before you knew it she got kind of addicted to online games (Scrabble and Scramble). Now she warns the neigbours about how addictive it can be. Other than that, she just uses it for Skype and email. i think.
The first time we did vid Skype, both my parents were entertainingly impressed. "That thing's worth every penny!" exclaimed my dad after finishing the call.
Sorry for all this Mac propaganda. I covered up my Mac logo a long time ago. And my comp has probs and needs to be taken into the shop. Oh well, that's the gamble you take when you buy 2nd hand.
But my Linux computer's kinda fucked too right now. Oh technology, you always keep us on our toes (LOL ^^)
*Covering Up Your Mac Logo
1. glue a circle of foil to the apple. If you don't, light will shine through and it'll look like shit. If you're really minimalist, stop here: presto you're done! Your friends will love it.
Sunday, November 18, 2012
Saturday, November 17, 2012
Yo, check out Buddha to the Future! This f'ed up Buddhist "cultural park" (NOT a religious place, since the CN govt doesn't provide funding to religious places) is basically busting at the seams with opulence and futuristic Buddhist re-envisionment. For a price.
Friday, November 16, 2012
Thursday, November 15, 2012
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Sunday, November 11, 2012
Friday, November 9, 2012
Thursday, November 8, 2012
So the rumours have gathered weight: My Bloody Valentine is coming out with a new album, more than 20 years after their momentous album Loveless was released. They helped define what shoegaze was back in the day, paring violent assaults on audience ear drums with total indifference (years before "hipster" had even entered the popular lexicon.)
Ok, you can skip the first minute of the vid, which really is just all-out noise, but fuck, look at the way these alt-rock kids are totally stunned into silence by MBV's aural attack. Totally hilarious.
Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Tuesday, November 6, 2012
Monday, November 5, 2012
But in fact, getting enough info to write decent articles will be very difficult. Radio reporting could be more so.
But because i jump at any chance to break out of BJ, as i SHOULD considering that i write for the TRAVEL section, i'm still 100% game to give it a go.
Because there's only one way to know if i can actually pull this sort of thing off.
Note: yes my Mandarin improves daily, but when people speak at full speed and without dumbing it down for an CSL speaker, my comprehension can be pretty shit.
Sunday, November 4, 2012
Friday, November 2, 2012
Thursday, November 1, 2012
Incidentally, my last post for Nat'l Blog Posting Month for 2011 was entitled "i Love My Job (For Today at Least." Today, for work i got to a) sort of sleep in and then was b) sent off to Peking University and Tsinghua University to c) take photos indicative of autumn. Having never been onto either campus before, it was pretty awesome, and there were indeed some spectacular shots to shoot. (Though if there was no yellow or red leaves in them, they were off-topic).
Anyhow, point being that 11 months after i started up w/ CRI , i still sometimes walk around thinking, "Best Job in the World."