Saturday, November 30, 2013

Day 30: Slipping

Yet again, I fail to post my blog on time. And the later we got in the month, the more often i posted late.

In addition, my daily meditations are less consistent than they used to be in the last month or 2. Maybe 30 seconds of awareness while sitting on the subway or the can is all i get in in a day.

Also, I totally don't do push ups daily any more, though i did about ten yesterday before i went to sleep.

Well, at least i still floss pretty much everyday.

I don't think that any of this is a big problem, though it's nothing to be proud about. But hey, at least I DID the 30 days of blogging, late or not.

And thanks to you, reader(s)! i really appreciate having an audience, whoever the hell you are. May we all move forwards in life in a forgiving way, taking and sharing the good we find.

Oh, and happy american thx giving.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Day 29: Culture

Got free tix from CRI to go see this dance performance called Heartbeat of Home. It's a modern Irish-dance piece w/ Afro and Cuban influences. And tap. Lots of tap.

I figured me and Yoyo could check it out since... The show employs high-definition, cutting-edge projection technology and has an engaging narrative structure. 

So, yeah it was a good performance, but truthfully that stuff's not really my cup of tea. I was struggling not to doze off for quite a bit of it. Mostly i just feel that Yoyo hasn't had much exposure, so of course we should chk out an int'l quality theater piece. 

But I'm a bit of a philistine, i can't deny.

Day 28: Missed It

These people gave me some wine to take home. 'Cause obviously they were all hammered.

Oops, fell of the wagon there. Busy working. Time Out magazine's bar and nightlife awards. Generally pretty boring. I was there to shoot pix and write up a short article. But there was lots to drink. So me and the CRI crew all got reasonably tanked by the end of the night, and frankly it was pretty fun.

I also had a drawn out conversation with a guy who i met once before, who wasn't in a very good place. He was being all negative about video and media and state media and Vice magazine and everything, and i was calling him out on the BS. i could see he was getting mad, and i was actually trying to steer the conversation into happier directions, but i found myself incapable of accepting his BS or letting it slide. He actually said i was bullying him. To everyone in the room but me, it was perfectly obvious that i needed to stop talking to this guy. At any rate, i knew his head wasn't in a good state, and obviously had other shit going on. And he might've been as tipsy as i was. Somehow we got separated and our mutual friend even advised me not to apologize even. And i was like, "I don't know if I can do that." And he was like, "No. Just drop it. Don't say anything. Drop it." So i did, feeling kinda awkward about it. Then the other guy made an exit and disappeared and nobody knows where he went after that.

Anyhow, i usually think i'm a bit more empathetic than that. Or at least a better judge of where someone's at. Or at least not a bully. 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Day 27: Lindy Fuckin' Hop

Me and Yoyo went to a bar to take an intro swing dance lesson today. It was the Chinese class. Pretty darn fun. Though neither one felt very talented at it. That's ok, there were other fumblers.

The format required people to switch partners every 5 min which was pretty funny. 'Cause really, everybody dances different, some really sharp, some less so. Yoyo wasn't so lucky 'cause the shortage of men required her to dance w/ a couple women posing as dudes. But Yoyo was also lucky 'cause she got to dance w/ a couple teacher dudes. So later she could criticize my 20 minutes of technique to the pros.

Pretty fun gang, though generally everybody was too busy trying to dance to do any, you know, chatting.

Also the class price included a beer. SCOOOOOORE!

There's two kinds of swing dance. Lindy Hop is looser and slower. Balboa, which is closer and has faster quick leg moves. We think we like Lindy Hop better. And it's pbly marginally easier.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Day 26: Job stuffs

Talked  long and hard w/ my employer about why i deserve a 5% raise instead of the standard 4% raise. Yeah, petty, but it seemed like an honor thing. For a 2 yearer I'm apparently already paid more than the average worker at CRI. 

Well, i convinced him by saying stuff like, "I work for travel section. Do you know how many time CRI sent me out this year? Zero. And yes, I did go to Changchun, Guizhou, Qinghai and Gansu. All those trips were arranged by me, never cost CRI a penny, at times paid out of pocket."

Also, stood up for the misunderstood video team, who I'm only sort of a part of. Because we all work hard to produce good work, when the difference between a great video and a mediocre one isn't really understood or appreciated by our employer. 

In other news, Yoyo quit her job. Which has been the bane of her existence since she got it. I always recommended that she just do her job and do it well, or quit (even though the money was quite good). Now the plan is to do some easier or PT work and... study English!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Day 25: The Numbers Game

I wrote a piece for CRI some months ago that was basically a filler piece about Beijing vs. Shanghai vs. Hong Kong. I interviewed like one guy (who likes talking) who'd lived in all three cities. And my great aunt. It was imo, the worst piece of writing I've ever done for CRI. Like super inadequately researched and far far far from comprehensive. Mostly just my fluff opinions.

By the time i finished it, i really thought it was a piece of shit.

I was informed this morning that it's pbly the most popular piece i've written for CRI getting thousands of hits every month.

I just don't know what to think about this.

Day 24: The More Than One Child Policy

So China's loosened its one child policy. Whereas before only two siblingless spouses could have more than one baby, now if only one spouse has a sibling, the law will permit them to have two kids.

But the law never really stopped people from having kids if they had the money to pay the fines.

It did stop some other people from having kids, though. People in rougher parts of the country had to deal with law enforcers who brutally forced sterilizations and abortions.

So most people (inside and out of China) are happy about this step forwards.

Though some remain cynical, such as one blogger (whose comment was quickly deleted by... someone), who said, “It’s funny how human rights work around here. Our government took hostage our basic rights not to be tortured and to decide the size of our family years ago. Now that they are trading it back to us in tiny drips and drops, are we somehow expected to kowtow in gratitude and say our heartiest thank you?”

There's no doubt that the one child policy was rife with injustice, bad interpretations of the law, and bad actions carried out. No wonder everyone hated it. No doubt the loosening of the law is an egalitarian step forwards.


You probably know that i view everything through environmentally coloured glasses. And I am very very concerned about the effect that the human population is having on the planet. And the effect that people in developed nations have on the planet is much much bigger than those in 2nd/3rd world countries.

Hell, it takes a lot of resources to build our airports and ski lifts, to heat and carpet our homes, to bring us our French wine and imported quinoa. Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc. And you can bet that the growing Chinese population will also quickly develop their taste for imported wine and warm homes. Trust me.

I always think about my grade 12 biology class, when I learned about the population J-curve.

So in fact, i recall the above right-hand graph in reference to fruit flies living in a closed system whereupon they reached the point where they'd consumed their resources faster than the resources could be regenerated, and the J-curve essentially mirrored itself.

Slow rise, fast incline, peak, fast decline, then slowing down after the masses had died.

I fear the decline, and weirdly think about it a lot, come to think of it.

So human rights problems and all, I still support the one child policy for China. In fact, I support one child policies for every country. Yes, I know that's a huge simplification that doesn't address many developed countries and provinces with declining populations, etc, etc.

But still, I worry that on the whole, the planet's population is probably already beyond the planet's carrying capacity. Our at least for the way we live. And hell, who doesn't want to live the high life? Who wouldn't want to take a free airplane to Guizhou to run a 100km? Who wouldn't complain to the boss that Hey I Write for the Travel Section, So Why Don't You Send Me Somewhere? I admit it, I finally relented and stopped buying Chinese wine. It generally sucks, and there's places to get cheaply priced stuff from Australia or wherever.

In my heart, I feel that there will be a time when things on this planet will be very unpleasant for Humanity in general. I suspect that you and I will see a little bit of what that will look like. The one child policy is just one factor, but it's definitely a much much bigger factor than statusq choosing to use public transit/bike to go to work.

Pic by me, taken during the Guizhou race. 

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Day 24: Woe

I wrote a blog, and then the VPN crashed when trying to upload a picture. So now it's gone. And the VPN won't reload. And it's almost 1am. So this is all the effervescent blog you get today.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Day 22: Call It Charity

I went to this rather mainstream bar named after a prostitute, and known for being frequented by prostitutes (and dudes with money), 'cause the subway Halloween party promoter invited me to maybe shoot some footage.

Turned out the event wasn't exactly news worthy.

Then somebody else emailed me about it. I said i could edit something together for them for a fee.

He offered free admittance into hiphop clubs, and free drinks if he's on duty.

Frankly, that offer is pretty darn uninteresting.

But the i-ching advised me to be more friendly. So i'll be friendly. Maybe make some connections.

Anyhow, there's footage of sexy dancing girls there, so it's fun enough to throw together.

Pic courtesy of the Chinese Govt

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Day 21: Good Lord, What's Happened to Pop Music Today???

Yesterday, a Chinese coworker was listening to music on his tablet, and it sounded pretty good. "It's Lorde," he said. "She's No. 1 on Billboard."

Oh. Never heard of her. No. 1, you say. So i checked her out. Listened to her song. Listened to her EP. Listened to her LP. Read her Wikipedia page.

And wow, she's rad. I can hardly believe music this good could climb the charts. The songs are all catchy, clean and intelligent. No shit songs hiding amongst the hits. She cites the writings of Raymond Carver as a lyrical influence. Her lyrics critique consumer and pop culture.

Kinda reminds me of a catchier Grimes, but swapping the fairy voice for one reminiscent of Amy Winehouse.

Anyhow, I haven't been punched in the face by music so hard since, maybe, Washed Out, who i frankly got bored of kinda fast. Hmmmmmmmmm...

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Day 19: The Voice

I did a vid a while ago, and a radio dj talked to me for a rather long time afterwards about how to Develop My Voice, since he thought my voice sounded particularly unconvincing and lacking authority.

He was right, of course. It was a story about an autumn red leaf festival, and i was half-heartedly trying to sound soothing. Anyhow, today i finished an audio piece about the 100KM race, which i feel is def one of the better radio stories i've done. My brother thinks the voice is over the top at times, and he thinks the overall tone is too jokey. But whatever; he's a critic., if you're interested.

Also, I used one of my own tracks to back it up. Browsing royalty-free tracks can easily waste hours trying to find something suitable. Then again, i did steal a clip of music from Jaws, and i'm pretty sure that was illegal.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Day 18: Black Friday, hooray?

I thought my coworker was looking at an Onion article when I saw this Black Friday Amazon ad on her screen. The term "Black Friday" dates back to 1869, where it was first used to describe a financial crisis. Now millions of people associate it more with assaults, shootings and tramplings: the ugly face of extreme consumerism.

Well leave it to the powers that be to culturally appropriate or co-opt the idea, "cool-ifying" it to sell some NB sneakers.

But hell, 45% off! Who can resist? 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Day 18: Fight?

A few months ago, Yoyo said she thought it was terrible that i didn't wash my feet daily before going to bed, and that lint from my socks was getting into the bed. She wanted me to wash my feet daily.

i figured it was kinda like a cultural thing, so i agreed and promised to do so but, on the condition that she also commit do doing something, so i suggested that she draw a picture daily for one month. 

She promised. 

But then she found it hard to find the time and frame of mind where she could draw something daily. So she made some attempts, but i found that i was often having to remind her to draw something. i found myself rather annoyed washing my feet daily when she hadn't lived up to her half of the bargain. 

Fair enough, she is sometimes stressed out from work, sometimes working a lot of overtime. And according to her, drawing something isn't something that she likes taking lightly. I figured that drawing something could take as little as 30 seconds, but according to her drawing something for the sake of drawing something in order to follow a schedule was not pleasant, and so when she got busy she would drop off of the consecutive drawings. 

And that always disappointed me. 

In a way, it's ridiculous for me to be mad about such a thing, but i figured it was a question of living up to one's commitments, and about me being able to trust her to keep her promises. She thought it was a fine idea when she promised, but apparently in day to day life, found it untenable. 

Also, it's true that this idea of the handshake promise is more of a western thing than a Chinese thing. 

So maybe i shouldn't be annoyed at all, but i am. 

Anyhow, here's what the Iching just advised about this situation: 

"34. Much Force

Line 1:

Strength is in the feet.
Undertakings bring misfortune.
Have confidence.
There is not enough of a foundation yet to set forth in this situation. Pushing ahead won't work. Have patience."

Friday, November 15, 2013

Day 16: Short and Sweet

Yesterday my wife came home and we went to bed late. then we slept in. Then this morning we had fantastic sex. Then i made breakfast. 

Day 15: Wechat/Wexin

Over here in China, there was Weibo. Kinda like Facebook-slash-Twitter, but more w/ the public as opposed to w/ friends. It's pretty lame: i suspect that 96% of my 168 "friends" are computer generated and propagated nobodies hoping for me to click on their profiles for some unknown reason.

It was most useful when actual news happened, as it got word out fast. Ex) a train fell off the tracks. A passenger posted on Weibo as it got help faster than calling 911.

Anyhow, pretty much everyone was using Weibo to keep the world updated on their lives.

Then Weixin (WeChat) came in, but only for mobile phone devices. And in a shockingly short time took over Weibo. Nobody asks for yr Weibo contact anymore.

Weixin really did carve out a niche for chatting/group chatting. My running group's Weixin group is pretty active.

Even my brother uses it, bizarrely enough.

I don't use it for updates about my life, or even read other people's much though. But people who do use it, can be obsessive. ie) 14:38: "Look, the baby's head is just starting to come out!"  14:42: "It's still in there, but I think I saw it's ear a second ago...." 14:43: "Wife is still screaming a lot."

Do people in the west use WeChat? Sometimes sending an audio msg is easier than typing. Just sayin'.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Day 14: Facebook

Well, i do look at Facebook almost daily now. I can't say it benefits me much, though it's kinda hard to stop using it. Kinda like porn. It is kinda interesting to occasionally see cute or thought-provoking links to articles/vids/pictures. And kinda interesting to see pix of friends' kids/spouses/Halloween costumes.

And some people post a lot of personal reflections about politics/spirituality/pop culture/the universe which can sometimes be quite impassioned.

And i see the extensive conversations that sometimes follow (the more productive useful side of FB).

But i have never succeeded at generating one of those conversations. In fact, i often feel ignored by my 270 friends. Sometimes i post a cute joke or something. Before i did the triathlon, i even said, "Wish me luck," and nobody did, boohooo!

Boy, i think the algorithm is like filtering me out or something. How could all 270 close friends turn their back on me in my time of need? What, do i have to personally message each and everyone to get a response? fuck that!

As before, i'm aware of social media's ability to connect people up, but it doesn't REALLY connect people.

For me, it's more of a time-waster. I arrive home, check my email, and when there's nothing there, i peek into FB, but virtually never find anything i NEED to know.

Anyhow, time to stop complaining.

I hereby pledge to stop using FB until next Friday. (Even though i just sent a msg to an old coworker saying that he shoulda ran the 100km race, 'cause i saw his name on the list there.)

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Day 13: My Beijing Halloween Subway Party Vid

This subway was the latter of two. Heard the Fri one was alright too. The organizer of this one was kinda bummed when i talked to him later, as he'd wanted 1000 people to come out, and only a few hundred were there.

This is the first "funny" vid i've done, and am pretty happy w/ it. Very happy that i managed to dig up a song that works reasonably well (and people say copyright's not such an issue when you use a Chinese band's music, for some reason)...

Anyhow, the website Beijing Cream is going to publish it on their site too, so that's fun. Yoyo said, "Cool. Does that mean you'll get money for it?" Uh, no.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Day 12: Def Not Playing Hooky

I came bk to BJ a day earlier than planned. Decided not to tell my boss or editor about this, so as to avoid getting called into the office. Worked from home to finish the race article, and figure that i got enough other extra material in Guizhou to keep everyone happy. But, i pbly coulda just asked them if it was ok to stay. 

Anyhow, i don't feel guilty so much, but not exactly noble, either.

Day 11: Guiyang

Went to the city of Guiyang where i planned to visit a park and a buddhist temple for another CRI story before returning to BJ. After all, CRI sent me out ZERO times this year, so the more travel stories i can squeeze in, the better.

But 1, it was raining. 2, rainy weather is shitty for travel pictures. 3, i was a bit cold. But mainly 4, the taxi driver luckily mentioned that it would take about a couple hours' hike to get up to the temple, and my legs were in no mood  to lug me and my backpack up a thousand stairs.

So instead i went to a little not super interesting museum, and that suited me fine.

Later, i bumped into a Kenyan in the airport. Did i mention how weirdly nice and chilled out all the Kenyans and Ethiopians were?

Day 10: Guizhou 100 KM Challenge day 2

(oh crap, this blog didn't send originally). 

After a night of visualization exercises (Look! I'm runing so smooth and easy, and the pick-up bus is nowhere in sight!), i set off w/ the gang. We ran though the streets of a historic town, then into the mountains following a river down a canyon. Idyllic for anyone tired of BJ or SH's congested streets. i felt completely triumphant when i arrived at the 20 and 30 k marks, feeling i'd earned my rest. (I'd been instructed by professionals the day before to run as long as i could before switching to walking, so as not to lose the pace). The plan was to walk the last 10 km. And my legs were pretty much done for the day. so i'm walking along when this Guizhou woman comes along, running in traditional Guizhou costume, replete with jinging bells. She tells me to start running again. No, i just want to walk to the end. She insists. She says they're going to close some gate at 1:30, and if i don't make it past, i'll get disqualified. She's adamant. i painfully ignore my thighs and join her in a shuffling pace. My legs are feeling pains that they've never felt before, and i had temporary imobilzing foot pains that i had no idea what they were, wondering if i should stretch them, and having no idea how to do so.
We were both suffering, actually. and she was feeling pissy about it, because she'd been caught by the bus the year before and was super pissed off that she'd gotten forced on. So we stuck together the last 10 km. She said, Let's run the last km. Maybe the last 200m, I said. If there's people cheering.
We clocked in at 5hrs, 40m, which was enough to keep us out of range of the approaching wolf. But by race participant standards, we were pretty darn slow. I was given a bagged lunch, and told to go directly onto the bus and eat it there. So much for celebrating or stretching.


Sunday, November 10, 2013

Day 11: Guizhou 100 km Challenge Day 3

This morning pretty much everybody was like, "Thank God today it's only 21 km!"
Yesterday was hard on lots of people. Even some of the Kenyans dropped out, one of them limping insanely (from a previous injury resurfaced). 

In fact, i started realizing how dangerous running is. (don't tell my mom). Everybody was pretty aware of the risks and precautions involved. I accepted a blue tensor bandage to wrap up my left knee. I accepted a variety of muscle recovery sprays from people. i accepted help from a woman who offered to bandage my left nipple in the middle of the race. i accepted ibuprofen.

But as for the race... for the first 5km, my right leg was super stiff. Very uncomfortable but nothing to stop me from running. I was just plodding along. Again: the goal was to finish the race, not get picked up by the van, and to get my plane ticket reimbursed. But i was feeling good enough that i could try to run the entire 21km, hoping that wasn't sheer stupidity. 

i contemplated doing a Thriller-esque zombie limp over the finish line, for a laugh. And about 5 minutes after that idea, i realized that i seriously had to limp to keep up my pace. That was ok. if i stayed off my left heel, i could limp along stably, w/out risk of injury. So i did that for a kilometer or so, somehow breaking into a sprint for the last 50m, and felt pretty damn good. 2h 20. i could've done a lot worse. 

So i was feeling pretty good about myself. But also before the U-turn i had my first chance to see the professionals burn past. Holy fuck, those men and women are on a completely different plane. And also the old timers, like Chinese men and women who are like 60, 70 years old, and i have no hope of keeping up w/ them. They humble me. i wonder if i might be able to still race when i get up there...

Also, i got to talk some w/ some of the Kenyans and Ethiopian professionals. Super duper chilled out folks. It was really a pleasure to hang out w/ them. Pretty tough life, i think. Training yr ass of all year long, targeting 4 races. And for one guy, he didn't win any prize money, so he lost his own investment of the plane trip over from Kenya. Dang. 

Now most people have left, to catch airplanes from the city. I'm here for another night, sitting around w/ muscle rub wafting about the room.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Day 8: Guizhou Challenge Day 1

390 runners get our blood pressure and temp taken to make sure that we won't have a heart attack during the run. 

1st day: 42 km. 

Run through the mountain city of Kaili. i sprint out front to take photos, then drop to the back, shooting all the Miao minority group people in costume, out to cheer us on. Then about 500 kids are released after us, a lot of them passing me by. 

i could care less. i'm quite happy to jog along slowly. And eventually start passing by people after 20ks. Then i bump into this German girl again, and she says, "i want to finish the race within 5 hrs." "Sure, that should be no problem," i say, despite the hills and wind. i try to keep up w/ her for quite a while, and even after i give up on that, her 5 hr idea has somehow stuck in my head. 

And yeah, normally a marathon in under 5 hrs should be fine. But i'm totally undertrained, and i SHOULD be saving myself for tomorrow. i finish in 5:15, way more tired than i'd prefer to be. 

ESPECIALLY because people who would've finished in under 6 hrs, had been caught by the pick-up bus, DISQUALIFIED for being too slow. 

So now i'm a bit freaked out about tomorrow. IF i get got caught by the pick up bus, turns out that they WON'T reimburse me my flight $ after all, those Machiavellian organizers. 

Wish me luck, folks. Thanks!

Tel: 15010476252
China Radio International

Day 7: The Guizhou 100 Km Trail Challenge

So about 10 days ago i get an email asking me if i want to join this 100km race in Guizhou province. Expenses paid, 3 days of running. I'd heard about this sort of race before, so within seconds i replied saying of course, i'd be happy to join. 

Had to convince my editor and bosses that this Guizhou article would obviously be more important than my previous commitment, and they relented. i hadn't run since the triathlon, so i was kinda worried about that. Especially since a follow up email said if i don't complete the race, i won't get my air fare reimbursed. i imagine this to be a scare tactic to keep people to just take a free holiday. 

So i squeeze in a couple practice runs, and off i go, completely f'ing inadequately prepared for the task. 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Day 6: The Tiny Little World of Beijing News

While shooting the Halloween subway vid, i talked w/ a guy dressed as Pee Wee Herman. He noted my journalist costume and hollered, "I don't trust journalists!" I humbly said that maybe he should meet more.

Turns out he IS a journalist, for The Guardian. Which is funny since just that afternoon, i was figuring out how i can pitch a story to The Guardian. Just now i googled his name, and clicked on one of the first links. A podcast which started out w/ a call from my friend and ex-CRI coworker Natalie. Then another ex-coworker's article is linked to the site. Funny.

At another Halloween party i went to (where the average age was over 50), i met another freelance writer, and she also wrote about stuff like bike culture in Beijing and the Inner Mongolia marathon. And also has had a few stories published on The Atlantic via the same editor.

Go figure. 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Day 5: "Work"

Yesterday i was in the office til 8. Then came home and spent more time trying to find music for my vid.

Today i was in the office til 7. Then i grudgingly had to run off to meditation. Yeah, it's work, but when you're on a roll editing, it's pretty darn fun putting the pieces together.

Yoyo just watched the almost-finished project and said, "That's the worst video you've done yet." But i rather like it. It takes an alright party and makes it look raucous. Yay, editing.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Day 4: The BJ Electronic Music Encounter vid

So this went online today:

Can somebody please let me know if this link is viewable from Canada/USA? It's like the CN Youtube, but has f'ing annoying ads.

You can also see it here, lower quality, i think.

Anyhow, it was pretty fun to make, and i learned a few more Premiere Pro tricks this time. i hope that i'll eventually be competent enough w/ my vid and camera skills that they'll make me more employable in Canada. Apparently video work is a lot easier to come by than photography. Or writing. Also... it's pretty fun.

On the downside, it sucks up a ton of time if you let it, and perfectionists (like my bro) will slave for hours over some detail that 99.3% of viewers wouldn't even notice.

I, on the other hand, don't have time for perfectionism. i just have to crank stuff out on time, and hopefully do a good job.

Note: Doing a good job vs a mediocre job at CRI isn't exactly necessary. That's up to the individual.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Day 3: The Beijing Halloween Subway Party 2013

The Saturday one, that is.

I decided to go as a reporter. I had 2 press passes stuck into my fedora, carried a camera, and had my face beat up and glasses broken. 'Cause if you cover sensitive news in China, that's what can happen. I worried that the costume may be tempting karma, but risked it.

The party was pretty fun, though pbly would've been funner if i was just drinking and not worrying so much about if my shot was in focus or not.

then afterwards me and a few friends were sitting around OUTSIDE of the subway exit. maybe for like 10 min. There were a few cops around, as there had been during the whole subway party. They were talking w/ Yoyo at one point. Then i hear Yoyo say, "he's a reporter. He's canadian." Then they're asking me for my business card. I lie and say i don't have any. Then they say "All foreigners in China need to carry their passports w/ them at all times. Where is yours?" I'm like, oh fuck, like i want to deal w/ this. i said i could write it out for them. i was dumb enough to write out my actual passport #. Then he read it back to me, but he thought the J was an I. "Yes, that's correct." I say. He seems satisfied, and we run away.

Lesson: Be careful w/ yr karma.

Will post the vid when it's ready. 

Friday, November 1, 2013

Day 2: The Secret Super Late Halloween Party

Tonight there's a party on the subway tonight to celebrate Halloween, rather after the fact. But they couldn't have the party yesterday because yesterday was a different secret party on the subway. Same time, same station, same 50 minute loop, but different organizers.

'Cause when you secretly invite yr friends to meet on the Dongzhimen platform to ride a loop, it's not like anyone can stop you.

Or can they?

Apparently the organizer's already invited 500 university students  to come out, plus whomever, and is apparently trying to break some world record. Who knows how you get an official head count.

But if that many people come out, or things get unruly, maybe the police will pay a visit. "Let me guess... you're supposed to be... a police officer, right?"

But you know how it is with work. Somebody contacts CRI and asks them to send a videographer, and now i have to work Saturday night. Grumble grumble.

i had to work last wkend too, at some experimental electronica event. Grumble grumble.

Just jokin' folks. Can't you tell when a grumble's sarcastic? Although it is true that i'm racking up the overtime and haven't had much chance to take time off.

And won't for a while. More on that later.

Photo courtesy of

Day 1: Recap

Well here i still am, and i think Nov could be Nat'l blog posting month. Well i def didn't do any in Oct, so i'll try now then. 

It's been a while and LOTS has happened. So here's a terribly short recap. 

i entered and completed an Olympic distance triathlon. It was super fun. And much easier than i expected. Much easier on yr body than a marathon, that's for sure. 

My freelance career has kicked off. Sold a story to Vice magazine (CN) and to The Atlantic. Good for the resume, but incidental on the wallet. i even got paid to shoot photos for a BJ design wk event, which was fun. 

Went to do a 4 day bike ride around Qinghai Lake w/ Yoyo, but after a sleepless night of hotel hassles, Yoyo was in no mood to continue on, so we turned back to the city of Xining. Then we met up w/ her relatives in Xian and that was fun too, in a different way. But Qinghai Lake really is spectacular, so it's w/ a twinge of regret that we turned back after one day, and 106 km.

went on a trip to Shanxi province w/ a bunch of professional photographers, which was pretty good. i feel like a real rookie when people talk tech, but in the end, my pix generally hold up. Also, i edit RAW files now. It's SOOOOOOOOO much better. Can't believe i went so many years editing jpegs.

And Yoyo and i have booked our wedding site, for next May. A gorgeous BJ courtyard restaurant that's like 8 minutes jog from our apt. Lemme know if you might be around BJ at that time! 
Well, that's about it. I'm good, and i really hope you all are too. Cheers, friends!