Tuesday, April 30, 2002


Morning Playlist of Western Songs on the K-100 (the train to Shanghai)

The Carpenters - Yesterday Once More (this is the most popular Western song in China)
Richard Marx - Right Here Waiting
Lionel Ritchie - Say You, Say Me
Stevie Wonder - I Just Called to Say I Love You
George Michael - Careless Whispers
Phil Collins - Another Day for You and Me in Paradise
Mariah Carey - Hero
Air Supply - I'm All Out of Love

5:13 AM . . .

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Sunday, April 28, 2002


Oh yeah, and I'm in Shanghai this week. Peace out, Homiez!

9:30 PM . . .

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All right! My first internet porn hit! I guess the guy that searched for that must have been pretty damn intent on finding quality pictures of school girls fucking teachers. I'm not even in the top 500 for results for that search. In a week, I'll be #1! OH YEAH! Look no further, you twinkie eatin' mountain dew guzzlin' computer porn surfer slobs! We got your QUALITY pictures of SCHOOL GIRLS FUCKING TEACHERS right here!

9:29 PM . . .

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There's a guy at my school named Phillip. Phillip tells me that America is in bed with Israel. Thanks for the news flash, Jimmy Olson.

Phillip is from Australia. "Ay!" he said, "Ya know what they say! If you want the nutrition when at Mac-Dew-nald's, take the Beeg Mac, OK, throw it awaaay and eat the caaaadboood containeh." Phillip takes every chance he gets to rag on America when I'm around. He says things like, "You know what they did last week, they just boombed the Canadians! Supposed to be fighting the Arabs and they're boombing their neighbors!" and "It's easy to be the leader of the world when you've got the best technology." What the hell is that supposed to mean? Shut up you stupid Mick.

The person who Phillip replaced was a pill. Her name was . . . well, I forget her name, but everyone thought she was a bitch. She was from Sydney. Well, not really from Sydney, but just outside of Sydney. But when people ask "Where was that bitch who Phillip replaced from?" I just say Sydney. It's much easier that way. I also met Burnham; he's the man who taught at this school before and is a self-important jackass who think's everything he says and agrees with is the undisputed truth. Robert (the other American I met who works nights at the same place as I) is fat, quick to anger, and doesn't speak English very well. He also brags about all the women he has and (constantly) shows me pictures of all of them (multiple times). He seems so proud of them, but these girls are about as attractive as the plum-pudding atomic theory is to supporters.

Now I don't want to get off on a rant here, but every time I meet a Westerner in my town it's as if the only reason they're here is because their hometown passed around a bucket with "Donate to ship ____asshole____ as far away as possible" stamped on it. It can't be too much of a stretch to think that the only friend these people had in their respective countries was named "Samsung" and made of a 27-inch electron tube. Leaving your favorite easy chair and missing out on vegemite for six months isn't an adventure, it's just a way to forget how pathetic your life is when you would usually be at home reviewing your "M*A*S*H" collection on VHS for the 17th time.

7:40 PM . . .

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Friday, April 26, 2002


I am going to start using more obscure references when I write. I find these references grab readers more quickly because if someone gets it, they immediately think "MAN! It's like he's writing just for me! He WRITES what I'm THINKING!" I am going to start writing as if you and I were sitting on a couch together discussing why Square One's "Mathnet" skits were far superior to The Bloodhound Gang. The ACTUAL Bloodhound Gang. What show was TBG from again?.

Yesterday, I was reading this and was debating whether to link it from my website. She has some good stuff, and then again, she has some weird stuff that I can't yet relate to (and she also writes about stuff that I'm sure I'll never relate to and is just completely whacked), but when I read "It was much better than Cats," I knew she was linkworthy. I am going to use obscure references again and again.

5:51 PM . . .

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Wednesday, April 24, 2002


The first moped adventure I took began at about 11:00 PM. I saw a lot of things, but I specifically remember wondering why the barber shops were still open. It was a foriegn idea to me, and I was completely puzzled as to why there'd be any business at a hairdresser's at midnight.

Last week, my friend Robert from Nebraska (who probably is the best undestood English teacher in China since he speaks so damn slowly) said, "You see all down there; all them shops lit up in all them pretty colors? You go in any one'uh them, get a rub and tuck fer 'bout thirty you-wan." Thirty Yuan is $3.75 USD. A "Rub and Tuck" is a massage and a handjob.

I drove by, and lo and behold, they were all hair salons. It appeared that the "Rub and Tuck" was not the only item on the menu, either. I wandered into one and had my picture taken with a few of the "stylists." Needless to say, I now understand why the hairdressers in China work the third shift. I reckon there's just no business in the mornin' 'round these parts .

7:52 PM . . .

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]I have reason to believe that Heather (Polly Esther herself!) viewed my blog. This is my only evidence . . . and there's a comment about Ned Flanders (no e-mail or webpage given) that resembles the style of the filler I'd been reading faithfully for five years before it was untimely ripp'd from the web. I am a filler junkie, but I've never proposed.

Now you may think, "Patrick, you're such a dumbass. She probably didn't even stay long enough to read down to the gigolo snippet. You think she commented? HA! It was probably just one of her web fanboys stalking her by the from the pages she's linked from! Get a life. She's just a web columnist for God's sake!" Fine. So what? I'm a fanboy. Big deal. Does that mean that I'm on the next flight to wherever she lives armed with a high powered telescope and rubber gloves to pick through her garbage? No. I like what she writes and think she's freakin' hilarious. Maybe she'll come back, maybe she won't; maybe she wasn't even here. But listen up and listen good; she's not just a web columnist.

She's like the OG of web columnists. She's been in the game for years, pimpin' page hits like they were sitting around a table under a pink light at 12:00 AM in a Chinese hair salon. Picture this: you're playing H-O-R-S-E on the hoop that's nailed to your garage and Larry Bird stops by and asks for a quick game. That's what it would be like if she came by and read my pathetic drivel.

Still, if she was here, didn't like my stuff, and is never to come back, THE Heather Havrilesky came by and pooped on my blog.

7:14 PM . . .

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Moustache Experiment - Day 45: This is a photo of myself I took earlier today. Forty-Five days and still tryin' to see if I'll ever be able to grow any semblance of facial hair.

8:56 AM . . .

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I don't think I need to comment on this.

3:57 AM . . .

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Tuesday, April 23, 2002


I am posting this link here because I want to remember where to get these hilarious toys. This is the plan: I'll line my cube with the figures when I get back and fit something about Christianity into every sentence spoken to my co-workers. Then, mysteriously one day they'll be gone. I'll buy a big Koran, place it in full view and say nothing to passerby but "As'salaam Alykum."

7:40 AM . . .

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I am a bad person. Today, I was riding off to get a mobile phone card (this is how it works in every other country but the U.S.) and I went around a turn on my moped and hit a lady's bike. She was walking her bike across turning lane when I hit it, and the bicycle and all her worldly belongings went flying all over the place.

She was fine, her bike was fine (I hit the back tire, and I saw that the rim was not bent when she picked her bike up and got out of the middle of the street). Everything was seemingly OK; she picked up her stuff and moved it out of the way, checked her bike and stood next to it, looking around, appearing not to be too flustered. I raised my visor to ask if she was OK, and her eyes widened. She became hysterical and started screaming in her native tongue; everyone around stared at me. I freaked, popped the bike back into first and took the fuck off.

This was wrong. Not that there weren't things that the lady could have done to help prevent the accident, but excuses are for losers, and I take full responsibility for my actions (if by saying "responsibility" I mean "leaving the scene of the accident"). I regret leaving the scene so quickly without throwing her a couple of yuan for her troubles, but I freaked and jetted, and I have to live with that (and the constant fear that the police are tracking the white boy down in hopes that they'll get to cane his ass).

I have brushed a few people, and a few people have brushed me. I usually keep my helmet on and look at them, then there is some conciliatory gesture made by one side, there's an acknowledgement, there is mutual inspection the respective vehicles involved, and then you drive off. I did the dance (although this "brush" was a little worse than the previous accidents) and made the mistake of showing her my white face. Now I am not trying to rationalize leaving by any other means than being afraid of being prosecuted by the government, but her expression COMPLETELY changed. When she looked at me as I raised the visor on my helmet, I was convinced she saw a paycheck.

I went home because I needed to get some ID to bring back to the telecom office, got in the shower, and thought about the day's events (and it was only 11:30). I apologized and asked God if he would bring his revenge upon me quickly, and that he did.

There'd been a clicking sound on my moped that I'd been ignoring for the last couple days or so. I hopped on my bike to go back to the telecom store, and a mile later the clicking sound went away in a KA-THUNK and a flourish of twisted metal as the chain snapped from its gears and tore my chain guard open.

I just looked up at the sun and smiled.

No, I don't think I'm paid up for what I've done, not by a long shot. I just consider that a friendly reminder from the Old Guy letting me know he's listening.

1:47 AM . . .

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Monday, April 22, 2002


Froot Loops and the concept of marginal utility do not go well together. However, buying DVDs and the concept of marginal utility are completely unrelated.

8:20 PM . . .

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Saturday, April 20, 2002


Last night, I was propositioned to be a gigolo; I remember that much. I must have thought it was a pretty good idea at the time because I woke up this morning and "Pimp Bill - 13782023046" was written on a small piece of paper in my wallet.

8:31 PM . . .

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Thursday, April 18, 2002


These are my personal rules for surfing the web:

1. Forget where you came from and keep clicking
2. Bookmark everything interesting
3. Don't go back tomorrow

And two links away from this page is this, which is disturbing and fascinating at the same time. It's amazing the kind of news items you read when you blog. Start clicking the links to the left. You may find something to bookmark two links from here. . .

11:17 PM . . .

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Wednesday, April 17, 2002


Last night after I played some soccer with some guys from the customs office in Nanhai, I was invited to dinner. The dinner was huge and extravagant at the loveliest restaurant that I have been to in China. I was entered into chugging contests by my teammates that were sure I would emerge victorious in a battle with their plump old boss (who had previously been slugging back brews with the voracity of John Henry tunneling through a mountain). After continuously losing to this bahoimith, they took me home, told me to get showered up, and threw a piece of paper with some chicken scratchings on it at me. They instructed me to meet them at the club for a female dinner guest's surprise birthday party.

I got to the Gold Coast directly and went on the hunt for my new friends. The Gold Coast was three stories at the base of a hotel with gaudy everything and 25 extraneous ladies in sparkling gold anime-like outfits hanging around every floor doing absolutely nothing but smiling and looking pretty (who am I to argue with that?). I couldn't find them after my first pass, so I asked Sailor Moon if she could tell me where the phone was and politely obliged. I got to the phone, and was having trouble with my phone card when another girl approached me because she thought she knew exactly what I wanted. I figured that some of my new friends told the staff "if a scraggly looking 6'2" white guy comes in, bring him to us." This was not the case, however, and she brought me to a room with two fat old businessmen-looking guys and about twelve eighteen to twenty-two year old girls.

It took me a bit to register what this was as I looked through the glass that separated us and thought to myself, "No. I'm looking for a room with a bunch of guys from the customs office that I played soccer with today, not two fat old businessmen and eighteen to twenty-two year ol- Ohhhhhhhhhh."

It was the whore room, of course.

This was my first glimpse of actual, card-carrying whores. I have probably seen plenty of whores, maybe I have actually seen one or two tricks being solicited, but I've never seen honest-to-God, in the flesh whores.

I think for a sec, and it's obvious. These girls see a white guy in the club and think he wants to sample the goods; it's just good business. Maybe those sparkly gold chicks are more useful than I originally gave them credit for. As I am getting the point across to her that it's not what I'm looking for, the ho train leaves for another part of the club. I wander in the other direction, but five minutes later, I walk by another door and see the girls being LINED UP in front of a couch full of horny old Chinese guys.

I found the party I was supposed to be with, got a kiss from the birthday girl, ate some really messed up fruit that I've never seen before and had a cake fight. The fight spilled out into the hall and involved two of the whores that had been on the bench up to that point the night. They were cute, but I think I would have picked #5.

8:50 PM . . .

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Tuesday, April 16, 2002



4:37 AM . . .

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Monday, April 15, 2002


There's this sign for the "Foshan Reform Through Labor Place" (sic) and you think "Who isn't interested in seeing a Chinese labor camp?" You turn down the street to find out if you can see over the wall to snap a few photos, and suddenly, the rear tire of your moped (which had been giving you problems before) goes flat. If you don't know too much (or any) Chinese related to tire repair questions, this is probably what would happen when you needed help:

1. Walk up to a person
2. Show them you're White
3. Point at the tire
4. They point in a direction
5. Drag your bike that way until you see someone you think is a tire repairman

If you're lucky, the nice old woman that you ask rides with you until she can ask the guy on the next corner to fix it for you. He is just a guy on a corner with a plastic hat, talking to some other guys, sitting on a box next to a wall from which other guys with larger plastic hats are tearing down metal facing. He will get off his box and open it if you have a hole in your tire, and he will execute an extremely thorough, meticulous patch job on said hole and charge you a pittance for the thorough, meticulous job that he just performed. You will pay him double what he asked because he showed such pride in his menial work and you know the gesture of $1.25 USD is worth much more to him than its value ever would have been to you. You'll say thank you and wave goodbye to that nice man who helped you out that day.

Of course, it's entirely different when your front tire pops about a kilometer down the road. You then:

1. Say "Fuck."
2. Realize that it is just karma biting you in the ass for refusing to pay the parking attendant twenty-five cents when you stopped for two minutes and thirty-eight seconds to check out a park and take some pictures of old men playing Chinese Chess
3. Repeat steps 1-5 from previous flat tire situation

If you're lucky, the guys you see won't be too far away, and you will be able to leave your bike there while you go buy a pack of cigarettes and a beer because you deserve it, dammit. You don't know if that's exactly the answer that you're looking for, but hope that when you've finsihed your Tsing Tao and had a smoke, they're done and you can get going again. You could give a crap about how much attention to detail they give and how proud of their work they are. Hell if you're gonna pay a cent more then what they are charging; right now you're looking to see if they have the little penny cup that's ther in case you're short a few.

Finally, you can get on your way and just go home, because what you really want to do is relax with another one of those beers you just had. About fifteen minutes into your trip home, when your front tire pops again you:

1. Slow your bike to a stop and kneel down to ask God why
2. Start to curse the last little fuckers at the last place for giving you a bogus innertube
3. Come to the realization that you are too far away to go back there and give those assholes a piece of your mind in your bike's current state
4. Figure out that all your anger is misplaced and you really drove over something because you saw them put in a brand new innertube twenty-five minutes ago
5. Repeat steps 1-5 from the original flat tire situation

You pull out a smoke and pray these guys are as fast with this bullshit as Michael Schumacher's pit crew. You are happy since they damn near are, and it's done in half the time it took the dickheads you dealt with before (who aren't really dickheads anymore, but you think it because it makes you feel good). You throw the yuan you owe these guys in the air as you fly out of that place at top speed and find some place to eat as you think to yourself, "this shit has been fucking exasperating."

You go to Mickey D's to enjoy a cheeseburger, a crispy chicken deluxe, and some super size fries, because you know what? You earned a couple smiles comin' your way today, sporto.

7:27 AM . . .

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Sunday, April 14, 2002


Blogdex has a function called "Blogsocial." It shows the blogs you link to and are linked from; it's also called the "Social Network Explorer." You could effectively play "Six Degrees: The Blog Version" through this site. Here are a couple of my ideas: (This is a take off Ev's 'Someone Should Build This' series)

- Create a page where two random bloggers can see if and how they are linked to each other with the information given by Blogdex's social network explorer
- Make a dynamic visual representation of the interconnections of bloggers (example at www.theyrule.com) with the information given by Blogdex's social network explorer

The first one would be a great idea to bring together the blogging community, if you could even call it a community anymore (I say "anymore" as if I was a part of it when it might have been considered a community). The second one . . . well . . . it would be nice for the egos of the well-liked blog authors. A lot of these blogs are nice blogs, but they're not well-liked (right, Biff?).

8:06 AM . . .

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You use google? You use AIM? Have I got a treat for you!

7:27 AM . . .

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The ten commandments of swinging.

2:28 AM . . .

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Like I said, I assigned my students sonnets last week. After finding a paper written by one William Shakespeare, I found that half of my senior class copied other well-written sonnets and called them their own. Below are the details of my course of action.

- Taught them a new word ("Plagiarism," obviously)
- Slowly made two piles of the submissions on my desk while the students watched in silence (save the "OHHHHH!" whenever a paper went into the plagiarist pile)
- Described Rensselaer's policy on stealing others' work (well, their policy for every other class but Comp Sci)
- Asked the students if they they thought I didn't have the mental faculties to pick out plagiarism from the Chinglish that they usually hand in

I calmly went to the back of the room and gave the students an opportunity to make the work up. They could either get up in front of the entire class and admit they plagiarized, in which case they would have the opportunity to hand in their own work two days from now, or they could sit there and fail. Every student I called went up and admitted to stealing another's work. This was very contradictory to what I originally assumed would happen since I thought this culture put more weight on saving face than others.

This weekend, I recovered from a sore throat (hover aside).

1:49 AM . . .

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Saturday, April 13, 2002


For my readers that want to know a little more about blogging culture, you need to check this page out. For the rest of you, I offer this (keep clicking enter).

5:40 AM . . .

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Thursday, April 11, 2002


Me: Saturday, I took a girl out for dinner and drinks
Me: Went in for a hug at the end of the night and got negged
Me: It was like I had a stick with dog shit on it and was threatening to touch her with it
Me: She just cowered away
Curt: In China, hug = third base...You moved too quickly
Curt: Need understand culture, Grasshopper
Curt: Tell me the story
Curt: Was she hot?
Me: Yeah. Gorgeous body. Real pretty eyes
Me: The guys where we met her said she had an "unusual figure"
Curt: Huh?
Me: Tall, larger than average boobs
Curt: Always a plus. She speak good Engrish?
Me: Yes. So Saturday I took her out
Me: After dinner, as we were walking she said
Me: "You know, they say in China that a walk after dinner leads to a long night"
Me: Or that's what I thought she said
Curt: Bwahahaha! Like a bad B movie
Me: They confuse their "N"s and "L"s over here. She really said "long life." She shouldn't have got my hopes up mispronuncing words like that
Curt: Haha, yeah
Curt: How did you straighten it out after she rejected you?
Curt: Stutter something like "but I thought... but you were... but we-"
Me: I started laughing out loud
Me: She was like, "I am more comfortable shaking hands"
Me: I should have given her the Scooby-Doo "HUH!?"
Curt: Thats hilarious. So you really laughed in her face when she wouldnt hug you?
Me: It was one of the "Ha ha huh whAAT!?" laughs
Curt: Ha, nice work. But you shook her hand . . . so that evened your classiness right out
Curt: How did the date go? You think you were in like Flynn?
Me: Like the Mighty Quinn. I had a good time up until the hug that wasn't there. In class Monday I told my students the story
Me: They said "What if you go back and tell your friends you didn't have a girlfriend?"
Me: I said "Listen, If I go back and tell my friends I didn't have a girlfriend, I'll get ridiculed; but If I go back to America and tell my friends that I dropped cash on some girl for three months and all I got was a HUG, I'd get laughed all the way back to China."

9:43 AM . . .

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DVD update: I can now buy DVDs for the low, low price of $0.72 each. I have started buying DVDs because I know that it's cheaper than renting them at Blockbuster. This afternoon I bought The Animal and K-Pax for that reason alone. And I knew that my collection was really getting huge when realized after I got home that I already bought the movie Heat. Not that I like Heat so much, it's just one of those movies I only like, so it's not as easy to remember as one that I love, like The Usual Suspects.

I bought "Rosemary's Baby" because I thought it had the line "A DINGO ATE YOUR BABY!" in it. It's got baby in the title . . . I think that's where the similarities end. Let's just hope the movie's worth that Slurpee I won't get to buy back in the states.

8:26 AM . . .

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Wednesday, April 10, 2002


It wasn't even the biggest step he'd taken in his life; that would have been in 1992 when he left his family for his one true love. And now, here it was again. The love of his life, staring him in the face and asking the same question:

"Are you ready?"

After the months of pumping himself up about the day, the second that he'd have to make this decision, he was. He was going to do it. It was more like the fact that he knew it could be done, but until this moment he had not believed that HE actually could. In the recesses of his mind, there were doubts, as there are in any 50 year old's mind when he makes these kind of decisions; even those a great deal more trivial than the one he was about to make.

What was to happen next? What if he found what he was looking for, but it wasn't what he'd built it up to be? What if he didn't find it? What if he TURNED AROUND RIGHT NOW?

He wasn't about to deal with those same questions he'd been asking himself since September. This was his moment, and he wasn't going to be stopped by his own fear again. He looked up the stairwell one last time, turned and pulled the door shut behind him. This was it.

5:08 AM . . .

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Tuesday, April 09, 2002


Last night I was stopped by the police. It was at a routine traffic stop where all riders were to be stopped and questioned. As I slowed down, I realized that my ownership of the moped was in jeopardy for I was looking directly at a police truck loaded up with confiscated motorcycles.

I was:
-Riding an unregisterd bike
-Driving on a main road without a license
-Driving without my headlights on

They proceeded to:
-Take the keys from my bike
-Look confused when I took off my helmet
-Tell me to turn my lights on by gesturing
-Return my keys and send me on my merry way

Over the course of the time I was there (about three minutes), not one other bike passed through the checkpoint. I am getting used to this place.

Last night I dreamed I was: Sliced to death by knights of the Taliban clad in freshly polished suits of armor. Some had swords made of iron, but most had swords of tinfoil and cardboard (like a middle-school theatrical performance).

12:59 AM . . .

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Saturday, April 06, 2002


This picture is hilarious.

6:59 PM . . .

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The only things you really need to pack when you come to China:

-Duct Tape
-Dental Floss
-Heavy-Duty Ziploc Bags
-100 pound assortment of your favorite cheeses

7:25 AM . . .

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This week I am having my students compose sonnets for their English Writing class. I told them it would be an easy assignment, but they weren't having it; after I gave them the bit about iambic pentameter and heroic couplets, they were convinced that it was too hard. One of the students told me, "Patrick, if it's so easy, write one now." We were talking about me seeing another white guy here and becoming best friends within seconds, so they picked that as my topic. Below is the crap that I crapped over our class's crappy little ten minute break:

This last Sunday I had nothing to do
So I took a walk through a gorgeous park
The air was so fresh, the sights were so new
My steps were so light, as flights of the lark
What is that ahead? Who is that I see?
His palor is more spectral than the rest
Another westerner walks near to me
Maybe I should shout a "Hello" in jest!
We may have plenty of things in common
We could like the same movies, songs and foods
Hamburgers, pizza, fries, (Maybe ramen?)
We are two simple American dudes
Just as our paths cross, they now veer apart
And from my memory, his face departs

Last night I dreamed about: Hitting a pot-bellied redneck who turned into Ben Affleck at which time, I promptly beat him up; I also fed a dollar to a vending machine that only gave me previously opened Stoned Wheat Thins.

1:07 AM . . .

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Thursday, April 04, 2002


I started writing down my dreams in a notebook last night. I woke up this morning found the following in the journal:

-Teaching english in Foshan (a town near me where I teach and have anoher job offer)
-Umpire of kickball game in sideyard of Slaytonbush (lane on which I lived from 1989 to 1991) with Yarmouth (hometown) kids playing
-Load in my pants, crapped all over bathroom
-(Drove to work, saw sign at) Boston Market: Fine Foof (sic)
-Worked teaching in a school they ran like the mafia (is run)
-Mat Belisle (friend from hometown) appeared in dream to advise me on which job to take (mafia one or new one)

Note: Items in parentheses are for clarification only, and some are things I remember that I didn't write down, not what was actually written.

A rather interesting start. When I went over it, I am pretty sure I could trace where most of these thoughts came from save the kickball game and the "Foof." Psychoanalysis is welcome!

8:39 PM . . .

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I taught English this evening. I teach "Crazy English," which is a type of learning style that has been popularized by this guy in China called Li Yang. The tenets of this system of learning are:

-Speak English as loud as you can
-Speak the English phrases that Westerners use
-Practice often

I am teaching directly from a book with the following words/phrases printed inside it: Damn it, Shit, Go to hell, Beat it, Get lost, and Ass. This was the lesson in which I was to cover that chapter. The students asked me about words and phrases that came up in American movies that they watched, and I wrote them on the board to show them the spellings. At the end of the lesson, I turned around and this is what I saw:

Son of a bitch . . . . . . Fuck
Suck my dick . . . . . . . Motherfucker

This was the most fun I have ever had being paid $12.50 an hour.

8:06 AM . . .

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I have finally put my finger on it that the "Hellos" that I get are generally at me and not to me, which is the reason why I have had just about enough of them. When I get back to America, I'm gonna go to Chinatown and shout "Ni Hao!" at everyone who walks by with black hair and is shorter than I.

12:35 AM . . .

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Wednesday, April 03, 2002


My friend here has a little girl of about five years old, and she could be a poster cause she's so darn cute. Of course, like all cute things, when they say "Camera! CLICK!" (because they just learned the word) about a trillion times as they're crawling all over you when you're trying to watch a football match and enjoy a beer, it gets a bit annoying, but 95% of the time, the kid is just the cutest little thing. I gave her an English name (Katie) and she loves it. She looks just like a little Katie. Everyone (including the teacher that I was supposed to be set up with) calls her Katie now. She loves me. We play monster at her house and go around scaring people with our teeth clenched, arms outstretched, and our fingers curled up like claws (it kind of looks like Phoebe's hand placement for the chord "Old Woman"). You'd love her, she's adorable.

Kids are usually so cute and fun to be around; so carefree and playful . . .but every once in a while, absolute jackass kids com along and mess up any thought I might have had about ever attempting to bring one into the world. You may assuage your parenting fears by saying to yourself "MY kid won't be like that." You'll raise her better than whoever fucked that one up. Maybe you think that perhaps she has one of those disorders that are en vogue these days, or maybe you wonder if there "is something wrong with her brain" (which is the term that my Chinese students use for any and all forms of mental deficiency). The bottom line is; when it comes down to having a kid, all you do know is that you will try (and it's not going to be your best, and it's probably not going to be as hard as you can) to bring the child up right, and in the end, you can still be glad that she isn't that little shit you had to deal with the time you set your mind on being a good parent.

10:24 PM . . .

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Did anyone else watch the first series of "Survivor" ritually and then never watch another episode of the show? The only reason that I watched it the first time is because it was aired over the summer of 2000 and was working a 9-5 job at GE. The next time it was on, my life was in flux on the weekday nights and could never really watch it, and I am one of those people that don't really feel like pickng a show up in mid-season. I haven't seen a full episode or cared about the season since. I liked the first one, I wanted to watch the second one, but I missed it because of a lacrosse practice and that was it . . . never cared about it again.

For all those who are still fans, here's a clever take-off from the show. It's just a huge dork-pop culture agglomeration. To create, mix one part CBS, one part Maxis, and a pinch of biting satirical wit. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to low. Simmer 20-25 minutes (30-35 minutes for high-altitudes), remove from heat, and let mixture cool for five minutes. fluff lightly with a fork, and serve.

2:18 AM . . .

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Tuesday, April 02, 2002


This evening, I stopped to dine at a restaurant quite close to my school which I eat at frequently. I asked for a menu and pointed at a line of Chinese characters, not knowing what it was that I was going to be digesting later that night. I did know that it was going to cost me $1.25, regardless of what it was, so I felt that I could take the hit to the wallet there. I sat and at some peanuts with a pair of chopsticks (Note: The 'peanuts' link goes nowhere, just hover over it to read an aside on these nuts).

I buy a beer from the shop next door and go back to relax in my chair to wait for my food. I casually glance up, and it immediately appeared to me that someone had ordered snake from the menu. It appeared that way because just then, a man who appeared to be working there had a knife in his hand and appeared to be slicing a snake in half. I say appeared (and perhaps I should stop repeating said saying) because I had not seen the man working there prior to this occasion, and as I mentioned before, I am a regular there, and I also could not see the actual slicing. All I knew was that there was (1) a snake, (2) a knife, and (3) dark liquid coming from somwhere landing directly on the pavement. From my obscured view of the whole scene, I would say that he was the killer (beyond any reasonable doubt).

As the man (which I had since decided was working at the restaurant) discarded his bloody cloves and tracked off in his Bruno Maglis, he ferried the snake past the guest house into the restaurant's kitchen. He quickly emerged from the place (and now I can say, with confidence) from whence he came and started on another order. In this case, there was certainly no "appearing." It all happened, no more than six feet from me in living colors; those colors being blue, black, tan, green, grey, and red.

Blue was the color of the bucket where the black cage was placed. Tan was the color of the Chinese gentleman's hand as he took a green frog from the black cage sitting in the blue bucket. As quickly as he lifted his tan arm containing the green frog, he thrust his tan hand toward the grey cement and released the green frog. Lying on the grey cement was a green frog with red liquid coming from his mouth and eyes.

When a frog meets cement, the sound is exactly like the sound of your friend forgetting to catch the bag of peanut M&Ms that you just tossed to him. When a frog meets cement, and hops up to escape certain death, the sound of the frog leaving the ground is imperceptible from the distance of six feet; when the frog lands, it is as if a small child fell to his knees from his ice skates and barely slid an inch.

I counted ten bags of M&Ms and three small children falling to the ice as I dumbfoundedly looked on.

I'm pretty sure I had the pork.

4:27 AM . . .

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Thanks for ridin' the