Sunday, June 30, 2002
Macau is the supoposed to be the Vegas of the East, but that's too great a compliment to pay this town. It's more like the Atlantic City of the east, except the casinos aren't as nice. I really think this place is pretty nice, I was just hoping for a little more from their casinos.
One place wouldn't let me double down on a ten. The dealer told me that I could only do it on an eleven . . . Is that standard practice? I don't think so. Granted, I wouldn't let me double down if I was showing a six (as she was at the time), but removing freedom to play is not part of the game. Who's with me on this one?
But I enjoyed my stay here. It's not too expensive (if you go to the right places), the people generally speak English well, and the town has an old European flavor to it. The streets and shops near our hotel didn't get much of our money . . . Kim and I were too hungover to purchase much of anything. They had an all-you-can-drink "Beer Buffet" at the tower's 180¢X Lounge. The choices were Kirin, Kirin, and . . . Kirin. I always thought that a buffet meant that you had more than one item to choose from, but this was not the case. The lack of choices didn't take away from the fact that the restaurant was beautiful and had some great views of the city.
I know I saw or did something funny today, but I just can't remember what it was . . .
7:15 AM . . .
Friday, June 28, 2002
I sold my moped and my laptop for about $220 and I was happy with the prices I got.
4:52 PM . . .
And just like that . . . he was gone.
It was a quick four months in Nanhai; I leave in two hours. It seems like just yesterday I was dining at the Steak King and buying my moped. Now, I'm all packed, I've sold my bike, given all my non-essentials away, and I've said my last goodbyes.
I'd recommend this experience to anyone without a job, and I hear that's quite a lot of you over in the USA right now. If you are interested in teaching in China, and you have nothing to do from August until February, head over to the council exchanges teach in China website and sign up.
You won't regret it.
4:50 PM . . .
Thursday, June 27, 2002
OK. I've waited a lot of time to do something with this, but it's sat at the top of my inbox for long enough. Let me give you some background info . . . Every once in a while, when I'm bored, I send some E-Mail Roulette (you send a random thought to someone else who has subscribed to the service; it's pretty cool). Sometimes I make up new stuff, but usually I just take a blog post, stick it on their submit page and send it. I usually send twenty at a time because I'd tried sending out one at a time before and only rarely received a response. So a couple of roulettes ago, I sent out this post and this was one of the responses:I consider most of the decisions I make in life to be pretty darned flawed. One that wasn't was
based on what I can only call a deep and abiding knowledge held throughout my whole life that
parenthood was not on the agenda for me, and thus I took measures to insure that pregnancy would
be a non-issue for me. In other words, I got myself spayed. I would have been able to prevent
two abortions had the gynos allowed me to have my tubal ligation at age 25 the way I'd
originally planned rather than making me wait until I was 30 "in case I changed my mind."
It utterly flummoxes me how a person has to take a test to drive a motor vehicle or attend a
university, but to raise a human larvae requires not only no test of intelligence, parental
aptitude, physical health, mental health or financial ability...but they do what they can to
make sure EVERY woman is all but pushed into making reproduction be a facet of life whether or
not the woman wants it, and whether or not it would be a particularly good idea to make it so.
In my case it was a double issue. Thankfully I have never felt the tuggings of any maternal
instinct whatsoever, beyond my love of my feline child-surrogates. If I did, it might have
caused me to actually go and have a kid after all despite the fact that I am a fat omnisexual
druggie. Who also is cursed with rather bad genes...heart disease, cancer and obesity run
rampant up both branches of my family tree.
Most of my life choices, as evinced by the above, are what most would call "wonky" at best. Why
I have been so smart as to the matter of not having children is anyone's guess. I also don't
drive an automobile. I think being car-free and childfree are probably the two best things I've
ever done for the planet and human civilization at large - and perhaps they help make up for
some of my other...shall we say, "less redeeming" qualities.
Cute kids? Only when they're someone else's. And usually not then, as it seems they're always
Thanks for the note regarding the Chinese mental health assessment. I'll have to remember that
one the next time I get asked for my official diagnosis - "something wrong with my brain"
actually sounds much more sensible than "schizoaffective."
I think she's dead on with everything she's said.
6:40 AM . . .
Wednesday, June 26, 2002
If you're a sports fan, you've gotta read MSNBC's "Notes From The Field" by Michael Ventre. Here's an excerpt:Jeff Gordon hasn't won a race since September 30th but insists his impending divorce has nothing to do with the slump. In an effort to recapture his old form, Gordon is considering a technique whereby he imagines his wife sitting in the passenger seat, insisting he stop for directions.
I've been reading him for years and the column never ceases to amuse me.
11:29 PM . . .
Tuesday, June 25, 2002
At a club last night, I was offered cocaine. This was the third time I'd been asked but it was the first time that I actually watched people do it.
The club is pretty nice . . . good music and fairly inexpensive beer. I go to the place often, but I don't usually bother going into the club since they sell the best corn-on-the-cob on the face of the Earth outside. A guy started talking to me, and when I finished the corn, he said "You like this?" and then turned his face to the ground, put his arms out and started shaking uncontrollably. I said sure and followed him into the club. I didn't know what the fuck it meant, but I was going to find out what the hell he was talking about.
I went into their private room, and there were a bunch of people all around a table doing that same stupid shit the guy was doing in the parking lot. Some dude was standing in the corner switching the light in the room on and off real fast. One guy did a line with a straw in one nostril and a cigarette in the other. A girl fell off the table everyone was doing coke from . . . the whole scene was completely ridiculous. It was like a bad D.A.R.E. ad with better music and no Brad Kane.
9:01 AM . . .
Monday, June 24, 2002
I broke my cat.
The cat was an extremely tacky cat made of porcelain that the Chinese goverment seems to require be placed in all shops. It looks sort of like this, but mine was metallic gold and the hand was mechanized so it actually waved to you. Like I said, extremely tacky.
The cat signifies good luck for taking in money. I dropped it while I was waiting for an elevator at a place that was going to pay me for teaching services rendered. They weren't there, so I didn't get the money.
Then I get back to my office and turn on my computer and the first E-mail I check is from Curt and he leads off with this link.
GE Global eXchange Services is where I'm supposed to be working in July. Hopefully I won't be needing the services of these guys anytime soon.
I don't believe in "bad omens," but I think I might be buying another cat real soon.
10:16 PM . . .
Tonight, I was the Beer Baron.
The Nanhai Normal School was throwing a party for their graduates (41 of which were my students) and they had reserved an entire restaurant for the occasion. I was invited and was having a wonderful time until I ran out of beer. I asked for another, and the waitress said no.
The students at my table clarified that they only allowed two bottles of beer per table. I understood why that was the case and had to immediately commit acts of subterfuge. I went out and bought more beer.
Like a party that had, if I may be so bold as to say, run out of beer, the students were losing interest. I went across the street and loaded up a box full of "Pijiu" (Mandarin for beer) and brought it back. The first batch got the crowd going, the second set them into a frenzy, and when the beer entered the third time, people were attacking me. I tried my best to distribute it evenly, but even the best laid plans go awry. I ended up bringing about five or six cases into the fray and every drop of the stuff was consumed. People were gong wild with every new case that was brought in, so naturally, I couldn't stop bringing in more.
I know they were going crazy for the beer and not for me, but I didn't care. To see the looks on their faces when I brought in another shipment was payment enough. I mean, come on; I bought enough beer for 100 people to solidify some state of drunkenness for about $20. That's a deal and a half if you ask me.
5:43 AM . . .
Sunday, June 23, 2002
Me : I am drunk
Me : and you gteto talk to drunk paatrick
ExGF : I love drunk Patrick!
Me : heeeeey
ExGF : I was trizashed last night
Me : thre last time I remrember talking to you drunk was fophomore year Me : and I waled asround a fresakinn girel'ds HS because I was so frusdtreated
Me : because you were asleep orewouldn't talk to me
Me : do you remember the time I aM TALKING ABOUT
ExGF : What?
ExGF : What does this mean: "and I waled asround a fresakinn girel'ds HS because I was so frusdtreated"
Me : hahahahhahahahahhahaha
ExGF : What were you frustrated for?
ExGF : Were you sexually frustrated?
Me : I walked around a private girls' schol because I was frustrated with what you thoughht was
Me : no oitalacs meant
ExGF : With what I thought?
ExGF : You're sloppy, dude. This is hilarious
Me : I don't tremeember
ExGF : Right, so you walked around the girls' school because you were frustrated about what?
Me : I was frustrated abiytbytou nbot believing me about omething
ExGF : Hmm-- I don't know what it is I didn't believe
Me : I don'trrenmember either
Me : there was a time where I was IMing you fir a while and you refused to talk to me
Me : what the hell did I say anyway?
ExGF : I don't remember why I would have refused to talk to you
ExGF : You mean then or now?
Me : then
Me : after vanelntines
ExGF : How can January be after Valentine's?
Me : it was after I Imed you one night and i SAID somenting I should'5t habe or something
Me : it was march or so
ExGF : January, February, March-- good work
ExGF : I have no idea. I have always been pretty moody
Me : I'll chslk it up to that
ExGF : . . . not to the fact that you were probably an asshole?
Me : maybe
ExGF : You did say something mean to me after we broke up, but I can't remember what it was
Me : that;s the time
Me : well, not something like "I oldy did it to provbe I wasn't shallow"
Me : which was some kind or reeeeeeeeedonculous slam,
Me : I feel bad avout that
ExGF : Only did what?
Me : went outwith this gril
ExGF : You mean you did it with an ugly chick or something?
Me : linnsdsay kay ... she wasnt' ugly, she just wsn hot
Me : IyamwhatIayamand that'sallthatIyam
Me : OK, gon to bed
ExGF : You're funny, eminem
Me : Ithat was popeye
ExGF : goodnight drunk Patrick
Me : talk to you doon
Me : I mean, not soon
ExGF : Not soon?
Me : drunk patrick doesn't come on that often
12:22 PM . . .
Friday, June 21, 2002
5:58 PM . . .
Thursday, June 20, 2002
Baseball fans and other people interested in insights to professional sports, read this before you check out the rest of the post. You can read and understand what he's saying below, but reading the article will better familiarize you with the general idea.
Sent: Thursday, June 20, 2002
To: Pete, Callan, Tami, Blunt
Subject: Re: Nada
First of all I can definitely see his point. Lets face it; right now the guy gets four or five good pitches a game, tops, so you know they're walking him close to twice a game. Guys don't want to throw to him because when they do, Bonds hammers it over the fence.
So he never gets anything to hit, now he's getting buzzed every once in a while. The Giants pitching staff is great, but they never plunk anyone. They're last in the league in this category. He's been hit six times and the staff has only hit ten guys, and not in retaliation. In that light, I can see his frustration.
But . . .
Any time you have a bunch of your teammates saying things like, "I dont care what he said," there is something fucked up going on. These guys talk shit about each other creating internal conflicts all the time. It's almost like no one is friends anymore, they just "work" together. I think it's the simple fact that in professional sports, where guys are making millions of dollars, they become completely spoiled and disillusioned with their own importance. It gets so there is very little "team" in the team.
Bonds is an especially cocky fuck, so I'm sure he doesnt have too many friends to begin with. The media has never liked him and I don't know why, maybe it's the ego. It's not like he spit on an umpire or anything; they just don't like him. If he was as much of a jerk as he appears to be and was on my team, I wouldnt care if he got thrown at four times a game.
---- End of Message ----
Credit Curt for this entire post. Fact checking by Patrick.
7:48 PM . . .
Wednesday, June 19, 2002
My expenditures yesterday:
Food (two meals): $3.50
Bottled Water (eight or so): $1.90
Paintings for friends and family: $8.75
Bus Ticket: $0.75
Hotel and Bicycle rental: $2.50
One hour in the Mud Caves: $15.00
Let me explain the mud cave bit.
When I was in Shanghai, I met a few people who were finishing their tour of China that week. Throughout the conversation they had been talking about this or that sight to see or thing to do if you were here or there, and I asked them what the best part of their trip was. They all agreed that it was Yangshuo's Buddah Water Cave, where you get caked with mud from your head to your toes and generally have a grand old time. Now this might not sound so enticing to you, but I was sold.
They said it was 100 yuan ($12.50) and worth it. The price had risen since they were there and was now 120 yuan. Obviously $2.50 was not going to deter me from this experience. They gave out free sandals and shorts for people who needed them, but the shorts they gave me were too small and ripped in half about 50 steps into the cave. The guide told me it was because I was too fat. I solemnly trugded onward, dragging behind me my depreciated self-image.
We arrived at the "Muddy," which is what the guide, with his limited though understandable English, called the pit where the mud was. I thought I was going to rip my twig and berries half to shreds since parts of the mud had many sharp exposed pebbles. Taking into account how much of myself was exposed, I was scared, but I did it anyway and emerged with only minor scratches. The place would be a lot more expensive if it was available in America since the dangers involved in actually getting to the mud would result in some tremendous insurance costs. I cut myself in a bunch of different places and lost my footing mulitple times.
No injuries I received detracted from my stay in the mud pit. I covered myself in clay and walked around like a big 'ol mud monster. I made mud castles. I threw mud all over the place. I slathered myself with the glorious stuff and fell back into the water into the cool, refreshing MUD. There was a lot of mud in that place. I can imagine it would have been a tad more fun if I was with a bunch of other people, but I was content just being myself, playing in the mud.
The guide took a whole bunch of pictures (hover aside) of me in the cave, and when I post them here, you will laugh. I already wrote the captions for a few of them. Don't worry; I don't think you'll be able to see my naughty bits in any of the photos.
I'd say I had a pretty cool day for $30, but when you get a hotel room for $1.25, you get what you pay for.
6:48 PM . . .
My students tell me that the term for a white guy, "Gui lo" (Ghost Man), is not derrogatory. I hear this term maybe twice a week here and it's never to my face . . . well, once, but that was in a class of ten year-olds. And it's always, "Waaaah! Gui lo," never, "Ni hao Gui lo," or even, "Hello Gui lo." I always hear it in passing from people thinking they're saying it quietly enough so as I won't hear them, or in a situation where it's not likely that I will stop and talk to them.
Well I have a question . . . If this isn't so derrogatory, do Italians say "Buon giorno, mulignane," and then invite the guy to dinner?
Oh. It's different. I understand.
4:08 AM . . .
Tuesday, June 18, 2002
Yesterday, I rolled into Guilin for the first day of my vacaton and the town was flooded. Not completely flooded, but you could tell it was a couple of days ago. Roads were washed out, silt was covering the sidewalks, and there were deep puddles everywhere. I wished I had a pair of sandals that I could walk around in for more than ten minutes without getting blisters 'cause I'd have been splashing around in them.
I'd never seen flooding before yesterday, aside from the bathrooms at Sigma Alpha Epsilon after Keenan used the toilet. It was really interesting, and some guys I met said that it happened every four years or so, yet there were still houses in the floodplain immersed in water up to their rooves. There were also many shops with their wares floating about inside like so many dead fish belly up in their fishbowl.
I was ferried around by motorcycle taxis all day, and as we crossed bridges, the drivers often pointed and babbled incomprehensibly about the flooding. I said "Hai . . . Tai duo shui" (Yes . . . Too much water), and then they immediately believed I was fluent in Chinese and kept talking to me. The flooding didn't really dampen the spirits of these guys, nor anyone else. The attitude around the town made it seem more of an event than a hardship.
10:03 AM . . .
Sunday, June 16, 2002
HAHAHAHAHAHA! . . . MMMMMBWAHAHAHA! . . . BWAHAHAHA!
So hilarious I am in tears. Let the whole thing download before you press play.
DON'T WATCH THIS WITHOUT SOUND!
2:16 AM . . .
Thursday, June 13, 2002
Wednesday, June 12, 2002
First in a series of accounts of my first kisses:
That morning, I asked if her if she even wanted to kiss me. She insisted that she did, and when I asked her to, she accepted. It was simply that; an acceptance. It might as well been a rejection since the kiss was as formal and devoid of feeling as any of the post-interview neg letters I have received from corporate America. Her lips seemed to tell me, "Sorry, I do not have any positions avaiable for applicants with your qualifications, but I'll keep your memory on file, and I wish you good luck with your future partners."
Idea brought to you by Volatile.org.
4:51 AM . . .
Monday, June 10, 2002
Joe Namath on playing football with Jesus:
" . . . In the huddle, I called for a naked bootleg and J just kept saying 'I am the way and the light,' and something about not perishing whatsoever if we believed him . . . something like that. One of the guys said we belived him and told him to shut up so he could hear the play. He pulled off center and leveled two 230 pound linemen and it freed me to the end-zone. I mean, it wasn't the play, but I just kinda shrugged and gave him a high-five. Easiest six I ever ran for."
"Then there was this time we were at home playing Buffalo and this bread started pelting the whole Bills squad. Came outta nowhere! I looked at over at J; he was just standing there smiling and waving his arms around like an idiot. The ref had to call time, so I went over to get something to drink, and some jackass had spiked the gatorade. . . "
Idea totally and completely ganked from ASimpleHero.com
6:27 AM . . .
Sunday, June 09, 2002
You guys remember the Pogo Ball, right? Well just yesterday in a mall in China, they were advertising a workout video utilizing the pogo ball. These tree kids were jumping around on them like someone had just injected them with crystal meth. The workout video was pretty standard: on the beach, attractive girl leads other girls, calling out numbers and moves as she goes . . . All this while bouncing up and down on a Pogo Ball.
I never got things when everyone else got them, so my Pogo Ball must have been second, third, or dare I say fourth generation issue. It had a face on it, and I know the first ones didn't. The face looked like Michael Rappaport with a mohawk and sunglasses and I am pretty sure that my brother's had a cat face. I don't know why we picked the ones we did or if they were given to us, but after waiting for them as long as we did, we got some cool ass pogo balls.
While we're on the topic of cat faces and pogo balls, when I was about eight years old, I came home from school one day and my mom and I had this dialog:
Mom: Patrick! I have a surprise for you!
Patrick: POGO BALL!?!?
Patrick: What is it, maaaaaaw! Tell me tellme tellmetellme!
Mom: Go look in the bathroom.
The bathroom? What the hell, mom? Did you get me some really cool exfoliating cleanser or something? I looked around, and in the sink, wrapped up in a towel was a kitten. I was still getting over the fact that it wasn't a Pogo ball or a Nintendo so I must have had to fake excitement about getting a cat. I thought to myself, "She's a cute kitten and all, but she's no Nintendo. At least a Nintendo would provide me hours of fun and enjoyment."
Of course, mother knows best. My pogo ball was sold at a yard sale or left behind at one of the houses I moved from, and my Nintendo . . . it's in a blue typewriter case somewhere unless my dad threw it away. Loretta is still bringing me happiness and congestion to this day. Mom didn't know that I was allergic to cats at that time, but it didn't matter. Today, I still regard my cat as the best gift I have ever received.
5:34 AM . . .
Thursday, June 06, 2002
Yesterday, I kind of haphazardly threw everything into the washing machine and then got into the shower. I heard a clunking sound and figured it was something wrong with the machine. It turns out that it was an Elph.
A Canon Elph that I got from Karen for my birthday last year. I was wary of APS cameras before I got it because of how expensive the developing costs were, but I found I could get prints and buy film at really good prices when I borrowed my friend's Sam's Club card. I love taking pictures and I took this thing everywhere. It didn't take the best photographs in the world (it was a point and shoot), but it was much more convenient than my practice of continuously buying disposables.
I was talking with Spytek, and he commented that it was always the pictures you lose that you care about. You know, I'd really like the pictures that I took of the "Snakes Penises" liquor and the company with a pimp hat for a logo, but I don't care. I want my camera back. I have nine rolls of advantix film, three weeks left in China, and two weeks of vacation to places I've never been before. I can't afford the digital camera I want (and I can't find it in China anyway, nor do I have a USB port on my computer), and it's hell to buy anything Advantix over here, so I'm stuck either buying a new camera or a bunch of disposables.
The same day, my favorite (and only) sandals broke. I'm an eleven and you can't buy anything over size ten over here to save your life.
And I itch from a sunburn. Those are the biggest problems in my life right now. I'd say I'm a pretty lucky man.
1:39 PM . . .
Wednesday, June 05, 2002
Tuesday, June 04, 2002
They listened! I posted this a few months ago and now my idea is a reality (someone else's reality, of course). I am not saying they saw my site, stole my idea, and created what they did - I'm just saying . . . Of course, it doesn't take into account every single blog out there, but it does a relatively nice job of covering the basics.
8:13 PM . . .
Monday, June 03, 2002
The funniest thing on my website is most definitely the referrer.
Yesterday, someone came to my site from this google search. Some teenage girl stumbled upon my site as she was making prom night preparations so that when the time came (no pun intended) she was ready to please her boyfriend.
1:40 AM . . .