- Lawrence of Arabia [They don't make movies like this anymore: serious, artsy, intellectual and having a big production budget.]
- The Royal Tannenbaums [I saw this movie two times in the cinema and bought the DVD.]
- The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance [A Western starring my two favourite actors: Jimmy Stewart and John Wayne.]
- The Keys to the Kingdom [I just saw this movie last week. It is about a Catholic Priest in China.]
- Oklahoma! [A rousing musical.]
- Kiss Me Kate! [Cole Porter writes a musical based on a play of Shakespeare.]
- Top Hat [I wish I could be like Fred Astaire!]
- The Dambusters [This movie shows Englishman at their finest. With the exception of one, the Englishmen I have meet in real life don't come close to the ideal. Too many Englishmen have been defiled by Socialism.]
- Wizard of Oz [I have seen this movie fifty times at least.]
- A Man for All Seasons [Well acted. It seems like it was filmed in another age on another planet.]
- The Country Girl [There is a scene in this movie starring Grace Kelley, Bing Crosby, and William Holden that brings tears to my eyes.]
- Black Sunday [The one thriller on my list was made in the 1970s. I remember seeing it in the cinema at the time.]
- Monty Python and the Holy Grail [Saturday Night Fever spawned a lot of cliched spoofery. And in an analagous manner, this film spawned at lot of horrible nerdish humour that makes normal people and me cringe. Be that as it may, it is still a very funny movie.]
- The Long Voyage Home. [This film has John Wayne playing a Swedish sailor. It is my favourite John Ford directed film. As well, it is the best film on seafaring life that I have ever seen.]
Monday, December 2, 2013
Saturday, November 30, 2013
- I don't work today.
- I stayed at home. In the afternoon, I do go out with Jenny to do some grocery shopping at Tesco.
- At the food court near the Tesco, I ate sushi. Afterward, as I was with Jenny in the Tesco, the food all came back to me, and I had to do the squats in the public toilet.
- I can't remember when it was that I last did the squats. I hate to squat because I just can't do it properly. I have to take off my pants so as not to splatter on them.
- I have a suspicion that one of the foreign trainers at my school has trained himself to do the squats.
- At the apartment, I posted a lot of entries to all my blogs the Internet.
- On his arrival home from school at 4:00 PM, Tony immediately complained that the train set, which had been set up on Sunday afternoon, had been taken down. So, I set it up for him after supper.
- I was watching, off and on, the Keys to the Kingdom, a film in which Gregory Peck plays a priest and sets up a mission in China. The Chinese, spoken, as far as I can tell, was authentic.
- I work 13:00 to 21:00 today.
- I didn't want to arise this morning, but I had to. I had to take Tony, who was less willing than me to get up, to get picked up by the car, a black VW sedan, that takes him to school.
- When I was in grade one, I walked to school by myself.
- When I was in grades three to six and living in Quebec, I took the bus to school. At the lunchtime, the bus would pick us up from school and take us back home where Mom would make us a hot lunch. At Tony's school, the lunch period is so short that Jenny has to ride the e-bike out to school to feed him.
- Jenny has to go to the school because the food at the school is terrible and Tony won't touch it.
- Last night, I phoned my Mother, who lives by herself in Brandon, Manitoba. My sister is paying her a visit but because I was so sleepy when I phoned, I only talked to Mom. I hope I am awake enough to talk to my sister tonight.
- Mom voted in a Federal by-election.
- I haven't shaved since Saturday morning.
- I enjoyed the film Keys to the Kingdom that I finished watching yesterday. They don't make films like that anymore. They, being the major film makers. The Keys to the Kingdom show religious people in a good light.
- I took the 25 bus to school and I just happened to get a glimpse of the new metro train doing a test run on the portion of track where the train goes from underground to above ground. It was going at a fast clip. Too bad, Tony wasn't with me to see it – he would have been very excited.
- Tony won't be happy when he comes home this afternoon because I again had to put away his train set.
- I work 13:00 to 21:00.
- You can order Crown Royal Whiskey on Taobao! When I got home last night, I was happy to see that it had finally arrived.
- The Conservatives won the by-election in Brandon, Mom told me, by a thousand votes. The CJOB podcast said by four hundred.
- To celebrate the arrival of my new bottle of Crown Royal, I almost finished off the old bottle which I had been saving till an auspicious enough occasion arose that I could drink it. And last night, I decided that the arrival of a new bottle of Crown was just such an occasion. I had saved two slugs of Crown in that old bottle but only drank one last night. My next chance to finish off the bottle will come on Saturday.
- Who would have thunk it? There I was in China, listening to a Winnipeg Blue Bombers press conference. They hired a new general manager
- Last night, I talked to my sister who was in Brandon to visit our mother. We engaged in friendly chat.
- Mom mentioned wind chill factors of minus twenty five in Brandon!!! Do I miss that? Yes, I do.
- I am wearing a cardigan sweater today because reports predict the temperature in Wuxi could get down to zero degrees.
- I work 10:00 to 21:00.
- I am wearing long johns today because it is cold, for Wuxi; and temperatures could go down to around zero degrees Celsius. [I know this isn't as bad as in Manitoba from where I was listing to a CJOB podcast about the differences between winter tires and all season radial tires. The report, if it could be believed, said winter tires are much better than all-season tires. The latter, it was said during the podcast, should really be called no-season radials.]
- I had a blue screen this morning on my school laptop. As I was typing out today's diary entry, my word processing program froze and then crashed. All I had just typed in was lost.
- And as I was waiting for the laptop to reboot, I had a filling come out. I didn't think I had any fillings left in my mouth. I had had three fall out last year and I have been scared to look at my teeth because I knew they were in such a bad way.
- I have been putting off going to the dentist for a long time. I do have money on my social insurance card that I can use towards dental work.
- Dentists are an issue for expats here. Some of the dentists hear will yank out teeth without pain-numbing medicine.
- I work 11:00 to 21:00 today.
- Nippy outside. What else can I say?
- I go to the Government Administration Building in the new CBD to do a lunchtime English Corner with an indeterminate number of civil servants.
- I heard that the owners of the Havana Cafe are selling the business. While it hadn't loss money, the pub hadn't made enough money to make it worth the owners' while.
- On the 81 bus, I refused an older man who was trying to yield me his seat. I am not sure why this happens to me. Do I look that old and infirm?
- I voraciously read this book about the Kennedy Assassination which was written by Vincent Bugliosi.
- LATER: I have gone to the Wuxi government central administration center and done my lunch hour English corner. It was my second time to do it. The first time, I did the English Corner in a large conference room with heavy wooden tables and chairs, high ceilings, and a carpeted floor – it was very plush but not the ideal setting for an English corner. So today, the powers-that-be decided to hold the English corner in an area, with sofas, that was in a hallway on a fourth level of a very high and open interior space. It was like holding an English corner in a walkway overlooking the open central area of a multi-floored shopping mall, like the Hen Long plaza. The place where I talked to the students today offered a brilliant view of a lake that was surrounded on its two sides by bricked walkways. The walkways curved towards each other at the far end of the end lake where there was a brick bridge. The walkways, I was told, lead to stairways on the bridge which allowed one to cross, get to the other walkway, and make a circuit of the lake which could be walked in thirty minutes.
- I asked two of the students where they worked and they told me that they worked in the discipline department. Not knowing what they meant, I got them to try and clarify, and they then told me that they worked in the discipline department for the members of the Communist Party of China. I realize now they meant to say the disciplinary department.
- Hearing the world discipline, I should have made jokes about stud leather collars, leather clothing, whips, and chains. Instead, I tried to relate it to Xi Jing Ping talking of reducing corruption in the government. That fell flat. Of course, the other attempt would have fallen flat too but it was a better joke.
- I work 10:00 to 18:00.
- Last night, I didn't get a seat on the 635 bus home. The bus I take to the 635 stop, that be the 118, was late -- I had been recently taking this bus after school so as to better ensure that I got a seat on the 635. I had discovered that by taking the 118 I could get to an earlier stop on the 635 route that was by the International Hotel (across from Baoli) and so I could avoid the crowded stop (by Wall Street English) and the wrestling that takes place there when it is time to board the bus and get a seat. But the 118 has to arrive earlier enough by my school to allow me do this. Last night, the 118 did not come right away and I had two 67 buses which I could have taken to the crowded and later stop but didn't. I decided to chance it and wait for the 118 but when it did arrive I got to my preferred 635 stop by the International hotel a minute too late – I saw the 635 come to the stop and I was too far away to catch it. So I had to go a stop across the street (by the Jinling Hotel next to the Baoli Shopping Mall) and stand when I did board the bus.
- At the end of it all, I survived having to stand all the way home for fifty minutes. I listened to my Ipod and thought of the standing as a kind of penance for having always been so fortunate as to have a seat so, so many times before.
- The classes today were outstanding. I was giddy as I taught them. However, giddiness always make me feel remorseful later. Was I talking too fast? I wondered.
- When I got home, there were six rowdy children and Tony in the living room – a nightmare. Jenny was having a party for Tony and his friends. I couldn't wait till they got out. They looked to be wrecking all of Tony's toys.
- Christmas is not going to be very good this year for me. The day is going to be sandwiched in between two working days. So, I will be working on my birthday, the 24th, till 9:00 PM. That evening, I will be faced with the prospect of a depressing one hour bus ride home. Thankfully, I will have Tony and Jenny waiting for me when I get home. Boxing Day, the 26th, will be on a Thursday which happens to be my longest day of the week, so Christmas evening, I will have to go to bed early.
- What do other expats do for Christmas? I suppose many will be going to an overpriced meal at some Expat pub. My wife, who controls the family purse, won't put up with that.
- I don't work today. Yahoo!
- I was up at 6:20 AM this morning. I couldn't sleep in even I wanted to. So, I got dressed and walked to the Tesco. Walking around it at eight o'clock, I was surprised to see how deserted it was. You would think that there would be lots of Wuxi shoppers up at the time, but either they were the Wanda Plaza Grocery Store or it was even too early for them to be shopping.
- I walked to the Tesco and enjoyed the crisp cold of the morning since I was dressed for it.
- Losing that filling earlier this week brought on a temporary feeling of relief since the loose feeling must have been causing me some discomfort. But now, it is painful to chew food with the teeth that I have remaining. So. I have am going to have to see a dentist!
- But not this week!
- Tony whines as Jenny tries to cajole him to do his homework.
- Talking to Jenny, I doubly realize that Christmas is not going to very enjoyable this year. We don't want to repeat what we did last year and go to a cheap buffet restaurant promising a turkey dinner that turns out to be disappointing – and we can't afford to go to a place that would serve anything halfway decent.
- And the excitement I had about buying Tony some toys was severely dampened by the thief who stole the money I had been saving up in my desk at work for this purpose.
- I will just have to make the best of it.
Sunday, November 24, 2013
Gratitude: Thank God, I am a reactionary, and I am not a Communist, not a socialist, not a progressive, not a person who defines himself as middle-of-the-road, not a Liberal, not a NDPer, not an atheist, not a Democrat, not a pervert, not a bachelor, not a drug-taker, not a talker, not a comic book reader, and that I am slightly out of stop when passes as contemporary and modern.
Acknowledgement: I have faults some which I may still be blind to, despite knowing that injunction about knowing thyself.
Requests: It is lonely in Akicistan. Being a reactionary and all in a profession prone to be filled with Leftists, I have a hard time finding good conversation and even overhearing someone having intelligent to say. I know I should debate and engage more but I don't like the one against the world feeling that engenders. After all, Life is full of pinpricks that make one wince even if the fact of them is proof you are right and they are wrong. So, I request two things. Correspondence with those of a similar disposition to mine and those, of good will, who disagree with me. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Notice: This will be the last issue of the Andis Kaulins in China Weekly, a.k.a. The AKIC Weekly. In December, I will publish Dispatches form Akicistan #1. Akicistan #1 will have the same sort of content as the AKIC Weekly. However, it will evolve and it will be published on an irregular basis. Calling this blog entry a Weekly does impose limitations. I have decided that I want to publish this magazine at a time that is more convenient for me.
I will still be publishing the diary as well and this too may begin to be published on an irregular basis.
The AKIC Week in Brief: Yet another dull week in Akicistan. I kept myself busy best I could. I wore more clothes to work as the temperatures lowered.
If there are things about AKIC you don't know about, like places and people I mention in the entries below, you can go here to find out what they are all about.
AKIC Weekly Features:
I in in China! 我很喜欢中国菜。但是，我觉得无锡菜是很烫的。
I am Canadian! I continue to hope that Rob Ford doesn't resign. It would seem that there isn't anyone else in Toronto who is fit to be its mayor. The other likely candidates are socialists.
I am Latvian (sort of)! It was with pride that I read of the resistance efforts of Latvians who were imprisoned in the Gulag. With sadness, I heard of the supermarket collapse in Riga.
Wuxi Peach Maoists Update: Visit here to find out how if your Peach Maoists (1-9-1) can win a second game.
Politically I am Conservative/Reactionary! I would like to feel pleasure at the failure of Obamacare and the final once-and-for-all demonstration of the mendaciousness of President Obama and all who were stupid enough to support him. However, there are still 37 percent who approve of the job he is doing which means if you run into a random room of people, these idiots will be among them. And Obamacare will not be repealed anytime soon. The damage that the law will do to healthcare in the America, and the world (which like a parasite depends on America medical breakthroughs to keep their socialist systems going) will be tragic in a manner comparable to the Holocaust, the Gulag, North Korea, and the Cultural Revolution – all man-made disasters.
I teach English! Chinese students seem so lacking in imagination. I can help students who won't speak!
I am not a freak! Actually, I might be. I am in a profession where common sense is an aberration.
I like to Read! Here is what I had been working my way through the past week:
Don Colacho's (Nicolas Gomez Davilla) Aphorisms. There are 2,988 of them in this book that I compiled for myself. I try to read at least one aphorism a day. I cut and paste the better ones -- they are all profound actually -- and I put them in the AKIC Weekly. (See below)
The Niomachean Ethics of Aristotle. Now that I have finished the Catechism, I will read this and then begin to read the Summa.
Ulysses by James Joyce. I am following along with Frank Delaney as he slowly guides podcast listeners through Joyce's hard-to-read novel. Delaney figures he will have the whole novel covered in about 22 years. Delaney completed episode #180a this week and is working his way through the chapter that introduces Leopold Bloom. I am getting ahead of Delaney as far as reading the book. I will be finished my reading of it, I figure, in a year. I read the novel despite its many blasphemies. It is best to be aware of this stuff because the world is full of it, and the world will always find a way of slapping you in the face with it
The Holy Bible (RSV-C2E version, aka the Ignatius Bible, and Douay-Rheims version). I will read the two versions in conjunction. Last week, I was reading the Book of Genesis.
Gulag by Anne Applebaum. Finished. A good read, fascinating and depressing. Having heard tales of the Gulag already and having read Solzhenitsyn's Gulag book, Applebaum's history provided me with more details. I was especially struck by the bureaucratic nature of the Gulag. The people writing the reports and the regulations seemed so far removed from the reality of the prison camps where often barbaric and illiterate human beings were given charge of innocent people.
Everything That Rises Must Converge by Flannery O'Connor. A collection of short stories by a Catholic writer. Violent and grotesque are these stories, but unlike modern horror stories which are done for the sake of violence and gore, O'Connor's stories are religious and about the issues of our souls.
I like to take photos
I publish them in the following blogs: AKIC wordpress , TKIC blogspot, TKIC wordpress, Views of China from Casa Kaulins Blogspot and Views of China from Casa Kaulins Wordpress. It is my habit to take a least one photo of Tony a day and publish it in TKIC wordpress. I also try to capture interesting things that pass by the Casa Kaulins apartment, either on video on still image, and publish them in Views of China from Casa Kaulins.
I like to make videos
I like to cut, paste, and sometimes give my take on quotations:
Nicholas Gomez Davilla:
530 The soul is man's task. [I rarely meet people who know this.]
531 Every man is capable, at each moment, of possessing those truths which matter.
In the future await the subordinate truths.
532 One being alone can suffice for you. But let it never be Man. [This appeals to the misanthrope in me.]
537 In every age a minority lives today's problems and a majority yesterday's. [The Left today persists in fighting racism.]
539 From the sum of all points of view does not emerge the object in relief, but confusion. [That's Democracy for you...]
540 Man unleashes catastrophes when he insists on making coherent the contradictory pieces of evidence among which he lives. [Discard taboos against having children out of wedlock because it doesn't seem to be humane, and look at the results.]
547 History might only come from insignificant actions. [There is something to be said for that.]
549 Upon each person depends whether his soul, deprived of its many pretensions by the years, is revealed as bitter spite or humble resignation. [I have to admit that I teeter between bitter spite and humble resignation. Knowing I teeter, I keep quiet. Quiet breeds humility? I wonder.]
I have noticed that everyone is "conservative" in a subject he knows something about. Steve Temple, for instance, is wonderfully conservative about books, as all the other serious booksellers I know. And I have known, for instance, a shrieking Marxist who was intensely conservative about the standards of engraving on the postage stamps he collected. That was because he knew something about stamps. I could provide several million more items of anecdotal evidence. …
Conversely, people tend to be "liberal" in subjects they know nothing about — such as public affairs and elementary economics in the case of most booksellers. And indeed, as I have several times tried to explain to them, journalists tend to be very liberal, right across the board. This is because they know nothing about anything. [I have always suspected that most journalists were ignorant about most things.]
Saint Thomas More:
"For in man reason ought to reign like a king, and it does reign when it makes itself loyally subject to the faith, and serves God."
AKIC's Top Ten Favorite Writers
Evelyn Waugh [So funny.]
Florence King [I like southern American writers. This one says she is Atheist.]
Flannery O'Connor [I like southern American writers. This one is Catholic.]
GK Chesterton [GKC is a writer for all of time.]
William Shakespeare [What more can I say?]
David Warren [He might be the only living writer on this list. Is FK still alive?]
Arthur Conan Doyle [There is more to him than the Sherlock Holmes stories.]
Stephen Leacock [Canada had great writers before Turdeau.]
WH Mallock [I discovered this Victorian writer this year.]
George Orwell [The only Leftie on the list. Because of his honesty, I find myself forgetting that he was a daft Socialist.]
I forgot, on Monday, to decide on a topic of a top list. So, this list has been hastily made. I am sure I have made some grave oversights.
I fashion myself to be a 21st Century Pepys
I spend afternoon on couch. I watch Red Dawn – a remake of a movie made in the 1980's. I watch the start of the Keys to the Kingdom: a movie so far set in Scotland and China.
I wait for Tony. He will do homework when he gets home.
Completed a series in Real Racing 3: an app I play on my Ipad.
- The magic bullet wasn't a magic bullet. If you take into account where and how the Governor and the President were sitting when the second shot was fired, the angles lined up. And if you watch the Zapruder film, you can see that Kennedy and the Texas Governor were hit at the same time by the second shot.
- The Head shot physics were not as simple as a cue ball hitting another cue ball. The physics of a fast moving projectile puncturing a body with a hard shell isn't a simple transfer of force form one body to another. These forces generated by the shattering of the shell surrounding JFK's brain caused it to move toward where the shots were fired.
- Oswald's fingerprints were on the gun that was found on the sixth floor of the TSBD. A photo of Oswald was taken before the assassination showing him holding the gun that he used to shot Kennedy.
- Photos taken of the Grassy Knoll as the shots were being fired showed no shooter.
- Oswald could have been rounded up by the FBI before the assassination but fell through the cracks of the security precautions that were made for JFK's visit to Dallas.
- Oswald's brother thinks that LHO did the deed.
- In fact, the assassination was a very open and shut case.
Sunday, November 17, 2013
- Rush Limbaugh [Warts and all, I thank Limbaugh for the fact that I am a conservative and on the way to being a person of faith.]
- William F Buckley [A Catholic who represented all that was fine about America.]
- Clint Eastwood [How could he not be included on this list?]
- George Washington [Under Chairman Mao, he didn't die in office. He retired to his estate.]
- Frank Sinatra [The greatest singer of all time.]
- Gary Carter [He was my favourite baseball player. A true American golly gee guy who'd be called a phony by Socialist sophisticates. With two outs in bottom of the ninth inning of the sixth game of the 1986 World Series, no body on base, his team down by two runs in the game, his team down 3-2 in the best of seven series, Carter got a hit that sparked the greatest rally in World Series history. Hearing of Carter's premature death brought the best and saddest memories of my time following the Montreal Expos from 1979 to 1983.]
- Andrew Breibart [David Warren, on my list of top ten Canadians, said Breibart was a happy warrior in the war against the Left. Hearing of his premature death filled me with immense sadness.
- Thomas Sowell [He is no token black on this list. Along with Rush and WFB, Sowell provided the intellectual proof I needed on my path to becoming a reactionary.]
- Ronald Reagan [The greatest president of my lifetime.]
- Jimmy Stewart [A tall and thin man like myself. He was the rare combination of movie star and decent human being.]
- Anne Coulter [A gutsy broad. An American Margaret Thatcher.]
- Sarah Palin [I still have hope that she can become the first female president of the USA. The woman is salt of the earth. No sage, she is, but she is fill of more common sense that Obama, Biden, or any of the Clintons.]