Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Random Thinkings on an AKIC Sunday.

It's Quitting Time!
Some of life's incidents stick in your memory, and you don't know why.  As well, little expressions you hear stick in your mind, and you look for an opportunity to say them.  And if you have no opportunity, you say them anyway.
Watching GWTW with my wife, I saw a scene early in the movie where  Negroes working on a field (or should I say slaves?) and one of them says "It's quitting time!"  One of his companions, who says he is the boss, is annoyed at the breach of authority and then says the expression again to make it official.  I was reading the Chinese subtitles and asked my wife if they said "Xia Ban le!".  My wife immediately corrected my pronunciation, telling me I should have said "Shang ban le!".  Or it might have been the other way around.  One of "Ban le" statements does mean it is time to start work and the other means work is finished.  I was happy to be able to understand the character, though in context.  My wife in turn had to ask me what "quitting time" meant  -- I would have thought it was obvious.
The Wife and Son are away!
Even though Tony and Jenny will be in Beixing till Saturday, it won't mean much free time for me.  As it is, I can say I have wasted time I wouldn't have otherwise wasted if they were here.  Last night, I spent too much time on the computer trying to upload videos to Youtube -- I should have waited till this morning when the traffic in the developed world would have been light.  I downloaded the videos lickity-split this morning, as it was.  I have extra chores to do like laundry that Jenny would have done (God, how there is so much laundry hanging because it takes so long for it to dry!).  I also have the problem of having too many videos and reading and study to get to, and I don't think I have given any of these activities the full attention they require.
Trouble that they are to a man who has been a bachelor too long, Tony and Jenny force me to use my time better and not just for myself.  I can hardly wait till they get back.
A thought just occurred to me but the stupidest things that have been said to me (and I have heard many because I can't help but overhear Leftists and middle-of-the-roaders) was that I shouldn't have children.  I would have accepted being told this if I was told I wasn't competent for the job and the sacrifices it entails (it may well be -- my wife says so all the time), but I was instead given the Left Wing arguments about there being too many people in the world, blah, blah, blah, blah.
December 27 Marryings
A lot of people, I know, are getting married on December 27th.  I just received my second wedding invitation for that day.  Congratulations to Summer and Dan and Grace -- all of whom are getting married.  I don't know whose Summer's husband is, so don't think there is a three way Heinlein style marriage happening.
Podcast Listening
I could spend my time listening to podcasts downloaded off the Internet and not bother with DVDs, Blogging, raising a family, living in China, and reading.  These days, I am listening to these podcasts I was able to get off EWTN - a Catholic network.  I have just listened to podcasts about Catholic authors like Chesterton, Muggeridge, Pascal, Bernanos, Flannery O'Connor, Tolkien, and Waugh.  All these podcasts have spurred me on to the other things.  Of all these authors I have just mentioned, O'Connor is the least familiar to me.  I have just read her story "A Good Man is Hard to Find", and I am hooked.  I will have to find more of her stuff on the net or get my parents to send me more of her works.
With the exception of Orwell and Florence King, most of my favorite authors are Catholic.  I never intended it to be that way, but it is so.  Orwell, who was certainly anti-Catholic (he shrugs off Chesterton by saying GK was anti-Semitic), did have a poetic quality to him which David Warren, a loud Catholic voice, acknowledged recently in a column, which I will link in an upcoming entry.  King, an atheist to her bones, was nonetheless given the prestigious back page column by a Catholic William F. Buckley (that page is now given over to Mark Steyn, a Canadian).  King is a southerner like O'Connor, and something about the American South does cause it to produce some wonderful writers.  A theory about this is that the South lost the Civil War, and so was forced to confront itself in a brutally honest way.  My conceit likes to think that my Latvian heritage of losing, two wars and now a shrinking population Latvian population, can result in a similar brutal honesty from me.  But I have really broken from the Latvian aspects of being Latvian, I don't know the language or its customs, and have come to be just sentimental about it.

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