- Tony Kaulins in the studio #29
- Tony Kaulins in the studio #30
- Tony Kaulins in the studio #31
- Tony Kaulins in the studio #32
- Tony Kaulins in the studio #33
- Tony Kaulins in the studio #34
- Tony Kaulins in the studio #35
- Tony Kaulins in the studio #36
- Wuxi Tony and the acrobat.
- Wuxi Tony at a wedding.
- Fantasy Season #1
Friday, April 29, 2011
Thursday, April 28, 2011
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
- There have been all the hockey playoff results. Too bad Habs!!
- Canada has a federal election. What is happening? The NDP of all parties could be opposition! And maybe even the NDP leader Jack Layton could be Prime Minister as head of a coalition! Ed Broadbent's dream could be achieved?!? Or at least I have hear speculation. It was only last week, I was hearing talk of the Conservatives possibly attaining a majority.
- There will be a Royal Wedding in England. Some of the student here have heard about it. The women expressed interest in watching the ceremony. But I doubt the ceremony will be shown live here. I wish it was. Royal Pageantry beats October 1st parades in my books.
- I have a demo to prepare for.
- I have had prep to do at school. Here are two new discussion questions lists on my ESL site: Work hard or play hard? and Cupboards and Fridges.
- May Day will not be a holiday for me. I will be doing two days of cooking shows.
- Not that I am complaining. Busyness is goodness.
- I should say I wore short sleeves for the first time yesterday.
- Wuxi traffic is a good source of blogging material. Yesterday, I saw a three-wheeled motorcycle/wagon combo blindly scoot across the street. I flinched to watch the maneuver as a taxi came within feet of hitting the wagon.
- This morning, I was riding the bus to work as it came to a quick stop at a traffic light. I saw a girl about to get off, have to hang for dear life on a pole -- her legs flew in the air. I looked at the front of the bus, and saw the rear end of the van very too close to the bus's windshield.
- Tony Kaulins in the studio #21
- Tony Kaulins in the studio #22
- Tony Kaulins in the studio #23
- Tony Kaulins in the studio #24
- Tony Kaulins in the studio #25
- Tony Kaulins in the studio #26
- Tony Kaulins in the studio #27
- Tony Kaulins in the studio #28
- Check out the comments on this political entry I made last week -- a hard leftie and rightie go at it? Two people write around each other? Abbott and Costello? Groucho Marx or Karl Marx? Chesterton versus Bernard Shaw? Hannity and Colmes? Canadian Crossfire? You decide.
- Don't forget about the Wuxi China Expatdom where the WCE Contingent fights the Kraken.
- I'll post this H.L. Mencken quote on 1848:
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Monday, April 25, 2011
Sunday, April 24, 2011
Saturday, April 23, 2011
Thursday, April 21, 2011
- That's me thinking that! Funny thing happened to me when I was riding the bus to home last evening and to work this morning. I saw other foreigners on the bus. I felt like a dog when it sees other dogs, though I didn't have an urge to sniff butt. I should have said "hello!" but bus time is Chinese study time so I keep my nose in my elementary Chinese grammar.
- Tony studio photo #9
- K Family studio photo #9
- Hopefully it doesn't rain this weekend. It is raining today. As I was saying, I got a wedding and barbecue to attend.
- K Family studio photo #10
- Tony and Jenny will accompany me to the wedding and the barbecue. I look forward to it.
- Is there a Kraken in Lake Taihu?
- Tony studio photo #10
- Wuxi Expat abducted by aliens!
- Tony was humming a song for me. It was his way of telling me the song that should be played on my MP3 player.
- Tony tries declarative sentences; then tries to hide.
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
- This weekend is Easter weekend. I knew Easter was coming -- I just didn't know it was this weekend. The fact that the Jewish hosts of my favorite podcasts had taken off a day for passover should have been a clue. The Chinese aren't familiar with the Easter holiday. They don't know about the Easter bunny. They certainly didn't know the religious significance of the holiday. I find it interesting to be in China for the Easter Bunny holiday in the Chinese Year of the Rabbit -- though really, the fact of Christ's death and resurrection is much more important to me.
- Tony Kaulins Studio Photo #7
- May 1 will be a holiday as well as the beginning of a ban in China of smoking in public places. I wonder how this ban will work. I assume that most Chinese will ignore it. I wonder what the government will do to enforce the ban. And I wonder what public places smoking will be banned. Does this mean pubs? Does this mean common indoor areas like food courts? Does this mean outdoor public places like parks?
- Kaulins Family Studio Photo #7
- Lunch time in China is about when I can follow the results of ongoing playoff games in the NBA and the NHL.
- Kaulins Family Studio Photo #8
- The Wuxi Jaywalkers are currently in eighth place in their ten team fantasy baseball league. I have already had to revamp my pitching staff which has been the weakest in the league to date.
- Tony Kaulins Studio Photo #8
- There are 2.5 billion people awaiting the return of the WCE contingent at Lake Taihu.
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
- This weekend, I will be attending a church wedding and then going on a School Field Trip BBQ. Can you beat that for excitement? I ask, but I know you won't say anything, because you know I am right.
- The fourth DVD of my six DVD Sons of Anarchy set works not. Alas, I won't know how the second season ended. Oh! The agony!
- Links: Brothers of Chinese poets praise Wuxi Expat poetry scene, K Family Studio photo #5, K Family Studio photo #6, Tony Kaulins in the Studio #5, and Tony Kaulins in the studio #6.
- Meanwhile, I am back to work (Monday and Tuesday are my days off). What fresh horrors await? I ask.
- In the DVD shops, I bought Spartacus, and The Bride came C.O.D. (starring Jimmy Cagney and Bette Davis).
- English Teacher borrows other teacher's pants to teach a class.
Monday, April 18, 2011
- I watched the film The Man Who Knew Too Much on DVD Monday afternoon. It was an Alfred Hitchcock directed film starring James Stewart and Doris Day. My review? It was a great movie. The feeling of one's child being lost is horrifying. And Hitchcock didn't need to "gore it up" to get maximum impact.
- Tony Kaulins Studio Photo #3
- Tuesday evening, I go to school to do some overtime. I feel somewhat recovered from my weekend of excess.
- Tony Kaulins Studio Photo #4
- I am going to try, again, to finish Atlas Shrugged.
- Kaulins Family Studio Photo #3
- I see the Vancouver Canucks are beating the Chicago Black Hawks three games to nothing. Could this be the year the 'nuckers take the cup?
- Kaulins Family Studio Photo #4
- The odd-numbered studio photos will appear in my wordpress blogs. The even-numbered will appear in the blogspot blogs.
- Video taken at Helen and Tony's Wedding.
Sunday, April 17, 2011
- I overindulged in cigarettes and alcohol on the weekend. And now I am deservedly suffering for this.
- I have an excess of things, from the weekend, to talk about -- like a bachelor party and a wedding. The bachelor party and wedding were unrelated -- altogether different brides and grooms. At the wedding, there was a confluence of Tonys. The bachelor party inspired me to write a story for the Wuxi China Expatdom Blog.
- Seriously, the bachelor party was okay. It was swell to see some Wuxi China Expats I haven't seen in a while like Malu and Niels and Fred. Malu was saying I was looking shitty which was probably the case. I have, within the last year, felt symptoms of ageing like sore joints and weak eyesight.. The party was at a certain Peter's place - it was a sign of the times in Wuxi that all around his compound, new buildings, ten stories or more high, were now crowding his skyline -- none of the buildings were there three or more years ago -- the last time I had been at Peter's.
- Tony and Jenny went to the Ling Shan Big Buddha Sunday afternoon. Jenny lost Tony for five minutes in the crowd. It was a tense time for her till she found him.
- One thing about being an English Teacher in China is that I have meet so many people over my time here that I can't remember them all. Far too often, I see familiar faces and I am at a lost to remember their names or place where I know them from. At the wedding, I saw a girl who worked at the school and who I even had taken a taxi with to Hui Shan a few times. It took me five minutes to place her properly. And when I did, I had to give myself the biggest headslap of my life.
- I went to the 1912 Bar District for the second time on Saturday. As a long-time Wuxi Expat, you would have thought that I had done more. In my mind, there were supposed to be Baboons everywhere -- it wasn't far off.
- I also have an overabundance of photos. Jenny took Tony to Ling Shan to see a Big Buddha -- she took our camera with her and took lots of photos. As well on Saturday, we picked up the K family studio photos -- I think we posed for them about two months ago. Rare readers will be seeing all the photos over the next few weeks. (Bonus! Visit here to see another!)
- Tony on April 17, 2011.
- L to R: Jenny, Tony, Andis, Tony, and Helen.
- Tony in the studio 1, Tony in the studio 2
- Atlas Shrugged coming to China?
Friday, April 15, 2011
- Saturday Evening after work, I will be attending a bachelor party for Niels from Wuxilife, who I just heard, has twins on the way.
- Sunday evening, I will attend a wedding for a girl who used to work here: Helen.
- So, I have a weekend full of activity. Having been out of the loop for so long, I figure I should go to these things, but now my isolation seems so splendid.
- Friday evening, I was taking the bus home and I just happened to look out the window and see a man "squatting" on the side of road. He was doing his thing on the grass between the road and the sidewalk. He had his back to the road. I couldn't believe it. But at least, the fellow doesn't have to worry about hemorrhoids and his plumbing is all the better for it.
- My Gmail and Google Reader have been slow lately.
Thursday, April 14, 2011
- Friday is it. But I work weekends.
- Last evening as I was riding home on the bus, I passed an accident scene involving two trucks towing tanker trailers. The trailers were moving together as they attempted to make right turns at an intersection. The front truck was in the midst of its right turn when it stopped. I saw an electric bike had collided with it -- the bike and its rider were strewn about. The second truck had stopped in the turning lane -- on its right side was a car that had been hit. The car had gotten on the right side of the truck which had turned wide to make a right turn. Drivers here do have a habit of going into a space without properly judging the traffic situation. Back in Canada, I never liked to be on the right side of a truck because of the danger of being in the truck's blind spot.
- In a Canadian election debate, the Liberal opposition leader used a Chairman Mao quote along the lines of let the flowers of democracy bloom. Maybe, I should ask the students about it in my speaker's corner. I have chosen the topic of lizards for this SPC. I sometimes like to challenge myself into make conversation with the most obscure of topics.
- In the Wuxi China Expatdom, the former King of Wuxi has been captured.
- Here is a video of Tony trying on his mother's glasses.
- I am a Canucks fan for now (till the Jets go back to Winnipeg. Cross my fingers!). They are playing the Chicago Black Hawks in a first round playoff series. And there is a teacher from Chicagoland working at our school. Unfortunately, he doesn't follow the Black Hawks. Still, I will have to taunt him.
- I have placed a few more links in the links for intelligent people sidebar. A few bloggers have been kind enough to tell me they have read my blog. So please check out the Asian Conservative, China Travel Go, and Cristy Li links.
- I have also updated some other links in that side bar, including my other blogs.
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
- It is my Mom's birthday today (April 14)! Aina lives in Brandon, Manitoba and looks after my father. Here is a video, I have just uploaded, where Tony wishes his Canadian Grandmother a happy birthday!
- When I got off the bus this morning, I saw an old woman rubbing her hands against the bark of a tree. I had no idea why she was doing this. I then saw, in the same park, another old person rubbing their back against a wooden post. And I got freaked out...
- I asked the students to make some NHL playoff picks for me based on nickname. They had the Canadiens winning the Eastern Conference. I will get another group, perhaps some tutors, to pick the Western conference.
- The Abbotsford Heat, of the American Hockey League, didn't make the playoffs. Damn!
- Yesterday, I asked the students if they remembered when their mothers' birthdays were. A few too many said they didn't know. However one had a good reason not to know. She told me that her mother's mother, her grandmother, died in childbirth, so the day was never celebrated.
- Here are photos of my mom at AKIC Wordpress, TKIC Wordpress, TKIC Blogspot, and AKIC Blogspot.
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
- Back to work. What fresh horrors await me?
- I feel crummy still. I caught something on my three days off.
- I have heard that in Canada, an electoral debate featuring all the major parties was delayed because it conflicted with a hockey playoff game. Canadians have their priorities straight. Strangely, it was the leader of the Quebec Separatist Party that suggested this. Funny, how they don't want to be part of Canada and yet a big part of Canadian culture, Ice Hockey, is sacrosanct. On this small point, I find myself agreeing with a Separatist. Still, we have the silliest separatist movement in all the world.
- Tony was happy last night, but not this morning.
- Tony did some running by the Grand Canal.
- My wife was able to get me a pair of size 48 shoes on the Internet. And they fit fine.
Monday, April 11, 2011
- My God! The horror of the part of the screen that is blank and that I feel encumbered upon to fill with prose. What am I going to blog about today?
- I was thinking to leave my Casa today, but I feel like I caught a touch of something. My symptoms are sore and achy joints, and an irritated throat.
- As I was sitting the computer last evening, Tony walked up to me, wrapped his arms around me, and gave me a fervent kiss. A wonderful moment which made all the other inconveniences of parenthood worth enduring.
- I have so many DVDs and so little time to watch them - surely, a thought I have expressed before in this blog. Anyway. Yesterday, I pulled out a few old Hitchcock films, some James Stewart films, and this DVD I bought, lord knows when, entitled The Bad and the Beautiful starring Kirk Douglas and Lana Turner. I choose to watch the latter. It wasn't a bad film at all. It was shot in crisp black and white. The actors were all dressed to the nines. The actors all looked like adults. It was a film about Hollywood that was cynical without being coarse. My only problem with the movie was Kirk Douglas. I don't know why it is that he just doesn't appeal to me. He is not cool like Eastwood or McQueen. He doesn't seem a real guy like James Stewart or Bing Crosby. He seems like a guy who is well placed enough in the film industry to get roles -- nothing more.
- Manhole covers missing or having fallen in the manholes. Sidewalk tiles or cobblestones chipped and cracked in many places. Cigarettes thrown on the floor of apartment hallways. Ah! The little details of China!
- I put some U2 songs on my mobile phone. Tony hearing them, took my phone away from me. He recognized the songs from a U2 video I had played for him, many times, on the DVD player.
- That politician's budget deal in the U.S. seems much ado about nothing. They negotiated about cuts that weren't really cuts at all. The cuts were really agreements to spend less using the bloated 2010 budget as a baseline. No one could possibly have gained from that. The leadership of the Repubics was cowardly, the Democrats were playing politics, and Obama was a bystander.
- I also watched yesterday, on DVD, two episodes from Season 2 of Sons of Anarchy. The accompanying music is becoming more heavy metal -- not that I mind so much, I liked the cover version of The Who's Slipkids which was used in the opening montage of the first episode of the second season -- it was kickass. The season's bad guys have to be Neo-Nazis, so clearly the writers of the show have a left-wing bent. Racism, if the writers had bothered to look at the culture, is a Left-Wing thing. That silliness aside, I am enjoy the show.
- What a big contrast it was to watch a series about bikers after watching the Bad and Beautiful. I admire the toughness of the bikers, and I love the way everyone in the Bad and Beautiful dresses.
- Other Chinese details. Guards and Police at intersections. There is never just one. There are usually three or four. Some of these guards are old and shabbily dressed. Some of the others do look goonish.
- I made a point of putting the lyrics to Bob Dylan's Blowing in the Wind on my mobile phone for reference. I read the Cultural Commissars told Dylan not to play the song in concert.
- A poem by Ezra Pound I have read -- I carry these book of poems by Ezra Pound around with me ** -- a character talks of being in a far off land and homesick for his own kind, despite friendly faces all about. I don't feel homesick but I long, sometimes, to overhear words that I understand but mean nothing to me. (** I know about Pound's bizarre behavior during the war. However, his poems are wonderful and aren't fascist.)
Sunday, April 10, 2011
- AKIC is pooped after yesterday afternoon's excursion, with TKIC to some parkland in downtown Wuxi, China. On his shoulders, he had to carry TKIC. It was hot as well, and so the sweat was pouring copiously down AKIC's forehead -- AKIC doesn't want to leave the house today. His size 47 Chinese shoes, ordered on the Internet, were not the most comfortable thing either -- to sit on the couch and watch DVDs is all he wants. Mind you, AKIC was not Iggy Pooped.
- It was also a day that made AKIC what the point of going out was. Reading would have been a more agreeable way to spend an afternoon. As it was, the trouble it took, to see what in the abstract was wonderous, didn't seem worth it.
- However, putting on his child's eyes, AKIC imagined the wonder that TKIC was experiencing, and it wasn't such a bad thing at all. A moment where AKIC and TKIC sat together on the bus and Tony was full or curiosity made it all worth it.
- AKIC took a lot of video and photos yesterday on the excursion. You can see then here, here, here, and here.
- The area which Andis and Tony explored had been but a field of rubble four years before. Andis recalled walking the area when he lived in the Wu Ai Road apartments. Then it was mucky, trashy, and full of rubble. Now, it was clean and yet...
- There is an election in Canada. Ho-hum.
- AKIC was reading somewhere on the Internet that squatting to take a poo, like the Chinese do, is better than what Westerners do to poo, which to sit. AKIC now is thinking of asking JKIC if she thinks it would be a good idea to tear the toilet out of the bathroom and leave a hole in the floor. Either that, reasons AKIC, or put footrests on high stools on both sides of the toilet.
Saturday, April 9, 2011
Friday, April 8, 2011
Thursday, April 7, 2011
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
- Tomb Sweeping Day came and it went. Now, I am back to work. I have a English Corner tonight about hair.
- I will give my rare readers choices. Now AKIC and TKIC and WCE span the Blogger and Wordpress networks. You can choose which blog is suitable to you, fitting all your lifestyle and blogging needs.
- TKIC blogspot links: Tony sits, Tony and a mall model, and Tony gets his hair washed.
- The WCE Trio returns to Wuxi: blogspot or wordpress: you choose the blog.
- Jenny washes Tony's hair on Youtube. or Jenny washes Tony's hair on Youku.
Monday, April 4, 2011
Sunday, April 3, 2011
Saturday, April 2, 2011
- My first attempt to declare my patriotism to the students is meet with quizzical looks -- that was to be expected.
- I have uploaded a new video to my Youtube Channel.
- Check out the latest photos of Tony: here and here.
- Have they captured the former King of Wuxi? Find out here or here.
- My sister's birthday is April 5. Happy birthday Benita!
So I'm not speaking with any confidence here. That said, the pattern in the Derb household is a sort of lower-key version of the Chuas: Mom does the tiger business, nagging and harassing the kids to do homework, music practice, chores, etc., while Dad flaps around vaguely in the background murmuring: "Perhaps we should let them go out and play now, honey …"
Mrs D has the Chua tendency, but in nothing like so concentrated a form as Amy Chua herself. There are no tooth-marks on our piano. The music lessons — daughter violin and dance, son piano and school band — were all her doing. It's she who pounces on the school reports and demands to know why this semester's grade in Social Science is three points lower than last. (How does she remember?)
Dad is more laissez-faire, sees himself in fact as somewhat like the God of the Deists, who kick-starts the Universe then lets it run with just an occasional nudge in the right direction. If what I see on the school reports agrees tolerably well with my own estimation of my kids' abilities — which is, in both cases, modestly above average — I'm content. Music lessons? Sure: but when my son reached the age at which bitter rebellion set in, I argued his case with the Mrs while secretly admiring his spirit.
You can in fact lead a horse to water and make him drink, but only up to a certain age. After that, reason, diplomacy, forbearance, and some fatalism are far more appropriate than Chua-style bullying, certainly for American kids. My own Tom Sawyer and Calamity Jane are now aged 15 and 18, and I have no illusions about my ability to do much moulding from here on out, other than perhaps by example and persuasion.
I am in any case, by conviction, quite a strong genetic determinist. I know myself; I know my brother; I knew my father; and when I look at my son, I know what I'm looking at. Not that I'm necessarily a hundred percent happy about it; but I believe I have done my best, and at this point can do very little more.
I find this interesting because I have a Chinese wife, and I have to admit that reading this passage, Derb says, better than ever I could, what goes on at Casa K with our 43 month year-old Tony. I can only modestly echo the similarities. JKIC (Mrs. K) has exhibited Chua Tendencies. She harasses Tony to behave. She is reading the reports the teachers send her about Tony. She gets in knots about Tony's progress against other students. I am a bystander saying "Don't be hard on the boy!" I share Derb's generic determinism but I prefer to say I am a genetic fatalist. So much with Tony is out of my hands.
Friday, April 1, 2011
April 5 is Tomb Sweeping Day in China. It is a holiday to honor one's ancestors, clean their tombs as it were. Many Chinese actually choose to do the ritual earlier to avoid crowds.
April 5 is on a Tuesday this year. TKIC will get that day off. However, he has to go to Kindergarten this Saturday to make up for that day. So often a holiday is not a holiday here in China because many have to work weekends to make up for the holiday day off.