Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Monday, February 27, 2012
- Tony ate the lunch that Dad made for him all by himself. Dad did not have to spoon feed him. Tony even ate all the lunch.
- Tony can use chopsticks! Read about it here!
- Five year old wants to be a Wuxi Expat when he grows up!
- Wuxi Aircraft Carrier sets world land speed record.
- Jenny buys her cooking rice from the small shop in Jiazhouyangfang (the California Villa) apartment complex. She will need them to take care of Tony when he arrives back from kindergarten starting March 1. Jenny works downtown and so may not be able to get home before Tony.
- Lalszo Montgomery talks about Xi Jin Ping. A must listen.
- A history of Country Music. My musical taste has been so narrow. The things I have missed by not listening to Country Music. This podcast has helped enlighten me.
- Workmen came into Casa K to install cable to make the Internet faster. And by golly! The Internet in Casa K is faster!
- How much faster is the Internet? I can get websites before I can get them.
Sunday, February 26, 2012
Saturday, February 25, 2012
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
- It was very disconcerting for me to see so many foreigners. One time, I saw a foreigner come out of a shop that I was about to enter, and it just didn't seem right to me. I am so used to be the only foreigner to enter a place.
- I can't help but want to watch a street fight instead of just walk by. I saw one take place between these two middle-aged women at a shopping center. They screamed and gesticulated, and appeared to be on the verge of exchanging blows. Someone, who was on the side of one of the women, was recording the fight with her mobile phone. Eventually, one of the women walked away. I made the people, I was with, stop so I could watch.
- Tony saw a tunnel train!
- I hate dealing with the government, any government. The visa and passport process always makes me wrought with anxiety and angst. I swear my wife was going to kill me when I had my problems with the consulate about the using the statutory declaration in lieu of guarantor form. (Form PPT 132)
- I also thought Jenny was going to kill me when she learned that I didn't bring my driver's license with me. I thought I didn't need it since I was trying to renew Tony's passport. But click on the link of my previous bullit, and you will see that I was mistaken.
- Riding the fast trains twixt Shanghai and Wuxi was quite a grand thing. The views were wonderful and the scenery was ever-changing. One didn't have a chance to get bored. Only problem was that one the trip to Shanghai was too short for my liking. I finally was settled in my seat, had my Ipod out for reading, and before I could say "Jack Johnson" very fast, we were in Shanghai.
- When one returns to Wuxi from Shanghai, one has to prepare to de-board when one passes Suzhou. It used to be a half-hour ride twixt Suzhou and Shanghai. Now, it is but an instant.
- I saw a Gap clothing store on Nanjing (or is it Nanjin?) Road in Shanghai. I used to shop there back in the day which was over ten years ago. The styles in the Shanghai Gap left me cold. I am from another time.
- The turnstiles on the Shanghai Subway are automated. You have to put your subway card/token into a slot that lets you enter. I performed this process less than gracefully on a few occasions, as did Jenny. One time, Tony ran ahead of her as she put her card into the slot, entered the subway stop and so left her stranded. She had to go to a service desk to reactivate the card and so be able to enter. I kept trying to enter the turnstile without properly "wanding in" my card.
- We saw a tank full of sharks and turtles on Nanjing Road. Tony thought the sharks were dolphins.
- I didn't take many pictures in Shanghai. I did shot some video which I will put together to make a video-piece about Tony and trains.
- My brother was able to send Jenny's inviter documents for her Canadian Visa Application just in time. I never would have thought that I would have been phoning my brother on the other side of the world to make sure he had sent me an email.
- I also called my Mom. "Ma! I am phoning from Shanghai!" Cool!
I got grief about using the Statutory Declaration in Lieu of Guarantor (Form PPT132). Can a Canadian use Chinese as Canadian passport guarantors?
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Sunday, February 19, 2012
- My brother sent me an email telling me he was as well saddened by the death of Gary Carter. I guess if you were a Canadian living at a certain time when the Expos were Canada's baseball team, the passing of Gary Carter really hits one hard. My brother, who was a catcher, told me he modeled his stance after Carter.
- Gary Carter had a way about him, that was quintessentially American. He had that kind of Ronald Reagan optimism. The anti-yanks of the world would hate his type. Tell them that he was also a devout Christian and they would begin to question his being enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Gary Carter, R.I.P.!
- My son Tony tried to prevent me from entering a shop and buying some drinks. Read about it here!
- I got to go to Shanghai to renew Tony's passport and submit a Visa application for Jenny. We haven't been in the Shang since the day our flight from Canada touched down at Shanghai's Pudong Airport over 18 months ago.. If I have no reason to go to Shanghai, I won't. I am not looking forward to this trip. I want the applications submitted and to be able to return back to Wuxi as soon as possible.
- I had a student tell me that he got his first mobile phone when he was in grade three! Kind of young I am thinking.
- Someone told me it looked like Spring was coming to Wuxi. I didn't want to hear that because I was wearing my thermals, a.k.a Long Johns.
- It took three hours to get Tony to pose for his passport photo.
Thursday, February 16, 2012
Monday, February 13, 2012
Saturday, February 11, 2012
Funny thing. I recently finished reading Lord Acton'sLectures about the French Revolution in Epub format on my Ipod as well as finished listening to a five hour Hardcore History Podcast about the Fall of the Roman Republic. On Friday, the topics came up in class with my students.
A female student was reading a book about a family of executioners that lived in France from 1688 to 1847. I noticed the book and it got us to talking about the French Revolution.
Another student, this one male, told me his favourite movie was Cleopatra. This lead to us talking about Julius Caesar, Marc Anthony and Cleopatra. The student was keen to know about this stuff.
These little asides are what make teaching fun.
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
- I seem to jinx U.S. Republican presidential candidates by declaring my support for them. Going back to 2008, I first supported Gulliani, then Fred Thompson, and finally Mitt Romney (it was either him or McCain). In 2011-12, I have put my hopes on Herman Cain, then Michelle Bachmann, and now _________________! I think what I will do is declare my support for President Obama so I can jinx him, but I really like America and I wouldn't wish President Obama, in the spirit of jinxing, on anybody -- even Russia (I have Latvian heritage), Toronto Maple Leaf fans, Ottawa Senator fans, Vancouver Canuck fans, Madonna, supporters of Hugo Chavez, the Castros in Cuba and fans of Hip-Hop/Rap. My string of jinxing U.S. Presidential Candidates must come to an end eventually and I can't take the chance that it would end by supporting Obama. So perish the thought.
- So here it goes! Go Rick Santorum! He seems like a decent fellow, for a politician! He is an underdog and smart on the issues.
- I was listening to the latest Sinica podcast. and I may decide to call it the Sinical Wanker Podcast. Their observations about the U.S. Republican Presidential Primaries were snide to the point of saying the Chinese must be laughing at it. They thought Fidel Castro was brilliant for deriding it as well. Consensual Democracy is never pretty. But I would take Fist fights in the Taiwanese Parliament, a John McCain candidacy, a Nancy Pelosi as House Majority leader and the intemperate talk of the liberal-conservative divide than Cultural Revolutions, the Castro brothers ruling my country and government-caused famines!
- As well, The Sinicals had nothing to say about Rick Santorum other than he was probably a wacko Christian who didn't have a chance anyway. I suspect all of them prefer Obama, but to hear them favorably quote Castro is going too far -- the people who call Obama a Kenyan Socialist may not be that far off, if that is how his supporters think.
- I suppose they may be surprised to know that Obama claims to be a Christian.
- I have heard that when Pope Benedict XVI visits Cuba, Fidel Castro will be received into the communion of the Catholic Church. This would be truly remarkable if it was true. I imagine that Castro would have to spend a long, long time in the confessional for all his sins and crimes. It would also thwart my plans to wish he would rot in hell when he dies. Not that this is a bad thing. Living a human life should mean having a never-ending desire to redeem one's self. And to see Castro do a good thing is something to be devotedly hoped for. It would be a grand thing for humanity like Obama suddenly becoming a fiscal and social conservative.
- And I will confess that I am always having to redeem myself, especially in my wife's eyes. And I may have to redeem myself for writing this blog entry!
Monday, February 6, 2012
Sunday, February 5, 2012
- Talked to my mother this Monday morning. She is doing alright. She tells me that Dad is going to be transferred to a Care Home. Mentally, he is not all there anymore.
- I also tuned into the last twenty minutes of the Super Bowl. The game was shown on Chinese television live. Watching in the game in China is strange. If I hadn't grown up with the game, I don't think I would have become an American Football Fan by watching the Super Bowl. There is too much standing around between the action. The extended commercial breaks are not filled with the fabulously expensive commercials on Chinese television. Instead, you see a minute wide shot of the stadium with occasional close shots of players standing on the sideline.
- It is raining and miserable in the Wux. I am not going anywhere.
Saturday, February 4, 2012
- My Saturday Speakers' Corner Topic: Legs. I asked the students about the legs of Chairman Mao and Zhou En-Lai. Mao, some students said, probably didn't have nice legs; Zhou, who was handsome when he was young, probably did.
- At the Italian Restaurant, Trattoria Ferrara, I saw a foreigner walk in and say Bonjourno! I didn't think Italians did that in real life.
- A Wuxi Expat really appreciates fairy tales.
- I am keenly following the Republican Primary taking place in the good old USA. It is a rather solitary activity, like masturbation, for me. Not that the other foreigners in my life are gay, but they might as well be. The only foreigners I know in Wuxi now are knucklehead socialists, anti-Americans who love Obama and a supposed conservative type who tells me he liked Huckabee in the last Presidential election cycle.
- I probably mentioned it before, but I will say it again. When I first started teaching at the school seven years ago, it was rare for students to tell me that they had cars. Now, it is rare for them to tell me they don't.
- Brushed my teeth on Saturday morning, and I had a filling come out. I don't know when I get it fixed.