It was just another week at AKIC. Nothing special happened, which was probably a good thing.
Another week of silence, more or less, at work.
Be that as it may, I am filled with these sentiments:
Gratitude I realized I should be thankful that I am not in a place with Christmas-shopping-hellishness happening.
Acknowledgment I have committed a grave oversight. When it comes to Christmas shopping, I think only about Tony but not Jenny. I could make some excuses like it is easy to buy for Tony and not easy to buy for Jenny, but that just goes to show how lazy I am.
Request I hope that people think of the true meaning of Christmas – it isn't about shopping. (I tell the students that Christmas has become a month-long shopping festival which starts on the fourth Friday in November and ends on Boxing Day)
The Wuxi Corrupt Officials
Affectionately known to the locals as the Corrupts, the official NFL fantasy football team of the Wuxi Expatdom, lost their 12th match-up of the season, 81-62. Their record fell to 7-5 but they are still in first place in their division. With half the lineup injured, it looks like the Corrupts will need a miracle to still be in the first by the end of the season. The Corrupts 62 points was the lowest in the league for the week.
(You can see the Corrupts' logo in last week's blog entry.)
My Current Reading
Spiritual Provocations by Soren Kierkegaard
Pensees by Blaise Pascal
The Bhagavad Gita (I need to re-read it.)
Economic Sophisms by Frederic Bastiat
Ulysses by James Joyce
The New Testament (King James Version)
Canada ain't Cool
Canada is better than cool!
With no NHL hockey, Canadians can follow curling! Not exciting but Curling is a great excuse to drink!
Link(s) of the Week
A stirring blog post from David Warren. Warren has to be AKIC's favorite presence on the Internet.
Some Quotes liked by AKIC
From that David Warren Blog Post: We, in our youth, & we generally, made & make a foolish mistake when we work from the assumption that our opponents are all men of goodwill. Often perhaps they are innocently wrong-headed, & can be debated by the Oxford rules; sometimes we may even learn from them about our own delusions. There are dividends to be had by listening before speaking, just as from patiently buying low & selling high. Are there men of good will to be found in my life? Other than Harry Moore & Paul Rudkin & Hui Shan Michael, I wonder.
A man wrapped up in himself becomes a very small package. Guilty I am on that score!
Never think yourself safe because you do your duty in ninety-nine points; it is the hundredth which is to be the ground of your self-denial... I cut and pasted this from here.
Profound convictions are transmitted in silence. Another Don Colacho Aphorism. I can't tell you how much I like this thought. I should make it my credo!
Monday (the 3rd)
I didn't work.
I spent the morning working on blog posts.
I had a working VPN so I could upload Scenes from My Life in Wuxi, China #33 to Youtube.
I put the finishing touches on Scenes from my Life in Wuxi, China #34. I wasn't able to upload it. The VPN, to use one of my favorite expressions, conked out.
I finished reading PSmith in the City by PG Wodehouse. I can say two things: 1) What a marvelous writer Wodehouse is! 2) You can find the book at Project Gutenberg.
I had little success as I tried to teach Tony some simple addition. He was bored to the maximum. Still, I liked trying.
I listened to the Frank Delaney ReJoyce Podcast with my copy of Ulysses open in front of me for reference. I should have been doing this as soon as I discovered the podcast, but I had misplaced my Bodley Head edition which I have had for twenty years.
Tuesday (the 4th)
I don't work.
The wife is up early so my routine is thrown off.
We go to a wholesale market on (Xicheng Road?) to buy light bulbs for our two bedrooms.
We then went to Baoli: Wuxi's original shopping mall. I had steak(?) at the Western (?) restaurant. We then did some shopping at Carrefour: milk, cookies, and bread.
All the while that I was out of Casa Kaulins, I read books and authors on my Ipod Touch like Kierkegaard, Blaise Pascal, Frederic Bastiat, and Don Colacho.
I took a photo of a strangely worded sign.
In Baoli, I then saw a girl with the knobbiest legs I had ever seen. The funny thing was that she was all dolled up in the fashion of a Wuxi girl who wears tight leggings to make her legs seem long and graceful – instead, the leggings made her legs seem all the more like twigs and her knees all the more prominent and knobbly.
Back at home, I quickly put the new light bulbs in place. It was wonderful to have light in the evening!
Wednesday (the 5th)
I work 1300-2100
It is my brother Ron's birthday today. Ron is plumbing away, literally, in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
Anyway: Lordy! Lordy! Someone is forty!
While I was shopping yesterday, I noticed how the Christmas decorations seemed minimal. At no time did I feel I was in Christmas shopping hell, even though I did see some Christmas trees.
"You look so upset!" said the girl who sits in an office across the corridor from me. So that is how I come across to people? I didn't know that.
In truth, I suspected. But I am fighting things internally these days. I haven't been giving thought to my external appearance – especially my face, where I have never noticed the scowling frown I had till it was pointed out to me.
I hope the indenting, that I am trying to use in this entry, shows up when I publish on Monday.
Thursday (the 6th)
The indenting is not as I would like it to be. This bullet is too far to the left. (It is not now!)
Anyway, I work 1000-2100. My long day of the week.
I plan to go to the nearby fancy toy store and see if they have a Toby train in stock. Tony had been saying that that is what he wants for Christmas.
Nothing profound to say this morning.
Do I ever have anything profound to say?
I did listen to two podcasts. One featured Marv Levy, famous football coach, as a guest. I was hoping that he would be more gruff in his criticism of the NFL game as it is played today. He should have complained that too many games were being played, and that commercials ruined the flow of the game, but he didn't. The second podcast was about the lexicographic wars started by the publication of the third edition of the Webster's Dictionary in 1961. So many vulgar mistakes I have been making, unawares, I realized as listened to the second podcast.
On my desk at school, I have a weekly checklist that I print out to keep me on top of what I should do and what I have been telling myself I should do. When these necessary things are done, I check them off with a number. For instance, if it is completed on Wednesday, I mark a "1" beside the task.
I did some Christmas shopping for Tony at the Baoli and Far Eastern department stores. I didn't find exactly what I wanted to buy Tony, but something reasonable close. You can visit here and here to see the toys that Tony will get.
Friday (the 7th)
I work 1100-2100.
I hate running into people whom I know while on the way to work. I will walk down alleys, or go to the other side of the street to avoid them. Like Larry David said in Curb Your Enthusiasm, I hate stop-and-chats. For me, it means I have to shut off my Ipod Touch.
Will today be a day of infamy? (I ask at 1030 am.)
Should I buy Tony one more train? They are fifty percent off at the shop I went to yesterday.
What is with the damn indenting? Now it is at a completely different spot on the page, and try as I might I can't put it back to the spot I want. The indentation is a little too far on either side of the spot I want it to be.
Saturday (the 8th)
I work 1000-1800.
I didn't know this, but it turns out that when my brother finished work on Friday evening in Winnipeg, Canada, I am going to work on Saturday morning in China. I only realized this because I wanted to phone my brother to belatedly wish him a happy birthday.
My wife got a new mobile phone. I stepped on her old one and broke it – she shouldn't have left it on the floor beside the bed.
One of the students told me he wanted to be a bum – the topic of conversation was People & Occupations. I told him about the word "hobo." a female student in the class told me that she thought "hobo" was the name of a dog.
I can skip on my feet so that I can make a galloping sound like a horse. I have been using this "dance" of mine in class to illustrate the idea of Cowboys and horseback riding. I have just had two young female students who witnessed my "dance," telling me that it is cool. Why? Apparently, it is similar to the Gagnum Style Dance.
One student is a joy because he is very critical of the regime. The other students grimace as he speaks.
Visiting the Wuxilife website, I learned that the Blue Bar was celebrating its 8th anniversary. I probably attended its opening night – its 0th anniversary, as it were. I stopped going to the pub about four years ago. But more importantly, it goes to show that me that time in China has flown, and that I have been in Wuxi perhaps longer than any other city in my life. That is, Winnipeg, Shilo, Brandon, Chilliwack, Abbotsford, Aldergrove, Valcartier, & Oromocto: all places that I have lived, have all been shorter interims in my life.
Sunday (the 9th)
I work 1000-1800.
The coldest day of the week. I put my toque on my head when I was sitting in my office
In two weeks, it will be the day before my birthday.
My wife got an iPhone. Because we have the same Itunes account number, her setting up her phone has been playing havoc with my Ipod Touch. I have had to delete about 30 apps.
I finally talked to my brother Ron in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
He tells me it cold – minus twenty degrees, lots of snow, and the road surfaces are like skating rinks. Would Jenny like this?
Ron doesn't seem saddened, in the least, by the NHL strike. Ron told me that he met a Winnipeg Jets season-ticket holder who told him that what seemed a privilege had quickly become a boring obligation. Every Jets home game, the season-ticket holder had to get downtown to see the game and wasn't arriving home till 1030 pm on evenings that he had to be at work the next day. Because he spent so much money on the tickets, the man just couldn't not go. He now wonders if the expense is worth it.
Ron predicts that Winnipeg may lose the Jets again.
(Alas, The indenting I used when typing this entry in my document program, hasn't shown in published version of the blog entry!)