Sunday, April 21, 2013

Blog Entry for April 15 to April 21, 2013

Gratitude:  I am thankful for the few comments and emails that my blogging has garnered me. I am also thankful to be ALIVE!!!!!
Acknowledgment:  You have come to the wrong place if you want to know anything about the Wuxi Expat scene.  I am like the Unabomber living in my own shack.  Of course, it is a shack with a lot of Chinese in it and not too many foreigners.  Really, I am more like this character – I think he was in a W. Somerset Maugham story – who lives in China but concerns himself with things western. If I remember the story correctly, this man living in the middle of China and occupied himself with the Greek and Roman Classics.  I occupy myself with old western texts as well.  A strange kind of seclusion no doubt, but what the hay!  I gots to be me.
Request:  I need Tylenol and Crown Royal:  not necessarily in that order.  I could also use some Sleeman's Honey Lager and Cottage Cheese.

The AKIC Week in Brief.  
Not much happened this week.  I went to work and then I went home.  It was a week worthy of Wuxi, China's Most Boring White Guy.  The only thing of note that could be said to have happened in AKICistan is that I embraced being the most boring white guy with aplomb.

To place this entry in historical context, there was a bombing at the Boston Marathon,and lo and behold some Muslims were responsible, and I learned that Justin Trudeau won the leadership of the Liberal Party of Canada.

About Me (Andis)  This is  a weekly feature so don't expect me to give the whole store away all at once.  So, what will I tell you about me this week?  Actually, I have given some of the store away in other sections of this weekly blog entry.  So, I will say this:  I am teaching English at a training center in Wuxi, China.  I am married to a local girl and we have a five year old son who I probably spoil too much.  My views of the world and my surroundings are reactionary and Catholic.

I am in China!  【我在中国!】我住在无锡,江苏,中国。我是英文的老师。我的学校是环亚国际英语。我可以说得一点点点中文。我的发音不好。我爱我的中国的太太。她是无锡的最漂亮的女人。她也是中国的最漂亮的女人!我很喜欢中国的菜。我不喜欢很多的外国人。我觉得他们是不好人。我不喜欢看电视。我很喜欢看书。我孩子Tony 的年纪是五岁,八个月。他喜欢火车玩具和消防车玩具。下个星期,我告诉你们更多。

I'm Canadian!   I have heard that Justin Trudeau is now officially the leader of the Liberal Party of Canada.  For this reason, I can say I am happy not to be in Canada even though I miss certain aspects of living there and constantly wonder if I should go back.  Justin, I hear, is less qualified to the Prime Minister of Canada than Obama was qualified to be the President of the USA.  But I hear that like Obama, Justin has superficiality going for him, and no matter how lacking in substance, qualifications, and managerial competence he is, people will stick by him because of what he appears to be.  The only positive is that will be easier to despise and laugh at Canadian Liberal Party members – not that it wasn't easy for me not to do so during their hey day as Canada's natural ruling party, but the fact that they elected the son of a former Prime Minister to be their leader says volumes and adds clarity.

I like to Read!
Here is what I am reading this week:
Don Colacho's Aphorisms:  there are 2,988 of them in this book that I compiled myself.  I read ten aphorisms at a time.  I cut and paste the better ones ¨C they are all profound actually ¨C and I put them in my weekly blog entry. (See below)
Ulysses by James Joyce:  I am following along with Frank Delaney as he slowly goes through Joyce's hard-to-read novel.  Delaney is making the novel more understandable and enjoyable.  Delaney figures he will do his last ReJoyce Podcast in 22 years.  Now that I have caught up to Delaney's podcast (he completed episode #149 this week), I am getting ahead him as far as reading the book.  I will be finished it, I figure, in a year.
The Holy Bible King James Version .  The Gospel According to Saint John.
University Economics:  Elements of Inquiry Third Edition by Armen A. Alchian and William R. Allen.   It end-of-chapter questions force one to think so as to be able to explain one's thought to other people.  
The Hills & The Sea by Hilaire Belloc.  I liked The Path to Rome so much that I decided to read another Belloc Book - I have ten of them on my Ipad.  I choose this one because Father Schall mentioned it in one of his essays (which I read daily on my dotdotdot app)
Put out More Flags by Evelyn Waugh. He is one awesome writer. Loads and loads of fun to read. If you read Evelyn Waugh, you should the fact on your CV. It puts you in the .00001 percent of pure awesome people of human history!

I like to make videos  When I have the time. Here are the two places you can see my videos:  My Youtube Channel and My Youku Channel.

I teach English or at least I go through the motions of it. On my resume, I can say I am an AESL teacher – Andis English as a Second Language.

I like to cut and paste quotes that I found interesting:
The following are quotes from Don Colacho:
1838 Innumerable problems arise from the method by which we seek to solve them.
1850 Pedantry is the weapon with which the professional protects the interests of his guild.
1857 The increasing integration of humanity merely makes it easier to share the same vices.
1877 The ugliness of the modern face is an ethical phenomenon.
1891 No one now is ignorant of the fact that transforming the world means bureaucratizing man.
1892 To condemn oneself is no less pretentious than to absolve oneself. Damn! He has a point! I suppose my self-condemnations are a way above transcending my existence while on earth.
1896 Liberal ideas are likeable.  Their consequences ruinous. I don't even think they are likable anymore. Rather than admitting that their ideas don't work in practice. Liberals have doubled down and become rude & crude. The earlier Liberals, though foolish were at least earnest in a decent sort of way. Now, they are just mostly complete iceholes.
1922 The individual does not search for his identity except when he despairs of his quality. I never did find myself in China – I did find a wife thought.

Some interesting advice from Hillaire Belloc: if you will let your fellow-citizen curse you and grunt at you, and if you will but talk to him on matters which he knows far better than you, then you have him ready at the end.
Blame the Boston Bombings on Rap and Pot Smokers? Sounds good to me. Here is a link from
Fox News tonight reported that one or more of the Muslim terrorists who bombed the Boston Marathon were well known among their peers for smoking pot and listening to rap.  And people think that pot and rap are part of acculturation to America?

No, rap music is anti-American and anti-white.  It is openly racist.  A Muslim immigrant who listens to rap is acculturating to an anti-American, an anti-white sub-culture.  It is also of note that Barack Hussein Obama is a big fan of rap and smoked a lot of pot while younger.  I don't think this is coincidental.

President Obama failed in his attempt to pull brains out of hearts or use emotional blackmail in a supremely brazen attempt to pass gun-control legislation: Obama is in a huff this week because his gun bill got shot down like a clay pigeon. Like most of us, he was deeply affected by the massacre at Sandy Hook. Like much of the country, he seems to think emotions should drive public policy.

An anagram of mother-in-law is 'Woman Hitler.' You can find other mother-in-law jokes here.

Another cut-and-paste from Belloc's The Hills and The Seas: the story of that Sultan who publicly proclaimed that he had possessed all power on earth, and had numbered on a tablet with his own hand each of his happy days, and had found them, when he came to die, to be seventeen. There is a profound observation in that quote, for sure. I can think of ever having had a completely happy day – many happy moments but not many happy days. I had a wonderful feeling sitting in bed on Sunday with Tony, but the little bugger then annoyed me in the afternoon.

And another: Wealth makes the run of our days somewhat more easy, poverty makes them more hard—or very hard. But no poverty has ever yet brought of itself despair into the soul—the men who kill themselves are neither rich nor poor.

Politically, I am conservative  I say this knowing that it doesn't matter to anyone but me.  And with no plans to go on a murderous killing spree, it will never matter. How much of a conservative am I anyway? I don't care for Obama. I honored the life of Margaret Thatcher. I don't care for most of the Republican party.

I like to keep a diary [Not that anything happens in my life – nothing does. But I do have some thoughts and I see some things.]

Here is the list of diary characters:
Andis writing in the first person.
Andis being written about in the third person.
Tony: Andis's five year old son.
Jenny: Andis's Chinese wife.
LECTOR: Andis's imaginary critic and sometime debate partner.
Jimmy Stewart
Robert Downey Junior
Someone who probably has competed in the Boston Marathon
[My Ipad Mini]
[My School Laptop: a ten year old Compaq Presario]
[My Home Laptop: a not as old Dell]
The square braces: “[“ and “]”

Monday (the 15th)
[this entry was made in my Ipad]
[LECTOR: Can I make comments earlier in this entry? I mean, like not just in the diary section. I have some issues with things you said earlier in this entry. Andis: Are you a Leftie? LECTOR: If you want me to be. You are the ones who puts the words behind my name and the colon. Andis: If you talk earlier in the entry, readers will just day WTF! ]

I don't work today.  I stay home.

I watch a film on my IPad:  Winchester 73 starring Jimmy Stewart.  A great movie of the Western genre.    I loved the landscapes.  I was thinking how I yearned so much to see such scenery. Any sort of scenery there is in the Jiangsu and Wuxi area is being bulldozed over for scenery-blocking and soul-less high rises.

I wonder what book to read next.  I wonder if I will ever stop downloading books.  Today, I download a book called The Intellectual Life by AG Sertillanges.  I hadn't heard of the book till today.  Searching for it on the Internet, I read that  a few writers swore by it, said it was their favorite.

Today was a day that some shit was to happen in Nork land, supposively.  So far, nothing.

I watched PSY's new video a few times.  I got a good copy of it via torrent, and so I don't need Wifi to watch while I am on the bus.

All my stated goals for myself seem empty.  I can't raise any enthusiasms for them. I need discipline today to work towards them.

Laundry, hung outside the window, flutters in the wind.  Behind the clothes, I see the tops of the trees that are planted on the grounds of the government building that is across the road from our apartment complex. Behind and above the trees stands a 20 storey apartment building. -- on its roof, on each corner, are four covered patio areas.  I would love to be in them taking a gander at all that is below.

Tuesday (the 16th)
[this entry was started on my Home Laptop]

I will work 1300 to 2100.  I look forward to the challenge to be offered by the fresh horrors that may greet me.  Reflecting on the things you don't want to meet -- indifference to my being is a thing to be devoutly wished for.

I hope that the workers clear the pile they made in our apartment stairwell.  (Here is the photo of it.)  Jenny doesn't seem to mind because it is above our floor and so it doesn't affect us.  But I am livid about the eyesore and the fucking sheer laziness of the apartment workers.  This is not an uncommon sight in Wuxi apartmendom -- piles of building materials left in stairwells and never ever picked up.  This case is particularly grievous because it has been left not in some corner of a stairwell that is never used but on a stairwell that people have to pass through all the time.

At the apartment, I will spend some time looking at Chinese flashcards before going to work.

I read in the news that someone set off some bombs at the Boston Marathon.

[I made the following entries for the 16th on my school laptop]

No afternoon classes.  It is 1300 and I am prepped for the evening.  So, I have an afternoon of Chinese and Python study to look forward to.

I watched the PSY Gentleman video on the bus.  I showed the video to a colleague at work.  The eleventh greatest Englishman of all-time told me that he likes it.

They tell me I am a celebrity; what with my image been shown on buses all over the city.  Forced to think an of answer to the question of what it is like, I say that it doesn't impress my wife and son very much  -- no respect at home, like I am Rodney Dangerfield.  And besides, no one who I would want to impress would be impressed anyway by my performances.

[Later at home on the IPad.]

The pile was cleared. [LECTOR: You were a bit premature in making a hubbub about it weren't you!]

I showed the new PSY video to students.  Most didn't like it. One girl, a Korean pop devotee, knew who PSY's dance partner was. [LECTOR: Don't you think you are a little old to be liking PSY?]

Wednesday (the 17th)
[I am at home on the laptop.]

Why did I take a photo of my shoes?  Well, I am a boring white guy who wears Chinese slip-on style.  And as a boring white guy, I will defend to my dying breath, the importance of little things.

No more showing on the new PSY video to students.  

I will work 1300-2100.  I will spend the morning at the apartment doing some flashcard practice.

I am trying to get ahead of myself with the Python language learning.

I am really having trouble determining what book I will read after the Hills and the Seas.

[I am now on the school laptop]
I prepare for a 1400 SPC.

I end the day with a class with two boys of middle-school age.  The topic:  Strife in the Holy Land.   And so it is not a class I am looking forward to.

[LECTOR: That's it?]

Thursday (the 18th)
[I am at school on the laptop]
This week, I had been taking a photo a day of Tony [in the morning].  I didn't this morning because Tony was sick.  He had a very phlegmy cough but no fever.  Sleeping last night, he couldn't sit still and straight.  He took off the covers and would roll over and around so that he was at a perpendicular angle in bed to his parents. [LECTOR: Tony still sleeps with his parents. Andis: Yes. Indeed. In between his parents.]

As I was about to order breakfast at McD's, I saw a woman buying an ice cream.  Breakfast ice cream?  It seems very unseemly to me.

I work 1000-2100 today.

The Strife in the Holy Land Class turned out to be with an adult and an middle-school student.  The adult had lot to say and there wasn't much I could do to get the middle-school student, who is very quiet at the best of times, to speak; but I couldn't help but feel that I was ignoring him.  Anyway, talking about the Middle East, the adult told me his belief that the Americans wanted control of the "tap" of Middle East oil as part of what it saw as its struggle with China.  I thought he was nuts.

I had a grandmother in my class, just now.  That is only the second time that has happened.  The other grandmother student I can remember was from Japan.

Friday (the 19th)
[I am on the Ipad.]

I am waiting for T&J to get up.

The pile is gone.

I will expound on these things when I am on the school laptop.

I started to read Put Out More Flags by Evelyn Waugh. [LECTOR: Oh! Whoopde Whoopde do!]

I don't think of myself as a Wuxi Expat anymore.  

Robert Downey Junior is being "screwed again?"

I will expound on this things as well except for the sentences I want to be cryptic.

ptvn cudr ghr sjbi!

The last sentence is in code. [LECTOR: You are telling us you have homosexual proclivities? Andis: No! LECTOR: You are saying that some people you everyday are gay? Andis: Nope!]

[I am now working on my laptop that is at school.]

The pile of material that I complained about earlier has been taken away.  Thank God.  And it is nice to be wrong.

Tony always gets up at the lastest minute possible when he has to go to school. [LECTOR: Latest?]

I suppose that to be a real Wuxi Expat, you have to be part of the Wuxi Expat Scene.  I keep to myself like the Una-bomber in a shack.  I am also an English teacher.  English teachers really can't be Expats, for they live in China, they don't travel back and forth to it. [LECTOR: I think what you mean to say is that ET's are low-status Expats.]

In order to not to get people mad at me.  I will write certain things in code.  It is more for my benefit for I plan to read these rantings sometimes in my waning days.  I have figured out a code pattern, and I dare you to try to crack it.

I did my Chinese flashcard practice, my Chinese typing practice, my Python fiddling-around (perhaps you can call it study), and my daily readings (of books and sacred books).  So, feeling I had done something, I decided to take a break.  I went to the nearby department store and bought a toy for Tony -- a fire-fighting ambulance trick made by Tomica.  Tony is sure to love it when he gets it -- I am not sure when I will give it to him.  I'd like to give it to him after he does something extraordinary.

Saturday (the 20th)
[Ipad mini]

I wake up hungry for updates from Boston.

Last night,  Jenny Laid out almost all of Tony's toys for some photos.  I posted three of the photos I took to my various blogs:  here, here, and here.

[School Laptop]
A crappy wet day outside.  I should have worn a extra layer of clothing under my shirt and sweat jacket.

The surviving Boston bomber is on a boat, or so I have been told.

I await a trainer who is famous for his tendency to exaggerate.  I want to ask him if he had run in the Boston Marathon naked and drunk only to be robbed of a victory trophy by officials who were out to get him.

That last Bomber, Sarejevo Mahovolich or whatever his name is, has been caught! [LECTOR: Don't read anything into the fact that he is Muslim!]

A student told me that live monkey brains tastes like tofu. I liked that because I am sure to repeat that saying to many a person.

[I am writing on my home laptop]
A student told me that a Chinese woman was killed in the Boston Marathon bombings. Her name was Lu Lingzi.

Jenny wanted to go to The Grandma's restaurant in Ba Bai Ban. As we left school at 500 PM, I was thinking that the cold weather would make for a shorter lineup, but I was to be sadden mistaken and shown to be overly optimistic, as the lineup was absolutely terrible. We had 77 parties ahead of us so we gave up. We ended up going to 永和大 where I had black pepper beef and youtiao. [LECTOR: What is Youtiao? Andis: Fried dough sticks.]

Back at Casa K, our home, I immediately departed on a shopping expedition to the nearby Tesco where I bought bread, milk, margarine, and chips.

I used three devices to make today's entry. What do you think of that? [LECTOR: Not much!]

I forgot to mention that I worked 1000-1700 today.

I gave Tony his new toy almost as soon as I got home yesterday night. I couldn't wait.

Sunday (the 21st)
[The following has been typed in my Ipad and sent to my laptop by email.]

Last night, for a few moments, we took Tony to the toy store at Ba Bai Ban where a table set up with TOMY Plarail track and Tomica parking garages.  The latter are used with Tomica toy cars which are the same size as Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars.  The toy "garages" are an ingenious combination of elevators operated with cranks, levers, and push-button releases.  Tony is always immediately drawn to play with them, as he was yesterday.

As I was saying, you need a toy car to play with the garages.  It just so happened that Tony had a toy truck, from Matchbox, in his backpack.  Seeing the toy garage set, he took off his backpack to find his toy truck which he knew he had.

I found this little incident with Tony looking for his toy a wonder to behold.  My little guy has ideas.  My little guy has the concept of possession.  It shouldn't surprise me that he does or will; he is growing up, and yet it does.  I suppose I still have my childhood sense of time where a year seems like forever; and yet the time flows like a I am a middle-aged person -- quickly.

I am still amazed at the fact of my son's birth.  I still think he is the little helpless creature with no concepts.  His growth is a wonder to me and those little things he does.

I didn't work today, but I was up at six all the same.  [LECTOR: Those links have nothing to do with the sentence!] I read for a couple of hours and then did huggy baobao with Tony -- I don't often get to linger in bed with Tony my side so it was a pleasant moment to be remembered for eternity I told myself.  [I remember December 24, 1971 looking out the window at the snow.  I was in Courcelette, Quebec in a PMQ.  I told myself to remember that moment for eternity as well.  I couldn't tell you from what room I was looking outside.  All that I can recall is the snow and the thought. LECTOR: Big Deal!]

We went to a Taiwanese Restaurant for lunch where I found myself actually liking the Tofu.  I suppose I liked it because it was spicy.  The Taiwanese restaurant is the only foreign restaurant in our complex.  Ha ha!  [LECTOR:  Your wife is right.  Your jokes aren't funny.  Andis:  Shut up you lefty!  I was about to type dumb lefty but that would have implied that are lefties who are smart. LECTOR:  When you say smart lefty, you could be saying he is smart among lefties but not the whole population.  Andis:  True.  But, now I wonder whose side you are on.  Lector:  You're the one putting words in my mouth, so to speak.  It. Is really your fault if I am not consistent.]

I spent the afternoon with Tony.  I had been hoping to go on an e-bike ride with him to the countryside, but he peevishly and petulantly insisted on being taken to Ba Bai Ban to visit the toy department -- the one we had been to the night before.  It was not what I wanted to do, but Tony agreed and did abide by a vow made to his mom that we weren't to buy any toys.  He didn't beg for toys once!

Photos of Tony at the toy shop can be seen:  here, here, here, and here.

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