Sunday, October 20, 2013

The AKIC Diary for October 14 to October 20, 2013

Monday [October 14]
[Home Laptop]
No work today.

I still had to be up early because I had to get Tony off to school.

I woke up feeling stuffy.

I published the October 7 to October 13 diary last night. I will publish the AKIC Weekly as soon as the video Views of China from Casa Kaulins #31 has been uploaded. The VPN connection is slow however.

While waiting for the upload to finish, I have taken photos for my Views of China from Casa Kaulins blog. I took a good photo of a bamboo load that you just have to see!

I so much liked the results of my fit of Joycean interior monologue writing that I did last week, that I will make a point of doing it at least once a week in my diary from now on.

Jenny and I went to the Hui Shan Wanda Plaza for lunch and some shopping, and ate at the same restaurant we had had supper at last night. Jenny ordered peanuts, broccoli, tofu, beans in sweet sauce, fried rice, and crispy rolls with some sort of vegetable filling. All that food with a bottle of beer made me happy. We then went on Jenny's instigation to H&M. She had read on some social group of a woman buying a pair of kids doc marten style boots for 30 rmb. She didn't find the boots but we did buy a XL sized shirt for me from clearance rack for just 50 rmb!

The last two days, I have noticed that there has been a plague of foreigners hanging out at the Wanda Plaza or walking between the Wanda and the nearby Ramada Hotel. They have been young adults mostly, who I assume are competing in some sort of international sports competition in the area. They have been wearing clothing bearing the names of their native countries including Mexico and Denmark. Some of the more swarthy-looking among them I suspect are from the middle east.

I rode the e-bike to pick up Tony from school. We then went of a tour of the area straddling the border between the Hui Shan District and Jiangyin. We saw six high-speed trains, crossed at least six major bridges, were chased by one dog, stopped to watch one digger in action, bought one radish for Jenny, had one nice moment of contemplation on one of the bridges, and had our photo taken by Jenny as we drove by the apartment.

Back at home, Tony and I had a good wrestling match. I wanted Tony to watch television instead of wrestle with his buddy Kramer. I call his buddy Kramer because this little boy will come to our apartment unannounced to hang out. Jenny says that Kramer is the only kid that she knows of who Tony can be aggressive with. Usually, Tony gets picked on by all the kids. Our wrestling match started because Tony was picking on Kramer and annoying me. I tried to turn on the television and get him to watch that but Tony didn't want me to and I had to physically restrain him from trying to turn the television off. Tony was very determined to turn off the television and so we wrestled for a long five minutes. I am still much stronger than Tony and so there was no danger of him overpowering me and getting to the television; but Tony's stamina was something. His squirming and kicking required me to be constantly vigilant. I had to relent because he wasn't going to give up.

And then a minute after our wrestling match, Tony turned on the television to watch some cartoon. So we had fought for nothing. Tony it seems didn't want me telling him what to do.

Tuesday [October 15]
[Home Laptop]
It was blustery this morning. The first breaths of Winter.

I work 13:00 to 21:00 today.

Hanging laundry, I saw four or five good photo opportunities for my Views of China blog pass by. I didn't have my camera with me, alas.

[School Laptop]
I took the 25 bus to school.

It sure was windy outside, and I was thinking that my polo shirt and hoodie were insufficient to deal with it.

Wednesday [October 16]
[School Laptop]
I work 13:00 to 21:00.

I arrive at school at 11:00.

Yesterday's diary entry was pretty short. I gots to thinks of ways to make its longer. So, here is what thoughts and observations came to me as I rode the 25 bus to downtown:

  • The subject of an EWTN podcast I was listening to: Gratitude. This lead me to have an anti-blog thought: Gratitude! Gratitude! You must thank Me very much!
  • Team nicknames evolve. Dodgers mean a baseball team in Los Angeles, not the fans of a baseball team in Brooklyn who had to dodge trains to get to their teams' baseball stadium. Lakers means a basketball team in Los Angeles, not a basketball team in a city in a state full of lakes. Team nicknames can have many takes. The Reds are a baseball team in Cincinnati – there was no fuss to change their name during the cold war. Redskins are a professional football team in Washington D.C.
  • When I take the 25 bus, I often see bags and luggage lying on the floor. This is because the bus stops by the train and bus stations, and it is much cheaper to take the bus than the taxi.
  • When Wuxi People are on the phone, they squawk loudly.

Tony will have a car take him home after school. They took pity on Jenny & Tony yesterday when they were seen riding on an e-bike in the gusty and cool autumn winds.

Thursday [October 17]
[School Laptop]
I work 10:00 to 21:00. It's my long day at school

I was up at 5:45 this morning so I could shower, shave, and have Tony off to school by 7:00 and then just be able to go to school myself.

I took the 25 bus downtown. I had plenty of time to get off at the bus stop, near Nanchang Temple on Jiefang Road, and walk to the McDonalds, on the corner of Xueqian and Zhongshan Road, to have breakfast.

They are letting one of the foreign teachers, at our school, go.

Funny thing. I had to type today's entry (at least what I typed so far) twice. The computer froze and wouldn't even respond to CTRL-ALT-DEL. This also happened yesterday. It seems that ten minutes or so after I turn on the computer, it will freeze solid leaving me with no option but to turn it off. But it only happened once yesterday. Hopefully, it doesn't happen again today.

Maybe, I will go Joycean today; maybe, I won't.

An Xinjiang Restaurant will open across from the school! An Xinjiang Restaurant will open across from the school!

Friday [October 18]
[School Laptop]
I work 11:00 to 21:00 today.

Yesterday, I didn't do the Joycean thing. I will have to do it today.

So, without further ado, here is my weekly attempt at interior monologue style writing mixed with in third person narration:

I should say weakly attempt. Finished breakfast. Wait. Not exactly. I got to drink my coffee. My mind is blank. Andis's mind went blank. He didn't know what to type. I don't know what to type. Isn't this mixing of interior monologue and third person narration awesome!?! Only thing though. Should the third person narration be in the present tense or past tense? Andis wondered. Andis wonders. I think the past tense seems better. Most narration is done in the past tense. Andis thought that most narration was done in the past tense. At school, Andis goes straight into his office. I wait till the other office clears and I will do prep. (what little prep I do have...) Is it okay to be parenthetical in an interior monologue. Did Joyce use parenthesis in Ulysses? I can't recall.

In the office next to his, the tech guy summons the girl who sits in the office across the hall. (Not the stocking girl from last week.) Don't want to be thought of as a man who stalks girls in stockings. Andis stared at the breakfast sandwich wrapper. Waxy gloss. Crumpling reveals lack of symmetrical wrapping skill on part of kitchen worker. Two globs of dried and congealed cheese on the bottom left corner of the wrapper. Grab it. Roll it up. Throw in in the waste basket. Missed. Stand up. Grab the rebound off the floor. Andis bent over. Maybe I should have bent on my knees...

What's my first class. 13:00. Anna. Who get's the job? I wrote up a script for that a long time ago. Just have to run out the clock with conversation. 18:00 to 20:00. Leo Cao. Leo Cow. Leo Ciao. Crewcutted Chinese mail with a mustache. I wonder if he shaves. The lesson plan for his class is shit. I did come up with a way to string the conversation along based on the material. Materiale. I can't expect him to make a presentation. I don't know what to teach him. Four people at 20:00. Three woman and Zhou. Zhou could be a boy or girl, man or woman.

Andis looked at 141 Chinese flashcards on his computer.

What was it that I was thinking earlier? Colacho talked about the old woman praying in the corner of the church. Or in the back of pew or the seats. Colacho said he was like her. No. He said he was her. That is why I follow him. Is Bill Clinton like the old woman praying by herself in the church. No, he is thinking what is under the skirts of the young woman. Scum. I have to fight those tendencies all the time. That there was the British politician in the Tofumo(?) scandal. He resigned and spent the rest of his life working in soup kitchens, serving the lowest of the low. Clinton? He went around getting acclaim and lots of money making speeches. I can't stand to be with people who tolerate that. I can't.

Time to do some reading. Andis was to start his shift in 35 minutes. I will prep my lessons starting at 11:00. Turn on the Ipad. Wait for it to fully load. Select the KJV. Now in Revelations. Chapter 8. Wormwood. A ominous sounding word that I don't know the meaning of. Revelations is fun to read. Press library. Oops. Put four besides KJV on the to-do list. Choose Colacho.

351 Resignation to error is the beginning of wisdom.

What to add to that? It is so true. What is the difference between true and so true? There shouldn't be any difference in the degree of truth. Either it is true or it isn't true. What about the heresies that are 95 percent true? Mixing error with truth is how to entrap fools.

Damn. Time to take a shit. Bring along the Ipod? No. Think.

Andis walked into the bathroom. The door to the western WC stall was closed and the handle had a red color. Damn! Someone is in there! Andis walked to a urinal. Instead of staring at the wall, he looked to his left towards the stall. Is there someone in there? Andis didn't see any feet. I will have to check it. It seems to be very silent in here. I can't feel the presence of anyone else. Pull on the handle and see what happens. It opened. The stall had been empty.

Andis sat. Andis shat. We are always committing some small heresy. The devil never rests. There is always something we could have been doing with our time that was better than what we had been doing. Even to eat is to deprive others of food. Eat we must. Sin we must deal with.

Back to the office. Time to read some Aristotle. We acquire virtue by acting. How about by avoiding? Is there any virtue to acquire by sitting at my desk and not dealing with the demons in the next room? Perhaps you are if you are always battling temptation to go to that room. Does having the habit of virtue cease to be virtuous if it becomes easy and second nature?

Taste of breakfast still in my mouth. Time to eat some gum. Andis went to his backpack, pulling a package with three strips of gum from a front pocket. Andis unwrapped two strips and put them in his mouth. He took the packages and rolled them in a ball. He rolled his wheeled chair to his right. The waste paper basket was in sight. He put his right forearm parallel to the ground making a right angle with his armpit. The upper arm he bent back so that it was nearly over his shoulder. He took a deep breath and then thrust the upper arm forward. He released the paper ball so that it went upwards in a high arch. The paper ball landed in the waste basket. Basket!!!!

Back to Aristotle. It may not be virtuous to do the right thing but in the wrong spirit.

Fireworks crackle loudly neat the school. It is the new restaurant opening across the street from the school. Xinjiang food. Chow Mian Pian. I suppose I should wait a few days before I try the restaurant's food. It will be crowded today. Still. A good thing.

Like Joyce. I will end my composition with a Yes. Yes. Yes!

Saturday [October 19]
[School Laptop]
Andis works 10:00 to 18:00 today.

Andis got to work at 8:40. He had to wait a few minutes before the girl came to open the school's main entrance.

On the bus ride to home the previous evening, Andis got on and rushed to a seat in the back corner of the bus. His sometimes bus companion told him she preferred to sit at the front. Andis tried to sit at a front on a few instances and found he couldn't abide it.

When he got home, he saw that his son Tony had a black eye. Jenny wasn't sure what had happened. The teacher told him that he had been running around... That put Andis out of the good mood that he had been in brought on by listening to Sinatra on the Ipod and having read Aristotle on his Ipad.

Andis finished watching the Hustler starring Paul Newman, George C. Scott, and Jackie Gleason. Newman was cool at times in the movie but it was hard to find his being a loser believable. His coolness contrasted in a Jekyll and Hydish way with his loserness.

[Home Laptop]
On the bus ride home, I started watching the movie Criss Cross starring Burt Lancaster. Watching it with my headphones on, I didn't hear my phone ringing about ten times as my wife was trying to get a hold of me. When I finally answered the phone, my wife was pissed.

Sunday [October 20]
I don't work today.

Other than publishing my blog entries tonight or tomorrow, I don't know what I am going to do the next two days. This isn't a good thing for this diary.

We went last night to Wanda for dinner. We will go to Wanda for lunch today.

I have spent an considerable amount of time on the AKIC Weekly. I just made a top ten list for it.

Tony's right eye is still black.

I have to make another toy for Tony was this fold-and-glue book that Jenny bought him yesterday. Unlike the book I had bought for Tony, the book Jenny bought doesn't have perforated folds.

I had a bad experience at the Hui Shan Wanda Plaza Pizza Hut. We got stuck in a corner table and they seemingly forgot about us. Our food was coming out slowly. They then gave us a free pizza because they had screwed up the pizza we had ordered. When we finally got the pizza we had ordered, I could see that it had been hastily made. The sauce and toppings were not spread properly over the pizza so that the space between the sauce edge and the crust edge was as much as two and a half inches long.

I went on the Internet seeing what mischief Paul Krugman had been up to lately. Niall Ferguson has written a devastating critique of him. No one needs to take Krugman seriously anymore.

I took Tony out for a walk in the late afternoon. He brought along his push-bike. He wanted to go to the Jia Zhou Yang Fang basketball court because it is a good place to ride his push-bike. However when he got there he joined up with three other boys of assorted age. They ran around playing high-and-seek but they got rowdy at times. Somewhere, they found some bricks and were throwing them down a stairwell.

I know enough Chinese characters to be able to read a sign and not have a clue what it means. As Tony played, I saw a sign with familiar characters. I brought out my Ipod, put on the notebook app, and changed the keyboard so I could do pinyin entry. I was able to enter the pinyin so that I could match the characters on the sign. I was able to read the words on the sign aloud, more or less, but I had no idea what they meant.

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