Monday, April 28, 2014

Diary: April 22 to April 28, 2014

  • This week's question: What are questions that would make you squirm if you were forced to answer them?
  • It was a dull week. I consumed a lot of media.

Tuesday [April 22]
[Home Laptop]
  • Rain today. Rain yesterday. I feel the blahs.
  • Yesterday, I watched the third and fourth episodes of Cosmos and the first episode of the fourth season of Game of Thrones. The cartoons that Cosmos uses to depict events from the past are annoying. They look ugly and close to comic book caricatures about the events they seek to depict.
  • I am trying to determine what question to ask myself this week. Should I ask myself a softball question? That is, I talk about things I like in some certain category. Should I ask myself difficult question? That is, questions that I would squirm to answer.
  • Anyway. I have thought of a question.
  • What are some questions that would make you squirm if you were forced to answer them? What was your life like in middle school and high school?
  • I won't answer these questions because they are painful to answer. Next week, I will ask myself a softball question.
  • Tuesday morning can be the most pleasant time of the week. I can relax a bit before I head off for a shift at school. I can spend time on the computer and update things to that need to be updated. I can read books on the Ipad. I can think out what I am going to do with my day.
  • I have listened to the following podcasts this morning: Coffee and Markets, Three Martini Lunch, Mad Dogs and Englishmen, and Radio Free Delingpole.
  • Cosmos depicts the Universe like it is the Internet. So much to see that it becomes overwhelming after a while.
[School Laptop]
  • Today's shift: 13:00 to 21:00. I have an English Corner at 14:00 and three classes in the evening.
  • This morning, I finished watching the second episode of fourth season of Game of Thrones. It has a lovely ending.

Wednesday [April 23]
[Home Laptop]
  • Questions that make you squirm? What are your religious beliefs? Are they consistent with your actions?
  • Sunny this morning.
  • Tony insisted that I hold him in my arms as we waited for the car that was to take him to school.
  • Leftists like to fight caricatures.
  • I finished watching the third episode of the fourth season of Game of Thrones last night. I am all caught up with it. I have never been up to date with a television series before.
  • I am listening to The Need to Know podcast.
  • Yesterday, I kept my mouth shut.
  • I have been following the Stanley Cup playoffs. I will cheer for Habs who, as I type this, have a 3-0 lead in their series with Tampa Bay. I don't know the name of any players on the Canadiens.
  • I can see why Hockey may not appeal to many. The players all seem the same. Goals are scored too fast.
[School Laptop]
  • Today's shift: 13:00 to 21:00.
  • The bus broke down on the way to work this morning. The passengers had to wait for the next bus on the route to come pick them up.
  • I noticed that someone had tried to put a sticker, with a phone number on it, on a public bicycle.
  • I finished reading the Johnny Carson book by Henry Bushkin. Beforehand, I had the impression that it was a biography but it turned out to be a memoir of Bushkin's time with Carson. Carson was no angel, and Bushkin said that when Carson died, he died alone. My father, for his faults, was able to have his family at his side when he died. Something to be said for my father...

Thursday [April 24]
[School Laptop]
  • Today's shift: 10:00 to 21:00.
  • I am watching the 2013 film Nebraska, starring Bruce Dern as the old old father. The film has touched home with me in many ways. My father drank too much, like the Bruce Dern character. My father lived in a small town, the same milieu depicted in Nebraska. The son character hasn't achieved much.
  • Eight people were scheduled to be in my 20:00 class last night. Only three showed up.
  • A thirty-seven year old student told me he wasn't married.
  • Another student looked at me and was surprised to hear that my son Tony was six years old. Looking at me and judging my age, the student was expecting my son to be much older.
  • I have decided to read this novel entitled Under the Skin. It opens with this woman driving around Scotland looking for male hitchhikers to kill for some nefarious purposes.
  • McDonald's gave us free breakfast this morning. Us being school staff. A female manager, English name of Lemon, impressed the foreigners with her perkiness.

Friday [April 25]
[School Laptop]
  • Today's shift: 11:00 to 21:00. I go to the City Hall to do a lunchtime English Corner.
  • Walking to the bus stop this morning, I saw the 602drive past as I was heading to the bus stop. I was too far from the bus stop to try to run and catch the bus; and so I was left with the deflating prospect of having to wait twenty minutes for the next one. So, I instead caught a 25 bus where I got a seat but had a old woman sit on a ledge next to my seat. (I was sitting on a seat over the rear wheel well. That seat being placed on the roof of the wheel well.) The woman's back was so close to me that my elbow couldn't help but stab her in the back.
  • On the bus, I caught a glimpse of a traffic cop and a male pedestrian having an an animated discussion about something. The pedestrian was glaring with a look of disbelief on his face. The cop was pushing the pedestrian, looking, to me, to be showing the pedestrian where to stand when waiting at a red light.
  • You forgot to answer the question yesterday. So, what are two questions that will make your squirm? 1) Can you tell me about your past romantic life? 2) Tell me about your employment history? I will provide another one since it is on my mind. 3) Tell me why you spent so much time in University?
  • Sitting is the new smoking. Does that mean that in the future sitting will be banned in public placesDoes that mean the people who persist in sitting will be forced to do so in the alleyways behind their places of employment?
  • I phone my Mom last night. She is 76 years old and living by herself. I am feeling guilty but I don't know what the heck I would do if I went back to Canada.

Saturday [April 26]
[School Laptop]
  • Today's shift: 10:00 to 18:00. I have only three classes, but this is because a hiking activity that was scheduled today was just recently postponed because of a forecast for today, which was correct, of rain.
  • Tony very much wanted to go to sleep last night. He even didn't want to use the Ipad when I put it on my night table.
  • I finished watching the film Nebraska last night. It was not bad. It was nice to see a film where the major characters were old people. It was nice to a film set in the small town mid-west of the United States. Bruce Dern's performance was good. His depiction of an old man was very accurate at times. The film hit home with me on many fronts. The area depicted in the film reminded me of Manitoba. The relationship between the Dern character and the Dern character's wife reminded my of my parents. Dern did things that reminded me of my Dad in his old age. It was a good decision to film the movie in black and white (so it kind of reminded me of the Paul Newman film Hud). However, the film could have done without the sexual crudity of some of the old characters. As well, the reaction of the people to the news of the Dern character becoming a millionaire didn't seem right.
  • What are some questions that would make you squirm if you were forced to answer them? What was your life like in British Columbia? Did you have any girlfriends? Did you have any friends growing up? Why did you smash the window with your head that one night? Would you have accomplished anything if you really were give an opportunity?
  • Sitting is the new smoking. 1)Would you mind not sitting? I am trying to eat. 2) Would you prefer sitting or non-sitting. 3) Sitting is not allowed on company premises.
  • Over-talking is the new flatulence. That would be a better idea to circulate.

Sunday [April 22]
[Home Laptop]
  • No shifts today.
  • Yesterday after school, I took the bus to the Wanda Plaza where I was to meet Jenny and some friends of hers for dinner. As soon as I got to the Plaza, a foul mood came over me. The Plaza was very crowded and Jenny wasn't at the restaurant where I hoped she would be. Instead, she was at some new children's store with Tony who wasn't behaving at all well. He wouldn't sit still at the table and insisted on playing with the toy gun that he just gotten. Crowds, Children and Tony behaving badly don't make my disposition sunny.
  • There were foreigners modeling at the department store. Two males and two females. I didn't stop to take a close look at them other then to notice that the girls were blonde and the males were tall and slim. I hope they weren't Russian.
  • Jenny's friends gave us a ride home. However, there was a traffic jam on the streets surrounding the Plaza and it took us ten minutes to get out of the mall parking garage. Jenny's friend then merged her car into the traffic like it was a gold fish joining a school. Not having a car, I get a secret pleasure out of traffic jams.
  • What are some questions that would make you squirm if you were forced to answer them? What are some things that you have done in your life that you can look upon with justifiable pride?
  • I finished reading the novel Under the Skin. It is about a female alien, living in Scotland, who cruises the highways hunting for male human or vodsel hitchhikers who can be processed into meat to be eaten by her species. The hitchhikers who she judges appropriate are drugged by means of needles in the seat and then driven to a processing plant. There the vodsels immediately have their tongues cut out and are castrated. After a few months of being processed to become alien meat, they are slaughtered. The novel is called Under the Skin because we are presented with the intimate thoughts of the female alien. She thinks of the vodsels as lower species while all the while dealing with her own personal angst.
  • Today, the K family took it easy until the afternoon when they went to the Starbucks at the Wanda Plaza. Dad alternately read a book about guns and a book about mathematics. Life was okay Dad thought, but he couldn't shake a feeling of lack of accomplishment.
  • I started watching Mother, Jugs and Speed. Mother is Bing Crosby. Jugs is Raquel Welch.
  • I watched just a little more of Lawrence Olivier's Hamlet.
  • So media to watch; so little time.
  • Ah! When Jenny talks on the phone. She sounds like she is arguing. I just asked her when she got off the phone if anything was wrong and she said that she was just talking to a friend.
  • I don't like criticizing Chairman Mao in class and try to be neutral about him. But the students aren't. Doing a salon class about adventure, I talked about Mao's Long March as being a sort of adventure, and I was admonished by the students. “We don't think much of Chairman Mao these days!” they told me.

Monday [April 28]
[School Laptop]

  • No shifts today.
  • I have downloaded and processed the fourth episode of the fourth season of Game of Thrones. I will watch it, but Jenny won't. She thinks that watching one episode at a time isn't enough; and so she will wait to episode five is available and watch two episodes at a time.
  • Some things are so predictable that even I, not the most perceptive type, can see them coming. Two weeks, a new gate, for letting cars in and out, was installed at our apartment complex entrance. Now I say it is a gate, but really it is a contraption. In the down position, the gate forms a sign by lining up a bunch of metal slats. In the upper position when letting cars through, the gate and the slats retract. This gate looked to me to a contraption that would require constant maintenance. It was made of cheap and flimsy materials, and its functioning seemed to be a little too complicated for constant use in all sorts of Wuxi weather. Lo and behold, the gate's slats buckled up like sections of a blind tangled in string. I had the satisfaction of telling myself that it was bound to happen.
  • I took Tony to the Wanda Plaza this evening. Before we went, he packed an Ultraman toy and an Ultraman Monster toy in my bag. Jenny & I told him to take one of the toys out. It was a strange thing for him to do but he knew what he was doing. At the Wanda Plaza, he went to this real estate model table, full of miniature buildings, and he told me to give him the Ultraman toy. His plan had been to reenact Ultraman battles at the table. Ingenious actually and if I had known, I would have let him bring along the Ultraman monster toy.

No comments: