This was the last full week before we learned of the results of the U.S. presidential election -- this is assuming the Democrats don't go to court if they don't like the result. I stopped paying full time attention to it on Wednesday I have seen a frenzy of coverage about it on my RSS Reader and I don't want to be overwhelmed by it.
For me, personally, the week has been one of highs and lows. Tony just seems to do something new every day that fills me with pride and astonishment. People who sneer at others who have children are idiots. (And while I am at it, and since I am in China, I will tell you that the one-child policy is evil. It means abortion and the murder of so many innocents -- more have been murdered by the one-child policy than were killed by Chairman Mao.) My duty to Jenny and Tony keeps me going.
The students at the school, to a lesser extent, keep me going too. Some of them are very nice people. Not all of them, of course. Some are lazy or under the sway of their portable electronic devices, and need a kick in the ass and to be slapped on either one or both sides of the head.
Gratitude I should be thankful to have some readers. My stats tell me about that maybe twenty or so will read this entry. Now, whether they read this entry to the end is another story. (My stats for my WCE Blog indicate, people take one quick look and close the blog window).
Acknowledgement I am a moral coward. I don't stand up for what is right.
Request America! Vote for Mitt Romney! The alternative is much, much worse.
The Wuxi Corrupt Officials
The Corrupts lost a tough one 120-118 to the River Rats. The Corrupts record fell to 5-2 but they are still in first place in their division.
Canada Ain't Cool -- Thank God!
The most well-known Koreans, Chinese, and Russians are dictators. So, I suspect the reason there are no famous Canadian leaders is that none of them, even the evil Pierre Turdeau*, was a dictator. Best to be obscure and uncool!
Links of the Week
American Fez A funny and clever site. Look under Caxton's Children and you will see a link to my blog.
Quotes of the Week
"The majority of people are not only afraid of holding a wrong opinion, they are afraid of holding an opinion alone." Kierkegaard
"If Obama loses, expect the question of how such a moody, low-energy loner became president to be immediately shoved down the national memory hole of that-which-we-shall-never-mention-again." Steve Sailer
1)"So that one does not live depressed among so many foolish opinions, it behooves one to remember at every moment that things obviously are what they are, no matter what the world's opinion is."
2) "My convictions are the same as those of an old woman praying in the corner of a church."
These two quotes come from Don Colacho courtesy David Warren.
- Finished Shakespeare's Henry V.
- Finished A trip to Manitoba by Mary Fitzgibbon. She traveled to the province in the late 1870s. It wasn't easy to get there at that time-- there were no highways and the train line was just being built. She experienced the worst that Manitoba can throw at one's person -- bugs, rain, mud, swamp, cold and snow.
- Finished Stephen Leacock's Beyond the Beyond.
- Started The Peloponnesian War by Thucydides.
- Started The Exploits of Brigadier Gerard by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I heard a Doyle expert say that the stories of Brigadier Gerard were better than the Sherlock Holmes stories.
- I don't work. I act the role of the homebody. I do a lot of blogging.
- I have an idea to increase readership. I will have to patronize other blogs. Not to say that I don't read any. I do read a few, but I should make comments and send my praise. (As of Sunday, I haven't started doing this.)
- I finished reading Henry V. I had seen the movie so some parts of the play were familiar to me.
- Tony printed out "10" for his homework.
- I had lunch at the local Casa K Muslim Restaurant. I had a wonderful repast consisting of potatoes, noodles and broth.
- I finished editing and uploading Scenes from My Life in Wuxi, China #31. In the video, I made my Internet singing debut.
- It stills amazes me that I can see these peasant types wearing their wide rice paddy hats as they sweep the streets.
- On the local t.v. news, a story about people growing vegetables in parks amazed my wife. I told her that I had seen this sort of thing happening at a park near Tony's kindergarten. My wife then told me it was the bigness of the garden that surprised her.
- The word is that Obama has lost it. I mention this because this is a journal and this is the first time I think that I have read a critical mass of this talk to believe it might really be true. God! How I hope it is true.
- The San Francisco Giants won the World Series, sweeping the Detroit Tigers. The Tigers had the seventh best record in the American League. The Giants had the third best record in the National League. They both happened to have played a good stretch of ball at the end of the season. Were they the two best teams of the year? Not really. God! How I hate the wildcard.
- I don't work. It is raining. I don't want to be a homebody again. Though I read a lot of books yesterday, I had the uncomfortable feeling one gets when one has indulged too much in some activity that is not very physical. That is, I felt physically like I had wasted the day by playing computer games.
- I will have to make a point of it to go for a walk this afternoon.
- Gagnam Style. Or is it Gagnum style? Anyway, there is some South Korean pop video that has been very popular the last two months. I had never heard of it, but the students had, so when a student mentioned the song during a class last week, the students were amused when I asked what it was. Tony and Jenny had heard of it, and so Jenny was stunned when I told her I didn't know anything about this Gagnam Style. What do you do on the Internet? she asked me. You are always on it and never heard of Gagnam Style? I wonder if she knows about the U.S. election -- we never talk about it.
- So, I watched Gagnam Style video. It shows a quick succession of images of people dancing at a maddeningly quick pace.
- Jenny said that the fellow who is the star of the Gagnam Style video is the most famous South Korean of all time. She could be right. Thinking about the topic of famous Koreans, the first ones to pop to my mind are the North Korean Dictators. The only South Korean I can think of is one who might by the Secretary General of the U.N. -- Moon Bat Yack or something-is-his name.
- Anyway, Gagnam Style will go the way of the Macarana. A fad that people will ashamed to admit that they got caught up in. I would only wish that fate on the North Koreans.
- If your country needs to have the U.N. secretary-generalship thrust on it in order to give one of its citizens a high profile in the world, that says only two things: Either your country deserves obscurity because it is a crappy insignificant place or it a place that doesn't make the news because interesting things that make the news don't happen there. South Korea is the latter kind of country. As are places like Denmark and Canada.
- I changed, or rather updated, my profile photo on Facebook. This is something that should not be worthy of mention, even in this blog, but I got a lot of feedback saying I was frowning and looked angry. I had actually liked the photo because it was well lit and it didn't seem to show the other imperfections about my face that I had seen in all the other photos that I had taken of myself recently. I even thought the photo showed a quiet, if somewhat dour, amusement with my situation. So, I wondered what the heck these people were talking about. But then I looked at the photo and saw that the frown was practically V-shaped -- the corners of my lips were half an inch below its top center. I can blame this on this two things. Firstly, the baggy facial features I have -- this runs in the family -- that making smiling seem such an arduous task to me. If you look at photos of me smiling, you will see that the smiles are strained and forced. It is hard work to life my jowls up to force a smile. Secondly -- and this is the part that I get defensive about -- I can blame the frown on a grim determination I have. There are things in life that I could easily use as an excuse to really be angry. Anyone can rationalize their emotions. But this determination to improve myself, to accept some hard facts about my imperfections and the imperfections of others, is inducing a dourness to my outward appearance. That it looks like anger and glumness to others is something I hadn't been aware of. I will have to change the profile photo.
- I must be proof of the George Orwell quote: At 50, everyone has the face deserves.
- I went to the local Taiwanese restaurant for lunch. It wasn't so good today. The service was slow. They brought my meal to me ten minutes after my wife had almost finished hers.
- I then went for a walk in the area around Casa Kaulins. It was like going to the third world. I saw subsistence agriculture. I saw trash. I saw shanty living conditions. It was quite the contrast to my apartment complex where some of the residents have Audi or Porsche sports cars.
- The emperor is scheduled to arrive at 430 pm. Who is the emperor? you ask.... Come on!!! You must know!
- Tony practices printing elevens.
- I work 1300-2100. An easy day for me. I do an English Corner (Topic: Halloween; and I will then play the Jeopardy game). I then do a Company class (Sempelkamp). I will give the students a test -- a long test!
- I feel a chill in the air. I put on a jacket.
- Halloween: the students don't care. They find my costume discussions a little amusing. I give them great ideas for costumes: President Obama, President Hu, the deep fried dough sticks called Youtiao, a tooth brush, and a hair brush.
- Lunch time: I eat in a restaurant that is on a side street off Zhongshan Road, in the area of my school. We had pork, eel, beef and potatoes, corn and potatoes.
- Books and Sex and good deeds performed by my son. That is all I need to be happy.
- My wife offers me something. My first reaction is to say "no! no! no!" but I then correct myself: "Thank you Honey!"
- Monkey monkey: I called some of the students that during classes. "Monkeys can give better answers than that!" I tell them.
- While the company students were writing test, I was reading Leacock's Behind the Beyond on my Ipod Touch. At a particularly funny point in the book, I laughed aloud and startled the students.
- I do a Jeopardy style quiz with the students. I have a category asking questions about Scary Things. One of the answers is Naked or Nude. The students think it particularly amusing.
- I work 1000-2100. My long day.
- Sunny but foggy in the morning. Fall has definitely come to the Wux.
- I have breakfast at McDonald's. I order a double sausage and cheese breakfast sandwich. The clerk tells that it isn't available but that I could order the sausage and cheese breakfast sandwich -- that is, I can have one less sausage patty. Did I happen to order the last sausage patty they had?
- My first class of the day will be with a Japanese student.
- Why do some bald-headed people insist on wearing mustaches? I ask this after having seen a fellow walk down the street.
- I am thinking I will stop following politics so closely after the U.S. election is completed. I will concentrate on fiction and Chinese and history and getting ahead. Politics seems like such a waste of time. Politicians will do what they think the populace wants. And the populace doesn't want to be lead as much as to be served by politicians. Result: the sad state of finances in Europe and the U.S. is what the population has wanted. I suppose the population would in theory want balanced budgets and no unemployment, but they also want things that are irreconcilable with this goal.
- I must be physically weak. I sit in the office all day. Seven days a week, I sit in front of the computer.
- I work 1100-2100. I arrive at the school at 945. I ate the big breakfast at McDonald's.
- I saw a foreigner at McDonald's. I thought I looked bad! He was in his forties or fifties and looked like he hadn't slept in three days. If what Orwell says is true (see Tuesday), I wonder what the hell he did in his life
- In my case, it is what the hell didn't I do.
- How I wish I could just sit in a vehicle all day and just watch the passing scene. I don't like having to be in a small spot all the time when I am not reading a book -- an activity that I will stand still for.
- My habit of getting up from my desk and wandering nervously around the school has been often been commented upon by others.
- I am struck by how heavily Wuxi people have started to dress in the last two days. It got cold all-of-a-sudden. I am wearing a long sleeve shirt with a t-shirt underneath. The locals have put on sweaters and wool jackets.
- Tony, like me, was not into dressing so heavily. He and his Mom had a big disagreement about this. So much so that when I took Tony to the kindergarten van, he was crying. When I put him in the van, he kept crying. And he was still crying when the van pulled away. It annoys me that Tony won't tell me what is wrong. He tells his displeasure to him Mom in Chinese. His English protest vocabulary is limited.
- I work 1000-1800. No breakfast. I bought an American Coffee at 85.
- I stand on the bus trip to work. I notice that this girl has dandruff. In China, every one takes a shower before they go to bed. I take my shower in the morning.
- I took a picture of Chefs standing in ranks.
- To go or not to go? I won't.
- The Economist has endorsed Barack Obama. I stopped reading the Economist years ago. I detected a leftward drift in it. So this endorsement doesn't surprise. Anyway, another reason not to vote for Barack Obama or in my case, to not hope for his victory in the Tuesday election.
- I work 1000-1800. I feel like I have a cold or a flu coming on, so I am not operating at one hundred percent. My stomach felt weird last night and I had to sit on the toilet for fifteen minutes last night.
- Tony knows his grandfather died. [get link!]
- I go to the Italian restaurant. "Oh! Let me guess! You are having the same pizza you always order!" I am contemplating never going there again.
- I compose an article endorsing Mitt Romney for President.
- Overheard: "So I was sitting there and it was just like Oh My God! I was just staring like! Aaaghhh!" What kind of way is that for a teacher to talk?
- Gruesome sight: I just saw a man carrying in his arms, a child who had a very bloody head. The child was whimpering. I assumed the man and the boy were headed to the nearby #2 People's Hospital. They looked like they had come from the Dico's Restaurant. Perhaps, the child had hurt his head on at their playground. There was a lot of blood on the boy's head. The momentary glimpse of it was enough to stop me in my tracks. Regaining my breath, I made a quick prayer for the child.
- Had dinner in a restaurant in Ba Bai Ban.
- The three K's: Jenny, Tony & Andis then walked through Chong An Si to get to their bus stop. Along the way, they saw, across the street from the Moresky 360 Building, a building under construction that was taller the Moresky.
- Tournament Eight: My coin-tossing tournament is down to its final 12 teams -- it started out with 32. These 12 teams will play in a final tournament to determine the overall Tournament Champion. Eight teams qualify for the tournament by finishing first a single round robin of their four team group. The 16 second and third place finishers play off for the four remaining final tournament spots. The four teams that qualified for the final tourney, this past week, were Team E, Team K, Team W, and Team HH. The opening round of the tourney will consist of four three-team groups playing a single round-robin. The top two teams in each group will advance to the next round. The game, that these two teams in the opening round, will count towards the standings in the second round, where there will be two four-team groups playing a single round robin. The top three teams in each four-team group will qualify for the playoffs that will determine the tournament champion. The first place teams in each group will earn a bye to the tournament championship semifinals. The second and third place teams will play off to determine to the other two semifinalists.
*Spelling mistake was intentional