Sunday, June 16, 2013

The AKIC Weekly for June 10 to June 16, 2013

Gratitude:  Thank God for the word Insouciance. I love that word.

Requests:  Drop dead all you creeps! Also, I wish the best for the following people whose names I have listed in a code: J,T,M,R,B,K&S,Dz,Re,EC,RP,AD,HM,PR,LR,B+Xc,D&CF,&Lo,Pa,Jo,Rh,Sa,Le....

The AKIC Mission: To be China's leading forum of Gómez-Dávilism and reactionary intransigence.

The AKIC Motto: Believe in God, trust in Christ, look with suspicion.

The AKIC Idiom: Casual Insouciance and Solecism-ism.

An AKIC Glossary
Gratitude: will always be the first word of the AKIC weekly blog entry -- it is the key to happiness.

Acknowledgment and Request:  For me Acknowledgment means confession; and Request means asking for stuff.  GAR [Gratitude, Acknowledgment, Request] are the simple stages of a prayer which I came upon following the Jewish World Review site.  I used the GAR format when I delivered the eulogy at my father's funeral last year.

Solecisms: I try to rid my blog and writings of these things, but they never seem to go away.

Jenny is my wife. She is a Jiangsu woman. Why she puts up with me is a mystery. I ain't good-looking and I don't have any money.

J: I will sometimes refer to her that way.

Tony is my son.  If he is annoying or is acting way, way, way out-of-line, I will spank him.

T: I will sometimes refer to Tony this way.

TKIC: Tony Kaulins in China.  I may be referring to the TKIC blogs or to Tony when I use TKIC.  I  am sure you can figure out which way I am using it from the context.

AKIC:  Andis Kaulins in China.  The same applies to AKIC as applies to TKIC.  That is, I may be referring to the AKIC blogs or to myself.  AKIC aspires to be China's leading forum of  Gómez-Dávilism and reactionary intransigence.

My School is HyLite English located on Zhongshan Road in Wuxi, China.

Casa Kaulins is what I call the apartment I (really my wife) owns.

California Villa: The English name of the apartment complex the Kaulins family resides. In Chinese pinyin, it is called Jia Zhou Yang Fang. (加州洋房)

Train-spotting.  There is a high speed train track running near Casa K.  Tony & I, when we have a chance, love to go there to watch the trains go by.

Wuxi (无锡):  The city where Jenny, Tony & I live.  I sometimes call it the Wux.

Hui Shan: The district of Wuxi in which we live.  Not to be confused with the Hui Shan Mountain that is in Xihui Park.

Ba Bai Ban: Also known as Wuxi Yao Han, Ba Bai Ban is a famous department store at the corners of Zhongshan Road and Xueqian Road in Downtown Wuxi. AKIC goes there to buy Tomica and Plarail toys for his son Tony.

The Square:  The Hui Shan People's Square is nearby Casa Kaulins.

Central Park:  Hui Shan Central Park is the park closest to Casa Kaulins.  It has a playground area and a small lake with beach.  The park is nothing special.  The water in the lake is unbelievably foul.  The playground's fixtures are falling apart.  The park is big enough that its narrow paths, that I would have thought were meant for pedestrians, have cars being driven on them.  The sight of these cars honking at pedestrians to get out their way disgusts me as much as the park's lake water. 

Hui Shan Wanda (惠山万达): A fancy shopping mall and cinema that is near Casa Kaulins. As of this typing, it is supposed to open June 21.

Century Times Plaza (Tesco) That is the supermarket that is closest to Casa Kaulins.

Yanqiao: a town of Hui Shan District -- not too far from Casa Kaulins.

Qianzhou: an area or a district or a town that borders on Yanqiao.

Jiangyin (江阴): A city or district next to Wuxi.

Meicun:  A suburb of Wuxi city that is far from the downtown.

Shuo Feng:  Ditto!

Ditto!  Agrees with what has been previously said.

To do List At work, even though I am not that busy anymore, I print out a weekly list of things to do everyday. It is a compulsive-obsessive habit that does give my days some form.

LECTOR: I got the idea for Lector, a fictional sparring partner for my blog, from a Hilaire Belloc book I had read recently.

DBs: I will leave it to you to try and figure out what D & B stand for.

School Laptop:  I like to make note of where I make my notes for my weekly blog entry.  One of the four places is my school laptop.  The other three are: my home laptop, my Ipad Mini, and my Ipod Touch.

Dotdotdot: This is my favorite social app. It is a nice way to read long form articles on the Internet that allows you to proclaim to the world what you are reading. I use the app to read the Catechism and the writings of Father Schall. I get a new follower seemingly every day.

Python:  A script-writing computer program I am learning to use.

Atftb:  A thought for the blog.

Brandon, Manitoba, Canada is where my mother Aina lives. 
Winnipeg, Manitoba is where my brother Ron lives.
Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA is where some of my father's relatives live.

Bao Bao Sleepy:  What Tony calls it when he sleeps in Daddy's arms or on Daddy's lap.

David Warren:  I visit his website about five times a day.  He a fervent Catholic and reactionary.  If I model myself after anyone, it would be him.

Don Colacho:  a.k.a. Nicolás Gómez Dávila. A South American sage.  He died in 1993.  He would have been 100 in 2013.  I read his aphorisms everyday.  He is the consummate reactionary.

Father Schall: I am always reading the site of his which has a huge collection of his writings.

English Corner:  I go to a room and try to talk to a group of Chinese people in English.  Often, they don't understand me.

25,602, 602支,61081796711885, 635These are buses I can take as I go to downtown Wuxi from my home (Casa Kaulins) the Hui Shan New District. I usually take the 602in the morning, transferring to the 79, 81, or 85 to get to school. In the evening, I can take the 67,79,81,85 or 118 to get to the stop where I catch the 635. The 635 is the only bus running to my area of Wuxi after 800 PM. The 81 bus is a double-decker – quite the novelty for a guy who spent a lot of his life in Manitoba. The 25 bus is the cheap 1 RMB that I used to take all the time but now rarely take.

HM:  Harry Moore is from Brisbane Australia.  He had a brief stint as an English teacher at my school.  He sends me emails occasionally.  He was my partner in crime in my notorious Wuxi China Expatdom Blog.  He suffered a stroke recently but he still heroically plugs away.
The AKIC Week in Brief: It was cloudy and muggy the entire week. Andis spent the week marking the time till his vacation starts. On Saturday night, Andis had a rare night out. He also watched the first season of Game of Thrones. He tried to make an clever observation that the actors in the series should wear monkey and ape suits like the Planet of the Apes movies.

About Me (Andis Kaulins):

I am (domiciled) in China!  我觉得中国人是不好的司机。 我觉得中国的人口是太小了!

Politically I am Conservative/Reactionary!  Much as I despise the Democrat party in the U.S. I can help but think the Republicans are the stupid party.

I am Canadian!  I have lived in Brandon, Manitoba; Winnipeg, Manitoba; Oromocto, New Brunswick; Valcartier, Quebec; Val Belair, Quebec; Val St. Michelle, Quebec; Aldergrove, British Columbia; Abbotsford, British Columbia; Chilliwack, British Columbia; Shilo, Manitoba; Clearbrook, British Columbia; and Sardis, British Columba.

I am of Latvian ancestry! My father was born Riga. My mother was born in Bauska. I want Latvia to do well. Getting out of the Evil Soviet Communist Empire was a great moment for the country.

I teach English!  So far, I have resisted the temptation that teaching gives one to become an alcoholic.

I am not a freak! There are in fact other people named Andis Kaulins in the world. Another Andis Kaulins has a site called I love the fact that reference to AKIC is made in the site's banner. And as far as I know I am not related to the Andis Kaulins who is domiciled in the USA. [LECTOR: You are a freak!]

I like to Read! Here is what I had been working my way through the past week:
Don Colacho's Aphorisms.  There are 2,988 of them in this book that I compiled for myself.  I read ten aphorisms at a time.  I cut and paste the better ones -- they are all profound actually -- 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 guides podcast listeners through Joyce's hard-to-read novel.  Delaney figures he will have done his last ReJoyce Podcast in about 22 years.  Now that I have caught up to Delaney's podcast (he completed episode #157 this week), I am getting ahead him as far as reading the book.  I will be finished reading it, I figure, in a year. I read the novel despite its many blasphemies. It is best to be aware of this stuff because the world is full of it, and the world will always find a way of slapping you in the face with it

The Holy Bible King James Version.   I am reading a chapter a day of the greatest book of all-time. I am now reading Letters to the Romans.

University Economics:  Elements of Inquiry Third Edition by Armen A. Alchian and William R. Allen.   A great Economics textbook. 

Columns by Father Schall. I have been able to take all his archived writings and place them on the Dotdotdot app.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church. Like Father Schall's writings, I have been able to place them on the Dotdotdot app.

Prime Obsession by John Derbyshire. It was a page-turner of a book, but now I have stalled out and am going to have to re-read certain passages to wrap my head around the math and the terminology. [Here is a recent article by the Derb about China's demographic destiny. Derb has knowledge of China, and like me, China is his in-law.]

In Praise of Folly by Erasmus. Finished. I should read something about Erasmus seeing how I have read a biography of him. Anyway, this book had some witty bits in it.

Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens. I wish I could bury myself in this book at the expense of all else.

I like to take photos
I publish them in the following blogs:  AKIC wordpress , TKIC blogspot, and TKIC wordpress.

I like to make videos

I like to cut and paste quotations:
From Don Colacho:
2375 To have good taste is above all to know what we should reject.
2376 Modern noise deafens the soul.[China, being a noisy place, deadens my soul quite a lot.]
2377 Among the vices of democracy one must count the impossibility of someone occupying an important position there without it being his ambition. [Yes lefties! This would even apply to Barack!]
2379 The journalist arrogates to himself the importance of what he reports on. [That explains why I have a hard time listening to podcasts where they interview someone writing on China from the Economist or the New York Times]
1738 The man who says he is respectful of all ideas is admitting that he is ready to give up. [I am no quitter and that is why I have no respect for many ideas of the Left.]
1753 Reducing another’s thought to its supposed motives prevents us from understanding it. 
[I have a Nancy Pelosi quote below which is an example of what Colacho is assailing with this quote.]
1754 News stories are the substitute for truths.
[I read Don Colacho's aphorisms on two platforms: Ibooks and Dotdotdot.]

ARLAND K. NICHOLS: A man who becomes a father is eternally blessed and entrusted with the care of a precious soul. Fatherhood is a vocation of love, one that finds in children (imperfect, as we all are) the sort of joy that abides forever. [I unfortunately entered the vocation far too late in life. Still, better late than never.]

Nancy Pelosi: I'm not going to have this conversation with you because you obviously have an agenda. You're not interested in having an answer. [Pelosi said this to the The Weekly Standard reporter who asked her a question about what Herman Gosnell was doing, and abortion. What she said above was clearly a way of not having to deal with hard questions which arose from the Gosnell case. Funny thing, people with agendas like to stump their opponents with difficult questions. Honest debate should mean an willingness and even joy at receiving difficult questions. But Pelosi is a politician after all who has her own agenda. The whole exchange was more proof, as if I really needed it, that people of the leftist-progressive bent are either evil or plain ignorant. There was an even more galling thing she said where she mentioned her Catholic faith, but that has been criticized in many places already.]

I like to keep a journal of my daily activities and any thoughts that occur to me.

Monday [June 10]
[Home Laptop]
I did not work today and Tony did not have to go to school.

The K family had one thing planned for today: buffet lunch at the Jinling Hotel. We all somehow managed to get up and on our way to the restaurant which was the most crowded I had ever seen it. For a while, the scene was almost as bad as the Ikea Cafeteria at Saturday suppertime. [Two weeks back, I wrote about having a hell night at the Wuxi Ikea.] There was no space to gather around the more popular food items and we sat at a table that was far from the food area. Still, we all had a good feed, and Tony was much better behaved than the previous time we had taken to the Jinling.

After lunch, we had no plans. Jenny decided to get Tony's hair cut, and I decided to go to my school and get the toy police car I had locked away in a drawer to give to Tony. I got to the stylist in time to get a photo of Tony on a barber's chair.

TKIC & AKIC then decided to go to the Xinhua Bookstore which was near the hair-cutting place. I bought myself a 6 RMB classic Chicom propaganda booklet so I could practice reading Chinese, while Tony got a picture book full of images of all his favorite kinds of vehicles. Wandering through the aisles, I heard a lot of patrons mutter laowei and waiguoren. Funny thing: while we had to dodge many people reading books, there was no lineup at the cashier counter.

It was about 330 when the K family decided it was time to go home. The Xinhua Bookstore is on the corner of Renmin and Jiankang Roads. The K family had to cross that intersection to get to the 602 bus stop. They proceeded on a green pedestrian signal. Halfway through the intersection, DBs in cars (All Chinese become DBs I have noticed when they take control of a car.) made left turns without any consideration for pedestrians – that is, the DBs expected pedestrians to yield to them or figured that by driving really fast they could dodge pedestrians. Andis makes a point of telling all the Chinese he meets that this kind of driving would be unacceptable, and rightly so, in Canada. Andis also tries to make the DBs doing this maneuver to come to a stop whenever he can. So, by the Xinhua bookstore, about four cars in a row made left turns and cut off pedestrians and so Andis became very determined to make at least one of them yield or slow down. The last car came within inches of Andis, and so he yelled fuck! in a perfectly timed manner at DB driving the car. He obviously got the DB's attention for as soon as the DB had completed his turn, the DB slowed down his car. Andis got sight of the DB's reflection via the driver side window, and presented a middle finger making the DB's car then came to a halt. Andis was almost expecting the DB to come out of his car; but a car behind the DB honked and the DB finally went on his way. Andis got no satisfaction at the time of the incident from being able to make the DB stop and possibly making the DB crap himself, though he does now that he has written about. He would sincerely like Chinese drivers to be considerate of pedestrians – isn't this the sort of behavior that Commie idealists are trying to stop?

Later back at the environs of Casa Kaulins, AKIC had a frustrating time accompanying Tony riding a bicycle. Tony was leaning on the training wheels to keep balance. Because of this, the training wheels on the bicycle were becoming more and more bent through time, and so the bicycle was becoming less and less able to stay upright. Despite being told numerous times to not lean on the training wheels, Tony persisted and the bicycle became unrideable. It be fair to Tony though, the bicycle was a cheap piece of crap purchased in the countryside.

Tuesday [June 11]
[School Laptop]
I work 1300 to 2100 today.

As I was riding to work, I saw a portrait of Chairman Mao, a la T-Square, atop a temporary living quarter building for construction workers. Other than on the currency, one rarely encounters images of Mao displayed in public.

Yesterday, I saw a man with no nose. I had to avert my eyes as I felt sorry for the person. I suppose he can look in the mirror, but it must pain him at times.

Tony didn't have to go to school today. I wanted to have a nice father-son moment where the two of us sit beside each other, but Tony immediately starting asking and then moaning for me to set up the computer for him. Not getting his way, he was about to petulantly wreck something until I stopped him.

The wife is in the midst of Season Two of Game of Thrones. I set up the computer for her so she could watch the episodes, that I had managed to download from the Internet, on our big screen television.

Meanwhile, on my modest Ipad Mini, I watched the sixth episode of Season One of Game of Thrones.

Off the bus, and making my way to school by foot, I saw a Taxi, making a right turn, try to cut its way through a sizable crowd of pedestrians trying to cross the street. No one tried to make the taxi come to a full stop. I was hoping the crowd would have stopped the taxi and kept walking around it so as to not let it proceed.

Fit to be tied. I am going to hate this summer. I am starting to even hate Chinese teenagers..... Actually, they aren't all bad; but some are and that is why we get stuck with them for the summer months because their parents don't want to deal with them.

Wednesday [June 13]
[Home Laptop]
I don't work today on account of it being the Dragon Boat Festival. To mark the occasion, the school gave each member of the staff a box of zhongzi, glutinous rice cakes wrapped in bamboo or corn leaves. Actually, I don't mind them and would even go as far to say that I like 'em. [It is the practice, I have noticed through the years, for most foreigners to act as if they are too cool for Chinese food stuff. Food snobbery runs rampant through the Wuxi Expat community.]

I sent an email to myself containing one word “microphone” to remind myself of something which was that I had seen what I had thought were two unusual uses of microphones by Chinese workers. I secondly noticed the cashiers at the 85 bakery did their job using microphones; and so I observed them talking to customers and barking out prices and the change. I suppose they had to do this to be heard above the din of the bakery when it is crowded. I had earlier witnessed a motorcycle cop using a microphone to get the attention of would-be illegal parkers. The mic was built-in into the motorcycle, and adjusted so that the cop could control the motorcycle and speak into the mic at the same time. When it comes to traffic rules, the Chinese flagrantly cheat.

His hat was tipped on his head in a very insouciant manner.

Travel narrows the mind. Chesterton advanced this proposition in an essay once to counter the more common thought that Travel broadens the mind. I suppose most people would unthinkingly agree with the latter thought. What could be more commonsensical? By seeing more things, you become more cosmopolitan, worldly-wise, and aware of different ways of doing things. And yet because it is so commonly assumed to be so, it paradoxically may not be the case at all. Many travel to see tourist sights which in this day and age are ways of making money off travelers. Having seen the Great Wall in China and the Space Needle in Seattle myself for instance, I could say that I have seen the Great Wall in China and the Space Needle in Seattle. How does saying that make my mind any more broad? In fact, I am starting to think that as one checks off places to visit on a bucket list, one is becoming more and more narrowed on the fact that one has seen these things. That is, one is narrowed on the idea of one's self supposedly having a broader mind. I think in most cases, this checking off of places visited is only useful for bringing up in an inane conversation in a bar. Most travelers seek amusement on their travels – again so they can report them back to people they are drinking with. By being amused at the different ways people of the world do things, one only sees superficialities. Superficial things trick us all the time and so narrow the mind because they so often distract us from what is really important about life which isn't its superficiality....

Anyway, I have an idea for an essay. What you have read above is very underdeveloped thoughts about it.
I will add a few more below.

Does a being who has gone to Disneyland the sort of person you want to seek out for conversation?

T&J are still asleep as I type this. I wonder what we are going to do today.

LATER: This is what we did. We took a look at Wanda! We then went to the nearby Century Times Plaza [also known as the Tesco Plaza} where Tony was strapped in so he could jump on a Trampoline. The K family then split up. T&A took the ebike to Qianzhou and Yanqiao; Jenny went to buy some vegetables.

The Wanda Plaza will have a Starbucks and a Bread Talk (a bakery chain that sells some good bread – hard to find good bread in China) in it!

Qianzhou borders on Yanqiao. You can take the 610 bus to get to it. We, that be Tony and I, went as far as a bridge which joins Yanqiao and Qianzhou. The bridge to Qianzhou was quite interesting. From it, we could see a freeway, farmland, two or three smoke-belching factories, and a canal with the boat traffic that, rare readers of AKIC know, I loved the from the first time I laid my very eyes on it. [LECTOR: Boat Fetishist!]

What offends a person more? When people tell the truth about him or when they tell lies about him? Oscar Wilde would probably answer that a person would be more offended if he wasn't talked about at all.

Two ideas for essays. 1) Trying to reconcile Mother Teresa and Adam Carolla. 2) Travel narrows the mind.

Damn! I have to be at work at 1000 am tomorrow. The fact puts a damper on my day off. I am going to have to cut off all the fun I am having and go to bed early!

Tony had fun with kids half his size at the canal deck area of the California Villa. [LECTOR: What is the canal deck area? ANDIS: Gee. Thanks for asking. You normally jump all over me to criticize me. But now you're asking a simple question. LECTOR: I am only axing, I mean asking, because you never mentioned the canal deck area before dirt-for-brains! ANDIS: Good. You had me worried. LECTOR: Well. ANDIS: What? LECTOR: WTF is the canal deck area? ANDIS: Oh. In the center of the complex runs a canal. In fact the complex, that be the Jia Zhou Yang Fang, is divided into two by the canal. And at the center of the canal and the complex, a wooden bridge deck has been built.]

Thursday [June 13]
[School Laptop]
I work 1000-2100 today: a sort of longish day for AKIC. [LECTOR: You will spend a lot of time at your desk doing nothing.]

Not much to say for myself early in the day, but I do have one thought. I don't have the gift of gab, or as I like to call it: the gabbing gift. I suppose Jamaicans would say the gabbon gift. Now does not having this gift mean I have the curse of reticence? It usually it isn't a curse when there are other people around. In those instances, I am cursed by others who gab whether they have anything to say or not.

ying , shan, and xi are three more characters I mix up.

The cost of the McDonald’s Big Breakfast has risen from 22 rmb from 21.5 rmb. Ah oh!

Names I would like to give the students: Marv and Drogo.

I watched Season One, Episode Nine of Game of Thrones last night. I will try a sneak a look at episode then today. The series is interesting but it is formulaistic HBO with the usual shocking scenes of sex, nudity, and over-the-top violence.

Talk about your come-arounds! I was to submit a list of titles for some summer courses I am to someone in the school. I made the list and tried to submit it to the someone but she told me to submit the list to someone else. This someone else told me that all the other trainers are to submit the titles to me. Hmmmm!!!

Friday [June 14]
[School Laptop]
I work 1100-2100. I got to school at 930.

Last night, my 635 companion was on the bus. She told me that one of the foreigners at her school had lent her a copy of a book she said was called On the Way which I realized was in fact On the Road by Jack Kerouac. I told her I had read the book twenty five years ago, and had since taken a dim view of it. Jack Kerouac, I told her, died a pathetic alcoholic, and Neal Cassidy, or the person based on the character, died alone on a railway track. These two fellows, I added, were spoiled people living off the fruits of boring square middle-class types who had jobs, families, children, and responsibilities. Many foreigners, and I plead guilty myself, like to expose the Chinese to aspects of Western Culture that they just happen to like without realizing that they are baffling the Chinese. It is like a teacher I remember always quoting Jim Morrison in his classes. It would be like lending a Chinese person your death metal albums. There is nothing universal in any of that crap.

I finished watching Season One of Game of Thrones last night. The final scene of the last episode had a blonde nude woman, who was a queen, with three baby dragons fluttering around her. The dragons had been hatched from their eggs after they had been placed in a bonfire with the woman's barbarian husband. The queen had walked into the bonfire, with clothes, I assume, to retrieve the hatched dragons. Her clothes were burnt off and she was covered in soot but with no apparent burn marks.

Her husband was Drago – really a magnificent specimen of a man. In real life, the actor playing Drago had but two tasks: learn his lines, and go the gym: he obviously spent more time at the gym. I now have a name for guys who like to go to the gym to work out. I will call them Drago-wannabes or Drogo-wannabes or Dorgo-wannabes.

Do you have an ex-wife?” I asked the high school student who immediately nodded in the negative. “Ah! So! You are still married.” I added getting the student to wince. [LECTOR: You bastard! You shouldn't pick on the students like that. ANDIS: I am having fun with words, is all.]

Damn! No one at work has seen Game of Thrones! So I can't tell them my Dorgo joke.

I wonder if Game of Thrones would be better if the characters were monkeys instead of humans. I think of the Planet of the Ape movies and how some of the characters especially in the later movies in the series so much resemble the characters in Game of Thrones. They seemed to be played the same way.

Saturday [June 15]
[School Laptop]
I work 1000 to 1800 today. In the evening, we go to the HBO Club for beers and food.

The more I think about the Game of Thrones, the more ghastly ridiculous it seems to me, and how it would be better off if the characters were all apes, baboons, and chimps. Maybe, if the characters were doing sex scenes in monkey scenes, the general population would say enough already, and just get on with the story.

Mind is blank. My mind is blank. [LECTOR: Dummy!]

What will the Chinese economy be like? I asked the students. One of them said “I think it will be fine!” said one, who added that “But that is because I am a member of the party!” “Oh oh! I thought for I had been dissing the party earlier.....

All the characters in Game of Thrones say the following while they are having sex. “Did you know that I am such a witty and clever fellow, and I have the following nefarious plans....” [LECTOR: I too am a fine and witty fellow. But unlike the midget in the Game of Thrones, who spends lots of time with prostitutes, I have to be stuck in your brain!]

I don't understand,” said the student, “how they can believe in something that doesn't exist.” He was speaking in a salon class I had last night about superstition, and he was talking about religious people, and believed that religious people and superstitious people were one & the same. What is it with Leftists and progressives and atheists who preface what they say with “I don't understand?” They do this and just assume that they are smarter than the other side when they admit their ignorance.

Sunday [June 16]
[Home Laptop]
I don't work today.

I believe it's Father's Day today. Tony hasn't bought me anything; however, we have trained him to say “Happy Father's Day!” to me. [LECTOR: Let's face it! You are terrible father. You spoil your son and you use your blogs to show him off to the world so that no one will know the truth: you are gay like a priest!]

Last night the school has a soiree at HBO Club which is on Jiefeng Road near the Green Tree Inn. All the school staff attended, or rather could have attended, if they had chosen. There was free food and drinks. Yours truly's poison of choice for the evening was Jack Daniels with coke. Some of you may be happy to know that he is suffering this morning on account of his choice both physically and spiritually. [LECTOR: No! Die! Die! Die! ANDIS: Whatever!]

Some told me that the Chinese were a strange people. I retorted that they were merely different.

Of course, the Chinese are strange to us; but we foreigners are strange to them. [LECTOR: There is no doubt you are a strange person – something on which both the Occidental and the Oriental can agree. ANDIS: What can I say? Lector! You are number one! LECTOR: You know! I don't think we are going to fool anyone with this adopt-the-insult schtick.]

I look outside. It looks smoggy and muggy. A very uninviting prospect, especially if you view it with a hangover. [LECTOR: Boo Hoo!]

1600: My hangover is gone. Thank God, I don't have them all that often.

I smacked a kid today. Actually, I didn't. I typed that to get a reaction.

I have chosen aloneness. I sometimes like to say I choose solitude, but really it is aloneness, or at least it feels like it. [LECTOR: Can I sing? ANDIS: Oh! Okay! LECTOR: Alone again! Naturally!!]

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