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Sat, Nov. 23rd, 2013, 11:02 am
Mad

I'm pissed. I'm pissed at my company for expecting too much work out of me, and pissed at myself for not quitting. I'm also pissed at myself for not saving more of my salary, or getting where I need to be in life. I know I desperately need to handle things, but there's so much to do, and not enough hours in the day. And it feels like the sound of things constantly crashing around me.

Why not a little good old-fashioned livejournal rage to sort that out?

Sat, May. 4th, 2013, 03:25 pm
Lost

I've done so much, and become so much, since I last took this journal seriously.

But now, I'm sitting here at a million crossroads, with a life full of potential I don't know if I want anymore, and the only thing that comes to mind anymore is to find someplace I can say those words. Here, I guess, is it.

My house is a mess, I'm trying to clean it. I'm looking at a vacation to Korea this year. I'm buying plane tickets to Hong Kong, with no plan and two days to kill.

Mom is sick, dad is...I don't like the word, but I feel him fading. I'm in love with a wonderful woman, and I love her more every day. I have a job that finally pays the bills, where I get respected for what I'm good at, in an industry that's exploding this year. It's been the biggest year yet for subtitles, and dubbing is just taking off.

I feel displaced, like I want to set fire to everything and start over somewhere else. The last time I felt like this was 10 years ago, when I did just that, and set up a life here. I'd like to go live somewhere warm, where I can wear shorts for most of the year. Winter was hard throughout most of the northern hemisphere this year, and I don't like the idea of enduring that kind of cold for the rest of my life.

Today, I'm beginning the process of starting over. I'm picking up the half-unpacked possessions in my house, coming to terms with having a full-time job for the first time in years, and making the most important purchases online. New habits, new friends, new job, new music, new clothes, new style, even. So much is getting wiped clean and rebooted this month.

There. That's said. I'll be back with more.

Fri, Oct. 14th, 2011, 02:23 pm
Punny the dog

This, in a script, about a puppy:
你看牠多憨厚的,就叫憨憨吧!

I can't call him Punny in the script, but I think, in the future, all animals with crappy reduplicated names deserve to be called Punny in English. "Come here, Punny, you're so unhumorous, yes you are!"

Tue, Oct. 4th, 2011, 07:57 pm
I don't know what to say or where to start

Dear Diary,

Hi. It's been a year and three months. And those entries were from the last happy days of my marriage. I haven't looked at this thing in all that time, because I didn't know where to start. I think I've also learned to keep my mouth shut and head down.

Well, there it is. I got divorced. But it's over, and I'm single, still in Beijing, still a translator, and still the same weight, height, and appearance. I cut off my brother over some drama, and we're not talking. It's kind of like a reboot of what I was like at 23, now that I've gone back and read the damn thing again. I was that...and now I'm this. And I'm still here posting in it. I'd best get used to the fact that I have a blog and will post in it from time to time, I guess.

It was an ugly divorce. And I won't spend too much time dwelling on it, but I was booted out, broke, angry, and single after she cheated on me. That was partially her fault, partially mine, because I told her to throw away everything I couldn't carry with me in one carload, and she smashed everything valuable in the house. So basically, I wiped the slate clean, started over, made back my savings, and then...

Rented an apartment, let my brother move in, and that didn't work out. Which is an understatement, because he broke doors and had the police called because of his music and got drunk and had strangers sleeping on the couch and just, no, ew. Then he told the landlord I did it, which kind of obviated any possibility of kicking him out. So I left with what I could carry...

And moved into another apartment with roommates, where I ended up getting booted after two months for smoking in the house. Yeah, I started that back up pretty heavily after the marriage started collapsing. That, and the fact that they couldn't find anyone to rent their 4,000/mo. room, which I personally think is the main reason (avoidance-much?).

I rented my own place in June, made my money back, and now, finally, almost a year and two weeks after moving out of Ex-Wife's, I'm right back where I was when I was 22 and rented my first apartment on my own. Things I do have that I didn't think I had then are many of the same friends, a shiny smartphone, a career translating movies, the bike, a vegetarian diet, a sputtering cynicism, savings, and a much, much less whiny approach to relationships. I no longer drink alone. So there has been some progress, mostly material, and I suppose I should be grateful for that.

I still have a messy house full of broken computers, a caffeine and cigarette addiction, trouble sleeping, a reputation for being weird, and a low tolerance for what I consider to be idiots, although the universe has been far less lenient with vindicating that intolerance than I think it was. So I'm working on toning it down, and can now go entire hours without facepalming and trying to gouge my eyes out. I still have no health insurance or plans to move back home.

Reading back over this has been...cathartic isn't the word...it isn't liberating...and it's not sobering...it's been a confirmation of what I have known to be true for the last year. I poured myself into that relationship, and stopped becoming who I should have become. Yes, I feel adrift. Yes, I poured myself into work and chemicals and flings after the end to get over the trauma, and I'm now over the brunt of it. I am not on speaking terms with either my ex-wife or my brother, and I need to be. I'm barely on speaking terms with myself. But I do know where I was headed before the marriage, and I know I need to go back and start over, alone, without designs on getting into another relationship right away.

The person I should be is one day away, every day. Yeah, I'm dredging up the cliches, yeah, but here's another one to cover my ass, it's Livejournal, and it's MINE. So, generally speaking, there's that, if you'd like it. I was supposed to be an open book, and I still want to be. So, Livejournal, I'm back, hopefully this time for good.

Sat, Jun. 26th, 2010, 10:15 pm
Not the fake one!

http://www.truexinjiang.com/

Lol. Your sauce. It is weak.

Fun stuff here from the fine thoroughly internationalized, not-at-all-politically-influenced, and grammatically impeccable folks at Global Times explaining how things really are in Xinjiang.

"Rebiya, as well as those with the mentality marked by antipathy and gloom, might intend to dislocate the Chinese society and split China, but will be hoisted by their own petard."

WHAT IS A PETARD? Oh, by the way, I intend to dislocate the Chinese society and split China, because I'm a dick.
--
"Fernando Hasa, who has played Brazilian music in a restaurant here for four years, said he planned to move his wife and children to Urumqi next year.

"Some of my friends keep asking me to return to Brazil recently, but I'm confident in the future of Urumqi," said Hasa.

"I hope people of different ethnic groups will be good friends and live together like a big family," he said."

HUGS!!! OMG my city is like, so developed, and oh my god you guys just have to come see how many ethnicities we have!
--
"Despite short-term separations and local divisions in Chinese history, unification has always been the mainstream and trend, said a white paper published here Sunday.

The vast territory of China, the time-honored and splendid Chinese culture and the unified multi-ethnic country are all parts of the legacy built by all ethnic groups in China, said the document issued by the Information office of the State Council.

The long-standing existence of a unified multi-ethnic state in Chinese history greatly enhanced the economic, political and cultural exchanges among different ethnic groups, said the paper, entitled China's Ethnic Policy and Common Prosperity and Development of All Ethnic Groups.

This reinforced the allegiance of ethnic groups to the central government and their identification with Chinese culture, it said.

It also strengthened the cohesion force, vitality and creativity of the Chinese nation, giving rise to the unification and diversity of Chinese civilization, it said.

All ethnic groups were bound closer together by a common destiny of sharing weal and woe, and felt a stronger sense of responsibility as creators of Chinese history.

The common cultural and psychological characteristics of all ethnic groups in China became increasingly "more mature and outstanding," the paper said.

"Today, the Chinese nation has become a name with which all ethnic groups in China identify themselves and to which they give their allegiance," said the paper."

...IT SAID. And then it started humping Xi Jinping's leg.
--

What's kind of sad is that China can and does do better reporting on almost every non-sensitive issue you can think of. You'll find tons of examples of respectable journalism and good writing in Chinese- and English-language media coming out of the mainland. Go tool around some of the less dusty corners of the Chinablogosphere(o), they're there. But on an issue they give a shit about? This is their best effort? It's not like China lacks the talent or even political will to do good coverage and spin. What it is is that some people in certain parts of "relevant departments" need to fuck off.

And why don't you shut the fuck up and stop failing at media, Global Times?

Mon, Jun. 14th, 2010, 10:47 pm
Who needs Hulu?

Dr. Katz, complete series, right there on [site]. Get you some.

Sun, Jun. 13th, 2010, 07:11 am
The Gear Daddies are back together!

http://www.theawl.com/2010/06/real-america-the-gear-daddies-are-back-maybe

Sorry for all the linkspam lately, but this is cool!

Sun, Jun. 13th, 2010, 03:33 am
"Politics"

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/17390/111965?RS_show_page=0

I've got huffpost, NYT, AP, BBC, Sullivan, and lots more lodged in my RSS reader, and I scour them religiously, 3-4 hours a day. I could post about a lot more news than I do, is what I'm saying, but I don't really have much to add other than the occasional chuckle. The whole ratf*ck episode made me laugh, but there's not much substance there. WHY DID RUDD SAY RATFUCK? WHY NOT OTHER ANIMALS ASSOCIATED WITH DISINGENUOUSNESS, LIKE WEASELFUCK OR COCKROACHFUCK? I wonder if Rudd has a childhood history with rats? Do the leaders of China actually have sex with rats?

Another reason I don't say anything is when I'm overwhelmed. I've been watching news about the oil spill trickle out, a screwup here, an idiot move there, and most of it doesn't bear commentary. This does though. Go read that article.

"Nowhere was the absurdity of the policy more evident than in the application that BP submitted for its Deepwater Horizon well only two months after Obama took office. BP claims that a spill is "unlikely" and states that it anticipates "no adverse impacts" to endangered wildlife or fisheries. Should a spill occur, it says, "no significant adverse impacts are expected" for the region's beaches, wetlands and coastal nesting birds. The company, noting that such elements are "not required" as part of the application, contains no scenario for a potential blowout, and no site-specific plan to respond to a spill. Instead, it cites an Oil Spill Response Plan that it had prepared for the entire Gulf region. Among the sensitive species BP anticipates protecting in the semitropical Gulf? "Walruses" and other cold-water mammals, including sea otters and sea lions. The mistake appears to be the result of a sloppy cut-and-paste job from BP's drilling plans for the Arctic. Even worse: Among the "primary equipment providers" for "rapid deployment of spill response resources," BP inexplicably provides the Web address of a Japanese home-shopping network. Such glaring errors expose the 582-page response "plan" as nothing more than a paperwork exercise. "It was clear that nobody read it," says Ruch, who represents government scientists."
....
"After the blast, BP pleaded guilty to a felony, paying $50 million to settle a criminal investigation and another $21 million for violating federal safety laws. But the fines failed to force BP to change its ways. In October, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis hit the company with a proposed $87 million in new fines – the highest in history – for continued safety violations at the same facility. Since 2007, according to analysis by the Center for Public Integrity, BP has received 760 citations for "egregious and willful" safety violations – those "committed with plain indifference to or intentional disregard for employee safety and health." The rest of the oil industry combined has received a total of one."

"As BP was cutting corners aboard the rig, the Obama administration was plotting the greatest expansion of offshore drilling in half a century. In 2008, as prices at the pump neared $5 a gallon, President Bush had lifted an executive moratorium on offshore drilling outside the Gulf that had been implemented by his father following the Exxon Valdez. On the campaign trail, Obama had stressed that offshore drilling "will not make a real dent in current gas prices or meet the long-term challenge of energy independence." But once in office, he bowed to the politics of "drill, baby, drill." Hoping to use oil as a bargaining chip to win votes for climate legislation in Congress, Obama unveiled an aggressive push for new offshore drilling in the Arctic, the Southeastern seaboard and new waters in the Gulf, closer to Florida than ever before. In doing so, he ignored his administration's top experts on ocean science, who warned that the offshore plan dramatically understated the risks of an oil spill and petitioned Salazar to exempt the Arctic from drilling until more scientific studies could be conducted.

Undeterred, Obama and Salazar appeared together at Andrews Air Force Base on March 31st to introduce the plan. The stagecraft was pure Rove in its technicolor militaristic patriotism. The president's podium was set up in front of the cockpit of an F-18, flanked by a massive American flag. "We are not here to do what is easy," Salazar declared. "We are here to do what is right." He insisted that his reforms at MMS were working: "We are making decisions based on sound information and sound science." The president, for his part, praised Salazar as "one of the finest secretaries of Interior we've ever had" and stressed that his administration had studied the drilling plan for more than a year. "This is not a decision that I've made lightly," he said. Two days later, he issued an even more sweeping assurance. "It turns out, by the way, that oil rigs today generally don't cause spills," the president said. "They are technologically very advanced.""

That's not ordinary politician stupid, that's Bush stupid. I voted for Obama, I was glad to see healthcare, I always realized he was just another politician, but DUDE. There's a fucking standard you have to live up to. A basic level of not fucking up that has to be accomplished. And if you read the rest of the article about how he handled the situation...I'm really not cool with that.

Fuck off. I'll keep my votes to myself next election cycle.

Tue, Jun. 1st, 2010, 03:36 pm
The relative problem

http://www.speakingofchina.com/ask-the-yangxifu/chinese-parents-pressure-baby/

Chinese relatives get a bad rap, and the advice we usually get in the foreignsphere is pretty close to the stuff in the link.

But like, doesn't it just seem like, y'know...a headache? While people say most Chinese families get along like this, and then excuse it with some nebulous bullshit about how the joy and warmth of family makes it all worthwhile, I say different.

My wife's parents are terrified of her. She's a holy fucking terror when she's angry, and her parents actually kicked her out because of her tantrums. And they don't dare try to make decisions for her, or interfere in what she's up to. And complaints from them any more vocal than brief asides are met with a simple answer: "fuck off". She loves them, and we have a very close relationship with them, but the lines are clear and have been from the beginning: no comments about kids, no talks about money and responsibility, no demands for gifts and filial piety bullshit. We're all capable independent adults, and give each other the mutual respect that we deserve. Plenty of the rest of my friends have similar arrangements with their families.

Yes, some Chinese families may be "traditional" and "closer than Western families", I find a much more useful dichotomy is between functional and dysfunctional families. Sometimes weird codependent kids and naggy, lonely, controlling parents aren't symptoms of a more communal culture, they're just dysfunctional. Chinese people are just as capable of telling their parents to fuck off and mind their own business as Westerners and every other human being on the planet are, and Chinese parents are just as capable of respecting their children's life choices as any other grownups. My nice, straightforward, drama-free relationship with my parents-in-law is proof.

I'll post more on this later, but none of the particulars of my marriage and relationship with my parents are very interesting. You have parents, you have friends with parents, you have dated and met other people's parents, and you might even be married to someone with parents. You know what's up with inlaws. The fact that mine are Chinese doesn't make them any different than yours. Thank god they're normal, or I might be tempted to conflate their culture and their personal problems too. Luckily I don't have to.

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