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China, end of week 1

Apr. 25th, 2010 | 11:10 pm
location: Tianjin
mood: accomplished
music: House of the Rising Sun - The Be Good Tanya's

It's been an intense week.  Over the jetlag and have my brain (or something like it) back in my skull, but still not a lot of time / space for narrative.  Hope to post a much more complete narrative when I get my photo's sorted and posted. For now, more moments from here and there.

Oh, and Facebook is outlawed in China, though whittles may be able to repost for me.  If not, I'll try to get to that when I get home.

Went to the Humble Administrator's Garden in SuZhou, which is as misleading a name as I have ever heard.  Kinda like calling Mount Rushmore the Humble President's Carvings.

Went to the Shanghai Museum, where I must say, they make a damn fine espresso.  Also, some very nice art.

In a town outside of HangZhou, we went to a village that grows tea, got to see the whole process and hear the shpeil.  Saw the tour group getting herded into a room and smelled sales pitch, so I ducked out sharpish and spent the next hour hiking up in the plantations and hillsides, taking pictures and enjoying the air.  Got back, and the group looked like they'd just been sold a time share.

Skipped another group event in Shanghai to stay in and have dinner with an old friend from my year in Beijing.  A couple folks joined us, and we ended up sharing traveling stories from all over the world.  It was an excellent night, and the rest of the group got caught in a monsoon lightning storm.  I tried not to laugh too hard at them when they came back looking like drowned rats.

On the plane from Shanghai to Beijing, I sat next to a man in his 70s by the name of Mr. Adler. He was a very sweet, grandfatherly old Polish Jew from Brazil, on his way from a conference in Shanghai to Tel Aviv to visit his daughter before heading home to Sao Paulo.  He owns the two largest grocery bag factories in Brazil, which he inherited from his father and is passing on to his son.  The fact that he is responsible for some of the worst pollution in Brazil did not escape me, but it didn't seem like a productive conversation to have at the time.

Went back to one of my favorite sections of the Great Wall two days ago, Mu Tian Yu.  Got to explore some areas I hadn't been to before, and went out to the edge of the intact section to find a big sign saying "Do not go past this point."  Of course, I did. Stunning view, will post pics later. Interestingly, the only other folks I saw past that point were Caucasian, no Chinese, even though Chinese folks accounted for the majority of the tourists on the wall.

Took the day off from the tour thing altogether yesterday.  Sick of being herded around, getting funneled through places designed to take my money, people chasing me around saying "Hello! You like? You buy? Give you very special price! Hello?! How much? Rolex, 4 for $10? How about Gucci?"  So, I went and wandered Beijing, the parts that people actually live in, bought a bunch of tea to bring home, visited my old neighborhood and walked the 2 miles from my subway station to Beijing University and back.  It was good to see the old place, brought back so many memories. 

Later that night, went out to the Donghuamen Night Market and ate some of the various crazy things offered there.  Apparently, fried scorpions are surprisingly tasty. 

Arrived in TianJin today, got settled into the hotel we'll be staying at for the next week while we're working at the hospital.  If we've been staying in 4 star hotels thus far, this is much more like a 1-2 star hotel, even for China. My room is probably about 100 square feet, and smells hilarious.  I'm not complaining, it's just a sharp contrast after all the high living we've been doing.  Ate dinner tonight at a Muslim noodle house for less than a dollar, and remembered how much I love eating in this country.  Street food for breakfast tomorrow, that's for damn sure.

Ok, that's all for now.  Up early tomorrow to get oriented to their clinic, then off we go.

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China day 2

Apr. 20th, 2010 | 10:54 pm

Spent almost all day with a throbbing headache and feeling slightly queasy.  It finally occurred to me that it was almost certainly from all the MSG in the food.  Conveniently, our tour guide has assured us that MSG is good for me.  The Chinese government says so, and they would never approve something that was bad for people. Perish the thought.

Apart from that, it was a nice day.  got to split off from the group, go to dinner with a few folks and actually order our own meal and wander around the neighborhood in Hangzhou.  Nice town.  Bought some local tea, and introduced some folks to the joys of bubble tea.

Gonna get some sleep. More once I hit Beijing in a couple days.

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China - day 1

Apr. 19th, 2010 | 09:52 pm
location: SuZhou
mood: tiredtired

No brain for any kind of coherent narrative yet, just some moments and impressions and funny things.

Traveling with a tour group is weird, even if most of them are from my school.  One of my students brought her 19yo walking train wreck of a daughter, who managed to lose her passport the day we arrived. Fun!

Backing up on the freeway, in a bus.

Eating jellyfish, and turtle, and chicken feet.  And eels, and "Thousand Year Eggs," and some weird soup with tea leaves and something white with little eyes that I never could identify. 

Our tour guide speaks passable English with a very effete british accent.  Kills me every time.

Haven't seen the sun once since we got here, and could barely see down the block when I got b/c of the smog.  Didn't miss that part.

There was a guy on our flight over with kyphosis so intense that when he was facing away from me, it seriously looked like he had no head.  Whit (and other body geeks), I thought of you.

I have never stayed in such nice hotels as I do here.  Going from feeling like a very broke grad student to going back for seconds at the massive 4 star buffet breakfast in our big fancy Shanghai hotel, and an absurdly huge banquet for dinner, just a little strange.  

Ok, all for now.  Bedtime for bonzo.

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All you helpy people, tell me your secrets

Mar. 31st, 2010 | 07:47 pm
mood: working

Putting together a referral list for one of my classes.  This means I want to make a list of all the people / services that I would want to be able to refer my clients out to when I am licensed.  I've got a short list of ones that I'm looking for, and I'm totally open to whatever you think I'm missing that would be handy to have.  If you respond, please include some form of information beyond just a name if you have it, such a number or email.  If you'd like that information to remain private for whatever reason, feel free to email me or comment to that effect and I will make it happen.

What I'm looking for in no particular order...
  • Good suicide hotline (i.e. one that actually answers the phone, has well trained folks, good resources)
  • Abuse services (i.e. womens shelter, childrens shelter, good alternatives to CPS and other broken systems)
  • Therapists (a whole variety would be great, so anyone you know who you think does great work in cognitive / developmental / transpersonal / etc.  No pill-happy psychiatrists please, but someone who knows their meds well would be great since I'm sure I'll have clients on psyche meds)
  • PT (it's apparently quite easy to be a mediocre to bad physical therapist.  You know any fantastic ones?)
  • Bodywork specialists (Craniosacral, feldenkrais, alexander technique, pilates instructors, rolfers, etc)
  • MD's who are cool with Chinese Medicine (not easy to come by. If you know one, it can't hurt to have their info)
  • Anything else you think I'm missing.

Thanks in advance for your help!
Tags: ,

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Jul. 1st, 2009 | 02:38 pm

I don't suppose anyone would be down to drive me to SFO around 4:30 on the 4th, or pick me up on the afternoon of the 6th?

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this goes out to all the geeks out there...

Feb. 13th, 2009 | 11:09 am

Love and Tensor Algebra
Come, let us hasten to a higher plane
Where dyads tread the fairy fields of Venn,
Their indices bedecked from one to n
Commingled in an endless Markov chain!

Come, every frustum longs to be a cone
And every vector dreams of matrices.
Hark to the gentle gradient of the breeze:
It whispers of a more ergodic zone.

In Riemann, Hilbert or in Banach space
Let superscripts and subscripts go their ways.
Our asymptotes no longer out of phase,
We shall encounter, counting, face to face.

I'll grant thee random access to my heart,
Thou'lt tell me all the constants of thy love;
And so we two shall all love's lemmas prove,
And in our bound partition never part.

For what did Cauchy know, or Christoffel,
Or Fourier, or any Boole or Euler,
Wielding their compasses, their pens and rulers,
Of thy supernal sinusoidal spell?

Cancel me not - for what then shall remain?
Abscissas some mantissas, modules, modes,
A root or two, a torus and a node:
The inverse of my verse, a null domain.

Ellipse of bliss, converge, O lips divine!
the product of four scalars it defines!
Cyberiad draws nigh, and the skew mind
Cuts capers like a happy haversine.

I see the eigenvalue in thine eye,
I hear the tender tensor in thy sigh.
Bernoulli would have been content to die,
Had he but known such a^2 cos 2 phi!

	-- Stanislaw Lem

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Posable Presidential Action Figures

Feb. 11th, 2009 | 12:12 pm

Obama... James Obama  You know you want to look...Collapse )

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MGK vs. His Adolescent Reading Habits

Jan. 14th, 2009 | 12:28 am
music: Weird Al - White & Nerdy

shamelessly lifted from mightygodking.comCollapse )</div>


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(no subject)

Jan. 6th, 2009 | 08:42 pm
mood: homicidal

Dear guy who just stole my bike,

   Please die of syphilis, kthxbai.

P.S.: Also necrotizing fascitis, ebola, and, well, any of these will do.


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Oh My God, Becky! Did you see the size of her wig? It's just so big, and out there!

Nov. 23rd, 2008 | 04:53 pm
location: Blondville
mood: Oh My God!
music: Cyndi Lauper - Girls just want to have fun

Photoset from the Big Bad Blond Wig Bar Crawl.

Some of the better lines from the evening:

Mating calls of the Blond in their natural habitat include: "I am SO drunk!" "Do you have a yacht?" "Wait, this drink tastes funny..." and "Hey, you look kinda like Anthony Kiedis. C'mere!"

"Being blonde is so transcendently awesome, it's like doing keigles with your soul!"   -RPS

"...actually what I really want to do is be a veterinarian because I love working with children..."

and, apparently "Oh my god" is some form of punctuation.

(p.s. my notebook seems to have gotten lost between the bar and home.  If anyone remembers any other good lines, please remind me.)


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