I have a week’s intermission at work and so have come back to Shanghai. I didn’t bring the appropriate cable so any fotos will have to be inserted post-trip.
Girlfriend, Je, has made friends with some of the locals and so we have been meeting with them. An ‘Aunt’ invited us to her family home a bit further out in the ‘burbs. It was a huge meal. I counted and there was 15 plates of food on the table. There was just the mother father and daughter, plus us two.
Without knowing it I ended up eating dog, and then I ate pigeon too _and that was just for breakfast_. Before I knew it was dog I thought it was some kind of beef, and the pigeon tasted like bad chicken.
The family were very nice and the dad cooked it all so it was one of those situations where there was no real way to say no.
Although there was a couple of times where Je stepped out of the room, and the people couldn’t speak any english so it was a bit awkward, but I couldn’t help but think how great it was – this precariousness, and how many ways there were that I could do something inappropriate or weird or offensive to a level of being kicked out of the house. I was envisioning being kicked out of the house.
Doing a little shopping in Carrefour supermarket at Zhongshan Park on Saturday night and Je said it seemed unusually quiet. Mostly it looked like young people in there, which may have had something to do with it being a saturday night. In any case, some of the chinese people are boycotting because France <3’s Tibet. We’ll be going back to Carrefour today because it’s so much nicer to shop when it’s not so crowded.
I had been thinking about going to see some of the Olympic Games for no other reason than girlfriend may still be here then, and it’d be interesting to see if the whole shithouse goes up in flames, as Jimbo Morrison would say.
Went to a restaurant last night that had english translation on the menu. Here are some of the more choicer dishes:
* The Beijing onion explodes the fat cow
* The cotton rose one is fragrant
* burns the beef (I had this – beef and potato curry – very good!)
* Characteristic cowpea
* Burns the pigeon
* blood is flourishing
* Fried icecream
* Chaozhou style understands stove fish
Plus the above title of this entry, which is what I think I will call my band when I finally make a band.
It’s worthwhile noting that while some people may well be afraid of Roumanians, for some reason we just can’t seem to let them go. Blackula, Count Chocula breakfast cereal and Sesame Street’s The Count.
<a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/sunnybreaks/5454927805/” title=”countandmonster by esquimauxpie, on Flickr”><img src=”http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5295/5454927805_682be20b69_o.jpg” width=”317″ height=”235″ alt=”countandmonster” /></a>
(ref The Count & cookie monster.)
One thing I always wondered about Cookie Monster was, Where do the cookies go? Is there a hole there or something? And what kind of biscuits are they, because they break pretty easy.
* * *
I was watching the (1992) Francis Ford Coppola version of Dracula last night. It seemed rather dated. Where is Winona Ryder these days? Where is Keanu Reeves these days? They are, as it is so succinctly put, ‘past it’. In four years, 1992 will be twenty years ago. That’s alarming because to me 1992 seems like Not That Long Ago. The 70s– now that was a long time ago, it’s okay for things from the 70s to seem dated but not 1992.
The second thing that occurred to me when watching this movie, billed as ‘Bram Stoker’s Dracula’, was how badly it sucked. What a fucking travesty of a retelling. Stoker was rolling in his grave in 1992. He’s still rolling!
Rolling, rolling, rolling.
I _was_ going to write about how being back studying and dealing with the academia was reminding me of how out of touch with reality they all are. What set that off was finishing up reading _Dracula_ and _Carrie_ and then reading some of the analysis pieces as well as the other students’ discussion on the board. In relation to _Carrie_ someone said, ‘uh yeah, it’s about feminism’, to which I scoffed at my computer screen, It was just about a guy hacking out some pulp to get a bit of money to pay the bills.
Of course, I was right, but it’s also about other things, but feminism isn’t one of them. _Dracula_ is about a lot of things. one of them being how Roumanians want to marry your daughter and make little Roumanians — in England.
<a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/sunnybreaks/5454927897/” title=”workplace-small by esquimauxpie, on Flickr”><img src=”http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5055/5454927897_8c1a467ed7_o.jpg” width=”444″ height=”281″ alt=”workplace-small” /></a>
A message to Googol: work your satellites, update your images. According to the above image, my current workplace hasn’t even been built yet. That makes the image over two years old.
* * *
Another reason not to doubt the cosmic order of things: I just looked up obscure early nineties Kiwi indie band, StraightJacket Fits on BTJunkie. It had no leads but offered me the suggestion, ‘did you mean straightjacket fist’? No, but thanks. Everyone will get what they deserve. The members of Straightjacket Fits are probably selling Holdens in Dunedin these days, and so need the money. I’ll probably buy their self-titled album from some obscure Kiwi music web-shop.
<a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/sunnybreaks/5454927687/” title=”horixon by esquimauxpie, on Flickr”><img src=”http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5213/5454927687_48c71e2847.jpg” width=”399″ height=”225″ alt=”horixon” /></a>
I went out and bought a mac book pro. In the last six months I’ve given away three laptops. But the philanthropic feeling wore off pretty quick and left me with the condition of mobilelessness.
The hardware itself is okay I guess. I remember back to when they changed from the Powerbook to the MBP and was not impressed with the new design. The Tibooks looked great. I thought to myself that I would pass on getting an apple laptop til they changed their look again.
However, since I got the mac mini 18 months ago, the software OS X has slowly grown on me as I got used to it. Windows has been digging its own grave for several years ago, and those smart-arsed what if Microsoft designed … things are funny because they’re true. When I got the sony vaio it was a neat looking little computer but was weighed down with a whole bunch of rubbish from companies like Norton anti-virus. It’s insulting. Even on the mac I find iTunes a little too in-my-face. And as far as I’m concerned Linux still isn’t ready to be used by normal people living normal lives.
After a couple of days of using the mbp I’m enjoying the built in webcam (great for talking to that overseas g/f on) and the quietness. I’ve d/loaded a couple of things and they’ve come screaming through (metaphorically) in that typical S.Korean way yet the laptop has made none of those ‘I’m getting busy!’ noises. The key depression depth is greater than the old sony — that’s something I’d become used to but this is nice too. The size is about the size as a normal keyboard. When it gets a bit dark in the room the keyboard starts glowing. Welcome to the 21st century.
Most of the time I’ve found trackpads on laptops to be pretty difficult to use – the one on the Vaio certainly was, so there would always be a mouse plugged into the side of it. The old jelly-bean style iBooks had really comfortable trackpad/mouse button combinations, although I never really got used to there being no right-click. The white iBooks were a step backward, the mouse button was difficult to click, and if I was only ever using someone else’s, as was the case, it’s not kosher to go messing with people’s mouse configurations. If I could’ve I would’ve set it to tap, which is what I’m doing here now, but then the mbp mouse button seems a bit easier to click anyway.
I like the multi touch idea. The two fingers for scrolling is very handy but so foar I haven’t had much need to be rotating or zooming images.
The last thing is that the socket where the power cable connects is on the left hand side which feels altogether wrongo. It is as if it was designed by someone who sits on the left hand end of the couch, who sleeps on the left hand side of the bede. For the rest of us this means having the power cord snaking around under our feet, and the (“it’s a feature too!”) power-cord slipping out of its socket rather easily. When it does come out it says there is 5 hours, 52 mins of battery power — not bad. I bought it on Wednesday April 2.