Mermaids, puppets, live action video and

Mermaids, puppets, live action video and music. #arts #music #fundraiser #indiegogo

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Mermaids, puppets, live action video and music. Sarah Shotland is amazing. I hope you’ll consider even the smallest donation. #arts #music #fundraiser #indiegogo

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Haven’t written in awhile, this is about the most inspiring thing that’s happened lately. Sorbet and bacon, why?

*But I’ll add that I’m really truly happy to be back in the United States. I still have pangs of wanderlust, but I’ll always remember how fortunate I am and I’ll know just how disillusioned about their lives some people can be. You can make a place wonderful as long as you have a friend or two.

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Stuck in an Airport

Though my first instinct was to say “Fuck you forever, United Airlines. I’ll take my full refund and walk my ass all the way home,” seeing a few people turned down by our faulty “freedom” system of justice, I had to claim, because I’m hilariously ornery, “I’m 20!!! I have to get out of here and see my parents as soon as possible! 4:00pm? Hell no! 12:00? No!” They gave me a flight for 8:30 this morning. Still not necessarily winning, but pathetic enough to get an earlier flight than the others.

Can I just comment on how traumatically fucked up United Airlines has made this trip, but what a fucking grown-ass-man I’ve become? I started this voyage two days ago, taking a train at 2:30pm. From 2:30pm-6:30pm on July 31st, I moved my luggage back and forth so the Chinese people could get by me. I had way too much luggage to even exist, but everybody showered me with a bunch of priceless gifts I wouldn’t dare to toss out. From there, I took the subway stations in Beijing, because I’m -obviously- a local and can navigate like a boss even with two suitcases. I probably arrived at the Beijing airport at 9:30pm, where I waited for the flight at 1:55am to Qatar. The flight to Qatar was safe enough, but the flight attendant spilled coke on me and that’s okay too, but I ended up feeling all sticky. I got to the Qatar airport at 4:55am and waited two hours for my flight at 7:00am. A little Muslim baby was kicking my chair the entire 13 hours, even after swatting at her a couple times. I made it to Washington at maybe 6pm. I’ve been waiting here since then. I’ve caught very little sleep if any. I’d say I’m running on a fair 32 hours without decent sleep.

The last flight to Charleston was shoved back a couple times, from 10 to 11, then 11 to 12. At last, it was cancelled altogether. My not-so-secret coming home to see Kristen for the first time in 6 months, and to see my parents for the first time in 12 months, was cancelled.

Of course, at this point, everyone’s life becomes more important. People who miss the flight talk about their vital business meetings the next morning, their relatives falling like flies; blended in the mixer with bountiful ways to use “fuck” as an adjective, noun, adverb, and verb.

I slept on the chairs, but now I’m using free wi-fi and electricity. You know what I say? God bless America and how fucking awesome it is.

Of course, I get to proclaim angst against United Airlines and their character because I’m American and I have the choice to do so, so I’d like to indulge my second instincts and add a more subtle “fuck you very much, United Airlines.” I’ll be thinking: thanks for being more of a fuck-up than a Chinese or Qatar airline could dream of being, and I hope your company disintegrates within its own gaping sorriness, and the people here can spread the word of your lousy business like a terminal disease. But I won’t say that out loud, of course.

I truly don’t hope any of that, I’m just super fucking cranky after three days’ travel. There are a lot of really genuine true believers in every setting. And hey, I ended up making friends: Raider Man!, and an older fellow from Hawaii/Shanghai. I’m just one of the many unfortunate souls that got stuck dealing with the few rotten eggs, but I’m still fortunate to have been able to fly back home.

Grammar errors. Sorry, it’s late for me.

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食品在邯郸 Handan Food

As my friend Vivi puts it: “I like to think of the good times as ‘reality’ and everything else as a long drawn out practical joke gone wrong.” So let’s talk about the good times!

Chinese Sushi

Woah, wait, I thought you were in small-town Handan…

I met a man who moved from China to live in Japan for ten years, who then returned to China and opened an authentic Japanese restaurant called Qin Ye Wu (sorry, I don’t even know the pinyin). Of the four languages I could have practiced, I got a chance to speak Japanese with someone in China. What! He is simply amazing! Even with Chinese and Japanese I couldn’t think of enough phrases to understand why he would do such a thing. Sideways, I’m really sucking at this whole language juggling thing.

Anyway, it’s interesting because his chefs make the sushi in a Western style, the popularized Nori style (smaller vinegar rice rolls with seaweed). If you’re a huge sushi or Japan fan like me (or you’re Japanese- よろしくお願いします読書のための!), you know sushi is eaten with the fingers, with the wasabi already placed inside the roll. Traditional etiquette is to eat the roll as the chef has prepared it, but I guess that’s the old way of thinking. Another cultural revolution, blegh.

Anyway, the food was a hit.
Om Nom

Here are some of the other yum yums I’ve remembered to photo, based on a request from Ginger Mo.
This little tamale is called a Northern-style zongzi (粽子). I ate about 10 of these things on a day that Handan people celebrated one of their “zany” holidays. It’s difficult to know why I’m doing most things because of my lack of Chinese, but I try to fit in the best I can. “Nom nom nom.” They are awesome and healthy, but this particular one had a date nut and honey in the middle.

Shrimp Hot Pot
Mike’s wife Jing Jing (晶晶 (Fun fact, her name is a character grouping of three “日”s or three “sun”s (I guess you could say three “Japan”s haha)) really likes this, and I have to agree.

PAUSE. Grammar Girl, somebody help! After reviewing this, how can I correctly punctuate a translation of a plural item??? I think I did it correctly, but my nerd instincts gone CRAZAYYYYY. Okay, moving right along….

Shrimp hot pot is just a seafood base with all the essential hot pot stuff with shrimp, but it really is tasty. I love getting a fresh-pulled noodle that tastes like seafood. It’s an extremely foreign taste for me, and I really love it. Also, you can eat the shells of shrimp if you cook it a certain way. Did you know that? I didn’t! It’s a totally normal thing here! Just so you’ll know, back home people act like they’re straight up dying if they eat anything like that.

宫保鸡丁 (Gong Bao Jiding)
Despite everything I’ve tried, my favorite dish in China has remained Kung Pao Chicken (宫保鸡丁). It’s the perfect amount of sweet and spicy that we miss out on back home, but it’s the familiarity of sweetness that makes it a comfort food when I don’t feel like eating anything else. Woof, healthiness.

I wish I would have remembered to take pictures of all the cow tongue, chicken heart, duck neck, chicken feet, cicada (I actually like these) and other strange things I’ve eaten. I remember seeing people on horrible television show like “Fear Factor” throw up at the thought of eating something like that, and I think “What a bunch of whiny little prick ass bitches,” or something of the sort. I haven’t had the best time here, but these foods are delicious and I’m proud that the Chinese have allowed me to take part in eating them.

You just can’t get stuck thinking about something like a tongue licking you all the way down your intestines. (;

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Your Feng Shui Is Showing

Listen up, Geomancers!

No, unfortunately I’m not talking about the character classes from Final Fantasy, bless them and their earthbound attacks. Fun fact I just learned- the Japanese title of this job (風水士, Fūsuishi) means “Professional Feng Shui-ist.” In other words, once again, Final Fantasy has made me unknowingly interested in something interesting since I was 13!
Favorite FF Geomancers

Feng Shui is a system that uses heaven and earth to help the flow of qi. Qi is sort of an energy from within, and my tai qi instructor said the core of your qi is somewhere below your belly button (and no, it’s not your junk).

Searching for Feng or Shui

“Feng” means wind and “shui” means water. The belief is that your qi balances itself with the water and emits itself from wind. And you know something? I think the idea is freaking fantastic.

The problem is that a lot of the beautiful things in China were surpressed during the cultural revolution in the 1960s. I personally hate this revolution. It has to do with the removal of culture, art, tradition; essentially everything I believe in. Religion got booted out of there, too. Mao Zhedong did a lot for China, but of course from this perspective he sounds like a real tool. A wrecking ball, to be exact.

Anyway, since it all got dispersed amongst themselves, everything sort of turned into a theory. Ideas such as what color each corner should contain, and something called the “golden swallow” (swallow your spit three times after exercising or doing martial arts) are sometimes based off of astronomy, and sometimes folklore, possibly nonsense and heresay.

The main idea is that Feng Shui is a divination of where your qi is going and how it flows, what makes it flow best, things like that. So people make up whatever ideas they can, along with the original techniques remaining from the Yangshao and Hongshan cultures to retain the positive energy in their lives.

A large portion of Western Culture, entrepreneurs and hipsters have taken interest in the idea of Feng Shui. The Chinese have revived their dying tradition and now commercialize Feng Shui as a marketable resource in Western Countries. Depending on your purchases of Feng Shui products and placement, and what it means to you, Feng Shui is either a hokey scam you’ve bought into, or a divination of how this kind of Geomancy can improve the qi flow in your life.

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I Made It

Sometimes I think I’ve died and gone to Simple Bitch Hell, as the ABG show puts it. In reality there are just a couple invalids coating a mediocre place with their rancid personalities.

He’s/She’s been speaking AT the kids since 6:30 BC, I’ve texted one too many times this year. There are so many people that don’t understand students are the ones who should speak, not the teacher. You’re crafting childrens’ brains so how can you know where they stand, how they learn, how they’re listening IF YER MEAN MUG AIN’T SHUT ONCE FER THIRDY MINUTES. There’s one teacher in particular, too selfish to lend her own ears, so how can she expect people to want to listen to her?


At maximum Me Capacity, she has said “I/me/my/myself/mine” a tumultuous clusterfuck of reflexive, absolute possessive and possessive pronouns too many times to count.

But then I did count: 26 times in 1 minute, 83 times in 10 minutes and “fuckIcan’teven…” in one day.

This is the perfect case-study for working in Human Resources or mediation. Of course there will be people with problems, and I think we’d all be better off without judging each other. Love is universal, yes I believe in all of that. There are an infinite amount of possibilities in solving arguments or soothing things. However, I think some people have bad lives for a reason that they usually can work on, mentally at least. He or she has been ill-equipped to handle hard work, I get it… but I don’t want to. Hearing a boy, age 22, say he has never really had a real job and dislikes anything that requires effort was the best form of disappointment and just the right way for me to feel gratitude for the lucky life I’ve had. I’ve worked so hard, but so little in comparison to others. And I care about that. I want to work the hardest; to carry the burden. Some people have no interest in making the world a better place- they just want to ruin it… or fuck it in most cases.

Perhaps I’m a hippy in disguise- I believe in protecting the world. But I also believe in protecting people, the “cancer” of the earth. It’s so hard to balance the two right? We just keep taking and taking from the planet, and we are so clueless as to how we can give life back. I’m going to pause for a minute. I’ve just bashed my ugly face against this building framework.
BrainacheBy the way, I understand angry-red-head-girl on a molecular level now. Of course you’re angry, ARHG, being treated like a stupid monkey or piece of meat, tugged every which way until somebody decides “They’re going to sing ‘Head and Shoulders Knees and Toes’ after getting a surprise two-hour show of babies dancing poorly.” I’ve decided to change her nickname to Surprisingly-Genuine-Red-Head-Girl, upper case even! Because she reminds me of what I would be would I have chosen China as my life, I will try to get her something nice from the West. She appreciates dance, art, namely all the things I appreciate in the West. We’ll see.

I haven’t got the time to write any more, and I feel that this post has gone nowhere. Mostly I’m angry. I’m angry because of how fake everyone is. You think America is bad- guess again. Chinese face is one of the most irritating emotional things foreigners will ever deal with, though there are so many things to compete with it in the world, of course. but you know what? I still learned as much as I could and tried the best to make my actions something people would cherish and learn from, and at best my actions could bring something for others to learn to improve our world. Not to be a sap, of course.

In summary, I tried my damndest to improve my surroundings, not just complain about them. It still sucked, but it certainly wasn’t hopeless.
(Thanks, MJ:
“If you wanna make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and make that change.”)

I promise I’ll make a better food or friend post next time.
I just want my few readers to know my struggles about China before I celebrate what was good about it.

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