FELLIN' GOOD

CAN YOU UNDERSTAND THE WORDS THAT ARE COMIN' OUTTA MY MOUF?

About 18 months down the drain
JESUS CHRIST
la0wai
So I finally dumped my girlfriend. It's not hard to explain why. I'm just sick of the constant cycle of fighting and making up. Peak season is beginning at work and I don't have the energy to deal with any more pressure right now.

Not sure what else there is to say. Oh! I can think of something. I'm not going to fall into a dark cave of alcoholism and loneliness this time. That's no way to cope and it will only make everything worse. Instead, I'm just going to become a really boring and introverted person again like I was in college between when I started and when I turned 21. No booze, no bars, no clubs. I'm just going to focus on my job and my studies. Everything else will work itself out. I hope.

Gulp.

(no subject)
DRUNK BAD
la0wai

About two months ago, I went out drinking with my girlfriend because it was a holiday. No work and/or school for a change, so I took advantage of it. My girlfriend had to take the GMAT the following week though, and so she gave into her anxiety and went home early. I stayed out for the rest of the night even though I wasn't planning to.

Anyway, I had fun for a while. A guy we were with broke a glass and cut open his wrist and bled everywhere because he was really drunk, and it was embarrassing. But then he stopped bleeding and everything was fine. Also, it was Ladies Night, which meant free drinks for all the ladies until 1:00AM. My lady friends got me lots of free drinks even though they weren't supposed to.

It was really crowded that night and it was hard to keep track of all my friends who were constantly moving from place to place, so I wandered around a lot. After my third trip to coat check to see if one of my friends was still in line, I noticed that two of my acquaintances, a British guy and a Chinese guy, were in each other's faces and they were shouting.

The British guy can't speak Chinese well at all, and I'd estimate that the profanity he was using accounts for at least a third of his vocabulary. The Chinese guy has no English language ability as far as I know. Considering how difficult it must be for these two to communicate, it's hard for me to imagine what they might've been arguing about originally because all I could really hear was the British guy yelling "Fuck my mother? No! Fuck your mother! Hit me! Hit me!" into the Chinese guy's face.

I can't remember who swung first, but it doesn't matter because the beating that followed was so one-sided and unfair. Doug (the British guy) knocked the Chinese guy to the ground immediately and began pounding his face. He's much larger than his opponent too (around a foot taller) and much heavier, so the Chinese dude never really stood a chance. And he did this while several people were trying to pull him off of him. One of the Chinese guy's friends took a swing at Doug after he was finally separated from the first Chinese guy, and Doug beat the crap out of him too. Both were covered in blood and one of them lost at least two teeth. It was a hideous sight that pretty much ruined my night because I spent the rest of it racked with anxiety and drinking heavily to try to relieve it.

Doug was really proud of himself. Immediately after it was all over, he was bragging to everybody about what he did. But once it became clear that everyone was disgusted with him, he started trying to frame it as a case of self defense. "They attacked me! They attacked me and I was defending myself!" None of the people he was feeding this line of nonsense to we're actually present at the time of the fight. I think I was the only person in our social circle who saw a single second of it.

The people who were angry at Doug for what he did were a much bigger threat. I estimate that at least a dozen different guys were looking for him at the club later because they wanted revenge. I tried to find Doug to tell him he needed to leave because otherwise there was going to be a lot more trouble and eventually one of his friends led him out the back exit, allowing him to escape without any consequences, at least for that night.

A while after that, a policeman finally showed up to collect information. He didn't get anything useful from any of the Chinese people he talked to because none of them knew Doug. They didn't know his name or where he was from. But I knew all of that stuff, so I piped up despite the fact that I was pretty smashed and slurring my words a bit.

I gave the policeman Doug's phone number, his name and the name of the school where he works. I did this for a few reasons.

First, that fight didn't really have to happen. I've been in situations like that in China before, but I've always disappeared much earlier in confrontations. The moment I think an encounter I'm having might lead to a fight, I just leave. And that's what he should have done too, not just because he was picking on someone significantly weaker than himself, but because of the fact that it led to a vendetta. Getting your friends to help you in a fight or to help you get revenge is frowned upon in the west, but in China it makes you look like a big shot. And you can snicker at that all you want, but you won't be laughing if you find yourself on the wrong end of that kind of a beating.

Second, by confronting that Chinese guy in public, Doug turned this into an issue of face for him. The Chinese dude pretty much had to do something after Doug got into his face for cultural reasons. Again, that might sound dumb to you, but it doesn't sound dumb here and it's something that shows no signs of changing.

Finally, despite being a socialist country, China doesn't have universal healthcare or even a modern health insurance system. When you get sick or hurt, you usually pay out of pocket for treatment and you do it all by yourself. The guys Doug beat up would need medical attention and I doubt that they make as much money as he does as a foreign teacher. I wanted to see to it that they wouldn't have their finances damaged by this, and that's another reason why I informed on him.

Anyway, I found out about a week later that Doug's school is paying to have that guy's teeth fixed. I don't know if his wages are being garnished for that, but I really hope that they are and that his boss didn't buy his corny and completely false sob story of self defense. He wasn't arrested either, and as far as I know he hasn't throttled down his drinking, so I guess it's possible that they actually did.

What a chilling thought. He might not learn anything from this and he'll have to do something much worse before he hits bottom.

This brings me to my last point. I haven't been out to drink since this happened. I don't miss it though. That night only reaffirmed how boring I think socializing in bars and what not is now. I've kept myself busy by studying and stuff, but next week I'm going out with some coworkers because one is moving with his wife to Hong Kong at the end of the month. And there's a big work party the following week too. I'm afraid that I'll run into Doug at some point during one evening or the other and that he'll do something dumb. Oh, well. If he does, maybe the cops will actually do their jobs this time and boot him out of the country.

Anyway, I have to go to class soon. Bye!

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Blah blah blah
BO-RING
la0wai

I watched The Place Beyond The Pines last night. I'm not sure I've ever seen a film that has touched me like that one did.

Maybe it was partially because I had a bad day at work. Things have been hectic as of late. There's a lot of pressure coming from management to teach more and more classes, but we obviously don't have enough teachers because everybody's doing overtime right now. (That sounds familiar!) Anyway, I shouldn't have been as upset about it as I was yesterday because that's basically the only problem I've got at work.

I'm also stressed about my studies. I've given up on three out of five of the classes I'm taking this semester and I've decided to stop studying at this university at the end of this term. My speaking class is more like a course in meditation or something because we spend more time sitting in total silence than we do talking about anything. That is not an exaggeration. My teacher will usually pause for at least ten seconds between questions. It's awkward as hell but she doesn't seem phased by it. My reading and writing class is dumb. We read stories that seem like they were written for kids and there's very little actual writing assigned. And then there's this class we have about Chinese history and culture, but it only meets once a week, there isn't any homework and a lot of it is just useless nonsense.

Anyway, about that movie. It's about a guy who robs banks and a cop, and how messed up their lives and later the lives of their kids are. There are bitter family conflicts and one of the children learns shocking, horrifying things about his family's past that had always been hidden from him.

I can relate to a lot of what happened in that movie, and not just because my parents got divorced a few years ago. I learned a lot of shocking and embarrassing things about my parents when I was at home a few months ago. It was pretty disappointing because I always thought that my parents were really good people who managed to avoid making a lot of the mistakes I've made in my life when they were my age, but they've done a lot of the same things. Like, almost everything. So have their friends, and this includes the ones who have relatively high positions in society. They just never told me about it.

It just made me feel like everybody is hiding something. I'd explain why that bothers me, but I don't feel like it right now.

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Serious fucking business
BO-RING
la0wai

Hi Gabriel

CS gave no feedback about you for March, the field was left black. So, although they gave no positive feedback, the also gave no negative feedback, which is good. No news is good news as they say so you should focus on the fact that there were no complaints about you. Many students tend to care more about their teachers looks than their ability to teach well, so this feedback is not to be taken seriously unless they have complaints. Informally, several students reported that when you cut your hair they found you more attractive than before which helps to keep you popular among the students, so you have nothing to worry about.

I've spoken to X and Y and asked them to speak to CS to try to get more constructive feedback about teachers actually teaching.

Regards,

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I wish I had money to get my Masters at a real school too!!! >:O
BO-RING
la0wai

My girlfriend just got a 730 on her GMAT. (Her essay hasn't been graded yet.)

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Oy vey
FELLIN' GOOD
la0wai

My listening comprehension is in here right now talking about how Jews are the richest people. On the overhead is a list in Chinese of characteristics of Jews. Among them: they are the "money race", bargaining, they're good at making money, they don't waste time and they don't easily trust people. We then listened to a news report from Saudi Arabia that reported on just how rich Jews are. The report was probably real but I doubt the claims made were accurate.

I probably shouldn't have enrolled for another semester at this school. It's actually turned out to be worse than the last one, and not just because I have a listening comprehension teacher who's kind of an idiot. (She was telling my class a week or two ago that getting a green card in the US is the same as getting citizenship, which it isn't.) Our materials are even worse than the ones we had last semester. Last week in my speaking class, we read an essay about exercise machines. Our first essay in my grammar class was about the hutongs in Beijing. The author claimed that people in Beijing weren't involved in any of the "student demonstrations" because people there like to keep to themselves. And it claimed that they're shrinking because people are just moving away or something.

I'be been trying to study, but it's really hard when you're working with garbage like this. I'd write more, but just thinking about it makes me feel apathetic.

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From my cold, dead hands!
FELLIN' GOOD
la0wai

"While many policies could reduce gun injuries at home, changing attitudes and behavior is never easy. In the New England Journal of Medicine, editor Jerome Kassirer related the story of a letter he received from a surgeon on the West Coast, who said,

"Guns are single answers for situations they [members of the NRA] fear they will face. If anyone asks you, send them to me. I once had to go from the operating room to tell a young couple that their little boy was dead—shot while playing with his father’s handgun. The mother col- lapsed into tears. The father, who told me he was an NRA member, did not cry, but became visibly angry, saying, 'I taught the dumb kid how to use it right.'(1993, 1119)

"As Kassirer pointed out, “That kind of passion dies hard” (1993, 1119). But that is no reason not to try to reduce the risk—to gun owners, their families, and others—that guns in the home can present."

Private Guns, Public Health - David Hemenway

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I'm reading a new book! It's great! I don't know why the author hasn't been testifying before Congre
FELLIN' GOOD
la0wai

"The distinctive feature of guns, as opposed to other weapons, is that they create a kind of judgment, or moment, that is often absolute and final. The use of guns in these settings does not allow one to change one’s mind, to take it back; there is no opportunity to apologize. There was a time when fights among youth involved fists or occasionally knives. When brawls ended, there were opportunities for mediation, mending, and reconciliation. The kids doing the fighting sometimes would become friends. Now, when emotion overcomes a teenager’s ability to make rational judgments, someone may die or become permanently disabled. The easy availability of guns has made it too easy for an impetuous youth to kill."

Private Guns, Public Health - David Hemenway

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Best book ever
AN HERO
la0wai

“The Mao issue is the dark heart of everything that is contemporary China,’ said Geremie Barmé, of the Australian National University. ‘The whole project [of modern China] is based on a series of lies, not just about Mao, but the collective leadership he has come to represent. It has profound ramifications–it means that China can’t grow up. It is a society that has forbidden itself from being able to grapple not only with the legacy of Mao, but with civil change.”

Excerpt From: Richard, McGregor. “The Party.” Harper Collins, Inc., 2010-06-07T16:00:00+00:00. iBooks.
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Wish I could copy more, because there is so much more
FELLIN' GOOD
la0wai

“The generation that grew up in Taiwan after 1949, the year the KMT fled the mainland to set up government on the island, have a striking clarity about the way China works, because they grew up in a system with so many similarities. The same cannot be said of the Chinese view of Taiwan. From the early nineties when Taiwan began to hold open elections for its national government, a process that has seen the KMT in and out of power ever since, the Party has struggled to come to grips with the idea of the Chinese democracy born and raised next door.

“Throughout this period, Chinese leaders incessantly lectured the Taiwanese about the need to accept Chinese sovereignty, reviled their democracy as corrupt and hounded its diplomatic representatives around the world. For good measure, Beijing periodically threatened Taiwan with war, once or twice firing missiles near the island’s northern and southern tips to drive the point home. Ahead of the first three presidential elections beginning in 1996, China issued dire warnings about the consequences of the island going down the path towards independence. All the while, through the bluster and intimidation from the mainland, voting for their leaders in Taiwan became part of people’s lives.”

Excerpt From: Richard, McGregor. “The Party.” Harper Collins, Inc., 2010-06-07T16:00:00+00:00. iBooks.
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