June 18, 2010

1. Sometimes, China does an amazing job of accommodating nostalgia, even US nostalgia. Via, I spent the morning rewatching the crappy superhero cartoons of my 1970s childhood. The Superfriends have aged poorly, but it did make me feel like Saturday morning in a way that I haven't had a Saturday morning in a good long time. I reversed the usual Detroit UHF order and went for 50s B-movie horror (finishing 1956's The Werewolf) before delving into a standard comedy classic: this time, 1948's Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein (and Dracula and the Werewolf). Ah, it feels like a proper day off.

2. After getting a haircut in Shuangjing yesterday, I bought a cheap 2元 notebook that I have decided is going to be the Ultraman notebook. I'm doing all the preliminaries to get the notebook ready, and I'm getting super excited about it. The size of the notebook sheet is, as always, the first parameter, but I've been notebooking this project for a good long while. It's all very exciting.


June 16, 2010

1.Happy Dragon Boat Day. This is one of the rekindled, get our heritage back holidays that the Chinese Government has given to workers. I have the day off.

You are supposed to eat zhongzi, rice wrapped in bamboo with maybe meat or other surprises. I've eaten zhongzi, don't really dig the zhongzi, but when I'm out and about in the neighborhood later, as the token foreigner, if one is offered, and it will be, I'll take one for the team.

At least it's a festival about a poet:

"In the year 278 B.C., at the age of 37, [poet] Qu Yuan drowned himself in the Milo River. He clasped a heavy stone to his chest and leaped into the water. Knowing that Qu Yuan was a righteous man, the people of Chu rushed to the river to try to save him. The people desperately searched the waters in their boats looking for Qu Yuan but were unsuccessful in their attempt to rescue him. Every year the Dragon Boat Festival is celebrated to commemorate this attempt at rescuing Qu Yuan."

You're also meant to throw rice into rivers and lakes on this day, so the fish will eat the rice and not the poet's body.

America's got nothing near like this for poets.

2. For all my bitching about mail, I got postcards from Sara Wintz and an amazing hand-done griff postcard from Geof Huth.

I got the latest installment of the Pretty Panicks score project from Ms. Wintz. I am going to give this score to Hadi, a student of mine whose the lead guitarist for a Chinese metal band. Hadi is a metal god on guitar.

If you look carefully enough at Geof's card, you can ascertain which parts dried first. It's really beautiful.

3. North Korea's goal against Brazil was more convincing than the US's goal against England.

4. I'm watching a lot of old boxing matches. For TV, they used to film the match, then add the commentary later; like, the Marciano - La Starva fight. The commentators use the present tense to seem like they're there, but then they announce "watch this power-packed right by Marciano that just misses" beforehand.

For all his faults, I think Howard Cosell was a brilliant fight caller, like Ernie Harwell or Harry Caray was to baseball.


June 10, 2010

I've looked at my records and I am well below the pace to meet my 100 letters goal for the year.

This usually happens though, as some of the folks I write to don't respond for one reason or another. And more than a fair few email me back, which gets an email not a postal response, etc. . .

Mail, your soon to be obsolete mailman digs it.

If you want to hold his job till he's a pensioner, you can write to me at the addy on the sidebar.

I'm good with responding to physical mail.

Letters on paper. What's not to dig?

Have recently received a couple of samples of really good letterhead. As the letter is dying out, so is the need for letterhead. A travesty, as letterhead design always said so much within such a small area.

My Corona typewriter needs a new ribbon.

In China, typewriters are museums pieces. I'm going to go to the Staples in art district to see if I can't convince the manager to get me a ribbon from the States (made in China from the States). Walmart and Carrefour have been hopeless in this.

They ask disdainfully, "Why don't you use a computer?" Because I want to type. "But why?" Um, because. Extend this conversation another 15-20 minutes in a language you are barely competent in, in a megastore you wouldn't be caught dead in Stateside, with the end result that they don't and won't carry typewriter ribbons, or order one for you, even though at Walmart they could get one from America, but the manager didn't want to bother with ordering internationally. Walmart America's website won't ship to China, they point you to their stores in country.

And we'll have fun, fun, fun, till Daddy takes the T-Bird away.


June 7, 2010

It is sad to watch an Oakland A's home game against Minnesota and no matter how the camera pans (a guy on first, for instance) you're looking at empty green seats.

I dig the Coliseum, have fond memories, etc. But the Raiders have no problem selling out tickets to a non-contending team to this crappy cement shit-brick of a stadium. It's equally no-good for either sport, but the Raider Nation is there week in, week out. The A's sell out when the Yankees and the Red Sox come to town.

There is no home base for the A's.

I say, dare I say, move the A's to a city that will come out for it, and I don't mean San Jose, whose fans apparently can't find the Coliseum going a few miles miles north on 580.

The Portland A's, the Memphis A's, the Charlotte A's, even the Omaha A's. The first three support their hometown basketball teams. Oakland's BBall team is called the Golden State Warriors, which always seemed to downplay their Oakland home-base to me.

The A's are a Philly team that moved out West to grab a bigger crowd. Moving to Omaha, for example, would make a lot of sense. Nebraska is a sports loving state, and as they don't have a major professional sports team representing them, they'd turn up in droves.

Or, JD and Chad are you ready for it, why not Iowa?

The Des Moines A's.

June 7, 2010

I'm insomniacking, watching baseball live on the internet. At about 4:30 am I started to hear chirping and thought the bats were being a little loud, but then looked out the window and it was dawn.

4:30 seems a little early for day break. What time is dawn in your neck of the woods?