Merry Christmas Bitches
Santa knows what it takes to get through the Holidays. Santa tip: If you heave behind the Christmas tree, nobody will know until after New Years.
Posted by Ian at 12/26/2005 05:29:00 AM Permalink
Ho it up
Comic, click it out!
Santa is still exhausted from the tequila and tits of yesterday, but he will post full pics with explanation/excuses (where appropriate) soon. For now, let's just say santa and three hundred of his colleagues were very very naughty.
Also, if anyone knows how to get the smell of strippers and pabst blue ribbon out of a polyester santa outfit, please leave your suggestions in the comment section.
Posted by Ian at 12/19/2005 06:37:00 AM Permalink
Run Ninja, Run
Tomorrow is going to suck, I pen this on the eve of what is sure to be, yes, one of the worst days of my life. An old friend of mine once got his jimmy stuck in his jean zipper; I only wish things were going that well here at Domo Domo studios. It's not me, it's a family member.
I will undoubtedly get wasted at the goth vs. golf party on Saturday. Sssh, it's a secret.
Posted by Ian at 12/08/2005 03:43:00 PM Permalink
Comic, click now!
Friday, I went to Chuck E. Cheese's for a 23 year old girl's birthday party. She looks 12 though. I certainly didn't. FYI, of all ticket redemption games, "Raptor Captor" has the best odds in the house. We bought birthday girl a huge ass Chuck E. Cheese kickball. 1500 tickets, jesus, that's like 38 bucks.
That place has changed since the '80s. I really miss Chuck E. Cheese's vest and little bowler hat, it was very vaudevillian. Now he just has some damn shorts and some kind of purple roller derby jersey. What the hell? And the purple guy with the big yellow belly is sadly no longer naked, he is wearing some kind of hip-hop getup. Most disturbing of all, there was only one singing robot in the whole building. Gone are the days of dog-cowboy-banjo-playing-lipsynching totally bitchin robots.
There's not much I miss about the 80's, but creepy dancing robots, where have you gone?
Posted by Ian at 11/27/2005 03:34:00 PM Permalink
, the comic
, I mean.
As I write this a dripping sound is emanating from one of my apartment walls. It appears a pipe has sprung a leak. Or it is merely the blood of the damned, who have made an unholy purgatory of my bathroom wall.
Posted by Ian at 11/23/2005 06:27:00 AM Permalink
Maybe I'll start doing these every Tuesday/Thursday. Today is Saturday. Hmmm.
Posted by Ian at 11/20/2005 06:30:00 AM Permalink
Introducing a Friend
Posted by Ian at 11/09/2005 10:42:00 AM Permalink
Tonight I went to a concert that could have been dreamed out of David Lynch's
The headliners were the New York band Calla
, who are pretty fucking great. The venue was new, to me at least. Apparently the Doug Fir Lounge
went up right after I left for China. It's in the basement of this place called the "Juniper Hotel", which is a small, but expensive looking hotel.
Diane: I am now entering the town of Twin Peaks. The whole place looks like a vivisection of the Great Northern. You walk downstairs and the entire interior is faux cedar logs. I am in the Roadhouse. The stage is only lit from the back in red, no front lighting for the bands; odd.
Whatever for now. Local band (one dude) Quiet Countries
plays, then Celebration[?] plays, both good. Great. Then Calla plays, I'm feeling it, good times. Calla is a minor key sort band. I go to that moody place. We are moving up on the fifth song.
That's when they start to dance. Three older folks, at least 65. In suit pants, shirts tucked in. The woman is wearing pearls. They rock out. I bust out laughing, they don't notice. They mash potato; synchronized mash potato. They spin each other. They are soooo drunk. I am not enough so, apparently. They are the scary old folks from Mulholland Drive. But this time they don't represent any shattered Hollywood dreams, just a disruptive concert experience.
These folks are obviously staying at the hotel upstairs. There were others like them hanging in the back, but they had the good sense to stay there and not party up front.
Let me be clear, I don't begrudge moms and pops the opportunity to rock. If you have the music in your heart, well then who cares? Well, as I see it, there are 180 degrees of location you can stand in front of the stage. Why then, do you choose to do your old people crazy dance RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME? How the hell am I supposed to focus?
I move to stage left. A older tubby dude rises from his chair, and proceeds to boogie down in front of me. DAMNIT. Fine! Calla finishes. I bus it home.
Posted by Ian at 10/23/2005 04:20:00 PM Permalink
Found a Place
T minus six till move in day. Portland, we have apartment. The rent price is astronomical. I was desperate. But I'm happy to have gotten anything near campus. At least it's a brand new building. Very shiny.
One advantage of living with my parents, is that they have a professional grade espresso machine -- they just sold their coffee cart last year. Free lattes every morning. Shit, it has been a nice few weeks here.
Only four or five months up in this place. I must control my intense nest customization fetish and live light. I considered buying a rug, then instantly felt pangs of guilt. Palettes make a mighty fine bedframe. Milkcrates and zip-ties are definitely a shelf. You might call these things "retro". You are being far too kind.
Posted by Ian at 9/12/2005 03:17:00 PM Permalink
Too Many Jo Jos
I have abandoned all China plans and returned to America. Yea, I did it for a girl. What else, right? I have been in Michigan almost a month now. Going back to Portland in two days. Time to stop being a 24 year-old undergraduate.
Readapting to America has been a lot easier this time. When I moved back to the States the first time I still somehow thought I was special and had an unfortunately pressing need to tell people where I had been. Now I just don't give a damn, and would just sooner hide it. This is fantastic news.
Though I still do secretly feel like hot shit speaking Chinese in public. ?????
Being in this college town East Lansing would be a little surreal if I hadn't just come from Korean student town in Beijing. There are tons of Koreans here too. How can such a small country export so many a) cell phones and b) students?
Back to Portland soon. Things that must be done: Find an apartment downtown
, make music with him
, see a show
, plenty of work stuff
Posted by Ian at 9/01/2005 01:51:00 PM Permalink
Your First Time
Friends tell me about doing drugs. They say the first time you get really truly high, it's special. Recalling your first high is thinking of an old friend. Your memories of it filter through that rose camera lens they use to film Barbara Walter specials.
Most junkie's careers consist of trying to find that moment again.
Tokyo, I miss you. But I know the you I miss never existed anyway. I couldn't go there tomorrow and find you.
Every day in Beijing I fuck up, then adapt. I stopped counting what to or why. I don't analyze this process, not now. I just do it.
I haven't learned Chinese culture, as much as you can, yet. I have learned something else though. How to encounter cultural differences, note them, and respond to them. I've mostly internalized this, it's not something I think much about.
It still ain't easy, but now that I have a system, understanding another culture is not as much of a struggle as it used to be.
But I miss the struggle. Tokyo was my first high. I'm sorry Tokyo, you could have been anyone: Paris, Seoul, Moscow. Because I had no system to start understanding you, because you forced me develop a system to comprehend your reality, that's what made you special. That's what made you so exciting, like anything was possible.
So I left the United States again looking for that feeling. But my system now serves me too well. Living abroad is an endless procession of retarded lessons that I love dearly, it's rewarding in ways I don't even understand yet. But I still haven't found that old friend, my first time, and I guess I never will.
Posted by Ian at 6/16/2005 11:43:00 PM Permalink
Upload iPhoto Web Gallery
I wrote a Python/Applescript to automatically export pics from iPhoto to a photo album, ftp the album to a web site, and generate the link code to the new album needed for a blog post -- all with one click.
My parents just left on an RV trip around the western United States, and wanted a way to post photos from the road (I guess most rv camps have wifi now!). We are mac users, so they use iPhoto. I like the simple look of iPhoto's export to web album feature, but exporting and ftp'ing is a drag. So this program just automates the process. Once you have edited the source file with your ftp info, it's all automatic.
This has only been tested on iPhoto 4 and OSX 10.3 Panther (that's all we got). It uses (evil) GUI scripting extensively, because there's no script support for exporting to web photos in iPhoto (lame, btw).
This script does many applescript things, but is written in Python. It requires Appscript
To run it, I suggest writing a shellscript with something like this:
and name the file Export_Iphoto.command. The ".command" at the end will let you double click the shell script.
One more gotcha. Cause I was a lazy script-writer, you will need to make a folder in your "Pictures" folder called "iphoto_webgallery" or the script won't work.
Once you have that all setup, select an album in the left pane of iPhoto and run the script. That should be it (god willing).
The script: iphoto_to_web.py
Posted by Ian at 6/09/2005 02:23:00 AM Permalink
A New Mope
I saw Episode 3 three last night. As the end credits rolled fear washed over me: is my childhood is now officially over? Damn, I did not want to leave that theatre.
Oh, this is bad.
My adult brain is starting to remember something. Some business about graduation, and then there was the bit about life crippling student loans that need to be dealt with. Right, and then finding a direction in life that will give me a sense of meaning.
Screw this. I'll start reading the Star Wars novelizations and side-stories immediately. You can have my adolescence when you pry it from the fingers of my cold dead massive denial.
Posted by Ian at 5/22/2005 03:11:00 AM Permalink
Wo wang le mai dian
Purchasing electricity is task beyond my doing. In Beijing you don't have a monthly electricity bill (at least in the apartments I have lived in). Instead you do it pre-pay baby. You have a smartcard. You take this to the bank. Part with your rmb and magical electricity payment units are injected into your smartcard. Slam the card into your dianbox at home, flip the jumper, and you once again have lights by which to read.
But my dianbox is up a flight of stairs, and I never think to check it. You have to slam the box with your smart card to see your balance anyway, and I never carry it.
It's 五一, Golden Week, socialist workers paradise week, just pick one, in China. Naturally enough my power went out at 4PM. Equally natural: during WuYi the banks close an hour earlier than their normal 5PM. I know, I went to three.
So I have no electricity tonight. I am writing this from the 'old expat cafe. Candles are bought. Not really sure what I'm going to do with this time. Meditate or something? Play a lot of guitar. Maybe I'll go to a Houhai bar and read. Damn.
(Also why will blogger let me put text in my post body, but not the title?)
Posted by Ian at 5/05/2005 06:38:00 PM Permalink
It's one in the morning. I just had the experience of laughing very very loudly at a Python programming book that was poking fun at regular expressions
And then in a moment of complete mind-body separation, I disembarked from my corporal flesh, my spirit body floated up four or five feet in the air, looked down and understood one pure truth...I am SUCH a geek at times.
Everyone is gone. On vacation. Keisuke is in Korea. All the Germans are god knows where. Even my conversation partner is on a trip.
The upshot of having an apartment to yourself though is never having to say "Is my music too loud?" or "I'm sorry that I'm naked." I am much more productive this way. Doing a lot of work and computer reading. Daily basketball clears my head in between.
Tomorrow is a big adventure: going to the American grocery store in Chaoyang. Funny how every stupid errand is an adventure when you're on your own.
Posted by Ian at 5/03/2005 01:07:00 AM Permalink
I just clued into Danwei
), damn good English language analysis of China from people who actually seem to understand the culture and language.
Take for example this beautiful deconstruction of news media's fetish for post-modern Maozedong quotes and the ethnocentric belief that Chinese young people yearn to overthrow the government: link
While composing this post, I began to think "wouldn't it be delightful if I had a cute little image that portrayed China as evil?" Purely for showing that this attitude is not uncommon.
Googling, googling, first two unremarkable images show up, but the rest are broken. I search again and get "Document contains no data". I am now locked out of google image search. This is not the first time this has happened. It's always comes back later.
Irony climbed up the clocktower and tagged me for that one.
Posted by Ian at 4/30/2005 06:52:00 PM Permalink
My Beijing Bicycle
Bicycles in Beijing are like relationships. They offer companionship, but after a while they start to get really noisy, have lots of problems, and cost you a bunch of money.
My bicycle's name is Crummy 2 (aka: Crummy the Second, Crummy Jr, Crummy 2.0, Crummy the Revenge, Crummy the Reckoning, Crummy goes Miami, or simply Von Crummy). Crummy 1 was stolen back in October from the back entrance to the cafeteria at Yuyan daxue.
Please take special note of German inspired engineering (click for biggie):
| Crummy 2 just chillin|| Awesome deer basket|
| Chain guard oxidized to swiss cheese|| Plastic sack tied around seat for preemptive rain guard action|
| Lock attached to back I lost key for|| Brakes that don't|
| Tires that are fans of the slipping, but take a pass on the gripping|| Flying pigeon, fly like the wind pigeon!|
I love Crummy 2 because of her problems, not in spite of them. I used to think new bicycles were targets for thieves, and so that was my reasoning for sticking with the Crummy lineage. But I now understand that bike cleptos have no concept of "discrimination". Still, I stick with Crummy 2.
I have promised my friend Simon to take care of his crazy huge bicycle Potemkin (named for the Russian movie battleship of the same name) when he goes back to Germany. It will be my job to find a worthy successor for the beast. No small order. Who amongst us can see past that cold dark pig iron to see her inner beauty, a heart that yearns for the green pastures of shoddily tiled sidewalks and unevenly paved roads.
As her current owner put it: Make sure to ride her every once in a while. She likes to be ridden.
Posted by Ian at 4/26/2005 04:46:00 PM Permalink
There on the left, it's a new tagboard. It doesn't look as pretty as the old one, and the spacing of the stupid iframe in the page is annoying my perfectionist design sense. But the old one had a few things working against it:It was slow because it was hosted externally
Had annoying pop-under ads
Didn't support Chinese or Japanese language
You had to pay to protect yourself against flooding and spamming
Sorry all the recent messages were lost, but there's no way I am going back and re-entering them -- and no way to import. Let me know if it looks funky on your web browser/platform. Thanks.
Posted by Ian at 4/19/2005 06:23:00 PM Permalink
A Post About the Weather -- HEAR ME OUT
You wouldn't know it to read this site, but I really do have an inner editor, telling me not to talk about boring topics -- like the weather. I never make weather posts, what could be more unoriginal?
I am making an exception today. Sweet god, what is going on!? It is snowing fluffy white tree sperm EVERYWHERE today. I say snowing, but that doesn't convey the sense of horizontal, and reverse gravity maneuvering the seeds seem to delight in. They never deign to touch the ground, they just float through the air forever.
And it is DENSE man. Pedestrians bury their noses in their hands. My sinuses are now 12% chinese maple.
There is no escape. The little bastards are everywhere. It is now the Tree Pollen Republic of China, the people have no will to resist, and the revolutionary spirit of of the pollen is too great. We are defeated.Update:
It looked like this
. Thanks Xiaowen.
Posted by Ian at 4/18/2005 03:26:00 PM Permalink
The Recent Demonstrations
There was a major anti-Japanese demonstration in Beijing
this last weekend, it started close to where I live. But I missed it; damn. Having seen Yasukuni Shrine and the Uyoku in Japan, I'm really curious to experience the Chinese emotional reaction in person. These phenomenon represent extreme ends of a spectrum. The truth lies in the middle.
Going to the Unit 731
remembrance museum was an important experience for me. That was something real, and didn't smell so much of politics. It was an eerie, beautiful place, snow falling, one of the quietest places I have been to in China. It had a deep feeling, something very significant happened there.
I have not been to Nanjing yet, but I understand they are still using the 300,000 deaths numbers in the museum, although most peer-reviewed western publications are saying 80,000. So it goes.
What I find most ridiculous is the belief that any country's government can be "good" or "right". My own country damn well included. "Good for their own citizens", okay in rare cases, maybe. I hear some of those Scandinavian countries are quite forward thinking. But good or right in general sense? Any citizen action taken under this premise, while maybe retardedly sincere, is still fucking self-deluded.
Can we just call a spade a spade? Countries represent a culture of people. Cultures are by design an ingroup telling you the outgroup's rules are wrong. Countries are ethnocentric, in policy and action. This seems to be especially the case with ones who have much power.
How anyone from one of these powerful countries feel they can take morale high ground is beyond me. I feel nothing but deep humility for the actions of my country. I can criticize other countries, that's fine, but while I'm doing it I had damn well better be sure I continually acknowledge the atrocities my own country has done.
So, only action taken by people who have undergone critical thinking of what their culture has done to itself and others in the past is a meaingful kind of action to me.
Posted by Ian at 4/13/2005 11:32:00 PM Permalink