Monday, September 15, 2008

Comments, Links

Micah on...

The US election
I hope the president is somebody strong enough to surround himself with people of character. Because if there's anything we learned from this last administration (Jon Stewart voice: and ooooh, how much we've learned) the presidency is as much about the team around the president as it is about the commander-in-chief himself.

In science, we use facts ("a close agreement by competent observers of a series of observations of the same phenomena") to formulate new hypotheses, and hypotheses as the basis for experiments which will generate new facts. Actually, this feedback cycle is a useful pattern for many different things in life, including religion. A religion is useful for interpreting spiritual and philosophical facts, but facts should also inform and refine a religion. Historically, the first has been emphasized while the second has been neglected.

The Olympics
They shouldn't have been given to Beijing. Maybe Shanghai or Guangzhou.

I've been to a couple of private parties in the neighborhood recently, with colleagues from work, semi-reluctantly for reasons I won't go into. I was pretty awkward. I need to get off the internet and arrange more outings with real friends.

Ever since they came up on Twitter, I've had my Smashing Pumpkins collection on repeat and am reveling in the 90s nostalgia: Gish was raw, Siamese Dreams was the pinnacle, Mellon Collie was the masterpiece, and once Jimmy left it sorta went downhill. This afternoon I dug out a Pizzicato Five album for Charlotte because it's more upbeat and she likes to dance, Sister Freedom Tapes. She likes Jay Z's Hard Knock Life for the Annie sample, too.

Where you live
Living in Ann Arbor was good for me because I took away the importance of taking the initiative in building up your community, or creating one where there is none. When Jodi and I think about long-term plans, the possibility of moving back to Changsha comes up but never really seriously. It's attractive to me because deep down I still feel the repulsion towards Shanghai that I did when I first came here. It'd be like leaving New York for Pittsburgh, if that makes sense. First I'd have to convince Jodi that I could get a job.

I have a real populist streak in me when it comes to history; think Zinn's America, or applying that to Shanghai, Lu's Beyond the Neon Lights. I think Chinese-language sources of Shanghai history are untapped by Western historians. I look down my nose at certain Shanghai historians and their methods.

I was really hoping for a boy, but have managed to convince myself that karma/God brought about our second daughter and therefore it is justified and correct.

We haven't gone out in a long time because of the pregnancy and the traditional Chinese postnatal rest period. I've been eating my mother-in-law's cooking for too long now, and I'm craving a hamburger. Or anything that's not soft/wilted and oily/saucy.

Pizzicato Five - Domino


At Sep 16, 2008, 8:26:00 PM, Anonymous chriswaugh_bj said:

Changsha is a great city! Really, I still love Changsha. I haven't gotten back there for damn near eight, nearly nine years now, but still, it has a very special place in my heart. I would not hesitate to raise a family there.

And I still really, really want to go back to Changsha, it's just that circumstances have not allowed that so far. I would really love to spend a day on Yuelushan, another wandering Orange Island, another in Martyr's Park, another in Tianxin Park.... Really, it's an awesome city, Changsha.

I can't, and won't, presume to comment on your present situation or familial circumstances, I'm just saying Changsha is a great city and if I could (circumstances for me dictate Beijing, and I love Beijing as much as I love Changsha) I would go back there in an instant. Yes, I am a little conflicted, but Changsha rocks. Changsha is awesome.

Just had to say that.

At Sep 16, 2008, 8:47:00 PM, Blogger Micah said:

Actually I was going to link to your recent post where you mentioned Changsha, but I was determined to make this a link-less post so I opted not to. That would be a scene: both of us end up in Changsha! Heh.

At Sep 21, 2008, 12:37:00 PM, Blogger Larry said:

Fun to sample your box of chocolates thoughts. Did you see that Mom, Ani and I riffed on the same themes on our xanga blogs?


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