Friday, December 28, 2007

Home → Huamu Police Station → School → Company HR → Lunch → School → Pudong Police HQ → ICBC Bank → Construction Bank → Pudong Police HQ → Construction Bank → Family Mart → Border Control Bureau → Home.

Charlotte has been added to my work visa; I got to see the Minsheng Rd metro construction site (Line 7) from up high, as well as Jincai High School; rode home from the Science & Tech Museum stop; wrote a homework packet for Honors Physics. Quite a day. I'm off to wash the dishes.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

I've never believed in teasing/ribbing as humor.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

A couple of days ago, Jodi was talking with a friend about crying during TV shows and movies. I thought back to the last time I cried over a story, and it turned out to be a newspaper article a few days ago. It's not sad, it's moving. I keep meaning to translate it but my time is being taken up elsewhere. Here's the first few paragraphs:









A 20 square-meter room is full of seated blind people. They concentrate together, listening attentively.

A man walks over and stands next to the television set, and says into the microphone: "Welcome ladies and gentlemen to Mind's Eye. My name is Dawei, and I will be watching a movie with you today. I've just gotten a haircut, a buzz-cut; I'm wearing a grey sweatshirt over a white shirt, blue jeans, and brown leather shoes.

"This guy's great!" somebody in the audience whispers.

A Well-Lit Theater

The movie has started, but the lights are still on.

"The setting is a private swimming pool, filled with crystal clear water. Next to the pool is a small white bungalow. Now the director's name is on the screen; his name is Scott. The camera enters the bungalow, where white shades in front of the window sway gently..."

On the screen I can see the name of the movie: "Matchstick Men". David explains: "In American, matchstick man means somebody who cheats other people. So this movie will tell the story of two con artists."

This is an ordinary siheyuan, a traditional courtyard house, in the Zhonggulou area of old Beijing. It is not only a home but also serves a function that makes it fondly spoken of by Beijing's blind residents: this siheyuan is host to the Mind's Eye Theater. The movie narrator's name is Dawei (David?), 40 years old, who for the past three years conceived and operated this mini movie theater for the blind. The Mind's Eye shows one movie a week; over the course of the theater's lifetime, it has shown over 100 movies to more than 4000 blind moviegoers.

And it gets even better. Maybe somebody in Beijing recognizes this place. If I were there I'd search it out for fun.


Tuesday, December 18, 2007

I have 10 full posts written up and ready to post on the Shanghai Public Transportation weblog, plus five posts ideas in draft form ready to be written. Hard time to sit back and relax, though, with all the new lines opening on the 29th of this month.

I just realized I don't have the 29th off of school. In fact it's Parents Day, which is a bad one to miss. Shucks.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

A couple years ago I bought a retro-looking, Shanghai manufactured clock for my brother for his birthday at a small clock shop near Fuzhou Road that I haven't been able to find since then. This year I bought a similar Shanghai manufactured, panda-themed metal alarm clock at an old clock and watch shop on the antique street south-west of Yu Gardens.

If I was a journalist with too much time on my hands, I would try to do for the Shanghai clock factories what Richard Gluckman did for Shanghai's harmonicas.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Two news items caught my eye in the paper this morning. First of all, the Shanghai city government shows that it doesn't really understand what an "auction" is by modifying the license plate auction system to warn users when they bid an amount that is "too high". The article mentions that "too high" will be determined an unspecified algorithm involving last month's winning bids and the "current situation". The other is that the US and China have signed a legally non-binding agreement to loosen visa restrictions for Chinese tour groups to visit the US. Supposedly, the US will now go on China's Approved Destination Status list, the 中国公民自费出境旅游目的地国家名单. Tours are expected to start by the Chinese New Year and start at RMB 20,000, or USD 2700.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Snapshots from tonight:

Jodi in bed early with a headache, reading my copy of Mian Mian's 熊猫 and enjoying the electric blanket on 'high'.

Charlotte in the bath playing with her cup and rubber duck, finally away from the fawning grandparents, alone and playing with her toys, focused, oblivious of her father sitting nearby.

Jodi's mom and dad, sitting on the couch, having finished dinner and the dishes, watching a 抗日 anti-Japan soap opera and waiting with a bowl of hot rice-porridge for Charlotte to finish her bath.

Me on the Linux box again, fixing Chinese font display, updating the bus line translations, browsing the Shanghai metro BBSs, looking up the phrase 两条鱼事件 (net-censor-dodging code for the Chen Liangyu corruption case), listening to Nat King Cole.

Nice hair

Tuesday, December 11, 2007




Basically on the mainland, going to the theater is very costly... especially in Shanghai. Does it need to be explained? Fools and their money are soon parted.

Isn't going to the theater fashionable? Doesn't it make one cultured? Isn't it a refined habit? First put up the money!

Re: Why is theater in Shanghai so expensive?

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Does anybody know what college Wang Shuo's daughter is going to? (Yes, it's my celebrity family thing surfacing again.)