Monday, March 27, 2006


"Wow, things really are hard."
"This is what I was thinking. Or, it was the first thing that came to mind."
"Also what came to mind, is how different this would look spelled phonetically."
"Or with a different alphabet."
"A phonetic alphabet."
"All alphabets are phonetic."
"No they aren't."
"I see, by your ironic example of the '."
"That's not really a referring to a sound though, so it's not an example."
"So I perceive irony where there is none."
"That is often the case."
"Anyway, things are hard."
"Right, they are hard. Sometimes they are hard."
"No, they always are hard. Never easy."
"I disagree, for me things often are easy."
"It is hard for me to believe you."
"Perhaps this is a problem of perception."
"I think that easiness and hardness are always things that are perceived."
"True enough, though you evade my true meaning."
"Is it interesting how you can have linked antonyms?"
"What do you mean?"
"Like rough :: smooth :: difficult :: easy :: hard :: soft :: crunchy :: squishy."
"I've never thought about that."
"So, is it interesting?"
"In a pointless sort of way, yes."

Wednesday, March 22, 2006


{Due to the slight, in fact nearly zero, yet real possibility that the topic/s of this post's previous incarnation might read it and kill me, I instead bring you the following vignette:}

Toby: Morning, Bellboy! Quite a morning!

Bellboy: Yes sir, Toby sir.

Toby: What's the special today, my boy?

Bellboy: You'd have to ask Nina, Toby sir.

Toby: Well, get her in here.

Bellboy: Nina! Fat rich man to see you!

Toby: What was that?

{Nina enters}

Nina: Yes fat Toby?

Toby: You, Bellboy, you call Ms Sandy in here right now! I won't stand for this!

Bellboy: Argo! Argo! Fight between fat rich man and dinner jacket!

Toby: What?

{Argo enters}

Argo: Did I hear... Dinner Jacket Fight?

Nina: Hurrah!

Bellboy: Now, sir, your jacket!

Toby: What are you doing! Unhand me, you scalawag! Ms Sandy! Ms Sandy!

Argo & Nina: Jacket! Jacket! Jacket!

Bellboy: Taking bets!

{Ms Sandy enters}

Ms Sandy: Bellboy! Nina's brunch tips on the jacket!

Bellboy: Taken!

Toby: Someone help! Help me!

Nina: Wherever you go, there you are.

Argo: 10 o' clock, and the cows have placed their bets.

Ms Sandy: Nina, Argo, inside! Soon the banquet guests will begin to arrive!

(Argo, Nina, & Ms Sandy): Jacket! Jacket! Jacket!

Bellboy: Jacket, TKO on the big staircase!

(Argo, Bellboy, Nina & Ms Sandy): Hooray!

(Argo, Nina, & Ms Sandy leave)

Toby: Little did we know, setting out, that isochrony would prove to be a device for the enslavement of mankind. Living to the pulse of mechanical monstrosities, living and dying to numbers and dials, dying without a thought to time, except that there was more to be had. Curse this jacket! Curse isochrony! Curse these slaves!

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Okay, so last night was interesting. Really, all day yesterday was interesting, but I'll just describe last night here.

See, Jingping is of course a foreigner, and on top of that an asian foreigner; on top of that, a Chinese asian foreigner, which means that she is a prime target of Evangelical Christians. So, when she arrived here, she went on social getting-to-know America functions, etc., and joined up with a Contact Family who would invite her to family dinners and church functions, etc. So, she had asked me to go along with her to the next one. I agreed; she just knew it was some sort of Easter performance. I thought, okay, I haven't been to church in almost 10 years, this could be interesting. Gosh, was it interesting!

You see, this wasn't just a church. This was one of those Megachurches I've read about. The building is as big as Neyland stadium. The congregation is something like 20,000 people. I think this is the place (Southeast Christian Church) which broadcast Bill Frist's big creepy christian network message last spring when there was the whole stupid political filibuster judgey thing. So, it was not what I was expecting. I was expecting a church service.

No! This was the life of Jesus, performed over 2 hours with professional lighting, an orchestra, a cast of dozens of costumed actors, maybe a thousand extras, special effects, angels lowered from the 200 foot vaulted ceiling, and, of course, the five 20 foot television screens positioned above the stage so that all the thousands of people in the audience could get a good cinematic look at the faces of the actors.

Needless to say, I was scared to death. Jingping was genuinely entertained by the whole thing, and was absolutely confused by my terror, though I did derive a sort of enjoyment from the experience; she, being a geniune Chinese communist, seems completely immune to it all, and takes it as a sort of cultural tourism, while I'm sitting there thinking about what a hive of weirdness and complete unreality surrounds me, and how did I get here, and how can there be so many of these people, and do they all really think that in the end Jesus flew up into the sky with everyone singing songs out of a Simpson's parody?

I mean, he flew up into the upper tier at the end, on wires, and everyone is cheering and singing. My mouth was hanging open. I had heard of these things, seen satire of it, but I never thought I would see one. These people are serious! These people are crazy. It was entertaining, though, and Jingping and I got to have a long and confusing argument about religion and communism and democracy and single-party systems and truth-being-relative, while eating dumplings and having a headache, and man, my brain was tired! Fun fun fun! You can try and guess who took each side, and what was agreed on and disagreed on, and what she thought I disagreed with but didn't, and what I expected her to disagree with but didn't.


And that was only the end of yesterday! Yesterday, a nice day.