Monday, March 15, 2010

Weekend Update Buddy

Some things happened this weekend, which I will share with you now.

  1. Someone should email me at the beginning of each semester, right when I'm about to teach the first period of my film class, to remind me that if a student asks me what some of my favorite movies are, I should lie. In particular, the words "Mulholland Dr." should not be spoken at all. In fact, it's probably best to avoid saying "David Lynch" altogether. Because if I am not warned in advance, I will invariably mention "Mulholland Dr." in passing, and invariably an impressionable young girl will go home that night and, wanting to please her teacher, she'll decide to watch it.

    You may remember that this happened last semester, when one of my students watched Mulholland Dr. and sent me an email afterward saying that it was like a "confusing nightmare" to her. Did I learn? Are you kidding me? Did Adam learn when he went to the top of the mountain and met the cowboy who told him to jump aboard his buggy? No, I did not learn.

    And so I mentioned it again this semester. And then this Saturday after class a student came up to me and asked if I had been telling the truth the week before, and if Mulholland Dr. was actually one of my favorite movies. I admitted that it was and hesitantly asked if she had watched it.

    "Yes," she said. "I found it unacceptable."

    In summary: let's just be thankful my favorite movie isn't, say, American History X.

  2. The other night Gristle came to our house because, as he put it (in English), "I going to take shit." He had met Gus out at the school gate to pass off some tutoring materials and had invited himself up to use our bathroom. Just like that.

    The real question with Gristle is "Where does it end?" This is a man who's asked to sleep over at our house because he's scared of the ghosts at his apartment. He borrowed my digital camera for a weekend trip to Shenzhen. He took our iron. Our iron! How will we iron our clothes, Gristle? How?

    I took pictures of him in the shower. I lent him money. I helped him carry a 10 liter bottle of cooking oil halfway across the city. We had to take the subway. We changed trains twice.

    The point is that Gristle has taken a lot from me. Nevertheless, every night I went to sleep easy knowing that, whatever happened, I could always go into my bathroom and I wouldn't find Gristle in there pooping. But now that he's using our toilet with impunity, I can't even take comfort in my Gristle-poop-free bathroom. IS NOTHING SACRED?

  3. I am currently typing this post on Gus's old computer because my computer is in the shop. Why is it in the shop? Hell if I know. I was having a problem with my battery, so I took my laptop to the only authorized Apple repair place in Guangzhou. When I got there, a guy talked at me in Chinese for 15 minutes, and then I signed a form, and then he took my computer away. Is he ever going to give it back? I assume so, but based on what happened at the office I have no reason to believe that that's true. Before he accepted my computer, he did a spot check of the case and wrote up a form which (supposedly) detailed the state of my computer's exterior. He then asked me to "look over" the form, as though I have the ability to "look over" a handwritten Chinese document. It's not like I'm great at looking over forms in general. If someone asked me to look over a form in America, I'd probably just stare at it for a few seconds, verify that it didn't say "I'm going to steal your computer," and then say that it looked fine. Which is exactly what I did in the computer shop today. Minus the part about checking that it didn't authorize the man to steal my computer because, come on, it was written in Chinese.