Monday, August 30, 2010

Loose Ends

I am back in Guangzhou. Class starts Wednesday, but to hold you over in the meantime, some things you might have wondered about while I was gone:

  1. Perhaps you remember the daily Nutrition Encyclopedia text messages I kept getting at the end of last year. Perhaps you remember hearing about the unremitting barrage, dozens and dozens of times a day, of “tips” and “tricks”, things like, “whatever you do, don’t drink tea with milk.” Perhaps you remember the lengths I went to to try to unsubscribe. Perhaps you remember that these text messages were, slowly, driving me insane.

    Well, if you don’t, don’t worry: I’m still getting them, so you haven’t missed anything! The first sentence of the one I received yesterday is 在家看光碟自学肚皮舞不利健康 which means “Studying bellydancing from a CD at home can be bad for your health” As usual, this is not a joke.

  2. Gristle is still alive, and doing well. Yesterday was Gristle’s birthday, so he called me and said, “let’s go out to dinner!” And I said, “ok!”, and then Andy (my new roommate-cum-colleague (it’s a real preposition deal with it)) and I met him at the gate to our school, and he told us that we were actually going to his aunt’s small apartment, where we ate soup of unknown provenance, drank plastic cups of coca-cola (which the host gave to Andy and me and no one else), and watched an episode of Breaking the Magicians’ Code: Magic’s Biggest Secrets Finally Revealed:

    Magic!

    featuring the paunchy Masked Magician and his assistants, never named in the show but presumably referred to behind the scenes as Cheekbones and Breasts. Respectively.

    It was playing on Chinese TV for reasons that are unclear to me. But Gristle, Gristle’s aunt, Gristle’s ambiguous other female relative, Some other guy (maybe married to the lady), a 10-month-old baby, Andy, and I watched it after dinner and had a great time.

    As we were walking home, Gristle turned to me and said, “You know? Andy reminds me a lot of President Lincoln.” And then: “Don’t tell him I said that.”

    So no, Gristle hasn’t really changed.

  3. From Saturday’s New York Times:

    Obama and Star
Command

    I only post this because I am not sure why President Obama is posing with the members of what appears to be some sort of Weimar-themed Space Command.