mistersandman: (SHAME)
I fell out of touch with my thesis adviser after spring break. Can you blame me? I have class during his office hours and a busy schedule besides. The man does not check his email and rarely answers his phone. Moreover, I had shit I had to do. But now it's time to pay the piper and that essay on Chinese water policy isn't going to write itself.

I'm barely on the 14th page of my essay after three intense writing sessions. It seems like every paragraph has been a struggle. My adviser will tell me this is because I don't have a solid thesis when I finish speaking to him twelve hours from now. Can't wait. I'm worried he's going to hate this paper. His focus (and the focus of this thesis class) is American Wilderness Preservation History. When he gave me permission to write this bastard, it was a major show of faith. There's nothing I hate more than letting people down who "believe in me." Seriously, the worst thing the guy could ever have said to me is "You're a smart kid. You're getting an A."

It suddenly occurs to me that my college career will end with very little fanfare. If I'm going to attend my father's wedding on April 30 (I have to, I agreed to be Best Man), I need to have all scholarly business concluded by April 28 at the latest and there won't be much time to breathe in between for celebration. I have a Chinese final on Wednesday, another Chinese final on Thursday, a Stat final on Tuesday of next week, and a final Stalin paper to write. On top of that, I have to entertain my father for the entirety of Saturday, when he comes to take away everything I own from my house except the barest essentials.

After the 24th, I'll just be a ghost haunting an empty house with naught but my laptop and two pairs of clothes. Life after graduation is a mystery to me. Habitat for Humanity? Inspector General? Library volunteering?

???
mistersandman: How would you feel if you had to put on a really stupid hat? (comical hat)


So my friend Richard and I followed our good mutual friend Anna to her job in Squirrel Hill because that's where the cheapest grocery market is. And I guess we like Anna.  Under the pretense that I was going to buy something (LIES), Anna convinced her boss at Gamestop to put Marvel vs. Capcom 3 in the resident Xbox 360.  Awesome times. 

Of course, we're immediately pestered by this eight year old kid who had to get in on the action, which suited Richard just fine because he was tired of kicking my ass.  The kid asks how to play the game.  I ask him if he's played Marvel vs. Capcom 2 or perhaps Street Fighter.  He has no idea what Street Fighter is.  Nope.  So we get down to character pickings.  After a round or two with Richard, I've already fallen in love with Amerterasu and Magneto and I immediately put them on my team.  The kid picks Deadpool and Wolverine because they are soo cool.  Fair enough.  After I give him a good licking (purely by accident, I mashed a lot of buttons), he decides he'll play me using my team.  Only he doesn't know who Magneto is.

???

How does a kid know about Deadpool but not Magneto?  What are kids watching these days?  I've never felt so old in my life.

You're It.

Feb. 17th, 2011 03:36 am
mistersandman: (Default)
I didn't tag any of my posts at first because I didn't know what kinds of posts I would make later and it seemed banal to make a tag for every element of those posts.  It's one thing to tag entries that are in a 'series' like my photo project or my superhero obsession, but cataloging beyond the immediately superficial requires some thought.  Any suggestions?  I'm definitely going to make a China tag.  I seem to do a lot of arbitrary reviews of things that I read/watch.  Should I make a separate review tag for different media or should I just have a generic "review" tag?  THESE ARE SERIOUS QUESTIONS THAT ARE KEEPING ME AWAY FROM STALIN WRITINGS.  I'm also tempted to make a This Is Stupid tag, but I fear I would abuse it.  Oh well.
mistersandman: (Default)


Went downtown for a spell today. This is called the Bridge of Sighs on one side was the court and the other side was the prison. Those windows on the bridge were the last glimpse of the outside world for many of the prisoners. Cheerful!

I love being in cities because of the effect the cityscape has on my imagination. The urban horror/fantasy is an idea that has really captivated me during college. You could probably trace this obsession directly through China Mieville's works, specifically Perdido Street Station, The City and the City, as well as Kraken with a wink and a nod to Jeff VanderMeer's Shriek. I don't have time to really expand on precisely what I mean by urban horror/fantasy, but while I'm sketching out a quick canon I'd like to give a quick shout-out to Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere and portions of his work on Sandman. And as I slide down the banister of decreasing literary merit, some Batman comics have also played with urban horror-- Peter Milligan's "Dark Knight, Dark City" and David Lapham's "City of Crime" are outstanding examples.
mistersandman: (watchmen)
I just got off the phone with James Swihart, co-director of the Teaching and Learning Program in China, a program that works in conjunction with the Shenzhen government to teach English to Chinese students aged 7-18. The interview was a lot easier than I expected. In fact, it wasn’t much of an interview at all! I’ve never been to a job interview where I was expected to ask more questions than the interviewee. Did they think I wouldn’t read their website’s FAQ twenty times in preparation for our conversation? On the whole, the interview would have gone smoother if I hadn’t tried to use his answers to talk about my experiences.

He seemed like a nice guy, though. He described the work permit/visa process as “a pain in the ass" and who can't appreciate that kind of honesty? I think he and his program are still coming to terms with the fact that more and more Americans are studying Chinese and living abroad in China as part of their college experience. Since he ascended to the co-director position in 2005, the number of people with Chinese language experience (which is to say, at least one semester of Chinese in college) has risen from 20% to 50%.



I really hope I get in. Lord knows I’ll never cut it as a YouTube comedian:

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Three Little Birds

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