Whales and Whales and Shippy Shippy Ships

A topic, a topic, my kingdom for a topic! Nothing is what is not happening, and yet, from out of all this abundant everything, no topic presents itself! Perhaps therein lies the value of the journal – that by beating raw experience into some semblance of a narrative passably pennable, one crafts from the blessed chaos a role, a mythology, a reason. I blog, therefore I mean!

As far as “blogs about having nothing to say” go, I think I’m doing a rather smashing job of late. And thus¬†without further ado, I present to you: my mundanity.

I wake (blessed blessing!) roughly seven thirty every morn. If I rise immediately, I have time to tidy things up a bit, scramble vegetables into eggs, read a chapter, and possibly sit for the customary six-and-a-half minutes before heading out to work. If I don’t rise, I wake again at eight thirty and dash out the door for the office via McDonalds.* In the office, I sit for most of the morning (though this “sit” is a different sit), doing all nature of tasks prescribed by my boss, myself, or my friend’s girlfriend’s boss, who has requested that I help him manage music licensing inquiries for his TV production and after-editing company. Alternatively, I reject all nature of tasks requested by my soon-to-be-boss,** on account of he’s not my boss yet.

But lo! There, from deep beneath the waves, a dark shadow, growing. Growing large! A whale! Should it break the surface the fine ship will splinter and the story will once again become the adventurous tale of a young man braving the wild unknown in little more than a kayak. If that happens, you’ll know. If it doesn’t, you’ll never hear about it again.***

When the sun reaches its highest point (it’s getting stronger, a little higher each day) the citizens of the office break for lunch. I accept all offered invitations, but if none are, and if I have no tasks on my plate, I take my backpack and strike out alone. Nobody knows why I take my backpack to lunch, and nobody knows why I take two hours. The reason is books.

Two o’clock finds me back at the desk. In the afternoon I become more bold about watching The Colbert Report. If no meetings are opened (the use of that verb here is a Chineseism) I break at four to buy a tiny coffee and almonds. I’m addicted to almonds. They’re amazing. Such crunch! Edible dignity! Eat them, dear friends! Eat them while you can, because they’re dying. You killed them. You can have your cars and your flush toilets, but you can’t have cars and flush toilets and almonds. The gods made us with limitations – we cannot fly, we cannot build a stairway to heaven, and we cannot have cars and flush toilets and almonds. I think that’s what that new movie about Anglo Noah is trying to say.

Five o’clock already feels like six, which is when I can traipse out unmolested. And then? Jazz on Sundays and Tuesdays, various dinners besides. There’s a guy behind a bar I know who always wants to talk about books. When the musician crowd flows in from TongZhou (cheaper suburb) I usually get swept along and bandied about. There are a few interesting souls with whom mine own oft communes over beer or whiskey but never wine (unfortunately).

And that is myself. A little breath, a little flesh, a little reason…

…and a poll! I reached out to my hometown newspaper about the possibility of me providing some periodic personal interest writing. The response was positive, but hesitant due to fear of insufficient material that would interest their market (small-town East Texans). I think I’m gonna write a sample about Chinese people’s stereotypes of Texans (such exist!), and use American stereotypes and Chinese stereotypes as the connecting thread between the different pieces.

Poll: Is this a good topic? Any other ideas?

It’s three, it’s three, not three for you, but three for me. Three in the afternoon, isn’t that when Colbert Report comes on? It is now.

Say hi to Anglo Noah for me.

*Embedded in a foreign and potentially hostile nation, I dare to patronize an institution that systematically oppresses the poor, tears at the fabric of society, and poisons the bodies of the people. Let it never be said that I am not a patriot.

**Subtext: I took the job, already submitted my thirty-days notice.

***Don’t worry, Mom and Dad, this isn’t as ominous as it sounds. It’s just an opportunity of a different kind.

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4 Responses to Whales and Whales and Shippy Shippy Ships

  1. Hollacopter says:

    Oh, and Minecraft.

  2. Mom says:

    I think you could write awesome columns for the Marshall paper! Stereotypes would be a great topic. Also food. And smog. People always ask about smog. Or write about learning Mandarin. THE DATING GAME SHOW!!

    • Hollacopter says:

      Smog and food sound good. I could probably do those under the guise of stereotypes, as in, use American impressions of them as the starting point. Learning Mandarin could also be of universal interest, as an aside from the unifying theme. As for the dating show, it’d be hard to make that sound interesting to people who don’t know me. But then again, let’s be honest, is there anyone who doesn’t know me by now? Amiright?

  3. Mom says:

    Well, THE BACHELOR is a really popular TV show here, and the surprise ending of you getting a job instead of finding the love of your life is interesting. Another idea: MISD is having a huge bond election in May, so people are talking about education more than they usually do. Any stories about how Chinese education differs from American education would probably be interesting to Marshallites nowadays.

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