Either you are sorting it out, or you are full of it.

Monday, January 11, 2010

New Words: Stentorian and Manque



posted by ferret at 3:53 pm  

Sunday, January 10, 2010

I Speak Chinese Very Well

[FERRET and LEAF are getting street kabobs on Shanghai’s immortal and immoral Hengshan Lu. Unfortunately, someone from the bar across the street has ordered enough kabob’s for the entire bar. So FERRET and LEAF have to wait in the cold. LEAF talks to herself to stay warm:]



How is it so cold? Why did they order so much food?

[A MAN walks by and asks the KABOB WOMAN:]



Where is the nearest ATM?



There’s one across the street.



That one is closed. Is there another?




There is another up ahead on Yongjia Lu, but I don’t know if it has a 24 hour ATM. Up ahead on Hengshan Lu on the right there is a Bank of China. You can definitely use that ATM.



Okay. Thanks.

[The MAN walks off. FERRET teases LEAF:]


[in somewhat broken Chinese]


You are a tour guide.



You speak Chinese very well.




[The KABOB WOMAN pulls closer to LEAF and speaks under her breath, not wanting FERRET to hear.]



What was he saying?



He said I’m a tour guide. He was telling a joke.

posted by ferret at 1:10 pm  

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Crossing the Line

I recently saw a documentary called Crossing the Line about the US soldier James Dresnok who defected to North Korea during the Korean War and has lived there ever since. The documentary was fascinating not only because of its subject – a 60 something American with a Southern twang continually launching into fluent Korean, but also the strange, aberrant trend that it elicits – the flight from the West to the East.

Dresnok describes himself as a disaffected young man without hope, wanting only a rebirth into a new kind of life. He certainly got what he wanted. He unwittingly became North Korea’s most famous star of anti-American propaganda movies. As an expatriate in my sophmore years, I have seen so many young Americans come to East Asia with the same kind of attitude, a longing for something different and yes, even movie stardom.

posted by ferret at 12:58 pm  

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Scruta from the Holidays: Love, Cats and Chocolate


Over the course of a hungover morning I got through a graphic novel called Clumsy, the story of a dysfunctional relationship told in a series of intimate and uninspired vignettes. I should note that I don’t doubt the authenticity of these intimate moments. I’m sure as far as the author was concerned they were “inspired.”  Yet, I found it hard to be moved and endless harangue of one awarkward moment after another, mixed with first time phone sex and farting in bed with a lover. It’s just… well… isn’t there more to say about love? What if the answer is ‘No’? This might be the most horrifying, and possibly redeeming point about this book: Actual relationships are depressingly boring.

Anywho, to purchase a copy and view all the works available from the author you can check out his slick website, The Holy Consumption. In my humble opinion, a good deal more riveting than the book it touts.


While checking a book called Liberation Biology, I learned about the advent of genetically modified, non-allergenic cats from a company called Allerca. Your basic bubble boy friendly feline starts at $6,950, with a premium model at $22,000. The cats have their opponents, including a dedicated blog and a number of claims on consumer advocate websites like The Consumerist (check out the responses from the Allerca-ahem-Anonymous blogger). Although the most wild threats/accusations are found on Allerca’s website itself.


A trip across the Pacific on United Airlines gave me time to read their Hemisphere’s Magazine article on TCHO. Indie chocolate by consumers for the consumers? Break me off a bit o’ that, please.

posted by ferret at 10:56 pm  

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

False Start #30

Joy is never expected.

She walks into a bureaucrat’s office without notice, demanding that all is expedited, flinging forms about like confetti in the whirlwind of her desires, while the bureaucrat falls all over himself, unable to muster his usual indignation, attempting to reconcile her wishes, suddenly finding the mundane tasks that plagued his life sweeter, full of more meaning than he had ever imagined, curling his lips with a smile.

But as she signs the last of her forms and he notorizes them for her, the bureaucrat realizes that Joy will not stay. Soon it will be just himself and these papers and stamps, these provisions and protocols. He sifts through them looking for loopholes to call her back, or just looking so that he might shorten the time until she returns.

posted by ferret at 10:35 pm  
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