Greetings bootleggers!I've had a great day today. Went for a run and did some pushups andsitups in 91 degree weather which is as close to as miserable as the weather was in Iraq, and yes, I know, that sentence didn't make total grammatical sense but I don't really want to waste my precious time correcting it.Then, I had a great Chinese class with Zhu at MH(no pinyin!) and then went to the tattoo shop and made my deposit. Yup, gonna do it! I sat with them for about an hour and we came up with a final design and size for the tattoo. Pretty awesome. Best part: I spoke with them almost entirely in English because neither of them spoke very much English. These lessons are paying off... I'm gonna sit on it (the design) for a couple of days, and then gonna set up the appointment for sometime next week. I'm really going to do it. Crazy.
I've also been watching a lot of Scandal Season 3 too. Via Amazon Instant video. It's great that I can watch it, but it's annoying that because I'm in China, my Prime membership doesn't work. So while in the states, I could watch it for free, here, I have to pay $1.99 per episode. But it's worth it: It's nice to be 'back home' again in the USA. The scenarios are preposterous, and I truly hope that our government is not truly run in this fashion, but the drama and suspense and writing and characters and all that are just amazing. Makes me smile every time I watch it.I am again so grateful to Frederic Lenoir andhis amazing book, "Du Bonheur". It's one of the books I bought while I was living in Castres, France, and which is truly beginning to change my life: I love that Plato thought the search for happiness was foolish, since even murderers do the same. Instead, one should live a good life, and one with values, and beliefs, and all that. It makes the search for and the worship of God (as a higher ideal) far more relevant. I really love it. I love it even more because it helps me to realize that perhaps 'the search for happiness' is a fruitless ideal, a waste of time, and a psychosis-inducing chimera. Something that just doesn't exist, and even if it does, is irrelevant (and perhaps not a very noble or worthy goal) because even the shitheads want (and sometimes receive) happiness too.
Right now, I'm gonna do some Chinese homework, and then pedal over to my French Literature class at 6:15. This evening, gonna try to get TONS more done. I am honestly considering turning my phone completely off so that no invitation or message by anyone can get me sidetracked. I have a lot to do. Time to get cracking.A few things have been on my mind though. About China.First, I read in the FInancial TImes that almostall of Hollywood is shifting now to a Chinese focus, because China has now become the biggest market for movies worldwide. Just watching Transformers 4, and all the Chinese product placement and references, helps to illustrate this. So it's ironic that I'm here in China now, because just like the Army helped my showbiz career before, perhaps my being here in China may boost my movie career somehow too.Second, it's NICE here. In Shanghai. In China. Really nice.Genuinely a lovely place to live. Yes, the pollution is bad, but it's not that noticeable except if you look up and see the gray sky. (Though I must point out that today, all I see is blue, and cumulous clouds of puffiness, as afar as the eye can see. Pollution today is the lowest it's been in months, and wow, it's nice). But really, I don't think I can actually 'feel it' in my lungs or anything. I think I (and everyone) was and is paranoid. It's actually fine here. Though I really miss the blue sky on a regular basis, that's a fact. Beyond that, it's great. Anything I can want to buy is easy to find. There's an international bookstore so I can buy tons of brand new English books. I can see great movies in the theaters, in English. I have a wonderful apartment looking over the river, and air conditioning that works so well, and steady electricity. I have a wonderful subway system here (much better than New York City because it's so new here), and the high speed trains are delightful. I took a one-hour trip to Wuxi the other night, and it was a pleasure. If I need a taxi, there is always one available. There's an alliance francaise here, so I'm able to continue to improve my French. There's a LOT to love about this place. Heck, riding my bike home from Chinese school through the narrow streets I found a lovely watermelon stand, right there, ready to eat on chopsticks. I stopped, and for 50 cents US money (3 kuai RMB), I was able to get half of a watermelon on a stick. SO delicious. I ate it right there, then got on my bike and continued on my merry way, weaving through traffic; scooters; pedestrians; and whatnot. It's funny here, the transportation. There are almost NO traffic laws. People run red lights constantly it seems. One way streets are such in name only. No right turn? Says who? At first, it was very scary riding around here on my bike, and I would ride very fast, like I did back home. But I've learned that fast is a recipe for disaster here, because while riding my bike, I have to: a) look both ways, constantly, when crossing intersections, b) never veer to the left or right, because a scooter or car or person might be right next to me, but unseen in my blind spot, c) always have the hands on the breaks, ready to stop at any moment, d) never make sharp turns, because I might turn right into a car or bike or person around the corner, coming my way, and this list goes on. Now, though, it's fun. It's like a game every time I ride my bike: don't get hit. Don't hit someone else. Don't die! haha!OK, I've already written far more than Iintended. The third thing I wanted to say can wait. Today, day off. Tomorrow, day off. Friday, part-time begins so I don't have to be at work until 5pm (until 9), which is just amazing. I'm glad I fought for it; I'm glad they agreed. I am really looking forward to having this extra time to proofread the first draft of my novel (I finished it three weeks ago); and put even more effort into my language studies, and my PhD dissertation. Busy bee over here. Lata!Thanks for reading! JMonroe Mann, Esq, MBA
www.EnoughExcusesAlready.com <--my consulting and coaching firm
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Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Yo ho! Yo ho! The Shanghai life for me!
Posted by Attorney Monroe Mann at 11:57 AM