Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Holy CRAP!

OK, so two weeks ago, Ant and I were woken up by a 5.7 at 0430 located in the ocean on the other side of Japan from us. Today, I am standing in an office at work, and I had just leaned on the fridge in that office when some one shouted, WOAH! I look up and the walls are swaying back and forth, rather noticeably. It went on for at least 30 seconds! Things were rattling on the walls and on the shelves. I look up on the USGS site, 5.8, about 65 miles east of us; 40 miles deep.

Check out the link...

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Anniversary and the Trip Back

Well, Saturday was my husband's and my 8th wedding anniversary. As with many of our anniversaries, we spent it apart. I was enjoying my last night in Hawaii, the place we got married, with friends out to dinner. I guess that isn't a bad way to spend an anniversary if you can't be with your significant other.
Sunday I started my trip back to Misawa. Everything went smoothly, for the most part, until we took off, that is. I made it to the gate in a half hour (not bad for checking the bags, getting my boarding pass, getting through security, etc.) and finished reading my book (good thing I brought two along with me). We boarded slightly late, but no worries, AND I think I was the only non-Japanese person on board. The entire last quarter of the plane was empty. I had the ENTIRE row to myself, and I don't mean the couple of seats around me, I mean the ENTIRE row.
However, as soon as we took off, I knew it was going to be a bumpy flight. We had the WORST turbulence. I about got air sick it was so bad. One of the flight attendants almost hit her head on the ceiling before the captain finally turned on the fasten seatbelt sign. AND people kept getting up, even with the fasten seatbelt sign on. They tried to "hurry" to the bathroom. Of course, the captain tended to wait until the turbulence was just about over to put on the seatbelt sign. Details.
When I made it to Japan, I about kissed the ground. Immigration was a turn, too. For once there were fewer foreigners coming in to Japan than Japanese. There were even some Buddist nuns from Tibet in the line with us!
I Black Catted my bags to Misawa and caught the train to Tokyo Central. Ran the 6 flights of stairs and escalators to the XinKanSen (bullet train) in 9 minutes (took of 30 seconds after I sat down). Then caught the 13 minute ride to Misawa from Hachinohe. I was even home 90 minutes early!
It feels good to be home. A little weird. Of course it is going to fell even more weird when I start back up work tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

China is a Crafty Country

We've heard a lot about the Olympic torch, and its troubled journey through France and other places. We heard that because those pesky dissidents have no regard for people's safety (knocking over a woman in a wheel chair in France), the Chinese government had no choice but to cancel the Paris leg of the torch relay. What they "failed" to mention is that the Chinese government has a team of Chinese special forces guys running with the torch to guarantee its security, and it was THEY who knocked the woman over in her wheel chair, not a bunch of wild dissidents. So, if you haven't figured it out before, don't believe what is said about the Olympics, or the various aspects of the dissident movement in relation to the Olympics. China's Olympics are troubled, and they are trying desperately to save face at this point, in any way they can.

Chinese Style Divorce, Revisions

OK, so there were a few parts of Chinese Style Divorce that I didn't quite understand or missed all together. So this blog is to shore up those bits. For one thing, Xiao Feng's dad had her with another woman, who Xiao Feng knew as "Auntie." This was the woman who died early on in the show, and the reason why the mom had Xiao Feng go with the dad to the funeral. I guess the mother adopted her when they met and married. Gao Song took a promotion and moved to Tibet. That be about it...

Friday, April 4, 2008

Chinese Style Divorce Chapter 23

OK peeps. Here it is. The long awaited Chapter 23. Thanks for hanging in there with me.
Xiao Feng’s mom wakes up in the hospital with dad by her side. Dan Dan is at the grandparent’s house being spoon fed soup by his mom. Uncle is hanging around, too. Tells her that their parents are coming home, she says she’ll leave. He tells her no, don’t.
Dong Bei and Gao Song are having a drink together with dinner. He tells Gao Song that he wants to divorce his new wife because he is still in love with Qun Zi. Then he breaks a bottle over Gao Song’s head. Gao Song just looks at him in surprise as blood starts to poor down his face.
Mom is lamenting on her children and grandchildren’s lives. Then takes off her jade bracelet for her husband to give her daughter.
Xiao Feng goes back the apartment and surveys the damage she caused. She looks at the broken glass of the windows. Gao Song is in the hospital with a bandage on his head, lamenting to Qun Zi about Xiao Feng. Xiao Feng shows up to the hospital, and sees Qun Zi in the room with her husband. She stops outside the door to listen. He goes on about how sometimes no matter how much you love someone, you cannot make it know to them. He starts to cry… So does Xiao Feng outside the door. He goes on about how angry she is, and he doesn’t know why. Qun Zi tells him she loves him, but he says she is a child, and knows nothing about such things. He goes on about how much he still loves Xiao Feng. Now everyone is crying. He asks Qun Zi to leave. Xiao Feng leaves, too.
Mom is getting tired, tells dad so. He tells her to go ahead and rest, knowing full well that she is prolly about to die. She tells him to not be sad, to go to sleep, too. Next, Xiao Li visits Gao Song in the hospital. Asks if he is going to divorce Xiao Feng. He thinks awhile. Then says it is too troubling. Shakes her hand as she leaves.
Qun Zi finds Dong Bei hanging around the hospital. She actually decides to talk to him. They look at each other a while. Dong Bei hopeful… oops, nope. Qun Zi smacks him nice and hard right across the face. He’s like, ok, yeah, I deserved that. Off she walks. Good Girl!!!!
Later when the nurse comes to give mom her medicine, dad can’t wake her. She’s died. Gao Song, newly released from the hospital, walks in on that sad scene. He leaves, letting them be. Next scene, the funeral attended by Dad, Xiao Feng, Brother, and Dan Dan. They try and get dad to leave the plot, but he has to be pulled away. He is overcome with grief. Xiao Feng supports him as they walk back to the car. He hands her her mom’s jade bracelet. Tells her her mom loved her, wanted her to live well. Tells Xiao Feng that she has another sister. Her mother knew about it. It was with her mother’s sister. He’d spent the rest of her mother’s life trying to make it up to her. Xiao Feng walks away in utter shock. Gao Song spends the night in bed awake, alone. Xiao Feng spends the night alone on the dock, thinking. The dad spends the night looking at his wife’s picture. Xiao Feng calls Gao Song on his cell. She tells him they need to talk. He asks if they can do it over the phone, she says no, face-to-face. He says he doesn’t have time. He’s sorry. Gao Song heads to the Christmas party. He gets up and gives the speech he should have given last year. He thanks his bosses for giving him the opportunity. He apologizes for the trouble he’s caused. They drink to his boss. Xiao Feng shows up in the back. Everyone turns to look, wondering what will happen. He says he needs to thank his wife, for without her, he wouldn’t be there. He tells her he misses her and walks off the stage. Xiao Feng stays in the back of the room then asks if she can speak. They give her the stage. She tells them about her other sister. And how her parents forgave each other. She tells her husband she loves him. They’d been married for over 10 years, and they’d both forgotten that they loved one another. She says that if he decides not to stay with her, she’ll grant him a divorce.
They then return to the refurbished home. They just stand in silence for a while. Gao song looking at Xiao Feng, Xiao Feng looking out the window. She finally speaks his name, he walks over to her. Touches her face, kisses her. Then the camera pans to the divorce document.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Chinese Style Divorce Chapter 22

Xiao Feng is back at her apartment, grinding up her pain pills. Dumps the concoction into two wine glasses. Qun Zi shows up, driven by Gao Song. She carries a huge bouquet of flowers to give Xiao Feng. Qun Zi talks Gao Song into letting her go alone. But he insists on coming up if only for a moment. Xiao Feng can’t remember whose glass she put the drugs into, and tries to switch glasses with Qun Zi. Gao Song is asked to join them in their meal of appeasement.
Dong Bei goes over to Qun Zi’s house. She isn’t there. He calls her apartment. She isn’t there idiot! He then tries her cell. She answers asking where she is. He wants her to leave and come see him. She tells him to go to hell. She continues her meal with the estranged couple. Having not been able to switch the glasses, Xiao Feng offers a toast. She goes back into the kitchen and washes down the pills into the sink.
Dong Bei comes rushing in while dinner is going on. Qun Zi takes her leave to deal with Dong Bei leaving Gao Song and Xiao Feng alone. They sit in silence. Xiao Feng finally says she should go. Gao Song tells her go, then! She storms out. Her brother is waiting for her outside. He wants to know how it all went.
Dong Bei is angry at Qun Zi’s anger. Isn’t she the one who wanted the divorce? Qun Zi says she is in love with some one. Who he asks? She walks off.
Xiao Feng tries to get Dan Dan to drink his milk. He complains of a stomachache. She is getting upset with him not drinking his milk again. He spills it, she knocks him down. He head is bleeding, bad. She calls Gao Song, who is eating noodles alone, to come help. Brother is holding him on the front seat, trying to staunch the bleeding. They get to the hospital, Xiao Feng waits nervously in the waiting room. Gao Song and her get into it. He wants to know what happened. He has some stitches in the end, but is fine. Xiao Feng agrees to go back to the apartment, as that is where Dan Dan wants to be. They all sleep in bed together.
Next day, Gao Song is called into his bosses office. The boss tells him they are thinking about letting him go. That night, Xiao Feng asks to have a chat with Gao Song. He tells her to go ahead. She talks about how they’ve been together 10 years, that Dan Dan isn’t that old. Their relationship is having a negative impact on Dan Dan. She is really trying here, but he laughs her off. She storms back into their bedroom. Gao Song sleeps that night at work. Xiao Feng spends the time online chatting with her “friend.”
Dong Bei goes back to see Qun Zi at her apartment. She doesn’t let him in. He calls her apartment. She doesn’t answer. He calls her cell phone. She doesn’t answer. He calls Gao Song, who’s at the hospital. Decides to meet him there. Gao Song and Xiao Feng are still chatting. Xiao Feng decides she wants to “meet” him. Will Gao Song finally have his proof to earn a divorce? He agrees to meet with her. Of course, as they are setting up the place and time, Gao Song is called away for a surgery. Xiao Feng continues her discussion with Dong Bei.
The next day, Dong Bei meets with Qun Zi. He asks who she is in love with. She tells him none of his business and storms off. Xiao Feng anxiously awaits her online lover. Gao Song watches her from afar. He then approaches her and asks who she is waiting for. They go home, he shows her all her emails and chats he’s printed out over the weeks and months. She starts destroying the place. Goes wild. Breaks windows, pots, tables, lamps, the computer… EVERYTHING is fair game. Gao Song just stands and watches. Dan Dan cowers in his room. After the house is severely destroyed, and there is a lull in the noise, Dan Dan comes out of his room with a little knife and begins to cut himself. He is rushed to the hospital where they are met by the rest of the family. They all crowd around him when he comes out with his wounds stitched up. Xiao Feng’s mom takes it particularly hard and slaps her daughter, HARD. Says she is ashamed of her as a daughter, then collapses with a heart attack from all the excitement.
Next day, Gao Song walks into his office followed by his students. Finds Xiao Feng in his office. They all give their condolences. He asks them to leave, she tells them not to. That she wants them all to hear what she has to say. She tells him that he doesn’t have any feelings for her or their son. He doesn’t care for anyone. He has no one. He is no one. He leaves, head down. Xiao Feng calls after him. He turns, shakes his head, and walks out. She then breaks the window to his office and prepares to jump. They all just stare at her. Gao Song gets down on his knees in shock and horror. Xiao Feng turns and looks at him, he bows to her, eyes wide and pleading… He lowers his head and cries.

Chinese Style Divorce Chapter 21

When Xiao Feng’s brother goes to talk to Gao Song, Gao Song is already packed and ready to leave. He tells the bro that he still loves Xiao Feng, but too many things have gotten in the way. They have nothing in common anymore. He knows she hates him… divorce is the only way they both can be happy. Brother goes to take his leave, but runs into Xiao Feng on the way out. She rushes in to see what damage her brother has caused to Gao Song now. She sees the bags, asks where he is going. He says, she already knows. They fight, she storms out, taking her brother with her.
Later, as she sits in shock at her parents’ house, her brother tries to talk her down. She refuses a divorce. She insists he was seeing another woman, that she saw it with her own eyes. THAT is why he wants a divorce, she says. She goes to see a lawyer. See what she can do.
Xiao Feng goes back to the doctor. He says she is better, but he is still concerned.
She goes with her brother to buy a video cameral, maybe to catch him in the act so she can have evidence against him???
Qun Zi runs into Gao Song out in town. She has her neighbor with her. They talk.
That night, Xiao Feng sneaks out to spy on Gao Song. If it isn’t a woman, she doesn’t know why her marriage is failing. She returns home, takes off her shoes, puts them away, and sneaks around the house. Gao Song is asleep, she video’s it and leaves. She continues to video tape Gao Song. Even outside his work, talking to Qun Zi. Of course, He gives her a ride somewhere, opens the door for her… She just continues to video tape them, going out with friends, etc. She follows them EVERYWHERE. ALL the time. American PI’s have nothing on Xiao Feng.
She takes the tape to her lawyer, who asks how often they were together. Xiao Feng responds day after day… basically says that, according to the law, it isn’t enough to prove he is having an affair.
Qun Zi is out with her neighbor drinking and crying. He takes her home.
Xiao Feng sneaks back into their apartment. Gao Song isn’t home, yet. It is almost 2am! WTF!!! Qun Zi stumbles into her apartment with her neighbor helping her. Xiao Feng pulls up to the apartment building… Qun Zi passes out on the bed, her neighbor tries to rape her. Xiao Feng thinks it is Gao Song and bangs on the door. Qun Zi escapes and opens the door to let her in. Xiao Feng storms in only to see an empty apartment as asshat escapes down the pole. She slaps Qun Zi and storms back home, wakes the now home Gao Song and cusses him out. She goes back to her parents to tell her bro, he isn’t buying it. He asks if she is sure it was him.
Next day at work, Qun Zi walks in with a puffy face from the face slap Xiao Feng gave her. Yells at Gao Song about it. He is shocked, SHOCKED I tell you!
Xiao Feng is now testing a voice recorder, playing with Dan Dan. She leaves it hidden in the house as she tries to get Gao Song to confess. He tells her about the night of the storm, when she followed him originally. He tells her what really happened, about Qun Zi finding out about Dong Bei’s marriage, and her getting upset. He went to calm her down, you see. She isn’t buying it. He yells at her for hitting people. She tells him to go to hell. He storms out. She takes her recorder and leaves with her brother.
She storms into his boss’s office the next day. Boss calls security and asks to have Gao Song brought to his office.
Xiao Feng calls and apologizes to Qun Zi. She now buys what happened that night. Asks Qun Zi to come meet her. Qun Zi tells her she’ll be there. Xiao Feng takes a camera, and her pills?

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Chinese Style Divorce Chapter 20

Chapter 20 sees Gao Song filling out divorce paperwork. He leaves it on Xiao Feng’s computer desk. She rips it up, too. Xiao Feng tells her “lover” that she doesn’t’ know what to do. Her parents health isn’t so good and Dan Dan is still so young.
Gao Song goes out clubbing with Qun Zi. Though, he doesn’t do much besides sit at the bar and drink while Qun Zi throws some epileptic fit that, I guess passes for dancing on the China Club scene. He then leaves, Qun Zi follows saying she’ll leave with him. He tries to tell her no, he’ll get a ride home, but she goes to leave anyway. She and her friends drag him to her house. More drinks all around. He actually turns it down once again. Xiao Feng calls Qun Zi, she lies for Gao Song. They then leave. Xiao Feng sees Gao Song get out of the cab with Qun Zi in it. She isn’t happy.
The next day, Qun Zi asks Gao Song if Xiao Feng suspected anything because she wasn’t answering or returning her calls. He says no. He goes out again the next night to the club scene. If you think Qun Zi was having an epileptic fit, Gao Song was doing an even better impression, off in a corner, all by himself. Working out some issues. Qun Zi sees him and cries (have no clue why, other than maybe his dancing was causing her actual, physical pain).
Again, Xiao Feng waits for him, this time seeing him pace outside the house. He hangs with Dong Bei the next day. Plays pool. Dong Bei tells him how he now understands it all. He asks how Qun Zi is. Gao Song tells him she’s fine. Hanging with friends. Qun Zi is supposed to have plans with Dong Bei later that night. But he never shows. She goes to his house and finds the locks are changed, her key no longer works. She comes face to face with the new little lady.
Qun Zi calls Gao Song in tears. Telling him she needs his help. He lies to Xiao Feng telling her work called, he needs to go in. It is storming something fierce outside. She doesn’t believe him. Gets dressed and follows him out (and where is Dan Dan, you ask? Your guess is as good as mine).
Dong Bei and the new little lady are hanging out at home. Dong Bei is agitated. He seems to be having second thoughts on his second marriage. He is worried about Qun Zi. Meanwhile, Xiao Feng is in a cab following Gao Song. He meets up with Qun Zi who asks if he knew about Dong Bei and why didn’t he tell her… (I guess she didn’t really know, oops). She is ready to commit harry-carry! He apologizes, says it is for her own good… she says whatever… she goes crazy, of course, this is when Xiao Feng drives up in her taxi, to see him wrestling with her, trying to keep her safe, trying to get her into his car. Now she thinks he is sleeping with Qun Zi. Dong Bei comes running over to Qun Zi’s to check on her. Of course, she is out, having a melt down. He sits on her stoop, worrying. Here comes Qun Zi, escorted by Gao Song. She thanks him, apologizes and goes upstairs to her apartment. Qun Zi meets up with a worried Dong Bei who is also very jealous. She tells him to drop dead and runs into her apartment.
Gao Song leaves. Its pouring, and there, of course, waiting for him outside, is Xiao Feng. PISSED AS ALL HELL. He tries to explain, but she is livid. Wild. She slaps him, HARD. Crumbles down the stairs of the building, having fallen and hurting her back. But she refuses help from him. Now he’s just had the night from hell.
Later, Dan Dan is sleeping with Xiao Feng, her back still hurting. She asks him to look at her back. Her back is bruised as hell. Dan Dan is worried. She makes it to the doctor the next day. He tells her she’s bruised and needs to take it easy (gee thanks, ASS!). Gao Song makes it home and finds her X-rays. HE takes a look at them.
Xiao Feng’s older brother comes once again for a visit. He asks about the parents. They decide to take a taxi, as Xiao Feng Cannot drive. Dan Dan tells her that his mom and dad fought, and she got hurt. She goes to her parents to help with dinner. Asks where her brother is. Mom tells her he went to her house. Xiao Feng is in a panic, and in pain, as she races back home to stop her brother from beating the crap out of her husband. Too late, bro is waiting for Gao Song. IT IS ON!!! He tries to explain it to bro, but he isn’t hearing it. Bro warned him about hitting women! Hitting his sister is even worse. Starts counting down. Xiao Feng is slowly making it up the stairs. Makes it in just in time to stop the beat down. ALMOST. He pushes Xiao Feng aside and punches the crap out of Gao Song. She tells him it wasn’t his fault, her injury. Tells him to leave. They ride back in relative silence, which broke long enough for her to tell her bro not to tell the rents.
They go back to the parents house to celebrate mom’s b-day. She is sorry Gao Song couldn’t make it. Xiao Feng makes his regards, saying he had something at work. Ma calls Gao Song, he says he’s sick. She tells him to take care of his health. Dad gets mom a read coat.
Next day, Dan Dan is riding with uncle. They are talking (AGAIN! No seat belts, none, zip, nada). Dan Dan says he’s scared. Xiao Feng’s bro tells him not to be. It will all be alright. Bro goes to see Gao Song. Bro asks if they could talk. Dan Dan tells Xiao Feng that uncle is at home, talking to dad. She rushes out, again… (did I mention that you can see their breaths INSIDE during this last scene?)

Could YOU Pass This Citizenship Test?

You Passed the US Citizenship Test

Congratulations - you got 8 out of 10 correct!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Chinese Style Divorce Chapter 19

Xiao Feng tries to get Dan Dan to drink some milk before bed. He says he doesn’t want to. Xiao Feng gets midievil on his ass. Gao Song stops her. They get into a huge fight. Dan Dan, not wanting to cause another fight, drinks the damn milk only to throw it right up. She again is up half the night waiting for a response from her mystery lover, AKA Dong Bei. Next day, Qun Zi tries to tell Gao Song how great being single is. How she and Dong Bei are great friends now. He helps her out, they go out on the weekends (i.e., they are dating). Gao Song tells her to shut up, that their situations aren’t the same. She tells him to go to hell. He then calls a divorce lawyer.
The lawyer basically says it won’t be so easy, due to them having a young child. He tells Gao Song it might be better to work things out. There may be no other way.
Mystery lover emails Xiao Feng, which just rocks her world. Of course, Gao Song gets a hold of it. He is concerned cause she thinks she is “seeing” another man. He prints out her emails.
In the morning, she is all nice to Xiao Li again… volunteering to take Niu Niu to school. Xiao Li is less then thrilled and asks Gao Song what is up? She is so manic! He says she is going through the change (of course, blame EVERYTHING on female troubles). Xiao Li says it isn’t possible, she isn’t even 40, yet. Gao Song says of course it is possible.
Dong Bei is out at night with sultry girl. They continue to play drinking games. Qun Zi is expecting him, though. I guess she thinks they are still married. She prepared little Jiaozi with money in them. She waits and waits… She goes to call, then realizes she doesn’t have the right.
Gao Song takes the emails to his lawyer, who tells him they aren’t conclusive to showing intent to harm either him or their son, which is the only way he will be able to obtain a divorce. He walks away dejectedly. Gao Song laments to Dong Bei at the office. Qun Zi walks in and there is an awkward exchange. He apologizes.
At this point, Gao Song becomes desperate. He starts emailing Xiao Feng and chatting with her from an internet cafĂ©. She tells him to call her on a pay phone. She proceeds to sit and wait for that phone call. Gao Song calls her from another pay phone, realizing that she monitors his cell phone. She answers after several rings, but neither says a word for quite a while. Finally she says hello… Asks who is on the other end. Gao Song hangs up.
Later they are messaging one another. She asked why he didn’t say anything when he called her. He said he was nervous. Then prints out their conversations.
Qun Zi is having dinner with Gao Song and Xiao Feng and lets it slip that Dong Bei is remarrying. Her first question, of course, is who is she? Gao Song tells her about Dong Bei and Sultry woman’s engagement party coming up, asks if she wants to go. She says yes… and they go. Gao Song offers a toast to Dong Bei and Sultry woman. He is ribbed about not drinking. Gao Song actually refuses to drink and sticks to it. Xiao Li drinks instead to offer the toast, though she is none to happy with him getting married so quickly after divorcing Qun Zi.
That night, Gao Song asks Xiao Feng to take a look at something he has written. It is about a divorce. She rips it up and goes to bed.