My Facebook Wall: July 2011

Prompts are in italics.

2: This is my hometown all right!
4: There are no dull people, only people whose areas of expertise and amazing stories you haven’t uncovered yet.
5: Advice on Climbing Mt. Fuji: My Dad, brother, and I started climbing at 10 PM and made it to the top at sunrise. We didn’t stay in a hut, and we had time for short rests but short ones only. We’re all in decent shape. My sister came too, but asthma forced her to stop halfway up. People of all ages make the climb; it’s respiratory issues that could stop you. Pack dry protein, like nuts, for snacks. Hiking boots are necessary because it’s a volcanic mountain, and the descent is steeper and more painful than the ascent. Bring a flashlight. Walk backwards some of the way back to relieve pressure. The most crowded and slowest area to navigate is the peak. Sunrise left us speechless, so we didn’t shout anything. しっかりして楽しんでください!
5: 太平燕 (Taipien) is a Chinese-dish that is native to Kumamoto (according to the box). Does that make any sense to you? Basically, it’s Chinese food that’s born in Japan. Yeah, it’s soupy like 酸辣湯, and the noodles are like 米粉, but I haven’t seen it in any restaurants here in Taipei.
7: ‎”I think God can speak to us through donuts.” — Tom Chappell Lewis Having a hole that makes it easier to hold = “my strength is made perfect in your weakness”?
8: A two minute demonstration of the brilliance of jazz saxophonist Charlie Parker. If you know of any writers whose words are creative as these notes, please send their names my way so I can learn from them.
10: I had no idea that before today the Yankees had no 3000-hit players. Very surprising. It’s an impressive achievement. That said, Ruth, Gehrig, and Mantle still lead him in times on base because they all walked more than Frodo Baggins. For that matter, he also trails the career totals of part-time Yankees Winfield, Sheffield, and Jackson. The Captain would need a thousand more hits/walks/HBPs to catch The Babe. The Record Book
10: The Nadeshiko, or the Japanese Women’s World Cup team, just eliminated two-time defending Women’s World Cup champion and tournament favorite Germany…IN Germany…with a goal in extra time. Their spirit puts the country’s political and business leaders to shame. Mina-san, ganbare!
11: USA! USA!
11: Thanks to Kristen Yang for visiting me here in Taipei, to all my friends who said hi to us on the way, and to the Holy Spirit for blessing our time together!
14: So it looks as though the US shall be taking on the Japanese for the World Cup… Which leads me to ask you James… Where do your loyalties lie? Are you ready to be the bad guy and cheer on the powerhouse team just as you did when the Colts played the Saints in the Superbowl and when Duke fought off Butler in the NCAA Championship? Or are you going to side with a country with which you have developed a strong connection and is playing to uplift the spirits of its millions of downtrodden citizens? What shall you do James? WHAT SHALL YOU DO!?
Excellent buildup, David, and great use of the word “SHALL”, but the choice is clear! I’d be happy for Japan if it wins, but I can never be Japanese. I’m from Indiana and Duke and the States, and that will never change. Besides, just reaching the final is excitement enough for the Japanese; they were really satisfied with the men’s appearance in the quarterfinal last year. Let’s go Yanks!
14: America’s Finest News Source strikes again!
14: Sesame’s a staple in the Chinese diet, and I’ve been wondering where it’s been all my life!
15: On the last Harry Potter movie: Harry finally got out from under Hermione’s shadow!
16: This week, every news service has run an article with this template: “Harry Potter’s over, and you’re grown up. So…what’s next?” For my classmates, the answer is “A Game of Thrones” and its sequels. I approve.
16: ‎2011: The year we realized the ’90s were a long time ago.
17: ‎”Bill Veeck feared sleeping because he thought he might miss something exciting.” -Michael Weinreb
17: ‎2 farewells, no tears. Either I’m bad at this or my speeches aren’t emotional enough to draw them out. Maybe it is as what James Smyth had said: “Too busy for tears.” That is what shows how much you’re valued. When I was running retreats, we always said to each other, “If tears come, they come, but our goal is to inspire people, not to break them.” You are putting the personal touches in your speeches, right?
18: Would Japan have won the World Cup if the earthquake/tsunami/meltdown hadn’t happened? Obviously, I wish that nothing had happened on March 11 and that those who passed away were still with us, but today’s victory shows the value of suffering, the possibility of redemption, and (my words not theirs) one reason Catholics worship a god on a cross.
18: Dizzy Gillespie’s “Bent” Trumpet: “According to Gillespie’s autobiography, this was originally the result of accidental damage caused by someone sitting on his trumpet during a job on January 6, 1953. The constriction caused by the bending altered the tone of the instrument. He liked the effect and used the design from then on.” And he puffed his cheeks like a blowfish when he played because he was self-taught. No one was around to tell him he wasn’t supposed to do that until he was already one of the best.
20: My friend Eugene handmade an amazing goodbye present for his junior high school in Japan: he put everyone’s names in a single word search.
20: Burnt the cookies I was making for teachers, overslept on my last day of school, forgot my lunch at home so I had to go back home in the afternoon to get it, was so nervous during my speech I’m sure I screwed it up, and after saying goodbye to everyone forgot my lunch at school. I’m really sorry to hear that, mate. It sounds like you packed kryptonite in that lunch. Don’t let your disappointment outlast the evening! “Nothing ever ends well – otherwise, it wouldn’t end.” In the end, the teachers and students won’t remember any of that anyway. It pales in comparison to the good works you’ve done there day after day for 3 years.
20: Today’s “The More You Know!”: Where are the worldwide oil cartel OPEC’s headquarters located?
22: In the midst of navigating through the fog of fuck (aka red tape). Will pull a rabbit out of my hat. again. So when you pull the rabbit out of your will chew through the red tape? It will blow the fog away? You will get on its back and it will jump out of the red tape fog?
22: A lesser-known and haunting “Ave Maria”
26: I have this cask of amontillado in my cellar that you just HAVE to sample! After we’ve finished it off, we should play The Most Dangerous Game!
26: Question of the Day: When you read something written by a person you know (or at least you’ve heard this person speak) do you try to read it mentally with the other person’s voice? Nope. Everyone sounds like me…the voice I hear when I’m speaking, that is, and none of you know the sound of that. But the words go so fast sometimes that it sounds more like a hum, and my love of that resonance makes me read compulsively.
26: I just learned the Chinese word for the pill crusher Mom always uses! It’s a “jiu” (臼), pronounced “jyoe” with a falling tone of voice, and it’s been used for thousands of years here.
26: anyone have suggestions for my “Musician name”? Daniel Chang? Dan Chang?… If you become an otorhinolaryngolist the possibilities are endless. e.g. The Ear Doctor.
27: I’ve talked about teaching English in Japan every day since I left one year ago. With apologies to those who’ve heard me talk about it 365 times, nothing I’ve done outside the Church taught me more. It was time to go, but I’m grateful I got to be there.
27: [122+] Guns for U.S. sting found at Mexican crime scenes
28: The termite inspection was a waste of precious $$. I just have the oddest feeling he would have mentioned it if he saw termites regardless. Don’t let it eat at you too much.
29: : Guess which Spanish club has spent the most in the summer transfer window?
30: Athlete’s foot is “Hong Kong Foot” in Chinese slang (and Chinglish) because it plagued English soldiers unaccustomed to HK’s environment.
31: This Year’s Best Bad Writing: San Jose State’s English Department hosts an annual bad writing contest in honor of Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, the first man to write “It was a dark and stormy night.” Follow the link for a few dozen more mesmerizing metaphors.

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