On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron. H. L. Mencken
It is inaccurate to say that I hate everything. I am strongly in favor of common sense, common honesty, and common decency. This makes me forever ineligible for public office.
The difference between a moral man and a man of honor is that the latter regrets a discreditable act, even when it has worked and he has not been caught.
It is even harder for the average ape to believe that he has descended from man.
In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican.
For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.
Nobody ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public.
Before a man speaks it is always safe to assume that he is a fool. After he speaks, it is seldom necessary to assume it.
Communism, like any other revealed religion, is largely made up of prophecies.
To be in love is merely to be in a state of perceptual anesthesia – to mistake an ordinary young woman for a goddess.
The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.
Democracy is a pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance.
The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out… without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane, and intolerable.
Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.
A bad man is the sort who weeps every time he speaks of a good woman.
Yesterday, as we were entering highway 435 westbound, a white SUV on my left lane slowing cut in front of me and then moved to the lane to my right, and parked on the shoulder. I pressed my brake and watching her with utter shock and amazement. She maneuvered her vehicle as if everybody else were non-existent. How could she do that? My daughter and I were simply speechless.
For a long time we talked about it and still couldn’t believe what we just witnessed. I could have hit that SUV easily but I was able to hit brake and let her go.
“Well, you see with your own eyes that there are all kinds of people on the highway and we have to drive very carefully and defensively,” I said to my daughter.
This is the picture of the bike that I plan to learn to make, and hopefully I can put it to good use.
I am not going to say, as I always comment, “How time flies!” Then sigh. How useless that sigh is! Still I can’t believe it’s been five years since I started this site.
Sometimes, I do wonder why I keep writing here? My children seldom visit it. They either don’t have the time or the interest in what I have to say here. Why not once a week instead of daily posting? Is it necessary to stick to one-a-day rule? I no longer wish to improve my writing as I think I have hit a plateau. In spite of it all, I proceed, more out of a habit.
Sometimes, I share my readings here. Sometimes, I post events or happening here in case friends pop in. Whatever the topic is, I always find a lot to say, more than enough to bore readers to the extreme.
For the coming year, I am going to work on getting something funny, or trying to relax and laugh a little bit. I need something to cheer me up constantly, as my daughter is heading for college in less than 3 months. So much for now.
Happy birthday, Momwrite!
It’s been a month since Shawnee Mission office has merged with ours. To help people get to know each other well, we received the following as a self-introduction. We were asked to complete and post them by our desks so that other people passing by will have some fun reading and getting to know us. I thought it fun to share them here.
HI, MY NAME IS ______________________________________
GET TO KNOW ME……
What was your favorite food when you were a child?
What’s the #1 most played song on your iPod?
What is one of your favorite quotes?
What’s your favorite indoor/outdoor activity?
What chore do you absolutely hate doing?
What is your favorite form of exercise?
What is your favorite time of day/day of the week/month of the year?
What’s your least favorite mode of transportation?
What sound do you love?
If you could paint a picture of any scenery you’ve seen before, what would you paint?
If you could choose to stay a certain age forever, what age would it be?
If you could witness any event past, present or future, what would it be?
If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?
If you had to work on only one project for the next year, what would it be?
If you were immortal for a day, what would you do?
If you had to change your first name, what would you change it to?
If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would you meet?
If you won the lottery, what is the first thing you would do?
If you could know the answer to any question, besides “What is the meaning of life?”, what would it be?
If you could be any fictional character, who would you choose?
What do you want to be when you grow up?
When you have 30 minutes of free-time, how do you pass the time?
What would you name the autobiography of your life?
What songs are included on the soundtrack to your life?
What was the last movie, TV show or book that made you cry or tear up?
What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done?
What was the last experience that made you a stronger person?
When was the last time you had an amazing meal?
What do you miss most about being a kid?
What is something you learned in the last week?
What story does your family always tell about you?
On 11/29, I got back home, my daughter told me she had a bad day today. She didn’t tell me all the details as it was the buildup of all the small unpleasant things. I tried to humor her saying “We can get a movie and watch it together.
That night we watched “Letters to Juliet,” a 2010 American romantic drama. After watching it, we talked a little bit about the character.
The main characters Sophie and her fiance Victor went to Italy for their honeymoon. Both of them are very dedicated to their respective career. The irony is Victor’s dedication alienates Sophia and provides her an opportunity to broaden her career. In the process of this, she meets another guy when she follows her journalist instinct to a feature story.
In the end, her feature story is accepted by New Yorker magazine. Victor and Sophia separated. Sophia finds someone who truly appreciates her.
Just as Sophia’s letter to another character in the movie, the movie provides many what-ifs for people to reflect.
During labor day weekend, while chatting with my sister over the Skype, she mentioned a neighbor of ours during our childhood.
He was a few years younger than I am, but passed away a years ago of liver cancer. The talk about him reminded me of my childhood days, pre-teen years to be exact.
I don’t remember anything other than play during these years and how upset I was when I was called in to do household chores.
That boy always followed me around, asking me to make this or that toys for him. As we didn’t have the money to buy toys, in fact I don’t remember ever possessing any toys from the store.
I told that boy to keep an eye on this or that materials with which I could make some toys for him. I made slingshots using the hard wire that he picked somewhere. I carved a small boat with a rudder and watched it flow in our bathtub. We exchanged the homemade toys with other kids for marbles that we could not make.
I seemed to be busy all the time, catching dragonflies and other insects, making toys, doing anything but study.
In my memory of those days, the sky seemed specially blue and bright. The sun was always cheerful. And when my parents were not at home and when I was outside, I was always as carefree as a lark.
From Hong Kong to Beijing, I took Dragon Air. It was a three-hour flight. There were two young Chinese students sitting to my left.
They seem to come from rather well-off families, each holding an ipad and playing games most of the time. I chatted with them and learned that both of them were college students in London. They came back for summer break, one back to home in Xi’an, the other in a small town in Shangdong province.
The one sitting next to me is 23 years old. Both of them major in finance. They look well-fed and clothed, leading a seemingly carefree life. They really look younger than their age.
One of the boys asked if I was a teacher. He said I looked like coming from America. He asked me when I first went to America. I told him “Before you were born.” Indeed, both of them are about my son’s ago. Yet, they are so different.
When I asked them their plan after graduation, both of them wanted to continue for graduate study. “What will you do after that?” I asked. “Look for job,” one answered without enthusiasm. I got an impression that graduate study partially served for postponing job-hunting.
Things went smoothly after my rough encounter with security persons. The plane left Kansas at 11 AM on 6/1 and arrived Chicago at about 12:30 noon. An hour later, I left Chicago for Hong Kong. The plane landed at about 6 PM on 6/2. I was lucky enough to have an aisle seat.
Sitting by my right side was a middle-aged American who was on his way to Taiwan with a group of 6 Americans. When I told him I went back once a year to see my mother, he said his mother lived an hour from him and he also saw her once a year. “Guess I should see her more often,” he said.
After sitting for a while, I decided to stretch my legs. I was standing by two American girls in their 30s. They came from Virginia, went to Hong Kong for a week of meeting. Another guy in his late 30s was reading Dancing with Max: A Mother and Son Who Broke Free by Emily Colson.
That man has a son who has autism disorder, the same problem as Max. From there, the conversation moved to parenting. The man complained about his ex-wife who poured all her life into the care of her children. The man has five children, whom he called “It’s a zoo.”
He complained about his second wife that, being a physician, she put all her time into her work. “Never become a doctor,” was his advice. “A nurse makes more money than a doctor, even if she does not have the long medical training. The country will soon face a shortage of doctors,” said he. Interesting!
On 6/1, the morning I left for China, I had some unexpected issues with people at the airport security check. I carried in my carry-on luggage a few bottles of peanut butter and two large jars of hazelnut spread. I was told they were considered liquid and thus could not be carried on the airplane.
Soon I found out it was no use arguing with them about the liquid nature of peanut butter. They seemed not to have a second and patience listening to me. They gave me two choices: either surrender them to the government or ship them as another check-in luggage.
A woman, acting like a boss there, told me to decide immediately. Her rudeness was both intolerable and unforgettable. Immediately I figured out it would cost more to keep them. So, I decided to go without them. At least I have learned something.
Yesterday morning, I drove with a friend of mine to Pendleton’s Country Market in Lawrence for its pick-your-own vegetables. It was about 30-minute drive. The weather was nice in the morning. This is the first time I went for pick-your-own activity.
There I saw a large stretch of land laying wasted. The vegetables are not well taken care of. There were about four people working there. Obviously they need more hands on the farm.
We spent some time picking snap pea. After picking about a pound of them, we decided to call it a day as both of us felt tired. I did not buy much for the trip. But I think I did learn the hardship of farm work. I wish my daughter came with us.
On 4/7, a Saturday, my daughter went to Wichita with her school the day before. I found myself suddenly having total control of my time. I seldom feel this way when my daughter is home. I always ask her what her plan is, either taking her to where she wants to go or staying home attending her needs. She is a high school junior now. I don’t mind staying around when she is home. After all she will be leaving for college in one year.
On that Saturday, I started with morning exercise, followed by house-cleaning. Too much of it! I also needed to get the yard ready for vegetable plants. But after house-cleaning, I felt like energy having been totally consumed. Time for re-charging. I didn’t felt like doing anything but resting, with a book in my hand.
I did plan to do a lot of things, like catching up on some of the writing and reading or going to grocery store. But either I became exhausted too soon or I was too slow to get anything done. I simply couldn’t complete the tasks on my to-do list. I am glad I have too much to do. Being busy is better than having nothing to do.
On 3/9, Friday evening, the first day of spring break for my daughter, I watched a movie with her, The Devil Wears Prada, as I had promised.
According to Wikipedia, the story is about “a young woman who, freshly graduated from college, is hired as a personal assistant to a powerful fashion magazine editor, a job that becomes hellish as she struggles to keep up with her boss’s capricious and demeaning requests.”
Of course, the movie is much more than this. The young woman, Andrea Sachs, works for that powerful and extremely fastidious boss, Miranda, because ” if she manages to work for Miranda for a year, she can have her select pick of jobs within the magazine industry.” But just at the point when she finally wins the hard-to-earned approval from her boss, she walks away from her boss.
After watching it, we couldn’t help making comments on it. “I would not put up with things like this in order to succeed,” I said. But sometimes, “it is okay to put up with whatever comes your way or swallow one’s pride in order to succeed. But it is never okay to push away other people or step over friends on your way to success.” This is the reason why Andrea leaves her boss. This is also the reason why I don’t want my children to become successful this way.