Feb 17, 2011 - Uncategorized    No Comments

Honeymoon On A Magic Carpet … Yet to Come

There can be many torturing moments in the life of someone who spends far too many days working and far too little time living. But the antidote to those moments is when the chance of having a week or two off-work finally arrives. Although the pressure from a huge workload is temporarily behind me, I find myself with a whole new set of problems. So here I am, somewhere between an unfinished graduation thesis (plus a thesis defense) and a pending honeymoon. Having a rest seems to be out of the question to begin with. Second, the complexity involved in designing a tour in Europe myself far exceeds my wildest imagination. I’ll have to admit I am nothing but such a rookie when it comes to traveling. In the midst of contacting and comparing services of various travel agencies, we’d have to be pushed and shoved to rescue this 10-days-or-so time period and make our vacation possible, basically a life consumed in pure setbacks and devestating heartbreaks and headaches. Finally, teaching writing for 4 years makes anything related to it a feeling of nausea so that a paper, of any kind, can be called trouble. Although I may run some risk to say that I’m teacher who teaches writing, writing an academic paper is the last way I’d like spend the happiest days of my life.

Having experienced a year of soaring plane fares, I now have my determination to go regardless of whatever it takes. But there is more to keep me going. Even the mere thought of Paris, Annecy, Interlaken, Lurzen, and the one and only Santorini, Greece, has THE power to either exhilarate or destroy me within seconds. My wife and I have spent countless hours and many sleepless nights online doing research for our trip. This reminds me of the time almost one year ago when we were running around Wuhan like a crazy couple to get our apartment decorated, except that this time it’s all about running fingers and tearing eyes instead of sore legs. With the advice from my nice colleagues, we have resorted to ctrip, caisa, and cits, only to find that the price went too unaffordable, or the time happened to be arranged too early or too late, or the website looks too shoddy and commercially sneaky to be trusted. And that’s probably where we decided to hatch a plan ourselves, which is not entirely a good or bad idea.

On the one hand, we have much more freedom in adding and deleting alternative destinations. Most trips arranged by travel agencies include visits to cities in Italy, but frankly it’s not that our cup of tea because we both pictured that nation to be too bleak due to the overrated, odd citadels and cathedrals whose beauty in architecture neither of us is able to fully grasp. But if we give route-design more personal touches, Italy is in no position to not be skipped. On the other hand, however, without the assistance from a decent travel agency, we found ourselves clueless in terms of how and when to get our visa.

So it’s a crisis full of false starts and real dillemmas. I just hope that everything can be alright soon–it has to be! And I’ll come back when the work is done.

Feb 17, 2011 - Uncategorized    No Comments

Burying A Dark Soul

 La plus belle pour aller danser

 2010-08-31

        Ce soir, je serai la plus belle 今晚我將是舞會裡最美的女孩

  Pour aller danser 在舞會裡

Danser 跳舞

Pour mieux évincer toutes celles 要比下所有

Que tu as aimées 你喜愛過的女孩

Aimées 你喜愛過的

Ce soir je serai la plus tendre 今晚我將會是最溫柔的女孩

Quand tu me diras 當你對我訴說

Diras 訴說

Tous les mots que je veux entendre 所有我想聽的話

Murmurés par toi 在我耳邊低語

Par toi 在我耳邊

Je fonde l’espoir que la robe que j’ai voulue 我把希望放在我精心設計的洋裝

Et que j’ai cousue 是我自己

Point par point 一針一針編織出來的

Sera chiffonnée 希望被你弄縐

Et les cheveux que j’ai coiffés 而我精心梳妝的髮型

Décoiffés 希望被你的雙手

Par tes mains 弄亂

Quand la nuit refermait ses ailes 當夜晚闔起雙翼

J’ai souvent rêvé 我經常夢想

Rêvé 夢想

Que dans la soie et la dentelle 在絲綢與蕾絲襯托下

Un soir je serai la plus belle 有一晚我將是最美麗的女孩

La plus belle pour aller danser 舞會裡最美麗的女孩

Tu peux me donner le souffle qui manque à ma vie 你可以給我生命裡缺乏的氣息

Dans un premier cri 就在幸福的

De bonheur 第一聲呼喊裡

Si tu veux ce soir cueillir le printemps de mes jours 如果你今晚想摘下我生命的春天

Et l’amour en mon cœur 還有我心中的愛

Pour connaître la joie nouvelle 為了體驗初吻帶來的

Du premier baiser 全新愉悅

Je sais 我知道

Qu’au seuil des amours éternelles 在永恆愛情的入口

Il faut que je sois la plus belle 我必須是最美麗的女孩

La plus belle pour aller danser 舞會裡最美麗的女孩Sylvie Vartan

Paroles et Musique: Charles Aznavour 1964

Ce soir, je serai la plus belle 今晚我將是舞會裡最美的女孩

Pour aller danser 在舞會裡

Danser 跳舞

Pour mieux évincer toutes celles 要比下所有

Que tu as aimées 你喜愛過的女孩

Aimées 你喜愛過的

Ce soir je serai la plus tendre 今晚我將會是最溫柔的女孩

Quand tu me diras 當你對我訴說

Diras 訴說

Tous les mots que je veux entendre 所有我想聽的話

Murmurés par toi 在我耳邊低語

Par toi 在我耳邊

Je fonde l’espoir que la robe que j’ai voulue 我把希望放在我精心設計的洋裝

Et que j’ai cousue 是我自己

Point par point 一針一針編織出來的

Sera chiffonnée 希望被你弄縐

Et les cheveux que j’ai coiffés 而我精心梳妝的髮型

Décoiffés 希望被你的雙手

Par tes mains 弄亂

Quand la nuit refermait ses ailes 當夜晚闔起雙翼

J’ai souvent rêvé 我經常夢想

Rêvé 夢想

Que dans la soie et la dentelle 在絲綢與蕾絲襯托下

Un soir je serai la plus belle 有一晚我將是最美麗的女孩

La plus belle pour aller danser 舞會裡最美麗的女孩

Tu peux me donner le souffle qui manque à ma vie 你可以給我生命裡缺乏的氣息

Dans un premier cri 就在幸福的

De bonheur 第一聲呼喊裡

Si tu veux ce soir cueillir le printemps de mes jours 如果你今晚想摘下我生命的春天

Et l’amour en mon cœur 還有我心中的愛

Pour connaître la joie nouvelle 為了體驗初吻帶來的

Du premier baiser 全新愉悅

Je sais 我知道

Qu’au seuil des amours éternelles 在永恆愛情的入口

Il faut que je sois la plus belle 我必須是最美麗的女孩

La plus belle pour aller danser 舞會裡最美麗的女孩

What We Do For Love 2010-01-31

讲过的不同的课:

GRE强化写作6节

IELTS强化班写作 8节

雅思冲刺7分写作 4节

雅思基础写作 10节

IELTS点题班写作 1节

赛达句子提升 6节

SAT基础写作 8节

赛达强化写作 6节

SAT语法改错 6节

托福强化写作 11节

TOEFL基础写作 8节

朗文当代英语教程-5 32节

朗文当代英语教程-4 25节

直通车班基础写作 12节

考研基础语法 3节

考研强化完型 5节

考研强化写作 5节

考研冲刺写作 3节

GRE/GMAT基础逻辑 8节

雅思基础写作VIP 6节

雅思强化写作VIP 11节

托福强化写作VIP 12节

托福基础写作VIP 5节

赛达写作VIP 12节

GMAT逻辑 6节

四级模考冲刺 1节

六级模考冲刺 1节

大学英语语法与写作 6节

四级基础语法 5节

美国签证讲座 1节

SAT公开课 1节

赛达模考串讲 1节

合计32门 235 节

Sometimes, I can’t think of a reason why I need to be a teacher but can think of a thousand why I should quit, once and for all. They just made it hard on purpose. It’s one thing to teach but quite another to be a professional like this, say, a master of nearly 500 hours of no-repeating lecturing to all age groups?

There is a generation on our hands, waiting to be influenced and to influence us. There is a generation much much more competent, sharp and fragile and adorable. They misunderstand and understand and criticize and admire and hate and love and need and leave you all at the same time; and yet, there is no misunderstanding, criticism, or hatred allowed on your part, but only love, and understanding and adjusting and keeping moving. Hey, come on, it doesn’t take a math genius to know that this game isn’t fair.

But I guess I love the playfield

–the only thing that explains

why I’m gonna stay.

It’s insane, isn’t it? What we do for love.

Hands on the Radio 2009-11-29

I’ve planned on several yearly rewards for the celebration of my upcoming birthday this year—a 48-hour break from work, a newly decorated house to finally settle in, a lovely birthday cake, a pair of levis’ jeans, a bottle of extremely expensive French champagne and even an authorized edition of windows 7 and hopefully, a happy family get-together.

Sounds crazy, selfish and stupid? I bet it is and I don’t care being accused of once a year.

I am going to celebrate my big big birthday at my birthyear. It’s a big big deal.

This year, 2009, is a special year for me. It’s good and…visibly…very bad. I’ve never in my life been this busy, never been so sick of life and yet so grateful for it. I’ve never talked this much and consumed this much of mineral water. I’ve never been so much in love with someone while feeling so secure and sure that everything, yes, everything is going to be fine. I’ve never earned or spent so much. I’ve never felt so helpless and so powerful at the same time. It’s a year when I feel I’ve lost everything but gained everything else. It’s a year of remarkable turns of events.

The bad of 2009 is what is sacrificed for the good of 2010, or at least that’s what I’d like to think.

So December 8th, 2009, deserves it. And it’s gonna be big, very big, historical, and looked back upon many many years later. There will be no class, no KFC, no bus, no cabs, no rush, no emergency, no sickness, no mineral water, no IELTS, TOEFL, GRE, or SAT, no NOS, no bad news or questions from anyone whatsoever. It is just gonna be me, myself, my birthday, my day.

Then, right the next, I’m gonna be old, very old and worst of all, I am gonna stay that way for long, very long, longer than I can ever imagine. 24 is no small number and it usually farewells youth and foresees a quarter-life crisis.

I need to celebrate, after all and before all, my birthday.

Not Nice 2009-10-29

I genuienly wish that this is not the 21st century that I must live through, when we have to maximize the price and get the minimum of happiness, when everyone, students and teachers, drivers and passengers, all seems so exhausted from nothing, when there are so many tests to take, fail and pass, when we need so many things to excite ourselves but end up feeling empty, when we are trying to figure out what life is all about but jump into the conclusion that it’s just pointless, when the technology is unprecedently reliable but traffic problems in this city are unprecedently terrible, when there are suddenly so many people out there in the streets lining up for things they don’t really want or need, when we must meet thousands of faces every day but none deserves being under the name of a true friend, when social injustice still exists in every corner of this society, when music becomes mass-production, literature becomes mass-production and philosophy becomes mass-production, where there are more than ever before liars, pretenders and hypocrites we are encountering on a daily baisis, when there are so much noise we must put up with and consume energy to not listen to, when governments drink up tax payer’s sweat and tears, when bosses not doing their job shouting at their employees. How I wish this is not the 21 century that I must live through. I just hope this is really what those who have come before us have sacrificed their lives for and this day and age really pays off our struggles. And gosh, it better is and it better does.

Contra 2009-05-01

The other night I happened to rekindle what should be called one of my childhood passions. Contra! (魂斗罗, if it doesn’t ring a bell.) Well, it felt like a “yesterday-once-more”, lots of fun. But unfortunately, I found myself only unable to even get through, out of the game’s 100 sections, the very first one, something you definitely would laugh at and something that indeed was laughed at by my dad every time he heard my “man” miserably passed away. I tried everything, retried, struggled and restruggled, but “puff…”nothing worked. I made faces to him and he just couldn’t stop laughing.

In reality, it looks like as well a do-or-die situation. I am like that fighter carrying a weapon with 100 lives, marching through the field, rushing against all odds, getting down and forward rolling, almost incapable of nothing. I don’t know how many bullets are flying toward me from all directions; I can’t identify dangers hidden everywhere possible; I am not sure if enemies and battles much much more formidable are pending down my road.

The only thing I know is to keep on moving, shoot them back and shun a little and that eventually I need to heal, dust off and then conquer them one after another, bleeding till the the very last drop of my blood.

How amazing it is when you realize how much wisdom can be contained in a child’s play!

Desperate Measures Summon Desperate Time 2009-02-19

Sometimes it takes a few stupid mistakes to know who you are and what you want. I made more than a few, many actually, and now, let me guess, I am done with those childish errors and this is who I am and what I want.

They say in old customs, when a person reaches his birth year, he must tie on a red belt. I didn’t get one and I am not planning to, because I know it best that my years are harsh and there is no exception to my birth year. So little time, so much to do. Overloaded already is my email box; air-tight are my teaching schedule in NOS and one in grad school; A total disastrous mess is my computer, scattering piles after piles of files to edit or to sort out; A mix of purple and dark olivine is now the official color of my face. Man, what color is that?

These days I wake up every morning feeling completely lost about setting the priority-list for today. I need to do this and I need to do that but I just can’t seem to do them at the same time, and you know, I wish I could get them done at the same time, which is a stupid wish, I know. And the worst thing is, when I know I can’t settle my personal business as efficiently as I’d like to, I quit and I rust in quitting.

I don’t know what I am saying…forget it…

A Robinson Crusoe Version of Home Alone 2009-01-27

John Donne once said: no man is an island entire of itself. But what he really meant has probably been mistaken for as long as centuries because what Mr. Donne did not say is the fact that each and every one of us is indeed ON an island entire of itself, that we are also called individuals, independent existances, seperated beings, that it is wrong to not take care of our own territory in the first place, that we need to spend our whole life, every minute of it, with a person called ‘self’, and that we all need to adapt to, like it or not, the role of Robinson Crusoe for at least a few times. So who said we can’t get through this? A holiday season all by ourselves. Who said we can’t? Despite shops closed, streets empty, families apart, friends away, TV boring, house cold, and nights dark. Despite that we have 16 or so new classes requiring several months to get ready for in just 48 hours, despite that we are all exhausted from the last season’s ups and downs.

Yes, we sometimes just need a voice, perhaps from another island, telling or forcing us to be okay or pretend that we are okay. Then we know we are.

So listen! This, too, shall pass. We are okay.

Happiness VS Home, Market VS Heart 2008-12-27

At the end of the day, we, however different, all want a place that gives us comfort, peace and care, so somewhere along the way we, like our parents of our age, just feel the need to finally settle down for the sake of that comfort, peace and care we don’t get elsewhere. Below are several lists, the makings of which signal, I guess, how we used to define the place we call home.

the 1970s 毛主席语录,结婚棉被,铝铜,暖水壶,上海牌缝纫机,上海牌手表,水壶,搪瓷杯,中山装,五屉柜,永久牌自行车,烧水壶

the 1980s 12英寸老式黑白电视,红灯牌,电子管二波段711-3型半导体收音机,老式双人床,老式衣柜,上海牌缝纫机,上海牌手表,永久牌自行车,双卡路收音机

the 1990s VCD, 冰箱,彩电,茶几,电风扇,电话机,挂钟,金戒指,卡拉OK功放,摩托车,皮沙发,普通沙发,热水器,席梦思床垫,洗衣机

the 2000s 房子,汽车,白金钻戒,布艺沙发,冰箱,床头柜,电视柜,家庭影院,家庭发烧音,婚纱,电饭锅,苹果PC电脑,全自动滚筒洗衣机,空调,梳妆台,数码相机,微波炉,抽油烟机加灶台,洗漱台,消毒柜,液晶电视,饮水机,浴缸,整体橱柜,整体衣柜,组合卧室家具

I can’t help but wonder what list the 2010s will make for us in that order? To all matters of the heart, are we happier as the list grows? Or does our happiness depend on something out of the above listed? And most importantly, despite our answers to these questions, are we still a generation that purchases happiness from the market instead of from the heart?

Awakenings at Xmas Time 2008-12-24

I believe that the longest happiness I’ve ever experienced has never been longer than a minute, nor will be those on the way in the years ahead; happiness is all boiled down into the smallest fragments; lasting happiness is either a myth or an illusion; but it is for these footprints of happiness we leave behind along the way that life has its meaning.

I believe that the greatest thing about life is that it’s nearly all uncertain and that it’s paradoxically beautiful; one would never learn how beautiful it is until one accepts its uncertainty and paradoxes.

I believe that it’s a million times harder to swallow a dream dead than to eat a frog alive.

I believe that one powerful thing that distances two young individuals to the furtherest is hard cold cash; A one-million-RMB-disparity would be ten years ahead or behind. Heaven and Earth. This is a simple, sad, old fact; it’s just that cut and dried. Then the tragic would be for those financially disadvantaged who either never manage to outgrow their grudge or just sit there and do nothing.

My deepest condolences 2008-12-19

I have this “thing”, a weird “thing”, and I don’t know when and how it first started and developed in me—Until now I am just emotionally unable to undergo more than one major letdowns in a single day. One hit per day, there draws my line and well, fine by me! But anything beyond that comfort-zone or across that bottom-line is what I can’t take. This is especially true when I am working my ass off. Extra fragile, extra sensitive, extra anxious. That’s just me, given the hurry. I’m like this rope pulled apart—the more tense I get, the more likely I’m gonna break it off. ONe might walk in and out of my life every day thinking that I am this unbelievably industrious and perfectly obedient and nicely smiling kiddo and that nothing as dramatic could ever happen to me. But Bang! I crash…then drop like a dead fly. Just as dramatic, everything happens without the blink of an eye.

It’s one thing to know the importance to be tough and act strong and think positive and everything, yet it’s quite another to remain tough and strong and positive in face of consecutive heartbreaks. Being fragile, perhaps, is not just my “thing”; it’s, in fact, more of one inherent in human nature ’cause after all, who’s not vulnerable now and then?

Point thus proved—December isn’t easy. Get your guns ready!

Nothing  2008-12-12 

Sometimes, I feel that life is all about holding on to a thing, something, or anything I happen to hold on to.

There just need to be a thing. Everything else, then, as I’ve been told, seems to be secondary.

With that, I guess I’ve finally learned to accept life just as it is.

This is important!

December 2008-12-05

For me, it’s never January that unveils a new year. Everything starts to clear out for the new right from December. It might well mean nothing to you, but December really was, is and will always be, my favorite month of the year; and yet, so unfavorable was it last year that I now wonder what to expect in the next 30 days to come.

When I should be reading, writing, speaking all in English somewhere afar, I’m still here at my birth-place doing all of those in my mother tongue. When I look on as others talk the talk, walk the walk, and dance the dance, I feel my life is still that HUGE question mark, or that one BIG dillemma. When my heart leaps with joy or bleeds with pain, the temperature here is, I guess, just like that in NYC. Surrender, could it be worse?

When I should especially express more, through words, through photoes, through songs, I now feel all of those can’t do me justice. The world outside is basically CRAP, always asking, always yelling and sometimes toppling. Pretty much the same, sadly, is the world inside. It used to bite me in the ass. Painful. But that pain helped me recognize that wildest beast inside me. When I had nothing, I had nothing to lose. Then it’s bitter-sweet for me now to have something, knowing that I would have something to lose. Scars, those sinful scars, are there better causes for celebration?

When I’ve tried to be mature, tried to relax, tried to pretend I’m just like everybody else, but realize that I can’t, I won’t and I’m not; I am still that crazy, quiet, despirited, twisted, naive, little kid, building, brick by brick, my own merry-go-round and chasing, step by step, my own happily-ever-after. Basically nothing looks like child’s play anymore since babyromance has become no more than a marginalized pathetic little song. Shall we be extraordinarily together or ordinarily apart?

Once again, I am leaping into a new fire, for better or for worse. And hopefully, this time, I grow a little bit of older and a tiny winy bit of wiser.

December, there you are and here I go.