A Travellerspoint blog

What is it now, day ten?

And only seven days left before departure!

sunny 16 °C

As of today I will be starting my LAST WEEK in America! How exciting!

On the one hand, the suspense is killing me and I kind of want to just fast forward and _be_ there already. On the other, I still have a few things to do around here, not least review my Chinese textbooks, which isn't going as quickly as I'd hoped. I keep getting distracted by friends/errands/TV, not that it's much to complain about.

Speaking of which, the Rosicrucian Ancient Egypt Museum in San Jose is pretty awesome, and I'm working on getting some pictures of it off of my phone. Most of my perception of ancient Egyptian artifacts involves dig sites in a sandy desert where archaeologists search for bleached pieces of pottery, and it always makes me forget how much _color_ they used in their architecture. Even more so the Babylonians (Hanging Gardens were always my favorite Wonder!).

Question: Why are radio stations in the Bay so much better than up here in Norcal? Ordinarily I wouldn't make such concessions, but I'm afraid there's really no argument.

'till next time everybody!

Posted by Tony China 01:18 Archived in USA Tagged preparation Comments (0)

What is it now, day ten?

And only seven days left before departure!

sunny 16 °C

As of today I will be starting my LAST WEEK in America! How exciting!

On the one hand, the suspense is killing me and I kind of want to just fast forward and _be_ there already. On the other, I still have a few things to do around here, not least review my Chinese textbooks, which isn't going as quickly as I'd hoped. I keep getting distracted by friends/errands/TV, not that it's much to complain about.

Speaking of which, the Rosicrucian Ancient Egypt Museum in San Jose is pretty awesome, and I'm working on getting some pictures of it off of my phone. Most of my perception of ancient Egyptian artifacts involves dig sites in a sandy desert where archaeologists search for bleached pieces of pottery, and it always makes me forget how much _color_ they used in their architecture. Even more so the Babylonians (Hanging Gardens were always my favorite Wonder!).

Question: Why are radio stations in the Bay so much better than up here in Norcal? Ordinarily I wouldn't make such concessions, but I'm afraid there's really no argument.

'till next time everybody!

Posted by Tony China 01:18 Archived in USA Tagged preparation Comments (0)

Base Camp Chico day 5

Oops, missed a day.

sunny 35 °C

Every time I come back to Chico I complain about two things: weather and bugs. The weather here's actually pretty nice, but after getting used to Santa Barbara I'm kind of a pansy. There aren't as many bugs there either.

Seriously, for some reason my parents feel the need to leave windows open at night, and that means an assortment of moths and gnats fly in, screen or no screen. With me sitting in the dark staring at a glowing computer screen, that causes some problems. Not to mention the ants (last night I found a big red one the size of my thumbnail crawling around on my bed. Blech.)

In other news, my student X visa arrived in the mail today. That means I'm on my way to Beijing and nothing can stop me!

The season finale of Breaking Bad was brick-shitting-awesome, as usual, but I'm afraid the new AMC series that's starting next month, Rubicon, looks like a brick of shit. Not too bummed about missing it.

Expect a hiatus for the next couple of days, since I'll be in San Jose visiting the Ancient Egypt museum, where a friend of mine just started an internship. If I'm allowed, I'll get some pictures!

Posted by Tony China 17:45 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Base Camp Chico, Day 3

Angry at the news.

sunny 24 °C

So, this Abby Sunderland business is all over the news. She's a 16 year old girl who was trying to become the youngest person to sail around the world, solo, until a storm broke the mast of her boat in the Indian Ocean. Fortunately she was okay and has been rescued by the Australian government.

What strikes me as odd is all the _negative_ press surrounding her story.

According to CNN and my local newspaper, people on the internet have been criticizing her parents for allowing her to sail away on her own. Now, if you know me, you know this sentiment raises my ire for two reasons.

First, it's symptomatic of the rapidly degrading integrity of TV news networks (i.e. turning to the internet for sources). It seems to me as if CNN, having discovered that they get their best ratings when they're telling people what they _want_ to hear, has upped the stakes by blatantly _asking viewers what they want to hear,_ then _telling the viewers what the viewers said they wanted to hear._ Alternatively, CNN is being informed by the audience, not informing the audience. That wouldn't bother me if people got their news from sources other than television, but most don't.

Second, why are these people on the Internet such authorities on parenting? 16-year-olds can be a lot more responsible than our society treats them (they can drive cars after all). Instead of saying Abby Sunderland's parents are irresponsible for letting her _live her dream,_ shouldn't we be _impressed_ that they raised a daughter who sailed halfway around the world on her own? What can your 16-year-old do?

I even saw some Australian guy say people were upset that Australian taxpayers would have to pay for her rescue. I don't mean to pass judgment, but that sounds like the douchiest thing I've heard in a long long while.

On a lighter note, this evening turned out better than I expected, I got to spend a few hours chilling with some old friends, so that was cool.

Posted by Tony China 21:53 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Moving out.

The first leg of the trip.

sunny 27 °C

Base Camp Chico, Day 2

Today I slept until noon, then started reviewing two years' worth of Chinese textbooks. At UCSB they teach traditional characters, so I've set about memorizing the simplified versions, which I'll need in mainland China. Fortunately "simplified" is a pretty accurate modifier, so it hasn't been much trouble so far.

All of my stuff is still packed, and I'm going to have to spend a significant chunk of the next two weeks sorting through it to decide which clothes/books/etc. I'm going to take with me, then packing up the rest for storage.

Highlight of the day: for the first time in ten weeks I've had the time to tune and play my violin, and I'm not too horribly out of practice. Yay!

Posted by Tony China 20:23 Archived in USA Comments (0)

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