Back To Life

Something happened last Friday morning, something that has been about 21 months in the making. My (now) ex-wife and I finally signed our divorce settlement, slapped down our red inky thumbprints upon our names, and received our divorce papers from the Chinese government. So I guess this might be the end of K-Sqared’s Ghost Bloggy Blog as my life can now officially begin again.

 

I Probably Won’t

I’m not a prototypical consumer, but I am very accomplished when it comes to buying things I don’t need. I own a little Xiaomi universal IR blaster with which I can control the TV and air-conditioner in my room with my phone. I have at least 5 pairs of earphones, but only 1 pair of ears. I have a podcasting microphone, but I haven’t podcasted in years. I have a Raspberry Pi, and I don’t even like raspberries. Three mice are scampering around my various desks.
My current phone (which I’m satisfied with) is a Samsung Galaxy S9+. I bought it when it launched way-way back in March of 2018. Being that it’s now October 2018, I have no business looking at mobile phones, at least not with the intention to buy. I have no need for a new mobile phone. So why am I checking out the $1,440 Huawei Mate 20 Pro? Because I am a human geek from America, and the media trained me to seek out and consume technology, that’s why.
I probably won’t buy a new phone this year, probably. But I find it disturbing that I want to buy this phone. Tech news sites and podcasts prey upon the geek’s natural desire for cool, new technology. The media feeds us glorified press releases masquerading as news, custom-built to appeal to our appetite for gadgets. The media programmed me to seek out news and information so that when I see something shiny and awesome, I’m primed to buy it as soon as I can. My self-control is constantly being put to the test. Services like Amazon Prime which offer near-instant satisfaction would certainly endanger my bank account were I living in the US right now.

A Nation of One

This alternate universe known as Shanghai has an energy to it, a vibe that imbues the flow of humans rushing through the streets with an unnatural momentum as though nothing common can stop it, not even an oncoming train. So the government has implemented these rolling gates. Otherwise, you better believe trains all across the country would be forced to stop to wait on the majority of drivers and motorcyclists who clearly believe traffic laws are entirely optional.

Though it was never in my life plan, Shanghai became my home away from home last July. Actually, I should say that I moved here in July of 2017, but it became my home at some point during the fall semester at my new school, probably when I realized the administrators, teachers, and students were quickly becoming my new extended family, and I was feeling safe both on campus and off. Exploring Shanghai on foot, one city block at a time became my hobby and pastime. No longer is walking the desperate, momentary escape it had been for me in Changsha. The day I walked all the way to the Bund and became engulfed in the flood of wide-eyed tourists on East Nanjing Road still echoes in my mind, a fantastic triumph of spirit and fortitude which I’ve subsequently repeated several times. Now, I know this is where I belong (for the time being).

 

I Write All Wrong

I write for the wrong reasons. I write because I like the tactile feeling of keys depressing beneath my fingers as they dance across the keyboard writing contrarian nonsense. I write because my brain begins to overflow with rushing, buzzing thoughts that won’t go outside and play except through the timely thrust of lettered buttons pushing back against the tips of my digits. I write because no one wants to podcast with me, spar and commiserate with me over the myriad problems facing the United States and its dysfunctional form of democracy (plus I hate the sound of my own voice). I write because it functions as low-level creativity and seems to at least temporarily satiate my yearning to share a bit of my ghost with someone else, assuming, of course, I don’t simply delete what my keyboard cages.

LTBP #3

Lunchtime Blog Post Number 3

Over the the weekend I accomplished very little of the numerous creative projects I had tentatively planned on tackling. Instead, I wasted a lot of time watching TV shows and a couple of films that left me feeling just as hollow as before watching them.

My dysfunctional mind, instead of realigning or rescheduling things I intended to do, simply drops them from the list, unstricken, never to trouble me again, that is, until I realize on Sunday night I completely squandered my weekend.

I’m nobody!

In my American Literature class today, we continued discussing various Emily Dickinson poems. One poem in particular should have made a deeper impression upon my class, “I’m Nobody! Who are you?”, but they weren’t able to understand and internalize the meaning behind the words. I suppose I can’t really blame them too much as English is their second language, and I don’t suppose too many American students would find the deeper meaning appealing at the same age. I guess no one wants to believe they are the bog (swamp) in a poem’s less-than-flattering metaphor.

Super Hero

I’ve been doing some very deep thinking about super heroes lately. Perhaps it has something to do with my falling in love with Wonder Woman, or it could be related to the fact that I watch all the super hero TV shows (except Agent Carter, Super Girl, and Arrow).

Most of the best super heroes weren’t born that way. Instead, they started out as normal human beings, with strengths and weaknesses, flaws, and talents. But something transformative molds them into something special; still flawed, but better and more powerful than they were before.

Peter Parker was a puny high school runt who was bitten by a radioactive spider and became Spider-Man.  Steve Rogers survived Polio and became Captain America thanks to Project:Rebirth. Bruce Wayne’s parents were murdered right in front of him, leaving him orphaned with only billions of dollars and a massively successful company to sustain him through childhood before becoming the Batman. Kal-El (Clark Kent) had to put up with his folksy human, Smallville adoptive parents and pretended to be human, all the while hiding his super powers. Princess Diana (Prince) left an island paradise full of beautiful Amazon warriors to fight evil, all the while resisting what must be an overwhelming urge to wrap the Lasso of Hestia (Lasso of Truth) around the neck of every politician on Earth.

Suffering through adversity might be the one thing I have in common with the aforementioned super heroes, though my misfortunes have largely been of my own creation. Obviously I’m not clairvoyant. In fact, even my faculty of hindsight doesn’t rise to the level of a competency. I repeat patters and mistakes, thereby hatching new regrets and  nemeses (nemesi?). Although I definitely have a  a back-story to rival those of my favorite heroes, and despite the wearing of super hero T-shirts and Batman earring, it hasn’t been enough to propel my superpowers of punctuality and sarcasm into the realm of crime-prevention or world-saving.