C won first place at her Halloween party this weekend. She wore the ao dai Thao sent her and the non la hat I gave her last Christmas. Thao and I are just doing our part to spread Vietnamese culture. To Alabama (!).
I guess the above ad is political – and so has no place on this blog – but it’s the best ad I’ve seen by/for either party in the last two years of this seemingly interminable election season (except for maybe the Monty Python video about Hillary Clinton and “It’s just a flesh wound”). It’s a remake of the original Budweiser “Wassup!” commercials with the same actors, etc. It touches on a lot of serious issues in a funny way – and if you have any nostalgia for how funny the original Budweiser commercials were, this new one is even funnier.
So focus on the funny – not the political!
Thao and I went to the Metro store yesterday, which is basically Vietnam’s version of Sam’s Club. Thao wanted to go there because she heard they had a cheap price on ocean crab. We got near the seafood section, and she said she was going to go get the crab. I said I would meet her in the produce section. I thought she meant that she was just going to go pick up a little saran-wrapped plate of crab or something – but when I went back to the seafood section, there she was with a dip-net fishing some crabs out of a big fishtank:
Hmm. . . that looks appetizing:
I wonder what it could be – ahh, “head of salmon”:
Here’s “head of huge tuna”:
I’m sure these guys will be equally headless soon:
“Yo, you know, just chillin’, being a nurse shark, trying not to get eaten”:
I’m going to a Diwali party later tonight and it reminded me of the episode of The Office where they go to Diwali with Kelly.
[Ole Miss: 4 and 4. Woo-hoo!]
Now that this blog is completely, 100% apolitical – pretty much – I’ve decided to turn comments back on. I think. Part of the reason I turned them off before was because some people knew that I was coming home early – on September 25th instead of October 5th – and since I was continuing to say October 5th on this blog to throw my mom off, I didn’t want anyone to post a comment saying “I thought you were going to be here for the UGA vs. Bama game,” etc. (In retrospect I wish I hadn’t been there for that game.)
Anyway, I think it’s set up where if you leave a comment, I have to “moderate” it before it appears on the blog. Meaning that you can go ahead and tell me how much I suck, but it will be up to me whether the rest of Orangwutang.com’s enormous, globe-spanning audience is able to read about how much you think I suck. Have fun!
I know this blog is very exciting when it consists primarily of updates on my sleeping schedule – but that’s about all I’ve been doing lately, so that’s what you get.
I had my first class yesterday morning at 7:30am. Ouch. It was my business plan class, not commercial law which starts up today. My supposedly 90-minute class lasted about 35 minutes. After that, I didn’t have anything at school until a 3:00pm meeting for my industry projects class (the class that doesn’t have regularly-scheduled hours – woo-hoo!). That was a long day. I was so tired I could barely keep my eyes open. At one point, I went into an empty conference room and lay (laid? lied? I don’t know – you know what I mean) on some chairs and tried to sleep, but I had drunk (drank? drinked? drunken? drankenated? drinkaged?) so much coffee that I couldn’t sleep anyway.
My meeting lasted from 3:00pm to 4:00pm, then I jumped on my motorbike and headed home. I stopped off at the grocery store and bought some oatmeal, as I was out, and got home around 4:30pm. I ate a bowl of oatmeal and then went to bed at 5:00pm (!). I slept until 4:00am this morning, when I got up and read a book for awhile (a while? damn, is English really my first language?), then started getting ready for school about 6:00am and left my apartment at 6:30am to beat traffic. I’ve got my commercial law class at 9:00am and meetings at 1:00pm and 2:00pm. I’m going to try to stay up a little later today – maybe until 5:30pm or 6:00pm. Ha!
I can’t find my Vietnam sim card for my phone so I am basically phoneless right now. I have to go buy a new one today, and will have a new phone number in Vietnam. (I changed it out for my temporary prepaid card in the U.S. when I was home and have no idea where it is now.)
I am reading a great book right now, Nixonland by Rick Perlstein:
My buddy James lent it to me when I was home and I forgot to give it back to him when I left for Vietnam. Which is actually good (for me – not James) because I was only about halfway finished with it at the time and it is great. The book is basically about how a lot of the partisan politics and blatant dishonest tactics in politics today originated with the Nixon administration. But even more interesting to me is the tale of hour our country literally almost self-destructed in the late 1960. I knew about most of the various elements of what was going on, but Perlstein does an excellent job of linking it all together in a narrative that basically makes it seem like the country was about an inch away from completely going off of the rails due to all of the social upheaval. I can’t imagine what it must have been like to have lived through all of that – and to wonder if we really were on the edge of a revolution, etc. Also interesting is how the arguments being made about Iraq today are almost identical to those being made about Vietnam in the 1960s. Today we accuse people of wanting to “cut-and-run” and in the 1960s we accused them of wanting to “bug out.” Also, the efforts of congress to try to figure out how to rein in the president’s war authority, defund the war, etc. So although the field of battle and the vernacular has changed, the tactics are basically the same. Anyway, great book and I highly recommend it. (James, I’ll send it back to you with my friends coming in November. Sorry!)
Okay, I’m off to get good and wired up on coffee before my class begins in an hour!
Wow, jetlag is for realz. I was pretty much completely worthless yesterday (Monday). Thao got up and left for work about 8:00am. I got up with her and had exactly two things I needed to do yesterday: (1) go to school to get everything prepared and set up for my first class that was this morning at 7:30am; and (2) go to the gym for obvious reasons. Well, after she left, I went back to bed and pretty much slept off and on all day. Made it to neither school nor the gym – in fact, didn’t even leave my apartment.
Thao came back over last night and we went out to eat, then back home and crashed about 10:00pm or so. I’m using sleeping pills and melatonin to help me sleep at night, and coffee (lots) to stay awake during the day. I feel pretty bad – kind of wired and out of it at the same time. I’m sure it will pass soon.
It’s really nice to be back here. I got on my motorbike and rode into work this morning – I was a little tentative at first, but fortunately it was very early and so before the rush hour traffic jams and really wasn’t that bad. After a couple of kilometers I was back in the hang of it.
My schedule this semester is great. I only have two scheduled classes – my business plan class meets from 7:30 – 9:00am on Tuesdays and Fridays, and my commercial law class meets from 9:00 – 10:30am on Wednesdays and Saturdays. I have two other classes which are called “industry projects” in which I basically supervise a research project for a student who is about to graduate. It doesn’t have a regularly-scheduled class time – I just meet with the students individually, so that shouldn’t be too bad.
I haven’t set up my schedule for studying Vietnamese again yet, but need to do that in the next day or so. I plan on studying three times a week again.
I gave Thao her gifts from the U.S. and she liked them. My big gift to her was a hot pink iPod Nano, which she really liked a lot. I loaded it up with a bunch of music for her yesterday and she’s been rocking out.
I’m going to find a place to put my head down for a few minutes/hours. I’m beat. More later.
No problem. Thao picked me up at the airport and we’re home now. Her first comment: “You’re more fat.” And that was confirmed by the scale when I got home: 82kgs. I am going to the gym tomorrow. My work is cut out for me. More later – just wanted to let everyone know I’m home safely.