Monday, September 29, 2014

Blogaround

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1. Essential Chengyu: To play the lute for a cow (posted 2011) A Chinese idiom.

2. A Christian perspective on transgender people (posted June 16) "It’s not your business or mine what she looks like under her clothes, and gender is way more complicated than that anyway. All you need to know is that she is a human being, created and beloved by God."

3. Hogwarts School of Prayer and Miracles. A "Christian Harry Potter" fan fiction that's so over-the-top it's delightful. Don't know if it's a Poe or not. "There is a man named Voldemort who wants to destroy all that we stand for. He is pushing an agenda in congress which will stop us from practicing our faith freely."

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Blogaround

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1. The Other Lie (posted September 9) "'As a white man,' he said, 'I have been taught that I was created to lead everyone else.'"

2. The Rabbi Shofar and the Dog. I laughed so much.

3. Pope Francis Marries 20 Couples, Including Some 'Living In Sin' (posted September 14)

4. The Afghan Girls Who Live as Boys (posted September 8) "Niima could never work in the store as a girl, nor could her mother, even if she wanted to."

5. Reclusive Deity Hasn’t Written A New Book In 2,000 Years (posted September 16) "In His first book, He created this dense, sprawling, multifaceted universe, and there are readers out there clamoring to know what’s happened to all those characters since the Bible ended."

6. White People Problems (posted September 17) "Yes, he feels that the fate of the planet is hanging in the balance, but in his everyday life political issues impinge on him because they affect his relationship with his dad, not because they threaten his personal safety or access to jobs or justice. But this discrepancy is exactly my point."

7. How Playing Good Christian Housewife Almost Killed Me (posted September 18) "As Deb went over each aspect of the Power & Control wheel, I began to realize that, yes, of course, all of these elements were present in my marriage ... it’s just that we had different names for these things ... we had chapter and verse to teach us that power and control is actually good and godly. We called it 'Agape Love' - it’s the kind of love which God has for His creation ...this was the relationship we were supposed to use as our model between husband and wife."

8. Against Sharing (posted September 19) "Drivers rushed to sign up, and thousands leased and bought cars just to work for Uber — especially immigrants and low-income people desperate for a well-paying job in a terrible economy."

9. Adrian Peterson and Black Parenting (posted September 19) "Black parents beat their children to keep them from misbehaving in the eyes of whites who had the power to send black youth to their deaths for the slightest offense."

10. And these goats:

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 Have a good week!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Syrup. You guys.



After months of searching, I have found syrup in China. In the imported section at Carrefour. Down on the bottom shelf, next to the Hershey's chocolate syrup.

You have no idea how happy this makes me.

Last Christmas when I was in the US, I had a chance to get syrup and bring it back to China with me. But that bottle ran out, and I've been eating pancakes plain or with honey or chocolate chips (which are actually a cut-up Dove bar) for months now. (And, in case you were wondering, the pancake mix also comes from the imported section.)

It is so hard to explain to Chinese people what syrup is. The best you can do is say it's sweet and thick, like honey. But there's nothing like syrup in the land of Chinese food. They would see it as indescribably, mind-blowingly sweet.

Chinese people don't eat real dessert- or, rather, this is the best way to communicate the situation when talking to an American audience. Seriously, the stuff that should be delicious and full of sugary chocolately goodness, like cake, is pretty tasteless in China.

You can find quality ice cream, but other desserts, not so much. Western brands like Dairy Queen, Cold Stone, and Haagan Dazs have tons of stores in China, and it's authentic ice cream, with the correct amount of yummy sweetness. (Expensive, though.) Other types of desserts seriously lag behind though.

And the idea of pouring a ton of thick, sugary liquid on your breakfast- yeah, right.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Blogaround

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1. Why Did Obama Say ISIL is Not Islamic? Because He’s not a Fool (posted September 11) "Arguing such tactics don’t follow true Islam delegitimizes the motives for Islamic terrorism."

2. Rape Culture in Celebrity Photo Theft (posted September 3) "The next basic argument is that celebrities don’t have normal human rights."

3. Civility, Outrage (posted September 7) "You notice someone arguing we should shame poor kids in order to reduce welfare participation. Arguing that it wouldn’t reduce welfare participation is one route, and you do this — but there’s something else you want to argue against, too: the idea that being a person who shames poor kids is acceptable."

4. A list of unarmed Blacks killed by police (posted August 26)

5. Letting Go of God (posted August 5) "Your 'God' is not God."

Friday, September 12, 2014

I seem to have won some kind of Chinese boating contest

Behold:


You guys. You guys.

So let me tell you how "moving" works in China. When someone "moves out" of their apartment, they don't actually move out, they apparently just take the stuff they want and leave everything else. Which is why I just moved into an apartment full of somebody's random junk. Like, old shoes, toothbrushes, cables from some sort of TV perhaps, cigarette butts, etc etc.

Eww.

In America, you have to clean everything when you move out or you don't get your security deposit back. In China, not so! (If you're lucky, your landlord might hire someone to "clean" it before you move in.)

But, lucky for me, my new apartment also came with the item pictured above. Some kind of golden boat on a pedestal. It's 18 inches tall and looks like a trophy, right? Cool!

But it can't be a trophy, because it has a bunch of phrases like "一帆风顺" which means "smooth sailing."

So I don't really know what it is, but man that's cool. ^_^

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

After the Healing

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"While he was saying this, a synagogue leader came and knelt before him and said, 'My daughter has just died. But come and put your hand on her, and she will live.'" Matthew 9:18

-------------------------------

Well, it's been almost 10 years.

At the beginning, it was really great. You know, Jesus had healed me. My parents say I had actually died- but I don't remember it. I just remember feeling so weak and sick, and then suddenly being woken up and Jesus was there and I didn't feel sick anymore. Seriously, that feeling is the greatest thing I have every experienced.

The whole town was excited. I had tons of relatives (and random people I didn't know) visiting me, saying how happy they were/ how amazing it was that I was alive. Many of them talked about how they had prayed for me, and their prayers were answered.

So that was my five minutes of fame. But, life goes on. Jesus isn't here anymore. My dad got really sick and people were praying for him, but in the end he died. I remember how he talked about faith- how when I was sick, he went to find Jesus and he had faith that Jesus could heal me. Later, Dad told us about how Jesus himself had died and come back to life, and now he would be with us always.

But why didn't he heal my dad? I know Jesus used to always talk about "faith" when he healed people- well Dad had faith.

I don't understand.

Is God with us, or not?

And there's no one I can talk to about this. My closest friends and family actually saw me die- any time I bring up my doubts, they remind me that I owe my life to Jesus, so how can I question him?

I am grateful. And sometimes I feel bad about asking why Jesus doesn't do more. But man, my dad said Jesus promised to always be with us. And he promised that faith can move mountains. Am I allowed to wonder why I don't see that happening?

Jesus did this one thing for me almost 10 years ago. But life goes on, and I have other problems now. Apparently I'm supposed to have some kind of lifelong devotion to Jesus, but ... I don't think he's relevant to my life anymore.

He's a good man, really. I remember when I met him, his eyes, his voice- I really believe he really cared about me and understood me.

But that was 10 years ago.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Blogaround

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1. How Does Your Favorite Star Trek Series Fare on the Bechdel Test? (posted September 1) "The future society portrayed in Star Trek was supposed to show greater equality for women (as well as people of color, although it seriously overlooked LGBT characters)."

2. The Single Parent Double Standard (posted September 2) "...many of the beliefs about single parents stem from the view that single fathers have admirably risen to the challenge of parenting by choice, while single mothers are assumed to be parenting out of a necessity resulting from bad judgment, accidental pregnancy, or the failure to maintain a relationship."

3. How Turbans Helped Some Blacks Go Incognito In The Jim Crow Era (posted July 19) "Routté had traveled to Alabama in a turban and robes, put on an accent, and quickly realized that it was quite easy to fool everyone there into thinking he was a foreign dignitary — and to be received as one."

4. confused cats against feminism. Here's a fun little tumblr.

5. 21 Photos Of Jennifer Lawrence You Should Look At Instead (posted September 3) Awesome.

6. "Astoundingly huge" dinosaur skeleton unearthed in Argentina (posted September 4) I want one! I need to change careers.

7. I Allowed People to Mispronounce My African Name for 25 Years (posted September 1) "Despite my Ghanaian parents’ urgings, I allowed and encouraged my name to be mispronounced as “Mamie” instead of “Mame” (mah-may) for nearly 25 years."

8. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (posted August 25) Bahahaha.

9. If Straight Men Were Raped: How Pronouns Change The Conversation About Victim Blaming (posted September 5) "We would never say these things about victims of sexual violence if the victims were straight men and boys."

10. Gay Teen Kicked Out Of Home Diverts Outpouring Of Donations To Homeless Shelter (posted September 5) "Approximately 40 percent of homeless youth nationwide identifies as LGBTQ."

11. 19 #WhyIStayed Tweets That Everyone Needs to See (posted September 9) Trigger warning: domestic violence.

Monday, September 8, 2014

NASA Wishes Us a Happy Mid-Autumn Festival

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From 腾讯新闻 (Tencent News): 美国航天局发月球照庆中国中秋节 [NASA posts a photo of the moon to wish China a happy Mid-Autumn Festival].

Today (September 8) is Mid-Autumn Festival (中秋节 zhōng qiū jié). It's a Chinese holiday to celebrate the harvest and full moon. People get a day off, and get together with their families. And eat moon cakes. Which are pretty good, as long as you don't go into it thinking you're gonna be eating chocolate, because you will be highly disappointed.

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Anyway, NASA posted a photo of the moon on 微博 (Weibo, Chinese equivalent to Twitter) to wish us a happy mid-autumn festival. Thank you NASA!

And have a good Mid-Autumn Festival, everyone! There's a beautiful full moon tonight here in China.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Frogs. You guys.


Pretty much like this. Image source.

Yesterday I was looking around in a fancy imported-food grocery store, as part of a seemingly endless search for pancake syrup. Seriously, you cannot get syrup in China. (Well actually I did find some at this imported grocery store, but it was super-expensive fancy maple syrup, and I just want Mrs. Butterworth, come on.)

So anyway. I'm walking through this grocery store, and I see a tank full of frogs.

Like, living frogs. Big bullfrogs, bigger than your hand. A whole bunch of them, just sitting in this tank with a bit of water in the bottom. Frogs. Big bullfrogs. Living bullfrogs, you guys.

Frogs.

Frogs. Just a freakin' tank of bullfrogs. Just sitting there. And then one of them waddled around a little bit.

I wish I had a photo to show you, but I was just so shocked/ it's not really polite to gawk at and photograph what's being sold in a grocery store.

FROGS!!!!!

Living frogs. Really big bullfrogs. With a little sign in Chinese that said "牛蛙[niú wā]" (bullfrogs) and the price per 500 g.

So... so people buy them and take them home and kill them and cook them and eat them? Does the grocery-store attendant put the frog in some kind of plastic container with air holes? How would you kill a bullfrog? Ewwwww...

There were frogs, you guys.

I've seen live lobsters and fish for sale at grocery stores in America. In China even more so. But I've never seen live frogs for sale. And of course, in my mind frogs are completely different because they are cute while the lobsters and other seafood aren't.

Oh my goodness you guys, these frogs were huge.

Wow. I've never seen anything like that.

Bullfrog dish. Image source.

Oh by the way, I've eaten bullfrog before. The meat was really soft, and the taste was pretty normal. Maybe like chicken. It's a very normal food you can find in Chinese restaurants.

Still totally shocked to see live ones for sale at the fancy imported grocery store. Wow. Frogs.

Frogs.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Blogaround

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1. 16 Vintage “Gay” Advertisements That Are Funny Now That “Gay” Means “GAY” (posted 2012) "What a gay assortment!"

2. When Chinese children forget how to write (posted August 26) This is so true. People are so used to typing- which doesn't require you to remember every stroke of the character- so it's easy to forget how to write some of the more difficult characters by hand. Like how autocorrect ruins people's ability to spell, but worse.

3. 4 Ways To Honor Native Americans Without Appropriating Our Culture (posted August 26) "Many Americans have a disconnected relationship with indigenous peoples: We’re fine as romanticized historical centerpieces and entertainment props, but mocked and ridiculed when we decry the materialistic use of sacred objects like headdresses or call to remove a dictionary-defined racial slur like redskin from the NFL lexicon."

4. This made me lol:

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5.  This too:

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6. Autopsy Report Indicates Police Cover-Up of Man Who ‘Shot Himself’ While Handcuffed (posted August 27) Lord have mercy.

7. This story. I lolled. (posted August 22)

8. Queering Theology: Christ in Stilettos (posted August 18) "But part of the issue, too, was that I didn’t have the language to talk about gender as a performance – as a staged play we all put on that has varying social cues and signals."

9. Face it, blacks. Michael Brown let you down. (posted August 21) "I’d offer myself, honestly. I would. But I got a D in Calculus once, so I don’t think I qualify. I’m not good enough." And see also the Slactivist's take on it.