And on the other hand...

Click here for The Yin Side where the other half of me holds forth!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Blocked Arteries

Who couldn't just love this headline:

I had an observation the last couple times I was in Beijing about traffic. Where I live, traffic, even when congested, is still relatively orderly. For the most part, people stay in lanes. But in China, traffic flows like those images you see of capillaries and veins...everything is going the same direction, but all jumbled, no queueing, no patience really. Cab drivers practice a kind of martial art. It's the same way you get on the subways. Even if you line up, when the door opens, everyone just bumbles in and out like those corpuscles. This image from Beijing 2007 seems pretty orderly, but I remember riding bicycles and seeing horse-drawn carts on these same roads.

I was thinking about this because my doctor just told me my cholesterol is a bit high, my blood pressure a bit high, so I need diet and exercise. (So what else is new...all the other tests, ultrasounds and colonoscopies and liver scans are fine.) It's just traffic. (Isn't it interesting that the French word for traffic is "la circulation"?) And when congested, another word for stress. I was doing much better in Wudang, patiently climbing stairs, eating tofu and practicing qigong and meditation.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Faith in Nature

Perhaps signaling a shift in a cycle, yang rising, starting to inhale, a day after the first quarter moon, after an intense period of stress and distraction called "day-job," I was lifted tonight to see, as I turned into my parking area, the first returned kolea of the season. By now you should know I am obsessed with this bird, as much as I am obsessed with Vincent Zhao.

I had turned off my new car radio...nothing interesting to hear (same old same old)...and was enjoying a quiet sense of having put some difficult stuff (the day-job) behind me. I was thinking, soon the kolea will return, I should start looking for them. And lo and behold, simultaneously with the thought, there one was in the grassy area as I turned into my driveway. I caught my breath, stopped the car and said, "Hello, hello, hello, you're home early." She bobbed her head, really, I swear it, the same response I used to get from a certain African Grey parrot. A little head bobbing of my own, a little telepathy.

Birds are smart (bird-brain is sort of a slur), and migratory ones seem completely mystical to me. (It must be they navigate in concert with the moon, that yin clock of the night.) I have raised chickens and ducks, had a series of parakeets and a blue-crowned conure that was more intelligent than some people I know. But they all escaped (or in the case of the chickens and ducks, were victimized by dogs and opossums) mostly because I had a hard time keeping them caged. Perhaps that's why I am astonished by the comings and goings of the kolea...I'm not at all responsible for the presence of this bird, but there she is. By letting go of the need to cage, I learn she always comes back where she belongs. And that sustains me.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Cyber Defense

Regrettably and reluctantly, I have enabled the spam-blocking word verification option on both Tao 61s. It's become too humbug to keep deleting the amusing but annoying and irrelevant comments in--and by--Chinese characters.

It seems the verification program uses the same technique as naming pharmaceuticals, to come up with "words" like SYCHI, PILEEZ, TYPERACK, CHOMYT and JUTSY, not far from ONGLYZA, a new diabetes drug I just heard an ad for. (I kinda like "TYPERACK," maybe something to alleviate smoker's cough suffered by writers.)

So, in a gesture meant to protect my readers, or myself, from inadvertently launching a Chinese porn site or a virus distributor, I humbly transfer my amusement at the comments to my readers, who I hope find the verification words as entertaining as the comments.

In this action, I am visualizing myself as the elegant swordswoman I saw in May in Suzhou, taking down a hacker by the city wall. Less cyber than saber defense. Actually, this woman was being photographed with a young man, we thought for wedding photos, possibly for advertising. The "hacker" was doing a light-reading on the wet stones.

I asked my guide, "Is she pretty?"
"Only with makeup," she replied, with a little disdain. Well, I thought the sword added an edgy quality to her look. I'd like to arrive at a business meeting done up like this.
Her companion, my guide said, was also unattractive; too short and eyes too small. I thought he was kinda hot. I hope the paid photographer did not include the row of public porta-squatty-potties I unthinkingly captured in the background. If the photos were bad, I wouldn't want these clients coming after me.
Saying "Qi" (or, possibly, "Sha!"**)
** "Sha," I have learned from excessive indulgence in martial arts movies, means "Kill!"