Tuesday, July 25, 2017

GF Update

All right since everybody seems to be dying to hear it:

Yes, I am still with the Girlfriend, she has come to China several times.

After seeing all the difficulties at the school I work at, however, she is not very enthusiastic about leaving her job and moving there. (Teachers for the new semester are making sometimes half the salary that I'm making.) Plus her mother and grandmother need some support in Russia.

She wants me to come back to Russia; there are international schools in Russia, mainly in St. Petersburg and Moscow, that pay a decent wage in the usual international school bracket of $3000 - $5000 USD a month, but currently my qualifications aren't quite there.

(There's basically no way I would go back to working in chain language schools and I've never liked doing private lessons, though it can pay well.)

Failing that, she suggests I buy an apartment in Russia (they can be had in the $40,000 range) and just live with her on the holidays while working in Saudi until I can retire.

Russia in general is completely different than it was when I was there, and people who think you could just over there now and effortlessly bang a bunch of hot chicks, or even easily find a nice normal girlfriend, probably have their heads up their asses. Girls I know who used to be ardent sluts and English groupies now spend a lot of time posting angry things on Russian social media about Syria, America, and the values of patriotism, sobriety, family, and nationalism.

Russia has some advantages beyond sluts, of course -- history, some nice albeit cold natural attractions, and currently a low cost of living if you have dollars.

I think of moving back to Russia, though, and it just gives me a sick feeling in my stomach. Whether it's just that I dislike jingoism or it just makes me think of endless drunkenness and hangovers, I'm not entirely sure.

But I spent a lot of time there, and it was cold and dark, dark, dark . . .

Sunday, July 09, 2017


Most young people, of course, think of themselves as both immortal and indestructible.

Even into their 20s and 30s, many people feel that by sheer force of will they can somehow hold off the physical, social, and psychological effects of aging.

Hell, I myself, described by one friend as a "Peter Pan motherfucker" entered my 40s with that belief, in light of the tremendous improvements in my health that accompanied drinking less and sleeping more and (probably) the heat-shock proteins of the warmer climates I was living in.

I turned 48 recently, however, and let me tell you, by that age, you realize you can't avoid it, and that you are getting old, and getting old fast.

Each minute bursts in the burning room,   
The great globe reels in the solar fire,   
Spinning the trivial and unique away. 
(How all things flash! How all things flare!)   
What am I now that I was then?   
May memory restore again and again   
The smallest color of the smallest day:   
Time is the school in which we learn,   
Time is the fire in which we burn.

-- Delmore Schwartz, Calmly We Walk Through This April Day

(The whole poem is here, "Calmy We Walk Through This April Day.)

My hair has been greying for years (although it's still mostly brown) but it's also now starting to thin at the top in a Nicholas Cage sort of way:

Mainly in the last year it's been my eyes; I now need reading glasses. That certainly makes a body feel old. As I said in a Tweet long ago, you know you're too old for the club when you need reading classes to see the menu My knees are starting to bug me; I have had problems with both shoulder impingements and plantar fascitis (pain in the feet) in the last year, although massage and specific exercises are helping them.

I'm currently in Thailand; a week here and then 2 weeks in America, where my father has just moved into his own apartment, mainly so he'll have more money to spend on pizza and porn and pay-per-view UFC. He also didn't like the assisted living place because he felt everybody there was too old. Mainly true, as most of them were in their 80s and 90s and he's a mere lad of 77.

After that, I have a trip to Indonesia planned with Crazy Bob; we got it into our heads we needed to do a volcano jungle hike.

I'll let you know if we survive.