July 20, 2006


Wow long time between posts. But I think moving to China is a good excuse.

I’ve decided all my entries will have song titles, since I was leaning that way already with the Madonna and Zappa references. This is also inspired by the utterly random selection of English songs I found at my first karaoke experience here. I forgot just how surreal private booth karaoke can be in China. The joint was called “Haoliday” a play on “holiday” and the Mandarin word “hao” meaning “good.” We walked up a long flight of stairs and into a hallway with garish 1980’s geometric carpeted walls and flashing purple neon signs over the booth doors. Girls in tight red dresses and men in tuxes bowed profusely and ushered us into a large private room with its own bathroom and a pyramid of frosty Chinese beer stacked on the low central table. It was me, a cute Chinese English teacher named Grace, and a large group of chain-smoking, beer-swilling, mic-hogging men. I decided to sing songs in Mandarin because the English selection was limited to the usual suspects: My Heart Will Go On, Like A Virgin, The Rose, Jailhouse Rock, with a few unexpected surprises: Welcome to the Jungle, China Girl, and Purple Rain. My mission is to introduce China to Heart, Pat Benatar and Liza Minelli. I’m getting my nightclub act together.

My classes haven’t started yet so I’ve been writing and sightseeing. The revision process is going well. Confessions is so much better now and I’ve written pitches for two other novellas based on interlinked characters. I want this blog to be about writing mostly. But maybe I’ll have one day of the week where I write about China and post pictures. I haven’t decided yet, but don’t worry, I’ll unveil a new blog direction very soon.

Until then, enjoy a glass of nice wine and some Danish triple-cream blue cheese for me. And I’ll have oysters barbequed and smothered in garlic, and a coconut with a straw stuck in it, for you.


7 thoughts on “Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes”

  1. Hi Kevin upstairs,

    Thanks! And merci for getting my internet to work. Now I have no excuse not to post more frequently.

    Did I make you want to karaoke next time? Or are you even more determined to stay away?


  2. 你好茉莉!

    It must be lovely to have time to write without calling in sick–I envy you.

    (Seven semesters in China, and I don’t think I went to karaoke once–sang in people’s houses a couple of times.)

  3. “I Need Some Sleep” – Have you run into a suona yet, in China? It’s a double reed folk instrument that makes cats do double takes. Be on the lookout for one. And do post more frequently…

  4. Hey babe, my mom had to forward me your update because somehow you left me off the list… nice to read your writing!

  5. V & I were driving to the retreat last weekend and the opening “dum da da dum da da dum da da dum” bass line of “Barracuda” came on the radio as we were flying through the Altamont. instantly thought of you! wish for your sake that the Chinese were Heart-smart…

    ps. next time more pictures, but less pictures of some guy’s butt.

  6. What–you didn’t appreciate my photo, trichi? Not to worry…there will be karaoke posts a-plenty over at our upcoming travel blog. Jiesheng and I are working on a cheesy Chinese duet for next time. It’s going to slay them!

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