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Odi et amo. Quare id faciam, fortasse requiris.

I have returned to the cradle of the Purple Valley, also known as Williamstown, where everything, if open at all, closes by dinnertime or sunset, because we are primeval like that. Shanghai is so different from Beijing, which is so different from Williamstown. Since modern Shanghai is very much about extravagance and show, especially as the World Expo draws nearer, it’s interesting to see what these cliched photographs of the famous bund at night look like desaturated. Deprived of its neon, sheer geometry of a building is more obvious, although I am not sure whether the bund in black and white is any less of the flamboyant city Shanghai is becoming.

But I am too exhausted and jetlagged to draw coherent conclusions long enough to fill a post. So to divert attention, a link to a hilarious video:

I like English, because it is very, very nice.


Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself.

About five hours ago I had four impacted wisdom teeth removed, a surgical process otherwise known as death. Yesterday night I googled every morbid website available for worst-case scenarios–“17-year-old dies after removal of four wisdom teeth.” One of the most comforting posts, typed up by user ANUSLOGAN, read “omgomgomg bleed you just drip blood and drink pools of blood ew gross.” Wikipedia lists “wisdom teeth” in about thirty languages before it even mentions impaction or extraction or the physiology of teeth and jaw. Getting my שן בינה out (foreign-looking characters to be read right to left), getting my зуби мудрості out.

I also learned after seeing the most recent Indiana Jones film with my parents that my mother feigns sleep whenever all non-diegetic elements suggest that a Mayan man with poisonous darts might spring out from behind a totem pole. And that Mayans were taught magical skillz by a number of divine aliens from Mars, and that Harrison Ford is 66 and spawned a mini-Indy. It must have been great fun to play the extras in the film: strip naked and run at senescent Harrison Ford while blissfully embodying an indigenous stereotype.

All the diplomas hanging in the dentist’s waiting room were crooked, and today before my surgery my obsessive-compulsive impulses drove me to begin furious adjustments. I noticed then that my orthodontist’s portrait made him look like an emaciated Ralph Fiennes on crack, or maybe just Tom Riddle in the transitional stage between puberty and Voldemort. Intravenous sedation is also known as SSotP (scariest shit on the planet), because I was out the moment Dr. Pubescent Voldemort pricked my arm.

Nothing beyond this is worth describing because torrents of blood did not gush from my empty sockets and I did not have hallucinations about carnivorous mushrooms. There was no shrieking of omgomgomg bleed you just drip blood and drink pools of blood ew gross. Everything that passes through my mouth tastes of gauze, including the tub of mashed potatoes I just inhaled.

Everyone should milk recuperation for all it’s worth. It is just too great, excluding the pain. I lazed on the couch watching every bad daytime series available. I watched a midget rip off his shirt, pronounce his love for a slutty woman, and denounce his former tall gay lover a la Jerry Springer. I watched kitties in trees being rescued on a local news channel. Then I watched Barney the big fucking friendly dinosaur, whose voice is infinitely lower than it was at the show’s inception.

And now for a non-sequitur, because I am unhealthily obsessed with finding magic in the mundane:


I start to blog. Because I need an outlet for pretentiousness and also because, although I know this is totally undermining the sole purpose of my summer program, I need English for my sanity.

So, I will type extensive posts about strong and uninformed opinions that no one will read and it will be cool. Maybe a sprinkling of eccentricity and inside jokes.

And some photographs: my dad recently surrendered his super-awesome-amazing-coolest-ever Nikon camera to me for an indefinite amount of time. I hold it in my trembling hands and have taken thousands of pictures, most of which are faux-artsy, of Williamstown, a town insanely boring at the moment, albeit always beautiful.