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Still Kicking

Well it's been more than a month since I left my old company to its inevitable prolonged withering demise, and have since promptly lost all motivation to continue posting here.

Despite my lack of creative impulse, things have been good.  I've been keeping afloat with a little bit of translating work for Greenpeace (see the PDFs), which fills me with a warm glow of self-righteousness and makes pandas shed tears of joy.  I've also been doing a little research into the possibility of realizing my long held dream of opening a bagel shop (and investors, I think this is a great opportunity for you.  A low risk alternative to the U.S. financial system, I think).  I should be moving into a nice new apartment with the French guys where I'll finally have my own private bedroom at the end of this week, assuming the agent we're using is only acting like an infuriating cheating lowlife scumbag and is, in fact, not.  And I just bought a roundtrip train ticket to Hong Kong next Thursday, where I'll be going for a frisbee tournament for the weekend and picking up with a team from Manila.  The theme of the tournament party is "Enter the Dragon," for which we were encouraged to do a performance where we display our "best kung fu style," so I volunteered to do a little show, provided the girls on the team wear cheongsams and cheer.  This may or may not happen, but at any rate, I'll pack my silks.

Meanwhile, we continue to enjoy beautiful blue skies almost every day, and it almost seems as if the Olympics never happened.

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Hello world!

I have but few words tonight. I will first share with you a cartoon I drew several years back when I was a fiery little upstart, before I had truly learned to appreciate the glory of the Communist Party:

Back on the road

Today I believe is the first day of Ramadan. All the prayer halls started broadcasting in unison over the loudspeakers at 4:45 this morning. I woke up to the sound with a bit of a cold sweat from something I ate yesterday, and sat on the toilet watching tiny ants march along the crack of the wall. Yesterday I rented a bike and rode south out of town into the rice paddies. I found a few beautiful quiet spots, but mostly it was hard to avoid the roads and motorcycle exhaust. It was good to have a bike in town at least to get away from the becak drivers, who are everywhere and make it impossible to enjoy a quiet moment in town. I was originally thinking of seeing the Dieng Plateau for a day, but I decided I really need a break from tourist destinations, so I'm going to take a bus north to Semarang after I finish this post. I found a couchsurfer who said she'll put me up tonight, and may even be able to give me a ride to Jepara tomorrow since she commutes there for work. This