posts | images | bookmarks

"Cry Dry Your Eye Sweet Bess" (TBH)

By tuck 17 May 2002

Part Four: Cry Dry Your Eye Sweet Bess (TBH)

<p>because i think that splitting these parts up (due to the why8k? bug) makes them ugly and confusing,  i&#8217;m going to <span class="caps">TRY</span> to write smaller parts if i can, which means, of course,  more parts to waste your life reading. hey, at least you&#8217;re not paying to waste your life like at school. so, while keeping your patience meters in the red, onward we trudge.</p>

<p>part three introduced sanda and <span class="caps">SAM</span> and the fact that the <span class="caps">LRC</span> in fighting may approach a meditative state. part four is a linking section hopefully clarifying why being in china is necessary, and why i must have the kind of involvement that i do in order to accomplish essential components of the study, while at the same time satiating the crucial requirement of authenticity. </p>


<p>it should be said right off here that searching for <span class="caps">SAM</span> didn&#8217;t just coincidentally land me in china.  as mentioned earlier, the principle has been written about, studied, and practiced much more in the far east than in the near west.  it is, in fact, a quality not limited to the realm of combat or sport here, but is actually pervasive throughout asian culture itself, perhaps less so in recent times, but present nonetheless.  this is probably because the various philosophical doctrines  typically had a way of ending up in some sort of governing or guidepost roll here.  </p>

<p>admittedly, my <span class="caps">SAM</span> infatuation probably has its origins in a samurai movie or something. but, whatever it was that started things turning, soon i was funneled into thinking about the aimless baseball pitch of yesteryear, and from there it has evolved into a more comprehensive curiosity encompassing the territories of philosophy, history, and the very important cultural grounds from which both develop. <span class="caps">LRC</span> can&#8217;t be relegated into the restricted Occidental senses of biodynamics, or psychology, or physiology. in my estimation it can&#8217;t be seen as anything less than somewhat of a union of the three.  unity or &#8216;oneness&#8217; or whatever you want to call it has historically been an almost strictly asian philosophical principle (as you all know). </p>

<p>if we accept the above, that the <span class="caps">LRC</span> has a more involved history and emerges more noticeably in asia and in various asian things than in their western counterparts, then it naturally follows that our investigations should utilize the compiled knowledges which our eastern brethren have been housing for centuries. there&#8217;s a virtual database of <span class="caps">SAM</span>-related philosophical and physical discoveries and teachings which have been stockpiled over hundreds of years and is now at our disposal. this is where tucker&#8217;s superhuman parental unit  has problems: &#8220;why can&#8217;t you just read more books? why can&#8217;t you train here? for the cost of your plane ticket, you could have an entire library of this stuff!&#8221;  well, it is my estimation that such a library would be virtually useless.  it comes down to the fact that we, as westerners, are unfamiliar with asian ways of thinking. we can read about chinese-this and chinese-that in a fervent attempt at coming to understanding. but the very words we read are western; these asian things, when described through western convention, become westernized things.  the difficulty is not necessarily in the asian ideas themselves, but from realizing (let alone adapting) the very modes of thought from which these ideas need to be understood through.  if the methods of thinking we use differ from those under which these foreign ideas originated, then we&#8217;re immediately distanced from understanding, no matter how much care and scrutiny we use.  anything we try to investigate and gain insight into is immediately tainted by our own examination lens. merely looking, in this case, distances us from actually seeing. we  relate and derive meanings out of new learnings by using principles obtained in our own environment,  through a brain which was developed to use these principles as its filter for understanding.  we explain all new knowledge to ourselves through understandings which we already have. in our case, our filter for understanding is entirely western.  and, because words can only be communicative between those who share similar experiences (thank you <span class="caps">GEB</span>, yet again) we have no hope of understanding asian ideas through western means, no matter how scholarly, precise, active, or beautifully written they are. we can&#8217;t take interesting new ideas, describe them in western ways, call them by chinese names, and say we understand these &#8220;chinese&#8221; things.  </p>

<p>this is an area where experience simply can&#8217;t  be replaced;  this is the smell-of-smeared-grass. </p>

<p>Part 4 has introduced the asiatic factor into all of this, which is a required component  when you consider that <span class="caps">SAM</span> seems to be, essentially, asian.  actually, no&#8212; that isn&#8217;t right, and i wish i&#8217;d stop saying that. <span class="caps">SAM</span> is human, and has merely been more heavily contemplated upon and used in asia over the years than anywhere else that i&#8217;m aware of.   Part 4 also introduced this study as one in which experience can&#8217;t be substituted for, and also that this experience should be an &#8216;asian&#8217; one as one goal is to access the well of knowledge already existing here in an authentic and unfiltered way.</p>

<p>so far i&#8217;ve discussed personal motivations for training, my personal history of training, the interest in <span class="caps">SAM</span>, the benefits of the <span class="caps">LRC</span>, and just now how and why china is an important factor in all of this. next, in part five:  &#8220;Please Make Him Stop Writing!&#8221;  i want to spell out the components of my particular study which make it worthwhile and special (or so i&#8217;d like to think).  hold your respective lunches in your respective bellies people, it&#8217;s almost over, i promise, and then we can just get on with our lives.</p> 

How? Ow! now the Nose Knows!

By tuck 15 May 2002

Part Three: Ow Now, How the Nose Knows

<p>i came in 4th at a semi-full contact aikijutsu tournament in Kobe, Japan in an event called &#8220;Randori&#8221;. that was cool, but also controlled and if you saw it, sort of lame and silly. it really wasnt an appropriate place to evaluate my level of consciousness.  after that, i returned to bates,  boxed some more, wrote my thesis, graduated, and got a cool job. it took me about 9 months of working full-time until i started feeling miserable. i felt as though i had abandoned or given up on something important and that now life was just going to speed on by and id never finish exploring my long-held interests unless i did something drastically committed. so i did. the point of this paragraph is to introduce drastically committed,  partially because i like the way it sounds, but mostly to prepare readers for the situation introduced next. </p>

<p>full-contact Sanda fights in China: these can get scary. no more helmets sometimes (depending on the venue) and absolutely fierce kicks and punches to all areas of the head and body like muay thai. the most interesting physical element is that you are also allowed to wrestle, which usually involves one combatant being picked clean off the platform and thrown down as hard as possible.   ive found it significantly harder to stay relaxed and to enter the already elusive <span class="caps">LRC</span>, which is exactly what i was hoping before i landed here. there are a couple probable reasons for this. one thing is that for the first time, in athletics anyway, im dealing with fear, which isnt easy.  before each match, and even some sparring sessions, im nervous and afraid because:  A) there isnt much safety; B) im fighting the chinese in a chinese art;  C) the chinese are obsessed with face, and whoever loses to the american also loses much face and thusly needs to do everything physically, humanly, and inhumanly possible not to lose; D) these guys have been training and fighting for years and, in fact,  were chosen by the government to do so because thats how things are in china; E)  the coaches assume that by choosing to participate, you accept the risks, and thus accidents are not their responsibility.  </p>

<p>another reason why the <span class="caps">LRC</span> often eludes me here, i think,  is the shear quantity of variables my  mind has to deal with in this system.  kicks, punches, charges, throws, timing, safety, the hooting of angry onlookers,  worrying if my opponent knows my knee still hurts from the last kick or throw and will take advantage by targeting it-  its absolutely exhausting and it is terribly hard to relax up there (up there being a platform called a lei tai which is raised two feet off the ground, and is a perfect 8&#215;8 meters).   im curious about what training and competing would be like if america does something to piss the chinese off again (of spy planes and embassies).  the chinese have a hard time separating a countrys government from its citizens. actually, this is a curious fact since the chinese people have been at odds with their own iron fist government for, well, ever.  </p>

<p>anyway, mentioned earlier as being critical for success in just about any speed/precision-dependent physical action, both relaxation and the <span class="caps">LRC</span> are vital in Sanda, although id wager it is among the most difficult grounds in existence to actually achieve them.  </p>

<p>this is exactly why i need to.</p>

<p>(next half pasted to comment to avoid the 8k max bug)</p> 

Missing Misty Mysticism

By tuck 12 May 2002

Part Two: Missing Misty Mysticism

<p>this section involves  a meandering lead-up to hinting at present day motivations, so keep that end in mind to avoid getting lost.</p>

<p>i was put into a special program for smart kids like many of you probably were when i was 10 and didnt have to go regular school on fridays. i won  regional and state championships for Olympics of the Mind competitions and even competed in the world championships. i tested unusually high in creative application, spacial reasoning, and writing.  mentioning this relatively meaningless garbage is only to set up a comparative frame of my early history. soon after all the nerdery intensified, i was compelled to end it all. the nerdification, i mean. i stopped doing the after school young engineers club and readers society and instead chose to play sports.  this may take some explaining considering  who the likely readers of this are, but ive been thinking about it lately so it wont be too hard to write about it clearly.  </p>

<p>at the time, i liked the roughness and the exhaustion. the crashes and bumps and smell of smeared-grass. it was a smell of reality.  i liked taking my glasses off.  as anders recently mentioned, it does feel good to get exercise and the reason is simple. but for now i would like to bring up another reason why sports were appealing to my young geeky self: i liked mastering  the physics of action.   there was a degree of greatness in being able launch a projectile by hand at XX mph into your target, eluding a swinging obstacle,  especially if you could make it curve on a trajectory which tricked the eyes of, and eluded even the most precisely coordinated obstacle-swinger. theres also a shivering glory in the ability to intercept an airborne, speeding orb when you have to make a split second decision about where you anticipate the ball will be when your bat eventually comes around enough to strike it.   success here results in a feeling you cant understand unless youve grown it yourself.  controlling your body like this is a special skill resulting in a special satisfaction shrouded in a mist of special mysticism. its a time when your body and mind are working in unity. at a higher level of performance, your mind isnt sending signals to your muscles to swing!  or kick!, its your mind itself swinging and kicking,  your whole body becomes one, big, silent brain. this is the crux of what i would like to think will be a main topic of this piece of writing, somehow.  </p>

<p>incidentally, i would also like to  quickly mention, as it will probably enlighten a bunch of you, that this is how some people  are actually able to watch a baseball game and not die of boredom, a question we all ask ourselves and others from time to time. i suppose the same thing is true of golf (which is painful to admit) and, here in china, ping pong. that is to say, as we watch with an air of superiority about us and point out how silly the game is, or how idiotic the fans are for being so enraptured, we essentially generalize and assume that everyone is watching the same game that we are. but, depending on their experience, they arent. some of the observers of these sports know what it is like to have conquered action and master the properties of  dynamic movement. they have an understanding which we wont have unless weve played enough to appreciate these certain elements.  when there is a perfect pitch, or whack, or shot, they not only marvel, but they often nod and remember. in way, there is a sharing taking place between actor and observer.   this can be a very subtle and elusive idea and the fans themselves may not even be able to explain this and are thusly easy for the uninitiated to criticize.  </p>

<p>ive often wondered how it can be so easy for someone who  watches a ballet  with appreciation and awe be so critical and demeaning towards other areas of athletic performance (and vise versa) despite the degrees of similitude. these  range in everything from grace of movement, self-expression, concentration, to the utterly impressive feats of neuro-motor coordination and the grandeur of highest-level human physiological capabilities which are tied, in an essential way, to deepest-level human mental capabilities.</p> 

stasis status

By tuck 10 May 2002

ive just finished writing the following TTJ entry. its long. i had some time and it was nice to put some thoughts down. its intended for the people who know me, but if you dont, youll know me better after reading on. resultant of a last-day-of-vacation-and-ive-received-a-bunch-of-emails-and-phone-calls-from-all-sorts-of-people-who-are-questioning-my-choices sort of situation, its purpose is to get people to see another side of things and hopefully inspire a little faith in my recent decision, which will be mentioned, eventually, although not in this entry.

<p>so here we go&#8230;</p>


<p>Part One: Stasis Status</p>

<p>everything is just good.</p>

<p>it seems like there should be some sort of problem or struggle or stress to deal with or overcome-  but there really isnt. in fact, im so content that im frightened. </p>

<p>content with my existence, i mean. not the worlds, but mine. each and every non-relaxing but nearly perfect day.</p>

<p>this could be good or bad; seeing as this has never really happened to me before, i have no basis for thinking either.  this could be bad because i could get rusty. i could become lazy and grow to expect the easy-breezy.  in essence, i could be spoiling myself into retardation. </p>

<p>but it could be good. i feel good. im closer to feeling fulfilled and, to a degree, existing in an element that actually feels natural for me.</p>

<p>in fairness to tucker watchers, i realize that my lifestyle here, doing what im doing  (discussed later)  is not really on any sort of  path towards some ultimate career goal.  this results in  worried family and makes friends question my judgment as they (amazingly, just about all of them) move on and up to prestigious, meaningful, important, high-level, moneymaking, long-term and brightly futured employment slots.  but in fairness to the tucker being watched, ive never had an ultimate goal, just a long series of mini-goals which ive been knocking off one by one as they sprout up around my life.  eventually ill get to the make-hoards-of-money goal. it just didnt rank high enough on the list to be a priority.  however, lately ive realized  that to parents, friends, professionals and random people i meet,  i might be coming across as some sort of hopeless <span class="caps">DMA</span> (Discover Myself Abroad) hippy. especially to the chinese, who really cant grasp the idea of a liberal arts education or going to college to explore personal interests as opposed to fulfilling the req. for working at <span class="caps">XYZ</span>, i also must seem like an <span class="caps">LAH</span> (Loser At Home).  but  i can defend myself: im  accomplishing things here and i do feel like im on my way to something important.  but before i get into it, allow me to point some things out. </p>

<p>i think one difference between myself and most thraxil contributors and others whove been steered here to read this chunk of blab, is that, unlike most of you who were fortunate enough to have an interest in something which also happens to be an increasingly important, needed, and meshed aspect of the lives of every human being, my driving interests have always been located in much broader realms.  unfortunately, these areas dont really have a professional sector. </p>

    there is no industry for me, per say; 

    not a legal one anyway.

<p>this poses quite a challenge.  imagining myself  having to work for the sake of work and starvation-prevention instead of forging ahead in pursuit of my interests is hard. </p>

<p>i know what kind of person i am and i also know that there are few slots for me.</p>

<p>i do have a couple of ideas floating around for the future, so, im not a complete desert of professional ambition.   in fact, ambition itself is something i have a surplus of now. its just not for the 9-5 gig. its to explore the interests i have with all the fervor i can muster while i still can.  to mention, i am supporting myself over here, entirely. im proud of the fact that ive enabled myself to grab onto what im interested in with both hands (and feet, toes, ears, mouth, brain and strange-loopy soul) and that im officially no ones burden.   </p>

<p>im not particularly special, but i know im not an average joe.   ive had all sorts of revelations resultant of a huge diversity of comparatively rare life experiences.   that  none have been entirely steering is no ones fault, and, although causing a problem of convenience, i think its not entirely unhealthy.  i  think that typically when someone has an interest in something and it turns out that they are good at whatever that thing is they tend to follow it.  to a large degree their talents, when meshed with their enjoyment of those talents, form a guiding force which illuminates the occupational avenues to stroll down. but what if their interests and talents dont coincide? or, what if they do, but, unfortunately, theres no place for them in todays world? or what if theyre  still being pulled in different directions?</p>

<p>i guess you either role dice, or attempt to create your own, self-satisfying venue. </p>

<p>Part One here has been an attempt at bringing issues forward and dusting them off for a rousing good time of self-defensive literary posturing which probably has not satisfied the reading audience whom are now  remembering that they have better things to do than read my drivel. </p>

<p>but alas,  thy wilst blab unto thine faithful. tune in later for Part Two: Missing Misty Mysticism which will somehow involve a meandering lead-up to present day motivations, if you&#8217;ve nothing better to do.</p> 

so a brit, a priest, and a polish guy were....

By tuck 04 May 2002

so, today, day three of vacation, i reminded myself how truly moronic i can be. im sure all of you who know me have a little collection of memories of my bad judgments- but hopefully most of the incidents in such lists involve some degree of blood-alcohol blame. unfortunately, i have no excuse this time.

<p>as some of you can testify to, i go through phases of either having an orderly living environment, or having a heap of dirt and organic grime build up to the point that rather than clean up, i consider moving.</p>

<p>i probably should have just moved this time. </p>

<p>i spent almost this entire day today moving, scrubbing, gagging and gasping for breath, polishing and marveling at the fungal universe of my under-closet area (just had a flashback of my old jeep where i once found actual mushroom-things growing in the wasteland area under the back seats &#8211; that was infinitely cool) and also categorizing, filing, scraping, wiping, taping, screwing (with a screwdriver you pervs) (with a screwdriver on screws you pervy-pervs!) (dammit, using a screwdriver to actually screw screws into pre-drilled screw-holes you mega-pervy-pervs) (&#8230;. never mind) and other such purification of my little beijing cubbyhole.</p>

<p>and then i almost killed myself accidentally. </p>

<p>see, ive never actually polished anything besides combat boots and an ex-girlfriends bright yellow, 2002 audi S4 quattro race car.  so, ignorantly, i bought some chinese, lemon-scented cleaning polish  hoping to add a last perfection to my new, sterile abode.  i polished everything that was polish-able. the walls, the shelves, my water cooler, and the blunt message of this little story is&#8230;</p>

<p>after everything was all glimmering and nearly divine in visual (and olfactory) sensation, i noticed my tile floor was pretty much just a clean-but-regular ol floor. so i sprayed it wth polish and let the cleaning-demon continue to take over my soul.   </p>

<p>once the floor began to dry, unbeknownst  to me, it now contained a coefficient of sliding friction which approached zero.  satisfied with the glow, i took my first step on the now mirrory floor, and basically pulled and/or strained every single muscle in my entire body, probably broke my coccyx (sp?)  and i think i have a mild concussion.  after the 3 seconds of wild, physically impossible break-dancing i did, and then the final impact of 100% me-ness essentially squashing, i think my entire body actually started to slide towards my door.</p>

<p>so, one cool thing is that you can see my body-print on the floor which looks kind of like the chalk-outline of a corpse at a murder scene. another cool thing is that  i can actually play an air-hockey equivalent using boots across my floor with a friend-  ill probably be able to beat her after my body recovers .</p>

<p>so, people, dont use furniture polish on your floor. its a horrible, stupid thing to do.  i now have to crawl  across my floor for safety reasons.</p>

<p>this is all.   carry on about your business.</p> 

row row row

By tuck 01 May 2002


<p>you know, im always struck by how easy it is for me to latch on to music from overseas. actually, overseas is too general a category;  every example im thinking of comes from somewhere in asia.  mostly japan. i could elaborate on why i think this is, but it would take some serious writing and exploring of my inner-self which im too afraid to do. (i once tried figuring out why i like eating  <b><a href="">Capt n Crunch with Crunch Berries</a></b>  by such exploration and suddenly found myself in bed covered with slinkies, pound puppies and  asking a giant, stuffed,  papa smurf for advice about which g.i. joes i should allow to die as bystanders in the upcoming Decepticon invasion of my star wars base.)</p>

<p>in any case, imagine <b><a href="">Mr. Bungle</a></b>.  now, while keeping bungle as a background, add the <b><a href="">Partridge Family</a></b> (try not to discriminate too much just yet.) render both of those (as you would in, say, a musical Adobe Photoshop) and spread a very, very fine layer of <b><a href="">Oingo Boingo</a></b>  (all the way out to the edges mind you.)  copy this into a new window.  now, in a separate bowl, take one of those Fathers of Funk or similar Funk All-Star type of compilation cds and blend all the songs together into a thick funky custard. i recommend  <b><a href="">KitchenAid mixers</a></b> .  oh what machines they are.  now not-so-carefully poor this funk over the rendered and smothered copy you made.</p>

<p>now were getting somewhere.</p>

<p>youll need to have the following:</p>

<p><b><a href=""><span class="caps">NOFX</span></a></b> (chunky is preferred)</p>

<p><b><a href="">grover</a></b> </p>

<p>a couple of female anime characters</p>

<p>slash and bb king </p>

<p>the deftones</p>

<p>ok. take the <span class="caps">NOFX</span> and  give it some <b><a href="">sake</a></b>. now castrate grover to raise his vocal key  an octave. also add sake to grover. in fact, just poor sake over all the other ingredients for a while.  keep going with the sake.  throw the castrated grover into the <span class="caps">NOFX</span> which should mix nicely. now toss bb king and slash into the microwave and nuke them until they  melt  into a rifty, bluesy, but downright catchy and, well, just a very pleasant puddle which smells kind of like grilled cheese relaxation.</p>

<p>dice the castrated grover-ized <span class="caps">NOFX</span> and pretty much dump the whole thing into the puddle. let this congeal overnight. fortunately, i was clever enough to prepare some ahead of time.</p>

<p>youll notice the gel is kind of like putty. thats what you want. begin sculpting a giant statue of <b><a href="">Ulala from Space Channel Five</a></b>. make sure her mouth is opened because youre going to cram the custard covered copy thing from before in there.</p>

<p>add some sake again.</p>

<p>now take the deftones and separate the distortion and most of the electronically generated audio and load what youve separated into an airbrush clip and spray over most of Ulala in a giant, flannel schoolgirl/field-hockey skirt pattern.</p>

<p>and there you have it: Boat.</p>

<p>heres a smattering of particulars:</p>

<p>songs move all over the place-  some carry a nursery rhyme melody which is first played marching-band style, then with kazoos, then with metal guitars, then have robotic monster voices before returning to the kazoos.  others jump from folk to industrial&#8230;  its hard to imagine such a jump working well at all. but it does.</p>

fuck/you/summer/baby is a tune which, well, its fuck/you/summer/baby.

<p>another favorite begins with one of the female singers breaking into this highly japanesey-anime-gal-cutesy-teenie-bopper sound which has intermittent screams of <span class="caps">KILL</span> <span class="caps">KILL</span> and eventually, after some nice jazzy guitar action and another verse of anime-theme-sounding music, the chick hits the chorus a bunch of times which is also the songs title: I want to kill you, whatchu want.  the entire band then ends up screaming insanely for a while in front of a nice metal riff.</p>

<p>the band experiments with creative vocal sounds, both self and electronically distorted. most of the tracks have some sort of catchy chorus involving the whole band in song. in most of these instances,  youll find some of the members are singing in a genuine, natural voice, and some use voices that  come from someplace else entirely.  i really like the amazing range of the two female singers. they go  from Hikaru sounding j-pop to muppet war-cry.  the band has an amazing ability to mix drastically different styles together in such a seamless way that you cant imagine them apart. youll have very fast, 1950s  doo doo de doo doo doo dede behind a heavily distorted, demonic, screamy  vocal lead- yet it has a natural feel to it. what i mean is, it doesnt necessarily seem like they are trying particularly hard to be outrageous. their experimentation does not compromise the quality of their sound. </p>

<p>each song is complete and satisfying and theres enough variety in style to keep each of their four albums interesting and the song-to-song progression smooth yet sparky. the songs themselves are unpredictable in the sense of melodic progression-  the tempo changes frequently which is matched up with various instrumental interludes (mostly guitar) which often pass through some chaotic states. but generally they do return to the original theme-sound of the song and finish with a slow completeness.  most of the songs wind down to an end, so in this sense, there is some predictability i guess.  its pleasant though.</p>

<p>there are some very mature and typically japanese sounding tracks- like Blue blue moon which sounds like it should be the opening for a college-based soap-opera type anime series.  for me, however,  this is not as a problem  as i can easily sit for hours listening to j-women  sing any words containing the letter L.  </p>

<p>there are times, however, when the front most melody and overall sound of a song has influences which are a tad too clearly identifiable.  some songs are clearly folk, some are Jackson Five jazz guitar  chkachka-breee-chkachka 70s based, some are pink floyd etc. i mean, maybe its not a bad thing-  but i prefer when they they stick with Boat sound.</p>

<p>this is all.</p> 

spew chunks!

By tuck 12 Mar 2002

ive recently begun to realize that learning a foreign language is another area of brain saturation where chunking (alla Douglas R. Hofstadter) seems to be the best way of obtaining proficiency. you could learn the meaning of each and every word and then try to fit them together in descriptive ways which you feel best portray the message you are trying to transmit, however, unless you already know the typical patterns in which these words and the resultant phrases are used and understood by the listeners youll encounter, these literal word-meaning-organizations and the descriptive phrases you create may be either misunderstood or completely un-understood due the reigning power of linguistic conventionalism.

<p>the following rant will make people agitated with me. i accept this before hand hehe.  </p>

<p>at this point it seems much easier to stop trying to express myself through the preferred  word-meaning-based attempts ive made in chinese (which are grammatically correct, just to mention) and instead simply repeat the various phrases ive heard used around me. i dont speak another language as well as i speak and write in english,  so there is a good chance this is just ignorance,  but it <b>seems </b> like if you deviate from priorly constructed phrases in chinese, even if your deviation is made with words which, as individuals, hold the right meaning, and even if they are placed in a grammatically correct pattern, it is still wrong.   however, im certain that if they thought  about the words chosen before considering their usage mistaken by way of novel creation,  theyd understand  what you were saying. </p>

<p>increasingly, it seems as though fluency here is merely an ability to say what everyone else says in the exact same way that they say it. if i ask a chinese person a question in chinese, for example, i can pretty much guess in 5-6 tries what the answer will be.  now, if i was merely talking about guessing the meaning of their response, or the topic or whatever, then that would be understandable. there are only so many answers to certain questions. but what im saying here is that it is not  topic-based accuracy, but word-for-word with few exeptions. unfortunately, its not resultant of attempts to simplify things for me because im a foreigner.  ill be damned if i dont  hear the same sorts of identical comments/questions/answers/point-outs etc. in verbal correspondence all around me all the time.  whats more disturbing is that even when the response given by the chinese-answerer to the chinese-asker is one of the set word-for-word choices, the asker still gasps in surprise as if the response was all  original.   its like everyone may as well just pick a number which represents one of the set verbal correspondence patterns that are allowed to be used.   It would save lots of time&#8230;  thus a dialogue could follow as such:</p>


<p>79!   (actually, use of the ! would probably be part of the code 79 already&#8230;)</p>



<p>46. (end.)</p>

<p>maybe i should just  memorize 400 chinese phrases instead of lists of words.  chunking the words like this would also erase the odd little pauses or unconventional stresses that the foreign student of any foreign language inevitably must reckon with.  instead of taking the time to form sentences which could possibly be misunderstoodingly (hehe) original, ill just pick and choose the nearest-in-meaning accepted phrase and make everyone here happy.</p>

<p>they often say that words in Japanese or Chinese have no translation or have no english equivalent because they are so profound and beautiful- which they are.   but id like to point out that in english,  my evolving native language,  the creative constructionism through the poetic license granted to all english speakers of able mind and vocabulary is rawly unlimited. i agree that written Altaic (sp?)or chinese language has had great creative-author jurisdiction. but the spoken word is largely bound by laws of speech which is cause for much frowning if ever violated. in both asiatic languages in which i now have some experience (Chinese being the better of the two by far) im gaining confidence in my thinking  that there are culturally-spawned linguistic inhibitions which set definitive boundaries in the usage of understood words. in both cultures, it seems as though their whole verbal interaction with anyone concerning anything not deeply  personal could be split up into about 400 phrases and/or particular sounds which carry either genuine or (as is often the case) faked emotive response.  (im exaggerating only mildly.) i mean, even the very noises made seem to be under some sort of control&#8230; some sort of learned natural response.  but in english, however, there is a spoken-word stylistic freedom .  for one thing, it seems as though the creative power of written  word is given due power verbally  as well.  it seems like people take apart what you say, if interested, and often make sense of it despite its occasional novelty and occassionally actually appreciate your descriptive efforts.  for another thing, people-noises are amazingly diverse in america. a sigh from one guy is <span class="caps">NOT</span> required to sound the same from another. a sigh is a sigh. its like a yawn. its physiological&#8230; a dispelling of air, a relaxation of the diaphram. but over here, it seems that there are only a few allowable kinds of  sighs, or gasps of surprise or whatever. i find this very weird.</p>

<p>to explain how im feeling, if asked, i have to say what Wang said when he felt kind of this way, who had to say what Lei felt when she felt kind of this way etc.  i cant use  more precise adjectives- you know, the emotive ones, because emotional-sensorial adjectives here seem restricted to either ones that have already been declared allowable to be used in a more general way (which means they are used all the time to mean many different things which of course devalues their specific meaning for why i would use them), or that are limited to describing certain things only and can never be moved around. </p>

<p>i realize that this seeming is most likely resultant of my lack of  fluency. but  until i lock on to whatever these rules i keep violating are, for simplicity and convenience and efficiency, i guess ill stick to the phrases ive encountered and forgo these attempts at trying to answer in a voice which is actually mine instead of merely using  standards to represent me. i know the chinese teacher would probably live longer without the 160/90 blood pressure i seem to give her. </p>

<p>(practically laying in wait for kam to give me a lashing here hehe)</p>

<p>(or jp)</p>

<p>(or anders)</p>

<p>(or anyone.) </p>

<p>(actually, i know im just being foolish with this rant. but thus is the tucker-state of dejection at the hands of  ms. chinese  teacher.   which occured about 12 minutes ago. i havent healed yet. )</p>

<p>two grunts, head lowered, back to the cave.   </p>

<p>try again tomorrow.</p> 

gumby tea

By tuck 04 Feb 2002

i went to Tang Ren Teng (or is it Teng Ren Tang…) over the weekend which is the most well known traditional chinese medicine shop in china. it was kind of a super mall for powders and leaves and other smelly things. after examining all the bottles of drinkable alcohol tonic containing wormies and little coily snakies (and mother effin’ big coily snakies) deer penises (don’t you just want to say “peni” for the plural?) i came the the “root area.” the ginseng roots that by mystical guidance (or pure chance as we say in the west) have a humanoid shape, meaning two little sprouts for arms and longer ones for legs coming off of a trunkish looking trunk, despite the fact that they are the same size and weight as the other roots, take the price from a couple hundred RMB to 35,000RMB. They all looked kind of like Gumby. there was one root that looked really, amazingly like Gumby which was 280,000RMB (divide by 8 for US$.)

<p>for some stupid, stupid, stupid reason. </p>

<p>actually, maybe the Ginseng Gumby i&#8217;d pay more for&#8230;  but i&#8217;d just want to have it around to show off. i could never make a tea out of Ginseng Gumby, or cut his limbs off regardless of their medicinal abilities. it&#8217;s Ginseng Gumby you sick bastards, not some kind of food. it was hard to leave him there, all strapped down in his red velvet bed. sorry Ginseng Gumby. sorry.</p>

<p>but anyway. my thoughts now are on Ginseng Gumby. and JP. see, if i can rescue Ginseng Gumby somehow, maybe JP can then clone other Ginseng Gumbies at his new lab in Japan-  and we can sell Ginseng Gumbies to everyone for very stupid, stupid, stupidly high prices around asia.</p>

<p>mwa ha. i wonder how many blockheads have bought Ginseng Gumbies over the years. get it? &#8220;Blockheads&#8221;? </p>

<p>they&#8217;re from the show too. Gumbys enemies. see, they would make a tea of Ginseng Gumby because they hate him.</p>

<p>thiss snake tonic tasssstesss weird.</p>

<p>im going away now.</p> 

Chollywood Details

By tuck 24 Jan 2002

- Most of the first movie (Warriors of Virtue) was shot in China for various reasons. Thats why this crew was here for the sequel. Certain parts had to be filmed in the same locations.

<p>-I was on a set for 9.5 hours today. That sucked. I was fed, however.</p>

<p>-The set looked lame. A cave with lit torches, water, large tusks surrounding some sort of alter, and many prison cells. The makeup work on the prisoners was cool though. Nice long beards and flakey leper-looking faces. The smoke from the torches was definitely real as it smelled like my basement when the oil burner needs a new filter.  Nice effect really. I always thought my basement smelled kind of cavey.</p>

<p><del>In my scene, after standing around with some other prisoners while looking angry but too frightened to do anything (as ordered by the director)  I got to speak directly to the evil, enemy boss of the film. His name was Dogon.  Actually, I was the only prisoner who got to speak to him</del> or speak at all for that matter. It was kind of strange here because suddenly, after standing in a head-lowered way and listening to the main character and the main bad guy talk to each other for a while, take after take, all eyes and film were suddenly on me as I spoke. Thats just weird. Standing for so long just acting, being recorded visually but along with 4 other captives, then suddenly speaking which draws everyones attention right to you, is quite a little rush. Theres lots of money in each take so if you mess up, it sucks for the director. Things need to be reset, so it also sucks for the crew. And all the other actors need to start all over again which sucks for them.  It created quite a surprisingly intense focus on my part. I like those urgent type moments. During each take I was worried that the lack of air coming through the vocal chords for so long would cause some sort of embarrassing squeak or gargle when I first began to speak, which would be just perfect with all the focus on me there. But there was no trouble.</p>

<p>-And now time for a big gripe:</p>

I was <span class="caps">SUPPOSED</span> TO <span class="caps">DIE</span>. Which is what I was most excited about. A death scene. Me. I can die well. Dogon was to kill me after I made him angry, but&#8230;

<p>-the scene was cut before I even had a chance to wow them with my marginally practiced guttural gargles of blood, hack, hock and circumstance. The director decided to keep me alive. Ah well.</p>

<p><del>So no dying, but I got to say more lines and Im shown alot doing creepy things with my eyes.  Really close up shots of me too. Youll see. The camera was on a set of tracks and during one take it rolled along all of us captives and stopped at the end, focusing on one of the stars of the movie.  After doing a bunch of takes, the director moved me to stand right next to this person, putting me in the shot for a long dialogue. I was supposed to react facially to the evil words of the evil guy and the sad words of little star girl but also be really subtle and of course genuine</del> not overly dramatic. So I did. React I mean.</p>

<p><del>The director loved it. You can ask him if you have the connections. He came right over after the first take and after criticizing the angle, there being too much light, and Dogons tone being too flat, he said  Tucker that was fantastic</del> can you do that exact same thing again&#8230; same words, same pause and everything?  So I did.  </p>

<p>-Then he moved me into some other shots. </p>

<p>-Afterwards, while people were resting around the cave, he thanked me again and reiterated that I did a fantastic job and that I should act. I walked up on the set one last time and looked around.  </p>

<p>-Then I asked if I could watch the takes. He waived me up behind the fancy monitor-film-computer-thing.  While watching the takes, we agreed that I looked truly, unquestionably, invariably evil wearing a hood and sporting quite the satanic tuft of chin hair.  He said he should have cast me as one of Dogons minions instead of flying the professional actors from the US to play the parts.  I agreed. We shook hands again. I was then asked for my number by a couple Chinese movie dudes.  And then the Chinese casting agent who was one of the guys who had originally recruited me from school, gave me 3 times as much money as he gave any of the other blokes they hired for the day which came to about $100 US. He clamped down on my hand, patted me on the back and with a huge smile said hed call me the next day (which is tomorrow.)  </p>

<p>-There is some real, nervous excitement when a director says: Tucker, that was fantastic, really. You should act!  I mean, a director saying the words You should act, and being genuine about it, saying it in front of everyone on the set&#8230;  you want, or at least you think you want, suddenly,  to be an actor. I realize that all this probably means nothing and that if I really was good, it was only in comparison to the actors in this movie, who are not particularly special, I dont think. But for the rest of tonight at least, Im basking in my debut success.  I could play evil for $100/day for a while. No prob.</p>

<p>-Also, it came very easy for me to play evil.  That probably aided in my successes today. I wasnt really supposed to be an evil captive, but it just ended up that way and it looked neato enough that it worked.</p>

<p>-The lame-looking set actually looked great on the monitor.  Everything was darkened and smoothed and just looked very hollywoodesque.  I encountered the magic of film. It really is neat what they can do. I mean the set  looked really MST3K-ish in real life. Really college play-ish, BlackBox Theater-ish, but on screen it was quite nifty if not convincing.</p>

<p>-So the movie will probably not be that good. I didnt see the first one and if any of you readers have, let me know exactly how bad it was for my curiositys sake. But regardless of the films potential or lack thereof&#8230; it was fun. I actually enjoyed this day. </p>

<p>The day I was an actor in a real movie. </p>

<p>The end.</p> 


By tuck 24 Jan 2002

-About 8 weeks ago some people came to watch the team training.

<p>-After class they grabbed 3 of us and took our pictures.</p>

<p>-A week later I was called and asked to go to Beijing Film Productions.</p>

<p>-3 days later I was there, sitting at a mahogany table in front of an American film director and his writers and crew, interviewing for a role.  Would have been nice if they told me <span class="caps">BEFORE</span> <span class="caps">HAND</span> why I was going there.  But of course,  that is not the Chinese way. Also, Im not sure what else they would have had me go there for, but at the time, going to interview to be in a movie just never crossed my mind for some reason.</p>

<p>-I learned quickly that they needed to cast a couple recent-addition-to-the-script roles.</p>

<p>-The director seemed like an ok guy. </p>

<p>-They had me read some lines. I did the best I could considering I didnt know it was a casting interview before I went.  I wasnt nervous; my last job in America nerve-bombed me for life. But I was really unprepared. Ive never even been in a play.</p>

<p>-2 weeks later, after thinking I probably sucked, they called me back.</p>

<p>-4 days later I was back in the board room reading more lines, being filmed, and being told I have a really interesting look about [me].</p>

<p>-2 days later they called. A small script was dropped off for me.</p>

<p>-26 days later was today, my debut as a film actor. </p>

<p>-The movie is probably going to suck, but Im in it, and I speak in it, and I scowl in it,  so therefore those who know me are obligated to watch it for the 5 minutes of me-ness. </p>

<p>-Its the sequel to a movie I have never seen called Warriors of Virtue (1997). <span class="caps">MGM</span> pictures. Soundtrack available. It was in theaters.</p>

<p>-The day is detailed in <span class="caps">TTJ</span>  (thraxil tuck journal)</p>