Greetings from the Mainland!
I ought to cut George Lucas some slack. He's a relatively creative guy. But in many ways, he just strung together a bunch of cliches. In his hexalogy, he provides us with o.5-dimensional characters with names like General Grievous. If the movies didn't reek of heavy infusions of raw cash (I get the impression that Lucas mainlined dollar bills the entire time I-III were being made), Binx and other gaffe-factories would send the series into B-Land.
What am I even talking about? I'll tell you. Last night, as Jessica and I practiced our Chinese lessons for the day, we came to a startling realization. Mandarin tones, as difficult as they may be, are easy as pie if you know the secret: speak like Master Yoda.
It's true. The up-and-down warbling becomes a breeze. Unfortunately, it requires that you sound like Yoda. This might be OK if you're in the 70+ range (I've heard a few venerable men on the street who certainly fit the bill), but I would probably come across as a bit of a lunatic.
All this to say that I've sawn into the pithy core of George Lucas' cliche tree, and I find it generally grievous.
But while we're on the subject of Yoda, here's a apt pic:
In other news, we've learned to love our Crystal Ship. Some of you may be aware that it was a point of amusement and severe cultural disconnect for us. "What on earth would ever inspire someone to buy this?" we asked. "What a hideous combobulation!" and "The use of glass has never been so misguided!" But two weeks have passed, and the Crystal Ship has sailed into the harbour of our hearts.
I thought I'd include a nice shot of the vessel in full sail, with its special halogen light beaming down upon it:
Here are a few more photos I've taken in the past few days. Forgive the low quality. They were taken with the camera in my phone. (Yes, we have phones now... I never owned a cellphone in Winnipeg, and it feels strange to carry one now. Sort of like 'packing heat'.)
The shot above was taken at our bus stop in the morning, on the way to class. The sky was hazy and the air was surprisingly cold. I believe that the stack is part of a steam generation plant that heats the surrounding neighbourhood. The heat in our building is all put off by radiators. Apparently, the heat is turned on perforce on Nov. 15th, and is turned off systematically on Mar. 15th. Minus 40 on the first day of Spring? Tough cookies! Hope you've got long johns!