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WhiteGhost

Thug Life: China Style [WhiteGhost]

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3 minutes ago, Mad Hatter said:

Very good point! The first one I don't really care about, though I vaguely identify as "European" :P. The second one I pick and choose depending on circumstance haha.

 

Same, I'm not really bothered by a clear self-identification these days (but it was a bit of an issue at some point, you know, wanting to belong, roots etc...)

For (2) on the other hand, I meant it as something you cannot choose, people pick it for you whether you like it or not, based on your look, face, skin colour, accent, behaviour etc...

 

5 minutes ago, RogueLibrarian said:

 

You have a French accent?? Now I have to go retcon how all your posts sound in my head. (I've already made up a "European" accent for how Hatter sounds to me.)

 

Yeah I do :D:lol:  sort of British English with a wee bit of Scottish at times, but it's mostly the French bit that comes out.

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4 minutes ago, Mad Hatter said:

Haha I'm super curious if you'd get it right. :D All of my accents are quite strange as they've sort of amalgamated into one. Many people think it's British, except for, you know, the Brits because it's really, really not. They just get confused. :D 

 

I probably went to high school with some accents like yours. :) My dad (a native Atlantan who has lived in California, Thailand and Uganda) has been asked by Brits where in England he's from. (I don't hear it at all, but I think he has a mishmash accent too).

 

1 minute ago, @mu said:

Yeah I do :D:lol:  sort of British English with a wee bit of Scottish at times, but it's mostly the French bit that comes out.

 

NOW I WANT US ALL TO MAKE ACCENT VIDEOS

 

(Sorry WhiteGhost! We'll go make an accent thread or something)

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3 minutes ago, @mu said:

For (2) on the other hand, I meant it as something you cannot choose, people pick it for you whether you like it or not, based on your look, face, skin colour, accent, behaviour etc...

I know what you meant. :) I just personally don't experience this second part since my identifiers are not super obvious. I mean I look more eastern European than Swedish but those are quite subtle differences. Mostly I choose which one suits me better depending on who's making fun of which culture. :P 

 

3 minutes ago, @mu said:

Yeah I do :D:lol:  sort of British English with a wee bit of Scottish at times, but it's mostly the French bit that comes out.

Love it! :D 

 

2 minutes ago, RogueLibrarian said:

 I probably went to high school with some accents like yours. :) My dad (a native Atlantan who has lived in California, Thailand and Uganda) has been asked by Brits where in England he's from. (I don't hear it at all, but I think he has a mishmash accent too).

 

The oddest English accent I've heard was a mismatch between Yorkshire and New Zealand. :lol: That one threw me for a loop trying to figure it out.

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Ahhh, haha! I'm excited for your takoyaki pan! You guys could also branch out and make aebleskiver or other little round goodies on there too. ;) 

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On 1/7/2019 at 12:00 PM, WhiteGhost said:

yep, I get bored easily doing the same exercises rep after rep, so I like to mix things up a bit :) 

I really get that! It's good to know yourself well enough to tailor your workout to your preferences :)

 

 

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On 1/10/2019 at 2:20 PM, @mu said:

Wait, a Japanese octopus balls maker? :lol:

You're darn right :D 

 

On 1/10/2019 at 2:20 PM, @mu said:

I don't mind bizarre as long as the outcome is good!

I sure hope so

 

On 1/10/2019 at 2:20 PM, @mu said:

For all intent and purposes, I'll usually say I'm French, it's not the whole story but it's good enough (explaining my accent / how I look). It used to bother me a lot because it was suppressing a lot of things that were very important to me. There are still important to me but I'm not as bothered by people's assumptions.

I think identity is made of two parts: what you identify as, and what people will identify you as (and there is not much you can do about that one and you have to live with it as well).

While I agree with this in general, there are certainly things that we do that impact how people view us.  The words we use, the clothes we wear, the food we eat probably have more impact than the color of our skin or other intrinsic characteristics

 

On 1/10/2019 at 4:21 PM, deftona said:

Urgh this legal process sounds a lot harder than it should be, when do you expect an outcome now?

Really hard to say.  We will hear back the results of this arbitration in a couple of weeks, but then the company can appeal.  Even if they don't appeal, the arbitration ruling still has to go to the courts for enforcement, and that can be appealed as well, so it could be six months or more before everything finishes.  This is why most people are reluctant to go through this process and just take whatever the company offers.

 

20 hours ago, Korranation said:

Awesome challenge and so Much yummy food porn ;P

Following along

Hi, and welcome

 

20 hours ago, Mad Hatter said:

I vaguely identify as "European

In my mind I envision you as being Northern European, but tbh I don't really have any idea what that means other than a vaguely British-ish accent and generally liberal (in the US meaning of the word) politics.  :D 

 

20 hours ago, RogueLibrarian said:
On 1/10/2019 at 2:20 PM, @mu said:

For all intent and purposes, I'll usually say I'm French, it's not the whole story but it's good enough (explaining my accent / how I look).

 

You have a French accent?? Now I have to go retcon how all your posts sound in my head. (I've already made up a "European" accent for how Hatter sounds to me.)

Oh my goodness, yes.  I have not been giving you a French when I was reading your posts, but I think I will do that from now on :D

 

20 hours ago, Mad Hatter said:

Haha I'm super curious if you'd get it right. :D All of my accents are quite strange as they've sort of amalgamated into one. Many people think it's British, except for, you know, the Brits because it's really, really not. They just get confused. :D 

"All of you accents"? just how many do you have?

 

20 hours ago, @mu said:

For (2) on the other hand, I meant it as something you cannot choose, people pick it for you whether you like it or not, based on your look, face, skin colour, accent, behaviour etc...

But don't you think a lot of things that we can influence also make just as big or more of an impact?  Perhaps out views on this are driven by how we ourselves judge people?  It would be very interesting to see an objective study of how much different factors affect how people perceive each other

 

20 hours ago, RogueLibrarian said:

NOW I WANT US ALL TO MAKE ACCENT VIDEOS

I approve of this!  Also, don't worry about tangents, I really enjoyed this conversation :) 

 

19 hours ago, Mad Hatter said:

I just personally don't experience this second part since my identifiers are not super obvious.

Hmmm, this is a good point.  I suspect that the disparity between the identifiers from the person and the one making the judgement is probably a big factor.  You may not look hugely different from the people around you, but if you lived here, you would get a lot of assumptions made about you by people who do not even remotely understand the nuances between Europeans, Americans and Antipodeans.

 

19 hours ago, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

Regarding your labor dispute, I suspect the reasons for the weirdness from the arbiter are either because of a Bribe, because you're a "White Ghost" foreigner, or both. 

We suspected there may be a matter of bribery (or more likely "non-monetary outside influence", which is how things are usually done here).  To counter this we actually went out and found out own non monetary outside influence because Ghostess was able to get an introduction to the head of the arbitration department, to whom all of the arbitrators report.  How much difference this makes, could vary wildly between cases, but we wanted to make sure our bases were covered just in case.  I think in my particular case, all of the weirdness is purely due to my being a foreigner and they arbitrators have little experience in dealing with foreigners.

 

18 hours ago, raptron said:

Ahhh, haha! I'm excited for your takoyaki pan! You guys could also branch out and make aebleskiver or other little round goodies on there too. ;) 

The takoyaki was awesome,  We are definitely doing that again once we get more sauce (we only bought a tiny bottle the first time and already used it up).  I have not ever heard of aebleskivers before, but after a quick google search I am intrigued :) 

 

13 hours ago, KB Girl said:

I really get that! It's good to know yourself well enough to tailor your workout to your preferences :)

Thanks, I have been making minor adjustments to the workouts I did in the army for most of my life.  It wasn't until I found NF that I ventured out into so many different exercises.

 

OK, lots to update today, starting with lunch yesterday.  After the arbitration, Ghostess did not feel like going to her office so we both came home and ordered lunch.  

hTTobMs.jpg

As you may have noticed, Sichuan flavor fish is one of our favorite foods.  Yesterday we had fish again, and also some spicy beef, kung pao chicken, mapo doufu (Spicy tofu) and spicy chicken.  Every single dish was super spicy, so afterwards I had to down a pint of ice cream before I could feel my tongue again.  I could feel that stuff rumbling through my tummy for the rest of the day.  Totally worth it though :) 

 

In the evening Ghostess made us some dinner using just some stuff she found in the fridge.  We had beef & onions and chicken & peppers, with a side of rice.  This was very delicious too.

9cOaKoY.jpg

 

Around midnight, we both got the munchies so this may also have happened

IX3eJFz.jpg

After we resolved the issue of having too many cookies in the house, we had a discussion about balancing my newfound love for cooking with my secret goal of getting hench af (and Ghostess's desire to look good in her bikini when we go to the beach next month.  For some reason, my making a couple of desserts per week does not seem to helping with either of those goals.

 

This morning the temperature was up to -2C when I dropped of Ghostlet, so I went directly to the park for my workout.  On the way, I did a vlog again, because that is our task for the TODO PVP this week.  It is taking forever to upload to Youtube, though, so I will probably put that up in a later post.  

 

The workout itself was great.  I didn't have anything specific I wanted to do because I have already done my 3 regular workouts, so I decided to do whatever would get me some points for the assassin mini.  That meant core and push, but since I was at the park I also did a bunch of gymnastics.  I did really well on the stuff I was working on, getting kips, back urprises, front & back mill circles and some back giants.  

 

Let me say this again because it is important - I got some back giants again this morning (second time ever) and it felt awesome.  Scary but awesome :)   I also worked on the back hi circle things where the hip is away from the bar (can't remember what they are called) and I was able to get a few.  I didn't get up to parallel (just up to support again) but it was still better than I expected.  Also, I was surprised at how much more shoulder and core strength they need compared to regular back hip circles.  I bought some the dowel grips @raptron mentioned in her thread.  I am looking forward to trying them out when they come.

 

After my workout, I did some stretching (keeping this habit going :) ) and then stopped by Ghostess's office to pick up the rest of the documents I needed to submit my visa application.  While I was there I took some pictures of the view.  Her office is on the 46th foor and this is the view from her chair

TGfYeCH.jpg

Unfortunately the air quality was not great so you couldn't see very far.  From the conference room, you can see the main downtown area

FYTHuwg.jpg

 

After I got the stuff I needed, I went to the Entry/Exit Administration and submitted my documents.  Luckily they didn't give me any more problems and I was able to get everything submitted.  While this is a good thing, it means that I will be without my passport until the 22nd.  This is a really big improvement because last year it took 20 business days. 

 

Vlog will come once it finishes uploading (so far uploaded 8% after 30 minutes :( ).

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I loved the vlog! About the dancing and tai chi - can just anyone join in or are they specified groups and just randomly joining in is a big faux pas?

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10 hours ago, raptron said:

Free hips/clear hips! :) Yay!! 

Yes, that's the one :)  

 

1 hour ago, BardicGarlic said:

Sichuan food looks very tasty!

It totally is!

 

53 minutes ago, deftona said:

I loved the vlog! About the dancing and tai chi - can just anyone join in or are they specified groups and just randomly joining in is a big faux pas?

They are paid classes, but the way it works is anyone who wants to can participate, if you like it and want to keep going, you sign up with the teacher or whoever is running the class.  Some people don't want to pay for it, and you can always tell who they are because they stand away from the main group kind of by themselves, but they are still watching and copying the movements.  The benefit of actually joining the class is interaction with the teacher, who will answer questions and give individual feedback, as well as the social interaction of being part of the group.

 

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I’m hopelessly behind here, but someone said aebleskivers. They’re awesome. You can think of them as pancake balls. They’re freakin’ delicious and fun to make.

 

In the pantheon of breakfast pastry, I would place them just below French toast and above waffles and pancakes. If I get to the point where I can make them quickly and easily they’ll probably rank above all others.

 

Yesterday a friend (he’s in Hawaii on vacation) posted this picture of aebleskivers being made on a giant octopus balls pan.

 

fe386de714f0510d239c9647887ac489.jpg

 

 

 

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17 hours ago, WhiteGhost said:

But don't you think a lot of things that we can influence also make just as big or more of an impact?  Perhaps out views on this are driven by how we ourselves judge people?  It would be very interesting to see an objective study of how much different factors affect how people perceive each other

Yes, I think it does. But what I had in mind was a more superficial type of encounter. If you look at the amount of discrimination in the world based on just looks and related assumptions, it's still pretty prevalent I'd say, sadly :huh:

 

That early walk in the park was amazing, so much activity!

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3 hours ago, Sloth the Enduring said:

In the pantheon of breakfast pastry, I would place them just below French toast and above waffles and pancakes.

 

Image result for fist shake gif

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3 hours ago, Sloth the Enduring said:

Yesterday a friend (he’s in Hawaii on vacation) posted this picture of aebleskivers being made on a giant octopus balls pan.

 

fe386de714f0510d239c9647887ac489.jpg

I would bet dollars to donuts that those are actually octopus balls being made in that there octopus balls pan ;) 

 

(I say this because the menus behind the worker, In English on the left and Japanese on the right, both say "Takoyaki, Yakisoba, Okonomiyaki".  These three are the holy trinity of Japanese street food.  On the grill you have on the far right Yakisoba, in the middle is Okonomiyaki, on the left something that looks to me exactly like Takoyaki (octopus balls).  Given that this is a Japanese shop in Hawaii, I think it is much more likely that they are making what is on the menu, rather than some obscure breakfast pastry.  I am willing to be proven wrong, though :) )

 

3 hours ago, @mu said:

Yes, I think it does. But what I had in mind was a more superficial type of encounter. If you look at the amount of discrimination in the world based on just looks and related assumptions, it's still pretty prevalent I'd say, sadly :huh:

 

That early walk in the park was amazing, so much activity!

Yeah, fair point, but I still think that how we dress, do our hair, and present ourselves can have an equally big impact.  Slouching, dreadlocks, ratty clothes and tattoos can say as much or more about a person than skin color or accent, and all of those are things we have control over.

 

16 minutes ago, deftona said:

 

Image result for fist shake gif

I know, right.  It clearly should have said:

 

17 minutes ago, deftona said:

In the pantheon of breakfast pastry, I would place them just below French toast and waffles and above waffles and pancakes.

:P:P:P 

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3 hours ago, WhiteGhost said:

octopus balls

 

Do octopuses have balls? :D

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On 1/10/2019 at 6:40 AM, WhiteGhost said:

Apparently, my passport has my last name first, and the labor contract has my first name first, and so he was not sure that he could be fully confident that the labor contract was in fact mine (even though the passport numbers matched). 

Lamest excuse ever.

I hope this whole thing will be over soon.

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9 hours ago, Curl Brogo said:

OctopusAnatomy.jpg

Yes they do. They also have three hearts apparently.

Dunno where you're getting your cepholopod anatomy from, my friend.

blooper-700px.jpg

THIS is the only seafood chart I need ;)

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19 hours ago, Sloth the Enduring said:

Ah, you’re right of course. I jumped to conclusions with limited information and my love of aebleskivers blinding me.

Completely understandable.  

 

16 hours ago, Wolfen said:

 

Do octopuses have balls? :D

Uh, I hope so, otherwise what the heck have I been eating :o 

 

13 hours ago, Curl Brogo said:

OctopusAnatomy.jpg

Yes they do. They also have three hearts apparently.

You would think that that with three hearts, you would see more octopus hearts on the menus...

 

11 hours ago, Sloth the Enduring said:

Time Lords!

 

I suspect if I watched Doctor Who I would get this reference :( 

 

10 hours ago, zenLara said:

Lamest excuse ever.

I hope this whole thing will be over soon.

It seems really lame on the surface of it, but it actually kind of makes sense from a Chinese legal perspective.  Chinese names are generally 2-4 characters that could potentially come in any order.  Although they have the "100 common last names", the possibilities are far beyond that.  Given that there are no hard and fast legal rules for which characters can be used for first vs. last names, in Chinese law the order of the first and last names is of critical importance.  It would be like someone having the name Mark Tom Chris, while another guy could be named Chris Mark Tom, and  a third guy could be called, Tom Chris Mark...  You can see how it would be important from a legal perspective to have clarity on exactly which name is the first name and which is the last name.  This is something that even the Chinese legal system doesn't have an answer for, because different agencies have varying protocols for name order for foreigners, so my name is written one way on my work permit, but another way on my driver's license and yet another way on my credit card. It is an example of something that we don't normally think about because it isn't culturally applicable, but yet can have important legal ramifications.

 

I also hope it will be over soon.

 

4 hours ago, Rusk said:

Dunno where you're getting your cepholopod anatomy from, my friend.

blooper-700px.jpg

THIS is the only seafood chart I need ;)

My favorite part of that chart is that all of the parts in Japanese have the exact same label :D 

 

Well, I realized this morning that I forgot to post an update for yesterday, so I guess now I get to do a double update

 

OK, Friday evening I had leftover beef stroganoff for dinner, but because I have already put up a picture of that I won't do a repeat.  I had another conversation with Ghostess about having so much dessert in the house so we decided that starting from Monday we would stop making dessert or having snacks.   From next week.  :D  Of course being responsible adults there is no way we just made tond of desserts to binge on until the arbitrary deadline

Spoiler

 

blH3ZZV.jpg

bJthedL.jpg

OK, there may have been a couple of sweet potato pies and a batch or two of chocolate cookies with mint frosting.  But other that that.... :D 

 

 

Lunch yesterday was just a bunch of cookies :( but Ghostess made us some dinner in the evening which was incredible

EWa1E1y.jpg

That is homemade kung pao chicken & shrimp and some shrimp fried eggs.  So amazing!

 

I had to run downstairs to the vegetable stand to get some ingredients while she was making dinner, and the air quality was so bad I could barely see across the yard.  Apparently it had shot up to over 500 in just a couple of hours

YQ41F7e.jpg

Luckily the wind came through this morning and blew most of it away, but it was crazy bad for a little while.

 

I didn't do any working out yesterday, so most of the time was spent helping Ghostlet with his homework.  One of his assignments for his art class was to either draw or make some shoes.  I learned how to make some origami shoes when I was living in Japan in the early 90s, but I have not made them in a long time, so I had forgotten how to do it.  Luckily, the muscle memory was still there and I was able to work it out.  

mAzs838.jpg

 

Today there was a new advertisement in the elevator to our apartment that I thought would be interesting to discuss here

OLCj5q7.jpg

I know most of you probably can't read any of that, but it is like a bowl of instant ramen, but instead of noodles it is seafood or meat that has been precooked and then vacuum sealed into the bowl.  In the bottom of the bowl is a chemical plate that heats up when it comes in contact with water, so that if you want to to eat a hot meal, all you have to do is add water.  I have never tried this, but I suspect the technology is similar to what we used to use in the army to heat up our MREs when we were in the field.  That isn't the interesting part, though.

 

The most interesting part was how this was marketed.  If you look at the picture in the bottom half, you see they guy leaning against the side of his car eating his food, with a huge line of cars in front of him.  On the bottom right, there is a comment that says (keep a few in your car, so the next time you get stuck in traffic you won't starve".  This is actually a real issue here.  On multiple occasions, especially around the holidays, the traffic jams heading out of the big cities can get so bad that the drivers could be stuck there for 2-3 days.  In the past this has started to make the news here and there are a number of people who  make a bit of money by going out there onto the road and selling food and water (of course at a HUGE markup.  like $15 for a bottle of water and a cold sausage kind of markup).  This item is selling at about the same price point (100 RMB is about $15) but promises a much more appetizing meal.  Whether it is actually appetizing or not is questionable, but it was surprising to me that this kind of thing has become a big enough of a problem, that people are creating products specific to this kind of event.  That it is being marketed just before the biggest holiday of the year is probably not a coincidence.

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On 1/12/2019 at 11:18 AM, WhiteGhost said:

Yeah, fair point, but I still think that how we dress, do our hair, and present ourselves can have an equally big impact.  Slouching, dreadlocks, ratty clothes and tattoos can say as much or more about a person than skin color or accent, and all of those are things we have control over.

 

You have control over how many tattoos you can have but not what people think about it (might be positive / negative  / indifferent depending on where you hang out). I'm just saying that you cannot control what's in people's head really and I'm not sure people themselves can control their own stereotyping as some of the process is unconscious (we all do it to some extent). You may be able to create change by doing things that don't fit their expectations with respect to what they assumed at first glance though.

 

2 hours ago, WhiteGhost said:

to either draw or make some shoes

 

At first I was like "MAKE shoes"?? but now I see these little origami shoes, they are so cute! :D

 

Very interesting bits about names and that nooddle add. I'm sorry about the pollution though :(

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17 minutes ago, @mu said:

You have control over how many tattoos you can have but not what people think about it (might be positive / negative  / indifferent depending on where you hang out). I'm just saying that you cannot control what's in people's head really and I'm not sure people themselves can control their own stereotyping as some of the process is unconscious (we all do it to some extent). You may be able to create change by doing things that don't fit their expectations with respect to what they assumed at first glance though.

I think we have probably just about beat this topic to death.  :D  I have enjoyed it though, it has made me think about a lot of my assumptions.  I guess the the biggest difference in our views centers around just how much (percentage wise) of our persona can be intentionally created and how much of it depends on the viewer's own lenses.  After having thought about this some more, I suspect there is probably no "correct" answer to this and that there are just too many variables that can impact how others view us.

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