Thursday, September 29, 2011

Just want to get this on the record real quick: baseball

The craziest final day in Major League Baseball history saw the culmination of two epic collapses. The Braves lost after blowing a lead in the final frame. The Rays came back from a 7-0 deficit -- with a solo home run by Dan Johnson in the bottom of the 9th (two outs, two strikes, of course) to tie it -- and the Red Sox, with their presiding closer on the mound, give up two two-out runs in Baltimore mere minutes before Evan Longoria's walk-off home run in Tampa Bay. In real time, moments in the form of movements are fleeting, the world itself transitory; only in memory does time metamorphose into a spectrum and achieve shape, which can be inspected. Focus on one part and you will never believe against the trajectory, never imagine alternatives or that which is not prewritten. Thus we are taught: the slopes of mathematics are fastened to the verities of probability, order. And then it all comes undone. And then -- fans of the Red Sox, say -- are forced to focus on a parallel order, which is chaos. It is tempting -- is it not? -- to see time, that spectrum, as an accordion, and compress it so that we return to the previous spot on our mapped course where the score is 3-2, 7-0, and shall remain that way forevermore, until Boston meets Philadelphia in the World Series, until confetti fall and the world ends, until the end of time.

Now back to your regularly scheduled China news.

What happens when you hold a baseball tournament and no one writes about it?

Apparently the Guilin Tourism College beat Xinjiang University in the finals of the China National College Baseball Tournament last month. I would link to the results or something, except I can't find any, in either English or Chinese. I've reached out to Xinjiang's coach, though, so maybe more info TK in the upcoming days.

This would be the same Xinjiang team, by the way, that momentarily captured the blogosphere's heart last year as it tried to muster the necessary funds to compete in the National College Baseball Tournament in Shanghai. They ended up sending 13 players over.

Meanwhile, the Red Sox and Rays are tied for the AL Wild Card going into the final day of the season, and the Braves and Cardinals are tied for the NL Wild Card. Yes, I will be getting up early tomorrow to watch those games on

Monday, September 26, 2011

Arriving in Beijing

The train from Dalian hadn't yet reached Beijing East Station on its way to the main station on the corner of Second Ring Road when a recorded message over the intercom listed our destination city's distinctive features, such as the Forbidden City, along with superlatives, such as the "biggest public square in the world, Tiananmen." A neighborhood of shanties swung into and out of sight like the motion of a pendulum, time itself; soon those low-rise shacks will be swept aside by the brooms of construction, their dust absorbed by the free-floating elements above, the haze, through which, at that very moment, a piercing gleam in the distance announced the presence of a golden skyscraper burgeoning out of the earth. A small child nearby kept repeating in a manner of singsong, "Arriving in Beijing! Arriving in Beijing!" until his mother told him to quit it. Arriving in Beijing, indeed. Back home.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Ultimate Frisbee in North Korea

This was the purpose of my trip to Pyongyang two weeks ago. Wrote an article as well, which I'll link to when it comes out.

Related: North Korean kids playing soccer:

Friday, September 9, 2011

Goodbye, fiona...

I never knew you. Except now I find out you also have a Xanga account?! Where have you been all these four years?

Sadly, quirkyBeijing moves down on my blogroll, partly to make room for the excellent Seeing Red in China.

This post was backdated on 9/29.

Monday, September 5, 2011

A trip to Pyongyang, August 27-30

I know I've made a habit of saying, after returning from a trip, that I'll write "more about this later," but this time I mean it: I really will write more about North Korea in the coming weeks.

For now, though, feast your eyes on this video I made:

Full videos (two parts) here: