Let’s Play a Game

In honor of the new year I have crafted this riddle.  Whoever solves it first will receive 100 RMB delivered personally when I next see you. What is this poem describing?

In air that moves

From the other side

A memory drifts

No way to hide

A feast is shared

With all around

A note is passed

Without a sound

From leaning tower

Rich warmth escapes

Hints of juniper

Soured grapes

Perhaps they think

A chair is squeaking

The truth was held

But now it’s leaking

With dropping flies

And wilting flowers

Everyone here

Will know my power

Breathe. And you will know.

Chinese New Year Pt. 1

Just a quick update:

Today is the start of the Chinese New Year! It is past 2 AM and the fireworks are still going off non-stop. The air in this godless place is hazy with the smell of fire and brimstone, and the echoes of wild explosions and childrens’ shrieking can be heard reverberating for kilometers-with nowhere to hide. It also smells like roasted duck, rice, BBQ pork, and beer. I am having a great time.

I took part in many Chinese traditions today, one of which I have always hated but when in Rome you have to gamble. Yes, I played a local variant of blackjack, and another betting game of which I will take pictures and explain tomorrow. All in all I lost 230 RMB. Now you know why I don’t gamble. I am sure to lose more in the coming days. Be ready for more updates in the following days, and keep the comments coming. I miss you all and it is great to hear from you.

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Game, Set, Match

The depressing thing about tennis is that no matter how good I get, I’ll never be as good as a wall.

-Mitch Hedberg

The 2014 WTA Shenzhen Open was last weekend and guess who got scalped tickets?

z3

The match we politely observed (and others not so politely) was between national hero Li Na…

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And some white chick

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Ms. Li is currently #1 in China and #3 in the world. She is the only Asian to have won a Grand Slam,  and is #85 on Forbes’ list of highest paid athletes in the world due to winnings and extensive endorsements throughout China. (Thanks Google)z2

Li Na won the match and the tournament, but due to the boorish crowd refused to sign autographs. So it goes when the people of this untamed land collide head on with customs of the West.

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Happy New Year!!!!

Should old acquaintance be forgot? I think not!

    Happy new year everyone!

okle

^ The bus to Hong Kong

If I wanted to countdown with others, I knew I had to leave the land of the Chinese calendar, so I went to the former British protectorate to party for the night.

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^In Lan Kwai Fong, there’s a movie in theaters now about partying in this district.

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Everyone should have a kiss at midnight.

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Riding the train back home!

As American As Apple Pie

If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.

Carl Sagan

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As a cultural ambassador of the USA I feel it is my duty to share the things that define my people. Thus, I made an apple pie.

I used the 321 pie crust recipe I remembered from Michael Ruhlman’s Ratio, which was a revelation to me.

3 parts flour, rubbed with

2 parts butter, held together with

1 part liquid. With salt, sugar, and baking powder to taste.

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Its likeness to rolling pin is the only use I have for Tsingtao (in baking).

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Thanks to Bea for her weaving skills.

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IMG_3840                               Fin.

        I forgot to get reaction shots from the taste-testers, but they heartily approved.

Tonight we go to HK for the countdown.

Taming the Beast

And Delilah said to Samson, Tell me, I pray thee, wherein thy great    strength lieth, and wherewith thou mightest be bound to afflict thee.

                            Judges 16 v. 6

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The flowing locks for which I was known have now towards some smelly landfill flown.

Bentley 12-25-13

    It is time to shape up or ship out. Or maybe ship out and shape up? I’ll try that one. This guy standing behind me is an artist. At first he tried to tell me that he was from France.

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Eventually I got him to admit that he is from Guanzhou, the capital city of this province. I wouldn’t say that this new doo helps me fit in more per se, but the streamlined look goes over much better with the older folks around here.

IMG_3745    Rocking it at the KTV

IMG_3753  Lounging at the KTV

Everyone has their good days.

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And then there are the bad.

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Be careful which restaurants you choose, people.

Last night in Columbia

peace out homies       Imagine there’s no Zach in Como…

They say that all good things must come to an end, and I am grateful that the end was good.

homies

It was great to have so many people come to send me off on my last nights in Columbia (Some of whom are pictured here). We shared memories and laughter, as well as the great sweater giveaway. Blake, if you are reading this go look under the mattress in my old room.

haley

Life goes on, and I hope to stay in touch with all the people who have meant so much to me during my time at Mizzou and in Columbia.

ryan

The future is wide open.