Over the Hump

Graduation has come and gone, eerily devoid of emotion or meaning. This year’s administrators brought incompetent and inappropriate to new heights this year. Glad it’s coming to a close

Played a gig by the canal in the LQ last night – it was a great stress release, a personal catharsis, and a great farewell. The hardiest of us made it past the wee hours of the morn.

Now, a three-day weekend to dismantle the rest of the apartment and get things ready for the next tenant. I check out of the SMIC world in six days. Then I can start to focus on the rest of my life.

One Step Closer

Day by day, little things walk out the door. Today a blender, yesterday the piano and the scooter. Clearing out for the final push. Seventeen days until I am out of the LQ and my apartment for the past two years. I am not sad.

Got a ridiculously cheap redeye from LAX-RIC. Haven’t seen mom and dad for two years, either. That’s too long. And so life’s events flow at us ever faster, and we are constantly adapting and changing to keep up.

Learning to Stutter is taking shape as a web project, as well. I am going to have to sell the book as .pdf / .epub / .mobi — and get the small print royalties from CreateSpace and Amazon. As author I get only $1.97 per book with Amazon! Amazon has you by the balls, and they know it. People don’t go to CreateSpace nearly as much. I’d only make $3 and change there, but it does change the math slightly. Either way selling 100 books a month (which would thrill me as an author) would still not pay the bills.

With the right internet visibility, anything can go viral. Vamos a ver…

The Ultimate Test

Played in the Shanghai Open, an international ultimate Frisbee tournament this weekend. With seven matches in two days, I brought some kudos to my age bracket. : )

Ridisculous was in the C-pool, and the teams in the A-pool were just outstanding to watch. Taiwan and Hong Kong were duly represented. The co-ed nature of Ultimate, and the lack of a formal referee, give the game a casual but competitive twist. The cheers that you make up for the other team at the end of every game is the coolest part of the tourney. Definitely one to remember.

Ibuprofen, a foot massage, and lots of water and I’m doing pretty well on Monday afternoon. Action is afoot for learningtostutter.com — and that should be live within a few weeks. With .pdf / .epub / hard copy available from the site, it will be interesting to see what kind of sales come in. I can’t charge more than a few dollars for a file, right? So volume will be important.

Still cleaning after the flood. Waiting for the floor to dry in the bedroom.

I love the way these stuttering survey results are laid out visually – see below.


After the Flood

Click HERE or above for home page and info about my novel “Learning to Stutter”


Had a major flood in the apartment two nights ago, and what a kick in the pants it was. A cosmic wake-up call, for certain. I was washing dishes with the headphones on, rocking to Triumph and doing my Rik Emmett impression. That’s why I didn’t hear the pipe burst in the bathroom. By the time I saw the water on the floor, it was probably running for 15-20 minutes. What was I thinking washing the dishes?

I’m leaving Shanghai in less than 4 weeks, but now the end is truly in sight. The apartment has been mostly torn down, and I’m stripping down my possessions – either selling or giving things away.

The flood happened just before 8pm, the closing hour of the maintenance staff. With over 1000 people living in the LQ, you’d think there’d be an emergency staff, but like so many things in China, you have to know who to talk to and how to talk to them — neither one am I qualified to do. My co-workers vanished, and the only person who really helped me was a Chinese woman, a friend of Sheni’s who came to the apartment and helped me talk to the security people who came to help me mop up. The SMIC lesson came through loud and clear – when I needed a support system, where was it? It was nowhere to be found. I got through the crisis just fine, but it left me with no illusions. The only help came in the form of a co-worker who is my student’s dad (who along with his wife gave me a few mops and a 5-gallon jug of water when my water was turned off), and another mom of a student came by to give me a fan and some towels.

So I am letting the floor dry in the empty living room, the slight smell of bleach better than the mold that is sure to creep in here after I check out on June 26th.

But the flood has opened my eyes. And inspired me to get back online again….