See Matt. See Matt blog. Blog, Matt, blog.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Congratulations, Erin and Ryan! (or: Conga Kaleidoscope)

Saturday, July 28, 2007: Erin Kelly and Ryan Stenger became Mr. and Mrs. Stenger. Congrats, you crazy kids. Pictures are forthcoming, but for now, enjoy the Conga Kaleidoscope.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Words Fail Me (or: You Maniacs! You blew it up!)

You've got to be kidding me.

I leave for a just one year ... ? I am dangerously close to a Planet of the Apes, "God damn you all to hell!" moment.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Mall Sounds

I went to the mall today with Deirdre and Ethan to buy some birthday gifts for a special someone, and I noticed something: maybe it's Delaware, maybe it's America, maybe it's malls, but man, I became incredibly depressed being in that fucking mall.

A mall on a Thursday morning is one of the worst things I've ever seen. These giant empty caverns of commerce, staffed by bored and apathetic clerks, housewives seriously discussing the necessity of matching paper weights in Pottery Barn. Hung from the ceilings were directory banners, pictures of beautiful people enjoying product saturation, and under each photo was a description of the upcoming shops. And annoyingly, each list of shops ended with you, with a large banner at the bottom of the poster stressing that these stores "Define you." Or maybe it was "Defining you." Yes, because KB Toys and Talbots define me.

And then there are mall sounds. The kind of sounds you only hear in malls. The muffled tread of your feet on the fake marble floors. The vapid "conversation" among clerk and shopper. The distant laughter-chatter of the whole place that sounds like you're in a cafe the size of a football stadium. The careful crinkle of plastic bags filled with meaningless shit people buy to forget for a moment that they're unhappy.

Ah yes. Mall sounds.

But hey, I've got some pictures of the guerilla marketing Kwik-E-Mart in Hollywood! This blog is still funny, right? Guys?

I assure you the clerk in that one shot is purely intentional. More here.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

But to be fair, the cardboard was delicious

So, China recently executed the corrupt former head of their food and drug agency. Why? Well, ostensibly to scare the shit out of all the other corrupt politicians and food handlers before the Olympics comes to town. That may be cynical, I'm sure shooting that guy in the head is a real progressive move toward China's long-term advancement toward etc. But it may be all for naught: in Beijing recently, an eatery has been closed for selling cardboard-stuffed buns.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

The Things I Have Learned

I've learned a few things "the hard way" in my life, and one lesson came last night. So now, my amended list of The Things I Have Learned reads thusly:

46. Never offer a toast to the memory of "the supreme greatness and wisdom of William Tecumseh Sherman" in a South Carolina bar.
47. Never smoke a Cuban PirĂ¡mides that quickly.

You don't wanna know about 46. Trust me on 47.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

The world is too big to be so small

I've got my good friends here on the West coast. I have good friends back in Zhanjiang. I have a wonderful friend in Russia who I haven't heard from in months. I've got a friend in Minnesota. And back on the East coast of America, I have friends and family, north and south, from Boston to Orlando.

How the hell am I supposed to keep in touch with them all? How can I get to Florida and Massachusetts without spending hundreds on plane tickets or gas?

The world is too big to be so small.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Ah, Milk

You're just as delicious as I remembered.

Soup and Salad

Today Rick and Marilyn and I went to lunch at a place that really scratched where I itched: a soup and salad buffet. It was great. Ceaser salad, fresh-baked bread, and giant bubbling kettles of soup, like clam chowder and hamburger-macaroni and corn tortilla and all that. You don't realize how much you miss soup and salad when soup means warm chicken stock and salad means "cooked with garlic in oil."

I sat down here at this computer as Rick and Mariyn sleep in the other room. Strange sleep schedule since I got off the plane. But suddenly I felt uneasy, because I didn't have a class tomorrow or a lesson to prepare or any kind of schedule or order to my life. The whole thing in Zhanjiang is really over, and somehow it being over feels like I've lost something, something I didn't even know I had. I guess it's strange when China and class are the only constants for a year, and then suddenly, they're just gone.

Aside from the slight postpartum depression, it's good to be back in America. Los Angeles is a strange place and it doesn't feel like home. I'm living out of my suitcase and I still have one more flight ahead of me. But it's a good time here out west, Hobbes 'ol buddy, so let's go exploring.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

LA: Wo dao le!

I have arrived in LA. I got in around ten in the evening on June 30th. It is now six in the morning on July 1st. It was a long night of talking and catching up with Rick and Marilyn, and it was awesome.