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Greetings and welcome to the MyO site of Caesar1280!

Why you should care about me I don’t know. But I find myself to be a mildly interesting person and apparently other people do as well because I actually have friends, believe it or not. So, if you wish to learn more about me then I encourage you to browse this site, read a few posts, by all means sign the guest book, and comment if you feel like it! If you comment, I’ll try to stop by and read up on your posts if you have them. All I ask is that you be courteous. No insults please. ^_^ Apart from that, enjoy the site and have a great day! Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

March of the Chinguins

To do anything in this world worth doing,
we must not stand back shivering
and thinking of the cold and danger,
but jump in, and scramble through
as well as we can.
- Sydney Smith

Greetings All! I write to you on the cusp of a new semester, it is all of 1˚C outside, there is half a foot of snow on the ground, and I could not be more ready for the months to come. I have two days down with five score and eight to go. I have great plans for my semester, I have new challenges for my students, and new goals I want them to achieve. I am very excited to see how this semester pans out.

I am excited for both the prospect of what my students could achieve, and I am excited about my growth as a teacher. I feel like I am more prepared for this semester than last. I can tell that I am growing, though I do not hesitate to admit that I still have much more growth ahead of me. The prospect of that growth excites me, and I look forward to where it might lead.

Unfortunately, my students are not quite as motivated as I. I was met with a sea of frowns on the first day of class. When I asked them, "Are you guys ready to be back?" I got a surprisingly honest and straightforward answer for Chinese people, "no." Admittedly I have been in their shoes before, but I cannot remember ever having that feeling since high school. I remember each semester in college I charged in ready to get started and apply myself. Granted, those energetic starts rarely culminated in anything near what I went in motivated to accomplish, but that is not the point. My point is, I started every semester in college with a good attitude, and my students are not following in my footsteps. I call on the Father to pull the slightest bit of motivation out of them, because this is going to be a long semester for the lot of us if he does not.

Anyway, that is the lay of the land as I see it from my perch. Now, on with the post!

Dental Dilemma
To borrow an oft quoted phrase of my mother's, I declare! China, of all places, is not one to be in which to be hit with medical problems. Last semester, on Halloween night, I was eating a piece of candy while persevering through a showing of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (I do not like that movie), when my fake tooth fell out and gave me a neat excuse for leaving.

The tooth is my lateral incisor number seven, and it had been a temporary bridge for over five years. The orthodontist said it was temporary, so I cannot say I was all that unsettled when it made its sugary escape, but I was definitely not thrilled. Of course, I wanted to get it replaced. A few days later, with the aid of my foreign affairs office official, a kind man by the name of Thor (not kidding), I made the journey to the hospital where I was ushered into a dental chair with remarkable speed. The dentist looked in my mouth, Thor interpreted my gurgled answers to her questions, and a solution was offered: implant. I do not want an implant. Not now. Not in China. I said no. With my refusal, the dentist offered another suggestion: porcelain bridge. Again, no. I do not trust the Chinese medical system, but more importantly this dentist did not know my dental history, and if she did, she would not have suggested either of those options. My mouth is not ready for anything permanent yet. I told the dentist I simply wanted something temporary, something to get me through the next few months until I could get back to the States. I asked her to put in the same kind of temporary tooth I had before. She was not happy about that. I could tell she did not like to have her suggestions rejected, but she reluctantly did what I asked and I left thinking that that was that.

Two weeks later, the new temporary tooth fell out. I went back to Thor to ask for another trip to the hospital to gripe to the dentist. He had another option for me. Apparently he has a dentist friend who runs a private practice and offered to take me. Why he did not offer this before I will never know. So, we went to his dentist friend and she gave me yet another option, the option I now affectionately refer to as the vampire tooth. You know those fake vampire teeth kids shove in their mouths on Halloween? Well, this thing is basically a fancy version of one of those. It cups over the gum, has a realistic-looking tooth adhered to it, and hangs there. It is terribly impractical, is useless for chewing, but it fills the gap. After some deliberation, I agreed to the vampire tooth.

It has worked well. I have been satisfied with it. I have managed to gross out a few people over here by popping it out at irregular times, but overall it does the job I need it to do and I have no complaints... not until Sunday. Because this thing pops out of place when I eat, I take it out of my mouth whenever I sit down at the table. I have gotten pretty good about doing it inconspicuously. Normally I have a little baggie I put it in, one of the bags my mother used to pack my daily pill dosage. But on this particular day, I did not leave my apartment with the intention of going to lunch, I got wrangled into the lunch once I was out, and I did not have my baggie. While I with my students, the tooth somehow got knocked onto the floor. I did not notice that this had happened until I got back to my apartment. At this point I figured I would never see the thing again. It had been on the floor of the cafeteria for 45 minutes by this time, and the probability of finding it was low. I had to attempt to find it though. So I returned to the cafeteria. Miraculously, I found it. Unfortunately, it had been stepped on. I was able to bend it back to the shape it needed to be to fit comfortably in my mouth, but the nice little fake tooth is falling out of its gum-colored harness. It is in there at an awkward angle and when I have it in my mouth it impacts my bottom teeth before my jaw fully closes. So, I cannot comfortably wear it. I figured I could just wear it at night and accept the fact that I will have a hole in my smile for the remainder of the semester. So, I did that last night. That only made it worse. I guess I grind my teeth at night, because when I woke up today, the poor tooth was in worse shape than the night before.

I am going to talk to Thor tomorrow to see about going back to his dentist friend to see if she'll give it a little fix, but I don not hold out much hope. She had to order the thing, she did not actually construct it herself. Time will only tell how things turn out.

My Attempt at a Loss
Last semester one of the other teachers here in Changchun began a competition based on the popular television show, The Biggest Loser. The competition was to see who could lose the highest percentage of pounds in a three month period. I chose not to participate because I was too busy coping with a new job, new country, and new life to be distracted by an exercise routine. That and I did not want to pay the 50 yuan entry fee. The competition got tense, but in the end the guy who won lost over 40 pounds. I am not sure of the actual weight, but one of my teammates, Whitley, lost 40 pounds and he came in second. So, the guy has to have lost at least that much.

Anyway, the competition was so much of a success last semester that Megan, the coordinator, has decided to do it again. My life here has become a little more normal, I have a nice comfortable routine working, and I have the time to put into it, so this semester I am embarking on a quest to be the biggest loser in Changchun.

Unfortunately, the weather outside is really frackin' cold! The tennis court and running track have not been shoveled once all season and are buried under a foot of fluffy white stuff. The school has a gym, but they only keep it open for teachers during the lunch hour, and I care more about eating than exerting myself, so I cannot go there either. This has left me with nowhere but my apartment to work out. Fortunately Whitley brought some exercise videos with him, but the exercise videos are P90-X, some outrageously intense workout program that comes with a health warning at the beginning of it. It is outrageously intense, and I cannot get through a whole exercise routine. I am giving it my best shot though. It is the only option I have and I am motivated to lose these pounds. I have earned a nickname on my campus, Xiǎo Pŕng, which translates to "little fatty." It is not an insult in China to call someone fat, and my students mean nothing but affection by the monicker, but it only reinforces my belief that I could stand to lose a few. So, lose a few I shall.

Well, that is all I have for you right now. More shall be coming soon. Until then, stay safe, stay well, and stay warm! Zai jian!

Caesar1280's Anime Ticker

.hack//Legend of the Twilight, Air, Air: The Movie, Akira, The Animatrix, Appleseed, Aquatic Language, Ayakashi: Japanese Classic Horror, Beck, Black Lagoon, Blame!, Blood the Last Vampire, Bokurano, Burst Angel, Castle in the Sky, Cowboy Bebop, Cowboy Bebop: The Movie, Digimon Tamers: The Runaway Digimon Express, Egao, FLCL, Fullmetal Alchemist, Fullmetal Alchemist: The Conqueror of Shambala, Gankutsuou, Gatekeepers, Genshiken, Ghost in the Shell, Ghost in the Shell: Innocence, Ghost in the Shell: Solid State Society, Gin-iro no Kami no Agito, Grave of the Fireflies, Grenadier, Haibane Renmei, Hellsing, Highlander: The Search for Vengeance, Hikaru no Go, Howl?s Moving Castle, Jin Roh: The Wolf Brigade, Jyu Oh Sei, Karas: The Prophecy, Last Exile, Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi, Midori?s Days, Milennium Actress, Mushi-shi, My Neighbor Totoro, Naruto, Naruto: The Movie, Nausicaa, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Neon Genesis Evangelion: Death And Rebirth, Ninja Scroll: The Movie, Other Worlds, Paprika, Perfect Blue, Pet Shop of Horrors, The Place Promised In Our Early Days, Prétear, Princess Mononoke, Read Or Die, Read Or Die: The TV, Samurai Champloo, Samurai Seven, Samurai X: Trust & Betrayal, She and Her Cat, Spirited Away, Steamboy, Tide-Line Blue, Tokyo Babylon, Tokyo Godfathers, Trigun, Voices of a Distant Star, Witch Hunter Robin, Wonderful Days, Wrath of the Ninja, X

Anime I've Seen

- .hack//Legend of the Twilight
- .hack//Sign
- 5 Centimeters per Second
- Air
- Air: The Movie
- Akira
- The Animatrix
- Appleseed
- Aquatic Language
- Ayakashi: Japanese Classic Horror
- Baby Blue
- Beck
- Black Lagoon
- Blame!
- Blood the Last Vampire
- Bokurano
- Burst Angel
- Castle in the Sky
- Cowboy Bebop
- Cowboy Bebop: The Movie
- Digimon Tamers: The Runaway Digimon Express
- Doorbell
- Egao
- Fullmetal Alchemist
- Fullmetal Alchemist: The Conqueror of Shambala
- Gankutsuou
- Gatekeepers
- Genius Party
- Genshiken
- Genshiken OAV
- Ghost in the Shell
- Ghost in the Shell: Innocence
- Ghost in the Shell: Solid State Society
- Gin-iro no Kami no Agito
- The Gokusen
- Grave of the Fireflies
- Grenadier
- Haibane Renmei
- Happy Machine
- Hellsing
- Highlander: The Search for Vengeance
- Hikaru no Go
- Howl's Moving Castle
- Innocent Venus
- Jin Roh: The Wolf Brigade
- Jyu Oh Sei
- Karas: The Prophecy
- Karas: The Revelation
- Last Exile
- Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi
- Midori?s Days
- Milennium Actress
- Mushi-shi
- My Neighbor Totoro
- Naruto
- Naruto: The Movie
- Nausicaa
- Neon Genesis Evangelion
- Neon Genesis Evangelion: Death And Rebirth
- Ninja Scroll: The Movie
- Other Worlds
- Ouran High School Host Club
- Paprika
- Perfect Blue
- Pet Shop of Horrors
- The Place Promised In Our Early Days
- Prétear
- Princess Mononoke
- Read Or Die
- Read Or Die: The TV
- Samurai Champloo
- Samurai Seven
- Samurai X: Trust & Betrayal
- Serial Experiments Lain
- Shanghai Dragon
- She and Her Cat
- Spirited Away
- Steamboy
- Tekkonkinkreet
- Tide-Line Blue
- Tokyo Babylon
- Tokyo Godfathers
- Trigun
- Trinity Blood
- Vampire Hunter D
- Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust
- Voices of a Distant Star
- Witch Hunter Robin
- Wolf's Rain
- Wonderful Days
- Wrath of the Ninja
- X

Total: 93
Anime I Haven't Completed

- .hack//Roots
- Ah! My Goddess
- Angelic Layer
- Avenger
- Baccano!
- Bamboo Blade
- Basilisk
- Binchou-tan
- Black Cat
- Bleach
- Blood+
- Boogiepop Phantom
- Case Closed
- Le Chevalier d'Eon
- Chobits
- Chrono Crusade
- Code Geass
- Coyote Ragtime Show
- D.Gray-Man
- D.N.Angel
- DearS
- Death Note
- Dennou Coil
- Desert Punk
- Digimon
- Dragon Ball Z
- Ergo Proxy
- Eureka Seven
- Excel Saga
- Fighting Beauty Wulong
- Final Fantasy Unlimited
- Flag
- Freedom
- Full Moon
- Gantz
- Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
- Gintama
- Glass Fleet
- Great Teacher Onizuka
- Gundam Seed
- Gundam Wing
- Hayate the Combat Butler
- Hellsing OVA
- Higurashi no Naku Koro ni
- Ikki Tousen
- InuYasha
- Jigoku Shojo
- Kage Kara Mamoru
- Karin
- Kino's Journey
- Love Hina
- Loveless
- Lovely Complex
- Lucky Star
- Makai Senki Disgaea
- Marchen Awakens Romance
- Meine Liebe
- The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
- Mononoke
- Monster
- Moon Phase
- Mr Stain on Junk Alley
- Naruto Shippuuden
- Negima?!
- Negima!
- Neon Genesis Evangelion: End of Evangelion
- Nerima Daikon Brothers
- NHK ni Youkoso
- Night Walker
- Ninja Nonsense
- Noir
- Peacemaker Kurogane
- Pokemon
- Prince of Tennis
- R.G. Veda
- Ragnarok
- Rec
- Red Garden
- Robotech
- Romeo x Juliet
- Rosen Maiden
- Rurouni Kenshin
- Saikano
- Sailor Moon
- Samurai Deeper Kyo
- Sci-fi Harry
- School Rumble
- Scrapped Princess
- Shin-chan
- Shingu
- Shion no Oh
- Shuffle!
- Shrine of the Morning Mist
- So Long, Mr. Despair
- Solty Rei
- Sousei no Aquarion
- Speed Grapher
- Spice and Wolf
- Super Milk Chan
- Tales of Phantasia
- Tenchi Muyo
- Tenjhou Tenge
- Texnolyze
- The Third
- Tsubasa Chronicles
- Urusei Yatsura
- Venus Versus Virus
- Welcome to the N.H.K.
- Winter Cicada
- X-1999
- Xenosaga
- XxxHolic
- Yu Yu Hakushou
- Yume Tsukai
- Zero no Tsukaima
- Zipang

Total: 116
Manga I've Completed

- Cowboy Bebop
- Manga Messiah
- Manga Metamorphosis
- Q*Ko-chan
- Saiyuki
- Shirahime-Syo

Total: 7

Manga I Haven't Completed

- .hack//Legend of the Twilight
- Black Cat
- Blame!
- Chobits
- D.Gray-man
- Darkside Blues
- Death Note
- The Demon Ororon
- Desert Coral
- Disgaea
- Eureka Seven: Gravity Boys and Lifting Girl
- Fruits Basket
- Getbackers
- Hayate the Combat Butler
- Kamunagara
- Legal Drug
- Love Hina
- Loveless
- Megatokyo
- Naruto
- Negima
- Read Or Die
- Rurouni Kenshin
- Tactics
- Trigun Maximum
- XXXHolic

Total: 26

Anime I'm Currently Watching
Samurai 7, InuYasha, Samurai Deeper Kyo,
Boogiepop Phantom, and Shrine of the Morning Mist

Manga I'm Currently Reading
Read Or Die, Hayate the Combat Butler, and Megatokyo.hack//Roots, .hack//Sign, 5 cm per Second, Ah! My Goddess, Angelic Layer, Avenger, Basilisk, Binchou-tan, Black Cat, Bleach, Blood+, Boogiepop Phantom, Case Closed, Le Chevalier d'Eon, Chobits, Chrono Crusade, Coyote Ragtime Show, D.Gray-Man, D.N.Angel, DearS, Death Note, Dennou Coil, Desert Punk, Digimon, Dragon Ball Z, Ergo Proxy, Eureka 7, Excel Saga, Fighting Beauty Wulong, Final Fantasy Unlimited, Flag, Full Moon, Gantz, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, Gintama, Great Teacher Onizuka, Gundam Seed, Gundam Wing, Hayate the Combat Butler, Hellsing Ultimate, Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, Innocent Venus, InuYasha, Jigoku Shojo, Kage Kara Mamoru, Karin, Kino?s Journey, Love Hina, Loveless, Lovely Complex, Lucky Star, Makai Senki Disgaea, Marchen Awakens Romance, Meine Liebe, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Mononoke, Monster, Naruto Shippuuden, Negima?!, Neon Genesis Evangelion: End of Evangelion, Nerima Daikon Brothers, NHK ni Youkoso, Night Walker, Ninja Nonsense, Noir, Ouran High School Host Club, Peacemaker Kurogane, Pokemon, Prince of Tennis, R.G. Veda, Ragnarok, Rec, Red Garden, Robotech, Romeo x Juliet, Rosen Maiden, Rurouni Kenshin, Saikano, Sailor Moon, Samurai Deeper Kyo, Sci-fi Harry, School Rumble, Scrapped Princess, Serial Experiments Lain, Shingu, Shuffle!, Shrine of the Morning Mist, So Long Mr. Despair, Solty Rei, Sousei no Aquarion, Speed Grapher, Super Milk Chan, Tales of Phantasia, Tenchi Muyo, Tenjhou Tenge, Texnolyze, The Third. Trinity Blood, Tsubasa Chronicles, Urusei Yatsura, Welcome to the N.H.K., Winter Cicada, X-1999, Xenosaga, XxxHolic, Yu Yu Hakushou, Yume Tsukai, Zero no Tsukaima, Zipang

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