Tuesday, March 19, 2002

Hello all,

What an interesting start to my trip! A raging snowstorm all the way to the bus terminal and beyond!

The bus driver was a great addition. It seems his old job was a tour guide in Boston, so he knew the shortcuts well. We even had a mini tour of the great city and he even sang some songs. I didn't know that Alexander Graham Bell's laboratory was still intact in the Verison building! Cool, I'll have to check that out next time Alison and I head down there. I'm in the hotel in Revere, Massachusetts now. Took a taxi from Logan with a pretty neat guy named Mustafa from Algeria. We chatted all the way to the hotel and he showed me Revere Beach, which I had never seen.

This hotel is sinful in my terms. Much too fancy for me, but I think I can tolerate it. Managed an internet hookup after about twenty tries so hope this is a local call. Dinner was Japanese and truthfully not all that great but it hit the spot. Gonna get offline now and call my honey in Keene. Will hit the tub tonight and soak all the stress away before a nice sleep and an early wake up.

I'll try to update this trip as often as possible during my travels. Gotta go steal the shampoo's, soaps and notepads . . . . bye!


Monday, March 18, 2002

Hi, I'm Jeeem and I'm a bloggaholic.

"Hi Jeeem!" (in unison from around the world)

Hell, now that I'm finally back after seemingly weeks, months perhaps? of being locked out of my bloggatorium, surprisingly I have very little to say. Now THAT's scary.

Testing template . . .anna one, anna two, anna three . . .
Oh dear GAWD. . . . This thing finally works! Sorry I've been away but I guess the Blogger Pro team has been working out some kinks here and there. Now I'm back in business! Heading to Revere, Massachusetts tomorrow to lay in the lap of luxury for a bit before my flight out on Tuesday. Will be blogging my trip if I can get internet access once I get to China. -Jeeem-

Wednesday, March 13, 2002

Testing out my new "BLOGGER PRO"
Hello? Testing, testing,

Saturday, March 09, 2002

Hey Emberton!

Great concept you got going there, but what would the French drink with their cheese?

And what about beer? Don't tell me that crap tastes good. I hear that every week.

Besides, we all know that American Butterfly wee-wee is supposed to be used on Cheerios.

I'm gonna keep this short as I have learned to stay off this thing when I'm tired. I end up writing shit that I regret saying, as I get in such a pissy mood when I am tired.

Got my China visa in record time. The tickets are on their way as I type. The visa stamp looks cool and I find myself glancing at it and oogling it like a little kid looking at his first caught fish.

Chris of Black telescope is right, the fun is in the planning. This laptop is filling up with China info very fast. I've got my hotel reservations and working on some local contacts in Beijing from the Virtualtourist site as well as surfing for electrical converters, restaurants to try, Chinese history, local transportation and weather to name a few.

I have'nt done squat with my website and hope it's still floating out there in cyberspace. I'm gonna be busy with that damn social research project that is haunting me, like a bad habit, this weekend.

The weather here is warming to a balmy 60 degrees tomorrow. Typical for New England, you end up seeing people that you never knew existed on days like that. They appear as moths attracted to a light bulb, wandering aimlessly about town and on the roads like Zombies from "Night of the Living Dead."

Hey! I enjoyed that flick. A true classic.

Time for bed.


Thursday, March 07, 2002

Fighting back the self-doubt, Jeeem throws back his shoulders and puffs out his chest.

Jeeem winces in pain thinking he pulled something.

The Naked Novel
A collaborative work of modern fiction

Kool . . .

Dirty snow is depressing.

whoooo boy . . . . do I ever need a vacation! Ever get to that point in your job where you just don't care anymore? Well . . . not to worry, I'm not there but I'm heading in that direction. I've got three client's this week (my average is 5 to 6) and I'm just not into it . . . plus I'm running behind. Thank God other folks here are on their toes regarding my clients!

I just need to forget about this place for awhile and no better place to do that than . . . China.

Actually, I think part of me is already over there. -Jeeem-

Wednesday, March 06, 2002

I have been invited to participate in an on-line novel. Me! Yeah . . .me. I am shocked, a little scared, honored, excited and ready to rock and roll. My writer's block hasn't come along in quite a while lately and I hope by mentioning it I haven't jinxed myself.

I never seem to be disciplined enough to work on my other writings . . . the ones I am supposed to be submitting. Blogging seems like such a freedom and you get instant results and a constant flow of feedback and comments. I just wish my studies wouldn't get in the way so much.

I fly out of this Godforsaken icecap in fourteen days.

I have added Mongolia to my travels. I booked a return seat on Air Canada (Kaa-Nah-Dah) for April 3rd. That gives me plenty of time in China to explore. I found a train bound for Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia on the internet and booking is fairly cheap so I'm going for it. Hell, four days ago I couldn't have told you where Mongolia was on the map.

So, I'm gonna get to see the Gobi desert and hopefully ride a damn camel. I would rather ride an elephant but Mongolia seems to be fresh out of elephants at the moment. *sigh*

I should have been a travel journalist. It would be much more fun.

I just checked the weather in Beijing . . . . appears I am flying from one icecap into another . . . . -Jeeem-
Yesterday I get a call from my neighbor Louie as I walked in the door. "Hey Jim! Gimme a call when you get in." So, I called him to say "Whazzap?"

"Have you eaten?" Louie asks.

"Not yet," I say.

"Don't eat nuthin! Ya like chicken parmigiana?"

"Uh...yeah, I guess."

"I'll be down in twenty minutes" (click)

Louie shows up twenty minutes later carrying a styrofoam container. I let him in and he takes out this HUGE dish of pasta and chicken parmigian, waving me off as I offer to dish him up some.

"Eat" he says. (I know the Italian term for eat. It's mangia. Thinking of it causes an old memory of a meal eaten with South Philadelphia family to pop into my head. I don't think anybody can eat as much or as well as Italian's can)

I ate.

Louie is a good guy. I reflect . . . . I have good neighbors. I am happy.

We discuss his family life in Massachusetts and I learn a little bit more about him. Louie is happy. Louie's ex-wife signed some legal papers yesterday that made him somewhat of a free man.

I am reaping the benefits.

Life is good. -Jeeem-

Monday, March 04, 2002

Sadly we will never hear about Dominique's employment status again. I personally am crushed. I hear she is happy at her new job and I am happy for her. Montreal employment sounds so complicated though. Do their employers actually monitor blog sites? Perhaps I should worry about what I am posting as well? Ah, nuts to that (sorry Dave, couldn't help it).

Worth a look-see is a site called 49-forever. Interesting site (A frightful neck surgery pic is linked so you should caution the kiddies) but holy smokes the snow on that site! Makes me cold just thinking about Michigan. Yuck. I like it when the first few snowflakes fall and it looks all pretty and stuff, but after that you can have the crap. I guess I am a true southerner to the bone. But I own an albatross . . . er, uh . . . House. So, I can't just up and move to Timor when I want to.

So, the central theme of my current life is T-R-A-V-E-L. I am getting the hell out of Dodge. I fly on the 19th and will arrive in Beijing on the 20th. I have been exploring another option that is "Out of the box" (like I like it) of taking the trans-mongolian train through the Gobi desert to Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.

I found a neat message board called the "Thorn Tree" that is very informative about Asian travel and before I knew it, I was exploring Mongolian Tour sites. I'm really excited about travelling in the Gobi desert and staying in a ger with a Mongolian host family. I must admit that riding a camel is what attracted me though.

llphin (Lost in my own world) is in a procrastinating mode and has abandoned the blog for lack of responsibility. Personally, I am ashamed for him and will sideline him again when I hear he is back with us.

Everybody seems to possess the technology to place pictures on their sites except me. Peter of Naked Blog once gave me instructions on how to do it but I don't think he understood how mentally limited I am when it comes to the four letter term "HTML" HTMLitician I am not. What I need is some HTML special ed instructor who will take me by the hand and lead me through it step-by-agonizing-step. Peter's attempt to help me was courageous but you see, that Scottish brougue comes out in his wording and I am not very adept at Scottish HTML through the bloodshot eyes of a Port-O-Leither. Holy smokes.

So, anybody going to take the "HINT" and guide a poor, misplaced, Texan-Yankee-Asianwannabe-HTMLdummy like myself through the steps of, "How To Post Pictures on Your Blogsite Made Really Freakin' Simple for Complete Idiots?" I sure would appreciate it, but you will need to not only be patient, but entirely devoted to the HTML mentally handicapped.

It seems one of my best friends who lives in a very far away spot on this Big Blue Marble, is back and monitoring my blog. She is a genius, not only as a writer, but she knows what Garam Masala is too. Says she might send me some. Now seriously, how many people do you know who know about Garam Masala? My friend, (I'll call her Charmaine) is a blogger too and I'm hoping she'll begin writing again cause you guys will love her stuff . . . . brilliant writing, especially about her travels. So, come on Charmaine! Let's have it!

Till later . . . . -Jeeem-

Friday, March 01, 2002

Read the Daily Dave today. Emberton does a beautiful piece on "NUTS." Must be because some people out there have nut allergies.

After reading Dave's stuff I went surfing on my airlines site to check on baggage allowances and ended up in the section that tells about the meals they serve on the plane. Here's what I found:

"Air Canada cannot provide meals which are guaranteed to be free of nuts, seafood or other food products."

What the hell is up with THAT?

And what the hell do they mean, "Other food products?"

Dominique? Care to comment (heeheehee . ..)?

Ahhhhh. Excuse me for my latest absence. I've been busy.

We always say we are busy. It is the universal excuse to why we have not corresponded in a while. So, to utilize the universal excuse and resolve myself of all guilt from this point forward (until the next time I don't write), I will say I have been busy.

Well, I have. My "business" ..... (I think that means the place where you get busy) has been interesting to say the least. One of my client's got the boot the other day and we "counselors" were busy comforting, consoling and calming the other natives who got stirred up in the process. It's been a while since we've had a police car sitting in our parking lot. Made for an interesting week.

Where I have been the busy-est, has been organizing my NEW vacation idea.

I called Adventure Bound Tours and found that I procrastinated one too many days and screwed myself out of a European vacation. Those $198.00 round trip fares were NOT only attractive to me it seems. Europe is booked solid. The lady on the other end of the earpiece said, "Next to impossible," which means to me, "Forget it."

So, I just ran my finger down the list of discount fares and picked the lowest one flying to Asia.

I'm going to Beijing, China.

Once it was official, I began researching the trip and dragging out the calendar and my itenerary. EEK! I have twenty days to get my act together! Naturally, China requires a visa for entry so it finally soaked in yesterday that I had better get my butt down to the post office and mail something out TOOT - SWEET.

Seems I am illegally applying for a visa in that the instructions say you have to apply within thirty days of your departure date. Oh crap. Think they will notice? Hope not. I Express mailed the thing out and it will be in the hot little hands of the Chinese consulate general in New York today at noontime.

Cost? Funny what we will pay for the, "Get the damn thing there yesterday," service. I don't even want to think about it.

Belfast Chris was right . . . . . the real fun in going on a vacation is all in the planning. The damn flight over can't possibly produce the adrenaline this last minute stuff is working up. Now for hotel accomodations . . . . .

The internet has got to be the most useful tool on the face of the earth for trip planning. I experienced this when planning my trip to the Phillippines. Hotels in Beijing are no different than in any other part of the world. From five to two stars.

I'm currently looking for the "one" star hotels.

I found one or two but they do not provide pictures of these hotels or the rooms. I can only imagine. Security is a concern as I plan to take my NEW laptop that I received in the mail two days ago to replace the one that fried. I may have to bite the bullet and swing for a two star hotel. WooHoo . . . Party!

Jeeem the big spender.

I call myself frugal because I don't like the word cheap. "Frugal" has character. Hey, when you're operating on a budget, you don't have much choice. Some people don't skimp when it comes to accomodations but I personally don't care where I sleep as long as I sleep and don't get ripped off.

So, anyway . . . . here I go. Off to see the Great Wall of China. The only man-made structure visible from the moon. The bricks in that wall would span the earth to make a wall five and a half yards high. Incredible. Also going to visit the famous Tian'anmen Square and the Forbidden City to name a couple.

Was lucky and got an open departure date so I can fly out when the money runs out. Me? Actually I'm going for the rich foods (Fried Scorpion and Stewed Bullfrog) and the back recesses and hutong's where the guts of the city are to be found. Hopefully I can find some transportation out into the further reaches of the countryside to see how the real people live and naturally take a billion photos.

Tourist traps bore me.

In closing, I want to say that my good pal Dominique shared some of her vast red-headed, hot-blooded French Canadian knowledge with me and now I finally know where American beer comes from.

Butterfly wee-wee.

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