Tuesday, June 27

Zhu Jia Jiao

Off to Zhu Jia Jiao we went on June 15.

My oh my! what an adventure! We met at the Shanghai stadium to catch the 9-yuen ($1) bus. Originally it was just Javad and I going:

Soon enough, there were 8 of us going! Cool art at the stadium:

Zhu Jia Jiao is one of several river towns, where boat faring has always been a part of locals' lives. Today these boats are mostly for tourists...

... and the ocasional garbage-men:

We took the boat too!

This next picture is what I was looking at in the previous - foreigners like meself are always a funny sight to locals and other tourists alike:

This was a true gentleman:

Especially to put his boat in my hands!

Oh-so pleasant!

The beautiful locals:

Beautiful Architecture:

Beautiful art (there was much more, of various kinds, but you'll just have to go there...)

Beautiful danio:

Of course, the fun was mostly about the people with whom we were spending precious time:

Including my dear companion Javad:

Javad just left a couple of days ago, moving to another city. He has been my closest companion here in Shanghai. We are both very excited about his new home, and the service he will offer there.

As always, the most important is that life is beautiful, so I leave you with a picture of Shanghai's official city flower, the Magnolia, which has been blooming everywhere for the last 3-4 weeks! Posted by Picasa

Sunday, June 18

Profile: Courtney

Profile: Courtney Sullivan

Beauty & Strength:

Courtney is strong, driven, and most kind-hearted. Courtney is everyone's confident because she opens her heart to all. She has the strength of character to serve as a leader, and the humility to make those she meets feel like they are home. Her words console the soul, and her loving smiles make one melt - let alone her hugs!


Courtney is one of my greatest inspirations. She taught me much of what I know about love. We spent four years at the same university (Alaska Pacific University). I once decided to emulate her ability to spread love all around her, and the lessons gained will always be a part of who I am. Courtney and I have shared many magical moments, between chats, travels, parties, and especially service. As you may know, service together is just about the greatest way to connect to another soul, and this was certainly the case with Courtney. We organized various activities on campus (informational, cutural, entertainment, etc.), and provided mutual motivation and encouragement for our seperate initiatives. The opening night of The Peach (the play I wrote/produced/directed in college), she cried for the joy of seeing its success. She holds a permanent, big place in my heart.


Courtney is conscious of the challenges the world faces, and works on many fronts to help heal its condition - such as human rights, supporting cultural heritage, and especially the environment. She is currently president of Alaska Natural Resource & Outdoor Education Association (ANROE), and one of her greatest contributions has been the organizing of Native Alaskan Youth Olympics over the last couple of years. She has also travelled for service to remote Alaskan villages, South America, and probably other places I do not know of... She is also a dedicated friend, making great efforts to be of service to those most in need.


Courtney will continue to devote her life to service, through education of both herself and others, as well as through action. Considering how much her leadership skills are growing, I envision her in a position where she can truly influence the course of events on a large scale, for the benefit of still more people. She will, of course, continue to inspire me in my life, as I learn to develop myself and serve others. And I am sure others feel as I do.

Token Couplet:

If rain and sunshine showered from above
No longer, there would still be Courtney's love.

Wednesday, June 14


A few days ago, I saw a couple of gentlemen playing go on the street. I watched them for a while, and after the game, the one gentleman offered to play me a game. I got violently massacred, which was totally awesome! We exchange a few words, some contact info, so hopefully we


I just remembered yet another time the experience I had clubbing in Hangzhou a few weeks ago. A great song started, and I felt myself entering a new role:

She followed the conventional motions of a robot, with strict conventions of rhythm and style. On a sudden, she noticed her own movement - abstraction had stuck! As she noted the influence of her volition over her dance, she took control of it, becoming more free, fluid, vibrant. Life was fresh. After some time, she recalled the beauty of her inner essence: the robot in her.

School Days

This is our team, back from a busy morning!

These lovely meinu (beautiful ladies)were all born in the year of the Monkey:

Bruce, stage center:

Felix, Sandy:

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Wednesday, June 7

Profile: Shawn

Profile: Shawn Harris

Beauty & Strength:

Shawn is an amazingly focused and perceptive person. She demonstrates a level of genuineness and frankness that is extremely refreshing. She's the kind of person that will look at you in the eye, truly listen to your words, and share her thoughts (though initially in only very small doses, until much ice is broken). She does not play (social) games, so there's no wondering and guessing with her, which I appreciate beyond telling. What you see is what you get, as it were.


In my experience, no time spent with Shawn is trivial, and that is one of my greatest attractions to her. I look for everything in my life to have purpose, so when we connect, we go far very fast, jumping straight into exchanges of ideas and vision, looking for a new breakthrough in both spiritual growth and pragmatic understanding. Shawn and I have a most unique relationship, for which I am most grateful: we often come from extremely different perspectives and work together to build across the divide, thereby connecting worlds which may have never met before! Our creative collaborations in roleplaying games and in theatre have sparked fantastic seeds and lead to the completion of splendid projects, often involving several participants. She's often the mind at work behind our collaborations, whereas I'm kind of the face and the gatherer of outside resources.


One of Shawn's principle acts of service recently has been her work in designing solid, practical, welcoming, user-friendly, and somewhat divergent roleplaying systems. They serve to streamline the roleplaying experience for the afficionados like myself and several of my friends, as well as to open up the world of roleplaying to new audiences (which is also one of my greatest aspirations!). Her script-writing has also touched the lives of many souls, especially in the context of the production of "The Rose Knight" last summer. On a personal basis, she is dedicated to nurturing her close relationships, especially with her family, and those fortunate enough to be her friends.


Shawn is scheduled to move here to Shanghai within the next 9 months or so, which is the most exciting thing for me! We will most certainly work together again, possibly on her stellar play, "The Rose Knight". She has many goals, including possibly further schooling (such as a Masters in scriptwriting), and reaching out to more people for the promotion and production of "The Rose Knight", along with other works she is bound to write.

Token Couplet:

As her stark charms your spinning world compel,
It skips a pensive beat for just a spell.

The danio-Profile

I have just today decided to start what I will dub "The danio-Profile". Every profile focuses on one of my friends, extolling her or his beauty and strengths, recounting our connection to each other, noting some of the service he or she is rendering to the world, and share a vision of where I see her or him going. I will also compose a tentatively encapsulating couplet in iambic pentameter.

Tuesday, June 6


This time just mostly some pictures.
Life rolls on through worlds of majesty and simplicity.

This is from maybe two months ago - the NewBeat team hard at play:

A more recent picture. It's a good life we NewBeatnicks live:

This is a new friend from Shangqiu, Ivy - picture taken from my front door:

Last wednesday was the Dragon Boat festival, and I got invited to a special event sponsored by my particular neighborhood. It's evidently common for the Chinese to invite foreigners to special events to demonstrate their desire to welcome us. It was rather cool, and I got to get up in front of everyone and show off the little Shanghainese I have learned. They got a kick out of it!

Goodies! Thank you!

There were a couple of performances shared:

This has got to be one of the most fabulous pictures I've taken - what a great shot on that stupendous smiling face!

Two more pictures of me:

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