The Psychologies of Blogging

…or “why I suck at it.”

So it’s quite late, and I’ve been tossing and turning in bed for a good while now. The issue is that I’ve been all of a sudden sick again, and it’s not been that great of an experience. I really do believe it’s due to the sudden changes in the weather and ambient temperature as opposed to any drastically low temperatures in and of itself; I don’t think my bodies knows what to do when things keep changing! It prepares and is ready for it to be warm or cold, but it can’t handle the shift, and so dies, metaphorically.

The point though, is that while I’ve been sick, I’ve been either not very productive at all, or decently productive on some of my web projects. So assuming I spend half my time productive, half of it not, and a good potion of the rest asleep or in a daze, accounting for time to spend with my Maria of course, I should have time left everyday to blog. Right? So why is it that I don’t, and why is it that it’s been nigh on three weeks since anyone’s updated this blog?

I think it has to do with the actual concept of blogging. Before now, as in, literally a couple of minutes ago, I was suffering quite contentedly in bed, unable to sleep, dreading the possibility that I might be disturbing Maria’s rest as well. And my mind was racing. I was thinking about my restaurant’s website (which isn’t up yet), my art website, which is up here, and some new stuff I’m planning to do for my choir, which, obviously, isn’t up either, neither is the West Campus site. Incidentally, this would be the first time I’m plugging my art website…everyone go and look at it! It represents the “best” of Beijing’s urban youth, or so the propaganda page tells me.

West Campus, incidentally, is a school I’m starting in Beijing! It will at first only offer year long intensive Chinese language and culture courses, hopefully starting Fall 2010, but will move on to offer full study abroad options for a liberal arts education, hopefully with a Fall 2011 availability so we can start searching for partner US institutions. Grandiose, no? They also get a website, one to provide information, brochures, contact information, and a way to register online…hmmm…I wonder if I’ll get paid for any of this web work; they’re all decently complicated…

Um…but yes my mind was racing, and I was even mentally ranting to myself, “hmmmm…this would make a good blog post.” So here I am, finally. Partly also due to he fact that I got tired of lying in bed unable to sleep and I wanted to spec. out the requirements for the IFC website.

So what this post will be about then is just a mish-mash of everything’s that’s been going on, with the hopes that it will make some greater sense, and that it will in some small way make up for the lack of anything interesting floating around here. Ah I’ve also modified the layout a bit to have static headers and footers; I’m not sure I like it…

So I think the restaurant’s a good place to start. We’re switching owners. My aunt and uncle, God bless them, are no longer going to be working with us, thank God. This means that we have to find somebody to buy out their 50% stake in the restaurant for $$$K, plus work out some way to repay the $$$K RMB that they “loaned” to the business to cover operational costs. Without going into too much of the details because I’m not entirely sure I’m at liberty to say at the moment, it’s being worked out, and it should be good.

What I am most excited about is the possibility of greater interactions with a local farm that my father is associated with. This should allow us to get good dairy and meat supplies, plus develop new foods like homemade cheese! I’ve been missing cheese in this country, and I have grandiose dreams of being Beijing’s one and only source for freshly made mozzarella. There is also the possibility that we may partner with another good friend of ours and jointly open yet another restaurant in the same complex as Connections. This will be a all vegetarian restaurant, specializing in fresh juices, fruit and vegetable cocktails, and entree size salads, something wholly lacking in this country. This will also entail greater cooperation with the farm as we will need to grow the entree salad vegetables, things like endive, mescalin, arugula, also things either lacking or inconsistent in this country, and which I will even admit to missing. Again, I have grandiose dreams of being Beijing’s one and only source for fresh, home grown, specialty vegetables.

I am also leaving my role as full time manager of the restaurant, mostly because it’s too time consuming. I have faith and confidence in my staff and the training I’ve provided them, and will still be on hand in a very part time manner, perhaps a couple of hours every other day. I’m going to promote on waitstaff and one cook to be my eyes, hands, and ears while I’m away, and they will be responsible in my absence. We’ve been kind of operating this way for the past week, mostly due to circumstance since I was sick, but also due to premeditation because I was just sick of being there 91 hours a week, and things seem quite smooth. Again, I have faith.

The only other thing interesting about the restaurant is that I think I’ve finalized with my choir, the IFC, the option of using Connections as their “home away from home,” or “home base,” the most pertinent bit of which would be the using of it as their ticket distribution hub. I needn’t tell you all the great benefits this entails. I had always wanted a stronger tie between the restaurant and my choir, and this provides it. Part of the reason why I got a piano for the restaurant was so that there can be impromptu rehearsals, sections, or other music related events, open mics, sing alongs, etc. that can happen at the restaurant and involve the choir. If I can be the one and only place to get tickets for our upcoming concerts, then that’s a step in the right direction. The website I’m spec’ing out for them is to give them the ability to handle online ticket sales on their own without using a third party service that charges an obscene service charge per transaction. Plus, it looks like my Epiphany music center idea may come to fruition at some point relatively soon as well, and all these things will work so well together I just know it.

Which is a great segue for that topic! I got Cary, my father’s business partner, interested in Epiphany. I think he’s always been half way interested, though no one’s taken the initiative to develop it really. My father had done some work, and I’ve built off of that to come to where we are now. Again, without going into too much details because I may not be at liberty to say, but it’ll be good, and it’ll be THE place to go for all your classical music needs in the “heart of Beijing” so to speak, or so the propaganda page states ;)

Also since I am no longer going to be the full time manager at the restaurant, I’m relegated myself to the status of “owner,” which means I get paid when the restaurant is profitable, or if and when that is. This means I’ve been on the prowl for a normal job, hopefully something in a programming vein. I had interviewed with and received a very decent job offer from Pixomondo, a visual effects company opening their Beijing office. Unfortunately, the timing had sucked because I was just getting deep into the running of the restaurant so I turned their offer down. Or more, I didn’t respond when they asked me if they could negotiate my offer with me…my defense on this issue is that I was really busy, as I’ve always been, and it was during New Years so things were extra hectic. But yes, I should have gotten back to them no matter what and it’s my bad for not. The point also being then that I feel awkward approaching them again since I sort of brushed them off earlier. I’ve also interviewed with Wokai.org, a micro-financing company. They’re in first round interviews, and they’re supposed to get back to me. And if any of you reading this know of any good PHP Programmer jobs, let me know! I’ve already been thinking about posting to this blog post photos of my new Connections menu, I think I’ll also post my resume. I NEED A JOB!!! PLEASE HELP!!!

Our visas are also expiring, again. This will be our, what, third entry? Haven’t figured out where to leave to yet, but need to soon, we have just under a week left to clear immigration. Part of the other reason a “normal” job sounds appealing is that they should be able to help me sort out my work visa issue. At the moment, the stand still is that VSM hasn’t gotten back to me yet on my employment verification letter, which is the last thing I need before one round of work visa applications with my father can be filed. They’ve sort of fallen off the face of the earth at the moment, I wonder if they’re alright…But since I’ve stepped back from the restaurant, this next trip promises to be much better, and longer, and more fun, I promise, my dearest Maria. I know I’ve been sucking lately, being sick, being busy, but I promise better times ahead.

Whoo I’m on a roll aren’t I! And real tag happy :)

Regarding Maria, since a lot I’m not at liberty to myself say, I will say that she did very well on the GMAT, finished her MBA applications to Tsinghua and BiMBA, is plowing her way through her Chinese government scholarships, was NOT late for any scholarships at Tsinghua or BiMBA, and has many promising projects coming up involving Chinese lawyer and my father. And that’s all I’ll say.

Let’s upload that menu now shall we? And don’t laugh at the over the top English; it hasn’t been edited yet.

Let’s also get the resume uploaded shall we? Download now

And now I’m feeling a little dehydrated and shaky. I should probably stop now as I think I’ve got most things covered, and those that I haven’t, I’ll try to list out real quick. I also need to upgrade this WordPress install before I’m finished.

1) We’re still looking for an apartment. We’ve had a reprieve because my mother’s not coming until June, but that’s feeling like it’ll be here real soon. We’re playing around with the option of living in the complex that Connections is in because we have so many things going on there (Connections, Epiphany, the new vegetarian restaurant), plus we also want to start our own business so it seems also appropriate, but there’s a lot of logistics involved with that mostly due to the fact that it’s commercial real estate and so is more expensive and lacking a kitchen and plumbing.
2) My best friend from high school’s wedding is coming up in mid-May, so we’ll be both going back to the US around then. Maria’s going to go earlier, see some family, and run her first marathon in Cincinnati! I will, unfortunately, be unable to attend. But this should mean we’ll have exciting things to look forward to come October and the Beijing marathon :)
3) I only need 40 some odd words to get to 2000 at this point, so I’m just stalling and rambling until then. It seems like a nice, round, number, and may very well be the longest blog post we’ve had. I had been toying with the idea of separating this one entry into multiple entries, and just post them all at the same time. But that also felt stupid. Not that this monster of a post isn’t stupid in and of itself, there’s just no lesser evil with those two choices…

Edit:

Already had to correct a couple of typos, and I just realize I never tested the new sites I’m developing in IE, because I don’t have access to IE anymore! I should get around to that huh…?

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