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Rachel ??? ???

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(no subject) [May. 29th, 2004|12:53 pm]
Rachel ??? ???
27日我去了玉林生活中心看几个好朋友们Ashura, Sound Toy 声音玩具, and some friends who were in Yunnan for the past few months (xiao peng). I had so much to do- genetics final, finishing up the plant stuff, but decided I could spend a day with friends. The show was awesome. There were giant drums and jews harps and all. Soundtoy's new stuff is beautiful- I guess sort of radioheadish with giant drum rumbles and more piano.
I took 4 guys from my art class (inc. LiuDaiGang and TianYe)out for a drink. Met up with Kayanna and Eddie, it was only 4 in the afternoon. We all talked for hours and really had fun. Made jokes about 王八 (distinguishing kinds of soft shelled turtles).
Kayanna and I went afterwards to get our hair dyed. She wanted red streaks, but they turned out pink, and I had mine bleached to use as a base for this really pretty pinkish copper and dark streaks. Well the copped never took, and my hair is so dried out from the bleach that I will have to wait to do anything about it. So yeah, Im a more authentic Californian now right? right. Playing blondie. That night I went out with the Yunnan band. We went to this big funky bar and I got to play tamberene and drums on stage!! It was really fun. Theyre pretty crazy and mild. They were like recording glasses clanking and people clearing their throats. Sound thieves. They have the most sincerely happy smiles too. Theyll be in Beijing on the 20th of June if anyone will be there too- check em out.
Yesterday Pher brought me to his famous friend's fancy cartooning/advertizing studio. It was Sweet! I used the computer to print out some plant labels and my data spreadsheet. Whenever I was talking to the people there, Pher would talk over them to me assuming I didnt understand their mandarin...tho it sounded just like his! I would have been fine. At one point I threw my hand out to keep him from opening his mouth- I was being really mean. It was driving me crazy though. I know he was just trying to be nice.
He apologized to me by the bus later about it. Said "sorry I talk too fast" I exploded "You dont talk too fast! You talk when other people are talking! If you do that, I cant understand you or them!" he was all "im so sorry rachel! im so stupid" and I didnt say anything. I dont know how it started, just recently being around him sucks. i have this disgusted repulsive feeling around him. Maybe cause I know him well and see through his tricks with people or how he tries to entertain. I dunno. Felt bad. But I need his help with my plants- and he is coming over now. What is it! He bugs me soo much!
Anyways, this is lame. I am gonna finish this later. The rest of the day was awesome. I met a lady who owns a cold noodle street cart and tomorrow at 6 AM I am going to her house to learn how to make cold noodles from scratch Sichuan style.
The best artist in Sichuan took me under his wing to teach me how to sketch guo hua style. Tianye gave me a jade bracelet of turtles as a gift, and LiuDaiGang gave me ALL of his Chinese paintings from the semester...which was to big of a gift, and I started crying, and it was so embarassing. I just was feeling like I didnt desereve all the nice things everyone here has done for me. Ended up on the street talking to Eddie until 5 in the morning.
I gotta go. blah.
its raining.
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esprrrresso [May. 24th, 2004|09:55 pm]
Rachel ??? ???
yep- too much going on in a lovely way here. The past month- so full I would do wrong to describe most of the experiences so briefly. Best they just stay with me.
I will eventually write about Yangjuan 4 for my records. The backpacking trip was great- crazy wizardry and lung exertion.
I finished my Chinese Painting class- have some art up in an exhibit hall actually.
Last friday I had shabbat dinner with 3 Israelis who grew up in Australia. We had falafel and REAL hummus and babaganoush and halvah.....mmmmmmm.
I keep meeting lovely people. its lovely!
My oil painting class got a nude model. She has the biggest breasts I have ever seen aside from my greek friend's mother from high school. The model is really fun and we have had a lunch date together every class since we met. She wears gold eyeshadow and likes to play Majiang and drink.
I adore my Chinese painting class- ADORE THEM TO SMITHEREENES! what will I do now that its over? i dunno- but I can spend some of the extra time on FOTKI looking at the pictures of them. Check it out for yourself. www.fotki.com/falimar. The album is called "Chengdu recently". There are pictures playing in lab, art class, art exhibits visited, and my little xiao mantou in Yangjuan.
Ive gotten most of my herbarium specimens prepared. And other exciting news- my research is getting published!
Everything else I think I will keep to myself- check out the pics.
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leaving [May. 1st, 2004|06:50 pm]
Rachel ??? ???
short notice....I am leaving in 10 minutes for Yangjuan again. I am tagging along with Katharine and Chris and some SU students and Eddie to backpack for 8 nights doing a wolf population survey. There are wolves, bears and monkeys and chaigos there. Yay! It gives me the chance to collect plants and do interviews and test stuff farther away from the village.
I will be back in 2 weeks...around the 15th. Happy May Day!
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oh my my [Apr. 25th, 2004|04:33 am]
Rachel ??? ???
I wanted to throw a party- everyone else had parties, and I need to get over this fear of being the hostess that I have had since I moved out of my family's house. Well, I called up a few people and told some people at the Reggae bar on friday about the shindig and that they should bring musical instruments. We all met up at the Little Bar for Ashura's concert. Atsushi and Chialin were there (Japan, Hong Kong) Youyuanr and friends, YanLu, Laolin, Heather and Joshua, Louie, BoBo, 6 art classmates, and about 40 others- some that I had only met once. After the show..which RULED!- got to mosh and be goofy and yell "take off your pants!" we all came to my house, I bought some beer and had prepared Thai curry and cucumber salad and pears and strawberries, and yeah...it turned out great!Ashura came too. I was so nervous- but everyone had fun and liked my cooking and the jam session was crazy. It is nearly 5 A.M. now..they all just left, except for one that I cannot seem to wake up, who is on a beanbag to my right. I think this was a big step for me. Bringing people that dont all know eachother together is so scary- I cant believe it was so much fun. I should stop bragging now....check out www.ashuramusic.com to learn about my friend's band that played, and have a great weekend and do something brave that you need to spend a whole day cleaning up after.
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twenty eight degrees in the shade of banana trees [Apr. 19th, 2004|10:48 pm]
Rachel ??? ???
Im doing just fine. I was going crazy because life was sorta redundant- and I was about to do something dangerous but then instead decided to read some Vonnegut and I calmed down again. I have a band now- A tattoo artist named ChengDu (haha- he lives in Chengdu that is so sad that the name is the same), Youyuanr, Yufan, Heather, and me. Had a practice on saturday night- with some other folks too, and it was bongos and howling till 4 AM. Rocked. Heather has a soundproofed practice room at her house for her real band- so its convenient.
I got ahead in Genetics and really enjoy studying it. I am behind on plant keying though...and awating the day of my death when I dont have enough specimens to give Steve- but by summer I will have more- its just that the last trip I took- most of the plants were already collected last year. Still good practice for me, but AGGRIVATING and makes me want to stay in bed for days. There is also a particular Asteraceae- plant number 2004-SS-36, that is kicking my ass over and over again. I gave up the logical methods with it and started flipping through 11 books of Asteraceae trying to find a picture of a plant that looks like it. Hell...the method worked for 2004-SS-30.
I gotta say though- the weather has been great- Ive been really active- and happy lately. Listening to lots of new music- but I need more. So whatever is rocking your world- let me know so I can get some too! Lately for me its been Blonde Redhead, Coltraine, Miho Hatori, and Tiger Trap.
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Pesach [Apr. 7th, 2004|10:36 pm]
Rachel ??? ???
Passover was lovely- a real seder- and thanks to the packages Kayanna's mom sent nothing was missing from it (except the horseradish...so we used kimchee).
I put pictures up on fotki.
I dont know why keep getting the impulse to put gross stuff on livejournal...the burn..etc.. Well this is one of the photos I took in Yangjuan.
They killed the yak to feed the people who came for the funeral.
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Taste the EXPLOSION [Apr. 3rd, 2004|02:39 pm]
Rachel ??? ???
I got back yesterday morning from Yangjuan village. It was a 12 hour train ride and 6 hours of bus rides away into the cold mountains. It was also already described beautifully by Kayanna in her livejournal.
It was Kayanna, Pher, and I that went. Pher doesnt have a job right now, is dying in Chengdu, and likes to climb trees and knows the Chinese common name for most plants so I made him come with us. I guess he would have been of more use to me during the rainy season but oh well.
Upon arrival in Yangjuan we found out that an old mother in the village died. I had only read a bit about the Yi funeral customs- and we were very lucky to be able to participate in the events that week. The woman was a relative of Apo, Jzy Jzy, and Vusa (people that live/work at the school we live in).
YES so we arrived at the school and I was too happy to see everybody again and to be surrounded by that landscape. I realized a big difference from this trip and the first trip in how I am about my research. Before it was sort of overwhelming with unfamiliar things and not wanting to burden people with all my questions. Now I knew my way around, and after slaving away in lab for the last months I had my plan of attack on getting plants and IDing them quickly. I had a lot of energy to go back to the places I walked to the trips before and see how the colors changed, and talk to the locals more. That evening we gathered with some friends by the fire at Jzy Jzy's and caught up on things.
So the next day was friday right? yeah.. Everybody was to start the corn planting then, and we were able to go and watch and help. Pher started shoveling dirt and I made trips to the river the bring buckets of water to where they were planting. All the other people carrying water buckets were men and after a few trips carrying I finally won their approval and we laughed together and when they took a break I was able to sit with them and chill and actually felt sorta macho..yeah i can laodong. I am glad I had the training of carrying all those textbooks around UW.
That afternoon Kayanna, Pher, Vusa, and I walked to Baiwu. I got to test the river, buy Kouxianrs, and Kayanna and I bought Yi outfits which are very electric.
That night there was a pass around of Baijiu with Vusa and the new Mongolian bus driver that lives at the school.
On saturday we got up early, had breakfast, and walked to Ganggou. Kayanna got some interesting interviews done and I got to climb around the red hills. I met this little girl who came up to me and wanted to listen to me practice playing the Kouxianr..and I met her sister who had climbed way up a mountain to make me a bouquet of rhodedendrons- really heartwarming. We took a horse cart for a short ride towards Ganngou and the driver laughed and mentioned that if I was looking for plants I should go follow the stream in between these 2 mountains for a few hours and there is a big cave with lots of interesting plants. That afternoon in the village I asked some people about it and got more excited. Eagles live there.
The other caves around are often where they put the bones of the deceased- and I am not supposed to go in..so we decided to go look for this cave the next day. The rest of the afternoon was sun bathing and genetics and organizing plants to show Apo. That night was a gathering of people for the funeral...followed by more drinking and singing..which resulted in a fight between Vusa and the busdriver.
Sunday afternoon Pher and I left for the cave. We hiked for 6 hours. The wind was really strong and would trick us with weather. One minute it was so sunny and the next minute it was raining. We had no path, and were slipping and getting scratched up pretty bad. We found an oven built into the mountainside which was pretty cool, and lots of beautiful rhodedendrons. My lungs were shutting down on me and I was miserably sweating after 4 days of not showering and like magic a path appeared that led us to a grass clearing in a pine forest on top of the mountain. We could watch the sunset and set up camp. We cooked potatoes in the fire and played kouxianr till we got too tired. The weird thing was that the hill was covered in these imprints in the ground- like elephant footprints- about 6 inches deep and with 4 claws and maybe about 45 cm in diameter. They were all facing the same way- like a herd of yettis has walked up the mountain. AND there were horse teeth everywhere. I took one back and am going to make something out of it.
The next morning we packed up and tried to look for people. Finally we found some sheep herders another mountain over and asked them about the cave. They said there were no caves!! They showed us the way to get back to Yangjuan. On our way climbing back I found a big bright purple feather with a black and white striped tip. It belongs to a bird called a JinJi..or in Yi it is called Ha brr. Anyone know what that is?
We ran into another shephard and he knew about the cave..said it was amazing..with a pond with fish living in it..and not far but right on the other side of the mountain from where we had camped. So we trekked back and over the mountain and climbed down a cliff and walked for hours- collecting on the way ofcourse- and never found the cave. Everyone we talked to had a different story. After getting back to the village that evening I found out NOWONE HAS ACTUALLY BEEN THERE. Well, I will try again in summer to find it. Well anyways, we got back, had dinner, and went to the old mother's house to participate in the party. The body was dressed in pleated wool and a black/white striped skirt with the traditional black wooden headdress. She was wrapped in a white cloth that tied around 2 pine logs to make her carryable. There were colorful cloths flying through the air and young boys with firecrackers. The husband had a straw mat on the floor near where the deceased was and he sat and slept and smoked and wept. Other men were expected not to cry. Around the body was a gathering of women in their most colorful costumes wailing and crying the weapon song. Inside a mud walled room men were sitting around a fire. We got invited in and the host took out 2 bowls and went from person to person in the room- filling each bowl with hard alcohol made from corn. He drank a bowl, you drank a bowl. There were about 20 people there..and yes he was pretty plastered by the end of it. I got to watch them kill a goat by slitting it's throat and letting the blood it shed drain into a bowl which would later be added to the soup. The goat lay limp, and as they tied the rear legs it awkwardly jerked and then slow motion ran as if in a dream. A man grabbed it's head and broke it's neck...and the goat was cut up and added to the soup along with some buckweat cakes.
They household was wealthy. They could afford a yak which I was lucky enough to see them slaughter earlier that day. I got some pictures..I will put them on Fotki. www.fotki.com/falimar
It was incredible- the songs they sang and the colors and the jiu and looks from people. Very different from Han and especially US funerals. People were teasing eachother about crying and all. I liked it.
Went to bed early.
The next morning we woke up and walked with JzyJzy to a hill where about a hundred people gathered for the cremation. The body was surrounded on one side by crying women and the Bimo (shaman) sat with a red wooden bird and some plants in one hand and a bowl of rice and money in front of him. Everybody had to drink more corn alcohol and light small explosives. Pher made friends with an old lady there and they smoked some lan hua yan. We waited for the torch to arrive, and then the body was sat on a pile of logs and brushed with horsetail pine and covered with a layer of oak leaves and burned. They passed out yak meat in bags for everyone to take with them on their journeys home. We went back to the school, then to Pianshui to check out the ancient carvings on a stone and find out the they arent going through with the drinking water system in Laizigou, then to the sinkhole to do some last collecting. That night- our last night- was spent at Apo's. He went through my plants and Kayanna asked him some questions about the cash cropping situation and Pher kept cutting us off and talking for us- I know he was just trying to help but we need to talk on our own- even if it is slower and less clear. I think we were ready to kill him. At the end Apo asked us for advice..which was really startling. I hold such a respect for him and was honored that he asked us. I started to talk and first wanted to point out something about US being so culturally different from here and the Pher butts in and starts going off about America having no culture. So I shut up and gave up on trying to say anything. He had ruined it. Then Kayanna said under her breath that she had something to say but didnt want to bother cause she couldnt squeeze a word in. There was some hesitation, and then she finally started talking. I had to stare at Pher the whole time to keep him shut up. Kayanna's voice got all shaky and everyone leaned in to hear her. What she said was beautiful and made me start crying- and really touched everyone.
Kayanna and I got back and had a great venting session about trying to express things to people. It was loud and fun and we sort of hurt ourselves by enthusiastically jumping around in frustration.
So I have some nice null data points for the river and got more of the mapping done.
I have 70 plants now, and these some some uses of the ones I found this trip.
I got the Nuosu name and the Chinese name of all of them, so I dont need to do any keying out that is broad, just genus/species.
- if tummy aches boil it and eat.
- good wood for making furniture.
- can eat the hips
- use the bark and fruit to fight cancer
- contains Jian3 (is that lye?) use it to make bombs- gunpowder
- cook and feed to sheep/goats if they are sick
- if you have a broken bone, heat a branch and wrap it around the break.
- boil roots and drink to stop diarrhea. very very very bitter
- can strip big pieces of paper/bark easily. Give to the Bimo as an accessory.
- eat red fruits to cure cancers
It was a really fun 9 days..and really productive. Oh- and I got some of the villagers into Prefuse 73. Gonna bring them a bunch of cds in may.
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hot pot and rose bubble tea DO NOT mix [Mar. 23rd, 2004|10:59 am]
Rachel ??? ???
I feel like shit. I have so much to do because we are leaving for Yangjuan TOMORROW!!!AHH!! and I need to finish keying out that goddamn graminaceae in lab and go to my calligraphy class today and get to the bank and do laundry, and I feel sick cause of what I ate yesterday. I dont think it was anything bad...just in bad combination. I was at a cafe for 4 hours in the morning, had about 12 cups of coffee and a veggie sandwich...I think the last time I got so shaky from coffee was that one time Craig and I had a chemistry 152 midterm and we went to IHOP to pull the all nighter. Well I finished chapter 6 in 4 hours- normally it takes me 3 days. I went to the office to purchase train tickets cause Pher might come with us to YJ- that way we can key out plants fast there while they are fresh and Steve can bring back a box of plants to Seattle. I elbowed, screamed, and stepped on the feet of I dont know how many people to hold my window space and then the f**king computer breaks and I have to wait till today to buy them...which I dont even know if there are any left. Oh well...fate is fate.
In the afternoon I keyed out 2 plants and Xu Laoshi keyed out 1 for me. Then I went to lift weights and run on the treadmill, then met with the program kids and ChiaLin for hot pot. I felt sick afterwards, but still met up with Louie for bubble tea- and acted like I wasnt nauseaus- not wanting to sacrifice a chance to use Chinese to make fun of Bush. There is a chunyu about Bush and Blair actually, that they want to rape/take everything. It is Lang2Bei4Wei4Jian4. Well by the time I went to bed I had thrown up 3 times. Today I am taking it easy, hoping to feel better by afternoon cause I CANNOT AFFORD TO FEEL LIKE THIS!!
To feel more bold and pain-tolerant, I will brag about the cool burn I got on saint patricks day. It looks grosser in real life, but the mark it left is really cool.
It was red, then purple, then gray, and now is going back to red again.
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I am really bad at Chinese chess [Mar. 13th, 2004|07:11 pm]
Rachel ??? ???
okay. I am putting more pictures up on fotki and everyone should check out kayanna's pictures (she has some goofy ones from Thailand) at fotki too.
...and i stuck some photos from Germany this last summer in the Spring vacation to laos/thailand photo album... should it confuse anyone
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花房姑娘 [Mar. 10th, 2004|07:26 pm]
Rachel ??? ???
that is the name of my favorite new song to play on guitar. I am trying to keep learning characters by translating songs..mostly stuff that they play at the 小酒馆or that I hear Pher play on guitar. For instance-舌头,王磊,SOUNDTOY,崔健, 二手玫瑰.
The days here are getting really good...this semester I have a routine- and its actually working. I also am learning some cooking...Thai food, 泡菜,汤圆儿,miso soup. I love love LOVE painting with ink. It is one of the most mind clearing experiences I have ever had, and I get so excited seeing the way the ink decides to go. Saw a metal show on saturday..band called LeShen...dont know which characters. So yeah...a week full of the culinary,visual,and musical arts.
There has been some goofy stuff too...the red color i put in my hair in thailand is gone along with most of my tan..i repierced the 4th holes in my ears by myself..bad idea (i dont even wear earrings! why bother?)...and i guess the earrings werent real silver so they got infected..ick. and the scariest thing...i started doing this stuff called Snooze..its like like chewing tobacco in a filter paper packet that you stick up above your front teeth under your lip..its from Sweden. (i know its gross..but it doesnt hurt my lungs) I bought snooze some off a Norwegian on Koh Tao because I was craving smoking when I would go out and the last thing in the world I wanted to do was to start smoking again..or be a bitch to my friends on another vacation as result of those cravings (reflection on NY).
Well..my dive instuctor told me that dentists hate people using Snooze cause it causes your teeth enamel to become stronger or something and prevents cavaties...so the dentists get no business. Well..it did something freakish to my teeth alright...all the sudden my wisdom teeth started growing in. Today it isnt so bad..but for past few weeks its been a mushy food preference and constant dull pain. The worst..I need to go to a dentist in China. I cant afford to get them taken out in the states. Now the dentists here..big window displaying the patient undergoing the tooth pulling exposed to the bikers and pedestrians on the street (this is how they advertize?!) AND..no appointments. for 3 wisdom teeth i just walk in? AND if i have a problem..like the anesthetic isnt kickin in..under panic and funny dentist tools stuck in my mouth along with a numbing agent...are they gonna understand what i got to say? this is hillarious and terrifying for me..
well...my grandma had a change of heart and decided to support Emily in whatever she decides for college. Heather and I are emailing alot, my auntie Fay (this is one of my coolest family members. he and her husband used to send eachother coconuts in the mail when one was overseas)got out of the hospital (she fell and broke her hip and was doing BAD) and is getting better every day. I was scared for a while I may never see her again. Fuguang is slowly healing from his breakup with Nina (she gave me a wonderful Nuosu-Nuosu pinyin-Chinese-English book of useful sentences she wrote...she is a truly wonderful person, and a genius of languistics. now i can learn to say sentences useful to get to know the people of the village and ask questions pertaining to anthropological and botanical research...not just "Hello comrad, I wish your family peace! How many sheep do you own? Which way to ZhuChang? Cheers!"..which is about my Nuosu level now..
I am DEFINETELY going back to Yangjuan at the end of march/beginning of april. I cannot wait!!! I miss the air there, the neon colors of the landscape and the women's outfits. The dancing, the schoolchildren with their red sashes around their necks running into the classroom in the morning, the fresh 花椒,a week of not showering, dangerous camping and falling in mud and horse shit. Story telling late at night in a mud hut eating walnuts and drinking 白酒 with the Ma family.) N-E-ways, the point was that I think I am doing so well because my friends and family are doing well.
So this turned into a long entry. I need to head home...
Ah! I almost forgot! 天野, an artist that is my friend..I found out yesterday that he had an exhibit in NY with 大野样子(thats chinese for YOKO ONO)...aint that cool? this weekend we are going to NanDing, an old factory that an artist community bought up and uses as studios/galleries...so I can see some Chinese paintings to help get my brain going about ideas to paint.
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