Friday, August 19, 2016

World Premieres, Red Carpets, The Usual

I've been invited to the world premiere of the movie I did in Jerusalem. Will it be as extravagant as a Hollywood premiere? I'm going to go ahead and guess no. This was a small movie with a crew the size of a student film at UCLA. The entire budget was smaller than just the marketing budget of a Hollywood comic book movie.

I don't know how they do premieres in Jerusalem, but I'm not expecting paparazzi and legions of screaming fans. If there is a red carpet, I probably won't be allowed to walk on it. My part is so small, they'll make me walk on the sidewalk like a common criminal.

Lily recently pointed out that I was cut out of the last movie I did. I don't think that's happened this time. If they cut out my part, it would change the tone of the story. My part is small, but important, like Greedo in Star Wars. If they cut out Greedo, no one could argue about who shot first. I also don't think they'd invite me to the premiere and send me plane tickets if they cut my part.

I'm looking forward to going back to Jerusalem. I can pick up some more spices. I'm not looking forward to going to Jerusalem in August. It's the end of August, but it's probably still going to be entirely too hot. Hong Kong is oppressively humid in August, but it's not nearly as hot as Jerusalem. Does Yves Saint Laurent make sunscreen?

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Full Disclosure

How much should you reveal about yourself on a first date? I think if you have a child, you might want to mention that. If you were abducted by aliens who implanted GPS tracking in your brain, maybe save that for another time.

Lance told me over ice cream that he had testicular cancer a few years ago. And, yes, that's why I'm calling him Lance. His story was interesting. Having never had any testicles myself, it's educational to hear someone talk about going from two to one. Even though most people will never look at you and know, there must be some kind of psychological effect to having fewer man bits.

He might have described the surgical procedure in too much detail, but I was surprised by how they drop the ball. I always assumed they cut through the scrotum and cut it out, but apparently they cut into the lower abdomen, yank it out and snip it off. I don't know if that's easier for the surgeon, but a scar on your abdomen has to be easier than a scar on your scrotum.

In Lance's case, this was all done a long time ago in Canada and he's fully recovered. He gets checked out every once in a while, but he's completely cancer free. That's good news, of course, but during this discussion, he forced me to think about his genitals. I don't know if that was intentional or if he was just describing an important issue in his life, but it might be a brilliant way to get a girl to think about you naked.

We've only had one date, so I haven't seen his scar or anything else, but I've definitely thought about his crotch more than I would have otherwise.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

First World Problems

No air conditioning. In Hong Kong. In August. Nothing could be worse.

Our air conditioning went out yesterday. The building has central air and heating, so it's not as simple as changing an air filter or replacing a unit. When it goes out, someone has to figure out where the problem is. It could be one of the big machines on the roof or one of the big machines in the basement. It could be one of the connections between one of those machines and our apartment. It could be a million different things.

Fortunately, we never use the heater. It's never cold enough here.

The day without air conditioning was a nightmare. Opening some windows isn't an option. Just one open window would bring in every mosquito in the country. They lie in wait, ready to pounce in an instant. Just opening the door to the balcony is tempting fate.

Fans exist, but we only have a tiny little fan that's more a joke than anything else. We don't really need any fans because we have central air and heating.

I would have left the apartment for the day, but I had things to do indoors. You can't always spend the day at the mall.

While sitting in my own private sauna, I was fully aware that millions of people in the world deal with genuine hardships every single day. I have shelter, plenty of food and more than enough clean water. But it was still terrible.

When the air conditioning came back on, it was the greatest thing in the world. Maybe it's sad that I'm so dependent on such a modern convenience, but that cool air feels much better than the oppressive humidity.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Typhoon Nida



Typhoon Nida was the second typhoon of the season and the first to hit Hong Kong. Typhoon Nepartak was larger, and brought plenty of rain, but hit north of us in Fujian.

As usual, the authorities issued their warnings and everyone braced for impact. As usual, it was a tempest in a teapot. There was some rain, but this is the rainy season. We'll probably get a foot of rain this month with or without any typhoons. There was some wind that knocked down a few trees, but we've all seen worse. Hong Kong is a pretty strong city. It takes more than heavy wind to bring any of these buildings down. It's usually the Philippines and Mainland China that gets hit the hardest. Thankfully, I haven't heard about any deaths from Nida yet.

When I first moved here, it bothered me when it looked like everyone was panicking and then nothing really happened. It's not that I wanted to watch a catastrophe, but I didn't understand why everyone was so worried about a little wind and rain.

Now I'm glad that the government takes each typhoon so seriously. Most of the typhoons since I've been here really didn't warrant shutting everything down, but it's better that they take the precautions than ignore it and get hit by a bigger storm than anyone expected. As it is, even the smallest typhoons will close down government offices, schools and most transportation. I used to find that frustrating, but now I appreciate getting a day off work. My apartment balcony is an especially nice place to watch a typhoon whirl by.