Just thought I'd check in with LJ, its been almost a year. Things are getting better for me here in China.
- Location:Chengdu, China
- Music:"We're So Happy" by Danse Society
Your result for The Personality Plus Test...
You scored 56 Sanguine, 55 Choleric, 54 Melancholy and 36 Phlegmatic!
You are the life of the party. When you enter a room, everybody knows. You love telling jokes. You say to your friends "have I told you the joke about..." and they often say yes and roll their eyes. You feel the urge to fill silence in conversations. You make friends easily and have a childlike outlook on life that is exciting and inspiring and charming.
Tip: When you get interrupted while talking, wait for somebody else to ask you to continue what you were saying. Because sometimes what you ate for dinner and your bowel movements that ensued are not as exciting to others as you may think.
Wow, you love to work! You love to accomplish something, anything, as long as you can look behind you at the end of the day and say, "Gee I did a great job today!" Like the Sanguine you are extrovert and you are a great talker in social situations. But unlike the Sanguine, being popular isn't your main drive. The only thing better than arguing with somebody is somebody that wants your precious words of wisdom. Because lets face it, you know it all, and how it should be done. Right?
Tip: Every time you speak you need to ask yourself, does this sound bossy, self-righteous, and cold hearted. Using tact can be the most effective method of getting a message across.
You can be quite outgoing for an introvert. You like parties if you know everybody there, otherwise it's a bit scary. Unlike the sanguine you are sensitive to others personal space, and others feelings in general. A movie can move you to tears and when you're depressed you need the company of a best friend to be depressed with you. You have visions of neatness and everything in your house being tidy. You're quite the perfectionist and want everything in its place. But you procrastinate if the circumstances aren't ideal, and they never are. So nothing perfect ever gets done, and this depresses you.
Tip: Don't get too offended when the extrovert personalities are blunt and rude or invade your personal space. They are doing to you, what they would be happy for you to do back to them. It's who they are. Don't hate.
You're so mild mannered, who could possibly have a beef with you? You don't get upset or excited. You can be lazy sometimes, but it's not as bad as being a bossy over-sensitive show-pony right? The other personalities might say Phlegmatic isn't a personality but a lack of one, but they don't have the inner peace of a phlegmatic. You will do anything to end an argument, you might even find yourself mediating other peoples problems.
Tip: You don't have a problem following a list and completing tasks, the problem is making the list. Get a piece of paper write down: take out the trash, wash the car, clean up the house. Now tell a choleric to hassle you if you haven't done them by the end of the week. (it won't be a bother to them, their eyes will light up like you're giving them candy)http://www.helloquizzy.com/tests/the-personality-plus-test
I went mainly to go to this museum to
Stalin, I took many photos but shall only post a few here, like
this one of "young Stalin" taken while he was studying to be an Orthodox priest
eventually, he was thrown out for handing out Marxist literature, after that he became full time revolutionary with
the "proper beard" and all, of course he had the last laugh on them, the museum to him is the main building of the seminary
and he has his parents little house moved to right in front of it, I went inside, took photos, quite tiny in there
this is a statue of "Young Stalin" inside the museum, next
wife 1, she died young, he supposedly loved her dearly, I wonder what history would have been like had she lived a lot longer?
pictures of the orginal revolutionary council from the failed 1905 revolution Lenin and his "12 disciples" with Stalin as his right hand man only there were really 14 members and Lenin's right hand man was Trotsky
, this was the one photo in the whole place showing him, wall and wall of photos tracing the history of the revolution from before 05, after, the civil war, the period after and just one of Trotsky history re-written still though, I really expected to find of him here, to be honest
like with wall showing his "Marshalls" from the second world war, excluding Marshall Zhukov
arguably one of the great generals of all of history, yet he is completely wiped from the walls and words of the museum detailing WW2 unbelievable! I took hundreds more photos in the museum and have uploaded many, but let's move on to what I saw outside of it
this huge crumbling castle on a massive hill, which I first took a long walk all around it then
on the way around it
A bunch of monuments here are a few of them , I think they really capture the "martial spirit" of the town. Having been to Gori, I can now see how Stalin was from there. Also, just as I was completing my long circumnavigation of the bottom of the castle
some massive figures caught my eye
I took photos of them all, this one was in the best shape, all had fallen apart differently. At the time, as I stared at them, they became, for me, just so symbolic of the whole country of Georgia.
finally, I started on the road up to the top
as the road got real rugged and decided to skirt
around the outside of the top, do not do this if you come here, I REPEAT, DO NOT DO THIS, it was dangerous and stupid and I was lucky to find
another way "in" which I took the above pic of once I was through, and once up there I was
just walking around, there's the entrance I was supposed to come through
I continued to snap away, in a high up, huge, empty space that seems to have been filled in with dirt so that its massive walls don't crumble anymore, but I
almost fell down this hole which made me laugh, pretty loud I guess, because suddenly I was not alone, I looked down and there was
this adorable little puppy, another one of those golden moments that has happened during the mostly shitty time I have had here I immediately said "Hey little Loma" and starting petting his head, he was a playful puppy, then after a few minutes his mother(I assume) came up to and started nursing, I left them to it and headed back down...
after watching "127 Hours" great film, I was inspired to do a little more hiking, so I went down by the river
then something wonderful happened at this "rock"
I sat down on it for a moment and all these butterflies just landed on me
they looked, sort of, like that, I wish I had gotten a photo of them, but when I reached for my camera they flew away
this is as close as I could find, which was not easy, since if you look for images of butterflies from Georgia, you get ones from the USA
anyways, back to
here things got tricky, I wanted to get inside that hole
but all I could do was climb higher or get totally wet, so I went up to here
looked down some on these big things which had been pushed into the river when the snow was plowed off the road at the end of winter
then I decided to find another place to cross
I made my way into the woods, saw this abandoned structure and near it
an old wooden bridge, I feared that it would not hold my 100 kilos of weight, but
I went for it anyways
this is the view from the center of that rickey old bridge
I had planned on using it to get back, but
this path beckoned me
up it took me
then along the far side of the river, it was slow going for a while, since I could easily fall in
some boys were playing on the other side of it though
one even climbed up the side I was on, then
jumped in! eventually, the path I was on curved away from the river and
into the woods, it got real quiet and I was all alone, happy though, so I took this photo, to commemorate one of the most peaceful moments I have experienced in my entire life, no, really, it was just so quiet and away from everything there on that bend in the path, I stayed there for quite a while, just standing there with my eyes closed and breathing
as the path continued away from the river, I had to cross this stream
now I was a little wet
some ducks guided me back to the main river and I crossed it
here, where it seemed pretty shallow, but
not shallow enough, at least though I was near
some old stairs that took me to a path leading back to the main highway...
let's start with:
a late night summer storm from back in early July?
the rain was a welcomed relief from the oppressive heat of summer there
after a while though I saw lots of lightning too, so I started tinkering around with my camera to shoot
from the "capturing mode" in the dark, which had a long delay between taking the photo and processing it
so the best I could get were shots like the one above, it seemed just too hard to know when lightning is going to strike, still
I sat in my room for a while, seeing what images I could get, the next was taken right
during a bright flash of lightning, I had noticed that the lightning seemed to come in surges of 2 or 3 usually, so I rushed out and snapped another photo
somehow I actually managed to catch a pic of lightning, I don't know, it, sort of, thrilled me
I know this camera is not really meant for shooting in the dark much a definitely not catching lightning
now I am going to skip ahead to the short time I spent in the mining town of
Tkibuli, most of the mines are abandoned and the Olympic size swimming pool
now is cracked
and empty. Thinking back, I am glad "TLG" moved me from there quickly, it was not much better than the village I had come from really, so then off on my trip to "Socal" for 7 weeks I went
taking a picture of this metal "Don Quixote" outside of the the capitol, when I got back it was to
a new school for me, another crumbling ruin of a building with a toppled monument to
"Uncle Joe", but there were tasty
grapes to be eaten, though most end up being
stomped into wine byvirginal
adolescent Georgian boys
However, the main real industry of the area I was in "Zestaponi" revolved around
an old steel plant, which is surrounded by 4 of
these beauties, to me, they are kind of like minarets only instead of this being a mosque, its a temple of Soviet Industrialism
I tried to get inside many times, never succeeding, it was deemed too dangerous from me, but I did take some pics of the "art" outside of it
OK, thats enough for now
coming up later will be more stuff!
Kutaisi is the capitol of the of the province I am in(Imereti) & the 2nd largest city in Georgia, year round*
1st stop was this building, Nugo went in to talk somebody, I went to go find some food to eat, figuring that since Kutaisi is so big I could get some "Western food" while he was inside. I failed, but still, seen one big gym, seen em all. I mean its not like its Pauley or Staples Center, still, the Georgians were quite impressed with it so I took a pic just to appease them. Moving on
another disappointment, sort of, since you cannot walk around it for obvious reasons, but at least this one is old and big
There, now you know all about it, well not really, see what happened was in 1692, the Turks invaded the "The Kingdom of Imereti" defeated their army and sieged the cathedral, eventually destroying much of it, its sort of a symbol of Georgian resistance against impossible odds, its eventual restoration will be a great day for this little country full of so much pluck. See, not everything I have to say about Georgia is bad.
this is inside the little area they let you inside near the front, from there we took the kids to
an amusement park
they seemed to like it, next up, some pics I took in Zep... of
this and the friezes behind going first from to right to left
and the last one on the left:
I assume they are somehow relating "Georgain history" though in a highly symbolic matter, seems to be a lot of religion mixed with topless women...
*=in summer, Batumi swells from tourists to become the 2nd most populous city in Georgia
after a long walk we came to the above building, and on the way there
we tied pieces of cloth to these trees/bushes & the path rose higher
this sign was posted at the front entrance, luckily I was wearing pants
then I went up these stairs, nobody stopped me & I carefully hugged the wall
while I took this picture
my next stop was the chapel, it seems to have been recently restored
off to one side was somebody's coffin and on the other side
a narrow, low passage way you are supposed to go through three times
here is the view from inside, after that I left the chapel and saw
this sign, being an American, this sign only further emboldened me and so
the bell tower awaited
it was a bit windy up there so I came down quick but not quick enough for
seen from a distance, I went there yesterday with
my fave class(smallest too) and their mothers and Nugo driving the van
its an impressive building, especially considering it is 900 years old and has been attacked by both the Turks and Persians
here is one of the doors they tried and failed to get through, religious centers like this were at the heart of Georgian nationalism
frequently when the country was taken over, places like this, high up and hard to take are where Georgian identity was kept alive
a shot up at the bottom of the main dome
a holy relic of some Orthodox Saint, but then I wandered out of the main building and
up these stairs, I don't think I was supposed to do that, but it gave me access to
this room, with some very old icons and behind them is like a Orthodox version of "the confessional"
After going back down and wandering more I came upon a closed door which I opened and went into
this room, my camera helped with actually seeing the room, here is
the ceiling &
this picture which was just propped up along one of the walls, its painted on real old wood, its a wonder its intact still
one of the many "fat angel" frescoes on the walls in the monastery
A priest telling the children about King David* right above his
this censor? burned from the time of his death 1125 to 1921, when it was exstinguished by the Soviets
a look into the gloomy depths underneath where the monks use to live...
*=he was resposible for basically creating the medivial Georgian state, which helped to keep back the Turkish onslaught for a couple of centuries
and he had this monastery built
went to Batumi for a weekend, had fun there, but it was expensive for me
Loma bit another person so "they" killed him, its best if I say more about this, but I feel its important that I mention that it happened
my picture appeared in some newspaper, I can only hope that whatever was said was positive
helped raise a fallen tree
petted a wild horse down by the river
Georgian Easter, wine for Jesus
eggs for the dead, thats just how they roll here, OK?
the new dog, they call him "Bakula" I call him "Scott"
(not that anyone here gets the joke, its these little things that help get me through, you know?)
he has a habit of taking shoes, except for mine, could it be because I treat him kindly while "they"
do shit like this to him, I fear he has a bullet in his future much like Loma had for an end, "they" may just do it because he bites shoes not people!
anyways one last pic because its funny and I have no idea what it means:
saw this at a bus stop just had to take a pic of it
or at least that's what I am calling it, for some reason it was held on a Wednesday night, even though there was school the next day, so I did not even want to go, but for
Giorgi I did, here he is with two girls from his class
this being Georgia there was a lot of unnecessary toasting and wine drinking, but somehow I muddled through along with the
ladies sitting opposite, I could see that they too grew bored with the long-windedness of their elders, eventually some of the girls got up to
dance, while the boys just looked on, this quickly started to annoy me so I put my camera away and got up to dance with them until
the boys joined in, even one of my
co-teachers was up too, which was nice, finally I went out for some air and a smoke, where
this picture was taken, seems I am actually smiling...
We were driving by real fast when I saw it, but I took this photo and Nugo decided to take me to it, once there I saw
An Orthodox priest, I did not want to get to close to him though because all Georgians kiss priests hands and have him bless them, so if I went up to him and did not do this then it might seem like I was insulting him.
I was unsure how much I could go onto the grounds of the place so at first I just had Nugo take a picture of me in front of it. Then I examined the doorway closer
Finding more signs of (likely) Soviet era defacement. I should note that this is really nothing compared to what happened to most religious buildings here in Georgia, thousands were totally destroyed and many "re-purposed".
This pic is of a window with the shape of the distinctive "Georgian" cross in the window, this is the one of the things that marks it as being a very old building, the usage of such crosses died out by the time of the late medevial period. Next I took a pic into a darkened, but opened doorway
It was only by looking at the photo that I could see that there seemed to be a table with literature inside and a donation box, but before going inside I wanted a pic of the
bell tower, I actually took several of it from a variety of angles and when I was done I almost stumbled over
this lamb, it was kind of spooky how just seemed to come out of nowhere and creep up next to me, next I went
inside, after making a small donation, I went
down the dark corridor until reaching another
archway, with this picture carved and painted into the wall above it, from the very dim light ahead I could tell a large room was up ahead
I entered the main chapel area and snapped a bunch of photos so I could actually see where I was, the only other light came from the 2 small windows
(1 pictured above) &
another on the other side of the room, after this I snapped a bunch of pics of the ceiling here are
two more of them, it was really weird being in there, in the dark silence, snapping photos and then looking at them in the camera so I got out of there pretty quick
seeing the sheep again before I left..
that was my destination a couple months back, we drove most of the way in Nugo's "Lada - Neva" then parked near the
radio & satellite towers near the chapel, from there it was a short walk
to it, the first thing I noticed was that the cross on top had been
hacked off, you see this at a lot of religious sites here, but I suppose it is to be expected in a country that suffered under Soviet domination for more than 70 years
next was the view down, which was pretty far, that was as far as I planned on going, but then
Nino and her cousin walked around the edge of the chapel(and the cliff it is situated on), I walked around too and planned on walking back the way I had come, but then they made it clear to me that I was not supposed to go from left to right, only right to left, and you are supposed to do this 3 times before entering the chapel, so I did that.
Once inside, it was pretty small, I took a picture of the small altar, but it was blurry for some reason so this one &
this one of the curtain in front of it will have to do, maybe its for the best, I don't think Nugo wanted me taking pictures in there anyways...
See the Georgian 4th Infantry brigade was on some kind of winter exercises, I took a bunch of photos, mainly of a bunch of them doing PT, while 2 crews were limbering one, what looked like a 75mm? howitzer, and another crew was loading one they had already set up. Once I had as many pics as I wanted we got back in the van and Nugo drove off. Not half a click away a cop stopped us, ordered me out of the van and demanded to see my camera. I refused to give it to him and just kept saying "Amerikeli, Amerikeli" This has gotten me out of most problems here, I walk where I want, when I want, take pics of what I want, all under the guise of "Amerikeli, Amerikeli." It seemed not this time though, eventually Nugo convinced them to send for someone who spoke English, this turned out to be some "Special Security Police" guy in a Mercedes, who had spent a year in New York about 20 years ago, needless to say, his English was not very good, but he did follow along as I deleted all the Army photos I had taken, then before he left, he took a photo of me and had Nugo take one of me with him!
He did let me keep the one of the sign for the base though, I guess this is the extent of current Georgian-American cooperation, at least here in Georgia, I bet this will change if Obama sells thems some Stingers(A-A weapons) & Dragons(A-T weapons) So come on dude, get with it!
Anyways, speaking of Georgia and war, every classroom has
this poster up in it, its the local war dead from the 92-94(mainly) civil war, by local I mean more than this town of 2000ish, its for the province, which still means a lot for an area of about 50 to 100 thousand people.
After the episode with army and cops we were caught on the road in a blizzard, and the car started running badly, we took shelter in a semi-abandoned building while Nugo and Giorgi did some repair work, I did some wandering and photo taking:
This is the panel of a big huge sheet metal press machine, I look this photo because it says "CCCP" on it! near it were a whole bunch of pipes that had been cut off and now
trees were growing up through the holes in them, this was a pretty "12 Monkeys" moment for me and just to show somebody was indeed here in the early 90s?
this poster of Mariah hung on the bathroom door, still lookin good baby!
Now usually after going to the bathroom here, I must make do with near freezing Georgian water to dry my hands with, but in this building there was hot water to use, which was nice. However, I should have made sure not to lean my head on any of the pipes
I can tell you, that hurt a lot, and this photo of the mark it left was taken just today, or a week after it happened. Shortly after that, we headed back on the road, but the van broke down again. This time
the took the whole thing apart and
found the problem, after replacing that, it was another 2 hour drive to my current home of "V-town"
OK, so this post was going to be a long winded post about how I rediscovered my inner vegeterian, but I just slipped on the ice on the way to buy a pack of Georgian ciggies and my back is killing me, so anyways
You see that little piggy on the left there?
He got slaughtered
before my eyes, I've skipped all the pics of his long bloody death rattle, followed by the long drawn out carving of him up(after being moved to a different location)
but I think this was one of blood on the snow just says something else or
this one of Leo, Nugo's father holding up the pig's head, this old timer was born during WW2, to a war widow, the last of 9 children, but she lived into her 80s.
Now Leo took an immeadiate disliking to me becuase of my German last name, given some German killed his Mama(thats Georgian for father, I know, how crazy is that!) during the battle of Stalingrad whilst he was still in his Deda's(Deda is Georgian for mother, yes, I know, its all backwards here) womb.
However, after drinking enough wine with him and toasting to their victory in "The Great Patriotic War" he seems OK with me now.
Oh yeah, more about the pig, while they were carving him up
His parents looked on from the other side of the fence, this moment was a little heart breaking for me and when
Giorgi showed me some of the meat he was going to cook, I swore to myself I would not eat any of poor Mr Piggy! Even though, I had not eaten since the night before, I was cold, and we had trekked 6 km up to an altitude of about 1400 m. However, once
the pork was cooking over the hot coals, Mr Piggy was transformed to something delicious smelling that I just had to eat, and I did, a lot of him.
None of Mr Piggy went to waste though, there are still jars and jars of him here in one of the buildings, eventually all that was left was his
ps: Look, to me, its brutal here in many ways, but its all tempered by necessity, I mean I would not want to live like this for more than a year, but it has already been an eye opening experience for me. Still, I will try and make my next post(whenever that may be) more uplifting, cheers
It all started out tamely with me writing my name in the snow and
Nino taking a picture of me, then Giorgi threw the first snowball @ her &
dared her to strike back, it escalated from there with
(cousin) Giorgi becoming involved, snow started to get
all over the place and
disaster loomed, with the struck window
Nugo came out and called an end to it, all that was left was for
the clean up. There are no real "winners" in a snowball fight, however, I think the real loser was
Loma, unable to defend himself, he seemed to take strikes from all quarters(especially his house) war, it is always hardest on the innocent, aint it?
Thats Nugo and Giorgi chopping down a tree for firewood.
I wanted to get to use an ax or maybe even a chainsaw, but Nugo, wisely decided to limit me to
stacking the wood, however, I, sort of got the last laugh on this score about who would be the most danger to oneself when
cousin Giorgi(about half of all males in Georgia are named "Giorgi")
cut his toe with an axe. This after I warned him, as best I could, to get some boots on. It was weird though, after he hit his slipper(and the foot in it) with the axe, he did not cry out and seemed more concerned in Nugo not finding out than about stopping the blood flow. I helped him hobble back to the house. Eventually showing him the scar on one of my toes where I cut it with an axe when I was a little younger than him.
However, I screamed and screamed when I cut my toe. Next up for me was
branch clearing, at this point, the branches are behind me in a haphazard mess and must be taken to the
top of the hill &
stacked, this done, I rested...
I wanna go back
To the man I use to be
My gosh, he was a fine fellow!
The worst he had to fear
A bug called Y2K
Let's go to that eternal yesterday
Before bitterness began
The world before that pussy Gore
Gave us all to that dick Bush
Before the towers fell
Before fake WMDs
And all the horror which followed
Before Obama bailed out Wall Street scum
To being in my 20's
Not near 40
I just wanna go back
Its the yesterday I long for
So I spent a bunch of lari(their $ here) to get internet access I can live with. And well, so far, my email loads quicker, but FB does not load right still, oh well, I will just stick to less complicated sites and use most of my bandwith to upload photos. Here are some I already put on photobucket:
Let's start with the family dog, "Loma" when I first came here a month ago, he tried to bite my arm off when I went to pet him, but after 2 weeks of talking to him nicely and feeding him scraps he loves me. If only people were like that, huh?
I discovered this image of Lenin lying face down, but I recognized the outline and turned it over and lo and behold, there he was, then man himself, like the people here I have conflicting feelings about old Lenny, all be it for likely totally different reasons.
This is the school I am teaching English at, on a closer inspection there is a plaque partially in English next to the front door:
From here on out I shall just refer to the town of 2 thousand people I am in as "V-town".
The house I am staying in.
A photo of my room from the doorway leading to the kitchen where at least one person is in at all times. Also, from this angle, you cannot see the big desk they have provided me with, I use its drawers to store a lot of my clothes and a bunch of my other stuff, books, papers, electronics, etc, etc, is spread out on top of it, of course.
The road into V-town, if the Russians were to invade the rest of Georgia from their forward positions in "South Ossetia" this is one of the roads they would come down about 80 or 90 km from here. Most of the country around here is like this, beautiful too and well, easily defendable by the incredibly hardy & tough Georgian people. However, the Russians would simply crush them with air power. Really, all we the USA would have to do in order to ensure Georgia's survival is give them air defense support, such an assurance would be enough to dissuade any more offensive action by them(the Russians), no matter who is their current tyrant, hooah.
Now back to scenic Georgia, it really is a beautiful place and I intend on exploring it more once the weather is better, especially up at
it pronounced: buh-zen-iv-e, this 6 km hike is one that climbs to about 1500 meters and I made the trek already once up, it almost killed me, I won't go into the details, but it was a truly harrowing experience, one I will not be forgetting anytime soon. I have since been back up by 4x4 and am likely to be visiting it again since that is where the Nugo's(the father of the family I am staying with) father's home is. They killed a pig up there, the 2nd time I went up there, I have photos of that too. I have so many photos already, over 600, many still to upload. However, this posting process has become real tedious, copy and pasting the html for each of these photos is as buggy as accessing Facebook, so I am unsure how many more posts like this I will be making from here, it is just so annoying, I am trying to keep from getting angry by continuing to type.
Anyways, it seems to have worked, here's another photo:
There he is, good old "Uncle Joe", who, many here, actually still hold in quite regard here, mainly because he was Georgian not Russian! I know a lot of people in "the West" do not even realize that.
And now one last photo, just for some "compare/contrast"
I just thought the 2nd to last photo might have given the wrong impression about the women of Georgia, many are just so darn dreamy, you know?
However, don't get any ideas about the above beauty she is only 16, oh well...