Friday, May 30, 2008

Rufus Talks Film

did you see that movie "gone baby gone"? its about poor white people in boston, just like you!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


this is a photo of the wall of notices in dharamsala. It is kind of a record of missing people and tragic events that happen in shangri la....

Monday, May 26, 2008

sound capital photo show

Me and E.L.S. hit the hutongs for this cool art show. It showcases some large format photography of urban development and there was also the release of a book by the same photographer chronicaling the beijing punk rock scene.


was in the house this past weekend.

I made sure he got the personalized Ben "chopper" Radcliffe official Beijing adventure.

We did hit ritan park for fancy dinner than chilling at lounges overlooking the city. hutong tours an art show then the super duper san li tun adventure. I wont bore you with the details....


Here is a photo of a guys selling melons at the kashgar sunday market....

I know this stuff seams irrelevent but as american we just go to grocery stores and buy stuff. We can get anything anytime and have kind of lost touch with the reality of the world. The difference between the world and america is in the quality and variety. We get things like fruit, cheese, and bread in 5 or 6 varieties. The rest of the world these things are like wines there are endless varieties many little subtleties.

In central asia its all about the melons and raisins.

Friday, May 23, 2008


Other than earthquakes beijing also had a sandstorm this week. This was not a major one but for those who don't understand it the whole city is always covered in dust. take the worst allergies you have ever had and multiply it by 100000000.

anyways i found this picture online it is a picture of my block during tuesdays sandstorm. as you can see beijing has rather monumental proportions and huge streets. my apartment complex easily has 10,000 people living in it and it is right behind the massive building with 3 towers.


I know everyone wants earthquake info and stories. The truth is I dont really have any. I never felt it.

I have been attending a plethora of fund raising concerts at local watering holes.

The vibe here has been rather weird. The chinamen are really organized in ways I cant quite verbalize. Its wierd think about america after 9-11. the was a sense of unity and mass thought I also think of the whole if your against the war you don't support the troops bullshit. very grammar school averyone has to be on the same page or else. Well China is like that ALWAYS. And now there is this sense of mass unity or actually mass brainwashing.

This past monday on the one week anniversay of the quake there was a 3 minute moment at 2:28 pm where air raid sirens and all the police cars let of their sirens and the buses trains and taxis all honked their horns and then all the people came to the windows or streets and had a mass 3 minute moment.

It was fucking creepy as shit i was walking down the street with Eric lee Stryson and we thought war was declared or something. The city kind of froze all the people were on the streets motionless and all the cars stopped dead on the streets wherever they were. The whole fucking country did this and it was like being in a zombie movie or some shit.

sometimes the chinamen creep me out.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

This might be a bit crass but it was so funny i have to tell someone. I met up with a buddy who recently moved from beijing to hong kong and i asked him how hong kong was he said:

"never have I had so much consistent varietal sex"

I never even new varietal was a word.......

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


Here is a phoo of one of the indian border guards wearing his full border patrol plumage. I know if i was a pakistani guy trying to sneak into hindustan I would probabely not be afraid but would laugh my ass back to my side of the fence. Actually you cant tell from the photos again these guys are punjabis and are randy macho man savage sized.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Rm. 101 Sichuan Earthquake Fundraiser

Nine days after the earthquake, more than 22,000 people have died, many children are now orphans.
Do not forget them.
Sichuan people need our help.
And here is our chance to offer them our warm hearts and hands.

8 bands, non-stop music live concert for whole night
Donate 100rmb, get one "Wenchuan, we will be with you" T-shirt for FREE
Donate 200rmb, get one diamond make-up mirror luxury packege for FREE
Special cocktail service

Come to give Sichuanese your love, and get a record from the charity sale.
We are looking forward to seeing you then.

NOTE: all the donations and drink&food income will go directly to RED CROSS CHINA.

Event Hotline : 13401126829 / 13581664798 /
How to get to ROOM 101 PUB:

NO.199 Andingmennei road,
beside ANDING hotel
150m north from Jiaodao kou cross
400m south from Andingmen subway station

Greenie going away and new najie opening

so two big evens this past weekend were greenies going away party and huxley opened he new nanjie also known as "TUN" as in san li tun....



Thursday, May 15, 2008


here is another golden temple sikh i think this one is wierd the holga has no real focusing. It came out interesting because his body and cloths are in focuse but he leaned forward and that put just his face out of focus.

holga slideshow

Ok I am trying to post this again because i don't think it worked the first time. Here is a collection of some photos from the past year. I have hundreds of rolls of film developed and I am trying to go through them and make some prints and hi rez scans here because they are cheap. anyways let me know which ones you like and which ones i should ditch and if some there are some i missed.

there is also the link on the right that just displays all the holga photos posted on my blog.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008



the quest for employment

So I am still on the fence about the bar job. Its low pay and a lot of hours and my special lady friend is not to keen on me spending all weekend in a bar... I wonder why?

Today I had a job interview with a design firm... remember i used to do that. Anyways from the moment I walked in the door they seemed disinterested. They could only offer me 10k a month to start. which is like $1200/month.

Anyways the guy also said was overqualified and apologized for wasting my time.

Seeing as though i am makeing zero a month i was interested even if the pay did suck. 10k what my friends make in 2 days teaching english and i don't really want to work in a design firm but I was willing to do it as matter of survival but then they also told me they wouldn't get me a visa????

How the fuck do all these companies expect to hire people. You have to come in with the skills already work for shit money AND somehow get a 3rd party company get you a visa. I guess they want everyone to come in and teach english for a few years to get a work visa from teaching then hire them saving them the effort of registering and paying taxes and such.

Another problem I am realizing on the job search is that in the past 5 years my skill set has become pretty limited. There isn't a huge market for ex-disney shot finalers. I used to be able to do all kinds of things but 5 years doing CG animation lighting on proprietary software has left me with out options. Everyone is either looking for flash or autocad. These are 2 things that never interested me and I never wanted to do and the fact i never learned them is now catching up with me.

There are some big CG shops in town but they all seem to be run by chinese people or foreigners with odd film credentials and no one wants to even interview me.

Anyways i still have 3 months of rent paid up and $80 something dollars in the bank. If i live on rice i can last the next 3 months until I get deported.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


I like this one his head is way blown out but i really like the texture in the background

more chinese employment shenanigans

So that shady chinese english school called me up today and told me to come in around 6:30 and they would pay me the money they owed me.

I show up around 6:15ish and I ask for my money and hey say they don't have any money for me but want me to teach that night?????????????? what the cock is that shit?

I say "WHAT?". They then tell me they feel as though I owe them somehow and I should teach this class for me to make it up to them..... I am still confused I worked for 5 weeks with no pay and which was a weeks notice after them going back on their word and not paying me and offering me evenless than i was supposed to get but in the end still haven't received anything.

I found this very frustrating and told them "no fucking way I am teaching ever again for this school" they asked why? I told them it was because they never paid me for teaching. They said if i taught tonight they would pay me. i asked if they planned on paying me tonight..... no they replied they could not pay me until the 10th of the month.

I said it was just the tenth and i didn't get paid then they said it was because i quit. i told them i quit because i didn't get paid.... they failed to see any correlation between the two.

then they looked at me "OK this is your class room!"

i told them i was leaving and to call me when they had my money. they were flabergasted.

I then had my special lady friend call to sort this whole thing out in chinese. she argued with them for 30 minutes and when she hung up she came to the conclusion i just dont understand china.

she said this is the way all chinese business works. i said they agreed to 150 they gave me 100 and then offered 120 if i stayed. she said yes this is business they met me halfway??????
WTF? that makes no sense to accept less than the agreed amount. for me that means no trust in the situation and never do business again. apparently things are different.

So the school figured they would just have me show up and since there was people waiting i would somehow be obligated to teach pay or no pay and they could not fathom how i could just walk away from a bunch of students i have never met at a school that owes me 5 weeks back pay?

Does this make any sense to anyone I have having huge cultural issues today.

Monday, May 12, 2008


as many of you may have read there was an earthquake here in china today. it was a big one. I did not experience it myself because i was in the korean restaurant picking up some curry fried rice. When i got home my phone was blowing up with text messages about the aftershocks from the both the earthquakes and earthy rice crispy treats.


not sure but i think this guy was blowing me a kiss. as always it was shot with a holga on kodak 400 vc.

weekend update.

no exciting thing this weekend. i did not leave the house. the only exciting things of note was the soup i ate sunday and the all organic rice crispy treats i had for desert.

Saturday, May 10, 2008


Here is a uyghur man taken in kashgar. I was so excited when i took these portraits but now in comparison the the sikh they seem very plain. I wonder what could ever top india photography wise the only place i could think of would be morocco.

Friday, May 9, 2008

punch out holgas

frattboy gave me a funny idea. I went ahead and holgified these up. although i do not advocate holgarizing things and think you should actually use a real holga the way god intended it is ok to holgify mythical creatues.

more chinese business

So i am pretty much screwed by that english school. I have taught there for 5 weeks. I was told i would be paid last week never happened and then they told me they would pay me monday and BEGGED me to finish the week and give them time to find a teacher. I told them i would if they paid me on wednesday. Then on wednesday the I was told the manager wasn't in and I ended up teaching becaus ei felt bad because they class came all the way there for my class. I told them if they didn't have my money tonight I wouldn't teach. I just got back from there and no money they told me if i taught tonight they would pay me tomorrow. I told them no and left. I then bumped into a half the students showing up together. I apologized and explained the situation and told them i am really not moving and how i never got paid they told me how they signed up for a 6 month course and have had several new teachers and the school then canceled the course. They all urgeddd me to call some special chinese consumer reports hotline to report the school and they all went up to complain. I don't imagine i will ever see my money. So having this story to tell cost me 3900 or almost $600 depending on the sliding dollar.

Its funny all they had to do was be honest with me and pay me the agreed amount and i would have taught the class forever. Whats even funny is when i told them i would do it for less they called me greedy???

Its funny though this is how china works. Everyone gets paid in cash and only once a month at the end of the month. So you agree to a pay then a month goes buy and the chinese boss tells you some bullshit excuse and offers you less than agreed and if you threaten to quit they wont pay you at all. Most chinese people can't afford to lose a months pay so they just accept getting screwed and if someone quits they just replace them. In a country with a population of over a billion people are seen as expendable and if someone leaves they will just replace them and screw the next people and can do this forever. People here don't see their business as long term ventures its all about making a quick buck so retaining employees doesn't matter.

Anyways it's all part of the culteral experience.... and anyways its looking like i am getting into the bar business.


I like this one because of the texture of the wall. any thoughts.

Thursday, May 8, 2008


Another sikh portrait. I am sure people are getting tired of these and i promiose to mix it up soon but I really dug photographing them because of the diversity of portraits i was able to get. I am really into portraits right now. especially the mccurry ones from that book looking east.

exciting job offer

A chinese buddy of mine want me to work fulltime managing his very popular bar here in beijing. This place is like the Toulouse lautrec visions of the moulin rouge. It Definitly has the most diverse crowd anyone has ever seen. kind of like that f'ed up bar in star wars where han shoots greedo.

The main thing is i have never worked in a bar before let alone manage one. The thing is i wouldn't have to manage the actual business just do all the PR and advertising and be like a lao wai consultant on what lao wais dig because we make up 70% of the business. They want me to handle promotions and coordinate events. And just kind of hang out there greet people play fun guy and be white boy point man.

It seems like a creative position and I am still not sure and I am thinking it over. It obviously would be an amazing life experience to live in beijing during this time and manage a bar during the olympics but I really don't want to get in over my head. I know a lot of you guys have worked in bars and would love to hear some thoughts about just how fucked i would be.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Cina Chung Kuo

I just finished watching the Michelangelo Antonioni documentary on china. It was made in 1972 and i am not sure but I believe it was the first time a foreign crew was allowed to film in china. Anyways it was renounced by the chinese government and was banned in china until 2004. I personally found it fascinating. It is doesnlt really have any statement to make it is just a view into china in 1970's. Obviously living in beijing it was interesting for them to show places like hou hai and wang fujing but i also like little details of streets with no cars and the scenes in the shanghai tea house with elderly people all wearing old fashion commie mao suits all having mao ze dong pins on the chest. The thing is this is this was 1972 so it was just a couple years before mao died and the entire country changed direction. Also this is a view into china that most of my chinese friends were born into and grew up with. I highly recomend it if your interested in all things china.


here is a army/police guy or whatever he is. Anyways these dudes are scary as hell and friendly as teddy bears.

Monday, May 5, 2008

shady chinese business

So I have been teaching this english class. And have been get calls out he yin and yang to teach more. The thing is they are all fucking crazy because of how shady chinese business' are!

I mentioned before how the standard going rate is 150 yuan per hour. But all these schools offer this but then they dont pay you for class breaks so for every hour there is a 10 minute break which they dont pay you for and for a 2 hour session they say there is a 20 minute break 10 per hour which is reall only a ten minute break at the halfway point you dont even really have eventhough its meant for students and teachers have to use that time to prepare anyways. its a SCAM! I rejected these offers time and time againb ecause of pay the distance away and the general bullshit i sensed. They would never accept no and would re-phrase the same offer in many ways. Chinamen will tell you anything you want to hear to close a deal.

Anyways I have been teaching a class that offered me 100 yuan per hour but it was so close to my apartment i took it because it was easy and close. The group of people were all around 25-30 years old and smart and had all studies english since they were 13. The problem being they had chinese english teachers and understood grammer and vocab but had incredibly bad pronunciation and conversation skills. This was an easy thing for me because i can talk a lot and have after being born in boston college in savannah and living in california I prety much have the same accent as people on baywatch ( except for words like button and mountain where yyou cans till hear the quincy ).

Anyways I got this job through an agency that told me the pay was 120 but they would pay me 100 yuan per hour which sucked but then explained all this other things of how this place had 20 schools in beijing and the agency did all the placement for them. Anyways it seemed like a bad deal but i did it because again it was the first time i had ever done this and it was so close and at a super convenient time 7-9pm mon wed fri which would leave me open for other jobs I thought i would try it out.

Anyways the school was supposed to offer me a contract which they never did. On top of all this although it is easy this school provides a room and bodies they never provided me or the students with books and have no learning materials handouts or anything. I have to find stuff on theinternet and print it all out myself. Its a pain but really not that big a deal. Then right away they appoached me about the agency and told me they didn't know this agency and didn't want me to work through them. I sensed this was bullshhit because one of the agency people who took me to the school teaches there on saturday. They suggested that I call the agency and tell them i quit the job and wouldn't be teaching there anymore. I said this other teacher would know and that i had made a agreement and wouldn't lie.

Now its pay time they were supposed to have my money and they didn't. They also told me that they pay the agency 150 an hour which i get 100. I now realize the agency lied and told me they were getting 20 off the top now i realize they are getting 50 i am fucking bullshit. The school told me they wanted to hire me directly because it wasn't fair for me to lose money to the agency that all the students liked me and yada yada yada. I told them i am powerless in this situation and that i have no real power an no one in this situation has any legally binding contract. So I told them this whole deal was shady and i told them at the end of the class cycle ( last night ) they could either get the agency off my back and deal with me alone or i was going to work someplace else that way. They insisted this was something i needed to handle myself and they dont work with the agency. I told them I know they did have a relationship because of the other teacher and to handle it or I will just go to another school for 150. They begged me not to leave and told me i was the best teacher they had ... and by best they meant the only blonde and american teacher and because of this i had the largest class and more people wanted to join it.

So then I arrive last night curious to see they solution. Firstly again they had no money for me as was promised i was told it takes time... which makes no sense because i work under the table for CASH. And they also told me they had solved the problem and want me to stay. They fired the other teacher and have severed all relationships witht he agency and want me to stay. Then in their chinglish they were like "ok you stay now?". I said I was uncomfortable with this and did not want to be the cause of problems for other people. They assured me they other persons contract was over and there were other problems than me. I said if they were going to give me the whole 150 per hour i would stay. they then said they could not do 150 but could do 120. i said no way they paid the agency and told me they would work for me directly for the same. They told me i was getting 100 before and they could give me more 120. I said no. 150 or nothing. they then tried to play me and say why am i only about money and why quit because such a small amoutn "ok you stay 120!" I said no you said 150 last week i want 150 and I want it in writing. That why am i such a greedy person what about the students? I told them if its such a small amount of money why don't they just give it to me. I/ said that is the standard rate and we both knew it. They then asked if i would continue to teach until they found someone else. I told them i would for the 150 i was promised the week before. They then asked AGAIN if i would do it for 120. I said no I can get 150 at another school knowing htey would never find another teacher. Chinese always look for temporary wuick fixes then never deliver promises and then just try and make tiny concessions to keep everyon involved from quitting. They then asked me what i am going to do for money and that I should teach there until I found another job. I told them I am already working at another school and the other school gives me 150 and provides me with lesson plans and teaching materials and is run by westerners. They said what about your students what are you going to tell them you cant tell them you are leaving over money.... we hit a culteral road block here. I told them this is the schools problem and the school has responisbilites to teacher and the students and they needed to deal with it themsleves . THEY FREAKED OUT. ( they didn't know i heard from the students that the students paid for a 6 month course with me which the school neglected to tell me ) They told me i need to tell the class that i have to leave the country and to suggest them to switch to one of the other classes at the school. I told them i know nothing about the other programs at the school and I haven't even been paid and I am not doing this unless i get my money. In the end I agreed to stay until friday to see if they come up with they money and see if they want to pay me the 150 per hour.

Its funny they think i am stupid. What was really going on they thought they were paying the agency 150 and if they eliminated the agency they could save money and get me to work for them for less. I didn't bail on the agency even though they leid to me. The school then told me about the 150 and more bad things to turn me against the agency. Which it did. I also know they leid to me about them ending their relationship with the other teacher and the agency... and i am sure the school was going to tell the agency they also fired me. So the agency and they school both turned on each other.... and me.

They then thought they could offer me 150 to get me on their side only at the last minute retract the offer and try and TALK me into 120.

I dont understand WHY? they have a full class booked for 6 months and were already paying 150 per hour for a teacher anyways. They just got greedy. I guess its cultural differences because chinese teachers usually fall for the peer pressure as do kids right out of college.
But I have had real jobs for real companies and am not putting up with bullshit. I will probably not get any of the money owed to me but if i am being ripped off no matter how little or much i am just going to walk away now because I know the loss will just get greater. The thing is I wont work for them no matter what now. even if they offer me 250 per hour because i know I cannot trust them.

So here i am with roughly $83 left in the bank and now it looks like I am out 3600 yuan ($500 ) for this gig. My apartment is paid up until july and i really do have naother gig at another school but was looking forward to that money so it looks like I am living on dumplings until something else happens.


What are the thoughts on this holga. this one is one of my favorites so far. it has a cool turban you can see the knife on his side and really kind of captured to golden temple. the golden temple as seen in other photos is a giant pool of water that is surrounded by this path which the sikhs walk around and sometimes lounge around before making the pilgrimage into the actual temple in the middle of the pool.

May holiday

Last week was may holiday. all of the chinamen were off visiting their families which left us lao wais a whole week with out work to run amuk! this year was definately on of the crazier weeks i have experienced. It all finished up with greenies bday party.

we hit hou hai early to buy him some presents and got all commied out while waiting for huxleys to open/ the last one is my dissapointment of them not opening until 6:00ish.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

original holgas

here are some of the original holgas i took on my trip to mongolia/beijing about 2 years ago. I bought my first holga for this trip done any photography before. Now i live in china and this is pretty much all i do and have been hooked on the holga ever since. funny thing is i had the bulb setting on and overexposed more than half the rolls of film.


Saturday, May 3, 2008


laes holga. its a holiday weekend photos willl follow.....

Friday, May 2, 2008


last night was a chinese holiday so this one is late.

Thursday, May 1, 2008


don know what to say was out unitl 6am last night drinking absythe prety much the same tonight.