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pré·cis 摘要 issue six volume one

march.twenty fifteen


cargo: pr茅路cis publisher & editor: chris stecher graphics: stech design photography: stech, melissa davis, eric sherman, katlyn murray, YPDR, edward lalonde, aram sohigian, gaylynn thornton contributing writers: kat tosi, chris parizo, william griffith, katlyn murray, cheryl lister, aram sohigian, penelope rocketship, ratdog, alex lanson, jamie lynn bellanger banta, ___________________________ content submissions and /or letters to the editor are welcome. please keep letters to 250 words,submissions to 750 words, photos and images need to be at least 200 dpi at size. contact : stech@outlook.com

A WORD OR TWO ABOUT IMAGES AND CONTENT All images and content are wholly and completely owned by the respective contributor. No redistribution of images, artwork or republication of any content can be made without written authorization of the individual contributor.

PERIOD. 01

editorias {rant} - 2 gigs {music} - 3,5-6 kats window on china {Music} - 4 Vietnam {travel} - 7-16 the ride {travel} - 17,18 word on the street {music} - 19-20 Restaurant Review {food} - 21-22 Life off the grid {travel} - 23-26 from the bay to beijing {travel} - 27,28 Bread and Puppet {history} - 29-34 Teacher Burnout {teaching} - 35,36 Gig review (VA Lounge 1.13.15) {music} - 37,38 ICVS {Pets and Animals} 41-44 beastly diction {fiction} - 45,46 featured images {eric sherman} - 47, 48 Reeling from Ruby. Disaster relief {stepping up} - 49, 50

GIGS, A precautionary Tale - 51,-54 Expat Nine Ball - 55,56 poetry - 61 cartoon {joel fremming} - back page images- 39. 40. 57. 63-66


pré·cis editorias No words. I lost another friend today. More accurately, he was a friend of close friends of mine,. But with the power of social media, his humor and unique take on life in general, he quickly became someone whose posts I would always read with enthusiasm, and thus he became a friend of mine. And two days ago, he killed himself. We have been losing many people as of late, and more than too many to suicide. The blessing and curse of the times we live in now (read social media), is the ability to go back over old posts of your friends who have decided to take the final page into their own hands. The blessings are that you can actually go back and see their words and pictures up to the point where those who have made the ultimate decision to swallow the bullet. The curse is trying to read in to all of their posts, looking for a hint or a sign that they were trying to get a simple hidden message out. “I am not doing Please Help.”

well.

The voyeur in all of us looks at the tragedy on Facebook, Twitter, et al., like watching a car wreck, reading all of the posts from friends of your friend that you may have never even met. The friend in all of us wants answers. The unfortunate part of that is that

sometimes there just aren’t any. I did an editorial after Robin Williams suicide, and caught an unsurprising amount of flack for my lack of compassion. I also lost more than a few friends on social media for it. Thats cool.. my thoughts on taking ones own life are and remains to be, that it is the cowards way out. But after having more than several close friends of mine and family members choose this option, I believe that I have earned the right to that opinion.

I am guessing the best thing we can do is try to be better friends and family to our loved ones.

Start listening more, and dwelling on your own problems less. It could be that forcing But the one thing I will admit that my opin- yourself to stop once in a while and really ion is callous, and further, thatmore needs take notice of a possibly seemingly innocto be done about opening our ears, listen- uous comment can make the difference. ing to your loved ones, looking for signs And start giving big hugs to people. before the tragety strikes. Because that never goes out of style. It should be easier now with all of the tools Start being a better human being in genthat keep us connected. eral. If we all do it, maybe , just possibly, But maybe the same technology that is al- we can try to catch the early warning lowing us to connect with everyone 5000 signs of suicidal depression. mile away in an instant is also making us more immune to noticing subtle signals So I apologize if this editorial is a bit dark, but it is starting to get to a point where we coming from those we care about. have to start thinking more about others, I do know this. Life itself is a battle, and less about ourselves. and I am a firm believer that these days we have more to deal with than So yeah. As the title states, there 20 or 30 years ago, and that, as a are no words, because I have none. whole, we are bombarded with more However I think its time for us to start to dismal news and depressing information find them. an a daily basis that our parents and Your friend or family members life may grandparents ever did. just depend on it. Maybe that is what explains the acceleration of good friends deciding to check out Rob was and is a great person. He left far too soon and left many people asking a far too early. lot of questions. I don’t know what the solution is. The problem is that’s all we are left with, The only thing I do know is that good and absolutely no answers. people die, sometimes by their own hand, and that occasionally, there is not a damn Hopefully though, if we start using our words, we can start stemming the tide of thing you can do to stop it. our losses.

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BEIJING UNDERGROUND SHOWCASE@ DDC Club 1.24.2015

Honky Tonk Demons

WHAI

Carlo hits the skins

gigs.

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The cast and crew at DDC


Djang San

Kat’s Window ~ on China By Kat Tosi

on Facebook called “Beijing Underground” and a website www.beijing-underground. com. I did interviews of people behind the scenes in the Beijing Underground. When the group on Facebook reached 5000 people I realized I had now the opportunity to let more people know about the scene in China and Asia and that I could turn this into something real.” WHAI, Tulegur, Djang San + Band, Luv Plastik , The Honky Tonk Demons, Ravi and the shadows and Metoo all under one roof, for

Excellent Eclectic Night at Beijing’s Underground Showcase It was a rare chance to see a vast array of Beijing talent on one stage at the first Beijing Underground Showcase on the 24th January at the DDC (Dawn Dusk Club). As is typical for pretty much any music scene, bands tend to perform with the same acts and groups of similar genre, sound and/or crowd. Not in this case.

Beijing Underground Showcase put all of the major music sounds and players in a blender and came up with an 8-hour event that featured almost everything; Mongolian folk, puppet theatre electronica, Americana, progressive, experimental and new rock, bass and drums: it was all there and then some.

and with a crowd ranging in an age range from 4-70, yes indeed, this was one heck of a mixer. The DDC club is architecturally stunning, with a mix of old Beijing hutong style and modern lounge coolness. It fit the bill

Djang San and Dan Taylor in the Green Room

WHAI

This amazing event was organized by Beijing’s musical magi, Djang San. He shared the idea behind it all in an interview with me stating, “I had the idea of creating a music The crowd was equally diverse, festival in Beijing for a very long too. From old-school hippies to time when I started this group punk rockers to DJ’s to hipsters

one event? That was so real it was surreal. I cannot wait for Beijing Underground Showcase #2.

~ Kat 04


Bastards Of Imperialism, Never Say Die @ TEMPLE 2.08.2015

gigs.

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travel. VIETNAM Saigon The flight time with connections from Beijing was considerable, and as usual with flights of Asian nature, were booked to capacity. But mercifully, the 3.5 hour flight to Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport and then the four hour flight to Ho Chi Min City (HCMC) was mercifully uneventful, save for the riotous rush at the end with people wanting their entry visas. Even the registration for the entry visa was long, but not necessarily arduous for us. My wife being as methodical as ever, had all the paperwork filled out on the first leg of the flight, with all of the appropriate pictures and bribe money attached... 07

Which is really key.

not allow for reentry (she had clearly P r e p a r a t i o n remembered paying for beforehand saves you multiple reentry back from the ugly scene like in New York.) Of course,

Tour boat at sunset, Dalat

This is my first time in Vietnam, a land that has fascinated me from my youth, having obsessed myself with

Period street sign, Saigon

some we witnessed, who had forgotten their pictures, or their forms, or heaven forbid the bribe money, in the form of US greenbacks, a very key feature, as they do not accept any substitute.

she had discarded that paperwork, and without paperwork, stamps and/or good old crisp Ben Franklin’s, here in HCMC, your problems mean exactly dick to them. And you do little more than piss off the weary people Or there was the poor behind you trying to case of the woman explain your case to who did not check her Charlie. visa status that did

the war we fought here so many years ago, that scarred both nations, both physically and emotionally. I had always said I would make it here one day, and when my wife had decided that she could do with a return trip, I jumped at the chance. I would have to take her lead on some


in the lobby.

Backpacker Street, Saigon

things, which I was happy to do. Her first piece of advice is that Vietnam being a very poor nation, most everything you will experience, coming in with white skin and a camera vest, was that everyone will be looking to grift you out of something. Because there are so many people here, the opportunity for such gifts are pretty much 24/7, As was evident with the remarkable number of black cabs wishing to take us to the hotel (my wife had already mapped it out at 7km from the airport and was in no mood to haggle with the idiots suggesting otherwise). Finding a metered cab was relatively easy, but even the boisterous hack driver we had, metered and licensed as he was, tried his best at separating us for more money than the fare was actually worth, a bad idea

when dealing with my better half who has a continual no bullshit policy button permanently jammed in the on position. The driver dangerously zigged and zagged his way through the traffic, all the while explaining how he was very tired and had to sleep soon as I looked out the window at all of the motorbikes, some stacked four deep with riders, through traffic patterns that made Beijing seem like a perfectly timed marine corps marching band. We finally arrived at the Green Hotel, situated in Sector One, down a series of alleyways of food stalls, well fed stray dogs, locals and foreigners sitting down for post-midnight beers and snacks. And bars. Lots and lots of bars. The hotel itself is one of the more highly rated backpacker places, with the front desk clerk who sleeps

off, we proceeded down the alleys for a quick recon and beer run.. Finding a number of 24 hour convenience stores among the bustling bars, drunken riffraff, and hookers.

The rooms are small but clean, good water pressure, and a wide variety of head rot on the TV, as well as a pretty strong Internet signal, which thankfully, I would not The street vendors had a wide variety of need to use my VPN. food to offer weary The sixth floor of the travelers, which was Green Hotel offered good given the fact the open air terrace, that the food offered the only place smoking on the plane was next is permitted, and offers to impossible to eat. a good view of the madness we would be As far as “Must do’s” delving into over the here in Saigon, aside next couple of days from just general people watching at here. cafe’s, one of the cooler The included breakfast things to do is get in on offers western fare one of the cyclo-tours, with the most amazing which are personalized coffee, an obvious one seater rickshaws with a bike driver up French influence. front. This caffeine laden, makes this motor oil consistency What thimble sized drink has different from most more wake-up power other touri traps the than a 3180cc motor ability to call your own topped with NOS put in destination and the the back of a VW bug. length of duration per stop. Make sure you After dropping our stuff visit the building that

Wedding, Notre-Dame Basilica Church, Saigon

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VIETNAM

travel. was the Evacuation Epicenter of CIA station personnel by Air America on the rooftop of 22 Gia Long Street in Saigon in 1975. It is still there, although they are now government office buildings, and

apparently, with street and corner. proper reservations, you can have lunch While you are here, there. you may as well do the obligatory Mekong Now there are a number Delta river tour. Pack of destinations you can a lunch and make a enjoy in Saigon, and if day of it as you snake you are there to shop, your way up the river there will be no end of like a conduit plugged opportunities on every straight int tourism.

detailing the history of the Vietnam War from the North Vietnamese side. The WRM presents a sobering reminder of how the war most Americans would like to forget impacts the daily lives of the Vietnamese people every day.

On a more serious destination is the Vietnam War Remnants Museum, Located in section 3 of the city. A towering four story compound

I wont jive you, its loaded with antiAmerican propaganda from the era and before normalization of relations, the museum had such

Saigon Notre-Dame Basilica

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Photo: Hubert van Es

The War Remnants Museum to my mind is the one vastly important place to see if you make it to Saigon. Take your time. Spend six or so hours in order to take it all in and give it the respect that that part of history deserves. And if you are in the mood for buying souvenirs, buy them here from the artisans affected by the war that the Peoples Government allow to sell in this somber place.


Vulcan Gatling gun, War Remnants Museum, Saigon

flattering names as “Exhibition House for US and Puppet Crimes” and “Exhibition House for Crimes of War and Aggression”. An entire floor details the after effects of 20 million gallons of the defoliant and herbicide Agent Orange that was dropped across the country, proving an old chicle that mans inhumanity to man knows no bounds. There is an amazing exhibit dedicated to all of the war journalists and photo journalists who lost their lives covering the war. The museum also is

home to a variety of captured American hardware from the conflict : a Bell UH-1 Iroquois (Huey), and Boeing CH47 Chinook helicopters, a Northrop F - 5 A / B F i g h t e r, various ground and anti-aircraft artillery pieces, and massive piles of defused unexploded ordinance including the venerable BLU-82 “Daisy Cutter” bomb. The War Remnants Museum to my mind is the one vastly important place to see if you make it to Saigon. Take your time. Spend six or so hours in order to take it all in and give it the respect that part of history deserves. And if you are in the mood for buying souvenirs, buy them here from the artisans affected

by the war that the Peoples Government allow to sell in this somber place.

cynically think we just declared victory and just left for bigger and better wars.

__________________

They sure as hell beat the living snot out of the French in the occupation before the U.S. ever got involved. So why not rename the city after the architect of both conflicts, but be that as it may, no one except the tourist literature calls this

I have studied the political and cultural reasoning behind renaming Saigon to Ho Chi Minh City in 1976. It could be arguably said that they won the war with the United States, although I still prefer to

Small Anti-personnel mines, War Remnants Museum, Saigon

Large Ordinance, American, War Remnants Museum, Saigon

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War Remnants Museum, Saigon

VIETNAM

place HCMC, it’s still referred to popularly as Saigon. In either case, practical observers will see that both of the wars against the French and the United States should be considered a tragic wash, as western capitalism thrives here, the back rooms of the local money changers filled with kids smoking cigarettes operating multiple industrial counting machines converting Vietnamese Dong (yes the currency is called Dong which call for countless daily jokes that never get old) to US greenbacks. Here in Saigon, Ben Franklin rules. The Russians have learned this as well, as Saigon is awash in young hipster ruskies, who party like rock stars at night, and treat the Vietnamese street vendors and the residents 11

travel.

in general with the impudent attitude of representatives of a country who saved their asses in two wars, which technically they did. Without the hardware of the AK 47, RPGs and SAM missiles the Soviet Union provided, even the French could have taken this country in six days and been back home in time for

Sunday baguettes and coffee. But enough of the politics of Vietnam. On the whole, in Saigon, you will find a fair amount of English

spoken here. And the people themselves are very friendly.

it involving a bullet to the head in the public street. Back in the US, possession gets you a wee bit of time in a cell with a cot and a TV. In Vietnam it gets you dead. Backpacker street , or Bui Vien Avenue, is one of the more interesting places in the world to sit back with a cup of very strong coffee and alcohol. A full spectrum of socioeconomic strata comes here to eat, drink, do business, eat, and drink some more, and on more than one occasion, pass right out.

You really can’t make up the stories you have in Saigon... Las Vegas may have the trademark on the “what happens here” slogan, but here there is no slogan. The sheer amount of weird illegal crap that goes on in this place would stun any law enforcement in The street itself, by city standards, is not the United States. very long, covering little more than 3 American football fields long. What it lacks, however in size, it makes up in sheer volume of content. If the rest of the world explodes, leaving this little section intact, it is possible Mekong Delta that one could survive for the rest of days with just what But then, the legal you find on this street. system here has a particularly effective Hotels, hostels, way of dealing with Restaurants, spas, criminals, the least of it Brothels, bars, 24 hour involving a large prison circle K convenience sentence, the most of stores every 50 meters, dentists, pharmacies,


doctors, laundries, repair shops, supermarkets, pet stores, drug dealers, and a police station. It is also conceivable to stay on just this street for months on end, and never sleep, eat or get bombed out of your skull and never do it in

the same place twice. Truly a marvel of social engineering.

Dalat Just a 45 minute 737 hop from Saigon’s main airport, and an hour bus or taxi ride (unless you happen to get the taxi driver who is gaming the dispatcher, then it’s a breakneck and roller coaster drift fest of just under 35 minutes) is the quaint little hillside city of Dalat. Noted in story and song

for flowers, artichoke, vast side winding back roads, home-stay hotels, and vast sweeping valleys and steppes of the only thing that seems to matter in the southern

Backpacker street, Saigon

ordered chaos of traffic patterns, and the obligatory folk, who would love nothing better than to sell you sunglasses or a keychain with an AK47 folding knife bob, Dalat has one thing that the inner city Mekong delta does not.. vast rolling hills on which to feast your eyes on whilst all this is going on.

The travel guides say that this little tucked away gem pulls in over a million foreign visitors a year, and it is clear to see why. While this burg has all the Timeline Restaurant and bar Saigon same qualities of Saigon , your overabundance part of Vietnam, Coffee of motorbikes, odd plantations. but meticulously Don’t get me wrong. Sitting down, people watching, and speed The travel guides say that this little balling on thick, motor tucked away gem pulls in over a million oil consistency high test café and 333 foreign visitors a year, and it is clear beers, is just as good in to see why. While this burg has all HCMC, but Dalat, has the same qualities of Saigon , your more of the air of the rural “ I am kicking it overabundance of motorbikes, odd but with all of my homies meticulously ordered chaos of traffic in redneck town, than patterns, and the obligatory folk, who up in Saigon .

would love nothing better than to sell you sunglasses or a keychain with an AK47 folding knife bob, Dalat has one thing that the inner city Mekong delta does not.. vast rolling hills on which to feast your eyes on whilst all this is going on.

The other notable difference to the two is the landscape. Dalat city proper, has all the dynamic of a small scale San Francisco. Thirty degree

to forty inclines, 12


VIETNAM

travel.

small alleyways, and staircases dot this dynamic city of flowers so pungent, that those who suffer from hay fever may as well just pass on this destination.

While you can clearly see from your balcony that where you want to go is probably only a football field away, once you set out on foot, you may as well call it two miles. With 75 percent humidity, and 80 degree temps in the “dry” season, either pack your water, or count on shelling out the 6000 dong for bottles along the way. In either case, you will need it.

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Any place my wife likes to travel, we avoid tour groups like a plague of rabid hamsters, with the sheer amount of touring companies o f f e r i n g “exclusive insights into the past” or “ only the select few will be able to see what no westerner has ever witnessed before”, like some 1920’s carney offering up a chance to see the mummified body of the guy who sold king tut his last pack of smokes. Seriously, we do some

Starfish, Phu Quoc Island

serious mocking of folk like that from our perches in coffee houses and bars all over Asia. However, in a moment of either Saigoninduced psychosis, jet lag, or sheer

scheduled trip, hitting many of the before mentioned hated tourist traps along the way. The only thing we saw on the tour brochure in our then caffeine deprived brains were the words

Don’t get me wrong. Sitting down, people watching, and speed balling on thick, motor oil consistency high test café and 333 beers, is just as good in HCMC, but Dalat, has more of the air of the rural “ I am kicking it with all of my homies in redneck town, than up in Saigon .

Rooster, Phu Quoc Island

Vietnamese caffeine overdose all of a sudden we found ourselves being picked up at 8am in the Asian equivalent of a Ford Econoline van packed with small plane sized jump seats and jammed full with mostly Australian tourists. For whatever reason, we neglected to realize that this was a 9 hour

“Dalat Me Linh Weasel Coffee Garden and plantation” Don’t get me wrong. Some of the tour on the 9 hour ride was educational, but being packed like sardines on a nine hour 7 stop tour, with four Aussie teenagers chatting incessantly about landscape minutia (oh. Those trees are pine trees, but they look like American pine trees, do you think that they planted them


Diving Phu Quoc Island

why you would force feed a cuddly looking but ferocious animal coffee beans just to take out the main ingredient you drink coffee for in the first 99 percent of anything place‌ but then, what the hell do I know? cooked in Asia.

But Enough of the annoyances, The tour did show us the how the coffee plantation feeds its weasels, and then harvests the coffee poop to sell the said pooped coffee for 80 bucks USD per pound. during the war?), and global stereotypes (Americans have no appreciation of coffee like this, they all drink huge cups of coffee) has a tendency to suck the air out of the balloon so to speak. Added to that one of the women had a 2 page preprinted paper outlining all of her allergies (everything from meat to gluten to shellfish, with the added obligatory peanut allergy thrown in for good measure) to give to the tour guide before our lunch stop. This list pretty much disqualified her from

Anyway, for those interested in seeing some of the sites in Dalat in a tin can filled with other touri on rickety back roads with sheer 1000 foot drops, you can find the tour

I think she ended up eating lettuce. But Enough of the annoyances, The tour did show us the how the coffee plantation feeds its weasels, and then harvests the coffee poop to sell the said pooped coffee for 80 bucks USD per pound. Interesting note: The Weasels digestive process naturally takes roughly 50% of the caffeine out of the bean, which makes me scratch my head as to

Fishing, Phu Quoc Island

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all the tourist boats going fishing, then you have wasted your time here.

VIETNAM

Phu Quoc is the largest island in Vietnam, roughly 600 square kilometers (think the size of Singapore or six Manhattans) and is known, aside from its pristine beaches and tidy bowl blue waters, for the Dive boat, Phu Quoc copious amounts of seafood that is served while this might look with everything like an Asian Palm tree everywhere. infested paradise, the ruskies are the ones The other byproduct pulling the strings here. of all of this seafood (primarily oysters) It goes without saying and the beach then that this ocean tourism, is keeping the paradise is good for at island construction expansion going. And construction is booming

travel. company here: http://toursdalat.com/ index.php/tours/thesilk-road. But our advice is go with the Easy Rider motorcycle tours. Less cramped quarters, and annoying seat-mates, and more wind in your hair and freedom to go where you like. That can be found here: http://dalat-easyrider. com/ . Dalat is a beautiful place to hang your hat for a week or two, soaking in the local markets, getting your legs in shape, checking out the local flower festivals and downing cheap beers, coffee and the local seafood. Oddly enough, Dalat is also known for its wine. But it apparently 15 just comes in

2 shades, red and white. It is ultimately drinkable, and not without its local charm, but in my humble opinion, the red (I don’t drink white) just tastes like a good Rosé that knows somebody.

Phu Quoc Island Thirty Five minutes from Saigon by air, Phu Quoc Island is beautiful tropical seaside resort that might as well be a Russian federation sub branch, for all the blatant money being spent by Moscow. Almost every sign, menu, or otherwise printed piece of paper is printed in Vietnamese first, Russian second, and English almost dead last, belying the obvious fact, that

least one thing, and that is beach lounging, and if you don’t spend most of your days doing just that.. Watching the sunrises, sunsets, and

Only recently taking off in the last 2 years, the island’s financing comes from the mentioned oysters, or more correctly, the valuable pearls that grow inside them.

Ladies Poker, Phu Quoc


This is the stock in trade here, there are no shortage of high end shops in which to buy these luminescent globes of cash sucking beauty, in any form you would like. Bring your wallet full, though, because if your significant other is a pearl aficionado, it will empty out faster than a gas can with a load of buckshot through it. But Russia does not have exclusive rights to the country of Vietnam. The French, in their infinite wisdom decided a long time before the wars that ravaged the country that this jewel in Southeast Asia was worth the invasion. This explains the classic good mix of Asian and French cuisine, and although the war never touched this island it is not surprising that there is a large French contingent here as

well. There is also no shortage of American Ex-pats here, some who decided after the war to relocate, and some who just found the place ripe for a capitalist business grab at a beach resort. Which is not entirely impossible that on New Year’s Eve, we end up in a dive bar on the central strip called Americanly enough, “the Rock Bar”. One of those little dive bars that most tourists will hit for one drink just to say that they did it and bought the t-shirt before going somewhere else for higher priced drinks on the beach bars.

Sunset, Phu Quoc

enough of the feeling that you shooting is either booze induced or an actual table flaw. Either way your long banks are not going to go in on a normal day, three times so on New Year’s Eve. It is the type of bar that a lessor observer would figure for an instant bar fight. For those of us who are not lessor observers, and ones that know how to handle booze, it is one of the best bars in this town to be in at ten pm before the ball drops.

The Rock Bar is a midsized establishment with the requisite bar pool table that has a three percent list It is the one bar that on opposite ends of you can find the the felt giving it just Vietnam War fighters from the French foreign legion, guys and gals who fought for the either side and the odd American expat who were also involved in the conflict.

Pearls, Phu Quoc

They all fought here. Then they all went home after the war, and then, not wanting to deal with the

emotional experience of going home after all the bullshit they went through, finding “home” not the place they left because of the war, came back to the country that changed them forever. Phu Quoc seems the most reasonable and pleasant beach oriented place for them to land. __________________ All in all, Vietnam is one of those places that 16 days just doesn’t cut it. Once you are here, you want to see it all, and going back home just leaves you looking out the window of the airplane asking yourself when you can get your ass back here.

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The Ride By RatDog

travel. Americade Motorcycle touring rally

It happens one week a year in Lake George, New York. Though centered on touring motorcycles, any kind of Bike can attend. Touring motorcycles, are a type of rig that has large motors and bags for long weekends or more. Just about all the major bike manufactures make them. Harley Davidson, Suzuki, Honda, Kawasaki, Indian, Ducati, Moto Guzzi. Most have cruise control, highway pegs, racks for backpacks and storage space, extra head lights, radio’s and CB’s. Because these rides travel 17 over vast distances, their

If you’re not familiar with Lake George, this 30 mile long lake has some of the best views of any lake anywhere! We travel down route #7 south and catch some Lake Champlain vistas and then make a right to route #22A.

What really makes Americade stand out, is the way the people of Lake George roll out the red carpet and welcome the motorcyclists with open arms! Everybody is extremely friendly and as are the other visitors who happen to visit the area. seats tend to be more comfortable and up right. Usually my crew who attend Americade are from the Burlington, Vermont area. This makes the 90 mile ride within most peoples range and gives us the choice of riding round trip or staying in Lake George for the night.

Once we get past Vergennes, riding south, the road opens up and the views to the west are amazing. You can see across the farm land all the way to the Lake itself.

Behind the Lake is the looming Adirondack Mountains which contain many mountains over 5,000 feet! We make another right hand turn on to route #125 which brings us to the newly constructed Champlain Bridge. As we reached the top of the


bridge, the views of Lake Champlain are superior! Another 4 miles west takes us to route #22 south. As we ride along this road past Crown Point, Ticonderoga and Hague, we start see views of Lake George. The motorcycle traffic greatly increases as we reach Lake George. We ride to Canada Street which is the main road through Lake George. On both sides of the street are Motorcycles lined up side by side for about 4 miles. Traffic can be slow but it’s easy to get around town if you know the side streets. Motels are everywhere, some are right on the lake and this being the first weekend in June, prices for rooms are very reasonable. What really makes Americade stand out, is the way the people of Lake George roll out the red carpet and welcome the motorcyclists with open arms! Everybody is extremely friendly and as are the other visitors who happen to visit the area. On Saturday’s, the owner of the Park Motel has a free barb-q with burgers, dogs, chicken, salad, soda and cake, He brings out one of his big screen

photo: RatDog

TV’s so we can watch the famous horse race, the Belmont. Even if you aren’t staying at his motel, all are welcome! After dark, there are numerous bars to visit, some with live music. We usually visit Duffy’s which has 2 different Bands playing and 6 bars. Awesome! Most of these places are packed with bikers who are dressed in heavy leather and the tourists are dressed in white t-shirts and sandals!

cops who lurk nearby. The next morning, you can get breakfast real cheap and you know that the 90 mile ride home has numerous vista of Lake George and Lake Champlain. Americade happens the first week in June. You can contact me at : paulbolton9@gmavt.net ~ Mr. Ratdog aka Paul Allison

If the bars aren’t your thing, people line Canada Street sometimes 4 deep and watch the traffic roll past. It 6 hours of nonstop entrainment with some bikers doing burnouts, wheelies, stopples and the usual visit from the

The Vermont Geezers Motorcycle Club formed about 10 years ago when a bunch of Riders from IBM got laid off or retired and want to form a group which it would be easy to attend. weekends were out so the idea would be to meet at 10 am on Wednesdays for a 2 hour ride to area restaurants. The response was amazing and still continues to this year. We have some regulars and some riders who can only ride once a year. We usually hit restaurants that are family owned and no fast food joints. Check out our Facebook page at Vermont Geezers Motorcycle Club

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word on the street @livebeijingmusic.com

by William Griffith

I’ve listened to over 160 albums this year out of China. That’s way too much. And looking at some of the other ‘year-end’ lists, it’s clear I’ve missed some. So yeah, my head hurts just thinking about it. Yet, as always with music, when I found something I connected with, I kept it close. Nurtured it. Showed it off. Forced it upon others. Whatever means necessary, and while Beijing, my home base, had plenty 19 to show for this year

Chui-Wan

including perhaps my album of the year from noise rock indie trio Hedgehog, I was in awe of the amount of stellar music seeping out of the second and third tier cities of China.

outfits The White Tulips and Islet are emerging from.

Hangzhou where DIY label Full Label is giving ample opportunities to new sounds, such as electro rock fusion Places like Xiamen where outfit SPICE, and ska punk shoegaze and math rock


bands like The Bricks are kicking up a storm.

Here’s a list of bands and albums that blew my mind in 2014:

Or Xi’an, home of punks Sucker, post punk kickstarters’ The Fuzz, and noise rockers Colorful Z-bra. Chengdu, where indie electro kids Stolen and Yang Haisong protégés Hiperson break down barriers. Chongqing, where mysterious depressive metal band

DMF

http://hedgehogrock.bandcamp.com http://ghostbath.bandcamp.com/album/funeral http://genjingrecords.bandcamp.com/album/eight-horses http://site.douban.com/banzhuan/ http://site.douban.com/spice/ http://pairs.bandcamp.com/album/brief-lesbian http://site.douban.com/liangyiyuan http://downloads.maybemars.org/album/teenagarten http://site.douban.com/meikadeer/ http://site.douban.com/moxizishi/ https://thewhitetulips.bandcamp.com http://site.douban.com/fuzz/ http://stolenstolen.bandcamp.com

Ghost Bath, has won accolades across the globe already. Even lesser known cities like Xinxiang and Zhongshan are home to some promising talent. All artists creating their own little scenes and establishing second and third tier cities as artistically accommodating environments. And that my friends, is super exciting. As I’ve told plenty of folks already, the next big thing won’t be coming out of Beijing – and I couldn’t be happier.

Need to find out who is playing where in Beijing?

20 word on the street is..

LiveBeijingMusic.com


Restaurant Review

food.

Burger Me. Beijing. A few issues back if you recall, I wrote a review of Alibi in Sanlitun, a great little out of the way place on the side street next to Yashow market. A huge western style menu that blows anything in the sector away.

ways, still totally rock, but it is a rather odd set up.

The guys behind this hidden secret have spent the last two years since I was in downtown cultivating a plan to make a run at the title of Best Burger in Beijing.

Sit down, get a pile of different menus, figure it

Now they have spread their wings and can also be found in Lido under the name Burger Me in the Aegean Shopping Mall. 21

Their burgers, as al-

Although They are sharing gorgeous premises with 3 other restaurants, an oddity in western type restaurant situations, worry not, as you are in the right place.

out, but go for Burger Me, as the reason you came here was for beef.. and beef you shall have. With everyone here in Beijing claiming to have THE BEST BURGER these guys still place in the top of the top range. Ranking in the realm of legendary Temple Bar burgers and The Big Smoke’s burgers, but in a class all of their own. The place itself is mas-


sive, with two decked out bars, an ample outdoor deck and enough seating to fit a Super Bowl crowd. Burger Me’s menu may be just one sheet of burgers, ribs, and sides, but what they lack in a “one sheet”, they make up for in pure beefy and pork goodness. The in house, homemade buns are massive and their fluffy goodness are toasted to perfection. Adorned with copious amounts of toppings, and hand cut deep fried potato wedge seasoned fries, you will leave the restaurant with a belly full of happiness. Also in house is a vari-

Burger Me hits the spot for the carnivore in all of us. _____________________

BURGER ME Lido

丽都 6 Fangyuan Xilu Chaoyang District 朝阳区 芳园西路6号 Mon-Fri 10am-10pm,

ety of handcrafted beers (Nbeer Citrus IPA 35 RMB) as well as more western favorites (Moosehead, Rogue Dead Guy Ale,

Kentucky Bourbon Ale, and Widmer Brothers fine beers, as well as other fine beers from across the world.

Sat-Sun 10am-11pm 6543 6755, 5643 6756

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travel.

Life Off The Grid, Third World Style by Cheryl Lister

minutes’ drive down an through to the other side. In the previous issue of unpaved, pot-holed road Pré·cis, I described how from the nearest town. When As far as I could initially perceive, our farm was it came to be that the end of the road. my family and I The slim path beyond moved from the couldn’t continue Modern American anywhere except up World to an off the mountain where the grid, tropical the cows grazed. rain-forest farm Imagine my surprise in a remote area no, imagine my PTSD of the Dominican panic rise up from my Republic. heart into my throat More than a - as our bumping, geographical bouncing family of wonderland, the rainfour drove into The forest is a vibrating River one day, to be faced altered state well worth we leave the farm, the road by four tattered men carrying makes an immediate 45 entering. degree drop into a small sleek, long machetes. I’ll pass the vibe your way creek that our 4 wheel drive The machetes are either via two stories that revolve truck lunges through. We attached to one hip or swing around The River that is a slide our way through a thin, loosely from tightly muscled constant in our lives here. mud-slicked trail that brings arms. The men see us. They us to “El Rio.” (“The River”: Getting accustomed If it has a name, I’ve not slow, stop, and stare...they to the Neighbors in yet been told.) As long as it are not smiling. They stand and watch from the other side Our ‘Hood hasn’t been raining more than as our truck plunges toward live twenty-five usual,, the truck can make it them through The River. 23 We


I don’t know: If this daughters. Maybe BC (Before our new home. What to do? had happened to us in America, I guess we The machetes are either We did what most would’ve rolled up the attached to one hip or swing new, ridiculously selfwindows, called 911 on loosely from tightly muscled conscious neighbors in their unfamiliar ‘Hood our fully functioning arms. The men see us. They would do: We rolled phones and driven around them on a side road as slow, stop, and stare...They down our windows and quickly as possible, are not smiling. They stand stuck our heads out. Four never to return to that and watch from the other of us smiled, waved, side as our truck plunges and in a Chevy Chase road again. toward them through The “Vacation” movie kind But likely we wouldn’t River. of way, my husband and have found ourselves in I called out, “Hola! Hola, America on an isolated, Hola, como esta?!” “Say unmarked mud road driving Children), but definitely not ‘Hola,’ girls!” my husband through a river, at least not AC (After Children). But instructed our two and five now that we have two young here it was, happening near year old daughters who 24


When it’s my turn these days to drive the girls to school in the early dawn, misty shadowed muddy road, we’re excited to see our now familiar, machete bearing friends: They have also picked up on our exuberant hellos. We wave and shout out at each other, and they make way for us to pass. Beyond the exaggerated, American style silliness of our hellos, the smiles are for real: We’re neighbors.

Down To The River were curiously checking out the men and asking me too many questions at once: “Mommy! Mommy, why do they have long knives? Won’t they get a boo-boo? Mommy, why do all their pants have holes in the knees? Mommy why does that man only have one eye?” We kept smiling, waving, and “Hola”-ing along toward them. The machetes were shifted to carefully face away from our truck. With cautious, shy grins flashing as they saw our daughters’ open smiles, the men stood in a thin line between the encroaching, tangled vines of the jungle and the muddy road. They waited and watched as we safely passed by. It turns out there is a 25 mine just past our

farm that a bunch of men work for. Apparently, this area is filled with top dollar, shining ebony slate that is in high demand. In fact, that’s one reason the lush rain-forest in these parts is threatened: The mining process destroys the land, sucks it dry as a desert.

From our bedroom window and all around the farm, if I listen, I hear The River. The River is alive: Like us, it moves and changes. After a climactic release of rain, The River is ferocious and racing - stop, and you can hear it as a thousand un-shed tears let loose in rushing water on rolling rock. Birds become more urgent in their calls: Like alarms, they whirr and too-wee, too-wee across the valley I am swathed within.

What if we could afford to hire these guys for organic gardening and landscaping... carpentry jobs...farming... What if we could pay them Another half day past the more than their ten dollar per rain, and The River will day - not hour - wage? soften, smooth and relax. The sky opening into endlessly deep Azul brings the sun so that everything glistens as it dries, the world sparkles as water is absorbed into leaves and ferns and fronds. I listen to The River now, flowing in a Zen-like embrace of acceptance. Then I


see my husband crossing the farm, sweaty from building a rain gutter. He beckons me with his eyes and smile, “Let’s go...” We collect our daughters and Kala, the alert and protective German shepherd, for the journey down to The River.

the golden shiny passion The River, my questions fruits that emit a thickly disappear. We are so fully delicious aroma: My mouth here. waters at the thought of the juice we will make from these waxy orbs.

By the time I join my family and Kala in The River, the layers between me and the The uneven, rocky steep world are gone. Without everything steps usually allow that my explanation, family and Kala are well complicated falls away. ahead of me. I have a short walk through the jungle and How long can we stay? down to The River on my How soon will our savings own. It’s a shedding of layers be spent? Will others move of personality to come to The and help build the slowly emerging, self-sustained River that way. community that we wish for? The rain-forest is utterly wild, untethered nature Can we employ our neighbors doing its glorious thing. I’m before big business strips this surrounded by moist, thick sacred land bare? Up above, algae aqua roots and twisting when I become immersed in trunks of tree and plant life. calculations of our rain-forest Delicate, fragrant white life, these considerations ginger flowers grow amidst can cloud me over. Yet in

Cheryl Lister moved off the grid with her family in the summer of 2014. She has created an EcoRetreat business to support their intention of being able to live permanently at River Whisper Farm. You can find out more about the business on the website, www. EcoRetreatsDR.com. To read more of her family adventures, check out Cheryl’s blog at www.offthegridmama.com. To learn more about the Fourth Way community that has established the farm, please visit www. gurdjieffdominican.com 26


travel. by Aram Sohigian

From the Bay to Beijing From time to time, we at Pré·cis meet many extraordinary people here in China who have had interesting experiences here in the land of the Great Wall, usually over cocktails at some of the great bars in the PRC. It is a rarity, after enjoying all of these people, that we meet one who has actually written all of their experiences down. As in every single day. We are honored to have Aram Sohigian and his bride-to-be Jill lend us their account of time here in china, starting from the beginning . We will not be using every entry, however it will be in synchronous order. and for the rest of the entries, feel free to visit their blog fromthebaytobeijing.com.

Day 4 in Beijing: Bank Accounts and The Luck of a Wireless Phone Number. Sunday. A day of rest.  Not so much. It was time to get a bank account.  On a Sunday, no less.  Banks, on a Sunday?  Yep, in China, banks 27

are open on Sundays. They are open and an ATM card and that is all I seven days a week actually.   need at this point.   My brother’s wife, Shan Shan, helped me with this issue and the following wireless phone ordering also.  It would have been impossible without her and I owe her a debt of gratitude.  

The attendant seemed to find it enjoyable to be opening the account and smiled and laughed a lot at the little mistakes I made when asked to do something. I also needed to get my new mobile phone number.  I’ve been borrowing a sim card and it was time to get my own one and my own phone number.   There are many different plans in China and it is very confusing.  Shan Shan and I had to decide which plan would be the best and we decided on a monthly plan to start and then possibly a multi-year contract in a month or so which is an excellent bargain.   I then was asked to pick a phone number and was told it would cost about sixty dollars to get a phone number.  I was given a piece of paper with about 80 different combinations and decided on a number with a lot of the number “4” in it because it was easy to remember.

The clerk told Shan Shan and me that not only was that number free because Chinese people don’t like She led the way and did all the the number “4” but I will get two talking and told me where to sign dollars off my monthly bill for the and what my account would do for same reason! me. Basically it is simply checking


Definitely no talking, texting or water. browsing on the old iPhone as I Since I’m wearing pretty nice Shan Shan had no idea and had walk around at this point. clothes for work I do my best to never heard of this deal before but since the number did not have a “8” If you look closely, off in the walk in the street and not get hit by in it it wasn’t a “lucky” number. I distance, there is a smokestack that passing cars.  So far so good. do have one “6” in it so it is a little is dead center. I tend to love thunderstorms and this bit lucky. There is a really nice interplay of was a wonderful one.  It had rain, As far as I’m concerned, it is colors and textures in this city and hail, thunder and lightning. extremely lucky number because it this picture captures a little bit of I was smiling the whole way even that. saved me about 200 dollars a year! though I was getting drenched. Day 6 in Beijing: Rain Day 5 in Beijing: The Bridge By the time I got home, after a 15 Flooding intersection near work. minute walk, my pants were soaked This is the view from the bridge One either walks in the water or in up to the knees. looking towards where I live. the street. Maybe next time I’ll take a picture One of the benefits of having a brother live here is that he has a place Notice the different reds and the of them to give an idea of how strong the rain comes down in and I arrived knowing that I Beijing.  And it doesn’t stay had somewhere to live.  His She was right. The streets here are mainly in the plains here either. place is pretty obvious since it is one of the high rises that has pretty flat and the runoff doesn’t really the huge arch on top of it. runoff. The crosswalks get totally They are visible from quite a distance away and it makes it easy to find my way around the neighborhood when I’m a bit confused.

overwhelmed and you have to either walk in the street or walk through about 4 inches of standing water.

This is a view from one of the bridges that I use to cross the street as it can be pretty dangerous if you are new to the area since the road rules are very different than in the States. An example of this is the red light right turn: the driver has right of way and does not stop.

KFC in the upper right corner. This morning was a bit muggy and humid. Not much compared to Beijing standards but to me it felt that way.

On the way home it was a different story. The weather was, as one of the receptionists at work said, So, if one is to cross the road and “Severe rain.” Aram Sohigian moved from San Franexpects the driver to give way, they are sorely mistaken.  Luckily I was She was right. The streets here are cisco to Beijing to work as a psychothertold this rule on the second day and pretty flat and the runoff doesn’t apist. He started a blog about his expehave not had any trouble adjusting to really runoff. The crosswalks get riences two weeks before arriving and it as I just keep my head on a swivel totally overwhelmed and you have has posted once a day about his travels to either walk in the street or walk around the world since June 5th, 2013. and try to be as aware as possible. through about 4 inches of standing His blog is www.fromthebayto- 28 beijing.com


Bread & Puppet a vermont tradition photos: Edward Lalonde

history. By Edward Lalonde

In the early 1960’s Peter Schumann began performing a kind of street theater in New York City’s lower east side. A recent immigrant from Russia, Schumann turned his various skills, which included dance, sculpting, and bread making, into a unique puppetry troupe. Performing in the streets at anti-Vietnam war protests in the 1960’s, the basic ideas of the theater were formed. Bread was handed out while the group performed with large puppets made of paper Mache. The group took the name Bread and Puppet Theater. In 1970 Schumann moved to Vermont and in 1975 29


began performing at his farm in Glover. Using the vast acreage as a stage the group began an annual tradition called Our Domestic Resurrection Theater. Each summer people would come together to create puppets, develop stories, and then perform for an audience on the farm. Like the earlier performances in New York City bread was baked and handed out to the audience in a gesture of sharing. By the mid 1980’s the annual performance was attracting a large audience. It was 1984 when I took these photos. The main performances consisted of two parts. Early in the day the group presented a circus. The circus was a fun event that included animals, Uncle Sam, a parade, music, and many fun skits. Some were silly but more often than not contained some form of political satire. Anti-war was often a major theme and there was never a problem jump to page 31

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history.

finding fodder for the skits. The second part, which was performed close to sundown, was much more abstract and serious its major theme revolved around injustice, war, and repression. Something representing the evil would appear- a giant war machine, soldiers, perhaps a snake. These would slowly cross the hundred acre stage to end up in the natural amphitheater in front of the audience. At some point a God like being would appear to come and save the people from the evil. The God being would torch the evil and the large puppet would go up in flames. It was abstract but you always got the message and left with the hope that peace could prevail.

31

Unfortunately the success of the Theater led to a larger and larger audience, which in the end would prove to be too much. By the mid 1990’s, after the theater had been discovered by thousands of counter cul-


tural folks, the scene resembled the parking lot of a Grateful Dead concert. After the death of an audience member during the all-night party that ensued the group ended the annual Domestic Resurrection Theater in 1995. They replaced it with smaller performances staged throughout the summer which continue to this day. The big red barn on the property serves as a museum. Inside are the giant puppets created over the years. It is a fascinating place and well worth the trip to Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom. The Bread and Puppet Museum can be found on route 122 in Glover, Vermont.

Ed Lalonde ~ I’ve taking photographs ever since my father gave me a Kodak 620 view camera when I was six. I like the ability to capture moments of time, creating an opportunity to extend the present into the future and the past into the now.

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history.

Giant puppets. by Thomas Cuddy A Klezmer/Dixieland band (way before those were cool). A circus followed by a pageant with a message and the burning of a scapegoat at the end. People would ask me to describe Bread and Puppet Theater’s summer pageant but there is so much going on words barely are adequate. I have heard that they still do it but on a smaller scale (not confirmed), but 1996 was the last year for the big pageant. The promise of Woodstock met the reality of Altamont at the last one. Too bad, but once there was yearly magic. Everybody in Vermont (it seemed) went and thousands of Vermonters with no real police presence was just fine. 33


Peter Schumann was an important presence at anti-Vietnam protests and his puppet theater toured the world. Others have borrowed Peter’s idea of giant puppets and one sees them at demonstrations sometimes. Peter was first. The pageant was where he got to fully realize his vision until he was told that at the last big one there were people who didn’t even know there was a puppet show happening. Just a big party with no police. A guy (evidently an asshole) was allowed to bleed to death. Peter knew he would have to charge an admission (sort out the real fans) or shut down.

Vermonters are like that. It was better than a Rainbow gathering, though the well-organized camp sites of the hardcore were similar. People camping out, and partied galore but we all knew there was a real purpose to being there besides just being there.

Charging was against Peter’s principles so the pageant was way downsized. During its run it was like the Rainbow gathering would claim to be. Welcome home. photo: GayLynn Thornton

The entertainment of the circus ( first night ) left everyone in a great mood with a mix of big puppets, human performers and unicycles backed by the Puppeteers band made for a very festive evening. During the day smaller pieces were performed all over the fields and woods that surrounded the natural amphitheater. The pageant was more serious, had a serious theme, but it ended with the literal burning of a ‘scapegoat’ so everyone felt somehow altered, recharged, connected again. It was what most hippy festivals tried for but rarely succeeded. The founder,

photo: GayLynn Thornton

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by Chris Parizo

Teacher Burnout The Boeing 747, first introduced to the public back in 1968, is one of the most prolific and versatile aircraft in the transportation industry. The massive aero-beast is capable of reaching speeds to 545 mph and has an intercontinental range of almost 6,000 miles. The aircraft is powered by four high-bypass turbofan engines, technology that delivers double the power of the previous design at 1/3 of the fuel rate. There is no doubt that the 747 is marvel of human engineering. The most marvelous aspect of the aircraft is that it only requires one engine to maintain enough airspeed velocity to keep the craft airborne in case the remaining three all burnout. The aircraft only requires one operational engine to keep moving forward. If only teachers were so lucky.

Teacher burnout is an ignored epidemic and one that deserves more attention. Too many factors are in place allowing teacher-burnout that it impacts the success of the educational field as a whole. According to a 2014 Huffington Post article, 13% of teachers leave their position each year, while a staggering half of first-time teachers will leave the profession within five years – costing states up to $2 billion annually. 35

Imagine the impact that has student-growth.

after for their high-success rates or other variables, will not consider an applicant for an open posiTo accurately gauge the reason tion without three years of educawhy teacher burnout occurs, con- tion experience – this requires all sider the educational/professional newly knighted-Master’s Degree buy-in that a teacher must possess candidates to drop backwards and to maintain accreditation. I was accept lower paying jobs, such as shocked recently when discussing paraprofessionals (avg. annual salcareers with an acquaintance that ary $17,500) or volunteer for years he was unaware that a Master’s De- before even being considered for a gree is, for the most part, a require- position. ment to teach public education. The second option is to accept a poYes, it’s true. Many states require sition in a “meat-grinder” school. educators to be “highly qualified” Meat-grinder schools are low-functo maintain their teaching certifica- tioning school systems, mostly tion – i.e. holding a Master’s Degree found in urban areas that are se(some private schools, who see verely under-funded, under-perconsiderably less teacher turnover, forming, and ignored. They act as sometimes require PHDs in their training centers for administrators field). On top of four years spent in and teachers to earn their keep beundergrad, teachers accumulate an fore quickly moving on. extra debt, and an extra two years of life dedicated to a higher degree, And if you don’t find a job, congratto accept a position with such a high ulations, you’ve educated yourself percentage of burnout. into a professional corner. My graduate degree cohort consisted of 14 students – I am currently one of three still teaching. Most of my cohorts announced they were passing on the profession before even receiving their Master’s. So you dedicate almost six years of your life to attaining the minimum requirements to teach, now you have to deal with finding a position. Most schools, those who are sought

So a teacher is someone who paid their dues either in the unlivable salaried dustbowl of paraprofessional/ volunteer positions, or they are thickening their skin teaching in a challenging school district. You get your summers off! You get to go home at 4! Why the burnout?

It’s a misrepresentation of the profession to believe that teachers “stop doing their job” at 3 o’clock in the afternoon. First, it’s not a 9 to


and spread them throughout the school year. Design a school year that has six-week blocks of instruction and then a week off throughout the entire school year. Also, give each teacher a day-off from students every week – allowing the teacher time to sit and work

5 job. It’s a 7am to whenever-youcan-stop job – 3 o’clock is the time the students leave and all the other stuff has to get done. My first three years teaching were spent going in at 6am and leaving at 5pm when the janitors kicked me out – evenings spent sitting on the couch at home until 10pm grading papers, planning lessons, and answering parents’ emails. And then lying in bed until who-knows-when roleplaying the next day’s lesson though my head looking for every kink in the system. Add on top of this that most schools require teachers to take over the administration of an after-school club or athletic team – sometimes making your physical at-work hours extend until 9 or 10 at night. The teacher work hours are miserable and they don’t stop.

Add on top of this that you must be on your game every second of the day. I’ve seen so many posts on FB or Reddit from folks using the phrase “bored at work”. There is no such thing as a teacher. You are constantly moving from one place to another, constantly multi-tasking your daily plans, your after-school activity, you’re trying to explain to Bobby why he can’t make up his essay to get a better grade while telling Julie that she needs to come in after school to make up her missing quiz while explaining to Suzie that she can’t turn her essay in late because it was due five weeks ago, plus you have a mandatory IEP meeting occurring during class so

you have to have your sub plans set and ready to go.

Teacher burnout is an ignored epidemic and one that deserves more attention. Too many factors are in place allowing teacher-burnout that it impacts the success of the educational field as a whole.

without distraction all day long, to grade, to plan, to rest, or to just Add on top of all of this of being experience what it is like to enter the punching bag of 120 hormon- a workspace as a professional and ally-charged students who take out accomplish clearcut goals for the all their angst, sorrow, and other day rather than spontaneous and/ pubescent emotions out on you. or abstract ones that pop-up like shooting targets. Remember that annoying row of teenagers at the movie theater that Treat teachers like professionals, you hated so much who ruined the rather than parts of a machine. movie? Or that table at the restau- Keep their emotional, physical, rant of kids? Them. Every day. 120 psychological, and professional inof them. terests in mind as they fly through their formative years of the profesAnd all of this is being monitored sion, because, unlike the 747, if only with an emotionally taxing “teacher one of these flames out at 35,000 evaluation system”. feet, the remaining ones cannot keep the teacher airborne, he/she I’ve been teaching for ten years will certainly crash to the ground. now, it took me nearly three years to even begin to figure out how to juggle all of this, and took me another three years to be able to do the juggling, and it took me fatherhood to be able to step back from it all and openly admit, “I can’t do all of it 100%.” But still, by December I’m done and sometimes looking elsewhere. So what can the education profession do for teachers that will lower the teacher burnout rates? The answer may not be well-received by my colleagues – it has nothing to do with increased pay or more time off.

Shorten summer vacations. Take it down to four to five weeks maximum. Take those other three weeks

Chris Parizo is an eight-year veteran English teacher having taught in Atlanta, GA and Boston, MA. 36


GIG review

Sin City, Wicked Sensation, by Alex Lanson and a cast of several in the most disorganized gig of the new year.

VA Club, Beijing, 1.13.15 jump later, first bar after Costa coffee on No. 13 Wudaoying Hutong sits the relic of an old VW microbus, which is the VA bar entrance.

The night was smoky. The AQI (or Air Quality Index for those unaccustomed to counting the small particulates of pollution you suck into your lungs on any given day), was over 300 and had the distinctive smell of burning plastic. And it was cold, dipping just below freezing. The subway transfers, which should have been a snap, were waylaid by the fact that although the PRC had completed the much heralded expansion to line 15, they unfortunately neglected to open the one transfer stop which would have gotten me to the VA in 20 minutes, instead of the hour it took backtracking from Dongzhimen. But no matter, getting off at the Dongcheng, Lama Temple subway stop, and just a hop skip and a 37

photos: Shanzhai Laowai

apparently was news to the staff and more importantly the band who was supposed to play at 9pm.

First through the door was an intrepid duo from New Mexico and Australian respectively. Prairie and James came A nice, red lit in to the empty room, and stormed coffeehouse type of the empty stage, as they expected an bar that was empty open microphone, they took what as I came in, save for they wanted. the two bartenders, or owners, whichever, James, the Aussie, started with an since they spoke no acoustic set of originals, coming out English, but knew the swinging with a Neil Young-esque language of beer just twanging vibe. fine. His dulcet tones belied the anarchy Strains of Elliot Smith and the smoke that was in the crowd when the actual from my cigarette set the mood for band who was supposed to be playing the travelers who wandered in with came in decrying the fact that not only the guitars strapped to their back had the bar changed the decor around expecting an open mic night, which including the stage, it so happened


that the sound man had shit the bed on the venue all together. James and Prairie pumped out a stunning duet, followed by a solo Prairie doing an acoustic set that calmed the savage beast that was the metal band that was supposed to play. Everyone sat down and ordered beers and listened to her stunning voice, all thoughts of the venue fuckup lost in the melody.

Sensation’s “Resurrection” that blew far, bloomed into a full-fledged indie the ever growing crowd away. rock extravaganza, with folk showing up for the doomed open mic joining Alex, Mark and Ophélie’s bands veteran rockers onstage. Plus, they Sin City and Wicked Sensation, somehow were able to scrounge up respectively, took turns on the limited the old mixing board to plug all of the musicians amps into. resources given to them. Alex and Mark did a great two guitar version of Pearl Jam’s “I’m still alive” a song I particularly hate with a passion when Eddie Vedder does it, but the

I am extremely grateful to Shanzhai Laowai who took the photos this night as the lighting was crappy (apparently when the sound guy left, he also disconnected the front lights, which made my camera mostly useless.. (No matter as I needed to write about this epic experience whist it was happening) and for staying late into the evening to document the ensuing instrumental and eventual electric madness. You can’t make this up.. But it’s your classic “band books gig, club sells out, forgets to tell band, who shows up anyway, confuses new staff and chaos ensues”. This is how it happens in Beijing

Such is the weirdness that is playing gigs in China. If any of you thought playing Boston was bad, all of your misadventures cannot compare to the crossed signals and last minute bar shutdowns that can plague expat bands in the city of the Big Smoke. But, in the oddness that is Beijing, when you get a bunch of musicians who finally find themselves with no drum kit, a proper sound board, a flakey sound tech, or even a confused staff who charges different prices for beer depending on the minute it happens to be, the artists adapt.

boys did it in such a way that I actually liked it.

The metal bands that were supposed to headline the night’s bill melded into the chaos transforming the smoky coffeehouse into a retrospective of ever changing lineups of acoustic of classic blues favorites (Prairies very nice rendition of Bobby Hebb’s “Sunny”) to full renditions of Wicked

Reports from the scene tell me that ~ Stech the epic music that I had witnessed so

sometimes, a totally dysfunctional, screwed up gig, gets transformed into a mash up of talented musicians that Alas as the night did not go according have never met before, and takes the to schedule, and as I was on another night, snatched from the clutches of schedule that was, I was unable to total failure into a one of a kind gig finish witnessing the finish of the that no one will ever see, except for the people lucky enough to see it. night. 38


images.

photo: melissa davis

photo: melissa davis

photo: melissa davis

39 25

photo: stech


photo: stech

photo: stech

photo: stech

40 26


International Center for Veterinary Services

北京新天地国际动物医院 Departing from China with Pets: Step-by-Step Guide for Pet Owners.

February 7th

pets Departing from China with Pets: Step-by-Step Guide for Pet Owners. Relocating and living to Beijing is never an easy situation. However, once you are here it is very easy to want a furry or feathered friend to share your life with.

here in China, but preparing you welcome! RSVP by February 6, and all of your family for your 2015 to: ICVS_CHINA@yahoo. com journey elsewhere.

It is never too early to begin The MOST UP-TO-DATE airline preparations for overseas regulations for transporting travel with pets! Come join the pets and the LATEST 2015 regulations for China, Whether it’s a rescue EU countries, North cat, an abandoned doggie that you have South Whether it’s a rescue cat, an America, picked up on the America, Middle abandoned doggie that you have East/Africa, street, a bird that just Asia flew it your window picked up on the street, a bird that and Australia/New one day, or a pet that Zealand. We will be just flew it your window one day, you inherited through sharing advice on another expat who or a pet that you inherited through pet transport safety, could no longer take choosing airlines and another expat who could no longer care of them, they are minimizing travelnow part of your family. take care of them, they are now part related stress for you ICVS is the go-to facility and your pets. New of your family. ICVS is the Beijing for your new friend. airline regulations for cargo transport and go-to facility for your new friend. But as in life, “winter blackout” circumstances change. periods affecting pet Companies restructure, travel will also be Jobs shift, and you find that experts from ICVS as we share shared. your family has to move from step-by-step instructions on China to other parts of the the exit process, microchipping, ICVS experts will also answer world. Leaving your four footed vaccinations and other your questions on: or two talon friend behind is not requirements to help you The International Center an option. prepare for a smooth departure for Veterinary Services is an ICVS is an invaluable resource from China and an easy entry to officially designated animal for not only maintaining your your next destination country. vaccination hospital and can pets’ health while you are This session is FREE! Everyone is provide the required legal 41


rabies vaccination and official vaccination certificate for export, microchipping and rabies antibody titre testing for EU and all other countries. ICVS is delighted to provide this service to all pet owners, especially the international community. ICVS is a high-quality, affordable full service medical and pet care facility with well-trained professionals to serve all your needs. Services include spay/ neuter and all other surgeries, dentals, hospitalization, vaccinations, microchipping, rabies antibody titre testing for export, laboratory

ICVS offers monthly workshops for expatriates who need counseling on repatriating with their pets including:

diagnostics and blood tests, X-rays & ultrasound. Import/ export counseling, boarding, grooming, dog training and pet shop available. Legal rabies vaccines. All services in English and Mandarin.

• Required vaccinations and pre-departure screening health examination to ensure smooth departure from China • Obtaining the official Beijing Animal Health and Immunity Certificate (vaccination red book required for export • Obtaining the EU microchip required for the official exit health examination to take pets out of China • Fulfilling pet import requirements for European Union and strict quarantine control destinations (e.g., Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, etc.) • Completing the rabies antibody titre test required to take pets into the European Union and other countries • Transporting pet by “excess check-in baggage” or unaccompanied live animal “cargo” transport • Taking multiple pets out of China under the “one-pet per-passport” regulation • Taking pets out of China when the owner has to leave the country first • Managing the process without the assistance of a pet relocation company • Exporting rabbits and other exotic animals • Reducing the stress of travel on pets and pet owners • Safe and effective calming remedies to help pets during travel

Location: International Center for Veterinary Services No. 13-16 Rong Ke Gan Lan Cheng Shang Jie, Fu Tong Xi Da Jie, Wangjing, Chaoyang District, Beijing, 100102 (Across the street from the Mercedes Benz Tower & behind the Smile Angel Children’s Hospital) 地址:北京新天地国际动物医 院, 北京市朝阳区望京阜通西大 街融科橄榄城商街13-16号

©2006-2014 International Center for Veterinary Services. All rights reserved.

CONTACT ICVS FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Tel: (010) 8456-1939/1940 E-mail: ICVS_CHINA@yahoo.com www.ICVSASIA.com

42


pets

Tips for taking your pets from China. ICVS experts hold monthly seminars on your pets well being while in China, and what to do when you need to relocate you loved animal with you out of The PRC. Here are some of the basics, links are included. _________________________

Required vaccinations and pre-departure screening health examination to ensure smooth departure from China Rabies Vaccinations and the Official Vaccination Immunity Certificate Complete rabies vaccination and obtain official PRC immunity certificate certifying pet vaccinated at least 30-days before but not more than 12-months before departure Animals departing China must be rabies vaccinated at an official animal vaccination hospital in the PRC and must have the official “Beijing Animal Health and Immunity Certificate” (vaccination red book). ICVS is an officially designated animal vaccination hospital in Beijing and can issue the official vaccination certificate to all pets rabies vaccinated at ICVS. Recommend owners keep good records of pet’s local vaccinations 43 upon adoption or arrival in

Beijing. By law, all dogs must be rabies vaccinated annually in the PRC. Cats should also receive annual rabies vaccinations as well. China does not recognize the 2- or 3-year rabies vaccines from other countries. ICVS is an officially designated animal vaccination hospital in the PRC and can vaccinate all pets and issue the official vaccination certificate required for export.

The Quarantine Bureau has introduced new health screening requirements and are scrutinizing test results in order to assure animals exported from China are healthy and pose no risk of infection to other animals in the destination country. Dogs and cats will be subject to blood tests, viral antigen tests and fecal exams at the official exit health examination. Owners are strongly recommended to perform the pre-departure screening health examinations, stool checks and blood tests BEFORE presenting the pet at the Quarantine Bureau animal hospital for the official exit health examination. Owners should be fully aware of the health status of their pets and there should be no surprises at the time of the official exit health examination. ICVS performs a comprehensive pre-departure health screening examination to help pet owners understand the health status of their pets and to provide treatments in advance of the official exit health examination to ensure a smooth departure from China.

_________________________

Obtaining the official Beijing Animal Health and Immunity _________________________ Certificate (vaccination red Overview of the vaccinations book) required for export for pets for their health and Please ensure your pets are safety and also to fulfill export vaccinated at a legally registered and and import requirements: officially designated animal hospital in the PRC. Cats: Only officially designated animal vaccination hospitals are permitted • Feline distemper vaccination (also to procure legally registered and known as: FVRCP, three-in-1, safe vaccines through the official Tricat, etc.) government agency – the Agricultural Bureau. The Bureau imports legally Dogs: registered, international vaccines manufactured in Europe and North • Rabies vaccination America. • Canine distemper vaccination (also Only officially licensed and designated known as 8-part vaccine) animal vaccination hospitals are • Bordetella vaccination (Kennel allowed to purchase and administer Cough) animal vaccines in Beijing. Please Both dogs and cats must have been check your animal hospital to ensure regularly dewormed and treated it is a designated vaccination animal against intestinal parasites, and fleas hospital. Designated vaccination and ticks. Dogs should also be on animal hospitals must display a bronze plaque awarded by the preventives for heartworm. Agricultural Bureau featuring the • Rabies vaccination


hospital’s “License Number”:

_________________________

Owners may:

meet the import requirements to take pets into the destination country.

Obtaining the EU microchip required for the official exit health examination to take pets out of China

• Find a second traveler (e.g., friend, relative, colleague) willing to register the pet under his/her passport and take overseas as “hand carry into the cabin” or as “excess check-in baggage”

Microchipping – The European Union and other countries (e.g., Japan, Korea, Singapore, Indonesia, etc.) require that pets must be microchipped before or on the same date as the rabies vaccination. Rabies vaccinations that were administered BEFORE the insertion of the microchip will not be considered as valid for the rabies antibody titre test required for pets entering into the EU.

• Make successive trips to take the first pet overseas and then the second Exporting rabbits and other pet at a later date (e.g., at least 2-4 exotic animals weeks later) Animals that are not dogs or cats • Take one pet out of China as are not classified as pets but as “hand carry baggage into the cabin” “agricultural exports.” A separate or as “excess check-in baggage.” process is required to clear animals The second pet may be shipped as such as rabbits, chinchillas, guinea unaccompanied live animal air cargo. pigs, hamsters, rats, turtles and birds for export.

Please contact ICVS for more information about specific destination countries as rules and regulations are subject to change at any time and without prior notice. ICVS works regularly with pet owners and professional pet relocation companies to export pets from China and to import into more than 200 destination countries worldwide.

_________________________

Transporting pet by “excess check-in baggage” or unaccompanied live animal “cargo” transport Outlines the 3 methods that pets may be transported on airplanes: • Hand-carry into the cabin • Check-in excess baggage • Unaccompanied live animal air cargo htt p : / / w w w.t h e b e i j i n ge r. co m / blog/2014/05/04/packing-poochholiday-travel-pets

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Taking multiple pets out of China under the “one-petper-passport” regulation

_________________________

Please contact for more information about taking exotic animals out of China: www.ICVSASIA.com

_________________________

Fulfilling pet import requirements for European Union and strict quarantine control destinations (e.g., Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, etc.)

Departing from China with Pets information sessions are offered monthly. Please check the ICVS web site for latest dates of the sessions:

_________________________

Safe and effective calming remedies to help pets during travel Animals should NOT be given tranquilizers unless specifically prescribed by your veterinarian. NEVER GIVE HUMAN MEDICATION TO ANIMALS WITHOUT CONSULTING _________________________ YOUR VETERINARIAN. There are Taking pets out of China several homeopathic calming when the owner has to leave remedies available that have been demonstrated to be effective on dogs the country first and cats. Please inquire with the Boarding for pets departing from International Center for Veterinary China is available at ICVS. ICVS can Services about calming remedies if work with your relocation company you are concerned about traveling that will pick up your pets from the with your pets. Give your pet at least hospital and bring them for official a month to get used to being inside exit health examination and also take the crate before flying. This will help them to the air cargo terminal for minimize stress during travel. final departure. Please also visit the ICVS web site for more information about our boarding and kenneling services:

_________________________

Managing the process without the assistance of a pet relocation company Please attend the monthly ICVS “Departing from China with Pets” FREE information sessions. ICVS pet relocation experts will share stepby-step guidelines for managing the process to clear China Quarantine Bureau exit requirements and to

_________________________

Please note, these are very abbreviated notes on important issues regarding the relocation of your animal friends. For further information please visit : http://www.icvsasia.com All information:

©2006-2014 International Center for Veterinary Services. All rights reserved. 44


fiction.

Beastly Diction By Penelope Rocketship

photo: greatwarphotos.com

January in Vermont — the darkest of days. Ordinary

people get out of bed before dawn and return home after dusk, the only glimmers of daylight squeezing through the narrow windows of the breakroom at lunchtime, or pouring in a blinding torrent through the windshield as they blink, mole-like, at that unfamiliar yellow object hanging in the sky. Sub-zero dawns find frozen breath collecting in scarves during the mad dash to start the car each morning, and crystallizing on the eyelashes of those dedicated dog walkers whose constitution is sufficiently robust, and devotion to their canine companions sufficiently unwavering, to tempt them to roam the icy morning streets. Cecil can’t abide winter. As far as he’s concerned, temperatures below freezing are uncivilized, intemperate and certainly out of compliance with any form or requisition that he has personally submitted to the powers governing climates. Every year, he storms up and down, raging against the injustice of freezing winds and icy sidewalks. But despite his deep and abiding loathing for the sharp needles of winter, Cecil has the great inconvenience to have been born a dog. And for dogs, there’s no way around it—winter or no, they all eventually have to go out. When Evangeline first brought

45 Cecil to meet her parents, she

wasn’t sure exactly how her father would respond to the tiny ball of 9 week old fluff she laid in his arms. A retired carpenter and staunch collector of World War I memorabilia, as well as a founding member and commissioned officer of the Great War Theatrical Facsimile club (also known as GWTF), Beauregard Moss was a man not generally given to sentimentality. But the moment his daughter placed the tiny schnauzer in his arms, with its bushy eyebrows, old-world mustache and tender puppy dog eyes gazing up at him with a look of flat adoration, Oberstleutnant Moss’s heart began to slowly melt. The Great War Theatrical Facsimile club was founded by Beauregard Moss in the mid-80’s with a group of like-minded friends who were devoted to WWI reenactments. This included the preservation of actual antiquities of the era, such as maps, canteens, helmets, weapons, rucksacks, gas masks, radios, and military accessories of all descriptions. It also included replication of military uniforms, munitions, vehicles, accommodations and potables to the best of modern abilities and the procedural structure and administrative hierarchy of both Allied and Central Powers. As a founding member, Moss had quickly ascended the ranks of Central Powers commissioned officers. Dressed in his smart gray uniform with silver epaulets, jodhpurs and formal silver pickelhaube, the Oberstleuntnant cut an intimidating figure as he roamed the halls of the Granite City Episcopal Church basement on the occasions of formal dinners and officer’s luncheons. Mrs. Moss thought the

whole thing was frankly rather silly, but, as a peaceful marriage often requires compromise, she allowed herself to be dressed in appropriate silks and taffetas of the era, slingback shoes displaying a still-slender ankle, and paraded about as the consort of one the most powerful and influential officers in the entirety of GWTF. Actually, it was kind of fun. Perhaps it was her father’s influence that led Evangeline to adopt a miniature schnauzer. Regardless, Beauregard immediately realized on meeting the dignified little animal, that here was a beast of pure Teutonic origins. Within a month Beauregard had presented baby Cecil with his first miniature pickelhaube—the German military helmet shaped like an inverted soup tureen with a sharp spike on top. It had been made of macramé by one of the ladies who helped organize GWTF church suppers, and the Oberstleutnant had complimented her lavishly on her skill. By the time Cecil had passed his second birthday, Beauregard had presented him with a dog-sized replica of a true WWI pickelhaube, complete with metal spike and silver eagle. Cecil wore it proudly—it was his most prized possession. Beauregard groomed Cecil with exacting precision in WWI era German military procedure. Many a family gathering would find Evangeline and her mother gazing out the window at the perplexing visage of Beauregard marching Cecil through strict military parade formation. There was no mistaking the shine of hero-worship in the little dog’s eyes as he followed the Oberstleutnant’s commands, marching back and forth in military cadence across the backyard. By


the time Cecil was three years old, Beauregard judged Cecil’s adherence to military protocol to be of sufficient caliber, and he promoted him to the rank of Staff Sergeant. From then on, whenever Oberstleutnant Moss attended a formal military gathering at GWTF, he was accompanied by his chief assistant and mascot, Feldwebel Cecil von Hund. No doubt, this gave rise to some whispers. But despite his exacting military training, tactical acumen and ferocity in the face of the enemy, Cecil remains a coward when faced with the prospect of a frigid, wintery stroll. First, Evangeline tries reason. “But Cecil, my love,” she wheedles in her most conciliatory tone. “Aren’t you bored? Wouldn’t you enjoy a nice little walk?” Cecil makes a beeline for the space under the couch and crouches there stubbornly, white whiskers barely visible beneath the frame. “Come ON, Cecil,” Evangeline pleads, holding out one of his favorite treats—a squished amalgam of sausage and a play-dough-like substance of questionable origin, usually a sure winner with those of the canine persuasion. But Cecil is having none of it. He scrunches his little body as deeply under the couch as he can burrow. By this time, Evangeline realizes that it’s time to wheel out the heavy artillery. “Feldwebel Cecil von Hund, this behavior is unbecoming of an officer,” declares Evangeline in haughty indignation, stamping her foot. “If it persists, I will be forced to make a report to the Oberstleutnant for demerits. Report for duty this instant!” And it works. A sheepish Cecil begins to slowly extricate himself from the furniture, quickly polishing his pickelhaube with a paw and coming to rest at somewhat reluctant attention. The first hurdle of extracting him from under the furniture having been overcome, the next daunting task

is the winter footwear. Evangeline produces a series of functional, if undignified, little rubber foot balloons in a garish shade red. First, Cecil looks indignant. He plants his fluffy little feet in duckfooted fashion and stares crossly up at Evangeline from under heavy eyebrows. “You’re kidding, right?” he says. “I’m not kidding,” says Evangeline. “I am entirely serious.” Next, Cecil runs and hides. “Cecil, you filthy malingerer,” shouts Evangeline, losing her cool. “Come here this instant!” Cecil ignores her. “Cecil, COME!” she hollers, in her most no-more-of-this-nonsenseleast-I-burnish-your-hide-with-thisrubber-implement voice. Cecil’s fluffy little schnauze appears sheepishly in the doorframe. “Cecil, come,” she says again, and he grudgingly takes one step forward, then another, and finally stops a few feet before her. It doesn’t take much to wrestle Cecil into his dogshoes once he’s caught, although he grumps and huffs the whole time. Once finished, he looks up at Evangeline piteously with his big mournful puppy dog eyes, hoping that she might relent and take them off. Seeing that she remains unmoved, Cecil begins the curious and unfailing ritual of hopping about the kitchen on three legs, in some effort to demonstrate that the shoes have apparently rendered him a cripple. He hops frantically about for three solid minutes, hoping to elicit some sympathy from his slightly bemused human, finally coming to an exhausted standstill. Next, comes the dog coat. It’s amazing the material they make these dog coats out of. To Evangeline’s touch, the coat seems made of a light, synthetic, fleecy material. But, once placed on Cecil’s back, it takes on a molecular density previously unknown to science, mutating into a mantle of such pith that Evangeline has

the startling premonition that the coat is in danger of spontaneously generating a black hole, propelling the coat, followed by Cecil, Evangeline and their sundry household articles, into an alternate universe which, Evangeline supposes, is ruled by a ferocious race of schnauzers who have proclaimed it illegal to wear clothes of any sort and subsist entirely on sausages. Despite the monumental change in the coat’s density, the planet is spared for the present and no black hole appears. Cecil’s hind legs buckle under the immense weight of the remarkable coat, sinking his hindquarters plaintively to the ground and as he waddles in dismay under his oppressive burden. Of course, this all sounds quite cruel and unusual, and Cecil has, on numerous occasions, opined that he would call the ASPCA to complain if only he had thumbs. But immediately upon traversing the doorway, he becomes keenly aware of a busy administrative agenda; investigating the terrain, taking stock of any items that are out of order, barking orders at any errant birds or chipmunks laying about looking idle. Buoyed by a sense of military purpose, Cecil straightens his shoulder blades, rises staunchly under his vortical dog coat, and plunges into his conscripted duties with the vigor of a dog unencumbered by either oppressive cold and ice, or those burdensome accouterments which protect him from them.

Penelope Rocketship is the nom de plume of an extremely cranky and reclusive author who lives in the middle of nowhere and basically wants to be left the fuck alone 46


images. photos: Š Eric Sherman

47


photos: Š Eric Sherman

Born and raised in the picturesque mountains of Vermont, and coming of age in the late 1980s, I found my love of art ; images of vivid color. I quickly groomed my eye for photography, and graphic design because I started making layouts, and fliers for bands of which I was a member. 48


stepping up. Reeling From Ruby A Disaster Response Story By: Katlyn Murray

Sometimes when it seems like you are finally going to catch a break, the universe has a way of surprising you with even more bad luck. For the people of the Philippines, reoccurring natural disasters pose a constant threat. Just over a year after the nation 7,000 islands was ravaged by Super Typhoon Yolanda (internationally known as Haiyan), which killed 6,300 people and left over 449, 127 families homeless, Typhoon Ruby (internationally known as Hagupit) struck the region, killing 18 people and leaving an additional 42, 466 homes completely destroyed.

of

effective solutions in disaster response, has built over 1,000 homes on Bantayan Island and in Eastern Samar, two regions regularly affected by typhoons. Yolanda, helping Filipinos build YPDR employs local carpenters, homes, rebuild schools, and restore who are trained in typhoon resistant damaged coral reefs. construction techniques, to build Among many other projects. homes for families in need in their The organization, which has communities. developed a reputation both locally This synergistic approach and internationally for rapidly simultaneously addresses the implementing sustainable and combined issues of lack of shelter and a need for livelihood.

Just days after Typhoon Ruby making landfall in Eastern Samar, YPDR had an emergency response team on the ground conducting damage assessments and distributing relief goods. All of the homes built by YPDR withstood the gale force winds and torrential rains of Typhoon Ruby.

Consistent storms and pre-existing poverty make it incredibly difficult for locals to rebuild their homes in a way that will be sufficient to withstand future storms. “When people don’t have the funds to buy better materials, they are resourceful and use what they can find. While the structures they build might work for day to day living, they usually aren’t strong enough to withstand powerful typhoons,” said YPDR’s President and Co-Founder Christopher White. Young Pioneer Disaster Response (YPDR), hailed as the most successful startup NGO of 2014, has been working in the Philippines for over 49 a year in response to Typhoon

“Our programs are all about community empowerment. Filipinos are resilient people and many of the guys we’ve worked with are fantastic carpenters. We are not trying to reinvent the wheel. We are just giving people a hand with supplying


situation in Eastern Samar as a shelter crisis. They continue to build homes in the region. To learn more about Young Pioneer Disaster Response and its programs, visit www.ypdr.org.

some higher quality building material and teaching them some innovative construction techniques so they can build back stronger before another storm hits,” White said. Just days after Typhoon Ruby making landfall in Eastern Samar, YPDR had an emergency response team on the ground conducting damage assessments and distributing relief goods. All of the homes built by YPDR withstood the gale force winds and torrential rains of Typhoon Ruby. In Eastern Samar, most of the beneficiaries who received houses from the organization before Typhoon Ruby had been living in cramped government bunkhouses for nearly a year. Others were living in makeshift structures or relief tents. One beneficiary, Erlinda, shared her story before receiving a home from YPDR: “My family and I were living in a house in Barangay 6 before Yolanda. My son and I evacuated to the elementary

school but the rest of my family, 10 people, stayed in the house and were washed away by Yolanda. Since then, my son and I have been living in the bunkhouse. I used to sell fish but now it is harder for me to get fish since Yolanda and we just barely have enough to eat,” she said. Erlinda and her son received a home from YPDR, which was built by local carpenters who received training in typhoon resistant construction techniques and a fair wage for their Katlyn Murray gave up her profeswork, just two weeks before Typhoon sional career in Beijing to join Young Ruby hit. The home made it through Pioneer Disaster Response after the storm unscathed. Typhoon Yolanda. She continues her YPDR has identified the current dedicated work to this day. 50


GIGs. A Horror Story

A precautionary tale for bands playing in China by: Alex Lanson, with the collaboration of Ophélie Beaudoin and Mark Van Der Mass

As a musician, dancer, performer and actor I’ve been working in China for the last 10 years, and during all this time I’ve had ups and downs. I’ve made a few achievements I’m proud of, and encountered a few bumps along the road, which I’m equally grateful to have met early on my career. Those experiences helped me to persevere and gave me a work ethic. I’ve tried to surround myself with competent people and learned by their side. During my martial arts career, I performed on TV, did stunt work on big budget movies, shot some advertisements, and when things started to go beyond being an anonymous laowai, I was promised good roles, money and fame. I’ve been in situations when working with connections, the “good guanxis” , I discovered they were just vultures trying to use you and your name, in order to make quick profit or highlight their institution or company. Two of the Sports Institutes I’ve trained at, used my image to promote their foreign ties, and I’ve even been dumped into propaganda 51 shows, in front of an audience of

photos: Alex Lanson

risks are high and various. Working conditions are difficult: long trips, long wait outside, no place to rest or change, no meals offered, absence of signed contract, no consideration from venue/booker or agent. The sad truth is, talented people get to accept shitty deals to make ends meet. So it was with confidence I’ve booked 2 shows with my newly formed band, at a club in Hangzhou where I previously played last year with my former band.

construction workers. The event being organized for the sole purpose of entertaining a crowd of weary workers, who worked night and day to build a whole new district in the outskirts of Shanghai.

We had a fun show, but struggled because they lacked pro-equipment and personnel : no sound engineer, no serious performing amps for the instruments, no stage monitors, feedback problem. This venue presented itself to us as being a “bikers/rock” kind of place, instead of which, we played for local white collars, and foreign teachers.

In my days with Shanghai based Jazzdufunk dance company, artists and performers where under its protection and the company would pay I kept in touch with a lady, Jo from from its own pocket if a deal was Miami, who when I met her at the club, introduced herself as being one turning bad. of the “shareholders” of the bar. For the freelance performer, who’s Since then, she asked my previous looking to live with his/her art, the band and I to come back to “her” venue, to make a “big show”, as the


band had a huge success and gained new fans. At the end of the year, she informed me she became assistant manager of the place, and that they upgraded their equipment. We kept a regular contact, and as soon as Jo heard my NEW band (important information, new name, new people, new music etc...) was ready, she asked when and how we could organize a show at “her” venue, to make it big, so they could make some money out of it, and expressed how excited her partners were about having us. The initial plan was to play at Nanjing, Hangzhou and Shanghai, but schedule and previous engagement prevented this to happen, and Nanjing informed me of a problem with the authorities, so they couldn’t give me a straight answer.

band to come have an event.

appreciated support and finally said that everything has been green lightWe chatted and I gave him band info’s ed , and the deal was “Set in stone”. and pics, so he could see the magni- They booked ticket, but took them tude of previous shows. 3-4 times to book them without our names being misspelled. At this point He knew of course we were a rock Jo told me to directly deal with someband playing loud and heavy, and one named Cherie, who I assumed when I asked how was equipped his was the “other” venue’s manager. venue, his answer was “we have to big loudspeaker, is that ok for you?”. To our surprise, they only had booked the return ticket to Beijing, and not The naivety of such question makes to Hangzhou, to which Jo said “yeah I musicians-and I’m sure anyone who’s need to talk to her, I think she thinks been to a concert, even at a smaller you are performing somewhere else venue- wondering how can anyone too”. think by having no equipment or sub-standard gear, expect to bring Remember, the deal went on for 2 bands and have decent shows... shows in Hangzhou because Nanjing and Shanghai couldn’t have us So once I’ve explained the minimum on those dates. Jo was making such required to have a rock band (PA, a bad description of her partners, I assumed her partners were to blame for all problems.

For the freelance performer, who’s looking to live with his/her art, the risks are high and various.

I informed the lady of the situThis made me fell the other ation, and we tried to come up persons, were not competent with solutions. “Her team “ and enough to properly spell our Working conditions are difficult: long her already had launched the names and understand Beitrips, long wait outside, no place to rest marketing, and when I told her jing-Hangzhou-Beijing tickets... or change, no meals offered, absence of signed contract, no consideration from I’d send her pics, she got surJo blamed and explained “Chevenue/booker or agent. prised to hear it was “ not the rie did not understand that same guys as before”. She “misthe Nanjing and Shanghai gigs understood” the NEW BAND were a no go “, and that “there from the previous one I performed drum kit, decent amps, microphones, seems to be a misunderstanding, she with last year. Even when I already monitors...), and the deal we were was confused”. Jo continued by askhad given her the new band name expecting to get (band fees, transpor- ing “are you sure you can’t find a gig and info’s, they used the previous tation + hotel), he thanked me for my in shanghai to cover your trip here” band’s image and logo to market the advices and said he’d give me an an- to which I said “yes, I’m sure since event, in order “to make it big”-and swer after having talked to his boss. you said both venues wanted us and legitimately make money. would cover the round tickets”. As he didn’t contact me when promFrom a business perspective, it may ised, Jo then told me “they” (including I found this situation strange since I be useful to inform about previous her and the other representatives of previously mentioned the issue to Jo, achievements, but on their advertise- said bar) had another venue, where and assumed she’d tell all parties inment and banners, they labeled the they were thinking to get bands com- volved. One can only think then that band as being the same old mem- ing, and that some work was “being whatever misunderstanding there bers, under a new name. Misleading done” but that they’ll be ready for us was, it was between her and everymessage to the public. at the date we set. body in Hangzhou... At this point, we already had discussed BAND FEES, transportationreturn tickets to Beijing- and hotel. She then gave my contact to a friend of hers, who represented another venue. Apparently, he has been asking my contact for some time and was thrilled to finally get it, to get the

We discussed transportations, hotel, and band fees (who goes out of town on a 3 day trip, plays 2 shows and doesn’t charge?). Considering the situation, and how close the deadline was, I was willing to postpone the event. Jo showed much

A few days later she informed me that actually the other venue who booked us, did not have a drum kit, so they would use “their” kit (Jo’s venue). All along, she repeatedly used “ we, our, us, our bar” clearly identifying her being involving in the decision making and managing part of 52


It did not happen. By the time we were supposed to have the sound check, Cherie wrote they were on their way to pick up the gear at the venue we played the night before. Why did they not pick it up after our show is a mystery...

the venue as an active employee. Fast forward to “everything confirmed”, just days before departure. To the question “will we stay in the same hotel for the 2 nights?” Cherie answered “yeah I think so “... I asked her to clarify this statement, because it was important, but failed to bring precision. On the night prior departure and show, she was still unsure about the necessary equipment a band would need to perform (venue’s owner supposedly having regular bands or act performing...), and this conversation took place between 11pm on Thursday and Friday after midnight, for a flight on Friday morning 9am.... Nonetheless she said” we have pretty much everything”. We decided to meet in early afternoon at 2pm at the venue where they were supposed to pick up the gear. Once there, to our dismay no one was there. A cleaning lady came to open the bar, and Cherie arrived just before 4pm, without any apology. Mark and I were sleeping on chairs, and as Cherie and her boyfriend arrived, they expressed their surprised at our weariness. She then asked us to do the set in the other venue, and conceded that the other venue did not have any equipment and that they would ask some music store to borrow some53 thing.

They finally got the gear back and by then it was 7pm. As before, I had to do the sound check, and used their karaoke microphones for vocals. It took us 2 hours to set things to a “satisfying” level. As we were having dinner at nearby restaurant, Cherie said that the bar was “full” asked us to come ASAP. When we got back, we saw that there was at best, 30 people, When we inquired about the new mostly locals playing dice, and tables equipment Jo mentioned, they didn’t where not even removed. Where was know about it and confirmed it did the “big party” promised? not exist. We got to the venue at 8pm, while expecting us to play at 9.30pm. The venue wasn’t a club, but a fancy bar-restaurant with quiet music, well dressed people enjoying a nice meal, obviously not a loud rock’n’roll place or audience.

Amongst the few people there, I saw some familiar faces, fans who came to see us last year, who were enthusiastic about my return.

We played, and from the first riff, those guys were into it. After a few songs, they came jumping and dancing in front of the stage. On the last We all looked at each other’s and felt set, we played a new original song very uneasy. Of course the “gear “was and had warm and positive review, terrible, not build for loud music, and ending the gig with RATM” killing the acoustic made everything sound in the name” , where the 15 people dull and muffled. When I asked if they who came for us went ballistic. had the promised sound engineer, some guy said “no”. Once the show was over, we chilled, and I asked Jo who would give us our The dude turned out to be the “sound fees, and she clearly answered “Cheguy” who left as soon as I started rie, ask her”. So we did. drum sound check. Of course all this was a big waste of time. After the meal we got offered, Ophélie and I started a few bossanova covers (which were not what we came to play) as we felt it would fit more the venue. After this, drum and bass joined us for the regular set.

And Cherie acted surprised,” no one told me you guys needed to get paid. I already booked your flight and hotel, tonight we didn’t have lot of customers”. Starting this point a long discussion took place until 5am and continued on Sunday afternoon 2pm.

Naturally there wasn’t much people but the few who were present enLuckily, a customer and friend of joyed the show and offered us drinks. them acted as a mediator, put some sense in them and showed them who Once done, I made sure that on the was at fault. On Sunday 4pm we renext day, we do a sound check in earceived our money. ly afternoon.


Important Rock & Roll Safety Tips Basics for bands wanting to play in China.

So for all of you who tour or plan to go on tour, here are some advice: • Make sure your contact actually represents, works, or is a shareholder or representative of the venue. If not, ask for proof of confirmation from the venue • Provide a single document with every consideration clearly laid out. Venue doesn’t need to sign, but need written confirmation that they agree with all points • Ask for money up front/deposit if possible, but lot of venues don’t if it’s on a one off show. If your band as already some kind of recognition and venue wants you, put whatever condition you think reasonable

• Make sure they have the equipment they promise, ask for proof/pictures for you to evaluate before you leave to the venue/city.

• When shit hits the fan, don’t make an enemy of the venue, or at least have a decision maker. Try to keep them neutral or on your side and find a com• If you show up and they do mon denominator. not have everything they confirmed, keep the deposit and • If you are in disagreement return to your hotel or go out with the venue/agent or other into the city. If they want you third party about something, to play, tell them to get the keep things diplomatic and reequipment laxed. Do not raise your voice. If one of your band members • Always keep record of your gets heated, reel him in or tell written conversations (Wechat, him to leave. Keep things logemails…) and take pictures ical, coherent, remember you represent your band’s image • Always have a backup plan and reputation, and you will and be ready to play other have a winning argument. Keep songs than your regular set calm and be well-mannered with the scammer in front of • Make sure you have as much you, especially when he threatinfo about a venue as possible. ens you of kicking you out of Don’t be surprised if they bring the country, because he actualyour hard rock or metal act to a ly can’t do such thing steak and wine restaurant and 54 tell you to play bossanova.


expat

Darryl Pestilence has spent the better part of two decades living in Asia. You can find his film DRAGON CITY on amazon.com. He can currently be spotted around Beijing performing with his band BASTARDS OF IMPERIALISM.

• You have obviously worked in many places across the world or else you would not have landed in Beijing. Looking back, what was your first expat position, and how did you prepare for it? Elsewhere in Asia. Packed a healthy supply of music and movies. That’s how I roll. ____________________ • When you first moved to China, what was your transition like? 55 It was fairly painful

9 ball

9 questions answered from an established expat

because I was working in dreadfully boring (but quite affluent) Wenzhou in Zhejiang province. I also had a boss who was a total cunt and learned the hard lesson that most mainland locations claiming to be located in a particular city are often way off in the suburbs. Chinese “suburbs” make North American suburbs seem like New Orleans during Mardi Gras. I also learned the bitter truth that a good number of cretins in positions of power within companies don’t usually earn their positions through meritocracy, efficiency nor professionalism. ____________________ • Did you experience culture shock, and if so, what was the best and worst part ? The idea that “affluence equals’ somewhat cultured” was shattered really fast. It doesn’t translate that way here. Hardly the worst. I was prepared for the pollution and other hiccups endemic to developing countries. ____________________ • In your opinion, what is the biggest challenge

facing ex-pats in china today? It depends on where you are. Often it’s other ex-pats. Lots of shifty, transient cretins swim amongst the fish. Not the majority, clearly, but they’re there and their fuckery is amplified. Ignorance of Chinese history. Knowing the past two hundred years of mainland history helps to put things into perspective. Many come here truly not giving a fuck about the people or culture here and it shows. In the EastWest thing: the ever-increasing clampdown on the internet that makes it more of an intranet than a window to the world. Only Weixin (WeChat) realized that you may be based in China with the mainland as your backbone, but making applications and platforms multilingual can not only reap profits, but allow your service/company to roll right in and pick up the slack from western, global internet apps/services that they block here. I think for most ex-pats the first challenge they will face that isn’t sole-

ly linguistic is realizing that there are hurdles to hop through and life adjustments that must be made in their cyber lives. ____________________ • If you are looking at hiring an expat, or if you were in a position to, what are the most important questions you ask in an interview? “What can you tell me about modern Chinese history and culture?” It would help siphon off the cretins who come here and end up in misery (and/or causing others misery in the process). “Can you adapt to adverse situations that do not follow social and cultural norms you are accustomed to back in your own country?” So many ex-pats think they “know” China and they really have no clue. Being able to adapt to dramatic differences likely guarantees a prospective employer a happier employee, and well, if folks have a stable life outside of work they may be able to handle the pressures at work. “Outside of the job,


what exactly interests you about China?” A lot of people come here for nothing more than the dosh. This is not Japan. This is not Thailand. If you do not have other interests in what is going on here then you’re likely not going to acclimatize to life here. There has to be more than wanting to come here for work, because unlike Japan or Thailand, the charms of mainland China don’t immediately jump out to you. Stuff like the dynamic music, fine and appleid arts scenes here have to be sought out. Panning for gold. ____________________ • Do you feel that the Chinese have been more or less inviting in accepting you as a foreigner? It depends on the context and situation. In work settings: marginally. They know you’re a foreigner but that can be used as an albatross in how you are treated. Some people will resent you because you may very well receive better pay for less work than they do. It’s understandable, but here many people do not think critically like, “well, that person gave up their friends and family and culture to be here and they are a specialist.” They also might not receive the long term benefits here like employee discount housing you can purchase and have a place to retire in, insurance, hol-

iday bonuses, maternity and sick leave, nor the social, professional and familial relationships that define Mainland Chinese life like you - the local have. Still, one must never come here and think they will ever be seen as a complete equal. Many people who get to know you will treat you as one, but you will always be the outsider. even with friends and lovers who take you in as family: they value you as a person, but you will never, ever be seen as a 100% equal. For better or for worse you’re still the “other.” Some will love you more for that. You’re exotic. You’re different. You may genuinely even be awesome to them, but you are not Chinese, and this will always, always present itself. Usually in trivial ways that are easily dismissable. Sometimes virulently and in your face. It is what it is. ____________________ • Are you finding that the Air quality is making finding and keeping quality talent difficult? Not really. If anything and I will make a bit of a pun here - the pollution filters out a lot of flakes. You have to really want to be here and have more than a willy-nilly mercenary capitalist mentality to come here to work and to live. People who have a sincere interest in being here will find a way to adapt in spite of it.

The others will complain endlessly and miss the forest for the trees. Don’t come here if you can’t handle that visible dirt, grime and pollution is never far away and the odds are good you’ll find yourself in the thick of it. This is not Japan nor Thailand. Even the most “pristine” nature here is relative. There has to be more than your job to justify coming over here. Money doesn’t count, and pollution is a reality here few can truly imagine. It won’t be going away anytime soon. I also think corporate and political matters are a bigger deterrent for people wanting to do business here than pollution (seeing how a good chunk of this pollution is a product of multinational and international-partnership industrial manufacturing concerns). ____________________ • What are your personal thoughts positive and negative on living and working in China? Positives: it’s mind-expanding. It’s eye opening. It re-affirms certain notions I’ve had about life and shot to shit illusions I once had. I’ve had great relationships here and wonderful friendships have formed. I learn as much about contemporary China as I do about the grander scheme of things. It’s not for everyone, though. The biggest reason to

come here to live and work has to be non-work related. Arts, history, linguistic matters, traveling: that’s what guides us through the ups and downs of career-related matters. Negatives: the ever-shrinking internet/ ever-expanding intranet. It puts a damper on some things. It’s akin to a mosquito that will buzz by your ear yet you can’t swat away. ____________________ • If you could give one piece of advice for someone considering coming to China to work, what would it be? If you’re only coming over here for work and to make money: don’t bother. There has to be other reasons to be here. If there is nothing salient beyond work and money then China will be one of the most miserable experiences for you. You will crash and burn and only leave here bitter. Sure, maybe, just maybe your wallet will be fatter, but money doesn’t mean shit. If you can’t find other reasons to be here that will entertain, educate, enlighten and inspire you then all of the money in the world won’t take away the fact you’re a miserable bastard. China has its own issues. It doesn’t need expat bubbles resplendent with miserable venture capitalists.

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www.thefiveeyesshow.com

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photo: stech


Singer & Drummer Wanted. Rock band

with influences ranging from hard rock, blues, funk to metal: (Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Aerosmith, Rage Against the Machine, Guns ’N Roses, BMR, Van Halen, New York Dolls, The Stooges, Tool). We’re an original band, playing in clubs and festivals. Writing our own material, and planning to record. We're a serious crew of Misfits playing Raw and Gritty rock fueled with Led, a hard and blues flavor, a Hedonistic Rebelliousness and an Appetite For Destruction. We are looking for a Singer with stage presence, a frontman personality, growls, screams and the ability to be melodic (Steven Tyler, Marilyn Manson, Axl Rose, Myles Kennedy, Alice Cooper, Robert Plant, Chris Cornell, Freddy Mercury). We are looking for a Drummer with stamina, power and strong technical skills (Chad Smith, John Bonham, Ian Paice, Tommy Aldridge, Mitch Mitchell, Neil Peart, Anton Fig, Benny Benjamin, Carmine Appice) Most importantly, Someone who has the same musical tastes and enjoys the music we do, has Dedication, skills, creativity, writing input, an open mind, with a good attitude to work and practice on a semi-regular basis. If you think you have the skills to join us, send photos, videos and short bio :

alexxjian@gmail.com, alexx_jian@hotmail.com, OR markvandermaas@gmail.com Wechat: 18610722920 (Alex) OR 18310010697 (Mark)

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Celebrating 50 years!

s

www.varerealestate.com 925 Vt. Rte. 100, Warren

Gorgeous Fuller Farm Road

5.1 acre lot in the unique FULLER FARM subdivision. 39 acres common land, barn and swimming pond. Use of 112 additional acres. Views both dramatic and peaceful include Sugarbush ski trails. Leach field in for 4 BR house. Legacy property at $239,000.

photo: stech

photo: stech

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Near Mt. Ellen, early cape, slate roof. Restored 1980. 3 bedrooms, 1½ baths. Walkout basement, ideal for home occupation. 1.76 acre. Needs finishing but habitable as is. $219,900.

Office Building. 1200 sq. ft. Radiant heat. Possible conversion to residence. On the Mad River. Call office for brochure. Anna Whiteside, owner-broker. Not retiring, downsizing. Great buy at $177,500.

A MAGICAL SPOT, 26 acres of dramatic beauty includes large pond and views of Blueberry Lake. Sunsets and wildlife, stunning property. Comfortable and relaxed living house. $839,000. With adjacent lot $1,100,400.

Ski Club Lodge, 2636 Millbrook Road. Operated as private ski club, capacity 30+. Includes two-apartment building for additional income or owner’s apartment. Big price reduction to $259,000.

s


Khrystina Pryani

She has been described as “ ”& “

spellbinding a complete musician

“Primarily known as a vocalist and songwriter, in the last ten years Khrystina has worked with Francky Moulet (Tony Allen), Fred Doumbe (Manu Dibango), Jojo Kuo (Fela Kuti), Jean-Claude the Funky Pirate, Grace Potter (pre-Nocturnals), Lee Buhaina, and Grupo Sabor. She was born and raised in NYC, and at an early age she immersed herself in the creative arts. She discovered a particular passion for music, from Jazz to Hip Hop, Rock to Latin. A graduate of Goddard College (which produced the likes of Phish, David Mamet, Rob Brezny, Mumia Abu-Jamal), she first hit the scene in Long Island. An extremely versatile musician, she is comfortable in the studio, or on stage, rehearsed or improv. She mixes her influences to create an original soul sound, backed by her no-nonsense voice. She has established a loyal following, performing live at venues throughout Vermont and New York. In 2007 Khrystina started her own label, Free Soul Music, and independently dropped her LP, “Decade” and single “Alhamdulilah”, which are both available on iTunes.” ~ Precis Magazine

Click here for more

Khrystina

photo: GayLynn Thornton

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A Serenade to Nico I miss my possession of you (talent) body mind and soul (skill) the piece of you that is me must remain somehow sustained the now and then is lost but something something must remain

poetry Eyes Glazed Over Wonder Shadows

I am a pale construct of myself (or someone like me) The jaw hinges quite the same, speaking soft and loosely But inside hollowed out am I and empty echoes lightly. I am a cruel scraped sodden danger but my ignorance persists This savage, sudden stranger is too strong (I can’t resist) But what does that say for me, my friend? And where do we go from here?

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(there is no place I can be safe the danger is within)

A darkness overtakes me and I stagger (taken under) I’m blinded to the blessings that no one but me can see A savage hunger binds me in my notoriety Not so long ago I languished in a Castle by the sea But my kingdom is imperiled Doomed to suffer tragedy


Maple Refined

Tonewood l Mad River Valley, Vermont l 802-496-5512 l www.tonewoodmaple.com l

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Š 2015 Joel Fremming - http://facezine.wordpress.com

Precis issue six 2 13 2015  

Issue Six of pré·cis: it has 60 pages the usual international goodness - Gigs, great photos and reviews - Photography - Restaurant Review...

Precis issue six 2 13 2015  

Issue Six of pré·cis: it has 60 pages the usual international goodness - Gigs, great photos and reviews - Photography - Restaurant Review...

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