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Thread: Arrival: The first few months

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2003

    this explains everything.

    you know they called me...well, they were looking for Yan Ming, but I got the call.

    And I was in a hospital, because one of Sifu's friends had taken ill from fasting, while we were out in L.A, and we went to the emergency room.

    So after my two fortune cookie Chinese sentences ran out, and they kept asking for Yan Ming, and I kept saying, in effect, I don't see him- because I have no idea how to say can he call you back...for some reason I said, "Hospital" and they said what I thought was "Rich" which is me...but it was you...and how would they know my english name since Sifu never uses it, at least I think...but they seemed like they knew what I was saying...but then they must have gotten even more confused because that would mean Yan Ming was at the hospital with you. Maybe.

    Anyway, we had the exact same conversation in a revolving fashion for about five times, and then it was "Okay. Bye."

  2. #12

    A new definition of Qi....

    It was time for a new car.

    I've had far too many death defying moments this year. Far too many trips to the hospital. Far too many weird illnesss.

    It was time to get a new car. Time to get rid of the Land Cruiser, and get into that Porsche Cayenne that I've been looking at for about a year now.

    Bought a standard, fully equipped Porsche Cayenne a month ago. Took Shi De Cheng for a ride.

    He liked it. Kind of different from the tuk tuks of Dengfeng. Basically told me that this car was most definitely "not Chinese".

    Nope. Three tons of automobile, three hundred and fifty horsepower, zero to sixty in somethng like six and a half seconds. Definitely "not Chinese".

    He just loved to zoom around the corners. Loved to feel the acceleration. I could tell when I hit the gas pedal, and took a curve a bit too fast, that his eyes would light up, his hands would grip the seat, his mouth would gape in awe, and his expression would exhibit a mix of slight fear, slight anxiety, and overwhelming joy.

    He loved to go fast. But he wouldn't say so.

    Things change, as they always do.

    I traded the Cayenne in for a Porsche Cayenne Turbo. Just a few weeks later. The things I do sometimes.

    I don't even understand them. But I did it.

    So I took Shi De Cheng for a ride. Three tons of tightly built high quality automobile, with an incredible suspension, all powered by a turbo charged V8 engine capable of putting out 460 horsepower. Zero to sixty in about five seconds.

    Off we went. But this time, De Cheng sensed something different about the car. The first time I stepped on the gas.

    His hands held his seat. His head was motionless. He just didn't move. There wasn't a smile on his face. Just a look of pure anticipation.

    I slammed on the gas. The car lept forward with incredible power, throwing both our heads back into the headrests, pinning our bodies in the seat. I kept the gas floored. We roared down Sahara Avenue, zooming up to an ungodly speed which I won't mention, in a matter of seconds. And then I stopped at the next red light.

    DeCheng was speechless. Absolutely speechless. Just sat there. Without any evidence of emotion.

    I asked him, "Ni shi whan wo de che?" (Do you like my car?")

    He turned to look at me, still grasping the seat with both hands. A smile erupted on his face, as his eyes squinted in his usual gleeful fashion.

    "HEN DUO QI" (Lots of qi).

    I finally understand this whole concept of qi....
    Experienced Community organizer. Yeah, let's choose him to run the free world. It will be historic. What could possibly go wrong...

    "You're just a jaded cynical mother****er...." Jeffpeg

    (more comments in my User Profile)

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    LOL, that is one of the funniest things I've heard in a while.

    And to think, when I was reading the beginning of the story, I was going to give you **** about not getting the turbo.
    practice wu de

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2003

    Monk's training

    Hello Doc

    Great thread by the way. I was wondering what the monk's in Las Vegas daily training routine was like. Do they still do tons of jibengong or do they focus on forms or a mixture of stuff. I know a few ex pro wushu athletes and once they start teachng they don't train anymore but if forced to their movements still kick ass. Was wondering what the monks who've left he temple environment do.


  5. #15
    Potato chips

    JT likes potato chips.

    JT is my boxing coach. He's a professional boxing coach, who teaches at our school. Has had a lot of experience with pro fighters in Las Vegas. Why he hangs out with us now, is a bit beyond me.

    But he's fun.

    When I was feeling well, I used to train with him every day. Now, I just kind of hang out.

    JT is about as tall as I, but much more muscular. Shaved head. Huge black guy. Sweetest guy you'd ever want to hang out with.

    The monks love him. Especially Shi De Cheng.

    One day, I did some weights with JT. Brought Decheng with me. Got Decheng on the bench, doing weights. He hadn't the slightest idea what he was doing.

    Now Decheng is a very powerful guy. Solid. Short, but really solid. And fast. He's full of fast twitch muscles. Not very big on the slower, more powerful muscles. But we got him with the barbells, and the bar, and other weights.

    The medicine ball was the best though.

    JT and I take this fifteen pound or so leather medicine ball, and throw it at each other's stomachs. The idea is to tense up your abdominal muscles, let the ball hit you, and then catch it.

    We showed Xingwei how to do it, and then threw the ball at him.

    Xingwei just moved out of the way.

    He isn't stupid. I guess monks don't like to be hit with balls.

    But we got Xingwei and Decheng working on the weights here and there. But, they seem to prefer to do some simple stretching and stuff in the morning. Decheng is religious about it.

    Decheng and Xingwei were religious about what they ate too. That is, until we had JT over for dinner. I had made some spaghetti and meatballs. Actually, Decheng made the meatballs. I taught him how to do it. He had fun punching the meat, as if the bowl were full of beans or rocks. He had muttered something about hard qi gong, as he mashed the eggs, bread crumbs, and meat together.

    Now, JT has some interesting eating habits. It has something to do with potato chips. JT likes his potato chips sprinkled and crushed on top of his spaghetti.

    I told him that was the most disgusting god damn thing I had ever seen. With, the exception of putting peanut butter on bananas.

    Ever since JT amused us with the potato chips, Xingwei sprinkles them on top of everything that he eats. Everything.

    But, Decheng is no better.

    He waits for me to get up in the morning. Now, I haven't felt well enough to train with him yet, but, I usually find him outside in the backyard when I get up, stretching, kicking, or, doing handstands. Sometimes he's just outside studying English. When he sees me, he comes in, and we have breakfast together.

    Now, the doc breakfast lately has not been the healthiest. I usually don't eat breakfast, but, because I've got to take these steroids with food, I try to eat something.

    Lately, it's been chocolate cake. And pretzels. With an occasional chocolate chip cookie. And, orange juice. I try to eat healthy.

    So, initially, Decheng would start with some freeze dried noodles mixed with hot water.

    Then he progressed to the chocolate chip cookie. With a pretzel or two.

    Now, it's full blown chocolate cake, pretzels, cookies, and orange juice. And he loves it. He gets this huge grin while he's cutting a piece of cake.

    Doesn't eat those freeze dried noodles anymore.

    In fact, the other day, I took Decheng with me to the supermarket. Had to get some supplies. I usually don't bring Xingwei with me, because my shopping trips tend to be less than ten minutes. Any more than that, and the damn flourescent lights start to drive me bonkers. Xingwei likes to stroll up and down the aisles, grabbing ****, putting it into the basket, going to another aisle, and taking it out again. He hasn't the slightest idea as to what he grabs. He just likes taking stuff. Gets a kick out of it.

    So I bring Decheng. Xingwei can shop with Tonya, my housekeeper. She has more patience with it.

    I told Decheng, "hen kwai". (very fast). I picked up the pace, and went to the pretzel section. Grabbed a few bags, as both of these guys now eat them, and turned around to tell Decheng that we were done.

    He wasn't there.

    So, I continued real quickly, grabbing a few other things. That was when I ran into Decheng.

    He had the hugest smile on his face.

    Had a box of chocolate cake in his hands too...

    Five AM

    When he first got here, he told me "wu dien". Five AM. He was going to get up at five AM.

    He wanted me to get up with him. And train.

    I basically told him "No ****ing way".

    So, the first night, I've got Decheng living in my dining room. Made it into a bedroom for him. He's awfully comfortable in there.

    I was spending some time in front of my computer, as I usually do at night. Had some work to do. Getting up at five AM just wasn't going to happen, as I've been pretty wiped out with this allergic reaction to Advil, and all these steroids and antihistamines I've been on. I basically get up when I get up. The medication is just whacking me too much.

    It was around 11 PM, and I heard a voice behind me in my office. It was Decheng. In his long underwear. With the sleepiest look in his face. Had this serious look of consternation. He was really bothered by something.

    "Shue Jiau together". (sleep together).


    I hadn't the slightest idea what he was talking about.

    "Shue Jiau together".

    Then he started with some sort of wild animation, where he stuck his tongue out,and pretended to lick in the air. Then he pointed at the back of his head, all the while, continuing the licking motions.

    "Shui jiau together. No good".

    I was lost. We really hadn't started on his daily English lessons yet, and our communications were limited.

    That was when Mickey, my 130 pound German Shepherd, who, I might add, is taller than Decheng when he stands on his back legs, walked into the room. Decheng had never seen a dog so huge before in his life.

    "Shue jiao together! No good!"

    That's when it hit me.

    Mickey had climbed into bed with Decheng while he was asleep. Very first night Decheng was here. Apparently, he liked licking the back of Decheng's head....
    Experienced Community organizer. Yeah, let's choose him to run the free world. It will be historic. What could possibly go wrong...

    "You're just a jaded cynical mother****er...." Jeffpeg

    (more comments in my User Profile)

  6. #16
    Decheng historically would get up at five AM. And he'd go running, do some stretching, and do one to three forms. Usually for an hour or a bit more.

    But, he's kind of drifted to a seven or eight AM start now. We tend to stay up late, and he stays up with us. Either watching television, or working on his English. I usually spend about one to two hours a day working on his Engilsh (and me on my Chinese). We haven't trained together much, with the exception of some qi gong. I still have to get back on my feet here.

    He still works some forms every day. Does his stretching, does some kicks, does some meditation outside.

    Xingwei tends to work out in class. Sometimes he'll work out by himself in between classes, usually practicing some forms. He has really become a night animal; watches these black "in the hood" movies all night, gets up around eleven. Sometimes he'll get up at seven to go running, and then will return to crash for a few more hours. That got in the way of our English lessons together, so I put a stop to it.

    No doubt the workouts in the morning with Decheng will get more involved once I get better.
    Experienced Community organizer. Yeah, let's choose him to run the free world. It will be historic. What could possibly go wrong...

    "You're just a jaded cynical mother****er...." Jeffpeg

    (more comments in my User Profile)

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    doc you're killing me with this thread...

  8. #18
    Merry Christmas, and doc harbors terrorists...

    Twenty four hundred dollars.

    Now, just think what you could do with twenty four hundred dollars.

    For some people, that's a house payment. For others, rent for two apartments. Payments for a few cars. Or, one hell of a vacation.

    I can get by in Phuket for a month on twenty four hundred dollars. Or two to three months in China. And that includes a few girlfriends here and there.

    Twenty four hundred dollars.

    And it's not over. No, not by a long shot.

    It all started a while ago, when Xingwei first got here.

    I was trying to figure out the best way for a homesick monk to call home. So, I went to Chinatown, if you can call this amalgam of little **** Chinese shops, and restaurants that seem to go out of their way to poison my ass with loads of MSG, a "Chinatown". But, whenever we go down there, there are a lot of Chinese people milling about. And, the heatlh department, without fail, seems to have closed down at least one restaurant from time to time.

    So, to us, it's Chinatown.

    Found this little **** shop inside this so called mall in our beloved Chinatown. They sell VCD's and other Chinese **** that I don't seem to understand. Got all those favorite love and war stories, that we seem to watch in Dengfeng, China, all the time. Same story. Boy meets girl, girl falls in love with boy, girl meets someone else, boy gets heart broken. Girl doesn't give a flying ****.

    Why the **** I watch these reruns of my life on Chinese television is beyond me. What's also beyond me, is why I buy these VCD's of the same **** for Xingwei to watch on his little television.

    But there's another reason why I like going into this little Chinese store.

    There's a girl that works there. She's cute. She speaks English. She dresses sexy. And she has breasts.

    And she wants nothing to do with me.

    I just love that. I also love staring at her little brassiere through this see through blouse that she always seems to wear.

    Just to entice me. No doubt she wants to live one of these damn Chinese VCD love stories with me. Just waiting for the moment to drag me into her lair of love, and assassinate what little bit of loving compassion I've got in my war torn heart.

    So, every once in a while, after Xingwei gets tired of his "boy meets girl and gets his ****ing heart ripped out" love story VCD's, we go down to this little **** shop in this little **** Chinatown mall, that is, after we look around to see what restaurant the health department closed that week, and we visit my little Chinese honey, who wants absolutely nothing to do with me. I mentiioned that, didn't I?

    I just love talking to her.

    So, we buy VCD's, so Xingwei has something to do at night, and I buy Phone Cards, so Xingwei can call home to China at a rate of 1300 minutes, for, oh, about sixteen bucks. And, I tell Xingwei to "use Phone Card, do not use phone. Phone hen gwei".

    He understands. Use the phone card. And he does.

    And she pretends to like me. But, I know she doesn't. Nice bra today, by the way.

    The phone card thing is a great thing you know. It's a great system. I think the phone calls get routed through some cheap network in Pakistan. Got these Pakistani's plugging in phone cables. That is, when they're not making bombs. But, who cares. Xingwei gets to call home to China.

    And, to some unknown being in Korea.

    He's always calling Korea. Always. God knows who he's talking to in Korea, but he's always calling Korea.

    I'm starting to wonder if he's a spy for the North Koreans.

    Sending secrets from the doc palace.

    But anyway, old doc here got pretty damn sick these past two months. A severe allergic reaction to Advil left me on steroids for two months, steroids, which immunosuppressed me, and left me susceptible to catching this US wide influenza which seems to be going around.

    So, I stayed home. Tried to avoid people.Figured I'd stay healthy if I avoided the infected denizens of our society.

    Xingwei caught the flu from some little bastard at the school. Some five year old with the sniffles and a runny nose. Who no doubt, was blowing infected snot all over my school. And, all over Xingwei. Then, Xingwei lovingly brought the flu home for me to catch.

    Blew infected snot all over me.

    And I caught the flu.


    Got one hell of a bronchitis too. Twice, actually. I got really wiped out. On steroids, with the flu, with bronchitis.

    Talk about being ****ing miserable. Xingwei figured that out. My girlfriend didn't, so she left me. No doubt for some other guy who didn't have the flu.

    I think Xingwei might have left me too, but, he's got nowhere else to go.

    Now, Xingwei, who, I might add, had nowhere else to go, started spending his time on the phone. Calling, no doubt, his contacts in North Korea. Sending doc palace secrets to the North Koreans. Like, how I make my lasagna.

    Now, for a while we had thought that Xingwei was a spy. In fact, I was almost sure of it. One of my buddies at the FBI told me so.

    Yup. During lunch one day, he told me that I was harboring "bad people".

    Imagine that. Doc spends two years getting visas for two Shaolin monks, and word on the street says I'm bringing "bad people" to the US.


    At least, that's what the teacher at the martial arts school down the block told some of his clients. Police clients. Teaches them this self defense ****. You know, "stick your knee in the guy's groin and yell "AIEEEEEE'".

    The police pay good money for that.

    Anyhoo, this teacher told them that he never sees anyone at the Chan Wu Xue Yuan. Told them that I must have brought these Chinese "so called monks" to the US to do "bad things". Nefarious things. Spying and terrorist things.

    Because he never sees anyone at the school.

    ****ing idiot. I'm surrounded by low grade morons. At least, that's what I keep telling my mother.

    My mother, who keeps asking me how the monks are doing. On a daily basis. Because, she just absolutely loves them. More than me, I think.

    She also asks me, "Richard, are you sure they aren't spies for the Chinese?"

    "No mom, they're spies for the North Koreans. Trust me on this."

    "Oh, OK. As long as they're not spies for the Chinese...."

    Gotta love mom.

    Well, anyway, back to my low grade moron down the block. He never sees anyone at our school, because, we never see anyone at his. He teaches, his few students, largely in the morning.

    When Xingwei, Decheng, and I are sleeping. Yes, we sleep in, in the morning.

    Because we play computer video games late into the night. But, that's another story.

    We teach at night. And in the afternoons. And, we have more students than he does.

    But, let's face it, the Shaolin Chan Wu Xue Yuan is a front for Chinese spies. And, we're brainwashing all the little Chinese kids that come to learn there. It must be. That's what this instructor down the block told his police friends, who, told their FBI friends, who, came to investigate me.


    But anyway, I'll believe it. Hell, there must be some reason why Xingwei is on the phone to Korea. He's either passing on doc secrets to the North Koreans, or, he's got some babe up there that no one knows about.

    He's on the phone one hell of a lot.

    Especially since I started my long slow death on the couch.

    He just didn't want to bother me. So, he talked on the phone.

    And he never bothered to tell me that he ran out of phone cards.

    Twenty four hundred dollars.

    That was the phone bill.

    Yes, the phone bill. It included one two hour phone call to Korea that cost thirteen hundred dollars.

    Oh, that was the phone bill for last month. Still got twelve days of his phone usage to get billed for.

    God knows what that's going to be.

    But this month, we know what it is. Twenty four hundred dollars.

    Think about it. Put it into perspective. Really think about the economics of twenty four hundred dollars. What it really, truly means.

    One hundred and twenty lap dances.

    Oh, the pain. I'm dying a slow miserable death here.

    Oh, and I almost forgot.

    Merry Christmas.

    At this rate, it's going to be one hell of a New Year....
    Experienced Community organizer. Yeah, let's choose him to run the free world. It will be historic. What could possibly go wrong...

    "You're just a jaded cynical mother****er...." Jeffpeg

    (more comments in my User Profile)

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    OH my.. thats a whole lotta talkin'..

    you have to invest in your own phone company doc...

    think of the possibilities.

    practice wu de

  10. #20
    I screwed up pretty good there...

    I was in the process of buying a second place to live. Well, not for me. For the monks.

    I called it the monk house.

    It wasn't really a house now, it was a condo, one that I had bought, without even seeing, back in September when I was still in Thailand. Rick and his uncle, a real estate agent, had found it for me. I wanted the monks to have a separate place to live. One in which other monks, who would be coming to visit us, could stay in.

    So, we started the process. It was only 125,000 dollars. Not too shabby, not a bad place for the monks and their friends. And our soon to start, visiting monks.

    But, it became a nightmare. The guy that was selling it was over his head in debt. In fact, he had to come up with six thousand dollars just to get out of it. The process took three months.

    It was sometime after Thanksgiving, during which time the monk house would have been a great thing to have, considering the fact that all these visiting monks slept in bunk beds in my dining room, that the purchase process was to come to an end. I went to the bank and got a 26000 dollar cashiers check, in order to make the necessary down payment. I carried it in my wallet, carefully, for about two weeks.

    But the monk house was not to be. There was too much bull**** involved with all the mortgage companies. All three of this seller's debtors were clamoring for a piece of the money. I decided to end the nonsense, and back out on the deal. Three months after we I made the initial offer.

    It was during one of my very usual thoughtless moments, that I found the check in my wallet. I thought to myself, that I need to do something with this before I lose it. Twenty six grand is a lot of money. I certainly didn't want to lose that piece of paper. God forbid someone find it and cash it. My money would be gone forever.

    So I took the check and shredded it.

    Sometime after that, I noticed that my bank account was twenty six thousand dollars lower than it should have been. I had just shredded, in effect, cash. Twenty six thousand dollars worth.

    Now, add that insult, to the twenty four hundred dollar ATT long distance phone bill, which, by the way, ATT refused to "re-rate" (yes, ten dollars a minute to Korea is MORE than fair. ****ing assholes...), and my finances, all around Christmas, were not the healthiest. Needless to say, I've got another ATT phone bill on the way. It all could get much worse.

    So, we spent the night looking through my shredder. And, over time, we found each and every piece of that damn check. And Tonya spent a few hours piecing it back together.

    Twenty six thousand dollars found.

    But Shi De Cheng was horribly confused. Why were we picking through the garbage? What was this piece of paper? What did it mean?

    I spent some time, and I explained to him that it was a cheque. A cheque, which was basically cash, worth twenty six thousand dollars.

    "Two thousand, six hundred dollars?", he inquired. I had just taught him numbers last week.

    "No, twenty thousand, six hundred, dollars."

    He looked at me in pure amazement. He had never seen twenty six thousand dollars in his life. He had never seen a shredder either. But, he understood it, once I showed him how it worked. What he didn't understand, was why I had shredded the twenty six hundred dollars in the first place.

    I looked at him,and said "Wo hen ben" (I'm very stupid).

    He disagreed. "Bu, ni tsung ming". (No, you're smart).

    I couldn't make him understand. So, I just kind of murmered to myself, "I ****ed up. As usual. Once again..."

    He responded, "****ed up? ****ed up shr me"?

    A new word. How exciting. He had been a veritable sponge of English since he's been here.

    "No, bad word. Bu hao tz. Ni bu shuo". (Don't say, bad word)

    "Ok". And he walked away back to his room.

    And I could hear him, ever so gently, as he walked away through the kitchen.

    "****ed up...."
    Experienced Community organizer. Yeah, let's choose him to run the free world. It will be historic. What could possibly go wrong...

    "You're just a jaded cynical mother****er...." Jeffpeg

    (more comments in my User Profile)

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