Archive for December, 2010

赴美六周年

December 28, 2010

12月28日,2004-2010,整整六年了。

第一年,来的时候,Greenville盖了一层小雪,让我颇为惊艳了一番。

第二年,连一片雪花都没看着。失望。

第三年,夏天的时候打了阵小冰雹,冬天还是什么都没有。

第四年,雪下得不小,足有4寸厚。一大帮学生在校园里打雪战,一个学生因扔了雪球给警察被抓,录像传到了youtube里。那一年和几个朋友玩雪玩了不少花样。那一年三月,和老板、师兄弟到Ohio的Columbus去,当天那里下了一两尺深的大雪,第二天回家,在高速上只敢以10迈的龟速前进,沿途没有一家饭店开门,肚子饿了半天多,开车6个小时后到Kentucky才找到地方吃饭。

第五年,北卡中间和西边的雪很大,东部就下了点小雪。不过,学校还是关门了几天。这一年第一次在雪地里开车。高速上,Greenville到Raleigh,一点雪都没有;Raleigh开始,路上有雪,还没有铲干净,一边还下着;跑到Winston-Salem,大路干净了,小路都看不到线。

第六年,也就是现在,哇,创造历史记录的大雪!Atlanta从1869年到现在的第一场雪,纽约中央公园的雪有半米厚,全美的飞机停飞了6000多架次。

照片为证(家门口的院子;门口停的车;门口的树林):

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Vanity Fair

December 25, 2010

This classic novel by William Thackeray, written at around 1650s, is probably the most painfully read book on my part. I bought it one or two years prior to my leave for the States; that is, about 7 or 8 years ago. I did not just put the book in my bookshelf, like I have done with the complete work of Shakespeare, and the Origin of Species, for future reading: I embarked on reading the text for a few times in these years – the first time finished no more than 100 pages, the second time more than 200, the third time about 50. I just could not finish it. It is just not so easy to comprehend the author’s writings, not mentioning all those time-specific names and customs. But I felt that I could not waste my time any more, and I have to finish it, after watching its Hollywood adaptation, starring with my favorite actress, Reese Witherspoon, as Becky Sharp and the later Mrs. Rawdon Crawley, for two times, and deeply aroused by it.

vanityfairSo I have read it. I enjoyed it quite much. The plot is a little different than that of the Hollywood film, e.g., at the end Becky did not have a happy ending with the fat Jos in India riding elephants. No, no, in Vanity Fair, one gets what one is deserved. So Becky Sharp, the charming, clever, manipulative, resourceful, ambitious, and devilish girl who succeeded in marrying the young Dante with a great potential of gaining 70,000 pounds from the old spinster, Miss Crawley, and, after the temporary setback due to the old lady’s unforgiveness toward the eloped couple, lived a pompous life on nothing, or actually, on other poor soul’s money, and rose up in the society with the built up connections with Lord Steyne, was thrown down to the bottom right at the night when she climbed to the peak of her reputation among the gentlemen and ladies, by her husband, the long time neglected, usually despised, and frequently used as a slave and pauper, Colonel Crawley, who burst furiously in anger when, released from the jail for his debt in gambling, and upon walking into his own rented house, saw the beautiful Becky with the infamous Lord Steyne, and separated his wife in the after mornings. Becky, in this sense, is similar to the famous Miss Xifeng Wang, of the Red Chamber Dream, who is also beautiful, smart, manipulative, and considers anyone else her inferior, and takes advantage from anyone else. And finally, such person gets ruined by her own deeds.

Or, in another sense, these people, Becky Sharp and Xifeng Wang, are like those managers that, because of their previous successes, they are promoted to positions beyond their capacities, and prove themselves to be incompetent, as declared by the Peter Principle. Only, in these cases, there are not a higher manager but they themselves, who do the job to promote themselves in the social ladder toward the peak, and self-destruction, without understanding exactly what is their aim in the life.