Before I Leave for China…

When I’m awake, I write.
When I’m tired, I write lists.
Right now I’m tired, but I can’t go to sleep because I’m leaving for the airport in 3 hours.
If I close my eyes, I’ll miss my flight.
So, I’ll write a list.
Here are some things I wanted to mention before my trip to China.

1. I’m going to China.

ChinaI guess I should probably say something about this. Yeah, so, I’m going to China for vacation this year. As long as I’m in the neighborhood, I figure I might as well go ahead and visit all the major Asian countries. I went to Japan last summer, so now I’m off to Beijing. I have big plans to tour the Forbidden City, walk the Great Wall, see Mao’s body, do some shopping, sample the local cuisine (*pouring a little out for Lee Carmichael, my old partner in Chinese-eating crime*), and basically just get a good look at the place. I’m also planning one adventure that’s a little off-the-beaten-path. More on that when I get back.

By the way, there’s no Facebook in China, so if you want to get in touch with me you’ll have to e-mail me.

2. Kimchi will be fine.

KatechiEvery time I take a vacation, a chorus of voices cries out, “What about Kimchi? Who is he staying with? You’re not boarding him, are you?…” Relax. The furball is in good hands. He’s staying with my co-worker/friend Kate, who lives just three floors above us. Not only is Kimchi not going to spend Christmas in a cage, he’s not really even going to leave home. Thanks, Kate!

3. I accomplished one of my writing goals this month.

cink On December 3rd, the Ludwig von Mises Institute published my book review of Felix Abt’s A Capitalist in North Korea. I’ve been a daily reader of the Mises website for almost six years now, and I’ve always wanted to submit something to them for consideration. It felt great to have my first submission accepted and to see it reprinted on websites across the Net. Big win.

4. My cousin got engaged.

A heartfelt congratulations to my cousin Joseph and his special lady friend (I’m probably not going to spell this right) Lexi on their recent engagement. I haven’t spent a lot of time with Joseph in recent years, and I’ve only met Lexi once or twice, but they seem very happy together. Joseph is officially the first of my grandparents’ four grandchildren to get married. Well done, young man. Better you than me. 🙂 I hope they schedule their wedding for sometime in the summer or next Christmas when I can get time off.

5. I’ve recently added a new title to my list of favorite books.

FrankBetween Halloween festivities and Christmas concerts, my job keeps me very busy from October to December. I don’t always have a lot of time to read, and it sometimes takes me a month or two to finish a book I could otherwise have finished in a week. That’s what happened this year with Frankenstein. I started reading it around Halloween and finally finished it on Christmas Day. It’s only 215 pages long, which just goes to show you how crunched my time has been. But anyway, wow! What a tour de force. I can’t remember the last time I read a work of fiction that raised so many interesting questions about human nature, creation and creativity, violence, and personal responsibility. I’m going to write a longer assessment of it when I get back from China. Is Frankenstein on anyone else’s favorites list?

6. I’m really into the Disney ducks right now.

scroogeSeveral months ago I read an article (found here) about an old Disney comic book illustrator named Carl Barks. If you watched Duck Tales growing up, you’ve probably seen his work. Barks created the entire city of Duckburg and filled it with characters like Scrooge McDuck, Gyro Gearloose, Magica de Spell, and the Beagle Boys. What made him interesting is that he was also a proponent of sound economics, free markets, and entrepreneurship. If you watch old episodes of Duck Tales with this in mind, it becomes a completely different show. (I guess my analysis of Darkwing Duck wasn’t too far off the mark.) You heard it here first, folks. I’m a grown man whose interests include travelling, literature, and Donald Duck. 🙂

Well, I’m out of here in 90 minutes, everyone. Until we meet again, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all.

About J. Wiltz

"Well, you know, there really isn't very much to say about me." - Andy Warhol
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