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Podcast 2019
Middle Kingdom Podcasts (2005-2017)

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The Language Company
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Stories and chess


New tires, brakes and cables decorate the mountain bike for winter rain and mud circular momentum. The little odometer reads 1960 miles. What's another year? Spin the wheels.

We've been renewing and enjoying 2-hour full body massages at a professional place downtown. 16 bones. They walk on your back and clean your ears.


"I don't have a hearing problem anymore. Now I have a listening problem."
"What a pity. Is it genetic?"
"Probably. I'm always looking for an excuse to be lazy."

Currently reading "Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman," 24 short stories by Haruki Murakami, the author of "Kafka on the Shore." Strong, insightful and amazing.

We mentioned the excellent book, "The History of Chess," by Shenk in MK 28 and play at, linked below. Check it out (ha!) if you are so inclined. There are many players of various levels. In 1-10 minute blitz games, time looms large. Your move.





The Day of the Dead


Her Cadiz map was useless now because she knew every part of it.

Her ancient chart held lifelines, dashes, angles, seven magic symbols, dead ends, detours, forests, high rise apartment buildings, tourist offices, oceans, parks and pealing cathedrals.

Her word worn projection designated plazas, beaches, monuments, theaters, parking lots, banks, cafes, hotels, hostels, hospitals, libraries, universities, markets, bus stops, taxi stands, railroads, bus stations, antiquities, cemeteries and Benjumeda #3, Apartment #2, Cadiz, 11003 where she worked on her loom.

On the Day of The Dead white haired widows waited for a bus marked ‘Cemetario’ at the COMES station near the harbor. Shrouded in black they carried bouquets of fresh carnations, daisies, daffodils, roses, white forget-me-nots and food to share with their dearly departed soul mates.

One ancient woman juggled wine bottles. They talked in muted voices and paid their fare. The bus rolled past a heavily armed statue of a Spanish soldier on his bronze horse penetrating the sky with his saber discovering Central America.

The Atlantic Ocean edged into Spanish alleys sniffing at Roman ruins. Clouds danced above the ocean giving birth to small powerful tributaries searching for a source of renewal.


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Sija translates for her mother


We asked her about growing up in Lhasa after 1935.
Sija, her daughter, a doctor in a local hospital translated.

“It was very basic and humble. It was all fields, small communities working the land.”

She still has many childhood friends she visits or walks with in the Barkhor.

What did she remember about the monasteries?

“The Drepung was filled with monks (estimates 10,000) and many people, more than today would go there to pray.”


“The hardest time was during the Cultural Revolution
(1966-1976) when guards came, took away all my jewelry, burned and destroyed old books and forced everyone to learn the Red Book. Some of my books were very old.”

She never learned to write. Sija and her mother often sing songs from that time. Her mother’s good memory allowed her to sing many songs.

Now she lives with Sija and son in good health. She was very kind to us, constantly refilling our cup with butter tea. Then she’d raise her hands together, palms up, smile, and say “Drink up, drink up.”


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Tactile rice


Ah, the smell of freshly cut rice stalks the imagination. Fields are recycled for rows of succulent greens. Brain salada surgery.

In a parallel universe, a small gray moth seeks open space devoid of glass, a way into empty air flying toward weak orange suns caressing silent lakes inside bird songs.

She is delineating material from her basket. It is a rural basket of currencies on the world market.

Future's Market in commodity talk.


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We've extolled the beauty, simplicity and inherent functionality of Moleskine notebooks. Such elegance with playful parchment. Fibrous material. Perhaps rice paper will suffice? Then, after creating art we can eat our delicate delicious dreams!

"There's nothing more difficult than a line." - Picasso


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