Well for New Year's it seems that I have to attend a party that my department is holding. But it's not too bad, I didn't have any other plans yet anyways. I can't spend New Year's Eve with Jean because at her company they have to work until midnight on New Year's Eve. They do go out to dinner stay and later they get like a phone call from the head of the company wishing Happy New Year, but in the time between dinner and midnight, they do actually have to work, it's not a party. Seems pretty rough to me.
Anyhow, pretty soon many of my foreign friends will be gone. 3 of the kids (20 somethings) here either already have or will have left China by the middle of January, and Nellie isn't leaving China, but moving to Shanghai. So at that point it'll pretty much just be Ellis and I here in Huzhou, save for a few other older foreign teachers who have families here.
I did get to break in my football today! On Mondays I have an English Corner, and I brought the football with me. I asked some of the kids there if they'd like to throw the ball around afterward, and a couple of the guys threw it with me. Sure, their form was horrible, and it was cold outside, but it felt good to play some toss and catch again.
I'm actually going to try to plan on inviting some students, and whoever else is interested, to the school soccer field Friday afternoon to introduce them to football. Now that I think about it, maybe I ought to look into getting some flags.
On another note, I did get the "genuine" PS2 disc, but when I put it into my PS2, it wouldn't even load at all. So, I contacted the seller (in Chinese of course), let him know, and he said to send it back and he would take a look at it.
So, last Tuesday, I sent it. He got it a couple days later and told me he tried it and had no problems. My guess is though that he got it, popped a game in, and when it worked, felt there was no problem. So I tried explaining to him my specific problem and with which specific games. He then said he would try to play those games himself and see if he could see the problem.
Well, later on, he said he tried them and had no problem. He suggested maybe it was the discs' problem or perhaps I was operating it incorrectly. It DEFinitely isn't that I was operating it incorrectly, and while it's possible the problem is the discs, I find it less likely that ALL of the discs, EVERY single game I tried had this problem.
(By the way, the problem is, the game would load and play, but then in the middle of playing the game, the audio would get all messed and the game would freeze. The game might unfreeze a few moments later but the audio would still be all screwy. In a game like Guitar Hero, which is THE reason I got the PS2, audio problems mean unplayability.)
I ultimately explained to him that I just wanted to be able to play my game, and the way things currently are I cannot. The seller was not being confrontational or uncooperative (from a Chinese standpoint that is, returning or exchanging merchandise in China is not as simple a process as it is in the states). To look at it from his end, he tried some games, and they seemed to work fine, so there wasn't a problem. Although I bought this online (from China's version of eBay), the seller was based in Shanghai and has a shop there. So being that he didn't see my problem, and knowing that I can recreate it easily, I asked him if I could go to his shop and show him the issue. He said ok. SO, on Thursday, the 1st, I will go to Shanghai (with Jean) and get this whole thing taken care of once and for all. Either the PS2 doesn't work when I show him and he replaces it OR it DOES work with a different disc, perhaps one he used, and then I just know I need to use a better disc. Either way is fine.
I also found out today that my break isn't as open as I thought. The semester is over for me after next week. However, the training center that the school has a relationship with will be having a winter program from Jan 11 to 17. Not terribly looking forward to it, but at least they do pay so will get a little bit of extra cash.
In other news, the losers lost again. The Bucs, just 3 weeks ago playing for the NFC South, lose 4 straight games and will sit out the playoffs. What a collapse. Pretty crappy, but frankly even if they'd lost 3 and won this last won, they'd've just snuck into the playoffs and lost the opening game anyways, taking it away from a team that actually deserves to be there (like this year's scrappy Eagles). The Dolphins, on the other hand, won 5 straight games, took the AFC South, and are heading into the playoffs on a good note. They play a tough Baltimore team who beat them earlier in the season, and I don't know if they can beat them this time, but at least they didn't just up and quit with 4 games left in the season.
What I am slightly concerned about is the very real possibility of Atlanta, or worse, Carolina winning a Super Bowl in our house, IN Tampa, since that's where the Super Bowl is this year. Oh well. What I do think is funny is the fact that New England goes undefeated last year and doesn't even get into the playoffs this season. To be fair, they did finish 11-5 which is a pretty darn good record, and it's just luck that this year 11-5 isn't good enough to make the playoffs for sure (which is rare).