Word of the Week

qui vive, n.

[‘ on (also upon) the qui vive: on the alert; on the lookout.’]
Pronunciation: Brit. /ˌkiː ˈviːv/, U.S. /ˌki ˈviv/
Forms: 17– qui vive, 19– key veev Irish English.
Etymology: < French qui vive, qui-vive, noun (1626) < qui vive?, lit. ‘who should live?’, i.e. ‘(long) live who?’ (1470 in Middle French) a sentinel’s challenge, intended to discover to which party the person challenged belongs (with an expected answer of the form vive le roi(long) live the king, vive la France (long) live France, etc.) < qui who (see who pron.) + vive, 3rd singular present subjunctive of vivre (seevivers n.). Compare post-classical Latin qui vivat? (1419 in a French source, or earlier).With on the qui vive compare French sur le qui vive (1690).
N.E.D. (1902) gives the non-naturalized pronunciation (kī vīv) /ki viv/.

1. on (also upon) the qui vive: on the alert; on the lookout.1726 Swift Let. 15 Oct. (2003) III. 35 Is it imagined that I must be..Alway upon the qui vive and the Slip Slop.
1752 H. Fielding Amelia II. v. vii. 141 Though he be a little too much on the Qui vive, he is a Man of great Honour.
1834 F. Marryat Peter Simple III. xiv. 181 This put us all on the qui vive.
1883 E. P. Roe in Harper’s Mag. Dec. 56/1 ‘What now, Webb?’ cried Burtis, all on the qui vive.
1933 B. Gadelius Human Mentality vii. 163 His senses are always on the qui-vive.
1980 V. S. Pritchett Tale Bearers 85 Greene is always on the qui vive for the ironies of impotence and desire.
2002 A. Caulfield Show me Magic xiv. 287, I love big dangerous cities, always having to be on the qui vive.

2. Chiefly in France or in French-speaking contexts: a cry of ‘qui vive’, typically used as a challenge by a sentry. Cf. go v.. Now rare.1740 tr. G. Alderfeld Mil. Hist. Charles XII. III. 158 Upon which having demanded the quivive with his pistol in his hand, and receiving no answer, [he] returned..to look for his Majesty.
1820 A. J. Kempre tr. E. O. I. Odeleben Campaign in Saxony II. v. 322 The wonted stillness of night was now only interrupted by..the qui vive? of the sentinels.
1903 B. Carman Poems II. 110 From behind the tall door that swings outward, replies no patrol To our restless Qui vive?

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Modern Times

Screen Shot 2014-09-15 at 9.18.43 PM

I loved Charlie Chaplin’s Modern Times with Paulette Goddard. A year ago, I wouldn’t have bothered to watch, but I’ve gotten intrigued, if not hooked on silent films from the Criterion Collection.

Released in 1936, in a time when the Marx Bros. and W.C. Field’s films were full of jokes and dialog, Modern Times isn’t completely silent. A distant boss speaks in broadcasts to alienated factory workers and Chaplin himself sings. Still there’s no dialog and remarks are conveyed with cards. That seems risky for a studio in the 1930s. I hadn’t realized there was such an overlap between silent films and talkies.

As some experts have pointed out, the film is more like a series of short films (2 reelers) rather than a story with one arc. We see Chaplin as his famous Tramp for the last time he’ll play that character. He gets a job in a factory and in scenes that are similar to À Nous la Liberté ecomically exposes the system as dehumanizing as the Tramp gets caught in the gears of the machinery. In another scene the Tramp tests out an eating machine with disastrous effects. (Since workers have taken to grabbing lunch at their desk there’s little need for this machine.) Inadvertently, the tramp gets arrested and mixed up in labor disputes. The cops’ violence against the workers shows us how times were back then. It’s a part of history rarely taught.

Along the way the Tramp meets a “gamine” played by Goddard, who’s stunning and joyful, yet ever bit an outsider. I can’t think of an actress today who could play this role. The gamine has two siblings, who’re rounded up by the police and put into an orphanage, she barely escapes their clutches. There’s a sweetness and affinity between the Tramp and the Gamine, the only two who are on each other’s wave.

The Criterion Collection DVD’s contain lots of extras: a home movie made on a boat during the shooting of the film trailers, commentary and a separate film commentary with more background on the making of Modern Times. Watching that I saw how dapper the gray haired actor was without his Tramp suit. While I expected a certain élan from Chaplain in his real life, I also expected dark hair. Nope he was gray and distinguished in real life.

All in all, it’s a delightful thoughtful film. hard to imagine that Chaplin still entertains.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Humanity


1. Each week, we’ll provide a theme for creative inspiration. You take photographs based on your interpretation of the theme, and post them on your blog (a new post!) anytime before the following Friday when the next photo theme will be announced. 2. To make it easy for others to check out your photos, title your blog post “Weekly Photo Challenge: (theme of the week)” and be sure to use the “postaday″ tag. 3. Follow The Daily Post so that you don’t miss out on weekly challenge announcements, and subscribe to our newsletter – we’ll highlight great photos from each month’s most popular challenge. Other great photos:

Do We Need This?


I’ve been watching the construction on this corner since the spring. I thought the second floor would have a new version of my favorite restaurant. Well, yesterday I saw them painting the building blue and that they’d put a sign for a hotel up.


A hotel? There are at least 4 hotels within walking distance on the main road. One’s fairly nice and the other three are budget hotels. I can’t imagine this small hotel will be sought after. It’s on top of the new traditional market, which I’d think would mean it’ll be noisy in the mornings

I’m losing hope that I’ll ever have spicy chicken in bread pockets again.


My only hope is that this restaurant which they’re remodelng will house “The Red Door” restaurant.



My writing is going fairly well. I’m 66% done with the first draft. I got so excited about some research I unearthed that I couldn’t get to sleep till about 2:30 am Tuesday night. I made it through my two morning classes and took a nap this afternoon since I felt useless, i.e. unable to think at the level I need to to write well. Tomorrow I’m off so I plan to write more. I hope to finish this draft over the weekend, which is ahead of schedule as I wanted to finish by Sept. 30th. I hope I don’t hit a roadblock. I hope I’m not tempting fate or annoying my muse.

I have learned that I need to write in the morning or perhaps early afternoon. Not at night.

Revolutionary! BookBook

I hope this catches on!


Belle et Sébastien


Because six year old Sébastien is himself abandoned, he’s the only person in the village to give Belle, a mangy dog a chance. Sebastian lives with an old, often drunk man and his family in the mountains of France. He doesn’t go to school, but learns about life and nature from the man. Belle is a dirty gray dog everyone fears. Only Sebastian gives the dog a chance and a good bath. After the bath, the dog is snow white and comes to the aid of Sebastian.

Later when Sebastian’s unofficial adoptive family helps Jews escape the Nazi’s everyone sees that Belle is a wonderful dog. The film is suspenseful and the characters real. Their plight rings true and the story compels. It’s fitting for older kids, who can understand the history, and adults.

Poem of the Week

By H.D. (Hilda Doolittle) whose birthday is this week

You are as gold
as the half-ripe grain
that merges to gold again,
as white as the white rain
that beats through
the half-opened flowers
of the great flower tufts
thick on the black limbs
of an Illyrian apple bough.
Can honey distill such fragrance
As your bright hair —
For your face is as fair as rain,
yet as rain that lies clear
on white honey-comb,
lends radiance to the white wax,
so your hair on your brow
casts light for a shadow.

Bloody Brawl Breaks Out During Military Training — at a Chinese High School


Times are a’changin’ in China. I think more is to come as the new generation won’t blindly participate in military training and the like. They’ll question it and not just because many are only children. In the west there’s no limit on family size and kids advocate for themselves more. In Japan, there’s a lot of classroom rebellion. I doubt it can be stopped.

Originally posted on Diary of a Temporary Full Time Foreign EFL Instructor:

Chinese social media can’t agree whether to blame an out-of-control military or spoiled youth.

Source: www.foreignpolicy.com

The first year students here just completed their first of two weeks of mandatory military training. Lots of marching and shouting.

No violence in Jinan. All’s well here.

See on Scoop.itWhat Fascinates Me About China

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Travel Theme: Merchandise

Bangkok, Thailand

Bangkok, Thailand

Kathmandu, Nepal

Kathmandu, Nepal

Phnom Pehn, Cambodia

Phnom Pehn, Cambodia

Ailsa of Where’s My Backpack offers photographers inspiration each week. This week she gave us the theme Merchandise, which lets me share more market photos! She also shared some apt quotes which I’ve copied below as they always enrich the theme.

If you want to join in with your own interpretation of this week’s theme (everyone’s welcome!) Here’s what to do:

  1. Create your own post and title it Travel theme: Merchandise
  2. Include a link to this page in your post so others can find it too
  3. Get your post in by next Thursday, as the new travel theme comes out on Friday
  4. Don’t forget to subscribe to keep up to date on the latest weekly travel themes. Sign up via the email subscription link in the sidebar or RSS!
  5. You know the value of every article of merchandise, but if you don’t know the value of your own soul, it’s all foolishness. – Rumi

    Junk is the ideal product… the ultimate merchandise. – William S. Burroughs

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