i went to work for half an hour before returning to changshou to have our dress rehearsal at the phoenix hotel. i could've just stayed home and walked there instead, but in order to give the semblance of working, i went to the office. it felt cool being a part of this elite team organizing the new year ceremony banquet. this is becoming quite the sexy event with so many pretty girls on stage dancing. sarah finally performed her song, dressed in what looked to be a vampire's cloak for the first half, to reveal a cocktail dress underneath for the second half. my favorite performance were the TCC fan dancers (a new additional to our program, added, last a week ago), with a guy who seemed to be working in the background who turned out to be writing some calligraphy to show the audience afterwards. not sure how it fits in with fan dancing, but no complaints. s

jeffrey couldn't be there so it was up to mrs.gu to criticize my performance. i already slowed down how fast i talk, but now she thinks i sound too monotone. on the bus ride back, she seemed to be making an example out of me, taking my speech and reading it back to me to show me how easy it was. for me, it isn't a matter of doing better, but rather making it worse, dumbing it down for the non-native-english speaking audience.

i realized that i like all the preparation and rehearsal and skipping work, but i don't want to be actually hosting. this whole thing has devolved into something so different that what i'd envisioned a month ago. my fantasy moment of shining in the spotlight has been eclipsed by my cohosting partner yuwei who talks on stage like she's doing mouth exercises, and by the german manfred, who tries to be the center of attention as often as he can. plus, my ego has been badly bruised by all the criticism regarding my hosting style, or lack thereof, depending on who you ask. i'm kind of just looking forward to this being all over. i will be so happy tomorrow at 9:00, when i can be finally done with everything.

we returned to the office around noontime, where i had lunch with the other cohosts. after our one hour break, we got back together again to work on the speech. i returned to my desk around 5:00, with just an hour left to go before i got to go home, even though i was practically much right next door to my house this morning during rehearsal.

i felt tired, not because of all the show preparation, but because for whatever reason i've gone to bed around 1:30 the past few nights. when i got to my apartment, i crawled underneath the covers and played around with my various electronic devices (tablet pc, laptop, smartphone) until almost 8:00 when i decided i should finally eat something.

i cooked up frozen dumplings then later fixed myself some fermented glutinous rice with dough balls. i was supposed to be memorizing my speaking parts for the ceremony tomorrow, but i just wasn't in the mood. i'll going to do it rush style and try to get everything memorized a few hours before showtime at 6:00. 2014 is starting out to be the year of living dangerously.