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Golden Prods and Organism Waves: An infomercial script

shanghaiinfomercial.jpgThe folks at Gridskipper, and others, enjoyed my post about my first infomercial shoot (up until the point when my payment got stolen, I assume). So, I figured I’d provide you with what I know you are all craving: MORE DR. JAMES. Below you will find all of my “lines” from the infomercial in the form they were originally given to me — and you will see why Johnson, Bliss and I reworked the lines to a point where they kind of made sense. I actually had my first two lines — the long ones — memorized, but none of this mattered. Since the entire infomericial will be dubbed in Chinese, what was coming from the mouths of the “talent” mattered not — they just wanted the impression that this infomerical was taking place somewhere in, say, Burbank, California. I’d get about 30 percent through one of my lines and the director would yell, “Cut! Print!” I had filled the allotted time with my white man mouth movements and it was time to move on. After my first two lines, we just bullshitted our way through the rest, making fun of the product, the director and this odd chapter in our lives. No one was the wiser — or, more likely, they just didn’t care. In fact, one of the girls in the infomercial was from Argentina, and she did all of her lines in Spanish.

So, here they are: The lines for Dr. James, the unshaven inventor or 发明者 or fa ming zhe of the low-powered stun gun known as “Dolly” (or “Doli,” as it is called in the script):

照片放大后 就能找到答案,使用多丽的半个脸,皮肤更紧绷;额头、眉心、嘴角的15条皱纹,9条彻底消失、6条显著变淡;浮肿的脸型变得瘦美!所以看上去琼斯太太整整年轻了20岁!
After zoom in the photo, the answer can be found!
Using doli, you can find it keeps the skin of half face tense! Originally there are 15 wrinkles from brow, corners of mouth and between eyebrows, now 9 of which are disappear, others become less deeper, the puffy face is changed! So that’s why Mrs. Johns look younger more than 20 years old!

Continue reading

10.17.2005, 8:33 AM · Humor, Observations, Television · Comments (6)

7,000 photos moved from Gallery to Flickr … easily

danwashburnflickr.jpgIn preparation for the major redesign Frank has in store for Shanghai Diaries, we had to figure out a way to transfer all of the photos from our existing photo gallery to my space over at Flickr. Gallery is a fine app, but I just find Flickr much easier to use. And Flickr seems to be more adaptable, too — Frank’s already done some cool stuff with it over at Shanghaiist. We both like the community aspect of Flickr, as well.

Anyway, I figured the Gallery-to-Flickr switch would be a time-consuming nightmare. Actually, I expected I would have upload all my pre-Flickr photos — some 7,000 of them — from scratch using iPhoto. And I was dreading this, because many of the photos from early in my digital days are not very well, um, organized. Thankfully, Frank stumbled upon this page, where a guy offered up $200 to the first person who could solve the very same problem we were dealing with. Someone delivered, Frank installed the script, I started the transfer process before I went to bed one night … and next morning I had 7,598 photos in 69 photo sets (albums, tags and captions survive the transfer, as well) over at Flickr. For free. Pretty slick.

The one downside is that since these photos were tranferred from Gallery and not uploaded directly from iPhoto, they are small. For some reason, I only uploaded pics to Gallery at a 400 or 500 pixels max for height and width. Sorry.

If you’d like to check out my photos from the past three years, head to my Flickr page. Here are some direct links to some of my recent photo sets:

There are about sixty other photo sets that I don’t feel like typing in links for. They include all the photos from my 18-province trip through China and plenty of photos from outside of China: Cambodia, Georgia, Hawaii, Montana, New York, Pennsylvania, Washington, D.C. and Wyoming. Check it all out here.

10.16.2005, 9:39 AM · Internet, Photos, Site News · Comments (1)

Almost Famous: Google News adds Shanghaiist to sources

googlenews.jpgGoogle News tells users they can “search and browse 4,500 news sources updated continuously.” Make that 4,501. Upon the recommendation of DCist editor Rob Goodspeed, I submitted my side project Shanghaiist to Google News for their consideration (you can do the same — go here). And less than 24 hours later, I received a response saying that we had been approved:

Hi Dan,

Thank you again for your submission. We have reviewed www.shanghaiist.com and will be including it in Google News in the near future. You should be able to find your articles in Google News within a few weeks.

Thank you for providing your articles to Google News.

The Google Team

Pretty easy. It will be interesting to see what kind of a bump in traffic Shanghaiist will see because of its inclusion. Right now we’re fast approaching around 2,000 visits a day, which is not bad for a relatively new, mostly English language website in China. We’d like to be up to around 5,000 daily visits within the next six months. We’ll see.

If you’re curious, here is what I said to Google News when I made my request for Shanghaiist’s inclusion:

We are Shanghai’s only group news blog, part of the Gothamist.com family of sites, and I think readers of Google News would benefit from our inclusion in your service.

Pretty simple. And I think mostly factually accurate. I was thinking about mentioning that I am “famous” and that I “clearly love” Shanghai, but That’s Shanghai magazine did that for me in their review of Shanghaiist in their current issue. It was a very nice review, and I wish certain parts of it were true. Like where they say I have “six staff and twenty contributors” at Shanghaiist. And, yes, the whole famous thing. It must be the Michael Stipe/Athens, Georgia kind of fame where people go out of their way to “pretend” that they don’t have any idea who I am. I get that a lot.

Write for Shanghaiist
Gothamist LLC

10.15.2005, 1:55 PM · Internet · Comments (1)

This National Day holiday I …


10.09.2005, 4:53 PM · Bars, Culture, Diary, Food, Music, Observations, Photos, Sports, Television, Travel · Comments (2)

Introducing Lily Katherine Washburn

samandlily.jpgMy nephew Sam — who really should be the Washburn appearing in television commercials, not me — has a new little sister. Which means I have a new little niece. Lily Katherine Washburn was born early in the morning on October 2 in Honolulu, Hawaii. I was in Xiamen at the time (I was also traveling last year when Sam was born) and I think it was something like 8:30 pm China time when Lily arrived. Grandpa Washburn, however, waited about five hours to call me with the news … I suppose he wanted Lily to make a memorable entrance into my life. And it worked. The three of us in the hotel room were sleeping soundly, awaiting a 7 am wakeup call to see whether Typhoon Longwang was going to spoil our plans to travel to rural Fujian Province that day (it did), and then my phone rang violently (it’s new and I haven’t figured out all of its functions, like certain ringer settings). It was vibrating, too, making this awful grinding noise on the window sill, where it was recharging. It was still very dark outside — had Longwang blotted out the sun? — and I stumbled across the room to answer the phone. We were startled, confused and expecting the kind of news that accompanies middle-of-the-morning calls. Bad news. Nope. Not even close. It was my dad, with great news. Lily had arrived — and we still had more than five hours left to sleep.

Anyone who says they think newborns are cute is lying. Most photos of newborns look as though they were shot through a fisheye lens. Everything is a little distorted. It takes a few weeks for the cuteness to take hold. Not with Lily, though. She’s adorable, even with goop on her face. Of course, I may be a bit biased. I’m told she has long, slender toes, too. And I’m told this is a good thing. I’m assuming it has something to do with surfing.

The photo above is Sam kissing his little sister for the first time. I get teary-eyed looking at photos of these kids. Really, I do. The same thing happened back in Hawaii last winter when I would hold Sam. (But I just told everyone I was allergic to the cat.)

Welcome to the world, Lily. I can’t wait to meet you.

10.08.2005, 3:59 PM · Diary · Comments (2)

Unzipped: Doing my part to end poverty in China

myfirstinfomercial2.jpgI starred in my first infomercial yesterday. (Photos from the shoot)

I’m very proud of this.

Actually, no I’m not.

The advertisement was for a electric device that exercises your facial muscles by using “hi tech ti-golden prods” and an “internal intelligent chip” that emits “organism waves” and causes “facial musicales aerobics.”

I saw people using it. It looked dangerous.

I played the device’s inventor, Dr. James.

It was a funny day. And I took many notes. I kept the notepad in a zippered pocket of my backpack.

I also got paid 3,500 RMB. In cash, of course. Not bad for a day’s work. It wouldn’t fit in my wallet, so I placed it in the pocket with my notepad and my iPod and zipped it up. I would be taking a taxi home.

The filming was in an empty office building in Pudong. Pudong seems to have a lot of empty office buildings.

My taxi driver couldn’t go to Puxi. Traffic had been halted, during rush hour, on the Friday before one of the biggest Chinese holidays of the year. That makes sense.

So he dropped me off at the nearest subway station. I was wearing a tie. I never wear ties. Some of the cars were packed, but I walked to the front, where it was pretty empty.

People’s Square station was not empty. It was the opposite of empty. And people got pretty bunched up while I was transferring from Line 2 to LIne 1.

That’s probably when someone stole my money. All 3,500 of it.

And my notepad.

But not my iPod.

I said bad words when I discovered this.

Several of them.


My stomach tightened.

And I started to sweat.

Why did you steal my fucking notepad!

I met Johnson and Matthew Bell for much-needed drink. Johnson told me I never should have had my money in my backpack.

Thank you, Johnson.

I told them that it was ironic that I held my new phone in my hand, because I didn’t want to to get stolen.

“You could have bought two new phones with the money in the bag!” Johnson pointed out.

Thanks again.

None of this would have happened if my taxi could have made the trip to Puxi. And he couldn’t make the trip because of National Day.

So, I blame Mao.

Of course, maybe I should have read this more closely.

Perhaps this is my punishment for being a bad blogger recently. And I’m sorry for that. I’ve been very busy. With some projects you are aware of. And some that you aren’t. I plan to pay more attention to this website very soon. Some big changes are in store. I promise.

It is my National Day resolution.

But it will have to wait until after my trip to Xiamen, which begins in a few hours. I’ll get back on Wednesday.

Right now, I need to go shave. The director of the infomercial wanted me to be unshaven.

He said it made me look like a “power man.”

And we all know pickpockets love those.

10.01.2005, 3:05 PM · Featured, Observations · Comments (9)


Shanghai Diaries is a website about Shanghai, China ... and lots of other stuff. Voted Best Mainland China Blog in the 2004 Asia Blog Awards.

Editor: Dan Washburn

Related: Shanghaiist and Mudan Boutique

Dan is a freelance writer living in Shanghai. More about Dan.

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10.08.2005 (127 new)
Fujian Power!
Visit an old colonial island in Xiamen and huge earthen roundhouses in rural Fujian. Scenes from my National Day 2005 holiday.

10.08.2005 (41 new)
Go on the set for my very first infomercial! I play the role of “Dr. James,” inventor of a product called “Dolly.”

10.08.2005 (57 new)
Gaelic Football
Get some sweaty culture at the Asian Gaelic Games. Gaelic football comes to Shanghai!

10.08.2005 (14 new)
Xingfu 13
Jam with Xingfu 13 at the Shanghaiist.com launch party.

10.08.2005 (29 new)
Shanghai Sex Expo
Take a stroll through the Second Annual China International Adult Toys and Reproductive Health Exhibition, also known as the Adult Expo or the Adult-Care Expo.

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