Sunday, 31 May 2009

Sunday is Thursday?

Today I had to work. Blech. I think I already mentioned it but China does this weird thing where if you get more than one day off of work for a holiday, you have to it back. So I got Thursday and Friday off and had to work today. It was a strange realization when I finished up the work day and that I still had 5 more days of work this week. Ugh.

Yesterday I went to Century Park again. Lucy and I met up with the same group we hung out with last some more! It was TONS of fun. There was dodge ball and Frisbee and badminton and soccer and card games and general chatting as well. I've decided I love badminton and want to play more often.

Here is Lucy expertly catching a frisbee with some of our new friends.
I can't remember this guys name (I am pretty sure he was from Italy). I just really like this picture because you have the iconic Shanghai skyline in the back and lots of greenery in the foreground.
And here's a picture that Lucy took with her camera. The colors are so much more vivid in this picture...hmph. I look have passed out in this picture, but otherwise it's nice.
I haven't been feeling too well recently. It's a little hard to breathe and I keep having ucky coughs. I have a student who is out with pneumonia, so now I'm all paranoid that I have it. Here's hoping that I'm just being a hypochondriac. If it's the same or worse tomorrow I will go to the school doctor.

Two other things:
1. I have learned the wonders of making iced tea the old fashioned way. As in, make a whole bunch of tea and then put it in the fridge. I made a whole pitcher and finished it in a day and a half. I made another pitcher today with a different kind of tea...hope it's yummy too.

2. China is doing weird things to my self confidence about my appearance. Whenever I see two or more middle age or older Chinese people, they assume I can't speak Chinese and say these two things about me, one right after the other:
-她是很胖. (She is very fat.)
-她很好看. (She is very pretty/good looking.)


Much love,

Thursday, 28 May 2009

Dragon Boat Festival!

Today is the Dragon Boat Festival in China. Whoo! For those who don't know, there is a legend that the poet/scholar Qu Yuan drowned himself in a river after the Qin took over the Chu capital during the Warring States period (or because he was exiled...there are a few different versions of the story). The people liked and respected Qu Yuan so they threw rice into the river so that the fish would eat the rice and not his body, and road boats to scare the fish and look for his body (which is now dragon boat racing).

We get today and Friday off for the holiday. I was thinking of going somewhere to enjoy the holiday, but then the school took my passport to renew my work visa so I can't. Bah. Probably for the best. SO MANY people travel during the holidays here and I hate crowds.

Doesn't mean I can't celebrate by myself! The school gave all the teachers some nice Dragon Boat Festival treats!
On the left is a mixed package of zongzi and the left (if you can't read the package) is cooked salted duck eggs. Zongzi is sticky rice usually with some sort of filling (most often red bean) and it's wrapped with bamboo leaves. I decided to steam some zongzi for my lunch today.

While I was waiting I figured I would try some of the eggs.
They are vaccuum wrapped individually and there are a bunch of them.
Since they are already cooked I decided to just open one like a hard boil egg and eat it. It kinda split open as soon as I tried that.
Doesn't look too appetizing, huh? It was ok, but VERY salty. June said I should have them with rice congee so I should go shopping and GET some rice congee. Or maybe I can just have them with plain rice...

Once I was done with that, my zongzi were done steaming. I chose the ones with meat filling for lunch. They were pretty good. Maybe I'll have the ones with red bean for dessert tonight.
I also cleaned my apartment. It's simply sparkling now.

Isabelle and Zeno are coming over tonight and I am cooking mexican (Zeno's request).

Also, Becky and Stephanie (two other foreign teachers at PingHe) are working on making costumes for a few plays they are doing with their kids and they asked me for my help. I sewed up two tunics, sewed some trim to two capes, taught them how to make simple hats, made four pouches and am now knitting some costume chainmail. (Did you know that the chainmail used in Monty Python and the Holy Grail was knitted wool painted silver?)

And I'm sorry that my posting has gone down in frequency but it's a lot harder now to post.

Isabelle and Lucy pointed out that I only have three weekends left in Shanghai before I go home for the summer. Eek! This weekend is still up in the air (although I have to work on Sunday), next weekend is Lucy's birthday celebration, and the weekend after that is Shanghai Pride. When am I going to pack...

Just one last thing for this post, the relationship slang class went VERY differently for different classes. With the class I always have the most trouble with they didn't pay attention and when I asked if they had any slang questions they sat in stony silence. A class that is usually good was not much better. The two classes that often pay the most attention and seem most comfortable with me as a teacher played close attention and had tones of other questions (like what a hickey was called in English and different words you can use to talk about attractive guys). Like I said to my students, it may be embarassing and weird to talk about this stuff with a teacher, but they want to go to college in America. I would rather them be a bit embarassed with me if it means that they will know what the heck their classmates are talking about once they get to the US.

That's all for now. Time to start getting ready for dinner.

Much love!

Sunday, 24 May 2009

Lazy Saturday, Sporty Sunday

Saturday was one of the most boring days since I moved to Shanghai. I played guitar, read Dark Tower, watched a movie, did laundry and wrote post cards...that's about it. I didn't even leave my apartment.

I decided to make up for it today. I stopped off at the post office and finally mailed off my package for Elysse and then rode The Lime to Century Park. I was a little upset when I got there to find out that bikes are not allowed in. Crap! I had to lock it up outside.

I met up with Lucy who said that I was looking very "sporty" today. Do I look sporty?
Anyway, it was a bunch of fun. We sat and had some snacks I brought. Lucy laughed at me and said I had brought some very "Chinese" snacks. Iced green tea, fresh fruit, sunflower seeds and dried squid. Yum yum. We chatted and sunbathed and played cards.

And took some pictures of course. I have some serious hat head here.Oh well. While we were hanging out there were a couple of laowais near us that were playing badminton. A few times the bird landed near us and we smiled and joked around. When they brought out a volleyball they asked if we wanted to join them. We just stood in a circle hitting the ball around. Then a Japanese man who had been watching nearby joined us and we played some sort of weird version of dodge ball.

We played a few rounds and then we sat with the laowais, finding out where everyone was from (sorry, no picture of them). One was from Russia, one from Holland, two from Denmark and two from Turkey. I love stuff like that. We exchanged contact info and made tentative plans to all meet up at the park again next week.

After being at the park for about 6 hours and getting a sunburn on my shoulders, it seemed time to leave. I was happy to find my bike wasn't stolen. I stopped on my way home at Element Fresh and got the most delicious wrap EVER. Isn't it wonderful how much better food tastes when you've been really active?That's all for now folks. I'm teaching some relationship slang to my students tomorrow...that should be interesting.

Much love,

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Knitting Update Nine

Well, this is it for now friends. I have knitted all the skeins I brought with me to China. There should be one square for every person that gave me yarn as a present. If you gave me yarn and did not see a square labeled from you, please tell me!

I will probably have to knit a couple more squares so that my final blanket can end up being the right shape. Right now I am pretty sure I have 33 squares total (there may be another one floating around there somewhere). If I knit two more I can have a 5x7 square blanket...

Anyway, here are the last of them! This is from Walt and Carolyn. Very pretty earth tones.
This is from my mom friend's Jean. She put a nice note in about "it's a small world" events that happened with her family and signed it "Jean (Vickie's bud) which I thought was cute. :-)
This is from the awesome Bethany and her friend Lynn.
And last but not least we have this square from George and Nora Santos, also from Kamatics.
So that's it for now until I get home. Part of me really wants to finish the blanket this summer while I'm home, but the more rational part of me realizes that working on an all wool blanket in the middle of the summer may not be the smartest idea...

THANK YOU SO MUCH again to everyone who generously gave me a skein of yarn for this blanket. I love it already and it's not even done yet!

If you want to see all the finished squares again I have them HERE in my facebook album.

Much love,

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Miss Me?

So yeah. Blogspot is blocked. And I am pretty sure Wikipedia is blocked. And YouTube has been blocked since March. It's annoying, but I made the decision to move to China so I have to deal with the consequences.

Anyway, let me just get to updatin'. Saturday night I went out with the usual suspects. First we went to a Russian restaurant (apparently the ONLY Russian restaurant in Shanghai?). The only person I didn't know was a friend of Audrey's whose name I forget. She is the blonde in the picture below. She was nice.
Audrey and I were in charge of ordering and apparently we did a good job. The food was very tasty and not too expensive. My favorite dish by far was this tasty creamy chicken with mushrooms. SO GOOD. We also figured we should have vodka and cavier. Cuz you just...should.
After the restaurant we walked to a nearby bar (De la Costa or something like that). It was 100RMB open bar so we paid and hung out for a bit. It was very loud and very crowded. Not really my kind of place. It was still fun to hang out though. Isa and I got our picture taken by a guy from City Moments and the picture is on the website. This is as big as I could get it...
Isa looks like a hardcore rocker and I look like a doofus. Especially because instead of a peace sign or throwing the horns or just waving for some reason my hand decided to make the Chinese hand sign for the number 6. What the heck, hand? What is 6 supposed to mean in the context of this picture? Why do you betray me so?

Sunday my biggest excitement was getting an hour long herbal foot massage followed by an hour long full body Chinese massage. For less than $20 all together. Oh yeah. It's ok to be jealous.

Tonight was some sort of party for the graduating seniors (I think?). They had a buffet of some food that was really tasty (especially the spring rolls and fried chicken) and bubble tea (YAY! I love bubble tea). The 10th and 11th graders did a performance that was hilarious.

It was a mixture of way too many Disney stories to keep track. The basic story was a princess didn't want to marry a frog prince even though he gave her the right size shoe. He gave her a lamp and said he would leave her alone to think about it. Then he sang "Can You Feel The Love Tonight". The princess was captured by a beast. She rubbed the magic lamp and the frog prince showed up with 7 dwarves and they worked together to defeat the beast. The princess fainted. A box of apple juice dropped on Newton's head and he figured out how to save the princess. Then they got married.

And did I mention that the princess was one of my male students in drag? Here he is jumping rope trying to keep his wig on.
Here is one of my favorite pictures. The 7 dwarves and the frog prince all crying over the fainted princess.
I think that's really my excitement recently. I'm happy because things should be relatively easy for me at work for the rest of the semester. This week and next week are my last two weeks of teaching. Then I have a week of giving oral exams and a week of written exams. And next week barely counts since we have a day off for the Dragon Boat Festival AND I am giving my students one class period to perpare for the oral final. Whoo!

Other than that the only thing to report is that the dreaded Shanghai heat is returning. I am glad I am spending my summer in the much more mild heat of my home land.

Bye for now,

Monday, 18 May 2009



Blogspot is actually blocked now in China but I think I might have figured a way around it.

So I repeat....testing?

Thursday, 14 May 2009


I really didn't create this blog to be an outlet for my grief, but I have more bad news.

My great grandmother recently passed away. I'm glad I got to visit her this winter when I was home in America.

My Nana was an AMAZING woman. She was a talented crafter, liked to gamble, and was bitingly sarcastic (and I loved her all the more for that). She would call me a spoiled brat and a cheat and I knew that just meant that she loved me too.

This picture was taken the night before I left for Shanghai in August. It's the last picture of me and Nana together. I really like this picture.
I wrote this poem about her years ago when I was still in high school after she spent a day teaching me, my mother and a friend of mine how to make pasta.

Her skin is like pale pink leather
Stretched over the knobby joints of age
And blue veins crisscross her flesh
Like spider webs caught in the sunlight
Thin as paper to the touch, her hands
Working deep within the powdery mass
Manipulating the dough into fleeting shapes
She kneads it in a rhythm like the ticking
Of a clock, as years pass over us like birds
And leave sorrowful shadows on her face
The words pass between us like dry leaves
Falling gently in the chilling autumn wind
She is a bent old woman with an iron core
And her voice rasps the air as she laughs
Below her thinning snow white hair
White clouds rise up from the table
The flour encasing us in a breath and a moment
And she turns to me, her eyes encased in wrinkles
Lips drawn back showing teeth stained by cigarettes
And I smile, but don’t say the words
She already knows what I would say

Wednesday, 13 May 2009


I like weird stuff and finding stuff to amuse me at work. I thought I would share this with all of you.

The last monthly test I gave to my students was about writing a letter. They could choose to write a letter to a government official, a bunch of fired employees, or to the parents of a misbehaving student.

Here is the breakdown of how each student started their letter.

Dear ___'s Parents: 19
Dear Employees/Staff/Partners/Personnel: 7
Dear Mr/Mrs. White/Black/Green/Blue: 7
Dear Mr/Mrs. Smith: 5
Other English Surname (Pitt/Timberlake/Johnson/Rice): 5
Dear Mr/Mrs. Wang: 4
Other Chinese Surname (Lee/Li/Yu/Shan): 5
Dear (Classmate's Name): 2
To Whom It May Concern: 2
Dear Government Official:1
Dear Mr. Duck: 1 (I thought this one deserved to be by itself)

Hope that amuses you all half as much as it amuses me.

Much Love,
Ms. Duck


So after lots of searching online and Zeno (and also D'Arcy) being SUPER SUPER helpful and lots of phone calls...I have plane tickets to come home for the summer! I will arrive at JFK on June 16th and will be heading back to Shanghai on August 28th.

I also called my parents who are on vacation right now. I called them at 2AM. To see if they would approve of me buying cheap plane tickets. Yeah. I realize now how stupid that is. This is roughly how the conversation went:

Parents: Mbrmgmm....Hello?
Me: Sorry to wake you up, but I just found pretty much the cheapest round trip plane tickets I've ever seen. I wanted to check with you two first before I saved a bunch of money. So, do you approve of cheap tickets?
Parents: You are a moron. We're going back to bed. Buy the tickets...moron.

Ok, they didn't actually call me a moron. But I feel really stupid. Nothing I can do about it now.

Finally, here is a cool picture my dad sent me of the shuttle launch that my mom and him saw yesterday in Florida.

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Professional Liquid Sipper

So Friday night after work Zeno and I met up with June and her new husband (whose name I should really remember but I'm a doofus and forgot). We went out for all-you-can-eat teppenyaki. Still the coolest thing ever. It's better than buffets where the stuff sits out forever and it's probably not too sanitary. This way you order whatever you want and they make it fresh right in front of you. We took turns ordering a round of food for everyone. One of my favorite things we got on friday was steamed goose egg with cavier. Yum yum.

On Saturday morning I had a random video chat with parents. Them folks crack me up.

Saturday evening I went to a whisky tasting with Isabelle. I was a bit hesitant at first since I don't really like whisky. When she asked me to go with her, she said that after the monthly wine tastings we were "professionals at sipping liquids and making über-intelligent comments". After that (and the fact that she had somehow gotten free tickets) I had to go. The event was called Whisky Live.
The tickets were from a friend of Isabelle's who is originally from Tennesse named Judy. Judy also brought a co-worker of her's named Aries (cool name, huh?). The four or us checked in and got our official bag, booklet and tasting glass (which you got to keep. Yay!)
We wandered around for about 2 hours trying out everything. One thing that I was super excited to see was men in kilts. KILTS! IN CHINA! YAY! I made a good honest effort but I think I just don't like drinking whisky straight. There was only one that I tried that seemed tolerable (Tulllamore Dew), because it was just a touch sweeter than the other things we tried.

Side mixing whisky with iced green tea an international thing or is it just something people in China do?

Anyway, we also watched a guy mixing different cocktails with whisky. He would mix up a drink and then choose someone from the audience to try it. So I made sure to make lots of eye contact with him and laugh at all his bartending jokes and sure enough when I raised my hand to try the Bobby Burns cocktail, I was picked. He noticed I was standing with someone (Isabelle) so instead of trying it and giving it back he said to bring it back into the audience and share with my friend. The drink was really refreshing and pretty tasty. He also made samples of mint juleps for everybody which were REALLY good. Although I'm not surprised I like those since I like mojitos...

After the demonstration was over, I went to give the glass back. The guy (Dean) said to wait around while he and his crew packed up and we could all chat. This was at 8pm, when the expo was over and everyone was leaving. How cool is that? It was like hanging out with the band after a concert. Ha! We waited for a bit and then went to hang out with Dean and the rest of the people who were there from Bacardi (who actually ones Dewars...I didn't know that). When someone brought around whisky cokes for all the presenters, he asked them to bring me and Isabelle each one too. We chatted about drinks and the expo and where we were all from. He's originally from Ireland but spent a lot of time in Australia. We also met Dean's friend (whose name was French and I have NO memory for French) who is waiting for his greencard so he can move to CA. After a bit even the presenters had to leave so we all headed out.

Judy, Isabelle and I left very much giggly and hungry. We walked to The Spot nearby and had a late dinner. Isabelle had a case of the hiccups on the way there and Judy kept thinking of more and more extravagent and ridiculous cures. Towards the end she was saying things like "You need to sniff a piece of pepper while you sprinke salt on your butt!" I nearly died laughing.

This week is another wine tasting at Enoteca. While the theme is usually a country (South Africa, Chile, France, etc) this week's theme is "chilled white wines". I am very excited. I prefer white wines and some nice chilled drinks sound wonderful considering how hot it's been getting. Today it was 95 degrees. I can't even think straight if it's over 90. Ugh.

I must get to correcting tests so I bid you all farewell for now!

Much love,

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

I wanted to dedicate today's post to my mother. She is a truly amazing creature.

She is intelligent and a problem solver, she's a great sewer and a dog lover. She's a list maker, a cookie baker, and hip shaker (usually when no one is watching, though). She's a family woman, a computer programmer, a volunteer and a friend. She's loving, caring and supportive to the end.

I owe my accomplishments to my parents and their constant love and support.

So today I just want to say that I love you Mama-san and thank you for everything. :-)


P.S. I also learned how to play "Before He Cheats" on guitar and was going to play it for you, but I hurt my wrist while I was practicing. Ouch. I guess I'll just have to play it for you live this summer.

Saturday, 9 May 2009


Shooting as

I decided to try something stupid and fun the other day. I took pictures while riding my bike! Um...yeah!

Here are some of my favorites.

Somewhat blurry picture of the normal amount of bike traffic in Pudong.
Ultra blurry picture of a woman pulling a cart about 5 times her size.
Only-kinda-blurry picture of a guy carrying some huge metal case across his knees while riding his motorbike.
My personal favorite...way too blurry picture of a man on a motorbike with a cage of live chickens on the back.
And...ME! It's hard to tell, but I promise you this picture was taken while I was riding my bike. Notice my hair being blown in the breeze and the slightly frenzied look on my face as I try to balance and aim and smile and not fall down all at the same time.
Obviously I need to change the shutter speed on my camera if I am going to try bike riding and photo taking at the same time again.

***This blogger does not encourage ride-by-shootings. Riding a bike while taking pictures may end up in a broken camera, a broken bike, a broken ego (cuz the pictures come out really blurry) or broken bones. Consult a doctor (specifically a therapist) before you try ride-by-shootings.***

The Lime

So since I am here for another year I decided to buy myself a present. A new bike.

Now, my old bike tried so hard to be a good bike. But the poor old boy had a number of problems. The seat broke and the pedal kept falling off and the basket kept coming loose and the mud guard cracked. He was just so much of a hassle. Often I would just walk, even if where I was going was far, because the idea of riding him just seemed unpleasant.

Besides, I had been drooling over these "city bikes" that Decathlon had. They were pretty cheap, actually. I've decided to name him The Lime. I figured it was fitting since my first bike turned out to be such a "lemon", and also because he is such a beautiful lime color. He is an absolute joy to ride. I've had The Lime for about a week now and I have already clocked in about 8 hours of riding.

Wednesday, just for fun, I decided to ride to the Science and Technology museum. I had already been riding around for a bit so I'm not sure exactly how long it took, but I am going to guess about 35-40 minutes. That makes me happy. If the weather is nice this weekend I think I might ride to Century Park. It's supposed to be a nice place to ride around.

There he is in front of the Science and Technology Museum. Beautiful!

I am also excited because it's a Chinese style bike with the flat part on the back which can be used as a seat. No one has taken me up on my offer of a ride yet. Oh well.


Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Plagiarism Makes Me Cry

Dear Student,

Don't plagiarize. Seriously.

I would rather have you not do your homework at all then hand in something you didn't write.

And honestly? If you are going to plagiarize at least put some effort into it. Remove hyperlinks. Change some words around. Remove words I know for a fact that you don't know (like quintessential). SOMETHING. If you are going to copy word-for-word, you could at least hand write it.

When you hand in something that you obviously printed directly from a webpage, it hurts. You might as well slap me in the face. When you had me that piece of paper what you are saying is, "I care so little about you as a teacher and your class that this was all the effort I thought your assignment deserved. I bet you are too stupid and/or lazy to even notice what I did."


Just don't do it.

Your Teacher

**Note that this isn't really a wide spread problem, but rather a few isolated cases. It's just every time it happens a little piece of me dies.

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Well...It's Official...

Just signed the contracts.

China owns my life for one more year.

I will still be home to visit this summer for at least two months, hopefully more. I'll have more details soon.

Everyone from home...please don't forget about me even though I will be away for another long year.


Monday, 4 May 2009

Labor Day Holiday

My Labor Day Holiday really wasn't anything interesting.

Friday I had a few webchats with friends who happened to be online when I was. I tried to tune my guitar because I had heard a new song I wanted to learn. As I was tuning, the G-string snapped with a loud *TWAANNG* and scared the bejeezus out of me. I didn't have a spare set of strings, so I was thoroughly bummed.

I completely overhauled my apartment (it was a huge mess) and made no bake cookies. Isabelle arrived and we proceeded to knit and watch SEVEN EPISODES of the L Word. Those are hour long episodes, folks. Yeesh. We stopped only to go have some dinner at Big Bamboo, then came back for wine and more L Word. She left around midnight and I crashed.

On Saturday my big excitement was going into Puxi to the music street and getting new strings. I got two sets because I don't ever want to have the urge to play and have something stupid, like a string breaking, being the reason I can't. I also got a new tuner which I LOVE. I can clip it onto the head of my guitar and it tunes it by the vibrations. Neat-o. I wandered around Puxi for a bit after that, then went back to my apartment.

I had all the fixings for an italian dinner (I was planning on hanging out with Zeno, but she had to go home for family reasons) so I decided to make myself a nice dinner on Saturday. I got fresh bread from the French bakery down the street. Made some garlic dipping sauce. Had carbonara pasta with steamed brocoli. Yum yum. I also watched "Bolt", which was a decent movie and made me miss my dogs.

Sunday I was stupid. I completely forgot that I had a ticket to go see The Chanticleer's concert*. I was about to take a shower and work on my lesson plan when I got a text message form Nicole asking when I was planning on "getting there". So I responded "getting where?". When she wrote back "the concert" I assumed she was talking about the MIDI music festival that she and Megan and Isabelle were thinking about going to. Then it dawned on me. I showered and dressed like a madwoman, then jumped into a cab. I made it there just on time.
The concert was good. The Chanticleers are a vocal ensemble group and they did a variety of stuff. They sang barbershop stuff like "Beautiful Dreamer", they did jazz like "Love Walked In", and they also did a Native American chant and some folk music. They were REALLY good. It made me think of going to acapella concerts back in college. The last song they did in the main performance was about a rooster and all I could think was that for anyone in the audience who didn't speak good English (which was probably the majority considering there were 8 foreigners in the whole audience...including me and Nicole), that song must have been very confusing. They crowed like roosters and mewed like cats and barked like dogs. At the end one singer came forward, squatted and pretended to lay a couple plastic eggs. It was hilarious. They also sang two encores, both in Chinese!

Now I am back to worky-work. I am going to play "You're So Vain" in class today and have a discussion about vanity. I am trying to estimate exactly how long this exercise will take, cuz I don't think it will take up the whole class period.

Anyway, enough boring all of you.

Much love,

*Am I the only one that thinks that's cool? Chanticleer? As in the rooster from the Canterbury Tales? Anyone? No? Bah.**
**Chanticleer was also the name of the rooster in Rock-a-Doodle...that just occured to me now. Man, I haven't seen that movie in forever. Probably a good thing.

Friday, 1 May 2009


So I kept putting off a post for a few reasons. Didn't upload pictures I wanted to post, hadn't made a decision about staying or not...all sorts of stuff.

Anyway, here is some catch-up about what's been up with me.

Last week on Thursday night I went to a cocktail party at the financial building (aka, the bottle opener) for work. After making tentative plans on countless occasions and them always falling through, I ended up there by accident. June asked if I wanted to come with her for an event being held by EHL, a hospitality college in Switzerland. It wasn't until we were on our way there that I knew it was in the bottle opener. We smoozed in the lounge on the 92nd floor, eating tuna tartar and sushi with wine and then strawberry/marshmallow kabobs while sipping champange. It was very cool to look outside the window and look DOWN dowards the JinMao tower and the highest bar in the world (where I had been about two weeks ago).
I have now been to the three giants of the PuDong skyline and don't need to worry about crossing off another on my list until the finish the Shanghai Tower (shown in a mock-up here on the far right) in 2014.
As I said in my last post, I went to see Swan Lake performed by the Russian State Ballet on friday night. I was a little disappointed to see that there wasn't a live orchestra and they were instead going off a recording. Also, the Swan's arms were SO UNNATURALLY THIN that I actually found it distracting. I thought for sure one of those twigs was going to snap in the middle of the big finish. Look, I even found a picture of her online...Other than that it was very good. My favorite dancer by far was the Jester. He was funny and AMAZING. The way he lept about the stage it seemed like he was just short of flying away.

After the ballet I was stupid and thought I could walk to the bar. It was SOO FAR. HuaiHailu is looong. Meh. After I got there I was happy to find Isabelle behind the bar. If I remember correctly, in this picture is the first Long Island Ice Tea she ever made (which soon after became the first Long Island Ice Tea I ever drank).
Also, I wasn't joking about the guy in the chipmunk costume. We chatted for a bit and then I asked if I could try on the head of his costume. I assure you, that really is me under that head...On Sunday I got together with Lucy and some of her friends for karaoke. It was fun. A friend of her's from Hangzhou came and even though she didn't sing at all, she paid for all of us. It was very very nice of her. Here is the group at the karaoke place.Monday I can't even remember what I did. Tuesday I went to Bulldog again. Met Isabelle and then Megan and Nicole. We played gin rummy. I can't even remember the last time I played. It was fun.

Yesterday (thursday) was an interesting day at work. The morning was a Sports Meet. There were some three legged races...except with 10 people. So I guess that's an 11 legged race? There were races and relays and high jumps and long jumps and all sorts of fun stuff. I cheered my students on like a proud parent. Cuz I'm weird.

I took some picture but this is definately my favorite. This is one of my students, Henry, in the middle of breaking the school's high jump record. I forget exactly how high it was...I think it was 1.5 meters? I could be completely off.
That's really all I have for news right about now. It's Friday and I have today off (long weekend!!). I seriously need to clean my apartment. Isabelle will be here in a few hours for a knitting and L Word marathon. I should go clean. I also need to go to JingLingLu (the music street) cuz I snapped the G-string on my guitar this morning trying to tune YingLong up. Bah.

This has been a weird post of playing catch up. Hopefully I won't get this far behind in posting again.


Knitting Update Eight

YAY! This time all four pictures behaved and uploaded in the same direction! Whoo!

I'm going to make this quick cuz I haven't posted in a while. This is very likely to be another multiple post day.

First up is a square with yarn from Donna.
This square was made with yarn from my Aunt Susan.
This square was made with yarn from Frank and Flo (who got me an unheard of TWELVE skeins of yarn as a grad gift. It was hard to choose which skein from them to use for my blanket.)
And the last for today is a square made with yarn from Twila.
You may have noticed I am kind of zipping through the squares lately. I made a promise to myself to have the squares all done after one year, regardless of my plans for the upcoming year. I only have three skeins left here, and after they are done I will have completed one square for every person who gave me yarn. I may have to make a couple more squares just so I have the right number of squares for a blanket, but my original plan will be finished in just three more squares...