Wednesday, June 24, 2009

this side

i love spending time dippin' my feets in this side of the pacific.

this is for you molly...

a stir stick that doubles as a to-go cup stopper. isn't it ingenious?


so, i wrote about my friend Emily who invited me to her home, and then wine and dined me the entire time... well, she has been calling periodically to check up on me and make sure i am taking my pills and drinking enough water and how my health is doing. Yesterday, she gave me a call saying that her mom was in town and she wanted to see me, so we made plans to hang out today. Then, she asked me how my mother's health was doing. I told her it was fine, she doesn't really have any problems. i guess she asked about my mom because i told her some of my health 'problems' were passed down from my mom.

well, today, i went to go see them and so we appropriately meet in the vitamin store. I think this is a little odd, but it totally makes sense. As soon as I walk in, they tell me that her mom has bought me all of these new pills for me. she bought me a TON more zinc, some for my digestive tract (that will also help me lose weight apparently), some green tea toothpaste that i don't really understand what its supposed to do, and a ton of powder medicine for my mother, so she doesn't have any aches and pains.

the loot:

please excuse our collection of bottles in the background.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

dance dance dance

I posted earlier about the Where the Hell is Matt? video that we watched over winter holiday...
well, since we watched that video, we have been scheming to make our own. so two weeks ago, we finally did.

introducing, five girlies dancing their way around their favorite city in east asia. enjoy :)

Friday, June 12, 2009

happy anniversary ralphie!

Today, is Ralphie (my sweet little mac) and my one year anniversary. We have been through a lot together this last year. after being without an electronic friend for a whole month, ralphie came into my life all silvery and shiny, and he talked to me! something bobby never did. then, we moved to east asia together. his battery lasts so long, so he was able to keep me company in the airport.
anyway, the one year anniversary is a big step because it means one thing: my apple warantee expires. now, i have had Ralph taken in for services twice in the past year, so it took me a while to decide if i wanted to make the commitment and buy the applecare extension. well, last night, i decided to make the biggest purchase i've made in a long time, and i bought it. ahh

spending all that money, put me in the mood to.. spend more money. which sparked a online window shopping extravaganza that last until about 2 am. I didn't buy anything, but i came dangerously close. I wanted to share with you some of the beautiful things i found on one of my favorite shopping sites, supermarket!

first up, nervous system
i have admired their work for some time now, but last night i came dangerously close to buying this amazing ring made with a 3d printer:

this set of three rings is by onestonenewyork and is just dainty and lovely

this cute owl pendant is by Melanie Favreau of Quebec!

Alisha Louise Designs makes all these fabulous art deco inspired earrings and necklaces... i really love them

another dainty ring design by Anne Kiel Jewelry in Austin!

this pretty cedar necklace by smallthings of, who would guess, portland is so awesome, too bad its $86!
and of course an illustration by valerydesignwrks. i really love her wall decals too.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

goodbyes and hellos

I write this as a very sad lady. This week is our last week of class. I can’t believe the end is coming so fast. I feel like I have gotten to know our teachers so well and have grown to really love them and enjoy class with them. Learning the language is so much fun, now that we can learn more complex things and we graduated to only reading our text in characters this semester. It is truly amazing how far we have come in less than one year, and we only have ChuLaoshi and MaLaoshi to thank (and dad). But I don’t know where we would be if it wasn’t for all of their help: MaLaoshi telling us what they really say, not just what the book says; the look of happiness on their faces when we make a good sentence; their deep concern for us when we have problems (missing my train and our power that sporadically turns off); and the fact that ChuLaoshi LOVES teaching us.

Us with MaLaoshi back in March

I don’t know how to begin to thank them. For putting up with our tardiness, for our asking to not have class because we want to visit our friends, for being so so so very patient with us and for sharing their lives with us. I will really really miss them. Gah now I am crying again.

Anyway, the next few months will be so hectic for me. This is our last week of class, next week is our week to say goodbye to friends on campus. Then we go to another city to visit friends for a birthday party. The day we come back, a friend from the states arrives to stay with us for a few days and help us to prepare to come back to the states. Aubrey goes home on the 28th. On the 29th, laura!!!! Comes to my city, and we get to travel around EA for a while :D then, on the 15th?of july, I leave for a month-long trip to C. Asia. Will return to E. Asia on August 15th? And then head back to the states shortly after. Crazy whirlwind of coming and going, goodbyes and hellos.

Even though it is about 2 months away, I am already to get pretty nervous about my re-entry to the western world. I have lived so long out of touch with so many things. Movies, music, tv-shows, fashion! Back in February, we wanted to go see a movie in the theater, so we called the theatre to hear the movies playing. Everything was in ‘East Asian,’ but we heard “Au da li ya” (Australia), so we thought there was movie from Australia playing. So we went to the theatre to find out that the movie was called ‘Australia’ and apparently had been out for a while. Oops. The other day I started seeing facebook status’ saying “haha at the hangover!” by like 246178 of my friends. I thought it was pretty strange that they were talking about their hangovers on fbook, until I realized it was a movie. :/ also, the other day I went shoe shopping, a pair caught my eye, and I thought, “OH that is cute! Oh wait, is that cute? I don’t know what to think anymore!?!” I don’t know if my fashion sense has been greatly impaired by the number of sock-and-sandal wearing bra-less wonders of this land.

All this to say: I’m pretty much going to be a mess when I come back. My English sucks, I have no fashion sense, and I don’t know what music you’ve been listening to for the last year. So please, bear with me as I readjust to proper table manners, driving, and speaking English on a regular basis.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


So this weekend was a little crazy. Let me give you the walk through.

Long weekend in EA = go home with a friend. Which is awesome because I get to see more of the country, meet family members, and get some home cookin’! So, four hours on buses and we arrive in her house on Friday afternoon. Her house is awesome, big living room, lots of family members, 3 little dogs (!!) and her mom is awesome. The Friday and Saturday were pretty chill. We walked around her town, I played with her dogs, we went to a nearby city and did some site seeing. Her mom is really awesome… she was so concerned about me, and the fact that I didn’t bring any sunglasses with me, so she insisted on purchasing me a pair. I also ate a TON and we had watermelon after every meal (to aid with digestion). And for breakfast I had this amazing la tang that apparently is specific to her city, and you dip you tiao in it and it is delicious. Oh man.

And then Sunday came. Now, I had been trying to convince her that I could go home by myself and she could stay at home as long as she wanted. But she would have none of that. I told her that I could leave on Sunday morning, and I wouldn’t have any trouble getting back. But she said that I was her responsibility, and if something were to happen to me, or if I got lost, she would feel awful.

Anyway, I think I was allergic to something in her house, because the whole weekend, my sinuses were going crazy and I was sneezing and my nose was running all over the place. They were all very concerned that I was sick, so on Sunday morning we went to my friend’s mom’s vitamin store/place. She swears by Zinc tablets, and wanted to get me checked out because I was sick. On the way, Emily (my friend) explained to me that they have a machine that will feel my hand and tell me what vitamins I should take. Not knowing exactly what to expect, I went into the shop with… no expectations. Except that this was going to be an interesting experience.

After talking with the owners for a while and flipping through their photo albums (as everyone is really good friends), we went into the back room and were instructed to wash our hands. As the technician-lady hooked up the ‘machine’ to the TV, I looked at all of the posters on the walls that explain which part of the hand is related to which body part… interesting. Emily went first, as she was a seasoned veteran. The technician-lady put the ultra-sound type machine on her hand, and the screen lit up with pink and peach colors, and some streaks that resembled veins. Was I looking at the inside of her hand?!?! Anyway, all looked well, I understood a little, but no one was translating for me. Then, it was my turn.

I tentatively hold my hand up, and she pushes the machine against my palm. She says a bunch of stuff, and Emily translates, saying that I eat too much meat, and I need to eat more vegetables and drink more water. Ok. Good to know. All looks well on the screen, but then, out of no where, this big. Black. DOT. Appears. “you have rubbish in your….” Look it up in the dictionary… “liver.” Ok, I can live with that, rubbish in my liver… what do I do with that? “he duo shui.” Drink more water. Ok. We go back to the pink and peach, and I’m a little nervous at what they will find next, when another big Black DOT appears. AHhhh. Emily asks, “do you have… duzi teng (abdomen aches) during… that… special time?” “why?” “umm.. you have rubbish in your womb.” RUBBISH IN MY WOMB?!?! Great. What does this mean? No kids for jena?! Who knows. Apparently I need to take Zinc and drink more water. Oh, I also have low iron. So I need to eat more vegetables. Rubbish in my womb…

So after the rubbish incident, I think we are going back to her house, but then she informs me we are going to go to a wedding lunch. What? Who’s? am I invited? I’m thinking… This is awkward/cool I get to see an east asian wedding/I hope I am not the center of attention. We walk in, meet the bride and groom, wish them well, and are sent to our room. This place is like.. half restaurant, half hotel. Where half of the hotel rooms have huge round tables instead of beds and 15 people eat in each room. So we are having a good time, I’m talking to all of her aunts and uncles and cousins and people I don’t know how she’s related to. The older people are drinking bai jiu, this really potent clear liquor, while the younger crowd is drinking “American Red Wine.”

Now, let me pause a moment in the story to tell you about this so-called “American Red Wine.” I had this the night before, as it was some leftover from Emily’s brother’s wedding, and it is most certainly NOT wine. It is most akin to pink cough syrup. It has the same consistency, the same taste, and the same throat-coating effect. Not red wine. But they all love it.

Ok back to the story. Enjoying a meal together in happy celebration with alcohol means lots of toasting. Toasting to the bride and groom, toasting to health, long life, the young kids who just graduated college, and of course, the honored guest – me. Why am I the honored guest? Can I just sit here and not say anything, just watch, you don’t have to tell me my language ability is good, you don’t have to say I’m pretty, you don’t have to toast to me, I can just sit here quietly.. I won’t hurt anyone. But this is not acceptable.

So I’m already embarrassed as it is, having to be this impromptu Guest of Honor, when the mother and father of the bride burst into the room. People usually walk around and visit different rooms in order to toast to everyone present. So they come in, see me, toast the room, and then insist on toasting Just to me. So they fill up my glass with the “American Red Wine” and say something and make me down the glass. Apparently it is insulting to not drink the whole thing, especially to the bride’s mother and father.. and especially when they are looking at you eagerly and saying “bottoms up!” so I do it twice. One for each.

I am a little embarrassed because the mother made me sit down because I was taller than her, and I didn’t know what I was supposed to do. So they leave, and I recover from my embarrassment, when the bride and groom come in. They also want to toast, just to me. So, Emily’s brother steps in and asks the groom if I can just drink half a glass for each. They agree, but after I have had the first half, the groom, who is obviously drunk off of all of the “American Red Wine” he’s been drinking, fills my glass again, and then spills it on me. So now, I am covered in ‘red wine’ and am forced to drink 2 more full glasses of it.

At this point, I’ve had about a whole bottle of the stuff and am just hoping that the meal is almost done, and we can go home soon. And we do, 2.75 hours after we arrived, we leave the hotel/restaurant, and go home.

So now I am in my own home again, eating my zinc pills, and will never drink any “American Red Wine” again.

Monday, June 1, 2009


list of things i've seen piled in trucks:

poly-styrene (Styrofoam is a proper noun in case anyone wanted to know)
an elephant
green vegetables
beer bottles

and today: bones