mostly pictures of the kids, maybe some links, and probably some music.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

A Visit To The Rock

4 words to sum up our Newfoundland excursion;

We see dead people.
Weather has been fabulous.
All family, no fights.
Vacation equals more love.
Eating vegetarian, much starch.
Sadly, seeing few whales.
Luckily, seeing no moose.
Nicki Minaj, Starships, repeatedly.
Dreaming of real estate.
Every view a photo.
Grandpas left too soon.

You choose.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Walda is right there!

Sadly, due to earlier loss, the headline for this one isn't even slightly amusing. But there she is, and she is no longer checking her bangs.

Waiting on baggage, fellow passenger just commisserated with me over loss of hot sauce, and it was an unsolicited commiseration!

J and I both really have to pee.

Curse iOS, losing my type while redrawing the page.

Just lost a huge post about our airport visit so far.


Early, bag over weight, things shifted around.

Go through security and have to throw away all the good stuff we took out of overweight bag.

Shit la merde!

An hour to go, Jemima watching Robin Hood wearing headphones, lots of "CAN YOU PASS THE ICED TEA? and "WHAT DID THEY SAY?".

Love her tons, very sad about stuff that got thrown away, very sad, expensive panicky repack.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Even sweatier, and dressed like an idiot man child

Turtles-No Fashion Worries

Hot pink crocs, over sized shirt, cargo shorts. I am not dressed like the adults I grew up around, even less the Mad Men of 5 - 10 years earlier. Can't say much for their taste in clothes now though, the gang we were on a tour with today, well, they were all dressed like me, or even more slob-like.

Woke up and for the first time since arriving here at this house, my parents were up before us. My father had gotten up at the crack of dawn and rushed off to buy us tickets for a tram ride through Highland Hammock State Park. We ate, did some laundry and set off, first to the post office (Jemima had a letter to send to her grandmother, i, for the first time in a long time have written NO postcards on this trip, just haven't wanted to), then off to the state park.

Fashion Winners!

It is a tidy, multi-use park on a piece of land that incorporates a variety of natural habitats, Hammock, Swamp, Cypress Swamp, Pine Flatlands, etc. It was a private piece of land, then a private park, then during the thirties and the new-deal it was taken over by the CCC and set up as a state park. We took a leisurely bike ride, hike, had a picnic and then took a VERY underwhelming tram tour of the "out of bounds" portions of the park. Saw enough 'gators to get tired of them, and some deer, plenty of turtles but no River Otters. Jemima was a trooper despite our Ranger's egregiously lackluster performance, and the heat of the afternoon.

Please Ms Ranger, tell me more

Then we bought some honey souvenier for J's teacher, and came home to pack. We are headed home tomorrow! Will be happy to see N and the dogs and to sleep in my own bed, but don't really want to go back to work yet. Jemima was actually a help during packing, but then discovered/remembered I have Archie comics on the ipad and hasn't been seen since.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Sweaty and dressed like Stanley Kuwalski - minus the shoes.

So I am sitting in my parents living room in their rented house in Florida. The lovely mid-Florida vacation community of Lake Placid, which as I found out today is indeed named after Lake Placid New York, and was named as such by none other than Mr. Thomas Dewey, of the Dewey Decimal System. Go figure!

I am sitting here in bright pink crocs, underwear and a white tank top all alone. Everyone has gone to bed but me. This is my first real blog post in a LONG time. I have a number written, some from earlier in this trip, some from a previous trip to Boston, but I have never bothered to post them, and I have wondered why. I think I just figured it out. This blog is almost entirely written from me to my beloved. I started it for her, and even though she isn't the "reader" I imagine listening to me, I am always imagine she is there too. So when I go on a trip with her, it seems silly to write to her with a list of the days activities. She lived them.

That said, she isn't here right now. She left yesterday. Her nibs and I are still here for two more days, and I know she will be wondering what we were up to today.

Sleeping in, until Missy was too hungry to wait and demanded I feed her. She ate cottage cheese, and Frosted Lucky Charms. "What are you talking about? These are delicious!" We went out to buy me shoes from Bells, but ended up in a Mall staffed entirely by geriatrics who seemed half in the bag with dementia and teens who I am sure spent the previous evening huffing gasoline, they were all so clueless (Quick aside - This does not count Britteny at the Foot Locker, Britteny you were very helpful and pleasant.) . I thought this was the land of customer service? I didn't get anything for myself but tiny got ridiculous metallic pink sandals and a swim shirt and 6 pairs of neon tennis socks.

After lunch we went with my Parents to a depressing private zoo/alligator farm. Run down, smelly and today at least staffed by the poorly trained (perhaps it is something about the interior of Florida). Did get to hold a squirmy baby gator, and see two really old Florida Panthers. All the vultures were impressive, some of the Gators and Crocs were freaking huge, and saw lots of pretty wild birds. The woman who fed the crocs and panthers got sprayed with Chick Juice not once, but twice. (She hands panther dead limp baby chicken, panther chomps into juicy crunchy top end of dead bird, every thing inside little fluffy yellow bag of dead animal gets squeezed down to the bottom, and guess what comes shooting out of the cloaca? MMMMM Chick Juice - Dr. Pepper, this is not a flavour we need in Canada) Jemima seemed to enjoy it, she laughed at the squirting and wanted to know why they weren't using live chicks (she is a weird vegetarian some times), wouldn't hold the gator, and then became fixated on buying her teacher a candy of some sort as a souvenir. I suggested buying the teacher some specifically floridian honey - mangrove or orange blossom - and she took that to mean any and every crappy piece of junk made in China plastic candy dispenser thing, or maybe salt water taffy "Salt Water Taffy! She won't believe it!"

On the way home we stopped to get a picture of her with some orange trees, but our cameras weren't really up to the late afternoon sun/blinding white sand/walls of green task, and my ability to get satisfactory results from Picassa is sadly lacking, so a shitty photo will have to suffice.

After dinner she had a great bath that involved lots of "experimenting" with a bar of soap and a Tupperware container of water. We followed that up with ice cream and then two old black and white Porky Pig cartoons.

A great day.

For me, i just want to say. Hey Dr. Pepper! When are we going to get diet Vanilla Cherry Dr. Pepper in cans in Canada? I can't take a case on the plane, and oh, how I will miss it.

Also, do you think Jay-Z will ease up on the B bombs now that he has a daughter? Do you think Kanye will ever stop sounding creepy and sex-offendery? Do you think I should really be wasting my time listening to last weeks Billboard Hot One Hundred when most of it just annoys me? Never mind, I'll find something I like to listen to.

Monday, May 16, 2011

need an avatar, need one now.

this never works, but I am trying again.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Populace Direct Bus Glasses Supermarket

My favourite sign.

What I Miss About China
• eating with chopsticks every day
• clean, cheap, plentiful public transport
• being one of the tallest people around at any given time
• not being at work
• seeing Morag every day
• the adventure of being/seeing/doing all that new stuff

What I Don’t Miss About China
• the pollution
• the being stared at all the time
• missing Nicci and Jemima
• the noise

Things I Wish I Had Brought More Of Home With Me
• peanut-butter and chocolate Oreos
• good pictures
• one of those cute little tortoises for sale in Shanghai
• containers of peanut soy milk
• a nice Dragon-Turtle ornament from Beijing
• Pleasant Goat merchandise 

Things I Plan On Doing
• posting some of the not-so-great photos I took
• publicly thanking Fang Zhang for helping me out with translation before I left, and generally putting my mind at ease. Thanks Fang!

The saddest store in China, one guy, a black and white TV and empty, dusty, pop bottles.

Friday, February 18, 2011

On A Plane Home

Flight left a little late, just as predicted.

Sitting right at the back, had all three seats to myself, but a young man has joined me. He is sleeping right now.

We had a real honest to god, "ladies and gentlemen, if there is a doctor on board please come to the front of the cabin" style emergency. They asked in three languages, twice. Not sure what it was, or if a doctor presented themselves, but there was a bunch of hustling and bustling. Update - when we land in Toronto, passengers are confined to their seats while paramedics come on board, we had a bunch of tiny grannies on the flight, not sure if it was one of them or someone else.

We flew home by a different route. Straight-out over the East China Sea, up along Japan, across the Bering Sea, the south coast of Alaska, The Yukon, N.W.T., Manitoba and down into Ontario. We are up above The Soo right now.

They have just handed out the hated customs forms, and yet again not included a pen with it. I guess I should remember to bring one, but come on!

Our crew is very senior, seriously, three quarters of the staff look like they are ready to retire any time. I heard a couple of them discussing it while most people were sleeping. They had never been on a flight with this high a seniority rating before.

Between the 28 hours in planes, the at least 54 hours on busses and trains, and the mattress-less bed at Morag's, my sore bony ass is going to take a while to recover from this trip. I managed to sleep on the flight, but it was fitful and plagued by cries of "mercy" from my rear-end. I only managed to get in one and a half full movies and an amusing Australian short film about meeting God on this flight, oh yeah, watched the first 3 episodes of Community too.

Borrowed a pen from the man in front of me, the one with the hilarious little baby girl, who has been as good as gold, love her, hate customs forms.

Loved the trip, love coming home.

Waiting On A Plane

Sitting in the departures zone of the Shanghai Pudong Internatinal Airport. Beside me is a 2.5 - 3 year old boy watching some crazy kids show about tigers brushing their teeth, oh wait, now it is a human girl, getting her teeth brushed by her dad. He is watching it on his mother's super thin MacBook Air. It looks lighter than my iPad.

Morag and I had a fight about breakfast this morning, but we worked it out before I left. I am really going to miss being with her everyday, I think we were both coming to the point where we needed some space. She has a very small room.

Out into a rainy, damp morning (only full-on rain since I got here.) The roads and side walks on Morag's campus are paved with an assortment of stones, big, small, rough, smooth, even polished. The polished ones, slick with rain, made the walk to the bus with full back-pack and carry-on a little bit challenging. Morag says they are super fun when covered with a layer of snow. Onto the Special Number 2 bus for one last trip through Suzhou, out through the Quantum Gate - this weird installation/sculpture thing over the road leading to Morag's school, it has these two rings of bright white metal, attached by strings of lights, and the road, and tunnel run right through the centre of it. On one side there is a statue of Albert Einstein, and on the other I.M. Pei (who it turns out designed the fabulous Suzhou Museum.) At the train station I grab a quick veggie bun then jump onto the fast train to Shanghai, then a long subway ride with 2 changes, and here I am. No need for a limo or a cab, I got here by transit. Why doesn't Toronto have a subway to the airport? 

Plane is running late by about half an hour. Have 65 Yuen left and they are burning a hole in my pocket.

Had a snack which included the worlds greatest coconut milk ever. Half an hour till we board and although I have free Internet access, blogger is being a pain.

More Things Here

There don't seem to be very many (if any) high-water, apple-bottom, booties here. Most of the trunks I have observed are neat and petite, not completely empty like my own, but not stuffed full.

As near as my ignorant, unsophisticated western tongue can tell, Chinese hard liquor comes from one of two flavor classes. The Slightly Sweetened Medicinal Tincture group, and the Poison group. The one I had last night came from the latter. I don't know how long it would take to re-educate my palette, but I am guessing 7 lifetimes.

Did see the aftermath of a traffic accident today. Dented car, destroyed motorbike, people talking to the police. Just like at home.

I had a culturally insensitive moment a few days back and got hostile with a guy who cut in line at the post office. It was a waste really, language barrier reduced us both to angry gesticulations. Morag pulled me away and pointed out that I had in fact been standing sort of between two lines, so maybe he wasn't really butting. Whatever, since then I have been way more aggressive, you might even call me "the elbow kid", no one cuts in on me anymore, and I have even done a bit of cutting myself, not proud of it, but I have.

Went to the movies, which had assigned seating, which was weird because we didn't realize it at first and were sort of awkward about it. The lobby totally smelt of popcorn, and although I remembered Morag telling me something about it, I ordered it. They don't salt popcorn here, they sugar it! Not caramel corn style, more like they switch out our salt with sugar. A bit weird at first, but tasty.