Saturday, September 20, 2008

now this is more like it...

I don't have any pics to add, but you get the idea of what the boys look like, and really, Gary and I look the same as you remember~  I must tell about my day.  Now, after firing crazy nanny from hell, we have entered a new era...I will call it the time of SUPERAWESOMENANNY.  Gary and Des left for the sporting goods store, and I left Emm at home with Lyn, our new nanny (she's Filipina, speaks quite fluent English).  I went to Starbucks (only the 2nd time since I've been here) and got an ice coffee, and sat outside, reading my book.  Then I went to the fancy spa at the Shanghai Racquet Club, got a pedi and a leg wax.  Came home to a peaceful, clean house and a happy kid.  After naps and dinner, Gary called a massage service that comes to your home.  Shirley showed up at 7...I spent an hour on the bed, and Shirley kicked ass.  Run for your money, Chrissy, except I'm worried about this baby smells really weird.  Gar switched places at 8, and I took over reading to the kids. the way, the awesome hour-long massage delivered to our door?  90 RMB, around 13, 14 bucks.  Tip:  come visit us in China.  You'll be tired after the long flight, but you'll really like Shirley.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

call the Pulitzer people...more cute photos

more photos from life @ home.

tonight is kindergarten open house. our new nanny, Lyn (from Philippines...speaks English, ka-ching!) will be staying late to watch the boys while we meet Desi's teachers and wander the halls. 

on an unrelated note, let us pause to mourn the Cardinals' season. Best of luck to the ... (I struggle to actually type this) .. . . Cu...b...s. ugh 

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Sunday, September 14, 2008

don't get fooled again

they look so cute, sweet and innocent. but put a guitar (OK, it's a tennis racket) in their hands, and look out, music fans...

here it is

Friday, September 12, 2008

you can't stop the cuteness. merely contain it.

this photo is a few days old, but it captures a lot. the sweat, the excitement, the brotherhood.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Getting in touch with my Inner....Mongoila

yes, the rumors on the internets is true...I am the father of Bristol Palin (sorry Sar!). To escape the ensuing media crush, I'm off to Inner Mongolia for 4 days (again, sorry Sar!)

In all seriousness, I'm actually chaperoning a trip that starts next Sunday. No school for 2 weeks, woo hoo! (After we get back, it's national holidays)

Itinerary is viewable as a MSWord file here.

Anyone been there? Feel free to post a comment w/some travel tips/souvenir requests. Remember--it's not regular Mongolia, it's the one inside China. (insert political commentary here, if you don't currently reside in China)

here we are

i need a haircut, i know. but the rest of us are cute.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Soccer Mom

Too bad I don't have a picture of me with a Starbucks in my hand...I've got the rest of it! Gated community in the burbs, private school, soccer kid...who would have guessed? And boy am I having problems with the hired help, don't get me started...had an impromptu ginandtonic happy hour in the community after work, you all know how it is, don't you?

Today was a good day, a fun day, when stuff got handled and living here wasn't too hard. Talk to me tomorrow, or some day next week. Got a 7:15 meeting in the morning, so I gots to go to bed. Luckily it takes me approximately 5 minutes to walk to work. Last year I had Des dropped off by 7!

Hi Peeps. We love and miss you. Happy mid-Autumn festival. Go have a mooncake and think of us. The ones with the egg yolk in the middle are gross, but the ones with the beans inside are growing on me.

I will now attempt to attach the long-awaited soccer video. Calm down. It really is not that interesting, but it is live video of Des and other assorted 4-6 year olds running around.

Love, Sarah

Sunday, September 7, 2008

here's what i was talking about the other day

check this out, then make sure you're registered to vote.

so much for the soccer video

I can't seem to get it to work. Uploading bringin' me DOWN.

So I recorded myself instead. Better than nothing, I hope, for the folks back home.
view it here


we're not in kansas anymore. soccer, anyone?

the big guy began soccer today. now that we live in a gated community, the only piece missing for Sarah to become a soccer mom was for one of her kids to play soccer.


let's hope this video works. for now, here's photos. they are mostly of the little guy and our neighbors/friends' kids.  (note the attitude evident in the bottom photo, with his Michael Johnson gold shoes on)

the big brother was just moving too quickly for this photog to keep up with. only video can do his speed justice.

PS--Eagles baseball won both games yesterday, 7-0 and 22-3. who needs suspense?

Friday, September 5, 2008

Let's Play Two!

Baseball season is upon us here in China. Big doubleheader today against the Shanghai Rangers. Buncha old guys. We'll see if they can hang with our youth, speed and guile. Recap to be posted later today.

Big kid starts kid soccer tomorrow. That means 2 things: shinguard shopping today, and watching a huge roving mob of kids surround the ball tomorrow. Fun!

Weather has definitely cooled off. Like we flipped a switch when August ended. It's been downright nice here. 3 thunderstorms (one huge) since we've been here are apparently a lot. Average is more like one a year. Let's hope it's not evidence of an angry God! 'Cause I'm doin' the best I can here.

Hope Labor Day weekend was fun for all our USA readers. You'd think China would get into a holiday like that, what with communism and all. But no. There is a moon festival on Monday the 15th, so no school then. The big one for us in October--National Day. The PRC turns 59! Almost old enough to collect Social Security. ha!

In other news, Gary and 6-7 other teachers will soon be accompanying about 40 students to Inner Mongolia for 4 days. China Alive! is the name, and it involves all 9th and 10th graders. Several different trips, mine will involve horses, sand surfing, sleeping in a yurt. Many details and photos to follow, no doubt.

Little is crying, better go fetch him out of bed. Take care and Go Eagles!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

the chicken (flesh) has landed

Diet update: Desi is no longer a vegetarian. The other day he reported eating chicken flesh at school. Liked it, even. Today he had fish. Mom asked if he meant "fish flesh," and he looked exasperated and said "No, fish BODY."

Beautiful weather here in the SHang. Eagles' first babseball game on Saturday. Go Eagles.

Going out both nights this weekend. Went out twice this week. We are social creatures!

hope all's well wherever on the planet you are...

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

It's September. Can I talk about the election now?

So I've avoided politics on the blog up to this point. And I'm not a fan of APATT (all politics all the time) like your American capitalist running dog TV channels seem to be. But Labor Day has come and gone, and it's an even-numbered year (Olympic, not World Cup) and that can mean only one thing:
It's time again for Gary to make wildly inaccurate prognostications. Look it up, folks, it means future telling. 

To wit: Yesterday, in a fit of wild glee, I told one of the other baseball coaches that I'd buy him a pizza if McCain wins ten states. I've since looked at a map, and there are way more than 10 fairly backward states. So, OK, I got a bit excited. (Part of me was hoping Sam would say he doesn't like the pizza at our Papa John's here. But no) 

In my defense, though...pregnant veep daughters and the beauty queen mayor's lobbying for earmarks that brought in $1000 for every man, woman, and (non-unborn) child in lil' Wasilla, AK? That's manna from heaven for salivating Obama-ites like me. We can't trust McCain to vet his VP choice, after having 6 months to do little else besides work on it, but we should put his brittle, trembling, possibly cancerous finger on The Button? 

Before you accuse me of being a partisan hack, you should know that I have met John McCain. Twice. Once was in 8th grade, on a field trip to DC. Marc Walker, Peter Ranger, Jenny Van Loo, and one other kid stopped by the Senate. McCain's secretary went in to his office and told him some young Arizonans were here. He came out and chatted us up. Even gave us some Senate swag. Lapel pins for our Izod shirts, dont'cha know. (Marc Walker's Izod was pink, if I remember correctly, and no doubt he was popping his collar.) Is this who we want as President? Someone who fritters away precious work time glad-handing middle schoolers? And spending untold cents of taxpayers' paychecks on lapel pins to try to win (future) votes? Enemy of pork, indeed.

Second time was summer 1990. McCain spoke to us at Boys' State, which that year was held at Northern Arizona University (Go Lumberjacks!). If you haven't heard if it, Boys' State is a 3 or 4 day mock government camp, it brings in boys from all over a state. Sponsored by the American Legion, so it's very traditional and patriotic. (Except that all we wanted to talk about was what BS music censorship was. 2 Live Crew had clearly made an impression on us white boys) There's also Girls' State, and it's sponsored by the Daughters of the American Revolution sucks. They don't let them do anything fun. It's like a gulag. (a girl-ag?) 

We got to make friends and order Domino's and stay up pretty late and compare notes on what the girls back home were willing/eager to do, or not. Not to repeat adolescent male bragging as historical fact, but ... on second thought, I'll not repeat it at all. 

Anyway, it's 6 am and I need to start my day. So I should get to my point: McCain is a crazy American. He told us this story (which is now standard stump material) about his cellmate in Hanoi. Mike Christian sewed an American flag inside his shirt, then got beaten quite badly when the guards found it, then started sewing a new one that night, even though his eyes were practically swole shut. As I heard it then, and as I reflect on it now, this story has many possible morals: 

1. Never sew.
2. Watch where you're going, especially when bombing North Vietnam.
3. Flags are neato.
4. McCain CRAZY.

I'm going with 1,2 and 4. Keep in mind, the audience is all 16 and 17 year old boys, and the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait happens about a month after this speech. And what does McCain want us young men in the flower of our youth to know? That WE'RE NUMBER ONE! Chant with me now, folks, U-S-A! U-S-A! 5 years of torture, and he concludes that allegiance to one's flag is where it's at? Apparently, yours is not to question why we're bombing North Vietnamese civilians who couldn't find the US on a map, yours is to do or die, or, failing those 2, sew.

War hero? Sure. Better than most of the deadbeats in Congress? No doubt. But a thoughtful decision maker he is not. Soon, voters will see this. They will either stay home or Gobama. Mark my words.

On a side note, that scrawny cat is stopping by nightly, meowing thru the door at me. There's actually like 3 of them. I've started a cat-watch, so the next time we see one, we'll get a picture.

check for updates!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Dare I make an entrance?

It's Sarah! I don't have any cute pics to add because all the cute pics are sleeping. I'm watching some awful Wayans family sitcom on Star TV because it's in English and I understand it. And 8:30 is too early to go to bed...

ok, if I can figure it out, I will post a pic of someone cute. We have shuttle buses that leave the compound to the grocery store, downtown, etc. I had Emm in the backpack during a shopping trip last week, and he fell asleep, so I just left him in there.