Saturday, October 25, 2008

it's all over b/w Desi's singing video

What a bummer that baseball season had to end this way. Two one-run losses knocked the Eagles down to 4th place of 6 teams. We had early leads in both games, then errors and a lack of "big" hits doomed us. The boys were in good spirits, considering 2 hard losses. I'm proud to call myself their coach. They are a great bunch of guys. I appreciate that they accepted me as a rookie coach, even though most of them had played together for years under the previous coaching staff. I'll hang onto nothing but good memories from this season.

To celebrate the sudden increase in free time, I began reading Caleb Carr's The Italian Secretary this morning. So far so good.

As promised, here is the video of Desi's performance.

Friday, October 24, 2008

the golden helmet stays here, part 2

Whole lotta baseball this weekend. The Eagles are in a good position at the APAC tournament. 3-1 after 2 days. Beat Beijing today to retain the sacred (not really) Golden Helmet.  Big day tomorrow, need to win one to get in the championship, then take care of business on the home field. Our games are live blogged here. (We are abbreviated SAS PX.)

In non-baseball news, Desi's class wowed the crowd this morning at the elementary school assembly with a song about the continents (all 7!) and then a modified version of "I've Got the Whole World in my Hands." Desi wore a hat featuring an amply sized American flag. Suffice it to say there's some glitter that wound up on our floor after hat came home. Video to follow soon.

also, a random quote that got left off the last funny quote list:

At dinner, Mom pointed out to Desi that his brother Emmett has a cute face. Desi scoffed at the notion. To which Emmy said: "My face is great."


Monday, October 20, 2008

niiiiice goat . . .

Field trip! Emmett's daycare went to Shanghai Organic farm on Friday.

I tagged along.

Good fun pulling leeks, feeding goats, and generally just walking around seeing a whole lot of greenhouses.

Loaded up on veggies at the farm store, then napped all the way back to town.

In an unrelated incident, Desi pointed to my book about Genghis Khan and said "You know what? He was the government of the whole world." After I replied Wow, Desi, you're right, he kind of was there for a while, Desi added that Genghis Khan...
1) was God's brother and
2) ruled outer space.

Hold off on spreading that news. I have searched the index but was unable to verify either claim.

In other news, custom-made bunk bed and parental bed arrived yesterday. Both very nice. And there was much rejoicing. Pics to follow in next couple days.

Our shipment lands at the airport today. Customs should take 2-3 weeks, then we get to play with Star Wars figures again. It's been hard, these 3+ months without them.

Weather is ideal, but pollution getting worse this time of year. No rain means nothing to clean the air. Will be buying a fancy air filter after we pay off the shipment. No pictures to follow.

Bed now. And oh, muchas gracias to the Tampa Bay Rays, a team I otherwise care not a whit about, except for the fact they toppled the Evil Empire II today. Red Sox BLOW--always have, always will, even if they try to buy championships Yankee-style.

And please send thoughts and prayers to Albert Pujols' elbow, as it recovers from surgery

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

the Golden Helmet stays here

Back from baseball in Beijing. The Eagles ended on a high note, demolishing ISB 16-2 on Sunday. Saturday had started poorly, with a sloppy loss to Hong Kong, but improved a bit. The early loss was followed by 2 games in which we led but gave up big hits at bad times. So third place in the tournament, and we brought home the Golden Helmet, which goes to the winner of the SAS-ISB game. We'll have our shot at revenge next week when HK visits for the BIG tourney at our field.

In other news, weather here is amazing. Cool, sunny, blue skies, red sunsets. 

Also got our residence permits and work visas, which are HUGE because now we can receive our shipment. 

We voted yesterday and FedEx will overnight them for FREE. Thank FedEx. Oregon has some real stinkers for ballot measures this election, so all you loyal readers there, please take the time to wade through all of them. My personal least favorite is the one that would base teacher pay and retention on "classroom performance," and then fails to define what that phrase means. hmmm....

To quote The Who, the kids are alright. Dad will be chaperoning E's field trip to the Shanghai Organics Farm on Friday. Weather should be perfect for planting/picking/romping. Dez is still kickin' it in soccer every Sunday and hittin' it in tennis on Wednesdays. Emmy runs around the edge of the court and plays his own little games with the ball, and with Mia, whose older brother is in Desi's lessons. Quite cute. I'll try to remember my camera for tomorrow.

Sarah is counting down the days until the beds arrive. We had some custom made, and we saw them 2 weeks ago at the factory. Looked great. Only 2 minor changes needed, but still no sign of them. As they say in Liberia, "Slowly, slowly, catch the monkey." Once the bunk beds are here, we're hoping that Desi sleeps in HIS bed all night. Not ours. Oh, that will be so nice.

Looking forward to Halloween. Usually a big party here at SAS. If our shipment gets here on time, we'll have all our stuff--pumpkin lights, carving knives, costumes. If not, we can be nudists or something.

I'll leave y'all with that image. Toodles!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

more funny things boys said, plus haircut photos

dinner seems to produce the most funny quotes. which should be no surprise, seeing how both of us parents have fond memories of uproarious laughter at our childhood dinner tables.

anyhoot, last night we had tilapia, Filipina style. lil' ginger, a slightly sweet was good. it was served with the head on and all, and it had some cool spikes along its dorsal area. Sarah asked Lyn if most Filipinos eat the head. She said some do, but Emmy said "I'm not eating fish hair!"

At another meal, when we were having pasta and veggies, Sarah noticed Desi eating with his hands. Lyn had told us that in the Philippines, that's how people usually eat. But, as Sarah pointed out to Desi, broccoli and bowtie pasta is NOT Filipino food. Never one to take it lying down, Desi says, "Lyn, do you eat broccoli in the Philippines?" No, it's too expensive, she replied. "Do you eat noodles in the Philippines?" Yes, of course. At which point, Desi picks up a noodle, looks at Sarah, says "Filipino style!" and pops it in his mouth. 

We're screwed.

Life's good here. Desi ran hard during tennis lesson today. Lyn took my recent cooking lesson to heart and made some good spaghetti sauce for dinner. Sarah is catching up on the Harry Potter movies. I did some paperwork related to receiving our shipment (I can't wait for all my Star Wars figures--I mean "Desi's toys"--to arrive). 

I'm off to Beijing for baseball this weekend. Won't have much time for tourista stuff, but maybe we'll sneak over to gawk at the Olympic venues or Tienanmen (sp?) Square (where no events of historical importance have taken place--I'd only go because I like looking at big squares).

Oh, and if you thought that photo above is cute, you're right. But here's Emmy pre-haircut. duuuuude....

sand sledding is fun, and a bit scary

i love my hat w/strap!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Just think how many chevying injuries we could avoid...

Rule #3 on our local playground:

this one is a store at the mall in trendy Xin Tian Di:

If you like these, you'll love It's kind of racist, but fun nonetheless.

funny things desi said

In response to my saying "Good Lord!" in exasperation, Desi told me it was rude to say Lord. When I asked why, he said "The Lord is God's brain."

This morning, while watching "Meet the Robinsons," I pointed out to Emmett that the characters had just traveled to the future (pointless, I know). Desi said "That's where God lives."

And just an hour ago, during dinner, Desi got a kick out of balsamic vinegar. Say it out loud, with strong emphasis on the "bals" part, and you'll see why.

Also, while laying on the floor, refusing to get up, Emmett said "I'm having a moment."

more to come in the days ahead, I am sure.

Friday, October 3, 2008

back from the edge...

...of northern China.

Gary here. I've been home from Inner Mongolia for a week, and have had the last 3 days off work. So why the lacuna (stick THAT in your Funk'n'Wagnall's) in blogging? Don't know, because Lyn has been here most days to help with the kids. No excuses--I've had time, but just haven't done it. Too busy listening to debates and reading baseball box scores. Sorry to be out of touch. (and "sorry" to any Cub fans reading this. boo hoo for another 102 years)

The trip was fun. I rode a horse and a camel, I saw lots of open country, grasslands, high desert, actual like Middle East-looking hard core sand dunes. Saw some expert horse riding, danced around (and almost fell into) a raging bonfire, ate *lots* of lamb, and other grilled meats, had some milk fresh out da cow. You're probably conjuring up mental images of all this, and that will have to suffice for now. You see, I LEFT MY CAMERA AT HOME. (I did remember to bring my iPod, you'll be happy to know, so I got to watch the free episode of The Office that I got from iTunes. quite hilarious, but i digress...) So I have to rely on mooching photos from the ones that other travelers will post to the school yearbook's server. I'll get some blogged here before I leave for Beijing (Friday?). I promise I'll bring my camera, but we'll be either playing baseball or sleeping the whole time, so I'll see very little of Beijing.

Back to my story--I was chaperoning (along with 7 other teachers) the 60 SAS sophomores on this trip, and one day we visited a local Chinese school near Bao Tou. That was a fun exchange. We played tug of war, and despite my urging our kids to let the hosts win, our kids gave it their all and took 2 out of 3. I even signed autographs for the kids. They'd walk up with their notebooks and ask in good English, and even though I'm not famous or even all that interesting, I have to say, there's something very flattering about being asked for your autograph. So I signed 10 or 12. Hang on to 'em, kids. When I get huge as the interpreter for the first mainland Chinese major league baseball star, put that notebook on ebay and count your mwuhnny.

Anyhoo, since getting home last week, it's been IKEA, tennis, swimming, a couple student-less work days, sofa-bed shopping, a fun night out on the town last night with Sarah (mmm....sweet and sour scallops), and hanging with neighbors. Which reminds me, time to wake the boyz from their Ridiculously late naps and head over to the Dungans' place. 

mmm...dinner I didn't have to cook

Go NU Wildcats!