Wednesday, March 31, 2010

spring break recap

Spring break was fun. Lots of lounging around at home, a few sunny days outside, playing wiffle ball and basketball with the big kid, while the little guy biked up and down the block, over and over. Bedtimes were easy, they were so tired. Watching movies together (Valiant is pretty good, esp. the pigeon voiced by Ricky Gervais) but Astro Boy was disappointing. Sarah read the last 3/4 of the vampire series, I managed only half of the last book. Still haven't finished it, as grades were due yesterday, and I've been working at home a bit instead of reading for fun.

Anyway, here's the 2 of us out and about after our fun brunch/hotel stay downtown. Sarah opted for the mask not in an attempt to blend in with the locals, as you might guess, but due to all the construction dust. Shanghai Expo starts in 1 month, and boy is this town racing to be ready for it! "Better City, Better Life."

Speaking of Expo, I can't believe how much time has elapsed since its mascot, Hai Bao, has made an appearance on this blog. Time to rectify. (Ed. note: After extensive research, I now see that Hai Bao has NEVER been featured on this blog. Words are useless to convey my shame right now. But here's more pics of Hai Bao in "stereotype" mode)

Some wags in the blogosphere have snidely remarked that Cowboy Hai Bao seems to have a bulge. No comment.

POP QUIZ! A new contest to reward loyal readers who waited out the 2 week lag since last post. What was the date of this blog's first post to mention Expo? The first three to email with the correct date win a free mp3 of their choice, from my collection of over 45,000 songs.

Last, but not least, here's a shot of D at his performance this week. Entire 1st grade did a mini-musical called "3 of a Kind." Rather cute. This proud dad snuck up to the edge of the stage for a pic.

Bye for now, we're dyeing Easter eggs tonight, then off to Suzhou (the Venice of the East) for the weekend. Riding a train during a national holiday weekend (Tomb Sweeping Day). So crowded we aren't even sitting together. That figures to be grist for the blog mill, even though the train ride is shorter than the ride from our apartment to the train station! Happy iPad day and Baseball Opening Day!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

one from the vault

As part of my initiative to blog more often (call it a "spring offensive"?), and reward my loyal readers, here is a shot of a warmer time and place than where i live now.

this was taken by Larry Pearmine last spring break, in Boracay, the Philippines. as for this spring break (T-minus 26 hours) we will be kickin' it in Shanghai. posh hotel brunch (with acrobats!), 6-month dental cleanings, massages, grocery shopping, finish season 5 of The Wire, reading the Twilight books (I am on #4, Sarah is on #2).

pics to come, you know it

Happy Day

It is hard to believe but this guy is 4, as he indicated this morning, with his hands. His bodyguard will mess you up, so don't even think about steppin' to him.

Here he was, back in the day. Before he got so cool.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

And the winner is....

....not you.

Unless your name is Jean Ramos. Congratulations to her, and a big blog thanks to all 6 of you who entered. Jean won by virtue of emailing me just hours after I posted the contest. I have not yet received her 500-word rant (hint, hint, Jean) but will post it ASAIGI.

I learned a lot from this contest. One--old people suck. No one remotely old emailed me an entry. (You hear that, mom and dad? Yes, I'm talkin' bout your generation. Things they DO look awful cold, indeed).

I also learned that many of you are checking the blog at work. Good for you. When I spoke at graduation a couple years ago, that was one of the bit of advice I gave the seniors. (View the whole speech here and boost my youtube stats). I also learned that Stephen Hawking does not read my blog. (Note: I just checked WIkipedia, and turns out he's been paralyzed since last year. OK, so I'm a jerk.)

Another contest will be forthcoming soon. Expect it when you LEAST EXPECT IT.

For now, a photo:

Friday, March 5, 2010

people actually read this?

So I found out that there are people actually reading this blog. Or so they claim. PROVE IT, I say. The first one to email this special code: "StephenHawkingSucksAtAirHockey" wins a guest blog post! You get 500 words to rant about whatever you want our massive readership to have to look at.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

CNY pics, aged like fine wine

Single parenting is going OK. (By that I mean all 3 of us are still alive). We skype with Sarah daily, and she seems to be enjoying Chicago. She'll be adjusted to the time difference just in time to get on the plane home. I will ask her to guest blog after she returns.

Before I head home from work, I'll show you what our vacation looked like. These will be the last vacation pics for a while--we are sticking around Shanghai for spring break.

1. Here we are in Hangzhou, looking at Buddhas carved directly into a mountainside.

2. Here is Aunt Erica, at about the 40 minute mark during our 72-minute wait in line for the best dumplings I've had in Shanghai. This place is famous--it's in the Yu Garden. When you visit, you should eat some. They're about $1.50 for a dozen--a bargain when you ignore the waiting time. And if you weren't hungry when you first got in line, you will be by the time you get your food.

3. Here we are at that age-old favorite place to celebrate Chinese New Year...

...Coldstone Creamery

4. Here's King Emmett and his court jester

gotta run. Desi just called, looking for me. He wants to play!