Tuesday, April 26, 2005


Katie's recent fashion oriented post made me think about this woman we saw today in the cafeteria. Actually Isaac pointed her out to me. Last year he discovered what a kitten heel is - because he asked me, because he HATES them. Isaac has some very strong reactions to certain footwear. He also hates Birkenstocks, and most sandals, for that matter. I ignore him for the most part. Last year in NY, flip flops with kitten heels were extremely popular. This year, it might be the kitten heel moccasin. We saw someone wearing these puppies in the cafeteria today. Hers were brown, but you get the picture.

Anyway, hopefully this trend will die quickly, like the poncho, because Isaac will have fits all summer if it continues.

so adorable

Originally uploaded by diblasic.
I just saw this article in the New York Times about some buffalo that got loose in MD. Police herded them into a tennis court. So cute those buffalo.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

trip to the wedding banquet

As novices traveling in China, Isaac and I derived endless amusement from the really crappy translations of various public signs. On our second day in China, we took a taxi to the airport in Shanghai to catch our domestic flight to the capital of Gina's home province, Nanchang. The taxi's instructions struck us as hilarious.


Click for bigger.

Besides the generally incomprehensible, there are also the unfortunate word choices. Do not "dump" inside taxis, and "psychos and drunkards" must have guardians. Number 4 I really don't get. Would you be conniving at if you complained about the violations, or would you be conniving to allow the driver to get away with violations?

After arriving in the Nanchang airport, where I am wearing the same clothes I wore on 18 hour flight from NYC to Shanghai because my luggage got losted on the way, we got into this cute little minibus, driven by one of Gina's distant relatives. The scene was surveyed by Isaac.



L to R: Nick (texting someone), Sergio (N's stepsister's Spanish boyfriend), Tim (N's dad), Maria (N's stepsister whose arm you can barely see), and Helen (N's stepmom).


I got to sit in the front row because I get carsick sometimes. Nick's mom Cathy is next to me, with her mouth unfortunately full of banana. It's funny, I don't even really remember her looking like this, because I think I just blocked out how weird this outfit is. She is a very very nice lady who dresses funny most of the time. Also she had a cold (possibly the one I brought home with me) and was worried about getting a draft on her throat - I think that's a European thing. Gina sat up front because she gets even more carsick. And she could communicate with the driver too...


And we then drive about 4 hours to a city called Anfu, which is where we will stay the night.

Friday, April 22, 2005

opera and doughnuts and dress up

I am so happy because it's Friday, and because Isaac had the great idea of going out for doughnuts tomorrow morning. We have been wanting to check out this place on the Lower East Side called The Doughnut Plant, and will go tomorrow. Boy is their website unglamorous. Just look at this picture of doughnuts and ignore the rest. I first heard about this place at this post on The Amateur Gourmet, which I am still not caught up on reading.

The other thing I am looking forward to is a couple of nice evenings out. This Thursday I'm going to a fundraiser for the scholarship program I benefited from in college. At the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. It is an annual event, and the only excuse I have all year to get dressed up. So I'm really looking forward to it. And my friend Brian is going to be there too, and I heard he bought spiffy new shoes for the event. He is totally going to be way better dressed than me. Oh well. I can count on my husband to be disheveled at least.

The other fun evening ahead is a night at the Metropolitan Opera. I just got us tickets to see Faust on May 10th. We were actually just at the opera seeing the new (from last fall) production of the Magic Flute by Julie Taymor - director of the Lion King on Broadway and also of the movie Titus, if anybody saw that one. Visually striking but kind of confusing. Actually I think that was sort of the feeling of the NYT reviewer about this production of the Magic Flute. I thought it was really fun myself, and it sounded magnificient. But I'm getting off track. One of the main reasons why we (I) got tickets to this opera was that Rene Pape was appearing. He's a bass singer that we heard in Don Giovanni last year and he was the best thing in a very very good performance. His voice oozes masculinity. It's really something.

But he was only doing a kind of small part in the Magic Flute of Speaker, and so we got tickets to see Faust where he is going to be doing the role of Mephistopholes for the first time. (Note I'm not familiar with this opera at all, or any opera really, but I really have enjoyed the few that I have seen and think this guy is awesome.) We have the worst seats. But I'm excited because I saw this picture two days ago in the Times. I don't know what the hell kind of outfit that is, fake muscles, or what, but I think he looks hot, and I know that since he'll be a dot on the stage practically from where we are sitting, what matters more is that he will sound hot. Work it Rene. Check out his website if you want, he's so cute, if dorky in some of the pictures.

pape isokoski

All right, time to get home and eat the dinner that I made for us last night...happy weekend!

Thursday, April 21, 2005

sum pikchurs

Here's a picture of me and Nick (the groom) picking ferns at his wife Gina's family's farm. These later got washed up and cooked for one of the dishes at the banquet. I'm wearing the same shirt that I am always wearing in pictures lately, darn it. I forgot to mention earlier that one blemish on the early part of the trip to china was that Air Canada lost my suitcase for a few days. :( So I had to buy some Chinese underwear and make do with the clothes that I wore on the plane. And the one shirt that was in our hanging bag. :(


Here is a nice picture of the happy couple with their respective moms. I heard a rumor that Gina made her own dress (qi pao - pronounced very roughly chi pow). I'm not sure if that was referring to this lovely pink dress, or the beigey one with dragonfly design that she was wearing earlier in the day.


Here's a picture of the food at the second meal of the day. We had both lunch and dinner and stuffed ourselves silly. The food was really delicious. The village is in Jiangxi province, but close to the border with Hunan - so the food is quite spicy like Hunanese food. Gina loves eating really spicy peppers, and her little sister loves it even more.


I think that's enough for now, maybe. I'm still working on organizing pictures. Nick just emailed us today to say that he is also organizing pictures and even went to the trouble of adjusting the time-date stamps for time zone because he combined the pictures taken by me, his stepmom Helen, and stepsister's boyfriend Sergio. Then he wanted to synchronize the pictures and so he had to add 40 seconds to someone's pictures. And take a minute and 20 seconds off of someone elses. When Nick does something, he does it right. Hi Nick! Nick can read my blog on bloglines, but can't comment because China blocks access to the blogspot.com domain. Doesn't that stink?

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Flickr is the best

I couldn't help myself and splurged on a Flickr pro account about a month ago. Then I can have unlimited numbers of pictures up there and organize them into sets. About 3 days later I read that they had been bought by Yahoo, and that the prices for their pro accounts were likely to drop real soon. So I felt a little sorry for myself, boo hoo.

Yesterday they proved to me that they are a cool little company still, when they gave me another year of pro account for free, and also a couple of pro accounts to give as gifts. So lovely of them.

Of course I still kind of wish that they had been bought by Google and not Yahoo, but whatever.

Know what it's like when you have a little too much to say?

Geez. Isaac and I got back to work yesterday and our nice coworkers have been asking us how our trip was. But then it's like, how do you sum it up in a sentence? Because I've watched while Isaac tried to summarize the whole trip, and it's kind of painful.

So I think I'm going to have to do what Lynne is doing, where she is alternating her moving posts with other posts, and make sure not to make this more than 50% travelblog. But first I have to see if I can find the best picture of the trip to post. They sure are taking a long time to upload. Maybe because I can't stop looking at other stuff and typing while the computer is trying to work.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Successful and fun trip

We're back! The trip was absolutely amazing! I have all sorts of stories to tell but the key points first:

1. Didn't get any tummy sickness, my biggest fear.

2. Food was amazing and didn't even have to eat any pig intestines or anything.

3. Our friend Nick's wife Gina is one of the most beautiful people I've ever seen, and very tiny, and SO nice and patient with all of us.

4. People in rural parts of China like to stare at white people . . . a lot! (the fact that staring isn't rude in their culture made this almost bearable, but not quite)

5. Nick's stepsister's boyfriend learned an important lesson about rickshaw drivers and brothels.

6. China is really cheap for eating out and hotels.

7. I came home with an icky cold from all the airplane travel, or from one of the other sick travelers in the China group.

That's all for now, and I'm dying to catch up on all my blog reading. That could take a while. Good thing I'm feeling too yucky to go to work until this afternoon.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

totally couldn't get post by email to work

oh well. I'm leaving for the airport right now. I think we'll have a great trip.
My post from yesterday didn't go through about where we will be going...but if you look up the tags for Hangzhou and Suzhou in Flickr those are two of the places.

Tired hugs,

Monday, April 04, 2005

Some stupid things I used to think when I was 5-10, a very incomplete list

1. I used to think that I was really funny. Like soooo funny that I could be a comedian. I guess that's because people laughed at me a lot.

2. I used to think that my stomach filled my entire torso, and that different foods would fall into different columns as I ate them. Like Connect4 or something. Hence, I always had room for dessert.

3. I used to think that the twins who lifeguarded at my pool who were Katie and Mary Hart were the children of Gary Hart the politician.

4. I used to think that my Uncle Ronnie couldn't talk. When he finally spoke to me to ask me to bring him a beer, I just stood there with my mouth open. He was just quieter than the rest of the family.

5. I used to think that foreign languages were just like a code, and that if I could figure out the letter-to-letter correspondence between English and French I would be fluent. I spent an afternoon trying to do this with a book from the library.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Arnold's Total Body Workout

I didn't know this existed. But I'm really amused by it. This is a link to the album in iTunes, so if you don't have that program, I guess it won't work. Oh, but they sell the album on amazon too. Thank goodness. iTunes has a picture of the album cover though, so that is much more fun.

Good night - I think I've wasted enough of my sleeping hours now.


We got a nice dose of some spring weather here today. It was REALLY windy and raining hard. But at least it was kind of warm. Coming back to work after getting dinner though, it was getting quite chilly with the driving rain and wind.

This made me feel happy though. Lots of pictures of flowers. I felt like seeing some pretty pictures after seeing this gorgeous picture on Fredette's website, Eyes for Lies. I'd like to see some beautiful flowers in person. City life is not always ideal. I know I should just take a trip out to one of the botanic/botanical gardens, but I haven't gotten around to it. I think they have a Cherry Blossom Festival coming up in Brooklyn - so maybe we will go when we get back from our trip! Or see some nice flowers in China, who knows?

I feel a little silly posting something about flowers after the Pope just died today, like I should come up with some deep thoughts. But I keep deleting everything I try to write, so I will just keep my thoughts to myself for now.

Friday, April 01, 2005

random amusement of the day

Isaac works for a professor who is an Orthodox Jew. Isaac has to go to pick up the kosher pizza for meetings of the research group. Funny things Isaac has told me about the Kosher Pizza place:

1) The name of the place is Pizza Cave. Appetizing!!!

2) The guy who usually works the cash register is some kind of Korean "little person" who is a very short but stout man. Probably not Jewish.

3) Because Jewish dietary laws prohibit one from eating milk and dairy together, you can't have a pepperoni pizza. They have innovated "tofuronni" which Isaac says is not bad. (I don't believe him.)

4) They just recently posted a sign soliciting job applicants who are observants Jews, and isaac says there is now a swarthy woman behind the counter wearing a huge gold star of David. The short but big Korean has been moved to the back.

This may not be funny to anyone but me, but I'm at work late keeping Isaac company and getting loopy with tiredness.

Edited to say: Not "milk and dairy together", but "meat and dairy together". I was really tired. But not drunk. It has to do with not boiling the kid in its mother's milk. You can eat fish in cream sauce though - that's OK! Just like Catholics with the definition of meat.