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October, 2009

  1. Bon Appetit!

    October 28, 2009 by admin

    You’re probably wondering how I have the time between bike riding and Mandarin classes (shut up Cynthia) to squeeze in a cooking class but alas, I managed.  I’m ashamed to tell you that while I am truly interested in learning Chinese cooking, this particular class was French Bistro food and it was a slice…and chop…of heaven.  We made Duck Confit, Boeuf Bourguignon and French Onion Soup, and not the crap you get at Marie Callendar’s people.  It was amaaaazing.  It may seem pointless as I will probably not be able to duplicate such things but they serve wine so it was a no-brainer.  The classes are held by Chef Stiller of Stiller’s reataurant, a Michellin trained chef and a super nice guy to boot.





  2. Sunday Bike Ride

    October 28, 2009 by admin

    Here are some photos from our Sunday Bike ride (if the photo is good, chances are Ken took it).  Andy my friend, get well soon.

    Going Green!


    Little Emperor


    I don’t really know what to make of this


    Ken balanced the camera on my bike seat for this!


    This store front is available and it’s in the coolest area, Taikang Lu.  I’m seeing a wine bar…


    The couple that jammie’s together, stays together.


    Kids ARE allowed on the grass here.


    I took this photo in Wuxi, it’s a subway line being constructed


    Nothing but the best for our little guy (??)


  3. On Broadway

    October 28, 2009 by admin

    Get out your jazz hands, put on your Fosse feet and kick-ball change your way to Shanghai because they have  DANCE CLASSES HERE!   Last night I took my first Jazz class and when I heard that first…five, six, seven, eight! I almost wept.  Our teacher, Vitaly (Vee Tahhhh leee from Rrrrrussia), was just well, purrrrfekt.   While we waited for the “hip hop” class to remove their grills, straighten their sunglasses and clear the floor, Vitaly warmed up in the back, Baryshnikov style, with large leaps in the air and triple turns.  I had died and gone to Fame heaven, only now I was the oldest one in the class by at least a good 14  years.  But you know what?  I so schooled those little 20 yr. old Shanghainese girls and the two Italian girls too!  I ball-changed and pivot turned like there was no tomorrow.  For a second I got embarrassed because I thought the room was parting to give me the floor but that was in my dream last night.

    I dedicate this blog entry to Todd, Gazel and Jenny, the best pas-de-bourree’ers ever.

    I can’t mention Jazz class without throwing in a pic of Joe Tremaine.  He had a famous dance studio in Los Angeles that I had the pleasure to dance at (ahem, many many years ago).

    Jazz D10

  4. It Happened

    October 24, 2009 by admin

    So Ken and I meet some of his team in a city about 2 hours out of Shanghai for a site visit this past Saturday.  When our tour is complete, we are starving but realize we have to get back to Shanghai for our Mandarin lesson so we’re going to have to grab the first fast food place we see.  It ends up being either Kentucky Fried Chicken or a chinese fast food place and the “team” thinks we’ll prefer the chinese fast food place, I mean why not, we love the food here (admittedly, I wanted to put my arms around a bucket of fried chicken). The chinese place is cafeteria style (need I say more) so ken and I rush through line and pick out a few vegetables, a chicken dish and rice.  Cut to the chase, “chicken” dish is actually intestines dish.  I take a nice hearty bite and yes, it tastes like s@+#! and I want to immediately expel it.  I don’t even know who’s intestines they were…cow,  hyena, giant panda??  Of course if my mother were to read this she’d just say “oh a little intestine nevah hurt anyone”.   Well, it was horrible and disgusting and Ken took a bite too so now we’re both scarred.

    Anyhepititushoo, Ken will be moving into his permanent office next month and I’m so excited because it’s only about a 15 minute walk from home.

    New office building


    Gee, I wonder why he picked this building???


  5. More pics from the Pajama Party

    October 19, 2009 by admin

    Keeping it simple with all white


    This plaid says Autumn is here


    Red definitely makes a statement


    But Polka Dots are my very favorite!


  6. Delivered right to your door!

    October 19, 2009 by admin

    The quickest, easiest way around this town is by scooter.   Most deliveries are done by scooter.  All you need is a little gas, no fear of dying and a right thumb to continually lay on the horn and you’re all set.  There is nothing too big that can’t be delivered by scooter.  I saw a guy with an armoire on the back once, I swear.  Speaking of deliveries, I get a nice delivery of organic vegetables delivered to my house about once a week.

    I got these delivered this morning  ($16 for everything)


    A Girl’s Best Friend


    A bike works almost as well…



  7. Oh Just Things

    October 19, 2009 by admin

    I remember when I was in Hong Kong the first time (13 years ago) visiting a friend who was an “Expat”.  His friends were all “Expats” too from different places around the world living what I thought to be an exotic life.  Someday I wanted to be an Ex-patriate too, an “Expat”.  I’d have an accent and drink Bombay Sapphire Martinis and take my holidays at the beach in Cambodia or in the Burmese mountains.   Now all I hear is this nagging voice, it’s Sarah Palin and she’s ranting at me, “It’s just Expatriotic is all it is, EXPATRIOTIC!!”.

    On that note, I thought I would give you a really quick and easy recipe for Ginger Tea.  It’s super tasty and good for you.  It’s also great for your digestion and Ken’s dad likes it and that’s good enough for me.

    Cut up about a two inch piece of fresh ginger (pieces don’t need to be that small) and boil in about three cups of water for around 10-15 minutes.  Take 1/2 lemon and squeeze juice in and throw rinds into water too, why not.  Take off heat, stir in tablespoon of honey and some mint, if you have it.  Let sit a few minutes and pour.

    Kick your feet up and relax…

    The Chinese have the right idea, here’s some “lounge” chairs you see around town.


  8. Tennis Anyone?

    October 18, 2009 by admin

    Doug Baker eat your heart out.  This weekend concluded the Shanghai Masters ATP Tennis tournament and Ken and I were able to go to the quarter and semi-final matches.  The final match played yesterday was between Nadal and Davydenko with Davydenko winning!  I was rah rahing for Nadal because quirks and all (and boy does he have ’em) I just love him and his flaring nostrils too.  However, props to Davydenko who was channeling his inner Vladimir Putin and was playing truly incredible tennis.

    Djokovic Serving


    Nadal vs. Ljubicic


    Lopez in his match with Nadal (Lopez just happened to get an ouwy while getting hammered by Nadal and the match was cut short).




    Vladimir Putin on his Siberian vacation (how MUCH do you love this photo?!)

    putin vacation

  9. FYI…

    October 15, 2009 by admin

    Today’s FYI is about my favorite subject, Chinese Traditional Massage (CTM).  I’ve had several since I’ve been here as it’s very inexpensive.  The Chinese consider it an important part of staying and/or getting healthy and there are massage places everywhere.  I go to a very nice place close to my home where a 45 minute CTM is $14.  The massage person is usually a very petite, shy girl with a pair of hands that could crush a goat should the need arise (I’m thinking It probably does here).  The massages here are AMAZING, whatever kind you get.  CTM is my favorite though because it really does work out whatever issues/blockages are going on.  However, imagine that you’re having your spinal cord separated from the rest of your body, but you just keep going and praying her knee won’t end up in your eardrum and soon enough you’ll be feeling great!  I believe she actually moved my liver from one side to the other (but since there are usually two glasses of wine being filtered in there at any given time, I didn’t feel anything).

    Anypleasurepainhoo, here’s a little background on the Chinese Traditional Massage or Tuina. Tuina dates back more than 2,000 years.  Back then it was called Anwu, ‘An’ meaning Press and ‘Wu’ meaning Rub.  In 1949, the Chinese government officially recognised the medical benefits of massage and termed it Tuina, ‘Tui’ meaning Push, ‘Na’ meaning Grasp.  (I wonder if it was just too long to call it ‘Jab hard in the back with your elbow’).  Deep Tissue, Acupressure, Shiatsu, Chiropractic manipulations and many other forms of massage are derived from the practices of Tuina.  Hospitals here all have massage therapy as part of their treatments for all types of physical ailments, but also including many illnesses.


    I threw that in for a little fun.  There are also “other” kinds of massage here…


  10. Kids today

    October 14, 2009 by admin

    The following is a picture of Christiana, the daughter of one of the gentleman who works for Ken.  She’s about 14 months in this picture.  Her father is French and the mother holding her hand is Shanghainese and that little one couldn’t be any cuter.   We all went to the park and the Chinese there couldn’t get enough of her.  They were quite impressed she understands Mandarin.


    More Cute Shanghainese Kids