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November, 2009

  1. Giving Thanks

    November 30, 2009 by admin

    I always have to give thanks for having such a wonderful family and I missed them all (mostly) this Thanksgiving.

    But I guess if one can’t be with their own family on Thanksgiving, the next logical choice is to booze it up with strangers in a foreign country.   We decided to start the night off with Aymeric’s special caviar and some of the bubbly and it was pretty much downhill (uphill?) after that. We all had a really great time and it was wonderful company.   We had the 5 ingredients everyone needs for  Thanksgiving.

    Champagne…check

    Turkey….check

    Children…check

    Ample amounts of red wine….check

    Lovely friends….check!

    Kate and Phillip

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    Christiana, Margaret, Little Davis and Uncle Joe

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    Aymeric and Jacqueline

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  2. Vitamin Water makes it’s Chinese Debut

    November 25, 2009 by admin

    I know they are trying to make a…splash but I think someone in the marketing department went just a little koo koo with giving it an entire store.  I mean I like it and all, but I don’t think the Chinese are ready to pay good money for sugar water just yet.  Still, I wonder if they’re taking applications.

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  3. The Emperor’s New Clothes

    November 25, 2009 by admin

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  4. Eating again

    November 23, 2009 by admin

    Here’s a few pics from Saturday brunch with friends at a restaurant called Cha.  They are known for their black tea with milk which was good (whispering, but the Harbin beer was much better).

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    Uncle Kenny

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    Nap time

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  5. Splendor in the Grass

    November 23, 2009 by admin

    There’s not much of it, so it’s important to splendor in it when you can.  Some pictures from our Sunday walk in the northern outskirts of Shanghai.

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  6. Some things just don’t translate.

    November 19, 2009 by admin

    Like, “Girlllllll, no you didunt!”

    I get my pedicures done at Bella Nails near our house.  It’s a really cute place with super sweet girls working there.  Every now and then we try to chat, a little english here and a little Mandarin there.  I was waiting for my nails to dry, “reading” Chinese Vogue and contemplating which facial whitening cream I should buy, and the girl went to test my nail and totally smudged it.  She gave out a little squeal and we both started laughing and I was like, “nu haaaaaair, wo buuuuuuu haoooo”.

    I will not be going back there.

    As an aside, every time I visit this shop they play different CD’s but with the same Chinese woman singing various “American” songs.  She has a very soft, plain but pleasant voice. Last week it was a compilation consisting of John Denver’s, “Rocky Mountain High”, “Moon River” and an unsettling rendition of “Send in the Clowns”, truth be told, what rendition of that song is NOT unsettling.  Today though I got to hear her cover 12 Sheryl Crow songs.  After “all i wanna do, is have some fun” I just wanted it to stop, I mean really.


  7. No wonder I’m confused…

    November 19, 2009 by admin

    Do you want me to cross or not??!!

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  8. Chinese Porcelain

    November 18, 2009 by admin

    Unless you’re my mother, you may want to skip this.  However, (and I’m saying this to you in her voice) “a little cultcha won’t kill you!”

    I went to a lecture and showing on pottery and porcelain at the Shanghai Museum yesterday and It really ended up being an interesting event.  I’m mostly just going to post pictures of some favorite pieces but here’s a little background.

    Pottery pieces date back as far as the Neolithic period of 6,000 – 1700 BC.  Our lecturer told us that every early civilization created their own pottery pieces and that for reasons unknown, they are extremely similar in design and decoration (examples below).  But then you have the Terracotta Warriors from the Qin and Han Dynasties (221 BC – 220 AD) from which no other pottery collection compares.

    Porcelain making began around the end of the Han Dynasty, 100 AD.  The difference between the two is that porcelain is made from a different clay (lower iron content) and must be fired at a temperature over 1100 degrees celsius (in Farenheit that translates as REALLY FRIGGIN HOT), giving it the “glazed surface”.   Like Jade, many pieces were made to be buried in the tombs.  The Chinese believe in the afterlife and it’s important to be surrounded by items representing what you will need/want in your next life.

    During the period of the Dynasties, the most beautiful porcelain was made only for the Emperor as he commissioned it.

    These early pieces remind me of Mayan or Egyptian pottery pieces I’ve seen in museums.

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    Early Burial Pieces

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    This was put at the tomb entrance to keep away bad spirits…works for me.

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    Early Bernie

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    This piece just plain freaks me out!  Is it me, or does this remind you of one of the claymation characters from “Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer”.  It’s from the Three Kingdoms Dynasty, 221-280 AD.  It was a large Celdaon jar made for burial and around the base were the owner’s possessions, including a wife, dog, some farm animals, etc.  Apparently they would fill the jar with maybe grain or rice to represent food in the afterlife.

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    Burial pieces showing music/entertainment

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    These Rose Red and Blueish dishes are from Song Dynasty, 960 – 1279 AD

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    These pieces are from the Emperor’s of the Qing Dynasty, 1644 – 1911 AD

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    And you thought Williams Sonoma created this

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    During the Ming Dynasty, 1368 – 1644 AD, Chinese Porcelain is widely exported to Europe, especially the “under glaze blue porcelain”.

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  9. In case you didn’t know

    November 15, 2009 by admin

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  10. I wasn’t going to blog about this…but

    November 15, 2009 by admin

    If you haven’t heard, Ken had some gnarly surgery on his hand a few weeks ago and I’ll just leave it at that.  We took pictures of the wound to send to his doctor back home so he could see the progress and I really wanted to post one of them here but when I mentioned this to Ken, a low-pitched  moan or was it a groan, came out of his mouth so I don’t think he wanted me to do that.

    Anyfrankenfingerhoo, I’m telling you this because he has been taking painstaking (pun intended) measures to keep it out of harms way.  The wound is still very painful and needs a while to heal yet.  So we go out for a romantic dinner at this wonderful restaurant last night.  I am like 5 sips into my first glass of wine and the server comes over to clear the table for appetizers and I guess she thinks my glass is empty because she literally turns it upside down and it lands all over Ken’s lap and splashes on his BANDAGED HAND. Because wine is my personal cure-all, I’m thinking it might have some healing properties but better sense comes over me and we just sit there with our mouths open.  It happened so fast it was shocking.  Of course the server was moooooortified.  We were worried she might go to the kitchen and try to land on a knife, I forget what that’s called.   My mom’s voice just popped into my head yelling, “Hari Kari!!!”, okay little lady, settle down.

    Ken’s hand is fine and we had a really wonderful time in spite of the dousing.

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