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February, 2010

  1. Your attention please

    February 27, 2010 by admin

    You probably think I posted this picture because there are pigeons in a bright pink cage atop a scooter.  No, no, NO!  I merely wanted to show you that the Chinese people have their cellphones glued to their heads just like everybody else!  I was getting a massage the other day (I know, my life is very stressful) and the woman in the room next to me not only answers her ringing phone but then talks for like 5 minutes!  I scared myself because I managed to have murderous images during a massage.  So let’s have a serious thought for the day (because I only HAVE one serious thought per day), can we please take a moment to think about our own cellphone usage and how we may be offending others?!  Thanks.

    Now, what in the world is that guy doing with those pigeons on his scooter???


  2. Blog Day Afternoon

    February 25, 2010 by admin

    In the news:

    Zhengzhou City Commerce officials are imposing requirements for the humane slaughter of pigs.  “The pig deserves at least 12 hours of being alone, some walking, patting and music to help them relax” before being slaughtered.

    Dr. Wine

    It’s a new wine bar that opened in French Concession and I loooove it.  Small menu with very good food and all the favorites, charcuterie, cheese plate, salads, quiche and a nice selection of wines ranging from really reasonably priced wines by the glass to the most high-end bottles.   Nice wine bar downstairs, tables and private wine-tasting room upstairs.  And even though I’m always saying wine is my personal cure-all, I really don’t like the name, I can’t help it.  Other than that, it’s wonderful.

    To my great displeasure

    While reading the Shanghai Daily News today I came across the following headline, “Lohan May Reconcile with Lesbian Lover”.  Well, the Chinese can now rest easier knowing that!  I did not come halfway across the world to have to read about that GD mess.


  3. “Pleeeease, don’t let this feeling end”

    February 25, 2010 by admin

    I have a fresh cup of coffee and bowl of cereal and I’m waiting for the Women’s Figure Skating Finals.  If I were in California watching this, it would be evening and I would be enjoying a nice syrah or perhaps, a bucket of margaritas, the ONLY way to watch this skating novella. I am giving a side-eye to the doggie valium I still have leftover from Chinese New year.  Back to figure skating, this final has it all and will provide plenty of action and drama needed:

    A. the Korean and Japanese rivals performing near perfect short programs taking 1st and 2nd.

    B. the canadian who’s mother sadly passed away days before the event skated beautifully to an enthusiastic and emotional crowd.

    C. the skater from Estonia wearing the most unbelievably hideous costume in the history of all skating costumes.  Come on Estonia, give your ice princesses what they deserve, a swarovski crystal-encrusted, black, backless number and it wouldn’t hurt to throw in a make-up artist from the MAC counter! Geezuz.


  4. Vivacious

    February 23, 2010 by admin

    That’s the word that was haunting me this morning when I woke up.  Not just any vivacious, but the one from the scene in Saturday Night Fever where John Travolta is having a conversation with the “girl from the other side of the bridge” and she keeps saying “it’s just so vuhvacious livin’ ovah heah…my dance teachah, you know, he’s really vuhvacious”.  I don’t know why exactly that was in my head but I think it’s a good word to describe my last few days of Shanghai during Chinese New Year.  I should mention that the day before that I woke up thinking about soap on a rope.

    We visited an island off Shanghai, Chong Ming.  It’s about 1 1/2 hours drive and they’ve recently completed a bridge so you can drive to it rather than take a ferry.  There is a huge park in the middle of the island called Dong Ping AND THEY LET DOGS IN IT!!!  Unbelievable, and really fun.

    Grass Skating (??)

    Shopping and Sightseeing in Pudong

    I might need a Xanax for this…

    Ugh boots

    View from the top of the Jin Mao hotel looking down…yikes

    Qi zi qing chi on a Sunday afternoon


  5. China Schmina already

    February 17, 2010 by admin

    The Shanghai Expo 2010  marketing team has been working overtime and they’ve been hanging posters, flags, podiums, whatever doesn’t move basically with their newest slogan, “The Wind is Blowing China’s Way”.  While I tend to agree with that statement, let’s just hope that wind is hard enough to blow some of this pollution out of the way for godssakes.

    Speaking of China, did any of you catch the Olympic pair’s figure skating?!  I didn’t think so.  My inner West Hollywood gay man always comes out  during this event.   I get completely into it, critique each costume and wonder, “Why, why, WHY is she wearing that and what is going on with that HAIR”, go insane with each misstep and fall, fits of anxiety waiting for the scores and then cry at the outcome.   I don’t know where this comes from, I’ve always been a rollerskater myself.  So China took the Gold and Silver medal, in case you had better things to do.  The winning couple were unbelievable and totally dominated it.  However, Chinese television has replayed the routine so many times in the last 24 hours I can now replicate the entire routine in my living room.

    Year of the Tiger!



  6. In case you were wondering…

    February 17, 2010 by admin

    it’s my birthday today and poor Ken has to carry the burden all on his own.  This is my first birthday away from my family in all my 38 years.  Anysonot38yearsoldhoo, there will be no family BBQ or mother’s pesto or chocolate cake from Ralphs.  No Starbuck’s gift cards.  No having to “share” my celebration with my 19 year old niece, Lauren, who does have a tendency to steal one’s spotlight. Well I’m not one to make things about me anyway. So everyone, this year is going to be a “no gifts please” year.   Okay?   This year is all about making donations!   So instead of a birthday gift, I would like all of you to please make a donation to my plastic surgeon.   Thank you.

    (I love you and miss you friends and family)


  7. Xin Nian Kuai Le!!!

    February 12, 2010 by admin

    That’s happy new year to you and me.  So it’s here, my first Chinese New Year.  I’m excited and a little…nervous.  I think there may be a reason every expat books a ticket outside the country for the next week or so.  So far though, the streets are quiet and it’s really peaceful.  But apparently starting tonight, it’s supposed to be like the Disneyland Summer Parade Fireworks explosion on crack + 40,000 M80’s with a little Gaza strip action and that’s Chinese New Year in Shanghai.  I had to take Bernie to the vet the other day and I was telling him I’m really worried about the noise.  He said it’s really bad and gave me a packet of valium and I was like, “oh my god, thank you so much, this will really help, AND I just bought some good scotch and they go great together!”.  He was like, this is for Bernie.  Then he tells me that getting the dose correct is really important because if it’s not enough he won’t be sleepy, he’ll feel “awake and invincible”.   Great.  So then do we take him clubbing?   To a gay bar?  Whatever, I like my original plan a LOT more.  Okayyyyyy, Mathew McConnahayyyyyyy.

    To start the holiday off right, Natalie, Margaret, Davis and I made cupcakes!

    Sugar High

    Coming Down…

    Yummy!!!


  8. Shanghai Surprise

    February 12, 2010 by admin

    Ken and I attended a dance concert titled, Shanghai Beauty, and was choreographed and performed by the Shanghai Jin Xing Dance Theatre group.   I have been to many dance performances and I always enter in with some trepidation.  Will it be too serious, artistically full of itself or just plain boring?!   This show was truly wonderful.  A gem.  A nice balance of cultural, political, fun and humorous dance pieces blending Eastern and Western styles.

    The surprise is in the creator/choreographer, Jin Xing.  She was born a he and is the first transgendered person to be “recognized” by the government.  At the age of 9 she joined the People’s Liberation Army to receive dance and military training (what would Dick Cheney have to say about that?!) where she became a member of the military’s dance troupe and eventually attained the rank of colonel.  She later went to New York to study modern dance and traveled and performed and taught in Europe.  At 26 she returned to China and underwent sex reassignment surgery.  She now lives with her three adopted children and  husband in Shanghai.

    Her dance company relies solely on private donation and has never received any government funding.  Should this company be performing in your city, go see it and be mesmerized…you’ll be supporting something really special.


  9. I’ve said this before I know…

    February 10, 2010 by admin

    I wasn’t going to blog about this but then I thought, come on Marie, you have a chance to tell your story and reach thousands, um, hund…er, okay maybe two people (Leah??).

    While I was out the other day running errands I was really hungry so I decided to go to Starbucks and get a coffee and sandwich to eat on the go.  Ken and I had dinner plans with friends at a nice restaurant later and I didn’t have a lot of time.  A short while later I began feeling funny, a bit nauseous and decided to skip the gym in favor of being close to my bathroom.  I was slowly feeling worse but it was time to go to dinner and I didn’t want to cancel last minute.   We got to the restaurant, order wine and after chatting about 20 minutes I excused myself to use the ladies room where I proceed to have the most serious Lucille Ball moment of my life and I will leave it at that.  As I returned to the table, Ken saw my eyeballs spinning backwards but then more shockingly, looked at my glass of wine that had NOT been touched and knew right away this was something serious.  He rushed me home…and not a moment too soon before Lucy came back for another show.   It was one of the worst night’s I’ve ever had.

    I don’t know what to say except that a Starbuck’s Tuna Wrap is NOT a good idea here in Shanghai.  That’s all I’m saying.

    On a brighter note, I leave you with my happy blue friend, Haibao, getting ready for Valentine’s Day.


  10. It just never occurred to me

    February 10, 2010 by admin

    I took another cooking class at Stiller’s and this one focused on Italian antipasti’s.  I never knew you took a mallet to a fairly thick piece of beef tenderloin and beat it mercilessly to make carpaccio.

    The class was great (read yummy food), totally enjoyable (read wine) mostly (read French housewives who didn’t want to be my friend).