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October, 2011

  1. Leaving Lijiang

    October 31, 2011 by admin

    “Heaven on Earth”, as my mother would say.   We just got back from glorious Lijiang, in the Yunnan Province, home to Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and the spicy dishes.  As I’ve mentioned in the past, it’s so interesting to me how you can come across so many similarities in cultures vastly different.  In this area of Yunnan Province live the Naxi people, a Matriarchal society.  By dress, facial features and other cultural items, they could be Mayan, Peruvian, American Indian, it’s just so interesting these similarities are.  Of course I fell instantly for them because of their love for the dog.

    There are two old towns, one Lijiang Old town and Shuhe old town.  Both are for the most part carless inside, filled with beautiful old structures containing shops, restaurants and bars and have canals running through them with the most beautiful and clear water ever seen.  This water coming from the glacier atop Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, a majestic site on any day.    At night the town of Shuhe was filled with music of all kinds.  It was just a magical experience.  I’ll let the pictures say the rest.

    Taking the cable car up to Yak Meadow

    Yak Meadow, very very very high up

    A Buddhist offering

    Good advice

    The "Impression Lijiang" show...AMAZING!

    Jade Dragon Snow Mountain in the background


    Dinner at the Banyan Tree Lijiang


    View of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain


  2. Dogs of Yunnan

    October 31, 2011 by admin

  3. And you thought China was weird

    October 19, 2011 by admin

    Just like any morning here in Shanghai, I get up, let the dogs out, feed them then open my computer while Ken makes me a cappuccino with varying foam shapes.   Until I’ve had enough caffeine running through my veins, comprehension of any kind should not be expected.

    So you can imagine my surprise and utter disbelief when I open the news story on my Google page about the man who kept all the exotic animals, let’s them all loose and then shoots himself.   As Jenny would say, “whaaaaaaaaaAAAAAt?!!!  I was like, what in Sichuan Province hell is going on here?!  And then some caffeine kicked in and I went back to the part about the man shooting himself and realized this wasn’t a Chinese story at all because Chinese people don’t have guns.  I know it’s hard for you to believe but when Chinese people want to kill someone they do it the old-fashioned way, they stab them with a knife.  And besides, they can’t very well carry a semi-automatic on the back of their bicycle, well, there are some parts of the US where they managed to do that, but back to the this story.  What in Ohio State hell is going on over there?!  This wasn’t an “animal preserve” this was a wacko with a farm (did you see his picture?  they always look like that, right??) who collected exotic animals then caged, starved and mistreated them.  Why do we allow the sale of these precious animals??  How many babies have to die from the strangle of a 15 ft. long Python?  Can’t we just leave the exotic animals alone in their natural habitats???    And then to top off their life of abuse the Ohio Police just gun them down, well except for the ones still lurking in the neighborhood, good luck with that.   Geezuz people.

    A Happier Animal Picture

  4. RAM

    October 14, 2011 by admin

    Rockbund Art Museum.

    The newest installation to open at RAM is the amusing, thought-provoking and itchy work of artist, Zhang Huan titled, Q Confucius.  Here the artist uses Confucius, “a symbol representative of Eastern and moral and political thinking”, to question how we coexist in harmony with fellow humans and nature in this age of technological development and rapidly evolving social interaction.

    The work is installed among 4 floors of the beautiful and old architecture of RAM each offering a different use of material and craft…and it’s “itchy” because it also includes live monkeys and termites (sometimes I wish they’d just leave the animals out of it, you know?).

    This exhibition will be on from now until January 29, 2012.  For more info visit RAM

    These photos do not do this exhibition justice at all, I never said I was a good photographer, well maybe I did once.

    This bigger than life Confucius (pun intended) was stunningly large and detailed, including beating heart.  The top of a person’s head may only reach the tip of his nose.

    This work consists of an historical photograph and incense ash

    This piece has motion-censored robotics which move the figure around most interestingly and is surrounded by a two-story cage to hold the monkeys

  5. Wo de Hun Li

    October 12, 2011 by admin

    My wedding that is.  I’m not going to get full on into it, you had to be there, but if you can imagine large orange and white lanterns, tempura, the pouring out of one’s soul, insane amounts of Pinot Noir, California desert mountains, orchids/bamboo/citrus trees, humans shaking their booties to the Isley Brothers, lamb shanks galore, tears, laughter, a little puking (not me), one broken tibia bone (again, not me) and sweat dripping off the body of every single person in attendance then there you have our wedding in a nutshell.  Oh, I forgot to mention the bobblehead cake topper which we had made in our likeness…that fell off our cake mid-toast.

    Ken’s assistant, May, and her husband had this made for us as a wedding gift.  It’s paper-cutting art and frankly, something I hadn’t seen done since the early 70’s.  It puts a huge smile on my face everytime I look at it.


    This is the picture they made it from…not bad, right?  

     Ahhhh, the California desert