Stranded in Beijing

September 19, 2007

Well, not really stranded. I’ve been in town for a conference. The remnants of a typhoon are about to hit Shanghai. I was supposed to fly back this afternoon, but rather than risk going to the airport and being told my flight had been canceled, or worse, getting on a plane and dipping and swaying all the way back to Shanghai, I decided to extend my stay and hang out a bit more with our friends Stacy & Kai and their cute-as-a-button baby, Raelynn.

School was canceled for the boys today. Lisa reports gale force winds and heavy rain. Hopefully things will be calmer tomorrow.

The paramecia in my stomach say hello

September 14, 2007

Been sick with some stomach thing for the past few days. At first I thought it was food poisoning but it has gone on for too long. I haven’t really eaten since Tuesday (it’s now Friday here).

Unfortunately I’m also extremely busy at work with a deadline tonight for a client who doesn’t know what he wants. I have changed course about 5 times since Tuesday at his request. No rest till Saturday. Then off to Beijing for a conference next week.

Shanghai art museum

September 11, 2007

Orange RolloWent to the Shanghai Art Museum this weekend. The boys started whingeing shortly after we arrived. “It’s booooooring,” and “I’m boooooored” covered the art like wet burlap sacks. But just as we were about to pack it in and take a culture raincheck, we went up to the third floor and were pleasantly surprised by, of all things, a silk exhibition sponsored by Hermes. The exhibitors did a fantastic job of creating a new place within the museum. There was ethereal music, dramatic lighting, rooms with different character and distinct feels, etc. The boys really got into it.boys art museum

Aidan said, “Pop, this inspires my art.”

How to make a left turn in China

September 7, 2007

Soimgoingtochina describes traffic conditions in Beijing, complete with diagrams. Pretty much the same thing here in Shanghai.

Queen of the Scottish Fairies

September 6, 2007

I found this charming.

[Note, if you don’t have the NY Times Select, you can’t access it. Grrrr. It’s a large image/ cartoon by Rutu Modan that deals with issues of gender and identity in boys. I’ve tried to attach a copy below that I hope you can view. You may have to copy it into an image viewer like iPhoto and enlarge it. Or if you’re really interested, shoot me an email and I’ll give you the login info.]

We went through this a bit with Aidan the past few years, and I confess I was surprised to find myself reacting more along the lines of the father in the story than I would have imagined. I eventually backed off and mellowed out — again like the dad in the cartoon — after some admonishment from Lisa. And Aidan has seemingly grown out of whatever he was going through and is beginning to be more influenced by his peers in matters of gender relations and identity among six-year-olds.

modan

Sick kid

September 4, 2007

We awoke at 2AM to the sound of Aidan heaving his guts, thankfully into the toilet. Not sure what’s wrong, but we had salmon last night for dinner. My stomach felt a little hinky all evening and isn’t stable even now. Lisa says she feels OK. Rollo, who ate the least salmon of anyone, natch, went to school feeling fine. Aidan is home watching Pokemon, drinking ginger ale, and feeling better. I’m not 100% ready to blame the salmon, especially since Aidan’s hands are constantly in his mouth, but it’s a likely culprit since he has no outward flu symptoms.

Weather report

September 3, 2007

A rainy cool front is pushing through Shanghai, where the temperature has fallen about 25F (14C) from just a few days ago, and I’ve got the sinus headache to prove it. Despite the pain in my skull, it’s a welcome relief from the near constant 100F plus (38C plus) temps we’ve had since mid-July.

At this time of sinusoidal unrest, special thanks are due to my Auntie Fran for the copious supply of Flonase. It helps amazingly much.

Beach blanket Bollywood

September 3, 2007

From the 1965 Bollywood thriller, Gumnaam, I give you Jaan Pehechaan Ho. Try not to dance. I dare you.

Back to School

September 3, 2007

back to school

First day of school for the boys today. For Aidan, that means 1st grade: classes, homework, big kid stuff.

1st grade

It was unclear whether this day was tougher on parents or kids. Emotions ran the gamut. A few tears. Lots of smiles. Anxiety. Aidan stood tall, though. He knows two kids in the class already from preschool. And despite the fact that she didn’t want to leave, Lisa held up well, too.

outside looking in

For Rollo, it means back to the Victoria Kindergarten and forced napping. We’ll see how it goes.

rollo-waits.jpg

Get a haircut!

August 30, 2007

The boys had their first ever barbershop haircut today. They did extremely well. Five of us (A&R, me, Lisa, and Mrs. Lu, who does some housekeeping and childcare for us but mostly keeps the boys’ Chinese sharp) headed down to the local Wenfeng this afternoon.

First, the hair washing:

washing hair

Next, a towel dry:

Towel

Then, the cuttin’ chair:

Aidan cut

Rollo cut

The immediate aftermath:

Boys’ haircut

And the happy customers back at home:

happy customers