Saturday, July 26, 2008

A New Form of Chinese Acrobatics

According to the New York Times (thanks for the heads up, Robert!), a "growing number of Chinese women are experimenting with the country’s newest, and most controversial, fitness activity: pole dancing."

Case in point. The Lolan Pole Dancing School, which already has five locations around Beijing, is planning on opening six more studios this year.

Here is what Luo Lan, the owner of Lolan, says about pole dancing and her role as entrepreneur/ambassador: "I knew if I could give people a positive first impression of this as a clean, fun, social activity, people wouldn’t just accept it, they’d embrace it."

That's "new" China speaking. What does "old" China think about all of this?

Here is what a 30-year old interior design worker said: "Five years ago, this wouldn’t have been permitted. I think this is just a fad, and I don’t think it’s appropriate for women."

The battle for the post-communist soul of China rages on...

~Steve

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Unheard Of

Sorry for my lack of bloggage lately, but my role in the home stretch errand derby has kicked into high gear. Just ask the kids about the never ending list that seems to wax and wane not unlike the moon...never really disappearing.

Take yesterday. Faced with 19 stops including high points like Costco (for industrial strength Pepto Bismol), the dry cleaner (time to get those clothes ready for packing), and Sally's Hair Supply (just how many cans of Volumax will I need for a year of big hair is unknown, but to be on the safe side, my magic number is four). While we hit only 16 of the marks before heading home to collapse on the couch, we knew "tomorrow would be another day." That tomorrow was today...another hefty list. We whittle it down, but somehow at each step we think of other things we should do before we leave.

All in all, we now have more meds than CVS, I have more shoes than Payless, and our new addition "space bag" for our winter coats is set to help hold us to our 2 bag/1 carry-on each limit. I'm no girl scout, but I am prepared!

Steve, are you sure you don't need a few more deodorants?

~Desi

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Time to Do the Laundry...Ugh!

What would you do if your washing machine broke right before you were going to move away (to, say, China...)? Would you buy a new one? Would you clean your clothes at the laundromat?

This, unfortunately, was a decision we just had to make...

The argument for the "back to grad school" plan:
  • scoping out a new washer would take time away from other, more crucial move preparations
  • buying a new machine would cost real money at a time when we are squirreling away as much as possible
  • most importantly, is it a good idea to have a new appliance sitting there unused for a year?
The argument for the "get reacquainted with your favorite Sears salesman" plan:
  • it will be a hassle to have to buy a new washer right after we get back (there will be so much else to do...and so much jet lag!)
  • it is unclear just how good or bad our finances will be after a year of living abroad
  • most importantly, who wants to spend a month of their life hanging out in laundromats?
Well, we decided on on Plan A...and are having constant regrets...
  • laundromats are HOT in the summer!
  • laundromats are claustrophobic (I guess that's good practice for China...)
  • laundromats are full of creatures of the night...as I write this, cockroaches are pouring out from under/behind a washing machine that is leaking something fierce...
~Steve

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Still Burnin' Down the Road

Here we are, 15 years into this great adventure (23 if you count those "long eight years" we spent dating!), and we end up in one of our long-lost, "classic" places.

This is where Desi, about 13 years ago, uttered her infamous "there's something coming at us" line. Looking down the mountain from the tee, Desi spotted what she was convinced was a wolf, looking hungry, coming to get us. To this day, I still argue it was a dog from the neighborhood. This is one that will never be resolved to either of our satisfaction!

And then it was from this exact spot, a few years prior to the dog/wolf incident, that Desi cried out, "leave the balls there!" This was right after we had both teed off. For some reason, each of us had plastered drives right down the middle (still a rare occurrence!). Then, all of a sudden, a summer storm came rumbling in from over the mountain. We needed to high-tail it back to the clubhouse, but Desi didn't want our good drives go to waste (Desi was known for making 18s on the hole...). Convinced the storm would pass, we sat in the car for at least half an hour, until it became obvious that this was no passing shower. We moved on to Golden Corral, and the balls stayed where there were (luckily, they were just rock-flites...).

And here we are now...a foursome...nice! Played best ball...carded a birdie...nice!

~Steve