Saturday, August 29, 2009

local newspaper story

I'll try to put up a copy of the article from the local newspaper.  Many people have seen this article and I have become somewhat of a local celebrity.  Last night we were stopped by a family in a restaurant after eating.  They had recognized us from the news article and pictures which had been sent to them in the text message version of the newspaper which was sent to their cell phones.  Here it is (sorry it's only in Chinese).





2009-08-26 09:10:46








图为身着凤冠霞帔的新郎母亲(左)为儿媳打伞迎亲时的情景。 记者 宗公平 摄

  (记者 宗公平 通讯员 强智勇 薛明黎)819日,渭南姑娘孙婧一和美国小伙罗伯特








more wedding photos

My friend Joe has some of the most stunning photos of the wedding on flickr  I'll try to put a link on here, but it may not work since I have to post these with my e-mail. the photos should be here .   If the link doesn't work just copy and paste this ...  .  Some of his great photos can also be seen on his blog "Sweet and Sour Wimp".  There is a link to his blog on the left.

Wedding day!

The wedding was amazing.  More than 400 people attended.  It was very traditional (lots of red instead of white).  I put lots of pics on snapfish and Joe has some on flickr, so I'll try to provide links soon.  I'll write about it here on the blog in the next couple days when I get some time.

Friday, July 31, 2009

执子之手 与子偕老2


执子之手 与子偕老

zhi zi zhi shou ,yu zi xie lao ! That's an old chinese idiom, means "hloding your hands,shows that I want to grow old with you !" Rob and I both like this sentence a are some pictures taken by Joe.we are very happy about them!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

so busy!

I'm sorry we have been out of touch recently.  It has been crazy.  For example, yesterday we posed for wedding pictures for 5 hours, shopped for lighting, purchased a new bed, and a new sofa.  We also took some friends out to lunch, went to the new place to take some measurements, and met with a wedding planner that we will probably hire. And that was my only day off from work this week!  I want to thank my friend Joe for taking our pre-wedding photos.  He has spent hours taking photos of us and will, no doubt, spend many more editing photos and photographing our wedding.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

marriage certificate

here's what a Chinese marriage certificate looks like.  It looks sort of like a passport..  This picture shows the outside of Cheer's and the inside of mine.


demo class

Today I taught a promotional class at the school.  It was open to the public and was supposed to be for students age 12-18.  Cheer took some pictures and made some video clips.  I'll keep the video to myself since I act like a real dork when I teach.

the new apartment

The new apartment is really coming along!  They've got the tile done in the bathrooms, kitchen, and balcony.  The ceiling details have been built.  The bookshelves in the office are done, and the master bedroom closet has been built.  Here are some pics that my friend Joe took.  There is a fish eye photo of our book shelves in the office, one of the checkerboard wall/  door to our bathroom (our designer is standing in the doorway).  There is also a pic of me holding one of the tiles we chose for our floors, and one of the view from our living room (until they build a 9 floor building in front of us).

Monday, June 22, 2009

Fwd: Cheer's family

Here are some picture's of Cheer's family at a big lunch together.  The oldest people are, obviously, her grandparents.  The rest are aunts, uncles, cousins, and her mom.  They are eating out of a big pan with a fish and some vegetables simmering in it.

Farewell Beitang School

Friday was my last day teaching at Beitang Primary School until the fall.  Here are some pictures of me with the students.  These students are second graders.  Each picture has half of a class in it.  I couldn't fit all of the students from each class into one picture without going outside.  Some of the pictures include their other English teacher.  They have a regular English teacher that they see every day, and then they see me once a week.

Exhibit A

I said in my previous post that my dad has taught me how to do many things.  Here are some pictures of one of the most recent repairs that I have made.  I had to fix a giant hole that my dog made in my bathroom door.  I think I did a pretty good job.  It is amazing to Chinese people that I can do something like this.  To be honest, it's amazing to me too.  I am so lucky to have a father willing to teach me useful things.  He was always quite patient (though I may not have realized it at the time).  Thanks Dad!

Happy Father's Day

Here are some of the things that I love about my dad. 
1.  He is one of the hardest working people I know.  He has taught me what it means to work hard and he is a great example.  2.  He loves coffee as much as I do and is always willing to treat me to a good cup.  3.  He is always supportive of me and my choices, even though he encourages me to think twice sometimes.  4.  He challenges other people and often will encourage people to consider a broader range of options or opinions before settling on something.  5.  He knows so much about so many things and has always encouraged me to try to do things myself! (this is something that my friends have said about him too.  They are also thankful to him for teaching them how to do so many things.)  6.  He gets excited about things.  I know so many other people's parents who are always so subdued and don't seem to ever really get excited about anything.  There are so many things that I love about my dad, I just wanted to share a few.  I am lucky to have such a great dad! 

Monday, June 15, 2009


Here is a picture of me with my good friend Pinky.  He is the one who took me to his hometown.

photos of my visit to the country

Here are the pictures I took with my friend's cell phone.  They're not very good, but you can see the brick making set-up. The big oblong structure in the valley in a giant kiln for firing the bricks.  It is surrounded by bricks stacked to dry before being fired.  Then they haul the finished bricks away with tractors. As you can see, we also picked peaches and hiked around.  It was great.  I especially like the picture of the kitten in the kitchen.  It is a very "country" style kitchen, and the kitty has the responsibility of catching mice.


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

new apartment pictures

These are pictures of the new apartment.  Ours is the one on the top floor, far left.  Here is also a pic of the view from our enclosed balcony, and one of cheer inside the apartment.  As you can see, there is a lot of work to do (there isn't even a road built to the building yet...just lots of dirt).


I miss him already, but hopefully he will be happier at his new home.
Read below for details.

calm before the storm

Well, I just had an amazingly relaxed couple of days in the countryside with my friend Pinky. Unfortunately I forgot my camera! There were so many interesting things I could have taken pictures of. We stayed with my friend's grandparents about an hour and a half from Weinan. They produce bricks on their property. It was an interesting and dirty couple days. There are millions of brick everywhere there. Some are wet, some half dry, some ready to be fired, some finished.

I spent my time relaxing. I hiked around with Pinky in the hills, we picked peaches, and just sat and drank beer. (it was extremely hot there) There was always something going on there. There are workers doing stuff 24 hours. Most of the workers are migrant workers from other provinces. I managed to take some pictures with Pinky's cell phone, so I'll see if I can put some up here. I'm not sure why I love visiting them so much, but I think it's because it reminds me of summer camp. No real toilets, no heat or AC, nothing to do or worry about, food is provided for me.

It was the last that I'll see of Huzi for awhile. If you don't know, Huzi is our half-doberman dog. He was driving us crazy, chewing up anything in sight. We figured he just wasn't happy living in an apartment in the city. it didn't matter how much we walked him, he was still destroying our apartment. So, I took him back to the country to see his old home. He saw his mom (who didn't remember him and snapped at him). Now Huzi has a new job. He is in charge of protecting some sheep for a relative of my friend. I was shocked when they put him in a big burlap sack and tied him to the back of a motorcycle, but they assured me that they were just transporting him to his new home. I like the idea of him having a job. He was like our unruly child, and now he is at military school. They will whip him into shape and force him to take on new responsibilities.

Now I'm back from my little break in the country and I already feel the pressures of daily life again. So many decisions to make and so much to do. I probably won't have much time to relax until after the wedding in August. They just finished the electric and plumbing in our apartment. They should be doing the in-floor heating this week. Next week our new tile floors will be installed. I'm working overtime to fill in for one of our teachers who is on vacation. When summer intensive term starts I will be working 7 days each week until the wedding...arghhh!

I promise I'll post some pictures soon.

Friday, June 5, 2009

We're home owners!

Well Cheer and I have finally done it! We bought an apartment last week. It's pretty big and in a great location. It's 130 sq. meters, has two bedrooms, two bathrooms, an office, spacious living room, dining area, small kitchen, large enclosed balcony for washing/drying clothes, and a large storage room in the basement.
Unfortunately, it's going to cost us a fortune to build the interior to our tastes. We have been negotiating with a company for about a week, and have finally decided to hire them. They will coordinate the workers to do the ceilings, walls, floors, heating, etc. They will also help us design our bathrooms and kitchen. It's pretty exciting, but more work that I had hoped for. I would include pictures, but they're not very interesting...just bare concrete walls right now.
We are going to be so busy this summer trying to get our apartment done, planning the wedding, and working!

On a more exciting note, I managed to escape a fight in a very movie-like way this week...A man backed into me with his car the other day, and I hit the back of his car with my hand because I was upset. A few minutes later, he found us on the road and stopped his car to try to start a fight. We could see that he had been drinking. He followed us to one of our favorite restaurants. We went inside to order food and he stood outside and called his friends to come beat me up. The owner of the restaurant tried to reason with him but couldn't, so he took us out the back door to the alley. We escaped, but didn't get to have dinner there :(

I will try to take some good pictures of our new place to post soon!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Missing Cheer

Cheer was only home for like one day in the last two weeks. I miss having her around. Huzi isn't very good company either. He just tries to bark at me when I want to sleep. He tries to bite me when i want to pet him. His #1 favorite thing to do...........he waits until I'm not looking and tears up my stuff.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Blogger Blocked in China

Well, now it's official. My blog and every other in existence is blocked by the Chinese govt. This is so annoying. I had to get creative to post on my own blog. I never thought I would learn so many ways to get around firewalls and the like. It's so funny to me because the Chinese must know that they aren't stoping anyone from viewing "illegal" content. They're just making it more difficult (slow) to get to.

Monday, May 18, 2009

In the countryside

Here are some pics. from late last month. We went out to the countryside to take pictures of Fang Fang and her husband in their wedding garb. I managed to get into a few pictures myself. We all had a lot of fun, and after the "photo shoot" Joe and I walked around quite a bit. Joe gets credit for all of these photos and I want to give a shout out to Joe for coming up with the name of this blog!Notice the puppies in the background. I like this photo. You see people dragging carts like this one around town every day.
This is a typical small village.
I love this photo, too.
Joe was trying to take a picture of me with my mean farmer face on, but Fang Fang jumped in on it.I'm sorry there is no Chinese on this post. Cheer is out of town, and it would just take me to darn long! Here are some more photos of the country just outside Weinan.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Kung Pao Chicken

Yes, I now have a t-shirt that says "Kung Pao Chicken." It sort of baffles Chinese people who read it.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

May 5th- last day in Beijing

We didn't feel like doing much on our last day in Beijing. We had planned to go to the Great Wall, but decided to take it easy instead. We walked around some more interesting alleys and got more tasty tea ice cream. I think I ate three ice cream cones! We had dinner at an amazing Chinese restaurant featuring food from Yunnan.
在北京的最后的一天,我们本来打算去长城和十三陵,但这天,我们实在懒得不想动。我们步行过一些胡同,到了王府井,吃了更多的茶味冰淇淋。我想我吃了3个!我们在一家叫做茶马古道的云南餐厅用了晚餐。在琉璃厂的胡同里,我看到了玩沙子的孩子们,立刻想起了自己的小时候。 在这个现代的都市里,找到这些残留的80年代气息,让我觉得惬意。 多想再次拥有那些缓慢的时光。In the alley, we saw some children playing with sand. It reminded me of my childhood. In such a modern city, I still found something that reminded me of the 80's. It made me happy. I wish I could go back to those slow times again.北京的旅行在我们踏上火车的一刻宣告了结束。从王府井回火车站的出租车上,正好太阳落山,我们幸运的看到了降旗, 弥补了那天的遗憾。国旗缓缓降落,伴着夕阳,像是北京在对我们说再见。
我们坐的是火车的“头等舱”,非常舒服的软卧,有独立广播,早上醒来有咖啡。Stepping on the train, for us, signaled the end of our trip to Beijing. In the taxi from the shopping street to the train station, we saw the lowering of the Chinese flag in Tiananmen Square. It's just as if Beijing was saying goodbye to us.
We had first-class beds on the train and were able to get on the train early. We had a very comfortable journey and were served coffee in the morning.

May 4th- U.S Embassy and stuff

Well, we went to the U.S. Embassy on our fourth day in Beijing to get my Marriageability Certificate. Security was tight (as expected). I couldn't even take my phone or camera into the compound. After that we walked around the East part of Beijing quite a bit. We found a Texas barbecue place where Igot some tasty beef brisket! In the evening we went out with Cheer's friend to a "snack street" so they could eat all the parts of the animals that I won't touch.我们去了美国大使馆,领到了我们结婚需要的证明。我甚至不能带手机和相机进去。后来我们在北京的东部到处走了走。我们找到了一家德州的餐馆, 吃了浇着barbecue的烹饪了6个多小时的小牛肉。晚上,我们和Cheer的朋友一起去逛了小吃街,她们吃了我从不碰的动物的脖子肚子等。
见到熊熊的时候,是在王府井,如我所料,她穿着黑色的一身。她还像大学里一样,带着我们去吃他们公司的茶冰淇淋,去东来顺吃铜锅涮羊肉,胡乱逛,在小吃一条街上吃爆肚…… 我听着她的生活,觉得她孤独…… 后来她要坐地铁回家了,她一转身,我就止不住眼泪……我怎么脑子里一副,她坐着地铁流眼泪的画面……我知道,她和我一样,有朋友在身边,笑起来会很明媚,一大堆事情弄得自己很忙,但藏在心中的孤独感却挥之不去……我们,是散落在人间的孤单种子……When I met my friend Xiong Xiong, it was at Wang Fu Jing Street. She still wears black like she did in college. She took us to try her company's tea ice cream, and she took us to try a traditional Beijing hot pot (lamb) We walked around and ate stomach on snack street. I listened to her talk about her life. I feel she's very lonely....Then as she went to the subway station to return home, she turned around to look at me and I couldn't control my tears. There is a picture in my mind of her sitting in the subway wiping the tears from her eyes.