Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Velentine's Day ...... WHAT! No Magpies!?!?!?

On the evening of the seventh day of the seventh month on the Chinese lunar calendar, don't forget to look carefully at the summer sky. You'll find the Cowherd (a bright star in the constellation Aquila, west of the Milky Way) and the Weaving Maid (the star Vega, east of the Milky Way) appear closer together than at any other time of the year. Chinese believe the stars are lovers who are permitted to meet by the queen of Heaven once a year. That day falls on the double seventh (Qixi in Chinese), which is China's own Valentine's Day.
Most Chinese remember being told a romantic tragedy when they were children on the double seventh. In the legend, the cowherd and the Weaving Maid will meet on a bridge of magpies across the Milky Way once a year. Chinese grannies will remind children that they would not be able to see any magpies on that evening because all the magpies have left to form a bridge in the heavens with their wings.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

More Change

I had some fun on with one of JMei's pics.
Head on over to
and have a look at the original.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Happy New Year! Our Daughter Is Into Pyro!

Happy Year of the Ox.

We are moderately concerned (at this point in her life) that our daughter be aware of her Chinese culture. She is American by citizenship, but her heritage is Chinese and we plan to cultivate that awareness as she progresses in age. A local organization was having a Chinese New Year celebration which was aimed toward children from China who were adopted by American parents and we decided to take the young Empress to the affair.Both myself and the Empress are just about over The Cruds and we’re still not 100%, so venturing out to a gathering of this nature was not my top priority. But we embarked on the journey to the other side of town for the sake of the young ‘un – and she could have cared less.

We pulled up to the church (which had hired out a hall to the sponsoring organization) to find it being pressure washed. “Maybe it’s a building purification ritual for the Year of the Ox” I said to my wife as the compressor roared and our daughter squirmed to break free of her loving embrace. Both mother and daughter were attired in Asian garb crafted of the finest imitation silk, so as the Empress did the ‘alligator death roll’ to gain her freedom, the 2 slippery surfaces of the garments made for difficult carriage of the squirming package. “Here you go, HomeDaddy” said Mama and she handed over our writhing tot to daddy as we entered through the gentle shower of mist from the pressure washer. “Just get me an eggroll and some Tylenol and I’ll be a happy man” said HomeDaddy as he took on the task of playing pack mule and beast of burden for the Empress.

We entered the room to the peaceful sound and vision of little Chinese cherubs running about the dining area whilst screaming and producing sounds similar to that of a hole being bored in one’s scull. They were followed by event organizers who were attempting to corral them for activities and games. It was actually rather calming. No really. I whispered a quiet prayer of thanksgiving. “Thank you, God. I’m not the only one.”

The line for “The Slow Boat to China Buffet” was probably 30 hungry folks long and we shared stories about our adoption including Beijing in the dead heat of summer and ‘through the roof’ laundry bills at The White Swine. After 22 minutes, when we got to the steam tables, we were greeted with the news that they had run out of rice (fried and steamed) as well as noodles. Dang! 40 bucks and no rice?!?! Oh joy, oh rapture. I longed for some of the unidentifiable delicacies from the buffet tables back in China. I grabbed the 2 remaining eggrolls, and some fried nasties with sweet ‘n sour sauce and headed on as some kid grabbed the last crab rangoon. Twit!

We had pleasant conversation with the couples at our table and made the most of our incomplete meal. We gave thanks that we brought along the booster seat complete with child containment straps. After a truly primitive dining experience, the Empress delicately removed her bib and flung it on top of a decorative tea candle placed on our table for proper ambiance. As the bib went up in flames and began melting the plastic tablecloth, I thought “Just throw me on the fire and end it all” as I reached for my plastic cup of Sprite and doused what looked like a burnt offering at our table. “JMei, I know your food was cold, but I think I could have found a microwave in this place!”

After a family portrait in front of a bamboo screen, we bid a fond farewell to the remaining revelers and headed back to the sanctuary of my Ford F150. The pressure washers had left the scene, but the compressor remained behind. “Hhhhmmmm ……. Could’ve used that at our table.”

So, Happy !#@$ Year of the Ox, Y’all! Anyone have a Tylenol?