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hey all...

because of access *cough*cough* ive moved the journal. it's here: http://xianmazing.blogspot.com/

the first week of school ended, for me, in a blanket of white:

and this evening, laura, graham, and i are off to chengdu. PANDAS OR BUST!

Listening: : sigur ros. Gobbledigook.

laura and i are here! we left mom's house at 3am on monday (USA time) and flopped into my apt. 12:40am on tuesday (china time). that's 30+ hours of travel. but we're here safe and sound and the worst part of the whole trip was my vegetarian "lunch" on the plane: two salads, two bread rolls, and fruit. thankfully i did get a real dinner. still, if that's the only thing to bitch about, that's pretty good, no? our last flight leg was delayed by about a half hour but we had both totally fallen asleep on the plane and didnt even notice we were still driving around. i woke up to hear a stewardess announce they were "sorry for the delay and we would be taking off soon..."

louie is SO happy to have his human back. he was gifted toys and he loves them so far. he's having a good time. right now he's hanging out with me in my lap.

louie says yo!

laura's reaction to china thus far? "it's dingy but everything seems well kept!" a fair description...

amelie is meeting us in a little while and we're going to find food and watch laura react to the Outside World.... MU HA HA HA HA...

but we're here and we're safe.

Listening: : puff the magic dragon. Broken Social Scene

christmas 79
Originally uploaded by cornie
one of the most difficult decisions i have ever made was to move to china.
i didnt want to be so far away.
but i am.
so far away.

im thankful my dad got to see china.
im thankful i got to share my life here with him.


tomorrow i hop on a plane.
i need to be home.
i need to be with my family.

i'll return to china in february.


inured yet injuredCollapse )

why do students think teachers are stupid?

and now for some positive! positive! positivity!

about a month ago, amar, mary, and i went on a field trip with some exchange students from HSU. we went to see a small village--a place known for its papercuts--and a temple.

photos from trip to huxianCollapse )

we also had thanksgiving with our darlings. since amar and i are both vegetarians, I made stuffing and gravy so we could enjoy it too. my kitchen smelled like proper thanksgiving. it was glorious. my grammie would have been proud.


the weekend before thanksgiving, the school took us on a trip to Qianling Tomb and Famen Si, both near baoji.

exotic flavor of the foreigner.
exotic flavor of the foreigners! Hu Man!

the Qianling Tomb is the final resting place for Wu Zetian (武则天), China's only empress. her story is pretty outragious. reminds me of the complexity of british royality (henry VIII, i'm lookin at you!)
tomb photosCollapse )

it was a chilly day out
Qianling Tomb

then we went to Famen Si, home of Shakyamuni's finger bone!

gratuitous incense burning photo:

at the templeCollapse )

what else is new?
louie is cute. oh wait. that's not new.
cat.  cute.

i got a new coat:
YAY my new favouritest jacket! orange and green! together!  RAD

i love jiaozi. oh, that's not new either.
jiaozi: in sour soup.

it's cold:
brrrr brrrr

jupiter, venus, and the moon (my view):
Jupiter, Venus, moon

and ive been doing yoga weekly with divi and a few other women from our apt. complex for about a month now.

im looking forward to a H O L I D A Y.

soon im traveling to beijing. my passport needs to be renewed. but that doesnt count as a holiday. school is out mid-january.

hope all is well with everyone.

*this student is referring to unfinished work. it's common to see the students scramble to finish an assignment in class.

works cited:
Connor, Ulla. “New directions in contrastive rhetoric.” TESOL Quarterly 36.4(2002): 493-510.

Listening: : art in manila. sweat descends.

Halloween was fun this year. i was a scary marionette:
halloween 08:  marionette
marionette face

mary had a flash of inspiration--she told me of a friend of hers who used to decorate pumpkins with sparkly things. and thus, the bling-a-riffic jack-o-lantern was born. mary wanted to avoid cutting open and gutting pumpkins, so we decided to go this route. i cleaned out the import store of pumpkins (nothing to see here people, just a white lady with 13 pumpkins in the cart, what?) and mary and i went to The World of Decorative Cloth to get things like sequins and straight pins and other doo-dads (buttons, snaps, googly eyes). we figured this would be a hit here in china, home of the shiny.
making jack-o-lanterns (BLINGARIFFIC)

pumpkin pride! clockwise from left: wei, beau, vera and jinna, panjie and yuting,

pumpkin pride! clockwise from left: mary, jinna, weiwei, donna

then we did bobbing for apples. to get enough water, we asked the students to bring in their hot water thermoses.

sword fighting witches:
humboldt halloween: pirate witches

i put on some halloween music--thriller, the monster mash.... and a good time was had by all. joining us that day were some new students! we're up to 15 now.

Feeling:: busybusy
Listening: : beatles. blackbird.

Originally uploaded by cornie
adam is sending me a package--lots of goodies in there, including a number of surprises he didnt wish to reveal. he even put in presents for louie!! when louie was a baby, and lisa found him, that was during the glorious three weeks of our friendship when adam and i realised she was nuts but had yet to discover just how nuts she was an that it was not a good kind of crazy. she never named him. adam and i did. he was named for king louie, since we jokingly called ourselves the three musketeers. she always hated that name for him. we thought it was perfect. and it is. suits him very well.

adam sent the package to me via fedex so he could carefully track it. he already had mailed me a different package that somehow wound up in thailand. he didnt wish for that to happen again. following the tracking number, he discovered that it made it as far as beijing but was flagged as... d a n g e r o u s. he was going crazy trying to figure out what was so bad. was it the cranberry sauce? the olives? (amusing side bar, evil olive is one of my favourite palindromes) ...what was so scary, he thought. turns out, it was the CAT TOY he found for louie, decorated with a fleur de lys. quoth adam, "apparently when customs examined it, it went squeak squeak and vibrated. they were not amused" (adam left the batteries in). yes. they were frightened by the cat toy that squeaked. yes, i can see how that's scary at first... but... once the box was opened, clearly a cat toy. i mean really.

the good news is, the package has been sent domestically and i'll get the rest of the goodies.

oh, you wanted dis shirt?
Originally uploaded by cornie
wow, i have been busy....

and how in the world is it november?! and where did the time go...??

and OH was the election so strange to witness from afar. alas, i never got my ballot. sorry, california. i tried. damn prop. 8....

using the Overseas Vote Foundation, i was able to vote for president and senator. but nothing else.

i tried a new tailor and decided her first project was going to be a chinese-styled shirt. not the most flattering for my figure type, but how could i leave china without one of these? she did alright. i will next attempt to have her copy a shirt and we shall see...

and then some jeans...

louie is with me. im still working on finding him a home before next summer. meanwhile, i do enjoy his company. chris and john are headed back to australia at the end of the term and have told me that ned would like me to adopt him.

i have a lot of stories to share. the water vacation (entries 6-9), halloween, a trip to the countryside, and my most recent adventure, a jaunt to Empress Wu Zetian's tomb, and Fa Men Si (home of buddha's finger bone!!).

i have a huge pile of student papers to read, and more quizzes to grade, and a number of misc. assignments to record in my gradebook, so i will probably write in my journal soon to give myself a break.


all is well here. i mostly wanted to say hi.

CORN... jelly?!
Originally uploaded by cornie
terribly scary, a score in a market in lanzhuo. how could i resist?!

CORN... jelly?!

the good news is, school has settled in, we think. we now have 9 students and things are rolling along smoothly. good, good, good.

hopefully i'll catch up on some writing this weekend. we shall see....

sometime this next week, ruhi is having some of us over to see her new apt. im interested in seeing the elevator of her building because, im in it! yup! there's a tobest ad. in her lift! she called because she says she sees me every day... craaazy, eh? oh, china.

and that's the news. ive just returned from chris and john's where we had a lovely game of trivial pursuit. and now, bed time!

...and now that i finally wrote about louie living with someone else...

he's coming back to me! but temporarily. i just got a call from tom. one of his friends, john, has been injured very badly and is in the hospital (it's a long story). tom and cindy are spending most of their time at the hospital with john soooo... i'm taking the lil bugger back :)

my poor plants!! they are just starting to recover... hahaha...

it has gotten very cold as of late. and it's getting dark earlier and earlier every day. i have a feeling winter will be here before we know it.

Listening: : sigur ros. hafsol.