Archive for January, 2009


Friday, January 30th, 2009

I used up Wee P’s nap writing out my stupid, Facebook “25 Things about Me” list rather than writing a new blog post as I had intended to do.  I’m therefore going to commit what I’m certain is a blogging faux pas and reuse that list here.  Don’t judge – I’m tired.

The List

1. Even though I realize saying “y’all” makes me sound like a hick, I will always say it. The one and only time I attempted “you guys,” I felt like a fraud. It’s so weird to hear my kid say “you guys.” It’s like she’s speaking a language different from my own.



Monday, January 26th, 2009

I’ve always had a healthy respect for tornadoes and I understood at a young age that people took them very seriously.  I grew up in a tornado-prone part of the country and have a number of very vivid childhood memories related to tornadoes.  For instance, I remember  my paternal grandmother once standing in the middle of the living room waving her hands in the air as she spoke in tongues, presumably asking God to redirect the storm headed toward us.  I also remember the sound of the tornado siren in grammar school and how my teacher would lead us  into the hallway where we would crouch down facing the wall with our arms crossed over the tops of our heads as we sang songs about Jesus.  I suppose all this tornado-induced pleading with heaven quickly taught me to fear the long, single siren.


On Deserving the Chinese Finger.

Sunday, January 25th, 2009

I’m fascinated by cross-cultural differences in non-verbal insults and found a great website that presents a number of the different ways in which people from around the world use their hands to demonstrate their displeasure with others.  What I find interesting is that although insulting hand gestures differ (e.g., Americans give the middle finger, the French give the forearm jerk, and the Brittish give the palm-back V sign) all are intended to, in some way, symbolize the phallus and all share the same general meaning – “up yours” – except in China.


Cursing – Interdependent Style.

Thursday, January 22nd, 2009

I just finished reading Matthew Polly’s book American Shaolin and, oh man, how I loved it! Polly took a leave of absence as an undergrad at Princeton to spend two years at the Shaolin Temple, the purported birthplace of both Zen Buddhism and kung fu, where he set out to transform himself into bad-ass while researching his senior thesis. The book is a memoir of Polly’s time at Shaolin.


Motion Detectors for the Antichrist?

Wednesday, January 21st, 2009

We’re having a home security system installed today.  One of the installers, a big, bald muscle head, said he noticed our Obama signs in the garage (the ones that were vandalized by our neighbors back in October) and he asked me if I voted for Obama.  My heart stopped for a second, because clearly this guy could do a lot of bodily harm to me, and I couldn’t help but notice his resemblance to Ed Norton’s character in American History X.  In an act of bravery, I fessed-up and admitted that yes, I had voted for Obama.  To my surprise, he said he had, too.  He went on to add that he had installed four new security systems in the area since Obama’s election.  I was confused and didn’t quite see the obvious connection, so I asked him to explain what Obama’s presidency had to do with the need for enhanced home security. He responded with, “Well, lots of these folks around here think he’s the Antichrist.”  Of course.  So obvious now.

Where do I live?

Death: It’s All About Me.

Wednesday, January 21st, 2009

I was watching the televised coverage last week of the plane that safely landed in the Hudson River and I happened to catch an interview on Larry King with one of the passengers, Alberto Panero, a young medical student.  My ears perked up when Larry asked Panero to describe the thoughts he had as the plane was going down.  Here’s how Panero responded:


Trip FAQ’s.

Monday, January 19th, 2009

When I tell people that my family and I are moving to Beijing in February, I get the same questions over and over, so I thought I’d give a little background on this trip by addressing some of those questions…



Friday, January 16th, 2009

Welcome! This is my first attempt at creating and maintaining a blog. I’ve long been a fan of reading others’ blogs – particularly those of other women with young children (good ol’ mom blogs). I think my attraction to those blogs is in part due to my long-standing voyeuristic tendencies (love me some celebrity rags and reality TV) coupled with my intense admiration of people whose writing reminds me that even my own mundane life events can be interesting. Unfortunately, I’m not the type of writer who can work magic on the mundane, so, until now, I’ve avoided keeping my own blog. However, due to special circumstances, I’m biting the bullet.

Those circumstances? My family and I are heading to Beijing in exactly four weeks, and I want to 1) document the experience for myself and for my kids, who likely won’t remember it,  2) share what’s going on in our lives for our family and friends back home while we’re away, and 3) provide information for people who are planning to live and teach in Beijing.

More coming soon!