Archive for August, 2008

Part Two: Nevan + Noah 4-Eva

I’d be slightly remiss if I didn’t give Jae’s son, Nevan, a bigger shout out on my blog. While it’s a little weird to be writing about someone else’s child, Noah is so ridiculously attached to Nevan that there’s really no way around it.

I’d been prepping Noah for some time about meeting Nevan and Aunty Jae. On chats, Jae and I would sometimes joke about how our Type-A personality sons would probably thrash each other if they ever met to see which one was the dominant male. It also didn’t help that whenever Noah saw a picture of Nevan online, he’d mistake Nevan for himself (“What’s baby Noah doing mommy?” “That’s not you, Noah. That’s Nevan.” “No!! It’s baby Noah!!” Oh-kay…). It turns out the prepping worked because the two boys hit it off immediately. On Thursday, Mark, Noah and I met up with Jae and Nevan at Sydney’s Wildlife World and the two of them bonded over bugs, wombats, koalas, butterflies and “spooky eyes”. Halfway through Wildlife World, I distinctly heard Nevan inviting Noah over to his house to play with his toys. (Noah accepted of course and then invited Nevan back to his home in Hong Kong in return. Riiiight.)

It was amazing to see how fast they became friends. After lunch we went to the playground nearby but Jae had to take Nevan to the bathroom to change. When Noah spotted Jae and Nevan returning a few minutes later, he stopped playing(!), ran out of the playground and ran towards the two of them yelling, “Neban! Neban!!” It was totally adorable.

The next evening we ended up going to their house after dinner to let the boys play some more (read: tire them out before bedtime). When it came time for us to leave, Nevan was upset that Noah was going and cried, prompting Noah’s observation, “Neban’s crying mommy. Neban’s crying for Noah.” Which in turn led to Noah’s pronouncements of, “I’m crying mommy! Neban cry for Noah and I crying just like Neban” whenever he cried during the course of the next week. And now whenever we buy anything for Noah, he insists that we buy two — one for him and one to send to Nevan. In the words of Rick Blaine in Casablanca, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

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August 30, 2008 at 11:01 pm 6 comments

Our Aussie Adventure, Part One: Sydney

PROLOGUE

Mark, Noah and I are back in Hong Kong after spending the last 9 days in Australia — three in Sydney, six on Lindeman Island. And after an 18 hour return journey that began on a boat, continued onto a plane, followed by a train, another plane and an automobile, we are finally back at home. Which means we are sleeping in a comfortable bed again, staying cool in the subtropical weather and have ready access to a computer with an internet connection. Ahhh. Now let the blogging begin…

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August 30, 2008 at 10:04 pm 6 comments

Why I Have a Bajillion Pictures of Horses (warning: photo heavy)

As I mentioned in a previous post, Mark scored some tickets for us to the Olympic Equestrian event which is being held in Hong Kong so we went last night to see the Team Jumping Finals. I was pretty nervous thinking about going to an Olympic event. I hate crowds, I hate pushy people (although I openly admit to being one of them), I hate lines, disorder, sweaty people bumping into me, traffic, waiting to use the bathroom…basically all the things that go along when you stick tens of thousands of people together in one place. That said, the going to the Olympics was an awesome experience. I don’t know how they’re doing it in Beijing, but Hong Kong handled everything perfectly.

The event was at the Sha Tin racecourse in the New Territories. They had closed off all traffic to the racecourse so we taxied over to the University MTR station about a mile away where event organizers had shuttle buses leaving every three to five minutes to take people to the track. Once there, we breezed through the security checkpoints in about 15 to 20 minutes and walked into the main venue area. What a fantastic feeling. I have no idea how many people there were really interested in horse jumping, but you could feel the excitement in the air at just being at an Olympic event. People were noticeably excited just hanging out in the security lines, taking pictures of everything. Inside, the look and atmosphere felt more like being at the circus. They had white tents set up to sell food, drinks, souvenirs and people wandered casually around from one tent to the other — no pressure, no pushing, no nationalistic trash-talking — just a lot of people having fun and enjoying where they were. Plus they were selling beer for HK$10 (that’s about US$1.25). I was actually a little disappointed that I only had one. They also had a ton of volunteers there ready to help with anything — finding seats, directing lines to the bathroom, passing out event guides, checking in baby strollers — and everyone was just ridiculously friendly.

The competition area was set off behind the main venue and although we sat at the second to the last row, the arena was small enough that we had no problems seeing. I was a little nervous how Noah was going to be because the competition was so late. It started at 7:15 pm and went on until 11:30 pm, but Noah was just excited that he was going to see the horses (“because horseys are my favorite”) and cheered the riders along with the crowd and waved his little Olympic flag. After more than two hours of watching horses jump, Noah started getting restless and tried to go for a walk up and down the aisles so the three of us went to the main venue area instead to hunt for souvenirs. We snapped some pictures with a couple of the Olympic mascots and tried to get into the souvenir shop but the line was insane so we went home instead.

Overall, it was a fantastic experience and I’m so glad we went. I honestly cannot imagine an event like this going down even half as smoothly were it held, say, in San Francisco or anywhere else in the States. It was well worth cutting our vacation to Australia short by two days. Speaking of Australia, we are leaving tonight for Sydney and Mark and I made a deal with each other — if he doesn’t take his laptop, then neither will I. So we’re making a stab at having a real vacation this time, instead of a working/IMing friends/blogging/vacation which means I’ll see you guys again when we get back at the end of August. Until then, here are a buttload of pictures from the Olympics.

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August 19, 2008 at 9:47 am 4 comments

Photo Challenge: Look What I Made

For this week’s photo challenge, Manda asked for pictures of things we made. Perfect timing Manda. I made this for the Ravelympics:

and then realized that I signed myself up for the wrong event so now I have to make another completely new thing in the event that I actually signed up for (new sign ups are closed so no entering this in a new category. Stupid me). Oh well.

And just for kicks, I’m throwing this in as well for this photo challenge. It’s an Italian pine nut torte:

Although pine nuts are ridiculously expensive this is my favorite cake — it’s so awesome with a hot cup of coffee in the afternoon…or for breakfast (which is the way I usually eat it). Unfortunately this will be my last torte for a while since grinding all the pine nuts destroyed my little wannabe food processor. Sadness. I’m posting the recipe in case anyone else wants to take up my pine nut torte making slack.

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August 18, 2008 at 3:12 pm 14 comments

Recognition…at last!

My friends Kristin and Alicia nominated me for a Kick Ass Blogger Award…ironically around the same time I got so busy I stopped blogging. But, hey, I’ll take whatever I can get.

Kick Ass Blogger Award

Naturally, there are some rules that come along with this award (in lieu of say, a cash prize, which in my humble opinion is kind of a gyp) and they are:

– Choose 5 other bloggers that you feel are “Kick Ass Bloggers”
– Let them know that they have received an award
– Link back to both the person who awarded you and also Mamma Dawg, where the awards originated
– Visit the Kick Ass Blogger Club HQ , to get codes click here and it will take you to KABC HQ, sign Mr. Linky then pass it on!

Kristin and Alicia have pretty much nominated the same people I would’ve nominated so I’m going to cheat a bit on choosing five other Kick Ass Bloggers and for the most part just say “Yeah, what she said”. However, I also want to nominate Mimi — she writes about her (often funny, always busy) life as a stay-at-home mom to two boys, contributes the occasional post to Shine (Yahoo’s website for women), takes great pictures and just makes me want to be a better mom in general.

Thanks Kristin and Alicia! You know…because my head isn’t big enough already. 🙂

August 17, 2008 at 1:13 am 4 comments

Olympic Stuff

Unless you’ve been living in a hole then you probably know that the Olympics have started in Beijing, so in honor of the event here is an Olympic-themed post.

An Observation
I wasn’t really excited about the Olympics to tell you the truth. Partly because I prefer the winter Olympics and partly because the host country is China — a country whose poor human rights record considerably decreases any enthusiasm I might have had. But living in Hong Kong, it’s hard to ignore the excitement and enthusiasm surrounding it so come the opening ceremony on Friday night, I was actually pretty psyched to watch it. I watched the entire thing — all four hours of it. And while I usually find the whole parade of nations thing pretty boring, I was really excited when the U.S. delegation came out. Part of it was the normal patriotic stuff, but also because I noticed that of all the nations that participate in the Olympics, the U.S. delegation is remarkable not just for its size but also for the diversity of its athletes. There’s not really a prevailing ethnic make up — we’re pretty much a mixed bag — and that’s a pretty incredible thing to witness and feel like you’re a part of.

The Equestrian Event
It turns out that Hong Kong considers itself the equestrian capital of the world so naturally they’re holding the Olympic Equestrian events here. Mark had reserved tickets back in February for the three of us to go and about three weeks ago we realized that we had lost the little claim receipt we needed to pick up the tickets. After three weeks of haphazard searching, we gave up and decided to go to the ticketing agent sans receipt and with a lot of begging instead. Luckily they were able to find records of our purchase and we were able to pick up our tickets…with one small problem. The date that we had chosen to go — August 18 — is the day of the team jumping final. It also happens to be the day that we’re supposed to be landing in Australia for our summer vacation. D’oh! After a day of trying to decide who we should give our tickets to, Mark and I decided, “Screw Sydney. We’re staying to watch the horses.” So as soon as the Qantas office opens up tomorrow I’m going in to change our flight to leave on Tuesday night instead of Sunday night. This essentially cuts our stay in Sydney from five days to three, but Australia will always be there. This is the Olympics after all and in our own backyard. It’s hard to say no to that.

Ravelympics
I’m sure you’re all dying for an update on how my knitting is going. I mentioned back in this post about the Ravelympics. I decided to go with Coachella as my entry (although I’m also currently knitting Gigi. But for fun, not competitively). Per the rules, I cast on at the start of the opening ceremonies on Friday and after two days of marathon knitting, I’m about halfway done with the tank already. Yay me. I think I have this one in the bag.

August 10, 2008 at 8:35 pm 6 comments

Quirky Meme

I got tagged by Mimi to do the Quirky Things Meme which means I have to list six quirky, yet totally mundane, things about my life. Ok. Mundane I can do, but quirky? Well, I’ll give it my best shot…

The Rules
* Link to the person who tagged you.
* Mention the rules.
* Tell six quirky yet boring, unspectacular details about yourself.
* Tag six other bloggers by linking to them.
* Go to each person’s blog and leave a comment to let them know that they’ve been tagged.

My Six Quirky Things

  1. You know when you order a Starbucks latte to go? The hole at the top where you sip your coffee and the Starbucks logo on the cup need to be aligned with each other or it drives me absolutely bonkers. If it comes with a sleeve, the logo on the sleeve must also align with the logo on the cup. Yeah, it’s stupid, but what are you gonna do?
  2. On the rare occasion I’m wearing black on black, my blacks have to match. I’ve been known to go back in the house and change my outfit if I notice that they don’t. I’m normally color-insensitive, but for some reason I can spot even the minutest differences between shades of black.
  3. According to my dermatologist, I suffer from polymorphic light eruption. It’s really just a cool way of saying I have a sun allergy.
  4. I tend to read several books at the same time. I wish I could say it’s because I’m a really voracious reader but it’s really because a lot of the time, I’m just too lazy to walk over to the room I last left my book in to continue reading it.
  5. I’m normally bad at math but if I’m out shopping, I can accurately calculate the sale price of an item, add sales tax where appropriate, and then convert that amount from HK dollar, Singapore dollar, or yen back into US dollars. All in my head. Because shopping gives me magical abilities.
  6. I check the following sites every day for my news: Huffington Post, Yahoo News, and Perez Hilton. As a result I tend to know a little too much about politics, Lindsay Lohan and the cast of The Hills.

And I’m tagging the following people back:
Kristin
Jenni
Jess
Sara
Annita
Cristina

August 3, 2008 at 10:32 pm 10 comments


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