Monday, September 26, 2011

We made it home

For some reason this trip felt more grueling than usual. We had to sit at the gate for an hour due to ATC, which was no fun. There was a new twist, when we boarded there was a pilot wandering around the plane chatting and helping. He was quite jolly and had a great sense of humor, which just made the flight attendants look more grumpy. Then before the safety spiel he made a speech in each cabin about how Delta appreciated all of us. And of course everyone clapped. Then the captain came on the PA and thanked us all for how quickly we boarded and let them get the door closed ahead of time. We were number 7 in line for takeoff and there we sat.

Big Daddy and I sat apart, we had aisle seats almost across from other. Chaz had the window seat in my row, I know this because he introduced himself upon sitting and never shut up until he left. He left because this Chinese girl came up and showed her ticket and he sent her across the plane and announced that everyone knew seat A was on the other side. That is when I got a chance to speak and told him that no he was indeed sitting in A, by then she was back and the flight attendant was smirking. I know this because I was standing in the aisle so everyone could relocate to their proper seats. Then the 2 Chinese girls asked me to get up again as they wanted to change seats with each other, which meant moving all their stuff around. Why do people bring so much stuff onto airplanes.

I am still batting 1000, my reading light did not work, the screen prompt turned on seat A, and the FA's did not  care. It was hilarious though, the 2 Chinese girls kept trying to shut the light off as it was shining in their faces but I had the controls. I never told them, I just left it on.

My dental appointment was normal. The Dentist wanted an X-ray as I am very tender where the space re-gainer is. They updated all their systems last week and none of the X-ray machines could communicate with the system. So, no X-ray. Anyway, we got through the impressions and I should have a new tooth in 2 weeks. I am not going to miss this hunk of metal in my mouth.

The new neighbor across the street has a sign in the front yard. It is only printed on one side and that side is facing the house. WTF. It would be too obvious to go and look at it, but really what can it say?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

You gotta be kidding me

I am getting antsy about going home. This is normal for me, don't like to fly, don't like to sit next to wackos, don't like most flight attendants. The flight attendants wear too much perfume and re-apply it on a regular basis.

I am checking the airlines, checking for typhoons and hurricanes and then boom, new information. I have to check for a satellite falling out of the sky. WTF. The reporters are saying that NASA is not quite sure about a lot of this falling out of the sky information. But we should not be really concerned as no one has been injured or died from other shit falling from the sky. Huh?

The FAA is saying it might be a little problem for planes. I can just see the pilots taking turns looking out the front windows but there is no backlight on these planes. That is where the tail is.

Yea, yea, they are saying Friday afternoon EDT, which is when we will be sleeping in Shanghai. I do not want to have to have to deal with Shemp cleaning this mess up so I can catch a plane. Mercy Sakes.

Mr. Shiny heads dinner

Oops almost forgot this one. For years Big Daddy has talked about pasta carbonara as something we should eat. Something about raw eggs and pasta just made me vomit when I thought about it. BD is a pasta whore and would eat it with nothing but pasta, well maybe some oil and basil. The other day Blackened Out had a recipe for this dish and it read pretty good. Nice picture, easy and rather fast to make and made sense on the eggs. My first tentative step was to inquire about the availability of safe eggs in China. Bingo they have them. Now I will be the first to admit they may be phony like some of the hairy crabs, and the stickers that say they are okay could be just as phony as the hairy crab "genuine stickers" that the newspaper warned us about, but what the hell. This turned out great. I mean really good. I can see this in rotation for quick meals. And with whole wheat pasta not a bad fiber source.

That is another thing that makes me laugh, talking about fiber and our diets. We never talk about the truth of the matter, you need something to push the shit out. Just how we need more fiber.

My next new love of the week is Dancing With The Stars. It is so hilarious I cannot stop talking about it. List of things that are just too funny:

Nancy Grace's hair, for goodness sakes, if ABC can't make it better, no one can. It is pitiful. Rogaine.

The Kardashiens, or however you spell their name, it is just wrong. Period.

George Clooney's ex, babe you need 10 pounds and Berlitz, at the least. Don't think Rosetta Stone is gonna fix that enunciation.

The army guy made me cry, Chaz has small feet, and Ricki Lake needs better underwear if she is going to show her hiney.

Good thing I am going home on Sunday and will have new things to occupy my mind.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Air Raid sirens

We found out what this was all about. It was to remember when Japan invaded China and took over.

As much attention as the Chinese paid to the sirens it is no surprise Japan was so successful.

Big Daddy has a big head

Big daddy has almost no hair on his head. This little ring of hair that is really quite light in color circles his head. He keeps it quite short so as not to call attention to his head, kinda opposite say Donald Trump or Donald King. 

When BD's hair grows it looks bad, really bad. So he needs constant maintenance on his hair. It is worse than my blond hair. But BD will not pay fancy salon prices for his hair care. So he mostly gets crappy hair cuts here in China. Even when they shave him bald by mistake it is still crappy. They always miss a few hairs.

Last night it really cooled down here and we went for a walk before dinner. Lo and behold we went down Shaanxi and there were hair places open and working on hair-do type things. It was pitch black at 6 PM so no problem seeing into the shops. I dragged BD into a Chinese hair salon and got them to work before he knew what hit him. As you know we do not speak Chinese and as usual they do not speak English. It worked out quite well.

BD had a sit-in-the-chair shampoo that lasted almost 30 minutes. I do not think his showers take that long. I got bored and had a chair massage. There was lots of chatter and who knows what was said. There was a Shanghai whore boy trying for blond hair but he never got better than orange and light melon. BD also got the chair massage and then his precision cut.

Cost: about 52 U.S. dollars for 2 sit up massages, a shampoo that will keep that head shiny for weeks and a precision haircut, plus . . .Kerastase shampoo for men.

It was one of the best walks ever.

Tomorrow the dinner Mr. Shiny made when we got home.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

More good news and bad news

The good news:

So far Delta has not cancelled our flight home.

The rest is bad news.

One of the wicker type chairs on the balcony died last night. It has been wobbly. We put the broken chair in the stairway and moved the smaller chairs from the back balcony to the living room balcony. The one good chair I stuck next to the entry door just to get it out of way and then I noticed that this is a horrible spot for a chair. I have wanted a Chinese type chair in that spot forever. Not gonna work. Another dream dashed. So no chair by the door and only one chair on the back balcony.

We could buy another chair but . . . well when we found out they were not going to renew Big Daddy's contract (cause the Chinese have figured out all they need to know about engineering) BD has been looking for a new job. He has some decent prospects. This means you don't buy more shit that you can't ship home.

When he was falling off the chair last night he mentioned he might have an interview when we get home, in the state of Nebraska. I almost fell off my sturdy chair. All I know about Nebraska is that it is somewhere west of Iowa. I do not think they have airports in Nebraska. He said it is a really small town. There is a just a bit bigger town 20 minutes away. There is nothing to do there so he would probably travel all the time. Probably by bus. Or dog-sled, I am not sure. So instead of buying a chair I am saving for an all terrain vehicle.

On a different subject, the only time I am afraid in China is when I think of disasters. Yes, the hotel did tell me to take my laundry off the balcony when the typhoon was close, but that is not enough for me. So for the last 2 days there have been what sounds like air-raid sirens going off. When you look around no one seems to pay any attention. But again, these are not the most educated and aware people. This is creepy. And the U.S. Consulate contacts you by email and we all know how the Internet works here.

Friday, September 16, 2011

I have to get Big Daddy Outta here

He is sending me pictures of airlines food. Airlines food is a cardboard box of bread, pickle relish in a foil container and if you are lucky some cherry tomatoes or some jello. Wow, this one had jello. I have never seen anyone eat the jello, including the Chinese people.

The Chinese asshole in the Passport lounge came and sat next to him and removed his shoes and socks and put his feet next to his computer and laughed. That is one person that should be very happy that mama was not on this trip, but ya know I don't think that ass-hat would have done that to me. I have this look that most people understand to mean, I will beat your ass and then I will hurt you. Of course, I have been preaching to BD that he has to be nice, be nice, do not get into with these ignorant m . . .

This is after he had to get the train  tramp, aka Ms. Dolly to make someone get out of his sleeper car seat earlier this week. I cannot describe the nasty things he told me about that trip.

He got the really shitty taxi driver in Shenzhen again, the one that charged 100 RMB for a 12 Rmb ride and refused to give a receipt. He sent me the pictures of the taxi driver, the license plate, the license of the taxi driver and the taxi. He did not send me the picture of the hotel staff trying to get rid of the taxi driver when BD would not pay the inflated bill. He turned one taxi driver in a year ago and he is still on the PRC GPS list. He turned off his iPhone GPS. Shitty taxi driver ran screaming into the night when he saw his picture on the iPhone.

BD was pissed when Daisy Mae, I kid you not, shoved him off onto Susie Q for his meetings, I swear I cannot make this shit up. But he did get the heated Bidet at the fancy Chinese hotel, he just does not have Bidet items to need a heated wash.

It did not help that before he left town we had to have Shemp day. If you do not remember when the bottom guts of our kitchen sink fell out at the other apartment, well it was happening here again. I do not understand why these people adore fixing shit rather than . . . Oh yes, it is because you have to employ a lot of people. So Shemp came to fix the sink pipes and replace all the light bulbs. The ceiling light in the Master bedroom was so dim that we had to light candles to find the bed. BD could not figure out how to get it down to clean it and replace the light bulbs.

Learned a new Chinese word : (as a white person would pronounce it) OH NOCKA CHEEKA, this is said and repeated while making a pyramid with your hands.

I don't have a clue but Shemp brought a real aluminum ladder and pulled the light fixture sideways off the ceiling and replaced the light bulbs. Cleaning is not optional on this one.

Oh yea, it is time for a break from crazy land.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Autumn Festival

Or as I call it, a plot to get every Chinese person on the streets and in the stores at the exact same moment that I want to be there. Most everything was closed so the few stores and restaurants open were crammed with Chinese shoppers and stupid ex-pats. I did not see any sales, just people hanging out.

My new DVD store is not making me happy, they still do not have The Help. So I got the insipid looking and sounding Bridesmaids and The Tree of Life. We are almost finished with the Drop Dead Diva series and I am most grateful that it is almost done.

I am excited about going home soon, but the Monday I get back we have the "Dental Appointment". This time I do have Valium and I really hope we are finished with this implant saga after this trip.

We have our tickets for St. Augustine and hotel reservations and we are looking forward to a vacation. I cannot believe how much airfare in the U.S. has increased, it is now about double to fly anywhere.

I did have to laugh at the CNN Tea Party debates today. CNN does not support any Tea Party ideas. Wolf does not like any conservatives.  And why the hell was Newt even there, no one is going to vote for Newt. And if it is true that those new Obama buses were made in Canada, I am stunned. WTF. Campaign stumping in a vehicle built anywhere but the USA is stupid, for either candidate. The UAW is gonna give a pass on this, whoa, I do not think the rank and file will find this okay. And the southern states with the transplants, nope, not them either. They would be better off using pedi-cabs to explain the new job creation plan.

Monday, September 12, 2011


I have been crying for two days. This is such a hard day to remember.

I was at work and I remember I did not do my best that day. I was in charge of French citizens and a junior tech in one of the biggest assembly plants in the U.S. I remember junior was constantly on the phone as we were working in the bowels of the plant and he was just babbling about whatever. We were in trouble with the customer, bad trouble, and I was trying to make the French people fix it.

Finally something he said made me pause and I asked him what the fuck he was talking about. What he told me was insane. He told me he was on the phone with his mom, who was on the phone with her sister, who was looking for her son in NYC. But all the information just seemed ludicrous. I remember walking back to the center of the plant and asking Ray if there was any Internet service in the plant. He sent me to the canteen where on the television we all saw it happen. My French people, only one spoke English, asked me what was happening. I told her we were at war. And then I told them all we had to go back out into the bowels of the plant and go back to work.

We worked for a while and then I made them all go back to the center area. I was sitting alone on a table, this was common, and I thought to myself, this is stupid. Why are we here when all this is going on. What is to stop them from hitting this site? At the moment I decided to get my people out my boss called and told me to get out and get all my people out. He personally had been locked out of a major auto company headquarters and all their people were out and gone. The major auto companies continued to run the assembly plants while they all went home. Hmmm.

We left and met at local restaurant to decide what to do, the airlines were shut down and these French people were supposed to fly home. I remember how I had told them they could not leave until they fixed the problems, and how I told them when the airspace shut down, now you will have to fix the problem and not run away. Not my best moment. My boss took them home with him.

I remember calling Big Daddy to come home. He was in Canada and I heard from United Technologies that they were pulling their people out of Windsor. He did not believe me and I remember yelling at him to get home before the borders closed.

I remember one thing that amazed me, when I drove past Edsel and Cynthia Ford's home their flag was at half-mast. I think that is the first flag I saw lowered and I was impressed that someone had the sense to do this.

It was a terrible day.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Zone coverage, or thank God for football season

Wow, train travel is like sometimes like being a Detroit Lion. You see the Goal and you know your job. Get to the end zone. Between you and the end zone there are hundreds of defenders. Most of them are either in very high heels or very old. There are a few pussy men, and some screaming children.

First off, you cannot harm the children. It is just not right.

Second, you should give the old ladies a pass, just because it is the right thing to do. Until this 90 year old bitch hip-checks you into the stands and grabs your ball and runs for the goal post. At least that is what it seemed like today.

I am walking toward the down escalator at the train station with no crowds, it is easy walking. Suddenly, a swarm of fucking locust descend on me and I am jostled and pushed and shoved. I look and it is a tiny little woman with the heart of Satan. Then I am pushed from the other side and it is pussy boy. I shove him to the rear so I don't have to take out grandma.

Then grandma turns around and grins and puts a pox hex from hell on me.  Fie on you, old woman.

So, as a decent human being, as Paul Stowe recently requested me to be I will promise to the following:

I will run over the slutty chicks with bad shoes first.

I will still try to not hurt the children even if they continue to spit on me.

I will only shove the old ladies after they have given me a bruise.

The Shanghai foo-foo boys are fair game.

And the next time I say knee how and the white people ignore me instead of feeling down because I think they are too "important" to have to say hey to me, I will call them an ass-hat-----and tell them to snap out of it.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Mrs. Sir is at it again

 Well we had a little dust up this evening.

Big Daddy is having to work all kinds of hours as the "shall not be named" German and Indian yahoos cannot agree that they are equally the stupidest ass-hats in the universe. When someone tells you it won't work, then when it does not work, and then when you do it again and it still does not work, WTF, call it a duck. So BD comes back to the hotel and I told him order dinner now as it takes forever and he has to go back to work and convince the peeps they really are stupid.

 So at 5:30 we order dinner, 2 burgers and 2 salads. Promised in 30 minutes and that is normal delivery. The dinner arrives and the room service dude tries to take the food off the rolling table and serve it on the bed. That is when we chase his ass out the door. Then we notice it is not really a service for 2 and the table is broken. So me being a literal white woman, I decide I can fix this. Wrong. Took 2 more hours for any food that was edible and on a flat surface.

This time instead of a committee of 4 it took a management meeting of 8. I learned a few things.

It is a cultural norm to eat your meals on your bed in China.

It is okay to bring a broken table to your room if you apologize.

Some of the managers will hide in the hall and cry if you ask for a manager. BD found Daisy in the hall when he went to look for a manager.  She is the manager.

The hotel does not want me to assist in training.

The night manager wants to take me to the Hot Springs as a treat.  (Asked twice in front of hubs)

A very expensive bottle of wine and fine chocolates will make anything better. If you are Chinese. Sent by the manager with another request for the Hot Springs trip.

Bad news of the day, when BD sent the first broken table back he also sent back my rose. I am now short a rose and only have 3.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Back at the Howard Johnson

So far there is no mosquito, any bears and the buffalo are still roaming.

Yesterday was as close to a horror story as you can get without actual horror happening.

The hardest thing about living in Shanghai as budget people is the taxi travel. You never know how much time to plan for travel. How long will the elevator take, how long to get a taxi, how nasty will traffic be? Yesterday nothing took any extra time and we arrived at the train station an hour and a half early. Then we discovered our train was delayed 30 minutes. The train station is not a great place to hang out. We decided to try the Chinese restaurant and sit a spell. Yuck. Everything was horrible. When the waitress finally took our order she said no to everything we picked out. Finally she showed us the one thing we could order. The nasty, greasy, al dente fried rice.

There are no washrooms at the train station unless you are the most desperate person on earth.

We finally get through the ticket taker and make it downstairs to the train platform and there is no train. So everyone lines up at their car number and hangs out. Chinese hanging out consists of pushing and shoving to get closer to being first in line. I think this is slightly dangerous on a train platform.  When the train arrives it stops at a different spot than normal and everyone surges to the right to re-fight for their number one spot.

Entertain for this trip involved a shouting match and various personal grooming lessons. There was a guy sitting with friends without a proper ticket. That was the shouting match. It was fairly lengthy and he won. The train attendant reported him to various train staff and police men at the different stops, but no one ever approved him. So he sat there with this purple sunglasses and picked his nose and flicked it for a couple hours. These people can be filthy. Right behind him sat a lady that thought she was in her personal boudoir. She acted like a movie star, taking 30 minutes before she was satisfied  with how she was sitting. Up and down constantly re-arranging her shawl. Then she proceeded to rub lotion on every visible surface and give herself a massage. She was a big girl so there was quite a bit of flesh to rub.

There was a little excitement in my world. I had room service as Big Daddy had to work late and when they brought the tray . . . there were packets of ketchup, salt and black pepper. I almost cried. Those are very hard condiments to get here.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Please, are you kidding

Bad News, I am traveling there on Monday and will have to navigate the bears.

Good news, Big Daddy found me drawing paper and pencils and such. I did not remember to bring them from the states and have been wanting to draw and sketch.

Friday, September 2, 2011


I am almost sure that every ex-pat gets the Shang lows. It just happens.

This is the asparagus that Big Daddy ordered from Ning Hai. I have never in my life seen bigger asparagus, and yes it looks quite woody.

I found a fabulous recipe on Blackened Out for a salad with heirloom tomato and Bleu cheese dressing, it sounded divine. They also had a good wine tip, check out this site if you have any interest in cooking, eating and drinking. So any way, everything on the menu was probably available in Shanghai. We were kind of excited.

Then the doom and gloom patrol of Mao came along and stopped all the trains. For some unknown reason none of the trains could finish out their circuits yesterday. It is not like they found something wrong or are fixing shit, they just did not want to run  the trains. Because any sane person would know that if there is really something wrong here, well, someone would say so. Nope. Just did not feel like finishing the train run. So BD stays in Ning Hai and I pout.

This morning I got a delivery for food, BD ordered the stuff for the special dinner. There were 2 tomatoes, enough Romaine lettuce to feed all of Shanghai, and this asparagus along with some assorted food items. WTF.

This is of course when I found out something is wrong with our refrigerator. I don't know about your fridge but my experience is when there are huge hunks of ice in the fridgey portion and water all over the inside you have a big fucking problem.

Bon Appetit.