Monday, February 25, 2013

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Public Notice, Macao

Public notice, Macao

I love the fact that the currency in Macao is called the "MOP" (Okay, it's really the Pataca, but that's fun to say too.) If I lived there, I'd start a petition to rename the smaller units "buckets".

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Nice Walls, Macao!

Graffiti, Macao
Okay, that one's getting a bit out of hand...
There, that's better. Carry on, Macao. Good job!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Why I never will need to go to Vegas

More shots from Macao. The south edge of the main island is fringed with hotels and casinos, which I got to explore because I needed a free wi-fi source to make calls and get more money sent for my visa. (Which I ended up getting, by the way) Course, I could have just played some Baccarat and won millions, but that would have blown my cover...




Hotel Lisboa, Macao

The casinos seem to be fairly Vegas on the outside, but the schwag inside tends more towards China...



What's Macao got that Vegas ain't got? This, for starters. Which is where I did most of my exploring, once I figured out a way to get my cash card to work...

Largo do Senado, Macao

Monday, February 18, 2013

More Macao

Of course, Macao had lots of bits that were totally China, too. Here are a few pictures that I thought turned out fairly well...







Sunday, February 17, 2013

Sketch, with gloopy coral forms, a construction crane, and a 1950s astronaut talking about Space Invaders

Speaking of time travel, any black and white line drawings that you'll see coming up are in all probability from a sketchbook that I finished last year. Doesn't mean that they don't still love you, though...

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Goin' all Old Word on you...


Through circumstances far to complicated to go into here...

CTS, Macao
(here's a hint)

... I ended up in Macao for a day last month. Macao is a former Portuguese colony across the bay from Hong Kong, and like Hong Kong, is now a Special Autonomous Region of the People's Republic of Ch... hey, you can even look it up on Wikipedia if you want to know more details! Yay, internet!

Anyway, what Wikipedia might not tell you is that Macao is the one place I've found in China that has readily available, consistently awesome, and quite cheap coffee. All over the place. So I spent my day or so there in a fairly consistent buzz, wandering around what is a fairly small walkable island and snapping photos of nearly everything that moved, and, given my tendencies towards landscape and still life, a whole lot more stuff that didn't.

Macao has an old city that was built at roughly the same time as New Orleans, Santa Fe, or Rio, and busloads of Chinese tourists notwithstanding, it doesn't even feel like you're in Asia sometimes.


IMG_1489  IMG_1494


IMG_1499  IMG_1502

Mornings in Macao seem fairly deserted - maybe because everyone was at the casinos the night before. (More casino action coming up in another post)


Friday, February 15, 2013

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Flowers for everybody


Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!


Morning on the train: Guilin - Chengdu

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Fooled You!

Ha Ha, I'm really in Thailand!

No, I'm not, really. I'm really in Chengdu. Really.

Thailand! No, wait, China. No, Thailand! No China, seriously.

So, just to be clear, As your reading this, our family is in Thailand. Except that I'm now writing this, it's two weeks earlier, and I'm having fun posting lots of pictures for the blog because I know that I will not have the internet connection or the willpower to write anything while on vacation.

But I did want to put up a few random pictures of our trip to Thailand last year, just to warm anyone's spirits who happens to be reading this in a climate that requires, say, something warmer than shorts and a T shirt in the middle of February.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to make sure that my mom and my dad actually meet at that high school dance so that I can then get back to my DeLorean.. oh wait, wrong movie...

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Time travel 101

Lightweight Boats - Ford Treasury of Station Wagon Living

Yes, the date on your computer may say February 12, but no, my friends, you're wrong - it's actually January 31. Tomorrow, I'm leaving for Thailand and then Cambodia, where I'll be meeting up with Jane and the kids for our month-long winter break. (Details to follow - or wait, maybe you've gotten the details already? Or you will have been getting the details yesterday or tomorrow or... oh, I'm so confused.)

Anyway, here's the thing: anyone with three kids knows that before you leave for anywhere, there is just a heapload of stuff that you need to do before you visit some friends on the other side of town, let alone fly off to another country. And all kids have a "I know Mom and Dad are doing important stuff that doesn't involve me" sensor, which triggers the all important Meltdown Button, cascading into the "I'm not going to bed for the next three hours" reflex. Which means that 99 times out of 100, we're still packing, arranging, cleaning, or doing something crucial for the trip until 3am the night before (day of?) our flight. (and no, procrastination has Absolutely Nothing To Do With It. Ha. Ha..)

Which brings us to my dilemma. I've been home alone for the last two weeks, and yes, working during the day, but more importantly, having time to Get Stuff Done in the evenings. And then two whole days without work before my flight leaves tomorrow. So now that I'm done packing and cleaning the house and going out with a friend for dinner, it's only 9:30 pm and my flight doesn't leave till 3:00 tomorrow afternoon. What's a poor procrastinator to do?

Ah, yes, the blog. You know how I promised that I wouldn't post anything unless I had a month worth of material saved up, right? Well, I do have about ten days so far, that's the good news. In other good news, I've got oodles of photos of sketches and trips and places and stuff all uploaded. Bad news is that unless I stay up writing till five this morning, you won't be getting to many long stories from me.

But who knows? Y'know, I can always sleep on the plane...

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Red Tenderness

Red Tenderness brand toilet paper
And yes, Chinglish has continued unabated in the last four months. I'm almost blind to it by now, but every so often, there's a bit that's way to poetic or with references too unintentionally awkward to pass up. The fact that Red Tenderness toilet paper happens to be manufactured by the Briars company is icing on the cake. (Or salt in the wound, perhaps?)

And what is there left to say about these adult undergarments? At least they're being honest - have to give them credit for that...

Saturday, February 9, 2013

This drawing brought to you by my job. And China.

From the Sketchbook, Jan 2013

Besides Not Blogging this fall, one thing I have been up to is doing a bit more drawing and even a painting or two - so you'll be seeing some drawings put up here and there. This is from a sketchbook that I started a couple of days before the New Year's weekend trip that I mentioned in yesterday's post. A month later, it's almost finished!

It helps that the Waldorf School has a lot of meetings, which many teachers in this craft-friendly school bring their knitting to. I finally decided to come out as an artist and -gasp- doodle openly. My drawings may be less wearable, but they serve the same purpose for me as making a sweater might for another teacher. Once I convinced everyone that I could both draw and contribute to the discussion at the same time, I was good to go.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Just Passing Through

Shots taken over New Year's weekend (the January first one, not the Chinese New Year that's rapidly approaching). There was a long weekend, so the school chartered a couple of buses and most of the staff and a teacher's kid or seven all headed down to a hot spring resort near Emei Shan, about two hours south of Chengdu. Didn't take my camera into the hot springs, but had a memorable soak and got a few shots of life along the expressways on the way there and back.

On the road, Chengdu-Emei
 The foggy bus windows made for some nice semi-cheesy soft focus lighting effects.

On the road, Chengdu-Emei

On the road, Chengdu-Emei

On the road, Chengdu-Emei
No highway rest stop in China would be complete without four dudes in black jackets taking a smoke break. Not three, not five. Four.

On the road, Chengdu-Emei