Thursday, March 25, 2010

Dear Singapore,

Hello you lush little island, it's been a while since I've written to you. How've you been? I'm good, it's been dry lately in Beijing.

You probably noticed your population increased by one this week and I want to make sure you recognize the significance here - for that one person who landed on your shores this week is none other than Dalton Dorne.

Here are four reasons you are going to love your newest inhabitant.

1. The name!
I mean really, Dalton Dorne (dor-nay) - could it get any more fabulous? When you say that name in your head does it not absolutely sparkle? And she is as brilliant as her name, let me tell you.

2. The accessories
This girl has her jewelry, scarves and bags working for her. And I am not alone in admiring her knack for accessorizing. Once she lost one of these earrings

and when she told us about it at dinner one night, I saw more than one girlfriend furtively wiping away a tear.

3. Her graciousness
We went for a girls' weekend at a hot springs resort a couple of weeks ago - it was our final hurrah before Dalton left Beijing. We arrived there and found that there was a grand total of ONE hot spring within a 100-meter radius of our hotel room.

I should clarify that there were in fact 20 springs right outside our room, however none of them had WATER.

You wouldn't think to clarify that point when you call up to make a reservation at a hot springs resort now, would you? (Now these hot springs - do they have water in them?)

Well you should.

Anyway you know what gracious Dalton Dorne did? She jumped into that one hot tub and did not leave until the very last girlfriend was shriveled up like a prune and ready to collapse in the bed.

Wait, she did leave the hot tub once. But it was only to get a cork screw.

4. Her story-telling abilities
She has the best stories. Remember when you were nine and you would call the local radio station and ask the deejay to play "Eye of the Tiger" 100 times?

Maybe islands didn't do that.

Well, I'm like that with Dalton and her stories. I love to hear her tell the story of the time she and Helen tried to get a receipt for the toilet they bought at B&Q. Or the time she and Dom stayed up the whole night and then went to meet a tour group for a cross-country bus trip. Or the time her she had to fire a housekeeper.

My only consolation is the fact that she blogs so I can still get her stories that way. But it won't be as fun without her gestures and tone of voice.

5. Her husband and kid

I know I said four things but I thought of one more. So cane me already.

Dalton is bringing her husband Dom and her daughter Niamh (pronounced "Neeve", please start practicing this now) to your luscious shores.

Niamh is going to tell it to you straight. She will call it like her 3-year-old self sees it. Get the durian out of the subway. Niamh has arrived.

Dom holds everything together so that Dalton can do the traveling that her job requires. He is one of the most supportive husbands and loving fathers you'll ever meet and if you're lucky he'll write some articles about you for the local magazines.

Please take good care of Dalton. Send her back to us every once in a while. Thanks in advance, Singapore.


Friday, March 5, 2010

These are some friends I have actually met

I talked about my blogosphere friends as if they were actually friends. Because they are!

The fact that we haven't met is irrelevant.

Nie Nie
is my friend who gave me the world's best pear-granola muffin recipe. (Just go preheat your ovens to 350 right now and then click on that link, you will thank me later.)

And I have a friend named Stretchmark Mama who sends me lists of the books she's reading and it always makes me want to read more. Like this book she recommended last week - "You Can't Drink All Day If You Don't Start in the Morning."

Penelope is my friend who gives me things to talk about at parties. Did you know for example that we all make a choice in life to be either interesting or happy - but not both? And if you haven't read Penelope's blog, you're probably choosing the latter.

Christin and I met in Penelope's comments section. Her life is the life I would lead if I had taken that job offer in Chicago, instead of the one in Monterey. But sadly I would not have her hair.

Jocelyn is so much like me it's scary. We're both American women with Chinese husbands and we look alike! Seriously - look at her picture on this post and tell me if we are not twins.

I could go on and on.

Now I want to switch gears and introduce to you some blogosphere friends that I have actually met. Shocking, I know. I met the Fishs in the airport and we talked for about 10 minutes but it was long enough for me to get their blog URL. They were in China to adopt a little girl and they posted a picture she drew of her new family. This line brought tears to my eyes, "Two months ago she had no family. Now she has pages full of them!"

I hope you enjoy clicking around on these links, and that some of these bloggers become your friends that you have never met too. I'll introduce some others to you later.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

SPAM: nutritious and delicious (sometimes)

My dad sends me a ton of spam. I bet I have the entire contents of in my email archives. But I love it because it shows me that my dad is up and checking his email and thinking of me. I don't care if I get viruses every once in a while, it's important to know that gojoepro is plugged in.

The other day I discovered a piece of wisdom in one of Dad's emails. It was something I needed to hear right at that moment.

"Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass. It's about learning to sing in the rain."

Have you ever seen SPAM that nailed it like that? I don't think so.

It's true - it's too easy to waste our days wishing that they were over. We wish it was Friday, long for Christmas, hang in there until the day the kids grow up and go to college. When in fact life is really about the Tuesdays and the March 2nds and the crazy days when the kids are tugging at your necklace.

If you're still not smiling yet then please look at this picture of a 25-foot crocodile carrying a 12-point deer in its mouth, compliments of gojoepro. This is spam at its very finest, folks.

We could be that deer. I'm just sayin'.