Friday, March 25, 2011

Jiminy Cricket!

Today I got in a cab and was ready to listen to my "Inspiration" song list during the ride. It has some great tunes on it collected from my best friends and I will share it with you one of these days.

However as soon as I got in the cab I heard this creaking noise. My first thought was that the meter was stuck or broken or something and the driver was going to try to overcharge me.

Oh I am so jaded. Because the driver was the kindest person I was going to meet all day.

The creaking noise was coming from none other than his pet cricket!

"Guo Guo" crawls around on the dash, sits on the steering wheel -

And doesn't fall off when the driver turns the wheel -

The driver bought Guo Guo in November and although it's very hard for crickets to survive the winter, this hardy little guy did. Crickets like this usually don't live more than six months so Guo Guo is in his twilight days. God bless him.

He eats just a few shreds of vegetables every day and otherwise is no trouble at all. Except that he did start wandering towards the backseat today and I had to ask the driver to get his animal under control. Because I was having visions of Guo Guo crawling up my pant leg and me flailing around in panic and crushing him to death. That would have been bad.

It was so cute to watch the driver and his pet play during the drive. Guo Guo sings. The driver picks him up and holds him in his palm. The cricket crawls up on the driver's sleeve. The driver strokes his wings.

Then we nearly side-swiped a Hyundai.

I guess between the roaming cricket and me leaning up from the back seat to snap pictures of him, it was a ride fraught with peril. Anyway I made it home safely and after saying good-bye to the driver and Guo Guo I chirped my own little song as I walked to the door.

Alright now seriously imagine Guo Guo was crawling up your pant leg. Would you have the presence of mind to gently shake him back out or do you think you would flail around and crush him? Tell the truth, in the comments section.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Drama Queen

Lately I'm trying all kinds of new things. Like kick boxing and starting my own business. And now, theater.

Well, let me back up. One day this woman named Luciana came to my kick boxing class and she said she was putting together a show for International Women's Day and she needed some fighters for a fight scene. My friend Dee and I volunteered.

We didn't realize that the show would require real acting with speaking parts and all but we were good sports about it. We set two not-so-ambitious goals for ourselves:
1) Have fun.
2) Make the audience laugh.

We achieved those goals and in addition we gave each other countless bruises and cuts during our rehearsals.

And we became fast friends our co-star Tom Lone and our director Aashna Sen.

The play ran at the Penghao Theater. If you live in Beijing then attending a play at this theater needs to be on your bucket list. It cozy and hip and you will love it, I promise. Be sure to get the carrot cake from the cafe. You wouldn't expect to get the best carrot cake of your life in a theater cafe, would you? Oh, but you will. Normally you get carrot cake because of the cream cheese frosting but would you believe their cheesecake has chocolate frosting? Carrot cake with chocolate icing! It rocked my world.

Let's see, where was I? Oh right, the play.

The proceeds from the play went to a non-profit called Wokai, which provides micro-financing for women in rural China. Click on this link and you can see women just waiting for funding for their projects, and it's easy to donate.

Here are some scenes from the play. As you can see I've overcome my inhibitions about hitting, kicking and biting.

I'm not planning to keep the gold jacket that I wore in the play. What should I do with it? Please tell me in the comments section.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Who's following up on the salmon issue?

Grant asks a lot of questions. Here are some classic examples from the last few weeks. I swear I am not making any of these up.

- If sharks could cook their food, would they?
- Could you teach a dog to start a fire?
- If a shark and an octopus had a fight, who would win?
- Who invented the traffic light?
- Do bugs go to heaven?
- If I was riding my bicycle really fast and I hit a pig, would the pig die?

Last night I was cuddling with my inquisitive son before he went to sleep when somehow his thoughts turned to arctic fisheries.

He asked, "What kind of fish do they have on the North Pole?"

I had to guess and said salmon. That could be right, right? I mean, I'm pretty sure I've seen pictures of polar bears with salmon in their mouth. Or are those black bears in Oregon...? Anyway, he's seven, how factual do I need to be here?

"Where else in the world do they have salmon?"

Again I guessed and said mostly in cold waters like the Northern Atlantic and arctic regions.

"Where does the salmon come from that we eat in China?"

At this point I was completely winging it. "I know a lot comes from Norway and Sweden. But it could come from any part of the world, I think." (Totally CMA'ing with that last sentence.)

"What tastes better - arctic salmon or Atlantic salmon?"

Do you ever reach a point where you feel it's best to just come clean and admit you have no idea what the hell you're talking about? That last question brought me to that point. So I dusted off an old phrase that I haven't used since my days as a high tech manager. Come on, it's the one you use at the office all the time. Let's say it together.

"That is a really good question and I'm going to have to check on that and get back to you."

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

You have no idea how sweet I am

About four months ago I strapped on a pair of boxing gloves for the very first time at Vince Soberano's Black Tiger Fight Club and now I'm hopelessly addicted.

At first I was VERY uncomfortable with the idea of punching and hitting and kicking. I'm a pilates kind of girl. Swimming. Long walks in the park. Yoga. That's me.

But my friend Helen said I would love Vince's workouts so I decided to give it a shot. That first workout was hard on me because I was not in fighting shape at all. But I pushed myself, I sweated, I strained, I refused to quit.

And then Vince said, "Okay, great warm up. Let's start our workout."

I nearly died.

But now four months later I make it through the workouts with energy to spare. Vince has gotten me toned and shaped up in a way that I didn't think was possible after age 40. In fact I'm in the best shape I've ever been in.

Which is more a statement about the shape I've been in than my current one.

The gym is a little far from our house and I keep telling Buddy that when my current card expires I'll find a closer gym or class but in the end I keep going back to Vince.

I wish I knew how to quit him.

The other day my partner noticed something interesting, which I managed to catch on camera for you all.

Do you see that? I sweat in a heart shape! I am a seriously sweet and loving person.