Sunday, February 20, 2011

Photos from Merica

This is pretty belated, but i've got a brief respite in my crazy life right now, so here it is.

I had three marvelous days with my family in Chicago over christmas. After flat out missing christmas in 2009 (i went home during february instead), it was great to see everyone together. My oldest nephew, Chris, is finally bigger than me, and my oldest niece at 15 has a boyfriend. They quite literally grew up while i've been away. Chris was even my designated driver to the bars one night. That kid will turn out just fine. My siblings were a hoot as well and i hadn't seen my brother Mike in two years. It was all pretty amazing.

Then therese and i met up for about 10 days in Colorado. We stayed in Larkin's awesome home with great friends surrounding us. Some highlights:
  • a great hike at Mt. Sanitas (see panorama at beginning of this post)
  • enjoyed a few dinners at Mountain Sun and discovered the new Yak and Yeti and their incredible chai milk stout
  • withstood a freak snowfall in Boulder
  • drank a bhakti chai everyday
  • saw the Motet at Cervantes on NYE
  • hung out with Mike Chaitkin and friends at Watercourse Foods, for a new years day brunch
  • spent a few nights at my sister's place in Evergreen
  • rented an awesome condo in Breckenridge for two days of snowboarding
Chirona flew out from the east coast to ride with us, Jordan drove up from Grand Junction, and my sister's family came as well. We were lucky to have fresh snow on our first day of riding, and that made the whole journey worthwhile.

Good times. It really made me miss Boulder and my family, but i know i'm not done with this adventure yet. There's a lot more i want to accomplish here and while it's not always easy, i know it's the right thing for me at this point in my life.


Monday, February 7, 2011

New Year Resolution: Blog When I Want

It's been a while since i rapped at ya, i just took a month off blogging, and it was good. After 200 plus posts over two and a half years, i feel like i've told my story here in Beijing. Between frisbee, parties, Chinese life, cats, traveling, and other random stuff, i wonder if it gets repetitive. For me, the easiest to write about has been new travels. Writing about last years trips to Indonesia and Philippines never felt like a chore. It was always exciting and interesting, and telling stories though photos suits my style well.

So what about the daily life? As I approach year three, i've got a routine and much of it is redundant. I don't want this blog to get stale, but i also don't want to post boring dribble ala Dear blog, today i washed clothes and bought vegetables at the market. It was amazing!

This is much of why i decided to not post at all this past month. Not only did nothing seem blog-worthy, but i was burned out. I was traveling for 2 weeks anyway and work was a nightmare whence i returned. But i'm feeling a bit refreshed after Chinese New Year. I actually want to tell the story of my birthday plane flight to Beijing. I want to talk about the amazing ten days in Colorado. I want to go document the local vegetable market with my camera and interview the beggar guy outside of April Gourmet. I don't know if i will do any of that, but at least i'm excited about it. And that means i'll keep writing. I just don't want to feel compelled to blog once a week, or 5 times a month. I think they'll be less frequent, but hopefully more enjoyable for everyone.

Hope you enjoyed the rant.

Here are two pictures Steph took on Jan 7th, at 30,000 ft, on my birthday. Steph and Ken were sitting next to me on the return flight to Beijing, and helped me celebrate my birthday mid-flight. The flight attendants were amazingly nice as well, and gave me a piece of cheesecake (no candles though, even they aren't allowed matches), lots of free tiny booze bottles, and even a full bottle of nice champagne, unopened, which i took home.

Later that weekend, ten of us went to Capital M for a luxury brunch. Ellen and i took turns wearing the birthday glasses, as her birthday is was the 9th.