Wednesday, August 30, 2006

going to america

This is the first in a series of posts detailing my trip to the USA.
I left HK on August 5th and was fortunate to have Joanna's company on the long flight to California. We had plenty of time (i.e. 12 hours) to peruse the in-flight magazine, Hemispheres, as well as the SkyMall catalogue. Here are some choice advertisements that we came across. Oh, and in case you're wondering, I did take all the pictures while on the plane, and since I was flying with a friend, I didn't experience any of the photo-taking self-consciousness that I would have experienced had I been flying alone...

No, this is not an ad for an escort service -- United does have some standards! It's for a completely legitimate dating service -- Model Quality Introductions -- "where upscale single men meet the most beautiful, fit, and intelligent women in the country."
And here's a slightly closer view. Some of my favorite lines: "You wouldn't compromise in business. We won't let you compromise in love. We understand men's needs."

If that doesn't make you want to vomit, maybe this will. It's an ad for "Bodies: The Exhibition." I hadn't heard of it before, but I came to find out that "Bodies" has been well-publicized in the States and not surprisingly, has met with some controversy. One point being that the majority of the "respectfully presented" bodies are Chinese. That's something I should probably check on, but if true, makes me wonder where they are getting their bodies from...

And I found some great items in the Skymall magazine.

This struck me as strange, but maybe that's because I'm used to animals that can jump effortlessly onto and off of couches.
And another similar product.

This was interesting. But then again, who wouldn't want a "Basho, the Sumo Wrestler" sculpture in their home or garden?

I wish we'd found this before our Fiesta! party, Athania. This little plastic thing "turns any party into a Mexican fiesta."

No matter how useful this device is, I can't imagine purchasing anything called a "bra baby."

I was pleased to find a whole double-page spread of "Successories."

The first two sentences say it all: "Now this is a real robot. So real that it's unreal!"

i heart hk

After more than 3 weeks away, I'm back in Hong Kong. I got back yesterday, in the late afternoon. I always love having a good window seat for the flight into HK, and yesterday was especially clear. The view was breathtaking! It was a really nice end to a wonderful vacation. I couldn't resist taking out my camera and getting a few shots.

Not sure where this is...
A perfect view of Cheung Chau.

This one is of Lantau, but I' m not sure which part...

And then I came home to find that the cute little kitten I left behind has grown into a large fluffy tomcat. And "Templeton" hasn't really worked out very well as a name. While I was gone, my family took to calling him "Fuzzbollah"... I'm still not sure if I'm down with a cat name reminiscent of an extremist Islamic group, but somehow it does suit him.
I have lots of photos from my trip to the States that I hope to post soon... I think it will take several updates, but I will persevere!

Saturday, August 05, 2006

bon voyage, mrpard

Not sure if I can wish myself a good journey, but I needed a title for this post about my upcoming travels! In just a few hours I'll be on a plane to LA, and will be spending a total of 3 weeks in the States. It's been a couple years since I was there, and I'm getting excited! Anyway, I write this to let the handful of people that read my semi-frequent postings know that I probaby won't be updating very much these next few weeks, so prepare yourself by finding some other mundane internet reading material. :)
I'm looking forward to seeing some of you soon!

more fun in shenzhen

Salome, her parents, and I went to Shenzhen again to check on the dresses. They were much better (less mushroom-poof), but it seems that the tailor has decided that the fabric is all wrong, and wants to completely remake them.

Anyway, here are some interesting Shenzhen sights:

Mustache shopping.

The "carefully made in usa" tag in a Shenzhen LeSportsac. Hmm...

A free "bilingual" magazine that Sal's parents picked up in the Shenzhen mall. We took a look on the train ride down from Lowu, and found some very informative stuff.

A very interesting article about manicures. The type is pretty small, so I'll try to transcribe it one of these days... it's definitely worth a read!

And an ad for some clock purses (?) with my favorite Beijing 2008 Olympic mascots!

nieces and nephew

Fun with mirrors at Pizza Express.
More fun with mirrors.

On Tuesday we decided to take advantage of the good weather and took a boat from Saikung to a nearby island. Here's the beach... crowded, but pretty nice.

We're waiting for the boat to take us back here, and I think Gabe and Olivia are arguing about something. I couldn't help but find their arguments very amusing...

Salome was able to come along (check out her blog for some more beach photos). Thanks for being the only one actually looking at the camera and smiling in this one, Sal!

We celebrated Olivia's birthday on Wednesday, the night before they were scheduled to leave HK (though they didn't end up leaving until Friday because of Taiphoon Prapiroon). We made some beach-themed cupcakes for our little party. Unfortunately, Olivia didn't get to eat any because she refused to eat dinner. Despite all of our pleading and tempting, she said that she just wanted to open presents, and was very willing to give her cupcake to her mom. She did enjoy blowing out the candle though. Oh, the joys of being almost 5!

Gabe was a good eater that night, and was rewarded with a cupcake complete with blue-frosting mustache.
A close-up of one cupcake and some of the "jungle gummies" that I bought to decorate them (oops, forgot to rotate).
Here's a closer view of one of them. I guess it's supposed to be a jungle native...? I hope that Gabe and Olivia weren't traumatized by this non-pc, gender non-specific, sugary treat.

More mustache. This time it's peanut butter and jelly.

Anna up close.

Grandpa and granddaughter.