Tuesday, January 30, 2007

A List

1. One thing I dislike about winter is that your glasses fog up if you're wearing a scarf. I never really noticed this until I lived in Chicago, but that's mostly because I didn't wear my glasses much in the winter before that. It got so bad walking from the parking lot to the law school (about a block and a half) that I would have to stop and wipe them clear because it was starting to ice up. It hasn't been that bad the past few days walking to and from work, but it's still annoying to have to choose whether you want to be able to see clearly or breathe well.

2. Another thing I dislike about winter is not being able to wear skirts every day. My first choice in pants generally falls in the "comfy" or "yoga pants" or "gym clothes" range, which is not work acceptable.

3. Now that the sickness is (slowly) beginning to lift, I think the jet lag is kicking in. This is such a train wreck. I keep getting tired by 9 pm.

4. I don't know about everyone else, but I thought that both Studio 60 and What About Brian were pretty bad last night. 24 and Heroes are still sitting on the DVR because I'm still only up to October for Heroes and all of this season's 24 is still on the DVR. (Please, no spoilers!)

5. We had a CLE lunch today and the caterer finally put labels on the sandwiches. No more playing "guess the mystery sandwiches." Of course, these were slightly easier to figure out than the usual, so the added value was slightly less.

6. I have read 3.5 leisure books this month. (Granted, this was helped by being on vacation and long plane flights). I wonder if this is the only resolution I have kept this year. I certainly haven't kept the exercise or sleep ones.

7. I still have a ton of trip pictures to upload. I thought I'd be done with it by now!

8. Mei Lan, the little panda cub in Atlanta, is absolutely adorable. If you haven't had a chance to see her yet, you should watch her on the panda cam. Unfortunately, the cam is only on during work hours, but she's soooo cute.

So sleepy... going to take a nice hot shower and then sleep!

Sunday, January 28, 2007


Just felt like posting another picture since I don't really have anything to say that doesn't revolve around "sick" or "tired" or "blah." Vegas. April 2006. Bellagio. Pretty.


The randomly chosen photo of the day. From Yuyuan Garden in Shanghai about a week and a half ago. I love the balcony designs and the red lantern decorations. Reminds me that I still have to take more photos off the camera. Somehow it's only 7:30, yet it feels like 10 pm.

Another Sick Day

Sigh. I am getting really sick of being sick. I am not used to being this sick, so I keep thinking I should be better already, which isn't helping. I haven't been this sick in a really long time. I am sure that 3 plane flights in the early stages of being sick were the worst thing possible for this, but arghhhhh.

I kept intending to watch DVDs this week while I was out but I stuck to TV so I could get some work done from home. Today I am watching the Season 2 DVDs of Grey's Anatomy. I would have watched Veronica Mars, but figured it would be easier to get work done if I were watching something I had at least seen before.

Oh no, this is the train wreck episode. This one is sad. I usually have to keep myself from crying during TV shows these days or else I'll feel more sick. How sad.


It's 5 am.  I really should sleep.  I was still tired after my nap this evening, but the sickness and jet lag kicked in again around 1 to wake me up to the point where I was burning bagels and worrying about setting off the smoke alarm at 3 and now it's 5 and I'm not doing much except looking at stuff on the internet and watching the Weather Channel.  I should at least take another nap.  I wonder if it's snowing.

Saturday, January 27, 2007


Argh, I thought the chain smoking neighbor had stopped.  Or was gone.  Or something.

But no, there he is, chain smoking again.  This is really not what I need when I'm trying to get ready to sleep with a respiratory illness.  Really, really, really not amused.  There goes the coughing again....

Friday, January 26, 2007


The teaser on the news for the Nicole Kidman accident story said something like, "Many people were seriously injured, thankfully not her."

Now, I am glad that she's not seriously injured either, but does this strike anyone else as somewhat wrong to say? Are we saying that we hope that, between two people, the celebrity is the less injured of the two because they are a celebrity? That doesn't seem right. It should be unfortunate whoever it happens to, and I'm not sure we should feel "thankful" that the serious injury happened to someone other than the celebrity.

I can't believe it's only 18 degrees outside with winds over 30 mph. Whee, weather.com says it feels like 3 degrees.

ETA: The actual story just discussed injuries, not serious injuries. I think the teaser was worse than the story.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Bamboo Flute

November 2006, San Diego Zoo

I haven't posted a randomly chosen photo in a while. Our November trip to San Diego was so relaxing and it was great to see our panda friends so often. I loved watching Bai Yun eating bamboo like she is here. With the big rod pieces, she would crack them and you could hear the cracking noise all the way across the exhibit. I miss hanging out with the pandas.

More Complaining

Ugh. Still sick. Going back to doctor today. Don't feel like I've gotten any better and in some respects, feel like I've gotten worse. I'm just so sick of being sick.


I am so glad that, at some point last year, we bought the giant Costco sized package of tissue boxes. I am on my 4th box this week and it is comforting to know there are more boxes in the closet since I am sure I will need another one.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Jet Lag

I didn't think I was jet lagged, but maybe I am.

When we were in Germany, I thought we were adjusted for the time. I slept that night for 5 hours and woke up feeling refreshed. Sick, but refreshed. So I figured I was at least on German time, not Asian time.

But since then, I thought because I was sick, I haven't really slept through the night. I've taken a nap in the middle of the day but at night I can't sleep more than 2 hours at a time without getting up for a few minutes.

Is this just because I'm sick? Or does my body think "night" is "day" and that it's really naptime so it's not going into a deep enough sleep? I only ask because the nap I just took I was actually able to sleep for awhile. I wonder if this is because I haven't slept in a long time from the sickness or if it's because my body thinks it's "night" right now so it went for a deeper sleep. Mystery...

American Idol 6.3

Having missed the first 2 audition episodes because we were traveling, I finally tuned in to the new season of American Idol for the Memphis auditions. I had heard about the criticisms of Simon's comments in the other episodes, but was just surprised by how much less I cared about the people auditioning. The comments really weren't that different from previous seasons (at least not the part I've seen so far, it's still on) but I just didn't care for most of the first half. So I paused it and watched Veronica Mars and 2 episodes of Justice instead. Watching the rest over breakfast this morning.

I liked Sundance and the background singer girl. I can't remember anyone else I liked (so far).

I recently saw the guy who looked at first like a Paula stalker and then appeared to be there just to call his ex-wife [some bleeped out expletive] on national TV.

Then there was the girl who was about to have a wardrobe malfunction the whole song and talked about her own personal style and how it worked with her "confidentiality." I wasn't sure that's what I heard so I checked the closed captioning, and yup, that's what she said.

Eventually, Idol will run out of people who can sing, right? I still miss Season 2 (my favorite season).

Monday, January 22, 2007


Seeing as how I have sinusitis, bronchitis and an ear problem and am now on antibiotics, I think I made the right decision to call in sick to work today to go to the doctor. Fun...

Sunday, January 21, 2007


Got really tired and took a little afternoon nap. Unfortunately, it is likely that my body thinks it's time to sleep for the night so it didn't want to get up. Just need to stay up for a few more hours and then can give in to Nyquil and sleep. It is almost 1 am German time and I had been awake since 5 am German time with no nap so it makes sense that I would get so tired. Ugh. Bears won. Tis nice. Chicago snowy.


Ugh. Sick. Back home. Ears still clogged up from flight so hard of hearing. Sinuses bothering me and can't stop coughing. Didn't sleep on the entire 8 hour flight because of the sickness. Ugh. This is so miserable...

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Curry Puffs

It cost 35 SGD for our admission package to the lounge. But being able to curl up in a huge armchair to sleep, eat as many yummy chicken curry puffs as you want, take a hot shower, relax with a bowl of chicken congee, look over the balcony at the airport's orchid garden, leave to buy postcards without having to carry your super heavy backpack and step right out of the door into the warm Singapore air and the sunflower garden is just priceless. Especially when you're exhausted and not feeling well. Changi Airport may have a huge mall, but this little stop was really what we needed on this layover. So nice and refreshing.

Hello from Changi

Hello from Changi Airport in Singapore! We arrived here from Shanghai this morning around 5 am and have a layover until our flight leaves for Frankfurt at 2 pm. That's a very long time for exhausted people to be carrying their bags around, so we paid for a lounge stay which includes internet access. Yay! I have felt very disconnected from the e-world lately, except not really since I have been emailing with people on my blackberry.

I think the lounge needs sleeper seats. :)

Singapore is nice and warm (of course) compared with Shanghai which was cold. I have more to say, but I am not on my own computer so I think it will have to wait until I get home since the files are on my laptop and I don't have an ethernet cord with me. I didn't really sleep on the flight from Shanghai (midnight to 5 am) and ended up mostly playing Nintendo because the movies were not on demand, but am feeling sick now. Am wondering if it is a combination of the smog + pervasive cigarette smoke in China because my throat was killing me from the minute we got into Shanghai and I have been downing Halls Vitamin C drops that I got at Walmart like nothing else for days (the pink grapefruit flavor is my favorite). Hopefully being in Singapore will help before another long haul flight. Here's hoping!

Hope everyone is doing well and new posts should appear at some point in the future (with earlier dates!). I'm going to... write on my laptop or look at pictures or just rest and look out the window or something. The lounge stay includes a 10 minute oxygen therapy thing later which will be very very nice and hopefully will help to cure/detox from the smoke. I hope I can watch From Beijing With Love on the next flight!

Monday, January 15, 2007

Rainy Days

Hello from Shanghai! I have been writing posts for the blog
throughout our trip, but have not yet been able to post them because
(a) I didn't want to pay T-Mobile (or is it T-Com or T-Punkt) in
Germany to go online in the hour or so that we actually had, (b) I
didn't want to pay 25 Singapore dollars per 24 hours to go online at
the hotel and (c) I haven't been able to get wireless to work here
yet. Hopefully sometime soon. So once they finally start going up,
it would probably be best to read backwards in date from here since
new posts will start appearing.

I would just like to say that I don't remember Asia being so rainy on
previous trips. In Singapore it rained almost every hour we were
there (with the exception of our few hours trip to the Singapore
Botanic Gardens and National Orchid Garden, and the first half of our
last day in Singapore - the first time we actually saw sunlight!) and
now it is gray and rainy in Shanghai. I thought the "rainy" times
were in August, like when I always go to Hong Kong. Apparently not.
I hope it clears up though, since I would like to get some fantastic
shots of the skyline. This didn't exist the last time I was in
Shanghai, which was over 13 years ago.

Hope everyone is doing well (whoever is actually reading this) and
hope to post again soon!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Hello from Frankfurt

Day Trip in Frankfurt, Germany

Hello from Frankfurt, Germany! I can’t get a wireless connection without paying T-Mobile so this will be a delayed post. But hello nonetheless!

We landed in Frankfurt this morning for a layover of about 12.5 hours. I was really looking forward to it. We had never been to Frankfurt before and this would give us a chance to get out of the airport and into the city. I’m generally not a big fan of layovers, especially not those that are around 4 hours or so; the time drags while you’re sitting in the airport and never seems to end, but it’s too short to really leave the airport to go sightseeing (especially in the States with how long security seems to take!). 12 hours seemed like a good amount of time to get out, get into the city, have a good meal and make it back to the airport with time to spare.

Perhaps we were overzealous as we had hit just about everything on my list by 3 pm and then started feeling very, very, very sleepy while walking the streets near Hauptwache. This was probably due to the fact that the flight had a few characteristics that made it challenging for sleeping. First, it was hot. I was wearing a sleeveless shirt the entire time on board, no blanket, no coat, and I was really hot. Many times that I woke up it was because the plane was too hot. Second, the lights weren’t off. When we took off, the lights were off. But about an hour or so into the flight, they turned the lights on for “dinner service.” (Please note that this was about 10:15 pm local time). And it took over an hour for them to get dinner out to everyone. (Alvin ordered a special meal so his came in the first round. His was finished off well before they even got mine to me). The lights were bright (and hot) and especially bright for the window seat, so I made a makeshift eye mask which didn’t help much. Third, it was pretty cramped. My last flight was on JetBlue, so I’m getting used to this more legroom thing and sadly, this didn’t have it.

The service was generally good and the in-flight entertainment was awesome (Alvin and I played Battleship against one another and I got to listen to a Shinhwa CD through on-demand audio as I tried to sleep), but it was so hard to sleep on the flight so we were really exhausted after walking around Frankfurt for hours.

Anyway, back to our exciting trip to Frankfurt. We saw lots of sights and walked down lots of streets for hours (how… descriptive). We tested out the S-Bahn and the U-Bahn and concluded that the public transportation system was quite efficient and quiet. (I aim to try the public transportation in every city I go to. HK is still my favorite). We went to the Galeria Kaufhof, a department store, and almost fell asleep in the chairs (this was where the fatigue started to hit). We walked across the Main River to Sachsenhausen and had a good schnitzel lunch with apfelwein at Adolf Wagner. We marveled at how the train station platforms in Frankfurt contained recycling bins for glass, plastic and paper and wondered why that couldn’t be done at home. We went to the store at the ECB to look at the Euro collections and I took a picture with the giant Euro symbol. We followed the red dots all over the street for the Der Kaisermacher exhibits that were all over the city. Alvin took German in high school, but I learned some new German vocabulary words (“ausgang” was the first). And after a long day of hard work, we decided to come back to the airport a little early and settled in for a nap on a really empty train straight from Hauptbahnhof to the airport.

Leaving for Singapore tonight. Hopefully there will be entrees without broccoli unlike the last flight. And hopefully, with all of this walking around all day, I will be able to sleep this time. Hope you’re doing well!

Photos: (from top) Alvin and I at Romer; me with the Euro; lunch at Adolf Wagner; on the river on the way to Sachsenhausen.

Monday, January 08, 2007


I really don't understand why places don't just revise their delivery times to match their current expectations.  Don't leave up "30-45 min" if you're "getting slammed" and "things are taking a little longer."  If you're already 15 minutes over the time, you think telling someone 15 more minutes to wait is going to placate them?  I know I say this over and over again, but wouldn't it better to be accurate and keep the customer, than to underestimate, get the order, but not get a repeat order?  I ordered from them very recently and they were exactly on time, even on the fast end of the time frame.  Argh.  I'm annoyed.  I don't want to put this place on my Seamless Web blacklist.  But I held off on going to the copy center downstairs and the copier for like half an hour because I was waiting for them to call.  Very annoyed.  Wasting my time as I have been sitting here not billing time.  I wish I could charge them for that.  Maybe then they'd learn to change their time estimates.

Gas Odor

It's a little scary when you get emails saying things like "all of midtown and all of lower Manhattan smell like gas."  Sure the mayor is saying there is nothing to get alarmed about and there have been no health effects (yet), but isn't this slightly unnerving that such a large portion of the city has been covered with the smell of gas all morning?
A Haz Tec FDNY truck sped by on my way to work today.  I didn't smell that much of anything outside but I'm sick, so who knows.  (Needless to say that since I am sick, I was in no rush to come in this morning!)  I could smell that something was off, but I couldn't smell the gas itself until I got into the building.  I hope they figure out what this is and fix it... fast.

Sunday, January 07, 2007


From July 2006 in DC. This was the first time I had been to DC since high school. I don't think I had even taken the Metro before since I hadn't spent much time in DC! Summer of the road trips. Seems like it was so long ago.


I'm watching Friday's 1 v. 100 right now. Is it bad that I want this woman to lose because I can't stand her constant shrieking and squealing? It's driving me crazy. It's so bad that I keep having to put the TV on mute because she's taking away from my enjoyment of the show. Her pumping her arms like crazy and shrieking at every single little thing is making me insane.

And not only that, but she laughed at the Maxim models who got the question wrong, when she couldn't even figure it out herself! (The divide 6 into 99 one... which half the people seemed to think was about beer and not, um, math) And then she insults the mob by saying they don't look like they exercise much...

Bob, I'm not sure she was on a lot of "sugar" during this taping...

Off to the boards to find out if she loses because that may make watching this so much more enjoyable.


Why does sending an envelope by FedEx to Boston cost more than sending an envelope to Kansas City, Missouri?  Boston is so much closer!

Sleeping In

The problem with sleeping in and sleeping off the week's exhaustion on Saturday mornings is that you stay up later. Exhausted, but hard to sleep. Hard to explain.

So you browse the web looking for information about Frankfurt, continue to make a packing list and think about all the things that have to be done before Tuesday.

And you take a Naruto quiz:

And think about posting some pictures of your walk from that afternoon when it was in the high 60s. No jacket on January 6? Who would have ever thought it could be so amazingly warm? It was so wonderful. This has been a very interesting winter.

Thursday, January 04, 2007


Room at Swissotel in Chicago from our June 2006 vacation. It was pretty comfy. And it's not the Westin, but I could definitely go for a nice long sleep in a heavenly bed right now. Mmmm.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007


Children of Men has been the first trailer in awhile that completely captured my attention.
I saw it during a marathon of Monk yesterday, which I followed up with a marathon of Beauty and the Geek 2 and then the beginnings of the ANTM mega-marathon on VH1.  Nice.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year - Central

The best TV new years moments so far have both come from CNN (which, yes, I am watching despite my displeasure with their no longer sponsoring the Atlanta panda cam).

They were reporting from Navy Pier in Chicago and most people around the reporter are just bopping around to the music. But one woman, directly to the reporter's left, was like dancing up on her and very "happy." Anderson Cooper asked what she was drinking, the reporter relayed the question, and her response was like, "I'm drinking... I love my family and my friends and happy new year!!!" And she continued dancing and putting her drink right in between the reporter and the camera. It was really amusing.

Snoop Dogg wished Anderson Cooper a happy new year and he... didn't quite know what to make of it. Pretty funny.

I enjoy watching new years celebrations from around the world (generally my love for watching what's going on around the world) which is why the 2000 new years was so awesome. Hong Kong had fantastic fireworks this year!

Almost new years in central time... time to wish happy new year with everyone in Chicago! (haha... the reporter in Chicago asked someone for their resolution and they tried to run away)