So I've been a little derelict in my duties...
In my defense, I had a crazy busy schedule the past three weeks getting everything squared away at the end of school. I had to do a bunch of stuff for Bet on top of all the stuff I was supposed to do.
On top of all that, I had to do all this purchasing, reserving, and moving of household items for a certain couple moving here. (one half of this couple is an avid Batesdynasty reader and the only frequent commentator)
So as he frequently passes judgement, I'll just continue to take the high road and turn the other cheek... j/k
So this is going to be a brief 'all encompassing trip.' (nice Pearl Jam reference, eh?)
Ok so Bet has been in Connecticut taking grad school courses at Wesleyan for three weeks now. (ya she's smart)
It's been tough b/c:
a. We're not used to being apart this long. (not that anyone should be 'used to it')
b. School's out so no one's around. So I'm stuck eating by myself a lot.
c. The afore mentioned purchasing/reserving/moving of a certain sibling-in-law's future belongings. (cough-cough)
d. My dog has/had a chemical burn on his back end from the shampoo used by the Chinese vet, (awesome right?) so I have to take care of him by myself; I have to wash him twice a day and prepare his medicine. This wouldn't be so bad if my dog weren't so squirmy and I had a little help. I'm not whining, I'm just saying it's difficult by myself...
I'm guessing it didn't help matters that they put him in this 'oven' for 20 minutes after his bath. I don't want to sound mean, but the Chinese medical profession is highly questionable at times...
e. This hippo...
This hippo could probably make the list as well... Not really, but the last two photos lead me to a quick preview of what's to come; I'm going to start a new 'Periodical' called 'from the cellphone camera' b/c I see some crazy crap here so it's worth a little mention on the ol' blog from time to time...
I've been opening the gym for basketball workouts and there's been a decent turnout. The schedule has been sporadic so far but starting next week we have the gym reserved three nights a week 7-9pm. (and three mornings a week as well, for the girls that can't come at night) Some of the girls seem to be benefiting a lot from this extra training time. While I am super stoked about doing it, it's still 'another log on the fire,' thus helping explain why I've more busy the last few weeks than I am during the school year.
Lastly, a large portion of my days have been spent tutoring. I'm currently tutoring a Chinese business woman 2hrs/5 days a week for some extra cheddar. (pretty nice) Tutoring in English is usually bothersome but this hasn't been bad at all. The woman I tutor is really nice and she works really hard.
So that's been my daily life, now on to blog type stuff...
The White Stripes had an album come out (Icky Thump) which I might have mentioned before... It's pretty solid; it won't dethrone their last two albums anytime soon but I'm enjoying it and it's got the potential to pull of an upset. Highlights include Effect And Cause, Little Cream Soda, Bone Broke, Catch Hell Blues, and Icky Thump. But to summarize; it's very solid, there isn't a mediocre song on the album, go buy it!
Ryan Adams put out a new album 'Easy Tiger' and I haven't listened to it as much as 'Icky Thump' but it is a really solid album. It seems to be a culmination of his previous albums w/ some really great songs. After I listen to it some more I'll talk about it in further detail.
Due to a combination of my location the last 5 years, and this particular band's lack of mainstream coverage, I totally missed the release of 'Live From Paradise: The Best Of The Toadies.' I LOVE THE TOADIES, not many people would agree w/ me but I frickin' love them. My love for them mixed w/ the fact they only have two full albums, makes this an awesome discovery! To explain this album I'll just give you a summary of the media blarb that was written up about it: This album was recorded, for better or worse, as a 'warts and all' live performance. There's no edits, no overdubs, no exceptions or additions, it's just a show recorded straight through. So there's lots of horribly off key vocals, some missed chords on the guitars, some regrettable audience banter, and LOTS OF ROCK! It packs a lot of energy and a lot of what I love about the Toadies, ROCK! Did I mention it ROCKS? Hey it may sound like a hair-band cliche but I love when a band just cranks out some loud, screaming, grooving, rock that swaggers along like a drunk tiger. (did I just say drunk tiger? I might be losing my mind...)
Another little gem I found, while trying to use up all my eMusic downloads for the month, was a b-sides/remixes/live cuts album from one of my favorite bands, The Violent Femmes. I haven't had adequate time to rummage through these 22 tracks but I'm loving the stuff I've heard so far. There's some great covers on there like 'My Way' by Elvis and some great live takes on older songs I love like 'Waiting For A Bus.' If any of you out there are actually VF fans (which I doubt) drop me an email or a comment and I'll email you some songs from this album. (is that legal?)
(not album cover)
I went and saw Pirates Of The Caribbean 3 two weeks ago; it was entertaining but admittedly lame. (how's that for a review?)
I'd give it '1 thumb up' as well
I mentioned a bunch of stuff already but two other things that happened since I did a proper post were the 'closing ceremonies' of our men's 'Ping-pong and pizza' guys' nights. We had a weekly crew of dudes that, you guessed it, got together once a week for ping-pong and pizza. It was a great year and deserves a proper post, but I don't have it in me right now so you'll have to check out what 'The Senator' wrote about it over on his blog. Here's a preview...
'The Kid' is missing from this picture but you get the idea...
Also in the last month, we went on an awesome trip to Yangshuo. Me and Bet have been to Yangshuo 4 or 5 times now but this was by far the most enjoyable of all our trips there. Numerous reasons:
a. We went w/ John and Mandy Taylor, two really great people and friends
b. We flew there (nuff said)
c. We stayed in a hotel room instead of a hostel room that could double as a POW 'box'
d. We rode electric scooters everywhere instead of bikes
e. We did a 'greatest hits' type trip, meaning we just did our favorite things
Check out John's post for a different perspective.
Here's some pics (probably from John and Mandy's collection b/c we didn't take many pictures this time)
Gentlemen (possibly in my top 5 favorite pictures ever)
Mid air high five (children, don't try this at home)
Not a flattering picture of John, but it cracks me up! If you know John, this picture is a lot funnier. But you probably don't, so you'll just have to trust me...
Bet w/ some monkeys
Me and the Wifey
I'll post more of these pictures on Flickr when I can. (China is blocking Flickr right now and I really can't figure out why)
Well I'm going to wrap this one up for now but trust me, I'm getting back into my blog form so I'll be posting more soon, stay tuned...