Category Archives: Blarghy

The Pox


The pox is upon our household. Chicken, not small. Ellie is cranky, itchy and decorated with gruesome, scabby, oozy spots. I didn’t know chicken pox was so…gross. Jesse joked this morning that maybe she isn’t as cute as we think and her beauty is in the eye of us beholding her, for she is still cute even though oozy and spotted.



This was entirely unexpected. I guess it shouldn’t have been because she is a kid and they will tend to pick up any virus within 100 feet of them. Why her, though, and when and from whom? Info I’ve read says the spots show up 11 – 17 days after exposure, so it could’ve been any of about a million people.

Here’s the other problem with the unexpectedness: I have spent time with other friends and their babies during her 48 hour contagious-but-with-no-spots period. So now it’s our fault if they come down with it.

Anyway, that’s the news from Berkeley, where all the men are busy writing papers, the women are tired and the babies are itchy.




Sniff. Sigh. Oh, hi. I don’t feel good. Yes, please feel sorry for me. I got a cold last night, I’m so very stuffed up, headachy, bodyachy, chilled, and my stomach is a bit out of sorts, too. While I’m at it, I’m also hungry, tired, and Jesse had the gall to go out shopping without me (I didn’t want to go) for my birthday (yay)!

Sniffle. Things here are going along as normal. The new year celebrations were crazy and loud – it sort of sounds like the end of the world, or maybe the beginning. For at least 20 minutes, 10 before midnight and 10 after, there was steady, deafening explosions from firecrackers all over the city. It was wild. We did go out for our little piece of good luck and Jesse set off a long string of firecrackers. Mostly we watched, though.

Jeez, I’m so wiped out. Snort! (stuck kleenex up nose) I think I’m going to move over to the couch and feel sorry for myself while watching some Alias. Love to all!

Not Complaining, Just Commenting


Ugh… I kind of don’t feel good. I’m sort of achy and definitely cold (google “shanghai weather news”. . . are you back? See, this is not normal for southeastern China) and also there’s my stomach. After everything I eat I’m so very full, even if it was just a muffin. Then I feel acidic and not too long after, 2 hours or so, I’m hungry again. Ravenous, actually. And also my bowels are a bit out of sorts, but that’s a given here.

Let’s see, today I ate: A bowl of oatmeal and some yogurt (and then was so full), then a few hours later had a fried-egg-on-a-chewy-pancake thingy from a street stall (cause I was soooo hungry), then met Jesse for an afternoon romp in the snow while he broke from work. Then, I had an hour and a half to wait for him til he finished work, so I went in the seldom visited posh café I used to frequent and had a piece of cheesecake (and I was very full). Then we got some dinner after he got off work and I could hardy eat any of our spicy tofu and wok-ed greens because I got full so fast.

Now, what do I mean by wok-ed greens? (new topic. Weather and health = dull) So, Momm and Daddy had the pleasure when here to try out the vast array of “greens” that are prepared very simply. Flash fry with garlic, add water and msg, serve hot. And it’s almost always our favorite dish. These ones were small leaves, very green on tips, white on bottoms. There are also stringy tough greens, small sprout-like greens, mountain vegetable, white leaves, spinach, many called just “green vegetable”, cabbages galore and what appears to be romaine lettuce all prepared in this fashion and always delicious. It usually seems any single restaurant may offer one or two different dishes of greens.

OK, I’ve got to go find another tums.




I think I’ve successfully stayed away long enough to make all of you friends and family give up on checking back for updates. Sorry. No really, I am. I’m not super busy or anything, just lazy. There was also the visiting from Momm and Dad (see below), but you all see them more often than I do, so can get all the details of their trip from them (there was a lot of walking, some amazement at cheap food, and stunned acceptance of spitting, taxi-racecar driving, etc.). I miss them.

I was cranky and a bit distant their last 2 days here (did you notice Momm and daddy? Sorry.) and wondered what was wrong with me. I figured it out that evening, when feeling further cranky and sniffly at Jesse. When you’re a kid, you might, for example, feel sad because you miss somebody, and you think, I feel sad! But here I was, just feeling cranky, and it took a bit of self asking (what the devil is wrong with you, self?) to figure out I didn’t want them gone and didn’t want to miss them. Also, all the buildup of their arrival would be gone and i was finally looking at a post-christmas bleak Shanghai winter.

And on that topic, bleak it is! The temperature has not been much over 40 the last week and it has rained every day. You know, the latitude here is almost exactly that of Cairo and Houston, and yet, it snowed yesterday (and did not stick, but whatever) and this weather is not at all unusual here. We feel we can’t complain, because the summer will come and it will be hell.

So, is there anything else I can complain about? Probably. I’d sure like some cake, pie or raw suger cookie dough. Mmmmm…but a bowl of oatmeal will have to do.