Entries Tagged 'See' ↓

Living In THIS Moment

I just had myself a terrrrrrrrrific day here in Shanghai. Went out last nite for a friend’s bday celebration…… woke up at about 11am…and score! The sun was out! The sun was SHINING! I thought and exclaimed, “About damn time!!! I’m sick of this gray, cold and rain!!!!!” (I’m a weather-person; my mood is greatly affected by the temps and % of sunshine.) So already, it was a great start…

Skipped downtown a bit with Lisa for an interview with another school. Longer story, but I’ve been checking into other options for the following year… inclusive of Thailand :-D   But! Unfortunately, in two instances of Thailand interviews, their school year starts in May and runs till March…so logistically doesn’t really fall in my favor..but we shall see. (and YES, I believe I do plan on another year of Asia…. mmm hmmm.. I, myself am shocked. But the traveling perks and the not-so-hott-States-right-now is making it make sense.)

Anyhoots.. so Lisa and I took this interview; it was my second time meeting with them, but Lisa’s first….so we tag-teamed on the case. At one point, we mentioned that we had a decent network of interested teachers that we would be able to assist in recruiting.. to help build upon their school’s International Department-in-infancy-stage…and the administrators spoke to each other in Mandarin along the lines of “Well I don’t mind hiring these two, but I wonder if their friends are also going to be of Asian decent or are can we get white? I mean, Mimi looks foreign, but Lisa looks Chinese.”  Ahhh Hahaha HA!! —— (I only knew of this because when we left, Lisa aka “mySpy” – who understands Mandarin basics – caught them remarking on this, and told me everything they were saying to one another.)    Ohhh China – Hilarity! However, I’m glad during the interview, I did lay down as a “tip” (because, honestly they had NO IDEA what they were doing with this “newly developing” International Division) — for them to interview and LISTEN to their prospective English teachers… just ’cause they’ve got a White Face does NOT mean they are going to be great, or even good teachers… andddddd their accents could be too thick or difficult for the students to understand!!  (Some of ya’ll may recall me battling this issue when I started my search to leave the States and land in Shanghai….  and was solely in email communication with IGNORANT recruiters in Shanghai.)  But for real, even in my current school now…there is a HUGE problem with a particular foreign colleague who has a very thick accent…and it causes just soo much drama and stress with complaints from parents and students. So…. white isn’t always right!!

But anyway, so after that episode, we rewarded ourselves with some hotdogs and ice cream from IKEA. Random, for sure! But it’s not everyday that we’re in the area of IKEA….and most certainly not everyday we get real hotdogs and ice cream combo!

Then after that, I marched up towards my massage spot…only to find that it was crazily busy and I’d have to kill 2 hours till I could be taken for an appointment. I should’ve called ahead, but it was all good. I popped around the corner to the dvd spot and picked up 11 gems..all for only 104rmb = $15usd!!!!  That’s about 73 cents each disc!! and these are high DVD-9 qualities!! Soooooooooo sweeeeet!! One being something that I’ve been ON THE LOOK for! JT @ MSG.. Whoo!! and some other quality classic flicks!! YAY!! Then, I walked down HuaHai Road (aka ‘Hai’s 5th Avenue) and for the first time admitted to myself, “Shanghai isn’t soooo bad after all. I still hate the pushing the shoving on the trains and the people and the.. etc. etc. etc… but it’s not soooo sooo bad after all… “  So for the first time, I think I really “accepted” this crazy city for what it is. There were lil’ boutiques, shops, cafes much like NYC…and I actually saw and felt this city’s push to top the International Cities Scale. (Remember, the World Expo will be taking place in Shanghai in 2010. I see the construction site in my morning commute everyday!)

So now, while I was coming to inner peace with this city, I started to think about my expat friends here, and their choices and really, more like, confusion, as to what to do with regards to next year/next steps. I mean, we’re all on similar boats here. Return to states? Stay in ‘Hai? Pick another country? Go back to ‘real world’ -whatever that is, etc etc. This mega question hovers over us and many times, pushes its weight down on us so much, that we forget to enjoy the moment of living and experiencing life as an expat. We forget that we’re living unconventially — in a way that many out there — wish that they could do the same. We forget that we chose to be out here, so why not be a little more open to the “outside world.” Frankly, I’ve never been one to put societal norms in high regard, often finding those that follow, boring, anyway. (I’ll prolly post more on that another time.) Just do what feels right and everything else will find its way to work with YOU.

With that said, I leave with words via reverting to The DBTD Mantra, with hopes that “stresses of the future” and “life fulfillments” will let live via being happy with what is NOW and simply living in THIS moment….

Is this not enough
This blessed sip of life
Is it not enough
Staring down at the ground
Oh then complain and pray
more from above
Greedy little pig

. . don’t burn the day. .

Littles’ Letters

Every now and then, I’ll be the recipient of some drawing or card with hearts, flowers etc. from my kids…. But these two recently, are quality keepers, so I just HAD to share….

# 1 – Sean, a 2nd grader wrote in his journal (and later, his teacher shared it with me, since it was a kudos to my awesome Thriller activity at Halloween)….


What it says: “I like the face painting because it is very nice. I like the movie because I like Michael Jackson. I like the part where he sings. I think it is the best movie in the world.”

# 2 – One of my faves, Fiona wrote me a personal letter “just for the fun of it” and it said….


My jaw dropped when I received this, because I’ve always said, little Fiona is probably THE student that “gets me.”  She is the perfect little girl who is smart, unpretentious, always upbeat and smiling and popular among teachers and students alike. In class, when I’m a bit “off” in my day… I can count on Fiona to shoot me a look with her twinkling eyes and smile as if she knows that her Ms. Mimi is having a bad day.  And when she laughs in class, he lets out hearty belly aches.. Hmmmmm… she kinda reminds me of someone I know very well…. ;-) LOL! Anyway…… her letter threw me off a bit…. but I’m justifying it with the fact that “job” was a most recent spelling/vocabulary word. :-)

# 3 – The other day in Social Studies class, I was going to have the students create a “Kindness Garden.”  I asked around who knew what a “garden” was and one little boy, Alex — another one of my faves, raises his hand and says: “a garden is like a kindergarden.” ….. :-)

# 4 – Phonics lesson last week brought on a good one. We were learning the blend sounds of st, sk and sp. Pictures of a star, skunk and spoon represented each blend, respectively. Students were asked to draw lines from other pictures to the homebase of: star, skunk and spoon, in order to match beginning sounds. Easy? Got it? Good. Oneeee picture was a “skirt.” I asked around, “who knows the answer to skirt?”  Little boy, James who is known to say some darndest things, raises his hand and sayssss… “Skirt is sk, goes to skank.” …… and then corrected himself with “skunk.”…….. :-)

. . don’t burn the day. .

The Comeback C’s!!!!

O —– M —– G —– !!!!!

I woke up this morning, still revved up with what my boys had done last night! They had trailed by as many as 24 points, looking REALLY dicey in the first half (yeah, I was cussin’ n cursin’), but the Celtics staged an epic rally – in the greatest comeback in NBA Finals history – to win Game 4, 97-91…. now on the brink of their 17th NBA Championship as they lead the NBA Finals 3-1!!

Watch footage here, including the one-on-one showdown between Allen and Vujacic that pretty much sums up the turnaround point with 16.4 seconds left late in the 4th quater for the Comeback C’s. BRILLIANT UNTOUCHED LEFTY LAYUP by veteran, Mr. Ray Allen!! (Even I was in disbelief that NO ONE touched him!!) WHOOOOOO!! Ya’ll know what I’ll be doing after my Father’s Day activities on Sunday!!

Andddd now I think it is appropriate to include some throwback clips from Spike Lee’s 1998 film, He Got Game, starring Ray Allen and another guy named Denzel Washington, Enjoy!!!

He Got Game – Movie Trailer

He Got Game – Title track by Public Enemy music video:

“He Got Game” by Public Enemy from soundtrack, He Got Game (04.28.98)

. . don’t burn the day. .

The Diving Bell and The Butterfly

I saw this flick a couple months back (pre-blog days), but feel it necessary to give it its just due in the here and now.

Based on a true story (already spikes up on the view-worthy-meter) and French memoir, The Diving Bell and The Butterfly tells the incredible story of Jean-Dominique Bauby, the world-renowned editor of French ELLE magazine. While on top of his game at the age of 43, Bauby suffered a massive stroke and was diagnosed with a condition known as Locked-In Syndrome – leaving him entirely paralyzed from head to toe, with exception of his left eye lid. Blinking became his sole means of communication with the outside world and ultimately the method that would form his memoir. The story swims in and out of Bauby’s past and present consciousness, addresses his relationships with loved ones – wife, mistress, children and father, along with capturing his life’s greatest and not-so-greatest moments…Cinematography is superb!… The first 15 minutes are unforgettable!

Humane. Haunting. Tender. Beautiful. Inspiring.

The Diving Bell and The Butterfly is a must see for the soul.

10 days after publication of his memoir, Bauby passed on.



. . don’t burn the day. .

Election 2008 – MY Parents Speak!

I was sitting in the living room the other night, watching the local news with my moms and pops. Featured story was on the Democratic Primary. So of course, I could not resist asking what my parents thought of the nominees. Now, keep in mind, my parents are much, much older than the age of my same-age-peer’s parents. Also as immigrants from a communist state, their understanding of democracy and viewing/understanding of American politics is a unique one. In fact, I will even go on to say that their faith in the system is rather jaded, and fall into the predictable “our vote doesn’t hold weight” box, but I don’t want to get into all of that right now because it is far too complex to type up.

Nevertheless, both my moms and pops were all for… (drum rolllllllllllllll…..)


So, as my friend, KS recently forwarded me… If you’re on the Barack train… Here comes a time when your action does hold weight. With Obama/Clinton neck-and-neck in the democratic primaries race, do consider putting your money where your mouth is… and


“It is clear that Senator Clinton wants to continue an increasingly desperate, increasingly negative — and increasingly expensive — campaign to tear us down.

That’s her decision. But it’s not stopping John McCain from going on the offensive.

Right now, it’s essential for every single supporter of Barack Obama to step up and help fight this two-front battle. In the face of attacks from Hillary Clinton and John McCain, we need to be ready to take them on.”


. . don’t burn the day. .

Music Widgets ‘Ishhhh

Bear with me as I try to figure out this whole customization of blog site business. Join me in welcoming Sonific – the built in music widget – though, I must say I’m super disappointed and bothered by its deficient music selection. So I/We will need to put up with it till I figure out how to load either Last FM or Pandora. And/or if anyone has any tips…please do share because you care. :-)

. . don’t burn the day. .