Tuesday, August 16, 2011

while watching a movie

I have been mad at my blog.... Ok not really, I'm more mad at myself.  I restored most of the pictures to my blog last week, but I haven't wanted to blog AT ALL this week.  Stupid blog! 
But I feel like I should break the web silence and at least do a crafting update to get something up here.  One of the most awesome things that I've discovered in the last year is the public library ecollection.  It is awesome!  One of the things that I hated most about living overseas was having to plan your reading materials out 6 months in advance.  Before whenever we went home we would hit up the used bookstore and buy what we hoped would be 6 months of books (just so you know that's one heavy box).  And, of course, we would always run out of books around month 4, but a used bookstore only has so many books. Then my sister bought me a Sony Reader for Christmas...  I poo pooed her at first, I mean why would I need a reader, I like paper books gosh darn it, and I'm not going to buy books for $10 are you crazy, etc, etc.  But she bought it, so I set it up, but then discovered that you can use your local library with the reader (from anywhere in the world)!  Now I can go to the library while I'm in China, download a book, and read it anywhere!  There are tons of new books for me to read all the time! 
At the same time, I discovered audio books.  I have tried audiobooks in the past, but I just didn't like them.  You've got some dude reading and pretending to be a lady, and more often than not they have annoying voices, but I've discovered that while I listen to an audio book I can knit at the same time!  (as I write that sentence I realize how really lame I am, but I don't care).  So that has lead to me doing a lot of headphone listening... and basically this is a long winded introduction to the earbud covers that I knitted while watching a movie yesterday to turn my earbuds from tangled to tame while sitting around in my purse. 
hopelessly tangled
perfectly tame

Saturday, August 06, 2011

I'm an idiot

Our internet was out for two days this week!  I have been going crazy trying to get it fixed or fix it myself.  I tried all the usual suspects with no luck, but then finally today I swapped out one of the cables for a new cable and viola!  It was fixed!  So I was feeling all proud of myself and dancing around, and then I got on Picasa to see what I haven't posted yet.  As I was looking around, I noticed that one of my albums was shared, and i thought to myself surely that's a mistake.  So I deleted it....  and I DELETED ALL OF THE PICTURES FROM MY BLOG!  GRRRR!
I am working to restore the pictures from this year.  (I can't believe I'm such an idiot!) And once that's done, I might look at some of the older pictures.  This is what I get for doing a happy dance after I fixed the internet. 

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Bamboo Park

This past weekend we went out to the bamboo park (wangjianglou gong yuan), friends have told me that it's a nice park, but until this past weekend I have not had the opportunity to go.  I'm actually sorry that I haven't been before now.
Bamboo park is, like it's name suggests, a beautiful forest of bamboo laid out in traditional Chinese park fashion.  There are lots of sidewalks, shaded by bamboo, to walk on, and lots of raised walled planters with flowers, and shrubbery, but not a lot of grass.  There are several clearings (all cement, of course) where you can get a table and have a cup of tea while enjoying the outdoors and people watching.  In case you didn't know, Chengdu is known for it's tea gardens, and it's relaxed way of life (hen shufu de ganjue - the very comfortable feeling).
It was a Saturday so there were old ladies knitting, and playing mahjong, men playing cards, and people just generally sitting around drinking tea (or harder stuff) and enjoying life.  We were fortunate enough to sit next to a group playing some traditional Chinese instruments and basically having a jam session.  I, unfortunately, do not know the name of the instruments, but the playing was lovely.  Some of the best examples of traditional music I've heard here.  There were also the usual tea garden haunts, a man with two long metal sticks for ear cleaning (I will NOT do that), someone offering massages, and a man walking around selling turtles.

From Blogger Pictures

From Blogger Pictures

From Blogger Pictures

Monday, August 01, 2011

The North Market

Unlike Beijing, Chengdu does not have a ton of little markets everywhere for anything you might need (if they do I have not found them yet).  Mostly, if you need to buy something you have to go to a department store (something like Walmart) where the selection tends to be very limited or you have to trek up to the North Market (also known as the Lotus Market).  They have everything at the North Market!  You name it, I'm pretty sure I've seen it (although I don't think I've seen pets... maybe they're there and I just haven't found that section yet).  I finally made it up to the yarn section, which is MASSIVE (I know, most of you don't care, but being a knitter I was in yarn heaven!) but what is weird, is that they don't have a lot of different fibers for sale, it is mostly wool or some type of hair, but not a lot of cotton or bamboo or anything.
Anyway, I finally went to the market with my camera and took a few pictures.  They don't give you any idea of the scale of the place.  I forgot to take pictures all the way through so these pictures are just from a few sections of accessories.
This is a view down one of the shopping corridors.
From Blogger Pictures

Here is a shot of guys on a scooter, notice though, that we are INSIDE!

From Blogger Pictures

A view of the guys on the scooter as they drive away, IN BETWEEN the store front displays! Note, they were not the only people on scooters inside!

From Blogger Pictures

These guys are selling guns, but I have also seen tattoos for sale displayed this same way.

From Blogger Pictures

Get your hot fresh guns!

From Blogger Pictures

I'm curious if they do the ink on the street, or if they take you to a back room somewhere
From Blogger Pictures

You see this everywhere in China, melon on a stick, you can also get pineapple, and corn.  I haven't done it, because if you get up really close, it looks a little gross (my tolerance for nasty is not what it used to be)
From Blogger Pictures