July 31, 2006

It was really hot Friday. But Who is afraid the heat? Emma's preschool had another picnic. With just a sandwich and a bottle of water, Leo and I and Emma went to the picnic.

It turned out to be quite fun and informative. Hiding my shyness and nevousness with any threat of conversation, I bravely approached and talked to Emma's teachers, Novell, Bev, Katie, Judy. (Never had the courage or time before. In the morning dropin, I am always in a hurry, in the afternoon pickup, the teachers are generally busy with the dozen of kids. )

The teachers are all fond of Emma. She is happy, sweet, good natured, easy going. She sings a lot. She is not even as quiet as I had been feared. Not able to use sentences, she talked in short bursts of words and phrases ...

Leo and I built a little pond by the lake, Emma ran around to fetch water and fed the ever thirsy pond, who absorbed all water in a blink of eyes. At least that is how Emma saw the problem. She said: "ah, you are so thirsty. I will give you water."

Picnic

Posted by Xun  |  2 comments

It was really hot Friday. But Who is afraid the heat? Emma's preschool had another picnic. With just a sandwich and a bottle of water, Leo and I and Emma went to the picnic.

It turned out to be quite fun and informative. Hiding my shyness and nevousness with any threat of conversation, I bravely approached and talked to Emma's teachers, Novell, Bev, Katie, Judy. (Never had the courage or time before. In the morning dropin, I am always in a hurry, in the afternoon pickup, the teachers are generally busy with the dozen of kids. )

The teachers are all fond of Emma. She is happy, sweet, good natured, easy going. She sings a lot. She is not even as quiet as I had been feared. Not able to use sentences, she talked in short bursts of words and phrases ...

Leo and I built a little pond by the lake, Emma ran around to fetch water and fed the ever thirsy pond, who absorbed all water in a blink of eyes. At least that is how Emma saw the problem. She said: "ah, you are so thirsty. I will give you water."

Monday, July 31, 2006
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July 24, 2006

Before I left China in 1997, I was not a computer user, let alone a web user. Not many people were, Emails, Internet were not even set up in top universities. So you cannot blame me.

I became one after I came here, first a painfully ignorant one, then half-a-geek level Internet user. My favorite sites are every one's favorite: Google and Wikipedia. Then I have a few of my own: CNN, The New Yorker, Time.

(You would think the free and convenient web would save me a few dollars. But no, on the contrary, a year or so of reading The New Yorker online made me finally become a subscriber. Still love the feel and leisure and pleasure of reading it on the couch.)

Anyway.

China is now very remote for me. I do not see Chinese movies, read Chinese books, see Chinese movies, listen to Chinese music, or visit Chinese websites. Not much. Maybe 1%. Even compared to my Chinese peers who are overseas, I am poorly conversant in Chinese matters. The Chinese movies stars I know are international movie stars: Gong li and Zhiyi Zhang. I am equally fascinated by their gossips as well as their breathtaking movies, especially Zhiyi Zhang. Such a beauty. So fragile, vulnerable yet determined. But that is it.

Still, China and all things Chinese have irresistible pull on me. All things Chinese are intriguing, familiar and foreign.

I am most intrigued by Chinese blogs. It is said the blogging population in China has grown into a formidable force. The number one blog listed by Technorati is a blog by a Chinese 30-something actress-director-writer-beauty-in one.

I read her blog, laid back, smooth, self-deprecating, in a I-did-such-and-such style. It is not very special, I decided. But the comments by hundreds and thousands are truly amazing. Disturbing too.

I read another very popular one (it has to be popular, otherwise, it would not be possible for it to stumble into my way), this one is more opinionated, edgy, smart, sarcatic and quite fun. It is distinct of Chinese writing style. It is Chinese cool. Again the pages of comments stunned me.

I wonder about the webscape of China. So emails are commonplace, internet is ubiquitous, and blogging is thriving into a new land.

But ...

Does it have Wikepedia? Yes, how good is it? I have tried Google's equivalent Baidu. Quite powerful, however, comparatively slow. One line one pop up is annoying. I searched for Google/Yahoo Map sort of online mapping and direction tools, all I got was some very clumsy ones ... How is the online business that is of second nature in US going in China? Probably not very good, since credit cards for most people remain something rare and dubious.

What are top Chinese web sites?

What about government censoring?

Though I can read Chinese blogs, no one in China can read mine. Is it because of Chinese censorship? It simply blocks all oversea personal blogs.

Ignorant me. Home away from home.

Home away from home

Posted by Xun  |  No comments

Before I left China in 1997, I was not a computer user, let alone a web user. Not many people were, Emails, Internet were not even set up in top universities. So you cannot blame me.

I became one after I came here, first a painfully ignorant one, then half-a-geek level Internet user. My favorite sites are every one's favorite: Google and Wikipedia. Then I have a few of my own: CNN, The New Yorker, Time.

(You would think the free and convenient web would save me a few dollars. But no, on the contrary, a year or so of reading The New Yorker online made me finally become a subscriber. Still love the feel and leisure and pleasure of reading it on the couch.)

Anyway.

China is now very remote for me. I do not see Chinese movies, read Chinese books, see Chinese movies, listen to Chinese music, or visit Chinese websites. Not much. Maybe 1%. Even compared to my Chinese peers who are overseas, I am poorly conversant in Chinese matters. The Chinese movies stars I know are international movie stars: Gong li and Zhiyi Zhang. I am equally fascinated by their gossips as well as their breathtaking movies, especially Zhiyi Zhang. Such a beauty. So fragile, vulnerable yet determined. But that is it.

Still, China and all things Chinese have irresistible pull on me. All things Chinese are intriguing, familiar and foreign.

I am most intrigued by Chinese blogs. It is said the blogging population in China has grown into a formidable force. The number one blog listed by Technorati is a blog by a Chinese 30-something actress-director-writer-beauty-in one.

I read her blog, laid back, smooth, self-deprecating, in a I-did-such-and-such style. It is not very special, I decided. But the comments by hundreds and thousands are truly amazing. Disturbing too.

I read another very popular one (it has to be popular, otherwise, it would not be possible for it to stumble into my way), this one is more opinionated, edgy, smart, sarcatic and quite fun. It is distinct of Chinese writing style. It is Chinese cool. Again the pages of comments stunned me.

I wonder about the webscape of China. So emails are commonplace, internet is ubiquitous, and blogging is thriving into a new land.

But ...

Does it have Wikepedia? Yes, how good is it? I have tried Google's equivalent Baidu. Quite powerful, however, comparatively slow. One line one pop up is annoying. I searched for Google/Yahoo Map sort of online mapping and direction tools, all I got was some very clumsy ones ... How is the online business that is of second nature in US going in China? Probably not very good, since credit cards for most people remain something rare and dubious.

What are top Chinese web sites?

What about government censoring?

Though I can read Chinese blogs, no one in China can read mine. Is it because of Chinese censorship? It simply blocks all oversea personal blogs.

Ignorant me. Home away from home.

Monday, July 24, 2006
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Observation 1: She is really good telling a story or pretending to tell a story using a book. Basically she makes up things as she turns pages.

Observation 2: The hair cut is really bad. Understandable but not excusable. It was my first hair cut. She moved too much.

Emma reads a book

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Observation 1: She is really good telling a story or pretending to tell a story using a book. Basically she makes up things as she turns pages.

Observation 2: The hair cut is really bad. Understandable but not excusable. It was my first hair cut. She moved too much.

Monday, July 24, 2006
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July 20, 2006

One and a half months passed, Emma hasn't talked in English yet. Not much, not at her preschool, at least. At home, English would be sprinkled in her conversation. Words, or one-or-two-word phrases. Like "ice cold", "stop it", "come here", blah, blah ... These words make us smile and happy.

She still cannot count well yet. She always pretends to count, one, two, three, ..., then I ask, Emma, how many ducks are there? She says, three (there are actually 5).

Somewhere, sometimes, in the back/front/center of my mind, I am a little concerned.

She has not grown much taller or bigger either. A lot of kids at her age is half a head taller. There seems to be growth lapse.

I am a little concerned.

She is always friendly, however, also appears a little fearful / or aloof around other kids. The teacher says, she is an observer, but I would more like to her to be in the center.

This fear/concern/worry has always been there, intangible, suppressible, in and out, never overwhelming, never gone either.

Is she, maybe, a little slow, maybe not as bright as other kids? Will she grow to at least more than 5'2'' (I am somewhere between 5'1'' and 5'2''). Will she be socially clumsy as Leo and I are?

I know I should not compare. I keep reminding myself. Growth comes in all rates and stages. My mom once suspected I was, maybe, a little retarded, because I kept wetting beds until I was in ... (I would be too embarrassed to say). But I am fine, at least intellectually.

By all standards, she is healthy, sunny, and bright. She passed the Chicago Development Screening when she barely could understood English. Yeah, she passed the tests on motor (jumping, turning ...), cognitive skills (reading, counting ...), eye tests ...

Still, every once in a while, my mind wonders, I am a little concerned. Not just about Emma, but also about me. But since I am not malleable, I worry more about her.

Why?

Does every parent experience the same fear, irational though?

Irrational fear

Posted by Xun  |  No comments

One and a half months passed, Emma hasn't talked in English yet. Not much, not at her preschool, at least. At home, English would be sprinkled in her conversation. Words, or one-or-two-word phrases. Like "ice cold", "stop it", "come here", blah, blah ... These words make us smile and happy.

She still cannot count well yet. She always pretends to count, one, two, three, ..., then I ask, Emma, how many ducks are there? She says, three (there are actually 5).

Somewhere, sometimes, in the back/front/center of my mind, I am a little concerned.

She has not grown much taller or bigger either. A lot of kids at her age is half a head taller. There seems to be growth lapse.

I am a little concerned.

She is always friendly, however, also appears a little fearful / or aloof around other kids. The teacher says, she is an observer, but I would more like to her to be in the center.

This fear/concern/worry has always been there, intangible, suppressible, in and out, never overwhelming, never gone either.

Is she, maybe, a little slow, maybe not as bright as other kids? Will she grow to at least more than 5'2'' (I am somewhere between 5'1'' and 5'2''). Will she be socially clumsy as Leo and I are?

I know I should not compare. I keep reminding myself. Growth comes in all rates and stages. My mom once suspected I was, maybe, a little retarded, because I kept wetting beds until I was in ... (I would be too embarrassed to say). But I am fine, at least intellectually.

By all standards, she is healthy, sunny, and bright. She passed the Chicago Development Screening when she barely could understood English. Yeah, she passed the tests on motor (jumping, turning ...), cognitive skills (reading, counting ...), eye tests ...

Still, every once in a while, my mind wonders, I am a little concerned. Not just about Emma, but also about me. But since I am not malleable, I worry more about her.

Why?

Does every parent experience the same fear, irational though?

Thursday, July 20, 2006
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July 17, 2006

I spent more than a whole week without blogging. Suddenly busy. I even worked on Saturday and Sunday, which left a load of laudary unfolded, meals unprepared, shopping list unchecked ...

Surprisingly, I kind of missed the business of blogging. Ha! The business of blogging lonely and secretively hoping someone would drop me a comment or two. Somehow, blogging has become my at least twice-a-week-ly chore that I both love and hate to do. It is my mental workout. Like my 3-to-5-times-a-week-ly workout at Bally Fitness, it becomes one of my subroutines.

Seriously.

Miss Blogging

Posted by Xun  |  2 comments

I spent more than a whole week without blogging. Suddenly busy. I even worked on Saturday and Sunday, which left a load of laudary unfolded, meals unprepared, shopping list unchecked ...

Surprisingly, I kind of missed the business of blogging. Ha! The business of blogging lonely and secretively hoping someone would drop me a comment or two. Somehow, blogging has become my at least twice-a-week-ly chore that I both love and hate to do. It is my mental workout. Like my 3-to-5-times-a-week-ly workout at Bally Fitness, it becomes one of my subroutines.

Seriously.

Monday, July 17, 2006
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July 08, 2006

Movies are the biggest sacrifice I made since Emma came back from China. I have seen only three movies so far (I know I am dumb). However I have gained a lot more sleep. Reading and singing to her definitely induces me to early sleep every night.

A few days ago I could not resist the temptation to scratch my itch for movies, I got myself a movie, "The Notebook". I got a movie for Emma too, "Winnie the Pooh".

Emma's Winnie DVD does not work (What a disappointment! I was more upset than Emma). Mine worked, yet the movie sucked: slow, silly, affecting, acted up. It is acclaimed as something like modern "Romeo and Juliet." Definitely not so.

And it is children inappropriate. All those frolicking!

However, Watching it with Emma made the bordom bearable even fun though, for Emma had fresh comments for everything stale. She had funny questions.

At one point, the female character Alice splashed ice cream onto the face of the male (what is his name?) then grabbed him and kissed him all over. Emma said: "Oh, she helped him eat the ice cream."

Ha. Ha.

Ha. Ha.

Posted by Xun  |  2 comments

Movies are the biggest sacrifice I made since Emma came back from China. I have seen only three movies so far (I know I am dumb). However I have gained a lot more sleep. Reading and singing to her definitely induces me to early sleep every night.

A few days ago I could not resist the temptation to scratch my itch for movies, I got myself a movie, "The Notebook". I got a movie for Emma too, "Winnie the Pooh".

Emma's Winnie DVD does not work (What a disappointment! I was more upset than Emma). Mine worked, yet the movie sucked: slow, silly, affecting, acted up. It is acclaimed as something like modern "Romeo and Juliet." Definitely not so.

And it is children inappropriate. All those frolicking!

However, Watching it with Emma made the bordom bearable even fun though, for Emma had fresh comments for everything stale. She had funny questions.

At one point, the female character Alice splashed ice cream onto the face of the male (what is his name?) then grabbed him and kissed him all over. Emma said: "Oh, she helped him eat the ice cream."

Ha. Ha.

Saturday, July 08, 2006
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July 06, 2006

I do not know why I kept staring at the computer for over an hour and adamantly tried to put something into words and sentences and type them out?

I do not why people keep diaries in the old times? Why they even wanted to lock away their diaries to keep from other people's curious eyes? What? Do not we vie for people's attention? Do not we do everything to just be visited, read and talked about?

"My problem is that I do not have a reader." Some years ago, a Chinese poet wrote. He (or she) must have been widely read, though. For from then on, a million trivial voices sigh: "My problem is that I do not have a reader."

Maybe trivial minds think the same.

Anyway.

We passed long July 4th weekend in a swirl. It was a long, busy, fun and tiresome weekend. Then it is past. Now I am back to work, Emma back to school, my parents are back to China.

Why keep a diary?

Posted by Xun  |  3 comments

I do not know why I kept staring at the computer for over an hour and adamantly tried to put something into words and sentences and type them out?

I do not why people keep diaries in the old times? Why they even wanted to lock away their diaries to keep from other people's curious eyes? What? Do not we vie for people's attention? Do not we do everything to just be visited, read and talked about?

"My problem is that I do not have a reader." Some years ago, a Chinese poet wrote. He (or she) must have been widely read, though. For from then on, a million trivial voices sigh: "My problem is that I do not have a reader."

Maybe trivial minds think the same.

Anyway.

We passed long July 4th weekend in a swirl. It was a long, busy, fun and tiresome weekend. Then it is past. Now I am back to work, Emma back to school, my parents are back to China.

Thursday, July 06, 2006
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