Thursday, May 27, 2010

Cruising from China to Alaska

On May 26th, my parents flew off to Beijing, China for three days before beginning a 23 day long cruise that stopped by many places in Japan, Korea, Russia, and Alaska before stopping in Vancouver and then flying home. I like to think that they boarded the plane throwing many a fearful glance back over their shoulder, wondering if their three children (all of us adults) would keep the house standing. They probably ran onto that plane thinking something along the lines of, "Yes! No bills! No work! No yelling at kids to clean up their damn messes! A month of new cultures and cuisine and people!" In reality it was probably a mix of those two plus some missing us.

Though really, if you were standing on the Great Wall of China, would you waste time wishing your lazy kids were there?! (Spoiler: they totally did.)

This is the entrance to the Summer Palace outside Beijing, China. The emperor and empress would come here in the summer to escape the heat. I wish I had a summer house like this.

Mom and Dad on the Qingtao pier in China.

How awesome is this decorative flower statue . . . thing? They paid the equivalent of $3 to enter Laodong Park and walk around. Probably only the red flowers are real and the yellow and pink are silk. This is in Dalian, China.

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(On my parents 26-day cruise vacation from Beijing, China to Alaska to celebrate their 30th anniversary!)

This is a view of a beautifully restored ceiling of the Summer Palace, where the Emperor and Empress would retreat to stay cool in the summer as it was by a lake. It is just outside of Beijing, China.

This is the throne room area of the Summer Palace, where the Emperor and Empress would handle business. It was also beautifully restored, in time for the crowds from the Olympics.

This is the Temple of Heaven where the emperor came to pray once a year.

This is the beginning of a theme park-like area of Muroran, Japan. Cats used to be believed to be evil and the theme park is full of scarily funny cats. As everything was in Japanese my parents had a hard time describing the reason cats were so scary to us.

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Wonderfully Odd

(On my parents 26-day cruise from Beijing, China to Alaska to celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary.)

Dad bought some fried gnocchi-like balls from a vendor on the pedestrian way in Dalian, China. There were filled with some kind of meat and apparently tasted good!

Walking up to the entrance of the Beomosa Temple in Busan, Korea. The lanterns carry prayers to the temple and are for the spring celebration coming up in the next few weeks. I love how colorful everything is there!

One of the ferocious looking guards to protect the Beomosa Temple in Busan, Korea. He is made of paper-mache! Isn't he wonderful?

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Chillin' in Alaska and Vladistovok

(On my parents 26-day cruise vacation from Beijing, China to Alaska, to celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary!)

It poured rain in Vladistovok, Russia, the entire time my parents were there. But the architecture looks amazing! That is the train station, and I saw a picture of a department store that looks like our parliament.

Dad kayaking in Alaska, brr!

Mom and Dad enjoying the view in Alaska, looking happy (and cold.)

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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Horror is . . .

. . . being trapped in a car halfway through running errands with two dogs when one of them releases their anal glands.

I? Am currently scrubbing the shit out of my car, spraying it with the strongest cleaner we possess, and scrubbing it again.

Also I? Am never taking the damn dogs in my car again. There goes my sympathy for them never leaving the house. Their new nicknames are Stinky Butts.


This morning was just like any other. I woke up late, stretched, and scratched an itch on my knee. And then I realized that that itch wasn't going away; in fact, it seemed to be getting worse as I scratched it. And then I realized that it wasn't a bug bite because there were multiple hives. And THEN I came to the realization that I had POISON OAK. GODDAMN.

Every flipping summer I get poison oak just by someone MENTIONING the word around me. Whoever did it this year, I will hunt you down and slap some duct tape over your mouth. I hate poison oak ever since my senior year of high school when I developed it over the backs of my knees and on the side of my jaw and on my arms during the last few days of school. Which was awesome, let me tell you.

Aaand now I'm off to bath in some isopropyl alcohol to dry the crap out of my skin.

Monday, May 17, 2010


. . . if I really need to be on the dose of Kapidex that I am , because I went off it for a week and a half and didn't have that many problems. (Kapidex 60mg is the medication that controls how much acid my stomach produces, because I have too much and then I get ouchy tummy). I am so happy that I was okay without it! I only took two Prilosec and one Prevacid over the week and a half to control acid, but I was fine until I ate a huge garlicky dinner. Then my tummy laughed at me for thinking I could eat that much garlic without feeling icky. So I picked up my Kapidex today and I think I will take it every other day and see how that goes. I suspect it will go fabulously.


. . . because Mom and Dad called us from Alaska! For two and a half weeks all we had for communication was a few emails so it was exciting to hear their voices again. They are having a wonderful time on their 26 day trip from Beijing to Alaska.

We're doing well here too, bar a few arguments and if you ignore the mess. ^_- And the mess even isn't that bad--it's not any worse than it ever gets with Mom and Dad here, and we all recognize that we will spend a while cleaning before they arrive this Saturday night. It's been nice being in charge but I miss my padres.


I suspect that if I invented something to track down missing remotes I would become rich. Because this morning I tore the living room apart looking for our TV remote and came *this* close to texting Troy and demanding to know where he had hidden it. And then I found it lying innocently under a blanket. Figures.


. . . because I recently bought twelve new fish (actually I was given some babies for free!) and I've lost three already because my pH went wonky, and now since they are stressed from the bad water conditions I have two more that look like they are suffering from velvet. I just bought a Neutral Controller that will keep the pH at 7.0 and I've treated for the infections, so I hope that it works quickly.


. . . because I fixed the toilet! Me! Our toilet hasn't worked right since we had our bathroom remodeled and Troy and I haven't been able to use it for weeks because we were lazy and didn't want to fix it and I finally rolled up my metaphorical sleeves and dove in. Whee!

I also deep cleaned Mom and Dad's bathroom and my own! They're soooo beautiful and sparkly. No one is allowed to use them ever again.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Prom 2010

My brothers just had their senior prom. I feel too young to have them almost graduated from high school! Next thing you know I'll be fretting about wrinkles and age spots.

Here's Quentin with his buddies David and Tony, all looking very handsome in their tuxedos. We won't go into how long it took Quentin and I to stand in line to pick up his tux; suffice it to say that I nearly went bald from pulling out my hair in frustration. (We were late for dinner for the foreign exchange program.)

Quentin went with a girl we didn't know from another high school, Sarah. Aren't they cute?!

Troy. Ah, Troy. When he went out to rent a tux (for free, his friend works there) he called me and asked, "What do you think about a tuxedo with a tailcoat and top hat?"

I must say, he pulls it off. Here he is with his date, Anna.

I think that they are quite adorable. Also? I want a top hat.

Three of their friends (including Troy) wore the tailcoats in black, and three wore them in white. They pretended to be mortal enemies; the VonMonocles and the VonPocketwatches.

Both boys had lots of fun and had funny stories to tell. (Apparently someone brought a blow up doll dressed up and it was tossed around the dance floor!) They danced and talked and ate chocolate strawberries. (I'm sure there was more food, but that's the important one right there.)

I'm kind of nostalgic for my proms now! Off to search out my old prom dress. ^_^

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Freedom . . .

. . . is having my mom's credit card while she and dad are on their 23 day long cruise from China to Alaska. Unfortunately I'm too terrified of my mom to use it for anything besides groceries. The downside to having a credit card since my parents are on the other side of the world is that all of a sudden I'm veeeery aware of exactly how fast the grass grows and thus needs to be mowed, how annoying it is to have to shepherd two eighteen-year-old, and how much mess three people can make in the house. The upside is I'm in chaaaaarge! Wheee!