John and I finished our final week in CA without much fanfare. The last weekend in January, we drove down to San Diego to visit Karen and Joel. San Diego is a cute lil’ place. The city is actually very populous and it has a heavy DoD influence; still, you’d never guess.
Joel and Karen have the sweetest 2-bedroom condo, just down the street from Whole Foods. A quick walk to a downtown with tasty food joints. It was so sunny and beautiful all weekend. CA definitely scores high in the weather category, especially southern CA. Yeah, I know, it’s not big shock especially with the song about it never raining in southern CA… So sue me. I’m a cynic til I see things myself.
Just a few days before we flew out, I developed a crazy full-body rash. I still have no idea what it was— I thought maybe it was the anesthesia from my dental work (I visited the dentish THREE days in a row!) or a new makeup I was trying… I dunno, but it was unbearable. I tried cortisone cream, neosporin, zinc oxide grease, everything. To survive the plane ride, I took a Benadryl which knocked me out completely. But once we arrived in Shanghai, it recurred. I am doing better now… yesterday was my first day free from the itchies. I now suspect it was the laundry detergent I used in LA. I seem to be fine now. Cross your fingers.
So Chinese New Year was a little more sedate this year. We were still suffering from jetlag, so we conked out early. But the holiday lasts like 15 days here so when it’s not raining or snowing (which seems to have been rare these days), the Chinese pyros emerge to wreak havoc on the city. Actually, John and I enjoy the pyrotechnics all over the city, including in our community courtyards, but the dogs still shudder and run for a corner.
I’ve made some Chinese New Year resolutions. I’m going to refocus on learning Chinese and honing my networking skills. I already finished reading Leil Lowndes’ “How to Talk to Anyone.” Excellent and very informative. I’m going to the XuJiaHui Toastmasters’ meeting this Saturday. And I’ve begun yet another round of emailing China NGOs. I also ordered Iris Chang’s book, “The Chinese in America.” I’d like to get into reading. There are so many areas I want to improve. I need to start exercising more regularly. I want to study fundraising and Raiser’s Edge software. I want to play more guzheng. Argh. I need more discipline. 🙁
Okay, well it’s Valentine’s Day today. John’s at the gym. I’m going to tidy up the place and try to make a nice lunch. Wish me luck.