Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Yesterday, was driving to and fro running errands and getting registered to be a substitute so that I can help out with the Chinese classes at the local Junior High. I'm a little nervous about the first day of school and have many urges to lay my clothes out the night before, or call up everyone I know to see if we have any of the same classes, except for the boy I have a crush on because then he might know I like him. But that's not my point...

...The point being, I was listening to a little NPR (which is what I do when I want to feel smarter than I am) and was briefing myself on the relations and current military uprisings (my fancy and ambiguous way of saying war because I'm not sure if it really should be categorized as war) between Russia and Georgia. Anyway, they played a sound bite (or is it byte?) of President Bush speaking of his friendly relationship between he and Putin; W. calls him Vladimir. But that's all changed, now.

However, the next sound clip (different word use there) completely distracted me from the whole topic of the radio program. Bush says, "I trust people on their word until otherwise." Well, that's obvious- you trust someone until you don't. Maybe there should be another clarifying verb in there. I recommend "proved", nothing too fancy or too original.

I didn't vote for him, but I still kind of love him. You know. He's such a great sport with all of us making fun of him. I'll be honest, I'm a little sad that he's moving out of the White House for the sole reason of humor.

It reminds me of the Tianozoic time period: so much funny English popping around. I couldn't resist sharing some of the great English rhetoric spewing from the little island Formosa. Most of it comes from all my Taiwanese companions; the others are just miscellaneous moments of Chinglish goodness. (The best part is how I have made a smooth transition and sturdy connection between George W. and Chinglish.)

From the mouth of Shi (pronounced "sure"); she learned most of her English from a radio, and then from me (zao gao/messy cake):

"I'm totally 100% afraid of snake."

"You got to know what's in your deep."

"Sister Tips, you will lose your pounds."

"Will you be my boyfriend?"

"Because I have circle-face!"

"Any boy who writes that many pages is boyfriend."

From the mouth of the Xiao-meister:

"I love you with my true heart."

"Sister Tian, I no feel your love."

From the mouth of Mickey Chen:

"You are wisdom and beautiful."

"I am Captain Am-azing." (I have no idea where she got that from.)

Printed on the face of the weight scale I bought in Nanzi: Presenting you with nice slim body

"Kiss and Ride"- printed on a road sign (this is HH's kind of country)

Printed outside the bathroom of a small restaurant in Renwu, right above the "corresponding" Chinese characters: CRAPPER

"Are you going new places? I will show you neat things." (printed on a book-magnet)

"AUSPICIOUS" (printed on a scooter helmet with a big-four leaf clover- who needs lucky?)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


(Cameron Spencer/Getty; Times Online)

So, needless to say, I've been consuming as much of the Olympics as I possibly can. I'm an avid supporter of the Olympics. When I was a little girl, women's gymnastics and and The Little Mermaid were basically on the same level of greatness to me. Actually, they both still are on a pretty high level in the "levels of greatness" in my mind. Other things that win medals in the "levels of greatness" include various foods (particularly tropical fruit, dairy, and pastries), expensive new lip gloss, homework due dates postponed- but only before you've done the homework, people who tell me I'm beautiful (I'll take "hot" too), and clean bathrooms. But, ever since the Olympics have been at Beijing, they have surpassed all levels of greatness, even Ariel and her seashell cups.
In the B.T. world (Before Tian), I really found the Chinese culture quite mysterious, and my greatest link to them yet another Disney animation: Mulan. (By no means do I mean to discredit Mulan and all it's greatness.) However, in the Tian and Post Tian worlds, so much more has been revealed. (I will spare you my mission memoir right now.) SO... let's take a "little" quiz.
The following two characters are the Chinese equivalent of the English "GO!" Not as in "stop and go" but as in you are cheering for David Beckham to either head the ball into the goal or break up with Victoria so that you two can finally get to know each other.
The first character is pronounced Jee-yah (Jia1) and the second is pronounced Yo (you2). On the first character kind of sing a straight note in your upper register. No slurs please; these aren't IDOL auditions. On the second character, start a little lower in your register and move your voice up, or follow this line with your voice: / GOOD! (I hope you are reading this at work because it's a great conversation starter.)
加 油

Now, for the quiz. You have two options. One means China and one means America. The goal is to complete the phrase: GO [answer here]!!!! So, what's your choice. Don't look it up; take a guess first.
1) 中國

2) 美 國

Okay, the next post will have the answer. Oh, this is great fun!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


I'm liking this new background; it doesn't make me feel nearly uneasy as the dots. Bloggy likes it too.

So, Podly and Chenko convinced me to go to Denver this weekend to check in on Barrister Joe and the fam. What good fun came of it despite the 100 degree weather. (Post Tian life is great when it comes to the summer: since Taiwan, I have no sensitivity to heat. The other day I met this cute lady at the MTC- we were pretending to be investigators- sisters, to be exact, even though we are forty years apart. Anyway, we got talking about Taiwan and she mentioned, "Well, Ping Dong has two suns, you know." [It sounded really poetic in Mandarin.] Now, I have gone overboard because not only have I written more inside the parentheses than outside, but I am putting brackets within brackets. AHHHH!!!!!}}]]]]))

Back to the trip to Denver. We drove. It was long and gas station treats are lose their excitement after three hours.

Fortunately, this wasn't one of those typical Tian-Family trips with the old Isuzu Trooper. Due to the number of children in the clan, I often sat in the back with all the bags, facing opposite the direction of driving, thus, providing easy humor for the car behind us. To this day, I have this weird syndrome about giving up shot-gun to those who are older than me. I used to think it was part of the constitution of the United States.

Nice Person: Tian, you can have shot-gun.

Tian: Oh, no, you are older.

Nice Person: What does that have to do with anything?

Tian: It's the law.

Nice Person: (quizzical expression) What law?

Tian: I'm not sure, but I would feel better sitting in the back with the luggage, please.

There are other things I associate with driving too, besides the constitution. One of those is the San Rafel Swell. If you don't know what that is, then you were a blessed, blessed child and you probably took normal vacations like going to Disney Land. The Swell is the scenic route home from any Southern Beehive State location to our home.

I don't mean to belittle anthropology, archaeology, early civilizations, or historical monuments of any sort; but, in my book, once you've seen one petroglyph you've seen them all. And they don't evolve, by any means. Petroglyphs don't change over time; I know, because I'm smart like that.

So, whenever Pamlamadingdong gets that must-see-PETROGLPHYS-look in her eye, I like to remind her that Petroglphys are a lot like a Norton Anthology of early British Literature: they don't update through time. It's not like you can get a better edition.