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Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self. - Cyril Connolly
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
off the grid, my tuchas
From the cell phone of the Zenchick
text message
time: 6:32:28am
date: 09/25/2007
from: Broadsheet cell (which is actually how she is listed in my contacts)

printed verbatim:

Can I just say that "Asian style" toilets (aka ahole in the floor that you
(next screen) squat over and BYOTP) are an unholy abomination, and
(next screen) were never meant for women. They dominate-even in "modern" airports
(next screen) & restaurants, & we won't even discuss tourist attractions. I'll
(next screen) have quads of steel by the time I get home.


(not only do I think she wouldn't mind if I blogged this...I think I just saved her at least one trip-recap post when she gets back.)

Discuss.
posted by Broadsheet @ 10:40 PM   4 Editorial Opinions
Sunday, September 23, 2007
time to come clean
or, more to reality, sweaty and tired.
I was the friend with whom Danilou went on the Humane Society Walk today. I did it for many reasons, but I did it in Taz's memory, to honor him (I know, still no snark! Damn late best friend's dead cat).

It was a beautiful day (a bit hot for my taste, but at least not as humid as yesterday) and I have *literally* never seen so many dogs in one place at one time.

One even ventured into my BATHROOM STALL at the public ladies room near the Washington Monument. I can honestly say: that's a first, having a dog walking on my feet whilst I'm trying to pee in a public bathroom.

AND--I raised $525 for the cause, by utilizing emotional blackmail: my cat just died, blah, blah, I'm doing the walk with another friend of my late best friend (which was true), blah, blah, it was the late best friend's cat first...how could people NOT donate?

(And, Blogosphere, please give it up for Danielle, who raised a couple hundred smackers herself, solely based on Gizmo's cuteness.)

Now I'm tired. And I got shit to do. Sunday night. Ugh.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Oh WAIT---I almost forgot! Broadsheet herself sent me a text this morning (apparently she's not off the grid quite yet) and said she is having a fabu time, which I assume you will hear about post haste upon her return. But she also said (this is straight from my cell phone screen): "Tell the blog I said Nee-hao!"
Okay, I assume that's Chinese. Look it up. I would, but I'm too tired and have laundry to do. I also assume she meant for me to POST that on the blog, not TELL that to the blog, as the blog, not really existing and all, probably couldn't give a shit, right?
posted by Broadsheet @ 7:09 PM   2 Editorial Opinions
Thursday, September 20, 2007
no title
Zenchick here.
Serious-like.
I got no snark today.
Today, I buried Taz's ashes at the pet cemetery.
Snarky Broadsheet fill-in to return shortly.

(I wish this could go without saying--but no funny, sarcastic or obnoxious comments please. My heart is in a million pieces. Plus, when they all get glued back together, I'll slam your ass. (well, lookie there...I *did* have some snark in me today. Must be channeling the old Broad.)
posted by Broadsheet @ 10:18 PM   3 Editorial Opinions
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
um
Am I really "the blogger formerly known as Zenchick"?
Wouldn't that mean I still blog, but under a different moniker?

Shoot. One post and already I'm confused. I knew there was a reason I stopped doing this shit.

You guys: what is the proper term for me? (Jwer, you are prohibited from responding to that, and ACW-you may only do it privately via email. Snay-shut up. Again.)

Hey, internet...bet you didn't know I could be this snarky. That's because I'm not blogging about "musings from the lotus position". No Zen-like pearls of wisdom here. I'm Broadsheet, at least for the next few weeks!

{evil cackle}
posted by Broadsheet @ 11:54 PM   9 Editorial Opinions
The Coup Was Successful
The Blogger Formerly Known As Zenchick here....
She's not even gone yet...but I'm here! {rubs palms together devilishly}
Oh, dear readers, I haven't blogged in almost a year. We are going to have some BIG FUN!!
posted by Broadsheet @ 5:31 PM   6 Editorial Opinions
Off the Grid
Broadsheet is "going bamboo" for the next few weeks. Off the grid. Taking a walk in Marco Polo's footsteps and making a few of my own....

There will be lots to share when I return, and the blogger formerly known as Zenchick will stop by now and then to keep you company in my absence.

See you next month!!
posted by Broadsheet @ 10:04 AM   3 Editorial Opinions
Sunday, September 16, 2007
A Hundred Decadent Spas
My gracious host in Beijing is treating me to a Thai massage and spa outing the day after our Bataan Death March on the Great Wall of China next Friday. Assuming I survive the hike - I'll definitely need the massage!

Coincidently, the NYT had an article in today's travel section on the emergence of upscale, decadent spas to cater not only to the influx of Western tourists like moi, but even more so to cater to the enormous numbers of Chinese who are now traveling and taking leisure time within their own country.
Chinese spas, sensing the potential of the relaxation market, are giving themselves a makeover, upgrading their services so they can compete with the finest health resorts in Asia. As the Chinese themselves have become travelers — China is becoming one of the largest sources of tourists in the world — they are demanding higher standards of service. With disposable income in upscale eastern cities, Chinese tourists and business travelers now have cash for indulging themselves. And since China features crowds, pollution and fierce traffic, Chinese travelers and foreign tourists often find spas essential to surviving the intense pace of life.
posted by Broadsheet @ 9:25 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
Saturday, September 15, 2007
Meet you at Starbucks
Despite the fact that I'll be flying halfway around the world on a 14+ hour plane ride, and landing in one of the last great communist countries on earth, when I spoke with my friend about where we should meet when I land in Beijing, she immediately said - "there is a Starbuck's cafe to your right as you leave customs. Text me when you get there".

Sigh.... I was hoping for something a little more exotic than Starbucks frankly.
posted by Broadsheet @ 11:00 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
Friday, September 14, 2007
Are you a Scruncher or Folder?
My brother sent me this link.

He also admitted to being bored at work lately......

Culturally, I think it's interesting that the US and Canada are pretty evenly split on this issue. However, the ever anally retentive (sorry - I had to) Germans and Dutch are decidedly a folder society.

Scrunchers unite!
posted by Broadsheet @ 10:40 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Little Holland
If you wander a certain block in Bolton Hill this weekend, you are far more likely to hear Dutch being spoken than English.

The pending nuptials of my Dutch friend and neighbor this weekend have resulted in an influx of some of the loveliest people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. We're infested with them. Every guest room on my block - including mine - is inhabited with tall, pale, stoic, reserved, people.

I have to say, I honestly have never met a Dutch person I haven't really, really liked. From my first visit to Holland in the mid eighties where we stayed with the family of my father's colleague, to my Dutch physician roommate in graduate school and her family who took me on Holiday with them to the Friesan Island of Vleeland off the coast of Holland, to my neighbor and his family, I've been very lucky to have some of the nicest friends imaginable from the flattest country imaginable. They are funny, warm, gracious and they speak better English than most of us.

Add to them the bride's family from New Mexico, who I have not yet had the pleasure of meeting, and it's going to be a wonderful weekend.
posted by Broadsheet @ 6:12 PM   6 Editorial Opinions
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
The World's Meanest Obituary
Apparently, not too many people are mourning the passing of Lord Michael Pratt.
"Lord Michael Pratt, who has died aged 61, will be remembered as one of the last Wodehouseian figures to inhabit London's clubland and as a much travelled author who pined for the days of Empire; he will also be remembered as an unabashed snob and social interloper on a grand scale."
And that was the nicest thing they said - read the whole thing.
posted by Broadsheet @ 9:27 AM   2 Editorial Opinions
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Van With Explosives Found in Turkey
OK, I'm really too tired. I get my headlines through a news aggregator, and I swear I read this headline to myself three times wondering how the hell they got a van in a turkey.

I need a nap.
posted by Broadsheet @ 2:39 PM   3 Editorial Opinions
Pushing It
Hospitals are notorious for having meetings at unbearably early hours. In order to communicate with physicians and staff, and still get a full day of surgery and patient care in, we often start our day with a 7:00 AM meeting, or end it with one at 6:00 PM. If you choose a career in a hospital, you better be a morning person.

Being a morning person is one thing, but I think we set a new record for meeting early this morning: 6:00 AM

UGH. Honestly, it was the only time that worked for the key people that needed to attend, and it was a time sensitive meeting.

Luckily, since misery loves company, everyone cheerfully albeit bleary eyed, showed up on time, and I even performed a mission of mercy at 5:30 this morning to stop at Dunkin Donuts for a Box of Joe and some sugary goodness for everyone on my way in.

I'm fine now, but I think I'll be circling the drain by about 3:30 this afternoon.....
posted by Broadsheet @ 8:44 AM   1 Editorial Opinions
Monday, September 10, 2007
Fallingwater - Virtually
As an architect's daughter, who grew up in a house where we thought Frank Lloyd Wright was "Uncle Frank"...

This is an elegant and startling tribute to his most famous work. And for someone who could probably deliver the docent's tour for as many times as I've visited this place - it's never looked so good.
posted by Broadsheet @ 9:18 PM   3 Editorial Opinions
Animals at Play
An absolutely riveting slide narration of a wild male polar bear playing with sled dogs chained in the snow.

Normally, the dogs would have been a snack for the bear, but for some reason, they just played around - night after night.
posted by Broadsheet @ 11:16 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
Sunday, September 09, 2007
Michigan Embarrassed Again at Big House
Michigan Embarrassed Again at Big House

I can't even express how happy this makes me. And they didn't lose by a little - they where whomped.

Wisconsin is currently ranked #5 in the AP Poll. Take that, #15 Penn State!
posted by Broadsheet @ 8:33 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
Friday, September 07, 2007
When your glass is half full....


Courtesy of Neatorama - enjoy your weekend.
posted by Broadsheet @ 10:06 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
Stop the Madness
I haven't been home a lot in the last few weeks. Long hours and little sleep. Last night I got home after another conference related social event - the final Crab Feast dinner - at about 9:15 PM.

I checked my phone and was shocked to see that I had 25 missed calls in the previous 24 hour period, and more than 9 messages on my answering machine. I thought someone had died or something, and I couldn't figure out why my cell phone hadn't rung. Anyone who really needs to get hold of me has my cell phone number.

Every single phone call was from a political campaign, and they all occurred between the hours of 4:00 and 8:00 PM.

Make it stop.
posted by Broadsheet @ 4:25 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
Thursday, September 06, 2007
Itinerary
Well, I think I have a final itinerary completed for China, with some time left to relax or to catch a sight we didn't fit in along the way. I'm just waiting for final confirmation from a tour operator in Xi'an, and I'm good to go.

Day 1: Travel from Baltimore to Beijing

Day 2: Arrive Beijing, get to apartment, relax, have dinner

Day 3: Guided walking tour of Tienanmen Square and the Forbidden City in the morning, afternoon free for other sightseeing.

Day 4: Day Hike through a village in the countryside outside of Beijing. Views of the Great Wall and rural village life should be great.

Day 5: Temple of Heaven and a walk through the Hutong neighborhoods of Beijing in the morning. Maybe a visit to 798 SPACE - the hip art gallery community of Beijing in the afternoon.

Day 6: Fly to Xi'an and tour the Terra Cotta Warriors and the Great Mosque. Attend an evening performance of Tang Dynasty music.

Day 7: Tour the Shanxi Museum in Xi'an, see the City Walls, and fly back to Beijing in the evening.

Day 8: Royal Canal Boat Tour to the Summer Palace, and Summer Palace Walk in Beijing.

Day 9: Hike the Great Wall of China at Simatai and Jinshaling

Day 10: Free to explore the Olympic venues and prepare for the Silk Road.

Day 11: Fly to Dunhuang and visit the Mogao Grottoes in the morning, visit the Crescent Lake in the Gobi Desert in the afternoon - ride camels in the sand dunes of the Gobi at more than 400 feet below sea level. Take the overnight sleeper train to Turpan.

Day 12: Arrive Turpan. Visit vineyards in the morning and tour the ancient desert city of Jiahoe, from the Han Dynasty. Dinner and hotel in Turpan.

Day 13: Drive to Urumqui from Turpan through the Flaming Mountains. Visit the museum in Urumqui, have lunch and board a flight across one of the largest deserts in the world, the Taklamakan Basin, to Kashgar. Arrive Kashgar in the evening.

Day 14: Visit the markets and bazaars of Kashgar, and the "Tomb of the Fragrant Concubine".

Day 15: Drive to the world's highest alpine lake in the foothills of the Himalayas; Lake Karakul. At nearly 10,000 feet above sea level, it promises beautiful scenery in one of the most remote places on earth.

Day 16: Travel from Kashgar to Beijing.

Day 17: Free day

Day 18: Travel to US.
posted by Broadsheet @ 3:45 PM   1 Editorial Opinions
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
Economic Power
China may be the emerging economic superpower, but it is still a bargain for tourists like me. I had my heart set on getting to Xi'an and seeing the Terracotta Warriors, but since I am visiting a friend in Beijing as a private citizen, I have to arrange the flights, hotel and tours myself. Luckily, this is not too difficult, and not prohibitively expensive either.

After looking around on the Internet for an hour or so yesterday, there are any number of tour companies willing to provide private city tours of Xi'an. I found one with an itinerary I liked. It includes the Warriors, as well as a visit to the famous City Walls of Xi'an, the museum, and the great mosque, as well as a few other minor sites. There is a dinner banquet with Chinese performers and I'm staying one night in a very nice hotel.

I have a private driver, van, and English speaking guide at my disposal who will meet me at the airport and squire me around for two days.

Xi'an is about 600 miles from Beijing, or the distance between Minneapolis and Pittsburgh. If a visitor to the States wanted to fly from Atlanta to New York to take in a show and see the sites for a day, it would be prohibitively expensive to get a hotel and a private tour guide.

Not so in China, the tab for the whole trip - is $200 US, and that includes all meals, the hotel, and entrance fees.
posted by Broadsheet @ 9:25 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
Saturday, September 01, 2007
Marathon
Yep, it's 4:00 AM. I got a whopping 3.5 hours of sleep after stuffing race goodie bags last night till midnight.

I'm up because I have to be downtown to register conference participants for the big event at 6:00 AM during their breakfast time before the academic sessions begin at 8:00, and then run to the race course and hand out goodie bags and register people there from 9:00 - 12:00.

Errands today include:

Finding 2 dozen flashlights
Picking up bagels for 500
Buying kiddie pools for water and drinks
Marking the race course with spray paint
Setting up the volunteer registration and assignments
Picking up a former Tour de France rider at the airport, getting him fitted for a bike and dropped off at his hotel.
A dinner cruise this evening in the Inner Harbor with course attendees and faculty for the surgical conference.

Up again at 4:00 AM tomorrow to get the race going. The 60 mile bike ride begins at 6:30 AM.

With any luck - I can grab a nap Sunday afternoon when it's all over. That is, until Monday morning when the surgical conference continues - for the next seven days.
posted by Broadsheet @ 4:11 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
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