Feb
24
2009

Phil and I Have Gone and Done Something Crazy

bya Gabrielle at 12:54 PM

This is going to be a teaser post because I don’t want to reveal what exactly we have done until I have pictures.

On Sunday, Phil woke me up bright and early at about 8:30 AM.  This is highly unusual because Phil loves to sleep all day.  Usually, it’s me asking him to get out of bed so that we can enjoy the day doing something outdoors.  And he hates me for it.  So, I guess he was just trying to give me a taste of my own medicine.  Well, anyway, half asleep, Phil informs me that I need to get up and get dressed because we are driving to Atlanta to get some lamb.  Why do we need to go all the way to Atlanta to get lamb, you ask?  There is a grocery store there called Super H Mart, and it sells all sorts of yummy, Asian goodness – food – not people.  Particularly, they sell thinly sliced lamb that we love.  We fell in love with it in China and it was by far our favorite dish.  When we last went to Atlanta in July, we bought several pounds of it.  Seven months later, our supply is nearly gone.  Since having no lamb in the house would make us unhappy, it seemed like a great idea.  An hour later, we were in the car and on our way to Atl.

30 minutes away from our destination, we came across the Pendergrass Flea Market.  The place is huge and I mean HUGE.  Phil had been there before, but since I hadn’t, he wanted to let me see it.  The place was a complete mad house.  There were people everywhere.  It took something like ten minutes to find a parking place!  Once inside we strolled around seeing if there was anything worth buying.  I really didn’t see anything, I never really do at flea markets, but Phil found a Playstation 1 controller that he needed.  Phil thought they had animals, so we walked around looking for any they might have. We didn’t see any at first.  As we were just about to leave I saw a sign with pets written in red, pointing down a hall way. I think it was the one area we hadn’t looked before giving up.  Why does that always seem to happen?

I’ll give you this much:

It’s cute.

It’s furry.

It’s about 9 weeks old and weighs about 1 oz.

It isn’t native to South Carolina or any state for that matter.

I’ve wanted once since I first saw them at an exotic pet show at Jamil Temple years and years ago.

He makes the strangest, but cutest sounds ever.

He’s nocturnal by nature.

And his name is Quantum.

And for the record, this was totally Phil’s idea.  I just gave him permission.

Can you guess what it is?  I’ll take some pictures of him soon.  He’s a little scared right now, and I don’t want my camera to cause him any more stress. I imagine that when he gets acquainted with his surroundings – he is going to become a regular on this little blog.  I hope you all like him as much as Phil and I do.

PS My boss said that I just need to get married and have a baby.  Whereas I am sure that would help with the need to have something to love at all times,  human babies aren’t furry and they don’t purr.

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Dec
19
2008

Buicks Are Not Off-Road Vechicles

bya Gabrielle at 3:06 PM

Phil’s famous last words were, “Hell, lets do it.”

And this is what happened.

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Had three men not come to our rescue, we would have had to call a tow truck.  I told them that we would love their help, but that they were not allowed to ask how we got into our mess.  They just smiled.  Thankfully, the car was on a slight incline.  When they lifted the back end up, the front two wheels caught, and the car was free.

Everyday is an adventure with Phil.

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Dec
04
2008

Dreaming in Chinese

bya Gabrielle at 7:00 AM

I don’t know if other people do it, but I sometimes dream in Chinese.

It started sometime after I arrived in China.  I thought it was pretty cool, even though I didn’t understand all that was being said.  When people would talk to me, I would respond to them like I would in real life – a few key phrases or words to try and explain what I needed or wanted them to know. My vocabulary has always been rather limited.

I always wondered why my mind didn’t pretend that I knew Chinese.  I guess it didn’t know how to fake the language.

Even after coming back to America, I still sometimes dream in Chinese.  It amazes me that in my sleep I can recall vocabulary words that I haven’t used in ages.  My most recent dream was rather entertaining, and I thought you would enjoy hearing about it – although I doubt you’ll find it as funny as I did.  I think it is hard to appreciate other people’s dreams because you lose so much in the explanation.  It’s like trying to turn a book into movie or vice versa.

In my dream, me, Phil, and Holy(our Chinese friend) were running away from some Chinese bad guys. We had been running for a long time, but the bad guys were still hot on our trail.  At some point we decide to hop on a train.  The train was headed to Hong Kong.  Well, once we boarded the train and left the station – my dream decided to go completely nuts.  The train, in its attempt to flee the bad guys, jumped the tracks and started traveling at very high speeds over mountains, valleys and streams.  It reminded me of a cartoon.  Somehow we managed to put some ground in between us and the bad guys and were able to rest for a while in our seats that I don’t remember paying for.

As the train started to pull into the Hong Kong station, we started gathering all of our stuff.  In real life, I probably would have been running from the bad guys with only the clothes on my back, but obviously, the same does not hold true for my dream life.  I had apparently crammed every single one of my possessions in numerous suitcases, pockets, and bags and had waited until the last moment to gather them back up.  This is not what I found funny though.  If anything, this part of my dream cause me panic and loads of stress.  What made me smile in my dream would have sent me into side splitting laughter in real life.

As the train pulled closer to a stop, I noticed that there were thousands and thousands of Chinese people waiting to board the train.  There were so many of them, that they had built stadium like seats in the station.  All of them were standing.  And of them were chanting.  Can you guess what they were chanting?  If you have ever been to China for any extended amount of time, you should probably be able to guess.

For some strange reason, every single last one of them was chanting “Jia you! Jia you! Jia you!”

For those of you who don’t know have any idea what “Jia you” means – there happens to be a YouTube video that will teach you all you need to know.  If my dream doesn’t make you giggle, the video should.

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I have no idea what happened once the train stopped because I woke up.  I can only imagine what would have happened had I stayed asleep and the dream continued.  All I know, is that it was the strangest dream I have had in Chinese yet.

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Dec
03
2008

Bored Senseless

bya Gabrielle at 4:16 PM

I have absolutely nothing to blog about.  No crazy stories.  No pictures. No nothing.

My life is about as exciting as watching paint dry.

My DnD characters are having more adventure in their lives than me and they aren’t even real.

How sad is that?

My travel money is burning in my pocket, but I can’t use it for another year.

I think I am bound to go crazy.

Absolutely mad!

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Nov
20
2008

The Wii-Venture

bya Gabrielle at 6:17 PM

* This post was started some time ago, and finally just got around to finishing it.

Several months ago, Phil called me up, and said, “You are going to kill me,  . . . . but I bought a Playstation 3.”

He was right.

“You did what?” I screamed back.

I am Phil’s financial angel of sorts.  I sit on his shoulder and tell him what I think would be a good or bad purchase. I had been sitting on his shoulder for well over a month telling him I didn’t think buying a PS3 for the purpose of getting a Blu-Ray player was worth it.  I told him just to wait, and maybe he would get one(a Blu-Ray) for Christmas or something.  This tactic worked for a while, but I could see the want factor starting to shine through. I guess I just didn’t realize how bright the want factor was because as soon as I left him alone for a weekend, he trotted off to the store and bought one.  Of course, he didn’t buy it without any outside influence.  With me gone, a little devil appeared on Phil’s other shoulder.  The little devil was Phil’s brother, Steve.

“Your brother played a part in this, didn’t he?” I asked.

“Yes.”

“And he whispered, ‘Buy me, buy me’, in your ear, didn’t he?”

“Yeah, you should of heard him.”

“And what about me?  What did I have to say?”

“Well, I sorta stopped listening to you and flicked you off my shoulder.  Sorry, Gabe, but Steve the Devil won.”

That is when I told him that it was his money, and that he could do anything with it, but that I thought a Nintendo Wii would have been a much better investment.  This was of course the more evil side of Gabe trying to worm the idea of buying a Wii into Phil’s brain.  :)

For the next couple of weeks, every time we would go to Best Buy or Game Stop to see the PS3 games available, I would make Phil look at the Wii games, too.  I wanted to point out all games we could have been playing had he bought a Wii instead.  He always laughed at me and then used the excuse that we would have to find a Wii first before we could buy it.  This is when Wii’s were next to impossible to find.  Well, somehow my insistent behavior started to wear Phil down because out of the blue one day, Phil suggested that we start looking for one.  He thought it would be an adventure.  Phil likes adventures.  That is the only reason I think he decided to join me in China. :)

The search began with us going to stores in our free time just to see if anyone had one in stock. The answer was always,  “No, and good luck.”  We found out from Wal-Mart that Wii’s were delivered by UPS Monday through Friday and usually at lunch time.  Wal-Mart said that they didn’t know when they were going to get them until they arrived, but that we could always call and ask if they had.  So, for the next several weeks, on the weekends or when we would be out running errands, we would run into stores that could possibly have them and ask.  The answer still hadn’t changed.

One Friday, Phil decided that he was sick of stores not having a Wii in stock and wanted to search until he found one.  He jokingly said that he didn’t care if he had to drive all the way to Georgia.  I told him that he just might have to do that considering every store in Columbia that we had checked was sold out.  I also told him that it would be wiser to wait until Saturday morning since most stores beside Wal-Mart were already closed.  It was after nine.

I doubted that we would get out of bed early enough the next day to actually search because Phil loves to sleep, but a little after nine in the morning, my friend Shaun decided to call and wake us the hell up.  He wanted to know if I was going to show up at DnD or not – at 9:15 in the freaking morning.  We don’t start playing til around 2!! The phone call was somehow enough to wake Phil up and get him out of bed, which is a miracle in and of itself at 9:15 a.m., especially on a Saturday.  He looked at me and said, “Lets go find a Wii.”

An hour or two later, yeah, we are slower than molasses, we headed out on our own Wii Venture!  We didn’t have any sort of plan.  We just drove.

We ended up first at a K-mart we hadn’t been to yet, but they said they didn’t have one.  We swung by a Wal-Mart that we don’t go to often, but they didn’t have any either.  Across the street was a GameStop and decided to check it out even though they never have them.  Surprisingly, they said they had one, but it was used – still in good condition, but used.  We were given the option to buy a waranty, but we decided to wait to and see if we could find a new one else where.  While we were there, though, we noticed they had a Wii Fit in stock, which was and still is sometimes hard to find. We made a mental note to come back for it if our adventure was sucessful.  We ran to a Best Buy and another Game Stop, but no dice.  Even though we had been to it a hundred times we decided to swing by the Wal-Mart near Phil’s apartment, but the shelves were empty there, too. We were starting to get depressed.  We had almost exhausted the stores in the near vicinity.  I didn’t want to drive all over South Carolina to just to find a Wii, but it was starting to look like that.  We were on a time schedule, too.  I had to be at DnD at 2:00.

Several miles up the road, a new Wal-Mart had been built, and since we never go there, we thought we should check it out.  As we walked into the store, I crossed all my finger and toes.  I walked up to the lady at the electronics counter and asked the same question I had been asking all morning.

“Do you have an Wii’s in stock?”

She shook her head and said, “No.”  My hope instantly deflated.  “But,” she continued, “The Winnsboro Wal-Mart has tons of them.  You should go there, but you are the third person we’ve told, so I would hurry.”

As soon as we figured out how to get to Winnsboro, we ran for the exit and quickly sped away in Phil’s Buick Skylark hoping for the best.  For those of you who don’t know, who I am assuming to be the majority, Winnsboro is a small city/town about 25 miles away.  Not too far I know, but far enough to try and find a Wii!  The whole way there, Phil and I tried to figure out the odds of actually finding one.  Winnsboro is pretty small, and I couldn’t imagine them having many in stock.  Plus,  there were the three other customers who had been told the same thing as us.  They could very well have gotten there and bought the last of them.  I again crossed my fingers.

I’m sure the people in the parking lot thought we were nuts.  As soon as the car was in a parking spot, Phil and I leaped out of the car and took of running for the front door. We were walking like our shoes were on fire.  The set up of the store was a little different than what we were used to, but we eventually found the seemingly floating electronic sign telling us where to go.

I got to the aisle first.  My eyes immediately began to scan the glass cases.  Xbox, PS3, PS2, NDS, and then finally, the Wii section.  And there she was – pretty as could be.  I couldn’t believe it.  I think I may have danced a little.  :)

There were no Wal-Mart associates near by, so I made Phil stand watch while I went and found one.  Eventually, I found one hiding and demanded that she let my Wii free.  Minutes later we were the proud owners of a brand new Nintendo Wii.  I let Phil carry it out because I just knew I would stumble, fall, and kill it.  That sort of thing always happens to me.

On the way home, we remembered that one of the Game Stops had a Wii Fit.  I had wanted one for a long time – my jeans are too tight – so off we went to add it to our joyous day.  A smidge after two we arrived home.  Phil immediately began to set it up, but I had no time to stay and play. I had Orcs and demons to slay.  The waiting was torture!!

It’s been weeks now since we bought the Wii, and I can say that I am very happy.  I wish that I had more time to play because there are a lot of cute games out there.  Perhaps over the holidays I can finally enjoy it to its fullest.  I’ll be looking forward to it. I’ll surely need the Wii Fit after I eat a turkey and a couple of pumpkin pies.  :)

And if for some reason you came upon this post because you can’t decide which system to blow your money on – I’ll leave with the four reasons why you should choose a Wii over a PS3 any day of the week.

1) It’s way cheaper. (Who cares if the graphics don’t make me feel like I’m standing in realistic world besides my own.)

2) It’s way cuter.  (I’m sorry, but Mario and all of his crazy-ass friends stole my heart at the age of – I don’t know – I was young.)

3) It’s way more interactive. (The PS3’s 6 axis controller can kiss my butt.)

4) And the games and add-ons are cheaper, too. (You’ll get many more games to play out of your dollar if you go the Wii way.)

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