i joined a health club!

there’s a gym opening up in mid-june literally across the walk from my house.  they have a huge, awesome pool and les mills classes as well as pole dancing, spinning, etc.  i couldn’t resist joining, especially since i am getting to a point with my strength training that i need all the safety equipment (ie, squat racks and such) that going to a gym entails.  a one-year membership with pool access for my family for $250 CDN… well, of course i joined!

for the first year, i get a personal trainer for free.  yeah!!

…but.  and there’s always a but, it seems.  the PT gave me an assessment and the result?  super-obesity.  mind you, my BMI is not even 21, i am 172cm tall, and i weight something like 63kg.  i was in such shock at the evaluation that i could not speak.  SINCE WHEN IS THAT OBESE?!  after chatting with the PT for a bit and being told i should lose about 10kg, i dragged myself home, on the verge of tears.  if i lost 10kg, not only would i be underweight, but also “medically” anorexic.  as someone who has struggled with eating disorders… well, the last thing you should tell me is that i am obese while being at a perfectly healthy weight.

i am a very logical, exacting individual, but i still cannot shake this, even if i know deep-down it is total BS.  even after realizing the assessment i was given lumps your fat and muscle weight together, making it essentially meaningless.  even after being reassured by so many friends and family that the result was ridiculous…

excuse me, i’ve gotta go and get my head on straight.

some early pics from our wedding photoshoot :D

as is the custom in china, the bride & groom take a series of photos prior to the wedding, in order to display at the ceremony venue.  here are some pics from the shoot!  more next week, i hope.


and time starts to pass more rapidly than i realize!

wow, it’s been so long since i’ve blogged, but it seems like yesterday  :$  there’s some definite catching up to do.

work is going well.  i’ve gotten the hang of time management in my one-hour lessons.  i am able to deal with the boredom i experience if i have no classes but still need to remain in the office… lots of water-drinking, getting up every ten minutes or so to move around a bit or pace, pre-planning my english corner topics well in advance, chatting with my co-workers to get to know them, etc.

last wednesday was the tomb sweeping festival (清明节).  i hate being forcibly included on these events with tanigawa’s family, on my days off, when all i want to do is get some extra sleep and work out.  tanigawa’s relatives are all sort of nice, but they aren’t well-educated enough to keep from talking about me while i’m present and within earshot.  i want to blend in with the crowd.  they like to talk about how my bum is big and that i’ll be good for birthing baby boys, how i don’t eat much in their presence, even how i WALK.  i sort of lost it and burst into tears and got very angry and managed to smear my makeup quite attractively.  i sometimes think they don’t see me as a person, just “a foreigner”, and a grandchild delivery device.  my fight or flight mechanism kicks in and i feel exhausted after these encounters.  i read somewhere on the internets that foreign women who marry into chinese families should choose a man who’s wealthy, has a job, and no family.  the first two i don’t care anything about, but i’m inclined to agree with the last one.

i’ve discovered that, since moving to wuxi, there are really no spectacular restaurants here.  i guess i was spoiled in suzhou, living on a japanese food/bar street!  but the air in wuxi is so, so much cleaner than in suzhou.  strangely enough, too, although wuxi is much smaller than suzhou, it seems like a more modern city.  wider streets, newer buildings, and lots of department stores.  there’s a subway under construction which should be done next year and the buses are so comfy and clean!

anyway, my coffee cup is empty and it’s time to work out!

myspace-style survey :P

since i’m in the middle of cleaning the house to make it photo-appropriate (yes, the sun came out), i thought i’d entertain you with a survey.  man, i remember the old days, getting these surveys in mass emails, then filling them out and copying it to everyone…

Do you sleep with your closet doors open or closed? closed, because tanigawa is afraid of zombies coming out.

Do you take the shampoos and conditioner bottles from hotel? yes!  i even raid the maid’s cart for more goodies before checkout.

Do you sleep with your sheets tucked in or out? tucked in.  i liken myself to a burrito!

Have you ever stolen a street sign before? yep!  and the cops got called…

Do you like to use post-it notes? if the post-its in china were more sticky, i’d use them.

Do you cut out coupons but then never use them? i use an app on my phone; no more cutting!

Would you rather be attacked by a big bear or a swarm of a bees? well, i’d likely survive the swarm of bees!

Do you have freckles? in the summer, i get a few across my nose.

Do you always smile for pictures? not all the time  😛

What is your biggest pet peeve? staring.  i really hate people staring at me.  i usually confront them or stare back and make awful faces.

Do you ever count your steps when you walk? i count the steps when i’m walking upstairs.

Have you ever peed in the woods? yes.  and alleys and other places…

What about pooped in the woods? nope nope nope.

Do you ever dance even if theres no music playing? of course! 

Do you chew your pens and pencils? yeah, especially pencils.

How many people have you slept with this week? uh, two.  my cat and tanigawa.

What size is your bed? i’m not sure… it’s king + or something.  absolutely massive!

What is your Song of the week? hitori janai by ken hirai  ❤

Is it okay for guys to wear pink? absolutely!

Do you still watch cartoons? if i didn’t watch cartoons, i’d be a sad little lady.

Whats your least favorite movie? i really, really did not like avatar.

Where would you bury hidden treasure if you had some? seriously, it wouldn’t matter where i buried it, because i’d forget the location almost immediately.

What do you drink with dinner? water, bitter needle tea, or sometimes a cold beer  😉

What do you dip a chicken nugget in? korean sweet & sour sauce.

What is your favorite food? what, i can only pick one?  let’s go with sashimi!

What movies could you watch over and over and still love? my neighbour totoro.

Last person you kissed/kissed you? the cat just licked my nose and eyelids.  does that count?

Were you ever a boy/girl scout? i was, until i failed at selling cookies.

Would you ever strip or pose nude in a magazine? sure, but i don’t know if people would buy it.

When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone on paper? i wrote my uncle bill a wedding invitation  🙂

Can you change the oil on a car? no.

Ever gotten a speeding ticket? i’ve cried my way out of three!

Ran out of gas? no, thank goodness.  i’m very anal about a full tank.

Favorite kind of sandwich? avocado, tomatoes, and bacon on homemade bread.

Best thing to eat for breakfast? coffee, in huge amounts.

What is your usual bedtime? 11:30, usually.

Are you lazy? no.

When you were a kid, what did you dress up as for Halloween? a tiger, sailor moon, queen serenity, sailor venus, a prostitute…

What is your Chinese astrological sign? i am a wood ox.

How many languages can you speak? three.  four if you count latin, i guess.

Do you have any magazine subscriptions? no, it creates too much paper waste.

Which are better legos or lincoln logs? LEGO all the way, my friend.

Are you stubborn? to a fault.

Who is better…Leno or Letterman? i like the daily show…

Ever watch soap operas? yes!  i watch loads of chinese and korean soap operas, if i get the time to sit down in front of the telly.

Afraid of heights? yes.  i shudder thinking about ferris wheels…

Sing in the car? damn right!

Dance in the shower? i don’t dance in the shower, i sing!

Dance in the car? noooo, it’s too distracting.

Ever used a gun? no, but i have shot a crossbow.

Last time you got a portrait taken by a photographer? two years ago  🙂

Do you think musicals are cheesy? i love musicals!

Is Christmas stressful? only because i can’t go to canada to be with family during the holiday.

Ever eat a pierogi? i can even make ’em!

Favorite type of fruit pie? i like my mum’s blueberry pie.

Occupations you wanted to be when you were a kid? translator, ballet dancer, CEO…

Do you believe in ghosts? i not only believe in ghosts, the concept scares me so much that i get gooseflesh just thinking about it.

Ever have a Deja-vu feeling? it happens a lot!

Take a vitamin daily? yep… i take riboflavin and B12 (i have deficiences in both), fish oil, and a calcium softgel.

Wear slippers? currently wearing magenta winnie the pooh slippers!

Wear a bath robe? i would, if i had one.

What do you wear to bed? hello kitty sweatpants and a tank top.

First concert? barenaked ladies in nashville, tennessee.

Wal-Mart, Target or Kmart? target!

Nike or Adidas? i prefer nike.

Cheetos Or Fritos? cheetos.  the spicy ones.

Peanuts or Sunflower seeds? almonds???

Ever hear of the group Tres Bien? nope…

Ever take dance lessons? i took salsa dancing with my mum, in 2004.

Is there a profession you picture your future spouse doing? i have a spouse, and he’ll likely be doing some kind of international business down the road…

Can you curl your tongue? yep!

Ever won a spelling bee? i could, probably!

Have you ever cried because you were so happy? i sometimes laugh until i cry.

Own any record albums? no.

Own a record player? well, if i did, i wouldn’t have anything to play on it.

Regularly burn incense? yes!  i love the rose-scented stuff i can get…

Ever been in love? i AM in love!

Who would you like to see in concert? maybe ken hirai or girls generation.

What was the last concert you saw? SARSfest in toronto, ontario.

Hot tea or cold tea? both!

Tea or coffee? coffee.

Sugar or snickerdoodles? i don’t like sweets much.

Can you swim well? yes, very well.

Can you hold your breath without holding your nose? yep.

Are you patient? i try to be, but usually i’m not.

DJ or band, at a wedding? DJ?  i’m not sure.

Ever won a contest? i won a covergirl contest, and got a denim jacket, a huge goodie-bag of makeup, and a cellphone.

Ever have plastic surgery? i don’t need it!

Which are better black or green olives? green olives… mmmmm

Can you knit or crochet? i can cross-stitch embroider.

Best room for a fireplace? the living room!

Do you want to get married? gosh, i AM married!

If married, how long have you been married? four months  😀

Who was your HS crush? i don’t remember.

Do you cry and throw a fit until you get your own way? no, i usually go silent.

Do you have kids? i will in, say, five years or so.  no rush.

Do you want kids? yes.  i want two.

Whats your favorite color? pink or blue.

Do you miss anyone right now? i miss my mom and my younger brother loads.

things are falling into place :)

well, except for the fact that i STILL haven’t made good on my promise of house pictures.  it’ll happen, guys, i’m just waiting for a sunny day to do so.  the house is so much more impressive with sun flowing through all the windows!

i started my new job yesterday.  i was so excited and happy and bubbly!  all the girls in the office were surprised to meet me.  “oh my gosh, you’re so tall!”  “you look like a model, we weren’t expecting that!”  the other foreign teachers seem nice too.  everyone’s from a different area… john’s from new zealand, alex is from austrailia, and the other teachers are from england and america.  and now they’ve got a canadian, so the school has all their english-speaking countries covered!  i get to go shopping, too… the dress code is strictly office wear, so after my two-hour class observation is over at 4pm this afternoon, i am going to buy some clothes!!  my working hours will be 1 ~ 9pm, friday through tuesday.  my first full day is actually monday next week, and since i have tomorrow off, i am going to prepare loads of lunchboxes/snacks for the week ahead.  i am a notorious breakfast- and lunch-skipper, so i’m going to have to start eating brunch before work, a light meal on my dinner break, then a snack afterwards.  i usually wake up very early, so i’ll have time to work out in the mornings, shower, then do work prep.

on thursday, i cooked a huge meal for tanigawa’s parents and aunts and uncles.  it went over very well, although it was stressful.  i made lentil stew, bbq chicken wings, pizza, and spaghetti.  i guess i should post a recipe blog soon!  tanigawa was concerned about my choice in clothing since his family his astonishingly anti-cleavage, but no one said anything.  they left full and happy and a bit tipsy, so all was well.

theodore is getting used to the house and is finally up and about and we can resume our morning routine.  i can’t wake up properly without my cuddle-buddy!

it’s finished :D

well, our move is finished and i did the rest of the unpacking yesterday morning!  i still have no place to put my books, but i’m hoping to remedy that soon enough.

this is short because i’m jumping into a workout, and i did promise pictures on sunday, and now it’s already monday  😛  so once i’m finished up and showered, i WILL give you guys a photo tour of the house.

NROL4W: stage 1: fitness test 2

in a previous post, i mentioned that the final two workouts of stage one of the new rules of lifting for women are fitness tests.  well, here’s my result from yesterday’s workout…

deadlifts: 20kg for 70 reps

dumbbell shoulder press: 12 kg (each side) for 20 reps

lat pullovers: 12kg for 30 reps

lunges: 22kg for 25 reps/each leg.

side suicide jumps: 30 reps (this is modified from the original, since i do not have a stability ball)

i’m really impressed with the numbers from deadlifts, despite it being a relatively light weight.  i am so happy to be finished with stage one.  i’m moving onto stage two beginning the 26th of march (the book advises a week off from strength training).  as well, since the weather has warmed up, i am going to be doing loads of jogging next week.  it’ll help familiarize me with the new neighbourhood, as well.  two birds with one stone!

moving eve

…it’s sorta like christmas eve, without the presents expected the next day.

my double- and triple-checks of the house are done.  tanigawa and i are drinking beers and eating dongbei-style barbeque.  the landlord picked up the keys.  it’s the end of a four-year stint in this flat.

pictures of the new house coming on sunday  ❤

me and tanigawa ;)

since moving is making my mind a total blank, and a blog isn’t really going to happen, i thought i’d post pictures of tanigawa and myself over the past year  😀  enjoy!


yep… tanigawa making ugly faces and rude gestures for the camera…


me and wee eason during summer classes.  he was insanely cute!  our last conversation consisted of the following: “老师,我要给你一个礼物!”  “不用吧…”  “我们家有一台电脑,你要吗?”  “不行不行,就来抱抱我吧” (insert smooshy hug and kiss) “OK,老师,太爽了吧!!”  ((teacher, i want to give you a gift.  it’s not necessary.  our house has a computer, do you want it?  no way, just a hug, ok?  OK, teacher, that was awesome right!))


this is us at nanjing’s gold-purple mountain park  😀  (南京市,紫金山)


tanigawa feeding the doves at lingshan mountain park in wuxi!  (无锡市,灵山)

that’s us  ^_^



my morning routine and my superglue cat


that ^^^ … is theodore.  chilling on the dining room table with vigorously “swimming” with his paws.  he’s my morning buddy.

i usually wake up around 7 ~ 8am.  theodore is always on the bed in some form – sometimes he’s under the blankets, sometimes he’s sleeping on my tummy, other times he’s sitting right beside my pillow just staring at me.  i sit for a few minutes on the bed, chatting with him and patting him, until he stretches and yawns and decides it’s time to leave the room.

i always go directly from the bedroom to the kitchen, because king theodore needs breakfast, and fast!  he usually runs ahead of me, runs back, runs ahead, then runs back and wraps both paws around my leg and chomps my calf pretty firmly.  better than coffee, folks!  instant-awake!

after his food and water are taken care of, i spend time tidying the kitchen and putting things away.  i drink several glasses of water, then put the coffee on.  he follows me like a shadow.

i shuffle into the office and turn on the computer, come back to get my coffee, then go to browse emails and such.  theodore does his own thing for about ten minutes, then sneaks over, puts a paw on my leg, and waits until i pick him up to sit on my lap.  this is the point where he turns from cat to superglue.  if i get up to go to the washroom, get more coffee, anything… he digs his claws in, and refuses to budge.  and in the event that i do manage to get up, he sits on my chair, “keeping it warm”, until i come back.

yeah, theodore’s totally my best buddy  🙂