Ariel and I have been taking figure drawing classes the last month or so. Here are two of my favorites, a bit smudgy since that's what happens when you roll up charcoal covered paper. Check out Ariel's blog for a similar post with his drawings.


Ariel and I saw the Paris ballet perform "Paquita" last weekend at the Egg. It's lesser known 19th century ballet. Colorful costuming, simple set design and a rather enthusiastic crowd. Next weekend we are going to see 白蛇传 or "The Tale of the White Snake," a Beijing opera about a seductive snake spirit who charms a young scholar.

(Madame White Snake on a roof eave in the Summer Palace, from Wikipedia)

Some other, possibly crazy news to tell, but I'm going to patiently wait until I know exactly what I'm doing. No decisions or plans for at least 2 more days. No worries.

(Late news, but here is some fair coverage of Ti-bet from the BBC that at least allows the possibility of China discussing it's own affairs.)


(A mini Chinese lesson
specially designed for
people not intending to actually
learn the language.)

Today's character is:

大 and 人. See a similarity? The latter was covered earlier and it means "person." This new character is a literal drawing of a human figure outstretching his arms. This new character means "big." (Get it?) Slightly funny and rather poignant.

大 extends into other characters, for example 天 (sky/day) and 夫 (husband/master). The drawing of the character implies the meaning.

大 is pronounced "da" with a sharp fall as you say the word. (Think "da!")

Tens of thousands are dead in Sichuan province. The situation is dire. China is hurting right now.

If you'd like to help, donate here.


We got awesome hour long massages a couple of days ago. (Erin and Lix aren't pictured, but there were five people present altogether.) By mistake I referred to my skin as leather rather than skin and the Chinese girls massaging us laughed. Ah, language confusion!