Sunday, August 25, 2019

Beautiful Shenyang Skies

When I left Shenyang, I was (more than) a little salty about the city because when I left, the weather was alternating between heavy thunderstorms and mini sandstorms. I did a lot of sweeping sand out of my windowsills (and I'm on the 33rd floor!).

But then I got back here, and after the two typhoons passed (oh yes), I had a chance to enjoy the beautiful Shenyang sky.

Shenyang, like Montana, doesn't have many trees but does have gorgeous views of the sunset and the wide open sky. Here are just a few of the pictures I've collected:

This was in June, at approximately 4:30 in the morning. I woke up thinking it was 4:30 in the afternoon.

Lovely thundercloud skies

I love how there's sunlight on the ground but clouds in the air. 

This is from my apartment complex. 

Also from my apartment complex. 

From out and about - different night than the other one. 

Overall, I enjoy living in Shenyang.

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Awesome Things I've Seen Written Around Here

How have I only made one post about living in China before? It's not as though there isn't much to talk about...

Have you ever seen those memes about someone getting a Chinese tattoo on their arm, thinking it said something deeply profound, and someone else saying it means something like, "Chicken dinner"? I've seen enough of those to be scared of getting tattoos at all.

The thing is that Chinese people do the same thing with English words. Apparently, as long as the lettering is Roman lettering, it's cool. Here are some of my favorites.

First, I've seen one lady wearing a t-shirt that says: "SICK: New York". (Accurate.)

I've seen this bumper sticker around quite a few times:

Last weekend I saw a t-shirt that had the word "Fnvention." I assume that F was supposed to be an I.

Then, when I went fabric shopping, I saw this printed on some fabric:

That's not very epic. 

This is definitely one of those things that people all over the world do - they see something in a foreign language, think it's cool, and show it off, when in reality is just commonplace writing. Oh,good times.

It makes me smile to see that people are essentially the same in America and China.

Friday, August 23, 2019

My Summer Update!

I meant to get all kinds of posting done over the summer, but I have a very valid excuse for why that didn't happen.

Apparently, after you get LASIK, it really hurts to look at digital screens.

That's right, I got LASIK! I now have better that 20/20 vision, and the colors, oh the colors! I can turn around behind me and see Shenyang out the window, and there are colors I had no idea were in this city. Neither Shenyang (nor Seattle nor anywhere else, for that matter) quite compete with the mountains, however. Just the day after my LASIK surgery, my family all went up to a town called Leavenworth, which is basically a German tourist town in the Cascade Mountains. Being able to see all of that without my glasses... wow.

LASIK really is better than glasses. I've had glasses since I was 12-ish (don't remember the exact year...) but something about the last pair I had just dimmed the colors. I didn't even notice I was missing out on the colors until this summer. What a ride!

Anyway, other summer things included a lot of professional development online (working toward being that star teacher, after all) and brushing up on some aspects of history I forgot after not revisiting it much in the last three years.

I also was introduced to a symphonic metal band called Sabaton. They're a Swedish band that makes songs about historical battles in Europe. Most of them are modern history, so not really my cup of tea (and metallic music even less so), but I still have a lot of fun listening to them. Check them out!

My favorite of their songs, about the Battle of Itter Castle:

That's my favorite of their songs, but here's another video that gives me chills:

The reaction from the crowd is the part that sends chills up my arms.

And, because I'm sure my mom will be reading this, I've duly included her favorite:

So besides the new music, the family reunion, the surgery, and the PD, I also did a two other major things. First, I went to visit Wisconsin, and got to see a collection of college friends and professors. That was so nice! I've never been to Wisconsin in the summer, and it wasn't as terribly hot as I was expecting. While there, I went to a writing corner, visited a gaming pub (which I am definitely revisiting if I end up in Milwaukee again), and also met with another author by the name of Emma Selene Monroe - and in the future, make sure you check out for stories that we collaborated on!

The last major event of the summer was something that I wrote off as professional development, but it was also lots of fun. If you're in Washington (state), you've probably at least heard of Camlann Medieval Village, a living history museum out in Carnation. I've been there at least once every year, mostly to enjoy the magician, but sometimes to go to their feasts. It just so happened that my last weekend in Washington was their Saint James' feast, and as it turned out, they were short on volunteers. So I volunteered to help out for two days!

(You can probably tell my eyes are still bloodshot from the LASIK surgery, but they didn't hurt anymore.)

That was a very exciting experience, because I "knew" a lot of the people I got to work with. But this time I saw the effort that goes into preparing for a medieval feast firsthand. I'm debating having a day of this with my students in my Ancient World History class...

Anyway, that was my summer (or more accurately, my month of July). 

Oh, and by the way, of course I got a lot of writing done!