Thursday, July 31, 2008

More trips....

I really don't know why Alice leaves me, her special treasure, so often this Summer. Why is that? She says it's to a very hot place where I would burn my paws. Sounds like no fun. Better to stay here.
Meanwhile, everyone in the family here, house guests too, have been reading Cecilia Chiang's "The Seventh Daughter". Alice remembers meeting Mrs. Chiang back in the 1960's and 1970's at the Mandarin Restaurant. Alice says it was something special. Like going to a private elegant home. Perfect food. Nothing compares. Now, she says, she knows why having read that book.
All I know is everytime Alice read about Peking Duck in that book I salivated and I noticed Alice cried while reading about what happened to Mrs. Chiang's family in Beijing in the Cultural Revolution. Alice always knew Mrs. Chiang was a tough lady, but until reading the book, she had no idea how tough she really was and is. A real treasure, Mrs. Chiang is.

Monday, July 28, 2008

More Precious Jewels

All over Asia.... jewels. The Three Supreme Jewels on the flag of the Tibetan government in exile. Held high by snow lions, reminding all of the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha.
In Japan, a Nyoi Hoju, the wish-fullfilling jewel, often is portrayed with mice. Alice is not sure why...
Some Chinese dragons hold tight to pearls, the Flaming Pearls of All Knowledge variety.
I hope a Chinese dragon never flies off with me in its claws! If so, I'll have to remember to say I'm "Pan Buo!" not a pearl.

My Chinese Seal

Alice was thinking today about her Irish forbears while I was thought about my Tibetan relatives. Potato Famine. Shelling of Llasa. Irish Civil War. Chinese Cultural Revolution in Tibet. Unspeakable tragedies leaving deep scars.
I am glad my relatives were lucky and got out of Tibet. Alice, too, for those who got out of the Dingle Peninsula of Ireland. Our home is the United States now. We are Americans. But... as long as the Dalai Lama says Tibet can be part of China, like Ireland is part of the European Union, I guess that means I am also "from China" as Alice is "from Europe".
So, while in Beijing, Alice got me my own seal, or chop. "Pabu", is supposed to mean "Puffball" in Tibetan, but doesn't mean much in Chinese, so Alice asked Lisa Y. to find me a proper Chinese name. Lisa asked Alice all sorts of questions like my fur color and character. She suggested "Pan Buo" which means amber. "A precious jewel!" said Alice for her "precious one".
With the help of Jasmine, Alice found a good chop with a dog to make into my Chinese seal. And some amber colored seal ink.
Funny Chinese custom, those seals and ink. I've a much better personal way to mark things. More meaningful, too, for us dogs. Still, I try to understand and appreciate human customs.

Monday, July 21, 2008

I Go Flying

Alice says she has to fly somewhere this week. Very fast, she says. I can fly, too! Here I am zipping over the grass by Dan Sullivan. Playing tag and tug of war with Alice over a Greennie. I hope she flies very fast back to me. She says she's not going as far as China this time. Good.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Uber Qilin of the Wiki

The first time Alice researched qilins on the Wikipedia, this one popped up on page one. At the Summer Palace of NW Beijing. Here she is giving it a respectfull hello surrounded by other admirers.
Would you want to be a metal statue stuck in one place - during the day - motionless while thousands ogled you? I know I would not. At least this one is the most famous - a consolation for it I suppose.
Behind that one and through a gateway, is this white one on a plinth, rather more discrete. A slower life. Fewer admirers. Maybe a bit easier to stay in Zen-zone there?
Alice looked at the lake this second qilin can smell. She thought it would be a good place for a curling bonspiel if the 100-only curlers in China could be encouraged to get out of their Olympics-only mindset and think of the real spirit of curling which includes bonspiels and long talks at bars after games.
Must send the Summer Palace qilins some ESP to tell any Chinese curlers they see to think: Bonspiel on the Summer Palace Lake!!!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Pika came to California for a visit with her people. Here we are tonight getting some chicken treats. Nothing is better for snacks than fresh cooked chicken...except maybe beef filet followed by sun spots?
Alice told me about the ice mountains she shared in Beijing with new friends Pat, Kristen, Jasmine, and Suzy. They ate together three whole ice mountains covered in sweet beans. What, no chicken? No beef? Count me out. But, on a hot day, I know I would like some of the shaved ice part with that condensed milk - but I would lick around the beans. The people could make tunnels through the beans for me. That would be lots of fun.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Qilins Brought Alice Back!

Alice is back. Hooray. I told all the qilins where she would be and they brought her back to me. The last ones were disguised as stone at an airport fountain near Beijing. Isn't their disguise effective? Alice had a lot of adventures, so many she says she might have to guest blog here.