Thursday, November 29, 2007

An additional webpage/blog

I'm setting up a new webpage and a blog...

i will keep this one for the more "personal" brandy thoughts... but I will make you log in.... so if you want to keep reading this blog please email me within the next month and I will let you subscribe... otherwise you'll be left in the void....

which, speaking from experience, isn't as bad as it sounds :)

so check it out... This is to hopefully more regularly update about my new life in GZ. we'll see.

Monday, October 15, 2007

What I'm reading, and thinking and doing right now...

just in case you were wondering what's going on this moment with me. I'm sleepless due to a hacking cough that wakes me up if I try and sleep on my back. So I'm consoling myself online with articles I've been meaning to read, emails I've been meaning to send, and more. When something good comes up, I'm going to copy and paste...

This is nice:

Life isn't about keeping score - from a page of Actual Nike Advertisements

Life isn't about keeping score. It's not about how many people call you and it's not about who you've dated, are dating, or haven't dated at all. It isn't about who you've kissed, what sport you play, or which girl or guy likes you. It's not about your shoes or your hair or the color of your skin or where you live or go to school. In fact, it's not about grades, money, clothes, or colleges that accept you. Life isn't about if you have lots of friends, or if you are alone, and it's not about how accepted or unaccepted you are. Life just isn't about that. But life is about who you love and who you hurt. It's about how you feel about yourself. It's about trust, happiness, and compassion. It's about sticking up for your friends and replacing inner hate with love. Life is about avoiding jealousy, overcoming ignorance, and building confidence. It's about what you say and what you mean. It's about seeing people for who they are and not what they have. Most of all, it's about choosing to use your life to touch someone else's in a way that could never have been achieved otherwise. These choices are what life's about.

Chinese men don't rate their women out of ten, but use a subtler five point scale:
她很漂亮。 tā hěn piàoliàng She is very beautiful means 'She is a ravishing beauty'
她很可愛。 tā hěn kě'ài She is very loveable means 'She is quite pretty'
她很愛國。 tā hěn àiguó She is very patriotic means 'She is a bit plain'
她很守規矩。 tā hěn shǒu guījù She is very law-abiding means 'Maybe with a paper bag'
她的字很漂亮。 tā de zì hěn piàoliàng She has beautiful handwriting means 'I think I'll run away screaming'

ok. that's it for now. gotta sleep.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


i decided today i'd be happier today dying in china than living in america. main reason, my family. there's a big surprise.

exceptions: the ones that didnt birth me.

any more questions?

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


apologies to the loyal fan base of readers interested in what new trouble brandy has be into lately.

i've been trying to get some time to blog for a few days but i've been extra busy with business meetings, a heavy teaching schedule, and trying to get some sleep.

currently i'm trying to negotiate a pay raise for me at my new job by bringing in business for my school. means i work a little more, but hopefully i can start making about 3000 extra a month at it.

i'm also still interested in my idea of starting a service business for foreigners and i've recently found someone interested into putting money into it. so... brandy the entrepreneur strikes again!

i've also spent some spare time writing a curriculm for an english course targeted towards women who want to learn basic english for marrige to foriegn men. this should prove to be interesting.i may even commute up to guang zhou for a while to get it kicked off. we'll see...

AND to boot, i'm still helping at live bar, finding bands to play, redesigning the menus, hiring/recruiting staff, and yeah...

i love it.

the busier i am, the better i work.

hopefully i'll be grossing over 12,000 RMB a month soon. hopefully i wont kill myself in the meantime.

i've also found a "potential" boyfriend. i'll still trying to sort out if he only likes me for english practice, sex, or money. i don't think it's the money because he's got his own internet cafe business. he's a few years older than me, handsome, and supposedly single. more investigation yet to be done :)

sandy and champ have also been living with me and ashley this summer. that's been good and bad. pictures of the new place are coming soon.

i miss you all, love you bunches....


Thursday, July 26, 2007

What we've all been waiting for...

the good news!

I got hired at Fountain English School. It's very similar to TPR but smaller. The boss was very kind because even knowing my history she's agreed to give me a second chance.

So the school is very close to my new house. And things are starting to look up, more and more. Stage one of Brandy's life overhaul is underway...

And now I'm going to a celebratory dinner... more updates later.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

So, things are looking up....

As I've starting taking control of my life, things are working out really well. I've got two jobs lined up. I'll be teaching and earning lots of money. I'll also still be working for Live bar, just not *at* Live bar. I'm moving to the center part of town with a great friend of mine and Champ should be hanging out a lot this summer because of his internship. So that's exciting. Hanging out with those two guys will be good for me because they 1. care about me and dont want me to do anything stupid, and 2. are really really fun to talk and joke with and share serious things as well.

So right now I'm feeling pretty good. I realized that my decision to stay in China longer has really scared some people and shocked a few. But if you guys could just understand what a wonderful oppurtunity this is for me in my life to develop some discipline and grow up a little, you'd be all for it. And sure, I could do that in America... but there's something about that country that makes us all a little lazy. That's the first American trait I'm trying to shed, laziness!

Ok, well I hope that wraps up everyones questions for now. I'll keep everyone posted on the rest of the great positive changes and events going on in my life.

With Love,

Monday, July 9, 2007

Are you ready for this? 你们准备好了吗?
I certainly hope I am.

As you may or may not have noticed, I've been gone for almost exactly on year now. You also may or may not noticed that I haven't kept in touch well with those back home who I know love and support me and my decisions. Here's why:

I didn't know what to say. I wanted to reassure everyone that I was safe, healthy, happy and better than ever. But I knew it wasn't entirely true. And if you know me well, you know I have a really hard time lying to people I trust, love, and care about. Soooo.... the easiest option was just to pretend like I was doing *so* good and I was *so* happy that I was too busy, or too forgetful. (Forget sounds better than neglectful) Because I have been have been negligent. I forgot to take care of myself.

For so long I've tried to do one of the best lessons in life my mom taught me. (Yes, her, my mom.) Save the world. However, I didn't exactly have the right tools and knowledge or examples and what I did have, I didn't learn from. I'm ready to change that. And I hope everyone is ready to accept that.

That's a very hard thing for people to do; let others change. Especially for the better. If you truly care and love someone it's quite simple because you want them to be the best they can be. But most people place you in a box, keep you just the way you were, never seeing the new way of things because it's too hard for them. Jealousy usually plays a large factor in that.

But wait, there's more!!

There are some very important news items going to be conatined below in the following INCREDIBLY long post. So bear with me. A teaser: bits of a conversation with mom where we cried but not in anger, some of my career and life goals and the baby steps and actions I am currently in the progress of taking, and nudity.
Just kidding, making sure you're really paying attention!! :)

So, talking to mom. Here are some of my favorite parts:
(Sorry mom hope you don't mind me sharing... I mean I always share the shitty things, so why not the good parts too...)

Because our last conversation endly pretty badly, we first started with a polite truce and small talk about her recent vacation.

12:40:40 PM: we went to lake Chatuga for fireworks
12:41:02 PM: Jordan fished at Cherokee Lake
12:41:09 PM: catch anything good?
12:41:15 PM: stayed at Pine Creek Cabins with a pool
12:41:28 PM: just a little fish
12:41:35 PM: sounds like a great time, even with any stress included tho
12:41:41 PM: he got to take a friend Forrest with him
12:41:42 PM: i need a vacation, but i dont deserve one right now

Then as things tend to do.... she started in on the questions that usually lead to our heated debates and fighting matches:

12:46:18 PM: so what ya been up to if ya wanna share?
12:47:29 PM: readjusting my life. learning right from wrong. meeting a really good new friend who is helping me kick my life back into gear. setting some new goals. salving my reputation in town. and trying to figure out if i can afford the coolest apartment i've ever seen on my own because i need to be by myself for a while. so not much really ;)
12:48:22 PM: sounds like you got a plan
12:48:53 PM: yes, but here's the hardest part, getting started. i have to make baby steps i just have to make sure they're in the right direction

And my personal favorite:

1:00:57 PM: any chance ya coming home anytime this year?
1:02:13 PM: about coming home. well... i'm working on it
1:02:26 PM: it's more important for me not to stop the ball rolling here.
1:02:43 PM: as long as your ok [ed note: i think this is a lie hehe]
1:02:53 PM: if i stop now. i'm afraid i will mess up again.
1:03:10 PM: well I dont know what messing up there means
1:03:48 PM: messing up here means i keep doing what i've been doing, fucking off, doing drugs, and meeting all these useless people that are dragging me down into a (un)comfortable numbness in my life. i cant do that anymore

And then the money/dad fight came knocking on the door...but it quickly turned back into the why don't you come home debate...but this time... I know why I'm not going home right now. I know what I'm going to be doing with my life. So it's makes a big difference.

1:07:55 PM: i mean, what do you suggest?
1:08:03 PM: why dont you just let us pay your way home?
1:08:14 PM: because i can't come home right now. i just told you why. i want to come home. i need to come home. i need to recharge and remind myself about the people there that are supporting me and caring for me.
1:09:09 PM: what better way to get away from people there on drugs and useless then to just leave
1:09:14 PM: but if i do it right this minute... everything i've been working for these past few days will fall by the wayside. i can't keep running. i have to start working

So after all that was said and done I set about explaining my new goals and steps to her while she keeps trying to entice, beg, please, guilt trip me back home. I'm proud of myself for remaining calm.

1:09:36 PM: it's much more likely that i'll be home in october.
1:10:03 PM: well it is more realsistic to get help from people at home if we thought you are doing realistict things
1:10:08 PM: if you want to wait until then, i'll probably need money for a plane ticket then as well. because i wont be making enough at the bar to save up. i'll be making ends meet until i can convince people in town i'm changing my life.
1:10:15 PM: i am doing realistic things!!!!
1:10:24 PM: the first one is getting away from the bar.
1:10:35 PM: the second one is getting a job at a different school
1:10:41 PM: convience who?
1:11:02 PM: the owners of english schools and the teachers that like to gossip and lie and run their mouths.
1:11:05 PM: why should anyone there matter? we are your family
1:11:10 PM: i can't tell people i'm going to change. i have to show them.
1:11:33 PM: everyone matters mom. it's not what you know it's who you know. and it's never been so apparent as it is now.
1:11:45 PM: Bran Ive always told you that what others think does not matter
1:11:59 PM: well it was a lie :)
1:12:12 PM: what they think about what i'm doing doesnt matter if i'm doing the right thing
1:12:17 PM: now i have to learn right from wrong
1:12:27 PM: those people dont control your life
1:12:27 PM: and i'm learning the hard way
1:12:39 PM: no, they either faciliate and make it easier or they hinder me
1:13:26 PM: well it is my opion that you need to bring your ass back to the culture that yo were born in
1:13:43 PM: and use what you have learned to better yourself here 1:13:49 PM: those i just told you were baby steps.
1:14:16 PM: i'm not ready yet. i havent finished changing. i'm like a butterfly still building my pupa. i have to learn more and form better habits.
1:14:54 PM: Bran you cannot convine me that you have to be across the worl to better yourself
1:15:27 PM: no i dont have to be. but that's where i found myself after drfting aimlessly without goals.
1:15:29 PM: bettering yourself starts from within not from an enviroment
1:15:39 PM: right, and i'm starting now. and i'm starting here. this day.
1:15:58 PM: brushed my teeth, did my situps, got my ass online and i'm planning options for my little goals this week.

So we wrapped it up with forgiving each other, her talking about god and me not getting pissed off, and then a sweet tender hallmark moment where we both cried...

1:45:13 PM: I know that any life that includes drugs is a dead end street
1:45:38 PM: if i really want to achieve my goal of learning the culture and the language. i can't do that in america. you know that. when you learn another language FLUENTLY not just being able to direct a taxi or talk about a topic, you really have to be able to think in that language. your first thoughts can't be in your native tounge if has to come automatic. if i can learn that at gordon i'll hop on the plane now.
1:46:06 PM: yes you're right mom. you taught me that lesson very very well. not only from your life but your friends (who actually are dying around you) life
1:46:10 PM: i'm glad you're away from it now
1:46:14 PM: and now i'm going to be too
1:46:41 PM: well Im glad it hasnt taken you all of your life to figure this out 1:48:10 PM: just more of my life than it needed to. almost at the cost of my personal safety. and definetly at the cost of my reputation which is the currency of china.
1:48:28 PM: I know you dont try to do this but My eyes are filled with tears and my heart worries for my baby girl
1:48:35 PM: so now i'm poor in spirit, broken, humble and ready to try again. this time working my way up and not just going where the path of least resistance is.
1:48:51 PM: i've been crying too don't worry ;)
1:49:05 PM: I cant help but worry
1:49:24 PM: you're a mother, that's natural
1:49:35 PM: no matter what your reputation here your family loves you
1:49:44 PM: sometimes love just ain't enough
1:49:59 PM: if you care about someone sometimes you need to be hard on them.
1:50:08 PM: i care about myself now. so it's time to be hard.
1:50:27 PM: I tried that and I drove you away
1:50:55 PM: and if love anit enough I guess I have nothing else left to give
1:51:00 PM: maybe now is not the time for you to help me anyways. i would appreciate any money you could offer because that would help me now. it's the one tool i lack.
2:14:01 PM: you sound like you have been brainwashed by a bunch of money hungry Chinese that are trying to rise above poverty
2:14:28 PM: if you dont rememebr anything else I say remember this. money doesnt buy happiness
2:14:44 PM: no.
2:14:47 PM: it buys comfort
2:14:50 PM: you know before i said i hated money.
2:15:02 PM: i dont hate it now. i see it for what it is.
2:15:04 PM: a tool.
2:15:43 PM: a worker is not his tool. he can love his hammer but that doesnt help him build his house. he has to love his house and use his tools efficetively. when i can build a house for me, then i can begin to help others.
2:16:17 PM: lol is this some chinese proverb?
2:16:25 PM: no that's a brandy metaphor.
2:16:33 PM: lol

So after a little more talking, we parted ways. And I think this may be the first time she's slept well since I've moved to China. So it's almost like a confirmation that my new choices are the right path for me because it's very rare that a conversation between me and mom could go this well.

So there. That's it. I have goals. I have motivation. I have little plans and steps and backup options to try and prepare for contigencies. I have the support of good people over here in China and back in America as well. So I'm ready.

Here I go...

Thursday, June 14, 2007

the time is nigh...

Hello Everyone,
I now return you to your reguarly scheduled Brandy. Well, mostly...

I'm doing a little bit better. I'm a little sick. Something flu/cold like in nature. Yes, I've seen a doctor, yes I'm resting, not singing not drinking not smoking. I should be fine in a few days.

Nothing else exciting really...I'm still waiting for my school to make some decisions about me. Not sure if they want to keep me around. My lack of puncuality seems to worry them. But I get so many good recommendations from students it's hard to say no. I think if Kevin stays and I get let go... I'm going to be really really angry. Long story.


I'm off to chinese class, more updates to come.

Interesting Link of the Day

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Ok, it's here....

The frustration is here. I now know what my first roommate Michelle was going thru, maybe not even as bad. The difference being she knew she was leaving when her contract was up. She had traveling to look forward to. And me? Well, as usual, I'm not sure what's going on. Although I do know I'm getting quite tired of that feeling, and I'm ready to grow up. I'm just not sure quite how to start. I pretty sure it has something about taking responisibilty for your actions and going thru with promises, and preparing for your future. It's the last one I have problems with.

So now with only a few months left to go, my time at TPR is winding down. I need to see what I should do about renewing my contract or whatever. I know I want to stay in Zhuhai, but I don't know what I want to do. There's a foriegner that wants me to work in Sales or something in his international export business. I could continue teaching. I could change schools (a little more difficult) I really really just have no clue. Ideally I'd love to teach part time at TPR so I could keep my visa, get some private students during the week, and work the rest of the time at the bar. I really love it there. The music is all that keeps me alive some nights.

I've discovered something about myself I never knew before: I have an ability to lost myself in music. I've never really considered myself a "real" musician before because I always lacked the motivation to practice or to get better. I was happy just to play what I could. But I've lived off my natural abilties long enough...

in more than just music. I have many natural talents that I've just used to get by, not really excel in anything. Writing, Music, Language, and I've just watched most of these things go to waste. Only now I'm tired of it. I'm ready to do something. I'm still not sure, what or when or how, but at least a little fire has been lit under my ass.

Maybe it's been the recent events. I'm really just thru with it these days. I've been robbed in my home by a guy I brought home. He'd been here 3 times before. A little geeky gamer guy that cuts hair for a living. Visit number three he decided needed money more than my friendship and he ran off with my roommate's laptop and my camera and some money from my purse. This was the same day that my cellphone got stolen by some girls at the bar that had engaged me in some friendly conversation. Then when I went up on stage to sing I left my purse by them and my (newly purchased because my last one was broken) cell phone wasn't there at the end of the night.
Hmmm what else. Yeah so the roommate got pretty pissed about the stolen laptop thing, blamed me, and even after we went to the cops, (which was interesting but useless) he still needed a computer for work. soooo there went the little money i had been saving.

oh and then there's joel. this interesting native american guy who teaches in town. flaming queen right? which i dont really care. i mean even after i brought him to bbq and he embarresed me and my friends i still hung out with him. even after he called me at 3 in the morning crying because he was handcuffed to a chair and didn't know where he was (jail because he got super drunk and hit someone) did i judge him? no. i just resolved not to hang out with him anymore. it's over right? haha, no. so one night, after paying a bill he left at live bar, i took him and some other friends to a disco because they were getting uncomfortably drunk at live bar and i didnt want him to show his ass any more. later that night when i was ready to go home, we stopped by the little outdoor food place at the entrance of the disco and had some snacks. at some point joel got a little upset because i told him i was trying to help him because he was drunk. so he proceed to yell and scream at me things which aren't fit to be print. i got mad, stood up and started to go home, but my other friend didnt know how to tell the taxi driver where to go, so i sat back down and started writing it down for him while ignoring joel. which upset him even more. so he decided to scream FU, and hit me in the face with a metal plate.


in what country is it ok to hit women?

so my lip was busted, i didnt cry, i didnt even try to hit him back. i just sat there with my head in my heads wondering why i even bother.

so yeah. i'm usually quick to forgive and forget but not when it comes to hitting me. our mutual friends say i should forgive him because he was drunk. but i'm sorry. sorry i can't forgive stupidity. it doesnt go away.

hmmm what else. oh yeah. my wallet got stolen on the bus friday. yes i had my purse in front of me. yes i know not to keep that much money, but my boss had just payed me and i was supposed to go shopping with it. i'm more pissed about losing all my wachovia card because i have no chinese money right now and my business card collection.

other things that piss me off lately. quit asking if i know how to use chopsticks. i'm fat, i obviously eat, and there's not an abundance of forks here. next person to ask me gets their eye plucked out... with a chopstick.

i know i'm fat. maybe you scrawny ass little chinese guys think it's a compliment because fat people are rich people that can afford food, however, i get really really really tired of everyone telling me EVERYDAY that i'm fat, i should lose weight, i should excercise more.. oh or even better my favorite... "you know if you were skinnier you're be really beautiful" that's usually right after sex. haha.

and how about let's just talk about how people only want me for 1 of 3 reasons. 1. i'm a foreigner and i can be used to practice english (haha, but i use them for chinese) 2. i'm a foreigner and i have money (haha, jokes on them, they keep stealing my shit so i'm broke 3. sex, (what's different there, that's every country i think)

either way it's making it really hard for me to trust anyone right now. i met this really nice guy the other night. a friend of mine from bbq. he's about 34, he's from up north, he's incredibly patient with my broken chinese. since he has to be with his no speaking english thing. i know, i know... i said i was thru with those. however, he has been nice enough to send me home and take care of me without trying to have sex with me. he doesnt call me beautiful but fat, and he's not an asshole when he drinks a lot. he's actually pretty funny and has a sense of humour about things. so i'm taking things slowly and maybe this will be a step towards settling my crazy life down.

something good has to happen soon or i'm not sure i can take much more of it.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Interesting things afoot

I've discovered that everyday something interesting happens to me. Somedays it's more interesting than others, but yeah, it seems like it just never stops here. I think that's why I like it so much. If you know me at all, you know that I'm very easily amused and I love learning about new things. That's what I get everyday here. Whether it be a new chinese word, or food, or place to shop/eat, or person, or realization... everyday, something new!

Random thing that happened... Ashley and I were out having lunch and getting mango icees when we where walking to the hairwash parlor and I hear some familar music. Turns out to be the band from live bar playing a concert on the street for whatever reason. Some business opening or something. So I walk over to smile and say hey. And wouldn't you know it, next thing I hear is "and now we have a special treat for you, our beautiful american singer, BAI LAN DI"

Other things, Kevin invited 3 friends from Tallahassee to come to China. However he has tried to control things that weren't in his control and basically has really pissed them off and has screwed up things for them and lied a little bit here and there (omission of truth really) so now they're up yellow-shit creek without a paddle. And who's that paddle? Me. And I don't mind, I enjoy seeing China again thru new eyes. But it's been crazy trying to help them find a job, find an apt, and such. They're really cool people and I'm really glad to have met them, I know they're going to be here a while as well. Because even though all this bad stuff is happening they're still pretty optomistic about it all and have enjoyed all the crazyiness that comes with being around me. So this situation will be an ongoing saga for a while...

Something else, this next picture was from my quick day trip to HongKong a few weeks ago. It nearly made me cry. Seriously.

That's all I can think of right now. I've got two months before something's gotta happen because my contract is up soon. Don't know what exactly I'm doing now. But what's new. And in non-China news I just found out my ex-fiance is getting married. Still haven't formulated thoughts on that yet. Also my cousin Crystal is getting married. Also thoughts just haven't come. The apathy towards anything in my pre-china life is growing stronger each day. And the guilt for not caring is slowly slipping. *sigh*

Until next time!

Friday, May 4, 2007

Hi Everyone

Just a quick little post to let you know I'm thinking about you.... yes you. I've been deep deep in thought this week about my plans to come/visit home. And I've decided... I'm still undecided. I mean I'm definetly coming for a visit. But I'm pretty sure I want to come back to my amazing life here. Sure I've made a few mistakes here (several actually) but that's the best way to learn right?

So anyways, I just wanted to say hi! I miss you guys (most of you) and maybe will see you soon!

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Happy May Day

So today is some holiday, not exactly sure why. Nor do I really care. I'm just happy to get the week off work. I went the day before yesterday to some small island near the city and stayed overnight. Hopefully I'll have the pictures soon. I don't have my camera anymore, so until I buy a new one I'll have to make do with other people's pictures, which is a shame. But oh well, shit happens.

That's the lesson for these past few weeks. But now I'm trying to make good things come from all the bad things that have transpired. Keeping a positive attitude in light of all my recent events has been the hardest thing lately. I'm not sure that I'm strong enough really. But I suppose I'll fake it till I make it.

That's what's happening with my singing "career" Every time i'm on stage and people are clapping and adoring me, i feel so fake. i'm not a guitar player, i'm not a singer, i'm a big big fake.

anyways, we'll see how this all turns out.
stay tuned.

oh and for all those curious, the boyfriend went back to his hometown hours away and didn't bother to say goodbye. so i guess the language thing was a problem.

oh well.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

My head is going to explode I think.

年轻的美国女孩BRAND Y(白兰地)在珠海生活了大半年的时间,喜欢上了这里。她说来这纯属意外,她的一个朋友说珠海还不错,于是她跑过来。要问她中意这里的什么,她回答,人和环境,主要还是人。她站在淇澳老年人活动中心打麻将的老头老太后面,笑呵呵地说,她也会打麻将,是一些中国朋友教的。她能用中文说,那些老人出牌太慢了。其中文水平进步神速,归功于她常常和那些中国朋友呆在一起。外部环境其实对她并不太重要,她喜欢当下的生活,因为她很开心。"

That's a little excerpt from the local paper about me. Something to do with a comment I made about playing Mahjiang. I recently went on this tour with 2 bus loads of foreigners around to some historical sites. Would have been spectacular, minus the bucketloads of rain. When I get time I'll update the photo albums. I've got quite a few new things to show, and some great videos.

I'm starting now to prepare for a trip to beijing at the end of this month. Should be interesting, 22 hours on a train with two of my best and craziest chinese girlfriends. We'll see how that goes.

In other news, I'm a part time manager-ish of the bar now. I work there everynight and it's a little taxing, but still fun. When I get over this sore throat I should be better.

Of course, nearly killing myself last night didnt help. I put a cigarrette out into a trash can, thought I double checked it, but alas, 30 minutes later I woke up choking and crying from all the plastic burning smoke. But I'm mostly ok now.

Uhmm anything else exciting? I bought a new phone. Really nice second hand phone. I'm thinking of starting a business. And I'm not sure what's going on yet about coming home.

The boyfriend I have/had? is MIA. He doesn't call or text. So I'm a little frustrated. I've got a few other boys that are "courting" me so to speak, and I feel guilty. But I'm not letting that get me too aggrevated. I take everything with a grain of salt. Or try to.

Sorry for not being around online lately. Two reasons, I haven't been home much, and neither has my roommate's computer.

So without further ado, I must sleep.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Brandy takes the stage!!!

So it's offical... after hanging out at this one bar for way too long... I've been invited to be a permenant fixture on stage. Just think my name.. in lights... ok, my chinese name, and it's a chalkboard.. but whatever. It's my first job as a singer :)

I'm trying not to let all the compliments go to my head, I know I'm mediocre. But I figure playing 5 nights a week and practicing like mad at home.. I should get better. Up to a tolerable level. Now I have to work on my stage presence and learn more than 5 songs. I'm really excited though.

And well this is all pending on whether or not the owner decides to pay me in more than beer. All I'm really asking is taxi money. Ok, and one or two beers. But I'm going to quit drinking. Many reasons, A. I sing like shit. B. I'm getting fat again. C. I have to "save" face.

Also, I neglected to post about women's day. It's an international holiday (that apparently we don't celebrate in the US) where everyone empowers women. Woo hoo! So my school asked me to perform with all the foriegn teachers. They didn't really give me clear details about the event... so once the confusion settled, it turns out I played and spoke in chinese in front of Zhuhai's most influential women at this huge conference. Good times. They also took my picture for 2 of the newspapers in town. So that's why now when I walk into a grocery store they toss the paper at me. It's bizarre. My luck their were TV cameras as well. I'm one of the most high profile TPR teachers right now.

So my roommate is dying to get at his brand new work laptop. He just got a great job with lots of perks, but lots of work. I hope it makes him happier.

Things with the boyfriend are well. As far as I can tell... I mean the whole language barrier is starting to get to me. But I'm learning as fast as I can. I'm able to read more and more each day. I'm going to hire a private tutor for 2 hours a day as well. Someone to actually teach me, not just a chinese speaker. I have plenty of people to practice with. Every taxi driver, every security guard, basically people that can't go anywhere :) But I'm not good enough yet.

The next post will be more pictures, women's day, my boyfriend winning third place at a company party, and of the newspaper. Hope this satiates you until then.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007


I put new because I have 3 new things now! The first one I mentioned in my last post. A new look! The contacts are going well, I can get them in and out fairly quickly now, however I still can't tell which was is the right side. So other than putting them on the wrong way, I'm pretty comfortable. I'm sure it only gets easier.

Ok, the second and third new things are both contained in this picture:

Not the best picture in the world, but I'm sure there will be more! So as of 3 days ago, I agreed to "settle" down, so to speak, and get a boyfriend :) I met him thru the singer at Live bar. He would come to see her sing and met me on one of the many occasions I was singing/playing there. He didn't speak much english, and my chinese is only good in controlled conversations, so we didn't really say much to each other those times in the past month or so, except for "wow you're pretty today, you sound really good, and you're chinese is good" to which i would reply, "thanks" and smile and blush. Then, for chinese new year, somehow he got my phone number and sent me a nice happy new year's text message. his number wasn't in my phone so I asked who it was, and we started chatting by text message (with my chinese friends help, since it was all in chinese) i'm getting fairly ok with reading some chinese words and phrases now, but still not good enough. anyways... so we agree to meet at the bar because he wants to hear me play some more. and after i finished playing i sat with some new friends and started drinking johnnie walker (**ugh**) about 2 hours later, I was feeling pretty confident with my chinese, so I boldy walked over and started chatting with him. It was really neat. It started to get really late so we went to get something to eat. then i invited him back to the house, and we continued to talk all night long. so long in fact, we didn't sleep and he had to go to work at 7:30! I felt a little guilty but not much. But during this little chat I learned a lot of things about him, mostly that he's really sweet and kind-hearted. I asked him as many questions about life as I could think of :)

Then the next day I got to see him again, so I also had a little chat with his cousin the singer about him. I dunno. I'm feeling kinda weird about the whole thing now. I mean it is really strange, but it's also really comfortable. He's totally smitten with me, that much I don't need language to tell. And it's not just that, want to sleep with me, kinda smitten either (altho I'm sure that's in there too) So, I figured, why not give this a try? it's better than looking like the bar slut, because i flirt with all the guys there. and it's always nice to have a companion. it'll be great for my chinese, if nothing else! i'm also just really scared about hurting him. i know that chinese people tend to be a little more serious about these whole "feeling and emotion" things. I'm afraid I've been hurt and gotten to bitter to be able to do those sorts of things anymore anyways.

But here's for trying! :)

And the other new thing is the cat! Not sure if I'm going to get to keep him because Joe (my roommate) seems to think that it's an unlucky cat. And if you've ever tried to argue with someone who's (for lack of better word) religous about their superstitions, you'll know what a bind I'm in. So we'll see how the cat thing works out. And the 新的男朋友!(new bf)

Monday, February 26, 2007

A new form of Chinese torture?

Nope! this is me getting contacts for the first time ever!! The kind lady (who spoke no english) is helping me put them in for the first time. And James thought it would be cute to take a picture. Soooo I might as well share it with you guys.

So that's exciting news... I finally gave in and did something for sheer vanity because everyone told me to. I personally think I look better in glasses. But whatever :) and it's a little more convient I guess because I'm always losing my glasses. Oh and now! for the first time ever I can wear sunglasses

Other exciting things... since the band was out of town for spring festival/new year's... the boss at my second home (aka Live Bar) asked me to come and play for the past few nights... so I've been playing in front of an actual crowd (not just my drunk friends at 3am) it's kinda cool having people anounce your name (in chinese to boot!) and then getting on stage. so here's what james called my "album cover" and another picture to satiate you my brandy-thirsty audience.

That's not too bad right? I mean sure the guitar was out of tune, but eh. I need new strings :) I'm still working on learning my chinese song. I know the chorus but the verses are a little more of a challenge. However the chinese lady singer did invite me up on stage to sing it with her. That was pretty wild. I just kept thinking... if you would have told me a year ago I'd be standing on stage singing a chinese song, in CHINA. I'm pretty sure I would have laughed. Hard. Maybe laughed my lungs thru my nose or something to that degree.


And in other news: I learned the chinese word for vomit. Courtesy of what I've self-diagnosed to be food poisoning. Which now is by far my least favorite thing in China. I also seemed to have misplaced some crucial medicine which is making this little joyride that much more unpleasant. However, they do sell gatorade in China. Not that I can hold anything down (not even water) but it's like a comfort food/drink. Whenever I was sick back home, I can always remember mom or dad giving me lemon-lime gatorade. So... that's one relief.

Well that's enough for now I guess... any more questions, comments, concerns, and just general "hey how are you you stupid girl you never email me" notes can be sent to my email as usual! ;)

from china - with love,

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

bad news...

the call me free option is now gone :(

Thanks to everyone who took advantage of it.
From here on out we'll have to use skype or yahoo... and i'll have to get a mic. again, i'm just too lazy. but soon.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

New Pictures as Promised

More pictures from the Housewarming, and possibly a snippet of a video!

Also in my Google photo albums the TPR New Year's parties has an additional 10 photos.

A new little album of Sue and Wayne's goodbye lunch.

And I'm going to redo some of the Misc albums...
I'll let you know how that goes.

Monday, February 19, 2007

新年快乐!!! Happy Chinese New Year!

So here I am, my new year's vacation is almost over. And what have I done?

Learned a new song (well, the chorus) on guitar in chinese. See more about that here.

Studied lots of chinese. Went one day to Shenzen with Ashley to visit our friend Sandy. Met an interesting new friend of hers there named William. By far one of the most strange guys I've ever met (chinese or not) We all went shopping (I bought some jewelery and an egg timer)and then ate dinner. We found a nice little bar that reminded me of Live bar. (Except they wouldnt let me get on stage) One band rocked out on a version of Hey Jude. The singer was really great. Had I had the chance I would have definetly said so to him, but he took off right after his set. So we had a good time teaching William the dice game, and listening to good live music. We were headed to the hotel when Sandy recognized her friend's car outside a kareoke bar, so we went in and hung out with them for a while. Interesting people. Waste of space in my humble opinion, but maybe I was being a little harsh :)

But it was an interesting time none-the-less. Because my sleep patterns have been totally messed up thanks to the holidays and one looooong night of playing Counter-Strike with my new group of geeky/computer game guys, I couldn't sleep until about 6. So I sat up having a nice conversation with the little hotel clerk. A little pimply-faced 19 year old boy. It was really neat to realize that if I'm speaking to someone with enough patience to try and understand my poor pronunciation and so-so grammar, that I can have actual conversations about things other than what food i want to order or which bar i want to go to :) Which is why I feel pretty good about my chinese at this stage... only 7 months now.

Oh, interesting note. I've been in Zhuhai too long ;) I've now had two taxi drivers remember me! One shouted out my name (Chinese one of course) from a crowd of taxis I was negotiating with. The other one, I hopped in with Ashley last night. As usual, I started my battery of questions and it wasn't long before he starting talking and he said "Actually I know you. You talked to me when you had only been here 3 months, your chinese is much better now" I laughed for a solid 10 minutes. So did Ashley once I translated.

So as pictured above. CN, Ashley and I got down by the sea on New Year's Eve to watch an amazing fireworks show. It was a little foggy and was hard to see the true beauty of the fireworks. I was dissapointed at first because there weren't many people around. Turns out, we just werent close enough. People were crowded around right underneath where HUGE fireworks were being launched. I kept waiting for the accident. So was an ambulance and a firetruck. Police were also scattered everywhere. I was also amused that people would stop staring up at fireworks to stare at me and Ashley, two foriegners in a strange place. Interesting to say the least... so I would say happy new years in chinese and watch them get suprised :)

Anything else interesting... hmmmm. That's really all I can think of right now. I'm going to put up more pictures. Probably tonight, maybe tomorrow. It's not like I've got a lot planned.

Here's one last picture of me and Sandy in Shenzen after shopping. Aren't we so cute?
The american Sandy and the Taiwanese Brandy. An interesting pair to say the least.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

New and also some Updated Pictures

So I copied some pictures from Ashley's camera, and added a new album from another night of bowling. So be sure to check both the bubbleshare and picasa web albums for updates to Christmas, New Year's, TPR New Year Party, and more!


Saturday, February 10, 2007

New Webcam!!!

I bought it because it was cute, and cheap. I didnt realize that it was demonic. It's still cute, in that, demon possesed kinda way tho, right?

However, I neglected to see if it had a microphone and apparently it doesn't. That or I just dont know how to work it yet. I'm just impressed I can install the drivers and make it work. So, if you want to see me in China, or have a 10 second tour of my living room, jump on yahoo messenger and find me there. I will perform like a little monkey for your viewing pleasure. And soon enough I'll either get the sound working, or buy a microphone so I will also be making phone call soon. Get Skype or Yahoo and email me your ID if you want me to talk with you.

Friday, February 9, 2007

Moving Pictures


Not all of them. But some. Be patient. I'm lazy.

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Monday, February 5, 2007

New House, New Number

Pictures are still on the way, I promise. But I'm still cleaning from the aftermath of the housewarming party. So please bear with me. Also...

You can still call me for free using those numbers I gave you, but I have a new cell phone, and no house phone. If you call those other numbers, I have no idea who will answer.

So my new cell phone is 15919281160.

I'm still uncertain as to whether or not I'll be traveling for the New Year's holidays... seems like a few of my friends will still be in town. I wanted to go up to beijing, but really decided agaisnt it, in that JEEBUS it's cold kinda way.

In other news, I think I'm getting a tattoo to signfy my chinese-ness :) I'm still designing it, but it's going to be a white orchid. a Bai Lan. which is the first two characters in my chinese name. Bai Lan Di. When you add that third character it changes from beautiful flower, to brandy, the alcohol. My name is a great conversation starter. It's like running into someone named Tequila or something.

Hmmm anything else? I bought a really big toaster oven and I'm currently on the hunt for a pan to fit inside. Soon I shall be cooking western style food again. I've not cooked since I been here and I kinda miss it. Also it seems to impress any chinese person when you say you can cook. I don't think it's something that everyone can do. I mean back home everyone can cook, but shit we all use microwaves right? :)

Ok well I've got 6 more hours of teaching to get started on this week. Just the VIPs. Then a two week vacation. *sigh* life here is so hard ;)

miss you, love you all (most of you)

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

irony anyone?

whenever anything good happens, something bad happens just to balance it out.
so i got a new apartment. i'm renting it for 6 months which is perfect. initially there was no furniture and she wouldnt sign it over for less than 1 year. but luckily with some skillful chinese baragining, my roommate managed to smooth things out and we got some basic furnitures and the 6 month deal. we looked for soooo long it seemed. maybe 3 days of walking around to every empty place in xiangzhou. which is a big area, btw. up 7 flights of stairs just to find out there was no western toliet. but the place we ended up getting was the 2nd one we looked at.

about it, it's 3 bedrooms, 1 nice western toliet, no tub, a GREAT kitchen, a HUGE living room, and a nice little balcony for laundry. the area is a little further from gongbei than i'd like to be, but eh. what's another 10 minutes on a bus. more time to listen to my chinese lessons on the ol' ipod. what else... oh! it's near the bus stop, but not next door like my current place. which means i'll be able to sleep at night and in the morning instead of listening to the constant traffic noise of large busses. other good things, it's away from the central hub of TPR and TPR teachers. there's a new crop of foreigners coming in soon, and while I plan on being friendly and helpful, i'm not going to get too close. i hate investing so much in people only to have them leave, or they're might not be worth my time :) as it stands i have enough friends and drama to deal with now. call me anti-social.. but it's not true. haha.

anyways, back to the fabulous new place. so we had to buy some appliances for it and a few more furnitures. so that was an adventure yesterday, in itself. joe and i went to this second-hand market to look around and save ourselves as much money as possible. it was a lot of fun, except of course, i'm probably the only foriegner they've seen out there. maybe that's not true, but damn if it didn't feel like it. i mean people stare and look everywhere i go, this is a fact of daily life. however, i felt like they should be throwing peanuts because i was such a freak show. well my sociabablness got the best of me and when one of the toddlers walked over to me i started playing and talking to it. which made the parents go ape shit. and then they were even worse when i started speaking chinese to them. it was great practice. but after about 4 hours of shopping and talking chinese i was getting pretty tired. we managed to get out of there with almost everything we needed (mattresses, washing machine, fridge, stove, sofa, office chairs, rice cooker, big toaster over, water dispenser) for under 2000. including the 50yuan delivery and moving service :)

so there are some pictures of yesterday and my new place to be uploaded soon. bubblshare is still acting a little weird. i might stick them at the google place.

anyways... so that's the good stuff. however, bad stuff. i lost my cell phone. pretty sure it got stolen. mostly my own fault. however. worse stuff... you can't reclaim your phone number with out this little card they gave me 6 months ago. anybody know how good i am at keeping up with things? yeah, so i lost it.
but oh, it gets better. after about 2 days of no phone, i couldnt wait any longer. i bought a new number. better than that, today after cleaning up and preparing to move. i found the only card with my old password on it. AH. so now what?

there are worse things in life i'm sure. it's just a pain.

hmm anything else exciting? maybe i picked up a part-time job like thing. an english club-ish deal except instead of lecturing and being really ineffective for 2 hours, we sit and watch english movies, then a little english-lesson/activity, then we play this game called "the killer game" which is basically a murder mystery type thing, where people play different roles (cops, killers, civilians) and everyone tries to figure out who's who. but people lie to protect themselves, and time is agaisnt you because every turn someone else is eliminated. it's a nice change of pace to sit and play mental games, instead of drinking the night away. it doesnt hurt that one of the managers is a cute guy who's a little older than me, speaks fairly good english, is cute, can drive a car, is really friendly (i know he just wants me for my english, but hell, who doesn't here?) and i found out yesterday when he was helping me move furniture, is single. hehehe.

yes brandy is on the prowl for a potential boyfriend. the single life is just working for me anymore :) not that i planned on getting married (calm down mom) i just want something to occupy my time for the next 6 months or so. and plus maybe it will keep me at home more, cooking and watching movies. i need to save money for a plane ticket home, and for future travels around china.

so these are just somethings going on around me right now. my chinese is going really well i think, so is the weight loss. i'm determined to start exercising but haven't settled on anything yet. ashley is going to do yoga and he goes to the gym. and now that i moved i'll be walking a bit more just out of necessity. so that should help. i'll probably get another bike, so i can come down to wanzaisha more easily.

anyways... hope this is a long enough blog to satiate you brandy-starved people ;)
leave me some comments. send me an email! i need some love!!!

Friday, January 12, 2007

Since I'm at home

and still sick... I can treat you to another update about my life. I think I'm ready to start taking some steps forward in life. It seems like I'm standing still lately. I'm not sure exactly where I'm headed. And I've never one to use a map, but thankfully I'm pretty good with directions and when I follow my gut I seldom get lost. Right now, the gut says move. I know what I don't want to do, and now that's enough for me.

More on his later.

For a look at what has inspired me to look into part time work with a translation company... check this page out... Chinese English Menu

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Now that the internet seems to be working...

Hi again everyone. Let's see what's been going on these days in the wonderful life of Brandy. The not-so-fun stuff has been a partial root canal and then a really bad cold, which I'm still battling. Seems the only medicine they have for pain is ibuprofen. bah. But also TLC seems to help. Doug, a fellow coworker, came by today and brought some chinese medicine, oranges, and beef broth for lunch. It really really helped.

other than that i've got a pretty tough decision coming up about where and with whom would i like to live. one option is to move to a very nice 3br place that's a little ways away from where i live now. it's bigger, it's nicer. but it's also near nothing. no main bus lines. and certainly no other foriegners. now for me, this could be a good thing. "being out of the loop" so to speak. most of the foriegners i know are either leaving, or they already live not near me, so moving wouldn't matter. another bad thing, it's up 6 flights of stairs. I asked the current occupants, do you ever get used to it? nope. and they're health nuts to boot. well, more fit than me at least. ayyy.

other news, i finally started those dance lessons i've been meaning to take. ashley and i started tuesday night with the cha-cha. should be interesting. but it could take months :)

well, my brain is fried and i need some rest. the weekend is approaching faster than it should. i'll leave you with a link to some christmas pictures, and some others.

A Link to Other Picture Albums

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Merry Christmas & 新年快乐!!!

So Christmas was really nice. Daniel and I smoothed things over towards the end so that everyone could enjoy his last few days. We had a nice batch of eggnog made by Kevin. And we all brought presents for a white elephant gift game. Then we shared christmas memories from back home. It was cozy and nice. I think it really helped us all make it ok in such a strange land. Pictures are on the way however due to an earthquake nearby last week the internet has been messed up and loading sites from overseas is damn near impossible. As soon as all that is fixed then I will be sure to get all the great pictures and videos.

So here we are at the start of a brand new year. 2007. As my friend james says, "and still no flying cars" I'm still finding it unbelievable. I'm in China. I'm learning Chinese, I'm even learning to read and write it. I also can't believe that I'm happy. Learning to enjoy being happy has been one of the biggest challenges I've faced this past year.

Well it's off to dinner. As alwawys, more to come.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Not enough Brandy?

due to several complaints of "where are you in the photos" I have recently uploaded to one convient album nothing but pictures that include me. So here for your amusement is a vainglorious attempt at pleasing those with slower connections.

If you're only interested in pics of me, here ya go:
(Please note the 22lbs weight loss and the permanent smile on my face, hehehe)

Saturday, December 16, 2006


if you tried to call today, sorry!! I work mainly on the weekends and keep my phone on silent during class. Don't let that stop you from trying tho! I'm going thru a particuraly hard patch right now, what with christmas coming and all and I'd love to hear from you guys. It'd be really nice. HINT HINT! CALL ME!!! :)

Love you all, miss you bunches!!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Call me for FREEEEEEE!!!!!!

If you can make long distance calls for free you can now call me for free!!!

1. Call one of these numbers (Long Distance because it's in Iowa)
Yes you can use your cell phone.

2. Wait then dial my home or mobile number - home 0118607562230268, mobile 0118615919219186.

3. Talk for FREE!!!!

More information

Now the hard part is catching me at home. ;)