i wore my new pale blue shirt that i got yesterday. i didn't even bother washing it, but i did iron out the creases. it's not the best fabric, a bit stiff, but thicker and not as see-through as some of my other dress shirts. the sleeves are a tad long, but i don't think i'll pay to get them altered since the shirt itself isn't very high quality but still wearable.
i online chatted with both baihong and grace. with grace it's easy because she has excellent english. with baihong it's a bit more challenging since she only writes in chinese. i said english is an important criteria for a chinese girlfriend but i'm starting to reconsider. with her, i'm willing to overlook it. they say one of the best ways to learn a foreign language is to find a foreign girlfriend. this may be the case, because i've actually been writing a lot more chinese since i started chatting with her. i'm still shaky, but getting better slowly. i find it kind of refreshing that she won't even try to write in english, since all the other girls i chat with online all have to communicate with me in english.
i spent 3 hours of today working on the cohost speaking parts along with sarah, yuwei, and manfred. i was in an one hour meeting at 11:00 and then a 2 hour meeting at 3:00. we're almost finished, just a few more things to iron out. we'll also fix a few things after the informal rehearsal wednesday afternoon in the cafeteria. i don't want to say this because he's german, but manfred is quite the grammar nazi! not only that, but being german, he's a stickler for structure. i figured my english translation was just a rough approximation of what we'll say, and when we're finally on stage we can always improvise, but he wanted everything on paper, down to minute grammar points that none of the chinese audience members (which is the majority) will even notice or care about. but most of his suggestions do make sense. i've added some subversive elements ("we hope everyone gets lucky tonight!") that only manfred and i seem to get as we snicker conspiratorially. i still can't believe i'm cohosting something like this, but it should be fun. and i really hope somebody tapes it!
returning home, i sat next to xianglian on the bus. maybe because it's so close to chinese new year and she'll be going home soon, but she was telling me about her childhood spent in the countryside. to see her you'd never guess that her childhood was filled with memories of climbing trees, looking for crabs in the streams, finding snakes in the bamboo forest, growing vegetables (everything from potatoes to cabbage to hot peppers depending on the season), raising chickens, etc. "there wasn't a stone i didn't touch," she said. i asked her what she was doing for dinner, she said she was eating some rice noodles. i guess i was probing to see if she was eating alone, but it took a few more questions before i found out she was eating with a coworker. i was more forthcoming with my dinner plans, "i'm going home to eat my salad."
true to my word, i came home and had the other half of my salad. i went with italian dressing this time. the dressing packets i have aren't enough for one large of bowl of salad and i'm too thrifty to use 2 packets, so my salad started tasting a little bland towards the end. maybe i should just eat a smaller salad! but salads aren't very filling and i want to make a meal of it, i have to jumbo size it. i ate while watching episode 2 of almost human, one of my new favorite shows.
this bring monday, i left for the gym around 7:50. it was surprisingly crowded tonight, with only one treadmill machine available. i'm pretty much a regular now, and a lot of the trainers smiled at me in recognition. i asked a chubby middle-aged guy walking the treadmill next to me if the one i was about to take was free, because somebody had left a water bottle. he so very helpfully murmured that he didn't know. so when i started running, i purposely made an effort to show him how out of shape he was by cranking my speed to 13km/h. that was actually a bit too much for me and after 5 minutes i dialed it down to 12km/h, and 5 more minutes later to 11km/h. 11km/h is a good speed, i can go 5000m at 11km/h no problem. funny thing was both guys using the treadmills to the left and right of me picked up their pace as well once i started running. but unlike me, they can only do a few minutes of fast running before they have to stop. as soon as i hit 4000m i hopped off the treadmill and made a beeline out of the mall. i watched a few ladies try out some yoga moves as we eyeballed each other. more often than not there are pretty girls at the gym, but i'm so laser-focused on getting my 20 minute workout and leaving, i never bother to stick around and make new friends.
back at home, i showered then did a load of laundry. tomorrow being tuesday means i have a free day since i'm not going to the gym. i'll have to think of what i want to do.