2007 – Year of the ‘Stache

Stache Guys

For the love of God, I need to take a break from talking about visas. And since it’s long overdue, may I announce that 2007 is officially the Year of the Stache.

Back in December, when a bunch of us were out singing karaoke on a random Tuesday night, we came up with the idea to do something special for the new year. And that something wound up being growing mustaches.

Day 6Originally it was to be a contest with a monetary prize. But a lot of folks chickened out and so it became clear that there wasn’t enough mass to create a worthy pot. So instead, it’s just all about the pride. It began with me, Turley, Michael, and Coley. Since Coley dropped out we have added Dan and Imani to our ranks. And there are some great statements of facial flair coming out of this endeavor.

Check out the full Year of the Stache gallery.

Happy New Year

Happy New Year everybody! Things have been slow around here, network-wise, as that earthquake near Taiwan cut all the undersea cables connecting China with America and Europe. Been tough to surf the web and read email, and hence the lack of posts on this blog.

The New Year’s celebration went really well for us! We had a very nice dinner at our friend Brad Turley’s restaurant. It was a five-course meal that served a glass of different wine with each course – absolutely exquisite! Then the band was performing at 4Live, and we got one of our biggest crowds ever. Always a good time. We stayed out till about 4 and then slept most of Jan 1 away.

Now it’s back to work and it’s been tough with the internet being so slow. We really are dependent on this stuff. But slowly things are getting back to normal.

And only 12 more days until her visa interview!

Open Blog

Attention all: Comments on this site are now completely open. No need to register and receive a password by email: Just click comments and go for it. I had set it up as a must-register because I feared spam might plague the site – well, we’ll just have to see. I’d rather have more commenters.

Thanks to all those who went to the minimal trouble of registering and have been posting comments. Hope to see more of you!

True Romance

True Romance
True Romance

I just received my first issue of True Romance magazine.

Some readers might be wondering why I would pick up such a magazine. But it goes further than that, folks. I am a full-on subscriber. Certainly I am not a member of this periodical’s target market. But I’m still a fan.

And I’m not the only one. All across the world, people are starting to catch on to the phenomenon. True Romance is THE new MUST-READ mag. And all credit is due to Assistant Associate Editor Gia Portfolio. Continue reading True Romance

Busy days

Things have been real busy lately for the Portfolios. Here are a few random updates to keep our slowly growing list of readers in the loop:

  • We are still waiting for “the letter” from the US Consulate in Guangzhou that will inform us of our interview date. When it arrives, we will have about one month to prepare for the interview (which won’t involve much other than booking a flight and hotel; all the paperwork is prepared). I have learned that if we are approved, which is virtually guaranteed, she will be issued a visa the day after the interview. That visa is not actually a “Green Card” but an immigrant visa, most likely valid for one year. When we arrive in the States we will apply for a change of status, but the point is, once the Letter arrives, we’re going to have to start putting things in order to move. It will be a gradual process, but we will have to begin it immediately as the visa will have a limited time period of validity.
  • Xianyi is doing well in her new job. She is working for a large and famous American PR firm which I will allow her to name here if she wishes. The hours are a bit long, but they’re a bit long in all jobs, so that’s nothing new. But it is definitely the best company she’s ever worked for, and she’s getting used to it. The jury is still out on whether she likes it.
  • Chuck Norris Fan Club extended their winning streak to 10 and remained Undefeated for Life. We lost the first game of this week’s match but came back in stellar form to steamroll the opposition 4-1. Candice took some pictures which I will post here when I have them.
  • I have been really busy with work as we are coming to the end of the China Business Guide 2007 project. We should be done with it in another week. Long hours lately.
  • The band has been busy and November looks to be the busiest month since spring. We are going to Nanjing this weekend for a money-making sellout company gig, and next weekend we are playing the Five Dollar Shake at Yuyintang, which is supposed to be a real cool venue, so we’re looking forward to that. We’ve also been invited back to the GigLive event at Bonbon and are scheduled to do a show or two when Nate returns to Shanghai for a week. His hand is recovering from when he broke it playing basketball the last time he was here. For a good insight on what kind of stuff he’s made of, check out this video of him playing bass with a broken hand during our studio cut of “Fellow Man.”
  • Sandro is finally going to return to Shanghai, after a five-month absence. He has been working some miserable desk job in Italy and can’t wait to return. We can’t wait to have him back.

World Cup Fever

Everybody is gripped by World Cup Fever, in China and all over the world, except for large swathes of the United States. Perhaps this is one reason why the US was so unceromoniously slaughtered on Monday night by the Czech Republic. I was watching the game in a loud American-style bar while my wife stayed home. Both of us had worked late and had differing ideas on how to unwind after uncharacteristically long days: she wanted peace and quiet, and I wanted a drink. It was a very exciting evening, although disappointing from the fifth minute when that enormous Czech dude scored a header on us without even jumping. Overall, the game was a complete embarrassment for the USA.

The end of the evening provided more excitement: the bar is located on the 3rd floor and the front door is actually an elevator to the street. Well, it stopped between floors and me and about 10 of my friends were stuck inside it. Only for a minute, though. Turley and I managed to pry the doors open and everybody escaped out to the first floor. No harm done. Probably take the stairs next time, though.

Football!

Football!

Last weekend we went out and played football at Century Park, and it was just like the old days back on the schoolyard. Going long, running buttonhook patterns (you still think that will fake people out), listening in on the other team’s huddle (“I can go as far as the ball!”), one blitz per four downs, end zones that go on for infinity… as Cartman might say, “So sweet…”

Another game planned for next weekend. View more pictures here.