Friday, January 31, 2014

Happy Year Of The Horse!

It's officially the Chinese New Year! Xin Nian Kuai Le everybody (that means Happy New Year, in case you're too dense to figure that one out). Last week, we celebrated the Small Chinese New Year. Well, yesterday, we celebrated the official day. Come check it out!

First, click here if you would like to see how last year's celebration for the year of the snake went. Spoiler: Ugh, because it was at my in-laws' smelly house.

This year was so much better, just because my in-laws came to our home. And I have to say, it was a really pleasant evening. Yes, I actually used 'pleasant' to describe an evening with my in-laws. Hopefully this doesn't mean it's the end of the world.

MIL provided us with these leaves. Jeremy says they are to give us more livelihood. An interesting custom indeed!

She cranked out some things and FIL and I went to move them to the table.

 And she's busy as a bee in here, making even more stuff.

Here, we have, from left to right, beef intestines (in the back) and jellyfish (in the front). I won't go for the intestines. EVER. But I usually love jellyfish. Either pregnancy or MIL made it taste weird too me. In the center, it's one of my favorites, la pi, before mixing the ingredients together. On the right in the back, we have some cold meat dish. Whatever Chinese spices she used on it just didn't appeal to me. And more cashews, just like last week. And last year.

 MIL added the garlicky sauce to the la pi.

Now she mixes it up. YUM!

Close-up of the jellyfish.

Here's something else that smelled dreadful. I stayed away.

 Talk about jumbo shrimp! These were great!

 Raelynn plays around with her grandpa during the meal.

 And while we eat, we've got the Chinese cable on so we can watch the New Year special. This caught my eye because when they first came on, I thought to myself, "Those are Korean people." I was right. For whatever reason, they included a Korean dance song.

 The best part was this insane creature behind this guy! WTF!

 Back to the food for a minute...we've got more abalone soup.

 And this egg thing again, only this time, she made it SO much better than Small Chinese New Year. I think she overcooked the egg last week. It's supposed to be like this, almost creamy in texture. She also added scallops to it. Great job, MIL!

 Next, some sugared yams. I guess this is China's answer to our candied sweet potatoes.

 Here's some of the firework action that was going on. There were better ones later but it was either drop my kid out the window or get you good pictures, so too bad.

 The meal is drawing to a close when the steamed fish comes out.

And of course, if you've read about how our Chinese meals go on these occasions, then you know MIL is busy making jiaozi, or dumplings. So here is what I caught on TV from the New Year special. Take a look at that head piece! Wow!

 And this guy!

 I have to hand it to them...their sets are amazing. This is so much more interesting than last year's. Or maybe MIL just picked a crappy channel to watch last year. I'm not sure.

And then, there's this guy. I've no idea what's happening.

 And this guy! Check out his backup dancers!

 Kind of blurry, but check out this costume! It's stunning!

 Here are the hosts of the program. I think the guy is wearing a velvet suit. Velvet!

 This is some insane horse dance they did. I could not capture it well enough to do it justice. The acrobatics and coordination that went into this were amazing.

This next guy made me realize that perhaps my Chinese is better than I think it is. Because as soon as he started singing his stupid happy little song, I thought he was from Qingdao. Turns out, I was right on. 

Incidentally, the graphics behind him coupled with the guys in what looks like prison uniforms from the US made us all laugh quite hard.

And here we are with more bad hair and insane clothes...

 Were the backup dancers a tribute to Robin Thicke with that whole Miley twerking bit? Not likely. I do think of Beetlejuice as I look at these though.

Then, there was an impressive martial arts performance by a group of young boys. I was absolutely mesmerized. Then, this guy appeared in the middle of it...

Do you see who that fucking is?!?!?

That's right! It's Jackie Chan! Jackie Fucking Chan! Now that's awesome! I thought he was busy making Rush Hour 10 with Chris Tucker.

 And finally, the dumplings are done, around 9pm. I should add this all started around 4pm, though we didn't begin eating until 5:30pm. The dumplings she made for the Small Chinese New Year had the cabbage and pork filling, which are my 2nd favorite. Now these...these are the shit. They have the beef and leek filling in them and they kick everything's ass.

We enjoyed some dumplings and then this dorky ventriloquist came on.

Followed by these pretty but strangely dressed women. 
And finally, after all this, it was time for MIL and FIL to leave. I got busy dressing Raelynn for bed. We let her sleep with us because all the fireworks were so loud. At least they weren't as bad as last year. Last year, people kept letting off those kaboom cannon sounding things. ALL NIGHT. This year, they weren't nearly as annoying. Well, except for the asshat who let off a bunch of poppy-sounding ones at 5am. And the fuckers that kept letting off ones at 6am. And 7am. I hate them. I hope they have a shitty new year. Urgh.

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