Don't think that because I haven't updated that nothing is going on ... quite the opposite :-)
Yesterday I began moving my personal belongings into my 10'x10' storage unit just down the street. This week will be more of the same. I plan to spend 2 - 3 hours each night packing and moving. Hopefully I can have the majority of my stuff out and gone by my birthday.
Speaking of which, a friend got me a "survival guide" with a lot of useful phrases listed in it ... transliterated!! That's the best part. The transliteration will help me make the connections between the Pinyin sounds and English ones - for example, "q" is a "ch" (as in "change") sound.
Three weeks and counting!!