Sunday, September 26, 2010

How you know you're grown up...almost

 1. When furniture shopping isn't boring anymore.

2. When you buy other 'adult' things, like light bulbs and toothpaste and shoelaces and air freshener. 

3. When your stuff is actually yours! (When mom and dad stop 'letting you use things' ) Like luggage and cable TV.
4. When 'young people' annoy you. Teenagers suck so bad! I don't understand skinny jeans on dudes, I really don't. 

5. Your cuteness and charm doesn't' work like it used to...

Friday, September 24, 2010

fall is finally pretending to be here!

Right when I decide to pack up all my fuzziest socks and raddest scarves there is a slight chill through the city air. Although it is quickly overtaken by smoke from everyone bbq-ing outside or lighting firecrackers or smoking, there is still noticeable temperature drop.

I'm still leaving all my fuzzy warm things in the luggage because I feel more accomplished with full looking luggage but I'm cotimplating how much winter clothes shoppnig is in order for the trip back home.

I've grown accustomed to tropical climates, by chill in the air I meant it was 75 degrees and windy instead of 98 and sunny, humid, feels like a wet towel wrapped around you face kind of weather.

I'm somewhat scared to come home and see autumn colors, dead grass, and real, live, not made from a snow cone machine snow. Perhaps its a little early in the Northwest to worry about such things but I'm dead serious. I'm scared of the snow. I hate being cold, I'd rather lay (lie?) sweltering in some desert or parked car with no AC dripping sweat down every crack, crevice, crevasse, and corner I have. I'd rather do all that than be cold.

I can't imagine what I did the electric bill those long Janurary nights back at home with my ancient very well used hardly washed electric blanket.

I mean, are you even supposed to wash those things? There's wires and outlets and sensitive heat conducting material in all that fuzziness. That seems like the kinds of things you keep out of water and detergent.

I looked it up on good old


noun \ˈkre-vəs\
: a narrow opening resulting from a split or crack (as in a cliff) : fissure


noun \kri-ˈvas\
: a breach in a levee
: a deep crevice or fissure (as in a glacier or the earth)

Rhymes with CREVASSE

admass, air mass, alas, Alsace, amass, art glass, avgas, badass, bagasse, beach grass, bear grass, bent grass, black bass, Black Mass,

Hahaha, I had no idea crevasse rhymed with badass. Or art glass for that matter.

While I'm on the subject:


vi \ˈlī\
lay\ˈlā\lain\ˈlān\ly·ing\ˈlī-iŋ\a : to be or to stay at rest in a horizontal position : be prostrate : rest, recline <lie motionless> <lie asleep> b : to assume a horizontal position —often used with down c archaic : to reside temporarily : stay for the night : lodge


verb \ˈlā\
transitive verb
: to beat or strike down with force
a : to put or set down <lay your books on the table> b : to place for rest or sleep; especially : bury
: to bring forth and deposit (an egg) 
There were many more. I guess I lie in the desert, unless someone laid me there. 

Thursday, September 23, 2010

toys and torture of my youth pt 2-i like this one

I'm inspired to find more toys from childhood that are probably still in the basement.

  Like this gem, the Strawberry Shortcake Berry Happy house. Only the house that we had came from garage sale and didn't have all the pieces. I do remember popping off the window frames and the door. And for some strange reason the mailbox was full of what smelled and looked (maybe tasted but I admit nothing) like cherry chapstick.
Which was neither my nor my sister's doing. We never know how it got there. But it was there.


We totally had these kitchen pieces too. I really can't remember what we used to put inside the little oven and cupboard. But I'm sure it was something that was most definitely not supposed to be in there.

And that tangentially brings me to another childhood memory that involves strawberry jam, a dirt devil, a tiny yellow plastic chair, a jump rope made of real rope, and one little brother with a fear of vacuums.

It went a little something like this...

I wonder if he still remember this? I wonder if my memory is accurate? Was he really wearing little blue feetie pj's? Probably. I do remember the next part though. Which involves strawberry jam, a dirt devil, a little brother afraid of vacuums screaming bloody murder in the name of all that is holy mom come save me, my hair, and an unselfish act of redemption. Observe:

That would be the pink 24pt voice of mom calling down the stairs hoping the noise stops before she would have to descend down and dole out justice.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


The story behind Moon Festival or Mid Autumn Festival is a convoluted, interesting, and totally made up story that spurs a family holiday night where good food and jubilation spring forth. Much like Christmas.

Here's one version of the Holiday:

Some archer shot down a bunch of suns and got some freaky pill that gives you immortality and his wife snorted it all at once and instead of living forever on Earth, she floated up to the moon.

Another one was some story about a fairy godfather type thing who asked some animals for some food (think witch in Beauty in the Beast that transformed the haughty prince in a beast for not giving her a place to crash) So the fairy thing asked a fox, a monkey and rabbit for food. Everyone had food to give except for the rabbit, who likes to eat rabbit food anyways? Hippies. Not hungry Asian faeries. So the rabbit did the only noble thing and jumped into a pot of stew and sacrificed itself.
The selfless rabbit now gets to be called the Jade Rabbit because it tasted so good and somehow gets to go the moon and live forever with the flying immortal chick. 

Now, all of this is barely true and to get the nicer, cleaner, more culturally sensitive, less rum and coke interpreted version I recommend Here or here.

What I do know about this lovely holiday is that it is actually a day off! Which is rare in this culture as even Chinese New Year days have to be made up on the weekends. Which means its not really a holiday at all, its a 'move this day to a weekend because you must actually put in X hours of work/school for society to function properly.' 

Mid Autumn Festival in Taiwan has the bonus of becoming a BBQ extravaganza! People sit outside, squat actually, next to a on the floor grill and watch the moon in all its glory and eat moon cakes and all kinds of delicious meat and veggies and random tofu things. 

In a country and culture where family is so important, where spending time together is negated by the demands of work/school/cram school, this one day is when no responsibilities cloud 'family time' and people can actually sit, cook a meal instead of bringing one home from a noodle vendor, and enjoy each others  company. 

I still have to work Saturday though. 

but not tomorrow! So let the rum and cokes flow!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

toys and torture of my youth pt 1

OMG I found my tea set. So mine didn't have blue flowers, just pink roses but other than that its mine! 

 I used to put on tea parties for the hamsters and then gave up on that and just put the hamster in the teacups.

This also reminds me of more hamster antics...I'm sure my parents figured it was a good lesson in taking care of our things, life and death, and compassion to all living things. 

We just wanted to make a hamster circus

My sister had some pretty great ideas too. I can't think of them at the moment but I'll be sure to ask her. I'm sure any statute of limitations has run out long ago and nothing will be self incriminating.

I'm inspired to find more toys from childhood that are probably still in the basement. Which I have decided to include in another post because I'm having way too much fun down memory lane!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

what is with these smells?

I don't know if its just my place or this city in general but there is another mystery smell. This time I have identified the source of the smell but not the culprit behind said noxious fumes. This is ridiculous and and frustrating.

A sickly sweet yet pungent rotten flower smell keeps wafting out of the AC for the first five mins when ever I turn it on. 

At first I thought some cat died on the roof or something but it was pointed out to me that rotten flesh just doesn't smell like that. And believe you me I have smelled some putrid carcasses. 

although dad says he's never smelled anything like the dead cow pit on some relative's farm. Except that one dude in the locker room of the YMCA. His words were "It hits you like a wall." 

My situation I believe to be a tad different in that its not so much a wall but a gentle wafting through every corner of the living room. No escape, no febreezing it away, no turning on a fan. Just in the air, every breath you take. 

I made the mistake of burying my head in a pillow from the couch. I don't know about your pillows but I probably should wash mind more often. besides being where I balance my food I can only imagine the dust, skin, hair, sweat, blood and tears those pillows have soaked up. Nasty!

Yes, that was what I was wearing today. Plaid shorts. And yes my couch really is red and cream and freshly febreezed. 

And yes, Febreeze is now a verb.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

i'm awake

Now I'm just annoyed 

That's all. I'm awake. I'm not sleepy but I'm terribly tired. I don't want to read, my eyes are already dry and they hurt from the back. I don't want to watch tv, I'll get interested and have to finish whatever I start. 

I don't want to listen to a podcast about How Things Work, What I missed in History Class. Last time that happened I ended up dreaming about Jack the Ripper terrorizing White Chapel or Bluebeard torturing little boys or how Mary Queen of Scots never had a chance. 

asian tv annoys me. Everything has to be cute. Everything needs a fluffy animal or a model with way too fake eyelashes singing with a fluffy animal. how can you have a beer commercial with a bouncing cute tiger teddy bear thing that hands off cans of beer to 18 year olds whose hair turns green after one sip? 

what kind of marketing genius equated beer with cuteness? 

我累死了! 就要sleep! 需要sleep 每一天不要喝酒吃藥讓我睡覺 

Taking a break from Chinese class hasn't helped. I am currently taking a trimester off, justified by my trip back home. Didn't have the money to spare to waste on tuition and a plane ticket. 

I've probably forgotten more in a month than I learned all last trimester.

I should do something about that. But that would require getting up early and that would cut down on the few precious hours i do get. 

i'll read my Chinese books. of course not now. later. later today. as it is 2 AM 

I'll even make some tea and use that ridiculous mug I got for being awarded Best Teacher for six months. I don't know, however long it takes them to scrape up enough names to make it worth having a ceremony for. 

honored; no way
proud of myself; kinda
wary that this is a way of getting me to do something i don't want to do later on: most definitly. 

I will get up on stage with dozens of other people, receive my plate or whatever it is this time around, and have to pretend that getting a 'golden hippo' award means something even though for me this teaching in Taiwan gig is just a speed bump in the rest of my life and has nothing to do with what I will be doing in the future (fingers crossed) 

What I won't be doing, is sleeping. 

Don't even have any milk to warm up and spike with brandy, mom's home remedy for sleepless nights. 

No nails to paint, no photos to upload. Nothing to print, no Sudoku games half finished. 

no paper to draw on, not even a single thought of a lame photoshop picture to draw. 

How do you fall asleep? Have a routine? Spike your dinner with a sleepytime cocktail of prescriptions? Hit your head on the wall?

i'm not drowsy and creative. I'm achy and irate. 

I've watched the sun come up twice this week and can find no fault in my pillows' fluffiness. My blankets fuzziness, the temperature, the volume of the ac blowing, the darkness of my room. 

my head just won't turn off. 

I've actually tried, and laugh all you want, counting sheep. 

like those claymation sheep from that one claymation movie. only I think, why a fence? why jump over? why not go around, its not  a long fence. Is it electric? then I'm counting electrocuted sheep, then its the same sheep, going round and round getting shocked. 
And why is claymation spelled wrong anyways?

Ps: I posted this, and then this was the relevant ad google came up with:

i'm too tired to worry about cropping and sizing. I can't believe that sizing is spelled right and claymation isn't even a word. 

I even stayed awake long enough to draw a picture, though not a very good one. 

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

You know its time to do laundry when...

Point one: when you can't identify where that 'smell' is coming from...

And yes, I wear my Charlie the Unicorn shirt backwards from time to time, like I said...its time to do laundry. 

point two: when creepy things are living in your laundry

Point three: When Ikea has run out of clean towels for you to buy

Point three: When you go to work in nicer and nicer clothes, because there's nothing else to wear

One more time because its awesome...
Charlie the Unicorn!!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

shhhhh, my foot's asleep!

Why do I get punished with the lightening bolt teeth of Zeus's multi-headed hound of hell chewing stabbing needle holy holes in my toes when all I want to do is sit quietly and watch hours on end of cheesy Hong Kong police movies!? In my Flight of the Conchords t shirt no less.

I get aches and cramps and pains and pulls when attempt to exercise and then I decide to be nice to my poor limbs and joints and cute little extremities and what do I get for my trouble...tickled by a meat tenderizer from the inside by all my tiny nerves, angry at a little loss of blood flow.

I'm reminded of the time, a long time ago, when I used to put rubber bands about my finger tips and toes to watch them turn all shades of purple. If timed just right I could watch the progession of hues along all the top knuckles of my fingers. Those where the days...

Oh yes, I had a neon zebra T shirt that looked almost like that one that I loved and wore all the time. And yes, one of my hands is freakishly larger than the other one. At least it was back then.

Monday, September 13, 2010

talented nose pickers

teaching 4th graders, I kinda forgot how nasty the kindergarten graduates are. Something about first grade that brings out the phlegm non stop. There are some pretty talented nose pickers, wedgie pullers and less talented nose blowers and napkin users.

A few of my favorites
The double whammy:  This talented young man gets twice as much done in half the time. Talk about efficient! Fingers still nimble and small enough to get those hard to reach places.

The Hungry Man: sometimes lunch just doesn't come fast enough. Or a tissue isn't within reach. A quick, fast solution...or a tasty snack. In these situations I always offer dessert and ask for any volunteers who want to contribute to the 'feed Timmy' fund with generous donations from their own...collection. This also isn't reserved just for kindergarten kiddies, I've caught my junior high students sneaking a snack as well. 

Old Man Snot Rocket: This is reserved for old guys, walking down the street, who blow snot rockets into the street, planters, grates, open space that happens to be next to them. You'll have to use your imagination for that one, its kinda disgusting.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

am i not particularly awesome?

I feel the need to clarify: A friend to whom I sent a link to this blog emailed and basically said 'I love it!' And then emailed back to qualify that statement with a 'I didn't like your post, but I like the fact that you are blogging.'  why?

I don't understand why someone would tell you they don't like what you write? I understand constructive criticism, I don't understand someone making a point to tell me that I'm not awesome and what I have to say is of no particular interest and they could care less that I'm taking the time to share what I feel in a personal and hopefully delightful way that I'm sure anyone who misses me might like to ponder over.

I might have lost a substantial amount of vocabulary, or big pretty words, in the time I've lived abroad and altered my speech to suit the needs of elementary level students with kindergarten level English. But I still have the occasional thought in my head that I wish I had the luxury of native speakers around to share with.

This is as close as I get.

It's like after I have a talk with you, a piquant little conversation in a coffee shop and we say our goodbyes and take out our car keys and throw the Starbucks cups in the recycling because there are no more trash cans. After all that, I turn around and say, "Well, you're alright to talk to, not the best, actually I didn't enjoy it, but its cool, see you later. "  Now wouldn't you just think, in the back of your mind...what'd i do to deserve that extra little bit of 'you're not cool-ness' ? I wonder?

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Taiwan rants...1

1: Gym etiquette, there is none. When the gym charges by the hour, the reasonable thing to do would be to do your 3-5 sets of 10 or 15 for muscle tone, wipe off the seat and move on. 

Not park yourself down, have a healthy snack and watch the latest asian pop star try out their acting skills on a Korean soap opera.

and by pop star I mean cutie and pop icon Rain

Saturday, September 4, 2010

there's something stinky in the kitchen but its not a hamster carcass, what could it be?

Only one of these things hasn't been found in the kitchen before....

idea number 1=  the things that soak up blood when you buy packaged meat

idea number 2= rotting vegetable matter

idea number 3= rotting cockroach carcass

idea number 4= a week's worth of used tissue, that one week i had terrible allergies and drank a lot of milk....thick and gooey!

idea number 5= dinosaur poo

idea number 6= hamster carcass, like that one other time....

Friday, September 3, 2010

random conversation that i think was worth remembering

him: (referring to the sunglass shaped sunburn on my face) its burned all the way to your eye crack. 

me: eye CRACK? Are you talking about the corner of my eye?

him: corner, crack....

me: Whats an eye crack? When I think of cracks, I think of an opening where things come out...for example your butt.

him: That would be a hole. An eye hole...

me: holes are for putting things in..

there was some mention of a sphincter in there, but I forget how that part came about..

and thats where the conversation ended. My eye crack is freshly aloe vera-ed. so there.

rain rain, go away...wait no, come back...its too hot

This will start as a climate issue, and then digress into my sweatiness, you are have been warned.

Living in tropical climates really tests ones ability to withstand minor irritants that grow into giant sticky itchy sweaty rashy soggy major irritants. Observe my 'stinky shoes' for example.

I have a pair of beloved and cherished sandals that have been in the Pacific ocean, various lakes and city streets and have probably retained a bit of each environment in the form of odor displacing microbes.
I have only to wear them and remember rainy typhoon days that swept bits of the street dirt into the lining and i'm still knocking out grains of sand from the last beach six months ago.

Every summer my shoes make their debut to the chagrin of those in close proximity to my feet. These shoes have molded to every curve and crack of my soles so perfectly that it would be a tragedy and a lot of hard foot stomping work to start again with a new pair. I'm too lazy to even break in new shoes and prefer the ease of spraying febreeze and calling it good. Now these shoes have followed me to the humid habitat of Taipei and have taken on a whole new.... life.

I've found insects happily making babies in my shoes. eww

Minor to major irritant number two....t shirts. specifically white, gray, pink, yellow, or any other color that happens to change color where ever there is a collection of moisture on your body.

I'm under the impression that Asian people don't sweat, not like I do. That's why there is no deodorant here (I've found some men's deodorant but its only used in extreme emergencies of b.o.)

 I guess this climate has opened up new pores i never knew were connected to sweat glands.

Because I imagine sweat comes from some kind of gland like place floating under my  this

now that's tasty

but bank to my point, my students end up asking me if I just took  a shower, why is my shirt wet in the back, front, pretty much from the neck down. Like this

And yes, it drips just like that.

for the most part.

End of rant for now, I'm going to take a shower and cool off. And put my shoes outside.


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