Friday September 29th, 2006

A big happy birthday to you, Mom ... all the way from Taiwan. I hope the day brings you many good things. I am sorry I won't be there to celebrate with you, however, Bill told me what he's giving you and just so you know, I bought one too ... I guess we'll be seeing each other a lot sooner than you'd think! I love you and miss you ... always!

Monday September 25th, 2006

It's hard to believe it's almost October ... plans have started for our Canadian Thanksgiving. It looks as though we will celebrate on Tuesday, October 10th as it's a holiday here in Taiwan. I hope we are able to find a turkey. We were successful in finding one last year ... at least this year we know where to start looking first. Mmmmm ... I can hardly wait ... turkey with all the fixings.

I was in 天母 (tian mu) this weekend with a friend. We made a stop at, perhaps, my newest favourite breakfast place. It's called Mary's Hamburger and it's full of yummy goodness. They have simple western style breakfast for cheap, cheap, cheap.

After breakfast, we went to one of the temples in 天母 as I'd like to start my photo collection up again. I still can't believe they're all gone. So many photos ... lost. Yesterday, I cooked up some 'I haven't been home all week and there are a ton of veggies in my fridge that need to be eaten before they go bad' fajitas. I went to turn on some jazz music as that's my favourite thing to listen to while I cook and I realized that it's all gone too. So sad.

It looks like the sun will join us today ... hopefully it's here to stay for the next while. We have certainly had our share of rain this year. I have a house guest coming on Wednesday and she will probably reside with me for the month. She is going to try a life here in Taiwan for the next two years. I hope she doesn't mind two crazy cats that run around like wild indians every morning at 7am. I will have to inform her that it might be best to keep her door shut!

Drugs ...

I neglected to include in my last post that when I went back to the doctor for the second time, he gave me more medicine. He gave me 6 pills to take 3 times a day for 3 days ... plus cough syrup ... no eyedrops though. I decided not to take them, but they looked a little something like this ...

Um, is it just me, or is that a lot of medicine to be consumed in three days?

I've been trying to organize a few things on my computer for the past few hours. I keep thinking about the pictures I've lost and the music I've lost ... I can't believe they are just ... gone.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

What a week ... unbelievable ... I don't even know where to start. After all that fever nonsense last week, things got a bit worse. Monday, I tried to carry on my day as normal. It started by me taking my computer into ASUS as my DVD player wasn't reading discs. As it's still under warranty, they replaced the DVD, told me it was working and sent me on my way. As one would assume them to be the experts, I didn't bother to check and ... went on my way. Upon my arrival home, my computer was dead ... a black screen with a whole lot of nothing. ASUS is on the other side of the city and I didn't have time to go back, so I made a plan to go back first thing the next day.

Tuesday arrived and I still wasn't feeling much better. I had an appetite which allowed me some energy, but I had what I thought to be allergies. So, Tuesday am, back down to ASUS I go. When one of the techs looked at my computer, he told me it was definitely a virus. I argued with him, stating that my computer was in fine working order until they replaced the hardware yesterday. He said they'd see what they can do, but there is a good chance it's a virus and that they will have to gut my computer and start over. They decided it best to keep it for three days. Am I a backer upper kinda gal, you ask? ... Nope.

Next stop ... the hairdressers. My hair is flamin' red ... a bit more red than I would've liked, but it seemed to match my red, itchy eyes at that stage. After the hairdressers, I went to Wen Hua. I filled out the rest of my application, paid my money and was very excited to know I was to start Uni on Monday. In asking the lady about my class time, she told me class was at 1pm. Huh? I told her I needed to be in one of the two morning classes they offer as I teach in the afternoons. She told me that not enough students applied for the semester, so there is only one class at 1pm ... she gave me my money back.

Wen Hua has new semesters starting every three weeks, but who knows if they'll have enough students? I will be looking into going to Shida. Although the course is a bit more expensive, it's a very well known Uni and a lot of people attend classes there. I am sure to be guaranteed am classes, now it will be a matter of when they start.

After Wen Hua, I made my way to the doctors as the sniffles and the red eyes were driving me crazy. Upon my arrival, the doctor informs me that it isn't allergies ... it is, in fact, pink eye ... or maybe better known as Conjunctivitis ... oh brother. The doctor told me I must stay out of public places for the next three days. I went to school to explain my situation ... they sent me home.

So, now I'm at home ... still a bit unwell and with no computer? For those that aren't aware ... my computer is my stereo, my radio, my TV, my DVD and my information source. You take this away and it leaves me with some beautiful mountains to stare at and two cats to play with. After day number two, I'm sure the cats were becoming quite annoyed with me.

I was able to pick up my computer yesterday and it was empty. All my photos ... gone. I know there are a lot worse things to lose in life, but it's still a bit of a bummer. Thank goodness for blogs and photobucket. I will make sure to upload all of my photos to the internet so that I won't come across this problem again.

Last night, I spent the night at my friend's place. Vernon is a man who knows his way around the computer and I send a big thanks to him. He stocked me up with a bunch of goodies ... a bunch of new goodies, in fact. So, I suppose with a little bit of bad, there always comes a little bit of good.

I am off to make some more changes to my new system ... seems to me, at the moment, there are way to many bells and beeps going on. Must customize and remove!

Sunday September 17th, 2006

Things are looking up already and it's not even 10am. I'm still feeling a bit sweaty, but it could be from the kitty sitting in my lap rather than the fever. It's hard to tell, but I'm sure it's gone. Last night was the first night in over a week that I didn't do the hot cold thing all night. It seems that I now have a cold, but I can deal with that.

Since I've been sick, I've been able to find lots of time to sit in front of my computer. I was finally able to figure out how to get a song to play on ... needless to say, I'm pretty happy!

I've also had some time to do some searching on the net and it looks like I may be able to hire an agent to help me to bring both of my cats to China ... for a small fee, of course, but it doesn't seem too outrageous. Levi is one lucky little girl ... I was thinking of putting her out and taking Datsun with me. He is the easier of the two ... although, she is more cuddly.

My laptop is actually on the fritz. I will have to take it in on Monday or Tuesday for a little fine tuning. I've recently been thinking about upgrading, but this one isn't even two years old as of yet ... almost. I really want to upgrade my camera first. I'm going to have a look in HK ... I hear electronics are very cheap there.

Well, I am off for some breakfast and a movie, perhaps.

Saturday September 16th, 2006

Today didn't turn out to be such a bad day after all. The typhoon is passing and I think the rain should stop as of tomorrow. I hope so as I have a fairly busy week next week and it involves a lot of running into the city. Maybe, if I'm feeling better tomorrow, I'll make my way down the hill to get me that new rain gear I've been promising myself.

I finished the medicine the doctor gave me, another 12 pills today. I still have a bit of a fever and my glands are very swollen. I'm hoping it clears up tomorrow or it'll mean I'll have to go back to see him again.

The day has been quiet and relaxing. I was able to clean my place up ... it looked as though a bomb had gone off somewhere in the week. It's going to be another early night for me. Since it's not raining, I think I'll head out for a walk ... get myself a juice before bed.

Today has certainly been a day of comfort food. After three days of fruit and soup, it was great to have a grilled cheese today and some KD. All that with some apple juice ... how can one not be on the road to recovery?!

Dreams ...

I think the medication must be making me crazy. I had the weirdest dream last night. For those that have seen the movie The Saw ... if you remember the bald dude that was lying on the floor in the pool of blood the whole time ... he was in my dream ... ugh. Here's how it went. The bald guy owned a donut shop. Behind this donut shop were rooms for rent. For some reason, I was looking for a room but didn't seem to have any money. He showed me a room where he would allow me to stay for free. The room was hardly that. It was full of broken pieces of wood and bricks and smashed concrete. There were cats and dogs everywhere ... most of them were dead. One pup came running up to me. He was so dirty, but so lovable. I decided, even though the room was a horror, to stay and clean up this pup and try to find him a home.

After bathing the pup, he took off out the back door ... that was the last I saw of him. I took a look around this room. Besides all the garbage that was here and there, there seemed to be lots of suitcases laying around. Most of them were still full of things as if the last visitors had left them thrown about. One would think this would be the time to hightail it out of there ... but for me, I guess it wasn't. I mean, it was only a dream.

Anyway ... there was a top bunk where I placed my backpack and my laptop bag. I decided to retire for the night. When I awoke in the morning, a good chunk of the room was as spotless as could be. No more bricks or smashed concrete. The dead animals ... gone. In place of the mess was a dresser and a desk. On the dresser, there sat a bunch of ceramic type dolls and disney toys ... all neatly placed. On the desk was much of the same. The back half of the room was still the same as it was the night before ... I felt very confused as to how I was able to sleep through the whole transition.

I got up and looked at the pieces on the dresser ... they were kind of cute yet eerie. I noticed almost immediately that my laptop bag was missing. I went out to the donut shop to ask the bald guy where my computer was, but he wasn't in for the day. My cousin and a few of his friends were apparently staying a few doors down. Why one wouldn't decide to stay with them instead of a room full of dead animals is beyond my comprehension ... dreams are funny.

My cousin happened to have this guy's number, so he gave him a call. The guy told me that he was into hydrography. Now, in looking that up on my ever so handy dandy online dictionary ... gotta love Merriam-Webster ... it says that hydrography is relating to the charting of bodies of water as to their characteristic features. I don't really get what that had to do with my computer, but dreams don't always make sense, do they?

I argued with him on the phone saying that I needed my computer to do some work and he told me he wasn't back until the following week, so I'd have to wait. I mean, imagine me without a computer for the week. I was so distraught I woke up.

One would think the crazy man or the gross room or even the dead animals would've woken me .... but nooo. It was the thought of having no computer ... I mean, how horrifying. I have to laugh.

On a lighter note ... I am still sweating and the fever is still hanging around, but I think it may actually be cooling. The weather has been off and on most of the night. There are some big dark clouds lingering outside that look very threatening.

I'm thinking it might be a good time to head to the supermarket. Although it's just past 7am, this country is always good for 24 hour shopping. Off I go before it starts raining again.

Friday Evening ...

So ... I think my first mistake today was deciding that I would be alright to go into school. My second mistake was not leaving after my first class. I wasn't any better for it ... I hardly made it through. I felt so bad, in fact, that I couldn't even stop to get some things on the way home. I just needed to get home and lie down.

My fever is still going strong ... 2 days into medication ... 24 pills down my throat ... my whole body is on fire. It's amazing. I am required to take another 12 pills tomorrow and then that's supposed to be it. I'm hoping it clears itself up or it's back to the doctors I go.

The wind was starting to howl earlier ... windows rattling here and there. I thought it was the start of the storm. The rain has stopped for the moment as has the wind and the rattling windows. Could it be the calm before the storm? Time will tell.

Typhoon 珊珊 (shan shan)

As my sleep was pretty restless last night, I was able to experience the earthquake we had ... the internet says it was a 5.0. If it's not one thing, it's another.

It seems there is a typhoon in the area after all. I thought this satellite picture was a good one. You can clearly see the eye of the storm.

As you can see below, it's not going to go over Taiwan, but we will feel the effects from it, I'm sure. Guess I better get to downloading. The weekend will probably consist of staying indoors, out of the torrential rain.

Another few days inside will probably do me some good. I'll have to stock up on liquids and food for the next few days on my way home from work. I hope the store shelves aren't empty by that time. Fingers crossed.

Friday September 15th, 2006

And the rain still continues to come down in sheets. Right now, I can't even see the building across the way ... unbelievable. I keep checking the weather for news of typhoons, but there are none in the immediate area.

The weather hasn't been much of an issue for me as I've been indoors for the past three days due to being sick. I've had a fever since Sunday. Tuesday, I felt horrible. After taking Wednesday off work and not feeling much better by the time Thursday rolled around, I decided it best to drag myself to see a doctor. I can't recall the last time I had a fever. It's been four days of sweating so much that my shirt would be soaked right through and then all of a sudden, I would become so cold ... like freezing ... yuck! I've gone through a number of shirts in the past four days, that is for sure.

I normally try to avoid doctors in Taiwan as I'm not sure I agree with their practice. Unfortunately, due to the pollution, it seems that I often have sinus infections, so going to the doctors can't always be avoided. I do have coverage here in Taiwan and the medical coverage is cheap. To give you an example ... when one goes to see the doctor, you are required to pay 150NT, which would be about $5CAN. Once you pay that fee, any medication prescribed to you is free of charge.

Now, in Canada, as I remember it ... when you are sick and need to take antibotics, they give you one pill to take three times a day for about two weeks. That is not so here. One time I saw the doctor and he tried to give me 8 pills to take 4 times a day for 3 days ... like, what the?!?! After some discussion about my thoughts on overmedicating, I was finally able to talk him down to 6 but then he decided to give me a seventh and this was his reasoning ... he said that sometimes when we take too much medication our tummy doesn't feel well, so he decided it's best to give me a pill for that too ... I'm so confused.

Anyway ... this trip to the doctor wasn't too terrible. I was given 4 pills to take 3 times a day for 3 days. So now, over the past 24 hours, I am 16 pills in. Do I feel any better? Not really. I think last night was the worst night of them all. On top of the sweating and the freezing came dry heaves ... from the abundance of medication? Perhaps. All I know is that I am ready for it to go away.

Regardless of the rain and the illness, I am going to have to drag myself into work. As I look out my window now, I can see the buildings and even the mountains in the distancce. Maybe the weather will sympathize with me and clear up for the remainder of the day.

I am not looking forward to teaching so much. As I have tonsillitis, I imagine projecting my voice is not going to be easy. On any regular day, it's a challenge with this quiet voice I've been given. I hope my kids are up for some IQ games ... the day should be an easy one for them.

Levi is curled in my lap purring away like an angel, as per usual. I am dripping sweat from her body heat and the flannel pjs. I guess it's time to change into something cooler for the next ten minutes. I'm sure at that time the coldness will kick in and it will be time for yet another new pair of flannels. TGIF.

Tuesday September 12th, 2006

Sometimes, I love computers ... and on other days ... not so much. I thought of this great idea and I've been sitting over the computer most of the day trying to figure out the code ... I've been unsuccessful. I placed a slideshow on and I'm pretty happy with the look of it. I've been trying to place the same thing on my blog, but with different photos, and it's just not turning out the way I'd like it to look. I've been playing with the codes for much too long to want to deal with them anymore.

As I am a new HTML learner ... trying to teach myself ... I am still very limited as to what I can figure out. Myspace code allowed me to see the advertising code, thus allowing me to remove it. If I try to post the same code on my blog, no dice. If I post the code the site gives me, I get this flashy advertising of where the slideshow was made ... and ... if you really like the slideshow, you can click the heart and rate it. Great, but not exactly what I'm looking for. I understand, of course, why they want to advertise on my site as it is their creation, but it's pretty tacky.

As one might be able to see ... I don't have much interesting to talk about these days. I've kinda been getting back into the groove of working and living life in Taiwan. It's been raining for days and when I say raining, that is putting it mildly. I'd say coming down in sheets might be more appropriate for the past weekend weather. In saying that, I was, however, able to get in three movies and my Chinese writing homework ... Uni starts in less than two weeks. I'm feeling a bit nervous about the whole thing ... and excited. I guess those are normal feelings when one is about to make a commitment of change.

As the slideshow didn't turn out to my desire, I guess I'll have to move to plan B. I'm not sure what that is at this time, so I'll leave you with a sneak peek ... damn computers! Speaking of ... the music on myspace isn't playing due to another site being down. Technology is this amazing thing ... yet, it's frustrating when I can't make things work ... I suppose like everything, it is far from being purrrfected. Gosh ... I must be turning into a cat.

So with that ... I leave you with a photo. It's back to working on plan A ... because right now there just doesn't seem to be a plan B.

In less than a month, I'll be heading to Disneyland in Hong Kong ... a picture with thoughts of that in mind ... guess who?!

Oh, Eeyore ...

The Letter E

It's very apparent that 'e' is the most commonly used letter when you have a cat that likes to lie on the keyboard such as so ...

Datsun on a rainy Sunday ...

With all the torrential rain we've been having the past few days, who could blame him for not wanting to come out.

Friday September 8th, 2006

The outside world seems angry today ... it's been thundering for most of the morning. Last night was the first night since I've been back that I didn't have my fan on. I actually awoke at some point in the night to close the window and put a cover on. The other time I awoke, both of the cats were lying on top of me ... guess they were feeling the chill of the night as well.

The weather calls for rain for another week or so, with temperatures in the mid to high 20's. I suppose there comes a time every year when it has to cool down a bit ... it reminds me that I want to move to a warmer, year-round kinda place. The rain has started, yet the skies are blue ... the weather in this country never ceases to amaze me. This year, I vow to get better rain gear.

I'm glad today is Friday. This week was my first full week being back to the grind and I'm feeling a bit tired. Our school hours have changed, so I am expected to be at school for an extra half hour, four days a week ... unpaid. It's nice to have a half hour break between my classes, but of course, I end up working for the whole half hour which, again, isn't paid. Hmmm.

My Chinese classes at Wen Hua will start in just over two weeks. I am really looking forward to them. I could've started classes on Monday, but I thought it best to take a few more weeks to enjoy more holidays and that lovely pool. Now if only the rain would stop ...

My Space ...

I've spent a few hours during the past two days trying to do some new things with I'm sure most have heard about it ... perhaps? I don't know many that use it, but I've gotten a bit of response from it. My original thought was to use it to link it to my site and let me tell you, it has brought over its share of eyes.

Check it out, if you have a moment ... it contains a slide show and some traditional Chinese music to entertain ...

My Space

Sunday September 3rd, 2006

It's hard to believe we are into September already ... if I haven't said it before ... where does the time go? It's only another month before I'll be hopping a plane over to Hong Kong ... my first trip there. As it will be China's birthday, I imagine the city is going to be one crazy place!

I don't really have much to talk about today ... so a photo it is. This was taken out my window at about 7am which was much too early for me to be thinking about taking a photo.

It's been a hot day ... right now, it's 4:36pm and the weather reads 34.3. Sweat has been rolling off me since my arrival, really. I tried a cold shower which didn't do much ... another is shortly on the way. I could wander down to the pool, but ... it's all the way over there ...

I love lazy Sundays and wouldn't you know it ... a friend called and pizza, cheese cake and wine are on the way ... what a nice end to a nice weekend.

Spoiled? Perhaps ...