She's back ...

It's been in the low to mid 30's for the past week or so. Last night was a hot one. I slept with my fan on and my blanket off. This morning, I had the pleasure of waking up to a certain someone attacking my foot and nibbling my toes. It started at 5am ... it continued until 7:30.

I have vivid memories of this happening more often than not last summer. I, of course, boot her off the bed but she quickly returns purring louder each time. One shouldn't be so happy at that hour ... I'm going to see what I can do about changing her schedule. Impossible? I think so.

Monday May 28th, 2007

It seems that all the rain we've been having as of late has been replaced by humidity. Last week was slow going ... I'm sure this week will be much of the same. It's easy for one to forget how hot it can get in the summer.

The past weekend was quite lazy. I did a bit of shopping late Saturday morning ... after that, it was all about staying home. I managed to get some things done around the house which I've been putting off for months. Gotta love procrastination!

Rugby practice went well on Sunday. We are learning some fancy moves. We have another game on the 10th of June and it seems our uniforms will be ready for it! There are two tournaments coming up ... Korea in September and China in November. I've said yes to Korea, if funds allow it. I won't be able to go to China as I'll be away.

My mom has booked her ticket for our November trip! Although it seems far away, I know the time will go quickly. She will be arriving in Taiwan on November 1st and will be staying for 5 days. At that time, we will both be on a flight to Vietnam. Most of our time will be spent on the beaches of the Vietnam coast, but we will hop a flight over to Cambodia as the temples are a must, must see! I didn't allow myself enough time last trip, so I am thankful for a second opportunity ... especially with my new camera!

An anonymous commenter, perhaps my mother, has requested a photo of me as a blonde ... this is what I was able to come up with:

It was all part of my muchly needed lazy weekend. I know muchly isn't really a word ... but when looking up muchly on the internet you get all kinds of neat information ... English always amazes me:

as much as, as much as anything (else), be a bit much, not be much to look at, be nothing much to write home about, not be up to much, a bit (too) much, not have much going for you, not have much time for someone/something, how much do you want to bet?, I thought as much!, make much of something, much ado about nothing, much less, not much to look at, nothing much, pretty much, so much, so much as, so much for something, so much so, so much the better, there's much to be said for, too much of a good thing, very much so, without so much as ...

and with that ... I sign off ...

Tuesday May 22nd, 2007

The sun finally decided to join us today. I was so excited, I stayed out in it for most of the day and now I'm sunburnt.

I had to go to the Canadian Trade Office this morning as my passport expires soon. I had everything prepared but they made me get new photos. I was told you aren't able to smile anymore, but no one said anything about your mouth having to be completely closed. In a few weeks, my new five year passport will show me as a blonde ... hhhmmmm.

I got back into the gym today after taking four days off. It was nice to lie poolside after my workout. Weather was saying 31 ... and to think, it's only the start of the heat.

I have a meeting at school tomorrow in regards to our summer camp program. I am looking forward to finding out what the summer will hold.

Sunday May 20th, 2007

5:20pm ... the rain hasn't let up at all. Yesterday it drizzled off and on for the graduation party. The party took place at a big farm which wasn't really much of a farm. It didn't seem that there was much to do. We had stations set up as we had planned a Ckids Amazing Race. The three fastest teams were able to win some prizes ... the prizes were McDonald's gift certificates ... yikes.

A BBQ was held after the race ... it was your typical Taiwanese style BBQ. Just after the BBQ, a big water fight broke out and all the teachers ended up being soaked from head to toe. Thankfully I packed some extra clothes for the drive home.

Today, I spent some of the afternoon at a massage parlour. It was my first time getting a massage here in Taiwan. It's quite a bit different than Thai massage ... they tend to do lots of cracking here. Not sure if I was keen, but I feel good and it was great practice for my Chinese.

We are having company for dinner tonight. The menu consists of Caprese, fresh veggies, bread with balsamic and spaghetti and meatballs. For dessert ... banana flambe! James discovered this recipe while traveling through the Philippines and it is tasty!

Rugby practice was cancelled due to the rain. A good thing as I spent most of yesterday being wet and muddy. It would have been much of the same, I'm sure. It's almost time for a glass of red.

Fingers crossed for some sunshine next week. In looking at the weather online, it shows thunder showers until the 27th ... rain, rain, go away ...

Friday May 18th, 2007

It's been raining most of the day and it shows a 90% chance of showers for tomorrow ... things are not looking good. I have to be at the kindergarten at 7am ... yes, a Saturday. Am I happy about that? Not so much.

A handful of students are graduating so there will be an all day event in 桃園. There are a bunch of activities planned for the students and the parents and a BBQ will follow. I was going to try and get out of it, but these will be my new level one students for next semester.

I am looking forward to having some younger kids. I am now teaching level 2 and 3 and the older kids, especially the boys, are starting to develop attitudes. They do, however, present interesting ideas that only simple minds can create.

It'll be a bit of a drag going back to the basics of 'this is a ...' and 'those are ...' but I suppose it's much easier than trying to teach present perfect and past continuous and simple future and present progressive and past perfect continuous and ...

I confuse myself most days. In saying that, I do love learning about the complexities our language offers.

It's probably about that time ... a 6am rise is going to come awfully early. It's going to feel even earlier if the day is wet. The cats are shedding like crazy. When a certain little one likes to be so close she practically sleeps on your face ... let's just say it's not so pleasant.

Summer is here. Come on, sunshine!

Tuesday May 15th, 2007

This past weekend, a few of us hopped on our scooters and headed to Pinglin for the night. Pinglin has been a favourite camp spot for the past three or four years. Over the winter season, it has changed so much. They are now growing tea in the area and the path down to the river has completely grown over. There is a way to walk around, but the nice open spot we had for camping is no longer. It wasn't that easy to situate two tents. We decided it best to look for a new camping spot this summer. Here are a few photos of the trip ... and when I say a few, I mean a few.

Pinglin May 2007 Photos

Unfortunately the rain started in the early morning. It didn't let up until 9am. We got up, had a quick breakfast and made our way back into the city. It was short and sweet. On the way back we found a shortcut ... it's unfortunate I wasn't able to find it last year.

It's about time I get ready for school. It's been a lazy day and I'm wishing I had the whole day off. I guess one shouldn't complain at a two-hour work day. Shower time!

Friday May 11th, 2007

Summer has arrived ... the sun has been shining all week ... a rarity these days. Tomorrow calls for highs of 33 which means a road trip to 坪林 is in order. The week was busy and I wasn't able to find the time to sit poolside after the gym. I will, however, find myself camping beside this river tomorrow night. Pictures to follow after the weekend ... tgif!

Monday May 7th, 2007

Yesterday turned out to be an excellent day! We couldn't have asked for better weather. We played two games and won both ... I even managed to get one of the tries! We are being sponsored by The Brass Monkey and they kindly brought a box of Smirnoff for us to consume after the games ... awesome!

Our uniforms should be ready within a few weeks. There is a touch rugby competition going on this September in Korea which the team is thinking about joining. It's quite cheap to fly there, so it will depend on how many are willing to commit. A few of our players will be leaving Taiwan at the end of this semester, so we'll be losing a few girls. We should still have enough for a team, so fingers are crossed.

Way to go Panthers!

Saturday May 5th, 2007

The outdoor pool opened two days ago ... Friday was great but I was too busy to get to the gym. Today, it's been pouring for most of the day. The weather calls for rain tomorrow but sun for the rest of the week. It looks as though most of my mornings will be free, so I should be able to spend a bit of time there ... can't wait, can't wait!

It's not looking overly promising for our rugby game tomorrow. My cleats are still muddy from our last game. Not much has been happening over this way so I've not been writing much. Last Tuesday I went to the IMAX at Miramar mall. A few of us went to see Spiderman 3. It was alright, although the week before I was at the same place watching 300 and I think I enjoyed it a bit more.

So ... Facebook. I joined this two days ago and I'm completely shocked at what's been going on since then. Facebook allows one to get in touch with old classmates. People that I've not seen since grade school or high school have been in touch and visa versa. Unbelievable. It's been great to catch up. I am pretty excited to learn the whereabouts of others over the next while.

As the day is so rainy, I decided to take some time out this afternoon to watch Fast Times at Ridgemont High. It certainly doesn't make me miss high school any, but it did bring a few giggles as to what used to go on back in those days.

There's really bad karaoke going on upstairs ... it must be the weekend in Taiwan. I suppose it's time to drown it out ... finish the rest of my movie. Fingers are crossed for some sunshine tomorrow.

Cats and Collars

Two days ago, as I was sitting nose to nose with Datsun like we so often do, I was admiring his beautiful eyes when what should appear? A flea. A flea?! I flipped him over to see if I was able to find more. No luck. I checked out Levi and couldn't find any on her either.

The next day, I found one on Levi and none on Datsun. Needless to say, I went out and got some flea collars. Datsun is taking to his fairly well. Levi, on the other hand, is not.

As soon as I put the collar on her, she tried biting it off. In the process of doing that, she got her mouth caught and starting gagging. I'm sure the taste was awful. She ran away making this terrible noise and I had to chase after her to set her free. After a bit of a struggle, she sat in the back bathroom corner sulking.

Too funny. She's still acting a bit funny today ... it's as if the collar is throwing her whole balance off. It's going to be a big day in the life of little Levi.