Thursday May 29th, 2008

My co-worker had today's paper. I decided to have a look through on my break. A small article on the front page titled 'Japanese customs officials apologize for planting drugs' caught my eye. Japan decided to plant 142g of marijuana on an incoming Hong Kong passenger to test out one of the sniffer dogs. The dog failed to find it and the customs official forgot which bag the drugs were in. I mean, could you imagine?

A public appeal was released and the drugs were returned a few days later. The paper stated that it was not known whether the passenger was tracked or whether he or she had contacted authorities.

Another few pages in was a small article on Canada. Apparently a Vancouver couple put their seven-day old baby up for sale on the internet. They were asking US$10,000 stating that the baby was a must have, very cute and very healthy. It was unexpected and they were unable to afford it. The paper says the couple have a history of drug problems and are currently under investigation for trafficking. They must have been high to put their baby up for sale on the net.

I guess some haven't figured out the power of internet. It's been the first paper in some time that's brought laughter ... it's a very pleasant change!

Tuesday May 27th, 2008

2:28pm ... I'm waiting patiently for the torrential rain to stop. The past week has been typical spring weather for Taiwan. The mornings are ridiculously hot and sunny ... the afternoon brings thunder and lightning which eventually leads to a massive downpour. I still have an hour and a half before I need to think about leaving ... it should be cleared up by then. If I'm lucky, the sun will make another appearance for the quick scoot to work.

I went to the hospital yesterday morning and had some x-rays done on both of my knees. The good news is that it's nothing too serious. He says I have patellar tendinitis, a.k.a. jumper's knee. I looked it up on the internet and found a ton of information. Apparently it's quite common. I'm relieved to know the cause of the pain, but not so sure I'm prepared to stop playing rugby. The doctor gave me some exercises to strengthen the area which should help it in the long run.

In the meantime, I'm back into swimming a few mornings a week. Hopefully this will shape up my knees along with the rest of my body. It's been four months since the injury and I've been out of routine exercise since then.

The thunder feels like it's shaking the whole house. Levi keeps making noises at me as if the loud rumbles are my fault. After all, she is trying to sleep. Ah ... the life of a cat ... I would trade any day ...

Saturday May 24th, 2008

It's still Friday night but the clock is reading 0:01. This is my first full blog on the MAC. I've not wanted to make the change as there is no backspace key on a MAC ... only a delete key. I use my backspace more often than not ...

That being said, my PC died again. I just purchased a new hard drive in December. It didn't come too cheap so I'm not overly happy. My PC is about 4 years old ... perhaps it's time to purchase a new one.

I just bought a new desk and computer chair. The desk is big enough to accommodate both computers which was the main reason it was purchased. I guess that's what one gets when they buy more than they need.

I've stopped reading the paper as it's too depressing. It's hard not to think of the disaster that surrounds me and the whole world, really. And as I sit here silently cursing this MAC for not having a backspace key, I'm reminded that I should be very thankful for the now too big desk, this computer and even the stupid delete key.

So ... American Idol. Yes, I'm going to admit that I've taken the time to download each one this season and I've watched them faithfully. Ninety seven and a half million votes ... I mean, really? Ninety seven and a half MILLION votes. Wow! That's mind blowing.

Over in Asia, I pay no attention to the news outside of the Taipei Times. I've done well not to find out before hand who's been given the boot. I don't get a torrent until well after it's aired in North America.

The season finale was highly entertaining although I did fast forward through a part or two ... or three. It brought out some great numbers like ZZ Top, Seal and even Bryan Adams ... but only because he's Canadian.

Today, while I was checking out the answers to yesterday's crossword puzzle on C.C.'s blog, I came across the winner. Who would've thought?! Although I was kinda upset, the show was still impressive.

The time is now reading 0:45. There's a big mixed touch tournament going on tomorrow afternoon. I'm really looking forward to it. I'm definitely playing although my knee has been not so well. I suppose it's because of the jogging and the beach volleyball and the swimming. I finally gave in and made an appointment at the hospital for Monday morning. It needs to be done as it's been five months since the original injury. I am finding the need to get back into shape and my knee is not allowing that so much.

In the few years I've been in Taiwan, I've never come to trust the doctors. I would say a good chunk of them aren't as qualified as they think they are. There are abundances of clinics scattered throughout the streets and lanes and alleys. I'm thinking a hospital is, perhaps, a safer bet.

We shall see ... and with that ... I'm off ...

Paragliding ...

I was invited to 萬里, the northeastern part of Taipei County, on Sunday. Many activities were available on the beach. The highlight of the day, for me, was paragliding ... it was pretty cool! I've posted a new album with a few pictures on the right ... click the link ...

Thursday May 15th, 2008

The newspaper has been full of deaths, deaths and more deaths. The big, bolded print this morning reads, 'Over 50,000 dead or missing in China.' The photos are shocking and the words leave me feeling deeply saddened by the tragedies and loss.

China is just next door. It reminds me to live life to the fullest each and every day as one never knows what tomorrow will present.

Although I've not yet been to the mainland, I imagine it's much of the same. Things in Taiwan are built very quickly. The quickness can't possibly allow for secure structures. It's not overly surprising that some of the towns in China have nothing left standing. That is not to say, however, that a 7.9 magnitude quake doesn't have the power to take down better built buildings.

I recently watched the movie Children of Men. The story takes place in 2027 and the world is living in a state of chaos. It's actually very believable. Seems to me that there are bits of chaos happening on a daily basis in all corners of the world.

2027 will put me into my early 50s ... that's kind of a weird thought. Age fifty seems so far off, yet 2027 does not. Funny how that works ...

Happy Mother's Day ...

My mom and I - Long Hai Beach, Vietnam - November 2007

I hope you have an excellent day, Mom! I will be thinking of you!

From your long lost daughter who can't bring herself to move back to the other side.

I miss you! xo

Fun with Photoshop ...

Topic of the day ... borders.

He looks how I feel. It's going to be an early night as I start my new Chinese class in the morning. I'm really looking forward to studying with a new teacher who hardly speaks English. At this point, it's exactly what I need to keep moving forward.

我要睡覺 ... 晚安!

Dilemmas ...

End of semester will come up quick ... with it comes some holiday time. As I look around my apartment, I'm reminded of how much I'd like to paint the walls ... and with that, comes a feeling of commitment.

Holidays present freedom. One of my favorite things to do is to get lost in a world that isn't my own. Whenever I arrive home though, it's back to these drab white walls.

My visa expires January 2009. The school has offered me another ARC and has also agreed to a three month holiday.

So ... 1. a mini holiday before an extended holiday/move or 2. some color for before and after my big trip ... I'm kinda stuck.

Dilemmas ... good to have, I suppose. A world without them might be a boring place.

Thursday May 1st, 2008

Five months into 2008 ... it's hard to believe we're almost at the halfway mark ... again.

Below is Levi. This is the position she takes about a half hour before I leave each day. I have considered buying a leash and taking her out on it but then I think about how ridiculous that would look.

Some nights, I walk outside and see women pushing their dog(s) in baby carriages ... the dogs seem quite happy, believe it or not. Most sit perched out the front of the carriage like a dog would a car window ... tongue hanging out and all ...

I guess it's all in what you get used to ... or what you've never known differently.