Shoot This 2011 ...

A photograph is usually looked at - seldom looked into ~ Ansel Adams

My friends are hilarious ...

These candles were placed on my cake this year and it took me a number of tries before I realized they weren't meant to be blown out. Between the many, many candles and my age, I thought I was losing my touch. Most of my birthday was spent being spoiled. It was a very nice way to start the holiday season!

With eight days of classes to go and two days of exams after that, semester one will be done. Phew! A month of NO homework will follow. Thank goodness for that as I am homeworked out!

Wednesday December 22nd, 2010

The festivities begin now with the new year quickly approaching ... all the best to my family and friends during this holiday season ... 2-0-1-1 ...

Thursday December 16th, 2010

What do you mean less than nothing? I don't think there is any such thing as less than nothing. Nothing is absolutely the limit of nothingness. It's the lowest you can go. It's the end of the line. How can something be less than nothing? If there were something that was less than nothing, then nothing would not be nothing, it would be something - even though it's just a very little bit of something. But if nothing is nothing, then nothing has nothing that is less than it is ~ E.B. White

Fun in the Sun ...

At 29°, who could blame them. December has been dashing so far. New photos on the right ➨ ➨ ➨ ➨ ➨

Wednesday December 1st, 2010

Wow. December. Christmas isn't going to be the same this year. I was spoiled last year being amongst family and friends not to mention food. Oh, the food. I happen to have the carcass of a turkey in my freezer at the moment, given to me by my school as I missed the Thanksgiving luncheon due to University. At least there will be turkey soup on Christmas day. I don't imagine I'll bother putting up any decorations this year.

It's still mid twenties which makes it hard to think about Christmas. I certainly enjoyed it being a white Christmas last year! The remainder of the year will be inundated with homework. HOMEWORK. What was I thinking? That's a joke. Kind of. A good chunk of the projects at school have allowed me to do exactly what it is that I love doing. Not all though. Some are a grueling waste of time.

Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you ~ Carl Sandburg

Friday November 26th, 2010

Perhaps showing Levi that she can drink from the tap wasn't a good idea. She seems to be aware that the tap needs to move in order for the water to come out as I've seen her pawing at it, unsuccessfully, on numerous occasions. After frustration kicks in, she then meows persistently until I come to her rescue and turn it on for her. Talk about being spoiled!

Quack ...

猴硐 ...

猴硐 (hou2 dong4) translates to Monkey Cave where they have a cat village. Only being one hour outside of Taipei, it's quite the tourist attraction not to mention a hot spot for those interested in photography.

The two pictures above could be my favorites from the day. More pictures to follow soon ...

沒辦法 this ...

沒辦法 is heard quite frequently in Taiwan. I've always believed that if will is there, there will be a way. I got a 沒辦法 from the doctor today which, perhaps, marks the first legitimate 沒辦法 I've received during my time here ... who knew?!

I often think of 沒辦法 as a lazy response from one who doesn't want to take the time to find a way. Most times there seems to be a simple solution ... but who am I? Just a girl who stands to believe that 沒辦法 is used as a cop out ... except for today, where unfortunately, 沒辦法 stands true ...

Friday November 5th, 2010

The intention to sit down and write a post has been with me for weeks. My time is mostly consumed. Life has taken a complete one eighty. 2010 has been an interesting year. Change has been huge. Not just in my life but also in those close to me.

Hard to believe it's November. Time is racing by. Most of my year has been taken up by this broken leg. As it's the first time, and hopefully the last, I am unsure of how it should be feeling at this point. I can jog very slowly and hop on one foot, kind of. The pin in my leg is certainly apparent and I wonder when that goes away. Although removing the pin means going under the knife again, sooner than later would be better. It's coming out regardless. I don't quite like the foreign intrusion.

I am greatly considering climbing on Sunday. It's going to kick my ass. I just hope I can move on Monday as I'll have things to do. Getting over the fear in my mind will be another big step in the healing process. I've been extremely aware of my left leg for over half a year. I hesitate when it comes to pushing it. The doctor's approval may help that process. I see him next week for x-rays and am quite interested in his thoughts.

Full time uni has been interesting at this point in my life. I am currently half and half on the stuff that is useful and the stuff that is not. The stuff that is not may be weighing on the heavier side. That being said, I remain interested by that of interest and continue to be curious of what comes next.

It's been raining a lot in Taiwan. I have a somewhat free weekend and hope to be out and about for most of it with camera in hand. Tomorrow calls for rain but it really comes down to where you hang out on this little island. Weather can vary from one tiny part to the next. The uni that I attend five days a week is on a much drier mountain range than where I live which is about a half hour drive away ... hmmmm ...

Happy Halloween!

Deep into the darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before ~
Edgar Allan Poe

Wednesday October 27th, 2010

Perhaps the most valuable result of all education is the ability to make yourself do the thing you have to do, when it ought to be done, whether you like it or not ~
Walter Bagehot

I know 台灣 is awesome but ...

... typhoon, you have overstayed your visit! There hasn't been much movement from 9:30pm last night until 2:00pm today. Yet another day of being drenched. It doesn't look as though things will be much different tomorrow. 很麻煩 ...

Typhoon 梅姬 ...

Wet, wet, wet. The wind seems to be picking up as the night goes on. There have been heavy rainstorms since Monday. I don't have anywhere else to hang more clothes to dry. Quickly disperse, 梅姬 ... haven't you caused enough damage already?

The journey home ...

Back on the plane and preparing myself for the trip, it wasn't long before I realized we had been sitting there for quite some time. We were told the navigation system was malfunctioning and asked to deplane. One lady was working to reschedule the whole plane. About thirty of us were headed to Japan and we were told the plane would leave at 11am allowing us to make the connection.

(Transit time: 5 hours ... still in Vegas)

10:50am, still waiting at the gate with no word of boarding. We were invited on another flight heading to L.A. which departed at 11:15am ... our flight to Japan was scheduled to leave at 12:20. We were told the plane would wait for us so not to worry. I was off the plane at 12:20 and making a mad dash for the gate when I was told not to bother. The plane had gone on without us.

For the second time that day, I found myself at the AA service counter. Once again, one girl to help the thirty of us stranded in L.A. Twenty minutes later another agent finally came to help. I had been given a boarding pass with Singapore Air which left 30 minutes later. I was told Singapore Air closes the gate ten minutes before the flight so I best run and get my bag and then go over to departures and check in. Not having the ability to run didn't make this task easy but I was determined to get on that flight.

(Transit time: 9 hours ... still in L.A.)

Now would be a good time to ask if I'm going to fly with American Airlines again?! The flight was twelve hours to Japan. Due to the delay, I was required to go through customs in Japan, get my bag and then go back to departures to recheck my bag. Time was tight but I managed to catch the flight to TW. Exhaustion was setting in as it was the middle of the morning for me.

(Total transit time: 29 hours)

I was happy to be home and even more happy to crawl into bed for a long night of sleep ...

Las Vegas - Day Four ...

Monday I wanted to sleep in but was up at 8am. It was my last day in Vegas with so much to do and not nearly enough time. I spent part of my day at the old Vegas strip which would have been much better during the evening. Beggars can't be choosers. We stopped at the Stratosphere on the way home for a view and some rides. The big thundercloud above was a bit unfortunate as we weren't allowed outside. Safety first, damnit.

I got home just in time to leave for dinner with my family. The restaurant, I was told, was called "Hole in the Wall". It was so, SO good! After dinner, it was time to say goodbye to my mom and grandma along with many other family members. It was teary as there are no set plans to when I might see them again.

I headed off to watch the dancing fountains in front of the Bellagio. The song, "Time to Say Goodbye", by Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman. I could hardly talk after it ended. It's one of my favorite songs and was much too appropriate for the occasion. It ended my time in Vegas ever so perfectly although the night was not over.

I rushed home to find my dad and my brother. I promised to meet them for drinks but was running an hour behind which seemed to be the norm during my short stay. A few of us went to NYNY for a drink before retiring for the night ... it was well after midnight and I had a 5:45am wakeup call ...

Las Vegas - Day Three ...

Sunday, once again, started early with a big family breakfast. I've not seen most of my family in over four years, so it was quite the reunion! Breakfast went fast and I had a few hours before the wedding with nothing to wear. I headed off in search of some clothes which was the last thing I wanted to be doing. I hit two different shops and lucked out at both finding exactly what I needed. It was a big relief as I was running behind as it was.

The wedding was beautiful and I was so thankful to be there. The ceremony was perfect. The dinner, delicious. The company, too good to describe in one word. It was over much too quickly ...

Las Vegas - Day Two ...

Saturday started at 8am and went well into the late evening with no time for rest in between. A few of us spent a chunk of the day walking the strip. The size of some of the hotels amazed me. One has to wonder if they are ever fully booked. After the strip, it was home to shower and then off to the pre-wedding dinner at an all-you-eat buffet. Dessert was the best part as it contained a lot of yummy goodness not available in TW. Jetlag hadn't caught up with me yet which was a good thing ... tomorrow was scheduled to be another BIG day!

Las Vegas - Day One ...

If I were to use one word to describe my time in Vegas, it would have to be 'whirlwind'. I hopped a taxi at 6am on October 1st for the 23-hour journey over. My flight was booked with American Airlines and it wasn't overly impressive for many reasons. I arrived in Vegas tired and disoriented. My family was in the driveway of the hotel waiting for me which meant no sleep. I only had three full days in Vegas anyway, so not a moment was to be wasted.

Day one consisted of drinks with parents and aunts and uncles and a quick dinner at the biggest "Hooters" I've ever seen. Then it was off to Brother J's bachelor party for more drinks. The day consisted of me being whisked away destination after destination not being fully aware of what was going on! I retired early that night! The hotel room bed absolutely deserves mention as it was SO soft and comfortable. I sunk in for the only good night sleep I got during my time there ...

Four more sleeps ...

... and then 18 hours of transit before I find myself landing here for a whole lot of debauchery! Can't wait! Can't wait!

Here she comes ...

Guess I'll need to bring the plants in off the balcony ... take down my laundry ... tape the windows ... that last one was a joke.

Seems this one is aiming right for us ... rain should start at some point tomorrow ... hopefully after both my classes. That would be nice.

Friday night. My first week at MCU done. It felt as though I was exactly where I should be. Really looking forward to next week!

If you don't design your own life plan, chances are you'll fall into someone else's plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much ~ Jim Rohn

Wednesday September 15th, 2010

One full week has passed since my last post. Time seemed to escape me as things have been a little hectic in my world. Holidays are over and full time university has begun.

Every Wednesday morning I will find myself sitting in a 'History of Western Art' class. My professor is a fellow Canadian. As I was taking notes during her lecture today, I noted the following discrepancies:

I wrote 'theater' ... she wrote 'theatre'.

I wrote 'color' ... she wrote 'colour'.

It was odd to see the British spelling on the whiteboard. I found myself wondering when I unconsciously made that change. I guess that's what happens when one teaches American English for five years.

Although a little tired, I find myself pleasantly surprised. That being said, there is no rest for a girl trying to put herself through uni ... work calls ...

Wednesday September 8th, 2010

Time is free but it's priceless. You can't own it but you can use it. You can't keep
it but you can spend it. Once you've lost it you can never get it back ~ Harvey MacKay

Pedestrians should have the right of way ...

As I was driving home this afternoon, I saw a great advertisement. A big zebra crossing goes from the top of the ad to the bottom. A huge shoe attached to a calf gives you the idea that it's heavily crossing the road which causes some of the lines to jump right off the pavement. It reads: 「 行人 」 最大!

On one side of the gigantic foot a small blue truck waits. On the other side, a tiny taxi. The taxi is made to look as though sound is coming out of the front ... a honk, let's say? An angry voice bubble near the window shouts, "讓~" ...

Someone has a sense of humor! One can be fined up to 3600NT for not abiding. The best part though is that the advertisement was sticking on and completely covering the back window of a bus. I wonder if that's safe?!

Taiwan ♥

Sunday September 5th, 2010

The past week has been a whirlwind of activity. Week two of holidays, done. Things of note:

One ... I subbed on Monday for one of my coworkers. It confirmed my decision that teaching English in a classroom environment full time is not how my year should be spent.

Two ... I managed to syringe some of Datsun's urine for testing. He remains healthy but has picked up a bad habit of not putting his butt down in the litter box. I've inquired around the net and it seems that it will take time to go back to normal. In the meantime, I've been helping him to hold it down as I don't know how else to retrain him. He hates it. I think he can't stop peeing once he's started so he has to put up with me. Upon finishing he tears around the house three or four times making this loud sound of frustration and anger. Little does he know I feel the same way! I think I'll have the video camera ready for the next pee. It's like clock work and quite amusing!

Three ... I've seen the 推拿 a few times and I'm not fully sure it's for me. I think it's helping but the dude is totally strange. I understand about 50% of what he says as he speaks quickly and has a real Taiwanese accent. I often tell him I don't understand what he's saying but he just continues rambling on. It's a bit frustrating as it makes me realize I have a LONG way to go in my Mandarin ability.

Four ... 學費 as per the photo above means tuition which is due tomorrow at Ming Chuan University. One more week of holidays before studies begin.

I am always ready to learn although I do not always like being taught ~ Winston Churchill

Monday August 30th, 2010

Two non-threatening typhoons linger about. We've not had one come through Taiwan as of yet this year which is a bit unusual. Today could actually mark the first full rainy day we've had this month. I will miss the sun today and hope that it decides to grace us with its presence tomorrow ...

Making sense of things ...

Two months ago, I blogged about a strange man that lifted my broken leg in the elevator to examine it. A week or so after that, a Chinese blog about a family that jumped in my taxi without asking permission only my destination. During the journey, the man inquired about my injury while using his thumb to push into the fracture. I did not realize at the time that it was the same man.

Yesterday, as I was limping uphill on my way home from the pool, the man came over and asked if I'd remembered him from the taxi AND the elevator. How could I not? He told me his line of work, that being 推拿 or Chinese massage/acupuncture. It was hard to understand everything he said but I understood enough that it sparked curiosity.

Being a little hestitant, I posted a quick status update on Facebook and received some great notes in regards to other's experiences and knowledge.

I tried a session this afternoon and it wasn't bad. He was very gentle with my injured leg while being quite the opposite on the other ... yikes!

I plan to see him every day until I am able to hop back to my apartment solely on my left foot ... he said ten days which I find hard to believe.

That means one is down with nine to go ... bring it on!

I think I can ...

A friend brought to my attention that summer is nearing the end. In my world it's as though it's just begun.

May was spent indoors. June as well. July, too. That brings us to August. I find myself playing catch up and very grateful for three weeks of holidays in which to do so!

It's amazing how much I am able to accomplish in one day ... doctor's, Chinese class, the vet, a bit of shopping, some things around the house, the pool, a small workout and then the walk back.

Awesome! Take that, leg injury ...

Little Engine That Could

Levi 的一天 …

以前我寫過 Datsun 的一天,Levi 的一天比較難寫。我要試試看,是很好的練習。

每天 Levi 的活動都不同。每當我起床,它也跟著起床。我到洗手間去,它也跟著我去。我去廚房的時候,它常常在後面跟我說話,因為廚櫃裡有很多好吃的貓食,它像是怕我會忘了似的。



不在家的時候,我覺得它一定會陪著 Datsun 一起睡覺。它不喜歡寂寞的感覺吧。








如果我不要它去某個地方,它都偏偏要去。如果我不要它碰某個東西,它就偏偏要碰。Levi 其實是很親切的貓,可是有時候它有一點麻煩,所以這就是為什麼叫它「我的小麻煩」!

寫 Levi 的一天對我來說不容易。Datsun 天天差不多一樣,Levi 可不是!

Life in the fast lane ...

With a leg that still pains me, it's been hard to keep up. Each passing day and activity brings me strength.

The past few months have been a big stepping stone which took some creativity in getting over. Now that I am there, I look forward only to find another stone. This one much bigger than the last.

Curiousity of what is beyond keeps me motivated and focused.

To get through the hardest journey we need take only one step at a time, but we must keep on stepping ~ Chinese Proverb

Throwing it out there ...

I love the way technology opens the world up from the comfort of your own home.

I've been receiving random emails this year from people in all corners of the world requesting to use my photos or quotes from my blog. One lady tracked me down from an image credit on a site that is currently using my photo. Check it out!

This meal was one of the more memorable ones from my time in India!

I am thankful for the recognition as no one asked for my permission to repost. It's great to know that some of my work is out there without my knowledge and is being seen and enjoyed! Awesome!

There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer. ~ Ansel Adams

Friday August 6th, 2010

8am and already 32° ... today marks the first day being back on my Vespa after fourteen weeks of taking taxis. Woohoo! TGIF!