Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas to All!!!

Oh I can't believe how long it's been since I have blogged.
I promise to catch up soon...and yes, New Year's Resolution (besides to stop stuffing my face) is to BLOG once a WEEK (at least).

Last night our good friends Chris and Sokoun and Sokoun's mom came all the way from San Diego.

I am so happy to be surrounded by family and such wonderful friends.
I am truly blessed.
Missing family and friends back in the US too...especially Jen and Roe.

Yesterday was our 17th Wedding mother-in-law bought us a beautiful bouquet of roses and made us a delicious Shrimp curry and other Indian delights...oh my belly is SO big now. I am fat and happy, wot can I say?

Today we celebrated first with the munchkins I teach at Lily Kids school. Johnson, the director, is SUCH a sweet man. He made an incredibly delicious turkey dinner. I couldn't believe how good it was - and it was made in (what I call) an Easy Bake Oven! It's like a giant toaster oven.

Tonight we had a buffet dinner at the Grand Hotel. It's a beautiful place...I ate mostly seafood...and dessert!

Here are some pics from last night and today - taken at our apartment, Lily Kids School and at the Grand Hotel.

Peace and love always,

I was COMPLETELY exhausted last night!!! (in a shopper's/wrapper's coma).

This was the best pic taken tonight...but the flash didn't go off. Oh well!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Please Vote for Gary Stockton!!!

Gary is an amazing guitarist who deserves to win this contest called ,
"You Sing the Who."

The Prize is 4 tickets to see The Who in Washington,DC.

The deadline is October 23rd.
He is SOOOO close to winning!

It only takes a second to vote, so please do so by voting:


GO VOTE NOW!!!!!!!!!!


Sunday, October 19, 2008

But wait, there's more!

I forgot to add that I found a Mandarin tutor who comes to my apartment and tutors me one hour a week. He's a great teacher, and is very encouraging! It's fun speaking Mandarin (I studied it briefly last time I was here), but extremely difficult - which goes without saying. The most difficult part is learning the 4 tones. A word can have an entirely different meaning with a different tone! For example, the Mandarin word for "four" can also mean "death" depending on the tone!

I have a new Taiwanese friend/language partner too! Her name is April- she's the daughter of my acupuncturist. April is so sweet - she has studied in the US (in Missouri of all offense if you're from Missouri!). She also studied acupuncture and Chinese medicine in China for five years. She wants to set up a practice in the US, but her dad doesn't want her to leave Taiwan! Aw...he is very old-fashioned and protective. The cool thing about April is that her favorite meal is a burger and a beer! Mine too! ;)

I also have stepped up my visits to the gym. I have a trainer and for THIS month I am working out twice a week with her (doing strength training) and then I do cardio on the boring machines 3-4 times a week. I can RUN now...not just JOG! I sometimes run along a riverwalk near my apartment,just to get away from the boring machines.

I've been doing this "10 Day Detox in a Box" that I picked up in London in Kew at Oliver's Health Food Store and I feel AMAZING! It's a mixture of herbs - the main ones are Blessed Thistle and Cleavers. I know about Blessed Thistle which cleanses the liver, but I've never taken Cleavers before. Cleavers is a "weed" which cleans the lymphatic system. So by working out, detoxing and going to the sauna 3 times a week...WOW. I am a new woman, I swear. My depression is completely gone. It was really bad for awhile, which is why I wasn't blogging, to be honest.

Our friends Chris and Sokoun will be visiting us in December - can't wait! We plan on going to an island/islands in the Philippines.
I found THIS wonderful spot - called Dolphin Island. Sounds heavenly!
So this trip is my workout incentive. Gotta have a goal/something to look forward to!
Now if I could only give up beer I could lose my belly....

Here is a pic of a restaurant on Dolphin Island (the island is completely submerged under water).

Saturday, October 18, 2008

What I've Been Up To

Ok for the remaining three readers of my blog.......what have I been up to?

Well,for starters, I got a NEW job teaching just 3 mornings a week (for now) at a kindergarten. It's more like a pre-school but it's called Lily Kids Kindergarten. It's a school and a day care and it's a WONDERFUL school. The building is fairly new and the staff are awesome. It's a bilingual school though- so most of the teachers only really speak Mandarin. The owners are a sweet couple - the wife is Taiwanese and the husband is from England.

I am teaching English, math, art and singing and dancing to kids aged 2-5. I don't really "teach" art though - I just help out because all 32 kids are in that class. All 32 are in the singing and dancing class too. I am having a blast teaching them new songs and fingerplays, etc.

I am SORT OF managing the PTA bookstore at the American School. I am getting ready to take over the position from the former manager. I had a bit of a nervous breakdown (ok exaggerating) in September because I realized I had taken on too much- working as an assistant director at one school and managing the bookstore. I was VERY depressed, so I quit my (paying job) and felt better for a bit...but then got depressed AGAIN. I am someone who REALLY needs structure or I will never get out of bed. That's just how I am.
I was shopping at an ex-pat grocery store called Wellman's here and I saw an ad posted for a part-time position for a FUN kindergarten teacher. I went to the interview and was hired on the spot! The hours are perfect (and yeah there aren't many of them, but that's ok because my in-laws are visiting here for two months- which I will get to!). I work Tuesday - Thursday from 9 to 11:30. My boss (Johnson) is SUCH a sweetheart. He let me pick my hours...and he is SO laid back and let's me do whatever I want with the music class...and I shadowed him for a few weeks and learned his teaching methods for English and maths. (Yes, the English say, "maths!").

Oh and YES my in-laws are here visiting from India for two months and I have a MISSION- to help them out with their health problems. I won't bore you with the details, but I am taking them to 2 different Chinese Medicine doctors...and already they both have had positive results, so I am THRILLED. It feels good to help OTHERS for a change! My friends and family took care of me when I needed now I can be on the giving end. I like that!

Hope you are all well.

I've missed blogging!!!

Oh I should add that I have become a Facebook junkie! It is SO addictive - but lots of fun. Drives Sujoy crazy though...

I recently reconnected with a former co-worker - his name is Van. I think he found me on Facebook. We worked together at Boston University...many,many moons ago. We have had some wonderful "chats." He's such a wonderful guy (and so is his wife, Shemetra).

Check out his WONDERFUL blog,ok?

Van's Blog!!!

Monday, October 13, 2008

London in a Flash

Well, most of you already know that I went to London for a few days in August (I also spent a day and a night in Amsterdam).

I went to see a workshop of a musical called, "Ash." Rachel Fuller composed the music and the story is based on her job as an organist in a crematorium where she worked as a teenager.

It was quite an exhausting trip, but it was wonderful to see Rachel AND meet some of my very favorite bloggers for the first time.

I was so pleased to be the "guest of honour" at a "guerilla gig" at my blogger pal James Casey's home in Shephard's Bush - which all Who freaks KNOW is old Who territory. I met his sweet girlfriend, Vicky,as well as his brother, Andrew (who also performed for us) and 2 of James' bandmates, both named Chris (but the drummer Chris is called "Captain"). I had SUCH a wonderful time - I will post a few YouTube videos I took of the gig at the end of this post for your viewing pleasure.

I am such a lazy Susan so I am cheating here and cutting and pasting a bit!
Here are a few of my posts from Rachel Fuller's "Kew" forum.

I wrote this the day after seeing Ash:

Oh I am recovering from jet lag...but I slept most of today...
I am afraid I am NOT good at reviewing...anything I will give y'all a blow- by - blow of the night!

I was a bit late leaving my hotel room to meet Delbut and his wife Sarah - but, thankfully, I only had one stop on the tube!
When I got there, they hadn't yet arrived...phew!

SO! When the 3 of us were together....our mission FIND the Arcola!
This proved a most daunting task!
Sarah and Del tried asking bus drivers if they stopped near the Arcola- the funniest response from one driver being: "I dunno - I just drive STRAIGHT!"

THEN we found a taxi, but when we asked him to take us to the Arcola he said,"Oh no, I thought you were going somewhere LOCAL! I've got to pick up me wife now."

Ok hon, don't let us get in the way of doing your ERRANDS!

FINALLY, Del had the VERY GOOD sense to pop into a convenience store, get a taxi service's card - which was near us- so he booked a car and all was well.
(We ended up getting a call from MarkT who told us he found a nice pub right across from the Arcola. Perfect!).

So we all sat down outside the pub and had a few pints- when WHO should walk by- but PETE and his we all said hi...Delbut sai,"hello Mr. Townshend!" but apparently Pete didn't recognize his beloved fan....and he kept walking.

After some time we headed to the theatre, and had somed delish Turkish Lager (bear in mind Sue had NADA in her stomach! I thought we'd have dinner beforehand - but it was a liquid dinner for Sue! uh oh!).
We saw Rachel making the rounds- then she came over to ME!!! And we hugged and she seemed a bit in a panic. She was worried about the audio and said, "she'd run out of adrenaline!" I rubbed her back and told her "it will be FINE!" Once a mom,always a MOM!

Soon it was time for the show. Delbut saved me a seat in the very front row (I was slow getting in). I spoke to James at his seat on the way in...when I saw Pete walk down from his seat in the back and walk down to the front row and SHAKE DELBUT'S HAND!!! (He told Del that he was sorry that he didn't recognize him earlier).
On Pete's way back to his seat, I was still in the aisle next to James and I said, "hi Pete!" and I stuck out my hand and he smiled and said, "HI!"and shook my hand. That was my only encounter with Pete for the night! It's ok- I was there for Rach anyway!

I thoroughly enjoyed the show- BUT I am deaf in one ear, so the audio probs in the first half really effected by ability to get the gist of the plot.

At intermission I met Rob Lee (oh I met him earlier - before the show - we immediately recognized each other!). He told me that he chatted with Bob Pridden about the sound problems - and they were rectified by the second half.

The show was VERY powerful. The acting was SUPERB!
I LOVED the music.Rachel used a few old songs -
"Nothing Worthwhile," "Pleasure Seeker" and oh man I forget the other one!
I was smack dab in front of the band - which was amazing - and I LOVED the cello!!! Beautiful.

I thought Pleasure Seeker worked - but Del is right - it needed something more- because I didn't realize that there was an accident.

The play went by VERY fast!!! TOO fast.I would like it if Rachel and Jack flushed it out more.
I didn't want it to end.

Afterward...we had more drinks- Rachel signed my program- she wrote: " To Sue: So much love to you, Rachel xoxo"

I was SO jet lagged I FORGOT my pressie for her, so she wrote Eel Pie's addy on the back of the program.

We all hung around for a bit - Pete talked for a LONG time to Mark T. I just didn't have the nerve to approach was fine though! It was so cool being there anyway.

I said goodbye to Rachel - gave her a hug and told her that I loved her - and she said,"I Love You TOO!"

It was nice to meet DublinJames - albeit briefly!

Eventually we all went home - Del and Sarah were so lovely and accompanied me back to my hotel - but we grabbed a bite to eat first! I was SOOOO hungry!

Just a heavenly night!

I am truly blessed........

My camera was on the fritz...GRRR.
It wanted to stay on video mode...BUT I was able to get one beautiful group shot:

From left to right: DublinJames,MarkT,ME!,James Casey, Sarah Evans (Delbut's wife), Delbut.

One more post....

Well, I DID end up going on a LOVELY walking tour of Kew (couldn't find a Magic Bus to rent, sadly).

I had some fish and chips at a shop right near the tube station....then I set off IN THE WRONG DIRECTION looking for all the QUAINT lil' places Rachel showed us over at the weekinkew site!Sue is the dorkiest dork of all dorks. A saddo Americano...truly.

I walked and walked and walked and I even walked in a graveyard! (Thought Rachel would appreciate that).
I loved the Celtic crosses and Angel statues. I even wrote down a few of the verses I read on some of the head stones.
(Ok is this taking my fandom a bit too far?).

It was getting a bit I thought I'd try to find Kew I walked for miles and miles BACK to the tube station and followed the signs - walked across a bridge and THERE I found the little village where Rach lives!
I found the restaurant where she and Pete ate, but...I was in a bit of a hurry, and not in the mood to eat BY MYSELF, so...
I bought an apple, some power bars,some MUD from the Dead Sea (a beauty treatment, of course), a 10 Day Detox kit and a book for a friend at the Organic Health Food Store....I went to this holistic health center to see if I could get this special facial massage- but they didn't have any openings, sadly.
THEN! I went to STARBUCKS - got some CALM tea (I refuse to drink their burnt coffee) and wrote a card to Rachel!
AND! LOL by the time I left the place was JAMMED with moms and their prams! I saw THE most adorable Indian baby there (I think she was half Indian).I even got her to smile for me. aw.....

After tea I followed the signs to Kew Gardens. OMG. It was more beautiful than I ever imagined! I wish I hadn't wasted so much time walking in the wrong direction! I only got to spend about 45 minutes there...oh man you could EASILY spend a day there! Loved the indoor gardens - but the grounds- Oh wow. I felt like a character in a Jane Austen book roaming the grounds...It is a MUST SEE for anyone visiting London.

I rushed back to my hotel and got a taxi to take me to a Tube station so I could catch my flight to Amsterdam. I was a bit late checking in....and, oddly enough, my luggage was tagged as being "priority!" They are so darned accommodating in Blighty!!

I am kicking myself that I didn't get to Kew sooner...but I was QUITE knackered following a fun gin infused evening with James and co!

And,as promised here are some short snippets of the Amazing James Casey (and 2 of his mates from his band, Ether City - Chris Mayes on guitar and Chris (the Captain) on drums.

Ether City - "Supervillian"

Ether City - "Right Now"

James Casey performing a wonderful Rufus Wainwright inspired song called, "Josephine."

Even more James Casey: "Here We Are"

But wait, even MORE James Casey!! This last one is called: "Shoulder to Shoulder."

Monday, September 29, 2008

I Made Roger Daltrey Laugh!

I did.
I submitted a question for a recent interview with Rog on and, well, see for yourself what he said!

A question from Suesjoy, “Have you ever considered running for a political office? The UK needs someone like you.”

ROGER: [Laughs,then proceeds to undress]



ROB: And if you do … then there’s something you’ve got then, a website like this, is a platform. You know, it is a way to …

ROGER: Well, I mean it is, one of the ways, the only way you can get things changed but look at the pratts you have to work with. Oh my god, oh my god. You know …

ROB: Well now that was interesting because I remember very briefly when we …

ROGER: No, I mean I do, I do … because of TCT, try and get it, you know there are things that go on that sadly politicians have control of, which we need their help to get what we do done. So I’ve had to mix with them and talk with them. Indeed I’m going to be taking, I think I’m going to be taking David Camden around a unit in the next two months. But you know you have to do that kind of networking. He’s … I think he’s going to be our next prime minister. I don’t think there’s any doubt about that now. And I want him to be aware of what we do, and I’d like him to support it. I think, you know … if anyone can inspire him … with things working and that National Health, by looking at what we do in TCT, I think he’s the kind of guy that might just be radical enough to kind of see other ways around improving people’s lives other than just throwing money at a wall and drugs at people to cure things, because it’s not all about just that.

ROB: But the power that you have, and I’ve seen it firsthand, you met that lovely fan, Alyce, when you were in the states, who wasn’t well. And she actually has a message saying, “Thank you, Roger.”

ROGER: I know I got a letter from her the other week. Oh, give her my love, and … No, I see people like Alyce and I imagine myself in that body, and I’ve had such a life of privilege, my life’s been a dream. You can’t give enough back. You can’t do, and it’s like that thing on stage, you can never give an audience enough.

ROB: Yeah, but you have a gift, I mean I said to you after the thing, you should do the United Nations, and you said oh I wouldn’t do that, I don’t approve of that …

ROGER: I don’t approve of the United Nations. No, I think the United Nations is a corrupt, overburdened, bureaucratic … it needs, basically needs tearing down and restructuring with some teeth. When you look, really look into the United Nations, it’s incredible corruption going on there.

ROB: So you’re focused very much on the charity thing though the TCT, that’s in a sense become a voice for you to link, you know, your skills as a communicator between the people who are suffering, you are so good at talking to them and so easy with them, and these kind of rather boring politicians. You know, you’re a kind of catalyst …

ROGER: The trouble is the politicians they don’t think … the biggest problem we’ve got with all the politicians in the world today, it’s a huge problem, and it’s a problem magnified because of the way our media is, is that they don’t, they just can not think long term. They think long term and come up with long term policies, they won’t get elected and that’s a tragedy for all of us. That’s why we keep digging holes for ourselves. But all you can do, that’s why I think the artist shouldn’t be politically affiliated to any, you know part of the problem is party politics. And it’s always been important for artists to, you know, every party will have one or two good ideas, but that’s all and all the rest of it’s crap. But there’s, just pick six good ideas from all of them and make the country work, you know.

ROB: So the trick is to support the fundament values rather than the …

ROGER: Yeah.

ROB: Yeah?

ROGER: And you’ve got to be pragmatic. Well I think party politics is an absolute disaster. I mean, you know, support the party at all costs even though the shits got a hole in the bottom.

ROB: Feels like it’s all breaking down then, isn’t it?

ROGER: well it does because this system is a disaster. You know, and when you see things like this, you can say well… you know, maybe a good dictatorship isn’t such a bad thing [Laughs] . When I’m emperor! [Laughs] No, but I mean, because it is breaking down. You need people with vision, and sadly, I don’t see anyone … Obama talks great vision.

ROB: Great speech writers.

ROGER: Great speech writers if it’s him that’s writing them. I’d be astonished if the Republicans get back in after the past 8—its not my business, American politics, but it really, really, for me personally, it really upsets me how America’s standing in the world has been so damaged in the last 8 years.

ROB: Yeah.

ROGER: And indeed, it is the work of a genius.

ROB: It’s extraordinary, actually.

ROGER: It’s extraordinary, that 7 years ago the whole world was on their side. And, you know now, and it’s not that they’re against Americans—people aren’t against Americans—but they’re very, very nervous about what America really, really stands for. And that is, I think, criminal, and I don’t know whether or not Americans within their borders quite understand the way the rest of the world see them now. Not them personally, but their country. And that, it would be astonishing to me if Republicans got in again. I know we think it would be a very, I would think it would be such an astonishing thing for the rest of the world to watch as well. They might draw conclusions from it, which would put America back 60 years.

ROB: And that might …

ROGER: They might see it as Obama didn’t get in as he’s black. And that would be such a tragedy as America.

ROB: And as China is rising, and India and the other economies, maybe its all change.
ROGER: It would be such a tragedy for America, because America is a great country. It’s a brilliant, brilliant country, with brilliant people. It’s like, our country is a great country. Sadly, at times we are lead by mediocre leaders who make wrong decisions.

Rog is really a very intelligent's a shame he has been in Pete's shadow for so long...I really think he SHOULD run for a political office!

Friday, August 29, 2008


Obviously I have let my blog go!
I think it's because I have so much to write, I don't know where to begin.

I nearly hung out a "Farewell my fellow bloggers" sign, but no, that would be lame.

I promise to return later this weekend...when I have time.

Going to the gym now.
Can't be fat and 46...nope. Pretty darn fit for an old lady....

In case you don't know...some of the OLD Rachel gang (and newbies) are trying to gather at the Kew Live Chatroom on Saturday, August 30th at:

11 pm in London, 6 pm in New York, 3 pm in LA. 6 amish-Sunday a.m. for some of those left of California...ok for ME in Taipei......

Go to KEW!

See YEW (there).


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Sunday, July 20, 2008

I Love My Friends...Even MORE Than BEER!

Ok so I Skypeed (is this a verb now?) my hubby, daughter and friends yesterday at our friend Sokoun and Chris' house.
Chris showed me a glass of that DELISH Karl Strauss Amber Lager...of course I was drooling.
He told me that Sokoun thought it was the favorite part of my trip!

Well, to be honest, it WAS a highlight...but NOT THE FAVORITE PART OF MY TRIP!!!



OF COURSE the best part of the trip was seeing my beloved friends!
The reason why it took me so long to blog about my trip is that when I came back I slowly fell into a slump (which is normal actually - the post-vacation blues). I missed my friends and daughter terribly! I wish I could have stayed longer, but c'est la vie...that's the life of a working stiff comme MOI!

So....where did I end part one...oh yeah...the BEER ON TAP at Chris and Sokoun's - LOL.

I forgot to mention that they now have a new addition to the family...a 5 1/2 ounce Chihuahua named in L-O-L-A Lola! la la la la Lola. I couldn't stop serenading her while I was there. No wonder she kept trying to bite me. She is ADORABLE but NOT the friendliest pup in the world! But once she got to know me, she stopped biting/attacking me and licked me instead. Sadly, I could NOT train her to lick my ear...but she IS a female - and not a lesbian either. Oh well.

It was wonderful hanging out with Sokoun and her awesome family. I mentioned that we went to her niece's graduation (where I got to work on my tan- bonus). After the graduation we went for a yummy all-you-can-eat (oh no) Japanese buffet. I never had so much sushi at one sitting in my life. It was delish. THEN to help digest our food we went SHOPPING and Sokoun picked out 2 lovely tops for me - and I get compliments whenever I wear them. One is a halter and I NEVER EVER would have dreamed of buying a halter top (I last wore one when they were in style in the mid 70s) but she eyed it and thought it would look good on me - and it really does! (ok I am not modest - y'all know that already!).

I can't divulge anything about another little shopping spree I had with Sokolun and Chris (after mucho sake and wine). Sorry. Use your imagination!

On Thursday I conned my friend Chelice into driving me to the train station to catch a train to LA. I have my ways...I invited her for a manicure and pedicure - and while she was having flowers painted on her fingers and toes I said, "um...can I ask a favor of you? Could you please take me to the train station? My train leaves in 20 minutes, by the way!"
I kid you not. Chelice is from Detroit and she's got the Motor City chops to prove it! We FLEW to the station - downtown - about a 10 mile drive...I bought my ticket, ran to the train and had a couple minutes to spare before the train departed.
This is what it's like to be a friend of Sue's! It's not pretty....I know I know. (Right Mary????).

I had a LOVELY trip up to LA. Oh it is just a gorgeous ride - along the coast. I chilled out and got PSYCHED about seeing my Ru friend Laura (we met at a Rufus Wainwright appearance in LA many moons ago), AND the one and only Martha Wainwright.

Laura picked me up and we drove to her apartment and she served a delish spaghetti dinner with this homemade mushroom tomato sauce. Laura is a vegetarian...I like hanging out with her because I always eat healthy food. We had a few glasses of wine and caught up...then headed for the Troubadour - which is just about a 10 minute drive from her house - it's near Beverly Hills. (Oh BOY!).

We got there just as doors were opening and OF COURSE headed straight for the center of the stage. We watched Martha and her band head up to the VIP lounge which was upstairs to the left of the stage...there are big windows and I was psyched to spot her dad - Loudon Wainwright. I was hoping he would perform with her (he did).

The opening singer was FANTASTIC - her name is Jesca Hoop. CHECK HER OUT. Laura was already a fan, but I had never heard of her. Supposedly she was a nanny for Tom Waits' kids - and he describes her music as: "taking a swim in a lake at night." Perfect. Just check her out, you won't be disappointed. It was just her on acoustic guitar (I could hear a strong Celtic influence), and she was accompanied for many songs by 2 other female singers. They looked and sounded like 3 angels (corny I know, but that's the best I can do!).

FINALLY Martha came out - and the place was PACKED. I think it was a sold-out show. I was SO happy for her. The last time I saw her - about 3 years ago now - she played in San Diego to a crowd of maybe 10 people? I was feeling for her, but that's San Diego for you! NOT A HIP PLACE AT ALL. But even when I saw her in LA a few months before the San Diego show, where she opened for Stephen Malkmus at the El Rey - people were NOT receptive, or attentive...that is until she played "Bloody MF A***hole." THAT perked up their ears!
I met her after that El Rey show (for the second time) and she was really down...I could see it. Then when I saw her in San Diego she said, "Oh I remember YOU!" In San Diego told her all about Rachel Fuller's webcast show In the Attic and many moons later I was able to connect her to Rachel and she DID make an appearance on her show - and she met Pete Townshend there and they all became friends...and he recorded on her latest cd. (Sorry but the backstory is needed for the next installment!)

Anyway- things change - and thank goodness she has hung in there...she's "matured" (I hate that term, but you know what I mean) and seems MUCH more confident now.
She's married to her bass player/producer Brad, and seems quite content.
The highlight really was when Loudon came out - he was BEAMING - you could see how proud he was of his daughter. His opinion means alot to her (as a father's opinion would to any daughter). They sang: "You Never Phone," and it was BRILLIANT. There are 2 snippets on YouTube. I will look for the link and post it here later.

Martha's latest cd- BUY IT!!! :)


Monday, July 07, 2008

"Ooh life is juicy..." Part uno

"...juicy and you'll see..."

Ok that's all I remember from that song (from Funny GIrl)! LOL.

Growing up, I was um...subjected to WAY TOO MUCH Barbara Streisand. I'm sure it has had serious long term effects!
(Could be why I love gay men so much, I dunno).

Well I cannot believe I haven't blogged for a month. VERY BAD BLOGGER SUE!!

I had a FAB time in San Diego and LA!!!

Anjoli and I spent the first few days with my dear friend Chelice. She has a really cute house in Bonita with a beautiful view.

Here it is!

Her dog Leo LOVES me. I really think we were lovers in a past life. I am SERIOUS! :) He has a thing for me, and oddly enough, I have one for him. He licks my ears and I find myself in the throes of ecstasy! Yup.
I was on Taiwan time, so the second night there, I took Leo for a "moonlight stroll" at 3 am! Chelice gave me this goofy spelunker's light to wear. It IS convenient, so I wore it knowing not too many people would see me.
We walked for an hour and a half...and got caught up.
I was lonely, ya know? ;)

OMG it is AMAZINGLY BEAUTIFUL to walk in Bonita in the middle of the night though. Oh, it's such a pretty area. I do miss it.

Chelice was so kind and lent me her Miata (which she bought from Sujoy before we moved to Taipei) and her truck for when I had Anju and Kristin.
She's doing really well and dating up a storm! Weeeee! You GO girl!

Anjoli went to her old school for a few days and gave a PowerPoint presentation on Taiwan for 3 classes (including her teacher from last year). The teachers all raved about it. Anju forgot her index cards though so she had to wing it. She wouldn't let me watch her though - she said it would have made her too nervous. So I have yet to see it.

It was fun visiting Anju's school and seeing old friends. Only problem was I was SO out of it due to jet lag! Just a total zombie for the first week actually! oi.

I went to TWO "graduations" - one for Anju's best friend, Kristen who will enter middle school next year and the other was for our friend Sokoun's niece - who will enter high school next year. They both made me cry. It makes me kind of melancholy to see kids with hope and promise...maybe it made me realize how I was feeling the same way at their age...but then took a few wrong turns and got sort of lost for awhile. But I am happy now so it's all GOOD!

The first weekend I spent with Chris (he's married to our friend Sokoun). Sokoun had to go up north for the weekend for a family celebration/memorial. Oh don't worry we behaved.
Got to cruise around San Diego in Chris' new Porsche Carrera. OMG. I've never gone so fast in a car before. It's BEAUTIFUL. (Never been in a "real" Porsche before either - only a 914- my mom had one).
We had a nice weekend, even though I was quite boring and in bed by 9!
I watched GOLF for the first time in my life and I was shocked that I actually enjoyed it.
But Tiger - well, what's not to enjoy about him? And the other guy was cool - Median(?) with his peace belt buckle. Awright!
It was really exciting - it was the US Open, live from Torrey Pines, which is just a few miles south of where I was that made it extra special.
Also - Chris designed something called a "Launch Monitor" for Nike and Tiger uses it. It's a golf analyzer - it analyzes your swing and speed of the ball, etc. Chris actually met Tiger and showed him how to use it! Tiger said to him, "I ALWAYS know where I'm going to hit the ball." Ok, Tiger, we believe you!
Chris has satellite tv so during commercials he made me watch porn. KIDDING! We watched maybe 2 minutes total. It's so boring anyway. (Oh I hope my grandmother isn't reading this. Sorry Nana. But it WAS boring- honest!).

Chris and I hung out in Coronado for a bit - had a yummy salad after walking around the bay. On Sunday we walked along Pacific Beach and watched the coolest thing - it's called "kite surfing" (I think that's what it's called). Oh to be young again - I would LOVE to learn how to do it, but it's too scary to even think about trying! Afterwards he took me to a really cool bar that has AWESOME food.
I had the best salad ever there.
I ate lots of salads on my trip so I could drink beer without the guilt!

Chris and Sokoun have a never ending keg of Karl Strauss Amber beer on their porch with a tap like you see in a every night before bed I had one in a chilled glass. Yum. Oh how I love beer.
It helped me sleep. (Even though I was jet lagged, I was over tired).

I think Chris was happy to see Sokoun come home since I wasn't very much fun in my comatose state! Sorry Chris.

-End of Part One-

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Working Stiff

C'est moi!

I am officially now the assistant director of a preschool here in Taiwan. (I better not say anymore than that!).

I love my job, but my body has been protesting. Yesterday I had a total physical breakdown.
My neck REALLY hurts at times due to the surgery...still! I had my brain surgery nearly one year ago and I am STILL recovering! It's very annoying, but I really can't complain since the operation was SUCH a success.

Anyway, I have been waking up every night around 3 or 4 a.m. writhing in pain. I take this wonderful over-the-counter Japanese painkiller called EVE-A. My friend Alice supplies me with it...and ANOTHER Japanese friend that I met through The Who's website just sent me 4 boxes. It's the best thing since sliced bread! I don't like taking too many pills though, I worry about that. The bottles always say they can cause liver damage if you drink more than 3 alcoholic beverages a day (which I usually don't!). So with that kind of warning...well, I worry.

Work is going SO well, I really truly am blessed. The real challenge is managing the staff - we are QUITE the motley crew! Again, I can't say much...I don't want to incriminate myself or cause an uproar. Let's just say I am happy to be a peacekeeper sort. I can't believe how centered I am lately. I guess having been there and back set me up well for this job. Most people (including my husband) think I'm insane to work at this school. I am so up for the challenge and the kids give bring me so much happiness (which makes up for the bickering amongst the staff!).

I am supposed to plan an Open House to attract more students (we need them badly) but I am going to plan a FAIR so we can raise money AND attract students. I am hoping to get my hubby's company to help sponsor it (as well as local businesses). I will get restaurants and stores to donate prizes for a raffle, get a henna artist (the ladies dig Indian tatoos!), have my daughter and her friends run the games and do face painting, etc. It sounds like FUN, yeah???? I mentioned it to one of the teachers and she said, "ah, good luck!"
Not very supportive. Ah well. I told you I have my work cut out for me!!

Heading to San Diego next week! I will be staying for only 2 weeks, but Anjoli will stay with her best friend for about 6 weeks and fly back by herself! It's a non-stop flight from LA to Taipei, and she'll be taken care of by the airline staff. I had to BUY her an adult ticket - we weren't allowed to use frequent flier miles for an unaccompanied minor ticket.

Can't wait to see everyone!!! My "tenants" are planning a welcome home bbq for us! How WONDERFUL is that? I think the silliest/ strangest thing will be having to ring the doorbell to MY house! hee hee. My brain works in odd ways, I know I know.

I'm going to LA for a few days to hang with my dear Ru buddy Laura. We're going to see MARTHA WAINWRIGHT at the Troubadour!!! WOO HOO!!! I can't WAIT to see her. It's been about oh, 3 years nearly since I've seen her. And yes, everyone is tired of my story, but I will finally get to tell her that I am the fairy godmother who introduced her to Pete Townshend and Rachel Fuller. THAT will be a doozy to drop on her.

I will be sure to take tons of pics of my trip home!

Hope all is well.

I promise to visit everyone's blogs soon!!!

Lots of love,

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Anjoli's Piano Recital

Anju performed last Saturday at the Taipei American School Spring Music Recital. She played "The Dance of the Irish." I thought she sounded great! She didn't look too happy though...hmm.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Wonderful Wu Lai

Last weekend we traveled about 30 miles south to a town in the mountains called Wulai.
Many years ago it was inhabited by an aboriginal tribe (the Tai Ya), but now it's a hot springs resort area. It's also famous for a beautiful waterfall:

It looks a bit thin - it hadn't rained (much) prior to our visit- but TODAY and yesterday too it poured - so it would be nice to go back SOON and see if it's a bit more full...

I spent a HEAVENLY three hours total in the ladies section of the hot spring baths at the hotel. There was a very large hot spring bath and other smaller tubs - one tub was filled with cold lemon scented water (there were actual lemons in a muslin bag) so the idea is to go back and forth between the hot and cold springs. I also hung out in the steam room (where I was told to rub my skin with salt - which is a great exfoliater!) and I also experienced for the first time this incredibly intense power jet shower - the woman who worked there encouraged me to do all sorts of stretching. Everything is all open - you walk around naked! woo hoo! I brought a bathing suit and the attendant LAUGHED! No no no.
No bathing suits required. Alright! I assumed (incorrectly) that things would be more modest here -! Fine with me!
(I didn't take any pictures of the baths though, sorry guys!) ;)

On Sunday we took a cable car up to the top of a mountain to Nei-Dong Forest. It's a bit touristy -it's a "Theme Park" actually. We avoided the amusement park - but had a blast doing an obstacle course that included walking across small suspension bridges and swinging across the creek like a (whimpy) Tarzan - you'll see the very safe swing.

Here are pictures of how we spent our Sunday. (Sorry for the overexposures - it is usually always overcast...I need to learn how to shoot it correctly - maybe change the film speed? Anyone have any ideas about how to compensate for the bright light?).

Monday, April 14, 2008

I Love you! (I know) I LOVE YOU!!! ( I KNOW!!!!)

Those are actual lyrics by some CRAZY new wave 80s band - the name of the band escapes me though. Maybe Paul remembers!

My student Samuel now has his own before class ritual. Yup, as soon as he sees me, he runs to get a piece of construction paper and makes me an "I Love You" poster! I included last week's poster in this shot - you couldn't see the star he drew (that I won't go on about) so I shamelessly re-traced it for your viewing pleasure! (Be sure to click on it for the full effect, heh heh).

I want to share more pictures from our second trip to Taichung a few weeks back. We went to a town called Linnei to watch what was "billed"as being a phenomenal butterfly migration. Supposedly you can see 12,000 butterflies per MINUTE! Last year the government shut down a major highway during the migration period to save the butterflies! Aw...
Well, we only saw 500 butterflies per minute.It was a bit of a letdown but, still kinda cool nevertheless. There were volunteers catching and numbering them to track their voyage from southern to northern Taiwan.
The lifespan of a butterfly is only one month, so there are actually three generations of butterflies who migrate at this time every year. After they mark them they let the kids set them free, as you can see!

After we went to see the flutterbys, we went to a BEAUTIFUL (subtropical I guess you could say) forest called Chi-Tou Forest which is located in central Taiwan. Pictures (especially mine!) just can't do justice but here is a glimpse of this very special place.

Our friends Thomas and Alice and their daughter Joanne.

I look kinda like a Dr. Seuss character here! ( with a fern tree growing out of my head!)