Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Roger on Ellen!

Are they not a match made in heaven???

Saturday, October 03, 2009

So I deactivated my Facebook account...


What a time suck Facebook is! I am not trashing it, because I DO enjoy it, but I found myself spending WAY too much time there!

I need to focus on OTHER things in my life.

I joined an International Woman's Choir and I LOVE it. I am going to start taking voice lessons as well.

My Mandarin has vastly improved, but I didn't practice at ALL this week- I need to be more diligent and practice it when I am out and about. I speak it with my daughter, but she says:
" need to work on your pronunciation!" And she's right, of course!

We are MOVING to a wonderful house - it's in the foothills of Yangmingshan Mountain here in Tien Mou.

It was the ONLY house we looked at with a wonderful Realtor who I was referred to by a very sweet friend/Touch Rugby teammate (Nicky). I can't believe how incredibly blessed I am. I KNOW someone was looking out for me from above.

I have to figure out how to post pics here from an email that my Realtor sent me.

It has a small YARD and it is BEAUTIFULLY landscaped. We have a HUGE BRAND NEW deck,
a fireplace and a lovely sunroom. We are having it renovated before we move in: we're going to paint the sunroom and wall paper the dining room, living room and the bedrooms.
We are also going to do some work on the bathrooms....oh and we are building a bar in the kitchen and adding a row of hanging lights over the bar.

We have a new addition to the family. A black kitten, which Anjoli named Artemis.


My work schedule has changed a bit. I teach 3 mornings and 2 afternoons a week.
I started to bring my guitar for my weekly singing and dancing class. The kids love "playing" it- they strum it while I play different chords. I have been playing "Put a Little Love in Your Heart" for them- the kids are my back up singers. It's fun.
I need to learn more songs...and practice MORE. I have a mind block about memorizing chords...but I am sure if I practice harder I will naturally memorize the songs.

In the afternoon I teach older kids - 2 different classes on each day. I used to enjoy teaching the little ones more, but now I also enjoy the older kids too. I teach them grammar (using an Oxford Grammar book) and reading. We are reading White Fang in one's a very slow book, but kind of cool. The kids are bored with it, but it's an interesting story of survival. I do art with them also - my boss has some cool ideas. These kids are amazing artists...I wish I had artistic talent! Sadly, I don't. We also watch Dr. Who- the latest BBC series. It's a fun show...very campy. I like it. The kids LOVE it, even though a few who find it scary.

I have been working out a lot goal is to work out one hour a day...until I die of heart failure! We are going to India for Sujoy's cousin's wedding in November, so there is my motivation! Ugh. It's tough getting back in shape, but I must.

I am ONLY wearing saris this time around! It's hard to pee in a sari though...especially in INDIA!! :)

Off to the gym now.


Hope you are all well.

Peace and love,

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Burn Baby Burn

Well, I had a really nice birthday party at Soo WHO (a few days before my birthday).

I wore my new red dress.

From left to right: Beth (she's a teacher, from London), Me, Sujoy, Thomas (our friend and business partner), Anjoli is in front.

Unfortunately, I spaced while making fish sticks for Anjoli the next night- I filled a cast iron skillet with oil, cracked the gas then walked away to do something...then forgot about the oil until I smelled it. The rest is history. I don't even want to rehash it because I am only now over the trauma! (The curtains went up in was nasty). I put it out with an oven mitt!

I got a third degree burn on my right arm - along with other 2nd degree burns. The third degree burn got infected, so I had to go on 2 types of antibiotics to get rid of the infection.
The local doc I went to isn't so great, so I am going to a better one tomorrow!

A very sweet friend here in Taiwan is helping me find a healthy puppy. Sujoy caved and said he'd buy me one for my birthday! I am hoping for a Teacup Toy Poodle.
They are the cutest dogs on earth.
I would love a Golden Retriever, but we just don't have the space for one I would feel so badly for the pooch in THIS kind of heat/humidity. That's cruelty to animals, fer sure.

Anjoli is loving middle school at TAS. I hardly ever see her. She's at the movies now with some friends. Miss Independent...that's Anju.

I am going stir crazy...but I really don't want to go out until my burn has healed. It may be another week! Let's see what the doc says.

Hope you are all well.

Lots of love,

Monday, July 27, 2009

Much love and many thanks... you all for your kind words and prayers.

I truly appreciate it- it gives me strength.

I am very much at peace these days...the darkness has lifted and I am filled with Light and Love. (sorry to be so granola/new agey!).

I am in Bonita/San Diego now...loving being with family and dear friends. I love my friends so much...didn't realize JUST how much I missed them!

I am with my friend Chelice now...she and I are very much on the same wavelength in ALL ways...she has the SWEETEST dog - Leo - he is so cute. He loves to lick my ears! I will refrain from further comment...ahem.

Going to walk Leo now...then do a BIT of shopping- not TOO much!

I am getting red highlights Wed at my fave salon in the whole wide world - Gila Rut.
My friend Sokoun's cousin ( I am also staying with Sokoun here) works there now! Small world. So she has the honour of colouring my hair!
I will post a picture of MOI with my new highlights in a new VERY hot dress I bought SOON.

Stay tuned...


PS MARY! I love you and will call you TONIGHT!!!! Poor babe. So sorry to neglect thee.
I haven't forgotten you.xoxo

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Dark Days

Well, I haven't posted in months...just been EXTREMELY busy working.

Most of you know that I am a partner in a bar here in Taipei. It's a bar with a "Who" theme- as in the best rock band on planet earth, The WHO! It's a really beautiful, but tiny bar called, Soo WHO BBQ and Bar.

The bar is going really well, but I tell ya, it's bringing out an UGLY side of me. I am too upset with myself to talk about it, but let's just say I am very happy being, for the most part, a "silent partner."
What I love the most about having the bar is meeting new people. There are some really cool, interesting people here in Taipei- both locals and ex-pats.
The tough thing is not being able to speak Mandarin (well). I AM studying it, but it takes years to really master it, I think. Plus I just don't have the time and energy to study it like I should. (Ok, that's a lie- I spend WAY too much time Facebooking....but I am even getting a bit tired of Facebook now).
The communication problem makes it hard for me to be more involved. We have a wonderful bartender/manager, and he TRULY knows what he is doing, but I have had a bit of a hard time with him, because he is doing everything on his terms, and won't listen to my ideas. However, after SUJOY talked to him, he will. Sux being a woman sometimes, it really does.

I am VERY excited about having LIVE music sessions at the bar! I want to have all ages "shows" on Sunday afternoon where no liquor will be sold. There are so many talented teens out there, and I want to give them a nice, clean, neato place to play. Let's see what happens this fall.

I have had a bit of a traumatic time since early June. I won't go into it, but all I can say is that I REALLY believe in karma, because certain people have treated me like utter shit...and I can't say I have been an angel these past few years.
What goes around certainly comes around. Amen.

I have met some VERY cool people here in Taipei though...and I will be happy to get to know them and hang out with them more.

We are going to the states for a few weeks, so that is something to look forward to...but on a VERY dark note, no one has heard a peep from my dad for 10 days and we fear the worst. God I hope he's ok. We have a very volatile relationship - I just can't and won't get into it here, but, well, it sucks.

Sorry to be such a downer, but that's where I am now.

Hope you are all in a happier place.

When I am in a better mood I will post pics of the bar, I promise.


Thursday, April 09, 2009

Three Tickets to Paradise!!

Last week Sujoy, Anjoli and I flew to Boracay- a tiny island in the Philippines for a few relaxing days of r&r.

We snorkled, sailed and went HELMET DIVING- which was a cool alternative to scuba diving. I also went parasailing for the first time which was really fun...not scary at all! I felt kind of silly but oh well. When in Rome... I will post pictures of the helmet diving soon.

Anjoli is going to post a VERY detailed report of our trip on HER I will post a link to her blog as soon as she finishes.

I have to run to Touch Rugby now...but I have to post yet another before and after pic. This "after" pic was taken on our guide's boat in Boracay. His name is Romel and he was the perfect guide. We had alot of fun at his family's restaurant on Puka Beach after playing on the island.

I couldn't save the old pic to my hard drive...I lost so many pictures recently so this is the only copy I have.
You have to look for me (and Sujoy) on the SEESAW HERE!

Here is the "after" pic!

Romel was pointing out a "Bat Cave," and I could have sworn I saw Batman and Robin skinny dipping. I always wondered about those two...

Friday, March 27, 2009

Healing Facial Palsy with Chinese Medicine

I wrote this post for my Chinese Doctor's Blog. He had it translated into Mandarin. His blog can be found HERE.

A case of facial palsy caused by brain tumor surgery

On July 31, 2007, I underwent 12 hours of brain surgery to have a 4.5 cm brain tumor removed. It’s known in layman’s terms as an “acoustic neuroma.” An acoustic neuroma (also known as a vestibular schwannoma ) is a rare, but benign, usually slow-growing tumor on the vestibular portion of the eighth cranial nerve, which connects the inner ear to the brain.
Just to backtrack, let me list the symptoms that led up to my diagnosis. Prior to the surgery, I had been suffering with tinnitus (ringing in my ears) for 8 years – starting in 1999. A few years after the tinnitus started, my tongue started to feel numb. In 2006, while living in Taipei for 6 months, I started seeing “lightning bolts.” I went to an eye doctor , because I feared I had a detached retina. He said that my retina was fine, and attributed my vision of these lightning bolts as a symptom of “old age.” I was 43 years old!
話說回來,讓我列出我的診斷症狀,手術前,我就受到耳鳴困擾(鈴聲在我的耳朵) 8年前-從1999年開始發生的,幾年後,耳鳴開始,我的舌頭開始感到麻木,2006年,雖然生活在台北6個月,我開始看到“閃電。於是我去看眼科醫生,因為我擔心我的視網膜脫落。
他說,我的視網膜沒問題,並說這”閃電”可能是由於“年老”。 ”我才43歲!
My symptoms began to get worse in the spring of 2007. I started to get sharp headaches, and I NEVER got headaches except as a young child before getting glasses. Even scarier than the headaches were episodes of dizziness that were so bad I couldn’t walk – I would just wait several minutes for the dizziness to subside. I told my doctor about the dizziness, visions of “lightning bolts,” and severe headaches, but she brushed these symptoms off and told me I had “ocular migraine headaches.” She gave me pamphlets to read and basically said there is little help available for migraines.
2007年春天我的症狀開始變得更糟了。我開始感受劇烈頭痛,事實上 我從來沒有頭痛過,除了兒童時期,我戴了眼鏡時有這樣的經驗之外。更可怕的不只是頭痛、頭暈發作,而是我不能走-我只想等待幾分鐘讓頭暈緩解。我告訴醫生 頭暈症狀像“閃電”般的劇烈頭痛,但她並不重視這些症狀,並告訴我有“視覺偏頭痛”。她給我一本小冊子閱讀,並說對我的偏頭痛有幫助。

I had brain surgery en route to relocating from San Diego to Taipei. After leaving San Diego my husband, Sujoy and my daughter, Anjoli and I flew to the east coast of the United States for a 2-week visit with my family in Massachusetts. While sightseeing one day with my family, the dizziness was just awful – so bad that my cousin, who I was visiting at the time, told me that I was not to set foot on the plane without seeing a doctor in Massachusetts first. So, I ended up visiting the emergency room at a hospital in Plymouth, Massachusetts, and within 20 minutes of having a CT scan, I was correctly diagnosed with a vestibular schwannoma! I was relieved; because I had a feeling I had a brain tumor.

在離開聖地亞哥之後,我和丈夫Sujoy及女兒Anjoli,飛往美國東海岸2週,拜訪我在麻薩諸塞州的家人。 有一天與我的家人出遊時,我的頭暈症狀又發生了,我的表哥告訴我說,在我還沒回去之前他可以介紹我一個在麻薩諸塞州的名醫。我最後到了麻薩諸塞州 Plymouth一家醫院的急診室,做了20分鐘的CT掃描,我被正確的診斷為前庭神經鞘瘤!我很欣慰,因為我終於得知結果了”我有腦腫瘤”。

I was sent by ambulance an hour north to Massachusetts General Hospital. My brain tumor, though benign, was life threatening. It was very large and had been pressing against my brain stem.
A few days after arriving in Boston, a team of the top surgeons and Ear Nose and Throat doctors operated on me. As I mentioned, the surgery was quite lengthy – 12 hours! An excellent team of doctors removed the entire tumor. My neurosurgeon was Dr. Fred Barker and my ear doctor, from Mass. Eye and Ear was Dr. Michael McKenna.
I was not afraid AT ALL going into the surgery, for I knew I was in good hands, in one of the best hospitals in the world. I placed my life in God’s hands, and knew that, through the doctors, He would take care of me.
Following the surgery, I experienced somewhat severe facial paralysis, also known as “Bell’s Palsy.” This was deeply upsetting to me, and I became very depressed. I also had terrible pain in my neck and at the “wound” area of the surgery. Also, since the tumor grew around my nerve for hearing, I lost 100% of my hearing in my left ear.
I couldn’t close my left eye, and had a gold weight inserted on my left eyelid so I could close it. Also, after leaving the hospital I experienced terrible insomnia. This was quite disturbing to me, since I knew that my recovery was contingent upon adequate rest.
手術之後發生了後遺症,我的顏面神經癱瘓了,也就是所 謂的貝爾氏麻痹(Bell’s Palsy)這使得我變得非常沮喪,同時間我頸部開刀的傷口處也產生劇烈的疼痛,也由於腫瘤長在我聽神經的附近,開刀後我喪失了左耳全部的聽力,我也無法 闔上輕易的闔上左眼,離開醫院後,我嚴重的失眠,這使我相當的困擾,因為我知道適當的休息可以讓我的健康恢復。
My husband and daughter flew to Taipei a few weeks after my surgery, as my daughter had to start 4th grade at the Taipei American School. I missed them terribly. It was awful to have to recover from major surgery without them. I asked for special permission to fly to Taipei after recovering for just 4 weeks.
About a week after landing in Taipei, I visited general practitioner Dr. Gao in Tienmou to see if he could refer me to a good neurosurgeon for follow up appointments, but mainly to obtain a prescription for antidepressants.

Dr. Gao was so kind to me. I broke down and cried while telling him of my surgery and he could clearly see how severe my facial palsy was. He held my hands and said, “of course you are UPSET! You are experiencing post-traumatic stress syndrome!”
I asked him if he could also recommend a good Chinese Medicine doctor, as my neurosurgeon recommended that I try acupuncture and Chinese Medicine. (My neurosurgeon told me that he knew nothing about Chinese Medicine, but that it “couldn’t hurt to try!”).
高醫生對我非常的親切,當他檢視我左臉的面癱時,我再也止不住我的淚水,並 且跟高醫生敘述我開刀的經過. 高醫生握緊我的手並感同身受的告訴我,他知道我很沮喪,同時他也告訴我正經歷著創傷後壓力症候群,我問高醫生能否介紹我一位好的中醫師,因為我在美國的主 治醫師告訴我能試試中醫療法。

Dr. Gao told me that he once had an episode of hearing loss in one of his ears, so he visited Dr. Chang. To Dr. Gao’s delight, Dr. Chang restored Dr. Gao’s hearing. Dr. Gao spoke highly of Dr. Chang, and explained that he was a well-respected and highly reputable doctor – one of the best in the field of Chinese Medicine in Taiwan.

So, in October of 2007 I visited Dr. Chang. He told me that he had success in treating facial palsy. I was so happy. He gave me powdered Chinese medicine and a special herbal tea (a “secret” blend of his). He told me that it would most likely be a very slow recovery since the tumor that was removed was so large. I felt better just visiting him; he is so caring, calm and positive.
2007年10月,我見了張醫師,他告訴我他有成功治療面神經麻痺的經驗,我聽了真是非常 開心,他開了粉狀中藥和特殊藥茶給我(自製秘方)。他告訴我:由於之前腫瘤太大,所以需要一段緩慢而長的時間才有可能復原。我很開心我見到他,他讓我感受 到溫暖並且給我正面想法和態度去面對我的病症。

So, I went to Dr. Chang who had me come three times per week for acupuncture and moxibustion treatments. I had read that for facial palsy, it was necessary to receive both moxibustion and acupuncture. Moxibustion is the application of heat resulting from the burning of a small bundle of tightly bound mugwort leaves to targeted acupoints.

Within 2-3 weeks of visiting Dr. Chang, I no longer had insomnia! THAT was a HUGE miracle, in my eyes. About a month after starting treatment with Dr. Chang I ran in the Terry Fox Run for Cancer – a 5k run!
As I mentioned, I had (and still have) a platinum weight inserted in my left eyelid to help it close. Even with this weight, I could not close my left eye when I laid down on Dr. Chang’s table for my treatments. I had to close it with my index finger. Within about a month of taking Dr. Chang’s herbs and receiving acupuncture treatments, I was able to close my left eye without using my index finger.
My husband and I watched carefully for signs of healing from the Bell’s Palsy. Prior to getting acupuncture, the left side of my face was quite slack, and my eyebrows were quite uneven – as you can see in the “before” picture. Gradually, we noticed that my eyebrows became even and I started to develop a nasolabial fold on the left side of my face. I did not have a nasolabial fold after the surgery. (Nasolabial folds are the deep folds that run from the side of the nose to the corner of the mouth). My mouth, which sloped down on my left side slowly started to straighten over time.
我丈夫和我仔細看了的我的面癱有恢復跡象。針灸之前,我左邊的臉是很鬆弛的,我的眉毛很歪斜不 正-正如你所看到的“之前”圖片,逐漸的,我們注意到我的眉毛還有鼻唇溝開始與右邊的臉變得對稱了(鼻唇溝是側面鼻子的嘴角的交合處)。我的嘴巴,這對我 的斜面左側慢慢開始整頓隨著時間的推移。
By January of 2008, many people were commenting on how much by face had improved.My eyebrows were even and my mouth was nearly straight. I was much happier and the anti-depressants helped take care of my depression. I continued to exercise regularly which helped a great deal. (I still exercise regularly, of course!).
2008年1月,許多人都說我的臉有了很大的改善。我的眉毛還有我的嘴幾乎回復成直線了,我也很開心抗抑鬱藥也幫助我的抑鬱症有所改善,因為我還是繼續保持運動習慣,這是一個不錯的紓壓方式。(我還經常運動,當然! ) 。

By December of 2008, ALL of my pain – in my neck and in my head (at the wound site) disappeared. This was a great relief to me. I think the recovery from the surgery is just very lengthy, but I have no doubt that Dr. Chang’s medicines helped aid my recovery.

Even though my face was improving and the pain had subsided, I complained to Dr. Chang that I was ALWAYS tired. I was SO tired of feeling tired! Dr. Chang explained that I need to tonify my “chi.” Chi is the body’s life energy. So, in November of 2008, Dr. Chang prescribed his “cooked medicine” to me. Every day, I cook a wonderful mixture of all kinds of herbs – flowers, pieces of what look like bark and twigs, and small muslin bags of herbs in 1400 ml of water in a ceramic pot for one and a half hours. I am THRILLED to say that, within a week of taking Dr. Chang’s “cooked medicine,” I finally had energy! I can honestly say that I have never felt so good as I have been since taking this medicine. I drink one cup in the morning and one cup in the afternoon. I have energy, I feel strong and I no longer have “brain fog.” I have recently become addicted to crossword puzzles – and my mind has never been sharper! I complete them very quickly!
雖然我的臉及疼痛已經改善,但是我還是跟張醫師抱怨我 總是感到非常疲勞,張醫師說我需要補氣,氣可以說是能量,所以2008年11月張醫師開了處方煎煮藥給我,這些處方有花類、樹根、樹枝等藥草都用紗袋包 裝,用1400cc的水煎煮,我很激動地說,服用張醫師的處方不到一週,我的體力開始回復了,誠實的說,自從服藥以來我從沒感覺這麼好過,每天早上及下午 各服用一杯中藥,我體力回來了,頭腦也不再混沌了,我最近迷上填字遊戲,也可以很快速的完成遊戲。

At present (February, 2009) my Bell’s Palsy continues to improve. My smile on my left side is slowly turning upward, although my mouth still is uneven with an open mouthed smile. I now keep my mouth closed when I smile for pictures, but I will never stop smiling/laughing when I am NOT posing, of course!
I am so grateful for the wonderful medical care I have received during such a tumultuous health crisis. Drs. Barker and McKenna did a wonderful job debulking my tumor - and since they were able to remove tumor in its entirety, the chances of it regrowing are slim. I had an MRI about one year after my surgery and the MRI showed NO signs of tumor regrowth! Phew!
再經過這樣健康危機後,我很慶幸我得到這樣的妥善的治療,Drs. Barker and McKenna成功的幫我開了腦部手術,而且再復發的機會也不高。我之後也照了MRI,報告也顯示出沒有腫瘤的跡象。
I know that the Lord was watching out for me when he led me to ALL of these doctors, especially Dr. Chang. I still receive acupuncture twice a week. I look forward to my acupuncture visits. I always feel peaceful after seeing him and his kind, dedicated staff. Dr. Chang gave me hope when I needed it most. He is an answer to my prayers.

Note: In addition to acupuncture and Chinese herbs, I regularly take the following supplements: a "women's" multivitamin (multivitamin plus various herbs - they can be found in all health food stores), B vitamin complex, Omega-3 purified fish oil - which contains both DHA and EPA, and Co-Q 10. For one year I took a mushroom extract which was a blend of 7 mushrooms. It's called Stamet's 7 and can be ordered HERE.
This formula is a blend of Himematsutake, Cordyceps, Reishi, Maitake, Lion's Mane, Zhu Ling and Yun Zhi mushrooms.

Me, September 2007. This photo was taken about a week before I started to treatment with Dr. Chang.

These pictures were taken on February 4, 2009. Apologies for the quality. I took them using a mirror. (It was a "good face day!"). I believe the weight on my left eye is not needed's weighing down my eye too much, so I am going to have it removed soon.

This is a recent photo, taken in January, 2011. Three and a half years post-surgery.

Here is a picture of the herbs I take before cooking them:

This is my "magic cauldron" that I cook them in!

This is the magic potion I drink every day! YUM!

Sunday, March 01, 2009

This is scary!

I was just googling "easy fruit salads," just to get some hints...I have to bring dessert to a PTA Board meeting tomorrow. I was going to buy a cheesecake and make a fruit salad.

No wonder we (Americans!) are so fat. Look at THIS:


1 can Wilderness cherry or raspberry pie mix
1 can Borden's sweetened condensed milk
1 lg. can crushed pineapple, drained
1 (16 oz.) Cool Whip

Mix together and chill.


I just spent a small fortune on fruit at the outdoor market. All good stuff...and I found a nice dressing recipe: just sugar, lemon juice and mint.

No Cool Whip,pie mix or sweetened condensed milk in MY fruit salad!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Are you lonesome tonight?

Well, Elvis, since you asked...
YES I AM!!!!!!!!!

Sujoy is in the states, Anjoli is at a's just me and the cockroaches.


(I've tried getting rid of them, but they like us. They really, really do).

I went to an amazing concert this evening at the American School. I cannot explain just how phenomenal these teenagers are! The performances included voice, piano, cello, violin and trombone. They ran out of programs, but they performed pieces by Bach, Bartok, Schumann, and Chopin - those were the only names I remember. I knew one piece (which received a standing ovation) but I don't know who the composer was. It's sad, but I remember it from a Gilligan's Island episode!! Oh Sue. :)
Many of the kids memorized their pieces...I just can't get over that. I was COMPLETELY blown away tonight.

It's very sad, but there were very few people in the audience. I think it's a shame that so few parents and students were there to appreciate and support these kids - and it was FREE.

Ok, the cockroaches and I are going to watch You Kill Me. (Sujoy if you are reading this, I bet you just fainted!).

Bye bye!

You think I'm joking? (cockroach is on the right)

Extreme close-up of my "date" for the evening:

DHL Tai Tais

Well I finally got up the nerve to play "social touch rugby" at the American School last night!
The team is called the DHL Tai Tais (tai tai means "wife" in Mandarin. hmmm).
I absolutely loved it and I am SO proud because I wasn't worn out in the least. We have a really awesome Aussie coach - he had us do drills from 5-5:30,then we scrimmaged from 5:30 - 6:30.
I made some great catches, but I still need to figure out the plays. It's don't throw the ball like a football, you toss it (with a spin)and you must keep behind the team mate who tosses you the ball.
We played women vs women and for a bit with the "blokes" (husbands mostly).
I can't wait for Sujoy (hubby) to play - I hope he does!

Most of the women are FANTASTIC players - much better than the men! Yeah!
When I was leaving a few of the ladies told me I played really well. I shocked myself, to be honest!


Monday, February 23, 2009

Just a Quick One...

Because it's LATE!

Thanks so much for your encouraging words. It really helps!

Well, I had a training session with my personal trainer at the gym today. She told me that the contest won't actually start until March 1st! Oh well. That's ok.

I've lost 2.o kilograms so far...but some of it is water and lean body mass! Only 1 kilogram was fat...but that's ok. As long as I LOST something- I am happy!
My fat percentage is now 32%, and ideally a woman should have 23% or less body, my goal is to lose 10% body fat by June 1st!

I have a few cute little snippets to share. About a week before I entered this contest one of the 3 year olds I teach kept smacking my butt saying:"fatty! fatty!" Yeah yeah yeah. Shut it!!! Little brat. Hee hee. Nah- he is RIGHT!
THEN the SAME morning - an older boy - who loves me unabashedly - put his arms around my waist - looked up at me and smiled - then patted my stomach and said:
"baby? baby???" ha ha ha. NOT QUITE! He is such a cutie. I give the kids "high fives"(no one does that here and they love it. Very American. Yes, I know). Whenever I give him a high five he grabs my hand and kisses the back of it (a ladies' man in the making, fer sure) then he mouths to me: " I LOVE YOU!" aw........I'm tellin' ya...the kids I teach - they make me very happy. And I agree with the teasing!!! Doesn't bother me in the least. Kids don't lie. It's refreshing, actually!

Monday, February 16, 2009

I Feel Good!

Just got back from an hour of cardio on the *&^%ing treadmill...actually it was a really good workout. I jogged for a half hour and ran for a half hour.
I listened to great music...mostly Nina Simone, Gnarls Barkley and Bruce Springsteen.
I am addicted to these artists at the moment! I MUST add that I am also loving my friend James Casey's band's new songs. James is my friend in London who was kind enough to put me up in December when I impulsively went to see The Who! His band is called Ether City (I actually posted YouTube videos here in August). Check out Ether City's songs on their groovy new website HERE!!! (October 13,2008).

I am getting up the NOIVE to sing at an open mic night at a club that Sujoy and I went to over the weekend (to celebrate Valentine's Day) called,Sappho de Base. With Anjoli's help I will record myself singing something by Nina and maybe even Gnrarls Barkley and figure out which songs could be tolerated by strangers! :)

Sappho de Base is the COOLEST club - it's a lounge -very cozy.We chatted with the owner for a long time - we were there from 11 - 3am! (It's a late night club). The owner is a Taiwanese woman (who wore a very cool Stevie Ray Vaughnish looking hat!). She lived in San Francisco for many years. We went to see a local "Chicago Blues" band - they were fun...but even more fun was an impromptu set by 3 other musicians who were friends of the owner's. I told the owner I'd be back - she gave me her card and asked us to call her sometime and hang out! I love that the club is ALL ABOUT THE MUSIC. She wanted it to be a "non-profit" club - but a non-profit club can't serve alcohol! is their website: Sappho de Base.

I am happy to report that I have steadily been losing poundage! Ya hoo!! Hopefully, tomorrow I will be able to see how much lower my fat percentage is- I have my weekly training session with my sweetie of a personal trainer, Debbie. It's cool - because I am NOT starving myself whatsoever...just making healthier choices. I did drink over the weekend,but just didn't eat much! Like last year though, I plan on giving up alcohol for Lent. Heck, maybe I will even go to Church this year. Stranger things have happened.

I am nearly done writing up my recovery story from brain surgery for my Chinese Medicine doctor's blog. He has been bugging me for ages to write it up.I just have to tweak it a bit. Sujoy reminded me of some of the finer points I missed! My wonderful doctor, Dr.Chang, is going to have it translated,and also add which acupuncture points he used. I will share this article with brain tumor (support) organizations,and with my surgeons in Boston who will be SO pleased(and they can share my post with their patients as well). The before and after pictures are really remarkable! My main complaints, and I KNOW I shouldn't whine, BUT they are: 1.I do not feel that I need the platinum weight on my left eye anymore - it's TOO BIG and heavy, and NOT necessary, I think. 2. I can't smile all the way on my left side - the left side of my mouth doesn't no more big smiles from Sue! :( It doesn't STOP me from smiling, of course, but I have learned how to smile for pics (I keep my mouth closed).
3. SOMETIMES I get annoyed not being able to hear in my left ear. If I am in a group, or if there is background noise,I have a hard time following conversations.
I AM REALLY TIRED of saying, "Excuse me? Sorry? Pardon?" Maybe I should learn how to read lips.

Ok that's the last of my bitching...for NOW.

After tonight's workout...I REALIZE that exercise has such a profound effect on my mood. It's just not something I need to do to lose is THE best cure for the blues!

Oh and the OTHER cure for the blues is...DANCING to the BLUES! OOh baby - Sujoy and I danced the night away on Valentine's Day. Just like old times. It was a blast. Thank you, Lord/Greek Gods(!) for MUSIC!!!!!!!

FYI, Sujoy and I fell in love at a blues bar called, Harper's Ferry in Allston/Brighton,!!!!!!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Recipe for Life

My friend Anna in San Diego sent me this email.
I get tired of forwarding cool stuff, so I thought I would just share this via my blog.

I have been so down lately (but I am down EVERY February, no matter where I live).
I think there are some great ideas here:

Good Recipe for Life

1. Take a 10-30 minute walk every day. While you walk, smile.
It is the ultimate anti-depressant.

2. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day.
Talk to God about what is going on in your life.

3. When you wake up in the morning complete the following statement,
'My purpose is to __________ today. I am thankful for_____________'

4. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants.

5. Drink green tea and plenty of water.
Eat blueberries, wild Alaskan salmon, broccoli, almonds & walnuts.

6. Try to make at least three people smile each day.

7. Don't waste your precious energy on gossip, vampires, issues of the past, negative thoughts or things you cannot control.
Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.

8. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a college kid with a maxed out charge card.

9. Life isn't fair, but it's still good. [YES YES YES AND YEEEEES!]

10. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.

11. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does. (I have been saying this to myself lately!).

12. You are not so important that you have to win every argument.
Agree to disagree.

13. Make peace with your past so it won't spoil the present.

14. Don't compare your life to others.
You have no idea what their journey is all about.

15. No one is in charge of your happiness except you. [Yup]

16. Frame every so-called disaster with these words:
'In five years, will this matter?'

17. Forgive everyone for everything.

18. What other people think of you is none of your business.

19. GOD heals everything - but you have to ask Him.

20. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

21. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick.
Your friends and family will. Stay in touch!!!

22. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

23. Each night before you go to bed complete the following statements:
I am thankful for __________. Today I accomplished _________.

24. Remember that you are too blessed to be stressed.

25. When you are feeling down, start listing your many blessings.
You'll be smiling before you know it.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

I'm Entering a "Biggest Loser" Contest!

ha ha ha!

I belong to a gym here in Taipei called California Fitness.
My trainer told me about a cool contest today. Whoever loses the highest percentage of fat in 3 months splits NT$100,000 with their trainer! $1USD=$32 NT (roughly) that's about $1500USD!

I need this incentive as I have consistently gained weight (fat!) since moving to Taipei!
eeks. I HAVE gained muscle weight TOO though...but still...gaining fat is very discouraging...especially since I DO work out (but not enough!).

My trainer said that the last person who won this contest lost 7kg in the 3 month time that's a good goal to shoot for.

They have a machine that calculates your body fat and lean muscle and how it's distributed. Oddly enough my upper body is stronger than my lower body!

It's good that they are calculating body fat only...I don't want to starve myself and lose lean body mass (which I did over the summer when I did HerbalLife for a spell).

I am psyched to have a GOAL now...but it's gonna be ROUGH.

I'll post BEFORE and AFTER pics at the END of the three months. NOT NOW!

I'm so we GO!!!


Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy New Year!!!

We are having a blast with our family and wonderful friends.
We took a short 2 day trip to Taroko Gorge...which is honestly the most awe inducing park I have ever seen. This was our second trip to Taroko and we plan on returning this summer.

I promise to post a slew of pics of the park and our holidays SOON!

Wishing you all a healthy, peaceful and prosperous New Year...and GOOD LUCK to our new Prez, Barack Obama. :) Things will get better...I can feel it.