Monday, September 29, 2003

Felicia came up this past weekend from Kaohsiung and I had the pleasure of her staying with me. Felicia is so thoughtful and perceptive, and she left me with two gems: sometimes a person's greatest strength is often their greatest weakness, and you can't be disappointed if you know a friend's weaknesses. Christine had a few gems of her own, too. What stuck with me was when she said I should be thankful for those times when people I thought were friends let me down, because then I learn, through no effort of my own, what they are capable of giving as a friend and how much they value the friendship.

I feel so blessed to be surrounded by so many strong, smart, engaging, and thoughtful women here in Taiwan. This web of women has been a source of resilience. In Asia, I have learned to fully appreciate the value of my girlfriends--both those that are here and abroad.

Last weekend's edition of the Asian Wall Street Journal featured an article about how tough Asia can be for single western women. Among the challenges, of course, are that while career opportunities are often greater for women, socially, the opportunities are often lacking. Stan Sesser wrote, "single overseas-born Asian women living in Asia have their own set of experiences that in some cases may parallel those of single Western women and in other cases be totally different." The most hilarious line was woman who said, "Honey, Asia is single-man heaven and single-woman hell." Unlike the women profiled in the article, my life outside of work is not at all empty, and my girlfriends are in no small part responsible for that.

Sunday, September 21, 2003

Happy Birthday, Angela and Zofia!

Friday, September 19, 2003

I read a great article in Tech Review today about using technology to name your child. Actually, a better description would be how to utilize technology to avoid giving your child a ghastly name. I've long said that children of Asian immigrants can often be easily determined by their names--they're the ones with names like Eugenia, Esther, Isabel, and Rosalind, names that were popular decades ago but are ones that no self-respecting native English-speaking parent would name their child now.

A particular gem from David Brittan:
The knowledge that Michael means �who is like God� might be a source of inner satisfaction for Michael, but it will always be his little secret. The fact is, our society doesn�t much care about derivation�otherwise people named Bertha (�bright�) and Kermit (�church�), beautiful as their souls may be, would not be consigned to what must surely be a living hell.

A Google Image seach on Bertram (one name my parents were considering naming my brother Galen) yielded this horrendous sight. Thank goodness I picked Galen, as this Galen is pretty easy on the eyes. I'm glad I had enough sense as a three-year-old to recognize that aural complement of Berta and Bertram alone was too much. A search on my name yielded much as I suspected: overweight Eastern European women of a certain age, dogs, and men.

As much as I dislike my name, it is me, for better for worse. At least it is unusual, so I've never had problems picking out an email address or username. And it's not like I could pick a name in Chinese. Now those all sound alike to me.

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

Lately I have felt like I am drowning in Things I Must Get Done. Take last night for example. The CAPT EC meeting ended by 9 p.m. I thought to myself that I had plenty of time to run errands and get to bed early. After I finished doing power yoga, I still had to finish up a load of laundry, hang clothes, wash dishes, pack my bags and prepare lunch for the next the time I finished, it was well past midnight. The business of living takes up so much time, let alone my volunteer committments and trying to achieve my personal development goals...there's a stack of magazines and journals I should be reading. How does one do it all?

Thursday, September 11, 2003

Yesterday was the Mid-Autumn Festival holiday, so I spent a leisurely day recovering from the rigors of travel--unpacking, laundry, cleaning, and catching up with friends online, over the phone, and in person. Yesterday was a day of being unexpectedly touched by moments of thoughtfulness, and also of being disappointed by unintentional slights. I cannot complain, though. My friend Mike Co reminded me on my birthday, my life is already very rich. Of course, he wrote this to excuse himself from getting me cars, diamonds, or jewelry...I don't need any of those items, but gifts of jewelry, clothing, shoes, and books are always welcome. ;-)

Taiwan has been very kind to me, and Sunday will mark two years in Taiwan.

Speaking of good friends, I was simply tickled to meet up with Maggie and her friend, Peter Dworin, who now has another 15 minutes of online fame, while in San Francisco.

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

I had hoped to update my blog last week, but Blogger was giving me problems. I had a very busy 9 and 1/2 days in the States that included many meals with family and friends, a pedicure, yoga classes (including one with Bryan Kest!), fitness evaluation, rock climbing, swimming, and shopping as a one-woman import-export machine for my Taiwan-based friends hungering for some American goods--all interspersed between a quick trip up to San Francisco and my Pi Reunion in Vegas. In Vegas, I saw Cirque du Soleil's O!, which was a simply amazing production, caught up with classmates at the V bar, had a enormous creme brulee dessert at our class banquet at the Venetian's Grand Lux Cafe, and then partied with them at Studio 54. While in the States, I ate raw cuisine (my dish was called 'Harem in the Raw' - falafel balls, zucchini hummus, quinoa taboule, and olives served with tahini on a purple cabbage 'pita') at Juliano's Raw, yummy plaintain empanadas and poblano quesadillas at the Too Hot Tamales' Border Grill, great seafood at Pesce, and a divine raspberry-rhubarb pie that I picked up at Whole Foods.