Monday, May 31, 2004


I've been studying like mad these past few days. Supposedly I've been on half-day study leave this entire past week, but I realized the other day a "half day" means a 7-hour work day, followed by hours on continous studying.

I never realized how long my working hours were until I was startled by my roommate's return the other day as I was studying at home. She was just in to drop off her things before heading right out to see a movie with her fiance. I was stupefied - off of work before 6pm with plenty of time to see a movie on a weeknight? Practically unfathomable! That, and also that I start work before she gets up in the morning.

Saturday, May 29, 2004

Cultural ughs

Last night I was completely burned out from studying by 9pm, so I packed up my books and went swimming instead. I cannot believe how crowded the pool at Alexander was at 10pm a night - and not just adult lap swimmers, mind you, but young kids. What's up with their parents?!? These kids should be in bed!

I know this is just my own cultural values clashing with another's. Another moment: today I briefly attended an event, and I hate to say this, but I got a lot more out of the talk when the Western panelists spoke. They were direct and efficient about distilling useful information. Unfortunately, Taiwanese people tend to pat themselves too much on the back. I don't need to hear how many graduate programs you attended or how many degrees you have. Just say what needs to be said!

Not to say that there aren't windbags in the States, but man oh man, every time I attend an event with Taiwanese people, inevitably someone stands up and starts off with, "well, I went to [prestigious school] and found that...and let me quote Confucius/prominent business leader/politician..."

Sunday, May 23, 2004


An absolutely gorgeous day today: the sun was shining, the weather was warm but not too hot, and there was a breeze that was just enough to gently caress my legs as I went out and about.

I just had the best dinner - I rolled some goat cheese in ground walnuts, and put them on top of some spring mix along with dried cranberries. Yummy. Unfortunately, just about everything in my dinner was imported, which isn't particularly environmentally-friendly, although it was lacto vegetarian. On the other hand (and this is my CFA studying kicking in), I doubt that Taiwan has any comparative advantage to producing its own goat cheese, spring mix, and cranberries. I suppose the proper solution would be to eat only Taiwanese/Chinese food, but I'd get tired of that very quickly, as I'm someone who has been spoiled by the variety afforded by trade.

Anyways, I've had the best weekend - plenty of rest, lots of studying accomplished, exercise, good food, and great weather.

Saturday, May 22, 2004

A beautiful day!

It's amazing how wonderful the world is when you're fully rested. I remember how surprised I was when Jeannine first told me, "I knew today was going to be a crappy day last night [because I went to sleep late]." At the time, I thought that was such a negative attitude - one should wake up every morning hoping for a fabulous day. But she's absolutely right. If you know you're going to be sleep-deprived the next day, chances are, the day is not going to be as fabulous as it could have been.

Anyways, I finally caught up on some much needed sleep. It might have even been pouring this morning. But I'm not sure, because I was sleeping. And now, the sun is out. And I am enjoying the view from the window in my office. Where I am studying. I'm such a dork. But at least I'm not a sleepy dork.

Thursday, May 20, 2004

Inauguration Day

Today President Chen Shui-bian will be inaugurated for his second term as President of Taiwan. I was reminded of the inuaguration yesterday as I stumbled to work half asleep at 6:45 a.m. by the flurry of activity outside the Hyatt hotel in preparation for the foreign dignitaries who were to arrive. Thank goodness for the little observations that cut through the haze of my week. I really need more sleep.

A non-sequitor to my readers, I'm sure - I may move soon but alas, will not be able to take my bed with me because of certain Chinese customs. I really like my bed, particularly my mattress. I really wish I spent more time in it. Sleeping.

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Technology's Too-Small Sisterhood

An interesting article in Business Week about the scarcity of women executives at tech firms. This was cetainly true at my alma mater -- biology was a more popular major choice than computer science or electrical engineering. A quick scan of girlfriends from school that I still keep in touch with yields a biology PhD student, two computer programmers, and a math teacher -- hmm, not too shabby! Oh, and there's me - in the financial services industry covering tech.

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Springing for a new look

On Sunday, Blogger launched its new look. Hey, the weather's getting warmer, the weather finally feels like spring, and I haven't updated this blog's look in awhile - time for a change? I might as well!

(By the way, the old template still lives on in the archives, along with the comments. I need to figure out how to save those pages for posterity.)

Sunday, May 09, 2004

Ai-ya! I meant to post more frequently this week. Alas. Well, since I'm sure you're all quite tired of hearing about my work right now, I'll write upon a different topic. I have to admit I feel so silly about being such an ignoramus of my own neighborhood for so long. A year passed before I realized there is a traditional Taiwanese market (including a wet market) in lanes and alleys adjacent to mine. I've since then walked through the market a number of times, but usually I'm in a rush to get somewhere and don't have time to stop and poke around, although the different produce, dry goods, and prepared foods stands always seem so fascinating and full of goodies.

This morning I decided to venture into the enclosed wet market that had always seemed so forbidding. Yes, the tiled floors were mucky and wet. Yes, stalls with prepared food were next to stalls featuring fresh fish on ice. But I found a nice produce stand where a number of items are organic, and I could chat with the proprietors about which items were locally grown and which were imported. Especially since I am functionally illiterate, this is a great way to make sure I get what I want.

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

My gosh, time just flies by. I feel like I've been working non-stop since 7:15pm this morning, and that was on top of yesterday's 14-hour day. I've been feeling pretty good, all things considered, because of all the healthy food I cooked up Sunday, while transferring all of my phone numbers from my mobile into my PDA. Yup, that yogurt did do something. Saturday night my phone decided that while it would receive calls, the speaker wouldn't work. And what's the point of answering calls if you can't hear the person on the other end?

I brought the phone in to be fixed and suffered intense (momentary) separation anxiety as I was mobile-less for about five minutes. Thank goodness Jen was home and able to lend me her old Motorola. The operating system sucks, but at least I can receive calls.