Saturday, April 25, 2009

Update

So I've been long overdue for an update on my life.  Honestly, I have been very much preoccupied by several things going on in my life.  I am getting ready to move back to the States in about three weeks so there is a ton of little things that need to be taken care of before I can get on that plane.  

I am very excited to come back home after about 9 months living here in Taiwan.  This won't be good-bye but only a brief farewell.  I've greatly appreciated the time I've spent here and I feel that I've grown a ton as a person as a result.  

I have been studying for the LSAT almost every single night that I get a chance.  My scores have been improving so that is a plus.  However, every day that I count down to go home is also one day closer to the big day of the test.  

I can't wait till the day I can go back and see my family and friends.  Life abroad really makes you appreciate the small things that make a day:  a good debate on politics, a bowl of macaroni and cheese, the sound of your best friend giving you advice, and the expectant meow of your hungry cat.  

Hope all is well with everyone!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Mexican food, waffles, and basketball



Pictures are courtesy of my friends.  My past weekend consisted of going to Danshui, a town on the coast of the Pacific ocean, to check out a popular Mexican restuarant called Eddy's Cantina.  I had a really good quesadilla with surprisingly a little too much cheese, or perhaps my taste buds are getting acclimated to Taiwan's flavors.   Afterwards we walked around the night market where my friend played a dart game and won me that Spongebob inflatable toy!  Really random, I know.  Even more random was that we were obligated to take several group pictures with Spongebob before I could stash him into my purse.  

Later that night we went back into Taipei to check out a really famous waffle place called Coffee Alley in the Eastern district (an increasingly popular upscale area of Taipei).  The waffles were great, I had the pictured strawberry waffles, although after I finished my strawberries, I could have used some syrup to finish off the rest of the waffles. 

Anyway, the next day, a bunch of us got together to play basketball at the National Taiwan University basketball courts.  For the first two hours, Yicheng and I just watched while the guys played 3 on 3 with some strangers and then afterwards we got to play 3 on 3, except it was an easy version with a 10 year old kid!  It was a lot of fun, I ended up jamming a finger but I also made a lot of baskets!!  So yay for random weekends of Mexican food, waffles, and basketball.  

Monday, March 23, 2009

Tax Question!

Perhaps you guys can help me out since I seem to be tangled in Taiwan's seemingly endless bureaucratic system here... but if I am an overseas Taiwanese citizen, meaning I hold a Taiwan passport but I don't have a Taiwan ID number and I have an ARC, do I still have to pay the 20% income tax that other non-citizen, non-residents have to pay?? Honestly I still haven't figured it out yet and I am sick of getting the run around when I ask about it at work. Help!

Sorry this post is so boring and probably makes no sense to the people back home! I've recently been stressing out about job prospects for when I get back to the States along with getting the LSAT blues (and trying to figure out Taiwan's tax system!) so I have been unable to post with my more upbeat personality. I will update later on my wonderful past weekend which included Mexican food, basketball, and waffles. Yes, this all happened.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

What I miss most about the States


I've been feeling reminiscent so I thought I'd make a list of what I miss most about the States, people excluded and in no particular order.  

1. driving!
2. TexMex
3. people saying "bless you" after sneezing
4. speaking English
5. personal bubble space
6. living in a house (vs. apartment)
7. actual enclosed showers
8. ovens
9. air conditioner/heater
10. people saying "excuse me" when they bump into you
11. cheese! on everything!
12. sandwiches
13. Target, e.g. one stop shopping

Conversely, this is what I'll miss about Taiwan.

1. MRT
2. cheap food
3. night markets
4. all of the convenience stores
5. speaking Chinese
6. buses
7. walking everywhere
8. the close mountains and ocean

Well this is all that comes to mind right now.  If you'd like to add to the list, let me know!  

Monday, March 16, 2009

Spongebob!

I like Spongebob, it's a really funny show that I think is great to watch when you don't need to work your brain.  That, and it actually does have some pretty witty jokes mixed in with ridiculous kid humor.  So because I bought a Spongebob planner and other... Spongebob-y incidents... I am now known around the office as the person who loves Spongebob.  

On my birthday, my coworkers set up a small surprise lunch party for me.  It was really sweet.  I had delicious chocolate cake and my presents were these cute sponges that were decorated to look like Spongebob.  Sure, I can't really do my dishes with them, but they're a really cute souvenior to take home with me.  

 

After work, a group of my work friends and I went to a Mexican restaurant called Tequila Sunrise, where I had pretty good chicken quesadillas, Mexican style not TexMex (my favorite).  We also ordered a pitcher of strawberry margarita where we had the option of a normal amount of tequila or extra tequila, at no extra cost!  Only in Taiwan...  Then when we asked what freebie I could get for being the birthday girl, I got a shot of tequila.  My first, it was predictably strong and gross in my opinion but not bad with the salt and lime.  Afterwards, we went to one of our friend's apartment to play Wii Mariokart.  It was difficult to get the game set up in the teeny apartment but it was really fun and interesting to see someone else's home in Taiwan, excluding my family.  

So that is the story of my first birthday out of the country!  I guess I can report that birthdays are pretty much celebrated the same way as they are in the US.  Unless there is some crazy Taiwanese birthday celebration method that I am not privy to, I'd say I had a pretty satisfying birthday.  Thank you to everyone who helped me bring in year 23!  

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Birthday


So, tomorrow is my birthday. This is actually one birthday that I'm not that excited about. For one, I'm turning 23, which is altogether a very unexciting year. I mean it's not 21 and I'm only getting older right? And for two, this is pretty much my first birthday away from my best friends. I miss them like crazy.

Regardless, my friends here have set up a very nice night for me. After work we're going to a Mexican resturant, I'm really curious to see what Mexican food in Taiwan will taste like. No doubt it'll be different, but we'll see how good it is. Afterwards, we're going back to a friend's place to play Wii. Kind of random, I know, but I'm sure it'll be fun. Oddly enough, I think this night will be sans alcohol, but I'm ok with that.

One year older, I hope that makes me one year smarter too. Well, I'm glad to say that I was brave enough to spend the majority of age 22 living in a foreign country. This experience was definitely worth whatever I sacrificed for it. I feel that I know myself better and I definitely know the world a little better. My time here is nearly over though, I just booked my one way ticket back home yesterday and I could not be more excited. I'm scared to see where my next adventure takes me but I know the experience will be worth having.

So here's to getting older! I hope everyone has a great Friday the 13th!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Seoul and Gwangju

I am back from Korea! It was a long but really great trip. I chose a bottle of soju to represent and commiserate my trip because as far as I can recall, I had soju every night I was there. Soju is a great, traditional Korean alcohol that everyone drinks. It's pretty much mandatory. Anyway, Seoul was great, its a really pretty city with lots of hills everywhere. It reminded me of San Francisco because every building and apartment seemed to sit on a tall hill. There's also a large river that runs through the city that I thought gave the city a nice water-front charm. I did some typical touristy things like visiting the Gyeongbok Palace and the DMZ. My good friend Thomas, who I also went to Japan with, showed me around town and we had good food, good soju, and good company!

I also made a side trip to the city of Gwangju, about four hours outside of Seoul to see my friend Charlie. We had a good time wandering around downtown and finding the best bottle of white wine ever. I also bought a pair of purple low top Converse shoes and learned how to shoot a pellet gun! Charlie won me a little penguin with red ear muffs. Overall, it was a pretty hilarious day.

All in all, it was a great trip and I can't wait to make more of them! Below are some pictures I thought I'd share:


Seoul Tower

The view from Seoul Tower

The only normal picture of Charlie and I, from the bajillion he took with my camera.

Inside Gyeongbok Palace


A wall near the DMZ.

I think in the distance that is a gate at the DMZ.

The only picture Thomas let me take of him, judging from my entire photo album, you wouldn't be able to tell that I was with him for practically the entire trip!

BONUS:

video

This is still moving octopus, its pretty disgusting but apparently its kind of a delicacy (I assume anyway). It's pretty gross, it crawls off the table when you try and eat it.

Well I hope you enjoyed the pictures!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Vonnegut


Today Rudy and I got on the topic of Kurt Vonnegut (may he rest in peace).  We both agreed that he is one amazing writer, in addition to the fact that he makes great social and political observations.  I can't say he's my favorite writer since I've only read Cat's Cradle, but he is on the top of my list of authors for which I'd like to read every single work they've authored.  

Since I've been really busy at work lately and I'm planning on leaving for South Korea on Saturday, I just want to leave you with some of my favorite quotes from Vonnegut.  I will take lots of pictures in Korea and post them when I get back!  Sorry to go M.I.A. for a while but perhaps I will be able to post once more between now and when I leave.  

And here are some of my favorites (most I pulled from Wikiquotes):

"When the last living thing
has died on account of us,
how poetical it would be
if Earth could say,
in a voice floating up
perhaps 
from the floor 
of the Grand Canyon,
'It is done.'
People did not like it here."
 A Man Without a Country

"Hello, babies.  Welcome to Earth.  It's hot in the summer and cold in the winter.  It's round and wet and crowded.  At the outside, babies, you've got about a hundred years here.  There's only one rule that I know of, babies — 'God damn it, you've got to be kind.'"
God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater

"Doesn't anything socialistic make you want to throw up?  Like great public schools, or health insurance for all?"
A Man Without a Country

"I have wanted to give Iraq a lesson in democracy — because we're experienced with it, you know.  And, in democracy, after a hundred years, you have to let your slaves go.  And, after a hundred and fifty years, you have to let your women vote.  And, at the beginning of democracy, is that quite a bit of genocide and ethnic cleansing is quite okay.  And that's what's going on now."
—Interview on The Daily Show

"If you want to really hurt your parents, and you don't have the nerve to be gay, the least  you can do is go into the arts.  I'm not kidding.  The arts are not a way to make a living.  They are a very human way of making life more bearable.  Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake.  Sing in the shower.  Dance to the radio.  Tell stories.  Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem.  Do it as well as you possibly can.  You will get an enormous reward.  You will have created something." 
A Man Without a Country

I hope to create something for the world someday.  Although I don't sing in the shower, I do sing ridiculously loud to the radio in my car.  Too bad I haven't been able to drive since I've been in Taiwan.

Adios lovers, until next time.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Redesign?

I've been told by my lovely sister that I need to redesign my blog, perhaps I need to spruce up my font choices or my colors.  Maybe I could add a few more pictures.  Needless to say, I never knew that blogs would actually take so much work, not to mention so much html know-how.  Not that I am not up to the challenge, although I'm afraid either my work performance or my LSAT studying concentration levels might suffer the consequences.  Regardless, I'll take any suggestions and I'd like to share some pictures from this weekend.  

A group of friends from work and I went to stay in National Taiwan University's "dorm" up in Yangmingshan (a famous mountain here in Taipei).  The dorm is basically a house that you can rent for a little under 100 U.S. dollars for a night and it can sleep up to about 12 people, possibly more.  So we did some hiking and looked at pretty roses, which apparently is the THING to do right now, so it was super packed.  Apparently, in Taiwan, because the political situation can sometimes be so sensitive that the news is constantly filled with pointless things about current popular attractions in Taiwan.  Thus, leading to what was only slightly popular before being broadcast, to being a completely ridiculous circus over something only semi-cool.  

Anyway, here are a bunch of pictures of the dorm and flowers.  After a year of owning my camera,  I finally figured out how to take those artsy, albeit somewhat cliche now, flower pictures.  And by figured out, I mean someone showed me.

A rose that I found named "Oklahoma"!

Happy, dancing, singing man!
I think he's dressed in aboriginal garb.

Bee, hard at work.

When I figured out how to use my camera...

A cool waterfall that has turned the rock behind it completely white due to its sulfur content.

Cherry blossoms, I think.

Yangmingshan.

Our dorm!

The view.


Thursday, February 19, 2009

Bees!


As per request, I've made an email address available on my profile for any questions or comments that you'd like me to address one-on-one.  Also, welcome new followers!  I'm glad to see that my blog has been generating a little interest.  Although now I have an uneven number of followers and Charlie is dangling off on his own on the second line (sorry Charlie!), but nevertheless, thank you so much for your support!

So the topic of bees has been on my mind lately, especially after I saw the Bee Movie that Jerry Seinfield obnoxiously advertised for like a month straight when it first came out.  It was recently playing on the HBO channel I get here, pretty much one of my few opportunities to hear some English spoken once in a while.  Anyway, two main things cross my mind when I think about bees, both of which were subjects dealt in the Bee Movie, although a little more unrealistically.     

One, is that bees are often martyrs.  Martyrs for the protection of their hive.  As I think about the "heroic" factor of our current culture, I find that it's dying.  I would not characterize this as a bad thing, because we don't really need a bunch of idiots running around willing to die for any small cause, but I find the whole "knight" culture has largely disappeared.  Sure people, or men specifically, are still willing to defend the honor of their lady but long gone is the neccessity for the sacrifice of life for protection.  When a bee stings someone in order to protect themselves or their hive, they lose their stinger and subsequently die.  I'm sure that many other animals have been equipped with similar "martyr"-like weapons, however bees seem to be the most notable. 

Two, is the dying of bees.  Although Bee Movie did not address the dying of the bees, it did address the consequences of the removal of bees from the process of pollinization.  Before I left for Taiwan, I remember a very poignant commercial done by Haagen-Dazs concerning the declining population of honey bees and what that means to us.  You can watch it here:  



As a person who is very concerned about environmental issues, this seems to be one of the many problems that plague our generation.  Sure we could figure out a way to artificially pollinate plants after the bees are gone but we all know that losing even a small component in our very intricate and dependent ecosystem can lead to unseen and probably worrisome troubles.  Haagen-Dazs has developed a very cute website for the cause where you can learn more about why the loss of honeybees would be detrimental to many of the ingredients that they use in their ice cream (strawberries, almonds, and peaches to name a few) as well as what they are doing to help the cause.  You can visit it here.  Apparently, you can help by planting certain flowers that attract and can maintain bee populations (if you don't mind having bees hang around your home!).  I know that earlier, Burt's Bees had a similar "save the bees" campaign and were giving out free packets of bee-friendly seeds online.  As an avid fan of their chapstick which uses beeswax as a main ingredient, I'm sure Burt's Bees and I would both like to see the survival of honey bees!       

So this is my promised post on bees!  I hope it lived up to the expectations.  

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Pictures I took today


So this post is not the post I promised about the bees but I promise I am not a chronic liar. I just wanted to share these pictures I took today when I decided to take the day off to take care of my permit issue and ended up wandering around with a camera.                
       
These are pictures of a leftover display of lanterns from the Lantern Festival.  If you look closely you can see that they are decorated by local kids.




I love the vibrancy of the colors all together and I particularly liked the textures and colors of this lantern.  I was thinking that these pictures could make great desktop backgrounds.  What do you think?

Self-portrait shot, also I'm going to have this double as the picture of my new hair cut that I promised back in January.  


I'm not quite sure what this building is, but I found it while wandering Taipei's governmental area so I want to say it's something official.  I believe it is left over from the Japanese colonial period, as many Taiwanese governmental buildings are, you can tell by the psuedo-Western style architecture that the Japanese were fond of using during the Meiji and Taisho eras.  


Hope you enjoyed my endeavor into some photography!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Too many thoughts in my head!

Ok, so minus the travesty that was my last post, I hope that my blog might make some more poignant observations of life but alas sometimes too much time on the internet can lead to discoveries such as that which I posted yesterday. Honestly, I was too embarrased to remove it once I had posted it but nevertheless have been cringing ever since it's been published.

I've also noticed that I've been getting a couple of new visiters lately. WELCOME! I know this is only a very small blog but it would be greatly appreciated, if you read my blog regularly, to become one of my followers/lovers. The button is on the right-hand side and you can just click the button that says "follow this blog"! I'm glad that there are people out there who might be interested in what is going on in my tiny little world here in Taiwan.

Also, as a thanks to my friend Charlie who mentioned my blog in his last post, I'd like to direct y'all to his blog here. It's beautifully called "Into the (Korean Hagwon) Wild," and it details his experiences as an expat teaching English and playing in South Korea.

And after being reprimanded by my sister about my links, I've gone ahead and fixed many of them. Sorry! I had no clue! I only discovered linking a little bit ago but now I love linking things (hehe), as well as posting music from Youtube, if you couldn't tell.

Today, I get/need to take a half day to deal with Taiwanese bureaucratic mumbo jumbo. Apparently, because I entered Taiwan using my Taiwanese passport (which I needed to do in order to apply for my residency card), I have to leave using my Taiwanese passport. But since I'm technically not a citizen of Taiwan, I need to apply for a re-entry permit so that I can leave and come back to Taiwan. I'm not too clear on the details, but needless to say, it's really annoying. So because of this hassle, today's post is incredibly mish-mash BUT I will promise that my next post will be more interesting. In fact, I will go so far as to tell you that my next post will be what I've been musing over for a while. I will give you a hint, it will be about BEES. So until next time!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Kittens! Inspired by kittens!

I'm sorry, I couldn't resist. Please don't judge!!

SK!!


So, I promised not to read more while I was studying for the LSAT, but I lied. What can I do? I love to read. I recently finished "The Invisible Man" by H.G. Wells. Another great! This book is also one of his famous ones and has been adapted to movies many times. I actually just recently saw Hollow Man on a movie channel here. Of course it had been altered quite a bit but the main story line was still there. Kevin Bacon was creepy.

I think H.G. Wells really does a good job of using his knowledge of the sciences to create a completely believable setting for an invisible man to take hold and create a real "reign of terror" on the reader. I would definitely recommend it. If you can't tell, I'm a big lover of more "classic" books and one day I'll be able to say that I've read them all!

Anyway, in other news, as expressed earlier, I have now made definitive plans for a trip to South Korea! I'll be going at the end of February for five days and I am way excited! I'll mostly be in Seoul but I'll also be making a side trip to Gwangju to see an old friend. I will of course take many pictures and post them when I get back.

It is really lucky that living in Taiwan has made it so convenient to visit all of these different countries. I have always been envious of Europeans that could whisk away to another country so quickly and I now have realized that the same can be done here in Asia too!

Note: Today I found out that Rudy sent me flowers for Valentine's Day!! I'm not sure how he ordered them and for some reason I haven't received them yet, but the florist let the cat out of the bag when she called to verify my address. I am so lucky!!

What I was listening to while blogging: "Blackout" by Muse.


Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!


Here is my obligatory note on the current holiday, Valentine's Day.  This picture I found is actually great.  It was the first picture that showed up on Flickr when I searched Valentine's Day. It's very well suited for a blog I guess.  I found it on this guy's Flikr.  

Since Rudy and I are doing the long distance thing, we had a chat date tonight.  We had wanted to webcam a bit but since his computer is still broken along with other computer complications we settled for chatting a little.  Overall, a good Valentine's.  I've never been completely sold on the holiday anyway.  I hope everyone else has a great holiday and gets lots of sweets and kisses!

Great song about love, by one of my favorite artists, "Samson" by Regina Spektor.

You are my sweetest downfall
I loved you first, I loved you first
Beneath the sheets of paper lies my truth
I have to go, I have to go
Your hair was long when we first met

Samson went back to bed
Not much hair left on his head
Ate a slice of Wonderbread and went right back to bed
And the history books forgot about us and the Bible didn't mention us
And the Bible didn't mention us, not even once

You are my sweetest downfall
I loved you first, I loved you first
Beneath the stars came fallin' on our heads
But they're just old light, they're just old light
Your hair was long when we first met

Samson came to my bed
Told me that my hair was red
Told me I was beautiful and came into my bed
Oh I cut his hair myself one night
A pair of dull scissors in the yellow light
And he told me that I'd done alright
And kissed me 'til the mornin' light, the mornin' light
And he kissed me 'til the mornin' light

Samson went back to be
Not much hair left on his head
Ate a slice of Wonderbread and went right back to bed
Oh, we couldn't bring the columns down
Yeah we couldn't destroy a single one
And the history books forgot about us
And the Bible didn't mention us, not even once

You are my sweetest downfall
I loved you first


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Postsecret

I usually visit Postsecret every Monday or Tuesday to get the latest secrets. I suppose there is a voyeuristic quality to the website, to be able to read people's deepest secrets displayed on the internet. I wanted to share one that I find 1) incredibly sad and 2) probably true. I feel the same way. Here it is:


I'm not saying that I'm secretly gay or something. But I find it horribly depressing that because I am not a devout Christian, and I don't go to church every weekend, I may never get even the smallest chance to become president one day. On top of the fact that I'm a woman and I'm Asian. Who knows though, I'm only 22! But the fact that this person can't be himself and for fear of his own sexuality might be denied his dream of becoming president. Anyway, what do you think?

And for my song today, I've posted one of my favorites from Youtube, its the talented Imogen Heap singing "Just For Now" live, its truly amazing and worth a watch in my opinion! Also, if you watch closely, you'll see Zach Braff!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Do I look pregnant?!?!

Even though this is so utterly embarrasing, I'll still share the story anyway. You guys can all have a good laugh at my expense.

It is generally known that subway etiquette requires that people give up their seat on the subway or train if there is someone who is either elderly, pregnant, or holding a small child. So this morning, I was kindly offered a seat by a very maternal middle-age woman. To my horror, she was offering me the seat because, to her, I looked pregnant. Just to get this image for your head. I am wearing a white fitted t-shirt under a blue spaghetti-strap dress that ties and bells out at the waist. It's very cute, trust me. And paired with that, I'm wearing my sort of sporty off-white walking shoes. I say walking shoes because they're sort of flats, but not quite. But they're also not really tennis shoes, although I can run in them if I want to. ANYWAY, when she offered me her seat, I was a little confused, I'm neither old nor pregnant nor do I have a small baby attached to my side. So when I refused the seat, she actually says to me "You're pregnant aren't you? You should take a seat." To which I laughed, out loud, and politely corrected her. Then she got really embarrassed (not as embarrassed as I was!!) and admitted that she thought I was pregnant because I was wearing "tennis shoes" with a dress.

What a nice lady, she was so nice to offer me her seat and then save me face by blaming my shoes for her apparent mistake. Ironic, I thought I would lose weight with all of the walking I do here but apparently I just look pregnant!

Also, yesterday was the Lantern Festival (so Happy Lantern Festival Day?), which apparently is the 15th day of the first month after Chinese New Year, and also when the moon is at its fullest. This day was just like Chinese New Year, lots of fireworks! This will sound familiar if you've been following the news about how some CCTV staff set off some fireworks for the festival and then accidently burned down a 40 floor luxury hotel next door. Oops, at least they said they were sorry. But, to be serious, that was a tragic and deadly mistake. On a lighter note I just found a pretty video of a Lantern Festival in Taiwan from 2007 that I'd like to share.



And as always, here is a song! "Paranoid" by Kanye West. Sorry I can't find a video for this, and I didn't like the live performances I found either.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Flashmob!!

So I'm perusing CNN.com as usual and I find that on the top ten list of most read articles, there is an article featuring a hugely successful flashmob in London. For those who don't know, and I was unaware of the exact definition as well, a flashmob or flash mob according to urbandictionary.com, is "a group of people who appear from out of nowhere, to perfom predetermined actions, designed to amuse and confuse surrounding people. The group performs these actions for a short amount of time before quickly dispersing. Flash mobs are often organised through email and/or newsgroup postings."

Apparently, in imitation of this popular T-Mobile commercial:



... in which, spontaneous "flash mob" dancing occurs in the Liverpool Street Station, some guy organized a similar flash mob at the same station, except this time its silent dancing, with each person listening to their own Ipod. Anyway, in the CNN article they linked to a similar, albeit, smaller flash mob that happened in Taipei!! during Chinese New Year. Read it here:


Needless to say, I'm sad that I missed out on the fun but I'm glad that Taipei gets recognized for even the silliest of things.

Also, in other news, I've been helping Rudy look for a new apartment for next year in Providence, which has been super fun! I love looking for new places and Providence is teeming with cute remodeled Victorians, some of them older than the state of Oklahoma! (Not that that's very difficult to accomplish!) Anyway, that's whats going on in my life! Please comment to say hi or if you're stopping by, leave me with your blog so I can check it out!

"Fidelity," by Regina Spektor.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

LSAT Update!


Alright, so as you know, I've been preparing for the LSAT and I just took my second practice test last night. Let's just say, it did not go very well. On top of not finishing it because I took too long and it was way past my bed time, I am also pretty sure I bombed the reasoning section. This stinks because there are two reasoning sections (half of all the questions) on the actual test.

So tonight I'll have to finish the last section and then grade it! Well, hopefully when I get my new study books in, I can get better at the reasoning section with more techniques and then other than that I think I really just need to work on my timing. I want to score at least a 160, so we'll see how that goes!!

In other news, thanks to the generosity of the Taiwanese government, I was able to receive a sort of "tax refund" that the government handed out in efforts to stimulate the stagnating economy. Everyone here has been pretty appalled that as a foreigner, I was able to cash in on some of their country's money. BUT, I would like to point out that as a foreigner I pay 3 times as much in taxes as they do in the same pay scale. And if you knew how much I was making, you'd be annoyed too.

Note: That picture is the first picture that popped up on Google pictures when I searched "sad," haha. "You Don't Know Me," by Ben Folds featuring Regina Spektor.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Obasans

I don't know if I've been lucky (that's sarcasm) or just have a big arrow pointing over my head that says "I'm a nice person, I'll help you out!" but I have been accosted by two obasans (Japanaese/Taiwanese word for "old lady") in these past two days in the subway station. Now, I say obasan just means old lady, but really I feel that it means, middle-aged/old, crazy, entitled lady. Usually they are the kind of old lady that comes up to strangers and reprimands them like they're your mother or they're the crazy ones that charge onto the subway cart only to shove you out of the way just to get a seat (I was going to stand anyway, thanks). While I enjoy a little crazy, once in a while, I don't appreciate it when they make me miss my train. Twice. In a row.

Both times, they asked me obvious questions about where to go, when we were both looking at the same signs, telling them exactly where to go. I think that is part of their craziness, their inability to read a sign that is obviously written in their mother tongue. Also, they feel entitled to stop you, even though you're already running late for work and are practically powerwalking through the station, and grab you on the arm to ask inane questions regarding the perfectly navigable subway station. Well, thats my rant for the day.

This may be my last song from "Twighlight" that I post. But I enjoy posting songs, so I may do more in the future, not necessarily from a movie. "Eyes On Fire" by Blue Foundation.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

An Introduction

I found LOVE in Taipei yesterday!


I realize that most of the people that read my blog already know who I am, but since this blog is published on the internet and therefore accessible by the public, I feel compelled to introduce myself, finally, after three months of blogging.

This actually reminds me of when I was younger and tried to keep diaries, with each new diary I would write something along the lines of, "Dear Diary, my name is Stephanie. I am 11 years old and I just got you!" But really, I'm 22 years old and I recently graduated from college with a degree in East Asian studies. What did that major do for me? Not much, hence, why I'm currently living in Taiwan and editing for living... currently anyway.

My plans are to move back to the states soon and take the LSAT so that I can go back to school again! I'm not particularly a person who loves to be in school but I have also been backlashing against the nine-to-five routine.

Besides being completely consumed with work and LSAT studying right now, here are other little tidbits of information about me. (This is sort of like that 25 Facts note that has been floating around on Facebook!) I'm a Texan with a boyfriend living in Rhode Island, a fat, orange cat named Yoshi, and an obsession with books. I say that sums it up pretty well. Haha, anyway, here's the real reason why I wanted to post: "Flightless Bird, American Mouth" by Iron and Wine.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

The Island of Dr. Moreau

I finally finished the "Island of Dr. Moreau" after much procrastination as well as with reading "Twilight" in between. Let me just say, that H.G. Wells was a fantastic writer in that he is able to convey the greatest fears of humanity as reflected in a true to life nightmare. If you're looking for a short and insightful read, take your pick among many of Wells' psuedo-futuristic science fiction novels from "War of the Worlds" to "Invisible Man."

Next on my list to read is "Invisible Man," but I'll have to take a break to concentrate on studying for the LSAT, hence my new "currently reading" selection.

Also, to touch on "Twighlight," since I also recently read it; I would categorize this book as a fairly addicitive, easy to read, rated G romance novel. Basically, as a woman, the book makes you fall in love with the perfect man, Edward Cullen, except that he's not a man, he's a vampire. Hence, making it impossible for any young teenage girl who reads this book to ever find a man that will be up to this fictional character's standards. Thank you, Stephenie Meyer.

On a different note, I fell in love with several of the songs from the movie reproduction of "Twighlight," that I will post in my next several blogs to share. Enjoy!

Full Moon by Black Ghosts

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Fireworks

I said I wouldn't post until I got back from this long vacation but since I do have access to the internet I thought I would make a small post anyway.

Basically during this long vacation, I've been hanging out at my grandparents in Tainan, a city in southern Taiwan. The weather here is a lot warmer than it is in Taipei, which has been nice. The only requirement of my presence here is that I eat every meal with my humongous family and not leave to go anywhere else. This has been fairly easy to accomplish but it has also made me feel really cooped up and sluggish lately. I'll be glad to go back to being a little bit more active once Chinese New Year is over with.

One fun thing I did get to do was set off fireworks. I had never set off fireworks until this week. I've usually lived in places where it was illegal, aka. not the country. So my cousins and I got some fireworks to set off in celebration of the new year and they were so much fun! We set off little tiny ones that buzzed like bees and then big ones that shot off five times by themselves. Eventually, apparently someone called the cops on us and they came to warn us to be more quiet. The cops didn't really care very much about us setting off fireworks since apparently its a very common thing during new years and they pretty much just overlook it in the spirit of celebration. They probably thought this person was a lame-o for calling them, which I agree wholeheartedly.

So anyway, that's my story about my first experience with fireworks and Taiwanese cops!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

I'm an Awful Person!

Am I such a horrible person, in that I am not in the slightest, interested in pregnancy pictures. Honestly, I don't really see the beauty in seeing someone's humongous bare belly, whether or not there is life brewing inside. Perhaps I only feel this way because I have yet to become pregnant or maybe I'm just really insensitive. But I DON'T CARE about you and your expanding uterus, sure I'm excited that you'll have a beautiful baby soon, but right now, it just looks gross, stop posting pictures of it everywhere.

Ok, bring on the haters, but that's just my 2 cents.

Anyway, I will probably be going on a hiatus for about a week during Chinese New Year since I'm not sure I'll have time to get on a computer during the holiday. Apparently, there are a lot of family time obligations... it's like Asian Christmas! But anyway, I'll take this time out to say thanks to everyone who reads my blog, I know sometime it can be way shallow (like all the time) but I enjoy writing it and if you like, you should become a follower or tell other people! Let's spread the love :).

Ok peace out lovers.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Sick

So I've caught some bug going around and now I'm sick. Yesterday began with a little sore throat which turned into me getting really dizzy around lunch time. My skin began to get really sensitive and all my muscles were sore like I had just gotten back from snowboarding. After work, I went to a doctor and it turned out, I also had a fever. But thankfully, I got me some medicine and I'll get to sleep it off with my week off for Chinese New Year!

Also, to continue with my complain-a-thon, I bought two LSAT prep books yesterday on Amazon which were at the time priced at $64.00, only to find out today that their prices were both lowered to $40.00! So basically with the extra $40.00 I could've saved, I could have bought a third book. Oh, the injustices!

In other news, I've found a dress that I really want to get from Urban Outfitters, when I get home and lose the appropriate amount of weight of course.


I love it, it has the same vibe as that dress Carrie wore in the Sex and the City movie.

Inauguration Day

HAPPY INAUGURATION DAY!!


I warmly welcome the next president of the United States of America, thank goodness he's a good speaker, that was one great inauguration speech!

Monday, January 19, 2009

My Japanese Twin

My friend Thomas says that he's found my Japanese twin, what do you think? See if you can guess which girl it is...



I wish I knew how to post a youtube video to my blog. But here's a picture for quick reference.

Sorry this picture is so big, I'll fix it when I'm not so tired.

Edit: Figured out how to embed the video but still too lazy to fix the picture. Haha..

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Vladstudio

I found the cutest website for moniter backgrounds. This guy, Vlad Gerasimov, from Russia creates these amazing backgrounds that apparently I can't find the right words to describe so here is a small picture of the one I'm using right now called "Google Library." Check it out!


In other news, I just found out that on top of the new clothes, hair cut, and clean house that you need to have to bring in Chinese New Year, you also have to have new money. When people send those little red envelopes full of money to their families, they can only be filled with brand new money. So today at work, one of our conference rooms was turned into a tiny little bank where everyone could (and did) trade in all of their money for brand spanking newly minted notes. I don't think I had ever seen that much cash in my entire life. It's really interesting to learn about all these cultural affinities that I missed growing up in the U.S., although it seems a little over the top obsessive with new-ness.

Tonight, I have my appointment to get my hair cut! Hopefully it will be nice and I won't be left with an awful mullet-like 'do. I will post pictures if I approve, if not then I'll leave you to your imagination!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

New Year


Chinese New Year is coming up and the entire country is winding up for the big moment. It is way bigger than Christmas and "regular" New Year here and its very exciting to finally get to celebrate it for real. In the past I would just get a call from my mom telling me that it was Chinese New Year and to expect a red envelope with some money in it whenever I got a chance to get home.

Chinese New Year is a time for new beginnings so everyone here starts to clean everything and everyone gets new haircuts and new clothes to wear on the first day of the new year. I also have an appointment to cut my hair on Friday so I'm excited about that. The last time I got my haircut in Taiwan, I was not pleased, so hopefully this time will be much better!

Rudy left today, it was sad but now it just means that I have to study everyday for the LSAT. My new beginnings will be hopefully to concentrate more on applying for law school and such, as well as doing more reading and excercising.

I'm excited, with Chinese New Years, I get two New Years, so hopefully that means twice the amount of hope for a fresh start. My life needs a makeover!