Thursday, February 19, 2009


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!!


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.