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Many would be mightily disappointed by the misleading title of this post. My apology.

By Tardis, I mean the awesome Tardis fleece blankets found on ThinkGeek. Each of the boys got one for Christmas. I was blue with envy as soon as I touched it. So soft and fuzzy.

Tardis blanket

AND it’s bigger on the inside! My son who’s holding the blanket in the picture is 6’2″. I decided to keep the two extra ones back home that I had ordered for my Whovian friends. I of course promptly forgot about them. The blankets. Not my friends.

Since Monday, Chicago along with the rest of the Midwest fell into the evil grip of Polar Vortex (Great name by the way for 1. a band, 2. a Bond villain, 3. an X-Men member, 4. a super powerful blender). I have proof:

20 below zero


This was why this happened at Lake Michigan shore:

Chicago ice town

Photo credit: Getty Images


Our school districts were closed for two days and the kids were suffering from cabin fever. As an argument was about to break out over who owned the Tardis blanket that’s downstairs (as opposed to the one upstairs), and I was about to step in and declare that it’s, surprise, surprise, MINE! I remembered and brought out the extra two Tardis blankets. Peace was restored. The boys and I wrapped ourselves in the deep blue plushiness and walked around the house like royalty.

Naturally, they’re late getting ready for bed again.

“Seriously. I am the worst parent.” I added, after I threatened to really enforce discipline this time if they did not go upstairs straightaways.

My 11-year-old boy turned to look at me in the eye. “You are the best parent,” he said quietly, “from a child’s perspective.”

So. Yup. There you have it. Definitely the worst parent.


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My previous post was a fine example for #FirstWorldProblem.

The kids and I survived. Of course. More than survived, we had a grand old time taking it easy playing really layback tourists in Chicago. The kids apparently inherited my love for hotels: we spent one morning inside the hotel watching the History Channel.

My view now by the pool on the 40th floor… #nofilter #sky #clouds #Chicago #hotels

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View from the rooftop. #Chicago #lake #sky #skyline

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Night swim. #swimmingpool #swimming

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As I lay on the lounge chair watching the kids frolicking in the pool on the top of the hotel under the moon and surrounded by city lights, I had to admit, with embarrassment, that I could no longer complain.


I am going to be staying at yet another hotel tonight. BlogHer 2013 is here in Chicago. I hope to see some of you in 3D. Be warned: I am hashtag awkward.


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Last week I mused about driving by myself with the kids to Mount Rushmore over spring break. 950 glorious miles. I am sorry if I let some of your down. That was just crazy talk. I was under duress: Spring break week happened to be performance review week at work. The boys seemed to be fine not going anywhere however. They have the entire Minecraft universe to roam about where they can build fanciful things, and probably more importantly, then blow them up. I wanted to make a special effort to do some non-Minecraft related activities because

1. Last Friday, at the beginning of Spring Break, 9-year-old Mr. Monk suffered first degree burns when I bumped into him and he spilled hot tea all over his upper chest. OUCH. He’s been a trooper even though he questions my skills as a Florence Nightingale every time I change the dressing. (I should also admit that when the disaster happened, I immediately Googled in order to find out what to do since I had NO clue whatsoever. Shouldn’t First Aid training be mandatory for people about to become parents?!)

2. On our way to see the doctor (for a followup visit) I actually told Mr. Monk, “I cannot deal with stupid people. Please don’t be stupid.”

3. After seeing all the creative, amazing plots inside Minecraft, I told Number One Son, “I am so embarrassed by your lackadaisical effort. You spend all your time on this, and you only have this pyramid to show for?”


Long story short: We went to Museum of Science and Industry, and a grand time was had by all. I realized one thing: Museum visits become less horrifying once all your children are out of the stroller and have attention span longer than that of a fly.

And really, what kind of monster can resist baby chicks? It’s a shame though: the process of a baby chick pecking its way out of the shell can take up to 10 hours. We did not witness any birthing.





I was very excited to be able to revisit the Twinkie experiment right before closing time. I wrote about this insane plan of MSI back in October 2009: they decided to test whether Twinkie indeed could survive a nuclear Armageddon by leaving a Twinkie out in a display case. I am happy (or actually, horrified) to report that the Twinkie is alive and well, and has not aged a bit.


Here is a picture of the good ol’ Swiss Jolly Ball at MSI. I can stand and watch this thing over and over again. It is a giant pinball machine, essentially. The tour of the ball takes more than 5 minutes to complete. I took a 2-minute video of it because it is awesome and I need more people to know something this fascinating exists near the exit of MSI. Yup. Most people probably don’t even notice it as they rush towards the exit. It bothers me.

Swiss Jolly Ball at MSI. One of the only two in the world. Click on the picture for the 2-minute video if you want to see it in action


Maybe this is exactly how the natural world works: repetitive, fascinating motions. There are many things that I could stand and watch at length. Just watching and being mesmerized. The giant Newton’s Cradle for one. And also something called Avalanche Disk. (The video below is only 30 seconds)

You’ve got to admit, it’s pretty darn cool. No medicinal aid required to get into a trance.


I thought, “Hey, instead of hitting play over and over again, I should just copy and paste the clip to extend it! Multiple times!” Soon, a song popped into my head. The perfect song to accompany my insanity. Oh, sorry, L’insanity. I know this post is now tl;dr. Somebody stop me! I am leaving this 5+ minute video on here because Mr. Blue Sky told me to. I am staring at this video and listening to this song until spring break is over.


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August 8, 2011 through the looking glass

A couple of weeks ago, I was in downtown Chicago with my family. We do that from time to time: using the hotel points we racked up from business trips for a weekend in downtown Chicago. A Staycation. (Sorry for using the stupid buzz word) After a most satisfying lunch at Berghoff where I was […]


Blame it on Chicago Blizzard 2011

February 2, 2011 random

I failed to call my parents on Chinese New Year’s Eve again. I used to blame it on miscalculation of time zone differences between Chicago and Taipei. This year I am gonna blame it on the 3rd largest snowfall (20+ inches) Chicago has ever seen. We had to shovel in the blizzard almost every hour […]


Sundays in My City – From Dives to Skyscrapers

January 23, 2011 through the looking glass

. . . p.s. Obviously backdated so it appears to have been published on a Sunday. These pictures were taken a week before but I have been to lazy busy to do anything about them. .


Sundays in My City

January 16, 2011 through the looking glass

I am in downtown Chicago with the kids this weekend. NO laptop. I have aniPhone with no SIM. But it has a camera: look out, world!!! I am sitting in the hotel lobby using the free Wi-Fi, trying to blog via my iPhod thingy. Ok. Seriously? How the fuck does anybody type on this thing?!?! […]


Sundays in My City – So This is Christmas

December 20, 2010 random

. .


Jerry! Jerry! Jerry!

December 19, 2010 random

As in Seinfeld… . When I landed in the U.S. which turned out to be in the middle of corn field and not in NYC or LA, I was often trapped inside my dorm room and therefore I watched a lot of American TV. That’s probably for the better since I needed polishing on not […]