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i forgot where i was going with this rambling or whether there was a point to begin with

Warning: this post is probably just going to be me rambling on due to severe lack of sleep, even according to my standard… 

These past two weeks have been the annual performance period at my company, the time when we have to write our own self ASSessments and to provide peer feedbacks for colleagues who have requested feedbacks from you. Last year I received 12 requests and I did not turn anybody down. I still shudder when I think of the day 12 months ago when i seriously considered jumping out the window to avoid the tasks at hand. I absolutely hate doing this because I find it extremely difficult to “brag about myself”. Sorry for pulling the “Chinese” card, but it’s true: We were brought up to never toot your own horn for when you do that, that’s a sure proof that there is no substance inside. If you are great, people will notice on their own.

Now, how’s that working for you so far?

In the end, I did survive the annual performance review again. And at Midnight on Saturday, September 29, I have been up since  7 am on Thursday with a 3-hour sleep between 4 am to 7 am Friday morning. AND, I did not have any caffeine all day Friday. I figured I have been running on pure adrenaline since I opened my eyes at 7 am. When I marveled at this fact, my teenage boy said, “How are you not dead?”

Mind you, when we had that exchange, I was vacuuming the house after I did the dishes and cleaned up the kitchen.

Sometimes, you just have to stop for a moment and wonder at yourself.

Wow. I am really awesome. I kick ass. I rock.

It’s ok. Nobody else is going to do it for you. And many of these incredible feats you have pulled off with great aplomb are not appropriate answers for questions such as “What’s your claim to fame?” “What is your proudest accomplishment?”

I once cleaned up my son’s explosive diaper inside the airplane lavatory and he slept through the whole thing. And I did not cry.

I once caught the projectile vomit coming out of my son’s mouth just in time and managed to keep most of the vomit inside my blouse so the carpet was saved. And I did not cry.

When I was pregnant, I had a horrible case of morning sickness. I was in a play then. So during intermission I would rush to the backstage to throw up and get back onto the stage. And I did not throw up on stage.

For the first three months of my son’s life, he basically lived on me, like a kangaroo baby. I managed to do everything with one hand, including making pancakes from scratch. And I did not become homicidal.

I once flew with my two children by myself. When I went through the airport, I had the baby in my hip carrier, a roller board in my hand, my 5 year old’s hand in my other hand, while carrying a stroller on my shoulder and a diaper bag on my other shoulder. AND the baby slept through the security check and the boarding.


Although I’d like to see those people who ask those stupid questions try taking on any of the above.

I know you all have done something amazing like these, and I would like to ask that you go into the bathroom right now, look in the mirror, and give yourself a self-assessment of






November 23, 2011

in random

Google announced Google Music (its answer to Apple iTune + Amazon Cloud) last week. I immediately started uploading all our music files to the massive google cloud. (It by the way took almost six days to finish). This plus my existing music drive in the Amazon cloud means that when the Apocalypse comes? I am all set on the disaster recovery front for my music files. Way to go, me! Because it is very important to keep a record of Air Supply and Petshop Boys for the resistance army while they fight against the aliens zombies (fine!) for human survival.

Then we received the Amazon Kindle Fire, and all hell broke loose. I have been “forced” to listen to Spotify, Pandora, Amazon Cloud Player, Google Android player and iTune. This is Big Love – Digital Music Edition.

(Yeah yeah yeah. There are more music services such as the old standby Rhapsody,, and the very intriguing But I would like to be able to sleep once in a while so thank you very much…)

Hilarity ensued.

I did learn something though: Right before you get on the highway with your kids in the backseat, do NOT start streaming your music and hit Shuffle All IF Cee Lo Green is in your music collection. Just sayin’


At one point I caught myself listening to music from Amazon cloud, checking my Google Music stash on my Android phone and tweeting and Facebooking from iPad.

I felt like Lord Voldemort with my soul being divided into seven parts. Yeah, I need a strong shot of Ritalin.

And a break from trying to organize my digital life.

So I went and got a 10-plus-lbs honeybaked ham today.


Have a wonderful and relaxing Thanksgiving!





September 17, 2011

in random

Pumpkin spice latte is back!

I am not ashamed to admit that every year I look forward to the arrival of fall because of this.

I have been waiting for fall... partly because of this.

You have heard this a million and one times, I am sure. But fall really is my favorite season.

Despite the annoying process of reorganizing my clothes and shoes according to the change in season. This year I think I am going to be honest with myself and get rid of the pile of clothes that I have mentally labeled as “Keep for when I am back to my pre-kid weight”. If it has not happened yet after thirteen years, it probably ain’t gonna happen.


I went to bed at almost 4 am and when I woke up at 8, I still had Amy Winehouse on my mind. Her voice is haunting.


I need to make a confession: (Because it is funny in a tragic, pathetic kind of way. And also because I believe somewhere out there, someone is going to read this and go, “O.M.G. I thought I was the only one that did that! I can now finally stop feeling guilty!”. Or so I hope. You are welcome. And feel free to pretend so I feel better about the whole thing and can finally stop feeling guilty. Thank You!)

Last Wednesday, I took my usual 6:30 train home and when I got into my car and started driving towards the TKD school to pick up Mr. Monk, it was already 7:15. I had been listening to, yes, sorry, here she is again, Amy Winehouse on repeat, when the screen on my phone flashed, indicating an incoming call. It was not a number that I knew so I decided to ignore it. I mean, who actually calls people now, right?

Here is the thing: whenever I listen to music, I get lost in it. I really really do. That’s probably the point of good music to begin with, and probably happens to everybody so yeah you are probably smirking. But I mean I forget everybody else. Including my kids. I forget that I am a mother. A wife. A cog in the machine. I am just me. Enveloped in the sound and the beat. Me alone with myself. In my mind, I am doing all sorts of interpretive dance to the music, often in a way BEFORE incongruity is detected.

When the phone “rang” (how many phones nowadays that still actually ring?) for the third time, I decided to answer it.


“Who’s this?” I actually forgot that I have a kid.

“It’s me.”


Name withheld for protection.”

Oh, right. My son. My youngest child.

Oh shit. Something must have happened since TKD did not end till 7:30. Any time you get a phone call from your child, there is trouble at hand. They don’t really call you just to find out how you are doing until they become parents themselves.

“Where are you?! What happened?!”

“I am at gymnastics.”

At this moment I became completely disoriented because my oldest is the one that has gymnastics practices. Did I get my children mixed up? What’s happening to me?

“Why are you at gymnastics?” I was genuinely confused.

“You told me to come find brother if you don’t show up at the choir practice…”

I had completely forgotten that he had choir practice every Wednesday and I was supposed to pick him up at 6:45 pm. At 6:45 pm, I was still on the train! Just like that. Forgot about my child. A black hole opened up in my memory and he fell through it.


The feeling that you have in your gut when you suddenly realize you have forgot to pick up your child from somewhere?



Body and Soul. I want to break free.

September 17, 2011 random

My favorite album of all time is A Night at the Opera by Queen. On some days I would simply listen to the whole album over and over again when I am driving. Volume turned way high. Windows down. (And yes, it helps me imagine myself as a badass. Why?) On some nights, I prowl through […]


I just want to go home

June 1, 2011 therapy in session

  Sometimes, for no reason at all, I would get a severe attack of homesickness. Without any provocation, my heart would ache and I would get a sensation of emptiness and at the same time heaviness inside my stomach. I recognize that feeling well. It is an intense loneliness that comes from a herd animal […]


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 […]


Cold Turkey (A Pictorial)

November 22, 2010 mark my word: twitter will doom us all

I have not been motivated to write real posts for a while now because I find lately my stats dispiriting, to say the least… . . . . . Oh well. This kind of provides me with a great excuse to show you this picture I took when I all of a sudden saw something […]



November 21, 2010 therapy in session

Of all the Seven Deadly sins, ENVY arguably is the root of all evil, imo. Of the seven deadly sins, only envy is no fun at all.       — Joseph Epstein Kevin Spacey obviously agrees and that’s why his character in Seven saved Envy the Sin for himself… It is also in the Ten […]