Amazing Year Day 15

23 Mar

Today’s highlight was being able to celebrate a cherished friend’s birthday. It’s good to catch up with the old Hsinchu gang and to meet friendly new faces as well. Happy Anniversary of Your Birth, Peter!



Amazing Year Day 14

22 Mar

These days it’s rare for me to have time to watch an entire film. Instead, I’m usually able to pick away 20 minutes at a time. Today’s highlight was being able to continue Conan the Destroyer, which I’m seeing for the first time ever. I still can’t believe Arnold was able to etch out an acting career after this performance. Wilt Chamberlain did a great job though. Overall, it’s a quirky and fitting ’80s adventure movie.


Amazing Year Day 13

21 Mar

Ever since my days as a renowned underachieving soccer stalwart, I have embraced the supposedly unlucky “13.” For my 13th day I decided not to succumb to post-work fatigue and joined Jaewon on her trip to Taipei. While there I opted to dine at a popular Swedish restaurant that also happens to sell furniture. I tried for the first time whatever the heck Dryck Paskmust is. The description “Swedish festive drink” is so vague it’s rude. Even after pouring the contents into my throat, I’m still not sure what it was; it comfortably rested between sweet and funky. Following my Swedish feast, I made way over to a couch and read quietly. The day that I am a billionaire is the day I buy an Ikea just to use it as my house. Strangers are welcome to visit, they just can’t buy anything. We’ll leave the price tags on as a teasing gesture. However, the Swedish names will have to say “hejdå” as they annoy me. We’ll replace them with monosyllabic English names along with a carnivorous species.  “Darling, you need to come sit on Bob the Hyena.”IMG_7407IMG_7408IMG_7409

Amazing Year Day 12

20 Mar

Today our school held its 2nd Annual Career Day. While this day was intended to benefit students, I also walked away having learned valuable lessons on the future of careers, how to stay positive, and how to forge a career in the changing landscape of creative arts. Special thanks to our Rotary sponsors, all of the speakers, our Interact Club president, and the faculty and staff who made this year’s event a sweeping success!


Amazing Year Day 11

19 Mar

Sadly this has turned out to be the less reflective and “amazing” of all of the days thus far. On a bright spot, I was able to attend to some long-standing work-related tasks. For recreation, I did continue my viewing of the film version of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Sadly, I’ve never read Douglas Adams’ masterpiece, but having heard such positive praise from Neil Gaiman and having seen the quirkiness of the characters/world I’m interested in reading his work now.

That’s it for today… I leave you with a photo of Cheese Balls. You’re welcome.


Amazing Year Day 10

18 Mar

Today was one of those lazy Sundays spent on daydreaming and mindless internet searches. It’s important for a writer to spend time filling his/her brain with creative ideas both internally and from others. The majority of my day was spent coming up with various walk-through attraction ideas for amusement parks. A few of them led me to revisit Jim Henson’s Creature Shop Challenge for animatronic character ideas and episodes of Tanked as I looked at creative ideas for fish tanks. I’ve come to realize that I simply LOVE fantastical creatures and fish aquariums. The former is a main reason why I love fables, children’s literature, action figures, cartoons, professional wrestling, and dark rides. As for the latter, I usually have one dream a week where I install a massive tank in my dream house. I need to make creatures and aquariums a bigger part of my daily life.

Today I finished two graphic novels: Ragman and Wonder Woman / Conan. Sadly both were big disappointments. Ragman’s flaw was that writer Ray Fawkes never got into showing off the powers of the ragged cloak as he was too distracted by showing Ragman’s apprehension and internal dismay over how his fellow soldiers died. Cameos by Etrigan and Ystin were a pleasant surprise, but ultimately their medieval roots didn’t fit in with the “Egyptian” esque motifs. Etrigan also wasn’t used properly and was even overshadowed in rhyme by Z’Dargill, the big bad of this six-issue miniseries. Even the art fell flat, as this new mummy-look lacked originality. One would think that Wonder Woman would shine in this mini-series by veteran Wonder Woman scribe Gail Simone, and she did, however that was part of the reason why Conan fell flat. Simone didn’t delve enough into the mind and soul of this male warrior. The highlight of this “epic” was the villainous crow sister duo Corvidae. A visually stunning book, yet Wonder Woman / Conan only needs to be read by die-hard Wonder Woman fans.

I’m making more of an effort to look for the absurd; after all I am a fish-out-of-water in a foreign land. Luckily, Jaewon and I spied four peculiar items on the shelves in our local Carrefour (a major French supermarket chain popular in Taiwan).

To finish off the day I needed to think of others and finally edited one of the manuscripts of my fellow kid lit authors in our “Early Bird Critique Group.” They have played a crucial part in my evolution as a published writer. Recently, despite still waiting for my critiques on their manuscripts, they were so kind to offer insightful revision ideas on of my newer projects. It’s so rewarding to find fellow writers out there and to work together!

Amazing Year Day 9

17 Mar

Another day altruistically given to our AAIA Lions as we participated in Day 2 of the World Scholar’s Cup Taiwan regional round at Kaohsiung American School. Special thanks to the other teachers for dedicating their weekend, and to all of the students who diligently prepared and earned silver and gold medals.


Amazing Year Day 8

16 Mar

Today was dedicated to the service of learning as we led 33 of our students to the World Scholar’s Cup regional round at Kaohsiung American School. It was a full day from the bus departing at 8:30 a.m. until the final curfew check at 12:30 a.m. It was great to see many students accept the challenge and push themselves academically.



Amazing Year: Day 7

15 Mar

When Jaewon and I moved to our new apartment we soon felt the area’s mystifying pleasantness. We couldn’t put our finger on it, but something was “just right.” This week a piece of the puzzle unveiled itself as the street in front of our complex welcomed a quaint parade of blooming sakura (cherry blossom) trees. We may not be drinking sake with friends over a blue tarp, but for a couple that dearly misses Japan, it feels good nonetheless. Happy cherry blossom viewing everyone, wherever you are!


Amazing Year: Day 6

14 Mar

In an otherwise standard day, I would like to point out some things that I have observed.

I spotted a hippo at my local dental office. This honestly brightened my day more than any tooth whitener on the planet. Yes, I take photos of any HIPPOS I spy. If I were to visit the Nile, I’d never make it out of there.


I am not a healthy consumer of edibles and liquids. However, having avoided ALL sodas/pops/carbonated beverages for over a month, I can proudly say that I am LESS unhealthy. #winning

Coke Bottle

Goodbye Coke. You are only eye candy to me now.

The cereal world in Taiwan seems to be undergoing a revolution. Rice Krispies  have arrived, among other questionable varieties. Viva la breakfast!


NEWSFLASH: A second dentist has offered his opinion (also known as a second opinion) and believes he can place a crown on the tooth that recently received an eviction notice. Hooray! My wallet is breathing a sigh of relief.