Typhoon holiday

We get a typhoon day off tomorrow, so that means no work and an early weekend. No wonder it felt so much like a Friday today. Everyone was in a cheery mood like they expected to get a day off, even though the rain and wind doesn’t seem too bad outside right now. Well, it’s almost election day – they’re always extra generous with typhoon days when election day’s coming up.

I’ve kind of been a homebody this month: I go to work, I come home after work, and this will probably continue until the end of July. Even my dad has stopped asking if I’ll be coming home for dinner (he used to ask quite frequently since I”m usually not home half the time). That’s because WY is away in Nepal for three weeks doing international volunteer work and there’s nobody to go on adventures with me (well, there’s family – but they’re busy too).

So, a 3-day weekend. I”m sure I”ll find plenty of things to do at home. Maybe I’ll get started on a new novel, or do some learning on the web. And of course, spending quality time with family (including QB).

Wait But Why – fun and knowledge all in one package

Sis recently shared a Wait But Why blog post with me, which I thought was a hilarious take on North Korea:

20 Things I Learned While I Was in North Korea

The author’s stick figures and comical dialogues were both funny and informative, which I thought was a great way to pass the time while also learn something in the process. I can’t believe that I did not know about this site sooner!

Of course, there are some other equally informative but less hilarious articles (such as the one on ISIS) on Wait But Why, and I found myself learning more about ISIS through the hour or so that I spent on reading the article than the weeks or months that I read about them in the news! (information is backed up by evidence as well, so it is objective as much as it is subjective)

Thank you for creating such a wonderful articles, Wait But Why.

Now let me continue reading about the AI Revolution and why we should all be worried about it (just not in the Hollywood kind of way).

Visit from a friend

A few days ago, sis and I met up with KD and her mom who are visiting Taiwan on vacation. We went for beef noodles and mango ice, and seeing them just left me feeling so nostalgic for my life in Canada. On May 31, two years ago, I flew to Taiwan to be reunited with my family, but I left a part of me behind in Canada. Like Mohsin Hamid said in The Reluctant Fundamentalist, “it is not always possible to restore one’s boundaries after they have been blurred and made permeable by a relationship … something of us is now outside, and something of the outside is now within us.” So try as I might, it is impossible to erase the memories of yesterday; but I will enjoy the moments of today, and look forward to the possibilities of tomorrow.


我很喜歡往外跑,所以一到週末或放假我幾乎都不在家。雖然如此,我卻是一個路痴;我真的無法想像以前的我-在沒有智慧型手機及Google Map的時代中-是如何找到回家的路。

我外出玩耍的地點通常都不是在家附近,因為我住在東區(台北的購物天堂之一),只可惜我偏偏不喜歡逛街。但今天我發現原來不需要走遠就可以找到樂子,而那個地方就叫做“安和路”。安和路是台北知名的酒吧街,因為酒吧的數量及種類真的是琳琅滿目、任你挑選。今晚不小心找到一家很隱密的酒店,叫做“Ounce Bar”,仿造著美國1920年代戒酒令的時期,要走到咖啡廳的後面、進入一扇隱藏在牆壁中的門,才能找到這個奇特的地方。雖然今晚造訪的是咖啡廳而非神秘的speakeasy,發現這個神秘的世界還是在星期一的夜晚中為我填了不少樂趣。

Too many friends

Technology has helped to connect people from around the world, but at the same time it has also made people more distant from each other. How many times have we seen people eating at the same table but engrossed by the screens of their phones rather than talking to the person sitting across from them?

Look around you once in awhile – the world is actually a beautiful place.

A dolly makeover

I remember playing with Barbie dolls as a kid with my sister. Actually, it was mostly she who wanted to play; I just went along and had fun designing and making new clothes for the dolls. I never thought about redoing their faces though!

I recently came across “Tree Change Dolls”. What are Tree Change Dolls you may ask? Well, they are basically second-hand Bratz dolls that have been given a makeover. The result: make-up free faces, with handmade clothing – 1000 times better than the originals! (read more about them here) Personally, I have never liked Bratz dolls; they are as unrealistic as Barbie, but worse.

Maybe now that Tree Change Dolls have become popular, toy manufacturers will start coming out with more realistic-looking dolls! Who says that girls need make-up to look beautiful? These dolls certainly don’t.

Running down to the riptide

Currently on replay – Vance Joy’s “Riptide”.

The music video is artistically depicted word-for-word (with the ocean shown when the song gets to the word “riptide” and left hands shown when the song is “left-hand man”, etc.), ending with a video that is eerie and random at the same time. The woman continues to fall apart as the song progresses, with her make-up running and getting more and more of the lyrics wrong. The song is quite open to interpretation since “riptide” refers to either the ocean or to the motel that Vance and his family used to stay at when he was younger (read the interview here). Overall, it is an intriguing song accompanied by an equally intriguing video.

Taylor Swift also covered a wonderful ballad version of this song for BBC’s Live Lounge: