yesterday's activities


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Lesson; deal with competition aftermath
To DB#1, much conversation while picking up gifts to bring to kiddie cousins
Pack for trip to Taiwan
Group class; Paso Doble
Meet after class with cousins/aunts from other side of family
Home; finish packing; z


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wed...take husband to train...clean kitchen...teach interval...pick up groceries...cook a big lunch...have favorite aunt over....lovely time with aunt and my dtr...pick up car at mechanic...dh enjoys early


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Drive to airport, leave car at long term offsite parking @ JFK
Leavin' on a jet plane
Arrive Tokyo at 3:30 pm which is something like 2:30 am on my interior clock; exchange just enough $ to buy coffee; log on to FB and discover there was an earthquake in Taiwan, but all relatives are fine, no damage
Leavin' on a jet plane again, except we don't leave until an hour late
Arrive Taiwan shortly after the earthquake news hits US; I turn on my non-international stupidphone, just in case I can get texts; there are 3 texts from worried friend, so I text back and ease his mind; get text from Verizon pointing out that each phone call I make will be $2 and each text, fifty cents; receiving texts, five cents each; turn phone off, ya think?
Crowd control means something different in Asia, and my brain is soft and hole-y as cottage cheese after flying for a day and crossing the date line, so I take a bit of extra time to get through Customs and pick up luggage
Cousin B is there to meet me; it's 11:30pm Taipei time, so the drive to his home is a bit limited as to sightseeing b/c it's, y'know, dark outside; arrive @ his duplex apartment in gated community, have a nightcap, have another, discuss family gossip
Crash and burn


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Wake, brekkie with B, his wife, E, and their 3 children, ranging in age from 11 months to 5 years, these kids are *ridiculously* beautiful, but their mom has been nanny-free for months and it's starting to wear on her
To Grand Hotel for dim sum lunch; B scores a window table and it's beautiful, even though foggy, but truth to tell, I can get dim sum just as good in Chinatown
Tour city
Go to Chiang Kai-Shek memorial, a magnificent outdoor space and a v strange museum to a tremendously successful thug
Home; nap; can you say "jet lag?"
Wake, coffee, pile all into a taxi in the rain and go eat at their local favorite restaurant; may I say, I've always loved Chinese food and everyone I know who's been to Taiwan told me the food was extraordinary, well, they were right; have semi-officially died and gone to heaven
Home, catch up on fb etc


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I haven't updated on this thread in a week and a half. Here's a highlight reel:

Wednesday, March 20th--Spring "break."
Knocked a variety of stuff off the to-do list, including sending a sympathy card, sending a vital e-mail to my FYS instructors, 6+ mile workout.

Thursday, March 21st--More of the same, including a dentist appointment and making a pot of chili.

Friday, March 22nd--3+ hour First Year Team meeting. Yes, during break!
That night, during Family Fun Night, we play "Klingon Monopoly." This was very funny and geeky.

Saturday, March 23rd--Fabulous workout, completing 6.3 miles in 1 hr on tm, a personal best on the year.
Drove to NJ, then train to NYC.
Dinner at Ruby Foo's w/Cousin D.
Child got to sleep over party with Cousin D. She was SUPER excited. An overnight with my 26 year old cousin, who my kid thinks is just about the coolest, most beautiful woman in the world?!? And they got to make cookies and watch James Bond?!? Heaven for Child.
Husband and I stayed at The Strand Hotel on 37th.

Sunday, March 24th--Big family dim sum brunch @Red Egg in Chinatown--my dad's side of the family. Fun. Got to see some second cousins and stuff that I don't normally see.
Unfortunately, the day took A LOT out of Husband. By the time we got back to Jersey, he really wasn't feeling too great. I drove the whole way home.


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Monday, March 25th--SNOW DAY! Snow coming down pretty steadily all day, but a very wet snow, and enough of it melted off that I wound up being able to get away without shoveling! :) I finished up a bit of grading, built a snowman with Child. Unfortunately Child and I also had an argument. Le sigh.
That night, we went out as a family and bought two Palliser home theater seats for our new downstairs rec room. These are going to be amazing!!! So comfortable.

Tuesday, March 26th--Back at work. Office hours.
To Towson. Double Nik lesson. Particularly productive work on samba.
ALSO--forgot to mention this, but each of the last two weeks, he has gotten to be a commentator on the local ABC affiliate the morning after Dancing with the Stars! So he proudly showed me his video footage. :)
Took Child to dance.
Finished reading Mohsin Hamid's How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia.

Wednesday, March 27th--
9:10--ENG 1101--Picked short research paper topics, on a topic related to college life.
10:20--GREAT WORKS II--Finished Anna Karenina.

12:30--Left with 3 students and Child for...The White House!!!
It was actually the Eisenhower Executive Office Building part of the White House complex, but pretty cool that the college was allowed to send people to this event.
I drove to the Shady Grove Metro, then we took the train in. (I try to avoid having to deal with parking in D.C.

4:30-6:30--Women's History Month event! They showed highlights from the recent PBS documentary "Makers: Women Who Make America" and then had a panel discussion. The special guests were Congresswoman Pat Schroeder and past president of Brown University Ruth Simmons. Husband pointed out that getting to meet Valerie Jarrett was pretty cool too, as she is quite a high-ranking woman in the Obama administration. We got to sit in the front row. :)

Home around 9. Tired, but a fun day!


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Thursday, March 28th--
Great workout in AM. I jogged for 40 mins @ 6.5 mph pace, then slowed the tempo for a bit, then back up. This is a very good pace for me, so I felt good about being able to do that.

11ish--At work, prepping for noon meeting.

11:53--Secretary gets text from a dean. I'm supposed to be at the Chairs Meeting. Oh no!!! I was supposed to go to that at 11:30 and forgot all about it!!! (And I set up another meeting at noon.) Tell secretary to tell my noon people when I arrive that I will be right back.)

Arrive at Chairs Meeting to make a couple announcements, in my capacity as Director of FYS Program. When I arrive, they are making carpingly critical comments to the Registrar. I then make my first announcement and it too occasions a big, crabby, carpingly critical discussion. And it takes forever, making me VERY late for my other meeting. Ugh, ugh, ugh!

12:25--Back for my other meeting, one of THREE small group and even 1:1 trainings of my new FYS professors that I have set up. I thought this might be better than a big group setting. I apologize profusely, but I can tell one of my colleagues is quite ticked. Sigh. My whole goal in doing these trainings 1:1, 2:1, or 3:1 was to build good, positive relationships and I now I feel like I've blown it. I do do a good job with the material, though.

I am no sooner out of this meeting than I run into a student--who had come into my office crying her eyes out during my Tuesday office hours--who is nudging me about when we can meet for Fall 2013 registration, as her registration is the night of April 9th. Seriously, does EVERYONE need a piece of me?!? All at the same time?!?

Read Senior Sem drafts.
1:30, 2, 2:30--Individual Senior Sem appts. 1:30 person has made almost no progress. I think, however, that I have helped him get on a solid path for completion by outlining very specifically what I want him to do first, second, and third.

4:15--English Department Meeting. I love my department colleagues. We have a productive discussion and make some useful decisions. (The anti-thesis of the Chairs meeting.)


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FRIDAY, March 29th
9:10--ENG 1101--Work on research papers.

10:20--GREAT WORKS II. "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde." One of my favs.

Read a draft essay.

12-12:30ish--1:1 training of a new FYS colleague. This one goes great!

Read another draft essay.

1:15ish--Hustle off for a meeting in the CEO (Center for Experience and Opportunity). Productive meeting; work some stuff out.

Get a banana at the convenience store as am starting to feel a little weak. (And it's Passover, so no peanut M&Ms! ;) )

3ish--Head over and work with the Dean of Faculty's secretary on contracts for the FYS seminar faculty. (They get extra pay for summer advising.)

4:30--Done for the day! Back to office, then head out. Trying to decide if I have the energy to go to the grocery store.
Parking lot. Omg, really?!?!??? Someone has smashed my left back tail light. Did the person who hit me leave a note? No. And my phone is dead b/c I forgot to re-charge it. I run into a colleague who works social media for the college (and who was a student of mine in the late 90s). He calls Campus Safety for me and they come and make a report. A few other people gather around too, which is supportive and nice...but this is obviously not a great coda to the work week.

Note to my dissatisfaction:
Groceries?--Not done.
Hard boiling eggs?--Not done.
Dirty dishes in sink?--Not taken care of.
Replacing paper towel and toilet paper rolls?--Not done.
Etc. None of it. All left for me. So I start by hard boiling eggs and replacing the paper goods, but I complain. Then Child accuses me of guilt tripping. Um...okay, you could look at it that way. Or you could look at it as that I just worked an 8 hour day, and I'm trying to get you and Dad to do your share. Everyone snacks on the hard boiled eggs as soon as I finish boiling them. Everyone is excited when I go grocery shopping later and come back with fresh fruit and veggies. But my point would be that this shouldn't be all my job. (Husband did take care of dirty dishes after I pointed them out, but I could imagine a more pro-active approach.) I don't know: maybe I am in a mood b/c of the smashed tail light thing, but I am unimpressed.
We may need to institute a job chart.

We talk about going out to look at Mini Coopers for Family Fun Night, but Child really doesn't want to, so she and I read The Last Apprentice: Wrath of the Bloodeye.

Husband lies all by himself in the bedroom, as he is apparently not feeling well. Still. He also is clearly disappointed b/c he liked the idea of going out to look at cars, but Child didn't. Ah, the art of compromise!


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thurs...teach blast, spend a chunk of the day finding all of my certifications and photocopying them for reimbursement and or to use as pre-reqs for upcoming training...very excited about this new job opportunity....began to try to figure out which seeds we are going to order for Summer garden, practiced..that is about it

fri...teach bike and bench, come home and clean lower level because one of my engaged couples whom I counsel wanted to practice their wedding dance on my dance floor...they are doing that song, Hey ho or Ho Hey by the Lumineers, and thanks to Steve Pastor, I suggested country two -step (which never would have entered my mind until a few weeks ago)...everyone eats leftovers that I made on wednesday for aunt's visit...I love it when we can eat leftovers for days...spend evening with family alongside some other minor annoyances...but, on balance a nice beginning to the holiday weekend


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Spent entire day and night with GS#2 - just to ourselves, no parents, no child-friends, etc.
Took GS#2 to Palm Desert/Springs - went swimming with his great-grandparents in the "big" pool of their
community and he had a blast.
Although, answering GS#2 that he does not look like a dork in jean-shorts cause he thinks they are "girly" was an ongoing question most of yesterday.
Hightail it back home from goregous weather in the desert - and head to studio with GS#2 taking a lesson while I take mine. And received the biggest surprise.
He learned in 30 minutes what it took the rest of kids class to learn in 3 months. YIKES,,,oh myyyyy. And wants to come back,,,we all note, including pro....little one is a big flirt with the girls.
Out to dinner, then home. Little man informs me, nana, "I go to sleep with the TV on" to which he received the "there are no T.V.'s in the bedrooms of this entire house and your not sleeping in the den". Thus ended the battle of the TV chapter.
Read stories, told silly jokes, and just really enjoyed his curious mind and reading ability.
Ended the day with a huge hug and a request to go back to the dance studio....ahhhhhh.
I know I'm going to wake up with two big brown eyes staring at me and a giggle that's contagious yelling "good morning". and so it!


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To Costco, go figure; some things the same, some very different
Dropped off at National Palace Museum, where I spend the bulk of the day
Cousin picks me up and takes me to fancy spa, where I get a facial, which I apparently needed; the facialist asked my cousin if I were his mother, and he's only 10 years younger than I am... jet lag is hell on the skin
Home, rest a bit
Dinner at smashingly wonderful restaurant, which seats about 15 people; we are thrilled to see that there are seats available until the owner apologizes, they have reservations; cousin sweet-talks, we are seated, and the food starts to show up; omg foodie paradise, let's just leave it at that; some of cousin's friends arrive, and there is much drinking going on; after dinner, we walk to friends' apartment for a short course in single malt; I am amazingly not drunk, considering the sake during dinner and scotch afterwards
Home; can't sleep; online until around 3:30am Taipei time

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