August 17, 2016


We spent several summers in Taiwan while growing up, splitting time between Taipei, where Mom’s sister worked, and Yuanlin, where Mom’s parents lived in a typical multi-story apartment with balconies for dangling laundry, courtyards for storing useful-ish junk, and a kitchen for housing mini lemon ice creams, which I swiped pretty often.

Some days, we’d visit tourist spots like Taroko National Park, Xitou Nature Education Area, or the Aboriginal Culture Village.  Xitou was my favorite, with cool, shady paths leading through bamboo, ginkgos and green ponds.  At the forest’s exit, peddlers sold carved wooden animals with toothpick-holding pockets - useful for the nightly de-vegetableing of your teeth.

Ginkgo leaves remind me of Xitou, Mom, and summers in Taiwan.

Also in Blog


April 30, 2017

For Christmas, I gave Mom several presents, including a set of artisan felted wool coasters The set consisted of two yellow coasters and two blue coasters, with an artsy silkscreened design on the top of each coaster.  

After a few months, I noticed that Mom consistently used the blue coasters on the correct side and the yellow coasters turned over to wrong side.

"You don’t like the yellow coasters?" I asked her one day.

"It’s fine."

"Then why do you turn it over to this side?"

"What’s the difference?"

I flipped the coaster over.  "This side is the design side."

"Either one.  No difference."

"There’s a difference:  This is the design side . . . this is not the design side."

"It’s you who buys it, not me."

"That’s true, but I intended for you to use the design side."

"And I intend to use the non-design side as the design side," she said.


April 24, 2017

I feel especially Asian when I drink jasmine tea and dine on heroin-sprinkled, crispy lotus slices.
Two trays o' food
Two trays o' food

April 23, 2017

I'm going to start posting random photos from my collection of Japanese home decor magazines, since I love the combination of Japanese kanji/hirigana/katakana with impeccable styling/photography/layout.  

This one is from a magazine called Kawaii [Something], Volume 2.  I have no idea what the second word is.  

At the top of the cover, there are some characters that read "putesuito na interia to [something] hon."  Something interior and something book.  aahhh I don't know.