Hi Friends! So, you’ve come to find out more about me? That’s awesome, and I hope I make a good impression! This is me, posing for the camera in a “I don’t know how to pose naturally in front of a camera, so I’m going to be a bit silly about it” pose.
I’m a pretty random person, so instead of just talking all sorts of randomly, I’ll just start from the beginning…”a very good place to start” a la Julie Andrews. I was born in Taiwan, and moved to the US before I started school. That means that although I can understand conversational Mandarin Chinese, and speak it in a fairly corrupted version of Chin-glish to family, I cannot really consider myself fluent. So don’t ask me to “say something in Chinese”, although that may have just been a high school annoyance. BUT, if you speak to me in Chinese or if I hear enough of it around me, I may actually break out my sorry language skills without even realizing I’m doing it, as has happened in college, and again in front of Chinese clients at work.
My grandmother had very good fashion sense. Check out my Mary Janes!
Now, I don’t know if it’s because I have memories from that early on, or whether I just miss my mom’s cooking, but I LOVE the food in Taiwan. I’m a foodie. I like to eat. I like to cook too, but I like to eat more than I like to cook. I like crazy foods, but not Anthony Bourdain crazy foods. When I went back to visit the parents last year, I had an entire food agenda – the “absolutely cannot miss”, the “love it anytime”, and the “optional but preferably have at least once” list, and I think I got most of it. Who needs to see the top of Taipei 101 when the best soup dumplings in the world are waiting for you in the basement food court?
After moving to the US, my family bounced around a bit, following my dad’s jobs. I’ve lived in Toledo, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Montreal, New Jersey and have finally settled in the beautiful Hudson Valley. Actually, until I moved here after college, I have never stayed in one town for more than 3 years or so. Because of the moving around, I rather like the idea of a permanent home, a mortgage, growing old(er) (and stockpiling a hoard of possessions) in the same house, watching a town evolve…but I’m not afraid or opposed to moving either. Besides, moving and decorating a new place is perfect blog fodder!
Ok, you will either say “Yeah!” or be totally grossed out, but I LOVE Cincinnati chili. LOVE LOVE LOVE, buy in bulk on Amazon LOVE, Cincinnati chili. We used to live near Blue Ash Chili in Cincy, and I felt a warm glow of pride and recognition when it was featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. It’s just chili, with a hint of chocolate and cumin and cinnamon, but no beans, no peppers, no mushrooms, and a little soupy in its authentic form. It’s served over spaghetti, topped with a MOUND of super fine shredded cheese, and optionally onions, beans and apparently even jalapeno poppers. I prefer the 4-way myself – which is just spaghetti, chili, cheese and onion. Yum.
I’ve got no other images for this stage in my life. It was the era of the bad style decisions, so whatever pictures I have will never see the light of day or scanner. I wore big glasses, played piano and found the best friends of my life at church. I went to see Jurassic Park on my 13th birthday because it was PG-13. I am in awe of Steinway grands. My piano teachers had a Steinway concert grand and I’m glad I got the chance to play on it (not very well, admittedly), because that may never happen again.
Snow, snow, and more snow. You know that phrase “walking to school barefoot in a snowstorm, uphill, both ways”? Yup, that was my one year in Montreal. There was a walking bridge over some railroad tracks on the way to school. One side were steps; the other side was a ramp. I may have slid down the ramp side on my saxophone case. I may also have dreamt that.
This wasn’t taken in Montreal; it was down the street from us in NY, but really, just too spectacular to not show!
Ah, yes. I’m a jersey girl. Why? Because I learned to drive here. Which makes me a road hazard, I guess. Although, I don’t actually turn the wheel when I turn my head…at least not all the time, and I only failed my driving test once, but I like to blame that on the fact that I was driving a brand new vehicle with too much momentum. This is my land of Wawa’s and AP classes and Wildwood tram cars, marching band and music theater, the Parkway and the Turnpike, computer engineering and ballroom dancing. I was baptized here, nailed my SATs here (twice, because I’m that girl), went to college here. Every time Bruce Springsteen is on the radio, I sing along. My secret (and now, not so secret) happy place in my head is hanging over a railing on the boardwalk, staring out over the wide stretch of sand to the ocean beyond, wondering what is going on at the far shore. And that’s me, getting all poetic, then getting sunburned.
This is the longest I have ever stayed in any area, EVER. I can actually say I have seen buildings and restaurants and people come and go, instead of me being the one coming and going. I came here for work, then eventually met and married my can-do husband, Drew, whom some say look like Beck (but no other similarities, thank you very much). You can decide for yourself.
Drew shares my love of cooking and eating, so it was only natural that we honeymooned in Maine, having lobster for every meal. Did you think I’d say Paris? Well, we did that too, with lots more of the good eats. He makes a mean roast chicken, can parallel park way better than I’ll ever manage, and has taught me how to operate all his fancy power saws.
We live in a 100 year old Colonial money pit with our golden retriever Izzy, two kids, and a never-ending list of renovations. I feel like we’ve been doing nothing but house projects, and then all of a sudden, there were kids and no more time for house projects. So now we spend our days in the usual family madness from morning until night. I sometimes look at the clock and count down the last 30 minutes before naptime or bedtime – please tell me I’m not the only one who does that! And now that J is so totally OBSESSED with motor vehicles (and there’s no Downton Abbey to watch), we find quality family time watching Formula 1 races together on the weekends.
J and LM (our Little Missus)
Other fun facts: I watch a lot of The West Wing, and also love The Lord of the Rings Trilogy. Chinese food is my comfort food, no surprise there. Drew says soy sauce is my condiment of choice, although Bulgogi and Kalbi marinades come in a close second. I get light-headed at the sight of blood, and still close my eyes and think happy thoughts when confronted with a needle for shots or blood tests. Heck, I don’t even watch when my kids get shots. I own one, just one, pair of hot pink Jimmy Choo party heels that I found in perfect shape on consignment, and they are my pride and joy.
Why I started this blog is more of a why not? I thought, well, I passed AP English, I can string words together coherently, I know how to press a button on a point and shoot, so why not? And it’s been crazy! I had no idea this part-time hobby would evolve into my full-time time suck, requiring me to not only write occasionally, but be a full blown business machine. Marketing, communicating, engaging, driving projects, creating, crafting, writing, editing, and all those other fun ACTIVE words people like throw onto resumes and CVs. The process of choosing a name took weeks, but that was apparently just the beginning of the angst, the frustration, the friendships, and the tax implications of this whole thing. I wouldn’t give it up though. Blogging has enabled me to unleash my craziness and my creativity. I’ve met women who are awe-inspiring and completely down to earth, who support me and motivate me and have welcomed me into this community where the cool kids play and everyone is a cool kid. The blog itself is my little “corner of the sky” (anyone get that reference?) where I can do just about whatever I want (as long as I follow the FTC guidelines). So WELCOME, friends and new readers!
If you’re a new visitor here, double welcome and hugs! If you’re not a new visitor here, well, double welcome and hugs to you too!
You can read more fun facts about me in these posts:
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To get you started on the One Dog Woof Choose-Your-Own-Adventure, check out a few choice posts: