2016… we’re almost there!

24 02 2018


For Chinese New Year, I flew to the USA to see Casey and see his family and friends. I met his brother and sister in law for the first time, they were really cool and even though I was very nervous about meeting them I had a great time. Due to our complicated past, I was really stressed about meeting and getting to know Casey’s family. I got to know his mom better and meet his grandma, who is real treat by the way. Casey and I got engaged and traveled around for a few weeks between Minneapolis, Iowa, and Milwaukee.

I was given and signed a new contract for the next year at my school, and a month later was again offered a job at the other school. I feel bad always saying no, but I’ve already signed and made a commitment plus… it feels pretty nice to be wanted. If things don’t work at the private school then I have something great to fall back on.

Casey had a manic episode and ended up in the hospital, that was really challenging and stressful. Especially while working fulltime and doing my masters. I had a class at that time and almost dropped out of school to go to the states. In the end, it was ok, but it was a really tough time.

Another summer of travel, back to work in August. There was some unfortunate and uncomfortable work drama but I tried to stay out of it.  Casey moved to Taiwan, but was still working for Mary which meant she kept pulling him back to the US, he went back for Christmas which I was surprisingly disappointed by it. I moped about and told him he’s not to abandon me again :P.

… to be continued.


The years keep Marching on 2015

22 02 2018


This was a big year of changes. Regis and I spent a few weeks ignoring each other, avoiding the inevitable but finally in January decided to officially break up. We decided to not announce it but tell people as we talked to or ran into them. This was easier I think but lead to some funny conversations next year.  I decided to bring mom to Taiwan to help kick her depression and to enroll in the master’s degree at Framingham that held classes in Taipei. While I was still thinking about leaving teaching, the thing is a masters degree just looks good, you know?

Mom came out, I started my first class during Chinese New Year, I was super nervous because it had been out of school for more than a minute and I hadn’t done that well the first time around. School was great, I realized I do know a thing or two about education and teaching. TESOL was really a great class for me to start with, I mean come on, what have I been doing for the last 14 years???

Casey got back in touch, and went to great lengths to try to get me back. A lot of talking, and he wrote me a handwritten letter every day for several months. The general tone was, I love you, I want you to be happy, I think I can make you happy, let me try. There was a lot more to it, but ultimately how do you keep saying no to that?  I finally agreed to him coming out to see what might be there, and we got back together… Jesus here I am in another damn long-distance relationship.

I have to say he was smart about it though, we made sure someone went somewhere every 3 months or so, and that we just combined and split all the travel costs regardless of who traveled where. Which really addressed the frustration that comes from one person doing more of the traveling or shouldering the lion’s share of the expenses because that breeds resentment.

I completed the first three of my classes and made a good impression on my classmates, so much so that they recommended me to their employers. I had an amazing interview at a school and thought that was going to be my new job but it fell through at the last minute. The same day I got “the strange” you maybe aren’t getting a job here email, I also got an email offering me an interview at a fancy private school that I didn’t really think I would get an interview at. I rocked my interview and they offered me the job, Hizzah I started in August.

Went home that summer to see family and Casey, then to work in August. Before my job had even really started, the school who I’d not been able to take the job because of flight timing the previous year emailed to offer me a job, but my master’s classes interfered plus I was excited about teaching science to lower elementary school, really fun. University trucked along, work was challenging but good. The year carried on like this.

…. to be continued

Some updates:AKA Magda has been garbage at blogging.

19 02 2018

I was looking at my blog and it’s been legit years… since I’ve properly used this thing. I have lots to say, so why am I not saying it? Well, I’m busy, I work far more than I used to, plus I was doing my masters, and I have a cornucopia of excuses :P.

Anyway, I thought a good way to try to get back into it was to try to update Y’all on the past few years … I tend to be cagey on facebook bc it’s bum. So here is the first installment.


I quit my job at Chingshin, actually I wanted to transfer to a different department but that didn’t work out and then my boss used that as a way to squeeze me out. Which annoyed me because I actually wanted to leave but my co-teacher had convinced me to stay for her and the kids. They dragged the whole thing out for a long time, I tried to get a different job but my tickets were already purchased based on my start date at the end of August.  I had a lot of trouble finding something I wanted. I was offered something at this school I’ve been dying to work with, but they needed me a week earlier and I couldn’t make it work.

I ended up taking a job at a kindi that had tried to hire/poach me from Chingshin before, the devil you know. In some ways it was great, my boss was lovely and really appreciated me, which was lovely. But it had a really strict curriculum and there was no room for variation based on one’s own experience and knowledge. There was a supervisor who was a huge pain in the butt, no experience, no teaching knowledge.. guh. And the guys there, my god talk about white male egos… they were shocking in their horribleness to work with. They felt they were the best thing to hit teaching, and I’m not saying they are bad at what they do.. but they were such raging assholes they created the most hostile work environment I could imagine.

My mom had been laid off from her job the previous year and she was struggling with what to do, her words “No one wants to hire a 60+ year old with no education to speak of”. Really got me thinking, you know I don’t have that much going for me education-wise, basically, everyone has a bachelor’s these days… and all my resume really talks about is teaching, mostly in these after school joints.  Jesus, what if I go home? At the kindi I was getting really depressed and tired of the job’s I’ve had. Maybe I was burned out and done with teaching.

I had known about this master’s degree for a year or more, but I’d never really looked into it much. I always think of it, no matter how bad Chingshin was, it was still a decent job so I wasn’t looking for improvement. But as a friend told me, nothing with push you to improve yourself like a terrible job. And how true it was, I was really unhappy where I was and needed to make changes. Things weren’t going well with Regis, he had broken his neck in an epically stupid stunt with his drunk friends, he ended up healing and being ok… but it was a strain on us.

Rolling up on the end of the year, I was depressed, my mom was super depressed, My relationship was clearly ending, I was burned out and was weighing my options. I was seriously considering moving back to Canada.. but when, how, do what?

…. to be continued

The Kidney Conundrum

3 05 2015

A couple of months ago, I started going to this Chinese Doctor.  My wrist hurt, and I wanted acupuncture, but also I’ve been struggling with my weight for a couple of years.  Thought, screw it, can’t hurt right?  I mean I’ve been super frustrated, I’ve exercised, I’ve eaten well, and nothing, plus I’ve had this annoying feet swelling, leg cramps, and a lot of general aches etc.

While I’m at the doctor, he says that my kidneys are not working properly and that why I can’t lose weight, and that my main problem is water retention.  I’m like, sure, sure.  Whatever, I take my medicine and life goes on.  Well after 3 or 4 weeks of seeing the Chinese doctor, and every time he mentions my reduced kidney function, I think.. hu.  I wonder if he’s full of shit?  I mean how could your kidneys keep you from losing weight?  So I go online, and I find these lists about symptoms of kidney disease and failure.

(✓)puffy eyes, hands, and feet (called edema)

(✓)high blood pressure


(✓)shortness of breath

(X)loss of appetite (I wish)

(✓/X)nausea and vomiting (dunno, don’t think so)


(✓)a bad taste in the mouth or bad breath (off and on)

(X)weight loss (I never get the good symptoms!!!)

(✓)(✓)generalized, persistent itchy skin

muscle twitching or cramping

(✓/X)a yellowish-brown tint to the skin (hard to say… my skin tone doesn’t really help)

(✓/X)urine that is cloudy or tea-coloured (sometimes)

Holy shit…. SERIOUSLY?  That’s way too many solid yeses…  What the fuck.  Is there something wrong with my kidneys?  I just chalked the fatigue and the aches, cramps, swelling … pretty much all of that stuff to getting older.  I mean, Some of you may even remember my commenting in the past year or so, that does everyone get achey young but just doesn’t complain about it until they are a lot older?  Turns out, from the sort of horrified response of a couple of colleagues and friends when we got into this (as in beyond my vague comments, and details of my issues),That  no.. in fact it’s not normal.  I’m not nearly old enough for all of this to be chalked up to getting older.  I didn’t know, I just figured it was normal, sucks but buck up.

I figure I should probably go to the hospital and have it checked out or something but I had a class coming up, I was super busy.. meh I’d get to it later.  Well the two friends I had talked about it to, flipped out.  AREYOU INSANE you don’t fuck with kidneys, damage is permanent, they don’t heal, if they get fucked up your fucked… so I do more research and get really scared.  All the web stuff uses scary words, like disease and failure and death.. um.  But let’s be honest, I hate doctors, and hospitals and the only thing that was going to get me to go short of being dragged was fear of death.  I finally broke down and made an appointment for the Nephrologist (yeah that’s not a scary sounding specialty) at the hospital near my house a couple of weeks back, and took the morning off work.

I thought to myself..  do I tell people or no?  I thought about telling my sisters, and mom.. but the morning I was going for tests there was that wedding Crisis (you may or maynot have heard about it, in the end everything was ok).  Then I posted that thing on fb asking people about their opinions on sharing vs not, I was genuinely curious what people thought about it.  I had been thinking about the subject long before any of this came up, and then I thought hey lol lemmi posts this and the people who want to know will make themselves apparent. <- ha litmus test

It was really genuinely interested in thinking about and hearing all the different perspectives, and honestly, I , personally, still prefer people tell me.  I don’t get stressed out and scared about that stuff for other people so it’s not a burden to me, and I know for me I freak out in my own head so I’m all about spreading it around a little and self counseling so I can handle my own omigod.  But then I don’t want to be burdening others… shit’s complicated.  Anyway I did my best to help with the wedding crisis, and went in to see the doctor.

I head in, and wait.. they tell me it’s going to be ages till my number comes up, and I can go home and come back in a couple of hours.  Sweet, I can work on my homework for class!

I get back and it’s like ha no, nowhere near your number.  Fuck.  Ok, good thing I brought my laptop, so I sit on the floor and wait.  I’m getting worried I’m even going to get in, I have to get back to work for the afternoon and It’s still ages till my number, I ask the nurse and she says they will see everyone but it might go into the afternoon.  Crap, Ok well I might just have to call in, not coming, to work.  Then, not even, 10 minutes later the nurse grabs me and says, come now.  Hu? Ok, cool, I figure she just talked to the doctor and they are trying to do me a solid, I sit down and he tells the nurse I’m his daughter’s favourite teacher and he says to me.  OH my god, how long have you been waiting out there?? Why didn’t you tell me that you were coming?  I would have brought you in much earlier.  I’m super confused, because he’s wearing a mask and lab coat, he looks like.. well a doctor.  He takes off his mask and says ‘I’m Peggy’s Dad’.  My Jaw hits the floor!.  One of my kids from last year, I actually knew her dad relatively well, I even knew he was a doctor I just didn’t know what specialty or where.  What are the odds that one of my favourite student’s dad would be the random doctor out of 4 that I picked.  Wild.

Anyway I tell him the whole story, the Chinese doctor, the internet stuff, the symptoms, everything.  And I’m kinda freaked out, but trying to stay chill.  They took my blood pressure, and it was through the roof (stress).  While I’m talking, he’s typing the symptoms, and looking at the screen he begins to talk, and he says ‘”yup, well that sounds like some kind of kidney failure so we’ll order some tests… oh my god no no don’t cry, sorry, sorry it’s mild it’s certainly mild it’s ok!”  Because I’ve started to weep, I’ve got dialysis machines and kidney transplants swimming through my mind.  I calm down a little and explain that I’m just really scared, because these symptoms have been going on for well over a year closer to two maybe even three, and everything says you need to catch this early.. or there will be irreversible damage.

Well it turns out, that ‘early’ is in the many years category.. like 2 years IS catching it early, it’s more like don’t let it go one for 10 years.  Oh.  and by the by, FUCK YOU internet, like that wouldn’t have been a good thing to include in your scare mongering?  He orders tests and sets up an appointment the next week for the results.  I go back the next morning to give the urine and blood sample, and that was an unexpected gong show, but I got it done, and made it to work.  I honestly felt a lot better, shit was being handled and one way or another I’d have some answers and a plan of action. Plus I was pretty enthused by the idea that the exhaustion and other issues had a name and a cause.

A week later, I went back for the results.  And mostly yay.  Let’s be honest here I didn’t want it to be BAD, but I did want there to be something.  Because if it’s nothing then why the fuck do I have all these other problems??  I had checked my blood pressure a few times in the week and it was fine and on that day it was totally fine, so I was right I was just ouber stressed that first day (you know I always kinda thought that “you’re stressing me out and raising my blood pressure” Thing was just something people say.. hu turns out no, it’s a real thing.)

The results:  I do have lowered kidney function, my kidneys are working at 88% of capacity so not the end of the world but indicative of a problem.  All my numbers are high, but not dangerously high, salt is fine (thank god I would have cried if I had to take salt away).  Blood sugar was too high, which worried me because of the Diabetes in the family but he said it’s not high enough to be worried about that yet but we’ll keep an eye on it.  My liver function is lower than normal.  My Cholesterol is too high. And I’m super dehydrated, according to the tests.  But, nothing is high enough to warrant medicine even.  Basically, just keep doing what I’m doing (exercising a few times a week, and eating reasonable food) and try to up the exercise a little if I can.  The only real change I need/ed to make  is I need to drastically increase my water intake.  Um, but I generally drink 1-2 liters most days it’s closer to two.. how much do I need to drink?  Bare minimum, 3-4 liters.  OOF do you know how much water that is?  Let’s be honest though, having to drink stupid amounts of water is like nothing compared to how bad it could have been.  (Note, I have actually been really good about it and have been drinking on average 3.5-4.5 liters every day for more than a week)
There it is, there’s my story :).  Some of you already know, but here’s a bit more detail and the results.  Those of you who didn’t know, look, yay all good.  I just need to go back in tomorrow, for a sonogram of my liver and kidneys to see if there is any damage, liver whatever it will heal even if there is damage, and kidneys he’s hopeful that it’s just reduced function and no damage which means it should all go back to tickity boo as long as I take care of myself.  He did deliver that news about the possible damage with a keen eye on me to make sure I didn’t burst into tears again, lol I guess we can’t break the daughter’s beloved teacher, chuckle at least I know he’s invested in keeping me well!

Worst case, is there is damage, and my kidneys will not go back to 100% function, but even if they stay where they are as long as I drink copious amounts of water, and take care of myself it’s nothing.  Will be going back in, in 3 months to do the tests again, but I’m pretty confident that everything will be fine, even good.  I already am feeling a bunch better, less fatigued, the Chinese medicine has been helping with the water retention, and weight loss (I’ve lost about 5 kg in the past 3 months).  I just need to pee every 15 minutes and I hate, nah loath the water.. I call it names.  It’s agony trying to get all the water drinking in, but I power through because, let’s be honest as far as medical treatments go, it’s pretty much nothing.

Any questions?  I leave anything out?  Ask away 🙂

Finally, 2013 in Review

17 01 2014

2013 Boom .. look at that!!!!   Here we go!

January – Finishing up exams and grades at school.  Busy as hell, pretty sure I didn’t get into much excitement.

February -Work a super intense 4 days of winter camp at work, and then flew to France via Vietnam for the rest of the Chinese New Year break.  Had a great time with Regis for the winter break, but I was super sad because we get to spend so little time together.  One of my students bought me a cute dragon USB with his own money <3.  Got a fancy signature stamp that I played with endlessly.

March – Went to a Taiwanease social night with some friends, met an interesting assortment of people.  Took a couple of pole dancing classes with a friend.  While cool, I was/am in too bad of shape to really enjoy it.

April – Officially paid off all of my debt. BOOM DEBT FREE BITCHES. Mom sent me photos of a moose in the safeway.  Applied for and was approved for a real Taiwanese card! (a very difficult task).  Went to Carnegies, for the first time in a very long time.  May have danced on the bar… maybe .. probably not though. Resigned for my school.

May – Almost bought my first new fridge, but in the end I bought a second hand one from Xiamen Street.  Got a Wii for super cheap (wanted the guitar hero… I play it all the time all the time… honest).

June – There was a biggish earthquake.  Rob and I made a “time out” group for people not acting right.  Finished off my first school year at ChingShin.  Raygan came to Taiwan to visit Tracey and I on her way back to Canada. We all went to Ounce a speakeasy style bar.

July – Took the summer off, except for a summer camp that I did at Chang Kai Shek Memorial Hall.  Finally got my broken micro sd card replaced.  We had a sissy typhoon.  I finally actually used my buy-sell-trade page to sell some stuff.

August – Went back to Canada to see the family, via China for the first time.  Regis arrived in Vancouver and we spent the month with my family and friends, spend some good times with Becky and Phil, then rented a car and drove to see Nadine.  Drove up to Smithers, then back to PG with mom where I made full use of the new wireless paying machines to pay the bill mid meal (I win) was deeply entertaining watching Regis and mom fight over the bill. Regis and I flew to Shang Hai, we went into town but we were too jet lagged to have fun.  Then on to Taipei and straight back to work for me.  School was a mess.

September – Went to paint ball with Regis and some other friends.  I turned 34?  wait… damn no 35.  Regis and I celebrated both of our birthdays.  Thought my Credit card had been used illegally, but no I’m just a dummy.   Signed up for two theme runs (beer and zombie).

October – um… oh yeah there was a biggish earthquake and it was awesome because Regis was white as a ghost! Regis went back to France for his dad’s funeral. School told us that the bonuses that they promised us (that were the reason for most of us to resign) weren’t happening at least one possibly two.  Oh yeah did the beer run with Regis and Mickeal (I stole a case of beer, yay me!)

November – I got a new kitty!!!! Went to Peng Hu with Regis for the first time, loved the island!  Much contemplating of names for kitty. Did the first ever Zombie run in Taipei.. not what I expected but really cool and fun!

December – Had a fake Christmas with Regis because he was leaving at the beginning of the month.  Had a big going away shindig for Regis, same as the previous time all you can eat and drink BBQ followed by a hooka bar.  Had a second fake (but closer to real) Christmas party with some friends, made a nommilcious turkey.  Finished the kid’s Christmas play finally.  Angela and I went to On Tap for dinner and couple of drinks on New Year’s eve, deliberately early and went home at ten.  Because we’re cool like that 😉 Bought my ticket to go to France for Chinese New Year.  Had Kitty’s nuts chopped off.

2014 so far! –  Finally named kitty (Shinobi, Osiris, Sir Dick Head the Third).  Marked all my tests for work.  I almost quit at work, but decided to stick it out for now.  But I’m seriously considering making some changes this year.  I’m looking forward to going to France for Chinese New Year.  I’m sad that my neighbor and really good friend is moving away at Chinese New Year.

Chapter 2 oh me :D

14 01 2014

2011 –   Decided that I wasn’t happy with these pretend personality and behavior changes I had made, in reality for my ex even though if you asked at the time I would have denied it.  Started living the life of “why not”, when things came up I thought why not? And if I didn’t have a good reason then … woot.  Which is how I met Regis, I was having ‘fun’ and it turned it to something unexpected.  I went to Macau for the first time with TPT, that was a weekend to remember.  Started chatting with Regis a lot.  Went to Canada for the summer again.  Raygan came to Taipei to hang out with Tracey and I.  Raygan convinced me to stop being a negative Nancy and let Regis come to Taiwan to see what could happen.   Regis moved to Taipei on Nov 4th,

2011 for three months.  I started hating my job.  I decided that I didn’t know what was happening with us, but wasn’t ready to call it quits.  Rolling up on the ten year mark and decided I’m a grown upa nd I can do what I want, ie not moving back to Canada since I don’t want to.

2012 – I had all the money to pay off my debt, but re-borrowed it so I could I quit my job, and move to France at Chinese new year. Feb 3rd 2012.  Went to England for the first time in April, Portsmouth.   Was really just a visa run, couch surfed and met some cool people.  I went to Prague in the Czech Republic for the first time, caught up with some old friends from the early years of Taipei).  Stayed a really nice and cool hostel, was disappointed that Regis couldn’t come with me.  Regis took me to Mont St Michel.  I moved back to Taipei and started looking for a new job.  Found a couple of good prospects was really torn between a kindergarten that was going to pay me really well but in the end I decided to go with the private elementary school near my house.  Met my new co workers/friends Angela and Candice.  Started a crazy job, that was a lot or work but something very new.

History of Me 1978-2010

5 01 2014

Everyone seems to be writing these, year summary blogs (or letters, like Emily).  I know I haven’t really posted or blogged in ages.. and I may ore may not actually finish this and explain.

So Just this past year seems like not enough.. so I I’ve feeling nostalgic and am going to do something more silly.

My life in summary!

321074_10150328165758425_1018715296_n1978- I was born, I’m pretty sure the world stopped for a second because I’m so awesome!

1979-1997 – Lived in Smithers, it’s a boring story.  My grandmother passed away.  We moved into town.  A few years later my Grandpa passed away.  Went to France on a school trip, I always wonder if this was the beginning of the end. 303803_10150328166543425_714939757_n Met my little brother and dad’s side of the family. I graduated from high school, started working at my mom’s company (Newpro), got laid off  and on the same day received a uni acceptance letter.  Applied for loans and off I went.

294756_10150328172083425_1119687750_n1997-2001 – Moved to Prince George, BC, went to UNBC.  Partied, studied, and all that good uni stuff.  Made lots of new friends, had ups, had downs.  Ended contact with my dad.  Dated, ended up with Erik which while the relationship was terrible and we should have ended it when I originally.  It was a pivotal factor in the rest of my life.  Tracey moved to Japan on Jet. At the end of school, had a conversation with my friend Mike Yeh where he suggested I love to Taiwan.  I scoffed.  I broke up with Erik, and suddenly realized why the hell not?

2001-2002 – moved home to stay with mom (saving money before the move), made plans to hang out in Thailand for almost 2 months.  Got a passport, all my visas, and finally on a jet plane. Arrived in Bangkok on December 7, 2001.  Exited the plane to be hit by a wall of hot wet air.  Travelled around Thailand with Tracey, we took sleeper trains, busses, boats, planes, stayed in hotels, hostels.  Went diving, got certified with PADI.  I got some weird unexplained sickness, hallucinated my way around a tiny town (because I dipped and Tracey was frantic trying to figure out how to fine me) in the south and Tracy found me chatting with dogs, sorry about that.  Went back to Bangkok, Tracey went back to Japan and I headed to Taipei. Cue next chapter.

400966_10150477776398425_1432733508_n2002 – Jan 12, 2002 I arrived in Taipei city in Taiwan.  I always said that I planned to stay for at least 5 years, I wanted to stick it out, make money, learn a language, and a new culture (all part of Mike’s sales pitch).  I did say that if I was still here after 10 years, that I had to move home to see if I was really wanting to stay or if I was just scared to move.  Moved into my first apartment in Taipei it was hideous.

2002-2005 – Travelled to Japan to visit Tracey in March 2002.  Travelled to Thailand a few times.  Tracey came to Taipei to visit.  Went back to Canada, a couple of times to visit the family.  By being snotty, I offended Sammi, made myself less than popular and was blissfully ignorant of what I had done. Got my first passport abroad (was actually my third passport) the guarantor was an interesting challenge. Moved to a much better but more expensive place, when our landlord sold out place my friend Sarah and I got the place I’m in now and furnished it.

196133_17606138424_5039_n2005-2009- Taiwan changed the APRC requirement from 7 years to 5 years, right about my 5-6 year mark, no I didn’t apply. Tracey moved back to Taiwan after her south American back packing trip. Met and fell in love with my ex, who was married and bipolar, that was a ride that went on for a while (on and off for years). Went to Thailand again in 2006.  Moved to Brazil for 5-6 months with Tracey  in the fall of 2006.  We lived in Sao Paulo for a while, travelled around and spent the last month (2?) travelling around, drinking, partying and beaching.  oh I miss it.  Went on a visa run to Argentina, accidentally and illegally went to Paraguay. Moved back to Taipei in The spring of 2007. 208354_18145513424_5463_nWent to Hong Kong for the first time with Tracey and Melissa for my birthday, stayed at Mike’s place.  What a crazy weekend! Also went to Disney Land (even though it was micro Disney) for the first time. Went to the USA for the first time ever 🙂 in 2007.  226920_21520463424_8954_nWent to Boracay (a beach holiday destination in the Philippines) with a big group of friends, that was a wild and great time. Went to the states again in 2008, still with on again off again ex.  Made peace with my soon to be sister. Got back in touch with my little brother.

26383_334470878424_8030386_n2009-2010 – Went to Thailand for Jody and Kai’s wedding, and I almost missed my flight.  It was the last hurrah for our circle, Tracey moved back to Canada, Melissa stayed in Thailand and then moved back to Canada. Had a big trip to Canada, went to Toronto and Niagra falls for the first time, actually the first time I’ve ever been east of Alberta.  Got over my ex and let all that go, finally.  Ended up having a great bonding moment with Sammi and we adopted each other <3. I went to Hong Kong to Visit Gabby twice.  Raygan moved to Japan, and I went to Japan to visit.  Got my finances under control and it seemed like I might actually be able to get out of debt.