Testing Testing Zaption

20 05 2016

Here is the YouTube video

And here is the Zaption (hopefully)  if not click {here}.


(apparently it can be embedded but it would take me too long to fiddle with it now as I need to finish my project perhaps later when I have more time, though honestly I don’t think I’d bother.)




Critique Paper 1

12 11 2015

Magda Vince

November 11th, 2015

My article: http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1058486.pdf
Principals’ Perceived Supervisory Behaviors Regarding Marginal Teachers in Two States

This article describes a study in which they looked at how male and female principals identified and managed marginal teachers.  A marginal teacher, as defined by this article, is:

a teacher who is not quite good enough, of middling quality or second rate, or one who manages to perform just well enough to keep their jobs, to the detriment of student learning.

Marginal teachers may have a reasonable handle on the material, but have poor classroom management skills. They are characterized by their negative attitudes about teaching, and also have difficulty or an inability to relate with others, including colleagues, parents, and students.

The main line of defense against marginal, or inadequate, teachers is the principal of the school.  It is known and accepted that that students with ineffective teachers are harmed. Students will likely recover from a single year of having a lower quality instructor, but multiple years under a marginal teacher will lead to lasting problems.  Unfortunately, principals have a lot of responsibilities, leaving little time to properly identify and address the needs of the marginal teachers.

The purpose of conducting this study was to fill the gap there is in the literature on the subject.  They wanted to determine whether male or female principals differ in their views in supervising and evaluating marginal teachers.  They also wished to “expand the understanding of how male and female supervisors view the challenge of identifying and working with marginal teachers, this study examined the perceptions of male and female principals about the identification of marginal teachers and the strategies they use to supervise and evaluate them”.

This study followed a descriptive format, they used an online survey, and used these three questions to guide their study:

  1. What data sources do principals use to identify marginal teachers, and how their views differ by gender?
  2. What supervisory methods do principals use when attempting to improve marginal teachers, and how do their views on the methods differ by gender?
  3. How do principals working with marginal teachers describe their supervisory styles, and do they differ by gender?

They concluded that both male and female principals felt their evaluations of the teachers to be the main source of information when making decisions about marginal teachers.  Classroom walkthroughs and informal observations are their primary diagnostic tool.  Female principals leaned toward a procedural supervisory style, while male principals had a more situational style. Female principals were more inclined to consider outside opinions, such as other supervisors, parents, students and even teacher self-evaluation than their male counterparts.  This study also corroborated other studies that indicated that there was a pattern of female support concerning data sources. That female principals value instruction and perceive their supervisory role as important, they have strong instructional leadership and are more involved with the teacher on a personal level.


I found it interesting that this study seems to indicate female principals are more likely to manage using a style with procedures, documents and data while their male counterparts may be more inclined to just go with their ‘gut’.  I agree that many female leaders can be more, at least seemingly, interested in the lives of their staff, but on the other hand I find many female supervisors feel they have something to prove.  They can be as tough as the next guy and make it their mission to prove it, while male supervisors may either be strict and firm or friendly and jovial.  I, personally, feel this more often comes down to an individual’s personality and circumstance far more than anything related to their sex.

In this study they only surveyed two states, one in the Midwest and another in the Rocky Mountains.  I would be interested to see how the data varied with a larger pool of principals and in different areas.  For example: the southern, northern, eastern and western states or non-continental USA, how about Europe, Asia, Canada or South Africa?  I have a feeling the results would vary strongly in these different regions and would likely reflect the sexual equality and attitudes toward female and male roles in those societies.

I found the article to be well written and put together. Data charts helped demonstrate the relevant numbers and how they related to one another.  When I finished reading, the first thing I thought was that it was leaning rather heavily on the side of female principals being more effective, involved and possibly better managers of the teachers and therefore the school.  I immediately wondered if the authors were female, if they had been all female or even more than half, I would have been inclined to think that this article was biased toward women.  But given only one of the cited authors of the study was a female researcher it seems less likely to be women touting the glory of women.

If there were more information about the relationship in areas with less gender equality, I would try to use this information to tailor how I would interact with my principals in Taiwan.  But as is the cultural differences are significant, I do not believe that the data provided in this study is particularly relevant to my current situation.  If I ever transfer to a North American location, it would be interesting to see how my personal experiences and behaviour would be affected by the differences between male and female supervisors.

EDUC 921 Pre Course Paper

8 11 2015

EDUC 921    Pre Course Paper

Magda Vince

November 5th, 2015

At first I had no idea what to write, it should have been easy, I should have known my personal philosophy in education.  My personal philosophy in education is not really something that I have given a ton of thought.  I balked at it because I found the task to be a daunting one, but ultimately this is good for me because I need to clearly think and write about my philosophy for my full application to the program at Framingham.  I was not sure how to proceed, as we have not been given examples or guidance on what is expected.  I looked online, read some examples and realized, hopefully correctly, that I should be writing about what I personally consider to be important in education and teaching.  If I have incorrectly identified the objective, I apologize.

There are many things that I consider to be very important to keep in mind in regards to what I am teaching and trying to achieve in the classroom.  As teachers, we have a responsibility to not only educate the children academically but to help shape them into responsible, ethical and good people.  It is not just about imparting information and knowledge, it is about making sure that they understand the importance of honesty, integrity and a job well done.

It is very important to make learning engaging and exciting.  I find ways to hit on students’ personal interests. If I can get them involved and excited about a topic it will have a greater impact on them.  It is of the utmost importance to try to make personal connections with my students to help them feel more comfortable talking to me in and out of class.  If they like me they will be more inclined to listen and learn, and if I take the time to get to know and like them I will be more invested in their future and comprehension.  This is especially true in Taiwan where a lot of the kids spend the vast majority of their time at school with their teachers. It is important to make the kids feel cared about and safe in the class room.  There is a culture of perfection here, it is not acceptable to not know or to be wrong.

An amusing example of this that happened often in the past was to ask for directions and have someone confidently explain how to get to a destination, only to discover that the person had no idea. Rather than admit it, they gave random directions hoping someone else help upon becoming lost.   In the classroom this translates to quiet, shy kids that are extremely hesitant to speak up in class.  They do not like to ask questions because that is an admission of ignorance.  I make a point with every new class to emphasis the importance of asking questions, encouraging their natural curiosity and helping them shed their cultural inhibitions.  I want them to feel safe to admit when they do not know something, and to realize that we all have questions and things we do not know.  For this reason I always admit when I do not know something. If I make a mistake I own it, I correct it, and we move on.  I lead by example and show that it is ok to not know or make mistakes if an effort is made to learn from it in the future.

Something I always strive for as a teacher is to ultimately make myself obsolete.  I teach my students to be independent, giving them the tools to succeed on their own.  I give them independent study skills, test taking skills, and the confidence to dissect an assignment on their own.  I am always available to help, but I expect them to try to complete tasks on their own.  They, eventually, are able to complete the majority of assignments with little to no intervention on my part.  I also make my classroom student centered as often as I can, because it is important that they are invested in what they are learning.  In my experience I have observed that students are more engaged and invested when we incorporate student centered learning into the classroom.

Communication is key to the success of any relationship.  That is why I always have an open communication policy with students, parents, colleagues and even administration.  With the students I am open and honest with them, as much as appropriate.  If I feel sick or if a particular class or assignment is important, I simply take time to discuss it with them.  They know what it is like to be sick or sad and are very understanding when time is taken to explain my mindset to them.  If a class or assignment is important, and it is explained why, they will have far more respect for it and me for discussing it with them.

I have an open classroom, anyone is welcome to come observe at any time.  In addition I often share plans, ideas, activities and classes that I plan to do or that have gone particularly well with my colleagues and administrators.  This is an important attitude to have as an educator; I get a lot from sharing with others as they share with me as well.  Sharing my accomplishments keeps me excited about what I am doing.

As for parents, I find that most problems often come down to misunderstandings or a lack of trust.  I speak with parents often and am sure that they know they are welcome to ask me anything about the class or their kids.  In addition, I started a class blog to share what we have been doing with pictures, worksheets, videos and even communications with the parents.  So far this has been very well received, the kids love it and the parents are delighted to be able to see pictures of activities and watch videos that we have watched in our class.  It encourages parental involvement and also helps the parents feel more confident in myself as their children’s educator.

Good instruction is made up of clear, understandable directions and material.  It’s important to consider the audience, and make the lessons level appropriate.  There is nothing worse than going to a class to have the book or teacher aimed a mile above students’ head.  It is frustrating and discouraging to the students, and shows a lack of connection and possibly disinterest or even worse apathy on the part of the instructor.

Instruction should be succinct and meaningful.  Assignments, lectures, readings and activities need to be useful, not just busy work.  It is also important to keep things as interesting as possible, depending on the subject matter. If a class or lesson is fun, or personalized to the students, it will have a far greater impact.  Student centered activities are a great way to get students involved and keep them interested in the subject matter.  It can also help when trying to make potentially unexciting material more personal and interesting.

Good supervision is something that is easy to speculate about but to be frank, in my experience, a little harder to find.  I would ideally like my supervisors to be fair but firm.  Again, communication is extremely important, I expect my supervisors to communicate clearly and honestly with me.  It is important to be able to talk to administration and that they are approachable, not kings on the mountain.  It is also important to know that they will listen, trust, and be supportive in a conflict or dispute.

One school, that I ultimately did not work at but was really looking forward to the positive environment, the director of the English department was personable, open and easy to talk to.  All the teachers that worked under her confirmed that she listened to the staff and took their feelings and perspectives into consideration.  When it came to reports from parents or complaints she always supported the teacher, regardless of what was said. Her first take was that of support of the teaching staff, and she reserved judgment of the situation until after discussing with the teachers in question.  I, personally, have not experienced that kind of support in schools in Taiwan.  The usual maneuver here is to assume the teachers are in the wrong without even discussing it with them, and then trying to do damage control to clean up the mess afterwards.  The party line for a lot of teachers is to constantly do everything you can to ‘cover your ass’ in case anything goes wrong.  I have yet to run into problems of this kind at my current job, but I have heard that our administrator is quite busy but tends to try to trust the staff, which I hope is the case.

What helped me the most to become a successful teacher?  Well, in part I would say that my own personality is the main driving force behind my success.  I really enjoy teaching, I get excited when I reach the kids and get them involved in a lesson.  I like to learn new things, but I have a short attention span and am easily bored.  As a result, I am constantly driven to try harder to make my lessons interesting, to spice things up, which keeps me and the kids interested and excited.

Also, this program has been a large positive influence for me as a teacher.  Not so much the courses themselves, they have been useful and informative, the most important thing that I have gotten from the program is a reigniting of my passion for teaching.  I had lost the spark, and was seriously considering leaving education and pursuing a different career.  I was extremely unhappy, especially after a very negative experience with unprofessional and shockingly poor management at my previous school.  When I left, we had nine foreign homeroom teachers, and that year six of the nine left the school permanently, and one transferred to a different department.  I attempted to transfer as well, but it did not work out.  The coordinator left mid-year, and her replacement left in June, three of the teachers were so ‘scarred’ by the experience that they left the country, two more left the city.  In the aftermath, I felt so disillusioned that while I changed schools, I was honestly considering leaving not only teaching but leaving Taiwan which has been my home for the past 14 years.

I decided to join the Framingham Master’s in International Education, to improve my resume and in the hopes to improve my situation if not now, at least in the future.  I knew that I would learn new things, meet new, people and have new experiences.  What I did not anticipate was the affirmation that I am actually good at my job, that I am a good teacher, and the realization that I still have a lot to offer.  The interactions, shared experiences, and lively discussions that I have engaged in with my classmates have made a world of difference to me personally and professionally.  I have learned about education and teaching, but most importantly I have learned about myself.  I have also made valuable connections and hopefully have improved my prospects for the future.


6 11 2015

I didn’t vote for him.

I couldn’t even if I wanted to because my right to vote was taken away.

I have recently and rapidly become ashamed of my country and what it has become.  Especially approaching the election.  I was disheartened, enraged, embarrassed, and even ashamed of my country.  I have been an expat for 14 years, I have often joked and jested about my homeland, but it has always been just that.  I refused to even consider giving up my citizenship, not because the Canadian passport is ‘better’, which is of course a factor.  But because deep down, Canada will always be a part of me and my home, no matter where I go, where I live, where my new home may be.  Canada is part of me, part of who I am, shaped me, and ultimately a huge part of my identity.

In the short time since the election, I have been nervously watching to see what our new Prime Minister would do.  He’s a politician, and … well they can be a shady bunch.  He’s done a number of things that may well, come lets be honest they are, publicity stunts.  But at the same time, he’s doing them.  And let’s consider, all people in the lime light do things to get your attention but what are they doing?  Regardless of why, what are they doing?

He ran a clean and positive campaign.

Meeting people in the morning after the election in the metro to shake hands and say thank you.

He used google hangouts, to reach out and chat with school children across the country about issues and their concerns.

Continually talking about, and making real moves toward, transparency in the government.

He promised a cabinet that was gender equal… and then he actually did it. 0.0

Speaking of the cabinet… I’ve heard some grumbling about how, it should be based on qualifications not getting the job for being a woman.  <- ok holy fuck off.. because all the men in the previous cabinets were the best candidate?  Like there aren’t any freaking qualified women in government?  Really.?  HUFF

When he was asked why he made a gender equal cabinet, his answers was simple “because it’s 2015”.

But seriously look at this..


In case you haven’t seen this floating around


These are some of the cabinet members…

We have a Minister of Environment and CLIMATE CHANGE.
We have a Minister of Immigration, Citizenship and REFUGEES.

Our Prime Minister is a sci-fi geek.
Our Minister of Health is an actual Doctor.
Our Minister of Families, Children and Social Development is a poverty economist.
Our Minister of Science is an actual Scientist (oh, and she has a Nobel Prize).
Our Minister of Status of Women is an actual woman!
Our Minister of Veterans Affairs is a quadriplegic because he was shot in a drive-by shooting.
Our Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour is a Professional Geologist.
Our Minister of Democratic Institutions is a Muslim refugee.
Our Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities is a Paralympian Athlete.
Our Minister of Defence is a badass war hero, Afghanistan combat vet, and police officer.

Half of our Ministers are women.
Half of our Ministers are men!
Two of our Ministers are people of First Nations (Kwakwaka’wakw, Inuit)
Three of our Ministers were born outside of Canada (India, Afghanistan)
Two of our Ministers are Sikh.
At least one of our Ministers is Muslim.
At least two of our Ministers are Atheist.
One of our Ministers is battling breast cancer. frown emoticon
One of our Ministers is in a wheelchair.
One of our Ministers is blind.
One of our Ministers is openly gay.
One of our Ministers is openly ginger.
Also, Hon. Navdeep Bains has a perfect twirly moustache.

Justin, if these are signs of what is to come, how you plan to run our country.  I breathe a sigh of relief.  I didn’t vote for you, but you’ve given me my Canada back, or at least have started to.  I am proud of my country again.  And I had a little hitch in my breath, my heart skipped a beat when I read his open letter to the country.  If nothing else, thank you for giving me hope.


Dear Fellow Canadians, We Need to Talk. (Part II)

5 10 2015

[Link to Part One]

A quick recap

  1. Nazis were bad
  2. Some business about coming for people who aren’t me
  3. Environmental stuff <– meh, doesn’t effect me
  4. Human rights violation something or other <– meh, doesn’t effect me
  5. Activists and protesters could be terrorists and arrested <– meh, doesn’t effect me
  6. Dual citizens are now second class citizen who can looks their Canadian passport with no due process  <– meh, doesn’t effect me

If you’re lucky enough to have actually gotten all the way through there with the ‘doesn’t affect me’s, um.. Kudos? But remember good ole Martin?  Here let me toss that in here in case you’ve forgotten.

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

I am guilty, I have been guilty.  Even the dual citizenship, I mean that’s complete crap but it doesn’t effect me.

And then they came for me.

I’ve never been politically minded or even vaguely interested.  But at some point you have say hang on a minute, what are the people who are running our country doing?  Maybe it’s because I’m getting older, growing up?  Realizing I can’t just sit idly by while someone does something horrible because that makes me complacent?   But in the last couple of years I’ve started to take note, and thinking I need to get more involved, more active.  I certainly need to be exercising my right to vote, it’s my responsibility as a citizen of this nation to educate myself on the issues and vote.

Now in fairness, the removal of the right for expats to vote was done a while ago, but it was overturned. In May (2014) last year, Superior Court Justice Michael Penny threw out the voting ban, noting that mass murderers have the right to cast ballots but long-term expats who care deeply about the country do not. Penny also said expats could well be subject to Canadian tax and other laws.

But this July (2015) it was reinstated, how convenient, just before the federal election.  But… what about the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which came into effect on April 17, 1982? Under section 3:

Every citizen of Canada has the right to vote in an election of members of the House of Commons or of a legislative assembly [of a province or territory] and to be qualified for membership therein.

I’m a Citizen.  Why can’t I vote?  I am subject to laws and taxes in Canada.  Why can’t I vote?

In 1993 they passed  Bill C-114, which in part “removed voting disqualifications for judges, people with mental disabilities and inmates serving less than two years in correctional institutions.  And extended the use of the special ballot, enabling any elector to register and vote without having to appear in person on election day or at an advance poll”

Hang on, let me see if I have this straight, long term criminals, murders, rapists and the like, have a charter given right to vote.  Because they are citizens.  But because I reside in a different country, in which I maintain my Canadian passport and citizenship, I do not get to vote.  Ok, that makes perfect sense (no it doesn’t).

But you’re probably thinking… <– meh, doesn’t effect me

Wake up and smell the shit storm of disgustingness!!!!  Revoking the citizenship of Canadians?  Labeling people who are protesting a pipeline that has potentially horrible environmental consequences as terrorists???? Taking away the right, the RIGHT WE HAVE HAD SINCE 1982, to vote?  None of this is bad enough for you?

Ok, fine.  How about this little disgusting bit of xenophobic trash and racism?

The whole niqab issue that is blowing up in the press. The woman who wanted to wear her niqab during the citizenship ceremony, and no no no.  Worse yet according to polls most people seem to agree it’s just not on.  If this is how you feel, I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt, you’ve probably not thought about it much and just thought “hey that’s, yeah, weird I don’t like it”

Let me explain it to you, it’s not about confirming her identity, that was done in interviews and during the whole citizenship process in which she was required to show her face to female agents. So forget it being about security, it’s not.  It’s not about women’s rights as some have tried to make it seem, that no one should ever tell a woman that she must cover her face and that these women want to do so is only because they have be brain washed to do so.  Even if that is true, I’m not even saying it’s not.

A woman is an adult, and socially conditioned or not, if she doesn’t feel comfortable showing her face in a group of mixed company she shouldn’t have to.

Think about it this way, there are many conservative religious groups in the world, that have ‘odd’ practices.  Some always cover their hair, only their husband can see their hair.  Some wear little hats.  Some eat little cookies and drink wine claiming it to be blood and flesh. Some wear head, or face coverings. Some wear skirts only.  Some won’t wear anything modern, with zippers and velcro.  Others still wear orange and shave their heads.  And that is their right, as long as they are not hurting anyone else with their beliefs they can do so.

A prominent Canadian Leader was quoted as saying

I will never tell my young daughter that a woman should cover her face because she’s a woman

Hear hear!  But… why do you think it’s ok to tell a woman who according to her faith and her beliefs, whether you agree with them or not, that she must show her face?

Imagine there was a society that went topless all the time, it was a matter of pride for the women to show their bare breasts as a badge of honor of their femininity.  And they met one of us, and thought us so strange that we covered our breasts.  How degrading, that we have be taught to cover ourselves, we’ve been brainwashed by the misogynistic men in our society.  We’re just confused.  Should they then tear our clothing from our bodies? to force us to live their way?  We need to be enlightened like they are, they must force us to join their correct way.

Again, you’re probably thinking <– meh, doesn’t effect me

And then I see this, and this my friends, my fellow Canadians, this was the straw that broke my camel’s back.  It wasn’t even when they came for me, because meh screw em.  But when I saw this this morning, I felt sick.   {link}

pledging that a re-elected Tory government would establish a tip line for reporting “barbaric cultural practices”

Don’t be fooled by the window dressing, of it’s to protect young girls being forced into early marriages.  Or to help abuse victims. Or to protect us.  Because that is not what it is, it’s a hotline to report anyone you don’t like, especially if they have strange cultural practices.

Seriously?  What happened to the Canada that celebrated diversity?  The Canada, that when faced with the issue of a Sikh RCMP officer wanting to be able to wear his headdress, ruled in his favour?  Sure people bitched and moaned and many didn’t like it, but the Law stood for the rights and diversity of our nation.  Did we learn nothing from the Americans literally THROWING their rights away after 911?  Snowden telling everyone that the government was indeed abusing the shit out of these ‘safety protocols’

Can’t you see? This is how it starts.  This is how it has started in the past…. Do I think we’ll be another Germany with another Holocaust and spark a world war?  No…We as a people would never let something like that happen. Not here, not now.

I bet if you asked Germans in the 1920’s if they thought the same thing, they would have scoffed and said don’t be preposterous.  We’d never let something like that happen, not here.

What’s next Canada?  Marriage equality? The right to chose?  The right to a fair trial?  We’ve only had those since 2005, 1988, and I’m not even sure.. but it’s way back there.  But then again so was the right of every Canadian to vote.

And if you’ve read all this, and you still think.  Well it’s not that big of a deal, or there isn’t really a problem.  Then you, my dear, are the problem.  

Dear Fellow Canadians, We Need to Talk. (Part I)

4 10 2015

Have you ever met a German?  You know anyone from Germany?  I have, and like all people some of them suck, but the vast majority of them are quite lovely people.  But wait, makes you wonder doesn’t it?  I mean how did that whole Nazi party, thing happen?  I mean sure a lot of Germans are a little fussy, tidy, punctual etc. but evil Nazi types, not really.  But we all, well except Alex Johnstone, know about the holocaust, the Nazi reign, and World War II. So if Germans aren’t a particularly stupid or evil people, how in hell did that all happen?  How did the people not stand up and say, “Whoa hold on, you can’t do this!”  Ever wonder?

There is a famous quote, by Martin Niemöller, a prominent Protestant pastor who emerged as an outspoken public foe of Adolf Hitler and spent the last seven years of Nazi rule in concentration camps.

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

Mmmm, I’m sure you’re all nodding sagely at this point and wondering what this has to do with you.  I mean, Germany in the 1930’s and Canada in the 2010’s, how is there any connection?

Maybe there isn’t, maybe I’m being dramatic, that’s what people will say.  That’s likely what people said about Martin, or anyone who though “gee… this isn’t right” when shit started in Germany.

What’s my point?  Well, I’m pretty horrified by what’s happening in Canada right now.  Never mind the environmental atrocities and horrors that have been happening, or the selling out human rights for a few bucks (FIPA).  The childish and dirty pool politics coming up to the elections.  <- all of which I’ve turned a blind eye to for the past few years, because you know I was not ‘a Socialist’ or ‘Trade Unionist’ or even a ‘Jew’.  Doesn’t really affect me so meh.  I’m very guilt of being complacent.  And now I realize my error, oh they have come for me, and it’s too late.

Don’t know what I’m talking about?  Let’s start with Bill C-51, which  has the potential to scoop up environmentalists, aboriginal rights activists, union members and anyone who is seen to stand in the way of national security.  The act’s interpretation states that it applies to any activity that “undermines the sovereignty, security or territorial integrity of Canada or the lives or the security of the people of Canada.” This includes the following: “Interference with the capability of the Government of Canada in relation to intelligence, defense, border operations, public safety, the administration of justice, diplomatic or consular relations, or the economic or financial stability of Canada.”

So, the First Nations people who are blocking the pipeline from being built on their land?  Rightfully so by the way, the pipeline has no right to build on their land.. but you know they are messing with the financial stability of Canada.  Dirty terrorists.

But I’m not first nations, I’m not an activist or protester… so you know whatever right?

How about Bill C-24, that allows the Canadian Government can now revoke the citizenship of Canadians holding dual citizenship. Plus it only applies to immigrants, not natural born Canadians.  Wrong.  It creates an inferior class of Canadians, whose citizenship can be revoked at the whim of the government. While many assume that the provisions only apply to “new” Canadians, whose primary allegiance may rest with their country of birth and initial citizenship, even though, as a matter of convenience they have also acquired a Canadian passport, this is incorrect: even citizens born in this country, with Canadian heritage going back many generations, can lose their citizenship if they also hold another passport.

You might be thinking but it’s not like they are just going to run around taking passports from people because they don’t like them, you’d need to be like REALLY bad.  A traitor, a terrorist, some kind of hideous criminal, right? Wrong.  They’ve already started taking citizenship away, Paul Watson lost the right to come home without any shred of due process. No hearing, no right to challenge the decision, no appeal. {link} <-google it if you want to know more … it’s terrifying.

But, I mean, come on I don’t have dual citizenship… so it doesn’t affect me.

Tell me your sensing a pattern at this point. If you’re not… sigh. <- you’re what’s wrong with our country right now.

To be continued…..  (because It’s going to be ‘too long didn’t read’ otherwise)

[Link to Part Two]

Protected: The Plot Thickens!!!! (ask)

23 06 2015

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Gong Show

22 01 2014

Wow what a cluster fuck.  I bought my ticket online, no problem.  Ended up packing way late because work was nuts, then a series of unfortunate events (that really just boils down to me leaving too late) made me miss my flight.   The thing is if any one or two events didn’t happen I probably would have made it.  The guy to get Angela’s elliptical calls as I’m supposed to be leaving, my fault I should have just ignored it.  Sent rob thinking it would be ok, I lost so many things throughout the day and was constantly searching for, my camera, my make up, my soap etc. 

Finally it was like fuckin hell we have to go, so we go grab our cab and off we go.. and the cab driver is like hey sorry I need to grab gas.  Ishould have said no got out and got another cab, he goes a stupid way and that ends up taking 5 minutes it didn’t need to take.  Then there was random bad busy traffic in a couple of spots for no damn reason.  

(side note, this dude is pacing and yacking on the phone, when he was speaking French I just wanted to kick him because he was being such a dick… then he makes another call. First call was to his wife or secretary.. someone who he drastically lacks respect for.  Second call is girlfriend, or friend he wants to be banging.  First call is in French second is in English.  And it’s the English call that really gets under my skin.. he sounds like SUCH a sleaze and he’s not even saying anything interesting.  I literally just hate his accent) 

Anyway back to my story, so we’re on the way traffic clears up and I’m like pedal to the metal buddy, but he’s worries about speeding tickets. I’ll pay just go! Ugh nope put put put.. I get to the airport about 10 minutes too late but I sprint in .. you know just in case.  No luck, they’ve all fucked off and no one is in a helping mood.  Finally I get ahold of someone in shanghai and they said don’t worry you can just change your flight to tomorrow. I’m like don’t mess with me, he swears it’s no big deal I can just change the flight, he just can’t do it because he’s not in Taipei.  Only the Taipei office or my travel agent can do it.

So I call expedia, have to install skype on my phone because (long story I hate skype) I don’t want to pay to call a 1-888 number.  I talk to them 3 times, and the system keeps hanging up on me so I’m there in tears hating the world.  I finally get someone one, and I give her my number telling her to call me if the call drops.  We check a bunch of stuff and finally figure it all out she’s just about the change the booking… call fucking drops.  I wait a bit I try to call back I can’t get through at all now.  So I go home, I figure fuck it, I’ll call the airline in the morning.  I take the bus back, get home all dejected, go out for some sushi. 

In the morning, I get up and am immediately bowled over with a barrage of questions about some wine, will tell about the wine fiasco in another post.  So I’m trying to deal with that and I’m calling the airline.  The airline tells me, sorry we can’t rebook the ticket because it’s ½ operated by Air France, but don’t worry your agent can do it.  Oooookay.  So I call expedia, spend 2 hours on the phone with this guy who insists the flight I want doesn’t exist in his computer which blows my mind I’m fucking looking at it.  But whatever.  So he’s like how about this, this this this.. finally we agree on a suggestion.  HE goes to book it.. and then he’s like hmm there is a problem the airline is blocking me from making this change.  So now I’m on hold and he’s calling the fucking Taipei office of the airline… eyeroll.  After a while he comes back and he’s like, I can’t do it.  They won’t let me, you have to call them yourself and they will either rebook you or give you your money back and you can rebook, and he advises me to stand my ground and insist they fix the ticket so I don’t get screwed.  I’m fine with paying a fee or a fine.. but how complicated can this get???

So I call  the Taipei office and they are like well we.. and I totally got mad (politely) and was like listen, I’ve been on the phone for hours.  To people in three different countries, the guy in Shanghai YOUR main office said it wasn’t a problem… HELP me.  Arg.  She’s like ok, hang on.  Puts me on hold, comes back and is like it’s all ok.  Give me your email I send you the confirmation.  Um… what?

And she does just emails me, all the changes are made, but in a way so it looks like there was no change… the dates even say my original purchase date and price… no fee, no fine… nothing.  I’m completely gob smacked.  To be honest I was kind afraid it was all a trick.

Then I figure hey lemmi go get some stuff done I didn’t have time for yesterday, found my make up bag, got some medicine, was too lazy to repack, but did leave money for ed to take the cat to the vet and got a much needed haircut.  I’m at home just kinda killing time, updating money stuff and watching tv and think heck lemmi go to the airport.  So I call the taxi and THE FUCK they are high on shrooms I swear I ranted about it on fb… basically they were being COMPLETE morons and pissing me right off.  They finally gave me a cab though and off I went… THE FUCK TRAFFIC in the same spot for the same nonexistent reason!!! But I arrived at the airport with plenty of time.

I check in and the girl is like, ok your continuing flight is tomorrow so I can’t issue your boarding pass.. um.. it’s LITERALLY  5 minutes into tomorrow (1205am) stupid but shrug.  Then she’s like so you need to go to immigration get your bags, and re check in.  um.. ok.  You know I don’t have a visa for china… that isn’t a problem is it.  Great she thinks it is.  SIGH.  After much conferring and checking of rules they decide I’ll be fine I just have to show them my ongoing flight information.  You know that paper that I never print because you NEVER need it?  Yeah that one.  UGH.  So they print it for me and off I go.  I (foolishly) think ok this has been a little nuts but I’m in the clear now. Wrong.  I go through security, drink my water… get to immigration and being all cool I use the e-gate (which is usually awesome) you have to register (I did a few trips ago) and then you just put your id on the screen it scans it lets you into a little glass chamber and takes a photo (face recognision software) and it’s like NO MATCH NO MATCH.. hmm it tries again, no dice and now it’s made at me…. So it asks for my finger print (also in the system from the registration) and NO NO NO NO.. it’s freaking out.  Now I’m trapped and it refuses to let me pass or excape.  I have no idea what to do.  Turns out I picked a broken fucking gate… dude put up a sign!! The immigration dude is pissing himself laughing at me as he manually opens the gate and lets me out (back in) and says just use a different gate.. BLARG  I got through that one no damn problem. 

But there couldn’t possibly be more… oh there is.  Somehow I completely fail at the basics of travel and go COMPLETELY to the end of the fucking line in the WRONG SONOFABITCH DIRECTION… I realize my fuck up basically 10 minutes from take off and have to take a dead run in the other direction… I get there and they are like.. the fuck.  Yeah I’m a retard. Face palm.

I finally got on the plane, and arrived in Shanghai.  All has been fine here actually except I hate it here.  I hate how rude everyone is… and nasty.  Like the people SCREEECHING at the security officer as I was trying enter the immigration area.. why were they mad? Because their gate was at the other end of the airport and they wanted dude to magically fix it.. um.. you’re crazy can I go in now?  And China sucks ass balls and blocks like everything and has like 1980’s dial up speeds for the internet… ugh

APRC finally applied

7 08 2012

Well after all these years not only did I apply, I did it in record time.  From start to application meeting, basically 3 weeks.  Waiting for approval will take longer!  Course the whole, waiting for approval.. eek.  Because that means there is some possibility for rejection, not that the officer can make any guarantees, but she said as much as she can it’s gonna happen.    It’s just about timing, my boss is saying he will cancel my ARC on the 31st of August and that’s not enough time.  So I have to see if he’ll keep it for a little longer if not then I have to do more BS to make sure I remain legal.. sigh.

So when I did it all I had to ask a million questions and drive everyone half bananas, but on the plus side my interview took about 15 minutes and she told me that I was the first person to ever have everything ready to go all at the same time.

I thought it might be nice to write the whole thing up.. so here it is.. (boring to most of you, but useful to some I suppose)

Step By Step Process For Getting an APRC
for a Canadian 2012
I recently went through the whole process and documented it for other Canadians

  1. (Depends, only took me 15 minutes, free)  Open through lunch  8am-5pm
    Go into your NIA office (National Immigration Agency, where you go to get and renew your ARC # 15 Guangzhou street, Zhongzhen district Taipei city.   Tel: 02 2388 9393) And ask if you’re eligible for the APRC, they will do a check and make sure you’ve had an ARC for long enough (5 years) and make sure to ask if you have any gaps in your ARC that you might not know about.   Also make sure you made enough money in the last Calendar year… the last I checked it was around 450,000nt but confirm with the agents when you’re at the NIA.  You can ask the Tax office for that information if you’re not sure.
  2. (less than 5 minutes, free)   closed at lunch  8:30-am-5pm
    Go to the Canadian Trade office in Taipei: pick up fingerprinting papers
    This was easy as pie, just scooter over, parked by the Mitsikoshi malls zipped up, asked the receptionist and voila.
    6F, Hua-Hsin Building, No. 1 SongZhi Road, Xinyi District, Taipei 11047, Taiwan    Tel: +886 (2) 8723-3000
  3. (10 minutes, Free calling with Skype)
    Call the law office in Canada and confirm what they need from you as well as have them  send you the application form for them to submit the check for you.   Need to call after 10:30 pm  Taiwan time, during Alberta Business hours.  You need application form, sign the release to have your criminal record sent to someone in Canada.  Photocopies of two pieces of Canadian ID,
    Webpage: http://canadianlegal.org/     Phone:  1-800-320-2477

    Copies of my driver’s license and Passport (Canadian) as well as my ARC.  Printed the Documents, and application forms.
  4. (30 minutes or less, 100nt per fingerprinting set)  Friday 13th    open for lunch
    Go to the NIA office in your area, go to counter 58 in the basement of the Taipei office and have the officer take your prints.
  5. (5-10 minutes, 300nt)
    Friday 13th  it arrived Tuesday the 17th and was submitted to the RCMP that day

    Mail documents to the legal office in Canada, there is a post office in the basement right next to the counter for the fingerprinting.  I sent it EMS (express post) and it’s supposed to arrive within 3-5 days.  I also took photos of everything that was included in the packet and emailed them to the law office in Calgary to make sure everything was in order.
  6. (10-15 minutes, free with skype)
    Converting and Processing of prints costs $78.75 including taxes
    Called the law office again and gave them my credit card number.  Also called the TECO office in Ottawa to confirm everything needed for them to authenticate my Criminal record check.
    http://www.taiwanembassy.org/CA       Tel: (613) 231- 5080 ext. 225 or 239

  7. (20 minutes, 750nt) Thursday 19th    open at lunch 9am-5pm
    Had my letter of power of attorney notarized, allowing my friend (that my Criminal record check was being released to) to apply for the authentication.  The notary office was very friendly and easy to deal with.
    Phone 02-2729-3139   http://www.twnotary.org (last I checked their site was down, but just call they speak English) The office is just upstairs of the Tavern, on the corner of Keelung and Xinyi, the door is right next to the Hang Ten.  You’re also meant to authenticate a copy of your passport, but it was expensive and annoying so I didn’t bother , I sent my passport itself.
  8. (20 minutes, 300nt) Thursday 19th
    Arrived in Canada Tuesday 24th, so did the Criminal Record check from the RCMP
    Mailed my power of attorney letter, my passport, the TECO application form to my friend who was getting my Criminal Record Check in Canada.  Used EMS again 3-5 days.
  9. (2 hours, 1660nt) pick up a 5-10 business days later   Friday 20th   CLOSED at lunch
    You can do it at most national hospitals, I went to He Ping Hospital (because of their quick processing time, 5 days)  unfortunately because you need to get health check type B, NOT type A (the one you get for your ARC) which many Taiwanese people need to get, so you might need to do some waiting.  Blood test and X ray themselves were quick. Went back on Friday 27th to pick it up.
  10. (Time?, $107 Canadian)  Wednesday 25th arrived in Ottawa on 26th (2 days for processing)
    My friend took a photo of my criminal record check and emailed it to me (so I could have it translated).  She put everything in an envelope and sent it to the TECO office in Ottawa.  My friend got a certified cheque or money order, made out to “TECO in Canada” from the bank for  $16 Canadian.   This link explains everything you need to do http://www.taiwanembassy.org/CA/ct.asp?xItem=170084&ctNode=166&mp=77


My friend went and got a money order/cheque,  the application forms, copies of their ID, my passport, my criminal record check, a letter requesting they send everything back to me in Taipei, and the money order for $76 and put them all in an express envelope to the TECO office in Ottawa.  Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Canada 45 O’Connor Street, Suite 1960, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1P1A4  (613) 231-5080.  $60 for the EMS to send it back to Taipei, $16 for TECO processing plus postage to send it to Ottawa.


  1. (5 minutes, 100nt)  pick up in 5 days     Friday 27th  open at lunch 9am-5pm
    Went into the foreign affairs police station in Ximen, gave them my ARC and 100nt and requested a criminal record check.  Picked up my Health Check from the Heping hospital.
  2. (an hour or so driving around, gas money)  Friday the 3rd
    Picked up my Taiwanese Criminal Record Check, went to the tax office (open at lunch) and picked up my blue tax paper, went to my boss and picked up my employment letter.

  3. (an hour or so, 750nt)  Monday 6th     open at lunch
    My passport and authenticated criminal record check arrived in the mail on the 4th.  I took them into the notary on Xinyi with the Chinese Translation of the Criminal Record Check AND MY TRANSLATOR (this is very very important they are not authenticating your translation they are notarizing your translator’s signature on the document, which means they must see them sign the document in front of them).  Also popped by my work and made a photo copy of every page of both my current and previous passports.   Then went to my meeting at the NIA with the APRC agent.

Check list of everything you need to prepare

  • Fingerprinting document from Canadian Trade Office in Taipei
  • Photo copies of ID, application form, completed fingerprint forms for your Criminal Record Check (valid 3 months)
  • Authenticated and certified copy of passport, or original passport, application form, letter of power of attorney to be sent to the person receiving and forwarding your Criminal Record Check to the TECO office for authentication
  • Chinese Translation of RCMP Criminal Record Check, anyone can translate but you need them to go with you to the notary office to sign their translation in front of the officer (the signature needs to be notarized )
  • Health check type B  (valid 3 months)
  • Taiwan Criminal Record Check  (valid 1 month)
  • Tax ‘income’ form from the previous fiscal year (it’s blue)     (valid 1 month)
  • Employment certificate (letter from your boss, same one you use for your ARC)
    (valid 1 month)
  • The originals of your work permits, for the past 5 years (at least) and a photocopy of the most recent year.
  • An ID photo
  • Photo copies of every  page of your current and previous passport and if your ARC on A4 paper (You can copy both of them on the same paper, it just has to be clear).

Weekend Away in Dieppe

30 05 2012

This weekend (oops I wrote this in the car and then forgot to post it..  so actually it was like three weeks ago) we were supposed to have a paintball extravaganza, with camping out in the woods (I can’t even begin to tell you how ‘excited’ I was about that part) for two days.  Technically it’s been planned for well over a month, but as the weekend approached suddenly people who were all for it started dropping like flies. Originally there were like 15 some people going but by Monday there were only 8 or 6 and by Wednesday most of them were making noises about the weather and the wetness.  It looked like the whole thing was rather doomed, and Regis was super bummed out.  But then he thought about it, checked the weather forcast (which wasn’t terrible, but wasn’t great either) and was like well fuck it, let’s go to Dieppe instead for the long weekend.  I was like, um ok, long weekend (my life is a long weekend at the moment) ? And what’s in Dieppe? 

Turns out we were actually supposed to go to Dieppe the first or second weekend I was here to hang out with his cousins.  I don’t remember why we didn’t go, perhaps weather or other plans, regardless I’m glad we didn’t go when I first got here or I would have spent most of the time sitting in the corner not sure how to talk to anyone.  But as is, I had a really good time this weekend.  Which is funny because we didn’t really do anything, we got here on Friday late afternoon and hung out with his cousin and her son and step son.  When her husband got off work we had some drinks and dinner (which in Europe is usually a bit of a productions.. with the food order and all :D).

Honestly, there was a lot of time were I just lounged about on the sofa on my computer, facebooking or goofing around or reading my book.  But in the company of other people who were similarly occupied but still socializing with each other if that makes sense.  Sometimes we all watched TV, someone or other was playing video games… just sort chilling out at the house.

On Saturday we did end up going to a rally car race, which had it’s moments, but I wasn’t thrilled about standing out in the cold in a muddy ass field waiting for a car to go ZOOM and then done.  It wasn’t terrible, but I was cold and such a baby about all the mud.  Then we decided (and by we I mean they I was so not involved in the decision process) that the location we were in had given all it had to offer.  Including the idiot kid who kept jumping into the road so he could see the car and wave at it… um death wish much?  We all got massively splattered with mud bc of that dumb kid… the car had swerve half off the road to avoid him.  As dumb as the kid was, his father deserved a massive smack in the head and it kinda took all I had to keep from telling him off.  I mean who fucking takes a 9-11 year old boy to rally race and then lets him stand on the fucking road in front of a speeding car (sure the kid jump off the road every time.. but what if he slipped? What if the car slipped.. or crashed trying to avoid this idiot kid).  Anyway we moved to the start/ check point of the race (they do several circuits) because it was different, but of course we couldn’t get anywhere near to anything to see… The guys could sorta see… but the kids and I were pretty much hooped.  I was cold and bored so I wandered off looking for a better spot, where I could at least see something.

I had already decided that if I didn’t find any action, or a good spot I was going to hide in the car with my book :D.  So I wandered around for quite a while, crossed the street behind the start line (ie where the cars were not zinging off) and got some cool close up looks at the cars before they went on another circuit, then I continued on down the other side and found a great little spot (that was technically in the ‘hey hey don’t go here because it’s dangerous zone’) were I could see the cars start off.. and then they passed right in front of me (did a little loop) before zinging back down the road.  Excellent, I even had a little step to sit on!  And not a soul in front of me, win.  But I was still kinda cold.. and bored.  I mean the thing about rally cars is they zing by and then you just sit about waiting for the next one.  So I started to read.  Now I secretly, ok not so secretly as I said it out loud like 5 times, wanted to see a car crash in a spectacular fashion, and barring that I at leats wanted to see one skid out, bang into something or break somehow.  AND wish received… right in front of me a car came flying down the road with one wheel FUCKED up ended up stopping and pulling off right in front of me yay.  Not long after that we went home, for drinks and dinner and interneting.

Another day went for a walk down town, checked the Saturday morning street market, went to the super market a couple of times, I made dinner one night.  I also bought some popcorn (shit I forgot that at the house.. oh well) and made that.. which was a huge hit and I was asked to make it almost every night as an aperitif (snack with drinks before dinner).  And another night they wanted to try sushi, since I know how to make the rolls (it’s hardly rocket science) we popped down to the store to pick up some things and I made some salmon, shrimp and crab rolls, also a big hit.

Oh and we played Karnaxis one night, it was a bit of a gong show bc only Regis and I know how to play and the whole game is in English … which only I really speak.  Plus they’d all never really played this kind of game before and were really confused.  There was a lot of explaining and questions, and the game took forever.  But in the end it was a pretty good time and it was pretty cool because at the end of it, they were all like.. ‘man that was really fun and cool’ I love introducing new people to gaming.

It’s now it’s Wednesday and we’re in the car heading home.  Anyway I had a good time this weekend, and I’m glad we came now instead of a couple of months ago, because even though my French still sucks I can hold my own in a one on one conversation.  And everyone was really nice, trying really hard to help me and to understand my stories and conversation.  His cousins are really nice people. J.

Oh and one other thing, I love that everyone invariably ends up mentioning his ex and what a cow she is, and how I’m so nice 😀 lol.  I told Claire (his cousin) about his ex doing the whole kiss kiss thing with me and how taken aback I was and her reaction was fucking priceless.  She was like, WHAT? Seriously.. what a bitch.  I told her how when I tell folks back home about it, they brush it off as normal French kissy kissy business or that she was trying to be nice to me… and Claire was like.. hell no, she was just trying to make you uncomfortable and being nasty, this is wildly inappropriate of her.  Ha… I knew it.  Obviously I’m not going to be hearing songs of her praise, but man that woman seems like quite a prize.. hell even some of HER friends, they Regis met because they were friends with her… are no longer friends with her bc of all her manipulation etc.  Amusingly enough their the first ones to trash her, I swear to god I never bring her up.. and I have yet to meet anyone with a nice thing to say about her.  The best I’ve seen is, silence on the subject, for example Regis’s mom says nothing, not a word about her.  But then again his mom is like the nicest person ever, and I don’t think she’s every uttered a bad word about anyone in her life :D.

Ok, I’m done with writing now.. I’ll post when I get home.  Maybe I’ll watch a movie or read my book for a while.

Portsmouth at a Glance

27 05 2012

Because that’s all I really had to be honest.  My trip to England was more of a visa run than anything else, my vacation in France is longer than the three month landing visa I get into the Shenzhen area (am I the only one who thinks that sounds super chinesey?)  Anyway, I think I mentioned it but perhaps not, when I arrived I asked the immigration officer (who amusingly didn’t speak English, really at the international airport???) if England was in the Shenzhen region or not, it’s not.  So I popped over on the Wednesday afternoon ferry, let me just stop right here for a second.  I love boats.  And Ferries, just tickle me pink, I think it must be one of those childhood pleasant memory things, because I can’t get on a ferry without immediately going exploring and delighting at every little thing. Which is precisely what I did, I beelines to a nice little sofa area, got the old couple to watch my bad.. and disappeared for a couple of hours taking every staircase, elevator, and exploring every floor, room, deck, and nook and cranny of the place that was open.

I wasn’t even particularly interesting in most of the facilities available, but I was still delighted that they existed and where there if I wanted them (well wanted to pay exorbitant prices for them).  Including, two bars, and arcade, cabins, gift shops, restaurants, and all sorts of other little doodads.  Due to high winds, while we arrived on time, we weren’t actually allowed into the port for an hour, and I was worried because I had arranged to couch surf, and my host had offered to pick me up at the ferry on the way to the coach surfing social.  But luckily he’d been caught up at work so it all worked out.  So that evening we went to a pub, and hung out with some other couch surfers, it was very entertaining, and so delightful because everyone spoke English and while it’s not really an issue… it’s just nice to hang out with people who all speak your language fluently sometimes.

The next day, my host Chris had to work all day and didn’t have a spare key so once I was out, I was out till he got back from work.  Which was fine, and also he’s such a nice guy he loaned me his water/wind proof jacket which was quite the blessing a couple of times during the day.  I meandered down the coast using a little tourist map to check out any and everything free along the way (a bunch of pay museums too.. but I’m a cheap little thing, plus I don’t really like museums).  I took a ton of pictures (you can see them on Facebook.. but as usual I was too lazy to take out the good camera.. it’s not my fault it’s really big and heavy and I walked all over hells half achre for like 6 hours… I didn’t want to be lugging that monster along.

While in a bit of a shopping district I tried to find a little present to bring back to Regis, but everything was either quite expensive or something he didn’t need or probably wouldn’t want.  In the end I went into Boots of all places (a drug store) and got him a Cadbury Crème Egg, I really don’t like them… but they definitely don’t have them in France.  Besides other people go on and on about them.. he might like it.  Then I had a major brain wave and popped into a TESCO (a supermarket) and picked up a selection of beers for him to try.  Which of course weighed a ton and made the walk back just smashing :P.  But it was worth it, as he was absolutely delighted by his gift.

Anyway it was getting toward the time Chris would be getting off work so I started heading back (about a 30 minute walk), by the time I got there he’d already gotten in.  We spent some time chatting about where I went and what I did for the day.  We also had a really good chat about his travels in the States and plotted some nice gifts and things he could do for his GF who was coming to Portsmouth in a couple of months (she’s living in Spain at the moment).   Chris was greatly amused that I had compulsively tidied his kitchen (cleaned all the dishes and the stove and counter tops) and that I had actively stopped myself from doing the bathroom too.  Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t dirty, I’m just a nut.  Seems I’m a good house guest lol.. and he told me if I need a place to stay in oh say two weeks that would be just great..lol.   We had a bit of dinner and then headed to bed.

Because Chris being the nicest guy ever, he had offered to get up silly early in the morning to drop me at my ferry.  He works one of those jobs with flexible hours, so it worked out for him being Friday if he went in early he could go home early and start the weekend.  So we were up at 6-7am and off we went back to the boat.. YAY BOATS… (side note … I can’t hear, think, write or say the word boats… without thinking of that dude in Taipei that had named himself boats… not one boat.. several).   I hoped on the Ferry, had a long entertaining chat with this friendly older guy (who was quite the chatty cathy.. and this is coming from me of all people) who was going on a little one day hiking trip in France.  Explored a little, but as it was the same boat… meh.  And then back to France.

Oh, one last thing did happen, which amused/annoyed me.  To enter France (as in England) we had to pass through immigration.. on my way into England I got quite the grilling.. I mean she wanted to see my on going ticket back to Taipei… I was like why the hell would I have that with me??  And why do you care? You have my ongoing ticket back to France… plus I got a billion questions and warnings about taking work while in the country… um.  Do you have so many jobs that people are just flinging them at tourists?  I mean I’m here for like 36 hours… what could I possibly do in that time?  By contrast, when I arrived in the France the guy was like. Oh hi.. standard 1-2 questions, lemmi get my stamp.  😀  Meanwhile, I guess people from England just show their passport and walk through, this woman behind me was nearly apoplectic at the fucking 5 minute wait.  Which was all my fault for being a dirty foreigner, no she didn’t actually say anything but she was all big sighs, frantic eyes, and muttering obnoxious things like ‘oh for fuck’s sakes’ under her breath.  I mean for one…. Not a particularly intelligent way to behave at immigration, anywhere else and she would have been dragged off to a little room, but luckily for her the officer was 1 busy and 2 chill.  But it was so passive aggressively obnoxious, I wasn’t able to hold my tongue.  I finally said, (keep in mind she was being such a cow that I couldn’t keep from saying anything and this was like a 5 minute wait… at most) listen lady, they have to stamp my passport, it’s not my fault calm the fuck down.  You’ll get through in a minute.  So which she got all ‘well I never’, and insisted that she hadn’t said or done anything to the contrary.  I was like well quit the sighs and muttering comments and chill out.  I really just wanted to slap her :D.

Well that’s it.. 😀

Protected: Well good morning to you too…

12 05 2012

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Protected: Well good morning to you too..(ask 4 psswrd)

12 05 2012

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House of Cards.

2 04 2012

It’s the stupidest thing, but I completely fell apart this evening.  After the frustration over the kid (who is must have some survival sense and is being quite nice), money, no internet at all, not even the ghetto phone stealing internet, problems with my credit card (which I now don’t have at all.. I have to wait 2-4 days for them to courier a new one to me), nothing ever open, and the stress of the future of my relationship (I’m trying hard to cross that bridge when I come to it, but people keep pointing and saying look at that.. whatcha going to do about that… jesus.. leave it).  I still managed to hold it all together, other than a little teary moment at his mom’s house.  We went over there to use the internet to pay the SFR bill to get everything connected, and as I mentioned in my last post their stupid website wouldn’t accept his, my or his mom’s card.  Which is completely insane, as all three cards work everywhere else. 


So what’s the straw that broke the camel’s back?  What is it that had me sobbing for hours, completely inconsolable? It’s so fucking retarded that I’m embarrassed all to hell… but it was my iPod.  Just as we were leaving his mom’s house, the stupid thing slipped out of my pocket ( I was sitting in a low chair) and hit the ground.. I thought nothing of it as it only dropped about a foot… maybe a little more but not by much.  I’ve dropped the thing a million times.. always my heart in my throat and nothing it’s fine… Well today had to be the day… you know the only day that I couldn’t handle any more bad news.  The fucking thing smashed all to shit.  One corner is completely fucked and there are shatter and spider lines over more than a 1/3 of the screen.  The only thing holding it all together and keeping tiny shards of glass from falling all over and slicing me to bits is the screen protector sticker thingies.


Now in the grand scheme of things.. it totally sucks, but it’s really not that big of a deal… it’s going to cost me some coin to get the glass replaced and that hurts.  But it’s not like it’s gone, or actually broken.  Honestly it’s fine, everything works.. it’s just the glass is broken and it looks ghetto.  (if not for the plastic cover it would be dangerous and slice the fuck out of my hand.. but even that’s not a problem).  But seriously, I have no internet, and I read… I dunno, like a book every day or two.  And now the screen is all smashed so reading sucks.  Plus.. I hate it when my things are jacked.  I get completely heartbroken every time I look at it, but I don’t really have anything else to look at.  Talk about a cycle of poo.  Then every time I look at it, I feel like crap (which is clearly just the outlet for all my other stress and stuff) but I think “hey buck up, it’s not that big of a deal” then I wonder how much it’ll cost to fix.  Because knowing the details makes me feel like I can handle things, but then I realize I can’t look it up online or contact apple to find out.  Then I think, well I could just call… oh no.. I can’t even call a friend to cheer myself up…. Downward spiral.  I give myself a little mental slap, blow my nose, pick up my iPod to read my book…cue beginning of the spiral again.  I was such a wreck that Regis tried to comfort me, but you know how that goes.. you’re falling apart, someone is kind and you lose it even more.  Lol

So he took my iPod away from me, so I’d stop looking at it.  That helped me distance myself from how silly I was being.  Then I went for a walk, because I’d left it too late to go for a run, and I really wasn’t feeling up to it but according to my challenge I need to do something.  Actually it was good, I feel a lot better now.


But man, today has just not been my day… it’s only 830 and I kind of want to cut my losses and just go to bed….  Tomorrow will be a new day, a better day.  Even if I have to beat the day all the hell and force it to be .. it’ll do my bidding and be good, damnit.


Now if only I could post this bad boy.. but I can’t.. sigh.

Protected: More Bitching.. of the some people shouldn’t see this variety

2 04 2012

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Protected: Just how I like it, juicy and delicious. Gossip that is ….

14 03 2012

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Tough Decisions… and moving on (prt 3)

7 02 2012

Funnily when I broached the topic of coming to France we ended up having a big argument and, I thought, pretty much breaking up.  Which I found to be pretty ironic, here I am considering and offering to leave my job to move to France to explore our relationship, and he’s all I dunno, it’s a bad time, etc.  Anyway it ended up coming out that he was stressed out about somethings and it wasn’t that he didn’t want me to come to France it was more that he was worried about money and me being bored in France etc. That it was more an issue of timing than anything else.  Obviously we worked all that out, and I went to my boss to let him know.  I was actually sorta dreading it, I thought there would be a big kerfuffle as I was basically leaving with a little more than a month’s notice.  But surprisingly my boss was super supportive and agreed to help me out with it.   lol although he did make some crack to the effect of my not coming back because they wanted me to be happy yadda yadda… Then the next month or so was just me getting ready to go and finishing my work.

I also decided to try to get a sublet-er while I was away, and luckily I found this really nice Dutch girl to take my room for the whole time I’m gone.  And everything just sorta fell into place.  The only huge hiccup was it turned out my ARC was about going expire, and I was panicking about getting it renewed before I left.  I got the application in, but they told me there was absolutely no way to get the card before I left… fuck.  So I had them mail it to me… I figured I would get Rob to send it to me in France and hopefully that would be alright.  Then I had all of Chinese New Year to stew and do nothing because nothing was open.. and on monday did all that last minute stuff like going to the dentist before my insurance expired and calling immigration to make sure my whole arc by mail plan wasn’t retarded.

Turns out, that yes they don’t care about your ARC when you leave (I was absolutely certain that I never show it when I exit, everyone just thinks they have to.  And I was right) they just want to see it on your reentry.   And then… strangest thing checked the mail Tuesday morning on my way out to get the mail.. and wtf it’s my ARC in the mail.  No way no how could I get it before leaving and then it comes in the mail… fucking nut bars. I mean don’t get me wrong yay… it made a bunch of stuff easier having it but all that stress for nothing… wankers.

… to be continued

fuck you wordpress

13 12 2011

i just wrote an update.. and when trying to work out the new layout .. it deleted the whole thing not draft saved nothing…


fuck you very much wordpress .. dont’ know when i’ll have time again… sigh..

things are going well.. sorry I’ll try later this week.. grumble

What if… what if…?

20 08 2011

I wrote a post a little while back called “Why not?” so why this what if post?

Because, while I have been embracing the world of why not.  A few weeks back I realized that I was bogging myself with what if’s.  Also known as letting my concerns and fears rule my life and hold me back from my why nots.

While Ray was visiting we had a pretty good chat about life and stuffs, and suddenly it hit me.  The whole point of  why not is to do things that are fun and just go with the flow.  Not be bogged down in my own head.  First test fail.. lol

But back on the why not horse, and while at times I may be chanting it a little frantically in my head, it is a much happier and fun life (so far).


I can drink again… hizzah

17 06 2011

I was going to this free poker group, which is fun because you get randomly seated so you meet and chat with new people every week.  And it’s in a pub so everyone has a few drinks, and most people hang out once they are out and make a bit of an evening of it.

Have I ever mentioned how much I love men?  Sexually, sure, but that’s not what I’m talking about, I just like being in their presence… there is something about male energy and attitudes that feels right a little like home.  Most of my friends have always been men, with a sprinkling of especially cool girls in there.  But for the past few years I haven’t had enough male friends.  So hanging out with these guys was awesome.  I ended up hitting it off, friend wise with a bunch of the guys in the group.

Was invited to a party and went, long story I got wasted.. like mentally retarded drunk.. Someone at the club (that we went to after the party) had a bottle of patron … now I was already nicely trashed…  but no no we had to do shots.  Have I ever mentioned I hate tequila?  Well I do.. I remember… 2 maybe three shots…and pretty much nothing after that…  Up side, even though I have never had such a bad hang over as the day after… I didn’t freak out.

In case anyone doesn’t remember I was drugged at a club a few years back, and even though I was only robbed (okay okay and the little gully business too) nothing really happened, but losing control and getting wasted has caused panic in me the day after a party ever since.  I got especially retarded and wild while out, usually turning into some sobbing fit about singleton and then the next day I’m a freaking DISASTER.

Well I’m delighted to announce that that is no longer an issue.. I have blind… who are you and what is this.. Drunk… and just been a retarded happy fool the whole time, even the next day.. death warmed over.. but chuckling from the night before..   YAY.. I blame (credit) a friend of mine from poker, who stuck with me when he realized I was DESTROYED and made sure that I was ok.  I’m no longer terrified of myself and everyone else.  Tralalala.

That said.. I have noticed when there are too many people I don’t know I get a little nervous again..

The Magcey and the Tracda

13 04 2011

So what happens when you send enough time with someone?  We’ve all seen it and done it to some degree

Returning to Yourself

17 03 2011

Recently my perspective on things has been changing a little.  Well I guess I should say more of a returning to my original personality.  I was so madly in love with my ex that I really feel that I completely lost myself in many ways.  But wait we broke up ages ago..  I’ve been over it, and him.. well twice (long story that I’m not particularly interesting in going into) for eons.  Why wouldn’t have everything reset , if you will, right after or even soon after?

I haven’t got a clue.  All I know is a month or so ago, I found myself questioning some of my ‘new’er values and personal standards.   It occurred to me, that while they may make me a better person, they were also contradictory to my personality and to the main principals in my life.   To live life, to experience and enjoy the thing that I want to, the way I want to, within reason of course, but still.  In the past few years I have been taking the things Im “supposed to” seriously.  I’ve never done what I was supposed to, I guess I could call it an interesting experiment.

I was feeling a little disconcerted, I had spent 5 years being and trying to be this alternate person.  Why?  At the time I told myself, quite convincingly that I had grown up, I was a better person that I was on the right track.  But the reality of it all is that I was trying to be something for him, I loved Read the rest of this entry »

Foolish Encounters (hmmm)

10 01 2011

So I stole my laptop back… and I thought I’d take a peek at the drafts on here.  If there was anything interesting that I had started… and I found this one.  All I could think was.. hu.. that sounds interesting.  I clicked on it, and nope nothing.. damn.

Usually I write a sentence or two, just so I know what I want to write about.  Because I have a mind like a sieve, given three minutes to relax I forget what I was up to.  Now I’m sitting here completely intrigued.. what the hell was I talking about?    I feel like there was some awesome gossip and I’m missing out on it, except I know I don’t have anything exciting to report.

ok that’s it .. lol  (I moved this post due to the Tedx business I just didn’t want this lame post as the first thing people see. :D)

Bed time 🙂

2010 in review

3 01 2011

lol wordpress is so fun.. they sent this to me with a handy post this button 😀

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

About 3 million people visit the Taj Mahal every year. This blog was viewed about 56,000 times in 2010. If it were the Taj Mahal, it would take about 7 days for that many people to see it.


In 2010, there were 53 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 723 posts. There were 69 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 47mb. That’s about 1 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was April 23rd with 764 views. The most popular post that day was Whoa… dude… TMI.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were theluxuryspot.com, facebook.com, search.aol.com, razzray.wordpress.com, and en.wordpress.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for got milk, epic fail, kudu, pornstar, and brazilian waxing.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


Whoa… dude… TMI June 2009


Persistence Hunting: And you though you were tired? June 2009


People of Walmart! AWESOME September 2009


Have the Google Gods Deamed me Worthy? April 2009


I made Chocolate Mousse! January 2009

Turns out..

15 07 2010

.. if you write virtually nothing for months on end.. you lose your google ranking.. get way less hits and generally just become a loser than no one cares about.  Well maybe not.. lol but I was surprised to see that my views per day on my blog have dropped DRAMATICALLY in the last week.. like from 200 or more a day to 66 today.. oops… must get back to the grind.. actually the funny thing is I have written loads.  But nothing is finished… not really sure why.. hmm