earthquakes, gatsby, pizza, and other things

welcome to this week's edition of rambling long list of seven things, accompanied today by some recent shots from a mini-hike in Hsinchu's botanical gardens [which are mostly trails through a hilly forest.]

1. I subbed for 10th and 12th grade English last week, and I was actually quite excited that the 10th graders are reading The Great Gatsby. it was one of my favorite pieces I have ever been required to read, and one of the very few I have gone back and read again voluntarily. part of me wishes I still had my old notes and could see what my thoughts were on the story at 16. the novel definitely has a different meaning for me now, though that's one of the best things about great literature... you can read it over and over and still discover something new about the story and yourself.

2. I am also really pumped for the movie coming out in a few months- I think Leo will make a perfect Gatsby. absolutely perfect. [side note- the generational gap becomes obvious to me when the kids in class refer to him as "that guy from Inception" and all I can think is "never let go, Jack!" it's probably also telling that watching the older Gatsby was my first exposure to Robert Redford. oh, the formative teenage years...] I really hope they release this one to Taiwan because after reading the book I am dying to see the new movie.

3. another note on teaching... I know that it's not a career I want to pursue full-time, but subbing really isn't that bad. yes, waking up early sucks. yes, sometimes I feel like a glorified babysitter. but some of the kids are starting to interact with me, say hello, ask me questions. and that's a good feeling. plus, it melts my heart every time those 3rd grade girls yell "Mrs Walker!" and run over to hug me when they see me walk by.

4. we had an earthquake the other day, and I didn't notice. it was a 6.1 [not exactly small] and the school enacted their earthquake protocol and announced that everyone should evacuate. well, except for the students taking the national standardized test. apparently the quake hit just before the start of 3rd period, but I didn't notice anything. thankfully they made an announcement. and my students knew what they were doing. maybe there's something wrong with my internal balance... or maybe I just didn't have enough coffee that morning?

5. even though I haven't been posting about it, I've been keeping up with my happiness project. I've decided to make it more of a journey and less of a to-do list. this month I am focusing on photography: trying new things, finally sharing the 52 weeks project I've been working on, and shooting + posting a daily instagram [or #dailygram as I've started calling it] I think it will be good to have a little fun with my photography, especially given the mountain of vacation photos still waiting to be edited. I do promise that eventually you will see the rest of Thailand and the Philippines.... eventually.

6. I've been trying out the different blog readers I posted about here to determine a google reader replacement. and I find that feedly is the closest to a google reader setup, though it takes a while to figure out which views make the most sense. [hint: "latest" looks most like the standard reader feed.] I also found it easy to sort my blogs into different categories, based on what I read most or food vs beauty etc. I have to say I really love the idea of hellocotton. it's great for discovering new blogs you might be interested in. but they just announced they are shutting down. wah, wah. bloglovin? it's just not for me. I'm probably going to use google reader until it dies, and then switch to feedly full-time.

7. today I bought yeast, and this coming weekend I am going to attempt a gluten-free pizza dough. ambitious, but I'm excited to try. pizza seems to be the one glutinous thing I just can't resist. back in the states, there was a great pizza place that offered gf [Buddy's!] and Whole Foods offered a decent frozen go-to we could always keep on hand [against the grain] but here in Taiwan I have not seen any gluten-free alternative. so I am going to try a dough, and if it works then when Husband says "pizza?" it won't mean my choices are salad or stomachache.


  1. love your list! you are - hands down - the Queen of Lists. Your life is completely exciting and you're inspiring me to read Gatsby again. Let's have a Gatsby party when the movie comes out! Live streaming xx

    1. "Queen of Lists" is a title I will gladly bear! xo

  2. I cannot wait to see the Great Gatsby too! Although I know it's a classic, it's a book I have never read. Perhaps after I fall in love with the movie (which I am sure I will) I will pick up a copy :)

    1. you should definitely read it! I would suggest after the movie... I'm hoping not to be disappointed, but the book is almos always better :)


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