Friday, December 07, 2007

Merry Christmas

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Merry Christmas Taipei Taiwan 2008

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Hello all...

Hello all. It has been a long time since I took the time to write but I fear you will lose interest (if you have not already) if I do not feed you some information. As I have said before we live in a perpetual state of over stimulation and sensory overload.

I turned 60 the other day. And as I think about that I have to give thanks first of all for Carol. I do not think a public space is appropriate for what I would like to say but those of you who know us know how multi-faceted and full of life she is. When she walks out of the apartment with a 4 ft. sword strapped to her back ready to learn how to eviscerate a foe or disable his kneecap, it makes me wonder what real retirement would have been like…..very very very dull!

Several of our friends and colleagues took me to a restaurant for the birthday celebration. The restaurant was appropriately named “Jurassic” and had dinosaur skeletons crawling up the building and all throughout the halls. Dino heads held the phones. Dinos also held the many small plates that are the starters for a traditional Chinese meal. There was the typical Taiwanese cross cultural confusion as north American Indians were riding images of the dinos for what reason I do not know. It made for great table conversation. And the bathrooms were statues from Pacific NW . One peed into part of the mouth of the beast…WEIRD! And we were seated in the belly of a large dino skeleton.

The meal was pretty traditional but definitely funky…crocodile, ostrich, DUCK TONGUES complete with attaching tendons, fried pork intestine, etc. and the hit of the evening…deep fried grasshoppers with a French fried potato stuck up its butt served with fried basil, shrimp crisp and salt and pepper dip. A plate cost around $11 USD so of course I had to eat them. They are really not bad at all and although I would probably not order them I would not turn them down if offered. I really liked the orchid garnish. And the beer for 16 was served in a wooden keg that was very old fashioned but functional. NO I did not over indulge but a friend did “ fake “ the picture of me catching the last drop out of the barrel.

One of the most touching moments was when Carol light 6 candles and said, in decade # 1 I discover music and food, decade #2 I discovered her, in #3 it was grad school, decade #4 was teaching, decade #5 was diving, and decade #6 was about heaven. This could not be more true. Life is very good here with variety, excitement, great quality of life, new friends and opportunity for growth in every aspect of our life.

As part of the birthday celebration, I was honored with a personal (?) letter from “W”. I am not sure I am ready to take his advice given his record but I was……well I was something to hear from the little guy.

I mentioned opportunity. Well…our new superintendent decided that TAS faculty was underpaid in terms of our regional international schools and that the only way to “recruit and retain” was to increase the pay package by 11.2%. Never in my professional life have I had an increase of this magnitude so it took very little thought for me to sign a contract for another year as a happy member of the TAS community.

A birthday message from "him"

The White House
4 December, 2007

Dear Mr. Hone, ahhh Ho-nee, Han-nay,…..Dear Billy,

How are you doing my fellow AMERICAN? This is the President of the United States of America…the most powerful Nation of….of all the nations, that there are, or ever going to be.

You don’t mind if I call you Billy do you? Huh, that last name of yours is kind of tricky…doesn’t really even sound American. Anyway Dicky Cheney told me it was your birthday…You may wonder how he happens to know it’s your birthday…well. Huh, in MY new American you probably don’t wonder how we know. I mean right in front of me I have your tax statements for the last 36 years, pictures of you at the computer,(we had Microsoft rig that up for us in ALL the computers ever sold…You got some interesting late night habits there Billy), and a satellite photo of you buying some food that can’t be American. You sure that’s wise Billy…I don’t know why you would want to live in
Tai-a-wana...seems like you could see enough Mexicans up on the roofs of door County nailing, ahh, shingles.

Bu hey it’s your birthday and you lived to be 60…pretty damn good considering how much you been badmouthing the US of A government. And yah, we have some tapes of you saying some pretty mean spirited shit about your PRESIDENT. You been listening to those Liberal Agitators of CNN and BBBBBC or maybe you’ve even been reading the news…I don’t recommend it. What’s wrong just watching the Jefferson’s? I am your President, of all the states…not just Texas, and I did, after all, go to Yale, which is a whole lot better than that gay school of extremism you went to. You know Billy, ahh, lot of people bash me ‘cause I didn’t even have to take the SAT to get into college…But hey, everybody know SAT just means “Stupid Ass Test” anyway.

But I’m getting, ahhh, sidetracked here. I just wanted to wish you a Happy Birthday Billy and to remind you that, ahhh, if you don’t start changing your ways, getting back into the country is going to be, ahh, ha, a whole lot harder that it was crossing the border. We got that whole line of fences from, ahh Seatle ta—Orlando—home of Mickey and that funny dog. We got that fence there now just to keep old fart undesirables like you out.

But hey, you have a good one, and God bless you, but mainly I hope he blesses the Americans who are actually IN American.

Your President,