my eyes aren’t what they used to be.

I sit here squinting at my monitor, my eyes itchy from the strain and adapting to looking at the monitor with glasses off after most of the day with them. i’m almost tempted to grab my reading glasses (fancy ones with neon green stems that i spent too much on at Nordstrom’s with the hope that they might make me feel slightly better about the need for them). I spent most of the evening after putting M to bed looking at tiny letters in Putty.exe, struggling to remember how to use command line, then after having resolved one issue, going back to look at php code (with which i am wholly unfamiliar) and then trying to go back to fix the site i broke when i imprudently updated the php version without looking carefully at what I was doing. pretty typical, really.

most of it is back up now, but it’s sad that many of the plugins and widgets were from the early aughts whose functionality and relevance has faded into internet lore. do you remember dooce? or automattic? how about vox.com as a blogging site? posterous? for all the whinging that things on the internet live forever, it’s terribly apparent that that isn’t true at all, even if you want it to be for sheer convenience. the internet is, like all forms of attention, exactly reflective of human pre-occupation and all the jealousies and pettiness that encompass it, staying alive as long as someone keeps feeding the flames, and as quickly forgotten once the the fan is put down. it’s too bad that reality doesn’t work the same way.

we’re in the fifth month of shelter-in-place with this pandemic, and there are no signs that it is slowing down in the US. my aunt in taiwan has sent us 200 face masks out of panicked concern for how bad things are here. my how the roles have reversed. Before, my mother, the sister in the US, would bring back treasures from the Beautiful Country whenever returning to her motherland. Now WE are appreciative for the medical supplies she ships to us from Taiwan, a country established by democracy-loving Nationalists who fled Communist China 70+ years ago that now possesses one of the best health care systems in the world, as evidenced by its great success in keeping the virus under control. Now it is we who are residents of a despotic nation whose citizens can’t catch a break, whose livelihoods are thwarted by powerful politicians who couldn’t care less about our well being. We can look to Taiwan now as standard bearers for an ideal of democracy, with free and fair elections and smooth transitions of power and whose media hasn’t been completely overtaken by corporate interests to become propaganda machines. Even Democracy Now!, the program my westward-looking cousin listened to religiously as a teenager and which inspired him to make America his home, has been corrupted by partisan interests. I can’t help but wonder, and even as I write this I am afraid to truly think this, whether America’s time is over and the grand experiment is done.

Anyone who’s followed American politics since the 1970s can see it. It’s been a long slow march to this point. Trump isn’t the disease. He’s a symptom of 40 years of GOP power-grabbing, from consolidation of television stations across the country to alt-right radio to gerrymandering and the radicalization of evangelicals and poor whites around abortion and gun rights. So even if Trump is removed, we have the entire GOP system (as evidenced by Mitch McConnell) that is perfectly fine with keeping things going the way they have been for decades, but without the weight of the president’s handling of the pandemic that comes along with him. They are still totally fine with cheating and rigging the system in their favor, all while lying to Americans about what they are really doing. There isn’t any particular reason for them to change.

So I am grateful for this time this summer, and I treasure the freedoms that I have at this moment. I recognize what a gift it really is, this present that I live in right now. I am thankful that I can spend this time with my son, who turned six today. I am lucky to be able to take for granted that my paycheck came through last Friday, because at least for now, I have a job with a company who is reaping some dividends from everyone staying home and playing video games. I can order boba to be delivered to my doorstep, debate whether I will order Whole Foods delivery of some beef tenderloin and scallops to prepare a special dinner for my family. I can watch my son build a motorized Lego train set from bricks to finish, and while he cannot hug his friends, my husband and I can give him an abundance of time in a shared space for months on end in a way that my parents could not ever fathom doing for me. I have been able to watch him grow so much since this all started, and while it’s been stressful, it has also been an incredible pleasure to watch him develop into such a funny, chatty, and inquisitive boy.

And who can see what tomorrow will hold, what new terribleness our country’s leaders will introduce in the weeks and months to come? Who knows if Trump will relinquish his power, or whether we will just more obviously manifest ourselves as a failed state with a fascist leader and his hateful acolytes? Who knows whether the figurative sickness of the republic and our society or literal sickness of the pandemic will end up overwhelming us. Maybe somehow we can turn this ship around. But it feels ever more urgent to hold on to these moments as if they are my last in this world as it is right now, because it feels so apparent that they very well might be.

Happy birthday, M. Mommy loves you. I hope I can continue to watch over you and keep you safe while this world has caught aflame. And I hope I can somehow make your life better and safer for you, the way my parents did for me by coming to this country so many years ago.


It’s been a moment since I’ve been here! Hard to believe this original blog is something like 20+ years old and things are very different now than they were 20-something years ago – I’m obviously a different person, shaped by 20+ years of life, and the technology that enables communication over the internet has developed far beyond the imaginations of many, becoming more sinister and dangerous than a lot of us thought it could be. We are at the point where we can no longer agree on a shared reality, where we are living through a pandemic that some of us fervently and violently believe is a hoax.

It’s only been four months, but this has been the longest year, a time of reckoning for centuries of injustice, laid bare by the impact of the pandemic and bubbled up to the surface by record unemployment that ironically freed millions from the shackles of work to finally allow them to voice their rage and frustration at the inequity of our current economic and justice system.

A few recent events from the past few months, in no particular order:

  • John Lewis passed away the other day
  • Naya Rivera drowned in a reservoir in LA
  • Donald Trump gave an interview this morning where he bragged about how he did on a cognitive test and would not agree to accept election results in November
  • His niece, Mary Trump, wrote a damning book analyzing her uncle’s various pathological conditions. Net net, we’re all screwed
  • M is able to read some simple books, all on his own. He is a fan of Biscuit.
  • Mason is excited about Animal Crossing: New Horizons
  • My parents sometimes appreciate how lucky they are, sometimes are enraged out how unfair life has been to them
  • My husband and I have managed to hang in there with our respective jobs and homeschooling and family and each other… for now.
  • I’ve given Simon three haircuts. They’re not great, but they’re getting better
  • I now have many pairs of yoga pants
  • Hamilton came out on Disney+ around July 4th (obvs)
  • We have some new management at my company and some is not very good
  • I’m still coming to a reckoning with my own privilege and how much I’m willing to put on the line as an ally
  • oh yeah and did i mention I’m not young anymore? I turned 40 just before the pandemic took hold. I didn’t celebrate since things were so busy. Maybe I’ll get to after this is all over. (If this will ever be over.)

It’s hard to imagine now what life was like before this all happened. My New York and France trips seem like distant memories, but they were only like six months ago. I wonder sometimes if this is basically like AIDS/HIV, where our habits will be forever changed – just as people have generally come to the understanding that it’s not a good idea to have sex without a condom, will all our public interactions in the future be masked? Will our children ever be able to go back to school and have normal social lives?

Anyway, as the title of the post says, “hi.”


i miss it. haven’t really had a full night’s sleep since june, and even then it was vaguely uncomfortable as my body started to fill and expand.

i crave it right now. it’s something like 4am and i’m exhausted yet wired. my eyes feel so strained, but i can’t seem to shut them. baby will probably be awake again in an hour or so. i really need to get some sleep.