Had a rather bumpy ride this holiday season. Theresa's older sister died suddenly of heart failure on December 23rd, leaving behind two kids, her husband of 22 years, and many sad family members and friends. She was only 48.
On January 2nd, after 38 years of driving, I got my first speeding ticket. Not that I didn't deserve many over the years. Mr. Officer clocked me at 45mph in a 35mph zone. I'm thankful he didn't pull me over just a few minutes before, because I was talking on my cell phone while driving, which officially became illegal here in CA on Jan. 1st. I've got to dig around and find my hands-free paraphernalia. So, I now get to experience the joys of traffic school.
I leave on Sunday to finish up my TESOL certification in San Francisco. I'm jazzed! I've been writing to a nice guy in Taiwan whom I met through MySpace a few weeks ago. He lives with his partner in Zhonghe. He's given me plenty of good advice, and has been a great source of encouragement. Turns out that he helped design the course that I'll be taking at Transworld Schools. It's a small world indeed. (I've received much good advice from many kind people, including Holly, whose Taiwan Chronicles appears to the right)
I now have a new laptop computer, which I love. It has a built-in webcam so I'll be able to communicate with family and friends while I'm in SF and then overseas. My old desktop PC had accumulated so many junk programs and files that it continually bogged down, plus it was running on a bootleg copy of Windows, so I couldn't get the necessary updates. I'm determined to keep this laptop as "clean" as possible. When I first set it up I made sure to delete all the unnecessary introductory crap that came installed on it (like Norton...shudder). I bought a genuine version of Microsoft Office, and I've downloaded only a few necessary-to-me programs (Avast! anit-virus, iTunes, Skype, FTP Commander, and Hong Kong Mahjong). Windows Vista doesn't seem too different from XP. I got an mp4 player for Christmas which holds my music and Chinese lessons, and I got a 2GB flash drive for my photos, so I still have most of the 120GB hard drive free.