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Behold! A red leaf! Yellow leaves! A circle! Screws! Pebbles! Proof that you can have fun in Xinyi District for free.

1. My Taiwan Blog Awards interview with Taiwanderful is up. Thanks again to everyone who voted for me!

2. I’m very happy that the different things I’m doing to take care of myself — cooking nutritious meals at home, exercising more, taking my medication regularly — are making a noticeable difference in my health.

3. Remember when I complained two weeks ago about Dixiajie (地下階) not having the volume of the Babysitters Club where all the Stoneybrook-based girls go to New York City to visit Stacey and Claudia falls out with Stacey’s sophisticated best friend Laine (who looks 19)? Well, I went back and found it! The book brought back a lot of memories for me. A lot of the passages I first read almost 20 years ago were still familiar; the book also reminded me of how fun it was to discover NYC, even though I was always busy and often extremely stressed out while living there. In addition, Claudia Kishi was one of the first Asian American literary characters I encountered whose main motivations didn’t revolve around stuff like not wanting to shame her dead great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandmothers. No, all she wanted to do was to deal with her learning disability, wear her funky outfits, paint, read mysteries and eat a lot of candy. I could relate to Claudia, because I was Claudia. And now she’s back in my life. Woohoo, imaginary friend returns!

4. I can’t find Frankie magazine in Taipei anymore, but Zinio has it available to read online.

5. As annoying as it is that Taroko George is now big enough to jump on everything, it’s kind of fun to walk into a room and catch him silently staring at me from overhead. He’s an evil cat. But then again, I’m an evil Cat.

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And I am grateful that those spots are just cracks in the wall paint and not fungus. At least I hope they aren’t. My landlords aren’t into this new-fangled idea of “building maintenance.”