Cat croissant

1. Ron and I didn’t get to do anything exciting over vacation, but we did get to spend a lot of time together (with Taroko George). It’s hard for us to find couple time because of our work schedules; in fact, last week was the longest stretch of time we’ve had together since our honeymoon. We had a great time, spring-cleaning our apartment, cooking meals together and having this conversation 50 times:

“Do you want to see a movie?”
“What movie?”
“Maybe “Monga” [艋舺, měng​xiá​, which I am actually really excited about watching]. Or anything else you want to see.”
“Do you think there will be a lot of teenagers making out in the theater?”
“Aren’t all the teenagers in Taiwan busy getting hongbaos from their relatives?”
“Except for the degenerates, who would be the ones making out in the theater!”
I was very sad when Ron had to go back to work and I was stuck in the apartment with a lunatic cat (more on that later). But I also felt silly for being unhappy, especially since we’d lived on opposite sides of the planet for 18 months. I decided to refocus my emotional energy and concentrate instead on my dislike of public displays of affection. I live within walking distance of two universities, so tongue-wrestling teenagers are the neighborhood plague. The other night I was sitting in a cafe, enjoying a mug of peppermint tea and engrossed in balancing my checkbook, when my relaxing evening was ruined by the sight of the couple sitting across the way from me swapping spit over their matching Linux advanced programming textbooks. They were almost chewing each others faces off. It was positively Hannibal Lecter-ish. I screamed — on the inside. I’m glad to say that Ron and I have never engaged in such tomfoolery over our five years of acquaintance. Instead, when we are in public, he shows me he loves me by carrying my purse. I show him that I love him by not buying ugly purses.

2. The lack of sun over Lunar New Year almost turned my vacation into Loony New Year (har har), but being stuck inside all day meant that I got to catch up on a lot of reading. I finished “My Horizontal Life: A Collection of One Night Stands” by Chelsea Handler, “The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite” by David Kessler, “Your Money or Your Life” by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez, “The Loveliest Woman in the World: A Tragic Actress, Her Lost Diaries and Her Granddaughter’s Search for Home” by Bibi Gaston, “In Cheap We Trust: The Story of a Misunderstood American Virtue” by Lauren Weber, “Outliers: The Story of Success” by Malcolm Gladwell and “Beyond Revenge: The Evolution of the Forgiveness Instinct” by Michael McCullough (interestingly enough, the latter two cited a couple of the same social psychology studies).

Ron and I also watched “Eastern Promises.” It was released in 2007, the year I moved to Taipei. I think of that year as my lost year in terms of American pop culture, because I spent the first half preparing to leave the US and the second studying Mandarin at Shida and didn’t really have the time to keep up with what films and books were being released. As a result, I knew zero about the film, aside from the fact that it was directed by David Cronenberg and about the Russian mafia. So the naked knife fight came as a complete surprise. Wow. I highly recommend “Eastern Promises” (and not just for the naked knife fight).

3. Taroko George decided to welcome the Year of the Tiger (his very distant relative) by “marking” our bed. And by “marking,” I meant he peed on it. Ron and I took him to the vet to rule out the possibility of a urinary tract infection. The vet asked if we’d been busier lately. Ron and I said we’d actually been spending more time with Crazy G lately since it was vacation. But I don’t think Taroko George is trying to punish us for neglecting him or anything. I think he is just showing us that he loves as by marking Ron and me as his exclusive territory. This is a reminder, however, that Taroko George (or Jorge, as we’ve taken to calling him recently) needs to be spayed soon. It seems like only yesterday that he was a tiny little kitten and now he’s going through cat puberty! Anyway, I’m not thrilled by the extra laundry and the dry-cleaning bill for our comforter, but I’m glad that our darling fur child isn’t sick. He’s just annoying.