身體健康心情好 活到百歲到處跑

最近突然發現, 這幾年來生病的次數越來越少了. 以前的我身體十分虛弱, 住台北這個大污染城市時一直為過敏及氣喘等疾病所苦, 三天兩頭就要去看醫生. 搬來美國後雖然體質有改善, 但是還是時常染上小感冒. 前幾年為了工作不穩定的關係, 壓力大到更是把自己逼得瘦成皮包骨. 體力也很不好.

但自從生活步上軌道之後, 我慢慢發現自己身體的變化, 一來可能是不太常出去人多的公共場所, 所以不大容易染上傳染病. 二來我想應該歸功於生活規律, 飲食正常, 壓力減少, 煩惱變少的緣故. 漸漸地感冒的次數也越來越少. 這幾年冬天最常犯病的季節也都不大生病了.

以前同學常笑我晚上12點就要睡覺, 實在不像個大學生. 但我發現只要我熬夜, 第二天即使睡到中午也還是會很累, 精神無法集中.熬夜的日子我實在過不了. 熬夜的壞處除了會有黑眼圈外, 痘痘也會增加. 許多科學報告都指出, 人在晚上11-1點入睡是最好的時刻,身體可以獲得十足的休息及補充體力.

多多運動絕對對身體有好處. 我是個很懶惰的人. 每天下班回家就是一直坐在電腦桌前一動也不動. 近來發現持續現狀只會害我視力變糟, 肩膀酸痛.所以決定每天下班後至少做個15分鐘的有氧, 偶爾泡個澡也能夠讓我身心放鬆. 睡前半個小時盡量不要看電腦或電視等有輻射害,看看書或聽音樂能幫助入眠.

飲食方面, 我本來就對漢堡,薯條, 大塊牛排豬排等西洋餐沒什麼興趣, 也盡量少吃. 但偶爾還是會嘴饞, 吃一些油炸的如鹽酥雞, 或甜食等等. 下場不是臉上長一堆痘痘, 就是身體開始往橫的發展. 最近我下定決心, 除了三餐固定, 少吃一點零嘴, 炒菜時盡量少油少鹽少糖, 吃清淡一點對身體有益. 也開始學習吃起五榖米. 我發現五榖米嚼起來還滿香的呢! 沒有想像中難吃~

要活得健康就是要活得快樂! 我的個性屬於愛自尋煩惱型, 動不動就喜歡鑽牛角尖, 給自己找麻煩.  最近發現這樣下去不行, 得隨時提醒自己是個很幸福的人, 好手好腳, 有份穩定工作和一個好男友. 不需要那麼容易生悶氣, 有什麼事盡量想開一點. 明天會是更好的一天.

這樣長篇大論聽起來好像是老人的嘮嘮叨叨. 但是保養身體若不從年輕開始, 到老了就真的太晚了. 我最大的夢想就是能夠健康地活到80歲, 無疾而終. 當然這種夢想有點難實現, 但是我盡量努力, 希望到老時不會被疾病纏身, 到百歲還能蹦蹦跳~

Paid Family Leave

I went to an info session today about Paid Family Leave, presented by an administrator from EDD. I thought it’s very helpful and would like to share the info here with everyone. Not all employers share these pertinent information with their employees. We need to be educated about all of these benefits that we’re entitled to:

  • Paid Family Leave is a new legislation that allow employees to take time off from work to care for a seriously ill child, spouse, parent, domestic partner, or to bond with a new born child.
  • PFL applies to all employees covered by State Disability Insurance.
  • Weekly benefits range from $50 to $840. Payments are capped at 6 weeks over a rolling 12-month period.
  • Employees are eligible to apply without regard to length of employment with current employer.
  • There is a one-week waiting period before claimants are eligible for payment.
  • Employers may require employees to use up to two weeks vacation before archiving PFL insurance benefits.
  • PFL insurance benefits are payable at the same rate as SDI benefits using the same base period concept.
  • Employees cannot receive PFL insurance benefits if receiving Workers’ Compensation, Unemployment Insurance, or State Disability Insurance.
  • Current contribution rate: 0.8%.

To find out more information, go to www.edd.ca.gov .

This benefit may not apply to us right now, but it may be useful later on in life.

Library and the Future

This morning I attended the Town Hall meeting where our Dean talked about new Provost’s memo. In the memo, the Provost talks about decentralizing the library and setting up committees to see what can be done to improve library service to USC community. Ever since this Provost took his position, he has made many changes, hired a group of new executives and changed many offices and systems. His action caused the library administration to cut budget big time. There has been rumors about possible lay offs too.

Our library has been working toward centralizing for the past decade since our dean Jerry Campbell took office. Now this Provost is going exactly opposite of what our Dean has trying to achieve. No one like changes and there are uneasy feeling among the librarians about these new policies. The dean himself, when making the speech this morning, did his best to calm everyone down. In his usual calm and inspiring tone, he urged everyone to think about what new role the library should take in the future. Nowadays, everything is moving toward digitization and putting more resources online. Lesser people go to the library to look for the actual data. If the school needs $300 millions to operate the library for the next decade, how can the library justify itself to continue receiving support from the school? What kind of role and function should library take? These are very profound questions that Dean Campbell asked us to think about and give him feed backs.

Indeed, with the new technology, it’s very possible that the need for traditional libraries will gradually diminish. This change also puts a great impact on my future as well. On my personal statement to the library school application, I have to put down which path I want to take. Whether to be a traditional librarian, or go for the informatic path, I’m still struggling between these two. I have been working in academic libraries for a long time and I’m familiar with the works. I also want to go for East Asian study librarian since I have the language advantage. On the other hand, I’m interested in learning the newest technology as well. I can sit in front of computer all day digitizing. Traditional librarian require more interaction with people. So I don’t know…..really hard to choose….which future path will be good for me?

I’m a Xangazon!

Wow! I can’t believe it’s been 3 years since I first joined Xanga! Thanks to Peter who first introduced me to this website. Now I’m completely hooked! Writing has always been a great passion to me and I have been keeping a journal on and off for years. But I have never work so diligently before to record my regular life and daily activities. There were moments during the day that some great sentences pop out in my mind, or something interesting I feel like sharing, I would immediately feel like sitting down in front of the computer and start typing them out. Xanga serves as a convenient place to store my memories, my train of thoughts and samples of my writings. I also get to practice my English writing despite all the poor grammar and misspelled words that I used.

Other than my own, I LOVE reading about other people’s life. I enjoyed reading about their parties over the weekend, their vacation stories, their thoughts and ideas on certain subjects. It gives me a more in depth look into their personality and their interests. We really need to get more people involved! Spread the word about how cool Xanga is~

I’m “Computer-holic”

Yes! I have to make a confession. I’m an COMPUTER ADDICT!. I work in front of computer all day long. After I come home from work, the first thing I do is turn on the computer. Whether it be downloading MP3, organizing my files or just chatting and surfing internet, I enjoy every single minute I spend with my computer! For 10+ hours everyday, my eyes gaze at the wonderful world my computer presented to me.

Yes! I know it’s very bad for me. My eye sights deteriorates. It seems to be out of focus whenever I’m not looking at a monitor. My neck and shoulder get very sore from sitting at the exact same position everyday. I don’t have enough physical movements to keep my body healthy. The radiation is probably killing my brain cell too. What’s worse is that I chat a lot more online with people than talking in a real conversation. I’m so used to this virtual world, I began to forget how to interact with real people. Help! I cannot leave the computer! I need to get….away….from….computer……

張愛玲

在這次記者會之後,有很多朋友問我張愛玲是誰? 我很驚訝竟然沒很多人聽過張愛玲的大名! 許多文學家讚譽她是中國20世紀最偉大的女性作家之一, 她的文學地位可與魯迅, 茅盾等人同等。其實之前我也只是聽過她的名字而已, 但是我們圖書館員超級喜愛張愛玲, 經由她的耳濡目染之下, 聽說了需多有關張愛玲的事情。 以下是她的小傳記:

張愛玲,中國的傳奇才女,本名張煐,1920年出生上海。她的父親張志沂是個傳統的文人,注重古文、時文,但是因為處在新舊時代的交替,他只能當一個遺少;他沉溺在西方物質的享受:住洋房、坐汽車,和中國祖先的特權:抽鴉片、娶姨太太。而她的媽媽黃素瑩留學歐洲,於是張愛玲就在這種既傳統又現代、中西文化互相衝擊的還境下長大。所以她所寫的小說都籠罩著淒涼的氣氛,她同情舊家族鐘苦苦掙扎的男女,寫出他們的心聲。張愛玲在二十歲時便以一系列的小說震動文壇,是四十年代上海最紅的女作家。五十年代,張愛玲已完成她最主要的創作,包括 《傾城之戀》 、《金銷記》、《赤地之戀》 、《半生緣》 等等。她的作品,主要以上海、南京和香港為故事場景,在荒涼和頹廢的大城市中鋪張曠男怨女,演義著墮落及繁華。張愛玲的小說吸引人,她的感情生活也是大家注目的焦點,最令大家津津樂道的是她和胡蘭成的愛情傳奇,雖然短暫,卻也轟轟烈烈。晚年,張愛玲獨居洛杉磯,她深居簡出的生活更增添她的神秘感。

1995年9月 逝於洛杉磯公寓, 死後三天遺體才被鄰居發現, 如此結束了她傳奇的一生, 享年七十四歲。


我其實並沒有仔細讀過張愛玲的作品, 她描寫的大多是1930-40年代上海的社會生活, 對我來說並沒有很大的深刻感受。 但是她的確寫得十分細膩動人。也許有天我應該借本她的書來看看。

Work Blog 17

Yesterday at our departmental town hall meeting, our dean raised a question on downloading illegal files (MP3 for instance). Recently the music industry is bringing a lawsuit against the university on its lack of control on students’ illegal activity from the Internet. Several hundreds of students were caught with possession of illegal files in their computer. Certainly the university has declared specific policies against downloading illegal files on the student handbook. But should the university be more strict about this issue? Should we become the industry’s legal watch dog, punish the students severely and limit student’s Internet access? Or should the school treats this issue as a cultural transition? Internet download is an unavoidable activity in the rapid technological developed world today. Perhaps the school should react differently and instead, placed itself on the edge of anew cultural era. Our dean wants us to think about this issue and give him some perspectives.

As an owner of many MP3 files and a big music-lover, my response to this question would be : the heck with those money-sucking music corporations. Music (or any other artistic creations) is created for people to enjoy. It’s subjective to each individual and it’s hard to put a value on an artistic work. When the native Indians chanting their ceremonial songs or the African tribes dancing to their victory tunes, they did not think about how much profit they would make out of the songs they created. They were simply expressing their emotions through their creativity. I feel that in our capitalist world today, the major corporations have corrupted the original purpose of having artistic creations. Besides with the popularity of the Internet these days, it’s not very likely to catchall the illegal downloading activities. So why not take this issue from a different perspectives, thinking of other options to accommodate the new change to encourage more people to appreciate the beauty of art/music?

Suicide Rate In Taiwan

I just read a news article about another suicide in Taiwan:

I couldn’t understand what’s wrong with our society today. Everyday I open the newspaper, there are all these suicidal news of young people. It seems like the younger generation today have really thin skin (薄臉皮). Any small trivial matter can trigger them to commit suicide. Whether it’d be breaking up from a relationship, scold by a school teacher, or stress from work, they all seemed to think that death is only solution.

I can sorta relate to their thinking pattern and why they couldn’t think their way out. I was like that before. Whenever something went wrong in my life, even the smallest things like getting yelled at by my parents, being ditched by friends or having no friends to talk to…etc, I would always get myself very depressed and started thinking about death. But as I grew older, I learned that the challenges of life is to face all these problems and try to resolve them, take our responsibilities and be brave about all the hardships we need to go through in life. Especially after my friend’s suicide last year, I realized how painful it is for the people who love us to face such tragedies. So the thoughts of suicide never occurred to me again.

I think it is very important to teach the younger generation today that suicide isn’t the only solution. You may have leave everything behind,but you may just create more problems for your parents and friends.

OCLC Training

I just came back from a 2 day training workshop at Ontario. Now you may ask why do I go that far for a training class? Why does a librarian assistant need training for?

I rarely talk about my work here because I don’t know if I can explain correctly what I do. Most people when they heard that I work in the library, they immediately thought I sit in the circulation desk, check out books and shelve the books. In fact, there are a lot of things going on behind the circulation desk. In a library, you need librarians to develop collections, meaning searching for the types of books that would benefit your target patrons and order them. You need assistants to input those book orders and process when the books arrive. Then the catalogers catalog the books according to the rules and regulations. Finally, the books go out in the public shelves. But that’s not all, you constantly need to maintain the books. If the books are getting old and worn out, you may need to repair or bind them. If the shelves are getting too crowded, you may need to pick out some books and put them in storage room. These are just procedures for books. Our library collects magazines, videos, DVD, electronic resource, and maps. Different materials have different procedures.

I handle cataloging and acquisition (ordering) works for Chinese materials here. Acquisition works are comparatively easier and much more straight forward, while cataloging may take years to train. Even an experienced cataloger wouldn’t be able to tell you that they know everything about cataloging, because it’s simply impossible. Cataloging rules are constantly changing and updating. Take the workshop I attended these 2 days for instance. We went thru 2 days (from 8am to 5pm) of rigorous training and went over countless pages of information together. The instructor still told us that it was only basic stuff that they could fit into 2 day frame. It normally would take years to be familiar with all those materials.

As a cataloger, we basically follow the rules standardized by American Library Associations and the Library of Congress (LC). LC was established in 1774 and served as research institution for the Congress. They are the largest library in the world and hold over 128 millions items. Their catalog system is one of the oldest and most complete system. We pretty much follow their guidelines when it comes to cataloging. During this workshop, we learned about their subject cataloging systems, how they create and develop their categories, how to apply those categories into our records according to their rules..etc. Being an organized freaks, I’m very impressed how complete and organized their systems are. Hundreds of people spend countless years and efforts to standardize and improve the catalogs. I couldn’t imagine how tedious this task could be, and it’s still a continuous, never ending process.

The workshop I attended was developed and designed by a cooperative program among numerous librarians. They volunteered to sacrifice their work time and spend days training new comers like us. This time they happened to choose the location at a a private organization’s office in Ontario. About 15 people or so from various places attended this workshop. Not a lot of people realized how vast and large the library community can be. Not only do public libraries and school libraries need library workers. Government agency, army/navy base, research institution and even major corporations all need library people to sort out their collections.

I better stop before I bore everyone out. My point basically is that there are actually a lot of different tasks and a lot to learn in the library field. It can be both challenging and interesting depends on how you look at it. I’m glad I have the opportunity to work in this field and gain more insights and respects for the library profession.

Foreigners Living In Tawan

I’m always intrigued to find out what foreigners think about Taiwan and why do they want to travel to this small island to learn about Chinese culture/language. So I’ve been eagerly searching for some blog/journals kept by foreigners who live or travel to Taiwan before.

After reading through a couple journals, I realized foreigners tend to catch some little social habits that us native Taiwanese neglect. For instance, the first thing they usually notice is how bad Taipei traffic is. Tons of people and tons of scooters around. No one seems to follow the traffic signs and just randomly drive according their own rules. No one yield for ambulance and police car either.

Food is another issue for those foreigners who cannot completely accept traditional Chinese food. They usually rely more on the American fast food restaurants. However, they may realize the fast food places in Taiwan serve different taste of food than elsewhere. McDonald hamburger taste very different than the ones here in US. Pizza Hut often do not have pepperoni as topping option but you’ll see lots of green peas and corns on the pizza in Taiwan. The taxi driver chew on beetle nuts and spit off red saliva also scared off a lot of foreigners too.

On the other hand, a lot of foreigners are impressed by how friendly Taiwanese people are. If they got lost, most people are eager to help out. Many foreigners are also amazed by the natural beauty in the mountains and national parks throughout Taiwan, whether it be the cherry blossoms at Yangming Shan, the scary winding cliff road at Taroko Gorge, the sunrise in Ali Shan, or the beach and jungle in Kenting National park.Each place has its own unique scenery that attracts thousands of foreign visitors each year.

Below are a few sites I’ve visited:

Mike Kersten’s Blog
This is actually the first site that got me started in finding out how foreigners live in Taiwan. In this case, this guy is a young American missionary who lives in Chiayi for mission work and also teach at Concordia Middle School. His website includes links to many other foreign missionaries preaching God’s words in Taiwan.

Lone Locust Travel Adventure
This guy married a Taiwanese wife and often goes back to Taiwan to visit her family. At the beginning, he doesn’t really fit in well to the culture and the food in Taiwan. He’s too tall for the doorways and beds in Taiwan. He always hit his head on the doorway and his legs are usually hanging outside of the bed for his 6″4′ height. But he has good sense of humor and great observation to make notices of all the cultural differences between Taiwanese and Americans. I always find myself cracking up while reading his travel journal.

3q2u.com
Corbett Wall, a famous saxophone performer who’s been living in Taiwan for 16+years, keeps a very interesting blog. Not only does he writes about his daily life with his music production and his exciting night life at his lounge bar/restaurant, he also shares many cool links and perspectives to Taiwan and worldwide news. His site is voted #1 in Taiwanese blog.