Puzzles Update

Totoro is completed, framed and has found a home.

And puppy party is also done! But it’s been dismantled and returned to the box for storage at the moment.

Happy Saturday!

My 2018 Anti-Haul: 7 Things I’m Getting Rid of This Year by The Financial Diet

I can’t stop watching her videos. I really like the idea of the “anti-haul”; I’m so on board with a good, well-deserved bit of “consumerist shame”.



I keep my closet pretty trim (I regularly move items to my resell closet, ahem), but I think it’s probably high time I gave my bookshelves a hard edit. I know there are books I’ve read and will not read again, but that I haven’t gotten rid of because there were passages I wanted to note/preserve. I could spend a weekend on a project like that instead of watching TFD videos, I could. I could do that.

It Is Completely Okay to Speak Ill of the Dead

Hundreds of people reached out to me after Amanda’s frighteningly sudden suicide.


Elementary, middle and high school friends of hers from Taipei emailed me. Former teachers and professors from her high school in LA tracked me down. Her colleagues and mentors from undergraduate and medical school in northern California contacted me. Even people she worked with very briefly (as briefly as mere weeks) reached out. Many, many people attended her viewing with extremely short notice. Her colleagues in Tucson put together a wonderful scrapbook of her residency for Mini. Amanda’s boyfriend, Mini’s dad’s family stepped up communications, and I got to meet Mini’s Nana a third time and her paternal aunt for the first time. Even people from around the globe who connected with her in the blogosphere have written me here and privately.


From all the hundreds of people, and the tens of thousands of words that were exchanged, a pattern quickly and unmistakably emerged. No one had a bad thing to say about Amanda. Obviously she has said and done not so great, even terrible things, all of those things just categorically vanished from conversation. I know that people reach out, driven by decorum or empathy, could never think to say to me– as I grieved my sister’s death– A Bad Thing about Dead Sister. I get it. Only, this complete and total avoidance, created a bizarre alternate reality.


People praised Amanda’s bubbly personality and seemingly boundless energy, without addressing her hair-trigger temper and tendency to steamroll others, or even acknowledging her (at times apparent) mania. People expressed awe over her prolific writing, without noting the glaring lack of editing and her pushy spamming. I did the same gliding over. I found it hard to speak to flaws of hers or mistakes she made when people very obviously omitted them, so most of the time, I didn’t. This was irresponsible of me, and I’m working consciously to change.


I don’t mean that I ought to be more confrontational towards or more critical of any party. I just want to shed the blind-eye comfort of unthinkingly, by default, skirting difficult topics, such as poor behavior of a dead, loved one. I can’t speak for everyone grieving, trying to find ways to cope. I’m only one person processing her loss. But I’m saying it’s okay! Go ahead and speak ill of the dead when it’s necessary, productive, or simply unavoidable.


I was fortunate that not one person who came forward to meet me did so with malice. No one abused me on the subject of my sister’s death, her mental illness, or her suicide. Hardly anyone even said anything ignorant or “tone-deaf” to me. But why stop at finding myself lucky? There is still work here to do. We still need to engage, to speak, and to strip away stigma so that fewer lives might end in tragedy.


We can always do more by being honest and kind than we can operating on either virtue alone. So that’s what we ought to aim to do.

7 “Grown-Up” Behaviors That Are Wasting Your Money by The Financial Diet

This is so good! The video has thorough research (sources in the description), sound logic, and an accessible approach, and is even fun to watch!

Poetry Ptuesday – Snow by Louis MacNeice

“…and feel/The drunkenness of things being various.”


Oliberte Half off Sale!

50% off everything

Oliberte is one of the first ethical fashion brands I wrote about on here, 3 years ago. I’m going to refrain per my (s)low buy but couldn’t help wanting to get the word out!

State of the Blog: Revamping Categories

Amanda and I struggled with categories among other things during the months we worked together on this blog.


Final Lines Friday – Calypso by David Sedaris

“It wasn’t where they belonged, necessarily. It was just where they ended up.”


Motivational Monday – Tillie Pierce Alleman

Alleman witnessed the Gettysburg Battle first hand at age 15. Twenty-five years later she wrote down her recollection of those bloody days of war. This is how she introduced her account.


(S)LOW BUY: January 2019 Spending Breakdown

I’m trying to up my savings game. In my book, the first chapter is always an honest look at where I stand.


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