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September 14, 2022 11:39 PM

Sabbatical - 4 weeks in

When I tell people I want to retire early, sometimes they ask me how I could stand having so much free time. Won't I get bored? Well, it's getting close to four weeks of my sabbatical, and even though I don't have my 40 hour work week to deal with, I still have way more things that I want to do than I have time for.

I originally wanted to keep a log of what I've been doing with my time, but I quickly realized that even doing that is a lot of work, and I'd rather be doing the things than recording that I'm doing them.

I've been working on the Teochew site a lot. I'm really, really happy with all the progress I'm making and all of the Chinese that I'm learning. But it does take up a significant amount of time, and I haven't really been able to devote as much energy to my food blog or other things like reading or visiting all the interesting local establishments. I asked for video game recommendations, and I haven't spent any time playing video games since my sabbatical started!

That's okay though. I've constantly got ideas brewing in my head, and now's when I have time to act on them. I'm glad I can really dive into a project for myself, doing it in a way that works for me. Some people get into the zone while they're coding and they code for hours and hours and barely come up for air, but I'm not like that. I think I can do about two hours before I need a break. So I spend an hour or two working on the Teochew site, and then I go for a walk or I make some food. And then I get back to it. It's been really, really good.

And I'm exhausted by the end of each day. I'm still working out almost every day, including DDR a couple of times a week because it's nice to go to the arcade during the day when it's less crowded. I'm still hanging out with friends a few times a week. That's important to me. And I try to keep up with chores and errands, and I wonder how people with full time jobs and families do it.

I've been thinking of my sabbatical as my retirement trial phase, to really see if this is what I want. And each day confirms that it absolutely is.

September 4, 2022 2:12 AM

James River

In 2011, I went to the James River with my sister, two of my cousins, and my uncle. I don't think I would have really remembered this trip if my uncle hadn't taken a lot of photos. This was back when I was a chubbier college student, and my sister and cousins were just little kids.

But I'm glad he took all of those photos, because it reminds me of a good memory in a good place.

August 28, 2022 9:00 PM

Sabbatical week 1 - happy birthday to me

So what have you done on your sabbatical so far?

Meals that I've cooked:


Songs I've discovered:

Website updates:

Birffday treats:

Around Pittsburgh:

...and Virginia:


August 25, 2022 9:59 PM


Meyling, do you eat 红毛茄 ang7 mo7 gia1?

ang mo I eat...American...children? Red...haired...child...?


OHH! Yes, 我 ua2 食 jiat8.

I know you know Chinese. You have it inside of you.

August 21, 2022 11:44 PM


So you're finally on your sabbatical, and the first thing you do is write an image carousel?

Uhh, yeah. And then I updated it again today.

When I first designed this site, I didn't want any images to be displayed. Text only. It wasn't until I saw a friend's website that I was inspired to add them at all. I finally saw a way that I could include images without it disrupting the theme of my site.

And every once in a while, I find that it's helpful to have multiple images in a single post, and I wanted it to be easier to navigate them.

I also updated my flimkit mobile app. Hopefully lots more to come!

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