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Japan stories coming soon!

I’ve just returned from a most fantastic two weeks in Japan.  I jotted down lots of notes and journal entries, and will be sure to post my stories and photos soon.  I needed to finish the re-design of my website first and then I’ll spend some time this week to update the blog.

To all my amazing J-friends – THANK YOU!!!

You are the reason Japan is such a special place for me, my 2nd home, and why it was so terrific to be back, even if for two short weeks.  I love you, I miss you and you remain in my heart.

Stories and photos to come soon! Here’s a teaser:

My beautiful girls! – No doubt, one of the highlights of my vacation in Japan was the visit to the junior high school so I could meet with all the kids I used to teach.  A great day!


Will you negotiate with me?

I read this article on my plane ride from Singapore to Hanoi today and enjoyed it enough, I wanted to post it.  Borrowed from the Weekend Journal of the Wall Street Journal


In 1972, on a park bench in Birmingham, Ala., Garner Lee Green’s father proposed to her mother. The proposal came out of the blue. She said yes.

“That doesn’t happen to people anymore,” says Ms. Green, who is 30. And it certainly wasn’t the way her husband asked her to marry him several years ago. The two of them talked for a long time about how and when the proposal would happen. “I was ready before he was, so we had to come to a meeting of the minds about a time frame. The negotiations lasted about six months,” Ms. Green says.

She is not the only one who missed what used to be a classic big moment. Those romantic tales that get passed among friends and relatives—”One day he just showed up with a ring! I was completely surprised!”—are vestiges of the past. We’ve gone from popping the question to a long conversation, hammering out the details of when and how the engagement will happen.

To read the rest of the article, click HERE.


My own memory…

It was a quick romance. We shopped for the ring together.  And I knew exactly when he was going to propose.  I was 24.  The surprise came on a Tuesday night, three months after the ring.  We broke up. Actually, he broke up.


Twitter me senseless

I’m really starting to love the internet.  Oh, I’ve always liked it, but in the last couple of weeks, I’ve researched a bit some social media outlets and become more active on twitter and am acutely interested in the new Facebook “Like” features which we will see peppered through the internet shortly.

I’ve always been a pretty open person.  It started with the weekly emails I sent when I was at City Club.  I’d list the events of the week or of note and at the end, a little personal comments about what I did over the weekend or a movie review.  Once I moved to Japan, I started writing regularly.  At fist that was also a group e-mail letter.  Then I got my Mac and created newsletters.  On December 27, 2005, I started On The Bright Side blog, via blogspot (which I am now migrating here).  I loved posting regular stories, photos and even a “guess” contest.  It was a good lead-in to my current website, which you may have gathered, I really enjoy maintaining.

You can probably see I’ve made some adjustments to my home page here.  I’ve added a twitter box so you can go find and follow me on twitter.  I’ve also added a facebook button, so if you want to add me as a friend, you can do that from here too.  I’m learning what features I can add to an iWeb supported site (like a sitemap and favicon), and so I’m excited to see what features I can use to enhance the “performance” of my site.  I’m even linking OTBS with a Facebook Page so that the site will be more visible and you all can become a fan!  (ok, it’s a bit dorky and nerdy, but I’m having a blast!)

Sometimes I do worry a bit about privacy.  My post below shows you that not all happy, peppy nor bright people visit this site.  But ultimately, I don’t post anything here which I don’t want to and I monitor my site and also my privacy settings on other networking sites religiously.

I’ve also been encouraging you all to get connected to skype.  I talk to my folks nearly every weekend with skype.  It’s easy, it’s free and it’s wonderful.  If you don’t have it, you should.  As with other applications, you can manage your privacy settings so that only people you add can call or chat with you.  And you can decide to add or not someone who requests to be on your contact list.  You don’t have to talk to anyone you don’t want to!

I hope to see you tweeting away, chatting with me on skype and perhaps sharing a new application you’ve discovered.  It’s fun, it’s fascinating and it’s a great way to keep in touch.  I can’t believe how many of our high school friends have reconnected simply because of Facebook.  With me living in a place like Vietnam, it feels good to be connected to the outside world and to YOU!


Add a comment

On September 30, 2008, I posted this entry: CLICK HERE

Today, as I opened my iWeb to update my site, I noticed a few comments had been posted.  I easily found the recent posts, but there was one which wasn’t obvious.  So I scrolled and scrolled until I found this comment was made yesterday on my entry which was posted nearly two years ago:


Shut the fuck up you communist. If you knew anything about anything you would know that competitive eating is huge in many other countries and relatively small in America. And I guess passing out a few Krystal burgers around the world is going to magically end world hunger. These guys train hard to do this and if they want to do it, then let em.  They aren’t hurting anyone.  Find something more reasonable to bitch about you miserable commie.

So, to be a good sport, I posted this:

The Author

Dear Pissed,

If you are one of my friends being sarcastic – ha ha, very funny.

If you are a random visitor who has spent enough time on my site to read all the way back to 2008 – Thanks for the visit!  I appreciate your interest and thank you for your participation in the comment feature!  Way to utilize it to the fullest!

If you want to support and applaud people who get paid to stuff their faces, then be my guest.  I happen to feel differently. And just as I have the right to my own opinion, I have the right to voice it.

I should also clarify that I am not a communist.  I happen to live in a communist country at the moment, but that does not mean that I enjoy it.  As the author and owner of this website I have every right to delete your comment.  If I were communist, then I would have.

Thank you for visiting On The Bright Side, and have a great day!


I’ve been spending some time recently researching social media outlets and interconnectivity on the internet.  It fascinates me. And ever since I’ve been more active on Twitter, I’ve noticed a sharp increase in traffic to my website.  And that’s great.  That’s what I’ve hoped for.  I like that we have methods of communication which allow us to express our opinion and share information, our ideas and opinions with others.

I can’t help but wonder who are the (at the time of this post) 14 Swiss, 6 Australians, 2 Italians and 1 Malaysian who have visited my site?  I pretty much can guess who all the others are, but I’m curious to know who else has visited On The Bright Side.  It’s exciting and I eagerly watch the flag counters now that I’ve added them.

But receiving a visit and a comment from some idiot who thinks I’m a miserable commie because I don’t like sponsored eating contests and who uses the lame-ass excuse of “they’re not hurting anyone” can simply find another website to peruse and blogger to harass.  Hey Pissed – Thanks for giving me something more reasonable to bitch about. Go ahead.  Add a comment.


Professional Eating Contests – Two years after my original post, I still think these contests are a disgrace and a waste of money.  This photo sums it up for me.  Gross and totally disgusting!



NOTE:  Since I redesigned my site, the comments have been lost.  But trust me, I couldn’t make that stuff up. Nor would I want to!


January 1 2010

This is pretty much me for the whole day of January 1, 2010.  (I mistyped that at first as 2020…jeez! Let’s not rush it!)  It’s cold and rainy in Hanoi today so the heater brings great comfort.  I’m in my favorite uniform, a jeans an my long sleeve black t-shirt, have a bowl of M&Ms there on the corner and some nice candles filling the air of sandalwood.  I’ve got three piles of journals in front of me…travel journals, diaries and then note books I carry around with me to jot down random thoughts or funny/interesting things I see when I am on the move.  My new MacBook is there, too, trying very hard to win my affection after my trusty Powerbook G4 bit the dust recently. (I’m a sentimental fool.  The Powerbook has been with me for 5 years.  I’m loyal. I’ve only known the MacBook for two weeks.  I’m hopeful he’ll stay with me for awhile. We’re having fun getting acquainted. ;p )

About ten years ago I developed a tradition where I take the first couple days of the New Year and have a good read through old journals.  I get in touch with Me for a bit, have a think about my future and charge forward.  I write one long end-of-the-year entry and get myself organized for the year ahead.

At some point before the weekend ends, I hope to post a few more blog entries here, get 100% of my J-blog converted from the old site and hopefully spit out an OTBS newsletter – something I haven’t done at all in 2009.  That’s a quarterly communication I really miss putting together, so I hope the 2009 wrap-up goes smoothly and I find more ME time in 2010 to produce it regularly. It’s important to me.

Here’s to Day 1 and a great year ahead!  Happy New Year!



This morning I realized that the hit counter on my website said 9995.  I posted a note in my facebook status, wondering who would be number 10,000.  Pete totally cheated and logged on three times.  Jeff claims he would have had it had Pete not cheated.  I made sure I didn’t log on for hours, as the last time I hit a milestone, I was the one who was the lucky “winner”. Oi.

At some point during my life in Japan, I created a blog, On The Bright Side.  Last year, shortly before I set out on my travels in March 2008, I established this website to more easily and thoroughly communicate with you the life adventures I am so fortunate to enjoy.

I just want to THANK YOU for stopping by and taking time out of your day to visit On The Bright Side, check in with me and keep in touch.  It means a lot to me, as I really enjoy posting these stories – sometimes great, sometimes silly, sometimes even a bit sad.  They are just bits and pieces of my life and I am happy to share them with you.  Now, if I could just get you all to leave more comments!  That’s the goal for the next 10,000 hits!

In all sincerity, though, thank you.  I’m grateful for your friendship and for your continued clicking.  May you be the lucky one who logs in hit number 20,000!  : D


On the Bright Side,



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