30 Day Squat Challenge – Midpoint Status

I’ve put in long days at work lately, and I’m really tired and head-achy   Have lately taken to eating spoonfuls of Nutella from the jar to get my sugar fix.  But I digress.  This post is supposed to be all about my midpoint status.  Exactly 15 days ago, I decided to embark on the 30 Day Squat Challenge.

It’s been tough, but I’ve managed to stick with it for all 15 days.  I’ve worked it into my schedule by waking up an hour earlier each day to get the requisite squats in.  But that means I’ve cut back on sleep, and it’s started to get really difficult lately to wake up in a daze and try to do the squats at the crack of dawn while still half-asleep.  Continue reading


Eddie Izzard FORCE MAJEURE at Hallenstadion

Eddie Izzard FORCE MAJEURE at Hallenstadion Zürich

Last Saturday, I went to my first comedy show since moving to Switzerland:  Eddie Izzard FORCE MAJEURE.  I had no idea who he was, so I was a bit iffy at first, but my friend said her friends really liked him…  even though she’d never heard of him herself.  A quick internet search revealed that he was on Who’s Line is It Anyway?  and I remember that show being really cool.  But then I saw some another clip of him wearing a ton of makeup and a dress, speaking in incomprehensible French…  so I was having my doubts.  But the opportunity to see my first show at Hallenstadion Zürich finally won out at the end, so I said I was in.   Continue reading

Red Bean Buns (Dousha Bao 豆沙包)

Arghh….  this whole morning has gotten off to a bad start.  First off, I couldn’t sleep, so I crawled out of bed at 8 am…  on a Saturday morning.  So much for trying to sleep in.  >.<  And then my internet was kaput all morning, so I wasn’t even able to get online until the late afternoon.  I tried to occupy myself by cleaning the kitchen and bathroom, which were not the most exciting activities, but I guess they needed to be done at some point anyway.

It’s cold and rainy outside, so I’m kind of hibernated indoors.  Only two days ago, it was sunny and warm.  Last weekend, there was some freak snowfall.  But mid-last week, it was actually very warm and sunny…  like shorts-weather.  And before that, it was cold.  Ah…  just your typical spring weather in Switzerland.   Continue reading

Americans are so nice

“Americans are so nice,” my mother said while Skyping with me on Saturday.  She was telling me how her car broke down, and she wanted me to write a blog post about it so she could send her friends the link instead of telling them the story herself.

That didn’t make any sense…  my mother is in California, I am in Switzerland.  And it’s HER story, not mine.  And she was telling me the story in Chinese and I was only half-paying attention so I’m not even sure I got all the facts right.  And something might get lost in translation between Chinese and English.  I told her to write it herself in Chinese, but she remarked that she couldn’t write well and it was too complicated to type Chinese characters on the computer.

So…  as the dutiful daughter, I have resigned to writing this post.  媽媽, this post is for you.   Continue reading

Zurich’s Yelper of the Week!

Woo-hoo, I’m Zurich’s Yelper of the Week!  What does this mean?  Lots of fame on Talk, Facebook, and Twitter…  but too bad no fortune.  Haha…

You may think I jest about the fame, but let me tell you–yesterday I walked into Kennedy’s Irish Pub for the first time, and the first thing that someone said to me was, “Oh, so YOU’RE the I-Lin.  Spelled I-…”  And he congratulated me for being Yelper of the Week.  Continue reading

Death By Chocolate

Vapiano cake--the inspiration for it all

Vapiano cake–the inspiration for it all

I’m not really a chocolate person.  Of course I’ve always gobbled up all the chocolate candy bars from my trick-or-treating loot every Halloween, but when faced with a choice for anything else–ice cream, cake, pudding, milkshakes, cookies–you name it–I would rather have vanilla or strawberry or caramel.  Give me a flan or panna cotta or crème brûlée or New York-style cheesecake over chocolate cake any day.  I do like chocolate in candy bars, but I prefer white chocolate over milk or dark, and white stuff isn’t even really chocolate anyway.  I always found chocolate cake a bit too dry for my liking. Continue reading

Photo shoot for Swiss CV

I recently learned that a Swiss CV is different from an American résumé in that the Swiss one has personal information such as a photo, age, marital status, etc.  I haven’t really updated my résumé to contain such personal details, but then I saw a Groupon offer for a professional photo shoot that could be useful for this.

The offer from Fotomedia Morgenegg consisted of one outfit change and 12 photos on a data CD for SFr. 30.- instead of 114.  Seemed like a pretty good deal, so I went for it, even though their studio is in Dübendorf instead of Zürich.  It took me about 40 minutes by train to reach my destination, which was actually shorter than my daily commute to work.  I didn’t know what to do for the one outfit change, as I was just going for standard head shots, so I just switched from a white shirt to a blue shirt. Continue reading

Cupcake Decorating 101

My decorations prepared and laying out to dry

My decorations done and laying out to dry

Cupcakes used to be all the rage in the U.S. and now seems to have come to Europe.  I don’t get why though.  I mean, it’s just simple white cake with tons of sugar on top.  Who actually enjoys eating that?  I mean, don’t get me wrong–I actually LOVE carbs and have downed my share of simple sugars–but would rather savor all the delectable breads here, munch on cakes, cookies, brownies, tarts, pies, muffins, tortillas…  you name it.  When I bake, I bake to EAT.  Gimme all the yummy goodness of the food itself, not all the fluffy stuff that goes on top. Continue reading

My first home… not!

Today I went to my first home viewing.  Well, to be technically correct, it was an apartment viewing.  Yesterday morning, a friend sent me a link to a new build around the corner from where I live, and it looked pretty good.  2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, washer/dryer in unit, balcony, 108 sq m (1163 sq ft), 3rd floor (which is 4th floor in the U.S., as they start with ground 0 here).  Selling price:  CHF 1,070,000.–  :O

You know I’ve been living in Zürich too long when I think 1 million is a good price.  But I guess that’s the norm in the city, so I called the sales office to ask for an appointment.  That unit was already sold.  😦 Continue reading

30 Day Squat Challenge

I used to have a naturally perky butt.  As a kid, I hated it when the protruding bubble extended behind my red leotard during gymnastics class.  I used to try to tuck in my tailbone in a futile attempt to decrease the offending hump.

As a teenager in the early ’90s, I was never able to wear a tube skirt because there was always too much of a gap between my gluteus maximus and upper thigh.  Now before you start conjuring up crazy images of who-knows-what, I need to specify that I was really skinny as a kid.  The rest of me was a flat stick with chopstick legs.  And I wasn’t athletic at all.  It’s a mystery where the random lump came from. Continue reading