Starting anew in 2016

Happy 2016!

My first resolution for this New Year is to start this blog anew.

When I’d initially begun this project two years ago, I had planned to post new profound insights and updates from my own life here, to share with friends (which I’d previously done in the form of lengthy letters soon after graduating from college).  Unlike Facebook, which accommodated only a few lines per post, I’d imagined that a blog would allow me to go into much more detail.

What I hadn’t anticipated was how long it would take for me to prepare each post.  Month after month would go by before I satisfied with a meaningful chunk of information that constituted a “post”.  In the meantime, the previous news that I’d shared very likely grew cold in my readers’ minds, and I had trouble figuring out how much to remind them of where I’d left off.  And also, how to sustain their interest over time.

My new insight: Blog posts are designed to be short and frequent – not unlike Facebook posts, but with some more room to accommodate details.

Hence my new plan: twice a month or so, I shall attempt to post new information here on what’s going on in my life, or whatever else has caught my attention.


My first week of 2016 began with a simple event that brought me much joy, as do nearly all events associated with the LMU Choruses – a group very dear to my heart ever since I’d first joined it over twenty years ago.

In February of 2015, all of us singers held a big event on campus – a French Cabaret show paired with a silent auction – to raise funds for our Summer 2015 concert tour to Paris and Normandy.  At that auction, I had donated a “Student Writing Support” package, offering unlimited guidance on writing assignments for a semester.

My friend Ann, also a longtime LMU choir member, won the highest bid for her son Nicolas (an eighth-grader at the time).  I then helped guide him on writing his very first research paper – the topic of which was something very familiar to me – Chinese food.

So, when I discovered that a very nice Asian buffet restaurant had opened its doors in the city of Torrance, close to my home, I invited both Ann and Nicolas down to sample some authentic Chinese cuisine with me.  And since Dr. Breden, our LMU choir conductor, also lived nearby, I invited her to join us.



We had a wonderful time, and joy continued to keep my spirits high throughout the following day (Monday, Jan. 4) back at work.

Monday night, though, I awoke in the dark feeling unbearably hot.  Come Tuesday morning, severe muscle aches developed along my neck and shoulders, and just looking at the hot bowl of noodle soup my family’s housekeeper had prepared for lunch caused a nauseating sensation.  It went away after I slept for a few hours, but was back on Wednesday morning.  I discovered that I was burning a low fever, and feared I might’ve caught the flu.

flu image

Not the flu, a couple of friends informed me after I’d posted my condition on Facebook, but something I’d never heard of – Norovirus:

Norovirus is a very contagious virus. You can get norovirus from an infected person,
contaminated food or water,or by touching contaminated surfaces.
The virus causes your stomach or intestines
or both to get inflamed (acute gastroenteritis).
This leads you to have stomach pain, nausea, and diarrhea and to throw up.
Anyone can be infected with norovirus and get sick.
Also, you can have norovirus illness many times in your life.
Norovirus illness can be serious, especially for young children and older adults…

The best way to beat this virus, I’m told, is to drink a lot of fluids and get plenty of rest.  So I took a number of naps each day throughout the rest of this week, and did not attempt to resist my body’s weariness.  (It was very fortunate to have happy memories of lunch with people from my choir to keep depression at bay!)

As you can see, my New Year did not start off on the best footing.  This hateful virus derailed my first two New Year’s resolutions: to shed some weight by working out at the gym at least once a week, and to diligently work on my writing every day.

But I shall NOT allow this setback to spoil any more of my new year!  I’ve since replaced resolutions #1 and #2 with the following:

  1. TAKE CARE OF MY BODY!!!  Remember that illness and discomfort will throw any other plans and activities into disarray.
  1. Break down my writing projects into short chunks, and share them often. This should help me stay in touch with others and better motivate to make further progress.

This post is the first product of resolution #2.  Please help me keep it going my posting your comments here.  (Your encouragement does wonders!)

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