Friday, October 31, 2008

Brief Overview of My Life

So, judging by some of the commentary being posted (thanks friends!), I have been doing a very bad job of keeping people informed about our whereabouts. I hereby post this mini-timeline to help anyone who is just discovering or rediscovering us:

1995-1996 - I serve as a missionary in Hong Kong. I love Hong Kong - big cities make me happy, Chinese (people food, language, art, etc.) makes me happy. Overall, a tough, but happy time.

1997-I marry the fabulous Erik and we move to China to teach English.

1998 - back to the States (Falls Church, VA to be specific). Erik gets an MA in Linguistics at Georgetown, Markie gets a BA in Psychology at George Mason.

2000-2008 -we move to Pittsburgh (hooray for Pittsburgh!). I get an MS in Social Psychology at University of Pittsburgh. I teach classes at Carnegie Mellon (CMU) and at Pitt. My friend Ruth and I also get more serious about our Quiet Book Business ( Erik gets his degree in computational linguistics at CMU.

August, 2005 - Go-go (Cantonese for 'big brother') is born. Such a sweet, mellow boy.

October, 2007 - Mui-mui (Cantonese for 'little sister') is born. Much more dramatic than her brother, but just as sweet. Especially when she finally decided that playing is more fun than screaming.

May, 2008 - Erik gets his dream job in Chinese computational linguistics - who knew that it would be in a suberb of Buffalo, NY!? We had two weeks to find a place to live, clean out eight years of junk from our tiny Pittsburgh townhouse, pack up, and get ourselves here. Truly, an excersise in humility. My wonderful friends came and sorted, swept, cleaned, and scrubbed (thanks Valerie, Zoe, and Rahel! And extra-big special thanks to Christine!). And they did it all without judging me or my mess - a super-human feat of true charity. Then, the profesional packers and movers boxed everything up, put it in the truck, drove it up here, and unloaded it - I don't think I can ever go back to an Elder's Quorum move (I don't think they'll mind).

Now - I'm teaching two sections of Social Psychology at Daemen College. It helps relieve the suburban mailaise I keep feeling. I really hate driving everywhere, I miss the city, I miss my friends, I hate owning two cars, etc., etc., etc. But, I'm getting used to it, I'm meeting new people, making new friends, developing firmer opinions about what neighborhoods will be good for us when we buy a house and which we must avoid at all costs, and learning to appreciate and even enjoy my new life. Teaching makes sure that I get dressed up and interact with adults at least twice a week and reminds me that I really do have a brain. It's been a very good thing for me. Go-go goes to preschool all day on T/Th and Mui-mui stays with a woman in the ward on T/Th afternoons. Go-go loves school and I think the structure has been really good for him. Mui-mui likes it at Tara's house and likes to play with (OK, near) Tara's 10-month old daughter. She has more separation issues and it took her a few weeks to stop crying when I left, but now she wants to go right for the toys (or for the lunch). Erik still loves his job. Sometimes he'll come home shaking his head with disbelief that they actually want to pay him for doing what he loves.

So, that's my life in a nutshell. Do you feel all caught up? Good. Now, I'll just proceed from here in future posts. This is Markie, signing off from Williamsville, NY.


teddi said...

I just want to say, who knew there was even such a thing as Chinese computational linguistics! Ugh!

Kathy said...

I hear you on the moving and having people really see all my messes and disorganization up close and personal. Definitely humbling. And on a random note, I notice that the letters of Erik are in Markie. It was fun reading your overview. I knew most of that, but it's fun to hear some more of the details.

Brooke said...

Glad to see that Erik loves his job and that life is getting better.

As for the 10-year overview: whoo! I think I need a nap after reading that! Wow!


Laurel said...

Hi! Glad to see you're in the blogging world! Our little family has a blog at

Laurel :)

Laurel said...

Hey, we just make our blog private (got nervous after watching the KSL story last night). Email me at for an invite! We'd love to still have you read our blog!!!!

(your cousin Laurel :)

Robyn Kailiponi said...

Wish I could have been there to help. Moving is exciting and hard all at the same time. I'm glad to hear that you are able to teach a couple of classes. Sometimes I definitely miss working, even though I love being with my Nobo too.

Maryanne said...

Thanks for the overview-- there were all sorts of things i didn't know. And I can't believe Laurel's one, except when I stop and think that my little Eli is 6 months. How did this happen?