Introducing 10 East, a digital media brand we’re starting in Asia

So over the past month we auditioned and then interviewed on camera a group of girls who live and work in Taipei. We asked them what they liked and didn’t like about Taiwan, their relationships and stories about dating, and generally just got them to share about themselves on camera.

It was a first experiment and the final edited clips are below. We call the project 10 East, and hope it will become something much bigger: a media brand that tells stories about life and love and laughter in Asia – but content that appeals to the world. Think Buzzfeed, Refinery29, PopSugar…but with a touch of China, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, Singapore, the Philippines, and on.

We have lots more ideas including:
-Celebrity gossip and entertainment news
-Feminism and women’s rights in Asia
-Simple fun language learning
-Viral content in Asia – what’s the latest, why it works
-TV show and movie recaps

Daily Habits Checklist (July 10th – August 7th): “We need, in love, to practice only this: letting each other go.”

Haven’t posted much lately. I’ve been hard at work on a new media project, and I hope to have something to show you in two weeks if not sooner. But I should be writing more. Like exercise, writing has its obvious benefits, but there are many more subtle and second-order rewards as well. So I miss it, and I feel that something is missing in my bones, in the strength and fullness of my day. How to work it back in?

These past 4 weeks were good, not great. A great month would be 2-3 weeks of 80%+. Excuses include: the emergence of a new project and the arrival of a puppy. My most inconsistent habits were meditation and music. And I expect that my music habit will suffer most in the coming weeks, since it’s the hardest challenge and the easiest to find excuses not to do.

Here’s why and how I track my daily habits.

We need, in love, to practice only this: letting each other go. For holding on comes easily; we do not need to learn it. – Rainer Maria Rilke

Thanks for reading!

Daily Habits Checklist (July 10th – August 7th): “But whoever has been forgiven little loves little”

If you look only at the scores, it wasn’t a great month. In particular I did poorly in the “writing” and “publishing” habits. No coincidence those habits are related, too: I can’t publish stuff I didn’t write lol

But in reality, July was a great month. Yes I perhaps spent too much time partying and traveling, which lowered the scores, but I also spent a lot more time learning to sing and play guitar, and write song lyrics, which aren’t captured in the checklist. So the checklist needs to be updated, because I have increased my focus on music. Here’s an early example. It’s been hard, and fun.

I also got a puppy this week, so that will probably affect my August scores, unless I add a “doggy care” habit!

Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven–as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little – Luke 7:47 NIV


Here’s why and how I track my daily habits.

Thanks for reading!

Dance Upon The Moon Tonight, updated (a tribute to 月亮代表我的心)

Some months ago (years ago?) I started to record English versions of my favorite Chinese pop and love songs. They weren’t very good. So I stopped.

Since then I’ve been learning how to play an instrument and sing at the same time. And have tried to improve my singing voice. So I’m starting to share again.

The English lyrics are written by yours truly, they’re heavily inspired by the original. Nothing in the performance is edited or produced. More songs to come!

Dance Upon The Moon Tonight
Original: 月亮代表我的心 by 邓丽君

You ask how much I long for you
If what we have is true
All I want is you
All you need is to
Watch the moon shine bright tonight

You ask how much I long for you
If what we have is true
My heart longs for you
Your heart knows it’s true
Watch the moon shine bright tonight

The way you looked at night
Stole my heart with just a glance
The way your hand touched mine
As the moon lit our first dance

You ask how much I long for you
If what we have is true
Wait for starry skies
Sway beneath the light
Dance upon the moon tonight

See the starry skies
Sway beneath the light
Dance upon the moon tonight

5: Where 8-year old me lost some trust and stopped bringing toys to school

One day, I decided to bring my favorite action figure to school: He-Man, he of the tight red speedos, long blonde Achilles hair, and gravity-defying sword. I wanted to show him to my friends. In particular to my best friend Terrence. Terrence was quiet and calm and always ready to play. His desk was next to mine. That proximity is probably why we became close friends in the first place. That’s just how little kids do it.

As expected, He-Man was a hit. I was the center of attention among the boys that morning, had a few more friends than usual. You have to remember this was an elementary school in urban high crime low rent Philadelphia, and brand new action figures were simply not casually displayed like Teslas in a Google parking lot.

Everything was great until lunch rolled around. Upon returning from the cafeteria, I opened my desk drawer to find that He-Man had disappeared.

I promptly freaked out as only an eight-year old can. Opened the drawers of nearby desks to quiet stunned protests. Combed the carpeted floor. Dug through the bookshelves. Questioned likely suspects. Attracted so much attention that our teacher Mrs. Frank asked me in a pitched and snappish voice to come here right this minute and why are you causing all this ruckus child.

I walked over, upset and defiant and beginning to despair. One of the few action figures I owned, my current favorite, shiny and without a scratch, and now my ego had brought him to school and my ego had lost him.

As a crowd gathered, I described the case of the missing toy. In the middle of telling my story, a sudden intuition hit me with the force of He-Man’s sword: I knew who done it.

Intuition seized my body and the actions that followed were automatic and uncontrollable. Thus began a behavioral pattern that would repeat itself many times: an overpowering instinct causes drastic action causes momentous life change and also, sometimes, regret.

“I know who has it!” I shouted. Before Mrs. Frank could respond, surrounded by a circle of spectators, I rushed straight to the cubbyholes where each student stored their belongings. I went straight to Terrence’s cubby and pulled out his green Jansport backpack. Brought it over to her desk. Shoved my hand in. Didn’t feel anything, just papers and small sticky objects.

But then — I felt a shape. Pulled it out. Thrust it triumphantly in the air. It was my He-Man. No one said anything. Terrence hung his head.

I remember little of the aftermath. But Mrs. Frank was more intent on resuming order than on playing detective or arbitrator. People dispersed. The drama was over. I put He-Man in my drawer and never brought him to school again. Terrence and I still spoke, but whether due to my anger or his shame, we drifted from close to casual. Maybe I learned something, probably I didn’t. Because just weeks after the incident, I brought two unsharpened glittery pencils to class. And they, too, vanished.


This is one in a series of personal reflections. I’m writing them in chronological order, starting with childhood. Click here to see what’s been published. Thanks!