Milly Xu
This is my request instead:

Please make a donation to Live Wright Society a nonprofit founded by my mother, Milly, one of the most courageous, loving, resilient women in the world. 

Live Wright uses music, art and film to Pay It Forward and raise awareness for Multiple Sclerosis, Crohn's/Colitis, Aging out of Foster Care, Organ Transplant, Lou Gehrig's Disease, and Music Brings. 

Wouldn't it be nice if together, we raised $1000 today? Then I could say I had a GREAT birthday :) 

To donate: 
1. Visit Pay It Forward on Eventbrite
2. Enter the amount you'd like to donate under the ticket "$1K IN ONE DAY" and press Order

Someone needs to invent a spray that enhances the smell of my food. 

Because my nose isn't getting enough action, and my taste buds are hogging all the fun. And the end result is that my brain is screwed out of fully appreciating delicious meals.

So if you happen to see me out at a restaurant, face planted in my food - don't laugh. Put your face in your food too, steal a giant whiff, and take comfort in knowing that together, we are slowly redistributing the wealth to our senses, one olfactory receptor at a time. 

As if it wasn't bad enough that Hootsuite went and robbed me of their old, fresher user interface (see previous post), today I was also robbed of my beautiful MacBook Pro. As in, someone came into my boyfriend's apartment while I was ASLEEP, and took my baby away into the underground world of crack addicts, pawn shops and dirty bastards watching midget porn on the 15 inches of my laptop's glossy screen.  This is where the mind of a mother, whose Apple child has just been kidnapped, goes.

That thing was like my second brain and heart. The machine is replaceable, but the content is seriously priceless. Which is why I'm hating myself for not having backed up my work since October. That was nine fucking months ago. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

This is the collection of incidents that led to this sad day:

My boyfriend, B, lives in the hood. He's a teacher, and therefore teaches where he is needed. And having moved to NYC not too long ago, his job and his unfamiliarity with the city landed him smack in the middle of Brownsville, two train stops away from where they filmed 'Brooklyn's Finest.' You know - the movie about the cops and drug dealers murdering each other. Yeah. That's two blocks away.

So I spend a portion of my time in the hood because B is there - and mostly everything seems okay because we have good neighbors, and B's apartment is part of a new section of housing on a one-sided, quiet street. But hood rats have legs, and they are around during the day. And they watch you, and wait. Or they're bored and decide to use any apartment they can slide their little greasy asses into, as a free-for-all candy store. Fucking bastards.

I never take naps in the middle of the day - but I've been working so many cross-border hours with China that I finally had to lie down this afternoon.

B never comes back for lunch in the middle of the day, and he just happened to today.

Those rat bastards must of seen him leaving after lunch and figured no one was in the apartment. 

Except I was. Dead asleep. IN the bedroom, while they snuck happily around and swiped my baby *tear* because I had left it sitting in the living room in all its silver glory. I wonder if they saw me lying in the dark. If they did, I hope it gave them a jolt, sending them scurrying out the back door with their tails between their legs, their heart skipping a beat. With my laptop in hand, but nevertheless, scared.


I won't even tell you how many policemen and women came storming into my apartment, more curious about my decor than the crime, more suspicious of B than the actual thief. 

What a fucking day. Lesson learned. 

Move forward. Make more memories. Take more pictures. Re-do a little bit of what was lost, and BACK IT UP PEOPLE. Losing the computer itself hurt. But losing all the memories and work was absolutely devastating.
I'm taking 10,000 steps a day. And I'm using a pedometer to count them. Pedometer strapped to my hip = unsexy. But achieving 10,000 steps a day = very very sexy.

I'm doing it to cure the acute sense of agoraphobia that builds up when I've spent too much time working. 

To cure the fact that I've been in NYC for almost eight months now, and still haven't seen as much of the city as I'd like. 

To cure the few extra pounds as a result of sitting on top of a computer every day, with my fingers jammed on the keys as if this little piggy had no roast beef and went wah-wah-wah, all the way home.  

To cure any fears of not being able to achieve something when all you have to do is get off your ass and take a few steps forward. 

There will be more to follow, I hope. Because it's Monday. Because it's time to move those happy feet. Because there are no more excuses left to not do it. Unless I find an iPad app that closes business deals for me, and takes me on tours of the city while putting chocolate in my mouth. Because then, I wouldn't really need 10,000 steps, would I. 

p.s. sneak peek at the booth I designed for TWOC at the expatshowbeijing.com. Time for this crazy, hidden rag to make a splash!






Got a new tattoo yesterday. Sitting on the corner of my left wrist, I see it every time I look down; it's there to remind me of my commitment to living the hell out of life. Not that I need a tattoo to do my mental butt-kicking, but being such a visual person, it's a nice little replacement for a permanent string on my finger.

The Back Story
When I was about eight, my mother was a member of a spiritual, meditation group led by her best friend, Betty. They met weekly to channel in the good spirits and sift out the bad. Sometimes I would join in, peering out from underneath a table in the candle-lit dark, "ohhm"ing along with the rest of the crowd and trying to sit still in the lotus position. Most times, the night would end with my mom shaking me out of a snore coma and dragging me home while I managed to linger in between my dreams.

Unfortunately, it turned out that this "meditation group" was more like a cult (i.e. best friend Betty began to starve herself-one of the less crazy things she did in the name of religion), and my mom quickly saw the signs and left. She and Betty eventually lost touch, but we still held onto the positive aspects of spirituality, especially since it had already been a large, but subtle, part of my mom's life before me. I will always remember that one evening when Mom told me about Poda.

When I was really young, like three or four years old, I used to always stay up late to watch the moon. I could see it very clearly from my window, hovering big and white just over our house. Many nights, I would stare up at that moon until it disappeared. One night, while I was sitting in bed, looking wide-eyed into the midnight sky, I saw something move in the corner of my eye. When I turned to look, I saw the tiny figure of a boy peering from behind my bedroom door. His skin was very pale, he had an unusually large forehead, no hair, and large playful eyes. I wet my bed and screamed until my mother ran into my room and turned on the lights. I told her about the boy, sobbing in fear, but after a thorough search, there was no boy to be found. With a sigh, my mom tucked me back into bed, and turned out the lights. Looking out from under my covers when she left, I saw nothing in the darkness.

"Who was it, mom?" I interrupted.

I've recently been feeling a little off-balance. Work and workouts are great - other stuff is not. By the time I get home, I just want to zone out on the couch until the morning - hardly apropos for getting anything productive done on the off hours. And I have SO much I WANT and NEED to do in those few precious off hours I do actually have. Like send out that artist release for the children's book. And call the people who have left me messages on my mom's voicemail box in Texas (how did they get that number). And pay my TRC website bill. And work on TIP (new, ultra secret project). And meet with British Ed to crank out our freaking songs so we can perform already.  And shower. And cook. And do laundry. And READ. And update you on ALL the things I am itching to write about. And. And. And. And yet, the only things I can manage to do are check my e-mails (but not respond to them), get my daily dose of NG and be a sack of shit for the rest of the evening.

So, my mind has been exploding on the inside - because it has somehow shut off in the process of all this working and working out. But lucky for me, I have alter-ego Jenny, who knows just what to do, most of the time. Knowing me best, as only me can know me, alter-ego Jenny (let's call her Benjamin) understands that I can't just go from couch lauder to productive Nancy. So, the other night, smart little Benjamin was like:

Why don't you plan a party?

And I was like: Say whaat?

(Yes, I talk to myself. Debate is the only way my better half will win)

Yeah, get your mind off your big couch potato ass.

Um, excuse you? I've been working out.

You know - give yourself something fun to think about, and the work you need to get done will just fly by.

Ohhh. Hm.

You know I'm right.

Yeah, well, maybe I'll try that concept. Thanks, Benjamin.

No prob, Blob.

Haha. Very funny.


Great. Get the guest list together. Buy the alcohol. Make a cupcake or two. And ta-da! Extensive Game Night at Benjamin and Jenny's! Followed by dancing and guzzling at whatever bars are lucky enough to house us. So far, the guest list is 15 and counting. I think my Beijing apartment can comfortably hold 10. Oops.

And all of a sudden, my mind is breathing again, and ready to be productive. Oh, Benjamin. You are so smart. Nothing cures flat-lining better than the prospect of some good ol' ridiculous, liver-blowing, FUN.


Snow Glow


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Though it happened about a month and a half later than the rest of the world, thanks to the Mongolian skies, we were bestowed a deliciously crisp gust of soft flakes all yesterday and today. Last night, as I was shuffling back from the gym, the legs of my pants caked in muddy ice I would later rinse out in the sink, rather than fight my way through the slush, I stopped and stared. Because it was 9pm, the snow fell like millions of icy, miniscule feathers, brushing against my nose and prancing on the tips of my eyelashes. I looked up, deeply breathing in dusts of cold. The dark night sky had a pink glow, and for a very long time, I stood there, mouth wide open, catching melting crystal shards on my tongue and listening to the calm that only snow can bring. The loud traffic, my toes wriggling inside my wet socks, the taxis splashing by, the neon lights - everything fell away, and it was just me and those dots of white gently floating down, down, down, into nothingness. Then I realized that these gorgeous ice flakes were probably just polluted Beijing rain drops in disguise, and that I had better close my mouth. So I did. And even though my ears were numb and my sneakers soaked through on the walk home, it was still a glorious night.