I don't remember the last sunny day we had here in Taipei. It's been raining pretty much non-stop for a while now, and while it's good (we've had water shortages the past couple of summers), it's not helpful to my mood.
I'm leaning more and more towards moving back to the States this summer. The benefits seem to far outweigh staying here in Taiwan, even if I were to get into the Ph.D. program. For example, foreign professors here don't qualify for pensions, foreigners can't get loans for cars or homes, and the price of housing is even more expensive than in the US (because land is at such a premium here ... Taiwan is the second most densely populated country on Earth).
The drawback to moving back, though, is the logistics (and cost) of getting all of my stuff shipped back to the States, including my cats (who I would never think of giving away -- they go where I go), plus I'd most likely have to live with my parents for a month or two when I first get back, something I haven't done in ten years. I'm not looking forward to that, but I'll need to wait until I have a job before I can have a place of my own, not really because of the money, but so I can live in reasonaby close proximity to where I'll be working. I'm so used to living on my own, that I'm dreading the thought of having to live in my parents' house again ... even though I'm 28, they still tend to treat me like I'm a teenager ... one of the problems of being an only child, I suppose. They know I'm gay and all, so that's not a problem, but they just nag me about really annoying things. Plus, all my friends from high school have moved away, so I'll be lonely for a while, and it'll be kind of hard to start dating or anything while living with my parents and doing the whole job search thing. There are tons of jobs that require Chinese language ability, so I'm not worried about finding work ... I just don't like going on a bunch of interviews, and I'd like to find someone that I'll enjoy and that has a good salary, good benefits (although nothing can beat the nationalized health insurance they have here in Taiwan), and will be exciting. I have a good idea about what I'd really like to do, but that's not something I'm going to share ... hehe
Anyway, I've received the final edit of Chapter 8 from Kitty, so it should be posted on my website on Wedneday evening, then a day or so later on GayAuthors and Nifty. I had forgotten a lot of what I had written in this chapter until I went through the revisions that Kitty sent me, and after re-reading it, I think it's a pretty good chapter. It's not as long as Chapter 7, but it's not short either. So far, the only "short" chapter (as in under 45 KB) is Chapter 11. I'll probably start working on Chapter 13 this week, too.