I’ve wanted a tattoo since I was 18, but I wanted one that had meaning for me.

In the spirit of dyeing my hair the way I had always wanted to, but been too frightened to do, I finally made my selection–a tattoo that represented my children. With the move closing in, I talked to my stylist with the amazing sleeve tattoo and got the name of his artist.

I made an appointment with Kelvin at The Standard Tattoo, and got a souvenir from Singapore that I’ll never lose (well, that and Rhiannon, who was born there).

I’d originally thought it would be a small tattoo, but ultimately it takes up the inside of my arm from the wrist to almost the elbow.

People ask if it hurts. Certain parts hurt, but watching Kelvin do the tattoo was so engrossing that there were only a few parts that really hurt.

The tattoo took three hours, which I’m told is fast. I lost track of time.

The bunny represents Rhiannon. She was born in the year of the rabbit, her class at her Chinese pre-school was called the rabbit class. She’s also bouncy as hell, so she is my bunny.

The ribbon is a miscarriage remembrance ribbon. We don’t talk about miscarriage enough. Everyone has their own way of grieving. Mine include considering that lost, wanted pregnancy one of my children.

The turtle represents Elanor, who I’ve called my turtle since she was only a few days old.


I have no regrets, and consider it one of the best parts of leaving Singapore.

Posted in Attractions, Leaving Singapore, Singapore | Tagged , , , , ,

The end of an era

We are leaving Singapore.

In less than a month.

This wasn’t planned. A company head-hunted Ravi, one thing lead to another, and it ended in a job offer that he accepted. We’d hoped the girls and I would follow later–giving them time to finish out some of the school year–but things just didn’t work out for that to happen.

I’m overwhelmed by the abrupt closing of a nearly seven year chapter of our lives. Ravi and I have spent the majority of our relationship here. Elanor is furious with us for making her leave her friends and her life here for a country she hasn’t lived in since she was one. Rhiannon is regressing and keeps threatening to not get on the plane. I’m trying to schedule one last dinner with everyone I’ve grown so close to.

I’ll have a lot more to say on the subject as the date approaches, and on our re-entry to the US. But for now, I’ll simply say that I both am already mourning the demise of my life here and am excited for the next chapter.

Posted in Assimilation, Culture Shock

A lusty podcast

I promise we’ll get back to Singapore content very soon. I’ve been exploring all the amazing Christmas displays this year and can’t wait to share the pictures. Once my laptop’s SD card starts to work.

In the meantime, my first anthology recently came out and I’m promoting it!

Recently I was given the opportunity to join the Agents of HELM–an awesomely nerdy podcast–to discuss Coming Together Under the Mistletoe and all things lust.


In latest installment of Johanna’s “Seven Deadly Sins” series, the Agents and special guest erotica author Delilah Night talk all things lust. We break down our favorite sex scenes and euphemisms (Slytherin in the…what?), and Delilah talks about all things erotica, including some exciting projects on the way. Be sure to check out the erotica anthology “Coming Together: Under the Mistletoe”, available now on Amazon, as well as “Capturing the Moment,” Delilah’s solo work. You can also find her at

You can listen to the podcast here, or download it from iTunes.

under-the-mistletoeDon’t forget to get your copy of my anthology, Under the Mistletoe–all proceeds go to Project Linus, a non profit that helps children in crisis.

Posted in Published!, Random Stuff, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Happy Release Day, Coming Together Under the Mistletoe!


My erotica for charity anthology, Under the Mistletoe, is now on sale. This was my first time in the editor’s chair, and I’m so proud of the results.

I’ve organized the anthology to take the reader on a journey from Dec 1st to the 31st, alternating poems and stories. The poems and stories run the gamut from sweet to kinky with everything in between. Under the Mistletoe will soon be available for pre-order, and will be published on Dec 1, 2016.

Table of Contents

Santa, Kinky by Blacksilk

Kid Comet by Delilah Night

All I want for Christmas is Sex by Sheryl Collins

Carpe Marine Christmas Package by Muffy Wilson

Silver Bells by M. Marie

Tugging Reins by Sonni deSoto

The Twelve Days of Christmas by DJK

Strip Dreidel by Rob Rosen

Under the Mistletoe by Ramona Thompson

Accosting Santa by Sommer Marsden

A Thaw in Midwinter by Jaylan Salah

The Green Lady by Malin James

A Christmas Eve Snow by Marcia Conover

Summer in December by Tamsin Flowers

Patriarchal Winter Night’s Dream by Jaylan Salah

Hush by Maria Duendí

Winter’s Majesty by Stacy Savage

Christmas in Minneapolis by CeCe Marsh

Crossing the Road on a Winter Hike by Jaylan Salah

Baby, It’s Hot Outside by Delilah Night

Frosty by Corbin Grace

Adrenaline Rush by Bob Buckley

Goosebumps by Stacy Savage

Should Auld Acquaintance be Forgot? by Ashe Barker

I can’t wait for all of you to have the opportunity to read it!

Posted in Writing | Tagged , , , , ,

Changing your address in Singapore

One of the first things I did when we lined up our move was to change our address with Singpost.



I’ve had to go down and follow up with Singpost twice.  The mail isn’t getting forwarded. Which sucks on its own,  but especially so because you have to pay for changing your address.

So, if you can,  ensure that everyone has your new address, and maybe don’t bother paying Singpost.

I don’t know about other countries,  but in the US your mail is forwarded automatically once you fill out a form, it’s free, and it works .

Posted in Culture Shock, Housing, Singapore | Tagged , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Superstitions–the number 13

Something struck me when I was riding the elevator in my new building—there is a 13th floor.

unlucky 13

In the US, there is a superstition about the number 13. I actually had to google “why,” as I just knew it as fact.

According to Wikipedia

The number 13 is considered an unlucky number in some countries.[10] The end of the Mayan calendar’s 13th Baktun was superstitiously feared as a harbinger of the apocalyptic 2012 phenomenon.[11] Fear of the number 13 has a specifically recognized phobia, Triskaidekaphobia, a word coined in 1911. The superstitious sufferers of triskaidekaphobia try to avoid bad luck by keeping away from anything numbered or labelled thirteen. As a result, companies and manufacturers use another way of numbering or labelling to avoid the number, with hotels and tall buildings being conspicuous examples (thirteenth floor).[12] It’s also considered unlucky to have thirteen guests at a table. Friday the 13th has been considered an unlucky day. [10]

There are a number of theories as to why the number thirteen became associated with bad luck, but none of them have been accepted as likely.[10]

  • The Last Supper: At Jesus Christ’s last supper, there were thirteen people around the table, counting Christ and the twelve apostles. Some believe this is unlucky because one of those thirteen, Judas Iscariot, was the betrayer of Jesus Christ.

  • Knights Templar: On Friday 13 October 1307, King Philip IV of France ordered the arrest of the Knights Templar,[10] and most of the knights were tortured and killed.

  • Full moons: A year with 13 full moons instead of 12 posed problems for the monks in charge of the calendars. “This was considered a very unfortunate circumstance, especially by the monks who had charge of the calendar of thirteen months for that year, and it upset the regular arrangement of church festivals. For this reason thirteen came to be considered an unlucky number.”[13] However, a typical century has about 37 years that have 13 full moons, compared to 63 years with 12 full moons, and typically every third or fourth year has 13 full moons.[14]

  • A repressed lunar cult: In ancient cultures, the number 13 represented femininity, because it corresponded to the number of lunar (menstrual) cycles in a year (13 x 28 = 364 days). The theory is that, as the solar calendar triumphed over the lunar, the number thirteen became anathema.[10][15]

There’s also a whole thing around Friday the 13th, which includes the whole horror movie franchise.

So what’s my point?

Most buildings in the US don’t have a 13th floor. This includes most hotels I’ve worked at in departments such as Front Office, Reservations, and the Night Audit.

Less than 10 percent of Manhattan condominiums with 13 or more stories actually label a floor with the dreaded number, said Gabby Warshawer, director of research at data and listings company CityRealty. That’s an estimate based on 650 mid- and high-rise buildings that have filed condo declarations with New York City since 2003, including luxury towers going up right now, such as 53W53 and 225 W. 57th Street. source

So there you go, the reason for my surprise that my building has a thirteenth floor.

Posted in Assimilation, Culture Shock, Housing, Singapore | Tagged , ,

Moving (within Singapore)

We just moved from our apartment of six years, a small single story condo of 80 units, to a whole new world. Our current condo has over 1,000 units, multiple pools, playgrounds, gardens and more. I genuinely feel as though I’ve stepped through the walking glass. I’ll do pictures another day–the limited mobility has meant that my camera hasn’t seen much action, and my camera’s phone is broken and in need of a trip to the Sony repair store.

To be fair, I’m still in a wheelchair outside the house the majority of the time. I can walk a small distance, but even our apartment to the complex’s mini-mart is too far for me today. TLDR–recovery sucks, there’s some amount of permanent damage, limited mobility/chronic issues and physical therapy regularly for a long time. I’m going to talk about how “accessible” I’ve found Singapore as a person in a wheelchair, but that’s a different post.

We’re a little further from the CBD, but still close enough for Elanor to stay at her primary school. When you move, you need to notify the MOE. If your child’s school has a waiting list (like Nanyang or River Valley Primary), I am told your child will move. However, if your school isn’t full (ours isn’t) and doesn’t have a waiting list (no), your child can stay put.

My favorite thing about our new apartment, though, is the yard. We’re on the 13th story, but still have a reasonably large space for the girls to ride their scooters, draw hopscotch patterns and other things with chalk, etc. It’s so valuable when I want them to just go outside and burn off some steam. Was it expensive–honestly, only a small increase from our former apartment.

Which leads me to some advice, if you’re apartment hunting.

1–Don’t trust the Propertyguru definition of 1km or 2km if you’re trying to stay near a certain MRT. It’s as the crow flies, not as the person travels. This is especially true with stations like Esplanade.

2–The Singapore real estate market now is heavily favoring renters. There has been an ongoing slump for several years. Our new agent (Shawn from SE Realty) has said he doesn’t think it’s hit bottom yet. So hold out for a bargain. Our current apartment is renting for 2k less than it did several years ago. If you’re renewing, get a read of the market–the last time I negotiated rent at our last apartment, I was able to get a decrease in rent because the market is soft.

3–I highly recommend Oranje Movers. They were recommended to me by Notabilia. Their quote was significantly cheaper than the two competitors I spoke with, and everyone from Alvin in the office to the movers themselves have been phenomenal to work with. We’re actually expecting them back some time this week to take away the moving boxes as I think we’ve finally gotten all of them emptied, even though the contents aren’t yet put away.

4–Moving with kids is a nightmare. We literally ended up sending them to school from one apartment and bringing them home to the new one. They freaked out over stuffed animals and toys being packed and all sorts of nonsense that I didn’t need to deal with the last time I moved. Elanor was seventeen months. She had less than ten words if I recall correctly, and was not able to compose twenty minute rants about this bear or that outfit.

5–Moving with cats? We boarded ours at Kittycare Haven, who deserve their own post, for several days to avoid the moving and unpacking hassle. We’ve been boarding Gandalf and Kerowyn there for five years when we travel (or my in-laws visit). They are kind, and loving. They have sent me whatsapp pictures to show me how our cats are doing when we’re away. I recommend them very highly.

Based on this experience, though, I have to say that when it comes time to eventually move back to the US, I’m in favor of lighting everything on fire and starting fresh. It was a headache to move within a few miles of our old apartment. Moving across the world? I am dreading the very idea.

Posted in Education, Housing, Recovery, Singapore | Tagged , , , , , , , ,