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By Katherine Kiang
KaTsZoNe Newsletters > KaTsZoNe - Issue 119 - KaTsZoNe's 10 Year Anniversary

1 Dec 2014

Hi everyone,

I am so excited that this is the 10 year anniversary issue of KaTsZoNe!  Woohoo!!!

Back on December 10, 2004, I put together a one page newsletter.  Then, feeling like I had more to say, the next day, I put together another one-page "Supplemental".  Talk about ENTHUSIASM!  And, who knew what would be unleashed since then

KaTsZoNe started out as Microsoft Word documents, but, after eight issues (or "episodes") I found a company to host my website a year later, in December, 2005.  I started to focus on one topic a month, so, in fact, it was not a Newsletter but more like a blog.  Back then, I was not familiar with the word blog, so, I listed the monthly issues as Newsletters till this day.  The website listed titles of Newsletters in a more organized way compared to Blogs, and that is why I kept it in that format.

In the first issue of KaTsZoNe, I wrote about the Pearls exhibit at the Royal Ontario Museum, a restaurant which my friend (Mina) and I had tried, and the new Vaughan Mills Shopping Centre.  Then, in the "Supplemental", I mentioned that I was on a walk across Canada!  I also updated friends about the course of my laser eye surgery a couple years before and finally, I had to mention an annual Christmas afternoon tea tradition with friends which continues still till this year! [Vol. 1, Dec. 10, 2004 - www.katszone.com/articles/article/2707847/97893.htm; Vol. 1, Supplemental, Dec. 11, 2004 - www.katszone.com/articles/article/2707847/97898.htm]

I had always wanted to put together a newsletter about my own interests.  I had contributed to a newsletter in church and I missed it.  So, when I saw a friend (Grace), who was teaching English in China, put together newsletters about her experience, that got me started.  Her newsletter was so well done!  It was challenging to measure up to that.  But, I guess it was meant to be. 
It was a great opportunity for me to keep in touch with family and friends.  Writing is something I love to do.  I felt that rather than keep my writing to myself, it was time to share.  My friend, Tracy, use to say, whenever some experience had an impact or effect, that they were "good writing material".  So, with that kind of attitude, I wanted each episode of KaTsZoNe to make a difference.  If it was not worth writing about, it was deleted, and I must, I would start from scratch and do better.  I would think of something better, something that mattered, something that was honest and relevant -- hopefully.

It has not been easy to come up with topics every month.  There were times when I was not feeling up to it at the beginning of each month.  In fact, in 10 years, there were two months which I had missed -- September, 2006 and and May, 2009.  I think there were times when I just became so busy, I forgot!  A month can fly by so quickly!  No one notices it more than someone who has to write and send out a monthly blog!  There were times when I thought, maybe I should just write every two or three months, but, I am glad I kept it up.  The discipline of writing a monthly blog is useful.  If you can look back on your life for the past month rather than wait till the end of each year, you will remember more and be able to really ponder more clearly and deeply about your life, family and friends, work, school, and places you have visited.  I think I have tried a little more harder to not just EXIST each day.  I have tried to learn something new each day, appreciate someone each day, maybe touch another person's life in a good way and write about it.  If I had not written KaTsZoNe for the past 10 years, I would not have seen as many places and experience as much as I have.  Like I said, it has not been easy to come up with something to write about every month, so, I had to ensure that I found things to see and do, so I could write about them! 
I must admit, I had no idea that I would still be writing monthly issues after 10 years! 

In the past few days, I looked back at all the topics I had touched on in the past 10 years.  It's 10 years of my life, and I have to say, I've had so much fun talking about my experiences and sometimes, researching about stuff which I was interested in and which I felt might be of interest to my friends.  First and foremost, KaTsZoNe has always been directed at my friends.  I needed to find a way to communicate with friends en masse on what was happening in my life instead of calling or emailing everyone.  I knew I would sound like a broken record - repeating the same story to someone I had already talked to!  In these past several years, I have friends whom I may not talk to or see every day.  People move away and move on from the workplace.  But, it is still so wonderful to keep in touch with them through KaTsZoNe! 

Just for fun, I thought I'd list some things which happened back in 2004:

January, 2004 - Amy Winehouse's debut album, Frank, had been out a few weeks.

February 1, 2004 - Janet Jackson had a "wardrobe malfunction" during the Super Bowl half time show.

February 4, 2004 - Facebook was founded.

April 1, 2004 - Google introduces Gmail.  Seriously, April 1st?

July 17, 2004 - Martha Stewart was sentenced to 5 months in prison plus 5 months in home confinement.

November 4, 2004 - Vaughan Mills Shopping Mall opened.  I wrote about it in that first issue of KaTsZoNe!  

November 30, 2004 - Jeopardy! champion, Ken Jennings, finally loses after 74 rounds and takes home the biggest
  television game show winning (over $2.5 million USD).

December 10, 2004 - The first issue of KaTsZoNe was launched!  A Supplemental issue was out the

  following day.

The tv comedy, Friends, was in its 10th and final season in 2004.  James Blunt released his debut album, You're Beautiful.  MySpace, which took up a lot of my time, was only one year old. [Refs.

www.historyorb.com/events/date/2004; www.buzzfeed.com/robinedds/19-things-from-2004-that-will-make-you-feel-old]

Many of you are still on my mailing list since day 1 and I just want to say a big THANK YOU!  To all of you who  have accompanied me to events, sent me notes of praise, commented on the articles, and complimented me on my writing -- also a big THANK YOU!  It's been a pleasure and an honour to mention some of you in my episodes of KaTsZoNe.  I have had several female "partners in crime" throughout the years (thank God for girlfriends), but, I have to mention Larry, in particular, because I would have lacked a lot of writing material if it wasn't for our adventures.  There would have been less road trips and probably no mention of cars and motorcycles!  THANK YOU LARRY!  I am so blessed by him and his family!

Starting in 2015, I will approach friends, family and acquaintances to share their stories on KaTsZoNe.  The Greek philosopher, Epictetus (born c. 55 AD), wrote:  "The key is to keep company only with people who uplift you, whose presence calls forth your best."  I would like them to share with all of you because I feel that they can inspire, challenge, uplift and amuse you, as they often have done for me.  I want to surround myself with good company and wish that you will also do the same!  So, stay tuned, each month for those special guest writers!

At the end of each year, I usually confirm to myself and to readers that I will continue to write KaTsZoNe -- as long as I am still having fun!  Guess what?  I am still having fun! 

Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas/Joyeux No
ël/Feliz Navidad, Happy Hannukah, Joyous Kwanzaa and Happy Holidays! 

See you in 2015!


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