Early Years - Adventures In Utero and International
The name Thida is Burmese and means 'water' or 'Daughter of the Furrows' and yes, Thida has adventures in Burmese mythology. Thida's own adventures began in utero when her Burmese mother and English father traveled overland from Europe to Thailand in a British army jeep. Thida was born one night in Bangkok. When she was two, she moved to London, Chelsea at the height of punk rock. She was also diagnosed with congenital chorea. At the time movement disorders were thought to accompany mental retardation. The doctors insisted that her parents wouldn't accept her disability. Her parents said "We accept her as she is, but she's not stupid."
She attended West Downs, her grandparent's boys' boarding school at age nine and kicked boys. Then at age ten she moved to Davis, California and went to a Catholic junior high where she was supposed to kiss boys. She suffered massive culture shock.
Thida's writing life began at the age of ten when her father took through the slums of Calcutta to meet Mother Teresa and she wrote her first story about the experience. Throughout her childhood, her parents took her to places around the world, because they believed it was an important part of her education.
At age 16, she graduated from high school. Her parents gave her the choice of going to college and living at home or going to school in England for a year. Of course she set off for London. In London she happened to stay with a family of doctors who knew Dr. Marsden the premier neurologist of movement disorders at the time. She saw him and he diagnosed her with myoclonic dystonia a very rare neurological disorder and of course indicative of mental retardation. At age 17, she attended Bryn Mawr College. She continued writing eventually becoming editor-in-chief for her college newspaper, but technology also drew her and she literally put her college on the new Internet.
Gimp Geek Career
After graduating with a BA in politics, she interviewed as a newspaper reporter, but instead Thida made her career as a computer geek and managing computer geeks. She briefly ran her own computer consulting business, but tired of the snow of Philadelphia. Through the Internet, she found housemates, and decided to moved in with them sight unseen. She leaped into the San Francisco bay area where she has lived ever since. She managed people at several engineering startups and a special effects movie studio. Her name appears in the credits of the movie "Starship Troopers."
She met her husband Castor in a classic Silicon Valley way: a mutual friend worked at his startup. As his startup was dying, their romance bloomed. While it's debatable whether management prepared her for motherhood, it did at least prepare her for stressful and unexpected situations. In 2001 while working full-time she earned an MBA from UC Berkeley and became pregnant with her first child.
Motherhood changes everything
Motherhood completely changed her life. She quit her job to become a stay-at-home mother. She became a paid guide for Fertilityfriend.com advising women on their fertility until she realized that something was drastically wrong with her second pregnancy. Her son was born with a life-threatening tumor which consumed lots of blood. He required chemo, steroids and multiple hospitalizations.
Doing It All
She promised herself that if he survived, she wouldn't let fear hold back anymore from writing. Her son is now thriving and attends a regular elementary school.
Her essay "Gimp Geek" was published in the anthology She's Such a Geek. In 2009 her essay "Popeye" about the first couple years with her son was published in the anthology My Baby Rides the Short Bus.
In 2009, she was appointed to the Parks and Recreation Commission for the City of Mountain View and served for 8 years. She also was a board member of the Northwest region of Canine Companions for Independence. for several years
She graduated from Emerge, a training program for Democratic women who want to run for office.
In 2016 she ran for Mountain View City Council as the first openly disabled candidate.
In 2017 she served as Vice Chair on the Mountain View Environmental Sustainability Taskforce 2 which wrote a 300 page report of 36 recommendations
In 2018 she joined the board of Carbon Free Mountain View.