Sunday, 30 October 2005

First Working Halloween

After blogging and then spamming friends and family about it, I just couldn't sleep. I gave up trying and took half a sleeping pill, fell asleep around four and woke up just four hours later. I don't know why. Anxiety?

Most of the day I spent catching up on reading newspapers, exercising a little bit on the elliptical machine and basically just waiting for 22h00 to come by so I could go to work. I wanted to report on what people in Taipei do for Halloween, partly because I was curious too.

After meeting my cameraman at 23h30 at the station, we left for Luxy, a night club. Nightclubs were never my preferred choice of evening destinations, and still aren't. I'm allergic to cigarette smoke, I don't drink in unfamiliar places and I am a good girl, you see. I like Mozart and I practice calligraphy for fun. Just kidding. Well, half kidding. Come to think of it, the last time I was at a night club was at the Orient in Aoyama (青山), two Halloweens ago, when Jenny, Yuko and Anna dragged me there. Jenny gave me her cat ears and tail so I could get in for free. I've always had to lie and say that if I don't get home by 24h00, my fairy godmother will turn into the Wicked Witch of the West. Actually, that's only half a lie.

At Luxy, most of the people dressed up for the occasion, and it got pretty wild, too. We got some R-rated footage, but of course, those can't be aired, so we archived them in case someone wanted to do a story on some politician getting mixed up in a nightclub scandal.

While I was doing my ending stand-up, the three foreigner guys behind me dressed (actually, half naked) in Indian costumes were dancing and doing their crazy things, and halfway through my stand-up, one of the smelly ones planted a big one on my left cheek. The color of my face got two shades redder but I kept going, and it turned out pretty funny. You can catch the story on Monday's broadcast.

By the time I got home, it was 03h00 and it was another hour before I got to bed. When I woke up, though, it was 13h25. I have never been able to sleep until so late, but something must have happened, because I didn't have a headache, I barely dreamt and I woke up feeling like a light bulb went off over my head. For the first time, I felt that things will be alright for me, and that I will succeed, no matter what I decide to do. It was more than just confidence. It's like something or someone told me that things will be fine and that I will get what I want. If that's so, I must keep pushing.

Saturday, 29 October 2005

Splurge of the Month + Snobbish Restaurant

On the stereo: Flor de Amor album (Omara Portuondo)

----Splurge of the Month----
I was quite the grumpy one all day and almost didn't go to the Omara Portuondo concert, but considering I spent more than USD100 on the ticket, I probably would have been even grumpier if I didn't.

For dinner, I bought a prawn and paprika panini sandwich and a drink and ate it on the steps in front of the concert hall plaza before going in. While enjoying my fashionable fare, I found a very good view and a possible theme for a print.

I think Taipei 101 is much prettier at night. During the day, to me, it looks like a giant stack of Chinese take-out boxes.

Thinking that even if the concert was no good, catching this view was enough to make a good day.

Much to my surprise, Omara Portuondo nearly blew off the roof of Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall. This 75 year-old Cuban Bossanova-scented Jazz vocalist is quite something, to say the least. She had us dancing most of the time. Her voice is very powerful, too.

I can imagine my godmother to be like this when she is 75. Then my daughter can say, my grandmother is SOOOOO cool.

The concert hall was nearly packed. The age group of the crowd was between 20 and 60. Absolutely amazing. If you are interested in going, her last show in Taipei is Saturday, 29 October.

Omara Portuodo is supposed to have a world tour next year and I am definitely looking forward to it. Hopefully, though, SYS will improve its sound system by then if she has it there again.

----Snobbish Restaurant----
After the concert, I was feeling pretty good and decided to walk back to the office, where I left my car. It was a 1,5 km walk, through the Zhongxiao E Rd (忠孝東路) shopping district. Why didn't I just take the train from home to the concert hall on my day off? I ended up working, but left early. Workaholism really is a pleasant disease. Your coworkers appreciate it (at least mine do).

During my stroll I felt like, for the first time, going to a nice place to sit down and have a glass of wine. I suppose I am finally growing up. I didn't know of any good places, but I remembered that there's a pretty decent Italian restaurant, Cosi o Cosi, on the way back to the office. I called them up to see if they were still open.

Michella: Hi, when do you close tonight? (it was already 22h00)
Lady at Cosi o Cosi: kitchen closes at 22h30.
M: how long can we stay after that?
CoC: 23h00. Are you coming?
M: yes, do you have dessert wine?
CoC: no
M: do you have wine?
CoC: yes, are you going to dine here?
M: I was hoping to get just some wine and perhaps dessert
CoC: we don't encourage people to come here to just order a beverage or dessert and sit around
M: so I am not welcome to come have wine and dessert?
CoC:'s not like that. We encourage people to have a meal here. But you can still come.
M: OK, I'll be there.
CoC: We do have a minimum charge, though. It's TWD450. Are you still coming?
(thinking to myself, how will I manage to have TWD450's worth of dessert by myself, in one hour?)
M: No, thank you. Perhaps another time.

I think in bullet points these days, and this is what appeared on my mental LCD:
- We don't encourage people to just order a beverage and sit around.
- We have a minimum charge of TWD450. Are you still coming?

I stopped by anyway to get a card and ask them if they accept TV interviews. The lady was a snob the size of the moon, but I like the food there. And it turns out that they don't do TV interviews. Oh well. I will still dine there occasionally, but I won't be terribly sad if it disappeared.

Later, I came home and opened a 2003 bottle of Beringer White Zinfandel. Too sweet, but I got my wine.

Thursday, 27 October 2005

My Maybe

Playing on iTunes: Ramblin' Rose (Nat King Cole)

My maybe turned into a NO. Two days ago, my producer told me that the news department was sending two cameramen, one translator and me to Japan to report in both Mandarin and English on shinkansen (新幹線) related news. Taiwan custom ordered some trains from Japan for its new high speed railway, and the trains were completed and to be unveiled next week. We were the only station that they were hosting. Apparently, something went wrong with the satellite feed (negotiations maybe?), so we can't go anymore. I was really looking forward to it, and really looking forward to perhaps being able to see my grandparents and my godmother, and celebrating my godmother's new achievement.

It would have been my very first official business trip. And to Japan too. At least I know the people upstairs are willing to give me a chance now. They may as well have sent another reporter and had our team translate the story into English.

Well, no satellite, no go. Well, it seems consistent with how my luck's been going this year--not entirely bad, but not enough to get me anywhere. I just have to work harder.

No more slacking!

I found some work to do over the weekend, so I'm not going to Hualien anymore. The only thing I've got to look forward to is the Omara Portuondo concert that I paid a bunch of money for to go by myself. Now I almost don't want to go anymore.

One piece of good news is, the 15-minute news documentary I translated and voiced over for is now one of the finalists for the Asian TV Awards. The reporter personally called to tell me the news. I'm glad I was of some help. Apparently, she really likes my style. Well, it's her story. Hopefully, she will have better luck than me. We should know the results in a few weeks' time.


ジュディ・オングさん特選 日展、版画作品で


Busy Wednesday

One of the maybe's became a YES. My godmother just won a big, lifetime achievement sized award. More details as I get them.

The other maybe's still a maybe. This one involves me. It's not a big deal, but it's a reward for all the hard work I think I've been putting in. Even if I don't get it, at least I know I will come closer next time.

Wednesday, despite it being my day off, was jam packed with events again. In the morning, I went to have the sleeves on a couple of jackets shortened, then to a fitness machine store to pick out an elliptical trainer with my parents since the treadmill downstairs generates more noise than a screaming elephant then to lunch with my parents at an unexpectedly nice onabe (お鍋)place. Lunch was quite nice. The food was very good, in fact. The three of us shared a meal for two, and it was still almost too much. It's Japanese-style onabe, and the material they use is really fresh, which makes a world of a difference. They even had kuzukiri (葛きり) in the end. I was very pleasantly surprised. I love kuzukiri.

I didn't get to sit through dessert because I had to rush over to the office to translate. One of our guys' work visa expired (company's fault), so he had to exit the country for a little bit. Being the fire extinguisher, I was called in to help until another guy can come in later. I didn't get dessert, but I also got out of getting a flu shot that my parents were going to make me receive. By the time I left the office for printmaking class it was already 17h00.

I took a taxi to the train station, but the taxi driver was trying to take the long route. I stopped him before he could and walked a little bit to the next station. I took the underground street that connected a few of the stations, and made some nice discoveries! Who knew there was a mini gallery in there? Currently on display are works from children, and I took pictures of some of my favorite ones. Most of them are done by third graders. Kids are amazing.

There are a few more at my .Mac webpage:

There wasn't any time to do anything before class started today. It took me a while to get going, but I was very happy with what I ended up printing. First, I cut up my paper board, which was hideous, but had some interesting textures, into shapes that I really didn't know what to do with. But art is magic. Somehow I figured out what to do with the pieces and tried some simple colors and techniques we learned today. Here are the two of the three prints that I made. I forgot to take a picture of the first one. I'll post it later. They're from the board I made previously. The prints from before are only in black and white. Look what interesting things can come out of hideous beginnings!

I'm not really good with abstract art, so whatever I do usually ends up looking like something. Ordinary? Maybe. But I like it. I like the second print best. They look like angels to me. I think that is what I may do for Christmas cards this year. Email me your address and I will send you one!

Here is a happy, but very tired me and the printing machine I've been working with the past couple of weeks.

My mother is having beef with my father again, and before all of it comes raining down on me again, I think it's time to put in some more overtime at work...

Wednesday, 26 October 2005

Monday, 24 October 2005

Plain Vanilla

I felt like a normal person today.

I got eight hours of sleep, exercised (fast walked on the treadmill) for 30 minutes while watching TV and then went to work. At work, I translated two of my stories into Chinese, cut the video for one of them, translated a story from Chinese to English, voiced over a few stories, did some more production work and went to buy obento for the team. Granted, not many people do so many different things, but it was an EASY day for me. I guess the hard days are when I have to report on top of all this. Then I don't have time to even eat dinner. What a relaxing day. I was freezing in the office, but I didn't have those terrible headaches from a few days before. I think it had to do with enough sleep and some exercise. I even left right after the taping! I will try to keep it up.

Recently, I've been struggling with audience targeting. Our ratings are from very local audiences, apparently, those that don't know enough English to even understand the English subtitles. After we started the Chinese subtitles, our ratings went up, so that theory was confirmed. So the question for me became, "should I be doing stories for the local audience or for the foreigners?" Our show was originally for foreigners, but the locals are the ones that feed us. I don't want to disappoint either.

There must be stories that appeal to both. Some of the fun ones should definitely. Most people like kids, most people like sports and exciting stuff. Most people like interesting restaurants and places to visit. I guess I'm doing alright, then. My producer told me, though, that since the rest of the stories are all made for locals anyway, I may as well try to target the foreign audience more. I suppose that makes sense. But they'll still have to be "fun" stories, I suppose.

Well, for a fun story, here's the script to the kids football tournament I covered yesterday. We're airing it tonight.

Children’s Football Tournament

Seventy kids from a football school got together in a tournament over the weekend. FTV reporter Michella Weng takes you see what these kids get to do in addition to studying.##

About 70 kids, ages 4-11, are here to compete in a football tournament.

[NS: kids playing]

All of them have only been playing less than a year and a half, but they're getting pretty good, and most seem to be having fun.

Sound byte:
Football Player
I'm seven years old.
(How long have you been playing football?)
One year.
(You like it?)
Because I can score goals.

Sound byte:
Football Player
My name is David.
When you're shooting the goal, it's fantastic.

Sound byte:
Daniel Calvert
Head Coach
The theory behind us doing this is basically to promote sport in Taiwan, promote organized sport in Taiwan, so kids can get together, learn a sport and interact with each other.
讓小朋友ㄧ邊運動 ㄧ邊跟其他小朋友互動

Taiwanese children are preoccupied with studies most of the time, but activities like this can really help them grow up in a more balanced way, which will benefit them in their physical and social development.

Closing stand-up:
Most of the time, kids only get to play against other schoolmates. But with leagues like this, not only do they get to play with other kids more often, they can also get to know the world outside their school.
Michella Weng, Formosa TV, Taipei.
更可以讓他們多看看 學校以外的世界
民視新聞 廖松筠 翁郁容 台北採訪報導

Sunday, 23 October 2005


It turns out that I misread the shift list and thought I was OK to report. Good thing I have a very able partner and she handled things until I finally made it back at 18h30. Oops. I need to be more careful next time. But I must say, all that hellish "training" we had during the one-hour show with just two of us (sometimes 1,5) has really paid off.

There wasn't time to cut the stories when we got back, so I put the scripts into my editor's box and expected to see them back sometime tomorrow. I went upstairs to do a voice over and they were done. I asked if he'd seen it, and he said he did, and barely touched it. Yahoo! That means my writing is alright! I suppose it has to do with fact checking, or not having to, due to the nature of these stories. But that's still quite an encouragement.

When I was in Hsinchu (新竹) doing the Hash House Harriers story, I let myself get too involved. I used to be a hasher, so I found it pretty easy to talk to these guys. They're awfully rowdy, and some are worse that others. One guy was getting to me a bit and I shouldn't have led that happen. I need to remember to stay behind my line.

I enjoyed doing the story, though. This time, I was much better prepared, and my cameraman is very experienced, so he told me how he was going to shoot and I spoke and wrote accordingly.

I think I caught a cold. It's getting a bit chilly in the evenings and Hsinchu is known for its winds.

I may actually go to bed before midnight tonight. What an improvement. Then I'm going to start running again in the morning, even if like a lab rat in front of the TV.

Here's the script to a story we aired last Sunday. I think I'm all caught up with posting them now.

Slug: Lions Defeat Animals

Turning to sports, a national soccer tournament played out by foreign players was held over the weekend. After a grueling two days, the Red Lions from Taipei took home the cup. Formosa TV's Michella Weng reports from Taichung.##

Opening stand-up:
I'm at the Taichung Fall Cup 2005. The favorites for this game are the Animals and the Compass.

Sound byte:
Michael Chandler
Today, we play in the quarter finals--the Taiwan Celts.
Should be a good game.
我們今天會打八強, 跟Celts.

Sixteen teams are here for one of the four tournaments held each year between the country’s expat teams. They come from all over Taiwan to fight it out for the title of the best foreign team in the country and also to have some fun.
這些球員來自台灣各地 就是為了要爭奪台灣第一外國隊 還有好好的玩ㄧ玩.

These teams play a more physical brand of football than the average Taiwanese team, often making it difficult for them to find a game. These tournaments are a chance for them to go all-out.
這些人的玩法比一般台灣的球隊激烈一點 所以平常比較難找到對手踢球.

And for family and friends, it's a great way to get some sunshine and fresh air.
親朋好友也可以借這個機會來曬曬太陽 吸點新鮮空氣.

Taichung Compass was squeezed out by the Red Lions in the semifinals, but the Taipei Animals went on to the finals to meet the Red Lions. The Lions took the championship after a controversial goal and a red card for the Animals, but plenty of awards were handed out to make almost everyone a winner.
台中Compass隊在準決賽輸給Red Lions隊 Lions接下來到決賽與台北Animals比
到了最後Animals也敗給了Lions 不過幾乎大家都有獎 所以也都開開心心的回家了.

Michella Weng, Formosa TV, Taichung.
民視新聞 翁郁容 台中採訪報導.

Pictures from Yingge and Sanxia

I took some pictures while I was working in Yingge and Sanxia. I wish I could take more to tell a complete story, but I'm not good enough to juggle all these things yet. Here's one, and you can catch the rest at my .Mac homepage.

Day Off

I woke up this morning with the world's biggest headache, at 10h50, which means I slept for more than 10 hours, which is probably why I had the headache.

All day long, I was lethargic, grumpy and my stomach didn't feel well. As my parents were preparing for their party, I stayed in my room. I could barely move. The way I felt reminds me of the time I nearly fried my brain during graduate school. I had been studying for days and days and days. One day, I just went froze. It took several seconds for me to react to anything, and I couldn't get myself to think at all. Well, I haven't been doing much thinking or studying lately, so my brain's still fine. Perhaps it's just my body that's overloaded.

Most of the day, I just cleaned my room, though it still quite a mess. I still have days of newspapers to catch up on.

I'm back to work tomorrow. In the morning, I'm going to do another dog and pony story about local kids playing in a football tournament, which is something quite rare, and very good, as my editor tells me. He coaches them. Then I'll be doing a story on the Hash House Harriers, a running (drinking?) club.

Please give me some ideas for "fun" stories!

Here's the script to one of my stories that we aired earlier.

Slug: Sound of History

From tube radios to gramophones, Number One Dian Tai (電台) Street has them all. FTV's Michella Weng takes you to the mini-museum in Taichung that celebrates the history of audio and broadcast and brings back some feelings of nostalgia.##

Hidden away in Taichung city is this quiet little complex that looks like an old private estate from some colonial era. But it's actually the site of the third oldest radio broadcast station in Taiwan. It was built by the Japanese in 1935. And when the Chinese Nationalist Party or KMT took over, the station became a part of the government-owned Broadcast Corporation of China (BCC).
Seven years ago, the BCC returned the complex to Taichung City and it has since become a mini museum of broadcast-related items.
七年前,中廣把這個地方還給台中市政府 現在已經成為了一個小小的廣播博物館

There is a collection of antique radios, tubes, disc phonographs, cylinder phonographs...enough to make even me nostalgic. There's even an old Japanese record here. In some cases, the original manuals are preserved along with the equipment.

And even though guided tours are only in Mandarin, just looking at the items and hearing the gramophones may be enough to work up some nostalgia.

Ending stand-up:
Wow, that was kind of interesting. And although there wasn't any music playing in there, I could've sworn I heard Ella Fitzgerald coming out of one of those radios. This is Michella Weng of Formosa TV in Taichung.
民視新聞 翁郁容 在台中採訪報導.

Saturday, 22 October 2005

It's Friday!

It's a tradition to have our hair cut at home, once in a while. Yesterday was Pearl's turn.

I am beginning to enjoy being a travel/leisure reporter. It's really fun when it's well planned and when I get a cameraman that I like. Wednesday was great. We went out to Yingge and did some stories on the ceramics festival, the museum there and the Yingge/Sanxia area.

We usually get Saturdays off, but I usually choose to report anyway. My body's beat and my head is beating my mind in, so I'm going to sit this Saturday out. Oh my, it's past midnight AGAIN.

It's midnight and my party animal parents are testing the audio setup for tomorrow's party. They are crazy.

Here's the script for the festival story. My scripts are now both in English and Chinese, because we're putting Chinese subtitles on our show now, rather than the English (to the agony of our most loyal viewers). It's to get more viewers that are monitored by AC/Nielsen. So far, it seems to be working.

Yingge International Ceramics Festival

Lead in:
A museum in Taiwan’s ceramics center Yingge is holding a festival with sound as the theme. Formosa News reporter Michella Weng takes us to see how the museum combines the two.##

Opening stand-up:
The sound of ceramics is the theme of this year's Yingge International Ceramics Festival.

On special display at the Taipei County ceramics museum right now are numerous objects related to sound.

Some of them are made by professionals who have put great amounts of time and effort into their pieces, like the ones here that were the finalists in the Fourth Taipei Ceramics Awards. Every artist was asked to create works with "sound" as the underlying theme.

But hoping to increase the exposure of ceramics to people starting at a young age, the museum has also organized several activities to attract children, including a workshop on making wind chimes, pottery and kilns.
包括風鈴製作 拉坏 還有做窯的課程

And to keep the grown-ups happy, a class on how to make ocarinas is available too.

There's something for everyone at the festival here, including guided tours in English. But make sure to come soon, because the festival fun will end on Sunday. For more information, you can visit our discussion forum.

Michella Weng, Formosa TV, Yingge.
民視新聞 咼昇軍 翁郁容 鶯歌採訪報導

Sunday, 16 October 2005

Another Taichung Day

I was in Taichung today, covering a national football (soccer in American English) tournament for an international players league. I was out in the sun all day and am feeling like a raisin. Between the first and last games, though, I went to do a story on this wonderful restaurant I stumbled upon two weeks ago before the marathon.

What a long day. We left Taipei at 09h15 and by the time we got back to the station, it was 21h30. I finished my two scripts on the way back, so they can be edited right away tomorrow. Not as efficient as I hoped, but I'm starting to get a better feel for things. There's still a long way to go. I feel like I'm unnecessarily walking around blind. Sometimes I wish there was someone to guide me.

I'm so numb from sitting in the car so long. It's a two-hour drive each way.

Congressmen Welcome Lee

Here's a story that was aired tonight. One of the chiefs upstairs had me write it, in both English and Chinese. I really wanted to call it "President Lee, You're My Hero." Now, I am fairly neutral when it comes to politics, but Rohrabacher's comments were a little too much for me to handle.

Slug: Congressmen Welcome Lee

Before Lee Teng-hui left for the United States, US congressmen made a video welcoming Taiwan’s former president. In addition to applauding Lee’s trip, many also hoped that high-level talks between Taiwan and US leaders can be conducted freely in the future. Formosa TV’s Michella Weng reports.##

Sound byte:
Dana Rohrabacher
US Congress
I wanted to take this opportunity to welcome my good friend, President Lee, to the United States of America.

Nine US Congressmen welcomed Lee's visit to the US through a video. All appeared eager to see Lee and expressed their hope that in the future, more government leaders from Taiwan could freely and directly hold high-level talks with US officials on US soil.

Dana Rohrabacher
US Congress
Hopefully, some day, we're going to have the United States of America recognize that leaders like President Lee and now President Chen are democratically elected leaders and thus are friends of the United States of America and deserve to travel here without restriction. President Lee, you’re my hero.
也就是說他們是美國的朋友 然後應該可以無條件的來這邊。

It remains to be seen, however, if Taiwan’s leaders will ever be able to travel freely in the US because of the complex relationship between Taiwan, the US and China.

Michella Weng, Formosa TV, Taipei.
民視新聞 翁郁容 採訪報導。

Saturday, 15 October 2005

Busy Day Off

Excerpts from an email today:

Relaxing after a period of hard working is something that appears to be impossible, at least for me. I've given up. If I just "rest," something is bound to happen and I am bound to have to get out of bed and deal with it and still be tired at the end of the day. So instead of staying home and resting today (on my day off), I decided to go down to the fine arts museum to see the Vivienne Westwood exhibit. Wow, I am in love with her work. From absolutely ridiculous punk rock and S&M to ultra feminist to couture, all self taught, this woman is amazing. I love her shoes, too! It was quite interesting, also because 90% of the hundreds of people there appeared to have been art/fashion students. People were quite fashionable, in the 1980's kind of way. Not exactly main stream or something that I like, but it was good to see people who like art and are daring enough to try, there. I was having so much fun that I sketched a few of the things. But there were simply too many exhibits and too many people for me to keep going, so I gave up after 45 minutes or so. You can see that I need more practice.

Afterwards, I drove to the office and on the way out, I ran into a cameraman who said to me, "you're here on your day off, again?" Well, it appears that such is my reputation now... But today, I was not there to work for a change. I was on my way out to buy shoes. My feet are killing me. I've been reporting on location in my heels. I did that marathon story (climbed onto & off of pick-up trucks, stood in the pick-up truck, ran alongside the athletes to get an interview in the end...) in my brown, 10 cm (so it seemed so) Charles Jourdan heels. I looked so cool, but my feel are going to fire me if I don't treat them better. So I went down to Asia World Mall and bought a pair of No Name high heel trainers. The all-leather ones look OK with slacks. The only thing they had that I wanted was in beige so I also ordered a pair of black and they're looking for white for me. White may not be available anymore, which teaches me again to buy when I first see it.

On the way out, I saw a really cute Samsonite bag that seems to be able to take some abusing while I'm on location. The backpack isn't big enough to fit A4 files, but I didn't want to look like a turtle on camera, so I got the small one and then a matching soft briefcase-like thing I had them dig out for me. Now I have enough space for everything--documents, newspapers, a handycam, all my "things." Awfully cute, I must say. And the color? Strawberry red. De~licious. They're not the most sophisticated looking things, but they'll do for the purpose and for the price, at least for now. I'll show some action shots after I come back from Taichung tomorrow.

Afterwards, I went to buy art supplies and met up with Grace Mama. Then we went to have vegetarian food with Dad and came home.

I'm so tired and have a full day covering a foreign community football tournament in Taichung tomorrow, but I am happy. I've given up on rest. I rest when I am sleeping.

Vivienne Westwood in a head scarf. Got me thinking about head scarves.

Cool ensemble from the 80's. Very cool. I'm going to start "borrowing" my father's neckties. ;)

Lovely, lovely 19th century-looking boots, in PINK.

Cute ensemble that I killed in my sketch.

Notes to myself.

I must find some nice hats!

Oh My...

If I start cleaning now, I might be able to finish before the Christmas cards start coming in...

Halloween is Near

I almost got ran off the road on the way to work by a giant pumpkin.

So I guess fairy godmothers and magic don't really exist...

Well, except for mine, of course. ;)

Thursday, 13 October 2005

The Prints

They're not exactly beautiful, or even interesting enough to be "interesting," but it was fun. This is just the experimental board where we're seeing what materials work and what don't. We're supposed to make a bigger one next time, for which we'll be graded. Click on the picture to see them in detail.

Print 1. Dripping with ink. On cheap, yellow sketching paper.

Print 2. On white sketching paper. A little better.

Print 3. On white sketching paper. Some of the newspaper ink transferred onto the print paper, which made the piece look dirty, so my professor cut it up made into something else. Fun!

Print 4. The best one. I had finally gotten under control the material that was soaking up too much ink.

Print 5. I was running out of time and didn't dry the paper enough, so it stuck to the board during the roll and some of the paper came off. Blah.

The board.

Tired, but happy.

Day Off at Work

I was on my way to having lunch with my uncle Tsu when one of the other associate producers called and asked me to fill in because she wasn't feeling well. So my plans to have a nice lunch, nice time at Eslite looking for books on places to go and for CD's and getting an early start on my prints at the arts university didn't really happen.

After I dropped off my Omara Portuondo CD with my uncle, I went and bought an obento. It was the famous Chiayi chicken obento in the area. I thought I would be a little adventurous and eat some meat, but alas, my stomach didn't feel very good and soon afterwards and I wanted to throw up. No big chunks of meat I guess. I seem to be able to handle most seafood a little better, though.

This is what the CD cover looks like.
The CD is really good. I've decided to go to the concert on the 28th. Now I'm trying to convince my uncle to come with me. I love music, and Jazz especially. I've been listening to Jazz since I was in junior high school.

My coworker did make it in eventually, and I made it to class, although a little late.

I had a pretty good time at printmaking class tonight. I made my very first print! And then I was on fire and made four more. Although it was only on cardboard and I had no idea what I was gluing on it (to get different textures), I felt so proud of myself. As I was on my fourth print and wiping excess ink off my board, I got a very strong sense of deja vu. I remember seeing the exact same board, exact same designs and exact same color in a dream about two years ago when I was still in Japan. Perhaps this is fate after all.

It's back to work, officially, tomorrow. I need to figure out what places I'd like to cover, and schedule the shoots. I pre-recorded and watched Travel & Living's Globe Trekker. It was my first time watching, and I think it's great! I think I'll be using that as a reference.

Wednesday, 12 October 2005

Emotional Reconstruction

I think there are more than a few loose screws in my head. Everything is falling apart.

I can't think straight and I can't concentrate. I can't sit still long enough even to take ten deep breaths. I feel like I'm stuck in a whirlpool, much like the one in the toilet.

On the way to work today, I was screaming in the car. It must have looked very strange from the next lane. I don't know what I was screaming about, but I just wanted to scream at the top of my lungs and get rid of something. What the something is, I don't know. Just something. I think I'm losing it.

I've been trying so hard to learn about Taiwan's political situation to be able to report on it. For many mornings now, I've been getting up before 06h00 to be at work before 08h00 to shadow the legislature beat reporters until noon, then working my own shift until 22h00. Getting to know what's going on at the legislature has been very interesting. Like my friend Scott told me once, it's like a soap opera--once you figure out what's going on, it's pretty easy to follow. And Taiwan's political events are so dramatic, it gets pretty funny sometimes. Funny in the sense that many government leaders here behave like children. Footage from the legislature now need to be censored. Imagine that.

Last night, my hopes of covering the political beat were basically squashed, along with what I thought was a great way to get noticed. I didn't want to do dog and pony stories because I didn't think they mean a whole lot and I didn't think they were challenging. So when my producer said she didn't want me doing the political stories that I had proposed, I wanted to break things. Some of the topics weren't that strong, but the ones that were good enough were too sensitive.

I was feeling terribly discouraged and in despair. One of my editors told me that perhaps our producer just doesn't want to do more political stories. Then he said that me doing things like putting on a big orange afro and jumping off a three-meter ledge into a stinky canal, or covering sports events like the the international marathon in Taichung last weekend actually add more value to the show. I thought I was finished. I thought that my brain is going to die from lack of stimulation if I am to do more of these types of stories.

Later this afternoon, I realized that I have been going the wrong way. I should be thinking about what's good for the show and then aligning my goals and tuning my strategy so that they're congruent. That way, there's much less resistance and much more value.

Sports, food, travel, leisure stories are supposed to be fun anyway. Even though I can't work on analysis skills, at least I can work on creativity skills. At this point, I'm not good at reporting anything right now. Everything is so difficult and nothing is routine yet. I'm going to make it my goal to be able to have fun while I'm reporting on these things. The truth is, even though I look like I'm having fun in the story, I'm not. I'm stressed out and it's because I don't know what I'm doing and all the time, I'm trying very hard to figure out what to do next.

Well, fun stories it is. And I'm going to have fun.

Blogging at two in the morning is no good for health or complexion, but at least I have peace of mind now and can finally sleep.

Tomorrow (well, today now), I am off. I am going to clean my room, have lunch with my dear uncle Tsu, buy some CDs and go to my printmaking class. And also think of fun stuff to report on.

If anyone has ideas for fun things to do, good restaurant, anything that's interesting, please email me.

Oreo Says...


Friday, 7 October 2005

Lunch Time

I had a nice two days off, and now I'm back to work.

At 8h00 this morning, I came in to intern with the Legislature reporters, but the deputy news director caught me as I was getting ready to go and I ended up working on a "Welcome Former President Lee" video.

Oh, time for work again. Where does the time go?

Better quickly finish my oishii oishii oishii (!) prawn panini and lemonade with aiyu (愛玉).

Saturday, 1 October 2005

The Next Day

I met the man. He looked like he is in his early thirties. He was quite polite, rather outgoing and looked like a fun and intelligent person. He's one of those guys you can see bringing his kids to the park on the weekends, helping with homework on weeknights. It was just so hard for me to accept that this guy who looks like the stereotypical responsible, loving and fun father who's only but thirty-some has one dying son and another who is counting his days since his bone marrow transplant and seeing how many more he can go.

The younger boy, who couldn't receive a bone marrow transplant, had been taking a medicine called Lorenzo's Oil, which is to slow or stop the disease from progressing. It's must like drinking cold oil. There are lots of foods they can't eat while taking this oil. They need to be kept on a very low-fat diet. Food is usually boiled, grilled or dry roasted. The father said since they've started on the oil earlier this year, it hasn't helped at all. Recently, they decided to stop making their son take the oil. He says now he just wants his son to be comfortable and to enjoy the rest of his life, being with his family, his friends and to be able to eat what the other kids are eating.