Monday, 28 November 2005

Story: Taipei 101 Run-Up

Slug: Taipei 101 Run-Up (1:46)

Taipei 101 held its first annual stair-climbing competition today. The run-up attracted 1,001 participants, including a number of star climbers who came to Taiwan just for the event. FTV's Michella Weng took the challenge as well and tells what the competition was like.##

Elite climbers and weekend warriors of all ages and styles came to take part in the first Taipei 101 Run-Up.
各式個樣 各年齡層的運動菁英 及自我挑戰者

While some took it easy and just wanted to finish, others were there to gun for the title and prize money. A few of the competitors came from as far as Poland and New Zealand for the inaugural run.
雖然有些人只想爬完 但是有些可是很認真的為了獎金而來的
有些選手可是遠從波蘭 還有紐西蘭來喔

Paul Crake from Australia, who is a five-time winner of New York's Empire State Building run-up, finished in first place, in 10 minutes and 29 seconds.
來自澳洲的 Paul Crake 是紐約帝國大廈的五連霸紀錄保持人

Sound bite:
Paul Crake
Men's Champion
For me, it's definitely a harder stairwell to run than the Empire State, for example. I rate it pretty highly as far as difficulty is concerned.
我覺得跟跑帝國大廈比 這邊比較困難

Austrian Andrea Mayr, who broke the course record at the Empire State last year and again this year, was the fastest woman, finishing in 12 minutes and 38 seconds.
來自奧地利的 Adrea Mayr 在去年 破了帝國大廈的紀錄
今年又破了一次 她以12分38秒 奪下女子組第一名

Sound bite:
Andrea Mayr
Women's Champion
Each step is higher--the stairs. In New York, there is a flat passage in between after each floor, and there is not here. There is just up, up, up.
這裡的階梯比較高 在紐約 每一層樓中間的間隔較寬廣

Some competitors pushed themselves so hard that they collapsed at the finish or even before, and had to be carried away in stretchers. But with a total prize purse of NT$1.01 million, there was some real gold at the end of the stairwell. Crake and Mayr each took home NT$200,000, before taxes.
大家都很拼命 有些人爬完後昏倒了 有些人甚至沒爬完就倒了
不過新台幣 100萬的獎金真的不少
Crake 和 Mayr 兩個人 各領走了20萬

For the less serious competitor, it was a great way to spend a rainy Sunday. If you like to walk up stairs, that is.
對於比較隨性的挑戰者呢 如果是喜歡爬樓梯的 可是個好運動

After climbing 2,046 steps, 390 meters and 91 floors, we made it to the top of Taipei 101. We may not have broken any records or passed any elites, or anybody for that matter, but we got our onigiri, water and the right to say that we did it, we climbed the world's tallest building.
This is Michella Weng for Formosa TV in Taipei.
過了2,046個階梯 390公尺 91層樓 我們終於爬上台北101
雖然沒有破什麼紀錄 或是超越厲害的選手
不過我們得到了飯糰 礦泉水 還有能說我們曾經爬過世界
民視新聞 綜合報導

Story: Charity Sale

Slug: Charity Sale (1’37’’)

A charity sale to benefit elderly people was held in front of Taipei City Hall on Sunday. Bargain-hunters from Taiwan and abroad were out in force, and were spending freely, knowing that their purchases were going to help a good cause.##

A Mexican Mariachi band was flown in to open the sale, and a troupe of Turkish Belly dancers provided half-time entertainment. It was a cold and rainy morning, but the music and dancing seemed to brighten people’s spirits as they roamed the bazaar, looking for a deal.
為了這場義賣活動 主辦單位特地 請樂隊老遠從墨西哥飛來
加上土耳其肚皮舞 幫這個有冷又濕的 早上加一點分

Sound byte:
Maria Zinovieva
Russian Vendor
Pretty much everything, apart from the cost will go to charity. Whatever we earn, we'll give it to charity.
扣掉成本幾乎都是給慈善的 我們所有賺的都會捐出來

Sound byte:
知名髮型設計師 王俐人
Wang Li-ren
Hair stylist
小孩兩百 大人三百

The event, now in its third year, is held by the Taipei International Women's Association. Lai Fang-jhen, director of the association, says that the sale has been very successful in attracting sponsors and in raising the profile of the association and its work.
這個活動已經邁入第三年 主辦單位台北國際婦女協會的
執行長賴芳真說 這個義賣很成功 吸引了許多的贊助者 客人

Sound byte:
台北國際婦女會執行長 賴芳真
Lai Fang-jhen
International Women’s Club
Those sponsors are from everywhere in Taiwan. Like, we have sponsors from enterprises and many of them donate cash.
贊助者來自台灣全省 有一些是公司 很多給的是現金

Sound byte:
Michael Rattinger
Mexican Visitor
We're here on a conference visit and we were just walking to see Taipei 101. Then we heard Mexican music and we're from Mexico, so we just came and we stayed.
我們是因為會議來台灣 本來只是去看看台北101
後來聽到墨西哥音樂 我們是從墨西哥來的
所以就來看看 那也順便留下來了

According to the organizers, all 150 booths were rented out, 30 by trade and cultural offices. While the adults had fun shopping and trying out exotic foods, kids got a chance to experience the hardships that accompany old age.
據主辦單位指出 150個攤位全部都租出去了
其中有30個是租給外國文化辦事處 大人逛街 試試異國料理的時候
有一些小朋友去體驗 年紀大的人的痛苦

Despite the dreadful weather, many people have come out to show support for the charity event.
This is Michella Weng for Formosa TV in Taipei.
雖然天氣不好 不過還是很多人 出來贊助這個慈善活動
民視新聞 咼昇軍 翁郁容 台北採訪報導

Sunday, 27 November 2005

Busy Morning

Ninety-one floors, 2 046 steps and 390 meters are figures that I am sure will stick with me for quite a while.

I made it through the entire run up (walk up, really)! I stopped four or five times and finished in 26 minutes and 10 seconds. It’s been a long time since those rowing days when pushing to the max was not enough. I wasn’t even near maximum capacity, considering how well I was feeling afterwards, compared to those that collapsed at the finish line, I think I went a little too easy. I wasn’t even sore the next day—just a little tired, that’s all. But I must say, it was quite painful during the climb and my heart rate was above 180 most of the time. I finished second in the FTV team, just two minutes behind my favorite director, who’s also the hiking club captain. Now that he knows that I’m no cupcake when it comes to sports, he’s invited me to train with him for the Taipei ING marathon. How nice! However, I don’t think I will get to run in any of the courses, unless I can figure out how to report at the same time...

After I did my closing stand-up at 101, I grabbed a couple of onigiri’s and a bottle of water the sponsoring convenience store provided, pulled on my red company windbreaker over my run up shirt, tights and towel, and literally ran to the next location—Taipei City Hall. My cameraman was already there, wanting to get the shoot over with, probably because it was raining. It was a charity sale that the news director sent us to cover.

Right as I was doing my closing stand-up for that, someone from the news room called said to get over to Sanxia in Taipei County, which is 30 minutes away from the city, to cover a fire. When we got there, the first thing we saw was firemen sitting on the ground, eating their obento. The fire had been almost completely put out. After some more grumping from my cameraman, we headed back to the station. Apparently, stories like these are very hard to catch—the success rate is about 10%. When we got back, it was only 13h00 and my real work day was just about to begin.

Monday, 21 November 2005

Social Saturday

I planned to go see my printmaking teacher's exhibit at the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts (國立台灣美術館) in Taichung (台中) on Saturday morning, but my body refused, so I stayed in bed all morning. Taichung is two hours away by train. In the afternoon, I very reluctantly put on something half decent to meet three friends from Dominican, the Catholic school where I attended seventh and eighth grade, to attend the thanksgiving concert the school was having. It must have been the first time I've been back at the school, because I don't remember ever thinking how small all the desks and playground equipment were. The visit sure was nostalgic. Unfortunately, all the teachers that I had weren't there anymore, so the only people I could share memories with were the friends that I went with.

I had to leave for my next appointment before the concert was over, which was somewhat of a blessing. I wasn't quite sure what to think about the music or the (lack of) enthusiasm the kids seem to have.

Did that count as "hanging out"?

Next, I went to meet my parents at a party in Tianmu (天母). It was the welcoming party for the newest class in the National Policy Strategy course at the Ketagalan Institute (凱達格藍學校). Leaders from all areas go there to take classes and network. My mother went for a course on women leadership. They wanted to bring me along to meet people, and although my headache was telling me no no no, I knew I had to go and meet some some of those people. I got there before they did and wanted to leave right away. Somehow, I managed to make it through the opening speeches and started feeling better after some food. Perhaps I was low on sugar.

To my left was my mother, to my right was the executive vice president of Taiwan's First Bank (第一銀行), straight across from me was the CEO of a biotech company/cord blood bank called "Bionet" (訊聯科技), diagonally across from me was a diplomat that happened to work with one of my best friend's mother for many years in Chicago and Washington DC. Once the food was served and wine started flowing, things became a little more comfortable. Both the diplomat and banker kept trying to recruit me, but I smiled and politely declined, deciding to stay with my low-paying, disrespected but highly satisfying job.

Being the youngest and most inexperienced adult there, I was very intimidated and didn't do much mingling. Thank goodness for my mother, who introduced me to quite a few people. Some were nice, some weren't but most were quite interesting. There was a senior TV reporter there who kept seemed to say nothing but harsh things about reporters, reporting and Taiwan's TV media. She may have scared someone fresh out of college, but didn't phase me. In fact, I was just really annoyed, that's all. She did remind me of some things I had been thinking about lately, though--direction, goals etc. I sat next to Pasuya Yao, the director of the soon-to-be history Government Information Office, during the after-dinner speeches. After the who's whos finished their podium ramblings and egomaniacal kanpai's, we got to continue the mingling. There was a very nice couple who run a business together now. They were both born in Taiwan, but raised in the US. The husband later went to graduate school in Japan. I didn't have much time to speak with them, but I think I'll stay in touch with them. I think we may have lots more in common and things to talk about.

It was a tough day for me, although short, compared to a work day. By the time I got home, it was nearly 23h00, and I was so tired that I fell asleep on the floor. We haven't brought out the heaters and the floor is made of wood, so it was absolutely freezing! I woke up around 1h00, climbed into bed, still in my sweater and jeans and makeup, dozed for another couple of hours and then finally took off my make-up and showered at 3h30. At 5h00, I had to be up for the Taipei 101 Run-Up.

No such thing as rest on a rare day off.

Stairs, stairs and more stairs

Did you know that in my office building, there are 24 steps between the first and second floor, 17 steps between each floor until the 10th floor, and 16 steps between the 10th and 16th floors? I ended up just doing an incremental set of stairs a day, ending up with six sets by Friday.

Wednesday, 16 November 2005

Wednesday Again?

Ah ha!

Now I remember why I haven't posted in days. I worked all day Saturday (for the Masayoshi Son (孫正義) story and had to get up at 4h00 Sunday to cover the Terry Fox run. I've been so tired that I leave my computer at work and I go home right after the taping.

And probably for that reason, I've slept slightly better in the past two nights. Also, I noticed that when Oreo or Miffy are with me, I sleep especially well. (Usually, they're with my parents.) I think it's because I fall asleep to the rhythm of their breathing. So last night, I tried to listen to my own breathing. It's not as effective, but it does seem to help, if just a little.

Work and dogs are a modern girl's best companions. (But diamonds are still this girl's best friend.) Forget those guys that cheat and forget those guys that don't email back. I say forget about guys. Anna, can I just forfeit?

I started climbing the stairs of our building to get ready for the 101 challenge this weekend. I climb 15 flights in a set, and I started with three yesterday. I planned to do four sets twice today (Wednesday), five sets twice Thursday, six sets once on Friday and rest on Saturday. There are 91 flights at Taipei 101. We were really really busy today, so I didn't get to climb before we taped. I'll do a set before going home. I should probably start carbo-loading Friday. I've forgotten just about everything we did while training for crew in college.

Climbing 15 flights of stairs is not difficult, nor does it take a long time. It is, however, painful. Ninety-one should be a lot more painful than six times the pain I get from 15 flights. Pain is, apparently, on a logarithmic scale.

One thing I've come to realize, though, is that I will finish. It should not be a problem. The real issues are pain and embarrassment. Those are some good reasons to keep training.

Off I go stair climbing.

Here are a couple of my stories that we aired on Sunday.
Note: I didn't want to use Son's second sound bite, but the news director said she wanted everything in there because it was exclusive.

Slug: Masayoshi Son on IPTV (1'40")


Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son, who according to Forbes has a personal net worth of US$4.3 billion, is in Taiwan to talk about IPTV, or Internet TV, and to look for business partners for its new IPTV endeavor. Softbank Group is one of the largest broadband corporate groups in Japan. In an FTV exclusive, the successful venture capitalist spoke to Michella Weng about the role he thinks Taiwan can play in the IPTV market.##

擁有身價43億美金, 相當於新台幣1400多億的日本軟體銀行總裁孫正義, 最近來台灣進行網路電視招商. 孫正義所領導的軟體銀行, 是日本最大的寬頻企業之一.民視記者翁郁容獨家專訪這位47歲白手起家的總裁, 談談台灣要如何成為網路電視的贏家.##

Content-providing Internet businesses have long faced the problem of profitability. In most cases, search engines made the most money, because users could find all the information they needed through the search sites.


Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son, however, has a better idea. He is creating a content syndicate that is not searchable except by their own engine. In addition, he has some ideas to provide more content, through IPTV. Videos are the other 99% of the content that can be made available, he says.
不過, 日本軟體銀行總裁孫正義, 有了好方法

Also, Son believes that Taiwan can play a major role in the IPTV market.
除了著眼網路廣告, 他還打算利用網路電視IPTV, 來賺錢
Sound bite
Masayoshi Son
Softbank Group CEO
Taiwan can become the next Hollywood of Asia because Taiwan people speak Chinese. There are Chinese people around the world, so there is a big population. Taiwan has a more advanced experience in the Western world, so it can be a very interesting content center.
[[日本軟體銀行總裁 孫正義]]

But the question of profitability still remains, since most, if not everyone has been unsuccessful in making a good profit from providing content.
如何從網路電視IPTV賺到錢, 還是一個問題

Sound bite:
Masayoshi Son
Softbank Group CEO
We are now preparing a very interesting approach. We would be having very big number of viewers, so advertisement revenue could be very big.
[[日本軟體銀行總裁 孫正義]]

Closing stand-up:
Although Softbank does have experience in advertising, it still may face challenges in managing the media that it wants to work with. Softbank plans to roll out its IPTV service in Japan next March.
Michella Weng, Formosa TV, Taipei.

日本軟體銀行, 將在明年三月, 推出網路電視, 這個IPTV的服務,將面臨許多的challenge,像是如何管理來自這麼多國家的媒體內容, 播放權利等等
能不能從網路電視獲利, 商機又有多大, 許多科技人都拭目以待
民視新聞 楊昭庭 翁郁容 台北採訪報導

Slug: Terry Fox Run (1'38'')

The Terry Fox Run was held in Taipei today to remember Terry Fox and to raise money for cancer research. Terry Fox succumbed to cancer at the age of 22, after becoming famous for his attempt to run across Canada on an artificial leg. Memorial runs are held in his name around the world, and so far have raised more than US$300 million—NT$13 million in Taiwan alone. It's the 25th anniversary of the run, and the 11th year the run has been held in Taiwan.##

Taiwan hosted its 11th annual Terry Fox Run this morning. People of all ages and nationalities took part in the 3- and 6k run.
第十一屆的泰瑞法克斯路跑 今天開跑了
各種年齡 國籍 的民眾 都來共襄盛與

Terry Fox was diagnosed with cancer when he was just 18 years old. One of his legs had to be amputated. When he was in the hospital, the suffering that he saw in other cancer patients, especially children, prompted him to start raising money for cancer research, by running a marathon a day.
因為癌症 讓他失去了一條腿
他在醫院看到許多癌症患者的痛苦 尤其是小朋友
使他下定決心 以一天跑一個馬拉松的方式 來為癌症研究募款

Sound bite:
Anna Daviss
TAS Teacher
I'm here today because I'm supporting two faculty members, one of them is Jan McDowell, and she has been diagnosed with cancer about a year ago and we're here to support her and we're just really excited about it.
有一位是Jan McDowell

This is Anna Daviss' 5th Terry Fox run, and about 70 other faculty members and students from the Taipei American School are here for the cause as well.
Anna Daviss第五次參加泰瑞法克斯路跑

Sound bite:
Jin Pu-cong
Taipei Deputy Mayor
My father died of cancer seventeen years ago. I think exercise is the best medicine for your health, so we encourage everybody to come and enjoy the annual run.

The event also had free medical checks and stretching sessions to promote good health.
主辦單位為了更加推廣健康生活的概念 也提供了免費健康檢查並帶領民眾拉筋

Closing stand-up:
It's unfortunate that Terry Fox fell victim to cancer at such a young age. But his will to survive and his willingness to help other people continues.
Michella Weng, Formosa TV, Taipei.
不過他為生命而奮鬥的精神 還有幫助別人的熱心 是永遠存在的
民視新聞 蔡明政 翁郁容 台北採訪報導

Sunday, 13 November 2005


I forgot that I signed up to climb the stairs to the top of Taipei 101 next Sunday.

If I can climb Yushan (玉山/新高山), I can climb Taipei 101, I hope.

2046 steps, 91 floors.


I think I can do it...I think I can do it...I think can do it...

I had better stop thinking and start training.

The things I do for work...

This Week's Excuse

Happy girls make good girls.
I am not happy, therefore it's so HARD to be a good girl.
Anna's right. I have to make MYSELF happy.

I'd like to hang out more and "have fun," but all that is on my mind is to get peace of mind with work. I so desperately want to become SOMEbody, and to hurry up and get really good at what I want to do right now--reporting. I want to be able to file a good story, look good doing it and be praised. I think that is why I keep working and working and working. The problem is that I'm working as a one girl team, and I'm having a problem finding a point of reference. My desk with the English news team is three floors away from the other reporters, so I can't see what real reporters do and how they do it (at least while they are in the office). No one has the same aspirations as myself down here, so there's no one to run with. It's like running a marathon through the mountains on your own--very boring and tiring, and you also have to navigate yourself, which in my case has been very inefficient, because I'm trying to continue running at full speed and navigate at the same time. Here's another analogy: it's like driving and reading a map at the same time--you either go on the big roads and take a long time, or run into a tree while trying to read the tiny lines on the map, searching for a short cut.

I must PLAN. Plan plan plan! I must be organized! I must put to use the thinking skills I gained from college and graduate school. Gosh, I feel dumb.

The dumb girl, however, may have some charisma, though. I charmed Softbank's CEO, Masayoshi Son (孫正義), into giving me an exclusive interview yesterday. He turned down all the other print and TV media in Taiwan. Like my producer and also my godmother said, "smile, and ask them what they want to talk about first."

I guess I still remember how to smile, a little.

A big thank-you to Father for helping me come up with questions to a just-get-him-to-say-something assignment.

I feel better now. I need more chances to charm people. Plan plan plan! Perhaps I will plan more special interviews. Our audience seems to like business and politics a lot.

This week's excuse for not hanging out: Masayoshi Son

Thursday, 10 November 2005

Good Girl?

Rest never comes when one hopes for it. I slept at 1h00 and woke up at 5h00. I couldn’t go back to sleep, so I decided to drive to Yangmingshan (陽明山) to buy breakfast for everyone—fried breadstick and savory soybean soup (燒餅油條 鹹豆漿). That’s a poor translation, but the actual food is irresistible. These types of breakfast places are quite common, and the one I went to is about a 25 minute-drive away, but we’ve been going there for more than ten years now. They’re very good. I’m going to see if I can do a story on them.

On my way out, the street lights were just turning off. My father was leaving for the Philippines and my mother was going to see her physical exam report, which she has been very worried about, yesterday, so I thought I would try to be nice and stop being selfish, for once.

In the afternoon, I accompanied my mother to hear the explanation of the exam results, which were favorable and proved just how much imagination for the worse she has. Afterwards, we went to have our feet massaged. I’ve had foot massages a few times before, but the sensei that did it for me yesterday was amazing. I was konked out for FIVE hours afterwards, through my mother’s driving all over the city and stopping in several places. I even got out of the car and continued sleeping in whatever chair there was wherever she went. I’m going back to this guy. I think it may become my weekly activity with my mother.

I continued sleeping on the sofa when we got home. But I couldn’t sleep anymore come bed time. Needless to say, I had another rough night.

I missed printmaking class again, which means I might not get credit for the class, but it was worth it to spend time with my mom. In addition, I didn’t think it was possible to be in the same room and car for so many hours without driving each other crazy, so I guess my emotional intelligence has increased, perhaps. PERHAPS. We’ll see. I have another week to muster up some courage to try it again.

Tuesday, 8 November 2005

Doing Good

My throat infection's moved south for the winter, into my lungs. But it's not too bad, and my vocal cords have nearly recovered.

One of my parents said to me last night that perhaps every day, I should do one good thing for the world and indulge in one thing for myself. That way I will have less to regret if something terrible happened. That sounds like a good idea. I don't think I've done anything good in a long time. I haven't made anyone happy and I haven't done much to be proud of, either. It's just been me me me. How selfish. Thank you for the reminder.

I've been avoiding my mother recently, but I guess I will have lunch with her tomorrow. It'll be good for the both of us, I guess. But before that, I will need a good night's rest and muster up some courage. There's nothing much I'm afraid of in this world, except when it comes to my mothers.

It's about time I stop being anti-social too, as Jenny says. Watch out, World!

Here's my story that we'll be airing tonight. You can watch our show on the Internet. There is a VOD feature at
Make sure to use Internet Explorer, or it may not work properly.
There's also a discussion forum for the show:

Slug: Waterfront Dining (1'27'')

Eating out in tourist areas is often a hit-or-miss experience. In our food feature tonight, Michella Weng takes you to a restaurant at Fisherman’s Wharf in Danshuei that is a definite hit with customers and a real delight for travelers who want more than just a view.##

Fisherman's Wharf in Danshuei has become a popular weekend tourist destination. People like to come here to unwind, get away from the cramped city life and to breathe some fresh air.
淡水漁人 碼頭已經變成一個熱門的週末旅遊景點了
許多人爲了遠離擁擠又充滿壓迫感的都市生活來這邊紓解壓力 呼吸新鮮空氣

For those looking for a place to sit down and to have a nice meal to finish off the day, though, it's often hard to find something that really hits the spot.

This restaurant near the end of the pier, though, is something to consider. You can grab a cold drink to go, sit down and chat over a coffee, listen to the live music or even enjoy a nice dinner.
您可以買個冷飲帶走 或者是坐下來聽聽live演唱 喝喝咖啡 享受美味的餐點

Sound bite:
[[店長 郭鎮遠]]
Guo Jhen-yuan
When we go to a nice, scenic place ourselves, we want something good to eat. We're trying to see things from the consumers' point of view. Hopefully our customers feel the same way.

The food here is unexpectedly good for a restaurant in these types of places, and the prices are quite reasonable for the quality.
以一個觀光景點來說 這家餐廳真的很不錯 價錢也很合理

They even use aged balsamico.

Those who have just gotten off a windy boat ride may find the seafood chowder especially inviting.
熱呼呼的海鮮濃湯裝在法國麵包裡 正好溫暖剛下觀光船的旅客的胃

The pork knuckle is up to par, but it requires a bit of a wait.
德國豬腳也不錯 不過需要您耐心等待

Oh, they have nice dessert too. They make some of them here but also offer a selection from a famous patisserie in Taipei.
有的是他們自己做的 有的是來自台北有名的糕餅店

Closing stand-up:
This restaurant has matched great food with reasonable prices to one of the most beautiful places in northern Taipei County. It's really a good place to relax and enjoy an evening. This is Michella Weng for Formosa TV in Danshuei, Taipei County.
美味的食物與合理的價格 融入在北縣之美中
民視新聞 咼昇軍 翁郁容 台北縣採訪報導

Sunday, 6 November 2005

Time Flies

Yesterday, I saw some very familiar-looking footage on our news channel. A few cuts later, I realized that it was a story I already did some time ago. There was some overlap in the dishes and how the reporter did her stand-up wearing the Xinjiang style hat and eating the rice dish with her hands almost made it look like a copy of my story. I didn't know how to feel about it, but for sure, it feels good to be able to say for the very first time, "I did it first." Ho ho!

My cold is getting better. I can talk again, but I still sound and feel under the weather. One nice thing about this nasty cold is that I was referred a new doctor, and I really like him. Him, an ear nose throat doctor, and his wife, a dermatologist, have a clinic right by the TV station. He reminds me of my favorite ENT doctor in Japan, Kikuchi-sensei. Now I won't hesitate (as much) to see a doctor.

Speaking of hesitating, I should stop hesitating to see friends too. If only I had more time... Actually, if I had more time, I think I would end up just working more. Shame on me. Perhaps if my working hours were more normal, I would have a more normal life. I've never known normal, so we'll see how that goes.

On my day off today, I went to work. (shame on me again) I reported on the restaurant at the Fisherman's Wharf where I dined with my parents and a couple of friends a few weeks ago. It's that place where the food is unexpectedly good for a restaurant in a tourist area. Afterwards, we stopped by Breeze Plaza (微風廣場) to get some footage of the Blues festival for our ending credits.

My cameraman was in a bad mood today and I accidentally lit his fuse, so all the way back to the station, through the horrendous weekend traffic, he talked nonstop about various managers at the office. It was almost unbearable, but at least now I have some ideas on how to deal with those managers if I ever need to in the future.

The poor guy had been shooting since 7h00 this morning and had to leave for a wedding, so my story will have to wait until after Monday to get cut. After I finished cutting the credits footage myself, I went to talk to the new lifestyle assigner for some advice. She used to be the northern outlying areas assigner, but I had never spoken to her before and was expecting another mean and impatient monster. Surprisingly, she was extremely nice and helpful. Now I have some ideas and ways to find more ideas.

It took until 21h00 at night for something happy to finally happen, but it was worth the wait. It feels so nice to find someone you think you can trust.

After giving away the food and dessert from the shoot to some of the newsroom staff, I took a taxi to my Uncle Cody's, where my parents and some of their friends were. I left my car in Danshui and needed a ride home. I used to spend a lot of time at Uncle Cody's and didn't realize that and also how long I haven't been there until I saw his daughter tonight. She was barely walking the last time I was there, and she was running around today! Also, she had gotten so big that I almost thought she was someone else's child. Time flies! I think that's a reminder for me to not let it just slip by.

Who is free for lunch next week?

Friday, 4 November 2005

Story: Hash House Harriers

We aired this tonight. It's a little too short and leaves much to be satisfied. I think the problem was in not getting enough shots of the runners against different backgrounds. But I did get one comment saying that it was better than the one that the Fun in Taiwan crew did for the Travel and Living Channel.

Slug: Hash House Harriers
Running time: 1'11''

The Hash House Harriers is a group of runners that play a game that was invented in 1938 by British military chefs in Singapore. They have thousands of chapters all over the world now, and Michella Weng takes you to see how the game is played in Taiwan.##

Every Sunday, this group of 30-40 expats and locals get together to do some hashing. Some of them will charter a bus and meet the rest of the group at the run site, which is different every time.

每個星期天, 約有三十到四十位的外國人與台灣人會聚再一起 一同去跑步
當中 有一部分的人 會租一台小巴士 和其他的人在集合點碰面
每一個星期 他們跑步的地點都不一樣

Someone called the "hare" will take off ten minutes before the group does and mark the trail with flour.
集合後 會有一個他們叫做 “兔子” 的人先開跑 他的身上會先用麵粉做上記號 讓大家去追蹤

[hare’s off, flour flour, flour]

Hashing is one of the best things you can do to get to know Taiwan, because they'll take you to the best places that even the locals don't know about. Oh look, there's a hash mark. We're on the right track!
看那邊 就是那個記號 我們沒有跟錯


On on!

The hare likes to misguide runners, so other runners call out "on-on" as they find new hash marks to keep everyone on track.
所以當有人找到新的記號的時候 就會大聲喊on-on讓後面的人跟的上

There are different kinds of hash marks in this game, and you best know them if you don't want to get lost.
如果你不想要迷路 最好熟悉一下各種記號

[different hash marks]

The nice thing about running in Taiwan is that you can go through the back of someone's house and not have to worry about being shot at.
在台灣跑步的好處就是 你可以隨意穿過人家的後院

[NS vicious dog barking]

At the end of the run, they celebrate with the down-down, where the grand master makes some ceremonial remarks and certain runners are rewarded.
活動結束之後呢 大家會一起喝飲料慶祝 聽會長報告當天跑步的狀況並表揚一些跑者

[NS down-down]

Ending stand-up:
It's a healthy activity they do out there.
This is Michella Weng in Hsinchu with the Hash House Harriers.
民視新聞 廖松筠 翁郁容 新竹採訪報導

On the hash bus.

Story: Halloween Weekend

Not great, but at least a Formosa News original.

Slug: Halloween Weekend

Halloween has become an international reason for people to get together, dress up and have a lot of fun. Michella Weng visited a couple of the happening spots this past weekend and has a report on how people in Taipei celebrate the 2,000 year-old tradition.##

Normally a sports bar, this place is packed with kids of all ages dressed up in all sorts of costumes, from the cute to the hideous. There was even a superhero with a beer belly.
有可愛的 恐怖的 甚至還出現了啤酒肚蝙蝠俠

There was plenty to keep the party-goers busy, including face painting, pumpkin carving and of course, some great Halloween fare.

Transition stand-up:
This is what the kids are doing. Let's go over to the other side of town and see what the older kids are doing.
換個地方 我們來看看大朋友怎麼過

Adults have a lot more options when it comes to dressing up, and some of them really spiced it up.

This club was rowdy enough to wake the dead. Napoleon was dancing, American Indians were dancing and even bunnies were dancing.
震耳欲聾的音樂 大家瘋狂的跳著舞
拿破崙 印第安人 兔女郎 都來一起 high high high

Halloween has come a long way from its original incarnation, when Celts used the occasion to celebrate their annual autumn harvest.

Closing stand-up:
The Halloween that people know today is quite different from the Pagan, Roman and Christian forms of the celebration 2,000 years ago. But throughout the world and here in Taipei, it's mostly become a good reason for people to get together and have a ton of fun.
Michella Weng, Formosa TV, Taipei.
異教徒 羅馬人 與基督徒過的萬聖節 不太一樣
也是一個聚會 狂歡的理由
民視新聞 郭文海 翁郁容

At Luxy:

At Tavern:

Thursday, 3 November 2005

Family Hotel

Wednesdays are usually off days for me, and I use them to go to my printmaking class. I was sick, however, and stayed in bed all day. I didn't feel like eating, but managed to make myself a protein drink in the morning. I still didn't feel like eating when it came to dinner time, so I had another protein drink. Not the healthiest of meals, but I guess I'll live. There was only one thing I wanted--the obento at Heidian (黑店) in Danshui (淡水). But when I drove out there, they had already closed for the day. There wasn't anyone home to feel sorry for or to take care of me either so I was totally out of luck and didn't want to eat anything else. I guess I deserve it since I'm never home anyway. Even if there were people home, they wouldn't even know I'm sick. I haven't figured out why yet. Is it because the house is too big (relatively speaking for the number of people living here) or because people just don't think to care? Perhaps both. I guess there are times when there is simply too much space. I miss Tokyo even more now. I miss my family and friends in Tokyo.

Sometimes I wonder if people who own those big and luxurious homes I see on TV are happy living there. Most of the time, they're accomplished people of a certain age, so their children are all living elsewhere, and they have rooms and bathrooms in the double digits. But I wonder how all of that is used. Perhaps they're not. Perhaps it would be quite lively if there were that many people living there, hustling and bustling about. But I'm guessing that normally, it's just the couple, their dogs and butler, chef and maids.

Now, for most of people, it probably takes less than ten seconds to get from the bedroom to the living room, and less than five seconds to get from the living room to the kitchen. Imagine having to walk for even one minute (or more!) just to get a drink of water. I would imagine that people might give up even before getting up. But I suppose that's where the advanced phone system and the maids come in handy.

Even if all the material needs can be answered by the staff, I'm guessing that maintaining the warm, comfortable and homey feeling a residence should have may still be a challenge for many of these places. I've seen the inside to some really expensive houses and flats, and while most of them are fabulously grand and beautiful, they feel like hotels. They feel like a comfortable place to sleep in for a night or two, but not a place one would share with a family. In most cases, the bedrooms are quite far apart. Most of the time, the master bedroom suite in one part of the house (or on one floor) and the other rooms in the far end of the house (and/or on a different floor). These houses are great for kids who don't want to have anything to do with their parents because they can just hide in their part of the house and do whatever they want. They can even hold their own private parties and the parents are likely to not even know. I know someone who had his girlfriend living at their house and his mother, who also lives in the same house, didn't even know it. When the silent alarm saying that the mother was coming into his wing of the house went off, he'd quickly usher his girlfriend into the AV room, where she'd probably pour herself some drinks, sink into the expensive Italian sofa, watch a movie and then resurface in a couple of hours after the mother had gone.

I hope I remember not to build a family "hotel" before my kids are grown up.

Time to stop daydreaming and get to a doctor. My voice is nearly completely gone. And if it continues, so will be my job. Then I wouldn't be able to even get a chance to mull over building a family hotel or not.

Tuesday, 1 November 2005

Zombies and Ogres

I was the walking dead today, and suitably so for Halloween. It's a real mystery why I'm still waking up early despite going to bed late.

Work was very frustrating today, because I can't seem to understand what is expected of me. It seems like my boss is giving me space to report when we have enough associate producers working that day, but at the same time, it seems like she wants to keep me in the office. The problem is, when I am in the office, there just isn't much to do when everyone is present, which is how it is most of the time. As a result, I am sitting there trying to be productive, but I don't know what to be productive with. Feeling useless is very unpleasant. Today was one of those days.

In addition, I'm still struggling with finding the "fun" and "energetic" thing that my producer seems to want me to do. When I told my mother over IM, she told me to call one of her friends who is very resourceful and well-connected, and not much older than me. I met her once, so she's not a complete stranger. But over the phone, she was a lot more imposing than in person. The whole time, I felt like I was about to feed myself to a hungry ogre. No disrespect to her, I think it was my problem that I couldn't speak her language. She spoke so fast (in Mandarin) and so much that I could hardly explain myself. The more I tried, the more cooked I felt. At some points, we were both talking at the same time, and I'm sure we were both, thinking why is she talking while I'm talking? I'm trying the wrong way. It doesn't matter what she seems to me, I'll just appear to her as rude. 失敗しました。 I really need to meet her to get things across and going, if it's to go anywhere. At least in person, it'll be more difficult for her to say "after you figure out what you want, call me, OK?" I need help with brainstorming right now. I'm stuck so far in the beginning I don't even know where to start. After we said goodbye, I wanted to scream. Goodness. I need to get smarter about this.

Look at the time. Now I will be the one looking and feeling like the ogre tomorrow.