Friday, 31 March 2006


It turns out the pain in my foot was caused by tight muscles and ligaments in my leg. I massaged and stretched them, and the pain was gone. If only things were that simple for my coworker.

One of the associate producers (AP) on my team got sceptic arthritis in her knee and ankle on one of her legs. They had swelled to the size of her thighs and were blue and purple from the bacterial. Poor girl. She was out for an entire week. And since half a day's pay is deducted for each sick day taken, she decided to use her holidays. Since we only have seven after our first year, she ended up using half of it up. These situations are really terrible. Since she was out, the other AP and I had to scramble to cover for her. And since she actually just came back from a week-long holiday before that, we were effectively scrambling for two weeks. It was like playing the egg-catching game all day when she was gone -- oh no, there's an egg falling here; oh no, there's another egg falling there. And since our office is two floors down from the main newsroom, we must climbed the height of Taipei 101 through the course of the day, running up and down, voicing stories over, having graphic cards created, outgesting, subtitling and re-ingesting. If only digitalization and networking can be more comprehensive... But I suppose it is all good exercise.

The past two months have been quite a mess.

First, it was Channel News Asia trying to recruit me, which I declined. Then it was my coworker getting hurt. And then it was rumors that I'm getting transferred.

A few weeks back, reporters for our domestic news kept coming to me and asking, "hey, you're coming upstairs?" I was quite taken by surprise because I had heard nothing from anyone in management. But until I asked my boss about it, no less than six had asked me, in various ways. "Congratulations, you're moving up here!" "Good job, you're finally getting to do mainstream news." "What is the matter with you, why are you leaving a cushy job for one with longer hours, nasty editors and the same pay?" All kinds of reactions. Then the rumor was confirmed.

So then I had to turn down the show that Radio Taiwan International wanted me to do. I will be working 12+ hours a day for sure after I move to domestic news, with lots of pressure and getting bullied. Great fun. But it'll be good for me. I'm know I'm going to drown and require CPR by the end of the first month. I just hope the one who gives me CPR is cute.

There is a problem with this transfer, however. I can't move until my producer finds a replacement for me. I'm proud to say that she will probably have a hard time finding someone who can do everything that I do for the team, but it shouldn't be difficult finding another monkey to do just what is required. Another problem though, is that she is on holiday in the US for two weeks. Probably by the time she gets back and actually finds someone, the reporter spot will have been filled. They're scrambling upstairs to cover for the spot that opened up, and after going through that myself with my injured coworker, I am sure they don't want to do it long.

Whatever. I'm having lousy luck this year (according to my fruity fortune advisor, I am in the year of death in the cycle) but somehow amid the bad luck, I've also found faith that everything will be alright and I will get what I have worked for and what I want, eventually.

More on what my fruity fortune advisor said next time.

Sunday, 19 March 2006

Running running running

Just ran a ten km race. Something happened to my foot and it really hurts. Ouch.

MJ Weng - on Vibo 3G

Friday, 17 March 2006

Enjoying my parasol from Kyoto in between appointments. I miss Japan.

MJ Weng - on Vibo 3G

I just hung on a monkey bar! Haven't done that in years. Tried to do a pull-up but couldn't. Used to be able to do almost ten all in one go when still in crew.

MJ Weng - on Vibo 3G

Test moblog

This is my first attempt at moblogging.
Having a quiet egg salad and milk lunch by myself at New York Bagels. Made a voice demo at a studio this morning for both English and Japanese. Hopefully good things will happen. Have the day off but my mother made me an appointment with a fortune teller. I wonder what he will say. Maybe that I was born to be a dirty car salesman? We'll see should be fun. I've seen the guy on tv before. Seems real nice and gay too. No pressure. Have had my share of weirdos lately.

MJ Weng - on Vibo 3G

Monday, 13 March 2006

Reporting: Holiday business

This was aired 14 February, 2006.

Slug: The Holiday Business (1’15’’)

Sixteen hundred years ago, February 14th was declared a feast day to honor Saint Valentine. Then in the middle ages, it became associated with romantic love. But these days, especially in Taiwan, Valentine's Day has evolved into a reason to bring boyfriends and husbands _shopping_. FTV's Michella Weng takes you to see how businesses here are encouraging people to express their love.##

[[int'l news footage of Valentine's Day celebrations]]
While European in origin, Valentine's Day has become something of a celebration of love around the world.
從歐州傳來的西洋情人節 幾乎已經成為世界各地的節慶

We talked to some international residents in Taipei and learned how they spend it their home countries.

Sound bite: (in Japanese)
Ran Endo
Japanese Woman

Sound bite: (in Japanese)
Yuki Maeyama
Japanese Man
On Valentine’s Day, women may bring their male co-workers chocolate. And on White Day, guys may buy or bake cookies for girls, said these Japanese residents.
這兩位日本人說 在日本 西洋情人節時 通常女生會給男同事巧克力
而白色情人節 男生可能會買或自己做餅乾請女生

And what about Switzerland?

Sound bite: (In English)
Nick Vasiljevic
Swiss Man
It's a relatively new holiday. In Switzerland, we like the mountains a lot, so usually, we take a holiday to the mountains.
對我們來說 這是一個新的節日 因為我們很喜歡山 所以我們通常都會到山上渡假

[[Valentine's Day marketing]]
For several weeks now, businesses in Taiwan have been working hard to promote Valentine's Day offerings, including extravagant romantic dinners, hotel packages and gift items. It's a scene that has dominated most of the island, and the marketing effect is changing the local culture. It may be fun for the people who take part in the festivities, but it can also be aggravating for people who wish to stay out of it.
跟往年一樣 台灣廠商抓緊情人節帶來的商機
包括奢華的情人節套餐 飯店住宿 還有精品
參與的人覺得很有趣 但是不參與的民眾可能會覺得很煩

[[in front of Chanel window display]]
Closing stand-up:
Michella Weng
FTV Reporter
While some say Valentine's Day in Taiwan has become over commercialized, it may be good news for some girls, but it sure can get painful for some guys.
Michella Weng, Formosa TV, Taipei.
雖然有一些人覺得台灣的西洋情人節已經太商業化 對女生來說可能事件好事
民視新聞 古高樹 翁郁容 台北採訪報導

Reporting: Persian cuisine

This was aired 13 Feb 2006

Slug: Persian Cuisine

Culinary offerings in Taiwan's capital have taken another step on the road to internationalization, this time with the opening of a Persian restaurant.
Michella Weng takes us for a sampling of some of the middle eastern treats in store for diners.##

[[chef making flat bread outside]]
Flat bread is one of the most common types of bread eaten in Iran. It can be had with other dishes, or wrapped around meats and chopped vegetables.
在伊朗 烤餅是一種普遍的麵食 你可以配著其他餐點享用 或者捲著肉和菜來吃

[[kitchen, preparing kebabs, shishkebabs]]
Speaking of meats, they need to be prepared according to Muslim principles, or Halal. Before slaughtering, the animal must be in good health and is given water to drink to quench its thirst. It is then pointed in the direction of Mecca and then killed in the least painful way possible.
說到肉 伊朗料理的肉都必須要經過傳統回教的處理方法
屠殺之前 一定要先確認動物健康狀況良好 然後餵它一點水讓它解渴
之後再把它轉向麥加 使用最不痛的方法來屠殺

Barbeques and stews are popular in Persian food. In a traditional home, meals are usually planned out days in advance by women, who usually don't work, but rather just tend to domestic affairs.
傳統的伊朗女生通常都是家庭主婦 也是因為如此 每天晚上的菜色

Sound bite: (in English)
Mohsen Amini
It takes a long time to prepare the food, so we don't eat two or three kinds of meat in one meal. One meat in one meal and vegetables.
準備的時間都很長 所以我們不會一餐吃兩三種肉
一餐一種肉 搭配青菜

Also, saffron, the world's most expensive spice by weight, is used quite frequently, and generously in this restaurant. There's much research on the health benefits of saffron, and in Iran, it's commonly known as an aphrodisiac for men as well.
還有世界最貴的香料 番紅花 在波斯料理當中也經常被使用
很多研究報告都說番紅花對身體好 也是一種男生的天然春藥

[[tasting food]]
Sound bite
Michella Weng
FTV Reporter
It's really tender. They've marinated the meat for a good three days before it gets cooked and then plated. So it's very, very tender and practically melts in your mouth.
真的很嫩 他們先把肉醃製了三天然後再煮 所以非常非常的軟 幾乎入口即化

[[everyone eating, smoking hookah]]
So if you're interested in trying something Middle Eastern but don't know where to start, why not Persian food? There's plenty of culinary and other exploring to be done here.
如果您想要嘗試中東文化 也可以考慮試試波斯料理

Michella Weng, Formosa TV, Taipei.
民視新聞 陳煜彬 翁郁容 台北報導

Friday, 10 March 2006

Reporting: Japanese eel delicacy

This was aired 20 Feb 2006.

Slug: Japenese Eel Delicacy (1’25’’)

In the past, Taiwan supplied more than 75% of the eel on the Japanese market and while export numbers have since decreased, the popularity of the fish among Taiwanese people has certainly grown. Most Taiwanese only know to eat it grilled and over a bed of rice, so today, FTV's Michella Weng shows you other ways the Japanese eat it.##

[[NS grilling unagi]]
Rich in vitamins and minerals, eel, or "unagi" in Japanese, was traditionally eaten to boost stamina. The Japanese have been eating it for hundreds of years, but the delicacy came to Taiwan only about 40 years ago.
含有營養豐富的unagi鰻魚在日本料理當中 其實已經有幾百年的歷史了
不過這個原本吃來補身養氣的特殊魚類 在台灣的料理史只有短短的40年

This restaurant prepares unagi the way Japanese chefs do east of Nagoya, Japan. They steam it first, and then grill it over charcoal. You can eat it without the kabayaki sauce that is unique to each restaurant, but most people still choose to have the fish with generous amounts of the special sauce.
這裡的鰻魚做法 屬於日本關東的做法 師父先將它蒸過
您可以選擇白燒 不沾在每一家店獨特的蒲燒醬 但是大部分的客人還是喜歡

Michella Weng
FTV Reporter
There are several ways of eating unagi, and we're going to try some of them today.
鰻魚的吃法其實有很多 今天帶您一起來試試

The Japanese chef is making “unagi oshi zushi,” which is eel sushi pressed together in a mold. It takes a pro and a very sharp knife to cut it without having it fall apart.
師父正在為您示範的是 押鰻壽司 就是把鰻魚和飯放在模子裡押出來的壽司
要把它切的漂亮可是要功夫的 還要一隻很利的刀子

This donburi, or rice bowl, consists of the fish cut into bite-sized pieces, spring onions and seaweed. A lid is placed on the bowl to give those things a good steam before eating. You have to mix it well first, and when there’s just a little left, you can try adding tea to it.
鰻魚丼 裡頭有切成小塊的烤鰻魚 蔥花 還有海苔
先把蓋子蓋上 燜一下 香氣會更濃郁
吃之前要稍微攪拌攪拌 吃到最後也可以試試倒一點茶進去 換個口味

This is unagi served over rice steamed in a bamboo basket. After the final layer of sauce is brushed on, kinshi, or golden threads of egg, is layered on top.
接下來的蒸籠鰻魚飯 飯上面有一層刷過醬的鰻魚
再加上一層所謂的金絲 也就是雞蛋

And in between bites of unagi, you can sip some houji tea to reset your taste buds. It really helps you enjoy the flavor from beginning to end.
最後呢 教您一個小祕方 每吃幾口就喝一點houji茶 可以讓您感受到更清新的食感

Michella Weng, Formosa TV, Taipei.
民視新聞 宮仲毅 翁郁容 台北採訪報導

You don't really need sanshou (山椒) with this unagi, since it doesn't have that muddy rank that used to be very common before eel farming techniques greatly advanced. Although this isn't the best unagi I've ever had, it was a nice variation from the regular old unaju. I'd definitely go back, though. But going back to Tokyo sounds so much better.

Thursday, 9 March 2006

Reporting: V-Day 2006

This story aired 8 Feb 2006. I'm going to see the English showing on Saturday. I think I'm quite a ways from fully embracing the rawness of this type of drama, but it's interesting. My new buddy Nadia has a part in it.

Slug: V-Day (1’22’’)

V-Day is a global movement to help stop violence against women and girls. Taiwan will be holding its second annual V-Day, which will include fundraisers and a Mandarin and English showing of the “Vagina Monologues.” All proceeds from the events will go to charities protecting women and children from sexual abuse. FTV's Michella Weng brings you a preview.##

[[English monologues]]

The “Vagina Monologues” is an award-winning play about various topics on the vagina, from physiology to sexuality and sexual abuse as well. It has been incorporated into a movement called V-Day, which aims to help stop violence against women and girls. The Monologues have been performed over 1,000 times around the world.
獲得美國奧比獎的 “陰道獨白” 是一系列以獨白呈現 和陰道相關連的故事
當中的獨白包括陰道生理 性生活 以及性侵害
這齣戲在世界各地的演出已經超逾一千次 也被納入世界性的 V-Day 活動當中 用以終止對女性的暴力行為

[[Sound bite: (English)]]
Betsy Lan
It not only involves local women, but also expat women who are working and living in Taiwan because we believe that women’s experiences are universal. Also in the Chinese performance, we really try to localize some of the experiences that will make the local audience relate more to the story.
因為所有女性的經驗都是一樣的 參於這活動不只有台灣人
在中文的版本裡 我們盡量把它本土化

This year, the spotlight will be on comfort women, who were forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese military in World War II.
今年 V-Day 的焦點在”慰安婦”

[[Sound bite: (English)]]
Lily Yang
Director & Co-organizer
We're adding a monologue that specifically tells the story of comfort women; not just the comfort women from Taiwan, but also all over the world as well.
我們加了一個關於慰安婦的獨白 但是這獨白裡不只針對台灣的慰安婦

All proceeds from the plays and related fundraising will go to charity.
V-Day 所有的收益將捐給公益組織

Closing stand-up:
Michella Weng
FTV Reporter
If you're interested in supporting this event, you can go see the shows or purchase products they've specially prepared for the event — including cat-shaped pillows. Michella Weng, Formosa TV, Taipei.
您如果想贊助這個活動 您可以去看 “陰道獨白” 的演出
或者購買主辦單位特別準備的產品 包括這個枕頭
民視新聞 郭文海 翁郁容 台北報導

For more information on the play and related events, please visit our discussion board.

Decisions and directions

I decided to stay at FTV. Going to CNA may ruin my reputation faster than building it. And that I can't work independently enough for the job yet. I decided to stay after hearing this and why it's so from my managing director. That's all it took. I only needed to hear it from her. Although I respected her intelligence, I really didn't like her at all from the beginning. But after our long conversation, I feel like I can trust her now. So now she knows the direction I'm trying to go in, and now I know that she cares. I'm sure there will still be some rough times with her, but at least I know who I can learn from. Interesting how things turn out with people one hated in the beginning, huh?

Now that I've decided to stay, I need to switch gears to just cruise and learn the geography. Slowing down is difficult, though. I still haven't gotten the hang of it. Sometimes I just want to just...disappear... I suppose I will concentrate on other things, and go back to practicing art. I miss it.

In the midst of all of this, I had lunch with the director of programming, who is an old colleague of my grandfather's and someone I've become friends with. He told me that our show should be ending at the end of April. I was entirely caught by surprise. Then I told him that I actually want to do general programming and go in the direction of reality TV, so he said I should go straight to the general manager and tell him what I want. He said that the last time I had lunch with him, and I took his advice. I didn't get what I wanted, but at least the GM knows very well who I am and that I exist. So I'm going to go again. We'll see what happens. Haven't got long at all.

My stomach hurts. Ugh. I want to disappear. I have no motivation whatsoever. None to look for stories, none to look pretty.

Wednesday, 8 March 2006

Birthday girl

It was my birthday today! I forgot how old I turned. Twenty-three? Haha!

Special thank you's to everyone who knew or remembered. The cards and messages made me so happy!

I had lunch with my good friend Jenny, whom I was desperate to see. For being such a crazy person herself (at least when we were still in Tokyo), she really puts me at ease. Kind of like my uncle, Tsu. It was a good lunch and we promised that we will to get together more often. It's been more than a year since I've been back and I've seen each other less than three times.

My parents sent flowers and a cake to my office. My father the gadget master gave me a Sonicare toothbrush and my mother bought me expensive coral jewelry. The coral was quite beautiful. With that, my father said they release themselves from all liability if no one ever marries me. They're quite nice, but not pretentious. And I think only people who have an appreciation for precious material would know what it is. I guess I will have to stick to my humongous, but very cute semi-precious and precious stones ring to ward off the weird guys. I think it worked again on Sunday.

For a while, I felt like my brain had broken into a gazillion pieces. But in the past two days, I was able to start gluing them back together and putting all the right things into the right drawers in my head. It was really tough, but I think I made it through. Struggles are good because you always gain something in the end. But the process is absolutely horrible.

During this new year in my life, I would like to venture into the world outside of work. Oh my!

Thursday, 2 March 2006

Reporting: Flourless Delight

This report aired 25 January 2006.

Slug: Flourless Delight

Dessert lovers and carb watchers, get ready. In today's food feature, FTV's Michella Weng takes you to a restaurant which prides itself for its flourless chocolate cake.##

Opening stand-up:
Michella Weng
FTV Reporter
Some weight-conscious people are often looking for ways to cut down on the intake of carbohydrates. Well, we think we've found another way.
怕胖的人經常尋找低碳水化合物的食品 我們似乎爲您找到了一個好方法

This is a place known for its Schwarzwaelder-Kirschtorte, or black forest cake.
這家餐廳的招牌菜就是 Schwarzwaelder-Kirschtorte 黑森林蛋糕

Jhou Shu-ying
黑森林蛋糕來自德國歐洲 它這麼有名這麼有特色
因為它完全是沒有麵粉的 我們的真材實料都是來自歐洲
吃的感覺不會綿綿甜甜 很膩 我們的有顆粒狀 入口即化
The black forest cake comes from Germany, explained owner Jhou Shu-ying. What's special about ours is that it's completely flourless. Our ingredients are all imported from Europe and our cake's not too sweet and has texture. It melts in your mouth.

Instead of flour, they use hazelnut powder. Other essential ingredients are almond, chocolate and cocoa powder, eggs, sugar, cherry and cherry liqueur, and of course, lots and lots of fresh cream with dark chocolate shavings on top.
老闆娘用榛果代替麵粉 其他主要的材料還有杏仁粉 巧克力粉 可可粉
蛋 糖 櫻桃和櫻桃酒 還有 很多很多的鮮奶油和黑巧克力削

Now, while hazelnut powder contains significantly fewer carbs than flour, the cake is still not exactly low-fat. It sure looks worth trying though.
雖然榛果粉的碳水化合物的確比麵粉少 但是並不代表吃了就不會胖喔

This restaurant-cafe also serves a variety of home-style German food and has a nice patio area which is just perfect as Spring is right around the corner.
這家餐廳也提供其他的德國家常料理 還有室外的座位

Michella Weng, Formosa TV, Taipei.
民視新聞 馬登洲 翁郁容 台北採訪報導

Other cakes: