Friday, 28 December 2007

Returning to normal

Now that I no longer have to report to him, I really hope to return things to normal. The skin infections I've developed over the last two months should start to get better, I'm feeling like painting my nails again and I think I'm going to be happy happy happy once again. I may even stop wearing my orange "don't-mess-with-me" glasses that I love so much. Time to get back into my yoga and jogging routine too. Yay!

Case closed

The company took disciplinary action against me and took five points off for insubordination. One of my team mates told me this when the notice came out today. I said it sounded serious, but he replied:
"it means they have to find someone to blame and make things look good and to make Pig Vomit (what he calls our boss; 95% of other reporters literally usually call him "Pig Head") look good. Five points means nothing. Case closed."

Confucianism is well and alive these days in Taiwan.

I get five points off, which means nothing and doesn't go on my record, but apparently, he got demoted. I'm sure it wasn't just because of me. Levels of management have known about his problems for ages but just never did anything about it. But I guess this also shows that I mean something to the company. But then again, it really takes a lot for me to completely lose it like I did.

I'm sure many of my coworkers are secretly very happy that I did the dirty work for them, and I'm secretly very happy for secretly feeling like a hero, if only to myself. I'm so relieved. I feel brave and good that I stood up against injustice. Of course, I could have done it better...

The chief editor asked me to submit to her a report about what happened to submit with her report to management. But the funny thing is, throughout the entire process of asking me about what happened and giving me a heads up that I will be facing disciplinary action, her tone was friendly and almost humble and sounded even a little embarrassed. Anyway, here's the unexpectedly long but detailed report that I gave her:




下午,我正在從新修帶時,他走到剪接室把一篇報紙丟在sound mixer上,說你去做這個,然後掉頭就走。

事發當天 12月24日:



Wednesday, 26 December 2007

Mission accomplished

Yesterday, he called in sick.

I was informally questioned by the chief editor and one of her deputies, about what happened.

Today, he was back at work, but first thing in the morning, Yaoqian told us to start reporting to him from now on. Yahoo! I noticed that I didn't even play that stupid game in my mobile phone for unconscious stress release even once.

Then in the evening, it was announced that he was the new producer of something or another. No one had even heard of the position, but no one cared either. That probably happened because the MD feels bad about getting rid of him since she was the one that asked him to come on board in the beginning. In any case, I am very happy that I will never have to deal with him anymore, and I imagine quite a few reporters were relieved to find out that he'll never get to assign any of us anymore.

If they reprimand me for the outburst that day, I'll willingly accept, because the outcome more than worth it. I think I could have handled the situation a little better, but over all, I give myself a passing score.

Tuesday, 25 December 2007

Taiwanese-singing cats

Cats singing Jingle Bells in Taiwanese.


Simplest Christmas ever

After work, I came home, put on my pajamas and made a nice cup of (very expensive!) organic hot cocoa and listened to some jazzy holiday tunes.

Sounds lonely, but oh gosh, sometimes it is exactly what we need.

Want to try my expensive hot cocoa?
Heat organic whole milk almost to boiling.
Pour 1/3 into a big warm mug.
Add 5 teaspoons of Rococo organic drinking chocolate, a little sugar to taste.
Pour rest of milk in.
Stir some more.
Sip away and happy thoughts will find you.

If Godiva's for impressing people, I think Rococo's for impressing yourself. It's just so tasty. However, I did pay USD 28 for 250 grams of the drinking chocolate flakes at Nonzero. Almost anything is available in Taipei, and that's part of the reason why I love this city. Of course, a premium is to be expected, but I'm willing to pay for that.

So who wants to come over for hot cocoa? We can spend Christmas, Michella-style, all over again. Presents are certainly welcome as well!

(image via Rococo)

Monday, 24 December 2007

Merry Christmas!

Put 'em up! (censored version)

It was the last straw and I just gave it to him this evening. I was so mad I almost shoved the piles of papers on his desk into his face. (His desk has been overturned by cameramen and reporters several times already.) Of course, I didn't do that and I made no personal attacks. I was so mad I spewed English at him. Hopefully I scared him enough to let him know that I'm done being pushed around.

But on the brighter side, in just two months, I'll be having good bosses for the rest of my life because finding someone just as bad as this piece of work will be next to impossible.

Go Mi-chan! You can do it!

Thursday, 20 December 2007

Bambi and friends

I can't believe Oreo's afraid of her. (I'm assuming it's a her)

And here's half the gang snoozing in my room.

Happy news

Education-obsessed Dad is officially on the way to becoming Dr Dad. He passed his PhD entrance exam! Hip hip hooray!

Now he can realize his Dr Weng dream himself instead of trying to make us do it. Ha!

We celebrated the news with Uncle Cody last night, and I don't think I've ever seen him so happy. I'm sure he was happy for Dad, but he's like a totally different person now. He looked so healthy and like he is really enjoying life these days. He still works hard, but has much healthier habits now and takes time to enjoy himself - golfing alone, going shopping... I'm SO happy for him.

Happy, happy news.

No, thank you

Mr Stalker went from sending flowers and showing up at the station to saying he'll never watch FTV again and back to "hey, long time no see." Well, here is the latest: he is now attempting to marry me someone else.

Text message to my phone on 18 December 2007 at 13h50
郁容小姐 我是大佑,近來好嗎?現有朋友華國飯店蔡媽為三兒子務色媳婦。她兒子留美的、未滿三十八歲,希望對象不超過三十二歲、善體人意、乖巧、人品、學識等等儘在妳一身,妳若有意願,我安排好嗎?至於妳的背景,我可先安排我小媽 代理長輩或認妳作乾女兒,如何?

Then another one at 16h08
郁容小姐 大佑補充背景資料,蔡家以前作鰻魚的.號稱鰻魚大王;我小媽用免稅商店采盟公司大股東身份.就不會矮人一級.把握機會.聽蔡媽說她兒子非常優秀

Totally beat

I'm counting down the days to taking a break. It's t-11 days until Tokyo. Come to think of it, I'll only be there for two full days, I think it'll be refreshing. Looking forward to spending New Year's with Mama and Pearl, and Grandma and Grandpa if they're inTokyo.

These days, I'm really not sure what's worse - foul politics or my incompetent supervisor. I hate hate hate both. Never hated anything or anyone so much, but I guess there's a first for everything. These days, I quickly finish up my work and leave the 16th floor (where the reporters and assigners are) to avoid any unnecessary encounters, which mean ALL encounters. He never thinks anything through before assigning anything. He'll walk over with half a thought and blurt it out. Then he'll walk two steps back toward his desk and come back and change his mind. He'll do it several times until he finally figures out what he wants. This happens twice a day - once in the morning and once in the afternoon. Sometimes I just want to tell him, "figure out what you're thinking and what you want before opening your mouth." Reminds me of when I'm sick and I just can't seem to vomit everything up at once.


Thursday, 13 December 2007

New desktop picture

Found this picture on NY Times. Beautiful.

New wheels

My new transportation tool: Strida 5.0

It is a folding bike that you can tow/push/prop up easily when folded up. It's not particularly light or small, but it looks pretty cool and rides pretty well. Because the handlebars are much higher, I don't have to hunch my back at all and it doesn't get tired.

Of course, the tiny wheels won't carry me very far, but it brings me to and from work and to the grocery store and yoga studio.

Now I need to find a nice little helmet to protect my noodles.

Thanks, Daddy!

Christmas tree farm

Ever wondered where your Christmas tree came from? And how they got into your living room?

This is so interesting!

(via NY Times)

Hanging out at the MOE

Waiting... And helping with other reporters' mics.

Doesn't the guy on the very right look like the guy being interviewed? That's my colleague from TVBS, Tom Chang. He told me to go to hell after I mentioned the resemblance. Hahaha!

Strawberries with balsamico

So tasty and healthy!

A Modena classic. Prepared by Ada at Nonzero.

Tired and burned out

After running around from morning until night for days covering the CKS Memorial mess, more head and wall butting with my boss and too many social events, I'm so tired and burned out.

Good thing that this week, I get two days off. Two days! It feels like vacation! So I decided to come home to Danshui after work yesterday.

So this morning, I did a whirlwind 18 holes with Uncle Cody in just two hours. I think I'm doing alright as a one-a-year golfer. I can still hit alright! It was only 8h30 when we were done with golf, so I came home and went back to bed.

These are interesting-looking flowers I found at the golf course (老淡水球場). They look like dinosaur eggs.

I've been wanting to go horseback riding for a long time, but was too tired, so decided to drive up there for a walk and talk with horses. I could only take one dog, and since Oreo raised her hand first (well, more like ran into the elevator first), I brought her along, much to the jealousy of the other girls and boy.

At the riding school, they also have some other interesting animals, like deer. Their mama dear and papa dear had a fawn not too long ago, and Oreo had a first meeting with it.

Oreo's not afraid of gigantic horses, but Bambi is just too scary for her. I don't know how that works.

After about an hour of walking around at the riding school, I signed up for a class for tomorrow morning and we went home, listening to Louis Armstrong all the way. She was exhausted.

Looking forward to riding tomorrow and a little bit more rest until another week of hell.

Changing history

The "大中至正" sign at Chiang Kai-shek Memorial was torn down and replaced with "自由廣場." And CKS Memorial is now "Democracy Memorial."

While most people stayed away, some decided to come out and protest. While it may have looked like a riot on TV, I think it was really just a few people suffering from psychological problems becoming emotionally charged and causing small commotions here and there. Unfortunately, our assigners did not get out there and see for themselves the real situation, and just kept sending more and more of us out. At times, there were more reporters out there than there were protesters.

The calm before the storm:

There was one incident where a very upset man drove his truck into a campaign truck. Naturally, cameramen from all stations swarmed around the scene, but the man in the truck decided to hit the gas one more time, and ended up sending several cameramen flying, and dragging one under his truck. The poor guy under the truck was dragged several meters, suffered abrasions, fractures in his chest, arms, legs, pelvis, swelling in his brain, and was bleeding in his lungs. It was a real bloody nightmare.

But with so many reporters out there jostling for a good shot, something like this was bound to happen. Cameramen these days think they are supermen, and our assigners these days think they can capture more news and better shots by sending more and more reporters and cameramen out there.

This woman showed up with her nine-year-old daughter late at night after the sign was changed. Even after her daughter kept asking if they can go home, the mother was obviously too incapacitated to listen, but somehow still got through the police and the barricade. She was then carried out by the four policemen, each holding one limb. All the while, screaming about political injustice or something of the sort.

Many of the commotions were like this. The drunk son of a very famous KMT lawyer showed up in a police uniform and started telling the police off. Of course, he was taken away promptly. There were also plenty of people there protesting for different things, including monks asking stray dogs to be saved. Also, were were people there drinking from bottles of red wine, shouting and celebrating after the signs were changed. It was probably the biggest congregation of media and disturbed people I've ever seen.

To complicate matters, the local government, which is KMT (central is DPP) says what the central government is doing here is illegal. Through this all, the secretary general of the education ministry Chuang Kuo-jung (莊國榮) has been going on camera rebutting the city's legal claims, but all the while, making comments like "(KMT presidential candidate) Ma Ying-jeou is a sissy" and "(Taipei city mayor) Hao Lung-bin (郝龍斌) seems really gay." Some DPP legislators loved it and held a press conference the following Monday to say "good job!"

The KMT's Chiang Kai-shek led a crackdown on an uprising that happened on 28 February, 1947. Tens of thousands of people were said to have been killed and/or vanished as a result of that incident, and the DPP says it doesn't want any place or any thing that glorifies him, so is therefore changing the name of the memorial and its signs. They also want to tear down the beautiful wall & hallway (with several open gates) that encloses the grounds because they don't want to feel the park protected an inaccessible to the people.

I don't care for politics, but I think destruction of beautiful things and historical objects just isn't right.

However, many people, including DPP supporters feel that the DPP government has really lost it trying to get votes for the upcoming legislative and presidential elections. They don't understand why the government is trying to change history when they should really be working on the future.

Taiwan is a beautiful country with wonderful and hard working people. But some of its politicians should perhaps be tossed into the Taiwan Strait.

(news images via TVBS news)