Monday, 28 December 2009

Camera shopping

Going shopping! I no longer have Michael's SLR to borrow "indefinitely" and weasel my way out of fixing when I break something. The dummy point-and-shoot I have is great for food and everyday this-and-that kind of pictures, and I'll still keep it with me at all times, but I think it's time I get an SLR for when I want more control over the picture and quality.

I'm going to call it a belated "happy 30th birthday!" present to myself, almost a year late. Nope, didn't get a chance to celebrate. Never too late though, even if by myself. I guess I really am anti-social.

Here's what's on the shopping list so far:
body: Canon EOS Kiss X3
lens: EF-S 17-55mm F2.8 IS USM
flash: 430 EXII

Gotta save money. Or get more jobs. Hm, maybe even both.

(images via Canon)

Saturday, 19 December 2009

Come meet the anchors & reporters 來認識主播與記者

My colleague, Nancy from Da-Ai TV, has put together a "tea party" for students of broadcast journalism and anyone else interested in hearing what anchors and reporters have to say about the news in 2009, and reporting on Typhoon Morakot in particular.

I've also been asked to give a small talk, so I'll be there too.

In addition to talking about news, we'll also be donating things (mostly clothing) to 家扶 to auction for charity.

Want to hear me babble and see what I'm donating? It's an open event, so come find out for yourself!

11h00, 19 December 2009
The cafe in Huashan
#1, Sec 1, Ba-de Road






Call Nancy/榮萱 if you have questions +886 930 935 235

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Reflecting on 2009 and looking forward to 2010

With just two more weeks left in the year and a quiet night in the news department tonight, I got to reflecting on 2009 and making plans for 2010.

Looking back on 2009

Q1 low, read a lot, grew spiritually - learned to have faith & to meditate
Q2 travel features started, ばたばた, busy, reported from HK, made hanga variation
Q3 travel features, ばたばた still, really busy, intern, made first watercolor
Q4 travel features under control, started cycling, made new hanga, super busy, emotional disaster, program hosting, whirlwind SF/DC tour, language strength noticed, signed new contract

rescued 6h00 show 5 times
saw a lot of Taiwan from doing travel features
spent time with Michael
started cycling for exercise
made progress with hanga (1 variation, 1 new)
gained a relative

not enough time with Mom & Dad
slacked on daily reporting
slacked on daily wardrobe
no holiday travels
TIRED TIRED TIRED all the time

Looking forward to 2010 - things to work on

travel for holiday at least twice
spend more time with Mom & Dad
become more emotionally independent
speed up on anchoring prep
come up with more exclusives for daily reporting
start to host/co-produce
lose 5 kg
dress more fashionably
more painting and hanga practice
get more R&R

Don't know how well I'll do in the last line there...

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

New look 新造型

Managing director: Why do you look so DIFFERENT when you're anchoring? You don't look like yourself.
Me: Yes, I know. People keep asking me, is that...your aunt?
MD: You look so old and so not like you during other times. You normally look so much like XXX but when you're anchoring... Why?
Me: ...maybe the hair and make-up?
MD: Why is it you don't look like XXX when you're anchoring? What's the problem?
Me: ...maybe the hair, make-up and wardrobe are different and done by other people? (I have almost no control over any of the these three things)
MD: You look so much like XXX off screen.
(she's starting to sound like a broken record)
Me: mm hm...
MD: It's time you get a new look. Give it a try. It may bomb, but that may not be a bad thing either. You can even shave your head. It would make a big impression.
Me: HM?!
MD: It's OK, it's about time you change your look anyway. If it doesn't work out, we'll try something else.
Me: (not about to shave my head) You mean you want me to look more like XXX when I anchor?
MD: Yes, give it a try.

So I'm getting a new look. Let's hope it doesn't get any worse. I don't think it can. One of my coworkers already called me "阿桑," so maybe it can't get any worse. The only people around here that get called 阿桑 are the old ladies that clean for us. Well, and me too when I'm anchoring.

"Why have you been looking the way you don't want to look all this time?" you ask. A sempai once told me, "Don't get involved with make-up and wardrobe. If you try to make changes and the MD doesn't like what she sees, even if it's not your problem, even if it's not a problem at all, all the blame can be placed on you. So protect yourself and don't worry about how you look, at least for now." So I try to keep my mouth shut.

The most puzzling thing to me is why the hair lady has to pull hair from the back of my head forward, like how some men like to pull their hair from one side to the other to cover the top that is bare. I keep telling her, "But I'm not bald..." On screen when I don't turn my head, you can't really tell what's going on, but when I'm walking around the office, people see a head that is flat in the back and has a 90 degree angle where the back and the top meet. It's like I'm straight out of the Conehead movie, except I'm a Squarehead. Well, maybe I'm exaggerating a little, but only a little.

Not anchoring this week because I'm on the vampires/wherewolves shift, but I should be back next Saturday morning. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Running on E 要沒電了

I've had coffee. I've had tea. Now I would like caffeine straight into the arm. Well, maybe not. That would involve a needle. Speaking of which, I turned off my brain, closed my eyes and got my H1N1 shot today. Sometimes less information is better.

Today is my fourth day on the night shift. Thinking back to why I'm so tired this time around, right after that 6-day crazy SF/DC trip, three nights of which I slept on airplanes, I came straight back to work. Then it was elections, followed by two assignments down in Kaohsiung County and Pingtung County (to do stories on purple crow butterflies, horseback riding and hot springs), then the night shift. One day of rest in between. No wonder I am in desperate need of recharging my battery. 原子小金剛需要充電了

Monday, 7 December 2009

Hello from 四重溪

Where Japanese Emperor Takamatsunomiya Nobuhito 高松宮宣仁親王 (born 1905, died 1987) and his wife, Empress Kikoko 宣仁親王妃喜久子 supposedly enjoyed a nice soak on their honeymoon in Taiwan.

Did you know that Sihchongsi 四重溪 has hot springs? I didn't. Stop by the next time your in Pingtung 屏東 or on the Hengchun Peninsula 恆春半島.

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Election night

A busy night...for my colleagues. Strangely enough, I didn't get even one single election-related assignment this time. Been working on H1N1, travel, etc, but no election news.

Our tiny office space and crew.

More pictures here.

And the nice thing about being sick and having to wear a mask is, I can get away with applying make up to only the upper half of my face ;)

It's off to Pingtung tomorrow to film onsen (hot spring) and horseback riding. Yay! I'm so excited! Maybe the heat down south will make my cold better too.

Friday, 4 December 2009


Finally caught cold. Was wondering when it would happen. Haven't had a day off since coming back from SF and DC. County magistrate and city mayoral elections are tomorrow. Big day. Then off to Pingtung for travel feature Sunday and Monday. Hope to post pictures soon. And to get better. When I have time. Good thing I don't have to anchor this week or the next. Maybe that's why I'm sick. No anchoring? No voice. Hmmmmm.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009


It would be lovely if I can go and learn to dive next year. I hear Malaysia's perfect for it - good waters, great prices. It's that time of year for planning again. I love indulging in making plans. I always overplan. Do you?

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Johns Hopkins

Mom and Dad recently gained "Johns Hopkins" to their list of bragging rights, in addition to UCLA and Waseda. None of us became doctors or lawyers, and no one really remembers how to play the piano or the violin, but I guess we are all doing OK. Somewhat at least.

Inside of main campus. All the walkways seem to be paved in brick. Very classy and different from the asphalt and concrete that I had been used to at Irvine and Waseda.

JHU's business school, where Michael will be burning 90k over the next 2 years, excluding living and other expenses. Maybe he is even more expensive than I was.

"Bruce Lee was only 135 lbs."

Rowhouse in the suburbs M is staying in for now.

Crab cakes for lunch.

Went to Best Buy to play video games. I mean to pick up supplies.

More pictures here

Here's me writing & uploading what you're reading. Michael called the picture "Nazi at work in MD." It was cold... And that's my new Hopkins hoodie. Don't you like the color?

Monday, 23 November 2009


Cute as ever, and difficult to photograph as ever!

More here.

Hotcake morning in Los Altos

Breakfast with Quyen, Jerry, Jenny and Jeff at Original Pancake House in Los Altos. Q ordered for us her and Daniel's favorites: the 49'er flapjacks, Dutch baby, potato pancakes, and Jerry added a Denver omelette. Tasty they were! The 49'er flapjacks were really big and thin, a little chewier than regular hotcakes, but perfect because they were so thin. The Dutch baby had a souffle texture to it and was dressed with powdered sugar and lemon juice. The potato pancakes tasted like a nice combination of the hash browns that came with Jerry's omelette and the 49'er flapjacks. Very interesting with sour cream and apple sauce as the topping. Tasty they all were! And definitely more than enough for five people. Asides from getting together with J&J, the breakfast was also to introduce Jeff to them, since Jeff just moved to the area and also happens to work at the same company as Jerry.

Didn't we do a good job of clearing the plates?

from yelp
420 S San Antonio Rd
Los Altos, CA 94022
650 559 9197

Lunch with 周媽媽 was in 90 minutes, so we went for a walk down Main Street in Los Altos. Though chilly, the crisp, cold air was refreshing.

We used to live somewhere in those hills in the background.

I used to take Lucky and Miffy down there once in a while, and we would share ice cream from Baskin Robbins (this was before the whole frozen yogurt craze took over) on a bench on the sidewalk. Lovely memories I have. On the way back to the car, there was a doggie training class in session, and it was so much fun to watch. The girls and I used to go to those classes too.

More pictures here.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Dinner with Quyen & Jennifer

At Osteria!

Same menu, same two chefs, same head busboy for the past 23 years.

It has been our family's favorite Italian restaurant since we moved to Los Altos Hills more than 15 years ago. I like to flirt with the big Italian guys there (since they flirt with me), so they're kind of nice to me, but beware, I hear they're famous for great food and lousy service. Lights are really low there, like the rest of downtown Palo Alto, it seems. Very romantic. No wonder Mom and Dad used to sneak off together to have dinner there. How do I know? Because one time us kids were there with our own friends and we ran into them!

From yelp
247 Hamilton Ave
Palo Alto, CA 94301
650 328 5700
There's parking beneath City Hall diagonally across the street.

Afterwards, Jennifer treated us to Fraise frozen yogurt. I had pomegranate, dried figs and mochi as toppings. Can you see the pomegranate in my teeth? Haha...

More pictures here.