Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Diet for the body, and the mind

A dear friend told me that the weight to be aesthetically ideal is height in cm minus 110. That would put my "perfect" weight at 40 kg. So now you know how tall I really am out of my heels. Somehow I don't think I could ever be 40 kg, or look good at 40 kg, but I certainly should shed some weight. I'll make my goal 45 kg, for now. Sounds a bit on the thin side. Hm. But then again, I don't have a working bath scale (and I don't intend to buy another), so I'll just go 'til I think I'm healthily thin "enough."

As for the mind, I need to cut out some of the craziness going on inside my head. My mind is coming apart a little bit these days and I'd like to get it back together. So I'm going to go on a diet for the mind, too. I've always been interested in studying more Buddhist concepts, like detachment. I want to learn more about detachment and how to find a balance. Going completely mystic is not what I have in mind. I've read only one article on the Internet about detachment, and it says detachment comes after you achieve enlightenment. Is that right? Does anyone else know? Amida, I know you know something! Please share!

Please bear with me if I act a little looney or unusually quiet in the real world until I sort out my brain :)

Saturday, 22 August 2009

Massive headache

I tried throwing out my mind, as Tim suggested, but got a big ol' headache instead.

I got up at 8 this morning so I can get back on the regular schedule (which starts tomorrow), had breakfast, did some work on the the flowers in the balcony and went to the flower market. I was so nauseous I almost vomited. Bad sign. No appetite 'til evening.

After some more work on the balcony, I napped before Sam's farewell dinner. Headache still.

Probably working myself to death again.

Just hope that I'm not getting sick again.

Friday, 21 August 2009

What makes you happy?

What makes you happy?

I read about this Marilyn vos Savant, who has the highest recorded IQ (228) in the world, in the Financial Times and loved what she said.

"I live for wisdom and beauty, which make me happy. In my own experience, wisdom comes from finding truth and understanding it. Beauty comes from people, in a great variety of ways: love, music, art and much more."

I really like that, and I find it similar to what drives me. I would say for me, the search for wisdom and beauty makes me happy, and to share that happiness with other people makes me even happier.

So tell me, what makes you happy? Double Rainbow's blueberry or lychee flavored ice-cream? (Yes, those make me happy too.)

Aging beautifully

Reminds me of Audrey Hepburn. I'd love to be like them if I ever make it to old age.

(from garace dore)

Thursday, 20 August 2009

TED.com: Benjamin Zander on music and passion

One of my favorite talks. Funny and inspiring, and musical!

Remedies for a bad day, #1

One day, I'd like to write a book, or maybe two or three. I love to write, but mostly I babble. I can write news stories, but not much else. I'm going to learn how to write...other things...somehow.

Mom gave me the idea of writing a book that helps people out of their lousy days and bad moods, since I seem adept at getting myself out of emotional ugliness. Amy suggested a title along the lines of "100個治療壞心情的處方" (roughly translates into "100 prescriptions to cure a bad day").

Two days ago, I found the first prescription.

#1. Go home and look at the flower on the balcony. Look at them and touch them until they make you smile. The flowers are smiling at you already. Just remember to smile back.

With my two Momzillas on the rampage and the night shift eating away at morale, I've been a little down. Every night when I get home, I water some of the plants again because it's been so hot, and I noticed that this week especially, I've been spending more time looking at those lovely things I've been growing. Only the Madagascar periwinkles have flowers right now, but seeing how the hydrangeas are starting to grow buds that will bloom next year, how the Cattelya orchids are growing new roots, the Phalaenopsis orchids and kumquat tree are healthily shooting out new leaves and the African magical berry trees that I've planted from a seed are actually growing, it's just so comforting. So comforting that I always end up smiling.

One remedy down, 99 more to go.

Monday, 17 August 2009

The end isn't really the end, or is it?

Having said that the end is only a point in time, what about the point or everything else that comes after it? I think I will believe that what comes after what we call the "end" is a "beginning."

The last scene in the movie "送りびと/送行者/Departures," the man takes the stone from his dead father's hands in front of him to his wife, pregnant with his child, behind him, depicting one life ending and another one just beginning in a flowing continuity.

Come to think of it, Joanne's death sparked the beginning of a relationship - one with myself. I began to talk to myself (everyone knows I'm crazy) when no one is listening. I started getting to know myself better - what to do with myself, how to teach myself to think in spiritual terms. If only I had thought of it this way then, maybe the mourning process that nearly killed me would have been easier. If only.

So I guess the end isn't really the end. Being able to look forward to a new beginning is nice. But I must remember to treasure the present before the end, and before I look forward to the new beginning.

Who said that babbling at four in the morning is not healthy? Well, maybe my liver does. I guess a healthy mind does still needs a healthy liver, so off to bed I go.

Here is the trailer for the movie I mentioned above. One of my favorites.

The end of everything...is just the end

With typhoon Morakot having taken so many lives, or put in another way, taken so many lives away from the rest of us who are still living, I've started to think again about the end of things in general.

Lives end, lucky streaks end, bad luck ends, relationships end. All things good and bad come to an end.

Sometimes relationships between people, family, friends end because of death from natural causes, from sickness or from accidents. Sometimes relationships can end because of losing touch and sometimes they end because of antagonistic situations, like a fight or misunderstanding. I've lost a friend (who is still alive, I think) who was one of my best friends in high school, and I don't even know what happened. She won't email anymore. Hasn't for two for three years now, which is two or three lifetimes in email years. I'm guessing she terminated the friendship, probably with a click of the delete button.

Watching the emotional pain of the typhoon victims filmed by news crews brought back feelings of when I lost a good friend to a car accident during college. Being dead just seemed so much easier than having to deal with what went on inside of myself.

After Joanne died, I slowly started learning that people die, people leave, people cut themselves off from us - relationships in the physical world just seem to all end at one point or another. So if the end is all the same and inevitable, therefore the process is what matters? These days that's what I believe. Mourning and sadness is sure inevitable, but what's left over is an abundance of memories. My brain tends to tends to automatically dump bad memories a short while after it comes in, so what I'm left with are happy memories. So I celebrate those memories. I celebrate the life before the death. Life is a process, death is just a point in time. So the end of everything is just the end. But the process of life, of friendship, of romantic love, of being someone's family, of creating a family is the fantastic everything else. I feel that if I can remember to celebrate that fantastic everything else, I think I'll be OK. I think that's how I've been OK.

So in the event that a life or relationship comes to an end, I shall celebrate and celebrate and celebrate what happened before the to my end. If I don't get killed while reporting or by a freak accident and I am dying in bed of sickness or old age, I will have a ton to celebrate - so much to celebrate that I will be happy to die.

How do I mourn a loss? Creatively. I make things up about life after death. No one knows what's after death, therefore it's open to interpretation and imagination, and no one can tell me that I'm wrong. Reincarnating, going to heaven or hell, becoming a god, returning to the universe as energy? All of the above! This is why I don't go to church, temples or mosques - I'll either get tossed out, kicked out, or I'll have to sneak out. Then I'll be banished forever and sent to hell for heresy. I am religious, just not in the conventional way.

Friday, 14 August 2009

Morakot disaster - よーし頑張るぞ!

Hundreds dead, hundreds missing and millions without homes.

Almost all my coworkers who have been sent to report from the disaster areas still have not come back yet, or have had a break since last week when they first arrived. Each day they face homeless victims of the flooding and mudslides, some sick, some heart broken, some whose heart have been torn to pieces like their family was by Morakot. My colleagues every day see dead bodies, stray body parts, have to wade through disease infested water and slug through mud and have no choice but to wear the same three sets of clothing they brought with them, which they've been washing by hand in their cheap hotel room every night. One coworker wrote from Taitung, "When we arrived at the scene, the local there said "the previous TV reporter that got here first told us not to talk to you guys because we already talked to them.'" A colleague from Gala TV wrote, "Are these government officials here for disaster relief, or are they here to take publicity photos? What is the matter with them?" Then on TV we all see President Ma Ying-jeou first blaming the Central Weather Bureau for underestimating rainfall (why, I never knew he was a meteorological expert, and why doesn't he leave the experts do what they do, from forecasting the weather to investigating whether and how much the forecasters were at fault), then refusing aid from the US when first offered days ago (how many more people had to suffer from starvation, sickness, lack of shelter and even death during this time?) then finally deciding to appeal for international aid days later, again blaming victims for not evacuating themselves, and then promising a man a bulldozer to dig out his father from underneath the mud then not keeping that promise... A friend at the CDC said, "Ma should have left the experts to do their job, and as for himself, instead of blaming everyone else, just reach out and comfort his people." All such dreary news. All such depressing news.

However, this disaster has also brought out the best in the community. People have donated billions of TWD, food, supplies and clothes. Students, expats, ordinary citizens have all made their way down there to help with disaster relief. Entertainers Taiwanese and foreign have flown in to help raise funds. The international community overseas is also helping raise money as well. I'm really touched to see how much compassion people have and how generous they are with their money and time.

I had felt so useless in Taipei, not being on the front line and also felt so guilty on my two off days (which I was really dying for) this week. But there still needs a skeleton crew up here to hold down the fort. Most of the footage gathered in the south are being transmitted via SNG vans back to the station in Taipei, and we write their stories for them. And now that I'm somewhat recharged (70%, which is not bad), I think I'm good to go again. I cancelled the next 3 off days and will be going back on the night shift for a team member that is still in Taitung. So after my morning of anchoring, starting at 6h00 tomorrow, I'll be working nights again. I've got my vitamins and supplements and I'm ready to go. It feels good to contribute more than I have to. It feels good to be part of a team.

It also feels good going to bed feeling this way :)

See you on TV at 6h00, 8h00. 9h00 and 11h00 on Channel 53 tomorrow!

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Rainy day, hanga day

Still adjusting.

Gina day

Spent the day with Gina yesterday. We went to get her a hair cut (after finishing Harvard Business School and a Boston-LA trip on a Vespa, she really needed one) and a perm, then to the train station to buy tickets, then to an early dinner of warm fish salad and chanterelle penne at Nonzero.

The hair stylist is the one I always go to in Taipei, and whose name cards I always carry in my purse to give to random people on the street when they come to me asking where I get my hair cut. She was recommended to me by my stylist Yamaguchi-sensei (whom my godmother introduced me to) in Tokyo.

Happy Hair 快樂髮型 (not the coolest name, I know)
#2 Ms Su 蘇金雀老師
+886 2 2712 7146
(she's off Sundays)
Price (for my haircut): TWD850 or so

Boms ボムズ
+81 3 3462 6245
恵比寿西 2-21-1 ジョワレ代官山 1F (最寄り駅は代官山です)
He is absolutely amazing. I just sit there and let him work his magic. When I come back to Taiwan, I ask 蘇老師 do cut it the same way 山口先生 cut it.
Price (for my haircut): JPY15.000

As an added bonus, this is where I get my facials, since that's the other question people ask me all the time:
Enny's 忠孝店
Ask for Sherry 黃老師
+886 2 2772 0338
please call for address, closest MRT station is Sun Yat-sen Memorial 國父紀念館
My treatments average out to be TWD1000 a session, and I go once a month.

Is August over yet?

Worst flooding in 50 years in Taiwan.
Typhoons and earthquakes also hitting Japan.
Friend's baby sick with Kawasaki disease.
Fatigued like there's no tomorrow.

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Out of juice

Acute gastroenteritis, 12 days of work, 7 of them on the night shift, one day of rest in between. I'm ready to fall over any second now. Just need to make it through tomorrow, unless they decide to send me to the flood disaster scene. Not likely. I really want to go - that's where the front line is and where I should be as a reporter. Sigh. We'll see. You never know.

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Dad's birthday

Dad had his birthday late June, and on a Friday night after work, Michael and I made our way back to Danshui, barely awake/alive to celebrate. Dad said, "How nice of you guys to come home, and with presents too. Thanks! But you guys watch it. If you don't come back more often, Mom and I are going to take turns having birthdays every two weeks and force you guys to come home and celebrate, WITH PRESENTS." Hee hee.

Mom made her famous beef steak (but salmon for me, which I couldn't even finish half of).

Michael: (who took the rest of my fish back with him)

And me, with the cute pearl bracelet and earrings from Quyen and Daniel:

And us having fun with the night shot function on my camera:

The wanchan's supervising Mom in the kitchen, in front of a fan. Miffy was on the other side.

Saturday, 1 August 2009

I love 茶葉蛋 tea eggs

Still recouping, though on the night shift. My liver isn't liking it, but oh well. Still don't have an appetite, but I eat so I can take medicine. Trouble is, I'm only eating a little, and it's not enough energy to keep me going at work. Ah, but I'm trying. Before the bedtime dose tonight, I went to the convenience store downstairs from FTV and bought a tea egg. My, are these great inventions. I love egg, I love tea, and put them together, I have lots of love in my stomach!

Photos from google images :)

Here are recipes of how to make them, in Japanese, Chinese and English