Thursday, 29 April 2010

Orchids to soothe your soul

Orchids from my balcony to brighten your day.

The freeway landslide disaster - I was sent yesterday to wait at the funeral home for the body of a man dug out of the mud and rubble. The undertaker told us that he was found fused to his girlfriend, and that his body was severely mangled, ripped into half at the waist. Other reports said he was torn into four pieces. His family identified the body by the watch he was wearing. He was 30 years old. My assignment yesterday was to


I'm still trying to recover from the exhaustion. I had it real easy, compared to my colleagues. Some of them were assigned to do live shots, and were out there for more than 24 hours at a time. When the first body was found, a reporter from TVBS almost fell apart during the live shot. She was exhausted and falling apart emotionally. Her voice was quivering, obviously on the edge of breaking into tears. She was into her 26th hour on the scene. As a reporter, I was desperate to be on the scene, but I was kept in Taipei the whole to take care of other news. Though disappointed at first, I think I am also lucky I don't have to deal with the PTSD that always comes after disaster reporting.

I remember last August while writing scripts to footage that came back via satellite from the scene of typhoon Morakot, I was depressed for quite a while. That was even without going out into the mud, seeing/smelling rotting bodies and feeling the pain of the wailing family members who had survived and wishing instead it was them that died. Viewers can just turn off the TV, but reporters don't have that luxury. Perils of the job. Trauma, stress, fatigue.

Really, really looking forward to starting my travel features again.

Thursday, 22 April 2010

I don't know what these flowers on Mama's balcony are called, but I think they're asking to be made into a painting or a print.

Strange how the color isn't as vivid here on blogger, compared to the original.

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Energizer bunny food - 飯團 rice ball もち米おにぎり

This is what they must feed the Energizer bunny.

When I know the time that I'll be able to take my next meal is more than seven or eight hours later (which is often the case, especially when I anchor), this is what I eat - fantuan (飯團) - rice ball made with chewy, glutinous rice, wrapped around fried bread, scrambled egg with spring onions, shredded dried pork, crunchy stir-fried turnip. Yuuum. Glutinous rice takes a long time to digest, so it continuously gives me energy and I don't get hungry or tired, unless I eat too much of it.

Fantuan is typically eaten during breakfast here, but you can still get it at some 24-hour breakfast shops. I got this at the breakfast shop behind FTV, and the lady was especially generous yesterday. Her rice balls are usually really big to begin with, but she made a gigantic one for me this time. I wasn't quite sure how to eat it, but I managed to finish it and had a hard time staying awake afterwards...

I love fantuan. It's one of my favorite foods.

Dr Dad

Well, soon-to-be Dr Dad. But first, he'll be Associate Professor Dad, starting next month.

How do you like his hat? I got it for him in Kyoto. But it's actually from Italy.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

KGB veggie burger

In between Italian herbs infused buns, there are tomato, grilled king oyster mushroom, grilled eggplant, grilled red & yellow peppers, lettuce, onions and special mayo or yogurt dressing in this Vegetarian Tower burger. Where's the meat? There is none! That's the best part! One of the tastiest burgers I've ever had before. We also introduced another burger with beef in it. My cameraman ate that one and he said it was really good. I suggest you go during off-peak hours, otherwise you'll be waiting quite a long time and won't be able to hear yourself think, much less your friend speak.

Good burgers, Matt and Antoni!



KGB (Kiwi Gourmet Burgers)
#5, Lane 114, Shida Road
Taipei, Taiwan
tel +886 2 2363 6015

Ugly picture, tasty burger.

Saturday, 10 April 2010

Miffy's block party Miffy轟趴

Went to visit Miffy after work today. Lucky for us, the cemetery had a special Buddhist ceremony earlier in the day, and the doors to all the lockers were opened, so everyone could take part. It looked like they were having a block party! The more I look at the pictures now, the funnier I think its. I brought Miffy custard-filled bread, which she loved, and left her an o-mamori I had been carrying around with me in my purse. So lucky we went today, instead of any old day. It could have been much more painful. I almost cried, but manage to stay composed. I told myself that Miffy's in my heart, and in heaven, doing o-benkyo. Today is Day 10 of o-benkyo. Study hard, Sweetie Pie.



Miffy 加油

This was the first time I've been to a pet cemetery, and the scariest thing about it was probably the slope that led up to the place. Or maybe the German Shepherds chained nearby. It was not a traumatic experience. Thank god.


Friday, 9 April 2010

Miffy at a cafe

Looks like tomorrow's going to be a great day to hang out on a sidewalk cafe with the poochies! Too bad I'm working. I'll be anchoring at 7h00, 11h00 and 14h00. But after work, Ann and I are going to visit Miffy with cookies and ice-cream.

Here she is wearing Mom's visor and successfully convincing Dad to share his cake about four years ago. Today is Day 8 of obenkyo for Miffy.

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Plaaaaay with me

Oreo says, "plaaaaaay with me."
Miffy says, "leave me aloooooone. Obaachan is tiiiiiired."

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Oreo loves Miffy

The bed was even too small for Miffy, but Oreo just had to squeeze with her. Oreo said, "It's OK. I don't mind being half off the bed, or my face pressed against the massage chair, as long as I can be with Miffy~" Oreo loved Miffy so much.

It's day 6 of obenkyo for Miffy.


Finally, a day off! Was looking forward to sketching class and dinner with a schoolmate that I haven't seen since the 6th grade, but instead, I'm spending the day in my PJ, bathrobe and scarf at home. I'm sick at home with a throat so sore I think I'm losing my voice. :(

The good news is, the weather outside is terrible and I have a great collection of jazz music and some nice herbal tea.

Plus, I got some new gadgets to keep me busy when I'm not in bed - a really nice looking stand for my laptop and a wireless keyboard so I don't have to slouch anymore when I'm working on the computer. And I got Worldcard, which scans and reads business cards in just about any language. It's not perfect, but I'm quite satisfied with it, so far.

Monday, 5 April 2010

Miffy and Oreo

Oreo thought Miffy was her mama when she first came. Miffy was the only black dog and of the perfect size. King's a boy, Lucky's too small. At first, Miffy would try to get away because Oreo was looking for milk, but when Oreo realized there wasn't any here and gave up, Miffy allowed Oreo to follow her around. Oreo had to be physically attached to Miffy in order to feel safe, whether it was her back, her chin, one of her toes...just some part had to be touching Miffy. Miffy was so patient and so nice.

It's the end of day 4 of obenkyo for Miffy. I wonder how she is doing. I bet she can't sit still. Ann says they probably shouldn't try to teach her "resist overeating," for she may not pass that one...

Miffy, I'll miss you

Guanshiyin Pusa (Buddhist Goddess of Mercy) got a new black Lab - our black Lab.

Our beloved Miffy-chan passed away Friday. She was 15 years, 2 months and 2 days old. Towards the end, she was suffering from bad eyes, bad ears, bad teeth, bad gums, bad back, bad hips and a bad stomach. She was really an obaa-chan (grandma). Ultimately, it was the cancerous tumor in her small intestines that put an end to all the pain.

Now she is pain-free, fat-free (dogs in heaven don't get fat) and romping around free. I'm happy for her. But now she has to go to doggie school for 49 days before she can be completely let back into heaven. I call it o-benkyo (study). I've written in her study schedule on my calendar. Her graduation date is 20 May.

Her diploma will be a ticket to come back here. But it's her choice where she wants to go - back to us, to someone else who could really use her love, or to stay in heaven and watch over us while enjoying the bottomless bowls of carob-dipped cookies and prime beef jerky.

I will miss her mischievousness, her sweetness, her gentleness.

I will remember how she used to jump on my bed as soon as the lights went off (because she knew Mom wouldn't come back into the room, have a cow and shoo her off the bed).

I will remember how she used to bring back half-dead animals (I think she was trying to say, "look look, I saved it!" when actually she probably accidentally just about killed it).

I will remember the times we drove in the Jeep to the Baskin Robbins in downtown Los Altos to share ice cream on the wooden sidewalk bench.

I will remember our nice, long hikes in Los Altos Hills.

I will remember how she used to chase after deer and refuse to come home until she'd had her fun.

I will remember how she used to help me finish the meat on my dinner plate when Mom wasn't looking.

I will remember how she tried to chew the house apart (including the really expensive furniture and all of our shoes) when she was teething, and I had to coat everything in sight with Bitter Apple.

I will remember how I used to drive her around in my two-door ///M3, how she was the coolest dog on the road...and how the leather got scratched up...

I will remember how she looooooved her peanut-butter stuffed Kong and just couldn't be disturbed until she got all of it out.

I will remember how she was Lucky's trusty henchman. Lucky would bark and Miffy would come charging down the hill and scare the living daylights out of people and their dogs when they were just walking by.

I will remember how we used to sit by the swimming pool eating watermelon, and when we weren't looking, she'd bite off a chunk of the watermelon that was in our hands and then pretend nothing happened.

I will remember how she let us pile heaps and heaps of sand on her until only her head stuck out at the Santa Cruz beach. She didn't move an inch or whine one time!

I will remember how patient and generous she was with Oreo when Oreo was just a puppy and needed a Mama figure to follow around, to sleep next to, to be attached to.

I will remember how she knew to sit down or to lay down when children were around and let them pet her.

I will remember how when I came back during breaks in college, she welcomed me home by jumping up and down really high with all four feet in the air.

I will remember how she came to me, leaned the side of her body on my legs when I said, "Miffy, give me a hug."

I will remember how she followed me around everywhere all the time, even if it's just to go to the bathroom attached to my room in the middle of the night.

I will remember how she was very stingy with her kisses, but would lick my face when people made me cry.


Miffy, thank you for sharing your life with us. Thank you for 15 years' worth of great times and a lifetime's worth of wonderful memories. Here's a picture of you in Los Altos Hills when you were about three. You closed your eyes and stuck out your tongue at me. You silly dog. I'll miss you. *BIG KISS*