Monday, February 28, 2011

Tangled Dreams

{In which Disney's Tangled inspires me to dream — one of my favorite posts}
No work today because it's 2/28, so I got to hang out with Dawson and the newlyweds. Brandon and Phoebe wore matching shirts that said "I love my husband" and "I love my wife" in Chinese — so cute!

But yeah, craziest weekend ever!! So exhausted. But I'm sure you're all eager for the photos. Let's see... I took more than 2.7k photos over the past three days. That's not even including the 350+ I took at the company dinner on Friday. Needless to say, it will be quite a while before I finish sorting all the photos so you guys don't have to wade through thousands of terrible shots. Blog posts may be less regular (and more rushed) while I'm working on photos, so thanks in advance for your patience! 


Friday, February 25, 2011

How to Solve All Your Fashion Problems

{In which I have a silly conversation with Brian}

As many of you know, Brandon and Phoebe are getting married in Taiwan this weekend. I'm so excited for them and am incredibly honored that I get to be there for their big day! :D :D :D

And then of course I started worrying about WHAT IN THE WORLD AM I GOING TO WEAR?! It was quite a quandary.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Boiling Crab

{In which Michelle, Kit, and I eat seafood-in-a-bag}

I was supposed to upload these pictures a while ago, but somehow never got around to it... so now it's a blog post! These photos are from dinner with my high school friends Kit and Michelle at The Boiling Crab (before my mom dragged me off to meet her friend's nephew). The Boiling Crab is a pretty interesting restaurant — basically seafood in a bag. It was my first time, but my friends had been there before and said that there was usually a long line. Fortunately, we arrived early enough not to have to wait at all.

Yay for plastic bibs! Eating seafood from a bag is quite a messy undertaking...

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Diane, Summer 2008

I took this photo of Diane in the summer of 2008 in Taiwan at 野柳 (Yehliu) with my Canon SD800 (thanks Uncle Eric!). 

Since my mom loves national parks and scenic landscapes, our family vacations tend to involve a lot of roadtrips to the middle of nowhere (because those types of places have the best scenery). My sister and I were not big fans of those vacations, but we learned to enjoy those trips more once we decided to treat them as photoshoot opportunities. Whenever we stopped at a scenic location, I'd point at a spot and my sister would obligingly begin modeling for me. It helps that she's pretty and doesn't need too much direction from me, although she says I should tell her what to do more often.

So yes, I have a lot of photos of Diane with beautiful landscapes as backdrop. I'll be sharing more of them on my blog. Can't wait until I can hang out with my sister again and take more photos!

with love,

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Knights Without Knives

{In which there is a mini Team K reunion in Taipei}

I found out last night that Daniel Hsu, E-camp mentor and NTHU FHL fellowship president, was in a motorcycle accident last week. He wasn't wearing a helmet; his injuries include internal bleeding and subdural hematoma (hemorrhage in the skull). He underwent brain surgery last Friday, and the doctors are keeping him under sedation in ICU. Please pray for him!!

As promised, here are the photos from last Sunday (2/13), when I had dinner with the Team K. Over summer, I participated in E-camp at NTHU, a leadership and English-learning camp for incoming freshmen. I Our team's name was Knights Without Knives (aka Team K, before we came up with the name) and — to be completely objective and honest — our team was the BEST TEAM EVER. I mean, we placed or tied for first in every competition, from camp-wide contests such as the scavenger hunt, tower building, and superlatives game, to the mini-games we had in our classroom (er, not to brag or anything. 'Tis the truth).

But the important thing is that we all enjoyed hanging out together and bonded as a team. Those two weeks were certainly very memorable ones for me. We had way too much fun, what with playing Killer (the card game) all the time, the group nap at Mr. Donut, watching the meteor shower, our long talks... and they are so sweet! I was incredibly touched by the presents and cards they surprised Dennis and me with on the last night of the camp. I'm glad that we can still keep in touch, and that they still hang out together. Sadly, not everyone was able to make the gathering — we missed you, Aaron, Anna, Janet, and Joe! — but I'm really grateful for the chance to catch up with everyone who was there. Dennis was visiting from China, Jerry and Michael came to Taipei from Taichung and Taoyuan (respectively), and Sandy, William, and Willie live in Taipei. It was also good to see Alex and Irene again (they weren't in Team K but hang out with my students a lot).

Monday, February 21, 2011

7 Things I Learned About Photography and Writing by Creating Last Week's Blog Posts

{In which I actually write a scannable, informative post with a number in the title}

Happy Presidents' day to all of you in the States! Unfortunately for me, I had to go to work today, but I hope you enjoy your day off.

Processing and posting all those photos last week was great, but so exhausting! I didn't even finish and I already have another mountain of photographs to go through. I was pretty sleep-deprived last week on account of those posts (though I admit that laundry and cleaning were the culprits for one of those nights).

Friday, February 18, 2011


{In which 偉哲 continues to be ridiculously photogenic}

After the Gauguin exhibit, I had dinner at 西門町 (Ximending) with 偉哲 at the Pasta Bar. It was a cute place — I adored the salt and pepper shakers! (Don't you love how the photos turned out?) The table is tiny, but it felt intimate rather than cramped. "It's small but — how do you say 精緻 in English? —- exquisite," 偉哲 commented. I was impressed; I would not have been able to translate the same word from English to Chinese so effortlessly.

Last Saturday was amazing, and I'm glad I have these photos to remember it by. Thank you, 偉哲, for an exquisite evening. :)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

A Date with Gauguin

(In which 偉哲 and I have an awesome time at the Taipei Fine Arts Museum and 西門町}

{Preamble, feel free to skip}

Happy 元宵節 (Yuanxiao Jie, aka Lantern Festival)! It's the last day of the Chinese New Year holiday, and it is traditional to eat 湯圓 (tangyuan, glutinous rice balls) on this day. My coworkers invited me to eat some with them, and both the sweet ones and the savory ones were delicious!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

First Working Day of the Lunar New Year

{In which the pyromaniac in me is happy}

The sixth day of the lunar new year is when everyone returns to work, and in order to invite good luck for the new year, many businesses in Taiwan will offer food, drink, incense, and paper money to the gods. I noticed many tables of food on my way to work, and then got to experience a new part of Taiwanese culture at work for myself. Many of the foods on the table have special meaning based on puns in Chinese. Others are there because someone likes to eat them. I had fun taking lots of photos while my coworkers bowed with incense and burned paper money. The fires were fascinating.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Roaming Taipei with Jack and Patrick

{In which we take photos all over Taipei}

February is shaping up to be a super packed month for me, what with New Years festivities, NTHU friends on winter break, and Brandon and Phoebe's wedding in two weeks (!!). I have tons and tons of photos and am slowly sorting/processing them, and wow it's a lot more time-consuming than I expected. Most of my posts in the near future will be photo diaries. But yeah, lots of exciting adventures! :D

Last Monday was my last day of break before returning to work, so Patrick came up from Taichung and hung out with Jack and me for a whole day. Our first stop was Jack's house, where Jack taught Patrick to fly a plane with the flight simulator while I napped or photographed stuff in Jack's room. Afterward, we went to 碧潭 (Bitan) for a stroll and for lunch before going to 美麗華 (Miramar) to ride the ferris wheel. After that, we snapped some photos of the 花博 (Flora Expo) entrance on our way to 士林夜市 (Shilin Night Market) for dinner and shopping. (It was super crowded there.) It was an awesome day of hanging out and running all over Taipei! Thanks for being great company, Jack and Patrick. :)

(I'm playing around with post-processing so that's why some of the photos look funky... I'm just starting out so I'm not great at it but I have lots of fun experimenting!)

Friday, February 11, 2011

Why You Should Write Poetry When You're Bored

{In which you get to read poetry I wrote in high school}

One day as a junior in high school, I got incredibly bored at school. This, unsurprisingly, happened quite often; but that day I decided to write a poem about how bored I was (yes, really).

That might have been the end of the story had my mother not found out about some sort of contest at the local library. It was two related contests, actually — one for poetry and one for art. The library was seeking submissions for their annual teenage poetry book. There were cash prizes — $75 if you won first place in either contest, and $50 and $25 if you placed second or third, respectively, in the poetry contest.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

On the Way Home

I was hoping I could manage to rush out a post with photos from this Monday's hangout with Jack and Patrick, but I need more time to sort through and edit the photos. Next week, I promise! Meanwhile, here are some photos I took on my way home from work.

I don't usually walk through this alley - that night my coworker gave me a ride back on his motorcycle (I love motorcycle rides! I laughed the whole way). I like how the golden glow of the street lamps was reflected by the wet asphalt. Though it was night, the sky wasn't black yet; the cool blue is a good contrast for the warm light.

This is the fountain at Dinho Plaza (near Zhongxiao Fuxing MRT). There's a sculpture of hands behind these little lights. I think it might be a Buddhist sculpture? I did glance at the plaque but don't really remember what it said.. I do seem to have a thing for repetition and patterns in photographs.

Yes, this is a trashcan. But I liked the lights and water droplets on the shiny surface, so I took a photo of it anyway. I think the yellow and red lights are from a bus. The sign on the side of the trashcan says that the trashcan is for pedestrians only and that there is a fine of NT$6000 if you get caught disposing of household trash. This is because you have to pay for garbage service in Taipei by buying specialized trash bags.

Can you tell from these pictures that it rains a lot in Taipei? We did have a bit of beautiful sunny weather during the New Year's break though - the first time in years, my coworkers told me. Perfect for an outing with friends. Unfortunately, the weather got dreary again pretty quickly once I had to go back to work. I suppose it's better than if it had been the other way around...

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Crab (and Michelle)

I took this photo in Fall Semester 2009 with my Canon SD800 (a gift from my uncle. Thanks, Uncle Eric!). I went to San Francisco for a crabbing trip with friends, complete with giant nets and lots of guts as bait. The tiny crabs we caught were cute, but since we couldn't keep them unless they were a certain size, we would throw them back into the ocean. If the crab was unlucky, a seagull would swoop down and carry it off before it was safely back at the bottom of the bay (poor baby crab!).

We had a delicious crab dinner after we got back to Berkeley, thanks to the people who bought crabs for us from the local grocery store. Although we didn't have an amazing haul of seafood (we caught exactly two crabs of acceptable size), I had so much fun. That was an incredible day of hanging out with Berkeley ICA. You guys are amazing!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Taiwan Film Shoot Update

{In which the filmmakers return}

[Update to Taiwan Film Shoot]

Apparently, one day in the parking lot wasn't enough to get the shots they needed. The Monday after we saw the film set outside our lab window, they were back. They might have been there over the weekend too. This time, though, they seemed to be shooting a wedding scene. I wandered by the window occasionally to keep up with their progress.

Monday, February 7, 2011


This is my cousin! Isn't she pretty? (Yes, her skin really is that good.) She's a year older than me and also lives at my grandpa's for school and studying when she's not in Taoyuan with her parents. She's currently preparing for her CPA licensing test. I took this shot on the MRT on Chinese New Year's Day en route to Danshui with her and her parents (my aunt and uncle) and Grandpa. It was super crowded when we got there, so we walked around a bit, decided the crowd was just too much, bought some food, and then went elsewhere for dinner. I was a bit disappointed that I didn't take tons of cool photos at Danshui, but I really like this one of my cousin. :)

Friday, February 4, 2011

New Year's Eve Film Shoot

{In which I make a fool out of myself as an extra at a film shoot}

A few of us from Berkeley ICA decided to meet up over winter break in SoCal, so on New Year's Eve we had our mini-reunion lunch on Abbot Kinney in Venice Beach. Christine's friend had a beach house in the area and needed extras for the web movie they were filming there, and Christine invited us to join her as an extra. So Robert, Tarn (Christine's friend from Thailand), and I tagged along and got to be movie extras for the rest of the afternoon.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Happy Chinese New Year!

{In which I talk a lot about money}

It's the year of the rabbit! Chinese New Year is basically the Asian equivalent of the Christmas/New Year holiday season. It's the hugest holiday of the year and a time for family to get together and eat a ton of food. Instead of Christmas music, there's traditional New Year's music (er, I'm not a fan of the music). Instead of seeing Santa Clause around, there are posters and balloons of the god of prosperity. Instead of Christmas lights, there are lanterns and red banners. Instead of presents for family and friends, there are red envelopes.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Taiwan Film Shoot

{In which my coworkers and I spy on a film shoot}

As soon as I arrived in lab last Friday (late, I'm afraid), Pei said, "Linda, we need your camera!" I took out my camera and gave it to her, then followed her to the windows where everyone was looking out at something below.

Ok, there's only three of them in this photo, but the other 2/3 of them are just further down, I promise.

So, what was everyone looking at?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Lanterns at SOGO

Chinese New Year (CNY) is  just around the corner, so to celebrate, the Zhongxiao SOGO decorated with lots and lots of red lanterns.

As for me, I got to go home after lunch. On break until next Tuesday! Yay! :D I'll be having dinner with my relatives from my dad's side of the family for New Year's Eve tomorrow, as it's tradition to enter the new year with family to foster togetherness. Celebrating CNY is kind of new to me — it was never a big deal to me in the States — so I'm excited that I get to learn more about it and immerse myself in Taiwanese culture. Plus who would say no to a week-long vacation? :)