Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Cover Story, Vacation Time

My first cover story is online now. Tomorrow morning I leave for a whole week in South Korea. First cover story, followed by first solo journey in a foreign country where I don't speak the language.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Burfday Gal

Better late than never, here are some pictures from my day:

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Northwest Moment

Mid-Autumn Festival was this week. There must be something to the Chinese lunar calendar, because within the space of two days I went from arriving at work with sweat dripping down my elbows after a one-mile walk, to wearing my Mongolian boots and a jacket. It's not cold now by any means, but it is wonderfully, comfortably cool.

My friend Jess just moved in with the Chef and I. We met on the internet, through couchsurfer, and exchanged novella-style emails while I was still home on the Oregon Coast, plotting my next move. I lived with her my first week in Shanghai and we've been BFFs ever since. That is until she moved to Africa for three months.

But now she's back and she may be living with me permanently, if the Chef decides he can handle two loud, pastey-skinned broads from the Northwest. Jess is from Seattle. 

And while she was in Africa, she scored some Kilimanjaro coffee! So this morning I woke up around 8 am - Jess was off to Chinese classes already - and it was all rainy outside, but our living room smelled like a fresh brew, and she'd left some for me in the kitchen!

Cool Rainy morning + Coffee. I enjoyed a very Northwest moment.  So glad Jess brought a coffee pot when she moved in.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Only in Dreams

The October cover story consumed me this month. I peek over at the right-hand sidebar this morning and saw I'd only blogged a measly five posts thus far this month, and the month is almost over. I was so good last month ... a post every other day!

It's Saturday today, but I'm working because we got Wed-Fri off for Mid-Autumn Festival. During my three-day holiday I had a dream that our censors killed the beautiful cover image for my story and so we replaced it with a photo of my Australian boss playing in the street with a bunch of Chinese kids. After that I spent the rest of my dream/nightmare trying to justify to myself why the image wasn't so bad.


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Poor Molly

A year ago Seattle Weekly cartoonist Molly Norris conceived "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day," to protest radical Islamists stifling freedom of speech.

A year later neither her government nor her profession will stand up for her.

The FBI told her she had to go into hiding or they couldn't protect her from death threats. So she lost her identity. She's gone.

I have strong feelings about freedom of speech, but I got into journalism because I like to write, not because of some sense of nobility. But I definitely got an earful on the latter in school and in the work place.

So why aren't the American Society of News Editors and the Society for Professional Journalists standing up for Molly? The Washington Examiner said it best:

Freedom of speech and press are in deep trouble when the American government thinks the best it can do to protect a journalist from death threats is to counsel her to go into hiding, and when the elite voices of American journalism can't be bothered to say anything in her defense.

Shame on those professional organizations who pride themselves on upholding free speech for not defending her.

How is it more newsworthy when any douche bag with a pulpit decides to burn a Quran, than when a woman loses her identity for the mere suggestion of drawing a religious figure?

I don't understand, but I'm disgusted.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Busy, Busy

James got here Wednesday. It is now 6pm Monday evening and we have yet to spend an entire day together. He arrived during the busiest week of the month for the magazine.

I worked through the weekend: Sunday I had to work because the government changed the week around so we could all have a three-day break for Mid-Autumn Festival. I guess it's too much to just give the people a three-day holiday. Saturday I worked a half-day because I had to be present at the photo shoot for the cover story, but that was fun. And every time I say/write it, I feel a little bit glamorous, I have to admit.

I worked through the weekend before last from home, writing my tail off. So basically I haven't had a full day off in ... a long time.

But having James around again is pretty much awesome. As I type, he's in the midst of the first of three job interviews he has this week. Fingers crossed on that.

After 9 months apart, a brief conversation:

Me: "I missed you so much."

Him: "Did you know the skin on your elbow is called a wenis?"

Same as it ever was...

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Here comes my man

AC551 Los Angeles, Los Angeles Int'l (LAX) Vancouver, Vancouver Int'l (YVR)
Tue 14-Sep 2010 --------------------------------Tue 14-Sep 2010
07:00 - Terminal 2 -----------------------------09:44 - Terminal M

AC025 Vancouver, Vancouver Int'l (YVR) Shanghai, Pu Dong (PVG)
Tue 14-Sep 2010 -----------------------------Wed 15-Sep 2010
11:05 - Terminal M --------------------------14:15 - Terminal 2

Friday, September 3, 2010


Today, I am 24. 

And thus I can no longer quote Coolio's lyrics from Gangster's Paradise ("i'm twenty-three now but will i live to see twenty-four, the way things is going, i dunno") as if they were applicable.

Also, 24 is definitely "mid-twenties" as opposed to "early twenties." I suppose I'm okay with that. My boss keeps calling me a "mere slip of a girl." Aussies.

I think I'm going to go get some pancakes soon. And then I'm going to do a bit of work on my cover story. And then I'm going to try and trick a hotel in Seoul into letting me stay for free when I head that way in October.

Tonight, I'm celebrating at Chef Mike's restaurant. "No I won't make you a cake shaped like Yoda." "No I won't make you a cake with Bill the vampire on it." That's all I heard from that guy this week. He did bring home a delicious carrot cake after work this week though, so I can't be too put out when he denies my outrageous requests.

23 was a good year. It went fast though, I was moving around so much. I spent most of it in Asia. I taught some English, I took a huge backpacking trip. I got a writing job. My Chinese is coming along, I'm learning to write. 

Seems like forward progress. 

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Typhoon Season No. 3

I moved to Taiwan in September 2008 - that was my first typhoon season. Then in 2009 I was in Taipei for Morakot, which caused major damage and killed hundreds in Southern Taiwan. Now it's upon us again.

They closed school today in Shanghai for Typhoon Kompasu (adults still had to go to work). Lightening is crackling outside and water is streaming down the sides of my building, but Shanghai doesn't really get hit hard by typhoons, they have it much worse farther south.

I'm still astounded by the loss of life the weather regularly causes in this part of the world. People who lives in places with poor infrastructure have it the worst.

Here's hoping for the best this year, and for the safety of everyone who lives in the path of what's brewing in the South China Sea.