Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Josephine at 3 days old

I made her laugh today!

Are you looking at me?

Burp me please.

Auntie Mei

Qu'une belle fille.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Hello World

My beautiful niece Josephine. Came into the world today at 12:46pm. 6lbs, 10oz of loveliness. Call me Auntie Mei!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Brought to you by the letters "M" and "C"

All these years I thought it was "five golden rings"... only after hearing Christmas songs for 72 hours, did I learn it's "five gold rings..." The things I learn as I get older every year. ;) Merry Christmas everyone.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Shopping and Eating

That entails a lot of what I've been doing these past two "holiday" weeks. I've been able to come up for air every once in a while. ;) There was even time for a picture! (The pastry was a tiramisu...followed by a triple-chocolate ganache and mousse menace j/k.) Hope everyone is enjoying their holiday with minimal stress.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


I'm still here. Just a bit busy at the moment. In the meantime, a little something for the season.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


A little bit of red at the Redwood Room. (I only took a tiny sip. I was enjoying a muddled mint limeade.)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Restaurant Fleurs de Mai

This restaurant in Paris's Chinatown had the same Chinese character as my name.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

La vie en rose

First day back in Paris after Africa. No sleep, turbulent plane rides, airport delays. But I'm still smiling.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Moto 1, 2, 3...

The best transportation in Africa -- great views, exhilarating. We rode on motorcycles in Rwanda to get around from village to village (and from Kigali to Nymata). We had our own moto posse, if you will. The lead driver was called Innocent. And we just referred to our bike guys as Moto 1, 2, 3, etc.
I think I ate 2 mosquitoes and a fly on this ride. :)

Friday, September 4, 2009


Palais Garnier/Opera de Paris.

I'm going out of order with my pics. Will organize and post album of Paris and Africa either on Facebook or Flickr. On a whim, I'm posting this one of me at the gorgeous Palais Garnier in's a girl's (...okay, my) dream come true to be around such beautiful architecture and musical history.

Flash blacked out background.

No flash. You can see the ornate architecture. And I'm blurry! :)

Monday, August 31, 2009

Visiting the Maasai

Taken at a "boma" in Lemong'o. I'm standing in front of a Maasai "enkaji" (house), which is made of mud, twigs and cow manure.

With some of the children from the boma. They were great.

Maasai boys herding goat and cattle.

Scene from the Maasai market in Lemong'o. The picture doesn't do the village justice. The colors at the market were vibrant and beautiful amongst this dry and arid landscape.

This man was sitting at the market sewing on this old-school machine. Pretty cool.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Grace (and Smiles) Under Fire

Taken right after a very improv live shot on first day of Gloria Fire (Thursday) with a cell phone. If you click on the photo to enlarge it, you can see the soot on my hands and arms and my tired, tired eyes. Of course, I say all of this in vain...nothing like the firefighters who are my heroes.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

More Fire Breaks...

Fire. A little bit of France. Vegas. Fire and more fire.

That pretty much sums up these past two weeks.

Currently covering back-to-back fast-moving blazes. My lips are chapped and I have a permanent smokey, fiery scent to me. The hazards of being a reporter on the fire lines: My lip balm melted and exploded in my pocket today after being in 100-degree plus weather and flames. But all of this pales in comparision to what the amazing firefighters do.

Promise to post Africa/France stories and pics soon.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Fire Break

Jambo. My blogging has taken a break because I've been covering the Lockheed fire in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Have been working 12 hour plus shifts this past week..and though I love the breaking news aspect, I am tired. Not as exhausted as the thousands of firefighters battling this blaze, but pretty exhausted. Was beginning to get over jet lag, but fire schedule set me back a few hours.

Promise to write more and post pics. Have been looking through my journal of Paris and Africa and reliving some amazing moments in my head.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Laugh May!

I am having way too much fun in this photo. Don't know why I'm laughing so hard. Jean-Claude snapped this. Who knew that this day would end up being one of the longest, tiresome, but most memorable days in Rwanda.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

My Little Friends

I bonded right away with this little bundle of joy and cuteness at the MCW center in Majengo, Tanzania. Karibu!
With some super kids in Kayensi, Rwanda. Taken by friend and MCW volunteer Jean-Claude Harabagabo on his lovely Nikon D90. Rwanda Rwiza!

Thursday, August 6, 2009


So much to write about my travels. Sipping on a hot cup of Rwandan chai -- and thinking about my lovely time here in Africa. I'm sad, though, it is an emotional trip. I tweeted throughout my trip, but it looks like Twitter wiped out all my tweets. Very upsetting. I've kept a journal, and will write about all my experiences. Pictures and posts to come. In the meantime, here are some photos from Africa. Jonathan and me at the MCW center in Majengo, Tanzania. The children here are amazing.

Me and Tete ("Tay-Tay"), our surrogate mom at our house in Nyamata. She is a wonderful cook!

Jonathan, Cesar, Me and Jean-Claude in front of our house in Nyamata, Rwanda.

Friday, July 31, 2009


TeTe ("tay-tay") is our wonderful cook/surrogate mom in Nyamata. She graces us with her smile and wonderful food. Eating red beans, rice and African fries (frites). Will post more later, will now enjoy this lovely food.

Have so much to write, and so little time.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


Sorry for the dilatory post. In Africa. Left my heart -- and sunglasses -- in Tanzania and currently in Rwanda. Internet connection is spotty, as is the cold water that we use to shower. Love Africa and have enjoyed every minute of my volunteer project, Pictures, memories and details to come soon.

Have enjoyed being among the locals in the villages. Travel should be about exploring the food and immersing yourself in the culture. Can't stand travelers who go to foreign countries and go to the bars, clubs and nightclubs. (You're bound to hang out with ex-pats, righteous NGO's workers and non-profit volunteers who think they're holier than thou.) Seriously folks, you can do that in your own hometown. Not saying all non-profit volunteers are righteous, but they're out there.

Okay, will call it a night before the cold water stops and I have to do bucket showers.

Friday, July 17, 2009


D'accord. Allo.

Je suis tres fatigue. Will post more later. Need nap(s) and then nightlife a la City of Light. Bon.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Gum Etiquette

What's worst than people cracking and smacking their gum? ... GUYS who do it. Honestly guys, that is one of the most unattractive things you can do. On the street this morning, the guy in front of me cracked and popped his gum and then turned around and looked at me. Ugh, not pretty folks.

Oh, and another thing you can do to get me running the other way: smacking your gum while at the gym.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


Why is it that I find a guy who can cook perfectly simple and delicious risotto so sexy? It's even more attractive if his job has nothing to do with food. I appreciate anyone who enjoys cooking. Seriously, if you enjoy, have patience and appreciate cooking, your food will turn out well. Risotto is one of those dishes which require patience, love and happiness. They say the quickest way to a man's heart is through his stomach...I think it also may be a detour to a girl's heart as well.

Monday, July 6, 2009

New iTunes app

I don't know how to start this without sounding like one of those spam-porn-Twitter/email posts. But here goes, check out my friend's new app on iTunes. It's called Global Eater and it's a pretty handy food reference guide for any of you out there who like to go out and be adventurous on your restaurant journeys. The app has Italian, Mexican, Thai, Japanese food glossaries, and there will be a Chinese section too.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

But Mr. Peabody...

A classic. Would love to have a Peabody...and Sherman isn't that bad.

Monday, June 29, 2009


Is it me, or have chefs been thrusted into the "sex symbol" status as of late? Cooking can be very sensual and expressive, but I've known a fair share of chefs who are anything but. Try manic, rude, arrogant, spastic and weird. I guess whatever twists your noodle. Enjoyed New York restaurant critic Gael Greene's write-up on The Daily Beast about the secret sex lives of chefs.

Sunday, June 28, 2009


Went through my phone and scrolled through my recent calls. You'd think I was dating someone who has a toll-free number. No, folks, that number belongs to Delta's customer "service" line. It has been 10-plus straight days of long, taxing phone calls to Delta. I wasn't born with a silver spoon, but I hardly think that air travel is this difficult, especially if it just involves pressing a button that says "save."

Friday, June 26, 2009

Sad Week

What sad news we had this week. It's still so hard to believe that Michael Jackson is dead.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Frontline/WORLD Iran: The Stem Cell Fatwa

My friend, Jonathan Schienberg's piece on stem cell research in Iran. Please also read sidebar story on Iran's juvenile executions.

On Second Thought...

Maybe I shouldn't have went to the gym so late tonight; now I'm having a hard time falling asleep. Knew I wanted to turn in early tonight, but my trip to the gym got delayed by phone calls. Not a bad thing actually, since something one of my friends said really got me thinking.

"It seems like every time you mention him, it's always something bad. It's never anything good."

Many second thoughts now...
I need to stop putting myself into situations where I end up sabotaging, hurting myself. Funny how we DO hold the power to make ourselves happy, miserable, sad, ecstatic. (I'm worth are not.)

Friday, June 12, 2009

Thought of The Day

"...And go out
And just loose it all

I feel stressed out
I wanna let it go
Lets go way out spaced out
and loosing all control..."

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Oh Ikea

To the European couple in front of me in line at Ikea tonight:

Thank you for not offering to let me go ahead of you even though I only had one item, and you had about 50 small, odd items. I know you two were very excited to find an "EE-key-ah" in Palo Alto (East Palo Alto to be exact -- that's right, it's in the 'toh), but I would have appreciated it if you had offered to let me ahead to so I could pay for my one futon cover. I especially liked it when you didn't know how to work the ATM machine and your gazillion items used up all the cash register tape.

I'm over it...I just wanted to blog about it. :)

Monday, June 8, 2009

Just Stop

Finally realized why I check my Facebook less frequently now:

1. Status updates
2. Conversations on "Walls" and those little "comment" boxes.

Per #2: Really people? The fact that you have to broadcast your long-drawn convo's for everyone to see makes me think you're that person who talks really loud on your cell phone in public or just loudly in general. Why don't you email the person? Or better yet, pick up the phone.

I always thought the purpose of the Wall was a quick hello! Shout out!...and the purpose of "comment"...umm, yeah, it's is to comment on something. Comment on a photo, on one of those overly-annoying apps or quizzes, etc.

I don't think Facebook was intended for status updates. That's what platforms like blogs and Twitter are for. People know what they're going to get. I just get turned off when I log on to FB and immediately get inundated with "I combed my cat" and "I am bored" or "so and so is in (fill in the city)."

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Decisions, Decisions...

I have several big ones to make, but am procrastinating. I need to make them because they are looming over me and distracting me from moving forward. Perhaps they're not as major as I make them out to be, but my highly-analytical brain is doing just that.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Let's Not Fight...

Let's not fight, I still love you New York City. How can I resist the fact that on every street corner in every borough, I can find the most fabulous slice of pizza here.

And let's not forgot that no bagel is a New York bagel unless it's from New York. The "bagels" I get here in California are round pieces of French bread with holes in the middle.

Finally, I can always rely on you to provide me after-hours nourishment. Whether in a restaurant or in front of a food cart, I can always find something warm to put inside my hungry stomach when it's after midnight. I don't have to resort to chain restaurants that serve 24-hour breakfast if I want to eat late. I love you New York.

Monday, June 1, 2009

I Love You, But...

Having put out there that I love NYC, I'll admit that it isn't the most amazing place in the world. I think it's impossible for one place to hold that omniscient title. One thing about NYC that drives me bonkers -- at times -- is how it's kinda behind on certain trends. First off, as a food-lover, I don't understand why NYC still doesn't have good Chinese or Mexican food. And before all you people get your panties in a bunch, you're talking to a CHINESE person who grew up in one of the most heavily populated Mexican populations outside of Mexico. NYC has great good from all over the world, but honestly, never had "take my breath away" Chinese of Mexican. The kind that makes me...well, for those who have been around me when I've eaten great food, you know my reaction.

Okay, secondly, I hate how New Yorkers think ramen, Chinese dumplings and Vietnamese sandwiches are the latest food trends. they're NOT. I know the NYT, Time Out and that other dreaded publication has written about these three dishes, prompting self-professed "foodies" (I hate that word, and I shudder as I typed that) and other people (I got nothing) flood the East Village, downtown, SoHo for these Asian staples. On my recent trip to NYC, my friend and I were discussing lunch, and she suggested to me the newest and latest food rave. "Banh Mi"... but she pronounced it "Baaaan-Mee." Okay, seriously...San Francisco ate ramen, banh mi and dumplings 10 years ago.

"Manhattanhenge" photo via jonbell on Flickr. Taken 5/31 on 42nd and 3rd.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Talk Story

Spent a wonderful afternoon having lunch with a Hawaiian family. When I first met them, they wouldn't allow handshakes, it was all hugging. Big hearts, big appetites and a lot of laughs and warmth. One of my co-worker's wife is Hawaiian, and he invited me to have lunch with her, his daughter and his in-laws. I had such a great time chatting and with them and learning about their diverse backgrounds...Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, Portuguese, English. One of the best compliments I received today, "You come to the Island, you will be seen as a local, not a haole." Do you know what a haole is?" Lol.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day

We may not all support war or agree on the politics of war. I personally believe war sucks. But I do support the soldiers. Every year when I file Memorial Day stories, I get emotional. Whether it's talking to World War II vets or Korean War vets, I always get a little choked up, especially when Taps is played...and especially when I talk to Vietnam Vets. Have to say, I had a very hard time fighting back tears yesterday during a Vietnam War memorial event; I broke down as a journalist and showed that I was just human.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Early Bird Gets...No Sleep

I need to enroll in a sleep study. Seriously, how can it be that I'm exhausted but my body decides to wake up only after 5 hours of sleep. Not good! I report on all these health issues that arise from lack of sleep! I think my problem is, I start to unwind from my day, then I pick up on little bits of work...and end up burning the midnight candle. Chirp, chirp, chirp.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Please Try Your Call Again

Do I defeat the purpose of having a cell phone if I don't check my voice mail? Because I don't...well let's say I can't. I currently have 15 voice mails on it. My phone, you see, is a bit broke. It's a sturdy one, indeed. I've dropped it numerous times, and the last time I did, I lost several pieces of my Nokia. But it still works. It's being held together by duct tape (ghetto, right?). Now of course, if I'm interviewing the Queen of England, I won't pull out my phone in front of her, but it works for me now. I get calls and I make calls.

But I'm one of those people who sees the missed call and I call the person back. I don't check the voice mail, I just call. Unless I tell someone to leave me a message with some important msg, or I'm expecting an interview, or important person (sorry, don't mean to come off snooty), I won't hear your message. And if I do, it would be like a month after you've left it and my phone decides to "beep" to let me know I have a message. So if you call me, and I don't pick up, don't leave a message. Your "missed call" is all I need to know that you rang.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

SNL: Motherlover

Too funny. It's the return of the "D*ck in the Box" boys. Is it me or is JT (*swoon*) becoming a better comedian? He and Andy Samberg are great together. This is the censored version from Hulu. OMG! Props need to be given to Patricia Clarkson and Susan Sarandon who are SO cool to play along with this. "I'm gonna be the syrup, she can be my waffle." Enjoy.

Monday, May 18, 2009

What do you read on the subway?

I've always thought this was interesting. Anytime I'm on the train, I always scope out what people are reading. Sadly, this Gawker post kind of proves what I've been noticing more of during my recent trips to NYC -- print is "effed", gadgets rule.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Oh Anna

It's a highly anticipated interview. 60 Minutes will feature Anna Wintour -- editrix of Vogue Magazie -- this Sunday. Only a handful of people know who Anna Wintour is, and a smaller handful care about her and fashion in general. I have followed Anna Wintour since I saw an interview with her on Charlie Rose more than a decade ago. However, I didn't carve out a career path to follow Wintour or to be a Bush league "fashion" writer. There are great journalists out there who cover fashion; but they also have an understanding and command of prose and see the "bigger picture" -- beyond fashion claptrap, wedges for summer and free lipstick as part of a job perk. Don't get me wrong, I've been following Gawker's posts on Anna and will be watching this Sunday, but I know this isn't ground-breaking journalism, it's not life-changing, it won't make the world a better place. It's a fluff piece, done up to air on what many regard as one of broadcast journalism's most respected shows. Morley Safer will be interviewing Anna, and I hope he will bring everyone back to reality. Because in the end, underneath the veneer of glossies, photo shoots and runways, the fashion world breeds a lot of ugliness.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

China Marks Quake Anniversary

(Photo courtesy: Jason Lee/Reuters via The New York Times)
A mother sitting among the rubble in Beichuan county on Tuesday mourned the death of her daughter, Xiang Yazi, at left in photo, in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake.

May 12 is the one-year anniversary of the devastating earthquake in Sichuan, China. It still haunts me to think how a few minutes took the lives of -- what some believe -- nearly 90,000 people. Among the largest group of victims, children, who were in school. News of this magnitude always affect me, but having taught in Sichuan, China hit a little bit closer to home. The town in which I lived and taught was very close to the quake's epicenter, and many of my students lived in the villages that saw so much destruction. Last year, I spent the whole day trying to reach my relatives, my former students. Thankfully my family was okay, I heard back from some students, but not all.

The Chinese government has not been very supportive to the parents of quake victims. Officials have recommended parents not visit the quake sites or hold memorials. And as a way to "move on" from the tragedy, some parents were granted permission to have a second child.

The Washington Post has a really good piece and video about how some families are coping with the quake aftermath.

Friday, May 8, 2009

More Pebble Beach Food & Wine pics

At the Saturday Lexus Grand Tasting at Pebble Beach Food and Wine Festival. You can't tell here, but I was operating on about 6 hours of sleep in a span of four days.

Let's just say a lot of calories were consumed -- the duck burger from Cindy Pawlcyn contributed to that delicious calorie count.


Can't stop listening to them. I know they've been around for a while now. But had a Ratatat resurgence in the past few weeks.

My 3 obsessions of the week:
1. Annick Goutal's Mandragore Body Cream
2. Popcorn, Indiana Kettle Corn
3. Ratatat

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Dear Diary...

This is on the top of my book wish list right now. I love the little snippets of Manhattan and slice of life stories I get from the NYT's Metropolitan Diary entries. The best thing is, I can read about them and I can jog my memory to relive some of those New York stories. What is it about Manhattan that sets the scene for these little stories to play out. Not forced, not staged...they just happen, like magic.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Monkey See, Monkey Do

I forgot which hole the pulled pork barbecue sandwich stand was at Pebble Beach during the Food and Wine Festival...but it was one of the best dishes I tried in the entire event. (This was during the celebrity chef golf tournament on the first day of Pebble Beach Food and Wine.) I made a new friend, this monkey was right in front of the table, and I couldn't resist. Had to take a few shots with him/her. Say cheez!

Didn't intend on raising my arm up, a gust of wind came through and the picture was taken.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Me and Thomas Keller

Taken a week ago today. The celebrity chef golf tournament at Pebble Beach kicked off the Food and Wine Festival. Things got started with a Cristal champagne breakfast. Thomas Keller of The French Laundry was there. Ming Tsai wasn't there and Colicchio sat out because of surgery. There were other chefs including Rory Herrmann of Per Se (and soon be to Bouchon of Beverly Hills) and David Kinch of Manresa. Aside from golfing, the chefs and invitees enjoyed mojitos, champagne, Patron margaritas and such snacks as Kobe beef burgers, lobster sandwiches, and pulled pork sandwiches along the 18 holes. Pas mal.

Kobe and wagyu burgers for the tired and weary.

Patron, anyone?

From left, Ed Kelly, president and CEO of American Express Publishing Corporation, Rory Herrmann, Per Se and Bouchon Beverly Hills, and Thomas Keller.