Day Four: Good Morning Terpstra

TAMARINDO — Each morning this week, I’ve been sneaking into Terp’s room and getting really close to his face, hoping it will wake him up. (It’s not creepy at all, right?)

This morning I tried it on camera and was barely in his vicinity before he stirred.

Day Three: Poolness

TAMARINDO — Instead of trying to ford the estuaries this morning, we hung out by the pool at the second vacation villa, Casa Leo Loco. This vid involves people jumping off the second floor balcony into the water and trying to surf in a pool.

Day Two: Meet My Fave Travel Buddies

TAMARINDO, COSTA RICA — I should have done this yesterday but didn’t have the half hour to sit down and get the video organized. So here’s a quick intro to the awesomest pals around, who can be rallied to go to Costa Rica with a simple email solicitation.

Day One: The Big Ass Fan in Baggage Claim

LIBERIA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT — The new airport facility was just completed about two weeks ago, we are told. It’s real shiny in there, and to maintain that gleam, a woman haphazardly sweeps nonstop for what could be all day. We were at the airport for more than an hour awaiting the arrival of a Dallas flight that carried friends Chris, Melissa, Brett and Monica. Enter this first clip we shot:

Look Out, You Just Got Lobbied

SAN ANTONIO — Anywhere there are hundreds of state lawmakers you will find just as many special interest groups. (American Society for Nude Recreation, anyone?) Here at the annual summit of the National Conference of State Legislatures, not only can you find lobbyists galore, you can also find plenty of the swag they give away to subtly (or not so subtly) communicate their brands.

My besties April, Blake and Justin helped me show off my favorite swag of the conference:

Behind the Lens



Originally uploaded by thetexastribune

Spent birthday morning at a TribLive event. It was the third in our conversation series that features various political or policy movers and shakers in Texas. Because my job is now far more multi-faceted than before, I run the production end of TribLive instead of doing the interviewing.

After the events are over, we process them and put them up as full 40 minute videos and put them on our site, later we’ll put them on iTunes as podcasts.

It’s actually a fun change of pace, since I didn’t sit behind the camera before in TV, but love to shoot photos and video when I get the chance. Our intern, Caleb, caught a pic of me gesturing to Justin, who was on the second camera, to check with Todd, who was at the sound booth, on our levels.

Which brings me to the team. I said it yesterday at the fourth annual Hu-Moritz-Castro three-way birthday party and all say it again. Without the work of our all-around multimedia ninjas Todd and Justin, the Tribune’s multi-platform presence would be a shell of what it is. Many thanks, boys. Pleasure to haul around equipment, troubleshoot uploads and wildly gesture during TribLive events with you.

Breakfast Summits

We’re doing TT partnerships with TV stations all over the state and Wednesday is Waco liveshot day. After we’re done, photog Justin and I, plus our friend Reeve, meet for breakfast on the UT campus. It’s always a good time.

Family Ties

We’re near Washington, DC, for a massive family reunion. My maternal grandma flew all the way in from Taiwan to take part, so our one layover in Houston really doesn’t count as much travel. Grandma has five brothers and sisters and she’s the oldest surviving one. The fact there are six siblings in that generation mean that by the time you get to my generation, there are about 68 cousins and second cousins and cousins-in-law-once-removed. Or something. I still don’t know them all.

The family reunion agenda
The family reunion agenda

We’ve shared some moving moments – like the survival stories grandma told about triumphing over war (WWII), revolution (the Cultural one) and separation (time and distance).

But mostly this gathering has been about the lighter moments — eating way too much food in order to please our elders (a Chinese thing that feels like being slowly fed to death), joking about perhaps incorporating our family into some sort of LLC, and cousins connecting over which ‘realm’ or ‘guild’ they are in in the addictive computer game, World of Warcraft.

Which reminds me: Cousins Calvin and Cary, both grown-ups with families of their own, decided a few years ago to go out into the woods and fully embrace who they are as men. They choreographed an extensive Star Wars-themed kung fu light saber battle that my other cousin, Clarence, caught on tape. See below.