Rachel Agana »

Time to kick it up another notch

Originally posted in UC Davis Student Affairs Blog | I Live UCD.

I woke up this morning thinking, “It’s a brand new day, the sun is shining and I’M ALIVE!” just like my Snoopy tee said. I figured out in my sleep what to write my query letter draft on for journalism class and was in an all around loving life mood. Now I end the night with more promise for the future and a goal in mind. The second habit of the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (I read the teen version growing up) is Begin with the End in Mind. I have just received a godsend. Let me back up a bit.

Tonight the lovely Pamela Wu graced AggieTV with her presence as a guest speaker to talk about her path into journalism and life as a news reporter and anchor. Starting from her transition to a Rhetoric and Communication major from Environmental Science here at UC Davis, to interning and being hired as a production assistant to finally getting air time as a reporter and eventually a news anchor: she covered it all. She gave us the truth, as any real reporter would do, from the competitiveness of submitting demo reels, long and odd hours, down to salary or lack there of. We went into the randomness of hiring reporters based on gender, ethnicity and youth. She also explained the downsizing of the business and how more reporters are turning into one-man-bands, filming, writing and editing themselves.

Erika asked about how do you prevent yourself from falling into a daily grind and remain inspired. Even if you are doing something you love, if you do it for a certain amount of time there will be days where it is like, “It’s tax day again?” “You’re going to make me go up that mountain and talk about the snow again?” When it comes down to it reporting is not about you, it’s about the viewer. The goal of a reporter is to have the viewer think even if for a brief moment, “Oh, I didn’t know that!” Going into journalism you do not do it for the money but to be storytellers. She also expressed her love of the field and being able to cover a wide variety of stories including traveling across the country. I want to tell stories.

(Note to Self: Take photos always! It would have been great to photograph the meeting but I was very engrossed in absorbing all her advice:))

When I got back home I looked over the handout she made of useful websites for young broadcast journalists and began looking at the National Press Photographer Association’s site. Can’t wait to really pour over the site for inspiration and information especially since tomorrow I’ll be putting together my first audio slideshow.

I remembered she briefly mentioned that the Sacramento Bee has paid summer internships if we were interested in print and so I googled it. Good ole google. To my delight my first click was to the pdf of the application to the Bee’s internship partnered with the Asian American Journalist Association which I remember hearing she was the President of the Sacramento chapter. This is my godsend. It is the PERFECT opportunity and exact light at the end of tunnel to motivate myself even more to do the best in everything I’m working on right now. The application requires 5-7 pieces of work and I’m currently working on 3 articles for my journalism class, 1 audio slideshow on our Tai Chi class for University Communications, photos from the tattoo story for UComm and will be filming and editing a story for AggieTV on the Emotions: Electronic Dance Party. It feels like the perfect fit. It’s also PAID and local! I’ll worry about urging my parents on getting our truck fixed so I could have a car up here after I get it.

Deadline in exactly one month:  March 19th

Internship awarded two weeks later: April 1st

Wish me luck! Ready, set, GO!

{Special thanks to Nicki Sun for organizing Pamela to come speak! Always looking out for us:)}

glassknob - February 25, 2010 - 10:10 pm

go go go!

Daily Amusements #1

Originally posted in UC Davis Student Affairs Blog | I Live UCD.

Today I was reading this 11 page research article summarizing all the experiments done on H.M. until he was 58. Quite fascinating as I’ve heard many specific studies about him but never any personal information such as his dislike for mathematics and being able to retain a sense of humor. When someone was wondering if they had left their keys in a room he said, “Well at least you’ll know where to find it!” An anecdote about him going to his high school reunion and not remembering anyone. A recommended read for any of you who want to get to know H.M. beyond being the most famous case study for memory. When I got to the last section of the article, a shout out to all the researchers, one name stood out from all the others.

Before my Human Emotions class I had some time to kill and headed over to the Student Bookstore to peruse. It’s a shame that I don’t set out time for leisure reading but perhaps in the near future. I noticed a lot of websites have their own books now including my beloved Mental Floss and LOLCats. I spent the most time looking at the FMyLife book.

I’ve never gone on the website before but would hear posts repeated on Facebook and from friends. It reminded me of in my emotions class we learned in Germany they have their own word meaning the pleasure derived in the misfortune of others – schadenfreude. There’s something comforting sitting down and reading from an actual book versus scrolling on  your computer. Make sure to take your screen breaks and snuggle up to a favorite read!

glassknob - February 25, 2010 - 9:57 pm

I spy John Gabrieli!

Lent 2010

The beginning of the  year provides many opportunities to start anew for me: new years day, start of school,  my birthday, first day of February, Chinese new years and now lent. Once lent rolls around, I can finally get serious after having a few practice rounds on keeping resolutions. Lent is also a little over 6 weeks which is much more mentally manageable than a year. When I learned over 10 years ago going to Catholic school that Lent is not just about giving up something but also adding something to your life I took that to heart. Since giving up something never works I dedicate from now until Easter, April 4th, I will blog every day. Note it is also accepted for Sundays to be rest days but I hopefully will disregard the break. This is to prove to myself that I do have something worth saying every day. It will be a mini version of all the 365 projects I’ve ever thought up. It will be the start of taking Gretchen Rubin’s advice to Do Something EVERY DAY. I love tracking my progress and documenting my days so what better way to do it than blog.

Today was filled with self doubt and worry but as always I must have faith in the future I cannot see. After looking up potential internships, motivation kicked in to continue my work by viewing it as building my portfolio. A good talk with Melanie over fruit tarts also helped <3

glassknob - February 17, 2010 - 7:29 pm


Ps. I think we should make fruit tarts when the strawberry season comes around. And lumpia, as you mentioned in the prev. post :)

Rachel - February 17, 2010 - 7:34 pm

Ohhh yes, I shall put it on the To Do List I haven’t made lumpia in forever! & we need to break in my family’s deep fryer.

Glenn Langton - February 18, 2010 - 1:20 am

Neat idea for Lent… w00t!

Rachel - February 18, 2010 - 7:59 am

thanks glenn! what are you giving up/adding for lent? 😀

Dad - February 18, 2010 - 6:24 pm

How is this tart compared to Maria’s? I’ve noticed this one has tangerine. YUMMMEEE!

Rachel - February 18, 2010 - 10:08 pm

The crust is more solid than Maria’s. Not flaky. (Though I love a flaky crust too!) It was delish :) Custard light and nice mix of fruits!

Cooking Adobo Gulay

Living back home and going to community college after freshman year in Davis had its perks. One of them being learning how to cook the yummy dishes my parents made! Whenever people ask me if I can speak or understand Tagalog, I say only very little like matulog ngayon! (go to sleep now!) or mainit! (hot!). But I do know how to cook. I can wrap my own lumpia and whip up my own pot of salmon sinigang.

Tonight I cooked something I’ve always loved eating at home but never made myself – adobo gulay. Adobo meaning cooking any meat with vinegar, soy sauce, garlic and bay leaves; and gulay meaning vegetables –  in this case long string beans or sitaw.

Unfortunately it has been painstaking asking my dad for exact measurements of ingredients. ” I don’t measure! I just estimate and taste,” he’d brush off along with hand gestures of shaking out garlic salt and circling a stream of imaginary soy sauce. When I had emailed them about how they cook it I got a Facebook message from my mom with a link here. So I used this as my basis for ingredients. Equipped with Google for measurement conversions and my computer’s calculator I estimated to the best of my ability the ratio of meat to vinegar and soy sauce. I had a pound of meat which came out to be around 454 grams so the ratio was 1.8, a little under 2x the amounts listed.

I don’t blame my dad for not writing down measurements. There always is a degree of experimentation when cooking. But it would be nice to have general guidelines and a set recipe to pass on. My long term goal is to create a family recipe book complete with pictures. Not just pictures of the dishes but of us preparing food and enjoying it at the dinner table. I’ve also considered a homemade cooking show, but I think my Auntie Susan would be more suited for than instead of my dad. Writing about my cooking here will be the first step.

2 T chopped garlic
1/2 an onion
2 T olive oil
1 lb ground beef
1 bunch of long string beans
garlic powder
black pepper
~1/2 c vinegar
~6 T soy sauce
1/2 c water

First I cooked rice (as always, it can be a bummer after cooking a dish and realizing you forgot to). Then defrosted the frozen beef for 15 minutes in the microwave. Chopped up the onions and cut the beans into 2 in pieces. I cooked the meat as I usually do. First heating up the pot by sprinkling a bit of water on it and checking to see if it is dry. Then pouring about 2T of oil and scooping the garlic in. I had it on medium high but next time do closer to medium as to not burn the garlic. In goes the onions, sauté, sauté. Add the meat. Brown. Sprinkle twice over with garlic powder and lightly once with black pepper. Next time I may cook the beef straight up on its own and drain the fat but I think it was fine. Add vinegar and soy sauce. Simmer. In the recipe that I was referencing it said to leave it for 10 minutes but I checked back before then and it started to get burnt in some parts. So next time don’t cook on medium high…closer to medium and stir frequently. Add the beans & add the water. This time I only added 1/4 c of water but next time more since the beans could be softer and the whole thing could be more moist. Simmer for 15.

For my first try it was a bit dry, but still edible. Next time, more water, lower heat & stir more frequently when just cooking the meat.

Dad - February 18, 2010 - 12:50 pm

Excellent Rach! Cooking adobo gulay looks harder than it looks. Proud of you! Maybe it would help if we video our next cooking session specially Justin has his Flip Video. U go gurl!

Rachel - February 18, 2010 - 12:53 pm

Yes, I’d love to film us cooking together 😀

tanyaregala - June 21, 2010 - 6:27 pm

Hi Rachel!

This looks really yummy!

I’m compiling a list of all the different ways to cook adobo in a quest to find what a true filipino adobo is today, and I’m happy to include your adobo recipe in my article at http://kumain.com/1001-adobo-recipes/. I hope you don’t mind the link from my site to yours =)

Keep in touch!

1001 Adobo Recipes Recipe | Kumain.com - June 21, 2010 - 6:54 pm

[…] Rachel’s Cooking Adobong Gulay […]

Rachel - June 24, 2010 - 10:57 am

wow thank you so much tanya! 😀

Spinning straw into gold

2010: The Year of Production

This year I am putting all my thoughts into actions. I tend to talk a lot about what I would like to do in life whether it be a portrait photographer or positive psychology journalist. It can never be taken seriously unless I express it through work: photographing couples or taking a journalism class. So to kick off, I show you my first completed project of the year – The Golden Frames.

I cannot tell you how many photos are laying in my hard drive ever since I got my first digital camera. Sad to say 90% of the photos have never been birth into the real world and only lived half lives on the web. Of those 10%, zero have been framed. Framing can be really expensive and I always seem to just miss Aaron & Brother’s penny sale or forget the dimension of artwork and posters or when I do have a note none of the pre made frames suffice. Now photo by photo I am changing this!

Over the summer when I went to go shopping for things to make my new Davis apartment more homey I wandered into the 99cents only store. In addition to candles, lavender diffusers and dish washing liquid, low and behold, I found these beauties:

For years, I have scouted Goodwill, Ross, even Target and Urban Outfitters for golden ornate frames Marie Antoinette would be proud of. Either they were ginormous and ridiculously expensive or in a unfitting color like lime green and not worth buying in bulk. So I was thrilled to spot these and imagining its potential. I bought nine picturing a 3 x3  Brady Bunch effect.

I went to Michael’s in search of a gold leafing kit but it seemed to meticulous for my taste and not enough for nine frames. Another day I was wandering around Micheal’s I noticed next to the regular acrylic paints a section locked up. Peering through the metal screen were the spray paints. And just as Charlie opened his serendipitous Willy Wonka Bar, I too saw a glimmer of gold. YESSSS, gold spray paint!

[vodpod id=Video.3058841&w=600&h=400&fv=offsite%3Dtrue%26amp%3Blang%3Den-us%26amp%3Bpage_show_url%3D%252Fphotos%252Fexplorology%252Fsets%252F72157623319975205%252Fshow%252F%26amp%3Bpage_show_back_url%3D%252Fphotos%252Fexplorology%252Fsets%252F72157623319975205%252F%26amp%3Bset_id%3D72157623319975205%26amp%3Bjump_to%3D]

The thing that took the longest for this project was sitting down and deciding which photos I wanted to frame. There were a series of photos Melanie and I took laying down in the Quad after signing the apartment lease together. It was a sunny day in Davis and shortly after we were going to mosey on down to the farmer’s market and indulge in our own creations of Yoloberry. I knew these had to be showcased in our living room. I had considered doing a monochromatic collection manipulating each photo to pink, orange, purple or brown but I’m happy I kept the original color.

glassknob - February 15, 2010 - 10:53 pm

Looove the last picture! Still can’t believe those are from a 99 cents store haha.

Rachel - February 16, 2010 - 10:23 am

😀 i’m putting the vintage looking photo of you & chris against the brick wall in one of them!

Melanie - February 16, 2010 - 8:08 pm

You are sooo artistic & creative. I feel honored to be in the pictures surrounded by those gorgeous frames :) Hooray to productivity!

Anu - February 16, 2010 - 11:55 pm

I LOVE THE PICTURES!!! These are fantastic! MORE POSTS on awesome projects!!!! 😀

guofo - February 24, 2010 - 2:41 am

so cute!! i luv pictures!

Rachel - February 24, 2010 - 11:46 am

hehe i printed a 5×7 of our magician & bunny picture but need to get more frames! :)