Friday, July 31, 2015

What good is a fun night out if you can't remember it the next morning?

Thursday, July 30, 2015

"I feel like you never want to marry someone that's too fun."

Said by the character Russ Bowman in the tv show Married. Season 2, episode 3.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Congratulations to my friends Ricky and Susy on the birth today of their beautiful baby girl, Amelia! It was just 9 days ago when Susy told me how happy she was being pregnant and spending so much bonding-time with Amelia. This was when I had gone to Astoria to visit the expecting couple on a quiet Sunday, catching up and thinking about all that was to come. And now Amelia has finally joined her parents and rest of the world, for this journey we're all in together.

As we get older, it's the babies and little ones who keep the group growing and learning.
My three subscriptions to food magazines all arrived in the mail today on the same day. That's a first!
"I'm going to crack like nobody's watching, and eat like I skipped lunch."

Said by a voiceover in a recent Red Lobster commercial.
This past weekend had me pretty busy with my best friend's birthday dinner and then a wedding the next night on Saturday.

Happy birthday to Junho! Judy and I took the birthday boy to Virginia's for dinner on Friday, and then went to nearby Mother of Pearl for drinks. After that we bar hopped for a bit, and ended up back at our apartment by 3am stuffing our faces with just-delivered takeout. There was also banana cream pie thanks to Judy. Basically, when I woke up the next morning my legs felt so heavy it was hard to lift them.

Being able to attend a wedding is always special, and I felt so fortunate to have gone to Esther and Mike's this past Saturday. It took place downtown in Battery Park, right by the beautiful water where you could see the Statue of Liberty. Their ceremony was lovely and perfectly matched the couple in every way. Witnessing their vows was so great, as their love for one another filled the room. Being there helped remind me of so many things that are easily forgotten as a single person. Another thing to note is Esther's the same age as me and also grew up in Queens. We had a lot of mutual friends in high school, and she did a joint sweet sixteen birthday party with a friend of mine at the time. The party took place at Flushing's Kum Gang San, and this memory of Esther at 16 standing behind the birthday cake has been burned into my mind since then.

Thinking of that memory at her and Mike's wedding really had me happy for them, I wish them all the best in their new chapter. Congratulations to the husband and bride!

Monday, July 27, 2015

"'Promise me that you'll never let anyone steal your joy': Sunday night at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, Nicki Minaj was convening her faithful, guiding them through whatever storms they'd been weathering."

From the July 27, 2015, New York Times article Review: Nicki Minaj Raps Life Lessons at Barclays Center, by Jon Caramanica.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

There's so much going on in the country right now... some of it is really heartbreaking. 

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Dear Mayonnaise,

I love you so much.


Sunday, July 19, 2015

"Tell our story, Christian. Promise me. Promise me."

Said by the character Satine in the movie Moulin Rouge.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Stay busy.
"It's slim pickings out there. You can't swing a Fendi purse without knocking over 5 losers. Where did all the great guys go?"

Said by the character Samantha in Sex In The City. Season 2, Episode 13.
"Miranda: Maybe you should think about running to a shrink.
Carrie: Why should I pay someone when we can talk for free and then go get a drink or whatever. I don't need professional help, I've got you guys."

From the show Sex In The City. Season 2, Episode 13.

Friday, July 17, 2015

"Guess it's true, I'm not good at a one night stand.
But I still need love 'cause I'm just a man.
These nights never seem to go to plan.
I don't want you to leave, will you hold my hand?"

From the song Stay With Me by Sam Smith.
Lately, I've been going through too many long periods where my life seems filled with distractions that might seem fun, but in the end they almost always result in nothing.

I've fallen into this routine of going to work, then either boozing it up afterwards or coming straight home to spend an unnecessary amount of time in front of the television.

When I go too long without reading, discovering new music, watching a good film, or wandering an unexplored street or neighborhood by foot, it becomes mindlessly easy to live in a mundane world where creativity and inspiration has no place. That's why reading a good book or listening to an album that moves me or experiencing a film that makes me feel something or walking down an unknown New York block that transports me to another place is so important to do.

Ultimately, each medium does the same thing in a different way. That instant where the imagination is sparked is what keeps me going, and the dots of life should be connected from moment-to-moment like those instead of trudging along each day without thinking twice about what's actually going on, and that this is life and it needs to be lived.

Day-to-day responsibilities are important. Socializing is important. Art is important. Without balance, it all means nothing.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

"Four United States Marines were killed Thursday after a gunman opened fire at two military facilities here, and the federal authorities said they were investigating the episode as an act of domestic terrorism."

From the July 16, 2015, New York Times article Four Marines Killed in Chattanooga Shootings. Written by Richard Fausset, Alan Blinder and Michael S. Schmidt.

This is so terrible... my thoughts and prayers go out to the family and loved ones of those who were killed.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

it has happened to me.
Right in front of my face,
and I just can not hide it."

From the song Finally by CeCe Peniston.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Chase that feeling...
Scaffolding on a quiet street of New York can become really beautiful on a rainy night.

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

I just want to eat chicken over rice with extra white sauce everyday for lunch.

But that's not practical.

Monday, July 06, 2015

"Not even they can stop me now."

From the song Radio by Lana Del Rey.
Write. Write. Write. Write!
Right. Right. Right. Right?

Always, always."

From the song Always by Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

Saturday, July 04, 2015

Thursday, July 02, 2015

There are these moments that occasionally happen where things just have to be paused for a second to be taken in and really appreciated. It could be something so simple or something that's once in a lifetime, but to recognize what's going on really helps look at things with a new perspective. This moment of right here and right now will never happen again. But this exhilaration can be achieved again by perhaps reaching a goal in life or living happily and fulfilled everyday.

Friday, June 26, 2015

"In a long-sought victory for the gay rights movement, the Supreme Court ruled by a 5-to-4 vote on Friday that the Constitution guarantees a right to same-sex marriage." 

From the June 26, 2015, New York Times article, Supreme Court Ruling Makes Same-Sex Marriage a Right Nationwide. Written by Adam Liptak.

Let's celebrate!

It's humbling to think about all the progress that's been achieved for LGBT rights within my lifetime. I'm hoping that the generation I belong to will be the last to grow up in America thinking being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is something wrong or shameful. No one deserves to ever feel less than when they are simply being their true self. When that happens, its negative impact seeps into so many different parts of life with results that sometimes requires a lot of work to heal.

Thinking about this being the start of a new societal norm, it's exciting how civilization will continue to grow and evolve into something that might be unfathomable to us living right now. But I am so humbled to be who I am through these current times, because everything that is going on really does mean so much. Reminiscing back to when I was a kid, it never crossed my mind that things would actually change because that just seemed like how life worked.

It's freeing to know that who I am is now legally deemed as equal to the majority of society. Thank you to all the people who worked so hard to make this happen. I often remember life in stages of a before and after, and this is definitely a beginning to something new.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

My thoughts are not reality.

Reminding myself that really helps with anxiety, especially at night when I'm trying to fall asleep.

Close eyes. Stop overthinking. Chill out. Drift off. Fall asleep. Goodbye.
Loosen up!
Lessons. They come in a million ways and forms. They can be intimidating at times, and often hard to recognize until moments, or even years, later when the reason why they happened is finally understood.

I feel like I've experienced two big lessons in the past week that happened because of similar reasons. Thinking about what the third similar lesson could potentially be is sort of scary, so I definitely want to try and not let anything like that happen.

But then as my roommate said, I should "live a little."

Balance is what I need. Yes, balance.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

"Is that you do it to yourself,
Just you and no one else,
You do it to yourself."

From the song Just by Radiohead.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Sunday, June 14, 2015

My work trip to Florida over the past few days was great.

Being in the tropical weather really reminded me of Thailand, and it was nice to feel that sticky heat with palm trees in the background. On the first night there, even passing rainstorms felt refreshing. Sprinting alone back to my room at 3am during a heavy downpour actually had me laughing because it had been years since that happened, invoking memories and emotions buried far back in my brain.

Every night after my bosses, coworkers, and I returned from eating dinner and late-night barhopping, we would all go back to our rooms to quickly change before meeting again at the hotel's pool and jacuzzi. Ending each night like that was a blast, especially when I'd be floating alone in the large pool just staring at the sky. I'd drown out the entire world with my ears underwater, allowing me to give my undivided attention skyward. Looking at the stars with grey silhouettes of palm trees hovering above me had me completely absorbed in where I was at that very moment. And in those exact points in time, that's when I felt particularly transported and like I was back in Bangkok because a good friend of mine used to have a pool in his apartment complex with a similar view. It was at this friend's house where I discovered my love of doing the same thing to clear my head---going swimming alone at night, feeling weightless and completely free of any cares in the world as I gazed up.

I guess I don't experience the feeling of getting completely lost and engrossed in something very often, and that's why being able to spend time at night in a pool where I'm by myself makes me really happy. That's when I'm not preoccupied by anything or feeling distracted and consumed by something I was worrying about earlier, which is how I usually feel all the god damn time. I can just be there in the water, drifting both physically and mentally without having to overthink anything. I'm just present in the moment, which sounds simple in theory but not really easily achievable.

Overall, it was a great trip where I got to spend quality time with the people at my workplace while learning more about how I can be better at my job. But I do have to say that those nighttime moments in the pool also helped me in a way that nothing else could have, because they made me remember what mental clarity felt like.

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

No one is happy all the time.

No one is anything all the time. 

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

"I made the right decision to learn about the city by walking around it. Walking made me think more and focus on the world around me. Moving forward, putting one foot in front of the other, reminded me of reading a book."

From the book I'll Be Right There by Kyung-Sook Shin. Page 71.

Monday, June 01, 2015

June is looking to be a good month.

While it was rainy, cold, and miserable today on the 1st, it still hasn't dampened my excitement for the next 30 days. The weather has been really summer-like the past few weeks, so I'm sure it'll be hot again in no time.

I'm going to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, next week and it's exciting because it'll be my first business trip with my current work place. It's going to be nice to get away from New York for a bit to spend time with my bosses and colleagues outside of the office. It'll be my first time going to Florida, let alone to a tiki convention. The week after Fort Lauderdale, I'll be going to Aspen, Colorado, for the best American culinary event of the year. This trip will be a bit sentimental because it's for the food magazine I used to work for, and at an annual event where I once helped plan and produce. The event has just continued to grow tremendously since I worked it years ago, which makes me all the more look forward to seeing everything in a few weeks.

My friends Jenn and Daniel will also be coming to visit in June, on top of some other guests. But I'm especially excited to see them because they're the friends I used to live with in Los Angeles, who so kindly allowed me into their lives out there and helped me out so much. I haven't been back together with them in New York since we were all roommates in the Upper West Side before I left for Asia, so it's going to be awesome to see them here. They've also had a beautiful baby son since we've last seen each other and there's much to catch up on.

I'd really like to just stay mellow and have a good time this month. Traveling and seeing old faces will be a great way to start off the season.
It's nice when a new month starts on a Monday.

It gives me hope in making the changes I want for a fresh start on things.

It's a new month. It's a new week. It's a new beginning with better choices.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Friday, May 29, 2015

It's finally Friday, and I'm feeling great this morning from a good night's rest.

Have a good day, TGIF!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Eat like no one is watching.
Summer in the city has arrived, and it feels so nice.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Decisions must be made without regret.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

There's been a large presence of college grads in city for the past few days.

Their animated smiles swathed in a cap and gown are usually surrounded by an entourage of ecstatic family members, radiating happiness and a strong sense of pride that becomes immediately contagious to anyone around.

I've had the pleasure of briefly witnessing these joyous moments of theirs as they snap photos on the streets in front of landmarks or are commuting to somewhere on the subway, just as that random bystander in the background who luckily stumbled onto this significant moment of theirs that was years---or perhaps for some even a lifetime---in the making.

And I just want to say, I'm rooting for you. Good luck on your next chapter in life, whatever it may be.
"Nevertheless, I hope that when I die, I will be writing or reading a book at my desk late one snowy night and I will simply put my head down and close my eyes forever. I want that to be the last image of me on this earth."

From the book I'll Be Right There by Kyung-Sook Shin. Page 16.

Monday, May 18, 2015

What's learned from the movies and Hollywood should never be considered how things in life actually pan out.

That's someone's art being experienced, not a real life account of how shit happens.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

"The evening's performance, which takes about two and a half hours for around fourteen courses, is probably good for couples who have run out of things to say to each other. Guests approach the meal with diligence. One night, a man in a springtime scarf asked how something should be eaten: a wisp of uni and a scoop of fermented chickpea paste, in a pool of bright-green olive oil. The chef who delivered the dish, and who had explained that the purée was developed in the Momofuku Food Lab, shrugged."

From the May 18, 2015 issue of The New Yorker's Tables for Two article: Momofuku Ko. By Amelia Lester.
The words "always" and "never" have been lingering  in my thoughts the past few days...

The amount of commitment these words involve is something that needs to be considered.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

My dad told me this morning that he was 32 when I was born, which is my current age now.

I feel like it's going to be a good year for me. Time to work really hard and make shit happen.
"'She was not afraid to be wrong or afraid to fight or afraid to tell someone just like it is, and that's a gift,' Queen Latifah said of Bessie Smith."

From the May 8, 2015, New York Times article: Queen Latifah Stars in 'Bessie' on HBO. Written by Melena Ryzik.

Saturday, May 09, 2015

Happy Mother's Day weekend!

I will soon be heading to my parents place with my sister and brother-in-law to stay for the night.

Congratulations to all the moms out there, thank you for all that you do.

Friday, May 08, 2015

Trying to go out on a Friday or Saturday night in New York City sometimes seems like too much of a production at my age right now.

There's just way too many people, and so many places seem like amateur hour.

I'd rather go out on a Monday any day.
"When I died, there was no one around to see it. I died all alone. It's fine. Some people think it's a tragedy to die all alone, with no one around to see it. My high-school boyfriend wanted to marry me, because he thought the most important thing to have in life was a witness. To marry your high-school girlfriend, and have her with you all through life---that is a lot of witnessing. Everything important would be witnessed by one woman. I didn't like his idea of what a wife was for---someone to just hang around and watch your life unfold. But I understand him better now. It is no small thing to have someone who loves you see your life, and discuss it with you every night.

Instead of marrying him, I married no one. We broke up. I lived alone. I had no children. I was the only witness to my life, while he found a woman to marry, then had a child using fertility. Her family origins is large and lives near them---same with his family of origin. I visited them one time, and at his birthday dinner there were thirty relatives and close friends, including their only child. We were at the home of his wife's parents, in the small coastal town where they were building lives. He got exactly what he wanted. He has thirty reliable witnesses. Even if half of them die or move away or come to hate him, he still has fifteen. When he dies, he will be surrounded by a loving family, who will remember when he still had hair. Who will remember every night that he came home stinking drunk and yelling. Who will remember his every failure, and love him in spite of it all. When all his witnesses die, his life will be over. When his son is dead, and his son's wife is dead, and the children of his son are also dead, the life of my first boyfriend will be through."

From the May 11, 2015, issue's fiction story in The New Yorker titled "My Life is a Joke," by Sheila Heti.

What a great start to a short story.

Thursday, May 07, 2015

There are people who fade into the background during social settings, and those who don't.

I am the type that likes to fade into the background. Because a lot of times, I don't even know what I want to say until I'm sitting in front of a keyboard.

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

"I can't afford a vacation, so I'm just going to drink until I don't know where I am."

From an Aunty Acid cartoon by Ged Backland.
Whenever something stupid stresses me out and my mind goes into this dark place, I really need to remind myself, WHO CARES?!

Monday, May 04, 2015

"Officer Brian Moore followed his father into the New York Police Department, rose to the ranks of an elite plainclothes unit tasked with confronting the city's most dangerous street crime and died on Monday, two days after a gunman opened fire on him in Queens."

From the May 4, 2015, New York Times Article: Brian Moore, New York Police Officer Shot in the Head, Dies. By J. David Goodman and Al Baker.

This is so terrible. Rest in peace to Officer Moore.
Today is one of those beautiful and sunny Mondays where if I was still in high school, I would wish that we could have class outside.

Sunday, May 03, 2015

"We're all just a kid from somewhere."

From a Powerade commercial on television.

This commercial came on a week or two ago when I was at home channel surfing. It's nice that even in those dull moments where I'm mindlessly looking for something entertaining to watch, these nuggets of great inspiration can come.

But yes, the line from the Powerade commercial is so true. We are all just a kid from somewhere. Forever in my heart, I will always just be a kid from Flushing, Queens, who was raised by my Korean immigrant parents that always did the best that they could. And no one or nothing in life can ever take that away from me.

Stay grounded. Exercise patience. Listen to learn. Always be considerate of others, because you never know what battles they are struggling with. Let people finish what they're saying before chiming in. Realize that what you envy in others is never what it seems. Empathize because hatred disappears when you learn someone's true story. Manners matter. Know that our differences are not how we should be associating by. Respect yourself. Love yourself. What you consider as the small details of your life are things that other people dream of having. Be wary of interpreting miscommunication for something more disastrous. Perfection exists when the challenges in life are used as lessons. Beauty and wealth are fleeting, but integrity and goodness are forever. And when someone really pisses you off on the subway, know that 95% of the time they have no idea what they're even doing.

I know that these are all clichés... but why are they so easy for us to forget at times?

A long time ago, we were all just a kid who wanted ice cream.

Saturday, May 02, 2015

"Don't be distracted by the tented stalls outside the 24-hour HanYang Mart in Flushing, Queens, with their promises of baked eggs and potato pancakes shaped like hearts. There will be time for them.

Go in, past the stacks of 15-pound bags of rice and the clothing nook. (If you've reached the counter selling deli manjoo, little spongecake fish with guts of sweet cream, you've gone too far.) Stop at the sign that says HanYang BunSik in Korean, with an English subtitle: Snack Corner.

The name is literal. The restaurant, which started 14 years ago as just another tented stall, now occupies a proper corner of the market. Tables are placed efficiently back to back, with benches that fit three people to a side, provided they're feeling friendly. Dishes fall under the Korean category of bunsik, or snacks, although many are more substantial than snacks in the Western definition, a reminder of how far we lag behind other cultures in this culinary genre.

Kimchi-and-beef dumplings arrive on plastic foam, under plastic wrap, as if from a 7-Eleven. They are potent nevertheless, as is the similarly packaged soondae, a dark sausage of ground beef and pork in a shiny casing that suggest the skin of a Goth balloon. There's a hint of pork blood seeping through, its moody tang offset by embedded grains of sticky rice.

From the April 30, 2015, New York Times article "At HanYang Bunsik, Snacking is Encouraged," by Ligaya Mishan.

Friday, May 01, 2015

"Margaret: Hey Violet, where are you going?
Violet: I'm going to get drunk!
Margaret: Attagirl. "

From the movie "9 to 5."

Thursday, April 30, 2015

People watching in New York can be funny. Passersby are captured in that moment, and then an entire story about who they are and where they're going immediately materializes.

However, the stories and reasoning behind who they are not really about them at all, but more about the person whose head it's in.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Monday, April 27, 2015

"For Chibu, Chiamaka, and Chidebe---the best stories Sheri and I will ever tell."

From the dedication page of the book Foreign Gods, Inc, by Okey Ndibe.

Wow, what a beautiful book dedication!
Mental smile. Mental smile. Mental smile. Mental smile. Mental smile. Mental smile. Mental smile. Mental smile. Mental smile. Mental smile. Mental smile. Mental smile. Mental smile. Mental smile. Mental smile. Mental smile. Mental smile. Mental smile. Mental smile. Mental smile. Mental smile. Mental smile. Mental smile. Mental smile. Mental smile. Mental smile. Mental smile. Mental smile. Mental smile. Mental smile. Mental smile. Mental smile. Mental smile. Mental smile. Mental smile. Mental smile. Mental smile. Mental smile. Mental smile. Mental smile. Mental smile. Mental smile. Mental smile. Mental smile. Mental smile. Mental smile. Mental smile. Mental smile. Mental smile. Mental smile. Mental smile. Mental smile. Mental smile. Mental smile. Mental smile. Mental smile. Mental smile. Mental smile. Mental smile. Mental smile. Mental smile. Mental smile. Mental smile. Mental smile. Mental smile. Mental smile. Mental smile. Mental smile. Mental smile. Mental smile. Mental smile. Mental smile. Mental smile. Mental smile. Mental smile. Mental smile. Mental smile. Mental smile. Mental smile. Mental smile. Mental smile. Mental smile. Mental smile. Mental smile. Mental smile. Mental smile. Mental smile. Mental smile. Mental smile. Mental smile. Mental smile. Mental smile. Mental smile. Mental smile. Mental smile. Mental smile. Mental smile. Mental smile. Mental smile. Mental smile. Mental smile. Mental smile. Mental smile. Mental smile. Mental smile. Exhaustion.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Food always tastes so much better when your body is actually hungry.

Why do I so easily forget this all the time?
"Like a moth to a flame, 
burned by the fire.
My love is blind,
can't you see my desire?"

From the song That's the Way Love Goes by Janet Jackson.