Monday, December 17, 2018

The January 2019 cover of Vogue México with Yalitza Aparicio Martínez on the cover is everything.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

"Things ended as they so often do in this era, with an unanswered text."

From the December 14, 2018, New York Times Modern Love column titled: Your Dog Has Seen Me Naked. By Ryan Pfeffer.
I just want to go watch Danny Tenaglia spin and dance for six hours straight.
As an alumni of The New School, I utilize the free lifetime access to their buildings a lot. It's pretty much the only place I have to get work done in the city. Coffee shops and libraries are too crowded and leave me worried about stepping away for a second to use the bathroom. And my place in Harlem is so small that I can't even fit my desk in my room, allowing no solitude for my thoughts. It makes concentrating at home really difficult. Seeing that I'm still paying off my student loans, I will happily come to The New School campus as much as possible stay here for hours with my computer.

It's a rainy and dreary Sunday here in New York today. I decided to forgo my usual favorite spot in the university's main building for a place on an upper floor instead. It's amazing how different life seems from a much higher view. It's like another world opens up. All the movement and people on the street level seems so much smaller. Floors upon floors of nearby buildings reveal entirely new habitats with each peek through an apartment window. Each living quarter has so much personality and character. Meals are had, lights in different rooms flicker on and off, and day-to-day life is lived. It's all so fascinating to observe, and provides a much needed reminder about perspective. There's just so much more out there than what I know and see in my own daily existence.

Friday, December 14, 2018

"I set the water to boil, warmed the asparagus-and-bacon sauce in a pan, and threw together a quick salad of lettuce, tomato, onion, and green peppers. When the water boiled, I tossed in the pasta and diced some parsley while it cooked."

From the book Killing Commendatore by Haruki Murakami. Page 351.
"'Why don't you stay for lunch?' I asked the the two of them. 'I can whip up a pasta and salad in no time.'"

From the book Killing Commendatore by Haruki Murakami. Page 351.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

"Somehow, I had to believe, I would gain not only knowledge but wisdom, too."

From the book When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi. Page 50.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Sometimes, it feels nice to sit on a New York City park bench on a winter night.

Everyone else around is too cold to do anything else other than briskly walk by, so I appreciate the space and alone time.
"Am I ever embarrassed about anything that I do? No."

Said by Cardi B in her December 9, 2018 interview with CBS Sunday Morning.
I can't tell if you just love complaining about this, or truly don't want a solution?

Monday, December 10, 2018

Why are there so many movies and tv shows about writers, you ask?

Well, because writers write them.
"If you think you're in my head,
you've been seriously misled."

From the song Misled by Celine Dion.
"Somebody pinch me. Your love’s too good to be true."

From the song Sweet Dreams by Beyoncé
It came to me while Philip Glass was playing in the background.

Sunday, December 09, 2018

"It's the hardest thing that I've ever done.
To love somebody and still run."

From the song Still Run by Wet.
"I'm a singer and a songwriter. And a bartender. And a babysitter. On weekends I host four course dinner parties for $65 a plate. And I make soap to sell online. And candles. And tea baths. And hair conditioner. And shampoo. Basically I'm broke. And I need a vacation. But I'm on the move. And I'm not stopping until somebody writes me a check for some of my music."

From the December 8, 2018 post of the Humans of NY Instagram account.
Erotic 가위.
A void.
You can't write with a drink in your hand.
"Turn my sorrow into treasured gold."

From the song Rolling In The Deep by Adele.
"Take it all with you.
Don't look back at this crumbling fool."

From the song Take It All by Adele.
"He might have wanted to decisively separate himself from the self he used to be."

From the book Killing Commendatore by Haruki Murakami. Page 282.
Everyday love.
Love everyday.

Saturday, December 08, 2018

This is the only thing I know.

Friday, December 07, 2018

Thursday, December 06, 2018

The past few weeks or so.

No one is one dimensional. Perceptions are.
You'll miss this.
Teenage couples who are deeply in love will take up an entire subway row of seats without thinking twice.
Because it makes me feel good.

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

There come times in life where it's undeniable that a critical turning point has arrived.

And deep in my heart, I know that I am currently at one of these pivotal moments right now.

It all started a few weeks ago, and since then, it's been one unforeseen significant thing happening after another. At first, it just seemed like a row of bad luck with a shitty thing here, an unlucky thing there. But then I stepped back from it all to give it a closer thought. Why? Why was all this happening now at once? And then it began to make sense. The realization didn't come straight away, but it took the 4th bad incident within weeks for it to truly hit me. And what it's all come to mean is that something is happening in the form of change. And that I am changing. It's not my world around me or the elements of my life that are changing, but it's me. I am. And wow, I see it now. I truly see it. I'm not the same person as I was from just a month ago, and that's not just hyperbole. This awareness has only made me feel lighter and happier. I feel free in a way, and ready for what's next. In fact, I'm god damn excited about life. I don't care if what happens is good or bad, but I am fucking excited about it all. At this point of my life of 35, I'm so humbled to know better. To take what I've been given and seek meaning and purpose from it. A lifetime of watching Oprah and being open to receive those lessons others have so clearly explained from their own personal hindsight has all been for this moment right now. All of my previous down periods in life filled with struggle, confusion, and anger has been for this moment right now. Because thanks to all that, I understand that everything happening is here to help me and make me stronger. To help clean the slate of an older version of me, and turn the page to that next fresh chapter. Because there's no other way to accept it. There simply isn't. Not embracing it this way would be to fight it, and to fight life means to lose in life. I'm not going to fight it. I'm going to love it even harder and squeeze it until it turns blue. Yes, there will be tears, because there already have been within the past few weeks. But that's okay. I've earned those tears. They're mine and I'll show them to the world or whoever else I please. Because I'll proudly taste the salt from those tears to remind me that there is no flavor in life without that salt. It's a necessity to being. And I can use it now to fight any other aspects of my life and its struggles. It will sting and even hurt me, but I'll be okay. When I went over to my parents' place for Thanksgiving last month, it had been the first time in years that it was just my immediate family and me celebrating. We usually do a bigger thing with all my relatives, but this year, it was just my parents, sisters, and brother-in-law. I've always appreciated more intimate settings, and I can't express how much fun we all had together. Starting at 3pm until the late night, the only thing on our agenda was to eat, laugh, drink, and talk, with all of us eventually zonking out and crashing at my parents' place. I woke up the next morning so happy, because I realized I already have everything I need. I have my family, and am so grateful we all have our health. And then there's my chosen family of a close-knit group of friends who truly get me and support me. And no revolving factors of my life can change this foundation of mine. This feels like one of the hardest times I've been through in recent times, but I totally get it now. And it's from all of these unexpected setbacks that's forced me to see the other crucial changes I must make in my life. Habits. People. Vices. Ultimately, carrying out these will be even more difficult than the surprise ones from the last few weeks. Because these necessary changes that are now so obvious are in my control. It's up to me to make them. They won't be done for me. But I'm okay with that. Even with puberty, I've always been a late bloomer in life. But oh man, this lesson has finally hit me and I'm here. And I've never been happier and felt more solid as a person. I'm awake. I'm recharged. I'm prepared.

You know that scene in I Know What You Did Last Summer, when Jennifer Love Hewitt's character is fed up and screams out to the sky, "What are you waiting for!?" for the second time as she does that cute little spin? Yeah, that's how I'm feeling right now. But in a more optimistic, cheery way.

Monday, December 03, 2018

"Rent Week Pasta."

From the November 2018 Basically website story: Turn This Lemony Rent Week Pasta with Leeks and Chile Flakes All the Way Up. By Alex Delany.

I love everything about this title. It's pure genius.
“'It sounds extreme,' she says quietly, poking at a piece of tuna sashimi. 'But when you have no sort of representation, when you’re completely absent from media or from everything you’re consuming, no matter how strong your support system is, subconsciously, the subliminal message is, ‘You are defective.’ And I’m just beginning to understand the scope of how damaging that is to people and to myself.' Her words are careful, precise, molded, she says, by years of therapy."

From the December 3, 2018, The Cut article: Everyone’s Ready to Watch Greta Lee. And the actress is feeling the pressure of being seen. By Madeleine Aggeler.

Saturday, December 01, 2018

"Hey Sis,
it's Christmas.
You can cross me off of your wishlist."

From the song Hey Sis, It's Christmas by RuPaul.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Those hidden scars are the ones that need the most love and care to heal.
"What are you most proud of thus far in your career?
I don't really like to congratulate myself. I'm happy that I've gotten to this place, but I'm not in any way, shape or form even close to being done. I'm just getting started and there's so much work to be done in the community."

From the November 30, 2018, Fashionista article: How Lindsay Peoples Wagner Worked Her Way From Closet Intern to Editor-in-Chief at 'Teen Vogue." By Dara Prant.
"Let go of your doubts, 
say yes.
Let it soak up into the flesh."

From the song Honey by Robyn.
"I learned to let go.
I travel in stillness.
And I'll remember, 

From the song I'll Remember by Madonna.
"And I'll remember,
the strength that you gave me,
now that I'm standing on my own."

From the song I'll Remember by Madonna.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Eye crust.
Pie crust.
Pizza crust.
It's like you just replay it over and over again.

Monday, November 26, 2018

"In every living soul, a spirit cries for expression--perhaps this plaintive, wailing song of Jazz is, after all, the misunderstood utterance of a prayer."

From the movie The Jazz Singer.
Get used to it.
Men. You.
This can't all just be happening at once... this can't all just be a coincidence.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

"In all this confusion."

From the song Just an Illusion by Imagination.
Turkey tomorrow.
Possible new title for a short story: The Typo That Ruined His Life
"It's just an illusion."

From the song Just an Illusion by Imagination.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Handwritten notes.
About last night.

"Didn't she look like a girl that had everything, hm?"

Said by Edith Beale in the documentary Grey Gardens.

Friday, November 16, 2018

When I was leaving the office today, the snow had already started to really come down.

It was a surprising view of the building's entrance. This was still from the inside where it was warm, but I knew it was time to leave. I took one last look of the street, with its whipping flurries and passersby fighting against the elements of the moment. I'd be leaving the toasty hallway right then to start the rest of my day, and life.

After getting home a little before 3pm, I decided to go back out and get some air. Even though the weather was bad, I still left my place in Harlem and headed downtown. I ended up walking for a bit, and then caught the 9:35pm showing of a movie at Quad Cinema. I watched this Korean movie called Burning, and it had been my first time back to the Quad since they remodeled it. I have a lot of memories at that theatre. I always liked going there because of the smaller theatre sizes, and many years ago, I even took my friend Annie there to watch a gay movie hours after coming out to her.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

"I'm far from perfect. And I don't even want to project perfect. Because, wow, thats scary. There's only one down from perfect, is to fall really hard."

Said by Cindy Crawford in the the podcast Oprah's Master Class. Episode November 8, Cindy Crawford.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Like pasta, motivation comes in so many forms.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Friday, November 09, 2018

I love getting my braces tightened, and playing around with changing the colors of the bands.

It'll be yellow and aqua for the next 4 weeks.

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

The McRib is apparently back for a limited time, but how cruel is the fact that it's not going to be sold here in NYC.

That's like, seriously messed up.

Monday, November 05, 2018

My dad came by my apartment just before to drop off some Korean food that he and my mom had prepared for me. My parents and both of my sisters live in Bergen County, New Jersey, so I am the last of my immediate family remaining in New York.

The photo below doesn't include some steaks and fresh vegetables I had already put away, and I am beyond grateful for the home cooked food (plus ramen and bubble gum).

I love you 엄마 and 아빠!

Have fun with it!
"'Poor families use food to compensate for other realms of scarcity,' she [Priya Fielding-Singh] says. While they may not have the means to buy their kids bikes or fancy clothes, they can 'splurge' on inexpensive ice cream or soda when their kids ask for it. 'In a world where parents have to constantly say no to their kids' wishes, cheap junk food offers them a rare chance to say yes.' And all parents understand these foods aren't healthy. 'No one told me, 'Giving my kid a doughnut is a healthy option.' Everyone wanted their kids to eat more fruits and vegetables,' she says. But for low-income parents, these small treats reinforce feelings they can provide joy for their kids."

From the article The Poor Diet in the November issue of Eating Well magazine. Written by Simran Sethi.

Sunday, November 04, 2018

Hello, 5pm darkness.
"I've loved and I've lost,
but that's not what I see.
So, look what I got.
look what you taught me"

From the song Thank U, Next by Ariana Grande.
My retail therapy is buying cookbooks on sale through the Apple Books store.

There's always an ever-changing selection of them in the $5 and under section, providing access to recipes and stories of some of the industry's best for just a few bucks. This is also definitely what I scroll though the most throughout my day, because I've noticed that sometimes a cookbook will pop-up and disappear from the sale section in what seems like a short time. There have been instances where I saw a cookbook on sale but didn't buy it at that moment. Then I would go back a little later and search for it directly and press Buy Book without thinking, just to realize it was listed back to its full price.

I'm not a huge shopper, so buying cookbooks this way gives me that instant gratification I'm looking for. It's healthier than buying food, and definitely better than blowing my money on other stuff I'll eventually regret and toss. Because I've moved so many times as an adult, I've come to prefer owning as little physical possessions as possible. So this digital cookbook addiction of mine satisfies without all the guilt. And each one is so cheap that I convince myself it's not a big deal. Plus, I tell myself that at least it feels like I'm building something. I've amassed this huge library of culinary knowledge I can refer to anytime I like. The depth of information in the form of gorgeous photos and quality writing available at the swipe of my fingertips feels priceless to me. I think it's pretty cool in a way because scrolling through food content is my favorite pastime after actually eating, so what better way is there to dick around and waste time on.

I had been buying cookbooks this way on the daily for a while, and never really thought about the total number I had in my collection. Then I looked at the number this week and saw that I had accumulated 300+, which really blew my mind. That means this little shopping hobby of mine, with a few dollars here and a few bucks there, has definitely built up to costing over a grand at this point. I mean, considering the retail value of them all and the hard work that was put into producing each book, it's well worth it. But I'll be damned, that's still a significant total amount of money for purchases that felt so little at the time.
"Some may come, and some may stay."

From the song South Side by Moby featuring Gwen Stefani.
You know that scene in Tampopo, when that group of ladies are taking the dining etiquette course in that fancy restaurant, and then they all start to loudly slurp their spaghetti while inhaling the pasta?

Yeah, I want that to be the soundtrack to my entire day, everyday.

Friday, November 02, 2018

"Snap out of it!"

Said by Cher in the show Will & Grace. Season 3, Episode 7.
I think Jonah Hill is very attractive. On top of being talented, I like his eyes and his style. And I especially love how he is a real person with lots of ups and downs with his weight. There's depth to all of that.
Recently, so many of my dreams involve these large gatherings with a hodgepodge of random people from my life.

Last night, I dreamt I was living on a farmhouse that was actually located in the Upper West Side somewhere. I even had a little land with lots of green grass where sheep were roaming. In my dream, I was having this huge party that was attended by lots of old coworkers and friends. The most vivid part of it had my old boss Phet and the staff from his restaurant playing soccer on the field next to my house. And as I was standing in some gazebo watching them play, I had one of those clear plastic iced coffee cups that I was filling with vodka and ice instead. In the dream, I was so happy after having discovered this ability to drink alcohol secretly while in the open.

But nowadays, I honestly don't go out or drink as much as I used to, so just thinking about sipping on that iced coffee cup filled with vodka makes me feel nauseous.
"We grow slowly sometimes and very quickly sometimes."

Said by my friend Grace during one of our heart-to-heart talks.

Our friendship runs deep, and I love this girl so much.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Filmstruck is stopping their services in a month... and I am devastated.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

I feel like it's been too long since I've made a life choice that truly scares me. And that it's time I do something about it.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

The only thing getting me through the week is Robyn's new album coming out on Friday.
Have you ever truly looked at someone’s face? And I mean study it closely and focus on each part individually to see how it all comes together for a look? How a glance is so different than a stare into the eyes? Seeing the possibilities of how they looked when younger, and how they’ll change even more in the future? With their eyes as the foundation of who they are that has remained true and is recognizable to this day?
Gays’ gaze.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

You know how in that science fiction book, the lotto prize was $1.6B? And then half a century later that was the same amount an Effxinflnzr was paid per post because of the world's population?
Two can.
To can.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

"Whatever I do,
I'm thinking of you."

From the song Thinking of You by Hurts.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Home, buddy.

Who I am. And where you'll find me.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Today is National Pasta Day.

I plan to observe this important holiday for the next 364 days.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

The arrival of fall weather here in New York is such a much needed relief.

I decided to celebrate today by switching out my summer duvet cover to my winter one, and then included it with the rest of my bedding for a thorough wash.

I am so excited to crawl into bed later...

Sunday, October 14, 2018

I'm sorry, I can't. Because I don't want to.

Friday, October 12, 2018

"Mrs. Brown: Win or lose, it's all the same. It's how you take it that counts. And knowing when to let go, knowing when it's over and time to go on to the next thing. 
Velvet: The next thing?
Mrs. Brown: Things come suitable to the time, Velvet. Enjoy each thing, then forget it and on on to the next. There's a time for everything. There's a time for having a horse in the Grand National. Being in love. Having children. Yes, even for dying. All in proper order at the proper time."

From the movie National Velvet.
"Large dreams come easier when it's dark and still."

Said by Mrs. Brown in the movie National Velvet.
"Miss Sims: What do you dream about, hour after hour?
Velvet: Things."

From the movie National Velvet.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

I will eat it until it makes my stomach hurt.
Cry, sis.
"I wiped my hands and face with a thick handkerchief, then studied myself in the full-length mirror on the wall. What I saw there was an exhausted thirty-six-year-old man in a shabby, paint-spattered sweater. 

As I gazed at my reflection I wondered, Where am I headed? Before that, though, the question was Where have I come to? Where is this place? No, before that I even needed to ask, Who the hell am I?

As I stared at myself in the mirror, I thought about what it would be like to paint my own portrait."

From the book Killing Commendatore by Haruki Murakami. Page 23.

This has to be my favorite Haruki Murakami book in a while. Everything about it feels comfortable and familiar, and makes me feel excited to turn to the next page. The plot has that element of a dreamlike underworld I've always loved in his books, and something about Killing Commendatore feels different and better than his other most recent ones. I specifically like the way this book transports me to that mysterious dark place filled with supernatural characters and plot twists again. I forgot how much I missed being here. Also, I've always had this thing of relating to the main characters in Murakami's books when they were close to or the exact age of when I was reading them. And it feels even more special when it’s a time I’m about to hit soon in life. Turning thirty-six is just around the corner for me, and it so helps in forming that bond with the protagonist this time around.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

"Many writers say this, and they're lying — but I'm not lying."

Said by Haruki Murakami in his October 10, 2018, New York Times interview: Haruki Murakami on the Writing Life, His Fantastical New Novel and the Joys of the Mundane. By Sarah Lyall.
Rich! You all.

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

"Level up."

From the song Level Up by Ciara.

Monday, October 08, 2018

This morning felt like the first time in a while where I needed to turn on my bathroom lights to shower. I had been going off natural light coming through the window for months, and was saddened by its sudden departure today.

Friday, October 05, 2018

A cat with a blue coat of fur in Harlem.

Tuesday, October 02, 2018

"She had on a thin, light purple sweater with a wide neckline. The soft strap of her white camisole was visible beside her collarbone. It looked like some special kind of pasta used in some specific recipe."

From the book Killing Commendatore by Haruki Murakami. Page 18.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

"I finished her life story."

Said by Jane Fonda about her mom in the HBO documentary: Jane Fonda in Five Acts.

Wow, what an incredible life Jane Fonda has lived so far.
"I'm wearing a new dress, 
new hat.
New ideas,
as a matter of fact!
I've changed for good."

From the song New Attitude by Patti LaBelle.

It's impossible to not feel pumped up with this song in my earbuds.
I've been waking up from such vivid dreams for the past few weeks.

Friends who I have not seen or talked to in a while will sometimes make an appearance, and I've used it as a funny reason to text them hi and start a conversation. But then there are other former friends who are now long lost acquaintances, where it would feel weird reaching out. One person in particular is still very fresh on my mind right now because I just woke up, and his presence in my dream was so unexpected and made me happy. I was elated to see him and told him so. But our relationship is no longer like that, and I'll just have to wish him well from afar.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Dear friends,

Please check out my latest food story that I wrote for Eater: A Chef’s Quest to Bring North Korean Cold Noodles to America


Monday, September 24, 2018

It just so happens that me and my roommate are both working from home today. So for lunch, I cooked us this Kimchi Udon with Scallions recipe from Bon Appétit magazine. Yes, exciting stuff going on here for a Monday, folks.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

"Choosing a favorite pasta is like choosing a favorite outfit: An obviously impossible task, and yet there are those you keep coming back to, riffing on endlessly until you’re sure you’ve exhausted all combinations, then still finding more to love."

From the September 17, 2018, New York Times article Quite Possibly Your New Favorite Pasta. Written by Alison Roman.

Friday, September 21, 2018

"And you know what's so good about the truth? Everyone knows what it is, however long they've lived without it. No one forgets the truth, Frank. They just get better at lying."

Said by the character April in the movie Revolutionary Road.
Bubbles are made to be burst.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Today feels like such a weird Monday.

Even emotional eating feels so unfulfilling.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Happy Sunday, everyone. It's a hot September day here in New York (shout out to global warming!). Even though it's my one day of the week to sleep in, I got up early today and decided to try and be productive. I purged some old crap in my closet, Swiffered my tiny little room, and gulped a tall glass of cold water with a splash of apple cider vinegar in it before heading out. In general, I think I've been spending too much of my free time eating, vegetating, and scrolling at home. Don't get me wrong, I love doing it and hiding away from the world. But these words aren't going to write themselves. And the subways are always messed up on the weekends, so that makes me want to hibernate even more. But alas, I'm happy to be out and about today. Speaking of the subway, why does it feel like the MTA doesn't give a shit about New Yorkers? Everyday, there is so much such annoying bullshit to deal with. The trains are always late, packed, stalled, or just seem dysfunctional in general. And this happens on a daily basis. The subway station closest to my apartment closed for renovations this July and is set to re-open in November. That means I have to use the next closest train station on that subway line, which isn't too far from me so it's fine. But then that station has been closed on the weekends for the past few weeks, so it's just like, ugh, what the fuck. I basically live off podcasts from Oprah and RuPaul to help me get through my commutes. I came to my old college campus right now to just sit with my computer for a bit. I haven't been doing this as often as I should because the workweek leaves me mentally depleted with little bandwidth for anything else. But I can't think about it like that. I have to think of this as a mental regeneration instead. Forcing those reminders upon myself is the only way to get back in the habit of trying to get shit done. And I have to admit that forgetting about any big life lessons or epiphanies I share here on this blog happens often. I rewatched The Devil Wears Prada the other night, and when Emily Blunt's character repeats to herself, "I love my job, I love my job, I love my job," I laughed so hard. It's like yes, girl, that's the spirit. Fake it 'til you make it. Tell yourself whatever you need to make sure you're pushing along. Because I've learned that no one or particular thing is ever going to motivate me like the way I can for myself. It's up to me, and no one else. I've got to do it for myself, and because I want to. So back to the topic of being productive on the weekends. It helps that I have a reason to leave my house every Saturday morning, and that always gets me moving. For the past two years, I've been tutoring a young student in writing every Saturday. She lives in Flushing, so it takes me a good hour-and-a-half to get to her house from Harlem. The length of the commute there is totally fine because I can catch up on my reading, but it's more just the unexpected track work and delays of the MTA and subways on Saturday mornings that really irritate me. But I actually truly enjoy spending the two hours of tutoring time with her every week, and look forward to it. On top of also being Korean-American from the same hometown, she attends the same junior high school as I did in Flushing. But it's not just from having similar roots that helps our bond, it's our personalities, too. She works really hard and has this openness to learning, and I'm grateful to be able to present any sort of guidance and help in whatever she needs. It's truly humbling, and always leaves me with a surge of positivity and hope in everything. She's just a good kid who gives a shit, and I like her energy. It's completely refreshing in a world where most of my interactions are with adults who sometimes don't seem like a good person, or like they give a shit. I feel like she and I have gotten to know each other well in the past two years, so we're able to laugh and enjoy ourselves during our sessions. I purposely never used to share too much personal info with her, but I decided to casually come out to her in a subtle way earlier this year, and wondered how she'd react. But when I did, she barely thought anything of it. And I realized it was more me who had the issues and reservations about it. Even a few months ago, I forgot why the topic came up, but as we were talking, when it came to saying the word gay, I whispered it instead of saying it out loud like the rest of my sentence. It was just instinct and something I was used to doing in order to protect myself and not cause any attention. I was afraid if her mom heard it, she might get upset. But then my student laughed and reassured me, "You know, you don't have to whisper that word! It's totally fine." I chuckled along with her like I totally knew, but in reality I was more getting over the feeling of registering the internalized fear I had when it came to the word. It's moments like that that clearly show me the progress that's been made from my generation to hers. Tutoring her is also great because I like having a reason to go to Flushing for a bit every week. It's comfortable and just feels so familiar like home. I'm normally done teaching her by the mid-afternoon, and will wander around Main Street alone to grab some food afterwards. I'll usually just pop-in somewhere easy like New World Mall or other places for dumplings or something I can eat on my feet. Or other times I'll sit down to have kimbap or soondae or donkatsu at this small spot on Union Street that's been there forever. It’s where I go to satiate any cravings for casual Korean food I had in the past week. I've come to like this Saturday routine, which allows me the rest of the weekend to go get drunk or even go back home to do nothing.
"I don't care what they think. 
I don't care what they say. 
What do they know about this love anyway?"

From the song Come To My Window by Melissa Etheridge.
"사랑을 했다,
우리가 만나,
지우지 못할 추억이 됐다."

From the song Love Scenario by iKON.

I've heard this song on so many Korean memes, and always thought it was by some older folk singer. I had no idea it was by a boyband.

Friday, September 14, 2018

I just want to go to Tai Pan Bakery, buy $30 worth of goodies, and make eating it at home in stretchy pants my only priority in life this weekend.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Have you ever been craving something really badly, and then you actually get to eat it?

Like, wow, how cool is that? I sometimes still marvel at this ability.
Starting to read a new book is like the beginning of a fresh relationship. You have to get to know the writer and their writing style, and hit a point of finding your rhythm together. Just like people, sometimes the chemistry is there from the start, or sometimes the comfort level is found a few chapters in. Or then there are definitely the times where it doesn't happen at all, and seeing the book through to its end just doesn't seem possible.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Today marks the 17th anniversary of 9/11.

With my current office just blocks away from the World Trade Center, I sit here at my desk reflecting about all of the victims who perished that day, and all of the first responders and survivors whose health was negatively impacted in one way or another from it. It's so sad and humbling to think about. Rest in peace to all those who died, and for all who continue to fight for the freedom of our country, thank you for your service.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Saturday, September 08, 2018

There's this amazing clarity that comes with getting just a small taste of what you think you've wanted your entire life. It's from realizing that you've been wrong about it for years, and the feeling is so liberating.
It's never what you think. Like, ever.
The only thing I know to be true is the goodness I want to see more in the world.
I've come to realize that the ego is a lot more dangerous than self-doubt. It brings out the worst in people.

Wednesday, September 05, 2018

It had been a few weeks since I heard from my mom, so I decided to give her a call today around lunch time to say hi.

As soon as she picked up, the first thing she said was, "I can't believe you called me just now, because I was in the middle of writing you a text!"

And that was without a doubt, the highlight of my day.

Friday, August 31, 2018

The taste of kimchi dunked in the soup of ramen is the flavor of my childhood.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Society and the Internet are playing one long miserable game of telephone.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Can we just go ahead and designate Memes as Time's Person of the Year?