Thursday, March 31, 2011

Miroslava Duma: Girl Crush, but not a Friday

This isn't a girl crush post, although I am completely in love with her and stalk her all the time, but I digress (before I get arrested for harassment). Can I just show you how cute she is? I just want to share with you the most naturally fashionable person in existence. Shes' the former editor for Harper's Bazaar in Russia and she now is a freelance fashion writer for various magazines, she's the daughter of a Russian Senator and she just gave birth to a baby boy. Did I mention she's only 25? She's a total fashion chameleon, yes her money makes it easier too, but Paris Hilton is rich, what's her excuse? So here goes...

Here's Miro meeting his parents in Chanel:

 Here's Miro going to a funeral? 

 Miro going out to brunch and shopping:

 Here's Miro going to a rock concert, Justin Beiber no doubt:

 Here's Miro on vacation, but never a vacation from looking hot:

 Here's Miro ringing her bff for drinks:

Miro in NYC downtown:

 Here's Miro prego, but doesn't miss a fashion beat:

 Miro in central park as an upper east side princess:

Figuring out after church lunch plans. Yes, she goes to church in my mind:


My Dad

I think I wrote about my mother, brother, husband, grandmother, even ex-boyfriends more often than I have written about my father. Not that my dad isn't important to me, but I feel it's like writing about myself. More often than not, my dad and I have been paired together in temperament and I grew up hearing that I look like my dad. To my dismay, I would cringe and my father would ask "what's wrong with looking like me? I have really good features!" It's not that my father wasn't a handsome man, but my mother was the more beautiful of the two.  Although in my adulthood, we are seeing that I am more like my mom than we thought and my brother is chip off the old block, my dad and I have a special bond that comes from understanding each other's tendencies because we share them.

My dad is the middle child of three and he has always been the sunshine in what was a dark family dynamic. Although my grandmother was a free spirit and that's where my father had inherited his free spirit and I from him, her bright picture had a dark negative. She had always struggled with wanting too much attention she could not and would not get from her husband and partially because her hunger for affection was as deep as her affinity for people. She constantly felt alone and felt as though she had been missing the love her father would have fulfilled as a child, but lost when she was 8. My grandmother in her desperation to be well physically, gain attention and love while juggling her household including three young children, would lock my father up in a cabinet until she was ready to deal with him.

He was the typical middle child that tried to hold the family together, the one that made dinner in the form of instant ramen noodles for his older brother and younger sister as a kid while his mother was socializing around town. He did all the dishes afterwards and clean up while the other kids disappeared as quickly as they appeared when dinner was served. He's the kind of brother that had looked up to his older sibling's studiousness and allowed his younger sister to take whole pay checks from him while she had a husband of her own. He's the friend who embraced half Japanese "bastard" children as a friend when at the time of his youth, embracing Japanese anything was looked down upon. He was the son of a well known biology professor, but hardly saw him around the house because he was too busy meeting and molding the youth that belong to other parents. But in the end, when he talks about his mother and father, he still talks about them with reverence and respect, boasting of  their education and talents.

In family pictures, the faded faces of an era when stoic faces were respected and expected of a noble family, my father would be smiling his toothy smile in the background. His feet in tip toes, his head tilted up and a smile that radiated from his eyes, while the rest of the family were in reserved and sullen contemplation, I can see how the rest of the family would have shaken their head at him when the prints finally arrived. My dad is a poet and when his father passed a way, he had written a poem in Korean and although I could only understand a sliver of what was written, I knew he had a complex way of forming scenes in his mind's eye into words. When I began this blog and began writing about my grandmother he had never been so proud and I can see that this was another way he and I had bonded over the years. Although he had always known his gifts in words, I had only discover my love for words dates back to when I was a wee girl in Japan, writing poetry about black birds crowing in trees and depicting them with construction paper. My mother had always known, she thought it was obvious to me too when it was not.

My dad isn't the typical Korean dad, but he is. He is traditional and he loves the roots that we have, values the culture we belong to, but has seen too much of the world to be dogmatic about anything that doesn't quite makes sense in the Korean culture, like not including girls in the family tree or making your children become doctors and lawyers because all the other kids are doing it. When we were growing up, he encouraged my brother to become a baseball player and he wanted me to become an artist or a UN ambassador because he saw the natural tendencies we had and not the person he would have liked for us to be.  Unlike most Korean dads, he kissed us and played with us, and still as an adult, he asks me for kisses and calls me Audrey Hepburn. I don't think he necessarily thinks I look like her, but she's the only iconic American beauty he knows and I would recognize.

I am thankful for him, and even though it's not father's day, I want to say that I am lucky to have a man who tries me make us laugh and create family scrap book pages, drops chocolate in the milk he hands me and begs his wife for a puppy at the age of 64. The kind of dad when you ask for a chocolate bar, brings home a box and drives 2 hours to Purdue with lunch because his daughter had left a weepy message on his answering machine in the middle of the day.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Eat Pray Love my a....

I have endured more than I can bear and I will finally lash out, speak up about this book turned movie. I'm not turning into a movie or a book critic here (I hope), just happened to be reading and watching a lot of books and movies. First off, I purchased this book several years ago because of the title. I thought, this is exactly the kind of life I want to lead, to eat and enjoy life's blessings without guilt because all good things come from God. I want to constantly be in prayer so that I may not lose sight of God's truth for me, and most supreme of all themes, LOVE. I have always been in love with love, epithumia, eros, storge, phile, agape or attraction, romance, affection, brotherly and self sacrificing, most of all Agape love. I thought that the book would give me some inspiration into living a good balanced life and that this woman had found the secrets to living happy. Which I wasn't doing at the time.

Instead of achieving an evolved state of living through this wonderful book of life's secrets, she was a total mess! She didn't find any of the things that her title had promised me. She begins the book in her bathroom in the middle of the night with her husband in peaceful slumber unaware of what he will wake up to, she is pleading with God to help her. Yes, I thought, she was in the state I was in, lost and she was asking God for a little help, this is where her journey to wholeness starts! I thought... She then realizes that God wants her to leave her husband and find herself, out there. by herself. for her self. 

Without going through the whole entire book, well, partially because I couldn't read past the third of the book and by this time she had closed all ties with the United States, sold her stuff, packed up and cashed out her bank account to move to Italy. Although this is a fantasy that I often play in my head, for someone to cut all ties with the friends and family that have been there to hear you whine and dine you in their sympathy is beyond me. If you need to throw away your whole life and frivolously live out your fantasy to find yourself is completely irresponsible. What if you came back from your journey of enlightenment and you didn't find a book and movie to make up for all the carefree living you did. Would you really have found the meaning of life ? Would you have been just as happy or happier than when you started out your journey of self discovery? No, you would be back at your old job (if  they would take you back) and forever re-earning that money you spend getting away from the life you just came back to. 

I am all for a season of carefree living, but not when you nearing your 40's and you've built a life that is solely from your choices, things you have chosen for you. Ok, not all things are exactly to your plans, but more likely than not, the life you are living are a culmination of all the small and big choices you made throughout your life.  Not everyone gets to flush their life down the toilet and start a new because they don't like where they have ended up. I hate the way America has glorified this woman for "following her heart" to be "brave" and discover herself. What happened to fighting? What happened to commitment? And what about being responsible for the people in your life? What's braver is to live on through your life and being there with the friends and family who have supported you to change your perspective. You rarely need anything so drastic as forsaking everyone and everything so that you can be happy. Then the final nail in the coffin, she writes another book after this called "Committed," am I the only one that sees the irony in this? 

On one hand, I wanted to burn my book and have a picket outside the AMC theater's that played this movie, I do feel for the actual woman who had forsaken all to find herself. She's searching for something, anything to worship. She prays to her guru and finds some center in that. It makes me think, was she really looking for herself or was she looking for God? I think the latter...

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Happy Endings

Disclaimer: If you want to see Sucker Punch and you don't want to know the ending, don't read this just yet. Although... the movie is based on a graphic novel and you could have known the ending anyway.

Remember the days when we go to a movie and we can always count on a happy ending? Where everyone is happy, the protagonist story is tidy and we know that they will live happy ever after? There was no danger of seeing the hero die at the end of the movie, or have the super hero die and the villain actually takes the place of the good guy? Only the side kick died if the writers so felt as they needed a big "gasp!" from the audience and the side-kick's death served the element of gut wrenching sadness and loss, but that was enough, we don't need to have the hero die at the end too.

On Friday night, I watched "Sucker Punch" with my friend Silvie, and I was so excited about this movie because I love a flick where a cute girl can kick some ass. This is also why I want to see "Hannah" too when it comes out. Although the girls were totally hot and it had some great visuals, it was a little bit unsatisfying at the end. She had been victimized and finally was taking fate into her own hands and finding vengeance. However, instead of the girls walking out of the psych-ward in slow motion with a burning building behind them and onto a scene change where they give her step-father the beating of a life time, all the side kicks die, she gets a lobotomy, and only one girl finds her way home. Then the movie ends with the cheesiest voice over of how the weapons for taking control of your own life is inside of YOU. That monologue would have been so much more palatable if the girls all survived and justice had prevailed.

What about the days of Superman and the Justice league when in the end the villain is put a way, maybe not for good, but for now....until next time, same bat time, same bat channel. I love the Bourne movies mostly because he is invincible and indestructible and even if the "enemy" isn't completely bad, he still wins over them. Remember the last Bourne movie when you think he SHOULD have died, but he lives anyway? That's the kind of ending I miss. We live in a moving going era where the people become skeptical if there is a happy ending, like it's not realistic. Well you know what's not realistic, is an alien baby growing up on a farm to become sole crime fighting squad with a red cape.

Friday, March 25, 2011

The World Is Bigger Now

This is a book I never really intended to read. It's a book written by Euna Lee. Euna Lee and Laura Ling were two American Journalists who were captured by the North Koreans on March 17, 2009. On March 12, 2011, I attended an annual Banquet put on by Hanuel, a Korean American social service group in Chicago and met Euna as their key note speaker. I really wanted to see what she had to say for herself and Laura because I didn't understand their cavalier misjudgement when they crossed over to North Korean soil, even for the few minutes they claimed it was.

I think I read this book in one sitting because I couldn't put it down. Although most of the operations and the interviews she discussed in the first third of the book were things CB would have done and I was very familiar with the stories she told about the orphans and the refugees. It could have been our shelters she was taping and our refugees she was interviewing. The rest of the book was what changed my mind about her. She had been through a purification of some sort in the 140 days she was detained in North Korea. God had brought her down to the wire and she held on to her faith, and God held on to her. She was truly contrite for ever putting herself in the situation she was in and all she wanted was to be back with her husband Michael and her 4 year old daughter Hana.

After her talk at the banquet, I had to purchase the book right then and there because I really wanted to know what she had been through all those months and I even stood in line to get my book autographed. She was quiet but the kind of quiet that is serene and peaceful. Although she still shed tears when she talked about her experiences, I know she has fully accepted God's plan for her and she had not grown bitter.

Next up, Laura's side of the story! Somewhere Inside: One Sister's Captivity In North  Korea And One Sister's Fight to Bring Her Home. What I don't understand is: How did Lisa get involved in this? She wasn't even there... :T

Girl Crush Friday~ Kate Bosworth

Kate (28) has come a long way since "Blue Crush" hasn't she? She's not the bikini clad blonde beach bum any more, but she's completely chic, simple and cool. She also dated Legolas err...Orlando Bloom, so she's cool in my book. I love her style the most, always simple, always the thrown-on kind of outfit I like, no fuss, no theatrics (which I love at times, but not for everyday). Plus, if I were a white girl, I would want to be blonde and if I were a blonde girl, I would want one blue eye and one brown. (I actually knew a guy like this in high school, he was really popular with the girls too)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Future Susie

Do you remember when you were in High school and  thought about you in the future? I was absolutely terrified of being pregnant and then having that baby through a small opening in my body. Graphic I know, but think of how I felt as a 15 years old imagining my 33 year old self laying in some sterile hospital bed with each leg in stirrups. I couldn't bare the future thinking of that impending doom  we call child birth and dreaded what was to come. So, as that 33 year old, I'm glad I haven't seen that day and still, when I think about pregnancy and what I would have to go through to push out a child out a small opening in my body makes me cringe. I'm glad that day will be prolonged a little longer because we're adopting.

Of course that's not all I thought about when I thought myself a grown up, I thought myself 30 and single, working as an interpreter for the United Nations in New York or some embassy in another exotic country like Switzerland or Paris (yes, Paris is its own country - you would agree if you've been to France). I would have a lovely flat looking out to, well, either Central park or the Eiffel tower duh. Oh, how surprising life turns out right? One decision can make a difference of a life stage, a whole life style and quality of life. I was well on the path of finding that dream to be a reality, but I met a boy and suddenly wanted a "normal" life, wanting a house in the burbs, with green grass, kids, and having pot lucks with the neighbors. A community to live in, something I haven't known growing up. 

It's like the movie Sliding Doors, where Helen, played by Gwyneth Paltrow is shown living two very different lives depending on whether or not she had made her train. But I don't think it's to that degree where making one traffic light or one train over another to change our course of life, but it's a series of choices we make. Thinking about the future Susie now, I imagine myself with kids, I'm not sure how many but plural, happy, settled and driving a station wagon (got forbid I'm in a mini van or an SUV- that makes me cringe), having a new purpose outside of my own happiness. The future looks peaceful to me. Restful.

Envious of Sin

"Do not fret because of those who are evil or be envious of those who do wrong" - Psalm 37:1

This might be the weirdest verse I've seen at first glance, but something drew me to take a closer look at it and reflect. Do I ever fret or am envious of those who do "wrong"? And to my dismay and chagrin, the answer is a resounding "yes." If you're honest, sinning is fun, the bad boys you were chasing in high school and most of college has the same magnetism of sinning (and I'm sure there were a lot of that "wrong" if you were indeed involved a bad boy). As a child and in my young adult hood, I was generally a good kid and docile, some may say that I was too good. I was so good that the standards for goodness became perfectionism, because what else can a parent push out of a child when your child is already good? No, this isn't a blog post about what an angel I am, in fact it's the opposite. I am no puritan. 

There is something in me that feels like I have been missing out in all the worldly fun. You know, the things a normal teenager would attempt to get away with and looking from a far, is more innocent than not. Like sneaking out and meeting a boy in your backyard to make out, and this scenario is based on true event by a real live girl friend I have. Although it seemed so "bad" back then and its is, lying, manipulating, concealing and being promiscuous, but part of me wishes I had disobeyed my parents a little. So I had made up my mind my senior year, when I start college, I am going to do everything "they" told me not to do and I did. Those days were short lived and messy, I had no clue what I was doing to even have fun. I had actually been a little bit apprehensive and afraid to date boys that came knocking at my door and at frat parties, I literally stood in a corner plotting my escape without the knowledge of my girlfriends. I was sure they would tackle me at the threshold of the door if I had tried to run home to my dorm room, and they did. Those days were short lived obviously because I was not cut out for partying hardy with a big mob of drunken frat boys. Thus, returning to my quiet, good girl life, rising at 7:30 am for classes, studying, going to church, often browsing at my favorite book shop and reading them across the street at my favorite coffee shop.

Not that I didn't have fun going out, I love dancing (I know...gasp!) and I can put down more drinks than your average football quarter back, but I couldn't sustain a long stretch of time partying it up. On the other hand when I am "good" I often have fantasies of freedom I would have if I were not expected to be so good. My girlfriend's cousin is pregnant and she isn't married. Although this is a terrible situation to be in since she wasn't planning this pregnancy and has no job, I secretly had flashes of this free spirit, answer to no one kind of life she might have been leading. Although I like my life and the supposed "good" like I lead, I have a sneaking suspicion that if I were not surrounded by my family and friends, not to mention my watchful community, I wouldn't be living the life I am now. I can just see myself in my mind's eye being single, living in the city, going out every weekend starting from Thirsty Thursday, meeting cool people and living it up. Not that any of these things are wrong or evil or even sinful, not at all, but I have these thoughts of escaping the life I have now and that's where we take the "wrong" turn. My freedom I want isn't always walking down a  deep dark road of sin, but to have a few drinks without spreading the rumor that I am a lush, to dance without having people think I'm a flake, to dress up in my prettiest dress without being labeled shallow and frivolous. Can I do that? Can I just be free to do that?

Then, in my quietness of my bedroom at night when I'm full and content from the day, with my husband in the other room watching Conan and me reading my latest book find, I feel happy that I have miraculously chosen to live this life. Part of me thinks that God had made these good choices for me because I'm not sure if I could have made these series of good choices on my own. Knowing all the flaky and not so wise choices  I've made in the past, I feel I was put in this good place. Maybe it's my tendency to be a perfectionist, to be all bad and all good at the same time, like Nina in Black Swan. See? This is why I left that movie thinking, "I understand her."

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Lady of Leisure

"I'm not cut out for the working force!" I think I've said that more than a handful of time after college, and I don't think it's because I'm especially lazy. Well...not more than the next sloth. This is the thing, I never in my childhood or even in my young adult hood as a college student ever thought about making money. That thought never occurred to me, that I will eventually make money to eat, have a roof over my head and pay bills. For some odd reason, I thought everything was magically paid for by some unknown benefactor that followed me around whenever I had to pay for something. Then it occurred to me that it was my dad, then my husband. I would epically fail if I were ever on "Price Is Right" because I never know what anything costs! You're probably rolling your eyes and this post thus far has confirmed your suspicions about me being a high maintenance spoiled princess. This isn't the case, or...maybe it is in reality but I have different reason for all this naivety.

For as long as I've been alive, I've always wanted to be an artist or a humanitarian of some sort, you know the kind of profession that benefits the human spirit but pays you in beans and rice, if we're lucky. My parents are the rare Korean parents that pushed us to pursue what we were naturally good at. They encouraged my brother to be a baseball player and I apparently was a free range hippie with only flowers and love to give out. I understand love don't pay the bills, nor does it make the world go round, but I don't know if I have the natural instinct to be regimented, professional and not take it personally when my boss tells me to do something without a pretty please and a smiley face at the end of his email request.

I am dying to have a purpose and I want to have something I'm good at, so that I can be a purposeful, useful and a contributing citizen, but at the same time, I'm not sure how I will survive in a corporate setting. I barely survive each day here at this job where I have flexibility and a boss who is my pastor and friend. When I think about being home with my child, I am also afraid. I'm afraid of being home and bored, whilst trying to keep a happy home for my child day to day. Yes, a rock and a hard place. Life is not that easy and more often than not, you're doing things you don't want to do, but I'm still afraid. One friend described me as a lady of leisure, like Marie Antoinette, where she's from money, she lounges around in a different dress everyday, the "help" brings her tea and cake while she's catching up on her correspondence by the bay window. The wet nurse would be tending to her children, presenting the baby to you only when she's in a good mood to have a little cuddle time. She couldn't be bothered by the troubles of others and dismiss them by saying "let them eat cake."

I hope this isn't me. As much as I would like this life for maybe a month or so, Marie Antoinette only makes the most of it because well, I imagine this was her place back in those times. Although there's opposition and hard work put into life, there's a great satisfaction of the labor you put into anything that's worth having. There you go, a feel good ending and a lesson to boot! :)

Monday, March 21, 2011

Living in the matrix

Everyone has a love hate relationship with Facebook and there have been a lot of hoopla about the negative effects of Facebook all over the net. Some say that it caused girls to develop anorexia, bulimia, low self esteem, and some say that Facebook has caused a decline in their love relationships due to old flames wanting to "friend" them and leaving flirty messages on their wall. Then, there's the addicted who will not spend time with your when you're with them, but will send you links on your wall whist you sit next to them twiddling your thumbs. Whatever the case, Facebook is not the problem. After all, Facebook, just like email, texting or even the phone is a way of communicating and keeping in touch with friends who are not easily accessible to us on everyday bases. It's just a tool, we can't blame it for all our problems and deteriorating lives because it's actively plotting to undo us, pillaging our privacy and carry them off as it's loot.

The problem arises because all of us have created their best version of themselves on Facebook, and it's just not quite everything we are, it's a distorted, a bit artificial version of who we really are. Sure, that girl in the red dress who appears in the matrix is flawless, but she's not real, she has no soul, and if you finally get a hold of her and began a conversation with her, she won't have a thing to say other than what you programmed her to. We have, in a way, done the same thing to ourselves haven't we? The version of ourselves on  Facebook is that woman in the red dress. We write sparkling and witty remarks in the "about me" box, preselect intellectual books to "like" and conveniently leave out movies like "Glitter" with Mariah Carey as your favorites, even though you own it and watch it every chance you get on the weekends. The cute, quips on the "what's on your mind" section is always smart, premeditated and spell checked. Who can live up to the image you've created for your audience? If you can help it, all the pictures that you're tagged in are ones that make you look sexy, beautiful and it's from just the right angle that makes you look thinner than normal.

We also scroll through all the pictures that other's have hand selected for you to see, you know, the beautiful sexy pictures that makes them look thin too. We see the highlight reel of what their lives really consist of, all the partying, cute moments with friends, glittering lights, events, dinners and festivals, and you begin to think that everyone is living celebrity lives while you sit at home scrolling through people's Facebook pictures. What we see online is deceiving and although it's you to a degree, many of us will compare and contrast our value as a person through the comments, the number of wall posts, and "happy birthdays" we receive in a month. In fact, I recently began receiving an email from Facebook notifying me of my "weekly Facebook page update," that tells me how many active users have visited me since last week, how many wall post, comments and visits I've had. Thus adding to the fire of insecurities gages my worth and value as a person, if I were a person  that needs that kind of approval that is....

Facebook has also created for me unwanted drama that is so silly and can't bring myself to really deal with such things when there are things like Japanese Earthquakes and nuclear meltdowns happening around the world. It's always difficult to interpret the intention of one's comment just by text and although emails have had this reputation of mis-conveying an innocent message to be aggressive or flippant, opening a can of worms of hurt feelings, insecurities and communication breakdowns. I for one had deleted all of my "friends" so that I had only the people that really knew me personally and closely so that I wouldn't be misinterpreted again. My rationale is that my friends and family would take my comments in context of me and know that I don't mean any harm.

An article I recently read states that 31 million users have committed what is being dubbed "Facebook suicide." Although, I have committed that suicide once, when I really think about it, it's as though you are being unplugged from the matrix and you're finally living in the real world with words not carefully fashioned, real time conversations with someone else's voice attached to them, the awkward silences, the comfortable silences. Real relationships are dirty and messy, but in the end the eye to eye connection and real live flesh and blood is what humans are created to crave and need. 

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Girl Crush Friday (on a Thursday)~ Marion Cotillard

I had to post Girl Crush Friday today because of the Day of Silence tomorrow for Japan with Love! A bit of Friday is here a little early (with sunshine and warmth! plus a little bit of green beer). Enjoy...

Marion (35) is French. Need I say more? Her father was a real live French mime, her mother was an actress, and her brother is a sculptor. She isn't the kind of French that looks down on your for speaking French in an American accent and is rude to you for born un-French. She's the kind of French that is romantic, dreamy and upholds Bohemian ideals of truth, beauty, freedom, and love. She's probably my favorite actress.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Love for Japan

There has been so much going on in Japan and it's kind of overwhelming to care. I'm afraid that once I start caring and begin to think about what I can do, it's going to consume me. When great catastrophe strikes, it is so large and so overwhelming it makes me think, "what can I possibly do to make anything better for those people?" I think that's what happens whenever there's a great need that I can't fill perfectly on my own. It's like it's all or nothing for me. Of course I care, deeply and personally, Japan was once a place I called home for a while and Japanese is the first language I had mastered even before my mother tongue, Korean. More than what I feel or how it affects me (selfishly, because I'm spoiled) and the concern that will keep me thinking and rethinking about the tragic predicament a whole nation is in, I will start with something small.

This Friday, March 18th, I'm participating in a Day of Silence for all bloggers and for one day, no blog will update.  If you have a blog, you can do this too! It's a small small gesture, but it's to raise awareness for a fundraising effort called For Japan With Love. This site is raising funds for Shelter Box, an organization that provides life saving supplies for families when disaster strikes. Also check out Ever Ours to snag a flier for your own blog.

List of Fears

"Confront your fears. List them. Get to know them. And only then will you be able to put them aside and move ahead." - Jerry Gillies

How awesome would it be to make a list of all your fears, your mistakes, your failures and throw them in the pits of the ocean so that it will be forever gone, forever forgotten, and we can move ahead. In efforts to confront my fears and acknowledge the irrationality of some and let them rest, and acknowledge that some are things out of my control, and commit them to God who has all control. 

"For God did not give you a spirit of fear, but of power, love and self-discipline." 2 Timothy 1:7

1. Heights 
2. Enclosed spaces
3. Being unloved
4. Being rejected 
5. Being revealed for less than what people think I am
6. Being forgotten by people I love
7. Getting too close to people
8. Snakes
9. Maggots
10. Worms
11. Small repetitive patterns that are too close together
12. Messing up my child
13. Not bonding with my adoptive child ever 
14. Being home with kids all day
14.5. Being bored all day at home with kids all day
15. Not leaving a legacy or have contributed to the world 
16. Losing my family 
17. Failure
18. Not being perfect 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Word from our friend Chuck

"This is a good a time as any to state that one of the greatest themes of Christianity is triumphant hope.  Not just hope as in a distant, vague dream, but triumphant hope, the kind of hope where all things end right.  In the midst of the struggles and the storms and the sufferings of life, we can advance our thoughts beyond today and see relief...triumph...victory.  Because in the end, God does indeed win.

Think that through.  All earthly woes, all financial pressures, all emotional trauma, all physical disabilities and handicaps, all domestic conflicts, all international wars and frightening rumors of wars, all demonic oppression and satanic attacks, all that ends.  And we will be with Him who wins!  And that means nothing but harmony and unity and victory and joy and praise and delight."  - Chuck Swindoll

Friday, March 11, 2011

Girl Crush Friday~Diane Kruger

Diane Kruger (34) is a German actress and she use to be a fashion model. I don't know if she's in a lot of stellar movies but I like a girl that can play Helen in Helen of Troy, then play Bridget Vonhammersmark in Inglorious Bastards as a German spy who bats for the Allies. I can't really say one way or another if this girl can act and really, I'm not a critic. All I'm saying is that she looks like the type of girl that does have the face that launched a thousand ships, but will call your Nazi ass in if she had to, and I like that.

Ps. Don't you just love her hair here? I want this hair.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Drama Queen

The times I write the best is when I'm in the thick of emotion, when the iron is hot the writing comes easily and potent. I think that's the case with most writers, although there are biographers, journalists, and scientific text book writers who can in fact write a perfectly written sentence without experiencing any human emotion at all, but the best writing comes from the human pits and the human highs. Many times I will write a post when I am feeling most convicted and most inspired, then I walk away forgetting it ever happened. I don't think what I'm feeling at the time is the pillar or the foundation of what my morals and values are based on, but for just a moment or two, I believed in what I wrote, what I felt and thought.

Sounds like a little case of theatrical drama, the way I described how I felt while fasting for Crossing Borders last year, "oh the emptiness fills me like a tidal wave, there is only the void I eat and fills my soul," no, I didn't really feel that hungry, and I may have exaggerated a little.  Reading any good poetry or song, someone felt strongly about something or someone and that someone was a little bit of a drama queen when they were in the thick of it. I am convinced when Shakespeare wrote his sonnets, he wrote them for someone, maybe he was never in a relationship, but he definitely pinned over someone and he swam in it, drowned in it.

If no one ever thought that their break up, make up, new found love or death were just life happenings and it was brushed off as "it is what it is" and "we must move on toward the horizon with our heads held high", we would not be copying and pasting all of those quotes as our facebook status. What you think is cool, collected, informed and balanced will never produce words like Pablo Nerudo:

"...with those eyes so much purer than mine, 
he'd keep on gazing at me
with a look that reserved for me alone
all his sweet and shaggy life,
always near me, never troubling me,
and asking nothing."

And he wrote that about his dead dog.

Living in a culture where we value level headed logic and good judgement, we swing too much to one side where we suppress even the slightest emotion. It's embarrassing to get worked up, passionate and hot under the collar about anything. Whether it's about religion, politics, love, friend or foe, to keep it cool and collected, not allowing anything to break the barrier of armor you put on as your skin. So, it's ok, get dramatic and write me a poem.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Ash Wednesday

...And pray to God to have mercy upon us
And pray that I may forget
These matters that with myself I too much discuss
Too much explain
Because I do not hope to turn again
Let these words answer
For what is done, not to be done again
May the judgement not be too heavy upon us..." - T.S. Elliot Ash Wednesday

I did not sleep well last night, like most nights I had a difficult time falling asleep and although this is typical, every thing seems a little more exasperated without the option of comforting myself with the little luxuries in a day. Like my latte for example, and sweets. How desperate can I be that the first thing that popped in my head this morning was, coffee and lot of sugar to make up for my lack of sleep. It's also very rainy and gloomy out and normally I'm a happy frog when it rains, but the day is only reflecting upon my mood and the essence of Ash Wednesday. However, I must chose to see this as an opportunity to reflect on repentance and  mourning. 

5 My ears had heard of you
   but now my eyes have seen you.
6 Therefore I despise myself
   and repent in dust and ashes - Job 42:5-6

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


Lent begins tomorrow on Ash Wednesday, and by the trusty old Wikipedia definition, (and I use trusty loosely)

 "Lent in the Christian tradition, is the period of the liturgical year leading up to Easter. It is the time of sacrifice for Jesus. The traditional purpose of Lent is the preparation of the believer through prayer, penitence, almsgiving and self-denial."

 I don't know what the liturgical year is but I know it's 40 days leading up to Easter and giving up anything for 40 days is pretty costly. I also don't know what almsgiving is either, but I want to do more than the "what are you giving up this year?" where for the sake of obligatory participation of Lent, give up something like chocolate and or fatty foods because it would give you a good reason to hop back on the horse and recommit to that diet resolution you made during New Years.  Some years I have claimed I will give up Lent for Lent and celebrate the freedom we have in Christ, but that was just out of pure laziness and a general disinterest in giving up my precious latte addiction and or spiritual growth of any kind.

This year, I would like to give up something costly, most likely that latte addiction I mentioned earlier and any sweets because that just takes the place of the sugar spike I'm not getting from the morning latte. You might be rolling your eyes and giving a sigh of grief but if you know how I depend on that latte, and how crabby I would be, you'd know it would be costly, to me and to the people around me. I want to do this and not just trudge through the fog I will walk through for the next 40 days, but fight my crabby delirium and each time I experience a tinge of weakness about to fall through to giving up and compromising, I will make it a time of reflection and prayer. I want to make this Lenten season what it was suppose to be, to walk in the passion of Christ who loved us and grow close to Him in this small sacrifice. So small in fact, that we cannot call it a sacrifice...latte and sweets vs. dying on the cross, I think dying on the cross wins. Thank you Jesus.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Social Caste

Caveat to reading this post: I love the community I belong to and I love the people in it. I don't what OUT per se, but to expand it. It just dawned on me one day,, how strange it is that we live in America, we are American and we live in this bubble.

Do you ever get the feeling that you're born in a Korean American Christian community caste system? For those that don't know the social structure of a community such as this, I will divulge. I have not fully been a part of this community from birth like the rest, but by anthropological observation, it seems the Korean American Community starts with the first generation of parents who may or may not have known each other in Korea,  huddled together as immigrants in this great wide nation of ours to give support to one another. Pooling money, running churches, raising and beating their children together as their immigrant brows sweat with work and clawing their way from rags to riches in one lifetime, or at least the next lifetime, us. I think it's due to the common bond we have in knowing that our parents have suffered Korean poverty walking bare footed to school, up hill both ways and drinking condensed powered milk distributed off of a U.S. army tank; and even though they grew up in such treacherous conditions, they have managed to becoming lawyers, doctors, business men, but only to give all that up to run a dry cleaners in the States, so that they can give their children with "better opportunities."

Then small clusters of family friends grow up and the children of these immigrants become their own social network and people know each other by only one degree of separation, two at the most and you begin going to social gatherings like it's your job. Someone's birthday, someone's baby's birthday, someone's wedding, and someone's bridal shower (and for the most part I like going to these things because what else is there to but the celebrations of your loved ones right?). After a while, it begins to feel like it's a social caste and you're obligated to attend their family function because, well, in a sense they've become like you're cousins and you've become their children's auntie. You're forced to hang out with people that you vaguely know from facebook, you know...that people that they friend requested you because they know of you? Then that awkward day comes when you're sitting across from them at a dinner "thing." You should be friends right? Why? Because you belong in the same circles and you're Korean American in the Chicagoland area.

The real snag to all these invites to celebrations in mind is that I feel my name written in the Great Book of Social Life at the Korean American community center and you just get sent emails and invites because you belong to it, or are people really friends? Am I the only one that feels like we were put in some bag of people that were shaken up like mixed nuts? It's as if our parents have decided for us who we were going to be friends with from the beginning, having no choice but to be in the community we are essentially born into. Yes, everyone is born into a community, but for some reason, it's hard to escape this one, no body leaves or can't leave.

If by chance you belong to a Caucasian church and you have a group of friends who are not Korean American or even Christian at that, you're sort of a social pariah. People tend to question, what did they do to live outside the watchful eye of us who are their rightful community? Why do we live in this bubble? It makes me tired I guess because there's no real connection at the end of the day, and when I need to vent and say silly things like this to someone, all the someone's I celebrated their important milestones with are no where to be found. I  can't tell whether we, like our parents are huddling together for comfort in knowing our backgrounds and not having to explain anything, or we truly desire each other, want and enjoy one another.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Girl Crush Friday~ Erin Wasson

Erin Wasson (29) is a model, obviously...and I think I kinda have a crush on her because she doesn't put off the typical pretty vibe...and I think all of my future girl crush-girls will have this in common. Like, can you tell she use to be a bit of a tom-boy and is so cool? Yes, I think Kate Beckinsale is pretty, but she's too typically pretty, just like how Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt and Chase Crawford  are typically pretty.

I know these posts seem totally random and has nothing to do with thought or writing, but let's take a break from my rants shall we? just once a week.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

This is for you S.

 I write it here because, you're not alone in feeling like this. When a particular boy that seemed too good to be true turns out.... he was too good to be true.

You ARE someone....
when we're lost in our head, our heart that is sooo deeply in the pools of blue and so sensitive to the disappointments, the accomplishment, the loss, the gain, the love and the hate of this life, it's hard to resist the changing winds..but we have to be anchored in the Truth. You and me both. 

What IS that you are loved by so many, God loves you, your family loves you, I love you and these are not anything to shake your fist at. ONE boy that failed to love you in ways you wanted him to or should have loved you doesn't or shouldn't take away your will to love or will to live. 

It's true that you still believe in love and romance, truth, dreaming and what's deeper than skin. 
It's also true that you want to love again...someday.
It's true that your worth comes from Christ
It's true that who ever you are, what ever you are cannot be so easily undone. No, not the core of you.
It's true that your healing comes from Him too. your joy. your freedom. Not me, or the boy that's too good to be true. 

It's time for you to be lost in your thought now, in your laments and even in your nightmares, because that's what humans do when we lose in love.  
Your fitful sleep, it will subside and you will sleep again...and stay asleep.
Don't be afraid any more because the worst is done, he can't do much more damage to you, unless you go back for more.
The only damage you'll incur now are the ones you'll believe about the lies you hear in your head. 

Yeah, I say "love freely", but what you want to give to this boy is not the kind I mean. 
That's not freedom and that's not love. Let him taunt you with "I miss yous" and the reckless abandonment of young love but that's just the fuel for the nightmares you have at night. 

What's the point you ask? The point is, in loving, you have to always, every time put your heart on the line (and you have) and a lot of times, people will be irresponsible and cruel, only because they are fickle and ...well...irresponsible. The point is, that God created us to love and to be loved, and once you are in the arms of Christ who is your ultimate lover, you will never be sunk this low into the deep dark waters of fear. 

"There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love." 1 John 4:18