Friday, April 29, 2011

Royal Duties

I want to be a princess! There is no way a girl in America can ever become a Princess, but I really do! When Pastor Dave or anyone playing the "getting to know you game" asks, "What would you want to be if there were no restrictions on you and nothing is impossible." I answer, "I want to be a princess." Sounds like the case of arrested development right? Like I never grew out of my little girl dreams of 8 but let me explain (I always have to explain). Being a princess I realize is no simple stroll in the Kensington Gardens, it's an actual job and a lifetime and full time at that. A princess is given a schedule of sorts of all the appearances she must make in one year. Last year the current Royals including Prince Charles, Philip and the Queen each made 400 to 500 appearances, to funerals, honors, processions, general showing of face, et cetera, et cetera. She will not be up in the morning dressed to the nines and popping bonbons until she wants to go shopping in Paris and wave her royal wave to the sea of commoners ready to worship. A princess has strict rules of conduct and duties.

I reason I want always wanted to be a princess was because you don't have to worry about the red tape of international law and politics like a commoner when you are championing a cause you particularly love. Sure, everyone is under the United Nation law, but you are not subject to worrying about your finances, travel accommodations and arrangements because all that is done for you. There is a freedom to roam and do what need be without the hoops to jump if you were not a princess and aside from all the altruism, I particularly like the idea of being a princess too :) Some of it is that I don't have to make particular decisions on what I need to become or achieve in the future, but your life is pretty much from the get go at the height of where you are suppose to be. You are not working to climb some invisible ladder of success, but merely need to fulfill your duties as a princess and championing a cause is part of those duties.

So you see, I'm not as prissy and as girlie as you think I was when I first told you I wanted to be a princess. Just maybe a little less so?

Girl Crush Friday~ Twiggy

Lesley Hornby was merely 16 when she became a model, she cut her hair and colored it blonde and became the face of freedom and epitomized the era of 60's revolution. She was the first super model and she only modeled for 4 years, from 1966-1970. Still 2011 she is a living legend in modeling in fashion. She is an icon.

Here is the iconic picture below.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The garden that had walls

The garden that has walls dies eventually and not long after its been built and planted, if there are no visitors to walk within and no gardener to care, it dies. The garden once full of lush greens, fertile soil and colorful blooms dies in to browns, grays and rotting roots for the soil has been full of thorns, weeds and dryness. The secret garden needs at least one person to water, to prune, to flip and nurture the soil for it to grow. This garden, the one with the walls is you. You are so private and secretive and you think it's some kind of virtue to not let anyone in so easily...but it's not true. This propensity to keep people away with your walls and your thorns is the reason you die inside, the reason your walls grow thicker and higher.

Why don't you trust me? You say I'm special, You say "I love you," you cajole me to your gates, but you never let me in. You fool me and lure me with your sweet words and your outside self, your pretend self and then once I knock at your door, you double lock your doors and turn me away. You don't think I've been wounded? You don't think I've been hurt? I'm the same as you, life doesn't play favoritism, but you do. I open up my garden to you, I invite you in. I allow you to prune where there are wayward thorns, to weed when birds have let in wild seeds from the outside. You hold your garden closed all the while walking through mine. You think I'm vulnerable and trusting because I've lived a charmed and privileged life. You are wrong. I've been hurt and wounded by people like you, who lure me and leave me cold at the door because you don't trust me.

What am I to do, when you demanded all of me and I've given all of me? What reward and what encouragement do I get? Has it been a sacrificial gift? So be it, but we are not equals. I will be here for you and if you so ask for me I will love you, but you and I are not equally bound, your yoke is not easy and we do not have an understanding.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Putting her to death

Last week, I had a creepy dream where I was brushing my long mane in the bathroom like in one of those old movies where the leading lady is sitting at her vanity in a white gauzy night gown counting her brush stokes. Just as I feel get an eerie feeling, there is a loud thunder and lightening strikes. I am startled and I shot at the window where there is rain dripping down the window panes and I see a girl standing there, or floating there (because I live on the third floor). She is dressed like Helen Keller with a white dress and blue apron with a big floppy blow tied around her head. I stare closely at her dead-pan, stoic face and only to realize that it's me. I am staring back at myself. I woke up from that dream and was thoroughly disturbed and out of all the nightmares I've had where I've been chased by shadows, scalped by those same shadows in another, this had been the most ominous out of them all.

I told a few of my friends about this dream and every one agrees that it's just as creepy as the twins from the Shining. I couldn't shake this feeling of fear and I am scared to be home alone and afraid to sleep at night. I kept feeling her presence and it's because it was me, I was always with me. During the Easter Sunday Message, Pastor Dave had flashed a split screen picture of Hugh Hefner in his youth and a hundred years later with all of his nooks and crannies. Although he was once a dashing young man and anyone man or woman would be drawn to him, he is no longer the handsome playboy no matter how much he denies that that train had left about 80 years ago (assuming he's 120 years old). He should be handing down legacy and wisdom to the younger generations, but he's still at the hottest clubs and partying it up with blond 20 year olds.

No matter how you deny what you are, it doesn't make it less untrue and no matter what you think of yourself or the life you should be living it doesn't make it a reality or even valid for that matter. As my adoption nears, I feel I must put to death an ideal picture of my life, the kind of life I have dreamed and always imagined living. Naturally because my father had lived overseas and traveled this is what I must do. I just feels right. This constant fear of being left but at the same time not wanting to stay haunts me. Hans calls my dream my "black swan dream"  (although in my dream I appeared as evil Helen Keller) because all the things she embodies, the frivolous carelessness, the mindless spending, the day dreaming, the fear, the regret, a general distance from everyone, the resentment all needs to die in me. I am afraid of myself and although I am not these things all the time and it's carefully hidden, she's still me.

I want to embrace the community that I have invested in, the family I am given, the friends I have loved and the stage that I am about to enter and to live out the reality of who I am. To longer fool myself of what could be in the future and feel as though I am a caged bird, and to no longer be a slave to the vices that I feel "I can't help but to do." That there is some kind of force so great and hook so deep with in my heart that I can't help but to do what I shouldn't do.

"...we are no longer slave to sin." Romans 6:6

I am far better than who I was
I will be far better than who I am 

Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Sister I Never Had

Since I was in high school I wanted a sister. Why high school? Because I had a little brother who was the thorn in my side who followed me around calling me, "o-neh-jjang" (older sister in Japanese) and then eventually "noona" (older sister in Korean) and I wasn't having it. No...I wasn't having the already cruel 5th graders who bow to me with their hands folded in front of them every time I passed by, and then having my lil' Asian shrimp of a brother following me around calling me by some strange utterance in "Asian." I didn't need any more siblings that would cramp my style while I tried to survive junior high. In high school, kids were evolving and that little blond girl Barb that made fun of me all those years got pregnant and had to drop out of school during her freshman year. I don't think I have to say any more than that...right Barb?

I love my brother don't get me wrong and anyone who knows us will say that we're weird because we are so close. I mean...who talks to her brother every day on gchat and calls him before anyone if I were to be really angry at the clerk at Dominick's who wouldn't bag my groceries because I wasn't pink but yellow. As much as I love the boy, that's precisely it. He's a boy and there's no way I'm going to borrow his jeans or his shirts, partially because he's 5'10 and wears a size large, so it would do nothing for my figure but largely because I don't think he keeps cute sundresses in stock for the summer for me to borrow.  Although he's a good one to go shopping with, waiting patiently, giving off handed comments from the peanut galley saying, "oh, that one's kinda cool. yeah. get that one." He's probably not going to give the best advice about what cut flatters me best and would have no idea what nail polish color is "so hot right now." Besides the fashion policing, boys just are not girls (well, most aren't) and they're just different.

Sure, I can go to brunch and shopping on Armitage with my brother and I have, but something about being with a sister that enjoys it just as much as you do is far more satisfying. Not to say that I would replace my brother for anything, not two sisters! But I do want them for different reasons.

Friday, April 22, 2011

The siren's eye

The watchful eye of the siren does not rest, it surveys you day and night. Her brutal agendas to judge me and you according to her standards are tight and unforgiving, standards that are sometimes universally right and sometimes right only in her narrow mind. She will tell you what's universally wrong and although she knows the absolute Truth, she will snicker and condescend you with her iron fist. She punishes you with the guilt and the dirty feeling of when you have accidentally fallen into traps set by others and set by her, punishing you until you have fallen down that rabbit hole of your most hated vices. She is always with you so that when you have your greatest misstep and your smallest stumble she can know and keep account of your folly. Others will have grace saying, "it's understandable, do right the next time, God has grace on you," even your greatest critics will say, "I have been there because I am human too."

I see in her a desire for me to be loved, to be praised and to be loved by the great God above, to be counted righteous and to be counted good, but soon she appears in your dream and taunt you day and night. Making you toss and turn eight hours long until the dawn arrives and you are still exhausted by her cruelty and strict whip that leave scars and lessons that you will never forget and when you think you have, it's still festers in the recess of your mind. She will bring you down for doubts, mistakes, thoughts and behaviors innocuous. She looks through your window, and sees you in your sleep, she looks through your window when you are awake, whether you are doing all good and all bad, she will know what you've done. How brutal she is when you are down, to kick you and accuse you to work harder, to look better, to be healthier, to be smarter, to be more talented and she will sent you to your grave if you do not measure up.

I look, I see her again in my bedroom window. How can she be there when you are on the third floor? I am startled and turn to see it is her, staring into your soul, dead into your eyes to see that it is me who is staring back from the other side of the panel. I am the one that is the brutal queen that will condemn, "off with her head!" for she is not perfect and she will be banished from the love of her friends, the security of her family and the Grace of her God. I pine for personal perfection and personal piety. To be all good and to be all pure, but at the same time caged in the law that is put on me by my own recitation of the law, my own concoction of the law. Although I want to be good because this is what I pine for, I am not because I rely on my own stoic and cold standard for myself. The sheer act of striving for perfection alone makes me a broken and wayward sheep when Jesus has done it all. Perfect and accomplished.

May the Jesus that is growing in me be the outflow of my goodness and love.  We now receive freedom. complete. perfection on his part and not mine. It is finished.

Girl Crush Friday~ Kate Moss

Kate Moss (37) has been a model since she was 14 years old and everyone knows her career, even the boys. Calvin Klein ads noted her for being too thin, then she was busted for doing drugs. She is the quintessential model, dating rock stars, living fast and living hard, but even at the age closing in on her 40's, she's still considered edgy and relevant. She still appears in magazines and runs one of the more popular "shops" (Top Shop) among even celebrities. I love her style for being a little bit rock and roll and a little bit 1970's. 

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Dum begets dum

Am I getting dumber everyday? Is my insomnia really getting to me?  Lately I've been catching myself say and do the stupidest things, things I would snicker and make fun of others about. "Can you believe he doesn't know the difference between too, two, and to?" Here are some of my tumbles as of late:

As I was gchatting with a girlfriend I began to write this sentence out and then....backspace backspace backspace...
"I red your comment, it was funny."

In the entry about 127 Hours, edit, delete, use the right word that means the right thing

"...he chewed threw his arm.." because he chewed off his arm and threw it up as a signal for help?

Typing out the word strong, I spell it stronge and Word underlines the word with that red squiggly line. Backspace backspace backspace...Stronge...backspace backspace's wrong with this thing!? *Spell check* Oooooh....Strong.

I know I make a lot of typos in my blog entries because my fingers are lazy, okay I'm lazy and I don't like to re-read and edit my junk before I hit publish post, but this is getting a widdle bit embarrassing.

Arguing with my brother and he says "you're crazy" and I come back with "your MOM is crazy!"

While counting the offering I think to myself, 3 quarters make 80 cents. Nope, backspace backspace backspace, it's 75 cents! Right........?? Where's that calculator...

Somewhere Inside

I promised you I would read this book...I actually purchased this book after a recommendation from a friend and exclaimed that she couldn't put it down!'s that kinda book ey? I'll read it to see if it's true. Even after I purchased this book, I was a little bit irked and annoyed by the sisters and didn't want to get into it. It collected dust on my bookshelf for about 6 months before I met Euna Lee and read her book The World is Bigger Now, recounting the exact story Laura had written about. After meeting Euna and saw how humble and contrite she was and I was curious to read her book, after reading her book, I was curious to read Somewhere Inside by Laura Ling and her tag along sister, because curiosity killed this cat.

I'm not quite sure why I thought the two captured girls were annoying and kept rolling my eyes at them. It may have been something to do with me being involved in North Korean ministries and I've been to the border, you can't NOT know where China ends and where North Korea begins. Especially as accomplished journalists, they should have known better than to make such a foolish and rogue move on their territory...or at least know better not to get caught. We are definitely not on the camp of doing things the legal way, but we know better than to jeopardize ourselves and the people we are helping.

After reading the two books, my annoyance did subside a little hearing the two girl profusely apologize throughout the book about making their families worry and putting missionaries, activists and refugees in danger. It was actually really cool to see that whatever Euna was wondering about Laura, she was able to reveal in her book, giving the reader a full picture of what really went down over there. The comparison was stark and it seems that Euna was treated a little bit more harshly because she was Korean and she spoke the language, treating her as though she was a traitor to their race. What replaced the original annoyance with the second wave of it was how Lisa Ling took the opportunity to make this book about her and her family. She explained where in China they were from and how her distractingly beautiful mother and father are divorced, she name dropped and talked about their childhood, all inclusive with childhood pictures. I had to skim and skip over most of what she wrote because I did have some interest in what went on behind the scenes as she scrambled together her political connections to get Clinton out there, but I really didn't need to know about the time she got in trouble for something and blamed it on her sister. That was an over-share. Not cool Lisa.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Taming of the stranger

" You are like my fox when I first knew him. He was only a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes. But I have made a friend, and now he is unique in all the world." - Little Prince 

"Men have forgotten this truth," said the fox. "But you must not forget it. You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed." 

It's our innate need to love and to be loved. We need a certain connection with someone other than ourselves and no matter if you are introvert like I am or extrovert, humans are humans and all are a like in this way. I know because God has created all of us to need the love that is purely his and to experience and act on this love is the human connection. We can't help it you know...the woman that you keep seeing on the train during your daily commute to work, she blended in with the rest of the foxes but before you know it after the 2nd week of seeing her in the  deep recess of your mind, she's become someone you know. You are familiar with her and because you've merely seen her with your eyes for the lat two weeks, it's only polite to ask her her name and offer your name too. It's this easy you see.

The other day, I went to Costco for a toilet paper run because Costco is really only worth shopping for things like toilet paper, toothpaste, and disposable cutlery and eating-ware and an older lady says to me "hey, I know you!" She did know me and I knew her! She's was Mary. Mary knew me from when she worked at the Streets of Woodfield Starbucks and I had been her patron every single morning for I don't know how long. The daily hellos and reciting of my custom made Starbucks latte tamed me to her, I was no longer the faceless latte monger that demanded temperature specifications of her milk (like they can ever tell), but she knew my preferences. It began with knowing exactly what I would like in my morning latte and eventually what I like to eat, then over the months, we actually became friends and shared personal information like what she does, how many children she had, where I work and what organization I champion, all with only a counter littered with Via instant coffee, Madeline cookies and the latest Starbucks music mix CDs separating us.

Take a random person off the streets and spend some time with him. Asking him questions, getting to know his childhood, wonder about his dreams, know his latte order and pizza toppings and in the end, you will surely fall in love. Not the romantic kind and maybe not even the kind where you have your favorites and you love them, but you will have a strange love connection, a responsibility toward this person. Take for example, I frequent a small gym called the Athletic Academy where athletes of various kinds train to be their best in speed, agility, and just plain scrappy-ness. On Fridays I train during my lunch period and over the course of three weeks (which is only three hours, at most 4) I have gotten to know a black football player, a white MMA fighter with a missing tooth and a black eye and a Mexican kick boxer. To know them and to work out with them is my favorite time of the week and not just because they call me Miss Pretty. It's funny to me when I imagine ourselves looking from the outside in, each of us looking like we do that we are all working, training as hard as we can and rooting for each other to "keep going," "work through it!" Plus I always get a kick out of the fact that some times I kick their asses in some really arduous circuits in my pink running shorts and a swinging pony tail.

The taming of a fox or a rose or a person happens with depositing one hello at a time, then grow that hello into what do you like, who are you, what makes you laugh? Then what makes you sad? Over time and small gestures like watering them, pruning them, feeding them and talking to them, he or she, or it is tamed to you and they are no longer one of a hundred foxes or one out of a whole garden of roses. They belong to you and you belong to them, making you responsible for each other. Although time and again, your rose can act a fool and she's only good for a pleasant sight and not to be heard, she is your flower, so you are forever bond to her. "It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important."

Tame the people around you, because it's a jungle out there.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Rock and A Hard Place

If you knew that one difficult act will save your life would you do it? Say, you had to choose that violent, difficult, painful, unthinkable act, would you choose it or would you choose to die a slow death? It seems obvious to any living creature that God hath made that they would chose to do the unthinkable and chose life. Do you jump off of a building to your death or do you face damaging, face melting fire per chance you would find a way out of the building?

Many years ago, a friend of ours told a story of how he found a mouse arm stuck to the trap but no mouse to be found. The mouse had decided to sacrifice his arm and chew through the fur, the sinewy muscles, the ever-so- sensitive-to-the-touch-nerves and even maybe doing all it's best to break it's tiny little bones in his paw. He chose life because of it's animalistic instinct to survive at any extent. We human beings on the other hand are not that one track minded. We think things like, what am I gonna do with one arm? I'm a surgeon, I'm an artist, I'm a handsome single man, who's going to marry me? Plus it's gonna hurt like a mother father trying to chew off this arm. In 127 Hours, a movie depicting Aron Ralston a tour guide who took a personal trip out doors had been trapped for 127 hours in a crack in the earth under a half ton bolder stapling his arm to that crack. He was running out for food, water and ideas to free himself. He began hallucinating at the very end of the movie as his body and spirit began to separate and he saw his future, a son. This gave him the mouse like gumption to chew off his arm, taking a dull knife to his arm and breaking the two bones inside with whatever strength he had left.

I decided that I  would be the one that would have died there, slowly, drying up in the heat of day, the cold of night and in the crack in the earth that would eventually sap the life out of me. I would have literally slipped through the cracks of life and I would have been forever forgotten. I'm not saying that I have nothing to live for on this earth, on the contrary, I have purpose, God, family, friends and weekends full of too much fun but I don't know if I would have the sheer gumption to break my bones, take a dull knife, stab myself and begin tearing layer by layer, muscle, nerve and whatever else that makes up an arm to free myself from the kungfu grip of a bolder. I would not know until I was faced with the real palatable choice of second chance at life after you do the unthinkable or the path of least immediate resistance and fall into a forever coma giving over to death. I wouldn't know how I would react, what I would hallucinate, what I would use as a focal point for distracting me from the mind numbing pain that is to ensue.

If I ever fall into a crack in the earth and I was trapped by a boulder that had fallen on my arm, I guess I'll know then.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Girl Crush Friday~ Dakota Fanning

She's a comic and actress even this little...
Isn't she so cute?
Look how she's grown...beautiful right?

Dakota (17) is an actress, a cheerleader, prom queen and she's enrolled to attend NYU. When she was a little girl, I thought, "she's too adult! too articulate!" Creeped me out a little to be honest, but her mind caught up with her age and she reminds me of a young Natalie Portman. Both staring in movies with big dog actors as a child and still attending school and living life as a "normal" kid, so down to earth. They both seem so smart and capable, all the while not worrying so much about the high life and glitz, they're doing it for the love of that game, for the art. 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Trouble with love is...

Love can be a many splendid thing 
Has another joy you bring 
A dozen roses
, Diamond rings 
Dreams for sale
 and fairy tales 
It’ll make you hear a symphony
And you’ll just want the world to see
But like a drunk that makes you blind
It’ll fool you every time

The trouble with love is
It can tear you up inside
Make your heart believe a lie
Gets stronger than your pride
The trouble with love is
It doesn’t care how fast you fall
And you can’t refuse the call
See you’ve got no say at all

Now I was just a once a fool it’s true
I played the game by all the rules
But now my world’s a deeper blue
I’m sadder but I’m wiser too
I swore I’d never love again
I swore my heart would never mend
Said love wasn’t worth the pain
But then I hear it call my name

Every time I turn around
I think I’ve got it all
My heart keeps callin
And I keep on fallin
Over and over again
This set story always ends the same
Me standin in the pouring rain
It seems no matter what I do
It tears my heart in two

The trouble with love
It can tear you up inside
Make your heart believe a lie
Gets stronger then your pride
(The trouble with love is) See your heart its in your soul
(It doesn’t care how fast you fall) You wont remember control
(And you can’t refuse the call)
See you’ve got no say at all
The trouble with love is
It can tear you up inside
Make your heart believe a lie

The trouble with love is…

Mr. Sandman...give me a dream...

This is what I really the summer time, where I am soundly asleep in a tank and a pair of old boxer shorts. Cool sheets, with the windows open to the crisp summer morning air before it gives way to the groggy thick air of Chicago in late June. It's the kind of morning you wake up to nothing but the rustling of leaves and chirping of summer birds calling out to their mothers. The kind of morning you wake up and your complexion is glowing and your soft hair is tussled in your sleep, you feel like a fairytale princess waking from her slumber as your twinkling eyes spring open, stretch your arms out in the air in celebration of victorious snooze.

Mr.Sandman, give me a dream, don't skip me over and make me toss and turn to catch sleep out of thin air. Put me in the trance that is deep, the kind that makes me forget the day's troubles where in the morning I find new optimism and spring in my heels to tackle the monsters and slay dragons. Mr. Sandman, did you forget where I lived? Should I find another way? An assisted forced sleep? No, I want the kind of restful sleep that comes from forgetting all that is behind and past, days done by has nothing to last in my mind, but the promise of tomorrow's dawn will keep me at peace, at least for 8 hours.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Common Man

King David was a man after God's own heart and he committed adultery and murder in the same breath, covering his tracks carefully not to ruin his kingdom seat. We all know the familiar story of how King David was overthrown by the Bathsheba's bathing scene. He was so blinded in lust, maybe it was love no one knows, but he had to have her and murdered the man that stood between him and his prize. Solomon was the wisest man in human history because he sought the Truth of God and the Lord rewarded him with overwhelming riches, 300 concubines and 700 wives, his kingdom was more glorious than any world kingdom past, future or present. His fall was folly, ironically the wisest man in history of man was made a fool by the 1000 women in his kingdom who were employed just to please their lord. His crown broke when he let them to build shrines to worship their pagan gods. He was overtaken by their beauty, the desire for them and just like the common man of present day, he had forsaken all to be in their graces when he was the king.

Ted Bundy was a man known for his killings, especially of women. He was famous even today because of his deep depravity and baseness that he has been made a spectacle to the public eye, shaming him and accusing him of deeds he in fact have committed and is fully guilty of. When he was sentenced to the electric chair, his last words to the public was to keep your children away from pornography or things they shouldn't see as children. It's what made me this way. He explained that as a child, he discovered a pornographic magazine and perhaps it was his fathers, but he says the early exposure of such sexual gluttony was too much for his young eyes and marred his soul. He began fantasizing about what it would feel like to kill such a woman because on paper, they just didn't seem real. It never registered to his boy that the woman in the pictures were someone's sister, mother, daughter. Though...I doubt this registers in any man's mind while gawking over the wrinkled pages. 

When I hear  him talk about where his path to destruction began, I can see that he wasn't a man completely damaged and broken in his psyche that he can't tell right from wrong. He is a man in his soul and in mind very lucid, he is the common man. Just like you or me. He isn't this psychologically broken person that didn't know what he was doing, what we call "crazy" or "psycho" but he was someone that had a soiled childhood and no one had bothered to clean up his mind's eye and corrected his thoughts. He was in his darkness left alone to fester in the garbage that was fed to him at a tender age and that in itself is perversion. I can't say that Ted Bundy had no responsibility and blood is washed from his hands because he isn't just the product of what's done to him or what wasn't done for him, he chose those things. Just like us.

Whether righteous king, wise king or perverted and homicidal killer, we fall victim to sin and it's consequences. We cannot judge one another and point fingers at what we deem correct, good or right, but we need to have grace. Whether your sin is smoking, drinking, shopping too much, eating too much or gossip, every sin stems from the same place, our fallen state. From the graces who fall from on high to the base human being who is left to die, we cannot point to the plank in their eye until we ourselves examine for the tree in our own.

Have grace so you can receive grace. Forgive and forget because love keeps no record of wrong doing.


Okay, I have to apologize for last night's post, I kind of pulled up a soap box and went on this huge tirade. I've been watching this long ass documentary called Zeitgeist: Moving Forward and if you have 2 hour and 40 minutes lying around, you should definitely watch it. Although it did make me a little bit paranoid that we are going to run out of all of our natural resources, poverty will strike the majority and the economy will come crashing down on us. I started to think I was becoming a socialist or a communist believing this system of monetary value is all made up and it's just a piece of paper human beings ascribed value to. Why can't we all live in a small city with it's own communal transit system, farming so that it's sustainable and local so that we don't waste on transporting it across the nation and live happily ever after? Oye, I am becoming a communist...

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

victim of culture

Are you a victim of culture? You would like to believe that you are the lone ranger that rose above all the morons that fall slain to the brain washing that occurs in the media and commercials. You would like to think that you are above in the influence of your friends, you peers, your employers, the American Dream. Especially as a Christian, you would like to believe that you hold steadfast to the truth that is from the Word and all the values and the wisdom of the world does not faze you in the lease. Are you a victim of culture? No, you say? Do you believe that money equals to freedom? Shed all the altruism you are trained to have as an evolved human being and think, really think about what you believe as freedom. Most of the world believe that the U.S. is free because we have roads paved with gold, we can make ourselves whatever we want, and most of us want the white picketed fence, the big house, the big car and the "freedom" to do whatever we want. Yes, whatever we want requires money. So think again, do you believe that freedom equals money? Can you really say that you do not chase money.

You say you are not materialistic and that equals to being unchained to the cultural need to fit in and keep up with the Jones, but have you thought about what you value as a person. The educated, the ambitious, the rich and the good looking all of those attributes come from a place that is not your own. Think back to when you were a child, and wanting to play with someone, did you ask them what their parents did as a profession or what part of town they fed into the school district? No, you played with them because he was nice to you and you were nice to them. You both enjoyed riding bikes and agreed to sell lemonade in the summer time so that you can go down to the Seven Eleven to buy Slurpies and Snicker doodle cookies. 

I have often said that I have not chased money and as an idealistic college student, I have always championed causes with altruistic motives like helping the poor, educating the unchallenged and loving orphans, widows and correcting social injustice. Even today, all I want to do is to change and correct the world of it's flaws and speak out for the voiceless and the win for the victimized. All the while, I still want the "freedom" to travel, live comfortably, support my love for fashion, art and reading. All this takes money. Am I really not chasing money? In the deepest well of my being, what lies at the bottom is the freedom to do what I want and that freedom comes with not having to worry about the money that will pay for that freedom.

We all have value system disorder, we see money and what we do as a profession as something that equals to what you will earn as you hold that position. This is why we value certain profession over another. Consider all the Asians you have ever known and if you are in fact a child with Immigrant Asian parents, you must know that all they hoped for as they made their sacrificial journey to the United States that they had dreams of grandeur and wanted status, power and a "better life" for you. And what was so bad about the conditions we lived in in Korea? Most of the Immigrants that have made it thus far in the States are educated cavalier parents that have given up their jobs as consultants, doctors, engineers and the like to press shirts in sweaty dry cleaners to give you a better living. All the while, you are a latch kid key as as third grader that prepared rice before your parents came home and raised your selves and practiced piano, attended mathletes, studies for the SATs just to make your parents proud that you got into Harvard.

We are all victims of your culture, and whether it is money, fashion, religion, sports or beauty that we chase, we are molded by the culture we live in. Now, think about what true freedom is.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Girl Crush Friday~ Natalie Portman

Natalie Hershlag (29) is an Israeli actress, better known as Natalie Portman. I love her because she isn't just a pretty face, she's actually a Harvard graduate who has co-authored several psychological papers and has studied at Hebrew University of Jerusalem where she wrote a paper criticizing Israel for it's treatment of Palestine. She's not as serious as this though, she has a funny side and can swing hosting SNL and totally nail it. She's the perfect combination of girl, smart, tomboy and funny, if I had a best friend it would be her. She would be the type of friend that points out your talents and appreciate the goodness in you. She would never be a frenemy, she's too good for that.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Single White Girl Problems

There is a blog I read and she's refreshingly smart and funny at the same time, although I think smart lend itself to funny, but that's another blog entry. This girl had compiled this post for about a month carefully cataloging all the stupid things she and her friends would complain about. She noticed one day that all the things they complain about are things that don't really matter to you unless you're a Single White Girl. And by Single White Girl, she means anyone that is over privileged and has no other problem than the decision of going to Panera for lunch or California Pizza Kitchen. There's also a Twitter called White Girl Problems and it twitters about the stuff that over privileged girls would say and consider them completely legitimate concerns that require the whole world to come to full attention to remedy.

Some of the things she listed were as below:

"Stayed in to save money, but spent 140 dollars on etsy on a Saturday night. sigh." singlewhitegirlproblem.

"I watched 14 episodes of Veronica Mars without you. sorry." singlewhitegirlproblem

"Snuck out of the art opening and ate too much sushi. Do you still think I have a chance with the street artist if I have mercury poisoning?"  singlewhitegirlproblem

I am not single or a white girl, I understand what this girl is talking about. I too have singlewhitegirlproblems and it's quite petty. Whilst trying to purchase a new car last summer, we were contemplating for weeks whether to get a Lexus or a bigger car so that we can prepare for our child in the future. singlewhitegirlproblem. My brother also pointed this out to me, "that's your biggest problem? Whether you want a Lexus or a Honda?" Sure, not in so many words as singlewhitegirlproblem, but I know what's he's saying, I'm making this a bigger problem than it is and I shouldn't because orphans are longing for their mothers in a far away land. On the other hand, I have pointed out a singlewhitegirlproblem that my brother once faced when he had vowed not to go to Las Vegas as frequently as he has in the last year because he felt he was going there too often. To which I retorted, "wow Jon, sorry you had too much fun there and you're feeling guilty now."

Singlewhitegirlproblems are generally any "problem" or complaint that is genuinely vexing to the complainer, but is totally the roll-your-eyes kind of issue to another. Like the Haitians, the Japanese and North Koreans who face bigger problems would never even consider wring their hands over a friend who manipulated them into going down town with her and spent all your drinking money. There are other types of singlewhiteproblems, for example, I know that my girlfriends are always rolling their eyes at me and sighing a breath of exasperation when I complain about how even size zeros are too big for me. skinnygirlproblems.

"I think I lost weight since last week because this dress seems big on me" skinnygirlproblems.

"Oh my gosh, do we have to eat every single meal, that's three times a day!" skinnygirlproblems.

I will end here, with a story of my own personal singlewhitegirlproblem. The other day, I was talking to a girlfriend of mine and she was telling me the horrific stories of pregnancy. She tells me that her collections of beautiful high-end shoes are sitting in her closet collecting dust because her feet had grown during pregnancy and they will never shrink back to it's rightful size to fit all of her precious shoes. This made me think, "I can't get pregnant, what about my Guccis!?" sigh...

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Winning By Learning To Lose

A few years ago, I met a Lee family that relocated from  the United States to Ireland as Dr. Lee fulfilled a position as a professor at a University there and he talked to us about the many cultural adjustments he and his family had to make. He told a story of a school event, a field day of sort and there were various games, races and competitions during the day and at the end of the each event, an award was given to the first place winner, second place and the third best player of the competition. The Lee children were a bit down trodden because they had not received any ribbons at the end of the day and Dr. Lee immediately thought, "how insensitive are the Irish that they can't give these elementary aged children at least a participation ribbon or a consolation prize like the Americans do!" He says he caught himself and reflected on how ridiculous that sounded and began to think about how allowing everyone to feel like a winner all the time is crippling rather than building their confidence or whatever the heck the reason is for letting everyone win.

When you lose, you lose, you don't get a prize for losing or a ribbon to say, "nice try." If your feelings are hurt because you're a loser, maybe you shouldn't lose and start winning! I'm sorry, you didn't win! This sounds a bit harsh, and maybe I got a tad carried away in my tirade, but we can't always create a mirage of a level playing field when there is a distinct winner and a loser. What about the kids who are actually winning? It's not fair to those that are clearly giving it their best and actually winning the race fair and square when the loser gets a ribbon just like his. Then what is the winner's ribbon worth? As much as the losing ribbon! and that's not much at all. What happened to teaching children to deal with life letdowns? How will your son grow up to be the man who applies for a job and doesn't get the call. Will he know that he will not be getting a consolation job to say that he did his best to interview, so he gets a job anyway, but just not the one he really wanted?

I had a bit of chit chat with a teacher friend of mine who coaches volleyball at a high school and he tells me that when it's time to announce the team, he needs to meet with every single student that tried out. He tells them the exact reasons why they didn't make the team and let them down easy as they break the news. I was shocked and appalled by this process and I asked him what happened making a list of the people who made the team and posting it outside of the gym? To which he replied, "we can't do that any more because it's school policy." and to that I replied by setting my fork down calmly so that I would not stab anyone out of complete indignation, "I guarantee you that there were once upon a time a parent that came marching through the school office claiming their untalented whining child deserves to play and he didn't make the team because the coach didn't like him. end of story." Instead of this parent consoling their child in a healthy way and teaching them that life is going to be tough and there will be let downs, this mother cripples her son for the rest of his life by getting him just want he wanted and not what he needed.

I realize we live in a different era and the big bad world is just not as safe as when we were growing up.  There are Internet child predators, and our kids fall prey to pedophiles more readily and easily, kids are getting kidnapped from their front lawns, sex trafficking and we face a thriving business of black market children being sold to various perverts. We can try with all our might to protect them from these people and the issues at large, but I feel we are airing on the side of idiocy if we think spoiling them will keep them safe in anyway. On Facebook, there is a status update that's been posted and re posted lately, and I wish to raise my kids this way. Granted I won't know what kind of parent I'll actually turn out to be because you really won't know until you become one, but I pray that I will not raise entitled kids.

"When I was a kid I didn't have a computer, Internet, Nintendo DS, XBox, or Wii. I had a bike and a curfew. My toys were the outside world. If I didn't eat what my mom made me, I didn't eat. I didn't dare tell my parents "no" or dare to talk back. Life wasn't hard, it was life... And I survived. Re-post if you liked the way you were raised...and drank water out of a hose."

At the risk of sounding like an old fart, "kids these days..."

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Be Awesome Instead.

Can I just take this opportunity to say that I hate Barney, the obese purple blob that has a severely deviated septum? I mean, the nasal, whiny "I love you's" while trying to get those stubby fat legs to waddle down the street makes me want to take the head off the costume and punch whoever is under there. But I digress, I wasn't writing this entry to slash on Barney the obese purple blob, but I am writing about the Barney of "How I Met Your Mother." Barney Stinton is the kind of person you would detest in bars, the kind of man I would make sure I humiliate while rejecting him, instead of the nice "oh, sorry, no...I'm married" kind of let down,  because he's the type of guy that is so into himself he can't see outside of himself. He is all self absorbed, oversexed, overly confident and overly insensitive, and because I don't personally know him in person, I love him.

Have you known this man? The guy in high school, that is all looks, brains, dressed to that nines in his latest Abercromie and Fitch swag and the brown Dr. Martin's. He's was in the popular crowd but didn't necessarily make it to the prom king candidacy because he just wasn't that nice, and you vote prom king and queen of your school when they're nice. He is so delusional, that he doesn't have the time to wallow in this rejections at the bar, or the let downs at work. He will continue on because he is resilient and sometimes, I want to be just this. The eternal optimist with self confidence that won't quit, mostly because he doesn't realize his flaws, but then again, what flaws? He's awesome.

I often say this, but sometimes I wish I was just stupid and happy. Like this girl....
Not that I'm so deep and insightful that I am a sage brimming over with life's solutions and ancient Chinese secrets, but I am aware of myself and sometimes I think myself into a hole of hopelessness. Are these people truly unaware and living life as it comes? or do they go home at night, hang up their finely pressed suits and tiny bikini's and cry themselves to sleep until they have to put on another show to the public. Seems though they are totally unaware, shallow and self absorbed, I do value their resiliency. When Jessica Simpson was criticized by the all watchful eye of the public of her hideous mom jeans and how it accentuated her weight gain, she responded, "I thought I looked cute!" Although I would think myself as above all the criticism and the shallow judgment of others, if I were her, I would have climbed in a hole called a gym, and would not have emerged until I was once more a beautiful swan with killer abs! I like her gumption. 

Friday, April 1, 2011

I'm Pregnant!

April fools!!! you fools... Okay, I will spare you from any more tom foolery of April fools pranks. But I do have to say, even in my most sophisticated years, where I am graceful and wise (stop laughing you) when you're plotting a prank on someone and they're just catching on, you can't help but feel giddy and giggly all over. They don't even have to be anything elaborate or that involved, just telling people you're pregnant and a second later you tell him "just kiddings!!" it's just funny (to me).

A prank isn't just for the faint of heart or the stupid, you really have to commit to the act full out. Keep a poker face, elaborately telling your lie, you have to believe it for yourself! Take the above prank for example, it looks like a simple job no? card board and sloppy drawings of what the cubical mate would vaguely recognize as his work station, but this took a lot of time and effort. He committed! Plotting the prank, waking up an hour earlier than you normally would (not something you would do even if it was for an important business meeting), then removing all the monitors, the keyboard, the mouse, the phone, the pictures he use to have of his girlfriend and pet. Then replacing all that...just to have a few laughs, a picture to prove your master plan and a story that could be told over and over. It's the gift that keeps giving, or the prank that keeps giving. 

This one just makes me laugh looking at it!

Girl Crush Friday~ Clemence Posey

Clemence (28) is blonde, yes another blonde and French, surprise! shes' a French girl. I think I just combined the last two girl crushes into one person this time. She use to be a fashion model and there isn't much to say about her acting career, besides as Fleur Delacour in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and in Deadly Hallows parts one and two. I just like her for her. :)