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October 2006
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So! Important! Not.

October 25, 2006   

Since the elections are coming up, Iraq is going crappily with no real end in sight, and the state of education and health care in America is still what it is, I figured I need to focus on the really important stuff.

Like Madonna’s baby.

Kidding!

More like pressing questions such as the following:

  • If you are a part of a couple, when you get invited to things, do you prefer that
    1. people just funnel the invitations to one person (one designated contact or whomever is the “primary” friend of the inviter); or
    2. always invite the both of you when both of you are in fact invited?

    Personally, I like getting individual invites (or a cc on an email or evite) because I do occasionally invite individuals (not couples) to functions and unless I make it clear that it’s a couples thing, I don’t wanna see your significant other. Plus, I often don’t hear about the event until it’s too late if you only tell Seppo. πŸ˜€

  • Giving versus getting presents — which do you love more?

    I’d rank it as:

    1. Giving presents when I know I’ve gotten the person a great gift they will love.
    2. Getting a present.
    3. Giving a gift without the certainty of knowing if it’s a good gift or not.

  • I feel like I now watch about half as much tv as I did as a kid and about twice (or more) as much tv as I did since college. Is it me, or is it that tv shows are actually better? Is posing this question as an either-or scenario inherently asking for wrong answers? How long does it take for rhetorical questions to get annoying? Now? How about now?
  • Is loving things like the following picture a sign that I’m becoming a squishy old lady?

    Who cares? Soooo cute.

  • Do kids actually go around your neighborhood “Trick or Treat”ing? We need to get the one or two kids that come giant bars of chocolate.
  • Why it is that when I’m driving, I think of a million insightful, thoughtful things to blog about, but when I have the time and opportunity, it’s almost always fluff like this?

I want to get a cute costume for Mobi, but I’m sure Seppo will object. Come on, he’s a dog! He has no dignity to speak of! πŸ˜€

Following the lead

October 25, 2006   

-AZ-Sen: Jon Kyl

–AZ-01: Rick Renzi

–AZ-05: J.D. Hayworth

–CA-04: John Doolittle

–CA-11: Richard Pombo

–CA-50: Brian Bilbray

–CO-04: Marilyn Musgrave

–CO-05: Doug Lamborn

–CO-07: Rick O’Donnell

–CT-04: Christopher Shays

–FL-13: Vernon Buchanan

–FL-16: Joe Negron

–FL-22: Clay Shaw

–ID-01: Bill Sali

–IL-06: Peter Roskam

–IL-10: Mark Kirk

–IL-14: Dennis Hastert

–IN-02: Chris Chocola

–IN-08: John Hostettler

–IA-01: Mike Whalen

–KS-02: Jim Ryun

–KY-03: Anne Northup

–KY-04: Geoff Davis

–MD-Sen: Michael Steele

–MN-01: Gil Gutknecht

–MN-06: Michele Bachmann

–MO-Sen: Jim Talent

–MT-Sen: Conrad Burns

–NV-03: Jon Porter

–NH-02: Charlie Bass

–NJ-07: Mike Ferguson

–NM-01: Heather Wilson

–NY-03: Peter King

–NY-20: John Sweeney

–NY-26: Tom Reynolds

–NY-29: Randy Kuhl

–NC-08: Robin Hayes

–NC-11: Charles Taylor

–OH-01: Steve Chabot

–OH-02: Jean Schmidt

–OH-15: Deborah Pryce

–OH-18: Joy Padgett

–PA-04: Melissa Hart

–PA-07: Curt Weldon

–PA-08: Mike Fitzpatrick

–PA-10: Don Sherwood

–RI-Sen: Lincoln Chafee

–TN-Sen: Bob Corker

–VA-Sen: George Allen

–VA-10: Frank Wolf

–WA-Sen: Mike McGavick

–WA-08: Dave Reichert

Accent

October 16, 2006   

I have a strange accent. I mostly think of it as just the way I talk, but once in a while, it makes me ponder where it comes from.

Well, the answer is simple: it comes from my environment. But that’s neither here nor there.

When I was small (and still living in Korea), we lived in Seoul, so I assumed that we had a straight-on city accent. I assumed this until college, when my spoken Korea cracked up some of the newer Korean immigrants. They found it cute and didn’t make me feel bad about it or anything, but speaking with them made it clear that HOLY CRAP, I SPEAK LIKE A HICK! Ahem. Pardon my yelling. It was pretty shocking.

I learned my first bits of English while attending school in Queens for two years, and learned to say, “Mira!” when I wanted a friend to pay attention to what I was saying, what “pendejo” and “puta” meant, at the same time as I learned the Pledge of Allegiance with my stumbling accent. Frankly, at the time, I had no idea I was hearing two different languages. Being younger helped to get the pronunciations much more quickly than my sister or my brother did, but it was still strange at first.

Then we moved to Philly. I don’t know if you’ve heard people with strong Philly accents, but I couldn’t help but pick up on that in the many, many years that I lived there. So I rather thought I had a Philly-Korean accent. I assumed this until I visited my family in Atlanta sometime after college, when I heard the Korean-Americans who live in Atlanta speak English & Korean. I spoke mostly like them, but not. I expected them to have a strong Georgian accent, but nope! They sounded more like the people I knew up in Philly than other people in Atlanta.

And when I went to Korea, people knew instantly that I spoke Korean with an American accent; I couldn’t quite get some of the sounds right and I don’t know how to properly end a sentence (but that’s more of a grammar issue really).

So maybe it’s a Korean-American accent — not the one that belongs to older immigrants that is easily mocked on shitty nail parlor sketches on MadTV *glares* *boycotts* — that is acquired by kids who speak Korean with their families but American English with everyone else. There seems to be a greater commonality in sound due to that than regional accents.

At the same time, when I see my Philly friends, after a couple of hours, I hear my speech altering considerably to pull in more Philly sounds. So that must mean I have acquired somewhat of a Californian accent. But if you ask me, I have no idea what a CA accent sounds like (I’m not counting common phrases, but an actual difference in how words are pronounced); I just know it sounds different from the familiar tones of my Philly pals.

I once knew a guy who insisted to me that museum was pronounced “mew-zay-uhm” (rhymes with “dayum” [sic]) and tried to correct my “mew-zee-(u)m” pronunciation. It was such a bizarre way to say it for me.

Anyway, I’m totally lost. πŸ˜€

Weekended

October 16, 2006   

Wow, I was so busy this past week/weekend.

Work has been really hectic, so I haven’t been making any social plans, but things kept coming up so I was able to be human and actually talk to people other than the little code monkeys in my head.

Sometime during the week (I think it was Tuesday?) we had an impromptu dinner with Holly at Mekong Garden on Piedmont Ave. Everything we ate was delicious, and I especially loved the dry fried salt and pepper squid. Yum! Mc & Holly were awesome company and we had a great time.

Wednesday, I think, we had Uyen over for shabu-shabu, but her meat was not very tender, as she’s been working out like crazy for her upcoming half-marathon. Ok, we didn’t eat her. It was a good time. Since the weather’s been getting cold, I think we’ll be having soups and stews more often.

Roopa came into town on Thursday! I didn’t see her until Friday because she was here for work, and I obviously also have been busy with work, otherwise I would have taken the day off while she was here. πŸ™‚ We went back to Pearl Oyster Bar & Restaurant on College Ave, and this time, every dish was awesome, unlike last time when we were sort of torn on the food. I’m sure we’ll give it a write-up at some point in the near future.

After a most delicious dinner (thanks Roopa!), we headed over to Jaguar Karaoke (formerly known as Music Box Karaoke) and sang for 4.2 hours (or so the time sheet said when we paid up)! My throat was so raw Saturday morning. Holly, Leila, and Lindsi joined us for the ridiculous sing-a-rama, meaning Seppo was trapped in a dark room with only five ladeez for hours and hours. Dun dun dun! Lindsi makes a really great air guitar partner, I have to say. πŸ˜€ I think we are the only ones that knew *every part* of the Bon Jovi songs and the New Kids on the Block songs, including the random backup parts. LOL!

It was interesting to observe the varying tastes of our friends. I tried to think of how I’d order us by similar musical tastes, and the best I can do is this:

Me -> Lindsi -> Holly -> Seppo -> Leila -> Roopa -> Me

Lindsi & I overlap in everything from the Motown era to the late 80s. Lindsi & Holly overlap in the more contemporary areas, I think. Seppo & Holly also do, but in different music than Lindsi & Holly overlap. Holly is key to the group because of her very diverse musical tastes, I think. Leila & Seppo have Radiohead-like music very much in common. Leila & Roopa definitely had music in common, but I had a hard time putting my finger on the exact subgenre. Roopa & I have a varied assortment of music in common, also not easy to categorize.

It’s been a while since I’ve sung Pearl Jam and Roxette at the top of my lungs within a 15-minute time span. πŸ˜€

Saturday morning, I woke up thinking that my cough & cold had returned from the week before, but luckily, it was just that my throat was raw from all the singing. Roopa and I headed over to Piedmont Ave and had yet another delicious meal together, this time at CΓ©sar (this is the second location; the original is in the Berkeley Gourmet Ghetto). Man, we were on such a great food roll. It was really great to sit outside at a nice restaurant and eat great food while chatting with a dear, missed friend about life and nothing in particular.

Seppo and I got spiffed up after lunch to attend Claire & Nick’s wedding. After weeks of griping that they had nothing to wear, Uyen & Becky turned up looking like hot stuff indeed, and I looked like their matronly spinster aunt who had come to chaperone them. Hahaha. Anyway, it was a really pretty wedding with some very personal moments. Joe, of course, was the life of the party and danced up a nice older lady, who I’m sure now wants to make him her boy-toy. Watch out, Joe! πŸ˜‰

Sunday was thankfully empty of engagements, since I had to catch up on some work so that I could be back on target. I managed to get some work done but it took much longer than I was hoping for.

I took a break from work so that we could go grocery shopping. I think that I’ll be experimenting with spicy chicken & potatoes for as the next item in my Korean recipe refining series. πŸ˜€

I got a call from a college friend this morning! She is in town for a few days, so I am going to try to catch dinner with her tomorrow night. πŸ™‚ Yay! So busy…

Oh yeah…

October 11, 2006   

I totally need to go get some Korean BBQ and karaoke sometime soon.

Fearless

October 11, 2006   

I hung out with some of my high school friends at a karaoke joint following our dear friend Rye-Jin’s wedding this past weekend. It was a truly wonderful time for me. I was hopped up on the adrenaline rush of seeing friends, a beautiful wedding, good food, the blinding disco lights, and the loud familiar music we sang.

It was such a carefree, soaring, unmitigatedly happy time for me. I feel like I haven’t been that giddy and free in a long, long time. One of the things I feel like is substantially different about this particular group of friends and the inherent dynamic is that there is a sense of reckless abandonment when we are together. Ok, so one or more of them are going to read this and go, “Huh? Whatever, girlfriend,” but I feel it; can’t you feel it too? πŸ˜€

I love the way they just stepped up to the mic in front of strangers (the groom’s friends) and just wailed on the songs, not because they were the best singers (although some of them are truly awesome), but because of this, “Screw inhibition! We’re gonna have fun!” mentality that just doesn’t get in their way. I’m talking about karaoke now, but it’s really something that I feel carries over in other ways.

I think another of the reasons that I hate being pushed or pulled by peer influences is that when I hung out with these friends, we just did as we wanted. No one had to really talk anyone into doing anything they didn’t want to, no one had to push someone else to do something, because we were and are so lively and bold. And at the same time, we are all so responsible and goody-two-shoe and have always been. πŸ™‚

I hate the bonds of the civil, conformist society. When I’m with these friends, I never feel judgment or fear. Maybe that’s why I feel like everywhere I’ve been since then is less freeing, more enclosing, more conforming as a society.

Most of them live within 2 hours of each other. One of us in MA (we didn’t get to see her), one of us is in Korea (she was able to fly in), and I’m out here. I feel so grateful and blessed that I can still be friends with these amazing human beings when they could easily have kept in touch with just each other, while I lost touch in the west coast.

They are brash, unique, beautiful, crazy, mature, dependable, loving people. I love them so much. I miss them so much.

And they love Bon Jovi like I love Bon Jovi. πŸ˜€

Run! Rush!

October 9, 2006   

Wow, I am back at work and still exhausted. It feels like we’ve been gone for weeks!

Thursday:
6:30pm Arrive at home from work, rush to pack.
7:50pm Get a ride to Bart from Joe.
9:00pm Arrive at SFO
11:00pm Fly to JFK

Friday:
7:10am Arrive at JFK
8:10am Arrive at Perlick’s apartment via AirTrain, LIRR, and walking.
8:30am Think to selves, we should go out right away.
10:45am Actually leave apt.
10:55am Go to the biggest camera store ever known to humanity (or at least, myself).
11:30am Eat ok pizza at local pizzeria, take subway.
12:30pm? Arrive at the Met after wandering a bit through Central Park.
2:30pm Leave the Met.
3:20pm Meet up with Titi for “lunch” in Koreatown.
4:50pm Meet up with Perlick back at his apt.
7:00pm Head out to dinner
7:30pm Get seated for dinner at WD-50.
10:00pm Finish eating dinner, call Titi to try to meet.
10:10pm Realize we can’t meet Titi, because we have to head over to Penn Station relatively soon to catch the train.
10:40pm Arrive back at Perlick’s apt, pack, and leave.
10:55pm Meet up with Pete who is heading out from Penn Station on our way to Penn Station.
11:15pm Say good-bye to Pete and get on train.

Saturday:
12:25am Arrive at train station closest to Seppo’s parents’ house to be greet by the parents.
2:00am Sleep like the dead after reading the baby diary that Seppo’s parents kept of him when he was born.
10:30am Wake up, shower.
11:35am Drive to Patchogue for lunch at Louis XVI.
2:00pm Finish lunch and go back to house.
2:50pm Drive to Philly.
5:35pm Drop by my old neighborhood.
5:50pm Arrive at church where my friend will get married at 7pm. (We were supposed to arrive early for pics.)
7:30-8:15pm? Traditional Korean Christian Ceremony.
8:15-9:15pm? Korean feast in church. Delicious!
9:30pm-1:20am Move party to karaoke joint nearby, sing the crap out of everything.

Sunday:
2:00am Arrive at Hajeong’s place.
3:00am? Maybe later? Sleep.
8:30am Get up.
9:05am Start drive back to Long Island.
10:20am? Stop for coffee & Roy Rogers fried chicken, and gas at the Woodrow Wilson reststop on the Jersey Turnpike. πŸ˜€
10:40am? I don’t remember the exact times, but the stopover was about 20 minutes in any case.
12:00pm Get within 0.5 miles of Seppo’s parents’ house. We missed a turn.
12:10pm Arrive at house where kerowack (internet friend) is chatting with Seppo’s dad. Surreal.
12:30pm Get to White Castle! Delicious.
2:10pm Get back to house to pack up all our stuff and chat w/ parents for a little bit.
3:50pm Get ride to airport from parents.
5:00pm Arrive at gate.
6:00pm Sit in plane while we are told about delay to takeoff.
6:50pm Take off.
9:15pm Arrive at SFO.
9:30pm Meet up with Uyen & Charles, who give us a ride home. Yay!
10:00pm Arrive at home.
10:30pm Take some Tylenol PM and Pepto Bismol and fall asleep, not to wake until 9:15 the next morning.

Whew. Tired.

Meme

October 4, 2006   

Describe yourself in one word.

From niralth.

ETA: It appears that the purpose is that you describe yourself in a one word comment to me, then you post on your own blog to have others describe themselves in a one word comment to you. Oops! I did it wrong the first time around. So maybe the word should be “clueless”. Anyway, go hit up the link above to see what I answered, and leave your answers for yourselves here.

October

October 2, 2006   

It’s October already. October is the month when I obsess about NaNoWriMo. November is the month when I actually do it. Then December becomes the month when I dissect my progress of November.

Any new people interested this year? Andre? Roopa? Click on the link above and join us. πŸ˜€

Head cold!

October 2, 2006   

The attack of the head cold is on! My sinuses are stuffed and my nose is runny. Boo-urns. I do enjoy the unexpected huge sneeze that threatens to blow the roof off my house though. Hee hee.