Tuesday, December 5

I'm a freelance writer!

So I've been kinda quiet, but I've been uber busy. Here's my first article as a freelance writer on Daily Candy! I'm hoping to grow my writing career, so this is a good first baby step. Have lots more to update, but I also have a lot of other work waiting for me, so I'll have to go for now. But I'll blog again soon!

Monday, November 27

A Picture Share!

Ladies' tee box in orlando. Magnolia golf course.

Sunday, November 26

A Picture Share!

Our hotel for our much needed vacation. Golf in orlando. Anyone have restaurant recommendations?

Tuesday, November 14

The bar exam can kiss my...

So it's that time of the year again. A time I know about all too well. For some, it's filled with happiness and joy; for others, there's nothing but pain and depression. Yes, boys and girls, it's time to find out about bar exam results.

Though the three-day torture in California sucks the big one, I recently found out that people who take the Virginia Bar Exam have to wear suits! And not only is there no "dress down" or "casual dress" policy when it comes to attire, but applicants can't make noise when they walk, so they have to wear sneakers with those suits. Pictures of the too-cool-for-school prom dates from back in the day flashed in my mind when I heard that...

Thursday, November 9

I've got a sty on my right eye

There's a lot of news running through my head, like election day results and the breakup of Britney and K-Fed (who is now being called FedEX). But the thing at the top of my mind, selfishly, is what's going on with my eye. I discovered a sty.

This might not seem like groundbreaking news, but the thing is: THE EAST COAST IS DOING THINGS TO MY BODY! Things are happening to me which NEVER happened before. Aforementioned sty, for example. And my first beads of sweat. With the weather turning cold, I've been finding random dry patches lately. And a couple months ago, my most shocking first: I discovered sun spots on my hands! AaaAAHHHhhhh!!!!!

Luckily, I haven't suffered any permanent damage (that I know of, anyway). I don't know about this whole "seasons" thing, people. The fall foliage is pretty, but this California girl isn't faring too well...

Thursday, November 2

Sleeping habits

T and I spend many Friday and Saturday nights playing holdem with a dozen or so friends. If we go two weeks without this ongoing poker game, it feels like something's missing. Growing up as the four-eyed Goody-two-shoes I was, I never would've imagined my grownup nights to be filled with so much gambling ($20 buy in when the girls play; I don't even want to know the buy in's when it's just testosterone at the table) and drinking. Such is life. At least the little kids who run and dance around us balance it all out... but is it weird that five-year olds include the word "wine" in their vocabulary?

Anyway, last weekend, we decided to sleep at Janet and Byong's palace in Virginia after our game because we were planning to hit the outlets the next day. As we got ready for bed, T instructed me to, "Lock the door."

"Why? No one's going to barge in here."

"Well, Janet might have to come in for something."

"Yeah, but she WOULD KNOCK, dontchathink? What if she's insulted that we felt the need to lock her out?"

"But if she knocks, then she wouldn't try to just come in anyway, so she would never have to know that we locked the door."

"It feels weird for me to lock the door, in someone else's house or our own. It feels so NOT OPEN. Like there's some secret. Like that one time you locked the door on me."

"Babe, I was in the bathroom."


"Well, maybe it's because we had our house broken into when I was little; and my sister and I had a gun put to our heads when we got shoved in the closet."

Was he kidding? Sick and somewhat inappropriate jokes live in my man's head; and then they often spill out of his mouth. I shouldn't admit it, but I actually like his taking-it-too-far humor. But this wasn't funny. I was waiting for the, "Ha!" Turns out he wasn't joking after all. So now I try to lock our bedroom door for his sake when we sleep.

I have a feeling this whole survival instinct thing would live in him even without that childhood incident. I think it's a male thing.

My ex-roommate and dear friend, Blaine, says he doesn't have a "my side of the bed" thing. Instead, he simply has to sleep on the side of the bed furthest from the door. And if he's in a hotel room with two beds, he wants the bed furthest from the door. Why? It just might give him those extra few seconds needed to fend off any room invaders. For those of you who don't know, Blaine is a HUGE guy who really shouldn't have to worry about physical harm from the average man, so I found his thinking really fascinating.

I told T about Blaine's theory, and he agrees with it a little bit. T, however, doesn't have that feeling in hotel rooms because the doors seem so secure, but in our home? Well, I sleep closest to the door.

My man claims it's because he just cares about being closer to the bathroom, but I wasn't sure I believed him once he said, "And if anyone comes through our door, they'll get to you first - ha!"

Sunday, October 29

My Halloween weekend with the kids

I love these kids!

Here's William; he was the Blue's Clue's dog, but now he's just in his under clothes. Anyway, he recently learned two things:
1. How to JUMP with air (he used to just squat down and then stand straight up when he "jumped" before) and

Ashley is a VERY animated little girl with a LOT of energy. She gives me some competition in those areas. Um... I look kinda crazy in this shot.

"Rock, scissors, paper" in Korean is "Ga-wi, ba-wi, bo" - these kids just like the way it sounds.

We had a dance party!

Sunday, October 22

My newest hobby: photography

Taer is out of town for a work conference, and life just isn't the same without him here. I guess it's a good thing that I'm marrying him then, huh?

Anyway, I've been addicted to taking pictures with my new camera, and I've been particularly addicted to playing with my photos on Picasa. I'm tired, so I'll just post a few of them for now and will write more later.

I got to spend some time with adorable Hailey yesterday. She's the cutest! I told her mommy that she probably won't have to take any pictures with her own camera ever again because I take a ton on my own every time I see her. But can you blame me? Look at her! It's a good thing I'm good friends with her mommy; she might otherwise be afraid of a potential kidnapping by a crazy girl named Jenn...

The lighting wasn't ideal, but we made it work.

I took this one the last time I visited. I was happy and proud to see a blown up version on the wall - but now they've created a shutter bug in me for sure!

Tuesday, October 17

My favorite celebrity sighting

I got to spend yet another fabulous weekend in New York. I just can't seem to get enough of the city that never sleeps! And I also can't seem to avoid some kind of celebrity-related encounter during my travels lately. My FAVORITE one yet (well, sort of... and you'll soon see what I mean by that) happened on Saturday.

I was enjoying a sweet afternoon snacky snack with the girls, when a random guy snuck up behind Kat and tapped her on the shoulder. "Excuse me," he shyly inquired. "Can I ask you a question?"

I was wondering if he was going to hit on her, but that didn't quite seem to be his intent. He continued his quest bravely, "Are you on tv?"

Camilla and I both erupted in giggles, and we absolutely couldn't stop laughing! I'm pretty sure one of us even snorted - and it wasn't pretty! Before I continue, I think I'll have to share a picture of our beloved Kat and ask: Does she remind you of anyone?

So... someone famous, perhaps? Someone with gorgeous curly locks who was a great actress in a few movies before being cast in a hugely popular TV show? In fact, I think it might be THE most popular television show right now. If you need a few more hints, just tilt your head. Tilt it a little more til it's all the way Sideways. And then shed a little more light this way. Maybe get under some sunlight. Maybe some Tuscan Sun...

Alright, if you guessed Sandra Oh, then you win a gold star and a cupcake! Here's a photo of her to refresh your memory if you need it. I know you just scrolled up to look at Kat again, and then down for Sandra Oh, and then back up again for another peek. Go ahead. This is definitely NOT one of those "Asians look alike" things. I think they may have been separated at birth. Kat seems to be sick of hearing it, and she's going to hate me for this, but oh well! Sorry, Kat, but here are a few more pictures for every one's viewing pleasure.

Kat just answered calmly, "No, I'm not on tv."

"You're not on Grey's Anatomy?"

"No, that's not me."

"Well..." With camera in hand, the 'fan' simply asked, "Can I take a picture with you anyway?"

The fact that he STILL wanted to snap a shot with her got us rolling even harder; but Kat was a great sport about it all and posed like the true celebrity she was at that moment.

I would SO milk that if I were her! I think the next time I go out to dinner with Kat, I'll put the reservation under "Sandra Oh" and ask for the best table in the house.

I hope neither of them gets angry at me for this post - mad Kat is scary, but mad Kat morphed with mad Sandra is downright scuurrry!

Thursday, October 12

Red Tulip Jewelry

Calling all accessorizers! I've been waiting for a long time for this site to launch, and now I can finally share these fabulous finds. And if you're reading this, you're getting the inside scoop before the November issue of Lucky hits the stands - and Red Tulip is in it (along with Good On Paper, which is also absolutely blowing up in the design world)! I'll share the mag once it's available, but hurry up and pick up some cute earrings, necklace(s) or bracelet(s) before they sell out!

My dear friend, Claudia, took a jewelry making class a long, long time ago. And then, a more recent long time ago, she and I decided to take another jewelry making class together. She made more and more beautiful pieces until she finally decided to start this company; she is now sharing her wares with the world. And what a lucky world it is!

I, in the meantime, bought a bunch of beads and tools; and after making a few measly pieces I didn't necessarily love... Well, let's just say that my name is not attached to Red Tulip. But in one way, it actually is. Claudia and Yvonne decided to name their pieces after friends. So here's the "Jenn."

And here's another picture of me with designer Claude, wearing my "Jenn" pair. I love 'em. And you will too.

Wednesday, October 11

"Hair Down There"???

When gmail was initially announced, some people were weary of it feeding subject-specific ads based on the emails being sent and received. Was someone actually reading through our email? Was this an invasion of privacy? Personally, I didn't think so. I figured that Google used some word identifying tool which would automatically just spit back paid advertisements mechanically. I really like gmail's interface and the way it gathers group messages for me based on subject line, so I'm all for it. (My group of ten girlfriends are all over the country, and we keep in touch through group weekend update emails. But instead of getting nine separate emails, I just get one with all the messages gathered from all the girls for me.)

Anyway, back to the reason for my post today. Audrey is a friend here who cuts and colors hair beautifully, and Justyne emailed a bunch of us about how much she loves the "fall foliage" highlights Audrey just gave her. So the resulting gmail sponsored link was:

COLORING PUBIC HAIR - bettybeauty.com - Color your Pubic Hair. Natural Looking. For "Hair Down There"

DO PEOPLE REALLY DO THAT? Justyne did mention that she had to change the color of her brows because of her new highlights, but DOWN THERE??? And are people going for all one color, or are they getting matching highlights? What did Gwen Stefani do when she had pink hair?????

Tuesday, October 10

Benefit friends and family

It's a month away, but if you're a fan of Benetint or Dr. Feelgood or any other Benefit product, it'll be worth the wait. Enter the code: BENEFIT2 between November 10-25 to get 20% off http://www.benefitcosmetics.com, including free shipping! Go ahead and be a BADgal.

Saturday, October 7

Flower girl does the robot

I went to Kirstin's wedding last weekend, and this was the flower girl's pre-ceremony contribution to keeping the bride entertained before the ceremony.

Friday, October 6

Southern comfort eatin' with famous friends

I forgot to share the other reason I was so gym-obsessed yesterday: I ate Low Country Fried Chicken and other deliciously less-than-healthy delights at Georgia Brown's! It was damn good food, but I remained full for days. I STILL don't think I've fully digested. I have problems. Anyway, I'd definitely recommend this restaurant to anyone visiting DC who isn't afraid of some yummy food from the South. Go for the Jazz Sunday Brunch, but know that you'll inevitably be walking away with a bag to take home.

Taer and I always get into it when we talk about whether or not DC/Maryland/Virgina is considered "the South." He's agrees that VA is southern; if you go deep into the state, people have a twang. We even had some guy drive by us in his pickup and yell out something about "Chink" after we pissed him off on the road. I swear that guy looked like he might've had a shotgun in his car, right next to some animal with horns he just hunted down.

Don't get me wrong; we have nothing against the South! I think Taer and I just enjoy debating for the sake of the banter. Anyway, he doesn't buy into the "south of the Mason-Dixon line" argument for Maryland and DC. Even my company puts our DC office in the Southern division. We're not part of the Northeast division. T feels that's because it would be too imbalanced to stick DC with NYC and Boston, etc. His main argument is: Look at how we vote! Maryland is a blue state!

Whatever. I'm just glad we're close enough to the real South to have food like this:
Oh, so I'm not just inundating you with photos of me and T and food, here's one more picture of our new celebrity friend. Fans of O.A.R. (of a revolution) might recognize their lead guitarist, Richard On. He and T have a lot of mutual friends in the area, so we all had dinner together. I met him briefly in a bar before, but this was the first time we actually all hung out and talked. I was totally expecting a too cool for school, rock star type, but Rich ended up being a complete sweetheart! I might even say he's a little on the shy side. If you haven't discovered O.A.R. yet, check out their site and listen to some of their music. "Love and Memories" is getting a lot of play right now, but that's not actually my favorite song on their current album. Let me know what you think!And I apparently can't make a normal face when I take pictures. I DO have problems.

Thursday, October 5


I've always been a little crazy (ya think?), but with so much STUFF going on in my life right now, I'm feeling a little nuttier than usual, in a lot of different ways. My self-diagnosed ADD is kicking into high gear, and between jumping amongst all my thoughts, I'm also finding that I'm getting absolutely fixed on issues until I get them resolved.

First it was house hunting. Check.

Next it was getting the 'rents on board with T and me. Check.

Then it was settling the wedding venue and date. Check.

And now? I'm determined to find a gym. I've been looking for one since we lost the fitness room in our condo when we moved a month ago, but for some reason, I'm absolutely OBSESSED today. Maybe it's because I finally have a set date when I know I want to be looking my best. Maybe it's because I'm feeling the coolness of fall creeping in, and I know I won't be able to go running when winter blasts in. Maybe it's because I just watched a Style special on Jennifer Aniston, and my muffin top (along with T's cliff hanger) isn't looking so "cute" anymore.

Anyway, I really wanted to write about something a little more interesting than my debate between Washington Sports Club or Gold's Gym today, but since I'm consumed, this seemed like the most natural thing to share. If anyone has any opinions on gyms in DC, please share!

Monday, October 2

Good news and good gifts

I cannot believe I haven't blogged in over two weeks. What's wrong with me? Well, this is the busiest time of year for me at work, but thankfully it all ends when September ends. Maybe Green Day had my job at one point. That song has been my mantra.

So, I come bearing a few goodies to make up for me being so MIA. First, for my fellow fans of Grey's Anatomy: Did you know the writers keep a blog? I discovered it after last season's finale, so my withdrawal from the show wasn't TOO awful. I only had minor shakes. The writing on the blog is almost as satisfying as watching the show itself. It's kinda like when you rent a movie and then get to indulge in the DVD extras afterwards. I love doing that! Anyway, I kept telling myself that I would share, but other news in my life kept me putting this on the backburner. And now, apparently, the New York Times has apparently beat me to the punch. Well, for anyone who hasn't caught it yet, check out GreysWriters (called GreyMatter). My doctor friends refuse to immerse themselves in any more doctor stuff, but I keep trying to convince them that this is more human stuff. Maybe the site will convince them.

The next gift is ONE DOLLAR MAKEUP! I've gotten the email about the new line being launched at Bloomingdale's twice already, but for anyone who doesn't yet know: eyeslipsface.com is offering a bunch of stuff for a mere buck - including makeup brushes - that's even better than the dollar deals at Micky D's! Super Sizing your cosmetics won't affect your waist line. Do it. Oh, and if you order enough, the code "shipit" should also get you free shipping.

If you're a magazine junky, I already shared my favorite site for good deals, budgetmags.com. Titles like Vogue and Marie Claire are a mere $4-7 per year! They don't carry every title, but you might be able to find your wanted subscription at Time Warner's Friends and Family Program. Time and Entertainment Weekly are $20 and $10, respectively. Order before this expires November 15th!

And one final piece of news: We set our wedding date! It'll be April 21st at the Legion of Honor in San Francisco. I was debating whether or not to post the deets, but I finally decided that if Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn really want to crash, then why the heck not? I'm sure no one else would really care, and a lot of future posts will be about planning (and house renovating and just living in general - what did I get myself into?), so there was no point worrying about others knowing. So that's that.

I just got back from another wedding, so I'm still recovering. I'll post about that later. Til then? I sleep. A lot.

Sunday, September 17

Our brush with Project Runway

I spent the weekend in New York for Camilla's birthday. As we were strolling around Nolita, we saw a long ling of people waiting outside a store, with a sign in the window warning that Bravo TV was filming. Turned out to be Emmett McCarthy's new store, EMc2 and guess who we ran into?...

Alison from the current season of Project Runway was hanging around outside! Though I didn't want to "bother" her, I decided it might be ok in the end. She is JUST as adorable and beautiful as she looks on the show, and I have a girl crush on her (and her mom, who is in the background of this photo). Darling Alison, we told you that you got kicked of WAY too early, and it was unfair; and you simply smiled and told us it was ok. Cute AND sweet too? Yes, I'm in love!Malan was our next victim. Though you was a bit pretentious on the show, you won me over with your final, "I never really had a lot of friends before" speech when you got kicked off. You were a total sweetheart in person (but I still can't tell what kind of accent you have). Did you study under Madonna?Tim Gunn! We heart you! You seemed totally sincere as you apologized to the masses that you had to leave because you were late for filming. We forgive you for not taking a picture with us. Your bodyguard looks like he could use a little LESS grooming. Please be a friend and tell him so.Chloe, go on and represent for the Asian American women out there! Tell Emmett that I'm sorry I cut his head off in this picture. He's too damn tall! I wish we caught you before you rushed into the store!Nick, dearest Nick. You are a sweetheart and a half. You were drinking wine when we interrupted you, which made me love you more. You didn't seem to care that I approached you with a stalker-like admiration when I broke into your literal circle of friends. You graciously posed for this shot and let me blabber on about your cute top in the store. OMG, your hand is on my neck - I may NEVER wash that part of my body again! We've got nothing but love for you, honey! This is the store. Check it out! Goodbye, Tim. Good from the front AND from the back! You still have that same bodyguard, though. I think I can take him. Let me know if you want a tough, petite Korean chick to take his place.If you don't love Project Runway, then I must stop for a minute and mourn for you. It's THAT good.

Wednesday, September 13

Did you know?

I've been trying to figure out whether Taer is my fiance or my fiancee.

WELL, I finally looked it up. It turns out that fiance (with one "e") is used when referring to a man. Fianee (with two "e's") is used for a woman.

Who knew?!?? Maybe everyone but me. Now I've won half the battle.

So... that makes Taer my fiance. That is, unless there's something I don't know about!

Wednesday, September 6


I went back home for the long weekend for a number of reasons:
  • Our dearest LWC is the first among us girls to have a baby bump! I couldn't miss the celebratory shower of the bump (and eventual baby).
  • I got a call that Cisco Systems wanted me on the cover of some print ad of theirs. Turned out to be their annual report. How funny is it that? It helped pay for my trip, so I was happy to strike a pose.
  • I visited possible wedding venues.
  • The girls and my family fed me and made me feel very loved at early birthday dinners.
  • Got to hang out and just enjoy being San Franciscan again.

My days were busier than I expected them to be. In many ways, I felt like I never left. It was so easy to slip back into the old routine of eating and coffee catching and shopping and eating and hanging out - and did I mention eating? My mom often talked my ear off; and when I thought she was finished, she simply moved on over to the other ear. If God thought about the fact that I was being born to this mother of mine, He should've equipped me with five ears.

There were some differences too. People moved away, so I didn't get to see them (Chenja). People lived in new places in the city and owned new things like cars (Lee). New restaurants popped up; I wasn't used to not knowing the latest and greatest happenings of my city.

But is it still my city?

I thought San Francisco would always be home to me. I didn't feel out of place. Not yet. But I could sense, for the first time, that there may very well be a visit down the road where I'll actually feel like a visitor there. While it still felt like I was going "back home" to San Francisco, returning to D.C. also felt like "coming home" too. Can I have two homes? Don't I have to pick? If my friends and family moved away from San Francisco, would it still feel like home then?

I've come to realize that home isn't necessarily defined by a physical location. If I could gather all my loved ones together somewhere - anywhere - THAT would be home. Heck, stick them in a big, white box and throw in Taboo and Scattergories! (Oh, and maybe Scrabble too. And the Food Network. And Project Runway while we're at it. You know what I mean.)

But without that white box? I consider myself officially bicoastal!

A Picture Share!

A little piece of san francisco ferry building goodness, right here in dc. Yay!

Friday, September 1

Korean men are sensitve and totally ripped

This Washington Post article is too funny. There's apparently a 'Korean Wave' blazing its way through Asia. I was feeling the wave of my people becoming hot lately, largely due to the popularity of Korean movies among non-Koreans. Taer's Vietnamese hair cutting lady talks his ear off about the latest K-flick every time she trims his locks lately. Tina's Chinese grandma recently asked me if I knew where she could get Chinese-dubbed Korean movies. This story, interestingly, focuses only on the men:

"Entertainment industry leaders in Seoul credit the phenomenon to good marketing coupled with an uncanny response throughout Asia to the expressive nature of the South Koreans -- long dubbed the Italians of Asia. A hearty diet and two years of forced military duty, industry leaders and fans insist, have also made young South Korean men among the buffest in Asia. Most important, however, has been the South Korean entertainment industry's perfection of the strong, silent type on screen -- typically rich, kind men with coincidentally striking looks and a tendency to shower women with unconditional love."

Of course my buff 'Italian' Stallion Taer, out of the kindness of his unconditionally loving heart, felt that he needed to forward this important piece of news to me. I don't know if he read the quote:

"But to tell you the truth, I still haven't met a real one who fits that description."

Thursday, August 31

Chivalry on the Metro

I fought my way to the only open seat during rush hour and then felt my lower lip spontaneously protrude as another woman slid right in just before me. Sigh. Such is the life of the public transportation commuter. When the man next to her stood up, she joked, "You don't have to get up; we can both sit here!"

His response was surprising. "No, Ma'am. Not when there's a lady who's standing." He then turned to me and offered his seat, "Ma'am?"

I can't remember the last time I was referred to as Ma'am, especially by someone older than me. When I last checked, I didn't think I looked like a senior citizen, nor was I pregnant (unless the Baskin Robbins bulge of my belly counts). Usually, being handicapped by living a stylishly painful life in heels is not enough to warrant my bootiliciousness coming in contact with a Metro seat. In the slightest state of shock, however, I thanked him and planted my rump.

The lady whose seat I originally coveted observantly stated, "You must not be from here."

"No, Ma'am. But I would still give up my seat for a lady if I lived here."

"That wouldn't last very long."

"Yes, Ma'am, it would. My mama would come find me if I didn't mind my manners."

His fellow visiting companions laughed that, "You just about gave these women a heart attack! You're going to be the talk of the water cooler when they get to work!"

I repeated my thanks, to which he responded, "You just tell them that a Lousiana [he named some animal which I can't remember] showed you some Southern hospitality!"

Then the group proceeded to debate whether or not DC/Maryland/Virginia is considered part of the South, considering their relation to the Mason Dixon line. And then they had another conversation about "Y'all" and some other state that says "Y'allses" or something like that.

Southern gentleman chivalry is something I didn't get to experience in California - that's for sure!

Saturday, August 26

A Picture Share!

I took my first painting class. A true artist probably does not share incomplete works, but i am a mere beginner. It's so fun! I want to take photography next.

Tuesday, August 22

Sherry is my new best friend

In my endless quest to find Fernet Branca in DC, I decided to give up on the bars (for now). The liquor stores were my next target. I was told Sherry's Liquors carried everything. EVERYthing? Hmmm, I was doubtful, but I decided to check it out anyway...

me: Excuse me, do you carry Fernet?

guy behind the counter: What?

me (dejected): It's an Italian digestif. Never mind.

guy behind the counter: Wait, what does the bottle look like?

me (trying not to get my hopes up): It's in a green bottle, and people compare it to Llager, but without the sugar. It's gross, but it's SO GOOD!

guy no longer behind the counter, but in the aisles: Is it this?


Life is good, and I can survive in DC now. Praise Sherry's!

Monday, August 21

Friday, August 18

Before you move

We really should've pretended we were traveling for a couple weeks and just packed a suitcase (or three) of stuff we'd need. I was good about setting aside our toiletries - I'd be blind without my contact lens stuff, and a girl needs to be able to put on her face in the morning - but I figured we didn't have that much stuff, so we'd be fine with just fishing our way through everything else. I'm delusional.

Taer was rummaging through our mountains of boxes as he asked, "Where are my boxers?"

"I stuck them in a box." Duh. "I'm not sure if they're at the bottom of one of the wardrobes, or if I just stuck them in a regular box. I remember putting them with a bunch of your t-shirts."

Taer owns about 3,592 t-shirts. Not that I'm counting. After digging through box after box of t-shirts, we were still at a loss. But it also got me thinking about my own down-there status. "Let me know if you find my underwear too, please."

We might have to be the commando couple. Isn't that the name of some superheroes, maybe part of the Justice League?

Wednesday, August 16

A Picture Share!

Look at the things we are finding as we pack. This is not a cordless phone, people. It is an old school cell phone! I think it was considered small before.

Tuesday, August 15

The biggest purchase of my life

More good news to share...


I've been stewing with this goodness for a few weeks now but was afraid of something going wrong. As of today, we have our new keys in hand, so I can finally share. It's a townhouse in Woodley Park, and it's the best one we saw, so I no longer care that we lost our bid in Dupont Circle. Yay! Our movers are coming on Thursday, so I've gotta continue packing (again!) and will relay more details later.

All I can say is that I truly believe that everything all works out in the end. We just have to wade through the icky stuff at times, but a little bit o ick helps us appreciate the yum. Yu-um!

Friday, August 11

Little discoveries

Now that we are finally together after four years of being 3,000 miles apart, we are finding out new things about one other. A few days of "honeymooning" once a month is very different from everyday living; it's been four months of the day-to-day stuff now.

I'm happy to report that I've found most of these discoveries quite charming. He enjoys a ridiculous amount of mustard on his sandwiches (and the meat in said sandwiches should be folded rather than laid flat). He's really good at maximizing the capacity of the dishwasher when he loads it. My constant reminders to use sunscreen over the years has actually worked; I notice him packing it when he golfs. And my favorite: the man can cook!

Some other discoveries are less than charming.

The man has gas. And a LOT of it!

Seriously, a little toot here and there is ok, but does he purposely go around swallowing air before he sees me? Is he chowing down a pound of beans for lunch everyday? I don't get it! According to Why Do Men Have Nipples, "A person produces about half a liter of farts a day.... Most people pass gas about fourteen times a day." Is this true? Am I the abnormal one? Even fourteen sounds like a lot to me, but there have been times that I swear he's "shared" fourteen with me over the course of a mere hour.

When I asked why he didn't seem so fartilicious before I moved here, he reported, "I used to hold it. That's how much I love you."

"Don't you still love me?"

"Yeah, but now you've got the ring. I'm all yours, babe!"

Aw, how romantic.

Wednesday, August 9

Take On Me and Push It (REAL Good)!

I wasn't sure why my brother would send me a site called "insuranceandnews" (now "http://www.thebestlegaladvice.com/"). But it turned out to be 80's videos! Click on in and blast your way to the funky fresh past!

Tuesday, August 8


For some reason, I had the notion in this noggin o mine that my little Korean mama, though cray-jee in other aspects of her life (and mine), would somehow be laid-back and unopinionated in the planning of our wedding. Silly me.

"Umma, I have exciting news! I went to this wedding event thing, and I found my dress!"

"Oh, you bought it already?" Uh, oh. She didn't sound happy. Maybe she's upset that she didn't get to go shopping with her only daughter to buy THE dress. I should probably offer to go shopping again with her back home. "... Because I was thinking about it, and I meant to tell you that I don't think you should get a strapless dress. You have wide shoulders, so something with a little bit of a sleeve or something on the shoulders would look better."

Ohhh-kay. "Well, it is strapless, so that's that. Hey, let's talk about the venue instead. What do you think of Napa? I always liked the idea of getting married at a winery."

"No. Too far."

"Uh..... Well, what about the Legion of Honor? That's very San Francisco, and our ceremony would overlook the Golden Gate Bridge. You took your wedding pictures at the Palace of Fine Arts. Wouldn't that be pretty?"

"I don't like outdoor weddings. The weather is unpredictable."

"But I think the pictures turn out nice with outdoor ceremonies. We can keep it quick and go inside for the reception."

"If all you think about is the pictures, then you're not being very thoughtful to your guests. A wedding should have deep feelings and be sincere. You can take pictures one week before, like we did. There are some very good Korean photographers who take beautiful shots, both outside and in a studio."

In a studio? Cheesy images popped into my mind of Taer popping out from behind a fake tree as I giddily laughed with my hand 'glamorously' perched under my chin. I shuddered at the thought. "Umma, we can have a meaningful wedding even if it's outside. And we'll take pictures the day of the wedding, before the ceremony. I don't want to have the wedding party get dressed twice, and that's how all my friends did it."

"If you are asking my opinion, then I'm going to tell you. If you want to just plan everything by yourself and just invite me to attend as a guest, then that's fine too. Ma-um de-ro heh. Do what you want."


My mom ended up calling 10 minutes later to tell me that my dad thought the Legion of Honor was a good venue, which made her begin to see the merits of the choice.

My dad got on the phone, "Hi, honey. It's near Lincoln Park, right? With The Thinker? Yeah, it's very nice there. Your Mommy and I will go check it out together."

I love my mom tons, but sometimes I'm really thankful for my Daddy.

Monday, August 7

Six hours with Bride(zilla)s at Filene's Basement

I didn't know if a 5am arrival would ensure that I would find my dream wedding dress at the Running of the Brides; but I wasn't crazy enough to start my vigil at 4pm on Thursday - which is apparently what it took to be the first person in line. The doors opened at 8am on Friday: that's SIXTEEN hours (which I believe translates to more like 48 hours in Bridezilla time) of waiting!

Most of the brides-to-be were there with four of five family members and friends, with many of these "teams" outfitted in bright-colored matching shirts. I was planning to other battle the brides alone, but I ended up dragging along one friend, Janet, who I had gotten to know over the last four years of visiting Taer. The only thing Janet and I had matching that morning was our desire for coffee.

When the doors opened everyone did literally RUN inside to scoop up all the dresses they could. Janet and I were only able to grab four dresses before all the racks were completely bare. Many poor girls behind me forlornly cried, “I didn’t get any!”

I took my plunder and situated myself next to a mirror before I stripped down to my boy shorts and camisole, right there in the middle of the store. Scavengers hovered nearby, hunting down the unwanted dresses. But we were no dummies; we didn’t just give ours away. We bartered: “What do you have to trade?”

After almost three hours of bartering and trying on more dresses, interrupted by the occasional screams and applause of joy as brides found their “one,” I ended up with a pricessy ball-gowny Amsale satin dress. It wasn’t my dream dress, but it was the prettiest one we found. And it was cheap. All the dresses were $249, $499 or $699. I kept picking the most expensive of the choices, but that was still a bargain.

I didn’t know exactly what I wanted, but I pictured something with more of a slim silhouette and maybe some lace detailing with buttons or something. I figured this one would be a good backup as I continued my hunt in bridal shops. I would’ve been happy walking down the aisle in this one.

Before leaving the store, we decided to take one last spin to check out what came back out on the racks. I was slipping out of another try-on when we spotted a gorgeous Monique Lhullier with a more simple A-line shape and just a touch of beautiful beading – definitely more along the lines of what I envisioned.

Then, OUT OF NOWHERE, this girl came along and snatched up my dress! I stood there, dumbfounded, with my mouth agape. Janet thought quickly and chased her down to ask if I could try it on before she left with it. When I slipped it on, I really felt like a beautiful bride; I was crestfallen that this other girl had it, but I was hoping since she was bigger than me that it would not fit her. When she tried, she couldn’t get the zipper all the way up… Victory was mine!

But the next thing I knew, she was walking around to find the alteration guy on hand to ask if he could let it out. She also started talking about how she was planning to lose weight before her wedding. I wanted to just tell her that the zipper was only halfway up, so it wasn’t going to fit even with all that, so “just hand it over now, bee-yotch!” But of course I played nice and patiently waited.

Janet even whispered to me, “It looked way better on you.” Well, maybe she said it louder than I thought because someone nearby who heard made the clawing action and said to us, “Me-YOW!” Whoops!

As I was waiting around for her decision, I was getting upset but trying to keep my cool. I didn’t want to be Bridezilla, but I wanted that dress! Janet checked the racks again for me while we were waiting. She came back with a dress in her hands, and she was excited! It looked a lot more like what I wanted. It had a lace top and a satin skirt with buttons down the back, and when I put it on… What everyone said was true: I just KNEW.

A light shone down on me from the heavens, and the angels sang a pefect song. Romona Keveza ended up being my designer, and she blessed me with THE dress for me.

Thursday, August 3

Running of the brides

If our families didn't come around, we were going to elope. Now that everyone's on the same page, we get to have a real-deal, white dress, people crying (my mother eyes, at the very least, will undoubtedly be quite wet), champagne toasting, dancing to 80's music, more-than-it-should-rightfully-cost wedding!

I told myself that I would NOT be a bridezilla. I want to keep things simple; and really, I do NOT want to spend too much on this singular day. Seriously! After all, I'm just happy to be with the love of my life.

But then I started calling wineries in Napa and other possible wedding sites in San Francisco. Man, they're expensive! Well, I guess if we really want to splurge a little on the location, that should be ok - right? We'll just keep budgets smaller for other things.

However, we don't want to skimp on our photographer either, do we? I mean, after all, we'll be looking back on the pictures forever. FOREVER is a very long time. We'll be showing them to our grandchildren: our grandchildren should be able to enjoy our wedding too, shouldn't they? Yes, they should. We'll have to cut expenses elsewhere.

OK, the dress. Lucky for our budget, I haven't been dreaming of my princess dress my entire life, and I'd be happy in just about anything that looks decent on me. But I will admit that I do love me a pretty, pretty dress...

That's why I'm planning to go to Filene's Basement's wedding gown event tomorrow morning! And, crazy me, I'm going at FIVE stinkin hurt me now o'clock in the morning. (I still consider that nighttime - ugh!) Wish me luck. If I get a $250 dress, I'll be saving us lots and LOTS of money! Yay!

(That means I can pay a visit to Jimmy or Manolo...)

Monday, July 31

All I ever asked of you was that you become a lawyer

"I love your daughter very much. We want to get married, and we would like to do it with your blessing."

My parents were finally ready for THE TALK. It had been almost four months since my move from San Francisco to DC. I was calling often, both out of obligation as a dutiful daughter and also because I missed them. Mostly because I missed them. A lot.

Taer and I made sure that his parents were fully prepared to embrace me whole-heartedly into their family, just as my dad requested. He reported that our mission had been accomplished.

"Jenn has spent time with my parents, and they like her. They, like you, had a difficult time in the beginning, but they are happy to welcome her as their daughter-in-law."

My mom was ready to accept Taer; it was my dad who was stubbornly holding his ground. I get my stubborn streak from my father. At this point, however, I felt like even he had softened up a lot since I'd left. Before our visit, he told me in a sad voice, "I miss my ddal (daughter)." He didn't want to lose his little girl.

Taer didn't think they would give in without still more of a fight. He was sure they'd "grab him by the nuts" for a while first. (Those were his own words.)

"Jenn has been an ideal daughter. [Not too much nut grabbing there.] To us, she is lacking in nothing, and she could be with anyone she wants. She has made it clear that she has chosen you, and we think you are lucky. [Balls are ever so slightly squeezed.]

"You are both grown adults, and you could have just gone and gotten married without caring what we thought. This whole time, however, you have been asking for our blessing. We appreciate that.

"Jenn has told us that she wants to be with you. All that we ever asked her to do for us was to become a lawyer. She has done that, and so now we have to give her what she wants in return. Welcome to the family."

I'm not so sure that suffering though three years of grueling law school and enduring the pain-inducing California bar exam is exactly Even Steven with my parents' blessing to marry the man I love. But whatev's - the wedding is on!

Friday, July 28

How humid is it?

I've never worn deodorant or anti-perspirant before. (Well, unless you count that one time I bought a stick of Secret in my early teens because I thought was supposed to be using it. I realized that I never needed it.)

NOW... I want to rub the stuff all over my body. Do they make anti-perspirant for the face? I've found myself just standing around with the Whitney Houstin upper lip drops. And how 'bout the FRONT of my knees - I didn't even know I had sweat glands there! Ew.

Aren't I painting a pretty picture of myself?

Tuesday, July 25

I have boob envy

... except when I see this. I wear a sports bra when I run, even though I'm not sure how much I actually need it. Some of these girls REALLY need it! (Did you know about bra sizes beyond DD? Have you heard of FF or even G?!??)

Sorry I've been so MIA. It's been BUSY! I'll update soon - promise.

Thursday, July 13

Ice cream cake makes the world a better place

I made this cake for Taer's birthday - my first attempt at cake and frosting from scratch! It was a hit, so I'm sharing. Ice cream and cake make this world a better place. Ice cream cake makes me forget that I'm sweating away into pools of grossness in the humid heat of the east coast. (Actually, it just makes me realize that I have to eat it faster here because it melts too fast... but that's a good excuse to eat TWO helpings!)


Cake Ingredients:
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 (1 ounce) bottle red food coloring
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1/2 gallon vanilla ice cream (I like using vanilla bean or French)

Buttercream frosting ingredients:
1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (clear, if available)
4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar (approximately a 1-pound box); sift before measuring
2 tablespoons milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour (or dust with extra cocoa) two 9-inch round baking pans.

In large mixer bowl beat butter, sugar and vanilla extract until creamy. Add eggs and food coloring; blend well.

Stir together flour, cocoa and salt; add alternately with buttermilk to batter mixture, beating until well blended.

In a small bowl, stir baking soda into vinegar; fold carefully into batter (do not beat). Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake 30-35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely.

Thaw ice cream until soft, but not melted (about 15 minutes at room temperature). Place in bowl and stir until smooth. Line a 9-inch cake pan with plastic wrap and fill with ice cream, packing down and smoothing top. Place in freezer until firm.

To make the frosting: Cream butter and shortening with electric mixer. Add vanilla extract. Gradually add sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often. When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry. Add milk and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy.

Use immediately, or keep icing covered with a damp cloth until ready to use.

To assemble cake: Place one cake layer on serving plate. Remove and unwrap ice cream layer; place on cake, place remaining cake layer on top. Frost top and sides with buttercream frosting.

Makes 10-12 servings.
NOTE: Cake can be assembled and frozen up to 24 hours before serving.

Monday, July 10

Born Into Brothels

Time. I needed time to just shut down for a little while, by myself, for myself. I didn't go anywhere or take time off work, but outside of my daily life, I let myself be purely selfish. And it was good.

I wanted to be lazy and not do laundry, so the pile grew. For once, keeping my thoughts and feelings to myself felt right, so I didn't write. I didn't work out when I didn't want to, guilt-free. I bought shoes.

I am now fat and broke and stupid, and I'm living in a big ole mess - ha!

Alright, it's not really all that bad. But I did need a mental and emotional vacation, so I took it. And I'm feeling better. I've got a good life, but I needed to remind myself of that.

I also gained some perspective over the last couple weeks when I watched Born Into Brothels. These children are born to mothers who work as prostitutes in the red light district of Calcutta. It's heartbreaking to see what their lives entail, but they do find hope through the art of photography. Whenever I vacation abroad, I always come home and become more keenly aware of how rich my life is, in so many respects. I've come back from my mental vacation with a similar mindset.

Tuesday, June 27

I'll take earthquakes over THIS

Non-Californians often ask me, "What does an earthquake feel like?"

I tell them that if I'm walking or driving when a smaller tremor hits, I don't feel it. If I'm sitting still, it's similar to having a large train pass by and shake the building. I was at school during the biggie of '89, and even that one wasn't terribly scary for me.

When the crazy thunder and lightning started a few nights ago, followed by news of a flood watch and our flickering lights threatening their failure, THAT was scary.

What does this storm feel like? If all of my worst enemies were hanging out in the clouds and aiming at me with firefighter hoses on full blast... that would leave me feeling relatively safe and dry.

Friday, June 23

Why I shouldn't hold it in

I've been feeling kinda eh for a little while now. I couldn't decide exactly why, but I was getting frustrated with unpromising house hunting, I was really missing my family and friends, work was taking a lot of getting used to, blah, blah, blah... As I thought about those things, I felt like an undeserved complainer. Overall, I was still happy. Things with ever-sweet Taer were wonderful, the friends I had made here were all really nice, my job was still better than a lot of others I'd had in the past, and I did like it. I just had to get used to things being different.

Nothing was wrong exactly... but it wasn't completely right either. I guess I'll always miss home, at least a little.

Maybe it had to do with the fact that, for the first time, I had to wish my family a Happy Mother's Day and Happy Father's Day all the way from the other side of the country. Maybe it's because I missed getting together for dinner with the girls; and I have oddly only been able to talk to some of my closest friends once or twice in all these months (and most of them, sadly, not even once). These are people I used to talk to almost every day, and often multiple times a day - damn the time difference! Maybe it's because I thought we'd be going back for a visit next week, but we had to postpone the trip I was anticipating with so much excitement. Maybe I shouldn't have tried to hold in the fact that I was feeling a little down.

All I know is, I found myself with tears welling up in my eyes up a few nights ago. The more I tried to hold it in, the worse it got, so I finally decided to just let myself burst. All of a sudden, I wasn't just crying, I was BAWLING. My eyes got so puffy I could barely see. I was hyperventilating, which strangely made my lose feeling in my earlobes. Taer asked if I could breathe, and I nodded yes. It felt good to let it out. It hurt, but it felt good.

Whatever the situation is, I normally try to stay positive and optimistic. There was actually one day in college when I was particularly tired - I think I had pulled an all-nighter to finish a paper - so I wasn't my usual peppy self. All day, people kept asking me what was wrong. One of my friends even asked if I was mad at him. I guess no one was used to seeing me without a big smile on my face.

Another good friend, who was a psychology major, pulled me aside earlier in the year to say, "You know, there are some people who show a happy face to the world all the time... and then they go home and cry by themselves. You know you can always talk to me, right?"

I just laughed. With me, what you see is what you get; I'm quite transparent. I can't hide it when I'm upset; I'm usually as happy as I seem. But right now, I miss things about my old life terribly. I miss my people. And a good cry every once in a while is needed.

Monday, June 19


Taer took me on a "date" Friday night. (He opened my doors and everything!) We had dinner at Addie's, which is a cute, neighborhood-y restaurant in a little, yellow house down the street. It's not mindblowingly innovative cuisine, but it's definitely yummy; and you can't go wrong with the outdoor seating on a nice night. Or so I thought.

I smiled across the table as I savored my ribeye and Rosenblum zinfandel. I noticed Taer was ready for a little more wine, so I re-filled his glass; and when I was done, he took the bottle from me to fill my glass.

This is when the man to my right, white as Wonder bread, leaned over his table and "knowingly" informed his date that Taer and I were obviously following, "... an Asian tradition."

HUH? What the heck did this ethnically challenged man know about our traditions, Asian or not? When we're eating family style, Taer also puts food on my plate before serving himself. Is that considered Asian tradition too? I call it being courteous and thoughtful. Silly me. Every time we're nice to each other, will people around us think it's simply because we're Asian?

I had gotten used to living in my San Francisco bubble, where it didn't really matter if you were white, black, yellow, or purple. People were themselves. Everyone was different, so no one was different. I'm not saying that I've never experienced racism, nor am I calling this man's comment blatantly racist. But it's ignorant. And it's stupid. I hate ignorant stupidity.

I considered saying something to him. Maybe I could've played the role and announced, "Confucius say, You are an idiot!" But I decided to enjoy our dinner and speak loudly in my American born, law school trained, perfect English. There I go again, being all submissive and Asian.

Being fair, I should note that D.C. is pretty diverse. However, it is very conservative, and people are very set in their narrow ways. This is the first time I've met so many people who don't eat sushi. And this is also the first time I've met so many Republicans. I have a feeling I'll be going through a lot of firsts here. I just hope I'll know how to best deal with them in the future.

Thursday, June 15

My Ping golf commercials

Hey, so remember when I filmed those commercials for Ping golf a few months ago? Well, they're available online now.

Go to http://www.pinggolf.com/drive_across_america.html and click on both "Bay Area" and "San Francisco." I'm just an extra; so don't blink, or you might miss me. But that is really me swinging in the San Francisco one!

Wednesday, June 14

Eye contact and a smile

When I read this article, it reminded me of the one and only time that I gave out my number at a bar.

I was at the Up and Down club, the now-closed, two-level SOMA bar with some ownership involvement by gorgeous model Christie Turlington. Luckily, Christie wasn't around that night to threaten my A-game with her beauty, because let me tell you - I was single, and I was ready to mingle! In fact, I may even be bold enough to say that Christie was the lucky one to not be threatened by me that night!

I kid.. a little. OK, so I wasn't exactly one of those boy-crazy girls who was constantly on the prowl, but I'll admit that I couldn't help but notice a tall cutie hanging around near the corner of my eye all night. I decided that I wanted to meet him. I believed in a bit of old-fashioned chivalry however, so I didn't want to fly across the room to hunt him down and aggressively attack with my man-eating claws bared. So, rather than making the first move, I decided that I would try to get him to approach me instead.

I told Tina about my plan: "What I'm going to do is make eye contact and then smile. If he thinks I'm cute, he'll come talk to me." Tina simply laughed at me - something she's enjoyed doing as my best friend all these years - but she agreed to be my wingwoman.

We "went to the bathroom" together, but I wasn't able to catch his attention on the way there or when we returned. On our third or fourth ladies' room visit, the target finally looked at me. For all I knew, he might have just been wondering why we seemed to have the smallest bladders on the planet. Whatever the case was, our eyes were locked. Phase one of my master plan was complete.

There wasn't a lot of time for phase two. I mustered up my best twinkly-eyed, nose-crinkled smile, and I flashed it his way. Quick. Not too intense or crazy or stalker-like. As I was getting ready to look away (also part of the plan), I found him making his way though the crowd toward me. He introduced himself and offered to buy me a drink.

Mission accomplished!

We chatted, and I learned that he was going to Harvard Business School. Ah, so I snagged an HBS boy. My dating radar must have been as selective as Harvard's admissions office. They should hire me.

Anyway, HBS boy got my number, and we went on a date that week. Out talk over dinner was... like a business interview of sorts. It was fine, and conversation flowed, but that was about it. No sparks, no second date, no nuthin. I don't know if "Earning That Harvard M.B.A." was "Worth It" or not for this HBS guy, but I didn't stick around long enough to find out.

Tuesday, June 13

Going to town

I'm lucky because my job allows me to work from home when I'm not meeting with clients. Now instead of asking if I'm on tour, Taer asks if I'm "going into town?" (Doesn't that sound like we're country bumpkins?) I've gotta say, there's nothing like rolling out of bed and then sending emails and making phone calls in my pajamas.

Taer just called and asked, "You're not going into town today? Well, you can eat those noodles in the 'fridge for lunch. Go ahead and go to town on the noodles. Oh, and there's some chicken left from last night too."

Whether or not I go into town and/or go to town on those noodles, I just think it's cute that my man worries about me and tries to take care of me. Is it just me, or does that seem like a bit of a role reversal?

Monday, June 12

A Picture Share!

We went to watch the lpga event north of baltimore this weekend. The dot on the right is michelle wie. I now have a crush on her, and i want to be her.

Thursday, June 8

Personality test - QUESTIONS

After talking to a couple of friends, I've decided to post the complete questions to this test. You can find results and instructions on how to communicate with each type in the prior post today. Note that most of us will bounce around to different personality types depending on the situation at hand, and there are also varying extremes.

Compare each set of statements. Then circle the letter S, O, I, or D to the left of the statement that best describes you most of the time in most situations, and with most people.

1. O - Easy to get to know personally in business or unfamiliar social environments.
S - More difficult to get to know personally in business or unfamiliar social environments.

2. S - Focus conversation on issues and tasks at hand; stay on subject.
O - Conversation reflects personal life experiences; may stray from business at hand.

3. I - Infrequent contributor to group conversations.
D - Frequent contributor to group conversations.

4. I - Tend to adhere to the Letter of the Law.
D - Tend to interpret the Spirit of the Law.

5. S - Make most decisions based on goals, facts, or evidence.
O - Make most decisions based on feelings, experiences, or relationships.

6. I - Infrequent use of gestures and voice intonation to emphasize points.
D - Frequently use gestures and voice intonation to emphasize points.

7. D - More likely to make emphatic statements like, "This is so!" "I feel..."
I - More likely to make qualified statements like, "According to my sources..."

8. O - Greater natural tendency toward animated facial expressions or observable body responses while speaking and listening.
S - More limited facial expressions or observable body responses while speaking and listening.

9. S - Tend to keep important personal feelings private; tend to share only when necessary.
O - Tend to be more willing to show or share personal feelings more freely.

10. S - Show less enthusiasm than the average person.
O - Show more enthusiasm than the average person.

11. D - More likely to introduce self to others at social gatherings.
I - More likely to wait for others to introduce themselves at social gatherings.

12. O - Flexible about how own time is used by others.
S - Disciplined about how own time is used by others.

13. S - Go with own agenda.
O - Go with the flow.

14. D - More naturally assertive.
I - More naturally reserved.

15. D - Express own views more readily
I - Reserve the expression of own opinions.

16. D - Naturally decide more quickly or spontaneously.
I - Naturally decide more slowly or deliberately.

17. S - Prefer to work independently or dictate the relationship conditions.
O - Prefer to work with others or be included in relationships.

18. I - Naturally approach risk or change more slowly or cautiously.
D - Naturally approach risk or change more quickly or spontaneously.

Take all of your O's and subtract the number of S's. (This is the vertical axis.)
Take all of your D's and subtract the number of I's. (This is the horizontal axis.)

Open +9
+1 Direct
-9 -8 -7 -6 -5 -4 -3 -2 -1 +1 +2 +3 +4 +5 +6 +7 +8 +9
Indirect -1

Connect your dots to see what you are, then read the prior post for the rest of the explanation.

Personality test

I took one of these personality test things for work. I always find them to be kinda fun, and this one was particularly interesting because it focused on how to communicate with each of the four broad personality types. I thought I'd share what I learned. Rather than laying out all of the specific assessment questions, I'm just going to get right to the results. If anyone really wants the questions, I can share those later too.

First of all, there are two sets of opposing personality traits. Open or self contained; direct or indirect.

Open people:

  • Are easy to get to know personally
  • Have a greater tendency toward animated facial expressions or observable body responses while speaking and listening
  • Tend to be more willing to show or share personal feelings more freely
  • Show more enthusiasm than the average person
  • Go with the flow, being flexible about how their own time is used by others

Self-contained people:

  • Make most decisions based on goals, facts, or evidence (as opposed to feelings or experiences)
  • Tend to keep important personal feelings private, sharing only when necessary
  • Limit facial expressions or observable body responses while speaking and listening
  • Show less enthusiasm than the average person
  • Go with their own agenda, being disciplined about how their own time is used by others.


Direct people:

  • Are more naturally assertive and express their own views more readily
  • Are more likely to introduce themselves to others at social gatherings
  • Naturally approach risk or change more quickly or spontaneously, and naturally decide more quickly or spontaneously
  • Frequently use gestures and voice intonation to emphasize points
  • More likely to make emphatic statements like "This is so!" "I feel..."

Indirect people:

  • Are more naturally reserved and reserve the expression of their own opinions
  • Are more likely to wait for others to introduce themselves at social gatherings
  • Naturally approach risk or change more slowly or cautiously, and naturally decide more slowly or deliberately
  • Infrequently use gestures and voice intonation to emphasize points
  • More likely to make qualified statements like, "According to my sources..."
  • Tend to adhere to the Letter of the Law, rather than interpreting the Spirit of the Law


We drew horizontal and vertical axes to see the four quadrants more easily, but there are four basic personality types based on these traits:

  1. Open and Direct
  2. Open and Indirect
  3. Self-Contained and Direct
  4. Self-Contained and Indirect

OPEN and DIRECT people are called "Socializers." They value uniqueness.

  • They tend to use a lot of "-est" words and will use multiple "!!!" and "..." when they write.
  • They want things to be interesting.
  • You can be interesting to them by being interested in them.

OPEN and INDIRECT people are called "Relaters." They value relationships. They are face-to-face relationship builders who give a little bit of everybody. They do not want to take risks and hurt someone's feelings.

  • Because this is the "nice guy," you should be nice to them.
  • When communicating with relaters, give them recommendations, not directives.
  • Reassure them; they like guarantees.
  • Give them safe options.
  • Listen so you can hear what they really mean because they won't tell you directly. If you say to a relater, "Do you want Indian or Thai for dinner tonight?" they might answer, "Both sound good... but did you hear about the new Italian place down the street?"

DIRECT and SELF-CONTAINED people are called "Directors." They value results; and they want you to be direct, fast, and to the point. They take more risks than anyone else; and they can be tough.

  • Use bullet points.
  • Don't waste time.
  • They want recommendations.

INDIRECT and SELF-CONTAINED people are called "Logicals." They value accuracy, and they like having all the information.

  • They are careful and want to take time in making decisions.
  • Proofread any communication with them because they are likely to think that if you make one mistake, then others may follow.
  • Give them time to process information you give them, but also provide realistic deadlines.

Can anyone guess what I am?

Wednesday, June 7

House hunting is like shoe shopping

It looks cute, and I feel comfortable in it. It's the right size and price. I love it - let's get it!

Taer, apparently, does NOT seem to think that buying a house is like buying shoes. Or maybe he does, but he's just a whole lot pickier about his shoes than I am about mine. Or maybe I'm figuring out why I own so many pairs that I can't keep track of them all.

I've fallen in love with three houses. Taer doesn't think any of them are quite right. Am I just a house slut? Will we ever find our perfect home?

Saturday, June 3

A Picture Share!

Eating chocolate and golfing w my babe. Life is good.

Friday, June 2

This rat packs

I finally uploaded a bunch of old pictures that have been in hiding out on my camera for months. As I was cleaning out/packing up my room, Jen E. started pulling out random items I (allegedly) owned, and she asked things like, "Why do you have a random hammer in your room? What are these ridiculous glasses for? What is this huge blue thing???"

I'm convinced that the packrat fairy made frequent visits to my abode and secretly slipped extra special presents for me in random areas. The tooth fairy may leave money under pillows, but the packrat fairy leaves "treasures" absolutely everywhere, only to be found when you're packing up to move and constantly cursing yourself for never throwing away anything.

I'm posting these pics because they make me laugh and cringe at the same time. May I learn and remember to live a more minimalist lifestyle so that I will no longer be able to pull things out of my closet and ask myself, "How did THIS end up in HERE?!?"

Tuesday, May 30

The opposite of a snow day?

As a San Francisco school kid, I never got a "snow day" to stay home from school. Taer talks about those memories fondly, and I get belatedly jealous. I do remember going over many earthquake drills in my younger years, ducking under my desk and even lining up in an orderly fashion in the playground, but that's about it.

Did you know that these east coasters even get HEAT days off? I don't know what they're called exactly, but I just heard that all of the Baltimore city public schools plus a handful of other schools are closing because of the heat. I thought the east coast was supposed to be tough! Can't these kids just sweat it out? A little heat stroke never hurt nobody. Geez.

Just kidding. But I can just hear my parents telling their stories of going to school, how they walked though all sorts of weather to get their education. They climbed the uphill roads... uphill both ways, of course.

Can I take a heat day off for work??? I AM a fragile Californian, after all. If I get too hot, I might melt. Think my doctor will write a note for me?

Thursday, May 25

I'll be Yin, and you'll be Yang

So after all these years of relationship'ing from afar - FOUR years and 3,000 miles for anyone who needs reminding - people have been asking me what it's like to finally be together. Just plain old, everyday, coming home after a long day of work and making dinner and watching TiVo'ed season finales together. Well, let me tell you... it's good.

I was afraid that I would've gotten too used to our mini-honeymoons, that I might need the excitement. I looked forward to every visit. I was afraid things would get mundane quickly. Mind you, it's only been seven weeks, and I've been doing quite a bit of traveling, but I am enjoying the everyday stuff immensely. I think I've been longing for it. It's like coming home from a really long and really fun vacation. As great as traveling may be, there's nothing like coming home. Now that I'm by Taer's side, I know that I'm finally home.

Don't get me wrong; we have our differences. Taer's the practical one. Things he's said to me over the weeks include:

"How much are you contributing to your 401k?"
"Don't you already have another bag that looks just like that one?"
"I'm not saying no, but let's think this through. Let's talk tomorrow after we sleep on it."

I'm a little less... prudent. I find myself with an unintentional pout on my face and my shoulders often shrug in a "Do you really expect me to have an answer to that?" kind of way. I've come to a realization.

I'm a brat.

I really, really didn't think I was. I guess our relationships (including with family and friends) make us learn about ourselves. And to be honest, I'm glad Taer's the responsible man. One of us has to be. But that doesn't mean I'll stop pouting...

Tuesday, May 23

I heart NY and Amtrak

I had a lovely girlie weekend in NYC. I seem to have two public transportation options between DC and NY: "the bus" or "the train." At least that's what everyone was telling me. Apparently, the Chinatown bus is the more budget-friendly option, at $25 each way. And it's also supposed to be pretty ghetto. I don't consider myself to be a high-maintenance gal... but I guess I'm not exactly low-maintenance either. I'd say I'm "medium-maintenance," and the bus didn't sound fun at all to my mm self.

So I took the train. And I've gotta say that Amtrak added to my already lovely weekend! They really do yell, "All aboard!" And the train ticket punching guys wear these cute, navy blue, old school uniforms. There's plenty of leg room, I wasn't bound in by a constricting seatbelt, and no one near me got motion sickness. I'm a fan.

We ate, we shopped, we ate some more. Does it get any better than that? And now I'm busy, back at the grind, so I can't write much more for now. I'm already planning my next trip.

Oh, and if you want to read more about where/what we ate, I Yelped all about it...

Thursday, May 18

Who needs YouTube or NetFlix or iTunes?

Not I! ...Ok, so that's not totally true.

But here's what happened: I missed the Grey's Anatomy finale on Monday night. Ugh, I know. I KNOW! It heard it was really good, and I was really sad. It had to do with TiVo settings and other things I won't get into. All I knew is that I needed to find it somewhere, somehow.

YouTube, who solved my tv woes in the past, was doing me wrong. I couldn't find it! Google Video didn't have it anywhere either. Lucky for me, I've got a tech-savvy little bro. And now that's lucky for anyone else who missed it too. AND this is much BETTER QUALITY that YouTube or Google Video.

Here's whatcha do:
  1. Download Azureus http://prdownloads.sourceforge.net/azureus/Azureus_2.4.0.2_Win32.setup.exe?download
  2. Search for whatever you want to watch on http://www.torrentspy.com
  3. Download that (which can take some time, depending on how big/long the video is).

When you go find that wherever you've saved it, you'll get to watch dvd-quality video, right there on your computer! Voila!

And I cried. I'm not normally a crier when it comes to tv or movies, but I cried. Thank goodness for Grey's Anatomy and brothers and Azureus and TorrentSpy!

Wednesday, May 17

Salsa es muy caliente!

I didn't realize that I would need to bring my dancing shoes to my work conference. Literally. Our three-day meeting in Arizona included one "fun activity" night of salsa lessons from a professional dance group. As I was swinging my hips and step step step'ing with one of my colleagues, I was thinking that I'm happy to be working for a company that knows how to have fun. Even though these are no longer the days of start-ups where I ride my razor around and take foosball breaks, this huge - and I mean HUGE - corporation still knows how to let their hair down. Or maybe I should say they know how to let MY hair down.

After our lessons, the next step was for each regional group to choose one representative to perform and compete on behalf of the team. Even though I've been with the company for three years, I've only been with this office and division for a month. I was still in my more "quiet and reserved" mode, so I didn't think I'd be chosen.

I was wrong.

Eight of us ended up in a side conference room to learn our routines from our professionals. I was partnered with Eduardo (roll that "r" as you hear his name in your head), a short, dark-skinned guy with highlighted hair, a gold hoop in his ear, a yellow LiveStrong bracelet on his wrist, and a shake in his booty! He had a lot of ideas already, like how we would start with a storyline: I would pretend to almost kiss him, with my hand under his chin, but I would reject him and turn the other way. As I strutted away from him, he would turn me back around by the shoulder and throw my feather boa to the floor before we began our salsa. So spicy!

I was the first to perform before my peers. With the music blaring and the crowd roaring, I felt like I was on Dancing With the Stars. Except this was more like Dancing In Front of My New Boss, the VP, My New Colleagues... I was hoping this first impression wouldn't be a negative one. I guess everyone learned fast that "shy" is not a word often used to describe me.

After the judging from three American Idol-like judges, I ended up coming in third, behind one guy wearing a huge afro wig and another man whose hairy tummy protruded out of his t-shirt which stated "I'm With the Band." How could I compete with that? For the remainder of the meeting, people kept coming up to me telling me they enjoyed watching, that I was robbed, etc. Even when I'm not trying to be a ham, I must just scream oink oink!

Well, if nothing else, my name is now known. Even some people from the home office who didn't make it to the meeting told me they'd heard. I have a feeling I won't be hearing the end of this anytime soon.

Monday, May 15

I have definitely done all of these dance moves

I think my body may have spontaneously performed each and every one of these in just the past two wedding weekends. Hilarious!

Thursday, May 11

A Picture Share!

Me and Kris in arizona for work. This is salsa night!

Tuesday, May 9

Wanna bet?

Taer and I were watching Grey's Anatomy when he said, "Hey, that's your guy."

I looked at the scruffy dude being pulled in on a stretcher. "What guy?"

"You know. Harold and Kumar."

"John Cho?" The actor also went to Berkeley, where I remember thinking, Who's the cutie who works at that cafe? I found out when I started seeing that same cutie pop up on both the big and small screens, one of his notable roles being the M.I.L.F. guy in American Pie. And I decided I had a crush on him. Maybe it's because I admire him for taking his English degree and bravely going after an acting career instead of being pushed into a more dutifully conventional Korean American pursuit (uh, such as law school). Maybe I'm just jealous. Maybe he's just plain cute. Whatever it may be, my crush is my crush. And it's enough to make Taer call him my guy. I looked back at the Mr. Miyagi-looking man on our tv, and I replied, "No way! His face is too big."
"Well, he's lying down, and that neck brace could make him look different too."

I kept analyzing. Not cute. "That's not him."

"Wanna bet?"

"What should we bet?" I started to think of all the things we could wager. My last bet resulted in a good male friend wearing a very female-sized t-shirt of mine for a week. I could do the same to Taer. Or I could ask him to be my slave, and the next time we played poker with his friends, I would then make him dance like a monkey. Or, even better, like Britney Spears in her Slave for You video. I could make Taer go grocery shopping in only his boxers. "It's on!"

"OK... How 'bout the loser has to fold the entire next load of laundry by themselves?"

Snooze. Laundry folding didn't sound nearly as fun as half-naked dance routines. But I had to admit that it was actually a very enticing bet in the end. Man, we really are an old married couple already!

"OK!" I watched anxiously as we bloop bloop bloop'ed our TiVo past the commercials. When Mr. Miyagi was sitting up without his neck brace... he was magically transformed into the object of my crush. "Oh, no!" How could John Cho let me down? How could he look so not cute?

I hate laundry. Next time, I'm going to bet that the loser has to get a bikini wax.

Monday, May 8

A Picture Share!

One difference in the east is what they call their milk. My californian nonfat is now called skim. Even at starbucks, i now order a tall SKIM caramel macchiato.

Friday, May 5

A Picture Share!

A lot of people who live in our condo are a bit older than us. They have activities and lectures about arthritis medication. I'm thinking about playing bingo.

Wednesday, May 3

Leaving their laps

My mom emerged from the other room with a clipping from the Korean newspaper. My parents have pointed out newspaper articles and shared inspiring stories with us for as long as I can remember. My dad even gave me a book titled "The Real Coming of Age" for my 30th birthday, claiming it came highly recommended by Dr. Phil. How or why he knew that, I didn't ask.

My parents' attempts often made me laugh and/or sigh in exasperation, but I did always remember them. This particular news article ranked the top schools in the U.S. "These are the medical schools, law schools..." My mom pointed to each section as she spoke. "And look at this! Do you see this? The top schools tied for number one for English literature are Harvard, Berkeley and Yale. Berkeley English major - that's you! I wish you had more drive. You are so talented, you could be anything!

"You are good with people, and you are a good speaker. You could be a politician!" Sure I could... if I had any interest in politics. A politician?!?? Wasn't seeing me wear the ill-fitting straight jacket of law school for three years of my life enough for them?

I wanted to tell my mom that she didn't have to talk to me as though I were moving to another country. My move to the east coast was not equivalent to her move to the States years ago, when she left her parents in Korea. But I knew she wouldn't listen. This talk was as much for herself as it was for me.

"We won't have time for these kinds of talks anymore. Yuhl-shim-ee sah-ruh. Put 110% into everything. Live life fully and honestly, and you will be fine. You don't understand what I am saying now, and you think we are silly. Someday, when you have your own kids, you will understand."

I understand now. I feel her mother's love and pain of losing me now. I understand that she feels the pain of not being more thoughtful of her own mother's sadness during her departure, how difficult it was that she only got the chance to go back to Korea a handful of times.

My dad continued the heartfelt talk and brought tears to my eyes. "First of all, I want to tell you that your Mommy and I are very proud of you. You have been a joy as a daughter.

"Now you are [something in Korean I couldn't understand]; it means you are 'leaving our laps.' This time comes for everyone, but I hope you know that you can always call us to talk about anything. Don't forget that this will always be your home too. We will support you as much as we can. I did not have that because my own father passed away when I was young. I had to come here on my own and support myself, and I made a lot of mistakes.

"You can always call us. Always. You make your own decisions now. We will support you in any decision you make. We love you very much."

When my parents dropped me off at the airport, my mom insisted on helping me roll one of my huge bags inside. I think it may have been bigger than her 5' frame, and I knew I could handle it on my own, but she insisted. And no one can win in an argument against my insistent Korean mama. No matter how big, old or responsible I get, I know I will always be her baby daughter.

My dad hugged me and simply instructed, "Call your Umma often."

Saturday, April 29

A Picture Share!

I stayed up all night to get this done before my early morning flight. I am now back on the east side. Home.

A Picture Share!

Almost done, with a little help from my friends.

Thursday, April 27


I really didn't expect packing to take this long. I mean, I AM a pack rat, and I DO have a ton of stuff, but... I still didn't think it'd be this bad. I had to "hire" my cousin, Jason, to help me today. He shred paper, made a run to Goodwill and dropped off boxes at my parents' for me. He's the best! AND he's coming back again tomorrow - on his BIRTHDAY! Man, I suck. But DHL is coming to pick up boxes in the afternoon, and my room isn't looking that much better than the picture I took a couple days ago. I need help. (This is probably true beyond just my room, but I'm tackling it one thing at a time.)

I just got back from dinner with the girls. I meant to pack some more, but I'm tired and overstimulated, so I think I'll just rest up and refuel for tomorrow. We were celebrating my new east coast life, Sindy's job, and something unexpected. As we were talking about pets, one of the girls mentioned that she and her husband were talking about getting a pet too. And she reached in her bag to produce... a sonogram picture! It's "our" first baby! I've been fighting tears all week, and this was the thing to finally get me to well up.

And if my room isn't all packed by tomorrow afternoon, more tears may fall. So I'm out.

Wednesday, April 26

A Picture Share!

I just finished helping my brother move a bunch of my furniture for storage before his move. This is what is left. Oh. My. Goodness!