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."