Thursday, November 30


Nobody likes a dumb and lazy man. Bill Clinton, thankfully, is neither dumb nor lazy. You can say what you like about him as a President, politician, husband, Christian, whatever. But the fact is, the dude and his Clinton Foundation just brokered a deal with two Indian drug companies to create nineteen anti-retroviral drugs to treat children afflicted with HIV/AIDS. These drugs will be made available to 62 underdeveloped countries, and will cost a mere 16 cents a day, $60 a year

There are 2.3 million children worldwide who are infected with HIV. TWO MILLION OF THEM LIVE IN AFRICA ALONE. This Bill Clinton ... he is doing a very, very good thing.

Wednesday, November 29


I am sick and tired of, and disgusted by, bullies. People who think they are right, no matter what unfocused blather comes out of their mouths. People who refuse to hear truth, or even a differing opinion! People who lose focus and just go with it, not caring that others wish for focus and a meaningful discussion. People who are insensitive to others, blind to themselves. People who talk just to hear themselves talk. People who lecture not with wisdom, but with condescension. People who get to speak just because they're louder and more insistent, without regard to whether they are correct or not. People who just bully the conversation and stomp on those who wish to speak something else. Worst of all, people who profess to wish to make it all about God, but always, ALWAYS, end up making it about themselves.

I am sick of them. I am sick of having to tolerate their blindness and insensitivity and uncaring hearts. I am sick of having to coddle their egos and indulge their self-absorbed perspectives. I am sick of being trampled on because I'm right, for once, and I am sick of watching others be trampled over because they aren't loud enough, insistent enough, argumentative enough, egotistical enough, to keep on speaking what they know is right and true. I am sick of the unjustified and thoughtless attacks. I am sick of the majority-rules conversation because half the time, the majority is wrong, and it's just a bunch of people complaining together because they finally have an outlet.

A time comes when folks, we all, just need to suck it up and take some admonishment. When we're wrong, we're wrong. When we've lost focus, we've lost focus. Accept it, deal with it, embrace it, then let go of the wrongness and let some truth come in, for Christ's sake. We are not so great and so wise that everything we say actually has merit. Not everything that someone says in disagreement, or even in an effort to focus back to what should be the main focus, is an attack. And just because someone disagrees doesn't mean they are wrong. Sometimes -- gasp! -- the one being disagreed with is wrong. And don't go getting all defensive. The reason folks get defensive is because something triggers inside them that they are wrong. And then ego takes over. Smash your ego. Throw away your defensive posture. If you're going to profess to care, then care and place others above yourself. And stop attacking those around you just because you know you're cornered and in the wrong. You don't always say what is right and true and helpful, and when someone points that out, you should be grown up enough to take it like a man or a woman. And if you can't muster that maturity, then at least open your ears and HEAR. Shut your mouth, and open your ears.

Enough is enough. Me, I'm with the underdog. The quiet one. The one who becomes afraid to speak up because of all those who will jump down her throat for speaking truth. The one who prefaces all of his statements with "I dunno, but ..." or "I'm sorry, but ..." From now on, I'm going to support her speech, and take away the sorrow for speaking one's mind. I root for the underdog, and even if no one else cares, I'm going to care and TAKE care of those around me.



On a less rage-filled note: some movies, especially those containing penguins, are worth seeing twice. Even with the overly-green and totally disjointed ending. The waddling alone makes it worth it.

Thursday, November 23


Did you have a good day today? I did.
Did you give thanks today? I did.

God bless and keep each of you.



1. Good TV programming.
2. Soy chai lattes.
3. Flannel pajamas.
4. Cheech, with the wool turban on his head.
5. My new sweater.
6. All of my Apple products.
7. A cozy cocoon of a car in which to embark together on many adventures.
8. Pretty floweres.
9. Omma and Appa dancing the salsa.
10. Lap blankets.



1. Jesus Christ, my Lord & Saviour.
2. My family and my home, where peace and love is always priority, no matter what.
3. Being able to nurse the beloved sick back to health.
4. A properly functioning heating duct.
5. Quality time that is really, actually, normally, hilariously, intimately, meaningfully, satisfyingly, hopefully, quality time.
6. God being more than I could ever imagine or hope for.
7. My sister, my girls, my LOLs, and the special brothers interspersed among them.
8. A paycheck.
9. My health and strength.
10. Hope.

Monday, November 20


Thoughts abound from yesterday's sermon at church: PEK was telling us about the massive anticipation and hysteria (and murder) over the new PlayStation that was released on Friday. People stood on line for SIX DAYS in the hope -- the HOPE, not even CERTAINTY -- of being able to purchase it. And all I could think was: "It's a machine, for crying out loud. It doesn't do your laundry, or wash your dishes, or watch your kids, or do your homework. It doesn't fight wars, or create peace, or find a cure for cancer. It's a TOY. An overpriced, overhyped, useless TOY." And I kept on thinking, what else would people stand on line for? Or rather, what would people NOT stand on line for? Would people not stand on line to meet Jesus? Or even someone who KNOWS Jesus? What would that be worth: one day? Two days? Six days? Just a couple of hours? A lunch break? Seems to me, Jesus is a whole lot cooler (and less expensive) than a PlayStation console.

But then I got to thinking about me. I haven't stood in line for much. I have neither the attention span, nor the tolerance for crowds, nor the ability to go without showering for more than 20 hours. But I have gotten awfully excited over an awful lot of things. Billy Joel tickets. The new MacBookPro. The new iPod Shuffle. An eagerly-anticipated movie. Shoot, I even waited outside a Joann's craft store for thirty minutes before it opened because I needed to pick up some more YARN. How long would I wait for Jesus, to see Him, to meet Him, to talk with someone who knows Him? One day? Two days? Six days? Just a couple of hours? A lunch break? Seems to me, Jesus is worth a whole lot more, on all accounts, than a ball of yarn, or the latest Apple product, or even a hot shower.

Saturday, November 18


I feel invisible lately.

It's awful and surprising how much I need validation, recognition, an acknowledgement that I was heard, an expression that someone cares, a statement of understanding, a reach of sympathy, a commiseration that what I'm going through and feeling and struggling with is important, just as important as anything else that anyone else is going through and feeling and struggling with.

And when I don't get those things, I feel and become invisible. And this just makes me want to hide more.




I don't know what made me do it ... but I just watched the entire first season of "Grey's Anatomy" in one sitting. I don't feel parts of my legs and buttocks anymore, and my back needs a good week in traction.

But of course, even as we speak ... I'm downloading Season Two ...

Friday, November 17


I'm disturbed by the latest trend all over Europe to rid Muslim women of their head-coverings, burqas. Say what you like, but I believe these coverings, whether head-to-toe, or just the head and face, or just the hair, are expressions of a Muslim woman's faith. Maybe she doesn't want to wear it and does because she is afraid -- of her parents, her husband, her religious leaders, or of being exposed when she had never been before. Maybe she finds it comfortable. Maybe she is proud of her religion and proud to abide by its restrictions and teachings. Whatever -- I don't know; none of us know. But to have a government say you can't wear them ... I just don't like it. I know there are lots of alleged reasons for these proposed bans: security (you never know what these women are hiding underneath their cloaks!), better interpersonal and professional relations, etc.

Still. I don't agree with the tenets of the Muslim religion, but that doesn't mean I think a government should tell you how and how not to abide by the religion's traditions. People just gotta butt out.

I fear the day someone is going to tell me not to wear this cross around my neck.

Thursday, November 16


To my pity party. For these are the things I want to shout today:


In the place of shouting, and the pity party (which is not that thrilling), I express myself in words. Thanks to TinyCricket and whoever else these questions belong to ...

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
The big picture: Living a full life, with a full God, in the fullness of all He's given to me.
The little picture: Good rest; tasty food; B time; being reminded that I am loved; a thrilling book.

What is your greatest fear?
Being alone.

What is your greatest extravagance?
Bags and Apple products.

What is your greatest regret?
Always, always: not thinking before acting.

When and where were you happiest?
At the Eagle Scout lodge (1991); Schapiro12 (1995-96); Nyack State Park & Beach (2005); playing nurse in February (2006).

Where would you like to live?
Manhattan, or anywhere within its reach.

Which talent would you most like to have?
The ability to pick up a guitar and play it like I know what's what.

What is your current state of mind?
Confused; exhausted; hopeful in a discouraged sort of way; sad; wishful.

What do you consider your most overrated virtue?
Organization. If they could only see the cluttered state of my inner self, I'd be exposed for the type-A fraud that I am.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I would love to be slow to anger, slow to jump to conclusions, slow to be pessimistic. (I have to say in my defense, though -- I used to think being judgmental was a totally horrible, unfair characteristic to have. But as I get older, I think I'm starting to see that being judgING is a good thing. To have beliefs, standards, boundaries. Yes, I must be judicious and kind in how I judge me and those around me. But this judging is not an entirely bad thing. Anger, incorrect assumptions and pessimism, though ... yeah, I'd love to get rid of those, or at least convert them into something useful.)

If you could change one thing about your family, what would it be?
I would love for my family to realize that their happiness and joy does not depend on me being married. Otherwise, they're all pretty great; I'd keep them just as they are.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
I haven't achieved it yet.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
"You know ..." and "I feel like ..."

On what occasion do you lie?
When I'm desperate to protect myself or someone I love.

What is your most treasured possession?
The cross around my neck; Bob and his family; my 12-year-old Bible and all my journals; my books.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
Having God turn His face away.

What is your most marked characteristic?
I multi-task. A lot.

What is the quality you most like in a man?
Thoughfulness towards and about everything and everyone. Faithfulness. Fearlessness in standing up for his beliefs and for what is right. Humility supported by strength. Also, a nice smell.

What is the quality you most like in a woman?
Confidence in her uniqueness. Warmth. Intelligence. Unrestrained laughter.

What do you most value in your friends?
The ability to trust myself in them, and to have them trust themselves in me.

Who are your favorite writers?
Jane Austen; C.S. Lewis; Annie Dillard; David McCullough.

Who is your favorite hero(ine) of fiction?
Atticus Finch, from To Kill a Mockingbird; Elizabeth Bennett, from Pride and Prejudice; Anne Shirley, from Anne of Green Gables.

Who are your heroes in real life?
My father.

Which historical figure do you most identify with?
Laura Ingalls Wilder.

Who or what is the greatest love of your life?
Jesus Christ, and ... hee.

Which living person do you most admire?
My father.

Which living person do you most despise?
Kim Jong-Il.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Selfish, closed, inwardly-turned eyes and heart. This seems to be the root of everything else deplorable, doesn't it?

What is it that you most dislike?
Rudeness, exacerbated by an unawareness of that rudeness or an unwillingness to care to remove the rudeness.

How would you like to die?
Having lived a life of honour, integrity and joy.

If you could choose what to come back as, what would it be?
Well, now, you know I don't believe in things like that. But if there were such a thing, I think I would like to come back as ... well, me again.

What is your motto?
"Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord." (Ps. 31:24)

Sunday, November 12


When you're so tired and exhausted and your brain can't function to full capacity anymore, that you arrive home after a 10-minute drive and realize you have no idea how and when you got to your driveway. Thank goodness for latent memory.



When really good dancers and rappers on "Showtime at the Apollo" have you so jacked up that you can't go to sleep.



When you normally really hate pizza, but the day before a scheduled pizza dinner, your taste buds are craving it.



When you have to finally clean your house after a tornado-y two weeks in anticipation of guests. I thought I would suffocate from the mess, but had no energy to tidy up for my own benefit. Good to know I can still be shamed into cleanliness.

Friday, November 10

AS IF! . . .

There are people out there who would just LOVE it if I could say ANYthing in a mere two words. Well, this one's for you, and you can thank Unlimited Mood for constraining me to two-word answers to the following questions.

1. Explain what ended your last relationship.
Saw light. Much better. Happier now.

2. When was the last time you shaved?
Yesterday morning. Smoother legs. Stubble already?

3. What were you doing this morning at 8 a.m.?
Headed out. Working girl. Falling asleep. Commuter train.

4. Were you any good at math?
Notoriously bad. Not stupid! Just unskilled. (Hated algebra. Failed trigonometry. Geometry bit. Loved Calculus.)

5. What were you doing 15 minutes ago?
Watching movie. Knitting hat.

6. Your prom night?
Such drama.

7. Do you have any famous ancestors?
Allegedly royalty.

8. Have you had to take a loan out for school?
Of course! Grad school. Worth it.

9. Do you know the words to the song on your myspace profile?
MySpace evil. Stay away!

10. Last thing received in the mail?
Store coupon. Clothing catalog. New book. Annual report.

11. How many different beverages have you had today?
Cool water. Dark coffee. Diet Coke.

12. Do you ever leave messages on people's answering machine?
Hate phone. Never talk. Emergencies only. Prefer email.

13. Who did you lose your CONCERT virginity to?
High school. Billy Joel. Yankee Stadium. Best concert.

14. Do you draw your name in the sand when you go to the beach?
Never ever. Dislike beach. Grainy sand. Unpredictable ocean.

15. What's the most painful dental procedure you've had?
Wisdom teeth. Big needle. Gag reflex. Aching gums.

16. What is out your back door?
Outdoor deck. Neighbor's deck. Blue sky.

17. Any plans for Friday night?
Competing engagements. Totally undecided. Perhaps neither. Me time.

18. Do you like what the ocean does to your hair?
Hardly ever. Too wilty.

19. Have you ever received one of those big tins of 3 different popcorns?
Totally gross. Never yet. Thank goodness.

20. Have you ever been to a planetarium?
Yes indeed! So pleasurable. Good company.

21. Do you re-use towels after you shower?
Of course. Who doesn't? (Ha, ha! Mabel answer!)

22. Some things you are excited about?
My Mondays. B's company. Successful events. Girls' time.

23. What is your favorite flavor of JELLO?
Hate Jello. Gags me.

24. Describe your keychain(s).
Conference souvenir. Mostly functional.

25. Where do you keep your change?
Various jars. Must redeem. Need bills.

Thursday, November 9


This afternoon, I went to the bathroom, and when I got back to my cubicle, the ENTIRE FLOOR had vanished. Gone, in the mere 36 seconds that it takes for me to walk to the ladies' room, pee, and return. It's like The Rapture happened, and I got left behind.

Note: apparently, they all left for some massive company-wide meeting off-site. Understandable, then. But still: the stealth and mass-exodus nature of the exit, completed in a mere 36 seconds, is miraculous and super-natural to me.

Tuesday, November 7


Election 2006 is finally over, thank the good and merciful Lord. Happy (or unhappy, depending on where you stand) results notwithstanding, has it not just been a miserable year for all of us? I mean, could the advertisements and campaign tactics be ANY worse, ANY lower, ANY meaner, ANY more worthless when it came to actually advertising the candidate?! B and I were shaking our heads over this last night, and we came to the unhappy conclusion that there is to be no "regression" -- no return to clean campaigning, no return to a forum where the issues take precedence, no return to a place lacking mudslinging, no return to an honest fight.

And the worst part of it all? So many campaigns used the President of the United States against their opponents. There was so much hatred, so great a disdain, so little respect for the leader of the free world, the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, that to have his name attached to a candidate was to be considered a CURSE. I disagree with Shrub on so many counts, and I am counting down the days to January 29, 2009. But at the end of the day, the man is still my Commander in Chief. He's still the leader of my country. He's still my President. I would still preserve some shred of dignity for him. It's a sad, sad day in a sad, sad nation where no one else feels that way and rather use his name as a talisman against winning.

Deep heavy sigh.

On another note, it's sort of funny watching people's concession and victory speeches. There's always the obligatory glorious nod to the family members and loyal spouse. If the victor is speaking, we also have the obligatory victor-walks-over-to-the-spouse-to-kiss-said-spouse. It's so ... cheesy. And in the case of Eliot Spitzer, it's even worse because he then follows all that up with saying, "Boo-ya!"

Why? Why would you do that?

Well, my conclusory statements on a political season I failed to follow with any sort of deep or committed interest: the next two years should be interesting. Forward march to Clinton/Obama 2008.

Meet the newest member of the family:

Pipsqueak Baby Mumble Shuffle Cha.
We call him Pip.
He's cute.
Apple is brilliant.



So I was sitting at Starbucks over the weekend and had a Mabel moment: a 5-year-old boy was playing with his younger brother and some Starbucks stickers. At one point, the little brother became a bit too rowdy with the stickers, so the 5-year-old declared, "He's crazy as an ox!"

The mother's head flipped up: "WHAT?"

"Crazy as an ox. He's crazy as an ox!"

It was all I could do to keep my soy chai latte from leaping out of my mouth onto the table in front of me.

Post-script: When the mother tried to pack up her kids to leave, the 5-year-old declared in protest, "I've only been here a muffin and a half!"

Brilliance is everywhere.

Thursday, November 2


I love how I complain about people who have no capacity for original thought ... and now find myself in the same exact position. I console myself by telling myself that if I had a little more sleep, or if I had not had that draining conversation the other night, or if I didn't have so much on my plate, I would be physically able to come up with scintillating, intelligent, exciting and unique things to share with whoever wants to share them with me. Who knows, though, if that would actually be the case? For now, I'm settling for quiet evenings of music and mini-camp, repeat episodes of "Without a Trace," and this:

1. What bill do you hate paying the most?
Cablevision. Cablevision sucks. It just does. And there's no way that what they're giving me is worth what I'm paying them.

2. What's the best place to eat a romantic dinner?
I haven't been there yet, but I'm due for a nice garlicky, dimly-lit Italian dinner in a few days. I'll let you know if it lives up to all of the expectations ... but really, it's the company one keeps, isn't it?

3. Last time you puked from drinking?
Sophomore year of college. NEVER. AGAIN.

4. When is the last time you got drunk and danced on a bar?
Never. Please, have some dignity.

5. Name of your first grade teacher?
Mrs. Gravely. All my classmates called her Mrs. Gravy and I felt so bad for her because she was so, so sweet.

6. What do you really want to be doing right now?
That which I will be doing at 10:30p tonight.

7. What did you want to be when you were growing up?
The first Korean-American astronaut to take to space ... a pediatrician (thank you, Cheech, for carrying my torch so faithfully) ... a lawyer. Hey, one for three ain't bad.

8. How many colleges did you attend?
One, and sometimes I wish I could do it all over again so I could really get my money's worth.

9. Why did you wear the shirt that you have on right now?
It's grey out today and the world needed a splash of colour.

10. GAS PRICES! First thought?
I'm glad they're dropping, but I'm still going to Jersey for fuel.

11. If you could move anywhere and take someone with you...
Manhattan, and ... hee. I'm not telling.

12. First thought when the alarm went off this morning?
"I wish I was sick so I could call in sick and sleep some more ... oh wait, but then I'd be sick."

13. Last thought before going to sleep last night?
Either "When is this response going to come?" or "I. Love. My. Bed."

14. Favorite style of underwear?
Nobody needs to know what my favorite style of underwear is, lest you think that is also the underwear I wear, and maybe it is, but you still don't need to know.

15. Favorite style of underwear for the opposite/same sex?
Boxer briefs.

16. What errand/chore do you despise?
Folding dried laundry.

17. If you didn't have to work, would you volunteer at an art gallery?

18. Get up early or sleep in?
Get up early -- there's too much to miss!

19. What is your favorite cartoon character?
I have vague memories of those who used to be my favorites from "M.A.S.K." and "G.I. Joe." And of course, what girl did not want to be Jem (Jem is excitement, ooooh Jem, Jem is adventure!)?!

20. Favorite NON-sexual thing to do at night with a girl/guy?

21. Somewhere in California you've never been and would like to go?
San Francisco.

22. Number of texts in a day?
Zero. I watch people text message, and they all have their mouths hanging open, and their thumbs are cramping up, and you just KNOW that their grammar and punctuation have gone to the dogs. Horrible.

23. At this point in your life would you rather start a new career or relationship?

24. Your favorite lunch meat?
Does a mozzarella, tomato and basil combination count?

25. What do you get every time you go into Costco?
I'm a BJ's girl myself, but I pick pasta, pasta sauce, and paper goods. Booooooring.

26. Beach or lake?
Lake. I'm less likely to get swept out somewhere.

27. Do you think marriage is an outdated ritual that was invented by people who died at 20?
No. Don't be ridiculous.

28. Who do you stalk on MySpace?
I think MySpace is evil and refuse to have anything to do with it.

29. Favorite guilty pleasure?
Ben & Jerry's Dublin Mudslide ice cream; buying books on Amazon; repeat episodes of "Top Chef."

30. Favorite movie you wouldn't want anyone to find out about?
I have a very low embarrassment threshold so I'm not that ashamed of any of my movie-viewing choices. But people seem to laugh a lot when I say that "The Sound of Music" is my favorite movie of all time.

31. What's your drink?
Soy chai latte (thanks, TinyCricket) and room-temperature water.

32. Cowboys or Indians?
For what?

33. Cops or Robbers?
I don't understand this question.

34. Do you cheer for the bad guy?
In movies, sometimes. In real life, never. But then again, so little is easily penned into black-and-white.

35. What Hollywood star do you think resembles you best?
Name me a Korean-American Hollywood star and there might be your answer. Oh wait, there are none. Riiiight. (Yes, that is an indictment of the Hollywood community, so read as much rage into that as you wish.) However, I have been likened to: Phoebe, from "Friends;" Monica, from "Friends;" Elaine, from "Seinfeld;" and Sarah Jessica Parker. You figure it out because I sure as heck can't.

36. If you had to pick one, which cast member of "Lost" would you be?
Would I BE? Why? So that I too can be stuck on a weird desert island that isn't actually deserted and is frighteningly bizarre and spooky and dangerous? Uh, no. But I would like to be WITH Sawyer. Cheeky grin.

37. What do you want when you are sick?
Orange juice, which I despise when I am healthy. And my mommy.

38. Who from high school would you like to run into?
My Spanish teacher, Sr. McKenney.

39. What radio station is your car radio tuned to right now?
AM: 880 News. FM: 93.9 NPR.

40. Norm or Cliff?
Didn't watch enough episodes to know the difference.

41. "The Cosby Show" or "The Simpsons?"
Definitely "The Cosby Show." For a long time as a child, I felt that my family was the Korean version of the show.

42. Worst relationship mistake that you wish you could take back?

43. Do you like the person who sits directly across from you at work?
I don't know her at all, but she seems nice.

44. If you could get away with it, who would you kill?
Nobody. I just don't think I have it in me. Plus, it's just not right.

45. What famous person would you like to have dinner with?
Former President Bill Clinton.

46. What famous person would you like to sleep with?
You know, I never got into the whole fantasize-about-a-famous-person-and-wish-to-bed-them thing. I mean, I think that certain male actors are very handsome and I wouldn't mind just spending some time gazing upon them and perhaps smelling their clean fresh man scent. But I just don't get all hot & bothered by famous people. Sometimes, a facial expression or a profile shot or the shirt one is wearing will remind me of someone I know in real life, and I'll wish that real person were next to me so I could snuggle up next to him and smell him, but I have never and don't expect to ever long to be with the famous counterpart. Anyway, that's the long preface to a short answer: no one.

47. Have you ever had to use a fire extinguisher for its intended purpose?
No, neither to extinguish a fire nor to knock an intruder over the head.

48. Last book you read for real?
"Honestly," by Sheila Walsh.



The bathroom at the office gives out FREE tampons and FREE sanitary napkins! FREE! I just think that's really nice.



Apparently, the firm is having some sort of event tonight where the employees will be split up into teams to engage in some sort of friendly competitions. So all afternoon, people up and down the hall have been coming up with team names and engaging in some really funny trash-talking. One team is going to be "The Vaders" (as in Darth Vader); another, evidently, is going to be "Chupacabra" (and just listening to people butcher the word is fun enough).

But hands down, the name that made me laugh out loud in my little cubicle here was this: "e. coli."

"Why?," the name-giver was asked. "Because it's the virus that makes you bleed from the inside out and eventually kills you," she said.