Saturday, February 21, 2009

A little bit of this, and a little bit of that

So here I am again. 3:12am, elliot smith channel on pandora. Tea, and my mac. Thank God I'm here again! I've been neglecting my blog for way too long, and observing my dwindling writing talent over the years(what I once thought I had) has been much more painful than any bruises/injuries/papercuts/etc/etc

Practice makes perfect. It's true.

What have I been obsessing over lately? I could see that the last post was about solitude, and the post before was about neil geinman's novel. Well, lately, I have been obsessing over psychology books, knitting, and Pedro Almavodor's films (bad education, volver, and talk to me), trying to find what it is that I love doing...

i think this post is gonna be a little bit selfish than other posts. Yah, it's gonna be about me...

Just for the record, and yes- I feel like I'm connected to the 'bad economy' phase of the world. I'm laid off, yes- I'm 24, and I have been married, moved to a strange city, separated, and now laid off. I realized, everything that has brought me to Seattle has ended, so what is the point of staying? But, I look around. I look around to observe the life I have made for myself here- the routines, my house, my friends, a special person, and now just taking off is proving to be a bit more difficult. But you know what? I would rather have this than the other. I'm glad that I associate this place with things i 'care about.'

steve jobs
said you have to find what you love. Much like relationships, you must never ever settle for something you half- love. I'm still in the process of finding what it is that I love- and really, there are so many things I love- I love art, design, people, and overall just being a helpful human being. I have so much appreciation for the humanity and all its creation, that I have a hard time focusing on what it is that I love. Ultimately though, it is people that I love the most and it is people I find the most fascinating. I feel like this might open another chapter in my life. Another career choice. Am I making the right decision? I will never know unless I try.

Here is to the unexpected chapter 2 of my life.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Thoughts about being alone

Today, I'm wondering about what it means to be alone. What do I mean alone here? Perhaps I should use a word solitude. (HA!) defines solitude in this way:

remoteness from habitations, as of a place; absence of human activity

As I think about myself in various relationships with many types of people, I couldn't help but to wonder...oh, wait. I'm not Carrie Bradshaw or can NEVER BE AS WITTY AS HER...perhaps I've been watching too much Sex and the City, but I AM on Season 6, so it should be over soon..ahem. Wait, to be honest... I actually think she's a horrible men eating witch in the show, and I really really dislike her character but I digress...

So, the longer I live and get myself in various relationships with people, I realize the importance of a true solitude, away from friends, co-workers, computers, and pretty much everything that makes you feel comfortable on a day-to-day basis. I think a true solitude actually can result in great things, most importantly- self reflection.

The rather cynical poster above assumes that people around you are aware of the purpose of your solitude. Yes, I must admit, writers do go lock themselves up to 'write' for months on end attempting to produce the jewel of their existence. It is a known fact that the legendary screenwriter Paul Thomas Anderson (Writer of Magnolia, Punch drunk love, There will be blood) usually locks himself up for 7-8 months to produce a feature length screenplay. All P.T. Anderson's fanatics know this. However, this kind of a solitude is somewhat intentional and planned; it is a (hopeful) agent for a big change. By doing this, you're hoping that something will happen, to accomplish a goal. This is not what I'm talking about.

The true solitude is having a late night tea alone after 9-5 work day in the kitchen; it is smoking a cig alone sitting on a park bench; it is sitting on a swing alone occasionally kicking sand and getting it in your shoes; it is biking to the beach alone experiencing the sunset; it is laying on your car looking at the stars on a summer night...This kind of somewhat spontaneous, unexpected, yet joyful moments that you spend completely alone can sometimes lead to- well usually train of thoughts. What am I doing here? What kind of a person am I? What is important in my life? Is my relationship working? Do I want to be here? These fundamental questions that would otherwise get shadowed by ephemeral pleasures of life actually get brought out to the light. Suddenly, you might get really confused, sad, perhaps pensive. Oh noes, you are away from Extra Extra, The Hills, House, Lost, Excessive cleaning habits, vanilla ice cream truffles, too nice of ex boyfriends or girlfriends, alcohol, friends, Google, Pandora, facebook, livejournal, blogspot, superficial relationships...

It gets REALLY confusing. But, I think those moments help us to answer the infinite yet sporadic WTFs of your life. Sure, you have some of the questions answered already, but what about the the blank fields in between the answered questions? Or maybe, you don't want to think- that's fine! Just look at the sunset, look at the moon, look at the stars, gather yourself and enjoy it. Had a shitty day at work? Boss micro managing you? Relationships not working well? Married but really want to 'get to know' that waiter? Mom died but don't feel sad? Feel alone despite having plans every day of the week? Can't decide whether to go to get a Ph.D or become an aesthetician? Well, have some tea and get some air but do this alone. Maybe you'll come up with a solution, or a plan instead of talking to 1234123 people about your problems. Gathered yourself a little? Maybe then it's the right time to get other people's advice...and at the end, you will probably appreciate/ value whatever that is important just a little bit...more.

Saturday, July 12, 2008


Grace said she spent most of her time in Korea. I asked her a simple question of,

“Oh, what reminds you of Seoul?”

I honestly didn’t expect a long answer, but this is what Grace said to me,

Seoul is my home. It is the place I remember when I listen to Korean ballad music; when I stare at the sizzling Korean bbq right in front of me; when I drown my sorrow in soju; when I sing my heart out at a Korean karaoke place in K-town; when I meet a Korean dude to drink soju with; when I watch Korean game shows that are just so, amazingly atrociously funny; when I smell city trees after a heavy rain; when I experience humid summers; when I encounter rather greasy and typical middle aged Korean business men; when I smoke cigarettes while walking on a cold, cold winter day; when I drink fish cake soup; when I see the growing wrinkles next to my mother’s eyes; when I see the gold teeth in my grandma’s mouth, when I see my grandfather’s denture, when I see a foil wrapped soap in the bathtub, when I find a kimchee bucket in the bathroom, when I unexpectedly find still photographs from of my childhood while packing to move, when I look at my Korean calligraphy trophy….And when I’m lonely at 3am in Boston surfing the web with tears in my eyes…”

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Do-er v. Wanter

Before I get into today's discussion, I would like to briefly talk about a book I'm reading.
I'm currently reading:
Neil Gaiman's Fragile Things.

Feel free to look this up. It's a collection of bunch of charming stories written by the story god himself, Neil Gaiman, also the author of the legendary comic book, The Sandman. I must say, Neil Gaiman's stories are very very interesting. Well, interesting is not the perfect word to describe how I feel about his short stories. Perhaps...enticing? eerie? strangely poignant, dark?
Long story short, I highly recommend it. I'm about 60% done, and I definitely have my 3-4 favorite short stories already!

My next books lined up are: Wild Sheep Chase by Murakami and Of Human Bondage by Maugham. Both were recommended to me by avid readers, also very good friends, and I trust their judgement in books, so I'm highly highly excited not to say the least.

Today I'm going to talk about the Do-er v. Wanter. I'm not sure if these are dictionary terms, but I'm not sure if I care too much since we live in a such-the-hyphenated-society. I mean, Woot is the MW's word of the year. Come on! Besides, I'm fobby, so I STILL have an excuse to make up my own words.

So lately, I've been observing lots of Do-ers and Wanters. I define Do-ers as people that do stuff that they like. Example, Samantha loves music, so she picks up the guitar and starts to play. She keeps going, and eventually learns to play pretty well consistently. Generally, Do-ers seem to be mainly focused on their own improvement in whatever they feel passionate about. They're not surfing the web, looking for talented people's websites and drooling, feeling jealous. Here is where the Wanters come in. I've observed lots of wanters lately. Wanters feel overwhelemd by the talent in the world and feel very inadequate. They seem to feel like they don't have the talent to persue their passion. They feel like they're out of time.

"There is no way I can do this on time."
"How can she do that? Oh my god!"

They seem to be looking at other people's work, being impressed by them rather than spending time on improving their own work. The more they search for great work, they feel even more discouraged to really start living out their dream.

What's good? I'm not sure. In my opinion, it's good to be both. It's good to be a wanter, because you are constantly inspired by others' work, but it's also great to be a Do-er, because you're spending this energy to something that is tangible, in order to improve your self, and fuel your passion.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

One Hit Wonders and myself...

Today, ladies and germs, I would like to talk about One Hit Wonders. Sorry for the lack of updates. When I started this blog, I promised to myself that I would not talk about my personal stories at all, but I find this extremely difficult, especially when I’m expressing my thoughts and opinions. I keep doing it anyway, so I should just embrace it. Wait, that’s not why I haven’t been writing- it’s all those Sex and the City episodes that I’ve been watching! (Oh, Review about that later, when I finish all the seasons, I’m only on 3rd, and yes, Samantha is my favorite- there I said it!)

Anyway, today, I thought I would come up with my own version of One Hit Wonders songs. I know, I know. VH1 has done it already and it already aired on TV. So? Coming up with any list is fun.

Along with the list, I wanted to talk about my stories with the first couple of songs. Nostalgic? Maybe. Here it goes:

1. Hotel California – Eagles

Anyone know other songs by Eagles? Call me stupid, but I don’t. Hotel California, what an awesometastic song. Listening to this song is like reading a novel. It begins with a beautiful guitar solo that squeezes out all tears from your heart, eyes, and soul. And how could I forget the killer chord progression.

On a dark desert highway, cool wind in my hair
Warm smell of colitas, rising up through the air
Up ahead in the distance, I saw a shimmering light
My head grew heavy and my sight grew dim

Man, what lyrics! Doesn’t this just paint a portrait in front of your eyes? Long, stretched out two way highway, from Last Vegas to LA? Imagine driving a convertible, and no, not a lame Porche boxter or anything, one of those Cadillac Eldorado (picture below), and your greasy hair and white tank top just dancing in the wind. Badass!

I have a good story with this song too. I think I was a freshman in college. I had a mad crush on this guy, and we were pretty much all intoxicated under dim yellow lights with a couple of other friends. My good friend Jessica came into the room after partying (of course intoxicated as well) and started hanging out with us. And just when I was certain that I had set the mood straight and that this dude was into me, she fucking started singing and dancing to Hotel California! And she didn’t even mess up on the lyrics, she knew all of it from start to finish. How could I win him over? He went to her dorm room that night. I could not help but to love her because of that too. Damn, Eagles, you really do suck ass, but not really. I love this song. The dude and I remained great friends, despite the fact that he managed to screw almost every one of my friends except …yours truly.

2. California Dreaming – Mamas and the Papas

Hmm..I see a theme here. Could I be missing California? This song is so amazing, yet I do not know any other songs by these guys. Although Bobby once told me that the lady in this band had chocked on some chicken bone and died, but I digress. This song also has great intro and pretty much awesome lyrics. But for reason, whenever I hear this song, I miss California.

Isn’t that what music is all about? It takes you to some place else, you fly; you close your eyes, and imagine yourself in a completely different place in a completely different state.

All the leave are brown x 2
And the sky is grey x 2
I’ve been for a walk x 2
On a winter’s day x 2
I’ve be safe and warm x 2
If I was in L.A. x 2
California Dreaming x 2
On such a winters day x 2

(Btw, this x 2 is also another charming part of the song- the alternate voice of the mama…and the papa??)

My personal story with this song involves a HK film Chunking Express. Anyone know this film: The legendary bubble gum poppy aka the most amazing film by Wong Kar Wai? The film has two stories, one with Bridgette Lin & Takeshi Kaneshiro (Did I spell his name right?) and one with Faye Wong & Tony Leung. The second story, with Faye Wong and Tony Leung, is really the ultimate romance that I can only dream about. With the quirks of the characters and the fluffy light hearted attitude,

(Tony Leung: Why do you listen to your music so loud? Faye Wong: That’s because I don’t like to think. Tony Leung: ..You don’t like to think? Faye Wong: *Shakes head)

this was THE film that I could fantasize about; possibly because I see myself as kind of an aloof and quite a bit of a spacecase. Anyway, this song- California Dreaming is played often (Like, every scene), especially when Faye Wong dances with Kitchen appliances at the express food bar she works at. It always reminds me of the first time I watched this film. I think a lot about things I find amazing- people, music, art, films, and how I felt when I met & saw & experienced & read them for the very first time. The lasting impression that first experience of such greatness has on me transcends any joy I experience in life. Do you remember when you watched your ultimate favorite film for the first time? Do you remember how you felt? When you met that exciting guy or a girl? And such an intense connection you shared? The rush of happiness I experienced after watching this film for the first time cannot be described in words.

By the way- in the movie, Faye Wong also dreams of going to California. What is it really? The California love? Is it the weather?

Ok, that’s too much personal stories for today, on onward with the rest of the list!

3. Barely Breathing - Duncan Shiek
Who is he?

4. Put your records on – Corinne Bailey Rae
She’s got some hits- Like a Star is pretty good. But her myspace has three songs. Has she made any more in recent years? Put your records on is a great song- it reminds me of biking under the sun and singing at the same time (which is what this music video essentially is...)

5. Closing time – Semisonic
“I know who I want to take me home…Take me home…ohh” Is that how it goes? Because that’s how it sounds. Semisonic…huh.

6. Torn – Natalie Imbruglia

Ok, ok. Wrong impression was a hit. But what else? This Australian singer swept the American & international chart with this song, and convinced me to have short hair as long as I can remember. This song, to me, is what reminds of the ever so awesome 90’s. Come on. 90’s! Anyone?

7. What’s up – 4 Non Blondes
“Hey yah yah yah Hey yah yah, I said hey! WHAT’S GOING ON!” Need I say more?

Ok, this is it for today. I hope all of you avid readers of my blog enjoyed this somewhat attitude-y post, because I surely did.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Fashion Fashion Fashion...

Fashion, fashion, fashion. Fashion is tricky, especially for me, since what I wear is...less than impressive, but my eyes are wandering all over the place. Living life, I think, makes you a bit lazy about presenting yourself in an aesthetically pleasing manner (That is totally subjective, and here I mean 'looking good to yourself and not others' sorta thing).

I've watched...pretty much every runway from Fashion Week, and I've chosen two of my favorites this year so far, and the winners are: Vera Wang and Gucci. This might seem weird, since there are so many not-so-famous-great designers & brands out there with gorgeous & experimental concepts implemented on their clothes, but I'm speaking from a purely ready to wear perspectives. I love avant garde, I love the great distance in which artists & designers go in turning their visions into realities...but I have to say that most of them- I will never actually wear.

Check out these videos. This Gucci video does a great job of pointing out the highlights of the show. Oh, by the way Gucci's current creative director is Frida Giannini.

The second, is by Vera Wang.

Both of these collections have a few things in common: Beautiful color palette (Earth tone, which is my personal favorite), experimentation with interesting jewelries, and simply, I would wear literally everything from these two collections.

Here are the runner ups. Givenchy, and Stella McCartney. (Givenchy) (Stella)

Here are the links, so check them out. Oh, and Marc Jacobs fans out there- 'blegh' is my conclusion, sorry...

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Bojo Fondo Tango Club

My ever expanding music taste/interest has reached somewhere unfamiliar. A friend of mine who recently visited Argentina came back with a couple of CDs. One day, he was giving me a ride home. I was day dreaming in his car as usual, but at some point, I totally caught myself listening to the music he was playing and started really liking what I was hearing. Fresh sounds are honestly pretty rare these days around me, especially graduating college and also moving away from what I’d call awesome music aficionados of Northern/Southern California. This band- that piqued my interest is: Bajo Fondo Tango Club. The band consists of 7 members- all successful musicians on their own, came from mostly Argentina and Uruguay.

How would I describe their sounds? I’m not a professional music reviewer, so forgive my descriptions for they might not sound as accurate or even sophisticated (if you readers even care…) as they should. In my own words, it’s a mixture of Tango, Electronica (especially Trip-hop & low tempo), and a bit of Hip Hop sprinkled here and there. They have this amazing DJ, Luciano Superville who seriously has major talent in dropping the sweetest beats and samples at the right moment in the traditional tango rhythm. If you’re looking for the ultimate chill out music that is not the typical Buddha Lounge Mix #1000 to the Nth power. this might be something you might want to check out.

By the way, I’m not obsessed with the Argentinean culture or anything. They just kinda…showed their faces at me last week and started creeping into my senses, eventually making mihae a very happy panda at the end of this week.