Monday, March 29, 2010

Maryland: Day 1


It is so refreshing.

Vanessa's in her 3-hour journalism class and I'm just-showered in a cramped yet cozy dorm room with the window cracked open. The weather is a bit wet and therefore wildly exhilarating. From the window I can see a brick building and a bare tree, dampened and dark from the morning rain. It's already five o' clock and I've spent the whole day adjusting to East Coast time.

My flight got in at around 6:30am. It was a peaceful flight; everyone seemed to fall asleep - except for me that is. I didn't get to have any interesting conversations, but the older couple next to me were very kind people. I'm definitely bringing food on my way home because all they seemed to show was Man v. Food. Not cool United Airlines. Not cool. The journey was a bumpy one filled with turbulence - which was just grand. Even though I thought I was somewhat traumatized from the five-foot drop on my last flight, I wasn't scared in the slightest, it was actually quite fun, though we did have a harsh landing. It was foggy when we came in, so the landing came out of nowhere. I felt like a lone swimmer in the ocean, waiting for the worst. Which touches on something of interest. I feel I'm somewhat of a morbid person. For some reason, if I'm doing something remotely dangerous, I think of the worst case scenario. Take the plane for instance, I kept thinking "What if Man v. Food is the last thing I watch before I die? That would be kind of funny." I mean, how morbid is that? I guess it's not too bad though. At least I'm not Harry Burns.

Anyway, I LOVE TRAVELING! Especially via airplane. I LOVE IT. From the hustle and bustle of the airport, to people-watching in the terminal, to finding your seat and settling in for a ride unlike any other. It's honestly the GREATEST. I guess traveling could be considered a hobby/interest, and as one, it would be my favorite. Once I landed, I grabbed my luggage (which was giving me a scare, mine was the second to last piece!) After that, I called Vanessa and reported my confusion as to where I was, then found the B30 bus stop (#2 to be specific) and waited about five minutes. I boarded the bus like a pro (thanks public trans in Santa Barbara!) and took a half hour drive to the metro station (Greenbelt for those of you who ever want to visit UMD.) Along the was breathtaking. There were so many trees! Even though they were bare, they were beautiful! Thin and lanky and thick and tall and all different colors; maroon, beige, brown, black. Those with leaves stood proud and when we passed by an open field filled with floating mist, I held my breath. The East Coast is truly something else. It's such a breath of fresh air - literally. The air is crisp and fresh, with forewarning of humidity if stuck indoors.

Public transportation is a breeze. I met Vanessa at Greenbelt and we took a short metro trip - on which we passed a massive lake where two gentlemen were fishing - then boarded another bus to her school (which was PACKED with college kids and whose driver SUCKED - he hit the breaks so fast everyone was thrown around.)

After that ordeal, we finally reached our main destination: the University of Maryland, College Park. It is INCREDIBLY different from West Coast universities. It is quintessential East Coast. Nearly all the buildings are brick with huge white columns and direct print labeling their purpose. It's really great. Vanessa's dorm is brick as well and I feel like I've been thrown back in time to the days of the colonies. She swipes her card and opens the ONE door to her hall. It's a maze inside and I make sure to memorize the way to get to her dorm - her hall is COMPLETELY different than mine was in Santa Barbara. They don't have elevators, and there's different passageways and stairs to get to her room. The building is older than mine was and her dorm is much smaller than mine with only one closet to share and the desks pushed to the wall nearest the door. But like I said, it's cozy. There's a heater under the one window that can be opened by pushing up - like the ones you always see in old movies. Vanessa's desk is covered in papers and important things and a lot of post-its. She even has a piece of yellow notebook paper taped to the top of her desk for self-motivation for those hard times we're all familiar with: "I love you, me!" and "Vaness=AMAZIN'." She's adorable. There's a bunk bed across from the desks. Vanessa has top bunk. Her roommate is either not very sociable or upset about my being here - I haven't figured that out quite yet, but I guess we all have our bad days. She likes Keane and Regina Spektor so she's cool with me irregardless.

And, just in time, Vanessa's back! Update lates.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A little taste of Korean pop culture - bubbly!

To counteract my last entry, I've decided to post a little "jolly" tidbit on Korean pop culture seeing as I'm half Korean and all. I know quite a bit about it (though nowhere close to a LOT of other people.) Still, I keep up with what's popular, who's hot (Gong Yoo is ALWAYS) and, of course, Korean fashion, which is far more superior than American fashion hands down. In fact, when I visit S. Korea in the near future, I'm at a loss for what to bring clothes-wise. Which is why I plan on bringing an extra empty suitcase - not only are their clothes ultra cute but cheap too!

So, anyway, you might have heard the term J-Pop, basically Japanese pop music. And maybe you've heard the term K-Pop, or Korean pop music. I keep up with K-Pop more since I can understand it (for the most part), and tend to like it better, but J-Pop catches my attention once in awhile. Asia is ahead of us in so many things - except music. Remember the 90's when pop music was all the craze? The Backstreet Boys, Britney before she turned skank-mode, N'Sync, etc. Well, that's Korea now. And there seems to be no stopping it. (Not to say that that's the ONLY music out there, in fact there are a few "indie" bands I like a lot.)

There is this HUGE, and I mean HUGE, Korean all-girl pop band called SNSD - I'm not sure how many members are in this band, but there's more than your typical four that's for sure. Yoona, who is a BIG, BIG celebrity in Korea (an actress, singer, and other such things) is its star. They just recently debuted their music video for their song "Run Devil Run" which is very catchy. It's constantly blasting from my laptop - drives my mom a little crazy.

And this was my jam before this song came out, by the same band, without subtitles this time:

Ha, I know I'm a nerd for liking this so much. But then again, I LOVE anime. It's really no surprise I like K and J-Pop.

Other than that new release, there's Japan's all-girl band Scandal who somewhat, kindasortanotreally recently debuted their music video for "Shoujo S." It came out last year. Also, if you like the anime Bleach, this is the 10th Bleach opening song.

I cannot stomach Asian boy bands which is why both of these were all-female bands.

Here is an example why:

Moving on...

What I love most from Korean pop culture is the drama. Korean soap operas that is.

I haven't watched any new ones as of late and I only just finished watching one of the most popular dramas in Korea (and Asia) called "Boys Before Flowers" and I'm working on "The 1st Coffee Shop Prince" right now.

I LOVED "Boys Before Flowers" even though I didn't like the first episode. And I LOVE "The 1st Coffee Shop Prince." Korean dramas are honestly unlike any soap you've seen - they're so much more fun (and innocent) and TRUE and plain out different, better (for the most part.) I mean, who really cares if Jessica is Caleb's real baby's mama? I sure don't.

Take for instance "The 1st Coffee Shop Prince." I watch all my dramas on a website called and here's the site's summary of the drama:

"The life of Go Eun Chan (Yoon Eun Hye) is not easy; she works many jobs to pay off debts and even gave up her feminine image. Choi Han Kyul (Gong Yoo) is the heir of a big food company, but his grandmother wants him to settle down, so she arranged many dates for him. After Eun Chan bumped into Han Kyul and was mistaken for a boy, Han Kyul decided to hire Eun Chan to be his gay lover in order to avoid the arranged dates. Desperately in need of money, Eun Chan had no choice but to accept. Han Kyul's grandmother also made Han Kyul in charge of a filthy coffee shop in danger of being bankrupt. Eun Chan begged to work at the coffee shop, and not long after, feelings start to spark, except, how would Han Kyul accept his 'homosexuality'?"

It's honestly great. I love it. And Gong Yoo is seriously the cutest, most attractive Korean man ever.

Anyway, I was watching this drama which sparked this entry. Now to get back to it!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

I don't know exactly where to start this entry off...

A lot of things have happened lately. "Bad news first, good news last" seems to always be the format of bad news first. Today my mother got a call from her sister in Korea. My mom's last uncle died. I never knew him...but it was clear that my mom and him were close. Because she cried.

Seeing either of your parents cry is...hard. Really hard. I found myself crying, cradling her in my arms when she confessed that she hadn't called him in years. It was heartbreaking. The only comfort was that he was a Christian and loved God. He's in a better place now. But you have to mourn. And my mom is. Thankfully, I was able to cheer her up a bit today. We watched a Korean drama, ate ramen, talked, kept busy and, most importantly, laughed. Still, I know I won't be enough to keep her from mourning. Tonight, I won't be able to hold back her tears when she goes to bed. But my mom is strong, and this is something that is necessary. I've never lost anyone close to me in my life. But I know one day I will....

Death is a constant reminder that I am not invincible, that God can choose to take me whenever he wants. It's funny...sometimes I forget that I'm so fragile. That I'm nothing but skin and bones, surviving on the only planet known to man to sustain life, and only by a fraction. It's really a miracle. Anyone who says they don't believe in miracles is blind.

Better yet, I often forget that those close to me are fragile. You know, when you're younger you think your parents are like superheroes. Nothing can hurt them. They actually do seem invincible. They can do everything. As you get older, you start to realize that your parents aren't as perfect as you thought (or are invincible.) Like when you realize that flowers grow by photosynthesis and not by the animals in Bambi who come out at night and sprinkle magic dust on the ground. Things become more "clear" you could say.

It seems that the most common regret with those who lose loved ones is that they should have done something - called, apologized, spent more time with them.

Yes, death is a reminder. Not only of our mortality, but of the mortality of those you love most. Never take time for granted. Never harbor feelings. That's why I hate when people hold grudges. No matter the outcome, do as much as you can so that you can live life without regret. To know that you at least did everything you could do is better than doing nothing (even if the outcome is not what you hoped for) - and people always realize that too late.

So, that happened today.

And a day or so ago...I got fired from my job working for an older Jewish gentleman in the most cowardly way - and I'm not talking about my boss. I didn't even get a chance to quit. At least it's done with. I honestly don't care enough anymore to talk about it. It's not worth it.

And now, with the bad news behind us, the "good news."

Well there's really no good news anymore, but Vanessa was here for her spring break not too long ago which made me a very happy gal. Completely out of the blue, she says she's in Fontana. I just about peed my pants. It was great to talk about "stuff" and watch When Harry Met Sally and sleepover. And go to a gay prom and Hamburger Mary's. We had ourselves a good time, despite the obstacles.

I honestly don't know what I did to deserve the friends I have. I ask God that ALL THE TIME. It worked out much too perfectly. It's like we're puzzle pieces that fit together. We work so well, it's hard to believe. We were meant for each other. It sounds so cheesy but it's so true. Vanessa is AMAZING. I've never met a person more caring than she is. She has the ability to make you happy when you feel like complete shit. She's goofy and too cute, you always feel like pinching her cheeks. And yet, she's so aggressive - in such a good way. She goes after things and does them. She's a doer. I admire her the most. And yet, when she's been hurt, she really gets hurt, it clings to her because she cares. So much. It surprises me at times. But most of all she's genuine. There are moments where I just lose it and start acting silly, busting rhymes or laughing at unfunny things - and she goes along with it! I honestly can't express how GREAT that is. I'm just really thankful I have her in my life and that I'll be seeing her again soon.

As for the other good things...

I've been having fun at work. Yes, fun. Now that I'm not a depressed, anti-social person anymore, I've been making friends (surprise, surprise.) It's actually enjoyable. Along with friends...there are boys. Just boys. Boys. God. I know I won't be in a relationship soon because I'm not good for anybody right now...but these boys. One just doesn't give up. The other...the thing is, I actually like him, though I wouldn't consider him my type...though who am I kidding comparing my last two exes? What type am I talking about? Still, I know he likes me. He practically told me. It's easy to see. And I feel pretty horrible about it....I'm nowhere near ready for that. And I'm so much more wiser than I was before. I need time. And a lot of it.

Then there's Josh. No real updates there except that I can say that we're good friends. We haven't hung out in awhile, but I'm always glad to see him. I never thought exes could be friends...especially with what's happened recently. But the truth is, they can. I'm just thankful for his friendship - the fact that he'd want to hang out with me after everything. It shows me a lot about him...

And then there's Maryland. I'm off to Vanessa's home state Sunday night. But lucky/unlucky me, my best friend Cait is coming home for spring break. Still, I'll be able to see her for awhile Sunday morning before I leave for my flight. I miss her so much. Fontana just isn't the same without her here.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Thanks, Bob.

"You may not be her first, her last, or her only. She loved before she may love again. But if she loves you now, what else matters? She's not perfect, you aren't either, and the two of you may never be perfect together but if she can make you laugh, cause you to think twice, and admit to being human and making mistakes, hold onto her and give her the most you can. She may not be thinking about you every second of the day, but she will give you a part of her that she knows you can break; her heart. So don't hurt her, don't change her, don't analyze and don't expect more than she can give. Smile when she makes you happy, let her know when she makes you mad, and miss her when she's not there."
-Bob Marley

Shit, Bobby. You said it.