Friday, March 30, 2007

Things Under My Skin (at the present moment):

1. my phone bill (RIDICULOUS! AHHH...when's June coming?!)

2. the fact that I only have 3 more weeks or so until the end of my history class and have yet to begin working fully on that stupid paper about the Glorious (whatever) Revolution.

3. my student loans. Sallie Mae is the Devil's wife...I am sure of it.

4. my job: I sit in a cubicle all day. 'Nuff said.

5. Certain people...grrr...people who are just...ughhhhh... (Me-Cavewoman, me-eat-meat, UGH UGH!)

6. This comment (disguised as a compliment): "I love you just as much as I would love my biological child. I want you to know that I love you just as much as if you were my own. Even if we did adopt you. I just wanted you to make sure you knew that." (I'm having another random fit of KAD-itis. Please refrain from approaching...)

7. Bars. You heard me. I am 21 and I HATE BARS. Go call the press.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Perhaps...a trip back to the Homeland?

Thanks to Amanda (the Imported Megami) for the heads-up on this link:

Journey 2007

Does the Arirang have a possible outlet to go visit the Homeland?

Hmm, this could be quite interesting...

Last Laugh on Verizon! [please insert most evil, vindictive laugh you can muster]

It took me over 10 minutes of waiting in a ridiculously long line + a 40 minute dinner with my father + 5 minutes of "Oh, I am so sorry Ms. Behles, we forgot to upload all your contacts into your phone for you."

Hm...was never good at math, but let me see if I can do this: 10 min + 40 min + 5 min = an OBSCENELY LONG TIME!!!!! Jeeesus...

And the 40 minute dinner with my father...him starting on me about how he hadn't eaten any breakfast, nor had he eaten any lunch at all that day - "Oh, but it's okay. Don't you worry about your fossil-like father." Was this just like those random "I only have $2.00 worth of gas...your mother won't allow me anymore money. But don't you worry about me..." conversations? Knowing well and good I would worry. Of course I'd worry. Ugh. Congrats, it worked. I told him I'd get him some dinner, and we'd sit down at a restaurant and eat decent food. A part of me laughs inwardly at those nature vs. nurture psychologists: "TAKE THAT!" (I refuse to be seen as cold-hearted as my mother tends to be seen with her own family members, simply because she raised me doesn't mean I have to be like her in anyway)

Yes, but onto the most satisfying thing - ahhh, my new LGV8300:

Pretty sleek, eh?
Eh, technically, a new phone + free of charge = a real good thing. Especially since I only have 3 more months of my contract and I am FREE!! FREE to fly to the Land of Cingular. Where there are acres of free land, relief from religious persecution...erm, wait, wrong place and time. Regardless though, my trek to the "New World" of Cingular/"The New AT&T" (which consequently is not so new) will be blessed one. Not to mention a very save-me-money choice.
Out of the very few people that I text or call right now: 99.99% are Cingular customers. That means my bill is 99.99% higher than it should be. And now being the last of the Verizon Mohican's (Thanks G...for LEAVING ME last month! ...and displaying your new-found spangled Cingular glory at Greenfield while playing glowstick/cell phone magic tricks with M!) I am desperately lagging behind the rest.
Come fast, June! Hurry!
PS. On a side note, shout-out to TL on this one: Everytime I get this damn catalogue in the mail (I am a subscriber to the Women's Catalogue so they automatically send me the Kids as well) I can picture Ryder-bear in these clothes, romping around like the little fashionable and stylish man that he is: MiniBoden.
Don't ask me why...I just do. hehe

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Is it Noraebang day?

For some reason I can't get the following two songs out of my head - and so, in an attempt to get the tunes out of my head, I'll write a blog about them.

"Waiting On A Star To Fall" - Boy Meets Girl

I hear your name whispered on the wind
It's a sound that makes me cry
I hear a song blow again and again
Through my mind and I don't know why
I wish I didn't feel so strong about you
Like happiness and love revolve around you

Trying to catch your heart
Is like trying to catch a star
So many people love you baby
That must be what you are

Waiting for a star to fall
And carry your heart into my arms
That's where you belong
In my arms baby yeah

I've learned to feel what I cannot see
But with you I lose that vision
I don't know how to dream your dream
So I'm all caught up in superstition
I want to reach out and pull you to me
Who says I should let a wild one go free

Trying to catch your heart is like
Trying to catch a star
But I can't love you this much baby
And love you from this far

Waiting for a star to fall
And carry your heart into my arms
That's where you belong
In my arms baby yeah

Waiting (however long)
I don't like waiting (I'll wait for you)
It's so hard waiting (don't be too long)
Seems like waiting makes me love you even more

Waiting for a star to fall
And carry your heart into my arms
That's where you belong
In my arms baby yeah

"Hands To Heaven" - Breathe
As I watch you move, across the moonlit room
There's so much tenderness in your loving
Tomorrow I must leave, the dawn knows no reprieve
God give me strength when I am weary...

So raise your hands to heaven and pray
That we'll be back together someday
Tonight, I need your sweet caress
Hold me in the darkness
Tonight, you calm my restlessness
You relieve my sadness

As we move to embrace, tears run down your face
I whisper words of love, so softly
I can't believe this pain, it's driving me insane
Without your touch, life will be lonely
So raise your hands to heaven and pray
That we'll be back together someday

Tonight, I need your sweet caress
Hold me in the darkness
Tonight, you calm my restlessness
You relieve my sadness

Morning has come, another day
I must pack my bags and say goodbye...

Something terribly nostalgic comes over me when I hear these songs. Not 80's headbands with hot pink stripes and black and white polka dots (which also comes to mind) nor wearing Members Only jackets and rushing home to watch MTV. (And for those of you doing the math, I have an older brother that although I am not superdy-dooper close to, I did have a lot of his childhood and adolescence rub off on me)

For me these songs, whether I hear them randomly played on the radio or they come up on my shuffle on my iPod, this tingling feeling creeps over me. I remember where I was when I first heard those songs as a kid, and what was happening. For Boy Meets Girl, I was sitting in the car with my Dad and brother, in the parking lot, waiting for my Mom who was in the store. My brother just busts out singing all the lyrics, and I have no real explanation as to why, but the tune stuck with me.

For Breathe...I came in one day from school, and my Mom had just bought the Breathe "All That Jazz" album on cassette tape for her and my brother. They immediately popped it into the boombox my brother had in the kitchen and started singing along. I remember when "Hands To Heaven" started to play and my Mom burst into tears as she mouthed the words to the record. It wouldn't be until five or six years later that I understood how much those lyrics truly meant to her about a part of her past she rarely talked about.

And even weirder, is that following my lifetime, throughout my middle school, high school, and now my early adulthood years -- I have had instantaneous moments, or memories that correllate with a time when I heard that song being played. I think that's amazing about these two very special songs. They have this tremendously bittersweet honesty and quality to their lyrics and their melodic tunes. It just gets me every time that no matter how old I get, or what I go through, as soon as one of these songs pops on, I am transported back to a time and a feeling, almost immediately.

Music is just a most incredulously powerful thing.

Monday, March 26, 2007

There was a reason I loved this blog...

Props to Latoya Peterson, correspondent for Racialicious for this awesome article.

Have you ever wondered "where the white women at?" ...Apparently, Details magazine knew all along. Who woulda thought it?

I think my favorite quote is this:

“The fantasy goes both ways,” he explains. “The women get to fuck our guys while their husbands watch, and we get to fuck rich white women, really mutt ‘em out. It works! But people in this lifestyle are affluent—I’m talking judges, CEOs, FBI agents, important people—so before they invite a bunch of black men into their homes, they want to know they’re safe, they’re not going to get robbed, and everyone is discreet. So that’s what I provide—a gentleman in the street and a thug in the bedroom.” - Art Hammer, head of the "Mandingos"

Ahhh...Jeeeesus, could it get any better? Who is this luscious Art Hammer and how did he know that that's what "rich white women" really want? "...a gentleman in the street and a thug in the bedroom"...Langston Hughes in turning in his poetic grave as we speak for Hammer's eloquent statement.

What better way to spend the last few minutes of my work day by reading "Meet the Mandingos"...

This article goes right up there with my Dad's own recent statement addressing the large amount of bi-racial children in Korea's orphanages (mixture of mostly American soldiers and Korean women):

"You know it wasn't the American soldiers' know those Korean women were standing there with their tits hanging out and their legs spread saying "Me give you boom boom for a dolla!" on the streets"

God Bless America for allowing my parents to adopt me (their Korean daughter) in all their racial ignorant glory.

Death to Verizon! (and other random things)

I, no...I loathe Verizon Wireless. I have had this VCAST LGV8100 only since November and already it broke - it just completely copped out on me. Won't even let me charge it. And although I do have insurance on the phone - I feel it's a lost cause to spend $50.00 to get the same crappy ass phone sent to me so it can break yet again for the THIRD time in just five months. Yes, third time. Oh, and yes, just five months.

I am not rough with my phone, to assure you. It sits nestled safely in my purse for 95.9% of the time. And for good reason, for in the past two years - I have demoted my cell phone time to answering calls from my parents, and random text messages that I rarely ever get to answer. And even so much in the last few months - have left the ringer to silent due to always seeming to being at work. Thus, no real extensive usage has been brought to my phone to force its submission to technical difficulties. Especially ones that involve the smaller metal piece (it probably has a technical term but one that I have failed to recognize...personally, I don't give half a rat's ass because either way this phone is the biggest piece of crap on the planet) that is at the bottom of the phone to help it receive the charge from the electrical charger. The piece just slips out of the phone like it wasn't even fastened properly to begin with. Which is probably wasn't. Piece of shit. now I either have to go to the store to get a new phone...and sign a new 2 year contract or buy a new phone at full price without the contract, or send the phone back for $50.00 to my insurance company to get a new replacement.

As I have already covered the replacement option's negative aspects above, this is how the others fair:

1. New 2-year contract w/ new phone: 'bout Hellllllll DOUBLE no. Anyone who knows me has heard me say over and over again "I can't wait till June, I'm switching to Cingular. Can't wait till June..." That's when my contract is up. Did I mention I cannnnnnot wait?

2. Buy a new phone at full price: Seeing as my cheap and college loan-ridden ass cannot bear to pay the early cancellation fee, this is a no brainer. Absolutely no way will there be anyone seeing me in a Verizon store in the near future dishing out $87.00 for a basic new phone.

Oh, and another thing - I have a VCAST mp3 player phone...that I haven't used VCAST on for a year and a half. Because why? Oh SUCKS. Thus, there might be a slight possibility that I might be phone-less for the next three months for the sake of either being broke or cheap. Or slightly both.

Onto more happy issues:

Did I ever mention I got a 99% on my midterm? Freakin' awesome surprise that was.

This past weekend I went to a surprise baby shower for A.B.'s sixth edition(& addition) to the Bunch. It was super sweet and she was super surprised. No one really thought she would be, but when she came over and grabbed my arm and was slightly nervously shaking, well, no one could fake surprise that well. So yay to that very adult 12-year old for pulling that party together! It was ultimately a great success.

As a side note, what is up with these 12-year olds? At one point in the party, there was this Ralph Lauren purse that was ringing and Kish brought it out to find whose it was. To which this short-skirt wearing, tight top-wearing teeny bopper replies "oh, yeah...thanks!"

A cell phone? Whose calling you? And a Ralph Lauren purse? Whaaa?

Hehe, my Amusement Award goes to TL for her immediate question: "Is it a real one or one of those five-digit kind?"

Which by the way...
To reiterate my excitement: I AM SO HAPPY FOR YOU!
Besides that -

Thank God for beautiful weather yesterday. My computer crashed again and I had to go to the library to finish my paper for class. Ugh. But I picked up some awesome'll keep me busy and occupied this week.

Happy Monday, people!

-From your neighborhood angry, annoyed-with-Verizon, computer-less, college-broke friend: EJ.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Another Jolie-Pitt Addition that leaves that "just-puked" taste in my mouth...

Nothing like a I-just-hurled-a-little-in-my-throat feeling to get through the past week or so:

Poor Pax.

Some points where I particularly puked a little:

"One immediate challenge: the language barrier. Pax, who until now has only known life inside the simply appointed Tam Binh Orphan Center on the outskirts of Ho Chi Minh City, speaks only Vietnamese, while Jolie has learned a few phrases in his native tongue. Dr. Jane Aronson, a Manhattan pediatrician and international adoption expert who became a friend of Jolie's following Zahara's adoption, notes that Pax's years in an orphanage may initially slow his language abilities and that learning English will likely take several months."

A smaller irritating point, but a point at which I spit slightly. My response: No shit, Sherlock. You adopt an older child from a foreign country, it's going to take a while for them to adapt linguistically. I guess I am irritated by this always being made into a big deal. As if it is this sudden surprise that this child from a foreign country could actually speak a foreign language. Jolie/Pitt are not the first parents to deal with this issue. *sigh*

"Pax had not been told he was to be adopted until that day, for fear that "we might put pressure on him and make him more frightened," says Bui Thi Thanh Tuyen, his primary caretaker at the orphanage. When an overwhelmed Pax began to cry after meeting Jolie, she quickly showed her maternal instincts: "She told me she understands – that it's normal for all young children to be scared," says the orphanage director, Nguyen Van Trung. Later, after Jolie had taken Pax aside to comfort him, "he was very cheerful and happy," says Trung. "He even played with his new brother Maddox.""

This bothers me. So I guess a point of hatred can be spared and placed upon the orphanage director. Either way, whether you tell the child one week, or the day before, or even an hour before they are to be whisked away, wouldn't you be frightened, too? I think it's wrong to withhold that information, as if a "surprise attack" would make this poor child all the more pliable to be whisked away in sudden shock and taken to another country with some weird ass lady. Kudos for Jolie at least admitting that she understood that all children become afraid - shame on you, Nyugen Van Trung.

"Abandoned as a newborn by his birth mother at a local hospital, Pax – then called Pham Quang Sang – spent his days in the facility's structured environment: Toddlers rise at 6 a.m., when they brush their teeth and wash up before eating a typical breakfast of bread or rice porridge."

Definitely don't like this. The way they worded it, the fact that they put it in writing in an article...everything. It's bad enough that adoptees have to face some truth about their life as an orphan, but how would you like knowing that you could Google your name and get your entire truths on hundreds of damn websites? And, the whole publicizing of the on-goings of the orphanage (which gets better in the next paragraph) is just It's bare-minimum, of course. And though I can't place full sentences or words together to express my entire feelings, I just know it doesn't feel right to me.

"Contrary to some reports, Pax's adoption was not fast-tracked, nor did Jolie, who requested a healthy boy – many of the children at Tam Binh are HIV positive – donate money to the orphanage in order to curry favor. "Things just fell into place," says Heidi Gonzalez, the Vietnam adoption program coordinator for Adoptions from the Heart, the Pennsylvania-based agency that arranged Pax's placement. "Angelina contacted me [in late fall] as I was looking for a home for Pax." "

In short: bullshit.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

21 years ago tonight...

I arrived into BWI Airport as an American citizen. :-)

21 years ago today ...

I was a 3-month old orphan, being wrapped in several layers of overlarged clothes for my long journey to the States by my foster mother. Tucked between layers of pink fleece were whispers of prayers for hope and for good health for this tiny premature 5 lb. baby girl.

21 years ago tonight ...

I was craddled in the arms of my adoptive mother with the name of Emily, the American girl, and discarded Kil, Eun-jung, the Korean girl, until 10 years later.

21 years ago tonight ...

An ahjumma somewhere was either restless or rest assured with the knowledge that her tender offspring of an only daughter was on her way safely to mi-gook.

21 years ago today ...

A family of three became a family of four. I entered a world and a life that although there have been extremely difficult times and awe-inspiring positive ones, I would never change it for all the money you would offer me.

21 years ago today ...

I began my journey to become who I am today, hundreds of thousands of miles away from that tiny farmhouse in Seoul.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Song of the Day - "Beautiful World" - Colin Hay

My my my it’s a beautiful world
I like swimming in the sea
I like to go out beyond the white breakers
Where a man can still be free (or a woman if you are one)
I like swimming in the sea.

My my my it’s a beautiful world
I like drinking Irish tea
With a little bit of lapsang souchong
I like making my own tea.

My my my it’s a beautiful world
I like driving in my car
Roll the top down
sometimes I travel quite far
Drive to the ocean stare up at the stars
I like driving in my car

All around is anger automatic guns
It’s death in large numbers no respect for women or our little ones
I tried talking to Jesus but He just put me on hold
Said He’d been swamped by calls this week
And He couldn’t shake His cold

And still this emptiness persists
Perhaps this is as good as it gets
When you’ve given up the drink and those nasty cigarettes
Now I leave the party early at least with no regrets

I watch the sun as it comes up I watch it as it sets
Yeah this is as good as it gets.

My my my it’s a beautiful world
I like sleeping with Marie
She is one sexy girl full of mystery
She says she doesn’t love me but she likes my company
For now that’s good enough for me

Smells Like...Geek Factoid Time!!!!

Actually, I find most of this stuff pretty freakin' interesting...I found this on this one dude's blog (Props to you, Mr. Alan Williamson)

He went to this dinner with Marissa Mayer, who is the Product Manager for Google, and since I am, among most of my friends, a huge fan of Google, and Gmail - I was fascinated with the little factoids.

Such as...

The prime reason the Google home page is so bare is due to the fact that the founders didn't know HTML and just wanted a quick interface. Infact it was noted that the submit button was a long time coming and hitting the RETURN key was the only way to burst Google into life.

The infamous "I feel lucky" is nearly never used. However, in trials it was found that removing it would somehow reduce the Google experience. Users wanted it kept. It was a comfort button.

The name 'Google' was an accident. A spelling mistake made by the original founders who thought they were going for 'Googol'

Gmail was used internally for nearly 2years prior to launch to the public. They discovered there was approximately 6 types of email users, and Gmail has been designed to accommodate these 6.

Genius, I tell you, genius.

Monday, March 19, 2007

What a weekend!

Aside from the fact that my friends are complete wackos (and I say that in the most endearing sense of the word), they are the best ever.

Had a freakin' awesome time of a weekend, thanks to J, and G. :-) Happy pre-Gotcha Day to meeee!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Happy Birthday to my Mom!

Yesterday was my Mom's birthday [age will remind classfied information]. Two weeks ago my little sister emailed me while I was at work and asked me if I could help her plan a surprise birthday party for Mom (since she had heard that J's birthday surprise had been a success...she figured I had experience).

[A little aside, what's up with all these 12-year olds throwing parties? My sister is not just the only one that I know of. I would like to count around four kids that I have come to me with party ideas, or party planning - and I am like "whaaa?"]

Anyways, I helped my sister find a place that made sugar-free cakes (Mom's diabetic) and also ordered the food from Baja Fresh to be catered for the family at the house.

Then my goal was to get my Mom out of the house for the entire day yesterday. So I took off work, and told her that just this year, I would go out with her on her special day and take her to a nice lunch and whatnot. She obliged.

You see, it's tremendously difficult to get my Mother to go out anywhere. One, because even though she'll deny it, she likes to pull out on plans on the last second. She has this knack of always having so much pile up on one day that it's hard for her to commit to anything. But I kept guilting her because I had taken a full work day off...haha, very rare for me.

We went to the mall since she decided she wanted to make an appointment to get her eyebrows done. And then she insisted that I get mine done, too. Since it's the woman's birthday, I decided to go along with it. Well, anyone who knows me, and knows what I look like, would know that I have little to no eyebrows at all. When I sat down at the chair, the woman looked at me, had my tilt my head back and asked with expectation, "Have you...tweaked before?"

Me: "No"

Her: "No?" (incredulously)

Me: "Nope, these are my eyebrows - or lack thereof - that were God's gift to me"

Her: "Alright, let's see what we can do."

25 minutes later. Wa La! I have eyebrows. It was so weird looking at myself. Dude, c'mon... 21 years without eyebrows and in 25 minutes I get these bushy looking things above my eyes? It definitely made a big difference - but I am still not used to it at all. I guess it takes a while.

My Mom sat down in her chair to get ready to get her eyes done while I wondered around the makeup counters. Deadly, those makeup counters are. Let me just say, that yesterday, destiny brought me and this little ole bottle of SPF 15 tinted moisturizer by Mac together for the first time...and boy was it love at first sight. Jeeesus. I felt like one of those infomercials this morning when I was putting it know the ones where they are like "And then the dryness/redness and blemishes just...DISAPPEAR!" ....Dude, they totally did. Completely. Utterly. Wa La! Gone! Poof!

Also bought this killer lip gloss by Mac. Freakin' awesome stuff.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Mid-term Day

So I stayed up till 2 AM last night studying for this damn mid-term. Can I just say that when it gets to the short answers part, I am basically screwed? Who really cares about European/African relations before 1492? Is it going to help me pay my bills?

Ahhh, okay, I am feeling some animosity towards history. It shouldn't be that way though. It just is the most boring subject to learn.

No offense to my teacher though - which reminds me, I never told the story about my history teacher!

My teacher is 85...we've solidified that. So he has all these wild and crazy stories from the past that he tells us - all in first person, all true. (The reason that I know and believe them to be true is that during the time that he tells them to the class, he pauses in mid-thought with this look on his face as if he can remember EVERYTHING he is telling us. So either he is an awesome actor, or this stuff is for real. And I'd like to believe that they are real!)

He was talking about slavery...since we're dealing with post Civil War stuff right now and he started to talk about some girl that he used to go out with whose family's generation came from an old Georgian plantation in Atlanta.

The story goes that he was heading over to Atlanta for some kind of teacher's convention, and in the meantime he went to go stay with her family. When he got there, he was stunned by how enormous this house and plantation were. It was all original and historical 18th century architecture and such. He said that that night he slept in a four-post bed that was so large he could fit ten of himself in it. The rooms were enormous, too and he nearly felt like he was in a whole other house.

What is most important about Mr. Addy is that he has tried to preserve his history in his mind as much as he could. He'll go off on tangents such as "well when I was down there her brother took me around in his drop-top convertible and it was during the beginning of segregation days - so he took me past a building and said 'That's where the colored folks go to school. It really is better that they stay away from us white folks, and the education is just as good as ours.'" to then telling us "Can you believe that he said that to me? Little did he know that I had a friend in Pennsylvania who was part of the Civil Rights Movement and I used to go there to visit him and do a lot of marches and things like that."

Anyways - getting to the more exciting part - so Mr. Addy was staying there in Atlanta, and he said that one day he was hanging out with two buddies of his (both were African-American): one had just graduated from a teacher's college and the other was a dentist (don't know why I told you that part, but he did, so I think it adds to the character of the story. :-D). Here they were, driving around on this very sunny day in Atlanta in his friend's nice car, and suddenly they pass by a Klan rally. In an instant, their car gets barraded by Klan members smashing sticks and branches from trees and stones into their car.

Mr. Addy said that he turned to his friend and said "If we kill someone, we're done for." and his friend turned to him and said "If we don't kill anyone, we're done for..."

Thank goodness, they took a wrong turn on a dirt path and got away safely. But the guy had $2,000.00 worth of damage done to his car, and at that time, both Mr. Addy and the other teacher were only making $54.00 a month.

Those kinds of stories really make me think and appreciate the little things in my life. Even if I have been struggling recently, I know that I have gotten myself to a place that is far better than most people my age and for that I am truly grateful. Especially when you hear stories like that and you think, damn, now that's history.

Friday, March 9, 2007

To get to the rainbow, you have to put up with the rain

So my life has been less than perfect recently.

But last night I got a 98% on my quiz, and I feel pretty confident about the mid-term next week - so despite everything else going on, my education hasn't been squandered. And besides, I know that through and through, I will make it to see the rainbow at the end of all this, just as I have done those dozens of times before.

Work has been alright, bearable. Just tedious, but I guess that's how work is supposed to be.

Overall, I'd say I am having an okay day today. It's Friday. Gotta go home and reclean my room - I have piles of junk everywhere and I know half of those bills are old that are in that upper drawer. Plus, I want to finish my laundry before the guys come home and put their smelly stuff in.

More later though...after work possibly. There's a dead on story I gotta share about my history teacher. :-)

Thursday, March 8, 2007

*Gasp* You're...Korean?!

Yep, it happened again, folks. Another case of mistaken ethnic identity.

Not that I have ever really cared unless someone said I was Vietnamese (since my cousins through marriage are Vietnamese and have been nothing but trouble for me) to which I would half-smile out of politeness and grit my teeth to reply "no" for them to second guess correctly: Korean.

I think that as most Korean-adoptees there is something distinctly different with how we view ourselves on the racial borderlines. I remember writing my college essay about how my racial identity was like the line that is found in the dollar bill only when you put it up to the light. You can't see it otherwise, and when you do see it, it divides the bill in a most unbalanced way. That was always me.

Perfectly unbalanced in every way. I straddled this line between American and Korean for a long time before becoming who I am now. I used to fight to use the word "Korean" whenever describing myself, as if from right off the bat when any one would ask "Where are you from?" I had to join the defensive lines and wear my Hanbok with a chopstick full of kimchi in order to be heard.

Now, I am content and without hesitation to say, "I am Korean."

And yet, somehow, this news always seems to come as some sort of shock for people. Despite my long and emotional fight with my identity internally, externally - people tended to see what they wanted to see and at first I found it kind of odd, and ironic, and sometimes funny.

But in the past few years it's become one of the most disturbing aspects of the "intro" conversation (you know, the one where you say "Hi, my name is....oh, nice to meet you! Yes, well I was raised in Towson with my parents and I have two dogs and two bunnies. I like take-out Chinese"...etc, etc.). Primarily because it has once again taken a twist on the ethnic boundaries that I had drawn for myself.

Last night, while having a conversation with (yes, none other than a Korean person) a friend, he stopped in mid-thought and paused, "Wait...are you Korean?"

Okay, forget that for the past 20 or so minutes I had fondly referred to close friends of mine as "oppa" or "unni" and forget that I had answered the phone by saying "yoboseyo" and asked "mo he?" and called him "babo" minutes before. All of that didn't seem to matter to him - my Korean linguistic skills could not match with his curiousity to see otherwise.

Me: "Uhh...yes, I'm Korean" ...What I wanted to say is "OF COURSE I AM!" but I figured that might be a bit pretentious.

Him: "Oh...really?" There is shock here, a bit of surprise which in turn, made me surprised myself that I was Korean.

Me: "You didn't think I was Korean?"

Him: "I wasn't so sure. I mean, I didn't know."

Me: "I see."

The conversation drifted onto another subject and for the next five or so minutes we were thralled in the verbal jousting on subjects such as his business, my work, how his parents were, etc. But my own curiousity to see what exactly prompted him to question so suddenly my ethnicity gave way.

Me: ", what did you think I was all this time?"

Him: "Wha? You mean your ethnicity?"

Me: "Yeah, you know, what was your first guess?"

Him: "Like, what did I think you were when I first saw you?"

Me: "Sure."

Him: "I thought you were Chinese...but then I said 'no, she can't be Chinese.' So then I thought maybe look sorta Laotian."

Hmmm...Laotian. God, Mee-Bear would have loved to have snuck in on this conversation. (And then in floods memories of me standing there in front of his cousins, and uncle saying "jao mi ken koi?"....What a great first impression!)

The whole mistaking me for something else is acceptable. I have never been seen as Korean for as long as I can remember. I have always been seen as Vietnamese, Chinese, Filipino or Polynesian or Japanese. I guess what's really irking me is what came next in the conversation...and what has ultimately come up in every "intro" conversation I have had lately when talking to another Korean, Korean-American, Asian-American, or anyone for that matter.

Him: "I don't know. You think maybe you're mixed? You never know...what with being adopted and all."

Alright, yep, right there. Stop right there. Did you just say you think maybe I am mixed? Wait, no you didn't even say you thought I was mixed, you said maybe I think I am mixed. And then you try to sway and justify your conclusion on my racial ethnicity by stating that it's (oh my God, gonna use's that word - that...word.... a...a.... a...) ADOPTION that probably left me mixed.

And what's worse is this epidemic has not just been within my recently found acquaintances but into my close friends as well.

"Well, Em, geesh, you do have a darker complexion than us."

"Remember when you were younger you had wavy hair? You still have a little wave naturally. That could be the answer."

I'll admit. When I was younger, and even in the more recent past I have been known to tease MYSELF about possibly being mixed, because in pictures I looked darker than my friends, and in summer while my Korean friends would turn a darker yellow, but still remain sort of light, I'd stand out with my Honduras friend like a sore thumb. But it was all in good fun, and I never blamed my adoption for it (save a few times, but even that was all just in good natured goofiness) but these people are serious!!

Don't get me wrong - there is NOTHING wrong with being hapa. Jeeesus, if anything hapas are the hottest creatures in the world. They are gorgeous babies (I know a few hapas that I could name right now that are, by far, the cutest damn babies I have ever seen) and they make even gorgeous people. But to say that my "unknown" hapa-ness is from my adoption, and to have everyone in my life trying to ethnically draw lines around me is sort of frustrating.

Sure, I don't know where I come from and my skin's a little darker, and my hair is a bit more wavier than the rest, but that doesn't make me 'hapa'. I might never know whether I am or not - but I just wish people would stop trying to answer the question for me - as if my entire happiness depends on it.

Because I was happy irregardless of who people thought I was, or wanted to think of me as - because through and through I knew I was that little yellow girl from Towson who grew to love that little line that unbalanced her perfectly between Korean and American.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Hump Day

Happy Hump Day, folks!

Surprisingly, I am actually attempting to get some work done today but I am failing miserably...tonight I have work on studying for midterms and I have had a lot of extra personal issues on my mind that are just bugging the crap out of me. I think it's just not having the answers to half of my questions that is making life completely unbearable.

Despite the crappy/slightly optimistic outlook (yes I know that was very ironic of me) that I have right now, the snow is definitely not helping. What happened to early spring? What happened to that, eh, you dumb groundhog?!

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

It's Hard Losing A Friend...

Haha, man, this totally made my day today. :-)

Tomorrow is Bump-Hump Day~! :-)

"It's A Beautiful Thing"

"Will I lose my dignity? Will someone care?
Will I wake tomorrow from this nightmare?
Will I lose my dignity? Will someone care?
Will I wake tomorrow from this nightmare?" - Rent
Everytime I feel terrible, I just put on one of the tracks from "Rent" and feel ten times better. One, music is my life, and one of the very few things that come what may, truly helps me get through all the bad times and the good times. Two, because any musical infested with the soulful songs preaching about "La Vie Boheme" is worth being addicted to. Three, like I was talking with MB right before she left FMB, sometimes if you listen very carefully to all the tracks - you can hear Julia projecting at the top of her lungs, or reciting every single word at perfect pitch and timing to Maureen's classic theatrical performance of "Over The Moon".
Regardless, this is the track that popped on Shuffle on my iPod first thing this morning, thus this is how I will start my day - the happiness that things could be so much worse than they are right now and that I have amazing people in my life that if I look close enough or just open my eyes, were there all along and are helping me through the bumps - just by being my friends. So thanks to all of you! :-)

Monday, March 5, 2007

Mondays & Other Idle Ramblings

What is it with Mondays? Seriously. I don't think that it would make such a difference if the weather patterns didn't correlate with how I feel so damn much.

For instance, this past weekend = GORGEOUS! The sun was shining, we had clear skies, birds were singing - yada, yada, yada (Perfect weather for a beautiful baptism, by the way.) But's Monday again and what?! It's freakin' cold as ever outside. Freakin' wind chills, freakin' slight overcast. What's up with that? My only consolation this morning was a slight hint of sunshine piercing through the clouds and reflecting off the building. But did I feel that sunshine's warmth? NO! Of course not.

So what lesson have we learned from the weatherman? Well, nothing extraordinary or anything like that. Mostly what we already knew which is that: weekends = awesome weather for an awesome, relaxing period of two days and weekdays = nasty, cold, dismal days in which we head back to the grind to sit on our asses and ...well, write blogs all day. (:-))

Besides that I have to write this paper on the establishment of the Maryland colony and its downfalls and all that bologna. Is this kind of knowledge really going to help me when I become a P.A.? Unless I am consulting my patient who just happens to be a descendant of the Calvert family, probably not. It's truly ridiculous and if the teacher wasn't so damn cool then I'd truly procrastinate until the night before and just write crap on a page. But I feel like, hey, the dude is 85 years old (yes, that's right I have an 85-year old teacher), I should at least give him the decency of a well-written paper.

Although, his cool factor totally went down a notch when he was handing out topics for our term paper and he gave me "The Life and Times of Dolly Madison" (Okay, insert a WTF?! right here) Dolly Madison? What did she ever do for this country besides be James Madison's wife? (Okay, wait, I am sure she did some terrific accomplishments in her time but it's not like she's Adams' wife who started those - Jeeesus, what were they called? Some kind of house where the lower class could stay...wasn't that it? Haha, can you tell I am quite the history buff?) So I asked him to give me another topic, for his sake and mine.

He said alright, what about "The Glorious Revolution in England and its effects on Maryland"?

...Okay, I'll take that one. Begrudgingly, but I'll take it.

Thus, back to the monotonous grind that is ...the work week. Behold! All you memos, money transfers, advances and office supplies! 'Tis another five days of your hell being bestowed upon me so that I may pay my bills.

Friday, March 2, 2007

Congratulations, Toby Dawson!

Breaking News: Toby Dawson Finds his Father

Seoul, South Korea (Ski Press)-In the coolest story of the day department, the Associated Press reports that former US freestyle skier and 2006 Olympic bronze medalist Toby Dawson has found his father.Dawson, who retired from professional skiing last spring, was famously asked more questions about his adoption than about his medal after winning Olympic bronze. That news played heavily in South Korea, where Dawson was lost in a South Korean market more than 20 years ago. Later adopted in the US, Dawson has sorted through dozens of false claims of parenthood. It is only now, according to the AP, that through genetic testing and background research into the claims, that Dawson was able to finally meet his family.According to the AP, Dawson and his father, Kim Jae Su, embraced, "and Dawson said a Korean phrase he had learned for the meeting - "I've been waiting a long time, father.""

For more:

St. Petersburg Times Article:

Olympic success helps skier find dad

By ASSOCIATED PRESSPublished March 1, 2007

SEOUL, South Korea - Far from the mountain where he skied to Olympic fame, Toby Dawson found his family.

More than two decades after he was lost in a South Korean market and eventually adopted in the United States, Dawson was reunited with his father Wednesday.

They embraced, and Dawson said a Korean phrase he had learned for the meeting - "I've been waiting a long time, father."

Hugging his son at a hotel, Kim Jae Su teared up.

"I am glad to meet my son and see that he has grown up so wonderfully," Kim said. "I am thankful that he has come to look for me even after such a long time."

The reunion, which included a brother, was made possible by the bronze freestyle skiing medal Dawson won at the Turin Olympics last year. The victory earned him wide attention in the country of his birth.

After the Olympics, dozens of would-be parents came forward to claim Dawson was their child, including Kim. But after years of dashed hopes, the 28-year-old Dawson put off an earlier planned trip to Korea and waited for confirmation from genetic tests before traveling here this week.

Dawson was 3 when he was lost in a market by his mother in the southern port city of Busan, Kim said. A truck driver at the time, Kim said it was too late when he got home to start searching for his missing child, whose original Korean name was Bong-seok. Over the next few days, he said he scoured local orphanages but was unable to find his son.

"I went to many orphanage houses only to hear that they didn't have anyone like him. They wouldn't let me come inside and look for him," the 53-year-old Kim said, adding he searched orphanages whenever he had time but eventually gave up.

"I'm not here to beat him up for what happened," Dawson said, adding that he had a fortunate life growing up with his adoptive parents, who were ski instructors in Vail, Colo.

Dawson said he plans to use a new foundation he is starting to help avoid cases like his in the future.

"Being caught in limbo between two different countries and not looking like your family is going to be tough," he said. "We need to try to keep our children and work a little bit harder to keep these circumstances from happening."

Dawson noted how he shared his healthy sideburns with his father, who during the news conference reached over several times to touch Dawson's face while they also held hands.
Kim declined to talk publicly about Dawson's biological mother.

[Last modified March 1, 2007, 01:11:48]

There were so many articles written about Toby Dawson reuniting with his biological father this week. And I pretty much have read every single one of them.

There was this huge emotional mix-up while reading all the articles, and hearing what each news article had to say.

One: I was happy for Toby. It's this closure to the biggest chapter in an adoptee's life and he had found the ending of that chapter, and the beginning to a whole new one.

Two: I was sympathetic immediately, and was overjoyed when Toby was quoted as saying that growing up he found it very difficult, like "living in two very different worlds". So many adoption agencies and adoptive parent groups keep saying that the child will get over it, the child will adapt and assimilate. But it's not that easy. It's never going to be. To have someone in the media spotlight state that outright is amazing to me, especially with all this Angelina-Brad Pitt-Madonna crap going on.

Three (and this is the one that is the hardest for me to admit): Jealousy. Just sitting here reading the story, and how Toby hugged his father and spoke to him in Korean - wow, well I don't know what else to say besides the fact that I wish it was me. It's hard for anyone who isn't an adoptee to fully understand - especially my parents - but I just felt this tinge of pain in my heart because there is this huge loss there that I will never be able to fill. I won't even say "until I meet my birthparents" because who knows? What if it isn't as successful as Toby's journey? Not everyone's is. But just the thought that at least he knows something is enough for me to feel jealous - that I don't have anything. As far as I know, my whole life history could be fictitious.

I feel bad that I felt jealous and still do a little. I am not sure how to explain how my feelings about my birth search has changed over the years from when I was a little girl, staring into the mirror and touching the features of my face: my eyes, my mouth, the shape of my jawline and wondering which one was my mother's and was that my father's nose? to being an adult, and not worrying so much about it anymore - and yet being completely and utterly aware of the void that comes with not knowing.

I am still scared of the search process. Not that it is difficult or tedious or anything like that. Moreso for my personal reasons, the emotional journey that it would entail from me. I realize that the journey would strip me completely if I let it, and I am not certain that I am emotionally strong enough for that yet. I do know that it is something I want to pursue, and when the time comes, it'll happen. But for now, I can be happy that a fellow KAD found his truths to end one chapter and begin another.