Thursday, November 29, 2007

Music I Love Driving To

I have found that through my driving travels - there are certain types of music that just fit while driving that I love. The kind of music that fits perfectly with just cruising along the roads, whether it be during the day or late at night.

So I have dedicated this blog post to me writing down all the songs that I have fallen in love with again while being in my Corolla.

1. All 80's love ballads. Jeeeesus Christ, as corny and as goober as half of these songs are, the most brilliant song writing occurred in the 80's. Point blank and simple. I mean, c'mon... Spandau Ballet? Boy Meets Girl? Anyone?

2. RENT The Musical Soundtrack (Disc 1 and 2) I don't care who you are or what you think - this music is fantastic and I could sing "Light My Candle" till I am blue in the face.

2.5. Okay, you know what? I take the above statement back and replace it with ALL musical soundtracks. I'm sure the guy at the traffic light on Route 40 thought I was strange singing "Defying Gravity" at the top of my lungs with the windows down.

3. Justin Timberlake's "Justified". Particularly "Take A Ride" track. I LOVE that track!

4. Shivaree "Half On A Baby" (THANK YOU GOOSE~!!!!) If you like R. Kelly, this will make you think twice when you hear how f&cking awesome this girl sounds covering his song.

5. Jurassic 5 "Feedback" album. (Thank you to my favorite "black kid", Jos)

6. Ernie Halter's "Congress Hotel" - I think of his song "Love, Look At Me Now" as my eternal scream out to the world. I love his acoustic sound - and it's a nice raw melody to help keep time while you're on the road.

7. Amos Lee - Anything by Amos Lee. My God, one of the most serene things to do is to be moving - whether it be by bus, by car, by train, and to listen to Amos Lee at high levels - what a peaceful place to be in. I would always nestle into a corner of the train from DC to MD and listen to my Amos Lee playlist on my iPod over and over and over and over again.

8. John Mayer - "Heavier Things" The entire album. Particularly "New Deep".

9. Radiohead - ANYTHING. Ahhh, totally puts me in that zone. Thinking deep, feeling the music, and just me and the road.

10. Okay, K-Pop...alright? I'll admit, I still have my old H.O.T. CD, and my old G.O.D. CD - and yes, okay, I still listen to Brown Eyes and BoA. But I am totally stuck in the 90's when it comes to Korean music. The last album I bought was 5tion's first debut album...yes, I'm that behind with the Korean times.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


I met up with a friend last night that I hadn't seen in a while. I had promised her a long time ago that I would have dinner with her, and see her new apartment but I just had never gotten around to it (partly due to the transportation issues).

So at around 6:40pm I headed out to meet her and a few of her friends at XS on N. Charles Street for dinner.

It was fun finally being able to get to where I wanted to go, and be able to leave the house when I wanted - except when it came time to find a parking spot. I ended up paying $10.00 (yes, 10 whole dollars) to park in a garage over on Cathedral Street and walk the two blocks up Preston to where it met Charles. I conjured up the reasoning that I needed the exercise anyways.

I walked into the familiar sights and sounds of XS. The bustle of the girls and guys dressed in black from head to toe, scrambling down the three flights of long stairs to get to the kitchen in time for the food not to be cold for the patrons. (That part always amazed me.)

I found a seat on the second floor and waited for the others to arrive.

Once they did, I found out that my friend's best friend/roommate was celebrating her early birthday. We ordered, and had pleasant conversation and then decided that we would go back to my friend's apartment where she had baked a cake for the occasion in an attempt to emulate "Ace of Cakes". It was actually an awesome attempt and I am going to have to steal some photos from her later on.

As we dove into the four tiered cake and gathered around her dining room table, the conversation suddenly took a turn towards attending to finding birthparents.

I don't know how we got on it - I think it started out as an arbitrary topic and ended up with the birthday girl telling a story about how she never wanted to ever find her birthfather - that she knew who he was, but that he never gave a damn about her so why should she try to find him? She ended with, "Nothing ever comes good of that - I am totally against the whole search thing, nothing ever comes good so it's not even worth bothering to try."

And it got me thinking - am I, too, against the whole search thing? Is that the subconscious thought in my head that has really stopped me from taking all of the many chances that I have had to go back to Korea and find my birthparents?

I just got another offer last week from a program that helps adoptees take their first journey back home. I could easily take that trip and then head over to the G.O.A'L. office and ask Dae-won to help me find them. Put in the search application.

And even though I kept the email in my inbox, I know that I probably won't take the offer. In fact, I know for a fact that I won't take the offer. And it's starting to bug me as to what my real reasoning behind it is. I keep telling myself that I would never be able to get the time off from work to go on that two week trip like that. I tell myself that I wouldn't want to go alone if I did take that trip - so if I had to go alone, I would skip out.

But jobs come a dime a dozen (if you're not too picky), and I only have one pair of birthparents. Two people that aren't going to be immortal forever and ever. So why am I not rushing?

The answer? I don't know. I think that it is something there that digs a lot deeper into the surface that I am not yet ready to uncover just yet. I thought I had this all figured out - and that I would go back and find them - and we'd live partially a f&cked-up life of twists and turns between my adoptive parents and my birthparents. And I was okay with that. But in recent times, I have found that my answer to that age old question of: "Have you ever thought about looking for your birthparents?" has gone from a "oh yeah, totally. I really want to." to a "Uhhh, I'm not sure, I am kinda taking it easy right now."

It's like asking a person whether they've decided to take the Low Carbs diet or not. And it's killing me that I am still so undecided.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Just to blog...

I keep putting off my Taxi Cab Confessions Series - I know, procrastination and laziness doesn't look good on anyone, but I have been too busy perusing the streets, filling with the exhilarating rush that comes with watching the pavement roll underneath with each passing mile...

Yes, I have been driving. Where to? Places. I have been careful not to ring up too many miles in the short time that I have had my beautiful baby, however, I have come into some slight minor bumps along the way (Several years without driving will make a person go crazy, and go apesh*t to the point where I have temporary amnesia on how basic functions work. But mind you, these bouts of memory lapse last all of about two seconds. Too bad two seconds is all it takes to bump into someone/something, etc. etc.)

I promise, more decent blogging to come. Lots more exciting things are going to happen in my life. I just feel it.

My birthday is in about two weeks! And then Christmas! The only good part about Christmas is the giving. I love watching people's faces when I give them gifts. It's probably one of the best sights of life that I'd have to say make it all worth it in the end.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

The Most Beautiful View In The World

This has been my view of the world for the past week and a half. And what a gorgeous sight it is -- the dashboard of my 2008 Toyota Corolla.
For this Thanksgiving, I have been most thankful more than anything for the most amazing people that I have been blessed to have in my life. Friends who love me, care for me, and make sure that I am taken care of....Friends who made this possible this year:
So thank You for friends (family):

for cars, for left foot accelerators, for poetry, for blogs, for freedom, for crummy jobs that help pay the rent and put food on the table, and for sunsets:

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Bald IS Beautiful

It's an odd occurence when something so heavily impacts on your life in such ways that it's impossible to explain it to anyone effectively and then someone, something comes along, and all of a sudden - you're not alone anymore.

Robin Roberts of ABC News recently got diagnosed with breast cancer and made the decision to keep a video diary of her journey to air each morning on Good Morning America to share with America the devastating impact that having cancer has.

This morning, Robin Roberts aired a video addition to her diary: a video of her losing her hair, and also a video of her making the conscious decision of shaving it off before it all fell out.

"As hard as it was, I knew what I had to do."

I sobbed uncontrollably while watching the video this morning, and cried just now watching it again. So much of my fear of losing my hair and the empowering feeling that I was left with once I took the plunge and made the commitment to shave my head came rushing back while watching Robin sit there in the chair staring into the mirror at her reflection as the hair was slowly removed piece by piece.

"When I finally did it, I took the power back. Because now I was making the decision instead of letting the cancer make the decision."

I cannot imagine how draining cancer and chemotherapy must be, and how much of your energy and will is tested in a time like that. I am so blessed that my emotional journey ended at just hair loss, rather than the immense physical pain that accompanies surviving cancer.

Going along even more with bald being beautiful - there was a segment about alopecia areata on NBC's local newscast at 5 o' clock news earlier tonight in Baltimore. A woman locally is suffering and wanted to raise awareness.

I have decided for sure that next year I want to put together a fund raiser for alopecia areata awareness. I believe that there is enough advance in modern medicine that with effective funding a cure can be found. I'll keep everyone posted as I slowly begin the process of putting together my first ever public fundraiser.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Oops! :-)

-=EDIT=- to the weekend update post...

Goosey brought to my attention that I never addressed the fact of where my father was all those hours --

He was in another hospital room sleeping the entire time!!

His nurse who had released him at around 4 AM had suggested that it might be too early for him to call his wife for a ride home, so therefore she offered him an empty hospital bed to sleep in.

What she failed to remember to do though, was the write it down on his chart that she had promised to wake him up around 7 AM so that when her shift ENDED at 7 AM that the next nurse that took over would know that some dude was sleeping in the empty hospital room in the ER.

My Dad didn't realize that there was all this commotion going on around him until at around 8 AM, a nurse bringing another patient into the room woke him up. She quickly pulled the door closed again and behind the door, my father could overhear her saying to the other nurse, "I had no idea anyone was in there."

At that, my Dad decided to glance at the clock on the wall and realized that he had never been woken up and that he had overslept. So he grabbed his clothes and jacket, and headed for the bathroom out in the hall.

As he stepped out of the bathroom, three police officers approached him.

"You wouldn't happen to me [insert Dad's name here], would you Sir?" asked the police officer.

At this, my Dad said he turned white and kinda gulped when he replied "Yes".

"Well, you have a LOT of people looking for you," replied the police officer ushering him towards the patrol car outside.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

"Defying Gravity"

Something has changed within me
Something is not the same
I'm through with playing by the rules of someone else's game.
Too late for second guessing
Too late to go back to sleep
It's time to trust my instincts
Close my eyes...
and leap!
It's time to try defying gravity -
I think I'll try defying gravity
and you can't pull me down.
I'm through accepting limits
'cause someone says they're so
Somethings I cannot change
But till I try I'll never know!
Too long I've been afraid of
losing love I guess I've lost
Well if that's love,
it comes at much too high a cost...
And so I'll try defying gravity
Kiss me goodbye
I'll be defying gravity
and you can't pull me down...
So if you care to find me
Look to the western sky
As someone told me lately
Everyone deserves to fly
And if I'm flying solo
At least I'm flying free
To those who ground me
Take a message back for me
Tell them how I'm defying gravity
I'm flying high, defying gravity
And soon I'll match them in renown
And no body in all of Oz
No wizard that there is or was
Is ever going to bring me down!
Bring me down!
-From the musical "Wicked"
**Why didn't I hear this song four years ago?

Monday, November 5, 2007

It's tragedy that brings back reality

It was Friday night and I had just finally gotten my phone back. Six voice mails, a couple of unseen texts...nice to know that even without my phone I am still loved.

I grabbed a taxi home again since my Dad wasn't going to be home until close to midnight. I got another fantastic taxi driver whom I've decided to wait until a later blog post to write about. (Because I have been keeping a journal of all the taxi drivers that I have met over the past few years of using their transportation services. And since my use of them is coming to an end shortly, I decided to blog about my experiences, each and every one of them, in order to make my Ode to the Taxi Driver: My Long Lost Salvation)

Once I got home, my roommate was already up and in the kitchen with one of her friends making a "penis cake", that is, a cake shaped like a penis. Along with chocolate "penis pops", that is, chocolate molded in the shapes of penises on sticks. You know, to suck. (Okay, okay, enough of the sexual innuendo.) She was preparing these little "fun treats" for the bachelorette party the next night for one of her friends who is to get married in the next couple of weeks.

Gen-gen gave me a holla on my phone and said that he and Alex were set for a night out on the town. One, because her parents were out of town and two, because Gen-gen got his parents to watch the dog for a weekend. So he could party, of course. It was not my intention to really PAR-TAY, but I would be stupid if I didn't admit that every single time Gen-gen and I go out, insanity ensues. Craziness.

Well, Gen-gen headed over to my place. I excused the mess, because just like Goosey, I am not particularly a slob or messy persay, it's just that I tend to lay things here and there throughout the week because I am too exhausted to put them away in their place. So I wait until Friday night to put everything away to let the week start out nice and clean. Except that when Gen-gen came over, I hadn't gotten a chance to motivate myself yet.

He fell onto my bed and then lay there as I walked around trying to get ready. He asked me how my week went - which led to another conversation, that led to a delightfully wonderful conversation and revelation (which will end up being the next post).

We head out to Mosaic with Alex and two of her friends. This Filipina girl whose name I didn't catch and her boyfriend, I (To keep anonymity). Let me talk about I for a second - this man had to be double the age of the Filipina girl (who looked like she couldn't be any older than 24 or 25). Not only was I older than the hills in age, but he was older than the hills in dress, mannerisms and...well, absolutely everything. There's a difference between a person's age and then a person acting and dressing, and being consumed by that number. I was one of these people, evidently.

He is Russian (of course, right? Gen-gen and Alex are.) and he has this very creepy look about him. The kind of perv, I would take girls into dark alleys that are half my age look. The "I am Soviet, hear me roar!" kind of look. Not only that, but he began dancing, if that's what you would want to call it. I don't even think all the dictionary knowledge in the word could help me describe to you how terribly horrible this man was at dancing. Think about the stiffest dance you could possibly think of - add in a little bit of attempt to roll your hips - except instead of rolling them in a sexy way, you're literally plummetting them into the side of your dance partner awkwardly. All the while your right arm is pressed in the air bent at the elbow while your right leg is up and you're trying to do some half-Funky chicken dance. Except that "The Chicken Dance" isn't playing: "This Is Why I'm Hot" by Mims is. Yes, it was that bad, people.

Okay, now that I've gotten that out of my system...

After the club, Alex and Gen-gen and I headed back to his place. I noticed a missed call around 11:30 from my mom. She never calls that late. She's never up that late. So I called my VM and listened to the message.

My Dad had come home from work at Nordstrom's with a horrible pain in his side, puking all over the place and just feeling incredibly lousy. He had decided to head to the ER at St. Joe's and my aunt had agreed to take him. They had found a kidney stone about 3 milimeters inside of his kidney. She wanted to let me know that we weren't going to be going to my nephew's birthday party the next day.

Since it was so late, Gen-gen let me crash in his guest room. I had passed out on his couch a few hours before and woke up around 4:30 AM, and walked up to the guest room and collapsed out on the bed.

Around 7:00 AM my phone goes off. I wake up and with sleepy eyes gloss over the screen of my cell while hanging out of the bed. I can barely make out the numbers but they look like my parents' house number. I picked up the phone.

"Hello?" I attempted to force myself awake but sitting all the way up and rubbing my free hand against my eyes.

"Em, your father is missing," came the clear, yet shaking voice of my Mom.

"What the f$%k?" was the first thing that came out of my mouth. I was wide awake now. "What are you talking about, Mom?"

"Your father is gone, he's missing. I called over at the hospital just two minutes ago and the nurses station said he was discharged at 4:20 AM this morning. But he never came home," came my mother's voice from the other side of the line. It came over with an eerie calmness, the kind that let you know that she hadn't let the news sink in yet - but that she was overwhelmed enough to know she needed someone to talk to.

"Well, wait - he never called you or anything? He couldn't have left the hospital by himself," my mind was racing to try to find some logical explanation as I tried to stay calm for my mother's sake.

"No...he never called. He never said anything. In fact, I had talked to him right before I left you that voice message last night and he said he was going to have to stay overnight there to try to get the kidney stone out. That was the last I heard of him. I don't know what else to do," she said.

"Have you called C?" C is my oldest brother whose a cop in Harford County.

"No but I am going to, he'll know what to do about these things." My Mom is the kind of person who thinks that a person's occupation makes them the Einstein-know-it-all of anything and everything related to that occupation. Since my brother is a cop, my mother felt that there had to have been some special "way" of talking to police officers for missing persons, so she enlisted my brother's "expertise".

Two minutes later, I get another call.

"C is out calling the police, looking for your father," she said.

"That's great. They'll find him, I know they will Mom."

"...I think he might have committed suicide."

I didn't know what to say. I don't even know whether I was quite awake enough right before she said it - but I certainly fully awake after it was said. I had been so calm, so collected just several miliseconds before and now, in an instant, I felt the lump of fear clump itself into the back of my throat, forcing me to forget to breathe and let all the effort of breathing go into creating hot stingy tears that wasted no time occupying my eyes.

"I really think that's what he did," she said, "He's been just so happy recently. Even your sister has noticed."

I couldn't tell you what I thought of that comment because I was too caught on what she had said prior to that. Suicide? My Dad had been extremely happy recently - but I figured it was due to what he kept saying - that he had finally found a decent medication that helped to keep a constant and steady control on his once fluctuating moods. He didn't feel so up and so down anymore. He felt like he had a better control over his daily situations that would have normally caught him in a frenzy in the past. I had been so happy for him - why couldn't she be? Why did that have to be a "sign" that he would take his life?

And suddenly, like a flashback from a movie, I was taken back to middle school, and even just two years ago. Saw the vision of my father collapsing onto his knees in the bedroom, my mother standing over him with a menacing glare, his body so limp, so lifeless...and then the look on his face - so incredibly draining just to look at the expression on his face. I remember feeling my heart sink into the pit of my stomach to the point that I felt the thump as it hit the inner foremost wall of my stomach cavity. And yet even with my belly full, I felt so empty and helpless at the sight of my father so weak like that. Weak beyond anything anyone should ever feel at anytime. I could hear his voice just as I did two years ago, "I can't do this anymore...I can't do this anymore. I just don't want to live anymore..."

I choked back the tears and caught myself from sinking deeper into the past.

"No, Mom. He was fine, he is fine. He was so happy the last time I saw him. We'll find him. I am coming home now. Just relax. Do not scare the kids," I said, pulling the covers off and stepping into the chill of the guest room.

That man who was the man I saw two years ago was not the same man I saw a few days ago singing along to Carrie Underwood on the radio, I kept thinking.

Despite my best efforts, once I hung up the phone with my Mom I felt the tears start to flow and just let them flow. If there is anything that I have learned in the past few months it is to let the emotions I have out when I have them - holding them in is only going to prolong and worsen the pain later on.

I text J, a little freaked out still. J agreed with me - that my Dad would be found, that he wouldn't do something like that, and that my Mom was probably just overreacting as always. For Dad's sake, I hoped to God she was just being overdramatic like always.

I woke up Gen-gen and he took me over to my parents' house, all the way supporting me as I kept talking out loud to myself about my parents, about how much they have always been flitty in the past but no matter what, even if it was against my better judgement, I was always there for them. I have always been there when they needed me...even if it wasn't reciprocated.

We drove up to my parents' house and Gen-gen offered to come in with me but I told him that he didn't have to worry about it - and could just go home and get some rest for the both of us. As we were pulling into the neighborhood, we past a police car exiting as we were entering.

Once I got to the front door, my brother called me to tell me they had found him. He was already at the house down in the basement, and my Mom was sitting in the kitchen.

I suddenly let out a deep breath. It felt like I had been holding my breath that entire time and just at that moment had finally let it all out.

Standing in that kitchen, I stood there looking from my Mom, to my older brother, and then all around at my little brothers and my younger sister and realized then that sometimes it's tragedy that brings us back to reality.

As the police escort arrived to at the front door, I didn't hesitate in giving my Dad the biggest never-ending hug I had ever given him, never wanting to let go.