As I was talking to a familiar acquaintance a couple days ago about where I lived (Pasadena, btw) I realized this year marks my 10th year in Los Angeles.

It's been a crazy ride, I must say. I first hated LA, then loved it, then I got claustrophobic when it felt too small, then it felt like I could do anything here, then I loved it again. The city is chock-full of opportunities for adventure and learning.

I think that calls for a celebration! 10 years! That's hardcore commitment yo, coming from someone who went to three different high schools in three different countries. 


My first journal, Christmas present from my parents, in 1995:

I am no writer, but I write all the time.
It comes from a place far beyond where my fleeting hobbies and musings reside. Beyond the valley of likings and the sea of duties lay my life-long bond with writing.
I write because I have to. Writing is breathing.

I write to dream, to dissect, build and search.
It helps me figure out why the world looks the way it does. Why it smells the way it does. Why it moves and reflects light and casts shadows the way it does. 

And most of the time, it helps me align my heart with my brain.
It's a way of life for me, and I'm glad I chose the pen.

the post that prompted this post. 


Travel Essentials

My essentials for cold weather travel. 
Below is what I carried around in my purse every day in Korea back in November/early December. 

1. Xylitol, the most popular gum in Korea. Tastes yummy.
2. Colgate wisps, the best thing to happen for our teeth since dental floss. Really useful for invisalign wearers, garlic eaters, campers and burners. :)
3. Leather wallet from Korea with a matching lanyard. Fantastic for purse haters and/or concert lovers.
4. Metro card that works on the subway, buses and even most taxis.
5. Hand lotion. Saves me during the cold, harsh weather. 
6. Scheduler/notebook + pencil for writing down plans, dreams, memories and silly thoughts.
7. Hand sanitizer. 
8. Hair velcro thing to keep hair out of your face (used when washing face or applying lotion).
 9. I love tea. I especially love having in airplanes/airports. All you need is hot water. 
10. Passport case + peach lip balm. Best smelling lip balm ever, although not very moisturizing.
11. Suede gloves I got during my first NY winter trip years ago. I hope they last me several more cold weather trips.
**not pictured: scarf. I ALWAYS carry a scarf, even in hot weather (just lighter ones) because you never know when you need a: makeshift bag, makeshift shawl, makeshift skirt, something to sit on, something to keep you warm, something to cover you from the sun, magic**

What I carry in my pockets if I don't feel like carrying a purse.


Reality Check

From my 2010 journal...

Realty is. That life is wonderful. That it is full of possibilities and it is full of Yeses. That there is enough love for everyone. That if you can’t find love around you, you can always create love from scratch, from inside of you. Same goes from compassion and faith. Reality is that fresh-baked cookies taste damn good. And being embraced while eating a fresh-baked cookie is even better. Yeah, that’s reality. And it’s undeniable.


YFT in Korea

Dear Santa,

I would like Adobe Photoshop, please.

Much love,


In other news....

I'm in Korea!

In Yong-In, to be exact. My aunt and uncle moved here from Seoul a little over a year ago. 3 days into my trip here, I prefer their old Seoul apartment much much more. I can see why they moved here though. It's like their version of Orange County (blech). There are more people in cars than on the streets, and the keeping-up-with-the-Joneses phenomenon is alive and well. My aunt wants to get a Harley (yes, a Korean ahjumah in her late 40s/early 50s wants a Harley) because all the neighbors are getting one.

Look at them gorgeous colors on those trees.

The plus side to surburbia, though, is that my aunt and uncle have a backyard. A beautiful one at that. Backyards are a rare treat in Korea as land is insanely scarce. It's quite swanky. With a koi pond and everything. It's great for my yoga practice. Woo!

How do you like my purdy ahjumah backyard slippers? I'm also sporting my yoga pants.  So cool.

This is the view from my room...does not feel like Korea. I'm learning I don't like surburbia even in other countries.

I must say, I was not expecting so much serenity here in Korea. I'm sorta itching for some of that Seoul shoulder-to-shoulder bustle. Soon!