Monthly Archives: January 2006

Who the hell is Hasselback?

Yes, I had no idea that he is the quarterback of the Detroit-bound Seahawks. (At least I know where he’ll be playing.) Despite my self-induced football-ignorance, I’m going to be hosting a Super Bowl get-together next weekend. I’m nothing if not a bandwagon fan, and it’ll be an excuse to have people over. It’s been some time since I hosted any sort of party, since that certainly never happened in Sanbon last year. (Although I. & R. always threw good parties at Sorak APT.) I think the last time I hosted anything was probably S.M.’s birthday blow-out two years ago at the 4233. You know it was a good party, because Big J. was hanging out the window, waving S.M.’s b-day present at our horror-stricken neighbors, and yelling “I’ve got a dildo! What’ve you got??” (Sorry if that was too much information, but like Margaret Cho says, I own property in TMI.)

So this was an ok weekend, full of good, “clean” fun. Saw The Grace Lee Project on Thursday at the NWAAFF, which was fantastic. I was surprised that one of the subjects was an adopted woman. Her story was very powerful, and the documentary was very funny (preceded by a hilarious narrative short starring Sandra Oh: Barrier Device).

On Friday, I went to an Evans professor’s house (sorry–mansion atop Queen Anne hill) for a “diversity” potluck dinner. It was ok . . . we discussed the issue of diversity at Evans. No big revelations. I think I rambled on and on at one point, with all of the white people (which was everybody else, save a random Japanese-American dude from the School of Forestry) staring at me, perplexed. Later, Bachelor #4 came over and we watched Kung Fu Hustle (kung fu movie in style of Austin Powers). I liked the movie, but #4 continues to underwhelm. 3rd time was not the charm.

Saturday, I went up to Bothell and volunteered at the Korean Identity Development Society’s Lunar New Year Festival. I had a good time watching the drummers that were part of the cultural presentation, but I couldn’t help but notice that all of the pre-teen Korean adoptees in the audience had disgruntled looks of complete boredom (while they listened to their iPods) as their white parents clapped enthusiastically (“Aren’t they incredible??”). Later, some of the AAAW members and myself went to The Ram, where I was carded because, as the waiter so graciously pointed out, I look like I’m 12-years-old. It’s all of those years of clean living, I tell ya.

Saturday night, I came home early and spent the evening on the phone. It’s 설날, so I wanted to wish everyone a Happy New Year. I called 미선언니 and we had a 25-minute conversation. Pretty good! With her broken English and my broken Korean, we managed to talk about a lot of things. I think it’s hard for them to envision what my life is like in the States . . . . while I can easily visualize what they were doing yesterday. Lounging at my uncle’s, talking with 할머니, playing with our cousins.

Today, I went down to NWAAFF again and ushered, met some classmates for a productive Stats study session, then met up with other AAAW board members to look at the ship we’re considering renting for a dinner cruise for May’s mini-gathering.

So, I’ve got quite a busy week ahead of me, school-wise. Things are going ok. I think I’m getting into a groove with this crazy schedule of mine. Pretty good, considering now is usually when I descend into a winter funk.

Which is probably why Bachelor #5 is giving me such a headache. Someone at the study session today made a comment to another classmate that she should keep a dating blog . . . Those of us that actually ever have dates are always subject to interrogation. That’s why none of my Evans classmates have my blog address!

Anyway, I have a bet riding on #5. I’ll let you know whether I collect my $20 or not next weekend.

(Side note: Sapphire gin & tonic–I love, love, love it. Was told this is an “old man’s drink.” I beg to differ! What do you think? What’s your favorite cocktail? What do you think it says about you?)

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Pics

New Year’s ’05-’06

I finally put up pictures on my Flickr site . . . Everything from Christmas until last weekend. Lots of revelry. Just click on the picture above to get to my photostream.

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Reality Check

I had a great, long conversation on SKYPE (yeah, I know, I probably sent you double/triple e-mails on that……I’ve been getting confused e-mails all day from the older set in my contacts list….including the nearly 100-year-old nun I worked w/ in Boston) today with N.S., who I’ve long been wanting to chat with. We just never got around to hanging out much when I was in Seoul last year.
Anyway, we were discussing the parameters of my internship this summer with G.O.A.’L. We talked about a vast array of stuff over the course of 2 hours. Mostly having to do with the global, Korean adoptee community. We see eye-to-eye on a lot of the issues facing our community, and it’s interesting because while we have a lot of mutual friends, I think we both can offer each other a fresh perspective on what we’ve each hashed out before.

Plus, I got a nice reminder of why I went back to grad school in the first place.

Perspective!

So, I’m very excited to work in Korea this summer with an adoptee NGO (non-governmental organization, fyi). I’m going to be working with them on not only their programming (birth family searches, website info, etc.), but I also get to help them plan their August conference (w/ needs-assessment and evaluation, too) as well as help with their strategic planning for the organization. Through our chat, I realized just how much I really have learned over the past few months, and even how my “necessary evil” classes (#s 1 & 2 below) this quarter will help me in the future.

Here are the classes that I’m taking this quarter (been wanting to post this for weeks):
1. Budgeting/Financial Management (a.k.a. “accounting”)
2. Quantitative Analysis I (a.k.a. “statistics”)
3. Management of Nonprofit Organizations
4. Korean
5. Skills workshop: Managing and Nurturing Effective Volunteer Boards, Commissions, and Advisory Committees

Don’t you love it how my school tries to make our stats and accounting classes sound sexier?

And what else, pray tell, am I doing this quarter?
1. Working 20 hours/week at the UW Office of Undergraduate Admissions. Evaluating applications for the incoming 2006 freshman class. The school receives around 16,000 apps, they accept 2/3 of those, and they end up with about 5,000 freshman. So, we have about 20 grad school students (myself included) helping the Admissions staff read all of these personal statements about their life-changing mission trips to {insert “developing” country here} and how the people there are “poor, but happy.”
2. Continuing my position on ESO (Evans Student Organization). We’re planning an Auction/Talent Show fundraiser for February. And we’re having meetings every other Wed. at 7:30 a.m. WTF????
3. I’m offially a board member now for AAAW (Asian Adult Adoptees of Washington). And we’re hosting the next Korean adoptee mini-gathering here in Seattle!! May 18-21, mark it down on your calendars now. Get on Orbitz. We’ve been calling various places, trying to book a hotel, restaurants, etc. Also, we’re trying to step up our programming for the year, so there are more events, etc.
4. Cardio kick-boxing class with fellow Evans-ers. Only it’s at 8:15 a.m., Tues/Thurs. Why am I doing this to myself? I have fond memories of Bo & Kevin from the L Street Gym in S.B. Oh, you know what I’m talking about, K. & S. (Although I don’t think S. reads this, but whatever.) I was so sore last week–it made me feel even older than being surrounded by perky, 19-year-old sorority girls in the class.

I’m also volunteering for the Northwest Asian American Film Festival next weekend. Should be good times.

Needless to say, I’ve been feeling over-extended. And I need to get a light therapy lamp soon to combat the unforgiving, steel-gray skies in Seattle.

But despite being behind and feeling cranky for most of the day, I’m currently in a zen mood. Perhaps because I splurged tonight on iTunes (Talib Kweli, Matisyahu, Typical Cats, IQU [yeah, K., I’m indulging my “indie hip-hop” predilection–perhaps even more pretentious than what I so derisively termed “hipster” music??], and a few singles from Mariah Carey, Kelly Clarkson, and Mary J. Blige. Gotta have some balance. I’ve been wanting “Since U Been Gone” for weeks.).

[P.S. I got lots of kudos for the M*tch.com post. I’m reluctant to keep blogging about it, because I don’t want that to become the focus. But, there is a funny, developing story. Still in process. Involves Bachelors #4 and #5, separately.]

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Maybe I met my soulmate when I was 5.

Growing Up

I’m just being facetious. But this photograph cracks me up. When I went home for Christmas, Mom gave me a photo CD with some scanned pictures from my childhood (up now on my Flickr site). This was one of them.

Here I am with Russ, a.k.a. my kindergarten “boyfriend” and then-best-friend. We were inseparable, as we’d grown up going to pre-school together, and our mothers were friends who both taught at the school. I remember being excited to be the big kids that year in the Christmas pageant. And we were cast as Joseph and Mary–oh yeah! I was the Blessed Virgin. Top billing–that’s even better than playing Maria in “West Side Story,” for sure. Too bad I’m missing some teeth in this picture.

Russ and I had great times together. He used to come over to my house, and we would hide when his mother would come to pick him up. I really wanted siblings growing up, and he was the closest thing I had. Such a gentleman, too, because he once gave me a bouquet of dandelions to apologize after we argued once. These are things a woman never forgets. After kindergarten, my family moved out to the boonies, and I only saw Russ one other time when we were awkward 12-year-olds and too cool to talk to one another.

Another reason I’m posting this picture is that I ended up Google-ing Russ the other day just for the hell of it. And through a bunch of links, I somehow found him on My Space! So I messaged him, asking him some specific questions, and he answered correctly and identified himself as my long-lost kindergarten boyfriend. He’s since become a successful actor, working in various play productions around Kansas City (after a stint in Chicago).

So, I guess the moral of the story is that My Space is addictive. Just kidding. It’s always nice to catch up with people from your past. Especially when now, the people of the opposite sex I’m presently meeting haven’t done anything as impressive as gracing me with a bouquet of dandelions they picked themselves.

By the way, I’m loving the feedback from the last post! I love getting comments, and I’m trying to comment more on people’s blogs that I frequent (Kat–I read you every day and must comment soon). I miss seeing you all face-to-face! (P.S.–Joe–Ah, c’mon, what’s wrong with Kanye and basketball??? And J. Gabriel–You can still bookmark me even though I’m not a Rice Bowl Journal!)

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The stories you’ve all been waiting to hear.

Or not. In my mind, I’ve been thinking about all the interesting things I could be posting, but instead I’m going to be ultra-lazy and paste a few things that I just wrote in my personal journal. See, I’ve been debating about blogging about this, since I don’t normally blog about my dating life, but once again, I think it’s ok to blog about the bad stuff, because those are normally the stories you tell at parties anyway, and everyone cracks up. Many of you have probably already heard me tell these stories, but you can read them again for your own enjoyment. I promise I have more insightful posts ahead of me, as I’ve been doing a lot of thinking the past month.

So . . . I’ve been trying out online dating. Oh, the shame! Not really. At first, I was embarassed beyond all belief that I was doing this, but I’ve found that several people I know here in Seattle have tried it out at one point or another. Screw Fate. Sometimes Fate needs a push. I’ve been on M*tch.com (I’m not typing the real name here out of paranoia for people Google-ing it and coming to my blog….although the chances of that are slim to none) since Thanksgiving. And I’ve been overwhelmed with how time-consuming the whole process is. It truly is, what with all the “winks” and e-mails and phone calls and last-minute coffee meet-ups. It’s like a job. Hell, it is a job. It’s eerily similar to the official job I’m doing with the UW Office of Admissions (reading and evaluating the applications for the incoming freshman undergraduate class for 2006). I’m reading applications/profiles in my dreams when I sleep.

There have been a fair number of men afflicted with “yellow fever” who have e-mailed me, which I find both laughable and annoying. I’ve gotten to the point where if I’m interested in somone (NOT those with the fetish–one guy wrote to me, “I loooooooove Asian women”), I’ll give them my phone number and then try to evaluate them over the phone first. That’s a good screen, b/c there were a couple that seemed promising and then were complete disasters by phone.

Here’s a sampling of the few that I’ve met in person thus far (I hope the following doesn’t offend anyone out there–this is one of the few times I’ve blogged pretty much uncensored):

BACHELOR #1—This was Richard, the Japanese-American, 35-year-old dentist that I’d pretty much told over Match-mail that we wouldn’t work out. He claimed I was stereotyping him as the nerdy Asian male, so of course I felt guilty. I was reluctant to meet him, but I decided a free dinner at Siam Thai—the restaurant across the street from where I live–(laziness, thy name is Sarah) was too good to pass up.
He got lost en route to the restaurant, which kind of irritated me. Because I had to hand the phone to the guy behind the hostess stand, and Richard couldn’t understand his directions. So both the restaurant guy and myself were annoyed at him. He finally showed up, and he started to say, “Oh, nice to meet….” But I was embarrassed at the fact that someone else was sitting next to me in the waiting area, and I didn’t want to broadcast the fact that we were on a blind date.
So my intuition about him was spot-on. Overly formal and stiff, with very little charisma. At all. At one point, we had the following exchange:
Me: “You seem very……even. Like you don’t get easily excited.”
Him: “Oh, I think it’s because of my job. As a dentist, you kind of have to show little reaction to what people say. So I’m kind of….”
Me: “Unexpressive?”
Him: “Yes.”
Needless to say, that pretty much killed it. In person, he appeared very pale with unusually red lips, a characteristic I find overly feminine. Even though I pretty much made it clear I wasn’t interested during the course of dinner, he still ended the evening with, “Well, I’d still like it if we e-mailed each other.” Uh, no thanks, Mr. No Personality.

BACHELOR #2—Yet another Japanese-American, this time Steve N. MBA from Seattle University. Man, these life-long Seattle residents are DULL. I was intrigued initially because he said he’d recently gotten back from a trip to Japan/Korea. When talking to him on the phone, however, I’d gotten the sense that he was kind of bland/boring. I decided to give him the benefit of the doubt, however, since a lot of guys dislike talking on the phone, right? So maybe he would be more scintillating in person? He talked about going to Kanye’s concert, so at least he has good taste?? And he likes basketball? [But again, who doesn’t like those things??]
Nope.
Nothing really sticks out, other than that he said he doesn’t have many Asian friends, and he is kind of “blissfully ignorant” when it comes to current events (meaning, he doesn’t read the newspaper, etc.). Good lord. Kind of the wrong thing to say to me, at this point in my life. There was nothing about him that spoke of any kind of passion or zest for living. However, there was nothing really outright offensive about him, so I decided that a 2nd date couldn’t hurt anything…….
**Update—he sent me a “Merry X-mas” e-mail while I was in KC, so I e-mailed him when I returned to Seattle…..only to discover that he’d started “seeing someone” around the time that we first met. It was the polite brush-off (he didn’t think it was fair to either one of us, blah blah blah we could always be friends). I felt rejected, but I quickly got over it, since I wasn’t overly enthusiastic about him to begin with. I think I might have scared him off when I started raging at A.H. over the phone….but that’s another story.

BACHELOR #3—This was the funniest one by far. Funny meaning sad/repulsive. I can’t remember this guy’s name right now, but I do remember that he mentioned over e-mail that he was a big USC fan. Was he ever. He came to lunch decked out in head-to-toe USC. We’re talking sweartshirt, sweatpants, and ratty 6-year-old jacket. This is the guy who was a fitness instructor with a heavy accent, although he’s an ABC (American-born Chinese). Talk about stiff! He made Bachelor #1 look like the ultimate schmooze. #3 admitted that he was 29 and had never had a girlfriend. Now, being a late bloomer myself, I can see how that’s possible…..but it still didn’t excite me. I began to wonder, “Has this man ever had sex?” And I also thought, “Even if he has had sex, I’m sure if we had sex, it would be terrible . . . “ Then, he went on to say how he’s planning on applying for graduate school….in Egypt. Ok!! This guy also doesn’t drink alcohol at all…..and I think he said he’s a Libertarian. Oh, wait, that was Richard. Anyway, I was really turned off by his whole demeanor and what he had to say, and I pretty much made it clear as gently as I knew how, but apparently it didn’t work. Because he ended up leaving the restaurant before I was finished eating! Granted, we arrived separately, and it was a walk-up for ordering, but still! I felt he was being kind of rude, but then I remembered that I’d pretty much told him there was no chance in hell, so I figured he must’ve not wanted to waste his time. Which I can understand. **Oh yes, now I remember. This guy wasn’t a Libertarian, but he said he was pro-life, and he didn’t support gay marriage. Obviously, we were NOT a Match (pun intended) made in heaven.

I met yet another Bachelor (couldn’t I just host my own version of The Bachelorette and meet all of these guys at the same time?), #4, this Sunday. He was nice, definitely an improvement over the others. But . . . after brunch, he wanted to still hang out, so we went to a coffee shop. I asked if it was OK if I went through some materials I had to get through for Monday, and he said sure. So while he was getting his coffee, I grabbed a copy of The New York Times for him to peruse. But he didn’t read it at all. Didn’t even touch it. He just sat there, sipping his coffee, watching me work, occasionally talking. And he didn’t understand why I’d grabbed The New York Times in lieu of the local paper. Ahhhhh . . . I should read more local news, I admit, but still . . . .

Just spoke to someone on the phone tonight . . . he sounds promising. Oh, lord. Perhaps I’m like Jerry Seinfeld, (or worse, George Costanza) finding nit-picky little faults in people as an excuse for being alone.

Whatever. When it’s right, you know it’s right.

Or do you? Oh, I’m not in a hurry to find out……. Please comment away! As long as it’s not cliches! (There’s so many fish in the sea……the good ones come when you’re not looking…….etc. etc. etc.)

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