Tuesday, March 29, 2011

In Chapel Hill for a week!

I flew into Chapel Hill last night and am here for another week. I figured I'd be here for my mom's birthday on Thursday, plus in the small chance that my basketball team was playing in the Final Four this weekend (though unfortunately that is not the case). Today happens to be my sister's birthday, her 28th.. which is just insane to me. Its insane that she is nearing 30.... and scary that it means that I am 6 years older than her.

Insanely cute pics from Jason Lee of his daughters:

Anyways, for the most part I don't really recognize or realize how old I am. It is interesting though how I notice time passing more when I come home and see my parents. I probably see my parents about 4-5 times a year and on some trips home, it just strikes me how much older they are getting. I guess I still think of them somehow in their 50s, when in fact they are 66 and 67. My mom is retiring this July, but she said that my dad is going to work until I get married. Sigh... the guilt.

Anyways, last Saturday night I went out with some girlfriends and we ended up at this bar. It was amusing because 3 of the girls (who are white) were talking about how they have a thing for asian men. And the other 3 of us are asian or half asian. I told the girls that they can have the asian guys or at least my allotment, since I have never dated an asian man beyond going out on a couple of first dates.

Mmmm is it strange that I don't date within my own race? It's not necessarily that I'm against it... its just that I tend to be attracted to caucasian men and they are the ones who have approached me in my past. Honestly this sentiment is reciprocal though because asian guys just tend not to be attracted to me. So while I'm ok with this, its important to me that I find someone who already has or develops a strong appreciation for my Korean culture. Meaning he has to be able to eat a lot of Korean food... especially the spicy stuff.

Anyways, I was sharing my online dating woes with these girls and they told me that I need to now be the one being more proactive and reaching out to people I find intriguing. Hmmmm.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

So this is dating?

I am done with my four weeks of traveling to Baltimore for work. Huzzah! Actually last week ended up being really stressful and crazy and I feel like I'm still recovering. I probably worked 14 hour days on Monday through Wednesday to get everything done for the final deliverable due on Thursday. But now I effectively have two weeks off! I am in Chicago this week, then I am flying home to Chapel Hill next Monday to be there for a week since its my mom's birthday as well. I'm liking this "work 4 weeks, take 2 weeks off" bit. It rocks. =)

Anyways, I told Sara about this but shortly before I started traveling to Baltimore I did finally join match and e-harmony. I haven't really done too much with it since I've been traveling and kinda crazy. Meaning I haven't really searched or reached out to anyone, and have just seen what comes back to me. And what has come back to me has been interesting. Let's just recount some, shall we?

First we have the guys who are way too old for me. I put on my profile that I am looking for 30-40. Even 30 is pushing it given that I am 34. But come on, what the heck with all these guys 45-49 contacting me? WTF? On the other side we have the guys who are way too young for me. Um, I'm sorry but I'm looking to date someone not babysit someone. Hahaha... just kidding, I kid! But really... 25, 26 is way too young for me. 30 is my absolute lower limit. I would maybe go for someone who was 29 but they'd have to be super hot. =) Ah... I crack myself up.

I wonder where the guys are in their mid 30s? I mean, are they going after girls who are in their mid 20s? Is this how this works? Anyways, of those guys who are in my age range, I've had the really nice guy who in his profile listed that he was 5'4". Um. Hmmm. Look, I'm short, I know this. I'm not one of those weird short girls who say their date has to be 6'0"+. You know what, 5'6"...5'7"...5'8"... is fine. But 5'4"? I don't know... I just can't.

Then there was the guy who looked pretty cute and had a nice body, but his main profile picture was one with his shirt off. I'm sorry, but I don't care how good looking you are. If that is your main profile picture, I am going to judge you. And I am going to judge that you are a total douchebag. End of story. Then yes, there really was the 36 year old guy contacting me saying he would date girls 18-36 in his profile. I'm sorry, but what the heck is a 36 year old man (and I use this word loosely) going to do with a girl half his freakin' age? Douchebag!

And then the rest of the guys are guys who seemed "normal" enough but they either send me as a first point of contact this long ass email detailing their entire life story and how much he thought we'd be a fit (sorry too much too soon and slightly stalker-ish) or I look at their pics and I just am not physically attracted. It's not really even so much that these guys aren't "my type". Because I don't think I necessarily have a type. It's just that I don't see a physical attraction at all.

I was relating all of this to Sara and I think we decided that yes, internet dating sucks, but that there is probably a part of me that is being a huge judgy-mcjudgypants. The only thing I could try to be more open minded about is the physical attraction bit. But I guess I find it hard to think that I'd take the time to go out and meet someone when I'm not sure about the physical attraction. But maybe I need to, just to see. I don't know.

Maybe I am being so judgmental because I'm not really ready or wanting to do this. I don't know. But when I find something wrong with every single guy? Isn't that saying something? The other avenue I could pursue is actually searching and reaching out to guys myself. But that would take some effort. Sigh. Mmmm...

Monday, March 14, 2011


I've watched a lot of news since the earthquake and subsequent tsunami that hit Japan on Friday. Sendai was the closest large city. It's insane to be reading and watching all this news coverage on Sendai, a city that most people outside of Japan have never heard of.

Incidentally, Sendai is my birthplace. My parents moved from Korea to Sendai about a year before I was born because my dad was doing a PhD at Tohoku University there. We lived there until I was about 5 and a half after which we moved to Madison, Wisconsin.

What is sort of interesting about this fact is that Japan and Korea has had a long, often contentious history, given that Korea was occupied by Japan for 35 years from 1910 to 1945. There is a lot of bad history there, with everything from the Korean queen was assassinated by the Japanese to Korean women being kidnapped to be "comfort women" to Japanese soldiers and a lot more stuff in between.

While I don't think that younger Koreans of my generation feel this contention, there are those of my parents and definitely of my grandparents generation that still hold the pain and anger from Japanese occupation. While the relationship has gotten better over time, back when when my family moved to Japan it was still sort of a surprising thing. Thus, I am glad to see on Korean news outlets the level of aid and support that the Korean government and NGOs are sending over to Japan.

I was talking to my mom over the weekend and she said that while we were living in Sendai, there was a 6.2 earthquake. She clearly remembers how terrified she was from "just" a 6.2 and can't imagine what a 8.9 would be like. She remembers running to my preschool/day care center from work to make sure I was ok. I don't remember this earthquake specifically but I do remember doing earthquake practice drills in my preschool.

My mom and I also talked about watching the coverage of the survivors on TV and we both remarked about the extreme politeness and sense of order of the Japanese people. News outlets have talked about how looting would never really happen in Japan, even in an incredible crisis of this sort.

You see these long orderly lines for food and water. Heck, if it was South Korea or China, people would be shoving and yelling and doing whatever they could do survive. But not the Japanese. It just isn't their way. They have an incredible sense of dignity... politeness... order. Its really quite remarkable.

Anyways, I had always thought that I would go back to visit Sendai one day. And I still hold that hope. But it's really sad to know that I will never be able see Sendai as it was when my family lived there.

While I am definitely "more Korean", Japanese is the first language I ever spoke and Japanese culture (especially the food) was always strongly ingrained in my family. And while I only lived in Sendai until I was 5 years old, its hard not to feel an attachment to Sendai.

Some images from the many news stories that touched me. Notes from those looking for family members at a information center in Sendai. This reminds me so much of what I saw in NYC post 9/11.

This one absolutely broke my heart because the caption said: "Parents looked at the body of their daughter, whom they found in the vehicle of a driving school in Yamamoto, Miyagi Prefecture".

All I can say is thoughts and prayers. I know that Japan is a relatively developed and prosperous country. But I hope that people and countries recognize the scale of this disaster and still help.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Still working!

This is the end of my second week here in Maryland. I am definitely back next week, and there is a chance that I may be back here for 3 weeks after next week as well. We'll see. I wouldn't mind going back to my routine of waking up late and lounging around in yoga pants all day...

So in the time I've been here, I've been working closely with the employees here to try to understand their processes that we have to document and improve. Its always a funny thing coming into an organization as a consultant. I was in one meeting this week where a topic was being discussed, and someone said:

"I've been saying this for months now, but they don't listen to me. But I'm sure they will listen to you because you are the consultants and we are paying you a lot of money to tell us what we already know"

Lol. My peripheral job search does continue though. Though mainly it is continuing through the efforts and movements of higher level consultants I have worked with. My coach/mentor is interviewing today and tomorrow with a firm that asked whether she had any other consultants she could bring with her. I've mentioned this firm before, this is the one that would probably require relocation. And turns out their office locations would be Boston, DC, Seattle, or San Diego. Mmmm

Another partner's last day with my firm is tomorrow and she is making a switch to another large national firm. She would be a good person to bring me into her new firm, a firm that would probably allow me to live wherever I wanted.

While the thought of moving and trying to sell my condo gives me a headache, I don't know... maybe its time to leave Chicago. I've been there almost 8 years now. Maybe its time to move.