Monthly Archives: October 2013

When Is Your Success Enough?

October 24, 2013

HAPPINESS / Uncategorized


I grew up with a Korean mother and an American (Italian/Irish) father. Both came from very hard-working families. My mother is very predictably and stereotypically Korean. Korean parents will sacrifice everything and anything to help their children graduate from Harvard, medical school and eventually marry another Korean doctor so they can have more Korean baby doctors.

I ended up going to UCLA and joining the Navy. My mom seemed pretty happy about it. Then I worked in the corporate world for a bit and then I became an acupuncturist. Soon after acupuncture school (4 years), my mom asked, “Why don’t you go to medical school?” “When are you going to have children?” AHHHHHHHHHH.

What do Korean parents push Harvard-doctor-kids-who-have-children to do? What is better than that? I’m sure there is something. Basically, it’s never enough. Luckily I’ve been semi-immune/repellent to the professional pressure/guilt that comes standard as the child of a Korean person. I always liked the job that I had and was OK with not having children for a while. I think this sometimes frustrated my mother-as if it were a failure on her part that her pressure-power as my Korean mother wasn’t good enough. When I got divorced years ago-which meant possibly no grandchildren and family shame forever, it was probably what my parents’ saw as their biggest failure.

Again, I knew what was right for me. All I could say was, “You’ll understand when you see me with the right person some day.” That’s the way I handle it. I know everything they do is out of love. Isn’t that wonderful?

What do your parents pressure you to do and how do you deal with it?

7 Ways To Check In With Your Happy Self

October 23, 2013

HAPPINESS / Uncategorized


It’s hump day and time to check in with yourself. Here are 7 quick questions to ask yourself. Add any other questions in the comments section below.

1. Are you surrounded by people in your life who lift you up?

Spend LOTS of time with these people and return the favor.

2. Is your career fulfilling?

Maybe you need the cash but realize that taking risks can lead to more reward.

3. Is your diet good for you?

Easy fix.  Find some role models in your life or online. Stay balanced and sustainable.

4. Have you created a resume of goals you are proud of?

5. Is your home a space for relaxation, revival and creativity?

Browse magazines to select a feeling tone that you identify with and copy.

6. Do you have a form of exercise that is a life-sport/sustainable?

7. Do you MAKE TIME for the things/people you love?

Giving and generosity are a huge part of happiness.


Simple Smoothie Snack

October 22, 2013

Healthy Recipes / Recipes / Uncategorized

Simple Smoothie Snack
The weather in Southern California has been both hot and cool and on those hot days we’ve been drinking smoothies to make up for all the non-smoothie drinking in Seattle this past year. If you haven’t tried the MaraNatha raw, organic almond butter, then you’re missing out on life. This jar is about $16 but it lasts a very long time and once you’ve tried it, it will forever be in your fridge. It adds the right amount of fat to this recipe to balance it out. Coconut milk is a great alternative to cow milk and the vanilla flavor is delicious in smoothies.

Try it with mangos.IMG_2458

Find some cute compostable straws. I got these at Marshalls. The mason jars are from the local hardware store.IMG_2459I use a TON of blueberries when I do it. Great for antioxidants.




What Kind Of Favor-Doer Are You?

October 21, 2013

HAPPINESS / Uncategorized


I like to do a “what I’ve been up to” type of post on Mondays but since I’ve been up to moving in and relaxing, I’ll jump right into the usual types of posts and hopefully have something “personal” later this week.

So the concept of favors has been coming up a lot lately. I’ve vacillated between:

The person who NEVER asks for favors but happily does them for others.

I used to have boundless energy and vigor for favor-doing. I was addicted to volunteering and “helping” all around. It fed my thirst for recognition, credit and praise. I did it without a flinch and reveled in it. When I heard the words, “Would you mind…” I was bobbing my head immediately.

That same Never-asker but resenting favor-doing.

Life got more complicated. There was less “me” time. So, why? Why did I keep doing favors in a direction that I didn’t want to do them and never asked for anything in return? Well, I just wanted the time to get my own things done without feeling that I had to return favors.

I then attempted the Even-Steven/tit-for-tat favoring.

I realized I wasn’t immune to the need for favors so I thought this method could keep my friends happy with me. This sounded like a good idea when I felt taken advantage of but honestly my brain naturally doesn’t expend energy on this sort of tallying.

The modest favor-volunteerer for those who offer and give help with little to no nudging.

Yes, I need favors sometimes and I am so grateful to those who I can count on.

The best favors are when I don’t even qualify them as favors. These things bring me joy and that same ‘ol appreciation I longed for as a younger person. They are things I probably thought of on my own without that person asking. I never feel owed anything in these situations. Really. I go through periods of zero volunteering to moderate volunteering and it works now. There are certain people who I offer lots of help to, probably because they offer me lots of help too.

How do you deal with a situation where a friend asks you for something that isn’t a thing you freely and joyfully want to give?

High Five For Friday! Techy!

October 18, 2013

TMI / Uncategorized

What’s going on this weekend??!! Yes, we are STILL moving in. I am so addicted to organizing and placing things so all this frequent relocating is good for exercising my squirrel brain.

1. I FINALLY learned how to make collages! Here is the new background image for my Facebook page. Whattdoya think?

Facebook Background blocks

2. I found these great images for website buttons this week.


3. Chris “surprised” me with these the other night. Uh Mah Gosh! So good! I got this photo off a blog called “What’s Good at Trader Joe’s?” Nathan writes a proper review.gfc1

4. Q.T. with Charlie on my lap. He had the blanket wrapped around him and so he leaned back. He’s always wanted a Baby Bjorn for himself.
IMG_2351 2

5.  There is something about organic macaroons. They are totally different from non-organic macaroons-much more delicious. I promise. seriously, this one (passion fruit flavor) was tastier than the ones we had in Paris (blasphemy)!IMG_2366

P.S. Please ignore shellac manicure grow out. I just can’t bring myself to soak them off in acetone sometimes…so they grow out until I do it again.

Have a wonderful weekend!


Hollywood Audition Take One

October 17, 2013

LIFESTYLE / Out and About / Uncategorized


Last week, a new and very sweet friend of mine posted on Facebook a request for actors in an upcoming web series she is producing. They needed a tall African-American man, a Tall blonde haired blue-eyed man etc…and then a 20+ girl who spoke Japanese. Hmmm. So on a half-serious whim, I asked her how good the girl’s Japanese had to be. Now, I lived in Japan for 8 years (age 8-16) but my Japanese is very limited. Also, I do not look Japanese nor do I have any Japanese in me. I do however have a decent Japanese accent, can throw a peace sign like no one’s business and giggle with my hand covering my mouth like a real demure Japanese woman.

She gave me an address, a date and told me to pick a time between 11:30-4:00 for an audition. Wow. How did that happen?? Yes, I asked for it.

So I show up at Hollywood Casting and Film yesterday at 1:45. Parking is crazy but I slip into a spot nearby as someone is leaving. Walking to the building I converge with 5 or so other  nervous “actors” walking toward the entrance. I walk in to be met by a check-in desk woman who is (ironically) a young Japanese-American woman (she should be trying out for the part). It. Is. Crowded. The Japanese woman asks me what project I’m here to try out for. Awkward. I don’t know. I text my friend, she tells me the name of the project and I head to the assigned audition room waiting area. By the door is an iPad-like screen hung on the wall and a keyboard for you to sign in.

While I’m signing in, I notice a face I recognize. A patient from the clinic I used to work at in San Diego! I remembered her being a stunt woman. She was there trying out for some crazy commercial. We caught up a bit and I went to sit in the waiting area.

Looking around I could see all these nervous yet very professional actors. There were a lot of those “bird people,” I call them. You know, small boned and slight. Beautiful bone structure. Everyone was holding a headshot. One girl was standing and doing some kind of ballet move. A girl next to me had a flip phone. I realized at that moment, that there were people here who lived in their cars and were doing anything to live the Hollywood dream.

So, audition time. I walk in when called. There are three women (one being my friend) behind a desk. A video camera is pointed at me as well as a light. After a quick introduction and a quizzical look…”So, you’re Japanese?” “Today,” I say. “Well, let’s hear your Japanese, the blonde says.” She hands me a sheet of script and I do my best. There were only 2 lines and the women wanted more so they took the paper back and said, “Just start speaking Japanese.”

Seriously??? AH! I lived in Japan a million years ago and I didn’t even know Japanese back then!

Here goes…I spout off 5 completely unrelated sentences in Japanese.

The blonde woman lets out a laugh and says, “This is awesome.”

“What? What is she saying,” the other two ask.

“She’s saying things like, where is the bathroom, may I have some water, my name is Christina,” the blonde translated.

I was impressed, but more so embarrassed. There. It was over.

I got a message from my friend an hour later saying I was “adorable” and that later in the day a “real” Japanese person came in. There were probably going to be some other little parts and I might be asked for something. How kind.

I LOVED it! I LOVED the whole experience. I got to be an “actor” for a day!

If you want to see exactly where I was, click on this link Hollywood Casting and Film and watch the “I’m a filmmaker” video.

Would you ever go for an audition on a whim?

(photo by S.V., via Yelp)