Sunday, January 30, 2011

Walking Down Memory Lane

For Christmas, Gardy got me Star In My Heart. I absolutely LOVE this drama. I watched it in junior high and both Grace Yang and I were head over heels for Ahn Jae Wook. You wouldn't know it from that picture, but he was so muhsheesuh in the drama. This is where I fell in love with him. So I begged and Gardy got it for me. And I finally started watching it last night. Three episodes. LOVE.

I'm going to be watching three more tonight. So excited! I did another walk down memory lane in that I went through my old accounts and tried to get rid of them. I am so ashamed that I signed up for so many various accounts online.. and with my main email address! I am such a retard sometimes. It's quite embarrassing. And what is with so many websites not having a delete/cancel account option? I had to email several of them and I'm just giving up on others for now. It gave me such a headache.

Quesitos de Guayaba 8

In other news, I am watching a lot of TV. I finished Season 1 of Lie to Me yesterday. I need to add Season 2 to my Netflix queue. But I've also been productive. I made more quesitos de guayaba yesterday. And, like I said I would, I went to the gym on Friday. And photo edited. And Yelped. See? Unemployment = productive Esther! Now I'm off to relive my junior high crush on Ahn Jae Wook~

Saturday, January 29, 2011

"Evangalism"

I read a bit more of Blue Like Jazz yesterday and wanted to share a couple more passages with you. Donald Miller is an amazing writer. By sharing his stories, he makes me really think about things that I've never really thought about, or maybe never wanted to think about. I'm not even sure what to think about some of the things that I read, but they just call to me and I want to write them out here because I'm not sure how to respond to them.

"[Rick] didn't really see evangalism, or whatever you want to call it, as a target on a wall in which the goal is to get people to agree with us about the meaning of life. He saw evangalism as reaching a felt need. I thought this was beautiful and frightening. I thought it was beautiful because I had this same need; I mean, I really knew I needed Jesus like I need water or food, and yet it was frightening because Christianity is so stupid to so much of our culture, and I absolutely hate bothering people about this stuff.

So much of me believes strongly in letting everybody live their own lives, and when I share my faith, I feel like a network marketing guy trying to build my down line."
(pg. 114)

As a Christian, I've always been told that it's my duty to evangalise and spread God's word to the world, but I've never been sure how to do that. I feel about evangalism kind of the way I feel about sales. I know I probably have a weird skewed vision of sales (because when I worked in sales it was really nothing like this), but I imagine a salesperson to be someone who's trying to shove a product down your throat. You may not need this product or even be interested in it, but they need to sell it so they're going to be pushy and aggressive and downright annoying. And that's kind of how I feel about evangalism. Which isn't fair because God isn't an unnecessary product, but in this PC world where we respect everyone's views and beliefs, I have just never been comfortable bringing up my beliefs and shoving them in people's faces. I know that's not what evangalism is actually about, but that is just how it feels to me.

Some of it probably has to do with my need to please people, and "Christianity" is not something that pleases a lot of people. Most of my non-Christian friends (if not all of them) have had unpleasant experiences with Christianity at one point or another and it's not something that I want to bring up and defend. The passage that I want to leave you with addresses this a little and I think it's a beautiful passage just to think about. It's definitely something that has been on my mind ever since I've read it...

"In a recent radio interview I was sternly asked by the host, who did not consider himself a Christian, to defend Christianity. I told him that I couldn't do it, and moreover, that I didn't want to defend the term. He asked me if I was a Christian, and I told him yes. 'Then why don't you want to defend Christianity?' he asked, confused. I told him I no longer knew what the term meant. Of the hundreds of thousands of people listening to his show that day, some of them had terrible experiences with Christianity; they may have been yelled at by a teacher in a Christian school, abused by a minister, or browbeaten by a Christian parent. To them, the term Christianity meant something that no Christian I know would defend. By fortifying the term, I am only making them more and more angry. I won't do it. Stop ten people on the street and ask them what they think of when they hear the word Christianity, and they will give you ten different answers. How can I defend a term that means ten different things to ten different people? I told the radio show host that I would rather talk about Jesus and how I came to believe that Jesus exists and that he likes me. The host looked back at me with tears in his eyes. When we were done, he asked me if we could go get lunch together. He told me how much he didn't like Christianity but how he had always wanted to believe Jesus was the Son of God." (pg. 115)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Commando

I finally watched Commando last night. Apart from the first two Terminator movies, The Expendables (which really doesn't count), and Batman & Robin (which I'm sure he'd rather I forget), I have not watched any of Arnold's movies. Tasha, being a huge action movie buff, thought this was ridiculous. I had added Commando to my Netflix queue a while back, but after watching this YouTube video I knew I had to move it up. And it finally came in the mail earlier this week! And since I'm unemployed, I decided to go down to Tasha's so we could enjoy the movie together.

So I drove down yesterday afternoon. There is no longer any need to wait for the weekend when you have no job! I had a very good phone conversation with Ariana on my way there. It had been too long since we last had a good chat. We are going to both try to lose 20+ pounds by this summer. I must be motivated! Let's hope it happens. I really need to lose the weight. Of course, that didn't stop me from pigging out. Tasha and I went to Sagaar for dinner and then we picked up carrot cake from Trader Joe's for dessert. Quite delicious! We enjoyed it while watching Commando. Wow. That movie is HILARIOUS. Such great lines.

Today we went to IHOP for brunch. I got their international crepe passport combo with strawberry banana crepes. Not bad. I did some photo editing and Yelping after coming back home and now I'm off to watch TV~

I also went to the gym today! I have to admit that that was the first time this week. I was busy running errands with my mum on Monday so I didn't go. I did use the "lateral thigh trainer" (LTT) at home, but it was literally for a couple of minutes. The exciting thing about Monday was that I received my unemployment documents and claim form! Yay for funded unemployment. I used the LTT again on Wednesday before I left, but that was for five minutes max. But have no fear--I will go to the gym tomorrow so I can say that I'm going at least twice a week. I need to keep my deal with Ariana and lose weight!

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Human Experience

I started reading Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller last week. One of the (many) perks of being unemployed is that I finally have time to read. Actual books. It's pretty amazing. I should have read it in college, when everyone else read it, but I just never made the time. I read a couple more chapters today, and a couple passages really spoke to me. I hope you don't mind that I share them with you...

"I think I was feeling bitter about the human experience. I never asked to be human. Nobody came to the womb and explained the situation to me, asking for my permission to go into the world and live and breathe and eat and feel joy and pain. I started thinking about how odd it was to be human, how we are stuck inside this skin, forced to be attracted to the opposite sex, forced to eat food and use the rest room and then stuck to the earth by gravity. I think maybe I was going crazy or something. ... Life no longer seemed like an experience of freedom." (pgs 98-99)

To be honest, this is something that I struggle with a lot. It was a relief to see it in writing, to know that someone else struggled with the same thing.

"I imagined him looking down on this earth, half angry because His beloved mankind had cheated on Him, had committed adultery, and yet hopelessly in love with her, drunk with love for her." (pg 100)

Brilliant imagery. Makes me want to say "Poor God," that he can't help but be in love with people like us.

"I know a little of why there is blood in my body, pumping life into my limbs and thought into my brain. I am wanted by God. He is wanting to preserve me, to guide me through the darkness of the shadow of death, up into the highlands of His presence and afterlife. I understand that I am temporary, in this shell of a thing on this dirt of an earth. I am being tempted by Satan, but I am preserved to tell those who do not know about our Savior and our Redeemer. This is why Paul had no questions. This is why he could be beaten one day, imprisoned the next, and released only to be beaten again and never ask God why. He understood the earth was fallen. He understood the rules of Rome could not save mankind, that mankind could not save itself; rather, it must be rescued, and he knew that he was not in the promised land, but still in the desert, and like Joshua and Caleb he was shouting, 'Follow me and trust God!'
...
I lay there under the stars and thought of what a great responsibility it is to be human. I am a human because God made me. I experience suffering and temptation because mankind chose to follow Satan. God is reaching out to me to rescue me. I am learning to trust Him, learning to live by His precepts that I might be preserved."
(pgs 100-101)

AMEN. Something to definitely keep in mind.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Quite a Productive Weekend


{We are the Imaginary Housewives of LA County}

I had a hard time deciding whether to title this weekend productive or food-filled. Yesterday was spent pigging out pretty much the entire day, but overall I would like to say my weekend was productive.

Yesterday morning started off at McDonald's with my mum for breakfast. It is our tradition to have breakfast at McD's on Saturday mornings after I have finished one notebook of my Bible writing. Since I finished this past Thurday, McD's was the place to go for Saturday breakfast! The pigging out then continued at lunch. I met up with Brian at Kyochon so we could use my Groupon ($7 for $15 worth of food). You can read about it on my Yelp review (and I also added a couple of pictures). It was really nice hanging out with him and catching up, and afterwards we even had a pleasantly unexpected random run-in with Suzan! She was at the pho place next door with her bf so we chatted with them while they had lunch. It was great hanging out :D

Last night was also our very first AHS Potluck of 2011! I decided to make quesitos de guayaba again (you can read about it at Foodie Love) so I spent the rest of the day dedicated to that. And the rest of the night pigging out to delicious food!


{My table is set and ready for the potluck}


{Melody's homemade guacamole}


{Christina Fong's Gemelli with Sundried Tomatoes and Spicy Sausage}


{Christina Chiang's Kalua Pig and Macaroni Salad}


{Our desserts! You can see my pastries in the background and Tiffany's Cream Cheese and White Chocolate Chip Fudge Brownie with Strawberries in the foreground}

The food all looks awesome, right? It all tasted awesome too! So much deliciousness~

There wasn't much pigging out today, but there was productiveness! I finally went to Kinokuniya today and bought refills for my black Signo pens! I've been meaning to do this for a while since I used up all the refills my cousin bought for me in Korea but I never got around to it until today. The refills were $1.60 each so not too bad! I bought a box of 10. Yay!

I also attended a meeting at church today regarding missions and that was really nice. Going to try to get more plugged into the church and be more supportive of missions. Apart from that, my weekend has been full of TV watching. Finally finished Life Unexpected (very nice series finale), started Fairly Legal and Spartacus: Gods of the Arena, and watched episodes of Bones, Southland, and The Mentalist. Good times.

Friday, January 21, 2011

I Am Unemployed

And loving it!

It is so nice to wake up when it's light outside. It is so nice to not have to sit in 3 hours of traffic every day. It is so nice to not work. It is so nice to be able to do things that I actually want to do.

So it didn't really hit me on Monday since it was a holiday anyway. Even if my temp assignment hadn't ended on Friday, I still wouldn't have worked on Monday. So I went to the mall, ate Hot Dog on a Stick, and actually made some purchases! For the first time, I shopped at Express. I bought a couple things from there on sale. And then I decided to try out Kiehl's starter set. My skin has not been responding to the Laniege line that it loved for the past several years and it also doesn't seem to care for the weird snail-gel-whatever stuff my mum got so we're going to see if this will work. My poor skin.

But on Tuesday, guess who got up at 9AM? ME! That was so awesome. I spent the entire day pretty much watching TV. And Salt. And reading a bit of manga, but that was frustrating since my internet at home is pretty slow. I don't think I'll be reading manga at home. It's too frustrating.

On Wednesday the productiveness began! I actually started editing my pictures (I have six years' worth so this is going to take a LONG time) and--wait for it--I went to the gym! I also started reading Blue Like Jazz. And I watched SEVEN episodes of TV. I am getting caught up! Thursday was more of the same.

And today I continued my gym streak! Three days! Be proud *^^* I also went to church tonight with Jinwon. YNCC is starting a new thing this year: every third Friday of the month they will be holding a praise revival night. I love praise so I convinced Jinwon to go with me. It was really good. I'm so glad we went. And afterwards we went to Starbucks to hang out. I used my gift card to get their Caramel Apple Spice. See? I'm using my gift cards! I need to be frugal now that I have no income :P

All in all, I must say this has been a great week.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Changes

A LOT has happened in this past week. Changes.. and new beginnings.

Monday: Worked, watched an episode and a half of Runaway: Plan B, and started the first series of Law & Order: UK. Jamie Bamber is so hot.

Tuesday: YF LAID OFF ALMOST HALF OF THE COMPANY. That's right. Almost half. Guess what? That comes out to be around 500 people. Isn't that crazy?! And a lot of them were my friends, or at least good acquaintances. I was really shocked about a few of them. Some people did get put on "transition" in that they'll be working for 6 more weeks. It was quite an.. interesting day.

Wednesday: Just any other day. Had a company meeting re: the layoffs. Just a bunch of bull.

Thursday: Went to an interview, yay!

Friday: MY LAST DAY AT WORK. Yep, you read that right. I also got "laid off" (except I'm not laid off since I'm a temp). Found out in the morning from HR, finished up my work, packed up my stuff, and spent a couple of hours going around the building saying goodbye. I have worked in that building for two years and eight months. It boggles the mind. I'm sad to say goodbye to the friends and colleagues that I've worked with for almost three years, but it is time to close this chapter of my life. I went home and escaped life by watching The A-Team. Bradley Cooper is hot (but Jamie Bamber is hotter).

Saturday: I met up with my second service host team ladies! All three who have ditched me and are no longer with second service host team. We went to School Food and were fobby together :) I continued my fobbiness by watching a Korean film, M, that night.


{Second Service Host Team Ladies}

Sunday: After church, I went to Costco with my mum and we shared a hot dog and a slice of cheese pizza. It has been a long time since I've eaten at Costco (other than the samples I always try when I go). I then met up with Grace, Jinwon, and Stacy at Dave & Buster's in Westfield Santa Anita. Since I had already eaten I just ordered their dipping fries. They were eh. It was fun playing there though! We embraced our inner children. My inner child spent $17 but didn't get many tickets in return so I will have to go back :P I also started watching Lie to Me.

I don't think it's really hit me yet that I'm jobless. Well, temp-assignment-less. It's funny--I told my mum on Friday morning that I was so happy I didn't have to work on Monday, and guess what? Now I don't have to work, ever! Well, at least for the time being. It will be nice--I never took a single day off the entire time I worked there so this will finally be my vacation :)

Monday, January 10, 2011

GREEDY

(Look at the date! 1/10/11. 1+10=11! Yes I'm nerdy like that.)


{Greedy poster}

This past weekend has been amazing. I wasn't sure how amazing it was going to be, but it was DAMN AMAZING.

I ran errands on Saturday morning. Dropped off my boots at the shoe repair store--alas, they will not be ready for pick-up until Thursday. How sad! After a short nap, a quick shower, and some last minute packing, I headed down to Irvine to meet up with Tasha. She let me recover from the long drive (which thankfully only took around an hour) before dragging me on an errand. But I was made happy after that because we went to Crepes de Paris and shared their Normandie crepe. YUM! We went upstairs to the sticker picture place but their offerings were pretty disappointing and the one machine we wanted was broken so.. forgetaboutit. I wanted to go to 85 Degrees and finally try their Sea Salt coffee but WHOA that line was long. So we just left. We spent the rest of the day watching old Psych episodes (which I had never watched), eating the Curry Chicken and Yam rustica from zpizza (yum), and then watching the beginning half of SNL with Jim Carrey! Very enjoyable Saturday afternoon/night.

Yesterday morning I drove back to LA with Tasha and we attended church together. Afterwards we met up with Christina at Urth Caffe in downtown. (And wow, a lot of YNCCers go there for lunch!) I ordered the Egg and Prosciutto Panini with tomato dipping sauce and it was pretty good. We shared the Matcha Tiramusu for dessert--that was amazing. So delicious. It was really fun hanging out, the three of us--we had not done that in a really long time. We parted ways with Christina and headed back to my house in Arcadia. Watched an old episode of The Pretender together and then I watched the last episode on my disk of Dirt while Tasha showered and got herself pretty for James. We headed over to Zelos for dinner and got their corn and potato pancetta. Hello deliciousness. Then we zipped off to El Centro Theatre for a performance of GREEDY.

OH.EM.GEE. That was such an awesome night! We got to the theatre around 7:15PM and they let the audience in at 7:30 (the performance started at 8). It was creepy because we passed by what looked like a statue on the way in, but it turned out to be one of the characters! Who has the amazing ability to just stand still and not move. At all. The play was definitely a lot different than what I had thought it would be--but definitely for the better. It was dark and shocking and twisting and captivating and just blew me away. Great performances from the entire cast--I thoroughly enjoyed the performance and would love to go see it again.

Afterwards we waited outside the theatre and managed to eventually get everyone's autograph! They were SO NICE. I cannot say that enough. SO NICE! I also got pictures with Kurt Fuller (who was very appreciative that I watch and enjoy Better With You), Brad Raider, Maggie Lawson, and a group picture with James Roday (taken by Maggie!). Maggie was such a sweetheart--she apologised to me twice for making us wait to talk with her! I also unexpectedly got a picture with Diego Klattenhoff and Patch Darragh! They were shocked that I knew who they were and had enjoyed Mercy. Very sweet, both of them. John Landis was even there too! But I was too intimated to ask him for anything.


{Group Picture: Sara, Natasha, James and myself}

All in all, it was an AMAZING NIGHT. I look at my autographed playbill and I am filled with overwhelming happiness. ♥

Thursday, January 06, 2011

A New Year


{Happy New Year!}

It's a new year: 2011! As is now our tradition, Gardy and I spent NYE together. But this time we were productive! We made Quesitos de Guayaba. And we watched Sweet Lies. It was a good NYE.

My New Year's Day, however, wasn't so great. It was mostly all wasted at my mum's friend's retirement home. Yeah, not fun. I ended up napping because I was so bored. The good news is that I finally finished reading Get Off Your Knees and Pray by Sheila Walsh. Once I got home I continued my Korean film watching and watched Fate. And then Bambi II. Which was surprisingly not bad.

On Sunday, I met up with Gardy and Keri at Starbucks so I could finally get their Caramel Brulee Latte again. Used one of my gift cards. I'm determined to finish off my gift cards this year! We then went to Souplantation for dinner, where I used up my Souplantation gift card. Success! (Although, to be honest, it was actually my mum's). But something did not sit right with my tummy because I suffered throughout the night and all throughout Monday as well. So work was not fun.

Apart from that, however, work was pretty good this week. I rediscovered manga :D But I could barely read any (I am so behind!) since people are constantly walking by my desk. But at least I read some, which is an improvement over none. And on Wednesday night I made carrot cake cupcakes. I've always felt bad about never being able to give CG any of my cupcakes since he's severely lactose intolerant and, let's face it, I never make anything without at least one dairy product. So I finally asked him what he wanted and he said carrot cake. So I made carrot cake cupcakes with vegan cream cheese frosting. And everyone liked them, yay!

Today I brought some of my stuff home from work since there is a layoff a-coming soon...

Carrot Cupcakes 4
{Carrot Cake Cupcakes}