right now: october 2018.

Making: I’m in between projects right now–I just started a new job and I’m still kind of reconfiguring my daily rhythms and such. I did start my annual music top 50 list, so that’s something I guess.

Cooking: I made this the other night and it was tasty; I had some sauce leftover and I’m planning on trying it mixed with some rice to see how that goes. I also have my eye on this black bean soup now that it’s no longer blaring hot outside.

Drinking: I’m at my local coffee place drinking a soy milk latte right now and it’s delicious. (It’s also my third cup of coffee today and I am never sleeping tonight.) I’ve also started drinking a mix of hot chai (from the Tazo tea bags) and french vanilla creamer and it is awesome (and way cheaper and less sugary than Starbucks).

Reading: Just started Little Fires Everywhere. Casting about for a nonfiction book to read; might start Dorothy Sayers’ The Mind of the Maker.

Wanting: A jacket that’s about hoodie-weight but isn’t actually a hoodie (maybe in denim or twill, I haven’t decided yet).

Looking: At armchairs–working on building a reading corner in my living room.

Playing: Lots of nertz on my phone, especially when I’m vegging out listening to podcasts and not doing anything else.

Deciding: Which streaming service to get for Doctor Who and college sports.

Wishing: That I knew what I was going to give people for Christmas…time to start figuring that out.

Enjoying: The cool, rainy weather, which means that I am wearing a 3/4-sleeve shirt and not dying. Also, my parish/small group/whatever your church calls those is doing a thing called fight clubs, which is smaller groups for people to meet in for life stuff, accountability, and prayer and such. (I actually am still in one of these from Kaleo, even though we’re at different churches now.) Anyway, mine’s met twice and I’m very much enjoying getting to know those women and opening up to them more. I’m still very new to our church and I feel like there’s still a lot I’m getting to know about people (and vice versa), so this is a nice format to do it in.

Waiting: For the concert I’m going to tonight–Sandra McCracken’s playing a free show at a local church and I’m pretty excited.

Liking: The fact that the guy who took my coffee order recognized me and was like “hey, haven’t seen you in forever!”

Wondering: What I’m going to do to celebrate Advent this year.

Loving: My calendar is full for the next few months and it’s very good for me and my ambivert self to get out and be with people.

Pondering: What to eat for dinner tonight (thinking about getting curry fried rice from a local place that does it excellently).

Considering: Future plans–I’ve got the bones of a plan to finally start a second master’s degree in the fall of 2020, which isn’t as far off as it seems. I need to work out details (especially the financial ones), but yeah, I have concrete plans to make it happen now, which is exciting.

Buying: Finally bought a couch–it’s a dark gray with some bluish undertones to it, and it’s long enough for me to take a nap on and it’s great.

Watching: Not really anything at the moment. Heard great things about Salt Fat Acid Heat and I need to catch up on Doctor Who. I do want to see A Star Is Born and The Hate U Give (although I might wait on that one until I’ve read the book).

Hoping: That the cool weather sticks around for a while and that we actually get some cold weather soon.

Marveling: I recently found out that my mom has never seen a dinosaur skeleton in person and am now wondering how the heck that happened.

Needing: To figure out what I’m going to wear to my friends’ wedding in December, but I’ve got a while, thankfully. I think I know, but it’ll depend on weather.

Questioning: Whether or not I can pull off wearing a jumpsuit–I’ve tried on rompers and they make me look absurd, but I don’t know about jumpsuits. I kind of love this one (and it looks good on their plus-size model, which is important for me).

Smelling: Lavender, thanks to my leave-in conditioner.

Wearing: Coral-pink 3/4-sleeve shirt, jeans, gray TOMS.

Admiring: This poem by Robert Pinsky.

Giggling: At this fantastic review of Pacific Rim Uprising.

Snacking: It’s apple season, which means that I have been buying them by the bag and devouring them in my car on the way home from work. I also recently discovered moondrop grapes, which are very grapey and sweet and juicy and were to be had for a ridiculously good price at HEB last week.

Hearing: Directly in my ears, Jars of Clay’s album Who We Are Instead, which is one of my favorites. Underneath, all the sounds of this coffee place: The Shins on the radio, conversations at other tables, the espresso machine hissing.


thursday 13

(more substantial post coming soon!)

This week: 13 songs from contemporary musicals (i.e., from the past 20 years) that aren’t Hamilton.

    1. A double-header: “Before and After You” and “One Second and a Million Miles” from The Bridges of Madison County.
    2. “96,000” from In the Heights.
    3. “Omar Sharif” from The Band’s Visit.
    4. “Wish I Were Here” from Next to Normal.
    5. “Touch Me” from Spring Awakening.
    6. “Gold” from Once.
    7. “Chant II” from Hadestown.
    8. “Waving Through a Window” from Dear Evan Hansen.
    9. “Michael In the Bathroom” from Be More Chill.
    10. “I’m Here” from The Color Purple.
    11. “She Used to Be Mine” from Waitress.
    12. “Balaga” from Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812.
    13. “I Can Do Better Than That” from The Last 5 Years.

thursday 13

This week: 13 things you do for self-care.

  1. Get counseling when I need it
  2. Vitamin D supplement, probiotic, OTC allergy meds, fish oil
  3. I’m trying to get better about consistent exercise…
  4. Also trying to get better about eating well.
  5. Starting to get better about wearing sunscreen.
  6. I paint my own toenails because I’m one of those people that hates pedicures.
  7. Once a year I’ll do a foot peel–you soak your feet in this liquid for an hour and then over the next few days your dead skin all peels off. It is mildly horrifying, but your feet feel and look amazing afterwards.
  8. I’m not totally consistent about this, but I use the Headspace app to do some deep breathing in the morning or to help me fall asleep and it’s great.
  9. Also trying to hang out with my people more, because community is necessary and good.
  10. Can we count church here? I suppose that is not so much self-care as it is being open to God’s care for me, yes?
  11. Every once in a while I’ll do a brain dump in my notebook–just make myself write anything that comes to mind for 10-15 minutes and fill up a couple of pages. Surprisingly helpful.
  12. Need to schedule it for this year, but yearly checkup at the doctor.
  13. Creative endeavors–knitting, guitar, etc.

thursday 13

This week: Books you’ve read in the past 12 months.

  1. Tom Hanks, Uncommon Type (yes, that Tom Hanks)
  2. Rachel Khong, Goodbye Vitamin
  3. Gregory Cole, Single, Gay, Christian
  4. Sue Grafton, X
  5. Min Jin Lee, Pachinko
  6. Celeste Ng, Everything I Never Told You
  7. Joy Beth Smith, Party of One
  8. Daniel Coyle, The Culture Code
  9. Nnedi Okorafor, Binti
  10. Edward Lee, Buttermilk Graffiti
  11. Suzanne Stabile, The Path Between Us
  12. Austin Channing Brown, I’m Still Here
  13. W.B. Sprague, Lectures On Revivals

Random thoughts on a Saturday night

  1. Line I thought of but haven’t had the time to sit down and write a whole poem around yet: “I was born in the shadow of the valley of death.” (I was born in a Korean county that’s home to a valley called the Punch Bowl, where hundreds of Korean and American soldiers met their fates during a Korean War battle; this feels like a rather poetic if somewhat grim detail.)
  2. Speaking of Koreanness, I have come across a YouTube channel called Korean Englishman that is pretty much what it says: It’s a young English guy who grew up in a city in China where there are a lot of Korean people, and he fell in love with Korean culture and language. So he’s basically acting as a one-man Korean tourism board, introducing his English friends to Korean food and stuff, and he has quite a following of Korean people, which sort of surprised me. But as someone said in the comments on one of his videos, Koreans are very curious about what other cultures think of theirs, so this guy’s appreciation of Koreanness is really affirming to them.
  3. This does, however, have me thinking about a lot of stuff–there’s part of me that’s bothered by it centering on the experiences of a white British guy instead of on the stories of actual Korean people, but on the other hand actual Korean people don’t really seem to mind and are in fact really stoked about it? Maybe it’s an American attitude toward race and culture that people in Korea don’t have?
  4. And it also has me thinking about the fact that I have not intentionally sought a whole lot of Korean experiences in America, which is nuts when I live in a city that has loads of Korean people in it, and I think it’s at least in part because I’m nervous about whether or not I’d be perceived as not being Korean enough, or whether or not I’d be looked down on for not knowing certain things, or not knowing more than a handful of Korean words. (I mean, all my experiences with first- and second-generation Korean-Americans have never indicated that this would be the case; to be honest, it’s been well-intentioned but misguided white people that have made me feel less than for not knowing my own culture.) I feel like I need someone to hold my hand through the experience, and to be honest I don’t really move in spaces where there are a lot of other Korean people, so…now I’m kind of reevaluating all that. So watch this space, I’m sure I’ll have more thoughts on this later!
  5. Anyway! I have thus far spent this weekend eating BLTs with farmers market tomatoes and jalapeño bacon from HEB (SO GOOD) and nursing a sinus headache that is probably related to this rain we’re getting. I’ve noticed that since Harvey last year I’m a little more skittish whenever it rains a lot, which I’m sure is the case for a lot of people in southeast Texas.
  6. I’m just going to leave you with this after all of this Korean angst:


thursday 13

This week: 13 things that you have been obsessed with at some point in your life.

  1. The musical Godspell–I was in it when I was in high school and I went pretty deep down the internet rabbit hole doing research. (There was a pretty epic production of it in the ’70s in Toronto that had Gilda Radner, Martin Short, Eugene Levy, Paul Shaffer, Victor Garber, and Andrea Martin in it, which I wish I had a time machine to go back and watch.)
  2. I freely admit that I know way too much about Hamilton.
  3. Thanks to my having watched the behind-the-scenes features on the extended edition DVDs, I know more about the props, costumes, and scenery in the Lord of the Rings movies than I do about American history, and that is a fact.
  4. For a Korean-American Protestant, I know a surprising amount about Jewish spiritual practices.
  5. I was super into Homestar Runner in high school and college, just like we all were.
  6. I definitely went through a serious U2 phase while I was in grad school. (Like, I own Boy and October kind of serious.)
  7. When I was a kid, I was super into Adventures In Odyssey (I still listened to it in high school, not even kidding).
  8. In early elementary school for some reason I got super into presidential trivia–to this day, I can name all of the presidents in order and can name off some super random facts about all of them. (Can I tell you about most of their policies? No, of course not.)
  9. I read all of the Little House on the Prairie books as a kid, multiple times. (I went back and read a couple as an adult a few years ago, and it is amazing just to think about all the stuff they had to do just to live. And yes, there are some super problematic racial things in there, so read with a grain of salt.)
  10. American Girl. (I grew up in the late ’80s and ’90s in a middle-class household in the United States; of course I was into American Girl.) I have read all of those books multiple times, too. And I had Kirsten, for the record.
  11. I binge-watched all of Lost during my second year of grad school and I am one of those weirdos that liked the ending.
  12. Still a pretty serious Whovian, although not the kind that goes super deep down the rabbit hole. (I haven’t seen any of the 1st-8th Doctors’ episodes, for example.)
  13. And of course Harry Potter, because I am a true millennial. I read Goblet of Fire instead of studying for my finals my sophomore year of college (and my grades kind of showed that…oops).

thursday 13

(kept forgetting to do these; it’s back now)

This week: 13 things you’re really into right now.

  1. My parish (*that’s my church’s parlance for small groups/home groups/community groups/whatever your church calls that) introduced me to a board game called Jokers and Marbles and I’m obsessed enough that I’m thinking about getting my own board so we can have tournaments. It’s pretty much just Sorry!, but…better somehow?
  2. I deleted all social media except for Instagram from my phone, and turned off access to Safari, and it’s GREAT. (It’s slightly annoying when someone texts me a link and I can’t open it, but other than that it’s been really good for my brain.)
  3. The Daily Liturgy Podcast–as a very audio-oriented person, I have found it really helpful.
  4. So we got new vending machines at work and they have Topo Chico in the plastic bottles in them, and I’ve been getting the Touch of Grapefruit flavor pretty much every day–I think I may be the only person buying them, but I’m so glad that they’re there. (We also have plastic bottle recycling at work, so I feel less bad about my habit.)
  5. A new podcast called No Chill Enneagram and it’s fantastic, y’all. Maybe not the place to go if you want to learn about the Enneagram–that’s what The Road Back to You is for–but if you’re deep down the rabbit hole and you want to stop weirding out the people around you, this pod is for you.
  6. I went to sleep before 9 o’clock the other night and it was GREAT.
  7. So Lin-Manuel Miranda (plus a couple of other folks from the Hamilton creative team) are doing a limited series about Bob Fosse and Gwen Verdon and I am HERE FOR IT.
  8. LMM is also going to direct a movie of the musical Tick, Tick…BOOM. My friend Hannah and I were musing that either Jonathan Groff or Jeremy Jordan is probably going to end up playing the lead, but maybe Santino Fontana from Crazy Ex-Girlfriend might? Or it’ll probably get cast with some upstart unknown guy? Either way, I really hope it’ll be good.
  9. The trivia quiz website Sporcle now has a showdown mode that lets you play against another person live, which is like crack for me. (There is a reason I went on Jeopardy and that is because it combines trivia with competition.)
  10. I switched a while back from the Apple Podcasts app (which is straight garbage, don’t @ me) to an app called Overcast, which is wonderful and free and I recommend it to you all.
  11. Another good thing for my brain: I don’t let my phone in my room (I charge it in my bathroom), and I’ve started using a little battery-operated alarm clock from Ikea. It’s actually really nice and easier for me to turn off my thoughts at night.
  12. Linda Holmes, who is a culture writer for NPR and host of the excellent podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour, recently got a dog named Brian. I love this because a) I love dogs with people names and b) Linda started an Instagram account for pics of Brian called primodogcontent, and I adore it. This is a particularly good recent post.
  13. Finally: This weekend the Revoice conference is happening and I’m really grateful for its presence and the witness of its organizers; they’ve received a great deal of criticism from both the right and the left, as is unfortunately to be expected, but they’re holding to their convictions and are carrying on. I have some friends who are there and I’m so stoked for them; I’m also looking forward to any audio that gets posted from it.