Saturday, December 31, 2005

The "Eves"

This year the eves of Christmas and New Years have crept up on me. I didn't realize it was New Years eve today until someone told me. I make plans for the different eves, and it's a big build up to the day/eve, only to not actually be the big festivity that you expect.

Is it me, or does everyone plan these elaborate eves, only to wake up and start a normal day? I think there's too much hubbub around these pre-celebratory holidays. It just doesn't make sense anymore to have set plans and go out and "party like it's 1999". What's the point? I probably won't make it until midnight. Can't I just celebrate tomorrow over breakfast and some coffee? I think this maybe a learned lesson for next year. Enjoy your time on the eves, but don't get all strung out over the planning. It's not really the big day, it's just the eve!

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Bargains! Specials! Discounts! Pills?

I was having an hour of mental rest in front of the
TV, when a rather bizarre commercial came on. I didn't look up right away, but I kept hearing only 89 cents! For a limited time offer only 89 cents! I look up, because I love a good bargain. To my dismay it was an add for some sort of vitamins. In my world, vitamins are an expensive commodity. However, these guys had them marked down to a mere 89 cents! (Although, the original price was only a buck anyway.)

Would anybody really want to buy something that you ingest for 89 cents? A twinkie, hostess, or a banana maybe, but not pills. I love a good bargain just as much as the next gal, but I don't mind paying a fair price for certain things, pills being one of them.

They can create many things cheaply now, but should they?

Next we might be seeing:

Contact Lenses - made with the cheapest plastic, they may not be flexible, but they're cheap!

Condoms - less effective by 95%, but they're discounted by 95% too!

Eye Glasses - made out of 100% recycled coke bottles

Black Market Kidneys - cow, horse, human? what's the difference, we're all mammals!

Pre-Owned Dental Floss - lightly used, and lightly flavored

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Case Solved!

I came home to find my roomie already settled in from his trip. We talked about the holiday, and his trip, and he was really laying on the accent. It was thicker than ever.

I continued to act oblivious to the fact that he was slipping in and out of a severe Minnesotan accent, and a twang of unknown origin. I didn't bring up his accent at all. Finally, he could stand it no longer. He burst out with "oh geez (very Minnesotan), I really have to get rid of this accent! (twang-ish) I can't stop talking like
this!" while slapping his forehead. I brushed it off like I hadn't noticed. I'm so mean.

A Case of the Counterfeit Accent

I just got a call from my roomie to check plans for the evening. He's been out of town for about a week visiting his relatives in the Lone Star State.

As I was talking to him, I noticed that some words he tried (rather poorly) to say with a ladened Southern drawl... I should preface by saying, he's from
small-town Minnesota, (tee-hee this picture fits him in so many ways) and is a MN native through and through. His Minnesooootan accent puts the movie Fargo to shame, it's that thick friends.

I just ignored his deplorable attempt at the drawl. He sounded like a back-woods-Loui'ville-hick, rather than a
silver buckle-wearing-Texan. It was almost funny, had it not been so atrocious.

As the conversation progressed, I could tell he was trying to get me to say something about his "cool-accent", because it was getting thicker and increasingly galling with each passing sentence. I hung up.

(I don't think he reads this, so that gives me liberty to post about him.) Oh roomie, I love you, you're funny. I should've said something about your lurid accent of unknown origin, but alas, I didn't. Oh well, maybe next time.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Holiday Hustle

Like many, I engaged in the 'holiday hustle' this weekend. What is the holiday hustle you say? Is it frantic last minute shopping? Is it the hustle and bustle of guests? Is it multiple parties and gatherings? Is it a new dance step? I'd say it's a mix of all of the above.

The weekend was filled with family traditions. My family has a rather lengthy Christmas tradition. It's hard to try to fit everything in, and still have time to sleep. We went to the Dayton's (yes, it will forever be Dayton's in my mind) display on Friday. We didn't get into our ritual dining place, The Oak Grill, because there was a 85-95 minute wait. Since we were all ready to gnaw our arms off, we moved on. We ended up at Snuffy's in Saint Paul. I thought it was pretty bad, but everyone else seemed neutral. On the upside, it was really cheap. (end family bonding day 1)

Then on Saturday we had a family portrait done. We haven't done one in years. My baby niece Keona was photogenic as usual, but it's hard to get 7 adults all looking in the same direction, with relatively normal expressions. We got one decent shot out of our 30 minute session. The girls-only shot turned out really good, not to say anything against the photo-worthy gents, it just happened to look half way decent. It's so hard to tell the quality in the little 1x1" displays that they show you. Hopefully we won't scream when we see the enormous 8x10's. Yikes, one can only

After the picture, we went out to eat, and them home to
bake cookies. It was fun, and my mom and grandma had their usual fudge making trauma. The pot full of boiling sugar, butter, and marshmallows boiled all over the stove and counter. Good thing they have a flat top. It was a mess.

After that, Brian and I exchanged gifts that were over the top, and very thoughtful. Then it was time to head back over to the house for Christmas Eve dinner (another family tradition). We had a meal entirely of hors'dourves. It was fantastic. After eating far more than we should've, it was off to church. (Talk about a
filled day!) (end too much family bonding day 2)

Bright and early Christmas morning we head over to the fam's house once more for stockings, breakfast, and gifts. (My favorite part.) Then we head over to Brian's fam's house for more gifts, dinner, and festivities. We're
pooped, so we head home. (end surprisingly happy family bonding day 3)

Monday was our day of saying goodbyes to parting friends, returning those unwanted Christmas gifts for something truly spectacular and taking time to see a fabulous movie. Memoirs of a Geisha was excellent. Go see it! That's all I'll say. That, and it's the largest gathering of Asians I've ever seen since the
Hmong party! (end lost time day 4)

I took a PTO day for Tuesday hoping it would give me time to recuperate. No such luck, another relative passed through town, so our little family head over to the depths of Minnetonka for the evening. A short trip turned into a 5 hour trip plus 1.5 hours of driving time. Although these were relatives we seldom see... wait... that would be all our
relatives... (end gruelling weekend day 5)

My sympathy goes out to all those who did the 'holiday hustle' this weekend. The remedy to fix copious amounts of family time? Coffee, sugar, comfort food, and other self-therapeutic activities.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Farewell Jacque

Well, inevitably the Twins lost Jacque Jones. I'm feeling a little depressed that the outfield trio is breaking up, but it's time Jones moved on. So, farewell Jacque, best of luck.

On a brighter note, 3 other Twins have been offered arbitration Lohse, Punto, and Cuddyer. I hope that Lohse settles in and has a more consistent year this time around, but I think he's a good asset to the team.

I'm also excited about the addition of
Rondell White to the team. I'm hoping he'll improve the Twins offense. We'll have to see!

Some times trades are needed regardless of stats and performance.
J.C. Romero was traded for Alexi Casilla, seemingly more for personal reasons than anything else.

Trading is always a stressful time, but I try not to worry myself with their decisions, staying out of it is better... I still like to peek from time to time. We'll see what kind of team we get for the next season. I have a feeling it's going to be more mixed around than years past, but only time will tell.

Apprehensive Anna?

Anna Netrebko is a soprano taking the world on by storm. I have yet to hear her music, but I've been reading about her innovative ideas.

She is a classically trained opera singer, and has sung all over the world, including at the Met. She is also doing something completely new, opera music videos. (How fantastic is that? You can hear all the great arias without the extra 3 hours of recitative!) She so accomplished at only 34 years of age.

Recently she was booked at
Carnegie Hall for her solo recital debut, but she postponed her appearance until a future season (aka not any time soon). She claims she's not ready for it... who's not ready for a little Carnegie after the big bad Met?!

It's hard work doing a recital. You're so
exposed with nothing to show, except for your voice, and yourself. Intimidating for even the most cultivated singers. Still, it sounds like she's pursuing her career in a different directions, maybe Carnegie Hall is too small for her great aspirations.

She's beautiful, and very accomplished. I plan on keeping tuned into her next venture.

Fashion Rantings

I have joined forces with another fashion savvy. All TV reviews, fashion gripes, and more about our new Bertachel line can be found at our new blog. Not for the kind-hearted. We're cruel, but we're right.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Christmas Games

I just aquired this game from my beloved friend, whom I get many "Fwd's from", Rob.

What will they think of next? This game's a winner folks!

(and much more pleasant to play inside on a computer, than outside where it's -239!)

Comfort Cookies

Inspired by mi amiga's blog about good old fashioned recipes, I decided to finally publicize my secret recipe. Everyone should bake it. I bet Atomizer will be in the kitchen tomorrow with this recipe in hand.
Here it is:

1 cup of dark brown sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
1 cup of granulated sugar
4 large eggs
2 cups of dried fruit, such as dried cranberries or raisins
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 bottle Jose Cuervo Tequila (silver or gold, as desired)

- Sample the Cuervo to check quality.

- Take a large bowl, check the Cuervo again, to be sure it is of the
highest quality, pour one level cup and drink.

- Turn on the electric mixer...Beat one cup of butter in a large fluffy

- Add one teaspoon of sugar...Beat again. At this point it's best to
make sure the Cuervo is still OK, try another cup.... just in case.

- Turn off the mixerer thingy. Break 2 leggs and add to the bowl and
chuck in the cup of dried fruit.

- Pick the frigging fruit off floor... Mix on the turner. If the fried
druit gets stuck in the beaterers just pry it loose with a drewscriver.

- Sample the Cuervo to check for tonsisticity.

- Next, sift two cups of salt, or something.

- Check the Jose Cuervo.

- Now shift the lemon juice and strain your nuts. Add one table. Add a
spoon of sugar, or somefink. Whatever you can find.

- Greash the oven. Turn the cake tin 360 degrees and try not to fall

- Don't forget to beat off the turner.

- Finally, throw the bowl through the window, FINISH the Cose Juervo and
make sure to put the stove in the dishwasher.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

The Audition!

I received a packet in the mail the other day from
North Carolina School of the Arts. Inside was a harsh brochure unlike any others that I've read before. Most brochures encourage students to come, and gives the impression that they would feel very welcome and at home. NCSA's brochure was designed for only the most persistent at heart. The front cover reads, "Tragedy. Torture. Death. Welcome to your first day at Fletcher." Inside, it repeats the same phrase again and again, "lots of hard work". "Lots of hard work" with great professionals, through "lots of hard work" you will develop many skills, this school is not just a school, but a professional institution where "lots of hard work" is expected, since "you'll spend every waking hour living the life of an opera professional", and so forth. Rather intimidating, but it makes it all the more exciting.

My goal a long time ago was just to get an audition with NCSA. In that promising packet was an offer to do just that. I now have been selected to audition at the Chicago location in February. It's nerve-wracking and terribly exciting all at once, and it's only December! I don't know if I'll make it until then! I have so much to do before then. The audition is a
grueling process with so many different aspects, that it's going to be hard to prepare for everything.

I'm trying not to get my hopes up, but it's hard not to set another goal of getting accepted. This school is amazing people. They have a very very exclusive cap on graduate voice students. (rumor has it, it's 4 tops, it says 12 on the website... hmmm) However, if you are admitted, you're incredibly well taken care of. All tuition and costs are paid for, a generous
stipend is given for you to live on, so you don't have to work outside of school, or worry about where your next rent check is coming from. Not to mention you study with the best in the business. You gain professional experience along with a quality education. It's a professional world with far more opportunities than if you were to go it alone, and you're paid for doing it. Who wouldn't want to give 1,000% of every day for that opportunity? It's what every musician strives for.

I still have yet to get my application into the
University of Minnesota, but I have a couple of weeks to put it together. I just hope I get in somewhere. I realize it's dangerous only applying to 2 places, but I wouldn't want to go any where else. So, kind of pointless to spend hundreds of dollars on applications, and more money on auditions, when I wouldn't go there. Maybe I'm just cheap.

Monday, December 19, 2005

MOBers Mobbing

I went to Keagan's Irish Pub party the other night hosted by the MOB (Minnesota Organization of Bloggers). I usually go as smiling/nodding gal number three, standing beside/behind Saint Paul, but this time I played a new roll. I have joined the mighty forces of the MOB! *gasp* It's true, don't cast judgment. Out of all the bloggers parties I've gone to (which isn't many) this one was more enjoyable than the rest. Maybe it was the bar, the people, the season, or maybe it's because this time, I was one of them. In any case, it was fun to meet and visit with everyone there.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

My Favorite Restaurant

I'm heading over to King's Fine Korean Cuisine tonight for dinner. I'm so excited I can hardly contain myself. I have only gone there once before, for my arrival anniversary this year. It was fabulous! Seeing as I'm Korean, I consider myself a worthy judge of Korean cuisine... despite the fact that I've lived here my whole life and I've had Korean food less times than I've eaten Mac & Cheese, I still give myself the right to critique.

You must go to this place. We didn't stay for the Korean karaoke that takes place at 9pm, and I won't be able to witness that tonight either, but someday I'll hear all those Korean mom's singing their little hearts out in Korean.

At our first visit, the people that walked in with me were the only white people there. I swear I've never seen these people before in my life, I don't know how Saint Paul ended up there, he must've been lost. It struck me as odd that they were in the minority. If you walk into a typical Chinese restaurant, you mostly see chubby white people chowing down, and maybe 1-2 Chinese families (if you're at a good place, like the Ho Ho Gourmet). Not the case at Kings! I have never seen more Koreans in one place, since Korean culture camp. It's kind of fun, and odd.

Regardless, it's a really great place, and I loooooove their beef bulgogi (which says a lot because I don't really eat meat). Everything was good. I look forward to another bowl of Miso soup, and their little dishes, and the kim-chee. In the words of Rachael Ray, "YUMMM-O!"

Thursday, December 15, 2005

The Geriatric Ward

Today I feel old and senile. Actually, most days I feel like that...

I woke up, after a non-restful night of sleep, feeling confused about where I was. I got out of bed, and I had to think about what I was going to do next. My bladder gave the instructions.

I finally made it to work without any major
mishaps along the way. We're having a big potluck today at work, and I was sampling some of the dishes, and deciding which ones to load up on, when I drooled. Yes, I drooled. Was it the smell of appetizing food? Was it from the lack of saliva control? Who knows, but it happened. Next, in my typical fashion, I tipped a can of soda to drink, only to wear what I was supposed to ingest. Hmmm maybe I need feeding assistance.

I think that my disintegrating joints/muscles/mind should take precedence over any feeding turmoil. My
icy hot is running low, and my joint stiffness is at an all time high. It's the cold weather I tell you! My hips make a rather unsettling crack if I move after being idle for more than a few minutes. Hopefully they'll stay intact a few years longer, but "it can turn into a life threatening illness". I may start my own support group, with a bonus of icy hot with your first visit.

In any case, not just the "elderly" are suffering the effects of age, so don't inflict your
ageism on me!

The Barbie Pièce de Résistance

Last night was another great show for Project Runway. The challenge was to create a life size Barbie ensemble for the model, and then miniaturize it to fit Barbie. My favorite designer, Nick, won! He had such a great design, it was fun, youthful, and looked like something you would actually see on Barbie.

There were lots of snide comments and
dirty looks (namely Santino) taking place in this episode. I wonder if it's boiling up to have an all out brawl the next episode. Perhaps between Lupe and Kara? Or maybe the size of Santino's ego? Or Andrae's emotional tendencies? Developing... The commercials imply as such, but you can never tell with under-rested and competitive designers, or with half-starved models. They're a dangerous bunch. I love it all!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

A Sublime Show

If you have never seen the Rockettes, it's time you did. They have been coming to the Twin Cities for the past few years. I went the other year, and it was phenomenal. It's a great family show that gets everyone in a festive mood.

They're amazing performers that deliver every show. It's a lot of work performing and even being cheerful. You try wearing a never ending grin and dancing "4 shows a day, 28 shows a week, 365 days a year for more than 50 years"! I bet you wouldn't be as enthusiastic as they are.

They go through a rigorous audition with certain qualifications that wouldn't fit the majority:

"ROCKETTES must be between 5' 6" and 5' 10-½" tall
(measurements will be taken). Rockette candidates must
be proficient in jazz and tap."

"MALE and FEMALE DANCERS must be proficient in
jazz and ballet. All FEMALE DANCERS must work en pointe
for CAA shows. If you also sing, please bring sheet music
to the audition."

to prepare an uptempo song and a ballad in their key
for the audition. No recorded music is allowed. Please
be prepared to dance."

"There are NO EXCEPTIONS to any of the role requirements
listed on this website. If you DO NOT FIT any of these requirements,
unfortunately there are no roles available for you"

As if getting a gig as a performer wasn't hard enough! I'm surprised they have such loose height standards. In the show I attended, every single Rockette was within an inch of each other. Although I suppose it limits the talent when you cut the height standard to within an inch. My guess is that they have different companies for people of similar (identical, really) height.

They move in exact unison with a perfection that is almosI in-human. Everything about the Rockettes performancimpeccablecable. The costumes and stories they do are just magnificent. I can't think of another company that is comparable in any way to the Rockettes. They're in a league of their own, and you shouldn't miss it for the world!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Handel's Messiah

If you haven't gone to a Christmas concert yet, and especially if you didn't go to mine, make sure you attend some sort of music performance. If you still aren't up for some holiday cheer, and would rather spend your time inside, there's still ways to bring great music to you.

The internet is an amazing thing. There are sites you can visit to
listen to Handel's Messiah. Who knew!? Not only that, but while you listen, you can also read about said work. It's a beautiful thing.

I'm assuming most of you have heard a bit of Handel's Messiah, namely the Hallelujah Chorus. And I'm sure all of you
stand no matter where you are when you hear it. King George II stood when he first heard it, and so that means everyone else must too. There are many stories as to why he stood, some say because he was so moved by the work that he couldn't help but rise, others say it's because he thought the concert was over and he stood to leave.

I won't pass judgment on King George II, the fact remains, he stands, everyone stands. However, if you look at the point in which the infamous chorus is heard, it's at the end of the second section, which should be the stopping point for Christmas, but
no! Handel writes more! The third section is more appropriate for Easter, not Christmas. So, maybe King George II was understandably confused.

It's great tradition and
score make it a must listen for the holidays. After all it is an Oratorio. Where else can you get that sort of musical drama? Have a listen, stand at the chorus, and enjoy!

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Our Favorite Honorary Member

Our Vocal Essence choir director, Philip Brunelle was made an honorary member of the Order of the British Empire last week. We found out at Tuesday's rehearsal, and didn't really know what it entailed, and were asked not to talk very publicly about it until the British Empire made its announcement. So, after the ceremony took place and it came out in the papers, I realized what a big deal this all was. It's quite a big honor for a non-British citizen. Since he isn't British, we don't need to call him Sir, or some other title, but we'll call him His Honorary Member for kicks.

The ceremony was top notch. Philip said it was filled with decadence and class throughout the entire process. He was picked up from the airport in a
Rolls Royce to set the tone, at the awarding they had guards in their Beefeater-like suits, even the medal was presented on a little pillow. It can't get any more formal than that!

So, a big congratulations to Philip in his accomplishments in music. They've been great and abundant. We're proud of our Philip.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

My Holiday Spirit is Dwindling

I love the holiday season with its lights, the shows, the snow, the cheer, and the holiday concerts. With another 2 concerts left, and 3 behind me, it's getting harder and harder to muster up a surplus of good cheer to pass onto others that come each performance to bring in their holiday season. It's easy to let the things around you instill the spirit of Christmas, but how do you become that entity that helps bring it in for others? It's beginning to feel forced and tiresome to do. I know I'll feel differently as soon as I step on stage, it's the process of getting there in an non-scrooge state that I'm having difficulty with.

Many talk about the
commercialism of Christmas to the point of it not being a religious holiday anymore, but I never had a problem with it before, until now. Is it just the people involved in "spreading good cheer" that are tired of the excessiveness of Christmas? Or are the Joe's on the street tired of the festivities as well? Why am I suddenly filled with crabbiness this week? Sales, donations, Santa's, decorations, and window displays have taken place for so long, that it wouldn't "feel" like the holiday's without them.

While writing this out, I realize that I'm being incredibly selfish. I was content to let others fill me with the holiday spirit, and yet I'm being grumpy in helping others. This weekend I think I lost the true meaning of Christmas. Good thing I caught it before tonight's concert! Over indulge! Spend lots! Spread good cheer! Have a very happy holiday!

Friday, December 09, 2005

I heart My Geo

I really do love my Geo. I just want to get that out there before I proceed. I got the estimate back on my little '94 Geo Prism's damage. $700 to replace the entire steering unit. Apparently when I was on the evil road, and I had my love tap, it bent the wheel, and I'd have a get an entirely new steering unit. After that was replaced, then they would have to realign it. BUT after all is said and done, it might have a bend in the frame that they wouldn't know about until after the afore mentioned is fixed. Which would mean another repair and another cost. If only I were rich...

I have come to a decision. I will repair it, but I think it's time to let my Geo go. *cue strings* I would rather have it go to a good home now, rather than wait until it's on its last leg. I can afford to get a new/used car at the moment, but once I'm a student, my finances will be tied. I will get my "I heart My Geo" t-shirt, drive my little car until I find another owner, then turn it in. It's a sad day folks. I feel like such a traitor.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Casting Judgment On the People

Last night was the 2 hour season premiere of Project Runway. I loved every minute of it. There were more people recognized, but fortunately they eliminated 2 people in the first hour because it was a semi-final. (I was beginning to wonder how I was going to remember all those names with my old-timers memory.) Then they had the regular show eliminating one on the first challenge. It was juicy, and I'm picking who I'm going to root for, and who I'm going to despise. I'm sure my opinions will change, but here are my initial judgments.

To know what the competition was, and to find other items of interest on the people I cast judgment on, go to
Project Runway. (I sound like a walking advertisement...)

Heidi - a Southern girl without a lot of charm. I thought I would need to have the rusty spoons on hand every week, but fortunately she didn't even make it to the finals. Way to high strung. Down girl!

John - I thought he was going to be the next Jay... except for the fact that he wasn't good. He didn't make it to the final either.

Kirsten - She seemed like too big of a diva, and more into herself rather than fashion. She was eliminated on the first challenge.

Santino - He won the semi-finals challenge. His designs are very innovative and has an earthiness about them. However, I think he's just a bit too earthy. Maybe the second challenge should be a shave and a shower...

Chloe - I love her already. She's creative, has clean lines, and her clothes all look very polished. I'm rooting for this one.

Emmett - He's a Parsons pick, and I think he'll be a favorite. He does everything perfectly. He seems like a real perfectionist. Love him now, but we'll see if he turns to evil. He's rather serious.

Zulema - When she first presented herself, I thought she was the next Kara Saun. BUT I think she might have an ego that's too big for her britches. Hopefully she'll learn you have to earn your confidence.

Kara - She's kind of a wall-flower. Her designs are nice, and she does ok, but she hasn't come out of the woodwork yet.

Nick - Love him love him LOVE him! He's edgy, he knows what he's doing, and I think that his style is right for now. I'll be watching for him at New York fashion week!

Marla - Is she going to be the next Wendy Pepper? She seems too nice to be Wendy. However, their fashion background and style seem to line up. I'm holding hatred until a later date.

Raymundo - He had some cute ideas, and they were well executed, but like wall-flower Kara, nothing truly popping. I do get a sense that he'll break away from the pack at a later time. This one has potential.

Diana - Let's face it folks, this one's an odd duck. She's very innovative, but really nerdy. She needs a make-over stat! I think she's going to have issues with time. She likes to have things well researched, but they only have a day to make these clothes.

Daniel F - I can't believe he's back. He got voted off the first challenge on the first season. He makes very tailored clothes, but I don't think his staying power is that great. He'll be one of the last to go for ratings, but other than that...

Daniel V - He makes boring clothes. So far, I'm not very impressed. They're not daring enough to be deemed hideous, but they're not very polished or cutting edge.

Andrae - This guy is over the top. He needs to keep the tears in check when they ask him to offer further explanation. Check out his audition video. I don't have sound, but I can't imagine it adds that much. It pretty much speaks for itself.

Guadalupe - I think this will be the trouble maker. She already walked around critiquing everyone's work on the first day. Her designs are cluttered and not well executed. She's my least favorite, personality and designer-wise. Yuck.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

The Evil Road

I have a certain emotional attachment to my car, lovingly referred to as the Rachel Train. Despite that I may not change the oil, bathe her on a regular basis, use a fresh battery, realize she's not a submarine, or give her the love and attention she needs, she treats me so well, and never has a gripe or complaint. I could never desert my beloved Geo Prism.

The Train has taken a few love
bumps along the way. Yes, I finally gave her a new battery after it sucked the last bit of life out of a 17 year old one. It was a quick replacement, then she was good to go. Then, I prepared her for a long-distance road trip to Colorado. I changed the oil and gave her a tune up. Her windshield wipers broke from the dryness of Colorado (maybe I should get new ones.. it's been 1-1/2 years...) but they work well enough. She was a dream all the way out and all the way back averaging about 38 miles to the gallon. However, I failed to change her oil again until many months later, (so much for 3k miles, or even 10k!)...oops.

Another close call from the big storm a few months ago when all the roads flooded: It was dark, and I didn't see the massive ocean accumulating on the entrance ramp to 36. (They closed that road minutes after.) So, I was driving along rather slowly because the traffic was backed up due to the flooding I was unaware of, then SWOOSH! I'm
underwater and it's lapping at my windows. I know I can't stop, and fortunately there was a break in traffic, so I go for it. I'm flustered but keep driving. As I turn on to my road home I notice that both sides of the road are littered with stalled cars. After gawking, I turn to the front and notice the SUV in front of me disappear. It had gone so far underwater that it's tail lights weren't visible anymore. I didn't have time to stop, so I went for it. This time it was so deep that I could feel the RT floating a bit, it bobbed, and somehow pulled out of the depths of the sea. Not even a sputter folks. That's true love. Granted it had water lodged in its doors for the longest time (I think that there's still water, frozen, inside), but it lives on.

Last week my car and I met the evil road. This road has it out for us. The other week I was driving to work as usual, and they had been doing
repairs on this road, and it's been completely blocked off minus a one-car opening, but this time they had paved it, and there were no barricades. There was snow covering in it, and I thought it was finished. Silly me! Apparently they didn't do a very good job of tar laying, because it all sank and left a foot deep trench. I hit it going about 25mph. Ouch. My car wiggled a little bit, but pulled through yet again. My alignment was slightly off, but nothing to worry about. Today was a different story. There's a bend in this road, and I was going about 10mph, and as I'm turning I start to slip, so I braked a bit. Nothing happened. It was in slow motion because I was going under 10mph, and I realize I'm going to hit the guard rail... I did. It was a slight thunk, but my airbag didn't deploy, and I wasn't too worried. So I get out to look at the damage. There's a scrape on the corner of my front bumper (no biggie), and the far left headlight got knocked out. I tried to stick the headlight on, but the plastic tabs were broken. (I find it amazing how much of a car is made of plastic, why don't they use something more indestructible?) I get back in and decide to deal with it later. As I proceed my car is slipping all over the road, and I figure the "evil road" is quite icy today. I pull on the main road, and my car is still out of control. The alignment was so loose and out of whack that it was not drivable. Whatever I knocked loose the first time, must have gotten finished off when I hit the rail.

Now I'm without my trusty
companion for 2 days. From this day forward, I will take good care of my car. I will always look out for its well-being. I won't ever cause it grief again. My poor car.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

My TV Show Devotion

With the ever busy mornings, afternoons, evenings, and nights, I rarely have time to plunk down in front of the TV and veg. Much less keep up on with a television series. However, I choose one show at a time (if there's one worth watching) to keep up with. Last year I stumbled upon Project Runway. It was the greatest show on TV. I was a devoted fan every week, and even watched the marathons with nostalgia (even though I had already watched every episode). Sad? No, it's my favorite show.

The premise is simple enough to follow (without prior knowledge), yet it has enough twists to make it juicy. There are designers (
some are debatable), models, Heidi Klum, and blunt judges. What more could you want? The designers are given a challenge/guidelines each week, they design an ensemble to best reflect the challenge, and themselves. At the end of each episode is a runway show with each of their designs on their chosen model. They're judged without the screaming teens booing every criticism (as so often seen on competition shows), and someone wins and someone loses. Other than the incredible designs, it's all what happens outside of the show that makes it all worth while.

So, for those of you who love
fashion and quarrels over "artistic differences", this show is a must see. Anyone who's involved in the arts knows how brutal a world it can be. Your work isn't just your work, it's a reflection upon you as a person. When your whole career is riding on making that (you) worthwhile, it makes for some quality television.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Cuddyer's Switch

I love Cuddyer, I think that he's charming, adorable, and always gives a good effort. Granted he didn't quite live to expectations of the season, but he's a good member of the team. He has a lot of potential to step into his own, and become a great player.

He's been switched all over the field since he first joined the Twins. Now it looks like he might make another
move. One that I'm not so sure of. He might turn into the Twins DH. Maybe I'm optimistic, but I would like him to stay in the field and show he's a great asset to the Twins. He does well at the plate, but it seems like they could utilize him more elsewhere. Who knows who else we'll get in the draft? Luis Castillo joined last Friday, which was quite a catch. I guess we'll just have to see who else we draft.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

WASP? ... ASP? ... P?

I had a wonderful time with old friends yesterday on a trip down memory lane, aka highway 169. We were on the way to Christmas in Christ Chapel at our alma mater, Gustavus Adolphus. The alumnus all mobbed together in a pew and listened as the orchestra and choirs rang in the Christmas season.

On a side note, for those who are unfamiliar with the vast diversity at Gustavus, they are now up to a "
7% Student of Color", from the 2% when I was there. I'm guessing as a Korean adoptee, I contributed to the 2%.) It's a college with a strong Swedish orientation, and that was made obvious by the audience clad in their Nordic sweaters. It was great, just like old times.
The concert title was "
Ageless Visions of a Timeless Moment". Also very classic Gustavus. There were the traditional Lutheran hymns sung, works done by the typical private liberal arts college, all done beautifully. There's always a "cultural" piece, this time it was a gospel that spiced up the night. As they bust out in exuberance to Go Tell it On the Mountain, Missy leans over to me, and says, we shouldn't sing gospel, we're WASP's. Then she turns to me and says, well not you, you're just an ASP. We do the quiet laugh and the concert goes on.

Later I head over to Brian's house, to relay the happenings of the night. I mention the gospel piece (it was a highlight for me, and all who witnessed it), and ask exactly what a WASP was (Gustavus neglected to teach that), he explained. I said, apparently I'm an ASP. He says, you can't even be an ASP, you're just a Puh. He
rained on my parade. My heart goes out to all you P's, who aren't part of the elite WASP crowd, or even a lowly ASP. My life summed up in a verbal sound. I'm a puh...

Friday, December 02, 2005

Still Alive

I made it to rehearsal last night. I still have hair. However, I have a new found hatred for yahoo maps. They lie!

Rush hour wasn't too bad. Granted I averaged about 20 mph on I-35, but at least I wasn't sitting there stopped, beating my head against the steering wheel. All was seemingly well, the holiday music was playing, the traffic was moving, and I had good directions telling me where to go. I then saw signs for Edina and cheered (that's how directionally impaired I am, I'm happy if I'm in the right city). I took my exit, and I missed my first turn, but no big deal, I had plenty of time and I saw where I was supposed to turn. So, I turn around and head down the road. Then I came to a 6 way intersection with
mangled street signs. I stop, and really look, and I finally see the street I want in the raised scraps of metal. Huzzah! I continue on. I drive rather far, considering the map say 0.2 miles, (I think I went about 3). So, I turn around and drive up the other way thinking I missed this massive church. After 20 minutes of roaming these streets, I accept that I'm once again lost. I go back to the cross section where it steered me clear and thought real hard... if I were a church, where would I hide?

I look around, and I see a giant
cross across the highway. Ahah! Found it! God doth provideth. So, yahoo maps forgot to mention a few turns, a few streets, and you know, put me on the right side of the highway!! Good thing I left with an hour and a half time limit. I got there in exactly that. So, ya'll know what to get me for Christmas... a GPS navigation system!

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Rush Hour

I thought I would post in my last few sane minutes before I have to hit the road for another Vocal Essence rehearsal. Our rehearsal is down in Edina, and seeing as I'm coming from Stillwater, it's going to be a painful haul. The distance doesn't bother me, it's the rush hour traffic. I'm allotting myself an hour and a half, and if I'm not there by then, I'll just pull over and lay down in the middle of I-35. So, adieu my friends, this might just be my last post with hair.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

A Replaced Face

I feel very lucky to live in a world where there are medical break-throughs happening every day. Many people benefit from experimental, or new technologies. There are some that I'm not so sure about.

I saw the headline "
Doctors Give Woman a New Face" on the Star Tribune website. I'll let you read, and come to your own conclusions.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Life's Changes

There are so many times in life when changes, big, small, bad, good, expected, or unexpected happen. I think it's each of these changes, and the choices we make regarding them, that really says who we are. It's those alterations in life that makes us an individual.

Making choices regarding those life changes are always difficult. It's a balance between your heart and head. What truly would make you happy? What do you want out of your life? Some believe you live a destined life that was predetermined for you, and can do nothing to change it. I believe in fate, but I also believe that the choices you make really determines your destiny.

I like to let things simmer in my head before I really pull out thoughts to think about. I find my subconscience has a remarkable organizing system, and if I let it just sit there, I can pull out a more logic thought process. Maybe that's why I'm also the person who writes all at once, going from a paper with scribbles and notes covering it... (aka a very rough outline) to the final paper. I'm not one to go back and edit. I hope I'm not like that in life. Sure, we all have our regrets, but we all have something that we know was good in our lives.

Nobody can expect their lives to proceed without change. Everyone gets a little ruffled when they do come, but inevitably they always pop up. I also think they happen for a reason. You just have to take it in stride, and decide who you are, and who you want to become.

*cue moving/inspirations song*
Hit it Jo Dee!
"That's the Way"