Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Don't tell me, show me.

The Smiling Face at the Johnson Museum, Cornell University, Ithaca
Don't be all talk.  Walk the talk.  
Fitting saying since I missed posting yesterday (it was inevitable).... But the point of this post is not just that.  Lately I find it extremely disheartening and scary to find people who talk about change but don't put it to action.  In terms of faith, it really scares me to think that people inside the church will be the people most blind to the reality of their state.  Dad and I were talking about Joel Olsteen (the health-and-wealth preacher from Texas) and in an effort to capture the attention of his audience, he (as well as countless of other pastors) have talked about the good side of the gospel.  Yes God blesses us.  And yes, relationships and serving others are quite important.  But at the central of the gospel, we see how God's love for the undeserving has transformed our own notion of any sort of good deeds or moral standards.  The talk is no longer the moral standard when Jesus is in the picture because the gospel is too radical for that to be the main subject.  The main subject is God loved and chose to save us from our hopeless state of sin.

To have a truly meaningful life means to give everything up. Soul food for thought this week...

Monday, January 24, 2011


Sculpture at the Johnson Museum - Cornell University, Ithaca

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.  Ecclesiastes 3:10-12
Crying is therapeutic and makes you feel human.  Today I got scared of waiting on med schools - anxiety kicked in, emotions choked me.  Maybe it was the long day at work, the readiness to leave the 9 to 5 work schedule, the longing to finally be where I want to be.  Waiting is hard and trusting is harder.


Sunday, January 23, 2011

Game over: Packers versus Steelers

Penny jar on my desk, Home

Had a perfect sunday composed of being reminded of reality after listening to Pastor Dwight, catching up with friends and window shopping with my sister as it is her last weekend before finishing her second college year.  My sister is really awesome btw.  I'm gonna miss her.  But now I can start going to the gym since I won't be tempted to be eating with her in front of the tube when I come home from work. I downgraded recently to a cheaper gym (24 hours!).  Should I feel safe if the first thing they show are the "emergency" buttons just in case any criminals come into the gym?  Not that I live in the projects or anything but do you really want to tell your members "don't let strange men in. carry your cellphone with you at the treadmill. carry this with you if you can't reach an emergency button." ?

Btw, Steelers are killing the Jets right now (23-0).  Taylor just tackled the QB and they got the fumble!! Oh my OH MY.  And I have to say.... GO PACKERS!!!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Hopeless romantic

Frozen winter stalks, Home
Watched the 1989 classic movie, Say Anything, and fell in love with the young John Cusack again.  Not to be a huge cheeseball but there's something about the famous boombox scene that gets to me.  Maybe, just maybe, I'm a hopeless romantic under the "I don't care" facade.  There's something about Lloyd Dobler's irresistible character, that long tacky trench coat and lovesick expression that keeps that scene replaying over and over even after 20 years. Sigh.

On another note, looks like I'm going to Latin America this summer - destination soon to be known !!!  Literally the email went like this: "Based on your language skills, we have no reservations offering an ambassadorship in Latin America."  Are you kidding me??

Friday, January 21, 2011

Sword to heart

Sky view, White Clay Creek State Park DE
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this; to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted from the world. - James 1:27 -

To be part of the world but not polluted by it.  How does that look like?  Soul food from bible study today...

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Eating seven sofas and two chairs in a lifetime

Square 1682: Happy Hour, Philadelphia
So I was watching this Discovery Health show yesterday called My Strange Addiction because I was switching channels from that creepy TLC show Toddlers and TiarasIt's about these people who have major issues from their past and it's manifested in crazy ways like some woman is addicted to eating sofa stuffing (she still is), another girl eats chalk non-stop and another wears furry animal costumes ever since her dad passed away.  It's funny how the world works, how we deal with our problems that we keep pushing down.  I really wonder about the amount of denial it takes to cope.  How much control you need to feel sane again.  I never really had an extremely traumatic experience like that.  But I realized that it takes a lot of courage to face things the way they are.  Real courage and sometimes you don't have the strength.  I'm learning more that a lot of times, part of moving on is accepting things the way they are.

By the way, if you want to see some people with truly major issues, just watch the parents on Toddlers and Tiaras. That show is just plain scary to me. It might be because I'm scared of dolls...

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Don't be vulnerable to stalkers!

So there is a site called that's a new online USA phone book but it also posts a lot of other information like your pictures on FB, your approximate credit score, home value, income, age.  Remove yourself by searching your name, copy the URL of your page, click on Privacy (which is a tiny footer at the bottom of the page) to remove yourself.  Copy and re-post so your friends are aware!

This totally creeped me out....

Today I discovered a new recipe and realized I make a mean maple chocolate chip scone!  I'm not very modest about my baking.

The Schuykill River while walking to Rittenhouse, Philadelphia

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Por favor, debes hablar español nunca

I'm in round three interviews with FIMRC's Ambassador program - which sends 10 lucky people to one of their clinical sites to essentially implement their own health project (I'm making it sound like some sort of sweepstakes but it's not!)  So the last interview is all in spanish and I was banging my head for putting Spanish as a language I am proficient in because clearly I'm not.  Picture this, my interviewer tells me to relax because he hears the nervousness in my voice but my god, I'M NERVOUS.  I don't even sweat that much when I run.  He was luckily very encouraging and patient but I realized if I get sent to Peru, this Rosetta Stone crap is not going to cut it.  I need to make some amigos de Espanol quick.  Sigh.  Results to come....

Praying for good news!

Beautiful graffiti, New York City

Monday, January 17, 2011

The little girl lurking inside of me

Innocent play, Lewes Beach, DE
Today I realized I can be awfully good at holding grudges against people.  Sometimes I think, when did I turn 5 again??  But thank God there are people in my life who have patience with me during those times.  I'm thankful for my mom and sister even if we have our differences (I didn't forget the whole thankfulness thing! although I've been a slacker).

In other news, it's snowing...again.  Seriously??! I'm ready to wear skirts and tank tops now please.  No mas.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Not everything is lost

Winter fire
Truly I say to you unless you turn and become like children you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.  Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven." - Matthews 18:3-4 - 

Patience with yourself must come before patience with others...

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The story behind the mask

New York City
Drove up to my coworker's house this morning to start interviewing for her biography.  Sitting in her living room while she poured her heart out.  I was stunned by the amazing events that took place in her life.  All the pain and hardship she went through and it made me think...the most interesting people have the most interesting past.  There's always a reason for why people are the way they are.  It's your choice whether you want to know the story or not. 

Friday, January 14, 2011

Waiting is hard

Joey the king, Home
It is 5:30 pm and I'm still at work! If I could paint a picture of my brain, it would look like a dried prune. I'm ready to go home... but here I am being the workaholic that I am.  Writing out my letter of recommendation for my boss to send to schools.

I'm ready to go to school now.. I'm so ready to be done. Oh dear, I said it.

I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you. - Matthews 17:20

Thursday, January 13, 2011

You so joe

University City Station, Philadelphia
I'm sitting here in the kitchen munching on Nilla wafers which really makes me crave banana pudding. Today was a busy day at work - being pulled in all different directions. I feel like an elastiband sometimes. At the same time, I'm very grateful because I've been put in charge of two first-author publications and my coworkers and I have a blast busting on Kenny G music, learning new slang phrases (which is what the title is) and debating whether Tyler Perry is gay.

I'm also very much looking forward to a 3-day weekend starting to write a book with my coworker, cafe hopping with friends and getting some spa therapy with my sister. Mr. King you're the bomb dot com.

Wow I killed that box of Nillas... *stares down at bump in stomach*

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Haiti's one year anniversary

The movie set for Steven Spielberg's War of the Worlds, Universal Studios CA
So I had to put the baking on hold because surprise surprise, the world is not ending and I could go to work today! It was a disappointing 2 inches of snow on the ground.

Today is the one year anniversary since Haiti's devastating earthquake. I went to a seminar today on the work that is being done there - job creation, health services, sanitation. The latter was quite interesting because a woman involved in a unique non-profit called SOIL (Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods) talked about toilets and poop for a good 30 minutes. It was pretty ironic since they were serving free lunch at this thing. All this made me think about global health and how big the world is, how privileged I am to have health care, a job, and food. Yes our unemployment rate isn't so hot right now but a 9% unemployment rate can't be compared to a 55% unemployment rate. A infant mortality of 8 per 1000 live births can't be compared with 64 per 1000 live births.

Often when hearing such numbers, it's easy to feel disconnected but if you have some heart left, what you hear and see will affect you. Let's not forget.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

I need a tan

Winter 2009, back porch
After living in California, I appreciate something about the four seasons. I guess it's just that you need a little cold to appreciate the summer and vice versa. Looking out the window it's looking like a snow day is nicely lined up for tomorrow. Working from home is pretty much not working at all so I should just give up no? Perhaps I'll make this instead.

Summer 2010, Lewes Beach DE

Monday, January 10, 2011

Eyes wide open

Skyline view of Manhattan with traveling plane (the blue dots), Jersey City
Found out my boss is pregnant today! I can't believe I didn't notice the bump but scrubs certainly do a good job of covering that. I've decided this will be my go-to outfit once I have kids. I've also decided I will carry a box of chocolates with me at all times. Stress-o-meter at work has been off the charts lately especially now that I have a deadline! Even so, I decided not to bring work home. It's a habit from college and the workaholic mentality but it's important to be at your best at work and be at your best at home. I'm (very slowly) learning the value of that.

I got a good chunk of reading done on the train today.  Currently: Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man. I'm only on chapter 3 but this motif of blindness is prevalent. People certainly choose to be blind to things and the reason why classics become classics is because it still resonates with people today. Blindness is often thought of something that is afflicted on someone but it is also something we choose. It is most dangerous when someone is lured under facades of human kindness and smiles. We choose to see the good and leave the ugly parts out. I hope you know what I'm talking about, if you don't, you probably just think I'm neurotically psycho. Discernment is necessary and that I am still learning but as we go through life, we must discern!

Sunday, January 9, 2011


Exposed roots, White Clay State Park, DE
The verse in service today really struck home for me: James 1:19-20. Everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God.

First thing I heard sitting in service today and I chuckled because it really couldn't get any more relevant. After prayer and some self-reflection, I've come to the conclusion that there is no weakness in forgiveness. It is actually the opposite of weakness.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Hey buddy, you're on fire

Took this while standing in line for the MOMA, New York City
I really feel like this bus today. I'm smoking from the back and I don't even know it. You can surprise yourself you know. You realize you've been on freaking fire and the whole time, nobody had the decency to tell you. It also drives me absolutely crazy when someone who hasn't spoken with you or asked "how are you doing lately?" come up to you and tell you what is wrong with you. To have someone tell you that your future spouse will have to deal with this, this and this about you.  No. That I cannot listen to. Good bye. 

I don't know what I'm thankful. I don't have it in me today.

Complete sidenote but people become too emotionally invested in facebook. Something about looking at all the glamorous things your friends do. It's frightening the time we waste. Oh wait, this is starting to sound familiar..

Friday, January 7, 2011

Dali and my ballpoint pen

Verbal therapy with my favorite cup filled with hot tea, Home
I'm thankful for my quiet moments at home when my soul is processing the events of the week with a familiar song playing in the background.  When I can sit down and really not worry about time or my checklist for the day.  When I can curl up on the couch with the dog and let my mind wander for a bit while looking out the window. When I can cook and bake and mess up and try again.  Can you tell I'm looking forward to my weekend??

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Raw words and wine

Lounging around Rittenhouse Square
I'm thankful for friends who know how to challenge and encourage me. Nothing beats having a much-needed heart-to-heart with a close friend. Unless it's a heart-to-heart over a nice bottle of red wine..ooh and cupcakes!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The NICU diaries

So I spent most of the day in the NICU today finding ways to reduce distractions so nurses make less errors. While desperately trying to stay awake that early in the morning, sipping my coffee and speaking with the nurses, I found out an interesting fact: Pertussis (also known as "whooping cough") has been on the rise especially in neonates this past year. I watched as nurses rushed in and out of a pertussis patient's room as his stats dropped and the patient was bagged to keep him breathing. Mind you, this was also the same room where the past two perfectly healthy full-term babies had died from whooping cough. The mom was emotional during rounds. Doctors admitted options were running out. It was all a bit heartbreaking to watch.

You'd think pertussis vaccinations in the 1940's would have nearly eliminated this disease but unfortuantely, it seems like it's still lurking around. Of course the highest incidents occur in infants less than 6 months but kids over 7 are also contracting this contagious disease as their vaccine wears off. All this made me think of how much we still need to understand in medicine. So with that said, I am thankful for this job because I've gotten so many opportunities and experiences that sure beats learning from a textbook.         

The dream team: introducing.... Batman, the Incredible Hulk, Aquaman, Captain America, Bumblebee and some other grey robot, My coworker and I collect action figures at our cubicles. We are very serious about it.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A Pouty Heart

My elementary school solar system diagram magnified, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Make sure you have people in your life that make you appreciate what you have in life, instead of making you envious of what you don't have. Lately my ungrateful heart has been quite pouty. I'm seeing what I don't have instead of all that I've been given. It is a combination of pride and envy and boy is it ugly. And God don't like ugly (this is actually a bestselling book according to my coworker). It's this funk that I'm in and with the new year, this is not where I wanted to be. Hence this week I plan to post the things that I am thankful for - one-by-one. If I don't, I might transform into a cold-hearted robot. Beep. Beep. Boop.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Hope for the Cézannes of the World

Rush hour on the Interstate, South Street Philadelphia
There are two types of geniuses - conceptual and experimental - according to David Gelnson, an economist at the University of Chicago. Conceptual geniuses start with a clear idea of where they want to go and then they execute. Simple enough. Experimental geniuses, on the other hand, have imprecise goals and their procedure is tentative and incremental. They typically believe that learning is a more important goal than making a finished product. The French Post-Impressionist painter, Paul Cézanne, paved the way between 19th century Impressionism and radical 20th century Cubism, becoming a father to great artists such as Picasso. And Cézanne was an experimental genius - an artist whose paintings created in his mid sixties were valued fifteen times as highly as paintings he created in his youth. A bit of a late bloomer perhaps. And had some major perfectionist tendencies. But the point of the matter is that late bloomers build their skills through trial and error instead of judging their talents prematurely. Yes it takes years and years of dusting yourself off and getting back up and it also requires the right mix of supportive people, resources and incredible perseverance. Yet the end result is that much more beautiful because of the story behind the finished product. This is a good reminder for me right now because sometimes the process seems so long!
"Real focused work as mundane as it sounds is often what separates the contenders from the victors."
To know more, read one of my favorite authors, Malcolm Gladwell, and his book What the Dog Saw.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Crack Pie and Korean Food

My nickname at work is the "Cookie Monster" because I always have something sweet in my hand. I love desserts. Period. So if med schools reject me this year, I'm going to open my own dessert cafe with a bookstore. Then I'll send the admissions committee a big batch of my best desserts and they'll be so impressed that it will finally occur to them "Of course she can be a physician! What were we thinking?"  Brilliant.

Today I made Momofuku's crack pie (Adapted from the Los Angeles Times). I've tried it once and I think it's better than crack (Totally joking! I have not tried crack...)  No pictures of the finished product though because it's still working its magic in the oven but I will leave you with a few remnants from lunch at a place called Dragon in Cheltenham, PA.  I got some jajangmyun (Korean Black Bean Paste Noodles) and tangsuyuk (sweet and sour pork). These are the moments when I really love being Korean.



Saturday, January 1, 2011

Philadelphia and New York City

I spent most of my new years traveling between these two places (one which I like much more than the other!).  After spending a night of dancing and good laughs with friends, I came back to the city of brotherly love with a mindset of new beginnings.  And this is a manifestation of something I wanted to start this year: To post one photo and one thought each day.  I don't expect loyal followers nor a very big audience. I'm just simply documenting another chapter of the story.
City Hall, Philadelphia
Chinatown, New York City