Thursday, February 13, 2014

rearing my ugly head

testing testing, is this thing still on?

when i started graduate school more than 1.5 years ago, i should have done us all a favor and placed this blog on hiatus. but this oversight speaks more to my complete miscalculation about the realities of graduate school than anything else.

the truth is, i thought graduate school would be a breeze. given my time working in magazines and editorial, i kind of assumed i'd glide into the top of my class with no trouble at all. classes would be more like interesting seminars one would choose to attend at a really cool conference or something. professors would be more like colleagues who provided editorial suggestions while simultaneously leaving it "up to you."

i was wrong. graduate school kicked my butt and mid-program, i found myself barely hanging on. how could i possibly write blog posts when i was failing at turning in assignments??

and that, friends, is my lame excuse for not posting to my blog for nearly one year. will you accept this as an official apology? 

in exchange, i will do my best to blog more often now that i'm done with school (praise god) and back to working! to commence the return of vintagejeannie, i give you my latest favorite things:

Hint water: I kind of hate drinking water because the lack of flavor makes me nauseated. While perusing the drink aisle at my work cafeteria trying to find a flavored drink with little to no sugar, this caught my eye. Water with a hint of fruit essence? Sign me up! But please, if you discover that there is some sort of disease causing agent in this beverage, don't tell me.

Stila Waterproof eyeliner: Not sure if non-asians can relate to this but I often shock myself around 3 p.m. each day when I go to use the loo and discover that half my eyeliner is smudged all over my face. Does this happen to you? Well, might I suggest getting this fantastic liquid eyeliner that goes on and STAYS ON. The brush is also ridiculously easy to use -- truly idiot proof. I say this to you as a fellow idiot.

Burts Bees starry night: Staying on the beauty product theme for a moment, I must also include a quick note about this burts bees lipgloss in the color "starry night." The dark lip trend has appeared again after about 15 years in hiding. Every once in a while, I'll see a pretty young woman in the city with vampire lips and more often than not, she is pulling it off. But for the more color-averse/frightened/insecure lot, I recommend this gloss as the perfect jumping off point. It is just dark enough to be noticeable, as in, people will see you and be like, oh I see what you're doing there, but not so dark that people begin to pray for your soul.

The Goldfinch: I have not actually read this book. So why am I recommending it? Because so many people have raved about it that I feel I need to read it immediately! It is currently flying via Amazon drone to my apartment in Brooklyn and I am hoping one of you will also purchase the book and read it with me. Who's in??

Well, that's about all the creativity I can muster at just past midnight so I'm going to call it a night. If you are still aware of this blog and happened to read this, god bless you! hope to hear from you soon.

oh also, by the way, totally forgot to mention that I got married! maybe i'll do a wedding post someday ...

p.s. shoutout to miss jools who kindly nudged me about not posting to my blog for so long. thanks for the reminder :)

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

good stuff 2

as soon as i published my last post, i kept thinking about a whole bunch of other things i wanted to share with you guys. so here's part 2 ... more good stuff i've been using and reusing throughout my day that have been making me happy.

this is the only pen i will use these days. the retractable nib and
easy ink flow make scribbling quick notes nice and easy. i went
through about four of these last semester!

my taste in jewelry gravitates towards small, simple pieces that you can wear
every day. when it comes to rings, that means, thin bands without anything
protruding that can snag on clothes, hair, bags etc. this tiny ring rarely leaves my
left hand and looks great with a simple manicure.

let me tell you something about new york city: it stinks. i won't get into the
details but the city literally stinks of every foul scent you can imagine. and the
problem is, the bad smells mix right in there with the great smells, like delicious
food and roasting nuts and perfumed women. so one second, you might
be inhaling the sweet scent of nuts roasting in the cold winter air, when suddenly,
mid-inhale, you're struck with the scent of "something else." this little solid perfume was
gifted to me by a friend last December and i carry it with me everywhere. if ever i need
a little scent detox or recalibration after a particularly awful experience, this guy saves the day

my preferences in makeup follow my preferences in jewelry: simple, no fuss, everyday.
i picked up this cream eye shadow at THE BEST STORE IN NYC at the end of last
semester as a treat for surviving the most hellacious 5 months of my life! it is all natural and
beautifully pigmented and ridiculously easy to apply: just swirl your finger in the pot once
and swipe onto your eyelid. voila! you're ready to face your day.

i am always on the hunt for subway reading material and for the past few
weeks, it's been "My Life in France," by Julia Child. It's a really easy read and
immediately transports you from a stuffy subway car rattling through lower
manhattan to delicious, cheese and wine-filled Paris.

Monday, February 18, 2013

good stuff

the winter has been long this year and everyone seems to be suffering from the blahs. here's some good stuff i've been using/wearing lately that give me an extra little pick me up:

this stuff smells so delicious and it's very well priced
for a natural product. it will make your shower experience that
much more pleasant.

chris got me a chemex coffee maker for my birthday. at first i only
wanted it because it was so pretty, but it' actually makes a really delicious
cup of coffee. it takes a little while to learn how to use, but once you get
the hang of it, you'll never go back to plain old drip coffee again.

i randomly picked up this sweatshirt at gap on super duper sale
and am so pleased with its fit and quality. they have other colors
if this hot pink doesn't appeal to you. 

full disclosure, i haven't gotten this hat in the mail yet so can't fully
vouch for it, but it's been freezing cold in nyc these days and all i see
everywhere are chic women walking around in perfectly slouchy
beanies. i'll let you know how this one turns out.

speaking of freezing cold temperatures,  these fleece-lined leggings are
absolutely saving me as i roam the streets of brooklyn. 

what about you? got any good stuff to recommend? I'm a big believer in word of mouth. i trust my friends :)

Monday, December 31, 2012

farewell 2012

greetings from temecula, california, where i am sitting at my family's kitchen table, typing away. My parents are sitting on the couch just to my right, watching korean news programs, and our dog, Simba, is sitting in his crate staring intently at each person one at a time, willing us to please give him some more ham.

everything about my current state is comfortable. I have a full tummy, my bank account is not depleting by the second as it seems to do in new york, i'm in sweats (and have been for the past week), and i haven't a care in the world. so i'd like to take advantage of this calm state to reflect on 2012.

when i first moved to DC, I lived with a woman who was into eastern religion and spirituality. on my 28th birthday she told me that every seven years or so we go through a complete shedding of our past selves and start afresh. given that i tend to be a late bloomer, i'm going to call this year my "7-year shed."

this year, I decided to go ahead and apply to j-school despite doing just fine as an editor. when i got into a program i liked, i decided to quit my job and enroll. i moved to new york. i got serious about relationships in my life -- building and rebuilding them. i attempted to be brave and fear less.

these decisions weren't without consequences. the risks of putting yourself out there are real and inevitable. i've felt the heat in my cheeks as i approached perfect strangers with personal questions, was yelled at and demeaned by sources, had my writing flashed on the big screen and criticized (jschool professors are keen on public humiliation). i've missed the company of familiar friends and felt adrift in an unfamiliar place. roots are profoundly important, and when they're gone, your heart aches with the knowledge that even if you were to go back to where home used to be, it wouldn't be the same. it will never be the same.

but that's life, isn't it? :) you hit the ground running, stumble, pick yourself up, learn from it, and start running again.

i'm thankful for 2012 -- a year of testing, changes, challenges, and a lot of learning.

through all of this, i wouldn't have survived without the many friends and family who rallied around my decisions with support and excitement and a lot of love. what a blessing you all are! and i'm thrilled as  i look ahead to next year because my friends and family are always there.

cheers to the new year!

Friday, October 19, 2012

two small things

two things from last night that i wanted to share.

i was leaving class on my way to meet chris for dinner
and it was drizzling  a bit. i've learned how to walk like a
New Yorker, barreling through people without
stopping to look around, but for some reason as I crossed
 7th avenue, I looked to the left. I was struck by how beautiful
Times Square looked. Usually, Times Square is a gross,
messy zoo, but yesterday, something was so lovely about
the lights, and the traffic, and the colors all diffused by the drizzly sky. 

i was at a duane reade when i saw this shelf of ice cream.
what the hell new york? you don't eat ice cream???

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


Hi my friends, can you tell I am trying to do right by you by posting a bunch? I know I neglected you guys for so long, so I'm trying to make it up to you right now.

During columbus day weekend, chris took me to Chicago as an early birthday surprise. I was definitely surprised when he told me what we were going to do (i may have shed a tear or two ... you know me ....). I couldn't believe it! throughout our entire dating relationship, we have wanted to go to chicago because it is a city that i love so much. i have often told chris stories about the good times i had while attending wheaton, and have always ended those stories with, "can't wait to go there with you someday!"

well it finally happened and even though i was kind of stressed out about how i was going to get away with not doing any reporting for a FULL weekend! eek! I did my best to not think about it and just have a good time. let's jump into the photos, shall we?

when i'm happy, i tend to assume this stance, not sure why.
But I was pretty damn happy! But also really cold.
Here we are in downtown chicago.

Did I mention we were cold? look at how red my nose is!
 I keep wanting to tell new yorkers, I have seen winter,
and it is TERRIBLE!

Chris hates when I insist on photos. Here he is
hating my insistence that I take a photo.

We took the El a lot because it was so much more fun
than plummeting through underground darkness.
but here we are waiting underground for a blue train?
red train? can't remember. the best part, though,
is when you feel the train elevating and suddenly
you burst out into the city, weaving between buildings
that can sometimes come as close as a few
feet from your train window!

we stopped to eat at one of my favorite brunch spots,
ann sather's, where every entree comes with 2 huge cinnamon buns!

look at that gooey melty deliciousness!

no visit to chicago is complete without a
visit to the bean! it was a gorgeous day

there's that stance again. I was happy bc I had an
intelligentsia coffee ... and I was in Chicago!

look who we ran into! hi hannah! (we missed you uno)
one of the trip highlights was an architectural
boat tour. Chris and I were totally geeking out!
Aren't the buildings lovely?

that skyline ... it's just not fair.

and here we are at the top of sear's tower.
this is just after i stepped out onto the skydeck,
which chris was not too happy about.

we got to the sear's tower right at sunset and watched the
city lights brighten as the sky went dark. it was perfect.

Thanks so much Christopher for a great birthday!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

fun photo time

i'm long overdue for a photo dump -- here are some pics of life in new york!

this popular mexican eatery in our neighborhood, fort greene, BK,
has a big outdoor seating area. on this particular night, they were
showing one of the old superman films (was it 2? 3?) against a building
wall. Chris and I were transfixed.

here is our new "grocery store." gone are the days when we shopped
at giant or whole foods or trader joe's. these days all of our food
comes from this little deli around the corner from chris's place.
it is actually one of the more affordable deli's, but i'm sure
if i told you the prices, you'd be pretty shocked.
chris and me on a walk around our hood.

while reporting near campus, i walked into the church of saint mary the virgin
to see what was up. this fabulous sign greeted me at the door :)

a really beautiful little archway in my neighborhood beat, Crown Heights, Brooklyn

one time chris was talking about something and mentioned "the big inflatable rats."
I stopped him right there ... the inflatable whats??? He was like, "You know? The big rats
that strikers inflate to shame their companies? Don't worry, you'll see them
somewhere." sure enough, a few weeks into my program I was sent to cover a
stagehands union protest and was SO DELIGHTED to see the rats for myself.
quite compelling, aren't they? read more about them here

one really bad weekend, I had my work cut out for me.
I had to do some radio reporting and a photo essay
and would have to work all weekend to complete it.
to placate my worries, I decided to get up early on saturday
morning and have myself a really good relaxing
brunch at a somewhat fancy schmancy restaurant in my hood.
it was a GREAT decision. 

so, the unglamourous side of reporting: I had to get up really
early to try and get some photos of a store opening up for the day.
the store owner said she would be there around 9 a.m., so I
arrived at 8:45, so as not to miss anything. Nobody arrived
until about 10:30, and I waited out in the cold the entire time.
i took this self portrait to show chris how sad i was. haha.
don't i look just awful?

But here was my reward: After spending the entire morning
waiting for the shop owner, and then photographing the shop,
I rewarded myself with a HUGE chicken parm sandwich.
well earned, if I say so myself!