Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Super Size

From VintageJeannie
Larger photos, courtesy of tutorial from blueorchidblog

Monday, December 14, 2009

the ballet

This weekend Christopher and I joined friends Robin and Karin to go on a fun, holiday-themed double date to view The Nutcracker at Lincoln Center in New York. I had not yet been to Lincoln Center, so I was super excited. What a beautiful space! I really enjoyed it, and the ballet was truly lovely. Highlights were the snowflakes, the talented child dancers, and the female soloists who shocked and astonished us with their talent and beauty. I also had the chance to see the New York City ballet perform at the Kennedy Center earlier this week. The ballet never fails to inspire me.

(1. Chris and me being silly as per usual; 2. We feign normalcy;
3. The lovely Robin&Karin, newlyweds extraordinaire)

Friday, December 11, 2009

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

my bread

I have often maintained that the best poet is the baker who does the majestic and unpretentious work of kneading the dough, consigning it to the oven, baking it in golden colours and handing us our daily bread as a duty of fellowship.

- Pablo Neruda
Chilean poet and 1971 Nobel Laureate in Literature (1904-1973)

no need to knead

I have this problem. Whenever I approach something new and for the first time, it takes me a really long time to psych myself into it.

I've been wanting to bake my own bread for a while. Ever since I met HJ and heard that she always baked her own bread, I thought - this I must learn! But I have a fear of yeast. As a friendly nudge, HJ gave me a jar of yeast for Christmas. I'm almost certain that jar is still sitting in my parent's fridge in Temecula. I'm sorry! I was just too afraid.

Well, this past Sunday, in a bout of frustration due to being holed up in my apartment working when I would rather be shopping, reading the sunday paper, or running in the glorious cold, I decided, goshdarnit! I'm going to bake me some bread!

I turned to Mark Bittman, otherwise known as the Minimalist. I love all of his recipes and videos in the NYtimes Web site. A few years ago, he posted an article and recipe about "No Knead Bread," the simplest bread recipe ever! It uses a combination of flour, yeast, salt, and water along with a very long rising time (18 hours) to produce delicious homemade bread.

I gave it a shot--mixed the ingredients, let them sit in a covered bowl overnight, and placed the dough in the oven last night after work. In the middle of the baking time, I went to the oven to check it out and voila! It was working! The bread was rising into a perfect, beautiful loaf. My roomie and I were squealing and jumping up and down, "It's working, it's working!" After letting the loaf cool, we took our first bites into the perfectly crisp crust and soft chewy innards. Friends, please get thee to a grocery, pick up some whole wheat bread flour, yeast, and salt, and work this magic in your own kitchen. You will never go back to store bought bread again, I assure you!

Recipe: No-Knead Bread

(Photographs by Ruby Washington/The New York Times; above, Don Hogan Charles/The New York Times)

From top: 1. When dough is bubbly, it is ready to be worked. 2. Fold dough once or twice; do not knead. 3. Shape it into a ball and let it rise. 4. Wheat bran flies as Jim Lahey lifts dough and drops it into a hot pot. 5. After baking, the crusty result.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

*toot toot*

That's me, tooting my own horn. The results from the Folio Magazine Awards came in today. I sauntered into my office 20 minutes late. My editor came in and I thought I was about to be reprimanded. Instead he shook my hand and said, "Congratulations on winning a Silver Award for your article!" And then I congratulated him right back, since we co-wrote the piece :)

Consumer, Religious/Spiritual, Full Issue

Gold Winner:
Yoga + Joyful Living
Himalayan Institute
September/October 2008

Silver Winner:
June 2009

Bronze Winner:
Spirituality & Health
Spirituality & Health Media
March 2009

Consumer, Religious/Spiritual, Single Article

Gold Winner:
“A Theologian of Renewal”
December 2008

Silver Winner:
“The Meaning of 'Life'”
November 2008

Bronze Winner:
Elevated Existence
“Searching for Spirit”
Elevated Existence
September 2008

Sad thing is that we won second to a Yoga magazine and EnlightenNext. Sigh. Oh well, nobody else needs to know :)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

mad men circa now

(Mad Men, Season 3, Episode 12)

(Sally Ryan for The New York Times: David Greising, the deputy editor of the upstart Chicago News Cooperative, and Sharene Shariatzadeh, the business development director, hung the company's sign as the editor, James E. O'Shea, right, planned how to compete with The Chicago Tribune.)

Please support your favorite publications. But don't fear what is to come. As they say, necessity is the mother of invention.


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

woman warrior

Ever since I learned about the Terra Cotta Warriors in my history books in grade school, I've always dreamed of seeing them. The first emperor of China (Emporer Qin) was obsessed with fear of the afterlife. He built an army of terra cotta soldiers more than 8,000 strong, each crafted by hand and with exquisite detail. When he died prematurely, he was buried in a secret tomb surrounded on all sides by thousands of warriors, generals, chariots, horses, archers, musicians, entertainers, and even terra cotta animals. True story.

The army was not discovered until thousands of years later ... in 1974. Can you believe that? 1974! A group of peasant farmers discovered them while digging a well, and today archeologists are tirelessly excavating and reconstructing the soldiers one by one. Many were destroyed with time, and due to a peasant uprising just a few years after the emporer's death, but miraculously, many are well-preserved and you can go see them in China--a silent army standing guard for thousands of years.

I intend to go see the actual site in China some day, but today I got to see a small portion of them at the National Geographic Museum in D.C. I've been excited all weekend. Was I really going to see the ACTUAL Terra Cotta Warriors? Could it be!?

When we finally entered the room with the first terra cotta soldier, looking so solemn while holding the reins of a beautifully crafted horse at his side ... I teared up. Yes, I am that big of a dork. But I was simply overwhelmed by the opportunity to see these artifacts that date back thousands and thousands of years, to 209 B.C.!

The emperor was obsessed with preserving himself well into the afterlife, and I'd say he succeeded, beyond his wildest dreams. Could he have ever conceived that thousands of years later, this girl, a descendant of korean peasants, growing up oceans and eons away from his royal palace, would tear up at the sight of one of his warriors, and contemplate the character of a man who many years ago lived in such fear that he needed an army of thousands to grant him peace?

(that face says, OH MY GANDHI)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

allow me to introduce, HJ

I have lovely friends. HJ, in particular, is a real doll. lol. Actually, she's not a doll--she is an amazing, strong, brilliant, inspiring, lovely woman and I had the pleasure of working with her for 2 whole years! Alas, she went to Minneapolis, I went to D.C., and now our daily lunches and coffee breaks are no more.

I miss her terribly, but am so happy to be able to keep up with her via phone, email, and her blog, HJ's Haunt.

Her most recent post was truly inspiring. Here's an excerpt.

Tough skin


But recently I’ve also realized that I’ve toughened my skin in other areas—namely my singleness. Singletons have to, at least a little bit, to survive! Dating is not easy. First, there’s the fear that he just will not think you’re attractive enough. And then, let’s say, you get lucky and you actually find him attractive and he’s clearly digging you...then hold on. Just you wait. Something will fall, because it always does. It always has. I mean, we’re single! Something has always gone wrong! Either he stops liking you, you stop liking him, he hurts your feelings, he never calls back, he freaks, he stands you up, he moves away, he doesn’t understand, he needs anger management, he turns out to be psycho! (Yes, I speak from experience.) Perhaps he even says you’ve elicited a visceral feeling in him! Something goes awry. And I can assure you that misreading intents and desires is much more painful than misspelling a name. So, don’t you worry. I have grown tough (read: cynical). Me and one of my single friends don’t believe he’ll actually call. We don’t believe we’ll actually fall for someone. We think the chances of something lasting longer than a coffee date, let alone three coffee dates, is slim to none. We’re not stupid. Fall for something once, twice, but three times? C’mon! We’re smart girls. Sure, we’ll date, but we won’t believe. We must protect ourselves.

So, when someone does call, when he does show up, when he does’s a single girl to respond? How do you not fear a misspelling and wait for the complaining emails to fly?

Well, as I said, we’re smart girls. So first, we make sure he calls, shows up, understands not just once, but twice, three, four times. Heck, let’s go for five! And then you pray—hard—that he will be able to put the period at the end of your run-on, callused sentence, even though you think it’s too late.
Amen, HJ! Dating IS hard, and keeping a soft heart is near impossible. But I am hoping for great, majestic love in your life. Love that transcends superficial, Hollywood romance and settles deep within your bones, your marrow, your being.

Monday, November 16, 2009

coney island with creamy skies

Chris and I were headed back to his neighborhood after church yesterday. When the doors opened at his stop, Chris asked, "Want to go to Coney Island?" Without a thought, I agreed and on the train we stayed, all the way to the end of the line.

It was lovely to be at the beach in the middle of November. We shared hot dogs, wedge fries, and a coke at the original Nathan's hot dog stand.

How was your weekend?

Friday, November 13, 2009

the uno and only

My sister. She is the joy of my life! If only she lived closer to me.
Here, she debuts her new haircut. Dare I say we look more alike as we both get older? That would be a compliment to me since she's the cute one in the family.

Alas, I never get, "you and your sister look so much alike!" It's more like, "you look exactly like your dad!"


lol. Oh well! Love you Uno!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Ellen and Dennis and Hijinks, Oh My!

Oh my Gandhi, I almost died when I saw this. Perhaps the funniest thing I've seen in a long time!

(via the lilbee)

stay cool, stay fresh

Check out what my super cool mother sent me for my birthday! You wouldn't know it by looking at her because she is now a very frugal lady and doesn't spend much on clothing, but she was quite the stylista back in the day. I can't tell you how many photos my sister and I have seen of my mom and yelled, Where is that outfit, mom!? We want it!

Well, that'll teach me. I should probably save some of my better items for my daughters, if God gives me any :)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

ketchup, catch up

Hi folks, here are some backlogged photos that are just dying to be shown!

1. Army 10 miler: I was so nervous the night before that I probably only slept about 1.5 hours. It was really difficult, but I'm so thankful that I was able to do it! All in all, I finished the race in about 1 hour, 45 minutes, which is pretty slow, but oh well! I did it! I am considering doing a half-marathon (13 miles) in March, but we shall see my friends, we shall see.

(6:30 a.m., On the way to the race, trying to be superman)

(After the race, eating cantaloupe . Knowing that cantaloupe and Chris were waiting for me at the finish line sustained me from mile 4 to 10, hehe!)

2. Beef Bourguignon! As I mentioned before, Chris and I made this wonderful, tasty dish and I highly recommend it. Chris also made garlic mashed potatoes (his own combination of milk, butter, and boiled potatoes) and I made some crispy kale. It was LOVELY!

3. Planes. Not too far from National Airport is Gravelly Point Park from which you can watch the airport planes take off. Chris and I have been meaning to go for a long time and it was great to finally make the trek. It was also really bizarre and awesome to go to the airport with no plans for travel. Hehe. We walked through the terminal and I kept saying really loudly, "I'm so excited to go ice fishing when we land in Alaska!" And Chris shook his head laughing. I embarrass him too much, I think.

(Can you see the plane?)

(Yes, I realize I am a freak)

4. Finally, my birthday party! Yesterday, I celebrated entry into year 27 by having some friends over for mulled wine, hot cider, cookies, cheese, crackers, bread, and fun. It was great! Hat tip to Heather for her great mulled wine and cider recipes. The cider was an especially huge hit, Heather. Seems all mortals desire the drink of the gods. :)

(Cassie, the sweetest roomie in the world!)

(Mulled wine, so yummers)

Wish you could have been there.

Halloween Redux

I hope you had a good weekend. Chris and I basically celebrated my birthday all weekend long and made yummy dinners (beef bourguignon, after being inspired by Julie and Julia!), watched Where the Wild Things Are (really sad but fun), and even did a Halloween outreach with my church. It was a weekend of giving an receiving.

We went to Sojourners' annual Halloween party. Such a blast!

(My friend Tim as Mr. Schuster from Glee, my roommate Cassie as Quinn Fabray from Glee, and lovely Amber as a peacock!)

(Me as a '60s schoolgirl and Chris as a Tennis Jock ... jk)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

don't stoop

This past weekend was another whirlwind trip to New York, the concrete jungle where dreams are made of. (JayZ anyone? That performance was so great).

Some highlights:
1. Christopher got us tickets to a screening of the fantastic documentary, Reporter, featuring Nicholas Kristof. Afterwards, Kristof appeared (like magic!) and answered questions from the audience. His method of reporting was an inspiring thing to watch in action--it made me want to be a better editor, interviewer, advocate. Definitely recommend watching the documentary if there is a screening near you, and reading the book Kristof co-authored with his wife, Sheryl WuDunn, about empowered women around the world. Sojourners has an interview with them in our next issue.

2. Riding my new bike! I didn't realize how long it'd been since I rode a bike, but I was definitely a little rusty. Regardless, it was a great feeling, wheeling down Carlton Avenue on my sweet little Schwinn in the rain with Chris jogging next to me. Haha. We must've looked weird.

3. Meeting Sufjan! Well ... not really, and that is regrettable, because he was literally two feet away from me and I just chickened out and left. The problem is, it was not the ideal way to introduce myself, considering he was surrounded by very hipster chicks all volleying for a piece of him. I just could not stoop to that level. So ... whatever! He will just have to wait to have the pleasure of meeting me. Yes. That's right.

But I did have the opportunity to watch the BQE film which was a lot of fun, and see DM Stith perform, which will probably go down in my personal history as the best performance of 2009.

And that's all folks!

(How cute is this pig? Via A Cup of Jo, by Sharon Montrose.)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

absolutely mad

(all photos AMC's mad men Web site)

What a marvelous show. This past week's episode had my stomach in knots.

try again

black boots attempt #2
not sure though ... 3.5 inch heel?? yikes.
good things: real leather, real classic, really on sale. wahoo.

we'll see!

Off to NYC tonight to do an interview, hang with Topher, and go to the Sufjan Stevens' BQE CD release party. Yay!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Lorrie & Geraldine

I bought two new books this weekend. Lorrie Moore is one of my favorite writers for many reasons, one being that she is hands-down the most irreverent female writer out there. She makes me want to be brave.

Here's the first line from her book, Anagrams, which I picked up this weekend.
Gerard Maines lived across the hall from a woman named Benna, who four minutes into any conversation always managed to say the word penis.
How can you walk away from a book with a first line like that? I certainly couldn't.

I also bought Geraldine Brooks' People of the Book. The cover alone is worth paying for. I read her pulitzer-prize winner, March, a while back and it was very moving. I have high hopes for this next one!

What are you reading?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

New Haircut

here it is!

1. Chris got the bike! (below) So exciting. For now, we will keep it in Fort Greene since my 'hood is not as bike friendly as his. Once I get more brave, we'll bring it down to the mean streets of DC. I better figure out where I can store this baby!

2. I get to interview David Bazan (of Pedro the Lion) this Friday! I'm so excited.

3. I went running this morning. It was cold, but I felt good!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


is important.

Peter, Paul, and Mary, "Early in the Morning."


Things I am excited about:

1. Hopefully getting a new bike, hand-delivered by boyfriend extraordinaire, purchased via nyc's incredibly active bike community on craigslist. Listings disappear within minutes people! But one listing spoke to me, literally SPOKE to me. Vintage Schwinn collegiate. Oh please, be mine! Chris is going to check it out tonight. If not this one though, another lovely machine will come along, I'm sure.

2. Running more. I am over my fear of running and it is grand! Winter running should be a good experience. I'm hoping to do another ten miler in the next year.

3. Baking more. My roomie is a hardcore baker and she is influencing me in ways I didn't even realize. Next up, the perfect zucchini chocolate cake, a recipe passed down from generations of Sojourners interns.

4. Immigration reform. (Did you hear that Sheriff Joe Arpaio is being investigated by Homeland Security? Very exciting.)

5. My birthday. I am actually having a party this year, thrown by my roommate. Last year was a quiet affair (though it was lovely to see susan!), but I figure I should ring in 27 with some fun. We are having a mulled wine party with cookies, breads, cheese.

6. Books: Lorrie Moore and Geraldine Brooks' new(ish) books. Must order right away. I tried really hard to read "The Help," but if a book hasn't grabbed me by chapter 4, it's done. I can't read no mo'.


1. Rahm Emanuel at a private party catered by a Sojo staffer's son said the public option for health care was dead. Incredibly disappointing.

2. The boots from previous post turned out to be really ugly on me and my short Korean legs. Oh well.

3. The high price for good boots. It becomes the never ending search all fall and winter.

Monday, October 5, 2009


I hope I am always learning something new, well into my old age. This morning I asked Chris to tell me a story from his childhood. We've gotten to that point where we can pretty much read each other like a wide open book--I miss learning about him. So he told me about baseball camp.

Anyway, here are some new discoveries I've made in the last few weeks.

1. Running is ... fun?
Yes, 'tis true. Running can be really fun. And running outdoors is even more fun because you can go on web sites like this, map out a course, and tell yourself all day, "This is the path I will run." You psych yourself into it all day long, looking at the course, memorizing the streets. And when you're finally running the course, you surprise yourself (wow I'm already at this point of the course!?), and you keep pushing yourself by saying, "I said I would do this, and I'm going to do it." And then when you finish, you look back and say, look at all that distance I ran! And every day you make the course a little bit longer. It's fun!

(photo chris took of the Army Ten Miler starting line. I'm somewhere in there, listening to JayZ's The Ruler's Back, getting amped up to run 10 miles!)

2. Friday Night Lights is ... fun!
Have you all seen this fantastic show? I'm seriously hooked. When it first came out I was kind of like ... eh, not that interested. But my good friend Gillian kept telling me to start watching it and so I did and now I'm well into season one and am such a huge fan. Also, I went to school with Gaius Charles (the black player named "smash"). Highly recommend!

3. If you go out, you spend money. Not so fun.
I've been spending way too much money. Wowzers. And it's mostly on food! How ridiculous is that? I am vowing to stay in more, cook for myself more, and do fun indoor things like read my gazillion magazines that I subscribe to. Geez Jeans. You spend the money on them and everything. Least you can do is give them a gander.

4. Handmade soap is fun.
I found this soap maker at DC's annual Crafty Bastards Art Fair (another occasion where going out=spending money). Her soap smelled so good I couldn't resist buying two bars. At $6 a pop, that's a lot to spend on soap! But every night when I lather up with the "fluffy pajamas" bar, I can't help but think ... sooooooo worth it. Here's her etsy shop, 8th Street Soap.

(the scent of this soap is seriously like "comfort food" for the nostrils)

5. Hanging out with people unlike you is really fun.
There are times when I feel out of place. Like when I hang out with my college friends and suddenly realize I'm the only minority. Or when I go to a work meeting and also realize I'm the only minority. Or when I go to a church and it's mostly wealthy white people. BUT I think putting yourself in those kinds of situations is good for you, and really fun. Last week I went on retreat with the other editors and we sat around telling stories. Their life experiences are so unlike mine. If I let it get to me, it could really bug me how different I am from them. But I learn so much that the time spent becomes this great cultural exchange. It's fun!

6. New boots. Really fun.
I've been looking for new black boots because my old ones leak when it rains. I decided to get these lovely babies. They were a pretty penny (there goes the whole saving money thing), more than I'd ever spend on shoes, but when I think about them coming in the mail, I get rather excited. FUN!