Sunday, December 15, 2013


Nicholas gets free tickets to MOMA through work, so we had the pleasure of going there a few weeks ago. I FINALLY got to see Edward Hopper’s work in person- something I have been wanting to see for years now. I studied his pieces in my first year English class at OSU and wrote stories based off a couple of his most known pieces. It was such a cool moment to see them!

Modern Art is one of my favorite genres. Most people (read: everyone I have ever gone to a modern art museum) always say the same thing- Yeah, it’s cool. Yeah, it’s sort of interesting, but is it really art??

I would argue, that yes, it really is art. When you study art history and learn how we got from different periods up to modern art, it is fascinating. I would love to join the museum, take some more classes or go on guided tours to learn even more.

Some of the pieces were not only art but also functional- one was a globe made out of what looked like large plungers. This piece was used to detonate land mines. Another looked like a large, golden cube. This one was a home for the homeless that could go over a grate that would blow air into it and inflate it, while keeping whoever was inside warm.

One piece that I ADORED was an experiential piece. The physical part was a wooden box and then playing over a speaker (on a 3-hour loop) was the full recording of the studio where the artist worked on the piece. So you could hear the sounds that were captured while the piece was created. So cool. Nicholas did not agree. He fits in the category above. He likes modern art to a degree, but then when it gets to “borderline” art, he is over it.

He was an awesome person to go to the museum with, as we have such different tastes we would drag each other to parts that we otherwise might not have gone to.

Cannot wait to go back!

Thanksgiving in CT

Gorgeous, happy couple

I had my doubts whether or not an immigrant could pull off an entirely American tradition, but when that immigrant is Giulio and the tradition involves food- there should never be a doubt! Giulio created the most delicious turkey that he roasted and then smoked on the grill.

My past thanksgivings abroad have either been in Switzerland with Ashley and her madness of hosting 30+ folks in her apt, or alone in Mexico City eating a turkey sandwich from Starbucks. I have not been in the US for one for over 4 years, so was really looking forward to the meal and customs surrounding it. Like, actually being able to watch football or grocery shopping for all the ingredients at one store and actually being able to find them.

We had a blast with G and Meg with many rounds of Pinochle, our game of choice, lots of late nights catching up and generally eating too much delicious food.
Double Pinochle!  
I cannot believe that I am going to be “neighbors” with Megan- just a short train ride away!!

So much to be thankful for!

Chicago Family Weekend!

Last weekend Nicholas and I jumped on a flight to Chicago to spend time together with the family for the holidays. With a several hour delayed flight, we arrived quite late on Friday, but half of the family was still up and we got a chance to have a few drinks and chat. Saturday morning, I finally got to see the kids! Carter and I played and then we headed out to the neighborhood restaurant for lunch.
Carter and I being silly
During naptime,  Mom (aka Grandma) and I went to the store to pick up some items for that night’s dinner and to make gingerbread cookies. When we got back Carter was ready to get started and he and I, with some help from Grandma, got a few dozen gingerbread-men and women baked. Of course, Carter had his own ideas on how we were going to produce these cookies, including dipping his hands in flour and putting his little paw prints all over my black outfit (yep, obvious bad choice). We laughed and created some of the silliest looking gingerbread cookies- but they tasted delicious.

That night, after 10+ hours of smoking pork, Tony and Rachel presented their pulled pork meal. It was spectacular! I am still dreaming about those sandwiches and sauce they made.
She's mine, ALL mine! 

Sunday, we had brunch at one of their favorite places and Carter and Lyla opened up some gifts that we had brought from our travels around the globe. I hogged Lyla the whole day, holding her and feeding her and generally not allowing anyone else near her. I was sad to say goodbye to everyone, but with a new address in the US in January, it is going to be much easier to keep in touch. I see a lot more playdates with Carter and Lyla in my future!

Play 60

Second week on the job and I am already meeting a Super Bowl champ. I had the honor of representing the NFL Network and the work they are doing with the NFL called Play 60 at one of their Super Schools. They presented a $10,000 check to the selected school to help buy equipment for physical education. I normally wouldn’t work on this team, but it is definitely something I believe in, so I filled in for a colleague and got a chance to go to balmy MN :) 

I got to meet Joe Berger and Super Bowl Champ Charlie Johnson, a couple of cheerleaders and Viktor the mascot.  The Viking entourage, led by Brad a 23 year veteran of the organization, did an amazing job. The first half of the morning was an assembly where the players, phys ed teacher and the affiliate from Comcast all spoke to the students about the importance of staying active and leading a healthy lifestyle. From there, the players led the students in a super phys ed class and we ended the morning with group shots and some interviews with the local media.

Stay tuned for more fun and exciting adventures on the job! 

I'll be home for the holidays

See you next year, New York! 
Home is lightly used here. For me, my home is wherever Nicholas is, so indeed, I will be home. I head back to Korea today and will be in Asia until the first of January. New Year's day, I fly back to my new "home", used even more loosely, as Nicholas most likely will be in some far flung region of the world, for at least a few more months if not longer.

Also, this will be the last time I fly back to Korea when Seoul is still my primary residence. Starting in January, I will have an apartment in NYC.

Soo looking forward to seeing our friends in Seoul, taking intensive Korean classes, eating as much kimchi as possible and being in my own bed, for the first time in a long time.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Start of a new chapter

This past Thanksgiving, I had a lot to be thankful for. I had just accepted a position with a firm in NYC where one of my best friends (from my very first job in DC works) works and was spending the holiday with some of my favorite people.
David and I in 2005, shortly after we met and became friends
After four years almost to the day that I left NYC, I started my new job. Funny how life works. You just never know where it will take you. And life has taken me to so many places these past few years. I am so grateful for all the opportunities that I have had and so blessed to have such a loving and supportive husband that not only brought me along on all of his adventures, but then gave me the wings to fly on my own.
Thanksgiving in CT
2014 is sure to be a year full of fun, adventure and surprises, and I would have it no other way. The only thing that still needs to be figured out is when and how Nicholas will join me. For now, we will be a super-long-distance couple, emphasis on super (have you met us ;). How funny it is to think back on what a struggle I thought it was to be between DC and NYC for a few years- just a short amtrak ride away. Now we will be bi-continental and a mere 14+ hr flight apart. But with the years also comes new perspective. And surprisingly, I don't view our upcoming living arrangements as a struggle but as another adventure. Residents of two countries! Why not!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Dinner with Friends

This week we have been meeting up with friends almost every night. The other night, we met up with an old friend of Nicholas' and her husband. They cooked us a homemade meal here in Manhattan (!) and then Pablo played music for us. First serenading us on the piano, which took my breath away. His is Argentinean and he first played a tango. Nicholas requested my favorite tango after that, and he started humming and then figured out part of the song. He is one of those kind of musicians. So impressive. After several more beautiful songs, he brought out his accordion. It was one of those NY nights, where you have no idea what to expect and it ends with a private concert.

And I would walk 5,000 miles...

Nicholas and I seem to be on a mission to walk everywhere we go in Manhattan. I am obsessed with walking the city- you see so much more than taking the subway or cab. So many little shops, restaurants, bars that you would otherwise miss jump out at you.

Last weekend, we walked for hours and hours both days. Each evening, we were exhausted. To the point where I had to lie to my feet on how much further. "Only 10 more blocks guys, you can do it!" To which Nicholas would remind them and me, "No, no. It's closer to 15. Maybe 18..."

Especially when it is a gorgeous day, I refuse to sit in traffic or go underground. We zigzagged around the city, walked it up and down and only stopped when we found the shop we were looking for or took a break for a meal.

I've rested my feet up for another weekend of walking excursions starting tomorrow!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Show biz

Broadway Lights

Last Friday, I huddled down in the Meatpacking District at a coffee shop to get some work done and shoot out a bunch of emails. I spent the better part of the day there.

A woman had been sitting behind me the whole time, our backs were to each other, so I never saw her face. A couple hours later, a guy showed up and asked if she was still working, to which she replied yes. He said he would wait.

Of course, I heard all of this because I am in NYC and no one has any personal space. The conversation of strangers become part of your own world. So, not thinking about it much, I continued powering through what I wanted to accomplish.

At one point, the couple got in a strange argument. The first moment I started to pay attention, the woman with nagging voice says: "Say it, say it!!"
Man, softly: "You're not who I thought you were."
Woman, angrily: "Say it! Say it!!" Tell me I'm a b*tc#! and you hate me!"
Man, apologetically: "You told me I didn't have a chance. And, you aren't who I thought you were."
Woman, settles down a bit: "Then,.. get to know me."
Man, shyly and sweetly says: "I would if you weren't acting like such a, such a..."
This continues on a loop for a minute or two. With the nasally, Jewish woman screaming "Say it! Say it!" and the quiet, sweet, semi-loserish sounding guy, saying, "You aren't who I thought you were."

Then, the woman asks the man, to tell her about this other woman. The man then says something about how she is a trapeze artist (Hey, it's NY).
Woman, quietly and a bit eerily: "Wow, she must have a great body."
Man, disgustedly: "I don't know why you always have to say things like that."

The guy eventually mentions that he has never had a real girlfriend and hopes that it works out with the trapeze artist, who also is a barista.
Woman: "Wow, barista, huh? She must have a really great body."
(My expression was a flat out tilt of the head with a question mark covering my face... Barista = great body? What is the logic here...)
Man, again, disgustedly: "Why do you always have to say things like that."

The conversation is repeated again. Almost verbatim. This time, the woman explains how her roommate passive-aggressively left her a note on her door that morning that covered 7 post-it notes. I assume she is telling this story so the guy will feel sorry for her. He offers her his Red Sox cap, as a keepsake, a momento of their friendship.

Woman, exasperated and sanctimoniously: "I was right. This was all a performance. Just admit it."
Man: "What are you talking about? What was a performance?"
Woman, changes gears again. This time, softly: "Get to know me."
Man, clearly at a loss: "I can't get to know you. You aren't the person I thought you were."

This conversation goes on and on. In a circle. It is believable all the way through the third time. When they started the fourth round, I started to go crazy. Thinking these folks were mentally disturbed. I felt sorry for the guy, who had tried to get out of the conversation from the start. Each time, trying to find a way to end whatever was going on between them.

Man, almost stuttering, but slowly says: "Sooo, sooo, soooo... what are you... saying?"
(You could almost hear the hope in his voice that this was the final nail. That this thing was going to end. But this woman was persevering. Who knows why.)
Woman, sweetly: "I just want to know about her. Tell me. What is she like?"
Man, gullibly answers: "Oh, she is great! She is really nice and we have a lot to talk about."
Woman, like a flip switched, bursts with anger: "Oh, she must be beautiful!!! She has a great body, doesn't she?"

And, ladies and gentlemen, it goes on.

Earlier, I looked around the cafe and noticed another man watching them at the beginning of this insanity. I again looked up to see how he was handling this. To my surprise, he didn't seem agitated or incredulous. What was the look,... amused? How?! I wished I could just turn around and see what he could see. Why did it ease his frustration?

When the fighting couple stopped the banter, I decided I needed a refill on my caffeine and turned around to ask the woman, who happened to be the closest to me, if she could watch my things. I figured I could trust them, since everyone was watching them and they were not going anywhere. Once I had turned around, everything became clear! What I saw made me laugh :) And relax.

Why had I not thought of this earlier? Why had I not considered my surroundings? Hello, we are in NYC! Of course they would have scripts in their hands! Rehearsal in session!

She said sure and off I went to get another coffee. When I came back, they were discussing their strategy for the roles and changing it up. I turned around and asked if I could offer my unsolicited opinion.

After they acquiesced, I told them that I had been going crazy listening to them. They were repeating the same conversation over and over again and that I was about to turn around and tell the woman to just let him go.

Then, I told them how I had not been able to see them. But, from my observations, I thought she was a typical NYC Jewish girl and he a sweet, shy, semi "Turtle-esque" (character from Entourage) guy. Turns out, she was pretty brunette Australian and he was a dead-ringer for Ryan Gosling.

I said, if I were both of them, I'd change nothing. It was super convincing. Ryan's doppleganger beamed. She apologized for bothering me and explained that they did not have space in the theater to rehearse. I told them it was not a bother and that they were absolutely convincing.

Just another day in the life in NYC. Someone always putting on a show. And somedays, there are scripts involved :)

Making plans

So, like most other people out there, I make plans. Yes, most of the times my plans are a bit loose and flexible, as I know that my life these past 4 years has been unconventional.

While thinking about my next steps and goals, I came across this comic on Linkedin. Yep, this looks about right :)

Saturday, November 16, 2013

How do you thank the people in your life

who have done so much for you?

I have been so insanely blessed with so many wonderful people in my life and this past year is a testament to those friendships by the opening of their homes to me. I have literally spent more time in the homes of my friends and family than I have in my own.

It started in Washington, DC, where I was welcomed with open arms at the home of Shippy.

From there, I lived in the Real World Inauguration Style home- with my dream team on the Hill.

I moved on to Costa Rica with Ashley's brother and sister-in-law and then to CA for 3 glorious weeks in sunny SD with Lu and her hubs, before I spent a beautiful night with Corinne and her family in the LA area.

Finally landed back "home" in Seoul before I went to China to visit some of my really wonderful girls from IMD. Again, having another home open up to me.

The summer brought me to NYC where Miriam, Vivake, Hari, Marianne and Scott opened their apartments and homes. I guess it takes a village with me... :)

This fall, it's been Stacey in Chicago.

I ask WAY too much of my friends. I like to think Nicholas and I have a similar open door policy for anyone that actually wanders their way to our home. We make sure to keep things hospitable and have not been without a visitor in a long time. Even when we are not there, we make sure that our door remains open.
I kid, I kid. Although, from practice, I know it helps :) 
I believe in karma and hope that all of my stays have not made me an undesirable houseguest, but rather ensured that Nicholas and I never have an empty home :)