Tuesday, November 23, 2010

My Identity



I've been doing a lot of thinking lately on the topic of identity. My thoughts have been all over the place and what I write in this post will probably be the same. I'm a transracial adoptee. Meaning, I'm ethincally one thing and culturally another. I don't fully fit into my ethnic identity and I don't fully fit into my cultural identity. Lately, I've been trying to figure out how the two fit together...or if they even fit together at all.

I'm a Korean. I was born in Yeosu, Joellanam-do, South Korea. When you look at me you will see a Korean or an Asian if you can't tell the difference. I get treated differently based on my appearance and it can be incredibly frustrating at times. Sometimes people think I'm brand new to the U.S. and talk to me loudly and slowly. I get funny looks. I've been called names too. All because I look like I'm not from here.

A lady here in Seattle saw me eating lunch in a park. She walked up to me and without introduction stated talking to me quite loudly and slowly. She wanted to make sure I knew about the park behind me that had beautiful gardens. I've been in the gardens before. When she started doing that, I didn't really know how to respond. So I politely told her that when I finished my lunch, I'd take a look at the garden. Boy was she surprised. She didn't even say good-bye. She was so startled that she just walked away from me. I'm sure she wasn't meaning to be malicious. The woman was only trying to be helpful. But by attempting to help me like that, she also became insensitive and made an assumption about who I am based on how I look. I look like a Korean. Therefore, I must be fresh off the boat and must not speak English very well.

I grew up in Idaho. I am culturally an Idahoan...and American or maybe even a hick. I have lived in the states since I was three and a half months old. Yes, MONTHS. I have no memories of Korea. Everything I remember is of growing up in Idaho. Sometimes I want to go back because it's where people "know" me. Not because I'm known as a Korean or that one Asian girl, but because I'm known as Karen. I lived in Idaho for 13+ years and people knew who I was. I wasn't labelled as being any one specific thing.

When I took a trip back to Korea in 2003, I felt really out of place. Almost like I was deficient because I didn't know the language or the culture. No matter how hard I tried to fit in while I was there and blend in, people either could peg me right away as an American or were pitying me because I was an adoptee. It was amost like I was doing a disservice to myself by not knowing my culture and not learning my language. That...I should be learning Korean and learning about my culture because ethincally I'm Korean. Sometimes, when I meet Koreans who are culturally Korean I am told that I should do certain things to be more Korean like. At times I feel like that goes against who I actually am. That it's forcing me to choose one over the other.

I never knew other adoptees growing up outside of my brothers. I knew of other adoptees, but I never really got the chance to get to know them on a more personal level. My older brothers are also adopted, but I don't think they necessarily have the same identity questions because there isn't another ethnicity involved.

I've always wondered based on my childhood and where I'm at now, where I actually fit in and who I fit in with. I've always struggled with the fact that I want people to know me as Karen...to know me as me and not as these labels. I don't want to be known as a Korean Adoptee, an Idahoan, an Asian, or that girl that fixes computers. I want people to know me as Karen. Those labels or facets of my life are only a small portion of who I am and sometimes I wish people didn't focus on them as much as they do.

This past week I attended a dinner for Asian Adult Adoptees of Washington (AAAW). How incredible! I was the youngest person in attendance, but each person at that table has had a similar experience or had similar questions about who they are as individuals. I had always felt like I was the only one with this story because of the fact that there aren't resources like this in Lewiston and there aren't many other adoptees in the area. I was amazed at how quickly I felt like I fit in and that I had a community. I've always worried about whether or not I'll fit in or if someone will like me when I attend something new. I can be fairly self conscious at times because I didn't like sticking out when I was growing up. I wanted to be like everyone else...and that at times I think, included being white. While I was driving to the dinner I was praying over and over in my head..."Please let there be at least one person I can talk to. Someone who can relate to me. I don't know what I'll do if that doesn't happen..."

Amazingly...God put 11 (maybe 12) people who are just like me and have something that they can relate to with me, in front of me at dinner. 12 people at dinner to talk to about life, my experiences and my questions. People who know what it feels like to be adopted and what it's like to not look like everyone else.

I love my family. I love where I came from. I wouldn't change anything about that ever. God blessed me with an incredible set of parents and two wonderful older brothers. Even my extended family is amazing. I couldn't ask for anything better. In spite of these wonderful people and the wonderful childhood I had because of these people, I still felt different. Not that I was unloved...I have never felt unloved. I've just kind of felt like I was alone at times. That there's no one else in the world who's going to understand how I felt because they have a different perspective from me. I know God will understand, but having someone to talk to and share stuff with is important too...having community is important.

I know that being an adoptee is only a fraction of who I am and the type of person that I want to be. I know that it changes nothing about who loves me. However, it changes the way I see myself in the mirror. I'm beginning to love all of me - my ethnic and cultural identity. I'm beginning to understand both of them and how the two of them work and affect the way we view ourselves, our surroundings, the people in our lives and the world. When I become more aware of myeslf, I can love myself more and I can become more genuine and open with people. This is exciting and terrifying at the same time.

I'm curious to see where this journey will take me...this path that God has set before me.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Pondering...



It is true that God may have called you to be exactly where you are. But, it is absolutely vital to grasp that he didn't call you there so you could settle in and live your life in comfort and superficial peace.
-Francis Chan

This was my home church's status update on FB this morning.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

And So It Begins...



I just threw up and I can't sleep. I was rejected today. I understand why and it's nothing I have control over. This is a matter of it wasn't meant to be. Nonetheless, it still hurts and it makes me sick.

At least I haven't put it off like the last time I dated someone. I delayed dealing with my feelings and it wasn't till much later that I realized it made me stressed and anxious.

So, let the breakup process and recovery begin.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

1st Peter Chapter 1



6 So be truly glad.* There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while.7 These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.

Tonight in Small Group these two verses stuck out to me. This goes along with my last post about stress. Yes, I know these verses are referring primarily to people who were being persecuted and killed for their beliefs. I'm not being persecuted or killed, but I am being challenged. I've never really had to stand up and justify what I believe in on a regular basis. To claim why I believe what I believe to someone who knows as much if not more about Christianity than I do. It's challenging to argue for the cause of Christ. It's forced me to step back and evaluate myself and my actions.

In spite of the difficult month it has been - the stress or the challenging of my faith, the part that stuck out to me the most was the part that says "There is wonderful joy ahead." There is something great coming...there is rest, there is peace, there is joy...there are things beyond what I can imagine are good coming. I cannot wait for that day.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Concerts Galore!


The Black Keys in Seattle
Originally uploaded by kiki5253

I saw The Black Keys this weekend at the Paramount. It was a great experience. Not only am I partially deaf, but I was blinded by all the lights! I love the music and I had a blast. It was also good to catch up with a friend who recently moved to the Boise, ID area. I was sad to see him go when he did, but I think the move has definitely been a good one for him.

On a side note, I have gone to see many a concert this year. I had the chance to see Arcade Fire on Wednesday. I didn't know the music going into the show, so it was a little more challenging for me to get into the same mood as the rest of the crowd. That show, was not just a band. It was an experience! It was artistic and creative and different. I loved that the band members switched instruments during the show. The imagry they used during the concert I probably would've understood better if I knew the songs, but it was still well done. It was all beautiful.

The week before I went to see Vampire Weekend at the Paramount. That band is also a great one to see live. I have to admit, I don't always understand what their songs are about, but I get a kick out of how eccentric the music is. I love all the rhythm changes and Ezra's voice.

What a great experience. I've never been so close to the performers before. I'm glad the person I went with has a penchant for standing extremely close to the front of the stage whenever given the opporunity. It makes for a great time....plus the company wasn't half bad. ;)

I'll hopefully, get some video up on my flickr account soon...till then...

-Cheers!

Stressful Season


Lord, help me to accept the good and the bad. Help me welcome this year's challenges with a thankful heart. Help me to love fully and to give freely of my time to those around me; so that through me your work may be accomplished and yoru presence be made known.

I've been fairly stressed lately. Stress happens and it's a regular part of life. There have been many events I haven't been prepared for or didn't plan on happening. When my stress levels are like this it's hard to keep an open mind and a grateful heart for all of the events and outcomes, good or bad. I just want to stay on top of things...to just get by; I am in survival mode.

I want out of survival mode. I want to stop and enjoy all the wonderul things that have been happening. I want to be able to savor every moment with my boyfriend and each and every accomplishment. Instead I feel rushed. Like I need to be moving onto the next thing and am always thinking about things I still need to take care of at work or important things I need to do around the apartment. I have become very forgetful this past month and that's also been a source of frustration for me.

Normally, I am not that bad...I usually remember to pay my bills at the first of the month, remember my computer passwords, remember things I tell people or am able to quickly recall different situations and pull up resolutions at the snap of my fingers. That has not been happening lately and I've been struggling to keep up. I am ready for this 'season' to end and to start a new one...maybe one of rest. ;)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Pondering - Pain (Heaven vs. Hell and Poverty)

"We know much more about heaven than hell, for heaven is the home of humanity and therefore contains all that is implied in a glorified human life: but hell was not made ofr men. It is in no sense parallel to heavin: it is the 'darkness outside,' the outer rim where being fades away into nonentity."

- Dr. Edwyn Bevan (quoted in The Problem of Pain by C.S. Lewis)

I finished reading The Problem of Pain today. What a difficult book to read. I will probably need to re-read this book a few times to really understand everything C.S. Lewis wrote. Some of the stuff I had already come in contact with through my courses at Seattle Pacific University. Reading this book was like chewing on tough meat. You don't really finish it or feel full without taking multiple bites.

There were two things that stood out to me the most in the book. His discussion about Heaven and Hell and secondly, how poverty is related to pain.

"Of poverty - the affliction which actually or potentially includes all other afflictions - I would not dare to speak as from myself; and those who reject Christianity will not be moved by Christ's statement that poverty is blessed. But here a rather remarkable fact comes to my aid. Those who would most scornfully repudiate Christianity as a mere 'opiate of the people' have a contempt for the rich, that is, for all mankind excep tthe poor. They regard the poor as the only people worth preserving from 'liquidation,' and place in them the only hope of the human race. But this is not compatible with a belief that the effects of poverty on those who suffer it are wholly evil; it even implies that they are good. The Marxist thus finds himself in real agreement with the Christian in those two beliefs which Christianity paradoxically demands - that poverty is blessed and yet ought to be removed."

- The Problem of Pain pg. 109

These two things stood out the most to me while I was reading. Perhaps it's because there is so much poverty and suffering due to poverty that Lewis' statement stuck out to me. Perhaps, it's the hope of heaven that makes me think about how wonderful that 'pie in the sky' will truly be. Whatever the case may be, these are the things I am thinking about and contemplating how that affects the actions and choices I make each day.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Goofing Off


Goofing Off
Originally uploaded by kiki5253


A great weekend in Spokane was had by all. Silverwood was so much fun...though that Gravity Drop ride was sheer terror. I'm not so sure I could ever ride one of those and really enjoy it.

It was a cold day at Silverwood. Probably not the best day to ride the Thunder Canyon ride. Then again...when is it ever a good time to ride something that you'll get soaked in when you're wearing regular clothes. My jeans didn't dry for at least a day and a half. It was so much fun though!!

Enjoy the new pics!

-Cheers

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Saying Good-by is Tough

I can't begin to count the number of people I have said good-bye to over the past few years. I think at the rate I'm going...I say good-bye to more people than I am meeting. Kidding. But it sure has been a lot.

It makes me think about whether or not I've put all of myself into the relationships and what things might change in my life. I am always sad when I say good-bye. It was probably the hardest when one of my best friends moved away to teach English overseas.

I have been so blessed to know these friends and while I'll miss them, I am excited for them. I am hopeful that this new chapter will be full of exciting new adventures. Wonderful new people. Experiences that help them learn and grow. And that occassionaly, they remember to keep in touch. ;-) It's hard to always want the best for them when I feel like there is now a gap in my own life. I miss all of my friends dearly. Even though there is Skype and I can talk to my friends...it's not quite the same as having coffee or getting a meal together and shooting the breeze. I will miss all the hangouts. The BBQ's. The Game Nights. The Jokes. The Laughter.

It's a new chapter for me as well. Making new friends and becomming more aware of myself and the things that I do. The impressions that I leave people with and the importance of being open and honest in everything that I do.

I am looking forward to the new year. I can't wait to see what's in store for me and all of my friends.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

New Art


Seaweed prints from Canada!
Originally uploaded by kiki5253

These are now hanging in my apartment. I purchased some nice wood frames from Fred Meyer today and decided to replace some of the Monet prints that were hanging in my dining room.

The prints are made from pressed seaweed. I love the colors used and it's fun to see the different types of seaweed. A perfect import from Canada.

In other news...this weekend I will be watching Vampire Weekend at Marymoor Park on the eastside. I'm pretty excited for Sunday.

It's been a good week even though it's been lacking in sleep. :)

-Cheers!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Both Sides - Joni Mitchell

Things on My Mind

There are many things on my mind lately. So here goes...

God's Sovreignty - How much does God intervene...when and how. If He intervenes or speaks to us, how do we know it's not our own voices or the devil attempting to fool us?

Unconditional Love - How do I make sure that the people I love and care about always know they're loved. Particularly, my family members. Do I do enough and am I demonstrative enough in my acts, to show them that I love them.

Encouragement - How do I make sure that the words that I say and the things that I do are always building people up, rather than tearing them down. Am I playing nicely and safely (safely pertains to emotions as well as physical safety) with the people that surround me.

Investment of My Time - Have I been investing enough time and energy into the things I care about? That answer is probably no right now. Since that's the case, what are the things that I need to change in my behavior and attitude to make sure that I spend my time wisely.

The Past and the Future - No one's past is perfect. How do I make sure that the past isn't defining me and determing what I do in the future. Thta the future really is something I and my Maker determine.

Personal Growth - Am I growing in the manner and methods that are required of me for following Christ? Have I done the necessary things to always be changing and growing...becomming a better person.

My Talents - Am I using the gifts that were given to me for the Glory of God? If I'm not, then what's wrong with me and why haven't I been more disciplined. It must be laziness on my part. How can I change this



There are even more things on my mind right now, but this is the short list.

Space Needle from Alki


Space Needle from Alki
Originally uploaded by kiki5253

I took some pictures in Alki...my night photography skills may be getting slightly better. Practice makes perfect, right?!

There are a few new pictures that are up on my Flickr account now. Feel free to check them out.

-Cheers!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Beginning to Something Beautiful


Wedding Program
Originally uploaded by kiki5253

This weekend was my last wedding for the year. What an exciting year for weddings it has been! I was invited to eight different engagements and was able to attend six of them. I'm very happy for everyone who has found someone to spend the rest of their lives with. It truly is the beginning of something beautiful.

Everytime I go into a wedding I feel strange. Maybe it's that I attend the weddings without dates, but for some reason I feel like I'm missing something. It's probably that special someone and the desire to have that kind of relationship. I know it's not the time for these things to happen and I'm happy to be single. No, I'm not saying that I don't wish for a relationship, but...I am finding that I do like my singleness. I enjoy living by myself. I get to do whatever I want to do without worry that my other half might not enjoy it or doesn't have the time. There's no compromising or conflict. These are not excuses...if you're reading this and thinking this is some poor sap just trying to convince herself that she's happy then you're WRONG and you should go stick your head in the toilet. Who's to say I'm happy or unhappy or fooling myself except for me. What you think doesn't matter when compared with what God thinks and my response to Him.

At this last wedding the pastor made some blatant sexist remarks during his introduction to why we have weddings. I joked about it with my friends but it made me ponder the types of roles the husband and wife have in a marriage. The things that are truly important that cannot be compromised because the other person is hot/sexy or intelligent. The pastor was telling a story about how he wanted to make authentic neopolitan pizza and had wrecked what he considered to be his wife's oven "HER OVEN" to be exact. It wasn't something that was shared between them....there were clearly role distinctions that dictated she was the housewife and he was the man in the story. I'm sure that their relationship isn't actually like that, but it's funny how the little things we say on a whim can have such a huge impact.

I'm not sure what my list of things I cannot be swayed on is just yet. There's a few things that I know for sure, must be present in a man for me to give my heart away. But it's just something on my mind right now. Maybe you have a good list...and this has to be a list that's better than "Good Kisser, Likes to Read, Takes Long Walks on the Beach and Loves to Cuddle" kind of stuff. This is the where do you stand on Morality, Faith, Family and Values list.

I have a few new pictures up from the wedding and other weekend events. Enjoy!

-Cheers!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Old Train Tracks


Old Train Tracks
Originally uploaded by kiki5253

Taking a week off from work to spend time with my family made for a wonderful time. I have some great memories from this trip and it was a joy to spend time with my Aunt & Uncle.

This is a view of the Ocean from a small overpass where some old train tracks used to be. This is near the Pacific Beach Naval Resort which is designed to be an R&R place for active and retired Naval members and their families.

The houses were beautiful and kept in very good shape. They were cookie cutter houses in the sense that most of the homes looked alike. Pacific Beach used to be an active base and the houses were for the family members. Pacific Beach is not a very big town, but it's still quite charming.

Enjoy the pictures! There are also some pictures that I took at night of Seattle from different locations.

-Cheers!

View from Kerry Park


View from Kerry Park
Originally uploaded by kiki5253

New Pictures from the evening. I am using a borrowed SD card, so I needed to get the pictures off and then I decided to get some up tonight.

-Cheers!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Problem of Pain...and Death

I just started reading The Problem of Pain by C.S. Lewis again. This is problably the 2nd or 3rd time I've started the book and then not finished. Pain is a heavy subject and often with pain comes death. I sigh heavily when I approach this topic because it's not easy.

My life hasn't been easy. I'm not going to go into detail here in this public forum about the difficulties I've had, but know that what I write, I write from the point of view that one only has when they go through the fire. I'm not making speculative remarks when I write this post. This is from my first hand experiences.

I always struggle with this topic. The more I know...knowing that something is bad or knowing that I should respond to things that hurt me never really seems to make the pain or hurt go away. In fact, I've never found solace in someone telling me "it's for the best," "Things will get better," "Pray about it," "God loves you and understands," or most anything else that can sound cliche.

In the end, those statements are true. After time passes, I can look back and see that I have been refined and become a stronger individual. I know that I've been prepared for this journey that I'm on. However, at the time that things fall apart, that's not the case. I just want to be mad and to have someone or something to be mad at. I carried a grudge for a really long time because I though tthat if God was this great and powerful God then why did He let so many bad things happen? He's supposed to be protecting me and keeping me from harm. I know there's no promise that life will be easy and that things won't hurt...but if he wants and desires our happiness and love, then why the pain?

And so I read books like The Problem of Pain. This may never fully answer my questions. There are so many senseless things that happen in this life. Why just the other day in the Seattle Times I read about two young men who were driving at high speeds down I-5, clipped a car and then careened across three lanes to collide head on with an ambulance returning to its base after finishing a call. The two men were pronounced dead at the scene. What a tragedy! I read through the comments that people left and we're an insensitive society. Cynical to the core...most of the comments were about how those two men got what they deserved. One tried to justify what happened. In reality, none of us will know what happened because those two men are gone. If they're in heaven, thank the Lord. If they're in hell, it is a shame. Isn't it a shame that anyone should perish no matter what they've done on this earth? But then there's all the exceptions to that statement, right? What about all the people who've killed millions of people...or are serial killers. It is really a shame when they die or do we feel some sort of sense of justice. That justice has been served when these people die?

I guess this brings up another question for another post...What makes someone Human? Ponder that, because I'll be thinking about that for awhile.

Bad things happen to good people and good things happen to bad people. Bad things happen to bad people and good things happen to good people. There never seems to be a rhyme or reason for why it happens like that. Maybe it's that without the bad we wouldn't know what is good. Maybe the good is a glimpse into heaven. Maybe the senseless things aren't totally sensless in the end. Maybe the things we value and thing have reason and rhyme are actually senseless in the end.

My world has been turned upside down over and over. There never seems to be a single constant in my life except for God. Even church isn't a constant for me...or small group for that matter. Seems odd to say that, but it's true. I'm grateful for my small group, but I don't really know my small group. It's more of a social hour than it is people baring their souls. I don't really feel like I could tell people in my small group about myself and bare my soul. I guess that hints back to the iceberg analogy from my last post. My small group will only know a small portion about me and I'm okay with that but that the same time, it seems sad doesn't it?

Pain and suffering are things that are always going to be around. There is no escaping the fact that people hurt and die for seemingly senseless reasons. I'm sure that God has a plan and that there is structure, but it's never revealed to us at the time. That would wreck the story, right? ;-) Or as Kurt told me, "and yet without it, life would be dull. Well..really without the opportunity for it.." I often wish the plan would be revealed...but that probably means I'd try to find a way to bypass the difficult situations or painful moments in my life. In the end, I would be refined and I wouldn't become someone who could be loved.

Lewis uses an analogy about a master and his dog to explain. The dog is trained and disciplined in order to become more lovable to his master. It's true right? We train our dogs to do tricks, to go to the bathroom outside and not on our carpet. To not bite others or to not bark and jump on furniture. If we left the dog to its own devices, we would love the dog less. The refinement process allows the dog to become more lovable and enjoyable to be with.

To that I say...I want to be more lovable. God, make me more lovable

Monday, July 26, 2010

I'm really excited about looking at Mt. Rainier. That's all I have to say. What a good hike though. :)

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Karen's Leaf Mustache


Leaf mustache
Originally uploaded by kiki5253

I had a fun weekend. There was dinner and Castle Crashers, a hike up Mount Pilchuck (should've worn real hiking boots and not athletic shoes) and a day of lounging and napping at the Ballard Locks while listening to Big Band music.

But first...I HAD to take some leaf mustache pictures. I'm all for being rediculous...some of the pictures turned out much worse than this one. And by worse, I mean I am making some of the worst faces in the history of photography.

All in all, a good weekend with many friends. :)

-Cheers

P to the S: if you're interested in climbing Mount Pilchuck, read this first: http://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/mount-pilchuck

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Jabba the Winslow


Jabba the Winslow
Originally uploaded by kiki5253

or Winslow the Hut...whatever you want to call him. He's a pequiliar cat. A little demanding when he wants food, but otherwise quiet and always underfoot. I just had to share this because he looks rediculous.

-Cheers!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Revamped Website



Redesigned a few things on my website and made some updates. Check it out. Thanks to Sam for figuring out why IE was being stupid and making my pages display funky. Thanks to Reed for "branding" my pictures in the top banner. Wooo!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Who I am

This cosmic question seems to come up more often now that I am out of college and living on my own. Often, I think I have the answer nailed down. That I know where I want to go in life and that I understand who I am. Each time it comes up, I find that it opens up a part of me or bring a new piece of me to light that I hadn't considered or addressed. It can be little things that trigger this self discovery, but nonetheless questions arise. What does this mean? Does this change who I am now? Will this change my future? Will I forget my past? Will certain things up until this become less valuable?

Forgetting my past and things becoming less valuable have come up as I begin to explore more of my Korean heritage. I am proud to say that I was raised in Idaho and that I grew up in Lewiston. Sure, there are things I would change about my childhood if I could, but my childhood was full of wonderful things and wonderful people. All who were...very caucasion. I have to throw that out there, because I'm addressing a race issue in exploring my Korean side. I have many "white" tendancies for lack of a better term. I am Korean on the outside, but extremely white on the inside. My friends like to joke that I am a banana or twinkie.

When I went to Korea I still felt out of place...not because I didn't understand many of the Korean traditions, but because I'm super white on the inside and Korean on the outside. For once, I looked like everyone else. But while I was there, I felt even more out of place.

I want to explore my Korean heratige...I would like to speak conversational Korean and understand the people and the history more. I worry at times, that because I have this desire to know more, that this will mean I'll forget where I come from. Or that the things that my parents have passed down to me and taught me will be pushed the wayside. I worry that that's how it will seem to my family.

Someone asked me once where I would feel the most comfortable. Where would I feel like I fit in? I had no idea. I still have no idea. I tried so hard when I was younger to blend in...I didn't like sticking out and I didn't like all the attenion that being Korean brought. I just wanted to be Karen. Nothing else...I didn't want ot be known as that Korean girl, that Asian girl...Paul's little sister, the girl who's good at math, the one who plays piano or whatever label was thrown at me. I just wanted to be known as Karen.

I find that often this desire of wanting to be known can't be fulfilled in the way I envision it in my head. There is no person on this earth that could begin to comprehend who all of Karen is; the Karen I see vs the Karen you see. Each person has a different relationship to me and therefore has a different understanding of me. The tip of an iceberg is probably the best visual example of what I'm trying to explain. Underneath the water is where the rest of me is hiding. And yet...I don't want to be underneath the water.

Who I am. Well, I do know for sure that I am on an endless journey. I have learned that whatever self discovery I have done so far...cannot compare to the amount of things I will learn about myself down the road. Karen is a multitude of things. Just like everyone else. If we must use lables, I am a twinkie. I am an injured athlete. I'm a foodie. I am Korean. I am American. I am dense. I love logic and reason. I value those two things over emotions and intuitiveness. The list could go on and on....and yet the list would hardly begin to describe me. You try making a list of things about yourself that you like or wish people would see. It's not so easy, is it?

Who then is left to know me? Who can know that there's so much more under the water. Right now I have but one choice. I don't think there are any others and I don't think I'm wrong.

Where am I going from here? I am learning Korean through Rosetta Stone. I read books and at times I like to feel like I know what it's like to be culturally Korean. In reality, I don't. I have nothing to compare the things I learn with what I currently know. What a frustrating place to be...But this is what self discovery is all about right? There aren't standards when you discover yourself. You just uncover different things...and then change based on the standards of the type of person you want to be at the end of the day. So maybe this post isn't just about who I am and Where am I going. But also, who do I want to be.

Who do I want to be? I'll have to think about this a bit more and get back to you...

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

If only...

If only I could use this as my real email signature:

> Awesomeness Representative
> 206.281.2982
> awesome@spu.edu
> www.spu.edu/awesome


It is very winnar ish :)

Monday, July 12, 2010

Mind Mapping

Mind Mapping...try it!

Good Descriptions
Bad Descriptions AKA Things I Should Work On

Make your own and I'll pick some adjectives about you. :)

Polaroid cat - Hipstomatic


Polaroid cat
Originally uploaded by kiki5253

It's an app on the iPhone that makes the pictures you shoot look like you took them with a Holga camera. I actually have a Holga, but I don't use it too often because film development is often expensive...plus I am forgetful.

I like that I can just do crazy things with my phone now. It truly has become an all-in-one device.

The hipstomatic app is about $1.99 in the iTunes App store and is, I believe one of the top 10 apps right now in the Photography category. It seems as though a lot of people like playing with stuff like this.

I'm still exploring a lot of my camera settings. I was looking back through my pictures today and I noticed a recent change in exposure. I've been overexposing a lot of my pictures lately and I like the look...but I'm not sure if it's "me." It kind of feels like something I've taken from other photographers...particularly those who shoot for SPU.

In other news...I'm looking to acquire a new camera lens. I think I'll contact that friend someone suggested to me to look into purchasing his old Canon 28-135 IS USM lens. I'd really like to replace my kit lense 18-55 IS lens. I've dropped it twice now and I don't think it has a lot of life left.

I think I may look into taking a Photography class in the area...or something that has to do with HTML dev. I know that sounds very different...but I want to start working on my website and making it a little more useful. Right now it's two pages. Yeah, that's right. TWO FULL PAGES. More and more I feel like my blog has turned into a portal/hub of Karen things. I think that's a good thing. I'll just have to think on this more and figure out where I want to go with all of these random hobbies of mine. :)

There are quite a few new pictures...so take a look around. Hopefully you like what you see.

-Cheers!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Fireworks


050
Originally uploaded by kiki5253

I finally got some of my pictures up this evening. I posted pictures from my trip to Bellingham, the 4th of July Fireworks in Lewiston/Clarkston and a little Birthday Party gathering for a friend of mine.

- Cheers

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Slacklining


Slacklining
Originally uploaded by kiki5253

Pictures and Video of my friends slacklining on campus are up on my photostream.

Check it out!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

WWU campus - ResNet


WWU campus
Originally uploaded by kiki5253

I was at a conference on the WWU campus the past 5 days. It was an interesting experience. I learned quite a few things that I'll be able to take with me to work. I'm excited to see how that'll impact training and the relationships in my office.

This weekend was also an opportunity to spend time with family. My father's birthday was on Thursday and it was great to see my parents. I also enjoyed seeing my aunt and uncle while I was conferencing. My aunt always has great insight into a lot of things...especially about me. They're not always things I want to hear about myself, but they're helpful. I always feel more encouraged when I leave to return to Seattle.

I'll write another post about what I learned at the conference later. For now, check out the latest pictures I uploaded to my Flickr account.

- Cheers

Play Nicely, Play Safely and Play Fully - Title of my next post.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Trip to the Zoo


ZoowithWRP06_12_10 025
Originally uploaded by kiki5253

I took a trip to the zoo with Reed. He was supposed to bring his camera too, but I guess his battery was dead. You can see a distinct difference in photogrpahy style, but that's okay. I had a good time and I learned a few things while we were out and about snapping pictures.

I happen to love these little guys. The Patas Monkies are cute. I like the fact that they have mustaches. :)

Enjoy the new pics!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Safeco Field


Safeco Field Sign
Originally uploaded by kiki5253

First Mariner's Game of the season for me. What a great way to start...beating the Twins!

I love the Twins too...Minnesota is like a second home to me. :)

Anyway, I have pictures up from the game. Enjoy!

Happy Birthday Erin


Relax Yourself
Originally uploaded by kiki5253


Happy B-day
Originally uploaded by kiki5253


Happy Birthday Erin!!!
Originally uploaded by kiki5253


YEAH Erin!!
Originally uploaded by kiki5253

Though I don't know you at all...we made you a sign and took some pictures.

Cheers

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Genealogy...

...Is overrated in my humble opinion. I decided this after small group last night. We were reading Hebrews 7 and 8 and it's all about this priest who has no family. He kind of just shows up out of nowhere. Now, back in the day...you became a priest based on your family history. The tribe of Levi were all priests and that was passed from generation to generation. but this other guy...wasn't in the family in the way. He was of a different kind of "family."



Coming to my overall point...I like that there are stories in the Bible that pretty much state that it doesn't matter who you are...or where you're from (your family) in order to be a blessing and to bless those areound you. How cool is that? I don't have to be of royal blood to be someone who's important and significant to God. I just have to be me to inherit His blessings that were planned long before I was born.



Small Group has been a great blessing. I'm sad to think that I just started going just as the year is ending. Three more weeks of wondeful discussions, of heart-wrenching pain and of community that supports you when those dismal events happen. I don't think I have ever experienced community like this and it's mind-boggling. It's freeing. It's love. It's not perfect, but it's a glimpse of a beautiful story that is un-ending.



Wow, I sound sappy. The timing of this group couldn't have come at a better time in my life. This is a happy post and if I'm too sappy then I apologize. Go look at my pictures on Flickr instead.



Life is good. For the first time in years, I can truly say I am happy and enjoying life.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Seattle Sounders FC Badge


Seattle Sounders FC Badge
Originally uploaded by kiki5253

I went to my first Seattle Sounders FC game today. It wasn't the greatest of games. A lot of shoving, bad calls, calls that should've been made and desperation at the end. There were some pretty close shots - it's a shame they didn't go in at all. The Sounders definitely are not having the same season that that they had last year. The passing game is a little off and the plays don't look as clean. The shots would be about a ball's width away from the goal.

The crowd was excited and I noticed that the fans who are really into
football are attempting to create the same atmosphere in that of the English Premiere League. Maybe I'm just not loyal enough to all my teams, but it wasn't quite my cup of tea. I did enjoy the game and I will always love soccer more than any other sport. But, I think I'll still prefer my Mariners and a relaxing afternoon at Safeco Field.

I do have yet to hit up my first Mariner's game of the season. I think I'll have a work function outing to one the first week of June. That should be a lot of fun.

Check out my new pics!

-Cheers!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

My Gates and Jobs Comic


My Gates and Jobs Comic
Originally uploaded by kiki5253

I just randomly came across a site that had some photoshopped Jobs and Gates comics...so I decied to make my own. :)

-Cheers!

P.S. this has nothing to do with technology.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Remember the Sabbath...

Reasons for keeping the Sabbath...

  • You're able to spend time with God.
  • You're able to worship God.
  • You don't have to worry about Work because it's in God's hands
  • The world will not come crashing down if you rest.
  • You're able to clearly see the distractions that keep us from being close and get away from them.
  • We're forced to be still and listen
  • We gain perspective and feel refreshed/renewed.
  • We become excited and ready to take on the day.

The Sabbath doesn't necessarily need to be a specific day (I know there are differing opinions), but what's important is the taking of time to rejuvenate the mind and the soul. Taking the time to listen and to keep an open heart and open mind to what God is saying.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Ultimate Frisbee


Mike
Originally uploaded by kiki5253

I was invited to attend an Ultimate Frisbee game today at Magnuson Park. My friend was playing on the team and thought I might enjoy taking a few pictures of the team. He was right, of course.

Today was a great day to be outside. Unfortunately, my allergies kicked in and I'm paying for my lovely afternoon outside. In spite of that, I was able to get a few good pictures.

It was definitely easier to get pictures of Bad Pull because the game was in the afternoon and there was plenty of daylight. The soccer game was extremely difficult because it was late at night and the only light was from the stadium. I'm not very practiced at low-light photography and I'm not so sure my camera is the best for those types of events.

One day, I hope to pick up some more/new equipment that I can use in a variety of situations. Low light, Daylight...up close, far away...high speed or low speed.

Anyway, enjoy the new pictures!

-Cheers!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Thoughts on a Sunday Afternoon

Have you ever known that you were supposed to do it and then not? What were your reasons? Mine are mostly out of fear...I don't want to change. I don't want to admit that things aren't going as well as they could. I don't like to admit that I have no control over some situations. I don't like the feeling of being vulnerable.

I want to fix everything myself. I want to feel accomplished and I do when I complete something on my own. I want to be someone who's strong. I want to have courage and to be someone that people admire. I want to do good. All of these things conflict with the things I don't like.

Being someone who's strong and courageous also means that I need to be someone who's vulnerable...someone who can adjust to change and someone who can readily ask for help when they need it. There is no shame in asking. There is only shame when you don't speak up and don't seek what is needed in order to get better.

Why is it then, that it's so hard to ask for help? To see a counselor...to admit that there's something wrong takes a lot of courage. Why is there such a social stigma? I have always felt the need though, that if I have a problem that I need to fix it. This is the expectation I have come to have of myself and of those around me. This is the expectation that everyone else has of me. It's frustrating when you ask for help and get shot down. That when you need it, it doesn't come in the way you expect it to appear. It's frustrating when you feel like you're not meeting expectations; your own or those of everyone surrounding you. I know why I don't ask God for help when I should. I need to get over it and I need to grow up.

Why is religion seen as a crutch? Just like seeing a counselor is like having a crutch. We call people weak if they can't do it on their own. Isn't that an unfair expectation? That everyone can handle each and every situation without assistance from someone or something? How do those who make that claim, get by? I wonder. I wonder if they have the same problems. If they ever feel like they don't know what to do. Or if they ever feel like they're in over their heads and need help. Where does their help from from? They're not on crutches are they? Maybe we all have an inherent need for a crutch...or for someone to carry us through the difficult moments in life. Is that really a crutch then? Are we really weak when we say we need help? Help comes in many different forms. Does the help that you choose determine whether or not you're weak or strong?



I lift my eyes up to the mountains. Where does my help come from? My help comes from You, Maker of Heaven; Creator of the Earth.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Mary Poppins!


Mary Poppins!
Originally uploaded by kiki5253

I went to New York last night and watched a performance of Mary Poppins on Broadway. It was exciting and fun. It's always a pleasure to be whisked away into a fairytale of sorts. There are so many wonderful things about the books, Disney movie and theatre production.

And of course you have those ever popular songs! You can't help but laugh when you watch the production. I was amazed the most by the sets. Things would break and then with a *snap* be put back together. Ah the magical world of Disney!

-Cheers!

Twitter for my Blackberry

Finally! A full app!

Twitter for Blackberry Smartphones!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

My Last Week


Mural in the Rotunda
Originally uploaded by kiki5253

I spent a good portion of this last week in Washington D.C. I've always been interested in our Nation's History because, while it's short compared to some, it's rich and full of many events that shape not only our lives as Americans, but the world.

On the west coast everything is spread out. That's just the nature of this side of the country. But on the east coast, everything is much closer together. In 4 hours, you can drive to NYC - and travel through many historical cities such as Baltimore. In 4 hours over here you can go to Portland, but there isn't as much in between. Granted, I slept through most of the journey because I didn't want to be carsick...err...bus-sick. But it didn't quite click in my head that you could be in the White House and look directly across the river at Robert E. Lee's house in Virginia. Think about that....during the Civil War...your neighbor is essentially your enemy.

I leanred a lot about our country's history this past week. It's incredible to see the changes that have happened over time. History came alive at the National Constitution Center. I guess you could say it kind of renewed the feeling that I have a civic duty as a citizen of the U.S. Freedom...the freedom I have to do what I want, when I want and how I want...was bought with great sacrifice. The rights I have today weren't just given as gifts...they were fought for...tooth and nail and that's something I shouldn't take for granted. I'll admit that I have been fairly apathetic these past few years when it comes to politics and change in the government. A lot of times it seems like things are hopeless....that when it comes to voting...sometimes it feels like I'm voting for the "least worst" candidate. Or that party lines are so divided that it's hard to think that anything good will happen or that change is possible. There are a lot of things that need to be changed...Health Care was just one of the many things that needs to be overhauled and it's hard to figure out where to begin and what will be best for our nation.....but this goverment was founded for the people and by the people. We are the voice...each individual person...that's the point of the system that was designed when the constitution was written. That the states would be represented (the sentate) but also the people (the House of Reps - based on population). Hey...if the House of Reps is based on population...then you better get your Census 2010 on and participate! No one will speak for you if you don't do it yourself.

Just a little food for thought...

Enjoy the pictures!

-Cheers!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Prepping for the Goal Kick


Prepping for the Goal Kick
Originally uploaded by kiki5253

This was the last game with Yo Mamma's Cleats. We played for two seasons and it was definitely fun while it lasted.

I put up a few other pictures from the game. Night Action photography is not my specialty. In fact, this is the first time I've tried to take sports photos so be kind to me.

-Cheers!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Schamp x 2

More Schamppage, but this time it's in San Francisco! See the email below and check out the links.

I am delighted to let you know that your three submitted photos have been selected for inclusion in the newly released tenth edition of our Schmap San Francisco Guide:

If you use an iPhone or iPod touch, then these same links will take you directly to your photos in the iPhone version of our guide. On a desktop computer, you can still see exactly how your photos are displayed and credited in the iPhone version of our guide at:

Thanks so much for letting us include your photos - please enjoy the guide!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Let's Go Fly a Kite


Let's Go Fly a Kite
Originally uploaded by kiki5253

It was beautiful this weekend. And then it turned grey and actually snowed today. The weather is changing much too quickly. Ah well, at least Saturday was gorgeous!

I put a few pictures up from my afternoon in Discovery Park.

-Cheers!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Credit or Kwedit?

The idea of credit has gotten many people in trouble. Buy now, pay later. As my mom would say...I should only buy credit when I have the money. On most days I follow her advice and have stayed out of trouble.

I was watching the Colbert Report for March 2nd and came across and interesting segment about Kwedit. Apparently, this is an online site for kids who can play games and pay later. It's just like in the real world that if you can't pay someone else is asked to pay for you...and of course, your score goes down. I can't really say that there's much incentive for a child to keep a high Kwedit score. Mommy and Daddy will just bail them out. Haven't we heard this story before? Oh yeah...

As of Feb. 22, some of the most prevalent predatory tactics credit card companies use to lure in college students were banned, at least in their current forms.

Last May, President Obama signed into law the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act. This act contains new credit card rules and regulations intended to protect college students. It became enforceable Monday for most major banks.


I guess this means that it's still okay for kwedit to target children (13+ according to Kwedit) because they're not quite in college yet. If we as adults and college students have trouble understanding/managing credit, how will promises change that with a 13 year old?

Fiscal responsibility is spending what you have, not what you're going to make. Because you may not have a job next month or you may have other expenditures that you didn't count on next month so you can't pay on time. It happens to the best of us and the worst of us. There are no guarantees that the income you have today won't ever change.

Granted, there are times when a line of credit is necessary - student loans, car loans, mortgages...but in my opinion purchasing clothes, going to the movies, paying off your regular bills and buying food are things that shouldn't be done on credit. Spend what you've earned and save a little for those emergencies or fun things you'd like to do in the future...like vacations. Don't push it to the line or go in the red on a regular basis, you will be bitten. Mommy and Daddy won't always be able to bail you out...even if a promise was made to help you.

Ah Kwedit...to buy or not to buy...that is the question. Make sure you check out Kwedit.com sometime and let me know what you make of the idea and the company.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Wanted: Intelligent Individual

What makes a person intelligent? I've been mulling this question over lately trying to figure out what standard is out there. If there is a standard, who decides what it is? Are intelligent people just people who are ahead of the curve? Do their brains develop at an earlier age? Do they accomplish more in life? Does street smarts have anything to do with it? What about grades? What about job occupation? Are those all factored into some mathematical equation that tells us whether or not something is intelligent? Or maybe we're all a brain. We're just so bent on comparing ourselves to one another that we don't see the "intelligence" that is inside each person.

Is intelligent going to become one of those throwaway words...you know those words. The ones we use in every day speech. We use them so often that the sigificance of the word becomes lost over time. It's quite similar to when we say we LOVE something or that another thing is AMAZING or AWESOME! After awhile, everything is amazing and awesome. After awhile, I love everything so when I say I love you, does it mean anything?

Now, I can't write a symphony, but I can play the piano and flute. I didn't get a 4.0 in school, but I graduated from college. I work on computers and teach people about technology, but I can't code well. Does that still make me intelligent? Does my occupation automatically bump me up on some list you're calculating in your head? Or did I go down because I didn't have a 4.0? Would you still consider me accomplished? Why? Because I have a steady job? Am I accomplished because I graduated? Because there are times where I don't feel like I'm an accomplished individual.

So many people list "intelligent" as an attractive quality in a member of the opposite sex. Is that kind of intelligence only in the eye of the beholder? If we for ourselves determine what makes a person intelligent and nothing else, why do we still compare ourselves to each other and at times feel inferior when we can't do something as well as the other?

Does having a career in the technology and science side of things automatically elevate me above a career in another field? It must be because society is willing to pay more, therefore those people are smarter. But society pays athletes and actors/actresses millions of dollars annually...does that mean they're more intelligent than the rest of us? I doubt it. Based on the fact that their lives at times are more messed up than the average person you know in your school or work place. We'd almost call them dumb at times for the things they do on camera. On the other hand...who doesn't do something dumb on or off camera?

There must be many kinds/versions of intelligence out there in the world today. Because none of us are alike. Therefore, it seems to me that there can't really be a standard...a bar that people need to pass in order to be labelled properly. Someone with a phsycial disability may have the brightest mind you've never heard speak. Is that person any less intelligent because they can't say their name much less write it? Would we dare call someone stupid because their social skills aren't up to our own level?

Intelligence is derived from a Latin word that means to understand. Maybe this means we've been using the wrong word in our labelling. Maybe we should all use the word smart but that just means a person is capable of adapting to their own environment. So really...what word do we use to define what we're looking for in a member of the opposite sex? What word should we use to describe our friends or family members?

At the end of the day, I suppose this all means that inside each person there's a brain. Inside each of us we have the ability to understand and comprehend as well as adapt to our environment. We're all intelligent and smart. We're all capable of different talents...none of which make us any better or less than the person sitting next to us. It's how we use our talents...for good or for bad. And don't get me started who what's good and what's bad...who defines what's right and wrong. That's a post or pondering for another night.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Weekend at the Zoo


Giraffe
Originally uploaded by kiki5253

Giraffe!!!! I spent part of my weekend at the zoo again. :) It was great to see all the animals and show Bean everything I love about the Woodland Park Zoo.

Enjoy the new pictures!

-Cheers

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Microsoft Tag


Microsoft Tag
Originally uploaded by kharms5253

This is the tag I made on Microsoft's website. The idea is that you can make a custom bar code and put it on a product or business card. The bar code is unique in that it can take a person to a website that has additional information about the product.

So...you install the application on your phone. When you see something with the tag, you use the application to snap a picture of the bar code. The application will then decode the image and direct you to a website. In this case, the the bar code I posted will take you to my blog...which is what you're reading now.

It's an interesting idea...it'll be interesting to see if this will take off. People can make fun designs, not just triangles when it comes to these bar codes.

Go to the Microsoft website to learn more and download the application: http://www.microsoft.com/tag/.

Schmapped Again


View from Below
Originally uploaded by kharms5253

This time for San Francisco! Woo, they short-listed three of my photos. Maybe this means I will be famous?

Check out my San Francisco pictures and let me know what you think.

-Cheers

Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Week

What a fun and long week! I'm excited for this next one too. Last weekend I went out for Korean BBQ with a group of friends. I've never grilled before, but it was a lot of fun. I can't wait to have Laura come over from Spokane so we can grill together. :)

My parents also sent me some beautiful lillies this week. It was a bit of a surprise to not have any blooming when they arrived, but I guess that means I just get to enjoy them for a little while longer. I tihnk lillies are one of my favorite flowers.

On Friday night I went to see South Pacific at the 5th Ave Theater downtown with my parents. I didn't really remember a lot about South Pacific, but it was a cute play. I think for 1949 it was a very forward thinking play due to the way it confronted people's views on mixed race couples and families. I loved the fact that this Frenchman had polynesian children who spoke French. Apperances aren't everything right? It reminds me of the time I was eating lunch on top of QA at one of the parks and a lady started talking louder and slower to me. It was a bit startling for me and quite confusing. Ah well, there's no such thing as a perfect world.

Yesterday, was Valentine's Day at the zoo. The zoo keepers put out treats for all the animals at different points during the day. Upon entry, we were given a list of times that the different animals would be given their treats. The first stop was the Golden Tamarins in the Tropical Rainforest building. They had strawberry slices and other fruits to munch on. Next was the snow leopards. I've never seen them so active! And by active, I mean up and moving around. In the end they didn't do much to their valentines, bugt at least they were up and moving. There were two pinatas of treats and a bag full of grass and something else. One cat just rubbed it's head all over the grass bag. The other two got one of the pinatas down to rip open. The pinatas were shaped like a flower and a strawberry. Apparently, there was an incident last year involving an Elmo pinata of sorts. For some reason the zoo keepers didn't have anything so they stuffed Elmo full of chicken bones and other raw meat. Elmo was ripped to shreds and the little children did not like that. HAHA! There was screaming and apparently a girl asked her mommy, "Is Elmo going to be okay?" I think someone responded by saying Elmo was so dead. Poor scarred children.

I think the best animal valentine was the Orangutans. There were jello hearts attached to the glass windows and little treats and decorations left all over there exhibit. One swung around to eat all the jello hearts...even sucking them off the window; not even bothering to peel the jello hearts off the wall. Another one just grabbed all the tissue paper balls full of popcorn. It was so entertaining to hear everyone laugh. It was great fun, it sure would be fun to go again next year to see more of the animals. A day at the zoo is always good for the soul.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Eu gosto de voce

Music Friday - Karen's Picks

Tonight: Franz Ferdinand
I dig this two disc album...it's got a little dance...a little acoustic...good beats...

Vampire Weekend - both Self Titled and Contra
Unique sound - always peppy. I like it - different from other stuff I've heard recently. The band is from New York and they look like hipsters.

Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix - Phoenix
I just discovered this recently through Herrman and I like it. He has good taste.

This is War - 30 Seconds to Mars
Favorite song so far on this album is Kings and Queens...not sure about the entire album yet, but I got it today. I saw them perform on The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien and I liked what I heard.

Saints and Liars - Noah Gundersen
Love this album. It's short and I wish there was more. They lyrics are incredible...emotional...raw and pure. Yeah...there's an explicit track, but when you hear the song it's not that big of a deal. I've seen him at The Round 2x...once was the Christmas Special at the Triple Door.

We Sing the Body Electric! - The Lonely Forest
Local Band...somewhere on the peninsula I think. I heard the lead singer perform one of these songs at The Triple Door. Good stuff!

The Fall - Norah Jones
Love Norah. Love her voice...love what she writes. This is a really popped up album compared to some of her other things, but it's good. I enjoy the song Young Blood the most.

Yes, I'm eclectic when it comes to my taste in music. :)

Monday, January 18, 2010

Bear Claws


Bear Claws
Originally uploaded by kharms5253

Manning Park was a great place to visit this weekend. I enjoyed playing with the dogs. I was able to spend time with family and relax. A good way to end the week.

On a funny note, there are always memorable quotes when my family gets together:

"But I have a 15 gallon Tank" in response to only putting 3 gallons in the car - clearly not enough to fill the tank

"Remember, don't go till the light is Green" - we were stopped behind another car...

Good times! Enjoy the new pictures. I took a lot of the park and the surrounding area.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Schmapped!

I've been Schmapped. Yes, it's just a link into my flickr account, but it also means one of my pictures was good enough to make it to a legitimate publication! Booyah!The letter I received:

I am delighted to let you know that your submitted photo has been selected for inclusion in the newly released tenth edition of our Schmap Seattle Guide.

Good enough for me!

-Cheers!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

New Property Owner?

Apparently I own the property SPU sits on...or at least part of it according to someone's bad records:
Dear KH,
Housing program for property 3307 3rd Ave. W MS 2046 Seattle, WA 98119.
K, you are now eligible for 4.43%.

Sincerely,
Client Services

I always wanted to be a landlord and own/run a University...not.

Hear my plea...

Hear my prayer, O LORD, listen to my cry for help; be not deaf to my weeping. For I dwell with you as an alien, a stranger, as all my fathers were.(NIV)

or as it's translated in The Message Remix:


Ah, God, listen to my prayer, my cry - open your ears. Don't be callous; just look at these tears of mine. I'm a stranger here. I don't know my way - a migrant like my whole family. Give me a break, cut me some slack, before it's too late and I'm out of here.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Genesis 2

The LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him." Genesis 2:18


Today in church we talked about Genesis, Chapter 2...about how we're not only created to be in relationship with God, but how important it is to have relationship and community with one another.

I went to Quest this Sunday instead of where I've been attending for the past 5 years tonight and I must say, I did enjoy tonight's sermon. "It's okay to be lonely." I've never thought that it was okay to have this longing to be known by someone else. I always thought it was a failure on my part that there wasn't and hasn't been someone who knows all my intimate thoughts on this planet. It's okay to have that longing. It's okay to desire that kind of community.

It doesn't mean that this type of relationship or that being known comes in the form of dating a particular person or getting married. Certainly, those types of relationships can, but Community Groups and friends are there too. It's just difficult sometimes to see that. A lot of us think that if I was only dating that feeling would go away...or if I was married that the feeling would go away. I know that I've thought that before. I am content being single, but that doesn't mean I don't long for someone or a group of close friends to know me. I always thought that the longing I had was for the other half...the half that would be with me til death do us part. But now I realize that while that may be part of the longing...it's more of a longing in general to be known and to know someone else and to love them unconditionally.

What a challenge then...to love someone unconditionally and to let someone love you just as you are. Yes, we have flaws and we should work on them to become better people, but people make mistakes. We do things that hurt other people or we get hurt by other people. It's hard to love when that happens. It's hard to want the best for someone when we're hurting and in pain. It's always easy to love when there's no cost to ourselves. It's a new challenge...to love others even when it's not "convenient" or easy. Donating money to a cause verses giving my time and hands to a cause. That costs something. I have to sacrifice. What am I willing to sacrifice? Who will I love and what will I do to show them...even if I get hurt.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Sunday, January 3, 2010

80th Birthday


Carrot Cake
Originally uploaded by kharms5253

Today is the day of my Grandpa's 80th birthday. Actually, both of my grandpas are now 80 and fought in the Korean War. One was in the Army while the other was in the Navy. (The Navy gets the gravy and the Army gets the beans...)

It's strange to think that my Grandpas are getting old...I guess I see the changes, but at the same time I don't want to think of them as old. They're both very active and involved. One has an incredible garden that he takes care of and the other is very much involved in some of the bowling leagues in the area.

Last night I got to hear all about the aircraft carriers my grandpa spent time on as well as many other stories and adventures. He's been through the Panama Canal twice! I think he's done more traveling than me thanks to the Navy. He was originally stationed at a now defunct Naval Airbase out of Oakland (or near) and then was put on the U.S.S. Antietam during the Korean War. After their time over in the Pacific, the ship returned to San Diego and then went south through the Panama Canal and over to the East Coast for repairs. He then returned on the U.S.S. Shangri-La through the Panama Canal to Bremerton where it was to undergo repairs.

I learned so much about planes and aircraft carries. I guess he was one of the persons on deck who would help slingshot the plane as it was taking off.

What a different time that was....almost like a different world. I'm lucky to have these firsthand accounts. I don't think I'll ever forget this weekend.

Lighthouse on Alcatraz


Lighthouse on Alcatraz
Originally uploaded by kharms5253

I just returned from San Francisco on Saturday. This was my first trip to the bay area. I had a blast! I love the buildings/architecture and the sights.

My friend and I went to the Piers (of course), Alcatraz Island, Coit Tower, Downtown, walked through Chinatown and the Mission District, toured Mission Dolores, walked a million miles through Golden Gate Park and of course made a pit stop at the lookout for the Golden Gate Bridge.

Overall, I'd have to say my Winter Break was fairly well spent. :)

-Cheers