Thursday, January 15, 2009

almost ready to become a korean housewife

after yet another successful batch of kimchi jjigae, i'm pretty sure i would make a kick ass korean housewife. if only i didn't suck so much at making rice.

i suppose that's what rice steamers are for. perhaps i'll invest in one somewhere down the line.

Monday, January 12, 2009

such a sap

let it be known that i just watched marley & me and am now a sobbing wreck.

i haven't cried this hard since reading the sixth harry potter book.

it's funny, the things that affect me. marley & me reminded me so much of blondie, the super dog we were lucky enough to have in our lives from when i was a kindergarten-er all the way up to my college years.

not to spoil too much, but the final scenes hit close to home and i was flooded with memories of my mom and me, on the vet's floor, saying goodbye to blondie and thanking her over and over for being such a good dog.

blondie, wherever you are - feel free to come haunt us and teach kimchi a lesson or two on what a good dog should be.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

so maybe that's my problem...

"A December 31 Capricorn responds to their heart, not their head. They may be impractical in the extreme, but they also paint their world in vibrant and extreme colors. A certain brilliance does not shield them from a great deal of instability. This can be a drawback to maturation, yet it also provides them with the emotional exhilaration they crave.

Capricorn Information for December 31
You should embrace:
Receptiveness, fantasy, the creative muse

You should avoid:
Willfulness, flattery, ego issues

Friends and Lovers

Even though December 31 individuals enjoy being surrounded by a large group of friends, they are anxious to have time in the spotlight. This is generally based on a lack of self-esteem. They often experience a great deal of heartbreak in love, linked to their inability to make good romantic choices.

Children and Family

December 31 people love family life. It's often the anticipated pleasures of a family that prompts them to settle down. Even though they may seek to work out issues from their childhood in their relationship with offspring, they brim with love and tenderness.


December 31 natives often ignore health issues until they notice a problem. Luckily, they possess natural vitality that allows them to neglect exercise and nutrition without seriously affecting their health. They may experience periodic problems with sleep, usually brought on by worry.

Career and Finances

It isn't uncommon for December 31 natives to change careers several times. They have a hard time settling on what they want. Although they have an instinct to make money and lead a stable, productive life, they also possess an emotional instability that is at war with their other instincts. Though adept at making money, they are better at spending it.

Dreams and Goals

People born on this date need to feel loved and valued. This is more important to them than professional success. If they are able to conquer their insecurities, they can be successful in their career. They have enormous creative talent."

Wow, for once I feel at one with my astrology writeup. I can't count how many times I've read Capricorn traits thinking "yeah, I'm organized and practical in my own way... but not in the business/money-making sense that they seem to be talking about."

I guess being born at the end of the month changes things a bit. This is by far the most accurate depiction of my personality any horoscope has ever given me. I'm a wanderlust, schemer, and dreamer at heart.

And so another year ends, and I'm 26. Plans for today are unfortunately the least desirable I've ever had on a birthday. Hostessing at the restaurant. As everyone puts it, at least I'm bringing in the New Year making money, and it will be a festive atmosphere.

After much soul searching and employment issues, my new year's resolution is to enter grad school ASAP.

The professional procrastinator that I am, I just kept thinking "I'll work straight through the year and do grad school later." Part of my problem is that I didn't know what I wanted to go to school for, nor how to finance it.

Being jobless in a bad economy changed all that, and I decided that now is the best time to suck it up and do it. I just couldn't see myself half-heartedly working yet another job that had nothing to do with my goals. I'm applying to SUNY Cortland to pursue my master's in ESL. In state tuition and living with my grandma will be a much better route than trying to support myself while going through school (which is a partial reason why Hamline didn't work out).

Grad school is a pretty good resolution to have. Also on the list: I need to stay in better contact with people. Hopefully 2009 will prove to be the year of fruitful changes.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

so do washing machines...

it's tuesday night, and for the first time i'm finding myself with absolutely nothing to do. no laundry, no dinners, no shopping excursions. a chance to properly update!

all i have to do is listen to christmas music on pandora (god help me), eat leftover pizza, enjoy some buffalo trace on the rocks, and catch up on the past two months.

it's been a hell of a two months.

it seems to have all started when kimchi swallowed the needle. life started going and wouldn't stop. up until mid-october pretty much every weekend was spent traveling somewhere - celeste's shower, grandpa yusko's funeral, celeste's bachelorette party, celeste's wedding.

in light of losing two grandfathers, i did gain one amazing brother-in-law. welcome to the family, chris. it only took you seven years to get here, but you made it. three cheers for chris. hip hip hooray.

the wedding was gorgeous. perfect october weather, at peak foliage. the ceremony took place in a little circular courtyard outside. the reception was inside, at the corning country club.

my personal favorite part of the wedding was when celeste's dress broke not once, but twice. being that the second time meant the dress was beyond repair, she sent diane and myself in a frenzy to get her jeans and my t-shirt so she wouldn't have to be the naked bride.

i thought it was rather funny that the t-shirt i wore that day was a mondale '84 t-shirt. she obviously didn't have a clue who mondale was. that is, until some guest told her and i heard from across the dance floor, "TANYA! MONDALE'S A DEMOCRAT?!?!"

good times.

if you would like to peruse pictures, you can look at them here. the password is bubble.

for now, here is mi famila:

da bridal party:

the ceremony:

i think that according to the last apartment update, arthur and i were trying to get the downstairs apartment. turns out we just ended up keeping the one i'm currently in. it really looks like a different place from the one i lived in for an entire year. with the help of debbie and phil, we painted the living room, kitchen, and hallway yellow. with arthur's craftsmanship, we also have a breakfast bar and stools now. a proper place to eat! and drink...

after a few stops at ikea, we also now have a new entertainment center and bookshelves. i think we're both rather proud of how the place turned out.

i ended up taking melissa's room after she moved out, which means i now have my own bathroom. it's the best feeling in the world to know that i can pretty much stay in bed all day without having to meet the outside world (or apartment). have to go to the bathroom? covered. need a refill of water? covered. kimchi has to go to the bathroom? covered. oh wait, nope, still have to take him outside for that.

and finally, for the future. i tried my best to bleach my bathroom this evening and ensure everything is clean, because my parents are visiting this weekend. but wait, that's not all! they're bringing hetty, vespa, and felix with them. hetty and vespa are only here for the visit, but felix will be here to stay. i can't even count how many times i've gone home during college, or even recently, and said something to the effect of "aren't you going to miss felix when i take him with me?" or "do you think he'll fit in my suitcase all right?"

after telling my mom that arthur and i were thinking about getting a kitten, she decided felix, our much-beloved 14 year old black cat, would be better off living with us, away from the four beastly dogs. apparently judson yelled at him not too long ago when he tried to jump up on the couch onto my mom's lap. since then, he hasn't been too keen on getting up on the couch and isn't getting the attention he deserves.

anyway, at least here he will only have a little terrorist chihuahua to put up with. felix is kimchi's buddy. kimchi really enjoys chasing felix around or forming the "kimchi conga line" with him. we're just like the brady bunch. a twisted verson at that.

after this weekend, celeste and chris (hopefully) are visiting. not sure what the plans entail, but it will probably involve a historic tour of some sort.

then comes thanksgiving, hurrah! only my favorite holiday. we are renting a car to drive out to horseheads, because traveling with chihuahuas is a a bitch, and with two people the cost is manageable.

that's about it in terms of updates. maybe one day we'll have pictures of the apartment to put up, so everyone can see just how amazing it looks. nope, not biased at all.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

yes we did

it's loud outside, yo.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

the scariest of them all

...and the reason why i would sleep with a crucifix when especially scared at night.

in the halloween spirit

the 4:15 mark... one of the scarier things i saw as an impressionable young mind.

... and the reason i couldn't sleep with my back to a wall for the greater part of my youth.

large marge scared the crap out of me, too. (right around 1:20)

Friday, September 12, 2008

reason number 59345 that i love brooklyn

this article comes from the new york sun and discusses the drastic changes taking place on franklin avenue:

"A main thoroughfare in Brooklyn's Crown Heights neighborhood, an increasingly powerful magnet for recent college graduates and young professionals seeking affordable rent and access to mass transit, is undergoing a transformation. The bodegas, hair salons, and fast-food restaurants lining the section of Franklin Avenue that runs between Eastern Parkway and Atlantic Avenue, on the western boundary of Crown Heights, are slowly being replaced by organic markets, cafés, and clothing boutiques.
'Williamsburg has moved over here,' Anthony Fisher, whose family has owned Fisher's Supermarket on the corner of Lincoln Place and Franklin Avenue since 1981, said recently. The market has begun stocking organic produce, and even organic beer, to satisfy the growing demand from health-conscious residents.

As rental prices rise in other areas of Brooklyn, such as Williamsburg and Prospect Heights, young New Yorkers are moving eastward into Crown Heights in search of more affordable homes, according to a sales agent at Lang Realty, Joseph Brikman. 'The same thing you'd find in Prospect Heights, the same amenities, you can get for at least $300 cheaper in Crown Heights,' he said. On average, a one-bedroom in the neighborhood is about $1,200 a month, compared with as much as $1,700 a month in Prospect Heights.

Retail rents are also cheaper on Franklin Avenue than other Brooklyn shopping streets. To rent a storefront on the Crown Heights thoroughfare costs about $2.50 a square foot. In comparison, retail rents in Prospect Heights range between $3.50 and $4.50 a square foot, according to a commercial broker at Woodbury Real Estate Solutions, Sonni Woodbury.

'Over the next five years, it's going to become like Boerum Hill's Smith Street or Park Slope's Fifth Avenue,' the co-owner of a recently opened beer garden in the neighborhood, Matthew Roff, said of Franklin Avenue. The beer garden, Franklin Park, launched in April on St. John's Place, and is now a popular gathering place for newcomers, longtime West Indian residents, and chasidim, who mingle around picnic tables in the leafy, brick-walled courtyard. Mr. Roff is planning to eventually double the 2,000-square-foot space that once was a garage with a litter-strewn yard.

Around the corner, the Point de Couture boutique features up-and-coming designers. 'I wanted to bring a little SoHo to this area,' the owner, Emanuelle Christian, said. She opened the space last year in a storefront that was being vacated by a tax accountant.

Chadon Bell launched his tattoo parlor, Brooklyn Ink Spot, at Franklin Avenue and Park Place in 2006. 'I'm into the culture of ink, and people moving into the neighborhood are obviously into it,' he said, adding that the business is seeing its sales increase by about $2,000 a month. Over the last two years, Mr. Bell said, police patrols and sweeps of drug dens have encouraged merchants to open more stores in the area.

While the retail scene is rapidly changing, there is also a transformation in the residential market. A shopkeeper who owned a variety store at the corner of Eastern Parkway and Franklin Avenue for 21 years, Eli Mazon, is now developing the building into an eight floor, 62-unit rental building. The project, which is set for completion in the spring 2010, will include studios, and one and two bedrooms, in addition to commercial office space. While the rents have not yet been finalized, the development, which will also boast a garage, gym, and doorman, will range from $2,000 a month to $3,500 a month.

'There's a massive change on Franklin now and I wanted to be part of that,' the owner of Bristen's Eatery, Carleen Haughton, said. The café, on Franklin Avenue and Sterling Place, serves salads and paninis named for local streets and boasts a spacious backyard, where Ms. Haughton, who moved from Clinton Hill in March, hosts outdoor concerts."

for all those who aren't aware, eastern parkway and franklin avenue was a notorious drug corner. crown heights has seen its share of riots, violence, gangs, and drug dealings in the past, but is slowly turning into a good residential area.

i live at that intersection and have never seen anything suspicious, aside from random men using the construction border as their own personal urinals.

but that's beside the point. i am trying to finagle rent down in the basement unit of my building, so arthur and i can live there and not pay an arm and a leg. i rather enjoy having four limbs. not to mention the basement unit is much smaller and not as nice. on the plus side, it does have access to the "backyard" aka broken glass receptacle. we're trying to offer our handiwork in exchange for a rent reduction. we emailed a proposal to the management company, saying we will gladly landscape the front and backyards, finish the floors, paint the walls in like colors, etc. at this rate, however, we're not so sure the landlord is going to go for it.

either way, i am so 100% happy with where i live, both building- and location-wise that we probably will end up just taking the apartment for the asking price if all else fails.

my wallet will hurt, but i think i'm due for a raise.

i can't imagine another year in brooklyn without walking kimchi down the tree-lined eastern parkway, grabbing hummus from fisher's, running in prospect park, enjoying a beer at franklin park, or getting breakfast at bristen's.

we've gone on a whirlwind tour of apartments in crown heights, prospect heights, clinton hill, fort greene, and bed-stuy, and none of them holds a candle to this place (walking 15 steps to the subway is probably the best part).

shh, don't tell anyone. in keeping with the "hipster olympics" theme, i would even go as far to say crown heights it's the new williamsburg. except it's not. it still has the ethnic vibe, and i'm hoping the neighborhood can co-exist peacefully while continuing the clean up to make it a safer place for families. i'll be pissed if it picks up that williamsburg pretension. plus it's affordable... though with just two of us living here, there will be a drastic increase in rent compared to what i'm paying now.

though i have to admit, the construction lot next door is worrisome. they are building an 8-story condo building, and rumor is a starbucks is going in the ground level along with some other retail shops. come 2010, i can kiss affordable rent goodbye.

keep your eyes, fingers, and toes crossed.