Today was a big day. It was the first time I left the comfy confines of my condo (aside from being shuttled to and from the surgeon’s office by my loving husbie for my post-op follow-up visit) in over two weeks.
Oh yeah - I forgot to tell y’all. I tore my achilles playing basketball while
executing a killer crossover then driving and dishing like a good point guard looking like a clumsy fool. ULTIMATE DEBBIE DOWNER TROMBONE.
I’ve never had any type of major injury, broken bone, etc. in my life…so this has definitely been a shock to my system. And though I’ve been perfectly content at home hopped up on some “adult candy” (i.e., pretty powerful pain-killers), this whole experience has made me really appreciate the little things. What I would give to just walk around normally. Take a shower without it being an ordeal. Go to work and do my daily routine. Play a pick-up game of hoops again. *sigh*
Despite the boo-hoo sentiment of this post, I really am in good spirits. The surgery went well and I’m already a bit ahead of schedule in my recovery. My incredibly patient and understanding husbie took me to the Korean grocery store today and I had a fun time shuffling around the aisles in my huge honkin’ boot grabbing all sorts of yammy treats. I mean, I’m confined to my crutches for about eight weeks so I might as well get fat, right? ROROR LULZ. *^_______^*
Otay, I’m off now to watch Tangled on the Disney channel and eat some amajing miso ramyun I bought at Super H-Mart! Bai for now my tumblies!
This morning, I got up bright and early to take the boyf to the dentist’s office. Why, you ask? The dreaded WISDOM TEEF EXTRACTION OMG SO SCURRY. He was srsly giving himself an anxiety attack for the entire week with the non-stop googling of horror stories. You know, the usual hypochondriac behavior…
NB4R, I know this is a really stressful experience. I myself was freaking out when I had mine done a couple years ago, but I kept telling him it’s never as bad as it seems. I remember sitting in the chair hearing my dentist saying I was going to start to feel drowsy, and then the next thing I knew I was sitting on my friend’s couch wondering how the heck I teleported there. I didn’t have any swelling, my pain was next to nothing with all of the
adult candy vicodin I was given, and I was completely back to normal within a few days.
The future hubby had it much worse, unfortunately. His surgery took three hours because one tooth was severely impacted and another hadn’t even grown in yet. That resulted in a lot of extra effort (and bleeding), so I started to get antsy after 1.5 hours had passed. When they finally brought me to him after he had woken up, it was so sad slash hilarious. I felt so helpless and concerned hearing him moan/make funny noises with that IV coming out of his arm. But he was also so loopy that his mumblings weren’t making no kinda sense ("Ray, I don’t want to go get my wisdom teeth taken out!" - "But they’re already out, silly!"). He also kept asking where he was, where I was, and when we were going home every two minutes.
There’s maybe only one good thing that comes out of being in such a vulnerable position like that - your true feelings tend to come out (whether intended or not). The boyf’s first reaction upon seeing me after he woke up went something like this (translation in parentheses):
BF: Rmmmphfh? (Ray?)
Me: I’m here, honey.
BF: *sigh of relief*
BF: *gesturing to his face*, *gesturing to his heart*, *pointing at me*
I love you, too.
Emily Blunt, I feel you gurr. Srsly.
Except that I’m not being sarcastic.
Yes, I have averaged 13+ hours at work the past couple days. Yes, I will be working on the coming weekends. Yes, it feels like stuff just keeps coming at me (and everyone else), with work fires needing to be put out every five minutes, it seems. Yes, I am mentally exhausted slash incapacitated by the time I finally head home at night.
But it’s ALL worth it.
Working in the Emergency Operations Center for the ongoing nuclear situation in Japan has been a real eye-opener for me. Dealing with issues that *really* matter, with people that *really* care. All of my colleagues seem to be running on fumes at this point, but they keep at it and never complain. I can honestly say that the last two days have probably been the most rewarding in my nine-plus-year government career. Don’t get me wrong - it’s not that I don’t appreciate what I do normally…far from it. It’s just that I feel like this situation is so different from my regular day-to-day that it’s made me appreciate what I do even more. I mean, I’ll be participating in daily briefings for White House staff on our progress and results. How can you not get excited about something like that??
l feel fulfilled. And I seem to have a little more pep in my step, despite being maddeningly sleep-deprived. Heck, last night when I got to the gym (after leaving the EOC at 9:30), I had one of my best workouts in recent memory. I don’t know where this extra energy is coming from, but I don’t ever want to lose it.
Hey you - Mr. Man Upstairs - BIG thanks for giving me the opportunity to make a difference (no matter how small it may be), and honestly enjoy doing it as well.
So, in summary on how I’m feeling (in AZN gif format, of course):
So I’m sitting here lounging on my parents’ couch and I feel so content. It is my first time home for the holidays in two years and boy, have I missed it. The radio is on playing soft jazz, Daddy is checking his e-mail (and typing 5 wpm), and Mommy is in the kitchen cooking some of her world-famous Korean BBQ’d ribs. The smell is intoxicating.
I love coming home to Oregon/Washington. It’s held a soft spot in my heart ever since I was a wee-old, bowl-cut boy running around my neighborhood cul-de-sac in Beaverton. The one thing about this place that never changes is the people. Which leads me to my first-day-home highlights:
- My connecting flight to Portland at the butt crack of dawn this morning was so indicative of the type of people I’m talking about. It was such a contrast to my first flight out of DC - glum, quiet, meh. On this second flight, everyone was chatting politely, smiles on their faces. The girl next to me offered me some of her snacks and gum. The people across the aisle were talking (not annoyingly) throughout the flight and when they landed, they all exchanged contact info. And it was such an odd group - two younger guys and a lady old enough to be their mom. I had to smile to myself.
- After a yammy homemade runch and a quick nap, I went to the neighborhood gym, where Daddy is apparently the mayor. He was walking around waving at everybody like a beauty pageant winner (ELBOW-ELBOW WRIST-WRIST). Anyway, it was more of the same. There were all sorts of characters working out, but so many genuinely nice conversations going on. I was even roped into playing my first dose of pick-up hoops in over three years. It was only a quick 2-on-2 game to 9, but I’m proud to report I scored 7 of my team’s 9 points, including the game-winning trey at the end (and thank the LAWD cuz I felt like my lungs were exploding by then). YEY ME~!!!
Okay, the ribs are almost ready and my parents want to toast my return (with some really cheap bottle of wine because they are LUXULY like that). My holiday at home has officially started.
warrennotg asked: I meant to ask you this question this weekend, but I forgot. And this is all serious-like, so you don't have to post it on the dash if you don't want to.
As a South Korean-American, what are your thoughts on North Korea? Are you worried about their potential aggression against South Korea/the World in the near future? If so, what do you think would be the best way for The South/America/the World to respond: containment, sanctions, military action, etc?
I ask, not because I assume that since you're South Korean that you have a thesis on "How to Handle Pyongyang" in your head, but rather because I'm interested in your unique perspective and how it may or may not agree with the American media's portrayal of the situation.
Actually, my thoughts on North Korea are pretty much in line with what most of my fellow Americans think. I went to an American school on a military base from grades 3-12. But since I also lived in Seoul during that time, I also had the perspective of a local Korean citizen. When I got there initially, I was kinda scared at the potential for conflict so close to where I was. But by the time I left, my peers and I were so used to the threats and bad press all the time that we just rolled our eyes slash were like whatee’errr…nothing is going to happen.
I remember watching snippets of North Korean TV that were sometimes broadcast on South Korean stations, and it was just so shocking. The news anchors, citizens, and even kids in kindergarten talked like brain-washed robots. More recently, I know many North Koreans have sobered up to reality as conditions have continued to deteriorate, but everything is still so tightly-controlled there’s not much they can do.
Deep down, I think most South Koreans feel really badly for the plight of their neighbors, and would like to see reunification eventually. But the problem of the North’s crayjee dictatorship still remains, as well as the logistical nightmare that reunification would cause. You would have masses of North Koreans migrating south and it would be out.of.control.
So for now, I believe the world’s response has been what I believe to be the best route - containment, sanctions, etc. Military action would surely start a major conflict, as Kim Jong-Il and those in power in NK are literally bonkers. And until that regime topples, this will continue to be the problem.
I understand your concerns over the BP oil spill in the gulf. It is a tragedy. And as such (even though it is entirely unrelated to the specific issues we were having these public meetings about), I volunteered - on the mic, no less - to send you some information on EPA’s response to the crisis, as well as how you could get involved as a concerned citizen.
However, when I approached you after our final session, you said the following to me:
"Are you kidding me? I don’t want your garbage."
"You are corrupt and part of the evil empire!"
"Government is all the same - you have sold out to big business and the corporations."
"You don’t care about us. All you care about is your fat paycheck and fancy cars and expensive dinners."
Sir. I value my job as a government employee. I feel like I am making a difference (no matter how small it may be). I take pride in what I do. I, along with my colleagues, came here to inform the public and listen to your issues related to our work project. And by the way, we’re not required to do this in any of our regulations; we just believe it is our duty as public servants…and the right thing to do.
How dare you raise your voice and personally attack me. How dare you get in my face and make me feel like my work is worthless. And how VERY dare you tell me I don’t care about the environment when I presented material, answered questions, and committed to provide additional information to members of the public for 11+ hours, all while taking detailed notes for meetings which I worked for 2+ months to set up with our stakeholders. You accuse our Agency of doing nothing about the spill, yet when I try to give you information related to our clean-up efforts you dismiss and belittle me?? HOW.VERY.DARE.YOU.
Your evil, corrupt, garbage-of-a-gov’t-worker,
P.S. Bt-dubs, my “expensive” dinner tonight was scarfing down McDonald’s in ten minutes during our short break. Oh, and my “fancy” car is a black Hyundai Elantra hatchback named Darnell. Satisfied?
bigolebear asked: How did you get into working for the EPA?
My major in undergrad was Ecology, with some emphasis on the environmental sciences. I started out trying to follow my Dad’s footsteps in Electrical Engineering, but quickly realized that
my inherent Asian characteristics had failed me I wasn’t as good at math as I thought I was.
Anyway, after college, my first job was doing some grassroots/door-to-door environmental campaigning. I moved onto some actual lab/bench chemistry (read: lab coat, goggles, pipettes, #NERDY-NERD STATUS), where I did some actual hands-on soil/water testing. About a (painful) year into that, my lovely big sis - who was interning at the Smithsonian at the time - told me that I just had to visit her and that I would fall in love with DC. So I visited…and I did!
Then it was like, everything fell into place. The EPA was my dream job coming outta college, and I ended up landing an internship at the Agency via The Washington Center. Near the end of my stint, a group of us had a brown-bag lunch with a Director who told me his office was looking for new hires. After an awesome sauce interview (where I walked into my future bosses/colleagues giggling about a Will & Grace episode), I was able to navigate the tricky government hiring system and land a full-time gig in the summer of 2001. Wow…I can’t believe I’ve been working here for almost nine years!
But yeah…there you have it, bigolebear. I feel extremely lucky and blessed to have all the pieces seemingly fall into place professionally. And I can honestly say that as a government worker (especially in my field), I find the work very rewarding and see myself here for the long haul.
In fact, I’m flying out tomorrow to New Mexico for some public outreach meetings with interested stakeholders. Wish me luck!
GPOYW: Co-ed Hoops Champs!
A few years ago, I got involved in a b-ball rec league here in DC. I can honestly say it was one of the most fun times of my life. I took stats, wrote game recaps, and basically lived and breathed hoops for almost two years straight. I went in knowing nobody and came out with a gazillion new friends.
Following my first few seasons (with various degress of success), I decided to take matters into my own hands and captained my own dream team. I dragged in a few of my high school buddies, and hand-picked a bunch of other folks in the league. Then I really went nuts. I did weekly scouting reports for our games, and even made my team mix CDs. (I was voted ’Coach/Captain of the Year’ for my efforts, yay!) We went on to win back-to-back titles, as team Medium Pimpin’. I remember how balanced we were; six out of our nine averaged 6.0+ points or more, and the minutes were spread out evenly. I was FAR from the star on my team (I mean, real talk…we had four people that played ball in college), but I vividly remember my most memorable stat line: 7 points (only took two shots - both treys - including a 4-point play!), 5 rebounds, and 5 assists…in only 20 (out of 40) minutes of action. I like to fantasize and tell myself that I would’ve had a triple-double if I played the entire game (shyeah right).
I remember after our first title, our entire team went out to celebrate, hitting up a number of clurbs/bars and ending at Five Guys in G-town at like 3 AM. WILL.NEVER.FORGET.