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What Is Your Problem?

Have you ever had a “WTH” moment at work? You know, when a coworker gives you crap for no reason.
According to my research, it seems that such species exist in every organization. You know the type that gets mad at you for no reason at most inconvenient times, the ones who make you feel bad about something that you hadn’t done, ones who get upset at you when you were only trying to help, the type that makes you feel like you just got dumped. Basically, the “what-the-hell-is-your-problem” kind of person.

I understand people are stressed, sometimes from work, sometimes from marriage, home, kids, whatever. BUT what have the people sitting next to you done to contribute to that stress? It’s entirely a different story if your coworker belongs to either of the categories listed in previous posts or annoy the hell out of you on a daily basis, but other than that, you really should think twice before letting your shit out on coworkers. We already got more than enough crap to deal with, ranging from mortgages that we cannot afford, pregnant daughters, spouses’ having affairs, dogs’ eating shoes, boyfriend/girlfriend who wants to break up yet again, what to eat for dinner, and on and on. You kidding me? I don’t need your shit! Take it elsewhere!
If nothing helps, how about referring to below advice:

- If you feel incompetent, get training. Schools exist for a reason.
- If you are overwhelmed with workload, take your crap to your boss. I’m NOT your boss.
- If you are unhappy with your marriage, seek professional help. Don’t let your anger out on poor coworkers who have their own marriage problems to deal with. Ever hear of Family Therapists? Yeah, that’s what they get paid for.
- If your kids are giving you problems, beat the crap out of them. That’s how you make them listen. J.K.; How about a quality family time instead of constantly yelling at them?
- If you are lonely and have no one to talk to, visit www.eharmony.com. Since you obviously lack social skills, perhaps the cyber space is the way to go.
- If you are frustrated with yourself in general, get mad at yourself, not ME. It’s your fault that you are unable to effectively manage your life, not mine.

In reality, this actually works both ways. People bring stress from home to work, and vice versa. The key is to realize our weaknesses and try to improve them. Making enemies doesn’t do anyone any good. Making people smile not only makes you feel good but brightens up others’ day. A small act of kindness goes a long way. Letting frustrations out on innocent people makes you a mentally challenged person. Choose your actions wisely. <3

Destination: Beauty Queen

I actually have two pending posts that were never completed. I started writing but then had to give it another thought before publishing because I wasn’t sure if they were appropriate for my blog. It’s a strange thing- it really shouldn’t matter what I write here because that was the reason why it was created in first place- it was to serve as a space for me to vent and ramble. That sure was the case when I had nobody reading it, which was a year ago, but since then things have changed and now almost at 50,000 hits, I realize that I need to be more mindful of what’s being published. Anyways, I was laying in bed all day until blog ideas kept popping up in my head. One topic that keeps lingering was Passion.

Have you ever wanted something so bad that you gave everything to get it? It may have been a love of your life, a scholastic achievement, or winning an award or a competition. I was watching TV the other day and came across this reality series called The City starring Whitney Port from The Hills. I do have a soft spot when it comes to reality shows so I don’t know how I survived last three years without a TV, but as expected, I found myself getting really into it when the opportunity came. I know it’s more like a hybrid show (Reality/Soap), but was pleasantly surprised to see the girls go after their dreams- and when I say “go after’, I’m referring to doing everything they can to get what they want. See, when I was their age, I don’t think I had a clue. Yes, I’ve been there, done that, but when it came to “really wanting something to a point where I was willing to do anything”, I was nothing but a chicken. I had a really bad relationship with a guy named REJECTION. Whenever I would sense him coming near me, I would just say, “Oh no, I’m out.” There were a lot of things I wanted, but I also gave up easily. Of course, there are positive things that come out of it, such that I have gained experience in many different industries and met interesting people along the way, but now that I work side by side with those who have been in a same industry for 10, 20 years, there are times when I regret not focusing on one thing, or area. Those who have read my newspaper article or the blog post on it might recognize but I’ve seriously been around. I often wonder how different life would have been if I had one goal in life, and just went after it without hesitation or looking back. I don’t know about you but when I was young I wanted to be lots of things, including artist, ballerina, police woman, and Miss Korea. LOL yeah, you heard it right, I wanted to be a beauty queen! It’s like how many of my guy friends in elementary school wanted to be the President of Korea. Well, not really comparable in today’s standards but you know what I mean (Korea was quite a chauvinistic country and girls could not even dream of becoming a political figure). I didn’t have an exceptionally pretty face nor a talent, but I think I just liked the attention I received whenever I told people that’s what I wanted to be (like many of us girls suffering from “Princess Disease, aka Gong Ju Byung”).

As for the dream of being an artist, I still hope to become one some day in one form or another. Art is no longer limited to one area but comes in many forms. Perhaps it’s more appropriate to say that it always has been everywhere; I just wasn’t aware! I grew up as an artist and will always be. So, that’s yet to be achieved.

As for Ballerina, I quit after a year or so of training because my instructor wouldn’t stop calling me fat. I was seven. Just imagine how traumatized I might have been. I didn’t have a special talent in it either, I just thought the Tutu and the shoes were beautiful.

Now, I really have no idea where the heck “Police” came from. I remember clearly presenting my dream to the whole class, which was in elementary school. Perhaps that’s when I started realizing the existence of injustice in society (I still feel very strongly about this), and I wasn’t exposed enough to think that the cops were the only people in law enforcement. Well, there was a time in my Junior year in College when I thought about going to law school so it’s not completely irrelevant.

So let’s get to the most controversial one of all- Miss Korea. As a little girl, I was extremely well-mannered, which is especially important in Korean culture. I always sat with my legs folded under my butt (Have you tried this? This is NOT easy!), ate quietly, and always spoke softly and politely. I was a Korean parent’s dream, except when I was with my little sister. :P I had lots of friends, and was liked by relatives and such. Everyone told me that I was pretty so I thought I was, until the Summer that I was sent to another country.

Things changed… a lot. I realized I was ugliest of the bunch. I was repeatedly told that my legs were too thin to wear shorts which was why my closet was filled with baggy jeans. I tried my best to hide my body because I was ashamed to be skinny (I weighed 95 lbs). On top of that, as with shy girls at that age, I had a crush on a guy for years whom I never even got to talk to. Pathetic, I know, but that’s how shy I was. I seriously thought I was too ugly for anything, until it was almost time to graduate High School. Yes, it was Prom time! Wanting to look my best on that special day, I researched popular hair salons in Korea Town and decided on one that was known for Korean celebrity makeup. How little did I know that the day I would walk into the salon would change my life (Well, maybe not quite, but it did affect me in MANY ways)! The owner quickly approached me and asked questions while doing makeup on me. I was so excited at the fact that I was getting my makeup done professionally that I really wasn’t paying attention to what she was saying until she mentioned, Miss Korea. I was like, what? Yeah, my childhood dream! Although not the actual Miss Korea Pageant, it was known as a stepping stone to get there. She said there is a beauty pageant every year for young girls like me and that I should enter it. Being a shy girl with NO self-esteem, I didn’t think that I could do it- not only that, I didn’t have the money to do it. Unlike others who were fully supported by parents, I didn’t even have my parents here in the States at the time and just thought there was no way I could pull cash to rent the dresses, fees, and etc., however she negotiated a deal with vendors and was able to get me dresses and such for a huge discount. Of course, the dresses were rather handed to me than having my input considered in any way, but I was a happy camper. I tried my best and won a few titles.

I was on a roll and was asked to go on another pageant, this time with someone who has now become very, very famous in Korea. It’s funny thinking about the past, especially because I thought I was better than a lot of the girls in the pageant this time. The first beauty pageant made my head so big that I thought I ruled the world. It’s ridiculous. But then, I didn’t win anything and instead of blaming on myself, I blamed it all on politics and bribery (that which probably went on though can’t be proved). The following few months were dedicated to getting my foot in the door… to none other than the entertainment industry. I went to see an agent who showed interest in me at the first beauty pageant only to be told to wait until a job came up. Being the impatient, stuck-up person I was, I stopped going after a few trips because I thought I was too good to be asked to wait (HAHA). Then my mom enrolled me in acting school which was extremely shady; but I did meet a wonderful makeup/hair artist and a photographer who later worked on my portfolio. I also auditioned for SM Entertainment, now famous for producing talents such as SNSD, BoA, Shinee, etc. I know a lot of ya’ll living in the LA area went to this thing so I have no shame. haha. I still remember what Sooman Lee said after seeing me do a catwalk, “Why don’t you do something before you get any older?” I wasn’t sure whether to take that as a compliment or a rejection. Well, I think he saw a potential in me but thought I was too old for the group he was thinking of putting together now that I think about it.

A few years later, I found myself on stage again, this time in New York, fighting for the title of Miss Korea New York. It’s one of my most embarrasing moments of my life, because I had no clue what I was doing and messed up BIG TIME. I was terrified and devastated. It was a major “FAIL” moment that I wish never happened, thus I digress… The only reason I’m mentioning this experience is because of my failure to adequately prepare for it. Actually, I didn’t do crap but expected to win something purely based on being one of the few “experienced” ones. If you knew me then, you would’ve hated me. LOL

I should have kept going regardless how many failures I encountered if I really wanted to go into modeling or become a beauty queen, but my adventure ultimately came to an end after getting rejected by major top modeling agencies that which I regret now; I truly believe that if I had a heart and passion for it, I would have made it nontheless. If I had been humble, if I had been more likable instead of being defensive, I probably would have made it. Sadly, I lacked all of the above. I’m not trying to brag about it, but I want to tell you that if you have a dream, you really need to give it everything you got and NEVER give up. Giving up is NOT an Option. Now that I think about it, I didn’t try hard enough. I gave up too easily, though I had SO MANY OPPORTUNITIES. I blew them all. At the SM Audition, although it was for modeling, I should have shown him much more than what a typical model does. When the agent told me my look was too classy, I should have told him that I’m much more than what’s shown in the portfolio or a zed card. I sucked at selling myself, and I often feel that I still do. There is a clear difference between being humble and being able to sell yourself, and you need both to succeed. It took me years to realize this. It shouldn’t take anyone that long. If you didn’t know, now you do. The point is, to feel comfortable in your own skin and to not take yourself too seriously. You only live once, and you have the entire world to show who you are. You are more capable and talented than you can ever imagine. Just remember to keep your head up high, just don’t let it grow big! :D

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Politically Correct Behavior

My last post sparked an interesting conversation over the definition of fake in regards to people. An argument was that rather than being called fake, the behavior should be considered an attempt at being “politically correct”. While I tried hard to stand firm in my belief, I couldn’t help but accept the fact that it is indeed a valid argument. In the previous post, I had mentioned those who say one thing and do another are not expressing their true feelings, thus being none other than fake, however I’ve come to a conclusion that people may encounter situations in which they are inevitably forced to play politics- just look at those working in Congress representing our country. There really is no way for us to learn their true motives, intentions, or values other than the image portrayed by the media. There is a legitimate reason why they are called “Politicians” afterall. They say what the majority wants to hear. That’s how they get chosen and make a living. So who is the king of “political correctness” you ask? The President. haha

In that sense, it’s a sad reality but they make money off of being not themselves “politically correct”. Your values drive your actions. I believe that while the words (which is greatly affected by emotions, btw) can be filtered through a thought process, your behavior reflects your true motive and values. Just think about those times when you apologized with an apathetic facial expression. We do it all the time!

So does this mean that the terms “fake” and “politically correct” can be used interchangeably? I say “political correctness” is only an euphemism for “fake”, hence my standing by the initial belief that people are fake if what they say and do differ. I don’t like being fake (or politically correct, whatever you want to call it), which explains why I suck at playing politics. What a tough world that we live in. Well, the good news is that I’m actually a politician in training. Yes, you can actually train to be a professional faker, excuse me, a politically correct person. *eh hem*

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You Are What You Wear

Fakes.

Do you like fake people? I sure don’t. Jennifer Lopez once sang, “I’m real, what you get is what you see.” I just don’t get along with people who are fake. You know, those whom you can’t read, those who say one thing and do another. The type that stabs you in the back. The ones that spread rumors and blame others.

How about fake stuff? I’m not referring to plastic surgery- well that’s another topic I would like to dig into one day but I want to write about the Relex, Chenel, and Prado today.

Have you seen these? These were once very popular in Korea. I still find them hilarious. Why they would make fake versions of this rather non-luxury brand is a mystery, however.

Did you know that there is a town that specializes in fake luxury products in Korea? When I was there many years ago, I bought myself a fake Prada bag for $100. hahaha I know, what was I thinking? I don’t know, but I just wanted to see what the “A-class” fake Prada looked like. No, I kid. I wanted one but didn’t have the money to buy the authentic one (I was very young!!). The experience was actually kind of funny though, I actually had to whisper in the store owner’s ear to ask for it. Then he brought a few different kinds, ranging from “A” to “C”, “A” being closest to the authentic. I had never had a Prada before but with the lining with repeated Prada logo and quality fabric, I thought it looked and felt pretty real. I remember being really insecure with it though. Every time I would carry it, I was afraid that someone would question its authenticity.

So what is it about these fakes? Why do people buy them?

At least from my experience, it was the obsession with luxury brand names. I wanted more than what I could afford. I wanted to be more than who I was. I can blame it on the materialistic society or people around me, but more than anything, it was the lack of confidence. Why couldn’t I be satisfied with a no name brand? With that $100, I could have bought a quality “real” thing and not be ashamed of it.

I understand some buy fakes without realizing that they are fake. What I mean is that they buy the replica Balenciaga Motorcycle bag for $20 not knowing that it’s actually a replica of a $2,000 bag. Can we chastise these people then? If they genuinely had no idea, can we blame them? Probably not. But it does make me think, ‘If the bag’s original design was created by a designer working for a low-end, no brand name company, would it still have been a hit? If it was never made with real lamb skin with Italian craftsmanship, would Lindsay Lohan have carried it? If it was $20, would the fashionistas from all over the world drool over it?’ The point is, we desire these high end products because of the quality and the name itself. Whether the quality and name are worth $2,000 is up to you to determine. Anyone can design bags. Anyone can come up with a red sole and sky-high heels. It can’t be that difficult to create a logo with two overlapping C’s for a trained graphic designer. What makes the difference is the history, quality, craftsmanship, and that special “it factor”. What I didn’t know when I bought a replica was that when you purchase a designer product, you are paying for all of the above, which helps build confidence. For me, I don’t know when it all started but I’ve always been a fan of high quality, unique products which explains my love for the finer things in life (not that I get to have everything I want, though most of the time it is my choice to be financially conservative). Having been enligtened, I would like to make a few suggestions for those interested in replicas:

Before you consider purchasing a replica, I suggest that you shop around for vintages. Drop by Ebay and search the brands you love- Rolex, Cartier, Gucci; options are endless. They may be used but in the fashion world, vintage is KING! Just be cautious of replicas (haha ok that’s actually ironic that I came back to this). But in all seriousness, do check out vintages. Sometimes you will find fantastic gems at a great price.

If you are the type who don’t go for used items, do consider non-luxury brands that manufacture high quality products. There are Italian shoemakers and bag makers that are not as popular but the product quality is just as good as that of Gucci and friends. If you are on the East Coast (if you haven’t been yet; didn’t realize how popular this place is now) check out Century 21 and sample sales. If you are on the West Coast, check out Loehmann’s, Nordtroms Rack, etc. I’ve found some great deals at these discount stores, including Jimmy Choo booties for $300 and Christian Louboutins for $300.

As for me, my extensive shopping experience has taught me that nothing beats After Christmas Sales. Seriously, it is the BEST time of the year for us shopping junkies. It’s been even better lately thanks to the not-so-great-economy :P. But yeah, there goes my secret.

It’s just not attractive nor cool to carry or wear replicas. Whether you agree or not, it not only looks bad, but also reflects your personality. You don’t want to be shown as a “fake”, shady, or pretentious person. You want your inner beauty to shine through. Be confident in yourself. That’s something I lacked for many years and I’d hate others to make the same mistake. You are beautiful just the way you are, and you don’t need “stuff” to make you feel beautiful. Be true to yourself. That’s when you are most stylish.

Photo Credit: Google Images

iMacGyver

I would like to celebrate the birth of an upgraded iMac with my very own iMac story and a tip that may be helpful in an emergency for my fellow Apple aficionados.

Before we get into the details, please refer to the following:

  1. I would like to think that I am not the only one who has gone through this terrifying experience.
  2. Yes, I do act mindlessly at times and do stupid things. Ok, fine. I’m one of the clumsiest people on earth.
  3. MacGyver was my hero when I was growing up, except that mine spoke Korean (dubbed; I was seriously traumatized when he started speaking English).

So with these in mind, let me start the story.

It was a peaceful Saturday morning. I had just gotten out of bed and was ready to start the day. A watch I had purchased was just delivered and with great excitement, I took a few pictures, so I can post them on Twitter. Then, as usual, I removed the SD card from the camera and inserted into the SD card slot on my iMac… or so I thought I was… until I felt it falling deep into a black hole (aka DVD Drive). @.@

In my head, Britney was singing, “Oops, I did it again” because mind you, this was NOT my first time. I thought, crap, my husband’s going to kill me. I tried hard to calm myself down. Breathe.. Breathe.!! Thank God he was asleep so I had some time to clean up the mess and act like nothing happened. The question was, ‘How the heck am I going to get it out?!?’ Darn, the last time it happened, hubby had to take it to the hospital (aka Apple Store)… It was covered by warranty and nothing was scratched but just the hassle of having to unplug everything, take it to the store only to return to pick it up is just a pain. So I had no choice but to think fast and strategically.

I thought of MacGyver, the genius who always had a solution to everything. I asked God for wisdom.

Then my light bulb went on. I grabbed an earring from the drawer. I needed a metal wire but thin enough to access the card slot. I thought of metal hangers or chopsticks but they were too thick and hard to manage once inside. So the earring hook came along. It was straightened then curved at the end to fit the card. I unplugged the computer, placed a towel on the floor and tilted it vertically (not completely vertical but I’d say about 45 degrees) and gently shook it back and forth (As you know, the slot is covered with rubber-like protectors so you really can’t see anything. Just focus on trying to get the card move to the bottom of the slot so you can pull it out). Then when I felt like it was where I wanted it to be, I inserted the earring hook at the bottom of the slot, set it at a right angle, and gently started dragging it out. Voila! Magically, the card was now on my palm. I felt so smart! hahaha anyways… yeah. that’s the end of the story.

So if you have any questions regarding this tip, please let me know. I will try my best to help. Remember that you are NOT ALONE. I’m not sure how many of you will, or have encountered this issue but I hope one day Apple will realize that this is indeed a result of a design defect. Seriously, who places a CD/DVD drive right below a SD card slot (world’s most innovative company does), especially when you can’t see neither from where you are sitting?! Come on.

Some may argue that you should always be cautious of what you are doing, but how many of you would get out of your seat and watch the “insertion process”?! I don’t know about you, but I’m lazy when it comes to things like that. I’m an economical person and prefer not to waste my time and energy on things that don’t (or shouldn’t) require much attention. My temporary fix was to place a scotch tape over the CD slot though I admit its ghetto-ness. oh well, until Apple introduces a countermeasure, a scotch tape should do…

But in all seriousness, while I am a diehard Apple fan, I need them to do something about this before it happens again. Mr. Jobs, are you listening!?

Photo Credit: Bing Images

Mission Impossible: from Fob to Twinkie

Found a very intersting article in the Wall Street Journal regarding language as a cultural influencer:

Does Language Influence Culture?

As a bilingual with a background in Psychology, I found Dr. Boroditsky’s research particularly intriguing. It’s rare that I finish an entire article of this length but I figure it’s because I’m the ideal study subject.

So what came first, you ask: language or culture?

I say while the language may be deemed part of a culture, it’s also vice versa, making culture a part of the language. The truth is that it really isn’t as simple as we think. I’ve struggled for years because of the confusion this created in my head. See, when I landed in America years ago, my ultimate goal was to become a fluent English speaker. I was that traumatized “fob” girl who couldn’t wait to get out of the ESL program. I prayed every night asking for wisdom to master the English language in three years- Yes, I gave myself three years (and let me just tell you that it took lots of sweat and tears). I thought being able to speak the language would instantly turn me into a “Twinkie” (a term used for Asian Americans born and raised in US; Yellow on the outside, White inside LOL). But the reality was that I had a hard time behaving like them, obviously because my behavioral thought process was different. Despite the compliments I received for learning the language in a short period, what I didn’t realize was that sadly, I would NEVER be able to become a Twinkie that I always dreamed of. It took me a while to accept this truth and to accept myself for who I am. At one point in my life, I looked down on “Fobs” who would only listen to Korean music and watch Korean shows. I thought to myself, ‘If they are in America, they should be into American culture, not Korean stuff.’ I know, how ignorant of me- but hey, I was young. :P

A few years later, I found myself frantically searching for the “Korean Stuff” that the “fobs” were into when I was the one to have separated myself from them. No matter how hard I tried, I would always come back to my roots. Interestingly enough, Korean pop culture started to become popular not only in Asia but among Korean Americans in the states and suddenly being Korean was hip, especially if you spoke Korean. I no longer had to try hard to become cool. I was cool. People appreciated me for my cultural background. My Twinkie friends wanted to learn the Korean ways of doing things. I no longer had to try so hard to fit in. Now they were in my world.

See, learning a new language only opened a door for me to communicate with those in the new culture. It did not help me understand their culture any better. That was another enormous task that was given to me which will take much longer to master, if that’s possible at all. but do i see those two as two separate elements? no. They are deeply interrelated and coexist, resulting in various interactions and outcomes to influence the way we lead our lives.

As for language shaping culture, I am no linguistic expert but I figure I can do a quick test. In this experiment, I am going to replace “culture” with thought process resulting in behavior.

I am going to start writing in Korean and see where this goes then return to writing in English to see if the language has affected my thought process in any way.

솔직히 말하자면 한국말로 쓰는 것이 훨씬 쉽긴 하지만 뇌라는 것이 정해진 용량이 있는 것이라 하나를 배우면 다른 하나는 잊게 되는 것이 아닌가 싶다. 지금 금방도 어떤 단어를 쓰고 싶었는데 영어로만 생각이난다. 흑… 그렇다.. 그렇게 따지면 2개국어를 하는 것이 아니라 하나를 배우게 되면서 다른 하나를 조금씩 잊어가는 것이다. 처음에 미국에 와서 영어만 하는 언니에게 물어본적이 있다. “언니는 생각도 영어로 해?” 언니가 맞다며 끄덕였다. “그럼 꿈도 영어로 꿔?” 다시 한번 끄덕인다. 그것이 세상에서 제일 부러웠다. 그리고 생각하길, ‘아, 나도 영어를 저렇게 하게되면 생각도, 꿈도 영어로 할수 있겠구나.”

몇년이지나 영어를 편하게 하게된 지금, 내가 과연 영어로 생각을 하고 꿈을 꿀까? 흠… 참 어려운 질문같다. 그렇다면 나의 행동을 좌우하는 생각을 영어로 하지 않고 한국어로 한다면 나의 행동이나 말은 한국인처럼 보여질까? 아마도 그렇지 않을까 싶다. 아무래도 미국사람들과 일을 하기에 그사람들에게서 배운 행동들을 따라할수는 있지만 그것들이 특별히 나의 생각에 따라 하는 행동이라고는 보기 어렵다.

Well, my quick experiment suggests a few findings. First of all, it took me much less to write than when I do in English. Secondly, I found myself digging deeper into thoughts. Thirdly, I became more expressive of my true feelings and thoughts, a side-effect (not necessarily a negative thing)of using a first language.

In conclusion, I would have to agree with Dr. Boroditsky’s hypothesis- language in fact affects the thought process, ultimately leading to shape behavior and furthermore, a culture.

Lera Boroditsky is a professor of psychology at Stanford University and editor in chief of Frontiers in Cultural Psychology.

Photo Credit: Google Images

Beauty Hurts

Sorry about being MIA, but I do have a few good reasons for it. First of all, for those who don’t follow me on Twitter (Follow me now for daily updates- “Tomimito”)… I broke my foot wearing these gorgeous shooties a week ago. I know, how the heck do you break your foot “walking”? yeah, that’s the part that still boggles my mind but it happened, and let me just tell you that I’m paying for it. Here’s the x-ray (it’s the fourth bone where the little line is).

Secondly, I was on vacation over the weekend in “Sin City”. I know what ya’ll are saying, “What? With a broken foot? Crazy. you Crazy Girl!” Well, the truth is that I thoroughly enjoyed our trip and got to do everything that had been planned except for dancing at the best clubs the city has to offer, which was replaced with excessive amount of people watching. Seriously though, where do these girls come from? I saw so many beautiful girls at Encore some of which are probably super models or something. O.o Guys, you know where to go the next times you are in Vegas- Encore is where the action’s at, XS, more specifically. Oh, and I actually ran into the singer, Baek Ji Young, who “kindly” declined to take pics… she said her friends were waiting, but boo, how do you say no to a fan sitting on a wheelchair (uh, yeah I was on a wheelchair the entire 5 days I was there)?! a bit disappointing but life goes on, right?!

She looks exactly the same as she does in pics- was quite surprised. haha.

For those of you unfamiliar with her, she’s a top ranked Korean singer who has performed with the stunning Taec from 2PM (can you tell that I’m a fan?!lol):

Since I have yet to sync my iPhone to iMac, I thought I’d share my recent Kpop favorites:
I need a Girl by Tae Yang featuring G-Dragon:

I’ve always loved him but I think this song really accentuates the mellow tone of his voice. I like that excerpts from the legendary 80′s hit 희망사항 (Wish List by Byun, Jin Sub) and “Girls” by Se7en were used (where GD goes, “Girls I do adore”). Plus, how can you not love a guy who sings about Kim Chi Fried Rice?! lol

Bad Girl, Good Girl by Miss A:

Apparently, these girls are JYP’s next big project attempting to carry on the fame and popularity that Wonder Girls brought to the production team, which includes two Chinese girls (Fei, Jia) and two Koreans (Min, Suzy). I had heard of Min from her Lil Jon trainee days and was expecting to see her debut in the US first but guess things didn’t work out for her. They seem to have great potentials so we’ll see how BIG they get… but from what I’ve seen the past few days since their debut, they are already conquering the Kpop charts. Definitely digging the song- “You don’t know me, so shut up!” Something that I’m tempted to say so many times throughout the day. HAHAHA

Stay tuned, Vegas restaurant recommendation post coming soon! :)

Dream Chaser

I was in the paper today. Sorry if you can’t read Korean- basically it says that I have the coolest blog ever. lol jk.

It’s about how this blog and my shop came about; also how fashion has always been a part of my life and will always be my passion.

Many of you don’t know this but I studied art throughout my childhood and going into teens. My parents sent me to an art studio when I was six and without a doubt, everyone thought I would become a designer or artist of some sort. I always knew that I would end up in an art school. And I did, though not exactly what I had expected when I started with the fundamentals at a local state college. I hated it. I felt like I didn’t belong there and felt extremely incompetent, but it wasn’t until that day when the professor gave me a C on a project for using a white chalk. I had used it to highlight the bright spots though I knew that he had specifically told us not to. I visited his office later to appeal to only be disappointed for the second time. So I decided that it was the time. I switched to a local community college instead trying to “find myself”. I had to lie to my parents for a few months until I announced my decision to move… to New York City, which almost sent my parents to a hospital. My dad had just moved in with us from Korea after almost five years of living by himself. He was traumatized. Call me selfish but I carried on. Nothing could stop me. I wanted to be surrounded by those tall buildings and be awed by the glitz and chaos. I wanted to date those stock brokers in long coats and leather gloves.

Destination: FIT.

Fashion had always been a part of me. I started collecting fashion magazines when I was 15. I subscribed to Vogue with the money that I didn’t have. I starved so I could buy baggy jeans. I hid in my room every night and put eyeliner all over my eyes staring into a stained mirror, in hopes of looking like the models in the magazine. I secretly admired the cute overalls pretty unnis wore (older girls) at church. My notebooks were always filled with drawings of girls in cute dresses and makeup. Fashion design assignments never felt like assignments- I didn’t have to eat nor sleep as long as I was able to artistically express my creativity. In my high school Fashion Design class, I was #2 (#1 was a friend of mine who was the most amazing fashion illustrator ever!) and everyone including the teacher never doubted that I’d become a fashion designer. So I decided to go back to where it all started- what makes my heart skip a beat. As soon as it was determined that FIT was the only school in Manhattan that was affordable, the sleepless nights started. After a month, my portfolio was complete with 10+ designs and 30+ sketches. I don’t know, but if someone asked me to sit and come up with designs all day, I would. I probably could come up with one every 5 minutes. If that doesn’t suggest that I was born to do this, I don’t know what is (not assuming that they are all manufacture-able). Fast-forward six months and there I was, standing in front of FIT on 7th Avenue in New York City, confused. Has anyone gone through this before? You are extremely stoked and just ready to go chase your dream, but someone comes along and just breaks everything into pieces? That’s basically what happened to me. and no, this was not a bf, but someone very close at the time and one whom I greatly respected. I was told that not many fashion designers succeed and that it’s an extremely competitive field. I was advised to look elsewhere that’s more stable and secure, i.e. accounting. Being an artist all my life, I didn’t even have a clue what accounting was, but it made me think… for a while. I didn’t have a plan as to how I’d pay tuition either, so I thought, ‘Heck, I’ll give it a try… whatever it is. He’s got to be right, because I respect and trust him.’ So just like that, everything ended and started over. Luckily I was able to find a school that didn’t cost a fortune and a job that paid just enough to let me live in that expensive city. and instead of dating a stock broker, I started working for one. Just like that, my adventure in the business world started.

Study of the Mind: Marketing was a fascinating subject. It was like a combination of art and business, which was just so perfect for me. Although it took me a year to learn about the field and finally switch my major (believe it or not, I started off as an accounting major- ouch! you accountants have my respect!). Then towards my last year of college, I learned about a new field called Organizational Psychology. It was like getting hit in the head with a huge rock. WHAT?! ‘This is friggin’ amazing’, I thought. I sat in front of the room in every class and aced every single test (yes, I was one of those). I bothered the professor until she started avoiding me. I almost cried when she “tried” to give me an A-. I told her I wanted to pursue a PhD in the field. I took three of her classes consecutively and memorized the texts religiously. I thought I wanted to be a lawyer at one point while taking a law class (I loved writing briefs), but no, now I wanted to be a PhD- a kid who failed trigonometry in High School! LOL

That summer after finishing school, I told my boss I was moving back to California to pursue a graduate degree. I secretly wanted to stay and go to Columbia, but even if I ended up going, I thought I’d come back later. I needed a break from New York.

I emailed renowned professors at research institutions across the country who were experts in the specific field/topic that I was interested in. After numerous email exchanges, I ended up in LA working on an academic journal on minority employer’s perceptions toward hiring people with disabilities. I worked as a research associate for a year while preparing for graduate school. With God’s grace, I received an acceptance to my top choice in California. The two years were more than an academic training for me- it was rather a time in which I grew as a stronger person. Being the only student in the incoming group with a business background, I had to try twice as hard to catch up with the smart folks from the prestigious schools all over the world. So many times I wanted to give up and go back to my comfort zone, yet I persevered because I considered it a gift that God had given me. Go ahead and laugh, but I felt blessed just being able to work with such smart people and be trained by world-renowned researchers. The two years taught me that anything is possible if you try hard. I had never thought that I would end up with a Masters Degree in Psychology, or studying Global Business at Oxford University for that matter. What, a naive art student who moved 3000 miles away from home to be surrounded by pretty things?! O.. K?!? haha. Anyways, I digress.

So here I was, with two degrees and a marriage certificate (I got married right before graduation). Fast-forward two years, I’m sitting in a cubicle researching cars. Oh yeah, that totally makes sense- you spend $70K to study people’s mind and end up reading about cars. Absolutely! ha. You know what, life doesn’t always turn out the way you expect or want it to (I actually learned this the hard way!). If you didn’t know that, don’t worry, you will, soon. Trust me, it’s not completely irrelevant though- research is the basis of psychology, and that’s what I’m doing, right? Anyhow, after coming home from a stressful day at work, I’m on the phone one night with my mother in law in Korea who’s in fashion business. I ask her if she could get me some durable, “truly-opaque (was having a hard time finding one here)” tights and leggings that are comfortable yet cute. I receive a box the next week filled with goodies including but not limited to, leggings and tights. I love the products. My friends show interest. I decide to post them on my blog since I write about fashion anyway. and the rest is history- then again, that was only two months ago! All this may sound either funny or whatnot, but my past 10 years have been no less than adventurous. Exactly after 10 years, I’m back to where it all started running a fashion business, and in those 10 years, so much happened that I just cannot believe that they all actually happened (do I even make sense?!). More than anything, I want to let you know that while I obviously am not here to lose money, but it’s more than business for me. It may have come at an unexpected time in an unexpectedly expeditious manner, but this is where my passion lies and all I want to do is to share with those who are seeking, whether it’s life or fashion. were you ever lost? were you let down? were you discouraged? Now it’s your time to shine. Be yourself. Be brave. Express your creativity. Be who you want to be. Tomimito is for those like me, who went around the world to find herself, who is finally sure of who she is and want to express it through fashion.

My Article on the Internet (Korean)

Late Night Girl Talk

Mustard fried Cheeseburger w/ extra lettuce, tomato, & onion with Light Fries at In ‘n Out (I always fail at taking photos at this place for some reason.)
Coconut Pinkberry w/ mochi, strawberries, & coconut
Grocery shopping at Whole Foods

This is how we roll.

Hooded Sweatshirt & Khaki Capri Pants by Superdry

a glimpse into tomimito’s mind

Just a bit about me…

I like to eye-shop, that is unless I discover something I really, truly love that I just can’t imagine myself living without it and end up dreaming about it.

I like to travel- and when I am traveling, I spend most of the time walking around exploring the city, trying to act like a local. :P

I love to eat. I think I’m slowly becoming vegetarian, however.

I enjoy cooking- well, only when I feel like it. Pasta is my specialty; not because I received any kind of professional training on it, but because it’s the easiest for me. :D

Tecate, Mexico 2005
I have a heart for missions. I desperately wish more people knew how wonderful Jesus is. I used to think that it was impossible for people to change… before I met Him. :*I