Saturday, January 27, 2007

Lease Renewal

I renewed my apartment lease today. I'm now paying $1350 for a small one-bedroom apartment. Sigh... my previous mortgage was only about $1600. This also means that I moved out of "our" house about a year ago.

This was one of the last pictures I took at the house; I'm sitting in what used to be the bedroom we used as an office. By this time, everything has been moved out or thrown away, and the house was empty. I remember spending a whole week painting the two smaller bedrooms when we bought the house in 2003. It took forever to tape all the edges and paint the corners.

I was really sad that day, sitting alone in an empty house, a half-million dollar reminder that the life I had was over. I didn't know it at the time, but now I miss the convenience of having an attached garage, our own washer/dryer, the nice carpet we put in, but mostly the feeling of being home.

Friday, January 26, 2007

In Case of Emergency

ABC has a new show this season called In Case of Emergency (ICE). Without cable, I've been mostly watching videos on my computer. I managed to download the first four episodes of ICE, mainly because of Kelly Hu. :) I watched the pilot episode and it's pretty good.

She's almost 39!

There is one scene where they explain the title of the show.
Do you know what the weirdest thing about divorce is? It's going to the doctor. There's always that question on that form that they make you fill out, who to contact in case of emergency. Yeah, when you're a kid it's simple, right? It's mom or dad. Then you get married and it's, it's simple again. You just automatically have a name to write down, that person you assumed would be there, forever. Now I see that question and I don't know who the hell to write anymore.

Sigh... I've been writing down my sister's name but she's a thousand miles away in Portland.

K-pop CD's

I received several Korean CD's I ordered from today.

Kim Jong Kook - 4th Letter
Baek Ji Young - Smile Again
Fly to the Sky - Eternity

As I was opening the package, I thought, "This is crazy! I don't even understand Korean."

All the lyrics are probably depressing anyway...

Friday, January 19, 2007

Thursday, January 18, 2007

English Only

I remember hearing this "joke" awhile back...

Q: What do you call someone that can only speak one language?
A: An American

At work, a lot of people share their iTunes music on the network. One thing I've noticed is that all the songs are in English. Not only that, everyone has pretty much the same songs/artists. Maybe they all copied the MP3 files from each other.

Fortuately (or unfortunately), my first language was Mandarin Chinese and I learned English in Canada when I was young. Right now I have 5998 items (17 days/30 GB) in iTunes on my Mac and I counted songs in 10 languages. In addition to English and Mandarin, which are the only two I understand (about 70% for Mandarin), I have songs in Korean, Japanese, Cantonese, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, and German (99 Luftballons!). I don't think you need to understand the lyrics to enjoy the music. In fact, a lot of American/British bands are really popular in Asia; I'm pretty sure most of their fans have no idea what all the lyrics mean.

The song at the top of on my current playlist is I'm Coming by Bi (Rain). He's currently on a world tour promoting a new album and was in Las Vegas during Christmas (cheapest tickets were $100).

KISS - Because I'm A Girl

My friend Leon commented on how the SeeYa music videos (below) were so depressing. I think it's all tied into the whole depressing Korean drama theme. Anyway, the first Korean music video I saw was by a group called KISS (not the Gene Simmons one) which got me into K-pop and J-pop. At least no one died in this one.

One thing I've always wondered about is the magazine cover (at 6:37 in the video). The girl's picture is on the cover but the title of the magazine is AUTOMOBILE and there is an article about date rape. It's probably just a prop for the video but still weird...

Monday, January 15, 2007

씨야 (SeeYa)

SeeYa is a Korean girl band that just released their 1st album early last year. I think they have really good voices and I like their songs (not knowing what the lyrics say... but I'm learning Korean!). However, I've seen their music videos and they're all really depressing. They don't appear in their own videos either.

(L to R) Lee Boram, Nam Gyuri, Kim Yeonji

여인의 향기 (Scent of a Woman)

사랑하기때문에 (Because I Love You)

구두 (Shoes)

미친 사랑의 노래 (Crazy Love Song)

Update: Woohoo! I found videos with English subtitles. Now it's even more sad to watch.

Sunday, January 14, 2007


It was crazy cold this morning. I wanted to clean my windshield while driving to church at 7am and the water froze on the glass. I've never seen this happen in SoCal (other than at Big Bear). It took me five minutes to clear the ice using the defroster.

I had also left my iPod in the car and it wouldn't work until I warmed it up. The tech specs for the iPod states the operating temperature is from 32°F to 95°F. I'm pretty sure it got below 32°F last night.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

7 Years

Tomorrow is my 7-year work anniversary; I started working at BRCM on 1/12/2000. Sigh... 7 years is a long time, almost 1/5th of my whole life.

Monday, January 8, 2007


I went up to Portland during New Year's weekend to visit my sister and Rebecca. It was pretty last minute but I managed to get round-trip tickets from SNA to PDX for $270. The plan was to hang out for a couple of days and then drive to Bend, Oregon and ski a couple of days at Mt. Bachelor.

The trip up to Portland was pretty uneventful. A co-worker dropped me off at John Wayne airport (I hate LAX) after work on Wednesday and I got to PDX around 10pm. They were serving warm cookies and ridiculously small cartons of milk.

We were preparing for year-end accounting close at work so I spent the next day working from my sister's house and getting to know their dog better.

My sister's new car: Subaru Outback. It was like visiting another dimension where everyone was Caucasian (except me and my sister) and drove Subarus. Almost every other car on the road was a Subaru and they all had either Thule (check) or Yakima overhead storage units.

The drive from Portland to Bend was about 4 hours. My sister rented a large townhouse 5 miles outside of Bend. It was a really nice place with two master bedrooms. We ended up only skiing one day; I was really tired and my lower legs were bruised by my boots. The rest of the time we just stayed in the house, watching the Rose Bowl and DVDs. It was good to spend time with family during the holidays.

The base lodge at Mt. Bachelor

The weather was excellent but got windy near the top of the mountain

Me and my Columbia Sportswear ski threads (Columbia outlets are everywhere in Oregon... and no sales tax!)

Flying into LAX at noon... check out the layer of smog!

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Flight Cancelled

My flight back to SNA from Portland was cancelled this morning. I even checked-in on the web last night and everything was fine. So instead of arriving in SNA at 10am, I'm flying into LAX at noon and have to take a shuttle from LAX to SNA. I probably won't get to work until 2pm and I have a meeting with our CFO at 4pm.

At least PDX airport has free wifi.