Even Brahms Did it…

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We attended our daughter’s concert tonight. She’s a member of the Youth Symphony of the Southwest (members are aged 15-20). They played Brahms:  Symphony No. 1 in C minor and it was 45 minutes of absolute bliss.

I learned something new: Brahms so admired Beethoven and wanted so badly to create something in the same caliber that it took him fourteen years to complete this concerto.  Fourteen years.

He toiled and created on one project for fourteen years. That’s some serious perseverance.

So if you’re working on a masterpiece of any kind and you’re stressed about how long it’s taking you to create it, don’t sweat it. Just keep at it and pay no mind to time.



13 Life-Changing Habits to do Each Day (1/13)

Watch Doodle

I enjoy reading Ryan Holiday’s Thought Catalog blog. He just published an article on “13 Life-Changing Habits to do every single day.” These habits will definitely lead to good things for you!

I’ll share them with you. Here’s #1:

Prepare for the Hours Ahead

Holiday refers to the stoics often. Here, he informs us that Marcus Aurelius used to keep a morning journal, where he connected with his intentions for the day and planned how he might react to people and events that were less than desirable. This helps us to prepare for potential setbacks.






“Flower in an Hour Glass”

Grandma is visiting us

she got a really bad perm 

and her hearing has worsened since her last visit

They love her, but The Teens don’t like kimchi

Obvious and unsaid:

You, my daughters, are the land

ravaged by a series of battles from all sides,

the cry of hungry orphans

and thousands of years of cultural pride

You are the Hermit Kingdom and King Sejong’s children –

the offspring of a man who reinvented an alphabet

so the common man as well as royalty

could read –

You are women warriors 

You might have to fight 

for what others are given 

but you will never back down

Your Fossilized Remains

Ancient Insects Preserved in Amber *


Fossilized remains show us what living creatures were doing at time of death. We can learn from fossils: climate,  diet, relationships, social structures (even of insects).

Chances are, you won’t be an actual fossil. Unless you’re caught up in something really dramatic, sudden and devastating, like the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in Pompeii (79 A.D.) However, you will leave a legacy. What will it be? Works of art? Enlightening music, film or novels?  Or a career of corruption? Maybe you will leave lives richer for your kindness?

My great, great, grandparents lived in Korea. Everything they did affected their children, which affected their children and so on until you have me. Here. In America. My father made the decision to not be like his father, who basically failed at fatherhood: gambled, left the family in debt, etc. My father chose to do the opposite. Because of his decisions and hard work, my siblings, mother, father and I are able to live in the Land of Opportunity.

Whatever you do, whatever you leave, it’s not permanent, but it does count.

Pompeii victim plaster cast









Something Like That

funnyBeen in need of levity and I got it. Purchased nice gifts for JiMin’s farewell party and had an impulse buy of red, wax lips. These are awesome! JiMin took great pictures of herself and the girls. They laughed hysterically before the camera. We shall miss JiMin much. She’s been great with the girls, even if she can’t clean to save her life, much less cook!

I’m busy, busy, busy with several projects. I’m preparing for the educational aspect of my career the balance of May and all of June. I’m excited about teaching creative writing and even math (in a non-conventional way) to the little ones. July will be all about the writing. I love my story and am getting great ideas every day. JiMin has played a large role in that. All sorts of issues come out when you share living quarters with a foreign exchange student!


How do you like this face? She’s been doing it all day. Very Margaret Cho!

The important thing is that you live each day as if it could be your last. Josie and Ava are hilarious. Truly.  I love having summers to spend with them and watch them grow and become big people. There was a program on TV about adoption. I asked Ava, “do you know what adoption is?” She replied confidently, “yes, it’s when you give your child away to some people who don’t know how to have babies…or….they look in the tummy to see if it’s there and it’s not, there’s no baby. Or something like that.”  Something like that indeed!  She started so self-assuredly and knew by the end that  maybe it wasn’t all correct. But shrugged her shoulders as if to say, “I’m smart and I know I have the gist of it.” Children have such a simplistic way of looking at things. I love it. As adults, we tend to look at things so seriously, with such finality and solemn sobriety. Puh-lease! And I say this mostly from personal experience…we’re too damn serious! Just play and work and hopefully, your work IS play. We’re paying people to work on our yard. We’ve never paid anyone to do anything in our yard or in our home and you know what? It’s nice.  It’s OK to not do everything yourself.  I’m finally learning that at 40.

I have many things on my “to do” list and they are all important. Yet, they are all unimportant too. Something like that.