You’re probably sick of me moaning about the lack of Internet. But it’s been a week. A whole week!! And I still don’t have Internet! AT&T set up the service but didn’t send me my modem kit in time. So I have to wait till tomorrow.
Oh, woe is me.
That said, by the time you read this, I’ll probably be at the L.A. Times. My internship starts this week, and to be honest…I’m scared.
I’ve been having a lot of weird dreams about my first day at the L.A. Times. I dreamed that my editor was a Korean. Sometimes he looks like Kim Jeung Il. Other times he looks a bit like my dad. Anyway, we speak Korean to each other. It kind of makes me feel a bit more at home.
I’ll be working side by side with the big boys. There’ll be no coffee pick-ups at this internship; I’m expected to handle all the professional work right off the bat.
Man, I’ve never felt more like a little girl. Forget girl power, I wish my parents were here to hold my hand and tell me I’ll be fine. No, not fine; I wanna be great. I want to rock their socks off and be assigned lots of hard-core assignments, and do them well. I want to shine and be a rock star.
But I’m also reminding myself that that’s not the point of an internship. I need to aim high, but I also need to be humble. I want to learn. And if I want to learn, I will also need to make mistakes. I want to be liked by my editors. And if I want to be liked and acknowledged, I need to be respectful.
Even now, as I write this down, I can feel my heart pumping a bit slower, and my nervousness dissipating a bit. I’m going to repeat this to myself on Monday as I start my first work day: I am here to learn as a humble intern.
Okay, breathe in, breathe out. Oh, speaking of being nervous…
My parents have a lot of faith in me. They always have had more faith in me than I have in myself. They don’t even ask about my grades because they expect me to do well. The only area they have less faith in me than I do is my driving.
After we purchased my little new old car, I wanted to do all the driving so that I can get a little practice.
A brief history: I haven’t driven in three years. I never had driving lessons before that; I drove myself to the DMV and got my driver’s license without my parents’ permission. My dad coached me—once. Hence, I never really had enough driving training or experience. I am also extremely impatient and reckless and at that time, I never really comprehended the responsibility of a driver.
I got into so many accidents that the car my brother and I shared turned into a brutally scratched up piece of junk. The last accident I had, my car got totaled. The front bumper completely collapsed and there was smoke rising from the engine. We barely managed to sell it at a measly $500.
So little wonder that my parents still don’t trust me with a car. Especially in this notorious Los Angeles traffic.
But hey, that was three years ago. Three years ago, I was a suicidal girl with severe eating disorder issues. Now, I’d like to think I’m a bit more mature and responsible.
Still, my parents worried. We drove up the Pacific Highway the other day, and my mother couldn’t take a nap despite being tired; she was so tense and nervous. Meanwhile, I was zooming down the highway in delight. I love driving!
My parents say I’m brave and foolhardy to a fault. I hope that courage can be applied to my internship at the L.A. Times.
Okay, time to think happy thoughts. You know what’s the happiest thought for me? A meal with my family at home. Especially if the meal has been prepared with love.
I admit, I’m really pampered. I soak in all my parents’ adoration, and my brother helps me out with anything I ask him to. During my move to the new apartment, my family worked even harder than me. While my dad and brother helped me out with all the mechanical work…
My mom was in the kitchen preparing all sorts of delicious Korean ban-chan (side dishes):
I’ve been craving her kimchi, so she made three different kinds of kimchi.
One of them was chives kimchi.
The other was radish kimchi:
She also made dried anchovy stir-fry:
It’s made with tiny anchovies that have been dried. It’s an integral ingredient in Korean cooking; we sometimes use it for broths too.
One morning, my mom made seaweed soup with organic chicken:
Traditional Korean seaweed soup (Mi-yuk Guk) is made with beef or clams, but my mom loves using chicken—only organic because the taste really is so much more superior.
We had this for lunch together one day with the other ban-chans she made for me:
Steaming hot pot of seaweed soup with organic chicken:
This stuff warms you down to the bones. SO. Freaking. Good. I have leftovers, and I’m willing to share.
We had this soup with my mom’s radish and chive kimchi:
And also the third kimchi she made with cucumbers:
And the anchovy stir-fry:
Which was so good that we finished half the big-ass batch she made. My mom cooked another batch for me that night.
All gobbled up with brown rice:
A simple, nutritious meal fit for a king.
Honestly, my family treats me better than I treat myself. Me? I’d never buy organic chicken because I’m cheap. But when my family is here? My mom will only buy quality ingredients for me. I told you I’m spoiled.
Case in point: We went to Costco, and my mom bought wild-caught salmon and tuna. They are so fresh you can eat them as sashimi, which was what we did one night:
The random and strange but delicious spread:
Raw salmon, raw tuna, fresh greens, Costco roast chicken, kimchi, bread, tortilla, Parmesan cheese and a gochujang-miso dip.
Premium ingredients indeed! We dipped the raw vegetables in the gochujang-miso dip (called ssam jang) and wrapped the sashimi in lettuce with some wasabi mixture. We used the tortilla to wrap the roast chicken, romaine lettuce and cheese.
My parents know how much I love Great Harvest bread, so they brought me three big loaves of Great Harvest bread. Oh how I miss living next door to Great Harvest!
We washed down the meal with a bottle of Yellowtail cabernet sauvignon. The only cheap thing on the table was the wine, which I bought from a local Korean grocery store. My mom disapproves of spending too much money on alcohol, because she thinks it’s unnecessary.
Okay, please wish me luck, everyone. Writing this post has calmed me down a lot, but I’m still trembling a bit inside ab. I’ll update on my first day at the L.A. Times soon.
Question of the Day: What food ingredients do you never skimp on? Or are you always frugal in everything?
I’m cheap in almost everything except when it comes to gifts for people I care about and most Apple gadgets. I’m the cheapest when it comes to clothes and fashion. In fact, I rarely buy clothes and I wear a lot of hand-me-downs.
P.S. Sent from Starbucks in the midst of grocery shopping.