Life in the End Times

Shin's gift to Annie on their One Year Anniversary

Earrings II

Filed under: Jewelry Design — Annie at 4:53 pm on Friday, December 30, 2005

I Can’t Sleep

Filed under: Married Life — Annie at 7:23 am on Friday, December 30, 2005

I officially can’t get back to sleep. IT’s 3:44AM on Friday morning. Let me backtrack our evening.
We actually woke up around 2:30AM after Shin got a fit of coughing. HE was finally able to get some sleep after drinking some ginger tea. But we had gone to bed around 1:00AM after reading another chapter in The Dawn Voyager, the 4th (is it?) of the Narnia chronicles.
Before that we had gotten into an interesting argument, which I’ll document separately.
And before that we came back from his company’s holiday party at The Dragon restaurant in Korea town- I think it’s the third time we’ve eaten there this year if I count my cousins JAck & Susan’s baby’s dol, and my cousin Erica’s dol. IT was at that party that I drank myself too much tea and now find myself in this maddening dilemma of my brain being wide awake.

Last years holiday party seemed so recent. AFter two years of attendance I noticed that karoake is a big part, as well as the distribution of gifts. But the big change was that the vice president was different this year. He usually stands in as the MC for the evening. Luckily, this new vp is more conservative. The bane of last years party was when the old vp got some of the fearless females to dance on chairs. Top that with sleazy korean music, the echo of the karaoke mics, and the disco lights and there was a certain point when I felt uncomfortable and indignant. ACtually, Shin and I had an interesting fight on the way home from last year’s party too.

I was thinking about creating an entry recalling some of our huge fights- since they taught us so much about each other, and besides that they’re some funny tales.

Anyhow, this year the focus of the party wasn’t fully about being entertained, ie taking turns singing or getting drunk, or dancing; It seemed to be about strengthening relationships between employees. He led light competitive games of table against table- some that involved karaoke. Games like, see how big you can blow up a balloon and then see how far you can let it fly. And he picked out pairs per table that had see how quickly they could pass a piece of paper from mouth to mouth using suction. We had the advantage of being married because there was a certain level of comfort, as opposed to the table with all females. They were trying very hard not to make actual face to face contact just because of the H.E.T. (homo erotic tension) factor. At the final round we went head to head against another married couple and won. I think we still would have won even if they hadn’t collided into each other with their teeth and bled. The prize was a keychain wallet and some cash. I also won a set of spoons for singing a song, (I sang, “Have You Ever Seen the Rain”by CCR), and at the end we received a skincare set (YES!) just for attending, and 2 lottery tickets. My first ever since turning 18!

That’s a creative gift, lotto tickets. When I received them the thought entered my mind that, if I were suicidal, and had been planning to die that night, and someone gave me a set of lotto tickets that would be on tv the next night, would I hold off on my plans just to see if I won? And then of course, what would happen if I didn’t win?

Some other thing that were on my mind tonight was my sister. Our family had a post-Christmas dinner on Wednesday night, minus my brother whose at retreat, and the addition of my sister’s boyfriend. Pretty much throughout the dinner she and I were going at it in a sort of controlled way. We were making remark after remark tinged with hostility. The hostility was bouncing everywhere. Her to my parents, me to her, her to me. I could feel the resentment in my voice was about 1/4 of the way there to a full-on shouting match. On my part, it builds and then lies dormant for a while, and then gets aggravated again at certain times.

I don’t understand it completely but I know it’s not headed in a good direction. I mean, I’ve come to a point where the solution seems to be that I simply don’t see her! And honestly, I don’t want to have an estranged sister, or for my future kids to have an estranged aunt- nor a mean aunt either. I’ve been lying in bed thinking about what I would write if I were to email her and try to lay out my issues with her.

One strange thing is that the dynamic of hostility doesn’t come out as much when her, her boyfriend, Shin and I are hanging out. So I know that the family being all together has something to do with it- I think it triggers old behavioral patterns or resentment. In fact, I think that’s why she has avoided being home for dinner when we’re over. It’s unfortunate because she finally brought her boyfriend over and he has never really seen this side of my relationship with her. Although, there’s no telling what she’s told him or what he’s perceived. But I’m pretty sure we gave him a shock, I’m embarrassed to say.

Well, of what’s left of my vacation I am going to try to hash things out with her. It may have to be over email and it WILL take a long time, if we ever get anywhere with it.

Having resolved to do that, it’s now 4:58AM and I’m gonna put it off my mind for a few hours….

Christmas Eve

Filed under: Married Life — Annie at 3:56 am on Monday, December 26, 2005

This morning at 6AM I rolled over to my left and opened my eyes. Shin’s face looked abnormally pale and stiff. I got scared and nudged his arm softly and whispered, “shin!” He didn’t move.
So I rustled him a little harder and said, “HEY!” and slowly, eventuallyhe opened his eyes.
I looked at him wide-eyed and yelled, “HEEEEY! YOU SCARED ME!”
Shortly after I fell back asleep.
It wasn’t until a few hours later when we found ourselves at Costco eating pizza for breakfast that he chuckled and said, “Remember what happened this morning?”. Of course, I had completely forgotten…

Shin has gotten unusually adept at picking up the weird intonations in my voice when I get scared and yelp, or laugh unusually, or whine. He did his best falsetto imitation of my, “HeEeY! You scared me!”.

So that’s how we spent the mid morning. The next plan was that we were gonna head to Mt. Baldy or Big Bear and see if we could play in the snow. But we checked a whole bunch of weather reports and there was no snow to be found, except for man-made snow.

So… I did a new search for some concerts in the LA area. I found the 46th annual holiday celebration at the Dorothy Chandler. Absolutely free- free parking and admission. It was a live taping for KCET with a bunch of interesting performances, all by audition, so the level of performance was pretty high. The show started at 230pm and went all the way till 9. Shin and I stayed for about 31 performances. It was ALOT of culture at once. We saw some AWESOME highschool choruses, modern dance, “The Blind Boys of Alabama”, two korean groups (one featuring our youth student Andrew) and a bunch of others. It’s considered Los Angeles’ gift to the city. It certainly was. We’re planning to do that every year.

Work Sickness

Filed under: Extraordinary Days — Annie at 6:11 pm on Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Working at my father-in-law’s company has been pretty neat so far. The day goes by sorta quickly and I have these small interesting projects. But I also have a lot of free time because most of the work is now ready to be printed so it goes through a different process of being set up for print and color separation. I may receive formal training in that area some day, but since right now, I’m a temporary graphics girl I just do simple stuff- very little designing. More correcting, or scanning and recreating an existing work.

Once on my first day the Boss, “Howard” (hehe. When I was a receptionist here I got to call my father-in-law by his first name) called me into his office and a client was sitting across from him. He said, “Oh. Take this man with you and design this for him while he waits.” I had no idea what it was at that moment but I obeyed and tried to appear calm. The man showed me a business card and said he wanted to use this info. So I thought it was a business card. But actually, it turned out to be a very tiny label. As he stood behind me, looking over my shoulder I felt both conscious and confident. I’ve grown comfortable with using Illustrator. But I was using a version that was 2-3 versions older. So some conveniences weren’t there, like the type preview. After fumbling to find the right text I realized that was going to take me the longest. So after asking the head graphics person for the name of a sans-serif type with an oblique style (Swiss721), I made my grid and typed out my text nervously, aligning and playing with sizes.

Within 20 minutes we found something he liked and we took it back to the waiting Howard who wrote up that order of the day. Boy. my adrenaline was pounding even 10 minutes after I was through. The funny thing is, when I worked in framing, that’s what I did all the time. I would work with client(s) one on one and figure out colors they liked and worked the price down sometimes by bring alternative solutions. It was actually kind of thrilling work when I was feeling good. On the other hand, if I succumbed to a fear I couldn’t do it, it became utterly terrifying to see the next customer walk through the door.

Oh but here’s something interesting that happened yesterday. Around 30 minutes after lunch i started feeling strangely nauseous and lightheaded. I could hardly open my eyes and my stomach hurt like mad. Finally I knew it was time to walk over to the bathroom and figure things out. The door of the bathroom doesn’t have a lock but I solve that by blocking it with the heavy vacuum every time. I prayed and prayed, as I was really at the mercy of God. Finally the answer came. Pure, undigested food came flowing out of my mouth into the trash bin. Lots of- unprocessed tofu and rice. Phew. Then I thanked God and came out. I wasn’t 100% well but I was well enough to empty the trash can and line it with a new bag. And then I let Howard know I needed to leave. He was of course, very concerned. I made it to my car and then decided to lay down in the back seat because I doubted that I could drive home with a clear head. I woke up an hour later and went home.

By the time I got home the tylenol kicked in so I was feeling wonderful! I went home, put on some sweats, and made some earrings in bed! Pictures soon!

A Tootsie Ant

Filed under: Ideas — Annie at 12:16 pm on Monday, December 19, 2005

I’m inspired to try and illustrate a drawing of ants melted inside and around tootsie roll (based on true events).
Here’s a reference for a style I would like to go for… or atleast the way I envision it in my head. Great great illustrator Bob Dob from his gallery on Society of Illustrators LA
http://www.si-la.org/artists/rdobbie-home.html

Sketches coming soon…

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