Wednesday, February 25, 2009


I haven't posted in a while. I have been extremely busy.

Right now I am recovering from a cooking incident. Trying to open a box of tofu (I knew there was a reason I hate buying tofu in a box), I cut my pinky nuckle on my left hand, near to the bone! The ER doctor has put a splint on it with that crazy glue stuff because its right on the nuckle. I have taken off the splint once in a while, but the tendon is really sore...I hope it will heal soon.

Anyways, if you buy tofu, don't get it in the box, and if you do...use

I was making Kimchee Chigae the other night and I didn't have any tofu in my fridge. So I ran out to the local grocery store and they only have firm, extra firm, super firm tofu!! Honestly! don't they know of this awesome ingredient called soft tofu?? They multiple brands of each of these tofus. To make matters worse each was in a cardboard box! how can buy the soft tofu in neat plastic tubes at the Korean grocery fear of cutting yourself cutting into a tube!!

While tofu does not have much a taste in itself, people often ask me why I eat it. I reply because I like it..however, thinking about it there is not much a taste, but the fact that it is so subtle and I really like the texture. Which is probably why I prefer the super soft tofu to the firm. A soup doesn't feel right if it doesn't have tofu in it! Besides, its a "super food". Tofue is super healthy for you and it doesn't taste bad..what more could you want?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

About Me

So on Diane's (a faithful reader, who also blogs, but from an AP perspective) blog, the writers are telling about themselves. I have never done this, so I thought I would give it a try to let my few readers learn a little bit more about me.

1. Name: InMySeoul (obviuosly not my real name, but my blogger name)

2. Top 5 destinations: Korea, Korea, Korea, Korea, ok, seriously though Korea, Luang Prabang (Laos), Koh Tao (Thailand), Whistler (Canada), Vail (Colorado).

3. Favorite Films: Oh boy. Im a movie addict. I've seen them all I guess I'll have to do them by genres:
Action: Top Gun, Patton, Platoon
Foreign Film: My Sassy Girl
Comedy: Zoolander, Grumpy Old Men, Gran Torino
Chick Flicks: How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, 10 Things I Hate About You, My Sassy Girl

Seriously, if you have never seen "My Sassy Girl", You need too! Its the best chick flick I've ever seen. I'm a sucker for the romantic ending like the cowboy riding off into the sunset.

4. Favorite Foods - would be easier to list what I don't
Anything Korean. My favorites are: Gamja Tang, Jjim Daek, and sunduboo.

5. Favorite Color for the home - Navy Blue

6. Favorite Room in your house - Tie between kitchen (I love to cook), and my family room where my tv, big speakers, and comfy couch are located!

7. Favorite color to wear - whatever is clean and comfortable at the time!

8. Favorite season - winter with lots of snow!!

9. favorite zoo animal - I never really liked the zoo much, because it smelled. I always had fun at the polar bear exhibit, and also watching the hippos fart in the pool. I was mature for my

10. Favorite Farm Animal - none. I was raised in the city and I am a city slicker

11. Favorite time of day - morning and late late night. Wierd combination I know.

12. Favorite Type of Book - anything that gets my interest. I don't have any one genre.

13. First Job - babysitting for my sister's friends.

14. Oddest Job - hmm..never really had one. probably working at a nursery school?

15. Are you easily embarrassed? yes, usually, depending on the subject.

16. Any Phobias? Yes. I am an introvert so I hate meeting new people, I hate large groups of people. Ironically, my friends don't realize this and think I'm an extrovert, but thats only because I am good at forcing myself to overcome this weakness. The fear of falling (not heights, just the dropping part). Also I have a phobia of birds; I can't stand their legs, beaks, and feathers. I'm ok eating them as long as I dont think about the above three things.

17. Any Quirks? Oh I'm sure I have them. Im a single guy, so I know I have a few. I don't like feet. Growing up, I would wear shoes from the moment I woke up until I went to bed (even laying on the couch!). My mother says I have "baby feet" because to this day they are so soft and tender. I have had to overcome this recently because for the first time in my life, I have made friends with Asians, who incidently don't wear shoes inside the house!

I don't like giving or receiving hugs, kisses, or other forms of PDA.

18. Favorite song to sing with your kids: Well, I dont have kids. I remember my mom's favorite song: "You're 16" by Ringo Starr. If I did have kids I would probably sing: "As I Lay Me Down" by Sophie Hawkins. Awesome song, probably one of my favorites!

19. Favorite music when you were a teen: Oh man, I love everything except country. If I had to narrow it down, probably grunge and Punk. I love Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and most punk music.

20. Five words to describe you - LOUD, nerd, decisive (everything is black and white, no gray), energetic, reliable.

21. If you were offered a free trip to the moon would you go? Depends on who else was going. If it was by myself, NO. (I worked in a lab for a summer, it sucks being by yourself for a long time!)

22. Favorite TV shows when you were a kid - Party of 5, Full House, Family Matter

23. Favorite children's book - The Little Engine that Could, any Richard Scary books (because of the name)

24. Least favorite household chore - all of them!

25. Open up your local paper and write down your horoscope for today - sorry, don't have a newspaper, and actually I don't read them.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

"Voices from Another Place"

This is the latest book I have read. It is a collection of short stories, poems, and art written/created by Korean adoptees. It is a very cool concept, although the application was a little weak. The book is just a hodgepodge of writings.

While the layout could have been better, there are some excellent stories and poems in the book. There were 3 or 4 stories/poems that really "hit home" for me in this book. I'm not sure if its worth buying the book for just 3 or 4 really good pieces of work?

Since it is impossible to sum up all of the emotions an adoptee feels, the only way to learn about it is to hear the stories of many adoptees. This book does provide for a lot of different feelings to be exposed, however it falls short in that the book has no organization.

At the end of the book, it gives a one or two sentence introduction of each artist, but i think the book would have been better if it had the "adoption" story of each artist prior to their work.

Like I said, I don't regret reading the book, but I'm not sure its worth the $10 price tag. I did find 3 or 4 really good pieces which I am glad to have found.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Orphanage mother

I have mentioned this before, but only in passing.

When I visited the orphanage I came from in Daejeon, I met my Orphanage mother! Its been 23 years since I was there last and she was still there! She cried and kept holding my hand and rubbing my cheeks! (my adoptive mother does this too!! I don't know what is with my cheeks, but for some reason my mothers always have to rub them!)

After hearing my story, I have come to greatly appreciate my orphanage mother. She gave me my Korean family name of "Yang", it is her family name. Even though I was only 3 at the time I was brought to the orphanage, she decided to keep me there (The orphanage is supposed to be for children 5 years and older). I was there for almost 2 years by the time I was adopted. Lastly, she had the youngest picture of me, that I didn't know existed. They took the picture the day I arrived at the orphanage. I was in clothes that I didn't recognize, and now thinking about it, I wonder if those were the clothes that I was found in, or if those were orphanage clothes? Maybe someday I'll ask.

She said that she was so thankful that I was well and had gotten a good education and had a good job. In my 23 years of being away, I never once thought about my orphanage mother. I've probably thought about my birth mother 10 times in my life, and of course my adoptive mother all the time, but my orphanage mother...I didn't even know one existed!

Apparently there were 4 of us that were adopted overseas from her "children". She said she was scared because she never heard back from any of us, and was constantly worried if she made the right choice of letting one of her "children" be adopted overseas. She then told me that one of my "brothers" visited from Germany a year before me! and that I was the second one to return "home"! She said she was so blessed that we were doing so well.

This really opened my eyes to the "unsung heroes" in my life.

In adoption we always talk about the birth mother, adoptive mother, and the adoptee, but never talk about the "orphanage mother" or people invovled in the orphanages where we came from. I wonder if my case is unique in that my "orphanage mother" has worked in the same orphanage for so long? I wonder how much of an imprint we (adoptees) leave behind on the workers that work at the orphanage.

This year for Valentine's Day I don't want to forget my "Orphanage Mother". I never realized until last year, that I had someone worrying about me at my orphanage.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Birth is More Than Once: The Inner World of Adopted Korean Children

This book was written by Hei Sook Wilkinson, and is more of a discertation than a novel. Its also quite short and kind of pricy if you calculate the price/page cost. I was pleasantly surprised how good of a read this book was. I was expecting some boring paper about adoption research. Instead I found it very interesting and very easy to read.

Hei Sook Wilkinson is a Korean Adoptee herself, and apparently very famous among the Adoptee and Asian Women circles for her work. The book is a non-fiction, and is the account of Hei Sook Wilkinson during her research of Korean Adoptees.

I would highly recommend this book to any Adoptive Parent or potential adoptive parent because it is very insightful. The information given in the book would be helpful for any foreign adoption. I would have to say it would be kind of useless for non-foreign adoptees as most of the issues discussed have to do with cultural based issues.

When I read the book, I did find myself saying "Well Duh!" Or "no kidding", but after some time and reflection I realized that to adoptees many of the things in this book are obvious, but probably not obvious to Adoptive Parents. Even though I did find a lot of things obvious, there were still a couple things I had never considered or realized myself. This made me try to think back when I was first adopted to remember how I felt.

Hei Sook Wilkinson postulates that all of the children in her study go through the same "phases" in their lives as they go through their adoption. The speed of which these "phases" pass is dependent on the children.

Again, I highly recommend this book. I think all Adoptive Parents should read it and I think even Adoptees should read it. I gives a good and clear insight on the psychology of the adoptee during the first years of adoption. I will post another post soon discussing one of the "Phases" that really hit home for me!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Adoption and Real Life

Usually racial things don't bother me. Being a foreign adoptee, I have just grown a thick skin to being different. Whether someone calls me Chinese, Japanese, or Filipino, or even racial slurs like chink, gook, or whatever, never seems to bother me. However what does sting sometimes is when people assume that my parents are Asian. I know this isn't seem logical. Since I am very Korean looking, it is only logical for other people to assume my parents look the same as I do. So I try not to fault them at all, because their thought process is logical.

That doesn't help the pain that I feel every once in a while, when someone does assume my parents are Asian. Its wierd, some days it affects me more than others. I think it has to do with my audience and who I am talking with.

This issue just came up yesterday and for some reason it really hurt. I had just finished playing a hockey game and we were in the locker room. For those of you who have never experienced a "locker room" setting, its pretty much a lot of testosterone and joking and usuall not very poliically correct talking. So the usual banter is going on; which usually consists of off-color jokes (ironic since our team is a melting pot of races, but anything goes in a locker room). Anyways, the Asian jokes don't bother me, however someone made a comment like "It's because you have an Asian mother, and she probably taught you that...". Innocent enough comment. I said "My mother isn't Asian". I got this wierd look, then I decided to let it go. It wasn't worth trying to explain.

Why did that comment hurt so much? I know the person who made the comment was not trying to be mean or hurtful, but for some reason it really pinched me.

Why did I have such a hard time telling them I was adopted? I don't know either. I think maybe because I'm already different enough. In case you don't follow hockey, there are not many Asians in the NHL. There are actually more blacks than Asians in the NHL! Its not like these guys are strangers anymore. I've been playing on the same team, with the same players for over 6 months now. But for some reason I just didn't want to explain to them that I was adopted. I don't usually have any problems telling people I'm adopted, but here was an instance where I didn't speak up. Was I just tired? Was I embarassed? I don't know. I just swallowed the lump in the back of my throat and finished getting changed, and walked out of the locker room.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

I need your help!

I am in the process of having a new website designed. Will you please go to this link: Here

Take a look around the website, and please post comments on what you think. What changes should be made, and any suggestions you have.

I'm Sorry!

I don't know what has been happening! It seems like my life has been flashing by. I don't know where the time has gone. Anyways, I'm back and hopefully I'll find the time to post more regularly.

Anyways, I have been doing a lot of reading lately so I will have several reviews coming up.

The first one is called "Miles from Nowhere" by Nami Mun.

I received an email from a publisher asking me to review this book and write about it on my blog. It took me a while to get to the review.

This is a quick read book. It only took me two days to read it, and it is well written. However, that is about as much praise as I can give to the book. The story itself is kind of disturbing and definitely not for a young audience.

The story is about a Korean girl whose family moves to the US from Korea. Her father abandons her and her mother soon after the relocation. The girl soon runs away from home. The book follows her life growing up on the streets; including life in foster care, prostitution, and drugs. The book is quite "gritty" and not for the feint of heart.

This book is a fictional book and is not based on the authors life.

My personal feeling is that the book was written for shock value. I personally don't like reading books like this normally, and I would normally not buy this type of book from the bookstore. The book is probably too real about a girls life on the streets, which is probably what deters me from this book. I know its "shallow" of me, but I hate reading books that delve into this side of society and life. I guess I'm more of the "cowboy riding into the sunset" type of reader. If you like to read about things like this, then you will probably enjoy this book because it does seem very real and it does seem the author did a good job in researching for her book. I guess it was just too real and graphic for my tastes.