Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas & Happy Holiday

It's Christmas.  2016 is nearly over.  Hopefully all people will happily wrap up 2016.

I don't have a special plan to celebrate 2016 ending. But currently I'm so satisfied with being at home.  Recently I poured all of my energy in Vegas and Portland.  Exciting vacation in Las Vegas and a meaningful visit family-in-law in Portland were so wonderful. The trip charged my emotion fully so for a while I can do stay in my tranquil town like Stars Hollow in Gilmore Girls drama.
I often used to go the man-made-sleepless city by a car. This time I should go there by a flight.  It's a big change to me.  Even many things are so familiar, but it's so exciting to see all of anything in Vegas AGAIN, still so fun to stay.  In Portland, they're getting more trendy cafes & restaurants & modern color structures than the last year. I think Portland seems to be more liberal with young spirit even the city used to be famous to retirees, not anymore I think.  My notion on the cities above is my own personal thought.  That's it.   

Every year comes with new hopes and dreams.  I sincerely hope your New Year's resolutions will come true.  Hopefully, the new year of 2017, I will get a new color(it's my own symbol) without any hassle. 

Merry Christmas!  &  Happy New Year

Let's get into the holiday spirit


Monday, November 14, 2016

October is gone...Already it's in the middle of Nov

WOW.  It's already in the middle of November.  Just about 2 months left till the end this year too.  Time flies like in the blink of an eye.  When will I feel "time is really dragging'?
It's already been over one month since I was back to normal life from one week vacation in SoCal.  Every minute of what I enjoyed in SoCal is like a dream now.   Already I miss my beloved people, my desired atmosphere, my favorite foods, and the typical weather in SoCal. I'm sure I'll never be fed up with those things above.  Specially this trip was so meaningful to me.   One of things finally I visited my friend's grave in San Diego. He was a wonderful person, plus a great listener as my tutor and my friend.  I'd had a dream to visit his grave someday since I unexpectedly got a sorrowful email last year.  My dream came true earlier than my expectation.  I placed yellow mums and said hello to him in my mind, 'It's been a long time.  I'm here for you. How are you up there'

As you know, it was Halloween in the end of October.  I'm not a big fan of this holiday.  But, I didn't want to get bad rap from next door neighbor's kids. hahahaha.   Also it's my first time in my life to live in real community.  I used to live on campus and in a high-rise apartment.  Trick-or-treat was not a holiday to be considered to me so far. But it's different this year.  I know there is no judging by prepare treats or turn-off a porch light all night, but I think that at least I can do prepare a treat bucket and place it outside on the porch having a note, "Please Take one" for my neighbor's kids.   While watching out through the peephole sometimes, I got to know one good thing. Children in my subdivision are nice as I expected because they followed the rule, "Please take one."  I was quite concerned what if one naughty child swept all of my-prepared-treat bags into his or her treat basket before other children.  Good kids.

My fabulous trip and my Halloween treat bags have gone.  I still face assignments, quizzes, tests every week.  Even I have memory lapses and I often forgot what date it is today, but I can do sense easily that very soon it's time to be thankful.  A grocery shop quickly changed into Thanksgiving Holiday decorations, and also my neighbors adorned their entrance doors with Happy Thanksgiving spirits, not anymore pumpkins on their porches.   Even Starbucks started to carry seasonal chestnut praline latte, not pumpkin latte anymore. hahaha    AND not now, but it's time to think about wrapping me up with a heavy coat, a scarf soon.

Except my own study, today reading entertainment, lifestyle, and so on go a long way toward reducing stress syndrome from facing current issues.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

How Starbucks Saved My Life

Recently my book club selected one book which is my taste and I enjoyed reading the book.
It's How Starbucks Saved My Life.   As I'm a coffee lover, symbolic green, a guy wearing a green apron, a name of a giant coffee-chain in bold on a book cover intrigued me before their selection.   I loved my book club pick in ages.

This book is about a memoir of a senior, who was born with a super silver spoon in his mouth, started working at a Starbucks store in Manhattan after getting fired from his fancy job at a renowned company where he had never thought his redundancy.  Until he started serving a coffee in a green apron to a customer at a Starbucks store, his life used to be served very lavishly in Brook Brothers suit.  The upper class, Ivy league graduation, his previous social life surrounded with socialites, working at a well-known advertising company, his former life was opulent. He had all very easily like no pain no gain didn't apply for his former top-class life.  After being forced to leave at he-thought-forever-working company, he didn't know what to do.  He didn't know where his life would move toward and  how he would spend his spare time efficiently.  As bad things happen all at once, he got divorced.  Of curse he was the reason to cause the divorce.  He had a sort of love affair, a son from his woman, no a proper home, no health insurance.  In addition to his miserable situation, he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. His financial was in crisis too.  What abut his retirement accounts?  Maybe it's too early age to withdrawal since penalties.  Forget it.  He was desperate to face his real life.   But one day, fate approached to him.  He sat next to an African-American woman at Starbucks store in Manhattan. As destiny, the young African-American woman offered him, "Would you like a job?" Her sounds half joke and half serious.  He thought her job offer was only a chance to support his current unhappiness.   He was so desperate to get the job.  After spending days apprehensively to wait for a phone call from the young woman for a job offer,  finally he got the job at Starbucks. He started to work at a Starbucks in Manhattan from mopping on the floor, cleaning a toilet to being barista.   Since he worked at a Starbucks, his view point of the world was changed.  I think he was a babe-in-the-wood person before starting at Starbucks.  He didn't recognized real world.  He used to be given it all without a big effort since his birth including also his previous fancy job at a company among fortune 500 companies.  But his job at Starbucks was first job what he really wanted to get by himself.  He used to have a poor perception for African-American person.  But he started working at Starbucks for a young African-American woman boss, plus with other young African-American partners(colleagues).  From his partnership at Starbucks, he learned their real friend-partnership what he had never feel the way at his former fancy company.  Before working at Starbucks, he didn't have any idea out of his previous world.  His eyes for the world is divided before working at Starbucks, after working at Starbucks.  Starbucks literally saved his life in both physical and spiritual way.  Personally this book is enough interesting to read.  From his memoir, I was surprised to read his former notion on being barista as a sort of low level job.  I'd never worked at Starbucks, but I've a friend who did a summer-job temporarily at Starbucks when she was a student at college. I remember her professionalism when she was making espresso for her friend, me.   Being barista still looks professional to me as a coffee lover. It's very interesting he used to think a working at Starbucks is very low entry level.  WOW  I've never thought like that.  A coffee barista must be a sort of pundit.  Of course a coffee barista should start working entry level job like cleaning the store. But it applies to most regular employees as they start entry level at their working places.  One day like a drama, if a manager at Starbucks asks me like her in the book, "Would you like a job?" I would eagerly nod as a positive response. Also he was fifties when he was hired to work at Starbucks. What a such good opportunity!  In my country, how old you are is very important matter to get a job even applying for a job opening. I love the chance that it doesn't matter a person's age.  In the last page, suddenly I wondered whether Starbucks endorsed him to publish this book or not because he describes Starbucks company is like the best workplace in the world. Well, it might be true to some of employees from the company.  At least it's so wonderful for him to work at his favorite place while doing his favorite job.  If you're uncomfortable with Starbucks, try this book.  This book will help you how to order at Starbucks.  hahahaha  I hope many big companies save many lives more and more like him, not even the same version.  I just wish that kind of drama would happen to me too.  Of course, if someone knows you're reading this book and probably ask you, "Do you like Starbucks?"  My answer is "Not really"   My favorite chain-coffee(not local one) shop is Peet's Coffee & Tea shop.  I miss their brewed coffee more now.

Friday, August 26, 2016

It's time to re-boot again.

A month ago, my husband and I got a wonderful news. It was a sort of good reward, second times this year.  We're planning on celebrating when it confirms officially.


But the good news became an obstacle to our ongoing important process.  That good news require to reboot our current official process since a new addition. Life doesn't turn out the way I expect.  It's kind of wasting our several months. We should start it again from the beginning part.  It doesn't a big matter to start it, but every day, every month, literally time is significant to us to move forward.  I can't have a cake and eat it too.


It's time not to complain too much, and I know I should appreciate that good news also. The saying "It's gonna be fine" is very conventional to myself, but let's be positive mind, positive vibes, positive life.  With him, we've just stood at the starting point AGAIN.    My mind is insane, but I should be sane while trying to be competent at something.


Friday, August 19, 2016

During the whole summer

It's August mid-summer here.
Until end of July or early of August it was the peak season to travel across the country, guilty-pleasure time to eat ice cream, being thankful for cool breeze at damp night.

A few weeks ago I joined my favorite free ESL class in ages to say hello my teacher and friends since I didn't attend it due to my busy schedule.  But I just met new people as if I was a new person to them.  Many old learners at free ESL class didn't show up due to their children summer breaks. See? It was a time to be super busy.

If I say about this summer here, is a hot summer.  Unusually a heat wave had touched down.  Of course it's better than old summer in my own previous state.  But current summer here is unexpected weather at least to me experiencing summer two times here so far.  Many days in July were literally hot, hot, hot.  My first summer last year was good, not humid and not high temperature, such as a compensation for icy weather in winter.  But this summer!  There is no a nature-gift from past winter because that previous winter was too mild to give a cool-gift in summer?  I want to think about that this summer is unusually hot, and then I wish oncoming winter would be unusually so mild.

Dear my friends(a few) there!  How's your summer going?
I know some of my friends, being moms, must be busier for their children's summer vacation.  My other friends with childless also enjoy their hectic summer time to travel according to their emails sent to me.  My friends must be as busy as a bee in summer.  Good for them!!

If I say my summer days, many days were hectic with many issues and visitors. I was also as busy as a bee.  First I patted myself for making a right decision to replace a new A/C unit.  My husband and I considered to get a new A/C another year because summer here is not hot in general.  But we just changed our minds in June.  It was one of good things we've done this year and also it's worth of paying a big check.  I could stay cool at home when it is sultry.  Thank to A/C!  Plus I added to install a smart WiFi thermostat. It's so useful and convenient.  I feel I'm a tech geek.  And, one of big events in my summer was I had visitors, my parents-in law from my country.  During 3 weeks from end of June to early of July, I couldn't think about anything but entertaining my guests.  They're my favorite people so that I wanted to serve them as much as I could make them comfortably excited while staying at my home.  So it was time again to be a trip-planner.  Before they arrival, I'd done to organize a long-distance travel schedule for them.  But it didn't work to follow my own itinerary because this year their physical conditions are not enough to travel a long-driving distance compared to they used to do.  Personally it was sort of sad to see their different physical strength. I thought they would not age forever, but we know that we can't stop time.  Even we couldn't travel the way I planed, but we had a great time here and there.  Their favorite place is Chicago of course.  After their leaving, I was out like a light for a few days due to my body ache. It's a common symptom after I have visitor from my country since I poured my energy while any visitors' staying.  But this time it was much serious than the past.  Yes....I can't stop time and specially my aging.

After my condition was recovered, temporarily I became an home-financial strategist for my retirement plan.  I already started it before, but I knew it roughly.  Thus, I wanted to know it well regarding many terms' meanings, ways to invest tax-efficiently and find if I'm doing wrong or inefficient.  From economy articles to online forum, I indulged in reading about an investment plan.  It was fun to know.  To sum up, I should have been interested in investment in my early twenties.  It's never too early to start retirement investment.  Of course people say that also it's never too late to start retirement investment.  Later one sounds like just consoling to me.  If it's late, it's really too late.

Summer is drawing to an end.
Very recently I've done something new.  It was so sudden.  From thought to action, it took a week to process.  I can't say it here now.  But I can do say, it's a super productive decision to start it for myself. I'll update it later.

These photos are taken when my favorite visitors stayed here.

One of local summer event. 

One of local area to have a lunch with them

They loved so much to visit Chicago.

I was so glad to see their delightful facial expressions wherever I took them in Chicago.