Saturday, December 12, 2009

recyclables for good update

Ok, so it's taken me awhile, but I finally would like to report that we have raised $60.20 total for International Justice Mission (IJM) and Seattle Urban Academy (SUA)! Thanks to Auntie Joy, Charissa, Eric L., Grandma, Gus, the Hung family, Jen J. K., Sam Y., Shin, and Tinz for all of your goods. If you are impressed by the fact that I earned $60.20 in cans and bottles alone, you shouldn't be. I was only able to raise that much because my college friend, Tracy T. generously offered to match whatever I raised in September. SO THANK YOU, TRACY. YOU ROCK. Here is a picture of Tracy and me in college. Left to right: Jeannie, Me, Tracy, Krisi. Man, do we look like babies:

Now, here is a quick snap shot of each organization and why I support them.

A human rights agency that secures justice for victims of slavery, sexual exploitation and other forms of violent oppression. IJM lawyers, investigators and aftercare professionals work with local governments to ensure victim rescue, to prosecute perpetrators and to strengthen the community and civic factors that promote functioning public justice systems.

IJM's justice professionals work in their communities in 12 countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America to secure tangible and sustainable protection of national laws through local court systems.

Why I support them: I believe it is central to God's heart to protect those that are oppressed and victims of slavery. I like how IJM works with the local governments and "continues to build networks with aftercare and other social service and government providers to ensure long-term care of clients." They aren't just about rescuing people, but seeing their lives permanently transformed.

If you feel led to contribute to this org, click here.

SUA is a non-profit, alternative high school school located in Seattle, Washington that provides a safe haven for struggling students, where they can learn community values and be nurtured in the academic, spiritual, and social arenas of their lives. Through vital partnerships with community service organizations, SUA has helped its students attain a high graduation success rate. From 2001-2009, the graduation rate for SUA seniors was 94% and 90% of SUA graduating seniors went on to a 2-year or 4-year college.

Why I support them: First of all, because my aunt has been the executive director and principal for the past 13 years. This is a picture of her and her grandson.

Moreover, I am inspired by her very clear calling to reach out to at-risk youth who have lost hope for themselves. I love how she finds deep joy through experiencing "Christ's grace and power to call forth life in all of us" and through her commitment to "building up academic excellence and sending young people out to pursue higher education with vision and purpose". I also find it awesome that 66% of her staff have advanced degrees and have chosen to serve students through this non-profit program rather than through public or private education.

Here's a video that highlight some of the teachers and students from the program:

And, if you are interested in supporting SUA, click here.

I lagged big time on collecting recyclables from everyone for November. I'll probably collect through December and split the money for each month. November is for Kiva, and December is for Blood:Water Mission. If anyone wants to match what I get by the end of this year, let me know!!

Saturday, November 21, 2009


Ok. I know I've been away for a while, and I blame most of this on the lack of internet connection at home. I don't want to even start on my aggravation and frustration with AT&T. Unfortunately in our area it's our only option next to Charter, which is I hear is just as awful, and not to mention more expensive. Now we're going on week 4 without internet. I'm not sure if I can talk to another technician without my head exploding.

Anyway, so my temporary resurrection back into the blogosphere is simply to brag that I SAW KEITH URBAN PERFORM TODAY. FOR FREE. And he was wonderful. Witty, sweet, and perfectly on pitch.

I had to crop the hell out of this picture. Unfortunately most of my pictures look like this:

That balding man's head was my nemesis. But I'm not letting that get me down. Thanks to Minjue for the head's up on the concert. I'm glad we could add to the Asian count at the show.

I'm going to have Keith's songs on shuffle all of next week. Heart, heart, heart.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

headshot practice

The other day, my roommate, Jenny asked me if I would do some head shots of her. Of course I said, yes. I can use all the practice I can get.

Question. Do the shadows in the background of the first 2 shots make them look un-professional and amateur?

Friday, October 23, 2009

kogi for grandma

My grandma doesn't go out much. And when my grandpa was alive she was restricted to eating the things he liked, which was basically...chicken. But now, she she can eat whatever she wants. And the cool thing about Grandma is that, unlike a lot of older folks, she likes to try new foods.

So I decided to bring the Kogi truck...

...minus the cute Korean Kogi truck manager... Grandma.

And the results? It was a true success! Happy Friday!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

san diego

Hello! Took a quick trip down to San Diego with some friends for the San Diego Asian Film Festival last Saturday. Toyota was their official car sponsor. Kudos to them for supporting Asian Ams and the arts.

Beach Break Cafe, Oceanside.

Ultrastar Theater in Hazard Center, San Diego.

Q&A after film, All About Dad.

The writer and director, Mark Tran.

I think this trip proved that I need to invest in a flash. I was pretty unsatisfied with my in theater and step and repeat shots. There goes another $300 from my wallet.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

send your recyclables!

Hi all, just wanted to let you know I'm still collecting recyclables to cash in at the end of this month! I'll be cashing in for IJM and Seattle Urban Academy (my auntie Sharon's school!!), so get me your stuff, especially if something like this happens to you:

Jennifer: higakichan
me: yes?
Jennifer: so
on sat
after the gym
i saw this homeless person
who was wheeling a cart full of recyclables
and i thought
i have all these things in my car
i could just give it to this guy who looks like he could really use it
i ran him down
opened my car truck
and yelled, "EXCUSE ME, SIR!"
at which point
he bolted
took off, really.
booked it down the street
looking back at me
like i was going to kill him and stuff him in my trunk.
long story short.
i still have all these things b/c that man thought i was going to hurt him
me: omg

However, if a homeless person or someone in need does accept your recyclables, by all means give them to him/her.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Last Saturday I did my very first engagement shoot with my friend Dorothy and her fiancé, Robert at Venice Beach. I was pretty nervous because I had never shot at the beach before, but with of Dorothy's enthusiasm to try different backgrounds and poses and Robert's camera lessons along the way, things turned out way better than I expected. It also didn't hurt that they were very comfortable in front of the camera. Hugs, kisses and all. I know it's pretty lame to admit this but...I'm really proud of myself. Here are some of my favorites from the day!

It was also my first time shooting in RAW and editing in Lightroom. Pretty mind blowing. Now I just need to invest in a huge external hard drive. And find a student who wants to help me get a discount on Lightroom. :)

Happy Tuesday!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


Congratulations to my father, the 2009 Produce Marketing Association's Floral Marketer of the Year!!

Last Friday, my dad was awarded this honor at the PMA lunch right before Condeleezza Rice gave a keynote speech. The award was a surprise, so he was completely blown away. I was so proud to see my dad up there on that stage, speaking of his gratitude to his company, family and God. Times have been rough for his business because the economy and he's had to make some tough decisions. But in the midst of everything, he's never compromised quality of product nor the integrity of his company. You've done good, Dad.

Also, belated congratulations to Tommy and Karen and their 1st baby Audrey! Karen was my roommate in college, and I had the pleasure of hanging out with her, Audrey and some old college friends last Saturday. Babies are such a joy! And a heck of a lot of work.

Mommy & Baby

3 generations!

And, I haven't forgotten about posting Japan pics. It's just hard to choose my favorites!

Monday, September 28, 2009


1,323. That is the final photo count from my Japan trip. I'm half way done, so I will post the highlights from the first half soon. It's been semi difficult to get back into the swing of things. From 2-5pm jetlag hits me really hard and I have to get a good dose of caffeine or give in a take a little nap. At night I can't go to sleep. The first night I got back, I drank some wine. That put me out. The next night I stayed up 'til 5:30am reading some blog by some mom from the midwest and her story of how she fell in love with her cowboy husband. Last night, I lay awake in bed and asked God what my purpose in life was. When I didn't get an answer, I tried to name all the guys I had ever liked in my 27.5 years of existence. I fell asleep when the names started to blur. Tonight, I am actually tired.

I hope my dreams are filled with tan tan men tonight.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

children of the night

I finally got around to cashing in recyclables for August! PEOPLE. We raised $30.75 for Children of the Night!

I first heard about this organization through my friend, Win who has a friend named Maddie that works (worked?) for this organization. Basically it's a shelter in Los Angeles for children ages 11 to 17 that are victims of child prostitution, rape, abuse, drugs, and are trying to escape the streets. They have a 24-hour hotline and a program that provides a Primary Caseworker to each individual who coordinates medical care, psychological care, academic assessments and other social services as needed. Residents follow a highly structured program that includes attending an on-site school where they study a curriculum individually tailored to their specific needs so they can reach age- appropriate grade levels in all subjects before leaving. They formulate “life plans” and attend independent living classes, as well as participate in sports, recreational activities and health education.

Thanks to:

Jennifer J. K.
Gus S.
Tinz L.
Auntie Joy
Eric L.
Sam Y.
Wade C.
Crystal I.

...for your generous contributions. 30 bucks might not seem like a lot, but every little bit makes a difference. If you're interested in donating or getting involved with the organization, visit their website! Next month is IJM! Send your cans and bottles my way!

P.S. I've decided to donate 100% of proceeds to each non-prof. Taking a cut from such a small amount is silly.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

good bye, japan!

What an amazing 2 weeks! I think what I enjoyed most was experiencing daily life in another ethnic culture. The Japanese put so much emphasis on quality, excellent customer service and attention to detail. I can be so America-centric and was reminded that there are other ways of doing life. Props to my mom and her intensive planning and my dad's generosity for allowing my sisters and I to enjoy such a wonderful vacation!! Today (which is Thursday in Japan), my parents and I are catching a flight to arrive in LAX, Thursday afternoon PST.

Sayonara, Japan. It's been real, but it's time to go home.

Monday, September 21, 2009

happy belated birthday, lauren!

Happy 26th birthday, Sis! I'm so proud of you and all you have accomplished so far. May you know the Lord's abundant blessings upon you this coming year!

Wish I could have posted this yesterday, but I was exhausted from a long day wandering around the streets and department stores of Osaka. I think Osaka is my favorite city so far. The people seem more laid back and the food is great! Here's Megan in our hotel, Granvia Osaka.

I couldn't help but feel like we were walking through the corridors of a Star Trek spacecraft every day. Anyhow, today Megan and Lauren left to go back to now it's just me and my parents and grandparents. We spent the day in Gunma in a city called Kiryu (which sounds just like "kill you") which is north of Tokyo. We went there specifically for my dad to meet with a flower breeder there. While they talked business, I ran around with the breeder's grandson, Yuki.

Tomorrow we are off to Nikko to the national park. Should be beautiful!

Live long and prosper.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

hospitality & hometown glory

Wow. This week has flown by so fast! We arrived in Osaka last night and had dinner with one of my grandma's best friends. I think it was a 5 course meal. Or maybe more. All I know is the dishes kept coming and coming. All of our relatives and friends have given a new meaning to hospitality. Dinner, dessert, tea, fruit, gifts, taxi rides, tours, more tea and snacks for the road. Amazing.

Today we went to Gojo which is near Osaka, where my grandma lived at the end of high school. On the way there, it was wonderful to watch her eyes light up as she told us stories about her childhood and family. Yesterday when we got to the Osaka train station she exclaimed, I feel like a fish in water! She had such joy from returning to her hometown.

My grandma's cousin's family took us around Gojo and although it was lovely, one of the highlights was playing with their dogs Goma, Tokoto (sp?) and Tim Tam (after the Australian cookie).

SO CUTE. I just want to hold them again! Anyway. Tomorrow we are headed to the church my mom went to when she taught English in Osaka...34 years ago. And then Sunday is my sister, Lauren's birthday!! We'll have to celebrate it Japanese style.