Moving Beyond Perfection

Posted in Uncategorized by Kathy on July 24, 2009

Hello everyone!!

I am sorry for being so MIA, but work has gotten crazy intense. I barely get any sleep or time to myself, and things like going to the gym or any downtime have been out of the question. I fully expected this would happen sooner or later at the beginning of summer, which is why I originally did not intend to officially start blogging until I was back at school or at least done with my internship. I got too excited about the blog community though, and so started writing immediately. However, I unfortunately need to revert back to my original plan and stop writing until my internship is over. I only have 3 weeks left (it ends on my birthday!) so it won’t be too long. I will CERTAINLY still be reading/commenting on other blogs :) haha I try to read during lunch or when there’s downtime at the office… it’s such a nice break from the cubicle world! Anyway, I’ve been doing a LOT of thinking about my life this summer, and I will certainly write a reflection post once my internship is done. I’m also sooo excited to share some delicious recipes and dishes of some Chinese homecooking once I’m home! I LOVE my mother’s cooking, and I’ve learned how to cook as well as adapt many of her dishes over the years. She never ever measures anything when she cooks, but I’ve gotten a good sense of how much she puts in everything and I’m so excited to share her healthy, simple Asian dishes! I also promised my 11 year old younger brother that we’ll be making loads of smoothies and cooking creations :) haha I always love experimenting at home!

Anyway, thank you all who have been reading – this blog has given me an outlet to express my feelings and thoughts and it has been so wonderful. I will be back in 3 weeks, I promise! I can’t wait! :)

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When the road turns into a pitchfork

Posted in Uncategorized by Kathy on July 22, 2009

All my life, I’ve pretty much walked down a straight road path. Although no one has ever forced me to do anything, I’ve received a lot of guidance in my life. I’m grateful for all the advice and help I’ve received, but what happens when the straight road suddenly turns into a pitchfork?

When I was in middle school and even perhaps the start of high school, I had this obsession of becoming a lawyer one day. I loved studying court cases in school, reading books with plots that involved lawyers, and my favorite word to use in the 5th grade (even my parents can attest to this) was “hypocrite”. I loved to debate, and argue, and make my point- it felt great when I could prove someone to be a hypocrite :) Plus, the word sounded so sophisticated at the time. My favorite subjects included math and history, but now that I think about it, the main parts of history that I loved all revolved studying legal, government, or economic issues.

I’m not sure when the switch went off, but one day I chucked “lawyer” out the window. I learned that the life of a lawyer was a workaholic one, and since I’ve always known I would someday want kids of my own and an actual life, I decided law was not suited for me. I don’t know why I didn’t even think twice about it.

I also don’t know why I thought a career in finance would allow anymore work-life balance than one in law. If anything, the hours seem to be quite comparable, minus the whole going to law school first thing. But I enjoy school. School doesn’t seem so bad.

This is not to say I want to become a lawyer again, but I just realized I never truly explored my options. There were always 3 main ones on my radar:

1) Pre-med –> I love chem, and I love studying human physiology, but just plain biology drives me insane. So I said no to this one.

2) Become a Professor –> Maybe this one is still on my radar. I’m not sure. It was a little depressing to learn about how few women become tenured in the economics field when I took my junior seminar on Careers and Family this past fall. Clearly, there is still gender inequality. But the general thought of going to economics grad school for a phD does not exactly excite me.

3) Work in Wall Street –> Since 1) and 2) for the most part got chucked out the window, I chose 3.

But I forgot to think about 4) which is OTHER. And now I am getting quite distressed that I am finally a senior, with only 1 year left and just simply not enough time.

How is it possible that I thought I knew exactly what I was doing freshman, sophomore, and junior year, but now am CLUELESS senior year?

I’m generally a risk-averse person, so I hate taking chances on my future. But this is my future. And my future is my happiness. But how can I take a chance when I’m not even sure of what I want to do? All I hope is I don’t screw myself over.

A Good Monday

Posted in Uncategorized by Kathy on July 20, 2009

It’s amazing how a great weekend can make a Monday be so much better! A lot of my friends were in town this weekend, and it was just so lovely seeing everyone again. There were definitely lots of laughs, good eats, and good ole girl time. One of the girls in my sorority hosted a brunch yesterday for us, and it was just amazing. She baked all week long, and we enjoyed a delicious spread of strawberry banana bread, some type of chocolate swirl bread, a blueberry type bread, addictive chocolate chip cookies, macaroons, .. and the list goes on! She is going to be the next Martha Stewart :) I wish I took a picture, but I just wanted to enjoy and be in the moment.

Thinking back on it, it was SO nice to be able to enjoy things like small get – togethers again and spend my time with my friends, rather than thinking about what I was eating. Two years ago, the only thing that would’ve been in my mind would have been about the calories in the food. No matter how hard I would try to block out those negative thoughts, they were constantly there, preventing me from living the  moment. Yesterday, though, I was full of smiles, and had such a fun time with my girls! I even had a wonderful Monday, just because I had such a great weekend. I’ve decided that I am really NOT into the whole night-life scene in New York City- I much rather just spend time with my friends during the daytime in low-key environments – a lunch, or a movie on someone’s couch, or shopping.. coffee.. relaxing things. I tried out the night life here and what I found was that I’d be out until 4 – 5 am, my money would somehow just dissappear through the night (note: even if you can navigate your heels, if your friends can’t, you’re going to be cabbing everywhere and paying for part of it!) , random creepy guys would try to hit on me or dance with me, and in the end, I never even had much fun! It just isn’t worth my time OR money, in my opinion. I love dancing, but not if I have to constantly worry about creepy guys coming up behind me. I’d much rather spend a night in with some friends!

Anyway, here are some of my eats from today – only lunch and some snacks because I packed them to go and was able to take pictures of them before I got to work!

To start:

A lovely GM!

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This was freaking amazing. I used frozen cantaloupe chunks and that made all the difference. It tasted crisp and sweet! I know a lot of bloggers have those amazing Vitamixes, but my ghetto blender can hardly handle a piece of ice, so freezing my fruit really helps a lot. It’s soft enough for my blender, but still gives me the icy texture I like in my smoothies. At work, I then had a packet of TJ’s instant maple & brown sugar oatmeal with a glob of almond butter. I think TJ’s instant oatmeal is the perfect amount of sweetness for me- I really dislike oatmeal that is too sweet!

Lunch & snacks:

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Leftover chow mein- it was still delicious!

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2 ginormous Pink Crisp apples. I LOVE these. They take forever to eat, which is great because then they last longer :)

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And a huge container of watermelon! Now I KNOW you think this is just ordinary watermelon. But if you lugged a watermelon a mile from Whole Foods and up 6 flights of stairs along with 2 other canteloupes and chopped them all up into ziploc bags in a tiny little overheated kitchen, you would be pretty damn proud of the watermelon too. It was so juicy, sweet, and worth it!

I also had a delicious piece of leftover chocolate swirl bread that my friend graciously let me take home with me after the brunch. Yum!

Aside from food, something quite interesting happened to me this morning. I was getting ready for work and after applying my makeup and putting on my suit, I felt like something was missing. I couldn’t put my finger on it though so I just left for work. It wasn’t until noon that I realized I completely forgot to put on eye makeup! And I can’t believe I couldn’t even figure out what was missing! But it felt seriously so refreshing and nice to not wear eyeliner and mascara. It felt freeing! And quite honestly, I actually didn’t think I looked too terrible without it today! Maybe it’s the GM’s improving my complexion? Well, whatever it is, I think I’m going to continue not wearing eye makeup to work anymore. It’s so nice to be able to come home and not have to remove my eye makeup. Plus, we women really shouldn’t feel compelled to wear makeup all the time. We should be happy in our own skin! I know it’s something I still have to work on myself, but hey, baby steps right?

Before I forget, also check out Keri’s blog for a fun giveaway!!

http://hopskipleap.wordpress.com

Okay, now off to catch up on my blog reading and then bed! :) Have a great night everyone!

Childhood memories

Posted in Uncategorized by Kathy on July 18, 2009

I just had such a fun day with two of my friends  – we roamed through Toys R Us (the HUGE one in nyc), the m&m factory, and the hershey’s store while reminiscing of all our childhood memories! The Barbie section inToys R’ Us was just ridiculous, and yes we had a blast :) I must say though, I think the old barbies looked better. The new ones kind of look even more plastic-y and fake to me for some reason. It’s also weird that all the elbows bend now!

We also went to an AMAZING dessert shop – The Little Pie Company. I got the Carrot cake cupcake, and it was just bliss:

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Now let me just say that I normally don’t even like cupcakes. I like DENSE cake- like dense, dark chocolate cake, or rich, cheesecake. I don’t tend to like spongy texture like desserts.. ie. normal birthday cakes and cupcakes. But this cupcake was just a whole different story. I knew it would be delicious because a friend of mine bought me some for my birthday last summer and I was blown away. I knew I had to bring my friends here and unsurprisingly, we were in dessert heaven! My two friends got their Mississippi mud pie and cheesecake, and we all just ended up sharing. mmmmm if you’re in nyc, you must go to their store! Visit their website online, and your mouth will probably already start to water :) http://www.littlepiecompany.com/

Anyway, I miss childhood! Love being in happy places :)

The Morning Flies By!

Posted in Uncategorized by Kathy on July 18, 2009

So I slept in what felt like subzero temperature last night (to ward off the mosquito) and was actually FREEZING even in my long sleeved sweater, pajama bottoms, and socks, but I guess my tactic seemed to work because I did not get bit! Woohoo! I plan on doing this for a few more days and just praying that the mosquito freezes/starves to death.

Anyway, this morning I was a little late getting up and I wasn’t hungry at all, so breakfast was kind of random. I made another blended frozen banana concoction, but this time I added chocolate silk and it was so yummy!

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On the side, I had a quarter of one of the vegan chewie things I mentioned a few posts ago:

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These things are really dense with loads of nuts in them and super filling! Amazing :)

I then left to run some errands, and by the time I got back, I was starving for lunch! So I had something simple, quick, and delicious:

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I bulked it up with 2 eggs and extra frozen veggies I had in my freezer. End product:

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I ate half and saved half for a later meal!

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This was delicious, so easy and quick to make- I’d definitely buy it again! As it was cooking, I inhaled this AMAZING grapefruit:

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No, it’s not asthetically pleasing, but hey, it’s kind of the reality of my life! I’m always in a rush, and plus, my stomach was growling :) I peeled the extra skin off as I ate it, and Omgosh! I forgot how delicious a good grapefruit can be. I’ve eaten so many sour and bad ones at school this year that I just gave up on grapefruit. But I am certainly going to go buy more now that I know they can be so sweet!

Anyway, I’m off to enjoy the beautiful day now! Have a wonderful Saturday!

perfect pandora mix!

Posted in Uncategorized by Kathy on July 17, 2009

Just quickly wanted to add that I created the perfect pandora mix today! If you’re ever in the mood for harry potter, lord of the rings, jurassic park, basically emotionally moving type of soundtrack music, mix together:

-Howard Shore

-John Williams

-Jon Schmidt

I love it! :)

The end of the week, finally!

Posted in Uncategorized by Kathy on July 17, 2009

Ahhh thank goodness it is FRIDAY again!! This week went by pretty quickly, but everyday just felt so long. I have to admit, I had a little bit of an emotional breakdown earlier in the week. I felt like the work was endless, I never saw daylight, and I just began to doubt everything I was doing. On the other hand, I knew I enjoyed the type of work I was doing and that it would definitely, definitely benefit me in the long run. The hours, though, are a whole different story.. Fortunately, after speaking with several first year analysts and hearing about their adjustments to “real” full-time work, I realized that any job is going to be tough to adjust to. I mean, let’s face it- college is amazing. It’s flexible, it’s fun, and it is SO EASY compared to full-time work. I know I groan about work all school year long, but this internship just makes me appreciate how easy we have it at school. There is seriously no responsibility in college, and the only person you can dissappoint there is yourself. With work though, if you make a mistake, you can actually have an impact on others – whether it’s your manager’s reputation or the firm’s revenues. And that’s a scary thought. You’re being constantly evaluated and watched – there is really no time for yourself at all.

But when it comes down to it, at least I enjoy the work. Everytime I speak to my manager, I am in awe at how much knowledge he has of the industry he covers. I feel like I am a SPONGE just ready to soak up information! I find what I’m doing stimulating, and that’s better than great hours but a terrible job. My mom also believes that it’s better to start out with a tough job because then it prepares you for anything, and things can only get easier. I do agree with her, so I’m just going to see where this all takes me in the future! Plus, after reflecting a bit, I can’t really imagine myself doing any other type of work next year. I love the people, I love the firm, and the work seems to fit my skills set. But we’ll let fate run its course!

Anyway, I got out 6 pm today, which was just amazing compared to 10 pm.. 11 pm.. etc.. which was when I was getting out M-Th. I went home, had a brownie which I baked last weekend (was craving chocolate!) along with a small bowl of ice cream, and then hopped on over to the gym for a 45 min run. My run felt so good after sitting in a cubicle all week, and I was able to watch 2 and a half men, which is just hilarious! I also saw half an episode of Friends, which always makes me smile :)

For dinner, I made an egg scramble with spinach, laughing cow light garlic + herb cheese, and 2 Tomato basil pizza veggie burgers chopped up. It doesn’t look appetizing, but it was delicious!

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And for dessert (ok, I admit it- I ate this first!), I made a Jenna-inspired banana fro yo (frozen banana chunks blended with just a touch of almond milk) topped with a big glob of almond butter for some healthy fats. I actually used to make this banana froyo (without the almond butter) all the time a few years ago way before I even started reading food blogs. I think I just accidentally “discovered” that if you try making a banana smoothie with too little milk, it turns into an ice-cream texture instead, but tastes like heaven! However, the addition of almond butter makes it even more heavenly! In the future, I want to try adding a touch of chocolate soy milk to make it chocolatey, or a kiwi or pineapple to make it more tropical.

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Anyway, I’m exhausted but you won’t BELIEVE what I’m wearing right now and plan on sleeping in. Socks, pajama bottoms, and a long-sleeved shirt. It is steaming hot outside, but I’m wearing a TON of clothes because I am so scared of this mosquito in my room. I discovered it last night and after several frantic swats at it, it is still not dead! It bit me again at 4 am, and I was up for another hour trying to “catch” it. Well, that planned failed and I did not get enough sleep. I’m paranoid about this mosquito because I am highly allergic, and while most people’s mosquito bites go down after a day or two, mine just swell more and more! It can become the size of a baseball and the bites also become really, really hot!!! Like crazy hot. I guess my skin just reacts a lot more than others’ do. It sucks because mosquitoes have always loved me, and whenever I’m with other people with mosquitoes around, I’ll end up getting bit a ton and no one else will have gotten bitten! Needless to say, I am going to just wrap up myself from head to toe tonight and sleep with the air con blasting on high. Hopefully the cold air will also deter that evil little thing. Ugh, I just hate mosquitoes!!! If anyone has any suggestions on how to kill them, I would really appreciate that. I can be very violent when it comes to mosquitoes.Too bad my aim sucks and they can fly high where I can’t reach them.

Ah! Well I’m going to catch up on blogs + e-mails and then get some sleep! Cross your fingers for me that the mosquito just miraculously DIED. Goodnight all!

I really want some pineapple.

Posted in Uncategorized by Kathy on July 15, 2009

I am pretty exhausted right now, so I’m actually going to just sleep soon, but I really want some pineapple. I have been craving it all day long, but by the time I got out of work,I knew that even if I bought myself a pineapple, I would be too lazy to cut it.

This weekend- I am going to buy some pineapple.

And cut it.

And I am going to freeze it and put it in smoothies.

Perhaps a pina colada?

Can someone just take me to Jamaica right now actually?

That would be nice :)

Food for thought

Posted in Uncategorized by Kathy on July 15, 2009

A really interesting article in the NY times today – Coping With Excess

http://judson.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/07/14/coping-with-excess/?pagemode=print

The writer questions whether it is possible for human to evolve such that we are better able to process diets high in calories without packing on the pounds.
Apparently, some studies have been done on rats and catepillars that showed that the later generations of those who were forced fed excess amounts of food were slimmer than than the later generation of those who ate a lighter diet.

 

Additionally, there has been evidence to suggest that those who live during a period of famine during their younger years are much more likely to become obese later on in life when food becomes abundant again because they tend to develop a “thrifty” genotype that allows them to hold on food for longer periods of time. It is essentially a mechanism to prevent starvation.

 

I wonder if it would be possible for humans to adapt to be able to eat excess amounts of food though. Obviously, it wouldn’t be an ethical experiment, but also, wouldn’t people just die out along the way? By eating unhealthy amounts of food, you would become much more prone to developing heart disease and other health conditions. An interesting question, though. I would never have thought of it.

Too Much to Hope For?

Posted in Uncategorized by Kathy on July 14, 2009

One thing that really irks me is gender stereotypes. Even though people don’t state them outloud, sometimes they are still there under the surface. I have been told by many at school (both by girls and guys) that guys may find me intimidating. Especially Asian ones. Umm why? I would like to think I am generally quite friendly, and for goodness sakes, I am 5’1. Clearly, I am not physically intimidating.

I went through this period of time at school when I tried to find a nice, Asian boyfriend for the first time –just because culturally, there are more similarities. However, that completely failed. For one, I found that I was way too outspoken. And for two, I think that my career ambitions scared away many. For many Asian boys (yes, I am completely generalizing – this is only based on my own encounters), it seems as though the prospect of an ibanker wife (even though we’re too young to think of marriage yet) is just a turn off. No, instead, they want someone to stay at home and cook dinner, watch the kids, take care of the house…

This really annoys the heck out of me. But what is ironic is that I actually would love being a housewife. It’s not that I want to throw away my education or anything — it’s just that I genuinely enjoy cooking. I enjoy decorating. I enjoy having a clean house. And I would love to have kids one day and be able to spend all day with them. I don’t think that being a housewife is a waste of knowledge at all because in the end, you will pass your knowledge onto your kids. My mother was a doctor before she had me and my brother, and though she gave it up, she taught us so much. When I ask her if she regrets her decision, she says absolutely not. I think I would be the same way.

So am I being unfair? I guess so. I guess in an ideal world, I would meet a guy who wouldn’t mind me working, who wouldn’t expect me to stay at home, but who would also respect my decision to stay at home if I one day wanted to. That seems almost too perfect though. I guess I just like to dream…