Oct 18, 2013  •  In Funny, Information

What Each Country Leads the World In

Which country has the world’s highest rate of alcohol consumption?1 (I was surprised it wasn’t South Korea.) Social media use?2 How about “almost winning the World Cup”?3

Find the answers, and much more, in this revealing map by Doghouse Diaries. Yay, Koreans for being workaholics, and Americans for leading the world in Nobel Laureates and getting killed by lawn mowers!


For a full list of the author’s sources, look here.


Oct 17, 2013  •  In Depression, Parenting, Personal, Relationships

Screwing Up My Kids

In all my years of receiving therapy, there is one psychologist who stands out in my mind…and not in a good way.

She was an empathic woman who immediately helped me feel at ease. She certainly had a way of helping me feel warm and comforted and understood, and I almost always felt better after our sessions.

But after a few months, I came to a startling realization.

She never made anything my fault.

Now, I know that depression is a disease — an illness with symptoms and consequences that are not always under my control. And I am fully aware that not everything bad in my life is my fault.

But I do know that some of it is.

And I know that I must own up to those flaws and mistakes. Otherwise, how would I ever grow and learn and get better?

It made me even sadder to realize that she almost always seemed to place the blame on my parents. How they put so much responsibility on me, even at a young age. Our emigration to a new country at such a formative period in my life. Their first-generation immigrant mentality of “you can achieve and obtain anything with hard work and discipline.” So on and so forth.

my family, circa 1985

I switched therapists not long after. But coming to this conclusion did plant some seeds in my mind: mainly, DID my parents screw me up?

Because it’s an undeniable fact that your parents have a huge influence on your life, right? And in raising me the way that they did, did they make me this way? Did they contribute to my struggles with depression and anxiety? If so, how much, and to what extent?

Pondering these questions led to my contemplating my current position, as a parent myself. I know that every parent gets scared that they will screw up their kids in some way, but I became even more paranoid. I began to wonder if even a passing comment to which I hardly give a thought can leave deep psychological scars in my children. And yes, I became convinced that Claire and Aerin were doomed to unhappy and unfulfilled lives as a result of their mother’s pitfalls and shortcomings.

Oh geez, why did I ever choose to become a parent???

That’s when a wise friend stepped in. “Oh yes, you will screw up your kids,” he said.

I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. I was just about to tell him to go screw himself, when he went on to clarify.

“You will screw them up. All parents screw up their kids. My parents did it to me, and your parents did it to you. It’s how you teach your kids to deal with the screwups and unfairness and all the other big bads of the world that makes all the difference.”

My mouth dropped open.

What my friend told me that day still stands as one of the best pieces of parenting advice I’ve ever received.

And I still turn to it, especially in these dark days when there seems to be no light in sight and I feel as if I am dragging my entire family into my black hole of gloom.

I hope others will find it helpful too. :-)

Oct 16, 2013  •  In Art/Design, Entertainment, Funny, Geek, Movies, Personal

Horror Movies, Vampires, and Fizzix!

This post is a link dump of sorts — three items I found especially interesting/funny and compelling enough for me to want to share them with you. :-)

First up is a spoof trailer for Hell No, a horror movie starring characters who make…wait for it…good decisions. What a concept, huh? Take a look if you can spare 3 minutes, because it’s freakin’ hilarious!

(via Neatorma)

Second at bat is a handy chart of vampire bloodlines, commissioned by the Dublin Film Festival and created by illustrator Matthew Griffin. Despite my fondness for many of the characters depicted here, my favorite vampire still remains Dracula from the classic novel. How about you?

(via io9)

Last, but not least…

The Physics of Friendship is an upcoming art exhibit which plays tribute to one of my favorite television shows, The Big Bang Theory. Check out these teasers — don’t you just love ‘em?

In The Beginning There Was Nothing, Which Exploded” by Richard J. Oliver

The Big Bang Geometry” by Ale Giorgini

Cog-nition” by Steve Simpson

If you too are a fan of the show and live near Alhambra, California, be sure to check out the exhibit, which will open at the Gallery Nucleus on Saturday, October 19, 2013 and run through Sunday, November 10, 2013.

I’m especially sad I’ll be missing the show, because I just booked tickets for a trip to LA in early December! This mama is in dire need of a vacation and a friend generously offered to let me stay at her place. (Thanks, C!) It’s funny, because right now I’m really looking forward to hitting up some good Korean restaurants. Does anyone have any recommendations for good, authentic Korean food in LA?

Oct 10, 2013  •  In Art/Design, Personal

The Geek in Heels for Hire

I fully realize that this may not be the best time to make this announcement — ahem, see two posts down — but I wanted you to know that I am currently looking for work.

Obviously not my number, but a funny and appropriate (at least to my weird
sense of humor) sign for this post. Get it? ;-)

For those who are not aware, I used to work in marketing and was a designer (web and print) and web developer. Now that the kids are older, I would love to start freelancing again to slowly transition my life to that of a working mom.

Not to mention, keeping myself busy and focused would help me on my road to recovery. (It has in the past.)

So if you, or someone you know, is in need of a web/blog design, illustration, photo retouching, and/or any other design-related services — no matter how big or small — please let me know!

For more details, please check out my Design Services page.

Oct 9, 2013  •  In Beauty, Cute, Entertainment, Personal

The Anatomy of Being Cute

I wouldn’t necessarily characterize myself as being cute, but now I’m wondering if this is one of the reasons I’m always mistaken as being younger: large head, high forehead, small nose and mouth, a stubby neck, and short arms and legs with small hands and feet.


For more commentary on how and why humans perceive cuteness — including some really interesting historical factoids — check out Why Babies and Other Things Are Cute, Explained at the Stuff You Should Know Blog.