thinking outside the gular pouch

I was watching a video the other day of an egret eating a mouse when I came across several more of a crow trying to catch a duckling and a pelican with a duckling trying desperately to escape from its gular pouch. Then I saw some videos of geese fighting with swans, whether for territorial reasons or protecting their young or both, who really knows? After watching several of these, a thought occurred to me: Why can’t all birds just get along? Do they really have to eat each other? Do they really have to bully each other’s young to make a point that the lake belongs to them? It would be like if we had different species of human and some people ate other species of people. Can you imagine that?

People are people are people are people. But what if there were teeny tiny ones living in the grass and really big ones living in the mountains? We could eat the ones in the grass, but we would be eaten by the ones in the mountains. I don’t know if I would like a world like that. So how do we get all the birds to get along?



What makes a good friend? Is it being a listener on the phone whenever a friend calls you with a problem, even if it’s late at night like Carrie and Miranda? Is it walking into their bedroom whenever you notice your friend is down like Brooke and Peyton? Is it running lines with your friend who got cast in the school play as a form of punishment so he doesn’t make a fool of himself in front of the whole school like Eric and Landon? Is it offering your house as a hideout as you let her explain to you how she just ran her fingers through her crush’s hair in marching band and had to run away like Rory and Lane? Is it being able to call someone a “kindred spirit” even though they accidentally made you drunk on raspberry cordial like Diana and Anne? Is it offering to go to the nearest drugstore and smell shampoo products when your friend is feeling down about a boy like Tina and Holly? Is it starting a shrimping boat business after your friend passes away because you made a promise like Forrest and Bubba? Whatever the definition is, if you know you’ve got one and it’s not from a book or a movie or a TV show, you better hold onto them for as long as you can. All I know is a truly good friend is really hard to find in real life.


I miss you, Dad.

I looked up the word ‘languid’ today and I remembered that I had looked it up before. But because I don’t really have an opportunity, especially nowadays, to use words in sentences that I just looked up in conversation with people I know, it’s hard for me to lock down the definition and usage of the word. I guess you could kind of say I am languidly learning the definition of languid? I don’t know. It just makes me think of you, Dad. You once told me to look up every single word I don’t know the meaning of in the dictionary. I’ve noticed myself able to do that, but the words don’t stick because I don’t get to use them so I end up with my nose in the dictionary again, looking up words I’ve looked up before. Does this ever happen to anyone else? How do I truly learn a new word? It feels like everyone else just magically has words up their sleeve while I’m stuck here furtively pulling out my pocket dictionary like a word magician or something. Le sigh. Dad I miss you. There aren’t enough words in the English language for me to pull out the right one from the dictionary to describe how I miss you and how often and when.


rear thoughts

A long time ago, can’t remember exactly when, a writer told me, butt + chair = writing. Well, tonight I really wish I could say that, but my butt must be on fire the way it hurts and I can’t sit still. Despite the fact that I try to get up and go up and down the stairs to break up the work and not go crazy in my chair during the day, my butt hurts from working all day. I even went running after work and it still hurts. Writing this just intensifies the hurt because I am sitting in my chair typing this. Oh I know! I need one of those raisable desks that make it easy to alternate between standing up and writing and sitting down and writing all in one. Except how much does one of those cost? It must be expensive because it didn’t exist at one point. Anything that was invented costs a lot when it first goes on sale. I know it’s been around for a while now, but since I don’t have one I keep thinking it just went on sale. That’s just how YuMin’s brain works. Take it or leave it. And I guess if you made it this far, you’re taking it. Perhaps I could just get butt pads or something. That may work too. Like for when people learn how to figure skate for the first time. I wonder if that’ll actually work though. Knowing me, it’ll just backfire and make my butt hurt even more by the end of the day. And if you don’t think so, have you met me?




sights and sounds

These nights I’ve really appreciated opening the windows while holding off on turning on the A/C just yet. It’s not officially summer! One thing I’ve noticed is all the sounds become amplified. The dogs barking, moms telling their kids to play safely or that it’s time to come in soon, cars driving by, bullfrogs croaking, crickets chirping, drunk party people laughing, water splashing from a neighbor’s pool, geese honking, planes buzzing, dirt bikes dancing, and many other sounds I can’t name. But do you know what it all sounds like to me once all put together? A professional baseball game. Yup. Don’t ask me how I came up with that. It was just the first thing that popped into my head and stuck as I sat and listened like Buddha. It’s like I’m hearing a game from sitting way up in the nosebleed section and all the sounds from out the window are competing to come up with the score or what the announcer is saying or the blimp flying up overhead the stadium or the crowd cheering when it’s a good hit or when someone starts slurping their ice cold Coke like they are filming a mukbang. Open your window when it’s cool at night. Sit by it and listen. I swear you can almost hear the peanut guy.


the inside joke

When I was a kid, I loved playing in the backyard if only to observe the animals. I remember sitting on the wooden swing my dad had built and instead of swinging, watching a rabbit chewing on something green. (It was most likely just plain old grass, but it could have been clover.) It was minding its own business and noticing that I was a good distance away, therefore would not be able to disturb it. I’d see its head pop up and down, like perpetual motion. I decided right then and there that rabbits can make anything edible look really good to eat. It’s a special talent they possess.

I started humming. It kept chewing. I was going to Suzuki Violin School at the time (who with a violin wasn’t?) and so hummed a piece I had been practicing for my next lesson with my violin teacher. I think it was “Humoresque” because I was still very young and in the beginner’s stage of learning to play my new instrument and that piece has some fast and slow parts. Yes, it was “Humoresque” and another piece called “Allegro.” That would make more sense for the fast parts. Here is where the rabbit had an interesting reaction to sound. Whenever I hummed the slow parts the way my violin teacher taught me, it would continue chewing as if nothing was wrong. Whenever I hummed the fast parts the way my violin teacher taught me, it started hopping away, scared. But as soon as I stopped humming the fast parts, it would slow down again and the whole cycle repeated when I started humming the fast parts again.

You know what, it was humorous to watch this rabbit. It was a moment in time that makes me laugh every time I think of it. It’s an inside joke between me and that rabbit. Even though that particular rabbit is long gone, now when I get to watch a rabbit eat, whether in the front yard or the back, I get to pull this gem of a memory out. Man, my violin teacher was good.



Writer’s Block

As I see all these schools hosting virtual graduations, all of a sudden I’m truly deeply appreciative of the fact that I got to experience a real live graduation. But, stories like this one touched my heart. A university cancelled graduation, so one girl’s father built a stage in their driveway with a podium and everything so that she could have a normal graduation after all. Her aunt and family pastor gave speeches and their neighbors came out onto their lawns to watch and celebrate with her. How does that quote go? Necessity is the mother of invention? Whatever the quote was, this father’s gift to her daughter was it. And love. Pure love is what motivated this father’s actions. Building this commencement stage is a visual representation of what he’s feeling on the inside. When I read contrasting stories of violence going on around the world as a result of this pandemic, I think to myself, this world needs more love, especially the visual kind, to spread the love bug instead.


Deep Thoughts #2 at Opera House Coffee & Food Emporium


Saturday, March 3, 2018 – This was not the first Deep Thoughts event of the Nerdy 30s Ladies, but it was the first one I went to. I had been looking forward to an event where all us girls can talk about anything that is not guys, love life, relationships, and hair and makeup or whatever. Anything else at all. As usual, whenever an event was located downtown, I’d stress about parking. Luckily, I think on that day I was able to find a parking spot on the street somewhere a couple of blocks away. When I got to Opera House, I noticed right away this was not your regular coffee house. There was a coffee station, couches, and tables where you could enjoy your coffee selection, and around the corner another station where breakfast and lunch was served. It’s like a place where you can shift from breakfast to lunch with a simple set change. It’s like a sit-com! The girls I met that day were from all over the country and it was really nice to talk to each of them. One was from Germany and shared the same interests in writing as me. It was refreshing to talk to her. I can’t remember all our topics, but I remember talking about our jobs and spaces we live in. But most of all, I remember the feeling of walking away knowing I had made some new girl friends who had other interests besides typical girly stuff and I fit right in. There’s no better feeling in the world.



The Best Medicine

I once read in, I think, Reader’s Digest, that laughter is the best medicine. But then one day I quoted it to one of my friends in college during my depression phase when he didn’t know I was depressed and he responded with, “but nobody here is sick.” He caught me off guard so I agreed without thinking and when he looked into my eyes I think he could tell there was something more going on with me than I was letting on. He frowned in recognition of my pain and mental self-torture. For a split second when my friend could see right through me like that all I wanted to do was scream at the top of my lungs, like that would solve every problem going on in my head, fictional or real. I didn’t scream, but I really wanted to. Yet, for that split second, having that understanding was the only medicine I needed. My friend didn’t know it at the time, but I realized in that moment that while laughter is a great form of medicine, sometimes comfort is the best.


blissful birds tell all

Black birds like to wait for the rain to go foraging for worms in the grass. They go when it’s falling and right after it stops. That’s the best time to see them act territorial or I would have never guessed they are like that. Each one claims their own grassy area and when another black bird gets too close, the first one chases the second one away.

Worms come up out of the ground, ready to escape the water that is drowning them. That’s when they go out of the frying pan into the fire, right into a black bird’s beak. The little goslings are out now too. I can see families of four goslings or eight swim together, one adult parent goose on each end. Geese honk at each other and chase each other away. Even though they are upset with each other, I think that’s their way of having fun in the sun. They are territorial as well, maybe even more so than the black birds. But I am not an ornithologist. I don’t know for sure.

The heron creeps along like an old man (no offense to anyone reading this that is actually an old man, I don’t mean it in any negative way, just as a description) and fishes in the pond. It’s like a pickaxe in the way it hunts. Meanwhile, hawks fly way above, searching for prey. Life goes on as per usual for these birds because they know not of this diabolical virus even though it can spread from animal to animal and from humans to animals and from animals to humans. Ignorance is truly bliss.