better than brazilian hair treatment

i got my hair coated. coated with what, i have no clue. i got it done in a korean hair salon. i thought i was going to die from the heat and felt trapped when i was getting brazilian hair treatment because it took so long. but hair coating took only third or half the time AND it covered my recent grey hair acquisitions. then the next day, straight out of the shower and blow dry without any hair products, the hair looked really shiny and healthy! i highly recommend hair coating which costs half what brazilian hair treatment costs, takes half the time and also takes care of grey hair. 🙂


pinkberry chocolate

it’s so weird to be living 5 minutes from a pinkberry store! gotta love it. 🙂

i tried the new chocolate flavor yogurt at pinkberry. very very rich. great with fruit. i got a medium size with mochi, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries. medium size is great for original flavor. with chocolate flavor, i couldn’t and didn’t want to finish it. weird for me not to finish frozen yogurt but chocolate flavor is way to rich to eat a lot of. next time getting original flavor in medium. 🙂 yum! can’t wait.

GV – what’s the big deal

i had to ask two people for GV, i.e., google voice mail. but what’s the big deal? i have an iphone already. i already get as much info out of voicemail as i need to, namely who called at what time and how long the message is. i haven’t gotten a voicemail yet since i activated my GV so i am not sure how the transcription of voicemail works. what will GV do with my mom’s voicemail? my mom leaves messages in korean. don’t think GV transcribes voicemail left in korean?

so i’m wondering, is the big idea of GV not so much replacing some function on iphone, but rather eliminating the need for a skype account? so far that’s the only think i think i can gain from having a GV. i’m not going to renew my skype online number if this GV works well. and oh yes, international calls. right now, GV has good rates to korea landline and cell phone. and it has good landline rates to germany, but horrendous mobile phone rates to germany. i only call korea or germany. so i have not put the rest of the international rates to other countries. so anyway, so long as i’m not calling a cell phone number in germany (but who has landline anyway that they use more than their cell phone now adays anyhow?), GV might be better than skype. and on those occasions i need to call mobile phone in germany, i might still have to call using my skype account.

another triumphant moment! i signed up to pay about 3 or 4 dollars on my ATT account to get better international rates. well, forget that! no need for using my iphone att account to make international calls paying extra 3-4 dollars a month to get better rates. i will just use GV or skype to make international calls.

and as for my calling card? well, i wish my calling card would just die on its own without my having to call them up and cancel the account. come on. hmmm i was going to say calling access number before dialing the number you are calling is a pain in the butt. but same applies for GV without Google phone number. so maybe phone card is worth keeping.

oh and lastly, one thing GV is definitely better than skype for making international calls (except when you call mobile numbers in germany!)!! when you pre-pay for your phone calls, your credit card company won’t charge you some kind of fee for converting international currency. hello, folks at skype – it’s really a pain to see extra charge appearing on my credit card bill only because you don’t take us dollar without converting it to currency rest of the world might care about. don’t you know? things may look, feel, taste different in the rest of the world outside good old united states of america. but if you live in this country, the thought that when you use your credit card to pay for something and that the money has to be converted to another currency and you have to pay extra for conversion fee, well, that just doesn’t go down so well.

ACELA – money money money

i rode not regional north west train from nyc to boston this morning, but ACELA the more expensive all business or first class express train from ny penn station to boston south station. boy, talk about money money money. what about money? well, for paying double the price of what you might pay for regular speed ticket two weeks in advance, you get much cleaner, even seems brighter, and nicer environment. each seat reclines further back, seemed like more leg room, and faster, smoother train ride. if i didn’t have other places to spend money, i’d rather ride ACELA on any given day, than the normal north east regional train.

i have to ride the “regular” train back. while i’m saving about 45 dollars in about 4-5 hours, well, that’s just it, isn’t it? in the past month and a half, north east regional has come in late to penn station. instead of its usual arrival time, i mean, come on, no rush hour traffic jam on the train tracks, right? so for reasons i can’t figure out, north east regional trains have run late of about an hour or so. this means instead of getting back to my home in time to watch the clock pass midnight, after i have taken a shower, rested, and whatever else, i am just getting off train from penn station to home around mid night.

you know, there is a song called around midnight. i never really listened to the lyrics. but if the song writer were to write about my around midnight experience coming home from train station about an hour after i was supposed to arrive home because the train i was on ate up an hour of my time for no good reason, the song would not be a happy one i tell you! around midnight can be a happy song if you are enjoying your time off, if you own the time you have.

if you are rushing home to try to make it back home by midnight so you can try to get enough sleep for the next morning train back to the city (yes i have thought about just camping out in penn station on nights i end up returning to the same station in less than 8 or 9 hours!) showering becomes a great sacrifice to make – i mean if you take a shower it’s at the cost of less sleep, and if you don’t take a shower after such a long day of traveling, then it’s at the cost of feeling yucky. so anyway, yes! travel ACELA if your wallet allows you to. because ACELA makes your commute from nyc to boston so much more pleasant, bearable, and something one might even look forward to. well, one might look forward to it, except on the night world series starts for baseball. 😦

getting less for more money

i’ve been doing amtrak from penn station ny to south station boston once a week for the past 3 weeks. i do love the fact that there is one power outlet per seat. but at least in coach class, no free wifi. so i tether with my iphone and the connection goes in and out. try listening or watching a baseball game on 3G as it goes in and out of range. not fun.

commuter rail in boston gets wifi. amtrak train rides costs a lot more than commuter rail trains rides. getting less for paying more money, nice way to keep customers satisfied, right???

arbour hospital – never again! for as long as i live!

the last thing you want when you are going through a crisis is to be treated without respect. it’s unfortunate that i had to be hospitalized during the past couple weeks. it’s even more unfortunate that i was sent to arbour hospital in jamaica plain, ma. i’m going to tell my insurance company, please let me wait in ER until beds in other hospitals open up and don’t even think about approving arbour hospital as a possible hospital to transfer me to! arbour hospital treats patients like prisoners, or children at best. one counselor said during a group meeting that we should remember the experience when we may be in another crisis so that we would be deterred from engaging in self-harming behavior. and if we should return, he said, they would be waiting. and next time, he said, you won’t get out so fast. listening to what he said, i felt like i was in some prison!

when i was discharged and was leaving arbour hospital, i felt institutionalized. i felt like a staff member should be accompanying me to wait for the cab that was picking me up. and for a while after the discharge, i felt disoriented. i had been stripped of my dignity, to be able to trust in my own ability to do things, and it felt weird that i was sitting alone on the bench outside the hospital waiting for the cab. it was subtle but definitely a different feeling than i experienced when leaving other facilities. i have felt empowered, hopeful and supported when i left the last hospital where i was inpatient. the staff member who discharged me from cambridge hospital told me, that he hopes that i won’t come back as an inpatient. but if i need it, that the staff would be there to help me to manage the crisis. come sooner rather than later he said. come before you act on your impulses. as much as i didn’t want to return as an inpatient, i knew that i would get the help i needed if such an occasion should arise in the future.

ironically, what the counselor said is ringing true in my ears. maybe he knew what he was doing. he was scaring all of us from returning to arbour hospital. for sure, i don’t ever want to end up back there. i’d rather wait in the ER indefinitely for a bed in another hospital to open up. when i am most vulnerable, i was to be treated with respect and care. i don’t want to feel like i am only half human. i want to work with staff who believe that i can recover from my illness. i may relapse again. no one, definitely not me, relapses on purpose. mentally ill patients need more reasons to fight for their life, not less. i felt more trapped at arbour hospital than i have in any other hospitals. and no, i really don’t want to end up back in arbour hospital. and when i need help, i know i won’t get it at arbour hospital.

of course not everyone at the arbour hospital treat their patients with disrespect. some staff members really seemed to care about the well-being of the patients. but i would say at arbour hospital, the rotten apples out weigh the good ones. its’ a shame that those who care about their patients at arbour hosptial are not likely to get the credit they deserve because many patients, like myself, remember arbour hospital as one of the worst places to end up when you most need help.

pictures from japan and korea dec 2007


pictures of the bestest ramen place in tokyo! sorry – no picture of the ramen b/c i was too busy eating. 🙂

we also went to the bestest curry udon place the next day. we met up with our nephew and we were too busy trying to win him over that i didn’t take pictures of the place or the food. i had the best tonkatsu curry udon ever! my nephew is really cute. he’s three years old but this is only my second time seeing him. he only speaks japanese so we had to win him over with super mario brothers. hehe

red mango

i didn’t eat all three! smoothest frozen yogurt i ever tasted. inside decor was not as nice as pinkberry in koreatown in nyc. toppings were not fresh (they were canned fruit!) and the taste of the frozen yogurt itself was nothing to write home about. oh well.


lotteworld adventure (location of redmango that i went to) – maybe other locations have better ambience? i didn’t take a picture of the inside of the redmango store i went to b/c it just looked like a fast food store!