It’s funny, a while ago, I confessed to Husband that I missed being an actress. It’s been years that I’ve been on stage or that I pursued that life. And he said “I’ve got news for you, you are still an actor.” I was very struck by that because I realized that was very true.

First, just the skills and experiences of acting absolutely shape how I perform my job and are highly practical. It helps me just live and deal with certain moments, and I notice when I work with people who are former actors, they are strong communicators.(I mean, I appreciate that so much — like can you at least reply “got it” to my email?)

There are so many work situations or meetings where I just don’t feel like it. Know what’s useful? The experience of not feeling like doing an emotionally demanding scene or not having the energy to do a highly comic scene. You just had to get into the head space where you could do the moment, and that helps me so much at work today.

Likability. It helps in corporate American when you are widely liked, and I can do that because part of an actor’s job is to just be likable. (Because of this skill set, I do think most people don’t necessarily think I’m that intelligent or educated, but as we know, that would be incorrect.)

All of that is the practical and somewhat superficial stuff. What’s more difficult to explain are the moments at work that feel like performing. I don’t mean performing like you’re being extroverted or even presenting in front of a group of people. What I mean is that moment when performance work — where there is alignment between your body, your words, the moment and the world. I don’t know how else to explain that feeling, but when you get there, you tap into like a resonance or some kind of energy that’s greater than you. Exactly like if you were fitting all these different parts of pipe together and when you tap on one end, and the note rises through the whole thing.

No wonder I fell in love with acting and why it took so long and so much to leave it. I was hot pursuit and constantly chasing that feeling. Of course you had to practice and audition, and then even when cast, it doesn’t always work out, but when it does, I mean, it was the the best. It is the best. But what’s lucky is that I get to experience that in my life still, and maybe it is my time as an actor that makes me more attuned for those moments and that’s why I can still experience them. That’s why I still feel like an actor.

There’s so much of life where I definitely feel imposter syndrome, including during that time when I was an actor (really wasn’t about being on stage per se, but getting material that was so good that I had a drive to embody those words), but what’s nice about age is that those feelings fall away. And then there’s just you.


When I was in second grade, my top jobs were writer, actress, and waitress.(I achieved two of three of those dreams, people. What a life. Ha ha.)

“Waitress” was pretty high on the list and I thought about it so much as a child. It seemed so fun and required balancing so much; efficiency; an ability to keep track of details. Only recently doesn’t it occur to me that my dreams might have been shaped by the fact that there were so many TV shows centered around waitresses in the magical 1980s — “Alice” starring Linda Lavin (Husband and I being the same age means he can join me in belting when I start singing “kicking myself for nothing was my favorite sport…”). There was “It’s a Living,” which starred a popular blonde actress who continued in a starring vehicle called “Jennifer Slept Here” (a show centered around the ghost of a Hollywood actress who becomes good friends with one of the current residents of the house who can see her.) “It’s a Living” also starred Julie Hagerty (I think that’s her name, and I think she was in it) who starred in “Airplane” and “America” with Albert Brooks. Who can forget that nervous, neurotic energy on screen. (unless I just did, but mixing up her credits.) There was one episode of the “It’s a Living” that stays with me — there is a boatload of fish about to go bad, then the majority of the episode is how the staff handles a holdup. When the gunman is subdued, the hostess announces that the entire restaurant would be treated to a free meal, then she mutters to the waitresses as she speeds by “get a move on, girls, we are unloading that fish.” I mean, brilliant, non?

There was something recently that happened that made me feel like saying “we are unloading the fish”

Sigh. Now what if there were a lot of shows in the 1980s about about the rambunctious adventures of a group of female engineers? Wouldn’t I have applied to MIT then? Maybe. It’s funny how these chance, kind of superficial things can shape the path of your life or at least a large swath of your thoughts.

I would make a terrible waitress.

John Williams

Wow, sometimes I’m out walking, minding my own business, and a song will pop in my head, like the theme to Harry Potter. I just love that theme song — it’s a piece of music that somehow captures a sense of magic and being haunted. The orchestral arrangement is so smooth, it feels like a machine. I cannot tell the human touch in this music. You know who wrote that? John Williams. He wrote the theme to Superman, Raiders of the Lost Art, and various Star Wars. All his music is highly evocative of alternative worlds — maybe that’s the spell I fall under because I grew up in the 1980s when going to the movies were things we did, giving over for two hours in the dark to whatever weird story the director decides to bring to us. How old is this guy? Like 120? He’s still writing music. Incredible. I cannot believe so much amazing work came from one individual.


I read today that Zendaya regrets not going to school, and you know what? That’s a solid regret, and I am glad I got through it, but growing up, and having this weird life experience of high school and the rest was worth going through. Sorry Zendaya. You are amazing, stunning, and like a good actor! But you’re going to be different from the rest of us.

thumbs up

I now have an iPhone so I have the option to have reactions to texts.You ever just want to give a thumbs up, but everyone else in a group text adds a heart? I’m like why? Why do we need to “love” everything? Why can’t we just say okay? Bu then I heart, because I don’t want people to feel bad. Sigh.

Angela Bassett

I thought of Angela Bassett today. Last night, we watched her in a small part in a Netflix movie called “Damsel” starring Milllie Bobbie Lee or Bobbi Millie Lee. I’m not sure. The child who was in Stranger Things — excellent as the character “Eleven.”

Angela was in this nothing burger small part and she did well as per usual, because she’s a professional, but I was left thinking, does she need cash? And then I thought about her career. She is one of those actors who has magnificent training, artistry and beauty but there’s no where for her to showcase her range. Like she was never the star of a film like “Damsel.” This is a lady who could and should have had the career of a Cate Blanchett, a wide-ranging buffet of commercial superhero pictures and smaller, weirder character pics. I, as a fan, am robbed of what this could look like but man, it’s gotta be brutal for her and other actors of color who are just on the sidelines b/c there isn’t material out there to encompass their range or feature them as the center of the story.

And dude? the lady is 65. LOOK AT HER OMG


You know, a couple of things. Some events and thoughts from the world come all at the same time. Wonder Twin Boy was chatting with me, telling me he is part of of the Asian kids and the non-Asian ids. For the Asian kids, he finds it interesting because his friends are all part of Asian households, whereas ours really isn’t. I asked him he missed that, he says he doesn’t, but it’s was an interesting observation for me to chew on.

And a few days, my friend Nancy was asking if ate Korean food at home. We don’t. We don’t even eat Chinese food, which I thought was pretty ubiquitous in every hood. The fact is everyone is vegetarian at home and I only know about meat dishes, and I don’t cook Korean food. I eat it at other people’s homes and restaurants — and I love it. Last week, I went to MOMA with my emo, mom, and emo-boo and we grabbed lunch after. I had my own dish — mandoo guy, a dumpling soup with beef broth and rice cakes because I was feeling a little under the weather. My emo and mom were shoving little additional servings from their dishes – mega spicy Kim chi soon doo boo jig, which I had called “primordial broth” in one of my shows, portraying it as something grows and mysterious. But today, you know, I chow down on all of it. I thoroughly enjoyed the banchan of three kids of kimchi, the pickled root veggies, the crunchy sweet fried anchovies. We got some extras b/c my emo is a regular, and b/c we are Korean (I wouldn’t get this treatment without them, but I was with Korean-speaking Koreans, so boom). They gave us jap chae as an additional free app, and rice soup after (like the warm water you boil in the rice cooker after the rice is gone; so it’s like the rice crust floating in warm water. I totally gobbled this up as a kid, but it’s not necessarily a “nice” dish to serve in a restaurant and I laughed with my mom that Americans would be like WTH is this.) and a cinnamon pine nut cool drink. It was typical and spice and I enjoyed it so much.

So parts of me are mega- or kinda-korean! If I miss my dad, I can go get Korean food. When I have to miss my mom one day, I can also go get food. It reminds me of years of childhood. But funny enough, I have had zero thought about passing this on to my own own children. Part of its I’m content enjoying things distinctly from my nuclear family, but I don’t feel this like obligation or instinct to keep my culture alive. I was talking about the family culture with Husband, which is a great deal of theater and theater history. Ice Cream Mondays — we have ice cream every Monday, something I came up with out of desertion when the ice cream trucks came by relentlessly.

I’ve had more Asians and non-Asians wish me happy new year this year (on lunar new year) than I ever have. And Asian families do celebrate lunar new year, but not us? And when my friend asked me about food, I stopped and wondered, am I dropping the ball? like why doesn’t it even occur to me to do this stuff with the kids?

Part of it is the influence of my parents. Even though they were immigrants (and technically, so was I), they didn’t seem overly attached to Korean culture. I can say to people I’m unconventional — my personality has confused a lot of people I work with, both Asians and non-Asians. But I didn’t come out of a vacuum. On some level, my parents were both unconventional. My mom’s priority with me was academics, that’s it. As she told her neighbor, she forced me to study and made me go to Yale. (She’s nuts.) And with that much influence, she could have also easily gotten me to study Korean. We tried a few times and it just wasn’t that important to my parents on some level. We never celebrated the lunar new year or Korean Thanksgiving. It’s just, they were practical and had to make the dough to keep our household afloat. However, it’s not just life that bumped this as a priority. On some level, Korean culture and language were not a priority for how they raised me, which I find very interesting. Do you know how many years I felt guilty about not speaking Korean?

I will say though food is mega important to them and they really couldn’t live somewhere without access to Korean food (although, even that, they could ditch.)

For what it’s worth, I’m going to get the Vegan Korean cookbook from the library. Husband has agreed to help me prepare the recipes for the kids, in case the food is something that they could get into, as something they might go for to remind them of being young, of me..when ONE DAY I’M DEAD AND GONE AHA HA HA AH AHAHA

(I mean, I can already tell you the things that they will remember of me will be like how I excel at bungling a punch line, how much I love them and how much I hate their enemies, and all my jokes).


Wonder Twin Boy often says “low hanging fruit” in a joking manner, or sometimes not, and I wonder like, if you’re using this goofy consultant-speak at age 11, what happens when you’re thirty?


In the days immediately following my dad’s death, I was in such a fog. I still dropped the kids off to school and did pick up. My employer invited me to work as much or as little as I wanted but I was a freelancer, so I wanted to keep working but I chose mindless tasks I could get done without the full concentration of my brain. I still would find myself overrun with tears. Anyway, I just remembered, there was once day when I was walking back from dropping off the twins, it was raining and I passed a dad I knew but not particularly well. We don’t even always say hello but this time he stopped and said.

He said he was sorry to hear about the loss of my dad, and I said thank you. He said he lost his father a few years ago too (I think that’s what he said. Or he might have said he lost him when he was much younger.) I said, how do you get over the loss of your dad? And he choked up and said “I don’t know.” I have no idea, I think he said. It’s happened many years ago and I am still f#ed up about it.

That was it. It was very generous of him to share that with me. We still run into each other on occasion and we still don’t always say hi. It was just like this random other part of life that doesn’t interact with regular life, but it was also wild to witness what someone else might be going through beneath the surface.


Oh my god, can we discuss the physical manifestations of aging? It is wild. When I went to my 20th high school reunion, I saw men whose ears and nose doubled in size and their heads didn’t keep up. There was one man, who looked like the a Lord of the Ring dwarves. I had to look at his name tag to figure out who he was and it blew me away. This man used to be a petite, wiry soccer player and now he had ZZ Top hair and beard, a body that was shaped like a bowling pin, and the requisite enlarged ears and nose.
My 30th college reunion is coming up (!) Of course, I feel like the majority of attendees will be people who have aged relatively “well” and who are pleased/don’t care about their appearance. I recently saw my photo in a work event and I was like my god, my face looks like someone kicked a football into the middle of my face and the features just kind of crowded around the middle. Do you know what I mean? Some people age with the peripheral parts of their face gaining more ground so it’s like your young face surrounded by an enormous doughtbut of face flesh. Can you picture it? Can you imagine what I a describing? My face is still there, but it’s all in the tiny center. C’est la vie. It used to make me sad, but now I think, the whole thing, the whole process, is very interesting.