Although I am not active on SNS, they have been distracting me way too much. I tried really hard not to spend time on SNS or blogs before work, but it was so addictive, and I don’t seem to control the bad habit well. I’ve been frustrated too many times. Why can’t I manage my time as I wanted?

A few days ago, I googled how to block websites that distract at work, and found a couple of apps. I really should’ve searched these stuffs much earlier… Although there are few free apps available, I decided to pay some money. I chose “Freedom” app and blocked all SNS sites and others, from 6am to 12am. What’s nice about it is I cannot stop this app while the blocking session is in progress. So the temptation to quit the app simply doesn’t work unless I reboot the computer. I think this is great.

It has been going really well. I feel more productive, and very satisfied that I installed this app. Since I’ve been working home most of time, it is so easy to be distracted. Now at least, Internet does not bother me any more.


the last day of July

Yesterday, hubby and I made this:

It seems pretty popular in S. Korea to make DIY mobile, so I decided to make it. Also, I cannot seem to find black/white mobile on It took 9 hours, but we enjoyed making it together. I was like, uh.. I wish I could enjoy writing research papers like this.

Still there are a few things left, but we are getting ready. Finding a pediatrician is the urgent stuff to be done.

Time flies… but 40 weeks are not a short amount of time. I’ve been pretty healthy and active, and so far I’ve gained only 12 lbs compared to before being pregnant (well 16.5 lbs compared to the lowest point during pregnancy), which I feel good about. Still can drive to school (2.5hr one-way, but just once a week). One complaint is I feel tired very easily so have to sleep a long time. Other than that, I’m doing pretty well.

In these days, our baby moves a lot and hubby has been enjoying touching my bump and feeling the moves of the baby. Sometimes, I still can’t believe there is a life inside of my body. It’s truly amazing feeling. I think I’ll miss this time once it’s over.

The end of the first trimester

First time to write about my pregnancy in this blog.

Yes, I am pregnant, and today is my 12w and 2nd day according to the app I’ve been using. So, I would say the first trimester is almost over.

I’ve been having a pretty easy pregnancy compared to people who have really hard time. Though, it wasn’t really easy for me for a couple of weeks. My first morning sickness came at the 7th week, and it went through until 10th week. For those three weeks, I felt constantly nauseous, had headache everyday, and lost appetite greatly. It never happened in my life I lost weight without pushing myself really hard. Since the morning sickness became a friend of mine, I have lost 5lbs, which probably sounds not a lot, but it was a big surprise to me, how I do not want to eat anything. I was lack of energy, hard to work. Working more than a few hours were just impossible. (Thank God I don’t commute every day!) When my first morning sickness struck, I was just about start to a new project, and this pregnancy thing drained me a lot. It was the most physically challenging period of time in my 31+ years of life. Although it became mild after 10 week, morning sickness did not completely go away, I’ve been feeling nauseated at least 10 hours a day, and still did not eat that much. Some smells like shampoo, body lotion, instant ramen, all sorts of meat, etc.. nearly killed me. I wanted to know so badly when it is going to be over.

Until yesterday night, I felt so sick. Usually, when I am in New Haven, I feel much better. But this week, it was exactly opposite. Yesterday was not so pleasant day at all. I left Yale at noon-ish, but got home at 6pm. Driving 3+ hours and spending extra 2 hours without any reason at Walmart (I will never change oil there), I was COMPLETELY drained.

However, this morning, I felt much better, and even after lunch (that’s the time I usually develop morning sickness symptoms) I still feel good. It hasn’t been like this for the past 6 weeks. AWESOME.

wow, this post is really about complaining my morning sickness. Well.. in my defense,  these are what I experienced in most of my first trimester.

My first prenatal visit was scheduled at 10th week, which means, I hadn’t seen doctors/nurses for 7 weeks since I found this. If I were in Korea, I would have visited OB/GYN department at least 2 times, and had ultrasound already. But here, I had to wait with a great patience. I was hoping to see the ultrasound image and hear the heartbeat at the first visit, but they didn’t do ultrasound. Instead, because I asked to the nurse practitioner, she tried to find the heartbeat with Dopplex, and we heard the heartbeat of a tiny little baby growing in my womb.

The ultrasound is finally scheduled for chromosome abnormality test this coming Monday. My initial thought was I may not need it, but hubby was strongly urging we do this. And I think he is right. I am hoping to see low-risk, but who knows what will happen. I will probably tell friends/boss when the test result comes out. Maybe at the APS march meeting, I’ll begin to tell people about it. I didn’t want to spill the beans too early, but it would not be a good idea to wait to tell my boss when he could actually see the bump. Frankly, I’m worrying to tell my boss, although he is the nicest person I’ve ever met. Because, I’m here for working, not for a baby…

Before I am pregnant, I did not know it is not so easy to be a mom. Morning sickness? I’ve heard of it, but hadn’t thought it through what the consequences are. Miscarriages? I thought it rarely happens, but the percentages are way much higher than I thought. All the prenatal tests worry me too. Moreover, after the delivery, how could I continue to work? How much money do we need more? etc etc….

I’m sure I will do it well. I am just realizing many things I never thought of.

Anyway, I’m just happy I am not feeling nauseated today. That’s good enough for now!

update: the chromosome abnormality test came out great. I have less than 1/10000 possibility of carrying baby with Down’s and Edwards’ syndromes. (The high risk cutoff is 1/308.) The doctor said she would not recommend any further chromosome abnormality  tests in the 2nd trimester as I got the lowest number available.

Kazuhito Yamashita concert


September 25, 2015 7:30 PM at First Lutheran church of Boston.

Bach Cello Suite No. 2
Dvorak “From the New World” Largo
Bach Violin Partita No. 2

Last Monday, I met J at Kendall square. It’s been almost 6 months since we sitted next to each other in the plane from APS march meeting. I’ve been thinking to meet him in Boston, but never occurred. We had lunch together, and talked a lot to catch up. Most of our topics were about HHH people (HHH: 화현회 is a classical guitar circle we devoted a lot of time when we were in college). While we were talking about HHH, he mentioned he joined Boston classical guitar society.  I knew there should be something like that in this city since Austin also has a classical guitar society, which I’d never been involved. (Now that I’m thinking it could’ve been fun.) Since I’ve been looking for some activities that I can enjoy in this cold city – literally and figuratively, I searched their website to look over what they have, and guess what! Yamashita concert was scheduled in 4 days.

H and I went there together yesterday night. The church is located at the center of Boston, so we had to pay extra $18 for parking, but that was the cheapest and guaranteed way of parking. (I hate ridiculously expensive parking fees in this city! Well, New Haven was nothing better…) There was no assigned sit, but we got there 30 minutes early, found a sit close to the stage. In 2008, I went to Roland Dyens concert in Austin. That one was also held in a small church in Austin, and I didn’t like their acoustics. I was hoping this time was better than that. It turned out it was quite nice place for a guitar concert.

Before the concert, Boston ensemble played a prelude. I didn’t expect to see anyone that I knew in the team, but one of my college friends (he is my senior by 4 years) was playing. We chatted for a short time after the concert.

We really enjoyed the concert. (I was glad that I have somebody to share the moment with!) Although I think Mr. Yamashita wasn’t in his best condition yesterday, but it was pretty good concert. H was amazed how guitar can make that many different sounds. It sounded like sometimes harpsichord, piano, and even xylophone. And his play was very dynamical. It’s nice to get a chance to listen good music. I’ve been away from it probably too long. Living in a big city has definitely some advantages. While you can enjoy, let’s not miss the opportunities.

yosemite upgrade

I’ve just upgraded OS X from Mavericks to Yosemite. Upgrading OS is not always a fun thing to do, but it seems okay so far. A few minor things to note:

1. “-framework vecLib” needs to be changed to “-framework Accelerate” to link LAPACK.

2. gfortran installed using fink does not work, don’t know why. I downloaded binary file, and it’s now in /usr/local/gfortran directory.

July 17, 2015

I completely deleted fink,, as gnu compilers seemed messed up… will try to install fink again.

July 18, 2015

Seems like it was a problem of xcode update, not gcc installed by fink. I am updating xcode to the latest version.

July 20, 2015

cleaned up. Fresh download gcc4.9 via fink and it works for BerkeleyGW. (/usr/local/gfortran has been removed.)

sunrise at grand canyon

sunset at Mather point (Grand Canyon National Park)

sunrise at Mather point (Grand Canyon National Park)

My second time trip to Grand Canyon in March 2015. Hiking the South Kaibab trail was, really, a breathtaking experience. Next time what I really like to do is, getting to the colorado river and going to the north rim, or coming back to south rim through the Bright angel trail.

Lancashire hotpot


It’s been crazy February here in New England, lots of snow, freezing temperature. I needed comforting and warm dishes. I knew hubby has no interest in English cuisine, but I wanted to give it a shot. It was somewhat different from what I expected, but good in this weather. I think I should’ve used better beef stock to make it more tasty. Trader Joe’s chicken stock is okay, but beef stock is not really good, I think.

Ingredients (9*9 baking dish):

  • 1 lbs stew meat
  • 3 Tbps flour
  • 1 1/2 onion sliced
  • 3 carrots half inch thick
  • 1 large potato thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 C beef stock
  • 2 tsp worcestershire sauce
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 5 springs of fresh thyme
  • 4 Tbps (+@) butter
  • salt & pepper


  1. Preheat Oven at 350F
  2. Coat the stew meat with flour
  3. Heat a pan in medium-high heat, coat the pan with 1~2 Tbsp of butter and add the meat, get the sides brown (about 2~3 minutes), set aside
  4. Reduce heat to medium or medium low, add 1 Tbsp of butter in the pan, add onion slices and carrot chunks, add 2 bay leaves and 2 springs of thyme, cook until the onions become tender, about 7~10 minutes
  5. Add beef stock and the meat, 2 tsp worcestershire sauce, bring to a boil, season it with salt and pepper
  6. Fill the baking dish with the meat and veggies mixture
  7. Place sliced potatoes on top of the meat & veggies, arrange 3 springs of thyme and butter(as much as you want) evenly
  8. Cover the baking dish with foil, bake 1 hour
  9. Uncover, bake another 30 minutes

Original Lancashire hotpot is made with Lamb and kidney, but I hardly eat gamey taste meats, so decided to use beef. Also, I did not have worcestershire sauce in hand, but my alternative method was soy sauce + fish sauce + vinegar. It worked. :)

Original recipe:

10 years ago

I’m grateful that I did spend significant amount of time with lots of awesome people 10 years ago. Whether or not we enjoyed performing some beautiful pieces, I confess that it wasn’t really that great performance. Specifically, I wasn’t in the position who could play duet. I knew I wasn’t a good guitar player, but whenever I was asked, I said yes, almost every time. If I had been a perfectionist like someone whom I know, I would not have said yes to the offer. I’m glad I didn’t say no, but wish I could have been better.

It’s been somewhat torturing thinking about my early and mid 20’s. I am not sure why I hate thinking about what happened around me in the past. Well… that’s not true, because I know the answer. If I have such a good memory of my previous life, I envy my(-past-)self, and I feel sad that I don’t have it anymore. I know it’s silly, but that’s me.

That being said, I’ve been thinking about my 20’s recently. What would I think about my 30’s when I become 40? Maybe that’s something I need to remind myself frequently…

new year’s resolution?


Chimney rock, Point Reyes National Seashore, Point Reyes Station, CA Dec. 30, 2014, taken by H.

There are a couple of things that I usually do (or used to do) during the last week of December, or the first week of January. For example, I used to go to Dong-Hae with my family to see the sunrise on the first day of the new year. The weather was always merciless. Chilly and very windy. As I recall, my parents took this short trip with us almost every year.

One of my own “rituals” was jotting down things to do or goals to achieve in the new year. Then I made a final list, printed it, and put it on the wall to remind them every day.

Making a list of new year’s resolution was very much enjoyable every year. Just imagining I would become a better person at the end of the year excited me.

As getting older, however, I have become skeptical why I am doing this. It has faded away from my head as days are counted. I was tired of observing myself not doing what was planned almost perfectly. The goals in the list had never gotten “real”. At the end of the years, nothing seemed to be changed.

As a first year postdoc, I was excited when I arrived at Yale. I had wanted to graduate and move on, and it finally came. Without doubt, I made a list for the first postdoc year, and very ambitious about it. Yes, I was expecting to have “awesome” postdoc life. 6 months later looking myself, I am not sure if any of them has become real.

Growing (in several different perspectives) has been the most crucial issue in my entire post high school life. I have been always eager to grow to be a better person, i.e., becoming a smart student, a nice friend of somebody, a smart grad student, a good wife and a daughter, a productive and impressive postdoc, etc… In the past few years, however, I have lost an appetite of any kinds of “self-improvement” stuffs. I used to read lots of books and articles about it. I admired people who got impressive career paths. Now? not any more. I am not sure which one is the cause: Have I realized a little bit about how things actually work? or just been being pessimistic? In any case, what has come together is, I feel like I’ve lost or forgotten a wheel in my life.

How to be excited in this period of just-feeling-nothing-at-the-beginning-of-the-year-of-2015? If the new year’s resolution would bring with excitement and perspectives of this year for me, although this year might be ending as the same as now, I still want to make a new year’s resolutions list.

well…, long excuse to write down this list here, huh?

– work hard

– read more & write
read at least one book each month
write journal regularly

– search and learn the job market
know what I really want to do in the 30s.

– improve scientific writing skills
read research papers and articles, use a note to save useful phrases, vocabulary, etc…

– finish leftover work within the first half of this year

– plan monthly, and weekly (but do not spend too much time on it)

– audit 2 courses (spring: many body physics/fall: ?)

– be calm, do not envy others’ table, do not be afraid people’s comments about me

– diet & exercise wisely

– shop regularly