200 Love Letters

Weeks ago, our Digital Media Production professor, David Silver, from University of San Francisco gave us an assignment to write a tangible love letter to our loved one then upload it on Flickr so the person receiving it would have it in his or her hands but also have it online. Professor Silver thought about this assignment out of the blue when his good colleague, Professor Andrew Goodwin, suddenly passed away from a fire in his Berkeley apartment.

When my grandfather passed away years ago, I wasn’t able to tell him I loved him. I wasn’t allowed to go inside the hospital because I wasn’t 18 years old. It was the day before his birthday and I wrote him a birthday card. He didn’t receive it. And to this day, my heart hurts knowing that.

Also, my uncle passed away right before my high school graduation. I was going through puberty, so I wasn’t the nicest girl at the time. When I asked my mother why uncle didn’t come to my graduation, she told me he went to Korea to see his family. I was angered by this and resented him very much. All my family members kept his death a secret for me to protect me from getting hurt. Once I found out my uncle passed away after my finals, finishing up 1st semester of senior year at USF, I hated myself for being so immature and unloving.

You never know when your loved ones are going to die. You never know when you will die. Thus, they should be reminded frequently that you love them.

Unfortunately, I didn’t do so well on this love letter assignment from Professor Silver. I dedicated a Flickr photo set to my boyfriend (I know, I’m THAT girl who wrote a love letter to her boyfriend. Haters gon’ hate!) but I felt weird and awkward so I didn’t put much love and affection towards this assignment. This is my redemption: I wrote 200 love letters for Daniel Kang, my wonderful and magical boyfriend.


It starts with a little thin strip of paper with sentences filled with love, affection, & memories.



Then, you fold it into a witto-teeny-tiny star.


These are the ones I used. I purchased them at Japantown.


They have directions in the back!


One lonely star inside the glass jar.


50 love stars.


100 love stars.


150 love stars.



200 love stars! Finito!

According to my Korean friends and family, a jar of mini origami stars is a special gift to show commitment and dedication. Also, the person receiving the gift can make a wish & it’ll come true (supposedly).

Dan’s response… *drum roll* “Does this mean I have to unfold every single one of those…”

He likes it! 🙂

This Thanksgiving weekend, Dan met my family. Of course, I cannot end this post without Dan’s interactions with my infamous siblings:

Dan: Can we kiss?

Sophia: You can kiss her on the cheek! If you kiss her on the lips, you have to marry her!

Bryan: Ew! Don’t kiss in front of us!

Me: Is Dan a good boyfriend?

Sophia: Yes.

Me: How do you know?

Sophia: He’s a good boyfriend because when your apartment was on fire, he was the first one to run to you.

Dan & Bryan looking at my baby pictures-

Bryan: When Jennifer nuna was a baby, she looked just like me huh? *smirk*


Oh! Before I forget, I updated my Flickr set (DISCLAIMER: YOU MIGHT GET GOOSEBUMPS… YOU MIGHT PUKE). Enjoy 🙂

& don’t ever be afraid to show someone you love & care for them.


Cleanin’ out ma Closet

Today, after class, I had two hours to kill before work so I went home to eat lunch then clean. Well, to be perfectly honest, I just cleaned my own closet. There were so many clothes laying around on my bed, floor, and desk that I’d use the time to clean instead of watch a re-run of Adventure Time.

clean up clean up everybody clean up

clean up clean up everybody clean up

I found some dresses I haven’t worn, and some dresses that were worn out. I ended up throwing out four pairs of shoes, two bags, and two dresses. It was very emotional for me… You have no idea how personal and attached I get to clothes. Okay, that came out wrong. I sound a bit superficial as if I get emotional attachment to materialistic things. What I mean is… AHEM, is that I have a lot of memories attached to certain materials; therefore, I have a hard time letting them go. Believe it or not, it took me close to half an hour for me to be emotionally and mentally prepared to say goodbye to my shoes, bags, and dresses.

What is very interesting about San Francisco , or particularly in the Inner Richmond where I reside, is that there is always someone who picks up those things as soon as I throw them out in the street. It’s good to know that they’re not going in the dump, but someone will have their feet and body warm. I just hope it’s not a bulky, hairy viking-looking man who will be wearing my dresses.

hmm, sir, I don't think baby blue is your color

hmm, sir, I don’t think baby blue is your color

Living away from home, there are a lot of responsibilities. You have to replace the empty toilet paper roll with a new one, dishes, laundry, vacuum etc. etc. There are so many things I’ve taken for granted. Especially my mom. She used to clean MY closet, put my old clothes in a box, and donated them. I didn’t have to meet face-to-face with my clothes, shoes, and purses to say goodbye. My mom bid them farewell for me. You don’t realize you had it good and that your parents are actually superheroes until you live on your own. Unlike me, who realized this until college, it’s nice to know that my siblings have already figured out our mother is a superhero already.

Bryan: My mom is so good at cleaning

His friend: All moms are! There is an unspeakable super power for moms.

Sophia: No wonder.  Jennifer Unni doesn’t have that power yet. She’s a lady not yet a woman.

sometimes I wish I were the same age as Bryan & Sophia

Sleep is the Cousin of Death

Screen shot 2013-10-30 at 6.38.36 PM

Nas said “sleep is the cousin of death.”That quote motivates me to run each day instead of the day running me. What is sleep, anyway? Midterms are finally done, but papers and exams are pouring like an endless stream of waterfall. Ohhhh….. FINALS. This semester, the finals are going to be my final finals. Get it? heheh…

There are people, other than Nas, who motivates me to endure and prevail my last stretch. Finals mean it’s close to holiday season, holiday season means vacation, and vacation means I get to visit home and reunite with my munchkins.

vicious cycle

vicious cycle

Last winter break, I went home on December 23rd, which is right before Christmas Eve. My flight to LAX from SFO got extremely delayed thus I arrived home very late at night and my siblings were asleep. I was so exhausted from finishing up my papers, taking tests, working, packing, and traveling that I completely crashed and went into a deep 16-hour slumber. You can say that I fell into a mini-coma.

Mi familia last Christmas

Mi familia last Christmas

I woke up to my siblings whispering questions to each other few feet away from me in my room around 2PM:

Bryan: When did mom pick her up from the airport?

Sophia: Maybe yesterday or this morning?

Bryan: Oh yeah! Do you hear her snoring?

Sophia: She doesn’t snore, remember?

Bryan: Breathing? Go check.

Sophia: Ah! Don’t push me!! I’m scared!

Bryan: Ah! Is she dead?!

Sophia: Dead?! She died?!

Me: Who’s dead? *yawn*

Sophia & Bryan: Ahhhhhh!!

Meet the munchkins: Bryan & Sophia

My munchkins

My Name is Nobody!

With only a month and a half away from my college graduation at University of San Francisco, I’m simultaneously excited and scared at the same time. My pastor, Pastor Mark, from Radiance Christian Church once had a sermon about “the 5 stages of adulthood.” The 1st stage is graduating college, 2nd is living independently, 3rd is being financially stable, 4th is getting married, then last stage is having a family.

I cannot believe it’s been over 4 years (I took a year of absence) and I’m already graduating. After I graduate, I will not perform my daily routine, which I’ve been trained to do my whole life. Wake up, get ready for school, go to school, meet some friends, go home. It doesn’t work like that anymore.

Find me wearing this at my Commencement!

Find me wearing this at my Commencement!

Even my best friends, who I have known my entire life, are not equal to me anymore. We will not be labeled as “students” anymore, but rather have professional titles. And there will always be a friend who will make more money than I will; vice versa, a friend who will make less dough than I will. Some will know more about medicine and someone else will be an expert on urban planning.

Questions questions questions! As if I’m not stressed out enough to finish finals and be emotionally and mentally prepared to say goodbye to my youth and college friends! AS IF! *insert Alicia Silverstein’s voice here from Clueless* What’s your major? What are you going to do after college? Are you going to grad school? Do you have an internship under your belt yet? Do you have any connections to that job you want? What company do you want to work for anyway? Are you going to stay in San Francisco? Are you going to go back home and live with your parents and ruin your life? Are you going to be a loser? Are you going to be a loser? Are you going to be a loser?


Sometimes, I feel like I should tell people, “My name is Nobody” like Odysseus.

In 2nd grade, my teacher made our class write a letter to our 18-year-old self. I added a dollar into the envelope just in case I become homeless or something. ANYWAY, Mrs. Villamarin really sent those letters out to us when we turned 18!

I couldn’t stop laughing and crying at the same time while I was reading what 8-year-old Jennifer had wrote to 18-year-old Jennifer. This summer, I went back home as a 22-year-old and pulled out that letter again.

ai m 22 yerz uld & ma name iz nubudy urrr durr

ai m 22 yerz uld & ma name iz nubudy urrr durr

As a kid, you think you will become an adult once you turn 18. As a kid, you think you will have your own car, your own house, and maybe even a husband or a wife. Oh, the innocence. I am able to say I’m already ready for my 2nd stage of adulthood because I already live away from my parents; however, they’re still helping me out with rent (ahhh SF please be nice to me), and paying my phone bills (eeek I’m so embarrassed). Even at the age of 22, I’m such a big baby! As I grow older, I am humbled and grateful of what my parents have done for me, and I cannot imagine reaching my last stage of adulthood: having  a family. Because once you have a family, it’s not your life anymore. Because once your mini-me pops into the world, it’s about them now. I cannot imagine taking care of someone else. I can barely take care of myself!


Although… I gotta say… my 9 year old siblings are training me to become a good mommy one day. Except when they say something like this and I just want to turn into a turtle and hide in my shell forever:

Sophia: Unni (which means “big sister” in Korean), how old are you again?

Me: 22, why?

Sophia: How come you already growed up, but you’re still not “something”

y u not something?

y u not something?

Sad panda. Oh, the innocence…

Birthday Soup

“What’s your favorite food?”

This is one of the hardest questions to answer. Honestly, I am not a picky eater and can almost eat anything edible. During my freshman year of college, I performed an experiment on myself: what kind of food am I able to eat everyday without getting sick of it? Surprisingly, a lot. I could eat pizza, PB&J sandwiches, pho, tacos, pasta, and cereal everyday for every single meal. It was absolutely disgusting. Therefore when I say that I have no specific preference as to what my favorite dish is, the following question is something like:

“If you HAD to choose, what would it be?”

I am pretty comfortable to say that I wouldn’t have to ever do that, but the food that enters my cloud of thoughts is a Korean dish called, “미역국,” pronounced “mee-yuk-gook.” “Mee-yuk” means seaweed and “gook” means soup. It is a popular Korean dish. It’s usually served for people on their birthdays or women after labor.


Basically, it looks like this.

It’s not super flavorful and could be very bland. I like it because it’s healthy and versatile. You can insert meat, seafood, rice, or even noodles to the soup. Most importantly, I have strong memories and attachment to this dish.

It was my 13th birthday. Because my grandfather passed away few months before my birthday, my family was still mourning. It was an exciting day for me because I was finally a teenager, but with the unfortunate circumstance and everyone working so hard, I did not receive a proper birthday celebration. No presents, no cake, not even a phone call. I came home late after hanging out at my friend’s house after school, and my parents were asleep. I went to the kitchen to grab a glass of water. I found a note on top of a closed pot that read, “I am sorry and happy birthday.” It was from my mom and I ate the soup with tears in my eyes.