Friday, February 4, 2011

Sittin' Up in My Room

Happy Chinese New Year! And, for all you Koreans out there: 새해복 많이 받으세요! I'm fortunate to have a few days off, during which I will be doing nothing but simply sittin' up in my room, listening to music (just bought new speakers), reading, and watching random movies. (Have you ever heard of Into the Woods? It's a musical fantasy -- super weird/funny/terrible.) My holiday will look something like this -- minus the whole pining over a guy thing:

Yes, I dance. But, in mismatched pajamas sans backup dancers (unfortunately). And, I don't watch myself in the mirror as much as she does. Needless to say, it's been fun.

You want to see my room? Inspired by my friend Lindsay, who wrote a darling post about her college cottage dwelling back in Norman, I decided to take some pics of my place for my family. But, I'll share them here. Perhaps it will inspire a visit? Prease?

Come in, Come in:

View from the "front door":

Note: Being that my place is a one-room apartment, I have divided it into areas. You know, break up the monotony of it all. Also, note the randomness of it all. Not much cohesive decor going on here. Just the way I like it for now. Here is my favorite area from a distance:
That shot was taken from my bed. These past few days I have been going from A(bed) to B(couch). It. is. awesome. I haven't had much time for relaxation lately. My body has been mad at me. I give it what it wants now.

I hang here a lot when I'm not shuffling around the city. It's cozy, yes?
I do just about everything here. Read. Write. Think. Gawk over these fellas:

Mom, Bunnie says hi. It looks like a caught in the moment shot. I love it.
(Sorry guys: I was playing with camera settings and lighting. And, yes, I daydream about dead musicians, fictional characters from literature, and dead authors. I don't daydream about Barack. I just like that picture.)

My luxurious bathroom:

These won't come off, I swear.

My swanky view:

That is all. Nothing too special about this place, except that it's mine for now. I love my reading corner. I love the random feel I get when I'm hanging here. It's more fun. I never find myself bored.

Now, come over. I'll cook for you. Yeah, I'm lookin' at you two.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Make Sure You Feel It Every Day.

I just want to say I love you. Make sure you feel it every day. 'Cause if today had been my last chance, there's just something I wanted to say:

Life is ridiculously short. Love with everything you got.


For Reals

Reality Check: You know you are in the Far East when you visit the doctor and he says, "your Yin and Yang are out of balance."
Clearly, this means one of two things:
1) It is time to hit the cluuuubs!
2) It is time to go to yoga.

*Please be sure to click cluuuubs! Good times to be had.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Cool Kids: We Don't Wanna (and WON'T) Grow up.

OKAY! I know I put a lot of music in my posts, but I listen to it a lot, and usually am inspired by particular songs to write about certain things. So~YOU MUST LISTEN TO THE SONGS WHILE ENJOYING THE PICTURES I'm going to share:

In one month, I will say good-bye to my lovely little Grapes. They will graduate, move on (unless they enroll in the elementary program -- fingers crossed!), and, hopefully, have lots of things to remember from my class. I aim to make them laugh ATLEAST 20 times a day, and have designated the first ten minutes of each class Hugs and Cheeky Time. (It sounds weird, but just go with it.) We hug each other, kiss (European style -- IT'S ADORABLE), and every so often one of them sneaks a bum grab. Today, while walking to school, Tom's song came on and it inspired me to make today a really memorable day for the little ones. Here's a glimpse into our day:

Alright, let's change songs here for these next few photos, yeah?


Those are most of my sweet kiddos. We had fun. Thanks for looking through all dem memories. If you ever want to skype with us, shoot me a message. They love showing off their English skillzzzz.


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A few reasons I'm Seouled on Seoul: Part One

First of all: you should listen to this song while reading. The chorus reminds me of soulful Seoul nights. :)

Seoul is hot. It's crazy fun and offers endless possibilities for memory making. (I feel like I should end that sentence with a loves it! ye gawds.) It's the other city that doesn't sleep. A night out here is generally a solid commitment. Otherwise, you find yourself taking naps in Noraebong (karaoke) rooms OR crashing in a bath house...two images to describe bath houses: no clothes in designated areas; and, old ladies rubbing you down (pounding the lights out of you) with scrubs. Terrif. These days, said nights just don't work for me takes a lot out of me. See for yourself:
However, it's not all flashing lights and pounding hangover headaches. Here are some reasons I'm hooked on dis place...

1) I have amazing students. They are simply delightful. My words won't do them justice. I'll have to get some video footage soon. But, for now, some pictures will have to do.

Hey girl hey! (Our go-to phrase in Grapes class.) Getting down during Halloweeeen! We so cra-gee.

2) I'm able to create an environment where my students feel they can openly and comfortably explore the never-ending question: who am I? Eddy wasn't sure what he wanted to be for Halloween. Buzz or Butterfly? This is what we came up with. We called it the Flaming Buzz. Honest to goodness, he came up with the name.
Eddy enjoys the following: Buzz Lightyear; sparkly masks; pink nail polish; and hand-holding with his best bud, Joy. Needless to say, he is adorable.
This picture really needs no words. Seouled.
I've fallen particularly hard for this little one.

3) I laugh often. It's not uncommon to run into some hilarious interpretations of English, as well as some pretty awesome signage. Take this for example:
This comforting sign is located in the restrooms at the local HomePlus. It serves as a friendly reminder that, in case of emergency while visiting the loo, your trusty HomePlus employers are only the push-of-a-button away. For you, he will.

Hooookay~Sreepy time. South Korean hugs sent out to Chelsea tonight :) I hope you are well dear.

Love. Lots of it.


Sunday, January 16, 2011

Here, There, and Everywhere: A Shout Out.

Missing one Jay Brock Riddle these days. Even though it's been a good (terribly sad) five years, the reality truly never. sets. in. With each new experience I have, my initial reaction is to reach for the phone to share it with this guy:

Luckily, I'll always have the following: his eyes, his smile, his athletic genes, his humor, The Beatles, John Lennon, my brother Hunter, who grows more and more to look eerily like him (Watch out ladies. And Bailey -- you're just as cool and attractive.), Eddie Murphy, Chevy Chase, and his love for music. Thanks J.B.

I find myself writing this post for a couple of reasons:

1) I miss the stuffing out of this guy. I seriously wish that he was here. there. and everywhere.

2) Oddly, he is here, there, and everywhere. (This is about to get so cool -- in my opinion.) For those of you who knew my dad, he was a Lennon man all the way. He was really into Lennon's words in Let it be and Lennon's messages overall. He always encouraged/begged my brothers, awesome musicians (all bias aside, these dudes rock), to learn to play the song. At his funeral, at the age of sixteen, Bailey (sans his twin brother) played it. Perfectly. A few years prior to his unexpected death, I remember him printing out the lyrics to Let it be, telling me to read them, ponder their meaning. I never appreciated it at the time, however, now I truly appreciate it everyday as it is my go-to mantra when I find myself in times of trouble.

Korea is cool, but there have been and continue to be challenges along the way. There have been times when packing up and heading home seems like a really nice option. Anytime I have felt myself feeling sliiiightly sad (emo), I take a walk. I usually end up at a park, coffee shop or my favorite all-you-can-eat buffet (cue emotional eating) There, I sit. Chill. Read. Write. Just be. And...are you ready for this? Each time I am having one of these (emo) fits, EACH TIME, Let it be starts playing. No matter where I am, the park, a cafe, the buffet, this song (marvelous man) delivers.

*Let this video buffer and watch it. It's worth it.
**Okay, really, Yoko? Let a man breathe ;)

Thanks for reading. Now, go hug your dad. ;)


The weather outside is frightful. Maybe it's the Alaskan in me, but I've always had warm feelings associated with the frigid temps. Ahhh, Alaska. I'm kind of missing you. I've decided that my next move must include the following: mountains/lots of outdoor recreational activities; excellent local brews, and lots of music. Denver...maybe? I get excited just thinking about it. (Is it too early to start a count-down? A 365+ countdown?) Not that I'm regretting my decision to stay in Seoul for an additional year. Sometimes I'm like, damn...what have I done? But, having the goal of moving someplace totally awesome makes me excited. I can't believe I've already been here for close to a what a year it has been.

A lot has happened in my months here. A lot. Went on some neat hiking excursions. Went to a rad beach festival that included romping in mud all weekend, and dancing on the beach into the wee-hours of the morning. Visited Japan. Sweat my face off in a strictly Korean speaking hot yoga club for six months. Navigated my way around the majority of the grocery stores in Seoul in search of my diet staples...yada-yada-yada. But, I'd say the most memorable experiences I've had, so far, have been the concerts/festivals I've gone to.

Here's a little recap:

The Cool Kids: I really love these guys. I could dance to them all night. And I did. When I first got to Seoul, The Cool Kids were playing at an event called the Seed Festival at AX-Korea. Highlights: dancing on stage (whhhaaaaa?) and having my very own dance party at the end of the evening (morning). Anyone who knows me can imagine what this looked like. My friends describe it as Alice in Wonderland meets Penny Lane (minus the Band-Aides thing). I'll take it.

Caribou: Good beats. Good people. Weird opening act. Marriage proposal -- that I almost considered because he was from Pittsburg (not really) -- and a oh, hey, you're the girl from Jane's Groove last weekend? Dear gawd. I'm building street cred with my solo dance parties. I'll take it?

Summer Sonic: A music festival in Japan. A good selection of music -- HOLE WAS THERE?! WHAT? -- but the highlight for me was probably Band of Horses. It was interesting being a foreigner there because the scene ain't nothin' compared to what I've experienced back home or in Korea. A lot of the people in the audience at various shows were taking little cat naps. It was pretty funny. A Tribe Called Quest was there as well as Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. Caught a little Stevie Wonder, too. But, Band of Horses... I think they are beautiful.

GLOBAL GATHERING!!!: By far the funnest night at a show, so far. I only wish I had had my camera to document it all. The trek to get there was almost equally as fun...lots of traffic, lots of people. A long walk because the cab driver wouldn't take us any farther. An impromptu bathroom break on the docks. Sprinting the last stretch motivated by Justice's beats. Ahhhh. I want to go back. Here's the best video I could find.

I danced my face, legs,, I danced my whole body off, if that is possible. Luckily this time, I had joiners. The next morning, I could barely lift my arms. I think they were raised the. entire. night. I really hope the line up is good this year.

The Flaming Lips: Tried and true these beauties deliver. Although I've seen them a few times, this time was exceptional. A little late arriving, but caught what I needed to see. College days relived with some beer shot guns. Marriage proposal -- this time by a girl -- and confetti in my purse that I refuse to trash. Stealing posters. Over-priced t-shirts. I'll take it.

What's next? What's next?