Blog, shmog

When I first started this thaaang, I really enjoyed sitting and writing and telling tales about getting to Korea.  Those were tales to tell.  There are still tales to tell, but since I've been here,  this blog has simply become a quick way to update my friends and family with pictures and "where I been" posts.  Which is fine, but far less entertaining...hopefully this will change come the new job with half the hours, allowing me more time A) to be creative and interesting and B) more time,  period. Good, fun, and ridiculous things are happening and their memories are trapped inside my head; they need to be sprung more often. 

Until that's possible, here are four things I wish I had more time to write about.  I've been obsessed with and fulfilled by many things over the past 6 months, things that I think others can obsess over and be fulfilled by, as well.  By "others," I mean the 3 people that may still read this blog:

1. Vegetarianism.  I've been one for a while.  Years now, in fact; it worked for me by removing certain meats at a time until all were out of my diet. However, I've never been a healthy vegetarian.  Bag o' pretzels?  Check.  Giant baked potato?  Cool, hold the bacon bits.  Salad covered in ceasar dressing?  Right on.  I've been totally NOT eating meat, but not doing my body any favors, either.  Until I finally watched Forks Over Knives, a documentary I've been wanting to see since before its release.  It fully changed my take on vegetarianism; it is SO MUCH MORE than animal welfare, which is of course, the cause with which I'm most adept.  I was always aware of the other benefits to boycotting the meat industry, but I'm much more informed now and constantly educating myself further:  There are huge ramifications to our health and our planet because of the massive meat consumption and consumerism.  It's terrifying.  From the moment I finished the movie, I've been pumping my body full of wholly plant based foods and have seriously never felt better.  My body and my brain are thanking me in ways I didn't know possible, and when I slip and indulge in some past guilty pleasures, I feel very unpleasant effects.  Not only do I feel better, but my awareness has skyrocketed and I am a much stronger advocate against meat and feel empowered by my growing knowledge.  It is painful knowledge, as I know that the larger percentage of the world has yet to be enlightened, but I wouldn't choose ignorance over this subject for anything.  If you are intrigued, definitely check out the doc: http://www.forksoverknives.com/

2.  Asthanga yoga.  Holy chakra, yall.  I've never been a yogi and this is changing my life.  It took me a while to get the breathing down and grasp the practice for what it is truly meant to be, and now I don't think I can ever live without it in my life.  It has centered me, calmed me, and I feel light on my feet and happy.  I mean, this stuff makes me happy.  I smile more.  I laugh more.  Things are shinier and lighter.  Try it.  Try it more than once.  And love it, also.

3.  Jonathan Saffron Foer.  Read his books: Everything is Illuminated, Extremely Close and Incredibly Loud, and Eating Animals.  I still need to see the full movie based on his first book, Everything is Illimunated.  If you like Gogol Bordello, you'll like the movie; the lead singer plays the main character perfectly.  I've watched several YouTube scenes and laughed my hearty butt off.  Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close has a major film coming out on Christmas this year, as well, starring Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock.  But read the book first.  Jonathan Saffron Foer is a prodigy and totally enlightening.  Learning about him and reading his work makes me wonder what the hell I've done with my life....  How is it possible that he was 23 when he wrote his first book, a book that has made me laugh and cry out loud, a book so complex that I have had to re-read multiple pages for clarity, all while being fully and completely entertained and entangled in the story?  He's fantastic, his books are fantastic, and you'll be fantastic for reading them.

4.  Life In A Day.  Watch this film.  Period.  It's a 94 minute collaboration from Ridley Scott and YouTube capturing life around the world on July 24th, 2010.  Over 80k clips were submitted from 192 countries.  The editing is magical and the result is beautiful, shocking, unbiased, etc etc etc.  Watch it:

Go forth, try these things, feel happy, love them, and be enlightened and awesome.


I turned 30!

Well, I turned 29.  But in Korean age, I turned 30, which is something I didn't consider when I decided to move here.  Who doesn't love turning 30 twice, though, right?

So, I turned twenty-nine-or-thirty and it was fantastic.  I spent the weekend with my best Korean ladies, who treated me to all kinds of incredible-ness and many ridiculous surprises.  I EVEN WORE A WIG. Therefore, I had an awesome birthday.

My bestie-co-worker treated me to surprise Indian delivery on Friday afternoon for dinner.  In all honesty, the surprises could have ended there because I was smitten.  Indian delivery on a regular work day?  What a flippin' treat.  Oh my gotts, I really can't get over what an amazing idea that was.  The weekend kicked off from there and the surprises kept coming, including, but not limited to, hilarious underwear, wigs, vegan deliciousness, BLACK BEANS, pumpkin candy, TVP, and various other chotchskys that made me swoon.

More awesomely, the Busan International Fireworks Festival decided to happen at 9pm on my twenty-ninth-or-thirtieth birthday.  I guarantee that this is a firework show like most people in the world have never seen before.  We were smart and staked out our spots on the beach at 3pm.  We were not smart and did not stake out umbrellas.  BUT NO WAY WERE WE GIVING UP OUR SPOTS.  We sat homelessly in the rain for approximately 98758695879 hours to watch the fireworks.  This was actually a hilariously enjoyable aspect to the weekend for me, however it was badly marred by an evil sneeze that would not escape my face.

GOD, the evil sneezes that get stuck in my face in Korea are insane, but this day was especially bad after spending the night at my lady's apartment which had recently exploded in mold.  For real, her walls were furry, and for some reason it made me think of some puppets on Sesame Street that I can't remember the names of...she had furry walls, man.  Furry walls that resembled puppets on Sesame Street.

Incredibly, the evil sneeze gave reprieve for a few hours in order to put on a wig, shake what my mama gave me, and have a beautiful night out in Busan.  I even got a birthday spanking circle, does it get any better than that?

The VERY best part of my birthday was fulfilling my wish.  I sent out an email to all of the indescribably fabulous and generous people in my life, explaining that for my birthday, I wanted to raise money for BAPS, the rescue group I love and support here in Korea.  My people responded whole-heartedly, donating a total of $550 to the group.  I'm in love with so many things about this and and beyond grateful and pleased.  Go, dogs, go.

On the Richter-scale of birthdays, this was a mega-quake.  I was rattled and rolled by love and friendship and couldn't have been a happier girl (does turning twenty-nine-or-thirty mean I have to call myself a woman?).

Oh yeah...I teach, too.

It might be hard to tell, save for one or two posts on this blog, but...I am indeed a teacher.  I see, teach, laugh at/with, babysit, repeat words over and over for, high five, low five, avoid dong chims from, and really quite enjoy my students every day.

Sadly, my co-worker and I have decided to change schools later this month for a lot of complicated reasons, and I'm going to miss these monkeys in a pretty major way.  Turns out, I really, really love teaching 6th graders.  This school is different from most in Korea, as it is an accelerated learning program for very advanced English language students.  I rarely even realize that they are speaking a second language.  I really have a ridiculous amount of fun with them.  It's awesome to joke around with students on such a high level.  If I ever decide to teach in real life (real life?), I know what age I'll go for...  I wonder if students in America constantly tell their teachers they are very beautiful and look 21?

I have some really hilarious videos I want to show off, but I'm totally inept and can't seem to get them off my phone onto the computer...I send and I send and I send and nothing comes through.  Stay tuned until I understand technology.

Check out some Halloween photos in the meantime: