Happy

Best Birthday Weekend EVER!

It’s already December and ya know what that means?

*drumroll please*

my BIRTHDAY!

*end drumroll*

Granted there are other people who also have December birthdays but this is my blog and so i’ll be a little self-centered here~

Anyways, I really think I have a knack for meeting and making good people and friends. Compared to my situation last year in ‘utmost boonieville’ the way I made friends isn’t all that much different. For example, I befriended good people at work (ie school) and at the gym. I guess it may be due to the fact that there’s a National University here that there are more people near my age range who I can get familiar with. Maybe it’s just a numbers game (?) Be that as it may I gathered a few of my friends I made this year and began my night~

I’m not the best event planner I just try to keep things simple but even then there can be some snags…I told my friends to meet me up for dinner at 6:30. Everyone showed up around 7…I guess that’s ‘Korean’ time for you or is it Asian time? I was a bit peeved that these guys would show up late but what can I do when their excuse was ‘to get my cake?’ I forgave them and we had dinner. After dinner we took the cake and went to a nearby coffee shop of my choosing. Lo and behold there was a special room just for ME. (I am kidding, apparently it’s a room used for special events ie birthdays)

My friends sang a wonderful tune of “Happy Birthday” first in English and the parts that they didn’t know they continued in Korean! lol 😀 Oh and the friends I invited to dinner were Tiger, Sean, and uh Jaguar (he’s basically our chauffeur). Now since everyone present was a ‘health guy’ (health in this case means fitness center) we only shared 1 bottle of beer amongst ourselves. The REAL party (ie drinking) would begin much later hah ha h..I think this was the first time I had ever experienced a birthday party with a cake and friends singing for me since like…ever? I won’t go into the details but yeah…most definitely the first time in Korea!

I had a friend from Seoul come visit me too. We’ll call him Dandy and I met him through Tiger, they are neighborhood buds since from ever~ Dandy started the drinking festivities by making me a ‘birthday shot.’ The only time I had ever experienced a ‘birthday’ shot was on my 21st bday way back in Austin, Texas. It was pretty awful tasting but it sure got me drunk quick. I was in no way prepared for what was coming up. The alcohol choices in our drinking place weren’t too varied and so Dandy had to improvise, Korean-style. I won’t go into detail but there was an awful lot of mixing of various things and not all of it was alcohol…

My head was banging the rest of the night, I hadn’t drank so much alcohol I think all year! Ah well, it was my special One day of the year so I’ll be alright. My birthday fell on a Friday this year and in the Korean mispronunciation it sounds like ‘Fly’ day. Time wasn’t the only thing flying that day thats FOR SURE.

Here are some pics. Jaguar wasn’t looking very presentable but what’s new? I was a bright red tomato all night and I didn’t give a fock hehe. Saturday was spent with a special person. Sunday I am busy recovering for the workweek ahead~

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Advertisements

My father

Well this weekend was super-packed and eventful. Friday-Sunday just flew by! To recap on Friday, I had planned on just chilling at home when my friend Jaguar invited me to go to his home in Ilsan (I guess this would be a ‘suburb’ outside of Seoul). I deliberated a bit and then decided to go. What a good choice I made! Ilsan is a quite lively place! Friday night I was feeling a bit ‘down’ and I wanted to get drunk (or just enjoy some drinks). Now Jaguar, being the health-freak (I’m using ‘health’ in the Korean definition in this case ‘fitness’) does NOT drink. But, being the pal he is he said he would provide me company and drink ONE beer while I got plastered (haha jk~) We went to a bar that Jaguar knew called ‘Siesta.’ Interesting name for an interesting bar. The interior struck me as being pretty high-class and the prices for drinks only confirmed it. On a side note; we also got a really cute/hot/attractive barkeep to keep us company! I was never so nervous as I was that night in a bar that’s for sure~~Anyways we had our drinks (Jaguar kept a good 1:4 ratio with me, he only had like half a beer…) and I had a great time. (Maybe it was due to there being an attractive girl at the bar but I wasn’t getting drunk that night AND I didn’t give a damn! :D)

We ended up back at Jag’s place around 5am and stealthily sneaked into his home because as Jaguar puts it “My father does not like to have his sleep interrupted..” I nodded along and quickly got into my ‘shinobi-mode’ and went to sleep. The next morning I was introduced to Jag’s mom. She is quite the tall lady (or I’m just short 😦 ) We had a GREAT late lunch with various side dishes I won’t even begin to try to name but trust me they were good OH and we had really good Honeydew melon and grapes (The melon was seriously seriously tasted like honey, OMG I wanna eat it againnn *wipes drool*)

Jag had to get a haircut and so we went back to ‘downtown’ Ilsan, a place called “La Festa” (Notice the Spanish usage here? Yeah, very good I know 🙂 It was so PACKED full of people and lots and lots of let’s just say..eye candy heh heh. (but gdamn these girls are TALL!! what the heck do they EAT??) I accompanied Jag while he got his hair done at ‘Juno Hair’ (a popular and EXPENSIVE hair franchise in Korea) afterwards I had to bounce because I had to attend my friend Justin’s bday party extravabananza in Apgujeong. On the subway to Apgujeong (it’s on the same line as Ilsan!) I took some ‘secret stuff’ to help me better deal with the amount of alcohol I knew I would have to drink and thought happy thoughts about the possible ‘eye candy’ in Apgujeong. You see, Apgujeong apparently is where all the ‘rich’ folks and couples go to ‘play’ aka hang out. Also the best plastic surgeons in Korea reside here and so uh well, I’m sure their clients come here too 😉 *wink wink. At last I made it to Apgujeong but maybe because either a) It was still too early in the night or b) It was too late in the day that I didn’t see as much eye candy as I had hoped. Ah well, better luck next time~

I attended Justin’s birthday get together and I got drunk. The end.

Hahaha got you! 😛 I ended up staying up all night to catch the first subway back to my town which I thought was at 5am but instead on Sundays its at 5:40, but then once I got ON the sub didn’t take off until 5:45. WTF!!! I was supremely tired when I got into bed around 7:30am…I slept until I heard my phone ring around noon and it was my dad telling me that he was on his way. I proceeded to get up, drink some water, and fell right back to sleep until 1:30 when my phone rang again…

Finally after almost 2 years I met my dad again. He hadn’t changed much except his hair was unnaturally black, I commented on this and yes he told me he had started dying it black. (I remember him having a some white hairs back in Texas) My dad was accompanied by his old friend and high school classmate Jung Ui Taek 정의택. Mr. Jung told me he and my dad were basically like ‘brothers’ and so that made Mr. Jung basically my ‘uncle’ aka 삼촌 (sahm chon) heh.

We talked the usual yakity yak and then proceeded to Soyang Dam which is pretty damn big (hehe don’t mind me~)
Here’s a picture for your viewing pleasure

Damn big dam!

After that we had a late lunch/early dinner of my town’s specialty 닭길비 aka chicken galbi (ribs) and 막국수 (noodles). After getting some food (I was effing starving!) we headed to a scenic coffee shop called Santorini on the nearby Gubong-san (san means mountain). Santorini has in my opinion, the best view of my city. You can clearly see the building and such landscape from here. Oh here’s another picture…

You can see the city in the background, it looks even better even later!

 

 

 

 

I apologize for my poor state of fashion-ness. I didn’t get much sleep, hadn’t showered and was in a rush today.

Meeting a new ‘Uncle’ was a pleasant experience as well. He’s an interesting dude and he told me interesting things about my dad in his younger years. While I always respected my dad, that respect was tied to the fear I had of him. Now, the fear is gone and only the respect remains. Oh and apparently my father was quite ‘popular with the ladies’ back in the day, heh I respect that (highly!).

I didn’t get to spend much time with dad today but it was short and sweet and not at all unpleasant (well getting up was unpleasant though hah). I hope my dad makes a full recovery and enjoys the rest of his stay in Korea. He tells me that he would like to live in Korea someday and while the old ‘me’ would have shuddered at the thought; I’m now quite nonchalant about the matter. It would be nice for him to get back to his roots and meet up his old friends and etc. I guess I’ve grown up a bit (not physically though 😉 )

That’s all folks~hope you enjoyed reading my blog as much I enjoyed writing it!!

peace

More about me – Secret Obsessions.

So I decided to skip going to the gym again. I’m feeling a little under the weather these days, the climate suddenly dropped about 10 degrees C within a day/night and I guess this is causing my nose to cry (err sniffle).

I may have mentioned previously but living in Korea has changed me. I’ve lost considerable weight since I’ve been here, enough for students to be shocked or amazed when I show them how I looked during my graduation photos. To be specific I’ve lost around 5-6 kg. I can attest that I feel lighter and I fit better into my clothes. It seems Korean clothes were designed just for me! Especially regarding jeans and the like, the fashion in Korea is top-notch in my humble opinion. Maybe it’s due to the different diet I’m eating these days or going to the gym (once in a blue moon~) but I feel a lot healthier now then I ever did in Texas.

Anyways I had to do a lot of shopping in Korea due to the clothes I brought with me are ‘too big’ to wear in public. (I basically use all my american clothes to work out in haha or use as cleaning cloths). I’ve learned a thing or two about fashion I hope and am learning more about myself in the process. Then again, I didn’t have the disposable income I currently enjoy.

Now I guess it’s time I let you in on one of my ‘secret obsessions.’ I’m sure all of yall got some but just won’t admit it…but today I will unveil for the very first time something you prolly didn’t know bout me*!

*drumroll please!*

I’m obsessed with shoes.

*end drumroll*

Whew, now that’s a weight off my chest! ha…ha..ha. (what were yall expecting something a lot more juicier?)

I never used to think about shoes back home. For the most part, I never really ‘bought’ shoes, they were usually bought for me whenever I had outgrown my old ones and I couldn’t really choose them either..maybe that’s why this ‘s.o.’ of mine is a rather new occurrence so I guess it would be perfectly logical to assume that nobody not even I would be an obsession. (I guess I’m trying to say that this is also a ‘recent’ obsession, hmm r.s.o? 🙂
This all goes back to living in Korea, my style knowledge meter has gone up a few points and I now consider my footwear more. Footwear technology has progressed a lot since I was a kid and I never ever knew about it 😦 Shoes these days are not only highly functional, comfortable but look damn good too! Now trying to be a ‘smart’ shopper (hehe Samsung’s ads for smartphones/devices have a slogan of ‘How to live smart’) I guess living smart means buying Samsung? I degress…Anyhow, when I purchase something I want it to have good utility, durability, and appearance all while costing reasonable. I made a purchase of ‘running shoes’ called Lunarglide 3 from Nike. (I was always given Reeboks that looked god-awful and cheap and so I tend to stick to Nike in my adult life) These boys cost me a pretty penny, 135,000 won to be exact. I don’t know what the current exchange rates are but this is still my 2nd most expensive possession on me (the first being my smartphone! thanks samsung!)

Here’s a picture of these AWESOME shoes.

These badboys feel so GOOD!

I think these shoes fit my criteria listed above well I had to make myself a ‘reason’ to justify the cost a little bit..Anyways these shoes are SUPER light and make me feel so lightweight like a feather or something. I basically wear these anytime I’m not at work and not at home (because wearing shoes in my home is a no-no, but slippers may suffice ;))

Why the heck am I talking about shoes today? Well, first because it’s one of my r.s.o’s that I wanted to share and second because I was actually looking up shoes on the interweb and decided to blog about it.

Oh another nifty thing is that apparently this specific color (which I have) is sold out in Korea. Other colors (one maybe?) have since come out but my colors the best. (The new color I saw says unisex but I think it’s girly – just mixing the colors sky blue and pink don’t make something unisex, it’s more like uni-mpliedsex.) I considered myself lucky when I was able to snag these early one morning. I’d also like to add a note that my friend Tiger recommended I buy these. Apparently he wanted to get the Nike Lunarglide 2’s but they were sold out and he got the Lunar Eclipse instead (which also looks real good!) I being the gentle, docile, and jealous fellow I am decided to heed his advice and bought my Lunarglide 3’s maybe a week or so after they launched. I felt a little pride once I found out that my specific color was hard to find in Korea, hehe. Oh and speaking of my good friend and pal Tiger…he got a girlfriend and afterwards he dropped off the face of the earth I mean Korea. It’s a common story and it could happen to anyone without a significant other. One jealousy was extinguished and another was ignited in my heart…

Regardless, being in Korea has given me disposable income for the first time and I am loving the freedom and power that brings. However, (as a wise uncle once said) “with great power comes even greater responsibility” and now that I’ve bought these shoes, I’m going to have a eat some more 라면 (rah myun aka instant noodle, ramen). Since started working out on-off again, I’ve cut my 라면 eatage considerably. I eat it 1-2 a month now, it used to be 1-2 times a week!

I guess this secret obsession is a lot better than say, secretly being an alcoholic or gambler. My problem is I do everything and so I had to dip into my savings a little bit these past few months. (to clear any possible confusion, no I am NOT an alcoholic or gambler, except on holidays 😛

Thanks for reading guys (and gals~)

g’nite

 

 

Foodie food special!

Hello dear readers and fans (I know yall are out there!..somewhere 🙂 )

As per my last post (which I didn’t realize didn’t get published until right now but whatever~) I spent my Chuseok holiday with my relatives in Korea! To be specific, I visited relatives living in the Gyeonggi province (or Gyeonggi-do as they say in Korea). I had a good 4-5 day weekend and all I did was eat, sleep, and repeat (with some family gambling mixed in here and there – don’t worry guys I lost money hehe)

Anyways this was my first time to really ‘celebrate’ Chuseok in Korea. Now what does that entail? Well basically Chuseok and Lunar New Years are known as 명절 (myung jul) in Korea, don’t ask me what the translation is cuz I don’t know. These two times of the year are the only times when the entire (and in my case extended) family get together to eat and talk and enjoy each others’ company. There are also specific foods prepared for these special occasions. First is 송편 (song pyun) a delectable rice cake dessert-type item that is made with sesame seeds. (Yum!) Also my favorite type of meat BEEF is prepared as well. Marinated beef ribs or 갈비찜 (galbi jjim), spicy beef stew 육개장 (yook geh jang) and of course a ‘national representative food of Korea’ (if you will) 불고기 (BULGOGI!) I had all of the above except for the beef ribs because to prepare it takes a lot of work or 손 (sohn – aka hands). We also make and eat a variety of 전 (juhn aka Korean pancakes) some vegetable 전 and my very favorite kind called 동그랑땡 (dong guh lang ddeng) which is like dumplings except they’re round and have BEEF!! (I really like beef :P)

Oh and we can’t have holidays without alcohol and so I enjoyed some of that as well including 막걸리 (mak guhl lee aka the Korean version of sake except its better because I say so) and 맥주 (mek joo aka beer). Oh I forgot another thing everyone does when we get together and that’s watch tv.

I also would like to mention that I helped make 전 and collected some ingredients, namely pine leaves to make 송편 (pine leaves are steamed with the rice cakes to give that oh so pleasant aroma and feel ^^)

I feel super recharged and well rested and also super duper fat after doing nothing but eating, sleeping, and repeating for 3 days straight. Haha it seems like September will fly by in no time what with a students’ field trip coming up as well as midterms. I think I will just glide into October!

Here are some pics of the various food dishes oh that reminds me about 잡채 (jahp cheh) a really good noodle dish with various veggies and BEEF!

enjoy and let your mouth water~ 😉

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

2011 – a new year, a fresh start

Hello dear readers!
I’m sorry for the long overdue post. The end of 2010 was super busy for me and I’m finally settling into 2011~

First some updates on how I ended the year. I have finally become a smartphone user! It was a tough decision on what phone I would choose. Because this was my first smartphone, I wanted to get something that was both good and also durable. After much research my final two choices were between the iPhone 4 and the Galaxy S. Apple vs. Samsung, iOS vs. Android, Evil vs. Good (haha). You can probably tell which phone I thus selected. I don’t wanna bore you with the details of my painstakingly deliberate process but I’ll just run through a quick breakdown of things I considered. The two phones mentioned were VERY similar spec-wise. Both have fast processors, sufficient RAM, beautiful resolution screens, front and rear cameras, as well as other things. Even the hardware was a toss-up. Sure the more establish iOS was good and all but the growing popularity and usefulness of the Android OS could not be denied. As for size, the Galaxy S is a bit bigger due to the 4.0inch screen (compared to the iPhone 4’s 3.5inch) but it’s also lighter due to the materials it is constructed with. Considering brand names, I have always been a bit anti-Apple, don’t ask me why – I don’t know if you know but I refused to join the iPod ‘revolution’/bandwagon, instead opting to get an iRiver mp3 player (way back when the mp3 wars were going on). Although later on in my college life and subsequent ‘working out’ days the size and convenience of the iPod shuffle almost tempted me to get one. However, due to just pure dumb luck or laziness (probably the latter ha) I never bought another mp3 player besides the aforementioned iRiver. Anywho, suffice it to say I bought the Galaxy S~All other things considered, the fact that I wanted to stay (remain) in Korea for another year (or more?) contributed mightily to my purchase. While I hope this doesn’t happen to me but in case my phone experiences ‘technical difficulties’ it would be much EASIER to get it fixed (and soon) then if I were to get an iPhone (since it is imported). Price was a small factor (both phones if bought without a contract cost upwards of $800! – however the iPhone being an ‘import’ product is not generous in its monthly plan pricing either..) I also have an ‘aunt’ who helped me get the phone with a contract and her phone company was SK Telecom (which carried the Galaxy S). I’ve been using this phone for almost a month now and while not perfect, it certainly isn’t too shabby either! I’m a total smartphone noob though and so I need to ‘study’ and play with it to get the full functionality of my phone. I’m sure with much trial and error, I’ll be a great smartphone user soon! Here’s a pic of my prized possession (seriously it’s like the most expensive thing I’ve EVER owned hehe)

I really like the big screen and it fits in my hand quite nicely too!

(Unfortunately) the girls in the picture did not come with the phone (aw~) my phone is also the standard ‘metallic black’ color.

Speaking of girls, to my female friends I’m sorry to break the news to yall but I am no longer single. I’ve got a girlfriend now. (Way to start the new year, eh? ;))
Thus ended my 2010 – with a girlfriend and smartphone in hand I marched onward into 2011!
2011 greeted me quite coldly, this is my first time experiencing winter in Korea and it sure came with a vengeance! Coming from Texas, I was not used to snow. Whenever it snowed in Texas, it was a real treat and it usually vanished as soon as it came. However, in Korea the snow comes often and does not leave! Well, it’s more like the weather stays below freezing practically everyday…a ‘nice day’ in Korea is still between -6 and 0 degrees Celsius! Oh my effing goodness that’s CRAZY! Even when I bundle up in 3-4 layers of clothing, my hands and feet feel like blocks of ice whenever I step outside. It’s gotten to the point where I have invested in a ‘heating pad’ to help me sleep at night. (although now that I’ve got this thing I really enjoy it and my back certainly appreciates it :D) I really don’t like snow anymore, I miss being able to wear shorts outside at this time in Texas…
Regardless, I’m still trucking along, going to work Monday-Friday and traveling on the weekends. Now that I have a girlfriend, I usually meet her up and we spend time together on the weekends. It’s pretty sweet ^^
I don’t feel so depressed and negative about life anymore, things have started turning up and I will continue to stay positive about life and things~
Here’s one of my ‘secrets’ to staying positive – it’s quite simple really, and it’s…*drumroll please* drinking more milk! I was never into milk back in the states due to my being somewhat lactose-intolerant. However, I can drink a lot of milk in Korea and I digest it just fine! Also I was never a big fan of ‘flavored milk’ back home but now I have really grown quite attached to a particular brand of ‘flavored milk.’ Yes~I am now a huge fan of 바나나맛우유 (bah naa naa maht wooyoo – literally translated as Banana flavored milk)! Maybe it’s something in the banana flavor or the cleverly hexagonal container design or the tiny little straw you have to drink it out of but this stuff is GREAT! Apparently this milk is quite famous in Korea, meaning it’s been around for a while. Although the particular milk ‘brand’ that carries it doesn’t make good regular milk. they sure make good ‘flavored 우유!’ I could go on for another blog post about the joys of milk in Korea but I’ll leave that to another day~
Again, here’s ONE of my secrets to being positive and enjoying my time in Korea – 바나나맛 우유!

Thursday – Feel Good Inc.

So today is an odd day that I’m gonna post (being Thursday and all) but I’d just like to jot down some of my feelings right now.

I feel really good, its just a simple feeling, being happy, yet I haven’t this good in a long time. How can I describe this – I feel good, energized, and just HAPPY. I’ve had a smile on my face practically all day. Not much has upset me, actually nothing has upset me today. Even though my two 3rd grade classes were rowdy AS USUAL hahaha. Anyways a recap.

I got a wake up call – God I appreciate it. I’m sure to other people it may not be a big deal but to me, it was special. It reminded me of those times when I was woken up by my loving family member(s); because really who doesn’t like to be woken up by someone? (and that someone is someone who really really cares for you?) Anyways, I woke up about an hour earlier than usual, was kinda freaking cuz I didn’t have any solid lesson plans AS USUAL (heh) but I seriously had no care in the world. Anyways with a good mind and spirit I went to class. My first class was a group of 1st graders and these kids are pretty darn cute. The fact that they pay attention to me (most of em, a handful don’t give a sh!t) was good. My “improv” lesson went by pretty well too. (To be honest, it was a lesson I used on my “elite” kids a couple months ago) Worked like a charm, and time went by pretty quick too. It wasn’t all too interactive/engaging but the kids rolled with it. I’ll briefly go over my two 3rd grade classes I had in the afternoon – basically these 3rd graders think they’re the shit and so they don’t wanna listen, AND they especially get loud during my class (maybe cuz my class is different and so they can be at ease and go crazy) BUT I still like the kids, and I think they like me too. Some of them really try hard to pay attention and actually yell at the other kids to LISTEN UP but 34 kids is tough to handle…especially since my coteacher was busy with other things.

ANYWAYS I concluded my day with my “elites” (in actuality its about 6-7 kids selected at first by my co teacher, who actually have an interest in English conversation. The class started at around 14 kids but I weeded out a few kids and some kids just stopped showin’ up. Meh, its all good since I have a closer bond with the remaining kids anyway.) Also I use the word “elite” quite relatively here, these kids are considered “elite” only in the boonies and they are mostly just “elite” in English lol. Although one of them is a self-proclaimed “geek” and trance lover AND is SUPER studious heh. It’s been fun watching him open up more b/c he’s quite the introvert but he really lets loose when there are only a few kids around ^^ Seeing these kids at the end of the day, is quite the bright spot for me regardless of my mood!

Anyways, theres a “teacher’s meeting/dinner” tonite but I’m not gonna be able to make it because I already have a 약속 (yak sohk – literally it means “promise” but in this case, it means previous engagement or appointment). This dinner is actually a “farewell party” of sorts because a couple of teachers (3 I believe) are transferring schools for one reason or another. Well, two reasons. The one teacher, her contract is up at this school; while the other two teachers applied to move back to Wonju which is the city in which they reside (Wonju is about 70 minutes away from Yeongwol by car). They all finish 8/30 and so tonite was sort of their “sending off” if you will. I felt a little bad for not being able to make it (only a little bit mind you, because I’m gonna meet some friends for dinner and drinks tonite HAH!) and so I basically bought all the teachers some juice (cuz I couldn’t just give those 3, without making it look AWKWARD) and now my conscience is at ease~~

By the way, I wonder if yall know the song Feel Good Inc. by Gorillaz (I used to really like Gorillaz, had their first two CDs even, but yeah that was a WHILE back~). Well, its a pretty good song and I FEEL GOOD today and so I wanted to share it – here’s the Youtube link

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HyHNuVaZJ- Also, a happy picture for everyone to have a good day and cheer up if you’re feeling down. I can’t physically smile that big but yeah, its pretty cute. Oh, and the picture beside it is well…FUNNY!

k&ob=av3e