Saturday, July 28, 2012

A Thank You Letter to Someone Who Changed Your Life

How do you write a thank you letter to someone who changed your life that doesn't sound super-sappy? I think I'll forgo it for now. >.< 
  I would probably write one to Christ, because He has saved my life, made me who I am, and given me everything I need. But then, I attempt to write a thank You letter to Him every day by living my life according to His will. Not always a success, but, I try!


Friday, July 27, 2012

Five Things You Couldn't Live Without

Aside from the obvious water, air, music, etc. =P I'm going to list things that I would seriously miss if I didn't get them on a regular basis. XD

#1. Walks around town. I MUST WALK or I feel like a ball of stress and frustration. Plus, it's good for you!
#2. Korean Drama. I thought I was gonna die last week. lol
#3. Dorito Chips, Pocky and TEA. All tea...except pomegranate. SOUR.
#4. The color purple. Seriously, love it. Orange and yellow, too
#5. Rice stuffs. Mochi cake and dango balls and fried rice and rice pudding...okay, rice in general...

So that's it for today! ^^


Thursday, July 26, 2012


I wake up every morning with the sun in my eyes
Someone shouting at me to start my day
And memories of the silvery dreams of night still behind my eyes

I don't know the details, I just remember faces
Faces that used to never appear in front of me
A voice I've never heard before, where did it come from?

Dark pools of knowledge and lost time overtake me
They overwhelm me with their voices of mourning
For long moments I cannot breath at all; I suffocate

'I'm...I'm dying...' are the words in black and white
But if I read them, could I save a single soul?
No, not even if I ran through the stars could I save your life

The galaxy above me keeps turning silently
As if the sky knows something I don't
And I feel like my heart has stopped beating

I don't know; it's too complicated to pinpoint
If I ever go away, please let me leave
And when someone runs, they seem to make a stand

The dew-kissed dreamland is about to crash into reality
Perfect little world, awakened by voices
Blue and green colors are beginning to merge together

I won't let pieces of my heart disappear; I won't let go
This could be false and misleading
But I decided to pursue it, and I will follow through

Something strong and cold grips my heart like a fist
And I pull myself into this world again
Perhaps the dream will stop torturning me, over and over

Even though night after night, I cannot remember the details.

A Moment You Wish You Could Relive

There are several, actually. If we are talking within the past week, there would have to be about five things I wish I could relive and do over. One would be speaking to someone that I just didn't get the chance to talk to as much as I wish I could've.
 The second would be a now laughable moment that just didn't get placed in time correctly. If I could relive that moment, I would. XD

 If we're talking 'moment of all time', it would have to be...gosh, there are too many, but five of them would be...
 To relive the night my baby sister was born. It was SO long ago, but so pivotal for me; I had wanted and prayed for a little sister for a long time. One of those childhood moments where you get the biggest wish of your life to come true-not the one that the rock candy mountain were real, but the one that you *knew* mattered.
 The last day I saw my grandmother alive. I would want to relive that moment when I made her laugh while we were outside in the sunlight. She looked so happy for that instant. Yet theres a part of me that wouldn't want to relive it because...well, that's it's place in time, and that's where it's going to stay.
 A third moment I want to relive would be the first day my dad walked in the door from work at his new office. The look on his face...he was so incredibly happy. I thought I would burst with happiness myself. ^^
 An evening spent walking around in the dusk, with a full moon over the mountain tops. It was gorgeous; I was talking with my friends, and I enjoyed it wholeheartedly.
 The night that I realized my dreams of travelling to East Asia. I didn't just apathetically think to myself 'I'll visit someday', but instead it was the forceful thought of a teenager struggling through a hard time-'I will go there, and nothing can stop me but God's will'. One of those thoughts. I have no idea why it was so strong, except I felt the need to prove myself; that I was a competent human being who would become a responsible adult. That I could make my own decisions, stand by myself in a crowd, and make a living. *sigh* and I've been this way ever since. XD  It was nice to feel so clear-headed at that time.

 So, those are some moments I wish I could relive. Or at least keep close to my heart, since time is irreversible.


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A Favorite TV Show

Camp happened, so I didn't have time to do this. Sorry. XD I promise I won't do that again, even when I leave for NYC this weekend.

My favorite TV show is going to be drama. Just a warning. XD

Sooooo, I can't exactly list ONE. I just CAN'T. So I'll list three. But only three (eeek).

First of all, Rooftop Prince, a fantasy, romance, time-travel drama. I know it's a recent drama, but I absolutely loved this one. There wasn't a boring moment and the characters were all very endearing. The twists in the plot kept a person wondering what exactly *had* happened, and how it was playing out in the future. Some things I thought were true were wrong, and things I thought could NEVER HAPPEN...omo, they happened!!! ^^ The drama was romantic, yes, but there was a nice helping of mystery in there, too, and the best part was that to me, it didn't seem forced.

 Second of all, Ojakgyo Brothers, a slice of life, mystery, romance...gosh, there was sooooo much in this drama that was good. At 58 episodes, it's a very long drama, but it was completely worth it. The characters are so cute, well-developed, and have a realness about them that resonates with me. And my mom, too, who has been my drama-watching buddy for quite a long time now.
 We follow the lives of a family with four brothers+one girl who comes to live with them on Ojak Farm. As time passes, the boys fall in love, the girl comes to find a true family, the mother gains a daughter (if not by blood, by love), and everyone else...well, they make mistakes and learn lessons while trying to make things right..I just can't remember all of the different ones due to the enourmously long story. XD Mostly about love, forgiveness, acceptance, and perseverance. ^^

I highly recommend this drama to anyone who wants to try drama for the first time-if you can take sitting through 58 hours of drama (in small doses, mind you!). I doubt you will regret it.

The last drama on my list is currently airing, so I don't know if the ending will turn out as good as the beginning. But with a show as awesome as 각시탈 (Gaksital, or Bridal Mask) has been from the start, I don't think they can really go wrong.
 Plus, we have Joo Won again (brother #3 from Ojakgyo)-and everyone looooooves Joo Won, right? lol
 Seriously, Joo Won is an excellent actor and he is PERFECT in this series. An action, thriller, mystery type drama that is based off of a manhwa. Manhwa is a lot like manga, but it is done by Koreans and has a different style...I've always heard it tends to have a softer look, but I don't know much about it. Sorry, manhwa fans! Please correct me if I'm not doing it justice (I'm sure I'm not).
 Anyway, the show is set in 1930's Korea, during the Japanese occupation. It's about a Joseon resistance hero who wears a traditional Korean bridal mask to hide his identity while fighting against Japanese oppression. There are so many twists and turns in the plot of this story that it will leave you in suspense at the end of every episode. I guarantee it-even my brothers who HATES, I mean DESPISES Korean Drama will occaisionally look over to see what's going on in this show. It's THAT EPIC. ^^

Well, that's it for now!



This is a really moving song by a very talented group. I can't even understand all the lyrics to this song....
It just resonates sadness; no translation is needed.

Learning Korean...and other language musings.

I don't think there can be anything that compares to the frustration, exasperation, and total helplessness that comes with trying to re-learn the keyboard, spell, read and write in another writing system. It's torturous; you feel like a total idiot because you can't even get to the 'uh' sound because you just mixed it up with the 'ah' one. >.> Beware, long rant of irritated sixteen year old student to follow.

 One of the most inspiring and yet totally depressing things on earth is to listen to a Korean converse in English. For that matter, just replace 'Korean' with anyone whose native language isn't English. Some of them try so hard-and they're terribly good at it. I wish I had that kind of dedication. From today, I really want to work towards that kind of fluency in Korean and I want to have that dedication to this language. But it's going to take lots of time, lots of energy, and a huge amount of passion for Korean and Korea. A while back, at least being inspired for the language was easy. Now, after camp, I feel that even that part of learning a language is a touchy subject and that no matter what I do, I will be failing in some way. Forty years living in Korea and working on Korean, and I will still be abusing, exploiting and bastardizing their language because I'm not a native speaker. Whew. Though they tried to make it sound less crazy, linguistics is the art of studying language but never fully getting involved in it; in other words, tip-toeing around other languages for fear that you will somehow insult the thing known as 'culture' that is, apparently, tied so closely with the language of a people. Terribly discouraging to all that aspire to speak a foreign language with fluency, especially a non-Germanic or non-Romantic language. I'm one of the latter. Ugh.

 It's thrilling to hear someone speak English; even if they can't pronounce anything right and their grammar is horrible. I realized today that I don't hate my language; I like English. It's a great language, to spite having super-confusing grammar and the worst spelling system in the entire world. But if I didn't like English, why would it make me so happy to hear other people speaking it? It's not that English is a hindrance to me; English is an advantage and it's beautiful. That's what I realized today. Surprisingly (or perhaps not), it has taken me 16 and a half years to decide that I like my native tongue. I still feel mixed up about it. But I know I like it. A little.

 At language camp this week we talked about the culture of a language. I honestly don't feel any cultural ties to my language; English is like a trade language, shared by people all over the world. I don't feel insulted when someone speaks English in a way that isn't the same as I do, or when they pronounce it badly. That's okay with me. They're learning English, or English isn't their native tongue, or they speak a different dialect.
 So I didn't really understand this discussion about how people can be so righteous and high and mighty about their language or their supposed 'culture'. Perhaps it is my Christian roots that leads me to be so open to other languages; God created them all. Or maybe it's the fact that I speak what is so affectionately referred to as 'the bastard tongue'. Either way, I cannot and probably never will understand how language can be such a touchy topic. It's a language; you use it to communicate. It doesn't define you in your entirety; what defines you is your purpose in life. My purpose in life is to glorify God. This defines me more than my culture and my language ever could and I don't stand alone in this; there are thousands of other Christians across the world that have a common purpose and a common culture. This is not from the language they speak or the country they were born and raised in; this is from God.

 Maybe I'm wrong; I seem to be incorrect more frequently than ever recently. But this is the shaky opinion I created for myself out of the truth while being submerged in the lies and confusion our modern North American, English speaking culture in these United States; trust me, it's not something I want to be proud of.


Monday, July 16, 2012

A Favorite Quote

I'm doing days 4 and 5 out of order because I feel like I really need this right now.

Beautiful quote from the most beautiful book.

I must quote from the New King James, because I do not have good internet access, and this is my Bible translation, soooo~

'And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundace of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure.
 Concerning thing thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me.
 And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my affirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.'

2 Corinthians 12:7-10

The pastor at the WELS church we visited this morning preached on these versus, and what an encouraging, beautiful and well-times sermon it was. Living one day at a time...remembering that HIS grace is sufficient for me.


Sunday, July 15, 2012

Apology and A Favorite Book

First of all, I'm really sorry that I forgot to post yesterday and the day before; but I have a good explanation. Nearly the entirety of those two days was spent staring out panes of glass, sitting in one place, and eating fast food for about every meal. >.< But now I have reached my destination, and after church today I shall be tromping off to camp. ^^
 Ohio is actually a lot flatter than I imagined. I mean. It's really. really. flat.
 Anyway, I haven' actually seen a lot of Columbus yet, but so far it isn't as intimidating as I thought it would be. Just flat.
 We're staying right next to the airport. Seriously, the runway is right outside our window. XD It's very cool and didn't keep us awake last night-well, it didn't keep me awake. ^^

 Now, as for 30 Day 3 is a favorite book.

 My favorite book right now has to be The First Two Lives of Lukas Kasha by Lloyd Alexander. But in reality that's the last book I read that I finished and super-enjoyed. A whole year ago. Something is wrong with me in the area of reading books right now. I just don't seem to get around to them very often and when I do, I creep through them like no tomorrow. It takes me six months to finish a book that I would normally spend six weeks on. Or maybe even six days! *sigh* When I get back from camp, this must stop. >.<


Friday, July 13, 2012

A Favorite Movie

Day 2 of the 30 Day Challenge.

Well, I said this would be easy. It's sort-of hard; I like so MANY movies~!

But I think I have to say most of my favorite movies are Studio Ghibli movies. Howl's Moving Castle, Whisper of the Heart, and Totoro, are some of the cutest movies ever! ^^

The Girl who Leapt Through Time has similar artwork, and I believe Hayao Miyazaki, who directed the other movies, was on the storyboard team and wrote this movie. But I can't remember, so don't quote me. :P

Here are trailers...

My Neighbor Totoro-A sweet, plot-less fairy tale that I love. ^^

Whisper of the Heart...

Then last but not least, Howl's Moving Castle and The Girl who Leapt through Time.

Hope someone who reads my blog sees these trailers and decides to try one of the movies; all of them are available english dubbed through Netflix. I really wish I could have a movie night with friends over to watch one of these movies, because they are spectacular, but sadly, most of my acquaintences at church are not the Japanese animation type. Still. I truly believe people that dislike these movies simply because of the animation are missing out an experience unmatched by others. The artwork of these movies is beautiful, the subtle Japanese culture (in all but Howl's Moving Castle, which is in a European setting) is fascinating, and together these two elements give it a nearly ethereal, foreign, mysterious appeal.
 I think it was largely due to three of these movies that I became interested in living in East Asia. I think, though fantasy, the movies set in Japan manage to capture an essence of that country that words can't describe. The bustling crowds, the bus stops, the summer bugs whirring and chirping in the trees, the days spent walking home from school, the laundry hanging from the balcony of the apartment...all of those little things, incorporated so well. I love it. ^^


Thursday, July 12, 2012

A Favorite Song

Tearliner's 나빌레라 is seriously one of the most beautiful instrumental tracks I know of right now. I first heard it in the Korean Drama Sungkyunkwan Scandal, which was seriously very fun. ^^

Anyways, please enjoy.


The 30 Day Challenge

So, I saw this on another blogger's blog and thought I might want to try it. Here is the 30 Day Challenge-

Day 1: A favorite song 
Day 2: A favorite movie 
Day 3: A favorite book
Day 4: A favorite TV show 
Day 5: A favorite quote
Day 6: A moment you wish you could relive
Day 7: Five things you couldn't possibly live without
Day 8: A thank you letter to someone who has changed your life 
Day 9: A photo you took 
Day 10: A photo of you taken over ten years ago 
Day 11: A photo of you taken recently 
Day 12: A song that you want played at your wedding 
Day 13: A guilty pleasure 
Day 14: A vacation you would like to take 
Day 15: A person you admire 
Day 16: A song that makes you cry 
Day 17: An art piece 
Day 18: A time when you felt passionate and alive 
Day 19: A talent of yours 
Day 20: A hobby of yours 
Day 21: Something you know you do differently than other people 
Day 22:  A website 
Day 23: A way in which you want to be remembered 
Day 24: A movie no one would expect you to love 
Day 25: A recipe 
Day 26: A childhood memory 
Day 27: A physical feature you love 
Day 28:  A scar you have and its story 
Day 29: Hopes, dreams, and plans you have for the next 365 days 
Day 30: A motto or philosophy

(Why is it I seem to love these sorts of things recently?! LOL)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

H Market

 Rice Stars, apparently. The back says 'ssal', which is uncooked rice. These are some sort of rice-chip or puff, I believe. I should've bought some, but we were so lost in this place, and I was trying to avoid  bumping into people. >.<

More random snacks.

Pepero, and Hello Panda!!! <3 <3 <3

Cinnamon Punch. Looks yummy, should've bought some. Oh, well, because I'm definitely going back someday! ^^

Lots of grains, beans, and other such goods.

These pictures are proof to my younger brother that a 1.5 Megapixel camera can still take decent pictures. His is a 5 Megapixel and the quality is horrible. I have a lot more to say about that, but not in this post. :P
Chopsticks I bought-all on my own, because Mom and the kids were out in the car enjoying mochi icecream balls and laver sheets. :P
These chopsticks are a funny mix-the colored ones are made in China, the cutesy bunny and bird ones are made in Japan, and the metal ones with blue checks are made in South Korea.  ^^ My favorite pairs are probably the red ones with the cranes, and the pink ones with bunnies, but I love them all.

 In the end we came home with two Ramune drinks, a package of seaweeed (laver), a bag of sweet rice flour, a box of blueberry candies, chopsticks, mochi icecream balls and Lillian came away with Hello Kitty Yan-Yan.


Why'd You Leave This Place?

Wake up to the sound of your fleeting heart
Wake up to the sound of your fleeting heart
When you go, what you leave is a work of art
On my chest, on my heart

 She went out to the hay in the morning grace
She went out and got lost in a tall hedge maze
Where'd you go? Where'd you go? Why'd you leave this place?
On my heart, on my face

And my love is yours but your love's not mine

So I'll go but we know I'll see you down the line
And we'll hate what we've lost but we'll love what we find
And I'm feeling fine, we've made it to the coastline

Ooh, ooh, ooh ooh ooh

Ooh, ooh, ooh ooh ooh

Past all the signs of the slow decline

Live like your love wasn't meant for mine
Now you've gone, now you've gone to a different life
Til the loneliest side

At the beautiful town of Annandale.
I particularly like this shot-looking down the alleyway, you can see even the white van has print in Korean.

You know, I guess I can see why the non-Korean residents don't like the Hangul, but if it weren't for the Hangul I never would've visited and stimulated the economy. :P. Loved this place!!!

Best picture! Loved the pretty hanboks in the windows. ^^

I spy Karaoke. ^^

The Korean supermarket. The place was HUGE, and a little hard to navigate. There were so many people inside. I heard a lot of Korean being spoken, and was surprised to discover that I can understand it better in real-life conversations than in a drama! Amazing! Though I wish I would've worked up the courage to actually try speaking myself...

It was really quite amazing. Annandale, that is. It is called Koreatown by some, though a lot of non-Korean residents take offense at being 'doomed', I suppose, to living in Korea-in-the-US. I think it's awesome! We have these places in LA and NYC, but I didn't think there was one anywhere near where I live, so I'm extremely happy! ^^
 There were so many Korean signs that I couldn't read them all fast enough. I just took lots of pictures from our car, and tried not to grin like a total maniac. At one point I thought to myself; 'It's impossible to look like a lost, confused, unenlightened tourist anymore. I know exactly where I am, I'm extremely happy, and I can read everything...'
 I also saw a lot of really neat stuff at the H Market, but the pictures are still on my phone...>.>

 Another cool note-the county of Fairfax is where Micky Yoochun, a Korean singer, lived for 6 or so years! ^^ I didn't realize where I was until I saw a sign that said 'Fairfax Methodist Church', and then I found everything about the trip extremely funny. XD

The next day we headed out to a German Market (to please my poor father who had endured much for the past day, and needed a break). These are pictures as we drove down Route 7 toward Columbia Pike/Annandale (yes...we were so close, yet again! I felt bad we couldn't go back). Some of these were pictures my siblings wanted me to take. ^^
Cute bookstore!!!
Love the angle. There were so many different colored awnings.

This was some sort-of Italian business. The building was gorgeous.

 I sadly didn't get any pictures of the German Market (I forgot my phone in the car, I believe...), but we got some tasty Haribo gummies there (kinds I had never seen before), and I got to try pickled Herring (the stuff is amazing), and authentic Curry-Ketchup (much better than what we make at home). There were some of the most BEAUTIFUL desserts in there; one of the highlights of European food is that the desserts are always prepared so prettily.
 Dad got to speak German with some of the shoppers. The store has been here in some form or another for 50 years! It was well-stocked with things that peaked my curiosity. The only depressing part? I couldn't understand any of the names or labels. :P

On our way back from dropping Avery off, I slept for an hour during a rainstorm. Afterwards, there was this beautiful cloud on the horizon.
It rained again after that. I took this picture of the sun, the mountain, and the rain. Soooo pretty. And then I fell asleep again for another hour. XD

As you have probably now guessed, I spent a lot of time sleeping on our way home, and a lot of time awake last night. :P Seriously, though extremely painful at certain times (headache, loss of a very precious anklet, and neck cramps from looking back at the kids to keep them occupied), and unbearably noisy (I hate giving bribes, but the children were told if they couldn't keep quite for five minutes, they wouldn't get any more Haribo gummies or Olive Garden mints XD. And lets not forget the times I had a temper-flare-up from lack of sleep and frustration at noise), it was still pretty nice. For a mini-vacation/weekend-trip. ^^


Friday, July 6, 2012

A Short Poem of Reflection...

 (Since I can't write worth anything. >.> Whoops, ISFJism. :P)

 To another ISFJ,

 Strange how we're walking forward through life
 Both individuals, yet somehow similar
 It's practically a mystery to me
 How sometimes, what you say is so familiar

 I've found courage and I've found shelter; both so warm
 But I've never found someone so alike
 A person who thinks the very same thoughts which I
 Have quietly considered in my heart

 So when you were hurting, I knew it was awful
 And when you were strong, I was impressed
 When you cried, I realized your sincerity
 And your insignificant words, their true value

 You aren't really warm and inspiring
 Not in the same fashion as others, but that's not important
 There's a feeling of comradery and safety
 Or an assurance that everything will work out

 Simple; not confusing at all, to be honest
 Enjoyable and yet frustrating, because my faults glare at me
 Does it prick that careful nature? That desire to be perfect?
 I know it must be there somewhere


 Can we embrace what we love about ourselves, and begin to change what we hate? Can we become better people through the rest of our lives, or will we turn out like others who have walked a path and faltered halfway through-still standing there, clueless as to how to take the next step?
 Only Christ can prevent it. Lean on Him.


Monday, July 2, 2012

Kishi Bashi-Manchester gorgeous. It epitomizes the way I feel about this summer, and these beautiful days.
 I can't say all of Kishi Bashi's songs are good because I haven't heard them. Whether he is Christian or not I do not know. But this song is magic and I love it.

Makes me think of every dream I have for the future and all the excitement of being alive.