Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Day 27-A Physical Feature You Love

(I'm doing this post first because day 26 is going to take a little more time than I expected, and I don't have a lot of time now that school has started)

A physical feature I love? Eyes. In Korean, they are called 눈 (nun), which can also mean snow, depending upon context (I believe). 눈 (nunmul) means 'tears'; a combination of 눈 and 물 (water). Pretty cool. ^^

The first thing I notice about a person is their eyes. They portray so much emotion and they can be so varied in appearance; some are big and round, others small and slanted. Some are buggy and others are glassy. Yet even more differences can be found in color; green, blue, gray, black, brown, and millions of other combinations.

I happen to be very captivated by the different kinds of green and brown that can be found. Green eyes, to me, are by far the most beautiful eye color to be found. Brown comes in second (yeah, I realize I have brown least I don't dislike my eye color). Blue eyes can also be extremely beautiful; my sister has the most gorgeous blue eyes.
Inside the East Asian Language Department at Ohio State University! We were obsevering a class going on below...and gosh do I look sleepy. XD I have really small eyes. ^^
Green eyes can be pretty rare. My dad has olive green eyes, little brother has gray-green ones, and my friend has bluish green ones.
Picture taken by my friend Hannah. A very interesting pair of green eyes.

Even though people generally think of brown eyes as being just one color, they can come in so many different shades.

Micky Yoochun. Asians are a good example of the different colors of brown eyes can be.
So...that's all I have to say on this topic. ^^


Monday, August 27, 2012

Day 25-A Recipe

 (This recipe is from -she makes great Korean food recipes and always has videos that show the food being made. This is her recipe for 'hwajeon' or sweet flower pancakes. I like to make mine with nasturtiums)

Sweet rice flour (“chapssal garu“), salt, water, sugar, vegetable oil, edible flowers.

  1. Place 1 cup of sweet rice flour and a pinch of salt in a large bowl.
  2. Add ½ cup of hot water little by little. Mix it well with a wooden spoon as you pour in the water.
  3. Knead the mixture for 5 minutes.kneading
  4. Cut the dough into 12 pieces and roll each piece into a ball.ricecakeballs
  5. Cover the dough with a wet cloth so it doesn’t dry out. Set it aside.
  6. Make syrup:
    Place ¼ cup of sugar and ¼ cup of water in a small pot. Simmer over low heat for about 15 minutes, then  remove from the heat.
  7. Heat up a non-stick frying pan over low heat. Drizzle some vegetable oil on it (½ tbs).
  8. Press each rice cake ball into a disc about 5 cm in diameter.
  9. Place each disc-shaped rice cake on the pan and cook it.
  10. When the bottom of the rice cake is cooked, turn it over to cook the other side.
    It will take about 3-4 minutes to cook.
    *tip: flatten it out on the pan with a spatula to make it larger
  11. Place an edible flower on the top of the rice cake, then flip it over so that the flower gets slightly cooked and sticks to the cake.
  12. Cook each one and put them on a serving plate.
  13. Drizzle the syrup on top of the pancakes.
  14. Serve with green tea or rose tea.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Day 23&24

Because I missed yesterday (for the very good reason of being sick&lazy) I've decided to do two at a time today.

 First of all, I'd like to be remembered as a Christian. There's not really anything else I would want to be remembered for after I die. Before I die...say I move away from somewhere. I'd like to be remembered as kind, unimposing, and responsible.

 As to a movie no one expects me to love-

I guess it's not a huge surprise, but I really did like this movie when I went to go see it at the theater....ages ago! The movie left a really strong impression. I never watch thrillers, so I was completely exhausted after watching it because I was so tense.^^

 I also watched it once around Christmas time. It was a fun night. I haven't watched it since.

The Korean Inception poster. I wonder if they dubbed it or Hangul subtitled? I bet it was subtitled, because they aspire to learn English so much.


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Day 19-My Talent

So today, I put on makeup and made my video! I'm still sick and plugged up, but thankfully, I've discovered colds don't affect the speaking of Korean as much as the speaking of English! I'm sure I sound a bit more nasal than usual, though....

It's so cool to see all the other international participants! Everyone has a different spin to their Korean pronunciation, too, which just goes to show that when we begin a foreign language, our pronunciation is affected by the language(s) we knew previously! ^^


Day 22-A Website

Great website for insight into Korean culture! Go check it out. ^^


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Day 21-Something you know you do differently than other people

I'm a boring person; I can't think of anything I do differently than other people. *sigh* I admit to the reality.

But, I live in the South, where every Southerner is supposed to love sweet iced tea. I like my tea hot and unsweetened. I sometimes drink sweet tea because I feel obligated to, but most of the time I really would rather have hot green tea with no sugar.

The two exceptions are Taiwanese Bubble Tea and Chai tea-both of which are delicious with milk and honey!


Sunday, August 19, 2012

Day 20- A Hobby of Yours

 I write. I write a lot of poems and romance novels, and I normally only finish the poems.
 My most recent poetry and prose-related creations can be found here on my blog, under the poetry page.
 The following poems are dated November 6th and 7th, 2010. They're one of my first writings that were successful, resonating with a larger, more varied audience. "Her Name Is..." won third place in the Chautauqua poetry contest, Youth Division grade 9. Such an accomplishment for me at that age. ^^ The poem entered was tweaked a bit; several more creative adjectives and nouns were decided upon...but I can't open Microsoft Word on this computer so I only have the very raw originals.

Her Name Is...

My hands are chapped
And she's not going away
I wonder why I'm stacked
With all this stuff today

She's standing right outside the door
But I won't let her in, not yet
Her clean white hair nearly touching the floor
And her eyes a clear gray

A fur coat is draped over her shoulders
And a pair of white boots on her feet
She causes me to unwillingly shiver
As she reaches to knock with hands pale and petite

I must open up, eventually
But right now I cower in a corner of my room
The leaves have fallen from every tree
She is unwilling to stop and whispers of my doom

So I pull on an extra hoodie (or two)
And come down the steps slowly
I say "Please be kind to me, and I'll do so to you"
As I wrap my arms around myself closely

I undo the latch, but as the door swings open
And silver light spills across my face
Simply a bluster of cold wind billows in
And I sigh with relief and shut the door with haste

Winter won't be bad this year
As she only stopped by for a minute
I see there is nothing to fear
For Winter's chill was only for a bit.


His Name Is...

Bursting with color
I can't believe what he brings me
Baskets of wishes
And the possibilities that be

He greets me with a smile
He is one of my best friends
And holds out his hand for a while
Till the bright daylight ends

His sweater is tied
Around his middle
His t-shirt is tie-died
Red and stained a little

His hair is the color of fire
His eyes a playful green
I know my situation is dire
For his motifs cannot be seen

Taps on my window, never my door
Though I know he'll eventually go
The running and hiking will not be a bore
I'll muse upon it when the wind does blow

The coldest wind sweeps in from the West
Sending snow in, and chills up my spine
The sprite from before who seemed like the best
No longer lingers in this life of mine

I wonder, where has he gone?
The happy and bright
Fun-loving, carefree, thoughtful one
Fading from sunset into night

So while I stand in the cold and freeze
No longer a gentle nip,
The moment he does seize
To whisper of Autumn, just a bit

And even though the leaves are gone
Crunching under my boot-clad feet
He still manages to whistle a light song
And I am so glad we were able to meet

 I also write are two excerpts- one from my most recent summer project, working title being 'What Goes Up Must Come Down'. Set in the modern-day United States, it follows the romance of a part-Korean writer from Fairfax, Virginia named Mina Cole-Kwon.
 The second is from my NaNoWriMo 2011, working title 'Valentijn Janson's Chronicles of the Southern Continent'. Here is a long, unedited synopsis...written when I was lacking a few hours of sleep and a lot of sanity. >.<
 If there were two points that the rest of the world would use to describe the Southern Continent, they would be 'extensive, rich history' and 'scarred by frequent, long, cruel wars'. But in the past ten years, the countries of the Southern Continent have begun to prove at least half of this statement wrong.
 No major wars have taken place in many a year, and relations between the many small countries have been much better than in the past. It seems like many have learned the benefits of peace and understand one another. That is, until the friendly trading country of Exaenashan is rocked with news that their king, Enrai, has been killed. Rumors have it that he was assassinated by one of the Grenian nobles who are always thirsty for more land, money, and blood, but before these can escalate any further, Lukas, the king's own cousin, takes the throne. New rumors surface about Lukas; a maimed seventeen year old boy who has spent many of his days in his father's gardens or libraries, and rarely any time studying to be a monarch. Many claim he's far too young to be king at all, and some have even more mixed opinions that he was in contact with the Grenian who killed Enrai.
 But the trouble in Exaenshan doesn't just effect the people within the borders. Countries as far north as Daron-Tith and Sarojn are concerned that they will not be able to trade with the Exaenashan's, and countries as far south as Montejn and Ceallan are talking that war will come between Exaenashan and Grenan; and if Grenan conquers, they will be next.
 Even the small, southernmost country of Belgay is experiencing a little tumult and worry over the circumstances, and young Valentijn Janson can testify that not only is his country confused, but he is, too. There is nothing he would like better than for it all to be settled and done with, and for him to get back to his books. At certain points it almost seems as if world matters have nothing to do with him, as he is only an 18 year old Kashihan and has no business being involved. But his continent, his country, his goals and his ways as a person will affect the way he lives the rest of his life and deals with other people. Some he can control, others he cannot. But will he make the decision to better the things he can, and put up with the ones he can't, or will he simply try his hardest to remain disconnected and unconcerned for the rest of his life?`

Ready for excerpts?


She adjusted her purse strap uncomfortably as she entered through the large glass doors of the huge building Kibum had texted her directions to. Mina had discovered after arriving that it was both the singer's joint agency and a large company that worked in the field of electronics, all linked with more businesses in South Korea. She made a mental note that she could speak in her native tongue with these people.
Mina did a short review of her outfit. She hoped she didn't look cheap, but she wasn't sure what cheap meant in the Kibum dictionary, considering he was a multimillion dollar Hallyu star. She had never really been a fan of his music; maybe a few songs here and there, but by this time she didn't really listen to K-pop anymore. He's a weird guy, that's for sure. He only gave me directions to the building, and conveniently forgot to tell me which floor he'd be on.
Spotting a receptionist desk off to her left, Mina headed over. Noting how her tennis shoes squeeked on the clean, white vinyl flooring, she winced.
“Um, excuse me...”
The pretty woman with the jet black hair and soft hazel eyes looked up at her, “Yes, how may I help you?”
“Ummm...I'm here to see Mr. Jay Lee. Where is his office?”
The lady smiled.
“Straight ahead, there are some elevators. Go to the sixth floor. You should enter into a hall. Turn right. His office is three doors down on the left.”
Mina smiled, gave her thanks, and started to follow the woman's directions. The whole entrance room was becoming somewhat crowded as people got off work and headed home, and she found herself shoved into the corner of the elevator as she rode up.
She was surprised to find no one got out of or on to the elevator when she reached the sixth floor. Instead, the area was almost completely silent. Glancing in the doors as she walked down the hall, she found the offices were all empty.
I guess they've already gone home.
At least, she hoped that was the case and she wasn't about to go walking into the office of some weird psycho who required the entire floor to be void of all people except himself.
You're too creative, Mina...tone down the writer in you and tap into the practical, street-wise young woman already...Shaking her head and trying to think sensibly, she continued walking. The third door was just ahead. Knocking softly, she was greeted by the same male voice from earlier,
“Come in.”
Turning the knob, she stepped into the room and immediately, out of habit, scanned the area.
It was small and quiet. The walls were the stark white that the entire company seemed to be painted in, the furniture was a dark oak, and several paces to her immediate right, up against the far wall, was Mr. Lee's desk, computer, and, he himself.
She took the first couple of steps, and then stopped when he looked up at her.
His face was young, but his features were sharp. His dark, almond-shaped eyes were soft, reserved, and kind. In that instant, Mina put together the bad businessman on the phone with the youthful, sweet face before her. She decided that he appeared more like someone who should be teaching kindergartners or running a mission in a small, third-world country than the guy behind the secretary's desk at a big, rat-race company.
“Oh, it's you. Please sit down. Sorry I didn't come to the door. I didn't realize-”
“It''s okay.” She managed to splutter out, taking a seat and hoping he hadn't recognized her wide-eyed staring.
“No, really. So...what do you think of the city? Or have you been to New York before?”
So he's chatty, too...
“Actually, this is my first time here. So I'm trying to get to know where everything no avail.”
He smiled,
“Don't worry. You'll get used to it. Plus, Key will probably attempt to steal all your time while you're here. He's a bit odd...”
Mina blinked.
“Really? I hadn't noticed.” she answered sarcastically. Mr. Lee grinned, looking down at his hands to hide the highly amused look that flashed through his eyes. It didn't work, and Mina smiled. “Seriously, though, how odd does he get?”
“He does things that I cannot comprehend...some of his decisions seem irrational. His ways of going about something can also be rather strange.”
“I see. He told me you were brothers?”
Mr. Lee's smile slipped for an instant, and though it was replaced in a mere moment, his body language remained standoffish.
“Yes, we are.”
“So you know each other well, then...” Mina caught his changed expression and quickly tried to avoid the subject, “alright, for what reason did you want to meet me?” she queried in a brighter tone.
“Ah, actually, I had several reasons. The first is to make sure your accommodations are satisfactory.”
“They are.”
“Good. The second was to make sure you know where you'll be performing. I told your mother; has she passed the info on to you yet?”
“Yes, she has.”
“Okay, and the third is a bit more far-fetched. So,” he stood up, heading over towards one of the bookshelves and looking over the volumes of encyclopedias, as if he was actually reading the titles. Mina figured he was just nervous, which made her all the more suspicious of his final, 'far-fetched' favor.
“Don't meet with my brother in public. He likes you a lot. He's going to be discussing the party with you in a bit; figuring out what he wants, what you want, and trying to meet in the middle. But there will be some fans who will swarm to watch you guys if you're caught out in public. It'll be a scandal by tomorrow morning, and Mr. Kim doesn't want that happening.”
“Really? Then...why don't we just always meet here, in your office?”
“You'd do that?” He turned to her, looking surprised, “gosh, I'm relieved. I was worried you'd be put out.”
“Not really; I'm glad you warned me because I didn't think about it.”
“...thank you. I get off the hook now.” He chuckled softly, but there wasn't much amusement in his voice. Mina pursed her lips. He seemed friendly enough, but when she looked into his eyes, she could tell something was missing...a spark of some sort of life that had been drained out of him and hadn't fully come back yet.
Kibum made Mina jump with his sudden entry.
“Kibum...” Mr. Lee murmured, turning around.
“Hi, hyung. How was your day?”
“It went...well...” He broke off what he was saying, sentence trailing away as Kibum suddenly directed his attention to Mina again.
“Mina, I see you're here. Ready to go?”
Go? Where? This wasn't in the plan!
“Actually, Kibum, we decided it would be better for you to stay here.” Mr. Lee interjected.
“What? But I was going to get her dinner and show her around.” Kibum replied shortly Mina could tell he wasn't the type to be told what to do. His vivid, sharp dark brown eyes held an air of superiority, curiosity, and refine that couldn't be compared with Mr. Lee's subdued expressions of worry and tiredness.
“I...I can order takeout? Will that be okay?” The latter replied carefully.
Kibum puffed out his cheeks in mild frustration, but nodded in approval.
“Yeah, seems fine.”


Valentijn opened his eyes slowly. Things seemed foggy for a minute before he began to focus properly. Reaching his hands out of the covers, he rubbed the sleep from his eyes, and suddenly realized where he was. Glancing around, he saw that though the other side of the bed had obviously been slept upon, Kadri was no where to be seen. Sitting up with a groan, he chanced a look outside. It appeared to be midday.
Leaping out of bed in a rush, Valentijn fumbled for his belt and boots. As he finished fastening the last strap of his left boot, he skipped across the wood floor, and out the door.
Inns in Ceallan were built much the same way as inns in Montejn; much like the dormitories of barracks. Many small rooms, about eight feet in length and six feet in width, with one or two straw mattresses, and a washstand. As Valentijn rushed down the hallway, he noticed there were three doors on each side, but had no time to pay more attention to his surroundings. Going down the stairs two at a time, he reached the bottom floor. Casting a look around the open room, he saw a few travelers on the wall benches in the corner, but not one resembled Kadri or Riagan. Deciding to go ahead and enter the room, he made his way over to the bar and to his relief he spotted the other two men. Riagan was engaged in a conversation with the bar tender. It looked like he was talking about Kadri. Kadri was wolfing down what appeared to be the first of three sandwiches, muttering corrections and replies to Riagan's comments around his full cheeks. Riagan spotted Valentijn first, as Kadri was absorbed in trying to eat and clear his reputation with the bartender at the same time.
Ho, Valentijn! Good afternoon to you. You slept a looooong time.” Riagan announced, grinning with mischief.
And how long did you two sleep for? I don't remember you getting up.”
About three hoursh.” Kadri replied through cheeks that resembled a chipmunk.
Ehhh...I slept about five.” Riagan replied.
Valentijn sighed.
What is it?” The auburn asked, his almond-shaped, dark brown eyes meeting Valentijn's.
Nothing...I guess I'll be getting my bags together, then. We can't wait around here for long.”
Valentijn turned to walk away, but Kadri called out.
Wait, Valentijn!” Valentijn turned.
I left something up in the room. I'll come along with you.”
You swallowed that food fast. Valentijn thought as he decided it was probably unavoidable and let the boy follow him. Taking light, soft steps up into the hall, Valentijn was almost sure Kadri wasn't even there, but when he turned to look behind him once, he saw the bent, blonde head, and the careful, gloved hand against the wall, feeling his way up the steps. Shrugging, Valentijn turned his head back around, and soon they found themselves in their room.
It was silent for a few moments, Valentijn immediately going for his bags and paying Kadri no notice until he realized the youth had not moved from the doorway. Careful, but curious, Valentijn snuck a look up at Kadri and found the boy's cocoa brown eyes studying him fervently.'re staring at me. Did I say weird things in my sleep last night or something?”
No...” Kadri replied, slightly distant. “You did kick me once, but that's not exactly what I was staring at you for. I was just curious as to how you think you're going to keep from being beaten up by the natives here.”
Eh?” Valentijn was now thoroughly confused. In fact, he was beginning to think after all his years of studying he still had issues in the knowledge department.
So you don't know?”
Apparently, Mr. Mysteriously Vague, I do not. Considering it involves my being beaten up, I think I should.”
Kadri laughed.
Sorry, sorry...” Kadri slowly leaned back, and though he tried to do it fluidly and casually, Valentijn noticed the unease as he shut the door. Most particularly, he noticed how the soft brown eyes darted about the room, landing on every corner. He's checking for escape routes...just in case.
Kadri's tone was even quieter than usual as he spoke. “...the Ceallan...they don't like you Kashihan's too much. Especially the ones here, near the southern border. Trust me, I know, I spent the first eight years of my life living here. Kashihan are the most hated race. Even on the school playground, a Ceallan will pretend to be a Grenan as the enemy, but they never pretend to be Kashihan.”
Valentijn did a double take.
So, you mean...they'd notice I was a Kashihan upon first sight?”
Well...I did. Something about your mannerisms, and your accent, of course. I can't really explain why, but it's best to be safe rather than sorry, isn't it?”
Valentijn sighed. Kadri didn't appear to be very good at explaining himself; it was always 'I just felt it' or 'I can't explain, I just did it'. “And what are you thinking of doing about this problem?”
That we continue traveling on this road, but at night. I don't know what you're traveling for, or where you're traveling to, but we might as well. If not for safety measures, the road is less busy at night anyways, and there aren't as many guards on this Ceallani road right now.”
Valentijn nodded reluctantly. Though Kadri seemed easily distracted, Valentijn trusted Kadri's knowledge of Ceallan,“Sounds fine to me. I guess you don't want me to go out, then?”
No, not really...” Kadri brought his shoulders up a little, nearly wincing, as if he were afraid Valentijn would haul off and hit him if he said something too commandeering.
Okay. Sounds fine to me,” he replied. Kadri relaxed a little.
As Valentijn stood and Kadri went to open the door, the younger paused.
What is it?”
Well...I was just thinking how strange it is that you seem so willing to trust me. Even when it's like this. Do you think I'm harmless?” Kadri questioned in accented Kashin, his abrupt thought pattern still evident in a different language.
No, I know you have something up your sleeve...somewhere. But I'm not going to go worrying about it when I have my own tricks and twists.” Valentijn replied in Mish.
Kadri chuckled, twisting the knob and swinging open the wooden door as he did. “Kashihan always have something up their sleeves. Though they might be changing recently...there are still things about them that are a complete mystery to me.”
Valentijn smiled as he watched Kadri go. When the kid was serious for a few minutes, Valentijn found he actually sort-of liked him. 

Alright, there we have it! (be proud of yourselves, my very few readers-you have forced me to edit one of my favorite parts of Valentijn's Chronicles! -_-)


Day 19-A Talent of Yours

I learn other languages.

I wanted to do this post with my video response to this-

But I came down with a cold, so I fear my Korean pronunciation is horrible right now and I can barely speak English past my sore throat, anyway. Thankfully, I can wait to enter something up until August 24th, which is plenty of time to get better. ^^

When I do make the video, I'll post it again with a post titled Day 19-so be watching for it! ^^

Friday, August 17, 2012

Day 18-A Time When You Felt Passionate and Alive

 There are multiple times I've felt this way...

Photo taken by my friend, Hannah, at Deja Vu All Over Again (blog button is on the right)
 I felt very passionate and alive at the moment just before this picture was taken. It was the night I realized I really wanted to go to East Asia. Not that I wished I could go but that if God's will permitted it I would. Figuring out what you want to do with yourself for the next ten years is preeeeeetty momentous. ^^

Other times I feel this way are when I see something especially beautiful; like the sunset, the ocean, a pretty color or a gorgeous person.

Music also has the habit of making me feel this way. There's probably too many songs to list here. ^^

Even today, I felt passionate and alive. My walk was beautiful, the air was crisp, the sun was bright, the wildflowers were in full bloom.


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Day 17-An Art Piece

One of the best uses of negative space I've ever seen on Deviantart. Plus, it's Avatar fanart, which is always very cool. The soft black and white is always lovely for Asian-style stuff.


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Day 16-A Song That Makes You Cry

Day 15

A Song that Makes You Cry

Most people know I don't cry too easily. I'm not the most stoic human being out there, but I try to keep the tears to a minimum, so songs don't normally make me cry.

-Nell's 'Thank You', a sweet, sad song that hasn't made me cry but is pretty heartbreaking-

Through the ups, downs, diagonals and sideways days there is one song that's been with me for a little over a year now. Somehow it always quiets my mood and helps me feel grateful and confident. I don't know if it is perhaps the lyrics to the song, or the singer's voice behind them, but this song has moved me to tears before.

Also note that this is technically K-ballad or a soft K-rock, not K-pop...>.<


Day 15-A Person You Admire

*winces* Sorry about forgetting yesterday. I was watching drama. XD Indeed, I have just now come up with yet *another* thing I can do for my blog-but thankfully it will only be a monthly thing to keep this place alive during school, hahaha.

As for someone I admire-I admire bilingual people who are intelligent and work hard.

 That can only be either the TTMIK crew or The Korean at Ask a Korean!, right?

 So, first of all for a person I admire I'll give a link to The Korean's English Acquisition post.

This guy is talented to be able to come here at that age and learn English as fluently as he has. Check out the audio clip link he gives to an interview he did.
 His language acquisition is inspiring and makes a person like myself think 'Oh, hey, maybe I actually can become fluent in Korean; if a Korean can become fluent in English!' (though I fear the man is actually quite a genius, even if he does downplay it).

 I don't agree with his political leanings nor the language he on occasion uses, but he gives some helpful insights about South Korea (especially in the area of politics) that are incredibly valuable to someone like myself. Here is the blog url-

 Since we are on the topic of acquiring foreign language, this is my most recent Korean-learning resource-

These people KNOW how to teach a language. I've been using the Byki software for about six months now to build vocabulary, but my conversational Korean skills are lacking. I've attributed this to the fact that I have absolutely no idea WHAT I'm learning. I can learn 'how are you?', but I just memorize it and go on...the problem is that 1. I can't use it and 2. I forget it quickly. So far with TTMIK the lessons are sticking because of how comprehensive they are. I hope my brain can stay engaged and I can learn this way. >.<

 My next language problem is Spanish classes at community college this fall. I'm so excited I could probably burst because
 1.) Finally, I think I can learn a romance language,
 2.) New language for the win! I can communicate with that may more people!
 3.) There are so many Spanish speaking people in this area that it doesn't take as much work to find someone to practice with (unlike Korean, which is the most impossible language when it comes to finding and actually meeting speakers that live here...though you can couple 'typical Korean personality' with the 'meeting strangers' part...)
but I'm also a little worried. I fear that the Spanish coupled with the meager amount of Japanese I'll be doing in karate will begin to confuse me. I doubt it'll be a big issue but sometimes I feel...wary. -_-

My excitement over having contact with Spanish-speaking people outweighs my fear of learning a romance language as a whole, though, so this is going to be fun! Not to mention, if I like it, I definitely want to attempt fluency in Spanish at some point. Doubt a college class will bring it about, but hey, it's a start.


Sunday, August 12, 2012

Day 14-A Vacation You Would Like to Take

Everyone also probably knows the first answer to this question. Since I have far too many vacations I would like to take, I'm going to list three. Yes, that's right, only three! >.<

#1. South Korea
Picture of Busan, South Korea from
Top on my list would probably be Busan. I have no idea why, but this city has fascinated me for a long time,  plus, the accent from this area of Korea is so cute! I just must hear more of it!

More of the Busan cityscape-image from

And another place I would like to visit would be Jeonju. Wikipedia lists some of the things that Jeonju is known for in their article about the city here. I would like to try the 비빔밥, or bibimbap, a mixed rice dish (that I love).
 The hanok village is particularly beautiful.
Hanok Village picture from
 One of my Korean friends lives in Jeonju and has sent me a few pictures of the village, plus the palace entrance.

Third place to visit would be Seoul. I'm not going to attach pictures, hahaha...everyone's seen Seoul.


Were you expecting that? ^^

Image of Lotus Lake in Kaoshiung, Taiwan from this site-
Taiwan looks like it would be a beautiful, fun place to visit. Yeeeees, I've watched a Taiwanese drama before, and that did peak some interest. But even before that I thought it was a cool place. It seems even more interesting now. ^^
Image of Taipei 101 from
#3-New York City, New York, USA

You're thinking ' were just there.', right? Well, I was just there. And it looked like this-

ALL DAY LONG. Oh, gosh. I love New York City, but I've only been there once when the sun was shining. I wish I could go once, just once, and actually enjoy the trip-no business shopping, no rain, and no scramble to get where we're going as fast as we can and then get right back out!


Saturday, August 11, 2012

Day 13- A Guilty Pleasure

Teen Top, a Korean boy band.

I bet Mom has been waiting on this one.

Oh, the boy band. The K-pop. The one that sucks up loads of time and keeps me from doing Korean lessons when I should. Couple that with stalking the Personality Cafe forums and you have my biggest time wasters and guilty pleasures. >.<

Sure, sure, I watch a lot of drama. It does take up a large time slot, but I actually have learned a LOT of Korean from those dramas. I learn a mere fraction in comparison from K-pop. In fact, the most Korean I learn from songs/recognize in songs is actually in songs by K-indie groups like Vanilla Acoustic, Vodka Rain, Sweetpea (amazing stuff) or 10cm, and K-rock/indie groups like Nell, Dear Cloud, and Gukkasten. So I don't just limit my music choices to Korean pop, by far. I've even tried some K-rap before, like Tablo (who is absolutely amazing) and heard a little Epik High (but I'm of the opinion that I like Tablo's solo work a bit more...erm, less cursing, generally).

So, K-pop. What do I like about K-pop? To be quite honest, some days I'm not sure. I like the catchy-ness of boy band songs like SHINee's 'Sherlock', the creativity and honesty of NU'EST's 'Face', the bouncy, happy cuteness of B1A4's 'Beautiful Target' and the sweetness and beauty of BTOB's '아버지' which means 'Father'. But then again, '아버지' is ballad.

I don't normally like the entire song lineup of a group. I just can't bring myself to be that die-hard of a fan. And to spite that most K-pop idols do photoshoots like this-

MBLAQ, four-member boy band whose name means 'Musical Boys Live in Absolute Quality'. Definitely not something WE would dare to name a group, but somehow, it works in Korea.

-and generally promote the clean, pure, first-love-is-the-last-love Korean ideal, they don't always write songs like that nor have videos that are clean. Not to mention the dancing from some groups can be downright totally wrong.
 Mind you, their music is a little less foul than our pop is here, but some songs, videos and dances just don't make the 'appropriate to listen to' cut for me. Too many references to the club, too much ghetto/gangster influence, or a bit too many English swear words.
 Another downside to Korean pop is that it tends to sound...manufactured. Like it's the same thing over and over again, without a lot of change in lyrics, style, or emotion. That's because most boybands don't even write their own lyrics or compose their own music; they hire people to do it for them. While I'm not totally opposed to that (hey, I considered writing lyrics as a career once), I do wish they would switch it up a bit more sometimes.

 Most boy bands manage to keep several of their songs pretty clean though, and there are rare gems of compelling creativity and genius writing that comes out of a boy band member once in a while.

 As to the other side of K-pop, girl groups, I will give a few words to express my opinion.

f(x), probably the only girl group I listen to consistently at all, posing cutesy (except Amber, the resident tomboy), looking like a Dollar Store exploded all over them, as Martina from EatYourKimchi, a popular Korean culture blog, would say.
 There are several girl group songs that I like. 2NE1's I Love You is absolutely gorgeous, f(x)'s Electric Shock, Hot Summer and (guiltily) Nu ABO are so catchy and spunky, and I must admit I do like Wonder Girls' Like This. Did I mention that K-pop groups tend to have the weirdest names? They actually make sense when you look them up, though.

 But generally I dislike the image of girl groups as a whole and their attitude filled songs. Add to that the fact that they dance quite seductively...generally most of the time. >.< So, yeah, wouldn't recommend the videos of these songs I listed. Just the music. ^^

 So, in closing, my favorite things about boy bands in K-pop would be the style, the music videos, the music, the talented singers, dancers, the rare cases of ingenuity, and lets just face it-a couple of those guys are seriously handsome.

SHINee, while practicing the dance for their song 'Sherlock'. The choreography was done by a man who also did choreography for Michael Jackson. The dance for Sherlock is surprisingly complicated and very impressive, though.

My favorite things about girl groups are their catchy music and bravely explosive and colorful style...though I would never wear some of that stuff myself.


Friday, August 10, 2012

Day 11&12

XD Sorry. Again. I'm apologizing a lot recently because I'm so busy.

This is a picture of me taken recently, Saturday the 4th, to be exact. ^^ The stuff on my face is facepaint from the Steppin Out streetfair in Blacksburg.
And as to a song I want played at my wedding-if I get married, shouldn't my husband have a say in that?! Seriously, he should be around to talk about it with me before I start making all the decisions on my own. This isn't about serving some partriarcal male who tells me what to do all the time. This is about loving someone enough to let them have a say, even if they don't exist in my life right now...or may never exist in it. This isn't my decision alone. ^^

Along with getting my face painted in Blacksburg, I also got to buy Boba Tea powder that is VERY similar to what I think macha would taste like...I can never find macha...
 Made myself some bubble tea with it. Mom once again wanted to play with camera affects. ^^

I also managed to snag myself one of Seokjin's rice/vanilla/red bean ice creams. It's shaped like a fish but it definitely doesn't taste like one! I love the delicate red bean coupled with the strong vanilla, and the fact that it is wrapped in it's cone...lovely!
Video concerning the ice cream which I bought. XD


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Day 10-A Photo Taken of You Over Ten Years Ago

Taken from my friend Hannah's blog, because our scanner doesn't work. This picture wasn't quite ten years ago, but it's very close...8-9 ish.

A post is to come at some point documenting my travels across Virginia/Ohio/New York this summer. ^^

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Day 9-A Photo You Took

I wasn't able to do this that much this month because I didn't realized JUST how much traveling I'd be doing, but I'm back until September, so hopefully I can finish. And I have a big project planned with all the photos and videos I took of my journeys.

Here is a photo I took.

In New York City