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a sky full of lighters
23 December 2020 @ 10:22 pm

When your nerves burned with pain, they did it to save you from being hurt again. The fragile beauty of your bones supports you. You are architecture and electricity. You are story and song, ancient and young. You are made out of stardust and memories; you are an ambitious bony fish. Every scrap of you is independent, living, thriving, burning with purpose.

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a sky full of lighters
13 December 2013 @ 10:28 pm
I graduated. happy graduation to me!

I also moved to Korea, although I'm currently sitting in a hostel in Osaka, Japan. visa issues are a bitch. did you know you can only apply for a Korean visa through a consulate in your home country? unless you're a teacher with a confirmation of visa issuance number, in which case you can get your visa any damn place you choose.

the last three days have been a blur of not understanding anything anyone says to me, which is an abrupt change from Seoul. even though my Korean is intermediate at best, I still have enough knowledge that I basically understand what people say, and I can make myself understood when I need something. in Japan, I have no idea. like, if it weren't for the guy at Famima gesturing to the microwave when he asks me if I want him to heat up my packaged dinner, I would have no idea what on earth he just said.

but it's a beautiful place, a beautiful city. I like it much more than I liked Tokyo when I went last year, although I think I would like it more if it weren't alone.

I switched my flight so I'm coming back to Seoul on the 17th instead of the 20th now that I know my visa request won't even be accepted, let alone processed. it'll be nice. I forgot to give my alien registration card back to the immigration officer before I left the country and I'm not 100% sure what that means. am I committing immigration fraud?

what else. nothing, I guess. hi guys, bye guys, just dropping in to say I'm still kicking.
a sky full of lighters
18 June 2013 @ 01:09 am

Since I've seen a lot of people in various places asking for more information on M.I.B I figured I'd go ahead and compile what I know in hopes of helping whoever needs it... yeah.

a sky full of lighters
12/6: Final performance test for piano
12/7: Final paper due for AmLit
12/11: 10-12 page research paper (factors motivating the academic performance of underprivileged youth in urban public high schools)
12/11: Poetry slam for the students I taught all semester at St.B
12/12: Poetry slam party for students at WESM who don't get included in the poetry slam listed above
12/12: 6 page research paper (lol nbd) comparing and contrasting the economies of two Asian countries (probably Korea and Cambodia?)
12/13: 7 page reflection paper on processes of detecting the divine in literature
12/13: 7 page analysis paper answering the question of whether Maurice Bendix believes in God
12/13: Paper critiquing the assessment that we live in an age where the highest moral good is love

On the bright side, I don't have any actual test-tests... like no multiple choice or anything. Just a shitload of papers and a poetry slam to prepare for. I kind of wish that the poetry slams could have been timed in such a way that they aren't like 2 mandatory hours of not writing the papers I have to write for the rest of my classes, but oh well. There's nothing I can do about it. (I also don't like that the professor didn't include the WESM students in the poetry slam she's hosting for St.B students, leaving me and Katherine to either organize, fund, and host our own poetry slam or let the WESM students get left out of the year-end festivities.)

I finished my Korean class at KCCLA, where we obviously don't get graded or anything, and next week I'm supposed to be participating in a singing contest (participation in which meas free registration next term!) but I don't know all the words and I have like 7 million papers to write so I'm not sure if I'll even participate after all... Plus, I just finished Intermediate C, which means there's no more Korean left for me to take at KCCLA. They don't have Advanced courses. So...

It's funny to me that I finished Intermediate C though because I suck at Korean??

Well whatever. Anyway, I'm alive. Mostly. Peace.
a sky full of lighters
27 August 2012 @ 05:23 pm
I think I'm probably resigned to the fact that I'm never going to use this journal the way I used to use this journal. I've moved out of a lot of the fandoms I used to be in and I don't really have the time to update regularly (though I'll probably update more regularly now that I'm back from Korea).

So I'm doing a friendscut! Mostly I just want to know that the people who are on my friendslist and can see my locked entries are people I know actually care, rather than people who I friended four years ago at the height of my animanga phase and who I have nothing in common with anymore.

If I defriend you, it's nothing personal, I promise. It doesn't mean I don't like you as a person or anything. And of course, anyone is at any time welcome to unfriend me too—I promise I won't take it personally! ♥
a sky full of lighters
05 July 2012 @ 03:15 am
Hello wow it's been like 329847 years since I updated!

Uhh well... honestly I'm not going to recap the entire last almost-two months since I last posted because that would be super boring, and I think the people who are interested in my life in Korea are probably already reading seoulrhythm. So instead have something completely different!

I'm actually going home from Seoul in 3 days (I leave on the 8th and also arrive on the 8th, timezones?!), and I've been kind of reflecting on the matter. I think I've had a really wonderful and enriching and totally atypical experience of Seoul, in the sense that I came with certain expectations that ended up completely blown out of the water by how phenomenal it was. I've met a lot of people whose company has been wonderful and who have definitely changed me a little bit, even if only through the way I deal with annoyances, haha. I've done everything I've wanted to do in Seoul (and Korea—and Asia, actually, since I also got the chance to go to Tokyo and that was amazing), and so I don't think I'll regret it when I go home.

It'll be weird as shit to be back in America, but I think being away from home has also helped me appreciate things I previously took for granted—being able to communicate easily with people around me, for instance. Always knowing what's in food products because I can read labels. Being able to find things in department stores, and if I can't, being able to ask someone to help me find it! Driving! Fresh fruits and vegetables! Etc.

Of course, I still want to come back to Korea when I've graduated college and maybe spend a year or two teaching here before I go on to either graduate school or a real career. But before that, I'll have some time to re-familiarize myself with America and all the things that I can do there but can't do in Korea. \o/ Yeeee.
a sky full of lighters
18 May 2012 @ 02:19 pm
It's been like a century and a half since I updated my journal o h m y g o d. As usual I tend to write more over at seoulrhythm than I do here, but I figure I may as well update over here too occasionally, right?

Besides my hideously depressing last entry, I feel like I haven't written anything about my trip to Seoul so far. I mean, I covered a few things briefly, like Simply Kpop and etc., but I think the last real update I did was around the time Natalee and I finally settled our issue with tickets for Infinite's Second Invasion concert? Which was back in what, late March, so... yeah. Been a while.

I never thought I would say this, but honestly I have kind of a rhythm of life in Seoul so far. Weekdays are mostly classes—Korean class has ended by now, but before then, I had class Monday-Thursday with Fridays off (Korean Cultural History on Monday and Wednesday, Linguistics on Tuesday and Thursday, and Korean on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday). So weekdays, with the exception of every other Wednesday, were dedicated mostly to school and class endeavors (and every other Wednesday to Arirang's Simply Kpop taping). Then on weekends, sometimes both days or sometimes just Saturday or Sunday, Natalee and I (and occasionally Thea, Karmie, and Kat, or any combination thereof) would go to music shows like Music Core or Inkigayo.

Periodically we also attended random events, like F.Cuz's guerilla show in Dongdaemun, but for the most part the above is how our schedules look any given week.

It's funny how totally different life in Seoul is than how I expected it to be. At least on the kpop end of things, I was expecting we'd go to maybe one concert, maybe one musical, and a handful of music shows—and that was it. But we've been incredibly lucky when it comes to music shows—we've gone almost every weekend, and we've had the opportunity to meet a ton of idols, like WE, U-KISS, EXO, BAP, F.Cuz, Ulala Session, Mighty Mouth... This is something I hadn't really even considered when I was planning this study abroad session. I was like, "Maybe I'll see a few idol groups." I never imagined that I would be close enough to idols for them to follow me on Twitter.

But the kpop side of things isn't the only thing about Seoul that's amazing. It's just... it's weird, how sometimes I still—after three months—look out my window and am like, "Ah, right, I'm in Seoul." In some ways it's very similar to Los Angeles: No one can drive or walk on the right side of the sidewalk, there are a bajillion huge buildings, etc. But in most ways it's wildly different than anything I've ever experienced, from the obvious like the language (and resulting language barrier) to the less obvious like how hard it is to find some things in Seoul (like bacon, wtf).

I was worried initially that I would get to Seoul and it would disappoint me, or that it wouldn't be what I'd imagined and I wouldn't love it the way I wanted to. But honestly, the opposite has been true. I absolutely love living in Seoul. Even with the daily struggles of language barrier, Seoul is a phenomenal city—I love how busy it is, how easy it is to get places (thank god for the Seoul Metro), the intermixing of nature and industry, the placement of important cultural icons in the middle of the city. I love the contrast of old and new, of traditional and modern—that's what interested me in Korea to begin with, how Seoul could simultaneously exist in this conservative state of tradition and a progressive state of modernity.

Of course, there are bad things too. Seoul's persistent obsession with physical appearance, for instance, and the emphasis on being skinny—you can only find clothes in a certain set of sizes in Korea, not because everyone in Korea is that size, but because they want everyone to be that size. But I wouldn't say that's enough to keep me from loving it.

I have five weeks left here. Natalee and I are going home on the 23rd of June, and honestly I think... we've been making lists of "good" and "bad" of going back to America, and the list of "bad" is waaaay longer than the list of good. Well, that's not necessarily accurate. I'm really looking forward to seeing my friends and family, and I miss 3G, and I miss being able to eat American breakfast (Korea has a really funky idea of what constitutes a western breakfast, to be honest). But overall, I think this has really only solidified my desire to come back to Korea someday to live for a longer time. It'll be nice to be back in the States, where I don't have to rack my brain for verb conjugations every time I talk to someone, but otherwise... yes. I definitely want to come back to Korea.

Ah! That entry got way longer than I meant it to. I also have some reviews—I've been watching way fewer movies and reading way fewer books since I cam to Korea, since I'm so busy doing... pretty much everything else, but I did manage to power through a couple ㅋㅋㅋㅋ So under the cut, Some Assembly Required (by Anne Lamott) and The Avengers! There may be some spoilers in the Avengers section, sorry!

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