Happy New Year. Again.

I have four days off -- in a row. Happy Seollal.
I woke up to four inches of pristine white snow.  Even 23 million people can sound muffled in four inches of snow.

I got a massage today. It was GOOD.

I have a SERIOUS case of senioritis. I am so anxious for the next phase of my master plan to begin that I find myself forgetting to live in the here and now.

The writing prompt for this month's test asked my kids to invent a new animal and then describe it. Anthony wanted to invent a cock. Man, did he ever have a twinkle in his eye when he dropped that bomb on me!

I think I'm falling in love with my second graders. Last week we did a lesson on idioms and now everything is a 'piece of cake.' 

I desperately want a new camera, computer, haircut, pair of shoes and winter coat. I need exactly none of these things.

Gustav Klimt has been stalking me throughout Korea. I knew nothing about this artist until my dear friend Lorien introduced him to me by way of an art project at school. Koreans seem to love him, can't get enough of him. I've seen his work as puzzles, murals in bars, backdrops for fashionable cafes and on countless handbags, posters, and calendars over the past nine months. And then today, as I was waiting for the subway, I saw an ad for a Klimt exhibit. Of course, I have no idea where it is, as I have not bothered to learn Hangul. But I shall persevere...

The Kiss
The Tree of Life
Adele Bloch-Bauer I

I am nursing a teeny, tiny crush. 

Valentine's for AIDS is coming up and I have submitted a piece. Check it out at the Flying M Coffee House at 5th and Idaho starting February 8th.

Gimcrackery is a real word. I know because my office has decided to do a word of the day. And blogger didn't check it as a misspelled word. There's a LOT of gimcrackery here in Korea. I'm practically surrounded by it.

My mom thinks the banana bread I baked today is only good because I live in Korea and my standards have somehow been lowered on account of there being no decent bakeries. Except that there are good bakeries and my banana bread was phenomenal.  

Sometimes there is amazing art to be found in this utilitarian country. Over the past few weeks I have visited the Seoul International Photography Festival and the Leeum Samsung Museum of Art. The works at both entranced and inspired me, but what really got me were the spaces. The SIPF was held at the old Seoul train station, a dilapidated, sprawling maze of a building, completely out of place in modern-day downtown Seoul. The juxtaposition between old and new and the eerie charm of the building (and the fact that it was freezing ballz cold inside) definitely left an impact. If you have a chance in the next week, you gotta check it out. Also, they have an entire exhibit of user-submitted work and photos from HS students. And the Leeum? Go, you'll be amazed.

I watched Obama's inauguration while roasting s'mores at 2AM. I think that's a pretty good 'where were you when?' story.

That's Michelle Obama through a toasted marshmallow.  See, food IS cute.
Who needs a campfire?

Damn, how'd this get so long? 3 more months...


Job of a lifetime

How does one prepare a resume for this?


A little Catch-Up

My, how time flies when yer havin' fun.  A quick update:
1. I am (very) happily heading home at the end of my contract.  I love Korea, and I'm by no means done exploring (or paying off debt), but I need a breather.  I need to pinch my nephew's fat cheeks and drink mojitos on the patio and swim at K&K's and raft and see Shakespeare and ride my bike again.  And I need to recharge for Round 2.  Right now the plan is to teach creative crafts to angry HS boys all summer, then be back in Seoul by mid-August. 

2. Dawn came to Seoul!!  We had an awesome time exploring, traveling and catching up.  I value her friendship and insight so much and she was just what I needed to get me through until May. And I'm pretty sure her obsession with the Wonder Girls is just beginning.  Girl, I KNOW you were humming "Nobody" the whole way home! Check the pics here.

3. And while we're on the topic of vacation, might I add that Christmas spent with my friends was really good.  Amanda, Erica and I threw together an amazing breakfast Christmas morning, complete with stuffed french toast, scrambled eggs, friend potatoes, tons of fresh fruit, huckleberry pancakes and Erica's very own grits.  Oh, and mimosas.  Cheers!

4. My good friend Amanda had a birthday a few days after Christmas and that usually sucks, right?  So Erica and I decided to surprise here with a trip outta town to see K-Pop singing sensation JYP!  What better way to truly experience modern Korean culture that by attending a K-Pop concert?!  To hell with all those trips to palaces and temples and the Korea House, if you want a true picture of what modern Korean culture consists of, go to a pop concert.  It was so different from a concert in the States, that I'm not quite sure where to start...

First off, the tickets were WAY too expensive, especially for the venue.  Hello, we were on bleachers in what felt like a really nice HS gym.  

And then there was the orderly fashion in which the GA ticketholders were arranged.  As in, they were actually arranged.  I only mention this because Koreans RARELY queue for anything. Everyday I am pushed and shoved and prodded out of line.  I am cut off and disregarded on the regular, so it was really funny to see the ushers organizing everyone into straight lines in GA. And the fact that everyone stayed put and followed suit is even more astounding.  

Korea, you can't fool me anymore; I know you know how to queue, so just go ahead and get BEHIND me, thanks!

Then there was the show -- One Night Stand, he called it (so clever). But I gotta say, by the time he asked us to come home with him, he had every foreigner in the crowd (all 7 of us) convinced that Korean men ARE sexy. I was already convinced.

Check the pics rest of the pics here.

5. Daegu is not colorful. Don't let that adjective fool you.

And finally, the revolving door of Korean hagwon teachers is in full swing.  Janet's last day was Thursday, and this Tuesday Tim will hear his final call of 'Teach-uh!!!'  For better or worse, I'm pretty good at 'outta sight, outta mind', but these two will definitely leave a hole.  So many of my Korean adventures, memories, frustrations and bouts of tear-inducing laughter were shared with them, that I can hardly imagine what Korea would have been like without them.  I will miss them both dearly.

*Don't fret though, we partied our asses off Friday night.


Mama, I'm comin' home!

At least for the summer. I think Ozzy said it best...

I have so much more to write, but seriously, my blogging mojo is waning. I'll get it up by Sunday, though, I promise.


Happy New Year

Last week one of my students asked if we could watch Rainism in class.  I had no idea what was in store. Enjoy.