Friday, February 25, 2011

She Went To The Sea To See What She Could See

The first thing I wanted to do with my news eyes was see something new, so I walked to the end of town near my apartment.

Along the way, two old men eating raw fish and drinking soju asked me to join them for a snack and a drink.  Well, that's an elegant way of saying they beckoned me in a strange language then put chopsticks and a drink in my hand.

Nothing says breakfast like raw meat, booze and chili paste.

Honestly though, it was delicious.
 After I finished hearing about their knee surgery, the coolness of Sokcho and many other things (that I didn't really understand but smiled agreed too none the less) I headed on too lands end.

Peaceful and perfect.
Looking back at the city from the sea.
It's as lovely as it looks.
Nae-nae see's the sea and likes what she see's.
Since this place is near where I live I'll most certainly come back a lot.  
Can't wait to walk out on the rocks this summer.

The Glasses Are Half Broken, I Mean Broken In Half

This is what I awoke to last Sunday.

My beautiful Versace babies finally gave up the ghost.
After seven years of faithful service, my glasses just couldn't do it anymore.  Of course, my biggest concern wasn't sentimental, it was the fact that I'm blind-as-a-bat and it's not safe for me to go outside without some sort of help.  I'd most certainly fall off a cliff or walk out into traffic.

Thankfully I remembered where some tape was and was able to find it by feel.  After doing the best I could to put my glasses back together, I put on pants and went to discover how bad this was going to be.

As I walked down the street with my glasses all cattywumpus, I pondered how this was going work out when there:
  • Was a huge language barrier.
  • No current prescription to work from.
  • $90 in my bank account
I've actually lived in fear of this  happening for a long time.  I haven't been able to afford the $300 - $500 it would cost to replace my old faithfuls, so I've just let it ride for as long as I can.  Of course, on top of the cost there is always the wait.  It takes at least seven days for them to make my glasses since I require special lenses - how I'd get through a week of school was any one's guess.

So, putting all my fears aside I walked to the closest shop I could remember and tossed myself at their mercy.  Thankfully, I found them full of goodness and grace.

PROBLEM SOLVED: They took my prescription from my old glasses.
PROBLEM SOLVED: The most expensive fancy lenses are $55 ($350 in the states)
Twenty minutes later I walked out of the store with an amazing pair of 
glasses that cost a grand total of $73!!!

Now, I have no idea why they were able to turn over a some of the best lenses I've had in my life in a matter of minutes when, back home, they act likes it's a miracle of the gods to get them for me.  Nor do I know why the super compressed lenses with coatings were only $35 and the attractive frames were only $35 as well.  What I can say is that I couldn't have been more happy and thankful.

New glasses in all their wonder.
Of course, one of the funniest parts is that they gave me a glasses cast that perfectly matches my green apartment.  I guess I'm just going to have learn to like this color scheme.

Nobody Puts Baby In A Corner

This morning I realized I needed more room to bust-a-move.
There just wasn't enough space to go all Flash Dance too Cheap Trick.

So, after some thought I got to work.
The result, a perfect place to dance!
I can due a full cartwheel in across the apartment
HELLO... HEllo... Hello... hello.... Is there an echo?
The oranges not for the shoot, actually there for eating.

Bed much more cozy now.  Less like an island.

Keep in mind, I dance more like this:

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


I have been sick for quite some time.
It is not getting better.
Something must be done.

Step One: Vitamins
 Step Two: Nutrients
 Step Three: Medicine

Friday, February 18, 2011


 As soon as I left, Harri-bou and The Rebeqa started a gang.
Well it was only a matter of time, we do live in the 'hood.

Highpoint represent!

Ode to Seattle

Before I left Seattle I made this video for Latitude x Longitude.

Consider it a love letter to a city and sister I miss.

I Remember When

Plans change, life falls apart, loved ones leave and dreams crumble and you don't get to control any of it.  The only thing you control is how you react when it happens.  So what will it be?  

Will you sink or swim?  

Will you be happy or depressed?

Is this the end or is this the beginning?

Did you lose or did you win?

Was if failure or success?

Personally, there is so much in life I've stumbled over.  So many things I wish could have been different, and yet, I don't have regrets.  I tried, I pushed and I did the best I could at the time.  Are there things I now know that could have made it easier or better?  Yes, most certainly.  But at that time, in that moment - I did't know these things.  The best I can do is be thankful that I know them now so that I can do better in the future.

Still, for a while I did make failure my choice.  All the things I didn't get right ran over and over in my mind.  My self-worth bound in things I could not change.  There is a line in the new novel that says it perfectly, "Time passed at sixty-regrets per minute." 

But when it comes down to it - I fail at failure.

There is only so long I can feel sorry for myself before it just seems like too much work.  Instead, it seems more sensible to learn from experiences, decide what should be repeated and what should be left in the past. 

That is what I'm doing now. 

I'm taking the time to look at my life and decide what is my today and what is my past.  There is no way that a person can carry every part of their lives with them forever, somethings must fall away to memories so that you can smile and say, "Ah, I remember when."

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Dietary Restrictions

Interesting fact:

The only food that makes me sick in Korea is westernized food.  
It's too high in fat, grease and crap-o-la.  
I guess I wont be able to supplement my caloric intake with donuts.  

Back to the side dishes.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

WARNING: Post Contains Toxic Levels of Cuteness

My new hobby.

The girl from OZ

On Friday I stopped off for dinner and had the happy chance to run into a visitor from OZ.  We ended up sharing a table and going out for drinks late into the night as the snow piled higher and higher.
American Bar
 The next morning we met again for coffee and a day of site seeing.

My favorite place for morning coffee and pastries.    
A perfect day for shooting

Sokcho from the bridge to no where.
 It was a wonderful day of:
  • post-holing in skirts
  • a half finished bridge
  • treacherous stairs
  • $6 endless sushi
  • a boat on a rope
  • lots of laughs
Mostly though, it was a refreshing break from solitude.

Home Sweet Home

Here is what the place looks like now.

Created an office with the dressing table.

Work by local artists brighten up the cardboard.

Solved the color issue by putting an under blanket on top.

Nice little warm reading area.
When I get better internet I can watch movies

Up close of the office.  Really happy to have work space.

The bathroom

In the end I actually think I got the better end of the deal.  This apartment is much better then the one in the pictures, it was just hard to see when I was hungry and exhausted:
  •  There are windows.
  •  It’s bigger
  •  The furniture matches
  •  There is more storage
  •  There is a bigger bathroom sink area
Plus, there are many wonderful things I never expected like:
  • It’s very close to downtown so I can easily go back and forth for anything I need throughout the day.
  • It’s near the beach.
  • I have a nice view of roof tops.
  • There is a random 7-11 in the basement
  • Warm blankets
  • Hot, hot water in the shower
  • Full sized washer
  • Free Korean TV stations
  • Desk area
  • In floor heating
  • Quiet neighbors  
  • Set of Italian spices
Really happy to have inherited these.
 Here is the new video tour:

The Nitty Gritty

My first night I slept like a baby.  That's why I always travel with my sleeping bag.  It's my home away from home.  No matter where I am, when I'm in my Northface wubbie I'm happy as a clam.

A home :: A hug
The next morning I woke early and got down to business.  I needed to figure out if my apartment had potential.  With only a few hours until work, there was no time waste lamenting about the color of the perfectly matched furniture.  Especially when, as I unpacked, I realized that 90% of what I own is green so apparently I'm not all that opposed :)

The first order of business was winter proofing the windows in an attractive, effective way.  I can't do pea yellow plastic ineffectively taped to random things.  It doesn't work and it's depressing.

Looking around the apartment I realized I had everything I needed to do what I needed to do:
  • A clothes cupboard
  • Two flat sheets
  • Two curtains
  • A giant cardboard box
  • Tape
Who knows why this was in the apartment, but it will be handy.
The cardboard box I cut and flattened to fit in the smaller window.
I totally lucked out because one side of the box is actually really nice.
After adding the cardboard, I moved this curtain to the other window.
 Next I used the bathmat to easily and safely slide the
cupboard over in front of the smaller window 
effectively creating the perfect barrier from cold.
My clothes will be chilly in the AM but I wont be.

The floors here are soft so be VERY careful moving things.
 Once the small window was taken care of I took the two flat sheets, doubled them over and used them to line the two curtains on cover the big main window.  I also removed the ugly yellow plastic bags.  Once I was done the room warmed up immediately without even turning on any heat.  The alteration also made the windows usable again so I have a great view on warmer days.

You can't even tell the curtains didn't come with lining.  It rocks.
After this was finished started adding the important details.

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This was a gift from Soviet Russia over 20 years ago.  It goes everywhere with me.

Harry got Kitty for me before I left so I would have company.

 When I travel I take along a ton of scarves because they can be used for anything.  I've used a number of them to make the apartment more beautiful and cozy.  Notice the beautiful cold one that my Aunt Trista made for me.  I wore the other one like it to my first day of school.  Whenever I look at it I'm reminded how much my family loves and misses me.

This is a heater that is no longer in service, so I'm treating it like an buffet top.
 Finally, after work I went to the E-Mart to get picked up groceries, an electric bed mat and coat hangers.  Luckily I paid close attention to what I was buying and realized - before it was too late - that I didn't want liquor eggs, spoiled eggs or fertilized eggs.

I have to figure out what these are. Maybe I'll buy some next time.
Finally, thanks to the teacher who left me a bunch of homemade pasta sauce, I finished my second day in my apartment with a big pot of comfort food.

Exhausted, I fell asleep in my sleeping bag for one last night.  I needed to be sure my handy work was effective over night before I dared just sleep with blankets.

When I awoke in the morning the apartment was completely livable even though no heat was turned on.  


Trick or Treat?

Arriving at my apartment for the first time
after a long day at work, 
exhausted having eaten little more then 
1/4 cup of rice and 1 cup of flavored water
it was just as I had expected -
NOTHING like the photos they had sent me.

Here is a review of the actually apartment when I arrived:

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Everything is sea foam green.

Notice the plastic bags & missing curtain. How does that help the heat?

Notice the giant box, wondering if Brett's mother sent it.

 Exhausted and distraught by the sea of sea foam, 
I went to the 7-11 in the basement and purchased:
  • 1 iced coffee for morning
  • 1 instant brown sauce noodles
  • 1 can of tuna
 Freezing, I managed to make my dinner before
crawling into my sleeping bag.  The taste of tuna 
and noodles felt like a hug from home. 
Before I drifted off I asked myself,
"Was this different apartment a trick or a treat?"