Category Archives: The world we live in

Ew. Ew. EWWWWW!!!!

I’M SO TRAUMATIZED RIGHT NOW!!!

You know when you see a bit of thread or fluff on your floor and get momentarily startled, thinking it’s a bug? Well I just had the opposite thing happen. I saw what I thought was some stray thread kinda balled up on my floor (not wearing my glasses or contacts) so I bent down, picked it up, and just kinda rolled it between my fingers to ball it up more. But then it felt kinda crunchy and not threadlike at all. It was a spider. Which I picked up and unknowingly killed with my bare fingers.

And it crunched!

In my bare fricken fingers! Which I’ve washed 3 times now, but they still feel like dead spider. I know it’s all in my head, but srsly, I need to bleach my brain or something after that!

I think I may go barf now.

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New Year’s Eve thinky thoughts

2014

With a little less than 5 hours left in 2013 for me, I feel the need to reflect for a moment or two.

This has been an interesting year. The first half was uncomfortable for me. I felt isolated a lot, both at home and at work. Ahh… work… yeah… Work made me really unhappy a lot of the time. Not as unhappy as my first year managing the training team, cuz that was disastrously stressful, but it definitely wasn’t making me feel fulfilled. Or useful. And I think that feeling seeped into my non-work life as well.

Fortunately, I  have some good friends near and far (especially my KDKP fam) who helped prop me up when I needed some extra TLC. And I had Kpop. Roll your eyes if you want. Shake your head and judge me as a weirdo and crazy fangirl if you need to, but the truth is, Kpop is my happy place, and has been for a few years now. It’s my escape from all manner of stressful emotions: whether I feel sad, angry, frustrated, worthless, overwhelmed… whatever negative emotion I feel, if I immerse myself in Kpop for a while, that feeling dissipates. I don’t know why it works that way for me, but I’m not gonna question it.

Kpop also played a part in my decision to quit my job and move to Korea to teach English. It wasn’t the REASON I came to Korea to teach – my interest in Korean culture goes beyond pop culture, and my desire to teach English overseas goes back many years – but the idea that living in Korea could mean more opportunities to see Kpop shows, and specifically to see JYJ live in their own country, gave me the courage to cast aside my fear of rejection and ignore the large part of my brain that kept screaming “No, you don’t like change! Change is scary! Change is bad! Don’t do that!!!”

So, despite 2013’s rocky first half, today I sit here on New Year’s Eve happier and more content than I’ve been on any NYE in recent memory. I love my job to the point that I didn’t mind working until 4:40 today, because it meant hanging out with my rural school students watching Star Wars, decorating cupcakes to look like Princess Leia, having battles with lightsabres made of animal balloons and laughing my butt off on more than one occasion. I’m going on about 4 hours of sleep, because yesterday, I booked it to the bus terminal after school, hopped on a bus to Seoul, met my friend at the subway and headed to Jamsil Sports Complex to see Junsu (yes, JUNSU!!!) in concert. Afterward, we stayed up talking until way too late, then I woke up a good 2 hours before sunrise, hopped on the subway, headed to the bus terminal, then got on a bus back home to Chungju so I could get washed up and ready for my afternoon at school running English Camp. Yet, despite being tired, I’m happy. And I’m going to head upstairs to one of the other English teacher’s apartments where a bunch of us are going to enjoy a Mexican themed evening filled with games, yummy food, sangria, and, I’m sure lots and lots of laughs. Yeah, not a bad way to welcome in 2014. 🙂

Happy New Year, everyone! If 2013 was good to you, I hope that trend continues. If it’s a year you’re happy to see the end of, I hope 2014 is much more to your liking.

World’s most adorable students

I didn’t expect to love teaching as much as I do. I mean, I’ve been doing training for a while and I love the teaching part, but I didn’t expect to love the kids as much as I do. I’ve never been big on large groups of kids together… they tend to get really, REALLY noisy. And my students certainly can bring the noise, but somehow, I kinda tune it out. (I’ve had people tell me that as parents they develop that skill, otherwise they go kinda batty. I guess the same goes for teachers.)

Anyway, I teach some of the cutest and most awesome kids on the planet. Seriously.  On my first day at my main school one of the grade 4 boys gave me a packet of vitamin C drink you add to your bottle of water. I don’t even teach grade 4, but I got a present. And speaking of the grade 4 kids, we had a holiday on Oct 3, and my friends and I were walking toward downtown Chungju when we met up with a group of young girls who all giggled and said “Hello” in English. Then just after we passed I heard “Trea saem?” (saem is short for seonsaengnim – teacher)  in an excited tone, so I turned. Sure enough, the group was a bunch of the grade 4 girls who know me from seeing me around the school or in the office next to the classroom when my co-teacher is teaching them. I lifted up my sunglasses and when the girls saw my face they all squeed and ran toward me to give me a huge hug. It was ridiculously cute.  Then, to top it all off, the the following week, when I saw them at school, they all excitedly ran up to me and told me that they saw me walking to Shinae and asked did I remember that? They squeed again when I said I did. Adorable!

And along the lines of gifts, I got an apple from a grade 1 student at my 2nd school back in September:

apple

Apple received as a present on Sep 12, 2013

And this week, a couple of girls in one of my grade 3 classes came up at the end of class and handed me these:

Origami giftie

Origami from grade 3 students on Nov 4, 2013

My students are so giving! And amazingly honest. I’ve given out markers and crayons and glue for use and always get all of it back. I mean even to the point that if one marker gets left behind in class, they will come up to the English room and bring it to me. Or, as much as they all go completely batty for stickers, I can leave my pack of stickers in their classroom and someone will bring it back to me, completely unscathed. I love that about them.

Anyway, there are a million reasons why I love my students, but this post is getting long, so I’m going to have to tell you about some of the other reasons in another post. It’s time to head home for the day.

^_^

Video

Jaejoong on MTVK

Woohoo! MTVK will be airing an exclusive interview with Jaejoong. They posted a teaser today and my oh my is Jaejoong ever sexy when speaking English. The image below links to the video on MTVK because WordPress doesn’t seem to like MTVK’s embed code…

Kim Jaejoong on MTVK

Jaejoong will release his new single “One Kiss” on Jan 8

This makes my little fangirl heart squee with delight!

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Kim Jaejoong will release ‘ONE KISS’ as a preview track on Jan 8, prior to the release of his first solo mini-album called ‘MINE’

C-jes entertainment official said, “MINE, which is the title song and album title of Kim Jaejoong’s first mini solo-album, was produced together with Kim Bada. A large scale music video for the heavy rock song was also produced.’ONE KISS’ will be released online on Jan 8 around 12 noon. It is a song which features Kim Jaejoong’s charming, husky yet sweet voice and is suited for the cold winter weather.”

Also,”We will release an MV behind the scence cut and MV teaser for ‘MINE’ on Jan 8″, he added.

Pre-orders (both online and offline) for Kim Jaejoong’s mini solo-album will begin on Jan 7. It will be available on offline stores like Kyobo Bookstore and Synarra record store, as well as online sites such as Kyobo…

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JYJ: a group worth falling in love with

Junsu, Jaejoong & Yoochun

Junsu, Jaejoong and Yoochun, the 3 members of JYJ

If you’ve read my about page or scanned through earlier posts, you’ve probably figured out that I’m a bit of a JYJ fan. And within JYJ, Junsu is my favourite of the trio. He is the perfect combination of ridiculously adorable, dorky and sexy as all getout. His voice is unequalled, not only within the Korean music industry but worldwide. Seriously, the boy gives me goosebumps when he belts out a tune. He’s also a phenomenal dancer and the ultimate showman. I was fortunate enough to catch his show in New York City on August 30 of this year and he rocked my world from the moment he stepped onto the stage. I still get a fluttery feeling in my tummy when I think about that show. I’m not gonna lie; I was so overwhelmed by the experience, that I found myself unable to contain my tears by the time he sang his final encore song, Fallen Leaves, which he wrote, composed and arranged himself.

Junsu, Jaejoong and Yoochun are all incredibly talented and passionate performers who deserve to be in the spotlight, yet because of an ongoing dispute with their former management company, they are banned from all broadcast stations and have a hard time finding venues in which to hold events. This article in the Asia Sentinel does an excellent job of explaining the situation, so please take a few moments to read it. Perhaps if enough people know about the situation, some sort of solution will be found.

And if you’d like to check out JYJ and Junsu’s music, visit their YouTube page, and then, because I know you’ll love them, here’s where you can buy their albums.

Kim Junsu was at the 32nd National Para Games, but not on TV :(

Junsu performed at the 32nd National Para Games opening ceremony, but somehow it didn’t appear on TV as expected. This is such a frustrating thing for his fans and for him, but I have to say that I’m super proud of Junsu, because he handled it with class, grace and dignity.

Read more about it in the link below the image.

Junsu's tweets and selca

Junsu’s Twitter response

NEWS] 121009 JYJ’s Kim Junsu Treated Unfairly at the 32nd National Para Games Opening?.

After working with Junsu on Uncommitted, Bruce “Automatic” Vanderveer tweeted some highly complimentary things about him Bruce “Automatic” Vanderveer has also previously worked with singers such as Christina Aguilera, The Wanted, Leona Lewis and more.

JYJ3

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This news made me EXTREMELY HAPPY tonight. Junsuuuuuuu~! ❤ ❤ ❤

JYJ3

Kim Junsu is bringing his music magic to the Americas and Europe.

On July 16, C-Jes Entertainment revealed Kim Junsu would be touring North America, South America and Europe in a world tour with plans to stop at two or three cities per continent.

The agency shared, “From the beginning we targeted not only Korea but also Asia with Kim Junsu’s solo album and aimed for abroad with the music video. We are in the middle of a successful Asia tour but have continued to receive an outpouring of requests from the Americas and other places abroad and we have thus decided to embark on a world tour.”

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The agency also added plans for a new album saying, “With the world tour we are currently preparing a repackaged album. This new album will include an English single targeting the world and its music video will be produced in the U.S…

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JYJ Acoustic Performance on MTVK in 2010

 

Preamble: How I got sucked in to the wonderful world of K-pop…

I have a friend who is a huge fan of JYJ, the Korean pop group formed by the 3 members of Dong Bang Shin Ki (DBSK) who severed ties with their management company SM Entertainment back in 2009 due to unfair contract terms. I was familiar with DBSK for a few years, having been introduced to them via their Mirotic video. Although I had no interest in K-pop at the time, I really liked that song, and the video… Well what can I say, the video consisted of 5 hot guys dancing really well…

Anyway, although Mirotic had been on my playlist since I first saw the video, I didn’t venture any further into the world of K-pop until I was dragged in, kicking and screaming, by my friend Lisa. I had read a number of her blog entries about JYJ, and admired their good looks in the pictures she posted, but I didn’t really have time to fall into a new fandom, so I resisted checking out their music or their videos for the longest time.  After all, they were K-pop, and I was trying to learn Japanese, so I wanted to stick with Arashi, and perhaps check out some more J-pop. I allowed myself to get distracted enough from my Japanese pop culture consumption (which was, of course, meant to help expose me to everyday Japanese and therefore improve my studies… >.>) when I started watching Korean dramas from time to time. What can I say, Lee Min Ho is just too adorable to resist. But there was NO WAY I was going to start listening to K-pop and get further distracted.

“Oh, but they also sing in Japanese, and have a ton of Japanes songs with DBSK too,” said the evil enabler, Lisa. And, like a fool, I checked out the links she sent me.

BEST. DECISION. EVER! WOW! I loved their music. I loved JYJ and DBSK (beyond just Mirotic). I was hooked.

Fast forward to now, and I’m so firmly ensconced in K-pop love that, last night, I just booked a flight to New York in the fall because Big Bang is playing at the Prudential Center on November 9th, even though concert tickets haven’t gone onsale yet. And I will most certainly be booking another flight to NYC when JYJ return there eventually. (Soon please!) I’ve fallen for a number of Korean pop groups since I giving in to thesiren sound of K-pop, but JYJ and DBSK are still my favourites!

Anyway, that was my long-winded introduction to some JYJ awesomeness that I want to share. These are a couple of acoustic performances they did as part of a secret show for an intimate audience that was filmed for MTV Korea back in 2010. Check ’em out. They’re awesome!

Empty:

JYJ Empty AcousticBe My Girl:

JYJ Be My Girl Acoustic

I love what Junsu does toward the end of Empty when he’s singing “Your heart is empty, empty empty-di-di-di-di-di-di,” and I am completely in love with the acoustic version of Be My Girl. Heavenly.