JYJ Countdown: D-26

Before I post my JYJ awesomeness of the day, I have to share something else that is also awesome. My day started off with some of my students wishing me a happy birthday for yesterday. This was extra nice, because it means they remembered this fact from over 2 months ago when we did a lesson on dates and occasions. ^_^ And then, after lunch, I got a super wonderful and sweet gift from one of my most thoughtful grade 6 students: a Happy Birthday letter written in both English and Korean, because she knows I want to learn more Korean. This seriously makes me misty-eyed. You can check it out on my Instagram if you want…

Is she awesome or what? Love that kid, seriously. ❤

So, to continue with awesome things, I think we need to check out JYJ performing Empty (another English song), live in Vancouver in 2011. There are quite a few videos of the guys performing this song on YouTube, but this is one of my favourites… it may or may not have to do with the pelvic thrust move that they do when they sing ‘So I’ll deny my heart, cuz I won’t live a lie…”

What? Like you wouldn’t enjoy the same thing from your favourite group? Whatevs.

Anyway, here it is, check it out:

Ahhh JYJ. You never fail at making my day just a little bit brighter. ❤

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JYJ countdown: D-27

Today was my birthday, but since it’s a Sunday, I celebrated it last night instead, so I’d have a recovery day. 🙂 I went out with a bunch of friends in Chungju and had dinner (BBQ in a place set up like you’re camping-kinda kitschy but cute, and delicious). Then we went for drinks at a place that serves a watermelon soju cocktail in a hollowed out half watermelon. More deliciousness. Afterward, we went across the hall from the place we were at to the 노래방 (Karaoke room) and sang for a few hours. So, basically, I celebrated my birthday the same way I did for the past few years, except on the other side of the planet, with a different set of friends. (Hey, I like what I like…)

노래방 was fun, particularly since I had some fellow Kpop fans there, so we sang CN Blue, 2NE1, GD and an entire set of JYJ. 🙂 One of the songs we sang was an English song of JYJ’s called Be My Girl. I love that song; their voices sound so good in it! They have an uptempo remix of it, which I also like, but my favourite version is the original. Slow and R&Bish, and when they perform it live, Junsu does this sexy little dance where he gyrates his hips while singing the chorus of “You should be my baby, baby, baby, baby…” Seriously, watch the video of them performing live, and check out how enthusiastically Junsu dances (and how even more enthusiastically the crowd responds to it.)

The man is just made of sexniess, I tell you… Pure, raw sexiness. And yes, I KNOW I’m biased, but I don’t care. It’s performances like this that made me so heavily Junsu-biased. The man is crazy talented. His voice is amazing, and he’s one of my very favourite dancers in all of Kpop.

Jaejoong and Yoochun do a great job with this song too, but I’m going to admit that as much as I love them, I have to actively make myself pry my eyes off of Junsu to notice either of them when they perform this song.

Counting Down to JYJ-28 days

From today, there’s exactly 4 weeks until I see JYJ in concert. Even though I’m still disappointed with my seats, I’ve decided to focus on the positive: I’M FINALLY GOING TO SEE JYJ IN CONCERT! So, to celebrate, I’m going to try posting something awesome and JYJ related every day until the concert.

Today, I start with one of their music videos. This song is from their In Heaven album. It’s one of only 2 songs from that album that they made an MV for. The song and video is about discovering your girlfriend is cheating on you with one of your friends… I can’t imagine why anyone would want to cheat on any of the 3 of them. (Well, I mean, I could be tempted away from either of the other 2 by Junsu, but that’s just cuz Junsu is my ultimate, be-all and end-all perfect man, so that doesn’t count. 😉 )

Anyway, here it is:

Get Out

This video is one of my favourites, because all 3 guys look great in it. It’s definitely among my top 3 looks for all 3 of them.
I like Yoochun best with longer hair, but the short hair and a suit works really well for him too. And in the dancing scenes, when he’s not wearing the muscle shirt and vest combo, his arms look fantastic.

And speaking of arms: JUNSU! OMG JUNSU’S ARMS! Junsu looks amAAAAzing in this video. His arms are all toned and sexy and I love both the colour and style of his hair, which is something that doesn’t always happen. Junsu sometimes makes haircolour choices that aren’t my favourite, but in this MV, he’s right on target. And whether he’s sporting the muscle shirt and vest arm-bearing combo, or the sexy suit, or the silver jacket, he looks fantastic. And yes, I admit I’m a bit biased, but just look at him in this MV, he looks great. You can’t argue against that.

Not to be outdone by his dongsaengs, Jaejoong is in peak form in this MV. It’s perhaps my favourite look for Jaejoong – or at least tied with Mirotic era Jae… I always flip flop between those two looks. But anyway, I digress, he looks stunning here. The dark hair styled up off of his face is just perfect, and the scenes with him in a suit make melt just a little bit.

Get Out is one of my favourite songs to dance around to (at home, where nobody can see me!) I know when they play it at the concert I won’t be able to resist dancing and singing along, no matter how terribly I do it…

Ecstasy and Agony

Sooo… last night the 2nd round of JYJ ticket sales happened. Just like last Wednesday, my friend and I headed to the local PC 방 (faster internet than the crappy connections we get in our building), hoping this time we would be successful, since last week’s venture left us empty handed. I logged in to my Interpark account, and at 8:00 pm on the dot, I tried to pull tickets. SUCCESS! I got 3 tickets in the VIP section within the red oval:

seating map

JYJ concert seating map – Seoul August 2014

Yes! Seats in the area that is encircled by part of the stage! RIGHT NEAR THE ROTATING PLATFORM WHERE THEY WILL PROBABLY SING IN HEAVEN AND DO THAT THING WHERE THEY TURN TOWARD EACH OTHER AND FEED OFF OF EACH OTHER’S ENERGY AND CREATE THIS AMAZING SYNERGY THAT I WOULD SERIOUSLY CONSIDER GIVING A KIDNEY OR PART OF MY LIVER TO SEE UP CLOSE! Yes, those seats!

Life could not possibly get better! Those seats were literally a dream come true for me and I had them in my hot little virtual hands!

I proceeded through the ticket purchase process – something I’ve done at least a dozen times by now, so I can do it quite easily, even in Korean – and got all the way to the screen where you select the method of payment, but for some reason, the list of bank cards wasn’t coming up, and where the ‘Next’ button usually is, it said  잠시만 기다려주세요,  so I waited for a bit. But I also didn’t want to wait too long and lose my tickets, and there was that little ! in the status bar at the bottom of the window that indicated an error, so I had my friend on the computer next to me try to grab a single ticket elsewhere and see what happens if you hit the ‘previous screen’ button. She did and the tickets were still intact, so I decided to back one step and then try again, hoping that when I got to the payment screen, my tickets would still be there, and they were! I was successful!  Yay!

It allowed me to select the method of payment and move forward one step. Then… when it came time to input my card details, there was a notation of an Active X that needed to be allowed. So I allowed it, because otherwise I couldn’t proceed. AND THE DAMN PAGE REFRESHED BACK TO THE BEGINNING AND RELEASED MY TICKETS!!!!!!! And try as I might, I never got them back.

So, now, I’m stuck sitting in the seats within the navy triangle on the map above. It’s a far cry from what I had been in reach of just moments before. Now, unless you’re a  huge, devoted fan of something, the way I am of JYJ, you might not understand how I feel, but let me tell you that my heart literally hurts and tears well up in my eyes when I think of it. So I am doing my best to try not to think of it, and just focus on the fact that we got tickets, which is much better than our attempt last week, and that I will finally, after years of waiting, get to see JYJ together. Live. In concert. Making magic like only they can.

But I needed to get it all out of my system in order to move on, hence the post.

I’ve also decided that I’m going to try to get a ticket for their Hong Kong concert the following week and change my flight for my trip to Japan to accommodate a side trip to Hong Kong… They have general admission floor tickets, and that’s what I’m aiming for. Wish me luck! Maybe third time’s a charm?

Oh, and just in case you want to see what I mean about JYJ’s synergy as they perform In Heaven, you can watch a fancam here. It’s a great performance, and the synergy part really kicks into high gear around the 3:37 mark.

 

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.

Father’s Day… bah humbug

March 3, 2000: The day that made me forever feel sad, lonely, and, I have to admit, a bit resentful on every single Father’s Day that has come and gone since.

I foolishly hoped that moving to Korea, where they don’t celebrate Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, (they have Parents’ Day in May) I could escape those feelings this year, but, of course, this is the era of social media, which means I’m never truly all that far from home. So, even though it’s still Saturday night on the other side of the Pacific, my Facebook news feed is already filled with people thanking their fathers and/or husbands for being great dads, and people changing their profile pics to ones with their dad. I don’t have any digital pics of me with mine, unfortunately, so I can’t even do that. 😦 So, here I am, yet again, feeling resentful toward every girl out there who still has their daddy, and missing mine even more than I do on a daily basis. And, instead of having Korea be a safe haven where I can escape displays of a happiness that I can’t feel on this day anymore, being here has actually compounded the loneliness I feel every Father’s Day, because I’m all by myself while my family is together for our annual golf tournament. Last year at this time I was being “serenaded” my nephew D and my cousin O, with a chorus of “Trea to Korea, Trea to Korea…” Granted, they were doing it to be brats cuz they were hassling my oldest brother and I hassled them back on his behalf, but damn, what I wouldn’t give to hear that sassy little refrain right about now.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t regret being here in Korea. I love it here. It’s a beautiful country with lots of things to do and see, and I’ve met some wonderful people that have made being in a country whose language I don’t speak much less lonely, and often quite the opposite. The decision I made a little over a year ago to uproot my comfortable little living situation and move to the other side of the globe was one of my better ones. But life is what it is, so that means sometimes it’s awesome being here, and other times it’s hard. Today, I’m just having one of those moments where it’s kind of hard.

I miss my Dad. After 14 years, I still think about him every single day of my life, and I still feel an empty space in my heart that used to belong to him. I miss his voice mail messages saying “Trea, it’s your favourite father. Call me so I know you’re not dead in a ditch somewhere.” I miss his chicken noodle soup whenever I’ve got a cold (and I think I’m coming down with one now, dammit). It was just the Lipton’s dry packets, but he knew exactly how much of the flavour cube to put in to make it taste just right (cuz the full thing was way too much) , and the exact time to take it off the stove so the noodles were the perfect level of doneness. I miss him playing guitar and singing. I miss his twisted sense of humour and his willingness to be silly once in a while, just for the sake of amusing me (and himself). I miss debating and arguing with him (cuz we almost never agreed on anything), and sometimes I even miss fighting with him. At least, when we were fighting, he was still alive, you know? Bottom line is, I miss him like crazy and I hate the month of June because first we have Father’s Day, and then there’s his birthday on June 25th. It’s a double-whammy month for me, and being away from home hasn’t really done much to take the edge off of it. 😦

Anyway, this is just me being all emo… A girl’s gotta play to her strengths after all. Happy Father’s Day to all the dads and dads-to-be out there! And to all the girls who are lucky enough to still have their dads in their lives… cherish that fact, because one day you won’t, and you may find yourself missing him so much that even the things about him that currently make you want to throttle him don’t seem so bad after all.

I think I’ll make myself kinda scarce on Facebook for the next 24 hours, listen to a whole bunch of K-pop and pretend the rest of the world doesn’t exist…  Catch you on the flip side…

Block B – so friggin amazing live!

This weekend, my friend and I went to see Block B in concert. It was friggin’ amazing! They put on such a fun, high-energy show and I didn’t want it to end. All of the members were so impressive.
Zico is just… mind-blowingly talented, and hella hot. Seriously, that man. And on top of that, he’s such a sweet and cool guy. U-Kwon moves in ways that just make me all melty inside. He’s got amazing stage presence and that smile in person is eve more freaking amazing than in pics and videos. It lights up the whole arena. Those two solidified their places in my heart big time. B-bomb displayed the most amazing personality. I knew I liked his personality from variety/reality shows, but when you see that come out in person, it’s even more amazing and awesome to experience. Taeil has some serious singing chops. Man, his voice. Kyung is just all kinds of adorable. I appreciate him much more now that I’ve seen them live than I ever did before. Jaehyo was as cool and sexy as I expected, and PO impressed me with his stage presence.

Overall, it was a concert that was well worth seeing. I just wish I had an official light stick. They weren’t available when I went to buy one, so I had to settle for one of the fake cheapo ones from the ahjummas and ahjussis who set up tables of unofficial merch outside the venue. Next time, though, I’m gonna have me one of those beehives!

Returning to an old love: Naruto Shippuden anime

Because I am a big wimp about things like character death, I tend to procrastinate on watching/reading stories I love if I know that a death is on the horizon. So… about 2 years ago, I got spoiled about a specific character death in Naruto that I… just wasn’t ready to witness, and so I kinda sorta put off watching the show for a while. That while turned into 2 years. But I’m back watching it now and…

Before I continue, I should clarify that I am woefully behind in watching, (ie I’m currently watching episode 86 of Naruto Shippuden) because I put off beginning the anime it for a long time, at first because, based on watching a couple eps of the crappy dubbed version on TV, I didn’t really think it was an anime I’d like, and then, once convinced otherwise, I put it off because I knew that there were character deaths in this series and, as I mentioned, I’m kind of a wimp about that. I didn’t know who died, though, just that some characters that people liked did. That was enough for me. Like I said, wimp.

Anyway, I got back to watching it recently, and the event that I didn’t want to have happen happened. It was just as heart-wrenching as I expected. It had an emotional impact on me, just as I knew it would. But now that the event itself is over, we’ve moved into a portion of the story (still linked to the event, but not centered around the specifics of that event) where one of my very favourite Naruto characters, Shikamaru, is the central figure. These past few episodes have been completely Shikamaru-centric and I’ve been LOVING it. They really highlight how completely ingenious and badass he is.

Shikamaru

Shikamaru – my favourite Konoha badass

He’s a character that I liked from the very first moment he had real screen time on the show. There was just something about him that intrigued me. The only character I like more than Shikamaru is Gaara, whom I love more than I can possibly explain, and I think after these past few eps, Shikamaru has moved up and is now tied with him for first. He’s just that freakin’ awesome.

Anyway, there’s no real point to this post other than to gush about my renewed Naruto Shippuden love and how completely amazing the BAMF character Shikamaru is. Really, I should be prepping for one of my classes tomorrow, but I’m playing to my strengths and procrastinating instead.

Before I end this I have to share THIS AMAZING FANART that I discovered when searching for a pic of Shikamaru to include in this post. It’s so gorgeous, I think I may have to start looking for more Naruto fanart to enjoy…

NarutoFanart

Sasuke, Shikamaru, Kiba, Naruto

(note: the pic links back to the page I found it on, if you wanna go searching for more yourself…)

Okay enough babbling, back to lesson prep watching Naruto. 😉

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.

^_^