Seoul Sick

Is it possible to feel home sick for a place that was never really your home?

I've been researching schools in Japan and Seoul to apply to for next year and just realized how much I miss Seoul! And I found I missed the little funny things I never thought I'd miss, like the sound that the trains made when we were approaching a station and the automated voice announcing the name came on. Or the mountainous piles of umbrellas that would block the stairs outside the goshiwon I stayed in whenever it was raining. Or walking into the Coffee Prince cafe and trying not to squeal because it looks JUST like the cafe in the drama. Or even watching episode after episode of 우리 결혼했어요 (We Got Married) and being like "WHAT ARE THEY SAYING?....AND WHY AREN'T CROWN J AND IN SEO IN YOUNG A COUPLE IN REAL LIFE?" I miss eating too spicy dokbogi and not knowing how to order pizza. Cute, old ajumas whispering like little giggling school girls on the train, crazy permed hair and all. And most of all I miss being folded and tucked away in a crowd and knowing I didn't fit in with everyone else but knowing that was okay and that people would be that much more welcoming because I didn't.

I really hope to go back to Seoul soon. I was there for seven weeks but there's still so much more to see and experience there. I've researched working at SMOE the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education but we'll see what's the right fit. Gotta crank out a resume too, but I already have some references lined up. It's coming along one step at a time.

Last week was a week from Hades with a crazy art project and two projects for my communications class. Then we had a freak one day snow storm but I got a lot of reading and writing done, which is always good. About 45 pages into second book in Calling You series.

6 weeks until graduation!
1st woman's detective agency is super cute! I didn't know Jill Scott was such a good actress!


Sping Break '09 so far


I picked up a new book at work the other day. College Girl by Patricia Weitz and I've got to admit...the whole thing is like a massive case of deja vu! Because while I may be in the mid/southwest and not the northeast, or still living in the dorms at TU (thank god) this is totally my life! The story follows senior history major Natalie Bloom through her trials of love, confusion about still growing up when you're supposed to already be grown, and facing the harsh reality of graduating from college and not really feeling like you've gained much of anything (other than copious amounts of alcohol in your system and student loans). I'm only about a third of the way through but it's definitely good already. A Face Out in my opinion.

Okay, so I totally left the house this morning intending to just get my paycheck from work...and I kinda came back with a new laptop. Which, you know, happens sometimes. I still have my old one but it was on its last legs. Okay, it was down to nubs by now but she was trying. Like the little search engine that could. I'm thinking about holding a funeral service for it. Maybe a wake, really short, intimate. Only a couple of friends to properly celebrate the life and times of a good little soldier. However, this new laptop also meant that I got the full Vista experience for the first time...not much more that needs to be said about that...

After playing around with my laptop for a while I went to the zoo today with my best friend in search of hippos (come on, big bodies and cute little bear ears it doesn't get much better than that...okay I obviously watched Fantasia one too many times as a child) but no such luck. We did see the flamingos though, and as everyone knows, pink trumps all.

Naturally after a day on safari, and generally walking around in the Oklahoma sun, we decided to hit up McNeille's (awesome bar with about a million different kinds of beer) afterwards but it only made me sadder because I had been there only a few days earlier for another friend's going away dinner party.

He and his girlfriend-who totally hooked up at my 21st birthday party, you know, in between all the Cuervo shots they made me do-are moving to Palo Alto,CA because he got a job at Facebook. Which, the last I checked, was supposed to BRING friends together and not TEAR them apart. Haha, but alas, it's an awesome opportunity and I'm just sour grapes because I'd love to move to Cali.

Talked a bit about next year and now my friend and I are thinking about teaching in South Korea instead of Japan depending on the job market. We both have lots of love for both cultures-and their foods-so it's really a win-win. I just can't wait to get back to Asia. Night markets are an amazing trend that America really needs to pick up on.

So are 24 hour karaoke rooms/norebang.

And Soju.

Listening to the new Wonder Girls trilogy album. So cute! I could listen to the song Nobody forever. Or until it made my most played list on my iPod. Whichever came first...


Las Vegas HOO!

So I'm a little bummed that Spring Break is next week and the only destination I'm setting out to is work (sadly where there will be no gratuitous consumption of alcohol, half naked guys, or consequentially creepers walking around with cameras and promising free t-shirts for a peek at a certain part of my anatomy that guys seem to find very interesting....actually, maybe there might be alcohol...) but I did get a call today that made me hopeful that my summer might just be salvaged. Some friends of mine from elementary/middle school are trying to have a reunion of the city of sin!

Because there's nothing quite like seeing the girls you were in scouts with, running around a foam bath...we were taught to leave places cleaner than we found them you know! Next week we'll be buying our plane tickets and sadly we won't be going until August but hopefully it'll be a great way to say sayonara to the US before me and my friend Jen head out for a year of teaching, fun, and culture not of the American sort.

In literary land, I was reading a YA forum and realized that I had never read a Judy Blume book before. So at work the other day I picked up Forever and all I've got to say is hot damn.

I'm beginning edit draft number 1,000 5 of my manuscript for Calling You: Sealed. It's sitting comfortably at a little less than 107,000 words but I'm really happy at where it is. My mom and english prof are editing it again and I'm hoping to start the query process soon, along with the other million or so novelist hopefuls out there.

Le sigh, but it'll happen. Here's draft number 2,000 of my query letter:

Before 17-year-old Samantha Grace met worldly and irresistible Liam Miliankos, her biggest challenge was getting the hell out of her small Oklahoma town, preferably to a place that wasn’t completely obsessed with football. That ambition changes the day Liam reveals that her unusually bright eyes, once the source of town gossip, are a sign that she is an immortal.

She is a Mara, a being descended from a troupe of gypsies who stumbled upon the Fountain of Youth nearly eight hundred years ago and have been living their frivolous lives in secret ever since.

And more than that, the brother she didn’t even know she had is claiming to be the source of the rage inducing virus that’s sweeping the nation. The virus she is the real source of, and now he’s wasting away in a research facility while scientists strive to find a cure.

Guilt ridden but determined, Samantha must find a way to save her brother’s life without screwing up the future she and Liam could have together or being caught by the group of Mara who want her dead for unknowingly endangering their secret. She has one hope, Calling, a rare, dangerous power that one day will allow her to control the other Mara. She just has to put her lifetime of perpetual wallflower-ism aside and gain the confidence to master the power before it masters her and everything she loves.

Still have a few more tweaks I know, until then I shall be Twittering away. US Cellular will be very happy with my phone bill, I'm sure, unlike my father.


P.S. Anthony Bourdain doesn't know but he's been married to me for a few months now. I can't get enough of No Reservations.

P.P.S. My cat really has a Television problem. She's supposed to be addicted to catnip, not Animal Planet...


Sad Times at Borders South

Things are getting scary and it's all the economy's fault. Alright so I've never been a fan of economics. I took macro in high school and then again my sophomore year in college and barely scrapped by with a C in both semesters (though in my defense the sophomore year one wasn't really my fault as my professor barely spoke English and now the advisors won't even let Arts and Science majors enroll in her class, which would have, you know, been really good to know two years ago...) but I think all the complaining I did about supply-demand charts and fiscal policy have come back to bite me. As an English major there are pretty much two fields open to me in the future aka, two months from now when I graduate. Anything involving books-since I can obviously read them-and education.

According to a Reuters list I read, these are industries that shouldn't be hurt too badly by the recession but in the past week I've had proof suggesting otherwise. The first came in my small group communications class where I learned that my prof's position will be frozen. Aka, won't be there next semester. Which means that he won't have a job (on the other hand we will have a freakishly green U. What's having teachers and getting an education-you know, that thing we're paying $20,000+ a year for, in comparison to unnaturally green grass?)

The second came yesterday when I got to work and found out that not one but two people from our store had been let go (Borders as a company let go of some 750 employees a few days ago.) This was very saddening and definitely didn't help in store morale because they were both employees that we cared about and were hard workers. Honestly I've never really thought about the recession. It always seemed so far away, trapped in bigger cities and newspaper headlines, but now reality and settling in and I can't help but be worried for my own future.

Things like these doesn't really register until they come close to you and you can see that these are real people who are trying to support their families. Times are hard and I can only send my love, thoughts, and prayers out to everyone who is touched by the recession. We as a nation have a lot of healing and learning to do but I have faith that we can do it. As they say in the Korean dramas I can't seem to get enough of. Aja Aja, fighting!


My computer is allergic to Youtube

Alright so for a couple of hours now my computer has been freezing up on one website and one website only: Youtube. Unfortunately, that just so happens to be one of my biggest addictions! How will I live without my extensive favorites list? And my K-pop. Everyone knows my life isn't complete without watching people attempting to do the Wonder Girls 'Tell Me' dance until I'm blue in the face! (And secretly know the dance too!) The knock offs: Hulu, Crunchyroll, Daily Motion etc. aren't doing it for me and I'm starting to have withdrawal symptoms. Seriously! I've totally got the shakes (or maybe that was the shot of espresso I had just before close...)!

So, I've been reduced to watching actual TV and I've got to say it pretty much sucks. Except King of the Hill, of course. As a dweller of the sort of southwestern area I can attest that there are some people like that who live here. I had a prime example of such characters earlier today as I was at the register, checking people out.

At Borders we have to ask every customer if they have a Border's Rewards Card-it's free and there are no forms to fill out so why not, right?-Well I was doing as my job dictated and asked this shining gem of a customer if they would like a Rewards card when they said they didn't have one, and I received this gracious, unbelievably eloquent reply: "No, I ain't got no cable."

I kid you not!

What do CABLE and a REWARDS card have in common? Your guess is as good as mine but this is the type of thing I get on a fairly regular basis. Now, I won't say that ALL okies are like this. I mean, there are some of us out there who consider ourselves reasonably intelligent, and you know, able to recognize the difference between a customer savings card and a bundle of wires wrapped in a plastic protective coating that transmits information, but then occasionally you find the "I ain't got no cable" type too.

Note to self: Get the hell out of here as soon as humanly possible-aka after graduation on May 9th.


P.S. My independent study prof-the head of the English department here at TU-has deemed my manuscript "readable". This is a good thing right? He's reading the latest edit now. Crossing!