Sockstuff

(from my blog participation at Tickets To:)

Cute socks are a thing. I don’t remember them being a ‘thing’ in the States, but I do remember seeing what I considered to be cute socks and buying them. Even if I don’t wear them because I lived in Florida and we don’t believe in socks for 10 months out of the year.

In Korea, however… cute socks are a BIG thing. And I LOVE IT! I have pretty much gotten rid of any pair of boring sock I brought with me and have happily replaced them with awesome socks. They have socks here that are a ‘pair’… where the picture is in half and you can put them together and make a face or something.

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Another fantastic one tend to be some kind of animal or superhero on the heel which is the mouth. Like this Batman one:

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And of course this is my favorite. Just look and laugh. They have it in weird Asian faces or ‘yellow hair’ people. If you’re lucky you’ll get Frankenstein or a Mummy. Ha!

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This is a perfect gift for friends and family back home. They’re cheap at only 1,000-2,000won (less than $1) each. Until you buy 20 and then it adds up.

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Laci

Living abroad is amazing. I don’t regret it for a minute. Well, some things I do regret. Not seeing my cousin getting married. Not being there for big birthdays. Not being there for graduations or to celebrate jobs or certifications. Not being there for family when they’re sick or injured. But this one is hitting me hardest right now. Today, my family is putting down our dog.  So here’s my tribute to my bestest furiend.

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We knew she was a sweetheart from the beginning.
Our neighbors came home with a white labrador named Graci. We came home with her sister, a more golden colored girl named Laci.
They were quite the pair: Laci and Graci. Graci was a bit more energetic, always trying to get Laci riled up, luring her into the lake and then not letting her back on shore. Laci preferred to just hang out and watch everyone play.
Maybe she was lazy. She definitely was my Lazy Laci. Is. She’s not gone yet, but it’s not long now.

laci tired
I’ve been the traveler in the family: living in Hawaii, living in Tampa, Thailand, and now Korea. I always found the times I was home to be a little hard. But my dog helped me through it. She was a good girl. Is still. She’s not gone yet, but it’s not long now.
She’d drive my family crazy trying to wake up and go out and eat at 6am. But with me, she found a way to just sleep in. We shared that trait: holding it until we couldn’t anymore before scurrying out of bed to go to the bathroom. She’d groan a bit and sit up and lay back down and repeat until I finally opened my eyes.
When I came home from Thailand, she was so happy. I think she didn’t believe it was me, but when she realized it, she was all jumping and cuddles.. like in the youtube videos. We hung out all summer. We would go for drives and hang out. We’d sleep in and eat and be lazy farts. We’d tan outside and then go back in when it was too hot or if it rained. I got her to the dog park a few times. And my lab, who was terrified of water (see Graci above), finally went back into the water. Babysteps. First up to her elbows, then up to her chest, and then one day she swam. She’s not a fetch kind of dog. She’s not a chase after and run like crazy dog. She’s a hang out by your side and race home when Mom’s car goes by kind of dog. She loves the Grinch as much as I do. Her favorite toy was my Grinch doll. Is. Is. She’s not gone yet.
She was proper angry with me when I told her I was going to Korea. When I came home for my cousin’s wedding, I found her on the couch and she just rolled over and waited for a belly rub.

laci bed This bitch could outsleep the best of us.
I left again and came back as a surprise last Thanksgiving.. two thanksgivings ago. The whole family was gathering at my uncle’s house, as usual, but everyone was bringing their dog. Except Laci. Nobody knew I was coming in except my brother and cousin-in-law, so I swooped home and picked her up and listened to her whine for an hour drive to Uncle Scott’s.  When my grandparents and father pulled up and were carrying stuff inside, I let Laci out and she just casually walked up and sniffed the grass. My dad said, ‘Whose dog is that?’ My uncle replied, “I don’t know. It looks like Laci.” And there I was. She was my helper that day.
I was home for a few weeks. The night before I left, I sat with her on the couch and we cried together. She cried for me. She just whined and got angry at me for leaving. I didn’t know it’d be the last time I saw her alive. I swear I didn’t know.
She’ll facetime with me. She’ll whine a bit and jump a little and tolerate a mediocre belly rub from my brothers or mom, but nobody could give her the belly rub that I could.
laci shirt

She was not a happy camper when I tried to keep her from shedding, but she tolerated it.
She’s an old lady. Loyal, Angelic, Calm, Intuitive. My Laci. My princess angel-face. I don’t know how I’m going to sleep at night when I’m at my mother’s house. I’m going to be so cold sitting on the couch without her to sit on my feet. She’s been there for me through so much. She’s been there for my family. She stayed with my brother when he was sick on the couch. She allowed the cats to cuddle her or bite her without retaliation. She’s been there for me through more than I can probably recall. And here I am, in Korea, when she needs me the most.
I won’t forget her. Her weird way of sitting with her legs apart. Her double high fives for my brother.laci high five Her shake when you told her to lay down. Finding her in the car when I left the door open for just a second. Towel time. Her hair everywhere. Everywhere. Her babydolls. Her ‘couldnt give a shit’ look for other dogs. Her stealing treats from the neighbor’s house. Her morning cuddles. Her lazy ass on the couch days. Smoking with her. She just wanted to be around us. She couldn’t decide if she wanted to be inside or outside usually. Her selective hearing the last few years. Her.

Soon it’ll be time to sleep, but only one of us will wake.

Sleep well, my princess angel face.

Laci Angelface

2015: Resolutions Review

 

Let’s review my resolutions for 2015…

Original: 1. I want to lose weight. Just like everyone else. Except this has to happen. I can’t handle looking at myself in photographs or on a scale. I have never weighed more than I do now and I don’t ever want to again. The number is so despicable to me that I can’t even say it aloud.

Resolution: Lose 15lbs.

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!!! I was close to 165lbs and am now down to about 143lbs. 10 kg down. 20 lbs. Well done, me!

2. Get laid. Seriously, I thought I was being practical last year with that whole ‘get laid 20 times’ thing.. such bullshit. However, I refuse to give way to this one. I will get laid at least 20 times – it counts even if it’s with the same person. No need being a slut about it. I’m 28, not 22.
MISSION VERY ACCOMPLISHED!!! A special thank you to those who participated in helping me achieve this goal. 😉 You know who you are. 

3. Visit 2 new countries again! Last year I had hoped it would be Japan and Taiwan. Instead, it was Japan (twice) and Philippines. I would still like to visit Taiwan this year, my goal instead of Japan is Malaysia. Luckily I have a friend who lives in Kuala Lumpur who I have made many promises to visit….

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!!! I managed to visit Malaysia and Dubai in 2015. I also got to revisit Hong Kong and Japan. I’d say it was a very good travel year.

4. VISIT GARY in KL!! (gary – this WILL happen)

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!!! Thank you Gary and Jon for hosting me and putting up with my elephant-itus legs. It was an honor becoming a lobster with you Gary. And I’m more than pleased to say that Gary swung through Korea and we had a lovely champagne brunch…. and looked WAY better than we did in Malaysia. Boys, congrats on putting a ring on it! (your finger. a ring on your finger.)

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5. Save 10K – something that is not as easy to do in the US. It’s pretty simple for people working in Korea. When my flight and housing are paid for, I get a pension, and hopefully make a few $ on the side by selling food and what not… this should be easy.

                 MISSION NOT QUITE ACCOMPLISHED!! 😦 I’m more than halfway there though! Yay for that. And it is possible that I can have that by the time I get home if I don’t go spending it all again. Damn. I’m bad at this one.

And so, with 2015 gone and 4/5 resolutions completed, I’d have to say that I did damn well! Look for the new blogs with my 2015: A Review and another with my 2016 resolutions.

 

Resolutions 2015 Update: August Edition

It’s August 4th. The year is more than halfway completed. I have 5 months to make these resolutions happen. I am so pleased to update this post. There have been some seriously good improvements, and some others that still need improvement. But hey.. ce la vie right?

1. I want to lose weight.

Resolution: Lose 15lbs.

May UPDATE- – – I think I have lost some weight. The heaviest I was at was 75kg (about 165lbs). My average is about 73 kg (about 160lbs). The last time I weighed myself I was at 70.6kg (about 155lbs). When I wrote this, I was thinking of how much to lose, not really a goal weight. I’m changing it to goal weight now. I want to be no more than 140lbs (About 63.5 kg). I have a ways to go, but I will not allow myself to get back up to 165 again. The last time I weighed myself was on my birthday – – I will go find a scale today and see again.
AUGUST UPDATE – – – I HAVE DEFINITELY LOST WEIGHT!! I recently weighed in at 66.7kg (147lbs). I don’t know how I did it. I kind of want to give credit to Mirena, but I also now live on a hill and maybe that has helped a bit?

2. Get laid.
Resolution: get laid at least 20 times – it counts even if it’s with the same person. No need being a slut about it. I’m 28, not 22.
May UPDATE – – – Yes. This is a much better year than last year. Numbers aren’t needed.
AUGUST UPDATE – – – 😉 😉 :* :* I should say mission accomplished, but far from over!

3. Travel
Resolution: Visit 2 new countries again! I would still like to visit Taiwan this year, my goal is Malaysia.
May UPDATE – – – 1 down, 1 to go!! Malaysia was visited in February. I am going to Japan again this weekend with my mother, but it’s still early enough to visit another country!!
AUGUST UPDATE – – – I have visited Malaysia, Japan, and Jeju (and island in Korea). Still have another country to try and visit!

4. VISIT GARY in KL!! (gary – this WILL happen)
May UPDATE – – it did happen! GOAL ACCOMPLISHED!
AUGUST UPDATE – – – Gary is coming to Seoul! for like.. a day ish. But still!!

5. Save 10K – something that is not as easy to do in the US. It’s pretty simple for people working in Korea. When my flight and housing are paid for, I get a pension, and hopefully make a few $ on the side by selling food and what not… this should be easy.
May UPDATE — it’s not as easy. I had two medical procedures this year already that has cost me nearly $1,000 USD. I also missed a market (which makes me a few hundred extra) and haven’t done any massages. My side business is seriously lacking. Hopefully I can start massages again soon though and make that dough!! On the bright side, I found out I have 3kUSD already saved thanks to that pension plan!!
AUGUST UPDATE – – – Failing. After the whole medical procedures thing, I was let go from my job and have new employment. (Details about that in another post coming soon.) So ..yea… not really doing well on the savings resolution. I have been doing massages and voiceovers again, but they haven’t quite added up to a savings bundle. However, it seems that I am at least doing the other stuff right!

Single Lady: Maldives

I’m a single 28 year old American chick. I’m independent and strong-willed. I have no problem traveling alone, but I’ve noticed there’s a serious lacking of information about women who travel alone in foreign countries. I’m not saying I always have the greatest trips, but I can share my experiences and try to give insight to the ladies in the world who choose to travel independently.

In October 2012, I went to the Maldives by myself. I didn’t know where to stay or what to do, but I had found a ticket from Thailand that was cheap, so I grabbed it. I flew from Bangkok to Colombo (Sri lanka – smelliest and most boring airport I have ever been in). When you fly into any tropical location, get yourself a window seat. IMG_0960  It is GORGEOUS.

You can’t just show up to a country that’s made up of sinking atolls without a place to stay – so, I used the fantastic site, http://www.couchsurfing.org, to crash on a couch for two nights in Male. Luke is a seaplane pilot there from Canada. While I crashed his couch, he helped me to find an atoll to stay on that wasn’t going to break the bank and wasn’t a complete couple resort.

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I took a ferry to get there and enjoyed the sun for a good few hours. The atoll was Ma’afushi. It was a local atoll that still had Muslim customs..so there was no alcohol and I couldn’t walk around in a bikini. There was a particular strip of beach that was “allowing” of women in bathing suits, but the weather wasn’t great for it.

The place I stayed was fantastic: Dhonveli View.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  From the outsideOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  The welcome deskOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  The small loungeOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA simple breakfast nook

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I got a large and clean room with a queen size bed (two singles pushed together) and a clean bathroom with hot water.

 

For around $50USD a night, meals were included and were fantastic. They served me dinner on the roof overlooking the ocean and the night sky.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA There was so much food that I could barely eat it all. The main source of food there is fish (obviously), so I had quite a variety of tuna and rice during my stay.

The family that owned it were very sweet and accommodating. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

When I wanted to go diving, they recommended a guide for me to go with and I had an amazing dive buddy, a Dutch lady who was also visiting the island. The weather wasn’t great (as mentioned) so a couple of the dive spots were rough, but the dive master helped me with everything. We saw a shipwreck and did a drift dive after viewing 100+ black and white tipped reef sharks.

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The next day I asked to go to a resort island so that I may have a few drinks and enjoy the beach and water in a bikini on my holiday. I wish I could remember the name of the resort, so I could warn you. (For those who aren’t aware, a resort will typically be on it’s own atoll so that it can regulate the drinking laws and cater to the guests. Like many resorts, if you want to visit it for a day, there will be an entry fee.) This resort was beautiful. It had sand paths and so many trees.
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The sand was clean and the beaches had chairs and towels provided. I asked to go snorkeling and the concierge pointed me in the direction of the scuba/snorkel shack. The man in charge of the scuba/snorkel shack was the BIGGEST ASSHOLE! I was paying to use the masks and he would not allow me to rent one. He said it was because I was not a resort guest. I went back and asked the concierge about it, and they called him up and sent me back to him. He still did not permit to rent a snorkel mask, depriving me of one of the main reasons I had come to the island. Literally, he ruined the majority of my resort visit. So I went to the bar and luckily it started raining (this made it better because i didn’t feel as bad about missing the beach). I had the most expensive gin + tonic ever. Then I went and got a 90 minute massage…because why not? The massage wasn’t bad, but the spa was gorgeous. It was so what I expected when I walked in – beautiful flowers and wood and art. It was peaceful just to walk in. After the massage I went back to the beach and sun bathed until just before sunset. I met the boat that took me back to Maafushi. I don’t know why I was so upset, but I was really not in a good mood. I walked into my room and there was a beautiful bouquet of my favorite flowers: Plumeria. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
The staff had left me this gorgeous gift in my nicely tidied room. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

They gave me a great dinner OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA and I sat in the main area with the girls who work there and we all chatted for a few hours. They were really sweet. I highly recommend it as a place to stay.

I took a ferry back to Male and went to a resort near the airport to wait for my flight back to Thailand. Of course, it was super sunny out. I met a great group of people who told me about how they had done a dive excursion. They stayed on a boat for a week and did 3 dives a day (and some at night). Those lucky bastards saw whale sharks – – – the only thing on my diving bucket list.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA There is no joke about the water being crystal clear. 50 shades of blue to be seen here. The ground is hard but the sand is soft and fine, like sugar.

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At the end of the beach that allows bathing suits is a gorgeous house that I believe was a school at one point. I can’t remember exactly but it had some kind of damage done (obviously) and it is now abandoned.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Colorful sand bags for when a storm comes and the waves get a bit rough.

 

In the end, I would recommend a trip to the Maldives at some point in your life. However, maybe go with friends or a significant other – and get yourselves a water bungalow!

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Resolutions 2015

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So I didn’t do too badon resolutions last year… some were definitely impractical, others were me just being lazy. However, I did learn a bit from my inability to complete all of my resolutions: make less resolutions!

I will repeat some resolutions from 2014 though…

1. I want to lose weight. Just like everyone else. Except this has to happen. I can’t handle looking at myself in photographs or on a scale. I have never weighed more than I do now and I don’t ever want to again. The number is so despicable to me that I can’t even say it aloud.

Resolution: Lose 15lbs.

2. Get laid. Seriously, I thought I was being practical last year with that whole ‘get laid 20 times’ thing.. such bullshit. However, I refuse to give way to this one. I will get laid at least 20 times – it counts even if it’s with the same person. No need being a slut about it. I’m 28, not 22.

3. Visit 2 new countries again! Last year I had hoped it would be Japan and Taiwan. Instead, it was Japan (twice) and Philippines. I would still like to visit Taiwan this year, my goal instead of Japan is Malaysia. Luckily I have a friend who lives in Kuala Lumpur who I have made many promises to visit….

4. VISIT GARY in KL!! (gary – this WILL happen)

5. Save 10K – something that is not as easy to do in the US. It’s pretty simple for people working in Korea. When my flight and housing are paid for, I get a pension, and hopefully make a few $ on the side by selling food and what not… this should be easy.

 

I originally drafted this and forgot the rest of the resolutions! Oops.. I guess we’re over 3 weeks into the new year anyway. Let’s get it started!

2014 Resolutions: The Final Review..

2014 is almost over. In my head I say, ‘Thank goodness.’ But it hasn’t been a bad year. It just wasn’t a great year. I made a resolutions list for the first time in my life and I think it’s time to do an honest review of how things went….

 

2 – The minimum amount of new countries I will visit (Taiwan and Japan)japan sushiborocaylips
—Goal Achieved, although I didn’t visit Taiwan. I made it to Japan (twice) and Philippines.

0 – My goal for a credit card statement.
— Goal (mostly) Achieved. I have enough to pay it all off and went to do that yesterday, when I noticed a charge of $577 from Hertz (when I had already paid $580 to Hotwire for the car rental). That charge is being disputed. So, stay tuned.

1 – attempt a 5KIMG_3137
— Goal Achieved. I ran my first (and maybe only) 5K in April in Gyeongju at the Cherry Blossom Festival. I did not run the entire thing, but I did a pretty good job of running most of it.

4 – days a week of working out… (unless I can make it more.)
— Goal Failed. 😦 I was doing well the first half of the year, then I had hernia surgery in August and haven’t been to the gym since. 😦

20 – have sex at least this much (it was a bad couple of years)IMG_1832
— MAJOR FAIL. LAME. 6/20 …. I can’t even begin to explain this one. But thankfully, I now live in Seoul and have a Tinder account 😉 Let’s see what happens..

14 – lbs to be lost by 2015
— MAJOR FAIL. STUPID. I have gained 20 lbs in 2 years. I am ashamed and disgusted. The hernia surgery did put a damper on that for a bit. But this year will be different. I am losing that shit.

201 – times I talk to my family
— Definitely accomplished. We talk on the regs.

2-14 – Run two miles in 14 minutes ((I’m a really bad runner))
— Definitely FAIL. I stopped running after the 5K. 🙂 I am not a runner. my boobs are too big.

2014 – smiles (hypothetically)
— I don’t know how this one went. I honestly feel that I may have failed on this one. I am so good at stoney face. Hopefully, more smiles will come in the future.

 

I accomplished 4.5 out of 9 resolutions (the half being the smiles). Look for the 2015 resolution list soon!

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