Champagne Birthdays

(reposted from my original blog entry on Tickets To: originally April 2014)

Golden Birthday. Champagne Birthday. You have my attention

The day when you turn the age of the date of your birth. It’s supposed to be awesome. Of course I didn’t know what that was until about a year ago… but that’s cool. I love champagne so it’s a great excuse for a theme. It’s also a great excuse to drink champagne every day for the week leading up to my birthday.

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On Friday, my coworkers on my floor (there are three floors to my school) surprised me with a classic Korean cake and some streamers.

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On Friday night we had Korean BBQ (beef) and drank soju with pineapple Fanta. Then we went to our local bar and drank a bit. On Saturday I woke up early-ish, pre-cooked some food for my Sunday picnic (visit www.anotherfoodthing.wordpress.com for great recipes!), and made my way to Busan. I met some friends from Seoul and Ulsan there and we drank a bit. The day wasn’t sunny enough for the beach, but it was warm enough to appreciate. We had an amazing BBQ dinner, went to another bar, went ‘clubbing,’ and then, my favorite part, we went to the noraebong and sang our hearts and voices away! Seriously… how much soju and singing can a girl handle? It was fantastic.

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I looked hot in my little black dress with my teal dream shoes (see wittylmt.com for more info on that), I was with great company, I ate and drank well.

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I got back to the motel at 5 am and was sleeping by 6am. I left at 10:30am and was back in Ulsan by 12:30pm. I had a party starting at 2pm I had to get ready for. Because the weather was questionable my outdoor picnic became an indoor picnic: blankets on the floor, drawn park on my whiteboard, paper plates, etc. The good people showed up and brought many bottles of bubbly. We drank mimosas and sangria for a few hours and chatted merrily. A few gal pals stayed after everyone left and we chatted and watched Bad Teacher (excellent sitcom. Get on it). Today, I came to work and the teachers on the 6th floor bought me a Larva cake.  I will go home and drink more champagne since I now have 5 more bottles and chillax on my patio smoking hookah. All in all…it was a great birthday.

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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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Mirena, 1+ year in

**Disclosure: FAMILY – THIS CONTAINS INFORMATION YOU MAY NOT WANT TO READ>>> CLOSE THIS NOW IF YOU DON’T WANT T.M.I. ON MY PERSONAL LIFE!**

 

Last year, I made the decision to say, “Screw you!” to pills, Nuvaring (although I mostly loved it), and any other birth control method short of spaying myself.

I chose to drop a few $$ and insert Mirena. (You can read about the entry here).
It was a painful process. I spent nearly 40 days with spotting and dull cramps. Then one magical day… it stopped. The bleeding, the cramps, the discomfort, and then my life began.
I have been blessed with some good sex in my life. Apparently, this good sex was dulled by previous birth controls. Sex has never been so good. Like.. holy shit. Guys who were maybe average at best, were doing a pretty damn good job. Before Mirena, I was using mostly Nuvaring, occasionally a pill; and I was dull. Sex was just an act. If I got off, it was less often than Halley’s comet. But my sex drive didn’t exist. I seriously pondered my sexuality. Boyfriends and lovers knew I was lying and some thought I had been cheating on them.
Then Mirena happened.
.. as it turns out, I’m very straight. And I’m so much happier with Mirena. Sex. is. awesome. Like– wet, hot summer awesome.

Oh yea! And I lost a bunch of weight! When I had Mirena inserted, I was weighing in at ~73kg (about 160lbs). While I’m sure other factors were involved (leaving an unhappy job, moving up a hill, running to subways and buses for new jobs, etc), I am now at ~63 kg (138-140lb) today.

Menstrual cycles suck. Period. (hah. a favorite of mine) From 6th grade through recent years, my period has been a giant cluster-fuck. They were unpredictable. As Cher would say from Clueless “I was surfing the crimson wave!”… more like Crimson tidal wave. It was hell. I had special clothes to wear because I needed to change and clean them so often. My cramps had me in bed, crying like a child. Sometimes they would last longer than a week.. then reappear about 2 weeks later. Then other times they wouldn’t show for weeks (pregnancy scares what???). I got onto birth control and it helped a bit. But I still had shit strong periods.
Now a year after Mirena insertion, my periods are mostly non-existent. I might get ‘ghost cramps’ once a month and the occasional spotting every other month or less.

Overall, everything is awesome.
But let’s sum a few things up real quick:

Pros: 
1. 5 years of baby-free sexcapades
2. Little to no periods/minimal cramping
3. Higher sex drive
4. Weight lost (subjective)
5. Overall happier life.

Cons:
**denotes possible Pro rather than Con
1. 350,000won (KRW = USD ~275) ((((in the states they said it’d be ~600$USD without insurance)))**
2. PAINFUL AS FUCK DURING INSERTION!!!!! FFFUUUUCCCCCCCK.
3. Bodies may react differently
4. Gotta stock up on condoms for all that sex!**
5. I got nothin.. I can’t think of anything else.

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.

 

Living the Dream

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We all want to be this or that when we grow up. In 5th grade I said I wanted to be a doctor that made people beautiful. … nope. Didn’t happen. Forgot about that dream within a month I bet.

I wanted to be Ariel or Belle. Obviously I cannot trade my legs for fins, or suddenly become tall, French, and into hairy men. But I knew that I wanted to be them. Almost every character from the cartoons I watched, I would impersonate. I taught myself to sing by listening to cartoon musicals and Andrew Lloyd Webber shows. I would make my voice like theirs.
It took a while for me to realize that this was called ‘voice acting.’ I loved to know that Jodi Benson was Ariel and I watched videos of her being coached through ‘Part of Your World.’ It astounded me when I realized that she was also ‘Thumbelina’. Then I started realizing other voices: Wendy is Alice. Ms. Swan is Trisha Takanawa is Lois Griffin.

I wanted that. I still want that. My new goal is to be a Disney princess for Seth McFarlane. I have been introduced to other animated shows recently, only to discover that a character voice I have done since forever is almost identical to the character I’m watching now. I couldn’t decide if I was disappointed or elated.

Anyway, I’m in South Korea now. I have auditioned online for voice over gigs for almost 2 years. I have gotten a few of them, but not that many. Then one day on Craigslist Seoul, I saw an ad for auditions for voice actors. I booked myself into the audition. The day before, I got a cold. I sounded awful. But I wasn’t going to miss the audition. I went and they put me into a booth. My very first time in a booth. They adjusted the speaker into my face, I had a screen in front of me to see the other actors, and a script about 15 pages long. Nervous much? Totally. I subtly gargled some water to clear my throat only to be told, “Did you gargle warm water? Is everything okay?” DAMNIT. The mic was on.

I read like a champ. The first actor and I read, then he left, and they had me stay. I read with the second actor, he left, and they had me stay. I read with a third actor and then on my own. They told me they would let me know how it went.

I have been working SO much since then. I go all over Seoul into studios to read whatever the heck they give me. Educational scripts, presentation videos, a video game (!!!!), and finally a commercial.

I am forever thankful for this opportunity to work here and build my skills and experience in Seoul.

Seth, it’s on.

10% of the world…

That’s how many places I have been to..

I have visited 21 countries (24 hours or longer) and stayed in 4 other countries’ airports.

1. USA

2. Mexico

3. Bahamas

4. Jamaica

5. Puerto Rico

6. England

7. Spain

8. Italy

9. France

10. Netherlands

11. Belgium

12. Greece

13. Israel

14. Thailand

15. Japan

16. Hong Kong

17. Malaysia

18. Philippines

19. South Korea

20. Maldives

21. South Africa

Airports:

Germany, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Singapore

I am so proud of my accomplishments – but I am also very disappointed that it hasn’t been more. I have not yet been to any South American countries and have only been to a small portion of Europe and Asia. There’s still Africa too.

My bucket list of countries:

Finland, Norway, Iceland, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Egypt, Turkey, Taiwan, Australia, Fiji, New Zealand, Indonesia, Cuba, Brazil, Chile, Venezuela, Costa Rica, and more. I just can’t think of them all because I’m supposed to be teaching right now. Oops.

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