Archive | August, 2012

The 12 Stages of a Korean Spin Class

29 Aug

There is nothing like taking a spin class in Korea.  Nothing.  It’s a cross between biking, disco dancing, and the 4th circle of hell.  Much like I imagine women do with childbirth, I keep forgetting how terribly painful it is, so I keep going back.  Mainly because I can’t think of a good excuse not to.

*It’s worth noting that much like every building in Korea, air conditioning and heating are used minimally.  It’s actually hotter inside the gym than in actual nature.  Gross.

The 12 Stages of a Korean Spin Class:  A Cautious Endorsement

Stage 1:  Tepid excitement: Regular lights off, spinning disco lights on, door to the tiny jam-packed spinning room closed, causing sweating to begin.  Sidenote: Today my spin instructor turned on the strobe lights, which was fun until I almost had a seizure and fell off the bike.

Stage 2: Smugness.  No matter how ridiculous you look, you will always be a better dancer than the moms and dads in this room. And if not better, then at least, you know, younger.  Also, you know the songs.

Stage 3:  Overheating.


Stage 4:  Overwhelming regret.  It’s been 15 minutes. TOTAL.

Stage 5: Bargaining silently with the instructor to: 1) go easy on you 2) unexpectedly stop the class after 5 minutes 3) actually kill you

Stage 6: Irrational anger. Thissucks, thissucks, thissucks, thissucks.  Bonus:  Most of my instructors make let us yell to keep up general enthusiasm and momentum.  What they don’t know is that I’m just screaming the name of whichever student pissed me off the most today. I would bet money that my coworkers could name the top 3.

Guess what bitches? Surprise spelling test tomorrow!

Stage 7:  Envy.  Why is my androgynous spin instructor in such bangin’ shape?  Do I have heat stroke or is she getting way hotter? Also, we have the same haircut. Also, her English name is Gun.  GUN.

Stage 8:  Daydreaming, which helps block out the excruciating pain in your thighs and ass.  I like to mentally run through my fall shopping wish-list. (polka-dot skinnies? Don’t mind if I do!) If I get really bored, I make lesson plans.

Stage 9: Evaporation.  My eyelashes are sweating.  It was a poor choice not to bring water – in that it could result in my actual death.

Stage 10: Party rock! Heat stroke be damned, I love K-pop and I love dancing.  And I look good.  This is also the point where I convince myself that I’ve lost at least 6 pounds so far.

Surprisingly, not that far off.

Stage 11:  Awkward stretching while on a bike. The main goal is not to slip off.

Stage 12:  Avoid the 40 naked old Korean women in the locker room.  Crawl home.  Attempt to drink Vitamin Water, but instead pour it all over your face.  Lie on floor and will your body to clean itself.  Weep.

*Tonight we full-on recreated the dance moves from Gangnam Style (recent internet sensation and the story of my life) Gun knew all the words.



28 Aug

The good news is that I had the day off work.

The bad other news is that it’s because of a typhoon.  Allegedly. 

…but it does explain yesterday’s 200% humidity increase.  On my face.


Yesterday, my boss called me when I was trying to get my visa for next month’s Beijing trip. NBD.  It was a sunny, cloudless afternoon when she told me not to come into work because of a typhoon.  To which I responded: “It would be really cruel if this was a joke, AND you’ll have to fire me because either way I’m not coming to work now.”

Then she told me to stock up on food and to stay inside all day.  Which is what I call Sunday.

I immediately realized that I had no idea WTF a typhoon actually was.  Being from the most landlocked of all the continental states, I’m good at waiting out tornadoes, and being really bored.  I’m not, however, knowledgeable about typhoons, monsoons, or tropical anythings.  (To be honest, it all just makes me think of some sad, new reporter in a huge yellow raincoat, getting pelted with rain and wind on some abandoned beach, while telling us “Conditions are bad on the southernmost tip of Florida.”  Totally.)


Just to clarify, your report is telling me NOT to go to the beach today?!

Three hours later, I asked the mom of the girl I tutor what a typhoon realistically meant for my Tuesday.  She got as far as “roofs can blow off” before I sprinted out her door and to the elevator, but NOT before I heard her laughing at me.  Rude.


24 hours later, it seems like we all overreacted.  From what I could scientifically gather between frequent naps, it has been rainy and windy all day.  Like every other miserable day in August.  That being said, thank you Typhoon Bolaven for giving me yet another reason to stay in and watch TV instead of actually doing anything like work or going to the gym.  (But in a misguided bout of energy, I did attempt to make polka dots on my nails using a bobby pin.  Results: Pending.)


Despite already having written a post about hibernation and avoiding people, here’s a quick list of any typhoon-day-in must haves:

-Enough Dr. Pepper to last a week.  It’s better to overestimate than find yourself in a dire situation.  (If you think I won’t be highly caffeinated up until the minute I die, then you’re sorely mistaken)

-Gummy Bears, Goldfish, Subway sandwiches, and On The Border take-out.  While I always believe cooking to be a waste of time, that goes double for freebie no-work days.

-Nail polish. Der.  Bobby pins optional but recommended.

-Internet, as this is the perfect time to catch up on any Facebook stalking you may have neglected.  Also, if the internet goes out, just assume the typhoon is for real, and your life is over.

-A smartphone to: 1) Text friends about the lack of typhoon action and all the TV you’re watching 2) play Angry Birds Space 3) check Facebook from the bed since you’re ghetto and must use an ethernet cable for your laptop.

-Books!  I’m currently on sabbatical from all things high-brow and am switching back and forth between Chelsea Handler and David Sedaris. 

-As many illegally-downloaded TV shows and movies as possible.  I took today as a sign that it’s finally time to start watching Breaking Bad.  Verdict: I’m into it. Also, meth is scary.

-A bed. Naps are key.

Enjoy your slightly above average windy day!

Vignettes on a Break-Up

27 Aug

A year ago to the day*, we went on our first date. I use the term date loosely;  Your friends were there.  You had too much sangria.  We had met the week before at 4 a.m. at a club.  The traditionalist in my head was screaming “THIS IS NOT HOW GREAT LOVE STORIES BEGIN!”  But I brushed that aside, and I was charming, and so were you, and that’s how it all started.

I will also look back at this moment as the first of many in which I brushed something aside, convincing myself that real relationships are messy, and this isn’t some fairytale, and for fuck’s sake stop being so prissy.


It’s weird because normally I’m so special.  In the first place, this is not a special situation.  When you’re falling in love, it feels like the first time anyone in the whole world has felt this good.  This special.  When you’re breaking up, it’s the first time in history that anyone has ever felt this shitty.  Ever.  And then the sad, albeit humanizing, part of the whole ordeal is how mundane, how utterly ordinary, it all is.  It is not by coincidence that you already know the words to 243 songs about this exact situation.  But it’s convenient.

This betch totally gets me.

…but so does she.

You’re so vain, you probably think this post is about you.  I’m deleting a lot of sentences, over-editing, overly sensitive.  The fact is, you’re already a raging narcissus.  It wouldn’t surprise me if you had been trolling this blog in the last month, looking for some mention of yourself.  And while I’m cringing at the idea of inflating your ego, at least these words are out of my head and safely put somewhere else.

Taking Back Brunch.  A friend and I were talking about how after a breakup, you (consciously or not) avoid your former “couple” places.  The bars.  The restaurants.  Entire sections of town.  Then it occurred to me that you should be avoiding this entire city those places, not me.  So today, I took back brunch.

Question: What WON’T I do for salmon eggs benedict? Answer: Nothing.

WTF did you just say?!  If one more person sympathetically tells me that “everything happens for a reason” or “it wasn’t meant to be” I’m going to go Christian Bale Batshit Crazy.  For real.  In reality, everything happens because it happens.  Some of it is fantastic, some of it sucks, and some of it is blasé.  And some of it feels like it requires a blog post, but it doesn’t, but you’ve already started writing, so you might as well just finish it.

Punitive damages.  I am striving not to be bitter. What I keep coming back to is the intense frustration that comes from knowing that I wasted my own time.  That I spent a year thinking about, supporting, and loving a screwed up person who couldn’t reciprocate any of that.  I’m pretty sure it’s these thoughts that eventually lead to the whole “everything happens for a reason” bit.  But I’m still not into it.

This is what we call “being in the bad place.”

Somebody that I used to know.  That’s not just the name of a song I’m still obsessed with or that I heard in concert last week.  It’s how I felt the other day when I stumbled upon a picture of us, taken last year, the day before my birthday.  I didn’t feel like I was looking at myself, and not just because it was before I got my bitchin’ pixie cut.  I had the urge to reach through that picture and shake the naive but stunningly beautiful blonde girl, and scream at her to RUN BITCH.  Instead, I just deleted it.

If you leave, the terrorist wins.  Like everything else, break-ups are a good excuse to focus on my favorite topic – myself.  The day after Cheater Gate 2.0, I had a long convo with my mom about leaving Korea.  A week later, that seemed far too extreme.  It has become very clear to me that when the going gets tough, I move.  To another university, another state, another country.  Which has actually led to a lot of great experiences.  But this time, I need to stick it out, for more reasons than just getting my year-end bonus and severance.  But, mostly for the money. That coveted leather pencil skirt isn’t going to buy itself.

When life hands you lemons, just say fuck the lemons and bail.  -Paul Rudd, Forgetting Sarah Marshall

That one time I went all Angela Bassett in Waiting to Exhale.  About 4 days post breakup, I was going through my closet and I came across a really nice dress shirt he-which-we-do-not-speak-of, had left there.  Then I went into a blind rage, only to wake up 5 minutes later, with a bunch of fabric scraps.  And then I just went to sleep because it was Wednesday night, and obvs I had to work the next day.

Sadly I couldn’t recreate this because I don’t own a car, and am not allowed to have an open flame in my studio apartment.

If a name could waterboard you. I am being terrorized by your stupid, common name.  It’s a student in my class, it’s my new coworker, it’s the main character in a movie I just watched, and it has its own joke on 30 Rock.  FML.

On second thought, let’s not. Sidenote: This movie will make you want to kill yourself.

Final lessons learned:  Losing 200+ pounds of cheating deadbeat is called Winning. (And I look great!)  Your friends and your instincts are usually right.  Just like Miley, I can’t be tamed.  But unlike Miley, I look amazing with short hair.  I am still related to and surrounded by the greatest people ever to own Skype.  Becoming addicted to Curb Your Enthusiasm was a really good choice.

Bad choice.

Good choice.


*I generally don’t remember dates, but this was my little brother’s birthday. FTR.