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Obviously. Part Two.

18 Jun

Obviously, this post is about Father’s Day.  And obviously it’s a good thing it’s a holiday, because my post ideas have been slim to none.  (also, it’s really hot, so I prefer to spend my free time complaining about the heat while lying down in front of the air conditioner.)

No surprise here, my dad is super awesome, and not just because he majored in philosophy for his first year of college. Father E. spends his time actually helping people, because he wants to.  He’s not into things of the material variety.  His attention span is either 5 minutes or 5 hours, and subject to change on a whim.  He enjoys pacing.  And it only took me 24 years to realize admit that we are very similar, in that we both enjoy being temperamental and forcing our family members to deal with it.  We also enjoy arguing about abstract ideas, while drinking coffee and quoting Joni Mitchell and Joseph Conrad, until one of us calls the other pretentious – because we are pretentious.

And writes some pretty poetic e-mails – I’m not even kidding.  I also once got a text waxing poetic on the Kansas sunset, to which I replied “Exactly how high are you?” 

“But if he were a song
He’d be a complicated melody

-India Arie

He’s a good person, and he’s supportive of me.  If I bring up a new country I want to live in, or a career I’ve been toying with, his response is usually, “Good. When?” 

And he’s such a tightwad, that I can only assume I won’t have to take care of him in his old age, financially speaking. (because I’m going to guilt my older brother into doing it)

I also have yet to date a convict or take off my clothes for money, so I’m fairly certain I wasn’t gifted any daddy issues.  Thank you father.

And no post about him would be complete without this video, which sums up everything I can’t.  It’s also hilarious.

You can also revisit this fabulous post, which is also an homage to my dad.

Arlington National Cemetery, 2009 (aka the summer of my bitchin’ tan)

Celebrating my college graduation at Hotel Congress in Tucson, 2010

College Graduation, or That Time the Handouts Stopped: A Tragedy in 3 Parts

And of course, my favorite pic:

On a ferry in Thailand, 2011


And of course, I’d also like to wish a Happy Father’s Day to Tator Tot’s dad, Mr. Potato Head.  He surprised no one by being a wonderful father.

Contented sigh.


So today I’m thankful for my dad.  I realized I must be pretty lucky if my chief complaint is that he sneezes offensively loud. But in my defense, it’s so loud.


While I was sleeping. . .

22 Apr

An entire month passed.  Without a single post.  And with many an angry Facebook post on my wall about said lack of blogging.  I apologize. . . at first I was just completely uninspired and I didn’t want to force out some super lame posts.  And then the days sort of turned into weeks, and now it’s been a month, and that’s just stupid.  So here we are.

So during the last 30 or so odd days, I’ve been:

-Watching NCAA basketball. . . at least until both Arizona and Kansas lost on the same weekend.  But I did log some pretty fun (early morning!) hours watching the games via laptop here. Highlights include a 4am watch-party date with Bossman, and a few (loud) expletives shouted while watching Arizona play Duke – while I was at work.

-Finishing my 30 Day Shred, which seems like a million years ago. That was possibly the most anti-climactic workout moment ever.  I finished the 30th day and thought “now what?”  Turns out, now means a normal workout routine to avoid any future 30 day shreds.


-Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day:  . . . at a festival in Itaewon with hundreds of my closest, drunken foreigner friends.  In order to pay homage to the Irish in the most authentic and sincere way possible, we got good and day-drunk.  We drank, listened to the bands, laughed at people, got 3rd degree tongue-burns while trying to eat some street food, and fell asleep on a bus.  And of course I also (once again) extolled the virtues of the Boondock Saints to Lauren.

Soju on the left. Orange soda on the right. Someone who's going to regret it in the middle.

-Going on ridiculous adventures: A few weeks ago, some friends and I joined a group tour to the south of Korea, where we hiked Jagged Ridge and went to the Jinhae Cherry Blossom Festival.  What was supposed to be a relaxing, nature-loving weekend turned into the near-death experience of a lifetime. More on this later, once my PTSD subsides.

-Planning more trips: This weekend I’ll be getting my zen on during a temple stay. And next weekend, our boss is bankrolling a company trip to Nami Island for some moral-boosting fun.  I can only hope this retreat includes both norebanging and trust-falling. More on both of these to come.

-Battling two serious addictions.  The first is with Dexter.  I avoided this steamy serial killer for years, but found myself completely hooked last month. Obviously I had no choice but to stay in and watch all 5 seasons.The first step is admitting that you are powerless to your addiction, after all.

Social-life killer/ serial killer

My second addiction happened just this week.  I have reignited my passion for Carmen Sandiego, travel, trivia, and wasting time all at once!  I’m obsessed – I play it at work until my computer dies.  Only then do I realize that I’m at work, and should in fact be working.

Where in the world is that saucy minx?

-And previous Cherry Blossom Festival aside, I’ve also been enjoying the cherry blossoms closer to home.  Namely, on the way to work everyday, and last weekend at Yeouido Park in Seoul – the place to be (especially if you’re a couple and you own matching outfits. No. Joke.)  I’ve never been much for plants of any kind. . . but cherry blossoms are amazing.  All beautiful and fluffy.  It’s finally spring.  And we finally have pretty stuff to look at.

If only I could have class outside

-Writing for the Go! Girl Guides site:  Despite my lack of motivation over here, I’ve kept up my weekly posts on all things Korea, women, and travel.  You can check out my stuff here

-And lastly, I’ve been battling some hardcore homesickness.  Oddly, it didn’t hit me until around the 6-month mark.  And then it hit me. Hard.  Definitely spurred on by the fact that my family went on an amazing Florida vacation without me.  And that Tator Tot is getting cuter (and chubbier!) by the day.  And that college basketball always makes me think of my parents, some of the most loyal Jayhawk fans you’ll ever meet.  Luckily, I’ve had some good Skype dates with the parents recently, and I’ve channeled the homesickness into excitement for our reunion in Thailand this July (Hooray! Elephant rides and bottled water for everybody!)

So there you go, all caught up on the last month.  I promise not to go all MIA again.   Here’s hoping your last 30 days were as fab as mine!


Ryan Gallagher: A Tribute

28 Jan

To a 1 Ms. Rory Gilmore Ryan Gallagher, who is currently enjoying a life of warm leisure in California:

How dare you leave us to freeze in South Korea, knowing how much we would miss you?!  Because we do miss you. And we are freezing.

But in true socialite fashion, Ryan left Korea with a bang. . . and about 12 going away parties.

First we had the “Ryan’s last Saturday in Korea” party, where the gang had dinner and drinks at Platinum Beer brewery in Apgujeong. Note: they had a beer called morphine that was 8.4% alcohol, but I opted to pass mine around the table since: 1) I was still in a cast and 2) it was only 8 pm.


"Seeing a teacher outside of school is like seeing a dog walk on its hind legs." -Mean Girls


After Platinum Beer we caught a bus and a subway train to Bundang, where we hit up our favorite bars and even the dance club. Despite the temperature clocking in at a solid 5 degrees, I put on a dress, and spent 12 hours out that night – including our trip to the club.  Which was just really sad. This is a testament to my undying love for Ryan. And my constant need to prove just how handi-capable I am.

Later that week was the dalk galbi/norebang extravaganza.  2 days later, we celebrated “Ryan’s last Friday/night” in Korea.   It was also Emily Teacher’s birthday, so she had us all over to her (slightly bigger) apartment for flip cup and beer pong – 2 games we don’t often play in Korea.

And although my loyal readers should just assume this: I was on the winning flip cup team every time. That is not a coincidence. (Mom and Dad, feel free to reTweet that good news to grandma)


THIS is what a winning team looks like. PS: BETSY'S BACK IN KOREA!


Even more important than total flip cup domination?  Ryan signed my cast!  Her fabulous message remained solo until this Wednesday when I let my students sign it.


Surprisingly prolific on plaster



We then scampered off to change clothes, before regrouping in the frigid night air, to make out way out to the bars.


My favorite, and a very candid, pic from the night.


All in all, a fitting, jam-packed send-off for Ms. Ryan.  One that gave us ample time to say our goodbyes and wish her luck and make furious plans for the future. (SOUTH AMERICA!!!!!!)

And in case I was too busy having fun during all those parties, allow me to say a few things: Ryan is everything a traveler should be: curious, brave, level-headed, energetic, yet totally flexible when plans change. Ryan is very much a do-er; she didn’t come to Korea to save some money while restlessly counting down the days until her return. She traveled to China, Australia, and Thailand, and did just about every major tourist/interesting/cool thing to do in Korea, too. She was busy. Oh, and she taught kindergarten. Her students loved her, and they miss her very much. And one time she even got a Christmas card from her dog in America. (I must have, ahem, missed my card in the mail there EVEY). Basically, Ryan just goes for things and jumps in headfirst – one of the traits I tend to admire most in people. And she knows every.single.lyric. to Coolio’s anthem-of-a-generation “Gangsta’s Paradise.”  You’re my hero.

So,  thanks doll  –  during these 4 1/2 months you’ve made me feel as fun and adventurous as you. We miss you.

And we’re really f-ing cold.


South America 2012