Thursday, January 24, 2013

To Korea I Go

Some of you have been asking about what I'll be doing in Korea this summer so I thought I'd take a moment and briefly fill you in, but first:

I'm so f-in' excited to be going to Korea.   AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!  I think I'll start a count down calendar because it's only 3 months away, eeek!

This summer I have a great opportunity to work with some leading scholars at a university in South Korea.  During my time in Korea I will be studying Korean and, in the words of my Canadian supervisor, investing in myself.  In other words, for the four months that I'm in Korea I will be doing what I can to make myself a better researcher.

Drinking soju surely has to be on that list!

This man, my husband

This man whom I call my husband is really something wonderful.  It's the little things he does that make him super special.  When we got back from Cuba he told me about a dream he had.  It was about his ex-lover.  This opened up a discussion about a past that I knew little about.  Sung Hyun rarely talks of his past. So there's 25 years of man I don't know.  

I was happy he shared his memories with me.  They reminded me of how lucky I am to spend the rest of my life with him - a sweet, generous, good-hearted man!  

He's truly something special.   

I love my husband!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Liebster Award

The lovely lady at The Nomad Cooks nominated me for a blog award.  And I'm happy to play along.

The Rules:

List 11 random facts about yourself
Answer the 11 questions
Nominate 11 bloggers with less than 200 followers
Comment on their page to let them know
Tag the person who nominated you in your post

Okay here goes...

11 Random Facts:

1.  When I was little I hung out with all the boys in my neighbourhood.  One day when I was with them I tried to write my name on the side of my house with my peep.  I was pissed (figuratively) that I they could do it and not me.

2.  I have been taking Korean lessons for the past two months.

3.  I am stubborn as HELL -- especially in my relationship.

4.  I like saving money.  My friends, they'd call me cheap! 

5.  I still don't know if I want to have children.  I say I do, but I'm just not sure I mean it.

6.  My husband and I still communicate in broken English.  I can't stop speaking poor grammar to's how we've always communicated.  

7.  I have a tough time making my own decisions.  

8.  I am very honest.  Sometimes to a fault.  I don't have any problem telling someone something that may cause a disagreement.  It's probably not a good trait being I'm married to a man from a "face-saving" country.  I like to challenge socially accepted or taken-for-granted ways of thinking.  I

9.  I left my first boyfriend of four years to go to Korea.  He was supposed to come.  He dumped 10 days before my departure.  THANK GOODNESS!

10.  Sung Hyun is not my friend Korean boyfriend.  He was the guy that was just supposed to get me over my heart ache.

11.  I'm not afraid to open up and expose myself.  I ask for help for various thing from various people all the time.  

The Nomad's Questions:

1.  What's the scariest, as in uncomfortable, thing you've ever done?

Without a doubt it was going to Korea.  Everyone was quite shocked that I'd still follow through with my plan after I just got dumped.  I cried, wiped away my tears, packed my bags, and then nearly shit my pants.  What an amazing, and scary, time in my life.

2.  Do you know a celebrity or ever had a semi-personal experience with a celebrity?

No, but both my dad and uncle have celebrity names.  So I tell people that MY dad, Tim Burton, is the real movie director.

3.  How often do you clean your house?

Ummm, my house is not clean.  But I married a man who likes things really neat.  So usually every week he tells me what I need to do.  He can't relax until the house is tidy and everything is in place.

4.  What's your funniest/ most embarrassing bathroom experience?

The fact that 3 experiences come to my head when I read this question is kinda scary.

#1:  After getting out of a taxi in Korea I had to go pee so bad that I whipped down my pants and peed in a flower pot on the side of the road (I seriously could not wait until I was inside the building).  My pee dripped over the edge and into my pants, along with the flower pot dirt (now mud).  

#2:  I have a hard time going to the bathroom in those squatter toilets in Korea.  So one time, while I was still getting used to figuring out the angle, I pissed on the entire backside of my pants.

#3:  In China I was shopping in some market and when I went to the bathroom I was shocked and horrified that there were NO DOORS on the stalls.  I had to squat pee in front of several curious Chinese ladies.

5.  Do you have an embarrassing intoxicated story?  If so, what?

Hummm, I'm pretty embarrassing in general (without being drunk).  But I'm a pretty fun drunk.  No story comes to mind.  But I'm sure maybe my friends can help by commenting on this one.

6.  What's the biggest conscience you've ever had?

I don't understand this question :(

7.  What's the craziest thing you've ever eaten?

Dog, live octopus, and half-hatched hard boiled chicken.  YUM YUM!   I'll try EVERYTHING once.

8.  How honestly do you care about the news and world events?

I do a lot.  I would say that the issues I'm aware of I'm pretty passionate about.  I belonged to a volunteer group in Korea called LINK (Liberty in North Korea).  I like to listen to what people have to say about different controversial events.  I welcome all opinions which might explain why I invited the Jehovah Witnesses in to my house for an hour this month.

9.  What's your secret meal when you have the house to yourself?


10.  Who hates you?  

Obviously people on this blog do.  I get some nasty comments from time to time. 

11.  If all fear was dissolved, what would be the biggest change you'd make in your life?

Good question:  I'd set my own rules in life, rather than going with what is considered "appropriate."  I'd take writing more seriously.

Jennifer's Questions:

1.  What is one thing that you want to do but haven't done yet for whatever reason?
2.  What worries you?
3.  What is one thing you would change about yourself/life?
4.  If you could travel anywhere where would you go and why?
5.  What is one thing you'd like to be remember for?
6.  What was your original motivation for starting a blog?  Is it still the same now?
7.  Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
8.  Who was the last person that made you cry? Why? (if you care to share)
9.  Why are you happy?
10.  What is your favourite thing to do when you are alone?
11.  What is one thing you'd like to learn?


1.  Amanda from Kickyboots
2.  Ashely from Speaking is Korean!
3.  Amy from Living on the Flipside
4.  Jolene from Everyday Foodie
5.  Amanda from Amanda Takes Off
6.  Skott & Shawna from Get up and Globe
7.  Kim from Alexis the Viking Princess
8.  Tanya at LoveLaughWriteLife
9.  Aaron from Idiot's Perspective

And anyone else who would like to participate!

Cuba in pictures

Travel is neat.  

It has a way of putting everything into perspective.  The best part of my all-inclusive trip to Cuba was the 5 minute conversation I had with a local about his reality of living in a communist country.   How neat it would be to maintain contact with him but that is a luxury he doesn't have. 

And that made me realize (again) how lucky I am to have the life I have.

Here's a peak at our touristy life in Cuba:

Nice to be home :)

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Pack your bags!

In December I got an early Christmas present: 

I'm taking this blog back to the place where it started.  This summer from May to August I will be in Korea, living alone with my Korean mother-in-law.

Monday, January 07, 2013

Meeting with my supervisor

I pulled on sweatpants and a hoodie from the day before as I crawled out of bed today.  For the hour prior my fingers slid across my cell phone every five minutes turning off the snooze button.  I had a meeting with my thesis supervisor scheduled and it took all the energy in me to get up and make it to that meeting.  I contemplated turning off the alarm, sending my supervisor an email and rolling over to tune out from the world -- much like I've tuned out from this blog for the last month.

But I didn't.

I went to that meeting with my head down ready to admit to my supervisor that I was an academic fraud.

I left that meeting with my head up, a smile on my face, and a new purpose -- a transformational  moment when I knew deep down I picked the right supervisor.

I'm ready to blog again.

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Tag your blog!

Wordle: Jennifer
* click on picture to make it bigger

Wordle is a cool website that makes word collages of your blog -- all you have to do it enter your html address.  Try it out!

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Tid Bits

For the past month I've spent a lot of time with my husband, family and friends.  My heart is so full!

A little rearranging of furniture to fit out Christmas tree.

Sung Hyun enjoying 10 glorious days free from work.  Oh my, how fast that time went.  He's back at work today which means I'm all by my lonesome ;(

Annie, my dearest friend whom I met in Korea, came to visit me for 5 days before Christmas.  She cooked and organized, we laughed and cried!

Our white SUPER FAUX Christmas tree (missing a tree topper and Christmas skirt)

Sung Hyun cut his hair!

Christmas family photo 2012

I made pulled beef sandwiches for our New Year's dinner

With homemade wheat buns

Hope you all got to spend some quality time with your loved ones! 

Happy New Year