Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Monthly Photo Recap: July 2013.

As I've become an avid blog reader, especially of expat/travel/South Korea blogs, I've really enjoyed when a blogger does an end of the month recap. I'm looking to keep this blog updated more frequently -- I'm still falling into the swing of getting an entry written weekly for the Aclipse blog, and with that, I've felt like steppin' up my game a little and keeping this blog even more active.

To kick off this grand plan of mine, I've decided to start a new series: Monthly Photo Recap. At the end of each month, I'm going to scroll through the photos I've taken (and probably Instagrammed), choose a handful that represent my month well, and post them. Often, I like letting a picture speak for what I'm doing -- one of the many reasons why I prefer Instagram to the likes of Twitter.

I take photos on my phone constantly. A lot do end up on Instagram, but even then, the caption they get doesn't always fully explain what's happening. And when I do get around to uploading pictures to Facebook, it's mostly just a massive photo dump, without much (or any) explanation. Posting photos at the end of each month will give me a chance to reflect on what I did and provide more information about the photo. Let's be real, I end up doing this verbally on Skype or through texting on KakaoTalk with most of my family and friends as it is, so here's all the info, for everyone, all at the same time. :)

So, without any further ado, here's the month of July, in photos.

As though it was timed with the start of the month, monsoon season officially kicked off. 

Fat cat! Scorsese and I are bonding, slowly but surely. I think it's because I've been feeding him every now and then when Corey isn't here for his eating time...

The 4th was too rainy for fireworks, so we ate Indian food and then got ice cream. 'Merica!

Birthday banner! Corey was busy making this for me while I was at work on my birthday and he hung it up across our living room window.

My Paris Baguette birthday cake -- six different flavors, which was actually a lot of fun because we were all able to try at least two kinds of cake. And it was delicious! Well, except for the sweet potato one. (Top of the photo, with the potato/fry sticks in it...) I'll pass on that one from now on. 

The Mustoy doll cafe! One of the cooler cafes I've found in Korea, second only to the dog cafe, obviously. It was a great way to spend a rainy/muggy afternoon. 

R16 Bboy Competition! My cousin's crew flew out from Las Vegas to represent North America in this international competition and we had a lot of fun watching the teams battle. As a dancer, I've always been fascinated slash completely confused by this style of dancing -- my ballerina brain just can't even comprehend some of it. Which makes for a very entertaining show. Korea walked away with the championship, which was well-deserved. The Korean team Morning of Owl was absolutely incredible. 

Rainy day in Insadong for Amy's birthday. We found a spot on top of the Ssamzigil building where people have left hundreds (maybe thousands?) of these tags hanging, all with messages. 

Wandering through the Bukchon Hanok Village. Blog entry coming soon about this area -- there's so much I want to check out, including craft museums and stuff with hands-on activities. (But it's going to take another weekend trip so I can gather the adequate amount of information.)

Le Cle, a really great little jazz bar in Samcheongdong. Nice was to enjoy our evening out, just sitting back and listening to jazz music. It made me realize how much I really, really miss live music in bars. 

Corey's birthday! (So many birthdays in July!) I got him a Pororo cake since he has a strange obsession with this particular kids show. He was excited, especially because Pororo was edible. (Read: made of solid sugar. Gross.) 

Cousins! It's been cool having a guest, especially someone that's family. I've enjoyed showing off Korea and my life here quite a lot, and I can't wait for my upcoming guests in the next couple of months! 

For Corey's birthday, we checked out a bar in our neighborhood that he's been wondering about -- Old Clock. Due to its semi-sketchy second floor exterior and the quiet neighborhood, we were fully prepared for it to be a hooker bar or something totally creepy. Turns out, it's possibly the most amazing neighborhood find ever. The woman in the photo owns all the records behind her. When we walked in, she brought us pieces of paper so we could write down requests. Upon telling her what we wanted to hear, she immediately found the record needed and put it on the turntable. Her collection is very impressive, and is her encyclopedic knowledge of her collection's discography. The whole time we were there, we only saw a few other people, who were all Korean. It was quiet, relaxed, and definitely our new favorite spot to go grab a beer. 

The sun came out! For, like, a couple hours. :( Can monsoon season end already? I know the next stage in the Korean summer is stifling humidity and heat, but right now, that sounds preferable to being rained on while walking to and from work. I'm from the South. I'm fine with being sweaty. Bring it on, Korea. 

Bowling with Corey's coworkers in honor of his birthday. 

Been feelin' the need to draw lately, and I finally finished my ongoing file folder piece, which I would work on every now and then during class when my students would be working on a test. Took me a couple weeks of working on it for maybe ten to fifteen minutes at a time, but I got it done! 

I'm teaching a summer intensive for the next couple weeks, and since it's a 10am-1pm class, this is what immediately happens when the bell rings for break time. Power naps for everyone! I wish I could put my head down too, but I'm too busy spending my five minutes of freedom guzzling coffee so I can keep the energy up for the rest of the class. The nocturnal schedule of an academy teacher definitely makes early morning teaching difficult. 

Level-up Week: Day One.
I love when the level-up exam week rolls around each term: it means hours of proctoring exams, during which I passively keep an eye on students while they take tests for hours and hours. It's gotten to where I anticipate this week of downtime, trying to plan out what I want to draw while my classes work. This time around, I've been having fun with typography. I love putting tiny, intricate details into what I draw, as well as perfectly drawing typeface, so this is an excellent theme for the week to keep myself occupied while I'm proctoring. 

Level-Up Week: Day Two.
This one was drawn for my friend Eleanor, who gave me the quote and told me to go to town. After a fair amount of going back and forth to her with different font ideas and such, this is what I came up with. I successfully finished it with an hour to spare today, which was great. I think one of the reasons I don't draw as much anymore is because I'm not in a classroom setting, imposing deadlines and exercises on me. When I'm given parameters and a timeframe and nothing else to be doing (read: proctoring), I find it much easier to knuckle down and get something finished. So I'm going to take full advantage of this week of testing. Three more days left!

And to round out this post with a photo from July 31st as well as a nice even number of pictures, here's a selfie (or selca, if you're Korean) that I took at work today, because I was a) bored and b) bummed that I was stuck inside on a day when the damn sun was actually out. 
Alright, thoughts? Feedback? I've been trying to think of other weekly things I can post about... Maybe some kind of weekly Engrish finds? Because I sure do find a lot of that stuff and it always amuses me.

Also coming soon: a damn apartment tour/post. Corey and I wanted to give ourselves time to settle in and make it look like home before showing it off, and I think we're about at that point now. We recently purchased a convection oven AND a crockpot, so we're basically living the dream over here, haha. Post coming soon! I promise!

ps. Is anyone else in denial that it's already August? Where have the past few months gone?!


  1. Just found your blog on BBN and I am your newest follower now! :)

    1. Hey! Welcome! :)

      Also, just checked out your blog -- you've been to SO many places that I'd love to check out, so I'm definitely going to be spending time cruising through your blog too!