Sunday, May 29, 2016

Bang Bang ~ We Had a Show!

It was a busy week. We had a dance performance on Saturday, so most of my week involved getting through the school day so I could go to practice late at night. 

I had the day off Monday, which Cesca forgot about. We usually chat in the morning, and since I've overslept once or twice before, she was worried I'd missed my alarm. As you can see. 

haha thankfully I had no school that day

I used my day off to start organizing some stuff to send home, and ventured out to the post office. I hate going there because it makes me nervous, but they're usually nice and it wasn't busy, so I was in and out pretty quick.

I hate packing. Why do I have so much stuff.
The rest of the week was a blur of practice and trying to figure out our outfits for Saturday.

Messing around

I walked home one day to find that this building
changed colors... am I unobservant, or are Koreans
really that fast!!?!?!

We were at the studio late Monday, Tuesday and Friday, and I had a staff outing on Wednesday (we saw XMen and had dinner haha it was great!), so it was a busy time. I also found out that speakerphone teacher in the office is a lot weirder and worse than he first seemed... Sigh. He's not the reason I'm leaving, but he sure does make it slightly easier to peace out...

On Saturday, we headed out to the Han River park around noon to glam up and shoot the MV for our dance cover of Bang Bang. 

Cesca, who'd been in the hospital just the day before getting an emergency IV, was a trooper and made it through the whole day of shooting and dancing.

glamming up with temporary tattoos

Rehearsing the finale

we got to be part of a proposal! 

Practicing to help someone pop the question

There will be a full official video soon. It was so fun to perform! Sun Kyung even came to see me! We killed it, even though the wind blew our hair into our faces for the whole dance. It was super fun and exciting to perform in front of a crowd again!

Stella sent us the funny pics her hubby took... I hope there are some
good ones there too!

Rehearsal with only half of our group cause they, in Korean fashion,
informed us Wednesday we had group practice Friday... Still fun!


Our teacher said we were super cool today!
The best! I love herrrrr

being cuuuuute while waiting

The actual proposal

We had to skip the afterparty because Cesca was fading out after lasting the whole day, and I was pretty beat as well. I'd been worried about her, the weather, the performance, etc, so it was nice to have it be over and to relax. 

Cesca was feeling up and down most of the weekend, and even the IV and medicine weren't a miracle cure, so I spent sunday trying to distract her and help her out around the house by fixing (maybe)her closet and cleaning some stuff up from the dance chaos. I didn't help much, but being sick and alone is hard enough, and Cesca is in a foreign country, so I wanted to just be able to spend time with her so she wasn't lonely as well. I'm hoping she can get better soon!

I'll post our video as soon as it's up! Can't wait to seeeee it!!

Sadly, it's time to get ready for school. How do my weekends go so fast?!?!? 

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Planting Day~

It was a topsy turvy week at school with open classes messing up my schedule and everyone and their mother coming down with a cold (myself included) but I had some great stuff to look forward to this week. 

Teacher's Day was on Sunday, so I actually got a few cards Monday as a late gift. It was cute~

Tried a Puss in Boots face mask. Clearly my greatest look.

Some days, you have 'fruit soup' for lunch and are hungry like 20 minutes after lunch.

seriously, it was like watered down fruit cocktail for lunch.

Ces and I tried the new S'mores frappuccino at
starbucks, only to discover it had coffee in it and
therefore was inedible for Cesca. I enjoyed it haha

Summer is coming so it's time to make my feets all pretty

Almost everyone in my office was sick this week and had open classes,which was kind of crazy. By the end of the week, I too had a tickle in my throat and felt blah on Friday, so Cesca came over and we just relaxed while she did my nails. I suck at painting my nails, but I wanted to try a design I saw on the interwebs, so she did it for me. It turned out so cute!

It's apparently called a pond manicure

On Saturday, my most anticipated event happened. A while ago, I joined the fanclub for Park Hyo Shin, who I discovered last year when I went to see Phantom. He's super famous to Koreans, but not as well known internationally or to foreigners in Korea. 

I happened upon him only because he was in a musical I semi begrudgingly decided to see (cause it wasn't MY Phantom of the Opera). I'd vaguely heard his name before, and probably his songs, but I didn't connect the dots till after the show. His performance was so good I looked him up. Lo and behold he's like one of the most famous voices in Korea. After a few listens, he quickly topped my list of favorite singers EVER in any language, cause his voice is just that awesome. 

Because American groups don't really have official fan clubs like Koreans do, I joined to see what is what. Seriously, I think the only fan club I was ever in was the Beanie Baby one when that was the craze in the 90s. Anyway. It's not like a suuuper active fan club, but once in a while, a nice event like this comes along. 

May was super busy, so I was worried the times would clash, but thankfully, the event I was hoping for, a fan meeting, just happened to be on my free weekend. 

It seems a little dorky and strange for me to go, and I've only been to one before (Lee Joon with Cesca, which was a pretty casual and spur of the moment thing). Thankfully, I could hang out with Helen and Cesca before this one, and then I braved it by myself. I wish Cesca could have come, but the tickets were mostly for fan club members... Maybe next time or for a concert we can go together~

As far as fan meetings go, this one seemed pretty big... Bigger than I had realized, actually. The venue is often a concert venue (Ces and I saw Super Junior here almost 2 years ago) and they had people seated all the way up on the 3rd floor. It was hard to visualize how many people that actually was until I was there in person. 

Because he's a singer, it was a little like a mini concert. He sang a few songs, chatted a bunch with the MC (a famous comedian), played a few games with the fans (which side could sing his song the loudest and a photo reaction game), and a few guests visited, 2 actors who are pretty famous in Korea. Then he sang some more. 

It was fun and exciting to finally see him sing and speak live. His voice is as incredible as it would seem, and he pretty seamlessly switches and can launch into his ballads at the drop of a hat. It's crazy.

the photographer's view from the stage

I guess, honestly, it was both extreeeemely awesome and also just a little teeny tiny bit disappointed? 

The exciting part was that he's working on a new album, so he sang some of the melodies and choruses from a few of his new songs that he's working on, which was amazing to hear. Honestly, anything he sings will be popular so he doesn't have to worry. But yeah, I heard em first, which is pretty much amazing, right???

AND he sang my favorite song, Wildflower, and it was breathtakingly perfect live. PERFECT. Sigh. 

Just listen to iiiiiit. He sang it live for this MV~~ It sounds amazing when he sings it live. Chills. I teared up. It's self composed, so that makes it extra specially awesome. Can't stop talking about how much I love this song.

My slight disappointment comes from paying for VIP seating when really there was nothing VIP about it, except that I was on the first floor.  I did hear one other girl on the way out lamenting that she paid for VIP needlessly, so I'm not the only one who thought like this momentarily. The price difference was pretty minimal though, so I figured, go big or go home, right?

you can see my head about 4 rows up from the right in the center section.
Did you spot me?

 In fact, during one part he had left for an outfit change and ended up coming out and walking around on the 2nd floor. Many of those people ended up getting a closer view than I did, even though my tickets were technically better seats... So I know I'm being greedy, but I can't help but be a little disappointed, even if it only happened for that one song. The venue was so big so being personal was of course impossible, but... alas... I've never been to one this big so I didn't know what to expect. I got myself too excited, I guess.

Other than that slight hiccup of over expectation (that was probably only me, other more experienced fans probably knew what was what with the layout and whole fan meeting thing..), it was a great evening. That voice, man. No wonder his nickname is God Hyo Shin. 

Was I closer to him that I possibly ever will be at another time in my life? Well, yes, a resounding yes, so that's a big something. Tickets to his stuff are notoriously hard to get (thankfully, I had an easier time on the less trafficked English site) and these were sold out pretty quick as well. 

 I am and should be more thankful that I even got to go to this fanmeet and hear him live, so I AM super happy I was able to go.Like it still doesn't feel real or like it actually happened. I don't know if there will be a concert before I leave, or a new CD, so I'm so happy this chance happened to work out on a day I could go and have a good time. I can't wait to tell my co workers and kind of brag about it.

In Korean fashion, it started late and ran way past the runtime, not that I minded. There were lots of fun anecdotes and videos, plus hearing him sing live was amaaaaazing, so I'm glad I braved the fear and went. I'm a little sad my foreignness didn't get noticed haha but that's ok. Maybe next time keke.

I'm still kind of in shock that I even got to go... Waaaaaah so happy~

Much later than scheduled, we all left,
wishing it was longer. 

Can't wait to hear his new music!

 I headed to Cesca's for the evening, and we got ready for dance class. We have to get ready for our music video, which is proving as annoying as ever because of miscommunications, but we put it aside to learn the new AOA dance, Good Luck. I really love this song. Super catchy! The dance is fun but harder than it looks!

I have the day off tomorrow, but I have a few errands to run that hopefully won't be too annoying! 

Here's to a short week. We have to practice a lot for dance, so I'm sure it will be tiring. Hope it's worth it... We will find out Saturday!

Let's be Happy Together~

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Cheer Up with a Special Trip!

After a tiring weekend, I had another full week ahead! It started out eventfully with my computer monitor not registering that the modem or whatever was on and therefor the screen was just blank. Excellent. Thankfully, the computer lady came in and fixed it fast. Phrew!

I met up with Cesca, Cherie and Helen for Taco Tuesday because who doesn't love tacos on Tuesdays!?

We found this add in Noksapyeong after dinner.
I have idea why they're using Phantom but I am so
excited I don't care

Helen knew about this AMAZING milkshake place
so we HAD to try them




She was super excited

Teacher's Day was today (sunday) so I got random love all week from my students, including some handmade paper roses from a talented 6th grader

Signs for teacher's day

I got the typical cute "thank you for teaching us" cards

This weekend was pretty special because Young Ah invited me to her hometown to meet her family and go to a festival that's famous there. If you're interesting, it's called the Chunhyang festival. It's dedicated to the story of Chunhyang, which is a famous pansori song (a traditional style of singing that tells a story).

It's about a gisaeng's daughter who falls in love with a magistrate and is very faithful and loyal and pure so they have a happy ending. Young Ah's hometown, Namwon, is the setting for the story, so they have a festival there. 

the bus seats had usb ports!! Wow

Even though we left early Saturday, the traffic was a little bad so it took over 4 hours to get there. We went to her house and had lunch with her parents and sister, then headed out to the festival. The dialect in Namwon is really cute and fun, but her father used a lot of new words I didn't know. Her sister and family were a little easier to understand. They were all super nice!

We basically just walked around the area, which had lots of food stalls, vendors and dedications to the festival's characters. 

gisaeng outfits

The guy met her when she was on a swing

we stopped to look at the 'rabbit village' haha

The evil rich dude in the story wants Chunhyang but
she is virtuous and says no. So he tortures here.

being the evil guy

they even have proposal zones marked

omg the sun was so bright it was too hard to get this picture


The bridge was kinda scary cause there are no railings to keep
you from falling in

another Chunhyang image

I met the magistrate and his servant

torture device
We also got to see some special Chinese performances. Not sure why. Around the festival we also saw lots of Korean drum and dance shows.

We liked this gold tree. Maybe it will bring us some fortune

Finally tried back of the truck chicken. It was

Me with Young Ah and her nephew

Young Ah took lots of nice pics of me.

Her family was so nice. Her sister lives in Jeonju, and she came with her husband and son to spend time with us. Young Ah and I explored the festival, then we met with them for dinner and wandered around the festival at night. We went back to her house for chimaek and they spent the night. It was so nice of everyone to take the day to help me learn about the city and the festival, and they were excited to spend time with a foreigner haha. It was so lovely^^

Her father kept worrying that the food would upset my stomach, despite constant reassurance that I had, in face, eaten Korean food during my 3 years here. It was so cute. They asked a lot of fun questions and seemed really interested in America, but also my own journey to and in Korea. It was nice to hear that it seems like I made good choices here. 

I am so touched and grateful that Young Ah wanted to introduce me to her family and show me around her hometown. Buuuuuuh it was so nice!!! 

We had to leave early the next day, which was sad, but thankfully the traffic was minimal because of that. I got back with time to hang out at cesca's a bit before dance class, where we learned the super cute Twice dance Cheer Up.

It was fuuuuun!! And adorable. But now I am super wiped and I have to get ready for another lovely week of school. I know I shouldn't wish the time away, but next weekend looks like it has some fun coming my way as well. Can't wait to update if it goes well!

Cheer Up everybody!