Archive for ‘20 Something’

April 23, 2012

Why the Internet is pretty awesome.

For most people, mornings go something like this:

1. Wake up.
2. Check email.
3. Check Facebook.
4. Get out of bed.

For most people who write blogs, mornings go something like this:

1. Wake up.
2. Check blog stats.
3. Check email.
4. Check blog stats.
5. Check Facebook
6. Check blog stats
7. Refresh page
8. Refresh page one more time.
9. Realize it’s not going to change.
10. Get out of bed.

So imagine my surprise when I checked my stats first thing this morning and saw THIS:

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I checked the top referring site… and low and behold it was Reddit. I love you, Reddit.

And my friend Shyal. Who posted it under athiesm. Athiesm on Reddit has 600k+ subscribers and the rest, as they say, is history. The link stayed on the 1st/2nd page for quite a while.

Granted, the traffic was ALL for my last post which was a transcript I wrote for Dr. Tyson’s video. But blog stats are blog stats. I know it wasn’t really my work they were coming to my blog for but it was still my blog they were visiting. It’s like having a really hot friend and telling everyone she’s going to be there when you throw a house party. You know they’re coming to your house for her. but whatever. It’s your house. You’re cool by association.

So I did what I assume most people would do when something like this happens. Sat in front of my computer for the next 3 hours and hit refresh every second and saw the views jump up to 500 views at a time. EVERY SECOND! And let me tell you. It was amazing, guys. It was like being on a high I never wanted to end.

As I type this, it’s still going pretty strong (16,000+ views!!!) but it’s plateaued a bit. My favorite part of blog stats has always been the location section which tells you which countries your visitors are from. Today’s list? Is so unbelievably long. And I can’t correctly pronounce more than half of it.

I’ve always thought the Internet was a pretty cool place… but today, somehow, I felt closer to it all. It’s really humbling that something you type up sitting on the floor of your apartment in Korea could be seen and read by so many people all around the world. Even if it is someone else’s words. Even if all you did was type it up.

In Dr. Tyson’s words: Think About That. It’s not like I’m here and they’re out there. We’re all connected, always. As much as we want to be. We’re able to share thoughts, ideas, a little part of our world and everything in between. In real time. And, that, is pretty awesome.

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April 19, 2012

Why life as a twenty something is pretty awesome.

I love taking pictures at the airport right before a vacation because I know that when I look back at my vacation pictures, that’s the picture I’ll want to relive most.

And heres why.

The endless preparation is behind me. No more hotel reviews to read, the search for the cheapest, fastest flight is over and my bags are packed and checked in. I’ve crossed off all the items on my to-pack list, I’m done with the frantic last minute shopping runs. And perhaps the most dreaded of all: my bags are under the luggage weight limit! I don’t know about you but I’m more afraid of the scale at the check-in counter than the one in my washroom.

And while I’m no fan of sitting in an uncomfortable chair for hours on end, I know that at the other end of that flight lies a great adventure. That is what is so special about the airport moment: anything is possible beyond it. But so often we focus on the check in lines, the security lines, the washroom lines, the crowds of people and the overpriced airport food that we forget about the exciting journey we’re about to embark on.

Being a twenty something is a lot like that airport moment.

We’ve put ourselves through years and years of school, went to saturday morning heritage classes and took some form of extracurricular activity to become a well rounded person.

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And while most of us are still unsure of where life our lives are headed, we have a vague idea of what we want and know that the road to wherever that is will be filled with lots of laughs and tears. Sometimes more of the latter than the former.

But that’s ok because if airport moments and vacations are anything to go by, I know that at the end of this vacation we call life, the memories I’ll most want to relive are these. Because it encompasses all the work we put in to get here and the anticipation of all the possibilities that lie ahead.

We’ll look back at these 20 something years and wonder why we worried so much. Because everything turned out alright. Because the decisions we made were the right ones. Because we ended up with the right people. And because these really were the good old days.

April 19, 2012

My Fav Videos on Vimeo

I’ve been kinda obsessed with discovering new videos on Vimeo lately.

So what’s the  big deal with Vimeo and how is it different from YouTube?

For starters and the way I see it- Vimeo has quality video. The videos are shot and edited  by professionals and the videos alone are real works of art. (whereas on youtube it’s usually about what and/or who is infront of the camera and as a result, the video quality usually sucks.)

However, I’ve yet to find a whole channel I like. That’s what I’ve found particularly difficult about Vimeo- discovering new videos. I’m still pretty new to this whole discovering-new-videos-on-Vimeo-thing but here are a few I’ve really enjoyed.

1. a story for tomorrow

Video Description: This video was written and produced while traveling through Chile & Patagonia with my girlfriend. We spent 5 weeks exploring this amazing country, and this is how we chose to document it.

Why I love it: Dare I say it, (because my fav videos are always changing) but this is by far my most favorite video right now. It has all the elements of a good video: a solid story, great narration and incredible cinematography. I also love the two questions: 1) Is it possible to be happy with this life? and 2) Did you enjoy your story?

I checked out gnarly bay’s  channel and they have quite a few other travel videos that are just as good. This one is from their time in Thailand. And it’s amazing.

2. Move. Eat. Learn.

(**There are three separate videos linked above. One under each word.**)

Video Description: 3 guys, 44 days, 11 countries, 18 flights, 38 thousand miles, an exploding volcano, 2 cameras and almost a terabyte of footage… all to turn 3 ambitious linear concepts based on movement, learning and food ….into 3 beautiful and hopefully compelling short films….. = a trip of a lifetime.

Why I love it: Watching these makes you want to a) book a ticket and discover some place new b) eat something delicious or c) learn something new. Isn’t that the point of life?

3. Frame of Mind

Video Description: Ben and I taking photos in different locations in Hawaii.

Why I love it: I have no idea how they did the transitions. The shots are seamless and as a result the viewer is mezmerized, unable to take her eyes off the screen for the entire duration of the video.

4. Caine’s Arcade

Video Description: A 9 year old boy – who built an elaborate cardboard arcade inside his dad’s used auto part store – is about to have the best day of his life.

Why I love it: The story is heartwarming and that boy’s smile is absolutely adorable.

5. Love your story

Video description: Lorimerworks filmed this piece for Jasmine in October of 2010, shot primarily in Tuscany.

Why I love it: Jasmine Star is one of my favorite wedding photographers. I’m not sure if I like her blog or her actual photographs more- but this video was beautifully written and I love the story.

So there you have it- some of my favorite videos on Vimeo. The underlying theme in my favs is definitely a good inspirational story.  What are some of your favorites? And how do you discover more of what you like?

April 3, 2012

Guess what!?!?!?!

My laptop is no longer fried.

So after weeks of hair dryering, rice packing, and turning on successfully… only to have my laptop die within minutes…

My laptop has finally finally finally been on (and working) for more than 15 minutes. (and this warranted a blog post. obviously)

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I can’t help but think that it’ll turn off again. That I must use every second with diligence. Make use of every moment I have with it.

And as I took a break to make myself a drink, I couldn’t help but think…

… that’s probably how we should treat life. With gratitude for each extra second we have. As if it could all vanish any second.

March 29, 2012

Is this what YOU want to be remembered by?

I read the following quote somewhere on the Internet a couple of weeks ago.

“In 100 years, there will be 500 million profiles on Facebook. Of dead people.”

And then I wrote a really morbid post. In fact, it was so morbid that if I had hit publish, my mom would’ve probably called me within minutes and threatened to disown me if I didn’t delete it. Ya. It was that bad y’all.

So I sat on it. And did what I always do: try to find a positive twist. And find I did.

Instead of thinking of 500 million profiles of dead people, why not use different words.

When you change your language (and therefore the framework with which you approach something), you change everything.

So, yes, it’d still be odd to have “friends” in the other world on Facebook. But wouldn’t it be nice if Facebook, other social networking sites and the Internet as a whole created a memory online. Consolidating all our online selves. Once people pass on in real life. Somehow.

Ok. So let me start from the beginning.

I’ve never met either of my grandfathers. They both passed away long before I was even born.

My mom always tells me that I’m a lot like her father. That he was a bookworm, too. When I visited my uncle’s home in Sri Lanka in 2004, I was so excited to find that he had kept some of my grandfather’s books. (My grandfather had owned literally rooms of books so my uncle couldn’t keep them all and had to donate most of the books to a library.)

I jumped up and down with glee when I first saw the collection. Ya. Books excite me that much. And then I opened the first book to discover there were swordfish bugs.** Or those silver bugs that eat paper and make old books their home. (**Note: I may or may not have just made up swordfish bugs. There is such a thing, right?)

Now I’m all about finding out more about my grandfather through his love of books and the kinds that he read and chose to line his bookcases with, but bugs will stop that quest. In a heart beat.

Now fast forward to today. Imagine he had had a list of fav books on amazon or better yet! Imagine he had written a blog.

I could easily click-clickity away without traveling thousands of miles or back in time to find out everything he believed in. Everything he was, breathed, liked, thought. Everything he wanted to share.

And that’s what is so cool about the future of the Internet, Facebook, Blogging, Vlogging.

Our kids and their kids and every future generation will have not only pictures of their ancestors but videos and words and thoughts and anything else we decide to put out there.

The Internet makes it possible for every kid in the future to have something that was only available for the descendants of:

(a) Einstein, Charles Dickens, any other published author

and

(b) famous actors/actresses, royal families and otherwise wealthy folk

Yup, you’ve guessed it. I’m suggesting that not only is the Internet making it possible for us to break down the barriers of entry with WordPress (the written word) and YouTube (videos) and the like today, but that it will also inevitably allow us to leave behind legacies which was an option only available to the elite few in the past.

Now imagine that.

This puts blogging and vlogging in a whole new light.

And our general online presence.

Everything we put online will live on, long after we’re gone. So every time you hit post, share or publish, ask yourself this: Is this what I want to be remembered by?

And my message to Facebook is this: find a way not to create an online graveyard but a memorial yard. Or something like that. And ensure that all “friends” links of the people who have passed on is disabled along with their walls. Basically find a way to turn a Facebook profile into an online book. One that cannot be changed in any way. But one that can be pulled off the proverbial shelf and read by anyone. Or wait. Maybe not anyone. Shouldn’t Facebook have an option for this somewhere? Kinda like a donor card.

No. Wait.

The remnants of the morbid post I deleted are seeping into this one. Which could only mean one thing: I should stop writing.

If you’ve read this far, thank you for trusting me with your time. If I could, I’d give you some food. (like these beautiful cupcakes)

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But I can’t. So hopefully, I’ve given you some food for thought :)

Have a happy happy day :)

March 29, 2012

Life is short.

My mom hates it when I say life is short.

She’s super superstitious. I think she thinks that the more I say it, the truer/more applicable I’m making it to my life aka the shorter my life is going to be. Or something ridiculous like that.

Anyway, the reason I say it is because…
1. it is short.
2. to remind myself that it’s short.

For the realists in here that disagree and counter with it’s the longest thing any human will do, dude I’ll say you’re right. It is the longest thing you’ll do… until you realize seconds or days… if you’re lucky, months before it’s your time.. And then you’ll agree with the rest of us and say: ya dude. Life is effin short

And to that I’ll say huzzaaaa. Told you so.

Ok. Not really. But I’ll want to. And my mom will stop me.

Here’s a totally-unrelated-to-this-post pic of me holding a puppy in Busan. We were bar hopping and they randomly had puppies you could hold! On the street! I <3 Korea!

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March 12, 2012

Home. Away from home.

As much as you want to experience everything and absorb every ounce of your new host country, sometimes you just want to be home. Even if it is just for a weekend.

But the flight from Seoul to Toronto is 14 hours. Spending 28 hours in a plane for less than 20 hours at home isn’t feasible nor smart.

Enter the greatest invention on the planet: the American base.

Ok so you might be thinking: really? How can you betray and turn your back on your fellow Canadians. And to that, I have this to say:

As much as we hate to admit it, Canada is like America’s little brother. Sure when we’re home we don’t think much of each other. But on the other side of the planet? We’re from the same family. We connect on a level that only siblings can. We bond.

I may not be American. But Taco bell and Subway and Starbucks and People magazine and ouchless hair ties and menus in English spell home for me. That’s exactly what the American base in Daegu is like. That and more.

After 4 long months, I had taco bell for the first time. My fav order at taco bell –fries supreme, no beef, no beans, extra cheese and green onions with 4 packs of hot sauce and 4 packs of mild sauce- doesn’t exist in the American Taco Bell. Apparently, fries at Taco Bell is strictly a Canadian thing. That blew my mind. And made a pretty strong case for why Canadia may be the cooler brother. Just sayin ;)

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Anyway, I ordered a quesadilla and was just happy to be eating non sweet bread with normal, stringy, yummy cheese.

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And then we went shopping. I got so excited when I saw ENGLISH magazines, ENGLISH books, ENGLISH labels. ENGLISH everywhere. On everything. Ok. So I got a little more than excited.

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And stocked up on toiletries. Things I didn’t think I’d see for a long time.

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Macadamia nut cookies from Subway? And a tall latte sprinkled with a generous layer of cinnamon from Starbucks? Yes, please!

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Ok, so Subways and Starbucks are all over Korea. But sitting in the one on base was different. Here’s why: although you’re drinking and eating the same stuff, the atmosphere in a Korean Starbucks is notably different. You are usually the only non-Korean. And while you might be thinking duh, you’re in Korea Einstein, like I said before, it’s just nice to feel like you’re home. Once in a while.

As I was sitting in my American Starbucks in Korea on an American base, I noticed this:

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Even the sidewalks and pole things on the base is the same as back home! How awesome is that!?

But perhaps the thing that blew my mind/impressed me the most was the power outlets in my friend’s apartment. They were all North American! With two flat prongs instead of the two rounded prongs found in Korea.

She even had a normal North American washroom where the shower area is separate from the rest of the washroom. And therefore the whole washroom doesn’t get wet every time you shower.

Living in a foreign country with a foreign culture and people… where you’re notably foreigner, is fascinating. No two days are the same and you’re always learning, always excited about something new you just discovered.

But between it all, you miss home. You miss the little things. Like being able to understand menus and labels. The familiar taste of fastfood.  Being able to speak English without the oscar worthy acting performance.

And it’s nice to have somewhere you can go where it’s just like home. Away from home.

March 5, 2012

I fried my laptop.

I read somewhere that it takes 30 days to develop a habit. So for the month of march, I made a few resolutions. March has 31 days, I thought I’d throw in that extra day for good measure. You know, be extra ambitious.

What are those resolutions you ask? Mostly an extension of my new year’s resolutions. (that have been an epic fail)
Floss. Yoga daily.
And some new ones:
Have a routine, wake up/go to bed at godly hours. Cook.

None of those have stuck.Except cooking.

And I really took that one far. Not only have I been frying pancakes and rice…

I even fried my laptop.

Ok so not the hot stove + fry-pan kinda frying.

Although, that would’ve been a cooler way to fry my laptop. I spilled grape juice on it (no, mom, that’s not code for wine. obviously.)

I googled remedies and placing the laptop in an air tight container with uncooked rice seemed to have the highest success rate. So that’s what my laptop is doing as I type this on my iPhone. Chilling in a dark room with rice.

And me? Well. I’m feeling what I think parents feel when their adult kids leave home. Empty nest syndrome.

1. I don’t know what to do with my new found free time.
2. My apartment feels empty. And quiet.
3. I feel useless. Like I have no purpose.

Ok so that last one may have been an exaggeration.

Anyway, I googled remedies for empty next syndrome and it gave me useless advice like plan ahead and get to know your spouse. Those don’t really apply in my case. How do you plan ahead for a grape juice spill or get to know your spouse in the case of a MacBook baby. Is your spouse apple in that case? If yes, did y’all know my hypothetical spouse became the 20th largest economy a couple days ago? Talk about a good catch.

I think I’m losing it. Crossing over to the weird side of blogging. I blame it on the Empty MacBook syndrome.

I’m going to go meditate. And find other (edible) things to fry.

……………………………………………………….

In the meantime, here are some cool pics I took over the last month.

A cute little Italian restaurant in Daegu. The food sucked.

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I found this mannequin/wood structure/art in a mall in Seoul. It looked so Oscar-ish. And beautiful. So I had to take a pic.

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March is definitely my fav month for teaching material. Let me explain: so each month I work through a book with each of my classes. Some of them are on subjects I don’t find that interesting. But this month, four of my classes are on four of my fav cities: London, Paris, Montreal & New York. In that order. Most of you know my love affair with London. And this is the quote on the cover of the London book.

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I couldn’t agree more.

February 15, 2012

the BEST valentine’s day cards. Ever.

Economics and Tech/Social Media? I’m sold.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Valentine’s Peeps :)

P.S. These were taken from http://fosslien.com/heart/ and http://mashable.com/2012/02/08/valentines-day-cards-geek/

February 8, 2012

My Stance on Diets

I read an article on the HBR blog today and it got me thinking.

Somewhere, my grade 6 teacher is proud of me for not being a passive reader and agreeing with what I’ve just read but instead engaging and bringing out my critical thinking skills and you know, all that other stuff they teach you in grade 6.

Anyway, the article was about going offline for a set period of time or, in other words, going on an information diet. And while I’m sold on most things on the HBR Blog, (because lets be real, anything with the word Harvard in it probably shouldn’t be disputed) I really couldn’t disagree with this article more.

I don’t believe in diets of any kind.

The author argues that the “challenge is to find an approach that’s more balanced and healthy” I say that we don’t need to find it.

I think information, like food, should be consumed at one’s leisure. When you’re hungry. And you should stop when you’re satisfied. Not based on some preconceived “norm”. And definitely not based on years of research by people in shiny white lab coats.

Of course this all dips into my other beliefs about life… like what’s the point of holding back now so that our lives are more “comfortable” later on. I’d rather live 40 exciting years than 80 boring years. But that’s me. I’d opt for quality over quantity any day.

I really don’t have much else to say. I just felt compelled to say something having read this article because I felt like if I didn’t, that soon they’ll bring out the calorie counter for information. Based on age and IQ instead of age and height. Or something.

We all need to stop worrying about too little of this and too much of that. And just go with the flow. Do what feels right.

January 1, 2012

Happy Birthmonth Thumbelina!

I don’t believe in birthdays. I believe in birthMONTHS. Birthmonths start on the 1st of the month and end on your birthday. So for example, if your birthday is on the 2nd- you get a 2 day birthmonth. AKA seriously gypped on the birthmonth phenomenon. In this department, my bro and I lucked out. Because we’re both born on the last day of the month. So we get the whole shbang. A WHOLE MONTH. And…. January is my little brother’s birthMONTH!

My brother doesn’t read my blog. And let’s be real here. He probably never will. But that’s not going to stop me from sending a shout out for his 24th BIRTHMONTH! To my brother. The one that lives in a parallel universe and would totally appreciate this token of love. And read my blog.

The brother-sister bond is a special one. Because you kinda hate each other most of your life. Until some pivotal thing happens in either of your lives… and then… and then you stick together like elmer’s white glue 12 hours later. REAL HARD. Or crazy glue 12 seconds later. Either analogy will work here.

He’s played a huuuuuuuuge role in the person I’ve become today… and regardless of how many times I’ve wished I was the only child , I love him with all my heart. And wouldn’t change him or his place in my life… for the world.

So here are some memories to illustrate how (wonderful) he is and how our relationship has changed over the years…


Childhood

If you have a Sri Lankan mother, this will resonate with you. If you don’t, watch Russel Peters’ “somebody gonna get hurt real bad” video, and you’ll get the general gist of it. My mom had this huge long wooden spoon. Actually I should probably say she had many of them. Or she had many of them over the course of our childhood. Because they would break. Often. And no, not from kitchen-ly duties.

The wooden spoon, as many Sri Lankan children will tell you was not only used for mixing puttu dough, but also substituted for the long wooden cane. We lived in Canada. Parents didn’t have access to wooden canes (they were readily available throughout Sri Lanka). So they improvised. With a wooden spoon.

This wooden spoon was stored in the kitchen top drawer. Why is this detail important? Because the sound of opening and closing of this drawer could send us from comfortably relaxing on the couch watching tv to frantically running towards the washroom to lock ourselves in. Yes, the opening and drawing of a drawer in the kitchen could only mean one thing: mom was mad. Of course there were rare cases when she was actually just cooking and needed some cooking utensil. And even in those cases you could catch us running.

Anyway, my mom always thought I was too skinny. Too underweight to be physically punished. (or to be able to handle it) Whatever it was, this meant I never got hit with the wooden spoon. Sure, I got threatened. But never actually hit. Which only meant one thing: my brother got twice the beats from this wooden spoon. Ya, he got all MY beats too.

Reason #462 why every girl needs a brother.

The Teenage Years

One night, Heidi (my high school best friend and I) got this GREAT idea. That happened a lot back in the day. Great ideas I mean. Like the time we saw an island from the shore in Cuba. It looked so close. So we thought, hey let’s be all adventurous and… lets paddle boat there! Yes. Paddle boat. I don’t need to tell you how that adventure turned out.

So Heidi was sleeping over one day and we got this GREAT idea to sneak out. With the car. We were 15. Give us a break. But I will tell you that we planned these missions SO well that we’d put the MI team to shame. No detail was overlooked. Except for that tiny detail of having a goody-two-shoes little brother.

Who was awake.

And watching tv in the family room.

He stopped us. Obviously. Because walking out with my mom’s car keys when we didn’t have a driver’s license wasn’t suspicious at all.

We tried to sell him on coming with us for an adventure of a lifetime. A drive around the neighbourhood with his older sister who didn’t have a license. He didn’t budge. And basically told us that if we left the house, he was waking up mom and dad.

Mission aborted.

Reason #256 why having a younger goody-two-shoes brother totally cramps your style.

Adulthood… sorta. (I was 19, he was 17)

That pivotal thing I talked about up there… it happened in 2005 for us. I had moved away and he missed me. Ok. SO I missed him too. And I guess it took us 10,000 km to make our pivotal thing happen. And just like that. We were bonded. Elmer’s glue meets crazy glue bonded.

So it all happened one night… one day. Night in Sri Lanka. Day in Toronto. Or the other way around.  The point is, we were 10,000 km apart. And some serious bonding was about to go down. Across borders. Across oceans. Across timezones…. And now I’m going to get to my story without being any more dramatic.

Bro: uh sis**, is mom a round?

Me: no, why… what’s up?

Bro: so uh I’ve gotta talk to you about something

Me: uh huh…

Bro: so there’s this girl.

Me: uh huh… (while in my head… FINALLY! HALLELUJAH! MY! BRO! IS! GROWING! UP! Do. The. Happy. Dance!!!) … ya I’m listening

Bro: so she’s really nice and I really like her…. It’s just that. It’s just that I didn’t feel right doing anything about it… or asking her out or anything… without you know…. Uh… telling you about her first.

And then. And then my heart melted from all the adorableness and cuteness of what I had just heard.

If you know my brother, you know he doesn’t do adorable. Or cute. He’s the World of Warcraft playing, grade 12 math teaching, iron chef watching guy. Oh and let me point out that the bit about grade 12 math? That was me he used to teach. While he was in grade 10. Ya, poster child. Clearly.

**my bro calls me sis. And while this may not warrant a story or explanation in most families, it sure does in my mine. And in keeping with today’s lets-embarrass-my-bro post… here’s that story: when we were younger, my mom insisted that my bro call me akka (Tamil for older sister) and I call him thamby (Tamil for younger brother) She insisted that we do this in public too. Yes, even at school.

Now for a couple of immigrant children, there’s nothing more embarrassing than showing just how different you are from the other kids by using a foreign language to address siblings. As if talking to siblings in school wasn’t embarrassing enough. But of course I happily obliged. I called my bro Thamby. And then all his friends started calling him Thumbelina. I was such an awesome sis, no?

So I guess at some point he figured he was never going to call me akka. And settled for a happy medium: sis. It made my mom happy – and he wouldn’t be further ridiculed by his friends.**

This picture is special for two reasons:

  1. it was taken on my 24th birthday
  2. if you know my bro, you’d know he never dresses up. So don’t let that shirt fool you. He’s wearing basketball shorts on the bottom and a tshirt underneath. But he put on that shirt because it was my birthday and he knew how important it was to me. And that right there? That’s love.

LOVE! YOU! BRO! and Happy happy birthmonth! Oh and that $120 I owe you…I was hoping this adorablesweetcute post would, kinda, you know, cancel that out. LOVE! YOU!

November 29, 2011

Veni. Vidi. Vici.

With a title like that… you know this is going to be a looooooong post.

I’m the let’s-take-the-easy-way kinda girl. Because life is short. And if something can be done in less time and with less effort, then uh… why struggle? (I struggle anyway but that’s another story for another post.)

So I lovelovelove pretty views. I mean, I live for views. You know the kind that take your breath away? Those. Whether it’s from the top of the CN Tower or the Eiffel Tower or <insert your fav tall structure here> or… mountain tops.

But see, there is a slight technical difference between a man-made tall structure and… a mountain. They’re called elevators/escalators/lifts/flying glass cubes. Whatever you like to call them- I like them to come packaged with my pretty view. Like French fries with ketchup. Or samosas with chutney. Or crunchy apples with peanut butter. One without the other should never be!

So I brought 5 pairs of shoes with me to Korea: 4 heels and a pair of black flat boots. I figured the only kind of working-out I’d be doing is yoga so why pack runners?! But Korea is on a mission to change me. And I’ve gotta admit- she’s been showing some pretty solid game so far. Here’s the foot gear I wore for this view-finding-journey:


They were probably made for driving to, and walking around… in a mall. And to say I had a couple OMG-I’m-gonna-die-moments would be an understatement.

So the journey started with this pretty Jetsons-meets-nature path (doesn’t it look all futuristic!?)

Which led us to this beautiful pond/lake…  it felt all calm and serene and peaceful-esque. We went over to the edge and watched the fishies do their thing.

And then I made a friend. Isn’t she just precious?!

Then we passed this mountain of rocks. If I wasn’t with the most awesome 1/2-Korean-1/2-german-American I know, I would’ve thought it was one of those things Koreans just do. You know, pile rocks up in random spots on the mountain. Totally logical explanation. Only in my head. Like most other things. I digress.

So Noel told me to pick up a rock nearby. A ROCK TIA – not a clump of mud. I think he called it a tarp? terp? turd? Turd. And then you’re supposed to make a wish. And put it on the top. Here’s mine:

And then. AND THEN. the most random sight. EVER.

That’s right. A gym. On a mountain. In the open air. It’s like oh-hey-I’m-not-already-getting-the-workout-of-life-let’s-stop-and-REALLY-workout.

So this is probably where I should mention that Noel is a boxer. So is Sherif. And Jade? She climbs the mountain approx 3 times a week. No biggie. uhhh. NOW DO YOU UNDERSTAND WHY I STRUGGLED SO MUCH. You would’ve too. It took “us” 2 hours to climb up and down. And by “us” I really mean me. If I wasn’t there, it would’ve probably taken the 3 of them, oh I don’t know… 27 mins? In total.

To the left of that gym, is this cute washroom.

And then we reached the top. (The I climbed the CN Tower in 27:13 tshirt I’m wearing in that picture? Total coincidence. I didn’t plan that AT ALL. And if you were wondering when I did that cray-zee thing… it was when I worked for HP and and they did a fund-raising climb in partnership with WWF- World Wildlife Fund. Like I said before, I’m an elevator/escalator kind of girl usually.)

And here’s a plaque we found on the way to check out the helipad.

And here’s the helipad.

And the rest is a blur because I was so hungry and my legs felt like mashed potatoes.

Until of course my new friends took me to the most awesome-est restaurant ever: Seoga & Cook. (Every restaurant I’ve been to so far has been awesome. More awesome-r than the one before. That’s what life is like in Korea. It just gets more awesome by the minute.)


Then the food came and I forgot to take a pic before we devoured it. So here’s a collage of a half eaten plate and a pic of the pic of the full plate on the menu.

And like with every night in korea, the night just doesn’t end until you’ve had a little kiwi-soju-lovin’.

Mountain climbing. Wishing on a Rock. Gym. On said Mountain. Awesome food. And a little Soju. All in a day’s work.

Veni. Vidi. Vici.

November 26, 2011

Ninjas, Chanel & Having this Moment for Life

This is going to be a quick post… because, well, I have really important saturday things to do. LIKE SHOPPING! (Mission find-a-swiffer-sweeper is still very much incomplete)

And and if this post had a soundtrack, this would be it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7GW8TYCEG4&ob=av2n

I wish that I could have this moment for lifeeeeeeeee.

Last night I went into downtown Daegu for the first time. And here’s me living life on the edge. On a normal day, I struggle crossing the street. But crossing it. taking a picture. with a car coming at me. and CENTERING the car!? You might as well just go ahead and call me SUPER TIA now. I’m not gonna lie. I’m pretty impressed with my skills. Maybe I’m becoming a Ninja. You know, like, being all smooth and sneaky and skilled and stuff? No? ok.

So downtown Daegu is like one of those street style blogs come to life. Every. single. girl. was impeccably dressed. I’m all about Chanel quotes like…

“A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous.”

“I don’t understand how a woman can leave the house without fixing herself up a little – if only out of politeness. And then, you never know, maybe that’s the day she has a date with destiny. And it’s best to be as pretty as possible for destiny.”

And Daegu girls? They’ve got this Chanel business down pat. (pun intended)

When I learn a bit of Korean (so I don’t look like a creeper trying to take pics of random girls) I’ll go into town and take pics of some of these girls and their amazing outfits so y’all can see what I mean.

P.S. I’ve tried a lot of new authentic Korean food in the past few days but editing the pics to make the food look yummier than it did in real life takes a bit of time… so hopefully I’ll be able to post in the next couple days :) PATIENCE IS A VIRTUE MY DEARS.

LOOOOOOOOVE, Me.

November 23, 2011

Dancing in the Kitchen, Crack Cake and Best Friends

Somerfield’s Cadbury Gateau

We had a ritual. No, ritual isn’t even the right word. It was more like a well-choreographed, synchronized dance. We all knew exactly what to do. And somehow, 30 seconds after getting home from Somerfield’s, the three of us would sit around the table. in silence. To enjoy two of life’s simplest pleasures: best Friends. and cake.

It wasn’t just any cake. We called it crack cake. Layers of melted chocolate between slices of warm cake and… a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

It was so addictive. And so good.

And today. Today a conversation about samosas somehow turned into a conversation about our beloved cake.

 

November 18, 2011

Firsts, Un-comfort and the Natural Spontaneity of Life

I’m the kind of person who takes all the best bites first. Wears all the new stuff in her closet first. Asks to hear the good news first. Because life is short. And you never know exactly how short. That and…what if I’m really full by the time I get to the best bite. Or what if I save the new stuff for an “important” event and there are so many other newer things to choose from by then. Or what if the world.ends. in the hot minute between the bad and the good. Yes, I leave no possibility behind.

So mission teach-english-in-south-korea wasn’t a difficult decision. People assume I gave up comfort and the known for un-comfort and the unknown. And that I must be crazy. They can’t be further from the truth.

I’ve never had a plan. I don’t know what tomorrow holds and I like it that way.

The whole let’s-plan-and-worry-about-the-future-and-completely-miss-out-on-the-present-moment just isn’t my thing.

“I love the natural spontaneity of life- the randomness and rawness that makes life so beautiful.” -Tia

Ya. I just quoted myself. in my own blog. I’m clearly way too cool for school.

And on that note, here’s a totally-unrelated-to-this-post-but-still-SO-AWESOME k-pop video (I believe k-pop means Korean pop):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bw9CALKOvAI&ob=av3e

November 9, 2011

From Ballin’ as in tears to ballin’ as in $$$

I missed my flight from Seoul to Daegu. Before you bring out the “TIA, you’re not SUPPOSED to be fashionably late for flights” line… HEAR. ME. OUT. So my flight from SF landed in Seoul at 6:40pm. And since bags must clear customs at first port of entry, I had to go through immigration/customs/baggage claim and then RE CHECK IN for my flight to Daegu at 7:20pm. 40 mins to do all that isn’t enough time regardless of how much awesome you’ve got.

SO I missed my flight and the next flight to Daegu wasn’t until the next day. And then I had 2 choices: freak out or think of a plan. I did both. In that order.

Checked into hotel on the verge of tears- main reason nice hotel lady gave me ridiculous room. I was going to get into my room and start ballin (you would too if you were ALONE in a country where you didn’t speak the language) but then I saw the room and thought a room like this and crying just don’t go together. So I decided to keep it cool. And then caught a flight in the morning. ALL’S GOOD IN THE HOOD.

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