Monday, July 30, 2012

Call me paranoid...

But tonight I freaked out at the movie theater.

I took one of my former students, Emma, to see a movie tonight.  Circumstance selected The Dark Knight Rises for us, marking my third time seeing it.  I think the movie is fabulous, so I didn't really mind, in spite of my advising my mom to not go see it.

After everything that happened in Colorado and the copycat scares, I just don't think a trip to the theater is worth it.  The movie will be out on DVD soon enough.  But I didn't apply this rule to myself, considering South Korea's strict gun control laws.  However, I grew up in America, with one of my earliest memories being the horror of Columbine (I was in elementary school... I'm sure I could remember further back if it wasn't so late right now), and, therefore, an awareness of gun possibilities in various occasions is deeply engrained in me.  Plus, I'll admit that I'm a bit overly-paranoid, and am always aware of what is in my purse that can be quickly turned into a weapon.

So when, halfway through Batman tonight, a member of the audience got up and started fiddling with the emergency exit, I immediately found a new focus for my attention.  I pulled my Cannon Power Shot from my purse, along with a particularly sharp pen, and began contemplating the best place to hit a man with said improvised rock to incapacitate him and/or crush his skull.

My camera.
I'm pretty fond of it, but it caught me by surprise when everything was digital on it.
I'd still prefer to upgrade to something with more manual options, but with some practice,
the digital manual options are workable.

When I saw him cross in front of the audience and linger in the middle (really, directly in front of me, as I was sitting in the first row), I slowly began sliding to the front edge of my seat, so as to lose no time trying to get out of it.  I slid my cell phone in my back pocket.  Having found myself phoneless in my last major emergency situation (my car crash), I never intend for it to happen again.

He scanned the audience and quickly moved to the other fire exit, which he shook several times, quietly.  When it wouldn't open, he sprinted out the main entrance/exit, and I didn't see him again, although I was definitely looking.  Every time I saw someone's shadow growing larger as they came down the hall to that door, I was distracted from the movie to stare and make sure they didn't look extra-lumpy.  I did get distracted by the movie at one point, and, when I noticed someone standing there, I jumped so high that I scared Emma.  She definitely knew something was up, but she never asked about it.

It turned out to be nothing, but it was definitely an adrenaline-inducing experience.  I couldn't help but find myself thinking, "They may have gun control laws, but that's what keeps them from anticipating something like this."  Furthermore, as we were sitting in the front row, I felt so helpless, knowing that there would be little to nothing I could do to protect Emma; there were no chairs in front of us to help protect her, even if I got her to the floor.

But what shook me more, was realizing that I, the girl who constantly preaches pacifism and that people have no right to kill each other (without specific exception from G-d Himself), was plotting the fastest/easiest way to kill this man, assuming he made one blatantly wrong move.  I'm not sure what to do with that realization, aside from a lot of prayer and research.  If I come up with anything, I'll be sure to let you know.

So that was the excitement for the evening.  I'm thinking that may have to end up being my last in-theater viewing of Batman for this generation.  Like I told my mom, it's just not worth it.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sunday Funnies: The Current Events Conundrum

It's 1:48am, and I JUST finished tomorrow's Captain Bob.

So make sure you read it tomorrow.  I'm pretty proud of this one.

It's interesting to me how now that I'm leaving my elementary school, I finally feel like I'm making a difference there.  It feels like people - students and teachers alike - are finally listening to me and finally expressing/seeing that I do a good job (new teacher status bringing allowances, of course).  I have a feeling that some of it is just cultural bull, but one thing happened on Friday that cannot be explained away.

My fifth-graders have just been playing review games since their finals (read: midterm).  I can understand why it's happening (who's really going to listen after you've already taken the final?), but it also means that I usually have to yell myself hoarse just so the kids can hear what the question is.  Finally, empowered by the fact that I'm already leaving, so they can't very well threaten me with that, I took discipline into my own hands.  Every time a team got too loud, they got additive points taken off their score.  First offense = -1pt., second = -2pts., and so forth.  Unfortunately, the all-boys team got so far behind that they no longer cared, so, instead of taking off the 6 points they had added up to, I had them all stand up and hold their arms above their heads (a quite mild punishment for Korea, mind you). One boy, however, refused.

"I wasn't talking!" He said (in Korean, of course).  "I shouldn't have to be in trouble!"  We (yes, we - my Co-teacher joined me at this point) tried waiting, we tried pressuring him, we tried reasoning with him - nothing.  Finally, we let the rest of the class go, and took him to his homeroom teacher.  She informed us that he was just stubborn, and she would not be talking to him, because it was a waste of her time.  This upset me, and I informed my Co-teacher of it.  We decided to take the student down to the teachers' lounge and talk to him some more, there.  At first, I just let my Co-teacher handle it, but they were both just getting more and more angry, so I joined in, asking her to translate very calmly what I wanted to say to him. 

"I know you're upset," I said, "and I know that this doesn't feel fair, but I want you to think about this:  If you had answered every question wrong, but your team still won, you would want candy, too, right? Well, this goes with that.  When we do something as a team, it is like we are one person.  What happens to one person on the team happens to everyone."  He calmed down a bit while I was talking, so we had him go back to his homeroom.  

Meanwhile, my Co-teacher informed me of every "rude" comment he made:  "He told me, 'I could be doing much worse.'  I couldn't believe it!  He was so rude!"  This confused me a bit, since I remember telling my mom the exact same thing in high school, and I agreed with him.  He could have been doing a lot worse, but respecting his teachers is going to be a vital lesson to have learned when he graduates to middle school, so I wasn't about to let it go.  (Because my personal stubbornness has nothing to do with it... Sure.)

I figured that was the end of it.

But I was wrong.

After school, the boy came back to the teacher's lounge and handed us a letter.  My Co-teacher read it to me, while he stood, waiting.  Basically, he wrote the following (paraphrased) note:
Dear [Co-teacher] and Native English Teacher {Yes, that was how he addressed me...},
       I am very sorry for losing my temper in class.  That was wrong of me.  Even if I think something is not fair, I should still listen to and respect my teachers.  Also, I am sorry because we were doing a team activity, and I was acting as an individual.  This was wrong of me.  I am sorry.

We were both floored.  Not only did the kid apologize, he apparently listened to every word we said.

I feel like I'm finally making a difference, and I couldn't be happier.   I love these kids so much, and I apparently have to be fearless - respectful, but fearless of repercussion - to translate that into the best action possible.

Pray that G-d will continue to guide me and keep me in check.

Anne Nicole Royster

Thursday, July 26, 2012

I may regret this tomorrow.

I saw Batman again today, so it's now already past midnight, and I'm just now getting home.  Not to worry, though... it was with my boss.

Additionally, I feel like I may have been sort of set up with one of her "churchmates."  His name in Cheong-gu, but, while his English was good and he's into traveling and mission trips, I just wasn't feeling it.  Maybe it's because I was so tired to begin with; maybe it's because he seems to have no intention of leaving Korea for any length of time; maybe it's because he's so focused on settling down and getting a good job.  I don't know.  All I know is that I wasn't feeling it, and he left without getting my number, so, whether it was a purposeful setup or not, it seems to have failed.

A language-barrier-riddled relationship is not one thing that I want to add to the craziness of my life right now.

Guess I'm not Korean.  Go figure. ^_~

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

What do you do...

...When you're trying to make a decision, and G-d clearly says, "I'm okay with either choice."?

Monday, July 23, 2012

I don't like making choices.

I'm bad at it.  Take me to a buffet, and I'm much more likely to eat less than I normally would than gorge myself.  There are too many choices, and they make everything look mediocre rather than fabulous.  The same things goes with big menus.  Maybe it's just because I'm used to only being able to eat one thing on any given menu (thank you IBS, Hypoglycemia, and SID), or maybe it's just because I don't like making choices.

My choices generally affect other people, you see, and I'm generally more inclined to choose what will make other people happiest than what would make myself happy, which, in the end, ultimately means that I'll be unhappy either way.

To be honest, I don't actually know what I want anyway.  I try this exercise, where I take out all the other people, and I ask what I would do if I was the only person it affected.  I still can't answer most of the time.  It's kind of depressing.

All this is to say, in the next 24 hours, I need to make a final call on a decision that's going to affect a lot of people, and I would greatly appreciate some prayers.  I think I know the right choice (I think), but figuring out the correct delivery is going to be a challenge.

I thank G-d for His goodness, though.  In all things, thank G-d for His goodness.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

What I've done since then

The following is what I've done since my epic display of my gastrointestinal pyrotechnic abilities.

First, I'd like to say I've discovered a newfound respect for nice anorexic people.  I'm not saying that to encourage people to be anorexic.  Don't do it.  It's not a good life choice.  I'm saying it because I ate so very little this week, and found that it's exhausting and makes it nearly impossible to be nice to anyone. It's not a good place to be.  But, on Friday, I started eating again and felt a LOT better.  Well enough, in fact, to go see The Dark Knight Rises with my friend Megan.  Let me tell you, it was most excellent, and I think you should go see it.  I so strongly feel that way that I did my nails to show my support for the Batman.  

That being said, I also want to extend my deepest sympathy to the families of the people who died in the recent tragedy surrounding this movie in Aurora, CO.  It's horrific, and It brings tears to my eyes to think of anyone involved. Violence is never the answer, friends.  Only G-d can ordain the loss of life, and He ordains few to orchestrate that.

On Friday, I also received my Korean name (finally) from a friend who works in my favorite skin care store near the mall.  She decided that I should be 행복 (Haengbok) in Korean, which means "Happiness."  I like it!  She's so sweet. :)

Saturday was my productive day.  With the help of Josh Broward's wife, I dropped off my dress at the dry cleaners to be altered for Meret and Casey's wedding.  We then went back to la casa de Broward and played with a couple babies.  That was fun.  Following that, it was off to work for my final adult English class of the semester.  We Skyped with my friend Greg, who is always great in his efforts to help me teach however he can.  After class, one family offered to drive me home, which I gratefully accepted, although I managed to leave my phone in their car.  After managing to meet up with them again to get it, we agreed to meet the next day for me to take them to the nearby English-speaking church, led by none other than the previously mentioned Josh Broward.  I finished the day with some cleaning and comic-drawing, along with some TV-watching.

Today, I met up with my friend Nick for breakfast at McDonald's.  Now, before you judge me, this is maybe the fourth time I've been there this year.  Currently, they have various "Taste of [Continent]" specials, in honor of the Olympics.  We opted to try both Taste of Americas.  One was an Egg McMuffin with Canadian Bacon (mine went to Nick), tomato, and lettuce.  The lettuce was just what this hot day needed.  The other was your classic McDonald's giant pancake breakfast platter.  Once it was sausage-free, I enjoyed it immensely.  

Recently, I found something I really liked about this McDonald's.  When I ordered my food to go, they handed me this timer and asked me to flip it.  They guaranteed my food hot and in my hand before the timer ran out.  As you can see, they came quite good on that promise.  Maybe I'm just too American, but I must say, I like it when my fast food is incredibly fast.

I met up with the family from English class immediately following McDonald's and off to church we went.  The kids had a blast at children's church, which I think made the experience for everyone involved, although, for me, I thoroughly enjoyed meeting's Cora, Kris' girlfriend, who just moved here... YESTERDAY.  I found myself just smiling, smiling, smiling, because I was so happy to see them safely reunited here.  It's a weird feeling for me, as I'm not much of a romantic, but maybe it's because they weren't being too mushy?  I don't know.  I'm just glad CORA'S HERE!!!

After church was some much needed Mt. Fishtail, with the ever lovely Rashell, Taylor, and Becky.  Pretty much the whole church ended up deciding to lunch there, though.  Okay, I exaggerate, but still... I really like the idea of going out to eat after church.  It was sort of a tradition my family had as I was growing up, and it makes me feel more like Sunday when I get to do it.  Yes, the weekly luncheon at Yeshuat Yisrael is wonderful, and I wouldn't trade it, but that's definitely a Saturday feeling to me.  Sunday calls for some fellowship in a restaurant.  But that may just be my opinion.  If you've made it this far and can follow instructions, why don't you drop me a line and share what makes Sunday feel like Sunday for you?

Rashell and I stayed late, talking at the restaurant and then walked around a bit.  I broke my brown sandals (sad!), so I will need to do some shoe-shopping in the States when I come (happy!).  I took an afternoon nap, and - wait for it - did Rosetta Stone today!  Stuff makes a lot more sense on that thing, now, which is awesome.

And now, you are quite caught up.  I hope you had a great weekend, too!

Sunday Funnies: The Pivotal Question

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

My school had some excitement today.

I'm sure I'll be over this soon.
Will I live it down... ever?

Additionally, you're bad at following directions.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

My favorite Beatles song is...

..."I Am the Walrus".

Because, for no good reason, I've decided that it's profound... I just haven't decided how yet.

I was listening to my Across the Universe soundtrack tonight (one of the three soundtracks I own, mind you; Alex McKenzie hasn't scored a major motion picture yet, so that number's still small), and I realized this.  So, I listened to the Beatles original again, as well, and, sure enough it still evokes that same feeling of favoritism in me.

So, I want to know: Is this an especially strange pick?
What's your favorite Beatles song?

No really, reply... like, now.  I want to know.  Really.  Im not just saying that.

Seriously.  Don't click away.  Click the "Add a comment" button right below this.

Monday, July 16, 2012

It's ironic, really.

I missed the one-year anniversary of my car accident.  I was busy thinking it was today, but it wasn't.  I noted that it was Friday the 13th, but nothing else, really.

I guess that says a lot, doesn't it?

Life moves on, and we can't get stuck in the past.  We can't keep thinking, "One year ago, I was here," or, "Five years ago I planned to be doing thus and such by this time."  It doesn't really matter that much, does it?  We're here, living today, by some miracle, and we should thank G-d for that.  We should dedicate our time to G-d for that.

Time moves forward, and, with it, so should we.

Because, really, what does longing for what's behind you get you aside from a pillar of salt?  In all its strangeness, the story of Sodom and Gomorrah has an especially beautiful part:

Lot and his family did not want to leave their home. Despite its atrocious nature, they knew what to expect there and how to handle it.  G-d, however, was not content with it, but was determined to show special mercy to Lot.  So, regardless of what I'm sure was Lot's protests, the angels of G-d took Lot and his loved ones by the hands and drug them from the city.

Even at the time of my car crash, I knew G-d was leading me from Nashville.  I thought of it as a closing door, but, maybe, it was something more merciful; maybe it was a removal from a situation G-d no longer wanted me in.  Maybe, He had be by the hand the whole time, dragging me out.

If you keep reading, you find that Lot doesn't exactly end up in the most pleasant of situations after Sodom and Gomorrah, but it is still better in G-d's eyes.  In light of my current homesickness, I can't help but wonder: Did G-d pull me out of my own Sodom and Gomorrah without me even realizing it?

Please remember to always drive safely.  It's not just your life that's dependent on your driving skills - it's everyone else on the road's, too.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Sunday Funnies: The Return of Captain Bob

Well, I've noticed that Bob has been appearing in my classroom more.
My example for a project the fifth graders were doing
And more.
Teaching the third graders body parts

And it got me thinking that while some people may remember Bob (Hi, Mom!), most people will not.  So, here's the deal on Bob:

Bob was born while I was in third grade.  I was bored during a test, waiting to turn it in, and I doodled him on the side of my paper.  The only thing that has changed in his appearance over the years has been that I finally decided to make him slightly more proportional (He used to have a giant head and tiny everything else... much like a T-Rex).  Drawing from my love of the Sunday Funnies (and the culture of my family, in which my uncle is a cartoonist), Bob made a career change when I reached middle school, and became a captain with Star Command, an outlet I used to express my frustration with my family's obsession with Star Trek.  It turned out, however, that they found my sarcasm toward the show highly amusing, and I was horrified to realize how many details of it all had stuck with me.  A couple of Bob's comics got published in the school literary magazine, but for anyone to admit enjoying them would be to admit getting the Star Trek / Star Wars references and risk uncoolness, so I stopped drawing them.  In fact, I took almost a complete hiatus from Bob for about a decade, until he showed up in my classroom.

I started missing Bob, Star Command, and his friends this week, so I decided to revive Bob.  Maybe it will just be for this week, maybe it will be a continuing thing.  We'll see.  Luckily, I'm now an adult and not quite as worried about being cool, so I'm completely unashamed to present you with The Return of Captain Bob:


Saturday, July 14, 2012

A transcript of an incredibly important conversation I had today.

Today, I had my monthly Skype call with my cousin Becky.  While we were talking, she said she kept turning green in her picture.  I determined that, clearly, this was a sign that aliens were coming to her town, and she needed to make her aluminum foil hat.  She should trap one in a closet and cut its hand off.  But then I remembered that that usually results in the alien stealing the knife and using it against you, so maybe she shouldn't do that.  She then countered that G-d created the aliens, so we shouldn't kill them.  I ruled her argument invalid, since she eats meat, but we decided to consult my closest Catholic friend anyway, to attempt to get the expert opinion (AKA: the Pope's).  The following conversation ensued.

Me: Andy

Me: important question:

Me: do Catholics believe in aliens?

Andy: up to debate

Andy: church doesn't comment on that

Andy: though some people say that the vatican has classified files

Andy: so if we do find other life

Andy: we will know what to say

Me: What does the pope say?

Andy: pope doesnt speculate on it

Andy: why?

Me: Andy

Me: Did Jesus die for the aliens, too?

Andy: alien Jesus did

Me: Wait

Me: wait wait wait

Me: G-d had another son?

Andy: no

Me: So, Jesus was reborn of alien Mary?

Andy: yes


Andy: yes


Andy: :P

Andy: this is why we are friends

Me: New important question:

Me: How many alien Marys and alien Jesii are there?

Andy: as many as there need to be

Me: okay... so the blue ones, the green ones, and the purple ones.

Andy: yes

Me: Good

Me: okay

Me: So, moral of the story: we should not kill aliens?

Andy: yes

Me: okay

Me: good

Andy: why?

Me: My cousin is about to be attacked by them

Me: we had to formulate her plan

Andy: good

Me: We have concluded that she should just let them kill her.

Andy: yes

Me: I then proposed that they may not kill her

Me: and she said she would release her spirit like Jesus did.

Me: Is this a pope-acceptable plan?

Andy: probably not, but i do not speak for the pope... ask him

Me: you're the one with his phone number.

Andy: 1 800 cool hat

Me: ohhhhhhhh

Me: that makes sense

Me: since G-d's number is 1-800-call-g0d

Andy: yes

I have very patient friends.

Please note, that the only thing missing from my communication with Andy today was our sign-off.  Where you join the conversation is where he did.

Try out Skype for yourself.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

I have never before been this homesick in my life.

Well, I was pretty beat up when I left Germany, but, I don't think that counts, as Germany isn't actually my home.

I know I don't want to stay Stateside or anything, but I really need to see my friends and family.

I prefer to keep this blog cheery, so I'm not going to continue on this train, but I could really use some prayers, please.  Thanks.

26 Days.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Tuna Queen

About this time (okay, plus 5 days)
a year ago, I was at my favorite theme
park ever: Busch Gardens.  I don't
think I'll get to visit this trip to the
States, but sometime... Sooner rather
than later, hopefully!
I think I have officially mastered tuna salad.  Granted, I'll probably still tell you that my grandmother makes the best (because, honestly, you're not going to beat opening up your backpack after walking into Busch Gardens, and finding that she's slipped a couple in there for you), and she may, but, tonight, I had an absolutely wonderful tuna salad sandwich, and I don't think I will ever make a better one as long as I live.

My secret, aside from always toasting the tuna salad with the bread, of course, was adding some Pace salsa.  So, there you have it: canned tuna, just enough miracle whip to lighten the color, half an onion (diced), one jalapeño (diced), and enough salsa to make everything look pink.  It was not really even hard enough to be that good, but, man, it was fabulous.  Go ahead, try it; see if I'm wrong.

PS. I was going to try out this Google Ad Affiliates thing and suggest some tuna for you to use, but, it seems like they're only advertising selling in bulk.  So, I guess if you really like tuna, or you have a large family or something, you can buy this 24-pack of tuna.  It's dolphin safe, which is pretty awesome.  So, if you have excessive tuna needs, I'd suggest checking this out:

Meanwhile, I'm going to continue on with my blog post.

The week is continuing to be better than it wanted to be, which I appreciate.  I did put in several extra hours at work today, which I'm not going to be paid for, but it needed to happen.  Last week, due to circumstances beyond my control, I was unable to work on stuff for English Camp.  I had to make that time up somewhere, and today seemed like a feasible time to do it.  Perhaps the fact that I finally sat down to dinner at 10pm is what made the tuna so good... I don't know.  Try it and tell me.

This is why I love Busch Gardens.

Okay, I've got to go cage a bunny and convince her that there's a difference between imitation hard wood and dirt.  I'll catch you next time!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Today tried to be a bad day.

You know the turning point of my day today?

When I decided to give the pastor-guy on the corner a bottle of water.  He's out there every day, on one of the busier corners in my "dong" (neighborhood/subdivision/area, for lack of a better translation), preaching away without a mic.  He just stands there, and hands out pens and leaflets while he yells the Gospel for hours, without a break.  I managed to get him to take a break one day by saying, "목사님! 예수님이 사랑해요!" (Pastor!  Jesus loves you!)  He stopped, a little shocked, and said, "Haaaaa-lelujah!"  Now, whenever he sees me, he pauses and bows.  He's an interesting fellow, for sure.

I made that decision as I went to the skin doctor.  There, we had a surprise lazer session (which, thankfully, wasn't as painful as it could have been).  They gave me the dressings for free, though, which was nice of them.  That perked my day up a bit more, too.

So, I stopped and grabbed a 750 won bottle of water (which is somewhere in the tune of 55 cents).  It was ice cold, and felt good just holding the bottle; I couldn't begin to imagine what it would feel like to the man who'd been yelling so loud I could hear him inside the doctor's office.  I had to yell, "목사님!" to get his attention, but, as soon as I had it, I shoved the bottle of water in his hand and started to walk away.  After a beat, I hear behind me, "Haaaaaa-lelujah! 검사합니다!" I smiled and threw a bow at him.

There were a couple of other cool moments last night and today where I felt an urge to take a certain path that I don't normally take or an outing that's out of the norm.  These resulted in being asked to join a picnic by complete strangers (and getting a return invite), and a bunch (6ish) of onions for about 80 cents and jalapeños for free (which means I had the makings for breakfast burritos for dinner - awww yeah!).  They're little things, but they're things that make me feel like people still do realize I'm human, which has been my biggest complaint (aka, what I've felt was wrecking my life) over the past week.

G-d is still good - all the time.

And all the time, G-d is still good.


Sunday, July 8, 2012

Who is this man?

This morning's passage in church came from Luke 8.  We actually had a service based around the Parable of the Sower this morning, and it was too good to not share some quotes with you, so here's your dose of Pastor Yoon for today:
"If you're busy and are going through a hard time, you need to pray more... This is how we come out of the thorns... We all have a lot of drama in our lives these days. This kind of drama will become poison." 
‎"We need to wash away the poison in our bodies and in our souls. If we do not, they will become bad things in us... Prayer is the only way to soothe our trauma and poison." 
‎"Satan does not like for believers to pray. The most strong [demon] is the one who stands [outside] the prayer room."
It was like John Wesley came to him in a dream and said, "Pastor Yoon, I want you to talk to the people."  It was definitely hard-hitting, and something I need to do more.

BUT, that's not all.  You see, I decided I wanted to read on past verse 8, and I eventually came to the passage where Jesus meets Legion.  I was astounded by two old truths, that I've known, but it was as if I was reading them for the first time today.

Luke 8:30-37 NIV
The first this that I immediately thought was that Hell must be a horrible place, if even the demons don't want to be there.  I think it's easy for us to downplay Hell.  A lot of us have it rough on Earth, and we think, "It can't get worse than this."  I mean, I have a measuring rod.  I assess each bad situation this way: "Is this worse than that one time?  No.  Then this isn't so bad."  In my head, there is nothing worse than that semester a couple years back when we lost Kyle.  But there were demons there -willingly there.  According to this passage, therefore, Hell must be worse than that, unfathomable as it may be.

The second thought that ran through my head is as follows, verbatim: Who is this man that he even has mercy on demons?  Honestly, what is this?  Moreover, what does this say about us and our actions?  We, who can't even find it in ourselves to be nice on a bad day to the people we love most, are supposed to be modeling ourselves after a man who shows mercy on demons.

Oh G-d, "You are so high among the highest, and I am low among the lowest, a mean thing.  You never go away from us.  Yet we have difficulty in returning to You." (Augustine)

He who has ear, let him hear.

Friday, July 6, 2012


"He is before all things, and in him all things hold together." - Colossians 1:17

My words aren't good enough to preface this.  Just watch it, please.

I'm finally finishing off the Blimey Cow photo-a-day thing.  To the left, you will see Day 29. Best song ever - Whatever is stuck in my head/ear at the moment.  To the right is Day 30. Mirror selfie (which I believe I did well, rocking my new sunglasses).  Boom.  I can commit to a project! 

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th of July!!!

4th of July is definitely one of my favorites, and, while no one is ever going to accuse me of being too patriotic, I am grateful for the opportunities I have gained by being a daughter of America.  Beyond that, I am incredibly thankful to the men and women who laid down their lives to give me those opportunities.

All of that being said, I was pretty bummed this morning, thinking about how I wasn't really going to be doing anything to celebrate.  But, one thing led to another, and, in an uncharacteristically split second decision, I ended up making last minute plans.  The thought of that is still making me uncomfortable, but I had a great time.  I'm tired, and I will definitely be tomorrow, but, luckily, the kids are testing, so I'm not teaching classes tomorrow.  Yay!  (More time to plan a killer English Camp!)

I ended up going with a group of friends to a nearby American military base.  We ate Mexican food (not patriotic, but DELICIOUS!), did some shopping, and watched some fireworks (we didn't have a clear view, but I can't really remember the last time I did, so that was still great for me!).  It was definitely a good celebration.

Here are some photos for you viewing pleasure.

Lots of random friends meeting up at the base.

The patriotic girls

These girls were incredibly excited by the show and getting better pictures on their phones than the rest of us were with our nice cameras.

I did manage to get one or two decent shots, though!

:)  Happy 4th of July!!!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

July Goals

This month, I plan to:

  1. Drink 1.5L of water before indulging in other drinks.
  2. Practice my violin every day.
  3. Go out with friends every week.
  4. Work on my story (almost) every day, with the goal of finishing the first draft by the end of August.
  5. At least think about doing Rosetta Stone once a week.
  6. Make a hot-months bucket list.
  7. Shrink my "to mend" clothes pile.  (Maybe even just finish one???)
  8. Kick my summer camp's butt.
We're going to call this my version of KelliTaylor's monthly goals list.  Her's is cute, mine is... sarcastic.  As it should be.

This may impact the number of blog posts I put up, but please stay with me!  I promise I won't forget you!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

June Report Card

Overall, I'm giving myself a B-.  For the first part of the month, I did great, but... I get bored with things.  Because I did so many every day goals, it made my days look very similar, and I didn't like it.

The water project went great, and I ended up averaging 3L of water a day.  The exercising, well... let's just say that anyone who knows me can know how that went.  I did join a bi-weekly (once every 2 weeks) Yoga club at school, and I started wearing heels more in an effort to force exercise.  But just exercising for the sake of exercising is boring to me.  I need to do more things where I can add exercise into what I'm already doing, like taking the stairs and getting off a bus stop early and such.   Doing such things has helped some.  Total: B+

The story had been coming along well, until the last couple of weeks (again).  Then, I was more of writing every other day or so.  I'm just kind of at this weird block where I'm really afraid it's incredibly boring.  I need some input from my friends who are reading it, but they're also incredibly busy right now.  Either way, I'm at least three chapters in, which I'm strongly considering breaking up into more. Total: B

The letter writing was great until the last week.  I'm going to blame both writing projects on the fact that I got busy at school.  Summer camp is coming up, and I'm an over-achiever, so... yeah... lots of prep time needed.  I've also started going out with friends more, which is proving incredibly good for me.  It wears me out, to be sure, but I think I need to find some balance to my recluse tendencies.  Total: A-

My spending, well... I had been doing okay, but a lot of unexpected expenses (like vet and doctors bills) came up, as well as a money transfer I did with a credit card that I'd forgotten about, so, all-in-all, I saved less than usual this month.  I was really unhappy about that.  I really am rather disappointed in myself, and I need to find a better system for saving.  I may have to just bite the bullet and send money every month.  I'd just rather wait and send a ton in October, when the exchange rate will be its best.  Any tips for how to save?  Total: C

How did your monthly goals end up?

And, I'm not forgetting that I promised the last photos... just, one thing led to another, and I haven't taken them yet.  Don't worry.  They're coming.