5.03.2015

The Return of Superman (슈퍼맨이 돌아왔다)

Blogged this from my phone, so apologies ahead of time if this isn't the best quality and for overlooked errors...



Couldn't sleep last night so I watched The Return of Superman, Chuseok special, that would later become a regular show. I laughed and cried so much. Some of the fathers were so clumsy, but they all love their children so much. It's such a beautiful show. I'm glad I'm so behind. There's so much to look forward to as these families will grow in front of everyone's eyes. I wish we had a show like this on this side of the globe so we all could be reminded that there's still love in this world, and we sometimes have to find it in the little things.

I also got home sick. I miss Korea so much. Obviously watching a Korean show I'd be constantly reminded of the country I've grown to love. From the fuzzy rice cookers to having strangers asking you questions, I miss the feeling of safety and coziness that Korea gave me. Here in Toronto I get scared to look into someone's eyes in case they think I've looked at them the wrong way, and who knows what next.

My friends always ask me when I will return to Korea and I can never give a definite answer cause I'm stuck working on getting a degree to prove to society that I'm not an idiot. It doesn't matter though, society is trained to value certain people over others, and I'm not in the valued group for reasons beyond my control. So why waste my time? Why can't I just go back to Korea now? I'm so tired of Toronto. So tired of Canada. So tired of a prime minister who's been acting like a dictator as he goes around ruining this country and calling anyone who disagrees with him a terrorist.

I want to go back now. I want to eat an over priced apple in Korea cause I miss the taste of wax-less apple skin. I want to ride a bike along Han River with friends on a hot day in summer. I want to get drunk with friends outside of a 711. I want to talk to local shop owners who make it their mission to make sure the foreigners in their area are doing well. I want to get lost in a city and not be scared of the new area I find myself in. I want to take a four hour train ride to Gwangju and talk to an auntie about good diet foods. (Yes mama! Tell me about how you lost that 20 pounds.) I want to walk into a restaurant and order food to-go like a pro as the locals watch in amazement. I want to take selfies in the middle of nowhere and everywhere without having people judge me in my moment of vain-ness. I want to go back now.

For the moment all I have is memories and TV shows like The Return of Superman. I will use them to help me get through these next few years of school. I will use them as motivation to do the best I can. And I will use them as an escape for those days that I feel hopeless living in this terrible society. I will return just as those mothers eventually do. Only my time gone will have been more than 48 hours.

4.22.2015

The Fire Next Time

Monday December 15, 2014.

I have a lot of pages bookmarked on my computer. Some of them are of foods I want to eventually try or quotes that I want to remember. These go back over three years. That's when I first got this computer. So today I decided to go through some of these bookmarks. Read the articles I've been saving up and deleting links that are no longer of use to me. 


It's interesting to see how some of my interests have changed over the years. I no longer listen to Japanese music. *deletes link* I've heard this quote a dozen times; I won't forget it. *deletes link* But some things stay the same...


A few weeks ago I made an order on Chapters' website. Recent events and conversations have me craving the works of black artists. TV shows, poetry, books, etc... I can't believe this book, The Fire Next Time, has been on my to-read list for so long. I am now a lot more excited to read it. I wish I had read it when it was first brought to my attention. And I wish I remembered how I first heard about it...



x

Wednesday March, 18, 2015.


I finished reading it last Thursday. It didn't actually take me from mid-December to finish; it took a few nights. On the last night, i woke up with the sun. This book wasn't put down once i got to the halfway point. I feel like i might not have spent enough time to take everything in, so i know i'll read it again sometime soon. 


There are many quotable sections in this book that i didn't bother going through with my highlighter. The whole thing is good! I highly recommend you read it for yourself. This book is "timeless", not because it's so wonderful and lovable, but because not much has changed for black people in America and the world over. It's actually quite sad that we are fighting the same things that we were fighting fifty years ago.


I loved how James just went from story to story, in his essay, so effortlessly. His writing is easy to follow, and his stories are so interesting. I especially loved the story about his dinner with Elijah Muhammad. This book isn't full of action or comedy, but it is filled with many truths. 


Reading this book made me think about the religion i grew up with, the people i talk to, and the system that i was born into. This book makes me want to change things. I'd like to write letters to my nephew in the future, but i don't want it to sound the same as the one James wrote to his nephew. We cannot live like this forever, right? 



“You were born where you were born and faced the future that you faced because you were black and for no other reason. The limits of your ambition were, thus, expected to be set forever. You were born into a society which spelled out with brutal clarity, and in as many ways as possible, that you were a worthless human being. You were not expected to aspire to excellence: you were expected to make peace with mediocrity. Wherever you have turned, James, in your short time on this earth, you have been told where you could go and what you could do (and how you could do it) and where you could live and whom you could marry. I know your countrymen do not agree with me about this, and I hear them saying "You exaggerate." They do not know Harlem, and I do. So do you. Take no one's word for anything, including mine- but trust your experience. Know whence you came.”



3.18.2015

What Future?

Everything is so overwhelming. But i sit here and try to figure out my life as though this is the perfect time for that (3am).

I met a friend a few weeks ago who i haven't seen since 2013 when i visited Busan, Korea. I almost never go anywhere, so it was good to talk so someone. Good to get out. My friend asked me what i do and i looked at him blankly. I sleep, watch TV, and ... ok, that's it. So embarrassing that my life is so nothing. 

Last year i was on 15 planes, and now i stay in bed up to 20 hours a day. Then some people say how nice it must be to have nothing to do. ಠ_ಠ Ok, i understand that your work is stressful, but do you really think i like my life? I feel like the most useless person in the world. The amount of energy it takes me to get myself ready and leave the house is too much for me. This is not normal behaviour. This is not living. But you want this life ah? Can take it, but also don't want yours. Cannot handle eight hour days.

My problem is not that i don't want to do anything, it's that i feel like i can't, from lack of energy and not feeling capable of anything. I can't even get up in the morning and feed myself. Sometimes I'd forget to eat all day. It's almost like there's nothing left in me. 

I went to see the doctor last week and i left feeling terrible. First off, i didn't see my doctor cause she's been on mat leave, but i cannot avoid going to the office any longer since i needed a new prescription. Then i had to get blood taken. Again. I should just always prepare for this cause i'd always get blood taken when i see the doctor. And by the end of my appointment i felt like a zombie leaving the office. Had to book another appointment, with my actual doctor who'll be back soon, but i could barely tell the receptionist what i needed. Luckily the other receptionist there knew that i was trying to book an appointment so she spoke for me.

My days still feel empty since then, but i have a good reason to leave the house this weekend, so maybe i'd feel better if only for a bit.

2.09.2015

Nahko and Medicine for the People

I have about a dozen posts waiting to be published, but I've been so picky with what I post and can never be satisfied with what I've got. So this is just going to be a quick post of what I've been listening to recently. (Actually wrote this back in January. wtf)




On January 3rd of this year I came across this gem...



I try not to get distracted by this man's beauty, but that's a very difficult one. This song is amazing and as soon as I finished listening I searched the internet to see who this guy is and where he's from. His name is Nahko Bear and he's part of a band that seems to have thirty members. haha No seriously, look at their videos, always different people. But I like it cause it keeps things fresh and everyone has something unique to bring to the group. They're called Medicine for the People, and you should check them out. I've listened to these guys everyday since first seeing this video. They also have their latest album on youtube and it's good, however I much prefer their performance videos and jam sessions. Thankfully there are a lot of them. Going back to 2008 I think, so you'd never get bored with them.

Here's my favourite...



It's not often someone can outshine Nahko it seems, but Hope Medford kills it on the cajón. Teach me your ways. And the woman singing the backup has an awesome voice. 

Feel good music that makes me think. Their songs can quite easily calm me down. They're my new go to when something pisses me off, which is often. North American society will do that to a person. I honestly think there's something here for everyone. Even if not the music you like, their lyrics are something to pay attention to. 

I usually don't like live music, but I'm really upset that there are currently no tour dates for Canada in 2015. This is the one band/group of awesome musicians that I really want to see in concert. Someone help me get them here. 

Nahko, Dustin, & Justin
x

Check out their website here and their youtube channel here. Also do a general search on youtube, cause there's so much more that's not on their official channel. 

Don't forget to take your medicine. 

1.27.2015

But It's Urgent

Cannot be more annoyed than I am right now. In December I emailed all of my former schools in Korea requesting that my transcript be sent to a specific university in Canada. Two of the schools replied right away. One of those two sent it immediately and the other let me know that I'd have to pay a fee to get it, no problem. Last school does not reply, but I didn't panic cause I knew it was close to holiday break and I could afford to wait until January. 

I waited until earlier this month and still no reply, so I sent another message. I get a response saying that they emailed me a pdf version. -__- No you did not. And on top of that, I did not ask for pdf copy!! The other two schools understood my request and contacted me to let me know what's up. Where is your professionalism? So I tell them again where I need it sent and included the address again. No response. Send an email again asking them to let me know when they send it so I can have confirmation that it was sent. No response.

Finally, just over a week until deadline, I get an email telling me that their office does not issue the transcripts and I must contact another office. Also, I must apply for it!! WTF!! Could not have told me this in the first place? If the person I was first talking to didn't know what they were doing, they should have asked as soon as they got that first email back in December. 

So now I have sent an email to this next office requesting my transcript and told them it is urgent. I have to wait until middle of the night for response because of time difference. Here's to hoping that I'm done dealing with people who don't know what they're doing, and hopefully they'd send my transcript on time. 

I may be terrible with replying to texts and fb messages, but I'd always respond to an email. Especially emails that can affect someones' future!!! Ok, now I can calm down and just wait for reply. Worst scenario, I don't get my transcript on time, but hopefully with all my email proof that I've been trying, this other university would be understanding. 

I need a nap.

1.06.2015

Be Specific

I wasn't very specific in my last post about how I'm going to try to overcome my issues with reading. Just a lot of talking about the problem. I'll try to be more specific. 

Of the 16 books I want to read this year I want to read: 10 novels, four plays, and two graphic novels. I have put graphic novels and plays in there cause I know they will be easier for me to get through. After I thought about reading 16 books after years of struggling/failing to get through even one, I realised that 16 is a bit of a jump. S.M.A.R.T goals, right? Now this is looking more manageable. 

Since I'm on break from school right now, I always have an empty house during the day. Going to work on getting out of my vampire sleep mode and be up during the days so I can have a quiet place to read, and natural light coming in. The amount of days I go without seeing the sun...

To help me stop with the counting and grouping of words and letters, I'm going to read these books more like how I read textbooks. I don't read out loud, but I do read one word at a time and mouth them out. That really slows me down and maybe it is why I constantly have to stop and count. So I will run my finger under each line I'm reading and find a rhythm I'd more likely be able to keep going on with. If this doesn't work, I'd set up a fund so you guys can help me pay for audio books of every book I want to read. haha Thank you in advance. 

Good news!!

I have only been a member of goodreads for a few days now, but I have already won a book through one of their giveaways!! I'm so excited to receive this book. Hoping that it will be in by the time I finish reading the first HP book. I will write a review on goodreads and here when I finish reading the book. Look out for that.

Ok, so my goal looks more doable, and it's out there for all to see. Now I'd go get some sleep. Have a happy first week back at school!!!

1.04.2015

16 Books

When I was younger I would read all the time. Sometimes up to three books at once. How I managed to keep all the different storylines separate is beyond me. But that was my thing. Always reading.

Sometime in junior high my brain started acting weird and I couldn't get through a book any more, at least not on my own. I would always get distracted when I read. At any given moment I would have to stop reading so I could count the words in the sentence. Then I'd count the letters in the sentence, and if they didn't divide evenly I'd have to move the words around so that I would have even sections. I have no idea why I needed to do this. I would also read certain sentences over and over again until I felt that I read it enough times. And the worst is when I would misread a word. This was so frustrating because sometimes my misreading would completely change the meaning of the sentence, which could change what was happening in the story. I would sit there so frustrated because I was convinced that the author was a terrible writer, not realising that the problem was with me. I'd read things over, but I still saw what I saw and not what was written. I would just put the book down and get back to it another day. It wasn't until I returned to a book that I realised my mistake. If anyone out there knows what causes this, please tell me cause it still happens to this day.

In university I discovered that I could get through a story if I was reading along with a recording of someone reading it as well. Can't make the same stupid mistakes and no time for counting. But imagine having to pay for a hard copy and audio copy of every book. Poor university students can't do that. I also discovered that this mostly happens when I read stories or novels. If I'm reading a textbook nerd or a play theatre nerd then I'm ok. Well not entirely. I still misread a lot, but I don't need to do the counting and grouping.

I know this problem doesn't come from a lack of interest in what I'm reading. I have failed to finish reading the first Harry Potter book, a number of times, and I really enjoyed it, as far as I got. My brain is just messed up. So if you were to ask me what my favourite book is, I'd tell you that it's Stargirl. There's nothing wrong with Stargirl, but that's where I stopped. My favourite books are all these pre-teen novels, and now that I want to read again I get scared. Who's really reading a 800+ page book for fun? (A Song Of Ice And Fire)

I have recently signed up for a goodreads.com account. I don't want Stargirl and Bridge to Terabithia, as good as they are, to be the best books I've ever read. Last month I asked my friends on fb what their favourite books are and I've put them all on my to-read list. I'm going to start with Harry Potter cause I already know that the writing is really clear and the story is really interesting. Jumping straight into Watership Down or Shantaram probably wouldn't be wise. It'll be a few years yet before I attempt the GoT books.

So that's what I'm doing with my time. I want to read 16 books this year. 12 seems too little and 24 seems too much. Wish me luck.


What are some of your favourite books?