Sunday, September 14, 2014

Irene Kim

The last time I had a girl crush on a model was probably Analeigh Tipton when she was in "America's Next Top Model" or Miranda Kerr right when she was becoming more famous. I usually don't follow model careers all that closely because a) my interest in fashion is always changing and b) I tend to follow stylish people whose body types come closer to mine (at least in height!). However, for fun I started watching this web series called, "K-Style," and I've developed such a style crush on the one host, Irene Kim! I actually think all three hosts are hilarious (and their camera skills are definitely improving episode by episode), but I just found Kim to be so energetic and funny. I think she appeals to my artsy side while the other host, Sarah Kate Watson-Baik, appeals to my jet-set side.

The weird this is, I have no desire to emulate her style or beauty tendencies whatsoever. I think they look fabulous on her, and every picture she just looks so cool, but I know if I tried any of the trends, I'd look atrocious. Watson-Baik's style is actually closer to how I'd dress. But there's some enigmatic about her, and I can't wait for her to get more famous so there's more English articles dedicated her style. She just looks like the girl you wish you could hang out with--whether it's going shopping or drinking or dancing at night! She makes tie-dye hair look cool!

{her twitter & instagram: ireneisgood} 
I follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and her blog for style inspiration...


Samantha Elisabeth

Friday, September 12, 2014

{The Traveling Teacher} On Getting There


So, my plane is booked, a meeting with my provincial office is set, and my agenda book is filled with last minute get togethers and appointments. The last time I talked about teaching abroad, I had reached the point of having my contract in hand. Let's just say the next few parts go a lot faster and are a lot easier than the first half! Right now I'm patiently waiting until I get to start packing my bags, which (in case you're counting) is exactly one month from tomorrow. EEK!

Anyhow, the visa process:

1)  Look up where your Korean Consulate is. I knew from Spain that mine was most likely in New York City, but it's pretty easy to check where you consulate is. Google your state and then Korean Consulate. The NYC Korean consulate's page, bless their heart, is tricky to navigate, so it took some patience and googling to figure everything out. From here on out everything is going to be based on my experience with the NYC Korean Consulate, but from talking with my friend from LA, I've found her experience to be similar.

2) Gather (more) documents. Okay, so there's lists everywhere of what you need and don't need. I personally traveled to NYC to get my documents in instead of mailing, so that, in a roundabout way, made everything a little faster. Here's what I brought:
  • My contract (signed, sealed, delivered)
  • My notice of appointment
  • E-2 Visa Application
  • Passport sized photograph
  • Consulate Checklist (I don't even think I needed that...)
  • My Passport
I did not need, as I read beforehand: a VIN (my notice of appointment replaced that) or a sealed transcript. I did have to pay $20 for the return envelope (in cash only). 

3) DON'T FORGET: Make copies of your contract and NOA because you're not going to get them back.

4) Tell you agency you've got your visa! Guys, my visa was literally in my hands two days after I applied for it. 

5) Book flight. So AT booked my flight via Orange Travel. I had to pay upfront with reimbursement from my school later on. Let's just say, it's gonna be a loooongggg flight. I start here at 6 am on a Monday and will arrive at my guesthouse Tuesday night.

6) Prepare! I asked for my itinerary post-flight before I paid for my flight, but either way works. Basically, I'll be flying into Incheon Airport and then boarding a bus for Jeonju. Then I'll take a taxi from the bus station to my guesthouse. I will then take a taxi to the provincial office Wednesday morning! Huzzah!

I'll let you all know more about how I'm preparing later as I actually start, ya know, preparing! There's some technical and technological things I've got to figure out as well as, the most important thing in my life that's not breathing, my clothes. I've been skimming out my wardrobe in preparation for this move as well as just skimming through all the junk in my room in general! I've also been reading up (kind of) on my province and on Jeonju, and I'm seriously excited!!


Samantha Elisabeth

Monday, September 8, 2014

Currently I'm...

My pup, doing what she does best... Lounging around the house

  • Reading... The Book Thief by Markus Zusak // Also submissions to a certain literary magazine...
  • Playing... Nothing, actually! I deleted all games off my mom's iPad and my iPhone. There's too much to do and see in the world than to waste time on a game. 
  • Watching... "Discovery of Love." The next in my K-drama addiction (it's like I'm making up for not watching a single one in 2013 and the first half of 2014!). It stars Jung Yumi and Eric Mun, but it also has two favorites, Sung Joon ("I Need Romance 3") and Yoon Jin Yi ("Gentleman's Dignity"). 
  • Trying... to not implode from knowing that I still have four weeks until my departure!
  • Cooking... Eggs. Powerballs. 
  • Eating... Power Balls. I'm so addicted, it's not even funny! Also, if you're near a Steak & Fries franchise, get the Chicken & Fries bowl. So delicious. I ask for no cheese on my fries to make it healthier. It's actually not too bad besides the fries!
  • Drinking... Water. I'm so dehydrated lately. Also that free iced coffee I got because the Eagles won. Thanks, Dunkin!
  • Tweeting... About something different every time. K-dramas, K-pop, hurricanes, drinking coffee too late... You know, riveting stuff.
  • Crafting... Well, not crafting, but knitting a huge scarf for myself!
  • Going... to Pittsburgh next weekend to visit my big! Her sister and I (who is also my friend) are driving up and giving ourselves a mini-PA road trip along the way.
  • Loving... Taylor Swift, or T.Swizzle. I've been a fan since 2007 when I was fifteen. I feel like a proud parent watching her grow and knowing just how genius she really is...even if I'm actually three years younger.
  • Hating... Racism, domestic violence, general intolerance, ISIS, Hamas, hypocrisy... 
  • Discovering... How bad my scribble handwriting is.
  • Enjoying... The weather as it cools down. Also iced pumpkin lattes.
  • Thinking... How terrible my sleeping schedule is (AGAIN!)
  • Feeling... Content, if not thirsty for some adventure.
  • Hoping (for)... A lot. Generally hoping my friends and family continue to be safe! My little is in Baltimore, do you know how terrifying that is?!
  • Wearing... Right now, a spirit jersey with my sorority on it and high school sweatpants I stole from my sister. Earlier, I did have on a dress from work, so I was presentable!
  • Listening (to)... So much music. I already have a solid September playlist!
  • Celebrating... Chuseok! Not really since I'm in the US and my family isn't Korean or Asian. But Happy Chuseok, everyone!
  • Smelling... The new MK Rio de Janeiro scent. What do you think of it?!
  • Thanking... God, of course! (Always!)
  • Considering... Taking an extensive trip back to WAC for a last minute visit before I take off for a year (or more ;)).


Samantha Elisabeth

Friday, September 5, 2014

{TV Talk} A Gentleman's Dignity

I have so many TV Talks to get to! I still have a "Game of Thrones" post on standby and, of course, "True Blood" has mercifully ended its run. However, before I get to my American TV shows, I've got to cover the two Korean dramas that have stolen my attention these past few weeks. First up is "A Gentleman's Dignity" or "신사의 품격" from 2012. It was my first time watching a drama on Netflix, and if I didn't find this particular drama so amusing on its own, I don't think I would have stuck with it. I love ya, Netflix, but when I watch "Orange is the New Black" or "House of Cards," I have a whole bunch of friends in real life and on social media to talk to. When it comes to K-Dramas, I have no one really, and my BFFs become the comments that appear above the screen on Viki. Half the time, the commenters make the show for me!

That being said, I absolutely loved this drama. It makes reaching my thirties and even forties kind of exciting, especially if I can manage to make lifelong friends like this bromance pictured above. AGD comes from the same writer behind "Secret Garden" and "Heirs," Kim Eun Sook, and while a lot of reviewers have had issues with her writing before, I really haven't had too much to complain about (considering I loved "SG" and never finished "Heirs"). I find her pop culture references and characters funny. This drama, as Drama Beans put it, is sheer fluff, and I absolutely love that quality about it. I'm all for serious dramas that at least try to wrench my heart out, but I've become fairly cynical in my #ForeverAloneness. I don't want something fantastical at this point (aliens, Hallyu stars, singers, composers, first love effects...), and I don't need a huge conflict in order to be interested (secret murderous brother, secret murderous mother, evil competition, angry mother-in-laws). While all of the AGD plot is pretty trivial, it's the most realistic I've seen a drama be in a while (that's a stretch to relate a K-drama to reality, but there it is).

Okay, so the summary: The drama centers around four forty-year-old men who have been friends since high school. The main lead is Kim Do Jin, played by Jang Dong Gun, Korea's George Clooney, in his long awaited return to the small screen. Do Jin owns an architect company, and he is relatively wealthy and secure in his playboy tendencies. He falls for Seo Yi Soo (Kim Ha Neul), a thirty-something Ethics teacher at an all boys high school. Yi Soo is friends with two of Do Jin's friends, Choi Yoon (Kim Min Jong) and Im Tae San (Kim Su Ro). Yoon is a successful lawyer, and Tae san is Do Jin's business partner and co-CEO of their architect company. Yi Soo also frequents a cafe owned by the fourth part of the bromance, Lee Jung Rok (Lee Jong Hyuk). Jung Rok owns said cafe as well as a bar, but his money comes from his older wife, Park Min Sook (Kim Jung Nan), who owns a ton of buildings in Gangnam. Yi Soo has an unrequited crush on Tae San while Tae San dates her roommate and best friend, Hong Se Ra, a pro-golfer nearing the end of her prime. They are joined by Tae San's much younger sister, Im Meahri (Yoon Jin Yi), who is fresh from college in the US and still holding a candle for Yoon. Oh, and throw in CN Blue's Lee Jong Hyun as Collin, one of the F44's son, and Kim Woo Bin as a rebellious student who has a crush on Yi Soo.

Basically, if you were to make a chart to connect everyone, you'd have one. tangled. web. Nothing ever veers too serious (no first loves making a comeback, no angst that lasts more than an episode), and while there are admittedly some flaws (the lack of maturing in Meahri, Yi Soo's odd tendencies, Do Jin's weird possessiveness, the lack of sex despite the constant hints and jokes about it), this show was worth it. Watch it for the hilarious laughs (Yoon's fangirling over SNSD's Soo Young is the highlight), Yi Soo's fantastic outfits (which I will compile!), and for the need to feel okay about growing up. All I know is, when I marry, I hope I marry a guy with a bromance like these guys.

TL;DR Just go watch! It's a whole lotta fun wrapped up in good style. My favorite couple is Yoon Oppa and Meahri. I don't know if its from one too many Victorian Novels, but I wasn't put off by their 17-year age gap (19 for the actors!). In fact, ladies of my generation, sad eyed Kim Min Jong is still unmarried!

Samantha Elisabeth