Pull Ups and Harry Potter

Mini-Post:
I got my pull up bar on Friday and installed it on Saturday.  I’ve been working with it a bit every day and I probably should take a rest day tomorrow as arms tend to take longer to recover from a workout, but I’m a wee bit addicted.  I’m so excited for the day I can do my first pull up that waiting through rest days is a bit painful, ha.  
Currently:  From a standing position, I can’t pull myself up at all off the ground, but if I’m kneeling on a chair, I can pull myself up off my knees to about my low shin/ankle area.

I’m probably going to scream when I can pull myself off the ground…so, in case you hear anything, it’s probably me.  
When the pull up happens…I’m going to go crazy, haha.  It’s been a fitness goal of mine for as long as I can remember and I’m finally ready to do something about it.

As for Harry Potter…in less than two weeks, I’ll be at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park in Japan and I.CANNOT.WAIT.  
IAMSOEXCITED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)  

That is all.  Goodnight :)

What I’m Thankful For

Life seems to enjoy throwing rocks in my path and I’m in the middle of another mountain, so I felt I needed this.

Actually, what I could use is an adviser or someone to take the reins on my life for a bit while I take a much-needed nap.
But since I can’t have that, this list is what you (and I) get.

What I’m Thankful For:
1. This bowl of Lucky Charms cereal that I’m eating as comfort food
2. Costco
3. My family 
4. Having a home that I can always come back to if the going gets too rough to handle
5. Having friends that are there for me and inspire me to be the best me
6. Being raised the way that I was
7. Having a college degree (minus the crushing debt, but ah well, what can you do)
8. Having food in the fridge
9. Speaking English as my first language
10. Having money in the bank (although it never seems to be enough…) and money in my piggy bank
11. Having people I can talk to when times get tough…people that will be there to listen and give advice when they’re able…or even just to listen without judgement or criticism
12. Having a roof over my head and a place to call home
13. Being employed (even if it’s part of the reason I felt the need to write this post in the first place)
14. Not being dependent on drugs, alcohol or any other outside influences or addictive substances
15. My good health

I actually started this post very late last night and then finished it tonight (Sunday) so it changes direction a bit halfway through, not sure if you can tell or if it matters.  Anyway, I think it helps to remind myself of what is actually going well in my life so when times get more difficult, I’m able to stay positive.  Or…try to…and not collapse on my bed and just wonder why these situations seem to choose me.
Anyway, I wish I could give more detail as this is essentially a diary/journal for me, but as it involves work, I’d rather not disclose too much.  

Also, these are my favorite songs at the moment:

Unconditionally–Katy Perry

Here Without You–Sam Tsui

Hopeful–Bars and Melody

Lay Me Down–Sam Smith

Feeling Myself–Will.I.Am, Miley Cyrus and a bunch of other people 
 
(The video is what you’d expect of a Miley/hip-hop video, so take that for what it’s worth)  The song has a nice beat though :D  Helps pick me up after a rough day :D 
The Phoenix–Fall Out Boy

My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light Em Up)–Fall Out Boy (Great for Running or exercise)

All of Me–John Legend


Actually, all songs with a good melody and some piano or violin in them are near-instant favorites…Cannot get enough….

Ok, that’s good for now.

Random Ramblings

1.  I gave Munch-a-Saurus (my hamster) his first taste of apple tonight and he loved it.  He tends to lose interest in snacks quite easily but he devoured the little slice that I gave him.  Super cute :)

2. Feels like a reenactment of Noah’s Arc around here minus the animals.  So much rain.  I think it’s been raining for two days straight.  (No thunder or lightning though.  Sad me.)

3.  I have a giant (maybe a 4lb.) bag of green beans from Costco in my freezer (now in the fridge because there’s no space) and I have no idea what to do with it.  I really hate the taste of these particular beans and I’ve tried cooking them a few different ways…not to mention, not sure how a single person can eat 4lbs of green beans.  Nor do I really want to find out.
I keep thinking about the starving kids in x country when I think about throwing it out, but I really have no space for it…my fridge/freezer is pretty small.  It’s probably about 5 feet tall and not very wide…maybe a foot or a foot and a half wide?
Ugh.  And it gets pretty hot during the day, so it makes me wonder what would happen to the beans as they sit and bake in the heat tomorrow.  
They have this (I keep thinking “rustic”, but I use that to describe log cabins in the woods, so that can’t be right)…odd taste to them and it doesn’t go away when they’re baked or cooked in a skillet.  Man, I’m losing more and more of my vocabulary the longer I teach English, ha.

Well I guess it’s good that these are currently my life problems.  

But seriously…if you have an idea for these beans, shoot it my way.  Or if you think throwing them out is a viable option, then tell me that too.  haha :)

Goodnight!

Nightly Rambling

This post is just my own random thoughts, so skip it if you want or press on otherwise.

I’ve been off Facebook for a few days now (I can’t remember how many), and it feels…really refreshing.  It’s a bit hard to explain, but I live in a city with a lot of public transportation and people that walk from place to place.  Korea is also pretty technologically advanced in that the majority of people (no exact numbers, sorry) have a cell phone of some sort…most a smart phone with games, FREE (have I mentioned this enough times yet?) texting and wifi/good cell phone service everywhere…which means that people are on their phones A LOT.  Standing at this stoplight, waiting on the subway, shopping in the supermarket…you get the picture.
So, I’ve also gotten to that point where it’s an automatic reflex to take out my phone and scroll through the endless posts on Facebook every 5 minutes.  The longest stints of time that I wasn’t on Facebook was when I was asleep or when I was at work.  Yeah.  Bad.  But I think it’s hard to realize that it’s a problem when everyone around you is doing the exact same thing.  

So, after a few days off, I actually feel free.  The first day was rough and my hand seemed to keep twitching with the impulse to check my phone.  Day two wasn’t as rough because I started day 1 from early in the morning, but the impulses were still there.  Day 3…again, the same but less noticeable and I started feeling more free.  I believe I’m on 4 now, but can’t be sure.  Either way, I haven’t really thought about Facebook at all and I’m thrilled because I’ve FINALLY started working out again (er..and eating the scones I made yesterday…ah well.  Carpe Diem, right?  RIGHT!  haha) and working out feels so good.  It’s the rush that I’ve been missing.
I’ve been so lazy this summer…yes, busy with activities but not exactly a constructive life.  (Includes working out for me.)  I’ve actually noticed my loss of muscle and I think that was one of the driving forces behind me starting up again.  That and all the extra time I now had because of less internet time.  I’ve never really been one of those people to obsess over numbers on a scale, but instead my focus has been on my own feelings and my desire to create a strong body for myself.  I don’t intend to be a weight-lifting champion or anything, but just to keep myself healthy (and happy–with thanks to some homemade sweets here and there) and to knock out a few fitness goals for myself.
Current fitness goals:
1. Tone up my hamstring/thigh area 
2. Smash out my first pull-up (Apparently the pull-up bar I ordered was sold out and they didn’t update the inventory…so that’s been delayed, but I’m still working out without it until then.)
3. Tighten my triceps and get my arms stronger in general.  They were stronger pre-Korea (biceps anyway), and I want my triceps to be a bit firmer so they don’t jiggle when I erase the board.  

Not too bad.  I think it’s also pretty good that I don’t care for Korean food because I’ve been teaching myself to cook, and that should help with my fitness goals too.  Cooking skills are different from baking skills in case you weren’t aware.  

Anyway, back to the main focus of this was the bit about Facebook, and I think it’s actually used as a filler for friends/real emotion.  I’m not sure how to phrase this exactly.  I think I feel connected to people through it but it’s also very artificial.  I talk with people and learn about the goings-on in their lives but I don’t feel that happiness that comes after a long catch-up chat with a friend over coffee or lunch.  I feel a part of people’s lives but it sort of puts a patch over that connection that is usually reinforced with touch, such as a hug or a pat on the back.

As an expat here, I’ve realized how much I miss human touch.  I’m surrounded by people on a daily basis (especially Saturdays at a grocery store) but it’s difficult to forge a real connection with people.
Thankfully I don’t mind spending time with myself, and at times I actually prefer it, but it can still be rough sometimes.  I come from a very close-knit family, where everyone was within 30 minutes or so of eachother.  It’s not as close as that now with people spread a bit more over the globe, but that’s what happens with time I guess.
The thing about being an expat is that you can go out to this club or this event or this bar and meet people…anywhere.  I think it’s just hard because expats are mostly people in transit.  They’re stopping for a brief moment in time to be here in this place and then they’ll be off. It’s very difficult (and exhausting) to have to constantly make friends.  You always start at the beginning and the conversation usually begins the same way with the “Hi(s)” and “How are you(s)?”  Followed up by a “Where are you from?”, “How long have you been here?” an “Oh really?” and a “Do you work at a public school (EPIK) or at a private school (hagwon)?”  And then the general shock and awe if someone is here doing something besides teaching.  

I’m sure this comes off as whining or something, but I hope it doesn’t.  I think that many people in this age of technology and instant communication are missing what relationships are essentially formed out of a need for.  People want someone to share their life with and someone who understands and will listen and be able to give advice and not be thinking of other things they’d rather be doing but because they truly care about the person that is asking.  To be able to let go and show their true self and not a self that was created to impress or as a mask to show to other people.  To create a deeper friendship and one that will hopefully last a lifetime. 

I really don’t know where this was headed…just rambling as I said from the beginning, but I just started thinking more about this as I separated myself my own online profile.  I don’t think I really created my own mask (as I put it) online…I like to think that I was fairly honest and posted what I thought. But then again, there are the posts that I deleted and the thoughts that were left unsaid on this topic or that.  

I just…I just wish that I was able to be home to nurture those relationships that I care about but I feel that I’m sort of…fading away in memories because I’m so far away.  I have friends here as well but many people are starting to get married or people have been here for far longer than I have and are beginning to move onto the next chapter in their lives.  
It’s weird because I’m not lonely or anything and I have plenty of things on my own plate to look forward to.  I’m not even sure where this is going…but maybe I’ll just end it here and come back and some point if I figure out what I really meant by this whole thing.  haha :)

SCONES!

As I’m on a Facebook hiatus, I didn’t have anywhere to share…I made blueberry scones for the first time!

They’re pretttttty tasty…and flaky (as opposed to giant lumps of dough)..yum!

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Not sure if the picture does them justice, but they’re pretty good.

Here’s the link to the recipe.
http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/blueberry-scones

The only rough part was “folding” the recommended number of blueberries into the dough.  I tried to be gentle but they kept getting squashed.

I guess another thing of note is that I ordered my first pull-up bar.  :D
It’s one of those that goes into the doorframe.  It’s been a fitness goal of mine to be able to do a pull-up for a long while, and I’m ready to conquer it.  I found a bunch of training videos online, so…here goes nothing.  :)

And a regular foodie pic too:
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Recently mastered a yummy way to fix up chicken breast and tonight I added some asparagus and tomato to the pan.
I think I might need to change the spices since I added those two, but not too shabby.

Checking Into FAA (Facebook-aholics Anonymous)

Just a heads-up…I logged out of Facebook for awhile.  I changed the password to something ridiculous and hope to keep away for awhile.  Last time I just deleted the app from my phone, but I did that and the password change this time.
Anyway, I think I’m becoming too reliant on it and feel the need to change so I can break the habit.  :)  If you need to get in touch, my email is still good as is my Kakao account.  :)

My goal is to stay off til after my trip to Japan in September.