Archive for the ‘Simply Photography’ Category

Mosaic One

Mosaic One

I’m really getting into Flickr again. I’m supposed to be phone teaching, but all I can do is mess around on it.

After I get back to Cali, I should have a lot more time on my hands. So expect more photos around the holiday season!

Until then, check out my trading card.

I'm so tough.

P.S. I’m taking advantage of the new Sonific widget for WordPress. If you don’t like it, just go to the sidebar, scroll down and hit the pause button. But give the song a chance–it’s fitting for my site right now.


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The washer tore the beading off my favorite shirt.

I should have expected this, since it was only 5,000 won (around five American dollars), and this happened to another cute shirt a few months ago. But oh oh oh. So sad.

The fake stones on the front reminded me of the stones my parents would buy us from Monterey.

Sweet blouse, you did me good.

(Yes, that is a Winnie/Tigger sticker on my bathroom wall. And no, I did not put it there.)

Oh yeah, before I forget: Just found a new favorite travel blog, Coconuter. This young Filipino-American left his Ivy League university to get back to his roots–without financial support from his family. He’s living on just three bucks a day. Wow.

I scanned his entire site in two hours, and not only is he a good writer (and, um, easy on the eyes), but he really does the motherland some justice. His articles are really in-depth and he includes tons of photos. Check it out.

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Congratulations are in order for my baby sister, Marbs, who is one of three singles players on her high school tennis team with an undefeated record. 19-0, and this is only her second year playing the sport! (Like, seriously. She only picked up a racket last year.)

Her photo was in the paper today, and I’d link to it if I wasn’t anonymous. But she looks so fierce. I’m proud of you, kiddo.

With the AP classes, orchestra, college and scholarship applications and job, I don’t know how you have the time to do it all. Must be something in that NorCal water . . .


In other news, I posted more Japan pics on Flickr.

Can’t believe I was there just three months ago–it seems much more time has passed. I miss Kyoto.

Otoyo Shrine 7

Click on the picture above for more shots of Honen-In, Otoyo Shrine and a sad little tempura dish that set me back six bucks.

The latest batch (as well as the first, of Ginkaku-ji) were taken during my first day of sightseeing in Japan. I devoted that time to Tetsugaku-no-Michi, “The Philosopher’s Path.” The road, sprinkled with delightful little cafes and shrines, wasn’t too crowded–but I followed a few tourists when I got lost. And I did get lost.

Back then it was hot. I wasn’t dying like the other foreigners, yet it was hot enough that I lost five pounds of water weight by the end of my trip, in spite of a diet of waffles and green tea ice cream.

I spent the majority of the day on foot, and by nightfall I had blisters on my feet. My bright pink purse was heavy with my Lonely Planet guide, Japanese phrasebook, camera (with four spare batteries, and I still ran out of juice in the middle of the day), paper fan, water and five pounds of coins I wouldn’t be able to convert to Won upon my return to Korea.

I prefer the tiny shrines like Otoyo, because there are less visitors, which means I have more time to just sit down and take too many half-assed pictures. Anyway, as usual my pictures don’t do the place any justice. It was so peaceful, so unexpectedly quiet for a hot tourist spot like Kyoto.

Unfortunately, there’s a lot of stuff I don’t know about Japan and their temples, so if you want to add notes or define stuff in my photos, feel free to do so.

On this particular night I downed sake shots (straight out of a carton!) with awkward Germans, a dueling Swede couple, a short-haired French girl I totally crushed on, some Canadians who were also teaching in Korea, and two Catalan siblings I’ll call “Lucy” and “Linus.”

I hit it off with Lucy and Linus right away, fascinated by how many languages they spoke with ease. Between them, they knew Catalan, Spanish, English, German, Latin, Japanese, Italian and I’m sure they were fluent in more.

I was starstruck, because I don’t even know Tagalog.

“In Spain, when we have drinks, we say chin-chin,” Lucy explained after pouring my third drink. “But when we said this in Tokyo, our Japanese friends were so embarrassed. Chin-chin means penis in Japanese! So for our first week here, we were yelling penis in bars, with no idea why people were staring so hard.”

“I loooooove you,” I slurred. “I never had Spanish friends before. Will you be my friends?”

“Yes, but you must know we are Catalan, and not Spanish,” Luis pointed out.

“Uh-huh whatever. Chin-chin!”

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Bow To The Emperor!

A belated thanks to Kevin, aka EmperorCharon, for buying me a Flickr Pro account for my birthday! This is definitely one of my favorite presents by far.

You can check out Kevin’s own Flickr account here. His online comic is also a must-see.

Now I can upload all my Japan pictures without worrying about a limit!

Again, Kevin, thank you very very very much.

P.S. Twenty-five photos from my Japan trip are up! You can access them by clicking on the Flickr link in the sidebar.

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You don’t have to go all the way to Seoul or hike in the mountains to get giddy with your camera.

While I was taking a walk one hot Saturday morning, I came upon a sign for a Buddhist temple. Although I’m keen on learning more about this religion, I had never visited any shrines or temples in my city, so I decided to look around.

It wasn’t much–pretty much the equivalent of a market, adorned with last season’s Buddha’s Birthday lanterns. But there were all these beautiful flowers. I went crazy with macro.

I usually don’t like to spend that much time in my town, because it really isn’t that interesting. We don’t even have a coffeehouse! (And yes, I know how “ugly American” that sounds.) So all these plants were a pleasant surprise.

Click the picture above for more flower power on Flickr.


Hmm, other stuff I’ve been up to:

1) Yoga is kicking my ass. Even with my athletic background and past yoga classes, my itsy-bitsy, beautiful (seriously, she looks like a cross between Zhang Ziyi and Michelle Yeoh) instructor challenges me. I don’t hurt anywhere, thank God, but she leaves me curious about the next lesson.

2) I’m addicted to last year’s popular Korean television drama, My Name is Kim Sam Soon. I originally started watching episodes to see Hyun Bin, but this show is so tasty. I stayed up til one in the morning last night to see watch more, and you should too.

I can’t do the show any justice. Do yourself a favor and at least watch the first ten minutes of Episode One on YouTube. Look, there are even subtitles!

3) I’m downloading a lot of empowering, “I’m gonna get through beat this heartache into the dirt” songs on LimeWire. Admittedly, some sappy love ballads too. Enough disco and country to kill a baby elephant.

Obviously, I need to get away from the computer as soon as possible.


I can’t believe I’m turning 25 on Thursday.

I feel like I’ve aged quite a bit here in Korea–for better or for worse, I don’t know. But in spite of the disappointment and heartache I’ve shouldered these past few days, I feel like I’ve made more accomplishments in this tiny country than I have in my previous 24 years.

I wonder what I’ll be like at age 50 . . . Most important, I wonder where I’ll be.

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busan subway 2

A few more pictures on Flickr.

Unsurprisingly, I’ve reached my limit and can’t upload more photos until August. (Mommy?)

Also, I’m sick again. Must have been all that walking through the rain in Busan. Or five hours of sleep a night. Who knows. It’s hell trying to give lectures with phlegm sliding down my throat.

Got a shot up the bum on Tuesday, will most likely get another today. I always get freaked out when I see needles, even though I know they don’t hurt. I would at least like a lollipop with these injections . . . treats would make visits to the doctor more bearable.

Goddamn it’s pouring outside. What’s the weather like in California? I’d rather melt in 110-degree weather than waddle through this again.

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Click to see more martial arts photos from Pia.

I tampered with the image to make it fit the page. I like it better in its original size.

I know it’s been a while since I’ve actually written-written anything, but I have been working on more chapters (think “Full Moon”). I expect they’ll be on the blog by late August.

They’re based on my previous travels abroad, and in order to finish I have to look at my college journals, which are stranded in California.

Anyway, taking pictures is easier. Criticism is always appreciated.

Just don’t harp on my ass. I worked hard for it back then, and really miss it.

Edited to add that I will remove most of the pictures of my kids next Friday! I might keep a few, but only under private viewing for family and friends. So enjoy the cuteness while it lasts.

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