Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. Share something you loved about your Christmas day.
I went to see the play Wicked in Singapore, which was pretty awesome.

grand theater at marina bay sands

2. You get to put five items in a time capsule to be opened in 100 years, what items would you choose and why?
-Pictures of the people (and animals) I love.
-My stuffed animals 아기곰 and Chang.
-The jewelry box my mom gave me.
-A letter about my life for my descendents to read.
-A bottle of wine that ages well.

3. What do you like on a cracker?
Cheese! So many kinds…

4. Do you make resolutions? How’d that work out for you this past year?
Yes… Though they never work out very well.

5. What’s a song or song lyric you’ll associate with 2011?
“Chicken Fried” by the Zac Brown Band, which is where I got the name for this blog.

6. How will you ring in the new year?
Probably sleeping! My flight leaves Bali at 6am (which means I’ll have to wake up at 2am or not go to sleep?) and I arrive in Seoul at 10pm.

7. What is something you look forward to in 2012?
Extensive traveling and returning to NC.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
My trip to Bali has been amazing and I haven’t even left my hotel! Full day tour tomorrow though and cooking class and spa day on Friday. 🙂

Original post can be found here.


Merry Christmas from Singapore!

It’s Christmas morning here in Singapore and I just woke up in my hostel bed. This is my first Christmas without my family and I am traveling solo… So it should be interesting. I had mixed emotions yesterday but I am now optimistic that it will be a good day! I am going to ride the Singapore Flyer and see Wicked. But it’s definitely not the same as being in Saluda with my family…

I had a good week leading up to Christmas. While I bitched in my last post about only receiving one Christmas card, I have now received 11 along with various presents. Socks from one of my students, mittens from Lienna, a Starbucks gift card from my Secret Santa, a ring and lip balm from Jinhee, and a purse, ring, earrings, and book from Daniel. I hope the cards and packages I sent to America have made it there… But I’m thinking they haven’t. 😦

We had our work Christmas party on Thursday night. First we did Secret Santa and then we had dinner at a Brazilian steakhouse. The food was good but the service was not. I wanted more meat but they came around very infrequently! With a big salad bar I ended up quite full anyway. 🙂

Friday we had theme day at school. I made a Santa craft with the kindergarten students and then with my elementary class we made Rudolph snacks. I had already made them on Thursday with the three-year-olds, but I had plenty of materials left over, so I thought why not? If you want to try this at home: Spread peanut butter on a cookie, use raisins for the eyes, a red M&M for the nose, and a pretzel for the antlers!

It was also the last day for EIGHT of my students! (I’m sure that’ll get blamed on me too.)

i will miss jioh... she is one of my favorites

Daniel and I had our Christmas together Friday night. We exchanged gifts and enjoyed a lovely dinner of delivery pizza and red wine (we’re both pretty broke). He even sang this cute song: “On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me… Pizza with pepperoni!”

Christmas Eve morning I awoke to snow on the ground but luckily the roads had been cleared so I was able to easily make it to the airport.

trying to grow a handlebar mustache

After about 16 long hours of traveling (layover in Shanghai, I stood at the wrong baggage carousel for half an hour, and was the last one dropped off by the airport shuttle) I finally arrived at Wink Hostel in Chinatown where I will be spending three nights.

i hate how asians line up to board before their row is called!

plane to singapore

welcome to singapore airport

Wishing all of my friends and family a very merry Christmas, and I wish I could spend it with all of you!


Friday 5

1. In 2011, what did you do far too many times?
Work! I was too busy in 2011. 2012 is going to be a year of being able to breathe and relax.

2. In 2011, what did you rediscover?
My love for travel… I never lost it but I was really homesick for awhile. I’m OK now though and ready to continue exploring the world!

3. What 2011 event will you still be paying for in 2012?
Traveling… Ha ha.

4. In what unexpected place did you find a friend in 2011?
I was happy to be able to reconnect with old friends when I went home in May. I hope to be able to build those friendships back up again in 2012!

5. As 2011 comes to a close, what in your life is trending upward toward a much better 2012?
Quitting my job, becoming a full-time student, traveling, going home… So much to look forward to!

Original post can be found here.


Ding, Dong, The Bitch is Gone.

So we came in to work today to find out that the evil principal has been fired! Everyone was pretty damn happy. And I think most of the teachers will stay at our school now. Except me… It’s too late for all that. I’ve already gotten student loans, registered for classes, booked my spring break vacation… And most importantly, I’ve changed my mindset and I don’t want to teach anymore. But I’m still glad I don’t have to deal with her for my last few weeks!!

So, my last post was Saturday… I had a nice bum day without Daniel. Sunday I took the bus to Itaewon with Katie and met up with Daniel. We went to the foreign food mart and I got goat cheese! Then on to What the Book, where I bought Lonely Planet books for Siem Reap and Bangkok, a birthday present for Daniel (Russian phrase book for our Trans-Mongolian trip), and two books for my “Literature and Related Media for Young Adults” class that I can read on the plane this weekend (Leviathan and Beautiful Creatures). The Pale Ale Brewing Challenge was pretty awesome; I’ll be writing a full post later.

Monday I watched the Dexter season finale. The ending was crazy!! I predicted it about two seconds before it happened. Ha ha. Then last night I was telling Daniel about it and we got into an argument about the “incest”. Is it OK to be romantically in love with your adopted brother if he grew up with you since he was three years old? No! Gross.

Last night I met Jinhee for our language exchange and she said she wanted to go to Cambodia with me! Then she bought her plane tickets today! I am super excited. 🙂 She also took me to buy a new camera. Yay! I really like it. It is a Nikon Coolpix like my old one but a newer model and it’s smaller and takes photos faster. I wanted a camera with AA batteries but apparently those are obsolete… But this camera battery only lasts for 250 pictures! I guess I will have to charge it every night on my trip. And buy extra batteries for my long trip in May/June!

This week I made the sugar cookies (did not turn out great), oatmeal chocolate chip cookies (always delicious), and candy cane snowballs (surprisingly yummy). Tonight I will make peanut butter balls after the Wednesday Night Culinary Excursion at Agra Taj. (I go there too often!) I also made broccoli potato soup last night in the crockpot but I have to puree it tonight and add cheese.

candy cane snowballs

Tomorrow is our work Christmas party and we are doing Secret Santa. I got Sabina and she knows I have her so she told me what she wanted! I bought her cute earmuffs and mittens; I hope she likes them. So far I have received only one Christmas card and no presents; I’m kind of bummed.

Last night I counted and I will have visited 35 countries by my 30th birthday. Pretty cool, huh?

OK, I have to go make a move on Words With Friends… My latest addiction.


Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. Are you cooking Christmas dinner? How many will be round your table this year? What are we having?
Nope… I will be traveling solo in Singapore. Hopefully I can have a nice Christmas champagne buffet brunch somewhere. I will be seeing Wicked on Christmas night!

2. What is one must-have Christmas cookie in your house?
Sugar cookies… Duh. Although last night I made Candy Cane Snowballs and they were delicious. I will make a separate post about those. Making peanut butter balls tonight.

3. Santa likes a glass of milk with his cookies… Do you? What kind of milk is on tap at your house: skim, almond, soy, full fat? (Gasp!)
Not almond or soy that’s for sure. At home I drink skim but here I never bother to try to decipher/translate the cartons so I just buy what is cheapest.

4. Time magazine recently named its Person of the Year for 2011. This is the person the editors believe has had the greatest impact, for better or worse, in the past year. This year they chose ‘The Protester’. Your thoughts? Who would you name person of the year for 2011?
My boyfriend is soooooooooo into all the Occupy Wall Street stuff. I try to avoid news and politics. So I don’t really have a person to nominate. Best to ask someone better informed. 🙂

5. December 21st is National Flashlight Day… When was the last time you needed a flashlight? Did you know right where to find one?
Ummmmmmmmm I guess when I was camping. And yes. I am always a prepared camper.

6. Candy canes… Yum or yuck?
Yuck. I don’t eat them like candy. Only for a breath freshener.

7. What Christmas carol lyric means the most to you?
I am not religious but some of my favorite carols are (Oh Holy Night, Oh Come All Ye Faithful). I also like All I Want For Christmas Is You… But there aren’t any meaningful lyrics there!

8. Insert your own random thought here.
My friend Jinhee just booked her flight to go with me to Cambodia in March… Super excited!

Original post can be found here.


Ten on Tuesday

1. What is your favorite online-only store?
Amazon.com! I am always buying books… Mostly Lonely Planet travel guides. I use it for presents too and I always try to get the free shipping!

2. Do you enjoy wrapping gifts?
Yes, although I’m not that great at it. But I like to do it all at one time… Just get in the zone with the wrapping paper, tape, scissors, and gift tags, and get it done.

3. What is the temperature in your city today?
According to Weather.com, it is currently 36 degrees in Seoul. Not as cold as it has been!

4. What time do you eat dinner?
Between 6:30 and 7:30 usually. Earlier if I go out to eat, later if I’m cooking.

5. Will you be making New Years Resolutions?
Yes… I have already made six! Most of them are because I will have more free time now. So I want to do more writing, catch up with friends, pay more attention to Bella, deep clean our apartment and get rid of stuff, and check off everything on my to do list. And of course, lose weight… 😦

6. How old is your oldest pair of shoes that you still wear?
Right now I only have three pairs of shoes that I regularly wear and the oldest pair is from last winter. With shoes and purses I usually change with the seasons but have a few fancy ones that I save throughout the years.

7. Do you have any restaurant phone numbers saved in your phone?
Our pizza delivery guy. Although I have never called him; Daniel always does. He loves Daniel. I made Daniel call from work and order pizza when I was sick and he was really surprised to deliver a pizza and have me answer the door. He asked: “Where’s Daniel?” Ha ha.

8. What is your favorite and least favorite letter to write in cursive?
I like to write J; I guess because I always sign my name. I don’t like to write Z; capital cursive Zs look stupid.

9. Do you know any good riddles?
Nope. I don’t really like jokes/riddles or think they are funny. I usually have to fake laugh.

10. How do you feel about snow?
I like to have one or two big snows and get out of school/work and play for a day or two. More than that is annoying. And last winter we just had a little bit of snow, never enough to get school canceled so that sucked. It’s no fun if you still have to go to work!

Original post can be found here.


Golden Globe Nominations

I was originally going to do the Friday 5 post, but I didn’t care for their questions this week. They were kind of related to the Golden Globe nominations… Which I’d rather write about!

I love awards season. I love TV, movies, and celebrities. I really look forward to the Golden Globes, Oscars, and Emmys every year. (I don’t care about music or any of those award shows.) I always make it a point to watch all the movies nominated for a Best Picture Academy Award. The Golden Globes are the second biggest awards for TV and movies and they’re usually more fun to watch than the Oscars and Emmys, what with inappropriate hosts like Ricky Gervais (I love him; he’s hilarious) and the excessive drinking that leads to entertaining speeches.

Let’s start with TV…

Of the five shows nominated for Best Television Series – Drama, I have to say I love American Horror Story. It is awesome and so scary and creepy. I actually stopped watching Boardwalk Empire this season… It was getting boring and complicated with no good love stories. I hear it got interesting though so I might go back and finish up the season. I definitely want to start watching Game Of Thrones and Homeland, but I have no interest in Boss (not a Kelsey Grammer fan).

I also need to see Revenge, which was nominated for Best Performance by an Actress In A Television Series – Drama (Madeleine Stowe). I’ve watched multiple episodes of The Killing and The Good Wife and I don’t think either of them are good shows. (And I really can’t stand Mireille Enos on The Killing. The actress was great in Big Love but she just doesn’t seem suited for her role on The Killing.) Even though I think Breaking Bad has gone way downhill and gotten pretty damn boring, of course Bryan Cranston is an amazing actor. I’ve never even heard of Necessary Roughness or The Borgias

Other than American Horror Story, there was no love for any of the shows that I consider to be the best dramas on TV. First off, Sons of Anarchy is the best show ever was amazing acting by pretty much every cast member. Also, what about The Walking Dead, Dexter, True Blood, Hell on Wheels, and Justified??

For Best Television Series – Comedy, Modern Family takes the cake for me. I stopped watching Glee long ago. I love the music but the acting and plots are contrived and boring. Gag. 30 Rock has passed its prime and Tina Fey is overrated. I also think Parks and Recreation has gone downhill this season. The Big Bang Theory is straight up dumb and I can’t believe it always gets nominated for awards. Need to watch New Girl, Episodes, Californication, Hung, and The Big C. (No desire to see Enlightened…)

Other comedies that deserve awards but weren’t nominated: Cougar Town, Eastbound and Down, and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia!

On to movies…

Turns out I haven’t seen very many good films this year! So many have been added to the “must see” list after reading the Golden Globe nominations:
The Descendents
The Ides Of March
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
We Need To Talk About Kevin
J. Edgar
Midnight In Paris
My Week With Marilyn
Young Adult
The Guard
In The Land Of Blood And Honey
The Skin I Live In
A Dangerous Method
Machine Gun Preacher

Even though they are nominated, I still do NOT want to see:
War Horse
The Artist
Albert Nobbs
Iron Lady
Any animated film!

Of the few I have seen, this is what I can say:
The Help and 50/50 were amazing movies.
Bridesmaids was hilarious.
Joseph Gordon Levitt displayed some fine acting skills in 50/50.
Drive was weird but that had nothing to do with Albert Brooks’ acting.

Unfortunately, it looks like I will definitely have to watch a lot more films and shows before I can give my recommendations and predictions! Check back soon!