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Saturday 9

1. Have you ever been to Atlanta?
Yes, twice to get my Korean visa. The first time we stayed downtown and went to an NBA playoff game. We also ate at The Varsity. The next time I just stayed at an airport hotel.

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2. Do you enjoy traveling by train?
I do, for short periods of time. It’s more relaxing than flying or driving. I did the Trans-Mongolian Railway from Beijing to St. Petersburg last summer. We stopped three times but there still was one leg of the journey that was five days long! I really needed a shower.

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3. What’s your go-to karaoke song?
I don’t really have one. My ex and I used to sing “Hit Me Baby One More Time” as a duet. Here you can see me and my friend Kathryn singing karaoke on a cruise last September.

4. Do you drink tea?
On occasion… I’ve been drinking these teas lately since I received them in a blog swap.

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5. What’s the most recent thing you purchased for your home?
I bought cupcake salt and pepper shakers for my future cupcake-themed kitchen.

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6. Are there dishes in your kitchen sink right now?
Not sure.

7. Have you ever been fingerprinted?
Yes, for jobs.

8. What was the last check you wrote?
To my mom to pay for the internet.

9. What color are your eyes?
Hazel.

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First Things First

First Things First - 300 x 300

1. First thing I reach for in the fridge
Usually if I’m just opening up the fridge for a snack, I’ll have a pickle. Claussen’s are the best!

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2. First car accident or traffic violation
The first one I can recall is when I was around 20 years old and got in a car accident while on vacation. That really sucked because I had to get someone to take me home and then come back and get my car a week later. What a pain!

3. First BIG accomplishment I’m proud of
I’m most proud of my traveling experiences (I’ve visited 34 countries)!

Trans-Mongolian Railway, June 2012

Trans-Mongolian Railway, June 2012

4

Single Ladies Link Up

Chasing Birdies

10 Things I Love About Myself

1. I am a good friend. I am thoughtful, I remember things, I make an effort, I don’t back out when I say I’m going to do something.

me and my friend Cindy

me and my friend Cindy (skiing on Tuesday)

2. I am well-traveled.

Mongolia, June 2012

Mongolia, June 2012

3. I am intelligent and doing well in grad school.

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4. I can cook and bake some delicious dishes (most of the time).

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5. I like to do things by myself (going to the movies, traveling, etc.).

but when you travel by yourself, you tend to take photos like this all the time (Laos, 2012)

but when you travel by yourself, you tend to take photos like this all the time (Laos, June 2012)

6. I love my two cats like they’re my children.

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7. I have cute toes. And a cute nose.

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8. I have an exciting life and am always trying new things.

riding an elephant was scary! (Thailand, July 2011)

riding an elephant was scary! (Thailand, July 2011)

9. I throw great parties.

Santa's Mustache Bash, December 2012

Santa’s Mustache Bash, December 2012

10. I’m fun! I will sing karaoke or be the first one on the dance floor.

Carnival Cruise, September 2012

Carnival Cruise, September 2012

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Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. Lake Superior University has once again published a list of words/phrases they think should be banished from the Queen’s English… Here’s the list for 2013: fiscal cliff, kick the can down the road, double down, job creators/creation, passion/passionate, YOLO, spoiler alert, bucket list, trending, superfood, boneless wings, and guru. Which of these words/phrases would you most like to see banished from everyday speech and why?
Boneless wings. They are basically chicken tenders. Chicken wings have bones. ‘Nuff said. On a side note, I use “spoiler alert” quite often! Oops…

2. When was the last time you rode a train? Where did you go?
The Trans-Mongolian Railway! I rode all the way from Beijing, China to St. Petersburg, Russia (with three stops along the way).

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3. Bagels… Yay or nay? Favorite ‘flavor’? Favorite topping?
Sometimes. I like “everything” bagels with cream cheese. Blueberry and cinnamon raisin are good when I want something a little sweet.

4. ‘Tis the season of awards shows… If you could star in a movie already made, which one would you choose?
I would play Miranda Presley in The Thing Called Love.

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5. The move towards single gender classrooms has been making the news in recent months… What say you? Do you think kids perform better if separated by gender and are taught differently or is that discrimination? If you’re a parent, is this something you’d support in regard to your own children?
I don’t agree with this. Seems ridiculous to me.

6. What’s your favorite thing about staying in a hotel?
Not having to clean up after myself! Blasting the AC, watching TV, clean sheets, taking a bubble bath… Everything!

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7. Do you have a ‘word’ for 2013? What’s the story behind your choice?
No…

8. Insert your own random thought here.
Busy day… Job interview, manicure, Zero Dark Thirty, and my BFF Cindy’s birthday dinner!

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Tuesday 10

LenaBActually

My Life in 10 Photos

My kitties

Riley Moonshine & Diesel Gambrinus

Riley Moonshine & Diesel Gambrinus

School

My textbooks for this semester

My textbooks for this semester

My family

My sister Callie, my brother Zach, and me

My sister Callie, my brother Zach, and me

My friends

Cindy, Laura, and me

Cindy, Laura, and me

Reading

My current reads

My current reads

TV addiction

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia

Traveling

Riding a camel in Mongolia

Riding a camel in Mongolia

Food

Indian food is my favorite

Indian food is my favorite

My home (western North Carolina)

DuPont State Forest

DuPont State Forest

Blogging

Riley helping me write a blog post (she was so tiny in September!!)

Riley helping me write a blog post (she was so tiny in September!!)

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The Year in Review

(I got this questionnaire from Nicole, who got it here.)

What did you do in 2012 that you’d never done before?
I rode a camel.

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Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I don’t remember if I even made any resolutions last year… So far I have vowed to visit Greece, finish my master’s degree, get a job as a librarian, visit every brewery in WNC, and attend a book signing in 2013.

Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yes, my friend Jinhee (just a few days after I left Korea!) and my stepsister Ruth.

Byuri

Byuri

Klay Audrey

Klay Audrey

Did anyone close to you die?
No.

What countries did you visit?
I lived in Korea and visited the Philippines, Cambodia, Thailand, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Laos, Vietnam, China, Mongolia, Russia, Poland, Grand Cayman, and Mexico.

What would you like to have in 2013 that you lacked in 2012?
A job as a librarian.

What date from 2012 will remain etched upon your memory?
July 17, the day my boyfriend and I broke up.

What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Traveling on the Trans-Mongolian Railway from Beijing to St. Petersburg.

What was your biggest failure?
Gaining weight instead of losing it.

Did you suffer illness or injury?
The worst was a very painful jellyfish sting in Vietnam!

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What was the best thing you bought?
Well I didn’t buy it, but I received this awesome waterproof, dustproof, coldproof, shockproof, and crushproof camera!

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Where did most of your money go?
Traveling!

What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Moving home to NC after two years in Korea.

What song will always remind you of 2012?
Gangnam Style!

Compared to this time last year, are you:
Happier or sadder? The same
Thinner or fatter? Fatter
Richer or poorer? Poorer

What do you wish you’d done more of?
Appreciating Korea while I lived there.

What do you wish you’d done less of?
Spending money.

How did you spend Christmas?
At home with my family, eating dinner and opening presents! I didn’t take any good group pics unfortunately, but here are all the “grandkids” (my nephew Carter and nieces Olivia and Klay).

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Did you fall in love in 2012?
No.

Who were your best friends?
Ohee in Korea and Cindy in NC.

I was her Maid of Honor!

I was her Maid of Honor!

We threw an awesome Christmas party together!

We threw an awesome Christmas party together!

What thing did you do that was meaningful to others?
Donated to several charities.

What was your favorite TV program?
The Walking Dead, American Horror Story, Homeland, Dexter, Sons of Anarchy, Game of Thrones, Justified, Girls, Cougar Town

Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
Hmmmmmm I don’t think so.

What was the best book you read?
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian by Sherman Alexie.

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What was your greatest musical discovery?
I’m not that into music.

What did you want and get?
Custom painted TOMS, a Kate Spade wallet, kittens…

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What did you want and not get?
A job as a children’s librarian.

What was your favorite film of this year?
Magic Mike? LOL. Also Argo, The Hunger Games, Moonrise Kingdom, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and Pitch Perfect.

What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 30… I made pottery, went swimming, went out to dinner, and had cake and drinks at my house!

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What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
My year was pretty awesome but getting the job I wanted (children’s librarian) would have made it awesomer.

What kept you sane?
Reading, blogging, my friends and family.

Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I developed a huge crush on Tom Hardy. And Rebel Wilson became by role model. 🙂

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What political issue stirred you the most?
I tried to avoid politics as usual.

Who did you miss?
Everyone in NC when I was in Korea and everyone in Korea now that I’m home!

Who was the best new person you met this year?
My nieces Olivia and Klay. 🙂

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2012:
It’s OK to move on and start over.

Quote that sums up your year:
“Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.”