19 Months of Status Updates

January 19, 2013 near Minneapolis, MN, United States

I’m moving to South Korea today!

January 21, 2013

I made it to Korea! The trip was not without drama, but so far I love the city and I am learning something new everywhere I turn. Blog post to come shortly. Again, thank you to all of those who have been reaching out and continue to support me. Sending love to USA and to my climbable chocolate bear who continues to be my biggest support. — with Chris Mungin.

January 22, 2013

My boyfriend has hot lips and a great personality — with Chris Mungin.

January 25, 2013 near Seoul

So this lil tech challenged blonde is now teaching two Ipad critical thinking current issue classes! Prep work, prep work, prep work!!!

January 26, 2013 near Seoul

Such a great day! Skyped home, Hello Kitty Cafe with cousin and friends, cat-petting cafe, school supply shopping (lots of Hello Kitty stickers purchased), followed by night time Dr. Fish pedicure-like procedure (the fish eat all the dead skin off your feet). I’m loving the Seoul life

January 27, 2013

Only in Seoul: A world famous pastry chef/instructor comes and sits next to me at a coffee shop, asks to see my facebook, shows me hers and then gives me a tour of her pastry kitchen and things she is working on for a world competition!!! OMG Ahhhmazzing. Don’t worry Cbear, she agreed to give you a tour too when you come in April! — with Chris Mungin.

January 27, 2013 near Seoul

It’s an hour before my class begins and I am starting to freak out!?! I hope it goes well. I am all moved into my apartment, but no internet yet so it might be a few days before I send out skype requests for my schedule. Still thinking of you loved ones.

January 28, 2013

Best first day of work I have ever had thanks to high-achieving brilliant students and an extremely supportive fun peer group/supervisor. Needless to say, I am kind of loving this teaching gig so far.

January 28, 2013 near Seoul

Korean family-run english-speaking coffee shop that plays 90s and early 00s R&B…. Ummmm YES PLEASE! Blessed

January 29, 2013 near Seoul

Great News!! I have internet in my apartment!!

Weird News: It was installed this morning while I was passed out shirtless in my bed after way too much wine last night. I did not even know that someone had been in my room…. awk.

January 29, 2013 near Seoul

English words my 10 year old students are reading in their SECOND language that I never knew: phragmite, transom, gunnel.

February 7, 2013

A couple thoughts after polishing off 5 bottles of wine with my coworkers… 1. As a white woman with inherent privilage I am very good at hailing cabs 2. Girl Generation is the South Korean version of Spice Girls and they rock 3. I am blessed with amazing fun different traveled coworkers who make me belly laugh 4. And finally… its been about six years since I had KFC and at least one month since any fried food. I will NEVER EVER IN MY LIFE EAT KFC AGAIN. It never comes up quite the way it went down. Fml lol lovey night. Rowr.

February 8, 2013

Bad News: The bus tickets to Icheon were sold out because of the Korean New Year holiday. So… I do not get to see my awesome cousin Georgia this weekend.

Good News: I booked a bus ticket to see my friend Amber Barcel in Gumi for a Sat/Sunday excursion. AND I am going to see Georgia Adkins next weekend! Traveling back to back weekends to visit with lovely people… exciting

February 12, 2013 via Instagram

A day at the Seoul Art Museum for the Tim Burton exhibit.

February 19, 2013

It makes me so proud to be living and working in Seoul especially after talking to my Grandma on the phone. She said that it is awesome that women of our generation get to do things that she could only dream of. Women of her age were lucky to get out of the house. Thank you to the former generations of strong women who forged these opportunities for me!

February 20, 2013

I drink so much on the weekdays that I can never have a “proper” night out on the weekends. lol fml. I use my weekends for recovery.

February 26, 2013

Frustrated, annoyed, disapointed, sad, and anxious. Ready for tomorrow to be a new day in 2 minutes. Fresh start. Clean slate.

February 27, 2013

I found the cure for a bad day!!

Talk to Tj Ikhena, have a kiwi smoothie, cheap cajun BBQ for dinner and confirmation that tickets are booked! Chris Mungin will be moving to Seoul on 5.5.2013. And my mom will be visiting 5.16.2013!!

March 5, 2013

Yeaaahhhh….. so I have had just about enough of the pre-teen hormone-induced attitude from the young ladies in my class. No. Just say NO to pre-teen drama in the classroom! Smh

March 10, 2013

I would seriously pay at least 100 dollars for Chipotle today. Whenever I am sick I crave my mom and Chipotle…

March 11, 2013

Student: “Teacher, why are all Americans a little bit fat?”

Me: “Well, there are a lot of reasons. One, life style choices like fried foods and driving more than walking. Two, healthy foods are more expensive which is why one sees a lot of weight in less financially stable communities. Three, lack of education.”

Student: “Oh. ok”

Me: “It’s ok. I don’t feel bad. I know I am fat compared to Koreans.”

Student: “But you are only a little bit fat teacher. And you are bigger here than in America. When I googled fat people, many 500-pound Americans showed up.”

Me: Chuckling to myself with relief… “Thank god I am only a little bit fat, right?”

Student: Yep.

Priceless. LOL. FML. Life in Korea

March 14, 2013

For probably only the 4th time in my life, I have completely lost my voice. Completely cray cray!

March 15, 2013

My St. Paddy’s day curse continues! I am even more sick than yesterday and I am still completely without a voice Wine and appetizer night will be rescheduled for next Saturday, March 23. Booo to no talky….

March 16, 2013

Thank you for making my day Christine Shea! She brought this sick little kitten monduguk and Vitamin C drinks! It’s so nice to be cared for, especially when I am so far away from my mom and dad who usually baby me when I am sick

March 16, 2013

A spoon full of 10 dollar penut butter helps the horrible-tasting Korean medicine go down

March 17, 2013

I’m hard core craving corn beef hash that Cbear used to make for me Sunday mornings back in the USA. — with Chris Mungin.

March 19, 2013

After filling in ALL of my report cards, I realize that I did it in the wrong format and the information will not display correctly. FMLLLLLLL. Going to bed moody. Growl.

March 26, 2013

It’s difficult for me to comprehend that a mere 70 years ago, it would not have been legal for Chris and I to wed. My Papa Bear turned 73 this week. I want him to be alive to witness love displayed whenever wherever by whomever with the support of the nation behind them. Everyone should be able to pounce, lick, purrr, and marry the one they love.

April 5, 2013

Soon to be fly and fresh together walking down Seoul streets in our custom Nikes. His and her sweetheart shoes^^ — with Chris Mungin.

April 7, 2013

FOUR weeks from today my Cbear moves to Seoul!! Here are FOUR reasons why I am sooooo excited:

1) We will get to wear matching outfits and show Seoul what fierce biracial coupling is all about.

2) That nasty varmint that Chris calls a beard will finally be taken off his beautiful face.

3) Chris gets to meet all my friends and try tons of tasty food

4) I get my snuggle bunny back… MeeeoooowW! — with Chris Mungin.

April 11, 2013

I love Makgeolli with coworkers, oreos, kitties, spicy food, hot yoga, lake sports, nature, ROK, the color tea rose yellow, Mariah Carey from 1995-2005, red velvet cupcakes, sushi, chipotle, holding Chris Mungin‘s hand, sleeping in, traveling, reading, social justice issues, the beach, and curling my hair.

I HATE HATE HATE Pringles Wild Spice… uGHhhhh why did I eat them. Soooo gross!

April 11, 2013

I FOUND GV!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

April 16, 2013

I’m so excited that I can’t sit still… just got the news yesterday that I was approved for 4.5 weeks off in the summer! Chris Mungin and I are headed to Thailand, Cambodia and Japan!!!! And the planning begins…

April 19, 2013

Just got hugged by an adjumma in a rest stop bathroom… presumably because I am blonde? Lol love the ROK.

April 20, 2013

This temple stay may be one of the top ten coolest adventures of my life.

April 29, 2013

OMG Papa Bear is so frackin’ adorable! Chris Mungin sent me a picture of the new sunglasses he bought today. Pretty sure he doesn’t realize and/or care that they are for sure women’s sunglasses!!

May 1, 2013

Being a teacher makes missing being in school much more bearable. Love my job and life here in the ROK. Rowr.

May 3, 2013

Finished latte, prepped for report cards, and did grading all by 8 am on a Saturday morning… because I’m cool like that.

May 5, 2013

My lover bear is now in Seoul and we are full from a fantastic dinner and drunk off of makgeolli. He has passed out ungodly early with half of his legs dangling off of the bed… lol Korea is not made for Cbear size…

May 6, 2013

Just brought Chris Mungin to Espirit and boy was he a HIT with the kids. They were so curious and terrified at the same time. The children would compete who could get closer to him before running away. They dubbed him many names: giant, dinosaur, basketball player, Shack, and my favorite, only because they look nothing alike, Michael Jordan.

May 10, 2013

I know this is a little late… but I feel very very proud to be a Minnesotan where equality for all expressions of love is slowly becoming a reality

May 12, 2013

I have such a caring partner! He woke up to go get groceries to make me breakfast in bed and then surprised me with the addition of this delicious delight — with Chris Mungin.

May 16, 2013

Flights booked!! July 23rd we fly from Seoul to Siem Reap, Cambodia. From there we bus it to Bangkok. We fly from Bangkok to Chiang Mai to stay on an Elephant reserve. A week later a flight from Chiang Mai to Phuket and a ferry to Phi Phi island. We will return home August 17th. Chris Mungin and I are going to live a real life Trains, Plains and Automobiles

May 16, 2013

My mom arrives in Seoul in 6 hours for her first overseas whirlwind adventure!!

May 24, 2013

Headed to North Korea… — with Chris Mungin and Carly Teng.

May 26, 2013

Well today ends the epic 9 day whirlwind adventure of my mom in Seoul. I am sad to see her leave, but I feel blessed to have had this once in a lifetime experience. Thank you to all of my friends and Cbear for making her feel so welcome^^

June 2, 2013

We are ‘that’ couple today Sweetheart shoes… headed for lunch in Itaewon. Rowr — with Chris Mungin.

June 7, 2013

I could not be more blessed with any other crazy funny intelligent supportive and reliable debauchers than my coworkers. Good night… still can’t believe all of the things that were said and done in front of my boss… awk.

June 16, 2013

I read a lot, yet I rarely ever may facebook recommendations, BUT I read this book in 4.5 hours. I could not put it down. The human rights atrocities in North Korea outlined in this book are happening RIGHT NOW!

“A book without parallel, Escape from Camp 14 is a riveting nightmare that bears witness to the worst inhumanity, an unbearable tragedy magnified by the fact that eh horror continues at this very moment without an end in sight.” -Terry Hong

June 18, 2013

Today is the first time since living in Seoul where I wish I was at home at my parents place in Hopkins, petting Rory, eating Chipotle, and drinking ice tea with Papa Bear. Sigh…

June 25, 2013

Is it sad that I am too exhausted after making my to do list to actually do anything? Le sigh…

June 25, 2013

I just wanted to say sorry to my friends in the USA for being a little disconnected lately. You are in my heart always. I have just been so mentally and physically exhausted lately. I will make it up to you. Promise. Rowr.

July 2, 2013

Sound anti-anxiety recommendations from my coworkers:

1) Learn to accept that the only permanence is impermanence.

2) Me: “…but my heart beats in two places.”

Carly: “Yeah, well, what place are you getting pounced?”

Lol Can’t imagine my life in Korea without them. Rowr. — with John Avaricio Mascardo and Carly Teng.

July 3, 2013

Dear USA,

Happy Birthday! I love you not necessarily for what you are, but the beaconing potential I see you in you and because no matter where my heart beats literally, a figurative half will always resonate in the USA. This is one of only a few 4ths not spent on the lakes of Minnesota, BBQing, and enjoying the sun. Le sigh. For those of you there, please enjoy on my behalf. Sending lots of from Seoul.

July 11, 2013

Whenever I have doubts about whether our stars are aligned or if we are meant be, Chris Mungin always manages to display his brightest qualities. He combats my drunken psycho self, he buys me a hand made lantern that I said I wanted months ago, and he makes me a better human being every day. My muse, my love.

July 11, 2013

If you don’t already know and love Lil Bub, you should!

July 17, 2013

Rookie mistake: Start reading a captivating new novel at 2 am… leading me to go to bed at 4:30 am for the 10th night in a row… leaving only 2/3 of my report cards done that are due in an hour!! Ahhhhhh.

July 21, 2013

Trip to the Philippines booked for Chuseok!! I could get used to this

July 23, 2013

Starting our month-long trek through Cambodia and Thailand today!!

Seoul → Siem Reap → Bangkok → Chiang Mai → Phuket → Phi Phi Island → Phuket → Seoul

July 24, 2013

On our faux honeymoon adventure, we have come up with new pet names: Cocoa Hubs and…

July 24, 2013

Free ‘honeymoon’ upgrade to a suite that is literally 5 times the size of our apartment in Seoul… ummm… duh YES PLEASE^^ I may never want to leave!

August 5, 2013

Siem Reap, Cambodia: 4 spectacular days! Temples, cute English couple friends, pool side, ahhhmazzing honeymoon suite, delicious food, and pedicures.

August 5, 2013

Bangkok, Thailand: 2 horrifyingly traumatizing days Bed bugs, terrible food poisoning, scamming hotel, continuous pleading and begging of store owners like petulant depraved children, gorgeous palace and temple, water bugs, a disturbance with a rude French man and Chris Mungin ate a scorpion!!

August 5, 2013

Chiang Mai, Thailand: 8 wonderfully relaxing and eventful days! Bareback elephant riding and bathing (harder than it looks!), white water rafting through the dense jungle, couples massages, 6 course Thai cooking class, market shoppping and just being high on life ;P

August 5, 2013

Tomorrow we are headed for Ko Phi Phi for 9 days This will be our finest accomodations so far at the wonderful Outrigger Resort… to end our faux honeymoon right^^

August 6, 2013

After 14 hours of traversing from Chiang Mai (plane, layover, plane, taxi, ferry through thunderstorm where I vomited everywhere, mile walk through town, then trucking with a constantly stalling vehicle through the dense jungle, and my continued tummy troubles), we have arrived in paradise

August 14, 2013

OH. MY. GOD. Bill for resort, room service, food and draaanks was 3 times what I expected. From the high life, Chris Mungin and I will be back to rice, broccoli and ramen in no time. It will take us months to pay this off… ahhh

August 14, 2013

I can feel the post-faux-honeymoon blues starting to creep up and latch onto my heart… and we aren’t even home yet- not for another 36 hours (all in trasit). It’s been an amazing, at times sickening (literally lol), interesting, and thrilling journey with Chris Mungin.

August 31, 2013

I can’t wait for the MN state fair to end… the statuses keep breaking my heart! #wishIwasthere #MNrocks #missmyhome

September 1, 2013

Ohhh Carly Teng and Laura Engstrom how I have missed you! Thank you for turning my Sunday frowns upside down Meow

September 11, 2013

My students found a way to include Chris Mungin in their writing!! Aka Mr. Chris, tree, giant, dinosaur, Shaq, Obama or Michael Jordan to the lil kiddos

September 14, 2013

I should NOT have just guzzled that latte at 9 p.m. I will be up until 6 a.m. if you need me! Only 25 hours till we jet off to the Philippines for another whirlwind adventure!!

September 14, 2013

Don’t hate me, but I actually like the Wrecking Ball song.

September 19, 2013

I have traversed 20 + countries, 4.5 continents and yet I just returned home from one of the best vacations of my life to the Philippines! Hiking to remote jungle water falls, massages, snorkeling, walking around the top of a 40-story building with only a harness, scrumptious cheap food, site seeing and excellent company were just some of the highlights. Blog and pictures to come!

September 22, 2013

Corrections upon corrections upon corrections. And more corrections and corrections. My desk is bleeding red ink. How many more hours… aaahhhh. I’m going nuts.

September 28, 2013

Soo… my dad bought a new screw driver this week, which of course he does not need. No present projects and none that I know of on the horizon. Plus he already has two.

Me: “So what are you even screwing these days?”

Papa Bear: Uncontrollable laughter for a good 3 minutes.

September 30, 2013

OMG. OH. MY. GAWWDD!!! Totally annoying white valley girl Oh My God! My best friend of 16 years, Laura Engstrom, has officially booked her tickets and will be spending her Christmas with me in Seoul!!! So excited! Mind blown

October 3, 2013

Apgu+ makgeolli+ meat+ noraebang+ minty menthals= perfection, every time. Meowww

October 6, 2013

I miss my Tan Cookie Carly Teng. Meow.

October 8, 2013

If you want wings, come to Rocky Mountain Tavern in Itaewon tonight for 400 ₩ per wing and to make sexy cat calls to my chocolate bear Chris Mungin! We will be there at 10 pm. MeeooowW

October 12, 2013

Today marks 5 years since the day I lured Cbear to my apartment in Omaha, NE for a faux party that I had arranged with my friends so that I could meet him. Over the years, we have had our ups and downs like any other couple, but what I appreciate about this climbable chocolate bear is his tenacity, communication skills, passion for cooking, and desire to always make me happy. Here’s to 5 more. I love you more and more every day Chris Mungin

October 17, 2013

Meat, makgeoli and bowling near Kyodae for Chris Mungin‘s birthday tonight!!! Come celebrate!

October 29, 2013

Happy National Cat Day!!! The best day of the year

November 5, 2013

“Teacher, what is sex?”… yes, it finally happened in class.

November 7, 2013

A couple bizarre occurrences today…

1) On the subway, I saw a woman pick her eye boogers and then egregiously smear them on the glass.

2) At the post office, I overheard a man with a natural voice that could have doubled as Kermit the Frog.

It is a freaky Thursday here in Seoul…

November 10, 2013

Such a spectacular day in Itaewon with my friend Yoobin Cho!! Ben’s Cookies, a quick hi to Cbear at work, delicious grapefruit tea, followed by dinner with a stranger! A gracious man treated us to bulgogi… yummm ^^

November 10, 2013

RIP my sweet little Rory who was put down this week. After 20 years of having a house of full of kitty love, our family is now catless

November 18, 2013

The first snow each year is unforgettably magical. My students and I squealed with glee as we collectively ran to the window for a glance at the new season. Too bad I didn’t wear a jacket or winter-friendly shoes today…

November 23, 2013

A perfect sweet from my sweetie Chris Mungin

November 26, 2013

My food-based homesickness has been temporarily appeased because I just had the best meal of my LIFE!!!!

A few highlights: smoked salmon sashimi, Brie and fig preserves, froie gras, steamed ox tail, fried spicy sea cucumber, beef roast, quinoa avocado salad, raspberry cheese cake, pumpkin pie, pecan pie, and creme brûlée.

OMG!!! It was heaven on many many plates. Sooooo blessed!

December 3, 2013

If I have to disappear from the world for a while, let it be into the often odorous, tattered, yet ever tantalizing, pages of a well-loved library book.

December 5, 2013

RIP Nelson Mandela… a social justice role model, soldier for equality and hero of tolerant patience.

December 8, 2013

My choco bear Chris Mungin is so seductive. I am a lucky woman… rowrrr

December 10, 2013

I set my alarm for 8 am. It is now 11:30 am. My alarm has rung every 5 minutes for the last 2.5 hours. I am almost certain that Chris Mungin is currently plotting my death… especially after he worked 12 hours yesterday. Sorry Cbear!

December 11, 2013

Hold strong MN! I will be back next winter to warm you up. Sending love home from Seoul

December 12, 2013

I am off to Vietnam with my beloved Chris Mungin and my lovah of 16 years Laura Engstrom!! I can’t wait to be reunited with my bestie. I will return Tuesday.

December 12, 2013

Free upgrade to first class with champagne… umm… yes please!! Chris can actually extend his legs fully!

December 15, 2013

Vietnamese. Food. Is. The. Best. Ever!! Oh and our baddass chartered private boat tour and kayaking through Halong Bay was not too shabby either.

December 19, 2013

‘I felt the feelings of how handicapped people are indisposed. When I was in puberty, I felt that I was not a normal person and not special too. I was just an object of ridicule. And I could have chosen the extreme measure of suicide. There was great suffering in my heart, but not on the outside. Now I’m sufficiently satisfied in this life and thankful for my parents.’

-An 11-year-old student’s profound ability for imaginative introspection while writing in his second language

December 21, 2013

Are report cards the bane of my existence or is facebook the bane of the completion of my report cards?? Must. keep. going…

December 24, 2013

Meowy Christmas to everyone abroad and in the USA. Today, I miss the frigid breath-stealing cold of MN, foods and presents in the chaos that is my Grandmother’s house, and most of all, midnight candle light mass.

December 27, 2013

Daaayummm Minnesota. Why so cold? -48 degrees Farenheit in the Twin Cities

December 28, 2013

Me: So what do you think I am passionate about?

Laura Engstrom: Social justice issues and cats… long pause… and education, swimmimg, and being an involved friend.

Sounds about right

December 31, 2013

Goodbye 2013. You were by far the best year of my life!! I moved to Seoul, South Korea with my beloved, made new friends that I am certain to have for life, traveled through 5 countries in Asia, grew professionally, fell in love with Korean kids & food, invested in art, grew closer than ever to Chris Mungin, and rekindled my passionate fuel for reading, writing, and social justice activism. Hello 2014.

January 7

Keep strong in the frozen tundra MN.

January 7

Afternoon A2s… are you ready? Im going to pounce and Im pretty sure you are not going to like it…

January 11

Happy Caturday Korea & USA!! Meow.

January 17

Are you a ‘new window’ person or a ‘new tab’ person? As you might have guessed, Chris Mungin and I are endlessly opposite.

January 17

And the count downs begin: 6 days till the end of winter camp, 41 days till Jeju Island romantic weekend, 49 days till Chris Mungin returns to the USA,14 weeks till the epic return of Carly Teng, and finally, 6 months left for me in this marvelous wonder called Korea.

January 30

Dear adjoshi (older gentleman) casually wearing the pimped out burgundy crush velvet jumpsuit,

I love you. Thank you for making me smile. Robyn

January 31

I can’t wait to go kitty shopping in July!

February 2

Got 3 hours of sleep before a Monday because lover bear Chris Mungin had Chucky nightmares and neither of us could get back to sleep… le sigh. More time for the Kitten Bowl?

February 3

Those awkward moments as a teacher when you are bent over laughing at your own joke and only 30 seconds later realize that you are the only one laughing amidst a sea of blank stares. If you have to explain a joke… it’s no longer funny. Womp. womp.

February 5

I swear to god, if I hear the lyrics to Disney’s Frozen gleefully sung throughout the Espirit halls one more time today… Smh. I seriously don’t even need to see the movie anymore.

February 11

Ohhh my sweet students know me too well. New cat stickers from one of my favorites made my day today!

February 12

That moment when you realize your partner disappoints you so deeply and painfully that the world collapses in around you. Darkness.

February 13

Kids can read you instantly. I didn’t say a thing but my student immediately drew me a broken heart today. I gave him extta hugs.

February 13

Although personal despondence still rages on, the swell of of the storm has passed and I do see light through the clouds. Thank you sincerely for the calls, texts, messages, and comments. Being so far from home, it has meant more than you know. I’m usually more political/cat/feminist/traveler in my postings, so grant me reprieve for my recent despairing flare.

February 13

All I want is KFC mashed potatoes and gravy, fresh squeezed grapefruit juice and to be in my kayak out on lake 26 alone at sunset with my fingers gliding through the cool rippled waves…

February 13

Great job Facebook for finnnallllyyy adding inclusive language for gender preferences!

February 13

How quickly cravings change as cliched progression from devastation to rage emerges. Now I yearn for corn bread, chipotle and a run through 9-mile creek in Hopkins.

February 14

‘It seems difficult enough to consider one’s own triumphs and failures with perfect verity, for it’s no secret that the past proves a most unstable mirror, typically too severe and flattering all at once and never as truth-reflecting as people would like to believe’ -Chang-rae Lee

February 14

I can’t and I won’t reply to everyone’s messages, but I am reading them and THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart

February 14

When I run out of my own words, I use the inspired ones of others…

“I do not believe that sheer suffering teaches. If suffering alone taught, all the world would be wise, since everyone suffers. To suffering must be added mourning, understanding, patience, love, openness and the willingness to remain vulnerable.” – Anne Morrow Lindbergh

February 14

“You don’t develop courage by being happy in your relationships everyday. You develop it by surviving difficult times and challenging adversity.” – Epicurus

February 14

My previous classmate’s sister from the Academy of Holy Angels died tragically and unexpectedly on a crosswalk that many of have taken hundreds of times at a very popular area in Minneapolis. Sending love from South Korea.

February 15

It was a spectacular day for retail and sushi therapy! We are attempting to heal and tentatively rebuild, one morsel of sashimi at a time. Please continue to send warm energy… I feel it!

February 17

The only certainty is uncertainty. 50/50.

February 18

‘Hearts will never be practical until they are made unbreakable’ -Wizard of Oz

February 20

‘The circumstances are not ideal, yet it seems to me that life’s moments don’t have to be so right or not right anymore, so fraught and weighted with value, but just of themselves, what they are.’ -Chang-rae Lee

February 21

Given the recent events in my life, I’ve taken to ‘treating myself.’ If you aren’t familiar with the concept… get familiar.

Side note: yes, I know this solves no real problems.

February 21 · Edited

Sending cozy, warm, hot cocoa wishes of safety to the arctic state, MN. Some of my proudest and fondest memories of the state I love include the ralleying of neighbors to push and dig cars out of the tundra, the communal ‘niceness’ and general bonding that a whiteout induces.

February 27

Jetting off to Jeju Island for a quick trip See you Monday!

February 28

Treat Yo Self continues in Jeju: new silver bow tie ring, prescription sun glasses, swanky pre-professor glasses and scrumptious seafood. Making the best of a rainy day. Enjoying a cherry blossom latte while reading with Cbear.

March 1

Matching couple designer frames and new ring — with Chris Mungin.

March 6

Anyone wanting to hang out with Chris Mungin before he leaves, come out tonight or tomorrow night. The plan for tonight is 11:30 pm Dolce Vita pub in Itaewon… Till dawn. Lol — at Dolce vita.

March 7

TONIGHT, Chris Mungin‘s Final Farewell. Dinner at Brother Brother BBQ near Kyoda (Seoul National University) at 8:30 pm. We will do noraebang and games after (Cards Against Humanity & Catch Phrase). Let me know if you plan to be at the restaurant so I can get a headcount. See you soon. Meow. Call me if you get lost. 010.7714.2514

March 7

Oh. Dear. Higher Being… why oh why did you create a human who could think 2 bottles of soju and 1 bottle of red wine could be a great combination. Spent a good chunk of the night on the floor…. literally.

March 8 · Edited

It’s jimjilbang time. Let’s get nakey! Chris Mungin is excited to wrestle nude with Korean male bush.

March 9 · Edited

Today was one of the most stressful days of the last 14 months of living in Seoul. I almost had a panic attack from feeling trapped in the ceaselessly surging masses and chatter of Seoulites. I couldn’t get a moment alone to think which is what I really needed. Ironically, we spent most of the day at the spa (interesting, but definitely not relaxing). Now I just need a sensory deprivation bubble where I can cry calmly and rock myself in silence.

March 9

After seeing hundreds of naked bodies yesterday at the jimjilbang, I can confidently say there is pure beauty in the human form…

March 11

As I stepped into the apartment that was ours, a weighted waft of pure aloneness hit me with the dual effect of both peace and vacuity. My best friend, superior travel companion, and gossip guy is gone, currently on his flight home. Despite recent hurdles and the continued unknown ahead, I miss his presence dearly.

March 14 · Edited

Sending all my love, hope and peace from Korea, come what may, to the Mungin Family as they gather around their honorable family pillar, Mel. Chris Mungin Kevin Mungin Andre’ Mungin

March 14

Worst idea to get in a cab at rush hour… grrr.

March 14 · Edited

Starting drinks early on Friday night with my couples’ days companion- Christmas, Valentines, White Day- BOOM…trifecta all spent together Ellie Martin

March 14 · Edited

I decided that is has been too long since I had bangs so I drunkenly cut them myself…

March 15

Five skype dates down for the weekend, two more to go. I love reconnecting. Meow.

March 16

My heart leaps for joy when my students use adverbs like ‘surreptitiously’ in their creative writing

March 19

RIP Mel Mungin. I’m sending my wishes for a peaceful gathering in Nebraska today where family and friends can reminisce in shared funny and fond memories. I wish I could be there in a way other than with flowers to say goodbye to an honorable family man…

March 21 · Edited

Drinking apple cider vinegar is so painful. OMG sooo painful!

March 23

Well… I wasn’t as social as I planned to be this weekend, but I did get a lot done: meals for next week, deep cleaned the apartment, restored fung shui to my space, read a book, finished report cards, worked on my blog, had 4 skype dates, caught up on some shows, and enjoyed Sunday ladies walk and dinner

March 24

Mind racing. Please stop for the sake of sleep and efficiency.

March 29

Please someone… anyone call me when you wake up if you have advil or the like. My head feels like it is in a vice!

March 30

“our job is to prepare children to meet adversity well”

“adversity is natural, consistent, and useful”

“until we’re tested, we don’t know what we’re made of… adversity gives us a sense of self”

March 30

Teaching today is going to be mighty interesting given that I lack the necessitating factor… a voice.

March 31

Oh. My. God. The construction… or rather deconstruction of the building a few feet away is the bane of my existence right now. The entire building feels like a gigantic vibrator, but not in a good way. Ugghhhh. I NEED SLEEP. Angry cat.

April 3

Weekly dinner and debate with fabulous people. Meow.

April 4

Glad to know construction continues to grind and vibrate early on the weekend morning… NOT!

April 6

Just dropped some major dolla bills to book my flight back to the USA (August 4) and to visit my feisty, intelligent, hilarious friend Carly Teng in Taiwan (July 27- August 2)!!! — with Carly Teng.

April 7

I am finally active on Instagram. Follow me at fiercebadasskitty.

April 8

Happy hump day Seoulites!! Meow. USAers… you’re almost there. Meow.

April 8

If anyone could make this decision other than me…

April 10

Question on the board today: Why is it important to have heros?

Student: Do you mean comic super heros or real heros like teachers, like you?

Me: Smile from ear to ear.

April 12

The economic climate does not support what was ‘traditional’ for a 20 year period in USA history (the glory days of Reagan and Clinton). I am from the ‘boomerang’ generation that returns home or goes abroad to save money/make money so that I can pay back my loans. We are also the generation of ‘companionship couplehood’, no longer requiring or desiring gendered norms or roles, or for that matter, the approval of society.

April 13

“Beauty was not something that I could acquire or consume. It was just something that I had to be.” –Lupita Nyong’o

April 14

Priviledge is a terrific power and an overwhelming responsibility to live socially just and to contribute to the surrounding community. The more money, power, and privilege… the greater the push to use extra resources for equality of rights and opportunities.

April 14

113 days until I am reunited with my first love… Chipotle.

April 16

Welp. Glad to know Korea is one of the safest places in the world because I just returned home after an 8 hour work day to realize that I left my apartment door wide open!

April 22

Surprise kitty ring present today^^ Thanks Brianna Bengtson!!

April 23

Papa Bear ‘ism’ of the day… a perfect way to start my last work day of the week, “I always love you when you are you. It doesn’t get better than that sweet heart!!” I my Papa Bear

April 25

Ya betcha! Interesting, unique, and different are definitely not adjectives that would pass as compliments coming from a Minnesotan. Lol

April 25

Please tell me that women have more going on in their lives?!? Where is the media, movies, TV, literature, or magazines that show women bonding over anything other than talking about men? NO. SERIOUSLY… I am asking FB people out there… do you know of movies, TV, books that have two or more named female characters who have a relationship that doesn’t revolve around discussing men or anything else superficial?

April 25

Thirsty Thursday shinanegans…

April 25

My student Theo found this on my desk this week and would not stop saying ‘pussy’~ pronounced puzzy~ the rest of the class… le sigh.

April 26

My favorite time of year, in my favorite area of Seoul: Insadong and Jogaesa.

April 28

Chris Mungin, you send the BEST kind of package! MeeooowwWW! Kitty like.

April 29

I never do FB friend quizzes, but I’m in an altered state of mind, so FAVORITE DORITOS FLAVOR!!?! And go… (leave comment)

May 2 · Edited

I’m ready for our 4 day trip touring Namhae and Goje Islands!! See you Monday night ^^

May 9

Our friendship started 9 years ago and has included living together, working together, volunteering together and obsessing over cats, just to name a few. In 112 days we will be reunited after nearly 2 years of unbearable separation. Can’t wait kitty betch!!

May 14

A spectacular day 1 of 2 for Teacher Appreciation week: an assorted basket bouquet with roses, a bundt cake, carnations, coffee, and a card

May 15

Day 2 bounty: Belgium chocolates, muffins, cake,hand made flowers, carrot juice, and fancy tea!! I am not into teaching for the presents, but it is a gleeful bonus!

May 16

“Read good books. Keep a journal. Write every day. Trust yourself. Take advantage of every good thought. Laziness will kill your dreams with a self-inflicted wound.” -Jack Gantos

May 18

Welp. It only took a very concerned team of 5 Koreans (who couldn’t speak English) to help this fluffy blonde (who still can’t communicate well in Korean) ship two boxes and 5 letters in the midst of morning rush with a building queue. Thank you whoever you are!!

May 20

Drunk facebook-liking is dangerous.

May 25

When I ask my student’s what they know about the USA, more and more, the very first response is that it is so dangerous because of gun ownership. Our national pride in guns is foolish folly from an outsiders perspective and my own as well. Smh. Uggghhh.

May 26

Galavanting around Gangnam with John Avaricio Mascardo and happened upon Kakao Talk Cafe!! So fun^^ We both got souvenirs. — with John Avaricio Mascardo.

May 27

“We are often criminals in the eyes of the Earth, not only for having committed crimes, but because we know that crimes have been committed.” -Hombre de la Mascara de Hierro

June 1 · Edited

Great times with fabulous companions. Couldn’t be more blessed. So many laughs ^^

June 1

I was having a miraculous dream with Tyrese, but woke up as a fluffy white woman living in Korea with a bloody nose. Can’t help but hear Eminem’s words… “snap back to reality, oh there goes gravity.” Welcome to my Monday. Le sigh.

June 15

After 1 year and 5 countries, I have to say goodbye to you comfy pillows of heaven for my feet. Better to have loved and lost, than not at all.

June 16

…when you realize you went to check a text and start looking on facebook on your phone whilst facebook is up on your laptop in front of you. Le sigh.

June 16

Through a joint effort of my parents and the caring Chris Mungin, I gleefully received a very special package today!! Such a great way to lift my day even higher

June 18

Steak, Vietnamese pho, and Korean patpingsu at 11 am… don’t mind if I do…

June 19

Introducing the new addition to the Kelly family: Spencer!!!!

June 19

Please keep the Kelly family in your thoughts and prayers. Our home was struck by lightening last night. Everyone is physically ok, but they are now trying to assess the damage.

June 20

If you aren’t from Minnesota, you might not know how critical and cherished cabin season really is. Here’s an example:

Despite having their house being struck by lightening and taking care of our new sexy beast cat Spencer, my parents are still headed to the cabin Friday through Monday. Dedicated.

June 20

Did I miss something? Why is Iggy Azalea popular? I guess I have been gone for far too long. She can’t dance, she can’t sing, her lyrics are repetitive, and she copies scenes from other art/movies in her videos. I don’t get it. smh.

June 24

During a flash back giggle fest with John Avaricio Mascardo, I recalled a funny story, so here is one memory from my 10 years of teaching swim lessons at the beach:

In order to abate the screams from my anxiety-ridden 4-year-olds, I told my children a little lie. “The little sun fishies are not sucking on your skin, they are giving you lovely welcome kisses,” I gleefully stated. One kid tearfully replied, “but my mommy told me not to accept kisses from strangers.” Jaw dropped, I retorted, “THEY ARE FISH, NOT PEOPLE!” Lolz

June 24

39 days left.