Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Summer Update!

Alas, it has been too long. So I’ll post something here because I hate seeing the date of my last post…

This summer has been amazing for so many reasons, granted none of them are because awesome vacations or trips (that I swore to myself I would take!).

Started off with a wonderful CLASH 2.0. It wasn’t as big as the first CLASH, but we raised more than expected and I had the pleasure of meeting someone quite wonderful, himself. More on that later… Anyway, the night went so well, that whilst out celebrating, I had a bit much celebrating and tripped and broke my left pinky knuckle on the way home.

I was in a splint for two weeks and now I’m halfway through a 4-week stint in a cast. Not the cool part of my summer.

Anywho, moving on…
The cool part has been my job. I really feel like I’m an entertainment reporter now. I just finished the first in a two-part series looking into expat hip-hop in Korea for the Expat Living page. (Link here à Expat Hip-hop) And I’m about to start a 3-week run of festival coverage, starting with Jisan Valley Rock Festival this weekend, then Ultimate Music Festival next weekend and rounding it off with Pentaport. All will have reviews by yours truly in the Monday issues. (And I get to go to all the festivals for free. ^_^ Yay for Radiohead and Snow Patrol!)
After that, I get to start on my very own, first ever, entertainment page series on non-Koreans in the entertainment industry. So, freakin’ excited. I’m going to interview Black Ilumin, Jesse Day, Robert Holley, Scott Hellowell (YB Band) and possibly Bronwyn Mullen. And if I’m lucky, I might also get to do stories on some of the foreigners in k-pop. I’m hoping for the two girls in f(x) (Amber and Victoria), maybe the two from Miss A (Fei and Jia) and I really wanted to interview Nickhun, but since his DUI yesterday, I’m not sure we’ll be able to get close to him for the next six months… or ever…
So, work is definitely keeping me busy this summer. So busy that I barely have time to see Mr. Wonderful, whom I met at CLASH. He is a good friend of one of my good friends, and really wanted to help us meet our donation goal, so he personally donated 100,000 won. It’s been about a month that we’ve been dating and he’s been out of town for the last week and a half. I’m anxious to meet up, but between Jisan and all his catch-up stuff with work, it’s looking like next week. Bummer. But at least we have Kakao and the phone. ^_^
So that’s about it. I leave you with a lovely shot of my cast…

Monday, February 6, 2012

To Anyone Who Still Reads This

And may wonder why I don't update as often, it's because I mostly update at this blog --> .

Just don't tell my mom. Or my Gramma.

Stalker, Much?

So... apparently I'm supposed to track down a former K-1 fighter who owns a bar in my neighborhood and get an interview. He's a celebrity in Korea. I'm a little lost at how to make this happen. Short of stalking him around the 'hood and asking him for it. Plus, I don't know if he speaks English...

And I really feel like stalker/paparazzi type... But, in the words of Barney Stinson: "Challenged Accepted!"

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Why I'll Never Have a Roommate Again

The last few years have been full of difficult lessons learned in living with other people. And to be honest, for me, it was a vastly negative experience and led me to make the decision that I don't want to share my living space with anyone again. Well, unless I should get married, that is.

My first roommate in Korea was a guy that I had previously dated. And while we maintained our friendship, living with him as roommates was not a good idea since I still had feelings for him and he started dating someone else, and it got messy. After that, I decided no more guy roommates unless we really were just friends and could never be anything more.

My next roommate and I got along quite well. However, towards the end of our time living together, we were kind of at each others throats. She thought I didn't clean enough (I didn't really...) and I was constantly angry at her for not chipping in more with the bills. So, we parted ways and I didn't really hear much from her for about a year. But now we're okay. And I actually found that I missed living with her because we did get along well for most of it.

The roommate after this was probably the worst decision I've made in a housing decision ever. Mostly because even though she moved out in September, it's February and I'm still facing the financial ramifications of living with her. We were very close friends for about a year before we moved in together. We had very lengthy discussions about what living together would entail and she knew that my biggest beef was money issues. That I wanted someone who would pay on time and who would pay their share. We decided it would work and then set out to find an apartment.

The warning signs were there and I should have paid more attention to them. From the beginning I did all the work. Setting up the appointments, finding the moving company, looking at a bunch of crappy apartments. And then when I would get upset, my roommate would turn things around and make me think it was all my fault. Because, according to her, she told me she was too busy to look for apartments and that if we wanted to live together, I would have to find the place. I just obviously wasn't listening to her or didn't understand. Looking back now, I can see that she was manipulating me from the beginning.

Anyway, we found an apartment, moved in and I thought everything would be okay. I was a little uncomfortable with the fact that only my name was put on the lease (without discussion). And that I was the only one who contributed key money. But I trusted her. She had said she wanted a 2-year lease so we wouldn't have to move again in a year and promised she would stay for at least a year and a half.

And then the problems started a few months in. She quit her job, thinking she would make enough money from private tutoring that she would be fine. And she was planning to get a student visa and just work on her MBA full-time outside of tutoring. I was okay with this as long as she paid rent on time. And the first couple of months, she did. But then rent would start being late. And then she wouldn't pay her half of the bills for a few months in a row.

And then she would leave her dog at the house and disappear to her boyfriend's house for days at a time without telling me when she would be back or even asking me if I had the time to walk her dog twice a day.

This led to an argument, which ended with me even angrier than when we started. Because instead of saying she was sorry and wouldn't leave the dog without saying anything again, she flipped it around saying that she just thought she could trust me to take care of him. And that I knew when we moved in together that I would have to help take care of him. And if I was really that upset, I should have called and asked her when she was coming back. Completely disregarding that she waited until she was out of the city to tell me she was going on a trip and I needed to take care of the pup. And when I asked when she would be back, she said Tuesday, but didn't come back until Thursday. No phone call about that either.

But the worst of it was the money. She finally got another teaching job. But it was at a shady hagwon. Her pay was supposed to go through on the 25th of every month and rent was due on the 26th. However, they were consistently late paying her by about a week to two weeks. So, for a long time, our rent was always late. And instead of anticipating that her pay would be late and make other arrangements (she was still teaching private lessons at this point, making much more than rent per month) she continued to wait to pay me her half of the bills and rent until she got her paycheck.

The real kicker came when she told me in August 2011 that she would be moving back to the States in September. We had been in the apartment for less than a year, and remember, she had said she wanted a 2-year lease and would be in Korea for a year and a half. I began looking for new roommates and was able to find one. Unfortunately, my current roommate was unable to pay her half of the rent that last month she lived with me. So I covered it (since it was already a week late) thinking that I would get the 600,000 won (roughly $600) for rent and bills back within a couple weeks. That was the money I usually sent to the US to pay for my loans and credit card bills.

She did eventually pay me 350,000 won about a month or so later, which I promptly sent to the States since I was a month behind on my loans and my mom (who is still doing chemo for her brain cancer and spending $1,500 every few weeks on that) had to pay for mine so it would be too late. She zeroed her bank account paying for it. Because of that, and a few financial binds I had been in prior to that, my credit record is crap.

I never saw the remaining 250,000 won. She left for the States on Dec. 16. No call to send me the money. Nothing. And then, when the new roommate decided to move out, I decided I would not live with anyone again. It's just too much stress. I'm looking at losing about 1-2 million won from my housing deposit because I broke my contract. Which I only broke because I couldn't afford 1 million won rent by myself and no one would move into the apartment because of the location.

She hasn't live with me for five months. I'm completely broke from moving and deposit and bills, and I have three more weeks until I get paid. Not to mention, rent at the new house is due five days before payday. And I don't have the rent. And I'm most likely not getting my key money back before it's due since I'm still waiting for someone to move into the old apartment.

And I'm going to be paying for three cable boxes instead of one for the next 14 months because she wanted two more for her room and the living room, and it will cost me 400,000 won to cancel them from my contract. Those boxes never got used. She never brought over the TV for the living room and never hooked hers up to her TV. I could be paying 28,000 won a month. But I have to continue paying 60,000 won. Which, if you do the math, means that I'm losing 448,000 won in the long run.

I'm just... never again will I trust a roommate. It's too much stress and I'd much rather live alone with my cat...

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Oops... I forgot...

I've been updating over on Tumblr so much that I almost forgot about this blog. Okay, quick summary, I suppose...

- Found an awesome roommate. We had some good times together and really got along without any money issues. (Hooray!) Unfortunately, she moved out at the end of December so that she could live closer to her work. I attempted to find a new roommate, but decided (with some encouragement from a friend) that the best thing to do was to break contract and move to a cheaper apartment that I can afford by myself and get rid of dealing with roommates.

- I've been at my new job for about three months now. I like it. Some days are better than others. And sometimes I get my butt kicked in gear. But I'm happy. And the great thing is, I will get out of this job as much as I put in. If I just want to sit around and edit, I can and it's not a big deal. But if I want to write, I can. I just need to pitch the idea to the correct person and viola. My byline is in the paper.

- I eventually met up with my ex. We spent an evening talking and just being together. I thought this meant we were getting back together. It didn't. Shortly after that, he cut of communication, this time without any explanation and I've yet to hear from him. While sad, and at the time, heartbreaking (again), it was the push I needed to finally let him go and move on.

- Which means I am now dating someone new. We started seeing each other off and on in August but then finally made things official on Dec. 29. He's sweet, attentive and even though he is very busy with work and I only see him once a week or every other week, he makes a point to call or message every day.

- Luna is all grown up! She's about five months now and such a cutie. Though, she has a bit of a belly...

- My resolution for the New Year is to lose 10 pounds by spring, when I go home to visit. I've started working out every morning and started a diet, which has me eating healthier now that I have calories to watch. I feel like I have more energy at work. Since I started working out, I have yet to fall asleep at my desk. And while I feel sore all the time, it's good because I that must mean it's working. I just need to buy a scale so I can chart my progress...

- Mom is doing amazing. Her energy levels are up. She feels good. She's happy. Her last scan was great. She really is going to kick brain cancer in the butt.

I suppose that's it for now. I'll attempt to write a better blog later on. I'm on night shift today, so there isn't much to do after 7 pm.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Getting Happy

Ever have those times when it's really hard to focus on the good things, even when they outnumber the bad?

I went through the shock of my life last month. Within a week I had found out my roommate was unexpectedly moving back to the States, that I was losing my job of two years and because of that I would have to make an unexpected trip out of the country and most likely two, along with not knowing when I would get my next paycheck.

Since then, I got a new job and started the visa process. I won't start work until Oct. 3, but I have enough resources to last me until then. Also, I discovered there is a 30-day tourist extension that I applied for so that hopefully I only have to make one trip out of the country. And my ex contacted me and we had plans to meet up. The following week I found a replacement roommate and everything was looking great.

Then this week, the roommate backed out and I now have two weeks to find a new one before rent is due. Rent that I can't afford on my own. My current roommate still hasn't given me her half of last month's rent and because of that, I can't pay my US loans until she gives me the money.

Also, things kind of fell apart and I've yet to meet with my ex and haven't heard from him since last week. Things were going great and I thought maybe we would talk about giving things another try. But now I'm not so sure.

So, two bad things out of a whole bunch of good things and I'm stuck in a rut. I'm trying to focus on the good and trust that things will work themselves out. But honestly, it's kind of hard. I spent a good two weeks walking around in a dream-like state. Shooting 'thank you's up to heaven every five minutes because I couldn't believe how pretty much all my problems solved themselves within that time. And now I'm frantically praying that a new roommate will surface soon. And that, I don't know, something will happen with my ex. Either I finally learn my lesson and move on or that we get together and talk things over. I don't know.

Ugh... could use some good news right about now...

Sunday, June 19, 2011

80s Extravaganza

I'm beginning to feel like I go to Ireland in Itaewon a bit too much. But kind of hard not to when your friends are hosting parties there every weekend. And I feel like all the bartenders are my adorable little brothers (except Dio... funny big brother, maybe?)

Anywho, the latest in the round of parties was Jack's 30th birthday party. We all pitched in and helped plan it. Dio and I contributed the theme- the 80s. And he got all the bartenders to dress up while I tried to get all the guests to dress up. There were only a handful of us, so I guess I failed. But we still had a good time. And Jack was beyond thrilled with how everything turned out. We made a video for him and Dio came up with an ingenious way to do the cocktail show. I won't put it up here, because it was really gross...

On to the highlight pictures...
Our awesome outfits.

The birthday boy in the middle.

Hannah, the amazing girlfriend who planned the whole thing.