K.I.T. EP#01: Sarah’s Extension

This is the first podcast of Kpop Idle Talk, where my two sisters and I discuss about Kpop. Not gonna lie, we had to record two times because the first recording was SO AWKWARD. I mean, this final recording was kind of awkward too but you know what? We’re just going to roll with it.

As the title of the first episode says, we delve into our past and talk about our beginnings with Kpop. However, with this blog post, I just wanted to go a little deeper and maybe further back. Way further back.

It’s 1998. I was in the 2nd grade and I totally want to be accepted in this clique of girls. But what made these girls so cool was that they loved Nsync and you know what, I loved Nsync too! And Nsync was clearly better than the Backstreet Boys, okay? I’m kidding but 2nd grade me totally thought so. (One time, I repeatedly wrote “I hate BSB” in this mini-journal I had and a classmate of mine called me out and told me I was just wasting paper. He was so right.)

Anyway, the point is that before Kpop, I was already dipping my toes into fangirlism when I first encountered 90s boy bands and started asking for their CDs as gifts for my birthday and Christmas.

In our first recording, we talked about this a little too much (which was another reason why we re-recorded). At this point, we’ve probably already heard some Kpop through friends and relatives. Although we were slightly interested in this pop music sung in a different language, we didn’t get into it quite yet. We were still lamenting over how unplayable our Backstreet Boy Millenium album was due to all the scratches on the disc. Sadly, the Backstreet Boys would eventually go their separate ways (jokes on us though because they just went on a long-ass hiatus) while Nsync continued making music. This was the time when were introduced to legendary boy band Dream Street.

Okay, they were far from legendary but damn, what I would give to see Dream Street thrive. I was in the 5th grade when I discovered Dream Street. I don’t even know how I discovered them but all I knew was that they were cuties and they were much closer to my age, which meant that I had a higher chance of marrying them than marrying Lance Bass.

Unfortunately, we didn’t have cable television at the time so it was rare to see anything boy band-y on TV. Even then, Dream Street didn’t promote that much, and we considered ourselves lucky if we ever got to stay home on a week day and catch Jesse McCartney on “All My Children.” Fortunately, there was the internet, which was probably my first encounter with fansites and fan fiction.

Lulu and I have always been writers. Dad would give us his old computers and we’d spend hours with Microsoft Word opened, trying to write a story. Sometimes I would sit next to Lulu as she wrote something and wait for it to be my turn to use it. Nowadays, we’re so protective of our writing. We literally cannot type a story with someone standing behind us.

My first attempt of writing fan fiction was with Dream Street. It was something along the lines of meeting Chris Trousedale and somehow, we miraculously fell in love. However, I remember being absolutely bitter because I read Lulu’s fan fiction. Of course, it involved her and Jesse McCartney falling in love with one another. It was so much better than mine and longer than a page, but she had also added in a part where I had stolen Chris’s sunglasses and clearly not into me. I was hurt. I would never do that in real life!

Sadly, Dream Street was short-lived as they would disband the following year (but at least we saw more of Jesse in the years to come afterwards). I guess this was also the time when we learned about Flytothesky. As much as we loved FTTS, it was also hard to come by information on Korean pop idols. Also, where could we find more music to listen to? Youtube wasn’t around yet. And although my friend told me I should just use Limewire to get Kpop, I wasn’t about to riddle the family computer with potential viruses.

Thank the Lord for pirated albums we’d buy at the Hmong tournaments and markets. I mean, selling pirated CDs and DVDs is ethically wrong but this was the only way I could get my hands on East Asian media. During this time, I was so into pre-Bieber heartthrob Stevie Brock but gained interest in soloist Se7en, who’s R&B-pop sound just hit the right spots. As much as I love that bubblegum pop boy band sound, I really wanted to listen to music that emulated the sounds in American pop music at the time. And Se7en’s music did just that. His “Must Listen” album was one of my absolute favorites in middle school.

I wouldn’t dive quite deep into Kpop just yet as I would have just come to discover Jpop (Japanese pop). By this time, my siblings and I were spending our internet time on Neopets and Gaiaonline. We’d also grow to love anime and on the occasion that we had the strength to do it, Lulu and I would stay up late just to watch Inu-Yasha on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim. Boa’s “Every Heart” was the ending theme and it was my jam. We also really liked RPGs so when I was introduced to “Simple & Clean” by Utada Hikaru, it became one of my absolute favorites.

Our love for Jpop deepened when we discovered the holy trinity of Jpop: w-inds., FLAME, and Lead. While we appreciated the works of FLAME and Lead, Lulu and I were deeply infatuated by w-inds. We were part of one of the most fun online communities ever: wFL Forums. Those were golden years as we found a place that was rich in content and connected us with fans from all over who also loved wFL. The world was becoming smaller as I found myself being exposed to all sorts of Asian entertainment, thanks to the internet.

Looking back on those years, it was a time where I exposed myself to so much East Asian pop culture. I listened to a lot of Jpop, Kpop, and some Cpop. I watched many Asian films and came to detest foreign movies that were marketed in America with English dubbing.

That transition from high school to college was such a blur but I was well into the Kpop scene. I joined online communities left and right and I consumed so much Kpop. I was sad when 3/5 DBSK members left, upset when people adamantly opposed Kyuhyun joining Super Junior, and devastated when Jay Park left 2PM (I had assumed that he’d rejoin but then it was made clear that he would not). I remember waking up at 4AM with Lulu just so we could livestream 2AM’s debut performance on our slow internet connection, being offended when B2ST (now known as HIGHLIGHT) was accused of plagiarizing their debut song “Bad Girl,” and I’m still waiting for U-KISS to nab that music show win. Ugh. Come to think of it, so much of my stress and happiness stemmed from Kpop.

Fast forward to now and I’m no longer in the Kpop rabbit hole but more in a Kpop limbo of some sort. I want to say that it’s been a hell of a ride (and it certainly has been), but I’m also sure that I’m still on this roller coaster and I’m not going to get off anytime soon. For now I’m taking it easy, which is why I label myself a casual fan of Kpop. But I’m sure I’ll make my way back into fanaticism at some point.

Semi-weekly Update: I Went to Malaysia

header.jpgA long overdue post as I fight through my unrelenting laziness! I’ve recently gone on a vacation and upon returning to my apartment, I just became extremely tired and unmotivated. But here I am, hoping to share with you some of the daily highlights of my trip. Brace yourself, my lovely dears, because there will be some shit talking here.
  • Saturday, January 20th – My luminous friend, Cassie, and I met each other at the Seoul Express Bus Terminal. We were off to venture to Busan, where we would board a plane the following day and start our “hoe-cation.” (NOTE: We did not hoe at all. Also, we don’t know how to hoe. Someone, please teach us.) We both wanted to try the premium buses that go from Seoul to Busan and boy, they did not disappoint despite the hefty price. It was approximately $45 USD for this cushy bus ride that offered movies and music to listen to along with massive amounts of space for you to adjust your seat to your liking. I mostly slept on the bus ride. In the evening, we had a pleasant dinner with our friend, KB, before taking rest overnight at a local guesthouse.
  • Sunday, January 21st – Off to Gimhae International Airport we went! We arrived at the airport 2 hours before departure, and in due time, we eventually get on our plane headed to Kuala Lumpur. It’s about a 6-hour flight and we landed at around 4PM. We used Grab to get a ride into the capital and arrived at our lovely residency for the next couple of days. Cassie and I had claypot chicken at a local restaurant nearby and then headed to the rooftop pool before calling it a night.
  • Monday, January 22nd – Kuala Lumpur has this lovely city tour bus called the “Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus.” It takes you around the major tourist points throughout the city. Our main stops were China Town, Little Italy, and the Petronas Towers. The bus also took a small break over by the palace. Overall, we really liked this mode of transportation. We weren’t too keen on doing any shopping. We mostly wanted to eat and do some site-seeing. Oh yeah, had some bomb roast pork with fried rice for lunch. The fried rice in Malaysia is flavorful–that’s pretty much all I wanted to eat. We then took a dip in the pool in the evening where we met a 21-year-old Australian girl and chatted about her boy problems. Oh, 21. Such a young age, like a baby. I feel so old now.
  • Tuesday, January 23rd – Content with our previous days’ travel, our goal for today was to relax. We had some laksa curry and char kway teow (fried noodles) from a restaurant near our hotel. Both were delicious although I was a little disappointed with the fried noodles. They just looked more delicious in picture than in person. We then spent time in the pool (can’t you tell how much we liked chilling in the pool?).  We then retreated inside for the afternoon to do our laundry. We were amazed with the laundry machine as it functions both as a washer and a dryer. The downside is that it took FOREVER just to do both. Anyway, we didn’t do much else as it ended up raining really hard. We ordered 2 large pizzas from Dominos for dinner, which cost about $14 USD (WOWWWWZZA), and then we packed for our next destination.
  • Wednesday, January 24th – We venture toward the center of the city by foot to find the mysterious bus that would take us to the airport. After much sweating and guidance from a few of the locals, we found the bus. We were late but the bus was also running late so we actually weren’t late at all. Sitting in the bus, my belly starts to rumble but not in the hungry kind of way. Upon arriving to the airport, I rushed to the nearest bathroom, and yup, this was where the food poisoning aspect of this vacation kicked in. Anyway, we flew into Georgetown, which is on the island of Penang. Georgetown reminded me of all sorts of things: colonial town, quaint foreign village, shopping center. It’s a lot to take in as it’s cute and disorderly but functional and navigable all at the same time. We found our Airbnb, which is a small but tall house in a quiet neighborhood, and thankfully, it didn’t look as haunted as the pictures on Airbnb made it out to be. After checking in, we went out to find food. We had bomb-ass fried rice and fried noodles from a street vendor, and then had some adult drinks from a bar down the street. Exhausted, we called it a night and went to bed and had the most peaceful sleep ever. HAHA. Kidding.
  • Thursday, January 25th – I woke up at around 1AM because the other guests coming in were terribly loud or rather the walls were so thin that I could hear everything. Little did I know that something terrible was imminent. I lied awake for awhile and then decided that I would to go use the bathroom. I get halfway down the steps and then I start to grow sweaty. My stomach has a sharp cramp and I knew I had to go but my vision went fuzzy and I felt weak. Oh yeah. I was about to faint. I somehow managed to get to the first floor where the bathrooms were located (our room was on the 3rd floor). Also, I threw my phone in the toilet! Yep! Wonderful! Anyway, you can read about this in my obituary piece! I eventually returned to bed. When I woke up, we set off to Penang Hill, which offered a lovely view of the island. We got up there by train and took a walk to find the oldest mailbox on the island. Riveting, right? When we got down, we wanted to find our way to Kek Lok Si, which is this epic-looking Buddhist temple that looms like giant from a distance. We never found the way to it though (because apparently we can’t read signs) but oh well.
  • Friday, January 26th – Like Kuala Lumpur, Penang also offers a Hop-On-Hop-Off (HOHO for short) bus ride. On Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, they do the beach tour which takes you to the northern coast of the island. We took the bus and decided to stop at the Penang National Park where we took a one-hour hike in the jungle to one of the beaches. Generally, I like hiking but not so much in humid weather. I underestimated what this hike would be like so I trudging through the jungle in denim shorts. However, I did manage to survive! The beach was lovely although none of the beaches in Penang seemed to be used for swimming. Also, at the very end of the beach was a turtle conservatory center where we got to see some of the turtles! Also my phone was broken AF so I bought a book from one of the bookstores inside a mall to help me pass time.
  • Saturday, January 27th – The Jetty at Georgetown was full of pigeons, and I watched their behaviors as we waited for one of the buses that would take us to the airport. We were ready and packed for our next stop, which was the island of Langkawi. I was still feeling quite shitty about my phone and bowel movements that when we arrived to the new island, I was all kinds of cranky, especially with the sun trying to shove all sorts of positivity into my face. Our guesthouse is a family-owned place located on a long street that also housed high-end resorts and various restaurants. For dinner, we found a restaurant that served western dishes, which I was happy about. As much as I like Malaysian food, I just wanted something familiar to help ease the tummy cramps in my belly, and the chicken wrap I had hit the right spots.
  • Sunday, January 28th – Tuesday, January 30th – Cassie and I resolved to do absolutely nothing. Our main goals for these last few days were to go to the beach, relax, and eat. And that’s what we did. We’d venture in the morning to the beach for a dip in the ocean and have snacks, head back to the guesthouse to rinse off and cool down from the heat, take a nap, read, head out for dinner, have a sunset walk on the beach, and then retreat for the night. Literally that’s all we did. We were satisfied.
  • Wednesday, January 31st – Thursday, February 1st – Our last day. I do regret that we didn’t go to the beach one last time but neither of us wanted to deal with wet bathing suits in our bags. We headed to the airport six hours early, had lunch, and spent the rest of the time there reading and shopping. Our flight to Kuala Lumpur came at 6PM and we arrived at the KL Airport an hour later. We had dinner at Burger King, which was comforting. One thing I forgot to mention is at these fast food restaurants, there’s no trash bin where you toss your garbage and leave the tray. This blows my mind as I felt awkward leaving my trash on the table at a fast-food joint. Anyway, we do some window shopping before checking in and going through security for international departures. We then rest at our gate for a bit before I learned that our flight back to Korea had been delayed. Yep. Our 1:50AM flight would now be at 3:25AM. For some reason, I didn’t nap though. Instead, I read another book. When the plane arrived, I was cranky and tired, and I hate sleeping on planes because there’s no real comfortable way to do it unless you’re first class. But I managed and land in Busan at 10:30 AM. It was nice to be back in Korea but nothing felt better than reaching the lovely confines of my officetel. Literally, I walked through the doors and yelled, “I missed you!” to my empty room.
This vacation was actually really nice, despite the death of my phone, having traveler’s diarrhea, hardly getting any sleep at night, and receiving an ugly tan. It’s always magical being in a new country even though you’re met with trifling obstacles. The food was fantastic (that fried rice!) and the locals were helpful. I loved seeing the various cultures within Malaysia and would definitely visit again. Most of all, I would like to thank my traveling partner, Cassie, who dealt with me for 10 days straight. She’s an MVP and I’m glad she has my back even through my most diarrhetic moments. Also, I’m surprised we didn’t kill each other.
Here she is taking a picture of me taking a picture of her.
Anyway, I apologize for the lack of photos. We tried our hardest to take pictures but it’s kind of annoying have to pull out your camera when you just want to enjoy the moment. Also, my phone died.



Sarah, 26, died in Georgetown, Malaysia, after waking in the middle of the night to go use the bathroom. She stumbled down two flights of stairs while experiencing a near-fainting spell before crawling into the bathroom, in which she somehow managed to throw her phone and glasses into the toilet. The cause of death is believed to be food poisoning but also maybe lack of sleep and alcohol consumption. She is survived by her phone (that miraculously works!) and her friend, Cassie, who graciously got her toilet paper at an ungodly hour.

On Thursday, January 25th, Sarah died again at 4:30 PM in Georgetown, Malaysia. She realized that her phone did not survive and it was beyond repair at this point. She wept, as her phone was pretty much connected to her life, and she didn’t want to drop 1K to get a new one. Her death was slow and painful as she pretty much died of an overdramatic heart break.

3 Truths About Me

  1. I’m an emotional person. I used to take offense to such a statement from my friends when I was in high school. When they called me emotional, it meant that I was a crybaby. And that’s the truth. I cry a lot—probably now more than ever. I don’t necessarily cry on a week-to-week basis but I definitely can cry just thinking about my parents or watching a movie with a sad scene. Maybe it’s because I’m older now and jaded by the expectations of life. I’m living by myself and I’m understanding what it’s like to be lonely. I’ve gone through so many ups and downs and it’s slightly depressing that it’s only going to continue so. The reality is that life moves on and me being an emotionally-driven person is something that’s just embedded in my personality. Sometimes, I’m a boss ass bitch and I can control those emotions. Other times, I’m beyond anger, hurt, and sadness that I can’t help but lash out. But mostly, I cry. It’s not beautiful but it’s cathartic.
  2. I’m selfish. I’m self-centered, sometimes vain, and usually I think about, “What’s in it for me?” I want to feel bad about this but I don’t. I’ve always been selfish, even when I look back on who I was as an awkward teenager and someone going into my twenties. The difference between me now and me then is that back then, I was entitled. I was so selfish that I expected things to fall into my lap or that by praying to God, things will magically turn out the way I wanted them to. However, that all depends on good luck and I don’t have that much good luck. I learned WAYYYYY too late that I would have to chase what I wanted. I was going to have to experience 1000 levels of stress and go through obstacles. Another difference is that now I’m not trying to impress people that much. I still care what people think about me and I wish to be likable in everyone’s eyes but essentially, I’m more worried about my own happiness. I’ll say no if I don’t want to do something. I’ll invest a lot of money into something that others may consider vanity. And hot damn, I’m feeling myself more than I ever did. I don’t intentionally try to inconvenience other people but sometimes it’s unavoidable. Of course, I still uphold kindness and compassion but all in all, I’m happier because I’ve learned to extend that kindness and compassion onto myself and I have less regrets.
  3. I’m normal. In fact, everyone is normal. Is it normal that one of my eyes is slightly bigger than the other? Yes. Is it weird that I haven’t dated even though I’m 26 years old? It’s uncommon but not weird. Is it odd that I like watching Arthur even as a grown-ass adult? Arthur is a legit cartoon and it’s not odd. I always thought I was not normal because I grew up with a mustache. I don’t know how it happened but I like to believe that it was a result of me at 4 years old trying to use my dad’s electric shaver when he was away. Out of my siblings, I had the most prominent upper lip hair. I got teased for it so much and I remember thinking that maybe my vagina will turn into a penis and it turns out I’m actually a boy! But I learned eventually that so many other girls grew up with mustaches too. (Thank God, because I like being a girl.) It’s totally normal no matter how much someone belittles you for it. The thing about being “not normal” is that we’re afraid to feel isolated from everyone else. I’ve come to realized that no one is exactly alone in their suffering. We each have our own personal demons and unique as we all are, someone else can always relate. We’re all so normal, it’s so unoriginal! I’m kidding. But what really matters is how we deal with that normal-ness. Some people will turn to drugs and alcohol. Others might get plastic surgery or lock themselves in their rooms and never come out. As for me, I’m only starting to accept my normal-ness, and I guess my way of dealing with it is through this blog.

Weekly Review #2: 01/07-13

Whoa, whoa, whoa. Thirteen days into the new year and I’m already getting cold feet about this blog? Part of me is like, yes! Keep writing, girl! I recall a time when my high school teachers complimented me on my writing (they probably complimented my peers too), and that motivates me to continue on. Yet there’s another part of me that’s lazy AF. But I will fight and fight and fight that lazy monster within me because I don’t really have anything else going on.

This past Sunday was spent figuring out the general itinerary for my upcoming trip to Malaysia with one of my dear good friends. It’s so much mental labor just planning and deciding what places to visit but alas, it is done! We know where we will sleep and we have an idea of what we want to do, which is eat, hike a mountain, visit a temple, eat, drink, go to the beach, and eat. I’m so excited for this trip as it’s been awhile since I’ve gone somewhere new and foreign. At the same time, my mind is playing all the bad things that could happen like my passport getting lost, a monsoon hitting the islands we’ll visit, or all my money get pickpocketed by a monkey. I really try not to think about these things though. I’m afraid that I might actually have superpowers that turn these bad thoughts into reality.

Work these days have been so slow. The children and most of the teachers are on vacation, and construction is being done to the front of the building. I’ve taken up shop with some of the staff workers in the school library where I “desk warm,” which essentially means that I don’t have any work to do but I’m still obligated to be there. It sounds terrible but it’s not that bad. I’m developing a new routine with this winter schedule.

When I get to work, I”ll usually fill up my cup with tea and sit at a table with one of the staff workers. We’ll engage in small talk, which is great because I can practice the little Korean that I know. After ten or fifteen minutes, she’ll get up and do actual work while I retreat to the circulation desk that I’ve marked as my territory for the time-being. I study some Korean, use the wonky wifi to browse the internet on my phone, and then lunch time will happen.

I kind of hate lunchtime because it feels a tad bit awkward. In Korean culture, it’s generally expected that you eat as a group. It’s not like when the clock strikes noon, I’m allowed to go microwave my food and then eat it at my desk. I have to wait for one of the staff workers to call upon me to join them for lunch. This isn’t the bad part. This has actually been a great time and opportunity to build repertoire with the staff and the vice principal. The thing is that I’m a fast eater and usually I’m already done eating while the rest of my coworkers are still chowing down on their meals. It would be rude if I just got up and left after waring, especially if I didn’t have anything urgent going on. I have to be dismissed but that never happens, so I just wait and wait and wait until everyone’s done, and then we clean up and go about the day.

The rest of the day is spent with me taking a quick fifteen minute nap at some point (I’ve mastered the art of looking awake while sleeping), reading, and again, checking up on social media.

Speaking of reading, I finally finished Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness. Overall, it was a decent book and I found myself more enthralled with it in the second half. But I realized this is something that occurs in most of the literature I read. I really have to work through the first half of books and then by the time I get to the second half, I can’t put it down. That’s where a lot of the action and mindblown-ness happens.

Anyway, I’m now reading something a little more light-hearted which is Amy Poehler’s Yes Please. This is my second attempt at reading this. The first attempt was years ago when it first came out. I managed to get through the introduction but for some reason, I never continued reading. Nonetheless, I’m so excited to give this my full attention. I’ve read books by other female comedians (such as Tina Fey, Mindy Kaling, Amy Schumer), and a lot of these books read like conversations with a friend. In a way, this will help clear my mental palette for the next book I plan to read.

The weekend came early for me as I decided to take Friday off so that I can party til the sun comes up on Thursday night. I’ve never partied on a Thursday night before. I really love the nightlife in Korea, especially in Hongdae. But the thought that I’m too old for this crossed my mind while I stood in a smoky club surrounded by mostly college students. What a terror. I’m 28 years old (in Korean age) with nothing going on in my life. What the hell am I doing? At the same time, who gives a fuck, right? Nonetheless, I managed to dance with interesting people and flirt with a 30 year old (so yay, I’m not the oldest). More importantly, I had the best pizza ever at 4AM, got home safely at 7AM, and was not hungover at all despite having a slight tummy ache from the two cocktails and shots of Jameson that I had. No hangovers is a win for me.

Friday, as expected, consisted of me sleeping. A lot. At some point, I woke up to eat and then I slept more.

And at last, this Saturday came. It was semi-productive as I woke up, did my makeup, and ventured to Emart for some groceries. I video called my sister, which mostly consisted of her using the camera filters to make the ugliest of faces for laughs. And then while watching several episodes of The Office, I cleaned my fridge and my microwave. The fact that I have to move out in a little over month from now frightens me so because I have so much shit to get rid of.

This fridge, ya’ll! Mostly clean with healthy foods aside from those cookies and that Fanta.

Truth be told, I have so many things to worry about. But instead of fighting them head on, I’m throwing my worries into a waste bin in the back of my head, and I’ll go looking for them later, when those worries become more relevant. In the meantime, I have so much to look forward to this upcoming week. There will be lots of cleaning, planning, and productivity. Hopefully.

Job Experience

I am my parents’ biggest fear: a 26 year old single woman without skill or prospects for a decent job. I’m not necessarily easy on the eyes and I don’t have a winning personality. Worst of all, I don’t have much money and I don’t know what to do with my life (aside from writing this blog).

I have to say, I am so fortunate to live in a time and place where I have the luxury to choose what I want to do. It is unfortunate to say, however, that the art degree I obtained four years ago? I don’t really want it anymore. I kind of wish I could have something different.

I never worked in the design/art industry and I don’t have a desire to. I went from minimum wage service jobs to teaching in Korea. That’s not exactly making leaps and bounds. Nonetheless, not all is done in vain, right? Something can be learned from each experience and I am here to highlight some of the lessons I’ve learned from my past job experiences.

MCDONALD’S – I’m 16. Maybe 17. I can’t remember. My second day was absolutely terrible as I was still training yet I had to serve hordes of grumpy, impatient customers that came in like waves. There had been a power outage caused by a storm earlier that morning that closed down ALL the surrounding restaurants and shops except, of course, wonderful Micky D’s. I was still new to the tilland the menu, so when someone ordered an egg burrito without sausage, I didn’t know that that wasn’t allowed. I’m sorry for my incompetency, Manager Becca! I’m still new at this so please don’t bitch at me.

What resulted from that horrible second day at work were many more work days where I was filled with constant anxiety. For awhile, I couldn’t eat McDonalds and I lost 10lbs within two weeks from all that stress. Rest assured, I did gain all that weight back (and then some). Eventually, working there got easier even though though it wasn’t joyful or great. I got anxious a lot, but it turns that things aren’t always as bad as I imagine to be. More importantly, when things did go wrong, I knew that I had enough resilience to recover and come back hopefully stronger with thicker skin. Of course, I didn’t last more than a year at McDonalds. But to add perspective, I mostly quit to spite my mom. Ha.

GOODWILL – Oh, retail. Retail, retail, retail. You bring the best out of people and you bring the worst out of people. And it’s not just the customers. You kind of learn that some of your coworkers are kleptomaniacs and pathological liars. Some of them are downright lazy and give no fucks at all if it doesn’t personally benefit them in any way. Generally, they have decent personalities and it’s easy to get along with them, but there’s a reason why they’re your coworkers and not your friends.

Retail is where I could see the worst in people because I was dealing with their money. One day, I was having pleasant small talk at the cash register with a customer. She was a plump woman with that short “mom” hair-do, babbling in her sing-song-y voice about whatever happenings in her life. After ringing her items up, I gave her her total which came out to be a little less than $10. She handed me a $10 bill and when I gave her her change, she nearly went livid when she thought I had given her the wrong amount. Remember that scene in The Fellowship of the Ring when Bilbo Baggins tried to apprehend the ring from Frodo and his face went all demonic? Yep. That’s what happened. I showed her the ten that she had given me and when she realized her mistake, her face softened and her voice sweetened as she replied, “Oh, that’s right.” Yes, bitch. That’s right. How about saying “sorry” now?

LIBRARY – When my mom and dad took me to the library as a child, my favorite part wasn’t picking out whatever book or VHS I wanted. It was when we gathered all our items and took it to counter. The clerk would inspect the items, scan the barcodes, and then slide the items across an olive-green demagnetizer, and it would make a chunky yet rewarding sound. I was so fascinated by that machine (I would imitate using it at home) and when I got to work at the library, there was always a sense of satisfaction every time I got to use that demagnetizer. The library had two self-checkouts (with a demagnetizer attached) installed at the circulation desks that patrons could use on their own. One of my favorite things was seeing kids use the checkouts and see their sense of self-worth soar. I could also tell that sliding books on the demagnetizer was their favorite part.

The machines are easy as pie. First, it prompts you to scan your library card. Given that you don’t have outstanding charges or overdue material, you’ll be moved on to the next prompt: scan the library barcodes on your item. Once you scan it, the machine will ask you to slide it on demagnetizer until it makes that THUNK sound. After that, rinse and repeat, get that receipt, and you’re good. Some people, however, cannot make pie. They’ll struggle and they’ll get angry. They’ll refuse help until they’re on their verge of rage and that’s when I stepped in. Abracadabra, everything works magically but guess who’s to blame for everything not working in the first place? THE PIE. I understand technology can be difficult but robots have not taken over the world yet. Let’s not place all the blame on the pie.

When I worked all those jobs, I hated having to smile and put on a brave face when customers were rude or on the verge of misconduct. There were so many times I wished I could retaliate, but I feared conflict and imagined the worst. But I learned that people are complicated. People are good and people are bad. People are also super weird and deeply flawed even if they deny it. The thing is that I’m also part of people. I, too, have been one ready to cut a bitch mostly due to my impatience and stubbornness. Nonetheless, I try to keep in mind that whenever I go to a store or restaurant, it’s important to extend compassion to the employees. I have been in their positions before; it’s not unicorns and rainbows. The real sad reality is that I might be in that same position again very soon. So, cheers!

Re-re-launch and Weekly Review

A week into to 2018 and I’m still struggling AF. Anyway, Awkward Heroine has always been something I’ve put in the back burner of my head for the past couple years. And generally even though I bought the domain, attempted to make youtube channel out of it, and blog stuff, nothing has ever really come into fruition.

It’s probably because I lack motivation and I’m lazy to a fault. But alas, it is the New Year, which means that I can mentally “reset” and try to reach my goals again. Awkward Heroine is my story and a record of all the misadventures I have. Hopefully it’ll be something that people can relate to and find humorous. If not then…that’s kind of awkward. Oh yeah, it will get real awkward.

So here’s to me re-re-launching Awkward Heroine. May I get my adult life together and make my dreams come true. And to start it off is my week in review.

Weekly Review: 01/01-06

Currently I’ve been reading, Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness. I listened to the first installment, A Discovery of Witches, two years ago. It took me awhile to refresh my memory on what happened in the first book but I remember the gist of it now! Do you know what goes great with witches and vampires? Time travel of course! Anyway, for some reason, some books are harder to get through. This doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s a bad or boring book. Shadow of Night is actually really entertaining and I love the way the dialogue in the book is seamlessly written. But I guess I’m just not reading it as fast as I anticipated. Nonetheless, that’s not a bad thing–it’s a new challenge. I’m enjoying the book thoroughly and I’m totally hyped for the TV series based off of the series.

I’ve been listening to Korean rappers, DPR Live and Sik-K. I’m not too keen on rap in general, but I’ve been jamming to Sik-K’s “Get That Money” since it’s release and only took the time to really listen to his older works this past week. What. The. Hell. Apparently I’ve been sleeping on his music since the dawn of time and I regret it. His album, Have A Little Fun, was released in the first half of 2017 and it’s been on solid repeat for the past couple of days in my iTunes.

DPR Live, I have also been snoozing on. I knew that he was a rapper so I was familiar with his name but it also turns out I’m kind of familiar with his music, too? I feel like I hear Live’s songs all the time. For example, I’ll hear it at a cafe or a store or when my music is on shuffle. So when Youtube autoplay decided to put on “Jasmine,” I realized I knew the song but not the artist and had to look him up. Turns out he’s hella cute too. Haha.

Besides music, I’m also listening to podcasts and in search of one that I can listen to while working out. I’m a fan of podcasts with interesting narratives such as Family Ghosts but I’m also very fond of podcasts that make me feel like I’m at a slumber party. Hence, I look forward every week to listening to the I Don’t Get It Podcast and Thirst Aid Kit.

As for teaching in Korea, it was the last week of school for the kiddos. There had been a lot of non-teaching and more of the students cleaning and watching movies to pass time. It was a limbo kind of week where we know school should just be done already but we had to keep the kids here due to the academic calendar.

My lovely sixth graders have also graduated, and the real MVP here is the sixth grade homeroom teacher who had to deal with their craziness. The sixth graders were rowdy and at times, uncouth. I was intimidated the first time I met them but over the year, we all warmed up to each other. I particularly bonded a lot with the girls of the class mostly because that we love the same boy bands (yo, ARMY and Carats, where u at?). I won’t say that they’re the most studious of students but they are the cutest! They were really the best part of working, even when things got rough. My favorite thing was that despite struggling with using English, they wanted talk to me anyway. I got tearful after their ceremony and we said goodbyes to each other. I’ll probably run into them in the streets on the way to school but still… My sixth grade girls are the cutest and kindest. Their friendship with each other is heartwarming. They’re energetic and joyous and I hope they remain that way despite all the hardships that will come their way growing up.

Okay. I’m done crying now.

Saturday, I took an uneventful trip to Seoul to for two appointments. I went to see my dentist who pointed out to me that I probably have a habit of biting my lower lip, which I wasn’t not aware of. She tells me it’s affecting the position of my two front teeth and that I need to stop or else two years of brace-face would have been done in vain! (Okay, she didn’t say it like that but you get the gist.) Afterwards was an appointment at a skin clinic where I’ve been getting treatment for my acne scarring for the past year. It’s a painful journey that I’ll have to save for another blog post!

Overall, I’ve been trying to recalibrate my sleeping pattern that’s gone whack from the crazy New Years shenanigans last weekend. My body wants to nap at 8PM but that means waking up at 1AM and being exhausted the next day. Ugh. Being an adult is fun but also VERY TIRING and STRESSFUL. I also need to start preparing the actual itinerary for my trip to Malaysia in a couple of weeks. I’m so excited for beaches! Not excited for swimsuits though. Forreal. Finding a swimsuit that fits is a pain and also they’re expensive! But all in all, not a bad week.

The Obituary

Last week, I watched Serendipity. Okay, actually, I turned it on and fell asleep and then woke up to finish the last twenty minutes of it. Nonetheless, the film inspired me to write these “obituary” pieces, that highlight my most stressful moments of the week. Sometimes things happen and it feels like the world ended. Did I die? No. But sometimes it feels like I did.


Sarah, writing extraordinaire and avid podcaster wannabe, died early this morning in her sleep after over thinking about her brief make out session with a stranger at a bar two nights before. She was 26 years old and single AF. That was also her first real kiss. Ever. She was over-dramatic, an oversharer, and had a knack for laughing at the most inappropriate times. Her final days were spent with her friends where she had one too many tequila shots but at least she wasn’t hungover.


American teacher, Sarah, was found dead outside of her apartment in Osan, Korea. She died at approximately 8:17 AM after missing her bus to work and failing to hail a taxi. Her life was directly connected to her phone battery, which quickly died to 0% due to the cold weather. Sarah is survived by her family in America and her two imaginary dogs, Roscoe and Killjoy.