Can You Hear Me, Major Tom?

I don’t usually use this space for musings unrelated to Korea and my life here. However, tonight I feel compelled to write about the passing of David Bowie.

It isn’t often that I am personally affected by celebrity deaths. Just in the past few weeks, the music world has lost Lemmy Kilmeister and Scott Weiland. While undoubtedly sad, I did not feel connected to these musicians in the same way I did to Bowie.

I remember listening to songs like “Space Oddity,” “Life on Mars,” and “Ziggy Stardust” in the car with my mom as a little kid and thinking some of his lyrics were remarkably silly, but excitedly singing along nonetheless:

So where were the spiders while the fly tried to break our balls?

As I got older, I fell more in love with Bowie for his aesthetic. (The cover art for Aladdin Sane has always been a personal favorite.) With the incorporation of elaborate costumes and makeup in addition to his unquestionable musical talent, I believe Bowie was able to make a permanent imprint on the music world. I don’t think there has ever been an artist able to recreate himself so dramatically (and so beautifully) over several decades quite like Bowie.

Then, of course, there is Labyrinth. The film is fabulous in its own right, but only made better by Bowie’s portrayal of Jareth the Goblin King. The hair, the mystery, the power of voodoo! And the soundtrack. Obviously.

In college, I even incorporated Bowie into a paper I wrote for my 20th Century Art class. I can’t find the paper (I tried), but I know that he was referenced.

So, it is with a heavy heart that I say goodbye to an absolute legend. David Bowie’s music has transcended generations and genres, which is apparent from his collaborations with artists like Queen, Mick Jagger, Trent Reznor, and even Arcade Fire.

Thank you for contributing to my love of rock ‘n’ roll and men in makeup. Tonight, I will be listening to some of my favorite songs.

Winter Break Part 2

I’m so sorry this is over a week late because I’m a horrible blogger. My new classes started last week and I’ve been so busy getting used to the schedule.

Anyway.

On New Year’s Day, Hannah and I decided to head downtown to Upsquare, a large shopping mall. We were supposed to be looking for a present for her boyfriend, but instead we got distracted by a small kiosk selling what we thought were just cute keychains or figurines.

Upon closer inspection, we realized that you could decorate your own phone case! We spent quite some time picking out our pieces (I chose kitties, cheeseburgers, fries, strawberries, and daisies). Then, you get to pick a plain phone case and a colored adhesive (I picked yellow).

Instead of doing more shopping, we practically ran home to my apartment for an arts and crafts session. Here is my finished product:

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In the evening, we got shabu shabu for dinner with Steve. It was delicious!

The rest of break was mostly spent shopping, eating, and hanging out. It was super relaxing and much needed after a stressful semester.

Right now, it’s quite cold in Ulsan and I’m counting down the days until I’ll be in Tokyo, Japan! (It’s 26.)

Winter Break Part 1

My winter break kicked off on Wednesday and Hannah (from Paint Me a Smile) came to visit! She arrived in Ulsan at about 7 PM and we went for dinner at Tang Tang Chicken, one of my favorite fried chicken places. We got super crispy boneless chicken and pan-fried tteokbokki. It was so good!

After dinner, Hannah and I went back to my apartment to leave her things and we headed to Samsan. We found a 24-hour Angel-in-us coffee shop and sat for a good couple of hours catching up. Then, we walked around downtown and I showed Hannah some of the local restaurants and bars. It was pretty cold, so we didn’t stay out terribly long.

On Thursday, we got up and I insisted that we head to Flapjack Pantry for English breakfast. The city where Hannah is living is much smaller than Ulsan and doesn’t have as many Western restaurant options as I have here. When the waitress came to take our order, Hannah ordered two English breakfasts and I interjected with a “No! It’s huge!” and flailed my arms wildly. One was way more than enough for both of us: baked beans, sausages, eggs, hash browns, grilled pineapple, grilled tomatoes, and pancakes.

After breakfast, we went to Taehwa Park and the bamboo forest. Then, we walked to Seongnamdong for some shopping. In Seongnamdong, we also made a stop at a cat cafe. The kitties were so cute! Until they started howling wildly and tried to steal our complimentary pancake.

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In the evening, we had barbecue for dinner with Steve: pork belly with rice and fried egg. So good! Then, we headed over to Sticky’s to ring in the New Year. There was a good crowd of people out and I indulged in some sangria. Hannah and I didn’t stay out too late. On the way home, though, we may or may not have stopped at the 24 hour Krispy Kreme for some celebratory donuts…

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Happy 2016, everyone!