Paws For A Cause

I think most people who call themselves animal people have probably been animal people for the majority of their lives.  They probably grew up with a dog or a cat and that was how that came to be.  Well, I was pretty much scarred of at least household pets from the get-go.  I can pin point the exact moment I became scared of dogs and how it stuck with me for most of my life.

I was in 2nd or 3rd grade, over at Kyla Reef’s neighbor’s house, who happened to have a dalmatian.  Having just seen 101 Dalmatians, I was SO excited to see one of those adorable little pooches with my own two eyeballs and pet with my own fingertips.  Well, that sentiment lasted for oh, a whole nanosecond, when that massive black and white spotted, hyperactive dog came charging directly toward me and chased me through this complete stranger’s house!  I just remember screaming and crying and hiding behind a couch and under a wooden hallway table because I didn’t know what to do and I was so insanely freaked out.

Cue hatred of dalmatians and kind of being scared of dogs for most of my life….

Until Jacquie got these beautiful little babes that stole my heart forever and officially made me a dog person for the remainder of my life.

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Which brings me to the point of my tale today.  Last night I had so much fun, and helped raise $806.00 in a few hours for some foster animals in Korea! As most things go here on the peninsula, soju sells.  And when paired with a good cause, it really outdoes itself!

My friend Andria and two other girls, Kathy and Caroline, had the idea to have a fundraiser selling shots of Korean melon, aloe and jalapeno infused soju to drunk foreigners.  So, we took to the street at Haebangchon’s Music Fest, filled with an overabundance of the intoxicated waygookin willing to support the cause, minus the select cheap douche bags that I had a few choice words with.  My mouth can be intolerant and sometimes gets the best of me.  Can’t help it.  Needless to say, it was a tremendous success, and me, Andria and Jee want to do another go at it since we had such a fun time and felt awesome doing something to help the animals!

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Andria is super involved in Animal Rescue Korea, and is currently fostering a 3 legged terrier named Lola that has lived most of her life on the street.  She’s been taking care of her for the past several months ~ paying her countless medical bills and just being all around patient with her as she tries to adjust to her new life in a home where she’s being cared for.  When Andria leaves Korea in September, she is bringing Lola back to the States in hopes of finding her a loving home so she has a chance at a fresh start.  So, a good chunk of the cash monies that we raised last night will go towards paying for her airplane ticket to America and other miscellaneous expenses towards getting her back on those 3 footsies of her’s.

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Coming from a country where pets are unquestionably a part of the family, it’s really heartbreaking to see the amount of stray cats and dogs that run around aimlessly here in Korea.  Koreans have a mentality where unless something is cute or perfect or young they don’t want it.  That doesn’t leave much to run with for a dog with only three legs.  So more often than not, when a pet has outgrown its “cute” stage, it’s just discarded.  Additionally, as I just found out last night, the city shelters kill after 10 days.  So, if your pet goes missing and a shelter has it, you only have 10 days to hopefully find and rescue it.

I really would love to help foster a dog, or have any dog for that matter!  I want one so badly!  However,  I know what a humungous responsibility taking care of a dog is, and I just don’t think I can devote myself entirely to one right now at this point in my life. As much as I would LOVE to. I actually met Lola for the first time yesterday, and she sat under the table in the corner the entire time shaking because she was so scared.  I know that’s not how all rescue dogs are, but on the off chance, I just don’t know if that’s how I want my first “my own dog” experience to be right now.

In any event, I’m glad I can at least help out in the little way I am able.  It’s really inspiring to know that there are people out there who care so much about animals that they will bend over backwards for these little babes.

 

 

I Came, I Fell, I Conquered

I know I’ve been a complete slack of a human being on the blog front as of late. I keep telling myself to post about the recent happs, but then life gets the best of me. In my defense, I’ve been a bit preoccupied with all the visitors I’ve had here in the KoKo.  I’ve been top of the pops lately if you hadn’t heard. In the past 2 months I’ve had 3 visitors to Korea: Jeff Davidson, one of my ATO homies from the good ‘ol SBeezy days, Josh “Gay” Rich, my old Santa Barbara neighbor and favorite non-homosexual gay person, and lastly, my long-awaited, MUCH anticipated visitor, Adam Allegro, photographer extraordinaire (http://catchthejiffy.com). It’s been awesome, and that brings my visitor count to 7 in the last 16 months.  Who’s next?!?!

To catch you up, because I’m sure Facebook doesn’t do that for you, I’ll show you some highlights from the past 3 months. It’s a bit of a time traveling experience, so buckle up and enjoy the ride.

The first highlight after Japan was Halloween.  Halloween is my favorite holiday, and last year it was a sour disappointment, despite my amazing costume.  However, the company I shared it with this year more than made up for last year. I got creative while exploring the world wide web and decided to go as a Roy Lichtenstein 1960s pop art lady (in case the uncultured folk out there are confused and just think I had really bad acne for the evening).

I kicked it with some saucy Japanese schoolgirls.

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Had my “damsel in distress” moment when I got rescued by Spiderman in a seedy alleyway in HBC.

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Then I went on to get down with Andre Agassi’s zombie circa 1990.

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A couple weeks later me and a bunch of Koreans decided to hit up a 1960s/Andy Warhol shindig.  Here’s me and Jee shmoozing with Mr. Warhol about being in one of his next films.

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Then we just got sexy with some spectacular wall art.

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Then I had an unexpected 5th visitor when Jeff popped over from Singapore for a few days on business.  Here’s us drinking somak (soju and beer combo) at Noryangjin fish market, over a plate of freshly killed sashimi and octopus.

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Shortly thereafter, I time traveled to a roller derby set in the 1980s. My closet and I love the 80s, and this was the perfect opportunity for me to cut up my newly purchased California Raisins sweatshirt into true Flash Dance style.  It also provided the perfect setting for me to showcase my wild agility and ability to stand on two feet.  My hands hurt for a good 3 weeks after this tumble.

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A couple weeks later Josh “Gay” Rich came for a week-long jaunt to the peninsula to learn what Gangnam Style is all about. I’m not sure if he discovered it or not?  He was my 3rd school visitor, and my kids thought he was very handsome and very TALL.  The girls were oogling at him and the boys were jumping to try and reach his head.  It was adorable.

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Then he met my 6th grade boyfriend, Jinho.  My little angel boy talked baseball with him and was so excited to meet him. I was like a proud mama.

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During Josh’s visit I also celebrated my 2nd Thanksgiving abroad.  Holidays are so weird in Korea.  They literally sneak up on you.  I swear I didn’t realize it was Thanksgiving til like 3 days before and we had to scramble for where we were doing our potluck because I was not settling for another bowl of Pho on Thanksgiving like last year.  Anyways, this is my beautiful Seoul fam plus Josh.  Every family has that one “special” member right?  Can you spot ours?

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This pretty much catches me up to present-day and my most current visitor.  Adam and I have been wanting to be on the same continent for a few years now, and the time finally came!  He just got out of the Navy stationed in Italy and has begun  his year of jet-setting across Asia to pursue his photography dream.  We started bonding over his beautiful photos a few years ago, so I’m thrilled to have him in my home-away-from-home to capture some stunning photographs of this peninsula that now holds a special place in my heart, despite all it’s oddities.  He’s been here since December 10th, and is here until January 4th popping all over Korea.

Aside from taking brilliant photos, I brought him to school with me as my show and tell special gift to my shithead 6th graders.  I felt they needed a little inspiration, and to many he was.  They were all impressed with his gigantic stature (6’4″), his ginger hair, a term I taught to my 3rd graders, and how his feet hung out over the back of his slippers.

Here he is with my best class of 6th graders.  They were amazing and had so much fun with him!

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He also handed out piggyback rides to my favorite 3rd grade babies.

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And met my 6th grade boyfriend again 🙂 Isn’t he just the cutest?

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He even arm wrestled my man co-teacher after my students dragged Mr. Jang over to the table.  Peep the video below to watch Adam kick his ass.

 

This week I also celebrated my 2nd Christmas abroad, but first in Seoul. I was actually feeling crappy all day, but was coaxed into going to my friend Keira’s for a potluck/housewarming party.  It ended up being really nice and quaint and I’m glad I went, because the holidays are already really depressing living over here that they shouldn’t be made any more by staying in bed by myself on Christmas day.  So, here’s another semi-family photo with some new Koreans that I met.  Once again, can you spot our “special” member?

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Last but certainly not least was the EPIC event that I partook in last weekend.  My friend Jeremy runs a non-profit organization (http://gosena.org/) where he raises money to pay for high school costs for a select group of students in the Namibian school that he used to work at during the Peace Corps. So a couple times a year he throws fundraisers where we spend an over-abundance on alcohol and have an amazing time and it goes to support little African kids.  Well, this holiday fundraiser was an In Living Color themed t-shirt tag party fully loaded with 90s dance battles.  However, the 3 other “crews,” if they can even call themselves that, didn’t even stand a chance against my craftily put together crew.  All hail to the 1st place champions: WORD TO YO MAMA’S HIGH WAISTED JEANS (or WTYMHWJ for short).  We featured a medley of jams sampling all the great hits from every NOW music CD you ever owned. We won the whopping prize of 100,00won which we generously donated back to the kids, and of course superstar status for the rest of the evening.

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If you want to relive the Macarena, Barbie Girl DDR style, the great Bboys, the amazingness of “The Carlton” or watch a tap dancer slam her ass so hard on the ground that she pulls her groin muscle, I beg you to please tickle your eyeballs with the video below.  I promise you it’s worth every second of the 4 minutes that it is.

 

I hope you enjoyed the speedy version of the past 3 months. I’ve felt like quite the sorority girl that I never was.

OH, and if you live under a rock, I’ll be gracing the United States of America January 12th~25th.  So, if you know what’s good for you you’ll accompany me as I eat myself a winter coat during the duration of my visit, and come celebrate my birthday the evening of January 19th.  SEE YOU SOON AMERICA!!!