Sunday, August 30, 2015

My Adventure in "Korea."

I recently went to Korea... Oklahoma.  

So, basicly...  I was watching a Ftisland video with my nephew (who is 7), and I meantioned that I really like Lee Jae Jin, for his beautiful voice and because he is so pretty.


This conversation went back and forth and grew, resulting in a very grossed out 7 year old boy and crazy Aunt saying "Fine, I will go to Korea and find him and if he is not married... I will marry him."
Now this was a joke, but since I was going to stay with a friend over night... I thought that it would be fun to make some photoshop pictures and have a little adventure "in Korea."  Something  to show him and his siblings, to let them know I was thinking about them while I was gone.    I even made up a Kdrama-ish story to go with my pictures.  I thought that it would be fun to share those pictures and my little story with you guys.   So enjoy!!

Since we had been watching You are Beautiful together, I promised my niece and nephews to bring back pictures of the cast... My first meet up was with Yong Hwa:

He was nice, but not really interested in me.

But he did introduce me to Lee Hong Ki, (Jeremy):

Who brought me to lunch with the other cast members.  Unfortunately, when Hong Ki took the picture he caught me when I was mid-sentence.

Hong Ki then introduced me to his band mate, none other than Lee Jae Jin...

But Jae Jin liked my friend more than me... :(  (It's okay, because I would later realize that is a picture of Hong Ki, NOT Jae Jin... Sshhh  don't tell the kids... Or anyone that will take my fangirl card away.)

But it was okay that it didn't workout for me and Jae Jin, (Or rather Hong Ki)...  My mission wasn't over yet, my 7 year old nephew had asked for a picture of his favorite member of EXO, Baek Hyun:

Baek Hyun was really nice, but he insisted on putting his arm around me... which made my feel nervous.  

When I was hanging out with Baek Hyun, another memeber of EXO showed up... And I think Chan Yeol was taken with me:

Really taken:

Really, really taken:
We went on one date, but aren't official because I had to go to America... But in 1 to 5 years, I am sure I will see him again and everything will be perfect then.

The really funny thing about this story is my nephew was really confused by the end and had to ask a few times if I had really been to Korea... Or was I just kidding.  :)   That made my day.

Oh!  And I did find Pig Rabbit's ancestor:

(Pig Rabbit is a stuffed animal from You are Beautiful, and a favorite with the kids and me.)

So, there you have it, my summer in Korean ended with a wonderful "trip" to Korea... Maybe one day I will have one for real... then, my fake Korean boyfriend and I can finally be together.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Vlogs 7, 8 and 9!!

Sorry it took so long to get these up!  Here you go! 

How this all started, Part 3: KPop? Wait...You like this?

I believe that the Korean language is beautiful... I think it can sound rhythmic, smooth and romantic; and at other times choppy, hard and cool.  For you to really understand how I have begun to fall in love with a language you have to know more about my new deep burning love for its music.

Introducing... KPop:

Now I do not claim to be an expert on any level... I can really only tell you, like with most of this, about my own experience and how this music touches me.  Like most of us, US fans... I found KPop while looking up actors names from my first drama.  I realized that two of the actors from You are Beautiful, were in actual bands in real life.  

Jung Yong Hwa from the band CNBlue:

And Lee Hong Ki from the band ftisland:

I decided to try the music... Never expecting to really like it.  I had tried french music before and didn't like it that much... and I had tried a few other languages and their music but I would quickly get bored not knowing what they were saying... But when I listened to what was available on Pandora... I found that I actually really liked the sound.  I will admit that in the beginning it might have been more about the oddity than the music itself at least until one fateful night... When I looked up the music videos.   I thought that a song on Pandora sounded kind of cool... it was by the group VIXX and the song was called Hyde... Mind you this was my first exposure to what Kpop can look like.


I was so creeped out by the video I wondered if I should give up on Kpop all together...but for whatever reason I looked up one more video, To the Light by FTisland...

And that my friends is when I fell in love with  Korean music.

This video, song and band would lead me on to finding out that I loved Korean Music... That I loved the sound of the Korean language... And through it I would find other groups that I loved, such as, CNBlue, Shinee, EXO, Tablo and so on and so forth.  Ironically, the song that started all this... "To the Light" is sung in Japanese.

So... Maybe I am learning the wrong language?  Naw....

I guess, now you might be wondering why I even like to listen to this music that I can't understand... That can creep me out...given the right music video and that might sometimes be in Japanese, even when the band is Korean.
Well... I think that this meme sums it all up:

I just like it..  I love the music...the amazing voices of the singers, the awesome rappers... And it really helps that they throw in a lot of English here and there so you can figure out what the theme of a lot of the songs are... On top of all of that Kpop has a culture all of its own... filled with crazy costumes, even crazier stunts and adorable performers that just make you smile and ask... Why?

As I delve more deeply into the music I learn more words, more culture and a deeper respect for the people of Korea... Music is something that transcends culture, language, time and space.  Music can touch your heart without you even knowing why.  When I heard the FTisland song that night... I didn't  know what it was about other than it was something to do with reaching the light... but that song gave me hope and it inspired me to find out more.   I can now usually tell if one of the songs is in Japanese over Korean, and I like the Korean versions better, but To the Light will always have a special place in my heart.  

So there you have it... How this all started... is hopefully just the beginning.  

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Fighting!! 화이팅 (Korean for "You can do it!!")

So,  you haven't heard from me in awhile... Bet you are wondering, what the heck happened to Bekah?

Well, the truth is, I think that I have or had lost my way a little...  Or a lot.  How do I begin?  First let me just say that this will be a little more serious than some of my other posts.

I don't actually think that I can do this.  I don't feel that I can actually learn a language, I have never thought of myself as a smart person... In fact I thought that I was dumb most of my life.  Learning a language that is not even close to my native language?  Why didn't I just say that I was going to walk to Korea in one summer... LOL... I am drowning either way.

So, let me back up...  I started to doubt myself about two weeks ago...  Depression hit me...and  this has been affecting multiple parts of my life.  Here's the thing about people who struggle with depression, we struggle with it.  It's not something that we overcome and then it is's the monster under the bed that keeps poking its ugly head out.  And we that fight with it, fall down and we have to find the courage to stand up again.  This is normal. It's normal for me to have down days or weeks or months...  But it's about what I do with those times that matter.  It's about whether I let that get me down or if I stand back up.  It's about whether I let that draw me away from God or get closer to Him.   If I let it take me away from my dreams or fight harder for them.

Why did I get down?  A lot of reasons... I am moving.  I am not looking forward to this... My apartment is WRECKED right now... It looks like a large explosion has happened as I am trying to pack.
The world has gotten crazy around  me and I am not sure what to do with it.  I have had some personal issues with some friends and I am really just super scared about the future... I want to go to college and I want to become an actual librarian...and  I am so scared to even begin to believe that I can do this... I mean I am 27 and I have never gone to college... Why start something if I am not going to be able to make it...  I think that it all comes down to fear.  Things are changing so fast around me and this has gotten me down and that made me slack off on things like my Korean lessons and THAT made me feel like a failure...  Because good, perfect, pretty people don't struggle with depression?  Right... They don't have times when they fail and fall down, they don't ever slack off on commitments?  RIGHT.....

So...  the truth is I have failed to blog and/or work on my Korean for two weeks...  I have been down and  I have let the future and even the past dictate who I am and what I am doing..  This can't be the end of the story... I have to at least try to get back up again.

In Korea, there is a saying it's, Fighting!! it means "You can do it!" This is a huge one for me, because I am always saying "You can do it!! You got this!"  to the people around me, even strangers.  I have also been known to say "You can do it!" in my sleep... when a friend was pulling an all nigher on her paper.

Maybe it is time for me to say, Fighting!  (Or rather, Hwaiting! As it is actually pronounced.) To myself.   Maybe it will be messy and maybe I will make mistakes and maybe I won't even make it...But I will have tried.   Maybe I will fail but as one of my favorite bands SuperChick says, "Failures are flyers who've touched down, only they know what it is like to leave the ground."  
I can't do this on my own...  But as another favorite band, FT Island (a kpop band) says, " So I won't lose my way... I'll pray, I'll pray, I'll pray..."  That's the ONLY way I can make it.

For those of you that are struggling with something... Who want more or need to get back up... Who feel like the fight is lost and you can't make it... Take it from someone who has failed A LOT.  You can make it... You were created in the image of a good and great God... And He hasn't given up on you.  And neither have I. Right now I am at a coffee shop with a friend who is also trying to get back into her art... We made a coffee date to work on our own things...together.   So if we can do it so can you!!   Fighting!! 화이팅

So let's get up and be awesome... Failure or not.. That's what we all are... Awesome.

Fighting!!  To be continued... 

Monday, June 22, 2015

Saturday, June 20, 2015

4th Vlog: Top 10 KDrama Stereotypes

Here is my top 10 list of Kdrama Stereotypes...

K is For Drama: How this All Started, Part 2

Okay, so as I have already stated, this love for Korea all started with a Kdrama... AND what I have also told you is when I was first introduced to the drama by my dad...I was merely humoring him and I didn't really like what I saw.

And that could have been the end of the story... or rather that was the end of the story, for two years...  
Fast forward to March of this year.   I am now happy and healthy living in a great apartment with my younger brother.  I work at a elementary school library and while I still don't have a love life to speak of... I enjoy my life and my freedom.   I thought that my life was complete... easy... normal even... 

Until that fateful day...  When the KDramas returned.  

I was hanging out with my dad, my brother, Nathanael and his girlfriend, Emily... When the subject of Kdramas got brought up.  Emily suggested that we watch one.  Now that it was two years later, PTSD gone and my second attempt with that old boyfriend over (don't ask...)  I thought maybe it was time to give "Korean Soap Operas" another chance... After all it was spring break... a time for making dumb life altering choices that you won't be able to take back later.  

We watched the same drama as before, starting over and even moving on to the second episode....  Let me tell you... It just was not the same as the first time.  

Meet my new friend... "You are Beautiful" 

"You are Beautiful" is the story of a young woman training to be a nun on her way to Rome, when a strange man approaches her, asks her to dress up as her twin brother and join Korean boy band (KPop band)  for a day.  Well, you guessed it, a day ends up being months of dodging reporters, fangirls and evil actresses who bent on finding out the secret...and of course along the way she falls for the lead singer while unbeknownst to her, the other members of the band are falling for her.  Needless to say it only took the two episodes (mind you, I only watched one the first time,) to get hooked.

I found myself enjoying the show so much that I was spending any spear time I had watching it.  (And since it was spring break, that was a lot of time)  I finished that first 16 Episode drama in less that a week.  (Yeah, yeah... I know there are some that can watch a drama in one sitting, but I am not one of those people.)  

Now I know what you are thinking... wait what about all of your complaints?  Why the sudden change of heart.  Well, I guess there was a lot of things that changed.  Turns out you get used to the subtitles...  The humor is actually fantastic if you give it more than one episode and the makeup on the guys?  Well, that's a cultural thing and I not only got used to it but I now sort of find it attractive...


In the end... I have to hand it to my dad,.,,  He knew what he was talking about. 
 I admit that I was wrong about Kdramas... The are great!! 

But there was more to it than that...than just a great show.
You see a couple of years ago I was in a very deep and hard depression.  After the tornado I started to heal and become more open to bright and happy things again.  
By March of this year the depression was gone but I was still dealing with some residual effects.  When you have a big sensitive heart you learn to be cynical and calloused to survive.  But this calloused bitter person was not who I really am.  "You are Beautiful" was just a little too bright and pure and happy for my emo tastes at the time.  (Not that there aren't tear-jerker-emo KDramas.. cuz there are. But YAB isn't really one of them.)
So YAB  touched something deep inside that I thought I had lost, little girl pre-teen Bekah.  You see I don't just have a big heart, I am a true romantic. That was a part of myself that I had tried to stamp out after years of getting burned.  But to stamp it out would be to truly lose part of myself.  Everything about YAB woke that part of me... That love of beauty and romance and something a bit silly... YAB touched all of that... It was while I was watching this TV show that I started to look around... I started a Facebook album called Looking for Beauty, where I look for beauty in the everyday and I take pictures of it.  

This has changed my outlook and is helping me search for the good in where I am right now.  So did a Kdrama change my life? Actually, yes. God used it to show me beauty in the small things and that it was okay to be silly and a true romantic again.  He used it to whisper an I love you to my heart.  

So how did all of this lead to a desire to learn Korean? Well....That is another story and it involves a whole other portion of Korean pop culture. 

To be continued...

Sunday, June 14, 2015

3rd Vlog: Late Night Hangul

After not having the emotional energy to work on my lessons for two days, 
I got to work and actually made some tiny steps forward.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

K is for Drama: How this all started...

It all started with a drama.  Or rather... for me it all started with a break-up and a tornado... But what good story doesn't start with some action?

For you to really understand where this passion for a people group came from, you must first go back....   *Wavy flashback filter*

Two years ago, I was living in Moore, OK... My house was hit by a tornado.   It was a hard time in my life.  And I had recently gone through some relationship crises...  Needless to say when my dad showed up at my door (I was living in a temporary apartment) and asked if I wanted to watch a "Korean Soap Opera,"  I didn't take him serious.

Wait...  Are you confused?  Then let me back up.

*Wavy Flashback Filter, Again*
Yes, my father was the one to introduced me to Kdramas (South Korean TV shows, that usually have a very Rom-Com or Romantic Drama feel)...  I don't know how he got started with them... but to me it wasn't that weird for him to be watching Korean rom-com's... after all he was the one that watched Lizzie McGuire and Hannah Montana with me back in the day.

I was actually more confused by the fact that he was choosing to watch something with subtitles...

But I can see how you as an outside, might think it odd for a 50 something year old man to like a good old rom-com... but what can I say... he has a sensitive side.

ANYWAYS!!!  My dad showed up wanting to me to try this, "Korean Soap Opera"  with him and I thought he was crazy... but I humored him anyway...  I was then introduced to the world of the Kdrama...  But like a lot of love stories, mine and Kdrama's had a rocky start.

I didn't like it... It had a slow start, the subtitles were too hard... the guys were all wearing too much make up...

The humor was just weird... How was I ever going to understand the cultural differences...
To be honest I was so messed up from the PTSD caused by the tornado... I don't even really remember it. I do remember the leading man reminded me too much of my ex...

Which I guess is reason enough for anyone to NOT watch something.  

I did not want to watch more...  I politely thanked my dad, for hanging out with me...and moved on.

So in the beginning, this love for Korea... almost didn't happen...

To be continued...

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Second Vlog: A little about me

Here is my an update on my happenings and a little info on who I am as a person. 
Second Vlog: A little about me

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

First Vlog

Here is a video update of my first two days on the journey.  :)  
"Annyeong!!  Hi, Youtube!"

Monday, June 8, 2015

The Journey Begins...

I am going on a journey this summer...a crazy idea of my own making. I plan to learn the language of Korean in one summer.  I will have no teacher, no classes and no idea what I am doing...  But I must go on this adventure or die trying.

Would you like to come along for the ride?  Hear my funny anecdotes?  And my horrible butchering of a beautiful language and culture... Listen to comical commentary on how this all got started...and the pitfalls along the way?  Sure?  Why not?  

So here are the ground rules:
I have the summer to learn a language that is thousands of years old and completely foreign to me, (up until March of this year, when I watched my first KDrama, but more on that later),

I can't take any formal classes and must only learn from online resources or by watching more KDramas or listening to KPop... But if I am fortunate enough to find a tutor...that will be allowed.

I  HAVE set daily goals, lessons and actually try to learn the language.

I have to blog or Vlog about it at least once a week.

I have to learn more about South Korea and their culture.

I have to start using Korean in my day to day life, as practice and  to watch the responses of those around me.

I must go to an event or location that is for Korean speaking people. (like the local Korean Baptist church.)

I must find someone to have at least one conversation in Korean before the summer is over.

That is pretty much it... I hope you enjoy watching this process... I hope I can actually learn something along the way... and I hope I don't make to big of a fool of myself...

And to the people of  Korea, your language and culture, thousands of years in the making... I am truly sorry.