uisceros: (Adipose)
Today is my last full day in Europe. I leave Germany in a few hours, and will spend the night in France before flying out in the morning tomorrow.

tl;dr - I fucking love to travel, even if it sometimes makes me want to cry )

Anyway, the moral of the story is, my trip was fun...

SO HERE ARE SOME PICTURES. (Haven't had a chance to edit them yet, so they're grainy and raw, but the best I can do with my simple little netbook)


You guys. LONDON. I loved it. Love, love, loved it. Except for the whole driving on the left side of the road thing, which I found very counter-intuitive. Still. It was nice to travel to a place where I could understand stuff that happened around me. Thanks, English!

The rest~ )
uisceros: (Default)
I've been MIA for awhile, and there are both good and not-so-good reasons for that. The good is that I've been busy at work, the not-so-good is that I've been completely lazy.

The big news: I'VE FINALLY BOOKED MY TRIP TO EUROPE. This has been in the works forever. And I'm doing everything last minute. I literally JUST booked my flight, and I leave in 5 days.

My itinerary is; London (5-6 days), Paris (3-4 days), Stuttgart (3 days), Paris (1 day). I fly into London, and out of Paris.

I have my accommodation set for London and Paris, but not Stuttgart.

I've been wicked busy doing physical planning for the trip as well - what am I going to wear? What am I going to bring? I bought a new bag (carry-on and purse all in one!!!), boots (if they ever get here...), and a netbook so that I can keep up with stuff on the go (I love the damn thing, it's tiny).

I'm scared. I'll be traveling alone to two places I've never been before. I can do it, of course, but I'm still scared.

The focus of the trip is mostly to visit London, and the school I intend to apply to this coming fall. The rest is just fun adventure stuff. I'm lucky that the hotel I'm staying in is in Bloomsbury, where the school is located. And only a few hundred feet from the British Museum, which will be AH-MAZING.

Anyway, more post forthcoming. (I know I bailed on the ParaKiss movie review, but we lost power for 6 days due to the October snowstorm, and then I lost intent)
uisceros: (Default)
New things~

- Well, it's definite - I'm going to be taking several pastry classes with a Master French pastry chef at the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts. I dislike cooking - 90% of the food I make is microwaved. However, I love baking. I especially love French pastries. I've been obsessed (obsessed) with petit fours glacé since I was a child, for some reason. So I'm so excited to take these classes - I'm going to be taking Petit Fours and French Macaroons, and (hopefully) Marzipan, Moulding, and Truffles. I already got the okay from work to rearrange my schedule for these classes. ~EXCITED~

- On the subject of classes I'm going to take, I am definitely going to sign up for a four week glassblowing class. Glassblowing is oddly hard to find classes for. LUCKILY there is a studio right in Boston. They have other glass classes (lampwork, stained glass, fusing, casting, etc), but I'm only really interested in glassblowing, because that shit is awesome.

- I'm determined to develop more creative hobbies. And since I'm interested in everything ever, my hobbies are spread all around the spectrum.

- This week is OCD Awareness week! McLean Hospital is hosting an event which I may be attending. Depending on if I can get someone to go with me. I haven't had an episode in a very long time, but it's still difficult facing your demons alone. I'm proud to be part of the OCD/Anxiety Disorder community, as I believe what we're doing is going to save so many people. This is a great pamphlet put out by the IOCDF that puts OCD in easy to understand terms. As I often mention, OCD is whitewashed by the media. It's not a funny/quirky disease. It's not even remotely humorous. Believe me.

- New obsession; Fab. OMG I love this site. It's like Gilt, or Hautelook. It's a discount/sample sale site, except this one is for design. I went through a period several years ago where I researched design obsessively. I love beautiful things. Design matters to me. Even more so now that I can afford it. I've already bought several things from their site; a beautiful pair of earrings (how much do I love that the brand is science-based?!), and this lovely iphone case. The stuff they have is amazing. Like THIS CHAIR, which is fabulous and gorgeous (and $2400).

- Trying to decide where to go in Europe this November/December. London and Paris are definite. I'm thinking Stuttgart or Nuremberg (I totally can't spell that in English...), and either Copenhagen or Bern. Bern is easier (and it would be nice to see where my ancestors came from), but I have this thing with Denmark. I blame 12th grade AP English and Hamlet. I want to go somewhere I've never been before.

... I think that's it. I forget if there was anything else...

uisceros: (Chen Qiao En)
This is from yesterday (an ongoing theme, apparently).
I took this picture at Qianshui Bay up in San Zhi on the north coast of Taiwan. San Zhi is known in popular culture as the place where the (now demolished) Pod Houses once stood. As it is, Qianshui Bay is only about a little over a mile to where the Pod Houses once stood.

It was very beautiful there. It was a rare warm and sunny day (winter on the north coast of Taiwan is neither sunny nor warm), but because I went around 5pm, and it was a Monday, there were not a lot of people there.

The water was chilly (not COLD, but not warm either), the sand was a beautifully soft mix of white and black, there were seashells, coral, seaweed, and sea glass everywhere. It was not, thankfully, like the previous Taiwanese beach I visited in the south (that beach was infested with crabs, was relatively rocky, and not terribly pleasant to spend a night on, which is what I did). This beach was for relaxing.

Anyway, here's the picture!

Flotsam and jetsam on the beach in Qianshui Bay
uisceros: (Default)
I have issues with permanency, but I hope I can at least keep to this - a photo each day.

Today's photo is actually from yesterday, but whatever.




Danshui (Tamsui / 淡水), on the road I used to live on. Barely contained jungle.
uisceros: (Default)


I've been in Taipei for four days now. I love it. I was stupid to worry about it, honestly. It's comfortable here. Taipei and I are old friends. It's almost like I never left.

The bad part is I'm still sick. About every other day my body's like "HEY! Guess what! You're getting better!", and I feel great. And then I wake up the next morning feeling like shit. Stop being an asshole, body.

Yesterday in Taipei! )

Anyway, have some pictures I took here!


Flowers are blooming at Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall / Liberty Square park, the prettiest place in Taipei proper.

More here )


On a separate, random note - I started watching Secret Garden. I'm halfway through with it, and while I like and enjoy it, I am also baffled at how they're going to sustain it for another 10 episodes. I am also desperately obsessed with Director Jong Soo. I love him so so much. Also, it is really reminding me a lot of Bali, which is probably mostly because of Ha Ji Won, but also because Joo Won reminds me of a less crazy version of Jae Min. Kdramas make me hate rich people SO MUCH.
uisceros: (Chen Qiao En in pink)
This is longer than I expected it to be... )

TL;DR
- I left Korea.
- I am sad I am not in the same country as Big Bang anymore.
- I am now in Taiwan.
- It is cold here.
- I do not like the cold.
- I am also sick.
- Being sick sucks.
- Patata is good.
- Yonghe has no Family Marts that sell inari.
- I am pleased at myself for not hiding inside all day.
- Tomorrow IDK what's happening.
- There are tiny ants on the walls of my room.
- Now I have to sleep!
uisceros: (Chen Qiao En in pink)
It makes me kind of sad. I miss their innocent adorable days. Oh well, you've got to grow up SOMETIME. Might as well be now.

This version is actually different than the one they showed at the concerts. The ones at the concert did NOT feature any girls, or Dae's whole scene. Which is odd, I think. Why censor the video for the concert?

I like the video. I think it shows a more mature side of them. I like the Las Vegas imagery. Las Vegas is a city of contradictions. An electric oasis in the middle of the desert. I think it fits rather well with the song, and the image they're showing. I like that they wanted to go to the US to film it. I want them to go to the US more often.




Last night I went to the YG building. I spent about 4 hours in the freezing cold and slight rain waiting for ANYONE to show up or leave. They didn't. But it was an interesting experience, that's for sure.

I leave Korea tomorrow. I feel a mix of regret for not being here longer, and relief. It's difficult being somewhere you absolutely do not speak the language. I speak NO Korean. I understand only a handful of words.

And, to be honest, I'm slightly bored of it here. This is my third time in Seoul. I've done most of what I want to do. The only things I really WANT to do anymore are shop (which I am fighting against - I need to save money), and do stuff related to Big Bang. Otherwise it's the same old thing. I enjoy it here, but I'm used to it.

I am looking forward to Taiwan. Taiwan is a whole different sort of animal. It's scarier, yes, but at the same time it'll be easier. In Korea I can barely communicate. I know enough Chinese to be able to get around. I can go to restaurants, I can ride buses, I can do stuff that intimidates me greatly in Korea. There are less English speakers, but it's easier to communicate. I am also looking forward to it not being deathly cold each day. Thought it is supposed to rain the entire first week I'm there. Which will be lovely.

I don't know. I'm tired, and getting philosophical, so I'm going to sleep. Or something.
uisceros: (Yukiho)
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There are around five cities I've visited in the world that I love so much that I think I could live in them long term (not including US cities on this list). They are, in order of least to most favorite;

5. Taipei - I love Taipei with all my heart. It's a great place full of tradition and magic. Chinese culture is so vibrant there, without the tone of censorship. However it's definitely not a very pretty city, and the heat and humidity definitely bring it lower on my list.

4. Paris - What to say about Paris? I was there for only a few days, but I utterly fell in love. The small city streets, the food, the ambiance.... It was all perfect. However it lacks something for me. I'm not exactly sure what...

3. Seoul - Seoul reminds me SO MUCH of home it's insane. It's on the same basic latitude as where I live, so the weather and scenery as fairly similar (except Seoul has more mountains). Add in the ease of getting around, and the benefits of being in a first class city, and it's great. However I can't say I find Koreans to be the most... accepting of outsiders. Add in the misogyny, and yeaaah.

2. Florence - I knew as soon as I arrived in Florence that I would love it forever. It's actually not my favorite place in Italy - Venice is - but it's the place I felt like I could live and enjoy my life. The Italian lifestyle fascinates me, as an American who's life is measured by achievement and business, not pleasure and happiness. Florence was the place I felt the most happiness. Even the air was amazing, perfumed by flowers. The one major drawback to Florence - not speaking Italian. I didn't encounter more than a handful of Italians who spoke English. So, communications = important.

1. Munich - Munich was the first place I ever visited abroad. I was 19, and was traveling alone for the first time. I remember, VERY vividly, being on an escalator, coming out from the U-Bahn into the Marienplatz. I looked behind me, and what do I see? The Neue Rathaus looming above me. From that moment on, I was in love. I spent a lot of time wandering the streets, sitting in the Frauenkirche (one of the most spiritual places I ever been), and just enjoying everything about life there. I can't really explain why I love it so much, but I do. I could live there very very easily, and be so happy.

Honorable Mention - Cesky Krumlov. The best little Bohemian city in the world. It's worth the visit if only for the Bear Moat. Yes, a moat of bears. Also, it's amazingly old European there. It feels like you've stepped back in time.
uisceros: (OMG Wu Zun + Cat = AWESOME)
So... Anyone want to go to Taipei with me in February? I hate how single rooms are like, twice the price of double rooms. Come on, you know you want to. Zai Zai is there (somewhere)! And, uh, Fahrenheit! Also, everything is cheap. Seriously, really cheap. Except CDs, which for some reason, are expensive. Otherwise, super cheap!

*tempts*

No one wants to kidnap Zai Zai with me? FINE.

NYC

Sep. 26th, 2010 03:11 pm
uisceros: (Lost is pretty)
I'm going to NYC for 4/5 days in October (for the NYC Chuseok Festival / Kpop concert).

Any Recommendations?

Sightseeing (I don't care if I look like a typical tourist), Shopping, Restaurants (clearly no steak houses), Bars, etc

Any rec you have I'll take it ;D
(I've already got a list that involves stuff like the World Trade Center Memorial, MOMA, Serendipity 3, and Teany - Places I seriously want to visit)
uisceros: (GD Vogue)
I probably haven't mentioned this yet... In January of next year, I'm planning an epic trip. I was going to go Korea anyways for the Big Show 2011, and I want to go back to Taiwan, so I figured I'm combine them into one big awesome trip.

My plan is to spend 2 or so weeks in Taiwan, before flying to Korea for a week. But then, I was thinking, if I'm already there, why not try to visit some other places?

So that is where YOU come in! Suggestions? Ideas?
(Keep in mind I'd need places in the general area of Taiwan. I also need relatively cheap places - no Japan this time because it's damn expensive)

[Poll #1598237]

While I'm on the subject, Who else is planning on going to Big Show 2011?tr
uisceros: (Yoon Eun Hye)
Due to the Icelandic volcano and the ashy sky that comes with it, flights are being canceled everywhere, stranding people everywhere. Because of these "forced vacations", Lonely Planet is offering 13 of their European city travel apps (for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch) free until April 22nd. Normally these guides are $16 USD. Now I'm not stranded anywhere, but I'm taking full advantage of this deal. Lonely Planet guides are very good. I never travel without them. I practically have the Taipei guide memorized, for God's sake. Having all that info on my iPod within easy reach makes me happy. I'm especially happy that one of the free ones is for Munich, one of my favorite places on earth. You can find the information and download links here
uisceros: (Shun-kun)
I've been thinking about travel a lot lately. I've discovered that I want to constantly be moving around. Naturally that means lots of time on airplanes.

I have a hate/love relationship with air travel. In general, I prefer being on the ground, and planes make me nervous. But at the same time I love the organized enclosed atmosphere. I love having everything I'd need for a period of time right there in tiny quantities (incidentally why I love hotels as well). That makes me happy. I also really like travel things, for their usefulness, while still being small. In general I just love small things, and being organized.

Anyway, that got me thinking, so I decided to do a poll! What is the longest time you've spent on a single airplane? (ONE FLIGHT, excluding layover and subsequent flight)
And on that topic, what's your longest layover? And hell, if you want, comment on your longest TOTAL airplane trip!

[Poll #1546750]

My answers:
Longest single flight: Los Angeles to Taipei / San Fransisco to Seoul (both 13 hours)
Longest layover: 8 1/2 hours in Los Angeles
Longest total trip: Taipei to Boston (26 1/2 hours)
(In general, it sucks going to Asia for me, due to having to fly completely across the US first)
uisceros: (Top-Ri)
OFF TO KOREA!

I only got 2 hours of sleep last night. Yay me. I was too concerned in putting up the February Big Band calendars to notice...

Anyway, off to the other side of the world. Where it is just as cold. Lovely.
uisceros: (Haru Haru)
I'm so proud of myself. I'm 95% packed (that doesn't include my carry on, which is an entirely different beast), and I'm only taking up half my suitcase. All the more room for Big Bang goods! Goodbye to my over-packing days (note: I cannot say that with ANY degree of certainty ;P)

I leave for the airport in a little over 24 hours. I'm nervous. I hate flying. I'm really bad, especially on long haul flights. I can never sleep more than and hour or so, and get hugely restless. I also get motion sickness. Add onto that a healthy dose of fear of flying (not enough to stop me from flying, but enough to make me panic about doing it), and the whole thing spells disaster. It's lucky I didn't fly until I was a teenager, otherwise my parents would have had quite the handful with me :D

In other news, Dae's single "Cotton Candy" has been released!


It's really different from everything else Dae or BB has ever done, and I think that's amazing. I can't say it's my favorite song ever (I'm not really a huge fan of slower songs), but I love Dae's vocals on the track, and it's just perfectly sweet ala it's name.

The awesome thing is YG released it free for downloading for three days (up until the day of the concert). I'm excited to see Dae perform his new solo song in concert. I am ALSO excited to hear TOP's solo song at the concert!

(I'm going to sneak in my phone this time, and fancam some of the concert if I can)
uisceros: (GD HB1)
I got myself a suitcase! SEE! It's teal, semi-hard shelled, and a good size for what I need! It also has the awesome 360 degree spinning wheels, which is super nice. (I also paid a really good price for it, care of TJ Maxx)

AND I've already packed up some of my toiletries (with my Japanese travel bottles that I bought in Taiwan! Yay for international stuffs!). I also bought new luggage tags.

For some reason, all the stuff is making me happy and less nervous about this trip. I like packing, because it's nice to organize my life into a box (alternatively I hate unpacking). I routinely pack, unpack, and pack again. I never claimed to be normal ;P

Right now my cat is chilling on my lap, purring his little butt off. I have things to do, like exercise, and clean, but it's so very hard to be motivated to do stuff when a cat is on your lap.

Okay, he's gone. Rational thought returns :D
uisceros: (GD Always)
Geez, I swear I'll get to comment responses one of these days. I've been alternatively busy, or weirdly sick.

Did I mention I totally puked in the "bushes" outside of my school one morning on the way to class. People probably thought I was hungover. I wasn't. Afterwards I went to class as if nothing happened, and after getting the horrid taste out of my mouth, I was perfectly fine. Weird.

Culture classes start soon, and I'm SO conflicted as to which to pick. Each class is once a week for 2 hours, and cost $90 for the semester. I was thinking of taking (at least) two. I'm almost certain I'll take chop engraving as one (OMG chops! Since I first heard of them, I've been entranced. And think! It's the gift that keeps giving! I could make chops for EVERYONE!), but as for the other(s), well, I don't know. Soooo... POLL!! (Though goodness knows I do not expect much of a response, as I've been a horrid LJ friend recently! I still read everyone's entries though ;P )

[Poll #1462856]

The ones we decided against were Chinese Macrame (though it DOES interest me), Chinese Culinary Arts (love it, but probably have to deal with meat), the Chinese Harp (time consuming), and random other not as interesting ones.

Oh, and I got myself a copy of Super Junior M's First Mini Album!!!!!! It wasn't supposed to be released here yet, but randomly there it was, and I jumped on it. And because the register girl loved me, she gave me a free SuJu M folder!!! I have no words for my glee. I also bought Ariel Lin's album, and nearly bought Big Bang's Japanese album, but it didn't contain the DVD. (Awesome bit of info, music stores in Taiwan (or at least eslite) organize their CDs by artist name IN ZHUYIN, which is highly awesome.

I have a billion more pictures, and a billion more stories, but I'm SO TIRED. We just finished watching the Korean horror movie Cinderella, and it's 3am. YEAH. Sleep time.

But, um, have I mentioned that we're almost certainly going to be going to South Korea, Japan, AND Hong Kong sometime while here? Because, yeah, we are. Korea is my idea. Lisa wants Japan (course I'd love to go as well!), and Hong Kong because it's SO cheap to go.

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