Month: January 2015

サカナクション 「ミユージック」

My Japanese conversation partner Haruna introduced me to Sakanaction a while back.  Usually it takes me a while to warm up to new music but after listening to the song above, it was pretty much love at first listen.  The last time I got this excited about a Japanese band was back when I first discovered flumpool. Anyway, as with most Japanese bands, their name confused me (at the time Haruna was spelling it phonetically like ‘sakanakushon’).  Sakana – as in 魚, one of my favorite kanjis?!  Turns out I was kind of right. The name Sakanaction is a portmanteau of “sakana” (魚, “fish”) and “action”. In the band’s own words, their name reflects a wish to act quickly and lightly, like fish in the water, without fearing changes in the music scene (source). I’m not sure how true to their name they’ve stayed since I’ve only listened to one album, but their music does have kind of floaty, otherworldly feeling to it.  Like the sensation you get when you stare into one of those giant aquarium water tanks.  Yeah. Their sound is …

명심 해야 할 속담

So I have a job and, aside from that, I have a million other hobbies. Korean and Japanese are my more serious hobbies (I’ll be taking TOPIK for the first time this year!)  I’m pretty bad at sitting down and studying everyday but my everyday life is inundated with those languages.  I wouldn’t have it any other way. But then there are my other hobbies – knitting, origami, blogging, writing fiction, reading, teaching myself how to code, designing websites – and when I get those rare pockets of time I have outside of the job, I’m literally scurrying from one hobby to another.  And, now that I’ve decided to take the 40th TOPIK exam, I feel guilty when I’m not spending my free time studying. On the one hand, having a goal to work towards is great, especially since I’m this busy.  On the other hand, the more I throw myself into studying Korean, the less time I have to develop my other hobbies.  Maybe it’s the new year, but I just got back into writing fiction, reading again, and practicing Japanese conversation …

Pre-Korea Checklist

Planning a trip to South Korea in 2015?  Then you may find this post useful! Granted, I’m not huge on planning when it comes to trips.  I make sure I’ll be able to manage all the basics – transportation, accommodation, and communication – and then everything else is pretty spontaneous.  I’ve had more than one person say that I’m an incredibly easy person to travel with.  (Anyone want to plan a trip with me in the future?  I really want to go to Singapore!) Anyway, here are the things we planned and prepared before our trip to Seoul in September 2014. 1.  Tickets.   Obviously this comes first.  Our direct flight from San Francisco International Airport to Incheon Airport on Korean Air Economy Class was $800 round-trip, including tax.  Tickets range from $700-$1000+ with direct flights being around $880-1,000.  We booked 3 months in advance using Priceline and managed to get probably the cheapest direct flight tickets of the season by some insane stroke of good luck!  Be warned, booking earlier doesn’t always mean cheaper tickets.  Our friends actually paid …