I’m baaack~~~!

Dear readers!

I cannot believe over a month has whizzed by since I last blogged. This past month has been quite hectic since I’ve started a new job while also having to meet three major deadlines for some freelance curriculum development work. Another key development that has really kept my hands full is my newly rescued foster dog!

 

Taking care of Hoochoo and my resident dog, Webby, has been TONS of work–but it has also been very rewarding. I’ve started a new blog, I Heart Webby, to better catalog my doggy adventures. If you’re a fan of furry four-legged friends, then I hope you enjoy this new blog!

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Shoe Thieves — Beware!

Korea is a “floor-oriented” society. That is, furniture and bedding in Korea has traditionally centered around  a culture where people are seated or lying down on the floor. It is not surprising, then, that in Korea you have to take off your shoes when you go indoors.

Of course, many Koreans use tables and chairs now, as well as beds. However, the tradition of taking off your shoes indoors is still a steadfast rule for homes. With businesses and restaurants, you just need to take a quick glance at the entry way to get your cue. Is there a pile of shoes and/or a shoe closet? Then take off your shoes…

BUT BEWARE!

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“Womanhood: Navigating the Toxic Waters”

It is interesting to think how there are different “species” of creatures in different environments. Now that I’m living in Seoul, these sea monsters would all emphasize extreme thinness rather than sex appeal…

Jenny Lee's Jottings

A wonderful art professor introduced me to a good introductory art therapy book called Art is a Way of Knowing, by Pat B. Allen. Since then, art therapy has had a profound influence on my life as I try to work out various issues and problems.

This collage is a piece I did while I was an out-patient at an eating disorder clinic. In the bottom left corner, you can see an adolescent girl who has the daunting task of trying to navigate the toxic waters of our current media-laden society. Suffice it to say, the waters are not particularly inviting. We’re tadpoles completely immersed in messages regarding the absolute necessity of being sexualized females. If we never leave these waters, how are we to learn differently–that our self-worth doesn’t have to be a collection of breasts, butts and exposed torsos?

The frog in the upper right corner…

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Engrish #1: “Eat Dirt!” Or rather, “Eat Sand!”

It’s a known fact that Korean society is absolutely crazy for English. There are tons of English words that have been adopted into everyday language. This also extends to the practice of product branding and marketing. However, as Engrish.com has shown us time and again, the English doesn’t always make it quite as it should.

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An “Action” Figure Based on Beauty– An Oxymoron?

Translation: The secret method to ending your pore and wrinkle troubles!

I came across the above ad while thumbing through a magazine in a waiting room. I had never before heard of the San Francisco-based Benefit cosmetics, nor their popular “Porefessional” product. What really caught my eye was the use of a character named “SpyGal,”created by famed comic book powerhouse Marvel. Now, I do realize that SpyGal is just a shameless promotional ploy, and a lighthearted and cute attempt at that. However, once I saw the words “action figure,” my mind became a veritable maelstrom of thought on feminist theory and other such weighty topics.

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Hitchcock’s “The Birds” — Korean Style

Before my husband and I moved into a high-rise apartment, we leased a small home that was smack in the middle of a bunch of rice paddies. Right across our home was a small historic site: the grave site of a local yangban (nobleman). Korean grave sites feature a large mound–you can see it in the picture behind the small stone pagoda in the center.

 

magpieUsually, the grave site is completely empty–not a single living things stirs. But one day, to my utter amazement, I was confronted with this scene: there were well over a hundred magpies in the area! This has never happened before, or since– I truly wonder why they all congregated that day… Any thoughts?


Is “1” Really the Loneliest Number?

Korea always surprises me with its abundance of PSAs (Public Service Announcements/Ads). The topics range from the seemingly trivial (like brightly colored stickers on the floor reminding people to walk on the right), to more serious issues, like encouraging citizens to report possible threats to national security by dialing “111.”  I suppose the strong collectivist nature of Korean culture is conducive to these messages which try to change public attitudes and behavior. As a relative outsider, I find these ads absolutely fascinating at times.

The following PSA features the bold title, “Only One is Lonely” / “하나는 외롭스니다”.

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