So, as promised, an update on my wall of stuff — which, by the way, is now officially full!!!
1: The important part of my sign that made Jiyong smile; wrapper from my chopsticks from Kang Suh; Jiyong photocard/Alive bookmark that came with my Alive album; my MetroCard from the weekend in the city; my GD card from the One of a Kind album that for some reason photographed perfectly black although it has the letters GD in metallic gold on the front. Also an angel drawing I did ages ago, part of a superlative award given to me by my yearbook advisors senior year (most likely to become an English teacher), and part of my calendar.
2: My return ticket from Newark to New York from after the show — no one came to check tickets on the way back; my ticket that proved I was VIP; my wristband allowing access to soundcheck and a place in line back into the venue for the show. Also the bottom part of my Korean flag, a section of my Kyuhyun fan from SMTown NYC last year, and the top part of a graduation card from my great grandmother.
3: The YG Global Audition card I picked up from the lobby at Kang Suh; two of the five photocard things Cam sent me back in May that I had yet to put up. Also part of one of my door decorations from college and the top part of an ELF sign.
4: The bottom section of my wall, which before today was pretty much empty; the only clear/inclusive photo of the Seungri banner I got in line. Also several business cards and packaging clippings, a postcard sent to me from Berlin by my good friend Katie, a note sent to me by Cam, a birthday card from Lily, and the bottom half of a photo of my cousin Ashley.
5: A copy of the setlist that was handed out before the show by fellow VIPs; the text from the Koryo side of my extremely ridiculously loud bag from the same store. Also a business card from an Etsy store and a note from an Amazon seller that I believe I bought BB cream from.
6: My VIP pass from the bags handed out to us before soundcheck; two more of the photocard things Cam sent me. Also a business card from Oakmont Bakery in Pittsburgh, PA, half of a drawing a friend did for me, and the bottom of Cam’s stationery that came with a package he sent me.
7: The last of Cam’s photocards; the front side of a coffee sleeve from the only coffee shop in my hometown, The Wired Rooster.
Last and most CERTAINLY not least are these cards from Lily. The panda one is the most recent, which arrived to me sometime after Christmas. The other two were sent to me at the same time, in early September, and were in fact the first bit of mail I received at college. I reread these before I stuck them up and I had to tweet Lily to tell her I love her because they’re fantastic and she’s fantastic. I can’t even words about how much these cards mean.
Of the few things from high school that remain on my wall, these are some of my favorites — some tidbits from the lovely people that made up my journalism/yearbook class. The bubble-lettered “wonderful” was written on a critique paper by one of my classmates, who apparently thought that the particular page spread she was looking over was pretty good. The “most likely” awards were a cute thing our advisors did for us. Everyone in the class got two, because there were so few of us. “Most likely to become an English teacher” and “Most likely to write a novel” were ones I was shoo-in for. Both of the advisors were English teachers themselves, and one happened to be my freshman year teacher. She was also my graduation project advisor, for which I wrote a book and sold it to donate proceeds to a scholarship fund in the name of one of my classmates. So far I think every English teacher I have had has told me I would make a great one. It may happen one day, but somehow I doubt it — unless some strange course of events happens and I end up teaching ESL in Korea or something. If that does occur it will likely be informal, since my goal is to translate, not teach. As far as the novel thing goes… I’m working on it. ;)
This is the stuff that came back with me from New York when I went for SMTown. The Kyuhyun fan that Cam gave me when the show was over, the bus itinerary for the way there and back, and the ticket to get into the venue. I have so many amazing memories from that trip — from getting kicked out of the station in Bighamton to waiting in a hotel lobby for eight hours to the show itself and even afterward, reading about the review from the New York Times naming SJ-KRY’s Sorry Sorry Answer as the best performance of the night. I was so proud to be in that crowd, so proud to be screaming lyrics I barely knew, so proud to be carrying that fan around the next morning as we rushed around to try to get home. You can hit the “I went to SMTown NYC” link above to read about my weekend, or just click here. :)
This is my little bit of Lycoming-related paraphernalia. A sticker about hellbenders, giant salamanders that can be found in my state and which the biology department does studies on yearly. We even have one in a specimen tank in a locked room along with some other nifty creatures. The other two are the front covers of playbills from the productions the theater department did last fall — Mauritius and A Doll’s House. Both were excellent. Mauritius is about stamps — two particularly valuable stamps from the island of Mauritius — and two sisters’ fight over them. It was a lovely story. A Doll’s House is a classic, about a housewife who takes out an impossible loan behind her husband’s back, a story which eventually becomes feminist. The department put an excellent spin on it by incorporating a lot of Steampunk elements — goggles on the men’s hats, key pins on everyone’s lapels, a big locket worn by the female lead, and a back wall made of windows which showcased a series of gears which turned between scenes.
These are pandas my mom got me. Not real pandas, of course, but as close as one can possibly get. She sent me the first, a newspaper clipping, with a deposit receipt from my bank account (I hold a joint checking account with her at the bank where she works, and she deposited some cash from Christmas for me) with a sticky note attached that said “I saw this and thought of you.” It brightened up my day a little. :)
The other is a WalMart gift card with a bit of an interesting story. We were standing in line waiting to check out one evening and she was looking at the rack of cards they had in the aisle. She saw the panda one and handed it to me and said, “Here. Pandas.” “That’s cute.” “Keep it.” “Can I do that?” “I dunno, but who cares. It’s not activated so you can’t use it anyway.”
Basically, my mom stole a gift card for me just because it had pandas on it. She’s cool.
This, as I’m sure you remember from earlier posts, is my Korean flag. I made this one night on a spur of craftiness, inspired by the “obsessed with certain countries” club that me, Gabe, and our neighbor Katie started on a whim. It wasn’t really a club so much as things we had in common. I love Korea, Katie is obsessed with Germany (I mean that in a good way. You can check out her German blog here.), and Gabe is seriously British. I was the first to make a flag, since I’m naturally pretty handy with scissors and tape. Katie later made a German flag which she just colored on a piece of printer paper with crayons. Gabe cheated and printed out a Union Jack and a Welsh flag.
Before this, for Valentine’s Day, Katie cut out a bunch of hearts and wrote “I love you” on them in a bunch of different languages. I liked the idea and so stole it and wrote “saranghae" on a heart of my own. Gabe later did the same with the phrase in Welsh.
Our little section of the hallway became a lovely culture clash.
This cool little thing I got in Battery Park in New York when I was in ninth grade. It’s my name in Chinese (center), Japanese (right), and English (left). The woman doing these was super friendly and had a smile and a laugh for everyone who stopped. She had a little table set up with some examples taped to the front and an umbrella and a folding chair. A group of us, a few of my good friends and at least one mom, stopped and a few of us got them. We had to spell our names out on a yellow office pad for her and then she laughed about how easy or difficult they would be to translate into an Asian language. Mine, apparently, was pretty easy. She had it done in less than three minutes, and talked about what she was writing as she did it. When it had dried, she slipped it into a plastic sleeve and handed it over — all for, I think, three dollars. That woman was one of the friendliest street vendors I have ever interacted with, in any country.
I found out later as I started to look into the Japanese language a bit more (I wouldn’t say study — it was never that serious) that she actually wrote my name incorrectly. Not that she used the wrong characters — they’re correct — but she wrote it in hiragana, and, as English words, foreign names should be written in katakana. It doesn’t make me love this any less, but it gives me a little bit of a laugh now and then when I remember it.
I decided I wanted to do a series of posts about the stuff on my wall and what it means, just because all of that stuff is super important to me. Might as well start at the top. :)
This is a pair of feathers I stole from one of the studios in the art building while I was on an impromptu photo adventure with Gabe. He needed to take pictures for his photo class and wanted someone to go with him, so I volunteered. We left from our dorm and went up through the courtyard between the chapel and the fine arts building on campus, and since I had zero experience with the art building aside from the lecture hall used by my philosophy class to screen movies, we went on a little tour.
We started downstairs and checked out the basement, which has a lot of physical, three-dimensional art spaces and the photo lab, if I remember correctly. The whole time we were down there I was pretty much repeating, “Should we even be down here?” Gabe assured me that as long as we didn’t screw anything up, it was fine. I recounted stories about attempting to clean up my high school art room after seeing how scattered everything all over the bottom floor of that building was. I’m pretty sure Gabe will never understand my desire for things to be clean and organized. I guess that’s the difference between a logical brain and a creative one~ He also showed me the secret entrance into the sub-basement, which, rumor has it, contains a secret underground passage into the basement of the school library across the street.
From there we went up to the first floor and checked out the drawing and painting studios. The fine arts building used to be a gymnasium, so the studios are separated by eight-foot walls that let light and air and sound move around the room with the remaining twelve feet of open space above them. It’s really a lovely space. We looked at some of the art scattered around and then, somehow, got roped into helping with someone’s film project. She was making a little documentary about the misconceptions about art majors — we got to act in her scene about how they “spend so much time and put so much effort into their work.” Basically we threw paint at a piece of paper and scribbled on it with crayons and called it good. It was fun. Apparently I got credited as “Gabe’s unidentified friend” in the credits of the final product. While we were there, we found a bag of feathers and we both took a few and stuck behind our ears. Somehow mine got India ink on them. Probably from picking up the bottle that Gabe had used in the scene thinking it was black paint. I also learned that there are a menagerie of couches and bookshelves all throughout the building, almost as if it were someone’s home. (In fact, art majors will sleep on those couches from time to time, if they’re on a time crunch for an assignment and really need to get something done.)
After that, we went upstairs to see the last few rooms in the building, which I’m pretty sure were the color and design and photo critique rooms. We also stopped at the locked doors of a little Juliet balcony and talked a bit about architecture. We took a few portraits in the photo room, which had really cool adjustable lighting, and then made our way back to our rooms.
It turned out later that Gabe dropped his entire roll of film and ruined it, after we spent a good few hours taking photos. He had to take another roll later that week and process it in about two days.