Where Do We Go From Here?

Last year, I created three blogs in the hope that one of them would find huge success. It turns out that three blogs is a lot of work!

 

I did find a small glimmer of hope over at Eat Your Lunchee. This blog is specifically designed for foodies interested in School Lunches, especially in Korea.

This year, I have a new direction, and that’s food. Not just the Lunch-ees… but my own recipes. I’m inspired by many bloggers, namely 519 Kitchen and A Fat Girl’s Food Guide. I’ve been following them for quite some time and they give me great ideas!

Soon, the layout of “Everything Rae” will change to something new and shiny, especially formatted to fit all of the food I want to share with you.

Thank you so much for following my adventures. I look forward to the change and a new outlook on blogging!

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You’ve Been Owned- By the Corporations you buy from!

I’m not usually the kind of person that posts political messages on my blog, but I think this is pretty important. This doesn’t affect the internet as much as it affects anyone anywhere in the USA that wants to re-sell their belongings. Take a look at the Demand Progress Website, where the following comes from:

“Next week, the U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether you have the right to sell your stuff on eBay. Do you really own the smartphone or computer you’re using to read this? If you sold your books, would you be breaking the law? A federal court in New York says you would be, even if you legally paid for and bought them.

“It’s unbelievable, but trademark and copyright holders are trying to use a legal loophole to take away your right to sell things that you own. The mainstream media is starting to catch on, with the Wall Street Journal just running an article headlined, “YOUR RIGHT TO RESELL YOUR OWN STUFF IS IN PERIL”.”

Please sign the petition today. It takes about ten full seconds and has the potential to protect you and your belongings from scrutiny.

Thoughts on Middle School (and boys)

Well, I did it! Somehow, in a whirlwind of boxes, train trips, lots of friends, and a lot of lifting later, I am almost completely settled into my new apartment and job in a new city with (mostly) new faces!

FINALLY!

Sorry, I had to get that out of my system. It’s been about three weeks since I moved, and after a somewhat rocky start where I needed some time to regain my confidence in teaching (more about that in a moment), I am no longer sleeping on the floor and eating ramen noodles. Thank you, Gam & Gamp, for being such awesome grandparents and helping me out when I really need you! I really couldn’t have done it without your help.

When I first arrived to my new school, I found it intimidating and scary. Teenage boys. Everywhere. And also, teaching by myself for 45 minute classes every day?! I know this is not knew to most people, but holy cow. This is a lot different than the hand-holding, let’s play games all the time, Elementary School way. I loved the system in my last school! I never lost my voice, never knew that feeling of “uhhhhmmm……” during a lapse in a class, never experienced public humiliation in front of nearly 40 boys before… Needless to say, my first few weeks as an All-boys Middle School Teacher were a little rough, not to mention feeling like you’re just a few tip-toe steps from doing or saying the wrong thing to a new co-worker, or stressing about not having business-casual clothes (during the moving transition), or… or… the list goes on.

Now that I’ve gotten the first few periods for each class under my belt, I feel much more comfortable and confident about my situation. I think that might come from drinking a lot of coffee and spending all my free time lesson planning, but it might also come from stress-busting, such as listening to music, getting away from the computer before bed, spending less time on cell phone games, eating healthier, tracking my finances (for the first time ever) and my favorite: the occasional glass of red wine and foot rubs from my better half.

However, going back to work the next day and facing those 13 year old boys is still a challenge!

You can check out my two sister blogs, the first being Miss A’s Middles, which is all about teaching; the second blog is Eat Your Lunch-ee, which is a fun “rating” kind of blog where I take a picture of my lunch every day and give it a rating! Other teachers in Korea are encouraged to send in their pictures and descriptions as well to make it more fun and interesting.

Thanks for reading! Before you go, please tell me, what do you think is the best way to get rid of stress? So many people have great ideas and I’d love to hear yours!

I Have Jitters!

Hey all. This is a more personal post, mostly put here because a huge event is about to take place. I’m moving!

Okay, so it’s not that exciting because I’ve done it 3 times in the past 3 years. If I didn’t mention it before, I’m an ESL teacher in South Korea. This means that, with the awesomeness that comes from living abroad, I also get the added perk of living pretty much scott-free. Yep. FREE.

Downside? Living in a Studio Apartment.

Now, I’m not trying to say I’m not thankful for having a rent-free living situation, but I will gripe a little bit on this: studio apartments in Virginia (my homestate) sometimes look like this:

HUGE kitchen and island, behind the wall is the bedroom

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On hearing…

I haven’t usually done personal posts on this blog yet, mostly because I don’t want it to become a diary or journal of sorts, beyond the obvious sharing of my 366-day photo challenge entries. For me, those are more abstract and you don’t get the full story behind them. But today, today I feel like I should share what’s been going on with me in the past week, and why there won’t be an original “366//Week 15” update next week (for April 9-15).

Last Friday, early in the morning, I woke up to a significant pain in my right ear. After thinking about it for a minute, I figured I must have somehow gotten “swimmer’s ear”, something I used to get all the time from swimming in lakes and public pools. It didn’t occur to me at the time that my shower water is purified and the likelihood of bacteria crawling down into my ear canal was nil.

However, I looked online for a home remedy and saw several fixes. I tried them in this order:

  1. 1/4 tsp olive oil, warm, dripped into the ear.
  2. warm water cleanse.
  3. hydrogen peroxide (I thought for sure this would work).
  4. blowing warm air into the ear via hairdryer.

None of these things worked and the pain increased. It was nearly an hour after I’d woken up with the pain that I decided my home remedies were not going to work and I had to swallow my pride and just go to the hospital. However, I lost my insurance papers and thought there was no way I was going to the ER.

When I reached the hospital, I was given information that I couldn’t understand (thanks to the language barrier) and thought the guard was telling me to wait outside the pharmacy until it opened. I half-sat, half-slept for an hour, waiting. When I realized it wasn’t going to open, I went back to the guard, and a different man told me that he meant to go to the ER. I was furious, but what could I do. I went home instead, hoping that I could wait a few more hours until normal working times to see a doctor.

I went to work where my co-teachers literally pushed me out the door, telling me I was crazy for coming to work instead of going straight to the hospital. I couldn’t hear out of one ear, it was leaking pus, and I couldn’t even talk without crying. I guess I looked like a complete wreck!

The doctor told me that I didn’t have swimmer’s ear. It was actually an ear infection. He cleaned out some of the wax and pus from my ears, gave me some antibiotics, and sent me on my way, asking me to follow up later.

Things were fine at the time, besides the pain, which I was taking 650mg Tylenol for.

I decided to go on a trip I’d scheduled for that weekend to a place called Jindo Island. J and I and several of our friends were part of a huge caravan of people going down to see the miraculous sea-parting event as well as a dog show and of course, some good-old ocean time.

Well, Saturday, after heading down to the beach and watching this super cool sea-parting event, I ended up with two ears that couldn’t hear. That’s right, suddenly I was deaf. And I couldn’t hear anybody around me unless they shouted at me. I downed painkillers and antibiotics like candy, my appetite waned, and I tried to have a good time while secretly wishing that I could still listen to music if not my friends’ conversations, or at the very least, not have pus coming out of my ears ALL THE TIME.

And ever since then (it’s now Friday the 13th!), I’ve been unable to hear anything at all. I tried watching TV with the speakers up full blast and, alternatively, with headphones, and both sound watery and unclear. I can’t understand the dialogue at all unless there are subtitles. I have very little patience for the Internet because most of what interests me needs the use of headphones or is food-related, and since the ear infection started, I’ve lost my sense of taste and smell as well.

I’m on new antibiotics, I’ve had holes cut in my tesmpsoenfoseifn-something membranes, I’ve upped the pain meds to 4-5 times a day, and I’m frequently napping to help the day along. I’ve realized after all this time that ears are super important to our lives, and I never want to be deaf ever again.

Here’s to hoping the doctor resorts to surgery tomorrow so I can finally hear again! (And have a well-deserved pint!)

Chickens are for Awesome People.

Chickens are awesome. You might have some kind of preconception on what chickens are like: poking people’s eyes out, squabbling loudly about the yard, getting feces everywhere, or maybe just that they taste good.

But this is my take on chickens (and why you’d be awesome if you had some):

  • They are super loving and affectionate. If you raise your chickens from chicks, they will follow you around just like their surrogate mother. They also look cool pecking around and making cooing sounds.
  • They aren’t loud at all. In fact, you can even keep a small number of chickens in an urban backyard. Roosters, on the other hand…
  • Coops that are built well are resistant to nasty odors and buildup. Of course, it all depends on the person that’s Caretaker and how diligent they are, but otherwise there is very little cleanup.
  • Chickens can produce up to two eggs per day. That will save a lot of money in the (very) long run, and they make great pets. If you like to eat chicken, you can choose to kill them once they stop laying, but for me, I’d rather keep them around to continue to make compost and fertilizer for my other Future Projects, like massive scale gardening (okay, massive only in my mind).
  • You’re awesome if you raise them because you are actually helping the environment and reducing your carbon footprint (as well as your grocery bill)! Raising chickens gives kids hands-on experience to animals and how to treat them properly. It also is a great learning tool for adults, especially those who realize the horrors of caged conditions for most of the chicks we eat (and for some people, that’s every day!). Killing a chicken that you’ve raised in your own backyard might change the way you think about eating animals…

Before I get on a tangent, here are some beautiful inspiration pics of coops around the States. I would want to make my coop elaborate and beautiful, sparing little expense. It also has to be practical – and that’s what the inside is for! Check it out…

*Each picture is a clickable link to the story behind it!*

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The Biggest Debate of 2012…

…will be carried out in the battlefield of the wombs of American women.

This year it’s not war, not poverty or scandal, but the ability for women to choose any other option than abstinence to keep from procreating.

It’s my belief that every woman has the right to choose whether or not she should or should not have a child.

Birth control is a must-have in today’s society. I believe it should be covered by Insurance companies and seen as a necessary option for all women. In theory, it could work as an effective form of inexpensive welfare. The Pill costs between $30-50 per monthly pack (as a student, it was $10; as an E2 visa holder in Korea, $7), and I see it as a monthly necessity for myself.

Pregnancy is not an option for me. Abortion is the last thing I want to go through, physically or emotionally. So why would the government take away my option to take the pill, or take away someone else’s right to it (that statistically comes from a place with higher birth rates)?

And if those women get pregnant, or if I did, and chose to have an abortion because they and I simply were not economically ready for such a big responsibility, the government is saying that we should not be allowed the option of a safe and medically sound operation to control that which otherwise would kill us or make us bankrupt.

“Until […] all the variants of hormonal fertility control came along, anatomy really was destiny — and all of the world’s societies were organized around that central fact,” writes Sara Robinson, columnist on alternet.org.

Women have been controlled by men, religion, and the world at large because they are capable of creating life. It’s obvious that this trend still continues today and will continue if it’s not discussed and argued by all sides.

Pregnancy and birth tear families apart just as much as they can bring them together. There are thousands, nay, millions of women out in the world that wish they could have the Pill. And those that don’t endure painful and life-threatening abortions in their own homes. Why? Simple.

Women do have a choice. Even without the option of a germ-free, completely professional surgery, women will choose to abort children they literally cannot bear for one reason (usually many) or another.

If this amendment does pass and abortions in major medical facilities are banned and made illegal, I promise that it won’t stop women from doing it.

It won’t stop killing mothers, or tearing apart families, or keeping men from abusing and controlling women.

But the option, the ability to have that choice open to you… that can really save lives. It can help women and men have a choice to wait if there is an accident. It can keep unwanted children out of orphanages and foster homes. It can provide an escape for rape and molestation victims.

And most importantly, it gives women the ability to have some control over their bodies and what they can and cannot do with them.

It enrages and insults me that this bill is being shepherded by a panel of untouchable, unreachable, old men. What would they know about giving birth? The pain, horror, and fear women face when threatened with the possibility of pregnancy? The thought that their entire world and all of  their dreams can literally be wiped off the planet because of a fetus without so much as a heartbeat?

NOTHING.

And what do I know about it? Everything. I’ve been there, I’ve seen it. I’ve held hands, I’ve seen tears, I’ve taken pregnancy tests, and prayed to an Almighty Force.

And you know what? I don’t want to bring children into the world unless it is under my terms. This is the 21st century, and we’re no longer ruled by tyrannical churches and their agendas. I want my options open, and I want to see women standing up for their right to make babies or not.

If you’re like me, I plead for you to write to Congress, the White House, the House of Reps, the Senate… give them calls, emails… absolutely any way you can get a hold of them, please do, and tell them that what they are trying to do is completely unacceptable.

If you don’t live in the United States but wish to take part, please do. This is not just about Americans, but for standing up for women all over the world. With this kind of legislation being questioned in a first-world country, how can we make a difference in other parts of the world?

I want my future daughter (if she’s in the cards somewhere in the future) to not fear for her life or future if she’s put into the same situation that millions of others go through every day. Please help women protect their rights.