Crazy Multiply – Archaioposterus – my first art show

Last weekend my photography was featured in Crazy Multiply’s art show, Archaioposterus!  After submitting almost 50 photos the curators picked 3 of my shots from Son Doong for Archaioposterus.  It was my first show and I can’t wait to join Crazy Multiply as they bring artists together a few times a year for a wonderful night of art and music.


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Imagine for a moment that you are walking into Yogiga’s basement venue you were greeted with my photos immediately to your right and a nominal 5,000won($5) entry fee on your left.  If you were lucky enough to arrive early the venue was a nice quiet space to enjoy the art at your leisure.  Maybe even with one of the delicious craft brews or premixed gin & tonics for sale.

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First you loop clockwise around the basement passing curator Marina Carsten’s unique embroidery on tobacco and other leafy DNA photos.  (find more of her art here http://marinacarstensart.tumblr.com/)  If they peak your interest they can be found on sale at the merch table in the back. _DSC4343

Next up is a celestial series mimicking a deep blue night sky.  Many patrons stood contemplated whether these pieces were based on real constellations or simply a figment of artist, Megan Ratliff’s imagination.  Pausing for a moment you can’t decide but know that you love the series.  It gets you thinking about the deeper complexities of the universe. Continue reading

Vietnam – a land of new friends and amazing adventures

The last month in Vietnam has been full of adventure, intrigue and amazing new friends.  Sitting in the cab to the airport I realized I had already made a list for my eventual return to this foreign land.  There’s so much I want to do again and even more places I simply ran out of time for.

The cities of Vietnam are a mysterious place where bikes, buses and old ladies selling fruit fight for right of way on the highway.  At any moment someone might come running across the divider or perhaps a family of 4 packed onto one bike will swerve around your cab.  A country of wonder and excitement where the most dangerous part of your day could be playing Frogger to cross the street.  Then again there’s always trekking through the tropical jungles or swimming with the jellyfish.  Oh and how about those poisonous hornets bigger than your finger or snakes even the jungle guides freak out about?  Needless to say it’s been a blast and I stayed (mostly) safe but I’m genuinely excited to be back in Seoul!

Walking out of the hostel for the last time I stuck to my standard farewells, spouting “until next time” with hugs and handshakes.  It’s a wide world full of crazy people and things but the human element makes everything smaller.  Small enough that I can’t help but think.  No scratch that.  I hope and believe that some of our paths will cross again.  Even if this fleeting moment we all shared is the last time our fates cross it has certainly been worthwhile.

Deepak Chopra Son Doong Meme

Climbing into The Garden of Edam, Son Doong’s 2nd jungle filled doline.

Thank you to all my new friends, dance partners, drinking buddies and fellow explorers.  Meeting other international travelers is as much of the fun as the excursions themselves.   I hope my impact on your adventure was as profound as the joy that sharing (and sometimes oversharing) this trip with you brought me!

Stay tuned as I sort through nearly 3000 photos and bring my month-long adventure back to life for you to enjoy!

Sokcho with Seoul Hiking Group

Wow, what a journey in Seoraksan National Park; after coming down a 23km hike starting at 3am along the treacherous Dinosaur Ridge we were looking forward to some beach R&R in Sokcho.  Upon arriving at the pension we sorted out rooms, cleaned off the mountain grime and promptly began collecting wood for a beach bonfire.

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While some were busy getting the blaze going others headed into town to pick up fireworks and other festive party materials (aka beer).  Hanging out on the beach the red moon brought as much of a gorgeous glow as our bonfire while we reminisced over the breathtaking views from earlier in the day.

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Moments later the beer & firework crew returned with sparklers and some roman candles.  We decided to set up my tripod and see who could write their names the best!

Brian

Brian

Jordan

Jordan

Mike

Mike

Ashley

Ashley

Seoul Hiking Group!

Seoul Hiking Group!

Ashley was our clear winner and I can’t wait to break out my camera with her on the next trip but now it was time for some roman candle “fights.”  We staged the scene and carefully coordinated to make sure no one caught on fire.  But then again there was this giant body of water next to us…

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Waking up the next day we went out to explore Sokcho.  But before we departed why not enjoy the ocean a bit more!  Sure the waves were crazy and water frigid.  That just meant I wasn’t ballsy enough to go in but plenty of others did!

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Warren!

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See! I told you the water was treacherous.

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As a fishing village there are tons of fish markets, and dried sea-life hanging from every store.  We even had a chance to take an ancient ferry ride where the passengers pull a line to bring us back and forth.

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Darren & Maddie getting frisky with the wildlife.

 

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Warren working hard to get us all to the other side!

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Up next our last meal by the shore at a North Korean style restaurant.

 

Blood full moon for Friday the 13th

Facebook & other social media erupted with meme’s about Friday the 13th’s full moon being the last one until 2049.  After some brief research (aka google) I realized that really depends where in the world you live.  Even if it isn’t THAT rare it was still pretty cool; especially since here in Seoul we had a blood red full moon for the first few hours!

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Friday the 13th Full Moon in Seoul

Luckily my coworkers and I enjoyed it from our balcony while christening our newly purchased BBQ.  I enjoyed the best cheeseburger in almost 10 months (yikes, I’ve been here almost a year already!?!?) and we grilled up some steaks, chicken, eggplant, peppers and potatoes while dancing away.

En route

6 hours of flying down and here I wait in San Fransisco.  In just under 3 hours I’ll board my Singapore Airlines flight to Seoul and be sitting on a plane for another 12 hours as I traverse the Pacific Ocean for the first time.  Excited?  Absolutely!

With my extra week at home I managed to see a few more good friends, some that I hadn’t seen or talked to in quite some time.  I loved their reminders that the last time we spoke, maybe as much as 2 years ago, I was talking about teaching in Korea and well, now I am!  If I can do it so can you.  Set your goals and go for it!

The nervousness has mostly died down.  I barely slept last night between repacking and all the adrenaline pumping through my system.  It still seems so surreal and I’m not sure if I believe that I’m actually going to be finding my home for the next 1+ years in the coming hours.

Friends and family, you will be missed. I’m terrible at farewells but gave out lots of hugs with only a few tears shed and plenty of my signature “until next time.”  Although these days I’ve been telling everyone next time is in Seoul because everyone is invited to come visit!  I’m already pumped for my brother’s visit in October.  We wanna check out Bukhansan National Park, the old city in Seoul and see if he can get us a special DMZ tour through one of his buddies on base.  But right now that seems too far away to think about.

I can’t wait to meet my coworkers and my students on Thursday and set up my apartment this weekend.  Its hard to fathom that I’ll be spending my upcoming weeks exploring a new city and new country.  Lets hope the culture shock isn’t too bad, I know the food will be great, even if it isn’t as good as my pizza joint back home.

Signing off for now.  See you in Seoul!