Category Archives: Ramblings

Losing isn’t always bad…

I’ve been called a “poor loser” as recently as this week, and I admit it, when it comes to games and competitions I can be quite the sour person when faced with an inevitable loss. As a child I used to play my sister in Battleship and move my ships every time she would’ve hit one which allowed me to win each time. That was until she caught on to my scam and told my mother on me, then I was the ultimate loser because I got in trouble. I still won the game of Battleship though! I’ve mostly grown out of my cheating ways now that I’m in my 30s. I say “mostly” because let’s be honest, we all take an extra 10 minutes for lunch every now and then, but at least I’m above cheating on board games now. Mainly because my mother has met most all my friends and warns them that I not only cheated in Battleship, but that I also steal money when being banker during Monopoly and The Game of Life. Seriously, what 10 year old cheats at the Game of Life? Apparently I did.

Enough rambling, back to the reason for this post.  In the years since I’ve started this blog I think I’ve mentioned at least a half dozen times about how I’m going to get back to working out and diet and lose weight. All those times I made such declarations were followed by going to the gym about twice, dieting for about half a week before ordering a pizza or hitting the McDonald’s drive-thru. Maybe I lost 3 or 4 lbs, but then I’d drink 5 beers at happy hour and gain it all back. My motivation was never there.  All my friends would say “You don’t need to lose weight, you look fine”. I love my friends, I do, but looking back I really wish at one point, especially the point in 2011 when I tipped the scales at over 160 lbs and then just stopped getting on the scale all together, that someone would’ve been honest and just said “Hey, you’re fat, maybe you need to get healthy”. Sure it sounds harsh, everyone wants to be the “good” friend, but sometimes we all need a little tough love.

Well, I finally met my match here in Korea, a friend who is brutally honest and doesn’t give you the run around, and apparently at this point in my life, just the kind of friend I needed. Not only did this friend nag me about being overweight, but when I said “I can’t run 1 mile” he met me at the park and pushed me to run 3. When I said “I’ll never survive the Spartan race” he ran it with me and helped launch me over the 8 foot high walls, if only he had been there to catch me on the other side! Everyone needs someone in their life that is brutally honest, that person who will push you to be a the better version of yourself that you didn’t even know existed, that person that makes you rethink everything, even when you don’t want to.

I owe this friend a lot of credit for getting my act together this year. Since March I’ve lost 20lbs, I’ve gone from huffing and puffing to lightly jog 1 city block to being able to run 6.5 miles. Apparently I am a runner now. I’m still eating candy, damn this sweet tooth I have, and I’m not losing weight nearly as fast as I’d like, but I’m getting there, and I’m sticking with running, and biking, and just being active. It’s amazing how your life changes when you have that one person who just pushes you in the exact right direction. It’s nice having coworkers notice that you’ve lost weight and compliment you, but for me and my competitive personality, it’s even better to have those compliments followed by the one from your honest friend saying “Don’t worry, I still think you have more weight to lose”. To bystanders this sounds harsh, but this friend knows it’ll drive me to run the extra mile that night, or to avoid that second cookie that I really really wanted to eat after lunch.


(Left: July 4, 2011 & July 4,2014.   Right: Me before heading out to run in 90 degrees on a Saturday afternoon)

My goal is to lose another 15 lbs before seeing my family for Thanksgiving…plus then my clothes will be the perfect amount of looseness for stuffing my face with homemade food!

To all those friends out there who are honest and bring out the best in us, thanks. I’d cheers you, but apparently I traded in boozing on Friday nights for running 6 miles instead. My next mile is for you!  And to my friend who has helped change my life for the better in more ways than one, I know I’ve told you this before, but Thank You, you know who you are.

Happy has gone to the dogs

If you’ve turned on the radio at all in the past few months then more than likely you’ve heard Pharrell’s song “Happy”.  It was original written and featured in “Despicable Me 2” (which was a cute movie by the way), and is  now topping the charts, and making waves with his 24-hour music video.  It’s prompted all kinds of YouTube remakes and parodies, and I think this version about puppies & dogs might be the cutest thing ever.  Try watching this in entirety without smiling, I dare you!   Have a HAPPY day!

Dreamer not a Doer

When people ask me, “What is your dream job?” I normally don’t have to think too hard before answering, “blogger”, which is ironic, since I haven’t posted on this blog in almost a year!  Obviously, I am too lazy to follow my dreams, but on the bright side I’m definitely lazy enough to dream a lot! *wink*wink.   Seriously though, if I had some concrete motivation and a little more ambition I would love to start a blog that could take off, eventually make me money, just enough that I could live on a beach in Bali and just blog the days away in the sunshine.   Who doesn’t have that dream?   I always have these great ideas for blogs and great ideas for posts, but never take the time to sit down and make them happen.  Can I hire a TaskRabbit to do the work for me?  (hit that link, if they service your area your life will be forever changed, I swear.

To all 5 of my loyal readers…if I haven’t lost you in my year-long absence, what do you want to hear about?  Korea? Rambling of my life? travel?   Give me some motivation to get back to my blogging dream.  Happy Monday!!

Bad Neighbors

I’m beginning to think I am cursed with bad neighbors. I have lived in 6 apartments since graduating college and at least 3 of them have shared walls with bad neighbors; 4 if you count freight trains as neighbors. What was I thinking with that one!?! In less than two weeks I’ll pack up, or better yet a couple of Korean men will pack up, and move from my apartment in Seoul that I’ve called home since September 2012. Ill be moving a mere 1 block away. (Note: if you have known me through any of my other intercity moves you know I generally like to relocate within a 10 block radius, yes I am weird). I’m looking forward to downsizing and being in an apartment with more modern finishes that suit me a bit better. Sure I won’t have an oven or a conventional clothes dryer, but hey, when in Korea live like the Koreans! Most of all though I’m looking forward to not living below a herd of elephants with what I am assuming is a crying baby, a screaming toddler, and a very yappy dog who apparently has no training. It’s like being on a flight from hell except you can’t land and get off the plane, it’s every day! If my trend of moving works out my next place should have better neighbors. My new apartment number is 711, that’s gotta be lucky for something right?

*If you’ve shared walls with me in the past 7 years and are reading this blog then chances are you weren’t a bad neighbor!


I’m rebranding!  Welcome back to the blog, with a new name, a new look, and coming from a new location.  As the new title points out, I’m in Korea, South not North.  The undeniable rhyme of my name with the country I now call home lends itself to such a great blog title that was 100% inspired by my favorite 4-year-old and BFF, Amelia.  Here she is singing Happy Birthday to me back in December where the title was born…

Isn’t she the best?  A big shout-out to Amelia, and her awesome parents Phill, Kristen, and her brother William (who made a cameo in the video) for inspiring this new “brand”.

More posts to come, but in the meantime, follow me on instagram for all things @mariainkorea.