This Life. Somewhere Else.

… Because when you live in another country, you're supposed to blog.


These were at a temple in Yeosu for Buddha’s birthday.



Boseong green tea plantations.



This was taken in Yeosu this past weekend.

Spring Day


Lately I have been thinking a lot about home. Granted, we are always thinking about home, with Twitter, FaceTime, Facebook, texting, etc. But more than usual, I have been thinking about what home is and when we will really be home.

We have been in Korea for 5 months now, and I would say we are used to it. We have become comfortable in our jobs. Comfortable in our apartment. In the culture, to an extent.

We still haven’t really learned any Korean, but we also don’t have much of a desire to. We are here for another year at the most. And at this point, I can’t see any real benefit to being proficient in Korean when we return to the states. We’ll see if we get that desire anytime soon, though.

Anyway, we are comfortable here and it is beginning to feel like home, but we still have days where nothing sounds better than going to Jacob’s Well, watching a Royals game or having a date at the Nelson.

No matter which way you look at it, we are going to spend the majority of this year in Korea. And I am completely okay with that. I think we need to be here financially and I really want to stay at my school because I am beginning to see the benefits of developing relationships with the students. But when we do return home, it is going to be such a big change. Obviously it will be the start of a new chapter of our lives and of our marriage, but more than any of that it will be the start of the life I have had in mind.

I still don’t know if that is a good thing or not, but a life as an adult that I have throughout my youth is a big thing for me. Living in Korea and not really having anything to worry about, relatively speaking, has still never felt like real life.

I take a bus to work. I work at a school. I live on a university campus. I don’t have any real payments. I can’t control my own heat. I’m not a part of a church.

I could go on, but doing so makes me feel worthless.

Basically, I am looking forward to our return because I haven’t had the “right of passage” into adulthood yet. Whatever that is. Maybe it’s a car payment or a checkbook to balance or an annoying neighbor to have to deal with. Whatever it is, the life I am living in Korea is nothing short of incredible and we are so blessed to have jobs and very few payments and friends that we have made here, but it all doesn’t feel real. It’s like purgatory, I guess.

Well, whatever life is right now, I still really enjoy it.

Mylo Xyloto

I just finished listening to Coldplay’s new album, and I hate to say it, but it is not worth your 45 minutes. Or your $9.99.

I have been a huge fan of Coldplay for as long as anyone. “A Rush of Blood to the Head” was released and I jumped on the wagon with the rest of the theater kids at LSHS. I picked up that, Parachutes, and anxiously awaited X&Y and even saw them with my summer fling of a girlfriend my Junior year. To this day one of the better outdoor concerts I’ve attended. (Rilo Kiley opened.)

Viva la Vida was released and my friend Chase and I listened to the first single, Cemeteries of London, at work and weren’t in love, but still got the album and really liked some of the tunes.

Before listening to Mylo Xyloto I thought to myself, “Coldplay can do anything and people will like it. The 3 songs I have heard from this so far are the most Top 40 style Coldplay songs I have ever heard and I think they want it to be that way.”

Unfortunately, that is exactly what Mylo Xyloto is. It is a mainstream radio-play album with tracks that say “Coldplay & Rihanna” under the artist name if you buy it from iTunes. That’s just annoying, because then whenever you’re scrolling on your iDevice through artists, there is Coldplay, then there is Coldplay & Rihanna. Ugh.

iTunes library organization aside, I am going to talk about the position Coldplay was in 4 years ago when they still had “mainstream indie rock” in the palm of their hand. Whatever that means. I couldn’t think of any other term, but I imagine you know what I mean. Around the time of “X&Y” they redefined arena rock. They were selling out arenas and amphitheaters daily, leaving audiences awestruck with the big sound that can come from now some of their soft songs like “Fix You” and “Clocks”.

Somewhere along the way they decided that wasn’t good enough and needed to write huge songs that follow the “two-thousands pop song structure”.

That said, I read that Mylo Xyloto has hit the Number 1 spot in all of iTunes’ stores worldwide. Maybe this is something they really wanted to do. Maybe they really do like all of the music on “M X” but I can’t help to think that they threw a lot away when they stopped writing songs like they did in the Parachutes and Rush of Blood era and became a part of the noise that is this loudness war.

Mix quietly. Darcy Stevens, one of my favorite professors said, “Music these days needs B.A.L.L’s (Bigger Audio Loudness Levels).”

It doesn’t. There is too much loudness out there. Listen for the silence, not for the constant fortissimo.

The Loss of a Hero

I hadn’t thought about it like this until my mom sent me a message that read “I’m sorry for your loss. I know he was one of your heroes”. That’s it. He was one of my all-time heroes and always will be. The fact that so many people received the news on a device he┬áinvented is testament to his hard work.

Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle. – Steve Jobs