MAGFest 2016

This past weekend was a great blast at the Gaylord Convention Center in Maryland. This year T was able to come with me, and it was really great getting together with old friends from back home. As you know we dressed up which was a first for me. My first foray into cosplay. And I’m sure you want to see pictures! These are the pictures I took with my cellphone, though a friend took some of T and I together on a DSLR which I’ll get copies of later. 

In case you don’t know, I am dressed as Furiosa and T a warboy from the movie Mad Max: Fury Road.

2016-02-20-14.50.21 2016-02-20-14.49.17 2016-02-20-14.47.40-2 2016-02-20-14.47.35 2016-02-20-14.34.19 2016-02-20-14.34.01 2016-02-20-14.33.44 2016-02-20-14.28.23

Below are my friends Michael and Chiki.2016-02-20-11.52.43

Here they are playing a game with T in the arcade room:2016-02-19-22.21.07

This is how the convention center looks during the day. It’s a really beautiful venue!2016-02-19-17.47.03

Magfest Costumes

2016-02-14-15.51.26This weekend while Tristan was out of town I made a lot of progress on my costume for Magfest! I’m still working on the arm to make it more robotic looking, but the character is at least recognizable. I wanted to go out for supplies yesterday but it snowed like crazy just on the cusp of freezing, which generated a dangerous slush on the roads. I hope that clears up so I have time to do a bit of shopping before we leave town.

Here’s a closeup of the belt buckle. It’s not a work of art, but considering it’s made of a cheap ch2016-02-14-11.48.38ildren’s foam clay I think it came out pretty well! Looking at this picture reminds me that I need more chains to attach as well. Add that to the shopping list.

This is unrelated, but here is a cute picture of sweet potato on the scale. I was worried she was underweight so weighed her. She’s less than an ounce, but that’s normal weight for her breed.

2016-02-16-16.47.56In other news I’ve been teaching a LOT and it’s going well. This week I had all paid lessons, so it’s finally beginning to pay off! I’ve met a lot of interesting people and had some great conversations. I think it will be easy to build up a regular set of students that will hopefully continue for a while. Once busy season starts again with retouching.. we’ll see. I can’t wait to find out where we’ll be living next so I can start planning for things.

Perpetually waiting over here!




Chinese New year

On Saturday we celebrated the Chinese New Year (Koreans call it “Lunar New Year”) on campus. Sadly I was having too much fun to take many pictures! But we ate some good food and got to practice making dumplings, writing calligraphy, watched some dancing, and tried Chinese hackeysack. I met some new people and Tristan wrote the character for “monkey”, because 2016 is the year of the Monkey.





Keeping Myself Busy

This has actually felt like a really busy week. I made a schedule for things I wanted to get done this week (mostly studying), so that when work was slow I’d know what to do and not end up watching “Gordon Ramey’s Kitchen Disasters” on Netflix for hours on end.

Last week I went to woman’s house who is a professional jewelry maker. I met her through the Joint Ventures program, which is a program that plans activities for spouses and partners of the business school students at Cornell. It’s been a great way to meet people quickly and try new things around town.

2016-01-28-10.51.23 2016-01-28-10.53.34 2016-01-28-10.50.56

Anyway, I visited her home studio she let me watch her make a ring. It’s so much more complicated than I could have imagined! It’s not just bending metal and fusing it together– there is a lot of chemistry involved to get the materials to behave the way you  need them to, and to prevent tarnishing and other problems in the future. I have a much greater appreciation for why even a simple band costs so much.

2016-02-01-17.54.02I also received my first Skoshbox last week! I’ve eaten nearly everything already, but I really did try to space it out. I was impressed by the design of the box and the little pamphlet they put inside. They even have their own custom designed tissue paper and stickers to wrap things in. I’m fascinated by these small businesses and how they advertise to attract more customers. The pamphlet mentioned how to win free prizes by posting a photo on instagram, and other various programs to drum up business and interest.

In terms of my study schedule, it’s been going really well! I actually had a decent amount of retouching work, but there’s a lot of down time early in the morning. The past few days I’ve been spending a lot of time working on my tutor profile for cafetalk.com and creating some basic curriculum. I was approved and officially “started” today, although I’m not teaching this week- just receiving requests from students to book lessons.

I’ve already got five lessons booked for next week, although 4 of them are “consultation sessions” which is just a quick chat I offer for free to try and lure students in. I have no idea how many I can expect to translate into actual paying students, but it should be a good learning experience. It’s kind of exciting planning out my strategy to attract students and try to gain a good reputation as I start out.

We’ll see how I feel about it all next week once I’ve given some lessons. I wasn’t expecting so many people to sign up the first week, so I’m wondering if I should limit my hours of availability more. Then again, I think most of these students are people who go around only taking the free trial lessons and never actually pay for anything. If that keeps happening I’ll have to try a new strategy– those never turn into actual paying, returning students.  It’s all a big learning experience!

Running a Mile

Today I accomplished something huge- I ran my first 12-minute-mile, which means I ran for a solid mile without slowing down to a walk! It’s not very fast, but it  means my endurance is really improving. One month ago I couldn’t have run a quarter mile without cramping up. From hereon out I plan to run at least a mile straight, and continue to improve my endurance and speed.

From Korea to Ithaca