Hey world! Guess what this nerdy chick just got? That’s right, (If you actually guessed, you get like ten bucks. Tops.) it’s a Wacom Intuos Tablet!!! For those of you less nerdy than me, the Intuos is a drawing tablet. It’s awessssome. But insanely weird to use for someone used to pen and paper. Of course I’ve heard that, but…

Oh whatever. This post isn’t about what I think of the Intuos. That will come later. I’ve been messing with it for about an hour and this is my first good(ish) drawing. Honestly, when I started, it was like I was three again.

This is how I feel about all this;


see you after some better drawings. *le wink


living with purpose


In many of the motivational books I read, I see the same advice; make choices everyday that move you towards your goal. This rule applies if you’re learning a language, trying to instill a character trait, or wanting to get fit.

First you define your goal or result, then break it down into smaller steps. After that, you work every day on those steps, and every thought, word and deed needs to be aligned to your purpose.

My purpose, or goal of the moment, is to live in Korea. I can break it down into smaller steps like this;

  • be reasonably fluent in Korean
  • play ukulele (I want to use this in my lessons, so it’s relevant)
  • have an amazing blog while in Korea
  • eat organically and exercise

Each of these steps I can also break into smaller pieces, and each of those into smaller, and so on ad infinitum.

What I love about this advice is that you literally have to make every minute of every day filled with whatever your goal is. I can’t have negative thoughts about learning a language, I can’t have low self-confidence, I can’t skimp on my blogging, and I can’t let myself get lazy, because all those are building habits that are stalling my goal. Instead, I need to constantly be thinking of Korean, I need to be working and planning my blog, I need to practice ukulele every day and try to implement small health improvements where I can.

This also means I can’t fill up my head and time with superfluous fluff that detracts from my goal. So even if I’m watching TV, I ought to make sure it’s Korean or be practicing uke at the same time.

I think that this can get exhausting though – maybe some people would be able to keep their goal fanatically in their minds, but I need some downtime occasionally where I really let my mind as well as body relax. Of course, I tend to do this too much, so who am I to advise it? >.>

Here are my small things that I’m doing to move me towards my goal;

  • practice Korean with my friends when I see them
  • listen to a Korean lesson three times a week
  • practice uke 30min a day
  • carry a blog journal/have intense sessions of writing 2 or 3 posts at a time
  • workout 3 times a week/park farther away and walk more

I also need to have a better attitude towards school, since that is something that is making my life in Korea possible. Ah, school, what a complicated relationship we have.


adventures in cooking–짜장면,떡볶이, 파전

Recently a few of my Korean friends came over to my apartment to cook Korean food. I’ve been wanting to learn for a while so I could make it myself, and it was a fantastically awesome time of friendship and so, so much eating. I wanted to kill myself a little from the massive amounts of food I consumed.

But that aside, the food was pretty darn awesome. Granted, the coconut jjajangmyeon was a little odd…but it was still good.

So what did we make?

20140329_141557First up was tteokkbokki, a traditional Korean snack that roughly consists of rice cakes in spicy sauce. You can usually find fish cake in there as well as onion.


This turned out well, although we did forget to take out the anchovies used as flavoring…so we had some friends in our food.



Next up was the jjajangmyeon, or black bean noodles. It sounds and looks terrible but tastes fantastic (when made well). It’s actually a Korean Chinese food, meaning that it’s their version of Chinese food, but it’s just Korean. I’m not sure this exists in China. But it’s a really popular delivery item, and if you’ve ever watched the KDrama Coffee Prince, you may remember the disgusting scene of Go Eun Chan and Hwang Min Yeop mixing all manner of unmentionable things in it.

I was trying to be healthy though, and used coconut oil, which gave it an odd flavor. It wasn’t bad, but next time I’ll use something different and hope it turns out better.

20140329_155705Last up was the Pajeon, and though we were already too full, we dutifully ate. It was so delicious, in fact, I ate until the near death I mentioned above. Pajeon is a kind of pancake made with vegetables, in this case, green onions and white onions. Pa is green onion in Korean, so pajeon is “green onion pancake,” basically. You can also make kimchijeon with kimchi or anything, I suppose. Very versatile.

All the recipes I found on – this site is incredible. Any Korean food you can think of is on there.

It was actually quite amusing when I told my Korean friends I wanted to make this. I think Tteokkbeokki and Pajeon are homemade quite a lot, but from their comments, making Jjajanmyeon was a foreign concept. A bit like trying to make restaurant hamburgers or pizza or something all from scratch.

But aside from the unfortunate coconut, it was a huge success! Korean cooking GO!


blog planning

It’s happening again. I can see in my mind how I want my future blog to look; I have the layout, the logo, the posts, the life behind it, everything all ready to go. The problem…is doing something about it.

Alright fellow bloggers, do you do this too? Do you sit and plan and sketch and draw diagrams of blog posts but put off actually writing the darn things? I mean, if I’m resorting to writing about not writing like I am at this moment…well, shoot.

But I love planning. I may even like the planning better than the blogging. I should be a professional Blog Planner, and have a movie made about me. But let’s go with action rather than rom-com.

I digress. Lately I’ve been planning my Korea blog. Once the Flying Armchair flies to Korea, things will change. I’ll have some new topics and a new focus, and hopefully a lot more material to share (school isn’t that interesting). That’s what I meant about planning the lifestyle behind the blog. Right now I’m not a good uke player, I can’t draw the things I want well, I can’t sing, I don’t have a balcony garden, I don’t homestead, I don’t use natural products and cook organically, I don’t tweak traditional recipes, I’m not teaching, I don’t go to indie concerts…the list goes on. All those things are things I want to do once I get to 한국.

But what I am doing is making lots of lists with colored markers that detail the kind of life I want to lead. Now, living it? That’s another matter.


stop, awesometime!

2014-03-30 14.58.22

Hey yous alls! Just a quick update since it’s been a while…

I got a ukulele! Obviously. And a haircut! And a sore finger!

But seriously, lately it’s been school, sick, school again, and now a ukulele. Ha, one bright spot. I have some posts on the back burner but they’re very intense and academic; all about education and the fate of the next generation. Dun dun dun…

But I need to organize my thoughts better and pare them down from rambling essays to actual post length.

And as some of you have undoubtedly noticed, the blog has undergone some changes. I’ll be redoing it a lot in the near future, so it may look a little wonky from time to time. I’m attempting to move it all to the self-hosting from, but that’s very involved. CSS, *sigh.

In the meantime, who wants to hear me play a song I made up about doing homework? No one? Thank goodness.


teaching, a new focus


I miss being this goofy and getting away with it.

I’m the type of person who gets very involved with my dreams. I have lots of them, and they tend to change. Or be refined. You guys know by now (how many dozens of times have I said it?) that I’m moving to Korea when I graduate. See, I’ve even taken out the “want” and now it’s an “I am.”

Up until recently, my plan was to teach English until I was fluent enough in Korean to be a translator. And I would still like to translate, and that could still end up being my full-time job there. But lately I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about the bit before. The teaching bit. I love teaching. I enjoyed it in Taiwan and I enjoy sharing with people things I’ve learned and am excited about. One thing I love to do is create enthusiasm.

Right now in college I’m taking a Phonetics and Phonology class. Now, for those of you who aren’t into linguistics, Phonetics would be the study of speech sounds – how they’re created in the mouth, lungs, larynx etc, and how they’re heard and interpreted. Know about the IPA? You should. Phonology is how those sounds are used in a language – what the rules are, and so on. For instance, in English you can have the consonant cluster [skr] as in “scream,” but you can’t have [slr]. You know that intuitively as a native English speaker (if you are). To me, this sort of thing is fascinating. We’ve studied other languages and their sounds as well, like the clicks of some African languages and the guttural sounds in many Arabic languages. Most of these are fairly easy to produce once you know how to articulate them (though I can’t do a Spanish trill to save my life).

As I was in class one day, I thought about comparative phonetics, and how I wanted a chart of all the sounds in Korean so I could figure out how to teach Korean kids to make English sounds. Am I turning into Professor Higgins? I wouldn’t be upset.

My point (long time getting here) is that I am getting really excited to start teaching. I’ve been getting books on child development (Piaget), second-language acquisition, and ESL teaching techniques. Thank heavens for a college library full of dusty old academic tomes.

This is all rather funny, since for most of my life teaching was the one career I flatly refused to consider. I was pulled out of school to be homeschooled in fourth grade, had hated nearly all my teachers for their incompetence, and had(have) such a bad impression of American children that I thought to teach would be a living hell for me. Plus I was convinced at that young age that I didn’t like being social and wanted a job where I could be a hermit. (I still think this sometimes, but foreign children are a lot more appealing to me.)

At the risk of making this post statistically too long to be interesting, I want to say one more thing. Other people, and even sometimes the teachers themselves, seem to view teaching English abroad as a sort of interim job. The thing you do before you begin living. I may have mentioned this before. But it really irks me, particularly now that I actually want to focus on the teaching and make a real job of it. Heck, I even have a notion of starting my own experimental English school, based on projects and conversation, not tests. But when I tell people my dream, I always wonder how seriously they take me. Whether they think I’m just doing it because it’s a sure job, and what I’ll do once I stop doing it. So many people seem to do it as a gap year or as some adventure, so those of us who are serious about it and want it as a permanent thing aren’t taken seriously.

Maybe I can become the first celebrity ESL teacher and turn the impressions about it on their head.


spring resolutions

I’ve been training for a marathon recently. Now, that makes me sound quite athletic and impressive, doesn’t it? But the truth is I’ve never run before in my life, and this is a desperate attempt to keep up some kind of workout routine. I’ve paid and registered so I must do it, and therefore must train. It’s not been too hard. Where a few weeks ago I could barely run a third of a km without stopping, now I can at least run a full km with relative ease. I can only hope I’m ready by the time the thing comes around.

The weather was beautiful today – breezy and not too hot. After my run, when I was walking to cool down, I noticed a pair of red-breasted robins hopping about in the trees. Where I run there’s a little creek to one side with underbrush and bushes lining it. Anyway, I hadn’t really thought about spring until I saw those robins. Whenever I see one, actually, I’m reminded of the Secret Garden, though I can’t remember where the robin comes into the story. I watched them for a moment, and noticed too that the branches in front of me had green buds. Tiny little leaves were poking out of the knobs, and have you ever noticed what perfection lies in a new leaf? I have, but I always manage to forget.

I thought about spring then, and new beginnings, and thought that maybe spring time is a much better time for making resolutions than the New Year. Yes, it’s a new year and all that, but everything is still dead and sleeping, it’s no wonder people can’t keep anything up for long. As least in these parts.

But spring, when the world is awaking and becoming new, seems about the right moment to think about refreshing yourself too. I don’t exercise as a matter of course because I don’t enjoy it, but I find myself enjoying my runs now. Perhaps I’m developing a taste for it, and that brings up all kinds of exciting possibilities. Maybe I’ll be one of those athletic people I admire in stores. Or maybe not.

It’ spring break for me now, and though it’s ending, I feel motivated to start a new schedule and new projects. Oh, and buy a ukulele. You think I’m kidding.


Some Resolutions for Spring

  • Learn to play the ukulele
  • Research second language acquisition, cognitive development, and learning styles
  • Blog more – ehehe yeahhhh
  • Stop drinking sodas
  • Clear out more clutter – huzzah!