2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 13,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 5 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Thank You to all my visitors readers and commenters! I was truly overwhelmed by these stats. You are all so lovely… THANK YOU! !!!

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Kim Hyun Joong: Angel Soul

I have learned from my Biblical studies that Angels don’t have souls.  This is the common teaching at any rate.  There is much lore about Angels and who they are and what their role is in Human Affairs, but the fact that they are soulless always puzzled me.  I just can’t wrap my head around a being of light that follow’s God’s commands and has no soul.  At any rate, those are the ethereal beings we think of as Angels.  I have known a few human Angels in my lifetime.  Or at least to my mind they are what I think of as Angels.  They are those types who are beautiful to witness because their soul just shines out of them with an aura that stops your heart.  This is what I see when I witness the being that is Kim Hyun Joong.  Of course, he is human.  But, there is this vulnerability and sincerity about him that makes him seem like he comes straight from Heaven.

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When he speaks, his voice is soft and tender.   It makes me feel like I am being gently wrapped in a soft, fluffy, warm feather comforter.  Angel’s wings.  His shyness indicates a humility that I have rarely seen.  He does not seem to really understand the power he has to touch a person so deeply, they are changed forever.  Of course, his physical beauty mesmerizes a person until they are lost.  But, as I have said before, there is good looking, and then there is an Angel.  It is the light of a pure soul that makes them an Angel on earth.  This is Hyun Joong.  A pure soul.  Vulnerable.  Open.  Honest.  Tender.  Kind.  Gentle.  Generous.  A broken heart with love spilling out and making the world a better place.  True Beauty is not just on the outside, as we have all heard.  When we watch Kim Hyun Joong, we finally know what this means.  I am so thankful he decided to share himself with the rest of the world as an artist and celebrity.  As I said earlier, I have met a few of these Angels on Earth.  But, they are truly few and far between.

credit korea.com

His love of the color white amuses me because of this Angel fixation of mine.  He looks so pure and perfect in white.  He glows all the time, but when he wears white it is almost blinding.  We are instinctively drawn to the colors that reflect us the best.  I look terrible in white!  Ha!  I am a winter and wear mostly deep, rich colors.  These flatter my dark Italian skin and hair.  Of course, Hyun Joong looks good in EVERYTHING, but white is definitely his color.  That is surely why it is his favorite, and I believe it reflects his pure soul.

Let’s talk about those eyes.  Deep, dark, and arresting.  I struggle to find another descriptive word, but arresting is what they are.  You are frozen, captured, imprisoned.  They are a window into that pure white soul, and the depth of his spirit pulls you in.  I am unable to breathe sometimes when he gives the camera that intense stare.  And when he flashes those pearly whites?  Oh… like the pearly gates, I must say!  LOL!  And his smile goes all the way into his eyes, full and genuine.  That pure, sweet soul just shines out no matter what he is doing!  I am convinced that God let an Angel be born on earth to prove His love for the world.  How can you not believe in heaven after knowing Kim Hyun Joong?  keke

And so the question has been on my mind for over a week now… Why Hyun Joong?   There are a million reasons and none. I can admire other artists, but I can list the reasons for them… for Hyun Joong, my love just is. No conditions or reasons. It just is.  I try to describe my heart here in this place I have created for him out of the love that has tethered me across space and time to Kim Hyun Joong.  He is from a country I have never visited.  I hope to someday, but I will most likely never meet him as an equal.  I may get to shake his hand at a fan meeting if he comes to the US.  If I’m lucky, I might ask for a short interview for my little blogspot and he may or may not have time.  But, none of this matters.  There is a true and real connection on a spiritual level that I cannot deny.

Even kitty kat can’t take her eyes off Hyun Joong! ^^

His music is happy and fun.  Nothing special, really.  Professional, glamorous, flashy, entertaining.  Honestly, I have been more intrigued by some of the videos I have seen from BigBang!  But, as gorgeous as those boys are, they do not live in my heart.  They do not occupy my thoughts and stir my feelings to the level of love.  

Even a plain white T suits him. Beautiful. Thank you Kathy’s Bench.

And as we anticipate City Conquest, I think on Hyun Joong’s previous dramas.  They have been the typical kdrama fare.  I joke about the kdrama plot formula:  Prince meets plain or ordinary girl, love blossoms, there is always a mean girl rival, a hysterical mother or grandmother against the relationship, and a sweet or lovesick rival for the leading lady.  Set this in modern day, or historic… it’s really all the same.    But, I will watch this same old same old over and over just to see him perform.  Not so with other dramas.  I watch them once, and move on.  Hyun Joong just pulls me in, and I will replay again and again just to see him.  I’m sure it will be the same with City Conquest.  It may not be much of a plot difference from Lee Min Ho’s City Hunter.  But, I will enjoy it more because of Hyun Joong and knowing how hard he worked and how much of his heart and soul went into preparing.  I’m sure the character will take on this Angelic quality even though he is supposed to be rough and tumble.  He’ll just be a tough guy Angel.  Ha!  Can you see it?  It will be the scenes where he is rescuing someone who needs help, or making justice come about that will capture us.  We will see him as a hero.  An Angel on earth carrying out the judgement of Heaven.  I can’t wait, it will be so beautiful and fun.

From this comic still of City Conquest, you can see why Hyun Joong was chosen to portray Baek Mir. The resemblence is uncanny. Thanks Hyunnie for this. Click this image to see the full spread on Hyunnies blog.

His appearances on reality / variety shows are nothing other artists and stars haven’t done.  I have admired the looks of other hallyhu stars to be sure.  I have their pictures on my computer.  But Hyun Joong has his own folder in my pictures and there are at least 6 shots of him compared to 1 shot of anyone else.  And, I have remembered his name with ease.  I have struggled with some of the other Korean names.  There are some I still cannot remember without looking them up.  But Kim Hyun Joong flowed off of my lips as if I had been saying his name all of my life.  It was foreign but beautiful and so sensual I could taste it on my tongue.  Strangeness.  When I first began to notice him, I could not understand why this was so.  I still cannot describe the reasons.  He is just embedded deep in my heart.  A soul to soul connection was made, and nothing can break it or take me away.  I will be here forever.  Captured by the Angel of the East:  Kim Hyun Joong.

Thanks http://reikanorakuen.wordpress.com/2010/11 for this anime boy looking photo.

Kim Hyun Joong: Inspiring Angel

Kim Hyun Joong.  There is no other human being like him, and that is why I love him so.  There has been much talk this week about what it means to be his fan on other blogs.  It is ironic because I have been evaluating myself in my brain for some time now, questioning whether my Hyun Joong affection is healthy.  It has made me really stop to think about what I am doing and why.  Honestly, I was resisting my heart in following KHJ because I was afraid it was unhealthy and immature.  I am a grown woman and have many responsibilities.  I have a full time job.  I have a large family with 9 brothers and sisters who are all having babies and making me an aunt many times over.  I am in love with my niece and nephews and don’t see them nearly enough for my liking!  I am the sole provider for my household… which is me and my two dogs who are my children by default!  LOL!

Some of these pics are about me… so, if you want to see KHJ… you’ll have to read on.  If you are interested, click on the first pic to bring them up in a larger form.  Then you can stop the slideshow and browse at your own pace:

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And so, I was truly concerned about spending so much time following a kpop star from a country across the globe.  It seemed a bit silly and embarassing, and I have to admit I don’t share it much with my friends or family because they really would not understand.  They know I listen to Korean music and watch dramas.  They know I have a dream of becoming a TESOL and going to Korea someday.  They think these things are interesting and healthy as I have actually set some goals for my life.  They do not know the extent to which I spend my time reading about his activities and devouring his interviews to absorb that intangible thing that is the essence of Hyun Joong.  I cannot get enough, and I have decided it is not a bad thing.  I follow him for some very compelling reasons, and he has inspired me to change my life.  I now have a focus, a purpose, and I am happy for the first time in many years.

Hard work surely does pay off Hyun Joong!

Top ten things I learned from Kim Hyun Joong:

1.  Working hard is not good enough.  Work your HARDEST to achieve perfection.

2.  Play while you work.  Laugh.  Cut up.  Make light of the stress.

3.  Love what you do.  If you don’t, change it.

4.  Set goals and focus on the steps it takes to achieve them.  Evaluate each choice and weigh against your goal.  Does this choice further my goal?  If not, make the choice that does.

5.  You  are never too busy to take care of yourself.  Eat well.  Exercise.  Always wear BB cream when you go out!  LOL!

Success is about more than money as HJ demonstrates with his sincere heart for his fans and charitable actions / donations for people who are in real need.

6.  Sincerity is the key to Success.  If you are PASSIONATE about what you are doing, your success will seem effortless.

7.  Just be YOURSELF.  Life is too short to worry about what others think.  It is your life.  Live it with all your heart.

8.  Get outside of yourself and see what is around you in your world.  Reach out to others and show that you REALLY care.  Give generously from the blessings you have recieved.

Hyun Joong distributing coal.

HJ at Marathon for Childhood Cancer

9.  CONFIDENCE will propel you to Success.  Temper this with HUMILITY.  Never think too highly of your abilities.  Work hard to improve yourself and accept praise with sincere thankfulness and grace.

10.  At the end of the day, it’s all about LOVE.  Life is nothing without the love you give and receive from others.  Whatever relationships you are in, VALUE and NURTURE them with all your strength.  Always speak your heart.  How will those you love know what is in it if you don’t tell them? Love without fear or prejudice.  Everyone deserves the same warmth you provide for those with whom you are close.  Give your heart without prejudice to everyone you have the privilege of meeting.

Joongx2

These are the values he lives by.  I know this because I have seen the evidence in his activities and heard the sincerity in his words.  I am not a follower who attends every fan meeting or appearance.  I live too far away for that!  I do attend these events online when I read about them on blogs or in articles or interviews.  I do spend a good portion of my day on this.  I consider it INSPIRATIONAL research!  Getting to know Hyun Joong as a person is what has changed my life.  Watching reality shows gave insight into his personality, but it was following his activities and reading his interviews that made me realize the depth and wisdom this young man posesses.  He has values, ethics and goals.  He does what he thinks is right and does not follow others unless he admires them for the hard work and beautiful artistry they display.  He’s just a phenomenal guy.  I wish I could meet a man like him who is my age.  I’d be a bit intimidated for sure, but I’d want someone in my life who inspired me this much and could encourage me every day to work hard and reach my goals.

How  these lessons have inspired me to change my daily life:

1.  First and foremost, I am taking better care of myself.  I realize I will not be able to fulfill my goals or live the life I want to live without good health.  I have lost 15 lbs in the last month because I was inspired by how hard he worked to get his body in shape for his City Conquest project.   I was worried he had gone too far, but I was inspired anyway.  If Hyun Joong can work on his health and appearance with his crazy busy schedule, I have NO EXCUSES!   😀  I am eating well, and getting enough sleep.  Being active is something I’ve struggled with all my life as I am naturally sedentary.  But, watching Hyun Joong running from here to there with the ability to smile in all situations inspires me to GET MOVING!  Not to mention his music just makes me shake it shake it! (right now he’s singing to me to MOVE that body, girl Let’s Party on my headphones!  Ha!)  He just energizes me with his hyperactivity and models for me what it is to truly LIVE.

My first dosirak.

2.  I have found something I am passionate about and have set goals to turn it into a career.  I am a teacher by design.  I learned this when attending Bible College and learning about spiritual gifts.  I am also a creator/artist.  I have BA in Elementary Education with minors in Vocal Music, English Literature, and Bible.  I have thus far used absolutely NONE of that in my professional career.  I am an insurance specialist at a hospital.  I have worked in the Emergency room, on the Obstetrics (Birth Center) Floor, and for a Pediatrition and a Radiology Company.  I sort of fell into medicine as a career by chance when I was sent as a receptionist by a Temp Agency.  It has been almost 20 years.  Frankly, I am bored out of my gourd and know in my soul I am not doing what I was meant to.   Following Hyun Joong’s career and becoming fascinated with all things Korean has inspired me to follow a dream.

I want to teach English to Speaker’s of other Languages.  Particulary Asian Languages.  As a teacher, I cringe when I hear Asians with poor English Pronunciation.  I know how intelligent these people are.  But, there is a stigma associated here in the US with heavy Asian accents.  People are dismissive of them and treat them as if they are not as intelligent.  It makes my blood steam because I know better.  A lot of this is because of the reserved nature of Asians as instilled by them in their culture.  Americans are assertive and self-centered by nature because of their culture.  It’s just a natural human reaction for an assertive person to dismiss a reserved person as less intelligent when they are having difficulty understanding them.

I know the traditional TESOL roles over there and how mostly fresh out of college adveturers take those positions.  I cannot speak for those young teachers or all the TESOL’s that go.  I can only speak for myself.  I want to make it a career, not just an adventure to tell my nieces and nephews about when I get old.  I want to get a Master’s in TESOL and do a research project for my Master’s Thesis with Asian speakers.  I want to develop a program that truly helps them and corrects their pronunciation difficulties.  How did Kim Hyun Joong inspire this?  Well, I truly believe that as a celebrity, he is an ambassador for S. Korea.  He is reaching people in countries all over the world and influencing their view of S. Koreans in general.  If he is ever to visit English speaking countries, he should be able to present himself with poise and confidence and be easily understood.  In fact, English speakers would know his dedication by his level of skill in speaking and pronouncing the language.  I don’t know if this is something he will ever do, but he has said he wants to be a global celebrity.  Hyun Joong inspired me.  I now have a heart for all Asians, Koreans especially for obvious reasons, who are learning English to further their careers and goals.  They should be able to learn the language in a way that makes them confident and gains the respect of others.  I want to dedicate myself to that outcome.

And to my readers who are not English speakers, but not Asian, I believe you all deserve the same dedication.  I am only one person, though and have a passion for Asians, especially Koreans.  Why?  Well, I have been a follower of Asian culture for some time before I met KHJ and became engrossed in Korean.  I have just identified most with Korean culture and philosophies and of course the people.  KHJ influenced that, but it is not him alone.

3.  Lastly, I feel so much more ALIVE because of my love for Hyun Joong.  Whyis this?  Because he is so ALIVE and I can be inspired to live out loud!  He may be reserved, quiet, shy, but there is no question he lives his life out loud!  😀  I won’t lie to my readers or to myself.  I started following him because he was so physically appealing it was breathtaking.  But, it was his Angelic Soul that made me fall in love and dedicate my time and energy.  Watching him, being energized by him, learning from him, and implementing those lessons into my own life for health, happiness, love and success are helping me create the life I want to live.

And so, I cannot believe there is any harm in these things.  I do hope others will be inspired as well and make their life their own with the Angel of the East:  Kim Hyun Joong.