Musings: Wake Me Up When September Ends

What has Stew Been up to?

I'm back!
... that is, if you guys even knew I was gone haha.

But for anyone who was wondering, no, I haven't abandoned this blog quite yet. This past month was just a nonstop whirlwind of things going on that I just didn't have the time to update this blog, much less that Instagram account... or even FB.

A good chunk of this month's frenzy was due to work projects but there were so many major events, a few trips, the Chuseok holiday period, and other shenanigans that it's only now I feel like there's a moment to catch my breath. Whew. That's probably why September has been the blitziest (yes, I just made up that word) of all the months so far this year for me.

So... what have I been up to exactly? Well, in case you asked (and even if you didn't...) I...

Went down to Busan for a short trip..

Busan sure has changed since I last visited 2 years ago...

Colorful Gamcheon village in Busan

Visited Changdeokgung over Chuseok with my roommate's lovely family (aka, my 2nd family for lonely Stew in Korea)....

Sigh... I love Changdeokgung.

Met up with old high school friends in town...

With my HS friend Suey, who happened to visit Seoul! She looks just the same @_@

Celebrated so many birthdays... (Why does it seem everyone was born in September?)

Celebrating dear Choongeun hyung's b-day!

Made a last hurrah of summer with friends with a lovely and boozy picnic by the Han River (our 2nd annual and 3rd in all!)

I know I've gone from California mode to Korea mode because I find myself avoiding the sun now...

More celebrations...

Yeah... don't ask about the bow tie ㅡㅡ;;;;

And still more celebrations...

Gonna miss beer/wine/coffee drinking on the house rooftop once the cold weather sets in...

Which... I guess it looks like it's been all fun and games but I'm telling you it's been anything but!

I promise. Look. Take for example this fun little map. It's of one little project out of four I worked on this month alone:

On first glance, it's simply a map of Seoul. But what are those little red pins you ask? All 50 some hotels, inns, and guesthouses I was scurrying around, paying visits, and meeting staff for a delightful little project. After more than a month of work on this alone, turned in the reports for that bundle of joy this week as a tanner Stew who's in need of a 때밀이 (body scrub) and foot massage for my callused feet. The feet pain and tan lines are mostly my fault though- had over $100 USD in credit for travel expense reimbursement but ended up only using less than $30 to get in some more walking and exercise. Oh, well. It did manage to take me through some interesting parts of Seoul as well as neighborhoods I hadn't visited in years. There's something truly magical about Seoul sometimes in the way it can seem so uniform yet so different. And man, were there some enticing eats and joints I wanted to hit up. I made a mental memo of some of the places I wanted to check out later on so hopefully I'll get around to that and sharing that with you all too!

In any case, the important point is that I'm back and ready to share with you all some more food loving. I'm backed up even more with places I've eaten at and dishes I've made so I'm hoping to tackle those with some more gusto. Still finishing up a few more projects, some of which I may share in the future if they go live, but I definitely have a bit of free time and energy now to get this blog running again. So feel free to send in any requests and bear with me as I get the ball rolling here again!


Random Food Links in the Meantime:

23 lunches to take to work (though they all seem like a lot of work, as delicious as they look).

Chinese chef trying to cook a snake dies after cobra head bites him 20 minutes after being decapitated

Korean article: Korea's Starbucks now double the price of Starbucks in America (Sigh. It's still my go-to chain coffee store though)

Korea's dog meat dishes are falling out of favor (Torn on this for many reasons but in the end I think I'm still too much of a dog lover to support them being consumed...)

Korean article: Top 5 soba restaurants in Seoul (Can't believe I haven't been to any one of these on the list!)

If you do not own a slow cooker, do yourself a favor and get yourself one just in time for autumn

Cooking hacks you can learn in just a few seconds from Vine videos (I can attest to the glorious results of reheating pizza on a pan)

How hospital food differs by country (Another example of how a dish of food can speak volumes)

Korean article with pictures: How to differentiate between farmed and wild shrimp (WHAT)

22 mesmerizing cooking vine videos to inspire your next meal (I will take one of each, please)

5 crops that are still hand harvested- hence the high prices (ah... vanilla...)

Time magazine baked a ishload of cookies to share with you how to make your personal favorite kind of cookies- be it cakey, gooey, crispy, etc (Personally, I'm a chewy and/or cakey kind of cookie guy... not that I eat many cookies in general :/)

An introduction to one of North Korean's favorite street food- the rice stuffed dumpling (It's my dream to visit NK one day and I sure as hell hope I get to try this)

Weekly consumption of coffee for the average Korean is more than that of rice, kimchi, etc (I knew Koreans love their coffee but who knew this much??)