Sunday, February 21, 2010


It turns out that getting a Visa ranks pretty low on the list of fun things to do in life. Not fun, not easy, and pretty much never straightforward. As such, we have been rerouted to Chicago for Dan's interview with the Korean Consulate and the Visa fetching. We'll still be flying from Florida on Tuesday (at 6 in the morning, thanks sleepy parents!). Chicago's consulate doesn't promise Visas until 2-3 days after the interview, so we're not sure yet when we'll fly out to Seoul. Did either of us mention that school starts March 2?

We're excited to get to spend time in Chicago. We spent our honeymoon and first anniversary there.

One last thing about Visas that I refuse to do is pay $14 to some random clerk at Walgreen's for Passport photos, so we took them ourselves and then had to trick the Kodak machine at Walmart in order to print them:

I think we had to choose "Greeting cards", then "Other Holidays", then "Basic Plaid", and I still had to trim off 1/4" from each side. Total cost in dollars was 1.21, total cost in frustration, though, was incalculable, which was unfortunate but not insurmountable.


Also, spending all this time with my family has made me realize that often, as a conversational construct, we all repeat phrases in unusual voices. And I am okay with that.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The First Day of the Rest of Our Lives.

It starts today. Well, we found out today, at least. In truth it starts February 23. We received our Visa issuance confirmation numbers. Now we'll make an appointment for February 23 with the Korean Consulate in Atlanta (maybe we will go see the Coca-Cola Factory or Dan mentioned some rock thing?). They will make sure we are real humans and hopefully approve our Visas. When that happens, this will be the subsequent sequence of events:

2/24 - Pick up Visa from the Consulate
2/25 - Depart from Atlanta
2/26 - Arrive in Seoul (so we will effectively lose February 26, 2010 since we will arrive in
the future)
2/26-28 - Move in with host family
2/28 - Move into our rented apartment

It's going to be insane.


Saturday, February 6, 2010

One of Our Last Weekends Stateside

Courtesy of Flickr user MidweekpostAfter a couple days of travel (one quite strenuous and one a bit easier), we've arrived in Florida waiting to receive notice that our Visa applications have been processed. Once processed, we'll be spending a couple days in Atlanta to go through an interview with the Korean Consulate and hopefully leave Atlanta with our approved Visas in hand.

It was a long process drawn out over a short period of time and I'm really happy to see things starting to come together. We will hopefully be in South Korea mid-February and adjusting to our (for a time) new homeland.

Before that can happen, we have a little project that has been keeping us quite busy in the meantime.

Serenity and I have been writing music since 2004. I have been in all kinds of projects with varying degrees of success since high school, but never has one meant more to me than what we're doing right now: the Bell & the Hammer. It's become a crucial outlet for us to use the talents God has given us, and never have we taken it more seriously than in 2009. We played more shows than all the other years combined. We played in Florida, Kentucky, Indiana and all across Ohio. We spent a lot of time developing some great relationships with some equally great artists in Cincinnati. We have also finished something in this past year that we have ultimately failed to in previous years.

An album.

We have recorded so much in the past it's hard to keep track of. A few songs with a friend. Demoing all the songs in our apartment. We've never been able to capture our songs accurately until this project. Our debut album "To Set Things Right" is 12 songs, 51 minutes long, and the first recording we're really, truly proud of. We're so thankful that we were actually able to finish it, well, hopefully.

We just received the final masters yesterday, and we're in a race against time to get the album to out to those who've ordered it before we're in South Korea! I'm uploading the songs to get pressed as we speak, and it's our main concern during our Florida staycation.The album is going to have two sleeves, similar to a vinyl record. Serenity is (hopefully) putting them together herself in the next few days. It'll be an interesting adventure no matter what. To those that have ordered, don't worry, you'll definitely receive your album.

Just know it was hurriedly handcrafted by us a few days before it shows up.