Sunday, December 31, 2006

First sentences of the Year Gone Past




April: So, here I sit, borrowing Amber's Mac, which I find a bit odd to use after a lifetime of PCs, back in Seoul.

May: I am sure you are all asking yourself "She has a computer, she is piggybacking off of someone else's wireless connection, so she can surf for free, she has tons of spare time, so where are all the blog entries???"

June: ...cause when I wait this long, my early onset alzheimers kicks in and I can't really remember what happened last weekend...

July: I thought this was quite cool. I wish more people had responded, cause some of the answers really brought back memories!

August: Thailand Photos are here.

September: Yesterday started off annoying - my boss pissed me off. He is so annoyingly inconsistent.

October: Since I love to blether on about books-From Sofiya who is far funnier than I.

November: I Lack a Key Gene and apparently it is the one required to be able to appreciate Paulo Coelho novels.

December: Don't Vote - So, via Sam, I came across this site, where I scored 235 out of 350.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Adieu 2006

1. What did you do in 2006 that you'd never done before?
went on holiday with my sister, bought a red bra

2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I didn't make any last year. I will be making some this year, though. I like thinking about my goals and where I am and where I want to be. I was too depressed to want to think about my life last January.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
My childhood friend, Shannon. My brother's girlfriend. A couple of other people I don't know as well.

4. Did anyone close to you die? No.

5. What countries did you visit? Scotland, Canada, Korea, Thailand. Only Thailand was for the first time.

6. What would you like to have in 2007 that you lacked in 2006? I don't think there was much that I lacked entirely over the course of the whole year. There were lots of things I lacked during different parts of the year though. I guess I just want more of the good things, more often.

7. What dates from 2006 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? February 14th, when I finally, really knew that I had to leave Alan. April 10th, when I flew into Seoul.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Getting over the embarrassment of leaving someone only 5 months into marriage and doing it anyway because I needed to do it. Rebuilding my entire life all over again, in Korea.

9. What was your biggest failure? Not listening to my instincts and the warnings of other people.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Yep. Some of the most notable - my first ever hickie and my now completely fucked up ankle. I'm a klutz, though, so there have been a few.

11. What was the best thing you bought? my laptop. my plane ticket out of scotland.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration? my friends and family, who have been very supportive of me.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? alan's. my own.

14. Where did most of your money go? into leaving scotland.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? being single again, meeting new people, teaching again, knowing that I made the decision to live my life the way I want to, full of travel and adventure.

16. What song will always remind you of 2006? The Mercy of the Fallen, Dar Williams

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? happier
b) thinner or fatter? fatter, a bit
c) richer or poorer? maybe about the same

18. What do you wish you'd done more of? laughed

19. What do you wish you'd done less of? beating myself up for things I couldn't change and things that weren't exactly my fault

20. How will you be spending Christmas? A turkey buffet at Geckos with friends and coworkers and later on some phone calls home.

21. Did you fall in love in 2006? i thought i did, I'm as subject to rebound relationships as anyone, i guess. didn't last long, which was for the best!

22. How many one-night stands? I don't kiss and tell.

23. What was your favorite TV program? America's Next Top Model in Korea, before that Alias/The L Word/Desparate Housewives

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year? perhaps my boss, though hate is far too strong a word. i can't bring myself to hate my ex, though sometimes I think that might actually be kinda a step forward.

25. What was the best book you read? picking just one is so evil. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Everything is Illuminated, The History of Love and those are just the ones that come to mind...

26. What was your greatest musical discovery? Jack Johnson. I had heard of him before, but never got around to listening until this year when I discovered downloading...

27. What did you want and get? a computer, a job in korea, out of a relationship, a trip to thailand (I even got two!)

28. What did you want and not get? an easy breakup

29. What was your favorite film of this year? Everything is Illuminated, Tsotsi, The Constant Gardener, Hotel Rwanda

30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I was 28. I went to TinPans and drank too much tequila, I went to Stompers and don't even remember being there, I met a cute boy.

31.What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? if alan had stayed in scotland. if i had left him earlier.

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2006? a concept implies I was thinking about this in some sort of orderly way. The same 7 or so outfits to work (with flip flops in summer and black shoes in winter), the same 7 or so low cut tops to bars, and my fav comfy socks whenever I'm home.

33. What kept you sane? a combination of good friends and too much booze.

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? i don't really fancy celebrities.

35. What political issue stirred you the most? i have been too busy navel gazing to really pay too much attention. Perhaps the possible nuclear weapons test by North Korea.

36. Who did you miss? Most people. I live overseas!

37. Who was the best new person you met? All the new people I've met have mostly been amazing, though in totally different ways.

38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2006. No one will judge me as much as I will judge myself. Trust your gut. People you don't expect to will do little things that will make you believe in goodness again.

39. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

The Mercy Of The Fallen
Dar Williams

"Oh my fair North Star
I have held to you dearly
I had asked you to steer me
'Til one cloud-scattered night

I got lost in my travels
I met Leo the lion
Met a king and met a giant
With their errant light

There's the wind and the rain
And the mercy of the fallen
Who say they have no claim to know what's right

There's the weak and the strong
And the bets that have no answer
And that's where I may rest my head tonight"

Thursday, December 28, 2006

In Lamai, Beach awaits tomorrow

After a short flight, I arrived on Lamai and cleared customs. It was a quick queue, seeing as there was only the one tiny plane of us and only a handful who hadn't cleared in Bangkok. I went to arrange a place to stay, thinking this time I'd try Chaweng. However, the cheapest decent place to stay turned out to be Lamai Inn 99, the same place I stayed last time. It's a nice place, though, so that works out fine. Daily massages, good food, and a beautiful beach are all I ask.

Fireworks are going off up and down the beach, I suppose in anticipation of New Year's. I'm exhausted, so now that I've eaten and told Sheila where we are staying, I am going to go and get an ice cream and walk myself back to my bungalow and read my beach book. (Shopaholic Gets Married - I love trashy reads at the beach.)

I could get used to the boutique airline experience

This is the second time I've flown Bangkok Airways between Bangkok and Koh Samui and I must say, I am a fan. They have lounges with free food (brownies and ice tea, yum) and free computers with internet access.

I was rather silly last night. First off, I put off packing by an inspired bout of cleaning, which is just odd. Usually it's cleaning I'm putting off. Then, fully packed, I sat down to work out when I needed to wake up. 6am. So, logically, I proceeded to set my alarm for 7. However, I'm pretty nervous about times, especially when I travel alone, so it wasn't so hard to shave a few minutes here and there and I still got to the airport in enough time. I just had time to check-in, change my won, grab a coffee and a couple of magazines and calmly wander into the line up for boarding the plane.

It was an uneventful flight. I've now seen the beginning and ending of Lucky Number Slevin, having slept through the middle bit (and that after a large mocha, I should have gone to bed before 4, since I had to get up early!) I read "The Nation", Thailand's English newspaper and Time Magazine. I was sitting behind a monk and have seen two more wandering around in the airport. It's such a noticeable thing, a monk's outfit.

When I walked off the plane and felt that heat... Yay! Summer is back, if only for one week!

I'm now listening to two inane idiots talk about the email they are sending, all about how many girls they have slept with and other randomness. Can't wait to hit the island.

And I can't wait for Sheila to get here, cause that's when the party begins!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Christmas Weekend

For me, the weekend starts on Thursday night, cause I go to Itaewon for Ladies' Night. This week was the same as always, though it was odd as I was dodging around the bar talking to three particular individuals, plus seeing everyone else. It wasn't terribly busy or exciting, but I think that a ton of people have already left on holiday.

Friday was a great day, as everyone at work was in a good mood. And it was soon over, leaving me to rush home and finish cleaning for my guest visiting for the weekend. We stayed in and watched the remake of The Omen, which wasn't very good or very scary, and I am easily scared.

Saturday I ended up spending a lot of time on the subway, for silly reasons. I then had coffee with Sheila in Omokyo and bought some new cover up at Misha, only to discover on my way home that there is a Misha only 20 minutes away from me. However, then I would have missed coffee and chat!

Scott and I went for galbi behind the apartment and then we met up with the gang at Gecko's. After a funny cab ride with a girl telling us stories of bad haircuts and christmas pajamas, we hit 66 and then club FF for some dancing. Had an usually early evening (in Korea this translates as leaving at 4am).

Sunday I went to an Italian restaurant in my neighbourhood on the way to see the new Bond film. I must say, I really liked Casino Royale. I thought that even without being a Bond movie it would have been good. And it was surprisingly realistic. Got a call to come out and play in Hongdae, but ended up going home and watching Saw II and sleeping.

Monday, Christmas Day, we went over to Lee and Deanna's for some drinks before dinner. Dinner was a turkey buffet at Gecko's and it was lovely. It was a very Korean style Christmas, in that there was five different kinds of meat and some potatoes but no veggies. The noticeable disappointment was the dressing because nobody can make dressing like your mom does, of course. We stayed around for hours after drinking and playing Jenga and just having fun. All in all, a great Christmas. If you can't get home to visit your family, you can ask for nothing more than some good food and great company.

Tuesday I was back at work, sadly. However, it was just a mad two days of trying to get stuff finished and organized before the holiday and then the madness of camp. I think I am vaguely ready, though not as ready as I had hoped to be.

Annoyingly, I have a cold. It could be worse though, as the doctor has confirmed what I already suspected. I don't have bronchitis - yet. I am taking some random pills in a packet from the pharmacy which I suspect are just what you'd get in any Tylenol-style cold pills, but my boss paid for them, so I guess no complaints. I'm certainly not pleased to be sick and leaving for Thailand tomorrow, but I'm sure I'll cope. If I'm gonna get sick I would rather it held off till vacation is over.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Book Meme

I've been tagged by Thistle, so here goes...

Here's the meme:

1. Grab the book closest to you.
2. Open to page 123, go down to the fifth sentence
2. Post the text of next 3 sentences on your blog
4. Name of the book and the author
5. Tag three people

'Finding a way to make that conform to Christian dogma was going to be some trick. Both Bacon and Albert had tried and failed. Aquinas began, "Let us assume, in accordance with the Catholic faith, that the world had a beginning in time."'

The Friar and The Cipher: Roger Bacon and the Unsolved Mystery of the Most Unusual Maunuscript in the World, by Lawrence & Nancy Goldstone.

It's a really cool book and very, very readable history. It mentioned Possession on the back, so I thought I'd have to like it.

I tag Skylanda, Greg, and Jenny.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas!

Sally and Seyon wish you all a Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Helsinki Complaints Choir

Feliz Navidad

My friend Daniel is teaching here on a Canadian passport but grew up in Columbia and doesn't know the lyrics to Christmas carols. This is what he came up with. I like it!

we wish u a merry christmas, we wish u a merry christmas,
we wish u a merry christmas and a happy new year,
good turkey we bring
for you and your team,
good turkey at christmas
and a happy new thing...

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Beware the Fungi!

Imagine, something educational has made its way onto my blog! And yet, I love David Attenborough, so here it is:

Interesting Email I Got About Teaching...

Three businessmen and three businesswomen will be dropped in a public school classroom for 6 weeks.

Each business person will be provided with a copy of the curriculum and 5 classes of 28 students each. They will get 25 desks and 22 textbooks. Each class will have 5 learning-disabled children, three with ADHD, one gifted child and two with limited English. There will be one identified with severe behaviour problems, one who will be on house arrest and about half who live in single parent homes.

Each business person must complete lesson plans at least 3 days in advance with annotations for curriculum objectives, and state standards, and modify, adapt or create materials accordingly. They must maintain discipline and provide an educationally stimulating environement at all times. they will be required to throughly cover the content, assess each student's needs and progress, handle misconduct, implement technology, catch up new students, all while being interrupted for assemblies, class photos, announcements and meetings.

They must document attendence, write referrals, provide suport work, correct homework, locate (beg for) books and resources. They must collaborate with their department and teams, compute grades, complete report cards and communicate with parents.

And their planning period? If all the above is completed, and IF the copier is working, they may make copies of necessary materials at this time. Or, they may meet with parents, counselors, or administrators who want to know why a certain child is not at the centre of the universe. They must also supervise lunches and monitor hallways. In addition they will complete drills for fires, tornadoes and shooting attacks.

They must attend workshops, faculty meetings, department meetings, curriculum and IEP meetings. They must also tutor the students who are behind and strive to get their two students who are behind in English proficient to take the Standards-based assessments.

If they are sick they must provide detailed lesson plans to accomodate a substitute, leaving specific instructions on what students may leave the class for speech therapy, special programs, counseling or the school nurse for their medication.

If they are having a bad day they must not let it show.

The business people will only have access to the golf course on the weekends, but on their new salary they will not be able to afford it anyway. There will be no acess to vendors who want to take them to lunch, and lunch will be limited to 30 minutes. On days when they do not have lunch, hallway or bus duty the business people will be permitted to use the staff restroom and one phone for 80 people.

The business people must continually advance their own education on their own time and pay for this advanced training themselves. This advancement can be accomplished by moonlighting at a second job or marrying someone
with money.

Last, but certainly not least, they must make sure that at every turn they Leave No Child Behind.

The winner will be returned to their own job.............

Out of the Mouthes of Babes

"Teacher, you is no Picasso."

Words of wisdom from the same student who said shit in front of me and then pointed out that it wasn't speaking Korean. Too true.

I had a very, very frustrating lesson today. I was trying to help one of my youngest classes to memorize the words and definitions for their test tomorrow. Usually I write up all the words on the board and then write a key word or two from the definition for them to focus on. Like jellyfish, sea. Problem is that of course they don't actually understand most of the words in the definitions. Sigh. There is no time to address problems like that though, cause we gotta push them through each book as fast as is possible.

I had a nasty nosebleed this morning and have been exhausted all day. Sucks ass being anemic. And living in such a dry country. However, I did manage to finish off "Shopaholic Takes Manhattan". Yep, chick lit, my dirty lil' secret.

Monday, December 18, 2006


People are getting their Christmas packages in time! I had worried they would be late, but I've heard now that two have already made it to their destinations.

What I love about Christmas overseas is that it somehow reminds me just how special gift-giving can be. I love giving gifts even more than I like receiving them - from buying them to mailing them to getting emails that they got there. It's so much fun.

And when you get gifts that have to come through the mail, it is just so.damn.exciting. I am patiently waiting till Christmas day to open them. And I've just made plans to call my nieces on Christmas morning. It makes me all teary-eyed just thinking about it.

There is no room for Scrooge in an overseas Christmas. Everything Christmasy is wonderful.

Winter Wonderland

Friday night I went out with my coworkers for dinner at Shabumi, which was very yummy. But then I came home and had one of those homesick moments. The holidays always do it to me, in spite of the fact that I've had 5 years of practice already at being away from friends and family at this time of year. So I was sitting around, with Project Runway on in the background, just kinda wallowing in it when Debbie called to tell me that the gang was at Geckos and having a great time, but that it wasn't the same without me there. It's funny sometimes how life works out and gives you exactly what you need, right when you need it. So, my evening of homesickness went out the window, cause I went out. Some drinks at Geckos, then some lesbian drama and champagne drinking at Queen, and dancing at King's Club to end off the night. It was fun.

Saturday I had plans to go shopping for my last holiday gift which were derailed by my intense laziness and craving for bacon and eggs. I didn't make it out of the house in time. I had plans to go dancing in Apgujeong after a pre-party at Vanessa's. Had an amazing time drinking wine at her place with her and Joel, then we met up with Debbie and headed to Garden. It had started to snow and it was so beautiful, covering all the trees and falling in big, wet flakes. Amazing walk. Though it did get cold and I was pretty wet by the time we got to the club. Alex was there as well and it was a great night. And I say that in spite of my total lack of love for house music and the total lack of eye candy. Once it died down in Garden, Debbie and I headed to TinPans and bumped into tons of people. She was chatting with Timerlake and Frown, plus Daniel, Tati and gang were there. I met a very cute boy.

Then I had the craziest taxi experience ever. For what should have been a $8 fare at most, he tried to charge me $120. It was insane. So, I threw more money than he deserved at him but not too much more, ran across the intersection and into the back alleys to go into my building through the back door. I have heard of some crazy cabbie stories, but that is the first time it's ever happened to me.

Sunday, the snow was all still there and I went out for dinner with the cute boy, to Outback. He's very funny. I had a great time. We rode the subway together for awhile and then he headed home and I went to meet the girls in Geckos. I did the last of my holiday shopping and stopped in Starbucks to read for a half hour before meeting everyone. Christmas music and a peppermint mocha. I find it so much easier to avoid scrooge-like tendancies over here because I am just so happy to see Chrismtas stuff at all. Makes me feel like I'm at home. So, we had the usual fun at Geckos, crazy amounts of people were there, and lots of fun stories were told. We also managed to attract the attention of a old, crazy guy. His exit line was "See you, wouldn't want to be you" after we asked security to kick him out. Um, yeah, Mr. Crazy. Geckos put on closing time, but the next thing you know, we had hooked up with Amanda and two of her friends and headed to UN for one last drink. Amanda's boys bought a bottle of tequila and a round of drinks for everyone at the table, which led to Debbie stealing people's bling. Vanessa managed to reprogram my camera (now fixed), we all danced to hiphop at 3am on a Monday morning and there was an analysis of Debbie's dancing skills. The oddest people are in UN at 3am (including us!). But it was a lot of fun all round.

Monday went remarkably quickly, in spite of an incredibly long staff meeting. We have our winter camp schedules and books now, which is quite an organizational feat for a hagwon. A whole two weeks in advance! I got a fair amount of stuff done on my break today, which is good.

Went to Paris Baguette on my way home to buy some bread to eat with one of my many cans of soup. I have inherited quite a few cans and really should start eating them. I can't believe I haven't been in there more often. They have normal looking sandwiches and bread! I mean, I knew that and all, but I had apparently forgotten. Anyway, I've spent this evening watching CSI and eating soup and chatting online with cute boy. It's been a nice night. Time for a hot chocolate and a book and then bed. Night, all!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Ketchup, Chicken, Makali...

Awww, the childrens and their amazing version of Super Junior's "U".


The weekend starts tomorrow! Not really of course, as it's only Thursday, but mentally, cause I go to Ladies' Night and if I'm going out, it must be the weekend right? I think my old logic prof would have called me on that one, but whatever.

I like having my break back at work. Only Wednesday and all my homework lists are done. Yay me! Granted, I seem to have just as much crap as ever, in spite of the extra 120 mins a week I have to get shit done. Teaching is like that though, cause there is always something extra you could be doing to improve the curriculum.

Laura and I have a new Wednesday tradition, which involves dinner at Jenny's Cafeteria in Hongdae. So yummy. Italian style sandwiches, amazing salads, soup, wine, the best chocolate cake in Korea. We had Balieus Coffee in Puca Puca after and bumped into Grace. It made me miss YJ, since Puca Puca was her coffee place.

Then we traded some random stuff back and forth between our rooms and I finally put up my Christmas lights. Very cheerful, to have them up. I got a bunch of packages from my family over the last couple of days, including homemade cookies from my nana. I opened that one up early, but the rest I am saving for the actual day itself, to the disgruntlement of my coworkers ;)

My Christmas Decorations

I was gonna make a tree, but decided that would be rather complicated...

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Up Early

Cause the guy came back to fix my fan. Woo! Time to be all productive and go to the bank, I suppose.


Is it normal to have an entire plate of brocoli and cauliflower and call that a meal?

Beyond that, the weekend didn't start off in my normal style - stayed in on Friday night cause I was tired and in order to write my Christmas cards. Finally went to bed at 5am and I had only done half of them. Not because I'm sending THAT many either, but because I ended up farting about on the internet and tidying my room and tons of other random things.

I also finished reading "The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle" by Haruki Murakami. It was brilliant. Got weirder and weirder, but I loved it. Some quotes:
"This was very different from the image of home that I had imagined vaguely for myself... But this was the home that I had chosen. I had had a home, when I was a child. But it was not the one I had chosen for myself. I had been born into it, presented with it as an established fact. Now, however, I lived in a world that I had chosen through an act of will. It was my home. It might not be perfect, but the fundamental stance I adopted with regard to my home was to accept it, problems and all, because it was something I myself had chosen. If it had problems, these were almost certainly problems that had originated within me."
I thought this was an interesting idea. My idea of home is a very odd one these days. Really, home is where I am. I am quite content in my tiny Korean one-room apartment, leading my life. It isn't glamourous or exciting, but it is my contented little life. However, since I am not surrounded by family or old friends, home is other places too. Those places themselves no longer feel like home for me, but the people do. Thus, my home is spread across three continents, which is a somewhat lonely thought, but also an exhilerating one.
"Reality spilled out into the alley like water from an overfilled bowl - as sound, as smell, as image, as plea, as response."
I just thought that was quite a beautiful image.
"You may not know this, Mr. Wind-Up Bird, but ducks are very pleasant people to spend time with. I never get tired of watching them. I'll never understand why everybody else bothers to go somewhere way far away and pay good money to see some stupid movie instead of enjoying these people. Like sometimes they'll come flapping through the air and land on the ice, but their feet slide and they fall over. It's like a TV comedy! They make me laugh even with nobody else around. Of course, they're not clowning around trying to make me laugh. They're doing their best to live very serious lives, and they just happen to fall down sometimes. I think that's neat."
I thought this was quite a beautiful thought too. The actions of others affect us greatly, but it is important always to keep in mind that often their actions are not directed at us at all. They are off doing their own thing, living their own lives, and not really intending to have the effect on us that they do.

Saturday was a nice, lazy day. Until my damn toilet acted up (it sometimes won't stop running, thus running up my apartment bill too). So, I got the super and asked him (well, gestered is more like what really happened) to fix it. And of course, he naturally wanted to have the bathroom lights on when he did. One small problem? They were both broken, and it wasn't that the lightbulbs needed changing either. So, several hours later and tons of wires visible, I am starting to panic slightly about getting ready to go out. It was Jane's Birthday, Part Two and I was due at La Tavola's by 9. Except that I hadn't showered and the Korean guy was still poking around in my wiring. It was quite close in the end, but I not only got to Itaewon on time, but I now have two functional lights (though the fan doesn't work now) and a mildly less dysfunctional toilet.

Saturday night was great - good food, great company. We went to Geckos and bumped into just everyone (Derek and Melissa, Lynne, Daniel, his ex-boyfriend on a date, Alex, and on and on). We hit 66 and then Jane wanted to try out Stompers and off we went. Vanessa apparently occupied her time stealing jackets and ties off of people and eventually we ended up in TinPans (bumped into Joshua and crew and Bethany, who took over my old job!), where Debbie and I managed to stay till the fat lady sang, basically.

Sunday I spent in bed, reading. I started and finished "Lazy Ways to Make a Living" by Abigail Bosanko, which I basically bought only because it was set in Edinburgh and I actually quite liked, and "On the Brightside, I'm Now the Girlfriend of a Sex God" by Louise Rennison (yep, I occassionally read fiction aimed at 14 year olds. deal.) I went to Gecko's for dinner, bringing along with me a toaster oven for Sheila which caused a bit of a raised eyebrow when the security guard asked to look in my plastic bag. Yep, it's weird. Val and the gang turned up, as did Annie and Amanda, and the Persian boys. We amusingly met Mr. Home Depot and Mr. Texas and remet Mr. Head Kisser. Took the subway home, but it ended before my stop came along, so I took a taxi the last little way. All in all, a very good weekend.

Knowing that vacation is coming is making the days drag a bit. I wanna be on a beach!!!

Friday, December 08, 2006

Jane's Bday at Ladies' Night

My most treasured memory will be the look on Vanessa's face when she accidentally bit the head off one of the little Korean doll thingies that Jane got as a gift. Apparently they are not meant to be put in one's mouth.

We danced like crazy. I had a great time dancing at Helios, which is weird. I either hate Helios or love it and am completely unable to predict which way it's gonna go. Aside from Sheila and co., Val and Reena were out too, which was fun. Chatted briefly with the pool playing girls at the Loft and saw Tatiana and her new girlfriend.

In a weirdness, I am in on a Friday night. I am too tired to handle the idea of doing anything more taxing than sitting on my arse in my own place, and in theory I'm doing my Christmas cards tonight. Yeppers, they are gonna be late, I think. However, in practice, so far all I've done is surfed the net, eaten some lovely pizza hut, and watched some reality tv, sorta. America's Next Top Model, Amber and Julie have gotten me addicted!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Nothing Says "Merry Christmas" Like Some Engrish

What does this Christmas card say, you might ask, since my digital camera refuses to properly focus and I am too lazy to keep trying?

What it says is "Special wishes for this Christmas season is filled with all your favorite" All your favorite what, you might wonder. Who knows? Who cares? Whatever it is, it sounds good to me. Perhaps it's meant to be inclusive, just in case you don't want your favorite food, or favorite people, or favorite joy. Perhaps you might be a bit of a Scrooge and want your favorite moment of misanthropy. Well, friends, this card might just be for you then!

Ah, I love Engrish. Check this loveliness out:

"If God gives me a superpower / I want to be a transparent man / I want to go inside to the classroom"

"will likely be deported to a third country before coming... / I want to hit bad men. I will be hero of the world. / And I want to see a movie for free. I will be happy."

"Pink road Happyness in your life / Happyness in your life / Happyness in your life"

"Be Happy / My Tears ------> Don't Worry"

Ah, Engrish. For those not in the know, this term is used to refer to the bad or completely nonsensical English that can be found all over T-shirts, notebooks, and just about everything else made in non-English speaking countries, particularly Asia, where R and L are often a blended sound, thus difficult for people to pronounce. My favourite recent t-shirt sighting is that of an old woman wearing a shirt from Giordanos saying "Barely Legal. Please wait for me." You have to laugh, cause there are so many reasons to cry...

What better way to write in your lovely journal than with a pen with a bowl of noodles on the top of it? It's a good thing I don't shop in Morning Glory often (hee! Check out the Engrishness of the name of that shop alone!), cause I'd spend my entire salary on randomness.

My Christmas card hunt certainly produced some beauties, though.

...Unless It's the Christmas Undies (Pants for my British readers)

Or Santa Flashing a Schoolgirl

Or Perhaps "Merry Christmas. You Aren't Getting Any."

Food Obsession Continues Unabated...

Given a choice, and imagining that money and time were no object, would you rather cook dinner, eat out or order in? Eat out. I'd rather someone else do the work so I can kick back and enjoy it. All that shopping for ingredients, cooking, cleaning...

What is the most elaborate meal you've ever prepared yourself or purchased at a restaurant? Well... that would be tough. I tend to cook elaborate meals when I do, I just don't cook often here in Korea. And here in Korea, my idea of an elaborate meal is something that can't go in a toaster... However, I used to be much more interested in cooking. Most elaborate meal at a restaurant is hard too - I am pretentious about restaurants and when I can afford it, I like to go to posh ones.

What food do you find yourself making and/or eating way too much? cheese and chocolate. I eat a lot of brocoli too, but I'm fairly sure you can't eat too much of that.

What was your most disastrous cooking/eating out experience? The raw venison in Edinburgh. Or maybe the soup that involved what appeared to be bits of lung here in Korea.

Would you rather cook for someone else or have them cook for you? Both. I enjoy cooking and I'm good. If other people are equally good, though, I like the idea of just chilling while they cook. I like people who can cook things I can't (my attempt at naan was disasterous...) The best cooking is done with others and lots of gossiping, of course!


Brain Profiler

Amanda, you show a slight right-hemisphere dominance with a moderate preference for auditory processing, an unusual and somewhat paradoxical combination of characteristics.

You are drawn to a random and sometimes nonchalant synthesis of material. You learn as it seems important to a specific situation, and might even develop a resentment of others who attempt to direct your learning down a specific channel.

Your right-hemispheric dominance provides a structure that is only loosely organized and one which processes entire swatches of reality, overlooking details. You are emotional in your reactions and perceptual more than logical in your approach, although you can impose structure and a language base when necessary.

Your auditory preference, on the other hand, implies that you process information sequentially and unidimensionally. This combination of right-brain and auditory modes creates conflict, as you want to process data more rapidly than your natural processes allow.

Your tendency to be creative and free-flowing is accompanied by sufficient ability to organize and be logical, allowing you a reasonable degree of success in a number of different endeavors. You take in information methodically and systematically which can then be synthesized rapidly. In this manner, you manage to function consistently well, although certainly less efficiently than you desire.

You prefer the abstract and are a theoretician at heart while retaining the ability to be practical. You find the symbolism in a great deal of what you encounter and are something of a "mystic."

With regards to your lifestyle, you have the mentality which would be good as a philosopher, writer, journalist, or instructor, or possibly as a systems designer or social worker. Perhaps most important is your ability to "listen to your inner voice" as a mode of skipping over unnecessary steps to achieve your goals.

Interesting, though not shockingly accurate. What?!? You mean internet quizzes can't show me my soul???

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Shopping is Such Fun

I went to Morning Glory and then Emart to do some random Christmas shopping. Yep, I'm kinda late this year. Had more fun than should be allowed, though I can't exactly post about why here. Also did some exciting food shopping - I bought some caramel popcorn and some Organic Amy's Toaster Pizza Pops. Yum. I am seldom so excited to spend so much money on such a small thing...

Also got some discounted-end-of-the-night fried chicken. It is remarkable how much one learns about chicken structure when eating Korean fried chicken vs. the North American version. What do we do with all the ackward bits of chickens back home???

Krazy Korean Kristmas Kard pics soon to follow...

Quite Proud of Being a Canadian Idiot

Monday, December 04, 2006

Christmas Cheer :)

I was on a bus decorated with tinsel, lights, a small tree and assorted other Christmas things. It was sweet.

The big statue thingy by the church down the road is now all lit up.

The HomePlus has the most bizarre photo place with a tree and an odd green character.

Photos to follow!


The corner of my eye hurts. I would guess this is the result of one too many nights this weekend falling asleep with my mascara on.

However, I seem to be under the misguided notion that plucking out my eyelashes might help the problem.

It doesn't. Now my eye hurts more and is watering up a storm.

I ate, I misplaced my credit card, I traded in books

That is a rather good summary of my weekend.

Thursday night was one for the ladies' as always. I went home earlier than usual, which turned out to be a theme this past weekend. It was a good night, though I have accepted that I seldom enjoy Helios. My problem is that it is crowded and people pinch my ass. Both of these things annoy me. Now, with a few drinks, I'd be a bit more mellow, but not only is the damn free drinks line about 20 years long, they also make the weakest drinks EVER. Thus, Helios tends to just annoy me. The Loft is lovely though. I am not sure how the crowdedness there never bothers me, though it could be the lack of ass pinching. I mean really, boys, what ARE you thinking?

Friday night I met Debbie and Joel for dinner at Geckos, we wandered by B1 (the old J Bar for any ex-Korean expats reading) which is lovely and pretty and cool, and then over to Queen to dance and gaze at beautiful but unavailable men. The Gay Boyfriends were all there, obviously, Tatiana met a new girl, and I got a chance to hang out with Annie a bit before she left early. Debbie and I went briefly to dance at King's Club too.

Saturday I met some people, the Ladies Who Lunch, for lunch at Thai Orchid. It was fun and unexpectedly Susan was there. Saturday night was dinner at Helios, which is much more pleasant than anything else at Helios. But, Helios once more annoyed me, as I swear to god, I have never been somewhere so small where it was so damn easy to lose people. Spending all my time looking for people is annoying. We popped our heads into Spy, but it was dead, and headed to 66. Which is when I realised that I no longer had my credit card.

Basically, my Korean bank card is a dud on weekends. I don't know why and frankly my attempts to have it fixed have met with no result, so I figured, fuck it, I'll just take out a wad of cash every Friday and away we go. Which worked just fine until we went to say goodbye to Sean and Amber and getting money out completely left my mind. Thus, I had only 70,000 won and US$70 to get me through the weekend. Enough, but just tight enough to leave one worrying about being short a cab fare at some point along the way. So, Saturday, I had a genius idea to use my credit card for dinner and one round of drinks and that would make the finaces hum along for the weekend. I normally never carry the damn card with me. The one damn time I do, the waiter fails to give it back to me, and I fail to notice. Damn. This story turned out fine, though, as I got it back the next day.

However, it all put me in a rather annoyed mood. After wandering around Helios looking for people and losing the card, I wasn't feeling the party. Debbie and Joel went off to M2 for some expensive house music (ewwww, house! ewwww, $25 entry fee!) and I stayed at 66. I was having fun chatting with the crew, but in the move to TinPans 2, I was once again annoyed and decided to just go home and go to bed. After reading 100 or so pages of "The Wind-up Bird Chronicle", which continues to be fabulous.

Sunday I headed to Itaewon again, as I needed to pick up my credit card and I traded in some books at What the Book. I meant to get the cash for them, but couldn't resist the pull of books. "Where is human nature so weak as in the bookstore?" asked Henry Ward Beecher, and he certainly had me pegged. I managed to cram in the tiniest bit of Christmas shopping and then I met Val and her crew for dinner at La Tavola's (yummiest Italian food in Seoul) and then went to Geckos to see Sheila and the gang (funniest folks in Seoul). I confused the waitress by asking for hot chocolate and peppermint schnapps. "Peach schnapps?" she asked with a confused look. Um, no. That would likely be disgusting. We were there long enough to hear them playing Closing Time, and then the weekend sadly came to an end.

Finally, I have my break back. And my plane ticket to Thailand is all confirmed and price established. Bring on the beach, because with Mr. Joo as my boss, it's already been a long fucking week.

Oh, the love of books...

"Obviously, a book is what's written, first and foremost, and I would read a brilliant ugly book without hesitation (viz the latest Margaret Atwood, who'd be worth reading if she were printed on baby wipes). But won't new readers be attracted by a book that's beautiful, too?"
Do Judge a Book by Its Cover

I love Margaret Atwood too.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Don't Vote

So, via Sam, I came across this site, where I scored 235 out of 350. Basically, I couldn't get any of the Americans, beyond the biggies. However, I got all the entertainment types and all the international figures, including both the Koreans. Go me!

However, I can't vote in American elections anyway, so I don't think I'm gonna lose any sleep... It was a pretty amusing test.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

American Thanksgiving, one week late

Ladies' Night last Thursday was wild, cause the soldiers all had Friday off for Thanksgiving. We started the night at Don Valley, for a goodbye dinner for YJ. I didn't want to admit that it was two days from her actually leaving, but that it was. Had one of those "vegetarian" moments, when poor Joel ended up with bibimbap with meat on it. Generally though, the rest of us consumed great quantities of meat very appreciatively. Joel and Debbie and I went on to do Ladies' Night, starting at Helios, where everyone seemed to be far drunker than I was gonna get (free drinks having finished) and busy pinching my ass, which is highly annoying. On the walk there we saw a ton of soldiers having a street fight, pursued by whistle-wielding Korean police officers and the MPs running up the road to try and difuse. I managed to lose people, find more people, randomly wander around, get refered to as reparations again and basically decided I was fed up and I wanted the Loft, dammit! So to the Loft we went. Watched two friends fight rather loudly about American politics and a rather interesting idea was suggested to me, one I sort of regret not taking up. (cryptic, yes!) Ended up wandering around Itaewon with Susan and meeting up with an old friend and then finally calling it a night.

I was up early Friday, not really by choice. Friday night YJ, Laura, Tommy, and I went to Ivy to have a couple of drinks. Then it was back to YJ's to help her pack and hang out. It was a sad goodnight, but with an amusing element: a drunken man was sleeping in the hallway, snoring very, very loudly.

The next morning, Laura, YJ and I got breakfast and had coffee at my place until YJ had to take off to the airport. I now have a sofa bed and a dresser and a vaccuum and a ton of kitchen stuff that I didn't have before. I'd rather have YJ back!

Saturday night was Carne Station for Amber and Sean's last night. Joel and Debbie made it was well. We went to TinPans and I bumped into someone I haven't seen in months. Ended up hanging out with him at Stompers for a bit. Ahhhh, Stompers. It's like nowhere else!

Sunday was once again a day of rest, followed by dinner at Geckos. This was punctuated by an annoying guy who bought himself flowers (?) and ended up leaving in a huff and Jane beating a guy at darts in her first ever game.

The weekend begins tomorrow night and looks fairly promising. I will be lunching at Thai Orchid, doing some randomness Satuarday night, and no doubt chowing down at Geckos come Sunday.

I like my routine. I just like it to occur in foreign countries, apparently.


I had to remind myself that YJ isn't in her apartment anymore, cause she's back in the states. I knew that, but I forgot, and it made me sad to remember. Someone has already moved into her apartment (loudly, at 2am!). That's the problem with being an expat. You make friends with other expats and such folks are always coming and going... sigh.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Not as old as I thought...

So, with the aching ankle set off by damp weather and falling asleep in random places, I was starting to feel rather old...

Then I got a hickie. Well, a few. What am I, 13???

Go ahead and laugh.

Considering how bizarre Family Circus got in the end, this might make more sense...

This site pairs random Nietzsche quotes with random Family Circus cartoons, so that the quotes become the captions. I had to click a few times to get really amusing ones, but it was well worth it...

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

All You Need is Love

Today one of my classes had as their homework to write a journal entry about what they would like to get as a birthday gift and why.

Mike said: "I want to friend make for my birthday because I want Love."

Gay Rights... Pass it on

"Why is it that, as a culture, we are more comfortable seeing two men holding guns than holding hands?" - Ernest Gaines

We would like to know who really believes in gay rights on LiveJournal. There is no bribe of a miracle or anything like that. If you truly believe in gay rights, then repost this and title the post as "Gay Rights". If you don't believe in gay rights, then just ignore this. Thanks.

Pass it around.

Smart, Aren't I?

Edited to remove smilies and protect the innocent.

sheesh says:
Amanda says:

Amanda says:
fucking bandaid is making typing hard
Amanda says:
so annoying

sheesh says:
Amanda says:
that is right
Amanda says:
damn some guy got killed in lebanon
Amanda says:
might be civil war
Amanda says:
look at me watching cnn
Amanda says:
and being all smart sounding

sheesh says:
u so smart
Amanda says:
i know
Amanda says:
Amanda says:
all the rest of your crew coming out?
Amanda says:
cause i don't have any good stories for carlya to laugh at

sheesh says:
tell her bout 40 year old
sheesh says:
*censored to protect the innocent*
Amanda says:
Amanda says:
you just told ME that

sheesh says:
i sent that to u
Amanda says:
wrong amanda!!!!

sheesh says:
i was trying to send it to her
Amanda says:

sheesh says:
i am so blond
sheesh says:
she said u r very uncool for not having any stories
sheesh says:
Amanda says:
tell her when she has dance move #8
Amanda says:
i will have a new story

Amanda says:
my god. have you seen the lotte world christmas commercial?
Amanda says:
it is truely frightening

sheesh says:
no i missed that shit
Amanda says:
Amanda says:
you have to see it
Amanda says:
it's fucking scary


"Is it possibly, finally, for one human being to achieve perfect understanding of another?

In the dark, I thought about blue tissues and patterned toilet paper and beef and green peppers. I had lived with her all this time, unaware how much she hated these things. In themselves they were trivial. Stupid. Something to laugh off, not make a big issue out of. We'd had a little tiff and would have forgotten about it in a couple of days.

But this time was different. It was bothering me in a strange new way, digging at me like a little fish bone caught in the throat. Maybe-just maybe-it was more crucial than it seemed. Maybe this was it: the fatal blow."
Haruki Murakami, "The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle"

You know, there were many things that lead to Alan and I breaking up, but one of them is nicely articulated here. I never quite understood how he could have lived with me for so long, been with me for almost 7 years, and known me so little. And it isn't just that I changed in Korea. Before my email account got hijacked, I went through a bunch of old, saved emails to various friends. This basic frustration had been part of our relationship for years. Hindsight is an amazing thing. As is the power of the little things to niggle away until you can't ignore them anymore.

Mom Meal of my Own

I decided to cook at home tonight instead of eating out or ordering Korean food or whatever other random ways I usually feed myself.

Cost of meal:
About $14, though there are some leftovers
An hour of cooking
A sink full of dishes
Two bleeding fingers
Several bandaids

The chicken was good
I ate green things that were steamed
I had sweet potatoes, right near someone's thanksgiving, though not my own

The conclusion? I like cooking, but my fingers don't appreciate the result of my klutziness in the kitchen. And bibimbap is waaaaaaaay cheaper at $4 and no effort on my part...

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Interesting Thought of the Day

all of my life, i have been going about my life doing my own thing, imagining that no one sees me except the people who i want to see me or who i notice seeing me. i am so visible here in seoul. and i was just as visible before, i just didn't think about it.

Inconsequentialness and some Pondering

Sometimes the oddest things irritate me. Suddenly the feeling of my shirt under my right armpit is driving me fucking nutters. No idea why.

Yesterday I had the most backhanded compliment in some time. I wore my hair in a braid because a student asked me to, and really, if I can't spend 2 minutes doing something simple to make someone happy, i'd be a rather miserable human being. However, my boss raved about the braid, in such a way that it seems the inevitable conclusion is that he thinks the way I usually wear my hair is shite. It was highly amusing.

I went out for Boribap with YJ, Laura, Hanna and one of Laura's friends who was in Korea visiting. The food was yummy and it was nice to eat something green for a change. Then we got coffee and headed back to our 'hood.

Tonight was a night for meat, though, as we went for Dondae. J-squared was there, talking all about Native Americans introducing kimchee to the settlers (it isn't easy to produce turkey dinners for holidays here, which is rather sad), and SO WAS R2J2!!! Didn't ever expect to see him again. He very much seemed to be on something and spent most of the dinner not eating, drinking a bit of soju and looking rather ashamed. He said almost nothing and god knows, I had no idea what to say to him. How's it going doesn't exactly work in this particular situation. He left at one point, couldn't find the door, and later returned. It was all super bizarre.

Laura idly commented on whether there was anything to do to help him. It occurs to me that living in Korea is really not for those with any serious problems, but often those are the exact people who come here. There are plenty of people here running away from things and some of them bring with them problems rather large for the limited support system of the few foreigners work and socializing throws you together with. I mean, I haven't a clue how to access drug addiction services in Korea, or to get in contact with his parents, and what's more, I am not overly inclined to do so on the basis of a two night aquaintanceship. Even my good friends here, for whom I would certainly do whatever I was able, are people whose parents I know very, very little about in terms of contacting them. I suppose that is the life of an expat in many ways, as your life now is seldom tied very strongly to the life or lives you have led before your arrival upon these particular shores.

I thought briefly that perhaps I was one of those who ran away from something, but I think in my case it is more that I ran back to something that I wasn't in the slightest interested in leaving, truth to be told.

I am reading a fantastic book right now. It grabbed me on the first page, with the first line, in fact:
"When the phone rang I was in the kitchen, boiling a potful of spaghetti and whistling along with an FM broadcast of the overture to Rossini's The Thieving Magpie, which has to be the perfect music for cooking pasta."

Interestingly, I didn't think I would like it at all. The book in question is "The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle" by Haruki Murakami. I have heard a ton about "Kafka on the Shore" and even seen it used in several places but have never bought it. When I consider why, basically it boils down to the fact that I mentally associate him with Banana Yoshimito, whose books I didn't like, simply because they are both Japanese and write books that are supposed to be a bit dreamlike. But Laura lent it to me and I am so glad she did. It is wonderful already and I am only two chapters in. It feels like one of those books I should own. It feels like one of those books I should read with a notebook next to me at all times, to write down all the quotes that are going to strike me every other page or so.

I have over 2400 duplicate songs on my iTunes. This is what indiscriminate downloading will do.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

The Saga of R2J2

So, a friend's coworker has been fired. The path to this firing is particularly amusing though...

I first met him the Friday night of Halloween weekend. He managed to fall out of a chair for no reason, drop numberous lit cigarrettes out of his mouth and fling his eyeglasses across a bar. It turned out later that he was on speed, which kinda helped me understand the references to the PhD programme he'd dropped out of, the numerous credit cards and their ridiculous balances, and the other randomness.

Then, he managed to miss his visa run to Japan. And to get arrested for suspected dealing. And finally to not turn up to work, leave his door unlocked, and be found by his employer in a drugged state.

Farewell, R2J2. You were amusing while you lasted.

Weekend Ramblings

I do believe that the work week was invented to help people recover from their weekends. I never, ever seem to sleep enough on the weekends. I love to sleep. I want sleep.

It has been a good weekend. Thursday night was Ladies' Night in Itaewon, as usual, but for once I went to Helios (and the Loft later, of course). It was a cool night as I got to see a ton of people - first Debbie, then danced with Sheila and co., then saw Val and Reena at the Loft, bumped into Annie, Daniel, and Amanda. Met an entire Brazilian soccer team.

Friday was a very test intensive day at work, which is always a nice break. One of the kids wrote as a homework sentece "Julie and Amanda share new ideas" and I was very touched. Ellie is insisting that I wear my hair in a ponytail, so I'll have to remember today. Teaching is pretty random but fun.

Friday night I met up with Sheila and co. at 66, though I hadn't intended to head out. Ended up dancing in Q-Vo again and went for breakfast in Itaewon. Spent Saturday with a friend, giving myself only enough time to have a quick shower before heading to La Tavola with YJ for the best food ever. I love pasta soooooo much. We went to 3 Alley and there was a social experiment with an annoying song on a jukebox three times, though sadly we weren't able to see the fruits of that particular labor. Then we went to Geckos and bumped into the Gay Boyfriends and Sheila and her crew and any number of other people. Next up was 66 (the Playboy Mansion DJ being rather on the pricey side), where we bumped into the Julie brothers. A brief sidetrip to Tin Pans and we ended up in Stompers. Handkerchief girl and her posse were there, amusingly dancing to things like that Chicken Noodle soup song, all doing the same dance. Is this cool? I think not, anyway. It was a laugh for me though. Sadly, Stompers at 5am requires you to have rather a lot of drink in you to fully appreciate it, and I lacked that. On the way home there was an amusing exchange at the Mandu tent about some dukboki sauce and the individual wearing it. There was even some yelling out of a cab window, which very much amused both myself and the cab driver.

Sunday was a day of much needed rest. But then I also wandered to Itaewon to meet another Gay Boyfriend and too eat the best, most delicious caesar salad in Korea. Met up with many friends once again.

And thus we arrive at Monday morning. I rather need to get ready and head to the post office. I also want breakfast. Eggs. Yummy.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

I think I am Weird

On the basis of my friends. In the past couple of days, I have:

*called a friend at 1am on a monday morning and invited her to go singing with me, and she got dressed and came.

*seen pictures of a friend dressed in a pilgrim hat in every single picture she took at plymouth rock.

*learned that another friend ordered the pilgrim hat on the internet to ensure that C's wish to wear a goofy hat in photos wouldn't go unfulfilled. after all, we can't just leave goofy hat wearing on vacations to chance... or can we?

Monday, November 13, 2006

Thanks to all who matter

"Be who you are and say what you feel. Because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind." Dr. Seuss

Books and Travel, two of my vices

It has taken me some time to get around to chancing upon this, but I love it. INFLUENCES: GLOBE-TROTTERS' FAVORITES; Tomes That Can Trigger a Writer's Wanderlust.

How about a cold beer after work?

Or, a post about work.

One of my students, the cutest girl ever, who's in about grade 6 or so, asked me this when I entered the classroom on Friday. I am sure the look on my face was comical. She had a Korean-English phrasebook which is sure to continue to provide me with a great deal of hilarity. She was reading through it as I checked everyone's homework and suddenly said, "Selfish! What a great word!" Then she asked me how to pronounce assassination. Julie is one of my favourites because she so visibly loves to learn. She is always looking up new vocabulary words and she loves to talk to her teachers and other students in English.

I was watching a video on YouTube by a guy about why he gets out of bed in the morning all about his son. Beyond that is was cute and made me feel all weepy, it did make me ponder the question for myself. There was an interesting response by a younger guy that it's basically just to see what happens in the course of the day, kinda like checking your email to see what's there. And I thought that was very apt, but then I was posting this about Julie and realised...

Students like her are why I like my job. And one of the major reasons I get out of bed in the morning.

So Cute

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Crazy Weekend

Well, perhaps not super crazy. But crazy fun, at the very least.

Thursday night turned out fairly crazy. Everybody was at the Loft and then I stayed out super late cause a friend was gonna stay out and go straight to work. Yep, that's the kind of country it is. And then, crazily, I decided to turn on my computer when I got home...

Friday night, YJ and I went for some Outback, thus beginning my weekend of bad food consumption. I am not sure that the side salad makes up for the cheesy fries, basically. Then we met Debbie to hit up an army doctors party. Was what I imagine American frat parties are like, but there were some fun people to chat with. We went to Hongdae, to 66 and Stompers and onwards to Sinchon, where I was so damn tired that once again I feel asleep. We met some cool people there - a Korean girl with the cutest british accent, another girl stuck babysitting a very drunken soldier. Tommy is the cutest ever! They went on to have doughnuts for breakfast, but I didn't have the stamina and headed home at 8.30.

Saturday was fun too. We headed to Puca Puca to have some coffee and chat and then met Lisa in a Family Mart. Was just about to call her and find out where she was when we randomly bumped into her. After some crowdedness at TinPans (helping geeky white boys dance on bars since 1999) we went to Q-Vo. I randomly picked up a Korean guy, which is certainly not something that happens often. After hours of dancing to cool music, and watching a guy dragged out by his belt by the bouncers, we went for food in the tent opposite 66. A plate of random seafood and an ommellette. Tasty.

Then today. I finished off my pizza (ordered on Saturday for its greasiness) and ended up in Itaewon. Bumped into Amber and crew and joined them in an Irish bar, went to meet Debbie and her friends at Gecko's Garden, YJ joined for some food and we headed to Geckos. Then the evening got wild. Sheila is such great fun and I was in a singing mood, so upon arriving in our hood, I called Laura who got dressed and joined us in some norae bang craziness! Thus, it is 3.47am on a Sunday night and I have had the most amazingly fabulous weekend. WooHoo!

What I've been reading...

I had a two book theme going on, sort of.

First, "What do Women Want?" by Erica Jong. Jenni borrowed this from me ages ago and said it wasn't much good. She'd be right. I thought it was going to be quite feminist, but rather wasn't. The title page maybe should have had me guessing that-four pics, bread, roses, sex, power. Now, I suspect I'm in a minority of people who even get the bread and roses references, cause none of the people I pointed it out to had heard of it. You can learn more on Wikipedia. Then, the sex is illustrated by a condom. Something that men use. Hmmmmm. And power by a high-heeled shoe. Uh huh.

So, I wasn't loving it. The best bit for me was the end where she writes about trips to Italy, cause I love Italy and want to retire there to a villa and drink too much red wine. There were some chapters about literature and porn and she wrote a lot about Lolita, which I really should get around to reading.

"Every life decision I have made - from changing jobs to changing partners to changing homes - has been taken with trepidation. I have not ceased being fearful, but I have ceased to let fear control me. I have accepted fear as a part of life, specifically the fear of change, of the unknown."

This is my life! I changed all three back in April and it was certainly very scary. It has totally paid off, though. I have a tendancy to think that if something scares me, it is probably the thing I should go and do. Generally this line of thinking has paid off, with that one big, messy notable exception. But then, life is messy. If it isn't, you probably aren't living it.

"We love people, ultimately, for their humanity; not because of their perfection but in spite of their imperfections."

Something to remember when dealing with the ex. His imperfections were once why I loved him, not the annoyances I find them today. Breathe. Forgive. Understand.

"I forget how she died. I'm sure I deliberately blank out her story because I loathe stories about young women who die at tender ages. I would rather see monuments to women who survived their first loves and went on to have several more."

I like this idea very, very much.

"What I require of a book is that it kidnap me into its world. Its world must make the so-called real world seem flimsy. Its world must trigger the nostalgia to return. When I close the book, I should feel bereft.

How rare this is, and how grateful I am to find it. The utter trust that exists between reader and author is like the trust between lovers. If I feel betrayed by the author, I will never surrender again. I must believe in the author's honesty in order to be swept away."

I love it!


Can You Keep a Secret? by Sophie Kinsella. My love of British chick lit is my dirty little secret.

November 11th

To a Canadian, November 11th means Remembrance Day. The minute of silence at 11.11, the school assemblies singing "Blowing in the Wind" and reciting "In Flander's Fields", buying dozens of poppies because they never stay on my jackets and being poked with the little pin, and a couple of years as a Scout leader with ceremonies at the Cenotaph and hot chocolate after at the Legion. Listening to the "Last Post" never fails to send shivers down my spine.

In Flanders Fields
By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)
Canadian Army

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

In Korea, November 11th is a holiday with an entirely different set of spots. It's Pepero Day. Basically, there are cookie things that are tall and straight. 11/11 looks like four Pepero, which inspired an entire holiday dedicated to exchanging cookies with everyone you know! I got some from my students, very cute. You are especially supposed to give them to girlfriends/boyfriends and so there are tons of elaborate packaged ones with teddy bears and other such things. The displays are something else, I tell ya.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

It's a funny world...

...where you can keep an eye on your ex through his blog.

After ladies' night on Thursday, I came home and had a bizarre drunken impulse to check my email and ended up IMing the ex. Or soon to be ex.

He has been upset about the fact that something he did might be the topic of discussion between myself and someone else. And I keep telling him that frankly, I don't find him that fascinating to be talking about him all the time, but that he certainly doesn't get to tell me what I can and can't say to my friends. Even when we were together I wouldn't have tolerated him telling me what topics were allowable and what topics weren't. I certainly won't be letting my soon-to-be exhusband to tell me what to do in any way. Which isn't to say that I intend to discuss this particular subject at all, but it annoys me that he thinks he can constantly harrass me on IM about what he wants and that I'm going to listen. I mean, entitlement much?

You know, if we could wipe the slate clean of our exes, I am sure some of us would. I don't really need to. I was the one who left and it was the best decision I have made in some time and I'm super happy with my life right now. But, his actions do still sometimes impact me. And so I may well discuss him and what he does. That's life after a breakup, I guess.

But the most amusing part? He blogs all about values and how his are just fine. Which is all well and good, I suppose. I think his values are just fine. But I think mine are too, and I am sure it was meant to be a dig at me. However, my ex should remember that it wasn't me that got involved in the Jerry Springer-esque situation that he now wants me to never talk about. Dude, get out of the kitchen if you can't handle the heat. You started this, it does sort of impact me, and I'll discuss it with whoever I choose. And you can stop harrassing me on IM about it and anything else.

Yes, I've said I am quite willing to be friendly. But you have yet to ever be friendly towards me and I'm not gonna be a doormat.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Dancing on Tables, Here I Come...

Ooh oh yeah yeah, Oh what a night
It's ladies night

This is your night tonight,
Everything is going to be alright
This is your night tonight,
C'mon girls

Girls, we've all got one
A night that's special everywhere
From New York to Hollywood
It's ladies night and girl
The feeling's good

Romantic lady, ooh oh yeah, single baby
Mm sophisticated mama (woooooh)
Come on you disco baby, yeah, yeah
Stay with me tonight

If you hear any noise
It ain't the boys, it's ladies night, shhh, uh huh
Come on girls

Gonna step out ladies night
Steppin' out ladies night

Oh what a night (Oh what a night)

On disco lights your name will be seen
You can fulfill all your dreams
Party here, party there, everywhere
This is our night, ladies
You got to be there

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Oh no!

As if it wasn't bad enough that i randomly capitalize, don't punctuate well, can't be arsed spell checking and write random drivel...

I think I need an intervention. Though I do like cats...

Poor boys

What my student Natalie thinks of her male classmates.

Super Chef

Amanda had mastered the art of Asian cooking.

Naomi perhaps doesn't think much of my cooking! But I loved getting mail :) And I haven't sunk so low as to rely on pot noodles for nourishment...


Ages ago, Candace requested a pic of my silver earring collection. I am slow like molasses, but here it is at last.


This demo is highly amusing.

Thanks to Lisa for the heads up. *snicker*

How to Be a Good Friend

Be available in the middle of the night to taste test brownies.

It is an onerous and difficult task of friendship, I know, but I am ready and willing to provide this kind of key friendship support.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Ditz Central

You have to plug in the heater for it to work! That explains a lot...

Monday, November 06, 2006


It snowed tonight! Granted, it was some pretty wet, insubstantial snow, but winter is here. Sadly, I haven't made the mental shift to winterwear yet, so it was a very, very chilly walk home. I wasn't even wearing socks! My room is toasty warm though and I made soup and a toasted tuna sandwich. Yum.

Sunday, November 05, 2006


Has anyone else noticed that there is a key angle to pouring juice in such a way that it doesn't splash back and make a mess but that you never manage to figure it out till the glass is full? Or is that only me?

I had a brilliant weekend. Thursday I had dinner with YunJin at her place and ended up staying in. Friday we did Outback and then I went into Itaewon solo. Chatted with Lynn and then with B, the boy who won't leave me alone! Well, I think actually Friday night has solved things, but I was getting very annoyed by all the texts and phone calls and just generally too much attention from someone I really wasn't interested in. So, I joined Daniel and Alex and crew on the balcony at Geckos, where Daniel's cute Korean boy offered me some swigs out of a bottle of tequila. I declined at first, because tequila and I do not get along. We just don't. By the time Amanda and Debbie arrived and we ended up dancing at Queen, that resolve went right out the window on the basis of cheapness. And that I do kinda like tequila, it just doesn't much like me the next day. Anyway, Debbie is fantastic and we randomly introduced ourselves to a boy sitting by himself and chatted with him. Danced with beautiful gay boys, which is such fun. You get to shake the booty with someone who won't try and pinch it! Randomly ended up in King's Club for some more dancing and then in a very dead Loft, as it must have been 5am or something by then.

Saturday's main plan was to hit up Carne Station at 8.30, thanks to Laura's amazing organizational skills. However, Tim was coming down from Osan and there was traffic and we were meeting at my place and then I told Debbie to meet me in front of the Pizza Hut that no longer exists (I knew that but somehow forgot at a key moment.) We had to wait for her to meet us, since Carne is hard to find, what with the sign only being in Korean. Basically, I was very late. I am the type of girl who will be late for her own funeral, though, so no surprises there! After the all you can eat and drink extraveganza, we stopped at 66 and met up with Lisa. She friended me on myspace because she's from Palgrave and she is mighty cool! Went to Stompers, had a blast; went to the Sexy Pig (cause if your meat isn't sexy, why would you eat it?), fell asleep! I hadn't even had that much to drink!

Then today, I went into Itaewon to have a quick lunch with Tim before he headed back to Osan. I ended up with dinner plans with Val and crew and YunJin. So, I bought a book and figured I'd read in Starbucks and have a much needed coffee while I waited. The next thing you know I was napping in a comfy chair! I have managed to fall asleep twice in 12 hours in a public place!!! What am I, 80? We ended up at Don Valley for some BBQ, so I've also done that 3 times this weekend, if we can count me snoring in Sexy Pig as having done BBQ. It was a very amusing meal. Then chatted with peeps at Geckos (using slang here, folks, not referencing bizarre American marshmellow snacks) and we all sat down and ended up doing a crossword in the latest K-Scene replacement mag. Again, how old am I exactly?

It was a great weekend, all in all. I love socializing and by that I don't so much mean boozing. Just like blethering away with people, friends, random strangers, whatever. And I do love dancing.

Did you know that your thumb is the same length as your nose? Cause it is.

Apparently I have discovered italics. Watch out world.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Almost there...

I need a reader in Africa and one in the Antarctic and I'll have readers on every continent. An easier goal than visiting them all, though that is on the infamous list!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

My Soul, Bared Just for You

You Are a Seeker Soul

You are on a quest for knowledge and life challenges.
You love to be curious and ask a ton of questions.
Since you know so much, you make for an interesting conversationalist.
Mentally alert, you can outwit almost anyone (and have fun doing it!).

Very introspective, you can be silently critical of others.
And your quiet nature makes it difficult for people to get to know you.
You see yourself as a philosopher, and you take everything philosophically.
Your main talent is expressing and communicating ideas.

Souls you are most compatible with: Hunter Soul and Visionary Soul

The days fly by...

It is already Thursday, though the wee hours of the morn, which means the weekend is almost here! Yay! (This makes it sound as if I don't like my job. I mostly do. I don't like my boss, but I haven't seen him much lately, which definitely improves my mood.)

Monday we had Julie's leaving lunch. I (heart) the Sizzler salad bar. Guacamole, people! Salmon! Bring it! We also got to meet Lee and Deana and they are very, very cool. I think they'll be fun to work with. Monday evening proved to be an evening of discussion with friends. I chatted with a friend from Scotland who I haven't been talking to in awhile and it was great to speak with her again. I'd really missed her. There aren't many people who I feel so in tune with and share so much history with. I ended up going to bed at 7am. It was pure craziness.

Tuesday was Julie's last day at work. I spent most of my prep time randomly sorting through crap on her desk. There was stuff there going back to 2003! Why don't people clean out their desks before they leave? Am I the only one who loves to go and trash all the unnecessary stuff and tie up all the loose ends? I got a pack of Dentyne gum out of it, that has been there at least 6 months. I am sure gum doesn't expire though. It better not, anyway. We got together for her last pizza night. The gang was there, along with the newest Heritage gang members. Just wait til we tell them about the required tats!

Today has been a bit odd. Lee is in Amber's desk. Julie didn't smoke a cig on the walk home. I had a new class, which I quite liked, but have lost some cute students (though I wasn't too fond of teaching them, to be honest). I was vaguely productive-made it to the bank to pay my bills, but didn't manage to make it to the post office. I guess that's the plan for this morning.

Laura and I decided to make dinner together so we headed to HomePlus. My beloved Giordanos had a sweater on sale, so I will be toasty warm this winter I think. I also picked up some hilarious presents for Andrea and David. Can't wait to send them!!! I did a major shop, as always spending more on cheese than on everything else combined. The purpose of the trip was to get chicken, brocoli and potatoes. Then Laura cooked us a "mom" meal. Chicken, mashed potatoes and veg. Yummy. Then I got peckish later and made myself a banana split, which totally takes me back to childhood. I even mashed the ice cream up at the end and mixed it with the chocolate syrup.


Ahhhhhh, I love the internet!

I Lack a Key Gene

And apparently it is the one required to be able to appreciate Paulo Coelho novels. Granted, I've only read the one, "By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept". It sucked. Sadly, I am anal, and thus MUST FINISH EVERY BOOK I EVER START. Exceptions are only allowed for anything that is a required text for a class, when it is imperative that I barely skim it, much less read it all, or for War and Peace right before a two week hiking trip.

However, there is seldom a book that I can't find something that ressonates with me. (Dan Brown may be the exception.)

You have to take risks, he said. We will only understand the miracle of life fully when we allow the unexpected to happen.

Every day, God gives us the sun-and also one moment in which we have the ability to change everything that makes us unhappy. Every day, we try to pretend that we haven't perceived that moment, that it doesn't exist-that today is the same as yesterday and will be the same as tomorrow. But if people really pay attention to their everyday lives, they will discover that magic moment. It may arrive in the instant when we are doing something mundane, like puttin our front-door key in the lock; it may lie hidden in the quiet that follows the lunch hour or in the thousand and one things that all seem the same to us. But that moment exists-a moment when all the power of the stars becomes a part of us and enables us to perform miracles.

Joy is sometimes a blessing, but it is often a conquest. Our magic moment helps us to change and sends us off in search of our dreams. Yes, we are going to suffer, we will have difficult times, and we will experience many disappointments-but all of this is transitory; it leaves no permanant mark. And one day we will look back with pride and faith a the journey we have taken.

Take away all the God from this quote, and you are left with something I agree with. I don't like that part of difficulties not leaving permanant marks; I think they do, but that those marks will fade with time much like physical scars. I think it isn't always easy to see the moments that life offers us to make difficult changes. I think that often when it does, we look away on purpose because it all seems so damn hard. And yet, it is by seizing those moments in my own life that I have found the most happiness.

I think being happy is a conquest. It takes risk. It takes work. It takes a great deal of personal growth and a willingness to turn away from the expectations of those around you and tune into yourself. I suspect that it requires long periods of alone time. I think it requires absorbtion and thought and pensiveness.

My journey in the past year has not been easy. Leaving a life that I thought was going to stretch before me for years was difficult. Hurting the person that I most loved in this world for 7 years wasn't easy. Facing everyone I knew and admitting that I had chosen the wrong path was very difficult. More importantly, facing myself and admitting that I wanted something different was not easy.

And yet... The risk was worth it. It was the right thing to do. I am back in my own skin again. I am me and I am happy. If there is anything I could give to my ex right now, it would be the ability to see his own moment. The readiness to take that risk and find his dream. I hope he does.

Sometimes when I'm talking with someone and get excited about what I'm saying, I find myself saying things I've never said before.

This is me in a nutshell. (Well, okay, you couldn't fit much of me in a nutshell, but anyway...) I totally do this. This is why it is so hard to get me to shut up! ;) I totally learn by talking. I learn what I think about things. Stuff always comes out that I didn't really think about, or not in the same way, and the ideas bouncing off someone else just drives it all forward. I love a good chat.

He eyed the glass on the edge of the table-worried that it might fall.

It's a rite of passage, I wanted to say. It's something prohibited. Glasses are not purposefully broken. In a restaurant or in our home, we're careful not to place glasses by the edge of the table. Our universe requires that we avoid letting glasses fall to the floor.

But when we break them by accident, we realize that it's not very serious. The waiter says, "It's nothing," and when has anyone been charged for a broken glass? Breaking glasses is part of life and does no damage to us, to the restaurant, or to anyone else.

Our parents taught us to be careful with glasses and with our bodies. They taught us that the passions of childhood are impossible... that no one leaves on a journey without knowing where they are going.

Another quote about taking risks. Anyone want to hazard a guess that I've been thinking about what comes next? However, I have been an incredibly lucky person, because that last paragraph doesn't really apply to me. My parents have always encouraged me to follow my dreams, as impossible or unrealistic as they may sometimes be. Regardless of whether they approve of my choices, I have always felt secure in the sense that they will always support me and be there if I need somewhere to run away to and lick my wounds. I can't say how grateful I will always be to them for giving me such a beautiful gift. If only there was some way to package that feeling up and give it to everyone on my Christmas list.

And on that sappy note... I love you all and miss you all more than I can say. Thank you all for being my friends and loved ones, in spite of the distance between us. And Julie - we are all going to miss you so much. Safe journey.

Monday, October 30, 2006

A Non-Post

I had some ideas for a post, but then blogger acted like an asshole, and i got into a couple of conversations, and now i would rather have a cup of tea. I will leave you all, dear readers, to anticipate what i might say tomorrow.

(it will not be as fascinating as the anticipation may lead you to believe)

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Tell Me About Me

My Johari Window. Go and tell me what you think about me, in the interests of helping me gaze at my navel more effectively.

Another Weekend Passes. Same Same but Different.

It's been a slightly odd weekend. I went to Ladies' Night on Thursday with YunJin at the Loft. It was a slightly crazy night, with tons of people there that I knew. Bumped into Kevin and Todd, Val and Amanda, Alejandra and Daniel. We watched the DJ playing pool undefeated for some time. Then as the evening progressed, I ended up chatting with some Germans and getting them to teach me random phrases in German.

I didn't get much sleep and Friday was a looooooong day. In spite of that, I ended up going out Friday night. YunJin, Jason, Jason (R2J2), and I went to Outback for food first and then headed to Itaewon. Geckos was dead, but Tommy joined us there. R2J2 had an interesting moment when he suddenly fell out of his chair while on the phone. It suddenly occured to us that it was Club Night, so we decided to head along to Hongdae, where we ended up at Bricxx, chatting till 5am.

Although I had only had two drinks, the lack of sleep did me in and I slept all day Saturday. It was disorienting to wake up and find it dark. I hadn't a clue what day it might have even been at first, but I had merely slept for 12 hours. So, I futzed about on the internet for a couple of hours, ate my leftover Outback pasta, and got ready to go out for Julie's last night. It was also Halloween, of course, though I didn't dress up. We went to Margaritas, Bricxx for a hookah, and 66 before Julie decided it was time to head home. Tommy, YunJin, John, Laura and I headed to Itaewon and went to the Loft to dance and say hi to Val and the gang. Had a great time, danced on tables, etc. We went up to Poly's for a kettle (where I stole a couple of flowers from a stranger to put behind my ears) and then ended up in a cab on the way to Hongdae again, where we had samgypsal for breakfast as by then it was very much morning.

A taxi ride home and it should have been very much time for bed. Bizarrely I turned on the computer and ended up reading a bit before sleeping, so Sunday has largely been a repeat of Saturday, but with bacon and eggs instead of pasta. Fun, fun! I am now sitting around with reality tv on in the background and pondering the need to laundry and clean my apartment...

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Now that I know how, the question that remains is when...

Your Personal Day of Death is...
Monday, July 3, 2056
Seconds left to live...


The Countdown begins!

Find out your own day of death here.

I love this book!

What horrible Edward Gorey Death will you die?

You will be sucked dry by a leech. I'd stay away from swimming holes, and stick to good old cement. Even if it does hurt like hell when your toe scrapes the bottom.
Take this quiz!

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Wednesday, October 25, 2006

A Very Intellectual Discussion

b: heya whatcha doin?
me: nothing
me: you?

b: nuffin
me: i am gonna make me a salad, i think
b: i think i'm gonna sit on my ass some more
b: i think this why my ass so flat
me: hmmm
me: is my ass flat?
me: is a concerning thought

b: wot put in salad?
me: mozza and tomato
b: mmmmmmmmmmm good call
b: how healthy of u
b: are you sure you want salad?
b: julie and i going to don day.
me: what are you proposing?
me: donday?
me: is what?
me: what is it?????
b: it's meat
b: meeeeeeat
me: hmmmm.
me: i could do meat

b: ok! let's do meat!
me: i could meet you for meat
b: okokokookokokk meeeeeeeeeeat donday