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.