Wednesday, June 28, 2006

My Big Morning Decisions...

Which of my seven or so work t-shirts will I wear? And do they go better with the blue Nike flip-flops or the pink ones?

I do love my job!


Dodgy School Requires Dodgy Teacher: Taiwan

Posted By: Michael's English School
Date: Sunday, 25 June 2006, at 2:57 p.m.


Tuesday, June 27, 2006

I had best get reading...

Here are the top 100 most banned/challenged books (challenged by various people for various reasons, usually to insist on their removal from school or public libraries). I've underlined all the ones I've read and challenge you to do the same.

Scary Stories (Series) by Alvin Schwartz
Daddy’s Roommate by Michael Willhoite
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
Harry Potter (Series) by J.K. Rowling

Forever by Judy Blume
Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
Alice (Series) by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Heather Has Two Mommies by Leslea Newman
My Brother Sam is Dead by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
The Giver by Lois Lowry

It’s Perfectly Normal by Robie Harris
Goosebumps (Series) by R.L. Stine
A Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Newton Peck
The Color Purple by Alice Walker
Sex by Madonna
Earth’s Children (Series) by Jean M. Auel
The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
Go Ask Alice by Anonymous
Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers
In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak
The Stupids (Series) by Harry Allard
The Witches by Roald Dahl
The New Joy of Gay Sex by Charles Silverstein
Anastasia Krupnik (Series) by Lois Lowry
The Goats by Brock Cole
Kaffir Boy by Mark Mathabane
Blubber by Judy Blume
Killing Mr. Griffin by Lois Duncan
Halloween ABC by Eve Merriam
We All Fall Down by Robert Cormier
Final Exit by Derek Humphry
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
What’s Happening to my Body? Book for Girls: A Growing-Up Guide for Parents & Daughters by Lynda Madaras
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Beloved by Toni Morrison
The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
The Pigman by Paul Zindel
Bumps in the Night by Harry Allard
Deenie by Judy Blume
Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
Annie on my Mind by Nancy Garden
The Boy Who Lost His Face by Louis Sachar
Cross Your Fingers, Spit in Your Hat by Alvin Schwartz
A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Sleeping Beauty Trilogy by A.N. Roquelaure (Anne Rice)
Asking About Sex and Growing Up by Joanna Cole
Cujo by Stephen King
James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
The Anarchist Cookbook by William Powell
Boys and Sex by Wardell Pomeroy
Ordinary People by Judith Guest
American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
What’s Happening to my Body? Book for Boys: A Growing-Up Guide for Parents & Sons by Lynda Madaras
Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume
Crazy Lady by Jane Conly
Athletic Shorts by Chris Crutcher
Fade by Robert Cormier
Guess What? by Mem Fox
The House of Spirits by Isabel Allende
The Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline Cooney
Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
Native Son by Richard Wright
Women on Top: How Real Life Has Changed Women’s Fantasies by Nancy Friday
Curses, Hexes and Spells by Daniel Cohen
Jack by A.M. Homes
Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo A. Anaya
Where Did I Come From? by Peter Mayle
Carrie by Stephen King
Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume
On My Honor by Marion Dane Bauer
Arizona Kid by Ron Koertge
Family Secrets by Norma Klein
Mommy Laid An Egg by Babette Cole
The Dead Zone by Stephen King
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
Always Running by Luis Rodriguez
Private Parts by Howard Stern
Where’s Waldo? by Martin Hanford
Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene
Little Black Sambo by Helen Bannerman
Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
Running Loose by Chris Crutcher
Sex Education by Jenny Davis
The Drowning of Stephen Jones by Bette Greene
Girls and Sex by Wardell Pomeroy
How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell
View from the Cherry Tree by Willo Davis Roberts
The Headless Cupid by Zilpha Keatley Snyde
The Terrorist by Caroline Cooney
Jump Ship to Freedom by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier

(I don't get it, what's wrong with Where's Waldo???)

Interesting, I thought I was a geek...

Pure Nerd
56 % Nerd, 39% Geek, 34% Dork
For The Record:

A Nerd is someone who is passionate about learning/being smart/academia.
A Geek is someone who is passionate about some particular area or subject, often an obscure or difficult one.
A Dork is someone who has difficulty with common social expectations/interactions.
You scored better than half in Nerd, earning you the title of: Pure Nerd.

The times, they are a-changing. It used to be that being exceptionally smart led to being unpopular, which would ultimately lead to picking up all of the traits and tendences associated with the "dork." No-longer. Being smart isn't as socially crippling as it once was, and even more so as you get older: eventually being a Pure Nerd will likely be replaced with the following label: Purely Successful.


Another Post-Weekend Post

Friday night, I went out with Amber, Sean, Henry, and Marisa to see the game at City Hall. We started out in Hongdae, eating Mexican food (there was this jam stuff on my quesadilla was a bit odd, but it was tasty) and then to Bricxx for mojitos and a hookah. From there, we took a fun taxi ride to City Hall and spent about an hour wandering around, crowd gazing and taking in the excitement. There were lots of people in red, flags, firecrackers going off. And we felt like celebrities cause tons of people wanted to take pictures with us. Marisa even got a weird ride of sorts from some Korean guys. We sat down to watch the game, and sadly, it did not go well for Korea, as they lost to Switzerland. The game started at 4am, and I was so tired by the time we hopped on the subway to go home. I slept most of Saturday away, to catch up on my constant sleep deficit.

It being Marisa's last Saturday, we went out. First to Carne Station to meet up with Julie's brothers, and later Pedro met up with us. Then to Route 66 and onward to Tin Pans I & II. I was so hung over the next day - no more mixing whisky and soju. It is not good.

Sunday was the Canada Day Picnic. Held at a new site out near World Cup Stadium, I didn't think the food or the activities were as good. Could have been the hangover though. We pretty much just stayed at our table and hung out, playing cards and chatting.

On the way home we went to watch X-Men 3 at Gimpo Airport. Yes, folks, there is a movie theatre in the airport here. I enjoyed the theatre, not so much the movie. I mean, really, did it have to end that way? They coulda done stuff with the serum, or that boy, rather than do what they did. It annoyed me quite a bit actually. Especially as I have really liked the X-Men movies up until now.

Laura, the new teacher, arrived today and joined us for galbi. She seems really nice. Then I hung out for a bit with YunJin and Julie. The weeks are so much more relaxing than the weekends. And that is in spite of needing to get all my report cards done!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

I should visit all of them, of course!

You Should Visit Brazil

If you're looking for an extreme yet chill vacation, Brazil is perfect for you.
Go wild at Carnaval, get lost in the Amazon, and relax checking out the beautiful people on the beach.

Amanda looks like

Google the phrase "(Your first name) looks like" and find the best one from the first page of results. Don't forget to put it in quotes marks when you search, otherwise it won't work.

"Amanda looks like any nerd in school, but she is actually really smart and cool. She is smart because she knows everything about bugs" (I like this one cause I am such a geek!) and "Amanda looks like a tall, masculine version of Kitty the Dance" (cause it's random!)

Bacon is always Best

I am awake early today, have a few things to do. So I went to the HomePlus, bought myself some bread, and made bacon, eggs, toast and a cup of tea. Life is sweet.

Last night I took a cab to Itaewon and had the oddest experience. My cabbie's daughter had spent a year studying English in Calgary, so he called her up and we chatted for the length of my ride. It is a bit ackward to talk to someone I have never met and can't even see, but it is the kind of friendliness that I really like about Korea.

I have been listening to my iPod on my very short walk to work and the other day Julie saw me. Apparently I strut. Damn right! My tunes are fine! :)

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

I am the Master!

Your Star Wars Pickup Line

"In time, you will call me.....Master."

And now, some words from Badly Drawn Boy

Life is turned upside down
But then maybe it's just
Been put back the right way round
All your dreams realised
There's new fire in your eyes
In spite of its size
You soon realise
That it's alright
Feels right

Now there's a cross
That nobody should really have to bear
But then maybe
That's just when life's treating you fair
There are lessons to learn
When you've waited your turn
And things didn't turn out
Quite the way that you dreamt about
But it still feels right
Feels right

And it still feels right

Green is the colour

I bought some Green brand crackers today. These folks aren't fucking around either, the crackers are in fact green. It is a bit disconcerting to eat cheese off of something this shade of green. And speaking of cheese, I treated myself ridiculously today by buying some soft cheese thingys with herbs on them that I used to eat in Scotland. They were an expensive treat even there, here... it's best not to think about really!

Yesterday after work we met up with Shawn and Henry to go and check out a restaurant that Henry had noticed called Mexican. Everyone was excited at the prospect of Mexican food in our neighbourhood. We arrived and the menu was all chicken. According to it: "When I think of chicken, I love Mexican." Interesting, as when I think Mexican, I certainly don't think of chicken. However, it was damn fine chicken and we had some beers and watched the Togo-Swiss game. Even had some skittlebrew (Simpsons reference there).

After my trip to the HomePlus (have I ever mentioned it is a Tesco company?) which was prompted by my paltry sticker supply (Heritage runs on stickers), I went for galbi downstairs with the girls. Meat and red sauce in a lettuce leaf never fails to please.

Quote of the Day

"If you have come to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together." Lila Watson

Monday, June 19, 2006

I am the Pilot

Saint Exupery's 'The Little Prince' Quiz.

You are the pilot.
Take this quiz!

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Sunday, June 18, 2006

Fuck Yeah!

Korea has tied the game!!!

Tae Aming go!

I just saw an Addidas commercial for the World Cup. Apparently, impossible is nothing. I think maybe they got that translation a bit wrong.

In other random English usage, my toliet paper urges me to Be Happy, Stay Healthy, Be Wealthy. It also smells and has flower pictures. It is the most pimped up toilet paper I have ever wiped my arse with.

Go Korea! Even if it is 4am!!!

I am sitting here eating eggs on toast and watching the Korea-France game. Unfortunately France is winning 1-0 right now. You might be wondering why I am up so late on a Sunday night (or Monday morning, though I prefer not to think about the fact that it is Monday and the weekend is over!)

The weekend has been good. Watched Hostel with a friend Thursday and I have to say, I hated that movie. It scared me, but more because I couldn't handle the gore than because it was properly scary. And closing my eyes didn't help, as it was the screaming that was getting to me.

Friday night was Lucia's last night in Korea, so I went to Pedro's for her last night. He has just moved into the Trump World Tower and it is the coolest fucking apartment EVER! Amazing view of the city, balcony, big rooms, giant tv, and... hot tub!!! (In fact, I went over tonight to try it out. amazing evening). Met some of Pedro's friends from Osan and went out, first to Geckos, where we met up with Frank, and then to Halabogies (which has been renamed Hage, which I don't like as much as the old name. to make things more complicated, it was one of the Hodge Podges). Saturday I went to the little Italian place that I love in Edae and bought another pair of Nike flipflops, pink flowery ones. I am not sure this month's budget can handle them, but I love them. Then I went to Ruby Tuesday's in Sinchon for Robyn and Amy's last weekend dinner. It was cool. Saw Meghann again and Bethany. Found out that Michelle, my old boss, has left Poly. From there I went to Itaewon and went to Calientes and King's Club with Frank. Calientes is an amazing place, really cool, though I can't salsa, so that sucks. At King's Club, I bumped into Kennedy, who dated one of my friends last time I was in Korea. Then I spent Sunday relaxing, watched Terminator Three and other crap on TV. Bought a pair of fake Addidas shoes. And another pair of $2 earrings.

Tonight I went to Pedro's. Had a great time. Watched Austin Powers on his huge TV. And that is why I am awake at this hour, watching some soccer. I will no doubt need the entire week to catch up on all the sleep I missed this weekend.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Wikipedia is fun

Everything you've ever wanted to know about soju.

My head won't let this go

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

I saw all the bright people
In imposing flocks they landed
And they got what they demanded
And they scratched at the ground

Then they flew
And the fear grew as sweetly for the flightless
Who had longing yet despite this
Who could hear every sound

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

And if your sister or your brother
Were stumbling on their last mile
In a self-inflicted exile
You'd wish for them a humble friend

And I hope someday
That the best of Falstaff's planners
Give me seven half-built manors
Where half dreams may dream without end

There's the wind and the rain
And the mercy of the fallen
Who say hey it's not my place to know what's right

There's the weak and the strong
And the many stars that guide us
We have some of them inside us


Things that remind me of my childhood
- my siblings
- sandcastles
- smarties
- sledding
- certain books
- meatloaf and apple crisp
- canned beans

Timeline Meme

25 years ago: I was three and had only one brother. I don't remember it, but I look pretty happy in the pictures.

20 years ago: I was 8. I still had only the one brother. Still don't really have many memories of it and there are less pictures!

15 Years ago: I was 13. Self-conscious. A Geek.

10 Years ago: I was 18. I hated Bolton, I didn't get along with my parents, I skipped a lot of school. I was just aching to get out and live life.

5 years ago: I was 23. I had graduated university and was living happily in Scotland with Alan, in spite of hating my bank job.

3 years ago: I was 25. Alan and I left Scotland and moved to Vancouver. Took the most amazing trip across Canada with him and Jenni, one which I will never forget and likely compare all future trips against.

1 year ago: I was in Korea, in a long distance relationship. I thought that I knew where I was going to be and what I was going to do for the foreseeable future. I finally discovered a job I liked, met a group of girls who taught me a lot about myself, and enjoyed being an expat.

This year: Has been hard. I turns out I was wrong about that future I thought I was going to have. I am back in Korea, getting lost and finding myself. Or just teaching and drinking.

Yesterday: I taught all day. A friend came over and managed to hook up my DVD player, which I christened by watching a horrible movie, Hostel.

Today: I woke up far too early. I will have to go to the post office on my way to work. I will be tired by the end of the day, I know that already!

Tomorrow: I am meeting someone for the first time. Hope it involves some Italian food.

Words to Live By

"Let it never be said that moss grows under your feet!"

Damn right!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Another Day, Another Dollar

It was a long day at work, mostly cause I stayed up too late and am exhausted. Which made today feel like it was Friday, but it's not. The beauty of my job is that normally I don't feel like I've already worked a full week but it's only Tuesday, usually the week flies by. Need to sleep more! In spite of my lack of sleep, I haven't done much this week. I need to clean and do laundry and mail mom's present. The only thing I did do today was go to the bank to pay my apartment bill and for the Canada Day Picnic.

A divarication arose over how to handle next year's themed party, with one faction arguing for a Hawaiian luau and another proposing a 1950s sock hop. Isn't that the best sentence ever? Or am I just a huge geek?

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Korea Fighting!

Korea just beat Togo 2-1 in a World Cup Soccer match. With my windows open, I can hear the cheers of spectators. I wonder where they are all watching the game? I was at Outback eating dinner and then watched it in YunJin's room. The kids are going to be wild at school tomorrow! Go Red Devils!!!

Sunday, June 11, 2006

This was weird - persued it out of a perverse curiosity

Please note - did not meet this guy. But was curious enough after the odd myspace message to add him to messanger long enough to hear what it was all about!

sean says:
sean says:
this is sean from myspace we talked on myspace a few
weeks ago
sean says:
i talked to you about the $5000
Amanda says:
sean says:
are you still interested?
Amanda says:
in all honesty, no. not into inflicting pain.
Amanda says:
i replied on a bit of an off day
Amanda says:
Amanda says:
and i suppose i was curious
sean says:
nor do I want pain
sean says:
more control
Amanda says:
ok. well, i don't really know what would be involved
sean says:
are you willing to hear me out or would you prefer I
left you alone?
Amanda says:
i suppose i am curious
sean says:
well basically I just want a woman or group of women
to tie me up and refuses to untie me till they have
the cash
Amanda says:
that's it?
sean says:
i dont want sex or nudity
Amanda says:
and how do we know you have the money?
sean says:
well it would be kind of dumb of me to lie
Amanda says:
well, i guess, as you'd be tied up
sean says:
Amanda says:
so, why?
Amanda says:
and where do you live?
sean says:
i like the loss of control and the fact I am in the
hands of people that care only about the cash and not
me. i live in ******
Amanda says:
how old are you?
sean says:
sean says:
how about you?
Amanda says:
Amanda says:
well, it was a friend of mine that was actually
interested, but i am afraid she is leaving seoul on
wednesday and i wouldn't be willing to do it by myself
sean says:
well I am prepared to do it tonight
Amanda says:
sean says:
in *******
sean says:
I was sposed to do it with someone else but I found
out she lied to me about some thigns
Amanda says:
how many people have you offered this to?
sean says:
a few
Amanda says:
how many is a few?
sean says:
no idea
sean says:
well are you interested
Amanda says:
i am afraid i already have plans for tonight
sean says:
u can tie me and leave
Amanda says:
it all just seems pretty damn strange
Amanda says:
and i don't really trust a guy i've never met to do
all this
sean says:
i understand
sean says:
i will be out later tonight in itaewon if you want to
Amanda says:
i think i will be in hongdae, we're starting at carnae
sean says:
great place
sean says:
big fan of that place
Amanda says:
yeah, me too

I am a classic book I haven't read yet

I really must read more!

Which literature classic are you?

Umberto Eco: The Name of the Rose. You are a mystery novel dealing with theology, especially with catholic vs liberal issues. You search wisdom and knowledge endlessly, feeling that learning is essential in life.
Take this quiz!

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I'm feeling really guilty about how much happier I am, now, than I was before. How much peace I feel, now that I am not living in the space i was living in before. How much better able to cope I am than I expected. How guilty I feel about being able to love someone and not want to be with them because it is right for me, even if it isn't right for them.

I know that I shouldn't feel guilty about that. But I do.

The Best Station in the Nation

A night at Carne Station is always fun. I drank far too much whisky and coke (to maximize my ability to drink all i can, i drink my drink in beer glasses, which certainly helps). And I ate a ton. And had ice cream. The World Cup game was on, so we got to watch England score. There was a weird guy in a taekwondo outfit wandering around and as we left Carne we ended up having photos taken with his group of people on the street. It was bizarre but fun. Went to Bricxx, all in honour of Tom's birthday, and had a hookah, a mojito and a peach margarehita. We attempted to go to Q-Vo, but there was some sort of fuss about ID and so we went to Saab instead, but I got waylaid by Frank, who was out in front of 66.

Had a lazy day watching movies. Date Movie was dire and The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada was weird but I liked it a lot in the end.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

This is me

This article here is remarkably like parts of my life.

A Life Between Jobs
Published: June 8, 2006

TAYLOR AIKIN'S new job is across the street from his current one, but he loves to tell people he'll be taking the long way getting there.

Next Wednesday, on his last day as a senior designer at a Manhattan architecture firm, he will roll out of work early on his 2006 Ducati Monster S2R 1000 motorcycle and not stop until he reaches the Virginia state line. Before starting his new position three and a half weeks later, he'll cruise through the South, head to the Rocky Mountains and return across the Great Plains.

Mr. Aikin, 28, who has been with his firm for three years, said this is the first time he is taking a real vacation.

"Talking to the guys who take care of my bike," Mr. Aikin said, "they're jealous, because you can really only do this when you quit your job."

Many young people in the workplace are finding that quitting their job is becoming the satisfying new alternative to the standard, entry-level benefit for vacation. As they found out, the two weeks allowed to most young employees is barely enough time to visit their parents for Christmas, go to a friend's wedding and take a long weekend.

"Normal life," Mr. Aikin said, "maintaining relationships with people who don't live nearby, requires at least two weeks of your life a year."

For others like him, the solution is simple: Stop jockeying with senior employees for the prime vacation weeks. Quit and start again — but first, get away.

"The transition between jobs is just about me," Mr. Aikin said. "It is a trip that I've wanted to do, not something that is going to benefit a bunch of people."

Generations before them, studies have shown, valued tenure and career advancement. But this group sees the chutes in the world as interesting as the ladders.

There are no recent studies of the employment patterns of Generations X and Y by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But it reports that even those born at the tail end of the baby boom held an average of 10.2 jobs between age 18 and 38, from 1978 to 2002. A 2004 study by the Families and Work Institute, a nonprofit research group, polled Generation Y employees and found they were significantly more likely to leave their job than employees who were their comparable ages in 1977 — 70 percent, compared with 52 percent.

Some use quitting as an opportunity for a good, long visit back home, or to spend time with a dying grandparent. Others want the time to embark on real vacations or adventures.

And what's wrong with taking all that ambition and putting it into a bus trip through India? A climb up Kilimanjaro? A month studying Russian in Moscow?

The trend, career experts said, is an outgrowth of today's nomadic job culture, as well as an attitude among many young people open to adventure and big experiences — and, yes, a bit of indulgence.

Why not walk away when you are young, energetic and have the opportunity to camp at the Grand Canyon? Or to visit all the national parks?

That was Jesse Keller's big ambition.

After 10 years as a software engineer for a company in San Diego, Mr. Keller, 32, was ready for a break. He rarely used all of his vacation days. But last year he quit to pursue his goal: to visit all 58 national parks.

On the phone from Montana after crossing off Grand Teton National Park (No. 38), he said there is more than whim behind his expedition.

"As the retirement age pushes farther back and the finances for that time of life are less and less certain, it was almost unconscionable to not take advantage of the opportunity to travel now when I had the money and the health," he said.

He is not afraid of finding another job — believing his skills are in demand — and he is not tied down to any location. What worries him more is keeping from burning out again.

"The trick is finding a job that has the balance built in so that I don't have to go off on a grand adventure to recover from work," he said.

There are some risks to dropping out, career counselors said.

"Gaps in the résumé are still a red flag," said Carol R. Anderson, director of career development and placement at Milano the New School for Management and Urban Policy. But for those who are not following rigid career paths, "the cross-cultural competency that is best gained from living in a different country," for instance, can be a résumé builder, she said.

Employers are more or less at the mercy of those alternative ambitions.

"Gen-X'ers have demographics working for them: there aren't a lot of them," said Judith Gerberg, who has run her own career counseling company in Manhattan since 1985. That's particularly true as baby boomers begin to retire.

Meanwhile, Mrs. Gerberg said, young people "are used to creating wonderful opportunities for themselves."

A study done by the Society for Human Resource Management found that when human resource professionals were asked to select character traits from a list to describe age groups, baby boomers were characterized as "results driven," and "plan to stay with the organization over the long term." Generation X, though, was described as "like informality," and "seeking work/life balance."

So younger professionals, unlike older workers, are more willing to chuck it all away whenever things get to be too much, optimistic that they'll be able to start over.

Valerie Karasz, 33, had been working as a bankruptcy lawyer in New York for three years when she quit last November. After spending a leisurely holiday with family in Washington and Florida, she went to a wedding in New Zealand, then spent four months traveling in Australia, Southeast Asia and central Europe.

She started a new job at a law firm doing compliance work in the alcoholic beverage industry last Monday.

"I'm excited to go back to work and start in this new industry," she said. "I feel cleansed."

And maybe that's what the younger generation gets that their parents didn't: There's always another job. Having grown up in an era of relative prosperity and upward mobility, it's easy to come to that conclusion.

"Less employer loyalty is a product of this age group — watching their parents' lives turned upside down by layoffs, downsizings, plant closings," Ms. Anderson of the New School said. "The children of these parents understand that the 'employment contract' that existed only from the end of World War II has been broken."

So quitting is not such a big deal, as surveys show. While overall worker loyalty has improved slightly in recent years, young people are still highly mobile. According to a 2005 survey by Walker Information, which conducts research on customer and employee loyalty, 50 percent of employees 18 to 24, and 39 percent of employees 25 to 29, reported having a neutral or negative attitude about the employer and did not plan to stay. The study terms this group "high risk."

"The younger group weren't always negative about the company, they may be neutral, but it was clear that they didn't plan to stay for the next two years," said Chris Woolard a research consultant at Walker. "They weren't all that attached to the company and they don't really plan to stick around."

Kimberly Thrush, 35, never thought she was the type to quit and run. But when it all got to be too constricting, she left her job in Japan as a vice president at a large American bank, after working in banking for 13 years, and headed home.

"I am the type of person who would never think of quitting a job without having one to go to," she said, expressing misgivings about finding her next job. In the meantime, she has ambitious plans. "I'm going to look for travel specials and go somewhere different," she said. "Maybe Africa."

J. R. Briggs and his wife, Megan, had six weeks off between jobs. Mr. Briggs, 27, a nondenominational evangelical pastor and Mrs. Briggs, 26, a ministry coordinator and a counselor, recently left their posts at a 5,000-member church in Colorado Springs. Both have jobs at a church in suburban Philadelphia. But before they started last week, they visited family members in Chicago and Ann Arbor, Mich., and also spent 10 days in Costa Rica.

"To be unemployed for six weeks is a healthy thing to help you say 'I am not defined by what I do,' " he said. "It helps to understand who I am, who my wife is, and that our identity is more important than anything we do."

Todd Harvey, 32, found it almost impossible to take vacation time from his job caring for the homeless as director of housing development at a faith-based nonprofit in Berkeley, Calif. He finally quit last July and traveled the country until he stumbled upon the Appalachian Trail and started walking all 2,200 miles from Georgia to Maine with his dog, Soren Kierkegaard.

By renting out a duplex he owns in California, he is able to finance his backpacking adventure until he needs to report for graduate school in San Francisco on Aug. 28.

Others sock away money for months or give up expensive apartments so they can, at least temporarily, leave their paycheck behind.

In the end, timing is everything.

"Why now when I'm 28?" said Mr. Aikin, the architect, about his coming motorcycle trip. "Retirement is too far away. And I was too broke in college."

Coke + Mentos = Crazy Fun


I went to hangout in Pyeongteak last night and all I can say is damn, is it far away! Almost a three hour subway ride. But I had a great time in spite of the mammoth journey. It's funny to see such a small town kind of place is attached to the Seoul subway system. There were so few neon lights compared to what I am used to.

All day today there have been thunder storms and rain. I love it, especially as I have been happy and dry in my apartment.

I am headed to Carne Station, the best station in the nation, for Tom's birthday party tonight. Should be fun.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

I must blog more often...

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

So, going back two weeks, I went out with Athena for her last ladies' night at the Loft and had fun. We had an interesting lunch with our boss the next day, a goodbye/hello sort of thing, where everyone was hungover except the new guy and Athena was late for her own goodbye party! Matthew is very, very tall was my first thought on meeting him.

After my lazy Saturday of my last post, I did indeed go to Carne and made the mistake of maximizing my all-you-can-drink potential but not my all-you-can-eat potential. made for a drunken, but fun, night. Went for a couple of hours of norae bang, cause you can never do enough singing, really, and then we met up with Athena and Lucia in Stompers. I love dancing.

Since last Sunday was memorial day, the Americans all had a long weekend. Athena, Lucia and I went and did a bit of shopping in Itaewon (where I bought Mom a birthday present that is going to be extremely late!) and then went home. We left only for both of us to get texts from people saying they were in Itaewon drinking. So after a brief rest at home, we went back to Geckos and hung out with Amber, Marisa, and crew. Met a helicopter pilot named Brian who tells the dirtiest jokes, and Marcel and his friends. Athena and I ended up in Hongdae until 4.30 in the morning on a SUNDAY!!! Craziness. But fun.

Then Alan arrived to visit. I wish I could say it went well, but it didn't. It was ackward and we fought and I asked him to stay in a hotel because of those things. He was pretty upset by that. We saw each other a bit, but really, it was just far too painful and uncomfortable. I don't really know what else to say about the whole thing.

He came with us for galbi and amused us by stabbing his chopstick through the garlic container, releasing oil all over the grill. Julie was all for putting water on it to try and improve the situation, which would likely have been very amusing. Watch the foreigners burn down the galbi restaurant!!! We went to Insadong and the temple Saturday and then we went out Saturday evening to Geckos. I went on to Hongdae with my friends and we met a bunch of new people, including a guy YunJin went to university with and Frank and his cowboy-hatted friend.

I have spent a lot of this week watching scary movies - The Exorcism of Emily Rose and the remake of the Amityville Horrors - and commuting in and out of Itaewon. I made the mistake of going into What the Book on our day off and spent $30. It was a relaxing day off - mostly I ate and drank all day!

I have some weekend plans, though nothing too solid yet. Will have to wait and see what comes up!