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!

Quizilla |

| Make A Quiz | More Quizzes | Grab Code

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

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

and boats still have rivers and green still has grasses

A Child's Song For Adults
by Nguyen Trong Tao (1992)

there are dead forest branches still green inside me
there are those still alive who seem to have passed

there are answers that turn to questions
there are affairs that turn to marriages

there are fathers there are mothers there are orphans
and not all old moons must be round like platters

there is all the world and nowhere to live
there is passing happinness and immeausurable sadness

and boats still have rivers and green still has grasses
and life is still drunk and the soul full of winds

there is loving there is longing there is crying there is laughing
there are bats of an eyelid that last a thousand years

Via Anais.

Pass me the phone book stat...

... cause I need to call Jerry Springer. I swear to god, my life would now fit on his show.

But, the great thing is, none of it bothers me. I'm happy as a clam. I want the best for everyone involved. I hope they work things out. I hope we all end up insanely happy. I'll even go on Jerry and say so!

Je me sens bien dans ma peau!

Monday, October 23, 2006


One mosquito bit on the eyelid + an allergy to mosquito bites = no ability to open my eye for three hours!

Basically I woke up at 6am because my eye was throbbing and itching like crazy. Took 3 allergy pills at the same time (I know, I know, maybe not a great thing to overdose on them, but really, I had to do something!) and waited. Three hours later and many attempts to bathe my eye and I finally managed to open it.

The bonus of the whole experience? I was absolutely covered in itchy bites, they are just everywhere, and now none of them itch or are swollen. I guess that's what 3 pills worth of antihistamines will do for you. Yay for pharmacology.

Sushi Gangster Family and Other Weekend Adventures

I have three mosquito bites on my arse. I gotta keep it under the covers, obviously!

On Thursday I got a call from Grace, who invited Laura and I out for some good sushi just down the road, called Sushi Family. It was yummy and super fresh and cheap. We drank something a little like sake and shared with the chef. He kindly gave us tons of free sushi. A Korean guy at the end of the counter chatted with us, with Grace as our translator. He showed us his muscles and told us he was a gangster and that Bushie is a monkey and that he and the chef were family. So now Laura and I have joined a sushi gangster family. Bring it!

Friday night was a blast. Went to Hongdae, had drinks at TinPans and 66 while waiting for the whole gang to arrive (YunJin, Julie, Hanna, Laura, the Julie Brothers) and then we ate at the Sexy Pig. I don't know how I normally stand to eat all that unsexy meat... lol. Then we headed to TinPans 2, where we got to see some interesting wall dancing, and I hung out with an Australian in Insadong.

Saturday I ended up in Itaewon around 4. My original plans fell through, but I bumped into Val and we went for coffee. Then we bumped into some people she knew on the street and I ended up going out to dinner with them for someone's birthday at Thai Orchard. I saw Annie's roommate in his underwear within seconds of meeting him. I met two girls who knew YunJin's transexual, adoptee, belgian pal. I laughed a great deal. I ate good food. Then I met up with YunJin and had a couple of mojitos at Geckos, bumped into Lynne, headed to The Loft, detoured to Polly's Kettle, back to the Loft, danced enough to make the ankle sore, met a random guy who looks exactly like Steve from Sex in the City and just generally had a random but wonderful evening.

Sunday I headed to the Bookclub in Gangnam. We didn't talk too much about the books themselves, but then, I didn't have anything too insightful to say about either of them. I liked A Long Way Down and it was an easy read, but aside from being relieved that there wasn't a saccharine sweet ending and not finding the character of Maureen terribly convincing, I didn't get too much out of it. Nice read, not a keeper though. Haunted scared the shit out of me. It was like a horror movie in book form. It reminded me of the dynamics of reality tv. I became numb to all the chopping off of digits. I am glad to have read it and stuck with it to the end, but I didn't like it and again, no real deep thoughts as a result of reading it.

The bookclub members were interesting. I liked three of them very much. One 45 year old American expat was weird. He could win a freaky foreigner contest. He lectured me about going home now and starting a career, cause at my age I should be building for the future. It interested me that that's what he thought, though it was obvious that what he meant was that he shouldn't have spent the last ten years teaching in Asia. He is married to a Korean woman, though perhaps not for long, it sounds like, and is planning on returning to being a merchant seaman, and writes books apparently. After the meeting in the coffee shop, we went for dinner and then down to Kyobo to pick up the next book. I already own The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency and have already read it, so unless I can pick it up second hand I might just go with my memory of it. I did pick up two books (Blink, Freakonomics) cause really, is it possible for me to not buy a book in an English bookstore? Of course it isn't!

I didn't get back until 10ish and it was sheeting down rain, so I took a cab from Dangsan. Went over to see YunJin and ended up trying to learn the BoA Valencia dance... I wanna be able to do it in the clubs. It's hot, I tell you. Hot.

Today Mr. Joo had some sort of guests, which inspired the first cleaning of any kind at the school. It wasn't much cleaning though. I had to spend the whole day forcing the kids to quiet down, quite a pain.

I was thinking recently about how many ideas we accept from people we trust/admire without question. For example, my father says that he can't wear flip flops because he finds it uncomfortable to have things between his toes. I had always assumed I wouldn't like flip flops either and now I am deeply saddened that it is too cold for me to be able to wear them every day anymore. It's funny that I just accepted his opinion as my own and never once thought to challenge it. People say you get more closed minded as you get older, your values more set in stone. I find that weird, as in terms of my life, everything just keeps getting opened wider. I meet new people, learn new things, try new foods, see new mind-blowing sights, hear new music, read new ideas, hold new fascinating conversations... Life is fucking amazing. There is just so much out there. I want to see and do it all.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Thursday, October 19, 2006


Who knew Index Cards could be so funny? Thanks to Lisa for the link.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Boribap and Colbert

It is yummy. I am not sure in the slightest if that is the right spelling or even the right word. But whatever. I had some rice and beans, some random veg, some tofu in yummy sauce. WooHoo!

And how come I had no idea that Stephen Colbert was so funny? I am out of the loop!

As for individual solutions...

Today's fun with a personal trainer was fine. It was a guy, it turns out, and not a lot was said due to our language barrier. Basically, my body fat percentage is too high (not a surprise) and is located in... Well, that was ackward for both of us-he said tummy but was staring at my boobs the whole time ;) I need to lose about 7-10 kilos, which is probably fair enough.

And then we got to the portion where he advised me on my workout. Now, in all fairness, there was no way for him to gauge my present fitness level or whatnot, as we couldn't chat about my sedintary lifestyle over the last 7-8 months. But I do believe that starting with an hour of cardio, 160 crunches, and a half hour of stretching might be a bit much in my first week back to the gym in ages, no? However, it is a lovely goal to work towards. I am actually all about doing an hour of cardio (on the elliptical only, hate treadmills like the devil) a day, as I only start getting runner's high at about 40 mins or so and I like to have time to enjoy the buzz. However, since I am not sure my stomach even has muscles, 160 crunches from day one might be a bit ambitious! I was also advised on how many calories I should be aiming for, which amused me. I came to a gym, so I must be dieting, right? I don't think so! I don't actually eat a whole lot, esp as I don't have time to at work, but I like food and I am not going to cut out things I like to eat. To hell with their calorie count! I don't mind trying to eat more fruit and veg, but I have no intention of cutting out things like full fat cheese. I like dairy and carbs, so fuck ditching them!

I got in a short workout after the session was over, only 15 mins and 40 crunches, before having to shower and go to work. Always fun to reintroduce myself to the joys of communal showers. Actually, it was fine, as no one was too blatant with the staring.

Work was work. New fun and excitement is that all kids with scores lower than 70% have to rewrite the tests. Can't have the parents see bad marks now, can we? More work for me, as I run around photocopying extra tests and giving them to Mr. Joo. Hopefully the threat of retests will convince the little bra... i mean, darlings, to study in the first place.


I commented on a bulletin board recently about an article talking about improving health by saying that even though we have systemic problems with achieving healthy living, most of the time we are only offered individual solutions. This article is a nice example of people finally looking for systemic solutions too.

In Cities, Healthful Living Through Fresher Shopping

By Amy Goldstein
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, October 15, 2006

PHILADELPHIA -- When Larry Lawrence drops into ShopRite, he steers his shopping cart to the towering mounds of produce. "It is like I am being drawn," he said, "by the peaches and the plums and the bananas."

Lawrence, 57, has been eating more fruits and vegetables, and fresh fish, too, since the sprawling store opened five blocks from his house in Eastwick, an industrial swath of southwest Philadelphia that was chosen in the 1950s as the nation's largest urban renewal project. Now, Eastwick is one of the first sites of a new strategy for social change: a government campaign to bring supermarkets stocked with healthful food into neglected inner-city neighborhoods to improve public health.

The Pennsylvania Fresh Food Financing Initiative, leveraging $30 million in state money with $90 million in private funds, is the most ambitious of a spate of state and local projects around the country. They represent a different model for public nutrition programs, which have relied since the 1960s on federal subsidies, such as food stamps and WIC.

Healthful food is scarce in many inner-city neighborhoods, where much of the food comes from corner markets and greasy takeout places. Instead of subsidizing shoppers, the projects shift the emphasis to the private sector, offering coaching and financial inducements for grocers to go into areas they shunned for decades.

These initiatives grow out of new research exploring the relationship among proximity to fresh food, the nation's obesity epidemic and diseases such as diabetes that are affected by diet. "We tried to make the connection between grocery stores and public health," said R. Duane Perry, executive director of the Food Trust, a nonprofit group that, in a pioneering 2002 study, produced maps showing that low-income neighborhoods of Philadelphia with few or no supermarkets had high death rates from diet-related diseases.

A study in Chicago, released three months ago, measured the distance from every city block to the nearest grocery store and fast-food restaurant. It found that people in what it called Chicago's "food deserts" died early in greater numbers and had more diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure.

Such public health discoveries -- combined with an older view of supermarkets as tools of economic development -- have been spurring new policies around the country.

In the District, a mayor's commission on nutrition in July issued a study by a nonprofit group, D.C. Hunger Solutions, showing that obesity is highest in the city's two wards east of the Anacostia River, where poverty is greatest and access to grocery stores is worst. The D.C. government has worked to attract a Giant supermarket that opened last year in Columbia Heights and one being built in Congress Heights, but those efforts began years ago more out of a desire to revitalize the neighborhoods than to improve residents' eating habits.

Baltimore created a Supermarket Initiative in 2002 that has used city economic development funds to attract 19 stores so far. The California legislature passed a bill in August designed to give low-income residents discounts to buy fruits and vegetables -- and help mom-and-pop stores carry more fresh food.

Chicago's planning department held a "grocers' expo" in February for executives from supermarket chains across the Midwest, who were handed a book touting 50 spots in Chicago where stores are needed, plus financial incentives the city could offer. And the National Conference of State Legislators just brought lawmakers to Philadelphia from Louisiana, New Mexico and Michigan to learn how they might replicate the food-financing initiative.

Here in Philadelphia, the initiative's first two years have yielded a central lesson: Despite the fervor of politicians, civic groups, bankers and several grocers, creating successful supermarkets in poor city neighborhoods is hard. It is daunting to train workers, maintain security -- even to acquire enough land.

"The money, to be honest with you, was the easy part," said state Rep. Dwight Evans (D), the initiative's main political patron. "The toughest part is to make this work."

The Rev. Leon Sullivan, the renowned civil rights leader, developed Progress Plaza in North Philadelphia nearly 40 years ago as an example of black empowerment. For its first three decades, the shopping center was anchored by a series of grocery stores. The last one closed eight years ago, and now the only food available is Popeyes fried chicken. Nearby drugstores have added shelves of canned food and chips, but not produce.

Helen Love, 86, a widow and retired inspector for an electronics plant, is one of many original residents in the nearby townhouses of Yorktown, the model neighborhood for black residents that went up in the 1960s. Now, she and a friend, Marvella Lattimore, take turns every other week driving each other to a supermarket half an hour away. Love parks in a handicapped spot and is so tired when she gets home that, she said, "that's usually it for the day."

Across the street, Israel Edward, 74, who has stopped driving because of poor eyesight, takes the bus to Reading Terminal Market in Center City. "I only bring what my two arms can carry," he said. Next door, Doris Turner, 85, gets to a large grocery store about every two months, when a grandson in the National Guard can take her.

Evans, the legislator, lived near Yorktown as a young boy and remembers shopping at Best Market with his aunt Rosie. He remembers the race riots of 1964 along the street the supermarket was on, with nickels all over the ground from parking meters the looters had broken. And he remembers, in the few years after the violence, the disinvestment by white merchants.

So when the Food Trust's director brought him the maps of grocery stores and death rates, he understood their importance. As minority chairman of the Pennsylvania House Appropriations Committee, he has put $10 million in the state budget for the food initiative each of the past three years, requiring three times as much in private financing. The Food Trust helps with applications. The Reinvestment Fund, a nonprofit financing institution, has secured money from banks, screens applicants and awards the grants. The money can be used for marketing studies, land acquisition, environmental cleanup, city permits, construction, and help with worker training and store security.

So far, the fund has given grants for nine stores in Philadelphia and five elsewhere in the state. Most are for large, new supermarkets, but a few are helping corner stores expand or buy refrigeration equipment to carry more fresh food.

Not all succeed. A Shop 'N Bag opened in West Philadelphia in late 2004 and closed a year later -- a casualty of an inexperienced owner and delays in housing redevelopment that was to have generated customers, according to Evans and the Food Trust's Perry. And there have been snags. Fresh Grocer, which is to return a supermarket, at last, to Progress Plaza, was to have its opening this fall, but that will be delayed at least until late in 2007 -- the result of complications with permits and with renovations of the rest of the shopping center.

In an industry with typical profit margins of 1 to 2 percent, inner-city neighborhoods are "a far more complicated place to build your business," with higher costs and less demand for profitable luxury foods, said Jeffrey Brown, president of Brown's Super Stores, which owns the ShopRite in Eastwick. The store, near the Philadelphia airport, opened two years ago with help from a $5 million tax refund for capital investment and a $250,000 grant to train workers.

Brown's strategy here has been to align the business more closely with the neighbors than he does at his suburban stores. Before opening, he invited civic and religious leaders to lunch to talk over what they expected from the store. Working from scratch, his employees make sweet-potato pies and cakes, down-home potato salad, seafood cakes, and 100 other recipes catering to local tastes that he could not buy wholesale.

Brown conferred with the imams at local mosques about what foods meet Muslim residents' halal requirements. He has brought in a Western Union outlet for the neighborhood's Caribbean immigrants to wire remittances.

A community job bank has funneled 90 percent of the store's workers, many from families where steady jobs are unfamiliar, Brown said. He invited Maggie Powell, longtime president of the Eastwick Project Area Committee, to help teach new hires how to comport themselves at work. And when Powell's 39-year-old son was fatally shot in June, store managers took food trays to her house at no charge for three days.

In turn, Powell and local politicians helped to lobby the local utility company, Peco, after Brown was told the power could not be turned on in time for the store's grand opening. It was. Other problems prove harder to solve. When a manager catches a shoplifter, Brown said, the police say they are too busy with violent crime to come.

The store lost money in its first year, Brown said, but had a profit of close to 1 percent in its second.

The effect ShopRite and the other stores are having on nutrition is less well understood. Recent research, for example, that included rural, suburban and urban areas of a few states showed that black residents -- but not white ones -- had somewhat more healthful diets if they could buy fresh food nearby. A few months ago, Stephen Matthews, a sociologist at Pennsylvania State University, began a rigorous study in Philadelphia on whether the arrival of a supermarket changes the amount of fruits and vegetables people eat.

On a recent afternoon, Larry Lawrence, stopping in on his way home from work as a counselor for troubled boys, said: "I'm glad they moved in. There are two or three guys, all day long, putting out fresh stuff. Bananas. Strawberries."

Not all shoppers are attracted by the produce. "It's the sweet-potato cake. They don't have that at any other store," said Toinette Alexander.

Still, Brown, said, "we are doing $40,000, $50,000, $60,000 a week in fruits and vegetables. That is more fruits and vegetables than was happening before."

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Urville: An Imaginary City & Weird Al

Video thanks to a link sent by Jenn.

And on a much less serious note, some Weird Al: You're Pitiful. Silly song thanks to Laura.

Loud Noise

Thunder? North Korean nuclear attack? Who knows?

I totally forgot to post about seeing B-boys in Dongdaemun on Sunday. They are soooooo cool. And hawt! How come I never see Korean boys like that in the clubs? Is there a secret B-boys club I don't know about? There was even a girl B-boy! I wanna be a B-boy too!

A Pandora's Box of Bullshit

Matt's extremely apt description of our new weekly staff meetings. Otherwise known as "killing time I don't have time to kill!"

Not much else happened today. Another 30 mins on the elliptical (my god I got out of shape in the last 7 months!) and another strawberry-blueberry smoothie. Tomorrow is the gym induction, where a skinny Korean girl will measure my body fat percentage (horrors!) and show me how to use scary machines. Fun!

I have got to finish Haunted soon. Have never been so freaked out and disturbed by a book in my life!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Another weekend post

I find I have very boring Saturdays...

Friday night Amber and I headed to Julie's to have some drinks and watch reality TV. Matt was there too. A good time. I went to go to bed at 3 and ended up talking to a friend in Iceland. Good fun, but left me sleeping in something fierce! All I got around to on Saturday was lots of reading (book club is under a week away and I've got 300 pages of the second book to read) and some cleaning. I really enjoyed A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby. Very amusing. I liked the lack of a happy ending, it would have been too sickly sweet.

Saturday night I was out with Julie and Amber, but didn't stay out late. Sunday was a blast. Went to lunch and then for some shopping with YunJin. I bought (surprise, surprise) some earrings and a rather expensive necklass. We had some coffee and ended up deciding to go to Dongdaemun to continue the shopping. I ended up with a shirt, but there wasn't really too much going on with the big sizes. I am saddened that Doota failed me! Not that I really need much in the way of clothes.

Then we went to HomePlus and finally signed up for the gym. I got a six month membership, as it makes it cheapish. It is pretty damn nice for a Korean gym, with free classes even. Though I'll probably end up doing a lot of elliptical as always! We went for the first time this morning and I took it easy, as it is 7 months since I was last at the gym. Just a half hour of elliptical and then a smoothie for breakfast. Yum.

However, I am now very, very tired. It isn't all the fault of the gym... See, the other bookclub book is Haunted by Chuck Palahnuik. It is like watching a horror movie for me, gave me nightmares! I tend to read before falling asleep, but I'll have to avoid that with this one! So, I didn't sleep terribly well and then got up early. YunJin is at my gym for the next 6 weeks, which is good. Hopefully by then I'll be so accustomed to going out of habit that I won't need a gym buddy to force me to get up in the mornings!

Not much went on at school. Got those damn homework lists finished, though it meant no time for prep. Boss wasn't around much, which makes life easier. We have another meeting tomorrow, once a week nowadays. Which is unfortunate, cause the meetings tend to put me in a bad mood.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Saturday, October 14, 2006

It's never been so hard to drink in Seoul...

I went out tonight with Julie and Amber to Marjaritas, where we met John. They ate, but I wasn't hungry and just had a Blue Marjarita. Very yum. Then Sean and his friend Brad came along and ate. After we left was when it got weird. First, Bricxx was too busy to get a table. Then we went to this cool place with a wee wading pool and a deck, but all the drinks were $9, including non-alcoholic ones. So we moved on to the Queen's Head, where the choices were beer, white wine (which apparently was horrible) and whisky and coke. That was it. Very bizarre. The others proceeded on to a darts place, but I'm tired and ready for my bed. Not unsurprisingly, the internet still managed to suck me in!

More Kitten Related Randomness

I had a very odd dream. The part I remember the best was set in Itaewon. Many of the stores there have tables out front where they display goods. There was one that had a kitten on it that was tied to the table by one foot. It looked very sad and uncomfortable and Amber encouraged me try and buy it and bring it home. After some arguing with the owner, that's what I did. (then we went to amber's and the kitten ate her hamster and sean got mad and the whole thing became very strange). I wonder what it all means?

Completely unrelated to kittens, it totally slipped my mind, but one of my students very oddly told me I was sexy on Friday. A seven year old named Danny. It was very out of the blue (I checked my cleavage, there was none showing!) and random. At Poly the kids often used sexy more like the word beautiful or pretty, so perhaps that was all it was. But it was odd. Almost as odd as Richard stroking my hair and asking what shampoo I used to get it so soft (and as he was grade 8, that was very, very uncomfortable for me.) Anyway, it was bizarre, so I thought I'd share.


The last time I was in Korea, I greatly prefered my older classes. This time my two favourites are two of my youngest and I think I like the kittens class best, though the Pandas are a close second.

First, it's adorable that when they want to tell me that a student is speaking Korean (they aren't supposed to in class but a lot of it goes on), they yell out "Teacher! Angela Korea Read!!!" At first, I couldn't figure out how I wasn't noticing all these students hiding Korean comic books or something until I realised that I hadn't yet taught them the words talk or speak. I now use those words, but they still say Korea Read and I think it is too cute. They also say cunning when they mean cheating. And Cindy always says "Yes, sir!" to me. Lisa hides her homework under the desk and pretends it isn't done every single class. Jenny once came to school with her hair in the process of being permed (wish I had had a camera!) The boys are adorable, though they make the most unusual noises. The words "Justin, what ARE you doing?" come out of my mouth several times each class. Allie just can't sit still in her chair and Sara has the sweetest smile. Daniel always forgets the n when he spells his name. Basically they are just too cute, every last one of them. I teach them Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and Matthew gets them the other two days. When I see them in the hall after he teaches them, they all mob me. It's like a crazy Korean children group hug. Now another class has taken to joining in. I feel like a rock star, let me tell you.

In other news, some random child I don't teach and haven't a clue who is has taken to calling me anaconda teacher. I have a suspicion it might catch on. Considering that they call Laura banana teacher and Amber baby teacher and Julie Gong Julie (princess), I suppose it was time I got a nickname of my own.

How dodgy does THIS sound?

My name is **** and I am married to ****. We are from France working and residing in Nigeria on contract for Nova Gas Incorporated a Multinational Oil and Gas Company with headquaters in the USA.

My wife and son are not really good when it comes to speaking English hence we require an ESL Teacher to come and spend One year with us. You would teach my wife and my son who is 5 years how to speak English and some writing too. This is very important to me hence I would be offering to pay you $5000 every month.

You would have a Private Live-Out or Live-InAccomdation depending on your preference with Private Bathroom, SittingRoom and Bedroom. Your room would also be furnished with a TelevisionSet, an Internet Ready Computer System and a Fixed Landline telephone. If you can drive, you can let us know so that we can arrange a vehicle that you would use.

You would take them in English Classes every evening. You would also have the weekends off .Weekends with us is very fun as we visit fun spots, go sightseeing and amusement parks. Do not worry about your travel arrangements as we would assist you in that regards when the time comes. I have attached our family picture for you.

Improbable Research

Giggles galore at this website sent to me by Jenn.

Friday, October 13, 2006


Is all in the TV shows.

I hate that Rich Kids Cattle Drive. But Beauty and the Geek is kinda sweet. And I like America's Next Top Model. Kim is hawt!

Don't Talk to Me Mr. Joo, You Only Annoy Me

My day started out fantastically, with a phone date with the fantastic Jas. Sadly, it was all downhill after that. It is shortly to be perking right up again, though.

Work is making me feel very Grrr lately. It isn't the kids, in particular. It is still frustrating to teach the ones who won't pay attention. It is still frustrating to have to teach material I feel is above a class's level. But, it is also very rewarding to see great test scores, or huge improvement, or enthusiasm, or teach one of those lessons where you can almost see the students making the connection.

However, the homework craziness may drive me mad. So, I have an hour and twenty minutes of prep time. Today I spent a minimal amount of time actually preping and basically just set to reworking 6 homework lists. So an hour, plus most of the ten minute breaks between classes. All day I had a coffee and one small muffin, as I didn't have time to eat. And yet, I am only partially done 4 of the 6 lists. Three are essentially reworked. 2 have the correct dates. The last two I didn't even get to. So, here I was working my bloody ass off all day. And what are my boss's parting words? Make sure you finish and don't make any mistakes because I have a conference on Monday and won't be in the office to check them. Since giving him the bird and telling him where to shove it would get me fired, I just fumed. Dude, we've been handing out these homework sheets for at least the 6 months I've been here. Perhaps for bloody years. I think if they aren't 100% this week, it isn't going to cause the school to shut down or anything. For fuck's sake.

Going down to Julie's for a beer and some reality TV. Should be the perfect antidote to the joo-ster.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Just Another Thursday in Seoul

So, it's been a long week. Without a break, I really do have to work through my prep time. But with report cards due and the fact that I wasted a half hour today being late because of the long line up at the bank and reading Naomi's letter, I haven't gotten through as much stuff as I need to have. The horrible homework lists with their evil new requirements still await. And since all of my homework lists are above the 2.1 level, the reassurance that we can do just one book at a time doesn't actually work in my case.

My students seem to be divided at 50-50 as to whether I look better in glasses or without. Frankly, I prefer them. And I've never been hit on so much as in Seoul by guys telling me that they think glasses are sexy. Where were these people when I was in highschool???

One of my classes involved a discussion about the nuclear situation with North Korea. The kids asked if I would go to Canada if North Korea was going to bomb us. I told them I would probably head to Hong Kong. Then another class asked when I was leaving Korea, as Julie is about to go, and I told them the soonest was the end of May. They asked if I would head back to Canada and my response was, maybe i'll stay in korea, maybe i'll go to hong kong, and maybe i'll end up in vancouver/seattle. there are too many factors that i am unsure of to even take a stab in the dark at where i'll be by next summer!

We went out to Margarita's tonight, in Hongdae, for some food. I finally got a Blue margarita there, as they've been out for months! Also bought 3 pairs of earrings. I need someone to start a compulsive earring shopper support group. one pair wasn't silver though, so perhaps that is a positive sign ;)

I really should be in bed, cause I have a phone date with Jas early tomorrow morn!

5 Things Feminism Has Done For Me

This is in response to the cut by the Conservative government's cuts to SWC. Find out more here and post your own list.

1. It is why I was not just encouraged but expected to get a university education.

2. It made the circumstances surround my recent breakup much easier on me than they could have been.

3. It ensures that any child I ever have will be a wanted child.

4. It got me addicted to the internet and helped me meet some amazing online feminists.

5. It gives me the confidence to assert my opinion as a valuable one and to expect others to respond to me respectfully.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


I watched Rumor Has It last night and thought it was good. See, I am usually not very discriminating when it comes to movies. I can usually watch and turn my inner critic off with no problems. I was surprised to be as annoyed as I was by the movies I watched over the weekend. But this one made me giggle. It wasn't anything special, but it was okay!

The Plot Against America is such a good book! Really! Go read it!

You Have Two Days

To take action on the fates of two women who are to be stoned to death in Iran.

Go here and find out what you can do. To sign the petition will take all of about 2 minutes of your life.

Any takers?

Anyone wanna go to Thailand for the full moon party at New Years??? You know you do!

3 states, 7 provinces, and 21 countries so far

Put an [x] by the states in the U.S. and the countries that you have visited. Repost and title it "I'VE BEEN TO ......" then put the number of states & countries you've visited!

(and I'm gonna throw in some provinces and territories for my fellow Canadians.)

[] Alabama
[] Alaska
[] Arizona
[] Arkansas
[] California
[] Colorado
[] Connecticut
[] Delaware
[X] Florida
[] Georgia
[] Hawaii
[] Idaho
[] Illinois
[] Indiana
[] Iowa
[] Kansas
[] Kentucky
[] Louisiana
[] Maine
[] Maryland
[] Massachusetts
[x] Michigan
[] Minnesota
[] Mississippi
[] Missouri
[] Montana
[] Nebraska
[] Nevada
[] New Hampshire
[] New Jersey
[] New Mexico
[x] New York
[] North Carolina
[] North Dakota
[] Ohio
[] Oklahoma
[] Oregon
[] Pennsylvania
[] Rhode Island
[] South Carolina
[] South Dakota
[] Tennessee
[] Texas
[] Utah
[] Vermont
[] Virginia
[] Washington
[] West Virginia
[] Wisconsin
[] Wyoming

[x] Alberta
[x] British Columbia
[x] Manitoba
[x] New Brunswick
[] Newfoundland and Labrador
[] Northwest Territories
[] Nunavut
[] Nova Scotia
[x] Ontario
[] Prince Edward Island
[x] Quebec
[x] Saskatchewan
[] Yukon

[] Afghanistan
[] Albania
[] Algeria
[] Andorra
[] Angola
[] Antigua and Barbuda
[] Argentina
[] Armenia
[] Australia
[x] Austria
[] Azerbaijan
[] The Bahamas
[] Bahrain
[] Bangladesh
[] Barbados
[] Belarus
[x] Belgium
[] Belize
[] Benin
[] Bhutan
[] Bolivia
[] Bosnia and Herzegovina
[] Botswana
[] Brazil
[] Brunei
[] Bulgaria
[] Burkina Faso
[] Burundi
[x] Cambodia
[] Cameroon
[x] Canada
[] Cape Verde
[] Central African Republic
[] Chad
[] Chile
[] China
[] Colombia
[] Comoros
[] Republic of the Congo
[] Costa Rica
[] Cte d'Ivoire
[] Croatia
[] Cuba
[] Cyprus
[] Czech Republic
[x] Denmark
[] Djibouti
[] Dominica
[] Dominican Republic
[] Ecuador
[] Egypt
[] El Salvador
[x] England
[] Equatorial Guinea
[] Eritrea
[] Estonia
[] Ethiopia
[] Fiji
[] Finland
[x] France
[] Gabon
[] Gambia
[x] Germany
[] Ghana
[x] Greece
[] Greenland
[] Grenada
[] Guam
[] Guatemala
[] Guinea
[] Guinea-Bissau
[] Guyana
[] Haiti
[x] Holy See (Vatican City)
[] Honduras
[] Holland
[x] Hungary
[] Iceland
[] India
[] Indonesia
[] Iran
[] Iraq
[x] Ireland
[] Israel
[x] Italy
[] Jamaica
[] Japan
[] Jordan
[] Kazakhstan
[] Kenya
[] Kiribati
[] Kuwait
[] Kyrgyzstan
[] Laos
[] Latvia
[] Lebanon
[] Lesotho
[] Liberia
[] Libya
[] Liechtenstein
[] Lithuania
[] Luxembourg
[] Republic of Macedonia
[] Madagascar
[] Malawi
[] Malaysia
[] Maldives
[] Mali
[] Malta
[] Marshall Islands
[] Mauritania
[] Mauritius
[] Mexico
[] Micronesia
[] Monaco
[] Moldova
[] Mongolia
[] Morocco
[] Mozambique
[] Myanmar
[] Namibia
[] Nauru
[] Nepal
[x] Netherlands
[] New Zealand
[] Nicaragua
[] Niger
[] Nigeria
[] North Korea
[] Norway
[] Okinawa
[] Oman
[] Pakistan
[] Palau
[] Panama
[] Papua New Guinea
[] Paraguay
[] Peru
[] Philippines
[] Poland
[] Portugal
[] Puerto Rico
[] Qatar
[] Romania
[] Russia
[] Rwanda
[] Saint Kitts and Nevis
[] Saint Lucia
[] Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
[] Samoa
[] San Marino
[x] Scotland
[] So Tom and Prncipe
[] Saudi Arabia
[] Senegal
[] Seychelles
[] Sierra Leone
[] Singapore
[] Slovakia
[] Slovenia
[] Solomon Islands
[] Somalia
[] South Africa
[X] South Korea
[x] Spain
[] Sri Lanka
[] Sudan
[] Suriname
[] Swaziland
[] Sweden
[x] Switzerland
[] Syria
[] Tajikistan
[] Tanzania
[x] Thailand
[] Timor-Leste
[] Togo
[] Tonga
[] Trinidad and Tobago
[] Tunisia
[] Turkey
[] Turkmenistan
[] Tuvalu
[] Uganda
[] Ukraine
[] United Arab Emirates
[X] United States
[] Uruguay
[] Uzbekistan
[] Vanuatu
[] Venezuela
[] Vietnam
[x] Wales
[] Yemen

Monday, October 09, 2006

And as for North Korea...

Folks, they may be testing nuclear weapons, but I sure as hell haven't noticed. If it wasn't for talking to James about what he's up to as a result, I wouldn't have heard until someone at work told me. I assume they found out on the internet, cause from what I can tell CNN is strictly all sports or business news (or it is whenever I flick onto it!) The thing about living in a non-English speaking country is that I don't have the faintest clue what is up. And while I'm addicted to the web, it isn't the news I'm reading, apparently!

Oh, how I cried

After a galbi dinner, at a new place since our old place is now a suit store, I watched two more DVDs. All of these are copies, of course, and most are really good. Especially if they are copies sent out for "Consideration for Awards Purposes."

North Country was wonderful. I thought it was very well done and I got all teary-eyed at that court scene where everyone stands up with her and when she talked to her son on the porch.

But it was Eight Below that made me cry. Three times, two for the dogs that didn't make it and one when I thought it didn't look good. Nothing like courageous dog stories to make me bawl like a baby. Such a good movie.

And now time for bed.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving Canucks!

Enjoy your turkey everyone! I am very jealous.

In honour of Canadian Thanksgiving, I watched The New World today. So boring. I spent the last half hour waiting for her to hurry up and die so that the movie would be over.

I'm Going to be a Millionaire!!!

I think the secretary of the auditing department would capitalize more regularly than I do, but perhaps not?

From: Mrs, mariam, jubrin
The secertry of Auditing Dept.
African Development Bank {ADB}. Ouagadougou, Burkina-Faso.

Dear Partner,

Good day and how are you doing with your family? Hope fine.Please let this message do not be a surprise to you because i got your contact information and lay all the trust in you before i decided to disclose this confidential and successful transaction to you.I am the SECERTRY OF AUDITING DEPARTMENT of our bank and i decided to contact you over this financial transaction worth the sum of SEVENTEEN MILLION,THREE HUNDRED THOUSAND UNITED STATES DOLLARS ($17,300,000.00 ) for our present future success.This is an abandoned fund that belongs to one of our bank foreign customers who died along with his entire family in Algeria Earthquake on 23 may 2003.Meanwhile i was very fortune to came across the deceased file when i was arranging the old and abandoned customers files of 2005-2006 in other to submit to the entire bank management for an official re-documentation.

Be obviously informed that it was stated in our BANKING POLICY and signed lawfully that if such fund remains unclaimed till the period of FOUR (4) years started counting from the date when the beneficiary died, the money will be transferred into the BANK TREASURY as an unclaimed fund.Besides, it is not authorized by the law guiding our bank for a citizen of BURKINA FASO to make the claim of the fund.So the request of you as a foreigner is necessary to apply for the claim and transfer of the fund smoothly into your reliable bank account as the EXTENDED RELATION BEING THE NEXT OF KIN to the deceased.

thanks,I expect your urgent communication.
My best regrads to you and your family,

Poor Joe.

Dear Amanda,

I am Razali Kanara, an attorney at law. A deceased client of mine, by name Mr.Joe , who here in after shall be referred to as my client, died as the result of a heart-related condition on the Nov. 2001. His heart condition was due to the death of all the members of his family in the Gulf Air Flight Crashes in Persian Gulf Near Bahrain Aired August 23, 2000 by 2:50 p.m. ET as reported on.

I am contacting you to assist in distributing the money left behind by my client before it is confiscated or declared unserviceable by the bank where this deposit valued at 3.5million dollars is lodged. This bank has issued me a notice to contact the next of kin, or the account will be confiscated. My proposition to you is to seek your consent to present you as the next-of-kin and beneficiary of my named client, since you have the same last name, so that the proceeds of this account can be paid to you. Then we can share the amount on a mutually agreed-upon percentage.

All legal documents to back up your claim as my client's next-of-kin will be provided.All I require is your honest cooperation to enable us see this transaction through. This will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you from many breach of the law. If this business proposition offends your moral values,do accept my apology.

I must use this opportunity to implore you to exercise the utmost indulgence to keep this matter extraordinary confidential, whatever your decision, while I await your prompt response.Please you can also contact me at once to indicate your interest on my alternatively email me :

Your's Faithfull,
Barr,Razali Kanara.

And poor Julius. Not a good month for people with my last name.

Dear Amanda,

I am Bernard Lee, a legal practitioner.Please be patient and absorb the contents of this email which I believe is a message that will be beneficial to the both of us.
I am the legal representative to Late Julius who herein after shall be referred to as my late client.He died in March 2005 as a result of heart condition.

Basically,my aim of writing you is to assist me secure the funds left behind by my client before it is confiscated or declared unserviceable by the bank where this fund valued at $3.9million dollars was deposited.

I have a mandate from the bank to present the next of kin to the deceased or the funds will be confiscated and so far, all my efforts to get hold of someone related to this man has proved abortive.

I want you to consider this proposal.If you grant your consent that I present you to the bank as the next-of-kin and beneficiary of my deceased client (since you have the same last name),so that the proceeds of this account can be transferred to you, then we can share the entire proceeds on a mutually agreed-upon percentage.

All legal documentation to back up your claim as my deceased client's next-of-kin will be provided. All I require is your honest cooperation to enable us see this transaction through.

This entire process will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law.However,if this business proposition offends your moral values,do accept my apology.Please contact me at once to indicate your interest.

Best Regards,

Bernard Lee Esq.


Can't say I was making any major fashion statements tonight, but I was at Outback with YunJin.


Not a link for Bush supporters!

Pet costumes. Read the commentary. I laughed so hard I snorted!

Dr. Seuss Purity Test Have you done it in a rhyme? Have you done it several times?

Thanks to Jenny for the giggles.

When you go to bed at night and forget to shut down your computer, do you know where your icons are and what they are doing?? See what goes on.... My mom sent me this one.

Everything is Illuminated

What an amazing movie. Very different from the book, and yet still great. And normally I don't like Elijah Woods at all, but he was really good in this role. I thought both the book and the movie were very powerful and moving. Definitely the only good movie of the bunch I've watched this weekend.


I've recently seen The Devil Wears Prada and My Super Ex-Girlfriend. The first I just found kind of bland, the second actually annoyed me. How come Superman is a wonderful guy and G-Girl is crazy? Is the message that women can't handle power? And wasn't it interesting that in a movie with two women with super powers, it's the guy who still manages to save the day?

Then I watched Wolf Creek. Not exactly a tourism ad for the Australian Outback. Again, I thought it was notable that we got to watch the killer torture and kill the two girls and then the guy is finally shown at the end, escaping. Not much really happens to him. The behavoiur of the girls sometimes annoyed me too. The one girl goes into the area to try and get another car and gets distracted climbing down underground ladders and watching home videos? Really???

Saturday, October 07, 2006

I'm going to miss...

My shoulder freckles. I never used to like them, but now I kinda do. They are starting to fade though.

I am NOT going to miss the lovely outline of my bikini that I burnt into my back. And yet, it is still there!!!


Someone left the window open while someone was smoking. That someone was not me. Now someone has a lot of annoying, buzzing, biting mosquitos flying around. That someone IS me.

Oddly, while I can never hit them when they land on the wall, I am getting quite good at catching them out of the air with my hand and smooshing them.

In other news, good work Papa Hemmingway. Those mojitos are fine. And yay for Marisa for reminding me of them, I hadn't had any since a phase in my first year of university.

It's been a very early evening (well, for a Korean evening anyway, as it's 1am), as I will be waking up early tomorrow, but I just saw Val's gang at Geckos and they are fun. YunJin's sister is cute too!


I have just had a lovely, lazy day with James. I am now off to watch a movie. I might even go out tonight, if only to prove I am not a total slug. Really. I swear! And, the army not intervening with some randomness between now and tomorrow morning, I will be seeing him again tomorrow.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Roger Loves Cheeseburgers may be better, but this is an AFN classic too!


Marisa gave me some magazines when she left, including some old K-Scenes. I was flipping through them today and found this:

Did you know that in many countries, the moment your death certificate reaches your embassy or consulate, ALL of your funds will immediately be frozen? This means that if someone in your family wants to come to be with you and they don't have the money to get here, you might not be able to send it to them.

Um, yeah. You might find it difficult to send money for other reasons, namely that you are dead!


You know those spam blockers, where you have to type the letters/numbers they show to prove you are a real person and not some spamming programme? Am I the only person who actually can't really read them? I find it really, really difficult.

So, basically, I need glasses for distance, cause I can't see beyond the reach of my own arms, I have double vision (but only for distance) cause I have a lazy eye that somehow went unnoticed for my entire childhood, AND I have some other weirdness where I just can't read these things? I fail at them ALL THE TIME.

So annoying!


If I've successfully gotten Sheryl Crow stuck in your head, my job here is finished.

All I Wanna Do...

... is watch TV. After dinner at Panchos for Julie's birthday (yummy fajitas), we went to the Loft. Tons of people were there because of the holiday. Even the infamous myspace Sean showed up. It was a very, very late night, but bizarrely I woke up early and just could not go back to sleep.

All attempts at reading make my eyes slowly shut, but i just can't nap. So, TV would be perfect, mindless, effortless amusement.

But I can't watch it. Why? Because my room doesn't have blinds. I guess they burnt down in the Great Room Fire and Mr. Joo wouldn't replace them. He told me that he provides the same things that a university dorm room would have in it. Which I find bizarre, cause none of my rooms came with a comfy chair and a kitchen, but they sure as hell had blinds. So. bloody. weird.

Anyway, the sun is streaming in, which is lovely, but it does mean I can't see the TV screen. Back to reading and nodding off, I guess. I am loving the Plot Against America by Phillip Roth, by the way. You should all read it.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

This result made me giggle

Which Lord of the Rings character and personality problem are you?

Congratulations! You're Pippin!

You occassionally display a flash of brilliance, but usually a stifling cloud of stupidity hangs over your head, obscuring your perceptions and thought processes. You might well have killed Gandalf, but it will all work out in the end. Besides, idiocy is endearing when it's worn by someone as adorable as you are.

Take the quiz here.

Last Night

I went to HomePlus with YunJin and it was super busy. While I was at the cash I noticed that one register over someone had three fish, attached with a rope through their mouthes, sitting on the belt without a bag or anything. Just three fish. I wish I had had a camera.

Then I went to Julie's room to hang out and we ended up chatting until 6am. You'd think there'd be nothing left to say, but there is this:

Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday dear Juuuuuuulie,
Happy Birthday to you!


Happy Chuseok everyone! My classes yesterday were quite enjoyable. A lot of the kids were already away (of course they were! we had already had tuesday off!), so the classes were small and quiet and pleasant. I had told my younger classes that if they wore their hanbok or bowed to me I would give them a Choco Pie (just like Wagon Wheels for all the Canadians of my age out there). So, here are some pics of male and female hanbok. The kids were super cute. The class of all girls is one of my favorite classes, though two of the girls were missing. Cindy's mom heard about the hanbok promise and decided it must be a Chuseok party and sent her in with doughnuts and juice and snacks.

Welcome to My Family

Chester the Computer and Harriet the Houseplant and Me makes three!

My Russian Name

Your Russian Name Is...

Anya Siny Kuznetsov

Tuesday, October 03, 2006


* I have two mosquito bites, one on the inside of each ankle. They are highly annoying.

* The Body Shop Hemp Foot Moisturizer is so smelly that the socks I wear to help it sink in to my feet still smell after several washes.

* I am reading four books at once right now.

* I am very, very tired.

* Orange Fanta is quite nice with gin.

* I only sometimes use capitals, both in my posts and in the titles. I think I should either try and be more conscientious (though I can't be arsed, just as I can't be arsed proofing or spell checking) or decide to follow in the tradition of e.e. cummings and bell hooks and just do away with capitals altogether.

* I quite like punctuation though, even though mine is sporadically done in my blog. I teach this crap all day, am too lazy to care at night.

My Toilet

It is a constant source of annoyance. See, it started running all the time. Before I learned to turn the water connection to the toilet off, I managed to rack up quite a bill. Then it was supposedly fixed, but it actually was made worse. Then I finally fiddled with it to a point where I had to jiggle the handle just so to get the water to stop running and everything was fine. Sure, if any guests ever used my toilet, I had to wander in after them and jiggle the handle, but basically I was content. Then, dammit all, my toiled was "fixed" again. It lasted less than a week. So once again this morning I had to find the Korean super and try and get it fixed. So far, so good. But I imagine there is more fun to come in the toilet saga...

I Would've Thought Weirder

You Are 50% Weird

Normal enough to know that you're weird...
But too damn weird to do anything about it!


The second David Gray album really sucked. I don't think I'd ever listened to it until now. Damn.

A Whole Lotta Weekend

This is a funny week, as we have a day off today (Tuesday) and Chuseok on Thursday and Friday, so it's kinda like having a bunch of little weekends. It also means that both teaching days are just a little bit useless as the kids are in a party mood and many aren't going to be there.

The real weekend was interesting. I stayed in Friday night, but managed to stay up til 5am. This sounds bad, but the thing is that 3am for me is like midnight for a person on a more normal 9-5 schedule. I watched Arthur, which I think is a really good movie, even if it is presented as historically accurate when it isn't.

Obviously I slept in pretty late on Saturday. I had a big pizza craving, so I indulged it. Late in the evening YunJin and I went to Itaewon to meet her friend. We played darts and bought earrings before heading to Hongdae. At TinPans 2 we were both blowing bubbles with some delish gum. I am not particularly fond of TinPans 2, but I like blowing big bubbles, even if they do pop and stick to my glasses. We met up with Amber and Julie and the Julie Brothers in Route 66. YunJin and I ended up chatting on the roof.

Sunday was another day of sleeping in and then YunJin and I met up and went to Itaewon. We ate some pretty good cheese cake in the street outside the International Foods Store (which has improved remarkably since I was last there) and went to What the Book. I am going to try out a book club, so I needed to get the books. I could only find one and ended up with some unplanned purchases too. We then went to Three Alley Pub for great caesar salads. Oh, and I bought a t-shirt that says in English and Korean "I am not a migook." It made me giggle.

Today I once again slept in. Then my plan was to find the second bookclub book. I realised that I had mistaken the authors (tony parsons for nick hornby) and tried What the Book again. They didn't have it, but I did trade some books in. So, I grabbed a coffee and headed to Kyobo books. Where I bought the needed book and FIVE others. I came home and talked with James. Got some Baskin Robins and chatted with the girls in Julie's room.

“Where is human nature so weak as in the bookstore?” Henry Ward Beecher

I used to joke that the reason I save money in Korea is that getting to an English bookstore takes a lot more effort. And it's funny cause it's scarily true.

However, it is amusing how easily it is to make me happy. All I need is a day off, a long lie, some time in a bookstore, coffee and ice cream, and a chance to talk to james and some friends. It was a great day.

Yay for the long weekend to come!!!

Monday, October 02, 2006

This made me laugh out loud

"On Naming Things
Fetuses are now called unborn children. I like the logic behind this innovation; from now on I shall call living adults undead corpses. And for breakfast I will no longer order fried eggs but fried unborn chickens."

From Echidne of the Snakes.

A Video Worth Checking Out

Thanks to Blue for the link.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

A- (I am such an underachiever. I get an A, but that minus is in there...)

You Have A Type A- Personality

You are one of the most balanced people around
Motivated and focused, you are good at getting what you want
You rule at success, but success doesn't rule you.

When it's playtime, you really know how to kick back
Whether it's hanging out with friends or doing something you love!
You live life to the fullest - encorporating the best of both worlds

Since I love to blether on about books

From Sofiya who is far funnier than I.

1. One book that changed your life?

The Whole Woman by Germaine Greer. A friend in my archaology lecture at the University of Edinburgh had me go along with her to a reading of it. It introduced me to feminism.

2. One book you have read more than once?

All the Anne McCaffery books. Because I started reading them as a child, I find them very comforting reads. I read a lot of things over and over again though.

3. One book you would want on a desert island?

A very, very long one. Maybe War and Peace, which I started once and then had to put aside for a week long hiking trip when I was halfway through. I really liked it but have never gotten back to it. And I suspect it would fill up a lot of time, as I kept forgetting all the relationships between the characters. I could construct a giant family tree out of tree branches or something else suitably desert island.

4. One book that made you laugh?

Eats, Shoots, and Leaves by Lynne Truss. While on a Korean subway. And yes, everybody stared at the bizarrely cackling waegook.

5. One book that made you cry?

My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult. It wasn't terribly well written, but had me sobbing.

6. One book you wish had been written?

This is quite a hard question. Perhaps a History of the Punics? Though I'm sure they wrote a great deal that simply didn't survive.

7. One book you wish had never been written?

There are books that have been written about terrible subjects and books that have been written terribly. But it's not really my place to wish them unwritten. The most annoying read I can recall off-hand is Swiss Family Robinson. It annoyed me soooo much. The misogyny. The way they either shot or captured every animal that crossed their paths. Just everything. And to think I was in love with the old Disney movie as a child.

8. One book you are currently reading?

I am about a chapter into The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. No idea how it ever took me this long to get to it. I actually borrowed it off of someone in first year university but exams prevented me from reading it.

I just finished Motya by Gaia Servadio. Badly written but the Punic site is fascinating, as was some of the information about the British in Sicily.

9. One book you have been meaning to read?

Well, I'm about to join a book group, so Haunted by Chuck Palahnuik and A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby (which I don't even own yet, though I have Tuesday off to go and find it, I guess.)

10. Now tag five people.

Do I have to? Anyone else who feels like it can do it and say I tagged them, if they want. (This is stolen from Sofiya. I am too lazy to think up my own response!)