Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Defensive Walking

Laura and I died laughing at this.

Another Weekend, Another Thai Dinner

For a while there, a weekend didn’t pass without me eating at La Tavola. The last month or so, it’s been Thai food every weekend. Or twice, in the case of this weekend.

Friday night we went out to Hongdae, which is somewhere I haven’t been in a while. With the big military ban on, it hasn’t been as busy or as fun. US 66 and Tinpans were fine, just not crazy exciting. Saturday we were in Geckos and there were some pretty odd pick up attempts going on (Sheila does NOT look in the slightest like Mariah Carey). I didn’t buy a single drink for myself, which is always fun. We moved on to Poly’s and I managed to eat chicken on a stick, potatoes and an eggburger before the night was through. I also got some flowers from a gay couple. Slightly odd evening, all round.

Sunday Roger and I watched Hannibal Rising, which was fine and only moderately gory. I only closed my eyes four times, I think. Then I met Samarra for dinner and coffee before we met up with Vanessa and Sarah for a beer.

I have started to attempt to pack. As per usual, I suck at doing such things unless I am under pressure. Realistically, I’ll be packing the night before. However, I like to move stuff around and pretend I’m being productive.

Oh, and George is an ass. Don’t be trying to tell me Grey’s Anatomy isn’t real, cause I don’t care. He’s still an ass, even if he is just a fictional one.

Go, Gadget, Go!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Monster Teacher

These lovely masks were made for me by Jeff, who is one of my oldest classes. With the eyeholes cut out and my glasses to hold them on, I actually taught an entire class wearing one of Jeff's masks. I don't know if I should be amused or insulted that he made them for me.

A Love Letter

Love My Teacher
Hello I'am Michelle.
I was happy durring study with you.
I love teacher.
date (FEBRUARY thuhthday 22, 2007)

Teacher Love

Friday, March 23, 2007

New Year!

New Year!

I was out for Persian New Year last night, at the Cage. This is my third time celebrating New Year so far this year, which is rather fun. A New Year every couple of months is not a bad thing at all. I went to meet Margaret and Val and the Persian boys and Laura and Hanna came along for the ride. Even Roger turned up.

Tonight has been another staying in night. Laura and I ordered some Pizza Hut and watched America’s Next Top Model and vegged. I then watched a couple of episodes of Ghost Whisperer, which I am becoming fairly addicted to. Now it’s time for bed and a bit of reading before I fall asleep.

My mom sent me some Honey Nut Cheerios that I got today. If it hadn't been for the pizza plan, I know what I would have been eating for dinner last night :)

I think maybe another waegook is in the building. I kinda got the impression that my neighbour moved, but wasn’t certain. However, passing the door today I could hear someone talking English inside in a North American accent. I am quite curious.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Gigantic Post!!!

What I’ve Been Reading

Mostly Cosmo magazines, to be honest. I have quite a stash I acquired from other teachers and have been gorging on Season One of House and flipping through Cosmo and the like for the last week or so. I am also reading “Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal” by Christopher Moore, “The Brooklyn Follies” by Paul Auster, and “Popper” by Frederic Raphael simultaneously. I really ought to finish the Popper book, it is a tiny synopsis of Popper’s work and I am almost finished already. Lamb is hysterically funny, which is exactly what I thought of the other Moore book I read. Books that make you laugh out loud are few and far between, especially as an adult. And the Auster novel has quickly demonstrated exactly why my coworker Deanna calls him her favourite author and what exceptionally good taste she has at the same time. I also read Welcome to My Planet: Where English is Sometimes Spoken” by Shannon Olson. It was amusing enough, but nothing special, a story about a 30 year old who isn’t quite sure what she is supposed to be doing with her life. A bit like looking in the mirror, I guess.


… is so much better when you can watch whole seasons at a time. This break in showing new Grey’s Anatomy episodes is enough to make me want to pull my hair out, but I’ve been kept happy with House and The Ghost Whisperer and Eureka and The L Word. I have a ton of other series to get through as well, as Rodger kindly stuck a bunch of stuff on my hard drive for me, after buying it for me on base. And I must say, I do love my new toy. It’s odd. I was never really the kind of person to want the new gadget or technology, but somehow I am now enamoured of all things electronic. Well, okay, not all things. But as each thing seems to blend into the next (I need the hard drive to hold my photos and copies of TV shows and the insane amount of downloaded music I have, which I then play on my iPod or watch on my laptop. And just wait, I intend to get a much more exciting cell phone the next time around. I want one that can give me a breathalyzer or let me watch TV on it or show me the subway map and calculate the time it will take to get me where I am going. All things that Korean cell phones can do, in fact), I find that I increasingly want all the new toys.


As predicted, I have been using lots of fun new stuff lately. I am presently wearing Skin Food Carrot Collagen Eye Sheets and sprayed my feet with some sort of anti-smell mist. I’ve used any number of random face masks lately (not to the benefit of my skin, it has to be said, but fun anyway.)


So, Samarra finally moved to Seoul. In my last proper post, I mentioned that I was off for free drinks on a Wednesday at the Cage. Poor Samarra missed the free drinks AND the guy accidentally setting his pants on fire, but she did come out. I somehow managed to miss the strip dance, though. Anyway, there was lots of dancing and a little drama, as per usual here in Seoul. Everyone was out, what with the next day being a holiday. I spent the next day chilling with Rodger and then went out for dinner with Margaret and crew for her birthday at Pattaya. After that we chilled in Geckos for a bit, for reasons I do not recall, as the free drinks were on offer elsewhere. Joel claimed he was only out for dinner and Sheila claimed she would not be caught dead in the Loft. Naturally, they were both there until the eggburger-buying end. It was Beth’s last night – it seems there has been an endless stream of goodbye nights out lately. Such is life in Korea, I guess. Uniquely, Erin did some meditating in the bar. Not sure what exactly she was meditating on. Perhaps the lack of handsome guys? That Thursday was also the night that I met Candice’s friend Darren and he met us. I hope he enjoys crazy girls in bars, cause that was what we were, as per usual.

Pretending to be a Tourist

My lame ass didn’t make it out on Friday, as it often hasn’t lately. I suppose that is what they say about feeling your age. No more weekends that involve Wednesday to Sunday, I need a Friday night break in there to hibernate in my apartment, watch bad reality TV, and catch up on my sleep. However, that meant it was easy (well, ok, only sort of easy) to get out of bed on Saturday morning and go and meet Derek in Insadong with Laura. The day was gray, but I decided it wouldn’t rain, so I left all ten of my umbrellas at home. It promptly started to rain. This is why I own so many umbrellas in the first place. However, we were snug on the bus and then the subway. While Laura and I were waiting (and it turns out that Darren to was waiting, but upstairs at the exit rather than inside) we got to witness a highly amusing fight between two ajummas over prime umbrella selling locations. The rain turned to snow and it was gray and cold, but the three of us were off for bulgogi and tea and by the time we had all be nourished, the sun had come out. We first went to Tapgol Park, which I have seen many a time but never ventured into. It has a few statues and a pagoda from the 1470s, which the park is named after. On our way to see a palace, we wandered into a park with a singer and a large group of ajoshis singing along and dancing. No idea what it was all about, but it was rather fascinating. Follow the noise is always a good traveling rule of thumb. We ended up at Jongmyo, which is where the spirit tablets of the kings and queens are kept. Along with the ceremonial booze cups, which are far nicer than those at the Loft. And I bet if you put down your cup and misplaced it, they wouldn’t refuse to give you another spiritual beverage either! There were bizarrely several phone booths in the palace. This seems odd. I mean, really, what kind of tourist feels a burning need to call home while touring a palace? And all Koreans, down to my six year old students, have handphones, so they don’t need them. Weird. There were also some charming trees, which I decided to pose with. To see all the pics, go to www.kodakgallery.com/chinook. Then we hit the palace, took a few more touristy pics, wandered into a greenhouse full of mini-garden like creations, and came across a rather odd marker. I am not entirely sure that I need to know where the placentas were buried, but now I do. And as they say, knowing is half the battle. Granted, the real GI Joes aren’t doing much of a good job of following their own slogan these days.

We split up to head home to change before hitting the bars of Itaewon. Managed to fit in Geckos and Bricx with Laura and Hanna along for the ride, and then once they left we went to Queen. Now, if you are in a gay bar on the aptly named Homo Hill (just one hill over from Hooker Hill, natch), it can be quite amusing to start doing Blow Jobs. The shots, not the thing itself (get your minds out of the gutters!) And more amusing to have them shot out of your cleavage. (For those not in the know, these are done without using your hands, though usually off of tables and the counters of bars.) Anyway, we’ll leave the description of the wildness at that, to save my poor mother, who is doubtless reading this in horror. We did indeed end up wandering over to Hooker Hill, as there are some non-dodgy bars, and danced for a bit in Poly’s Kettle. I wandered off home at a late hour, though before the rest of the crew, only to wander back into Itaewon for dinner the next day. Of course. Somehow we ended up staying out until 5am. Not exactly what one expects of a Sunday night out for dinner. And amusingly, for all that time spent in a bar, I had about 3 beers, because I drink beer with an exquisite slowness that drives most of the people around me insane with incomprehension. I used to drink beer at a normal speed. I have no idea what happened. (It should perhaps be noted that I am now sporting a lovely cucumber facemask that says that it’s refreshing. I suppose it is.) Anyway, it was another round of eggburgers for all on the way home. I wonder if Rodger lost his bet or not? I can’t say I was fascinated enough by talk of 8 tracks to listen closely enough to know exactly what it was about.

Last week passed by. The lovely cigarette burn on my arm was starting to look like it might cause my arm to fall off entirely, which necessitated a trip to the Korean doctor downstairs. Who kindly removed the scab and a fair amount of arm with a scalpel. And no painkillers of any type. This to the girl who gets laughing gas to have cavaties filled. The only bonus to any of this is that none of it was translated to me in advance. I made up for the bad morning by heading for Cage that night, though all that resulted in was me seeing a rather dodgy strip show and getting far too tired to go out for Ladies’ Night, which is far more fun. I even stayed in on Friday night, as I was feeling a need to be a hermit. However, Saturday being St. Patrick’s Day, I was obviously off to the pub.

We started at Geckos, naturally, after a Thai for dinner. It was packed to the brim, full of people who were pinching my ass as I managed to forget to wear green. I’m not kidding. I really am ditzy enough to go out for St. Patrick’s Day and yet forget just as I was dressing that that was what I was doing. I did spend the evening drinking Green Apple Martinis, which perhaps redeems me in the eyes of the diehard Irish types. The night progressed onward to B1, where there was a great number of wedgies given, and then to Polly’s Kettle, where Samarra had her first soju experience. I didn’t get home till the next morning, so basically it was a great night out.

Sunday was basically St. Paddy’s Day, Part 2, with dinner at an Indian buffet, followed by drinks at RMT and Geckos. There was even a guy still dressed up in a leprechaun suit, though since he was stupidly tall he actually looked like the bastard lovechild of a giant and a leprechaun, but there you are. When they kicked us out of Geckos, we wandered over to the Wolfhound, where we played that game where you have a celebrity name stuck to your forehead and have to ask yes/no questions to try and guess who you are. It was fun, played by quite the multinational group, including even the guy who sells the kebabs in the bars.

I’ve just been out having dinner at Bennigan’s and then to see The Illusionist with Sheila, Karllyia and Jane. The salad bar was awesome (I’m still full, hours later) and the movie was entertaining. Jessica Biel is certainly beautiful.

Tomorrow is Persian New Year, I’m told, so I’m off to more free drinks at the Cage. It will be an early night (ending around midnight) as I am determined to make it to Ladies’ Night this week. Determined!


So, it’s getting to the end. I’ll be doing my leaving happy dance soon. I love the kids, I love the teaching, but my boss is soooooo annoying and the curriculum is frustrating. It is starting to get to the point of cleaning up on-going projects and finishing off things for the last time ever. I have gotten all of April’s homework finished for two textbooks already, so that the new teacher has a couple of weeks of breathing space before he gets stuck dealing with it all. I have a ton of damn filing to do; my desk is an unholy mess. My students are cute, though. I recently made my youngest class peanut butter and jam sandwiches, because we are reading the cutest story about two bears who need to buy jam for their toast and end up buying a ram instead because poor Dan is forgetful. They were adorably messy as they ate them. I recently lost one of my favourite classes, only to have it replaced with some very low-level, high-maintenance 5 year olds. Sigh. And one of my students, when answering a journal question about how he helps around the house, amusingly replied that he cleans the dichotomous beetle. Now, I’m guessing that means he has something to do with getting rid of cockroaches, but let me tell you, in a class were most students tell me daily “Teacher, I am a pencil” when in fact they need one, it was a pretty funny word to come across. I tried to keep my snickering to myself. My boss is a nutjob as always.


I seldom keep up with the news. I am not uninterested in world events, but somehow can’t get into reading about them on the internet. I like good, old-fashioned newspapers, but frankly, the Korea Herald just doesn’t cut it. And I don’t have much in the way of TV offerings, with the odd hours that they show the news on AFN, combined with army news (“Recently in Area One, some soldiers washed some trucks. Let’s interview them!”), and CNN. So, I was cooking dinner one night after work (something I’ve been doing a lot more of recently) and I put on CNN for some background noise while I made my food. And a man came on talking about some scandal involving an attorney general or something and some mistakes made in the US. They were in particular commenting on the tendency of public figures to apologize only in the passive tense – no “I’m sorry” or “I made a mistake”, but instead “Mistakes were made” thus allowing the mistake maker to never really implicate themselves in the wrong-doing. This is all very interesting to someone who deals with language every day while teaching it, until the man makes the fatal mistake of stating that this language use demonstrates a whole new verb tense that he likes to call the past exonerative. Now, coining it the past exonerative is very amusing. HOWEVER! It isn’t a new verb tense, moron! It’s the damn passive! As if it isn’t annoying enough that my bloody grammar check likes to imply my use of the passive isn’t grammatically correct, now we have people claiming it is some sort of new grammatical invention. For Christ’s sake. And that is why I will remain ignorant of the news. I hope that Hong Kong has the BBC, though even they seem to be slipping these days.

My Ex

He appears to have sort of lost it. I mean, really. I left him, I moved to another continent, I have never had any interest in reconciliation. He is now accusing me of purposefully trying to delay the divorce. I tell you, if we could get one any faster, I’d be all over that. However, there are exactly two things I need to fill out on the forms, and one of those is an address at which the formal papers can be served to me. I am about to move to a new country and I don’t have a permanent address, because I don’t yet have a work visa. It may well be May before I get one. And that isn’t a problem for me particularly, except where it happens to concern this form. And sure, I’d love to have it done and all, but it just isn’t possible. So he suggests that if I keep “sitting on the form” he will fly over and get it himself! Hysterical! I mean, he couldn’t find his way around Korea if he tried and once I leave here, what is he going to do? Wander around all of Hong Kong hoping to bump into me? After all, the problem is that I don’t have an address to give him. How exactly does he expect to fly over and find me? And how is it that I married this person in the first place??? I’m sure he’ll send me a scolding email about how I talked about him on my blog, he always does. I’m just gonna say in advance pot and kettle and leave it at that. Let’s hope he gains some sort of a clue and chills out already. I’ll have a permanent address when I have one. Until then, I won’t. The way I live my life includes puttering along for a month or two with no fixed address, and that’s cool. That’s one of the good parts of it.

My face mask is dry and my fingers are tired of typing. I’m sure only my most dedicated readers have made it through a post this massive anyway (Hi, Mom!), so it’s time to hop into bed with all three of the books I’m reading and relax.

Monday, March 19, 2007

All Puns Intended

Stolen from Lisa. I giggled like a mad freak reading these on a break at work.

1. Two antennas met on a roof, fell in love and got married. The ceremony wasn’t much, but the reception was excellent.

2. A jumper cable walks into a bar. The bartender says, “I’ll serve you, but don’t start anything.”

3. Two peanuts walk into a bar, and one was a salted.

4. A dyslexic man walks into a bra.

5. A man walks into a bar with a slab of asphalt under his arm, and says “A beer please, and one for the road.”

6. Two cannibals are eating a clown. One says to the other: “Does this taste funny to you?”

7. “Doc, I can’t stop singing ‘The Green, Green Grass of Home.” “That sounds like Tom Jones Syndrome.” “Is it common?” Well, “It’s Not Unusual.”

8. Two cows are standing next to each other in a field. Daisy says to Dolly, “I was artificially inseminated this morning.” “I don’t believe you,” says Dolly. “It’s true; no bull!” exclaims Daisy.

9. An invisible man marries an invisible woman. The kids were nothing to look at either.

10. Deja Moo: The feeling that you’ve heard this bull before.

11. I went to buy some camouflage trousers the other day, but I couldn’t find any.

12. A man woke up in a hospital after a serious accident. He shouted, “Doctor, doctor, I can’t feel my legs!” The doctor replied, “I know you can’t - I’ve cut off your arms!”

13. I went to a seafood disco last week…and pulled a mussel.

14. What do you call a fish with no eyes? A fsh.

15. Two fish swim into a concrete wall. The one turns to the other and says, “Dam!”

16. Two Eskimos sitting in a kayak were chilly, so they lit a fire in the craft. Unsurprisingly it sank, proving once again that you can’t have your kayak and heat it too.

17. A group of chess enthusiasts checked into a hotel, and were standing in the lobby discussing their recent tournament victories. After about an hour, the manager came out of the office, and asked them to disperse. “But why,” they asked, as they moved off. “Because,” he said, “I can’t stand chess-nuts boasting in an open foyer.”

18. A woman has twins, and gives them up for adoption. One of them goes to a family in Egypt, and is named “Ahmal.” The other goes to a family in Spain; they name him “Juan.” Years later, Juan sends a picture of himself to his birth mother. Upon receiving the picture, she tells her husband that she wishes she also had a picture of Ahmal. Her husband responds, “They’re twins! If you’ve seen Juan, you’ve seen Ahmal.”

19. Mahatma Gandhi, as you know, walked barefoot most of the time, which produced an impressive set of calluses on his feet. He also ate very little, which made him rather frail and with his odd diet, he suffered from bad breath. This made him. (Oh, man, this is so bad, it’s good) …. A super-calloused fragile mystic hexed by halitosis.

20. And finally, there was the person who sent twenty different puns to his friends, with the hope that at least ten of the puns would make them laugh. No pun in ten did.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Not Bad for an Atheist!

You know the Bible 72%!

Wow! You are truly a student of the Bible! Some of the questions were difficult, but they didn't slow you down! You know the books, the characters, the events . . . Very impressive!

Ultimate Bible Quiz
Create MySpace Quizzes

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Blow your nose, you sinner!

I had to get up early today and go to the bank. I was also hoping to find a postbox, which didn't happen. However, I did get a free pack of travel Kleenex from the neighbourhood church.

Samarra is finally in town. She called last night; it’s very exciting. Hopefully I'll be seeing her tonight.

At work, as always my luck sucks. I have another damn book to do homework for and yet again there must be a disk with the old homework on it, but no one knows where it is. Of course not. Why know where important resources are? Mr. Joo didn’t even look for it, though he said he would, because, after all, it’s no skin off his back if I have to make the whole damn thing up myself.

Tomorrow is a holiday and tonight is free drinks for foreigners at Cage. You know where I am off to now!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Gah. Damn wireless!

So, my internet is done for. I have been stealing wireless for ten and a half months and whoever it is I've been stealing from has evily decided to move just before I do! It sucks!!! However, I am reading more and even watching some bad TV (and some good movies - Finding Neverland was good). But, I don't have much time to check email and such. Sorry all! And I should have updated the blog at today's PC Bang party, but it is 2am and I've been here for ever doing other stuff (chatting with Kari and Sheila and goofing around and doing what I actually came to do...) and I am tired and my head is sore. Later, gaters.

The Fam in Feb

minus me, sadly!