Sunday, April 29, 2007

The Pursuit of Happyness

OMG, is that little kid cute.

It was a great movie, I thought. Will Smith was amazing, the plotline was touching and ultimately inspirational. There were a few very amusing moments. Basically, it shows a man who takes a huge risk and manages to overcome obstacles to get what he wants.

I do wonder at the lack of social and racial analysis in the movie though. I can't imagine they didn't have any impact on his life.

The Long Afternoon

I have just spent a pleasantly idle day reading a book about the pleasantly idle lives of a rich English couple living in Southern France between 1912-1942.

"Why do we organise our lives so that the happy days are surrounded by years of dutiful frustration? Why are we so ruled by convention?"
Written by Giles Waterfield and based on some details of his grandparents' lives, it's an interesting book. The writing seemed a bit stilted, but that invoked the livestyle they led. Helen is a huge hypochondriac and Henry rather weak.

I miss many things about Aberdeen, much as I used to complain about how cold and dark it is. But one cannot cling to one's past and I am sure I was right to come here and gain new experiences, and I shall be back to see you all, I hope very soon.
So true.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Visas, and passports, and guarantors, oh my!

So, my passport has run out of space and time. As Candace likes to bitch, as if it wasn't a pain in the ass enough to be one of the few countries without ten year passports, they aren't even really 5 year passports, since most countries require that you have 6 months remaining on your passport to let you in. Not Hong Kong, thankfully. Just one month and an outward flight. Which is how I ended up here on a passport with only 3 months left on it. And an ugly passport at that, seeing as I got it after being mugged in Italy, had to have the damn thing extended, thus making everyone who looks at it have to go to page 11 to see the actual expiry date, and ensuring that in my photo I look sweaty and annoyed by the process of getting an emergency passport in a foreign country.

So, a new passport is a good thing. However, it is also a pain. You have to submit it in person only between the hours of 9-12. Which, since I am on vacation is not really difficult but must be a pain if you are working. My bus managed to get hit by a car on the way to Central though, making me wonder if I'd make it on time. So I went and got my unsmiling photo, and as per usual they tried with my glasses and then without. And then I went and waited in a queue.

First, I had to get one number to hand in the application. This goes off fine. Then I need a guarantor. New number, new queue. First she gives me a lecture. Since I have recently (SEVEN DAYS AGO!!!) arrived in Hong Kong, they'll do it for me THIS time. But in 5 years, I had better know someone! Then you get to fill out five years of addresses and employers. Hahahahahahaha. Have you got space on the sheet for me to write a novel? Fuck, that one year in Vancouver I temped for 4 different agencies! I can't recall the house number or even the damn street I lived on there!

Then they kindly tell me to pick up my new passport two days AFTER I am due to fly out of Hong Kong. Fun!

Between providing high school transcripts for my Hong Kong visa (who knew they even existed?) and not smiling for photos, and guaranteeing my identity... I tell ya. But I am about to have a shiny new 48-page passport to have a shiny new work visa stamped in.

I have a crush on Russell Peters


Just a hint, if it says baa and not woof...

Spacebook and Myface

This Hour Has 22 Minutes and Gunter explore the exciting new world of online social networks.

In other news, I interneted drunk last night. And Candace sleptwalked. Hahahahahaha. Ahhhh, ladies' night!

How am I THIS lazy even on vacation?

So, I'm finally getting around to blogging about my last weekend in Seoul...

The weekend kinda started on Wednesday, when Vanessa, Sarah, Alex, Roger, and Amanda came to Bricx to smoke some hookah and drink some cocktails. Apparently I introduced Roger to Bricx, which is a fair trade for being introduced to the eggman/McDs breakfasts. Yum. I can't handle smoking and drinking in the same evening apparently - it makes my whole body, especially my fingers, tingly. Fun, but I had to take off by 3am. Geckos Mike had some wandering hands after the shots... ;)

Then Ladies' Night on Thursday. Brilliant. I love Ladies' Night. It was a very late night. Fun, fun, fun. A great way to say goodbye to some amazing people. Spent a lot of time talking to Mike. He and Amanda and I ended up in her room at 7am listening to jazz and drinking a bottle of Malibu until we dozed off. We went for a late brunch the next day at Indigo. Yummy.

Friday I had dinner with Joel. He was going to go home after, I was going to go home early. We went to Pattaya and then went to B1 for ONE drink. Then we went to Queen. We thought we should go say hi to all our peeps at Geckos... Some interesting photos were taken, most of which Sarah might not appreciate me putting on the internets ;) The next thing you know we were back at B1. TJ was there with a friend of his, who was hitting on me. I wasn't interested, but didn't expect what was going to come next...

So, I went to the bathroom. Bathrooms in Korea are often unisex, with a stall for the gals and the urinals in the main part with the sinks. In the bathroom was a friend, T. He had pulled his zipper so far down it had gotten stuck (fair enough, this has happened to me too). So he is trying to do up his pants while I laugh at him until he asks me for help. And so, just as I lean down and yank up his zipper, the hitting-on-me guy WALKS IN. Now, we all know what he's thinking and I will grant you that the whole thing looked amusingly dodgy.

Our party moved on to Queen, which has got to be one of the most fun places to dance in Seoul. (It's on Homo Hill, one hill over from Hooker Hill and Africa Alley, just in case you need directions!) We danced for hours and then at some point Sarah started insisting that we go to Old Town Seoul, because she had never stayed out late enough to make it before (all the while insisting that she was getting up early in the morning to go running...) It was very, very sunny and bright when I made it to McDs for a sausage egg mcmuffin. It was late enough, in fact, that there were normal, everyday people at McDonald's actually having a breakfast that was occuring after a night of sleep and an early morning alarm.

Obviously, I didn't get a lot of stuff done on Saturday... Saturday night is another story, of course. In fact, it was just about the same night as Friday. Went to Wolfhound with Samarra, Laura, Marie, and Hanna for dinner and then wandered to Geckos, Queen, King's Club, and Old Town Seoul. Alex bought me some goodbye flowers :)

Sunday by the time I made it to the bar, I discovered that many, many people were still going from the night before. I managed to miss Jo entirely, found Jeni in quite an amusing state, and discovered that Vanessa and Sarah had joined the shooter's club with a guy they met. After 15 shooters, the guy was getting gropey, Vanessa wanted a tattoo RIGHT NOW, and Sarah was praying in the bathroom. And not to the porcelin god, surprisingly. ;) Alex apparently finds me funny. And he likes my shoes! Take that, Karlyyia! We ended up in Bricx again, as Roger is now addicted. And that's when the evening got interesting. We smoked 3 hookahs, drank many drinks, and played "Spin the Screwdriver". Jane's idea! Watching the two boys spin each other and kiss might have been the most amusing part.

The idea was to stay out until 6am, go to Amanda's and grab my bags, somehow haul them down an almost vertical hill, grab a taxi on the main road, go to the airport with plenty of time to exchange some money into HK$. However, I was nodding off at Bricx (which stayed open extra late cause there were so many of us there spending a small fortune) and I went home early. And fell asleep. And overslept through my alarm. And left for the airport an hour later than I should have. And took forever getting through immigration. And walked last onto a plane that had to be HELD FOR ME! Oops!

The only good part of it was that I don't really recall saying goodbye to people. I think that is probably best. I am glad to just leave it as a great night out, see ya all soon. I miss my Seoul peeps.

Love to love ya!

I'm a Book Nerd. Big surprise!

What Be Your Nerd Type?
Your Result: Social Nerd

You're interested in things such as politics, psychology, child care, and peace. I wouldn't go so far as to call you a hippie, but some of you may be tree-huggers. You're the type of people who are interested in bettering the world. You're possible the least nerdy of them all; unless you participate in other activies that paled your nerdiness compared to your involvement in social activities. Whatever the case, we could still use more of you around. ^_^

Literature Nerd
Artistic Nerd
Drama Nerd
Gamer/Computer Nerd
Science/Math Nerd
Anime Nerd
What Be Your Nerd Type?
Quizzes for MySpace


Going through my Amazon wish list is like peeling back the layers of an onion, exposing what has occupied my mind over the last couple of years...


My recent reading has been rather sad, in general. The Known World is just one sad thing after another.

The Caged Virgin by Ayaan Hirsi Ali. It's written by a Muslim woman from Somalia who now lives in the Netherlands. I thought it was interesting, though I found it rather poorly written and argued, with a lot of repition. Basically, she contends that Islam will remain confined in the past until women are treated as equals. Rather disheartening read, though hopeful as well.

Lucky by Alice Sebold. So sad. So horrible. But a very important book to read. I feel like giving it to every man I know.

The only comic relief I've had came from plowing through a Reader's Digest and reading Oh the Things I Know by Al Franken. It's a pretend self-help book. Funny, but nothing too amusing. Didn't make me lol. (sorry, bit of inside joke aimed at Candace there.)

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


The Known World

Oprah calls this book the best one she's read in ten years (I was watching her do an interview with the author when I was about halfway through reading it myself.) It is a Pulitzer Prize winning book that was apparently written when the author was fired. Perhaps it's time for me to get fired from something!!! Who knew it could end up going so well?

Fern Elston: "We, not a single one of us Negroes, would have done what we were not allowed to do." (God and the law)

This book is just sad. One sad thing after another happens. What startled me the most was the idea of Black slave owners. Not something I had thought about before. It is also a book that points out with force how following along with law and religion is so far away from being enough. Conscience must require more from us.

Oprah seems to be reading my mind lately. First she does a show with Edward Jones talking about writing The Known World the day after I started reading it, and then I see a show about rape survivors right as I started reading Lucky. Odd.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Sao Paolo goes advertising-free

Back in December, 2006, the mayor of the 11-million-person Brazilian city of Sao Paolo banned all outdoor billboard advertising, citing advertisers' unwillingness to comply with the city's rules on what sort of billboards can be placed where. Now the rule is in effect, and Flickr user Tony de Marco has documented the eerie sight of a city stripped bare of commercial visuals.

The statute's most visible impact promises to be at eye level and above. The outsized billboards and screens that dominate the skyline, promoting everything from automobiles, jeans and cellphones to banks and sex shops, will have to come down. All other forms of publicity in public spaces, like distribution of fliers, will also stop.

The law also regulates the dimensions of store signs, and will force many well-known companies to reduce them substantially by a formula based on the size of their facades. Another provision, much criticized by owners of transportation companies, outlaws advertising of any kind on the sides of the city's thousands of buses and taxis.

The law, as passed, also applied to advertising banners trailed by airplanes and ads on blimps. But in the first of what promises to be a long series of legal challenges, a court ruled the clause unconstitutional on the grounds that the federal government, not the city, controls airspace.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

I am Giddy!

I just watched an episode I downloaded myself!!!

I could be more proud of myself, but it's pretty ridiculous already!


I have BitLord. I am learning to download. Right now, episode 20 of Grey's Anatomy, Season 3 is 23% downloaded. I am soooooo excited! This totally makes up for my piss poor geography!

How could I forget Texas?!?

Name the 50 States in 10 minutes!


An interesting article.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

And it's right! All these years away and I'm still a Canuck.

What American accent do you have?
Created by Xavier on

Canada. You probably get irritated when British people and Europeans think you're from the States, but over here we wouldn't make a mistake like that.

Take this quiz now - it's easy!
We're going to start with "cot" and "caught." When you say those words do they sound the same or different?

Could I be any geekier?

Drunk Dial No More

Morning Edition, June 28, 2006 · "Drunk dialing" could be a thing of the past. One company is introducing breathalyzers on some of its U.S. cell phones. You blow into a spot and, if you've had too much to drink, the phone displays a weaving car hitting traffic cones. It will then prevent you from dialing pre-specified numbers that could cause embarrassment. Hundreds of thousands of "breathalyzer phones" have already sold in South Korea. Now, if only they could make a cell phone that didn't drop so many calls.
Read it here.

Hahahahahaha. I was often to be heard commenting in Korea about how in this day and age, drunk dialing is all too easy. You can do it while still at the bar! And even worse has got to be the drunk emailing, as that is saved for posterity. Oh, the horribleness! I had a friend in Korea who had a phone with a breathalyzer, which provided no end of amusement when we were at the bar. Let's just say that it's good that I have never learned to drive because I was always shockingly over the limit. I had no idea that it could also stop the drunk dials though. Korean phones are genius. I think they can probably even wipe your ass for you, they do so many things.


My favourite movie. It took me ages to get ahold of it, back in the days of VCRs and then my damn housemate from 2nd year stole it off me (damn you Ken! damn you!).

Anyway, I was messing around with facebook a couple of weeks ago and discovered that you can click on these things and see who has listed the same movie/book/tv show within your friends and your network. When I was in the South Korea network I was the only girl who liked Baraka. In the Hong Kong network it is less popular by far, but there is a 50/50 male/female split.

I am not sure what, if anything, that says, but there it is.


I am:
"You're a damn Commie! Where's Tailgunner Joe when we need him?"

Are You A Republican?

I'll take Cuba over North Korea. I like beaches.

Let Jackson help you relax...

And unleash your artistic side.

Friday, April 20, 2007

So true!

“Tomatoes and oregano make it Italian; wine and tarragon make it French. Sour cream makes it Russian; lemon and cinnamon make it Greek. Soy sauce makes it Chinese; garlic makes it good.”

Quote courtesy of Bomboniera.

You have to eat it too?

I am wonderful at buying healthy food. When I am shopping for food, I am quite virtuous. I am all about the fruit and veg and will refuse to buy myself Coke (too heavy to carry!). However, the eating more healthy plan is stumped by the fact that just buying healthy food and putting it in the fridge isn't enough. You have to EAT it too! That said, I am eating quite a lot better at Candace's.

And I'm finally sleeping more than 5 hours a night. Those last couple of months in Seoul were exhausting. My body is soooo happy to be able to sleep all it wants and apparently what it wants is to sleep 10 hours a day. Ahhhhh, sleep. How I love you! I can't believe I survived on so little sleep for so long! There are few pleasures more sensual than sleeping for 9-10 hours and then waking up to read in bed for a half hour or so before rousing yourself and getting out of bed. Candace's early morning schedule also has me going to bed at a more normal hour, though I do read in bed for about another hour after she goes to bed.

The Return of The Joo

I had the weirdest dream this morning. I was at Heritage-y on my last day at work and our boss suddenly announced that he was increasing our hours of work. Everyone was really pissed off. Two weeks of vacation and it's still on my mind! Thankfully I have 3 months to relax and rejuvenate before working again. I think I need it. Teaching is too tiring to do for a year with only two weeks of vacation!

American Idol, Watch out!

Candace says:
they say it's your birthday
Candace says:
nah nah nah nah nah nah
Candace says:
something something something....

Never let it be said that I didn't learn anything in my 12 years of French education

Ô, je suis un pizza
Avec du fromage
Beaucoup de sauce
Des tomates
Des oignons, des champignons
Épices mélangees
Je suis une pizza, prête à manger

Je suis une pizza
Pas d'anchois
Ou "Phoney Bologna"
Je suis une pizza
Je suis une pizza, apporte-moi chez toi.

Je suis une pizza
Du poivron vert
Je vais du four
Jusqu'à la boîte
Dans la voiture
A l'envers
Je suis une pizza, tombée par terre

J'étais une pizza
Trésor de la cuisine
Je suis une pizza
Tombée en ruine!

I am a pizza
With extra cheese
From tomatoes
Sauce is squeezed
Onions and mushrooms
I am a pizza, ready to go

I am a pizza
No anchovies
Or phony bologna
I am a pizza
Order by phone
I am a pizza, please take me home

I am a pizza
Peppers on top
Out of the oven
Into the box
Into the car and
Upside down
I am a pizza, dropped on the ground

I was a pizza
I was the best
I was a pizza
Now I’m a mess!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Mob Name

I am The Island. Don't mess.

Get your own here.

Last weeks in Seoul

Have you ever been at a bar until 6 am on a Thursday in aid of helping someone else pick up? I was, two Thursdays ago. I do love Ladies' Night and am much saddened that I have left them. Ahhh, the days of table dancing. Ahhh, the cute boys. Ahhhh, the free rum and coke. Ahhhh, the girl kissing. Fond, fond memories.

My second last weekend in Seoul started off with some lovely food at La Tavola. Another place I will miss. I had quite a pub crawl that night (Geckos, Seoul Pub, Wolfhound, King's Club, McDs).

On Sunday Vanessa and I were in What the Book when she got a text from Jeni asking if we were in Geckos. Vanessa called out to me asking who Jeni was and Jeni herself replied, as she was a few rows over. We had a great dinner at Geckos and later part of the party moved to Wolfhound, where poor Sheila managed to get cake smushed on her face and peed on by a puppy. All in a normal Sunday night...

Monday was my last day at work. Quite anti-climatic, really. I spent most of my prep cleaning up my desk and scanning photos. After the day was over, we went to the galbi place for one last meal together and drank some soju, before I left to pack up and start moving my stuff out.

The plan was to stay with Amandalicious, who lives up an insanely virtical hill in Haebonchon. Thank god for cheap taxis, cause there was no way I would have gotten my suitcases up that hill. I spent the days during the week running my errands one at a time - not on purpose, I have no idea how it all took so damn long each day! Transfered a satisfying amount of money back to Canada, yay for the exchange rate!

Do Something Sexy with a Piece of Fruit!

Sunday nights started out as an evening of eating dinner at Geckos. Sometimes we would stay until close. Then we started taking the Closing Time song seriously.

Closing time, one last call for alcohol, so finish your whisky and beers, Closing time, you don't have to go home but you can't stay here.
We started heading to places like Wolfhound for an hour or so, then off to Cancun, then UN for some crazy late-night Sunday dancing.

You know you are having a bizarre evening when a friend sudden demands that you do something sexy with a piece of fruit. I think the fruit platter was service, since the Nigerian boys bought us an entire bottle of Jager, but it certainly made for amusing photos. (If you wanna see mine, you'll have to go to my photos. Tati's hairband also made the rounds, not sure what that was all about. Jane was supposed to send us all home by 3, but that didn't happen. Ahhh, nothing like leaving the bar when it is sunny outside...

No thanks!

Ahhh, Vanessa and her pussy. Always a fun conversation at the bar.

It was a very long night, one of those that end at McDonalds for breakfast. We went to Geckos, danced at Helios with a basketball team, saw Spiderman on the streets of Seoul, went to Poly's where Sheila stole Roger's hat. Madness all round.


I have been a very lazy blogger lately. Tons of things have been happening, many of which I have wanted to blog about, but I have been far, far too busy.

Three weeks ago I finally made it to the Kimchee Museum in the COEX Mall with Samarra. It was very amusing. First, there was some great Engrish. My favourite was the discussion of a softer type of kimchee: "This type of kimchi shows a good manner of honoring and respecting the elderly in Korea." Then there was the health section, advising the effectiveness of a Kimchee diet for weight loss, cancer fighting properties, and some cartoon antibiotics.

Most of the museum was diaoramas of how kimchee is made or plastic imitations of all the types of kimchee. Thankfully we were spared the tasting part, as it only runs at certain times. The ceilings were very low in parts, once the ceiling was about an inch away from Samarra's head.

COEX mall is full of cheesy photo ops. The one above is my favourite, but there were also giant stuffed bears and sharks to pose with.

While shopping I introduced Samarra to my favourite character, Pucca. Here is what it said on a bag about her: "Rounded head, amazing smile. The only daughter of Guh-Ryong Chinese restaurant. She always seems like a rebel with her own agenda, but her love for Garu is the strongest in the universe!! Go Pucca, until the day your lovely chopstick dance captures his mind!!!" She is often pictured kissing Garu, who looks very annoying. So cute.

Less cute were the undies saying "Better than it looks" and "Pink lady delight".

Samarra had to restrain herself from buying every Hello Kitty item she saw (only a pair of socks in the end) and I tried to restrain myself from silver earring buying, though I think I bought about 3 pairs plus two necklaces. Samarra cut me off but then when she took off home to change I was able to buy another pair in the subway ;)

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Gregory Maguire

He is an author who writes retellings of fairy tales from the perspectives of other characters. I read Wicked a couple of years ago and I remember enjoying it a lot.

In the last month I've read Mirror, Mirror and Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister. Mirror, Mirror didn't interest me as much. I loved the historical setting but didn't love the weird dwarves part. Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister I liked a lot more, I think largely because everything is simply placed into a historical context and there isn't any weird magic stuff in the storyline. In both, what I liked best about the novels was the history, no surprise as I love historical fiction.

"To consider what other people might say is hardly a good reason to take action or to defer it."

"Approval and disapproval alike satify those who deliver it more than those who receive it."
One of the themes of the story is that Iris has a talent for seeing and it is suggested that she apprentice to a painter, in spite of the fact that it was not a normal thing for a woman to do. Eventually Iris does this. She seems a more content character than the other women, who are all defined by their roles as wives or future wives. Ruth is an exception - she doesn't talk and we read the whole novel until the end not knowing what Ruth thinks of all the events that occur.

In the Epilogue, Ruth says: "What is the use of beauty? helps protect the spirit of mankind, swaddle it and succor it, so that we might survive. Beauty is no end in itself, but if it makes our lives less miserable so that we might be more kind -- well, then, let's have beauty, painted on our porcelain, hanging on our walls, ringing through our stories. We are a sorry tribe of beasts. We need all the help we can get."

Beauty is the main theme of the novel. Clara, the Cinderella of the story, is beautiful but is confined within her house. Iris is ugly. The painter has a collection of paintings of "God's Mistakes" and they are contrasted with his painting of the beautiful Clara. Iris and Clara talk about how kindness is a form of beauty.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

The Memory Keeper's Daughter

I read this book by Kim Edwards and am not entirely sure what to think. It was recommended to me by many people, Vanessa told me it was so boring she couldn't get through it, and a few people have been very critical of it.

The book is a story about a man who gives away his daughter because she has Down's Syndrome and the nurse who raises her and how this one event affects them and their families.

The doctor becomes quite interested in photography and I enjoyed the descriptions of his art: "This is what he yearned to capture on film: these rare moments where the world seemed unified, coherent, everything contained in a single fleeting image. A spareness that held beauty and hope and motion - a kind of silvery poetry, just as the body was poetry in blood and flesh and bone." I love photography myself, though recently I have mostly been taking bar shots of my friends and I looking goofy. But I have also taken photos that have been intended to be about so much more than just the image itself, to say something about the world.

"David watched her go, trying to fix this moment - the vivid backpack, her hair swinging against her back, Jack's free hand reacing out to grab leaves and sticks - forever in his mind. It was futile, of course; he was forgetting things with every step she took. Sometimes his photographs amazed him, picrures he came across stored in old boxes or folders, moments he could not remember even when he saw them: himself laughting with people whose names he had forgotten, Paul wearing an expression David ad never seen in life."
Memory is such an interesting thing, as are the things we choose to keep as reminders of our lives. Moving every year or two allows for a lot more introspective going through of what you own, what surrounds you. And the last time I went home a reconnection with an old friend prompted me to look through childhood photos. Facebook is also a blast from the past, as I seem to have reconnected in this most unusual internet way with many people I went to elementary and high school with. It is very interesting what memories photos can elicit and which photos seem to come with no associations at all.

"Norah glanced at the boxes of photographs, wanting to take that young woman she had been by the arm and shake her gently. Keep going, she wanted to tell her. Don't give up. Your life will be fine in the end."
So, so true.

In an interview with the author, she says: "I also remember being annoyed, more than once, when my friends' need to get a photo right interfered with the moment the photo was meant to capture... How did the presence of the photographer change the nature of the moment? What was gained and what was lost by having the eye of the camera present?" An interesting thought. Certainly, lately in Seoul I have been the official photographer of the group, and I have always loved to take tons of photos of absolutely everything. Who knows how the presence of a camera might be changing events.

A related article from Oh My News.

I'm sure I'm the last person to hear about Kamini, but I love this!

For Laura

So, it is often believed that rationality and emotion are two opposing systems. And that men are more rational in their decision making and women more emotional. The rational methods are implied to be superior.

However, I was reading in my Economist about studies in brain lesions, including one by Dr. Antonio Damasio who studied a patient named Elliot. Elliot lost the ability to feel emotions and became obsessed with detail and stopped being able to make sensible decisions. He could summarise the choices available in a given situation, but without his emotions to guide him he couldn't make a choice.

Anyway, I thought Laura would quite appreciate that!

The Machiavellian Mind

Something about living in Korea seems to bring this out more in me than anywhere else. And I suspect possibly in other people. I wonder why that is?

(I should possibly note that the theory of mind is the ability to hypothesise what other minds are thinking and what they are thinking about what you are thinking. The Machiavellian Mind is the idea that we use our minds to anticipate the actions of others in a way that helps us and then use language to try and manipulate the actions of others.)


I was reading an old Economist, seeing as it won't be making it into my stuffed suitcases when I move. There was an article about the intersection of economics and flow. Flow is the deep satisfaction people get from losing themselves in their work, or as W.H Auden put it: "forgetting themselves in a function." Flow is supposed to be easiest to achieve when you are in work that stretches you without defeating you, that provides clear goals, that has unambiguous feedback, and a sense of control.

Which is why I had a strange love of making up new homework lists. Annoying, often a waste of my time as so few students seemed to ever do their damn homework, and yet they were mildly satisfying. That said, can't say I am sad that I will never have to write up such crap again!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

I was once a blonde...

To see even more cherubic pictures of me, before I became my present devilish self, go to my photos.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Goodbye to Amanda Teacher

I got some very amusing goodbye letters from my students. Here are what two of my favourites said:

"Amanda theacher. My name is Sally. theacher I like you. You is very kind, very nice, very good explain. Amanda theacher byebye see you 2 years from today ~"

This came about because when they asked why I was leaving, I explained that I had been living in Korea for two years and it was time for me to move on. Apparently Sally now thinks that I will live in Canada for two years and then back to Korea for two and so on... Another class, my youngest, I told them that I was going to Canada to visit my neices and one little girl burst into tears and asked "But Amanda Teacher, when will you visit us?"

Another letter said on one side: "Bye Bye Amanda, I love you, you math is fun" with the math part crossed out and on the other side: "Bye Bye Amanda, I love you, you English class is very fun, good bye."

Sunday, April 01, 2007


It took me awhile to get excited about leaving Korea. To be honest, I am very settled and happy right now, and I wasn’t entirely sure it was a great idea to move somewhere else. I also have a piss poor sense of time and it just wasn’t really getting through to me that it was all getting so close. However, I just finished my 13th last day. Yep, folks, I’ve got a countdown now. My last day is Monday the 9th. I plan to fly out on Friday the 13th. Tempting fate, I know. The plan is to go to Candace’s and also to maybe take a quick two week vacation, since I’ve got some time to sit around and wait for that visa before I can work.

I have no idea where to go. Vietnam and Laos are both very, very tempting. I invited Lindsay along, though I’ve got no idea if it is too late for her to get time off work or what. I suppose most people can’t do stuff this last minute, but it seemed worth a try. Either way, I look forward to sitting around not doing much of anything for a bit. Working for an idiot takes a lot of energy and the Jooster has been quite trying of late. Imagine, Heritage-y writing its own grammar textbook! Fun! And though grammar is an admitted weakness at our school, in the meantime we are to cease teaching all grammar. Even more fun!

However, I got pulled into the office to hear how much I’m getting for my plane ticket today. It should comfortably cover my flight to Hong Kong and a flight to wherever else I decide to go. Maybe even a bit left over.

So, time to get my hepatitis A shot updated. And perhaps even start to pack. Southeast Asia, here I come!