Monday, December 31, 2007

Goodbye, 2007

1. What did you do in 2007 that you'd never done before?

Hahahaha. I've already been asked this one. The Hong Kong incident. Got divorced (I think, anyway!) Taught kindergarten.

2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

No and Yes. It's not the keeping of the resolutions that is necessarily important, I think, but the making of them. The taking stock.

4. What countries did you visit?

Thailand, Hong Kong, Canada, North Korea, The Philippines.

5. What would you like to have in 2008 that you lacked in 2007?

More of all the good things, less of all the bad, I guess.

6. What dates from 2007 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

April 10th - I left Heritage, thank fuck!
May 18th - Surprise arrival back in Canada.
August 10th - Back in Korea once more.
December 14th - All my loose ends were finally tied up!

7. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Tying up those loose ends, perhaps.

8. What was your biggest failure?

Perhaps being so stressed by the Korea/Hong Kong decision.

9. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Nothing terrible. Did a transatlantic flight with a messed up ankle, did some North Korean hiking with pneumonia.

10. What was the best thing you bought?

It wasn't what Oprah recommended ;) I'm not sure I've bought anything all that fabulous this year.

11. Whose behavior merited celebration? Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

Many people's merited celebration. I find that sometimes the most surprising people will do fantastic things. Based on some info I recently found out, my ex is on the appalled list.

14. Where did most of your money go?

Vacations!!! Clothes. Having fun in general.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Hiking in North Korea. Seeing my nieces.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? happier or perhaps about the same
b) thinner or fatter? maybe about the same - I'm not sure, to be honest.
c) richer or poorer? Hmmmm. Again, perhaps about the same.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?

Exercise. Travelling. Decisive getting-stuff-done.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?

I'm not sure I regret too much from the past year. Maybe the odd drunken moment, but nothing in particular.

20. How did you spend Christmas?

Brian, Samarra and I went to see the Golden Compass, wandered around iPark, went to dinner at Geckos and then had drinks with people at Queen. Oh, and I got to talk to my adorable nieces :)

21. Did you fall in love in 2007?

Hahahahaha. No!

23. What was your favorite TV program?

Grey's Anatomy, I think, though I am now equally into Private Practice. I've been watching the first season of Lost recently and been impressed since about halfway through. Flight of the Conchords is hysterical. Oh, and I finally got around to watching Buffy - it was really good.

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?

No. I don't hate anyone at all right now, though there are certainly those I don't care for.

25. What was the best book you read?

"The Boy Who Loved Anne Frank" by Ellen Feldman. It was maybe the best power read - one of those I-can't-put-it-down novels.
"Eva" by Peter Dickinson was the best children's book and it was a reread from the Poly library.
"Oscar and Lucinda" by Peter Carey for the best I-should-have-known-but-didn't ending.
“The Friar and the Cipher” by Lawrence & Nancy Goldstone for best historical non-fiction.
“Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal” by Christopher Moore was the funniest.
“The Brooklyn Follies” by Paul Auster for introducing me to my newest fav author.
"Lucky" by Alice Sebold for the best sad book.
"A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of A Boy Soldier" by Ishmael Beah for the most gut-wrenching emotional response.
"Eat, Pray, Love" by Elizabeth Gilbert for personal resonance.

26. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Not sure. I love "Smile" by Lily Allen, and the new Alicia Keys album is pretty damn cool. Tons of stuff, really.

27. What did you want and get? What did you want and not get?

I didn't get a job I wanted, though I suspect that worked out for the best, particularly from a financial point of view. I wanted a new wardrobe and I got that.

29. What was your favorite film of this year?

The Golden Compass, I think. I don't actually see many films, in the cinema or out of it.

31.What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

A year long trip around Asia, with the magic ability to pop back in on the family for a couple of days at will.

33. What kept you sane?

Who says I managed to stay sane? My coworkers, perhaps, when I was back in my old job. My friends. Lots of navel gazing.

38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2007?

When travelling, follow the noise.

39. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

Friday, December 28, 2007


Happy New Year, everybody, in case I don't get online between now and then!

I leave in 25 mins. I am counting down every last one of them! So excited!!!

My house is clean, I am clean, I'm headed to a beautiful beach - 2008 is going to be a good year, I can tell already.

For Brian

An old photo that I needed to be able to link to...


I have to shower, clean the bathroom and get on the bus to the airport in an hour and a half.

Boracay, here I come! Get the beaches ready!

Gift Train Has Arrived

First the train left Texas. Then it got missent to Indonesia.

But it finally arrived in Korea and I love, love, love it. Grace rocks!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Kidies do Cute Work

I just love Alex's pictures. Also, I am astounded by my kindergarteners doing work that I would have had a hard time getting out of my old 5th graders at my last school!

James has a very interesting view of the world, especially considering he was looking at a map very intently the whole time he drew this.

Merry Christmas!

Turkey dinner at Geckos, with Brian and Samarra. It was very yummy.

Wishing you a Mally Christmas, since that's where I spent mine. I talked to the verbal nieces while I was on the subway, watched the Golden Compass, wandered around the mall, had turkey for dinner, and went for drinks at Queen. All in all, a good away-from-home Christmas.

Me and my favourite Starbucks drink - the back of my freebie planner actually has a place which instructs me to glue one in. So funny! So here I am with my Grande Peppermint Mocha, which I drink far too often.

The chocolates Jenn made for us! I'm astounded by such levels of cooking - I can barely move myself to make toast.

Vanessa, Sheila and the tequila tree, natch.

Santa in a coffee cup - the most bizarre of this year's crop of Christmas cards, though I admit I didn't look as hard as usual for odd ones.

Cheonggaecheon River Walk

A very busy mall two days before Christmas. I was after "The Subtle Knife" to read on the beach (naturally, I've finished it already) and thank god for Brian, because I sure as hell would never have tracked it down. Kyobo has the least logical arrangement of English books I have ever seen.

Brian and I at the Luce Vista festival.

Santa visits the Lions class.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Kindie Christmas!

I'm sure I've swung back and forth in extremes of emotion about other things, but I tell ya, this Christmas pagaent has exhausted me, had me despairing it was ever going to be decent, and exhilerated at how good it was. It's been quite a ride.

In general, it went well enough. I got to see two preschool classes and the other kindergarten play. The first preschool group was just awful. Really, really awful. Two kids kept singing incoherently into the microphone, drowning out the kids who could actually sing the lyrics. The next preschool group looked like rockstars in comparison. The Night Before Christmas play went so much better than in the dress rehersal. The kindergarten songs went just fine too, though Grace just refused to dance, basically.

It felt like our play, The Littlest Christmas Tree, went fine, though I was on stage hissing stage directions, so it was hard to tell. I can't say how relieved I was to just have it over, especially after the extreme low point of the dress rehersal. God, was that awful.

And graduation is just around the corner... Sigh.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Tequila is the snake...

... and I bite the damn apple every time.

"Ouch," says my head.

Friday, December 21, 2007


I just had a Christmas staff dinner at an "Italian" buffet, followed by beers in a German-themed bar with a band from the Philippines singing American classic rock, in Korea.

Thursday, December 20, 2007


I do believe that a very big loose-end has finally been all tied up. That had me thinking that it would be fun to try and tie up all my loose ends before the new year.

I can't decide what exactly that would entail exactly though.

Just Like a Prune

I'm all dried out. I hate how dry the air is here in the winter. I just put moisturizer in my nose in an attempt to stop the quasi-bleeding. My nose doesn't actually bleed, or anything, just that every morning when I blow it, it's full of blood. Disgusting. I have been forced to try and use my mystery appliance, which has turned out to be a humidifier.

I think it is, anyway.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!

If you are doubtful you will have a white Christmas, go on over to Snow Days and make yourself one. If you want to see mine, you can search for snowflake #5587947.

Thursday, December 13, 2007


"Teacher, every time you talk to Ms. Smith, something bad happens. Can you stop talking to her?"

Apparently I start an awful lot of conversations that lead to them doing more work with "I was talking to Ms. Smith and..."

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


*Title inspired by Amazon and the 3rd season of The L Word.

Things in Korea seem to change faster than anywhere else.

To Relax, It Turned Out That I Just Needed Some Time With Some Balls

I've never been in the playroom with any of my classes until today. 22 students, two teachers, and lots of fun. After 20 minutes I was exhausted, Eric had gotten me in the nose with a ball and it was the most fun I've had in some time.

Oh, and after today? That conversation at Thanksgiving? To hell with the germs, I'd do it in a minute!

Woo! Let There Be Light!

Why I Love Korea

The galbi restaurant we go to, where the lady knows all of our names and always finds a table to squeeze us in, no matter how busy, sent a gift of Vitamin C drinks to work for us all.

Free beer, good meat, and gifts. I'm sold.

A Mouth Full of Sand

Ahhhh, experiments. The bane of my life back when I was a student, as I could never get them to go right. With the new Xmas schedule, I had to run this one on a Friday to cover all the classes in one day. It made a ridiculous mess and I'm sure the cleaner secretly hated me that day. We sieved things, we described things, we demonstrated wind and water erosion, and how the wind causes waves. It was fun, but I spent the best part of the day with sand in my mouth.

I think the Christmas play is going to go alright. I veer between desperation and hope, depending on the day, how much sleep I've had and if I've had my daily dose of coffee, basically. Fingers crossed.

Apparently, all I want for Christmas is for my students to memorize their lines!

The First of the 2007 Memes

My 2007

The year is ending!
answer the following about your year:

1) Where did you begin 2007?
ln Thailand with Sheila

2) What was your status by Valentine's Day
I was single

4) How did you earn your money?

5) Did you have to go to the hospital?
Yes, but nothing serious

6) Did you have any encounters with the police?
Yes, here in Korea. Slightly idiotic cab driver, trying to overcharge me, the police were charming.

7) Where did you go on vacations?
Thailand, Hong Kong, Canada

8) What did you purchase that was over $1000
Plane ticket home :)

9) Did you know anybody who got married?
A few people.

10) Did you know anybody who passed away?
No one very close to me, thankfully.

12) Did you move anywhere?
To a new part of Korea, after a 4 month vacation in two countries.

14) What concerts/shows did you go to?
None, I think...

15) Are you registered to vote?
I'm not actually entitled to vote in any countries at the moment, so no

16) Who did you want to win Big Brother?
More importantly, who's your daddy now? (hahahaha. i'm leaving V's answer.)

17) Where do you live now?
Hwajung, KR

18) Describe your birthday?
A place called the Feather Boa, with Candace, Dom, Jolee and some other people, then dancing at some Hong Kong night club, finished up by taking the bus back to Tuen Mun.

19) What's one thing you thought you wouldn't do but did in 2007?
Hahahaha. What it is happened in Hong Kong.

20) What has been your favorite moment?
Spending the summer with my nieces.

21) What's something you learned about yourself?
If you keep on plowing through, all bad things do end.

22.) Any new additions to your family?

23.) What was your best month?

24.) What music will you remember 2007 by?
lots of random hip hop with the girls in Korea on Ladies' Night, Amy Winehouse and Justin Timberlake with Candace

26.) Made new friends?

27) Best "new friend"?
they're all cool

28) Best new hotspot?
Anywhere I'm at baby

29) Best movie you saw this year?
Nothing is popping in my head - I don't really watch many movies. I became addicted to Grey's Anatomy though.

30) Favorite gift of the year?
You can't go wrong with chocolate and V-neck sweaters, as my parents have learned ;) And books. I love books.

31) Favorite Night out?
Pride Weekend in Toronto, maybe. Or the week leading up to my leaving Korea in April, those were all pretty wild.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

You Know You've Written Too Many Xmas Cards When...

... you write the address of the recipient in the top left hand corner under your own name. Twice.

And yes, if you take a little gander at your callendar, they are going to be incredibly late.

I have been procrastinating horribly, which is odd, as I quite like doing them, even in huge quantities. However, much of the procrastination has been driven by the packages and my complete lack of ability to find bubble envelopes anywhere.

Today, after finally using a number of slightly odd packaging solutions, I finally found some bubble envelopes, naturally.

I have one last little thing to package up, after a quick trip to the 7-11 tomorrow, and then it's off to the post office!

Batshit Crazy!

Yesterday during afternoon prep, our boss brought out our pay stubbs.

Then Christi went batshit crazy, had a screaming match with him in the teacher's room, went home in a snit, packed up, and today left the country.

Dudes, I can barely make it to the post office given a good couple of weeks of knowing I need to. I am astounded by the logistics that must have been invovled.

We had a new girl coming anyway, to work herself towards a Academic Coordinator position, so it isn't as crazy as it could be, from what I can tell.

Let's just hope she's not crazy too, cause she's gonna be sitting next to me, and really, four months of crazy really ought to be enough for one girl.

Happy Holidays ;)

Sunday, December 09, 2007

The Little Things That Disappear

Sometimes I think that the part of my brain that is responsible for remembering the little things, like where I left my keys, where I took off my glasses, or where that piece of paper i just had in my hand went, fell out one day, unnoticed.

It was replaced by extra snot storage. It has to have been, because otherwise where does it all come from?

I think the universe likes to fuck with me. A month ago I lost my tweezers. I bought new ones, figuring that would lead me to find them, because really, you can only lose tweezers in your own house somewhere. They seem bound to turn up. Today I finally found them, while making up Christmas packages. You see, I usually use old bubble envelopes sent to me to package up gifts, in an environmentally friendly way. This year, all my gifts from my family arrived via my little sister's visit, so I don't have any. Inspiration struck and I decided to use plastic bags. They fill up all that extra space nicely, I have millions of them, AND the other person can either reuse them or recycle them upon arrival. Brilliant, right? As I pulled out some of them from the messy pile in a cupboard, out fell my tweezers. In a million years, I would never have looked there, so I was only ever going to find them by accident.

It's been a weird weekend. I stayed in because I accidentally shorted myself when I transfered money home. I forgot that I was going to buy a new phone and then didn't have quite enough money to do much this weekend. I easily could have taken money back out of my Canadian account, but it's been kinda a long couple of weeks and so I decided I should just chill for the weekend. I watched movies, read a couple of books, napped a lot, ate the random food that was already in my cupboards (contrary to popular belief, you can't really throw just anything into pasta and have it taste decent...), chilled. Then I went out for Bonny's birthday dinner at VIPS and ate far too much at the salad bar.

Naturally, the list of to-dos I thought would get accomplished are still sitting around, in need of being done.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Students Make Me Laugh and Sigh

He has a round, red nose. He has a long two horns and he has four long, thin legs. It has a happiest face when he runs by Santa. and he has a meanest face when his friend tease him , and he has a saddest face whe Santa get drunk a booze.

Emily, Grade 4

When I grow I will become woman, I will cook good.

Sarah, Grade 1

Sunday, December 02, 2007


I have finally gotten around to watching Season 1 and I must say, I think I'm hooked!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

I Think I Might Be More Girly Than I Want To Admit

samarra says:
ahhhh yes, the dreaded shaving

Amanda says:

Amanda says:
i wanna wear my skirt

Amanda says:

samarra says:
that is quite the dilemma

Amanda says:

Amanda says:
i know

Amanda says:
akin to solving issues of world peace

samarra says:

samarra says:
it's a wonder more women don't get the nobel peace prize

I Wonder Who The Other Five Would Be

s says:
i'm sleepy

Amanda says:
i'm hungover

Amanda says:
and we are two of the expat dwarfs

I Will Only Eat One Meal Today, But Look How Perfect It Is