Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Canada is awesome, though chilly.

I must say though, Canadians on planes are obnoxious. On my flight from Vancouver to Toronto, all the passangers seemed to be acting like wankers - I was concerned that the homeland rep of being nice and friendly was dead for me, until a woman randomly gave me her extra token yesterday. Awwwww!

I arrived home exhausted and smelly, as you do after a 20 hour door-to-door trip. I have a ton of luggage, of which maybe only a tenth is meant to come back with me - along with all the shopping I can do in two days in the city! The girls have made me the cutest sign saying, "Welcome Home Aunt Amanda" and covered with stickers.

Sunday morning I was woken by loud shouts - Chloe is not a quiet toddler. However, what with the jet lag, this is not a problem, as I had crashed before midnight while trying to read the night before. We ended up going to the park to watch the men play baseball and the kids just play. Afterwords we all came home for a nap, though my attempts to take one were scuppered as Emily kept coming in to visit. Nana, Julie, Alan and the cousins came over to fix the ghetto house (more on that latter) and swim in the pool. We had a very Canadian dinner of corn-on-the-cob, steak, salad and baked potatoes.

As for the ghetto house, well, I've stayed in SE Asian guesthouses for $5 a night with less warnings attached - the water was out today, there are no seats on the toilets, and, oh, the tap in the kitchen is broken! My uncle has been installing the new super-envirnomental toilets my parents bought and apparently when they got them in the sale, the shop was out of seats... These things flush very loudly and quickly and certainly beat Korean plumbing hands down.

Yesterday when I woke up to my morning alarm of shouting toddlers, I went downstairs and enquired if Emily had eaten breakfast. Her reply was, "Grandpa CAN make pancakes, but he doesn't." So, I figured, okay, we can make pancakes. It occurs to me that I have not actually made pancakes in at least 10 years. The assistance of small children slightly hindered efforts, as we ended up with too much flour. Thus, we had to double the recipe. At this point, Grandpa walks in and comments that the reason he doesn't make them pancakes is that they don't eat more than one and he's stuck eating 5 himself! Being a novice pancake chef, I flipped the first couple far too early in the process and they were rather unappealing looking, but thankfully the under-5 set aren't picky, so long as they have plenty of syrup to dip.

I popped over to a police station to get my police check. Took 5 minutes to fill out the form, about a half hour of waiting and $45 to collect this key piece of paper - oh, and a $2000 flight home! Thus, my only real errand that needed to be covered is now complete.

Then, I got dropped off at a shopping mecca - a North American mall! My god! Sizes that fit! Many colors and options! Changing rooms! Woot! I found out right before leaving that my new job has no dress code. Apparently jeans and t-shirts are just fine. Can I say how much better this dude is than my current boss??? Anyway, I've already bought a few things, though by the time I got there the afternoon nap thing was kicking in. I fell asleep on the subway over to Yonge and Eglington, where Jas and I went for fantastic Indian food, gellato, and lots of chat.

Day two of the shopping extravaganza is about to commence. This once a year shopping is great - no guilt at all for spending a small fortune! Sadly, I'm not seeing much in the way of sweaters... Last year I was shopping a tiny bit later and the sale racks in the department stores yielded some super cheap sweaters. This year I've not been lucky so far. Shoes... gah. Haven't even really started there.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Misson Accomplished!

A couple of days ago I finally got the last of the Hello Kitty magnets. I had started to despair - I only had a week to go, as the promotion is over at the end of July and I'm off for that last week in an incredibly quick jaunt back to the homeland.

I walked into the Hello Kitty one afternoon and the woman started yelling, "Sangsagnim, sangsaynim..." Turns out she remembered that I had stated I needed Gwangju, had somehow gotten ahold of one, and had kept it for me. That my friends is true customer service. I also aquired Daegu for Jenn, so it's all good in Hello Kitty world.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


"What you get?
1.Free TEFL, TESOL certificate
Avail our limited offer for FREE TESOL, TEFL Certificate for lucky jobseekers who will register to ESLTIGER!!! There are only 3 certificate will be given away…"

In the Formality and Taboo section:

"6. After dinner, the host may invite his guests to go drinking. Don't refuse this invitation."

I Wonder...

What percentage of the crap that I yanked out of cupboards has to end up in a suitcase versus now making a mess on the floor in order for what I did tonight to count as packing?

Monday, July 21, 2008

Run, Gal, Run

So, I'm off out of the job soon (wasn't that ever-so-Scottish a turn of phrase), but all my thunder has been stolen. First off, three people left in the month before me, all finishing their one year contracts.

Then, L. pulled a runner today. Left, no notice, just didn't show up and had moved out of her school-provided apartment. Awesome. Apparently our AC was the only person who didn't see this coming a mile away, and he had such a funny baffled look on his face when I was finally driven to break it down for him: "Man, she's done. She's not coming back. Those waffles we made the kids on Friday? So obvious that they were goodbye waffles. C'mon. And can we start coming up with a plan to deal with this effectively, because the one minute of notice I had before classes that you wanted me to teach her kindie class too? Not optimum."

So - we have 3 teachers gone, only one of whom has been replaced. New girl is catching on much more quickly than the last two newbies, which is a gigantic relief (or ginormous, if you will, for Alicia). But they need 4 more - since I'm peacing out in a cool two working-weeks. And the next two new teachers will be set to start teaching... maybe two or three days before I leave. Third new teacher in the works is having paperwork problems. Fourth one doesn't even exist.

Oh, Hwajung P-School. Aren't you living up to your reputation?

Oh, yeah and...

We finally won again. Jager all round. Thank God for the Greeks and their letters. Just Us and Two Welshmen.

Things Not To Do During the Monsoon

1. Go on a job interview (unless dripping-rat is your look of choice.)

2. Go apartment hunting for 5 hours.

3. Wear any shoes that aren't flip flops.

4. Hence, abstain from washing your feet after coming in the house - Koreans do still spend an inordinate amount of time spitting in the street. Plus, the ground is a garbage can here.

5. Wear pants that are full-length.

6. Cook anything without turning on the aircon first.

7. Shower or dry laundry without turning on the aircon.

8. Leave the house without an umbrella (unless you are trying to start an umbrella collection.)

9. Try to defrizz your hair (pointless!)

Sunday, July 20, 2008


I read two books recently on the theme of disability and dignity. The first, The Short Bus: A Journey Beyond Normal by Jonathan Mooney was a bit of a disappointment, to be honest. The premise sounded so good - one guy travels around in a short bus to explore what it means to be disabled
:"I realised whtat the short bus is all about: It serves a social function. Our myth of who we are, who we should be, is actually created by categorizing people with disabilities. Disability is inherently a negation. In our culture, people with disabilities stand more for what they arenot than what they are-not normal, not whole-a negation that calls into being its oppostie: the normal. The normal looms over all of our lives, an impossible goal that we are told is possible if: if we sit still, if we buy certain consumer goods, if we exercise, if we fix our teeth, if we... The short bus polices that terrain; it patrols a fabricated social boundary demarcating what is healthy and sick, acceptable and broken, enforcing normalcy in all of us. What had I lost in trying to belong to the other side?"
The thing is that reading the book makes it feel like he managed to drive around a great deal of the country without doing much or meeting up with very many people. I expected so much more than I got.

Interestingly, what this book most inspired in me was the desire to read yet another book, Enforcing Normalcy by Lennard David, who states that the word normal did not even enter the English language until 1860. This is how Mooney summarizes the book and his response to it:
"Before then we only had the concept of the ideal, which no one could ever hope to obtain. In the United STates, normal arose within a cultural context as the nation sought to control a growing urban population and Americanize immigrants from aroudn the world. Normalcy, though,is first and foremost an idea that arises from statistics. The normal, norm, or normalcy do not exist in the real world of people, despite the fact that we are told that we can modify our behaviour and train out bodies and minds to reach it. WE are told to chase it-in our culture, in our families, in our lives. But when we chase it-as I did-it disappears. Normalcy is like a horizon that keeps receding as you approach it."
The book also inspired a deep desire to go see "The Lightning Field" by Walter De Maria in Quemado, New Mexico.

Mooney's most interesting portrait was of Kent, his old university roommate - possibly because he knew him the best of all his subjects. He says of Kent, "I arrived exactly on time-which meant absolutely nothing to Kent-so I don't know why it meant anything to me. Arriving on time is one of those ideas that matters only because we all collectively believe it matters," and I must say, if only we could do away with pesky on-time thinking! He uses Kent to talk about the limits to the medical model of disability - and discusses Dr. Russel Barkley who Mooney quoted as saying that, "there is no ADHD when the student plays Nintendo... In a New York Times article Barkley implied that the set of traits definded as ADHD officially become ADHD when these traits begin to cause signficant problems in the person's life...What is clear, however, is that the type of environment he was in played a signficant role in Kent's success or failure." It made for an interesting association in my rereading of the Little House on the Prarie books (I'm only three in so far). Mooney talks about how unreasonable it is to expect little kids to sit quietly in a school for such long periods of time and it occurred to me when reading Farmer Boy that while people now may act like schooling as it is today has always been like this, there are numerous occassions where it becomes obvious that children not so long ago did not even come close to attending school on a regular basis. Little Almanzo goes to school for the first time when he is nine years old and misses it for any number of reasons - to break young oxen, on his birthday to go sledding, to haul logs and help with the harvest. School apparently only opened in January to begin with, and once it does open Almanzo spends a lot of time trying to get out of going by helping with just about any chore he can think of.

Mooney's book was about a quest for transformation:
"A place that would change me-that's what I wanted. That was worth seeking. I had been hoping to be transformed by riding this bus; I wanted to shed my old self and come out on the other end new. Waht better place than Burning Man to burn away the past and build a future? We all have those places that we think will make us better, places we believe will change us. Burning Man was that place for me. Or so I believed."
One of the main reasons I love reading is that it can be transformative, just as sometimes places can be. Certainly, you can't run away from your problems - as they say, you take them with you. That isn't to say that moving to a new place can't transform you though - I think if you move any distance, across cultures particularly, you can't help but be transformed. The problem lies in what that change is and what you expected it to be. By the end of the book, I couldn't really figure out if Mooney got that transformation he was looking for or not. And certainly, I didn't get the one I was looking for in reading his book.

The second book I read was Six Degrees of Dignity:Disability in an Age of Freedom by David W. Shannon. After Short Bus it was a refreshing change - there was so much more meat to it, so much more reflection on disability and the need of society to adjust its thinking and attitudes towards the disabled. His book is divided into dignity in 6 arenas - public perception, the community, law, public policy, self, and future. I really enjoyed it, though it was a bit legalistic for me. Shannon is a lawyer who travelled across Canada in his wheelchair - sadly for me, the lover of travel writing, he only mentioned the trip briefly. I learned a great deal from this book, including the interesting fact that women and members of Canada's Aboriginal population are more likely to experience disability.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

I Need Somebody

Help: The Original Human Dilemma by Garret Keizer - written by a minister, review from the Christian Science Monitor on the back... I wasn't sure I'd find it interesting, but in the end I liked it.
"To choose a beloved, to find a friend, those are indeed complicated tasks, but a neighbour is easy to know, easy to find, if we will only - recognize our duty."
He covers Kierkegaard, helping out newbies, writes a lot about the Good Samaritan, and discusses why the Angel of Bergen-Belsen says she is not a hero.
"The central question is not whether the Samaritan's actions are simply what anyone else would do. The central question is always what you will do."
Considering the present economic climate, the following quote seems more apt that usual:
"As things stand with us now, a person's immediate need for help is frequently the result of a larger refusal to help him. He cannot afford an ambulance so we give him a ride to the hospital... You could say that help is a social act often necessitated by our failure to be authentically social."

Who Are You?

Kiss & Tell Alain de Botton - a novel with an index. A novel about writing. A novel about who we all are.
"In dwelling on the actions of those we can never share drinks with, biographies shield us from our universal involvement, explicit or not, in biographical projects. Every acquaintance requires us to understand a life, a process in which the conventions of biography play a priviledged role. Its narrative traditions govern the course of the stoies we may tell ourselves about those we meet, it shapes our perceptions of their ancedotes..."
The narrator decides that he will write the biography of the next person to walk into his life, a woman who he dates as he learns all about her.
We communicate in (Anita) Brooknerish sentences and not Joycean ones - package our thoughts into a statement that makes sense, ignoring the mental babble and digression that is really in our heads.
One of the subjects he covers is secrets - those things we think the world will disapprove of.
"In this sense, the tendency of others to spill secrets may stem less from cruelty than from an ability, as an outsider, to recognize that what is deemed private in fact belongs to the province - far wider than the narrow strip the secret-holder imagines - of the normal."
I certainly find that I keep secrets that others would not and am also willing to talk about other subjects freely that friends might keep close to their hearts. And certainly, I've been guilty of the sulker's fantasy, usually to the detriment of my relationships with others.
The sulker's fantasy is to be understood without needing to speak, metaphorize or explain, because words embody a defeat of a prior and more intimate level of communication.

More Reading About the Land of the Morning Calm (And a Bit of China Thrown In)

Before Jenn left I borrowed This is Paradise! My North Korean Childhood by Hyok Kang and found it fascinating. It describes his childhood in the "Jurassic Park of Communism" which was how Jenn and I described our experience of hiking in North Korea last autumn. The descriptions of his childhood, his belief in the Dear Leader, and what happened when the famine hit were moving. I could hardly put the book down and it was likely the fastest I've read a book in the past year. I highly recommend it to anyone curious about North Korea.

From our school library I borrowed Echoes of the White Giraffe by Sook Nyul Choi. The story is set in Pusan (now Busan) during the Korean war and begins with refugee students building a school for themselves, to replace Ewha School in Seoul that they had attended before having to flee the capital. The narrator, Sookan, is living in a hut on a mountain slope with her younger brother and mother. Her father and older brothers are missing. It tells the story of her budding love for Junho, a boy at her church.

The title of the story confused me for some time. The White Giraffe in question was a mountain poet, a man who shouted from the mountain tops in the mornings and gave Sookan hope and comfort. Her poet is called Baik Rin, which means White Giraffe and it reminds her of a story told to her by her grandfather of a scholar who fears that a white giraffe he finds will be killed by hunters, as it has no camouflage. The scholar dresses up in white every morning and goes walking through the forest in order to give the impression to the hunters that if they saw a white figure in the forest, it was him.

I have to admit, it annoyed me that their romance didn't work out. They both have plans to go into the seminary and nunnery - I was exasperated with them, I must admit. I suppose it stayed true to the times, in terms of romance and its role in one's life. The narrator is consumed with education - she takes extra classes at the refugee school and upon return to Seoul dedicates herself to studying and winning the chance to go to America, which she does at the end of the novel. As she leaves on the plane, she wonders: "I was going all alone to a vast country where I would be surrounded by total strangers. What had I done? Why had I never thought of it this way before?" I wonder if everyone doesn't do this in the same situation - certainly I had a last minute panic before the first time I flew to Korea when I suddenly wanted to just call the whole thing off. I had just spoken to Andrea on the phone and I had a moment where I wondered why in the hell I wanted to go to Asia and not know anyone when I had such good friends I could be spending that year with instead. Had the school not been expecting me, perhaps I would have chickened out.

Lastly, I read Comfort Woman by Nora Okja Keller. It was inspired by my trip to Sharing House, which is a museum and home for Korean women who were sexual slaves of the Japanese Army during the Second World War. I found the book a bit of a disappointment - I had been looking in What the Book for a historical book about the issue, but when I looked in the Asia Interest section, there wasn't a single book about comfort women. There were, however, any number of books about Japanese geishas, which seems a pointed statement to me - authors would rather fetishize Asian women and their sex lives rather than look at the shocking realities of women's lives in Asia in the recent past. The novel wasn't badly written at all, it just concentrated more on the mother's shamanistic religious practices, rather than her experience during the war, and I didn't particularly find the descriptions of shamanism all that interesting. Keller has written another novel about Korea though, and I'd like to read it.

Now for the bit about China - I finally got around to reading Foreign Babes in Beijing: Behind the Scenes of a New China by Rachel DeWoskin. So much of the book resonated with me - being in such a foreign place is an experience that I find easily cuts across cultures and allows for easy relating, regardless of the cultures involved.
"I felt anonymous in traffic; I could rush away from any impression I might leave behind. I had yet to learn that this feeling informed much of the way in which expatriates lived their lives in Beijing. Knowing they'll leave a city gives people a feeling of impunity, a meeting-strangers-on-the-plane energy. And almost every Westerner who moves there eventually leaves Beijing. Even celebrities are happy to shed their faces and Western images as soon as they're far enough from home... What American fans or voters will see bad ads so far away? And what hometown familiars will witness bad expat behaviour?"
Change the city name, and this quote is so much of what it is to live in Seoul. Whenever you move, you have that freedom that comes from being able to remake yourself for people with whom you have no past. It can be such a wonderful feeling. However, it was not a feeling that lasted as long when I went off to university or moved to Scotland. Both of those places I went to with the idea of a much longer time commitment than when I first came to Seoul (and when I returned, come to think of it.) They were also easily places I felt I could end up living in forever. Vancouver had none of it - I brought much of my past with me and re-encountered other parts of it in the city. But Seoul - it's a city I love, but certainly not one I will settle in forever. And for all that I am quite established here now, the transience of those around me means that I am always starting again, with new friends or combinations of friends as my regular social circle.

DeWoskin talks about the expatriate small talk and it's benchmarks - have I been here longer than you? Do I speak the language better than you do? She talks about the difficulty of discussing either loving or hating aspects of a new country with other foreigners. And the weirdness of being part of an expat community:
The loneliest I ever felt in China was around other Americans, because they inspired mistaken hope that we would know each other intimately, instinctively. It took me year to accept the fact that American strangers are just as unknowable as any others. It was hard to decide whether to nod to, wave at, or in any way acknowledge other foreigners. Such gestures felt vaguely conspiratorial and racist; were we special friends because we found ourselves and each other in an exotic an uncomfortable land? And yet, not acknowledging other laowai was pretentious and dishonest, since I noticed every single one I saw (and usually stared unabashedly.) Laowai who did not acknowledge each other were making a point, proving that they were old China hands and did not get excited at the sight of aliens from their own planets.
DeWoskin says that as foreigners in Beijing you have to earn your enjoyment, that daily tasks were impossible, and that learning to love Beijing made one feel like being in an elite club - I know that feeling well. Seoul is sometimes a city best appreciated in retrospect, from elsewhere. It's a great place, but it can be annoying difficult. In ways, that makes it an easier place to live, too.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Thursday, July 17, 2008


Never, ever let a sleep-deprived individual who has been without a bathtub for the best part of 3 years out to view a rather pricey apartment in the area she wants to live in.

It was all so new and shiny!

God, I have sooooo much to do. You know when you are so busy that you are forced to be super productive, and you congratulate yourself on all these great things accomplished and then suddenly realise that there is no cause for congratulations because you have so much fucking more to get done?

I'm so tired I can't even tell you.

And now I really want a bloody bath.

Only in Korea...

Dokdo, Japanese condoms, what next?

And I wonder - are Japanese condoms better or worse than Korean ones? Because unless they are particularly better, it's really no loss...

Island row hits Japanese condoms

The islands issue has long been a nationalist touchstone in Korea
Advertisements promoting Japanese condoms have been removed from Korean underground trains amid a rekindled territorial dispute.

The action was taken following complaints from passengers, a Seoul Metro spokesman told AFP news agency.

"If the territorial dispute with Japan over Dokdo had not flared up again, such complaints would not have been lodged with us," said Kim Jeong-hwan.

Dokdo is the Korean name for islets known as Takeshima in Japan.

Both Korea and Japan say they have a historical claim to the islands, and the issue has been a persistent irritant in relations.

This week Korea recalled its ambassador to Tokyo after new teachers' guidelines produced in Japan reaffirmed the claim to ownership.

Now it has emerged that about 200 ads for Japanese condoms - bearing the strapline "No. 1 in Japan" - have been taken down from Korean trains.
The islands are small, but have symbolic and economic importance

"There were public complaints about promoting Japanese condoms and we immediately took action," Mr Kim said.

Protesters threw tomatoes and rotten eggs at the Japanese embassy in Seoul on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for Korean President Lee Myung-bak said he was considering further moves on the issue, including possible legal action, reported Korean news website Hankyoreh.

The islets, which are roughly equidistant from Korea and Japan, are small, but lie in rich fishing grounds which could also contain large gas deposits.

But the dispute also taps into lingering grievances over Japanese colonial rule of Korea until 1945.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Days of Debauchery

Jenn has gone. Aside from the first week I was at this school and she was on vacation, I've taught with Jenn. It's odd that she's gone. Two more teachers leave next Friday - I must say, it sucks to be the last to go.

In honour of her leaving, we've slowly hit up all our favourite lunchtime and nighttime restaurants. We've done silly shopping. And we've done some drinking.

It started with the St. Paddy's-themed Fourth of July party. St. Patrick's Day is Jenn's favourite holiday and a friend sent her a package that was missent to the British Virgin Islands (I wish someone would missend me there!), so it just arrived. We went off to Costco to purchase some tequila, as part of the package was a margarita mix.

Jenn has been in charge of events planning in my life, alongside Brian. I can only move myself to plan week-long holidays, apparently, and even then it is all shockingly last minute. However, she didn't quite think last week's plans through - having a tequila party that lasts until 4 a.m. is unwise the night before you go flying for the first time.

The party was hysterical. First of all, the package had many exciting things. There were glowsticks, which Orin cut open, flinging the glowy liquid all over my apartment. We also had my glowing swords, purchased after the soccer game a few weeks ago. And we had my new camera, with the super cool night vision setting. There were a lot of experimental photos, some with fun Kung Fu Panda moves. The glowsticks also came in handy at the very end of the night, when Alicia and I used them to play ring toss with Brian's ear, after he had passed out on the couch. I figured I was ending up with a guest, to be honest, as he didn't look like he was going to be standing up again by the end of that night. My bottle of gin died in aid of his night.

I also did something very, very bad to my foot. Apparently drunken Highland Fling dancing to Great Big Sea at 3 a.m. might just be debilitating. Who knew? I seem to recall some patriotic song singing from the American contingent as well.

Jenn once again made my apartment crazy. After the Christmas party where she spilled most of her drinks and stickified my floor and hung my Christmas lights in such a way that I couldn't get into any of my closets or use my TV, she obviously decided I needed a repeat. This time it was green crepe paper, which at least is easier to rip off in a drunken haze when I need to get at my clothes.

The last two nights have been very social, I guess is the word. Wednesday night Jenn and I gossiped over a bottle of wine, or three. In fact, at 1.30 in the morning, we headed off to 7-11 to grab that third bottle and just generally spend won in pursuit of Hello Kitty magnets (poor Jenn left with only one of the 45 left to collect!) We got to watch shoplifting in progress: as we walked towards the store a man ran out doing a drunken little dance and then took off at speed. A minute later, the 7-11 man appeared outside, his Korean man-perm blowing in the breeze, as he looked around to find the drunk. I pointed and yelled, "Chogi" and the man hollered, "Wait a minute!" (in Korean, I have no idea how I'd spell that in English.) Thus, Jenn and I were put in charge of holding down the fort, albeit briefly, at 7-11. It is impressive that we didn't rob him of all the Hello Kitty, considering that we were only nominally less drunk than the shoplifter.

I can not pretend that Thursday was a fun day. I rolled out of bed at 8.55, powered myself over to work having simply brushed my teeth, combed my hair and thrown on some clothes. It was the lack of sleep more than anything that had me hurting, but after today I can say with authority that the lack of sleep isn't as bad when I am not as hungover as fuck. In fact, I am the only person not suffering today, and I had less sleep than most.

Thank god Thursday was the easiest teaching day I've had in awhile. Two classes of first grade phonics, a second grade science class... And I was basically done for the day. Ms. Smith taught my other science calss in order to throw a pizza party with the second graders combined, so I got to just sit around and eat some pizza - great hangover food. After that, I had two Help Classes - basically, I focus the kids while they complete their homework and answer any questions they have. They don't often have very many questions, so it's a chance for me to do marking, report cards, whatever needs doing.

7.25 rolled around and Facebook Event Freedom began - basically, we popped out some champagne to celebrate. Jenn finishing 2 years, 2 contracts, is a big deal at our school. She's seen something like 18 people go in her time here and only 3 of them completed contracts (I'm not sure I've got those numbers exactly right, but you get the picture.) We motored back to my place, did some exchanging of stuff - though Brian still has my toaster oven! - and got ready for the last dinner at our galbi place.

Dinner was on David - also rather uncommon at our school. We ate, everyone but me drank, and then we headed to norae bang. I did have a bit of the always lovely Lemon Remix soju, because I'm not much of a singer without being a little bit blurred around the edges. It was fun, as always. I don't know why we haven't gone every week. We even got the bubble machine to work, though it only sporadically emits bubbles and smoke. After about 2 hours of singing, we wandered out to Rodeo, to be distracted on our way home. First we rode some of those coin-operated kiddie rides and then we stopped to pet some adorable puppies. Now, who in their right mind sells, or buys, puppies on the street at 2 a.m. on a Friday morning, I don't know, but that's what was going on. We tried to talk Brian into buying one and had to talk Orin out of it.

There was the obligatory stop by the 7-11 and some hardcore Hello Kitty hopes were dashed. I have two left, Jenn has one. There are only two weeks remaining and I might not be in the country for one of them... Oh, the mental anguish! Orin wandered away from us then and ended up at the Casino. Oh, to return to the glorious days of a 1-9 teaching schedule! Turns out Ascius had already been sucked into the Casino abyss when he left the restaurant - apparently he's not as into out-out-tune drunken singing - actually there was an awful lot of drunken screaming involved, as I recollect.

I, however, went home and was all domestic - I had to do laundry. I need clean clothes for the weekend's trip to Mudfest and thus, they need to dry. Since wandering around Korea at this time of year feels like walking through mist the humidity is so high, that is taking a fair amount of time these days. And that's how I found myself uploading photos at 3 a.m. while waiting for the damn laundry to finish washing so I could hang it up and get some sleep.

Sleep is a precious commodity lately. I've stayed up far too late this week, watching the last couple of episodes of the most recent season of Desperate Housewives and starting the newest L Word episodes.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

veryt, eruy druk

Sunday, July 06, 2008

In Summary...


-Played ring toss on my boss's ear.

-Broke my foot (possibly) dancing the Highland Fling in my bedroom.

-Went to Daejeon to FLY A PLANE!

-Gogos, LIITs.

-Watching Music and Lyrics, Desperate Housewives, and the L Word in bed.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

I don't much like change...

So, the blog has recovered somewhat, after my decision to move to the new-fangled Blogger templates. Yes, yes, I'm several years behind the times. Playing with the html is considerably more difficult, which is why you might have had the lovely chance to see what my blog looks like with the sidebar superimposed over the posts. I've got that all sorted, but can you all see those scissory things next to the things in my sidebar (widgets? gadgets? what are the damn things called again?)???

What a pain in the ass. And I've got to relink. Gah.

But, on a much brighter note, I've got something to procrastinate with when I'm supposed to be packing. I was starting to worry about how I'd fill all that key procrastination time - I'd hate to be, like, prepared, or something.

Dudes, I wish my fucking police check would arrive. I might have to fly back to Canada at the end of July to get it done, which would be a gigantic pain in the ass and rather on the pricey side. Fuuuuuuccccckkkkkk.

End of a Costco Era

Jenn and I went to Costco to buy tequila - margharita party planned for tomorrow night. I picked up my last few Western groceries and my last Costco hotdog. Interestingly, I've never liked all the toppings on hotdogs until Costco.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain...


cb: hope u have a great time
me: thanks
cb: u welcome

Amanda: hey
Lindsay: How are you?
Amanda: good
Lindsay: That's good to hear and your welcome. I'm good 2 thanks.

I've noticed an odd trend in communication. It started with my sister, who regularly thanks me for asking her how she is and even goes as far as saying "you're welcome" when I respond to her question about how I am. It's odd - it's thank you and you're welcome thrown into conversation in places where it feels jarring to me - asking how you are doesn't seem to merit this kind of response. Lots of people seem to do it, but I have noticed they are often younger than me, use more textspeak than I do, and it's often said on IM or by text. Is it just one of those meaningless things one types, kind of like lol, that is basically just an acknowledgement that you are still present and reading the messages on your computer? Or have I missed some sort of etiquette rule?

Caroline Hwang: Dangerous Cargo

Caroline Hwang's website.