Sunday, August 31, 2008

And I Thought I Liked Star Wars...

Grabowiec is a small village situated in Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship in Poland. In April 2005 one of its streets was named "Ulica Obi-Wana Kenobiego" (Obi-Wan Kenobi Street) after the famous Jedi knight from Star Wars movies.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Homeward Bound

I wish I had a couple more weeks in Japan, especially as today is actually sunny, dammit!

However, I really, really, really need clean clothes.

Such is life when trips are unexpectedly extended.

Ahhh, Public Nakedness

If my last hotel was all about telling me again and again about how I could pause the pornos, this hotel is focused on completely and utterly communicating the idea that I can wander around freely in my Japanease (sic) robe. There is nowhere in the hotel I can`t go! The lobby! The Zen garden! The souvenir shop! The dining room!

Naturally, the point of the Japanese robe is to go to the public bath. And go I did, because I am a girl who really likes baths.

Now, I prefer my baths either solo (generally with a glass of wine, some music, and a novel) or with companions of my choosing - ok, a companion of my choosing, I`m not an especially kinky bather. However, if my only bathing option is with a bunch of naked Japanese women, so be it. Korea has certainly upped my tolerance for nakedness amongst strangers, though I can`t claim to feel entirely comfortable.

I have to say, there were a few odd moments. First off, not only was I not the fattest woman at the bath, I wasn`t even the fattest woman of my own age group last night. Odd. Also, where Korean children will come up and pointedly ask about my boobs, Japanese young children only stare. But really obviously. I kinda think I prefer the more friendly curiousity in Korea, actually.

But, anyways. Back to the bathrobe. While I can see the usefulness of having it to walk back from the baths from, I can not in a million years get my mind fully around just, you know, hanging out in the robe, post bath. Or pre bath. But you know it`s all about being openminded while you travel.

So, on that note, I`ll leave you all to ponder whether or not I am naked as a jay bird under a thin cotton robe while posting this, or not.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

People, Really

From Yahoo!:

Obama says he'll 'fix broken politics' (AP)

AP - Barack Obama promised an end to the "broken politics in Washington and the failed presidency of George W. Bush" Thursday night as he embarked on the final lap of his audacious bid to become the nation's first black president.
And just why is his bid audacious? Hmmm?

Optimism is Always Wrong

That damn number didn`t turn out to be the Holy Grail I would have thought it was. It took two damn hours to submit the thing, several international phone calls (thankfully I wasn`t the one having to make them) and bouncing between floors for different bits and pieces to get my application accepted.

I think that I should get my E2 tomorrow morning. However, keep your fingers crossed for me. After all, the embassy could burn down and my passport with it. I`m sure there are other dire possibilities, but after this long dealing with bureaucracy, I don`t have the creative juices left to think any up.

I`m starting to believe in reincarnation. In a past life I was obviously one of those asshole paper pushers who gives people grief and will never, ever either explain what to do or bend any rules. And all this paperwork bullshit is just me paying for it now.

Karma`s a bitch. At least the woman at the embassy wasn`t!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

In Business and In Japan for the Weekend!

I have the damn number, I have a boss getting me a ticket out on Sunday night.

Must plan out weekend. Time to get out of Osaka and see something new.

Who Knows What Tomrrow Will Bring?

My boss has a plan. One of the options works just fine. The other does not, not without some additional key details. I have no idea when I am leaving Japan - maybe still Friday (which means I`ll have to come back again, at some point, on his dime), maybe at some point over the weekend (in which case I`m hoping late Sunday evening), who bloody knows?

Today was good. Did you know that Apple has their iPods online in stores and hence you can check email for free? Between that and the free one I`m on at my hotel right now, I`ve not paid a cent to use the Internet - handy as I`ve been checking often to see what bossman has to say.

I went to the Osaka Peace Museum today, which turned out to be about war. In the entrance was a statement that Japan was responsible for many hardships in Asia during WWII. There was an exhibit on the incendiary bombing of Osaka - half the population was killed by the end of the war. There was another display about Manchuria and the Japanese massacre at Nanking, one about POW camps, one about forced labor camps for Koreans with pictures showing the survivors looking just like those of the Auschwitz display (the only mention of the European part of the war), and a room about conflicts and movements towards peace around the world since 1945. There was no mention of the issue of comfort women, which I commented on in my survey. Aside from that, I was pleasantly surprised by the portrayal, considering the reputation Japan has for refusing to accept responsibility for what they did during WWII. Granted, I do wonder whether the shades of meaning in the Japanese versions of everything are the same as the English.

From there I went to Osaka Castle. To be honest, it isn`t the most fascinating of structures and the whole thing is a fairly recent reconstruction anyway. However, the view from the top floor was great (and I got to play with my super zoom) and the exhibits had some cool samurai armour and helmets, along with some fairly cool paintings. I think the Japanese like the colour blue as much as I do. The grounds of the castle were nice and I hung out for the rest of the afternoon. I saw some odd things - a man practicing his golf swing, stray cats, a guy riding a bike with a canary on his head, a bird catching fish in a koi pond, and some loud, loud cicadas.

Sitting by the pond watching the bird hunt for fish, I was feeling really calm and meditative. Then I read the end of Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro and then I was just really, really sad. I wonder if it doesn`t have something to do with the solitary nature of my trip (and I should stress, I`m most certainly not lonely), but that book just broke my heart. It was really, really good, but perhaps not the best choice for a trip alone.

What is awesome about travelling alone is the ridiculous sense of competence you feel after the simplest tasks. I bought a subway ticket from a machine and basically felt like I had conquered the world. I ended up in one of the women only cars - such an odd thing to look around and see only women on a subway. I also finally found some postcards and a couple of decent souvenirs for the girls that won`t bankrupt me - I just can not get over how expensive it is here. Socks that would cost 50 cents in Korea are $4.50 here.

Right, I`m off to rest my tired feet and find some food. If you are following the fun saga of my lack of visa issuance number, stay tuned for tomorrow`s episode, where we will find out if our plucky heroine will be able to actually complete her visa run, albeit on a revised schedule, or if she will have to return to Korea, sans E2 for the time being.

Kiddie Historical Fiction

Many books intended for children feel like reading books for adults, just a bit shorter. Particularly historical fiction. Having access to the Poly library was fun - my new school has a lot of books, just not in a library. They lend them out for book club classes. With any luck, I'll get to teach some. Here's a couple I've read recently:

Farewell to Manzanar by Jeanne Wakutsuki Houston & James D. Houston - Jeanne was sent to Manzanar Internment camp in 1942 in the States. One of the most poingant parts of the book are when she returns at the end with her family to see the ruins and her description of how the camp wrecked her family structure, seperating her family from her father, destroying the ability to have family dinners, and making them live seperately.

The Endless Steppe: Growing Up in Siberia by Esther Hautzig. Her family was sent as capitalists to Siberia from Poland - they lived there for five years, though only as actual prisoners at the beginning. Being sent to Siberia may have actually saved their lives, because the Rudomins were a Jewish family.

To Be a Slave by Julius Lester using info form the 1930's Federal Writers' Project book, The Negro in Virginia and B. A. Botkin's Lay My Burden Down, along with narratives of ex-slaves from the period before the Civil War.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

If a Tree Falls in a Forest...

If you are on a visa run with no visa issuance number, is it still a visa run?

As per usual, everything that could go wrong, is going wrong.

It`s good that I like Japan, because I`m either going to be here a bit longer or I`ll be back soon again... If only this got sorted out, I`d be quite the happy little tourist.

I (Heart) Osaka

Osaka is so much fun! The lights! The flat sidewalks! The ridiculous tourist souvenirs that I don`t really understand! The cleanliness! People who will not bump into you! Hello Kitty everywhere!

But, damn, is everything expensive.


So it turns out that I am far more competant on the ground than in the planning stages. So far I`ve managed to find a hotel (the one of the last post but it is considerably less dodgy than the advert in English makes it sound and expensive as hell. However, everything is expensive and it seemed worth a bit more to be near the consulate, since I will be going tomorrow (I`d better be, because there is no way I can make the Friday flight otherwise...) and then the next day. Met a cool guy on the way here and we kick ass at following directions, apparently. We will be chilling for a couple of hours later, which sounds fun. This area seems super cool and I am really excited to be here. I`ve never been interested in going to Japan before, but I like it.

I did almost miss my plane. Fair enough, I was running about 15 minutes late. But, the bus does not come every 15-17 minutes obviously and then I got charged for a deluxe bus. Which was the same as the normal bus. Unless the deluxe part is that the damn thing spent about 45 minutes wandering around central Seoul before getting on the highway. I just made it in time to get cash and check in and grabbed a sub while my flight was actually boarding, because by 10 I was starving. To top off my growing annoyance, the next stop after me the bus driver charged the Korean woman the non-deluxe price. So perhaps the deluxe price is just for foreigners. Bastards. I wish I had paid the extra $30 for a cab rather than be ripped off $5. It`ts the principle of it.

It`s hot here. Hot, hot, hot.

Monday, August 25, 2008


A hotel that makes a point of noting that pornos are available (and naturally can be paused and fast-forwarded at any time), as are in-room massages.

But, it's a cool building and they've quite helpfully put the South Korean Consulate on the map to the hotel...


There is a Facebook app that thinks I'm classy!

Feel free to ROTFLOL. Or not. As you wish.

Multi-Faceted Facebook

Not only can you easily keep in touch with your friends and stalk your exes, Facebook can figure out for you what to do with your life! If only I had known that an application on Facebook (which probably requires me to invite 24 of my friends to join too before it will tell me what to do with my life) that might well have been written by a 14 year old in his mother's basement could do what 30 years on Earth and a fair amount of rather diverse experiences hasn't managed to do! If you haven't joined Facebook yet, you had better now. Or resign yourself to lifelong failure and unhappiness. It's your choice, after all!

Life is Short! Live It Up!

What do you want to do with your life? Go Skydiving? Travel the World? Find out what you really want to do with Live it Up!

Why Do I Admit These Things on The Internet?

The last day of Intensives started out incredibly well. The sun was shining, the air was fresh rather than something you have to wade through, and I wasn't rushed. I listened to some cheesy 80's on my way into work, where I was all super-prepared (as of last Thursday), with nothing to do but give some tests.

Surprisingly, it didn't all start going abruptly downhill. Generally, that's what my luck tends to bring. But, for all that I had to shuffle around about 10 pieces of paper per student and wasn't at all sure what the hell I was doing, everything was copacetic, with only one minor snafu and that was fairly easily remedied.

Then I had one of those ditzy-professor moments. That particular expression sort of captures me, if you add more ditz and take out the genius, leaving basically a stupid person with a flair for knowing things that no one really needs to know and an aptitude for taking exams and writing poor quality (but apparently decently insightful) essays. Anyway. My boss calls me over in one of our "five minute breaks" and says, "So, you will be in Japan tomorrow. You need to be back on Friday afternoon for a meeting. Do you want to leave Friday morning?" And I'm all, "I'm going to Japan TOMORROW?!?!?! Not Wednesday but tomorrow?!?!?!" I'm sure the expression on my face was priceless. New boss may well think I'm a few light bulbs short.

In my defense, this plane ticket originally was sort-of not real. I mean, it was real. I think. Maybe it was just a reservation. Who knows? I certainly wasn't paying any attention. All I knew was that New Bossman was saying I didn't need a ticket to extend my alien card and Old Bossman was saying I did (and he had the benefit of the doubt, being at immigration itself when he was telling me this), so I demanded one. At the time the dates on the ticket seemed irrelevant, since the pressing problem was that I was about to be 3 days over the expiry date as it was.

And I'm not a total idiot - after all, I've never once missed a flight. I knew I had to print the thing out today, because I had no idea of the details, so I would have figured it out... really. I swear. So then he tells me that he will only be giving me $150 towards the visa (which no one has ever paid for when I have to get it in Canada), hotel, etc. and I tell him that I understand that, I am happy to pay for the extra nights because I have never been to Japan before. His response? "Great! So you have hotel all worked out!" Um, no. Blatantly not. I ask Sara, my coworker, where she stayed when she did her visa run and she asks if I have a Lonely Planet, she'll show me.

And this is when it all hits rock bottom. I say, "Well, not with me. I have the South East Asia at home though, and that might not have much information, but it'll do for a couple of days." And it might if Japan was in South East Asia! Sara looked at me like I had a hole in my head. Now, I was never one of those folks with an interest in Asia before moving here. My obsessions with foreign lands were strictly Africa and Europe, with Cuba, Costa Rica, and the Galapagos Islands covering my interest in the Southern bit under my Northern bit. As geography goes, it's not my strongest point. However, four years ago, when I was coming to Korea for the first time, it just so happened that I thought Korea was, indeed, down around about where Thailand and Vietnam were. You'd think my, "Japan?!?! China?!?! Neighbouring countries?!?! Where the hell am I?!?!" moment might have cured me of the idiocy of attaching entirely the wrong countries to the wrong bits of continent in my head. You'd think so, wouldn't you? Apparently you'd be very, very wrong.

So, all this and it's only lunchtime. The test related snafu hasn't even occurred yet! However, the afternoon rolled on well - my eleven year old one-on-one turns out to be a Dr. Who fan, so he's now heard my story about a Dr. Who episode inspiring a horrible childhood nightmare and he was forced to relate the entire second and third seasons to me, since I've only seen the first. Poor thing had NO IDEA what he was getting into when he asked me what exterminate meant (please do the Dalek voice there for me.)

(I just had a slight nervous breakdown because it suddenly occurred to me that perhaps I wasn't going to Osaka. Maybe I was going elsewhere. After all, we've all learned quite well how much attention I was paying back when my ticket was issued/reserved/created-on-photoshop. Kansai Airport means fuck all to me!!! What if that isn't the airport for Osaka? I've just been madly googling away. They shouldn't be allowed to not name the airport after the city - that's totally fucking obnoxious. And for all those "not-really-in-the-city-but-actually-an-hour-away-in-a-totally-different-city" airports that Europe specializes in, they should also have some sort of time to get to the city included after, along the lines of Osaka 45. Anyway, I am indeed headed to Osaka. Life can now go on.)

(Are any of you wondering how it is that I travel the world and don't accidentally get killed while doing something moronic? If you are, I'm not insulted. I myself am quite startled by my ability to leave my own house unscathed much of the time and certainly have no idea how I not only manage to navigate foreign countries, but generally do it quite well.)

So, back to my day. After the slight test snafu and the 55 minutes of Dr. Who discussion, I figured it was all clear coasting to the end of the day. Last book club class, identify some characters, pick out a theme, write a bit of a summary. Piece of piss, right? And indeed, it was. However, it was punctuated by every member of the admin staff and my boss stopping by every ten minutes asking for some sort of random information about me. "Sign this." "What's that number?" "Do you have this?" "I need to photocopy that." Only two days after a two page memo detailing why we must NEVER, EVER LEAVE THE CHILDREN IN THE CLASSROOM ALONE least they all bully each other and pull someone's hair or steal their pencils or whatever, and I am being instructed to not only wander off about 10 times in two hours, but also instructed to interrupt a class to get my purse and provide them with what they want right now.

But still, aside from the fact that my new boss and all my coworkers now think I am incredibly ignorant about basic geography, the day is going well. Until it starts to rain.

In Korea, the rain doesn't fuck around. No misty, never-mind-if-you-lack-a-raincoat kind of rain here, no sir. When it rains, it really does pour. All this naturally starts up 5 minutes before I leave work, thus forcing me to take a cab (not a bad thing, as now I have to go home, get my bookstore credits, go to Itaewon and buy a damn Lonely Planet and a cab is much quicker even in the hideous 6pm traffic), giving me ample time to get soaked while waiting for said cab. And since I shared with my coworkers, naturally it was still pissing it down while I trudged up the nasty ass hill to my place (I used to feel quite benign about this hill. I've lived here not even a month and I am now quite convinced it may actually have been built by Satan himself.) My flip flops were ridiculously slippery in the rain, thus I was forced to walk in the oddest way in order to keep them on my feet.

Naturally, once I had my stuff and grabbed an umbrella to head to Itaewon to go to the bookstore, it had completely stopped raining. How could it not have?

But I took a cab anyways. I was a bit pressed for time, but let's not pussyfoot around it, I was feeling lazy. The cab costs all of $2. Do you know, I finally realised that the cab drivers are being giant jerks lately? Whenever I get to my turn off and say, "wenchoke" (left), they've regularly responded, "yogiyo?" (here?) and stopped the cab. Since it always seems like more effort to try and explain in broken Konglish what I want than trudge up the hill (come winter, I bet that isn't the case!), I have been getting out and walking. Today, it finally occurred to me that the bastards just can't be arsed getting off a main road and having to turn around to come back! I'm thinking sobriety was helpful in this sudden enlightenment of mine, though that's not the damn point. Bastards!

Just about every other day I curse myself for not bring my camera out of the house with me. Today I saw a bus called BS Tours. Is that not the best thing ever? I saw two other humorous things, but I'll save them for when I go back to Itaewon with my camera and can snap away. Granted, for a year I intended to wander around Hwajung and do a sort of photo journal about it, but I'm sure you've all noticed the decided lack of that happening. I really am the most incredible procrastinator - I am so skilled I can even procrastinate instead of doing things that I want to do!

(Yes, I am recently addicted to italics. You'll have to deal. I know it's rough.)

(Do you know that I suddenly figured out the other day exactly what a split infinitive was? I've taught it before and I get it well enough, but suddenly I just got it. That just flashed through my head and so I thought I'd share. Anyway, this shouldn't surprise anyone who knows that I was about 26 when I finally got it straight in my head the differences between cups, glasses, and mugs. Whatever, I'm a bit ditzy. Move on, nothing here to see...)

So, the bookstore. I went in for a Lonely Planet to Japan, which I now have, though seeing as it was published in October 2000, I'm going to guess it's not terribly up-to-date. At least the country I'm going to is in this one. (Oh, yes. I have jokes.) Wanna guess how many other books I bought? Keep in mind that I had $90 worth of credit on me, burning a hole in my pocket...

Including the LP, I bought 14 books. 14. It was intensely pleasurable - all that scanning the shelves, finding things I really want to read, uncovering interesting sounding books I've never heard of before, discovering one old, academic book for only $2 on a subject I'm becoming increasingly interested in (perhaps more on that in a later post). God, the browsing. It's almost better than sex. Certainly better than bad sex. And it beats chocolate hands down.

The only problem is that I have a new rule (for all of you that have ever been around to hear me state my "new" rules in the past year or so, yes, you are free to laugh your asses off and place bets on how long it's likely to last) and that new rule is that I can only buy books when I have books to trade. No new books, no money exchanging hands, unless it's amounts under $5. I thought it was going to be easy peasy lemon squeezy. (I teach kindergarten. Don't judge me.) Why would I ever think this, knowing my legendary lack of restraint in book-buying? After all, I was the girl who moved to Scotland with maybe 10 books and in just over 2 years had a collection of over 300. I know this, because my ex hated that I bought so many books and counted them one day. But I thought I was safe. I thought I was safe because I had almost $100 in credit just sitting around, for a rainy day.

I suppose it did rain today.

(How is ditzy not a word? Spellcheck sux.)

Bitchen Stove, Katie Pell

Bitchen Exhibit

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Join Me!

But I can't be late
'Cause then I guess I just won't get paid
These are the days
When you wish your bed was already made

It's just another manic Monday
I wish it was Sunday
'Cause that's my funday
My I don't have to runday
It's just another manic Monday

Who makes their bed? Certainly not me! And most definitely not in the morning.

Chicks in The Pit

Who knew this even existed?

Chicks in the Pit
Women are becoming players on the competitive barbecuing circuit in Ontario
June 13, 2007
Jennifer Bain

PARIS, ONT.–Competitive barbecuing may be a man's "sport" but that doesn't stop the guys from welcoming Diva Q into the fray.

They wander into her makeshift cooking tent – a white, waterproof car shelter actually, since the wicked winds of Friday destroyed her regular tent – offering advice and bear hugs, lending a hand, some muscle, chunks of cherry wood or even a couple of grill racks.

"Diva Q for grand champion," someone yells as she struts off to the judging tent on Saturday clutching her team's entry for pork ribs. "And if not, at least for best dancer tonight," yells another guy.

"Any time anybody comes into the barbecue world like she does is a plus," says Brian Wittiveen, who's part of Big Sid's BBQ team from Brantford. "I know the stress she's under, so I'll flip a few comments so she'll relax and enjoy it."

And enjoy it Diva Q does. This is her first professional competitive barbecuing event and she see-saws between stressed and euphoric.

By day, Diva Q is Danielle Dimovski, a 33-year-old, stay-at-home mother of three from Barrie. But for a few precious weekends this summer, she's pitmaster of Team Diva Q, where she's assisted by her husband, Vlado Dimovski, and their friends John and Louisa Hadden.

Diva Q and 17 other teams camp out at the Paris Fairgrounds for the Canadian Pork BBQ Championships, $5,000 in prize money and plaques for best chicken, brisket, pork shoulder and pork ribs. Eighteen judges taste the entries "blind" – without knowing which team made which. (Don't confuse these competitions with ribfests. You can watch but nobody's selling food.)

Yes, it's mainly a man's world, admits Kirk Sharpley of the Canadian Barbecue Association. But, turning to Diva Q, he pointedly adds: "Generally speaking, the teams that have women are ... more enthusiastic, particularly when they're winning. They're a lot shriller."

Diva Q isn't the only female pitmaster here – Adrienne Ross of Brantford leads the Smokin' in the Igloo BBQ Team. She's philosophical about why more women aren't doing this: "You put the meat on at 10 o'clock at night and sit around and drink until you're done – and that's not a women's thing."

Ross (who "only had one bottle of wine all night") leads a crew made up of husband Aaron and friend Rambo McKeown.

"It's nice to see the women are starting to get involved in this sport," McKeown says. "With most teams in the past, the women have come along to do the dishes. We've got a flip show here. She (Diva Q) runs the show and she orders her husband around."

So she does, but Diva Q also commends her husband, a TTC engineer, for being supportive: "He takes a lot of ribbing from the other guys because his wife leads a team, but he's so secure in his own manhood that it doesn't faze him at all."

Diva Q, an avid cook, got bit by the barbecue bug last summer after judging the Canadian Open Barbecue Championships in Barrie. She created a team and competed at the amateur level in St. Catharines in the fall and then, recently, in Ottawa and Brantford.

"It's back to the basics – fire and cooking," she explains of the allure. "It's far away from microwave and convenience foods."

As for the team name, Diva Q's friends concocted it over wine.

"I'm the most undiva diva there is," she insists, "other than my occasionally indulgence in Dolce and Gabbana, pedicures, manicures, and I like Ralph Lauren shoes."

Besides, can you really be a diva when you reek of smoke, your clothes are smeared with sauce, your sandalled feet are grubby, you sleep in a tent (if at all) while smoking meat for up to 20 hours, and you don't get to shower for 48 hours?

"I know it's cheesy, but carpe diem – whatever makes you happy," says Diva Q. "If it's legal, just do it."

Team Diva Q places 6th overall in Paris. They get 6th in chicken, 5th in brisket, 5th in pork and 11th in ribs. Watch for them at the Canadian Open in Barrie next month.

Possibly the Oddest Two Books to Read in a Row, Ever

What with moving and starting a new job, I have largely been trying to pick books to read that won't be too taxing. I started off with Exit Music by Ian Rankin because I love, love, love Rebus books. Then I read Moral Disorder by Margaret Atwood, which was also pretty damn fantastic. And then my reading went, well, astray, I guess. I've been reading fantastic books all summer, but I seem to be closing the season off with some rather bad picks.

Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons by Lorna Landvik has a story to it for me. It apparently cost a pound and 45 pence and I actually remember that I bought it in South Queensferry, in a second hand shop. It was in my very brief married days - and really, this book purchase should have been a big clue, just look at that title. Anyway, I recall picking it up because it was about book clubs and one of the few things I did beyond eating a lot of Indian takeout and drinking coffee with Jenni during that part of my life was to try out being in a book club. I loved it, actually, though I only ended up attending one meeting. Anyway, as books go, I wasn't impressed. I found the characters interesting, especially Audrey - "the type of person who got away with a lot simply because she refused to ask permission for the priviledge of being herself" - but my god, the writing was bad!
You guys turned me on to the power of book discussion," said Fred. "I even wrote a letter to the president, telling him he should start a monthly book club with all the other world leaders. The only catch is, I get to choose the books for them. The first one would be The Feminine Mystique, the second would be Krishnamurti's Think on These Things, and the third would be Huckleberry Finn."

"Interesting selection,"I said. "Have you heard back from him?"

"Not yet," said Fred. But I'm hoping he'll recognize a good peace plan when he sees it."
It was interesting to see a novel that covers the major societal changes of the sixties and seventies as told by married, middle-class woman. It was curious to see how the movements affected them and their lives.

And from that, I went on to Rip-Off Red, Girl Detective and The Burning Bombing of America by Kathy Acker. I bought this one in What the Book. There is something very satifying about searching for books in secondhand stores. That need to be able to pick out books by titles or covers that speak to you - it's a fine art, one which I am usually better at. It was the title of this one that caught my eye and then reading that an author that I have never heard of was one of the most celebrated authors of the past thirty years had me hooked. Kathleen Hanna's endorsement didn't hurt any either.

Sadly, I wasn't a fan. It's two novellas - the first one annoyed me. It's basically erotica wrapped around a sort-of mystery, mixed in with lots of just random dreams/stream-of-consciousness. The erotica part was actually quite good at the beginnning, but then seemed to all be focused on family members, which is not my bag, baby (as Austen Powers would say.) I actually enjoyed the second novella more - The Burning Bombing of America is just stream-of-consciousness, which I found strangely relaxing and meditative to read. I just didn't feel it worked as well in Rip-Off Red where there was a plot of sorts that I was trying to follow. Anyway, huge disappointment and not at all what I had expected.

In other notes, I feel like I am swallowing knives and haven't done much other than lie around in bed this weekend. Thankfully, Sheila's foam bed thingy is a huge improvement over my hard-as-the-floor matress. Since I'm not as fond of sleeping on the actual floor, I've stuck it on top of the bed and it is about a hundred times more comfortable. No more waking up with a sore back.

Gah, I need to clean. Clean. Must clean.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Not as Good An Insult as "Your Face is Under Attack!"*

But your mom buys your bling is a pretty damn fine one.

So you wanna be a gangster?
Tell me just one thing
What you know about being a hard-man?
Your mum buys your bling
Your pockets getting bigger but you couldn't pull the trigger if you need to
Cause you haven't got it
So you might as well quit.

~Dizzee Rascal

*One of Sheila's students said this to her. Apparently it is a riff off of some sort of video game.

Self Pity Moment

I have a cold. I am soooo whiny. I should probably keep myself away from people for the day at least, as even I can barely stand my whining.

Also, the book I am reading is so not what I expected.

Friday, August 22, 2008


I need to go book shopping this weekend.

I've got an entire bookshelf full of books, but I've also got about $100 worth of credit at What the Book.

And I am daydreaming about browsing through shelves.

They should have 24 hour bookstores for those of us with addictions.

Make Me Your VP


What's Blu-ray?

I Wish They Delivered

I just moved into a ridiculously expensive neighbourhood - they do have way more access to western food items, which I love. However, there are no big grocery stores around and the little ones are expensive. I am basically going to be shopping in convience stores (just ones with lots of food, but they are tinier than your average convience store back home and lack most fruit/veg, dairy, meat, etc.) and possibly Costco runs (there is one closeish).

I have a funny feeling I may end up eating out a lot. Taco Chili Chili I've visited 4 times in the past two weeks...

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Jack, We Are Not Friends Any Longer

Who decides to award a bottle of Jack Daniels to the winning team of a Wednesday night pub quiz that ends at midnight?

We most certainly kicked ass though!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Sunny Days Are Here Again...

And indeed it is sunny, but the key thing here is that I got off at 2:30 today!!!

That's right. Five hours earlier than I used to get off when I worked for Poly.

Life is sweet.

Now excuse me while I go drink a beer in the sun.

Monday, August 18, 2008

A hundred foods you should eat

From Frog.
Those I've eaten are in bold. I had to look up an embarrassing number of these up, but a lust for travel and a stomach of steel has resulted in a pretty bolded list.

1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari
12. Pho
13. Peanut butter and jelly sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart

16. Epoisses - I'm not sure. Maybe.
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream

21. Heirloom tomatoes - Maybe.
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans

25. Brawn or head cheese - I highly suspect so.
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche - assuming eating it as banoffee pie counts.
28. Oysters
29. Baklava

30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lass
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly

39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail - in kkori gomtang (꼬리곰탕).
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects - larvae in Korea and spider in Cambodia
43. Phaal
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut

50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal

56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine

60. Carob chips
61. S’mores

62. Sweetbreads - possibly in pate
63. Kaolin
64. Currywurst
65. Durian
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain

70. Chitterlings or andouillette - possibly, and I've definitely had pork scratchings
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost - not sure
75. Roadkill
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini

81. Tom yum - I think so
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky

84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse

90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox

97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee - in Tia Maria, for sure. Not entirely sure otherwise.

Time is Not Fixed

I have to teach a one-on-one conversation class with an eleven year old boy with no book or any other material whatsoever. That was one of the longest 60 minute periods of my life AND it was the first time we met, so there were plenty of starter type questions to work with. I sincerely hope I don't have to teach him for the entire year, because I will lose my mind.

He is a lovely, lovely boy, but not especially fluent. I have completely exhausted all my sports chatter and dissected Kung Fu Panda with him. He likes bears and swimming. He has a scary older sister. He does not like pasta.

What the hell are we going to talk about next week?

The Perils of Singledom

Last Thursday night I annoyed a cab driver.

It was my friend Sheila's last night in Korea and I was grabbing some of her stuff, including a clothes rack, a mattress (of sorts), a giant pillow, a small bedside table and a rice cooker. So, naturally, I hailed a cab. He happily took me over to Kyungidung (spelling undoubtably wrong there), but he was mighty unpleased upon mention of the trunk being opened and watched the packing of the backseat with stuff (he refused the trunk request outright) with louder and louder grumbling.

There are more than a few cabbies here who don't much like having to deal with a foreigner in their cabs, much less one with furniture. Perhaps this would also not go down well at home - I don't know, as I've never tried it. Though I did once help someone move 5 blocks by piling all sorts of stuff on top of beds and couches and walking them down the center of the street. No doubt the motorists would have symphathized with my cabbie.

At this point in the story, it is perhaps important to point out that our grumbly cabbie did not speak English. Nor do I particularly speak Korean - my accent is atrocious, and I know only words rather than the sentences to string them together in. However, I am incredibly fluent in context-and-gesture Korean, thus the rest of this story.

After grumbling at me that I didn't need a cab but a mover (I hadn't the slightest the idea of the word for a mover in Korean, this is where context comes in handy - obviously that was what he was grumbling about), the cabbie asks if I am married. The word sounded familiar to me, but I wasn't sure what he was inquiring about so insistently until he grabbed my hand to examine my ring finger. "Ahhh, anyo!" I said, light finally dawning.

He made it very clear that if I only had a husband, I would not need a cabbie or a mover, as the Mr. would obviously deal with all of this for me. And then he jokingly suggested that I go to Geckos.

Obviously for a single gal, an evening is much more productively spent picking up GIs in a bar than moving free stuff that she needs.

5 Danger Zones?

What do Columbia, Ethiopia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka and Albania have in common?

According to this article they are all danger zones.

I wouldn't think twice about jetting off to Columbia or the Philippines or Albania. The other two give me pause, but don't strike me as at all off the possible list.

You know, when I lived in Britain I could never get over the scare articles about backpackers being killed abroad. Those articles always left out the fact that more Britons were in danger on a night out in Glasgow. Living in Asia has just confirmed for me that too many people back home have some decidedly odd ideas about just how dangerous other parts of the world are.

After all, if I had to pick a dark city to walk alone in at night, I'd take Seoul over anywhere in North America and Europe any day. Oddly, few newbies seem to agree with me.

Joshua Allen Harris

Sunday, August 17, 2008


Gold, silver, bronze medals for Canada
August 16, 2008

Jim Byers

BEIJING–After a week-long drought, Canada won three Olympic medals within an hour, picking up a gold, silver and bronze at the 2008 Beijing Games.

Tonya Verbeek of Grimsby, Ont., is the latest in a string of Canadians to win a medal, grabbing a bronze in the 55 kg women’s wrestling event shortly before 5:30 a.m. local time.

Verbeek, who won a silver medal in wrestling in Athens, defeated Sweden’s Ida-Theres Nerell 1-0, 1-0 for the medal.

A few minutes before 5 p.m. local time, 27-year-old wrestler Carol Huynh won Canada’s first gold medal with a crushing win in the 48 kg category.

About 20 minutes before that, the men’s rowing pair of Dave Calder and Scott Frandsen grabbed a silver medal at the Olympic rowing course.

Huynh, the daughter of Vietnamese immigrants, came out strong against her Japanese opponent and started scoring right away. When it was over, she bent over in tears of disbelief.

In the stands, Canadian fans who were no doubt relieved waved Canada’s flag back and forth and shouted in support.

Huynh, who trains in Calgary, earned a spot in the women’s 48 kg wrestling final with a couple wins Saturday morning. She came out strong against Japan’s Chiharu Icho and the match was almost never in doubt as she posted a 4-0, 2-0 win.

Huynh won a gold medal at the Pan American Games last year and a bronze at the world championships in 2005.

After winning her first career Olympic medal, Hunyh ran over to hug coach Leigh Vierling. He put the 27-year-old on his shoulders to carry her around the China Agricultural University Gymnasium as Huynh proudly held up a Canadian flag.

She wiped away tears as O Canada was played after the medal presentation.

“I was just thinking how proud I am to be Canadian,” Huynh said. “And I was just thinking about the road to how I got here. It’s been a long one but a good one.”

Calder and Frandsen were ahead at the halfway point of the men’s pairs event but the renowed Australian team of Drew Ginn and Duncan Free pulled ahead and took the gold.

The bronze went to New Zealand’s team of Nathan Twaddle and George Bridgewater.

Calder, who’s from Victoria, and Frandsen, who hails from Kelowna, were considered medal possibilities but not huge favourites.

It wasn’t really part of our thought process going in because that’s just unneeded pressure,” Frandsen said of breaking the country’s losing streak. “It’s great to get Canada on the board.”

"I’m really proud of it and Scott is really proud of it,” said Calder. “The Australians had a great push through the middle. We pushed back a little bit but congratulations to them."

Calder was more than happy with his silver medal.

"I have been at this game since I was 12, and now the long, hard training in the winter has paid off."

They gave the Australians a run for their money and finished with a time of 6:39.55. The Aussies were just a bit ahead at 6:37.44.

The New Zealand squad came in at 6:44.19 for third place.

Calder rowed in the men’s pair four years ago in Athens when the crew was disqualified for leaving their lane in the semifinal. Frandsen was a member of the men’s eight squad that finished a disappointing fifth at the Athens Games.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

If There Isn't, There Should Be One

This is the word I anticipated describing me this week:

faineant \fay-nay-AWN\, adjective:

1. Doing nothing or given to doing nothing; idle; lazy.
2. A do-nothing; an idle fellow; a sluggard.
I'm not sure there is a word to describe an individual who has to run around the world, getting $50 bits of paper with stamps on them (some of them $50 bits of paper with stamps authenticating the other $50 bits of paper with stamps on them) that take less time to come up with than it takes Emily to flush a toilet, but there should be because that has been the reality.

Granted, this is still an improvement, because this is the world that describes what I often did in my past year at Poly, with perhaps the exception of March to June:

repine \rih-PINE\, intransitive verb:

1. To feel or express discontent.
2. To long for something.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

How Not to Get Over Jet Lag (Or, My Last Week at Poly)

In Canada, I was tired. When those little girls went down for their naps, I was ready for one too. Around about 3-5 p.m. I'd start getting drowsy. The worst day was Thursday, the day I shopped like a demon, but stupidly bought shoes in the first hour and was stuck carrying them around all day. Damn, but shoes and clothes are heavy when you shop for a year's worth of stuff in just two days. Come to think of it, Wednesday was pretty hard too - after five hours of going around Canada's Wonderland with three little girls, I was starting to think that I might actually have so little energy that I'd lose the ability to move any part of my body at all.

So, no surprise I was going to be tired once I got back to Korea. It was another 20 hour odyssey of public transportation combined with hanging out in airports, so exhausting and boring. I bought a lot of books on the way back - always a sign that I am not a happy camper in terms of keeping my mind occupied. The last time I bought that many books in just one day would have been back in Scotland while working for the bank - tied with airplanes and much of high school for the absolute most boring thing ever, that bank job was one hell of a boring experience.

I arrived back on Sunday and hauled ass home. I had these vague notions of making it to quiz night in Itaewon - haha. This is why optimism is not my style - it seldom proves true anyway! I was exhausted, though the walk in the late afternoon sun actually made me feel quite cheerful about being back home. Then I crashed out and slept until the next morning.

As per usual, I started out on a responsible note, but it all quickly went downhill. The two new teachers were inquiring about dinner, so we all decided to go to our galbi place. With Orin and Asius off early in the new schedule, it seemed perfect. Sadly our galbi place folks were on holiday. We tried the place next door, which turned out to specialize only in intestines. Now, I've tried that stuff once and I must say that once was enough. Certainly no need to inflict it on newbies. We moved one more restaurant over and the galbi was fine, but certainly not as good as our regular place. There was some soju drinking, which I tried to turn down but was guilted into by Orin's birthday. Arguing that it didn't count if it wasn't on Facebook was ineffective, sadly. There is only one place that galbi and soju drinking can end and that is at norae bang, where we proceeded to sing for about four hours. Somehow that led to a quick trip to the batting cages and then McDonald's at 4 a.m. All on a Monday night.

Which perhaps explains why on Tuesday I crashed before even bothering to make dinner. I was hungry, I was just far, far more tired.

Then came Wednesday. It was one of those nights where I should have seen it coming, and yet I went to meet Sheila in Itaewon thinking everything was going to go to plan - quick dinner, go find my new apartment with my incredibly sketch directions (when part of the directions involve "you'll know it when you see it" and you've been there once, briefly, before seeing about 10 other places in the vicinity, you'd be right to be doubtful), and then go home and get to bed around midnight. I even thought I might be able to take the subway home, rather than having to catch a cab. I should have known better.

We started off by going to Geckos for dinner - this was mistake number one, however, at 9 p.m., there aren't a whole lot of restaurants still serving. So, in we went. The bartender was being very generous with the gin and sparing with the tonic, which may well be mistake number two. Then there was getting hit on by some guy in the army who arrived in Korea just a week ago - mistake number three. By the time the army guys finally buggered off, it was midnight, but Sheila needed to go have just one drink with a friend she hadn't seen in awhile. Our friend John was also there, and between Sheila, John and I we spent the next two hours convincing the friend that Sheila was Hacksaw Jim Duggan's daughter and that Hulk Hogan had been to her tenth birthday party. Completely hysterical. However, definitely mistake number four.

Finally, we get in a cab and we ask them to take us to Haebangchon. Mistake number five was not getting out of the cab at Philies' and finding the place on foot - with sketch directions, it's helpful to have time to contemplate where you might want to go next, rather than barrelling along with a very grumbly Korean cab driver. So, we end up way the fuck up one of the infamous Haebangchon hills, lost. Mistake number six was believing Sheila and John when they told me there was only the one bank on the street, even though I thought we were waaaaaaay too far up the main road. When we backtracked and let me lead from Philies', we did finally find the place, wandered in, used the facilities and then I had to catch a cab back to Hwajung. At this point, it's about 3 a.m.

I fell asleep in the cab, being at this point both tired and more than a little intoxicated. When I woke up, we were almost at the turn off and because I was a bit slow, the cab driver missed it. Now, this is not the end of the world at all. Two more streets down is a turn that really is just as good. But no. Mr. Cab Driver decides he MUST take the next turn and speeds us down a one-way street in very much the wrong direction. Right into a brawl. A brawl with cops breaking it up. Cops who are now very interested in my cab driver. And that is how I came to be escorted home by a Korean police officer in the early hours of Thursday morning - he wanted my address as a witness and I didn't actually know what it was (still don't, in fact, but now I don't live there). So, he walked me across the park to find out from the security guard. Not sure that did my reputation with the security guard any good - after all, they've caught me throwing out garbage in the wrong bags and I had a stalker who I tried to get them to help me to shake once.

Really, these things could only happen to me. I really do have the most bizarre life. Particularly in Korea, but I've noticed that my ability to end up in strange situations is not limited to any one country. These sorts of ridiculous things also happen to me just about everywhere. So, back to the jet lag. By this point in the week, I was starting to get seriously tired, but I also had done absolutely no packing! Hooray for my powers of procrastination! So, I stayed up very late Thursday night packing all my shit into boxes, until I very quickly ran out of boxes. After that, I packed in Emart and Lotte plastic bags. Very classy, I know.

Friday was a long, tiring day. Snafus with immigration, children saying goodbye all day long during breaks, the need to pop into the bank (Unsuccessfully, I might add. Turns out they didn't have my passport on file, dammit.) I felt rushed off my feet and that usual feeling of anticlimaticness that I always get when things end - it sort of felt like a normal day. Orin says I was very blase during my farewell to Mr. Kim - I certainly wasn't doing it on purpose, but by that point I was in a fog of exhaustion and operating on auto-pilot. In spite of that, naturally, there had to be a goodbye dinner, at the galbi place, followed up by some norae bang. I knew I had to be up at about 8 to do a bit of last minute packing before moving at 10, but I wasn't too worried about staying sober or getting in early. In spite of that, I had one of those nights where you drink a fair amount and feel as sober as a judge. I watched a bit of the Olympic opening ceremony - with a drink in my hand, right in front of the norae bang dudes. I guess they are chill with us drinking in their rooms. The guy even came to alert us to when Canada was on the TV. I drove Orin to near insanity by accidentally cancelling Eminem while he was singing it - twice.

Then Saturday. Moving day. Hot, hot, humid day. With a ton of stuff, one small truck, one moving dude and me. Oh, and two flights of stairs in my new place. By the time it was all over I was basically sopping wet and exhausted, but I had to unpack. Had to. I have a strong need in new places to unpack as quickly as possible. Home is where your books are, after all, and they were indeed one of the first things I unpacked. After hours of unpacking, I attended Sheila's surprise leaving dinner down the road, confusing many people with my ETA, as they hadn't the foggiest that I had moved just around the corner.

The thing is, with moving day and unpacking, and no gas (and hence no hot water), I hadn't eaten all day, except for a bit of leftover pasta for breakfast. And we went to a place for dinner that was more of a snackish sort of place, where I had some hummus with two small pitas. Can you see where this is going? I hope so, because I'm afraid I can't recall too many details of the evening. All I know is that I was home in my bed shortly after midnight, drunk as the proverbial skunk.

I spent most of Sunday with Jamar and then with the gang at quiz night, which left little time for sleeping in and doing anything to stop what was becoming some serious exhaustion, combined with sore muscles from moving all my stuff. You'd think I collected rocks or something. And there's no rest for the wicked, because on Monday I had to go to Immigration. In Uijeongbu. Which is really, really far away from just about everything. Once I was there, confusion as to what I needed to do reigned supreme. Lots of calls with old bosses and soon-to-be bosses. Then the KPS man who drove me had the gall to suggest I find my own way home! Since my boss is saving about $1000 or so on not buying me a ticket in return for sorting out my immigration status for me, you can imagine I was none too pleased with that. I demanded the man either drive me back to Hwajung (had to go transfer money at the bank) or give me the $50 or so I figured a cab would cost, because I was NOT going to spend two hours on the subway to save him a 40 minute car ride. I won out, thankfully, and I napped the whole way back. After the bank, I got my dodgy foot X-rayed, which was amusingly inexpensive as always and happily shows my foot well on the way to not being kojungnaseyo (broken - one of my favourite, and I think most useful, Korean words). Then I headed home and was tempted to collapse, but instead went to see the new Batman. I found it a bit boring and stupid, actually, though I was in the minority.

After Batman, we had another of those WGW (White Girl Walking) moments, whereby we did something completely ridiculous. In Korea, as in many places these days I suspect, they make you leave the theater through different doors than the ones you came in through. Which is fine, but perhaps a bit confusing for the directionally challenged. Also, the mall was closed and we had to go a specific way, so we practiced some Zen navigation - find someone who looks like they know what they are doing and just follow them. It failed horribly, as we ended up in the car park. Sheila figured we'd just walk down until we hit the exit - after all, the cars have to come out somewhere. And for sure, they did. However, that somewhere turned out to be a derelict area with train tracks, random dump trucks and other equipment, and a sidewalk that turned into a dirt path, that soon stopped being a path. After a random hike, we came to a street with the normal tall buildings, neon signs, and cheap cabs.

Today, I finally go to sleep in. I had thought I was finally going to have a relaxing, sort of holiday-like day, minus getting the dude to come and do something about the lack of drainage in my bathroom and the rapidly increasing lake in it after each shower I took. Naturally, another piece of fiddly paperwork is missing and I had to run along to work to get a paper which I will be taking to the Consulate tomorrow for some sort of other paper. I must say, it is insane the level of bullshit you go through to get jobs here these days. If anyone seemed to have a clue as to what exactly had to be done, it wouldn't be so ridiculous, but no one, including often Immigration themselves, seems to have much of a grip on it. However, I also discovered that the Internet box in my place is mysteriously working, so that's fun. I wonder how long I can ride the Internet for free?

Tomorrow a jaunt to the Canadians, and over to work to be trained. Then it's all work and uber-quick trips to Japan. And likely a lot of time appreciating my new neighbourhood.

Oh, and I need some toilet paper.

And this is NOT how you should try to get over your jet lag.

Thursday, August 07, 2008


Orin attributes his healthy recovery from cholera to Life Water.

It must work for cholera the way Jenn swears it works for hangovers, since the only other option is that Orin is a total hypochondriac.

Finally, we have vitamins!

This is what Orin needs to drink - he's 24 and the front desk staff thinks he looks 40. And certianly I'm always tired. Thank god we now have vitamins! It does have quite a helpful effect on hangovers.

SoBe LifeWater multi-vitamin: "That's right! Daily life is busy and exhausting. Our eyelids are heavy in the morning and our shoulders drop with the tiredness. All you want to do is get enough rest, but the reality is, you just can't. Is there any way to stay energetic and animated? Of course there is! We now have multi-vitamin and L-carnitine to help keep you refreshed and on the go!"

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Canadian Traditions

My reading of Macleans started a long, long time ago. I got a cheap subscription from one of those school magazine drives. After a year I thought I'd give time a whirl. The Macleans folks called to ask why I had not renewed my subscription and when I told them about the Time thing, they sent me free copies for at least four months.

Slowly, however, it's become a tradition of mine to buy a Macleans on my way out of the country to read on the plane. I suppose it's a bit odd to finally get around to catching up on Canadian news just as I'm leaving, but magazine shopping and airports go well together. This time I was incredibly bored and ended up with rather a lot of airport books too, including the new Margaret Atwood and one of the books that the TV show Bones is based on. My Canadian content is high!

It turns out that one of the Barenaked Ladies has been arrested for cocaine! That I wouldn't have predicted. That children could identify cartoon characters but not local animals I could have though. Barbara Amiel is still bitching about what happened to Conrad - not much new there since the last Macleans I read.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Grumble, Grumble

You might think that someone who keeps packing up her life into two suitcases and moving continents would be down with change. You'd be wrong. I am not actually all that fond of change, though I generally adapt to it pretty quickly. In particular, I can think of a new place as home in less time than it takes Emily to flush a toilet (which is longer than you might think, but still a short period of time.)

So, I arrive back in Korea and crash. I wake up at 6:30, feeling refreshed and up in time to actually pamper myself in the shower with random spa-type creams and cleansers, make breakfast and read a magazine before heading off to work. At this point, my last week was starting off on an incredibly high note.

But I work for Poly School, so I should have been prepared for the feeling to not last longer than, say, three seconds upon entering the building. They have changed the motherfucking schedules!!! Pardon my French there, but f@*k. It's my last damn week and I have three whole new classes, with tons of new students and I've lost a class that I had been teaching for the past 51 weeks. That's right, one bloody week short of a year. I have additional prep and new textbooks and just loads of extra crap to wade through.

Monday they changed the afternoon schedule, Tuesday the morning one. I thought I was safe for the evening, home and with no plans but dinner, interneting, maybe a little Tudors-watching to procrastinate from the pending packing disaster. And then I found out that the fuckers have changed Facebook.