Saturday, February 28, 2009

ON ON to the Future

Well, the computer's broken, so this is obviously a post written in advance, however, what I should be doing today is:

*Waking up several hours earlier than I do on weekdays. And yep, I do think that's fucked up.

*Going hashing, starting in Seoul and ending in Songtan.

*Drinking. Not sure if I'll stay in Songtan or head back to Seoul.

Friday, February 27, 2009

I Have a Necklace That Reminds Me of This...

...or a lazy art post because I have a broken computer and only am online during dinner breaks at work!

Vincent Van Gogh, Starry Night.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Thursday Blahs

My Thursday blahs are pretty much my own fault, every week. Yet again we came second at trivia, so we got free booze, so I stayed out late, which resulted in me not getting enough sleep. Now I have to work my longest day of the week while overtired. And since I love Wednesday nights, it will continue on this way, no doubt.

However, to add to my blahs, today has been a day of tests. Tests bore me. I have to do a lot of marking and shush too many students. No fun. The only class I got to teach was "Fun" & Activity class - I have a new student in the class who seemed to have no fun, Jimmy spent the entire class playing with a set of earphones and a pair of glasses minus their lenses that his grandmother kindly sent along with him. We read a story about a pizza party and drew pizzas. Then we did the Hokey Pokey but none of them were moved to actually do the actions, though Dianne sang quite enthusiastically and Jimmy made fish faces at me.

One more set of tests to go. Well, and all of tomorrow's tests. Meh.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


My computer has died. Well, the screen has died. I've slowly been noticing something that looked a bit like a crack. Now I can't help but notice it, as the only part that isn't completely fucked is about 1/6 of the screen in the top left-hand corner.


So, now I have to decide what to do. It seems unlikely that it's worth fixing, though if anyone happens to think differently, let me know. A friend bought a Dell here in Korea with the assistance of an English speaker at Dell Korea, so that sounds like a super easy option and so far I've liked my Dell. My friend Annie has this super tiny computer, which just looks so portable and light - and it's cheap, she says. However, I do use my computer as my TV, so maybe the small screen will be annoying. Then, I could always get a MacBook. They're so cute!

What to do?

Read a book, I guess!

Monday, February 23, 2009

I Really Should Google That

There are a couple of cats that live around my apartment building. I catch them eating out of the (completely illegal) garbage bags that everyone dumps on the side of the road. They are incredibly skittish.

They are also in heat. That yowling has got to be one of the most annoying noise in the world. How long is this going to last?


When I woke up this morning, I slowly came to three realizations. Slowly, because it was the morning and I hadn't yet had my cup of coffee.

The first was that the soreness from Saturday, presumably by sleeping funny, was very much still there. I have a crick in my neck.

The second was that swallowing hurt like hell, my nose was stuffed and my right ear hurt a bit. I have a cold.

The last was that I had an overwhelming desire to do nothing but read a Sophie Kinsella novel and watch episodes of Desperate Housewives. I have my period.

And now I'm going to have a cup of tea. Hopefully it will cure something.

Well, Scotland Does Have Twatt

Ahhh, jokey license plates.

Prince Edward Island: BUDS, SUDS, SPUDS.

The American ones are here.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Fun with Sitemeter

I seldom pay much attention to Sitemeter - I look at the average daily number on my weekly email, but generally it's about the same. Since this week it was twice as high, I decided to look and see if I could figure out why. I haven't, though I think it might be due to the "XXX looks like" meme that seems to be infectious on Facebook right now, however there were a few hilarious google searches:

Stephen Harper Lego Hair (three times!)
Why do some people have pointy teeth?
Skittlebrew Simpsons
And only god omnipotent indeed
Tattoo place Lan Kwai Fong

Wise Words

The following is from Haruki Murakami's speech upon accepting the Jerusalem Prize:
This is not to say that I am here to deliver a political message. To make judgments about right and wrong is one of the novelist’s most important duties, of course.

Please do, however, allow me to deliver one very personal message. It is something that I always keep in mind while I am writing fiction. I have never gone so far as to write it on a piece of paper and paste it to the wall: Rather, it is carved into the wall of my mind, and it goes something like this:

“Between a high, solid wall and an egg that breaks against it, I will always stand on the side of the egg.”

Yes, no matter how right the wall may be and how wrong the egg, I will stand with the egg. Someone else will have to decide what is right and what is wrong; perhaps time or history will decide. If there were a novelist who, for whatever reason, wrote works standing with the wall, of what value would such works be?

What is the meaning of this metaphor? In some cases, it is all too simple and clear. Bombers and tanks and rockets and white phosphorus shells are that high, solid wall. The eggs are the unarmed civilians who are crushed and burned and shot by them. This is one meaning of the metaphor.

This is not all, though. It carries a deeper meaning. Think of it this way. Each of us is, more or less, an egg. Each of us is a unique, irreplaceable soul enclosed in a fragile shell. This is true of me, and it is true of each of you. And each of us, to a greater or lesser degree, is confronting a high, solid wall. The wall has a name: It is The System. The System is supposed to protect us, but sometimes it takes on a life of its own, and then it begins to kill us and cause us to kill others - coldly, efficiently, systematically.

I have only one reason to write novels, and that is to bring the dignity of the individual soul to the surface and shine a light upon it. The purpose of a story is to sound an alarm, to keep a light trained on The System in order to prevent it from tangling our souls in its web and demeaning them. I fully believe it is the novelist’s job to keep trying to clarify the uniqueness of each individual soul by writing stories - stories of life and death, stories of love, stories that make people cry and quake with fear and shake with laughter. This is why we go on, day after day, concocting fictions with utter seriousness.

Red Dress Run

I'm crazily stiff, but it was a lot of fun. I caught a bus down to Osan in the afternoon and bumped into another hasher on her way too - hashers seem to be everywhere! It took everyone ages to get all dolled up and then we hit trail. I ran for a bit, but most of it I walked. Slow but steady, especially when most of the trail seemed to be up hill. The down down was hilarious, as always - Melissa had made it over by then, and then four of us headed to Seoul to partay. We started it off by eating burgers at Jacobys, headed to Calientes briefly, and then danced up a storm in Soho. Incredibly convienent, as it meant I also got to attend Laila and Sara's goodbye party. The southern guests seemed to have a good time too, and I love the sleepover aspect of having people crash at my place. Brunch today was at Butterfingers - delicious - and we talked about Water for Elephants. It's one of those books that I really liked, but didn't have too much to say about. The parallel with the Biblical Jacob was interesting, though I wouldn't have noticed it if the questions in the book guide at the back hadn't pointed it out. We've picked The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera and Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez as our next two books. On On to reading!

Getting ready to run. It takes longer when everyone is in tights!

The virgin line. I still haven't lost my last Seoul virginity - must make it to a Southsiiiide hash soon.

Some painted red shoes - I thought about buying myself a new pair in red, since I need some anyway, but this never even occured to me.

Chalk talk was chilly - I'm glad that my fleece is convienently red.

My only pic of me. And you gotta love that wig!

Ahhh, all the uphill. My legs are not thanking me today.

Running through the streets of Korea with a pack of people in red dresses attracted more than a little attention!

Body Quiz

While I knew 9/10 of these, it was disturbing to think about some of those statistics...

Take the Body Image Quiz

Friday, February 20, 2009

See Ya Later, Alligators

It's going to be an incredibly busy weekend - two hashes, book club, and a couple of people are crashing at my place tonight (which explains why I was mopping my floor at 1 a.m. last night!)

So, time to put on my red dress and long johns and lace up my sneakers!

If Only It Were A Liberal PM He Was Meeting...

I Hope So

Today I was teaching my Elite students about reading and summarizing nonfiction. These Elite classes - it's ridiculous how far behind they are. They go through a program where the main focus is on memorizing vocabulary lists and unsurprisingly I find them unable to so much as identify a setting (which to put in perspective is a skill I was teaching my kindergarten students at my last school). They had never heard of the words conflict, climax, resolution and that might be fine if they weren't expected to power through a book in five months that would be studied over an entire school year back home. So, I'm doing my best to put the focus onto an actual ability to analyze literature and to determine vocabulary from context. It's a slow moving thing-and one that should help them a great deal. During the Intensives, their lowest marks were in the reading portion of the TOIEC tests they were taking and it's no surprise to me. It was exactly what I expected to see. They also have ridiculously bad writing skills - because there too, lists of vocabulary are not helpful. They don't know how to craft a main idea and support it with details - they can't even pick one out of a paragraph.

Anyway, rant aside, what I meant to post about was that the article we read was called "What Towns of the Future Will Look Like (If We Take Care of the Environment." After we talked about what headings and captions and titles even are and then summarized the points, Esther said, "The future sounds like a great place."

I certainly hope so, Esther. But it's going to take some work.

Edmonton, Canada: Petro-Canada's Edmonton Refinery and Distribution Centre at dusk

Thursday, February 19, 2009

What's in My Bag?

1. Post a picture of whatever bag you are carrying today - not last weekend when you and your hubby or wife or just your own kick-ass single self went out to that fabulous restaurant. No cheating!!!

2. Tell us how much it cost. This is a no-judgment zone -- there will be no ridiculing or eye rolling here. And, if there is a story to go along with how you obtained it, I'd love to hear it.

I'm going to guess that it was between 3~5 dollars and I bought it in Thailand or Cambodia.

3. Tell us what is in the bag! We want to see everything...

So, what we have here: first off, we have the dishes created by the fact that I regularly don't eat before I head to work (yes, yes, at 2:30 PM): a bowl and spoon for my oatmeal (and man, do my students all think that oatmeal is the nastiest thing they've ever seen) and my Starbucks travel mug, which has been kind of leaky lately. Since it's an old bag, there's some spare change that I dug out of the hole in the lining and a chunner (my friends and I made that word up. Technically that is a chun-won.) My book - I'm never without one - presently Suite Francaise. I take a book to work every day in spite of the fact that I seldom have any breaks between teaching to do any reading and the small breaks I do have are generally spent reading books that I teach to my fourth and fifth graders. Though I sometimes read in the cab, especially if my pretty purple iPod conks out because I seldom remember to charge my battery. Then there's a Valentine's Day card I got from my parents today, a gas bill, and a business card from a friend who writes for the Seoul Times and makes me minusculey famous sometimes. My chapstick - that one is Green Apple flavoured and horrible. Some stale Trident gum that I paid through the nose for at the Foreign Food Mart the other day. My shitty ass phone, which has a battery that dies in about five seconds of being disconnected from the charger. And finally, my wallet/change purse - in there I keep my subway card (which I almost never use because I'm lazy and I keep taking taxis to work), my alien registration card, a bank card, perhaps my Canadian VISA card, and about $200. Korea is the kind of place where life flows so much more smoothly if you use cash.

4. Now tag some fellow bloggers and link back to this post so people know why you are posting pictures of your bag.

Really I'm doing it because Simplicity asked me to! If you also wanna do it, shoot away.

The Knights of Linda Stein

Hokey Pokey

Guess what I got to wiggle all around in Fun & Activity class?

My backside.

Jimmy didn't cry this week because he was too busy laughing at my fat ass.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Doo Do Do Do Do Do Doooo

I have a "fun and activity" class tomorrow.

Do ya think I can teach them decent songs? The ones in the book are shite.


Also, we won trivia. It was fun. Garrett came and is gonna host next week, which means I got some free booze and don't have to write a quiz.


And... any country where a chesterfield is a couch has to be the best...

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Hey, hey...

I have an inexplicable urge to teach all of my students to sing the Monkees song.

I don't know why.

It would undoubtedly be more interesting than what I'm about to teach them...

LOUD Enough?!?

After staying up all night to read a book (Water for Elephants, for this Sunday's bookclub meeting), you don't want to be woken by the loudest loudspeaker ever at 10 AM. Trucks with loudspeakers are common here - they are usually selling things, though around elections they may also be trying to win votes. No idea what the one this morning was up to, but it was loud enough to have some of my neighbours out there yelling at them. It only lasted maybe 15 minutes, but it was louder than any noise I've ever created IN my house.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Oh, I'll Be Playing

The L Word Game for Season 6:

We take a drink anytime:

-Someone has a lunch meeting at the Planet
-Shenny. Need we say more?
-Cheating. (See also: poorly foreshadowed future cheating and the fallout from past infidelities.)
-Lucy Lawless is on screen. Mmm, Lucy Lawless.
-Racist, sexist, able-bodyist,transphobic, or classist bullshit occurs
-Genre whiplash, or thinly veilued allusions to the whodunit-to-come.
-Someone announces their intention to kill Jenny Schecter.
-The writing or directing becomes so terrible that you absolutely must have a drink to continue.


Watch a couple of episodes of the L Word and then a few of Big Love.

It's weird, huh?

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Oh, Yeah, Almost Forgot

There was a grease fire in the bar while we were winning (yes, winning!) trivia last night and it was slightly hilarious because no one did anything. We all sat and stared at the incredible amount of smoke and no one moved. Then the waitress came and said everything was fine.

Also, a cabbie tried to charge me twice the meter rate to get home. Who else did he think he was gonna pick up at 2 a.m. on a Sunday morning when I hopped in the second cab in the giant line of available ones?

Apparently It's An Odd Answer

The best thing about shopping in Korea when you aren't Korean sized is that the stores that cater to big and tall gals (aka foreigners) are all staffed by incredibly friendly staff. All you have to do is go in, tell them what you are looking for and your size and they will find anything in the store that meets the criteria.

However, when you go in asking for a red dress or skirt and they ask you why, they do not expect to hear that you will be going running in it.

But I have my red dress, so I'm ready for next weekend.

Hopefully it warms up again before though, or I'm going to freeze!

Art & Sports

Two things I'm not very good at.

Art I just never got. How do you even come up with the ideas? How do you know what to paint or sculpt or carve? I have no idea. I do, however, love art from an audience perspective and I love art galleries. Travelling around Europe back in university I sometimes saw two in a day - for sure, some would have said that I was one of those travellers who just wanted to tick things off of a list, but it really was exactly what I wanted to do. I went to galleries to see artists I had never even heard of until I read about them in my Lonely Planet and I loved it. Half of the joy of living in Edinburgh was all the free art museums and little galleries with interesting shows.

As for sports, well, I see double due to having too many muscles in one of my eyes. I could have had them sliced out but lost all interest as soon as I heard the words awake, scalpel, eye. Ummm, no. I can't even put in contacts (big goal for the next year or so is to teach myself that, so I can try scuba diving, actually). So, I can't say I was ever any good at sports, what with the fact that two balls were coming at me at speed and it was too fast to figure out which image was real. I did coach T-ball for a bit in high school, which had its moments of hilarity - particularly when an ump called the infield fly rule on one of my little five year olds. Because it's perfectly logical that a five year old dropped a fly ball on purpose to make a better out, rather than that a kid who still doesn't know which hand his glove goes on might, you know, drop the ball. Otherwise, I didn't so much do sports. I would have these impulses to give it a go every once in awhile, but really, I'm not a sports kind of gal. I do enjoy watching just about any sport live (particularly hockey, but then I am Canadian), and I get fairly into the Olympics - though my favourite Olympic sport is snowboard cross simply because people fall over a lot.

However, I do slide myself into the corners of both art and sports. I love taking photos and have at times done it with some serious intent on getting interesting, creative pictures. I took a pottery course in university that I loved, though I didn't pursue it. I do love canoeing and kayaking, which are more activities than sports, I think. And then there is my recent obsession with hashing (I miss that I didn't hash this weekend, though I needed the extreme amount of rest that I've gotten).

I was, at one time, a bit of a perfectionist. It was hard for me to like participating in art or sports because I was never going to be great. I'm really glad that as I've gotten older, I've learned to enjoy things that I am crap at. It makes life a lot more interesting.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Drawbacks to Lush

My entire bathroom is covered with flakes of oatmeal from my soap and the Dreamwash both stains my sink pink and leaves some sort of chalky looking marks on my floor.

It always looks like I need to clean my bathroom, even right after I have.

And yet, the smell will keep me a happy customer.

Friday, February 13, 2009

The Dinner Party, Judy Chicago

The Dinner Party elevates female achievement in Western history to a heroic scale traditionally reserved for men.

Judy Chicago's table has place settings which feature a table runner embroidered with the woman's name and images or symbols relating to her accomplishments. A collaborative effort of many female artists, The Dinner Party celebrates traditional female accomplishments such as textile arts (weaving, embroidery, sewing) and china painting, which have been framed as craft or domestic art, as opposed to the more culturally valued, male dominated fine arts. The white floor of triangular porcelain tiles is inscribed with the names of a further 999 notable women.

Wing I: From Prehistory to the Roman Empire
1. Primordial Goddess
2. Fertility goddess
3. Ishtar
4. Kali
5. Snake Goddess
6. Sophia
7. Amazon
8. Hatshepsut
9. Judith
10. Sappho
11. Aspasia
12. Boudica
13. Hypatia

Wing II: From the Beginnings of Christianity to the Reformation
14. Marcella
15. Saint Bridget
16. Theodora of Byzantium
17. Hrosvitha
18. Trotula of Salerno
19. Eleanor of Aquitaine
20. Hildegard of Bingen
21. Petronilla de Meath
22. Christine de Pisan
23. Isabella d'Este
24. Elizabeth I of England
25. Artemisia Gentileschi
26. Anna van Schurman

Wing III: From the American to the Women’s Revolution
27. Anne Hutchinson
28. Sacajawea
29. Caroline Herschel
30. Mary Wollstonecraft
31. Sojourner Truth
32. Susan B. Anthony
33. Elizabeth Blackwell
34. Emily Dickinson
35. Ethel Smyth
36. Margaret Sanger
37. Natalie Barney
38. Virginia Woolf
39. Georgia O'Keeffe

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Two days of grey skies and fog and rain?


Grumble, Grumble

- I need to buy a red dress. To go running in. This is no small feat in Korea for someone of my size.

- I got rained on. Only for a few minutes, but still.

- I have to read Heidi in my spare time (and it's not even the real freakin' book) when there are about 50 books in my house that I'd rather be reading.

- Only one book club book a month, you say, not two? I would have liked to have known that y'all changed your mind, but it's handy as I'm not actually finished the book myself, nor are any of the kids!

- I run a "Fun & Activity" class for two children. Crystal gets to do the activity part, leaving me with reading books that are uninteresting but REALLY BIG and singing really horribly bad songs. If I was more of a kindergarten-style teacher perhaps I could make this fun, but I'm me. I like my students old enough to read books of a normal size.

- In the above class, lil' Jimmy decided to bawl his heart out because his grandmother forgot to pack him a pencil. This in spite of the fact that I had already lent him a pencil. I've now been told all about lil' Jimmy and this class is going to be the furthest thing from fun that is humanly possible.

- I don't feel like doing my dishes.

- Nor do I feel like sweeping and mopping my floor.

- I am also unimpressed with having to do my laundry.

- I paid my bill a bit late last month, thus it's turned up on my next bill and I can't decide if I should overpay or leave it for another month and deal with it then.

- I've seen all the episodes of True Blood and I do not like having to wait for more.

- I don't know what to do this weekend.

- I had to host the quiz last night instead of playing, and since I had less to do, my tab was more than usual.

- Also, everyone bitched about how hard it was but then got great scores. Sillies.

- All this grumbling may well be PMS.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Let's Talk

Freedom to Marry

Word of the Day

yegg \yeg\, noun:

a burglar who robs safes; safecracker
I seldom get Word of the Day emails with words I have never so much as heard of before. I like this one, though. I've been attempting to find an occasion to use it in conversation, but so far no love.
sidereal \sy-DEER-ee-uhl\, adjective:

measured or determined by the daily motion of the stars; of or having to do with the stars or constellations
Which explains why the site on the Internet where you can get links to streamed movies and TV shows is called Sidereel. Ahhhhh.... I like it when I can make geeky connections.

horripilation \haw-rip-uh-LAY-shuhn; ho-\, noun:

the act or process of the hair bristling on the skin, as from cold or fear; goose flesh
I just really like this word. Dunno why.
aquiline \AK-wuh-lyn; -lin\, adjective:

1. curved like an eagle's beak
2. of or like an eagle
While I have always understood what kind of nose this word describes, due to a Classical education and all those noses on the Roman Emperors, I had no idea there was a connection to eagles. Cool.
peregrination \pehr-uh-gruh-NAY-shun\, noun:

A traveling from place to place; a wandering.
This is my life! I love this word!
ubiquitous \yoo-BIK-wih-tuhs\, adjective:

Existing or being everywhere, or in all places, at the same time.
I can't see this word without having flashbacks to Poly School. They refer to themselves as been unique among the ubiquitous. I think it was the title of an article about the school that they had framed on the wall, or something.
faineant \fay-nay-AWN\, adjective:

1. Doing nothing or given to doing nothing; idle; lazy.
2. A do-nothing; an idle fellow; a sluggard.
Also incredibly apt as a description of my life. I had my nose all bent out of shape yesterday because I had to be at work at 1:30 p.m. to deal with the Internet banking/taxes thing, when I could have set my alarm for 1:30, since I didn't have to work until 3:30. And I probably would have!

***Hahahaha. I just ran spellcheck and it doesn't think that safecracker, horripilation or faineant are words! I copied them right from emails sent to me by a dictionary company! Hilarious!


No, no, not the TV show.


I was lost. Quite lost. But let's start at the beginning.

Last Friday night, in spite of my intentions to stay in, I met up with Annie and Martha for a beer at midnight, promising myself I would go to bed at 1:30. I was only an hour past my self-imposed deadline.

In spite of that, I made it to the Yongsan Kimchi HHH run and was a virgin once again, with one other girl (apparently she found it too vulgar...) We did a walking route, which wasn't too taxing or long. At the down down, I got called up to drink quite a few times - thank maude for smallish cups. We went for brunch at Indigo after and I slowly let myself be convinced that going down to hash in Songtan was a good idea. We were in a crazy rush to get on a bus and head down, with the added amusement that I had forgotten I'd said I might go see the Klimt exhibit with Alex, Lizzy, and Martha and they were meeting at Nambu bus terminal, which is where you catch the bus to Songtan. So, I blew through, said hi and ran. We just made it in time for the chalk talk - in fact, we passed the hare on our way into the bar.

And then Mitzi and I got lost. Very, very lost. We fell behind fairly early on, but that wouldn't have been such a problem if someone hadn't mismarked a checkpoint. We ended up wandering around a muddy field for about 45 minutes to an hour, with no idea where the trail was. Finally someone else showed up and got lost with us for a bit, but finally figured out where the trail was. After that, he sped off and we slowly plodded along. It was the first time I had met Mitzi and the conversation and need to follow trail ourselves was great - this route was marked with specials (I think that's what she called them - little bits of paper) instead of chalk, so we had to do more of the work ourselves, which was fun. Usually I'm far enough behind not to get to find trail myself. We ended up in a park, clambering up hillsides, falling over logs, and just generally having a good time when we finally hit the beer check, which I was quite happy about, having worked up quite a thirst by then.

Which is about when I got a phone call from my coworker, who in the hash is referred to as the Countess of Anal Cristo. You see, when we didn't turn up back at the bar (there were four other people missing too and none of us were very experienced), Blow Back Mountain called Thanx for Nothing who called the Countess who called me, to see if I was on trail. This resulted in the hare coming to pick us up in his car. However, not only did we get called on the line for being the last in, I then also got called on the line for answering my phone on trail. By then I was starving, but my friend Anteaus, who lives right behind the bar, had conveniently shown up and ordered a lot of food.

I napped on the bus back to Seoul and went out with some hashers. We ended up at Polly's Kettle - I hadn't been there in ages. I seem to think that the last time I tried to go, it was somehow already closed (that says a lot about how late I was out on the night in question, I guess). Kettles are tasty. That night, I ended up crashing at Shawn's, which is mildly hilarious as she lives a block over from me. And Henry, the balcony smoker, caught me coming home the next morning around ten, because there was no way I was going to make another hash - as much as I wanted to, my leg muscles were not in the mood at all.

Instead, I went to the book club meeting for a book I haven't read since my first contract in Korea. Since it was the Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime and since I have been wandering around and about disability blogs lately, I had some things to say, but I wish I had had the chance to try and read it again first. However, we went from there to What the Book, where I might have had another slip of the book ban - I'm not going to count it because I'm going to be borrowing the book club book from Martha and I bought the People's History of the United States, which I want to read to give myself a bit more background - I'm teaching freaking American history and all I know is, well, not much. I've never taken a course or even read a book dedicated to it, so my knowledge has been gleaned from the news, pop culture, historical fiction, and my feminist studies class. Granted, I'm not entirely convinced that it's a good idea to read a social history before familiarizing oneself with the political history, but I've always wanted to read this book anyway.

Which is a roundabout way of saying that I'm not going to consider that purchase a slip. And I get to, because I make the rules!

We then went to Wolfhound, where I bumped into a ridiculous number of people, played trivia, and after went out to have goodbye drinks at Queen with Gavin, where it turns out I knew a few more people. And I met my soul mate - he also believes that Grey's Anatomy is sort of like having friends and that the show has the best soundtrack to shag to, ever. Sadly, it turns out that he too is leaving soon, but at least I got an invite to his goodbye party.

Since then, I've taught a bit, read a bunch, paid some bills, signed up for Internet banking (something to do with getting a tax refund - my school made me do it and they aren't much for giving explanations), made up a trivia quiz for Wednesday and stressed slightly over the fact that on Thursday and Friday I have to teach book club classes for three books that I still haven't read...

You know, I love to sleep. Love it. Left to sleep myself out for months, my body prefers to get around 9 to 10 hours of sleep a night. So why is it that I never get any sleep?

Also, I let my damn cup of tea get cold tonight, which meant that I couldn't drink it while simultaneously eating slices of Chocolate Orange, which is a sublime pleasure. I could make another cup, but I am way too lazy.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Nouns Quiz

1. What future Soviet dictator was training to be a priest when he got turned on to Marxism? A: Joseph Stalin.
2. What single name is more commonly applied to Holy Roman Emperor Charles the Great? A: Charlemagne.
3. Who was the last president of the Soviet Union? A: Mikail Gorbachev.
4. Who held the office of prime minister of Great Britain longer than any other person in the 20th century? A: Margaret Thatcher
5. Who volunteered in the American Red Cross during the Spanish Civil War, where he was wounded from a mortar shell explosion and subsequently cared for by an American nurse? A: Ernest Hemmingway
6. Who was the Teddy Bear named after when he refused to kill a defenseless bear cub while on a hunting trip in Mississippi? A: Theodore Roosevelt
7. Who rode naked on a horse through the streets of Coventry to persuade her husband, Earl of Mercia, to reduce oppressive taxes? Lady Godiva
8: What famous Swiss citizen said of nuclear bombs: "If I had known, I would have become a watchmaker"? A:  Albert Einstein.
9:  Which Italian astronomer invented the thermometer in 1592? A: Galileo.
10: Which woman, born a slave, was known as "the Moses of her people"? A: Harriet Tubman

1. Where is the tallest known geological formation? A: Mars (Olympus Mons)
2. What continent is subjected to the world's largest ozone hole? A: Antarctica.
3. Where did the pineapple plant originate? A: In South America. It didn't reach Hawaii until the early nineteenth century.
4. Archaeologists believe they have located the burial site of Boudicca (Boadicea), the queen who led a bloody revolt against Roman rule in the first century A.D. Where is it? A: Under Platform 8 of the King's Cross Railway Station in London.
5. What name is given to the popular holiday area between Marseille and La Spezia? A: French Riviera / Cote d' Azur
6. What was the ancient city, carved out of red rock in Jordan, which was forgotten by Europeans until the 19th century? A: Petra.
7. Which Arctic country's Finnish name is Lapin Li? A: Lapland

8. What was the city of Edo renamed in 1869? A: Tokyo.

9. What island nation is a must for anyone wishing to see 40 species of lemurs? A: Madagascar.

10. What desert do Botswana, Namibia and South Africa have in common?
A: The Kalahari.


1. What was a gladiator armed with, in addition to a dagger and spear? A: A net.
2. What famous document begins: "When in the course of human events..."? A: The Declaration of Independence.
3. What's most likely to occur when your diaphragm goes into spasms? A:  Hiccups.
4. Which is the only rock that floats in water? A: pumice.
5. Approximately how old is the earth? A: The earth is about 4.5 billion years old.
6. What's a polygon with four unequal sides called? A: A quadrilateral.
7. Name one of the two cities that have the oldest stadiums in major league baseball. A: Boston and Detroit
8. What NBA team is known in China as "the Red Oxen"? A: The Chicago Bulls.
9. What follows mass as the most popular activity in U.S. Catholic churches? A: Bingo.

10. Which Lewis Carroll book was banned in China after censors decided that "animals should not use human language"? A: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.


1. What color is a polar bear’s skin? Black
2. What sea creature can have an eye measuring 16 inches across, the largest in the animal kingdom? A:  A squid.
3. What animal’s milk is used to make authentic Italian mozzarella cheese? A: The water buffalo's.
4. What tree-dwelling ape is known to Malaysians as the "person of the forest"?
A: The orangutan.
5. How many poisonous birds are there in the world--1, 10, or 100? A: One.
6. What barnyard animal can get sunburned? A: The pig.
7. What sea mammal's upper lip moves much like the trunk of an elephant?
A: The manatee's.
8. What living organism can be 30 times the size of a blue whale?
A: A giant sequoia.
9. What was the first bird domesticated by humans? A: the goose
10. Which animal has its eyes placed in such a way that it can see all four of its legs at the same time? A: the donkey
Movie Posters

1. Young Frankenstein
2. The Lost Boys
3. The Game
4. Boyz N the Hood
5. The Shawshank Redemption
6. The Craft
7. Crocodile Dundee
8. Ace Ventura: Pet Detective
9. My Fair Lady
10. Contact

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Friday, February 06, 2009


Questions from Violet.

1. What is your best imperfection? (You can define perfection for yourself.) Being stubborn? The dent in my chin? (Where the hell did that even come from in the last two years or so?) My klutziness? Perhaps just me - I'm not perfect at much of anything. I'm not sure perfect is even something I'm aiming at.

2. What's the worst trouble you've ever gotten yourself into? How did you get back out? That would have to be getting married to someone and realising quite quickly that I was miserable and not at all in love with him. I got back out by running my ass out of there and heading back to Korea - back to a life and job that I love, back to the joy of being single and herding my future into the direction I want it to go. And, about two years later, getting that lovely little piece of paper stating that I was divorced.

3. If you woke up tomorrow and found yourself as the last person on earth - but all services like electricity, water, etc. were still working - what would you do? I get this question right after reading The Road? I have no idea. Are there animals at least? If not, I think that I'd need to create myself some sort of imaginary friend and then I'd wander the world, in hope.

4. If you fell out of a plane while flying over a forest, and were uninjured, do you think you could make it back to civilization on your own? Why or why not? I think it's quite possible. I was involved in Scouting in my teens. I did a fair amount of camping, though it's been awhile. I am not sure I'd be especially handy at trying to kill my own food though.

5. What's the best piece of advice someone has ever given you? Why? Follow the noise. It's true - when travelling, it's wise to be open to the unexpected, and I think that holds for life, too

If you want to play, too:

1. Leave me a comment saying, “Interview me.” Leave your email.
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. I get to pick the questions.
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions. Be sure you link back to the original post.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.

My Morning Plans

The Constitution of the Hash House Harriers is laid out in the following philosophy from a KL city club registration card dated 1950:

To promote physical fitness among our members
To get rid of weekend hangovers
To acquire a good thirst and to satisfy it in beer
To persuade the older members that they are not as old as they feel

I'm not sure they thought number two and number three through carefully... Although, maybe that's why there are 3-4 each weekend in Seoul...

Thursday, February 05, 2009

I'm Really Tired!

I must try and go to bed earlier. Must.

I'm going to stay in tonight, though, because my plans for tomorrow involve attending a morning hash.

And being a virgin once more. Fun!

Puttering Along

In Progress:
2. Read 101 books. (21/101)Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, Breaking Dawn, The New Kings of Non-Fiction, After Dark, The Road, Prep, The Optimists
3. Read 50 children's books. (5/50)The Secret Garden, Stone Fox, Chocolate Fever, The Cat Mummy
8. Read all the magazines in my place. I read about five and then bought three more. It still counts as progress.
35. Take the good camera out once a month. (10/30)
46. Try 10 new foods. (2/10) Bulgarian - dill pickles in sauce? Brilliant!
57. Eat at 25 new restaurants. (7/25) Andalous - didn't take a pic, oops!
84. Finish all my multivitamins. How is this so freaking difficult?
93. Pay off half my credit card. In a sort of one step forward, two steps back kind of way.
95. Make one day a month internet and TV free. (4/30)
96. Clean up iTunes. This is gonna be a big freaking project. I had 300 duplicate songs, for Maude's sake!

79. Let Shawn talk me into Hashing once. "Men"stral Run with Seoul PMS H3
24. Participate in a scavenger hunt. Blowback Mountain's On Out Hash

6. Maintain the book ban (no books without trade-in credit) with 5 slips. (4/5)

You Have Watched 72 Minutes of Video Today

Megavideo people are jerks.

I Want

Austen and Zombies... interesting.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Over-tired and Under-hyrdrated

I enjoy winning at trivia so much more the night of than the morning after. Thank god I have time to sit around drinking coffee and watching the L Word before I have to teach.


We won at trivia! I love free vodka!

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

One Minute

I have a short break before my last class and if I want any peace and quiet, there is no point in going into my classroom, because the kids will show up early and pester me with questions and interrupt my dinner and just generally block any attempts I might make at actually taking a break. So, instead, I'm hiding out in the office, surfing the net and eating leftover beef stroganof, which is my favourite food to make, though only for myself. Not only is each time a slightly experimental cooking experience, but I'm also fairly certain that no one else loves sour cream as much as I do.

Anyway, the rules at The One-Minute Writer are that you hit a timer, write for sixty seconds and then you are done, so here goes...
Today's Writing Prompt: Stuff

Most of us have some place where we keep general stuff--a "junk drawer," toolbox, etc. Check out your stash of stuff, and tell a story about one of the items there.

My main stash here at work is definitely my pencil case. I've had that old blue thing since at least seventh grade, back when I moved to the Humberview. In it are some erasers and pencils "donated" by forgetful students, a bunch of crayola markers that I've also had since the beginning of time, hence they barely work, some pens that I have picked up from various trivia nights in Phillie's and Wolfhound, and some spare paperclips, which somehow I never quite have enough of come monthly test time. There may also be what I like to refer to as "pocket candy" in there - incredibly unappealing candies pulled by germy hands out of lint-filled pockets, to be present to the oh-so-grateful teacher that will be regifted back to the kids, once I collect enough for an entire class.

Monday, February 02, 2009


Indeed, my dreams were vivid. I attribute it to the cheese, but it could be related to being able to wake up naturally, without an alarm.

On Sunday night, I jokingly said that my Internet going out was a very good thing - after all, I had less to do, so I went to bed earlier, which would make it easier to get up and go to the gym. I thought that perhaps it had all happened on purpose.

Then I came home and discovered that my Internet worked again. If the Internet is a sign, maude only knows what it means.


I've always thought that a life without regrets is a life not lived properly. To really take chances, you have to be willing to risk a lot. Sometimes that risk doesn't pay off and sometimes that's going to be sad. The thing about regrets is that they can be instructive. They can be productive.

I just ate more cheese in the early hours of the morning. Depending on tonight's dreams, I may just regret that later.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Odd Snack Choices

Eating pickles and cheese at 2 a.m. gave me some very odd dreams.

But I don't have to work mornings anymore, so I got to wake up without an alarm. I love that. Love it. I am drinking coffee and eating breakfast and watching True Blood.

I also did some laundry and I should be off in time to go grocery shopping - which I've needed to do for ages!

It's Working Again!

So the first thing I did was put on some True Blood episodes. I think I have some sort of vampire addiction.

Friday night was lovely. The galbi in Hwajung is the best in Korea, I'm convinced. We had great food and then sang for over three hours. I love norae bang. Alicia and I popped into McDonald's - it's just too bad it wasn't breakfast time yet. I fell asleep in the cab home, but was in my actual bed in time to get enough sleep.

Which I needed, because I headed all the way down to Osan, which is about an hour and a half on the subway, to go on my second hash. Hashing is just hilarious. We did a scavengar hunt, which was fun. My team came in second, though by that point we were hanging out, chatting and eating. After the Down Down (the bit at the end, where they call people on the line. This is all very hard to explain. However, I was a virgin once again.) Melissa and Carol came along and I hope they had fun. After, we all took the bus up to Seoul and went to a hasher's birthday party, with a pajama theme. I watched Conan the Barbarian - interesting dialogue in that film.

Today I met up with folks for the book club brunch. Bonji isn't my favourite brunch location and only three of us had read the book. However, we wandered over for Starbucks and I bumped into Tom - one of my coworkers from the first year I was in Korea. Then on my way into What the Book I bumped into Steve (I have no idea what his real name is, but he looks like Steve on Sex in the City.) After some magazine buying and book perusing, we bumped into Nami, who reads such similar books as I and who will hopefully come to a book club meeting soon. Then random strangers in the bookstore asked me for book recommendations, which I hate giving unless I know the person's taste in books quite well. I grabbed a couple of DVDs from the guy on the corner too - I'd like to try and see some of the Oscar nominees, since so far I haven't seen a single one. Afterwards, we went to Geckos for food and then Wolfhound for trivia. We came third, missing out on the 2nd place beer by only one damn point. I bumped into a bunch of hashers at Wolfhound too - I must say, hashers are all really friendly.

My mom called while I was at trivia - she had gone out by the time I called back, but I got to talk to Kari and my neices. They tell me some hilarious things and then break my heart by asking me to come home.