Thursday, April 30, 2009

I Fell Out of Bed Last Night

Well, techincally early this morning. Ahhh, Ssen. Nights in that bar always end oddly and in the wee hours of the morning. Hence, I did nothing but sleep through my second paint day, but that's not a big deal.

Back to a full 6 hour grind tomorrow.


Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Every Workday Should Be This Good

In the next two days, I will be working for three hours. Good times.

Last night was a DVD fest. I finished Amazing Grace - had never heard of Wilburforce, but I'm glad I have now. Possibly the most interesting period drama I've watched in some time (and I like myself some period drama). After that I was in the mood for scary and the Strangers was indeed scary. The kind of scary where I have to sort of read a magazine or fiddle around with my laundry while watching so as not to freak the fuck out. Poor little Mormon boys. Then, since I was still in awake and not in a reading or cleaning mood, I watched Hallam Foe. It was what I wanted Once to be like - fantastic AND set in Edinburgh. There wasn't a street he walked down that I wasn't familiar with. And I'm kinda thinking his highland home might have been where Monarch of the Glen was set as well, though perhaps not. After that, I watched the first two episodes of the first season of Dr. Who - I always forget how much I like Dr. Who until I'm watching the cheesy goodness.

After a late night, I slept right up until my 11:30 alarm, at which point I...

...lay around in bed some more! I love reading in bed in the morning and it's not been something I've had time to indulge lately, with all the hashing. I considered making some French toast, but was feeling lazy, so I headed over to Indigo for an English breakfast and a smoothie. After bumping into Lauren, I walked into Itaewon, ran an errand, traded in some books at What the Book (I think I may have ended up with the same number again, actually!) and then stocked up on ground coffee and had my cafeine fix for the day at Starbucks. I meant to take the subway to work to get here around 6:30ish, but I got to reading too long in Starbucks, so I cabbed my way over.

So here I am, with one student for my class, some report cards to do, a class to lazily teach, and two packages of new undies from my mom for my birthday.

And tomorrow's going to be just as good! Woo!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Do you ever watch movies and really want to like them, but you don't? Well that's how I felt about Once. Beyond the nostalgia brought on by Scottish-looking streets, I was a bit bored. And I kept forgetting to pay attention to the lyrics, which tell quite a large part of the story.

I also started watching Amazing Grace, but was too tired to finish it. So far, though, it's brilliant.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

WTF was That???

Don't watch Diary of a Tired Black Man if you don't want your head to explode with the badness of it. Feminists in particular, beware. The premise of this one is that the good black men out there are tired of angry black women. It's half documentary and half the-shitiest-acting-I've-ever-seen. The characters in the acted part are so one dimensional I don't even know where to begin, except to say that the main character is apparently based on the true life experiences of the guy who made this, so naturally he is the perfect man. Poor guy has it hard (please insert your own sarcastic tone here.)

It isn't that the street interviews weren't interesting enough. However, you could tell the guy was completely just on a rant - there is nothing measured or thoughtful about this movie. It's not really looking to say anything insightful at all - dude just wants to whine. I saw a lot of my relationship with Alan in some of the people's comments - but often with the genders reversed. For sure, I left because I was tired of the fighting - I started some of it, yes, but it was the unending prospect of never sorting our shite out that wore me down. There are few smarter decisions I've ever made than I did to get out quickly, even as slightly embarrassing as it is to admit to a three month marriage.

Anyway, don't waste your time on this one.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Did You Know that Marco Polo was from Venus?

I know, I know. I'm an asshole for mocking pronunciation, especially as this was probably the best researched Social Studies presentation I'm going to see this month. However, it was all I could do not to laugh out loud.

The other students greeted my arrival in the classroom with a chorus of, "Teacher, is it okay if I forgot to bring my presentation?" Well, no it fucking isn't actually. Teacher has been drilling the due date into your little heads for a solid month. You've all been sloppy with the dates for brainstorming and rough copies and teacher is sick of it. You will all lose points. This isn't rocket science, grade 5 students: every month on monthly test day YOU DO A FREAKING PRESENTATION.

Just when all the discouraging marking (2B and 3A-b are all incredibly bad at grammar) and the lack of presentations was about to make my head explode, I went on Facebook and saw this:
Gary: You'd think after months if not years of taking the same test each month that a kid would be able to remember how to operate a bubblesheet. You'd think that...but you'd be wrong. Very wrong.
Anika: Teacher, do writing?
Amanda :Hahaha. Yeah, that used to be my life. Of the many shitty things about my present school, forcing us to deal with bubblesheets is thankfully not one of them.
Gratitude. Something that even the smallest things can bring on.

Asses: Handed to Us

Only Sharlene and I made it to the Phillies Quiz last night and while we would have beaten all the teams hands down if winning were based on the most answers per capita, we didn't do too well. Turns out that neither of us ever reads the news and hence have no idea what is going on in the world. My excuse, of course, is my continuing lack of internet access at home, but to be honest I wasn't reading the news obsessively when I did have it.

After the quiz I watched Deception - it made me ponder if such a thing as a sex list would really exist. It wasn't very scary, which was disappointing. Anything I can watch at night by myself without the slightest freakout needs to be working harder on the scary.

I finished The Great Fortune and ended up totally loving it. Sadly, I bought the first and the third for 1,000 won but I'm missing the second part. I've requested it for my birthday, so I'll have to wait for a bit, as my mother's demand to know which books on my Amazon list that I most wanted came on my birthday. Granted, since I haven't mailed my brother his gift, it won't be arriving by the 25th either! I also bought a bunch of secondhand Kathy Reich books, since I really loved the one I picked up the last time I was in a Canadian airport - again missing the first, so I'm going to wait for that one to arrive too.

Why is it that I consider chosing the next book I'm going to read as such a stressful thing?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Not a Morning Person

Why did I wake up at 7:30 this morning, unable to get back to sleep??? I ended up reading for an hour or so and then finally sort of napping. I'm finally quite into Manning - it took awhile to get into the old-fashioned style, but now I find the attitudes about the war and class quite interesting.

I watched The Onion Movie last night (ok, would have been better had I been stoned) and Quantam of Solace (Bolivia looks interesting, hot chicks, lots of things blow up).

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

More DVD Watching

Mostly I've been watching the third series of Six Feet Under - and I love it! I can't believe that it took me this long to finally watch it after all the good things I heard (well maybe I can believe it, since it took me how many years to finally watch Buffy?) I'm incredibly sad that I'm finished with the only season I have of it.

I also watched The Reader. I can't decide exactly what I think of it - except that for it to make me think that much was a good thing. I haven't read the book it was based on, but I thought that Kate Winslet was very good.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Another Rainy Monday

But yesterday at the Hash I got my first sunburn of the year! It's quite red, but not painful. I'll have to start using sunscreen every time - and I hate the feeling of having it on!

Saturday I did a lot of lazing around. Made brunch (bacon, strawberries, French toast), watched Six Feet Under and read my book. Then I cleaned like a maniac, because Melissa and Carol came up for dinner and dancing and then crashed at my place. The new mattress is coming in handy already! Also, we won the quiz yesterday and had a pitcher of sangria. Summer is here!

Next week, I have half the classes I usually have on Wednesday and Thursday, so I might try and get some errands run.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

School of Athens, Raphael

This came up in a recent trivia game and we spent ages trying to remember who painted it. Embarrassing for me - I bought it at one of those university poster sales and had it hanging on my wall for two years. I bought it right after changing my major from history to classical studies because I loved my archaeology classes.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

A couple of months have passed and...

2. Read 101 books. (42/101) Water For Elephants, Suite Francaise, Remember Me?, Cafe Europa: Life After Communism, The Man of My Dreams, Bones to Ashes, The Tenth Circle, Microtrends, Pyongyang, How I Became Stupid, Sex and the Single Vampire, Love in a Time of Cholera, The Almost Moon, A Confederacy of Dunces, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Gut Symmetries, Persepolis, Persepolis 2, Crimes Against Logic, Much Ado About Nothing, The Omnivore's Dilemma
3. Read 50 children's books. (16/50) Heidi, Wayside School is Falling Down, The Tales of Beedle the Bard, The Janitor's Boy, The Devil's Arithmetic, The Case of the Psychic Hamster, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Charlotte's Web, Ella Enchanted, The Mouse and the Motorcycle, Top Secret
8. Read all the magazines in my place.
Sort of...
12. Complete a month of posts each year (NaBloPoMo or other month.) (3/3)
Didn't expect this one to be done this quickly.
27. Play 5 board games. (5/5)
Settlers of Kataan
35. Take the good camera out once a month. (12/30)
Now if only I had an online computer so I could show them to you...
45. Try making lasagna in a toaster oven.
Complete, if expensive, success.
46. Try 10 new foods. (3/10)
57. Eat at 25 new restaurants. (10/25)
Kabinett, Neal's Yard
68. Go to a sporting event, a play/opera/ballet, a museum, and an art gallery. (2/4)
Seoul Players' 24 Hour Theatre with Brian. It was okay.
76. Take the subway to or from work once a week. (12/38)
God, I'm sooooo lazy.
79. Let Shawn talk me into Hashing once.
Hahahahaha. Or every weekend!
84. Finish all my multivitamins.
Almost done the bottle.
90. Go to bed by midnight thirty times. (2/30)
Not an easy goal for me.
95. Make one day a month internet and TV free. (11/30)
I never stated it had to be voluntary...
98. Buy another external harddrive and have old harddrive fixed.
And a new computer, apparently.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Meh Movies, Meh Books

Last night I watched Wolverine or whatever the new X-Men movie is called. It was sort of meh, but I had the oddest DVD. They somehow got ahold of the movie before all the special effects were done and every once in awhile, there would be computer graphics that weren't finished. It made the whole thing considerably more hilarious. However, since I quite liked the X-Men movies, this one was disappointing.

I also recently got around to watching Elizabeth, the Golden Age, which was fantastic and more than made up for the disappointing period flicks I've seen lately (The Duchess, I'm looking at you here!). Blanchette was awesome. I really must brush up on my English history - the Henry VIII/Elizabeth I period is the only part I know at all well.

I'd buy a book, but I have more than enough to read now as it is. The book I'm reading now is a bit of a rough go - The Great Fortune by Olivia Manning. It's going to take awhile to accustom myself to such an old fashioned style, though since the author herself was in Romania during the beginning of WWII I'm hoping the content will be fascinating... soon.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Black Day

This post is a bit late, but I thought I'd tell you all about Black Day. Starting on February 14th, Koreans celebrate the middle of every month with some sort of love related day. On Valentine's Day, men give gifts to women. A month later, on March 14th, women give gifts to men on White Day.

Here's what Wikipedia says about Black Day:
"Black Day (April 14) is a South Korean informal tradition for single people (a.k.a. Unit Solo/Solo Regiment, lee: 솔로부대) to get together and eat Jajangmyeon (noodles with black bean sauce), sometimes a white sauce is mixed for those who did not celebrate White Day.

The idea is that those who did not give or receive gifts on Valentine's Day (February 14) or White Day (March 14) can get together and eat Jajangmyeon (짜장면), white Korean noodles with black bean sauce (hence the name), to commiserate their singledom."
And what did I do to celebrate Black Day? I watched Revolutionary Road. If there was ever a movie that reminded me more of how I felt in the short time I was married, it was that one. About five minutes into the movie, I was convinced the wife was going to stick her head in the oven by the end. While that may not have been what happened, it certainly communicates the tone of the movie. I can't imagine a better way to celebrate singleness on Black Day than by watching something that made me feel so incredibly happy with my decisions!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Things They Say

I've got my Japanese boys back and they are hilarious and high energy as always. They were trying to say something, god only knows what, that came out sounding like water bitch. They insisted it wasn't beach. Dunno.

Then in K3, David wanted to write Wee Sing Time on the board. What he wrote, however, was wee sin time. Which is like my Wednesdays, once I get off work.

Rain, Rain Go Away

It's odd that someone who hates rain as much as I do manages always to live in places where rain is such a key part of the weather - Edinburgh, Vancouver, Seoul. Sure, sure, today's rain isn't the start of the monsoon. It's far too early for that. However, it's a sad reminder of what is coming. Nothing nastier than having to wear flip flops because you're wading through a small lake all the time in a country with streets as dirty and nasty as Korea. And none of my umbrellas ever seem quite big enough, so my arms always get wet. I want the sun back!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


I finally got around to watching the movie (and I got some super cheap DVDs on the street on Sunday - the police came by to chat with the vendors, who were selling illegal DVDs right under a sign stating that they couldn't sell anything at that location - though they are there every week - and so they didn't bother bargaining me up from my first offered price). I thought it was a decently entertaining movie - certainly better than the hours of life lost while watching Benjamin Button.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Summer is Here?

It's seriously hot already. T-shirt and skirt weather. I love it, but I dread the coming monsoon and humid weather.

I went and did some grocery shopping on my half hour break, rather than internetting, so this is going to have to be short and sweet.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Hotel Bathtubs

They kick ass. The worst thing about living in Korea may be the lack of bathtubs. I love taking baths. So when my place to crash last night was slowly involving more and more drunk people with drama, I checked myself into a hotel with Internet and a bath with jets.


Gotta go hash again. On On to Seoul.


Criticisms from Bed

I was going to call myself an armchair critic, but I don't own an armchair. I watch all my DVDs and TV in my bed. In fact, I also eat sitting in my bed, since I don't own a table or chairs. It's funny how little furniture you need. I do have a couch, but I use that strictly for guests or throwing clothes onto.

Last night I watched Slumdog Millionaire and Birds of America. Slumdog certainly kicked Benjamin Button's ass in terms of being the better Oscar-nominated film, in my opinion. Birds of America wasn't much of a plot driven movie, as nothing much happened, but I found the characters interesting enough, in a sort of sleepy way (I did put it on at 2 a.m. after all.)

Also, a criticism about my bed. It's broken. Get your mind out of the gutter - I didn't break it doing that; the frame fell apart while I was changing my sheets. I suppose I could screw my bed back together (ahhh, the funny never stops), but I'm lazy and I don't own a screwdriver. I wonder what will happen if I just leave it?

Friday, April 10, 2009

One More Class!

And it's the weekend! I'm not sure what I'll get up to - maybe the Easter hash, maybe a trip down to Songtan, maybe some hashing on Sunday... Maybe some comedy tonight, maybe a night out tomorrow...

Or maybe I'll spend the whole weekend in bed, watching movies and reading novels. We shall see.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

It's Just One of Those Days

Everyone is out of sorts at work today, including me. And Sarah didn't show up, so we all had to cover classes.

We came in second at trivia last night, though I have to say I thought the quiz was way too easy, except two questions that were just ridiculously hard.

I like teaching Social Studies. Learned all about navigation in the 1400s today.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

My Brain Hurts

Because I'm actually requiring it to do something lately. Teaching Much Ado About Nothing to a student whose English skills are only decent with the object of her being able to write an essay about it is turning out to be a taxing exercise. I have to explain sooooo much. Which means I have to actually think it all through before the class - which starts early, as it's all overtime. Tiring!

Last night I did my dishes (finally) and made some stroganoff with whatever was in my fridge - eggplant wasn't a great addition, but the tomatoes and carrots were. Then I watched Bejamin Button. It was okay, but I was a bit bored with this one as well. Shakespearean student told me that I should watch Slumdog Millionaire, so perhaps I'll try that one next. Likely not tonight, though, as there is trivia to be done.

The weekend - it was eventful. We kicked Friday off with a work night out - soju drinking at J-story in Hongdae. Fun, fun - and due to the drinking games, my coworkers now know a great deal more about me (sort of the theme of the weekend, you could say.) After that I hooked up with a friend on base, which led to some problems. Namely that one shouldn't mix soju and tequila and expect to be in the mood to go running the next day.

However, for all that Saturday morning was not any fun, I did make it down to Songtan for the hash. Thankfully they had a walking trail that involved a beer check and darts. I needed easy and Songtan is seldom easy! I got covered in banana at the down down - 3,2,1 Fuck Off called on me for his virgin ceremony (which if you hadn't guessed, involves eating a banana placed wherever by the girl on her person) and he managed to get banana everywhere. Then I got named, which involves answering questions that the pack asks you and then leaving the room while they tell any naughty stories they know about you. When I returned there were about 30 possible names on the board (which I guess is a good thing, because it was really hard to name the next guy). I am now the hasher known as Encyclopedia Lesbianica. Slightly odd name for a bi-girl, but then several of the hashers have inquired what exactly two girls do togther in bed, once within seconds of meeting me. Apparently my willingness to answer inspired the name. Though why straight people can't just extrapolate, I don't really know. Anyway, I'm named.

I meant to go back to Seoul that night, but there was an On After and I stayed. I basically followed three very drunk girls around, while Ray and I tried to keep them from falling over or being hit by cars or hit on by unsuitable men. I crashed at Melissa's and then caught the train back up in the morning - making it to the Southsiiiide hash an hour early.

Southside was great - it was sunny and warm and we spent most of the trail in the forest. Granted, we also spent most of the trail climbing up hills, though No Name Laura and I weren't far behind the pack. There was the usually Down Down hilarity and then an On After at Wolfhound, for darts and general hanging out. I ended up at Wolfhound from three until midnight, as I stayed for the quiz. In fact, it was a nice melding of hashers and quiz friends. Sadly, we came in fifth, though I was so exhausted by that point I'm not sure I could have handled a win.

The weekends really kick my ass. I need to spend an entire one just lazing around, but I can never bring myself to actually do that. Ach, well. On on to the Easter hash this weekend.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

That's It?

I watched two very boring movies last night while doing a bit of cleaning (and some eating of delicious homemade lasagna.) The first was Ironman and they just didn't develop those characters enough for me. I like a good superhero movie (I loved all the X-Men movies) but in this one, I kept tuning out during all the fighting bits. The second movie I watched was the Duchess, which was just tedious. I kept waiting for something exciting to happen or someone to die and then it was just over. My new British ninth grader (to whom I am desperately trying to explain Much Ado About Nothing) had seen it as well and was similarily bored by it.

I must have about twenty or so movies at home that I've bought and never watched, so I'm aiming to get through some of them between now and whenever I stop being lazy and call to have internet set up. Since all the shows back home seem to be in hiatus right now, I'm in no rush.

Monday, April 06, 2009


I never once used Coles Notes in high school or university, which makes it odd that I'll be using them tomorrow to teach. However, since I found out that I need to teach Much Ado About Nothing tomorrow for two hours a day for the next week, a shortcut is required - after all, I'm already doing overtime. There's no way I'm going to go home, read the play, and figure out all the themes and important quotes in my free evening.

Odd though, to be relying on them now!

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Allan D’Arcangelo (1930-1998)

We read a radio play in my E1 class called "The Hitchhiker." It's a ghost story about a guy driving along lonely, deserted roads on his way to California and being haunted by a hitchhiker that no one else can see. The kids thought it was really cool. One of the illustrations was by Allan D'arcangelo, who I hadn't heard of before. It wasn't this painting, though this one is close.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Kangaroo and Coffee

In attempts to work my way through the 101 list, I went to two new restaurants and ate some kangaroo. Then I stole Brian's pics of it all.

Friday, April 03, 2009


Having a computer is bad for me. Even without access to the internet. I did not clean my apartment last night - I was overtired and had taught with a hangover, so all I did was plop myself in bed to watch Grey's Anatomy. Until 4 a.m. And then I slept until almost one o'clock today.

I'm still coughing up a lung, which puts the hashing activities over the weekend into question - running, pollution and coughing don't mix well. Though if it's a nice day, I might not be able to resist.

Going out with coworkers tonight. Should be interesting.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Min-su likes animals

And apparently can actually speak English! We read a book about animals today and then I showed them some animal flash cards and he knew the English names of at least three quarters of them. Then we drew some animals and did the Hokey Pokey. That song is not the most dignified, as at one point I am supposed to stick my bottom in and shake it all about.

Though I may have been doing that last night, post-trivia. We didn't win, but the winners shared and after several shots of vodka and several 1,000 won drinks ($1), well, let's just say that I was primed to enjoy myself.

As always, today was long and tiring. I've lost a class though, which meant I had an hour to wander down the sunny street to a coffee shop, buy myself some coffee and some sort of strawberry tart, and relax. God that was nice. They've been fixing the streets and sidewalks for the last six months and are finally finished. I wasn't too impressed until I saw the final step: plants. All the way down the street are new gardens seperating the street from the sidewalk. It's quite lovely.

I'm off home to clean up my disaster of a house and watch old Grey's episodes and DVDs, since I'm not sure my brain is up to functioning enough to process the book I'm reading right now (The Omnivore's Dilemma, which is fabulous).

It's Friday tomorrow and it's spring!

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

If a Computer Isn't Connected to the Internet... it really a computer?

Hahahaha on me. Life is evil - I finally get why my internet box magically worked for me. It's the same company I used before, so I already had the access codes. The new computer doesn't. It looks like I'm going to have to pay for internet. In the meantime, I'll be watching lots of DVDs, I guess.

Gertrude is lovely though. She's much lighter than Chester and a bit smaller. She's also all black, though the Windows background is a nice stand of bamboo. Seems fitting, though I sort of miss Chester's baby eating a dog pic.

If the names seem odd to you, well they are. When Kari was pregnant with Emily, my mother came up with two names they'd never use and started to refer to the fetus as Chester-Gertrude.

At least now no one thinks I named my computer after that Sloan song...