Thursday, December 30, 2010

An Annoying Read

"Yes, yes if you please, no reference to examples in books. Men have had every advantage of us in telling their own story. Education has been theirs in so much higher a degree; the pen has been in their hands."
Reading Persuasion reminded me of why it took me three or four starts to get through Pride and Prejudice - I do not like Jane Austen's voice or style or whatever you want to call it. The plot was fine and there were some pointed barbs at a society that leaves women at the mercy of men, but I was about halfway through before I could ignore the language and writing style enough to immerse myself in what was going on.

However, it has introduced me to an awesome new insult: "James Benwick is rather too piano for me."

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

What It Takes

To build a better world we need to replace the patchwork of lucky breaks and arbitrary advantages that today determine success - the fortunate birth dates and happy accidents of history - with a society that provides opportunities for all.
Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell looks at the myth of personal ability and ambition and instead shows that success can be understood by things like opportunity (be it to resources, or the ability to get to 10,000 hours of practice, or when you were born) and the legacy of culture on an individual.

This book has already had an influence on how I think about teaching. Gladwell quotes Elizabeth Dhuey:
"We have advanced reading groups and advanced math groups. So, early on, if we look at young kids, in kindergarten and first grade, the teachers are confusing maturity with ability. And they put the older kids in the advanced stream, where they learn better skills; and they next year, because they are in the higher groups, they do even better; an the next year, the same thing happens, and they do even better again."
and goes on to say:
"At four-year colleges in the United States-the highest stream of postsecondary education-students belonging to the relatively youngest group in their calls are under-represented by about 11.6 percent. That initial difference in maturity doesn't go away with time. It persists. And for thousands of students, that initial disadvantage is the different between going to college - and having a real shot at the middle class - and not."
And that is something, even if it is at the micro-level, that I can do something about. As a teacher, I can be more aware of how I judge ability and maturity levels. It's something that is incredibly hard to do here in South Korea, where my boss is aiming to have me level the 4 and 5 year olds, but in the classroom, I can try and avoid age-related judgements of what a child can do. As Gladwell says:
If we chose to, we could acknowledge that cutoff dates matter. We could set up two or even three hockey leagues, divided up by month of birth. Let the players develop on separate tracks an then pick all-star teams. If all the Czech and Canadian athletes born at the end of the year had a fair chance, then the Czech and the Canadian national teams suddenly would have twice as many athletes to choose from.
It pays off.

Another thing that was pointed out by Gladwell really made me think.
Those three things-autonomy, complexity, and a connection between effort and reward- are, most people agree, the three qualities that work has to have if it is to be satisfying.
I am not particularly happy in my present job. I'll stay another year not because I enjoy teaching kindergarten at Che*ngwon, but because I like having 7 weeks of paid vacation after years of the 2-weeks, one week at a time hagwon system. I have a connection between effort and reward for sure - little notes that the students give me saying "I love you teacher", their smiles, hearing them say they love English class, watching them learn how to read. And I often have a lot of autonomy - my dislike of my coworkers has stemmed largely from their lack of information about my class schedule so I can adequately plan or an attempt by them to tell me how or what to teach (since really, none of them are fluent in English, and one is incredibly bad at English, I have to say I find instruction about how to teach the language that I do in fact speak pretty annoying.) What I don't have is complexity - or enough complexity for me. I miss teaching literature and social studies to older students. Kindergarten curriculum doesn't really interest me. They are cute, my students, but I don't find them fascinating the way I do middle or high school kids.

I suppose in 2011, I should start taking steps to address that, because on the whole, I do love teaching.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Crisis? Yep.

Recently I read Losing Confidence: Power, Politics, and the Crisis in Canadian Democracy by Elizabeth May. I picked it up at home on vacation - over a year ago - in a spurt of patriotic interest in Canadian politics. She describes what she sees as the Americanization of the Canadian system:
"In Canada, as in other modern democracies, the last fifty years have seen an increasing centralization of power, first shifting from Parliament to Cabinet, and then from Cabinet to the prime minister. We risk losing the democratic progress of centuries in wresting power from a king only to see it vested in an increasingly unaccountable and autocratic prime minster."
Certainly, living oversees has taught me more about the American system of government than the Canadian. Not only have I taught American Social Studies, I have also read several articles on American government in various reading textbooks. And then there is the fact that I have far more access to the news regarding the US than I do to Canadian stories. Obama vs. Clinton interested me far more than the most recent Canadian election - and partly because we all heard about the issues over here and could then debate them amongst ourselves.

May discusses and quotes the Kent Commission Report: "Freedom of the press is not a property right of owners. It is right of the people. It is part of their right to free expression, inseparable from their right to inform themselves." Certainly, I do not think I'm anywhere near as informed as I should be about how Canadian government works and why. May strongly points out that a lack of information is a critical problem in democracy today. She also attacks the party system: "There is something ironic about a situation where political parties have such power in a democracy, yet 85 percent of the voters are not willing to join any party." She states that parties, due to a first-past-the-post system do not even represent Canadians properly, as an increasing number of Canadian governments have had false majorities.
"Awareness of the threat to democracy must go far beyond bemoaning the fact that young people don't vote. That is the tip of the iceberg of electoral dysfunction. The most effective solution is to approve a change in how we elect members of federal and provincial parliaments. no other single step will have as many salutary impacts."
I have to say that I approve of her solution. I have always exercised my right to vote, when my residence allowed me to do so. Sure, it was exciting to vote Liberal to keep out the Conservatives, but I am definitely more of an NDP kind of girl. The most exciting time I've ever voted was in Scotland - I voted Green AND they got in. Why? Because of the proportionate representation voting system.

The book occasionally struck me as a bit biased towards the Greens, but in general, it was a fascinating and informative look at the problems in Canadian democracy today.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

A Light in the Attic, Shel Silverstein

How Many, How Much

How many slams in an old screen door?
Depends on how loud you shut it.
How many slices in a bread?
Depends on how thin you cut it.
How much good inside a day?
Depends on how good you live 'em.
How much love inside a friend?
Depends on how much you give 'em.


I've never roped a Brahma bull,
I've never fought a duel,
I've never crossed the desert
On a lop-eared, swayback mule,
I've never climbed an idol's nose
To steal a curse-d jewel.

I've never gone down with my ship
Into the bubblin' brine,
I've never saved a lion's life
And then had him save mine,
Or screamed Ahoooo while swingin' through
The jungle on a vine.

I've never dealt draw poker
In a rwody lumber camp,
Or got up at the count of nine
To beat the world's champ,
I've never had my picture on
A six-cent postage stamp.

I've never scored a touchdown
On a ninety-nine-yard run,
I've never winged six Daltons
With my dying brother's gun...
Or kissed Miz Jane, and rode my hoo
Into the setting sun.
Sometimes I get so depressed
'Bout what I haven't done.


've been working so hard you just wouldn't believe,
And I'm tired!
There's so little time and so much to achieve,
And I'm tired!
I've been lying here holding the grass in its place,
Pressing a leaf with the side of my face,
Tasting the apples to see if they're sweet,
Counting the toes on a centipede's feet.
I've been memorizing the shape of that cloud,
Warning the robins to not chirp so loud,
Shooing the butterflies off the tomatoes,
Keeping an eye out for floods and tornadoes.
I've been supervising the work of the ants
And thinking of pruning the cantaloupe plants,
Calling the fish to swim into my nets,
And I've taken twelve thousand and forty-one breaths,
And I'm TIRED!

Last night, while I lay thinking here,
Some Whatifs crawled inside my ear
And pranced and partied all night long
And sang their same old Whatif song:
Whatif I'm dumb in school?
Whatif they've closed the swimming pol?
Whatif I get beat up?
Whatif there's poison in my cup?
Whatif I start to cry?
Whatif I get sick and die?
Whatif I flunk that test?
Whatif green hair grows on my chest?
Whatif nobody likes me?
Whatif a bolt of lightning strikes me?
Whatif I don't grow talle?
Whatif my head starts getting smaller?
Whatif the fish won't bite?
Whatif the wind tears up my kite?
Whatif they start a war?
Whatif my parents get divorced?
Whatif the bus is late?
Whatif my teeth don't grow in straight?
Whatif I tear my pants?
Whatif I never learn to dance?
Everything seems swell, and then
The nighttime Whatifs strike again!

Magic Carpet

You have a magic carpet
That will whiz you through the air,
To Spain or Maine or Africa
If you just tell it where.
So will you let it take you
Where you’ve never been before
Or will you buy some drapes to match
And use it
On your

Friday, December 10, 2010

St. John's College has a reading list which I find quite interesting.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Need to Plan to Leave the Shore in 2011

“Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.” - Andre Gide

Born Into Brothels

What an amazing documentary. I love that it shows things from the children's perspective. I love that we get to see the world through their lenses. I cried.

Well worth watching.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

15 Characters

Before I go off to make enough lasagna to freeze for the winter...

The Rules: Don't take too long to think about it. Fifteen fictional characters (television, films, plays, books, video games) who've influenced you and that will always stick with you.

Dian Fossey (Gorillas in the Mist)
CJ Cregg (The West Wing)
Alicia (Alicia's Story by Alicia Appleman-Jurman)
Ramona Quimby
Laura Ingalls (Wilder)
Anne of Green Gables
Punky Brewster
Meg (A Wrinkle in Time)
Francie Nolan (A Tree Grows in Brooklyn)
Lessa (Pern series)
Daleks (Doctor Who)
Vladek (Maus)
The girl in red coat (Schindler's List)
Scout (To Kill a Mockingbird)
Stadler and Waldorf (The Muppets)

Monday, December 06, 2010

Messing With the Numbers

Someone linked me to this blog entry on Facebook. It says that:
57% of new books are not read to completion.
Since I personally own about 200ish books I've yet to get around to reading, it occurs to me that us weirdos might be skewing the data.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Soooooo Looooooooong

Gone With the Wind is a very long movie. And it wasn't 4 hours worth of interesting either.

That said, I suppose I'm glad I can finally say I've seen it.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Jesus Camp

I have no idea how I came to download this, but it was quite interesting. Evangelical Christian kids, praying and crying.

I read theNew York Times review. I have to say, I was disturbed by the children, who looked a lot like they were being brainwashed.

What really gets me about things like this, something that struck me when that whole fuss over The Golden Compass occurred, is that as an atheist, if I had children, I would be quite happy for them to be exposed to religion. I'd have no problem with my child choosing to believe in god. I don't feel that making a decision about something that can't be proven either way should be forced on anyone, and certainly children shouldn't be indoctrinated to think one way or the other. I'd let my kids read Narnia or The Chosen or Harry Potter or whatever they wanted. I'd tell them what I think. And I'd help them develop the kind of critical thinking skills that would let them come to their own conclusions.

It's quite strange to realize how differently some religious parents feel.

Pass the Ketchup


Friday, December 03, 2010


Today didn't really feel like a Friday (not sure why, when it's felt like such a long week), but it ended on a really high note.

I made latkes and lit candles. I think I'm just going to slowly start celebrating everyone's holidays all over the world. It's nice.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Winter is Here

Announced by all the trumpets of the sky,
Arrives the snow, and, driving o'er the fields,
Seems nowhere to alight: the whited air,
Hides hills and woods, the river and the heaven,
And veils the farmhouse at the garden's end.

The Snow-Storm, Ralph Waldo Emerson

Now Winter Nights Enlarge
by Thomas Campion

Now winter nights enlarge
This number of their hours;
And clouds their storms discharge
Upon the airy towers.
Let now the chimneys blaze
And cups o'erflow with wine,
Let well-tuned words amaze
With harmony divine.
Now yellow waxen lights
Shall wait on honey love
While youthful revels, masques, and courtly sights
Sleep's leaden spells remove.

This time doth well dispense
With lovers' long discourse;
Much speech hath some defense,
Though beauty no remorse.
All do not all things well:
Some measures comely tread,
Some knotted riddles tell,
Some poems smoothly read.
The summer hath his joys,
And winter his delights;
Though love and all his pleasures are but toys
They shorten tedious nights.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Let It NOT Snow

When I left Itaewon this morning, it was chilly but not all that cold and the ground was a bit wet where the snow had melted overnight. After my subway ride to Madeul, I got out only to freeze my nose off and slip slide my way through the snow to work.

I can't be more than a thirty minute drive north. It's weird how different the weather is.

"These are all ways
Of getting proud.
None of them
Are easy, but all of them
Are possible. You can do all of these things,
Or just one of them again and again.
You get proud
By practicing."

Laura Hershey

Sunday, November 28, 2010

I. Am. So. Tired

Actual blog entry to follow tomorrow, because after a weekend with two turkey dinners, three hashes, and dogsitting duty, I'm too tired to type.

Friday, November 26, 2010

It's Dark Up There

Thanksgiving - as Interpreted by A Korean Kindergarten

It was hilarious.

First, screw the Pilgrims. They were no fun. This is all about the Indians, baby, and we aren't going pussy around with PC here, no we are not. We're going to make feather headbands and put warpaint on and then do that thing where you yodel.

There will also be an odd game that involves pinning the feathers on the turkey's ass. Good times.

Then the teachers will put on a play. The characters are a king, a servant, a cook, a shopkeeper (me!) and a farmer. My only lines: "I'm glad you enjoyed your meal. Farmers work very hard so that I can sell nice rice. If you are going to give out a prize, give it to the farmers." Amanda teacher, it's a traditional Thanksgiving story. Do you know it?

Then we had an Indian potluck. With things along the lines of Traditional Korean rice cakes and kimbap and chopchae. But also those treasured Western Thanksgiving favourites, traditional pizza, Dunkin' Donuts, "fajitas" and churros, pasta, and fried chicken. As you do.

Pictures to come, but my weekend is looking crazy busy. Two more turkey dinners and three hashes, one that I'm haring...

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanks, America!

For making it traditional for me to eat a full turkey dinner for three months in a row.

I've did two in October over the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend. I did one with SPMSH3. Tonight Samantha and her mom cooked us all a meal, at April's and then we had it over at GI Hoe's. Tomorrow my Korean kindergarten is doing their version (this I can't wait to see) and then Courtnie and Tim are cooking at his place in Uijeonbu. Saturday, morning hash, afternoon hash, night in Songtan. Sunday, back in to Seoul to hare a Southside trail, right to the VFW for yet another turkey dinner.

Yes, folks, that makes 6 turkey dinners (plus perhaps something resembling one at work, but we'll see what the Korean moms send to the potluck), and we haven't even hit Christmas yet.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Eat, Pray, Love

"I had actively participated in every moment of the creation of this life. So why didn't I see myself in any of it?"

I read the book right after I left my ex-husband and had turned over half of the corners of the pages because so much of it resonated with me. The movie mostly bored me - though the scenery was pretty.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Today's craft SUCKED. Not in terms of what it might look like (though I don't know that yet), but in terms of executing the class. Why is this? I was told that Leaf Class teacher wanted the students to make a specific craft before the Thanksgiving Day event on Friday.

I was told she would prepare all the supplies. I should have known better.

There wasn't enough of anything, nor was it at all reasonable to expect that 4/5/6 year old children could do the craft in a 40-minute class period. Some of them can barely write in English, and certainly many of them can't express advanced ideas with the vocabulary they know. So, writing five things they were thankful for on five tail feathers of a turkey? Yeah, that took pretty much all class. And I had to cut out the feathers for them in advance.

Thus, tomorrow, instead of doing some of the phonics books that we will struggle to finish by the end of semester (which includes 4 weeks of vacation and a 5-day weekend for Lunar New Year) we will be finishing the craft - really, doing the craft part, as all the cutting and gluing and such will happen then.

I shouldn't be so annoyed by this but it did piss me off. If they wanted something complex done, they should have pre-cut the parts so the kids could do it faster, and pre-written part of the sentences on so they just filled in the end.

Monday, November 22, 2010


I'm watching April's dog while she's in Hawaii and it's really weird. Her house is huge - you could fit my apartment into her living room, and there's a kitchen, dining room, 3 bedrooms, and 2 bathrooms on top of that. I don't really know what to do with myself here. I keep wandering around and putting things down and misplacing them and it's a bit lonelier in a bigger place, I think. The dog is adorable, though I can't say I love the morning pee walks.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Scouting the YK Trail

Last Thursday I went scouting on my day off. Naturally, I intended to scout during the daytime. After all, my only plans for the day otherwise were a trip to the post office, lunch with Samantha and GI Hoe, and dropping off a patch design. That should have had me out scouting by 1 p.m. How I ended up still in Itaewon at 4, I'm not quite sure.

That said, the pictures of the bridges over the Han at night were fantastic.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Thursday, November 18, 2010


My god, I hate this job.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


A day off, a day of sleeping in, and all because high school students are taking their all-important university entrance tests. Shops and businesses open late, all other students take the day off to keep schools quiet, and I've even heard that airplanes can't take off or land during the listening components.

All I can say is, thanks for the time off to run errands and scout trail!


They say we learn best from experience, so let's just say I took one for the team here and all of you can skip the fun of cleaning salsa out of your fridge for an hour because you failed to tightly close the cap and put it down sideways on the shelf.

But, since I now know just how annoying that minor mistake has proven to be, it at least tells you that I have finally done something productive with my week and it's all be inspired by vacation.

Not mine, sadly. My friend April is going to Hawaii and then into the field for three days and so I am moving into her place in Itaewon in order to take care of the dog (and take lots and lots of baths.) Aside from the fact that I am far more inspired to go out and run in the cold when Cooper is along for the ride, it's just fun to have a change of scene. And a wider variety of restaurants in very close proximity.

Because let's be honest here - I am a lazy ass when it comes to cooking lately. In the past month I made it to the grocery store once and bought three things - and that was really only because I ran out of toilet paper and picked up spinach and tomatoes while I was there. Then I ate the same pasta for four days in a row.

Since going on vacation (or other people going on vacation) tends to inspire me to clean my place obsessively, I finally was motivated to clean out the fridge. I was thinking I'd have to eat a weird meal or two and freeze some stuff while I'm off at April's for two weeks, but it turns out that my fridge is basically just there to hold up my toaster oven (which isn't getting a lot of use either) and to store condiments, because aside from mayo and ketchup and parmesan cheese and mustard and capers, my fridge contains two apples, two onions, and about four pieces of bread (which I didn't even buy - they're hash leftovers). Oh, and some cheese that was a bit moldy, which I cut off so I could the remainder in the freezer.

I do have the day off tomorrow, however, as is so often the case, my planned day of lazing about in bed reading novels and eating chocolate ice cream has turned into a list of things I MUST DO. I need to get to the post office, pick up my kilt from Samantha and then scout trail (and naturally though I printed off maps of the area at work, I then forgot them there, so I'm going in blind.) Then Courtnie will pop down from Uijeongbu and I'll show her the trail and perhaps we'll eat. By then it will be late and I'll need to come home and get to bed because I do have to work Friday.

Sigh. It's just 5 more weeks until Xmas vacation, at least.

But only two weeks until Tim leaves. Which I have to admit, I am really not looking forward to. Such is life, I guess.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Dialogue? Who Needs Dialogue?

Tonight I meant to be productive and instead I watched two movies and uploaded a bunch of pics to Facebook.

First I watched 2001: A Space Odyssey. Tim lent me the entire series of books (they are amongst his favourite books) and once I read them, I decided to watch the movies: 2001, 2010 and Wall-E (since it references 2001, Tim tells me.)
Amanda: ‎2001 is making space travel look very, very boring.
Amanda: And the food looks horrible.
Chris: and the computers want to kill you
Amanda: Christ, I'd want to kill myself. This movie is only 2:20 and halfway through it feels like I've been watching it for months. There's been nothing but heavy breathing for the last 15 minutes.
Jenni: It's a weird, weird film! I seem to remember a lot of heavy breathing, monkeys?!! And a manic computer. I still don't know what the hell it was all about!
Overall, it was an odd experience. It certainly depicts the inevitable boredom that would result from a long space journey with a small crew. I think that stylistically it was impressive and the soundtrack was great. The lack of talking just makes Hal's voice creepier when he does talk. I'm really glad I had read the books before seeing this - and I really liked them. They reminded me of the sci-fi reading I did back when I was a teenager. Not a lot of character development or symbolism, all pure plot and the wonder of what might be. I liked 2001 and 2010. I wasn't too impressed with the first half of 2061 when they visit Halley's Comet, but the second part was interesting. And I thought 3001 was a good ending to the series.

Tim sent me this link that explains the movie.

The second movie I watched was the documentary Babies. OMG the cuteness. Sure, it's a fascinating look into other cultures and a great illustration of how experience is both universal and unique for the four babies in the film. However, mostly it's super cute babies doing super cute things. Sometimes with super cute animals in the background.

Monday, November 15, 2010

G20 Pics

The G20 being in Seoul barely affected me. If I didn't live right next to the American army base and just down the road from the Hyatt that Obama stayed at, I might have missed it. As it was, I saw a lot of buses of riot police in my neighbourhood and not much else.

Sunday, November 14, 2010


I've been to 12% of the world.

That number hasn't moved much in the last couple of years.

Friday, November 12, 2010

'Twas a Dark and Stormy Night...

I went off to scout trail, in the cold and the dark, alone. So, sort of like life, really.

‎'Twas a dark and stormy night when I scouted the YK trail for Saturday. Thunder, lightning and hail cannot stop this hare. After I was tucked up in bed, warming my damp, chilled toes and drinking the best hot chocolate in the universe.

Also amusing - I got one of the millions of G20 policemen to hold my umbrella for me while I fished out my phone from my bag. He was very nice about it. They have their uses.


The Rules: don't take too long to think about it. Fifteen books/movies/ablums/concerts that you've experienced that will always stick with you. List the first fifteen that you can recall in no more than fifteen minutes.

1 - Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maude Montgomery
2 - Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
3 - The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell
4 - Maus by Art Spiegelman
5 - Possession by A.S. Byatt
6 - To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
7 - The Whole Woman by Germaine Greer
8 - Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilber
9 - Alicia: My Story by Alicia Appleman-Jurman
10 - Neither Here Nor There: Travels in Europe by Bill Bryson
11 - The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
12 - A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
13 - S. by Slavenka Drakulic
14 - Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer
15 - Ramona books by Beverly Cleary

1. Steal Magnolias
2. Dirty Dancing
3. Star Wars trilogy
4. Baraka
5. Schindler's List
6. The Neverending Story
7. The Princess Bride
8. Milk
9. Dr. Zhivago
10.Monty Python
11.Indiana Jones (all of them)
12.American History X
13.Wolf Creek
14.Team America
15.Life is Beautiful

1. Radiohead - Pablo Honey
2. Sarah Harmer - You Were Here
3. Nirvana- Nevermind
4. The Tragically Hip - Live Between Us
5. Sarah McLachlan - Surfacing + Fumbling Towards Ecstasy
6. No Doubt - Tragic Kingdom
7. The Beatles - Revolver (Rubber soul and White album very close runners up)
8. The Joshua Tree, U2
9. Gordon, Barenaked Ladies
10. Ani di Franco - So Much Shouting, So Much Laughter
11. Boney M - Nightflight to Venus
12. In Harmony: A Sesame Street Record
13. Natalie Merchant, Tigerlily
14. Hayden - Skyscraper National Park
15. The Fugees - The Score

1. The Cranberries
2. Ani Di Franco
3. REM
4. Radiohead
5. Hayden
6. Barenaked Ladies
7. The Proclaimers
8. Flaming Lips
9. The Philosopher Kings
10. Lilith Fair (twice)
11. U2
12. PJ Harvey
13. Hammell on Trial
14. Norah Jones
15. The Delgados

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Lest We Forget

It's Remembrance Day back home and Peppero Day here in Korea. It finds me incredibly over-exhausted. I may not have partaken of the bottle of vodka we won last night, but there is nothing good about a day of kindergarten on four hours of sleep. And I have to go scout trail tonight after work, in the dark and the cold.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Get to know your G20 leaders. Here's hoping that it doesn't disrupt my weekend with nasty traffic.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010


When did I get this tired?

Is it that my weekends are full of hashing? Is it that I can't handle working mornings when I'm such a night owl?

All I know is that my plans for when I get home tonight involve one episode of TV, hopefully 100 pages of 2061 (to finish it off) and then bed, preferably before 10 p.m.

I guess I'm finally not just in my 30s, but acting like I'm in my 30s. Or something.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Zombies Are Awesome

I finally got around to watching Shaun of the Dead. Hilarious.

I can't believe how many good movies I've missed out on, having lived overseas so long and hence had little opportunity to hear about, or see in the theater, western movies. I seldom even get around to watching things I do have.

Perhaps now that it's getting cold...

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Goin' Hashing

I have a 10K race in a week. Argh! However, I walked the hash trail yesterday (all stairs) and did a 14k one today, so I think it should be fine.

Fingers crossed. I haven't been training as I should.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Quantity not Quality

I have a lot of stuff going on right now, but it's not really blog fodder. And I've been feeling rather anti-social of late, which is translating to not really wanted to type out what's going on.

So, instead, an update. (Summary: I read. I sleep. I run.)

6. Fail Part Two. One more time. Maintain the book ban (no books without trade-in credit) with 5 slips. (15/5) (5/5) (2/5)

2. Read 101 books. (124/101) (46/101)
Slaughterhouse Five, Fun Home, King of the Vagabonds, 2001: A Space Odyssey, 2010: Odyssey Two, Odalisque.

57. Eat at 25 new restaurants. (29/25)(5/25) Loving Hut, Navy Club, Chef Meili, OKKitchen

77. Walk into Itaewon to get coffee at least 15 times. (10/15)

91. Start and stick to an exercise routine.

Thursday, November 04, 2010


Interestingly, I broke up with my 7th grade "boyfriend" on Valentine's Day and told my ex-husband that I was leaving him the day before.

Facebook knows when you'll break up
(CNN) -- Worried about when you might get dumped? Facebook knows.
That's according to a graphic making the rounds online that uses Facebook status updates to chart what time of year people are splitting up.

British journalist and graphic designer David McCandless, who specializes in showcasing data in visual ways, compiled the chart. He showed off the graphic at a TED conference last July in Oxford, England.

In the talk, McCandless said he and a colleague scraped 10,000 Facebook status updates for the phrases "breakup" and "broken up."

They found two big spikes on the calendar for breakups. The first was after Valentine's Day -- that holiday has a way of defining relationships, for better or worse -- and in the weeks leading up to spring break. Maybe spring fever makes people restless, or maybe college students just don't want to be tied down when they're partying in Cancun.

And let's hear it for cheapskates. The other big romantically treacherous time, according to the graph, is about two weeks before Christmas -- presumably as people begin pricing gifts for their significant others.

Mondays, as if they weren't bad enough, are the most likely day to break up. Summer and fall look like the safest seasons.

And, possibly showing that some people's sense of humor is more twisted than others, there's a spike in breakups on April Fool's Day.

What single day are you least likely to get a "Dear John (or Jane)" letter?

"Christmas Day," McCandless said. "Who would do that?"

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Oddly... Productive

Yesterday I went running, bought toilet paper and dish soap, did a load of laundry, made dinner, and managed to make it to quiz. Tonight I dropped off my happi coat, paid for an order at What the Book, bought a new blender and some bananas, showered, had dinner with a friend, tidied up the apartment, did dishes, hung up three loads of laundry, and ordered a sports kilt.

Oddly, I still can't find my blue Southside shirt.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010


This picture is actually from the days when I felt like I was melting as I ran.

Five months ago I started running. A month and a half ago, I ran my first 10K. And today I had my first cold run - the internet tells me that it's 3C out there and it's windy. I suppose it's going to take some practice to properly match the clothes to the cold.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Friday, October 15, 2010

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Monday, October 11, 2010

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Well, I Read A Lot Anyway

I keep taking on new challenges and forgetting the old ones - not entirely, they niggle at the back of my head, but I let them slide. I started off blogging everyday, then I moved to doing 101 in 1001, then I started Project 365, and then I started the Couch to 5K and ran my first race.

6. Fail Part Two. One more time. Maintain the book ban (no books without trade-in credit) with 5 slips. (15/5) (5/5) (0/5)

3. Read 50 children's books. (57/50)(32/25)(0/25)

The Giraffe The Pelly and Me, Suddenly!, Esio Trot, The Magic Finger, A Wrinkle in Time, Beezus and Ramona, Ramona and her Father, The Giver, What Mommies Do Best What Daddies Do Best, Play Ball Amelia Bedelia, John Patrick Norman McHennessey, The First Woman Doctor, The Reptile Room, Jacob's Rescue, Flat Stanley, Stanley Flat Again, Sideways Stories from Wayside School, Sadako and the 1000 Paper Cranes, Wayside School Gets A Little Stranger, If I Ran the School, The Enormous Crocodile, Miami Makes the Play, Fairest, The Journey of Peter and Anna, My Name is Not Angelica, Roald Dahl's Revolting Rhymes, Sideways Arithmetic from Wayside School, More Sideways Arithmetic from Wayside School, A Girl Named Disaster, Horrid Henry's Underpants, If You Sailed on the Mayflower in 1620, The Gunpowder Plot

5. Spend 30 days reading out of the house for at least one hour. (36/30)
7. Go to a book club meeting.
12. Complete a month of posts each year (NaBloPoMo or other month.) (7/3)
15. Complete Postcrossings.
19. Be able to label a map of Africa.
23. Win at any of the quiz nights.
24. Participate in a scavenger hunt.
26. Learn to play a new game (Backgammon, Bridge, etc.)
27. Play 5 board games. (5/5)
28. Learn how to do Suduku. And how to spell it.
32. Do something creative - paint a picture, throw a pot, etc.
34. Take a photo every day for a month. (31/31)
35. Take the good camera out once a month. (30/30)
51. Try a new kind of alcohol. chuck and sodja in Togo (spellings are complete guesses!
53. Eat chicken wings in a bar for the first time.
58. Make that chocolate/whip cream dessert from when I was a kid.
59. Make popcorn on the stove.
60. Visit a new continent (South America, Australia, Antarctica, Africa.)
62. Dip my toes into two oceans/seas. (2/2) The Atlantic!
64. Visit a country from the Axis of Evil.
68. Go to a sporting event, a play/opera/ballet, a museum, and an art gallery. (4/4)
69. Take an odd form of trasportation (dog sledding, etc.) Trou-trous are odd.
76. Take the subway to or from work once a week. (44/38) Should add to this one, since I renewed the contrac for a year.
78. Buy a round for the bar.
79. Let Shawn talk me into Hashing once.
82. Go to the dentist.
83. Buy a frickin' toothbrush.
84. Finish all my multivitamins.
87. Buy new glasses.
88. And sunglasses.
90. Go to bed by midnight thirty times. (30/30)
89. Buy a bathing suit.
92. Buy purple underwear.
97. Buy a new iPod.
99. Find a charity I believe in and donate/join a protest for a cause I believe in.
100. Get my damn hair straightened already.
101. Wash Martha's dishes.

To Do!

2. Read 101 books. (124/101) (40/101)
Tall Dark and Hungry, The Year of Living Biblically, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Me and My Shadow, The Last Summer (OF You And Me), Guilty Pleasures, The Sunflower, Fantasy Lover, Night Pleasures, Jitterbug Perfume, The Color of Water, Slam, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, Elbow Room, Body Wars, Rich Dad Poor Dad, The Girl's Guide to Hunting and Fishing, The Family Way, To Kill a Mockingbird, A Model World and Other Stories, World War Z, A Hundred Bullshit Jobs, Good in Bed, A Mercy, Timbuktu, Nightlight, Dead and Gone, The World Without Us, 206 Bones, Love in the Time of Dragons, Good Omens, The Year of the Flood, The Penelopiad, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, 2001: A Space Odyssey, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, Master Pip, Push: A Novel, Quicksilver

4. Finish reading War and Peace.
8. Read all the magazines in my place. This is impossible, as I keep buying more.
9. Read Man Booker Prize and Pulizter Prize winning book from the year of my birth. (1/2)

10. Write a haiku.
11. Finish up all draft blog posts.
13. Learn to write my name in 5 scripts. (0/5)
14. Send 60 handwritten letters or postcards. (24/60)
16. Send Christmas cards. (1/2)
17. Send flowers at random.
18. Do something to put knowledge in, rather than spouting it out.
20. Be able to name 20 foreign leaders and their countries. (0/20)
21. Memorize a poem.
22. Stop saying THAT word (the one Martha doesn't like.)
25. Play croquet or bocce.
29. Complete a jigsaw puzzle.
30. Watch Gone With the Wind.
31. Only use candlelight for one full evening.
33. Take pictures at one of those weird photo places in Hongdae.
36. Complete 26 Things.
37. Send a postcard to Postsecret.
38. Color an entire coloring book.
39. Climb a tree.
40. Play with PlayDoh.
41. Rewatch the Princess Bride and reread A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. (0/2)
42. Do a cartwheel in the sun.
43. Make a snowman.
44. Go on a picnic.
45. Try making lasagna in a toaster oven.
46. Try 10 new foods. (7/10) plantains, fufu, Togolese cheese, soja (Togolese tofu)
47. Make pancakes with my nieces twice. (0/2) Not doing this when I was home was a big mistake. But then, I hope I'm home again in the next 600 days...
48. Bake a cake from scratch.
49. Make a curry dish from scratch.
50. Learn to make good cream sauce.
52. And a new kind of tea.
54. Make and decorate cupcakes.
55. Make banana bread and once again make my poor mother mail me the recipe.
56. Have a banana split party.
57. Eat at 25 new restaurants. (29/25)(4/25) Indian with Jas, Mill Street Brewery, Thai with Samarra, Sydney Fish Shop
61. Visit 5 countries I've never been to. (2/5)
63. Visit 5 UNESCO Heritage Sites. (2/5) Cape Coast Castle, Elmina Castle
65. Go canoeing or kayaking again.
66. Participate in a winter sport that is not sledding.
67. Go zorbing/hot air ballooning/skydive or something along those lines.
70. Control one vehicle.
71. Encounter an interesting animal in its natural habitat.
72. Sleep in a tent.
73. Watch the sun set and rise. (1/2) Nearly had camera confiscated for taking a photo of a sunset in Lome.
74. Take a series of pictures of the neighbourhood I live in.
75. Finally go to the National Museum, which I pass every day, and Seoul Tower, which I can see from my window. (0/2)
77. Walk into Itaewon to get coffee at least 15 times. (8/15)
80. Explore 12 new places in Seoul - one for each month. (3/12)
81. Get a tattoo or a piercing.
85. Be a vegetarian for a month.
86. Be a vegan for a week.
91. Start and stick to an exercise routine.
93. Pay off half my credit card.
94. Then pay off the rest.
96. Clean up iTunes.
95. Make one day a month internet and TV free. (37/30)(0/18)
98. Buy another external harddrive and have old harddrive fixed.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Walt Whitman:

Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself,
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)

OBH3 Full Moon Run

Once again, to my complete surprise, not the LRB.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind.
Some come from ahead and some come from behind.
But I've bought a big bat. I'm all ready you see.
Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me!
~Dr. Seuss

The only courage that matters is the kind that gets you from one moment to the next. ~Mignon McLaughlin

Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass.
It's about learning to dance in the rain.

It takes courage to grow up
and turn out to be who you really are.
E. E. Cummings

Mountains cannot be surmounted except by winding paths.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Life is a shipwreck but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats.

My Virgin Hare - 38th Parallel H3

First I spent an hour and a half dead-haring the walking trail. Then I ran around 11 km on the best running trail I've ever done in Korea - shiggy, beer and soju stops, TUNNELS!!!, and good running buddies. Good circle, good on after. Just all round great day.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

My Crunchy Vagina

Crunchy as in granola. As in hippie.

I've gone environmental. While I was home I picked up a Diva Cup and a Lunapads pantyliner and a mini-pad. I love the Lunapads and now wish I'd bought a few more. The Diva Cup I'm still adjusting too, though it's already come in handy in a pinch, when I ended up not going back home as expected one night. If I'd been using a conventional tampon, I would have had to resort to buying Korean ones and they are not nice at all. I've sort of been toying with doing this since university and I'm glad I've finally gotten around to it.

Monday, September 13, 2010

10K Finsher, Fuck Yeah!

1:09 without walking A SINGLE STEP.

Best bling I'll ever get. The 10K race at the DMZ International Peace Marathon was incredible. First we had the hilarity of being sober in Itaewon at 5:30 in the morning. Drunks hailing cabs are very amusing. A two hour bus ride later and we were there - there being some very rain-soaked fields with tables, bag checking, food, a stage, and other assorted bits and pieces. Within seconds my feet (still in sandals) were muddy and wet. Though it was a nice, relatively cool day with no rain, that field ensured that I ran the race with wet feet.

It was an amazing thing, doing my first ever race. I was nervous, since most start with 5K. This particular race wasn't offering 5 and I had been told all about how beautiful the scenery was, so I let myself get swept up in the excitement and registered. It turned out surprisingly fine: though I'd only run 10K once the week before, I didn't struggle in the slightest. There were fireworks and a band to send us off and it was an experience to run with that many people. Matt and Moniqa quickly left me in their dust and the runners thinned out. I kept my pace slow and steady and spent the whole race being leapfrogged by runners who were faster but stopped to walk a lot. Since I was carrying my own bottle of Poweraid, I didn't even stop at the water stops.

I first noticed a kilometer marker at 5K - turns out that there were markers every kilometer and I just didn't see them. Nor do I remember any of the slight inclines that others mentioned post-race or the giant clock above the finish line.

What I do remember is how surprised I was to hit 8K (I was listening to music by then, but not any of my usual running playlists, so I had no idea how far it was at any time) and still feeling good, with no need to walk. I remember passing a purple house and thinking I'd quite like to live in a purple house. I remember hitting the clappers around 9K and absolutely loving that experience. And I admit to crying a bit when I hit the finish line and saw Shira on the sidelines, cheering us in.

After that there were several hours of waiting for the half and full marathon runners to finish. Once our little group was done and had eaten some bibimbap, we headed over to the bus to try and rest in a dry location. The race swag involved a 3 kilo bag of rice which most of us donated to PLUR, a charity which runs a soup kitchen, some nasty herbal tea drinks, and a bag with bananas and stuff. It was a 3 hour trip home with all the Seoul traffic, dreaming of dinner with the Southsiders once we hit home.

And there's the medal, of course. Which I am insanely proud of.

Next race: 5K night run on October 2nd. I suppose I should start training for a half now...

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

I Don't Get It

This is going to be a random post. I keep telling myself I'm going to write an entry about what I got up to in Canada or finish off all my half-completed drafts or something, but this is what I feel like talking about on a Tuesday afternoon at work, while I'm desk warming and half asleep.

A friend of mine deleted another friend on Facebook. I know this because she asked me in chat how to do it. I was quite startled, as when the person in question was here in Korea, they seemed close, so I asked why.

It turns out, she doesn't agree with his political beliefs and doesn't want to have to be exposed to them.

It's not like I agree with the guy either. But if he is someone she gets along socially with and she can't handle exposure to a belief set that is shared by many people, how are we all ever going to have the kinds of mature conversations that might move things forward in the world?

Monday, September 06, 2010

Family Feuds

When you live far from home, your friends quickly become your family. And as awesome as that is, when friends fight, it really sucks.

I seem to be caught up in the middle of more drama right now than I have ever experienced before and the weird thing is that none of it has anything to do with me.
Sh. isn't talking to S. because of a boy. Sh. isn't talking to A. because of.. well, about fifty inconsequential annoyances. T. isn't talking to A. either because of one incident plus what I have armchair-psychologized as a reminder of his ex.

All of this would be fine if they weren't all people who do a lot of the same activities and have a ton of mutual friends in what often feels like the biggest tiny village in the world. Now every time I hash, go to a quiz, or invite people anywhere I have to mentally figure out how to see each of them in a combination that won't be explosive.

I'm hosting a hummus party in a couple of days and decided that I just give up. I invited the four of them, two of them peaced out. I'm cool with that but I do have to wonder why in a group of 15 or so, they can't all just act like adults and behave around each other.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

I'm in Canadia!

After an eventful Mudfest weekend (and not the right kind of eventful, broke a rib), I made it through two days of work and a day of travelling (through the States, what a pain in the arse) and am in Toronto. Plans to get up and head into the city tomorrow, for shopping and hashing. Woot!

Can't wait to see everyone around here - if you are in the area and reading this, give me a call or shoot me an email. As always, I have few solid plans.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Running the Hash

So, I need to make it to 25 mins to get through Week 7 of the C25K and on Wednesday I didn't. Granted, I was exhausted after a long day at a water park with 60 kindie kids, but I didn't. I made about 20 minutes instead. A bit discouraging and so when I heard there'd be a Seoul Full Moon Hash Friday night, I decided to skip my run and hash instead. After all, I told myself, it's my last chance to hash in Seoul before vacation, since Mudfest was this weekend. And if I run it, it's almost as good as keeping to the schedule, in terms of being a good workout and lots of running, just not requiring that I run 25 mins non-stop.

And it was a good decision, because not only did I only walk for the odd portion here and there until the last ten minutes, I also realized that I'm not as slow as I had thought. I actually kept up with the pack fairly decently, though I have to admit that I didn't run any checks and only ran a few false trails. Still, it was encouraging.

I also ran the Saturday run at Mudfest and again, was doing fairly decently. Didn't get to the back of the pack until Sheena and I ran a loooooong false trail and had to go back up a stream - which we walked rather than ran and hence got far behind. Still, I'm not too bad a hasher.

And in spite of a bit of a mental setback with fucking up that first 25 minute run, I think I can be not too bad a runner. In time.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Bring on the Monsoon!

I had far too much fun today. Running in the monsoon is fantastic - not only did I splash through every puddle, since I had the park to myself I also didn't so much walk the walking intervals as karaoke them. There was also some quasi-dancing. And since it wasn't so damn hot, I went quite fast (for me) for the first two runs - so much so that I had to extend the loop a lot.

It's funny how quickly you can get decent at running. My legs no longer hurt very much. I used to find running down hills a bit nerve-wracking (I have been known to fall over whilst standing still, after all), but today I was disappointed that I didn't hit the biggest of the ramps on a running interval. And I no longer have to chant in my head that if Suz did it, I can too. I just sort of run. I do sometimes think of stuff, but it's not motivational stuff much at all.

Hilariously, just as I started my second run the podcast played It's Raining Men. It was even funnier when Walking on Sunshine started during my last run.

Now to eat and CLEAN ALL THE THINGS.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


I did my last run of Week 5 - 20 minutes of non-interrupted running. I'm not going to say it was a cakewalk, but I was surprised that to find that my legs didn't particularly bother me and it was only the last couple of minutes that were difficult to get through - I think in a lot of ways, adding distance from here on in is all going to be mental, all about learning to stick it out. Damn was it hot though - when I took my ponytail off on the subway, it was dripping with sweat. I guess I'm good to start Week 6 on Friday!


Friday, July 09, 2010

Fuck Yeah!

Week 5, Part 1 done!

I was slow as fuck, but I finished it.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

This Is My Life

This is why I'll never be an adult.

Head for the Border

The first time I've had Taco Bell off base here in Korea - which was the first time I'd ever had Taco Bell ever. Can't say I like it that much but it certainly is cheap.

Taken by Breanna.

The Thief of Time, Steinunn Sigurdardottir

In Paris I'm just another person on the street, standing out in the crowd just enough to be able to blend with it completely; I'm every bit as chic as the French women, whom I also resemble in wearing a lot of make-up and in being a little drunk.

I really wanted to like this book, but I didn't. I wasn't so fond of the random capitalization (okay, I know, it's a ridiculous pet peeve, but there you are) and I didn't love the poetry (some of which I blame on the fact that it's a translated novel - word choice is so important in poetry), nor the way the character kept referring to herself in the third person and then back to the first. The style was a bit distracting.

The main character was incredibly annoying - sure we've all perhaps behaved like this after a break up, or at least had a friend who did. And yet, an entire novel of a woman whining about how she was so perfect and he obviously loved her, but maybe he wasn't worth it, except that he was - it was, well, long. I liked the main point, which I assume is that we shouldn't waste our lives on ended love affairs.

I assume I missed some of the implications on class, not really being familiar with Icelandic history and culture - perhaps I might not have found Alda so annoying had I understood better what she represented.

However, if a point of literature is to invoke a strong emotional reaction and cause you to analyze your own behaviour as it pertains to the theme, and I do think you can argue that it is at least a significant driving force behind the writing of novels, then it certainly worked. I haven't been this irritated and thoughtful about a book in some time.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010


I'm going to have to redo Week 5. I thought maybe, as I headed out today, that it was going to work. I was on a bit of a Neocitron high, though I did my usual near-napping on the subway. I felt okay for the first 8-minute run but totally bombed the second. My plan is to redo Week 5 part 1 on Friday and hope I get better enough by then to actually complete it.

I'm bummed about it, if I have to be honest. But to look on the good side, I did manage 8 minutes of continuous running and that's my longest run so far. I'm a bit worried I've bitten off more than I can chew with this 10K in September and have to keep reminding myself that I can finish before the time limit just walking it. And finishing, that's my goal. I suppose also on the good side is the fact that I wasn't feeling great and I didn't let that become my excuse. I still put on those running shoes and got out there. It may not have been a good running day, but it was a running day nonetheless.

Tomorrow's another day. A rest day at that.

Plastic Surgery?

I don't find this advert compelling.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Since Eclipse is Out...

Buffy vs. Edward


Look at Kevin's facial expression there. Who knew that an octopus craft could be scary?

Monday, July 05, 2010


Last week was up and down. Monday I got a vicious stitch in my side and didn't finish the last run, maybe by about 2 minutes. Stitch aside though, I think a lot of the problem was mental - when I listened to Suz describe the run, I thought she said that there were two 3-minute runs followed by 90 seconds of walking and ONE five minute run, but there was a second 5-minute one right at the end. On top of that, I think I was running faster - at one point I passed a couple on one of those two-seater bikes. I slowed it down on Wednesday and Friday and finished without any problems. I also ran the entire week without a bandage on my right ankle and it didn't so much as twinge.

Then there was yesterday. I was quite confident that it would be fine - I can totally do three 5-minute runs. I hadn't hashed all weekend (Saturday hangover, Sunday by design) and so I figured I'd be well rested. I wasn't feeling too great at work though, enough to pop some Advil Cold & Sinus. I only finished the first 5-minute run and barely did the last at all.

So now I am stuck deciding what to do about running while I have a cold. I don't want to take the time off entirely - beyond the fact that it totally breaks the pattern of strapping on those shoes and just getting out there every day, I also worry that even a week would put me back. I figure I'll go out there tomorrow and try the scheduled run. If that doesn't work, well, I guess I'm not attempting 20-minutes non-stop on Friday. I'll just do the Week 5, Part 1 run again and try to maintain where I am. I can always start Week 5 all over again next week.

But if I'm honest with myself, I really want tomorrow to be a success so that I can tackle that 20 mintues on Friday. I don't like the idea of fucking up the program at all - in spite of the fact that I originally never thought I'd get through it in just 9 weeks.


The Results of Being a Lip Slut

This is what happens when you kiss more than one person in a bar on a Friday night - you have a cold by Monday.

Sunday, July 04, 2010


Taken simply so that I didn't miss a day of the project, since all I did was sit around chatting with Courtnie and then buy pizza in my pjs.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Itaewon Mural

What a drunken, drunken Friday night. First, I went running in the rain - I wasn't looking forward to it, but it was fun to stomp through puddles like a kid. Then I came home and got changed as quickly as possible to go to Itaewon for Samantha's birthday dinner. I could not, for the life of me, get a damn cab and it was pouring rain. I ended up having to go to the main road, over the overpass to the wrong side of the street in order to grab a cab and then talk him into doing a U-turn. Dinner at Villa Sortino's was delicious and the three glasses of wine there were followed up by another three at Bless U. Then we headed to Helios, which is where the madness began - much lip slut behaviour, lots of dancing, and coming home in the early hours of the morning. Didn't make it to Yongsan, not unsurprisingly, since I hadn't actually slept at that point. I did get about a two hour nap and then Courtnie and I went down to Osan for Turkey Baster's On Out. Though I had fun at the down down (where we named Connor "Count Crankyoula") and dinner at a Thai place, I knew there was no way I could handle another night out, so Courtnie and I headed back to Seoul and were in bed by midnight.