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.