Tuesday, May 30, 2006 

My sister just posted about her cat....call it inspiration, or my-cat-has-issues blogring, but now I'm going to share. I just cleaned out the litter box, as in the full change the sand and not just scoop the poop kind of deal. I got a new kind of litter, which managed to combine the horribly loud scratching sound of the last "crystal" kind with a smaller size, which enables many small balls to get stuck in the cat's paws and then let loose upon my floor (and my poor unsuspecting feet). I cleaned out the box last night, and in the three hours between the cleaning and when I fell asleep, I swear the cat visited the box six times. I *know* he could not have been going to the bathroom each time. So that, and the ridiculous amount of cat litter on my floor, leads me to believe that he was simply trying to share. I'm not sure what led him to believe that sharing the cat litter was necessary, but Daive certainly appreciates it. At least three times this evening I've caught her chewing on something (which I at first thought was a bug, then trash, and then a different and much scarier bug) which turned out to be one lone (and rather miniscule) piece of cat litter. Each time it was a red ball, which is quite rare (there are a few red and blue interspersed throughout the package that probably serve no purpose other than tricking the stupid humans into thinking they do something important) and especially confusing since dogs are supposed to be color-blind. That seems like the kind of thing that irritating show "Numbers" would be able to sit down and figure out the probability of. "The chances that the cat would scatter that many red balls of cat litter from the contained litter box AND that the dog would then be caught by the human trying to chew up four of them is roughly ten to the power of eighty-four." I really hate that show. It just seems to me like they're trying way too hard to come up with some original spin off the CSI-type show. Just give it up. CSI was good, but now there's three of them, an NCIS (which is CSI in the military), and a whole slew of other imitators not even worth mentioning. We have enough! Anyway, that's my rant for the night.

Tomorrow is a holiday - election day. I'm just glad because now all the freaky flatbed trucks full of campaign banners, freaky loud music, and really curious people doing a cheesy hand dance can all go away. These trucks have loud speakers, and people drive through the neighborhood giving speeches (no concept of noise pollution here). And it's never the politicians themselves... just their groupies. It's a sight that is just so strange to me that I can't help but stare. Then I feel bad, because they perform for me, and it's not like I can vote (or even understand what they're saying or who they're promoting). Anyway, take my word on it. After tomorrow life will be a bit less weird for me, at least in this small peripheral way.

Sunday, May 28, 2006 

Friday was a tough day. I woke up around 5:00 with a killer headache (that shortly thereafter morphed into a vicious and evil migraine). Then I got all nauseous and crawled to the bathroom where I spent most of the next four hours, laying on the floor in the cool quiet darkness, waiting to puke. It was icky, to say the least. The really bad part in all of this was that I had an open class on Friday morning, as in the parents come and watch the class. This was a thing I absolutely could not miss...so I was just sprawled on the bathroom floor praying that God would give me the grace and strength to be able to go and do this class. He did...during the class I managed to not vomit on any of the children (which was the criteria I had set for it being a success) and Beth (who was there became it was Emma's class) said that she wouldn't have known I was sick if she hadn't already known. Then I came back home after the class to sleep for awhile with some more migraine medicine in my system, returned for my afternoon classes, and then came back to get Daive and take HER to the doctor.

Everyone else: feel free to skip this part unless you are actually and truly interested in the details of my dog's health. This is mostly for Haley. Anyway, the verdict is that she has two ear infections (not bad, but still) and butt issues. She's always had butt issues, but these were bad enough that the doctor said, "Wow." Of course Daive was *such* a good dog, even though the ear cleanings hurt since her ears were infected. So the doctor looked in her ears, cleaned them both, put medicine in them both, emptied her anal glands (three times! hence the "wow"), and we had a discussion about her teeth and how she's getting to the point where she needs to have them cleaned. The *only* thing she charged me for was for the prescription she gave me, and that was only 10 dollars. Of course I had to buy cat food, cat litter, and a toy for Daive, and then the vet gave me the two bags of cat litter for the price of one. It was definitely one of those "I love Korea!" moments. That kind of visit at Banfield would have been at least between $75-100. And everytime I go there, she gives me something free or a discount on something. Of course, I spend LOTS of money there, but that would almost never happen in the States.

Okay, end of the dog thing. In more news about me, I'm going to have to go to a dentist here and get fitted for a mouthguard - the thingy you wear at night and keep you from grinding your teeth. It's the whole teeth-grinding thing that gives me headaches, and the migraine on Friday. I'm a bit scared of Korean dentists though, based on the testimony of quite a few foreigners. But I'm just going for the orthodontic thing...so I'll be okay (hopefully). Anyway, I'm off to Costco today to get my necessary stockpile of cheese. Anyone want to volunteer the price of a block of cheddar cheese? I pay arond $9 at Costco, and I'm sure that's a lot...but I can't even begin to remember how much cheese costs in the States. Just curious. Anyway...have a good weekend!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006 

I'm appalled at how long it has been since I last posted. It's just that life here actually got entertaining and busy and all-around good. Nice to hear that, huh?

My job, which I was quitting...I don't think I'm quitting it anymore. I'm convinced that some of the major reasons why I was quitting have changed, but Adam (my coworker and friend) says that he thinks it is me that has changed. Either way, change is good. I'm just making sure they'll still have me...so I'll let you know how it goes.

Ohh...I never did post the results of the allergy test from oh-so long ago, did I? Well, the verdict (drumrolll someone, please) - I'm allergic to dust (housedust was the precise wording on the paper they gave me - AND when I did spellcheck, blogger thought the word "housedust" should be replaced with "aquaduct" weird) and cats. I'm way more allergic to dust than cats (and by "way" I mean I scored 3 out of 6 on dust, and 2 out of 6 on cats, so "way" is an exaggeration, but it's only to make myself feel better) and I'm doing quite well health-wise right now. I'm sure this has to do with the coinciding departure of the yellow dust as well as the departure of my poor cat's fur.

On a teaching note, I will share with you that on Monday one of my kindergarten students read something for the first time. She didn't know the entire alphabet when we first met about three months ago, and then on Monday she was able to read "fat," "cat," and "pat." I'm half-mocking myself because I feel silly for feeling so happy and proud because of it, but all use of humor as a defense mechanism aside, it was a really awesome moment. Of course, she was in a class of about eight kids, and one of only three that managed to understand what I was saying and combine the letter sounds. Three of the others were more interested in the contents of the air (there was a fly buzzing around) or their noses. Two were doodling. But...you know..you do what you can.

I'm off to finish putting together my preparations for class today. I'll do my best to be a better blogger!

Tuesday, May 09, 2006 

I love my MP3 player.

I haven't even had it for 24 hours yet, but I love it, and know that it just might be the thing that can keep me sane for the duration of my time in Korea (however long that ends up being). Seriously...it's like this painless happy, Korean-free (speaking of the language here) place. I can put in the headphones on the subway or the bus, and block out pretty much the whole world. Today in the office they were copying some Bible stories onto tapes for the students - which necessitated the volume being slightly above rock-concert-right-in-front-of-the-speakers loud and just a shade below jet-taking-off-three-feet-away-from-me loud. And Adam made a good point yesterday when he said that it is easier to block things out when you can't understand them, which is absolutely true, and basically how I live my life outside of work (and even a good portion at work, to be honest). So this Bible song and storybook (who incidentally have such famous names as Jerry Falwell, Reggie White, and Steven Curtis Chapman reading select parts in it - Reggie White was Samson, which I found funny for some reason) is cranked up super loud and it would have driven me crazy were it not for my wonderful MP3 player.

I must give all the credit for my happiness, well first to God (remember the doxology? from whom all blessings flow) and then to my sister Jen, who again, has significantly brightened my day (though in this case it's more like year or something). She found this MP3 player for me super cheap (and got one herself) then a few other necessities for me (including but not limited to bras that fit me and ranch dressing) AND (as if that weren't enough....and are you tired of parenthesis yet?) she bought a toy for both my cat and my dog. Awww. What a good sister she is! Thanks Jen! You rock my world!

I have a class starting in fifteen minutes, so I'll go now.

Sunday, May 07, 2006 

For whatever reason, cover letters terrify me. They intimidate me. They wig me out. I just do not like them. I had never written one before, if you can believe that. Resume, no biggie. But cover letters? Eek. So I'm quitting my job, we all know that, right? Well the job I really want the most is a university job. It's the same university my roommate works at, but a different campus. Anyway, I've been planning on applying for this position. I was going to have my friends help me write a cover letter, that was the plan. Well I got an email today saying I should send in my application stuff ASAP. But still...no cover letter.

Not to mention that the job description absolutely terrified me. According to the requirements, I shouldn't even really be applying. I don't have an MA in anything, let alone a BA in Education. But...we'll see. If I even get to the "interview" stage of the process, I'll have to do a TEACHING DEMONSTRATION in front of the people interviewing me. TERRIFYING, I tell you.

The point of this post is not to confess my fears, though that would be an interesting post. It's to say that, I overcame my fear of cover letters and wrote one. I don't know if it's good or bad, but it's done, and sent. They process applicants in the order they're received, and I managed to work in that I know many of the current instructors. That, according to the hiring people themselves, is a bonus. So we'll see. This is the dream job. It's the kind of job I could stay at for awhile, which is what I'm looking for. We'll see. Pray for me, if you should think to. I need wisdom.

I'll be quitting my job at the end of June, that's when my roommate will be leaving Korea. Worry: Where will I live? Quitting my job. Worry: Where will I work? I'm notoriously bad with money. Worry: How will I survive financially? Enter Matthew 6:25-34.

I have a really hard time living out of faith rather than out of my own detailed, precise, "perfect" plans. Disclaimer: living by faith does not negate reason, nor does it mean living outside the realm of common sense. Living by faith includes all of life: mind, common sense, money, etc. That's really a whole different topic though, and the people I'm thinking about that would object to the first sentence in this paragraph are people I could discuss it with via email. So if you want me to explain the sentence in more detail, I will. But not here. I already took two benadryl, and am going to bed now. 6:30 comes too early here lately.

Thursday, May 04, 2006 

The little things I miss (at least the ones I could think of right now)

- Reading the back of a cereal box (or even cereal that doesn't cost an arm and a leg)
- Mindless TV in a language I know
- The way Wal-Mart in the States has medicines out so you can choose - here it's all behind the counter at pharmacies (in Israel too).
- Hair products - I stick with the imported stuff or what is labeled in English (I still don't know what "essence" is or what it does for your hair). Even if hair products are mostly fluff, just reading what the company SAYS that it can do for your hair is nice. I have a shelf of hair products, most of which are not usable, because there's no English, and you can't open it in the store and look at it.
- Reading the boring announcements posted up (especially the ones in my apt. building)
- Being able to order food without pointing and/or grunting

I'm not down at all, I was just reading the back of a (seriously overpriced) box of cereal my roommate bought, and realized how much I miss that. I guess I just miss English being the dominant language.

Nonetheless, I'm off to take a bath right now. I have tomorrow off thanks to Children's Day (think Mother or Father's day, only for kids). I'm staying up late and sleeping in...and looking forward to it an awful lot.

Monday, May 01, 2006 

Elegant. Theological. What else could you want in a flower? These were beautiful, especially considering I bought them outside a convenience store.


This is shaved Claude.A better picture, shows his old-man belly and lumpy underside more.He woke up early (I already said that, right?) and I'm assuming
this rather jagged line of fur is related to that. Poor guy.

In this picture, he looks like a weird doll...the kind that the heads are huge and the body is small. Even though now his head looks more proportioned to his body, he still is funny-looking.

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