Tuesday, August 29, 2006 

Okay, so I'm here!

I just took a shower (for the first time in about 48 hours) and have yet to really sleep yet. I'm at my sister's house, and chatting with my sisters. It's awesome! Not that I really forgot how funny my sisters are, just being in the same proximity with them. I've already laughed so hard I coughed myself to gagging and crying.

I ate Chik-Fil-A on the way home from th airport. Ordered a 12-pack of nuggets, I did. Didn't eat ALL of them, but most. Tomorrow I'm going to Wal-Mart, which is thoroughly exciting and also a bit overwhelming. We had to stop on the way home from the airport so I could buy a toothbrush and toothpaste. So we went to this drugstore, and I was SO thoroughly overwhelmed.

Anyway, we're sitting here chatting, and I can't stay focused. So I'm gonna go.

Monday, August 28, 2006 

Okay, so I moved. It was an unbelievably long night/morning. There was no one there to translate for the man from my job who was doing the directing, but luckily my friend MyungHo was there, and he helped me out in a HUGE way. It was pretty much total chaos because, while I had packed a lot, there was also a lot I had not packed. But the movers here have this big plastic bins, and they just pile stuff in, put them on the truck, and then empty the bins. More environmentally friendly than boxes, I guess, and easier for me in almost every way. In what was nearly a replay of a month and a half ago, once the movers showed up, I did almost no more work. I had put the cat in a kennel to keep him from escaping, but Daive hasn't run away in AGES as her separation anxiety is far too severe, so I figured it would be fine. And it's not fair that you all can see where this is going when I had no clue what was going to happen.

I was in the bathroom cleaning the cat litter box and then cleaning the bathroom. I came out, and I have no idea how long Daive had been gone before I realized that she was, in fact, gone. To be perfectly honest, I nearly had a panic attack. My apartment door was wide open, and the doors to the stairs (which are right beside my apartment) were wide open. I didn't know what to do. I ran out to the landing, and had one of those start-stop-start-stop jerky moments where I couldn't decide if I should go upstairs or downstairs. It was at that moment I was convinced I heard a yelp, and since traffic was downstairs, and Daive has history with that, I went down. I was clapping my hands, whistling, and calling her name. When I got to the third floor (one flight of stairs that felt nearly like a lifetime) Daive just came running out to see me, tongue hanging out and looking thoroughly amused and happy. I felt both relief and rage, and couldn't decide if I wanted to hurt her or hug her. In the end, I didn't hurt her of course, but the desire was there, behind the relief.

Anyway, now all my stuff is in the apartment below Adam and Beth's apartment, where Lis (the new teacher) is living. However, I'm not staying in that apartment, so they didn't put together my bed, and I can't unpack. It's not an entirely easy thing to pack for a trip when all my stuff is packed. I tried to pack to move wisely so I wouldn't have too much trouble, and so far it hasn't been too bad, but I have the distinct impression I'm going to forget quite a few important things. When I get back from the States, I might be moved into a new apartment...who knows.

Right now I need to run though - go to the bank and buy some US dollars, and go up to work and get a few things I forgot on Friday. The good news is, I leave in 10 hours! (The bad news is, I won't arrive for about about 37 hours. That's lots of travel time...but well worth it!)

Anyway, hope to be seeing lots of you soon!

Sunday, August 27, 2006 

Only 2 days to go!

My life has been a bit beyond insane as of late. I'm moving to the new apartment tomorrow. I'm leaving for the States Tuesday. I'm not sure what I've packed to take to the States, and what I've packed to move. I'm confused and overwhelmed.

I'm maybe going out to buy some last-minute souveniers, if it stops raining.

Anyway, just wanted to check in. Be there in a few days!

Friday, August 25, 2006 

Survey, courtesy of Val

Four jobs I wish I had the capabilities of:
1. Nurse - I love to help people but am, unfortunately, far too squeamish to be a nurse (not to mention my serious hospital issues)
2. Professor of Old Testament
3. Veterinarian - I also love helping animals, but am, again, too squeamish
4. Author

Four names I wish I had other than my own:
1. Grace
2. Roxie (which I liked before I saw "Chicago" or knew of the brand name, but now I think it sounds too much like a prostitue or mindless cocktail waitress)
3. Sophie/Sophia
4. And that's all I can think of. I used to hate my name, but found that was because I don't like how it sounds when pronounced with a southern twang. The way that it is pronounced by Koreans is much nicer.

Four of my favorite actresses:
1. The girl that played Elisabeth on the BBC production of "Pride and Prejudice"
2. Meg Ryan (old school, like "You've Got Mail" and the like)
3. Minnie Driver (these are mostly pretty obscure people, are they not? I seem to like actresses who are pale with curly black hair)
4. Miss Piggy :)

Four songs I could listen to over and over again:
1. "Storm" by Lifehouse
2. "You Never Let Go" Matt Redman
3. "Rainbow Connection" Dixie Chicks
4. "You are My Joy" David Crowder Band

Four TV shows I love to watch:
1. Bones
2. CSI
3. Law & Order
4. Cold Case (I'm not even sure if that's the name of it.)

Four places I would like to go on vacation:
1. Pensacola and Orlando, Florida! Only FOUR days! WHOO HOOOOOO!
2. India
3. Afghanistan
4. Russia

Four of my favorite cuisines:
1. Western food - specifically Southern, but including all that does not contain any creatures I would be able to view at a local aquarium
2. Mexican
3. Chinese
4. Middle Eastern food

Four places I wish I was right now:
1. In Florida
2. In bed
3. At the bank buying US dollars (because it would mean I'm that much closer to being home)
4. On my way to the airport (see above)

Four people I tag to take this quiz:
Everyone I know that would do this has already been tagged. Therefore, I'm abstaining from this section.

Saturday, August 19, 2006 

This is why my sisters call me Grumpy

It's windy outside, and for the first time, it isn't wind that feels like it came straight from kind of God-sized hair-dryer. There's some big storm in some big body of water nearby, and I'm extremely thankful for it. It's actually pleasant. I've opened the windows in my apartment and turned off my air conditioner which, much to my chagrin, has actually helped my cough as all the Koreans have been telling me.

In any case, it's another Saturday night around 10 PM-ish with me in the PC room near my apartment. I am, yet again, feeling a bit down.

And because I can (regardless of who I accidentally let into my blog world), I'm going to vent.

I have to move. Of course, I've known about this for awhile. But there were other bigger issues, mostly just the excitement about my trip home and my anxiety about my job screwing up my plane ticket. But now that I have my plane ticket...I don't want to move. I REALLY really really like my new apartment.

And as of Friday it was deemed that I am going to move into the same building as my co-workers. But Adam and Beth are moving out. I'm pretty sure Elisabeth and I are going to share an apartment, which we both agreed (after we volunteered to share one) would probably not be a good idea.

And I don't buy the thing about a new law requiring neighbors to sign off before a tenant with pets can move in. My current apartment is the third place I've lived in Korea, and pets have NEVER been an issue. But the much nicer apartment they had found for me couldn't take pets (supposedly) and so then they could not find ANY apartment for me. The reason they couldn't find ANY apartment for me is because they're only looking in the high-rise type buildings for reasons pertaining to my safety. My first apartment was in a regular four-floor "villa" (as they call them). And this is yet another time that I find that no matter how much I protest and say that I'll be perfectly safe in a villa building, my words, somewhere between my mouth and their brains, poof into oblivion and float away to some happy place where I will console myself with thinking that they matter. Forgive me for sounding cynical and being negative...I'm just overwhelmed and frustrated.

Anyway, and then today I had three prospective tenants come to look at my current apartment. The first one came when I was taking a nap, and rather than ringing the bell like any quasi-civilized person would do, she just stupidly kept on trying to punch in the number code to unlock the door. I had locked the door so that the number code did absolutely nothing, so I was safe and sound inside. But the woman tried to punch in the code at least 6 or 7 times, while (I confess) I stood there glaring at the door while trying to rub the sleep out of my eyes. I picked up the intercom phone thingy and told them I was sick (admittedly a lie) but it did not deter them. So I had to make myself decent, and let them in. Two more people came over the course of the day, and the second also tried to punch in the code before trying to bell. I think that was the most frustrating - HELLO - you know that the apartment is currently occupied, why in the world would you even *attempt* to just barge in?? The last people that came were actually quite pleasant...I'm rooting for them.

So only 10 days until I go home, which is exciting, because I'm only hours away from being in the single digits! Yes! But...on that note as well...

See, there's something you have to understand about me. I'm the child that always cried on Christmas afternoon. All the excitement, the happiness, the decorations, the mood, the atmosphere...it was all over. It wasn't about the presents. It was about the mood and general atmosphere. I am SO excited to go home. But, particularly because of my frustrations with my job, I came just now come to realize how difficult it is going to be to come back to Korea after two weeks at home.

Now...before you well-meaning people chime in to tell me just how awful it is to live in the States (specifically close to my family), it's not about anything other than HOME. Familiarity. Being in the "citizens" line at Immigration. I'm used to being here (in Korea), and it's really only been since I started pondering all I was looking forward to about going home that it hit me just how foreign life is here. I mean, routinely foreign, but foreign nonetheless. I'm used to it being foreign, but that doesn't mean it's home. And on one hand, it is home. But it also isn't. And with things at my job being kind of unpredictable and tense, other than my amazingly wonderful co-workers, friends, and animals, I have little else to look forward to when I come back. Does that make any sense?

The thing is, I'm not just needlessly trying to be unhappy. As far as my job goes, I have some legitimate concerns and frustrations. I just realized today that while my upcoming vacation is well-timed insofar as I think I really need it to make it any longer in this country, it's also poorly timed. And you know what? I'm not even going to try to explain that one.

In other bad-mood inducing news, Daive has another ear infection. We've been at the vet's office three days in a row having her ears cleaned out. It's awful. I have to hold her down while the vet sticks the cotton-covered cleaner-doused hemostats in her ears, while she yelps and SCREAMS as if she is being murdered. The worst part isn't the screaming though, it's when he has to reload the hemostats and she tries to hide in my shirt/armpit, and licks my face and the doctor as if to say, "If I love on you, will you please stop hurting me??" And then today there was blood in her ears. That's heart-breaking.

As a slight disclaimer, let me also say that I'm hormonal. That, with everything else, has made me the utterly irresistable ball of cuteness you have heard from tonight. Night everyone.

Monday, August 14, 2006 

Happy 2 year anniversary to me

So late Saturday night, as I was walking home from the PC room where I posted, I stopped at the 7-11 to get something to drink. I stood there in front of the refrigerated part, looking for something I wanted. And I found...nothing. There was a huge whole section of drinks that are good for you for many different reasons - some are vitamin C drinks, some ginseng, some barley, etc. etc. And as I was standing there in the 7-11, my eyes filled with tears. You know why? Partly, because I knew that if I was in the US, I could have found something I wanted. And partly because in roughly 15 days, I'm going to be in the States, and be absolutely overwhelmed. When I went home, I was just thinking about how strange it's all going to be. And I kid you not, just thinking about how easy and convenient it will be to go to Wal-Mart and shop, and all the things I'll see that I haven't seen and have wanted so badly for such a long time - I started to cry. Lest you think I've lost my mind or have gone absolutely over the top in drama, let me also share with you that today is the 2-year anniversary of my depature from the dear old USA. I've been gone for TWO YEARS. In the big picture, I know that's not long. But in the small picture of wanting to be able to function in my home culture and language, it's a LONG time. So I'm getting more and more excited.

And that's all for now. I tried to eat lunch at my job's cafeteria today, and the food was too hot or too squid. :) So I need to go get a snack. Later, yall!


Stuff On My Cat

Many thanks to Wendy, for getting me hooked on the website Stuff On My Cat. It is because of her that the above pictures were taken. :)

Saturday, August 12, 2006 

Today has been a very weird day for me. I think it was the fruit loops I had for breakfast. I haven't eaten fruit loops in literally years, but got a craving for them when I was shopping for groceries a few days ago. Since I had them this morning (morning being a very loose term to describe when I woke up) nothing has been right.

I still don't have internet in my apartment, and probably won't ever have it, since I'm moving in a matter of weeks. I spent all of the day inside, and just now decided I was feeling a bit pent-up and needed to head out. Well, that and I had a few things worth sharing.

First, I feel oddly shaky and sick (I'm gonna blame it on the fruit loops).

Second, my cat bites his nails (he only has back claws). I've known this for awhile and might have even mentioned it before. I only mention it now because he was doing it tonight in my very quiet apartment and it was making an awful noise.

Third, the backspace key is in a bad place on this keyboard (in a PC room) so I'm having a rather unpleasant time. And knowing that the backspace key is hard to get to is having a psychological effect on me and causing me to make far more mistakes than I normally would.

Fourth, about the ban on liquids in your carry-on. I understand the importance of it, but all I can think is, "How am I supposed to survive a 12-14 hour flight with no lotion???" Of course I can go 12 hours w/o it like when I'm asleep or something, but I certainly won't be asleep for the whole time. And when I'm awake and in a confined space with little to do (like, for example, a plane) I put lotion on much more than normal.

Fifth, I feel even more shaky and sick than I did when I typed "first," and feel far too much like I did when I had food poisioning those few months ago. I won't get sick again, I won't!

Okay, I had a bit of a time-out while I perused some websites, and I'm feeling a lot less sick and shaky now. I'm sure you were all on the edge of your seats. :)

Okay, bored enough now. Can return to my apartment with no (or little, anyway) danger of losing my mind. Night, everyone.

Friday, August 11, 2006 


Yeah. Honestly, I feel like I'm at my breaking point. I don't know if it's just that all the Korea-ness around me has built up and become too much, or if the drama and stress at my job is getting to me. Whatever the case, I really feel like I'm about to explode.

So much is up in the air right now. I'm moving September 6 - I won't even be in the country then, but that is when I have to move according to my job - and I actually don't even have a place to move into. They had found an apartment that was, according to them, absolutely amazing, with a loft sleeping area, very big, new and expensive, etc. But then they found out (after they told my current apt. owner that I'd be leaving by September 6) that I can't live there with animals. There was talk of asking me to get rid of my pets, but that was quickly vetoed.

There's other stuff going on, but I just don't even want to get into it. I'm just really stressed out.

That's enough for now I suppose. I'll update again soon.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006 

My vacation: August 29 - September 11 (I know, REALLY)

In other news, I just found out today that I'll be moving to a new apartment. I don't know when, I don't know exactly where it is, and I don't understand exactly WHY this has to happen. But it obviously has to happen, and so I was quite aware of the choice to either freak out or chill out, and by God's grace, I chose to chill out.

Anyway, I'm at Adam and Beth's house and am going to stop being antisocial. I have lots more to say but no time. I'll blog more soon.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006 

I'm in one of those annoyingly introspective/philosophical moods. The sad part? I *still* have nothing of interest to say. Or maybe I do. I don't know yet. You'll have to read on to find out.

It seems like a lot of the people I spend time with have been talking about their vision for their lives as of late. The plans range from getting married, to leaving the country, to going back to school, to...who knows what. It's just got me thinking a lot about my life.

If all goes well, I've decided to start the virtual MA in Religion program through RTS in October. This is somewhat of a shift in direction for me. Before, I could never justify going back to school (even from a distance) because it seemed to only put off for longer my goal of paying back my student loans. The hope in paying off my loans ASAP is that I can go to the mission field...whatever field that may be. I would like to be a teacher training native missionaries/pastors. But going back to school seemed to, at first, only prolong that happening. Now I'm seeing that it will both help and prolong it. And from a really pragmatic point of view, I'm wasting my money on all sorts of random things - at least if I'm going to school AND paying off my loans I have a better chance of spending money on smarter things (like school, textbooks, etc.).

And then there's the issue of a relationship. Well, the issue of a lack of a relationship...is that a better way to say it? It's a struggle because literally for YEARS now my heart has had this off-and-on struggle. There's an old friend of mine that is just a great guy, but for years now I've gone back and forth between wondering/hoping/wanting there to be something between us and being confused/indifferent. I'm honestly just sick of the up and down. Along the way I've had other interests, small crushes on other guys, of course. But this one keeps on coming back. Does that mean it's supposed to be there? Does it mean I have a deep-seated desire to punish myself by it coming back again and again? Or is it possible that it's just the place my heart goes back to when I'm bored or lonely? I don't know. But I wouldn't mind being shed of it, for good or for bad.

On a different and yet strangely related note, I now have two matching suitcases. I don't currently have the time to explain just what these suitcases mean. I left Peter at my apartment to make a phone call and have been gone about an hour now. But let me assure you, they mean much more than simple luggage. I like them and they're cute - but that's just details. The real issue (guess I'm taking the time to explain it after all) is that they're *mine*. In a completely non-materialistic way, too. They represent my ability to provide for myself - and not just to survive, but to also buy things that will last. I feel like I have spent too much time and money buying the cheap $10 things that break right away. In some way that is almost painfully cheesy, it's like an investment in myself and in my own future. By the way, they're pink. Absolutely delightful suitcases, if I do say so myself.

But now I really must go. If anyone has advice about the boy issue, I welcome it. I may disagree, I may not follow it, but I welcome the insight and the concern.


I still don't have internet in my apartment yet. It's driving me a wee bit bonkers. All in good time though, I suppose. I'm in a PC Room right now. Peter Thompson is beside me. He's stopped by Seoul for a few days on his way back to North America. We're having a delightful time, alternating between having great and deep talks, and then bickering like we're brother and sister.

My boss called me this morning to let me know that the company was having a hard time finding a plane ticket for me. So now my departure date is supposed to be somewhere between August 26 and August 31. That's a bit disappointing, because I was hoping to be able to arrive on a Sunday so I could have more of my family meet me at the airport (and yes, I am aware of just how tiresome that could make my first 30 minutes in the country). Whatever, it'll all work out.

I also thought I'd post my new address for all that care.

Urim Bobo County View 431
Deungchyon-dong 649-14
Kangsuh-gu, Seoul, Korea

There you have it.

I feel all wonky right now. Everything has just been so not-normal or routine for so long. This week I don't have to work because there's another camp I didn't have to go to. Last week was camp. The week before I was moving and running around like the proverbial headless chicken to prepare for camp. Then, the week before THAT, I was sick as a dog with food poisoning. So that makes this the fourth week where things have been decidedly not routine. And while this is the only week I'm especially thankful for, I just can't seem to get my energy back. Last night I slept 13 hours, and that is remarkably unusual for me. I just don't know. It's strange.

I'm finally settled in my apartment. I'll take pictures of it soon and post them as soon as I get internet in my place. I'm getting more and more excited about my upcoming visit home. And besides that, I have absolutely nothing of interest to say.

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