Tuesday, October 31, 2006 

Time for a change...

It's like I get this build-up of...something. I dunno what. Stress, pressure, emotional something-or-other, and I suddenly require some kind of change. If I were in the States, I might go for some kind of tattoo, current tattoo modification, or discreet piercing. Since tattooing is illegal in Korea, and I have no desire to get a piercing right now, I'm going to go get my hair cut. It's due for a trim anyway, but I don't know that I'm going to get it cut in the same style as before. The thing is, when hair is as short as mine is, the options for changing the style are limited, but what options there are, seem to be kind of dramatic options, if that makes any sense.

Lis is going with me, which I think is a very good thing. I'm toying with the idea of changing the color or getting some kind of highlights, and her being there will hopefully keep me in the "Hello I do have a real life and a real job where it would be a good thing if I looked like an adult and not some angst-ridden teenager" state of mind.

Anyway, I'll let you know how it goes. I would promise a picture, but I only use lithium batteries and I have not been able to find them. Scratch that. I have found TWO, but my camera requires FOUR. There was a small convenient store near my old apartment that used to sell them, but now, here on this side of town, I can't find them anywhere. So I'm camera-less for awhile, until I can find two more.

Monday, October 30, 2006 

Stop the world.

Harry Connick, Jr. has a new Christmas CD out. For those of you who don't know, my memories of Christmas for the past 13 years are totally dominated by this CD. And even some good summer memories, too. But that's a whole different story. Anyway, I haven't bought it yet. Soon, but not yet.

And as if that weren't enough reason to be exceptionally thrilled, the Muppets released a new Christmas CD this year as well. Holy cow. This is necessarily going to be a good Christmas.

That is all. You may return to your lives now.

Friday, October 27, 2006 

All I know is that if that was the heater that just kicked on, I'm walking out of this job.

What in the world could inspire Korean people to think that hot equals healthy????

Beth had her baby this morning around 4 AM. I went up to the hospital and spent about two hours there, just chatting with her and holding the baby. I'm not sure how this worked out, but Addison (and I love the name, by the way) is the first newborn baby I've ever held. He's precious, adorable, and perfect.

MyungHo (the guy I'm seeing) and I are having some communication problems. This isn't really a new thing. It it weren't for his electronic dictionary, we would have few conversations. But the communication issue is actually a bit of a problem now. So I went to bed feeling a little frustrated last night. And right away, I dreamt that I was dating a gorilla. (And for the record, I'm SO not making this up. This is too ridiculous to even consider making up.) The gorilla kept on calling me on my cell phone. I remember clearly that the little phone book icon for the gorilla was a...well, a gorilla. And so, in my dream, I would look at my cell phone, and see this number and a little gorilla face. I'd sigh, and answer the phone. Then I'd hear lots of semi-furious primate-type hooting and grunting. I never really knew what was going on, but I knew something wasn't right. The gorilla was definitely not happy. When I woke up as Lis was going to Adam and Beth's to watch the kids while they went to the hospital, I thought about the dream and chuckled to myself. But now as I think about it, I actually think out of the two of us, I'm the one doing the hooting and grunting, managing to show my displeasure but not actually communicate anything.


I think the next month could hold some major changes for me. Here's hoping.

Sunday, October 22, 2006 

A Perfect Sunday

Close enough, anyway. I have been on again/off again sick for the past week or so. Luckily it seems to confine itself to the weekend, which is both good and bad, I guess. Anyway, I coughed and coughed all night last night. I didn't sleep very well, and woke up this morning feeling as if I had been run over by a very large and unkind piece of machinery. I dragged myself out to the living room and watched part of a movie. Then at some point I got comfy down on these huge cushions we have on our living room floor. Apparently too comfy, because I fell asleep. It was amazing. I had the window open in our living room, and it was raining outside. So, there I was, laying on very soft, fluffy, and fuzzy cushions on the floor, listening to the rain, enjoying the cool breeze, and falling asleep. And there I stayed, for around 4 hours. I felt sheepish for sleeping so long in the middle of the day, but Lis pointed out that good rest was probably just what my body needed to kick this cold thing. Then this evening Lis went and picked up the movie One Fine Day for us to watch, because it is THE perfect rainy day movie. YoonHo came over and we watched it together. It was wonderful.

The only bad thing is that it is now 10:00 PM and I should be much more ready for sleeping than I am, due to my nap this afternoon. I'm going to wait about an hour and then take some Nyquil. Anyway, it's been a most delightful Sunday. Just thought I'd share.

Saturday, October 21, 2006 

I was supposed to meet my counselor at Starbuck's today at 4:00 PM. I got there around 3:15 so I could have some time to relax and read before she came. I ordered my drink and was waiting for it when someone walked in. I glanced up, then back down at the thing I was halfway-reading. Then my brain registered something and I looked up again. It was my friend YoonHo! I cannot even tell you how rare it is for that kind of thing to happen here. Anyway, he didn't notice me. Rather than just saying hi, I decided to do something I knew would freak him out. So I went towards him and then just ran right into him. He stepped away rather quickly, then looked at me, and then it registered who I was. It was sadly funny (I think I might need a hobby). Anyway, we sat and talked for awhile before my counselor got there. He's coming over tonight for dinner, which is exciting as well. I'm gonna go rent some movies now, cause if I sit still for any length of time I know I'm going to fall asleep. That's all for now.

Thursday, October 19, 2006 

flowers of death, frogs, and other misc. thoughts from my head

Remember the guy I mentioned about a week ago? Said we had broken up? Well, we're not broken up anymore. And to be perfectly honest, I don't really want to talk about it. I don't entirely understand what's going on, but I know that (contrary to most reason) God is using this. I also know that I'm enjoying myself in many sin-free ways.

I only told you that to tell you this. There's a flower store right across the street from the kindergarten building. Last week, on a whim, I went in there and bought some flowers for my guy. It was an impulse buy, and so it was just kind of, "Umm....those. I think they're pretty." (Not really..it was a bit of Korean, but I'm just trying to convey the idea. You understand.) The point is that I didn't put an excessive amount of thought into the flowers. I just picked the ones I thought looked the happiest. Those happened to be white daisies (white also being an innocent color States-side), with green centers. Some of the daisies had a green tint. They were cheery. Anyway, I gave the flowers to him....only for him to actually break down and tell me the next day that white flowers are only given in Korea when someone has died or at a funeral. He was unhappy to tell me, but wisely thought it was something I would be better off knowing than not knowing. I felt sheepish (I think dumb and/or stupid is probably a better word, but I'm trying to be kind to myself). Now I already think it's kinda funny though.

There's always those things that just come out of nowhere, even after being here the better part of a year and 10 months. Then there's things that you think are familiar but aren't. Like just now, it occured to me that it was strange for my Korean neighbors to be blasting bluegrass music this late at night. Do note it was the lateness of the hour and the presence of any music that struck me as odd, not the bluegrass music. I listened for a little bit, then finally got up and put my wall to the ear before I realized it was actually some weird sound trick/echo coming from the fan that's on in my room. (And for the three of you that know who my Korean neighbors are here, I expect you'll probably find it nearly as funny as I did to think of them listening to bluegrass music.)

I'm kinda tired and loopy right now. Lis and I had a talk tonight about who would watch Beth and Adam's kids when Beth goes into labor. We know we're both on call, but thought it would be good to have some kind of plan for who goes so there's not any last-minute time-wasting going on when the baby's ready to come out (and it should be any day now...Lord knows Beth is hoping for sooner days than later days). I said we should do odd/even days, and then I took the odd days, because I'm odd. And while I'm on that note, tonight at dinner Lis said, "I forgot about this creepy dream I had," but I would have sworn on a few items of interest that she said, "I forgot about this creature on my hand." I was about ready to jump up and start running away from the table...which is stupid for too many reasons to even consider. Why would she have a creature on her hand? How could she have forgotten about it? And it's doubtful that any creature that's innocent enough to be forgettable would really pose enough of a threat that I'd need to run from it. Unless it was a frog. I hate frogs...due mostly to my sister Valerie. She ruined me one summer night by catching a tree frog and tossing it in my direction (near the pool at Blanding Place apartments...I remember every sordid detail, so you can't get out of this one, Miss *$!%*#-on-the-coat). Of course she couldn't foresee that the evil little suction-toed thing would attach itself to my forehead (which by then was already the bane of my existence, earning me the nickname of "Klingon," a word I had to Google to make sure I spelled it correctly). I've gotten far from the point. Anyway, the frog stayed stuck to my FACE (in the forehead region) for long enough to traumatize me severely. I hate frogs.

That really is all. Sorry for how random this is.


Fall Into...

I've noticed this week two Western restaurants with the same bad English. It's a Korean thing, I know. But seriously...seems like someone in the ranks of these restaurants would have at least some kind of English ability to understand that these don't work.

At Bennigan's, where I went with a Korean co-worker on Tuesday, I read, "Fall in Love, Fall in Beer." Then, on the Sizzler I pass on my way to work, there was a banner that said, "Fall in Sizzler." Now...it is possible to fall in love, fall in beer, and fall in Sizzler. The first is pleasant, the second would be stinky, and the last embarrassing. While walking to work this morning I started thinking about this, and contemplating which would make the others easier. Theoretically one could do all three at the same time, if one happened to be at Sizzler, eyeing an attractive member of the opposite sex, and stepping/slipping in a puddle of beer.

And that's pretty much all I've got for tonight. Night.

Monday, October 16, 2006 

I love Zydeco

I have had this headache since Saturday morning. Today is the strongest it has been, and I've taken Advil a few times, but it just won't go away. It lessened up a bit after I ate dinner. But it is still disturbingly strong and painful.

I know that the following will be considered too much information to some of you out there, and to those I apologize, and suggest you skip down to the next paragraph. Seriously, I have the worst PMS right now. Between the semi-cold and the PMS the weekend was not entirely pleasant. I don't get PMS like this but once or twice a year. I'm sore in far too many places, and Saturday I randomly cried twice for reasons I didn't understand then and still don't. And today was Monday. It wasn't a bad Monday...just draining and a bit mind-numbing. I spent almost 90 minutes tracing frog faces onto cardstock so I'll have a craft to make with my kindergarten classes tomorrow.

Anyway, so I downloaded a Zydeco CD from iTunes today, and then burned it onto a CD. I have spent most of the evening listening to that, and I ordered pizza tonight too. It has been a good night. Now, if only my head would stop throbbing. I'm going to go spend way too much time in the shower under the hot water and see if I can't steam the headache out.


Just a tiny peek in the direction my thoughts are going...

I went to dictionary.com and looked up inane in the thesaurus. These are the results I got:

Mickey Mouse, absurd, asinine, birdbrained, daft, ditzy, driveling, empty, fatuous, flat, foolish, frivolous, futile, harebrained, idiotic, illogical, imbecilic, innocuous, insipid, jejune, jerky, lamebrained, laughable, meaningless, mindless, nerdy, pointless, puerile, ridiculous, sappy, senseless, silly, trifling, unintelligent, vacant, vacuous, vain, vapid, weak, wishy-washy, worthless

These are great words. There's one or two I hadn't heard before. Good to know.

Sunday, October 15, 2006 

Trash Day

In Korea, trash is...complicated. It's not like in the States (or at least in my part of the States) where you have the HUGE green county-issued trash can, and you fill it up and haul it to the curb once or twice a week. There's no general garbage tax here, so you make up for that by buying the garbage bags. You can only use these specific government-made (or sanitation dept. made, you get the idea) garbage bags. They come in a variety of sizes...from 10 liters, up to near about 100. I buy the 20 liter bags usually. Anyway, you can't (or at least aren't supposed to) put any food waste in the garbage bags. Or anything that can be recycled. So really only small odds and ends, and (for me) lots of paper goes in the garbage bags. So then there's food waste, bins on the streets that are especially stinky in the summer, where all the food trash goes. (Or again, if you're me, you put manageable doses into the toilet and flush it.) Then there's recycling. Well, Lis and I live on the second floor, but it's really just like half a floor up, because it's kind of on a hill, and the parking area on the first floor goes down a small hill...just trust me, it's not so high up. So I think last week I suggested that I go downstairs, and she toss the stuff to me from the porch. We had been to Costco earlier in the week and had lots of boxes and such, and I knew that catching it would be a lot safer for my clumsy self than trying to carry it down the stairs would be. Well, we stumbled upon a gem of efficiency - not to mention an easy way to astonish, stun, and inspire laughter in those Koreans that happen to be walking by when we are taking out (throwing down?) our garbage. This week she went downstairs and I was the tosser. And I learned that it's a less humiliating ordeal if you're the one throwing rather than the one catching. Last week she was gracious enough to wait until no one was around before she threw things to me. I wasn't as thoughtful (or aware) tonight. Regardless, I think it saves a lot of time...and it makes both of us laugh (more at the responses of the Koreans passing by) than the actual activity itself. This is yet another reason that I enjoy living with Lis.


My Roommate Rocks

Lis is my roommate. She and I are remarkably different, and so we were both kind of at least potentially nervous about both working and living together. But it has been awesome. We get along quite well, and have a really great time together. Of course she's always great, but today was one of those "wow" great moments that required a blog.

First, a few days ago she gave me five or six (or more, I can't remember) of these *amazing* gel glitter pens. I totally have a pen thing (inherited/learned from my mother) and I fell in love with these pens of hers. I actually ordered some on the internet, but then she gave me the ones that she had because I enjoy them so very much, and because mine won't be here for a few more weeks.

So this weekend, I'm feeling sick. It's just been an icky-feeling weekend. So today, since I'm feeling sick, she went out and got me some diet coke and rented a DVD for me, and then made me some homemade mashed potatoes. She's awesome.

Saturday, October 14, 2006 


Thursday afternoon we had a sofa...

Wait, wait. Sorry for the interruption. A car outside my apartment just started honking his horn. And by "honking," I mean, "possibly fell asleep while laying directly on top of it." It was long enough that, as I was typing the above sentence, I stopped to count (the old 1-Mississippi, 2-Mississippi way). Now remember, I already started mid-blare, and I made it to 12-Mississippi! There was easily six or seven Mississippis before I started counting. I understand that the point of a horn is to generally make your presence known and to express displeasure and/or anger and/or rage (though that last one seems quite rare here in Korea). But laying on the horn for 20 seconds straight??? That's just obnoxious. Anyway, as I was saying...

delivered. Not just a sofa though...also a closet (clothes hung up?! What a concept!) and a bookcase. So now our apartment actually feels like a home. I think up to this point it's been kind of like a guesthouse that we were temporarily living in (wait...but that's kinda what it is anyway). But now it feels like *our* home. And that's nice. Doubly nice is that I unpacked all my winter clothes. It's not winter here yet, but I can wear long sleeved shirts with push up-able sleeves during the day...and actually use the sleeves down in the mornings and evenings. Such a far cry from Florida, where I'm quite certain when I left in 2004, my warmest piece of clothing was my FBTC sweatshirt. It's quite nice and homey here now...if you're ever in the neighborhood, you should stop by. :)


Common Sense for Dummies???

Imagine the scene...sitting around the office. Lis and I are casually discussing something, and one of us mentions somethinig about common sense. Upon hearing this, a Korean worker whose lack of common sense has caused (and continues to cause in a most regular and ongoing way) quite a bit of vexation, frustration, and is a daily reminder that a day without sin (referring to my sin in response to her well-meaning lack of common sense) does not happen on this side of heaven, pipes up and says, "How do you learn about common sense?" The question alone wasn't funny, but that it was coming from this particular person made me a little giggly on the inside. I don't even remember how Lis and I responded, but this person went on to ask, "Is there a book?" Or maybe it was said like this, "In Korea, we have a book." At this point, almost everything inside of me is suffering from massive twitching because...really...SUCH an easy target! So many things to say! And even if I weren't a sarcastic and rude person...it was still just funny. The conversation actually continued, though I couldn't actually look at Lis throughout the entire thing, because I knew eye contact with her would have crumbled the last feeble defenses I had, and I would have started howling with uncontrollable and hysterical laughter.

And you know, even as I type this, I am realizing a few things:
1) It doesn't sound funny.
2) I sound really mean.

And my response? 1) Yeah, so maybe you had to be there...too bad you weren't there actually, cause it was quite hilarious. And it's brightened my day by simply typing it out here. As for 2, I don't think I'm mean. I'm sarcastic, to be sure...but it is the history I have with this person that brings out the more caustic side of it.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006 

I am Southern, but not Southern, you know? I don't have a glaring accent, except when I say words such as "rural," "yall," or (the worst) "boiled peanuts." But then sometimes, things just pop out. Like tonight, when my roommate commented about how she can't taste the taste of spicy food through the spiciness. To which I replied, "I don't think I..." and then I just kinda fell silent, because I was actually, in a real live conversation, going to use the expression "ustacould." How does something like that happen? And in looking up the correct (or at least most widely accepted) spelling for "ustacould," I found a website promoting the awareness of "yallbonics" - the phrase made me crack up laughing.

But seriously...ustacould?

Sunday, October 08, 2006 

Korean mosquitoes have to be some of the least considerate to be found EVER. At this moment, I have two mosquito bites on my left thumb, and one on my right index finger. I can't imagine that biting there really gives them much blood to suck anyway, so it's a bad idea for both of us.

The rooster is gone.

I've gone on a bit of a book-buying spree as of late. There's an English bookstore here in Seoul with an online site where you can order books from the States. It's like Amazon, but different. I find it to be less of a headache. They have suppliers in the States that ship them here, so the cost for the books is a tad higher than it would be States-side, but there's no worries about paying customs if you order over a certain amount of books, etc. Then they ship them to you in Seoul for free. Anyway, here are the books I've ordered:

1) The Unity of the Bible, by Daniel Fuller (I'm pretty sure Piper has mentioned it in one of his books or something...I've heard it spoken highly of by someone I respect)
2) Suffering and the Sovereignty of God (edited by John Piper and Justin Taylor)
3) Flashbang: How I Got Over Myself, by Mark Steele (recommended by a friend of mine)
4) The Barbarian Way: Unleash the Untamed Faith Within, by Erwin McManus
5) Velvet Elvis: Repainting the Christian Faith, by Rob Bell (also recommended by a friend)
6) Becoming Conversant with the Emerging Church: Understanding a Movement and Its Implications, by D. A. Carson (Adam and I were talking about the whole Emergent movement the other day, and I decided I wanted to learn more)
7) Above All EarthlyPow'rs: Christ in a Postmodern World, by David F. Wells (from reading Piper's website and the introduction to the recent DG conference)

Then today I stopped by a Christian bookstore (in my defense, the above books won't arrive for another two weeks or so) and picked up "A Generous Orthodoxy" by Brian McLaren and "Sex and the Supremacy of Christ" also edited by John Piper and Justin Taylor. I got the first book so I could hear from the movement itself before reading a critique of it, and the second because I'm pretty sure I have a warped view of sex. Growing up with a mentally ill mother who had been sexually abused, and who told my sisters and I graphic stories of things her abuser did to her was not exactly a positive or healthy thing for my views and attitudes toward sex. I'm about 35 pages into the book, and it's excellent. I'm about 90 pages into the McLaren book, and I'm not sure what I think - though I get the impression that's kind of what he's trying to accomplish. His writing style is both engaging and slightly infuriating. It definitely keeps the reader both interested and guessing. We'll see how it goes.

I really enjoy the sound that shoes make on a basketball court....on an outside basketball court, that is. Inside a closed-in gym it's kind of overwhelming. There's a basketball court just basically across the street from my apartment (in the schoolyard belonging to the school across from my apartment), and it's a nice comforting kind of sound. Somewhere between a squeak and a screech...a sqreek, perhaps?

And just as a freebie here, if I'm watching a scary/suspenseful/dramatic DVD, I will put on the subtitles (well, I always have on subtitles unless I'm with someone who doesn't like them) and then fast forward 1x. At that speed, the subtitles still show up, so I know what's going on, but am not confined to the generally agonizingly slow speed of the movie. I know some people who would see that as my inability to delay gratification or be patient, but really, you can't do it in real life...why not enjoy being able to fast forward at your leisure in a movie? And besides, isn't that part of the point of movies? To serve as an escape from reality?

I'm a bit scatter-brained (duh, as if you couldn't tell that from this post) and a bit depressed that life goes back to normal again starting tomorrow. What to look forward to now, you know? (I mean that in a landmark, upcoming event sort of way, not in a hopeless-about-life sort of way.)

Friday, October 06, 2006 

Roosters and Shopping Bags

There's a rooster somewhere outside near my apartment. That is really exceptionally strange.

And then I thought I'd share with you the random nonsensical English on a shopping bag I got yesterday:

Lon quitly Cames long in time
of ter splitary Summers
and false bloors blighted
Lave slowly comes
Snow inguiring through
frozen water through night
like stars each flke
steady readving tgrough

I have no idea what that means. And I totally copied it exactly as it was on the bag, even the same bizarre capitalization. And if that weren't weird enough...the other side says:

ellpaso like you falling in love
you ellpaso so sexy gril
I wating so
need skinex
And pretty he
Oh me now
you skinex to gril
tell bee
Bizarre!!!!! I've been here for awhile, and I find this to be REALLY bizarre. I might even take a picture to post later on (I left my camera cord at work, and this week is Korean Thanksgiving, so I won't be at work again until Monday).

Wednesday, October 04, 2006 

Prowling cats, nyquil, and diet coke

I got up to get some diet coke to wash down a dose of nyquil. When I poured a suitable amount into a glass, I realized if I only drank the necessary amount needed to serve as a chaser for the nyquil, I would leave about three swallows worth for my wake-up diet coke. And that just won't do. And since there's not room in our fridge to put another bottle of diet coke, I emptied the bottle into my glass and stuck a new bottle in the fridge. If we had room in our freezer for any substantial amount of ice, this wouldn't be such an issue. But we don't. And I feel bad always taking the ice, even though Lis says she doesn't use ice. Anyway, now I have to drink a bit of diet coke before I'm really ready to take the Nyquil.

Besides that, my cat can open doors. That's annoying, let me tell you. In my new apartment, our doors don't have knobs, they're the horizontal handle thingys. It's not really a problem, except for the front door. It's got one of those number pads, where you punch in the code, and it unlocks the door. But it's a bit wonky. You have to hold the door closed just right, with this exact amount of pressure (with your right eye closed and your left foot exactly 4.5 inches off the ground) for it to lock correctly. If it locks, it says something in Korean. If it doesn't lock, it beeps. Now...with that being said, every other number automatic door-locking thing I've ever met in Korea beeps when it IS locked. So for the first I-dunno-how-long that I lived here, I waited for the beeps, never realizing that the door wasn't actually locked. It was closed, and the bolt was sticking out its little hole, but it was not, in fact, locked. This wasn't a problem until one night, when my cat decided he needed to pop down to the convenience store, for what I'm assuming was either a vitamin drink or a good strong beer (he seems the type for either or both, possibly) and just used his cat smarts to open the door. Lis woke up first and found an open door, and a conspicuously cat-free apartment. I had blogged about it here, and as you can read, what I thought was the "door is locked and all is well" sound was actually the "hey stupid, close the door correctly so I can lock it" sound. Anyway, I've been in the vicinity since then twice when the cat has managed to get the front door open, and meander out onto the landing before I get there, and he runs back into the apartment, slightly terrified. I really do wonder...what does he think he wants out there?

Anyway, I've now consumed (the whole drink/drank/drunk thing still confounds me) enough diet coke that I can take Nyquil now. Night all.


I haven't exactly been myself lately...

I've been feeling conflicted, to say the least. See, I've been dating this Korean guy for a little over a month, and it was one of those "I know I shouldn't be doing this...but I'm going to do it anyway" sort of things. He was one of the greatest guys I've known. I've never had any guy treat me like he did. Having said that though, I broke up with him today. It's one of those "I know I am doing the right thing, and I know it hurts this much because I've waited so long so it's my own dumb fault, but those two facts don't make it hurt any less." I've spent a great portion of the day crying or moping. I know I'll be fine, I know it'll get better, etc. etc. but right now, I'm quite sad.

I have more to say about this, but am not in the mood to say any of it right now. Just wanted to let you all know.

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