Thursday, March 30, 2006

Yay, Knowledge!

I love the internet. I do. I love how it is a veritable wealth of information. I think I could spend the rest of my days sitting in front of the computer and never get bored.

At one point in my youth I was very against anything that was new and cool, and I was also a little afraid of change, so I vowed that I would never be a computer geek and I would never be interested in having a computer in my house.

Actually, I was pissed off that our parents had given my twin brother and I a "combined" birthday present in the form of a computer. My brother was instantly enthralled, and I was just annoyed that all I could manage to do was program the thing to leave messages that scrolled around the screen (messages like "you suck and so does this computer, fart-head," which my brother would discover the next time he sat down in front of the machine.) Do note, however, that this was before the invention of the world wide web. Had I known how cool THAT was going to be, I wouldn't have been so quick to "p-shhhhaw" computers.

During this time in my life I also dismissed the Beatles, saying they were over-hyped. What a pretentious shit I was!

One thing that hasn't changed since then, however, is how much I love learning. I imagined, both then and now, that my brain was filled up with dark spaces of nothingness, and I pictured new information seeping in through my eyes and ears and filling those voids with little bits of light. I spent a lot of time at the library or reading books or watching TV. And now I spend a lot of time in front of the computer.

I think it's fantastic that any single thought can enter my mind, and I think "Hey, I don't know very much about that subject," and I can just look it up and increase the brightness in my brain. In the last few days, for example, I've looked up eclipses, (go figure) the sun, cacti, Korean recipes, burns, hydrocolloid plasters, ocean sunfish, Goa, and supernovas. Without the computer, I would have been screwed for learning new stuff here. (Ha! Then I suppose I would just learn Korean!)

Anyways, three cheers for the internet!

Today, my co-worker asked me if I knew the poem by Byron about "April is cruel." I thought a moment, and said no. She was overly surprised (Honestly, these women I work with LOVE the idea of showing me up.)
"Oh!! It is so famous poe-ehm in Korea!"

I majored in English in Uni, and took my share of poetry classes. Actually, I quite enjoy a good poe-ehm. Tastes like berries. So I googled it. It totally sounded familiar, but I couldn't recall anything like that by Byron. Ahhhh. Of Course! (One of the lights in my brain, dimmed by time and lack of attention glowed bright enough to catch my attention.) She means T S Elliot:
APRIL is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.

~ The Waste Land, 1922.

I was pleased to have figured out what she was talking about, and told her I liked T S Elliot, and had to write an essay or two on him at school. I told her I have measured out my life with coffee spoons, and she said, "What?"

She told me she missed her school days, and I suggested she should take some courses. She could sign up for something interesting just for pleasure. Learnin's fun, don't'cha know?
She thought a moment and said "I am very reality. I don't want do anything that doesn't make money for me."
"But," I protested, "Knowledge is food for the brain. It's good for your soul!"
She furrowed her brow and said, "I don't like knowledge. Knowledge is NOTHING."

I raised my eyebrows and just smiled at her, but in my head I was thinking, "Christ, woman, you're a teacher! If anyone should be on the "YAY KNOWLEDGE!" Pep Squad it should be US!" But, whatever. Go tell your students "Knowledge is nothing," and while you're at it, share with them the other gem you told me a couple days ago, "Money is like blood." That'll get them hyped up to study!



Last week I visited a photo store in my neighbourhood. I wanted to have some pictures scanned, and I think I ended up getting totally scammed. At first, the guy was going to charge me W1,000 for each picture. I complained that seemed a bit pricey, but he countered that it would get me 2 copies of each photo, blah blah blah. I told him I didn't need copies, I just wanted them e-mailed to me, so he dropped the price to W800 per. Still seems rippy-offy to me, but whatever.

While he fiddled around with the pictures, I looked around the shop. Spooky place.
This scary grandpa-baby stood near the door and did a little swishy dance while it played "Hound Dog."
Image hosting by Photobucket
It creeped me out, but made me laugh - so I kept agitating it so it would sing and dance. I think I made it go about 25 times.

Even more creepy was this very large portrait which hung on one of the walls.
Image hosting by Photobucket
This should be considered child abuse, I'm thinking.
Poor kid has had his foot amputated and replaced with a bunch of grapes, and then is made to stand naked with his brother with a faux beach scene backdrop. It's bad enough to think that the parents probably proudly display this eerie picture in their own living room, but now it's hanging in some little scary photo-shop-of-horrors for anyone to see! And take pictures of. And post on their blog.

Little Grape-Foot and his brother also have that "Grandpa-Baby" thing happening. What's up with the widow's peaks?

When I was uploading this picture, my co-worker was standing over my shoulder and I said, "Hey, look at this."
"Awwwww, cute!"
"Really? I think it's scary!"
"Why? In Korea, it's normal!"

When I was a teenager I used to babysit for a family with four boys. They were a wild bunch, and once one of them even hang dropped off the second floor balcony and ran away one Saturday evening. I sent my brother out to retrieve him. The older boys were ten year old twins, and the other two were four and five. On their living room wall was four poster sized portraits of each of them standing naked in the bathtub. (All of the pictures were taken when each of the kids were about the same age, I'd say, maybe two years old.)

When the older brothers (who had by then developed some level of body self-consciousness) would misbehave I'd point to their respective portrait on the wall and then nod knowingly while pointing at their pants. I guess it's never too early to impart some anxiety disorder regarding penis size, because the kid I was making fun of would try not to cry while attempting to punch me in the face.

Oh, by the way, this family was Greek and had only recently immigrated to Canada. The father, a very handsome fish monger, could barely speak English. Perhaps in Greece these kind of nekkid child pics are normal too!


I like this picture because you can clearly see the Hand of God is touching my head.
Image hosting by Photobucket

On the other hand. (Nyuk, Nyuk!) Check out my gross burned finger.
Image hosting by Photobucket

I think it's infected, and maybe I should just lop it off with a pair of scissors!

Sunday, March 26, 2006


At various times in my life I have felt pretty lonesome. Then I send a shout out to the universe, wishing I could meet someone to keep me company. I've learned that I should stifle these wishes, because the universe inevitably sends me cats!

Standing in my mother's backyard during a blizzard a few years ago, I heard this pitiful mewing sound. Suddenly a little ball of black fur, caked in snow, appeared and dug her claws into my shin, wanting "up."

And so I took her in and she became my Mattie-cat. Since I left Canada, though, she is definitely my mother's Mattie-cat now. My mother was the one who actually named her, saying it was a suitable name because she likes to lie on all the mats and her puffy fur gets matted if she's not brushed all the time.

Here she is, hogging all the T.P.
Image hosting by Photobucket
It'll be interesting to see how she gets along with Kamikaze when they meet this summer. I wonder if she'll share her roll!

For more pretty kitties visit Eat Stuff!


I seem to have a theme going on here: Steam, Blister, Fire!

Tonight I had just finished off a conversation with me friend in Japan, and a smell filled my apartment. It was foul. I looked over the edge of my balcony, and there was smoke seeping out of an apartment two floors below.

I called my boss, who didn't have the building management's number, but said she would try to find it. In the meantime, I ran downstairs to the office and found it locked, even though the lights were on. Back upstairs, I called my boss again and told her I would knock on the door with the smoke pouring out. I did. No answer.

Back up to my apartment and looking off my balcony, there was even more smoke coming out of the apartment. I called my boss back and she called 1-1-9 (the Korean equivalent of 9-1-1.)

Two ladder trucks, a supervisor's truck, an ambulance and a police car later, everything seems ok. A fireman ended up repelling from the 3rd floor balcony into the smokey 2nd floor apartment. Something was smoldering, and I gather it was easy to extinguish. Better safe than sorry, once again.

I love it when all turns out well, but I wonder why I'm in the middle of these dramas. I'd rather my nail broke is the drama of the week rather than anything else. Maybe tomorrow or Monday I'll tell you about the stupidest drama I was ever in! Stay tuned!

**UPDATE: Or maybe I won't! I will someday, when the mood strikes me, or when 10 people beg me to.

Friday, March 24, 2006


Last night, while cooking dinner, some oil splattered up out of the pan and on to my ring finger with a big splat. I quickly stuck it under the tap, but it really hurt!

This morning, I woke up with a HUGE blister. Actually TWO.
I Got 2 Blisters.
The smaller one is from nail to the 1st knuckle in, and the second covers my whole finger from 1st to 2nd knuckle. Gross.

The Korean word for blister is lovely. "Mool-jip," means "water house," I've been told. Isn't that precious and accurate?

Anyhow, things got seriously more disgusting this morning when I was preparing my breakfast. I was cooking up some delicious soon doobu jjighae - seafood and soft tofu soup - and I was nearing the final stage when I crack an egg into a shallow dish and gently lower it into the simmering soup so it can poach. Just as the egg left the dish I felt my hand get seriously wet.

My blister had broken and gushed into the soup.

Would you judge me if I told you it was delicious anyways?

All day, the big blister has leaked and sealed and leaked and sealed again. It doesn't actually hurt very much at all. When one kid pressed on it in my 4th class it actually opened up and squirted a student sitting a couple feet away from me.

The poor kid looked like she was going to cry after that.
Can't say that I blame her!

Thursday, March 23, 2006


As I mentioned, yesterday was a day off at my school. It wasn't a "holiday" but there was some big meeting of all the directors of all the private schools in my city. It happens once a year. (As it is, I learned today that my boss didn't even attend the meeting, so I'm not sure why our school was closed for the day - but I'm not complaining.)

On Tuesday, my boss told me that she would like to switch Wednesday's schedule with Thursdays, to which I agreed. We've done this before if a holiday lands on a Wednesday, reason being that we have a 3-day revolving schedule. On any given Wednesday, for the classes that I visit that day, it will be the only time during the week that they see me. So some of the students complain about having their Korean teacher all week. I don't blame them, I am a barrel of monkeys.

Anyhow, Thursday also happens to be the one day of the week where I finish an hour early. There are only 2 classes slotted in the last period and I take class "A" Monday and Wednesday, and class "B" on Tuesday and Friday. It's not like I get a real "break" per se, as I still have phone teaching to do. (I have to make about 40 5-minute calls every month.)

I was surprised today, when just before my 2nd last class I learned I was expected to teach the last class as well. "What?!" I said. "We don't switch the last class!"
"Yes," argued my boss, "I told you we were changing Wednesday's and Thursday's schedules."
"I know." I said. "And we did, but we never switch the last classes."
And we never have. Other than covering for one of the teachers if they're absent, I've never taught a Thursday last period class.

We had a bit of back and forth, but in the end I won out and the Korean teacher took the class, but not without throwing me a whole bunch of non-verbal attitude in the staffroom during the few minutes before the bell rang. I felt a bit guilty, because the boss had promised the K-teacher the period off, and had to rescind it, but sheesh. I don't want this to become a habit, where I lose the only hour of "school hours" I'm allowed to complete these frigging phone calls.

We sometimes have events on Fridays where we have no classes (next week, for example, will be Market Day - and the following week will be Speech Contest,) and thus far I've never been expected to switch the last class on those days. If Tuesday happens to be a holiday, I don't have to teach the last class on Thursday. I mean, in general - with holidays, there's a very "tough luck" mentality here, as anyone in Korea can attest to. Out of a possible 8 holidays through Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year, and the Lunar New Year, we ended up with 2 days off on between September and January because the rest of the holidays fell on Saturdays or Sundays. Too bad, so sad.

As it is, I end up having to make the majority of phone calls on the weekend because all of my middle class students are in other cram schools after ours, and don't get home until after 10. Today I got home, called all the students on the list, didn't even get ahold of half of them, and it took over an hour.

Perhaps I should have just shut up and taught the class. Don't make waves. Keep my head down, but I didn't. It was a combination of being surprised and a quick reaction to the seeming unfairness of the situation. Also, mumble mumble something about giving an inch and taking a mile.

I know this was boring to read if you managed to get through it. Thanks for witnessing a vent.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006


Normally right now I'd be teaching two little kids some phonics. One of them would be the stellar little genius she is, and the other would be colouring all the pictures in his book red with flames spurting everywhere.

As it is, I have the day off. Yah, baby!

Last night was fun. We went to a restaurant that had a floor comprised of rocks and you sit on plastic stools at a table that looks like a steel drum. The waitress takes your order and then comes back with heavy tongs holding a container that houses red hot coals. She inserts it into the middle of the table and places a grill on top and you cook your meat yourself. When it's all ready, you place it atop a lettuce or sesame leaf, then add some onions soaked in vinegar and wasabi, a slice of raw garlic, some red pepper paste, roll it up, and pop it in your mouth. Deeeeelicious. I'll upload a photo tomorrow when I'm back at work.

I should have taken a photo of the traditional squatty toilets out back. After you've finished your business, you exit the washroom and go outside to a huge blue vat filled with water, grab a bucketfull and throw it down the toilet. There's no flushy handle!

At a table nearby, there were four men getting sloshed on soju. I wasn't at all surprised by the shock registered on their face to be dining with a foreigner in their presence. I'm used to that by now. But one of them kept craning his head around and when he'd catch my eye he'd give me an aggressive jerk of his head - like "what?" Finally I said, "Now you're just being fuckin' RUDE!" The kind restaurant man hurried over to the dude and swivelled him around in his chair and admonished him, while my date shifted his stool so the guy was blocked from my line of vision.

My man's a gentleman, and I dig it.

The restaurant man came over to apologize, and I smiled and said everything was fine, and the food was delicious. He said he'd seen me around before. I know he has, as I sometimes visit the Family Mart right next door and the smell from his BBQ restaurant permeates the convenience store. I wonder how the workers can stand it, it smells so good!

Smoky deliciousness!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

I Got Butterflies

Saturday was the first official date, and it was fantastic. More on that later.

Tonight is the second date, and I seem to be vibrating at a higher level of energy than I have in a long long time. Butterflies are afflutter.

I like this man.
Wish me luck!


Today Elizabeth brought up our conversation from the night before. Out of curiosity, I asked her what is God like to her. She thought for awhile, and said "God is like the sun."
"Ahhhhh!" I said. "So He's a big six thousand degrees hot ball of energy?"

She looked annoyed.
"No, He is love us for ever long time."
"Like the sun?"

"Hmmmm. That's interesting, but, I don't think the sun loves us. In fact, over-exposure can cause painful sunburn and sometimes even melanoma. Besides, in, like, four billion years the sun's core will collapse under its own gravity and its atmosphere will expand and totally vaporize Earth. So the sun's not eternal, and seems kinda hell-bent on destroying us. But it sure is warm and shiny. God's like that?"

"Yah," she reiterated, looking a little dreamy, "God's like the sun."

Monday, March 20, 2006

On Happiness

Elizabeth called me earlier tonight to ask how my weekend went. I told her it was fabulous.
A couple minutes later in the conversation, she said - actually in kind of an accusatory tone, "Jenny, you don't believe in God, but you are so happy. I believe in God, but I am unhappy."

I was silent on the other end of the line. I mean, what am I supposed to say to that?

Finally, I pointed out that we've had a similar conversation a couple times before where she's told me I don't believe in God. I don't know where she gets the idea, but I've corrected her both times that sure, I do believe in God, (though it's probably a different version than the God she's got imagined in her head.) My God, for example, likes to tap dance and sports a smart looking purple chapeau. I get the impression that her version of God sits Mightily on His Throne pointing His Finger and shaking His Head at all the bad people, like me, with all of our crazy ideas.

So I spent some time tonight in meditation, communicating with my God, and asking Her advice on what to make of Elizabeth and her ideas. My God was not very helpful, preferring to play with Her fancy yo-yo that lights up emits a jaunty tune.

Seriously, though.

I reminded Elizabeth again, that I do believe in a Higher Power. And I calmly told her that happiness is not conditional on one's belief in said Power. (I mean, if it was, all the atheists would be broody miserable souls, and we all know that atheists love to par-tay!)

"Liz, happiness is a choice."

It's easy to be happy when you have a home and a job and a family that loves you and lots of money and a nice car and good friends and fine food in your belly. Having just one or a combination of those can make being happy pretty easy. How powerful is it, though, to have none of those, and maybe only one leg to stand on and no shoe for your one good foot - and yet you choose happiness? I mean, wake up every morning, hop out of bed, strap on your peg leg and have a look up to the sky and realize that even if there are clouds, the sun still shines behind them and, at the very least, you're here.

And that just rocks.

Sunday, March 19, 2006


Kamikaze is a spoiled little prince. He has 3 beds of his own, and he spends his days rotating between them, my bed, and the chairs. If I have the floor heating on, he also likes to lie with his big belly hanging out and his back enjoying the heating pad effect of the floor.

Here we see the Prince in his very comfortable bed. Notice he's touching his scratching post. He loves that thing!
Image hosting by Photobucket
His other two beds are shaped like carrots. It's kind of a funny sentence, but I always come in the door after work and greet him with a "Hi Baby! Are you in your carrot?"

To see more great pictures of cats - and to check out some Kitty-storage, visit Clare and Kiri at Eat Stuff!

Saturday, March 18, 2006

They All Want to Steal My Pot of Gold

My fridge is working well! Thanks for asking. It's super cold, and I am enjoying an icy glass of diet coke. Yummers.

Yesterday was St. Patrick's Day, otherwise known as "Friday" in Korea. I had sort of forgotten about it until the end of the day at work, and then I mentioned it to my co-workers. "Did you know that if you aren't wearing green, I get to pinch you all?" I asked.
I approached them with pinchy fingers.
"You're not wearing green," my boss pointed out.
"Uhhhh," I looked down and sure enough, I was not. "My underwear is green."
"Let me see," my boss demanded.
"Jeeze, why do I have to remind you every day that it makes me uncomfortable when you ask to see my underwear? Cut it out, ya big lez."

I started approaching again with crab-hands.
"My underwear is green too!" my boss exclaimed.
"Mine too," said co-worker one.
"So are mine," said co-worker two.

I wasn't going to ask to see them, because I know they all want to show me.
I know they all want to turn the staffroom after work into a panty party.
I'm not having it.

Anyhow, how was your St. Patrick's Day?

Friday, March 17, 2006

Fuh Ri Gee

Father Time is operating a blow-torch behind me. It isn't often that you see a Korean man with a full on beard, let alone a big bushy white one that reaches half-way down his chest. But, yet, here he is fixing my fridge.

Since my last post, two mornings have gone by with nary a fridge repairman visiting my apartment. The first day it was because he was too busy. The 2nd day, it was because of the rain. I don't know why the rain prevented his visit. He doesn't look like he's made out of sugar. (Granted, I haven't tasted him, maybe he is Father Sugar Time.)

Anyways, here's to the thought of an icy cold beer on a Friday night.
Cross your fingers!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

More Fridge Saga

That fridge man is a con artist. He came by in the morning and stuck his nose picking finger up into the ice cube tray in the freezer and shouted that everything was "Kenchenaiyo!!"
Yes, the trays of water I'd filled over 24 hours before had formed some ice on the top, but the bottom was all liquid. Absolutely unsafe for skating. I don't think a person with a "freezer" should be expected to wait 48 hours for an icy cold beverage! Then he shouted a bunch of other stuff I couldn't understand, but it was probably something along the lines of what a pain in the ass I am.

To my boss, on the phone later, he explained that the middle of the fridge - the spot between the freezer and the fridge parts, was supposed to be hot. Some refrigerators are hot in the back, but mine is hot in the middle. Where the seal is on the front door. Yah,...that makes a whole lot of sense. Actually, mine is very hot in the back as well. This piece of crap is an oven masquerading as a refrigerator. And the bologna I pulled out to show him it was all thawed out - well, that stuff's not supposed to freeze, he explained to my boss, because it is salty. Nevermind I bought the pack solid as a brick from the freezer section at Wal-Mart.

When Karen passed on his diagnosis to me, I argued that this fridge is definitely not ok! So she got the guy back on the phone, and now there's some repair-joker coming tomorrow morning. We don't know what exactly is wrong with the fridge, but I've been told that the repair will take an hour and a half. Of my regularly scheduled sleep time. Great.

The guy keeps complaining what a hassle all this is because I live on the fourth floor. If I lived on the first floor, it would be a whole different matter. I won't stand for this discrimination, this fourth floor-ism. It isn't my fault I live on the top floor. What, like, people up here don't have the right to properly functioning appliances?!?

My boss is very kind, and she doesn't have a strong backbone, and lacks the cohones to tell this guy to come collect his hunk o' junk and ram it up his ass.

Oh, I wish I spoke Korean.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006


I'm a pretty decent cook. I'd be a much better cook if I had more space to work on here - as it is, I have about 1/2 foot by 1/2 of counter and the coffee table for more elaborate productions. I'd probably be able to really increase my repartee if I had an oven. Or a blender. Or food processor. Or measuring cups. You get the idea.

Still, I am able to produce pretty interesting tasty meals for myself and sometimes my co-workers on a fairly regular basis. In fact, besides burning toast or popcorn, (EVIL popcorn) I can't remember the last time I made something that was just awful. Oh yah, I remember way over-cooking some broccoli a couple months ago. That was gross.

Tonight, however, I created an unmitigated disaster of a meal. In the previous post, I mentioned my stupid new (2nd hand) fridge. I didn't mention how bloody bad it was smelling. When I woke up this morning, it smelled even worse. And then I came home, my whole apartment was rank.

I bought some ginger after work because I planned to make a variation of Shrimp With Lobster Sauce. Other than the ginger, I had all the ingredients in my refrigerator.

Well, when I went to pull out the ground pork I'd bought on Friday, I realized it was the source of the funky smell. It was so ROTTEN. You know, they should put a little sticker on meat that has been marked 50% off at the supermarket. Something like, "This should go without saying, but DON'T SCREW AROUND...Cook this PRONTO!"
Especially, sale-meat shouldn't be left out for a few hours and then transferred back to a not cold enough new 2nd hand piece of crap fridge. Ok. Rotten meat was disposed via my commode.

No matter, I had a little ground pork in the freezer, and it was de-thawed but still chilly, so I cooked that up. Then I blended everything together, added the cooked shrimp, and voila! Dinner!

The pork tasted funny. Freezery and OFF. And the shrimp was mushy and disgusting. I tasted a couple, just to make sure the 1st one wasn't a fluke. It was all so horrible. So my toilet got another large meal tonight.

Then I got a little paranoid - you know, shellfish and pork, sounds like a nice mixture for food poisoning. So I googled some information. Try searching google for "die from food poisoning," and maybe you'll not want to eat anything again. Jeeze, check out this terribly sad story out of the Philippines where 29 children died from eating fried cassava balls! Here's a quote:
"The vendor who sold the cassava balls insisted nothing was wrong with them and ate a few to prove the point. Now she, too, is in critical condition."
Smooth move, ex-lax.
Did you know that the body will convert raw cassava into CYANIDE!
That there is some interesting food facts.

Anyhow, fingers crossed I don't get ill from the tiny amount I ate of my disaster of a dinner. My toilet's had enough food for one night!

Monday, March 13, 2006

I Got a Stupid Fridge

It's not good. I poured water into the ice trays to make me some cubes, and they're still not solid, 36 hours later. In fact, everything that was frozen is now thawing and I'm going to have to eat it all. So, for breakfast I'm going to have spaghetti sauce, curry, 3 chicken breasts, ground pork, mandu, fish, 2 bags of shrimp, a big pack of bologna, and 3 trays of half frozen water.

Also, one of the legs is missing. I pulled the fridge away from the wall - it shouldn't be snuggled up close, and discovered how unbalanced it is. It rocks every time I close it, and startles me.

Stupid fridge.

Although it's very quiet, it hasn't stopped running since I plugged it in. I've read online that it's much more energy efficient to buy a new fridge than a second hand one. The money saved in electricity bills will well make up for the cost of a new model. I'm not sure my boss will really care about this fact when I mention it tomorrow, as I'm the one paying the electricity bill. Regardless, I guess I'll have to have a new fridge sometime this week.

In other news, Kevin is a big mean ogre. My cat hates him, and so should you.

Saturday, March 11, 2006


Kamikaze's relaxing after a busy day of ignoring all his toys.
If I dangle a toy or jingle the bell of one of his toys and he's across the room, he will hurry over to see what's happening. Then he'll lie down and try to pretend me setting the toy on top of his head over and over doesn't bother him.
My cat is a strange combination of total geek and "too cool for school."
He's sure is handsome, though!
Image hosting by Photobucket

Look at this cat:
Image hosting by Photobucket
via this site.
This Chinese cat weighs 15kgs (33 lbs) and has a 77cm (31 inch) waist!

It made me curious, so I measured Kamikaze's waist.
Holy cow, it's the same size!!
I wonder if Kamikaze wants to become a famous fat internet cat! The China cat's fatness was even picked up by MSN!

For more pretty kitties, visit Clare at Eat Stuff!
And for some gorgeous kittens, go see Anne at Anne's Food!

I Got a New Fridge

Because my old one had stopped making a huge noise, but had also stopped making cold!

I set my alarm to get up and empty the contents into bags, and the guys delivered the new beast and took away the old one. The new fridge is bigger and definitely cleaner, though it's 2nd hand, too. It was fun reloading it and grouping food types together, dairy cohabitating, meat in the corner, vegetables all hanging out in the bottom crisper. I hadn't been able to use the crisper in my old fridge in almost a year, since the top of it was caved in and it was too much hassle to try to open it.

I just plugged it in and hope it works. I had to wait a couple hours after the guys delivered it to power it up. It's quiet. It's good. I hope it's cold!

**UPDATE: I've begun to get suspicious of my new fridge. It's TOO quiet. I keep asking it "What are you doing? Are you chilling out? Why are you just sitting there all quiet and looking at me? What do you WANT, you bastard?"

In emptying out the contents of the old fridge, I also threw out a bunch of food that had been languishing inside for way too long. I threw out some "chocco pies" and "pocky sticks" the last teacher had left in the freezer. The expiration date on the chocco pies was August, 2003. I found some things that were so mouldy they would have been unidentifiable, were it not for their containers giving them away. A container of pineapple cream cheese had turned to dust, and I didn't think that was possible! Things that were liquidy were flushed down the toilet.

About an hour later, I went to the washroom to take a pee. I stepped over Kamikaze who was lying in the doorway, and quickly turned around to sit upon mine royal throne. When I got up and turned to flush, I damned near had a heart attack, until I remembered the mass at the bottom of the bowl was 3/4 of a jar of mouldy strawberry jam, and not something that had fallen out of me. *Whew!*

I Hate the Toe

It's Friday night. (Saturday, technically, but let's not haggle.) Fridays rock, don't they? This week was pretty uneventful, but kind of stressful nonetheless. Elephants in our midst.

I've just finished soaking my toe. Stupid toe. Ever since I slammed it into a mass of concrete well over a year and a half ago and had to have the nail ripped out completely by a doctor, it's given me problems. It's like the stupid toenail didn't know how to grow back in properly - so it hooks in on itself on one side. I should learn to just leave it alone when it's feeling ok. If I cut it,...or even LOOK at it, it gets infected. Then 10 children step on it and anger it more. I just soaked it in a mix of hot water and mineral salt and I stuck a needle through the top to release a mass of puss and blood. Yummy.

Earlier, I went shopping with Elizabeth. We talked a bit, but not much. Not enough. But that's ok. We rode the bus into town and talked smalltalk - classes and school. We got to the big department store and ordered dinner, bebimbap for me, and mushroom spaghetti for her. Then we sat down to eat. Finally I looked her in the eyeball, and said "so, what happened a couple weeks ago?
She said "You know what happened," and then recounted our boss's version of events.
These days she can't sleep without sleeping pills. She drank soju that night and took too many sleeping pills. But "it was mistake."
"It was an accident?"
"What about the note?"
"It was a kind of journal entry. I listed some of my bad points."

Toe the line.

We were silent for awhile.
Then I again looked her in the eyes and said "I don't believe you."
She said,...
Well, I can't remember exactly what she said, because I was a bit pre-occupied trying not to cry. (Actually, I can remember, she used her lack of English skills as an excuse - which is fine. It's a convenient excuse, my co-workers can make themselves understood just fine when they want to, but say "I can't express my mind," if they don't feel like talking about it. I should really teach them the expression, "It's none of your goddamned business!")

I pulled it together, and told her she didn't have to tell me anything she didn't want to, but I'd rather not be lied to. I was there. I told her it had been traumatic. (Realizing she might not know that word, I reiterated, "It was bad.") I told her I was worried about her,...I am worried about her. If she wants to talk I'll listen.

We were quiet awhile.

I said, "So what did you do during your week off?"
She said, exasperatedly, "You're like a detective!"
"I'm not a detective, I'm your friend."
(I had expected her to say she'd rested and recuperated and went to church 700 times.)

So she then told me something I didn't know. She wasn't at home, she spent some time somewhere, and neither our other co-worker or the boss knows about it. I won't come out and say it, but it kind of sounds like "Bent-All Craw-Spittle!"

It's all such a strange experience; I hate being lied to. I especially hate it when the lies are meant to re-arrange what I witnessed first hand. I hate this whole thing. Let's pretty up the ugly. Let's slap a big pink bow on the unmentionable and not even talk about the stupid bow.

Half way through our shopping trip I asked her if she was taking medicine now, and she confirmed she is. That makes a lot of sense, considering how she's acting. She can't hold a train of thought, she's monotone, bumping into things, and just not quite (nearly) "all there." I wonder if it's some bi-polar medication. Regardless, I'm glad to know she's getting some help, even if it makes her a bit,...well....

She's not here, really, but yet she is. She's just toeing the line.

Thursday, March 09, 2006


I hear something in my apartment. What is it? A helicopter? A chainsaw? Ah, no! It's the death rattle of my refrigerator!

I had to have servicemen come and fix it just a few weeks ago, because it was getting louder and louder and wasn't producing cold air. They came one morning, fixed it up, and then left, telling me to plug it back in six hours later. When I got home from work that evening I did turn it back on, and was pleased the great big noise had ceased. Then again, there was no noise at all. I figured maybe the "fridge juice" that makes it cold (and the tiny elves that stir the fridge juice) needed time to warm up - or "cold up" as it were, before the fans kicked in. So I had a nap and looked forward to an icy beverage when I woke up. I was kind of shocked a couple hours later, when I opened the freezer door to find hot air blowing out of the vents! Oh no, the servicemen had converted my fridge to an oven!

Turns out they came back the next morning, opened the back, and flipped a switch the had forgotten to re-set on their previous visit. No problem, and all the contents were salvaged.

The trouble is, my fridge has gone again from a subtle purr of a cat to the roaring of an unhappy beast. A serviceman came out this morning and opened things up, just to shake his head and "tsk tsk" at the insides. It doesn't look good.

Then again, the interior doesn't look good either. Months ago, on of the plastic shelves cracked, and I've done a smash up job mending it with cardboard, a metal ruler and a massive amount of duct tape. Now it's in the form of a gentle "V."

I hope I get a new fridge sorted out soon. I don't want to have to listen to this noise all weekend!

Are Koreans Rubbery?

I've never seen a human fall from a high place, but I always assumed they'd kind of "splat" on the ground. They always seem to in the movies, eh? Connecting with the earth sounds like a dull "thud." However, I just read an article from The Chosun that reads:

"A worker at the Lotte World amusement park in Jamsil, Seoul, plunged to his death while checking a ride on Monday afternoon. The worker fell to the ground from a rollercoaster car and bounced into the nearby lake. Rescuers who rushed to the scene were unable to save him. Police is investigating to determine the cause of the accident."

How rubbery could he be to bounce into a nearby lake? How close was the lake? Maybe there was a trampoline underneath the rollercoaster. Yes, that must be it.

Fire Breathing Fine Art

With the new school year comes new classes. As it is, I've only gotten one brand spanking new class so far, and it has only two brand spanking new students in it. They're both just new to Elementary School, so I'm guessing they're about 6 years old or so. They're cute as buttons, but really just starting to learn English - so we've been working on the basics: the alphabet (sound and stroke order) colours, numbers and so forth. Today I gave them a handout. Let's have a look at their work!

Cleo is a bright and sunny girl. It's obvious her parents have worked with her at home, as she can already tell me colour names and knows how to print the alphabet. She's got a good ear, and can replicate what I say like a tape player. I expect great things from this little girl! Here's Cleo's parrot:
Image hosting by Photobucket
It's some good work. I like how her crayon strokes have good flow and are in generally the same direction. She takes care to stay within the lines, and although there is some minor white spaces apparent, it's a solid well balanced piece.

Jesse is cheerful and spunky. He is totally spun, and I'm not using a euphemism for "spacey and clueless," I mean he's literally spun. If I'm not completely engaging him - or if I'm helping Cleo out with something, he leaps out of his chair and starts to spin. I've only known him for 3 days now, so I'm not sure if he's been a long term spinner, or if spinning is some new discovery he's made, but man this kid likes to twirl. Once he's all dizzy he giggles his ass off! Let's see Jesse's parrot.
Image hosting by Photobucket
The impatience of the artist is evident. You can tell by the short, staccato, almost frantic and haphazard strokes that he's wanting to finish his work and get back to the spinning. The lines of the parrot are more vague suggestions than barriers for Jesse. Notice the dope radical bike racing helmet Jesse's parrot is sporting. Maybe this kid has a future in fashion design!

See the bucket attached to the parrot's stand? I think it's food, and I think this parrot eats small rocks, but see how Cleo's coloured hers with a colour not even mentioned on the handout? When I suggested Jesse might want to colour his he nixed that idea with an X. No time. Must spin.

I haven't mentioned the obvious yet. See how Jesse's parrot is breathing fire? (I hope he's not vomiting blood - let's assume it's fire.) Cool! Not only that, but the parrot is encircled by a ring of fire. Very Johnny Cash. Very cool. This is a theme of the artist Jesse. Fire breathing animals in a ring of fire.

Jesse's dinosaur:
Image hosting by Photobucket
Dinosaurs kind of look like dragons.
This was Jesse's first picture. I didn't think the fire-breathing dinosaur was so strange. He gets extra points with me for creativity. See the dinosaur's flamey cycling helmet? I think the parrot and the dinosaur are on the same Olympic cycling team. I also dig the sky-blue teeth.

Jesse's bear:
Image hosting by Photobucket
Jesse's fire-breathing ring of fire encased bear. He doesn't ride a bike. Bear's don't ride bikes. Sometimes they ride teeny tiny motorcycles in Russian circuses, but never bikes. And they certainly don't race. Silly!

My students are lucky this wasn't a competition, because I ROCKED the parrot picture. Seriously, I like to be modest about my abilities, but this shit should be hanging in the Colouring Museum of Fine Art...
Image hosting by Photobucket
In your FACE, little kids!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006


Walking home from work tonight, I stopped to enjoy the mild night air and the half moon in the sky. As I sat down on a rock, the branch of a bush got in the way and I had to lift my butt to pull it out from underneath me.

I suddenly wondered what it would be like if every living thing on earth had the ability to scream when it was in pain. Imagine walking to work and every bug and every blade of grass you stepped on shrieked. Trees you passed would scream as the wind blew their leaves off. The falling leaves would be wailing as well.

The world would be a very loud place. Imagine autumn!

What if every living thing not only had the ability to scream if in pain, but were actually obliged to do so? Just the humans alone would make it unbearable. Like, if you stubbed your toe: "ARRRRRRRRR!" If you had a headache: "GAAAAAAAAAAH!" If you ever had your heart broken: "RAAAAAAAGH!"

Most of us would never hear quiet again.

Re-inventing a Wheel

Today my boss asked me just before my last class if I would do her a favour. "Sure!" I said, because I'm nice. She told me that for 2 of the grammar books we've just started to use she was unable to get a Teacher's Copy. I told her I didn't care, because I don't need the teacher's copy. She explained that the Korean teachers DO want the Teachers Manual, as it has all the answers in it. So she asked me if I would answer every question in each of the 93 page long books.

I thought she was joking.

It's not difficult work, by any means. I know the answers, but it's just a very time consuming job. I guesstimated that if I came home and worked every night, pretty much, until I went to sleep - it might take a whole week. (Part of me wants to do it just to see if I'm right, but the more rational part of me resents having to do so.) I told her "that will take a LONG time!" She said, "I'll give you time!"

My boss, the giver of time.
How about being the giver of MONEY there, chum?

I'm really not the kind of person that will demand compensation for any extra tasks I'm assigned. If I work more than my agreed to 30 hours a week (and most weeks I do) I don't complain. I mean, I got my ass out of bed at 7am the other morning to help her try and drum up business. I spent lots of time (not to mention about a hundred bucks of my own money) planning and executing Crepe Day last January. Likewise for last year's Halloween party. I'm a trooper, pretty much. But hours and hours of answering grammar questions for the Korean teachers' convenience? Uhhhhh,...

My boss told me not to worry, that SHE would do it, but that I would have to check all her answers. Ahhhh, that's better, screw us both! Doesn't that effectively DOUBLE the inconvenience? Not,...logical,....does,...not,....compute!

So I started to ask her about the Teachers Manual. Surely such a beast exists. "Yes, but the bookstore doesn't have it," she said.
"Can't they order it?"
"Why not?"
"I don't know. They said 'no.'"
"Can't we get it somewhere else?"
"I don't think so. It's ok. I'll do it, you just have to check my answers."

It just didn't make any sense to me, so I went over to the computer, pulled up google, and got 2 websites for booksellers in Korea we could order the TM through. How hard was that? And they're on sale. For about 5 bucks Canadian. Jeeze. If I were to bill you for the time it'd take me, you'd be paying 200 times that amount.

Something about the people I've worked with in Korea is definitely noticeable. I would never blanket it to be a common trait of people here, but it's been my experience that my co-workers tend to give up very easily, but also complicate matters to the nth. It's like they take a quick look under their desk, and when they don't see a wheel there, they set out to re-invent it. Out of rubber bands and paper clips. I guess it's most irritating to me because I am a combination of stubborn and lazy. Let's make things easy and efficient. I won't be told "it can't be had" (and oft times done/made either.) Why not? Does it exist? Well then let's get it. You say we can't? Why? What if,...? No? Well, what if,..? No? Well, how about,....?
And I'll just keep on like that forever.
Until you stick a fork in my eye.

I didn't say it, but it's a shame the Korean teachers will throw a hissy fit if they don't get their answers. Working the answers out for themselves is good practice. Yes, I know, it's work, but it's not like they couldn't use it. They're better teachers if they can explain to our students why an answer is correct, rather than just writing in the correct answer in red in the students books.

I've mentioned it before, but I get kind of annoyed if I go into work, and with the exception of asking me English related questions, my co-workers make no attempt to speak English otherwise. I've decided to let all that go from here on. It's not like they wouldn't really like to speak English. I realize they could if they would, but they can't so they won't. Probably, knowing what they were speaking about all the time would make me even more anxious, talking about problems with the parents and students or the latest fashions and Korean dramas.

I had a good day with Elizabeth. She mentioned "being in the hospital." We haven't talked specifically about what happened, but I'm sure we will. Plans have begun to form to meet outside of work over dinner. How we like it best. I just hope she doesn't try to feed me any of the spun version of accounts that my boss has re-written and is being handed out to whoever asks. As it was, I was there - and she wasn't. Regardless, the elephant got smaller and I was relieved, as I thought it might impale me yesterday on its big sharp tusk.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006


As I was watching the Oscars and saw Dustin Hoffman presenting I was reminded how much I like that man. I was wondering what sort of father he might be, and then I got to thinking about stuff.

I have a question - if you could assemble a Hollywood family for yourself, who would you cast? Feel free to be specific - like "I'd like Robin Williams in 'Good Will Hunting,' as opposed to 'One Hour Photo.'" Or maybe you just feel like Dolly Parton might make a good mom for some reason. Who would be your brother and sister? Grandma? Grandpa?

C'mon, tell me.

Also, what's your favourite way to cook and eat an egg? (I had a spinach salad tonight with a poached egg, and it made me wonder why I bother to cook eggs any other way!)

An Elephant

I did wake up this morning and started to watch the Academy Awards. When the first category, actor in a supporting role was announced, and Paul Giamatti did NOT win, I snapped off the television. It was obvious the Academy was personally snubbing me by not supporting me in, pretty much, the only nominated film I managed to watch.

I am so over the Academy!

Actually, I was just really tired. Last night (or early this morning, really) I was flipping around the channels and found the second installment of a fantastic show I am loving! I caught the 1st installment at 5am on Sunday morning. Long Way Round is a documentary about actors Ewan McGregor and Charlie Boorman traveling from London to New York on motorcycles. It's so interesting and actually very funny! Episode 2 will re-air on Friday morning at 6:00am. - set your VCRs if you're in Korea and can find "Q-channel," (aka "Cheater's channel.) Episode 3 airs Thursday at 8:00pm (though the 1st 2 installments are excellent, you won't be lost jumping on board for #3, they've actually just set out on their journey!) And #3 will be rebroadcast on Sunday morning at 5am. For more information, check out Q-channel's schedule. The show is called "이완 맥그리거의 모터사이클 다이어리."

So, I went back to bed. I opted for sleep instead of the Oscars, and am not unhappy I did. From what I've read, it was quite the snooze fest. One MSN reporter speculated that the audience had been sprayed in valium. It's too bad I missed Lily Tomlin and Meryl Streep praising Robert Altman, but of well. I woke up in time to catch the major categories at the end, and to see Charlize Theron looking like she was being attacked by the Big Bow Planet. It was surprising, because she usually looks so fantastic! That's the only fashion comment I have, I did not notice anything else because, to be honest, I don't care. Just that Charlize, and the bow, and the hair,....very noticeable.

Tonight I went to see Brokeback Mountain. I liked it, and I bet I'll like it even more as I think about it. The scenery,....fantastic,...but that's Canada for ya, eh?

I'm tired, so that's about it for tonight.

For those of you wondering, today was Elizabeth's first day back. It wasn't good. The mood in the staffroom was subdued and uncomfortable. There was, really, a huge elephant in the room. She brought everyone gifts. I got a tube of fancy schmancy face cleanser. It was sitting on my desk when I came in, and it made me feel weird, though I did thank her for it. She greeted me with a "long time no see," which immediately made me flash on the last time I saw her, which made me feel weirder.

I didn't know what to say all day, and so I busied myself and basically said nothing. As a friend, I'm failing, but I don't know what to do about it. More tomorrow.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Yo, Oscar!

I watched Cinderella man this weekend, spanning two days - a little bit at a time. Naps kept interrupting me!
I'm not a real fan of boxing, by any means, but this was a really good movie. I found myself with my heart in my chest, physically ducking myself to try to avoid the blows, much like I did in the theatre when I first saw Rocky a long, long time ago. Actually, this movie is very Rocky-ish, with Paul Giamatti's character echoing the screaming gutsy Mickey in Rocky. Actually, Mr. Giamatti is the only actor in the film up for an Oscar, and I've heard he's one of the favourites to win.

The Oscars will be aired here tomorrow morning. Last year, I got up at about 8am. and dozed on and off through the pre-show blah blahs. I watched most of the awards when they started before I had to head off to work.

I just checked the list of nominees, and besides "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," which is up for best costume design, Cinderella Man is the only other film I've seen! Pretty sad, considering I used to make sure I'd seem all the films up for the big categories. I loved Oscar night, and would eat popcorn and snuggle up with a blanket on the couch. I might watch tomorrow morning. I'll set the alarm and see what I feel like when it goes off.

Last year, I asked my brother if he had watched the show, and he replied "Man, I wouldn't watch the Oscars even if it was the only thing playing on a television bolted to my face."
I said, "So, didn't watch it, then?"

**UPDATE: Oh! I just remembered Jon Stewart is hosting the Oscars this year. Ok. I'm getting up for sure. I love that man.

Sunday, March 05, 2006


This is the first time I've participated in Weekend Cat Blogging!
Here's a picture of my giant Sumo cat, Kamikaze Kamakiri Kitty. Here, he is resting the top half of himself on the new scratching block I just brought him back from Japan. He loves it, and will often lie down beside it with one arm thrown over, like he's giving it a cuddle.
Image hosting by Photobucket
Kamikaze's a big boy, too big, really~ maybe 12kg or so! He's on a diet now, but not very happy about it. He will inch closer and closer to his empty dish until he ends up with his head practically inside. Then he paws at it, making a bunch of noise, and stands up expectantly whenever I walk anywhere in the apartment.
Subtlety is not his strong suit.

For more kitty pics, visit Clare and Kiri over at Eat Stuff!

Saturday, March 04, 2006


Standing outside the Elementary School, trying to entice the kids and impress the parents, I asked my boss, "Hey, can I smoke?"
She asked me, "Do you want I kill you?"

Dog Day (Afternoon)

I didn't mention it, but much of the time I spent whoring myself out this morning, I also spent playing with dogs.
Yesterday, as the bell signaled the end of one of my classes, some students called me out to the hallway where "ge issoyo" - "Teacha, dog is here."
It was a pretty little dog, with a face like a German shepherd and a body like a corgi, with a tightly coiled tail. What a pretty girl! I then defended the dog from our students attempted kicks and tail pulls, and the taekwondo students assaults. One had gotten the big black beating stick from the taekwondo studio, (we prefer the short hard stick at the English school) and was attempting to jam it forcefully up the dogs nose.
I'm fairly calm generally, but in situations like these, those of you who've read here for a bit will know I tend to lose my mind.
Mind saved, the master called the little white uniformed martial artists into their room, and the bell signaled the start of our next classes. I stayed a few extra moments to scratch and praise this little girl-dog. What a pretty thing!

So, this morning, as I stood handing out notebooks to the incoming students at the elementary school, I noticed a small commotion in the schoolyard. The cute little dog was back, begging attention from the kids. She is such a gentle dog, and when the kids would posture with threatening actions, she would lie down all supplicant, and then chase them (stupidly?) playfully as they left.

She remembered me from the day before and snuggled in for a cuddle on my lap. She followed me to the bank and happily ate the treats I bought for her. She was gone when I finally exited the bank, but had (smartly) returned to our rendez vous and greeted me at the gates to the school. A bit more about this dog in moment.

On the way home from the post office, before the bakery with the fresh baguettes, I stopped in at the pet store. There, in a cage, was a white mom dog with her two pups born just yesterday. She was a nervous wreck, barking and growling at the 3 other sweater clad and ribboned eared dogs who roamed the store's floor and ventured too near her cage. She hated me as well, but I tried to stand statue still so I could marvel at her strange looking puppies, the fatter of the two attached to her barking undercarriage, and the tiny one making pitiful noises on the other side of the cage. I hope the runt makes it.

On the way back to school I saw my bud Barky and Mamadog. I lavished them with treats from the pet store. Mamadog was uncooperative about posing, but here's Barky:
Image hosting by Photobucket
Maybe it's crazy wishful thinking, but anyone who'd like to adopt that pretty playful shy loving puppy from the schoolyard, I'll get her to you. I'll have her vaccinated and quarantined and ready to go. I know it sounds way over the top, but I'm sincere. I know she'd make a lovely gentle pet in a good home, and if you're compelled to even ask details, please do. Granted, I'm not sure I'll ever see her again, but these things have a way of working out.
Like life.

Friday, March 03, 2006

This Morning

How'd it go? It was WHOREY.
I feel dirty.
The alarm went off at 7:15 this morning and I discovered I drool heavily around that time. Who knew?! I'm not normally awake for the drooling. I got up out of bed, scarfed a bowl of mushroom soup with barley I'd had the forethought to but in a pot on the stove the night before, and jumped in the shower.
No skirt, no make-up, and definitely no contacts this morning. My eyes were pink in the mirror. It looked as if they were going to need some good rubbing.
Out the door by 7:45, I walked briskly to my meeting place. I had to get the whoring started. Yah baby!

The first wave was easy. Kids came to school in bunches for about a half hour or more. I said many hellos. I got many stares. I smiled a lot. I knew school had started because the loud speakers outside blared some sing-song "tra la la" time to study song.

Then I walked up to my bank where the teller was definitely not pleased when I plunked my large can of coins on the counter. She looked annoyed, rolled her eyes, and commented to the teller beside her. She was all hesitant to touch my money, "Ahem, excuse me ma'am, we're a bank we don't handle coins." If she had the English words, I think she would have refused to serve me. If I had the Korean words I would have told her to wipe that look off her face, and do her fucking job! There was no doubt about her attitude when she curtly told me "anja," and gestured to the benches. I looked at her all innocently, and said, "anjuseyo?" (the polite form) and she blushed and softened.

With 94,000 won in my back pocket, I headed back toward the school and was surprised to find my spot filled with other whores!
Moms were accompanying their kids to their 1st day of elementary school, and about 10 more women, almost all dressed in black with white gloves and tight ajumma perms, had appeared with flyers and piggy banks and candy to hand out to the moms. There were 2 other English schools represented as well as art, music, and taekwondo academies.

It was shameless. They swarmed the moms like pirranhas on a wounded cow.
I hung back, still smiling, but feeling dirtier and dirtier.
Wham bam, it was all over in about another half hour.

Part of the experience was redeemed a few minutes later, while passing a bakery on the way to the post office I saw them putting out just-baked baguettes. Steaming hot, they smelled delicious, and I just enjoyed half a loaf with a fresh cup of French-pressed coffee as I pretended to be in Paris.

Now I'm putting myself down for a nap before I head back to work. But I still feel like I need 10 showers.

Whoring Myself Out

Before I offer to do anything, I should make sure I know all the details, especially here, where plans seem to always happen at the last minute, or all the specifics aren't mentioned until then.

A new big chain English school opened at the beginning of February and it's been sucking a few of our students away. Also, the new school year for ALL students commenced today, and so some kids have had their schedules shifted for the 100 other after-school activities they have to attend, and they can't mesh their new timetables with classes at our school. Today we had 7 less students than we did on Tuesday.

Anyhow, I agreed to go stand outside one of the two elementary schools here in town "before (our) school" tomorrow morning, passing out pamphlets and getting attacked by the kids and the mommies' curious stares. I even said I might wear a skirt and a little makeup. This was, of course, before I was told today that I was to report to duty at 8:00am.
But, like, I only go to bed a couple hours before 8:00am. (My first class doesn't start until 2:00pm.)

My boss showed me the uniform she has "prepared" for me for tomorrow. Silly white cotton gloves. This is the uniform of the working person outside. It states, "Hey man, I'm not just standing around here, I'm on the job." It makes me think of parking attendants with their crazy hand dances. If you've ever been to Korea or Japan, you'll know what I'm talking about.

I told my boss that I have my own perfectly good red fuzzy mittens.
I'm going to bring my make-up bag tomorrow, and I swear, if I'm forced to wear those gloves I'm going to don a mime face and go all out.
Frankly, I wish I had one of those giant mascot costumes to wear. That way, no one would know I was crossing my eyes, sticking out my tongue, and giving everyone the finger.
8:00am. Hmph. I should have been in bed at least 2 and a half hours ago already.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

It SO Feels Like Friday

But it's snot.
I don't have a cold, I'm just kidding.

Today at school we had Speech Contest Day. None of those links are in chronological order, but oh well. We always have speech contests on Friday, and the kids are always forewarned. Today, we changed it up, and the kids didn't know when they arrived it was going to be speech contest day. It made for a charged environment.

Since we were one teacher short, and the boss is more swamped than I've ever seen her the whole affair was left to the supervision of Judy and I. And our keyword was "streeeeeeetch," so their little speeches would fill up the whole class period. Horseplay was quite tolerated.

Today, I was manned with a stick. To hit the kids.
And hit them I DID, I bashed their little heads in!
Nobody should give me a stick. People get hurt. Brains get smashed.

I'm joking.

Mostly, I played the game of defending "Jelly-Space" which was an invisible line I'd drawn on the floor. Kids who weren't reading their speeches nudged their feet into Jelly-Space and I threatened to attack, and whacked the floor viciously when I was sure I was going to miss them. It was fun, but kind of like a dog who keeps bringing back the stick and wants to keep playing long after you've tired of the silly game.

I also beat a boy who had on a massive yellow down filled coat. He looked like a Lemon Michelin Man. I taught everyone the word "puffy." As I whacked him I'd say "his coat is puffy." Then, tapping another kid's coat, "her coat is not puffy." Back to thwacking the yellow coat, "Very puffy." He couldn't feel a thing. On the back of his neck, where he was protected by his coat and a double layer of hood, I could hit him as hard as I was able to, and he couldn't feel a thing. It was funny.

Almost always, I like kids. I think sometimes I prefer them over adults. There's so much less complications in ensuring their happiness.

So, with having speeches today, and tomorrow being a holiday, it totally felt like Friday. So much so, I inadvertently wished my boss, "Have a good weekend." She corrected me, and we laughed. I said, "It feels so much like Friday, maybe I'll make a mistake and not come to work on Thursday!"

I meant it as a joke, but realized, with what happened last Thursday, it wasn't so funny.

Today was cold and overcast. As the sun started to set, it started to rain. And then it started to snow, kind of. Big wet globs of wet slush fell from the sky. I stood transfixed, watching it plummet toward the street lights, thinking about how it could be so miserable and beautiful at the same time.

I hope it rains or sleets tomorrow. The best sleeps are ones set to grey cold skies.