Wednesday, February 28, 2007


Well, I didn't take one day off from work,...I took TWO! I went to the doctor's both days and got some pain killers and muscle relaxants. My back must be in massive spasm because I can still feel the pain through the drugs. Jane and my co-worker called me last night to check up on me and I told them I would see them at work today - but when I woke up I felt worse than I did last night. I figured maybe the medication had worn off, so I popped some more pills, waited awhile, and then put on some sandals to have a test walk down the corridor outside. I got to the far end and felt like I was walking on jello legs. I was all bent, too.

Hi! My name is Jelly McCrooked Spaghetti-Legs! Pleased to meet you.

So I took a taxi to the doc's and got 2 ass injections today. I wonder what it is they inject me with.

Taxi back home and I've spent most of the day in bed. Sitting or standing for any length of time is really uncomfortable. I intend to go to work tomorrow, though. It's Joy's last day and I want to say goodbye. We're supposed to go out for a farewell meal, but I doubt I'm going to be up for it. We'll see.

Monday, February 26, 2007


I don't know what sounds a regular baby zebra makes.
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But this one says "Bllllaaaaaaahhhhh."

Not a Happy Camper

Well. I didn't have a fantastic week. Since I had Monday and Tuesday off, it was a short work week - which was fine by me. I'm not going to elaborate here, but I'm sad about a few things. A couple issues in particular have been gnawing at me. With those, and the fact that I've been feeling lonesome and just kind of vulnerable - it's not making for a really special time.

I went into work on Wednesday and Jane asked me what I was planning on doing once my contract is up. (Fifteen weeks, baby!) I told her I didn't know. She said she hoped I would sign on for another year. She wants me to be working there as long as she's working there. That was nice to hear, and when I asked her why, she said it was because I'm a good teacher. I said, "Yes, that, and you looooove me. Admit it!" She laughed.

Later in the day I had a break and we were alone in the Teacher's Room, talking about life and relationships and such. I was moaning a bit about how I've been feeling and she said, "Listen, I'm going to tell you something, but it might hurt your feelings." I said, "Oh Christ, please don't! I just told you I was feeling down, perhaps you can save your 'constructive criticism' for when I can handle it better!" She pouted, saying she wasn't going to tell me at all, then. I told her that was fine, too.

I was anticipating finally having "The Talk" with my boss about tax and pension. I've been pressuring her a bit for the last couple weeks. Friday was another anniversary of since I'd brought these issues up. FOUR months ago. And we've gotten nowhere. So on Friday I was a bit shocked that Jane told me she had something to speak to me about. She hasn't been involved in these things at all, and I've made sure I haven't mentioned any of it to her. It really should be between the boss and I. I resent having to involve Jane as a mediator. It takes twice as long with me talking to her, her reporting to Karen, Karen talking to her, and Jane reporting back to me. WTF?

So - sheesh, I'll spare you most of the details. It seems like my boss is willing to admit I'm paying too much tax, but is still in the "tough shit" realm. I was told we could make pension contributions backdated from when I first brought it up and ongoing until June. Whoop-dee-fricking-doo. So instead of the 3,240,000KW I'm owed by law, I'll get 720,000KW. Again I was told if I agree to sign on for another year, they'll agree to tax me at the proper rate.

I flushed hot with anger and frustration, but kept my cool pretty much. Jane ended up yelling at me at some point and I just kept looking at her and repeated, calmly, "Stop yelling at me." I told her this offer was unacceptable. I told her I've been patient. I told her I've been thorough in researching the law and what I'm owed. I told her I'd be calling the tax and pension offices and they could fight it all out.

Jane told me I wouldn't win if I fought them. I told her I knew I would. She said it would cost me money to sue, and I told her I have money. I told her I have a father back in Canada who was offering to hire lawyers. (This is true, or at least it was a few weeks ago. He hasn't responded to my e-mail in a couple weeks. This is not unusual. It's doubtful lawyers will have to be involved. The tax and pension offices should be able to take care of this.) Jane wanted to argue some more about what the law is, but I said I didn't want to go back and forth when it's pretty clear. I invited her to make two phone calls and she'd know what's what. She declined.

Me. She. Me. She.

I've been told that the boss will be making calls to the numbers I provided tomorrow. (The same numbers I had in hand four months ago, but she wouldn't take.) Then we'll talk again on Tuesday. And probably I'll be making some calls on Wednesday.

It seems like this week isn't going to start out well for me either. This afternoon I bent to clean the cat's litter box and something in my lower back went POP. It made me scream this weird sound. Now I've got pain spreading around and into my thigh muscles. I can't walk or stand well, and even sitting hurts. I'm going to wake up early and see what's up, and if I'm still all crooked I'll get to the doctor's somehow and get some muscle relaxants. If it turns out I can't work, I'm sure that will be taken as an act of defiance.

Good times!

WCB - 90 -Poor Kitty

I think WCB - Weekend Cat Blogging is supposed to be a happy event, but sometimes - eh - life isn't so happy. A cat got my attention the other night with his loud sad meows. (I don't know if it was a boy - but let's call him that.) He was with a group of cats, it seemed. One was being his buddy, joining him to lick him and cuddle a bit in an alley. Someone came walking through though and startled the cats. Buddy ran off, and the cat with the loud meows hopped under a parked car and continued wailing. It was apparent he had a very badly broken leg. It was dark, caked with blood and dragged uselessly behind him.

I crossed the street and sat on the curb in front of the car he was under and spoke soothingly - hoping he'd come out. He replied with pathetic meows. So I went down the street to the convenience store and bought a can of tuna, hoping that would coax him out.
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You can see some of the damage to his back leg.

If I sat far enough away and kept very quiet for some time, he'd come out and nibble at the tuna. As soon as he realized I was watching him, though, he'd limp back under the car. I lay on my stomach to take the picture of him. I hoped he would come out so I could gather him up in my coat, take him back to my place, (which would freak Kami out greatly) put him in a carrier, and take him to the vet in the morning. Or maybe I could hire a taxi to take us to a 24 hour clinic downtown. I'm not sure there is such a thing, but perhaps.

But he would NOT come out. I sat there shivering and sniffling. I finally gave up after about an hour and a half after someone came by and spoke to me and the cat took off. I hoped at least he wouldn't go too far away and would come back and eat something. I've passed by the area since where he was and called to him, but haven't heard any sad meows in response. I hope he's alright, but I can't see how he would be in the long run. He was so thin and hurt. Poor kitty.

The next day, on my way to work - a healthy cat leapt out of the bush I was passing. Can you spot him? He's quite camoflaugey!
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I know what I'd do if I won the lottery. I would open up cat shelters here and start a massive PR campaign about animals and adopting rescued ones. Especially cats. Most Koreans fear them. (My students tell me it's their eyes that frighten them.) If I could, I'd take them all in. Yes - I'd end up being known as the Old Maid with 74 cats, but so be it! I'm realistic, though, and having one big rescue cat to care for is all I can manage right now. I came home that cold night after seeing the cat with the broken leg and petted Kamikaze, telling him what a lucky boy he is,...and how lucky I am that I found him.

For more catblogginess, go visit Kate in the Kitchen! Thanks, Kate and cats - for hosting this round!

Friday, February 23, 2007

This Week's Middle of the Night Drama

I went out on my balcony a few minutes ago because a car was revving its engine so hard, I thought it might catch fire or something. Just as I looked down, the car peeled off - dragster style - and roared down the length of the parking lot. Finally, (with not much room to spare before smashing into the dilapidated playground at the end of the parking lot) the brake lights came on. The tires must have left 20 feet of rubber as they squealed to a halt. The car then backed up very crookedly. It came really close to hitting a bunch of parked cars - but didn't. Then it revved high again and shot off, barely making the far turn around the building next to mine.

I ran across the length of my apartment and out the front door to watch the car weave toward me, before turning through the middle of the buildings (which necessitated another tip-toe jog to the balcony) and finally it pulled in to two spaces. The front tires bumped heavily against the curb, with the white line parking space line lying right under the middle of the car. It revved violently high again, and I waited for it to barrel through the iron fence and into the 2nd floor of the building in front of the parking spot. Thankfully, though, the car calmed down, turned off, and the door opened.

Out spilled a guy so drunk, he could barely walk. Watching from above, it looked like the parking lot was actually a ship, rolling in a high sea. The man would stop and try to steady himself, swaying with his arms spread wide as if to will the ground below him to stop moving. But then another imaginary wave would hit, and he'd go hurtling away to one side. I wanted to find it funny, but I actually felt really worried that he was going to hurt himself. And I felt sick, wondering if he had actually managed to drive himself home without hitting anyone. I hope so.

What an asshole.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007


Sad news out of Seoul today. It seems popular blogger Kevin, of Big Hominid's Hairy Chasms was attacked by a group of cats and a small octopus. A passer-by shot this picture with their camera phone:
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It's not known if he survived, but it seems doubtful. He was last seen dragging his blood soaked body down an alley, muttering "stupid cats and frigging octopie."

It's also not known why the octopus was with the group of stray cats, why the cats didn't eat the octopus, or why the wild gang of animals attacked in the first place. Speculation is that Kevin smelt of gyros and tacos. And maybe fish. And possibly cheese.

It's a sad day in the blogosphere for sure. Fare thee well K-man.

Monday, February 19, 2007


Happy New Year everyone. Here, we celebrate the Lunar New Year (commonly called "Chinese New Year" back home.) This year, our 3-day celebration fell on a Saturday, Sunday, and Monday - which sucks days-off wise. But my boss decided to give us Tuesday off as well, as she tends to do when holidays fall on the weekends. So, good for me.

If I was uptight about scheduling I'd be annoyed. The extra day off eats into my vacation time, and seeing as I just learned about the extra day off last Wednesday, I didn't have time to plan to do anything exciting. No worries though, as it is - I don't care. During the Lunar new Year and at Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving) many people travel to their hometowns to spend time with their families. The roads and highways are always super congested, and flights to other places are booked well in advance. So I usually stick close to home and do a whole lot of not much at all.

I went for a walk in the middle of the night last night. It was a ghost town here. In my hour long venture only a handful of cars passed by, and I met up with even less people. I took this picture of the ever changing ans growing and shrinking but always present pile of garbage.
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So I got something done!

Good Boy, whose name is morphing into Buddy: the Good Boy accompanied me in my stroll.
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He's very good at keeping up with me, sometimes he lags behind to smell stuff, because that's his job, and then he comes bounding to catch up to me, often leaping at my leg kung-fu style! Sometimes he places his paws perfectly on my calf and makes my leg buckle. Funny dog. I sort of wish I had a leash and a collar for him. I doubt he would like it, but I'd feel more like I was walking him, (or he was walking me) instead of us just walking together. Connectedivity. Connectedness. Connectnesstosity.

I spent Friday night entertaining a director for one of the companies around here. It wasn't my intention. I'd stopped off at the bar near my house in the hopes of finishing off a letter I'd started to my mom. Just as one drunk short fellow who'd been staring at me left (and paid for my beer on the way out thankyouverymuch) the director turned up and sat at the table next to me, smiling and speaking to me. He finally moved his two big bottles of Hite over, and ordered us a fruit plate. I protested to him, and the waitress - telling them I didn't speak Korean. Didn't matter.

I should open a club, called "Lonely Guys Who Don't Care if you Understand Them Bar." I'd train all my hostesses to smile and nod and insert "mmmm-hmmm's" and "ahhhh's" in appropriate places. Pepper in a "Jinja?" every now and again.

The Director suggested a noraebang - and of course I said "OKAY!" I will always go to sing songs. So we walked over to the alien-themed one I was at a couple weeks ago, and I still didn't take a picture of the cool alien chair. He sang older Korean folk songs, which I'm really not a fan of, but I practised my mad tambourine skills. When he scored 100 on his second song selection, he took 10,000 won out of his wallet and slapped it up on the screen.

"Ohhhh!" I exclaimed. "It's like THAT, eh?" So every time one of us would score perfectly we'd pull out 10,000 won. When our time was finally up, there was a small stack of bills. I'd won - with 4 perfect scores to his 3. He insisted I keep the pile, but when he left to pay the bill, I stuck his share in his reading glasses case in his suit jacket pocket.

I felt kind of bad, having given him a fake phone number when he'd asked for mine hours earlier. He was a very nice man, and quite a gentleman to boot. I have his card though, and know where he lives - right beside my school. It's kind of pointless, though, to stop by and give him my real phone number - as he couldn't have a conversation with me if he were to call.

I spent Saturday night with a bunch of Filipino men who were funny as hell. We hit the noraebang again and had a good laugh. What a difference between these guys and The Director, though. They all live in the same apartment building, but The Director's place is a spacious clean 3-bedroom deal. Really, it's too much space for him. The Filipinas, on the other hand, live in a smaller 3-bedroom apartment that looks, in places, that it may have never been cleaned. They sleep 6 in each apartment. 2 to a room. I just can't imagine suffering from a lack of personal space, but they seem happy. They're very easy going and affectionate with one another, and I'll bet they don't suffer the lonliness that The Director and I do on our own.

So that's that. Since I have tomorrow off as well - this is kind of like Saturday night for me. I like it. I wonder what adventures are in store. Every weekend should be 3 or 4 days long, don't you think?

About Me

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The my name is CCALONG-GIRLS.

This is my philosophy:
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"Delay of all people who is the possibility of meeting from Korea where the example bedspread. my hobby comes to grip in the person wild hand and the world to go sightseeing. It does always and pretty in order it is loved in the many people and 'CCALONG-GIRLS.'"

This is my mission statement:
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"He is the me tony comp peple mix all over the com"

There. Now I feel like you know me better.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

WCB - 89 Laser Cats

I was walking home via the video store and I had to stop and laugh at this box of cats. There were five of them - 2 big ones and 3 kittens - just sitting there upright and staring at me. Sadly, I'd left my camera at home. I walked back the same way the next day to see if I could see them again. I thought it was unlikely, as it was raining, but surprise! There they were, all sitting in the box again! The flash on my 1st photo attempt scared some of them out of the box. Then they got all annoyed and turned on their laser eyes!
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Korean Laser Cats!

This one perched itself above, ready to zap my head off.
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For more cat bloggy goodness, hop on over to kitchen mage who's graciously volunteered to host WCB this weekend.

Oh, and here's my big boy, patiently waiting for me to give him a cuddle and take a nap.
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Thursday, February 15, 2007

All's Quiet

Doorbreaker's gone. (Just a few minutes ago, actually.) I don't think anybody is inside the apartment. Maybe the fancy lock that's smashed to bits now was broken. Who knows? It's all a mystery.
I like typing in New Blogger's font.
I've got an infected tastebud on the back left side of my tongue. It's swollen and ugly.
It feels strange and not good.
That's what's happening now. In 10 minutes, ZZZZ's will be made.

The Door Breaker

For over TWO hours now, a man has been going nuts outside an apartment below me. My guess is he's been locked out by someone named Min-soo. In an effort to get back inside, he's been kicking the shit out of the door. I went outside a few times, considering telling him to knock it off, but I decided against it. After over an hour, and an especially long bout of pounding - I went out of my apartment and he got kind of quiet. I heard his footsteps descending the stairs.

He went to a car parked right underneath me, opened the trunk, went underneath the floor of the trunk and started rooting around for something. I thought, "Uh oh, he's getting a tire iron out!" But he didn't. He fetched some kind of pouch. It was grey. I don't know what it is. Then he came back upstairs and spoke quietly and tensely at length into the closed door. Most sentences began with "Min-soo ya,...." While he spoke, he set about dismantling the punch-in lock on the door. I know this, because the next time he went down to his car - to warm up, I think - I went down one flight of stairs and walked across the length of the 3rd floor hallway and then hurried back up the other set of stairs and headed back toward my apartment. He has made one big mess of that door! The motion detection lights in the stairwell gave me away, though, and when I glanced over the side, he was staring up at me from the parking lot below.

Things have been quiet outside since I've been typing this, but I'm too nervous to go out and see if he's gone. If he was standing outside my apartment listening to the clicking of these keys I'd have a bloody heart attack.

I'm on to him, but he knows I'm on to him. But I'm on to him knowing I'm on to him.
But hopefully it's all off.

Valentine's Day, is grand.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day

One of my 5th grade students reached into her bag today and fished out a chocolate for me. When I saw the side of her bag, I laughed so hard I got tears in my eyes.
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The kids wanted to know why it was so funny, and I told them not to worry, they'd figure it out on their own when they got older.

Let's Walk to Work Again

I walked to work again today, because that's what I do on Tuesdays. Yesterday's post was pretty grim, so I decided to snap a few new pictures today. The walk isn't all bad at all. I get to say hello to people a bunch of times. People love to say hello to me here! The street on the way to work is bordered, part of the way, by a great big hill that blooms continually from the spring through the fall. (It's pretty brown and sparse right now, so I didn't take a picture.) The road is also lined with cherry blossom trees, and in a few short weeks the white and pink petals will float down over me as I walk beneath them.

Here's the temple roof on the way.
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Here's the mountains in the distance.
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John suggested in the comments that I take an alternate route to avoid the dead dog, and I thought about that - but I would miss having Good Boy walk me to school, so I walked the same route. And here's Good Boy and - wait, who's this with him?
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A puppy! It might be his puppy. Maury Povitch in unavailable for a "Who dis puppy daddy?" paternity test, so we don't know. Regardless, this puppy just showed up last week, and was very shy. Now, though, that the puppy has figured out I've got treats, he is friendly as anything!
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That's a blurry tail wagging!

And puppy does tricks!
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Too frickin' cute.

So we trotted along and even though I promised myself I wouldn't look for the flat dog, I couldn't help myself - and BONUS - it was gone!
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Just some fur where it used to be.

Things were looking up. Even Flatty Flair has a buddy.
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Strawberries and bananas, a perfect pair - sliced up nice with a little cold water, a splash of lemon juice and a sprinkle of sugar. Delicious.
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Puppy and Good Boy, Flatty Flair and Chair, strawberries and bananas, all partners. All buddies. All ready for Valentine's Day.

And this was outside getting some sun at the entrance to my school.
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It's for you.
Happy Love Day!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Walking to Work

After a dream filled eleven and a half hour sleep, I woke up and felt like someone had hit me in the small of my back with a sledgehammer. All that sleep hadn't even really lessened the Sunday funk I'd slipped into the day before. I had been feeling lonely and mopey. I really wished I could just crawl back into bed for another eleven and a half hours, but it was Monday and there were kids that needed to be taught. So I got myself together and set off.

Half way to work, my "outside dog," who I've kind of named "Good Boy" came bounding at me. When he hears me approaching (I think it's the clicks my bag make as it thumps against my hip) he stops whatever he's doing and turns to look at me. He recognizes me in seconds, and comes at me full force in what only can be described as a "happy run." His front legs barely bend. He gallops. This dog is fast. And he's such a good boy! I pulled out my camera to take his picture.
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He always follows me to work, and the grandmas selling vegetables on the street across from my school always laugh at me with my dog. Once we get to my building, I reward him with a snack. He takes it gently from my hand and then trots off back to his home, small overgrown field behind an abandoned restaurant.

After taking his picture, I decided to take another one, but I'll get to that in a moment. I was considering doing a post on walking to work. I was inspired by this picture I took last week.
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I've passed this chair for over two years now. It used to be a chair, anyhow. It's been melting -turning into a lump of junk to go along with all the other lumps of junk on my way to work. It's flattening out under the effects of rain and sun. I look at it and think, "Oh, there's that flair!" (A mix of flat and chair.)

I've walked my route to school maybe seven hundred times, give or take whatever. I've tended, in the last few hundred times, to try to ignore most of what I see. Truthfully, weeks go by and I pass the flair and I don't even think about it. But while I had my camera out today, I took a picture of the scene before me.
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This pile of junk grows bigger and smaller. Its contents change, but it's always there. Piles of junk are everywhere.

When my friend Ryan was here a couple springs ago, we'd walk around and I'd ask him if he needed things we were passing.
"Do you need a rusty tricycle?"
"Mmmmm, not really."
We'd walk on.
"How about a bowling ball?"
"It's a little broken, it won't roll right."
"Mmmm yes, you're right. But you could get that hardhat and drop the bowling ball on your head!"
"That might be fun. Maybe we can pick it up on the way home."
"All those bones? We can make soup."
"Uhhhhh, maybe no."
"Electric guitar with broken strings?"
"Now you're talkin'!"

Nathan, over at Seoul Hero, recently posted some pictures from Korea University, where he's teaching. I have to say, I was impressed - and jealous. It looks so pretty! The campus looks so pristine!

My walk to work is not like that.
If you're squeamish, stop reading now. Seriously.

I carried on today, my outside dog prancing beside me, and as I was putting my camera away I spotted something. My brain couldn't figure out what it was seeing, so I squinted at it - even though it was just a few feet away from me - trying to recognize what it was. Whatever it was, it wasn't good. Suddenly I knew what it was, I could tell by its ears, and I shrieked, startling the old man who was passing to the right of me. He jumped.
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Just like the flair used to be a chair, this used to be a dog.

I dry heaved a few times on the way to work.

I told Jane about it, and she said it had probably been hit by a car. I told her I thought not. I bet it was someone's dinner. She said no, because they usually burn the fur off. I told her I knew that was true, but this dog was missing all its insides and its bones. Maybe whoever cooked the dog didn't have a blowtorch handy. She said, again, it was probably hit by a car, and I told her it must have been some kind of car to knock his insides out so cleanly.

I worry that I have to pass it tomorrow and the day after and I won't be able to avert my eyes. I worry that it's going to go rancid and reek up the already reekiness of my walk to work. I wonder what the kids passing it will think. I wonder my my Good Boy thinks.

I don't know if it's related, but I suffered a couple mini panic attacks today at work. They were weird; it was like I suddenly couldn't catch my breath and my chest seized up. It was the same kind of feeling as if I'd walked around a corner and someone jumped out to scare me.

Sometimes I don't know how to wrap up my posts.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Saturday, February 10, 2007

An Honest Cabbie!

I ran out at my 6 o'clock break to check if I'd been paid. I hadn't, and I wasn't terribly surprised. The boss was a no-show again today. I went back to school and told Jane I hadn't been paid. Only then did she relay the information that Karen had called this morning and said she would be in for sure on Monday. She also said that she was going to pay me, but not in full. (She needs to figure out my bills and deduct them - it's not that unusual and I don't mind too much.) So I ran back to the bank machine at the end of work and still, no dough. I went back to school none too pleased, and Jane ended up lending me 150 bucks from that days bounty of student's tuition. I went downtown because I needed cat food and litter and a few other things, and when I checked my account at about 11 o'clock the money was there. So that's cool.

If I can get an appointment in the morning, I'm going to head back to the dentist. Ever since I had my stupid gold tooth installed, my bite is all off. I've always had quite an overbite, but now I can't connect my molars all at once without the front teeth grinding uncomfortably together. It gets so frustrating I catch myself violently ramming the bottom teeth into the top teeth, and I worry I'm going to knock some of them loose in a fit of impatience. I have just recovered - in the last couple days, from a painful sore at the side of my mouth that would split open every time I opened my mouth, and especially if I yawned or tried to eat anything bigger that a couple centimetres high. All of this has made eating no fun. Which sucks.

Anyways. I had to visit two different supermarkets downtown, as one had the cat food I needed, but only that lemon scented shit litter that makes Kamikaze poo on the floor. The other had Tidy Cats scoopable litter, but not the food Kamikaze likes. No matter, I got a super deal on a massive bag of old sour reeky kimchi at one place - only 1,400 won (down from over 6,000) and at the other supermarket I found 2 for 1 packages of Velveeta cheese slices. I got four of them! When shopping here in Korea, you're more likely to see a 1+1 deal on food instead of a discounted item. Two packages of whatever will be taped together. Or you might get another bonus strapped to the product, say a roll of paper towels attached to your potstickers (mandu) or some salad dressing strapped to your tofu (a couple examples I saw today.)

I came out struggling with my shopping bags and headed toward the line of taxis where I was surprised to find a cabbie I knew! He's a church friend of a former co-worker (Elizabeth) and he's driven me a few places on special request before. I haven't seen him in a year, and on the drive home he excitedly told me of his trip to the US and Mexico last November. His son has just graduated from the seminary in Indiana and will return to Korea to be a priest in a couple months.

So he got me home, and I lugged my stuff upstairs- even though he was insistent on helping me. I was only inside a few minutes when the phone rang. I considered not answering it, because I thought it might be Jay who had called last night at a similar time and tried to invite himself over. But I answered, and it was the cabbie. I'd paid him too much. 26,000 won too much! (I mistook three 10,000 won bills for 1,000's.) He returned to refund my money - 20,000 won of it anyways. I guess he figured he was owed a reward for his honesty, and I wasn't going to argue about it. Whereas I'm too often having to fight a cabbie for setting the meter too high to try and rip me off, figuring I'm a stupid foreigner who doesn't know any better, it was refreshing (and lucky) to come across an honest man.

Friday, February 09, 2007

At Least the Week is Almost Over

This is me:
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I had this portrait painted of how I looked today! Hulk smash!

Actually, if I had really had a portrait done, the artist would have painted fat swollen eel-like eyelids from all the crying I did last night. (Frickin' sad movies about dogs!) This morning my eyes were messed UP! Even though I slept about 7 hours, I still woke up with a tension headache.

After a couple hours at work, I commented to Joy that I wondered if the boss was going to be in tomorrow. As I mentioned before, she did say that she was going to come in at some point this week. I want to talk to her, and tomorrow is my payday. I'd like to make sure I'm getting paid. I'm SO curious as to why she's been absent, and even though I figure it's none of my business, I want to know! I worry that something's really wrong, as it seems so far out of character for her, who is usually very responsible. She's left the rest of us scrambling at work. (Well, not me really. I teach the same amount of classes - but the other two are stressed out with extra classes and the tension can permeate the staffroom.)

Case in point, after I commented to Joy, she turned to Jane and asked in Korean if she knew whether Karen would be in or not. Jane lost her temper, "I'm so sick of you two asking!" her voice rising. Every day you ask me and,....(blah, blah, blah...)
"Oh - calm down!" I interrupted. "No one's asking to piss you off!"
"Yah," she said, turning to me, "You're like a little kid asking," she twisted her face into an ugly whine, "Where's my mom? Where's my moooooom?"
Then I invited her to "Ahhhh, shut UP!!!"
On my way out the door of the teacher's room I turned and said, "You know, you're supposed to be the liaison between Karen and the teachers. I don't call her on the phone, but apparently you're talking to her everyday. I need to talk to her, which is why I want to know when she's going to be in! Plus, I'm worried, which is why I'm asking. Just answer the question and stop freaking out!"

So much energy expended over nothing, really. If Jane was the type of person who would relay information readily, I surely wouldn't ask. We were in the 3rd class of the day on Monday with no boss in sight, and I had been assured she'd be in. I finally asked where she was, and only then was told she wouldn't be making an appearance.

I spent the rest of the day in relative silence during the breaks. Joy suggested, after Jane's outburst, that perhaps she is "on the rag." (Ha!) Only I think she said "Maybe she is having her monthly menses period." I doubt it, but who knows. Some days I really miss working with men - not because they're menses-less, but because they seem to be less apt to freak out if asked a simple question.

Anyhow, I walked home in the rain without an umbrella. It was really more of a fine mist on a mild night. I stood under the gate of the temple at the bottom of the hill leading to my apartment for awhile. I watched the mist float down under the orange glow of the streetlight as I thought about nothing.

And then I looked up.
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Thursday, February 08, 2007


Blogger forced me to switch to its new version today. I hope it doesn't suck!


I just finished watching a Korean movie called Hearty Paws, about a boy and his dog and his little sister.
I bawled my head off.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007


My boss is MIA. She's been gone for 2 weeks tomorrow and if anyone knows why, they're not saying. She was supposed to be in Monday, but then changed it to "sometime this week." So maybe tomorrow she'll be back. I don't know. I'm getting antsy - super antsy about issues which remain unresolved and am going to put a time limit on things the next time I get the chance for a sit-down. I'm thinking two weeks is reasonable enough before I start calling in support. I've been patient, but my patience is wearing thin in all areas. I've been told it's almost certain they're going to hire the woman who came in for an interview last week who can't speak English. (Not Echo, another one who came in the following day and didn't seem so neurotic.) I anticipate having no patience in the near future.

There's lots of things I could write about, and maybe I will tomorrow.

In the meantime, let's look at the art of Jesse. He's been my student now for almost a year, and he's progressed very well indeed. He's one of my favourites, and I have plans to kidnap him as well as one of my other favourites, Shelly, and take them back to Canada - and have them marry each other when they're old enough. Until then, they can clean my house and brush Kamikaze.

Jesse's not doing too much fire-art these days, but I got some interesting insight into his home life today.
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This is his family.

Jesse is the second smallest figure and his little brother is the little pink thing, the end of his mother's foot. His angry taekwondo vampire mother's foot.

Jesse's dad is the big angry vampire threatening Jesse with a big knife.

Maybe I'm not being fair, I haven't established that they're actually vampires. Perhaps Jesse's parents are just angry and fanged. Maybe they're angry because they're fanged. All I know is I don't think it's right they should kick and stab their kids. Frickin' Fang-People!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

WCB - 87 Bulldozer

Kamikaze sometimes is very enthusiastic about getting his meal. He'll stick his giant head over his dish and I have to try to shove him back so I have some room to get his kibble in. He's strong. And stubborn. He really fights me to get his head back into prime eating position. The other morning he won the shoving match, and I poured his food on his head. I could hear some of it falling into the dish as I went to fetch my camera in my bag.
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He did not care.
When I came home, the floor had been all cleaned up by my little vacuum cleaner.

Good boy!
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For more cat bloggiferocity, head on over to Rosa's Yummy Yums. And for your daily dose of CUTE make sure you stop by Anne's Food to see kittens. Cute, cute, kittens.

Norae bang

Norae - sing, Bang - room
The noraebang I went to last Sunday had a definite alien theme. I thought I had taken a picture of the lobby, but it seems not. They have this scary chair that's like sitting in the lap of an evil Star Craft character. This is the door of my little room:
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complete with personal disco ball:
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and foul mouthed lyric prompts:
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They brought us the cutest little cherry tomatoes. Look how small they are!
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Square Two

Just so you know, it seems like praying for the unruly students might not be such a great idea. Reed confessed in Monday's class that he thought having Joy pray for him was "crazy." On Tuesday, he quit.

I lost another girl from the middle school class as well (which is a shame, because even though her English was at a terribly low level, I really liked her enthusiasm, and she really seemed to be enjoying my classes.) She scored very poorly on the monthly test Joy administered in Monday's class, but instead of praying for this one, Joy beat the soles of her feet with a stick. (She actually had 2 of the girls climb up onto the desk of their hands and knees so she could hit them!) Joy had told me a few weeks ago that her New Years resolution was to be gentle with the students and not hurt them. I guess that resolution is broken, eh?

Praying for their souls isn't working, let's beat their soles instead!

Who Jay?

It was right about this same time last Sunday when the phone rang. It was Jay, calling to say he was coming over. In fact, he was standing in the parking lot below.

My peace was interrupted. It was almost five o'clock and I was still in my pajamas, having spent the screwing around and thoroughly enjoying a day at home. My future plans for my Sunday included a nap, a little more TV, and some "doobu kimchi" for dinner. I resented the intrusion, especially that I was being intruded upon by a guy calling from a cellphone while staring up at my balcony. He was with 2 of his friends, and even though I protested and asked for thirty minutes to get dressed and tidy up a bit, the doorbell was ringing two minutes later.

So, with me in a blue T-shirt and floral flannel PJ bottoms with a messy ponytail, guests forced themselves upon me.
This sucked.

So, while three men arranged themselves around my coffee table and pulled out bottles of makkoli, I ran around trying to get dressed and straighten things up. Soon, though, I was sitting on the floor beside Jay, "gumbey-ing" my company with a glass of rice wine and some seaweed and fish paste sausages laid out on the table - "anjou" the guys had brought.

When the makkoli was gone, I offered them each a can of Chu-hi that I'd brought back from Japan. Jay scolded me and smacked me on the back, gathering up the cans and hoarding them beside him on the floor. "These are for me and you!" he exclaimed.
"What?!" I asked.
"Don't give to them, these are for us!"
"What are you talking about? They're mine, and they're mine to give to whomever I want!"
He finally relented and gave the cans up, but this was how things had been going. I know he's only (half?) joking, but it's so silly! I don't want to have these conversations. I don't like arguing - and it seems like Jay thinks the way we should communicate is by him scolding me and for me to do a little tantrum dance while whining "Opppaaaaaa!" I'd already been thinking that this was getting old very fast. He's full of advice on how he figures I should act, and I'm full of the opinion that at my age I don't need another father.

Anyhow, someone decided that we should head over to the bar down the hill, so I went along. We shared a pitcher of beer, and then Jay said he and one of the other men had to go to their office. He wanted me to stay with his "older brother" (the oldest guy of the 3) and I did a little tantrum dance and whined "nooooo!" (Actually I said no, leaning in and protesting "he doesn't speak any English!") Jay told me "sure he speaks English!" and that he wanted his friend to get to know me. "He is very important to me and a good man. Please stay a little while with him."
Alright. I didn't want to be rude.

O-Bro (I never did catch his name) suggested that we go to the makkoli house where Jay and I had gone on a date a couple weeks earlier. I said sure. I totally like that place, and they have delicious doobu kimchi, which is what I had been looking forward to before the guys came over anyhow. So we walked to the restaurant and O-Bro spoke non-stop on the 15 minute walk. In Korean. I had no idea what he was talking about, but "mmmm-hmmm'd" and smiled agreeably.
At the makkoli house O-Bro talked non-stop. I watched the clock over his shoulder at one point, and 10 minutes passed by without him pausing - and I said nothing the whole time. When he suggested we go to the norae-bang, I agreed because it meant he would stop talking.

For a change, the karaoke machine wasn't set to "heavy-echo as if you're in a cave," and it sounded pretty good! When the lights would come up after I sang a song, O-Bro would start talking again, so I'd "mmmmm-hmmmm" while I leafed through the English selections, and then I'd just punch in some numbers and start singing again! I'd then point to his face and then to the book, "Pick a song Mr. Talky!"

After awhile, O-Bro decided it was time to try to kiss me and invite himself back to my apartment. ("Me. You home. Let's go.") I assured him that wasn't going to happen, so he said "Ok. Po-po juseyo." (Kiss me.) I told him I'd kiss him if he scored 100 on his next song, and wouldn't you know it, he did. So he came over to my side of the room and licked my mouth! Foreplay over, he again suggested we go back to mine. I said variations of "NO!" ten times, and then suggested he should go home. "You, go home. I'm staying." I convinced him it was fine, I wanted to stay. It was ok. I was staying. It's alright. I stay. Yes. I'm stay here. Stay. Yes. You go. I stay. Bye Bye! Bye! Go! Me? I stay. Byeeee!

So he went home and I stayed for another hour ("service" - whoo-hoo) and I belted out some tunes. It was fun! They didn't have Karma Police, one of my karaoke favourites, but they did have "Just When I Needed You Most," by Randy Vanwarmer!!! Now there's a golden oldie one hit wonder of a song! I sang that puppy twice!

So I don't know what the deal was with all that. I don't know why Jay insisted I stay with O-Bro. I don't know what O-Bro said to Jay about the night. I haven't talked to Jay since. It doesn't bother me if I never talk to him again. Men schmen. I think I should just keep practicing on my own at the norae bang so that once I go back home I can become the next Canadian Idol.

Thursday, February 01, 2007