I love the cheese section in any supermarket. Mmmmm, delicious cheese. When I first came to Korea about five and a half years ago, the cheese selection was pitiful. There was mozzarella, and I think there was some Bega Cheddar from Australia, and there was - of course - processed cheese.
Lately things are looking up, though. The bigger markets have expanded the varieties of cheese on offer, and now I can get a whole bunch of cheese! Even the choices of processed slices have exploded, as I noticed when I was shopping a few days ago!
And if you don't like a variety of veggies, howz about some carrot cheese?
Baby cheese! (I wonder where they get the babies from to make this cheese. Mmmmm, fresh processed babies - makes me hungry!)
And of course, you should have something for dessert! Chocco cheese!
I love this kid. But he's so spun! I watched him watching a girl glue a piece of paper into her book a couple days ago, and he was so intent on following what she was doing. He'd move his head just so to make sure he was seeing every step she took in the gluing process. It was like he was a caveman watching someone make fire for the first time. Honestly, I've never seen him so engaged. He was fascinated. Usually he's fairly dazed in class, and I have to call him back from his daydreaming. Once she'd finished, he reached out for the glue and smiled so sweetly at the girl. Maybe he's got a crush! So after class I chased him around the school, telling him he was either going to let me take his picture or I was going to kiss him. He was laughing and protesting so much! Such a great kid, that Betty!
Last Sunday was so fun! My friend Ben came over and we held the first meeting of the Expat Movie Club. We had two members, but we let Kamikaze join, so now we are three. Ben brought over a bunch of stuff including a couple bottles of "Captain Q Cheap-Ass Rum." Aye-yi-yi! He also brought over his PC which we hoped to hook through to my television, but that didn't work out. We did manage to connect to my little stereo, though, so the sound was great. So, we pulled up two of my not so comfortable noraebang chairs in front of my silly little PC monitor. I set out a lovely tray of cheese, crackers, and fruit, mixed up a pitcher of some rum cocktails - and we began our movie viewing with Running With Scissors. I enjoyed the book much more. Next up was the highlight of the movie viewing, Little Miss Sunshine, which I loved! Great cast, and I enjoy anything Steve Carell does.
So then, a little loopy on cheap rum, we began the karaoke portion of the afternoon. What a laugh! Ben's got some program in his PC that has over 3,000 English songs, so we sang our voices raw. Look at the selection of Neils!
Then dinner. I'd made much of it the night before. I had made this poster the week before in one of my middle school classes. We'd been studying "process language." I couldn't get spaghetti out of my head after that! So I jsut had to boil the noodles and re-heat the sauce. It was really yummy. Mama Jennelly makes a good sauce!
And while we tucked into our meal, we started the last movie, Junebug. It was sssslllloooowwww. And I was trying not to nod off with a fast approaching rum and spaghetti hangover. But we wrapped things up and I got my second wind and actually watched a fourth movie on my own, Cheonhajangsa Madonna (English title: "Like a Virgin.") I thought this was really quite good, and unusual for Korea, as gay and transgendered issues seem pretty taboo here. I had to rewind and re-watch a number of scenes because I thought they were so funny.
Anyhow, it was such a great day and I'm looking forward to the second meeting of our movie and noraebang club. Do you want to join?
Was the sky. We had cloud cover all day, and even though I shook my fist at the clouds, threatening to come up there and beat them up around 6 o'clock, they did not care and they did not clear. And they even got pissy and started to rain on my umbrellaless head just as the eclipse was ending behind their cover.
Before I left work, though, I brought up a real time view of the eclipsing moon on the computer. Meh. It was reddish and dim looking. I was hoping it would be cherry red. And maybe shooting off some fire or sparks. And whirling around like a pinwheel.
It wasn't even emitting a tune!! I was hoping for a peppy version of UB40's "Red Red Wine" being sung by the Chipmunks.
If you're in Korea, take a look up into the sky this evening and see what the moon's up to! "In Japan time," (same as Korea) "the total eclipse of the moon will begin at 6:52 p.m. and end at 8:22 p.m. Tuesday, and the full moon glowing dimly in a red copper color will be visible from around 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the southeastern sky, the Japanese astronomical observatory said."
Unfortunately, they're calling for cloudy skies and maybe rain today. I hope it clears up in time for the Moon Show!
They're winding down. Not that it's any less hot here,...not really. YET. But soon, soon enough Summer will loosen her fiery grip on us. Different foods here correspond to different circumstances or seasons. There's Jjajangmyeon Day on April 14th, when losers (like me) with no loves can cry into their noodles with black bean sauce. There's Seaweed Soup, favoured by pregnant women and students. (Actually, the website I've linked notes seaweed soup is eaten by students before exams, but I think I've heard the opposite,...that students are supposed to avoid seaweed soup, because it's slippery and can cause the answers they've learned to slip out of their heads. I'm going to have to check that in the morning.) (But, in that same vein, mightn't the baby slip out? I'm confused.) Just last week I was asked what foods go with what seasons in Canada, and I couldn't think of any hard fast traditions like there are in Korea. I mean sure, there's more BBQ's happening, but that's more a weather thing than a season thing, eh? Soup's nice in the winter,...but one doesn't feel compelled to eat it.
Not to worry. There shall be no eating of any dogs by Jelly.
But, I do really love the other summer-go-to-food, samgyetang. Little baby chicken ginseng soup. Yummers! Recently I got to have a nice summer meal with my former co-worker Joy. Let's have a look! Mmmmmm. I love how there's always a little bowl of roasted salt to dip the chicken in once you've picked it off the bones. The panchan (side dishes) were all great, too. All various kimchi and vegetables.
Let's crack that baby chicken open! Inside is a bunch of nice glutinous rice.
Truthfully, I think this seems more like a winter dish. It's so comforting and warm and soothing. Seems like a wonderful thing to eat on a dreary cold night. But regardless, this was delicious, and I really enjoy the time it takes to eat. One must be patient picking that chicken apart. The only thing I don't enjoy is the skin. I've never liked the look or taste of boiled chicken skin.
But this was cute. A complimentary bit of bamboo wine you drink from a teeny tiny cup, and a little cup of raspberry wine from a bottle Joy and I shared. Good eats, good company.
Here's Kamikaze Kamakiri Kitty in my our bed. See the back of him? See how his tail is up? His bum is pressed against the blankets. That's how he likes to sleep - with his butt snuggled into something. I don't know why. When I'm in the bed with him he usually sleeps to the right of my head, between me and the balcony door.
Some mornings, I wake up and find that sometime during my sleep my head has slipped off my pillows. And sometimes when that happens I discover that Kamikaze has snuggled his bum into my head. He's a cat hat.
A couple mornings ago, I woke up not on my own, but because my big black fat cat hat was meowing. I repositioned my noggin onto my pillow and sleepily patted Kamikaze's bum. "Shhhhhhh, baby." And I started to drift off again, and he meowed. "Shhhhhh, Kami."
"Meow.....meow," he chirped. "Mroww. Mrrrow." "SHHHHHHH!" "Mrrrrow,....MROOWWWW,....RRRRROOOOOWWWWWW!" "Dammit, Kami! SHUT UP!!!" I demanded, opening my eyes ready to scold him and maybe push him off the bed. I thought he was telling me it was time for breakfast. As it is, though, I am the boss of meal times!
But Kamikaze was staring wide eyed at the balcony door. "Ooooooohhhhh!" I said. "I'm sorry, baby!" Kamikaze was staring at a samagee attached to the screen door. That's a praying mantis to you and me! Kamikaze's middle name is actually "praying mantis" in Japanese. Perhaps he feels a kinship to these scary looking beasts.
I reached out, opened the glass door and patted the screen. The mantis flew off, and I re-shut the door. There. Sleep-on, me!
When I got home that night, though, I discovered our little buddy hadn't gone far. Hello there!
She stuck to the wall upside down as she posed for me. Cool.
In the morning, I noticed she'd moved into my washing machine on the balcony. Wash me!
But OH! There was still the original one on the wall! Hi again!
They're still out there now. I moved the one from the washing machine to the wall hoping maybe they'd fight each other. But they didn't. They just sit there. Watching me and waiting to come inside for some breakfast.
So, scuttle on over to Belly Timber and check out the other cool cats in this weekend's WCB!
I stood sweating at a bus stop tonight. Behind me was a small courtyard belonging to a 2-storey house. The smell coming from the courtyard was not good. I wondered, as it assaulted my nose, it there was an open sewer line somewhere beyond the chest height stone wall. I turned to glare accusingly at the wall which encircled the smelliness and noticed some movement in the bottom corner. A steady drip of cockroaches oozed out, like a faucet that hadn't been turned off tightly enough.
Gross. This one lingered to have its picture taken.
It's wings are kind of unfurled. It's preparing to freak me the hell out by flying into my face.
I didn't get a picture of this face-approaching roach. I was busy flinging my camera into the road with my flailing cockroach avoiding arms.
I was out at a park a few mornings ago, just doing a bit of people watching and enjoying some tunes on my MP3 player when I felt something furry nudge my leg. I looked down to see my pal Buddy: The Good Boy. And Buddy had a friend with him! A puppy!
I didn't have any treats with me so, Buddy and his little pal has to settle for some scratches and happy-talk. This seemed to satisfy them, and soon they were playing in front of me. "Awwww!" I thought, "They're so cute play-fighting and wrestling with each other!" But then their game started to change. It became apparent that while Buddy was playing "Are You Ready to Rummmmmble," Little Puppy was playing "Let's Get it On!"
And Little Puppy, who is a boy-pup, was pretty successful in mounting poor Buddy and getting in a bunch of humps before Buddy would protest and give him a smack down.
And when Buddy trotted over to me with his silly smiling face and I asked him, "Buddy, are you gay? Are you all gay now? Is that," I asked, motioning to the puppy attached to his rear end, "yo' LOVAH?"
Buddy didn't confirm or deny. But I think I saw him wink at me before he and his "partner" trotted away. To a Love Motel, I presume.
A couple nights later I was on my way home and I ran into the pair again. I figured I would, and came prepared with some treats. Here's Buddy:
And here's his boyfriend:
They enjoyed the treats. Puppy licked his lips appreciatively,
And Buddy took his over to a mat to eat. He's so smart, my Buddy. Anytime he comes on a walk with me, he stops at every one of these doormats to scratch his itchy flea-body.
Puppy drank half of a 500ml bottle of water I poured fountain style into the bottle cap. Then he licked his wet nose.
And then, with bellies full and thirsts quenched, it was time for some gay-sex.
They walked me all the way home that night, my little gay friends. The puppy has been named "Circle Gay" now. When he's happy, he circles. The happier he is, the more he circles. You should see him when he comes running up to meet me on the way to work. He looks like a Dervish. And when he now walks with Buddy and I he makes a circle every few steps, (and then humps Buddy for a bit.) He cracks me up.
So there you have it. Sweet gay doggy love on the streets of Korea. Not that there's anything wrong with that!
I tell ya, that Kevin can just hypnotize me! He's all like, "Jelly?" in his big boomy voice, and I'm all like, "Yes, Master?" A couple weeks ago I awoke on a Monday morning and knew immediately what I was going to have for dinner that night after visiting Kevin's post. Kevin's shrimp kind of looked like they'd been stir-fried in dirt, but still,....shrimp,....yummmmmm.
So here's what I had that night: White rice, a bowl of soon doobu jjighae, and some yummy shrimp that were stir fried with garlic, basil, and chili. It was deelish!
And just this past week, Kevin done hypnotized me again with his great looking salad. It reminded me that I had some blue cheese somewhere in the fridge I'd bought on sale a couple weeks ago. "I should eat that up," I thought. And it also reminded me of a salad I used to make back in Canada a looooong time ago! So here's what I ate Monday and Wednesday! Now this salad both ROCKS and ROLLS! Too yummy, and it's not hard to make.
Round these here parts, we don't gots no fancy kitchen you-tensils like them stuck up city folk. Round these parts, we youse our knifes for all the choppy-chop. Here I've shaved a lemon and am choppy chopping it, pretending I'd used a fancy zester. I'd just finished chopping some almonds, so that's not dirt on the board. (Kevin had used a hand held fancy chopper-thing on his nuts, which made it appear that he'd "sprinkled almonds on his almonds." That made me laugh.) (Also, as previously noted, Kevin's the one who cooks with dirt.) (And the idea of Kevin chopping his nuts, ha ha ha!)
So, for the salad,...easy-peasy. Tear up a variety of greens in a bowl. I used a mix just like The 'Ho did. Would that be "mescaline greens" back in North America? Maybe. Chop half a green apple and lay that on top. Then add some hunks of blue cheese, and drizzle some dressing. The dressing is made of the zest and juice of one lemon, some mayonnaise, some milk (or you could use cream, or nothing I suppose) a nice drizzle of honey, and lots of black pepper. It's really good. Finally, schprinkle on some toasted almonds. Mine are just a little TOO roasted. You've got to mind them while they're on the flame - or under the broiler - 15 seconds can make the difference between golden or charred. In Canada, I used to make this salad with roasted pecans. I think walnuts would work too! So, voila! Eat up!
I'm not the most patient person by any means. I try. I endeavour to keep a calm and controlled face even when my inner self is rolling around the floor of my brain throwing a terrific tantrum, screaming and pulling its hair out. I have even more trouble with patience when I'm really tired, or really hot. So teaching LOUD children in 28 degree classrooms is messing with my mind. What I might normally think is kind of endearing, I'm finding to be terribly annoying. "Yes, Sook-Jae, we all know you have a dramatic flair, but do you need to perform a couple Shakespearian acts before you answer the question? Just ANSWER IT, already. The whole class is looking at you. I know it pains you to have them turn away,...but release us! I beg you! And STOP BREATHING, already!"
Things just seem to be falling apart round here. My camera showed its first sign of trouble today, with half of the screen going very dark. The building I work in smells like a urinal. I've broken 3 dishes since last Friday, not to mention my PC, and I didn't get to have a massage last night because of a screw-up. The reservation was somehow made at the dermatologist beside the massage place. (???) If I had any energy, I might sulk, but as it is I can't be bothered.
This morning, the idiot who was supposed to show up yesterday to check something on my gas meter, started ringing my doorbell and pounding on my door, like she was on fire on the other side of it. I growled and started to climb out of bed, until I heard her turning the door knob back and forth, trying to get into my apartment. I HATE that habit here. What if I'd forgotten to lock my door, as I've done plenty of times before, and she walked in on my naked ass? So I muttered "%@$#% you, cuckoo," and flipped back into bed while she continued trying to smash my door in.
And I'll just say this because I'm on a roll, but hanging out with my co-workers after the missed massage appointment last night made me wonder if they're kind of retarded. Especially Sunny. We went for some dinner and a bit of a shop. Hey,...peeps in Korea who watch TV,...have you ever seen those Korean food infomercials and they keep going back to a family enjoying said food around a table or on a picnic or whatever? The actors seem like with every bite they take, they have just eaten the most delicious thing on the planet. They widen their eyes and nod enthusiastically to each other. I suppose that's the way it's supposed to be, to try and sell their stuff- but their reactions are just so OTT, it's hard not to retch!
Well that's what dinner was like last night. Much sqealing. Many, "MMMMMMMM's!" and "Oh, my GOD's!!" There was seat dancing. There was even some triumphant holding-up-of-the-food so we could all bask in it's deliciousness. I wondered when the door to the kitchen was going to open and reveal the misty glorious glowing of the Angels who had surely cooked our meal.
Then Sunny and I went shopping where she liked to walk behind me and tr to jam the cart up my ass. I was again just amazed at how terrible her English is. Not only is her grammar messed up and her vocabulary very limited, but her pronunciation is so garbled, it sounds like she's still carrying around some of that delicious dinner in her cheeks, all squirrelish, like. I have a really really hard time understanding her. And she almost never knows what the hell I'm talking about, though she pretends she does, which irritates me further. I have to try really hard not to regress to caveman speak. "Me. You. Shopping. Go."
I'd just about had it when she answered, "Would you like something to drink?" (while pointing at a cooler full of drinks) with "You get. I drink your-suh." Uhhhhhhh, what? It's like that now? Are we a couple?
Today, the heat and my impatience built even more. As I left my cool apartment and walked into the sauna that is outside, I looked up in the distance toward angry black clouds approaching from the east. "Yah," I commanded them. "You rain it up, jerkys." About an hour ago it turned almost dark as night and the skies finally opened up and it just poured. We haven't had rain in days. Now, Sunny is whimpering and whining that the thunder is so scary! But I like it! I just hope we'd get just a bit of relief from the heat. And in turn I'd get some relief from my grouchiness!
**UPDATE** Just so you know, the rain was hard but short lived. It had the same effect as pouring water on the stones in a sauna. I was SOAKED by the time I got home, and there wasn't a raindrop in sight! And, my co-workers are actually pretty nice, I'm just mean.
There doesn't seem to be much point mentioning the weather, really. Seems like these days we're all in the same boat. It's HOT. Everything's hot. Hot, hot, hot. We're all melting!
At work, we've had the central air thingie going full force since about noon, set to 19 degrees, and yet haven't been able to get the temperature below 29 all day long. I've begun my classes with, "Okay kids, open your books and STOP BREATHING. You guys are sucking up all my air." Seriously!
But at home, it's nice and cool. Ahhhhhh. I cleaned my air conditioner a couple weeks ago. Now it works great and there is, like Dorothy said, "no place like home."
I'm at work, and I'm distracted. Children keep whining calling my name. One little girl keeps running into the Teacher's Room to kiss my arm. Today I glanced up and caught a boy, who didn't know I was looking at him, check his watch, make the sign of the cross, kiss his hand, and then pump his fist into the air. He caught me watching him with his final gesture, and I smiled at him, but couldn't stop my eyebrows heading toward my hair. I wonder what's up with him.
I almost got a PC today. It's used but much better than the junk I've been using at home. All the details sounded good, price was right, but then I was told the whole systems in Korean. I told them that wasn't going to work out. So we're still looking. I should be online before the weekend. Hope so!
Tonight, I'm going to go for a massage with my co-workers. First one ever! While I'm at it, I might even have a manicure. I mean, why the hell not? Meanwhile, there'll be a full lunar eclipse this time next week. That's cool. We'll see a red moon rising!
Outside my apartment building, there are many many holes in the ground where many many of these things live: I do not like them.
Speaking of bugs, Computer-Man came to my apartment and hooked me back up again. Yet I still have some trouble, and can't get any e-mails right now. Sometimes my browser's all messed up. So Mister C.M. will have to come again and have a look. I'm considering buying a new PC. This thing is such a hunk-of-junk.
And this is for my pal The Big Ho, in case he's hungry.
While I was walking through town tonight, sweating my face off, I noticed a new restaurant had magically appeared practically overnight! It serves "toast-uh"! Check it out: Hmmmm. Sounds like the kind of joint a bunch of stoners would hang out at, eh?
Get it? Joint? Stoners? Mwaaaaahahahaha! I so funny!
My crap-o-la PC at home has decided to stop working. Some PC-Fixer-Man was supposed to show up at my place last night, but he didn't. Jerk. (For some reason, even though I went home straight away to wait for him, I knew he wasn't going to come!) Call me psychic. Jerk.
So today's a holiday and I'll be without PC again. I hate it. It's isolating enough here,....but it's so much more so when I can't sit down and check in at will. On the other hand,...I want to totally make out with any and all holidays. So there's balance.
So maybe Thursday I'll be online. Perhaps. In the meantime, behave yourselves.
My blog sits in the corner alternately sulking and quivering with fear. I'm a neglectful Blommy. But today, after I woke up, I picked up my blog and whirled it up in the air and it squealed happily. Then I tickled it and it giggled. And I talked to it quietly and explained that I know I've been mean, but have felt a bit sulky and out of sorts. I haven't felt so consistently exhausted in all my years. "It's not your fault, Blog. You're a good blog. You give me a way to express myself, and it's just been that I haven't been able to corral my thoughts." I gave my blog a flower. And I promised to play more.
A friend of mine sent me a quote by Steven King today, "The most important things are the hardest things to say. They are the things you get ashamed of, because words diminish them - words shrink things that seem limitless when they were in your head to no more than living size when they're brought out. But it's more than that, isn't it? The most important things lie too close to wherever your secret heart is buried, like landmarks to a treasure your enemies would love to steal away. And you may make revelations that cost you dearly only to have people look at you in a funny way, not understanding what you've said at all, or why you thought it was so important that you almost cried while you were saying it. That's the worst, I think. When the secret stays locked within not for want of a teller but for want of an understanding ear." from The Body, Different Seasons; Stephen King
From what I've heard other people say, listening to another person describe a dream they had is about as interesting as watching the sun shine. I sort of beg to differ. Someone with a knack for storytelling would be able to make anything sound interesting. Some people I know have said I can tell a tale. Granted, I pay beg them to compliment me, so you never know.
Anyways. I've dreamt about ants on a banana poof recently. You might already know that. But I've also dreamt about old friends lately. (I blame &@^#% Facebook.) In the dreams, I meet friends I haven't seen in years. I'm always very pleased to see them, but inevitably as they're describing what they're up to these days, I reach my hand out, grab the back of their head, and pull them close to me. Then I bite a huge chunk out of their neck and relish the fact that my old friends taste like cherries.