Friday, November 30, 2007

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Under a Blood Red Sky

As I walked to the washroom just after five o'clock, I noticed the buildings outside were bathed in an unusual light. I turned around as soon as I stepped into the bathroom to grab my camera from my bag, as this is what I saw.
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I took this shot through a window that was quite dirty on both sides, but it didn't turn out too bad. You can see the reflection of the overhead light in this next picture, though. The scene was really amazing, though - and the whole town was bathed in a red glow.
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Down on the street, people walked around - kids with backpacks and moms rolling their babies along in their strollers. Middle school girls carrying books giggled with each other as they hurried up the road. Grandmas sat on the corner selling their vegetables. Not one of their faces turned toward the setting sun and the red sky over the mountains. Singing Angels should have been dispatched to grab hold of their attention for a few moments before the sky went dark. As I stood admiring the end of the day, one of my favourite poems popped into my head.

Musee des Beaux Arts - W. H. Auden

About suffering they were never wrong,
The Old Masters; how well, they understood
Its human position; how it takes place
While someone else is eating or opening a window or just walking dully along;
How, when the aged are reverently, passionately waiting
For the miraculous birth, there always must be
Children who did not specially want it to happen, skating
On a pond at the edge of the wood:
They never forgot
That even the dreadful martyrdom must run its course
Anyhow in a corner, some untidy spot
Where the dogs go on with their doggy life and the torturer's horse
Scratches its innocent behind on a tree.
In Breughel's Icarus, for instance: how everything turns away
Quite leisurely from the disaster; the ploughman may
Have heard the splash, the forsaken cry,
But for him it was not an important failure; the sun shone
As it had to on the white legs disappearing into the green
Water; and the expensive delicate ship that must have seen
Something amazing, a boy falling out of the sky,
had somewhere to get to and sailed calmly on.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

But You Already Knew This, Huh?

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From my student's pencil case.
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And go figure, student is a BOY! HA!
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Sunday, November 25, 2007

A Room with a View

Well, if you've got a window, then you've got a view - even if it's just the brick wall of the apartment next door. My view isn't too bad. The fall colours are nice.
Straight ahead.
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To the left.
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To the right is not as picturesque. I can gaze down toward the town below in the haze that is this afternoon. Misty mountains in the background. Apartments and telephone lines in the foreground, with that strange looking mushroom house and its junky surroundings on the hill o'er yonder.
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Not TOO bad, but it's certainly not this:
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If you want to see some rooms with some spectacular views, check out this site. Then go buy some lottery tickets and cross your fingers!

WCB - 129 Taste Testing

All last week "Animal Planet" advertised for a week long special dedicated to "the most majestic Big Cat in the world." So every night I'd tune in expecting there to be an hour long documentary on Kamikaze.

Turns out, they were talking about TIGERS! Tigers? Most majestic big cat? Puh-lease! Tigers learned most everything they know from Kamikaze. He's more like a puma, really,...but still.

Here he is testing for which part of my arm is the most delicious.
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A Majestic Big Cat's gotta choose the best spot of their prey to chomp into.
First, sniff it.
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If it smells decent enough, taste it.
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And then BITE IT OFF!
Sorry. No pictures of my severed arm. It was far too gruesome.

So now scurry on over to The House of Mostly Black Cats to see the rest of the kitties in this weekend's WCB. There was some drama over there involving a lit candle and a kitty. That's never a good combination.

Kamikaze had a similar experience the first night we moved into this apartment. We'd spent about ten hours getting here from Japan, and he was really freaked out when we were finally on our own in the new place. Once I'd let him out of his carrier he scurried around frantically checking everything out, before deciding to jump up on the stove where I was boiling a kettle to get some water for us to drink. Luckily I was right there and snatched him off by the scruff of his neck before he was seriously hurt, but he did end up with singed whiskers. Scary!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Poo Rye Day

My little kindergarten brother and sister, before their class begins, sit so close to the television set that they're almost inside. I expect to one day pass the TV Room and see these kids laughing it up with SpongeBob IN the toob.
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My mom would have a shitfit. I remember her warning me, when I was sitting quite farther back than these kids, that I was just about to go blind. At any moment. Five, four, three,...and I'd scooch back.

"We're hungry!" my sixth graders whined before my last class of the week.
"Oh?" I asked. "What do you want?"
"Anything!" they pleaded.
Seeing as I had nothing to offer them, I gave them some money and told them to hurry up and go get something. I figured they'd come back with ice cream or some fish bread.

Instead, they came back with a styrofoam container filled with crap,...I mean, crap uhhhhh,....crap.
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Here we have "soondei" - or "soonday" - whatever. Here's a recipe just in case you want to make this crap dish:
1 piece small beef intestine - (36" long)
2 cup rice cooked, still firm
2 x garlic cloves crushed
1 slc fresh ginger - (1") crushed
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly-ground black or white pepper
1 tbl Korean sesame oil
1 tbl sesame seeds crushed
5 x scallions chopped
2 cup beef or pork blood
(or 8-oz canned tomato puree)
Only, I've never seen soonday with rice. I've only encountered it made with chap'che (potato starch) noodles. And using tomato puree is for pussies. Vee vant blood.

The other stuff is offal. (Soonday is on the far left.) I picked up one piece and asked the students what is was. "Kahn," they said.
"The Wrath of Khan?" I asked.
Nope. "Khan" is liver. And "offal" which I'm sure you know, is crap the entrails and internal organs of a butchered animal, this case, pig.
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Mmmmmm! Blood sausage and entrails and internal organs of a pig Crap!

While my students plucked bits out with their chopsticks and savoured them, I commented to Jane that there are some foods in North America that kids are renowned for despising. Liver is right up there. The chances of sending twelve year old Canadian students off to buy some yummy food and having them come back with liver is less than zero. Ah well. Different folks, different strokes. Between the four of them, they cleaned out this container as well as a fat half bag of Dduk Bokki - fish and rice cakes in a spicy sauce. They were hungry!

At my student's urging I nibbled a bit of the liver and reconfirmed I hate the stuff.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

So Many Questions

I watched a video the other morning. I had been sent a link to it, and I didn't spend a lot of time figuring out what I was going to be looking at beforehand. It was disgusting and disturbing and the thought of it has lingered with me since.

It wasn't even the content of the video that bothered me. It was my reaction to it. Specifically, it was my lack of reaction. I watched it and thought "That's gross. Oh, now that's disgusting. And that,...well - that's horrifying." My brain actually thought those words, but I didn't really feel any of it.

I didn't feel disgust or horror. I didn't even feel particularly grossed out, and I know I should have. What I did feel was disappointment. I felt disappointed that two humans would perform such feats of such depravity, and I wondered what their motivation was. Money? Drugs? Kicks? The link has been passed around the whole world, I'm sure, and now there are many videos posted capturing people's reactions when they watch the video. You can watch recordings of strangers across the globe being horrified and disgusted. And we're all in the club now. We've all had those images uploaded into our brains where they'll be stored in whatever file folder manages crap that doesn't make us better as human beings. Let's high five one another and commiserate, "Man, how fucked up what that?!" I'm disappointed in the length that we have to go now to be shocked.

If I had a camera perched atop my monitor and it had recorded my reaction, it would make for a very boring video. My facial expression wouldn't have varied from what it's doing now. My face is at rest. It's my normal walking around face. It's a passive face. It's a disappointing face.

How in the world did I get to be so jaded? How is it that I'm not particularly shocked when I see images that are meant to shake me up? Why is it that seeing things like this, or reading stories of brutality and torture in the newspaper don't shock me? They don't surprise me. Strange enough, it's the tales of goodness and kindness that I come across that surprise me these days. What the hell is wrong with me?

There was a time, quite a number of years ago, where I was involved in a movement that I felt passionate about. I worked in AIDS education and it felt imperative for me to share my experiences with people. I felt inspired to do something. I got involved and I got vocal. I remember writing an article once that was about a page longer than it should have been, and how I fought and refused to have it edited down because I meant every word of it with such conviction. I had a fire inside me.

But somehow it started to rain in me. A slow drizzle that's taken years to dull the fire, and I guess maybe that flame was extinguished some time ago. Now the rains starting to rot my faith and optimism as well. Some days I wonder what it is I believe in, and I really struggle to come up with an answer.

I guess it was about a couple of years ago I happened upon a video of someone being beheaded. They cut the man's head off from behind and it only took a few seconds. The body fell to one side, and the head was tossed onto the ground where it landed upright just a couple feet away from the neck it had just been resting upon. The man's face looked pretty much as terrified as it had when it was still attached. As I recall, in my apartment in front of the screen I had my passive face on. I watched that video and didn't turn away and I don't think I reacted at all on the outside. Inside, though, I felt a hitch in my chest. It was, I think, the feeling of my heart breaking a little more.

Fast forward to a couple days ago when I watched the screen and felt nothing. I might be a zombie now. I might require some guys with paddles to come and zap some life into my heart.

Is it because I'm watching thing on a screen instead of witnessing them first hand that I'm emotionally flat lining? I hesitate to even ponder the question, lest the universe throw me into a situation where I'm provided an answer. "You wonder if trauma is more traumatic in real life? Here, Jelly - check THIS out!" In general, though, what good are all the images and sensory abundances our brave new world provides doing for us? Is the shrinking of our world, as knowledge becomes so über accessible, benefiting us humans? I've got to find a way back to caring.

Or, now that my heart's dead, is my brain the next to implode?

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Fresh and Sexy Zones

Colder weather means having to break out the chapstick and moisturizing lotion. We don't want to look all chappy now, do we? One of my ten year old students gave me a nice little tube of hand cream.
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Nice! It's SEXYMILD, so you know it's got to be good.
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I feel safer knowing my skin zones are guaranteed to be fresh.

Sue She

Today one of the moms brought us teachers a treat.
Mmmmm. Sushi.
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Straight from the Japaness Restaurant!
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Tuesday, November 20, 2007


When Korean folks get sick, they'll often wear masks. When I first came here, I'd never seen anything like it. I thought, "Damn! Korea sure does have a lot of doctors walking around. Look! There's a grandma-doctor! Oh! Even those little kids are doctors!" Now that I'm all wise and shit, I know these masked people are just being polite and not breathing their germs all over me. Kamsa hamneeda, Sickie!

Today one of my students had a cold, so she donned a mask. Only I couldn't look at her, because I kept laughing and losing my train of thought.
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See what I mean?

Sunday Dinner and a Movie

Ahhh, Sundays. Love 'em.
And, I'm loving this cold weather. Over the last couple days it's gotten really chillified. I'm not one to complain about the cold. I'd complain about the lack of snow, but I'll save that for around Christmastime.

So, - Sunday. Great time for dinner and a movie. I usually try to cook something half decent for Sunday dinner. Sometimes on weekday nights I might have a meal of toast. Or soup. Sometimes popcorn. You know what I mean.

But Sunday I had curry!
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Chicken curry with roasted cashews. I used pepper chicken, onions, peppers, mushrooms, curry and coconut milk. It was pretty yummy. Nice comfort food for a cold night.

And for dessert? Peach crêpes! Hello!
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These were simple to cook and assemble, but the preparation took some work! First, I made mock ricotta. Then I whipped up some cream by hand. Then I mixed up some crêpe batter:
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter, melted

And voilà! Crêpes! Let's look inside one of these bad boys.
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Actually, I was pretty full from the curry, and while I thought the ricotta was a good idea - I actually wasn't too keen on it. After I ate half a crêpe as it was, I started picking them apart and just eating the peaches and whipped cream. I think tomorrow I'm going to make some applesauce in prep for next Sunday's pork chop, baby potato, spinach and applesauce dinner. So maybe I'll try an applesauce and cinnamon crêpe tomorrow night.

Oh, and the movie was The Fisher King which I've seen maybe 548 times now.
I like New York in June. (As well as chicken curry and peach crêpes.) How 'bout you?

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Mom in a Tree

I just got off the phone with my mother. We talked for awhile about a lot of stuff. She's such a good woman, and has recently broken up with her boyfriend, who's a JERK. I told her she needs to find a Good Man.

"Oh, and where am I going to find this Good Man? In my backyard? In the laundry room?"
"Actually, I bet you could find one in Alaska."

We'd been talking about cruises. I really want to go on one. I mentioned that a couple posts ago, but I really am considering taking the slow route home next summer. On a cruise ship. I've also been thinking about taking my mother on an Alaskan cruise, which is a place she's been wanting to visit forever.

"Yah, Victoria at work is always telling me I should go find a man in Alaska."
"It's true. What's the man/woman ratio there? Like, 75 to 1?"

Actually, it's about 3 to 1, but still.

"Hmmm. But, I don't want any unwashed men. They should be clean."
"I dunno. The guys on Northern Exposure all looked pretty fine!"
"That's true. Have you seen that new show set in Alaska? Ummmm. 'Three Men in a Tree?'"

"Ha ha ha ha hahahahahahaha! You mean "Men in Trees?"
I couldn't stop laughing.
"Shut up! You know what I meant! That's a good show. Jerry's in it, you know." (He's the actor who played Jerry Markovic in ER. My mom loves him. She seems to have a thing for Jerrys. My father. The most recent Jerk, too.)

I was still laughing.
"Shut up, Jelly!"
"Hey, mom?"
"Is Jerry one of the three men in the tree?"

Oh, Pause

Some guy in my apartment building drives a cool car.
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That's hott.

I don't know too much about him, but I do know this:
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His name is Mr. Oh, he's on the "Club Turby Team," and he has the same blood type as me.

Next time I feel like I might need a transfusion I'm going to go stand by his car in the parking lot, and when he shows up I'm going to bite him in the neck.

Then I'm going to force him to drive me to Costco.

That's hott.

Lethargic Dancing Girls and Blurry Fireworks

Teaching on Friday was LOUD! For a change it wasn't the students so much, or me yelling at the students to "PIPE DOWN!" No, no, no! This was a day for celebrating! Today was a celebration for a brand new chicken joint that opened up across from my school. The place used to be a cramped Stationery Store where I'd stop in and buy cutesy pencils and glue and stuff. I was kind of surprised when it suddenly vanished. Seriously - it was there on a Friday and gone by Saturday night. So there was a couple weeks of renovation and then a "soft opening" about a week and a half ago. Friday was the Grand Opening, complete with flowers, balloons and the most lethargic dancing girls I've ever seen.


They played the same five songs over and over all day, and mostly did the "step side to side" dance. Across the street, the old men drinking soju on benches- permanent fixtures - were the only ones paying attention, sometimes clapping along. The music and the shouting went on as long as I was teaching and they packed it in just as I was getting ready to head into the weekend. It's a good thing this new chicken restaurant opened, because before that there were only FIVE chicken restaurants on the block. Now we've got six. I wonder if it's going to do alright. Three door down from this new place another resto "Oh My Chicken!" has sat abandoned since the spring. Maybe I'll make a round of the chicken restaurants and do a post on whose the champion of the chicken shops. Heh. For the blog. I would eat the chicken. And drink the beer that goes with the chicken. It'd be a sacrifice, but it's all for the blog, man.

Continuing on with the celebrations, today there was a shouting and singing concert somewhere off yonder from my apartment. I don't know what they were celebrating. Perhaps a new fishing shop or PC Bang opened up. Since I spent far more time asleep than awake today, the celebration just served to annoy me and wake me up. No problem, I just flipped over and dozed off again. They ended off with fireworks, so I set my camera to the "fireworks" setting as I hopped onto my balcony and took some lame blurry photos. Nice show though. It lasted about five minutes.
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I watched my silly little video and noticed a variety of other YouTube videos on offer once mine had finished. Check out this nine year old Korean girl!

Now that's not lethargic! What a great little dancer. But what do you think about some of those moves? Recently one of the elementary schools had a "festival," and a lot of my students were participating in various performances. Some of the grade six kids were practicing a little song and dance routine to "Summer Lovin'" from Grease, which I thought was adorable. Others were doing traditional dances. I convinced a few of them to demonstrate and it was pretty cool. One large group of five and six grade girls, though, were doing a dance to a hip hoppy song called "Gojumal," (Liar) by some boy band. When the little girls would break out the moves in the lobby before class, or even in class, I'd fight the urge to throw a coat over them and say "Jeeze! Stop it!" I didn't think the ass-shaking and pelvic thrusting was appropriate for a 10 or 11 year old girl. The Korean teachers thought it was fantastic though. "Ohhhh!" they'd clap along, "It's secshi dance-uh!"
Hmmm. Strawberry Jelly disapproves.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

The Pussy Has Been Named

Good news! Michael's pussy has been named! And guess what? It shall now be known as the most excellent name that I suggested! Let me introduce you to one very cool cat:
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El Gato Furrizales!

Please, now - in a calm and orderly manner, head over to Michael's site and check out the official announcement complete with a fantastic reciting of T. S. Elliot. I think Michael should be on TV.
Thank you to the hundreds of people who stopped by to vote on my suggested name. I share the honour of bequeathing with you.

Friday, November 16, 2007


My name is Jelly.
I am a Strawberry.
I disapprove things.
I am Disapproving Strawberry Jelly.
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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Bling and Things

Can't write.

I got a shipment of books yesterday and I can't put down "The Road," by Cormac Mccarthy. Most of the reason I'm compelled is it's a great read. Part of the reason is because of the style it's written in. There's no punctuation save for periods, and there's no chapters. It just goes on and on and my brain isn't recognizing a point to stop at. I love it.

I've got a pile of books to read, and I find the computer and television at my apartment distracting. Some nights I get on the bus after work and just ride it to the start of the line and turn around again. My town stop is the end of the line. Nowhereville. The round trip takes about an hour and a half or so. Sometimes the hum of the bus lulls me to sleep, but I enjoy that too.

Next up is another post-apocalyptic novel, "On the Beach" by Nevil Shute. After that is "Enduring Love," by Ian Mcewan. At some point today I wondered if I could sail back to Canada next year on a big slow boat with a big pile of books and nothing to do but read and fall asleep with the salt air on the ledo deck.

Most of you in Korea have probably heard of "What the Book?" which is a new and used bookstore in Seoul that will send books right to you! I love it. I can't believe how very long I spent here suffering every time I went to the local bookstore with its measly and unappealing selection of fiction. Now I get whatever I want, and don't have to deal with huge shipping costs from Amazon. I've got thirty seven fricking books on my wishlist at What the Book.

So today I rode the bus to read and to go get some cat food and other stuff. In the Pet Section of the store I flashed my flashy new ring into the aquariums and played with the fish.
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Shiny, eh?
In a tank loaded with bright fish of many colours I found that the purple ones in particular were fascinated by my ring. I wonder if they thought it was some fancy mate showing off on the other side of the glass. I wonder if they enjoyed playing "chase the shiny bling" with me tonight. Did it break up the monotony of their regular fish schedule?

Just in case you ever wondered, hamsters seem to prefer their running-wheel to shiny objects.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

WCB - 127 Mister Big

Mr. Kamikaze Kamakiri Kitty is a Big Boy. Lately, he sleeps his Big Body on my legs. I wake up with Big Cat-Shaped Indents.

I'm joking. He's a great cat to sleep with.
He's got Big Paws.
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And a Big Kitty Face.
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And he now gives you a Big Meow, which means you should go over and visit the Big Squirrels over at What Did You Eat?! Thanks, Super Sher, for hosting!

Saturday, November 10, 2007


We all know pizza is not the healthiest of foods. A single slice of pepperoni pan pizza (the kind I'd like to eat right now) is about 270 calories and 14 grams of fat.
Well that will just NOT DO!

Enter Korea's Pizza Bingo's "Well-Being Pizza!"
I don't know the calorie or fat count, but it can't be that high. This pizza is just like a flower!
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Flowers can't have that many calories. PLUS(!) this pizza comes with a generous side-order of flies and bees that will attack you, and your flower pizza, when you open their container. You're not going to want to eat many slices with a face full of stings! Join Korea Sparkling Well-Being Good for Health today!

Friday, November 09, 2007

Steamy Crabs

You've probably seen the TV show "Deadliest Catch," huh? Did you ever think about where all those delicious crabs end up? Well, some of them end up on the back of a truck in my neighbourhood!
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As I neared the back of the truck to have a look, the guy came around and told me the prices. On the far left, there were smaller skinny crabs - 3 for 10,000W. You wouldn't get a heck of a lot of meat out of them, but they'd be a bargoon for a single meal and some stock making. I told Crab Guy I'd maybe buy some next time, but could I take a picture? "Sure," he said. I pointed to the crabs on the right side and said, "Those are monsters!" He laughed.
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I didn't test it, but these babies were easily the span of my arm stretched out. Big! They're pretty expensive, too. I can't remember if Crab Guy said they were 30,000 or 40,000 each. Still, there's surely enough meat for 2 or 3 people. Or me and my cat.
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Big Big Crabs. Big Tasty Crabs. I should have asked Crab Guy for a bib, because I was drooling all over my shirt.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Sick People are Stupid

The thing about corners is you turn one and inevitably there's another one just waiting for you. And you don't know what might be lurking around the bend. It might be something like flowers. It might be something ready to kick your head in.

It's been a long week and praise Allah and all His Buddies that tomorrow is Friday. I get a bonus because it's Speech Contest Day once again, and thankfully I don't have to do much speaking. Toward the end of the day lately my voice sounds like sandpaper on gravel. I've pretty much begged the students this past week to take it easy on me. Pay attention. Keep the noise down. Be GOOD. For the most part they've come through with the exception of a couple classes who are always challenging. In my second to last class on Tuesday, I did something I almost never do. I bailed.

I'd spent the whole class trying to reign three students in, and they weren't having it. It was two boys and a girl who always give me trouble. It's not that they're malicious or anything. They just like to joke around and talk. Constantly. I was getting frustrated because they weren't listening, and I was having to repeat myself over and over. We were working on giving directions, and I'd put many examples on the board, we'd done a couple listening exercises and worked with a map where I'd place a token marked "ME" and ask questions like, "How can I get to the playground?" I was wrapping up the lesson by getting the kids to translate phrases. When one of the disruptive students couldn't manage "walk past the pharmacy," even after I'd picked up my pencil case, pointed to it, "It's a PHARMACY!" put it back on the table and walked my fingers by it, "Walk,....PAST,...the pharmacy." I felt like I ws starting to lose it. None of the trio of Talky Amigos could would translate. The third one started at me blankly and then said "Teacher?"

I flipped the marker I'd been holding up in the air and just walked out. Buh-bye.
They slunk out of class when they saw the students leaving other classes. I told Jane what had happened, and that I was worried about the level of two of the Amigos. The way their headed, they have no business moving to a higher textbook at the end of the month. The third is a naughty little genius, and he'll be ok. I also mentioned that the other students in the class, who are all really keen, are being constantly distracted.

The next day at the same time I was walking around my classroom and noticed Jane had the whole class I'd taught on Tuesday out in the lobby on their knees with their hands up in the air. Jane sat on the bench near them with a "Very Disappointed In You" look on her face and lectured them for about ten minutes. I felt really bad for getting them into trouble.

I'm totally lying. I didn't feel bad at all. It gave me pleasure. I considered sending my Wednesday students out to join in the kneeling and reaching for the sky just for the hell of it. Go, Jane!
It turns out that the Amigos and another student hadn't done their homework and started off class not participating, so their punishment wasn't my doing, all in all. Still. Me like. Stick 'em up punks!

The medication the doctor prescribed for me has been pretty good. It's been allowing me to get two or three hours of sleep in a go. Still, I'm dazed and confused. I went to the washroom today at school and started thinking about how awful I was feeling. I startled myself when my chin crashed into my chest. I'd fallen asleep on the throne. Tonight I stopped to rest a moment on a bench outside the building before I tackled the four floors of climbing to my apartment. I dozed off on the bench as well.

Today the doctor spent about 30 seconds, rather than his usual 4, with a stethoscope listening to my chest as I tried to breathe in and out. He tsk'd tsk'd and shook his head. "You have bronchitis." I googled it when I returned to work and Wiki's description is SPOT ON. My lungs are filled with junk, but unfortunately though my cough is persistent, it's not very productive. I feel like crap, and it's making me stupid.

This morning I was getting ready to brush my teeth and I'd already squeezed out the toothpaste before I realized what I had in my hand was a serrated knife and NOT my toothbrush. Granted, the handles are both the same colour, but still. That would have been cute. Idiot.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Wheezer and Hacker

I think I might be turning a corner. I mentioned just over a week ago that I hadn't been feeling so great. That was true. I thought I was starting to feel better a few days after that, but then Friday I woke up with a very sore throat. Over the weekend I spiralled down into my first full blown sickness of the sick-season. I finally gave in and went to the doctor on my way to work Monday and got the usual arsenal of pills with a side order of ass injection. And then I came home after work and coughed incessantly ALL NIGHT LONG and through the sunrise and right up until my alarm went off signalling it was time to get vertical and cough upright some more.

I went again to the visit the doctor and he increased my medication and it seems to be working. Knock on wood. We'll see how it goes when I get horizontal again.

Last night I was a madwoman. I drank all of this vile concoction, drank hot cups of honey-lemon water, downed a few disgusting pouches of liquid herbal medicine and mystery chalky powder stuff the pharmacist gave me last week. I even covered my chest in mosquito bite medication. It has mentholatum in it and I pretended it was Vicks Vapo Rub.

Today I've got dark circles under my bloodshot eyes and the inside of my mouth is full of sores, making it hard to speak. I've got a rattle in my chest, but I'm not coughing the junk up. Jane was sick over the weekend as well. We may have had the same thing. On Monday, she was near tears and barely able to lift her head off her desk all day.

Fingers crossed I can get some decent REM sleep tonight, or I'm going to stick a toilet brush down my throat and scrub my lungs clean in a couple hours.

Name the Pussy

Over at the fabulous Are You sure You Want to Know? blog, Michael is having a contest to Name His Pussy! Please take a moment to stop over there and vote on PussyCat's name. Of course, you're free to vote for whichever name strikes your fancy. But if you're smart, and I know you are, you'll vote for the best name ever - "El Gato Furrizales."

I imagine Michael coming home after work and saying "Hola hermoso El Gato Furrizales! Señor gato, ¿Quieres una tacos de atún?"

Contest ends November 12th at 11:59:59pm, so please hurry on over!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007


I don't know why, but Koreans have a fondness for poo. It's mostly the kids, I guess, but surely adults remember back to when they were kids and loved poo as well. Check out my groovy stickers!
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See? Those kids are loving their poo! And some of their poo can fly! And the toilets can fly! And sometimes, as what happened to the boy at the very top, the flying poo lands on your head! But it's ok, he likes poo!

This guy is really the King of Crap, though.
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Here's what we know about him, from the Dalki World website:

* Name : Dongchimee
* Sex : Male
* Hobby : Making art work using Dung
* Constellation : Virgin (September 9)
* Features : Creative only in Dung

* Character : Dongchimee, one of the characters of Dalkis, is different from Dalkis, main character. Dalkis' friends do not live in the neighborhood of and live with Water Melon, Lemon, Dolbam, and Banana. Dongchimee loves Dung very much. It is his own creation. It is hard to adjust and makes him feel good every morning.

Dongchimee tries to test to have creations. He sometimes makes dung watery or dry. He makes sketches of such satisfactory dung and put it in a glass bottle. Dongchimee spends most of time at home. He sticks out dung of others unconsciously when he is outside. He can't stand just watching it. That's why they call him "Dongchimee".

Dalki, just so you know, is a character with a big strawberry head.
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"Dalki" actually translates to "strawberry" in English, while "Dongchimee" translates to "shit needle."

Sooooooo, Dongchimee spends a lot of time at home messing around with poo. Let's have a look!
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Yep! There he is with his sketches and his feces and his glass bottles filled with feces and a fly with poo on his head.

Oh! And here he is in his bathroom.
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With his pile of pills and the Poo-Fly who seems to be stealing his crap.

I think Dongchimee is sort of insane.
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Uhhhh. Yah.
Shitprints up the wall.

Here he is being a pencil.
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See how he sits on the loo with his poo?
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(Dongchimee Poo Sparkling!)

Oh, and here he is being my keychain.
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My brother has a big collection of Dongchimee products because I keep sending him things for Christmas and his birthday. He once asked, "Seriously, Jelly,...why do you keep sending me all this shit?" which made me laugh!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Vanilla Bean Contest

Do you want to win a half pound of vanilla beans? Sure you do! Why not head over to Steamy Kitchen and enter her contest? All you have to do is link to your favourite vanilla bean recipe, and then leave a note in the comments section. Eight lucky people will win a bunch of delicious vanilla beans! I hope I win. I've never seen a vanilla bean in Korea. If I do win, I'm going to make me some Vanilla Vixen Cocktails.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

The Mountains

In the morning, from my balcony
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they're quite beautiful.

New Puppy

The family that owns Circle Gay got a new puppy they have chained up outside their back door.
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It ticks me off. Circle Gay is still a puppy, pretty much. They're neglecting him fabulously. Why do they need a new dog? So he can run in the streets, matted and dirty and tick infested? Or are they going to keep this beautiful dog chained forever,...ensuring a surge of rage on my part every time I pass by? I wish I knew how to teach someone to love their pet.
Oh, and I haven't mentioned it, but Crying Sleepy Kitten is out on the street once again. Mom said the kitten "ran away," which is absolutely code for "I shoved kitty out the door." Poor thing. A week or so of comfort and food - and maybe getting used to humans. That last fact isn't going to do her any favours here.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Scream! It was Halloween!

I've had some trouble, bloggy-wise, on this end. First, at the beginning of the week my monitor died a high-pitched squealy death. It actually started a few weeks ago. Apparently that super high whine doesn't bother some folks. To me, it was like I imagine a dog whistle must sound. It was bothering me so much I thought about tossing my monitor off the balcony. No need to, though - it died like it was saying it was about to. Good riddance. My new (used) monitor cost me twenty bucks. Hello!

Overlapping that, blogger was blocked by many ISPs in Korea for a couple days, so I couldn't see my own blog - or many other blogspot sites I adore. But that seems to be over now, so here we are. Let's journey back to a couple days ago - ahhhh yes, I remember it well. Halloween.

Here's a pretty little devil and her slightly spun sister.
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Our Halloween Party happened and it didn't entirely suck. I considered after my Suckoween post that a lot of my hang-ups about why our party would suck might be not only because of past parties here, but also my own ideal of what Halloween should be like. My students don't know anything about that. I probably could have handed them a pink balloon and produced a sharp hat pin, popping the balloon and jarring their nerves. Voila! Halloween! Then I'd hand them a hard boiled egg and send them on their way. Their moms would ask, "How was the Halloween Party?" and they'd reply, "It was Poppy and Eggy!"

But, really. She's Devilish, eh?
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Good kid! By and large, it was my most enthusiastic students - the ones who come to class wanting to learn and participate - who put the most effort into their costumes.

Here's a little devil sporting a "I can't believe I ate the whole thing" look.
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Twelve dixie cups of stuff and a bowl of jja-jjambuk ramen. Good job! He even ate a can of gas, used to power the portable grill to make the dduk boki, mandu and steamed red bean dumplings! He's gas-i-licious!

Here's a pretty witch!
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And here's the girl who was so upset at not being able to be a pretty witch last year she just opted for the taekwondo look - sans Scream mask.
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Here's a Witch-Cat and a Costume Abstainer enjoying some noodles.
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Here's a bit of a trouble maker and his adorable little sister. Last year she was SO SHY she wouldn't come near me, but this year she greeted me with a "HI!" and wanted me to paint her face!
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And I did paint some faces. I was present for our Halloween party, but sort of sidelined. I spent time with the kids and I was busy doing some prep work for the games (while other stuff was going on) but I didn't man my kitchen post from 4-5 and 6-7 like I was supposed to. It was hot, crowded, and noisy in there and we were well staffed with the middle school girls taking control. While the games were going on I retreated to a classroom and did some painting that students were begging me to do all day.
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I didn't take pictures of all the paintings. I could barely get the kids to stay still while I was working on them. Once I said I was finished, they shot off like balloons you let the air out of. And speaking of balloons,...

Meanwhile, games happened outside. Screaming games. Loud screaming shouting chaos games happened. This was blow up the balloon until it pops game. Two kids blew up balloons until they popped while a lobby full of other kids screamed and plugged their ears.
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I couldn't believe how big this kid blew his balloon up. Good lungs!

Here's my favourite costume.
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It's the same kid who won last year by cross dressing. Good for him!
I've got to say, my students just don't seem very creative for the most part. Before the party, I had asked what they were planning to dress up as, and a lot of the students said they weren't dressing up because they didn't have money to buy a costume. I told them back in Canada I dressed up every year and I NEVER spent money on a costume. I drew some pictures on the board for ideas they could use: a gypsy, a cowboy, a pirate, a hobo, etc. Out of a class of eight, four of them were wearing striped tops. "Look at you!" I said, "You're zebras!" And then I drew a convict on the board - wearing stripes, an ID number and a ball and chain. "Get creative!" I urged. Never mind. That mummy pictured was by far and away the most imaginative costume. He ended up winning the "Ugliest Costume" prize.
The day after the party I grabbed the boy's hand and told him I thought his costume was really awesome. He smiled and said "Thank you."

Oh, and I was a cat. Again.
But I went bit mental with the face paint.
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We should re-name "Halloween" here. "Pull Jelly's tail" is more appropriate. In Asia there's an abundance of short-tailed or no-tailed cats. Know why? It's beause children identify tails as pull toys. Yank 'em off! I know this because my cat tail was yanked 5,670 times. And now I'm a no-tail.

Many of the kids kept calling me "musowah" (scary.) I corrected them. What they meant was "jinja yebudah" (very pretty.)
Maybe they thought I was scary because I kept charging at them and screaming like this:
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