Monday, June 16, 2008


I forgot to mention that the wee praying mantis escaped their little home. This was taken a couple weeks ago on a Monday, and all the little babies were long gone.
I had hoped that once the little guys broke free they would wait around for me to show up and then climb aboard my finger and, like, sing me a song or something. They probably made scarce though because of me. They knew some big thing stopped by a couple times a day to stroke their nest and say "ooooootheca." I think they were inside imagining me salivating and licking my lips anticipating what a tasty snack they'd be once they'd made their way outside. I removed the ootheca and snapped it open to investigate the inside. There were little pods to house each of the little mantis. One cool thing about little praying mantis babies is that they hatch as perfect little replicas of their parents. Trés cute.

I miss having the ootheca to pass by every day, though. I need a new touchstone.

Meanwhile I escaped through the countryside to the beach. The rice paddies are growing up prettily.


Spot the crane?

And the sea was lovely. I could have swam in it, but was in my jeans and a T-shirt. Still, I had a nice wade to almost knee deep.
Spot the fishermen?

There was an animal skull on the beach. Probably a dog, and I spared you all the photographic evidence. It was unclear whether it was consumed by man or beast. That was gross, but otherwise it was a nice day.

Sunday, June 15, 2008


We got a new teacher finally. Yeeee hah! I don't know too much about her, except her English is crap. I know I shouldn't be surprised, but still I am. She's worked as an English teacher for at least five years, so I expected her to have a decent grasp of the language. No dice. She also talks to herself. A lot! And as I speak to her she repeats words I say multiple times. It's kind of like speaking to a parrot.

We went out for dinner in the middle of the week to celebrate her arrival and my FOUR YEAR anniversary. I was pleased to find that New Teacher drinks. Often at our meals out I was the only one having a few glasses of whatever, and it's always nicer to have someone to "cheers." Thing is, New Teacher started rocking herself back and forth about halfway through the meal and didn't stop for another hour and a half. I just found it to be weird.

Another weird thing happened on Friday when I showed up to work to find one of my student's mothers waiting for me. She owns a bar near the school and we've become very friendly. She had a favour to ask me and came inside so my boss could translate. Pancha (my student's mom) has a friend who is going through some marriage troubles and has left her husband and come here from another city. Apparently she's already gotten herself a job, but doesn't have anywhere to stay. Pancha was hoping I'd let her stay with me.

I only had to think about it for .0025 seconds before saying "uhhhhh no way!"
I looked at my boss and said, "Please tell her I'm sorry, but that's impossible."

I live in a studio apartment. There's no way in hell I could handle a middle aged woman sleeping on my floor. Who I don't know. Who doesn't speak English. Pancha just hoped that I'd be cool and sleep alongside this stranger on the floor Korean style.

I think that's the nuttiest thing anyone has asked me to do since I've been here.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Jindo Dog

Here's the big jindo dog that gets really excited when he sees me coming by on my way to work. I always stop and give him some pets and tell him he's a handsome fellow. Sometimes I'll sneak him a treat. It's such a drag he's chained to his doghouse all the time. He's very much NOT trained, so if he's happened to escape off his chain (which has happened a couple times) he jumps all over me. He's very strong.

Here's Jindo Dog yesterday looking stupid with eyebrows that some dumbass drew on him.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Granny Gets Down!

There was a bakery across the road from my school that I almost never went to. I guess me not buying anything there affected them, because they packed up their stuff and closed up shop a couple weeks ago. The construction guys swooped in a couple days later and started renovating the place. I didn't know what the store was going to end up being, but I was hoping for a giant multiplex cinema.

No such luck, though. Another bakery opened up in the the old bakery's place.
Ah well.
But, with the opening of the shop came the usual circus complete with a clown and dancing girls. Damn, it was loud! It's usually a challenge to get my voice over top ten screaming little students, but when you have a nightclub outside your window,...fuggedaboutit. (They also hired a truck with two dancing girls on it that drove around the neighbourhood blaring dance music. When the truck would swing by this way we got double the noise pollution. Cuckoo!)

Check out the granny who broke rank from the vegetable selling halmonies!

Nice bums on the girls, huh?

Saturday, June 07, 2008

WCB - (#IDON'TKNOW) Arms Inside the Ride

Big Kamikaze has a Big Giant Mouth, which is good for chomping up all the fishies. Still, his Big Giant Mouth cannot contain his Massive Giant Fangs.

They're ferocious and fierce and liable to bite your fingers clear off, so I try to keep my hands inside the roller coaster at all times.

But sometimes I forget and my hands and fingers are just wandering around doing stuff and then *BAM* I've got a cat with fierce and massively uncontainable fangs attached to my digits.

I couldn't take a picture of the aftermath because that there was mah pitcher takin' fingah. Now I've got a nub.

He's Japanese, so Kamikaze Kamakiri Kitty is a good name for him, but if I'd gotten him when I travelled around in Scotland I would've totally named him Fangs MacNubmaker.

So now you should all Highland Fling over to Sher's and see the kitty with a shoe on her head. I think Laura's high. Thanks Sher for hosting this weekend's round-up and I hope you're feeling better.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Tuesday, June 03, 2008


When I was younger my family lived in a house with a furnished basement. I used to spend time down there because that's where the television lived, but you would only find me there if my father wasn't home. The downstairs was his domain, and I made sure to make it seem like I had never been there at all once I'd turned the TV off. We never ever watched TV together. In fact, we never really did anything together after we'd moved to that house. I stopped showing up for the most hostile passive-aggressive experience on Earth dinner once I started high school, and my father bought himself a car with only two seats in it, and my ass was never invited to grace the passenger side.

My extended family didn't gather together too often, but would occasionally have some reason to come by to the most hostile passive-aggressive place on Earth our house. On those occasions, my father would dress up in a tie and his festive red vest and head down to his basement domain and stand behind his bar like he was waiting for his first customers to stop by. Everyone else would stay upstairs on the first floor. The three velour stools on the other side of the bar downstairs always stayed empty.

If I'd have had more courage I might have sat down in one of them and asked, "What the hell is WRONG with you?" but I was too twisted full of rage and pain. I hated the guy, but I couldn't stop my heart from reeling, thinking that downstairs was the angriest loneliest man in the world.

I've spent my life trying to figure out what was going on with him, and I've never been brave enough to ask. I've also never really had the courage to talk about any of that mess with anyone, and I don't think it's done me any favours.

"Time heals all wounds."
Does it?
Time distances. It ticks. It carries you away and allows for experience that might help you to view the past from a different perspective, but I don't think it heals. It may help to make circumstances that were once so jagged and angry seem less so. But, maybe not.

I was at a bar a few weeks ago and a couple of drunk guys approached me to have a chat. One of them was very nice, but he gestured toward his friend and said, "He is drunk asshole." I took him at his word and avoided talking to his buddy who sat on the stool next to him. At some point, the asshole said something to me (I honestly can't recall what it was, but it was ignorant) and I told him to fuck off. He reached around and grabbed me by the hair and yanked my head back. Hard. I grabbed the bar with one hand, trying not to be dragged off my stool, and grabbed his wrist with the other one.

"Let go," I said. "Seriously, let go of me."
His grip tightened as his friend urged him to stop.
I tried another tact, "I'm a girl! Let GO!"
And he did.
And without even thinking about it, I leaned over and punched the guy in the head. Which felt good, so I punched him again. And now his friend was telling me to "hajima," and so I stopped. Punching him. But I stepped off my stool and kicked him hard in the shin. His friend pulled him away, out the door and up the stairs.

I was alone again, and my mind transported me to the other side of the bar and quickly suited me in a tie and a festive red vest. And so I asked me what the hell is WRONG, and I've spent the last few weeks examining all this wreckage that time has helped to bury and form into a hard hot ball in the basement of my soul. I don't think it's just a coincidence that I've had a bad stomach ever since, and I've felt so guilty when I think about my actions, even if the guy was an asshole. There's no going back in time to make things any different about my past, but I think it's just about time to yank all this shit out into the sunlight because it's affecting my present.

"We consume our tomorrows fretting about our yesterdays." -Persius

Now it's time to figure out how to make myself let go.

"History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again." -Maya Angelou