Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Voodoo Child

I know there's someone out there with a little voodoo doll of me. That is the only logical explanation for why it felt like a needle was being poked through the side of my left nipple all day long Sunday. I know I wasn't in a tattoo shop getting my nipple pierced, because I checked. I was in pajamas in my apartment. So someone was somewhere else sliding a needle in and out of their Jelly-doll. Maybe the button nipple had fallen off and they were just taking a really long time sewing it back on.

Then sometime last night the same someone who lives somewhere did something to their Jelly voodoo doll - I don't know what voodoo trick specifically,...maybe the smearing of strawberry jam or just pressing some chewed up gum under the right eye which resulted in my waking up with a little bump. That was irritating. Throughout the day, though, more voodoo juju must have been performed and the bump turned into a stye that sits under the full length of my eye like a big peach leech, or a blister's angry sister.

So now my thought process pretty much goes like: *blink* "ouch" *blink* "ouch" *blink* "ouch" *blink* "&^%&ing OUCH!"

Remember when I wasn't dreaming of blue turtles? I've had the crumbling falling out teeth dream twice more since then, and I know that the shattering fangs in my mouth sound exactly like LEGOs® being bounced around in a bag.


Saturday, March 28, 2009

Are you Earth Houring?

Tonight at 8:30 pm in their local time, people all over the world are going to be turning out their lights and turning off their appliances for sixty minutes in support of Earth Hour. I can't see any link to Korea on their website, and haven't seen any advertising on Korean television channels, though I didn't look very hard. I talked to my co-workers and they hadn't heard anything about it - so I don't know how many people will go dark here for an hour tonight. I told my friend she should turn off all non-essential lights at her restaurant and she thought I was funny.

I will be in the dark though. I'm going to do one better, even, and turn off all my stuff and settle in for a nice evening nap pretty soon after I hit publish on this post. That'll be about 3.5 hours worth of energy conservation. So, if 2.5 of you didn't participate in Earth Hour don't worry. I got your back.

Oh, I read on the web yesterday that many famous landmarks are going to be turning out their lights and participating, including the Eiffel Tower, Sydney Opera House, Golden Gate Bridge, and the Great Pyramids and Sphinx. Pretty cool. Je fais dodo maintenant. Night night!

Friday, March 27, 2009

What Happens to Ice Cream

One of my students invited me to touch the tongue on the cover of her massive pop-up book. I wasn't so excited because the rubbery tongue was sticky and covered with lint. The kid in the story was eating an ice cream cone.


His tongue was very stretchy!


And so began the story of what happens when you eat an ice cream cone. Here are the highlights!
Blah blah blah mouth, tongue, teeth, saliva blah blah.


Blah blah blah your insides stomach acid blah blah blah


Blah your intestines and your ice cream is turning into poop.


Springy intestines! Poop wants out!


Let your poop out! Blah blah Nnnnnngggaaaahhhhh!


The end!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Metrosexual Flower Man

James, over at I Spy Shanghai just returned from weekend journey to his old stomping grounds in Seoul. In his Shoe Tuesday post he writes about the Metrosexual Flower Men who abound in Korea. In his very next post he mentions The Face Shop. I'm hoping he isn't planning on tying those two things together in his next post, because I'm going to beat him to it.

Bae Yong Jun, (aka Yon-sama in Japan) was the star of the very popular drama Winter Sonata (겨울연가) from a few years ago. It seems he hasn't done too much acting since then, but he is the latest Face of The Face Shop. He is also the Quing of Metrosexual Flower Men.


He was the absolute darling of middle aged Korean and Japanese women. For some reason, he's turned into one of them, pretty much. See the flowers? See the metrosexual? That strap he's fingering over his shoulder for sure must be a giant murse.

See the metrosexual marvel at bamboo?


How much do you want to bet he's wearing the L'ame perfume pictured at James's?

Friday, March 20, 2009

Spring Hath Sprung


These trees were bare on Monday, which turned out to be a nice mild spring-like day. The previous Monday we overnight temperatures fall to below zero and there was a 30% chance that it would snow. It did not. It snowed ONCE here during winter. For about five minutes.

Anyhow, by Tuesday the magnolias had just POPPED! Yesterday they were in full bloom.


They smell delicious, and I would gladly spend the whole day with my face smushed into them, inhaling through my flowerxygen mask.


But work beckoned like it always does. My walk is going to be enjoyable over the next few weeks as flowers blossom and green returns to the countryside. The forsythia has busted out on the way down the hill.


Today must have gotten up to about 20 degrees even under cloudy skies, and it was MUGGY! Spring doesn't last very long here, so it's a good idea I enjoy it while I can. Soon enough we'll be back into the sauna of summer, and I'm not a big fan.

Who's the Boss?

My cat Kamikaze walked over to where I was sitting at the computer and meowed at me. I leaned over to pet him, asking "What?" He meowed again. "What, Kami?" He meowed louder as I scratched behind his ears. Very Loud Meow. "What?" "MROOOOOWWWWWW!"

"You're nuts" I said, and I got up to turn off the washing machine. Kami jumped up onto the chair I'd just evacuated and plopped himself down, glaring at me.

I can't believe my cat told me to "MOVE!"

Wednesday, March 18, 2009



Working in a Coalmine

Only instead of coal, our main byproduct is yellow dust. Nasty stuff, that. I'm in Day Five of "The Constant Headache" and I'm going to blame all the toxic shit in the air.

I haven't written about work for a little while, other than the thought that I need a vacation from it,...so here goes.

Three weeks ago we hired a new teacher. She's a young, pretty, recent university graduate. Her English was quite decent, which made me happy. What didn't thrill me was that she was given the desk right beside mine - which has been empty for all the years I've worked at my school. I used the space underneath it to store some of my stuff, and the drawer held contents that all the teachers used. So I had to squish more things into my space. Almost five years teaching means that I've acquired a lot of materials. I also teach double the classes of any given Korean teacher, so it stands to reason I needs me some space. The other thing that I was wondering about was why we needed a new teacher. Our student numbers don't warrant it at all, and I know my boss is in quite a financial pickle - so I'm questioning how the added salary is being justified.

Our "manager" doesn't want to teach. It appears that she needs more time to sit at her desk pretending to be busy when she's not studying her fingernails and torturing me by turning on the heater she parks right beside her.

Three days in, the new teacher got an interview for a position she really wanted at some other company, and three days after that she was packing up and saying "bye!" The advertisement my school had placed had gotten more than one response, though, so they moved down the list, got another young recent uni grad to come in for an interview and hired her right away. She started the following day so there wasn't even a gap where my manager needed to resume working teaching.

The new teacher's first question to me was, "You is name Jelly?" so I had a sense of what her English is like. Blah. She's only been working a week now so there's not too much that I know about her except that she seems to want to even further reduce the amount of space I have in the Teacher's Room by standing most of the time between me and her chair. I get to have her bum in my face quite a lot. She also does this strange jig all the time. I really don't know what that's all about. To get from the place where she's sticking her bum in my space to the photocopier, say, she does this waggly jog with her arms all askew and her shoulders shaking. It's sort of like the whiny dance that goes along with the "Opppppaaaa" protest/whine. I think maybe some ex-boyfriend told her she's super cute when she throws a playful mini-tantrum and she decided to incorporate that cuteness as her mode of general transportation. Like I said, I don't get it. My down-to-Earth other co-teacher shares my confusion. She doubled over laughing when I nodded toward the new dancing teacher and raised my eyebrows like, "What's up with that?" Tomorrow we've got a "hwe-shick" (work party) to welcome the new teacher. She doesn't drink, which is no fun but okay. More for me.

Something's going to happen soon at work and I'm not sure what it is. My boss is tapped out and can't afford to keep losing money. I hear an axe being sharpened somewhere, but I'm assured it shan't fall upon me. I don't think the end is nigh for the school, either - but I could be wrong. My pay, which has already been delayed by five days for the past few months came up short yesterday by more than half. This isn't good news, but there isn't much I'm willing to do about it right now. I trust my boss, who complimented me yesterday by saying I'm the best teacher he's ever met and he'd like to work with me forever. I can't agree to forever, but I'll keep showing up for the next thirteen weeks or so.

And then what?
I don't knooooowwwwwwwww.

Rainbow Poodle Judges You


For not believing in the !MAGIC! that is RAINBOW POODLE.
I managed to take this picture just before Rainbow Poodle (and his shopping cart) flew away. Fer realz.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Monday, March 16, 2009

Dreaming not of Blue Turtles

I just woke up from a very real dream where all my teeth were crumbling. I'd just touch my tongue to them and they'd shatter in half or more and I was spitting the chunks out into my hand. They looked like little blood soaked bits of bone. When I opened my mouth and looked in a mirror there were just gums and holes filled with blood where my teeth used to be.

I was SO relieved to wake up and discover I still had teeth. I can't even tell you how shaken yet pleased I was. Did you ever have a dream like that? Bloody awful.

Looking online, I found this interpretation of a teeth-falling-out-dream: "Perhaps you are having difficulties expressing yourself or getting your point across. You feel frustrated when your voice is not being heard." That might speak toward the fact that I thought all day about what I should write about and couldn't seem to come up with a damned thing.

That's not even true. I've got plenty to say, but I'm feeling like I'm under some kind of self-imposed gag order. Sucks.

Last week I had a dream that a whole field of asteroids was heading towards Earth. There was nothing anyone could do about it. The Earth was going to explode and death was imminent for all. The atmosphere had already changed and was glowing bright orange and outside people were panicking, knowing that they just had a few short hours left to live. Inside, I was teaching class of kindergarten students. I kept having to scold the kids to "come away from the windows already and open your books!"

I don't even need to look that one up. I think I need a vacation.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Long Time John

He's back!

Finally my pal John at Long Time Gone is back! His original site got stolen, pretty much. You should head on over and read all about it and say hi!

Welcome back, John!

Monday, March 09, 2009


I woke up stiff and stuffy, much too early for a sleep-in Sunday. Quite the perfect recipe for crankiness. I'd promised to get up and out into the sunshine, but I wasn't feeling like it at all. I was growly when the phone rang and startled me awake just as I was drifting off into "Sleep: The Sequel."

I wasn't able to cancel, but managed to re-negotiate and whittle down the day's events. Unfortunately it meant cutting out the best parts: a nice drive in the country and some springtime frolicking on a beach. Instead, we set out to work on the filling out of many government forms on-line. We headed to my school, where there are three computers that don't crash every five minutes like my home PC (which is short for Piece of Crap) does. I've got the key to the school, but not to the door leading to the second floor which we found locked. Grrrr.

So we went to an overheated loud smokey PC bang (Internet cafe) and spent over two hours trying to sort out faded faxes and strangely translated documents. There were five forms totalling eleven pages and they can only be printed out once they're complete. You can't save them to any computer. You can't copy them and forward them so you can finish them later. Must print.

I'd taken note of the printer behind the front desk when we'd entered the PC bang. Unfortunately, it didn't occur to me to ask if it was working.

It was not.

So I spent another thirty minutes or so picking through the forms, cutting and pasting the details we'd been arguing over for the previous couple hours, "I think you spell it Mung-hwangae." "No, it should be Mun-kwangay." I copied our work to notepad, saved it to the PC, opened my e-mail, attached the file and sent it to myself. Then I checked just to make sure it had gone through. Refresh. Nope. Refresh. Nu-uh. Refreshrefreshrefresh. "#*&^%$^, where IS IT?!?" I check my "Sent" box. Yes, it had been sent. To my father.

Which wouldn't be a problem, except that I haven't spoken to the man in a year and a half. So now I've sent him an empty e-mail with an attached file filled with jibberish and a bunch of personal details for someone he's never met. At least it wasn't porn, I guess. Not that I send out porn. Much porn.

I think "porn" is a funny word.

Still, now I worry that in short order my father is going to pop up like one of those little brown mounds in a "Whack-a-Mole" game and I'm going to have to root around for my big spongey mallet.

I really should have stayed in bed.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Locked Out

I apologize for the lack of posting. My computer is a pile of crap and it tends to crash if I even look at it in a way that displeases it. The other night I gave it the finger and threatened to throw it off the balcony after it had crashed for the twenty-fifth time, and so I think my computer contacted my ISP who then threw up a barrier page to connect to the innernets that requires an ID and password which I was never given.

So for the time being, I'm locked out. Technology is conspiring to keep me isolated and out of the loop. My face is all -----> :(

Meanwhile, please enjoy my pussy cat.