Sunday, September 11, 2005

The Balloon Artist*

*formerly known as Jelly

How was your weekend? Mine was pretty good, but I feel, for some reason, like I've got tiny bugs crawling all over me. I've been scratching for the last couple days. On Friday and again on Saturday night some strange red rash appeared on my forearms. I thought maybe it was the body lotion I've been using, so I didn't put any on after showering yesterday. Still, the rash showed up over dinner, so I don't know what's going on.

The air conditioning's been off at work all week, and I think it's going to stay off for the rest of the year regardless of how humid it gets. I've had mine on since yesterday because it's muggy outside. It was the same deal in Japan, "Oh, it's September, summer is over!" despite what the actual weather is like. Patio's were taken down and air conditioners turned off. Too bad for you.

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I bought a balloon animal kit on Friday. I've decided that my new hobby shall be creating balloon art! The kit came with an instructional booklet, with a lot of really cool projects inside. It's all in Korean, but there are diagrams I can follow. Unfortunately, many of the cooler balloon structures require a variety of different sized balloons which are NOT included in the kit, so the book is more like a "here are things you CAN'T do with this kit" kind of thing. I tested out the pump by blowing up a long red balloon. It was funny, Kamikaze Kitty seemed to expand along with the balloon until he was all puffed out like a blowfish. His tail was a bushy as a squirrel and he was visibly shaken by the sudden appearance of this long red thing. I kept pointing it at him and he'd raise his paw in Maneki Neco attack posturing.
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He's never seen a balloon before, so didn't know what to do with it. I tried not to get it too close to him, because if he swatted it and popped it with his claw, I thought he might have a heart attack. He's resilient, though, and last night wasn't too bothered when I made my first balloon art, a Picasso-ish structure made of one of every colour balloon all twisted up together. I set it free off my balcony when it was finished. I need to share my art with the world, or at least the people in the parking lot downstairs.

Last night I went out for dinner with Judy and the cute taekwondo instructor from the dojang across the hall from our school. We drove to a nearby town and drove through this big forest down a winding one-lane road, though cars were coming along in the other direction. We ended up at this great restaurant in the middle of the forest. There were lots of individual cottages for the guests, all gathered around low tables. There was a rickety trampoline kids were bouncing around on outside our little house. The inside of the cottage was covered in Korean writing and it made me feel a bit dizzy. We ate duck, which I haven't had in about 15 years since the first time I had it made me sick. It was spicy and mixed with a load of vegetables, all cooked at our table. There were some great side dishes, and it was eaten wrapped up in lettuce or sesame leaves with kimchi, gochujang, and green leafy veggies. Yummy! A lady came and created kimchi bokkum bap (kimchi fried rice) with the leftovers, and we all left full.

We drove down to Jinhae Beach and played a bit in the waves. There's a nice island off the beach which is usually all lighted and very beautiful, so Judy told me, but the recent typhoon knocked all the lights out. I could still make out the shape in the dark. I was home pretty early, but it was a nice evening! That taekwondo instructor is very nice, but unfortunately doesn't speak English. Still, we got by with Judy translating for us, and he even offered to teach me taekwondo for free if I want! That'd be a laugh! I'll think about it, though, and maybe start in the fall when it's cooler.

This weekend ended off with a nap today, a shower where I tried to scrub all my itchy skin off, but was unsuccessful, a nice dry curry rice-noodle and shrimp dinner, and relaxing with a movie, "Coach Carter," which looks to be the feel-good movie of this weekend.


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Jelly said...

OMG!!!!! Like, you read my mind!! My next project, after balloon art has bored me, is TULIPS!! Thank GOD you spammed me, because I wouldn't havve known where to begin! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

LOL, you crack me up.

BTW, speaking of islands, have you seen the move "The Island"? I watched it this weekend and if you can get past the totally unbelievable oh-no-they're-gonna-die-wow-they-somehow-made-it-through-alive-AGAIN scenes, it's pretty entertaining.
Well, I liked it.