Wednesday, November 29, 2006


I mistook my initial symptoms which started Sunday as a bad cold when they, in fact, have turned out to be the flu. I went to work Monday because I could, and I was fairly upbeat despite only having had a couple hours of fitful sleep. I went today as well because - I don't know - I felt like I had to. Last night was a carbon copy of Monday, and I was a quite a bit crankier because I felt like a zombie. The kids showed me some mercy and were pretty well behaved. I think they were placing bets on when my head would explode off my neck during my violent coughing fits.

Reading about me being sick is ho-hum, eh? I've decided I'm sick of being sick, so once I recover from this bug, I'm going to get me a flu-shot. I'm finding it just too easy to catch viruses with the kids pawing me with their goobery hands. Today, a boy who's often acting up in class, mimicked my coughing fit by turning and hacking right into the face of the little girl beside him! I admonished him, "That's how viruses are spread!" Just to make sure he got the message, I approached him, pried his eyelids apart, and licked his eyeballs. That'll show him!

During the overheating portion of my fever today, I had a couple of interesting glitches in my 4th class. I had just finished dating my daily report as "Wednesday February 20th," (I've no idea why) and I turned to the class to speak. The sentence on-deck in my brain was "Let's take out our books," but what I said was, "Let's go to the zoo." I only caught the strange words when I heard the echo of them hanging in the room.

In other news, they did end up hiring a new teacher, which makes me happy. She seems to be nice so far. She's well traveled - but through missionary work, which was evident with her first pick for an English nickname which our school requires, "Faith." Jane kaiboshed the name, and I agreed, telling her she'd probably be called "Pai-suh." She didn't like my 1st suggested name of "Shaniqua-Lee-Madonna," so I ended up christening her "Joy."

For, like, all the fishes in the deep blue sea, as well as you and me.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

No Rest, and it's Dreary

I doze off for a few moments, but then I'm awakened by a violent coughing fit, or water leaking out of my nose like a faucet, or the fact that I've got cotton mouth. I'm a mouth-breather, you know.

Earlier I sat looking like a slack-jawed yokel trying to watch the Miami Vice movie. Talk about dreary. I couldn't understand what the hell they were talking about. The reviews here and here sum things up nicely. I especially like the latter reviewer's comment, "My cat has coughed up hairballs that make more sense than MIAMI VICE. At least a hairball serves a vital physiological function that makes the feline’s existence more pleasant in the long run after an irritating 30 seconds or so. Michael Mann’s big screen version of the uber-hip 80s television series is just irritating, and a lot longer than 30 seconds." Ha! I was never a fan of the TV series, but I watched a few episodes surely. Maybe my memory is foggy, but I remember the two main characters having some chemistry. I guess things change.

My local crap video store got some new videos today, which is why I picked up Miami Vice. Next up, I guess, is the (Oh, God) TV movie Icon, starring Patrick Swayze. Surely that will rock. My socks off. Whoo hoo.

Oh, and in other dreary news, it's been confirmed that there's been an outbreak of bird flu (HN51) and they're slaughtering loads of chickens as well as cats and dogs, which animal experts suggest is “a bit of an extreme measure.” From the article:
Another ministry official, Kim Chang-sup, insisted killing cats and dogs to curtail the spread of bird flu was not unusual.“Other countries do it. They just don’t talk about it,” Kim said, adding that all mammals are potentially subject to the virus. He declined further comment.

But animal experts disputed the validity of killing cats and dogs.

“It’s highly unusual, and it’s not a science-based decision,” said Peter Roeder, a Rome-based animal health expert with the U.N.’s Food and Agricultural Organization or FAO, who published research about cats and bird flu earlier this year in the journal Nature. “We’ve got absolutely no reason to believe they’re important,” he told The Associated Press.

Why are they doing this? As a precautionary measure? Why don't they just burn down all the chicken retaurants and replace them with kimchi counters? Kimchi combats bird flu, don't ya know?

In the Cold November Rain

I find myself under the weather.
I've got horrible cold in the cold November rain.
So I went to the doctor (and guess what he told me, guess what he told me?)
He said, "Girl you need an ass-injection and 20 pills a day!"

After my last class there was a stranger in the Teacher's Room. I greeted her in Korean and she replied, "Hello." I asked her if she was a mom, and she said, "No." Turns out she might be our new teacher. Perhaps. If they offer her the job. And she accepts it.

Meeting her made me think of a recent post over at Nomad's, about "looks" and qualifications when it come to getting a job here. I was aware of this applicant's wardrobe, for example. She wore a pink T-shirt under a pink zip-up hoodie and some jeans. Way to spruce up for an interview! Actually I was also kind of curious about how Gloria turned up for work on her first day - which was the first time I'd met her. She wore a white T-shirt with some crazy English on it, suspenders, (!) (are these back in style now? They always make me think of MORK!) tattery jeans, and a side ponytail. I mean, that's all fine; our workplace is casual, and I wear jeans every single day. But, on her second day, Gloria showed up to work in a black velvet dress with a bejewelled waist circa 1950's glamour garb. I wondered why she hadn't chosen that ensemble to wow her students and co-workers on the first day. Ah, well.

Back to our perhaps new teacher. The first thing I noticed about her was NOT her attire, it was her acne. You can't help but notice it; her whole face is covered in angry red blemishes and whiteheads. In another room, the boss and manager were conferring with each other, and though I'll never know for sure, I'd bet this was an issue.

When we were looking for our last new teacher, Judy wanted "young" and "pretty," not necessarily in that order. That's what the kids want as well, and they say so. I'd prefer that a new teacher actually be able to speak English, because I think that'd be a far greater attribute toward helping our students learn English. Alas, I am outnumbered.

This potential new co-worker speaks English well. I didn't speak to her for very long, and I regret not having asked her more about her experience. This was the first chance I ever got to be able to speak with an applicant, and I blew it because I was feeling so fire-lungy, nose-runny, and head-poundy. But I walked out wondering if they'll hire her.

I guess we'll see tomorrow!

I drank so much warm lemon-tea for my throat, and water because I feel so dehydrated today. I think that's good for my cold, but bad for my pants because every time I cough or sneeze I just about pee them.

And with that fun-fact, I say good-night!

Monday, November 27, 2006

Kamikaze's Revenge

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Yes. He is. Scary and mean. Every once in awhile Kevin makes fun of my pussy. Evil incarnate schmevil schmin,....

Look at this little kitten:
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So cute. So innocent. So definitely NOT evil.

You know who's evil? KEVIN is.
And my pussy is all growed up now, and is not going to put up with Kevin talkin' shit about him.

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Buaaaah ha ha ha! That's gotta sting!

People in My Neighbourhood

I keep running into a guy from Mongolia who looks a LOT like Astroboy. I wonder if he does that on purpose. He seems like a jolly fellow and speaks excited English to me for a few moments before hurrying away. This morning, he was buying a bunch of beer at the convenience store. He was happy because it was his day off, but tomorrow, he told me "I have za night shit for 7 days. It sucks!"

I'll bet!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

WCB 77 - Carrot Boy

That's a whole lotta carrot!
Kamikaze is all tuckered out from his day of pampering. Today we played and groomed and napped. It's tiring.
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So he's taking it easy, snoring in one of his carrots.

For more cattiness, visit the House of Mostly Black Cats, who is graciously hosting this weekend's WCB. It's number 77! Sounds lucky!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

My Cat's Out of My Bag

I had a little chit chat with my brother on the phone tonight and he finally outright asked me where my blog was. I wasn't going to tell him. I said "Find it!" Buaaah ha ha ha! But then I just told him and he was here in mere seconds. (I think his first comment was "What's this shit?")

So now I'm going to have to re-read the whole thing and edit out all the times I've called him an asshole.
I'm not going to get any sleep tonight!

I'm totally joking. I love my baby twin brother and he knows it.
Welcome to Bloggy Land, Jeff!


I don't know why, but I woke up Monday to find my apartment building was covered in ladybugs! It wasn't, like, a plague of them or anything. The facade was not slathered in ladybuggishness, but they were present and notably high in number to boot.
Here's Maria:
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And Angela:
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And Siobahn:
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Here's Crystal. She's funky in all black, with a couple blood red crescents on her back:
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In my third class of the day, I had just finished talking with the kids about how many ladybugs there were around and about the town, when one flew in through the open window and landed on my hand.
"SEE?!?!" I exclaimed!
This little lady, Katie, then climbed onto my fuzzy pink pencil.
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The kids now think I'm magic - a bit like Tarzan - able to communicate with and summon the insects forth.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Shout Out

If you're in the Toronto area and interested in seeing a surely fantastic and fascinating film, why not stop by the Innis Town Hall Theatre (on the U of T Campus, I assume) to see the latest work by my filmmaker friend Jason and his filmmaker brother Brett?!
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From the brothers' website:"Confusions of An Unmarried Couple offers a peak behind the doors of any relationship that hasn't quite figured out where it's going."
With free admission to boot, there's an opportunity you can't beat with a stick. I know I'd be there at 6:30PM on Sunday November 26th, if I could. There, at 2 Sussex Avenue is right where I'd be. I'd be enjoying a movie and eating some popcorn. Then I'd drag Jason down to look at the Christmas windows across from the Eaton Centre if they still exist. I'd buy him a bag of roasted chestnuts or some street meat because I'm nice like that. And then I'd drag him a couple blocks over to see the skaters at City Hall. And then to a bar for some frosty pints, because that just totally feels like home, eh?

A Photo Everyday

Have you seen this? A guy named Noah Kalina takes a photograph of himself everyday for 6 years. I've just seen this for the first time tonight, but it's pretty interesting!
Check it out here. He vows to take a picture of himself everyday until he dies.

Noah's a photographer in New York, and to see his photographs, visit his website here.

Cool stuff!

Monday, November 20, 2006


On Friday, outside the local Family Mart, I came across an unusual gorgeous site.
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It was a big beautiful dog.

Frankly, it's unusual to see a big dog in Korea (outside of a stew pot, BA DUM BUM!) But this big boy sat proudly in all his fluffiness and attracted A LOT of attention. I petted him and talked to him, "Yes, you're a good boy, you're a handsome fellow, what a smart boy!" and then asked to take his picture.

I was so impressed, I bought the owner a beer. And he bought me a beer. And we sat and talked about his dog with the help of my friend who translated.

The owner, after seeing a television show about Samoyeds, couldn't sleep for wanting one. Now he's got three adults, the one pictured - and his two wives. The "first wife" just had six puppies, so buddy's got a lot of doggies! I was so happy to see a well kept and obviously adored dog. The owner kept the dog's brush in his pocket and would take it out every once in awhile to groom him. This was one fluffy boy, so it was warranted! When the owner would disappear out of sight of the big Samoyed, the dog would sit up and cry, staring in the direction that his "dad" headed off toward. He'd only relax when his owner re-appeared. With me, the town's token white chick, and the big fluffy white dog, we were quite a draw, and had many visitors!

The dog lay down like a frog, with his hind legs spread out on the pavement. His owner explained he was still a puppy. You could see this because his ears were still a bit floppy at the points. When he is an adult, they'll straighten out to stand upright.
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They all live up on a mountain in my town. On a farm. Apparently the owner is going to visit my school soon with some sweet potatoes and some corn (neither of which I enjoy) and maybe a puppy to cuddle for awhile.
I'm looking forward to it!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Let's Have Breakfast!

Saturday morning I went with my friends to the big Open Market. They had to buy some stuff for their restaurant, and asked me to come along. Seeing as it was 5:00 o'clock in the morning and still dark and cold outside, I was very "iffy," until the promise of a yummy breakfast was introduced.

When we arrived, the place was pretty much empty, and the adjumma cooking hadn't finished preparing the morning meal. No problem. One bottle of soju, juseyo. It's good to toast the start of a new day with shots of 21% alcohol.

Quickly, the restaurant started to fill up with "halmonies" - grandmothers, dressed in warm garb. These ladies, my friends explained, had shown up 2 or 3 hours earlier to set up their stalls. Outside were rows and rows of booths, mostly with buckets of live seafood or fruit and vegetables, but I bought some scrubby bath towels and gloves I'm going to send out for the next round of BBM.

A couple shot glasses later, and a huge tray of grub appeared. This is breakfast in Korea:
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Pretty self explanatory, it included 3 bowls of rice, and was a bargain at 4,000 won each. Especially considering refills were free. We had 3 bowls of those crispy fried green peppers in the back. They were outstanding! Then it was off for shopping in the market, which had opened (but it was still too dark for pictures) and some eating of clementines, and then home for some shut eye.

(Sorry the pic is so small! I wish Photobucket had an option to re-size to 400xwhatever, which is the perfect size instead of 320x240- which is the only option for "websites or e-mail.")

WCB 76 - Comtemplative Kamikaze

"Hmmmmm," Mister Laser Eyes thinks, "What should I zap next?"
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"I'm going out!" I announced.

I've already got a hole where my stomach used to be, and a bionic leg where my real one used to be. I don't want to get zapped anymore.

"NO!" thundered Kamikaze, "You will stay here and feed me dried anchovies one by one as you brush my belly!"

I barely made it out of the apartment in one piece.

For more cat-bloggy fabulousness, visit this week's host site - CatSynth.Com! Oh, and visit my buddy Sher and her beautiful cat Upsie and tell her to feel better soon, if you please. And if you have a bit more time, why not drop in at Skeezix Scratching Post and read all the cat stories. The one about Smudge made me downright leaky, but I'm a softie like that.
Thanks for stopping by, but you best be moseying along, or Kamikaze's bound to zap your eye out, or your arm off - or something equally unfortunate.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Jelly Team Fighting Pt. 3

Well, there's finally a bit of an update to report, regarding the little problem I'm having at work. I figured I was going to have something to talk about seeing as Friday was my payday and it was going to be interesting to see if my boss took the normal 5% worth of tax off my pay, or if she relented and levied the government required 1.5% worth.

What happened? Guess!

Okay. Don't guess. But for those of you that are in Korea or have been here, I'll bet you already know the answer. She stuck it to me, with the usual 5% reduction. GAH!

I thought that I might have a confrontation on Friday, but actually my boss came to me at the end of the day and apologized for not having calculated my deductions. So she hadn't paid me. That's the first time that's ever happened, but in a way I sort of understood, as we've all been busy and a bit frantic with no Korean teachers in da house. So Monday after work, she called me in for a sit-down.

She started off with the pension issue and included three other deductions I haven't been making, one being National Health Insurance. It only became mandatory in January of this year that foreigners be enrolled in it. I told her I knew about that. (To be enrolled in the Pension Scheme, you have to be enrolled in Health Insurance.) However, my boss said that enrollment in the Pension Plan just became mandatory in 01/06. Not so. Actually, as in my case - at a job with less than 5 full time employees, it became compulsory to participate in the Pension Plan as of April 1st, 1999. We debated on this back and forth a bit, with both of us finally agreeing to check our sources again. I'm going to put in a quick call to the Pension Office just so I'm super clear. So as it is on that, we've gotten to the point where we agree that we'll both have to make back payments. From when is unclear.

As for tax, sheesh, that was a mess. First off she started telling me that because I work in the countryside and tuitions are lower here, I'm not gunna git what dem dere city folk in da big Seoul city are gunna git. *HIC* I swatted that argument down by quoting an old Ministry song from the eighties, "It's the same, it's the same in the whole wide world." And by world, I meant Korea. (And yes, I do live with snakes and lizards and other things that go bump in the night.) Then my boss said that she called a bunch of other franchises in our outfit, and they all charge the same tax rate. Oh, and their foreign teachers don't complain! I told her that they are surely, as I was for so long, unaware that their being charged too much. Furthermore, I told her, I don't really care about what's happening at other schools, I wanted to talk about ME at THIS school.

She panicked a bit then, talking about the stupid contract I stupidly signed because I'm stupid, which had a "5%" typed in the ___ before National Tax. Ah well, I said, the contract is erroneous. The tax rate at my salary is 1.5%. She said she can't change the 5% in my contract, but perhaps next year when we talk about a new contract she can consider.

I fell off my chair and just about peed my pants, howling with laughter and disbelief that she was thinking I was going to sign on for a fourth year at this asylum school.

Actually, I didn't. I kind of pretended I hadn't heard what she'd said. "No, no, no," I said. "We can't leave things like this. I can't keep overpaying." Then I told her how we have to contact the Tax Office and they'll refund my overpayment lickety split, like. No problem. (Thing is, she most assuredly has not forwarded my full tax deductions, and perhaps not even ANY deductions to the tax office, so this idea is surely quite a problem for her.)

Then I dusted off some mad skillz I acquired in my four years at university and lay down quite a few arguments based on ethos, logos, and pathos, in that order. It was fairly effective, if I do say so myself, even if the biggest thing accomplished was that she realizes I'm not just going to keep putting up with this. I smoothed everything out in the end with some kind and comforting words. "We can fix this. I trust you'll do the right thing. Everything's going to be okay."

Further discussions will take place once her husband returns next month from his latest many-months stint as an engineer on a boat off Kuwait. I suspect he might still be my boss in name, even though I've only seen him twice this past year. He doesn't speak English either, so debating with him is going to be challenging, though I don't doubt he's going to try his best to lay the smack-down on me.

A few calls to various organizations would not only stir this pot, but light a fire under it as well. Really get things cooking, so to speak. But Jelly's not going to play like that. Nobody's gonna hurt anybody. We're gonna be like little Fonzies here. And what's Fonzie like? Come on people, what's Fonzie like?

That's right. Fonzie's cool!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Let's Have Dinner!

Date: Friday night, after work.
Participants: My big boss, the manager, big boss's bright but bratty son, and me.
Location: Big Korean resto that recently opened under new management.

Yah! Let's eat dinner! I have to say, that one thing I enjoy very much about Jane having joined our school, is that our getting together and going out for a meal or a couple drinks has increased GREATLY! Before, we went out maybe five times a year, usually after Market Days, and then maybe just one other time celebrating a new employee or Christmas or something. Well Jane seems to like to go out on Fridays, and I DIG that!

So this past Friday we went in search of a restaurant we'd been to probably a couple years ago. It was interesting- the pork was cooked along with a huge amount of kimchi on these large domes, as opposed to the usually flat grill. I was amazed at my boss's son ability to recall where the place was, even after all that time! Unfortunately, the restaurant seems to have gone belly-up. So I suggested we try another restaurant we've been to once before - again, ages ago. Our first visit was disappointing, so we never went back, but recently the place was re-opened all sparkly, expanded, and under new management, so we decided to give it another chance.

First up, some of the panchan.
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Mmmmm. Shredded greenery - I'm going to say leeks - in a vinegarry brine, onions and wasabi in more tart sauce, chopped salad in a goopy green dressing, thin slices of "mu" - (daikkon in Japan) white raddish in a pink sauce, ubiquitous garlic, and sesame oil with hunks of salt.
(I didn't do a great job of photographing all the stuff. It only occurred to me halfway through the meal!)
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I know this looks like a big red mess, but it's actually a crab - small and raw and smothered in spicy red sauce. This didn't do anything for me. (Except burn my mouth off.)
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Yook hwe! (Beef carpaccio) This is raw beef half frozen and cut into long rectangular strips, marinated with salt, sesame oil, green onions, chili pepper, garlic, and tossed with julienned Asian pears or cucumbers and topped with a raw egg yolk. This photo is before the tossing. I'm a little surprised I like this stuff. I remember in high school, my first encounter with smoked salmon shocked me "It's RAW!" But raw is good. Raw beef - good! Raw horse, though, not my cup of tea.

At first we ordered the "samgyupsal" - or pork belly. It wasn't good. Second up, though, we scored with some marinated pork attached to a bone at one end.
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In the foreground is some delicious kimchi and some even more delicious mushrooms. I had three bowls of mushrooms! The meat's just been placed on the grill. Let's cook it up.
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Mmmmmm. Let's wrap it up!
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Mmmmm mmmm mmmm! Here we have our meat bundled up with some kimchi, garlic, soybean paste, onion in wasabi, and sliced greenery. Pop it in your mouth. Yumtastic!

Finally, our meal was rounded off with cold noodles. Most times, when we go out for a grilled dinner, people either opt for a bowl of rice with a bubbling pot of denjang jjigae - soybean paste soup with tofu, or mool naeng myun - cold buckwheat noodles in ice with egg, fruit, a little meat and vegetables.
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This was delicious with its slushy ice, chewy noodles, and tangy broth.

Overall, we had a good dinner. We shared a little soju, and cheers-ed to hopefully finding a new teacher (or teachers?) soon. We're all exhausted. But full!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

WCB 75 - Mister Licky

Hi there. I don't know why, but when the big human I live with scratches anywhere on my lower half, I go into LICK-MODE.
Mostly I lick my paws and arms, but really I'll lick anything: blankets, a toy mouse, my human's hands and arms and pyjama pants, a big pile of dust, anything really.
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Lick, lick, lick.

For more cat related things, be sure to visit this week's host Skeezix, over at Skeezix's Scratching Post. Oh, and if you want some licky-action, come on over and scratch my nether regions!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

School Update

Well, the drama continues.

Gloria (the new teacher) has been absent since Monday. Her in-laws were hit head-on by a drunk driver sometime Monday morning and while her m-i-l escaped serious injury except for a backache (I think she's out of the hospital, but don't know for sure) her f-i-l remains in a coma. He may not make it, I'm told.

I hope he'll be okay. I've met Gloria's husband twice, and don't know what to make of him, really. The first time was a couple weeks ago after the Halloween party. The staff went out to have a welcome dinner for Gloria. I was lagging a little behind, but when I arrived to the table where Judy and Gloria were sitting, Gloria announced that she wants a boyfriend. I barked out a loud "HA!" and suggested maybe her husband wouldn't be too keen on that idea. Throughout dinner, her phone would ring and she'd look at it, make a face, and ignore it. I guess her husband finally had enough of being ignored, because suddenly there he was, looking not very happy at all, but bowing apologetically. He and Gloria left the restaurant to argue out on the street. When we finally got tired of waiting for them to come back (we'd finished our meal about 20 minutes before) Judy brought out Gloria's purse to her and the two were not seen again.

Monday morning, Gloria apologized and told me "please forget." I shrugged and said okay.

Last Friday we went out again, sans Judy who was in sunny Jejudo, and without the boss who had other plans. It was fun, and we took the party upstairs from the restaurant to the noraebang, where I rocked out "Gloria," by Laura Brannigan. It suits her far better than the Van Morrison song by the same name, (especially "you don't have answer, leave him hanging on the li-ine, oh-OH-oh, calling Glooooriaaaaaaa.") Then Jane left us, and the two of us went over to another HOF for some more soju. She can drink, that woman.

The husband called, she answered, and told him where we were. Call dropped. Subsequent call-backs were unanswered, and then, just like before, there he was. Glaring at her. Like, only briefly acknowledging me. I went into soothe mode, "Nice to meet you, glad you're here, please sit down, damn - you're a twitchy man, aren't you?" Seriously. His face was alive with tics and twitches, and I don't know if that's his normal look, or if he was just really wound up.

They didn't stay long, but soon after he arrived I excused myself to visit the ladies'. Gloria came crashing in a few moments later and went into the other stall where she made a hell of a lot of noise. Then she was begging me to please hurry. That's all she kept saying, "Please, hurry! Hurry up! Ohhhhh, hurry!" I thought she didn't want Mister Twitch to have to be alone for too long, but as I exited the stall I saw what the deal was. Somehow she had managed to completely unhinge the heavy metal door and it was all askew and pretty much on top of her as she sat on the toilet with her stockings around her ankles! I laughed and retrieved the door off her and shielded her until she could reassemble herself. Ha!

Since then, she's been absent. I don't know why, but I somehow feel like we might never see her again. I remember saying to Judy soon after Gloria started, "She's not going to last." There's no reason for it- just a sense I have.

Judy came in briefly Monday morning - after her 3 day long trip at the end of last week to Jeju to clear up some paperwork. Then she quit. Finito. Done.

So this week we've been without Korean teachers. It's just been me, the boss, and the BOSS. It feels like everything's falling apart.

An update on the tax and pension thing; after two weeks of nothing I finally asked Karen what was up with things. She said "I think I can't."
"You can't what?" I asked.
"I can't pay."
I was dumbfounded.

Apparently she can't make a decision without her husband. Granted, I didn't really expect her to suddenly adopt a British accent and say "Good jod, old girl! You've finally found us out. Here's your reward!" She's not strong enough to say she's going to stick it to me, so I think she wants hubbie there for moral support. Thing is, I get paid Friday. So this is bound to come to a head. If I see a 100,000 won deduction, we're going to have a problem.

We have a problem.
I have a broblem.
There are problems.

But I am a Wild Party.

Oh. And in keeping with the "things are falling apart" theme, my PC at home is broken. I can't spell check here, (at the internet cafe) and I may not be able to update for a couple days at least. Peace to you beasts.

Monday, November 06, 2006

What Do You Hate?

I woke up Sunday morning with something funky going on with my right ear. Today that funkiness has extended to my left one as well. It feels like I'm a bit deaf- but yet everything is amplified at the same time. It kind of sounds like I have the ocean in my head. Has anyone ever had that before? I have, and I'm sure I mentioned it before, but I'm too lazy to go back and look for it. It was sometime last fall I think.

So, what's worst about this phenomenon is that each of my individual students, who are chattering in Korean to each other or screaming my name over and over, now sound like they are TEN of the same student. Everything echoes and reverberates in the hollow chamber I call my cranium. It's overwhelming and had me in a frightful mood all day. To go along with the confusion in my brain, I had a decent sized headache and a massive sized toothache.

I've really GOT to do to the dentist. I've been saying I have to go for a loooooong time, but now I REALLY have to go. I'm fairly sure I require at least two root canals. I hate the dentist so much. It's quite possible I hate the dentist more than anything else in the world. I hate earwigs. And cilantro. And jazz fusion. My hate for these things, though, pales in comparison for my hatred of having to go to the dentist. I wish the dentist would knock me out with a big mallet before he goes to work on me.

On second thought, I hate war more than I hate the dentist.
Once, my friend Herbert almost reached his very large hand out to angrily choke me because I wouldn't engage in an argument (cleverly disguised as an intellectual discussion) on war, other than to simply state "War sucks," over and over. But SUCK it does. Thoroughly and utterly completely.

Thankfully it's fairly certain I'll never have to go to war. But to the dentist, go, I must.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

WCB 74

My big boy Kamikaze is all tuckered out these days. With the cooler autumn nights, he loves to either strecth out or snuggle up on my bed. Here he is looking a bit like a bat, I think.
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Yesterday during one of his many daytime naps, I snuck up and stuck the camera in his face before I poked him. Wake up.
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Wow Mister Kitty, those are some big yellow eyes you've got.
"All the better to glare at you with."

And here, I took his picture with my camera on its "drunk setting." Or maybe I was drunk. Or maybe Kamikaze was. Probably K, I, and the camera were all loopy. Party down K! Party on J!
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This weekend's WCB is being hosted over at "Lali et Cie!" who resides over on the French Riveira. Lubbly! Wobble on over there and check out all the pure kitty insanity!

Thursday, November 02, 2006


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I've just been feeling emotionally BLAH and creatively STIFLED. I want to write things. Certainly there are things to write about. I've opened up this "create a post" page numerous times over the past days and just stared at it awhile before huffily clicking the X. Other times I've written a few sentences, only to say aloud "Ah, SHUT UP!" before clicking the X.

I'll come around, though. I always do.

The situation at work is fairly egg-shelly. Nothing has been said regarding the conversation I had with my boss about a week and a half ago. If you don't know what I'm referring to, check out the previous posts. I'm sure this is not a good sign. Initially I was relieved after the conversation, just to have it "out there." As days go by, though, I'm getting more and more anxious about the lack of communication. Last week it seemed like my boss was avoiding me. She wasn't at school the three days after. She was there for Halloween (see previous post) but it was chaotic, and I didn't expect a tete a tete. Absent Monday, but present the last 3 days, she's still a little distant. I'll give her until next week before I bring it up again, but still, I'm not looking forward to it.

On Monday, I went downtown to do a few things and took a cab back to my neighbourhood. Near my friend's restaurant, I gave a "yogeeyo," signaling the driver to pull over and let me off. A woman in a white shirt and black skirt with funky thick black glasses and a young man in a high school uniform ran toward the cab as I exited. I smiled at them as she climbed in the front and he in the back. As I walked away, the cabbie did a U-turn beside me, across an intersection to head in the other direction. I was just a few steps further when I heard the squeal of tires and the loud BANG of a crash. A car, making a left turn and definitely traveling too fast, had smashed into the cab doing the illegal turn blocking the intersection. The cab had quite a bit of damage to the back right hand side, but the colliding car's right front was all crumpled and was leaking gas and smoking. Fire trucks, an ambulance, the police, a tow truck, and about 50 gawkwers appeared in mere minutes. No one seemed severely injured, but then again, no one seemed well- except for the driver of the car that smashed into the cab, who was on his cellphone the whole time. His passenger was extricated from the car with a neck brace and a stretcher. All of the taxi occupants climbed into the back of an ambulance, the lady and the boy both crying.

Eventually, I walked away feeling lucky.
But still pretty BLAH.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


Happy Halloween Ellybuddy.
Yep, it's technically over here, but where it counts- back in the Motherland, kids are probably glancing at the clocks in their classes at school, waiting for the bell to ring so they can go home, get their costumes on, and get to getting as much candy as humanly possible.

Halloween was celebrated at my school last Friday, and it was, ummmmmm, chaotic. Disorganized. Loud. But fun, I guess. Most of the kids seemed to enjoy themselves. This year, Jane had the idea to print up little invitations for all the kids. Inside, there was a list of all the activities that were going to take place. I thought it was a great idea, but the thing is that out of the ten events listed, five of them didn't happen.

The first couple games tanked, pretty much. I had put together the activities and I thought that I explained how they worked well enough. Jane said she understood. But, as I mentioned previously, her listening skills really suck.

First up was a "candy toss." I'd gotten three of those plastic jack-o-lantern things which were supposed to be tied to one kids waist or around their neck. Kids on their own team were supposed to be given a certain amount of candies each, and then they'd try to toss them into the jack-o-lantern. The kid with the container could move around, but not use their hands. The team with the most collected candies gets to keep 'em and distribute amongst themselves. That was how it was supposed to happen.

What ended up taking place was that Jane gave a couple kids the plastic pumpkins, and unloaded handfuls of candies to the kids and told them to "GO!" Kids were just walking up to the jack-o-lantern and putting them in. Candies that didn't make it in were re-distributed to the kids, and once one "team" had no more candies Jane went "YAY!!" and the pumpkins and candies disappeared. "Wasn't that fun?"

Next up was the "spider web" which I thought was going to be a real laugh. We had 8 small balls of yarn, and the kids were each supposed to get one, stand in a circle, tie one end around their waist and then toss to another person who would tie that ball around their waist or leg or whatever, and this would be repeated until the balls were all tangled up and the kids were woven into a spiders web. Then, on "GO!", the kids had to untangle themselves, following their colour and gathering up their yarn until they were free. The winner would get a prize.

Well, Jane had the kids toss all their balls until they were gone, and then she told the kids, "Look! We made a spider web! Wasn't that fun? YAY!!" And then she told them to shrug off the yarn they had wrapped around themselves, leaving a huge crazy knot in the middle that we tried to undo, but finally gave up on, after helpful kids kept coming up, grabbing a clump, and running away - pulling the knot wickedly tight.

After that, I just totally gave up, and spent the rest of the day blowing up balloons for the dart room. There was no point to the dart room. The kids were popping them as quickly as we'd tape them up. "Yay!" shouted Jane. "You popped a balloon! Now go check out the 'Run Around With Scissors Room!'"

"YAY! You ran around with scissors! Now let's go to the 'Scream Our Heads Off Room!"

There was no "Bobbing for Apples," even though we advertised there would be and we had all the materials. Jane turned it into "Who Can Eat A Apple So Fast?" game. There was no "Scavenger Hunt." I don't know why. No Bingo, even though we'd made and laminated cool Halloween cards.

I spent a lot of time in the Craft Room, which went over really well. I'm glad I didn't let Jane ix-nay it. I coloured some cool ones for myself.
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My Rainbow-Gay Skeleton. He'th fabulouth!

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Ghosts and Pumpkins, propped up by Smokes and A Beer.
(Well earned, and after work.) Jane wouldn't okay my suggestion for a "Spooky Smokey Halloween Bar Room." Hmph.

These two boys, dressed as girls, shared the top prize for costumes.
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They're smart-ass terrors in the classroom.
I love the kid in stripes. He's been my student as long as I've been here and he's sweet and good natured and tries really hard. He's also rocking out the latest fashion trend in Korea, as was pointed out already at The Iceberg. Seriously, what's up with all the stripes?

Here's another couple of costumes.
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Of the kids that sported costumes, I'd say that more than half of them were "Scureamuh." Pictured is "Taekwondo Scureamuh." The little Skeleton is angry because she wanted to be a Pretty Witch, but the stupid Stationery Store across the street had sold out of Witch dresses. So she had to be a Pretty Skeleton.

Oh, and I was a CAT.
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"YAY!!" said Jane. "You all screamed your heads off! Now let's play 'Pull Jelly's Tail Off A Million Times!' Yay!! Try to get her ears too! Hell, just rip her apart!! Now we're having a party! YAY!!!!!"