Monday, March 31, 2008

They Smell Good

Magnolias are in bloom.
I'd never seen a magnolia up close before I came here. I used to think they sounded like such a lush flower. Magnooooolias. Makes me want a mint julep, which I've never had either. I want to be sipping mint juleps under a magnolia tree. Instead, I'm off to work. Blah. Frickin' Mondays.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Plastic Surgery Schmastic Schmurgery

I ran into a former student of mine the other day. I hadn't seen her in a long time. She was the girl who treated my apartment like a hotel when I left her to cat sit while I was in Japan. Anyhow, she was pleased to see me and exictedly pointed to her face and said "Look!" I didn't know what she was talking about. "What?"
"My eyes!" she exclaimed.
"Yes," I thought. "There they are. Two of 'em, even."
Then it dawned on me what she must be talking about. "Ah, soosul?" I tried to remember the name for eye surgery. "San coupal soosul?"
"Yes!" she said.

I honestly couldn't tell the difference.

Lots of Korean women are concerned about their Asian looking eyes. They want eyelids. "Double eyelids," to be precise. So some go under the knife and have some procedure done where fake folds in their eyelids are carved out. You can even get this clear tape at some stores that you wedge into your eyelids to make a "double lid." Only it looks really stupid, like you've got tape pressed into your eyelids. But, whatever. That tape is one genius remedy to avoid the surgeon's knife and the hefty cost of plastic surgery.

Here's another one!

For just ten bucks you can get this gizmo and exercize your way to having a SLIM MOUTH! Yay!
I'm not sure why someone would want a slim mouth. Aren't big fat kissy Angelina Jolie botox lips all the rage these days?
So you can tape up your eyelids, and head on out the door with your exercized Rachel Ray/The Joker mouth,...but still, your face still isn't right.

That's why you need THIS:
Coco Beautiful New Look of Nose.
With Antibiotic Deoderization! Awesome!

You wouldn't miss a chance to have a new Cleopatra look of nose, would you? I know I wouldn't. I'm sitting here right now with my oral thighmaster and my noseclothespin praying that my face will be much better tomorrow and I can spend the money I was saving for surgery on something really important.

Like, gum.

Rest in Peace, Pretty Girl

I've been thinking about my friend Sher from What Did You Eat? all weekend, ever since she sent me an awful e-mail on Friday letting me know that her gorgeous cat Upsie had passed away. It was only just over a couple weeks ago that she found out Upsie had cancer in her kidneys. Sher knew the prognosis wasn't good at all, but the vet said Upsie could still perhaps have a few more months. She went downhill quickly, however, and was in a lot of pain on Wednesday. Sher got some pain killers for Upsie on Thursday and made the sad arrangements to have the vet come and euthanize her that night. Upsie slipped away before the vet got there, though.

Sher spent a lot of time with Upsie in the last hours of her life. She got brushed and petted and I'll bet she felt better because of it. Upsie was well loved around the internet, and she was my favourite cat besides Kamikaze. I looked forward to seeing new pictures of her and her fierce tomato worm stomping paws. I'm going to miss her.

My heart goes out to you, Sher.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Mix It Up

I've been trying to get through Elizabeth: The Golden Age for the last three days. I don't know why I keep wandering off and forgetting I was watching something. This is the second time I've rented it and not watched it. If I don't get 'er done tonight, I shall return the DVD and fuggedaboutit.

In a similar vein, I went and saw The Other Boleyn Girl at the theatre last Saturday. I wasn't really interested in seeing that film, but it was pretty much the only choice playing. The costumes in the film were gorgeous and Scarlett Johansson has some big huge kissy lips. It wasn't so bad, but about half way through the movie by butt started to ache and the theatre felt too hot and I was like, "Alright, chop her head off already." Have you seen that film? Could Henry's coats be any bigger? He's so SpongeHenry SquareCoat.

At five o'clock we have middle school classes, and they always show up starving. After our school they all have to go to other academies and study their poor little heads off well into the night. My boss has been feeding them before class starts - and you know what she makes them and they willingly eat? Toast. Just a dry piece of toast. Whoopdeedoo! Anyhow, I've been making them something different on occasion over the past couple weeks. They got sandwiches a couple days last week - PB&J and ham & cheese. They went over very well!

This week they've gotten waffles! I made them the night before, cooled them off, wrapped them up in foil and we toasted them before class.
These were chocolate chip buttermilk waffles. The school smelled like a bakery and all the kids leaving the four o'clock classes whined about not being able to eat whatever it was they were smelling.

Tonight I made chocolate chip/coconut/almond buttermilk waffles which are so light and crisp, they're going to be awesome tomorrow. They were a little troublesome because they were a bit sticky on the waffle iron, but all in all they turned out well.

What's that?
You want a recipe?
I made this recipe up myself after reading other waffle recipes on the web for some ideas.

Jelly's Super Happy Chocochip Coconut Almond Buttermilk Awesome Fun Time Waffles
3 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar (I used brown as that's all I had)
1 tsp salt
3 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
3 eggs
3 cups buttermilk (I made a substitute of milk & lemon juice)
1/4 cup melted butter
1/3 cup chopped chocolate chips
1/3 cup dried shredded coconut
1/3 cup sliced almonds
vegetable oil

Mix all the dry ingredients.
Separate eggs, whip the whites to soft peaks.
Stir the buttermilk, yolks, and butter together and pour over flour mixture.
Mix that up, add the chocolate, coconut and almonds. More mixing.
Fold in the egg whites.

Brush the oil on a hot waffle iron and ladle the waffle mix on the grill. Voila.
Eat them up, yum!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

WCB - 146 Happy Easter

This is the same as last year, but it's Easter again, Kamibunny makes a re-appearance!


Kamibunny sits in his giant carrot, wishing you a Happy Hoppy Easter!

Now hop on over to PaulChen's Food Blog to see the other cats for the WCB round-up! Have a lovely weekend!

Joyeuses Pâques! Fröhliche Ostern! Pasqua Felice! 행복한 부활절! Pascua Feliz! Gelukkige Pasen! Ευτυχές Πάσχα!

Easter Breakfast

My title is a little misleading. It's not really Easter in Korea per se. 'Round here we calls it "Sunday." And, though this was the first thing I ate today, I didn't eat it until almost five o'clock - so it was a lot more like dinner than breakfast. Technicalities. Whatever.
Fried Eggs with Oyster Sauce and Chili

Have you ever heard of this? I hadn't until I happened upon a post over at the Steamy Kitchen. Yummy! Reading through the comments I realize that eggs and oyster sauce isn't an unheard of phenomenon - but I would never have thought of it. I hope Jayden doesn't mind, but I'm going to copy her instructions on how to make this easy and tasty dish.

from Simple Chinese Cooking by Kylie Kwong

4 free range eggs
2 tbls oyster sauce + 1 tbl water, mixed
pinch ground pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped scallions
1-2 chilies, finely sliced
3 tbl cooking oil

Carefully crack eggs into a bowl. Heat oil in wok on high heat until surface seems to shimmer slightly. Pour eggs into hot oil. After 1 minute, reduce heat to medium, allowing the underside of the egg to become firm and crisp. The yolks should still be runny at this point. Cook 1 more minute. Gently slide eggs off plate, trying to keep excess oil in wok. Drizzle eggs with oyster sauce. Season with pepper. Garnish with chili and scallions. Serve immediately.

I threw a little drizzle of sesame oil in with the oyster sauce. It was good!

See this?

It's some frozen toaster waffle I found at HomePlus. I thought, "Right on! Leggo my Eggo!" But, this is not Eggo. This is an organic multi-grain vegan trans-fat-free egg-free cholesterol-free dairy-free delicious-free waffle that tastes like cardboard after you toast it. That's not entirely true. It tastes like reconstituted cardboard with sawdust added for extra dryness. Four of the six that were contained in the package are languishing in my freezer. I'm going to test how well they do as frisbees and whip them off my balcony and into the forest.

Now these, on the other hand, are not Eggos either.

They're delicious and they would kick Eggo's frozen ass in a rumble. They were made by yours truly on this cool sandwich maker/grill/waffle iron I was gifted last week. I'm going to make all kinds of waffles on this bad boy of mine. Yummiliciousness.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Mouthful of Eels

Quit looking at me or I will release my mouthful of eels to bite your face off.

Right,...that's it.

Hop To It

I don't miss working with Jane that much. When we were getting along, it was good - but she could be unpredictable with her moods and she was definitely bossy, which got on my nerves. On the other hand, she was really quite organized and by god, she could get things done quickly. Sometimes I'd come into work and ask her to please do something for me - find out some information or make a call to someone, and usually it would be taken care of by the time I finished my first class. Go, Jane!

I really enjoy working with my boss. She's very kind and easy going and we get along very well. However, it takes ages to get things done and I feel like I'm hassling her by having to ask multiple times for the same things. Remember the couple plus months where I was peeing in the dark and rescuing soap out of three broken sinks? That only got fixed because I done fixed it. Unfortunately, there's some things I'm not able to do and I need a hand from my boss.

Our computer's been broken for over a month now. Actually, it's not even the computer - it's the monitor - and it's just something wonky with the power cord connection. She decided to buy a new computer over couple weeks ago now, and I say "YAY!" because the hunk o' junk in the Teacher's Room is super slow and completely infected with nasty spyware and viruses that I can't clean. But exactly how long does it take to buy a computer? I know if I decided to get a new PC I'd go out shopping and wham bam I'd be set up a couple hours later. What's the hold up?

There's a little pipe on my balcony that sprung a leak and I've asked Karen to call someone to come fix it. For about a month I've asked her every few days. But, nothing is getting done and sometimes wind blows my dry clean underwear off the clothes horse while I'm at work and I come home to find it sopping and dirty on the balcony floor. It makes me unhappy.

There's materials I need ordered for some classes. There's a call to my "Water Lady" that needs to be made. I could bug my boss every day, but I've decided not to. I think it's easier if I just calm down and casually mention these things again when the time feels right. In the meantime I'm making do,...clothespins for the panties and me narrating conversations from the textbooks for the students (in lieu of cassettes.) I use various pitches and accents in my voice to denote different people talking. The kids think it's funny. I totally fake them out with heavy Scottish brogues. "Aye there Lassie, d'ya ken weer thuh phoormacy's at, like?"

Oh, and I whine on my blog.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Wild Ride

I think people who say it's boring when people recount their previous nights dreams are boring. My dreams are cool.
Except last night's wasn't so cool.

I was dying of cancer in the dream and I made babies cry and people gasp in horror when they saw me; I looked so shitty and sick. I felt a big lump in my chin and I scratched it and a soup can sized pink jello-like blob slid out and jiggled in my hand before melting. I had a big hole in my face. I could stick my hand up through my chin and wave to people from the inside of my mouth. That really freaked everyone out.

I asked my friend to drive me to the hospital and she did,...going 140km an hour on the highway, with no hands on the steering wheel. I kept asking her to slow down and drive the car properly. She kept saying, "It's cool, man. The car will get off the highway when it feels like it." She was really pissing me off.

I woke up unnerved.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Photobucket Gets Cool

Do you host your images on Photobucket? Have you noticed the recent changes they've made to their photo editor? Pretty cool!

I really love that I'm able to resize photos. I was never able to on my camera's software - so I often tried to take a wide shot that I could crop down to fit onto the blog. There's a lot of other fun stuff you can do with the new editor as well.

Alright. I've got to go play.

Ootheca Watch

Now that the weather's warming up and it seems spring has sprung, I've been keeping an eye on the ootheca that was laid last October by a big fat mama mantis.

So far, there haasn't been much happening, but that's what the ootheca looked like on Saturday night. From what I've read, it'll be pretty lucky if I catch the mini mantii escaping from their nest. They come out as tiny versions of their parents, but they scatter away very quickly.

I only pass the nest once a day on my way to work, but I always stop - give it a gentle pet with my fingertip and quietly say "oooootheca" to it. I think it will help with their development if they know where they are and that everything's alllllright in the oooootheca.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Drunks and Cops

I got out of a taxi last night near a "Family Mart" convenience store. I noticed a guy lying in the road beside the curb on the other side of the street. He was struggling to get up, like a turtle that had been flipped on its back. A very very drunk turtle in a T-shirt covered in mud and rain. He finally made it to his feet and staggered onto the sidewalk and grabbed ahold of of a wall which steadied him for a moment before he went barreling backwards toward the spot he had just been lying in the road, as if a bungee cord was attached to his spine. He tripped over the curb and landed on the back of his head. HARD. The sound of his skull smacking against the pavement made me feel fairly sick. I dropped the bags I was carrying and went over to try to help him. He was already struggling to get up again.

"Ohhhhh," I said to him, "You're hurt." I put one hand on his buzzcut head to see what damage he'd done to himself. He was bleeding pretty good. He clasped my forearm and tried to pull himself up. "You should sit down, you're hurt," I said again, but he was already halfway up.

"Jenny!" I heard my name being called. A woman stood in the doorway of Gimbap Jongu - a little restaurant that stays open 24 hours and caters to the late night drunks who nosh on ramen and gimbap. The franchise near my school does a good soon doobu jjigae but the spot the lady was calling me from makes a watery version I don't enjoy as much. I've only been in there a couple of times in over three years, and I was surprised the lady knew my name.

She crossed her arms in front of her. "Hajjima!" she instructed ("stop it!") and pointed at the drunk guy who was up and veering across the street. She looked disgusted, and told me he was a crazy man. "What can I do?" I asked her. "He's hurt and he's bleeding." By this time he'd already connected and got tripped up on the curb on the opposite side of the road. He smashed to the ground and was sitting there in a puddle swaying back and forth. "We called the police," the restaurant lady told me, and she pointed down the street where I saw flashing lights approaching. I walked over to drunk guy and asked him to stay down. He reached up and grabbed my arm again and said "thank you." Then he let go, turned his face to the side and puked. I stepped back. He swiveled onto his hands and knees and barfed some more. And some more. Ugggh.

The police pulled up and I told them he was bleeding at the back of his head. "He's very drunk."
"Yea," said the older cop who was coming around from the driver's side.
I retreated across the road and into the convenience store to get a bottle of water. The two girls at the cash register were giggly at seeing me and one of them loudly showed off her mad English skill and proclaimed, "I love you!"

I never know what to say to that.
Usually it's "Ha ha ha, jinja?" (Really?)

Back outside drunk guy had stopped throwing up and was battling the police. He actually wanted to be taken away, and kept trying to get into the back of the police car, but the door was locked. He was so abusive toward the cops and I was amazed at their patience. If Buddy was in Toronto and had carried on like he was I'm sure he would have been in handcuffs after a couple minutes. Drunk Guy was screaming at the cops. "Ten baby animals! Eighteen nomas!" and so forth. I gathered before I'd shown up he had terrorized the ladies at Gimbap Jongu and the woman across the way who runs a tent where you can sit on plastic chairs and eat jja jaa myun. Everytime that woman would come near him (she was trying to close up shop) he'd lunge at her and the cops would restrain him. He'd already kicked all her supplies all over the street. He went to kick the younger cop, who grabbed his leg and yanked it upwards, flipping Drunk Guy backwards and onto the pavement again. He got up and swung at the younger cop again, but the older cop restrained him - and didn't seem too pleased at having is uniform muddied up in the process.

A couple guys who knew Drunk Guy showed up and started to handle him. One of them kept slapping Drunk Guy across the face full force. Drunk Guy would them bow deeply and apologize. And then he'd run and jump on the hood of the cop car. It was quite the show. His buddy would coax him off and then slap him silly again. The woman from the restaurant brought his clean white company jacket out, and Drunk Guy clumsily put it on over his filthy T-shirt. The cops went away and a van with flashing lights showed up. Drunk Guy's buddies shoved him inside. I wonder where the van took him. The crowd that had gathered dispersed and the show was over.

I headed home.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


I was watching a movie tonight and I heard a strange yet familiar sound coming from the parking lot downstairs. It was weird, though - as the sound didn't make any sense. It was the sound of a snow plow.

Thing is, we haven't had any snow really. It's snowed three or four times the whole winter (and I think winter is pretty much finished now - here, that is) but the snow never stuck to the ground for any amount of time. So it sounded odd to hear a snow plow grating its shovel against the pavement downstairs. I went to have a look off my balcony.

The noise wasn't what I thought. It was a guy driving his very nice SUV around the parking lot with his front end hanging off the vehicle and dragging along the asphalt. It was loud. The guy did about three figure eights around the buildings and he kept passing the spaces that were available. I don't think he could see them for whatever reason. He finally tucked his ride in a spot that wasn't a spot at all. People exiting the building across the way from mine and trying to get to the parking lot are going to have to climb over Mister SUV's hood.

The guy got out of his car and stumbled around to the front end and it looked like he was trying to replace his fender by lifting it and mashing it into to grill. That wasn't working out, though, so he instead tried to rip the whole thing off. He ended up losing his footing and falling backwards into the fence which slungshot him back into the front of the car and he let out an "Auuuggghhhuuuhh" and gave up - trying to steady himself against the hood before attempting the walk to his (my) building.

This guy was drrrruuuuunnnkkkk. He could hardly walk at all - and he pitched and heaved himself home like he was walking the deck on a rough rolling sea. I wonder if he's going to feel like an idiot in the morning and decide drinking and driving is retarded.

One can always hope.

In other news, my mom reported it snowed heavily for the better part of two days back home and the drifts in her backyard are waist high. My grandmother had surgery. After two weeks the doctors finally detected an abscess on her bowel. She's still doped up on morphine and demerol and being bedridden for almost a month now isn't doing her any favours.

Lawd, I wish I was home.

Friday, March 07, 2008


Well Sunny and her great big balls came back to work today! I was surprised. Karen said that she talked to her for "a long long time" and has decided to give her another chance. Karen's laid down some rules, which I suppose are along the lines of "come to work and stop being a dumbass."

I've been told it's very hard to get a new teacher these days. One of another of our franchises advertised for a couple of months for a new employee and didn't get one call. So in some ways my boss is over a barrel and Sunny can continue to screw around if she wants to. I don't know how long she's going to last - as it seems to me her interest in working is really waning.

I asked her, when we were alone in the Teacher's Room, "So what happened yesterday?"
She laughed, which she always does when she's uncomfortable and said, "Oh, yesterday I hebbu no head."
This makes just as much sense as anything else she says, and it actually explains why she didn't call in to let Karen know she wasn't coming into work. While she may have been able to dial the phone, when she lifted it to speak into she just found an empty space where her head used to be. It's probably better she didn't come in, as I'm fairly sure a headless teacher would really freak the kids out. Now I know that this is an okay excuse, the next time I don't feel like coming into work I'm going to call the boss and explain, "I hebbu no legs."

I can't walk to work with no damn legs now, can I?

I think what Sunny actually meant was that she lost her mind yesterday.
Fair enough. I know the feeling of being so down you just can't get your shit together enough to quit crying and get your ass out of bed. I don't even know if that's what happened, but I assume it was something along those lines. It's a shame we don't have some Mental Health Days - but as it is we don't have enough teachers to even allow me to take the vacation days that are promised to me in my contract, which makes me want to stay at home and cry.

Alright, anyways, check this guy out:
What's up with his legs?

He's all, "I'm just going to sit here and enjoy my hamburger and you - yah, you all there walking past this window, can enjoy my nuts."

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Soap Opera

My co-worker Sunny called in sick today. Well, that's not really accurate as she did NOT call in. She just didn't show up. Ballsy! My boss ended up calling her cell which Sunny didn't answer, and then called her house where the sister-in-law reported that Sunny was sick and asleep. Karen requested Sunny be woken up to come to the phone, and so the sister-in-law promised to have Sunny call back in ten minutes. An hour later Karen called again and Sunny's three year old niece hung up on her. Three more calls went unanswered.

That's THREE times that Sunny's left Karen and I hanging in the last two months (since Jane went MIA and we found ourselves short a teacher) and the last time she did this was just last Monday! We've already been so busy this week with moms coming in with potential new students, and all new classes and texts starting. Today was chaotic and I found myself at five o'clock - when I wasn't scheduled to teach at all, instead teaching a large loud combined class of pissed off middle school students. They weren't pissed that I was teaching - they love me - but they were angry at having been combined - a girl/boy thing - and whined at and fought with each other the whole time. Oh, Joy! Meanwhile, I spent the whole day being pissed off at Sunny.

So what will happen in the ongoing drama of my school? Will Sunny come back tomorrow? Has she quit? If so, how long can my boss and I juggle all the classes? If Sunny comes back, what will her excuse be? She was in a coma? She caught Alzheimer's yesterday and forgot she had a job? She's a crap teacher who can't speak English for crap and doesn't give a crap about the school, the students, or her co-workers?

Oh wait, that last one's not so much an excuse as it is a fact.

Tune in tomorrow for another episode!

Monday, March 03, 2008

Hwangsa (황사)

The elementary school kids didn't have to start their new school year today as planned. The school was closed due to "hwangsa," also known as Asian, or yellow dust. It was so bad today - it actually looked as if it was raining this morning! It's quite unusual for our local elementary school to close down. We've been through typhoons and they've stayed open!

I've written about this before, as it happens every year. I asked my boss if she remembers if it happened this early last year. She couldn't remember, but did tell me that the yellow dust is a fairly new thing in Korea. It's getting worse and worse. Today's air quality was listed as "hazardous."

It's not just as if a bunch of sand blows in, either. As Wiki notes, this crap also contains "Sulphur (an acid rain component), soot, ash, carbon monoxide, and other toxic pollutants including heavy metals (such as mercury, cadmium, chromium, arsenic, lead, zinc, copper) and other carcinogens, as well as viruses, bacteria, fungi, pesticides, antibiotics, asbestos, herbicides, plastic ingredients, combustion products as well as hormone mimicking phthalates."


I know I woke up all stuffed up and have sported a sore throat and raspy cough all day. I think I'm going to have to buy a mask to wear, I really find yellow dust days to be really brutal. I'm sure the Car Washes are raking it in, though!

Sunday, March 02, 2008

WCB - 143 'Ol Big Eyes

Hey, Kamikaze - you cute big ball of fur,...

Alright, Giganteyes. You're freaking me out. Go back to napping!

Now's time for shusshing, because of all the napping! So tip-toe over to Mind of Mog and check out all the other kitties in WCB! If you don't, Kamikaze's going to look at you, and that'll freak you out.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

That's About Right

While I was riding the bus up to Seoul last weekend I was gazing out the window at the cars going in the other direction when it occurred to me there was something missing about most of them. Colour! In my mind, I listed off the colours of the cars and it went like, "grey white white grey black black white grey white black grey grey Oh! red! grey black white white white,..." I've been told that apparently for a long time the only colours for vehicles were black, white, or a mix of those two.

I just surveyed the parking lot downstairs and there are eighteen cars parked. Six white, five black, four grey, one dull gold, one bright blue Bongo truck, and one burgundy. While I'm typing this, one is beeping. Probably one of the white cars. Those whiteys are troublemakers, I tell ya.

Yah. Like that.
See that white car looking to fight the red car? You know as soon as they get into it, the other white cars are going to turn around and help their homeboy out. I'm not into gangs, man.

If I got myself a car here I'd want it bright purple and super sparkly. Like, you'd only be able to admire it's sparkliness for a moment or two - because then you'd be all blind. You wouldn't be angry about it though. You'd be thankful that the last thing you saw before going blind was so shiny and brilliant. You'd type me thank-you letters on your braille typewriter, you would.


I like this trend in gradual nail polish. I'm still playing around with it. My boss was talking about my nails a couple weeks ago and was saying we should open up a Nail Shop. I told her that was a great idea, and her wheels started turning. She kept asking me if I was serious and I said "sure!"


I think the idea is clients could come in for an English lesson/manicure. It's so crazy it just might make us millionaires, no? I'd welcome the opportunity to be doing something else while having conversations. As it is, I'd prefer to doodle or - uh - throw clay on a pottery wheel while I'm talking to people. But I don't. Instead I make occasional eye contact and act like I'm interested in what we're talking about.

I'm kidding.
Sort of.


It's Fun to Stay at the...