Monthly Archives: April 2006


PS: Remember that bottle of wine I bragged about getting earlier? I drank it tonight while watching The Karate Kid with some friends. Some days… life is good.

Universal Truths

Sometimes, there are things that you just assume to be true. And then, something happens to try that truth and you find out that you were right all along. And those times rule.
My latest time-tested truth?
All children hate black jellybeans.

Feeling the Love (Mostly via Mail)

At our school the foreign teachers often turn to the mail (the old fashioned kind) to feel the love. Sometimes (a lot of the time) there is no love in the mailbox. Then you have to rely on "masterbatory mail"… when you order stuff yourself online and have it sent to yourself. Hey! Mail is mail, even if it means that no one loves you but you. But I’ve been feeling the love for the last little while, and I just want to shout out to a few peeps:
Stuart sent a beautiful picture that he had done up himself. I tried to take a picture of it to post, but it just didn’t do it any justice. Come visit me in Korea to see it. When the package came I was worried to open it in front of everyone… I don’t know what I was expecting but I was concerned that there was some sort of tomfoolery afoot. What a sweet surprise to see a work of art (even in the broken frame, it looked good – stupid post). Thanks Stu. You suck MUCH less now. You would go from "suck less" to "completely kick ass" if I see my Gameboy Games in 2006. Everyone else… you should keep an eye out for "Stuart Grey" originals… might be worth money some day.
This wasn’t in the mail, but I could feel the love. Amelia brought back Skor bars, Mini Eggs, KETCHUP CHIPS, and the biggest, loveliest tin of Tim Horton’s coffee ever. I’m not even going to open it… I’m going to continue to sleep with it craddled lovingly in my arms.
Julie teased me just a few days ago by telling me that she sent a package surface and I should get it in four months. I don’t know how they did it, but she sent it surface and I got it yesterday. SCORE! I was so happy to see more Mini Eggs (’cause I already ate the ones from Amelia, oopsie), cinnamon gum, a beautiful card, and (this is the greatest) mini sour cola bottles. OH LORD THEY ARE GOOD! I haven’t had those in… well, in eight months. KICK ASS!
Sweet Hoolicia, I got your package today and I loved it so. I knew right away it was for me because of the decorations on the package. And inside? So many lovely goodies to remind me of you and of home! More Timmy Ho’s brew (sweet, I’m going to be able to go black-market with it soon), cinnamon gum (likewise), MINI EGGS (keep ’em coming folks), the sweetest magazines (and current, nicely done), Nintendo stickers, a Christmas card (late for 2005 or early for 2006, Hooly?), a CD of the original cast recording of Spamelot, a birthday card from Hooly and Spampoo, a bookmark from VPL, pictures of me riding a shopping mall horse (long story), and Kleenex. Not tissue – Kleenex. Mmmmm… Kleenex… makes me miss going to Shoppers Drug Mart for toothpaste and walking out three hours later with $80 of drugstore shite I didn’t need. Thanks.
Got some self-love last week. Thanks, me! That was great.
I was talking about (read: bragging about) having two birthdays this week. Well, today was Jason’s birthday and his mommy outdid herself. Not only did she bring a home-made noodle dish, chicken legs and pork ribs; not only did she bring me two cans of pop and two cans of cold coffee; she brought me a BOTTLE OF WINE. That woman knows how to please a teacher. Sweet. I’m hoping to drink that bottle of wine and watch The Karate Kid tonight.
Seriously though, thanks so much to everyone. It can be lonely sometimes over here in Korea. I’ve made some good friends and met a lot of cool people, but it means a lot to me that I haven’t been forgotten by my peeps back home (or in the UK). And it isn’t just gifts, you know. I’m also always happy to get emails too. Or just think good thinks. Or something. And I will do the same for you. Love to all… hugs and kisses. Big, sloppy, wet kisses.

And You Thought I Kicked Arse NOW

Found out tonight that we will be doing our black belt test on June 6th. YOWZA!
ps: they wouldn’t let me say "ass" in the blog title. weird.

Random Childhood Memory

I’m not 100% sure what triggered this one. And frankly, most of the time other people’s train of thought is hard and boring to follow. So I’ll just take you to where I ended up.
I remember when I was a kid, living in Quesnel BC, one of the best things we had to do was to go to the Rec Centre and go swimming. I loved it. Now maybe if you are one of those big city kids, you "had stuff to do" and won’t remember going to the pool as fondly as I do. But I can still remember how it sounded – the splashing water and children’s screams echoing in the tiled entrance way. I remember my moms paying for us to go in (always my moms) and then waiting for us in the waiting area. I remember knowing that she would be there. I remember hating to shower before going into the pool, and I remember the smell of the pool itself. I remember being too short to stand flat-footed in the shallow end of the grown-up’s pool.
But that’s not the good memory I was thinking of. I was thinking about after swimming, when you would go into the change room and shower off the chlorine smell of the pool, towel off, and put on your clothes. More specifically, I was thinking about how, in the winter, you would have to sit down and dry off your feet and then put your socks and shoes on.
And for no reason, tonight I was remembering just how good it felt to put on socks and shoes after swimming and then walking out into the winter air. It was good stuff.

Yup. Still "Teaching".

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged, because there is nothing going on but work these days. But then I remembered that sometimes funny shit happens at work, so I could write about that.
In my 5:30 class the children have to make up sentences using (what seems to be) random words listed in their "Moving Into English" practice book. (For those of you who teach this stuff, I’m talking about the red MIE book with the big ugly eagle on it. Yes, the useless one. Yes, the one with all the freaking mistakes in the practice book. Sigh). One of the words they had to use the other day was "coil". One of my smarter kids in that class, Jenny, writes the following: "This mortal coil."
This made me laugh, even after I made her confess to stealing it right out of the dictionary. But probably the funniest moment was when I told the other teachers the story and Joe said, "That’s not even a sentence. There’s no fucking verb."
Joe kicks ass – instead of being impressed that a 10-year-old Korean kid just hit me with a Shakespeare quote, he’s complaining that it isn’t a real sentence. And he’s got a point, which is what makes his complaint so funny. But I decided to go even further with this one.
Each week I ask that class a random question for bonus stickers. Things like "What is the capital of Canada? Who is the president and vice president of the USA?". Well, after Jenny used "This mortal coil", I asked the class for the title of the play it is from and who wrote it. Get this: Lynn had the answer the next week. I don’t care who helped her, that is pretty amazing.
Last week I had a birthday party and this week I have two. Beats the shit out of teaching for an hour, I tells ya. But this story isn’t about me slacking off instead of teaching phonics to monkeys. This story is about how I inadvertantly teach said monkeys things that they don’t need to know.
First, a while ago Woody comes into the teacher’s room and accuses me of teaching my old kids (he has two of them now) the "Liar, liar pants on fire" song. Which, I’m ashamed to admit, I did. Sorry about that. That song is the most annoying shit ever. So again – sorry about that. But then he says, "Oh, and guess what Victoria told me when I caught her picking her nose and asked, ‘What are you doing?’" I had no idea on this one, I didn’t teach them anything about picking their nose (except, of course, that it is "yucky" because there are "germs in there"). But I guess her response was "digging for gold" and when Woody asked her where she learned that, the little monster answered, "Jodi Teacher".  Heh heh heh. I don’t think I ~intentionally~ taught her that… but I can see her picking it up from me. Sorry, Woody Teacher. My bad.
But back to my current kids. It was Jonathan’s birthday on Monday. He was looking very dapper in his little suit and tie (nope, not kidding. The other kids kept saying "Jonathan daddy dressing, yes"). When it came time to blow out the candles on his cake, poor John missed entirely (and, I assume, spit all over the cake which is why I didn’t eat any that day). His reaction? He made an "angry face" and shook his little fist at the candles. HA HA HA! I nearly peed my pants that day, folks. It is exactly what I do with the kids when I am "pretend angry" at them. He mimicked me perfectly. Good thing I am careful of which hand gestures I use in class.
We’ve been counting the sleeps until the day (Tuesday) that we were going to the aquarium. Heck, even I thought it sounded like fun. The monkeys were pretty excited, but I wasn’t sure if they knew what an aquarium was. So I asked them what they might see at the aquarium. And what do you know? The little buggers did know what an aquarium was – a few told me "fish" and one even said "shark". The great part? When someone said "shark", my little "Monkey-ica" (Monica) started singing the Jaws theme. She’s my new favorite monkey.
The actual trip to the aquarium was poorly executed (not all that surprising). The best part was going through the tunnels on the bus. We took 45 minutes to get there, stood in line (with 5, 6, and 7 year olds. 110 of them.) for 45 minutes and then raced through the aquarium for 35 minutes to get back on the bus for another 30 minutes. FUN! Aurgh. But I did take pictures and they ~should~ be up on Flickr soon. In the meantime, I’ve attached photos of Jonathan and Monica so you can see which monkeys I was talking about today.
Another reason I haven’t been online blogging. Sigh.
Should have my brown belt within a week. After brown it is just three more to black.
Just wanted to say goodbye to Chelsea, who is heading home tomorrow. Hope your trip is safe and you get to eat plenty of Skor bars once you get there. I’ll miss you!

Tumour Free

After the ordeal at the hospital, I have good news: I don’t have cancer. Bad translations mean that I still don’t really know what the hell happened, but the doctor says that I don’t have to worry about it. Which is good news. So I’m trying to not worry about it. I’m pretty sure that I’m going to end up with an arthritic hip when I’m 100 years old. I mean, there is still a fracture and extra bone over there.
By the way, having an MRI sucks. Especially in Korea. I’m sure that anywhere you go, you would have to have an I.V. and lay perfectly still for an hour and twenty minutes. I’m sure that part way through the procedure everywhere they put a full syringe of liquid into your I.V. feed that you can feel go into your body because it makes your entire arm go cold. I’m sure that no matter which country you are in, you will feel the needle in your arm vibrate (sorry moms) because you are lying in a gigantic magnet. But I’m sure there is a few countries in which you wouldn’t have to pay $600 to find out that you DON’T have cancer.
But I will tell you this: I would rather pay $600 to find out that I don’t have cancer than I would pay $600 to find out that I DO.
Thanks to everyone that got a hold of me to make sure I was okay. Big thanks to Orla, Brooke and Chad for stopping by with the flowers. You guys rule.

Saturday: My Black Day

I had a bunch that I was going to write about… from the mundane to the… mundane. But I’ve had a bit of a scare and I can’t really be bothered to blog about the rest.
I went to the doctor on Saturday to ask him to look at my hips, which bother me when I try to kick people in the face in Tae Kwon Do. (Feel free to insert an "old lady’s hip" joke here. I did.)  I thought they would  poke some needles in my toe or something and send me on my way. I didn’t think it was going to be anything serious; I’ve never really tried to kick people in the face on a day-to-day basis before and thought that I was probably just overworking those muscles. Which is exactly what the doctor said. At first.
I was surprised that the doctor was even there and in retrospect I suppose that I should be glad that he was. When I told him what was wrong, he figured that I was just finally working my non-dominant side and the muscles and joints were sore because of that (which is sort of what I thought). However, he also thought that we should take some x-rays, just to prove that there was nothing really "medically" wrong. And I was down with that. As long as they gave me a massage or some accupuncture or something so it wouldn’t hurt as much while I was kicking, I was down with whatever. So they took the x-rays and we waited for the results.
First, my left shoulder (which also hassles me, but not when I’m kicking people in the face… it is more of a punch and block issue). It’s fine. There is nothing wrong. So I start to breathe a little easier. Worried for nothing, you know? But then he put up the first pelvic x-ray. And I don’t really notice anything until he says, "That’s not good" and circles a fracture on my left hip. A fracture. And all I can think is: No. No, that is definitely not good. Then he throws up the other pelvic x-ray and says, "That is really not good". Because in the second x-ray you can see that there is a lot more bone happening on the left side than there is on the right. Enough erroneous bone growth that even I can see it. So he throws me a couple of explanations:
1. I might have fractured the bone (somehow) and the enlarged bone is just a result of that trauma.
This explanation I can handle, even though I don’t remember doing anything in particular that would fracture a bone right at the hip. But whatever… that’s not scary. Well, not very scary, if you dig what I’m saying. That’s fine. It means that it is healing and I should be okay. Thus enter explanation two, and with it: the fear.
2. I might have a disease that is causing the strange bone growth (and the fracture is a reasult of the growth not being really good bone).
When he said "disease", I think some emotion (read: fear) must have appeared on my face. Because at that point he looked at me and said, "You must be worried about the cancer."
Actually no, asshole. "The cancer" didn’t even enter my mind until you said it. My family doesn’t have a history of it, and I thought that cancer would look… I don’t know. Green. Sick. Not like some extra bone on my hip. Cancer would be green and blurry around the edges and snarling at me from the x-ray. It would look more abstract. It would not something that could appear on an x-ray of my body. That doesn’t even make sense to me.  But apparently, that is what it could be. And for some reason, I don’t think it is a good thing if it is in the bone of my left hip. That doesn’t sound good at all. Especially if you could see how much extra bone there is over there. That would be quite a good lump of cancer.
I’m trying not to panic. I’m taking deep breaths, and have been for a couple of days now. I’m trying my best to be the calm centre of the universe. Because it is probably not all that serious. Because it is probably just some extra bone-growth that isn’t anything but… well, but extra bone-growth. I’m going to have the school take me to a real hospital today because we need further testing (like an MRI) to properly diagnose what is happening with the bone. To figure out if it is just growth from previous trauma. Or some weird bone-growing disease. Or luekemia.
I guess I will let you all know when I know. What else can I say? Except maybe: wish me luck. Loads of it.

Flickr Tags

We went out tonight and I’m too sleepy to blog. I will type more tomorrow morning (I sense that tomorrow night is going to be mayham… but more on that tomorrow). For now… I checked my "Flickr Tags" to see how my life is treating me lately. Here they are:

 2006   30th   apartment   birthday   bracket   ceremony   changdeokgung   day   dmz   do   everland   farm   friday   graduation   halloween   jodis   kindergarten   korea   kwon   lame   life   madness   magnolia   march   mayham   monkeys   more   ncaa   night   november   out   palace   party   patricks   pottery   secondary   seoul   st   suji   sunday   tae   tree   trip   uni   wabar   walk   wednesday 

That’s me, baby. Tomorrow I also plan on posting pics of my new monkeys. Cheers, all. Hope you are having a lovely Friday night yourselves.

Dropping Bombs

Not a lot to say except I’m sure glad it is Friday. I would also like to add that I don’t know what one of my kids in my 5:30 class was eating… but that child was dropping the rankest bombs in history. They could have choked a donkey. Bleh! I had to go and teach by the open window…