Pulled In Many Directions

Not-so-daily rambings about my life and my thoughts

Thursday, December 30, 2004

The Devastation in Southeast Asia

Snoozebutton Dreams made this interesting, if sobering analogy to the tragedy that just recently happened in Southeast Asia. In a sort of piggyback on Snoozebutton's analogy, 77,000 people is equal to:

  • The entire population of Appleton, Wisconsin
  • The entire nation of Seychelles
  • The entire nation of Antigua and Barbuda
  • The entire population of Lakeland, Florida
  • The entire nation of Aruba
  • The entire population of Sault Sainte Marie, Ontario
  • The entire nation of Kiribati
  • The entire population of Ogden, Utah

Can you imagine living next door to a town or on an island where one day, there are people there, shopping, playing, working, living their lives, and then the next, you wake up to a ghost town. All the people have disappeared without a trace? It just boggles my mind that so many people have died because of the earthquake in Indonesia and the resulting tsunamis, that so many people's lives have been changed forever.


My New Year’s Resolutions

1. To be the captain of my ship when it comes to relationships. To recognize red flags and humanely let go of guys who are bad for me as partners. Of course, this doesn’t mean the guy will like it, and we’ll be the bestest friends ever, but I need to start taking care of myself. There are going to be plenty of guys for me, and I need to stop acting like everything has to be perfect...or be too shocked when I realize they aren’t.

2. To somehow stop being taken for granted.

3. To stop biting my nails.

4. To join a gym and go there often.

5. To stop spending all this goddamn time on the Net, and use the time to get a hobby or meet and make friends.

6. I want to have at least one good guy friend in my life.

7. To keep the friends I have made previously.

Resolution Number 1 is my biggest priority, as you can see.

I keep looking at my nails and think, damn, only one more day or so, then I have to get serious.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

More Test Results

You Are an Indifferent Ex

You're not one of those girls who thinks about her exes - or even remembers them
"Love 'em and Leave 'em" is your motto. And your break ups tend to be a clean break.
It's a nice strategy to have, and guys appreciate your total lack of emotional baggage.
But just a little reminder: it is okay to remember the good parts of your past, even with exes.

What Kind of Ex Are You? Take This Quiz


Find the Love of Your Life (and More Love Quizzes) at Your New Romance.



Well, this is fairly true. I never talk about my exes to my current guy mainly because I don't keep in contact with them for one reason or another. If I did, I wouldn't talk so much about them anyways because I think it's disrespectful to the new relationship and the new guy I am with. I've dated 2 guys straight who have not been able to stop talking about their exes. The first guy was angry with them all still, no matter how gorgeous they were, and the second guy, even if he didn't admit it to me, still had some kind of feelings for her. It's just better to cut and run, maybe, make it painless as possible but leave the past in the past.I suppose I should take this information and use it to my advantage. If I'm just not the kind of person to be my exes' close friend, then maybe I can try to be someone who will break up with them fairly, and remember them fondly in the privacy and space of my own mind.

I Need Your Help!

Is there a doctor reading my blog?

I'm taking the risk of totally and permanently grossing out (and losing) my male readership, but I am really concerned about what happens to me when I go off the Pill to get my period. I get these super bad splitting headaches which generally do not respond to Advil. (In fact, when I take anything, I usually get sick.) Usually it feels like an ice pick has gone through one of my eyes. Today, after being on the Pill for like 3 months straight, it felt like someone or something was trying to rip the top of my head off, right around my temples. I have never felt this much pain before. I couldn't see straight. I went home openly crying from the pain. If I am physically hurt, I most often never cry.

It is the cruelest joke in the world. I can barely get a regularly-scheduled date, and my own body apparently will now stage a coup against itself when it realizes it has been tricked into feeling pregnant. I feel like the spirit of my mother is haunting my own body. It seems I will be kicked in the ass by my own body on a monthly basis if I go off the Pill, which is something I have been considering anyways. It can;t be that good to always be on them for a long long time, can it?

Anyways, I don't know what to do. When I went to a doctor here, I was hoping for pills and maybe a CAT scan. I got an ultrasound and aromatherapy. That is not a good sign. I just want some answers as to why this is happening to me. Could it be the brand of Pill I am on? Does this mean I need to go off it?

I am not looking for advice really, but if you know anyone who has gone through the same thing as me, please let me know, and let me know how she dealt with it. Ugh...if Hong Kong doctors are going to hand me only essential oils for my problems, I will cry.

I Didn't Need To Know This...

There's this guy I know. I hesitate to call him a friend, cause usually when we talk, it's a litany on his part of all the ways his body is failing him and also a litany of people he can't stand. And when he isn't complaining, he is rather boring. I'm hoping to fly under the radar with him when I leave for Hong Kong somehow.

Case in point today. He sent me an email telling me a coworker of his died due to alcohol poisoning. And there's no sympathy in that letter. He actually said "that guy we worked with the one who backstabbed us, etc...died last night." He said I should pass it on to another guy I barely talk to cause he also has a severe alcohol problem. Right. I'll get right on it. Feh.

He called it a "tratgedy" -- the guy is an English teacher who can't spell and who uses "should of" way too many times for it to be a slip-up -- but he's focusing on the bad stuff with the guy. Still. Just give it a rest already. The man is dead, and I didn't even know him. I hope though he has family who can take care of him when the body gets back to Canada.

I just thought it was a really tacky letter.

In other news, I spoke with my recruiter and they said I will be in Hong Kong hopefully in mid or late February. Late February would be much better, but we'll see. I just hope they give me some time off in between so I can get settled in.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Mona Lisa and Mosquitoes

Is it just the end of the year, or is it me? My camp schedule sucks. I have to go in for 10 a.m., only an hour and a half later than normal. Then they originally had me scheduled to work until 330, half an hour before I normally go home. In between the three hours of class, I would have had 2 and a half hours of just nothing. Last year was better.Start at 10, end at 230. One and a half hours of whatever.

Maybe it's not that bad as the Internet sucks at my home for the time being. But I'm just annoyed. We're watching Mona Lisa Smile now in class. It's going OK for the first class, but I'm afraid it's going over everyone's head in the second class. I guess it's an OK movie so far.

Was kicking around the Movie Pooper website and saw the movie The Mosquito Coast was on there. I didn't know it was originally a book. It sounds really fascinating, but I'm not sure if I can find it here.

Fark It's Cold

I'm going to go against better judgment and transmit to you all that it's cold enough to be un comfortable outside, but not cold enough to keep my nose from running. Argh...I hate this. I think I am getting sick again.

15 degrees F in Boston (at 930 pm over there)
25 degrees F in Seoul (now)
52 degrees F in Hong Kong now

Where do you think I want to be right now?

In any case, even if it is colder than a witch's tit in a steel bra (God, I love that expression) over in Beantown, I am once again missing home. I friggin watch Sabrina the Teenage Witch ONLY for the opening shots where she is kind of dancing around Newbury Street and Fanueil Hall, and for any references they may have of the city. Same with Ally McBeal, or Crossing Jordan. Here's a question...why the hell isn't Cheers on any of the stations here, especially AFN? That show rocked.

Anyways, am looking forward to the day when I myself can walk along the cobbled streets of Boston and poke around Quincy Market again. Right now, I feel the expat life is getting old, and I want to go home. Right now that is.



Monday, December 27, 2004

The Return of Mindless Bloggery!

Though the list looks like it's geared toward those in high school or college...

Things in Bold are TRUE

01. I miss somebody right now.
02. I watch more tv than I used to.
03. I love olives.
04. I love sleeping.
05. I own lots of books.
06. I wear glasses or contact lenses.
07. I love to play video games.
08. I've tried marijuana.
09. I've watched porn movies.
10. I have been in a threesome.
11. I have been the psycho-ex in a past relationship
12. I believe honesty is usually the best policy.
13. I have acne free skin.
14. I like and respect Al Sharpton.
15. I curse frequently.
16. I have changed a lot mentally over the last year.
17. I have a hobby.
18. I've been told I have a nice butt.
19. I carry my knife/razor everywhere with me.
20. I'm really, really smart. I'm not a genius, just smart.
21. I've never broken someone else's bones.
22. I have a secret that I am ashamed to reveal.
23. I love rayn.
24. I'm paranoid at most times.
25. I would get plastic surgery if it were 100% safe, free of cost, and scar free.
26. I need money right now.
27. I love sushi.
28. I talk really, really fast. [But not as fast as others.]
29. I have fresh breath in the morning.
30. I have semi-long hair.
31. I have lost money in Las Vegas.
32. I have at least one brother and/or one sister.
33. I was born in a country outside of the U.S.
34. I shave my legs.
35. I have a twin.
36. I couldn't survive without caller I.D.
38. I like the way that I look.
39. I have lied to a good friend in the past 6 months.
40. I know how to do cornrows.
41. I am usually pessimistic.
42. I have mood swings.
43. I think prostitution should be legalized.
44. I think Britney Spears is pretty - but only the pre-cheeto eating, walking barefoot on floors, skanked out britney.
45. I have cheated on a significant other.
46. I have a hidden talent.
47. I'm always hyper no matter how much sugar I have.
48. I think that I'm popular.
49. I am currently single.
50. I have kissed someone of the same sex.
51. I enjoy talking on the phone.
52. I practically live in sweatpants or PJ pants.
53. I love to shop.
54. I would rather shop than eat.
55. I would classify myself as ghetto.
56. I'm bourgie and have worn a sweater tied around my shoulders. (what's a bourgie?)
57. I'm obsessed with my LJ. (my what?)
58. I don't hate anyone.
59. I'm a pretty good dancer.
60. I don't think Mike Tyson raped Desiree Washington.
61. I'm completely embarrassed to be seen with my mother.
62. I have a cell phone.
63. I watch MTV on a daily basis.
65. I have passed out drunk in the past 6 months.
67. I have never been in a real relationship before.
68. I've rejected someone before.
69. I've graduated college.
70. I have no idea what i want to do for the rest of my life.
71. I want to have children in the future.
72. I have changed a diaper before.
73. I've had the cops called on me before.
74. I bite my nails sometimes.
75. I am a member of the Tom Green fan club.
76. I'm not allergic to anything deadly.
77. I have a lot to learn.
78. I have dated someone at least 10 years older or younger...
79. I plan on seeing Ice Cube's newest "Friday" movie.
80. I am very shy around the opposite sex.
81. I'm online 24/7, even as an away message.
82. I have at least 5 away messages saved.
83. I have tried alcohol before.
84. I have made a move on a friend's significant other in the past.
85. I own the "South Park" movie.
86. I have avoided assignments at work/school to be on Xanga/Livejournal.
87. When I was a kid I played "the birds and the bees" with a neighbor or chum..
88. I enjoy country music.
90. I think that Pizza Hut has the best pizza.
91. I watch soap operas whenever I can.
92. I'm obsessive, anal retentive, and often a perfectionist.
93. I have used my sexuality to advance my career.
94. I love Michael Jackson, scandals and all.
95. I know all the words to Slick Rick's "Children's Story".
96. Halloween is awesome because you get free candy.
97. I watch Spongebob Squarepants and I like it.
98. I have dated a close friend's ex.
99. I'm happy as of this moment.
100. I have gone scuba diving.
101. Had a crush on somebody you've never met.
102. Kissed someone you knew you shouldn't.
103. I play a musical instrument.
104. I strongly dislike math.
105. I'm procrastinating with something right now.
106. I own and use a library card.
107. I fall in 'lust' more than in 'love.'
108. Cheese enchiladas rock my socks.
109. I think The Lord of the Rings is one of the greatest things ever.
110. I'm obsessed with the TV show "Lost."
111. I think Beyblades is the coolest show in coolsville.
112. There are more things I could be better at, if only I tried harder.
113. Sometimes I don't like food.
114. I worry sometimes that I'm not being the best friend I could be to the people I care about.
115. I desperately want people to respect me, but it rarely happens.
116. I have never been able to say anything positive about myself and truly believe it.
117. I am bisexual.
118. I think Scottish accents are very attractive.
119. I'm very neurotic and suffer from acute paranoia.
120. I speak a language besides English.
121. I joke about eating, shaking, and kicking babies.
122. I'm most likely to spend my money on music.
123. I find it very difficult to fall asleep at night.

Mindless Bloggery

I just got a lovely comment from Nat, who found my blog through a comment I left on another blog. And like it is in the blogging world, she also has a blog. One of her latest entries has a webpage full of love quizzes, which I will be taking very soon. Note the description of her blog. She and I must have been separated at birth.

Apparently, my school told me today (Monday) would be a full day of classes. That didn't sound right, but I still prepared a bunch of worksheets. It turns out, we'll be finished around noon, and then head over to a fish restaurant. Hm. So, on to the quizzes, whose results I'll be posting here.

You Are Gwen Stefani!

All guys dream about you And all the girls want to be you"Sappy pathetic little me That was the girl I used to be"


Who's Your Inner Rock Chick? Take This Quiz :-)



Heh...whatever they say. I'm not really sure I'd ever compare myself to Gwen Stefani, especially fashion-wise. But hey, these results must be scientific!

You'll Find Love Through Friends

Your friends get you better than any guy ever has,and they're the perfect people to introduce you to your soulmate. So look and act you're best with them, even if it's a girl's night out. You never know who they might find for you!

Where Will You Find Love? Take This Quiz :-)




This really would be the best avenue for me, I think. Though, I have never really looked at a guy and said to myself "He'd be perfect for _____" Usually, it's more like "Do I like this guy?" so it's understandable...






You Are Most Like Carrie from Sex and the City!


You're quirky, flirty, and every guy's perfect first date.

But can the guy in question live up to your romantic ideal?

It's tough for you to find the right match - you're more than a little picky.

Never fear... You've got a great group of friends and a
great closet of clothes, no matter what!


Romantic prediction: You'll fall for someone this year...

Totally different from any guy you've dated.




Which Sex and the City Vixen Are You Most Like?
Take This Quiz Right Now!





See? NOT Charlotte!

Sunday, December 26, 2004

Worried...

My friend picked the shittiest time to vacation in Sri Lanka.

Massive Quake Hits Southeast Asia

Sri Lanka, India, islands of Thailand (where my friend's boyfriend is most likely vacationing) Indonesia and Malaysia were all hit, some literally with tsunamis. Singapore felt the quake.

I am really worried about her. I hope she can get to a phone or a computer (though now I highly doubt anything will be available to her) to contact someone she knows to let that person know she is OK. Not that I expect CNN to have a special report on whether she specifically is alive and well, but have been reading everything I can on the web and have been watching CNN to see if any new news is being reported. It's just getting me more depressed and anxious, so am now watching Crossing Jordan and reading TVtome.com to put my mind off what's going on in the world. Hope recaps of cheesy 80s shows will do the trick for me.

You Better Watch Out You Better Not Cry...Or Else It's All Going to EBay

From CNN.com:

HOUSTON, Texas (AP) -- -- The kids were naughty, Dad put the presents on eBay instead of under the tree -- and Mom's been crying ever since.

Now, even the tree's down.

Saturday morning was sure not to be very jolly for three brothers -- 9, 11 and 15 -- who didn't straighten up when their father told them Santa wasn't too pleased with their fighting, cuss words and obscene gestures.

Dad and Mom had warned their sons that the Nintendo DS video system -- and the three games that go with it -- were headed for the auction block if they didn't get their act together.

"No kidding. Three undeserving boys have crossed the line. Tonight we sat down and showed them what they WILL NOT get for Christmas this year. I'll be taking the tree down tomorrow," the man announced in his eBay posting.

"If you don't buy them, we'll return them to the store," the seller known online as magumbo--2000 reported on the site.

Thursday night, the auction wound down with bidding at $465.01 -- below the price the man had set. He said he would probably list the items again.

A single day of particularly bad behavior set the Christmas crackdown in motion.

"These are normally really good kids," said Dad, who asked the Houston Chronicle not to reveal his name.

Naugty kids forewarned
Dad even admits he and Mom are partly to blame for being too lax at times.

But enough was enough. The warning of an impending sale came earlier in the week at a sit-down between offspring and parents.

"We told them they were destroying each other and the calm and peace in the household. It had to stop," said the man, who did tell the paper that he works as an information technology specialist and lives in Pasadena.

The boys pledged to be nice, but were back to their old ways the next morning.

That night, Dad announced that he would indeed be putting $700 in video games up for sale on eBay. The oldest boy double-dared his dad to make good on his word.

Son shouldn't have done that.

Dad said Mom has been in tears since the showdown.

"I don't do it outwardly," he said, "but I'm crying on the inside."



No word on whether the father will leave the boys certain kinds of "special presents" from the Easter Bunny if they continue to fight.

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Merry Christmas to One and All

It's Christmas Day here. While I'll be spending a boring day going to Starbucks and recovering from a party I went to last night, I hope everyone who reads my blog has a very happy Christmas, filled with family and friends. I'll be with my cat, who's oblivious to the symbolism of the day. To her, it's just another day to be fed.

Friday, December 24, 2004

My Brother

There's a picture I have, taken many years ago, of my brother and I hugging for the camera and modeling identical Juicy Juice T-shirts we had got for Christmas. In my mind's eye, it's a really sweet picture of a brother and sister who are getting along really well, excited about their presents. Something tells me though, that the picture may be the result of a gentle (or maybe not so gentle) coersion to be nice to each other for just 5 seconds for the camera.

My brother and I are completely the opposite from one another. He's loud and outgoing, popular, handsome, tall, always good at whatever he tried, never worrying about what anyone else thought about him. I was short, pimply, nerdyBack when we attended the same school, with him trailing me only by a year, no one could believe we were related. To his teachers, he was "my brother" to all the school kids, I was always asked if I was "Matt's sister," and they could never manage to hide their disbelief.

It was hard to live in my brother's shadow, because when you are 10, 11, 12...OK, in school, which would you rather be? Popular or smart? Exactly! The differences we had between us weren't really a big deal, until we got to high school, where they then began to chafe against each other, leaving both of us emotionally raw and sore with each other constantly. We couldn't be in the same room as each other.

Anyways, I called him today because his ex-wife told me he wanted to talk to me. So we chatted for 15 minutes, and things seemed to go well. Not sure if there's this feeling still of being cordial cause you have to, but we were able to talk about each other's lives without any judgment. I'm not even sure if he ever will come visit me, and when he does, I know I'll be worried about how we'll deal with each other when he is around me all the time, but it would be nice for a family member to come out and visit me. I guess if he's family, I'm stuck with him.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

The Ultimate in Laziness

Never step outside in your pajamas again!

Do I Need A Jacket?

Thanks to Spirit Fingers

Don't listen to her and vote for her blog many many many times.

Am Stoked...

Last year when I visited Hong Kong, I met this really nice, pretty cute guy at a club. We exchanged email addresses, wrote for a bit, but you know how it goes I guess when you live in two different countries. We lost touch, I lost his business card, and have been off and on wondering about him, as I prepare to move to where I had met him.

Well, guess who just sent me a Christmas e-card today? Pretty cool stroke of luck. I think he said something to me when I first met him about splitting his time between Hong Kong and America, and almost one year has passed. It's entirely possible he no longer lives in Hong Kong, but if he does, I hope we can meet up. The more people I know in a strange land, the better the adjustment to it, I think. :)


Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Almost There...Getting Closer...Just A Little Bit Further...

Just got an email from my dad saying he had finally received my high school transcripts, and they were finally on their way over here. Hopefully, they'll be here tomorrow. You can well imagine the tone of tomorrow's post if they aren't...

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

How Can You Be My Ex if You Can't Say You're My Boyfriend?

Cause when it ends, it still seems to hurt just as bad...

No, this is not another rant on my state of personal affairs.

I have a friend who is pissed. Piseed Pissed Pissed. The guy she was seeing/was with/was dating/was her kind of boyfriend took off for good without contacting her to say goodbye. This is the girl who when I questioned why she was with a guy so allergic to the term "boyfriend," as she could so do better than that, said "I don't want the white picket fence, house and kids thing." Well, I said "boyfriend" and she heard "marriage in suburbia." Hmmm....Looking back on it, I don't think that was *her* speaking to me, but the guy she was with talking through her. And I am guilty of doing that, saying oh we're just dating, being what I thought was just coy, until more than a month passes, and then being coy is just being stupid.

Boys? What is wrong with you? I really don't know where this aversion to labels came from. I am not at all an anally-retentive person who believes there is a place for everything and everything has a place (you need to see my room and all thoughts of me as anal retentive will be dispeled like that!). But I think if you are spending a lot of time with someone over a long period of time, leading them to believe you are being emotionally intimate with them, and certainly, if you are physically intimate with them, then it's only a sign of respect to call them your boyfriend or girlfriend. There should be none of this talk of obligation, feeling trapped, or what have you, because you should be doing things with this person because you want to, not because you feel you have to.


Who Downloaded Britney on my Limewire???

Mr. Brown has an interesting challenge: Put all your music collection into a media player. Play it in shuffle mode. Report back (with no editing, you closet boy band fans) the first 10 songs that are played. I'll update this post with what I come up with later.

I might as well lay all the cards on the table and say anyways that yes, I do have some songs by The Jackson 5 on there, I *did* go through a boy-band kick in an earlier incarnation of my computer, but other than that, there shouldn't be anything too embarrassing on there.

We shall see if I have to eat my words later...

1. I Want You To Want Me -- Letters To Cleo
2. Personal Jesus -- Depeche Mode
3. Supernova -- Liz Phair
4. The Tide Is High -- Blondie
5. Spiderwebs -- No Doubt
6. Sweetest Thing -- U2
7. Vertigo -- U2
8. Learning To Fly -- Tom Petty
9. You Can't Always Get What You Want -- The Rolling Stones
10. One Way Or Another -- Blondie

Not bad at all. Nothing horribly embarrassing, anyways!

Monday, December 20, 2004

Shopping With Spirit Fingers?

I made an off-hand remark about one of Spirit Finger's posts and she offered to show me the store she was talking about, Shanghai Tang, when I finally got to Hong Kong. Cool.

Just had a gander at the website, and while the clothes seem to be pretty cool, (I love Chinese style shirts, the cut, the color, the patterns) they certainly put a serious hurt on the wallet. Oh well, to be a fashion plate, I suppose, you have to suffer somewhere. Buying one of those shirts would probably also help me look good as I couldn't afford to eat anything for a month after. (Yes, yes, Platypus, I'll stop beating myself up, American style, right now!) ;)

I've Got It All Figured Out...

I've been thinking of this. If I am supposedly in the midst of my youth, what the hell am I doing being so damn responsible and ignoring my duty to have youthful indiscretions I keep hearing so much about? And then, when I am too old to be youthful, surely, I can blame my screw-ups on some kind of trial period of adulthood? And then, I can blame whatever stupid things I do on my mid-life crisis. And then hormones will start to go wacky, and any other dumb thing I do, I can blame on menopause, and then finally, I can claim early senility.

Ah, it sounds great to have all these excuses laid out for me. Maybe I *will* hit the bars this weekend...

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Merry Christmas To Me


I went to the mall tonight (something crazy to do in any country a week before Christmas) with a friend of mine and bought myself a much needed sweater -- something my friend pointed out I would only need for the next 2 months anyways, 3 fluffy magazines from America, a set of computer speakers and some hair dye, to make me look British again. Unfortunately, they were fresh out of partridges in pear trees.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

I am a Complete Sucker For Accents

After watching Saturday Night Live tonight, I have come to the conclusion that while I really don't care for his movies, I probably would pay cash to watch a movie where Colin Farrell reads a dictionary.

Looks Like the Honeymoon's Over

It's not supposed to be this way...

Before...


After...
Pedro Martinez Snarks About The Sox

I have lived in Korea for three years, which is of course, many miles away from my hometown. In those three years, 2 Boston sports teams (the Patriots, and more importantly, the Red Sox) have gone to the championship and won it all.

I'm trying to play dumb about any correlation there is between my moving far away from Boston, and the sports teams finally getting it together, though it looks like it hasn't affected the Bruins' play any in past years. Though with a lockout in place, everyone is now in first place!

I wonder how the Sox will do without Pedro, but then they happened to do very well this year without Nomar.

Friday, December 17, 2004

Is There a Point to My Blog? No.

I don't want to sound too New-Agey here, but I was reading on a newsgroup I belong to that someone said that people of my personality type (and that's ENFP, by the way) should NOT keep journals. ENFPs are supposedly the most emotionally sensitive of the bunch which means that when we are happy and upbeat, we are busy (not blogging or writing), and that when we are down and upset, while we want to write it all out, it backfires in the end, as when we come back to it, we relive the pain like we were going through it the first time.

Wow, that's sensitive.

I am one who is more likely to write when things are going wrong, and I can see the pros and cons of that. Pro: You get something off your chest. Con: Is a crap day really something you want to remember in the first place? My family and my friends can read this if they know the address, so maybe I do tend to censor myself just a tad in here. I can understand up to a point, venting your frustrations with a lousy day on a napkin or envelope while you ride the bus home, but is that really worthy of posterity? Would you want to save that to read 5 years later, anyways?

I've always been someone who kept a journal in some way or another. I did it more often in middle school than I did as an adult. Unfortunately, the middle school journals are lost to the world, and if I ever become famous one day, then they'll be sure to resurface in all their pimply insecure glory, but I think I lost them in some move or something.

I don't think if I read those journals I'd be upset all over again. I really think I'd die laughing. What I thought were the most important things since I was 14, surely I have changed since then? Maybe I will cry if I realize that no, sadly, I haven't. I can also see that no matter how much I write about the relationship I had with my mom, or the latest clusterfuck that was a romantic relationship, maybe writing things down doesn't makes things better in the long run. You have to be willing to devote a lot of time, energy and attention to the matter in order to fully appreciate and understand it. A one off entry won't help things much in the present.

I wonder now what the point of all of this is now, though, as this is like a public journal. What is the point of writing your feelings down about an event or a person? Is it to vent in the present or is it to hold on to it for a few years and see how you have grown and changed as a person, hopefully? Is there any real point besides satisfying some kind of vanity we all possess (especially those who blog publicly) to keep a journal?

I'd like to save these entries somehow for anyone younger than me in my family, I guess, like maybe my step-sister or later my nephew can read about my experiences in Hong Kong, but I have a feeling there will be a lot more of the personal in here, and not some travelogue about Hong Kong. They'll know more about me, and not maybe so much about where I lived, but how I felt there.

But at the end of the day, I think I am doing this mainly for myself, just to get everything out that I can't to a dear friend. If you're reading this, thank you for coming along for the ride.

And Now the Waiting Game Begins

After hyperventilating a lot last night believing that I would be stuck in Korea for one more year, I managed to talk to my HK recruiter this morning and she told me I could, in fact, send my Immigration paperwork in pieces.

Oh.

So, for the most part, it's been sent. Still waiting for the damn transcripts, but will get those out as soon as I get them. AND my recruiter told me they needed them within the next few weeks. That's not now. That's not even 14 days from now. What the hell was I beating myself up for? Simple math....that if it takes about two months to process this application (which by the way, I'm surprised didn't come with a cup for a urine sample) that would put me at February 16, which is the time when I would hope to be in Hong Kong.

So, now all I can say is it's sent, it'll be there Monday, and all I can do is just wait.

Bureaucracy Sucks

I just got off the phone with my high school to track down the progress my transcript request. They just got the friggin letter today. And the woman who sounded like she had a very important job to do and couldn't be bothered to talk to me essentially told me they would process the transcript request when they would process it. It could be in two days, it could be more. Oh, and they absolutely can not overnight the letter to my dad. So it'll sit in transit for like 3 days. If everything goes better than expected, I will get the transcript by next Thursday. I am so scared I'm going to mess getting this job up just because of stupid bureaucracy and Secretaries Who Can't Be Bothered.

I have to keep telling myself that things will pull through and it'll be a matter of months before I am actually complaining about my new job in Hong Kong.

Why the hell do they need to know I took English in high school? I'm from America, aren't I? My last name is a British derivative. I went to university, didn't I? I had to have taken some English to do that. That's what pisses me off...they'll get my uni diploma and transcripts, they'll see my major involved writing and communicating in the English language. OF COURSE I TOOK ENGLISH DAMMIT!

Ahhhhh I wish I had known the hoops I'd have to jump through to get this job. Korea doesn't care about high school transcripts. Hell, even resume specialists say once you're in college, high school doesn't matter.

I hate this, cause now I can't sleep. And I hate this even more, but once I am anxious or frustrated about one thing, I become anxious and frustrated about many things. It's like my body feeds on the adrenaline rush and wants to push me into having some kind of stress-induced heart attack. And my cat thinks my pacing around the house is some kind of game for her, so she starts following me, batting my legs with her paws.

I have to keep telling myself things will be fine, and soon I will be on a plane to Hong Kong, starting a new chapter in my life.

And then I will make sure I make many copies of that damn transcript so I never have to go through this trouble again.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Well, OK, then...

In my constant quest to develop a Life After ESL, I sent an email to Lonely Planet on a whim, touting my skills as a wanna-be travel writer for them. Basically they told me they have a bazillion writers already, that if I wanted to submit a roposal I could, but I'd have tyo do all the research on my own and I better speak the native language fluently, and once I sent everything in, I'd get paid a flat fee. Or, I could do what everyone else does and post updates about current books to their website, and for my trouble get a travel guide in return.

Wow. A free book.

A friend of mine told me that one of their competitors gives its wanna-be writers the chance to write a whole book for the company, and if they like it, they get $30,000 flat (not sure if that is American, or Aussie) and if they don't like it, then tough. As I have no Korean language skills, it looks like back to the drawing board for me. In any case, her attachments didn't work. We'll see what they say, when and if she resends them.

A friend has suggested I look into master's programs for teaching in Hong Kong, but we'll have to see what the pros and cons would be in having a Chinese/British degree for teaching (and being American) rather than an American one. Still, it'd be cool to go around the world and write about what I've found. This is where I wish I had taken some photography classes back in school...

A Fundamental Truth:

Living alone and being sick sucks.

At least I can now satisfy my curiosity about what is on daytime TV. Right now, a repeat of Will and Grace that I saw last night, and an awful lot of educational programming.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Whining About Whining (Part 2)

There is nothing quite like not speaking to a friend for awhile, not in the deliberate sense, but just because, and then having her break the silence with not "Hi, how are you?" or "How was your last weekend," but a bitch fest on how her school sucks and how her Internet friends are out to get her, among other things undoubtedly.

Her school told her they wouldn't allow her to leave school early so she could finalize plans for her trip this holiday. That does suck. I sympathize with her there, but when I told her she could do some of the stuff on the weekend, she focused on the fact that she couldn't do the other stuff then.

How hard it is to say "Um, I paid 500,000 won for this plane ticket and like hell am I going to not use it?" In politer terms of course.

I know what it's like to open a Howler now and she wasn't even mad at me.

What is it about me that sends her to me to only complain, or whine or whatever? And yes, I feel like a real shit brick saying so. We are so different when it comes to problem-solving. If I feel bad, I might talk to my friends, but I am in the "advice is sought only to reconfirm an existing decision" camp. And so if I am in a bitchy mood, then I want to be able to fix my problem. If someone reassures me that things will be OK, I want to be able to at least understand they are on my side. She has this annoying habit of saying "maybe" to almost everything that has to do with making a decision about herself. Maybe she needs to talk to someone professionally, maybe she will look for a new job, even if she is unhappy with the current one, maybe things will work out with her friend she is on the outs with at the moment, maybe she shouldn't settle for this lame guy who doesn't treat her well. "But we're not boyfriend/girlfriend, so it's OK," she says. If she chose to do one thing or the other, I wouldn't judge it., but it's like she is sitting on the fence, hates sitting there, but won't get up. It's almost like she's saying "But I don't want to give up my sadness."

I know I have friends whom I have complained to, and there are times when I don't say Hi or hello, but make this dramatic entrance into a conversation. It's not the complaining part I mind so much. It's just that with a friendship, you should be privy to the good times and the bad times, and when there is nothing but bad times (and shit does happen to everyone, and I may use this blog to dump out my shit to you all, giving you a skewed view on my life) it just sucks. It sucks.

I don't know what to do. I should follow my own advice, and realize I could leave the friendship. It's weird to break off a friendship though. I wonder if the passage of time and moving away will ease her out? (Doesn't that sound horrible? I hate this!)

And she was the one who said I was cold earlier, again in the way where I didn't let stuff get to me. Maybe I am. I remember having friends in high school and we were all different and we could handle those differences, even light-heartedly make fun of them. I was a drama queen. One friend was anal, another one a sex pot, another one fat, and another one was out in her own orbit. But we all loved and supported each other. We had bitch-fests, but we also had fun. And I think that is what is missing from this picture right now. The fun with her.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Now Having Said That...

The strangest thing happened to me today.

I was slapped upside the head and told twice that I am not old.

I wasn't meaning old as in "grandma-old," but I certainly don't feel really young. I am the girl whose kindy teacher once told her parents that I was "the only 30 year old in her class." I've always had a kind of serious nature about me, something kind of spiritual, as well. I remember reading about odes or elegies when I was seven or eight, and I composed one for a jade plant that had accidentally died, and sang it to the plant before my mom threw it away. I remember making up these horrid (as I look back on them now) stories about being an orphan or being abused as a kid, I made up a story to music where the main character found out her husband had died in a car crash and what was she going to do then.

This is what I deemed to be entertaining as a kid? Let's go back to that Dramarama post I made just before...

Anyways, I don't remember being silly, but I do remember always wanting to be taken seriously, even if my works of art were melodramatic crap as stated above. (Maybe I was destined to live in Korea for a bit, where the most perfect love story involves one of the lovers dying before her time, thereby killing the romance in the middle of its bloom.)

Maybe I am not feeling old, but maybe I want a do-over on my childhood, please.

All this because someone on this message board asked how old we all were, and I just said I was 28 and looked nowhere near it, which is really true, and something I am slowly starting to embrace as I get closer to 30. Someone thought I meant 28 is OOOOOLLLLLLD, when all I really meant to say was people look at me and still think I'm in my early 20s, which is kind of cool.

When I was younger, I thought that at some point in my life, I would know what the hell I was all about. I'm still waiting for that moment. I think lots of people are waiting for that moment. I love to look into the near future, when I have some kind of nebulous plan in place, but I can't look too far into the future, because then, I see nothing really. I have no idea what kind of person I will be in my mid 30s, my 40s, my 50s, and so on, but I hope I will be a better, more secure person than I am now.

I wonder if I will be living in America at that time.

Dramarama

From the blog of Vicki Ho, who lives in Singapore.

The Platypus clued me in to this post, as we were talking about the grand subjects of life and love this morning. The Platypus is one deep fellow. :)

do we need drama to feel right about ourselves? had coffee today with someone who quite simply labeled someone i had come to know recently as "a simpleton who needs drama in order to feel alive." now, obviously a sad sort of state for whomever, isn't that just a little oxymoronic? i'm going to go out on a limb and say that people craving drama are also accepting of the byproduct of that, which is absolute trauma, rubbish messing up their lives and the like. now why do people do that? everybody (or at least most) assert that i, too, crave drama and even thrive on it. this is a total fallacy. take my word for it. i really do appreciate, above all, a quiet and easy existence. but shit happens, and we all learn to deal with gradually larger amounts as we grow. (or as it grows. ha ha.)but for those who listen to sad songs, or immerse themselves in suicidal poetry in order to perhaps glean some tragic hand-on-forehead-ness empathetically... hey, whatever floats your boat, right. but really, thinking it makes you more of an interesting person, because you can quote sylvia plath... that might be a bit of a stretch.and yet many, many do it.
Anyways, I am a big believer in that we need to struggle a bit in order to grow -- that which won't kill us (or destroy us) will make us stronger. But I try try try to avoid drama like the plague now. I don't like emotional roller coasters. I don't like soap operas to begin with. I think when I was in high school, I welcomed drama. I've always been someone who felt her emotions super-strongly, but back then, I reveled in my misery, maybe thinking I was a better person for going through so much emotional pain.

Now I sometimes feel like drama follows me around like a lost puppy dog, and it seems to me, that in any romantic relationship I have been in, drama has almost always right from the very start, reared its ugly head.

There are people I know who seem to thrive on drama. Like in the song by the Goo Goo Dolls, they bleed just to know they're alive. I've never been one myself to cut myself or drink myself into oblivion to scream out to people that I am in any kind of pain, but then, I've always been a chronic nalbiter, unti they bleed and until I feel some kind of acute pain...I wonder if I'm not too far removed from those who mutilate themselves to make sure they can feel something.


Monday, December 13, 2004

At Least My Students Think I'm Pretty...

My students can sometimes tell me the greatest things, even if it comes across as a bit strange or takes a while to get out.

Case in point today, one of my students out of the blue said to me "Teacher. Olivia. Nose." I had no idea what she meant, if "Olivia nose" was Konglish or what. Then she repeated herself, and placed her index finger straight up on her nose, confusing me even further.

Finally, after the student dragged the Korean teacher over and talked to her, the Korean teacher told me she wanted to tell me that I have a nose that looks like Olivia Hussey's (from the 1968 movie Romeo and Juliet).I could only wish the rest of me looked like her.

I love it. She paid enough attention to someone's nose to be able to compare it to mine. Maybe if I wore my hair up, I'd soon find someone insisting my ears are just like Cameron Diaz's!

I dyed my hair a dark red color just for a change, earlier this year. Unfortunately, the dye job lasted about a week and a half, but I liked the color on me a lot. I might one day get brave and try the cut on for size as well. Maybe in Hong Kong. Why not? A new country, a new haircut.

In one class, a student told me I looked like Britney Spears.

But another one said I looked British, whatever that means.

I'm not quite sure if they meant like Ginger Spice (Geri Halliwell)...



or like Austin Powers.


Sunday, December 12, 2004

People Cooler Than Me #5365

I forget where I saw this blog, but it's so far really cool. This woman gave up corporate bank life to work at an NGO in Uzbekistan. And here I am thinking I am so cool for moving to Hong Kong. Hong Kong has to be like Club Med in comparison!

Working for the Peace Corps is something I have been interested in, but I've always felt if there were days when Korea drove me mad (and Korea is a civilized country, with lots of comforts of home available) what would I do if I were sent to a country that is trying to pick itself back up after being torn apart by war or a place where I could be risking my life by setting foot outside my door?

Anyways, may I present to you, the Wanderlustress.

American Psycho

I finished reading this book.

I think I only read it because of its controversial nature, and that my friend's then-boyfriend-now-husband recommended the hell out of the book to anyone who would listen.

I appreciated the parallels between a cruel heartless man living and killing in the cruel, heartless 1980s. I found the constant model runway-like scripts of what everyone was wearing and the ridiculousness of what everyone was eating at these trendy restaurants (a salmon meatloaf with kiwi mustard, some kind of trendy meat dish with a lime Jell-O glaze, quesadillas with papaya) hilarious. And if the main character hadn't already been psychotic, then I could see how someone might go crazy trying to compete in this world of constant one-upmanship.

The best chapters of the book are when the author devotes pages upon pages to the importance and relevance of Huey Lewis and the News, Genesis, and Whitney Houston. These singers are all shit. Well, maybe not shit, but I highly doubt anyone in their right mind would call any of these bands socially important and relevant, worth the ink needed to talk about how each of these artists changed the face of pop music forever. He calls Huey Lewis an "Angry Young Man," for chrissakes. But maybe that's the point. Then the character takes a bunch of his friends and some girls he wants to impress (yes, that is a euphemism) to a U2 show, and he sits throughout the concert absolutely confused as to who the band is. In fact, I think they become bored by the whole thing, after Bono stops sending him secret messages only the main character can comprehend, of course.

It's been debated whether the man's killings, torturings and mutilations are all a figment of his imagination, or actually carried out. These scenes, about 14 in all are gone over in cold graphic detail, and this is probably not a book you want to read while you're relaxing at the beach. Or eating for that matter.

Puff Katy

It's time for a girly post.

One where I say I've ben feeling rather puffy lately.

The fact that I ordered a pizza and fried chicken special set a couple days ago doesn't help me much either. Good pizza, good chicken. I just hate feeling guilty about eating it.

My cat likes Doritos...why doesn't she like chicken?????

I hate how it's cold here because I can use that as an excuse for why I don't go outside to take a walk. Also, I'm moving soon, like in 2 months, and it would be senseless to sign up for a gym whose minimum membership is for three months.

So I keep telling myself that Hong Kong's consistently warm (15 degrees C or about 60 degrees F for my American friends) winter weather will be a grand motivator for me to take long walks, and maybe, like they have here in Korea (though nowhere near my house) they'll have parks where you can rent bicycles and roller blades, and zip around a track.

The 30 degrees C, (that's about 90 degrees F) 90 percent humidity weather Hong Kong seems to have in July...well we'll cross that bridge when it happens.)

Maybe I can finally learn a martial art. I've been in friggin Asia for three years already. It's about time I learn something!

Or maybe they'll have gyms that DON'T cost an arm and a leg to join. I miss aerobics classes, and in Korea, I feel too embarrassed to join one, as Koreans are all too happy to make a big deal of helping you do a routine right. I'm also pretty uncoordinated in matters of my own native language. Imagine me having to translate the directions in my head, and then act.

Maybe I can get a subscription to Self or Shape magazine* and do exercises in the privacy and comfort of my own home (though if I have two roommates and a small bedroom, then doing the exercises will neither be private nor comfortable.)

Anyways, I don't really feel fat now, but I realize I have been eating quite a bit and not moving so much. It's kind of hard to run in a winter coat that goes to your knees. And it's so easy to tell myself, it's too damn cold to go outside.

I should try to give my cat a bath. That would certainly give me a workout.


*OK, so maybe I'm fishing for gifts for next year's holiday season or my birthday.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

More Thoughts on Moving and Bridget Jones

My friend I work with, the one who brought me here to my current job, is sad I am leaving. "But I didn't have to take care of you," she said to me sadly. (She had made herself take the self-created position of something almost like a dorm's Residence Assistant earlier in the year. Note to self: Never do that.)

I guess I was pretty low-maintenance this year. But then, I don't think I've really been one to bare my feelings out, every little insecurity I have to my friends. I'm usually the one now who says "Things will be fine, you'll be all right," to my friends, though I think I put one good friend of mine through the wringer in high school over stupid boy problems. (The boys being the ones who were stupid, not the problems. Of course!) ;)

She is also blaming my most recent ex-boyfriend for making me flee the scene. "If he hadn't messed things up between the two of you, I'm sure you could have been friends." Yeah, that's right! You tell him! Heh heh heh. I told her if it would make her feel better, she could write a complaint letter to him, stating that. It's always nice to know you have friends in your corner about a breakup, and even more so when the loyalties are revealed so far away from the actual event, in any case.

That's not really true. I'd stay here regardless of a breakup if this had been my first or second year here. But...it's just time to go. Even when things hit the skids with the boyfriend I had last year, I was planning on finding work IN the same city, but then decided at the time, if next year was going to be my last year, maybe I should try to live near Seoul. And I figured at the time, how many times, have I said that, "This will be my last year in Korea"? I guess it just happened that this is the year I actually meant it.

Anyways, it's nice to know I'm going to be missed.

I went to see Bridget Jones' Diary 2 today. Man, why did they make such a big deal of Renee Zellweger gaining so much weight? I always got the impression from the books that the only thing Bridget Jones suffered from was just a lack of confidence, something a few extra pounds and a wacked-out family might bring about. This might seem like a shallow comment, but I think this time around, they made her look a lot worse than she did in the first movie.

Anyways, it was a cute, fluffy movie, but the scene in the Thai jail was pretty bad.

Oh, and I just received word from my recruiter that everything should be OK if she receives the documents by next week sometime. Phew.

Friday, December 10, 2004

Shout Out Time

Just got a couple of lovely emails from Shandyman, a blogger from Hong Kong. Apparently there are quite a few cowinkydinks between the Shandyman and I: we share the same taste in music, he also has a skitzsy kitty, and has the best taste in blog templates if I do say so myself. Check him out. For my friends States-side, you might learn a thing or two about cricket. ;)

Whine and Cheese

I am feeling rather blah at the moment. I'm not sure if it has to do with my lack of sleep, the weather, or the quarter tin of cookies I ate during the day today, and the popcorn I had for dinner last night.

It's one of those things where I'm just not sure why I feel grumpy. And it's not so much a grumpy as in "Come over here and I'll bite yer head off," but rather I just want to go retreat to my room now, maybe go to bed or have a good cry or something. I woke up today and found myself running late and then when I went to school, I was told that the classes I thought were cancelled were really not, so I hurriedly prepared a lesson and then went upstairs to find the classroom door was locked and my third year girls were probably at home.

I also got an email from my recruiter asking if I have all my work documents in the mail yet. There was nothing threatening about the letter's tone, as in "You have to have this done by Tuesday, or you have no job," but I just don't want to be the one who is in control of my own fate, and then drop the ball.

Oh, and my dad told me that his early Christmas gift to me is that he will overnight the transcripts to me for under $40. I should be used to this. My dad once gave my brother and I gifts of deodorant and toothpaste for Christmas, a "Practical Christmas," as he called it. It kind of pained me to see that my dad had no real imagination...not that I wanted him to buy me jewelry or a cruise or something expensive like that, but I guess I just appreciate gifts that are bought with some element of thought and surprise put into it, because holidays should be fun.

I guess I just started today off on the wrong foot.

Feh.

Maybe having so little to do is what's making me feel bad. I have too much time to think about stuff.

I really wish I could drop in on someone and just bitch out to them, but everyone I know would be either too busy for it, or maybe start a "I'm more miserable than you are" kind of game, which is no fun.

Anyways, it's the start of the weekend. I'm debating whether to go into town and get a Starbucks coffee and a new blush, but as I feel I've just had nothing but junk food for the last 24 hours, maybe I'll hold off on it. I'm going to hopefully be meeting my friend from Mongolia, as I hope to see her before I hopefully get out of Korea.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Little Jenny is Turning 18

What on earth does it mean that I seem to be tearing up over Hallmark card I just sent my step-sister? I think it just means I am suffering from a chronic bout of a lack of sleep.

Anyways, It was essentially a "Whatever you wish for today, I hope you get it," type card. She'll be 18 later today. When my dad and her mom were married, I knew her as a toddler and then a little girl. That's all I can see her as, even though I did meet her briefly last year when I was home for my mother's funeral.

She was such a bright kid, and I remember when she went to the same elementary school as I did, her teachers said she reminded of them of me. My dad said the same thing. When my dad and step-mom split up, I lost contact of my step-sister. I was kind of worried as I wanted to be her mentor of sorts, and I wanted to make sure her book smarts weren't going to be diminished by anyone in her family. I also wanted to help her be able to believe in herself and try to get out of the small-minded small town she was living in, because she was capable of so much more.

Anyways, I just spoke with her a few months ago and she told me she had plans to go to college out of state later this year, if she had the money. This is really something, because higher education, that was something never really stressed when I was growing up. I mean thank God, I didn't have the parents who insisted I should be the valedictorian at Harvard, but I wish they recognized how I had totally different goals from theirs, and I didn't think of myself as being a better person than my own parents for going to college. I just realized I would have better opportunities with a degree.

I really hope she holds on to those dreams and she makes something of herself. She's told me she wants to take a car trip across America before she goes to school and that she also wants o visit Australia so she can see a kangaroo with her own eyes. What a cool kid she's become! She'll be the first woman in her family to graduate high school, never mind go to college. I'm really proud of her.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

It's Slowly Coming Together...

From Friday, we have had midterms, and so today was the first full day back. I learned from one of my co-teachers that today would be my last time teaching my third year students, as I don't have any third year classes on Thursday this week, and I guess Friday they're good to go on to the next stage of their academic career: high school.

It's kind of too bad, as I had planned a good game to do with them. The students pretend they are all in a sinking lifeboat, and in order to stay afloat, they have to elect two of their team to get thrown off the boat. It was really great to see them all get into it, pleading with everyone else to spare their life. The pop star on board was the one everyone elected to get rid of. Strange as music seems to be a really big part of these girls' lives. Also making an appearance on the boat was the President of the United States of America. I couln't help but laugh as I read the description of him, and I really enjoyed telling some of my students "OK, you're George Bush," and watching them cringe.

So, next week, I'll only have...20 classes to work with. Unfortunately, at work, my computer is set up to restrict the access to Blogger, so I probably won't be able to write anything here at that time.

I have a goodbye letter in the works which I will publish here in this blog and also most likely on this ESL website I frequent. I need the means to reflect on what three years in Korea has meant to me, and what I hope the next two in Hong Kong will bring. I got the last of my recommendation letters needed today. My coworker said some of the nicest things you could possibly say in a rec letter, calling me a passionate, perservering teacher. It's the little things like these that will make it hard to say goodbye to my students and my job. There were even some third year girls I will greatly miss and wonder what will become of them.

Every day as I pass my students in the hall, and they chirp "Hello, Miss Kate!" or "Good morning Kate Teacher!" and do this hopping dance, it makes me sad and happy at the same time. Sad because I will be leaving behind these wonderful girls. Also, it's sad because I swear it took me like 6 months to make sure the girls understood that calling me by only my first name was not a good idea.

But then I am also happy, because I can't help but have their bubbly personality rub off on me. It's really hard to stay mad at anyone or anything in that school.

And in totally unrelated news (and this is kind of funny, because maybe at other jobs it would be strangely appropriate) I have started reading the book American Psycho. Haven't gotten to any of the ehm, "controversial" parts yet. I've seen the Koreanized version of the movie a couple times on TV, but know they heavily edited it. So, I'll let you know what I thought of the book when I am done with it. Apparently, it's some kind of satire where the author draws parallels between the cutthroat life of corporate 1980s America and the main character who, while living the corporate life either literally or through his imagination, um, cuts throats. And does much worse.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

My Kitty

As it seems I am writing about heavy subjects as of late, I want to take this time to introduce the blog readers I have (all three of you) ;) to my kitty, whom I have had for about 5 months.

Her name is Dragon, and she is a little over a year old.


Isn't she a sweetie? Well, actually, sweet isn't the word I'd use to describe her...

I decided to adopt her from a couple who were leaving for New Zealand as I thought I would need the company because I lived alone.

I have to admit I am more of a dog person. I love how sweet and happy they are and playful. The only problem I would have with a dog is I know I would be unable to care for it as well as it should be taken care of.

But how can I not like her when the first thing she does when I come home is scamper over to me excitedly? When I sit on the couch, or sit on the floor, she gets in my lap, and just starts purring. I've learned that petting a cat can be very cathartic and very therapeutic.

My cat has grown on me though in the short time I have had her. She has a lot of strange quirks, such as attacking my feet under the covers, and creating some kind of somersaulting ninja-attack type thing against my feet when I walk across the room. She licks the faucet in the bathroom, hoping to get some water. Every day when I get in the shower, she has to join me. Every day. Then she gets upset that she gets wet. I doubt she'll ever really learn. She also sports a crooked tail, something that looks almost like a mace, and it acts like one too when it comes to knocking things over on my table. Her previous owners had tried to fix it, but were unsuccessful at doing that.

She has in effect destroyed my couch, awakened me many times before 8 a.m. on Saturdays, she sits on my computer when I am typing something, has deleted everything I have written with the scurry of her feet, and she somehow broke a mirror I owned.

I hope that the cat won't be getting 7 years bad luck because of that, especially as I am planning to give her away soon. Maybe it is cruel of me to give her up so soon as I got her before I planned to leave the country. I really am going to miss her, no matter what I have just written. I would take her if I could, but I can't. So I hope I can find someone else who will take really good care of her, and then not decide she needs to futz off to some place, like someone who will not be named...

I know I'm going to be one of those crazy people who want the new owner to take pictures of Dragon, and send them to me, and put her on the phone when I call. I will, however, draw the line at birthday parties.

Monday, December 06, 2004

Because I love useless quizzes




Moderation in all things, excess in nothing.
-- Epicurus

Imagine that the Girl Next Door moved to the big city. Think of Meg Ryan in When Harry Met Sally. She's America's sweetheart with an urban sensibility. She's a post-Christian spiritualist, a pre-Monica Clintonite, and a dues-paying member of at least one social-change organization like NOW, Planned Parenthood, or the Sierra Club. You won't find her at an Earth First or PETA meeting, though. Those are the Granola Girl's stomping grounds. Progressive Girls want the world to be a better place, but they live out their politics in a moderate, left-of-center way.

If you are going to date a Progressive Girl, the one sin you can commit is to be a chameleon. Molding your opinions to fit hers will lose her respect. One very positive thing you can do is offer her new experiences -- the Progressive Girl is fearless about trying new things. Whether it's pluralism, skydiving, Asian peanut sauce, or this book, the Progressive Girl is always looking for new ideas.


She Might Be a Progressive Girl if:

She drives: a small SUV but really wishes it got better mileage; once she can get a good hybrid, she will.
She can talk for more than ten minutes about: just about anything.
She begins her sentences with: "Susan Sarandon says..."
She'd never: pass up the chance for a new experience.
She owns any of the following: a water filter, a tabletop fountain, an acre of rain forest, a mutt from the pound.


Hmmm...sounds about right. :) Now that you know who I am, I'm expecting my inbox to fill up with dinner invites. That's right, I'll be checking for them...

It Pays To Read My Blog

I will give a prize to anyone who can tell me why the links I added to my sidebar are so ginormously huge, though the prize may be awarded to coincide with my super-huge moving sale I'm sure to have in about 2 months.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Cleaning out the cupboards...

This has been on my mind for awhile, so forgive me if this entry reminds you of a dumped out junk drawer.

Sometimes I feel when it comes to relationships, I am the one who throws gasoline over that proverbial bridge and sets it ablaze.

Being someone who likes to have everyone get along with one another, and get along especially with me, I find this behavior to be a bit unsettling, but maybe it is for the best that when a relationship ends, or if I ever end a relationship, the ties that once bound us together in some small way are forever severed.

Some people say that it's easier to be friends with those you had a brief relationship with. Some people say that you can only be true friends after a relationship has failed if you never consummated that relationship. For me, I've had 4 boyfriends I've dated for no less than three months (I guess that constitutes a relationship), and for me, the only ex I keep in any contact with is the one whom I first slept with and the one whom I had a relationship going for almost 3 years, the one whom I thought at the time I would share my life with, even though I had only lived 25 years of it at that point.

And even then, we had a cooling-off point of a couple months before we started talking to each other, and even then again we got into some stupid tiff over politics where we stopped talking to each other for a few months, before speaking to each other again.

As much as I like to try to get along with everyone I meet, and try to maintain friendships with everyone I've let into my life, I guess it's too hard to have those dreams end abruptly, even if it's something small as sharing a cup of coffee with someone every Sunday afternoon, and to switch from talking about your life and his life and your shared life, to your life and his life, and then the lives you share, but now shared with someone else, it's way too much to handle.

I want to be someone who isn't selfish, and can wish my exes well, and for the most part I do. The ones whom I haven't talked to in ages, anyways. There is only one guy whom I dated in my life whom I think of as a "What the HELL was I thinking, keeping him around for that long?" kind of guy. But I think that's also something, you need time to grieve and breathe alone. It can be waaay too messy to put on a brave face to meet your ex now wanna-be best friend, meet him for coffee, smile as he talks about all the girls who now want him, only to go home crying and kicking yourself for trying to be the nice person. (I'm not talking about this always being the case, but it for me would feel weird to have someone else flip the switch on me, and then I am expected to act another completely different way, when maybe...my heart just doesn't wanna.)

It's always different when you're on the receiving end of a break-up, isn't it?

I hope one day I will get it right, that I will have a beautiful relationship with someone, and then one day, maybe I'll have the strength to see that it is no longer working, and then I will have even more strength to tell him to his face in a gentle way that things aren't working. That we'll hug our last goodbye, and part separately for the first time in X amount of months (maybe years) and it will be this really bittersweet thing, knowing that I have done the right thing for myself, and holding in my heart the memories that we shared, but knowing that things will be different between us, and it'd probably be a good idea to finish writing the chapter and close the book.

I Hereby Revoke My "EEEEEEK!!"

Just spoke to my friend in Hong Kong. She says the classes are a piece of cake. She says the fee for the uniform is something she can't remember, so it must be minimal. Best yet, she said for the first year, I will not be taxed at all. I will be able to take home my full wages. As the Koreans say "Ahss-ssah!"*

Then, starting Year 2, I'll be taxed like hell to make up for the first year.

Figures.

To anyone reading this in Korea, please take note of the food selection in the grocery stores in Hong Kong, and then you are also free to take note of how much of a nerd I am for getting all excited I can eat Cinnamon Toast Crunch without having to shell out the big bucks like I do here in Korea. Ooh..and cream soda. And Tim Tams.

Katy's Height of Excitement Hits an All-New Low

No, I mean it. This is sad. I have had one extremely influential friend in my life, and it was HER family, not even anywhere close to mine, that decided the way a vacation or a country was to be judged was on how well they all ate. That must have seriously rubbed off on me, if not through genetics, then certainly through osmosis.

So, I am back to being happy and excited again, and yes, still a bit nervous, but at least I no longer have visions of kids staging a riot in the middle of my class.

Oh...and I might see Young Adam tomorrow. I don't know anything about it, save for the fact that in the movie Ewan McGregor is in one scene stark naked. That's an incentive to go, but with this being Korea, I wonder if the scene will be in there. If I do go, I'll post my review.

* "Ahss-ssah!" is a thing kids generally say when they are really excited about something, like the fact you have decided to chuck the day's lesson and play Bingo.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

It's the Little Things in Life...

A restaurant in Itaewon started a Western-style brunch buffet today, and it was pretty good. Scrambled eggs, pancakes, bacon, biscuits, toast, bagels, fruit cocktail, hash browns. Yum! Maybe I'll be back next week. I can't imagine stuffing myself for breakfast 2 days in a row.

I'm such a sucker for Western-style breakfasts. I really miss diners, where I could have French toast at 3 a.m. if I really wanted it.

I wonder if Hong Kong has anything like that. I'd even settle for a restaurant that serves toad in a hole.

Friday, December 03, 2004

My turn to say EEEEEEK!!

My friend online told me that she thinks "kindergarten blows," and wham, I'm back to mentally hyperventilating wondering if I am doing something stupid.

I have to keep telling myself I never taught kids befre 2002,and I survived that. Hell, I liked that, and failing that, if teaching kindy doesn't kill me, it'll make me stronger.

Either that or I'll become very familiar with the HK bar scene.

Feeling Happy and Nauseated At the Same Time

I just got an email from the Hong Kong schools recruiter in Canada this morning. Attached to that email are Immigration Forms. About 15 pages worth. I fill that in, send my diploma copy, transcripts, recommendation letters, throw in a few photos, and sign the contract, and then I will wait to see if I have a job in Hong Kong for next year. Simple. Right.

I will be getting the contract tomorrow and I am anxious to see what exactly this contract will stipulate. How much of a pay cut will I be taking? What will I be expected to do?

The one thing I found out today as a definite is that I will be traveling alone. Sadly, Miss Kitty will be unable to make the journey with me. I'll have to find a decent home for her before I take off, naturally.

I've been reading this other blog that just blows me away everytime I read it. It's called Everyday Stranger, and follows the life of a 30 year old woman who has just had such a full life in such a short time. She's had this heartbreaking and amazing relationship with this guy, been married twice, lived in Sweden and now she is living in England. She just seems like such an emotionally strong woman, and she's just a wow to read.

In any case, she says because of this childrens' book she read a long time ago, she looks at her one long life as a series of smaller lives. She says she is up to Life 5 and she's worried cause she is only 30 and almost halfway done with them.

So far, these are the "lives" I've had, but actually, now that i think of it, I'd rather look at them as chapters from a book that will continue to write itself out, and possibly do some revision along the way. It makes for a less morbid take on life, especially considering I'll be moving on to Life 7 of 9 soon, and I'm not even 30 yet!):

1. Childhood up until age 10 or so -- I really don't remember much about it. I was a solitary kid, I liked to read and watch TV. I hung out more with my elderly neighbors than the kids (all two or so of them) that lived on my street. I might have been picked on a lot, but well, whatever.

2. Childhood from 10 to age 14 -- This is where things got messy. My parents divorced after pretending for years they were getting along OK. Dad moved in his 23 year old girlfriend and her son in to the same house my brother and mom and I were staying in. I'm not ever going to be sure what any responsible adult was thinking would be best for the kids involved, but almost 20 years later, I can safely say I don't think that was the best option. I spent a lot of time with my mom then, who was not only sick, but sad. Looking back on that, I don't think that was so good for me then, either, and may have colored my views on relationships ever since. But who knows?

Also went through the required I'm fat, have bad glasses and acne phase. Boy was I ever glad to get out of that time of life and into high school.

3. High school from the ages 14 to 18 -- Thought I was going to be this hot shot writer. Teachers loved me, I had made lots of good close friends (though from another school) and was so looking forward to getting out of my small minded large town that considered itself a small city. I only managed to travel an hour away though.

4. College -- Regrettably, this was not the time I had my major experimentation phase. I still haven't had it. I'm imagining that will happen one day when I am 45 years old, I will decide to finally smoke some pot, take some acid, and fling like crazy with guys *just* out of college. But for the time being, an embargo has been placed on me dating guys just out of college. Whenever I go to a club now, I silently chant to myself "Put the Pop-Tart back in the box!" whenever I see a cute guy that looks about my age. The thing is...I don't look my age, so you can see the problems I might constantly run into.

(But I digress....)

I made friends in college, and it was at this time I realized how strange or different my life had become. Before I met my high school friends, I was really content to do stuff on my own, or maybe felt resigned to it, and then when I made friends in high school, it was great to hang out with the same group of people week after week. We'd fight, we'd get over it. People would date and break up within the group, we got over it. In university, I really missed that, and it seemed everyone else did too, hence the mass excursions to the convenience store or to the dining hall, or to do laundry.

Anyways, I decided around my junior year that MAYBE journalism wasn't it for me, but went for the degree in it anyways, had a humongous fight with a close friend of mine that damaged the friendship for good, and fell in love for the first (and as it stands now, only) time. My relationship with my friend, well I did apologize to her, or maybe more to my style, after a long long loooooong lengthy absence, I sent her an email just asing how she was, and we wrote for a bit, but we soon drifted apart again.

In high school and in college, I guess I was just too focused on getting out and proving myself in The Real World to have much of a social life. But I had fun in high school and for the most part in college, too.

5. Move to Washington One Year After University -- This has to be the stupidest thing I have ever done in my life. I took a job at a newspaper, when I wasn't sure I'd like journalism. The newspaper I decided to write for (well, I didn't decide, they were the only ones to hire me) was a haven for ultra-mega-super-conservatives, people who probably think George Bush is too liberal on some things. It was hell. I sold my soul for two years at that job. I also let the relationship I had with my boyfriend at the time just go on and on and on when it really should have ended well before the 10 months apart mark. Ugh. Oh well, live and learn.

The one good thing about living in D.C. was that I met a good friend of mine there. Stephanie and I were different in every way possible, she was from the small-town South, I liked to picture myself a Yankee city girl, she practiced Christianity, and I couldn't be bothered with formal religion, she was polite and I was known to want to put my foot in my mouth on many occasions.

Actually the other good thing was that after the boyfriend and I broke up, we managed to get back on speaking terms for a bit, and we still keep in touch to this day.

6. Life in Korea -- Well, after Washington DC, after September 11, after realizing I was single for the first time in almost 3 years, I decided to take a chance on teaching and living abroad, something I ad always wanted to do, though I think when I was younger, I had visions of Paris dancing in my head, not a small town in Southern South Korea. I still feel too close to this experience to really comment on it. What did these three years in Korea shape me into? I think I am only going to know that when I finally return to the States for good. But that won't happen for about another two years as I am ready to finish writing this chapter and close the book on this life and move on, hopefully to Hong Kong.

I'm just hoping Chapter 7 will be a good one.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Lost

For some reason, watching this show regularly moves me to tears, as it seems every week, there's some demonstration of how total strangers who were thrown together in total adversity, come together to care for each other. I don't need to find anyone I can care for. It's been well-established that I will always find that -- friends, or going overboard on the Love of My Life for the Moment, but will there ever be a time when I feel securely cared for? I suppose what I mean is some kind of random act of kindness or knowing that someone out there totally cares for me, and isn't taking me for granted.

Seeing all these extraordinary circumstances on TV, I get to wondering why my life feels so ordinary at times (probably because someone is not scripting it out for me), and I wonder at times if I should try to believe in something bigger than me, in order to see the beauty of life, the small miracles that may or may not occur on a daily basis.

But I don't want to wind up some Jesus-freak.

I don't mean to sound anything like suicidal, but I'm just wanting to seek out something bigger, have a meaningful life. I don't think that quite means that I want to have a life where I end up stranded on an island with strangers, but I want some kind of big challenge in my life, I want to step up to the plate and mean something to someone else, and mean something to myself.

Another thing, I have taken the friggin Myers-Briggs personality test a bajillion times, and every time I take it, I get the score for ENFP. Some days I feel I truly am, and I'm happy to be part of some eccentric, goofy, but well-meaning group. But then I feel now, like I am too conventional in my ways to be exactly like that type. Whenever I test, my scores for feeling goes way off the map. It's almost like if someone were to touch me, it'd create this massive ripple effect, like I am that sensitive. How can I go through life like that, being that sensitive? Again, no, not a suicide watch thing, just that I know I feel so much more strongly than others, and I guess I must do a good job hiding it.

Got the Word Out

I finally told my supervisor at school what my tentative plans were, and she seemed OK with it, but maybe a little sad. Maybe. I'm just hoping this doesn't mean that if Hong Kong falls through I have lost my job. I'm not too keen on looking for a new one here.

In 5 minutes or so, I'll have completely downloaded this show I am following religiously called Lost. It's been called one of the most original shows on TV in a long time. It has elements of Survivor (plane crash on a deserted island) and Gilligan's Island (wacky cast of characters, including an American slacker, a couple of drifters, a British rock star, and a Korean couple) in it, and also themes of Christian spirituality in it. I've always been drawn to exploring spirituality, and I could write a whole entry on that alone, but I will save it for later, and just post later a review of the latest episode.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Ho hum...

My school is preparing for its final exams today, and as such, that means I have had only two classes today. I haven't done anything but play around with my nations, creating a new one, Formaldehydra, a corrupt dictatorship (should be fun), and discovering that through some off the cuff decisions I made, Katoslovakia has become a Scandinavian liberal's paradise. Well, I wonder if that would mean anything to my cousin's wife from Sweden.

I've got another hour or so before I go home. Have to think of stuff to do for tomorrow, I suppose, but I am sleepy.

I hate this whole work, come home, watch TV, go to sleep too late, wake up, work...thing. Wish I could think of a solitary fun hobby to do on my own.