Pulled In Many Directions

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

Monday, January 31, 2005

"You're Sure You're Never Coming Back?" "Yes and Now Give Me My Money!"

I went to the National Pension Office today. Armed with my passport, my flight ticket out of Korea, and my American bank information, I set out to claim the 2 years worth of pension money I had accumulated in my three years here.

In order to do this, I had to let them know I was very sure I would never be back in Korea again. Very sure. Very very sure. I had to produce an airline ticket that supported this claim. I had to check boxes on many forms that indicated my intents that I would never be back. I even had to write a short letter telling them why I had produced for them a round trip ticket if I was never coming back.

"Dear Pension Board," I wrote.

"I had to buy a round trip ticket from Korea to Hong Kong because it was cheaper to do so and Hong Kong Immigration requires that I produce a round-trip ticket for them in order to work. I can assure you I am never coming back to this country so long as I shall live. I am never ever ever ever coming back. Ever.

Now give me my money.


Well, not really, but the amount of what seems to be an attempt to induce a sort of buyer's regret in order to get your pension was a bit silly. I'm surprised on the forms there weren't any questions like:
  • Are you sure you saved up enough money here?
  • Have you seen Jeju Island yet?
  • How about Seorak Mountain?
  • Aren't you going to miss kimchi?
  • Not even a little?
Anyways, in a month, I will be almost 4 million (won) richer. Which is good, cause I have a feeling I am really going to need some money soon!

Sunday, January 30, 2005

He's Just Not That Into You: Truth or Humbug?

Oh yeah, while in Singapore I apparently joined a cult.

I admit it. I had been intrigued by this book for ages since I saw it profiled on Oprah a few months ago. And while part of me was skeptical about the hubbub caused by a line uttered by a guy who then proceeded to break up with Carrie via a Post-It, I caved in while in Singapore and bought the book. (Hey, I need light fluffy reading for the airplane!)

Basically, the gist of the book is this: a guy who really likes a woman and sees the relationship as going somewhere is going to move mountains, stop locomotives and leap tall buildings in a single bound just to be with her and let her know she is appreciated. If he doesn't...well, you know the line.

When I read the book, a lot of it made sense. It's so funny though, that the stuff we constantly tell our girlfriends, has to be drilled in so hard into our own heads. We constantly make excuses for ourselves and for the guy we are with, the one who had made us so happy in the past. I totally now at this moment see that a guy who changes his behavior on me is silently hoping I will take the hint. I can now prepare myself to really listen to a guy and see what he really is seeking from me. (I just hope I can when I am in my next relationship!)

There has been some controversy with the book, though. Some people have called it "The Rules repackaged" as it is saying do nothing, play it cool, and Mr. Right will do everything in his power to keep you around.

But I am really hard pressed to get my head around the whole "Wait for him to call you and don't make him feel he has to call you" thing. Is he really saying that if I see a cool guy I can approach him, but have to tap dance around the notion of wanting to see him again?

I'm just asking this cause a number of guys have said to me "You know, it's the girls who control the relationship." So...we do but we don't? We do, but we shouldn't? Who is right here? If it's both, then how?

But I really appreciate the tone of the book, where it is saying the kind of relationship I want, where the guy is unafraid to say "This is my girlfriend" (and sadly it seems like such a novel idea here) and the one who'd like to do stupid romantic gestures for me (as I am a sucker for things like that) is the one I absolutely, unequivocally have to go out for and find...but I guess not find so obviously. There should be no waiting around to see if he'll warm up to me, or what have you. There should be no waiting around to see if things will get better, cause most likely, they won't. I can not settle for someone who doesn't want to see me all the time, and doesn't want to talk to me often.

It also basically said that the romantic comedy movies that women have been told "are just movies and not real life," are the kind of lives women need to strive for. Well, maybe not Pretty Woman.

Anyways, I think I will keep this book around for when I enter into my next relationship. I have a friend in Hong Kong who also has her own copy. If I later lapse into making excuses for the dumb boy, maybe she'll be glad to hit me over the head with said book.

Anyone else read the book? What do you think? Truth or Humbug?

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Yet Another Blog Traffic Site

I'm trying out BlogaZoo in my quest for more readership.

I'm sure I'll see a lot of the same blogs there. :)

My Trip to Singapore!

OK, as promised, I am going to put some pics up here not really detailing my stay in Singapore, but showing it, anyways. This is going to be one chatty entry, so you might want to fix yourself a snack if you read till the end.

Short review for the impatient: I really liked it there. This had to have been one of the best vacations I have had in a long time. I had earlier gone to Bangkok on a tour package, stayed in my own room, and wound up feeling rushed and lonely for most of it.

In Singapore, I stayed at a hostel, met a lot of cool people, at least to chat with and do the touristy stuff with.

This is Hai (as in "Hello") who is part owner of the hostel I stayed at, The Inn Crowd. If you ever travel to Singapore and want to live in a hostel environment (ha ha ha) then let me know and I'll hook you up with the details on how to get in touch with him. Hostels are great as they will have tours set up in the evening to do stuff and it's so hard to stay on your own in one of them. You always have the chance to meet someone new and talk about where you've been and where you're going.

The hostel kitten, named Pete, in one of his rare dull moments. The cat never starves for attention.

These are two of the people I met and hung out with: Nadya, who is a kindy teacher from Indonesia and Paul from London, who left his job to backpack for three months in the Pacific. Oh, and Marie from Estonia is peeking into the photo as well.

I could only have breakfast at the hostel, so was left to my own devices in foraging for food. I had so much good stuff. I wish I had thought to take pictures of most of it. I had chicken rice, which is chicken, basically flavored with soy sauce and baked and chicken flavored rice and soup and cucumbers. Really really good. I also ate chicken satay twice. Chicken satay is chicken grilled kebab style served with a somewhat spicy peanut sauce you dip the sticks into. The other time I had it, it came with rice pressed into cubes, and served in a woven banana leaf basket. The banana leaves kind of flavored the rice and that was really quite good as well. And I ate some Chinese food as well.

And, mainly because it was featured in my students' English book when one of the main characters told his friend about his dad's trip to Singapore, I had to see the Merlion statue. One of the people I met traveling kept calling it the "Mer-lee-on" statue as a joke.

Apparently, the story of the Merlion comes from one of the earliest visitors to the island seeing some kind of creature which he mistook for a lion. He named the land he saw Singa pura (which meant in Sanskrit "lion city".)

One of the more interesting (and probably grotesque things as well) I saw was the celebration of Thaipussam, a Hindi holy day, where devotees are cleansed of their past sins by pretty much impaling themselves with hooks and arrow like objects and then parading down the street. Some even carry heavy, ornate statues to represent the sins they have been burdened with. The festival lasts for about one full day, starting and ending around midnight, and is held during a full moon.

I didn't know quite what to expect when I was planning my trip to Singapore. I had heard about Singapore's many laws and regulations, remembered the story of Michael Fay, and wondered just how Orwellian my stay would be. They have laws against jaywalking and littering, which to me sound a bit extreme, but are just common sense. You shouldn't ruin the beauty of a city by littering and you shouldn't ruin the beauty of yourself by walking in front of an SUV.

But then they get into weirder territory, where the potential for a fine exists for those who "dare" to change in front of an open window (and possibly get fined for public indecency if the person who sees you is offended) and stranger still, laws that make engaging in oral sex a crime, if it's not then followed by having sex. I mean, really Singapore! Who cares?

One of the many "Singaporean" notices advising people to act a certain way. No fine for flicking water on the floor is stated, but I just thought the tone of the poster was fairly Big Brother "advising" people on how they should behave in the bathroom.

While it's been joked that Singapore is a fine city (Get it? Fine? Ha ha ha! OK then...) Singapore is a great city, very cosmopolitan, and made vibrant by all the different kinds of people who live there: Malays, Chinese, Indians, and expats (mainly from Britain). I'm not sure if I would want to live there, but I think I'll definitely pass through it again on my way to Malaysia or Australia the next time around.

Friday, January 28, 2005

Mindless Bloggery (File Under:"What Brought You Here?"

A perusal of the site meter tells me that:
  • people looking for "Hong Kong travelogues" have perused my site.
  • So have people looking for "Hong Kong bisexual guy."
  • People looking for information on "Elyse Sewell's boyfriend" have come here.
  • And also people looking for "Indonesia naughty girls" have come here.

Sorry to disappoint you all.

Have a great day!


And pooped.

My apartment's cold and my cat's all spazzy to see me.

Will post pics later, but have to say now had a great time and met some nice nice people in the hostel I stayed at. More love letters about hostels to follow....

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Off to Singapore!

In about 24 hours, I will be at Incheon Airport checking in for my flight, imbibing in a Starbucks (yay), perusing the bookstore for an airplane book (Also known as a cheesy novel. Think Four Blondes by Candace Bushnell, Postcards from The Edge by Carrie Fisher and anything by Helen Fielding.) and doing all the last minute things I need to do before I get on that plane, like exchanging money, and putting all thoughts of the Lost episodes I have seen out of my mind.

I will not be posting here when I am in Singapore. (By the way, this is more an affirmation to myself than any sort of announcement to anyone who reads this). So...

(squinching eyes and clenching fists)
I will not post here when I am in Singapore!
I will not post here when I am in Singapore!
I will not post here when I am in Singapore!

Ha. (God, the thoughts of withdrawal from my laptop and Blog Clicker and Blog Explosion chill my blood a little.)

Yes, I am kidding.

Hmm...well...a little.

I hope the weather holds up and I can take lots of snazzy photos while there. I know there have been plenty of people in the blog world who live there or have traveled there. Any ideas for where to go and what to do? Any recommendations for what to eat? Any gentle warnings for what I should not?

I might post a little bit later, but if I don't...see you all Friday!

Friday, January 21, 2005

The Last Day!

I am no longer an English teacher in South Korea! Soon, I will be playing the role of the obnoxious American tourist in Singapore and then I'll be a slacker in Korea before I go off to be a teacher in Hong Kong.

Today, I had my last camp classes. I took the first class to my home to hang out and play with the cat. I think Miss Kitty was a bit freaked out at first over all the attention she was receiving, but she got over it.

Three of the 1200 students I had to teach this year. I really will truly miss them!

I wanted to get a picture of the other girl I taught, but she was camera shy. She brought me a whole mess of chocolate today as a thank you present. How sweet is that? *Sigh* I had such a great time this year in this school.

Then my coworkers wanted to take me out for a final lunch before I go off. We had baek ban, if I am spelling that correctly. Baek ban is a whole lot of rice with 49 side dishes. Well, not 49 exactly, but it sure feels like that once the meal is over. I had a really good time with them too today.

During the year, they were very supportive of me as a teacher. They never really crowded me in the classroom (as some native speakers here only have the role of being a very expensive tape recorder in the classroom). They let me do my own thing, and helped me out so many times: translating my wacky ideas to the class, and keeping some princesses in check for me.

I really hope I can get that kind of support in Hong Kong.

And in a once in a lifetime photo op, here's me outside the restaurant with my English teacher coworkers -- real life English teachers, as opposed to the English teacher I have pretended to be for the past three years. Heh!:

That Darn Cat

I'm getting ready to pack for Hong Kong (and Singapore too once my washing's done). At the risk of sounding like a cat lady, I want to show you how it came to be that my once black suitcase now looks like some sort of trendy thing covered in a polar bear pelt:

Here comes trouble...

The perpetrator in motion...

Ooh...even better! What do we have here?

Thursday, January 20, 2005

My New 'do

I got a fairly extreme haircut today. For the past 12 years, my hair has been parted down the middle and just below my chin. My friend was egging me on and wanted me to try something new. I thought "Well, it's only hair." This is what I look like with my new cut:

What's that? I look an awful lot like Molly Ringwald? Well, thank you. I've been getting that a lot lately. ;)

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

The Simple Things In Life Can Mean the Most...

I had a great time out with a coworker and friend of mine today, who wanted to check out an ice-skating rink near the City Hall.

The rink was so far from being regulation sized, and after falling on my ass in the skating rink that had formed in my apartment's foyer, I was a bit nervous about going, having visions of breaking my arm before going to Singapore.

But skating is just like riding a bike, it seems. After a 15 year absence on skates, I had no trouble at all walking up the stairs to the rink and skating (though slowly) away from the boards and to the center of the ice, even.

I had forgotten how much fun skating was. The only thing is, I think my legs have forgotten what exercise feels like, and might be soreish tomorrow.

Then after that, we went for dak galbi, which is like a chicken stir fry type thing, with the ubiquitous spicy red pepper paste in it.

The waiter at the door greeted me with "HelloHowareyouNicetomeetyouWelcometokoreaYouareverybeautiful." The other waiter told my friend "He just said all the English he knows to her." Ha. At least he speaks Friendly as a Second Language.

We got the deluxe version, which included sweet potatoes, ham/Spam and some kind of spaghetti type noodle. Very very good stuff.

So I had a really good afternoon with a good friend of mine and good food to end the night with. Could it be I might actually be sad I am leaving Korea soon?

I'll probably get over it, but I will miss my friend...and maybe the dak galbi.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

My Cat Eats Better Than I Do Now


You know when you are thisclose to uprooting yourself, the question of what can you have to eat so you won't buy a lot of stuff that you eventually won't use comes to mind.

I'm definitely not much of a cook to begin with, but with Moving Day fast approaching, this is a sampling of my last few dinners. (Proceed with caution):

  • Tonight: Basic Tuna Salad (read: tuna and mayo) on cheap-ass imitation Saltine crackers.
  • Last night: This lovely spinach and mozzarella cheese ravioli and the last remnants of the spaghetti sauce.
  • The night before: Honey Chex cereal, and probably the worst thing will eat in my last days here -- the epitome of resourcefulness, but not entirely good taste: white bread topped with spaghetti sauce and sprinkled with Parmesan cheese. (Actually, it DID taste good, but it's nothing I want to make into a steady diet.)

Actually, I have been eating a lot of cereal lately. If nothing else, it's making me nostalgic for my college years. I have a mix for chili, but it serves EIGHT. I have these pre-packaged meat dinner things that need no refrigeration. I bought them on a dare with myself, but am now too scared to try to eat them.

I have pancake mix, but no eggs. I have garden burgers and hash browns, but no ketchup. I have egg roll type things, but no soy sauce. I have cans of tuna but no bread or pickles (and you gotta eat a tuna sandwich with pickles. And potato chips, come to think of it) And now is not the time really to buy condiments.

As stated before, I may be rich (who else makes more than 1 million in a month?) and I may be successfully passing myself off as Wonder Woman (cause none of you know what I look like yet), but sorry guys, the kitchen in Korea (or anywhere, really) is just not my domain.

And this is strange, cause the one thing I love to read above many other books is cookbooks, and I could spend all day watching The Food Network. I love to watch people make food or imagine preparing a dinner, taking 12 ingedients and making one fabulous thing.

I can, however, order a pizza with the best of them.

Monday, January 17, 2005

China Likes Me...

But will I like China?

I just got word today that my visa was approved and in a matter of days, I'll have it in my hand to stick into my passport.

And tomorrow is the day I'll hold my breath and fork over close to 1 million won (about 960 American bucks) to get the ticket I need to get out of Korea.

I can't wait to move these boxes I have out of the living room! (They're getting in the way of the suitcases I want to throw on the floor and pack up.)

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Get Her Drunk and Watch Her Go...

Well, last night was fun. I never did this in high school or college, so I think I'm permitted at least one "Dude, I was so wasted" post. And last night was a lot of fun, meeting up with a friend I hadn't seen since October and meeting his two cool friends from Canada.

What I remember:
  • Stopping one step short of staging an all-out protest when they cut out N*Sync's "Bye Bye Bye" for some crappy-ass hair metal band song. I then proceeded to tell anyone who was listening at my table about my plans for Katy's Last Night in Korea Extravaganza where she would sing in a noraebang any song with the word "Goodbye" in it. 31 days and counting!
  • This led to a trip down memory lane for me and a friend of a friend, where we started talking about all things New Kids on the Block, and she informed me that Justin Timberlake's solo album was actually quite good. (Actually, this post was re-inspired by my just-now trip to the video store, where "Cry Me A River" was on the stereo.)
  • Ice fight with friend's boyfriend.
  • Reporting back every time I came out of the bathroom with a scrawling I had noticed on the bathroom's bulletin board. Maybe it was just a door that over time came to look like a bulletin board. Anyways. Some scrawlings: "American girls are hot!" (Thank you!) "British girls suck dick like a Hoover" (Fascinating!) and "Korean guys have a 'zero-to-hero' complex." (OK, whatever that means!)
  • Professing my current crushes on Tobey Maguire (Friend: "Isn't he 12?") and Topher Grace.
  • Laughing hysterically at my friend's comment that a lot could be said about me moving to Hong Kong. This led to the totally tongue-in-cheek hatching of plan to stage a vigil in front of and to take photos of ex-boyfriend's childhood home.

Oh my.

Well, at least I am not an angry drunk. Just damn loopy...er than normal.

Tinker Tinker...

Haloscan commenting and trackback have been added to this blog, since I now know how frustrating it gets to have something go wrong with Blogger's comment section. I got sick of trying to sign in on other blogs 3 or 4 times, only to give up and make an anonymous post.

So, we'll see how this goes.

(Though damn, I'm happy I saved all the comments I got in my email inbox, cause Haloscan just wiped them out) :( I'll get over it...

Also, as mentioned before, why not put a pin on my guest map while you're here? I would love to see where you all are coming from!

Saturday, January 15, 2005

I Tried...

Yeah..I, um, gave into peer pressure. I'm a whore for attention. I just joined Blog Clicker.

If you also want to be like the cool kids who blog, click the orange button down at the bottom of my page.

Friday, January 14, 2005

Three Things...

Because I am bored now and want to waste some time:

All categories in no particular order

Three Names You Go By:
1. Kate
2. Katy
3. Katharine

Three Screennames You Have:
1. Phoenix8
2. greyeyesathena
3. katydid

Three Things You Like About Yourself:
1. I genuinely like people
2. I am smart
3. I am open-minded

Three Things You Dislike About Yourself:
1. I'm too damn shy
2. I am lazy
3. I take myself too seriously at times

Three Parts of Your Heritage:
1. Greek
2. somewhere in the UK
3. French Canadian

Three Things That Scare You:
1. living in isolation
2. nursing homes and hospitals
3. fire

Three of Your Everyday Essentials:
1. Internet
2. coffee
3. CNN

Three Things You Are Wearing Right Now:
1. mom's wedding ring
2. jeans
3. star necklace

Three of Your Favorite Bands/Artists (at the moment):
1. U2
2. The Beatles
3. Maroon 5

Three of Your Favorite Songs at Present:
1. This Love -- Maroon 5
2. Who are You? -- The Who
3. Seether -- Veruca Salt

Three New Things You Want to Try in the Next 12 Months:
1. learn some Cantonese
2. join some kind of activity group
3. exercise more

Three Things You Want in a Relationship (love is a given):
1. companionship
2. disgusting amounts of public affection
3. dependability

Two Truths and a Lie:
1. I was a high school cheerleader
2. I got into a scuffle with a nightclub bouncer
3. I got a C in gym class in high school

Three Physical Things About the Opposite Sex (or same) That Appeal to You:
1. eyes
2. hair
3. smile

Three Things You Just Can’t Do:
1. dance
2. remember locations
3. sing

Three of Your Favorite Hobbies:
1. reading
2. writing
3. attending plays

Three Things You Want to do Really Badly Right Now:
1. see where my cat went off to
2. use the bathroom
3. get out of Korea

Three Careers You’re Considering:
1. teacher in an International school (history or English)
2. columnist
3. lobbyist

Three Places You Want to Go on Vacation:
1. Europe
2. Australia
3. drive through America

Three [future] Kids Names:
1. Scott
2. Diana
3. Peter

Three Things You Want to Do Before You Die:
1. see the world
2. have something published
3. achieve inner peace

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

A Short Message To All You Non-Believers (those who think I'll return to Korea soon):

Shut up!

Nuh uh.

No way.

Not in this lifetime.

Seriously, the one thing that is disheartening me about this leaving thing is three people I know are basically taunting me with the thought that there's no escaping Korea. It's NOT the Hub of Asia as the Korea National Tourist Organization would like you to believe, but rather that continent's Hotel California. My smart-ass friends are probably starting some kind of pool behind my back regarding my actual date of re-entry to the Land of the Morning Calm.

There is no way I am ever coming back here. Not that I hated it here. (After all I lived here three years!) Korea is starting to feel stagnant, though. Too many other countries in the UN to see. (I still want to see Europe one day.) Got ideas for a life of some sort I want to set up back home in America. This is it for me, and once I get an idea in my head, that's it.

Buh-bye Korea.

In about a month that is.

Thank you.

More of the Puzzle Is Revealed

My recruiter told me while she doesn't know exactly where I will be living yet, I will be working in the New Territories. Now, before you look at the map and say "Yeah, Katy, that narrows it down a bit," I know where I'll be, but there is something to be said about maintaining SOME kind of privacy, you know.

Cool! New Year, New Job, New Start in the New Territories. Perfect!

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Katy Makeover Part 1

What do you think of girls with short haircuts? I've been toying with the idea of doing something drastic, as I am going to live in the fashion capital of Asia, after all, and want to look hip. ;) I've always liked the way Elyse Sewell's* hair looked on America's Next Top Model:

I've had the same hairstyle since about the 10th grade. For those who know me, what do you think? A LOT of hair is going to be on the floor next weekend if I get this cut. It'll be hard to part with it, but I am also thinking it's only hair. If I don't like it, it'll grow out in about a month.

*By the way, like everyone else on Earth, she also has a blog. Click here if you're interested in finding out what she finds interesting.

Monday, January 10, 2005

New Band Crush

U2 will always be my one and only true love...

but I'm starting to really like what I am hearing from Maroon 5.

Anyone else? Being in Korea I feel so unhip. Is this like saying "I like Third Eye Blind" (who have one good song, "How's It Gonna Be?" but always struck me as being um, kind of on the wishy-washy side of things when it came to being rawkers)?

But you know what I mean...the bands featured on The O.C. or One Tree Hill or something like that...

They *kind of* remind me of G. Love and Special Sauce (Maroon 5, not Third Eye Blind.)


Why do I always expect the worst? My aunt's letter was really nice. A bit fuzzy on the details, as my uncle was 10 years older than she, so they didn't really grow up together, but really understanding and kind. I guess I'll try my Uncle Peter and my Dad later.

Maybe Cans of Worms Should Come in Six-Packs

Against my better judgment, I just officially booked a flight to Singapore today. I'll be spending five days there (actually 4. I can't seem to count the day I get in as a day in Singapore, and the last day I am there the plane leaves at 11:45 p.m.) I can't wait. It should be a great time there, though yes expensive, and then shortly after that, I am going to move to Hong Kong.

When I was younger, I went to see the Hearst Castle and the Winchester Mystery House in one day, a day I then dubbed "Crazy People With Money Day." I think I'll call the time containing my trips to Singapore and Hong Kong on a limited budget "Crazy Wanna-be Jet-Setter Phase." I might as well have a stopover in Tokyo.

So, while I'm sure it'll be great and a lot of fun, let's see how it goes financially after that. I hope to remember my camera so I can post some pictures here. I am certainly looking forward to the warmer weather!

Also, in another potential can of worms, when I was in a low phase a few days ago, questioning who I was and how did I ever get to feel so screwed up, I wrote an email to my aunt asking her for information about my mother, wanting to know more about her life. Now, it's nothing like I was an orphan and I never knew my biological mom. I could (and probably will later) write a long post about my mom, and her battle with multiple sclerosis and how it really affected me growing up, but in short for now, I'll only say that the one thing I regret most is that I never got to know her as a person, which is how most adult children come to view their parents, with their faults and imperfections laid out. Maybe they get to grind an axe or two about how they were raised to the people who raised them and come to understand them more as a human than as an authority figure. Maybe I watch too much TV.

This was my second attempt to write her. The first one, she either ignored or it never went through. I now have an 18k email from her sitting in my Inbox that I am a bit afraid to open. I have no idea if she will tell me about my mom when she was my age or in high school, which is what I want, because I really need to feel some kind of connection to her, to see some kind of similarities between us, besides the physical (mom looked like Wonder Woman, too) or if it'll be another tirade about how I never appreciated her when I was younger and how selfish I was growing up, which is what I got before a couple years ago when I complained to her about life in Korea.

I'm at work now so I'm going to wait until I am at home to read her email, in case I need the time to be alone. I really hope she can shed some light on her. I am not expecting my dad to be able to talk about her, although maybe I will, if this letter is going to make me want to interrogate everyone who knew her.

So if you're reading this, cross your fingers for me, and pray or wish for me that I haven't opened a Pandora's box full of worms.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Let's Take A Poll...

If you met someone who was a pretty interesting guy, but were going to leave the country in a month, would you ask the guy out anyways or chalk it up to bad timing?

You know I believe that advice sought is just a way for someone to reaffirm the decision they made. So I will say that I'm leaning toward "What the hell, why not?" as I am only thinking of going to an art exhibit and would appreciate the company, and also would like to talk to the guy more, but just want to know what you would do, dear readers.


Friday, January 07, 2005

Just Passing Through?

I would love it if you would put a pin on the guest map I have at the bottom of my sidebar. (I guess it's more like the middle.) I'd really like to see where you are all coming in from. :)

Am I There Yet?

My mind is officially in between Korea and Hong Kong, looking forward (literally) to Hong Kong.

I feel like I am going to be on that plane tomorrow. My next chapter of my life feels so close to happening now.

So I am washing all my clothes in preparation for some of them to be packed up (bye bye big bulky sweaters!) and have made lists for the CDs and books I want to give away or sell. (Let me know if you have any interest in seeing the list...I just may send what you want to you.)

My house is in (even more of) a shambles as I am packing. I am in the process of packing up my books and CDs I want to take. My cat just might have a home, and I just might have a seat on a February 12 flight to Hong Kong.

It's all set up.

And it's scary and exciting.

I have this big long spiel prepared for when I do actually leave, but I can't help reflecting on it now. I feel like Truman Burbank in a way. I have been in a bubble known as Korea for the past 3 years, and now I'm going to willingly give up the comfort (which may or may not be manifesting itself as boredom) that is Korea and try somewhere new and different, somewhere I might fall on my face. Some place where I am going to have to readjust. I liked what he said to his wife in that movie:

Wife: Why do you want to go to Atlantic City? You hate
Truman: Because it's there. Isn't that
why people go places in the first place?

So I am really excited to be getting out of here, but damn it feels scary. I have told my friends to push me down the walkway to the plane to Hong Kong if they have to. I'm almost nervous that I will freeze up. When I first came to Korea, thank god for the recruiter's disorganization. I had no real time to be nervous.

I should tell myself life will be the same there as it was here. Maybe even a bit better. Yes, I will make friends. I'm not snarky (most of the time) and I don't smell. Yes, I will date. I have dated enough in the past while here.

I just hope there are plenty of things to do there, besides the bar scene, and that I am not stuck in the middle of nowhere. (I don't think that'll be a problem. Looking at how the weather was in Hong Kong, (it was like 68 degrees there today!) I saw that the country was listed as being 100% urban).*

I guess all I can do is just wait until I get there and check things out for myself.

It's going to be hard to wait though.

*My friend who lives there told me she lived in the Boonies. I'm not sure if she was just saying "I'm far from Central and TST," being near Shenzhen and all. It IS hard to visualize the "boonies" of Hong Kong, now that I think of it.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

In Better News...

My school told me today that I am not going to get any severance pay (the bastards!) and that they couldn't pay me for any work I did in February. So I told them if that was the case then my last day would have to be on the 21st, which they agreed to. And then I am off to Singapore for a couple days, and then I will be doing my impression of a Tasmanian Devil, running around the house and throwing anything not nailed down into a box or suitcase.

I might be in HK as early as the 8th or 9th.

Thank the Lord!

A Moment of Regression

I hate how it's so easy for past hurts, brought on by your family (who aren't perfect people, like anyone else) years ago can manifest itself in a present day situation.

I was in a room with a friend of mine and one of her friends, and they were talking about gender issues, and while I am interested in that subject, most of the time I was taking in their conversation, and sometimes felt like it was a spectator sport. I wasn't upset by that, as I don't want to chatter on about something I may not know so much about. What really got to me was that when I did make a contribution, the other person jumped right in and bulldozed through what I was trying to say. She interrupted me, and I couldn't finish my thought. And I tried to cut through and couldn't. I admit I did the obnoxious I'm going to speak louder so I can get my words in edgewise thing. But I don't think she meant anything by it. She may have been just caught up in the conversation. But it just reminded me too much of things that happened to me in my past. So I just got up and left. And then went upstairs and lost it.

This one thing made me so angry I wanted to scream. I held myself back, but I didn't hold back from yelling. I was reminded of how when I was in college, not too long ago. My dad had picked up my then boyfriend and I from the bus station, and we were talking about something, and I distinctly remember I started talking to Jack about something, and then my dad decided it wasn't important enough to hear, so he turned the radio up on me to drown me out, to indicate that he didn't care what I had to say. It didn't matter that I wasn't talking to him. I just felt so hurt and disbelieving that he, my father, could act so insensitive like that to me, his daughter.

I wound up yelling at my dad, 3,000 miles away, for a bit.

I think that's one reason why I like this blog, and maybe why I had harbored dreams once of becoming a journalist, a columnist. I want to have a medium where for the good or the bad, people have to pay attention to what I have to say. Even if they don't like what I have to say, they can't completely escape it.

I had a Psychology professor once say in our class that "Unconditional love is giving someone your undivided attention." I like this thought. It's true that everyone wants to feel important in someone's life. It's just rare that one can feel that they are always an important part of someone's life, that their opinions always matter.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Nothing a little Xanax won't fix...

Or a few good stiff drinks.

Help me.

I'm panicking. My nails are disgusting. I need to breathe. I hate feeling anxious.

My school, the one I am working at now is pushing me for a last day. They will not give me a fraction of severance, even though I worked there for 11 months and 2 weeks. They did say I could be paid for any part of February I will work. I guess that's good. That and severance should tide me over till the end of the month in Hong Kong. I hope.

My friend who isn't exactly a ray of sunshine on a good day told me I should have said I had a death in the family (not while I have 2 90+ year old grandparents. If something did happen to them soon after I said it, I'd feel horrible. Like me, like my superstitions.) and that it'd be impossible to get a ticket there cause of the Chinese New Year. And why didn't I come visit her or say hello when she got home? I did try, and know I spoke to her earlier. Some people just can't get that happy.

Well, I just got a ticket. That's good anyways. For February 12. Just wish my recruiter would tell me now I have a visa and I have a job at this location.

If things fall through, that's it. I'll just go home.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Here's My Blog Explosion Testimonial

It seems everyone who has joined this thing has an entry about it in their blog, so here goes:

Now, I am writing this blog mainly to clear out the junk drawer known as my head, and to let out steam and to keep track of my days in Hong Kong when I finally get there, but dammit, a writer likes a little recognition every now and again! It can be a bit disheartening to see that big goose egg next to "Comments" day in and day out.

So, through Snoozebutton Dreams I found out about this site called Blog Explosion* where I could put up my blog and have random strangers come across it as they surf through a collection of other members' blogs. Pretty cool idea. I've seen some strange ones -- mainly company based sites offering PR about their "network solutions." (As an aside, as a former business writer, I hated that term. I never understood what it meant, and thought whoever came up with "solutions" as a descriptive noun sounded like a pompous ass. "I know something and don't want you to know until you pay me for it." Anyways...), but have also seen some really good ones as well.

Anyways, if you have a blog and want people to read your stuff, this is a good way to do it. You get credits for staying on a person's blog for more than 30 seconds (which is harder than it seems when you are sent to a blog about business gizmos) and for every 2 blogs you visit, one reader is guaranteed to come to yours.

You also have the chance to bookmark blogs you like on that site, and rate them. I've had two or three people rate my blog and mine is at an 8. (No, not out of 100, out of 10!) I guess that just goes to prove that even the most mudane worries and stories can be interesting if set in an "exotic" locale. (Wink wink)

So, if you have a blog and want more readership, please click on the Blog Explosion link. If you join through that link, I'll get a referral, which means we'll be able to share traffic. Ahhh...lovely concept!

Can of Worms Cleanup, Aisle 4

Maybe it's because of the New Year, or because I am leaving Korea for good soon, but I am entertaining ideas abut writing to my last ex and figuring out whether I should have been so angry at him when he broke up with me. Actually, he just wanted to end the relationship, and still be friends, but I didn't see how that could be possible when he asked me earlier "If we broke up, could we still sleep together?"

Call me a priss, call me old-fashioned, but if guys are always saying that the girl is the one who holds the cards in the relationship, shouldn't that be a thing that needn't be asked? As in, it'd be made perfectly clear how she stood on that issue after the breakup?

Also, doesn't that imply that the time you spent talking to each other, getting to know each other, sharing companionship and having a good time with each other (with your clothes on) meant absolutely nothing as far as he was concerned? Maybe my emotions were running high at that point, but I swear to God he was saying "You know I think of you as a slut" in different words. Which led me to believe he just wanted to be my friend to ease his conscience, which caused me to stop taking to him, which caused him to whine and torment a friend of mine, which finally caused me to tell him to stop harassing her and I would never want to hang out with him ever again.

Maybe I just am regretting the way it all ended. Like I said, I don't want to see him. There's a lot of weirdness still involved. However, if he could apologize to me, I'd be more than willing to apologize to him for all the things I did in retaliation for something I may or may not have misunderstood, and maybe we could get back to emailing each other every now and again and see how that goes.

Meh...I'm not sure. So I guess it's just best to do nothing and try to remember a) to hold my tongue when I really should and b) never get into one of these dumb-ass situations ever again.

Maybe I'll contact him when I stop thinking about this so much...

Monday, January 03, 2005

43 days. 1,008 hours. 60,480 minutes.

In that amount of time, I will be somewhere in the vicinity of Hong Kong, if all goes to plan. The school (which one, I do not know yet) told my recruiter they wanted me in Hong Kong between the 14th and the 16th of February. I need to know soon, so I can start throwing my stuff into boxes.

I'm a bit nervous in dealing with my school. I'll have to break my contract early. Only two weeks early, but they may be severe sticklers (asses) and refuse to pay my bonus of one month's salary. I might have to tweak my schedule around so I can also get the last month's pay. And then there's the pension money of two years I'd be stupid to not collect.

I'm hoping the will give me almost all the severance pay I am due. I'd hate to have my working relationship with the school go down the tubes over money, but it is money owed to me, even in a percentage of form. My friend told me I should tell them if I can not get my bonus, then they should be willing to let me go early so I have the time to throw my stuff into boxes.

The news of my start date also means I'm going to have to amend my plans to go to Singapore and Malaysia. Malaysia will have to wait for now. I'll spend a few days of my vacation in Singapore, and the rest of it packing things up and, yes, throwing stuff into boxes.

Sunday, January 02, 2005

I've Decided I Want a Makeover

Maybe because I'm still feeling a bit blah, but I have been toying with the idea of getting a total makeover. Not like something you'd see on The Swan, but something you'd see on Queer Eye for the Straight Girl (don't know if that's come on TV yet) or Ambush Makeover. I like having my hair dyed red, but would really like to try some new kind of haircut. I wonder how really short would look on me. I'd like to know I could wear more than 4 colors of eye shadow (no, not at the same time, but it sucks feeling my only options are lavender, beige, brown, or gray. It gets old fast.) and I want to find cool clothes. I'm really into casual comfortable stuff. Cotton stuff. It's be nice to have a few velvet, silk, leather, suede and corduroy things in my closet. It'd be great to have patterns of paisley and prints, rather than just all solid colors. I guess I'd like to have a fashion statement that says more than "It fits OK and it's clean." A couple of people have mentioned I hide behind my clothes, which I guess might be true. Kind of the product of being told you're fat constantly though. It has to be the time to change that.

This is funny cause in middle school, I was always the one the girls dragged into the bathroom to be made over. Now I can't find anyone wanting to do that now.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Well, Not Exactly Off To a Great Start

I have got to be the world's oldest 28 year old there is. Compared to my friends, I just feel so old, repressed, inhibited. How on earth can I unlock myself? Sometimes I wonder if youth is made up of doing stupid things and then forgetting about them. Not repeating the same mistakes, but not worrying about the consequences of my actions.

I hate it when I wish I wasn't me.

And I have been picking at my nails and am feeling the twinge when I'm away from my computer. It can only get better...