Monday, January 12, 2009

5 days till I leave for Thailand!

I know it's been a while, so thank you, constant Readers, for sticking with me through the dry patches and coming back for more.

I've done 6 days of English camp now, and it's going really well. We did 3 layers of paper mache, finishing the last one today. Now I'm giving them a couple more days to dry and then it's on to painting! Also, tomorrow is no-bake cookie day, so that's pretty exciting. For me, at least. I told the kids today, and they didn't really seem all that into it, for some reason. Ah well, they have to do it. And I think once they get their grubby little hands on some chocolatey oatmealy goodness, they'll be a little happier about it. They'd better be.

We also did some hand-clapping games today. The girls really enjoyed it; the boys not so much. Pretty much as I expected... but the boys really got into the paper airplane game, so I gotta spread the joy a bit, right? I'm also looking forward to the webcam conversation we're going to have with Jill's neice. She's already done this a few times for Jill's camp, so she's more or less a pro at this point. I'm just going to have my kids ask her some questions (just basic get to know you kinda stuff) that we've been practicing during camp. And uh, yeah... we'll see how it goes!

I got pretty toasted yesterday. I was just sitting at my house with nothin to do... looking outside at the frigid barren landscape that is a small town in winter, and I decided to make a run for the convenience store down the street to pick up some beer and soju. Soju, in case you've forgotten, is a sweet Korean liquor that is sold in little glass bottles that probably totals 6-7 shots. I'm not sure what the alcohol percentage is, but I'd guess it's like 40 proof. Just a complete shot in the dark, there, but you get the idea. It's not like, vodka strong or anything, but still has that liquor-y taste. I went out to dinner with my co-workers from the Global Center last week, and they introduced me to the wonder that is, as Emily calls it, so-juice. Basically, you take a shot of soju, poor it in a glass, and add beer. It doesn't really sound that good, even now, but you have to keep in mind that "beer" in Korea is generally really lite, highly-carbonated, and has a weird kind of citrus freshness to it... so that adding soju makes this kind of gestalt alcoholic beverage which is truly greater than the sum of its parts. Like, I dunno, the GoBots. So anyway, I drank one bottle of soju and one 1.6 liter bottle of beer. Now, keep in mind that I haven't been drinking much for the past month or so... but within about 2 hours, I was pretty silly. I had a really nice conversation with Dr. Monroe -- the associate dean of the Honors College in Houston -- finished drinking around 6~, and then apparently decided to make some rice for dinner. I got as far as putting it into the rice cooker and hitting go. Then, evidently, I passed out. I woke up around midnight, thoroughly confused as to what time it was, and saw the rice cooker blinking at me from the kitchen. This perplexed me even further. I went to see why this little blinking red light had intruded on my sleep, and to my surprise, found hot steamy rice all ready to be enjoyed. I thanked my drunk self for having the foresight to prepare this delicious meal, heated up a bag of curry and vegetables, and had a wonderful late dinner. Then I drank a boatload of water (I just cracked myself up with that one -- how do you measure a boatload of water and live to report the total?) and went back to sleepy-land, where I spent the next 7 hours as happy as a clam.

I felt great this morning. Midnight curry and rice makes a great hangover prevention, I've decided.

Another perplexing thing that's going on right now: What the hell is up with the NFL playoffs? The Eagles and Cardinals? Really...? The Mannings got beat like a redheaded stepchild. A rookie quarterback playing in the AFC Championship game. After watching Tennessee, Miami, and Indy get rolled in the first two rounds, I bet the Patriots are really pissed they didn't even get a chance to play. Sorry Adam. And getting beat by the Chargers, again? Sorry Rick. Of course, who am I to talk, right? The Bears had a shot, and played themselves right out of a playoff spot, so... this season has just been weird. And college football too. There was a great article on ESPN claiming that Utah is the undisputed national champion. I can't argue. They were the only undefeated team in the country. They beat Alabama. Florida beat Alabama and they got to play in the BCS title game... Utah beat them and they got to go home and watch Florida get crowned the champions -- it makes absolutely no sense... I hope Obama signs some sort of executive order abolishing this nonsense. Would a playoff really be that hard to set up? I mean, every other college sport has one; every other division of college football has one.

Here's my idea. Let's axe about 5 bowls that nobody cares about anyway... um, International Bowl anyone? Does Toronto really care about having an American college football game played there? Yeah, I didn't think so. Let's force the Big Televen and the Pac 10 to hold a championship game to put everyone on an equal footing. The 6 major conference champs get automatic bids; the highest ranked "non-BCS" school gets an automatic bid; there is one at large chosen with the condition that any unbeaten team (if not the highest-ranked non-BCS team) is guaranteed a spot. If there are none, then the highest ranked school who didn't win their conference gets in. The 1st round pits these four teams against each other at the 4 major bowls: Fiesta, Sugar, Orange, and Rose. This allows the bowls to (largely) maintain their conference affiliations, if they so chose. Then we have a plus-3 system; the winners move on to play each other in a national semifinal the next week and those winners get a shot at the national title. The plus-3 games would rotate bowl sites much like the BCS title game does now. Or, they could choose warm-weather cities to host these games like they choose Super Bowl sites.

Now, I realize that there are objections. 1) Players, fans and alumni wouldn't travel to all 3 bowl games; or would find it difficult to travel. Um, March Madness? Trust me, they'll make it. 2)This would drag the season out even longer than it is, stretching into the spring semester and affecting the student-athletes grades and whatnot. Now, if you tell me that (most of) these athletes are doing this for the opportunity to better themselves through higher education and not for a shot at millions of dollars in the NFL, I'll laugh in your face. Besides, basketball runs for 5 months and nobody bitches about that. 3) Also, I realize that trying to axe some of the less-successful earlier bowl games and move everything up a week or so would be almost impossible. Especially for say, the Rose Bowl which probably wouldn't give up its New Years Day game for anything on the planet. This one I haven't figured out yet. Any suggestions or concerns would be welcome.


emily said...

fail. so-juice = so-ju + juice. Usually about 1:1. Try it with the plum and with the aloe kinds.

Have you had dong-dong-ju yet? or da na mu? both delicious. If you ever go to Busan remind me and I'll figure out how to get you to the best dongdong ju place ever.

Have fun in Thailand!!

Stu-Dawg said...

Riddle me this, Batman: How do you make a no-bake cookie? It seems as though the word cook-ie would dictate at least some kind of heat.
Glad you're having a good time, buddy.

Sean said...

Ah.. Stuart -- welcome to my humble web-abode. Except now I'm picturing you in green tights... not pretty. Well, the key to no-bake cookies is the word "bake." As in, no oven required. And they're not really very cookie-like, in the traditional sense of the word. But you take a little cocoa, an ass-load of sugar, some vanilla, some milk and butter and set it to boilin for about a minute, then pour it over some rolled oats, stir and portion out, and a few minutes later you've got "cookies." Try it. They're freakin good.

And Emily... doh. I thought of that, but then I thought maybe you were just talkin all gangsta at me. Should have known better. ;) I will make a note of it, and try it. I saw dong-dong-ju at this mandu guk place a few days ago, but it was lunchtime and we weren't drinking. I do want to try it though. Thanks for the recommendations! I am planning on going to Busan at some point! I'll let ya know!