Wednesday, March 10, 2010

OK -- time for a little perspective

I realize that last post sounded pretty whiny and bitchy. Well, I guess I was in a bad mood. I definitely feel better since classes started this week. Not suffering under the soul-crushing boredom I'd been growing accustomed to. Yep, I totally just used the words soul-crushing. I like hyperbole. Deal with it.

I got my class materials for TESOL Certification. Should be able to rip this out in a couple weeks... once I download the test I have 24 hours to complete and submit it. I've always been pretty good at test-taking anyway... and also, it is entirely open-book. I could probably go ahead and do the thing right now and be ok. Meh, what the hell, I guess I'll spend a few days actually learning something first. I ain't got much else going on anyway.

Don't know if you guys are still reading this (or if anyone is, come to that), but congrats to Stu-dawg on getting accepted into 3 law schools thus far. I didn't actually talk to him or read the blog to find out if more are on the way, but 3 outta ... um, probably lots, but anyway, it still ain't bad. So way to go man.

This Sunday is White Day in Korea. On Valentine's Day I got chocolates from the girl, so this Sunday is my day to reciprocate. Apparently non-chocolate candy is the norm, but Mi Sun informs me that if I'm at all attached to our relationship, I will ignore this mandate from the masses and just buy the damn chocolate. So, chocolate it is. Other acceptable gifts apparently include white chocolate, white candy/mints, marshmallows (which I gotta say, I've never actually seen here... hm) and white lingerie. Also, apparently, it's considered cute to the point of hurling to buy a special matching outfit to wear when you're out on your White Day date. Well, it's not just for White Day. Korean couples do this all the time, but I guess even if you don't normally do it, White Day is like, a good day to start. Or something. It's like guys who never want to be seen buying flowers for their girlfriend in the States don't feel so self-conscious on V-day because everyone's doing it. Now, I know this sounds a little gay to you, and I totally agree with you, but I'm still fucking doing it. This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to wear matching clothes with my girlfriend and not be mercilessly ridiculed. It's gonna happen. End of story.

I made an awesome chicken fried rice for dinner tonight. Orange and red bell peppers, zucchini, mushrooms, broccoli and chicken all sauteed in sesame oil, mixed in with rice in the skillet, and then hit near the end with soy sauce and eggs. Damn was it good. My regrets are twofold: I totally forgot to put onion in there (oops!) and I wish I would have used more broccoli. That was my favorite part and there just wasn't enough of it.

Just a short post today, trying to get back in the swing of writing more. Let's hope it takes this go-round. I gotta study my TESOL stuff now. Whoo-ee.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Continuing with my Awesome Blogging Schedule

In my head, when I typed that, I pronounced it "shedule." My uncle says it like that sometimes, to be funny. I usually don't. I guess you could say I'm feeling a bit homesick.

Really, I'm not sure what my problem is... On the surface, things are fine. My job is (and has been recently, especially) easy. It's also really boring. Not at all what you would call fulfilling. On the other hand, Mi Sun no longer works there and I spend an inordinate amount of time just reading articles online or watching American TV. I miss working with my sweetheart, what can I say? I'm sure there's a cure for this, which will be next week when we finally begin actual classes. However, the fact that I can only see the little lady for like a half-hour when she finally gets off work at 9:30pm isn't really cutting it for me.

I quit smoking a couple weeks ago... yes, for serious. It had been getting steadily worse for the last few years. 2007, I think, was the last time I made a serious effort to quit and managed to for about 4 months. So I'm pretty much riding the ridge of mental meltdown all the time right now. That'll pass, of course, but in the meantime, I'm feeling especially on edge, which makes everything seem a bit worse than it really is. I've also gained like 5 pounds in that time, which makes the whole easier breathing thing at the gym seem like less of a benefit than it really is. I mean, seriously, when I'm home, I'm eating. Probably doesn't help that the market down the street started stocking bags of tortilla chips and I've made it a point to buy more American foods the last few times I've been in Seoul. Yeah, burgers, bacon, salsa, burrito-sized tortillas, giant pre-cooked ham, pepper jack cheese, Kraft mac n' cheese, Valentine's candy... all those things are technically comfort foods, especially when living outside the US, but it sure makes for bad eating habits.

Just today, actually, I finally registered for an online TEFL class. I am... how should I put this... not excited about the idea anymore. Sure, it was less than $200 and it will mean I get an extra 100 bucks a month at my job after I finish; and yes, it will allow me to find at least a decent part-time job in pretty much any big city after I finish working in Korea... I don't know. Yay for semi-pointless career advancement, I guess, right? =) I mean, hell, I'm here, I might as well go ahead and do this, for the extra money if nothing else. Of course I should've done it a year ago. Still, better late than never.

What else is new? Um, the Olympics were awesome! Especially living in Korea... get this. Perhaps you noticed, but Koreans tend to excel in speed skating, especially the short track. So, for the first 10 days or so (basically until the figure skating happened and Kim Yeon A went all ballistic on history), whenever there were no live events on which is pretty often due to the time difference, they would replay the speed skating events that Koreans won. And I'm not talking about no once-in-a-while thing here either. I mean over and over and over again. The same race. I must have seen that Korean guy win the 500m like 45 times. It was absolutely asinine. I mean, I can totally understand making it a point to show the Koreans more often than everything else, but we would literally watch a portion of the race -- the people who finished in the top 4 or 5 followed by the winning Korean -- and then a minute later watch the same thing over again. It was... hypnotic and mind-boggling, all at once.

Although, from what I could gather of NBC's coverage, this might not have been so bad. At least I got to see some curling and hockey and ski jumping and alpine events LIVE! Not on a tape delay interspersed with feel-good puff pieces. So, there was that. Also, the Korean figure skater. Her name is not pronounced Kim Yoo-nah. It just isn't... in Korean it's 김연아. The pronunciation of 연 really depends on the speaker, but it sounds fairly similar to yawn if you don't drag it out too much. Rhymes somewhere between yawn and sun. And the last name is just "A." Pronounced ah. Like, ah, it feels really nice to stretch and yawn when you first wake up. Anyway, that's enough of that little rant.

OK, that's all I got for now. Peace, ya'll.