Sunday, December 23, 2007

NOOOOOOO! The Sound of a Thousand Stitches Felting

This is why I prefer superwash, despite the million and one horrible chemicals needed to process the wool:

My Zoknis are now toddler-sized after an unfortunate meeting with hot water.

I'll just have to make more time to knit and replace them. They were a pretty fun knit, so I may actually reknit the same pattern. Or not. So many patterns... and thanks to school, so little time to knit.

I was leaving school Thursday when my academic director asked me to "help her out" preparing for Winter Camp (beginning 31 December). Well, since I'll be doing Jazz hands for a month if there is nothing planned, um, I guess I might as well help.

Help. To me that means, assisting. You know, supplementing someone else's efforts. I have clearly been operating under false assumptions.

The only thing "prepared" are the classes that use textbooks (IE no non-teacher prep required). So, by tomorrow (Monday), I am to have packets prepared for film discussion, writing, social studies, and a project class for each academic level. Hahahahaha. One might think that Winter Camp didn't happen at the same time each year.

I have decided that teachers can decide what their students don't need/ are not capable of doing (and can then remove from their packets). In other words, I'm basically going to prepare one packet for each subject. That's what you get with 72 hours notice. Sorry. I've got 16 hours of not-at-all-voluntary overtime (including Saturday, which is NOT a workday, nor is it being compensated at a higher rate than the rest) this week, which hasn't put me in a mood to kill myself working at home.

Merry Christmas to me.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Answer: Pfffffff-fff-ffff-fffffff-fft

Question: What sound do you not want to hear in an elevator?

You know, whenever my students tell me they go to etiquette hagwon, I always have a sarcastic chuckle to myself:
  • Lesson 1- Sidewalk spitting
  • Lesson 2- Properly blocking both subway doors when not actually exiting
  • Lesson 3- Advanced elbowing
  • Lesson 4- Supermarket bumper carts

I always assume that there is a limit to what Westerners consider rude, but Koreans consider normal. That line gets pushed farther back the longer I am here, but I always assume it's there, lurking in the shadows somewhere.

However, I got on the elevator the other day and what did I here? Not Jingle Bells! As soon as the doors closed, this guy, who had quietly (fart-lessly) been waiting at the elevator, let one rip that lasted several floors. It was all I could to not to turn around to see if he was leaning into it for added leverage.

Did he think I wouldn't know what was happening because he was behind me?

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Santa Claus Came to Town

Okay, it was really my dad, but I think we already knew his true identity.

I got a great package from my dad and stepmother: a knitting book from Nicky Epstein, a retro Barbie to go with the book (unfortunately they gift wrapped it, so customs sliced the box with a box cutter to check under the wrapping), some KnitPicks yarn, size 9 needles, and cash! I have to say, getting cash makes me feel like a kid again. ;-)

It came at the perfect time-- I've been sick for about 10 days. Last week, I had a headache that would not go away no matter how many painkillers I took. This week, the headache has been replaced with a head cold and no voice.

Now, for some long overdue FO shots:

This is a Noro hat that I knit top down using a Feather and Fan stitch pattern over 72 stitches. I used an entire skein of Noro Kureyon (uhhh...153?159?), when it got close to to the end, I knit 10 rows of k2p2 rib. It only took a couple of hours.

My sister goes to LSU, so I knit her an LSU Tychus. This is from the yarn I got from the yarn and fiber company (free international shipping!) a couple of months ago. I could link back to that post, but that would take too much effort. Another quick, fun knit.

I finally knit up the MCY Eternity I got this summer and have been swatching with extreme regularity ever since. There was a mini-skein, thanks to a knot, that looks quite raveled and worn, but it all turned out all right. I used a scroll pattern, like the one used in various sock patterns, but I only wanted to have patterned legs. These were knit toe-up, of course. They are pretty tall, but I've got a lot of yarn left over. They are very pretty. The colors don't show up well in the photo, but there are all shades of blues from teal to periwinkle.

Since I finished the Eternity socks and was drooling over their perfect lack of flashing and pooling, I quickly balled up the other yarn I had ordered at the same time. NOT HAPPY.

You may notice that there are three balls in the photo. That is because the yarn came in three pieces. No knots, pieces. Still, the eternity socks are beautiful, so I cast on, undeterred. I got about two inches in and realized that I will have to alternate skeins (handily, I have pre-divided yarn), because the color repeats are too short and one side has no yellow. So, know I'm contemplating frogging and starting over, or living with a toe that will not match its mate.

If you know me, and most of you do, you know that I can live with a lot if it means the difference between starting over and carrying on. Toes stay in shoes, anyway...

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

I want her free time

Shib - Flickr 에서 사진 공유하기!
Yes, I'm still tech-deficient and can't figure out how to upload someone else's photos. Also, some might call that stealing. I live in Korea, so... no one here, but somewhere.

She entered (but didn't win) Crazy Aunt Purl's Drunk, Divorced, and Covered in Cat Sweater Contest. Try saying that three times fast.

Category: Small World

A friend of my mom's was at the Louisiana Book Fest and saw a knitter and told her that she knows a knitter in Korea. As it turns out (here's the small world part) the girl reads my blog and is moving to Korea! So, if you're "the girl" let me know so we can meet up some time!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Monster Mash

is my current choice for what the bereaved will have to lip-sync at my funeral. If I can't have a groom lip-syncing to me a song extolling the joys of female masturbation (see previous post), it's the next best thing. As you can see, I've been giving this a lot of thought. But I feel robbed. First, neither my ex nor I thought of getting engaged OR married on TV. I know, how old are we? Then, we got married without a chariot OR dancing girls OR canned snow OR a slutty "singer" to congratulate us while dancing inappropriately (not to mention singing inappropriately).

Since I don't really see myself getting married again, my funeral is my only chance. Do you think Chippendales do funerals? What kind of donation would it take to get the priest to join in? Instead of dropping a flower into the casket, my family could spray snow over me, or Silly String. I've never seen the confetti bombs that you get in Korea with cakes in the US, but maybe they are sold at Asian markets...

Obviously I've got a lot more planning to do.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Dancing Girls and Wedding Halls-- Two Korean greats that go great together

Since I have come to Korea, two things have fascinated me- tacky wedding halls that look like castles and perform ceremonies with the warmth and efficiency of a factory and slutty dancing girls that signal the opening of just about any new business.

Now, some enterprising wedding hall has joined these two cultural traditions in an unholy marriage (pardon the pun). I wonder if these are the most over-dressed dancing girls ever out of a sign of respect for the solemnity of the occasion. Notice the bride's reaction. I wonder if she even knew it was part of the ceremony.

You may think a few seconds is long enough, but keep watching until the groom joins in and lip-syncs to his blushing bride and the finale with the girls spraying canned snow. I only wish there was a close up of the officiant's face. You can see one of the fathers-in-law seems unimpressed. Unfortunately, most of the video is shot facing the other father-in-law, who just watches stoically.

Here's another video from that wedding, in case one wasn't enough. In this one, the bride and groom are congratulated in song and booty dance at the end of the ceremony. The singer can't really sing (or booty dance, for that matter), so the guests aren't really even pretending to be enthusiastic. Korean weddings usually last about 15 minutes, so they are probably pretty antsy by this point.

I tried to embed the video like normal people, but we all know that I'm not "normal people" when it comes to technology. Maybe when I can drag and drop...

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

I didn't die, but my computer did

I can't believe it's been almost a month since I last posted. My excuses (and there are many) are:
  • my computer had to get a new hard drive after being pounced on by a certain cat too many times
  • less than one week after my hard drive was repaired, my ISP external device (like a modem, but I have an internal modem, I really have no idea what it is, but unless you use wireless in Korea, you have to have one from your service provider) died-- possibly also a result of too many pouncing-upons (no immobile target too immobile for my kitty)
  • I was a volunteer manager at this year's KOTESOL international conference week before last. It was the usual extravaganza of stress and no sleep
  • I'm still training my no-longer-quite-so-new teachers

So not only have I not been posting, I also haven't been working on the pattern I was supposed to submit for Sock Madness 2. Apparently, I'm not the only one.

I have a ton of photos to submit, but I need to be getting ready for work, so I'll just leave you with today's PSA: back up your files, especially photos and other files you can't replace. It cost me $200 to get my files retrieved off of my old hard drive and I pretty much had to beg them, then yell at them, to get them to do it. You know, of course, that by "yell at them" I mean "had a Korean yell at them so it made sense and they could understand", right?

Saturday, October 13, 2007

"She looks much thinner now." This moment brought to you by Korea

Friday a week ago, my director became a grandmother when her oldest daughter gave birth. Said birth was by Cesarean, so when I saw the director, I asked how her daughter was doing. Korean is a rather pedantic language so I couldn't simply ask about her health, because she hasn't been sick. The proper question basically translates to, "How is her body?"

The response? She looked up from the paperwork she had been attending to and very seriously said, "Oh, she looks much thinner now."

Well, thank goodness! It would be a tragedy if after having an 8 pound child cut out of her, she didn't look better.

A follow up question got me the sought after information-- mother and child are healthy. She never seemed to realize that my initial concern was other than her daughter's baby weight.

So now my dilemma is too knit or not to knit. I taught said daughter how to knit several years ago, when she was trying to impress her future husband by knitting him a scarf. So, she knows I knit. However, she's... exacting (spoiled) and I'm not sure *homemade* would suit her designer tastes. (The scarf never got past gauge swatch size-- it was too much work.)

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Hi, My Name is Jennifer and I'm a Tech-tard

So, after a week of trying to remember all the great bookmarks I had lost and how to find those sites again, I noticed this little star on the left side of my tool bar that looked a lot like the bookmark star. What do you know, it has all of my old bookmarks safely stored and easily available.

So, yay, I still have my old bookmarks. I'm not sure why the *new* ones (ie the replacements for the old ones) are not being integrated, but whatever. I've got my old bookmarks!


Work is going well. The new teachers are adjusting to the job well, but they seem to be having some difficulties adjusting to life here. I really don't know what to do to help them adjust more easily. I've moved to new cities and/ or countries numerous times and I've never felt lonely or alone. Then again, I often prefer to be alone.

I've taught my knew morning class (3 hours with Kindy students) once and they are great. Their English is quite good and they are enthusiastic. I'm glad I don't have them everyday, because that would be a tiring schedule, but I wouldn't mind having them instead of my last 3 hours each day.

It's been ages since I've posted a photo. I've got about a dozen or so to post, but I'm just going to post one. It's from a "pizza" restaurant, well what Koreans think pizza is, anyway.

So, you can see it has all of the usual pizza ingredients-- shrimp, potato, mayo, sweet potato mousse, and a cookie crust. The inset photo at the top right of the pizza shows the blueberry dipping sauce for the cookie crust. The writing under the title announces that it is "European Style". I've been to Europe, I don't remember pizza being anything like this. If the cuisine has changed this much since my last visit, my next visit may feature many meals of pb&j.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

NOOOOOOOOO! The sound of a thousand bookmarks being obliterated

I recall reading on some one's blog that updating IE caused her to lose all of her bookmarks. I might link to that blog, if I hadn't only recalled it AFTER updating my own computer and losing several years worth of bookmarks. Well, it's about par for the course this week.

I'll be going back to the dentist this weekend (I hope), because forgetting the perils of eating while watching TV, I bit my fork and chipped a tooth. My top teeth are big enough to hide the chip, but the inside of the tooth was damaged more than the outside and the rough edge is hurting my tongue and driving me crazy.

So, wow, that means I made it a whole month without a dental visit. Yay, me.

I've got a bunch of photos, but I don't feel like uploading them. Actually, I think some of them are from the last time I posted when I didn't feel like dealing with it.

I've got a couple of small FOs- a hat and a scarf.

I got some great yarn with free shipping and cast on a bunch of things right away. Then uncast on (frogged) them because they weren't what I was hoping. Someday, I may learn to stop making patterns up on the needles. I may even learn to make a gauge swatch. Dreams, people.

Last night I ordered Crazy Aunt Purl's book, so I'll be watching my door for that. Yes, the postage was more than the book. Thanks, Tower.

The new teachers seem to be getting settled in. I've been spending a fair amount of time getting them up to speed on their classes and life in Korea.

I had psyched myself up for some long hours (extra money), but at the last minute, they decided they wanted overtime. So, I'll just be teaching three morning hours a week, instead of fifteen. When I got to school yesterday, I found out that they school had decided to take me up on my offer of getting off early instead of getting overtime, effective immediately. So, I'll be getting off at 6:30 on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Nice.

It would have been nicer if any of us had known our schedules were changing before 2:00 yesterday (classes start at 2:30), but that wouldn't be Korea, now would it? I don't mind last minute changes, I've been teaching these same books long enough that I know how I'm going to each lesson of each story, but it's really not fair to teachers with one and two weeks of experience.
Ravelry continues to dominate my free time. A secret stole project begins on Friday, so I've been swatching (gasp! I know, I wouldn't have believed myself capable of it either, but I don't like overly lacy lace and the needle size given didn't seem to match the yarn, IMHO). What do you know, I'll be going down about 1.5mm in needle size to get the fabric I like. Hopefully, I won't end up with a 6" wide stole (only length is adjustable).

There's also a new group for knitters in Korea, so maybe we can get together for a little yarn trawl. Not that I need it.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

I Heart Free Shipping

So I ordered some yarn and Addis from the States and qualified for free shipping. I assumed that meant it would take 6-8 weeks to arrive. Was I wrong! My order arrived 8 days after being shipped. Eight! That's faster than when I express mail letters.

I'm still feeling too lazy to take and post photos (hurry up five-day weekend!), but I really will do it this weekend.

My school has been going through a transition. For the past year or so, it has focused on prepping students to move abroad. The problem with this is they move abroad and then aren't our students anymore.

So, my school has decided to completely revamp itself in a way that will be vastly more profitable, but way less fun to work at. They are going to start offering morning and Saturday classes. Unfortunately, our contracts are clearly written for us to work 2:30-8:30 M-F and they just hired two new teachers (of four). They are understandably not at all keen to have their schedule change. Well, neither am I, but I'm less keen for the director to close the school due to lack of profits.

The new schedule will have Kindy classes from 10-1:30, including a 30 minute snack time to increase the joy. The Saturday classes are for SAT prep. Let the fun begin.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

I Came, I Spoke, I Conquered

So, the big news is, I gave my presentation without:
  • freezing
  • vomiting
  • speaking far louder than necessary (okay, yelling)
  • running out of things to talk about
  • logistical problems due to lack of foresight

In other words, it went well. Actually, I ran out of time and didn't get to share all of my ideas or have time for participants to play some of the games I made. I'm even thinking of submitting a proposal to present at a conference, but think maybe I shouldn't tempt fate.


Ravelry has been calling me with its siren song since I got my invite and I was *pretty* good before I did my presentation, mainly because I had so much to do and the fear of standing in front of a roomful of people with nothing to say was smothering me. As soon as I walked in the door last night, however...

It is so incredibly well thought out. I spent hours:

  • browsing through projects, looking for a lace stole project I liked enough to think I might commit to.
  • comparing various lace books to see which I more choices I liked.
  • looking at different yarns from my stash to see what other people used them for (and how much they needed).

In short, I did everything but post some of my own projects past or present or post my stash or my library or well, you get the idea. I'm a Ravelry leech. Next weekend is a five day weekend (woohoo!!) so I'm going to at least get some of my FO's posted then. Right now I'm too lazy to even take a photo of the hat I made earlier this week and the camera and the hat are both within 2 meters of me.

I'll post a pic next time. I'll just tell you that I used a full skein of Noro Kureyon (90, I think). I had maybe 1-2 meters leftover. I knit it top down with 4mm circs increasing evenly every other round to 72 stitches then did a feather and fan pattern- 3 rows st st, 1 row pattern (10 times). I finished with five rows of 2x2 rib, mainly because the last color on the skein was my favorite (dark teal) and the one before it was NOT my favorite (dark green and crimson). So, the rib flips up and covers the Christmas tree. It only took one evening to make and looks really nice. I see myself having a goodly collection of them before too long. ;-)


I found a yarn store with free international shipping!!! Since I've decided that I should use some of the lace weight in my stash and actually knit some lace, I decided to order some Addi Turbos. Of course, since shipping was free with a $50 purchase, I had to add a few things in my cart, so I ordered some things for other people-- I think I may actually do some holiday knitting this year. My mother and sister really liked their socks, so I ordered materials to make them something else.

My order shipped last Monday, so I'll see how long free shipping takes. Hopefully, it won't be like Amazon (which is far from free for overseas orders and can take months to arrive.)

Thursday, September 13, 2007

I'm In!

I got my Ravelry invite today! So, I spent the morning tooling around have a look at everyone else's projects (instead of completing materials for my workshop on Saturday). Wow, this is going to be a time vacuum beyond You Tube proportions. ;-)

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Yes, I am still alive

Is there such a thing as an allergy to vacations? My much anticipated vacation (one whole week!) ended up being spent in bed with some flu-esque thing. Lots of headaches, some fever off and on, and a little vomiting, just for fun.

I realized that that is the third vacation in a row that I've felt like crap. At Christmas, I got some kind of bug on the plane (presumably) and spent a few rough days hanging out at my Dad's, then coughed my way through Disney World. The cough cleared up on the trip home. Literally. Before that, last Chuseok, I had to go to the emergency room, because I couldn't swallow and no other doctor's offices were open.

So, as a result of not being up to anything more than leaning up in bed, I didn't get much done. I did get the fist five Harry Potter books read, though. Now, I'm scrambling a bit to get ready for my workshop next weekend. I would link it, but it has mysteriously disappeared from the KOTESOL website. Hmmmm.... I could look into why, but I probably won't. It's about materials you can make for classroom activities with young learners.

I'm starting to get nervous. I'm not much of a public speaker, but I was requested to do it. So, today I've got to finish up my handouts and some of the materials I'll need. I won't have time this week, because our new teachers are showing up starting tomorrow. The new semester started last week, but immigration law suddenly changed so they couldn't get here on time. So, I'll be training them before and after class (which they'll be teaching).

I tried to convince the school that having subs for one extra day wouldn't hurt anything and would make happier teachers, but I don't think they listened. To their minds, not working the day they arrive is enough time to rest. So, the teachers are going to be jet-lagged and just tired from being on planes for 20-ish hours and they'll get one night of sleep before being thrown into their classes. Needless to say, they have no teaching experience. Should be interesting (read: tiring, for them and me).

I don't know why schools don't see what these little things do for teacher morale. Sending inexperienced, jet-lagged teachers straight into class is not the way to start off on the right foot. Some schools take teachers straight from the airport to class. Then they wonder why the teachers are such sticklers about following the letter of their contracts. ("Sorry, my working hours are x to y, if you want to have a meeting, it has to be then.")

Sunday, August 19, 2007

One More Week...


  • summer camp finishes. It's been a really good camp. Sometimes the pace is so fast I feel like there isn't even time to breathe in class. This summer has been one notch slower (at a ten, instead of the usual eleven). I've had a great bunch of students, a fair number of whom are going back to the US or international school, so I won't be teaching them in the fall.

  • my sister goes home. I've had so much fun getting to know her. She was in elementary school when I moved to Korea, so we've never spent much time together. I'm going to miss her when she's gone. Maybe she'll come back next year... (she's writing progress reports at the moment, which may put her off the idea).

  • my vacation. Yes, I get paid more than I would teaching in Louisiana, but I get two measly weeks off per year, not consecutive or at times of my choosing. I'm not taking a trip, but I may go to a hotel for a night or two to "get away".
  • my last dental visit!!! I saved the best for last. I went yesterday and got my last old filling removed and had another small cavity filled (this week's gift). I'm pretty sure I've paid for everything now. The grand total: a hair over 2,000,000 won (in the neighborhood of $2200-2300). For that I got six crowns (two porcelain caps, the rest big gold fillings-- not the kind that go over the sides of the tooth), all (and there were many) old fillings replaced (so the gold will no longer be making the silver jealous), a small filling, more cleaning than one person should ever need, and the gum line raised over one tooth. Not quite the bargain of the $30 root canal I had the last time I went to the dentist (1998, ahem), but I'll gratefully take it.
Well, that's enough rambling. Without further ado, here are some random photos (photographic rambling, in other words).

This is the side door at a big Buddhist temple we went to yesterday. The small yellow sign says, "Don't pray here." You know, in case you thought the boxes of snack food were a new style of Buddha.

This was at both main doors to the temple. I thought they were supposed to be humble...

This is a swatch of the Eternity yarn from MCY. It is way more beautiful than their photo, which makes me think I should have ordered more at the time, because reorders will probably look different. It's a bit brighter than in the photo, with shades of blue that range from green-y teal to slightly violet periwinkle. I'm going to knit a scarf and will hopefully have enough. This swatch is using 3.5mm needles, so that should give me a little extra knit fabric.

This is Flag Man. He was spotted across the street from the US Embassy here in Seoul. His bag says, "I love the flag." It was the weekend before Korean Independence Day, so that may have had something to do with it. I hope.

These are Mama's socks. I finished them Monday or Tuesday, but didn't have my camera or forgot to take a pic when Anne was over here. They really aren't uneven, my sister has a different shoe size than Mama. As you can see, they are cousins, not twins, but I hope that will be seen as rustic or quaint, which Mama generally likes. The sock on the left has way more gray in it. The skeins are three-play with each ply being variegated different colors, but somehow several areas in that skein were gray on all three plies for surprisingly long (a centimeter or more in sock length each).

Thursday, August 16, 2007

At Last

My yarn arrived from MCY. Yes, a mere 2 months and change after I paid (airmail) for it. It's even more beautiful than the photo, so they are redeemed. Anne still has my camera and it's so pretty, I rolled it up immediately. I'm old school (and down with the urban lingo-- hee) so it's not in a pretty cake so much as a lumpy ball. You'll have to wait for a progress shot.

I'm knee deep in progress reports once again. Okay, I've only got about 20 to write, but they are long. (Cue violin.) Next week is the last week of summer camp, so I have to finish them and about a dozen essay corrections before Monday. I'm not sure which is worse. Teaching essay format to fifth grade ESL students is not the cake walk you might think.

Despite the actual work-related work I have, I'm guessing I'll still manage to get something cast on in the next few days. The color repeats are only about two feet, so unfortunately I think socks would pool and flash in a way that would upset me greatly. I'm thinking a nice lacy scarf...

Current Ravelry number: 2787.

Update: Anne and I are having a showdown tomorrow sometime between 9 AM and noon (when my student who thinks we should be enemies will be there.) I'm sharpening my fingernails and doing hand yoga for maximum hair-pulling ability. ;-)

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Is it wrong to love my dentist?

As usual, I went to the dentist this past Saturday. I think I'm going to start calling it my weekend home. My dentist is so nice! He actually seems sorry that my teeth are in such bad shape, like it's his fault and not mine that I've only been to the dentist three times since my parents stopped paying for it. (Okay, I'm considering each round of visits to be one time, but you know what I mean.)

Each time I've gone, he's given me a better discount. First it was 25-30% (each item was discounted separately). This last time-- 50%! I think he is telling me that I need less work than he is actually doing, too (to make me feel better????). Twice now he has clearly said that he was going to work on two teeth and then worked on three.

Not only does he do more work than he says, he gives me some service for free each time. The first three times, it was scaling. (Hopefully, no one is eating while reading that my teeth had to be scaled three times. Gross, I know.) This past time, he raised the gum line on a tooth that had a lower gum line than all the others.

I want to get my teeth whitened, but I kind of don't want to bring it up. I mean, what if he's giving me this great deal because he thinks I can't afford it, then I ask about a vanity procedure that costs $800? Or, what if he thinks I'm expecting a deal on it, too? Hmmm. I'll have to talk to his niece and she what she thinks.

I thought this was the last bunch, but his assistants kept asking him about another tooth and he told them he'd do it "next time". At any rate, if he works on the tooth I think they must have been talking about, he will have replaced all of my existing fillings (most of which were from the late 70s to early 80s and therefore past their use-by dates) as well as put in the new ones.

Running total- a hair under $2000.

Next time, I promise non-dental content. I finished my mother's socks, but my sis still has my camera.

Oh, yeah. Speaking of my sister, I was tutoring a student today and he mentioned that he wanted to go to Sapporo. I off-handedly said that Sapporo is far from Tokyo which surprised him that I knew. So I told him that my sister (in the next classroom over)'s father is from Japan, since that's more interesting than "I can look at a map".

This lead to a very long discussion of how it is possible that we have different fathers (far too long for a teenager who lives most of the year in San Diego, but whatever). When he finally accepted that it could be possible, he asked me how I could be friends with her. Anne and I are thinking of having a Dynasty-style hair-pulling cat fight for his benefit. Hee.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Three Down, Two to Go

Yep, summer camp is flying by. Only two weeks to go. On the upside, I'll get a week off. On the downside, my sister will be going home.

When she first got here, she asked me to teach her to knit socks. Then she started work and asked me to knit her a pair of socks. So, this is what she's getting:

I love the pattern, although I altered the stitch count (down to 56 stitches) and reversed the pattern on the second sock, so the waves are mirrored. It's so fast, I've made three socks this week. Two for her and one for Mama. Last year, I saw some yarn that she would love and made her a pair of socks. Which I then fell in love with and kept. So, here is another pair in the same yarn which my sister will take home with her.

In case you are wondering about the yarn, it is German, but I can't find it online in English. It's three-ply with each ply a different color variegation. Squee!

A bit of sock trivia: I knit both pairs in the same pattern and the pink ones are one size larger. Here are the left-overs (originally 50g balls). The pink (it just looks purple because of the light) one is still thick enough to possibly make another pair with contrasting toes and heels. The other would not have been enough to do one more pattern repeat.

As usual, life is pretty much consumed by work (when not pretending that knitting counts as sleep) during summer camp. So, in lieu of exciting and/ or interesting things going on, here are some random photos.
First up, a fobby notebook cover. I didn't even need a notebook, but I am powerless to resist anything that raises nonsense to such an art.

Next, after years of not having my camera in the right place at the right time, or being held back by things like "manners" and "societal norms", I have a picture of a dancing girl. Sometimes it's good to be a crazy foreigner.

Why, one might ask, is she dancing? To announce the opening of a new seafood restaurant, of course. Dancing girls are de rigueur to open a business here. They work in pairs, so they can take turns dancing enthusiastically and dancing half-heartedly while pretty clearly mentally spending the money they are earning.

My sister is the faux subject of the photo there on the left. She jumped in at the last second, possibly embarrassed that I was standing on a bench to get a better shot. She hasn't been here long enough to really revel in being a crazy foreigner. Unfortunately, the half-hearted one is behind her, so you'll just have to imagine a nearly identical girl who looks as though she may actually die of boredom.

Finally, a rather poor shot of the place at the mall where they film people playing computer games with a live audience. Really. My battery died, so I couldn't get a shot of the two players or the multiple cameras, but they were all there, in front of a surprisingly large, enthusiastic audience.

It's just the entrance, because I think you had to pay to get in. If you look at the guy in line, you can see the velvet ropes (or nylon belts as the case may be.) So, people waited in line and got tickets for this. To see people sitting in chairs. Playing computer games. It's a regular thing, too because there are two TV stations that play the games. Next week's schedule: Silent Reading Marathon-- see how the pros do it. Get your tickets now.

I am #3373 on the Ravelry list. Is that getting closer, or am I kidding myself? I'll just console myself that there are 12,490 people that signed up after me. Franklin (Panopticon) is only about 300 slots ahead of me proving that Ravelry is not giving preferential treatment as, apparently, some people have suggested.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

How do I bear the excitement of my life?

Summer intensive "camp" is rolling right along. Two weeks down, three to go. My sister's doing a great job. The summer schedule can be overwhelming, but she's really thrown herself into it.

I'm making her a pair of fuchia Tidal Wave socks in Silky Baby Lambs. I love the pattern, but hate the yarn. I made an entire sock between yesterday afternoon and this morning, taking time out to read a 200 page book for class. No pics, because she's borrowing my camera-- I'll post one when I give them to her.

I'm also working on a print o the wave stole in Cherry Tree Hill sock yarn, an autumnal colorway. It's very pretty yarn and the pattern is pretty easy, but I don't think I'm going to have enough yarn. So, I may rip it and reknit it in Helen's Laces Gold Hill which is almost the same color.

So, that's pretty much my exciting week.

Oh, I went to the dentist (aka my second home) yesterday. The gold crowns weren't what I think of as crowns, more like big fillings, which is a good thing, since I now have five, not four like they told me. Getting them put in took an hour and a half or so, so I'll get the final two (porcelain) next week. So, no money spent this week. The third (and hopefully final) bout of scaling was "a gift".

I got a bonus when I stashed the cash I had to pay the dentist (no personal checking in Korea)-- I found about $200 from a previous dentist visit that I had forgotten about.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

MCY has redeemed itself

I got an email this morning (Sunday!) from Erica at MCY letting me know she is sending me the skein of Eternity right away.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

It's my 100th post

Okay, so I missed my blog-aversary, but I noticed that this will be my 100th post, so there you go, your daily dose of random and useless information.

"Is that all the random and useless information you have?" you ask? Of course not.

Today was part two of the ongoing dental saga. I got one crown fitted, the other one was made improperly, so it has to be remade. I also got more scaling, because they hadn't done it all last time (unspoken message, "because your teeth were that gross"). I also got prepped for the next two crowns. Today's bill: 860,000 won ($900). Total to date: 1.36M ($1500).

Apparently, what I paid last time was just for the prep work, or something, so today I paid the remainder of the first two crowns and the first part of the second two. These will be gold due to the weakness of my teeth, or something like that. They are in the back, so I hope the gleam doesn't blind anyone. The other two will be ceramic. Period. They are the first two molars, there for all the world to see, and the world will not be seeing a metallic smile on my face.

So, halfway-ish done.

I still have not gotten an update on my "misplaced order" from MCY, since Monday. I've kind of given up hope. Unfortunately, I ordered it in mid-June, so eBay's 30 day window to get a refund has long since passed. I may still try.

Finally, as of today, there are 4701 people ahead of me on the Ravelry invite list. You can check your position here. I didn't sign up for over a month after I heard about it, because I thought it was about to be out of beta (so everyone could get in). By the time I decided I should go ahead and join, there were over 5000 people ahead of me, with about 100 getting invites each day.

That's about all the random, useless stuff going on here on the peninsula.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Phlox Fans Fini and MCY Needs Customer Service

First the good:

I finished the phlox fans I've been working on for two weeks. Pretty sad for such short socks, but I've been busy.

Then the bad:

I haven't been so busy that I haven't noticed the lack of MCY yarn in my mailbox. I sent them an email about it, as they suggested if the yarn didn't arrive in a timely manner. Their turn around time on customer service requests? A mere five days. The reply let me know that the person who did that wasn't in. The person who DOES do that emailed me he following day, to let me know she had no record of my order. I emailed her the details and haven't heard back. It's only been two days, so I should probably hear back Monday. The third Wednesday in September at the latest.

The silver lining, I suppose, is that I got the skein I really wanted. And that I'll be less tempted by their beautiful yarns since it has turned out to be a gamble if the yarn will ever arrive. (Yay! Saving money!)

I'll finish this with some more good:

A teacher decided to take another job after her summer vacation (okay, that's bad-- I really enjoyed working with her, but I digress), so my sister got an apartment to stay in while she's here. So she'll be much less likely to go home complaining about how psycho I am. I *may* be a little hard to live with.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Don't Rub My Buddha Belly

So my coworkers and I went out to dinner on Friday to celebrate the end of the semester and to say goodbye to one of the teachers and as we were paying, the proprietor and his friend wanted to shake my hand (only). They decided that my hand was cold and kept taking turns shaking it.

They then proceeded to give me some advice at length about how I needed to get some herbal medicine to fix my intestines so my hands would stop being cold. To emphasize the point, one of them rubbed my stomach. Really. Just put his hand on my and rubbed in a circle.

I sometimes feel like Korea is becoming Western so fast that in some ways it doesn't really feel Korean anymore, but that felt 100 percent Korean. My sister arrived safely last weekend and on Tuesday we celebrated Korean Constitution Day by going to Kyungbokkung Palace in Seoul. This is us in front of the lake. It was a great day. We saw a reenactment of the changing of the guard and she got to see some traditional Korean architecture.

This is the backside of the changing of the guard with downtown Seoul in the background.

Yesterday, at the KOTESOL meeting, I was told by a Korean member that I was suitable for a "Korean gentleman". The reason for this odd pronouncement? I was cleaning the tables before the other members arrived. So, apparently, the only qualification she thinks Korean men are looking for is a woman who cleans. Well, sign me up! Goodness knows all I'm looking for in a man is someone who wants a maid.


The current pair of Elann socks I'm working on, the purple ones, are getting pretty close to done. I'll post a pic of the completed pair next time.

I haven't really had any knitting time this week. The regular session ended at school and the new one starts tomorrow, so I've had progress reports and lesson plans. I took a morning class last month and was presented with a four page (front and back!) progress report to complete for each student. To be honest, I don't have eight pages to write about the students I've been teaching for the last six months, much less students I've taught for 4-5 weeks. So, I've been trying to improve my BS skills.

I keep getting more and more jealous of the people who got in on the Mystery Stole KAL. I don't know how I didn't hear about it, but I missed the sign up deadline by one day. Now that people are posting photos of their WIPs, I'm even more upset than I was. At least she'll be posting the pattern when it's all over. It would just be fun to be doing it with everyone else.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Waiter! I'll have a lukewarm broth and a water, hold the ice.

So, I finally had my dental appointment, after only three weeks of obsessing and mentally tallying the obscene amount of work I would need.

My director has a brother (or some kind of family) with a dental practice, so I went to see him. Foreigners don't get the dental portion of the national health care, so I just wanted to go to a dentist that would let me have a payment plan other than cash up front. I guess that point was really stressed that when the appointment was made, because they gave me a 30% discount and let me know which procedures were emergency and which could be done "over time". They were also very nice about my crap teeth and the unreasonable length of time since I last had them cared for.

So, today I got two crowns. I need four more, plus a couple regular fillings. You're probably thinking, "Six crowns! Eek!" however, notice the lack of implants. Not only are the teeth I thought were goners in fact salvageable, I didn't even lose part of a tooth (which started this whole thing). An old filling fell out, but it was a big filling, so it felt like I was missing some tooth.

I also got my teeth scaled, which is all the back of my lower front teeth needed-- no Granny grill for me just yet.

In fact, the worst part of today was the warning that, until the permanent crowns are all in place, I am not to have:
1. hot foods
2. cold foods
3. sticky foods
4. hard foods

Ummmm...okay, warm yogurt it is.

While I was traveling to and from the dentist, I finished the first sock of my third pair using the Elann Espirit. The two I have finished are very comfy and the perfect height for the weather (just tall enough to peek out of my shoes). This pair is Phlox and African Violet. Sorry for the shadow, Knievel was making sure there were no escape attempts and he would not be moved from his post.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

It's not a datedate (American title: Eeeek! Is it too late to lose twenty pounds by Friday?!)

A coworker is setting me up on a non-date (I don't need the pressure of a date-date) with a church friend of hers. I'm not sure I'm ready for a blind date, something about first date+doofus=many opportunities for embarrassment=stress.

He's a computer game designer (employed!) who looks to be in his mid-30s to mid-40s. I've only seen one pic and am horrible at guessing ages (I recently found out a friend I thought was "my age-ish" is my mom's age-ish). She assures me there is no obvious reason for him to be single.

I'll keep you posted. Let's just hope it's not the train wreck it could be. I have some suspicion that she may think we would be a good match based on the fact that we're the two oldest people in her circle of friends...


Yesterday, the DHL guy finally tracked me down after three unsuccessful attempts. I thought it was the MCY yarn I'm still waiting for, but it was... (cue the trumpets) the 2008 Knitting Pattern a Day calendar. With my pattern. There are some cute patterns and one pair of socks (at least) that I will be making. There are quite a few sock patterns. I think this calendar is improving with each year. Nary a garter stitch scarf pattern to be found. ;-) Scroll down to get info on how you can contribute a pattern to next year's edition. (Yes, I'm too lazy to link to it. It was only last week, you can scroll that far.)

Still haven't gotten that second skein of yarn from MYC. It's in the post, though, so that can't be controlled. Just for the record, I got a very polite email from them letting me know that it had been posted and thanking me for my business and asking me to contact them if it hadn't arrived in two weeks (that will be Thursday) since it was sent 1-5 day (domestic) mail. Since the label is in English, I'll give them through the weekend.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

I'm going to be an aunt! (for the fifth time)

My brother told me today that he and his wife are expecting their second child. It's hard to believe that they were once planning not to have children.

Even though it will be my fifth niece/ nephew, it makes me feel old when my siblings have milestones like this. My youngest brother just graduated from high school. Even though he was born after I was grown and gone, not having any siblings still in school makes me feel older (uni students are adults, after all). It makes me feel ESPECIALLY old that I was grown before he was born and now he's grown, too.

It also makes me feel old when one of my coworkers complains because "creepy old guys" keep asking her out. "Old" being... my age, give or take a year or two. Granted she's over ten years younger than me and at her age I wouldn't have dated guys my age. Still, I don't think I ever told coworkers that their age was old and gross. I hope I didn't. Well, okay, I'm pretty much a doofus with limited social graces, so I probably did, at some point, say something along those lines, but that was different-- it wasn't me that was old/ creepy. And let's not forget that at my birthday party last month, fewer candles were put on the cake than my actual age, to be "polite". You know, because pointing out that my age is no longer mentionable is polite.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Confessions of a People Watcher

It's true, I love to people watch and, you know, people snark, if you know what I mean. So, I've been wandering around the neighborhood my school is in during my lunch break in order to not feel like I'm stuck there for 12 hours a day.

Here are some random shots I've gotten this week. Fortunately, I'm a foreigner and therefore, crazy, so I can take photos of strangers. :-)

These two guys are sitting in the windowless space at a gutted bar enjoying their lunch hour. This gives you a teeny tiny taste of construction safety standards here. They are working on a place that is a "live" and "talking" bar. In actual English, that means there will be live music and opportunities to hook up (IE talking to strangers).

These guys were under the overpass on the river walk I take to get home. As you can see, they are practicing the violin for their lunch break.

Finally, this math school is an example of the "English" one can find on signage here. "Look! We're sophisticated and trendy! Study here!" (On the off chance that "criteria combing of math" is an actual thing, please edumacate me.)

Now one from home. The one skein of MCY yarn that I won on eBay that actually arrived. The other still hasn't arrived (ten-ish days later) because eBay and PayPal sometimes suck. It took about 8,000 emails to get it straightened out and having to re-explain it each time has made me not want to go into it again. I'll just say, all's well that ends well. Of course, I still don't have the yarn, so it hasn't actually ended well yet.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

You, too can be a calendar girl/ boy

I received this email about the 2009 Pattern A Day Calendars:

Hi,My name is Susan Ripley and I am gathering knitting and crochet patterns for the 2009 Pattern-A-Day Calendars from Accord Publishing. You were on our list of last year’s contributors and I am contacting you today in the hopes that you will submit a pattern or hang the attached flyer somewhere in your store or post it to your website / BLOG / PODCAST to let your friends and customers know about the design contest and the chance to get their designs published. You could also email the flyer if you have a mailing list.

Patterns are accepted from individuals, shops, charities and yarn companies. There are no restrictions and the patterns can also be something that is currently being distributed for free.Some of the yarn shops that have worked with us in the past have also offered fun pattern design/writing classes. This is a great way to get customers into your store while taking advantage of this great contest.

$500 will be awarded as First place for both calendars; there are also 2nd and 3rd place prizes; and all contributors whose patterns are used will receive a 2009 calendar. Please go to our website at and learn more about the submission requirements and our contest.

The deadline is December 15th, but early submissions are appreciated. If you have any questions, please contact me and I will gladly answer your questions. If your email program stripped the PDF, you can download the flyer at
Susan Ripley

The contribution process is pretty straightforward-- you just fill out a form and attach the pattern and photos. You can even mail it in, if you aren't comfortable with electronic submission. The only thing is, they don't tell you if your submission is accepted unless you win a prize. They post a list on their website.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

I Do NOT Heart My Teeth

Mama, if you are reading this, stop now, please. Really. It's for your own good.

So, it's been a while since I've been to the dentist. Since 1998, to be exact. Let me explain. I have really bad teeth. I know, some might say that's a reason to go more often to the dentist, but those people obviously have good teeth.

I brush. I floss. Yet each trip to the dentist involves a) one or more fillings and b) the dentist getting mad at me like I haven't brushed my teeth since the last time I saw him. So, I did the adult thing once I became an adult. I stopped dealing with it.

It's worked out really well until now. Now being when I bit into some hummus on a tortilla and felt a crunch. The crunch being a small (but not that small) piece of my back molar. As I tried in vain to check out the damage, I noticed a minefield of ominous looking spots and one little hole. Basically, my mouth looks like a before on a reality makeover show.

Since I'm working 9-8:30 right now, I can't go to the dentist until Saturday (which my insurance doesn't cover, thanks for asking). So, until then, I'm going to be crapping myself over just how painful this is going to be. That's a little pun, see, because it's going to be expensive and light on painkillers, Korean-style. "Novocaine, you don't need no stinking Novocaine!"

It's not a great start to The Year of Saving Money.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

I Heart Elann

The Elann yarns I gave myself for my birthday arrived in record time (less than a week). I know I said I was over self-striping yarn (and in fact have been leaning towards *gasp* semi-solids lately), but the whole bag was $20. They literally made me an offer I couldn't refuse. I also got two balls each of Esprit solid with one matching ball of variegated. Man are those balls small. I forgot to take into account the larger gauge. I intended to use the yarn for anklets (cotton=summer), but I had thought I could squeeze two pair per three balls.

Hot off the needles are the first FO using that yarn. I'm calling them Mad Cowabungas because of the retina searing shade of blue. The Elann color name is Caribbean Surf and it is way brighter than the photos. Perfect for summer!

I made them two pattern repeats shorter than the actual pattern and I believe I do have enough for another pair, maybe just randomly throwing in a round or two of the variegated. I've got about a third of the ball left with one plus a mini-golf ball of the solid. Hmmm... what next? The Phlox or the Indigo Gold? Despite a fair amount of purple in my wardrobe, I don't have any purple socks, so that may be the way to go.

Perhaps I should get some housework done first. Or at least determine and eradicate the cause of the odd, but clearly cat-related, odor I've been ignoring for the past hour or two.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Korea Hearts Dong (Poop) and Other Random Photos

I'll start with my final birthday purchase, which was actually a spur of the moment buy. They were $12, so a little pricey for a street purchase, but this is a product I have long wished existed. So, when I found out they really DO exist, I had to have them.

Yes, they are dust mop slippers. You're jealous, aren't you? Now I can channel my inner Apolo Anton Ohno as I clean my floors like this. ;-) The dust mop-y part is velcroed on, so I can wash/ replace them. What a perfect marriage of frugality and luxury. "Luxury" because my full-sized dust mop didn't cost $12. Of course, I can't speed skate with a mop, or use it for any Olympic sports for that matter, except fencing or javelin, and I've found those to be inferior sports for floor cleaning.

Next up is a statue I saw in Seoul. I don't know if you'll be able to see it, but the woman's expression is decidedly blow up doll-esque and the horse is vomiting water.

Here is the titular dong-love photo. When I told someone about this statue in mild disbelief, I found out that there are at least several more similar dong-y statues around Seoul. If you can't see, the mouse is covering his mouth and pointing at the pile.
This really is an obsession here. My students will sit in class and draw little spirals of poop which all look exactly the same, like they all took a class. Art 107 Dung Piles. The pig's expression is also a kind of pop culture reference-- it's a pose girls (of all ages) here think is "cutely pouting". Where I'm from, pouting is considered somewhere between childish and pathetic, but whatever.

Finally, a church. With land the premium that it is here, churches rarely have a free standing building all to themselves. Usually, you just see a spire on top of an office building to let you know that somewhere inside is a church. This one is pretty awesome, though. It's about a block away from a huge, European-inspired cathedral, so maybe they thought they had to keep up with the Popes. Gs25 is Korea's 7-11.Actually the sign above says Gloria, but the sign below is The Holy Mother of Jesus uh... Religious Goods or something like that (where you can get crosses, rosaries, veils-- which they still wear to mass here, etc.). So, I don't know if there is a shop and a church, or if the shop has two names. At any rate, I wonder if the shop sell statues that large. My birthday shopping may not be quite over just yet...

Okay, by "finally" I meant "penultimately". The last picture is an Ecuadorian band which was playing on the pedestrian mall between my school and the subway station. They were just getting started as we were going home, so we watched them for a bit. They were really fun. All of my coworkers speak varying degrees of Spanish, so the musicians talked to them while finishing setting up. I think they were really excited that someone could understand them. My Spanish is limited to items found on a Tex-Mex menu, but that didn't stop them from trying to talk to me, too.

I had a birthday and nobody came

Well, maybe that's a *little* melodramatic. My school forgot, until a coworker heard me mention it on my podcast. I still (six days later) haven't heard from my TWIN sister. The rest of my brothers and sisters are off the hook, because I don't know when most of their birthdays are. I know the MONTHS, okay. Don't judge (unless you have 87 sibs and know all of their birthdays).

The twelve hour days ending up not commencing until tomorrow. I found out an hour *after* my first class was scheduled to begin last Monday. That was kind of my fault, though. Two members of the admin staff told me class was postponed (shortly after the first class was scheduled to begin). I simply assumed they were talking about the same class.

In order to celebrate my birthday and take advantage of the unexpected time, I've been buying myself presents with abandon. Okay, maybe not abandon, but a little extravagantly for The Year of Saving Money, which started in May and runs until I move back to the US next summer. It's a big part of my Don't Live Under a Bridge Plan.

I ordered 15-20 skeins of yarn from Elann (I can't remember). What a bargain! It came out to $50 for the yarn (and $50 for the airmail) which is still cheaper than buying it here. I also won two eBay auctions from Mystical Creations Yarns.

How delicious are those? I could rub my face in the one on the left. Both skeins were less than $35 including airmail! It would have been insanity NOT to buy them at those prices.

So, my birthday shopping *could* have stopped there, but for my birthday resolution, I have decided to take math out of my Axis of Evil. So, I needed some books. A dozen (or so) is some, right? I've been doing math homework every night. It's not as hard as I recalled. Of course, I think the book I'm using first is for middle school students who have gotten behind.

I had a mini-epiphany while I was writing progress reports last week. About half of my students got some comment along the lines of "would be capable rapid improvement, IF they committed to doing the necessary work." I realized that the same could be said of me. So, here I am doing math homework my laziest, least capable student would laugh at. They do algebra in elementary school here. I also got myself a book of journals written by first graders, because that's my level of Korean reading ability.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Peacocks-- A Hoam Love Story

Here are some photos of a peacock trying very hard to impress a peahen at Hoam Museum last weekend.

The peacock was facing us first, then he turned to chase the peahen. She's barely visible there on his right. She was not overly interested and kept running away. Finally, he gave up. Poor guy.

We watched the peacock chase the peahen for about ten minutes or so. They must be quite used to human contact because we were less than ten feet away and they didn't even take notice of us. More impressively, they didn't take notice of the mother yelling at her kid to be quiet so the birds wouldn't get scared. The mother was approximately 50 decibels louder than her kid.

I'm trying to enjoy my last weekend of relative non-work by being as non-productive as possible. Except for all the progress reports I still haven't written, of course. (No minute like the last minute...) Monday I start working 12 hour days for the next ten weeks. So, by the time my sister gets here in six weeks, I should be too exhausted to even breathe, much less show here the sights.
It seemed like a good idea at the time to volunteer for the overtime. I had just decided this would be my last year in Korea and realized I will need a nest egg when I get home. Like a trip to the dentist, I'm sure I'll be glad I did it, once it's done.
So, I have five episodes of Heroes to watch tomorrow. :-) And a few dozen progress reports to write. And class plans to create (after I read the materials) for the three classes I'm teaching for the next six-weeks. And a house to clean/ shopping to do/ lunch to prepare so I don't have to order lunch at work, etc etc etc. I'm sure you see the most important activity on the list. :-)
I'm sorry about the weird paragraphs, I've tried to fix it about a dozen times, but Blogger is being ornery.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

I'm a Calendar Girl!

Knitting Pattern a Day Calendar, that is. Click the link to check me out-- Fisticuffs, 7 February. Squee!!! I'm pretty sure they don't mind sneak previews, since the 2007 calendar has Wyvern Socks (ie not exactly new stuff).

The photo I submitted is clearer than this one. This is the first yarn I dyed myself. I was pretty pleased with it-- almost exactly one round color repeats. When I made these, I thought they were super-original. Then, months later I stumbled across a similar pattern with the loop around the middle finger.

Playing hooky is good for you

Yesterday I was supposed to go to an educational conference in Daegu, but a friend is moving back to the US soon and wanted to go to the Hoam Art Museum yesterday. So, I played hooky. Hoam is somehow part of Everland (Korean Disney... if you've never even seen pictures of Disney).

Everland is in Yong-in-- the next town over from me. The buses don't go past my part of town, though, so it is about one hour from my house. Why did I not know about this place? I took about one hundred photos, because the main attraction are the huge English gardens.

There are also huge collections of the stone people (whose name I always forget, except for the stone grandfathers, because that's an easy name). Here are but a few of the dozens of photos I took. Although I like the "garden of gradfathers" my favorites were all of the grandfathers randomly hidden in the foliage.

I also (gasp) finished an actual knitting project. No, not Esther, although I am *almost* to the gusset increases. The pattern repeat is 24 rows and the 2mm needles make the progress seem nonexistent. So, I knit a pair of spiraling lace socks in periwinkle. However, there is no photo, because the pattern came out much nicer than anticipated, so I may submit it to MagKnits. If I do that, I'll need a test knitter or two...