Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
Monday, November 24, 2008
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Then, last weekend, at Dongdaemun, I saw something even better. What could be better than terry cloth yarn, you ask? Mink blanket yarn! It looks like gigantic pipe cleaner yarn, but feels like a mink blanket. And! It was available in a purple/ lavender/ white variegated colorway. I snapped up a sweater's worth without even asking the price (so, undoubtedly got the foreigner/ rube "special"). Well, it IS NaNoSweMo, right? Right. and if it's knit on 10mm needles, I can get it done in a month. Or a weekend. Whichever.
I will not take a photo, because it is a sweater which screams, "THIS IS WORN BY A DIVORCED CAT LADY!" I will say that it is an over-sized cardi and it took me about 10 hours to knit. My kind of sweater.
In addition to my sweater success (I thought I would run out of yarn, but I finished with about 1/2 a row's worth left over), my weekend was full of surprises. One of which was unexpectedly having a favor for a friend turn into 350K with a promise of future paydays. :-) A little something to offset the won's swan dive. I also used Korean today and... actually had a conversation. About politics. Okay,the guy obviously was experienced with foreigner Korean, but still...
AND I put off the church lady that has decided to be my friend, at least for another week...
Monday, November 03, 2008
Like the error right there in the middle? It's my nod to the Amish. ;-) I know you are also in awe of my ghetto lace blocking style. It works, though. This scarf was super-easy. It's just two repeats of the tilting blocks stitch pattern. I did around 30 repeats. The yarn is Filatura di Crossa, I can't remember the colorway, but it's a nice autumnal blend of rusts and olive-y greens. It's for my mom, as soon as I get it in the mail...
We had another contest on the SeoulPodcast, and here was the grand prize:
Not one, but two earpickers, an Englice dictionary, a "V-line" face massager, Korean stickers, some socks with gambling card images on them, and some random Korean candies.
We had Halloween at work this week. I forgot to take my camera one day, but here are a few kids from Wednesday.
I went to Yuldong Park to check out the foliage this past weekend. It was definitely not a date. :-( It was fun, anyway.
If you look closely, you can see that the bungee jump faces a huge church (above and slightly to the left of my head).
Don't know what it is? Me, either.
Even the port-a-potties are nice. :-)
Friday, October 24, 2008
Thursday, October 23, 2008
For those keeping track, I finish my MEd. tomorrow. I have a manageable-ish amount of work to get done before school tomorrow. It's far from my finest, but it's enough for me to pass. Unless my teacher is stricter with the grading than last semester. I could link to my previous complaint about him, but I shouldn't even be spending this time writing this down. My ace procrastination skills have limits...
Friday, October 03, 2008
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Friday, September 12, 2008
Tuesday, September 02, 2008
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Saturday, August 16, 2008
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Monday, August 11, 2008
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Wednesday, July 09, 2008
Thursday, July 03, 2008
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Thursday, May 08, 2008
Yesterday, today, and tomorrow are "event days" at school, so I was in a good mood about that as well. Just one little meeting to get through. I'm sure you can see the fly in the ointment already.
About a week (maybe two) ago, all teachers were given a form to fill in showing what lessons they had remaining in each textbook for the next ten weeks. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the results of our labors and any adjustments that needed to be made. To give you an idea of the amount of work involved, one teacher started doing hers about an hour before the meeting and finished on time.
However, another teacher came in 90 seconds before the meeting and we had the following conversation:
Him: "Um... I haven't finished the paperwork for the meeting."
Me (not surprised, since he generally starts any paperwork on the due date): "Well, just bring what you have so we can discuss that."
Him: ... (Deer in the headlights with crickets chirping in the background.)
Me: "Did you not finish or not begin?"
He hemmed and hawed and apologized, but this was pretty much the end of the conversation. I'm about as non-confrontational as they come, but his stuff is always late and this particular paperwork required little actual work to do. However, that's all I said. Really.
So, the meeting starts a few minutes later and when we took out our paperwork to get started, he started crying. I felt like complete shit until I rewound the conversation in my head. I don't think I was overly harsh, insomuch as I didn't actually scold him.
Later my boss pulled me aside and asked if I was the reason he cried. She then thanked me for putting the fear of God in him about getting it done. Yeah, nothing like tears to let me know I've done a good job.
Wednesday, May 07, 2008
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Anyway, I had pink eye. Which I figured. Which was why I hauled myself to the doctor on a Saturday. As I was paying the receptionist, she apologized to me. Why, you may ask? Because my insurance wouldn't cover the visit, prescription, or follow-up. The cost of the visit and prescription together was right at $20. I'm guessing the follow-up will be in the $10 range. I think I'll live. ;-)
Now I'm wondering if I should take tomorrow off. There was a pink-eye epidemic in Seoul a couple of years ago-- I wouldn't want to become known as Pink-Eye Jennifer Teacher...Hmmm... the big struggle for workers in Korea: work even if dead vs. public health concerns. If my eye is still pink tomorrow, I'll call in. The crust is already gone, though, so I'm pretty sure I'll be fine. (Dammit!)
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Anyway, he showed up at my school the next day looking like he'd spent the last year doing meth. My co-workers didn't even recognize him. He's lost about 75 pounds or more-- he's pretty scrawny now and shakes like Muhammad Ali. He gave me his usual story about things "not working out." I gave him some money and, what else, bought him another plane ticket home. (Yep, that's three.)
I heard from my sister-in-law that he actually made the flight. So, I will be sleeping easier tonight. To be honest, it was worth the cost of a plane ticket to know he's out of the country and won't be showing up in the middle of the night. I had been waiting for that visit since he arrived in country three weeks ago.
Other than that, things are rolling along as usual. I'm studying for my class, but not as much as I should be. It's interesting, but not as practical as I would have liked.
We recorded the fourth episode of the podcast last night. Five hours. The guest host was the Metropolitician aka FeetmanSeoul, co-host of Bomb English . He does a couple of other podcasts, too, as well as being a columnist for Ex-Pat Living in the Korea Herald, etc etc, you get the idea. He and Joe can conversate in a big way. Fortunately for me, he's a very knowledgable and interesting guy. We recorded from 10PM to 3AM. I'm glad that Joe is all into the editing and tech side. Actually, I've been slacking on that, too. He does the website, the editing, the posting, and I...show up to record. I can live with it if he can. ;-)
That's about it. My life these days is pretty much work, study, sleep. And yet, I'm not studying enough. I've got some long chapter books for school that have been taking my time (for the next two weeks, I'll be covering The Hobbit-- in four lessons). That, and I watched every episode of Firefly last weekend.
Sunday, April 06, 2008
Those of us that have been on the peninsula a while remember the Hitler bars in Seoul. We also remember how surprised everyone was by the German and Israeli embassies stepping in and basically demanding that they be closed down.
We also remember the much more recent racist comic books (the anti-Semitic ones mostly follow the anti-Black and anti-immigrant ones) which caused an uproar that seemed to catch (Korean) people by surprise.
Now we have a skin whitener (no the irony is NOT lost on me) claiming that their product is revolutionary, like Hitler. Seriously. I could not make up idiocy this extreme.
Yes, these are the same people who can work themselves into a lather over the Evil Empire of Japan. I guess it's only bad behavior when Koreans are on the losing end...
Friday, March 28, 2008
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
I love to see foreigners go for the gusto. Koreans think we're all crazy anyway, why not confirm that by rapping on the bus, at the market, while enjoying a refreshing adult beverage at the Family Mart? :-)
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
As always, please share the news!
2010 Submission Deadline
Dear Jennifer, Thank you for your past (and hopefully future) support of the knitting & crochet pattern-a-day calendars. We wanted to make everyone aware that the 2010 submission deadline will be November 1, 2008.
2009 Knitting Pattern-A-Day Calendar Thanks to everyone, our knitting calendar is out to the printer. It is my goal over the next 2 months to email everyone individually and let you know what date your pattern will appear in the 2009 calendar.
2009 Crochet Pattern-A-Day Calendar We are oooh so close. I am waiting for the final batches of patterns to come back from the editor and then it will be a mad dash to layout the remaining pages in InDesign and get these files off to the printer as well. In a continued effort to keep up communications, I will be emailling everyone to let them know what date their patterns will appear. I am hoping to complete this process by the end of June.
When to expect your 2009 CalendarIf you contributed to the 2009 calendar and are wondering when you can expect to receive your free calendar, you can expect it to arrive in the mail by October. As I send out periodic updates, I will include any up-to-date information I have from the printer and the distribution company. If you submitted to both calendars, the Knitting calendars will arrive first and the Crochet calendars will be close behind.
Have you ever submitted a pattern and wondered why it wasn't included in the calendar? Most likely there was an error in the pattern or your photo was not high enough resolution.
Avoiding Pattern Errors:
Try to have someone you know reproduce your pattern.Submit early! The sooner you submit your pattern, the more time we have to review your pattern and work with you to resolve problem areas in the pattern.
If you are using a digital camera, look for a setting called image size, resolution, or pixels and use the highest setting possible.If you are scanning a photograph, scan at 300 dpi.Images that are optimized for website are typically too small and will print blurry.
Susan Ripley, Ripley Designs, Inc.
Click Here to Submit Your Pattern!
Thursday, February 28, 2008
This was par for the course from this particular student. He can endlessly discuss the cost of latest acquisitions. ("My phone cost $900!") Pretty much every class, I want to look at him and say, "We've got it-- your parents are willing to waste insane amounts of money.")
Of course, as a teacher, I love all my students equally. ;-)
Monday, February 18, 2008
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
I am more than a little angry that the nation has literal hordes of riot police to "protect" every square inch of Seoul were one might run into an American, but they can't spare one or two to guard it's number one national treasure?
Apparently, some of the blame lies with the firefighters who "thought" the fire had been extinguished. You know, in some countries, firefighters check every inch of a fire to check for smoldering... The president-elect has said it will cost $21 million and take three years to rebuild.
Update: A classic example of why Korea will always be foreign to me. The arsonist has been caught. He was trying to get attention to his cause (a property compensation dispute) and was caught last year trying to burn down one of the palaces. Are you kidding me? Seriously, is there any other culture where that would make sense? This is like someone in the US destroying the Liberty Bell to protest losing part of their yard to a road widening project.
If you haven't seen it before and are "of a certain age" (40ish), you have to watch Yacht Rock. It's a mockumentary behind the scenes of 80s "smooth music" and is hilarious. The production values are proudly backyard, but that is actually part of the appeal, IMHO, and the stories will make you laugh out loud.
Sunday, February 10, 2008
Thursday, February 07, 2008
Sunday, February 03, 2008
If you are asking yourself, "What podcast?" you can listen to the last episode here:
Part 1-- Disclaimer: I am not Cajun, people from outside of Louisiana just lump us all together.:-)
If three hours just aren't enough, you can listen to the previous 58 episodes (I'm only on the ones since February or March of last year, though). OR:
You can check out Joe's blog here.
You can check out Karl's writing here and here and Franglais lessons here.
You can check out Karl's other podcast here.
What with Karl being quoted by the BBC and Joe being in the New York Times (not to mention his biweekly column (click Expat Living) in the local tissue, uh, I mean newspaper), I'm basically the unknown loser of the podcast.
Monday, January 28, 2008
Friday, January 18, 2008
I've also been taking photos of one of my students this week. He went to Everland ("the Disney World of Korea" hahaha) last weekend and got himself a stylish hat collection. He happily posed for pics, but wouldn't arrange the lemur hat to show the nose. Brat. ;-)
Winter camp is now 60% complete, which means... two weeks until vacation!!! I'm starting to wish I had bought tickets for somewhere. Oh, well, I'll stay here and torture my kitty with static electricity nose kisses.
Saturday, January 12, 2008
I saw dogs which were crammed in far worse than in this photo, but the vendors know that there's only one reason foreigners go there and they aren't happy to see us. So, this was the best photo I could take on the sly.
I also saw goats, birds (some of which were packaged in mesh bags-- like for onions-- still alive), and cats. Next to the cages were prepared cuts of meat. One cage had a partially processed dog lying on the top of it, waiting to be butchered.
I wanted to get a photo of the dog restaurant with a smiling dog on the sign, but we were stopped and questioned by some unfriendly types and thought it best to head back to the main road.
At the dentist, I finally got the tooth fixed that I chipped in October. After the Summer of Dental Repairs, I was pretty used to some nice discounts, so I have to admit I wasn't too pleased to pay $100 for the repair, since it literally took 5 minutes. Yes, I am completely ungrateful, I know, especially since that tooth now looks better than the ones around it.
Tuesday, January 08, 2008
Check out the link if you want to learn the secret to the ultra-delicious-ness of Korean pizza. This is the guy I do the podcast with. Lest you think it's just a joke, let me assure you, products much like this are available at any bakery (and some "pizzarias"). Yum!
Monday, January 07, 2008
I've grown accustomed to kids jumping on and off curbs while their mothers look for the bus and toddlers wandering unattended in shops. Usually, the mothers are just oblivious to their children's near brushes with death/ dismemberment/ doom. Yesterday, I actually saw one applauding her child for his death-defying derring-do.
So, I was walking through Kangnam Station in Seoul, which as usual was so packed a person could probably die and just be swept along by the crowd. A little boy and his mother were completely lost in their own world, though. He was pirouetting on one foot while practicing his roundhouse kicks with the other all while eating street food (served on a sharpened stake, of course) all at the same time. His mother was competing for parent of the year by... cheering him along.
I really wanted to hang around and watch for the inevitable, but crowds like that make me want to hurt people.