Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Being an adult means eating ice cream for supper...

I finally got to meet Steph's friend and roommate Alisse! To celebrate we decided to eat Marble Slab (which is like Coldstone Creamery but better) for supper. What!?! Ice cream for supper?! Yes, this is what being an adult is about- being allowed to make bad decisions. Actually, it was a great and delicious decision and considering how expensive that darn ice cream is it was also a sound financial decision. Matt was trying to be all high and mighty and responsible so he had Subway. However, he cracked at the end and somehow managed to eat most of everyone else's ice cream! He's a monster!!! Also I learned that Alisse is a sweet girl but the messiest eater ever. Can you see the napkin carnage? Yeah, that's all her. Between Stephie and her millions of Improvaganza programs and Alisse the napkin bandit that household will probably be responsible for the deforestation of Canada by the end of the year.

This Will Be Mine Soon!!!

Can you believe this will be my local public library once I've moved back to Edmonton? Isn't it stunning! I seriously can't wait! Apparently it was opened in 1913... I love old buildings.

A Sleep Deprived WEM Trip

I haven't been sleeping great lately. I attribute it to a number of things that I am worrying about (job stuff, Matt LSAT stuff, life in general). Even though we went to bed really late (or do you say early?) on Saturday night I was still awake by 9 am on Sunday. After much lollygagging we decided to head to the big mall to do a bit of shopping and perhaps watch a movie.

As it turned out, we were super low energy. We explored the Asian grocery store and were delighted to find Mat Kimchi! It's like Matt made it himself. We'll probably buy some once we have our own fridge. We also ate some fantastic (but expensive) pho in honor of Vietnam. Yum!

Then I was on a quest to find a new book. I am sort of reading the Hitchhiker's series but I have to say I'm not that into them. I definitely couldn't read them all back to back. I've finished two (of five) and may even abandon the series altogether. Matt says this is sacrilege and I say Douglas Adams is mildly funny. Anyway, Matt is drowning in books (and even got a cool Bestiary reprint the other day at the Wee Book Inn) so I get to choose. I bought two- The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula Le Guin and Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach. The former was a book club choice from my book club in Korea that I desperately wanted to attend but we were leaving. Maybe I should just read everything they choose from now on even if I'm not in the club now. The other one just looked interesting and it's the one I've started and I am loving it. So far it's really funny and informative.

We decided against watching a movie in the theatre and instead bought ice cream and rented a movie. We watched Blindness and I thought it was pretty decent. Then it was time to turn in for the night so I could get a good sleep before my job interview (which I think went well- it was 75 minutes long, that's a good sign, right?).

A Fabulous Saturday

I am so excited to get my life started in Edmonton again. Matt and I have been in Edmonton since Saturday when we went up to see some friends and have some fun. We left bright and early so we could make it to the Farmer's Market. I used to live about a block away from it and didn't go as often as I should have. To be honest, the Farmer's Market is a lot of fun and has so many beautiful and delicious things but it is really expensive. We met up with Donna and Louise and had some coffee. We unexpectedly ran into TWO people that we know (they weren't hanging out together and don't really know each other). Such a small city. And the one girl used to work in Korea when we did and we ran into her there randomly too. Perhaps we are supposed to be better friends? I don't know. It was cool seeing them.

We left the Farmer's Market and it was such a gorgeous day outside. I just couldn't stop smiling. I kept thinking about how much I love this city and how fabulous it is (especially in summer). We happened upon a random Turkish fair and then we met up with this guy wearing a suit of armor. He totally let me hold his sword. Haha.

Later on we ordered pizza while we waited for Stephie to get off work. Severin showed up and the 4 of us ate pizza, had some delicious Strongbow cider and then went to Improvaganza. It was so much fun! That kind of thing always inspires me and makes me miss my theatre days. Look at how many programs Steph ended up with. Crazy girl! We bought a drink at Improvaganza and they ID'ed me! Bwahaha! The girl looked like she was 12 and she was asking for my ID. It was glorious.

Then we decided to be irresponsible and go dancing. We went to some place where we had to pay cover (I'm still not used to my mortal status. I was special in Asia!) and then drinks were horrifically expensive. Steph sweet talked the bartender into giving us a 4 shots for $20 "deal". Good grief. Wonder why the tip jars are empty? Cuz we're broke from buying a drink. Our dancing was short lived because everything in Canada closes much earlier than in Asia. Also there were some creepy guys starting to bother us. One had this annoying "awesome" hat on that had a flashlight in the brim of it that he kept shining. We were trying not to make eye contact but Sev just couldn't help himself. Haha.

We wandered out, got some snacks, Matt bought a lottery ticket but sadly lost and then we watched an Adam Sandler movie before crashing at an ungodly time. I think this is going to be a fantastic year! I decided to make a slideshow (it's a bit long, sorry) of the night instead of linking the pictures. Carter said she likes them and it's easier for me.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Keeping Busy

I took some pictures of Venus playing with her ball. Since I like to have pictures on the blog I'm going to include them even though they have nothing to do with what I'm posting about.

Yesterday we went to Edmonton and had coffee with an old university friend. I had such a good time. We haven't had a lot of contact with friends since returning to Canada because we've been staying with my parents. None of my friends live in the same town as my parents. I am excited to move to Edmonton so I can rekindle friendships. This weekend we're going to the Improvaganza finals with Sev so I am really pumped for that. Should be hilarious!

Otherwise I have been shopping a little bit (nothing too exciting, some capris and more shoes that are cute but I don't really need- they were $5 though!). We bought some blank cds so I've been spending a lot of time making mixes for our car. I've never had a car with a cd player (yes, I am pathetic). Actually our last car had a questionable radio and didn't even have a tape deck. Haha! Matt and I are silly and are making theme cds. So far we have: Driving Songs, Karaoke Faves (1 and 2) and Silly Songs. Any ideas for other themes? I'm going to make a Korean Songs one too.

Today I am going to clean out the Kiester. It's pretty nasty because of dog hair and cigarrette smoke, among other things. I toyed with the idea of getting it detailed (so many people were encouraging me to do this) but I don't have a job right now and I am cheap so I may as well take some of this free time and put it to good use. Maybe I will post before and after pics. We'll see. Maybe you won't really be able to tell though.

I also need to do some planning for the two major things causing me stress: the job interview and Cindy's wedding. I have had anxiety filled dreams concerning both of these events this week so I should try and do something to help alleviate my stress. Okay, I guess I'd better get to work!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

100th Post Already? Let's Celebrate with S'mores!

Last night we had an easy supper- we roasted hot dogs and smokies on the fire pit! This is the first time we've used it this year so we were pretty excited. So excited that Steph and I picked up (a lot of) ingredients to make s'mores. We may have went overboard and now have enough ingredients to make s'mores for everyone in town. We had a good time.

Probably my favorite part of the evening was getting Matt to do Chubby Bunny. Observe.

The spider guy came but I don't really think he knows anything about spiders. He told me he was going to Google it. (><) Today I am taking Steph back to Edmonton and meeting an old university friend for coffee. This weekend should also be awesome because we've purchased tickets for the Improvaganza finals on Saturday night. I can't wait to be living in the city full time again!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Review: The Time Traveler's Wife

I really hesitated to buy this book. I had seen it everywhere and I always assumed that the title was symbolic. As it turns out it's actually about a man that travels through time. Go figure. And I really loved the book despite my doubts. It's no secret that I am a book snob. I turn my nose up at most "best sellers" because I prefer stories that are unique and well written. I am like this with most media (film, television, music). I hate reading formulaic drivel that I could have thought up myself.

The Time Traveler's Wife is both unique and well written. It was romantic and believably so despite the unbelievable circumstances. I still dislike the title, probably because the book is more about the time traveler, Henry, rather than his wife, Clare. At least that's how I felt. I also liked him more. However, when I think logically about Clare, I should sympathize more with her situation. I found her to be spoiled and a little bit childish. With the bizarre life she has I guess that should be expected though. My favorite part was when we learn how Clare received her scar and the ending is pretty devastating.

Romantic, lovely, sad without veering into sappy territory. I have a feeling the author may have written this book and envisioned herself as Clare. Maybe I'm over analyzing things though. Pick it up and give it a read! Matt liked it too!

Meet the Kiaster!

We bought my Dad's Kia Rio on Monday. Isn't it adorable and fabulous? What a step up from our old Honda Civic! You can't tell but it's gold. I love goooooold! Isn't that vierd?

We've got the apartment, got the car, got the cell phones and I have a job interview on Monday! Things are looking up!

After Pictures

Here's Sharron's Frame Shop all finished and set up. Doesn't it look fabulous? If you ever need something framed you should definitely head to Vegreville and get her to do it. She does amazing work!

Father's Day Fun

I hope you all spent quality time with your Dad on Father's Day. Since I'm staying with my Dad right now I am lucky enough to see him all the time. We spent the morning re-painting Sharron's Frame Shop. Not the most glamorous activity but now it's looking fantastic! Just like the day she opened it!

Then everyone crashed and took a nap. We're like senior citizens or something. This was further proven when we spent the evening playing bingo. Hahah! I haven't played bingo in a really long time and I'm not sure Matt has ever played. It was obvious we were out of our league since we had half as many cards (or even less) than most people and when it came to daubing the numbers we were super slow and hesitant. In fact, when they played the Speedo game they only allowed us to have one card each. My Dad and Sharron each had nine!!!

My Dad won a couple of times and he managed to embarrass us slightly by having the announcer welcome us back to Canada over the loud speaker. Also, some woman came up to Matt and said, "Is that you Steven?". Hahaha. Apparently he has a twin. Here's the closest I came to winning. Yeah, if I had a day job I shouldn't quit it. Damn you O 73!!!!

It was a good evening though- I got to have Tim Horton's for the first time in ages and we watched Revolutionary Road, which is an excellent movie. I love you Dad!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Multi-Review: Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close and The Book of Lost Things

I decided to review another couple of books together. Probably once I have caught up with my "read list" I will stop doing this since I don't read that quickly. I paired Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer and The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly because both novels have young male protagonists dealing with the death of a parent.

In Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Oskar's father was one of the casualties of 9/11. Luckily the book doesn't focus much on that or try and blow his father up to be some sort of hero or martyr. This book centers on Oskar's feelings and his secret quest to solve what he sees as his father's final riddle. This book definintely gave me "heavy boots" (how Oskar describes his sadness) and I did enjoy the occasional pictures that were included. They really added to the story. I'm tempted to read Safran Foer's other book, Everything Is Illuminated, even though I've already seen the movie.

The Book of Lost Things has more of a children's/young adult book feeling. Despite this it wasn't too juvenile for adults to enjoy. This story revolves around David, who happens upon a dangerous and twisted world in his garden. David is also dealing with the loss of his mother and the changes happening in his family when his father remarries and has a baby with his new wife. This book reminded me a bit of Pan's Labyrinth or The Bloody Chamber (a fantastic collection of twisted fairytales by Angela Carter). Out of the two books I happened to enjoy Safran Foer's book more but I think that might be since I have read so many fantastic twisted fairytale books in the past (by Angela Carter, Neil Gaiman, etc) so there was tough competition. I could see The Book of Lost Things being a good choice for a high school or junior high English class discussion. There is some gruesume and adult subjuct matter but it's done tastefully enough and most teenagers these days have been playing Grand Theft Auto and watching slasher films since they were 4 years old anyway.

Must stop thinking about spiders, must stop thinking about spiders...

I need happy thoughts. Look! I found another puppy video- well I rescued it off of my memory card (which may be a little broken). Here's Matt and the puppies crossing the street and coming back to my Dad's house. I miss them so much!!!


Since we've been staying at my Dad's house (almost a month now) Matt has been finding these freaky spiders in the basement bathroom. The first time we didn't think too much of it but now he's found close to 10 of them in total. Last night he found FOUR. FOUR! One of them was on Jules' bed! So they are no longer just hanging out in the bathroom trying to freshen themselves up. [I realize that spiders do not stay in one place even if I want to deny that reality.]

We have now captured 2 of them and I took some pictures of the largest of the two. It is so active, jumpy and huge! I looked carefully around the edges of the walls near the basement bathroom and I can see a ton of spiderwebs. I think they are living and breeding inside the walls!

The worst part is that I sleep in the basement!! I had the worst sleep ever last night because I kept dreaming of spiders crawling all over me. We've called an environmental guy to come and look at the spiders we caught and he should be here next week. Man, I hope we didn't accidentally buy a house that's built on a spider farm!!! (In the words of Steph.) Frick! I just hope it doesn't turn out to be the brown recluse or something. It may not live in Canada commonly but we've been traveling around a lot so who knows what could have tagged along!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Multi-Review: A Dirty Job, Lamb, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

I decided to review these three books simultaneously since they all have one thing in common: comedic intentions. I know a lot of people would rate these books as some of the funniest that they have read but I feel lukewarm about all of them.

I originally discovered Christopher Moore during my second year in Korea. My friend Eddie lent us his book You Suck. By fate I answered an ad for Bookleaves book club and they were reading the same book for their next meeting! I got a kick out of You Suck but the positive association may have been because it was how I was introduced to my fabulous book club.

While I was traveling I picked up A Dirty Job and Lamb. Of the two I definitely enjoyed A Dirty Job more, possibly because it ties in and overlaps slightly with You Suck. Moore is a wildly creative writer and this was evident especially in Lamb. Both are fun books but I think the key to enjoying them lies in what kind of reader you are. If you look at my list you could probably deduce that when I read I generally am looking for something to stink my teeth into. I'm a bit of a snob and I want something that will move me in some way. These books are fun but did they move me? Nah.

The same can be said for The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Matt has been encouraging me to read this for as long as I've known him and I've only gotten around to it now. I did see the movie that came out a couple of years ago so the story was already quite familiar. I do plan on reading the next 4 books in the "trilogy" and Adams is a cute writer. I think I am bad at reading funny books though. It's hard for me to just laugh without others around. I am one of those people who never watches movies alone, especially comedies, because my enjoyment depends so much on interaction and mutual enjoyment with other people. It's hard to do that with books. A favorite and one of the funniest books I've ever read, Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, became funnier when I was able to discuss it with Matt and some other people who'd read it. When I heard about the parts they found hilarious I was able to connect to that and share in the humor. I guess I'm strange. Apparently I should also be wary of these other funny books, as listed by CBC Book Club (care of my friend Aaron).

Winning Stuff is Excellent!

Last night we went to a community barbecue. We got to eat delicious steak and other goodies. There was a comedian named Bob something or other who was mildly entertaining. The best part was when they did the draws for the door prizes at the end of the night. I won! Matt won! Jules won! As a result, Sharron and Dad won since they are flowers that they can plant in their yard. Victory!

The Other Dog

There's been a lot of coverage of the adorable puppies and of Venus, their mother. It's possible that no one knows that I have another dog who is at least as lovable and adorable. His name is Zeus and he's a poodle/shih tzu cross. Zeus has been around for a long time- we estimate he's close to 15 years old. We bought him for $30 from the family that I used to babysit for when I lived in Mannville. He doesn't have the same spring anymore so I fear that he might die soon. He's lost a lot of teeth too and his black fur is turning grey. I guess what can you expect? He still knows how to cuddle and while he may not be able to jump onto the bed on his own anymore, it is worth it to give him a boost. When we move into our apartment I will definitely miss having dogs around.

Review: Eat, Pray, Love

Since I have been reading so much this year I thought that I would try and give reviews about some of the books. I don't know if I will review every book and I probably will just do it in random order. That's just how I roll. If there is a book on my "read" list that you're wondering about, leave a comment and I will try and review it.

I read Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert while I was traveling through Thailand. I have heard criticism of the book that the author is self centered and a lot of her choices are unrealistic. I can understand where these criticisms are coming from but I did find the book enjoyable. I think that the best part of the book was that so many of the experiences are dramatic and of course it's self centered- that was the whole point of taking a year to herself to travel, learn and reflect.

I think that this is the sort of book that will resonate differently with each person depending on what place they are at in their lives. The "eat" section takes place in Italy and focuses on the author letting go and allowing herself to do what she enjoys, guilt free. There are so many people I know (and I am sure that you know) that need to learn how to do this. Life is hard and stressful but what's the point if you are always fixated on that and not on the enjoyable things?

The next section, "pray", takes place in India. I have to say that I enjoyed this part of the book the least since it obviously had a lot to do with praying and religion. It was fascinating to learn some more about India since I am really interested in that country. It was also inspiring the great lengths Gilbert went to to discover her faith. There were numerous times when I was in Asia that I had the opportunity to do a temple stay and every time I avoided them like the plague. I like eating past noon, sleeping in comfortable beds and not having to bow hundreds of times. Good for her though.

The last section was by far my favorite. It really, really struck a chord and there were 3 major sections/quotes that resonated with me so deeply that I had to write them down so I could look at them again and again.

"Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it."

"All the sorrow and trouble of the world is caused by unhappy people."

"In the end, though, maybe we all must give up trying to pay back the people in this world who sustain our lives. In the end, maybe it's wiser to surrender before the miraculous scope of human generosity and to just keep saying thank you, forever and sincerely, for as long as we have voices."

This section was called "love" but a huge part of it was about happiness and what really fulfills a person. Gilbert went to Bali, another place I'm really interested in traveling to, and found new friends and love. She spent time with a healer and helped change a family's life with her generosity. The story of how she raised money for a house for her friend (and how her friend tried to exploit her) was really fascinating. Especially considering how I was in the middle of travel and being out of my element. Having people asking for my time, language help, money and everything else and wondering if they were my friends because they liked me or because of what they could get from me. The point that was made was that this is how some people are able to survive- they get what they can. It doesn't make them bad people. It was food for thought for sure.

I liked this book and was a little surprised that I did. I can be a bit cynical at times but when it all boils down to it I recognized a part of myself in the author. A huge reason why I left Canada was in search of happiness. I wasn't happy in the lifestyle I was living before Korea and I felt like I wasn't accomplishing my goals. It was scary and people questioned my decision but in the end it was the best thing I ever did. You don't need to make a drastic and dramatic change but everyone could use a little boost of bravery and awareness.

I probably won't review every book this in depth. Haha.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Grind

It's so hard for me to stay motivated and focused at my Dad's house. We have an apartment to move into mid-July and it will be such a relief to be able to get organized. My Dad is totally awesome for letting me crash here but I will be so happy to just unpack. It can be so hard to function when you are still living out of a suitcase even though you're "home" for an extended period of time.

Today I applied for a whole bunch of jobs. Now I've applied for 10 in total and I am hoping I will start receiving some calls for interviews soon. I haven't been gone that long and doesn't it show how adventurous and fearless I am for living outside of the country? Come on people- hire me! I am totally employable. It could end up being a bit of a gong show if I do get a job soon. We are buying my Dad's Kia Rio and so will have to get the registration and insurance sorted out in the next week or so. We have a place to stay in Edmonton if I start working before we can move into our apartment, however, I would like to unpack and be organized!

Also on the agenda is getting everything ready for my best friend's wedding on July 18th. I guess it's nice that I am unemployed since I have time to try and plan things. Matt and I are the MCs for the reception and she has asked me to sing a song in the church while they sign their marriage certificate. I am pretty frickin' nervous. Actually I think the only people in my family that know she's asked me to do this are Matt and my sister Steph. I keep thinking maybe I will back out like a coward. It's been ages since I've sang in public and even longer since it was solo. Also I have no one to give me real feedback so it's hard to say if I am hitting the notes properly. Hopefully I am just freaking out for nothing.

What else? I am trying to start reading more because I would like to read 50 books this year. It might be a steep goal (yes, I realize there are people I know that read 100+ books a year but I am just not that amazing). I stole the entire Hitchhiker's Guide series from my brother's book shelf this weekend so if I finish that it will count for 5 books! I am excited to unpack for another reason- I have books packed away that I've never read. It will be a little bit like Christmas (although with used things that you own).

My friend showed me this video today and I thought it was hilarious. It's my reward after applying for jobs. Haha!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Food Perfection

My favorite part of the weekend was dessert! My Mom made my favorite: cherry cheesecake! It's so simple but so delicious and I haven't had it in a couple years since we've been away. Actually, Mom had planned on making it when we visited last time but had consulted Matt and not me. Keep in mind that Matt had already had his favorite dessert (pie) made for him. He told Mom that it was "unnecessary and that we should be watching what we're eating" (you know, while he's helping himself to his 5th piece of pie). I was so pissed when I found this out. This time I made sure that Mom was aware how necessary it is to make my favorite dessert. Don't worry, I shared with everyone.

High School Reunion

Like I mentioned, Saturday was my 10 year high school reunion. I was fortunate to be back in Canada for it (Matt missed his while we were living in Korea). Sadly less than half of the class made it to the reunion. A few are living in Ontario now and others had previous commitments. It's a small class to begin with (23) so it sucked that so many people couldn't come. That being said, I only went for the supper since I don't golf. Even though 10 years have passed things felt really similar. Dynamics were about the same. Amy and I kind of kept to ourselves and everyone else was friendly and polite enough but it was awkward. I've never felt like I fit in where I grew up. Part of that is probably my fault but I can't take all the blame. Most of the people have settled nearby or within our hometown and seem to be doing well. They definitely seem to be more settled and grown up than I am. Someone pointed that out to me (not at the reunion) and I reminded them that I was the youngest in the class so it's okay. Haha. It does feel like another lifetime when I lived here and saw these people. It's a strange thing to feel like you haven't changed and have changed completely, all at the same time.

Matt had an okay time too (the steak was fantastic) and surprised everyone when he randomly, without warning jumped over the balcony to retrieve someone's sunglasses. We left by 10 pm- I think most of the group was planning to stay overnight in their campers and really party it up but I just didn't have the heart to. It never was my crowd and it seems that it still isn't. Maybe I'll see them again in another 10 years.

My Hometown

This weekend I went to my 10 year high school reunion. How surreal is that? How is it possible that 10 years have gone by this quickly? The reunion was obviously held in my hometown and I haven't been back there for a number of years. Both my parents have moved away and really it's such a small place that there is no reason to go back for a casual visit.

It was strange to drive around and see how some things had changed but most things hadn't. When I tell people that I grew up in a town with less than 800 people they think that I am joking. Especially when I was in Seoul it was hard for people to visualize what a place like that must be like. I spent the first 17.5 years of my life living here. I went to the same school with almost the same class from kindergarten until I graduated grade 12. I couldn't wait to leave and get out and see the world. Even though I have no desire to live here, I do have to admit it's a cute place. Alberta is beautiful and doesn't get enough credit!

I made a little slide show and it includes the ball diamonds where I played softball, the school, "Main Street", the old gun that everyone wrote their name in the cement beside, the house where I grew up and the post office.

Goodbye Puppies!

The last two puppies went to their new homes on Friday. I guess this means that I have lots of time to send resumes out now. I wish I could have kept one.

Monday, June 8, 2009

My Awesome New Phone!

So I took so pictures of my new cell phone because I am a nerd. Matt has the exact same one but in blue. He's even more excited because he's never had a cell phone before. He is under strict orders not to lose or destroy it. The cell phone is this model, an LG Rumour. I love how the keyboard comes out. We decided to get a shared plan through Virgin Mobile. I used to go through Rogers but they weren't anything special and so many people I know use Telus and hate them. I'm crossing my fingers that this works out to be as good of a deal as we think. Once we're set up in our own place and have internet we'll use Skype to call all of our long distance people. We're not going to have a home phone. So everyone should download Skype and then we can talk for free!

Puppies in Motion!

This is on request of Carter who loves puppies almost as much as I do. In the final couple days of having all four of the puppies I took some videos of them doing cute puppy things. For your viewing pleasure:

There are a few more in my Photobucket.


Like I mentioned, we have four beautiful puppies in the house! They are purebred Jack Russell's and really sweet and spunky. They are all sold though and two have been picked up. The other two are going to be gone this week. So I clearly must get a job/apartment/car/life so that I will have something to occupy myself. Otherwise I am sure I will just spend all day in the fetal position crying and wishing I had a puppy to cuddle.

I really wanted to keep one of the puppies but obviously I am in no position to have a pet right now. That's practically like having a child! It was disappointing when my favorite puppy was sold (she was sold last so I was sort of hoping that she might not get sold and therefore my Dad would be forced to keep her). I had a cute name picked out and everything but then a person with an actual home and money evilly swept in and gave her the most horrifying, puke inducing name. She is calling her Duchess. Poor dog! All the other animals are totally going to make fun of her!

Here are some of my favorite pictures. All of them have names: there's poor Duchess (brown and white with smooth coat), Bella (white pup), Lexi (black, brown, white) and Daisy (brown and white with rough coat). Puppies are really hard to photograph but I managed to take a million pictures of them anyway. Go here to squeal at all the cuteness!

Life in Canada

It's high time that I posted an update on how we are doing in Canada. Things are all right- we managed to get over our jet lag and have been staying mainly with my Dad. I did go to my Mom's last weekend and we had a good time and even caught a cool concert with a South African choir.

Matt is writing the LSAT today and should be finished it soon. What a gong show- he thought it was on Saturday and so we drove to Edmonton (I went with him so I could apartment hunt a little bit) and it turned out the test is today. Classic Matt! I was just glad that it wasn't on Friday or something like that. As long as he doesn't miss writing it!

We have cell phones now (something we did on Saturday since we were in Edmonton anyway) and I am really excited about mine. I think it's so cool and pretty. It's an LG and has a slide out keyboard for texting. Now I just have to hurry up and get an apartment in Edmonton so I can use it more. I'll take a picture of it later so you can see it.

Yeah, everything is pretty stressful. I've updated my resume and have been applying for jobs. We are basically starting over from scratch and need jobs, an apartment and a car in the next little while. We also have to do our taxes from the last three years so that will probably be a blast.

Something that has kept my spirits up and kept me ridiculously busy is the puppies that my Dad's dog recently had. There are four of them and I have been in charge of taking care of them while everyone else is at work. Most of you have probably seen the pictures of them on Facebook but I will do a post anyway. They are so sweet and cute!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Long Journey Home

This was the longest trip that I've ever taken. It all started at 8:30 am on Wednesday, May 20th (Thailand time) when I woke up, showered and finished packing up our stuff. Ali, Byrun and Leah were already gone to work (we'd said our good byes the night before) and so it was up to Matt and I to get ourselves to the air con bus terminal. Look what Matt found in his shoe before we left!

The big question was how should we get there? We debated a lot about this. You see, Ali and Byrun live a good ten minute walk away from the road (they are in a gated community) and we had a lot of heavy luggage. Matt wanted to walk to the road, find a tuk tuk and get them to come back to the house to pick up our stuff. I thought this would take too much time since sometimes it's awhile before a tuk tuk comes around. My vote was to just carry all our stuff (2 huge traveler's backpacks, a box, a regular backpack, 2 small bags) to the road and go from there.

Somehow I convinced Matt to do things my way. As it turned out, Lady Luck was smiling upon us! We'd only walked about a block when a car pulled over and asked us where we were going. We told them and they offered to give us a ride!! The Thai couple was so lovely and friendly. Concidently they were actually going to the same place to pick their daughter up! I thought they might be bluffing with us so we didn't feel bad for taking them out of their way but then I saw them hugging and kissing a young girl so it was the truth.

From here we got a ticket for the next bus (2pm) to Bangkok. We arrived in Bangkok around 7:30pm and grabbed a taxi to the airport. We arrived there just before 9pm so we had a lot of time to kill. Our flight was scheduled to leave at 1:15 am! We wandered the airport and grabbed something to eat before checking in for our flight. Finally it was time to board and everyone on our flight looked sleepy. I was all prepared to go right to sleep.

This time luck was not on my side. The pilot announced that they were delaying the flight until some passengers could board. I'm not sure why they were late (or why they held the plane) but they were. Okay, fine. To make matters worse, one of the late passengers was seated right across from us and was having a huge temper tantrum. He appeared to be a Korean businessman and since we understand some Korean we were able to glean that he was not impressed at being seated in coach instead of in first class with his two friends. He actually was doing things like throwing his pillow on the floor and stomping on it and jumping up and down. It probably didn't help that he was a little bit drunk. Everyone was annoyed and uncomfortable with the situation. He was being so distruptive and rude!

His next problem was that the flight attendant serving him wasn't Korean, she was Thai. Did it matter that she spoke fluent Korean? Apparently not. At this point I was getting pretty peeved. I must have been giving him the evil eye since he stopped acting like a two year old and looked right at me. So I decided to shut him up. I spoke to him in Korean! Hah! Translated I said "Old man! Do you speak English? We are tired!" He looked so surprised and starting to try and appologize to me and complain about the service. I told him that the service was fine and that it was late and he should go to sleep and let us go to sleep too. What I had really wanted to say was "(in Korean) Old Man, do you speak English? (in English) GOOD! SHUT UP!" (*saying shut up is considered really rude to Koreans though) After that he mostly quieted down but needless to say, we didn't get a lot of sleep.

We landed in Seoul at 8:40am (Seoul time, which is 2 hours ahead of Thailand) and even though I was tired I shook it off because I was so excited! My best girl Min Jung was going to be at the airport to help us kill our massive layover! I was a little nervous since we would have to check out of the security area but that all went really quick and smooth (even the part where they were checking people for fevers and H1N1 flu).

It was so fantastic seeing Min Jung! It almost seemed like a dream. I miss a lot of things about Korea but I miss her friendship and working with her the most. Our first stop was a restaurant to pig out on some Korean dishes. We had gimchi jjigae, bibimbap and spicy bulgogi! We were so full!

The time went by so fast- before we knew it Min Jung had to leave to go to work. Actually, she left later than she planned (and ended up late for work... oops!). I told her she needs to come visit us in Canada really soon. It was so nice having someone at the airport to hang out with us.

After Min Jung left we went through security again. Matt was dead tired and our flight wasn't leaving until 6:30pm. We checked our email on the complimentary internet and then he went to our gate to crash. I decided to explore a little more and ended up chatting to a really nice girl who was working at one of the Korean cultural experience areas for over an hour. She'd lived in Toronto and Vancouver for awhile and her English was really impressive. I think she was just as bored as I was since there were no people at her booth.

The flight from Seoul to Seattle was relatively uneventful. The only thing worth noting is that we were running about 20 minutes late. No big deal, right? Well, I hate, hate, hate traveling through America. Why? Because even if you are just catching a connecting flight and aren't entering the US you still have to go through customs, pick up your baggage and then drop it off and find your next flight. I find this to be ridiculous! We rushed (since we had less than an hour and a half until our last flight left) but still managed to be in a giant line behind about 100 other people. It was crawling at a snail's pace. I looked at our boarding passes and it said that our flight would be boarding at 1:40pm and at this point it was 1:20pm. I started to panic that we would miss our flight so I decided that it was time to get a bit pushy. I flagged down a worker and told her what was going on and asked if we could jump the line. She said it was okay if everyone in front of us agreed to let us skip.

Thankfully everyone agreed and so we went to the front. I went up to the security worker who then said, "Hey, did you skip the line?". My heart skipped a beat but I explained politely the situation and that the other people had allowed us to go ahead. The worker then said, "I don't think you asked everyone or can you speak Korean?". I ecstatically exclaimed, "I CAN SPEAK KOREAN! I worked in Korea!" Hahah! The guy chuckled and said that maybe I should stick around and help him out then. He stamped us through and we ran to find our baggage.

Somehow we managed to get the baggage and an Air Korea employee helped us skip through yet another line and from there we ran like crazy people. It really did feel like we were contestants on the Amazing Race. Seattle airport is a bit annoying and has a lot of trains. Somehow we found the correct ones and made it to our gate! Our flight was supposed to leave at 2:25pm and we got to the gate just after 2pm! Success!

I was so glad we made it to that flight (and our luggage made it on too) because the next flight to Edmonton wasn't leaving until after 8pm. We were so exhausted by this point (I think I slept about 6 hours- not consecutively, during the entire 40+ hour trip) but really glad to be back. Wow, I think that's the longest entry I've ever written!