Monday, November 30, 2009

Meet Lydia!!

Matt hit a milestone birthday this year (3-0) and so we celebrated by spending a ridiculous amount of money. We have a new laptop! Not just that, but a new printer, fan thingy (apparently all new laptops need this because they overheat? WHAT THE HECK!) and the Spore game he wanted forever (he tracked the creation of it). Look how excited he is. Of course, this is a present for me too and I even named our laptop Lydia. Isn't she lovely?

While I have been enjoying her I have to say she has contributed to the lack of blogging since I have had to set up all my bookmarks, links and programs and this takes FOREVER. I am enjoying how quickly she uploads pictures and that I can remove red eye.

Now that we have a new computer an interesting thing has happened. We used to bicker about who got to use our old laptop, Mr. Roboto, and so we foolishly believed that getting a 2nd one would solve this problem. Now we just bicker about who gets to use Lydia. Sigh. Poor Mr. Roboto.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Honest Scrap Award

I've never won an award before for blogging and since I've been such a terrible blogger lately, I don't really expect to win any more in the future. My lovely friend Simone over at skinny dip bestowed it upon me ages ago. Sorry it took me so long!

Once you've received the Award, you need to complete the following responsibilities:

1) List 10 HONEST, personal (or bizarre? interesting?) things about yourself that you wouldn't normally tell people (except maybe a therapist who is paid to listen to this kind of stuff?)

2) Pass this award on to 10 other bloggers that you love to read & think others should too.

3) Tell your friends to check out the award giver's blog--In this case Simone- it's like Canadian Sex and the City (without the annoying characters). Remember to tell the giver that you've completed these steps so that they can go read your lists.

My Honest Facts:

1) I have a slight phone phobia. I'm not sure when this developed (sometime after high school, clearly) but I am not crazy about talking on the phone. I also hate making phone calls. I love email though. Maybe this helps explain why I haven't called you lately. Sorry!

2) I try not to start playing too many games because then that's what I do all day. Nowadays it's online quizzes and Facebook stuff but in the past I was addicted to all sorts of Nintendo games. This list is starting to make me sound like a real psychological mess!

3) I love Friends. I always have and always will. I have seen every episode multiple times and own them all on DVD.

4) I have never used a lawnmower. My parents always mowed the lawn at home and since then I've never lived anywhere with a lawn.

5) I don't like cooking but I can cook and have a decent amount of cooking knowledge. It's easier to tell people that I can't though so they don't ask me to cook.

6) I can't dance. I have no rhythm at all and I get cold sweats when I think someone is going to ask me to "partner dance". I took dance in gym but I still can't two-step, jive or waltz. Don't even mention more complicated things like salsa. I took a hip hop exercise class once and it was one of the most mortifying things I ever experienced.

7) My memory is terrible. I really think it's worse than most people's as far as personal memories and events. Don't be offended if you try to reminisce with me and I give you a blank look.

8) I am a horrible pack rat but I am trying to reform myself. It's tough. I am always convinced that I will want the item later on.

9) I've never done illegal drugs of any kind. It's just never interested me. Yes, this includes marijuana.

10) I'm a really nervous passenger (in cars/trucks). I was in a bad accident when I was 16 and still haven't shaken my fears. This makes me a horrible backseat driver. Again, I apologize, I am a freak.

Ten Blogs I think are great:
(Most of these are on my blog roll. There are some blogs that I love but they are private ones so that's why they aren't mentioned. You know who you are!)

1. Wonju Wife/ChubbO Chubbington- I love Danielle's writing style. Some of her entries have moved me to tears. She just gets things and is able to express them which is incredibly special.

2. half girl- Young takes amazing photographs with her many cameras. I could only dream of being as skilled at photography as she is. She makes the every day look extraordinary.

3. From Wonderland with Love- Sara's blog makes me nostalgic for things I've never experienced. Everything is pretty, interesting and smells of cinnamon and sugar in Wonderland.

4. Naked Without Books- Susan is my reading hero. She read 100 books last year and is going to hit atleast 100 this year! Plus she is hilarious, delightful and clever.

5. Little House in the Big Woods- KB is a long time friend. Her blog is filled with hilarious antics and stories from her students and copious pictures of her adorable dog.

6. Time Enough- I've been friends with Jo for awhile too and her blog is filled with tidbits from her life in the UK. Oh and she takes fab pictures too!

7. Living on the Flipside- If you've ever wondered what it's like being the only female, foreign,(Western) professional boxer in South Korea then Amy's blog is a must read. She just got engaged to her beautiful Korean beau too!

8. Ask a Korean- The Korean's blogs are always well researched, thought provoking and relevant. Even if you're not interested in information about Korea this blog is something everyone should check out. He also makes me feel ashamed since he is writing that well in his second language!

9. Stuff Korean Moms Like- Hysterical, but only because it's true. Start from the beginning and work your way up.

10. Jennipal- Another lovely K-blogger who I haven't met in person. She makes me homesick for Korea and I love seeing what she is up to!

I guess you've noticed my Korean bias. I really got into blogging when I lived in Korea and now I am so homesick for it!

YOU: Go forth and read blogs!

BLOGS MENTIONED: I gave you 10, now you have to give me 10 more.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Review: The Door

Margaret Atwood is my favorite. I've written about her before and one of the things I must do before I die is meet her. Well, at least see her in person. Heck, I'd even settle for the LongPen (she's such a genius- is there anything she doesn't do?).

I'm not a huge poetry reader. I find that most poetry is too muddled and pretentious or possibly I am just too thick and lazy to appreciate it. I love Atwood's poetry though. The Door strikes me as being one of her most personal poetry collections. It's also quite political, however, that isn't surprising since Atwood tends to be fairly political. Here's one of my favorite poems:

Nobody Cares Who Wins

Nobody cares who wins wars.
They care at the moment:
they like the parades, the cheering;
but after that, winning diminishes.
A silver cup on the mantle
engraved with some year or other;
a hoard of buttons cut from corpses
as souvenirs; a shameful thing
you did in white-hot anger shoved
back out of sight.
Bad dreams, a bit of loot.
There's not much to say about it.

That was a fine time, you think.
I've never felt more alive.
Nonetheless, victory puzzles you.
Some days you forget where you've put it,
though younger men make speeches about it
as if they had been there too.

Of course it's better to win
than not. Who wouldn't prefer it?

Losing, though. That's different.
Defeat grows like a mutant vegetable,
swelling with the unsaid.
It's always with you, spreading underground,
feeding on what's gone missing:
your son, your sister, your father's house,
the life you should have had.
It's never in the past, defeat.
It soaks into the present,
it stains even the morning sun
the colour of burnt earth.

At last it breaks the surface.
It bursts. It bursts into song.
Long songs, you understand.
They go on and on.

If you've never checked out her poetry before I suggest you do it!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Creation of Kathleen's Queef

As I've mentioned, I'm on a Name that tune team with my sister and Bryn. We have a pretty unfortunate name (Team Queef) which you can thank Steph for. It was her nickname. What? That doesn't make things sound better? Haha...

If you know me you know I am fiercely competitive. Think Monica from Friends competitive. (Unfortunately we share more than a competitive spirit- that is totally my hair with humidity.) People who say winning isn't important clearly have never won anything. I love winning. It's seriously one of my favorite things. I mean, remember my victory coupons? Best present ever!

Something I do believe in is "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em". There is an insanely good team that often plays. Somehow they know even the most obscure musical references. We're a decent time but it would take a lot of hard work to aspire to beat KTO. Their name is even clever! KTO, you know, sort of like BTO. It stands for Kathleen Turner Overdrive. Funny, right?

What we lack in musical prowess we make up for in charm and charisma. It's lucky I have no shame. We totally seduced KTO into combining with our team. The ultimate Kathleen's Queef. It's pretty epic. I'm not sure if it will be a permanent marriage but it was nice meeting some new people. They are really funny and fun guys (I mean, check out Justin's mustache!) and Tyler reminds me of my fab friend Curtis since they both love music and study radio broadcasting. I wish I had a job that allowed me to have Tuesday nights consistently off!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Galbi Buffet with Stephie!!!

Steph and I scheduled in some sister time and decided to go out for dinner. I had a hankering for Korean so we checked out the Korean Village. It's in a strange location and seems to be a family operated business. They have a killer (although a bit expensive) buffet with many of my favorite dishes. There were even grills built right in the table! It was like being transported back to my favorite restaurant in Seoul. I wish I had some Korean friends here... Anyway, we had a great time and ate until our bellies hurt. I'll definitely have to return with a group. I was too shy to use my Korean though.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Review: The Unthinkable Thoughts of Jacob Green

If I had to review this book in six words I'd say, "I bought this book for $2". I had high hopes though. Joshua Braff is the brother of Zach Braff after all! You know, the guy who penned Garden State and is on Scrubs? That guy is adorable, talented and hilarious! It seems this didn't run in the family.

I'm not sure how unthinkable Jacob Green's thoughts are- they seemed pretty much what I would imagine a teenage boy to be thinking about. Possibly this is unusual or especially scandelous for Orthodox Jewish teenagers? Perhaps someone needs to explain to Braff that there is a difference between the reader not wanting to know about what a messed up, horny Jewish teen is thinking and his thoughts being unthinkable.

The book has good reviews on other websites but I can't imagine why. It was easy enough to read but it was filled with gross, clunky, unnatural prose. "He's about as lonely as a tube sock full of semen", seriously!? I wonder if that's how lonely Joshua Braff was after people read his book. Don't recommend this one but if someone wants to take it off my hands I wouldn't even charge you the $2 I spent. I should have known better.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Jacqueline's Visit

It might come to a surprise that I have another sister. I spend a lot of time with Steph since she lives nearby but I do have a sister that lives far away. Well, she came to visit us. This was excellent because we went out to eat at a lot of yummy places (oh and it was nice to spend time with her too! Haha!). My heart is through my stomach.

Dad and Sharron brought Venus along to visit and we brought her up to the apartment. It's a no pets apartment but I figured that having her there for an hour wouldn't kill anyone. She loved the carpet! They have hardwood in their place so she hasn't really experienced carpet before. I really miss having dogs around.

We went to Olive Garden with Dad and Sharron the first night and then to Chili's with Mom the next night. Delicious! I did have to work on Remembrance Day but managed to hang out with Jac a lot afterward. We had some amazing sushi (in a HUGE boat) and then saw The Box (which was disappointing). I was pleased to learn that my non-reading sister has been reading a little because she has a lot of time on her hands at work these days. I immediately lent her three books in hopes that she will continue with this and become hooked on reading. I was able to do it with Steph in the summer and as a result she finished 10 books! I gave Jac a few "sure things"- The Lovely Bones, Midwives and Helpless so hopefully the reading bug will bite her too!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


I went to a U of A volleyball game with Steph and Bryn. Bryn saved my bacon with her quick thinking- it was $15 for an adult to go! Students paid only $5. Bryn bought me a ticket. Otherwise I probably would have just gone home. Since when was college volleyball exciting enough to warrant spending more than a movie ticket price?

I spent most of my time trying to ignore the Golden Bear mascot. He was seriously irritating! I think it has to do with his eyes. Also, part of me wants to be annoyed that the girls' and boys' have separate mascots. Why is this necessary if they represent the same school? Doesn't that confuse things? The only saving grace is that the girls' mascot is way cooler and fiercer. It turned out that this was the case for the games too- girls won, boys lost. It's strange attending sporting events at the U of A considering I never watched them at my own university. It was fun though.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Mouse Attack!

We live in a third floor apartment. You would think that this would mean that we would be spared from mice. I mean, they aren't getting in through the windows! Unfortunately we seem to have attracted a number of the little bastards. Matt was the one who first noticed one peeking out from behind the TV stand in the living room.

From there we bought some traps (mice like peanut butter more than cheese) and tried to contact our building manager. It took a long time for him to get back to us which was incredibly frustrating. We caught 7 mice in total (in a week) and four in one night! What the heck!!!! One of them died less than a foot away from me while I was checking my email! Seriously not cool.

When we managed to talk to the manager he said that they would have pest control come to our apartment and check things out. Of course, this conversation happened at about 9 pm at night and the manager said that "maybe" the guy would come the next morning and if he hadn't arrived by noon to call and let the manager know.

Needless to say, I was skeptical that anyone would arrive. So what did I do? I tempted fate. I woke up, sat around in my pajamas, didn't brush my teeth, hadn't showered (I didn't work until 3 pm), well you get the picture. This guaranteed that the pest control guy would arrive! And he did! Immediately I began shuffling around, concerned about the appearance of my apartment. Why didn't I expect him to come!? He is going to judge me!

For the most part our place is pretty clean and he must have seen a lot worse... Right? I'm sure all the other mouse infested homes looked like the one in the picture. I awkwardly made small talk with the pimple faced exterminator (see, I can judge too!) and he got to work looking for entry holes. He said it was pretty clear that if our apartment on the third floor was having issues then there were issues in other apartments. The mice were traveling around through the radiators.

I never know what to do when service people come to my place. Am I supposed to sit and watch them? Chat? Let them do their work unattended and risk them stealing something? Call a therapist and speak to them about my paranoia that an exterminator is going to steal something? What do you do? I have the same problem when the cable guy comes. I decided to wash my dishes because I would still be a presence and able to see and hear what he was doing but at the same time I could impress him with my cleanliness. See! It's not MY PLACE that is the true problem. It's the guy next door with his toxic waste collection!

Since the guy left we haven't seen any more mice in our apartment. I think he was pretty successful with blocking the hole. However, I do occasionally hear them scritch scratching and trying to get in. Or is that my paranoia again?

Friday, November 6, 2009

Review: The Hour I First Believed

Wally Lamb is the author of one of my favorite books: She's Come Undone. Obviously I couldn't resist buying his newest novel. I think I like his novels because he writes about people who have real problems. This novel is quasi-fictional and deals with two fictional characters dealing with the very non-fictional massacre at Columbine high school.

The main characters are a teacher at Columbine and his wife who is the school nurse. He is away dealing with the death of a close relative when the massacre happens and his wife is one of the people who was in the library but managed to survive by hiding in a small cupboard. The rest of the book details the aftermath of this event on their lives and those around them. His wife develops chronic long term post traumatic stress disorder. They decide to move. Therapy is involved. He works numerous jobs to try and keep up with therapy costs and the loss of her income since she is no longer capable of working.

I have to say that I liked the book but it's a tough read. It was a bit hopeless, sad and futile. I also didn't really care for the ending it. I had one of those, "Really!? That was it?" moments. I also wasn't crazy about the subplot about the husband's family history. I have to say that a lot of research went into creating this book and probably someone more interested in American history would enjoy it more.

It's a long book so there were definitely a few quotes that caught my eye.

"Religion's just a well-oiled, profit-driven denial of the randomness of it all."

"It reminded me that they were more than just their scholarly shortcomings and gripes about the workload. Each had a history, a set of problems. Each, for better or worse, was anchored to a family."

"Our ancestors move along with us, in underground rivers and springs too deep for chaos to reach."

"A woman who surrenders her freedom need not surrender her dignity."

If you've never read a book by Lamb I would recommend you bypass this one and read one of his other novels instead. It seemed like he probably put the most work into this one, however, it seemed to lose some of it's heart in the process. Or maybe there is such a thing as too much tragedy happening to good characters.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Halloween Night!

It might be a cop out but I did another slide show. There are just so many pictures though and this makes it easier to show them all. I couldn't find a nice background for it so even though the candle doesn't really have much to do with Halloween, it will have to do.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Party Preparation

Through some sort of miracle I had Halloween weekend off. Since it's possible I haven't complained to everyone in the world, my work schedule sucks a lot. Need proof? I work until 11pm on Christmas and then I get New Year's Eve off but work at 7 am on New Year's Day. Yeah.

Anyway, I don't want to open that can of rage right now. Asia doesn't really celebrate Halloween (other than in a watered down, bastardized form) so I was pretty excited this year and decided to go all out. Steph and Alisse hosted a party at their place and I helped with a lot of the preparations. I carved a pumpkin, helped decorate, decorated a gingerbread house, helped make a million orange and purple (they looked black) jello shots and I made a spooky Halloween themed appetizer for the party. Here's a slide show of all the hard work.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Name That Tune Triumph!

Last Tuesday I had the evening off so I was able to participate in Name That Tune. Matt opted out (probably since he isn't very helpful but also because he was busy filling out law school applications) so it was just us four girls. We had a big plan to seduce the team that usually wins first place, however, they didn't show up. This forced us to use our other talents besides our feminine wiles.

As it turned out, we are pretty awesome. We got 2nd place and 2nd place gets a prize! More importantly, we kicked our rivals butts! I really felt like I contributed this week. I was able to instantly identify this obscure song:

But we did need Matt this week- there was a Forrest Gump Soundtrack category and he loves that cd. If he'd been there we might have won first! Next time... Next time! (BTW- I got my haircut that day. I don't think I like it but I usually hate my haircuts.)