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Archive for November, 2010

November’s Kids Club singing competition. This isn’t my class. As I said before.. my class threw up a hail mary and it didn’t go well. However, this class rocked it. So. Stinking. Adorbs.

 

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Ohhh hellloooo.

That’s my sleepy hello I give people who walk in on me in jammies listening to Rhianna and looking at design blogs. That’s what you’d see if you came through my Korean front door right now. Jammies, jams, visual jewels of design on my laptop. Just another night of cultural intensity around here. Actually I spent all my money last weekend, it’s almost 9:00 p.m. on a Tuesday and it snowed yesterday, soooooo…

Let me real quickly say thanks to everyone who reached out to make sure everything was okay over here after the initial WWIII scare. As I said, time and time again, everything is fiiiiine. Sure is nice to know that peeps are thinking of me even while I’m far far away! I miss y’all and I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving! Grumpy McGee and I hung out on Turkey Day and felt sorry for ourselves. No self pity a little nap and some cookies can’t cure tho. This being the second Thanksgiving I’ve been away from home, I vow to not only be with the fam next year, but to dress as Pocahontas, cook a 50 lb turkey, create a cornucopia out of paper mache and stage a full on Thanksgiving day parade with life size balloons of John Smith and Lewis and Clarke. All while sipping pumpkin lattes and reciting my top 20 list of things to be thankful for.

Updates: still not blowed up yet. Will let you know. The bombs are at bay, but winter made himself known like a spoiled child who’s apparently done with being ignored. Come to think of it, that’s how China recently referred to North Korea.

Oh CNN. You slay me.

The weeks are just flying by around here. I can’t believe I’ve been in this country over a month now. And still haven’t found a gym. Found lots of bars tho, so that’s good I guess. As I said, it snowed. Korean snow and American snow are pretty similar. As in, if you’re not skiing in it or snuggling in a Christmas-y cabin somewhere- it’s just a pain in the rear. No fun to have to walk to and from work in. Granted I live two doors from the school, so my commute is minimal.

Have I mentioned this yet? My apartment is literally down the street. Like pass a restaurant, a 7-Eleven, a tiny organic food shop and you’re there. It’s pretty much the most amazing thing ever. I don’t commute easy. The #1 reason Brooklyn and I couldn’t make it work.

One of my kiddies has the chicken pox. Old school, huh? Thankfully I had the chicken pox twice. That’s right. Twice. Ask my mama. A mild case as a baby and an outbreak of massive proportions as a disgruntled tween who missed out on Spring Break. Hopefully, he’ll get better soon.

Today we had a field trip. All the 7 year old kindergartens went to make pottery at this super cool pottery shop. We bundled and loaded everyone up for a short drive to a neighboring ‘hood. Love getting out of the classroom. It was one of your average ‘make your own coffee cup/ inspirational quote plate’ kind of pottery places in this big, hippy basement underneath a cozy looking coffee shop, run by a super heady Korean couple. We filed in and unzipped the 30 tiny jackets and everyone got a stool at a low lying picnic table of sorts. The female owner did a great job of getting the kids attention and gearing them up for some creating. She only spoke Korean, so they all jumped at the chance to speak their native tongue because it’s usually such a no-no. Deviant little boogers. We watched a video on how to make a vase and then they got their own clay and rolled up their sleeves and went to work. I loved that the school and the pottery barn owner peeps were so confident that a bunch of 6 year-olds could accomplish in 2 hours what I could have worked all day on. I mean, a pottery shop is kind of a mature choice for a field trip considering at six you’re future is bright if you can color between the lines. They did great tho. It was hard at first, and I helped A LOT, but overall it went well. I loved the outing. Some of the other teachers weren’t really into it, but some people wouldn’t know a good time if it covered them in glaze and turn the kiln on high.

In other news… I was given the honor of picking out a song for Brown class to learn for the month of December. Last month they sang “You are the Sunshine of my Life” (Stevie’s version) as you may have seen in the video I posted a while back. Well we have a song competition at the end of each month, and while the video shows 7 very enthusiastic and sun-shinny singing sensations… they bombed at the competition. I felt like a disappointed Mr. Schuester. So this month I wanted to pick an upbeat show stopper that they couldn’t mess up, i.e. a song so cute, it wouldn’t matter if they stood there and hummed. It being the holidays, I decided to go with a festive tune. I’ve chosen a little ditty one of my mama’s drag queens introduced me to this time last year by a one Ms. Bette Midler (her version of the song anyway)… Mele Kalikimaka.

The odds for an adorable 2 and a half minutes of pure Christmas cheer brought to you by moi and my Korean clan of cute are high. We’re gonna win this one. If not, we may give up singing all together and go to live in the pottery barn basement with the hippies and make hand crafted vases only tiny fingers can manipulate. Or maybe, well just try another song.

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…and I’m blogging about toilets. Ever seen one of these?

This has become part of my day to day. Happy Thanksgiving.

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So North Korea is trying to blow us up. Sucks. No worries tho because I, coincidentally, have quite a bit of Spam. Apparently the teachers over here are gifted pretty heavily with both Spam and canola oil. Who knew? Korea- you never cease to bamboozle me. The teacher I took over for left a nice little supply of both delicacies here in the apartment. I plan to leave it all for the next teacher. Start a tradition of sorts.

I feel like I read somewhere that only Spam and cockroaches would survive a nuclear disaster. Hopefully I will not have an opportunity to test this theory. I would hate to go into an “End of Days” scenario without my Avenue B crew. Confused? Lets back this bus up. You know how when Kurt Cobain was pops and everyone was sad and flannel-ie all the time and dumb arse teens were making suicide pacts? Well I just want to go on record as having made the statement that a suicide pact is TERRIBLE and HEARTBREAKING and, frankly, just plain STUPID. I mean, if you’re gonna make a pact about anything it should have to do with your “End of Days” survival plan.

A few years back, when Diddy still ran the city I lived in, and that award winning film “Cloverfield” had made it’s debut, a few friends and I sat down and decided what we would do, and how we would do it, if something was to come up that would threaten the existence of the human race. We were young, paranoid, and maybe a little drunk. I won’t name any names (ahem- GRAYSON), but one of our friends, in particular, was sure that this type of disaster was bound to happen. I think he had recently read a zombie book or something. So- we very careful choreographed a plan to escape NYC and we made a heartfelt pact to stick to it. (We were to swim to Brooklyn, and then make our way to I-95 going South to walk to Boone, NC to live out the rest of our days, as animalistic as needed, at my parents mountain house in the woods. Perfect plan, eh?) The most awesome of pact ideas if I do say so myself. So today when all the older elementary girls at school were running around freaking out because they had just been texted that South Korea was getting bombed, I was holding back giggles and missing my buddies.

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Check the Cuteness

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First and foremost…

…have you seen this?

I cannot. Stop. Watching it. Literally. It’s been since before I left the states. I’m dealing with a once a day habit here people. My bestie said it best when I posted this sapp-a-rific video on her facebook wall- “It’s like a super sad Anne of Green Gables moment.” Right? Uhhh. I’m such a glutton for sappy country music.

Anyway- how is everyone? Good? Good. Despite the fact that if you just watched that video, there is an 89% chance you’re sobbing. Me? I’m doing great, thanks for asking. Everything here is just peachy-keen. Working my rear off, party-ing my rear off. You know. Staying busy. You’re probably asking yourself, snarkily- -too busy to blog on a regular basis? No, not too busy to blog on a regular basis. I actually keep logging on to my wordpress account and writing intros to hysterically witty pieces of brilliance. But my brilliance is often times stifled by my inability to focus. Or turn off the TV. Korean Pop Up Video. Google it.

Like, I wanted to share this theory that I came up with that had something to do with Lindsay Lohan’s continued efforts to get sober and how that if I continue to send good ju-ju to her I would receive some sort of, like, magical gift? I dunno. It’s lost now. Whatevies.

Then I decided I would try to offer you, dear readers, a visual into what my inner voice feels like when I’m teaching. I planned to composite the images of Billy Madison, Sister Mary Clarence of Sister Act II (yes, II. Not the original) and Mr. Miyagi.¬†But I then remembered I neither have photoshop on my computer, nor do I know how to actually “photoshop.” So that was a bust as well. Probably for the best tho, as I would hate for your brain to explode on account of such an over the top bit of insightful intellect. Wouldn’t want to isolate and/or insult my fan base.

Fan base. Jeebus. WordPress has created a monster.

So you can see why I haven’t been as diligent about blogging as I had once vowed to be. I’ve got a lot going on with the theorizing and such. Let’s take the time now, seeing as I have the TV turned off (because I can’t find the remote) and I’m not watching You-Tube videos about dead blonde country singers, to lettme update cha. Beyonce’s hit if she had moved to Korea by herself and started a blog.

I went and had my medical tests done today so that immigration will let me stay in this country. I was expecting something like a health center, all dingy and gross. I ended up in the swank of Ilsan at the nicest hospital I’ve ever been to. They x-rayed my chest, took blood, checked my eyes, blood pressure, height, weight annnd I had to tinkle in a cup. Man a-LIVE it was thorough. I thought they were going to ask what I had for lunch and pull through my ponytail for lice. Glad that’s done now. I gotta get my AR (Alien Registration) card quick because I’ve got a little trip planned for Christmas. Wanna know where to? Thailand. Yeah, that’s right. I said it. THAILAND.

I am super stoked. I’m going with my friend from high school and my Canadian co-teachers. We’re flying to Phuket on Christmas day and will return New Years Day. I can’t even wrap my head around how insane it’s gonna be. Elephant rides and camping on the beach and full moon parties. Uhhhhhhhhhh. We’re staying a night on the island where they filmed “The Beach” with my main man of the Titanic, Leo DiCaprio. Granted that movie was kinda terrifying. The setting was AH-mazing. It’ll be like Christmas morning. On Christmas morning, but waaay less Christmas-ie. And I find myself realizing that I couldn’t give two poos about the loss of the traditional holiday spirit this year. I’ll miss my family obviously, but I miss them all the time already so that’s old news. I’ll be on the beach. With monkeys. And Thai boxing. Happy birthday Jesus! The visions of ¬†Phuket sugarplums dancing in my head are getting me through the 10 hour days at school.

So that’s the newest update for ya. I’ll save the stories of my school days and nights out for another time. School days are becoming more routine and nights out here are strangely similar to nights out in NYC, just with more Asian hookers. Okay… gotta run! Pop up video is on again! Gahh, I love Korea.

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Yo. Below is what’s up. What’s shaking; what’s happening; what’s making my world go ’round. Prepare yourself.

Numero Uno- Finally met up with my friend Tess who is also living in Korea. She’s in Suwon, which like Hwajung (where I currently hang my hat) is “outside of Seoul”. “Outside of Seoul” can mean many things. Like when I first moved to New York and every apartment in Brooklyn was advertised as “outside of Williamsburg.” Walk by enough angry Hasidic Jews and a few puppy mills and you start to know when “outside of” means “you better be okay with one long assss metro ride into the city with 4 or 5 connections on a subway line that is often referred to as ‘elusive’.” Tess and I went to high school together. Lucky us, as our alma mater, St.Vincent’s, was SUPER AWESOME. Hear a hint of sarcasm there? No? I’ll say it again. SUPER AWESOME. Tess and I met up on Saturday, after Kid’s Club had open house and…

2. …we visited a palace. Which palace you ask? Oh you know, the palace. The one in Seoul. The one that’s down the way from the American embassy. The palace! (Can’t currently remember how to spell the name of said palace and Google is getting on my nerve-piece.)

#3. We went to the Korean Lantern Festival.

That was good times. The lanterns were beautiful and the colors were amazing and it was all held in what felt like a very central area of Seoul over this bridge that sits atop a little river that runs for miles and miles. It was all very Asian and impressive. We were told that there would be fireworks so we waited… and waited… and waited. No fireworks. So…

4. We went to a bar. In Itaewon. Ever heard of it? Probs not, but if you were you just the same as you are now, but you were living in Korea, you’d have heard of it. Because apparently there was some special committee of ex-pats that got together and decided that Itaewon would be the hub, so to speak, of all displaced Americans/ Canadians/ Brits. Heard lots of “y’alls” which was pretty exciting. Sat next to a table of “y’alls” that turned out to be Tennessee, Kentucky, Louisiana, and Arkansas. We had a “y’all” off. Tess and I won. Duh.

That was the weekend. Well, the high points anyway. To continue…

5. I can die happy and accomplished because I MANAGED TO FINALLY FIND SOY MILK AT THE SUPER MARKET!!!!! WHATWHAT! I cannot tell you how much of a challenge that was. This has been going on since the first week I was here. I have literally woken up every single day with a violent vendetta against a whole slew of peeps including; the super market workers, the marketing managers who could not have possibly thought to write SOY in English on a carton of milk, the entire Korean soybean industry, etc. Speaking of which, I think I’ll take a quick break for a nice tall cold one of my perfect bean beverage….

And it’s been confirmed… soy milk is the shizzzzz.

6. Brown class had it’s first official meltdown today. My main girly-girl was getting picked on this morning during a rousing game of North, South, East, West and babydoll straight lost it. As would you if you were 6 in a 7 year-old class and six little gremlins were up your butt about “cheating” when your only sin was being a bit slower than those speed demons. UHH! Mama Bear got PISSED. I stopped the game and pointed my finger and looked those little bullies in the eyes and told them it was a SHAME they were so MEAN because ONE DAY you’ll grow up and if you’re that MEAN to other people you won’t have any FRIENDS and you’ll be LONELY every SINGLE DAY!!!!

Things got heated…

7. Same small gremlins decided they wanted to move to Canada to be with Laura Teacher and I told them GO AHEAD. All the while holding my little angel in strawberry glasses while she cried and cried and cried. Pitiful.

8. Realized that the Avett Brothers are, like, the best band of all time. Where the good gah have I been??

9. Ring the international bells of celebration for this one… Baby Girl Georganna Gray Wilson has been born into all the awesome that is the Odom family. I wish I could be there with my fam to see little Georgie (or as I gansta named her a few months back… GG Dub). I did see a pic and BOY HOWDIE she’s a looker already. I don’t know much else about her because my family is too wrapped up in the baby goodness to e-mail me any deets. HELLO??? IMMA NEED SOME DEETS HERE. I do know she is a Scorpio (water sign, like her Aunt Monica (cooler aunt nickname still to be decided)) and her aura will definitely be some lovely shade of purple if her Aunt Arykah has anything to do with it. Actually, I’m pretty disappointed that I’m gonna miss Georgie’s first Lion King moment when Arykah sneaks her out of her bassinet and takes her into the woods in the middle of the night to hold her nakey little bum towards the moonlight Simba style. Can that sort of thing wait until a baby’s first birthday, or do you kind of have to knock it out right away? Like a baptism, but if you don’t moon bathe the baby, it’s vibe will be in purgatory?

Last but not least… #10. I’ve decided I really do like it here. I know that’s kind of vague and far off and untimely, but something came over me at some point either this weekend or this week or in my sleep.. I dunno. But I feel a lot more settled and happy. Maybe it was finally getting out and about and seeing something worth seeing. Or maybe it was being with an old friend who made me comfortable and agreed with my “Savannah is a big gaping hole of quicksand just waiting to suck great people with great intentions into it’s deep dark abyss” sentiment. Or maybe it was the soy milk. Again… I dunno. But I do feel like I can officially state that this is where I’m supposed to be. I know I kept saying it, but saying it and believing it are two different things. I feel like my whole life has been one big ladder and every step I’ve taken is in preparation for the next step. Sorry for the totally lame/ordinary visual there, but that’s how I feel (and I can’t come up with anything else. Maybe because of the soju shots I had tonight. Delicious.) So yeah. Things are good for the most part. I’ve had some big bumps and knock downs this week that I won’t elaborate on, but overall I feel positive and enthusiastic. We’ll see how long I can keep it up. If it doesn’t work out, I’m drinking a kilo of soju, kidnaping a few adorable kiddies and hopping the next plane to Georgia. Hopefully in time to make it to Georgie’s “christening.”

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