Archive for February, 2011

Just a thought.

Ridiculous is clearly on trend in the music biz. Exhibit A was the Cee Lo Grammy thing, which is stiiiill cracking me up. And now there’s this new Ke$ha video that I can categorically say is totally the bigger banana head. Check it.

But it’s not just pop music that’s come down with a case of the sillys.


Come to think of it though, Phish may have been the cause of the outbreak to begin with. Regardless of who’s at fault, I would just like to say thank you and throw around some high fives for encouragement. Us connoisseurs of the goofy, absurd, bizarre, and all around hysterical are eating this ish up so don’t back down for even a second. Keep the crazy coming.

In other news, Mama Linda and Papa Diddy Pop have arrived and Operation See K-country has commenced. I’ve got their trip scheduled down to the milisecond and I’ll be gosh darned if they miss one museum, palace, or temple. We’re gonna eat kimchee and bow awkwardly ’till we can’t see straight. They’ll be full blooded Koreans by the time I’m done with them. Just today we had lunch and Dad took off his shoes and sat on the floor of a restaurant. Whaaaa? That’s right. My master plan is coming along nicely. Change his name to Kim Carroll Lee. We’re only a few days away from him carrying Mom’s purse and hawking up giant loogies on the sidewalk. It’s going to be ridiculous and I can’t wait.

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The elementary kids get tested each month on the material we cover. That means a week of busy, busy, busy all the time getting tests made, while still preparing regular class work too and then two days of sitting around and doing a whole bunch of nothing while the kids take their tests. Today was particularly snooze-tastical because apparently, I made The World’s Hardest Science Test. I didn’t do this on purpose, obviously, and to be frank, it was sooo not that hard. My elementary kids just have this tendency to not study and so the tests have a tendency to be tough. Funny how that works. I get it though. Same thing use to happen to me too.

So. I had some time to kill today. Time to kill while proctoring a test is time that does not die easily because you don’t have a computer, you can’t chat with anyone, no snacking allowed, etc. It’s pretty much just sit there and stare at the girl’s overly complicated hair bows, which is what I usually do. After a while, that did eventually become boring, so I then took on the task of staring at my water bottle.

My water bottle and I have a strange relationship. I haven’t named it or anything, but I probably should. I take it everywhere. I love it. I keep it near. I get anxiety when it’s not around, which is not often, which makes the anxiety super intense which is probably due to it’s rarity. (I think I just took the word “which” to that place where it looses all meaning.)

When I was a kid, my mom was notorious for telling me to “drink some water”. It was like a cure-all. Mom, I’m thirsty… drink some water. Mom, I’m hungry… drink some water. Mom, I’m just got attacked by a Volkswagen sized jellyfish… drink some water. You get it. So I did. Drink water, I mean. A lot of it. And now I’m addicted. No, really. I drink a lot of water. I did as a kid and do now as an adult, but I didn’t drink much at all during my teens/ high school/ college days. But that’s another shrink session. Maybe that’s why I’m addicted, because I went for so long without. Well, either way, I now drink an excessive amount of water and carry around a water bottle like it’s an extra appendage. An extra appendage I love! So in the spirit of Valentine’s Day I wrote a love poem, of sorts, and will share it with you now.

Ode to my water bottle.

I am so thristy most of the day, I chug and chug and throw the plastic away.

I saw a commercial that said the Earth would die. Just because of my water bottle? Look! A tear’s in my eye.

So I went to the store where the hippies get their gear. I wouldn’t be there long, so I parked in the rear.

I raced through the door, past the nice girl dreads. I was so frantic, like I’d been off of my meds.

I need something plastic, but not the throw-away kind. To use everyday, but non-breakable, keep in mind.

Something light and sturdy, and attractive to the eye. A bottle I can drop a lot, because I will, that’s no lie.

Not just any water bottle- the BEST water bottle, a gem. I may be making this a silly, big deal, but can I get an Amen!?!

It was then that I saw it, 32 ounces of bliss. It was clear and glowing and I almost gave it a kiss.

The dreadies and sales peeps faded away in a blur. I had found it, it was perfect! I needed no one to concur.

What is this “Nalgene”? I asked in a daze. A company of wonder? I was lost in a haze.

FInally, a fellow shopper gave me a slap on the cheek. He said, “snap out of it!” He was firm, not meek.

I realized I’d let all this go to my head. Suddenly, I was pooped, needing a nap in my bed.

I slowly looked around. The whole store was stunned. I reached for my wallet, so this obsession I could fund.

I had made such a scene! Freaked out! Gone nuts! Over a water bottle? I had to get it together, no ifs, ands, or buts.

A pleasant, bearded man scanned the price, pulled the tag. But then I freaked again, before he could get it in the bag.

$24 for a water bottle? That’s just crazy.


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I am typing this one handed, while I frantically try and get my bestie in NY on the phone. Hopefully I’ll catch her on her way to work, because it is IMPERATIVE I speak to someone about the looney-tune rollercoaster of a musical performace that I just watched on youtube. I have to make sure I didn’t hallucinate the whole thing. Not that my mind is anywhere near capable of dreaming up something like this. I would need to do a LOT of LSD, break into Elton John’s pool house, and live there for a month while watching every single episode of Fraggle Rock and The Muppet Show that were ever made. The Grammys were last night. Obviously I wasn’t able to watch on TV so after a very relaxing yoga class, I came home, made myself a warm cup of tea, put on my jommies, and sat down, lethargically, to wind down after a long day. I wasn’t AT ALL prepared for the fact that I was about to go into HYSTERICS. Like real hysterics. Check it out. Go potty first, because you have a high chance of wetting your britches with this one.

CeeLo Green looses his forgetting mind.

I gotta tell you.  I haven’t laughed that hard since I’ve been in this country. Maybe ever. I made noises I didn’t know could come out of me. Like an old man gargling Listerine and choking at the same time. I was instantly crying and bouncing up and down in my seat and saying to no one in particular “THIS IS RIDICLOUS!!!” Ridiculous and AH-mazing, mind you. Insane. This is crazy people stuff. How did they even come up with this? And for his next act? I mean, what do you do AFTER this? How do you top something that is without a doubt the most colorful, cheerful, most intensely BONKERS thing that has ever happen on the Grammy stage? Not to mention, poor Katy Perry. Having to follow that? I bet she was dry heaving in her be-dazzled bustiere backstage.

I bow down to the alter of Cee Lo and his life-altering art of silliness. I wish with all my heart I could have been a fly on the wall in the conference room, or studio, or wherever they were when they came up with this. “They.” Who are “they?” Who in the WORLD patted Cee Lo on the back when he was pitching this idea and said, “You know, that sounds like just the thing the Grammys need. They were a little dull last year.” Gwen sure didn’t have anything to do with something this over the top. She’s too goopy to have a hand in this brilliance. Gwen looks like she just stopped by after a PTA meeting and high jacked Ke$ha’s earrings in the hall on the way to the stage. But she’s Gwen and she can do anything and make it look cool, so whatevs. Let’s focus on why we’re here. I need to know…what all-star team of lunatics were able to shake this act out? Hmmm… must have been Elton (duh), the ghosts of both Timothy Leary and Jim Hansen, the entire writing team from SNL (okay, every comedy writer that has anything to do at all with NBC) the actual peacock from NBC, some hippies they found trying to ground score after a Sound Tribe Sector Nine show, and all the employees from this drag bar in NYC that I love, Lucky Cheng’s.  They all got together in a big ball pit, like the ones Chucky Cheese used to have, and smoke some illegal drug(s) and threw darts at a dart board with a picture of Lady Gaga’s head on it. And this performance was born. Come to think of it, Gaga may or may not have been giving a direct shout out to Cee Lo during her “Born this Way” number.

I plan to watch this video first thing every morning for the rest of my life. I want to fly to L.A. and sit outside of Cee Lo’s house until he invites me in for a bowl of fruity pebbles and a Hypnotic cocktail. I’ll take a notebook and ask him questions about his life up to this point and try to make 2 and 2 equal 4. Then we’ll be best friends and he’ll give me a job taking care of his puppets. When I die, I want someone to pay whatever it costs to have Crazy ol’ Cee Lo and Gwen and the puppets put this whole show on, step by step, detail by detail, at my funeral. I would assassinate a state elected official to be on that piano dancing around like a woman possessed. I think I would work out some choreo that was a mix of Stevie Nicks, Mia Michaels, and a whirling dervish. What would I wear? I dunno. Can’t think that hard. That video just turned my brain into glow-in-the-dark jello. That’s why I gotta get my girl on the phone, ‘ cause I have a feeling she’s already figured that part out.

Aight. Imma hit re-dial and watch this video again for the 5th time in, like, half an hour. Someone might want to Skype me in a few days and make sure I’ve gone to school and eaten and stuff because I could be at this computer a while.

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Ok, so. You know how I pledged my allegiance to all these girly design blogs a while back? Well, actually, I devoted my life to design blogs about two years ago and then a few posts ago, I took that devotion public. Or as “public” as writing it on the blog only my Dad sees can be. Well, there is a theme of sorts that evidence can be found of on many of these blogs. The theme is the “5 things” list. Usually named something adorable like “5 Things that Made My Week” or “5 Things that Make Me Smile” or “5 Things that Prove my Life is More Aesthetically Pleasing and All Around Better Than Yours.” These lists are usually all the same. The blogger uses their $2,000 professional camera, finds the right light, and takes tasteful close ups of any type of thing that gave them that warm/ fuzzy feeling at some point during the past 7 days. One thing might be a fun, new, quirky nail polish color (with an equally annoying name (Tart Deco!!)). One an organic, over-the-top desert item, in all its glutton-free, homemade glory.  A trip to the seashore in the dead of winter to photograph old beach houses and red coral. A hand written love note left by the bloggers’ artsy (and incredibly supportive) boyfriend/ husband tucked into their vintage bedroom mirror that said blogger saved from an untimely death of becoming a flea market castoff. He helped her spray the ungodly mirror with black lacquer paint and NOW LOOK AT IT! AMAZING! You get the picture. Don’t get me wrong. I am not making fun. I liiiiive for these posts. Really, I do. They sometimes make me wanna gag or stab something in jealously, but overall, I look forward to them each week. So, in this light, I have decided to write my own little “5 Things” list. Mine will reflect the 5 day holiday I had for the Lunar New Year. Just to keep things semi-cultural. I have a feeling you don’t wanna know about my new shampoo. This isn’t that type of blog. Here goes nothing. Drumroll please.

MoniKorea’s 5 Things That Are Better than

Spending a 10 Hour Workday with Usually Fussy Korean Children

1. Sleep. Sleeping. Not the “oh, I’ve been so busy, I sure could use some sleep” sleep, but the “I am 25 years old and literally have ZERO responsibility for the next few days and I do what I want” kind of sleep. Sadly (luckily) the gym was closed for the holiday too, so it really wasn’t my fault that I just had to sit on my butt for a good percentage of my time off.

I wish I could say my solo slumber party looked all lushy and beautiful like this…

Let’s be honest. It definitely resembled something more along the lines of this..

2. Winning $30 on a slot machine, BOI-EEEE! That was pretty cool. First time gambling ever! Beginners luck I assume. I went to visit the Largest Underground Shopping Mall in Asia (called Coex, not Cotex as I disgustingly kept accidentally referring to it) with two friends and after many hours of roaming and getting utterly turned backasswards for the millionth time, we ended up in a casino. I probably wouldn’t have gone in by myself, but in threes I’m a bit more adventurous. Did you know gambling is illegal in Korea? So the only people in this huge casino were foreigners. Funny, huh? We even had to show our passports to get in.

3. Ssireum wrestling. Actually the Korean Ssireum Wrestling Championship. That was a ton o’ fun. MAY-JAH highlight. I have a video I will post soon.

4. Visiting a jimjilbang. What in the good golly miss molly is a jimjilbang, you ask? Well it’s a sauna. Like a place you go to get in a sauna. Not just one sauna. Like 10 saunas. A sauna spa if you will. The point is it’s super awesome on the coldest of February days and it’s super cheap. Around 12,000 Won which is the equivalent of about $12 USD. They have them all over Korea and the Koreans are loyal followers of the jimjilbang religion. There are a lot of naked women which is something a modest Westerner like myself has to just suck up and get over, but other than that, it’s pretty amazing. I felt great. Definitely going again soon. The link below is the jimjilbang I hope to visit sometime this weekend.

Dragon Hill Spa

5. Knowing/ waiting for/ anticipating the fact that my parents will be here in just two short weeks. I am super pumped. I spent a good bit of time during my holiday researching and planning for stuff to see/ do during their trip. I’ve got quite a lot in store for them. I am so excited. I miss them obviously, but I am really just interested to see how they fair (or fare?) over here. Dad with chopsticks. Mom on the subway. It’s gonna be great.

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Spam for your smile.

The Lunar New Year is here. This means two things to an ex-pat like myself. We have 3 days off from school and I had better make some room in my pantry for an influx of gifted spam.

Notice my best attempt at photo styling. HA!

Yes, I did cook the spam. I’ve had a nagging interest in cooking the spam that was already left in my pantry by the last teacher who lived here. But that was off brand spam, so I was doubly apprehensive. Once I got the real deal, name brand stuff, I thought I should probably go for it. What am I doing living in another country/ culture if not trying to add as many notches to my experience belt as possible? Ok. That sounds kinda dirty, but you know what I mean.

I asked my Korean co-teachers at school; is it good? What do you eat it with? Breakfast, lunch, or dinner? Do I need ketchup? I made sure to ask these questions delicately, obviously, as the Spam was a gift from the school and I would sooner die than be rude about a gift. Hopefully that death won’t come from food poisoning, now that I have actually cooked and eaten the Spam.

I did what I was advised to do. I cut it thinly and put oil in a pan and went about fryin’ it up like I’ve seen my mama fry pork chops. I ate two pieces. Not so bad. Not so great either. Kinda salty. Like Canadian bacon. I then quickly googled “Is Spam really bad for you?” The answer? In a nutshell… holy hell, YES. More specifically, those two thin slices contain 30% of my daily saturated fat quota, 31% of my sodium and 13% of my cholesterol. WOW. Check the below website for more Spam related fun facts. Then go make yourself a salad.


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