Monday, March 30, 2009

Me and My Pawky

Remember the "Me and my Llama" song from Sesame Street? This kid (possibly a girl, maybe a boy) went to the dentist with their llama and they sang "Me and my llama, me and my llama, me and my llama and me!" Anyways, I change llama to Pawky during the day and sing it to him. He is my best friend (for now) in Korea. Grant's been leaving at 3:30ish in the morning to go to work, so Pawky and I are left to start the day together. We usually eat breakfast then check our Facebook, email, blog and twitter accounts. Sometimes we skype with my sister and then we read or clean the house. Later we go on a walk up the big stairs, to the park and through the little town we live in. Most people are scared of Pawky and jump off the sidewalk, but today a girl grinned at me through the coffee shop window. It seriously made my day! Me and my Pawky need some extra encouragement sometimes. Earlier, Pawky helped me put together a bookshelf that will somehow become my sewing table. I wanted to buy the card table at the BX, but it was a little too pricey. We ended up buying two small bookcases at E-mart and a tabletop to put on top. Storage and utility, right? Except the bookcases are as tall as my ironing board, so I think I will need to buy a stool too. Oh well, such is daily life for me and my Pawky. I think I might need more friends than just my dog! Today, I went to lunch with a friend named Bevin and her awesome little girl, Mason. She said she'll go to Dunkin' Donuts with me next week. Another friend and Minnesota native, Tara, will be here next month too. Don't worry, Pawky will still be my first best friend.

After I posted this I went to YouTube and found the video. Here's the link: Korean YouTube might be different, so you might have to search for "llama and sesame street" to find it. Notice the girl and the llama's teeth are about the same AND the "Me and My Llama" song doesn't mask the dentist drill very well. Fingernails on a mother chalkboard! Bonus: Pawky and the Llama's butt look the same.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Big Steps

I made it. I'm sitting in Dunkin' Donuts, but it's somewhere other than our apartment. The place I wanted to go to was closed, so this is the best I can do for now. I set up my laptop and sat down to drink a very sugary vanilla latte. I need it though. I'm starting to hit the wall named jet lag. It's different than just being tired. I feel slightly buzzed more than sleepy. I can see the reflection of the street behind me on my laptop. A Daewoo bus just passed, along with a family with a pink stroller. A boy around sixteen with thick glasses and the trademark white earplugs just entered, picked up a tray and tongs and then chose a pastry already packaged. Overly hygienic if you ask me. It looks like he's hungry for a doughnut hole too, but i'm not sure yet. Do I spell doughnuts different because i'm in a Dunkin' Donuts as opposed to a Dunking Doughnuts? Now that I take another look at the boy, I think it's girl with a bad bowl cut. Big steps today. This is my first outing in Korea by myself. I spent a month here earlier and never went anywhere by myself. Big steps, indeed. Indubitably.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Traveling Woman

I am done traveling. I was a little sad pulling off the freeway this past weekend. The passing trees and dull hum of the road were my constant companions. Along the way, I was welcomed into my friends' houses, apartments and townhouses without any hesitation. I won't turn this into an Oscar speech, but thank you all so much. You are welcome to come to Korea anytime! Although, I doubt anyone will take me up on that. I leave tomorrow with morning with an open mind, but also with a better sense of really what to expect. It will be hard, but I can handle it. I can drive 13 hours by myself. I can cross the country without anyone else. I can handle anything. See you on the flipside.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Reba Rodeo

I went to the rodeo for the first time on Wednesday. I reluctantly have to admit I enjoyed it—the animals, (big) Texas residents eating their weight in curly fries (we’re talking fries molded into the shape of a bundt cake) and the cowboys. Maybe it’s because Grant is gone, but the cowboys were c---ute! That’s right, two syllables of cute in a southern accent.Tight jeans, big hats, huge smiles (don’t worry I’m not going to go there) and the greatest names ever in the world of cowboy. Howdy Cloud was my favorite, but should not be upstaged by Court Scheer (think Man in the Moon), or Cooper Kanngiesser. I’m mad I didn’t take any pictures, but I think cowboys are better left to the imagination. Oh and I saw Reba McEntire.

Monday, March 9, 2009


I've been saying "basically" too much in everyday conversation. "Basically" or "it comes down to" are two phrases I think should be used more sparingly than I do now. I also want to stop using the word, "a lot." Isn't that a form of measurement literally speaking?


I've been traveling once again, but this time in Texas. The longest drive yet was to San Antonio last week. It took around fourteen hours, only stopping for gas, by the time I was finished. I alternated listening to "This American Life," "The Story of Edgar Sawtelle" on audiobook and a sprinkling of music here and there.

The episode "Heretic" on "This American Life" (TAL) is amazing. It's crazy to think the United States still has heretics at all, but apparently many churches still tag men and women as true heretics. TAL focused on an American evangelical pastor who had a super church and was very charismatic and successful in his preaching. One day he was watching a news segment on African children. He prayed and asked God why He would allow such suffering in the world and how he could save everyone. Eventually, he felt God was telling him people on earth make their own hell for others and themselves...everyone is saved. Basically (I know, I know) there is no hell and everyone is saved. I don't know where God and I stand most of the time, but I really liked this idea. I want to believe everyone is going to heaven because I do not think people who are homosexual, Islamic, etc. etc. DESERVE to go to hell. Humans create their own hell here on earth. Listen to "Heretic on "This American Life" via podcast: if you can and let me know what you think!

In addition to TAL I listened to an audiobook. "The Story of Edgar Sawtelle" is a definite read. I wanted to buy the book, but it works as an audiobook as well. The narrator has a scratchy voice that fits in with the rustic narrative of the novel. I think Oprah picked it up as the next book for her book club. Oprah usually has pretty solid choices.

I couldn't make the trip without listening to some music. My friend Nick showed me the "Genius" playlist feature on my iPod before I left. So, you pick the song and start "Genius." Then it automatically picks 25 songs based on your selection. I chose "You Don't Know Me at All" by Ben Folds and Regina Spektor. Genius picked Radiohead, the Stars, Fleet Fixes, Death Cab for Cutie, Sufjan Stevens, and Feist. Sweet!

Once I got to San Antonio I hung out with Lynne, Steven and their four kids. We pretty much stayed close to home with the exception of a short trip to Alamo Heights. If Grant and I end up getting San Antonio as our next assignment it would be awesome to live there! There are decent markets nearby and the neighborhood is older and more established.

Then I went to to Austin to see good friends Barbara and Meetesh. Their little one is so adorable! We went to some really great restaurants while I was there including Pavlos (I think that's the name), Taco Express and The Salt Lick. The Salt Lick was awesome and a true Texas experience.

I'm hoping to end my time in Texas in Houston with my in-laws. It's been liberating driving across country by myself, but i'm happy it's over. I might go visit some friends in Dallas and that's it for me in the United States for 90 days. I'm really excited to return to Korea with a more open mind and hopefully better weather.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


We rented our house out today. I can't explain what a relief it is to know someone will be living in the house paying for part (not all) of our mortgage. Financially, this year has been very tough for...everyone, including us. Grant and I seem to be frozen sometimes in our decision making. I want to be with my husband in Korea, but we need to make sure our housing allowance continues. I would like to have a job and continue my career, but the love of my life is in Korea. I would like to look for a job next school year, but we have no idea where we're going to live. To have the house rented feels like something finally has fallen into place. I will still go to sleep rolling numbers in my head, but I can calculate a little easier now. Grant called when he woke up on a phone line from another time. When I told him, I could bearly hear him half whisper, "Awesome. That is just...awesome."