Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Vanessa: Ummm... what's that above your lip?
Kyle: What? What do you mean?
Vanessa: It looks like you have a caterpillar crawling on your face. Hold still, let me just..
Kyle: HEY! That hurts!
Vanessa: Wow, it's really attached on there.
Kyle: Let go, its not a caterpillar.
Vanessa: Hold the phone. Your growing a mustache? Did you develop an unhealthy obsession with Tom Selleck?.
Kyle: No, but Tom Selleck is pretty bad ass. This is Movember.
Vanessa:  Wow, you've been in Korea way too long.  The month is called November, not Movember.
Kyle: Movember is the month of mustaches.
Vanessa: Does this having something to do with video games?
Kyle: No, but speaking of video games, have you seen the new video game that I can't stop thinking about.  It's called Skyrim and it is the most...
Vanessa:  Can you stay on track please?
Kyle: Its just that Skyrim is like my dream come true, it's got dragons and swords and...
Vanessa: Kyle!  Movember!
Kyle: Movember (The month formerly known as November) is a mustache growing charity event held during November each year that raises funds and awareness for men's health issues such as prostrate and testicular cancer.
Vanessa: I see... so that caterpillar on your upper lip is there to stay?
Kyle: Yep.  I look mighty sexy don't you think?
Vanessa: Its coming off the first of December right?
Kyle: You didn't answer my question?
Vanessa: ummm... yes I did.
Kyle: So you think its sexy?
Vanessa: Its coming off in December right?

Movember is now officially over. They raised four hundred dollars and the school nearly matched it.  This year however instead of donating it to the movember website, the boys decided the school (the Korean staff) would be more involved if they donated it to a local charity. They donated the money to "Angel house" one of the schools for disabled and mentally challenged children.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Hummingbird moth

When my co-teacher told me about this, I almost didn't believe.  Maybe there was something lost in translation, I thought.
"There is a moth that looks like a hummingbird." she said excitedly.  She loves anything about animals.  We share  this love of animals.
"Really?" I said incredulously.

So I looked it up on the internet...and low and behold, she knew what she was talking about.
They are medium to large moths witch mimic hummingbird behavior.  They fly about, wings beating quickly, sipping nectar from the vibrant flowers of gardens nearly as elegantly as the birds they mimic. But they are not birds. Not at all.  They are in fact MOTHS!

I had the pleasure of seeing one the other day.  Had I not been aware of its existence previously, I might have mistaken it for a hummingbird, but upon closer inspection, I saw that it was indeed a moth.  The same moth I had gawked at on the internet was flying around me. It was exhilarating being near such a strange creature.  Had I had my camera I would have caught footage, but alas, I was without.  So you will have to do with others photos.  I am astounded by nature everyday.  Its just so amazing.

heres the video (I didn't take it)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Crazy Hair Day

Every Friday is Theme day at our Preschool.  A few days back, we had "Crazy Hair Day"  We spent most of the morning doing our hair in crazy dos and helping those students whom hadn't done their hair already, fancy it up.  It was an exciting day in the preschool.  Many parents went all out, putting flowers, rice, ribbons, color spray and pipe cleaners to adorn their children's hair. Most of the kids had a blast.  Top on the other hand was non to thrilled too be participating in this childish endeavor. I swear he is like a grandpa in a four year old's body.  "Why are you doing this to me?" Is what he's thinking right now.  "Play your silly games if you must, but don't expect me to enjoy myself!"

Friday, November 18, 2011

Mudfest 2011 in pictures

 Mud Fest 2011 was fantastic, it was also MONTHS ago, as in at the BEGINNING of the summer.  But I found this in my drafts and although I put up the Mudfest video post I didn't put up pictures!! Oops!  Well... no worries, picnik is here to save the day once more.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Trip to Dague

 We went to Daegu, another large city in Korea for an impulsive, unplanned getaway for a weekend.  It was a fun trip, but ended up costing us way more than we expected to originally pay.  Ce la vie.

First, we, the ladies, sat in a cafe, while the boys went to find us a roach motel.  And a roach motel they did find. The pictures of this LOVELY suite can be found in our youtube video about "love motels."  Its the peptobismal pink one with the plastic flooring coming off.   While they searched long and hard, we took silly photos...

We then found a cultural event which was happening near the medicine market. daegu is known for its natural medicine remedies, but also its plastic surgery.

  • We played dress up
  • dipped our feet in the medicine fountain
  • crushed some type of medicine
  • played some traditional games
  • gawked at old men playing some board games
  • watched some random parade drive by
  • watched a drum and sword performance. 
It was quite a cultural day for us.

The second day we went ice skating before heading home.  We realized once on the ice however, that ice skating is quite dangerous without proper protection, such as pants... Because it was early September, it was still quite warm, therefore leaving us vulnerable to the sharp, gritting teeth of the ice below. Luckily non of us fell, although Sam tried when he decided to do some type of fancy jump on the ice.

random guy out at midnight with his dog wearing sunglasses.

Two barber poles signifies not just a barber shop, but a special place with "special" services. Don't know what THREE poles mean...

sam jumping, and miraculously not killing himself.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Moother goose

Somedays I feel like mothergoose with little duckling following behind me.  Not sure why??

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Remember those "tickets?"

It was 9 am.  My co-worker came in to my classroom and sat down as she often did to have a chat first thing in the morning, but this morning a worried expression was inked onto her pretty Irish face.
"Who was that travel agent you told me you used?" she asked
"Zenith tours" I replied
"I just read an article... it said that he's had a lot of complaints lately."
"You might just want to call the airlines to make sure your flight reservations weren't canceled."
"I'm not too worried.  Kate and Shelly are in Thailand right now using his flights and Jacob is currently flying using tickets he purchased from him as well.  Jacob has used this guy for years and never had problems.  I'm not too worried"
She nodded.
"Those tickets"
I did call the airlines though.  I mostly had just said those things to reassure myself.  My heart had been beating like a bird flying rashly into a clear window pane over and over again.

Our tickets were through several different airlines.  It took us a few days to get a hold of  all the airlines, but once we did that bird within my chest hit the window pane for the last time, and sank to the cold concrete floor stunned, unable to move.  Our travel agent, to whom we had sent over $3000, had not yet paid our tickets. He'd made reservations, but he hadn't paid the airlines.

We emailed, we called... no answer

The next day, Kyle came to my classroom. Its rare that Kyle comes to my classroom.  My heart which had not taken the events well shuddered at the site of him. Not because I don't like seeing my husband during the day, but because I knew he was there because something had happened.

"He's in jail." Kyle told me
"What!" I exclaimed
"They've arrested him.  He's in jail."

He's out of jail now on the condition that he keeps in touch with the law, and liquidates his assets to pay the 40 something customers he cheated.

Kyle filed a police report, and entered a class law suit, but currently the police think that he's skipped town because he hasn't responded and they haven't been able to find him.

So Kyle and began the search for our tickets again.  We are hopeful that EVENTUALLY we will be refunded, but there are concerns.  By the time the law suit is over, we will not be in Korea which will make things difficult.  And, the guy owes hundreds of thousands of dollars.... he convinced the judge that his real estate was worth what he owed...I don't know if it is...  So only time shall tell...

If we don't get it back, its a lot of money that we're out, but in the end, we have each other, we have our friends and family and really that's whats important in life.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

I'm a yogini

"Can you teach yoga?" my manager asked me one day.

"uhhh," I stuttered

"I want the kids to learn yoga, and the president wont pay for a yoga instructor." she said

"I guess." I acquiesced.

I actually do yoga videos about once a week along with my other work outs.  So I'm quite familiar with the moves.  But I started looking up kids yoga, and its quite different to the calm and peaceful yoga that is ususally taught to kids.  Basically, all of the moves are active rather than static, and many of the positions are given animal names.  I also have the kids make the nosies of the animals as they follow along. They LOVE yoga because basically, they love pretending to be animals.  Its very cute.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Happy Peperro Day

Otherwise known as November 11.  There are folks in the states that complain loudly about holidays being taken over by commercialism, but seriously, its nothing in comparison to Korea's National Holiday of Peperro Day.  This "holiday" is celebrated every year on 11/11 by the giving of these chocolate covered sticks to friends, romantic partners, and teachers.  The claim is that Peperro sticks resemble the number one, so the holiday makes sense.  Seriously- its just an excuse for another company to sell something, and a specific brand at that.

But this year is even MORE special- because not only is it November 11, but the year is 2011 giving advertisers a new gimmick- "once in a thousand years" Millennium Peperro day.

Watch the peperro video here.
According to my Korean co-worker here are some statistics from this years peperro holiday.

500,000,000won= $500,000 for t.v. advertisement for November.
850,000,000won = $850,000 profit for whole year
70,000,000won= $70,000 higher profit than last year

Here are the candies that came our way this year.  Now all of this was not for me alone, but for our studnets and co-teacher as well.  But that's a lot of candy for our class of 9.

Another similar holiday in Korea is Chupa chups day on September 9.  This also makes "sense" because the candy resemble the number 9. Bouquet of these suckers are often given to friends and romantic partners.

This year, I didn't receive any of these suckers because we were all on vacation....

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Pre-school clips

A while a go our preschool was videoed for an advertisement for the website. This is that preschool video.  It's adorable.  The first class is mine.  I'm super proud of my kids, but not of my hair in this video.  Don't look at it!  Hope you enjoy!

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Operation Cheesy Romance

There are some who might say I'm not a very good planner. Evidence certainly supports that assessment however as of a few weeks ago, that table is beginning to turn! Sept. 2nd marked the big 5 year for us and I wanted our celebratory date to be especially special this year. I think I pulled it off.

I spent almost all of August trying to come up with something, and let me tell you, it ain't easy in a foreign country. I knew of a very romantic restaurant that I had been to once before that was right on the river, not too far from where we live that had excellent duck. When I asked around about where it was however, no one seemed to know. Frustrating. So then I realized, I don't need to get fancy, just creative. Here's how it went; 

First I told Vanessa that I would be taking her out on a date Thursday night and that I had arranged to have our friend drive us there. I had a lot of secret planning and cooking to do though so I also crafted up a cover story that our International school Kapa would be shooting a commercial that evening and that I had been asked to help. I was going to help them as much as I could and then come home around 7:30 to get ready for our date at 8. 

I let some of my coworkers in on the plan about a week in advance so that I could enlist their help, so at 6:30 we met at the designated rendezvous and got to work. The menu for the evening was Filet Mignon with a home made mushroom, onion and redwine burgundy sauce. I whipped up some garlic mashed potatoes on the side and a stir fried Jambolaya/ dirty rice dish I winged a bit with coconut lime shrimp. I found an excellent wine from Montepulciano, not far from where we studied abroad in Italy and desert was "homemade heheh" brownies with strawberries and dark chocolate truffle shavings smothered in chocolate sauce. It took me about an hour and a half to get everything cooked up and ready and even then, if it wasn't for Sam Cooper and Kelly Middleton, I never would have finished in time! You guys were life savers! 

So while I was cooking away, I had our friends Linda and the Irish Gals help arrange the setting. Our village has a beautiful mini outdoor theater that now has a giant chess board in the middle of it with a huge white tent covering it on the top of a hill that overlooks our village.  Earlier in the day I had a few of the guys help me string up some Christmas lights and put a table and chairs in the middle of the giant chess pieces. Our buddy Mark had a brilliant idea and took the heater off his bathroom wall and stuck in under the table. Perfect touch! The girls then arranged about a hundred tea cup candles all over the tent and string up some lanterns. To put the finishing touches on, they even decorated the table with a beautiful centerpiece that rounded the whole thing off. Nice touch girls! Half the damn candles blew out but what can ya do and it was still incredibly beautiful. 

So I rushed back to the apartment at 7:30ish and told Van that I had pushed the reservations back to 8:15 and that Jay, our chauffeur, would be picking us up at 8. I quickly shaved off my scruffy beard and threw on a nice shirt and pants and we loaded up into our "limo." Jay took us around the village and up the hill, to our "fancy restaurant that came highly recommended." The place looked fantastic! Van was very surprised indeed. 

I had also arranged to have a few of the high school students from Kapa there to play some super cheesy romance music for us. They were perfect! Beauty and the Beast, Moon River and a beautiful guitar solo that I didn't recognize but was excellently done. Sam Cooper, I mean "Pierre" was our waiter for the evening and was hands down the best waiter we have ever had, except for that fact that he kept making passes at my wife. Sigh, the French. Anyways, the cheese and olive apertif plate was beautifully arranged in a flower shape and the wine was eloquently served. And if we needed anything we just needed to call. What more can you possibly ask for in a restaurant? 

To top it all of, we had an excellently executed fireworks display that added just the right amount of over the topness to make the evening one for the record books. V says it was the most romantic thing I've ever done and all the guys in the Village now hate me for raising the bar so high. I hate to gloat but I'm quite proud of myself for pulling this one off, even if it was 5 years and 1 month over due! 
A special thanks goes out to Linda, Lisa, Helena, D, Mark, Sean, Jovan and especially Kelly and Sam. You guys were awesome and I couldn't have pulled it off without yall! 

Friday, November 04, 2011

Scary movie marathon

I love Halloween.  I wouldn't go so far as to say its my favorite holiday, but there is a lot I love about it.  I love dressing up, I love the candy, carving jack-o-lanterns, dressing up, and the general spirit of scaring each other for fun. I love the tradition of trick-o-treating, that for one night a week, neighborhoods open to their doors to complete strangers and give to one another.  I love the community spirit of it all.

This year, Kyle and I were lazy.  We didn't organize anything. Last year we had a Halloween party, but I couldn't bring myself to plan it this year.  Our laziness spread so deep Halloween weekend, that I'm almost embarrassed to tell you what I'd planed on writing about; our Halloween movie marathon. Yes, it was a marathon.  Its not the scary movies that I'm embarrassed about, maybe some of them I should be, but rather the AMOUNT of movies we watched in 48 hours. 

We watched 6 movies.  Four on Saturday, two on Sunday.  Our butt imprints are permanently ingrained on our couch. We hardly moved all weekend.  We were sloths. We got up long enough to make a meal, go to the bathroom, but I'm not sure I left the apartment. And whats worse- is that I LOVED IT! Whats wrong with me.  Where did this lazy gene come from?

 Hocus Pocus- Its a classic. It's funny, entertaining, and just plain FUN to watch! It came out 18 years ago, and its still fantastic.
 From Dusk till Dawn- I'm not going to give anything away.  But I will say that half way through the movie all of sudden the genre changes.  Its animatronics remind me of Indiana Jones, which make it kinda funny in parts it might not meant to be funny, but I liked it overall.
 Severance- A british "comedy." They have a sick sense of what a "comedy" is.  It was good, it had humorous moments, but by no means would I call this a COMEDY. It was a slasher/horror.  Not too much of a slasher, but there was some definite slashing.   I liked it.

Tucker and Dale vs. Evil- HILARIOUS!! SEE IT! Really, SOOO FUNNY!
Three Extremes- Weird. Asian movies are WEIRD and DISTURBING.  Seriously, I'm concerned for their cultures.  Every horror movie from the Asian continent I've ever seen has just been seriously disturbing.  This one is actually three short movies all together.  In fact, the first one takes place in China, the second in Korea, and the third in Japan (I think). The directors are all experts and well respected in their fields. Watch it if you like being disturbed.

The Mist- better than I expected.  It wasn't one where you jumped or screamed a lot. But I thought the story was good, new and interesting.  It definitely has a Stephen King feel to it.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Vampires, Zombies and Ghouls Oh my!

I had fun making my friends here in Korea look like zombies, ghouls and vampires using which is a photo editing internet program. There are many free options.  I subscribe so that I have more options. As you can see, I had LOTS of fun ghouling up my friends.