Making my way through Asia (and grad school) one adventurous step at a time.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

The downside of good training...

As you know, my cat is toilet trained. Also, as you know, she's recently had surgery. I figured it might be uncomfortable to leap up to the toilet seat with a belly full of stitches, so in the spirit of making her life a little easier I put her old litter box back on the floor. I think that she's forgotten how to use it. She's used to perching on the edge of the toilet seat and doing her business in the bowl. Now, with the litter tray back in the picture, she perches on the edge of the litter box and does her business on floor. Good kitty.
Happy Easter!!

I hope you're all having a wonderful day. I read the Easter story this morning before taking the cat to the vet (again), and then had the benefit of seeing the Easter story illustrated in Leggo at check it out! It's a fun site. It beats those Sunday School flannel graphs.

Catticus is doing fine. She's eating and kissing and purring again, which is great. She's still wearing a big funnel on her head so she won't lick the stitches, but she'll come up to me and try to lick my nose ~ and bonk me on the head with the funnel. She's also pleased that the vet says she won't have a scar. Thank goodness ~ I know she was worried about that one! (?!)

This afternoon we had an Easter potluck. It was supposed to be a barbeque but it rained. After we'd eaten, I brought out some white eggs (hard to find here, they're mostly brown shells) and a dye kit that Mom sent last year. I'd hardboiled some eggs yesterday, but not enough, so we thought it would be fun to blow some too. I did the first one, since many of the others hadn't done it before. After that, whoever wanted to try did. One of my friends asked me to put the holes in her egg for her, which I did. The others were doing well hollowing out their eggs, but she kept blowing and blowing and her face was turning red. Finally it dawned on her that I'd passed her a hardboiled egg! I hadn't done it on purpose, but I wish I had! It made for a good laugh.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

I read a headline this morning in the Canadian Press:

"Study finds link between problem gambling and abundance of VLTs".

Really? I think we should now also commission some studies on the link between peanuts & peanut butter, computer use & Microsoft employees, and I think there may also be a connection between pollution and the abundance of pollutants in the air!!

In all fairness though, the study should do some good. Newfoundland and Labrador plan to reduce the number of VLT's in the province. But it leads me to wonder why a study is needed to state the obvious before policy makers will consider it? Have the folks in charge lost all common sense?

In other news, I'm taking Catticus to the vet tomorrow to get her fixed. I've tried to tell her, but I think she's hoping I'll forget. Oh good grief...I've become one of those people who talk about their pets as though they're people. Sorry. Let me rephrase: I've tried to tell her she's going to the vet, but she no more understood that then anything else I've ever said to her.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Culinary Differences

I spent my Saturday morning with some friends at Costco. It's a fair distance away from campus, but is well worth the outing 2-3 times a semester. After we finished our shopping, we headed for our ritual meal at the Costco food court. (It serves the only pizza in Korea that really tastes like pizza.) While we were eating, we noticed 2 different Koreans perform an interesting culinary exercise. I've seen it happen on all my other Costco fieldtrips as well. You know the onion dispensers they have (where you turn the handle and the onions grind out)? I have always assumed the onions were to be used as a condiment for a hotdog, or slice of cheese pizza. However, in Korea, it seems to be a common practice to grab a dinner plate, grind the onions onto the plate to make an onion mountain, then cover it in ketchup, mustard and tobasco sauce. The resulting onion platter is then consumed by the forkful as a side dish to accompany a pizza or chicken bake. Hmmm.

I apologize for any typing errors in this posting. I've got a cat sleeping on my left arm, and I'm useless at one-handed typing. Sorry.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Sneaked or Snuck?

I was reading an article (the content of which left me feeling incredulous and I'll get to it in a minute) and the first sentence contained the past tense of the verb "to sneak". The article used the word 'sneaked'. It just sounded so wrong I had to check it out. Apparently, according to, 'Sneaked' is the proper British English form, but 'snuck' has made its way into the American vernacular over the past century. While it's still frowned upon by editors and folks who care, (some British dictonaries actually warn against the use of 'snuck') 'snuck' just sounds right. Funny how the spoken workd changes so much faster and meets with less resistance than the written word.

Now, onto the actual article I was reading. Since I'm a technological dunderhead, I can't make a link to it. I found it on Yahoo!'s Oddly Enough news page. The long and the short of it is this: A guy from LA meets a girl from Canada in a chatroom. Since he can't cross the border legally (he was convicted of robbing a Pizza Hut in the US.....WHY??) he walked into Manitoba instead. He's picked up 100 hours later suffering from hypothermia and is going to lose is fingers to frostbite. Here's what gets me: (1) He "didn't really know that there was any place on Earth that could be so cold and so inhospitable," For goodness sake, IT WAS FEBRUARY IN CANADA!! (2) He never did see his girlfriend ... because SHE LIVES IN QUEBEC!!. Amazing. I know everyone loves the Proclaimers song "I would walk 500 miles.." and perhaps people even find it romantic, but really - if you're setting off on foot to woo your internet girlfriend, wouldn't you LOOK AT A MAP and/or the weather report?!?! I'm dumbfounded. Absolutely dumbfounded. Really. I've been sitting here reading the article over again, and shaking my head so much I'm pretty sure something's starting to rattle in there. Unbelievable.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

And so begins another year...

Wow, it's hard to believe that I've just begun my 2nd year here at Daegu Univeristy. Last year at this time I was so nervous! This year was much easier. I had 3 classes today, with one student in each. I said 'hello', and checked to see if their name was on my attendence list, gave 'em the name of the textbook and said "See you next class!". I've seen several of my students from last year out and about as well. They seemed happy to see me ~ I guess they weren't ones that got an F. The campus, although still cold and brown and bleak, has come alive again. It was so quiet during the winter, but the returning students will hopefully bring Spring with them.

As for my own studies, I began my course today as well. If introducing myself on the discussion board, and glancing at the titles of 4 articles counts as beginning my studies. The title is "Languages and Cultures in Contact" and I'm looking forward to it.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Posted by Hello
Hmmm, I still haven't figured out how to put more than one picture up at a time. Sorry!

Anyway, as part of our Korean class, we went on a few field trips. This one was to Andong ~ on a cold, rainy, cold day. Still, there was lots to see in the traditional village. Well, maybe there was. We weren't there for very long, and were too cold to feel much like sightseeing. Still, I got a few pictures. This one is of a little house in the village, and the one below is of an old gnarly tree that looked quite striking against the pearl grey sky.

Currently, I've got the TV on to AFN (Armed Forces Network) and am watching Growing Pains: Return of the Seavers. I used to love this show when I was a kid. My sister and I would watch it every week (I had a huge crush on Mike Seaver played by Kirk Cameron.) Now 14 years later, it's horrible. I can't bear to watch it, but neither can I bear to turn it off ("Just incase it gets better" I tell myself). Ugh.

Tomorrow is the first day of the new semester. The spring semester in Korea is the beginning of the school year, so I'll have a whole batch of new freshmen. We're not expecting more than 2-3 students to show up during the first week, as they're all still registering. So, tomorrow I've got 3 empty classrooms to rest in for 15 minutes. Next week though, we'll be in full swing.

These pictures are from a recent trip to the traditional village in Andong. Posted by Hello