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

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Adventures in two completely unrelated things...

The Daegu University Student Spring Festival just wrapped up last night. On the main stage during the evening was what Tracy assured me was a 'spinning' demonstration. Since the only spinning I know involves a wooden wheel and sheep shavings, what was happening on the stage looked more like synchronized stationary bike pedaling. I can't believe people do that for fun/exercise/entertainment. Since I'm not a big fan of stationary bikes to begin with, I can't imagine combining such an activity with my complete lack of rhythm and coordination. Dancing and cycling...the worst of both worlds!!

The other thought I had was while I watched (Yes, I'm sorry to say I did watch) the season finale of The Bachelor. I was thinking, "If the Bachelor was filmed in Utah, would he really have to choose between the final two contestants?" Couldn't he just marry 'em both? Something the network might want to think about. (Or something Fox could pick up. Or is it already on Fox? I have no idea.)

It's a lovely day today, and a holiday to boot, so I'm going to pull myself away from the computer and finish my coffee on the balcony.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Adventures in Odds'n'Ends...

I guess it's high time for an update. I have a few things to share today.

1. Happy 40th Anniversary to my Mom and Dad.

2. Remember that brave plant that had the fortitude to bloom in my house? I'm afraid I repaid its bravery today by sucking up one of its robust leaves in my vacuum. I think I scared it.

3. We went for lunch at the Mexican restaurant yesterday. The food was good, and it was really nice to have some good ol' Canadian poutine with it. The unfortunate part is that we all shared and tasted each others orders, and I don't think the combination of Mole Enchiladas, Burritos, Poutine and brownies sat well afterwards. Even so, it's worth a repeat.

4. We're planning a 1980s birthday bash for Saturday. Does anyone remember what we ate at 80s parties? I can just remember hot dogs and chips from our birthday parties. Are there any grown-ups out there who ate grown-up 80s food at grown-up 80s parties?

5. Eli's little kitty, who was on deaths door this time last week, has made an amazing recovery. Catticus was down the hall sniffing enthusiastically at Eli's door and can't wait for Clio to get her shots so she can come over and play.

6. I've decided that numbered or bulleted lists, while easy to write and read, are the stylistic equivalent to being served a Twinkie for dessert at a 5-star restaurant. It's just not classy, and more than a little disappointing. I apologize. However, on the bright side, numbered lists don't taste like socks, or make you fat. I suppose that's some consolation.

That's all. I'm off to finish cleaning, and see if I can't find some legwarmers or stirrup pants.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Adventures in yet more Texas-caused headshaking...

Whilst driving to the vet tonight, my friends and I were discussing carbon offsetting as a way to reduce our carbon footprints. (For more information on carbon offsetting, check out Carbon Footprint here. I was amazed that my flight home this summer was going to produce about 2,000 kg of CO2!) During the conversation, one of my friends mentioned that some seminaries in the US now have coined the phrase "Creation protection" instead of just "Environmental Protection" like everyone else is using. I wondered why they were distancing themselves like that. Is it because some Christian groups have got it into their heads that only hippies and granolies protect the environment? Perhaps not, perhaps I'm being overly sensitive.

When I got home, I decided to google "Creation Protection". The first thing I came across was a seminar being held at a church in Texas. I realize I know nothing about this church, it's mission or it's beliefs, so the following criticism may be made in haste. Even so, one of the seminar topics started that sad ol' resigned headshaking:

The Great Moral Issues of Our Times
Should global warming be a moral issue for Christians? This discussion takes up the debate as to whether or not the focus of Christians should be solely on a core set of predefined moral issues or whether Christians should look issues such as poverty, hunger and environmental protection as moral issues as well.

Ignoring the utterly ridiculous bit about focusing "solely on a core set of predefined moral issues", I wondered how far off base is a church that actually has to ask if issues such as poverty, hunger and environmental protection should be moral issues. I am just hoping and praying that the person leading the seminar either asked it as a rhetorical question, or else stated unequivocally in the seminar that yes, indeed, poverty and hunger should be priorities for the church.

This post sounds much more vitriolic than I'd intended. In some ways, I'm grateful that at least the issues are being discussed. In other ways, I'm sad that there's an underlying assumption that if poverty, hunger and environmental protection really aren't moral issues, then the church doesn't have a responsibility to act on them.

As you can tell, I'm getting disheartened. For all my church-going readers, can you help balance my perspective by telling me things that your congregations are doing to alleviate poverty and hunger in your area? For all my non-church going readers, are you involved in any projects to help do the same?


Friday, May 04, 2007

Adventures in bloomers...

For those of you familiar with my horribly un-green thumb, you'll be pleased to know that a green leafy plant I bought now has TWO pretty white flowers on it. It's the first time I've bought a plant without flowers that has actually grown some. Very good sign.

In other news, I just finished reading John Stackhouse's book Timbit Nation: A Hitchhikers view of Canada. (John Stackhouse from the Globe and Mail, not from Regent College). It provided an interesting appraisal of Canadians and their country. I've met many people who have much in common with the nice (and some not-so-nice) folks who gave him a lift. It also made me a little nostalgic for the Canada of my youth...and oddly enough, the Canada of my parents' and grandparents' youth. Is it possible to be nostalgic for something you haven't experienced? [ I suppose if Soul Asylum can be homesick for a home they've never had, I can be nostalgic for a past I've never had]. I've just put it down, and am sleepy, so I don't actually have much else to say about it. As with most books, it usually takes me a day or two to process, then I likely won't bother writing about it again. (Unless it's for a course, and I have a paper due.)

I've now plucked "The Queen of the South" off the communal shelf, but I know nothing about it. I guess I'll find out tomorrow if it's worth going beyond the first chapter.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Adventures in Surprising Combinations...

Before I actually get to the purpose of this post, I thought it would be nice to tell you all how lovely it was to fall asleep last night. My bedroom window was open, so I could hear rain pounding against my balcony windows, in a soothing swoosh,swoosh, drip, splat sort of way. My room was full of the sweet aroma of my blooming Jasmine plant, and crisp fabric-softener softened pillow cases. It was just one of those super-pleasant, spring is coming kind of sleeps. Ahhhh.

This morning, when I woke up and checked my e-mail, I discovered an advertisement forwarded by one of the other teachers. To might delight, a Mexican restaurant has opened in Gyeongsan (very close to my home!) and as I perused the menu, I was astonished to find poutine on the menu of a Mexican restaurant. Apparently, one of the co-owners is Canadian, and couldn't resist adding it to the menu. I hope to go try it out sometime this week. I'll let you know how it is!