Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Concerning the rents part two

Monday morning found me back at the office, but I did get to meet Mom and Dad for a juk (porridge) lunch. Dad had abalone which was as bland as it gets, Mom had blue crab, and I had chumchi (tuna). Not bad, they liked the fruit tea served afterword, but I still prefer my cheese and chicken variety. Mom was left a little unsatisfied so we made our way to Paris Baguette (bakery chain that falls somewhat short of its french aspirations...) and got some little treats to tide us over. I, of course, got my brownie cake thing which is the closest to decent baked chocolate as it gets this side of the Pacific.

Monday night, we went to Indian food which was great and a good respite from all of the unfamiliar stuff. I had a really yummy dhal and garlic naan. (I forgot to add that Sun night I made them my Americasian fusion ramen). We also took a gander around E-mart to show them an Asian grocery store which they really loved. I think they found the mountains of rice, adventurous seafood, Green Bay pickles and Columbia Crest particularly fun to see. Tuesday I had a giant break from work (two and a half hours) so Dad got some takeout Chinese and then we ventured to the bath house at my gym. First, we changed into the spa clothes- shorts and a baggy t-shirt- before trying out some of the sauna rooms. They got pretty hot but they were decorated with these gorgeous stone mosaics with quartz and amethyst that showed Korean scenes. The hottest rooms also had ice water fed benches and rice mats on the floor to protect the feet so they were actually really comfortable. There was also an ice room that we peeked into. After we were done lounging, it was nakie time. We went to our separate locker rooms, stripped, and did the bath parts. The big news is that I FINALLY figured out how to operate the jets in the massage pool- there's a magnetic chip in the key bracelet that you press to a green button. I can't tell you how many times I tried jabbing it with my finger to no avail, so that's a good development. I can't speak for Dad too much but Mom seemed to settle right in.

Tuesday night, we went to a neighborhood kimbop place (Korean sushi) where we had tuna kimbop (which, though yummy, I still can't eat because it was the last thing I had before I got violently sick two months ago), kimchi dok bop, which was sauteed tomato kimchi, rice, and an egg. Not bad. Last, we had mandu ramen. I kind of prefer mine. We picked up some fried chicken on the way back...simply to add some protein, of course.

Wednesday we had lunch at home again. After I got off work, we had Mother/Father's Day Night. I attempted to take them to my favorite galbi place...only to find out that it was fresh out, so it was only sam gap sal that night. That was my first Korean dinner and there's a reason I haven't really tried it since- it's basically thick, fatty fatty fatty bacon that doesn't get cooked all of the way. I much prefer leaner beef galbi. Anyways, I had the parents try mokkoli again (Dad liked, Mom loathed) as well as some of the sides, including my favorite egg soup. We hustled our way to the Daejeon Art Center behind my school for a modern dance performance to which I treated my parents. It was called "The Mating Dance" and it was actually beautiful. It didn't hurt that the first half the guys were all shirtless and the side lighting highlighted all of their muscles to great effect...lovely scenery. They were actually good though, in a legitimate artistic sense, so we enjoyed it.

Thursday Mom and Dad came to observe me for a whole day. We made s'mores with both of my kindie and two post-kindie classes, they were messy, sticky, sugary gold. Went down a charm. The funniest part was when Dad was practicing his water drop sound in former NYU (after they had all had ample time to pet his moustache...) and Leo got right up to his face, peered into his mouth and said "I think there's water in there..." and we absolutely cracked up. It was lovely to share my kids with them, as they're basically my favorite part of this year. I can't get enough of the hugs and adoration, I think they go a measure to offset missing the human connection of home. After work, we went with the other foreigners for sam ge tan (ginseng chicken soup I tried my first week here). I loved it my second time around, it was great and nice to introduce everyone.

Friday, work as usual, but my boss took us out for this really elaborate very Korean lunch. It is hard to say what the main dish was, as there were about 22. It reminded me of "Anna and the King" where they're sitting and picking up bits of food from the whole feast laid out in front of them on sumptuous leaves...except this wasn't in Thailand, it was across the street. We had great honeyed fish, pickled radish, frozen sashimi (on purpose), oodong noodles, rice cakes, lovely mushrooms, chicken soup, pork, purple bamboo rice, fruit tea and I don't even know what else. Even by Korean standards, it was quite the spread and beyond generous for her to treat us. She also said some very complimentary stuff about me which was really nice to hear. Always good to feel competent. Mom made a quick dinner after work before we headed off to English Club. This was a good choice, Mom and Dad really liked meeting some more Koreans and they got every bit the gracious reception that I expected. I think one of them thought he was going to have a heart attack when Dad came to sit by him, he was so excited. We talked about love as a scientific, hormonal phenomenon and then went to walk around at Choongnam University at night to see the cherry blossoms.

Now, important important important aside. Daejeon has woken up. About two weeks ago, spring HAPPENED and all of these innocuous looking trees that punctuate my apartment and my morning commute exploded in flowers. The cherry blossoms are by far my favorite tree I've ever seen in my life- it's like a pinky white frothy popcorn ball of flowers just coating every branch. Lovely. Lovely lovely lovely. We also have a ton of wider, smoother, white magnolias which are also stunning. So yes, Daejeon has scored some points with me recently, even before the parents descended. Girlfriend got her hair did.

Anyways, we walked up some lanes in the university flanked on either side by these huge white flurries of blossoms and got some hot chocolate because the temperature was not quite matching the spring-like visual. It was cold, but heart-achingly gorgeous, so I forgave the air its chill. After, I really wanted my parents to see the mandu place that we always go to so Hooney very obligingly drove us and accompanied our little midnight snack. Now, the ahjima (older woman) who hand makes these has been mentioned in this blog before. She makes a mean mandu but is usually somewhat surly and kind of just does her thing in the corner rollin out the dough. Dad managed to hit some button with her, as he is want to do, and she fell in love and cackled as I have never heard any woman cackle. For that matter, sounds emitted from that woman's mouth that I've never even associated with a human. It was the best laugh I've yet stumbled across, and better for the fact that the interaction was all translated and garbled through the language barrier. Of course, Mom and Dad also loved the mandu. So win win.

Saturday morning, we had Father's Day at school where dads come and play games with their kids. My station did a quiz where Dad and child stood on a big piece of paper and if they got the question wrong, they had to fold it and the last pair not touching the floor won. It was pretty funny seeing some fully grown be-suited men balancing on one food clutching their kid and trying to answer a question in English. After, one of my sweet coworkers gave my parents a parting gift even though they'd barely spoken and we hopped the KTX to Seoul. We managed to time it perfectly so that we dropped our stuff off and made it to Changdeokgung Palace just ahead of the English tour. This palace was spectacular. Gyeongbokgung (way back in October) was bigger and more imposing, this was gentler and flowed with the topography. It had some beautiful trees, flowering like the rest of Korea, and a Secret Garden that was a UNESCO world heritage site and one of the three most influential gardens in Asia. I particularly loved the pond in the Secret Garden, very tranquil.

After that, we spent a loooooong time wandering around and trying to find dinner. We actually sat down in three different restaurants before settling down. I tried kal guksu (knife noodles in a soup) for the first time, yummy. Then we turned in. Sunday was largely spent wandering Insadong at the market and picking up presents and souvenirs. We got the dragon's beard cookies and Mom and I had tea while Dad did some independent site seeing. We ended up waving the white flag for dinner and doing Pizza Hut. Afterword, we took a really nice walk along the stream that flows through the middle of Seoul and saw some cool light exhibitions along it's length. It's source is at the really big square at the heart of the city that feeds into the Seoul Performing Art Center, the American Embassy, and Gyeongbokgung Palace. Nice area, I finally feel like Seoul's making a better impression after zooming in from the endless apartments. I also counted about 8 (I think) big screen TVs running ads on the surrounding skyscrapers.

EEEEEEEaaarly the next morning I said bye to both, which yes was sad, and got the train back home. I had some extra time before work so I took a quick nap which led to me waking up in my PJs riiight about the time I was supposed to be walking into school so that was a rush. Despite the obvious twinge at saying goodbye, I'm great. My interest in Korea is revitalized and it honestly feels like they filled me back up. I've got a new spring in my step, which is much much appreciated. This week has been a really quick one. Unfortunately, Renee's leaving soon so her replacement Tracy came today. She seems nice but we didn't talk much yet. I tried another new food last night as well, dalk galbi. It's spicy chicken, cabbage and sweet potato fried together with rice noodles with cheese. Pretty good. They even fry up the remains with some rice. Not bad. Also, today I checked out a full blown grocery store. That is directly underneath my apartment. That it took me 8 months to find. Mom serendipitously happened upon it and I feel like a prize idiot. I'll still make my E-mart runs for specialized stuff but it's got basic produce, cereal, milk, eggs, ramen....enough to be a convenient resource.

So that's the latest, world! I am 2/3 done, 4 months to go, foot loose, and fancy free.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Concerning the rents part one

If any part of my facebook status updates have filtered across the oceans, the entire universe must know that yes, my parents did indeed make it to Soko. I hopped a 3 hour bus to Incheon Airport and yes, pretty much ran through the arrivals section in time to get to their appointed gate and catapult myself in their general direction upon first glance. Quite the surreal moment, having that part of my life mix with this one, especially as this whole experience has been so defined by their separation. It was a twist to see how their presence altered my perspective of this year. But, as always, I'm about five steps ahead of myself. So. Grinning parents on either arm in a disgustingly cheesy Brady Bunch moment, I ushered them back onto the bus and introduced them to Korea. They napped the last half of the way and then I fed them pizza, led them stumbling to my apartment, and basically sent them off to bed. Friday morning, still in blatant disbelief that Mom and Dad were actually here, they accompanied me to work for a quick morning tour of the school. They walked around a bit and met me back for lunch, during which Jaden shrewdly informed my mother, "you strong grandmother." Dad also gave them each a peep for dessert and their perfect manners (if I don't say so myself- though, FINE, to be fair, Korean culture probs had something to do with that...) completely won him over. It was like the moment in Moulin Rouge where the Duke is charmed by Satine and little stars go off in his eyes (MINUS the creepy prostitute older man thing) when they looked up and thanked him oh so politely. He was a goner.

Friday night, we got some food and had a little train picnic dinner on the 180 mph KTX bound towards Seoul. Dad was immediately in awe of the efficiency and cleanliness of Kor
ean public transportation, and yeah, I'll for sure miss it a ton when I go back home. I navigated the easy peasy subway system (remember way back when, in the days when I described it as a wriggling compost pile of worms going every which way? I'm over that and am long past admitting that it is actually ridiculously user friendly, I was just in a bad mood with the whole country...) and, after a few minutes of wandering some ambiguously planned blocks, we easily found our hotel.

The next morning began at 6-- not quite the Saturday wake up one hopes for but worth it considering the day. This, my friends, was DMZ day. We found our tour pretty easily and took about an hour's bus ride north to constant commentary from our chipper guide. Mainly, she gave some background of North and South Korean relations and laid out the itinerary of our day for us. One thing that did impress me in this leg was how freaking close Seoul is to the border. Sure, I've seen the maps, but it's quite different to get 30 mins outside of Seoul and see barbed wire fences connecting military checkpoints that pop up every 100 ft to look out for North Koreans getting across the rivers. They even have these white rocks wedged in the fences at frequent intervals as a simple device to detect where a fence has been disturbed. I could honestly see why the border is so SO heavily fortified (more on that later) and did not wonder that Soko is trying to disperse its capitol a bit to spread out its resources.

Before we even got to the DMZ (we actually only entered it at the very end and its only 4 km wide), we crossed over Unification Bridge which definitely signaled that we were coming to something important. We were still miles from the border, and even the buffer, but we still had a passport check and the we had to weave through about 30 traffic barriers to prevent a car from just gunning across. They mean business.

The first stop was the 3rd Infiltration Tunnel. Basically, after the armistice was drawn up that ended the Korean war and divided the peninsula, sneaky North Korea dug at least 4 tunnels (and likely more not yet discovered....a less than comfortable thought...), to try
and attack Seoul. These weren't discovered until some years after, during some land exploration in the DMZ when they noticed that the ground was absorbing enough water to suggest a hollow place. When pressed, North Korea first said that the south dug those tunnels to attack the north. Yeah, not so much. We took a little claustrophobic but cool tram down an access chute and came out into the real tunnel. The tourism board had painted over every dynamite trace with yellow so that they could be easily seen and the dynamite blasts really obviously point towards the south even to a complete defense or ballistics novice such as moi. Also, the tunnel has a slight but definable slant towards the north to allow water to drain. Tunnel 101 apparently teaches that you don't dig down, you dig back up. So...nice try Noko. The second excuse was that actually yes, we did do it, haha isn't that funny, but don't worry, it was for coal mining. They even put coal residue on the walls to prove it...despite the fact that the residue washed out with rain and the entire area is made up of solid granite. The chilling conclusion is that Noko did have some tricks up its sleeve which is doubly so considering that with all of the tunnels combined, they could move 30,000 troops through the border in the space of an hour. It was really interesting being down there just to be faced with proof of this dramatic relationship....if the barbed wire signs dotting every surface since Unification Bridge with the bright red "MINE" triangle weren't enough.

The next stop was Dora Observatory. The buses aren't allowed there when it is even remotely snowy because it's on the top of a hill and if the bus should slide off a slope, it could very definitely explode on a mine. So. There you go. It was reeeeeally foggy so we didn't see that much but some hazy outlines, but technically we did see into North Korea. First on the Soko side of things, we saw Freedom Village which is a special status community of South Korean citizens who lived in the DMZ before the war that have been accorded special permission to stay there. Because it is so so close to the border, they are protected by ROK (Republic of Korea, and how's that for an acronym?) soldiers at all times, even when farming the fields. They have a curfew and ID cards but in exchange, they don't pay tax or do
military service. Freedom Village has a huge Soko flag atop this flag pole. Not to be outdone, Noko raised a corresponding flag that not only topped it but made the Guinness Book of World Records. Its flagpole lies in what Soko has termed "Propaganda Village" because they wanted to upstage Freedom Village and prove how prosperous they are. So, the buildings are all neat and matched with gray walls and blue roofs (we did see it through telescopes). Two problems though, there are no people and the windows don't ever glow at night and hence are painted on. So again, nice try Noko. We also saw Noko's "Kesong Industrial Complex" which is the single joint economic venture of the North and South. In a highly controlled maneuver, the south sends raw materials and managers across the border and takes back finished clothing. The few South Koreans who do commute there for work do it on rare occasion from Seoul and are basically the only ones from their country allowed in. Rumor has it that the managers gave their workers a choco pie and some OJ and none of them ate it because they wanted to bring it home to share with their families. A lot of this could very well be southern bias but the vibe rings true from what I've heard. Noko life is preeeetty bleak. The men have 10 year long military service, the women have 7, then they work factories for insufficient rice and food vouchers and literally one dollar a day.

After that, we stopped at the last train station in South Korea, even though the track is connected through North Korea up into China. It's weird, there's a huge brand new section to process international luggage that is just completely closed off and lying in sterile disu
se. They have this potential map on the wall that connects the trains by land to the Transiberian Railway all the way to Madrid, Paris, and London...though it would take 3 weeks. Still, it does drive the point home that Soko is connected by land to all of this but Noko has made it an island. Unification could certainly work some changes, to say the least.

Then, lunch time. We had
a great bulgogi stew (Korean beef) with mushrooms and veggies and mom and dad tried to acclimatize to floor seating. That venture never quite reached success during the whole of their visit no matter how they tried, to the pity of their joints. It was yummy. We walked for a bit and then on to our next stop...Imjinlak Park. This park was established to comfort the southern citizens separated from their families by the armistice. It's the northernmost area that most South Koreans really get to their relatives. On Chuseok and Lunar New Year, they come here to bow to their ancestors, facing north. There were all of these prayer ribbons tied along the length of the barbed wire fence, very moving and sad.

Then, off to Camp Boniface which is the briefing area for the DMZ and for the JSA (joint security area- the epicenter, where North and South Korean soldiers stand nose to nose). There, we got a very dramatic overview of DMZ history and got turned over to our military bus and got our security badges that identified us as military guests- as in, please don't shoot us, we're civilians.

Then, we hopped in a bus, crossed into the DMZ, and crossed into the JSA. The JSA essentially is a 600 m circle with the demarcation line right in the middle that houses both North Korean and South Korean soldiers. This is where the peace talks happen and where any diplomatic meetings happen between the two countries. In the past, soldiers from both sides freely passed through the entire JSA. However, an incident occurred when the South Korean army chopped down a huge poplar that was obscuring the view between two southern security checkpoints. The Noko army didn't quite like that...so they took the axe and chopped two soldiers to death. Yeeeeeeah. So, after that, even the JSA was strictly divided with clear markers and a cement line between the key buildings.

We were not allowed to stand up in the bus until allowed and the engines kept running the entire time, in case we needed to make a hasty exit. We were ushered in partners up into a big entrance building which was originally built for families to rendezvous. Then, we dashed out into a little open area and into the peace talk building that straddles the demarcation line. We had 3 soldiers keeping tabs on the 15 of us in the room, all standing like military dolls with clenched fists held in front of them and requisite sunglasses. We did get to cross the line in the building and take pictures through the window back at South Korea, but couldn't go to the extreme end, where there was a final ROK soldier and a door. If we went behind the guy, we were told it was at our own risk as if a northerner decided to open it and kidnap us, he couldn't pull us back. We stepped back out and saw a northern soldier looking at us through binoculars from a building about 50 ft back. Then, we dashed behind this granite wall to look at the buildings for a bit so that we could duck back down if they started shooting. Huh. We got back on the military bus, and were driven to the site of the axe murder thing and then saw the Bridge of No Return right by the security checkpoint they were trying to protect. The bridge is overgrown with brush and is so named because after the war, POWs had to decide which side they'd remain on but the choice was permanent. Now, that security checkpoint is unmanned because it's too dangerous. It's isolated from the others and no one knows really what's on the other side of the bridge because the visibility is so bad.

The way back our tour guide also went over some security features of the DMZ. There are the obvious defenses- barbed wire and LOTS o mines, but there's also a lot of tank barriers which are essentially cement arches covering all of the roads that connect North Korea with the south. If needed, they have holes for dynamite to detonate and make a hassle for any invaders.

Overall, I expected the hype to surpass what I actually experienced but yeah, it was tense. The mood certainly wasn't helped by the warship fiasco. About a month ago, a South Korean warship was sank somewhere off of the coast of Korea, close to the demarcation line. About 46 people died and the government has been really closed off with evidence and the investigation. The press has ruled out an on-board accident, however, which sort of leaves an unfortunate brush with a leftover mine from the war or a less accident torpedo. Eek. A lot of South Koreans I've talked to still hope for reunification because of the separated families and shared ancestry, even considering the economic toll, and even beyond thoughts of bringing the two sides back together, an act of war would noooot be a good thing or easy to respond to. Anyways, the rules, passport checks, briefings and military escorts did make an impression. It's the most fortified border in the world and I definitely felt it and learned a lot about N/S relations.

That night, we made our tired little way back home for some Chinese and bed. The next morning, we slept in and had brunch and then went back to Gyerongsan Mountain to show the rents a temple. It was lively, and we took a lovely lovely hike up to some waterfalls. I finally saw a perfect view of Asian mountains- really spiky with some sparse, articulately placed winding trees. It looked like a painting. On the way down, some old men beckoned Dad and me over for some mokkoli and fed us some meat bits. Mine was a knub of something...we'll call it pig tail. I refuse to dwell on alternatives, for that way lies madness. For real lunch, we had bibimbap and pahjung (spring onion pancake). Mm mmm. To give our feet some rest, we went and had a nice minnow nibble at Dr. Fish and then came home and relaxed.

To give your poor eyes and attention some rest, the duration of their wonderful stay is to be continued...

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Concerning a Koreantastic weekend

Hey everyone! Friday we had a little Easter celebration and it was pretty cute. After some quick prep work, UCLA came into the class and I solemnly told them about the Easter Bunny and his chocolate egg hidery antics. They could barely contain their wide eyed ecstasy when I informed them that the Easter Bunny had, in fact, come to ECC earlier that morning and specially hid a little pink egg carton of candy for each student in the room. A quick hunting frenzy followed, ended by malt-ball, seven year old heaven. Brown and I decorated hard boiled eggs but not properly with die, we cheated with markers. A distant second, in my opinion, but they had fun so meh.

After work, my march o' Koreans weekend began. I had some much needed fajitas with Ella at a restaurant about 10 minutes down the road. YuuuuuMY. Ole. (Actually olleh considering where I am- a cell phone company called KT made an advertising campaign by reversing hello and now it has become the slang word of the century, entirely eclipsing and even replacing yay, wow, woohoo, yeah, cool, and any other positive affirmation in both Korean and English...that's one good marketing department, but I digress...) We caught up and had a nice, relaxing dinner over which I proved my fledgling Korean literacy to her.

The next morning, I woke up at an earlyish time and met Carol, Debbie, (two Korean co-workers at school) and Chad for a nice hike. We drove for about 30 minutes and came to Gusongsa (I think...?) which means 9 Peak Mountain. It wasn't too bad though- after a walk past a retirement village with a sign warning us against elderly heckling, we came to about 15 minutes of typical Korean slavish climbing but it lacked the duration, intensity, and insecure footing of Gyerongsan (remember WAAAAY back when, when I almost killed myself shlepping over a mountain between two temples in October?). After that, we were on the backbone of the ridge and had a nice view of the city, with all of its iconically Korean apartment buildings, and the countryside with its unrelenting jagged hills (no, Korea, that's not, in fact, a mountain, but keep trying). It was really nice, there was a little river down below. We spent the next 30 minutes clambering over the 9 "peaks" which were more like bumps, but the trail did involve some rock climbing and creative acrobatics. After that, we went down as dramatically as we came up (again, a Korean hallmark), and meandered along a country road until we came to the car. Then, we drove to a galbi place and had beer and lunch. I tried some more new foods including: white kimchi (not good, sweet, which is weird), a cousin of ginseng (good with a sweet spicy sauce but TERRIBLE in health drinks as I found out today), and cold noodle soup (interesting, tastes like a soup version of cold, green pasta salad with a boiled egg floating in it). We fought the intense traffic back (Saturday afternoon....no idea....) and I was home by 3. The day was too glorious to waste away indoors, so I strapped on a spring shirt and some sandals and braved the watery sunshine for a nice little walk outside. I went past the art center and circled down to the river back to my apartment...but not before stopping by Paris Baguette to get a little chocolate brownie thing as a treat. I had some yummy ramen for dinner and caught up on all my bad TV shows before getting really really restless around 9 and texting everyone I know in Daejeon. Eventually, Helen texted me back around 11 and we met at 12 for a few beers at two different bars.

The really interesting thing about that was that Helen explained to me some more about the various species of night life in Daejeon. Exhibit 1: hof, typical bar. Restaurant style tables, soju, beer and mokkoli (rice wine, remember?), snacks customarily ordered, especially in the form of fried chicken. Exhibit 2: western style. Noisy, lots of music, dancing, cocktails, beer, maybe wine. Exhibit 3: Korean style club. Cover charge, dancing, all types of drinks and a pimping waiter service. You order your man (or woman) along with your drink and the waiter parades around a selection, or maybe parades you to a selection as the chips may fall. You are completely free to dismiss and move on as you choose, until you find something to your liking. Needless to say we have set a date to sample this one within the next few weeks. Exhibit 4: host/hostess bar. For a couple of hundred thousand won, you can spend the evening in one of these and be served by either your own personal bikini clad girl or a be-suited young man. They pour your drinks. You buy them theirs. They do magic. They entertain you. They flirt. You pay. Exhibit 5: the scandelous, under the table club. Apparently there's one in Daejeon called "Grip" and for the reasonable sum of one million won, you can have your own personal stripper. Shirtless, gyrating, and a steady hand with the drinks don't come cheap. I find those last two types particularly fascinating as Korea is so so discreet with sexuality, to the one point that one of my Korean friends told me stripping was illegal here...but apparently, things just pop back up in the darndest places.

Clearly that was a lively conversation and I bumped back to my apartment around 3. This morning, I got up and had a lovely skype chat with the whole fam. My sister's boyfriend works at Microsoft so he's graciously agreed to look into some jobs for me around the time I get back so that's an interesting avenue that I'll be pursuing. I've been giving the whole future-career-vocation business some more thought and no matter what, even if I end up applying to a PhD program by some miracle, I need to work for year anyway. So, I've narrowed it down to an office job because I want coworkers and predictable hours. I did see an intriguing job on Amazon as publicity assistant for kindle which would be awesome. Marketing seems a little daunting because of its competitiveness but it would help me to feel passionate about it instead of cynical if I was invested in the product, which I most certainly would be. It is still 5 months until I get back so I am sure this specific job won't be available but it has opened another avenue of consideration in terms of company. One could do worse as a book lover than Amazon.

After talking about all that with the fam, and hearing my unsentimental but still caring oldest sister refuse appetizers because "My sister is more important than an oyster" I was in a good mood and went to the gym again. I had a nice run, I tried an interval suggestion that Kels gave me with good effect. After a quick shower, I met Korean number 5 of the weekend (look at me go!) Eun Ju at Costco. We had some good ol American style pizza for lunch, I picked up the basics, and then we went and saw "Clash of the Titans." My eyes bled. It was the worst movie ever and more disappointing for the fact that it has Liam Neelson, Ralph Fiennes, and Theoden from Lord of the Rings....oh how are the mighty fallen! It wasn't a film, it was a game of "let's see how many Greek myths we can bastardize and fit into one incomprehensible and trite and pretentious two hours." And it even lost that game. It did scratch the Sunday movie theater itch, I'll say that much, and then we went and got our hair did. I got straight down bangs which I like....the body wasn't styled so well, it looks way to Asian school child for my taste but a night's sleep will bring down the rounded volume. I really like the bangs though so yay. That just about catches us up. Love! Next up...Thursday Thursday Thursday Thursday.