Sunday, December 19, 2010

Auntie Em!

Top: My favorite student, Candace! She's 13
Bottom: See what Santa brought... my Christmas goodies! :)

Allow me to begin this weeks blog with some exciting news…several months ago I informed you that my sister Katey was pregnant..hold on, no baby yet… these things take time ya know. She is due in exactly 2 months and I only wish i could see her sweet baby belly in person (Skype doesn't quite cut it). Yes, most of you know all of this… but, what you might not be aware of is that baby number two is in the oven. Not twins- gosh… wait! Colleen, my other sister is pregnant. I am so happy for the Almond Family, congratulations again you guys! I've hardly been able to sit still… this news is just so stirring! I can not believe that when I return to America, there will be babies! Not just any babies, my nephew and ___________ (Colleen and Dave find out the sex of the baby in a couple of weeks)- I'm ecstatic!

So, you know me… I can't be without my paintbrush for too long. I sketched around for a while with my pencils, some colored pencils… hey, I even got happy with some play doh at school until…. one day, I found the hidden stash of water colors tucked behind the P.E. equipment (thank god I'm teaching P.E. now) . I've been borrowing them for a while- shhh! No one was using them… they were yearning to be freed from the dusty shelf in the corner. I finally got off work, ready to paint and realized… I forgot to "borrow" a brush. I searched my apartment for any form of a paintbrush (it was late, stores were closed and I just needed my fix). I resorted to my makeup brushes… isn't it pathetic! They worked great for me, for a while that is (one day). I finally found an art store and bought a few brushes of my own. I've been filling my sketch book with memories from Korea… it's actually turning into a rather spectacular scrapbook of my many Korean adventures (big and small). I would love to give my new nephew and ____________ something bold, bright, happy and beautiful when I come home… I'm currently working on ideas…. sisters and brother-in-laws: throw your ideas my way, I'm waiting!

This week sure was jolly… Santa found me in Korea, can you believe that! That man is something else, I tell ya!! A rather large package arrived at TN English early Tuesday morning. I was thrilled to find many, many wrapped presents, those of which I neatly placed under the Christmas tree (Clarence- poor fella has yet to be adopted). I look forward to opening all of them on Christmas morning with my family via Skype. There were a few unwrapped goodies that I quickly devoured- those double stuffed, peppermint ores were to die for. The snowman peeps had to be shared… kids in Korea don't have peeps! Although… after the very positive reaction I got from my students, I'm thinking I should start a peep business in Korea. You would have thought I gave them each a million dollars- good work mom…. woops, I mean "Santa!"

I can not believe Christmas is in 6 days… A lot of my friends are going on vacation for the holiday but since we have to work the Monday and Tuesday after Christmas… I couldn't go to Malaysia or the Philippines- dammit! Laura, Ryan and I thought it would be nice to throw a little Christmas party at TNE… come one, come all to the "Drifters Christmas Party"- those who are left, come eat, drink and be merry! I am pretty excited because I plan to make some very tasty hors d'oeuvres (I'll tell you all about them in next weeks blog… let's see if anyone likes them… they might not be worth talking about). It should be interesting… like I've said before, no ovens, no microwaves, Korean ingredients. No worries, I've got something up my sleeve!

Other than hours or drunken karaoke, late nights and hungover mornings.. once again, you're a proud parent, aren't you "Santa"?!…. the best thing I've got to tell you about the weekend is… Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1. Gwangju has an incredible IMAX theater that is attached to a huge mall and bus station. The theater was just recently built and finished before I got to Korea. This movie came out right around Thanksgiving in America but everything is always a few weeks late in Korea. I promised my favorite student Candace that we would go see the movie the week it came out (no way would this fly in America but here.. no biggie). The movie was in English with Korea subtitles. We enjoyed an afternoon of good food and great cinema! Dad, If you haven't seen it yet, you have got to go… it's awesome! I wish I could have gone with you because you're my favorite Harry Potter buddy!

Korean Facts/ Randomness:

-This one is for Katey and Fabian (my sister and brother-in-law): I was told that February is the last month of the tiger… According to the Chinese zodiac (that which Korea follows) the year of the white tiger is especially auspicious as it comes around only once every 60 years. "Local legend has it that there are four guardian gods in Korea," Kim Sang-hoe, a prominent Korean fortune teller explained. "They are the chungryong (blue dragon), hyunmu (turtle-snake), jujak (phoenix) and baekho (white tiger). Unlike the other three creatures, who are fictional, the baekho is the one and only real animal. For that reason, white tigers have been highly respected. In addition, the chance of a white tiger being seen is one in a million, so people in the past saw white tigers as a good sign." Koreans see it as being extremely lucky to have a baby this year and next (before the end of February). Your baby will be strong, respected, powerful and wise.
-Remember me telling you about the Hapkido classes I was going to take. Well, turns out the teacher for that class in my area moved back to America… I'm on the search for some other form of martial arts…. any ideas?
-Korean babies are named by their grandparents, not their parents. Usually grandparents choose a name that has some significance. They don't just choose names because it sounds pretty… I am sure that is a plus but never the main reason.
-When a Korean picks his or her English name/ parents pick names, they try to pick something that sounds like their Korean name (not always but this is common). For example, my friend Dan Bee sort of sounds like Tammy so that her name.
-If a new student comes to your class without an English name, you get to name the student. Crazy huh!!!!? A co-worker of mine had two new students this year without English names… brother and sister. He got to name them, can you guess what he named them, hahahah…. Bonnie and Clyde! What a dork.. I love it!
-When you go to the movie theater, your seats are assigned (I was surprised by this today). I can't decide if I like this idea or not. When going to the movies, most people buy their tickets in advance online. Here, they can choose what exact seats they want to sit in.

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