Thursday, April 28, 2005

Adventures in Traditional Korean Medicine

There is a "Korean Medical Clinic" in my building. I went for acupuncture for the first time today. It was pretty intense. The doctor was amazing. She identified details of my medical history from simply touching my body. In the first 5 minutes she told me things that took 2 physical therapists, a performance/sports orthopedist, 2 different chiropractors, several x-rays, and an MRI to discover--one of my legs is shorter than the other and it causes my body to compensate by doing funny things to my spine, like twisting it. She also identified that I have bad posture and I frequently get stomach aches when I'm stressed. Genius.

She sticks a couple pins in my back while some suction cup therapy machine was all over my back (which left me with a huge bruise). This was kind of uncomfortable, but not quite painful. I couldn't move, but it was warm and made me think about the muscles I use too much that cause me discomfort. Then, she hooked up an electromassage-like machine on me and let that run for a bit. It was much like the one they used to use on me at the end of my physical therapy or at the chiropractors, but better because it went through different cycles of vibrations. There were 6 nodes placed along both sides of my spine to stimulate the muscles. It also reminded me of the chairs at the nail shop when you get a pedicure, except it was localized, felt like electricity zapping me, and I didn't end up with painted toes. The last and most exciting part, was when they put all these heated pads under my body and stuck pins in my wrist and arm... for my stomach. I don't know how these things are connected, but I laid there following the instruction to relax and breathe deeply, and it was nice. I thought about blood circulation, the way oxygen enters my body and carbon dioxide leaves it, and creating a healing flow of energy throughout my body. I sound so new age and cheezy, but it was nice.



I cost me the equivalent of 7 dollars (for this first visit and it will be 5 for the rest), and they recommended that I come 2 times a week. I'm going back on Friday. I went to work afterwards very conscious of my body, my posture, my energy, etc. I dig it.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Whenever I'm feeling like I need a happy pill or something, lately I've been watching this INSANE video clip. I was also pleased to find some Eva clips(1. Intro)(2. Fly Me to the Moon).

In other news: PORK. When Janine came to visit we had samgyeopsal. I never got around to posting about it but I recently discovered a brilliant little piece about it. Though I could describe my experience, jpkania did a much better job and created a far more interesting read.

Sunday Pictures

I went to the Rodin Gallery to see the Byron Kim Retrospective show. I loved it. His work is the type of art people would point to and say "See, that's why I don't get art. I could do that." Yeah, they're minimalist monochrome and color field pieces... but they are portraits, landscapes, and still life pieces and I can only smile because I do get it.


Some pieces made me feel calm (like the Sunday Paintings) and some made my giggle (like the Belly paintings where the encaustics were laid on so think they were sculptures). All of them were so simple I thought they were brilliant.

After checking out the exhibition I wandered around the area and ate a huge piece of juicy pineapple mounted on a stick. It dripped all over me and on my pants, but it was great. I got lost and I didn't really care. I was in an area that looked like Canal Street had exploded into an entire small city. There was crap to buy at every turn.


Some crazy belt shop.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

99% PLASTIC, 1% WOMAN

The blog was an amazing discovery that changed my world, and now she has gone and done it again. This July (just in time for my birthday) the new Rupaul Dolls will make their grand debut. I'm going to explode.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

shout out to those who I adore

I sent out one announcement email about my move from blogspot and I got a bunch of emails. I can't tell you how happy I was to hear from so many people at home. And by "home" I mean where all my favorite people are. Thus, that includes Brazil (K-dawg), NYC (the sis, the NYU massive, Eric), Philly(old school friends, fam, and some fantastic new friends from my most recent and brief stay), Cali (AUNTIE!), and Florida (firewords you're fab). I love it! All your emails came at just the right time, so thanks.

As much as I love living in this new place and even enjoy my job, I must admit that I miss hanging out with my people. I've made some really great new friends here, but... I want to go hang out with Eleni and talk about nothing and everything. I want to stop by and see Dave at his job and be surprised to find Angel working a fierce outfit instead. I want to eat my mother's baked goods before I eat dinner (or lunch... or breakfast). I want Zach to come with me to see some foreign movie with great eye candy or a life changing philosophical message. I want to chill in a cafe for way too long with JP and discuss the educational system. I want to see Gia and hear all about college and talk about how crazy everyone is and how crazy we are. I want to meet up with all my friends and celebrate for no reason other than the fact that we are all together and love each other. I want to have drinks and laugh and be loud and be ridiculous all night.

so... yeah, I'm a little homesick, but not for any place. I'm planning where I'm off to next (thinking Taiwan for an extended weekend getaway) so I'll keep the stories coming.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

wild weekend

This weekend was filled with unexpected surprises. Friday at work began with tragic and devastating news about my co-worker's boyfriend. I spent the evening and into the late/early hours of the morning with her and a couple other teachers discussing a whole menu of crazy stuff and meanwhile collectively contemplating the meaning of life without directly discussing it in those terms.

On Saturday I met up with my Korean teacher, Young-jean, at Technomart. I've been spending far too much time there. It's a mall and I don't belong there. We discussed proper sentence structure, a few irregular verbs, and how to clearly express things like "I'm drinking at the bar..." "Which bar? Where are you?" and just for the Jehovah's Witnesses and adorable church ladies "Who's there? I don't speak Korean. I'm Jewish."

Then I met up with Wo-seuck, and his new adorable girlfriend (who has in two weeks completely revamped his look), as well as Jade and Paul. We went for dinner together at a chicken place. I did my best to eat roasted chicken with chopsticks, but I eventually gave up and used my hands though I felt like a barbarian as woo-seok's girlfriend delicately ate with grace and ease. Afterwards we were meant to meet up with the Chun-Cheon posse, but they never made it to Seoul, so minus the happy little couple the English teachers went to the Jim-Jil-bang. It was really great and relaxing. I sat in the sauna, watched a couple of movies, had some snacks and sipped on shigae(some rice drink) while I had a foot massage. After a good shvitz we got ourselves together to leave. Then I realized that I forgot to take my cash out of the pocket of the shorts before tossing them in the hamper and basically threw away the equivalent of 20 or so bucks. I just don't know where my brain goes sometimes.

On the way home I bumped into EG, Woo-Seok's brother. It was nice to bump into him seeing as though we hadn't chatted in a bit. Still I always leave thinking "What a nut."

The weather today was amazing. My absolute favorite. I went to the Jung's (Woo-seok's uncle's house/Yuna's) for lunch with Paul. Their apartment was stunning and fancy looking, like a hotel. Apparently it was modeled after the Hyatt on Jeju-do, which I think is a hysterical little tidbit. The apartments were all situated around a huge courtyard. The glass elevator, with a tv inside, provided a luxurious ride up to their floor. They have an enclosed balcony that is filled with bonsai trees and all types of flora. It wraps around the apartment and displays a great view of the city and the mountains beyond. Yuna's mom made a fantastic spread of goodies. The main bit was a seafood soup with lots of veggies, octopus, and crabs. She made some chop-che(that great clear noodle dish), hobuckju(the pumpkin soup), and some pajon too. I stuffed myself. Then she had fruit and we brought a cake so we had some of that too. She tried to talk me into a stawberry milkshake, but I successfully was able to reject eating till I bursted by using the lactose intolerant excuse.

No matter what we do the Jung's always seem to be one step ahead of us on the gifting. We brought a nice cake from the bakery with white icing and fresh fruit stacked on the top. I had a little print of my dad's and I bought a cute frame for it. Still, somehow I left with some Hanji, Korean paper (MY FAVORITE), and a cute pillow that stores an extra blanket inside for my house. They always seem to be ahead.


pillow

Yuna has an international conference coming up where she is giving a presentation on her work, IN ENGLISH. She's in grad school for genetics and her thesis project is really quite fascinating. She's been extracting albumen (like the white part of an egg) from blood using a solution that has acetone(like in nail polish). Apparently, this procedure is far more cost-effective and produces more albumen than the commercial methods currently being used. The albumen is tested to detect disease. Anyway, Paul and I sat around for a bit helping her practice for her presentation.

Then her dad drove us to the Children's Grand Park to see the cherry blossoms. I have never seen so many children in my life. It was as if every child in Korea was there running around, screaming, throwing things at the seals and pathetic looking polar bears, blowing bubbles, crying, giggling, hanging from trees, eating, riding camels, playing soccer, pulling each other's hair, and most of all being shown off like a shiny new exciting accessory that matches the perfect outfit. I'm constantly amazed by the kids here and how parents let them wander and run around OR by how outrageously CUTE they are. I want one, at least just for an occassional weekend. In addition, there are so many kids in this city. It's like there are two children for every cell phone. New York simply doesn't have as many children running around as Seoul does. Within 25 minutes we had to leave the park. It was too crowded and overwhelming--you couldn't even walk.

We strolled over to Konkuk University and went to a board game cafe. After I won Cha-Cha-Chicken we played Jenga a couple times and then Da Vinci Code. I had a green tea frizzae and it came with a basket of bread and cookies with whipped cream. After all that excitement I was ready for bed.

I couldn't find the remote to my television all week so I didn't watch any tv. Of course, I put it in the closet. I don't know where my brain has gone. So, I think it's about time to revisit an old friend with a bag of my favorite new bad snacks and see what kind of amusement I can find.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

WOAH!



It seems like everything has just bursted overnight. I can't beleive I was freezing to death in the snow just weeks ago. All the sudden everything has color and the weather has finally warmed up enough that I can walk to work. The cheery blossoms around Seokcheon Lake are brilliant.

Women's Film Festival in Seoul

I went to see the animation series at the 7th WFFS. They were all short, mostly dreamy and cute, funny and imaginative. They showed artists from Germany, Canada, Korea, and elsewhere. My favorite was The Accordion followed by Tell Me Not to Worry.

After a nice dose of animation, I went with my friend Ji to her mom's opening in Insadong. She's a painter and does nice oil paintings of female nudes.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Toys



I took this picture at the perfect moment. At the bank they have a shredder for all those little receipts you get. It's always a pain. What should I do with this? I have a crazy little conversation with myself in my head about the importance of this piece of paper and the information on it. I try to figure out if I should just trash it or not. NOW I can just shred it after glancing at my balance. Not that this saves paper or anything, but shredding it seems to add a fun activity to the sometimes stressful moment (maybe this just happens to me) of looking at and dealing with the ATM receipt.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

cloy

Word of the Day for Sunday April 3, 2005

cloy \KLOY\, transitive verb:
To weary by excess, especially of sweetness, richness,
pleasure, etc.

intransitive verb:
To become distasteful through an excess usually of something
originally pleasing.

The opulence, the music, the gouty food -- all start to
cloy my senses.
--Jeffrey Tayler, "The Moscow Rave, part two: I Have
Payments to Make on My Mink," [1]Atlantic, December 31,
1997

I use orange and lemon zest in the recipe and a drizzle of
soured cream at the table to take away its tendency to
cloy.
--Nigel Slater, "Cream tease," [2]The Observer, December
14, 2003

The soft [3]Orvieto [4]Abboccato has just enough sweetness
to please but not to cloy, a friendly character that tempts
one to linger over a second glass.
--George Pandi, "Orvieto's pleasures deserve to be savored
like its wine," [5]Boston Herald, July 18, 2004
_________________________________________________________

Cloy is short for obsolete [6]accloy, "to clog," alteration of
Middle English acloien, "to lame," from Middle French encloer,
"to drive a nail into," from Medieval Latin inclavare, from
Latin in, "in" + clavus, "nail."

References

1. http://www.theatlantic.com/
2. http://observer.guardian.co.uk/
3. http://www.epicurious.com/drinking/wine_dictionary/search?query=Orvieto
4. http://www.epicurious.com/drinking/wine_dictionary/entry?id=5250
5. http://www.bostonherald.com/
6. http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=accloy

Dictionary.com Entry and Pronunciation

Friday, April 01, 2005

tp



Say "sarong hayo" (I love you) the right way, with TP! This card has a pull down part where you write your message. How funny is a toliet paper greeting card? Really funny.