Tuesday, January 31, 2006


I just got back to the states.

Regardless of the fact that I was just here a month ago, the thing that has shocked me most is how big people are. Width and height. My goodness there are some huge people. I can't get over it. There are some tall Koreans and some heavy set ones too, but nothing like the obsesity I've seen in the past 24 hours.

Saturday, January 28, 2006


My mother wrote me an email:
As I write this I am imaging your upcoming last day with the Korean middle school students, especially the boys. I have dedicated my life to teaching middle school students, and the boys especially are quite unique. I think about your situation and imagine this: Those boys know how to say penis in two languages.

I'm finished (PINISH-ED, or even PINISHY, as my students often like to say). My last day was wild. And my mother's right. Those boys are unique.

At the beginning of the month I had a student named Tiger. I liked his name. It was great, compared to all the Kevins, Toms, Tommys, Johns and Steves I've had, but he wanted to change it. I scribbled all the boys names I could think of off the top of my head on the board and he picked Zach. Good name, but no Korean kid usually wants it because of the difficulty pronouncing the buzzing z sound ("We went to the jew" instead of ZOO). Zach's a big pudgy kid. Really smart, funny as hell. He's always smiling and he just loves to laugh. Sometimes he'd just get into laughing fits and the class just couldn't go on because he was laughing so hard he was in tears, and we were laughing just because he was laughing so hard. I knew Zach would laugh at my silliness and bad jokes... and he got me through the last three hours of teaching each night.

Yesterday he told me at the beginning of class, "I don't like you." Instantly, I'm having a heated conversation with myself in my head. I'm 12 years old again and I'm being tortured. Why should I care if this kid likes me or not. BUT Why don't you like me? What did I do wrong? What happened? You used to adore me! This is your last day Miss Koco... be fabulous. Then he tells me that his "Mother will hit" him because I didn't give him the student of the month award.

It's just a piece of paper. Last day. Last day. Last day. Last class. Who cares? I try not to have favorites, but I went into the teacher's room and grabbed one of the "awards," filled it out, and I gave him Student of the Month. It was nice to have Zach in my class this month. When I gave it to him he thanked me and turned bright red just before running off to go hit one of his friends.
So cute.

I feel good, but it's not real quite yet. I still feel like I'm going to work on Monday. Maybe it will settle in when I'm on a plane.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

people who eat people

yummy tidbit...

[From Spanish Canbalis, name (as recorded by Christopher Columbus) of the allegedly cannibalistic Caribs of Cuba and Haiti, from earlier Carib karibna, person, Carib.]

Saturday, January 14, 2006


While trying to read a page in Korean I resorted to the Google [Translate this page]. Unfortunately, I got a page that no longer exists, but fortunately the error404 page was translated all crazy from Korean:

There is not a possibility of searching for this page.
It will be able to use at the day and time when the name where the page which is searching for is eliminated is changed.

Try to attempt afterwords.

* Address indication will decrease and, input the address which when inputs a page address accurately try to confirm.
* Afterwords year it wants against information where a groove page search for the link.
* It will grow the button at after, lik do and try to attempt a different link.

HTTP 404 - The possibility nil which will search for a file
Internet Information Services

Technical information (support manpower)

* Detailed information where:
Microsoft techical support

I like the part about how it will grow the button at after. Beautiful. I love this stuff. You'd think after a year it wouldn't amuse me anymore, but I really get a kick out of this stuff.

Friday, January 13, 2006

just go

February... a time to do nothing. I can sit on the couch and catch up on all the tv watching I'd missed out on in the past year. I can do nothing, think about nothing, and simply be. But, that's not what I'm going to do. I'm gonna do Philly, NYC, Boston, Toronto, and Grand Cayman (then back to Seoul). I'm going to take a vacation where you have to pack a bikini, sunscreen, extra warm clothing, and a down coat. That's new, at least for me.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Saturday, January 07, 2006

new ish

The word of the day for January 1, 2006 is recycled. Now, what I mean is that the word vim (power; force; energy; spirit; activity; vigor), was also the word of the day on Wednesday December 4, 2002 and on Monday November 27, 2000. Obviously, an oldie but a goodie, or someone's getting lazy over in the word of the day department. Regardless, I hope to start off this new year with new vim.

I returned from my week in the states charged with excitement and heaps of new ish to think about and explore. One of my absolute favorite things to read is the NYTimes Magazine. The Year in Ideas issue was full of fun stuff. Including:

One thing that surely could mess a person up is rape. Thus, something like this new anti-rape condom, The Rapex, is an interesting development. It's meant to empower women, though critics say that it is like a medieval device sending a "retrograde message that women should be responsible for their own safety," when really it's a societal issue.

I got a chance to go to Toys in Babeland during my stay; I wonder what they think of The Rapex. I love that store. They have fun stuff to play with, really knowledgeable and approachable staff, and books by Tony Ward (growing up the Wards were our neighbors--the Philly art community is colorful).

On my vacation, quite literally, I completely lost track of time. I had no idea what was going on. The phrase "existence beyond exhaustion," kept coming to mind. At some point, I got to catch up on some stuff I've missed. Then additionally, even if I wasn't completely delirious, things like R. Kelly's Trapped in the Closet still wouldn't make sense.

I bought some cds. A couple weeks ago I bought some stuff I've been meaning to own for some time: Erykah Badu (Frequency and Mama's Gun), Outcast (Speakerboxxx/The Love Below), and some Jamiroquai (Dynamite). I got a surprise visit from my boy MUN! and we went the Tower on Broad to check up on Papa Dupree's mural, and per his recommendation, I pick up John Legend and some Common (Be).

My Free Will Astrology forecast for 2006:

The coming months will not be a time for less talk and more action, my fellow Cancerian, but for more talk and more action. Here are other prescriptions to help you get the most out of 2006: Go on wilder adventures and entertain fewer superstitions. Indulge in fewer mood swings and invest in an experience that will serve as the best anchor you've ever had. Explore your secrets more aggressively, but keep fewer secrets. Work harder to know the difference between true intuitions and fearful delusions. Feel less remorse and more forgiveness. Cultivate wetter love and dryer humor. Commit yourself to faster promise-keeping and slower fault-finding.

Wilder adventures... hmmm. I guess I'll have to come up with bigger dreams. As for all I wanted to accomplish while in NYC. Got to see some people, and that felt really great. I didn't do all that I had hoped to, but I did a bunch of really enjoyable stuff I hadn't intended on doing. I guess that leaves reason to go again soon.

From the TO DO List:
eat food from Bonsignor
get a smoothie from liquiteria.
buy lots of granola, deodorant, and toothpaste with fluoride
eat falafel
have pizza from Two Boots
drink a mojito, or two
buy sexy panties and bras
buy books or magazines (IN ENGLISH!)
play with Toys in Babeland
Jameson, on the rocks
see a movie at one of the Landmark Cinemas
I wouldn't mind dancing
standing on a rooftop
seeing someone famous in the street
walk around the village, LES, and Union Square
bumping into Hotdog, the crackwhore from Tompkins Square Park, would top it off

Thursday, January 05, 2006



This is insane, I know... that's my sock drawer. Yes, that is my ridiculously neat sock drawer, with neatly folded panties organized by color. And yes, I made the little boxes that seperate the stockings from the socks. I hate doing laundry, but I get immense pleasure (immense pleasure) from the way this drawer looks after fixing it. It's the one little place in the world I allow all my control freak tendancies just go wild. My desk (along with the rest of my life)is the epitome of chaos and insanity, but my sock drawer is... well, perfect.

BUT, that's nothing compared to what happened to me last night. A few weeks ago I discovered THIS new way to fold a t-shirt. It's is some kind of fantastic t-shirt oragami. I saw the video and thought, "Well, that's crazy," but I didn't even try it, UNTIL last night! My life has changed. I'm hooked; I'll never fold a t-shirt any other way EVER again! I refolded all the t-shirts in my possession.

I feel that this new discovery has lead me down a new road. Possibly a dark one. I'm imagining myself, alone. Suddenly, there's a knock at the door. It's my mother. I think, "What is she doing here?" Then she says, "Nicole, I know you're in there... and I know you're folding. Step away from the t-shirt and just come and open the door. I love you." There will be an intervention. I see it now...
I had a mild sock drawer thing, but now I believe it has spread to the t-shirt drawer. I haven't quite got my technique down with long sleeve shirts, but I think it's possible.