Archive for July, 2008

Entry for July 31, 2008

July 31, 2008

Starving. Am starving. Am dieting. It’s awful. Don’t think I can make it….to…..dinner. Must…snack. Oh, no! Not the snack! The yummy yummy snack…..


Entry for July 30, 2008

July 30, 2008

Scrabulous is gone. Sigh. At least, its in legal limbo.

In news of other pleasant time-wasting things gone wrong, I’ve had a terrible dream a couple of nights ago. In it, I started off flirting with someone who looked a lot like some actor and it rapidly morphed into a whole thing where my father was not really my father and I was very upset towards the people who said that I looked like my father because I knew my heart they had lied. So I think this was a dream that was the revenge of the Korean soap opera.

I also had a terrible feeling about someone breaking into the house while we were gone.

But in mundane news, I found out there’s a small bash-in (like the width of a thumb) on the side of the brand-new tub (not that it affects performance at all). I mentioned this to W and he looked abashed and admitted he had done that a couple of months ago – not that he was going to mention it to me or anything so that maybe it might have been fixed. It’s sort of aggravating.

Entry for July 29, 2008

July 29, 2008

W was in the Thousand Islands this past fortnight, on a Keck. He’ll have another fortnight with the students on campus.

I was always under the assumptions that Thousand Islands was a salad dressing – made of ketchup and mayonnaise – but that confused me because I thought that was also the components of French dressing – and Russian – but why would everything be made of mayonnaise and ketchup – especially as I thought the Europeans weren’t very big on ketchup? I looked it up under Wikipedia and found a couple of very amusing entries. To wit:

“In many areas of Europe, it is known as “American Dressing.”

Under French Dressing entry (American usage only): Midwestern folklore has it that the condiment’s name stems from its invention by the wife of Lucius French, a founder of Hazleton, Indiana. French’s intense aversion to vegetables brought him to the brink of scurvy several times; his wife supposedly created the tangy, unconventional dressing as a means of coaxing the bellicose French to consume salads.[citations needed]

Other entries of note in Wikipedia (which I am finding more and more useful every day): millwright, and donar kebab (that one is a labor of love).

Entry for July 25, 2008

July 25, 2008

Today has been very trying – working with Henry. A friend says she understands people who abandon their kids (although she wouldn’t do it) – and I have to say, I do also. I also have an inkling about people who beat their kids out of frustration. But really, I’m more the runaway type. It’s after 2:30 and Henry finally went to sleep – screaming bloody murder the whole way. I find I tend to lose the ability to have speech in moments like this, and I just want to take a hike. This also adds to my problem of having any kind of a reasonable argument, because I just can’t take it – or else if I do take it, I can’t express myself in any adult way. It’s sort of awful.

On the other side of things, my sister had her first ultrasound of the new baby – and it seems like it’s a boy. My dream reigns supreme. The whole other side of the family and the location of the head swirl on previous kid’s head dictating the sex of the next baby (if it’s right in the middle, it’s a girl) – all that’s fallen by the wayside.

I asked my parents about the dreams of my brother and sister – my mother had both those dreams. For my brother, my mother dreamed of an enormous, ripe date. For my sister, my mother dreamed of an unripe pumpkin. Where quizzed about this whole vegetable/fruit issue – my mother clarified that if the fruit/vegetable has a lot of seeds and seem very ripe, then it’s a boy, and if not, then it’s a girl. Okay. Maybe this seems like bunk also.

Skinny Cow

July 24, 2008

My sister has taken offense at a gift my parents have received. She does this because of both the gift and the source of said gift.

While it is true Korean people, as far as I’ve been alerted, tend to give spendy gifts – that’s only when it counts. Those gifts are for weddings or a major graduation or something. There is also the minor gift giving – housewarming gifts, good shopper bonuses, the New Year’s Day visiting gifts, stuff like that.

The gift is a 48 pack of mini fudgesicles from Skinny Cow – the offense is because its obviously a bulk buy and the giver is a business associate of my parents, who has repeated offended my sister (and myself) because of her repeated commentary on our weight (which she considers heavy) over the years. (This is part of what I call the Korean Ugly Contest – where it’s a bit of a competition to say something mean before the other person in a conversation – but you sort of have to slide it in. She wins, every time.) It’s a little cheap and maybe it would be better not to have recieved it – although this does not stop anyone from eating the said fudgesicles. (They’re pretty good, especially if you see them in the light of diet food.)

This is the same woman who gives my mother exactly one bar of Amway soap every New Years. My mother hates this soap. After a number of years, as a joke, I unloaded said soap onto an unsuspecting SIL after she complained because MIL hasn’t given her soap for a while so she _actually_ has to buy soap now. God forbid. So, I sent her a couple-three-four years worth of soap bars. But this was no longer funny as SIL loves this soap and wants more. Oh, what have I done?

Second Entry for July 23, 2008

July 23, 2008

More on watching the kid – and they don’t just want you to watch them to keep them safe – they want you to watch them all the time. Henry wakes up and starts to cry if I’m not there looking at him – like I’m supposed to spend every minute of every day with my eyeballs glued to my kid. Okay – that came out wrong – I mean I’m supposed to be doing that, right? This is why people live so long – to care for our children – why we don’t just spawn and drop dead – but while he is much, much more interesting that he used to be (when he used to just lay there), there is also some boredom because he doesn’t change much from hour to hour (this is where tv has to take some blame, I think), and some frustration because he doesn’t communicate well, and he can be sort of annoying from time to time. Especially when you’re cheerfully doing a little tickling or roughhousing and then he takes it to a whole another level and kicks you in the throat or face. That’s sort of annoying. It’s getting to be even more so because he’s getting stronger and his aim is getting better.

Also, frankly, the cleaning up is just tedious as all hell. It really is. Especially now that he’s taken to drinking soup directly out of the bowl – sans eating utensil. I had to change him 4 times yesterday (one soup meal, and one meal of soup leftovers). His control isn’t that great, so he’ll start okay but then just start dumping it all down his front. I did not bring that many clothes – he’ll be running around in a diaper soon. I’d say naked, but my mom has issues with naked babies running around – like some kid _hasn’t_ peed on any of her rugs ever.

So, here’s the tally. Henry is good at kicking, especially in a violent, nonproductive way. (Not interested in soccer. Not really.) Henry could use some more work on eating neatly – he eats enough, I think, although he’s sort of a thin kid, he’s just a slob. Which should be okay, because he’s a baby, but you’d think some of that motor control would translate from one set of activities to another.

Entry for July 23, 2008

July 23, 2008

It’s early, because I guess I was woken up by the heavy rain outside. The rain which causes my father to lapse into a sort of a state of statis – without having to water those plants every day, he’s got no purpose in life. Combined that with not being able to walk outside, he falls into a small state of depression.

My parents lives are so regimented now – it’s like they have a small child/baby around – and that’s without a baby around. They walk, they garden, they eat, they watch their programs – (my mother wanted to be picked up at a certain time from my sister’s house, but she told me not before 4 because that’s my father’s program – an instructional program on pa-dook – go – which is duller than dishwasher, a man and a woman are talking about each move, with the man mostly doing the explanation and the woman saying ‘oh! good move.’ It is perhaps, one of the dullest programs in any language. I think it’s broadcast in HD – for what purpose, I ask you? All you see is the game board and one hand (that’s right folks – nothing but the most expensive appendages for the Korean satellite-tv watching community) moving pieces around).

Maybe I’m the fool – because it’s nice to have Henry around that kind of schedule. Also because I’ve fallen into it. Now I’m starting to be concerned about the people in my parents’ soap operas – or really, they’re telenovellas. They last a couple of months (~120-200 episodes). Things have really become more adult with this batch than what I remember. The one I remember was concern about whether or not a bakery would start up right – and it wasn’t particularly, shall we say, creative? But now, it’s a whole ‘nother story. There’s bribery, illegitimate children, lost adopted children, scandal, a potentially lost Miss Korea bid due to aforementioned illegitimate children, it’s on! And that’s just one of them. Henry will watch the soap operas also – but mostly because my father and mother stuff him with chips so he doesn’t screw around with either the tv or the remote control. When I go home, I’m not certain what I’m going to do to find out what happens to these people.

Entry for July 22, 2008

July 22, 2008

Man, the thing about kids they never, never, ever tell you – how relentless it is. You feed them, wash them, you watch them, you keep them from hurting themselves, you got to keep them busy, maybe try to teach them something, try to keep them clean, plan for future meals, put them to sleep, and then do it over and over and over. And that’s just in one day. Then you’ve got to do all the stuff associated with running a household – the shopping and the cooking and the cleaning and then there’s the long term stuff – the clothes and storage. It’s crazy.

A person can love their kids – but it just never ends.

Entry for July 20, 2008

July 20, 2008

It’s summer here in suburban NJ, and it is steamy.

My parents are doing a strange thing – I think it might be an old person thing or a Korean person thing, I’m not sure. They have the air conditioning on during the day, and they turn it off or turn up the activation temperature at night. While this sounds reasonable, it’s the implementation that has the devil in its hot, sticky details. They do this turn down before they go to sleep. Good enough. Then, I wake up at 2AM, all sweaty in an airless box of a room because they don’t bother to open any windows. So then I have to either turn the temp back down or open all the windows in the house, and maybe turn on a fan or something. This is every night.

Although I can’t really turn on a fan – because there is a mental issue here – the Korean Fan Death issue. Koreans, apparently, are the only people in the world who believe that if you leave a fan on overnight, it can kill you. There are supposedly reports of this every year – fan deaths. Go ahead, laugh. I do. But, it’s still a little hard for me to leave a fan on every night. Maybe the air conditioning is like the fan death. Or else the air conditioning is so loud, it does actually wake me up in my parents’ house.

I like being in my parents’ house – and it’s very comforting – it’s just never physically very comfortable. They’ve got terrible hot and sticky leather couches – which if you fall asleep on, you wake up because you overheat so terribly. The summer is stifling. The winter is cold. They’ve got like 45 different climates in this house – and you can move a couple of feet and find another one. Man – what is my problem? And why do I keep coming back to this place?

Entry for July 19, 2008

July 18, 2008

Boys’ clothes come in a few different categories, I’ve noticed.

There’s the animal kingdom (which also includes insects and sealife). Then there’s transportation. Then here’s this thing I like to call ‘lifestyles’ – which may contain a combination of the previous items but mixed up a little. Henry has pirates pajamas (it’s not just a pajama, unless its a party), which has sharks, pirates, parrots, ships, and word bubbles saying things like ‘ahoy’ and ‘shiver me timbers.’

Then there’s the category of novelty – which catches everything else. Like travel tee’s – your grandma went to the Grand Canyon – boom, you get a t-shirt. Or funny sayings – for example, “if you think I’m cute, you should see XY or Z.” Although I believe you can cross the line with things like “Breast Man” for a breast feeding onesie – but that’s just me. Obviously, those things do have a place in the marketplace.

Added July 20 – there’s also abstract designs – the stripe, the snowflake, the plaid and polka dot. Still working on a unified theory of boys clothing design.