Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Turning 30

"The hell you're turning 30!" <-What I imagine my mother assertively telling the computer after seeing the blog title. Rest assured dear Marilynn, your little girl will be turning thirty on January 1, 2006. I see that you've all started counting on your fingers or scribbled out some simple subtraction on scrap paper. Most of you know (especially, my sweet mother) that I was born into this world in May of 1977, and am therefore, technically 28. However, you do not know Korean birthday math.

When a child is born in Korea, the first year of development where a parent boasts a child's age in months is completely forgone. No one does it, and thank the lord for it. People using months instead of years to describe a child's age after 11 months can spit-shine by butt. Is your child really 36 months?! ---- Can you divide by 12?

In Korea, at birth, a child is one (1). The only time a child's age is mentioned in anything but a year is at the doctor's office and the 100-Day Celebration. The 100-Day Celebration is the day a child is no longer considered vulnerable, and is ready to venture outdoors. It's also an excuse to throw a big party (or two), and get expensive gifts. Just imagine a very late baby shower. Moving on . . .

The grand-daddy of birthday celebrations is also the largest holiday on the Korean Calender, what the world knows as New Years' Day. There's a whole mess of information concerning the government moving the celebration away from the Lunar New Year when it was historically celebrated. Long story short, Angry People + Nervous Government= 2 National Holidays, one for the solar calender and one for the lunar. It is on New Years' Day (whichever you celebrate) that all Koreans add one year to their age. Large family gatherings are the norm as are trips to the east coast to see the sunrise. Much respect is paid to the family's elders, and their are plenty of foods and gifts.

There are no bowl games.

So there it is. By Korean birthday math, I am currently 29 years old. In four days' time I will be 30. It could be the short notice or loss of a year, but I'm not too apprehensive about turning thirty. Maybe the second time around I will be.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas, Kwanza, Hanukah, Soltice, etc., etc. (and so on and so forth)

lub, a2

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Christmas Eve

there's a one present minimum:

his muse: a fat man's sci-fi

the card . . . *sigh*

this IS my Xmas Joy.

Hanji: a traditional Korean art. Real cool gift, don't let my face confuse you. I'm camera-unpleasant (like camera-shy but with disdain).

Happy Holidays Bill O'Reilly!

P.S. If you do not find this picture cute, you have no soul.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005


Alex and I shared a fun weekend out with Na-Yeong. We took her bowling for the first time (she's a natural), ate a kickass lunch of Dwaegi-Kalbi (marinated pork ribs), and then she took us to a game room. A game room is an establishment where you "rent" your table. Then the customers choose board games from a game menu. Losers suffer a penalty which is determined by their friends. While at the room, 2 people had to approach Alex as punishment (if they only knew). One had to shake his hand, the other had to take a photograph with him. It was humorous and cute.

Alex as "Jenga Master"

We're preparing for the coming holiday. We appreciate all the thoughtful packages sent by family and friends. We have a substansial booty to open come Xmas morning. As suggested by our "Culture Shock" book, we are starting some new traditions including "The Evil Santa", and "The Christmas Carrot". More details and worthwhile pictures to come. Please remember to visit our Flickr photostream for pictures.

Sunday, December 4, 2005

winter storm


Click the secluded pagoda for more Gwangju blizzard pics.


Saturday, December 3, 2005

closing in

It's been two weeks since the bus accident that took us out of the national tournament. All of us still ache from the anti-climactic ending that comes from smashing into a cabbage truck, but so be it. Instead of resting on our laurels, we have forged ahead through another test.

We have passed the final 1st Dan test before our next degree examination. Master Lee, connections willing, will be testing a2 for our 2nd Dan in January. More to come . . .