Tuesday, September 27, 2005

bizarre autumn

Fall has officially arrived. The signs are everywhere. The stores are overflowing with squash, children wear brand new jackets and sweaters, women wander the park in cardigans and wool pants, and the leaves wiggle into clothes of red, orange, yellow, and brown.

On my, now daily, walks through the park i enjoy the smells of autumn under a continually clearing sky intermittenly cloudy and full of sun. On these walks, i find myself scratching my head . . . "How can they wear sweaters and knit caps when it's 79 degrees outside?!" It is officially autumn by any calenders standards, but by my estimates, it isn't yet cold. While temperatures at night are dipping into the upper 60's, the days are still bright and warmer-than-cardigan-weather. As i scratch my head, the koreans likewise scratch their heads about me. "How can she wear a t-shirt in this balmy weather?"

You say "po-tay-toe", i say "po-tah-toe" . . . you say "it's cold out", i say "cold if you live in Africa."

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

skinny minnies

October 2nd. Alex and I will be competing in a regional kumdo tournament as part of a team. Along with six other students, we will be performing a form exercise. In preparation we have been training 6 days a week, with the bruises to prove it! Last year the students from our school won in the team form division. I hope we can do the same this year.

The Weigh-In. For registration, Master Lee had to take our weight. For many in the class this seemed like a judgement (the girls especially growing moody), but i was very curious having not seen a scale in some time. As it turns out, eating smaller portions and exercising does help with weight loss. While Alex didn't actually lose any weight, he did lose inches. We already knew this, though. We are going pants shopping this weekend, because none of the pants he came with fit him anymore. I, on the otherhand, have dropped 15 pounds!

I do not attribute the loss solely to martial arts. I see more of a benefit coming from the amount of walking we do (on average, about an hour+ a day). It's also been easy to eat healthy here with snacking foods like roast squid and fish jerky. Even eating out, the majority of food that is put in front of us is a vegetable of some sort (kimchi, marinated turnips, seaweed, corn, zucchini, etc.). We've come to appreciate a good apple, bunch of grapes, or banana, too. I hate to disappoint the masses looking for the miracle-of-all-fad-diets, but it looks like exercise and a balanced diet do actually work.

what're you looking at . . .

Saturday, September 17, 2005

the palace

here are the long-awaited photos of our living space. . . we cleaned and it was sunny. hard to find a better photo-op.


the kitchen, living room, and study in one picture



a clearer shot of our "study" which consists of a computer desk, fish tank, books, and usually a chair. also included in the photograph, alex's bike.



the other half of the "palace" as seen from the kitchen. bathroom's on the left.



the bedroom, and our paul bunyon size bed.

Monday, September 12, 2005

clearing skies

nabi's edge

we were subjected only to the very edges of Hurricane Nabi as it made its way to Japan. here are some pics of the interesting cloud formations that covered the city for an afternoon.





Sunday, September 11, 2005

update

i apologize for the randomness, and lack of information in the blogs of late. let me assure you that all will be corrected, and you will find yourself fondly recalling the ease of august's entries. . .

entering september a calm has crept into a2's apartment. with my long-awaited return to domestic life and writing, the place is starting to look downright homey. a space this small is easily overwhelmed with laundry, dishes, paper, etc. through july and august, it has seen its worst. i was reliving my first college apartment sans cigarette butts and empty bottles of southern comfort. small word of advice ROSS: when having a large party never let smokers discard their butts in the garbage disposal, or the next day you will be surprised and angry at the results (especially when running the dishwasher). thankfully, quality of life is on the rise with the addition of houseplants and fish.

it's been difficult to re-establish a writing routine after being away. these first couple of weeks back in the fold will be devoted to finding a schedule that works. i'm optimistic, actually envisioning more than one project finding a place in the mess of things. thanks for the continued encouragement (especially from mr. gladden).

alex has actually entered the realm of blogging. no, i'm serious . . . in the next week or so there will be an official link from this page. WARNING: it's not for the weak at heart or under-opinionated. the title is "For Arguement's Sake", and as you've probably gathered, will be his own voice on controversial/sensitive issues. those of us who have ever had it out with him, know that he's not one to shy from these things. it should be an interesting and educational ride.


  • let me clarify for everyone freaking out about alex's blog. first of all, he's not going out of his way to look for trouble. his blog will be counter-arguements to fellow-bloggers. if a racist can have a blog, why can't someone tell them how inappropriate their comments are? OR what if something as simple as a figure of speech drives him crazy? he might blog about that. he's not putting death wishes out into the blogsphere, so just take a deep breath. relax.


as for korea. the fall is near arrival, foreshadowed by a clearing of the skies and high visibility. the horizons have been amazing; bright blue days, starry-dark nights. the temperatures are still hovering in the mid-80's, but humidity is down. the evening cool is ushered around the city by brisk winds. fall blooms in white and purple are beginning to paint hillsides, and before long, we should see the turning of leaves begin. the 3-day Chusok (Harvest Moon) holiday is this coming weekend. we also have the Annual Kimchi Festival to look forward to this fall. more to come on that subject . . .

TO BE CONTINUED (aka time to go grocery shopping)

Monday, September 5, 2005

Typhoon Nabi

We are in the shadow of Typhoon Nabi (Nabi means Butterfly in Korean). The typhoon made landfall in Kyushu (Japan) this morning where 47,000 homes had to be evacuated. Last night winds were picking up substantially, but Nabi is breaking northeast losing strength as she passes over the cooler waters in the straits between Japan and Korea. The Korean Meteorological Administration (KMA) has issued flood/thunderstorm warnings, and we are expected to get quite a bit of rain. Mild compared to the beating Japan is taking right now.

To our worried parents . . . don't. The weather is actually downright pleasant, and we've yet to see the rain that has been predicted. Most of the weather is expected within the next 24 hours, and in all actuality, will probably be a lot tamer than predicted.