Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Welcome to the World

Welcome to the World
Originally uploaded by karmking1111.
On a Sunday walk, Kat, Gavin, and I happened up on a small park with tons of butterflies. Upon closer inspection, I saw that there were cocoons peppered on all the trees, lamp posts, and rails in the park. I ran back home and grabbed my camera to get a few shots. Here's one of the best.

Little Boy

Little Boy
Originally uploaded by karmking1111.
Little baby --> Little boy

Korean Crane

Korean Crane
Originally uploaded by karmking1111.
On one of my bike rides I came across a rookery for these white cranes I see often in Korea. I tried to identify such said crane without any luck. The rookery was pretty swingin'. It was loud, there was a lot of birds hopping about, and a lot of poop. This bird's elegant appearance is definitely at odds with how it keeps its home.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Love / Hate Relationship

So it's time to break up with Soul, to go our separate ways. We had a good run of it, 7 years, and while there were some amazing times, there have also been bouts of confusion and frustration.

The Good
I'll miss the food, I just know it. There will be a day when all I'll want will be a big bowl of Yuk-Ke-Jang (spicy Korean soup), or Soon-Doo-Boo (spicy Korean soup), or Kam-Ja-Tang (spicy Korean soup). Maybe it's all spicy Korean soup, but I love it. There's also the rice dishes, Korean BBQ, the street meat. It's definitely different than standard American fare, and that's what's great about it. Korea, you know your way around the kitchen, unless...

The Bad're cooking western food. Granted, western food has gotten better from when I first showed up. At this rate Korea might make their first edible sandwich sometime in the next 20 years. I think the problem is where American tastes go sour or bitter, Koreans go sweet.

Case in point, when I was teaching elementary school long ago, I got very excited when I saw spaghetti and garlic bread for lunch. After having kimchi and rice so many days in a row, it was nice to get a bit of home until I took a huge bite of garlic bread and found it was topped with an enormous amount of sugar. I can't explain how wrong this is, and this wasn't the only time I was duped. There was the time when I got whip cream with my quesadilla (apparently it's an acceptable substitute for sour cream), how honey is served with Gorgonzola pizza, and how it's perfectly fine to wrap a hot dog in any kind of sweet pastry.
The Chicken-Cola Cup. Western food
that a westerner would never eat.

Ah Korea, sometimes you're like a 7 year old in the kitchen throwing sugar and syrup on everything. Grow up a little. Don't put honey mustard on everything, put down the jar of sweet pickles. Refine yourself, like Americans do... wait, that's a terrible comparison. You know what Korea, be whoever you want to be, but I think I'll make my own sandwich if you don't mind.

Fatty and Skinny Ride Again

We're gearing up for the big move. In preparation, we sent Fatty and Skinny back to L.A. These are the nicknames for our two cats Honey Badger and Nallie (they have about 50 different nicknames a piece-- I'll spare you them all). We probably could have taken them on the plane, but then we'd be those people, the air-gypsies, boarding a plane with two cats and a toddler. We decided to spare our fellow passengers that hell and so sent the cats by cargo to the verdant fields of L.A. where they will be under watch by the sister-shepherdess, Sage.

Actually, the cats made it fairly easy to get rid of them. The night before they were to leave, the cats were making a tremendous racket in the back room, chasing each other and jumping around. Now there is a window between the backroom and our bedroom. I sat up to see what was going on and to chastise the felines when Badger took that exact moment to take a flying leap through the window. She's called Fatty for a reason and I got most of Fatty's heft right in the face. Also, did you know that if you startle a cat, that triggers a reflex whereby their claws will automatically extend? I was dealt this painful bit of knowledge as Badger tried to change directions in mid-flight and got me on the shoulder and the chin. Now, Badger is a sweet cat, probably the most loving cat I've ever seen, so I choose to believe that she felt bad about this.

The next day, with two long, deep scratch marks in my chin, I didn't feel a lot of remorse as I tossed the cats into their carrying kennels. My Korean tutor and I drove to the airport to take the cats to the customs / quarantine office. There, the nice customs lady attempted to scan Nallie's microchip (yes, our cats are robotic). I was unaware of this until I heard a hiss and one of those terrible yowling growl. Luckily, the woman got her hand out of the kennel without a scratch but she clearly was not going to make a second attempt and motioned for me to scan my damned cat. I must have looked a sight. Here I was with scratches on my face and devil cat in a cage. Ironically, Badger let me scan her easy. We never did get Nallie scanned.
Life in the Fast Lane

So now the cats are in L.A. Sage says they're safe and sound. It's nice to have them out of the way, it's nice to not have to deal with fur or litter boxes for awhile. It's nice to use the computer without the cats physically reminding me that they need attention too. It's nice to be catless for a bit, and oddly enough, it'll be nice when we are reunited with Fatty and Skinny once again.