Friday, July 20, 2007

hooray for friday

it's always nice to not leave for work until 11 only to get there and find that there are no orders to pack because there's a problem with the computer. yes, it sucks, but at least i got to leave at 2:30. that most definitely makes up for yesterday's hungover work day.

you may be asking yourself "why on earth would tanya be hungover on a thursday?"

it happened unexpectedly, that's for sure.

alisun and i took our last $10 and bought a very large bottle of merlot for a leisurely wednesday night consumption. but of course, we forgot that a night spent sitting at the picnic table in our yard can never be a solo endeavor. before we knew it, we were in a neighborhood block party of sorts.

so i was up until 4 am sitting in our neighbor's amazing backyard garden/oasis, playing the "if..." game and enjoying the unexpected company. i finally decided it was time to sleep when my neighbors put in stand by me and i knew that i wouldn't be able to last for another two hours. no matter how much i love that movie, sleep was a bigger priority.

and man, i could tell the next day was going to be rough when i went into our bathroom only to find alisun sleeping away in the bathtub (full of water, naturally). sure enough, i woke up at 7:30 and thought "hmm, i'll call salsa to see if she wants to pick me up before she goes into pbhq at noon, instead of meeting her to work on the project." luckily, that worked out and i got three more hours to sleep off a large portion of the hangover. alisun wasn't so lucky and was still hurting when we got home from work.

anyway, i've been keeping myself busy and enjoying work and am generally happy to be living stree-free. last night was another good night, consisting of molly's birthday party, some live music at bunkers, and then back to greg and mike's, where, even though i was exhausted, i stuck around for an hour or so while they jammed away in the basement.

and i am now the biggest loser because my boss jodene asked about my weekend plans and i said i had a hot date with a wizard. but at least there are a few of us planning on going to the release party and i won't be doing it alone.

oh weekends, it's nice to have you back. <3

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

work work work

or not really. i started working at pbhq (nerdspeak for peanut butter headquarters) thursday night and so far so good. i'm not even doing any project-y type work with melissa yet. they are one person short in the office, so i'm basically handling online orders/customer service right now. although i wouldn't exactly say i'm doing what i love, it's really nice to not be doing what i hate. really, i've been enjoying myself and a nine hour day today barely even phased me.

tomorrow salsa and i are supposed to meet at my place to get the project started, so we'll see how everything continues.

no korea job lined up, but i have a few prospects. i've decided to go against my first job offer. sounds like a potentially easy job, but a few things don't sit well with me: i don't want to be in the total northern end of seoul, i don't really dig the calling students every day thing, and i'm not too sure how i feel about the director pretty much leaving it all up to the current teacher to get in contact with me (not to mention the fact that said teacher wasn't even aware they weren't renewing his contract and they were looking for a replacement.) anyway, he called today and kind of gave the "if you don't call back soon we're gonna find someone else" vibe. it's probably time i send the recruiter an email to say that the job isn't really a good match.

i'm specifically looking for a sinchon/hongdae or kangnam position, so that's pretty much what i'm focusing on in my search for now.

ok i have to stop because i'm majorly distracted by trash tv.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

you know you're a wino when... walk into the liquor store, throw down your twelve pack of beer, and the liquor store guy says "what, no wine today?"

then he went on to tell me that my haircut looks really nice. i didn't have the heart to tell him that i haven't had a haircut in two months, i think it's just because the last few times i've beeen in i've been wearing a headband. but his intentions were much appreciated.

beware: dork post below.

i've been thoroughly enjoying my time off by doing a whole lot of nothing. the best part of it all is that i no longer feel like a permanently on-call babysitter.

yesterday i was able indulge in one of my guilty pleasures: going to the movies by myself. i decided on once after hearing a glowing radio review. it's an irish indie "musical" of sorts. i was kind of thinking it would be along the lines of rent, but i was pleasantly surprised. it was a very low-key story- a gifted irish musician meets a czech flower girl and they work together on an album so the guy can go to london, get back together with his girlfriend, and sign a record deal. sounds like the recipe for a cheesy hollywood romance, but, fortunately for the film, it was handled in a much better way. i was really surprised to see that the movie was rated 'r,' because other than a few dropped f-bombs, there wasn't much indecency for the eyes or ears.

in all honesty, i wasn't sure how i felt about the movie until it was over, and it was then that i decided that i really liked it, because:

a) they didn't exactly follow a "typical" storyline (one could almost argue that there was no storyline)
b) there were many routes the film could have taken, but the storytellers were very crafty to not sell out for the sake of "appealing" to a certain crowd
c) the music was great. scratch that, the musicians were great. honestly, i haven't seen anyone perform with as much emotion as glen hansard in a long time. and, much to my surprise, i found out in staying for the credits, that the actors actually wrote their own music.

all in all, it was enjoyable. i don't necessarily know that i'd want to watch it again, but it's definitely worth a viewing.

in light of my positive movie experience, i decided to make it 2 for 2, and today i went to see harry potter and the order of the phoenix.

if memory serves, i wasn't all too impressed with number four (which happened to be my favorite book), and wasn't expecting much more than to be slightly entertained by number five. i couldn't have been more wrong. my favorite of the movies so far has been the first one, if only for the "la di da, magic is great and this is a wonderful new experience" feeling. the movie had a comforting, home-y feel to it, and it really is the only one i like to watch over and over. the second and third were ok, but the storylines weren't my favorite. and by this point, and especially with number four, a lot of the story elements were outright cheesy. the fourth one was the worst, because in reality it is the first "dark" storyline and they tried to lighten it up with things that just didn't work. i remember the film finishing with an eye roll on my part- harry soaring through the air on his broom was too much for my stomach to handle.

the latest movie turned me into one giant goosebump. maybe it's because of the final book coming out, maybe it's because of the tragic turns books 5 and 6 take, but really i think it's because they didn't try too hard to make it emotional. this particular story deals with some great issues, and i love the prominent topic of good vs. evil (not to mention non-conformity and some other underlying political ideas). i particularly liked what david yates did with it and for the most part, he did his best to avoid cheesiness. it felt a bit more real and as a result i felt much more emotionally connected. admittedly, i was kind of weepy throughout a lot of it. and daniel radcliffe gets better and better with every movie.

i vowed to myself that i will not go to see the sixth movie at the theaters, only because i would be reduced to a puddle of tears and they would have to scrape me off of the floor afterwards. call me a sap, but i cried for hours after reading the book. i can only imagine how i would react to the movie.

finally, the book comes out a week from tomorrow. i already have mine ordered, so expect me to be completely unavailable for the entire weekend.

Sunday, July 08, 2007


while the rest of the twin cities were busy catching one of three prince shows, we decided to throw a barbeque shindig for those of us who were too unfortunate to get those golden tickets.

mais le barbeque... c'est magnifique!

it's amazing how a simple idea can snowball into a grand fiesta. originally al, rick, and i were on our way to the wedge to get some fixins to make a meal. we stopped along the way to molly's new cafe's party and invited mike and molly over. mike came to the wedge with us, and we ran into stephanie, the girlfriend of greg's brother, dan. we invited them over as well, and went to town on finding kebob fixin's. two shopping bags later, we swung by the french meadow to extend invitations.

and then the work began. the result? pure awesomeness- homemade bruschetta, a bean and corn dip, roasted potatoes, marinated mushrooms, and the most amazing veggie kebobs (complete with pineapple) i've had in a long while. our neighbors even ended up joining us, and good fun was had by all. nothing beats a hot (borderline unbearable) summer night like good beer, good barbeque, and good company.

pure bliss.

mike and stephanie, barbeque-style.

time for some eats: l-r and front-back: stephanie, molly, mike, greg, (ben, dominic, and ben in back), sarah, me, dan

dan and greg being posers

rick and kimchi

greg and me... and attempt one million and one for a decent picture

and this is what happens when our neighbors get a hold of my camera.

left to right (pardon the possible name misspellings:) sarah, molly, mike, me, claude, kaylen, greg, al

Friday, July 06, 2007

i'm on vacation

i have to admit it, my family is the best group of people to vacation with. ever. we're all naturally goofy people, and the release of stress and responsibility makes us even weirder. my dad, in particular, likes to justify his actions- extra ice cream, kahlua in his coffee, speeding a little in his car, by declaring in a hick-y voice "i'm on vacation!" it may not be funny to you, but it makes great memories for me.

i'm on a little vacation of my own, and life is good right now. in other words, i just finished my last day at p.b.loco. i have a wide open schedule until thursday, when i start working again. at the moment, i am enjoying a chipotle veggie burrito and a czech lager (the name of which escapes me). i'm in communication-mode with three schools in seoul. i think one's a no go because it invoves teaching kindergarten. translation: morning work, and possibly split-shifts. the other two are on opposite ends of the city- one in bangbaedong (in the south) and the other in banghak-dong (in the north). the first location would probably more ideal and centrally located, but i'm sure the second would be much more peaceful, as it's more residential.

i have a good feeling that by the end of this week, i will have a job in seoul and the visa process will begin.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

botox: the review

i got my hands on minneapolis star tribune gossip columnist c.j.'s review of the previously mentioned botox party. if you click on the link, it's about halfway down, but if you want a shortcut (or to avoid registration), here's the short version:

"Care for some botox?

PR diva Stacy Bee threw herself a house-warming party billed as "Sex & the City" meets "Entourage" meets "Dr. 90210."

It wasn't as naughty as all that, as most of the action was above the neck with Dr. Mark Rawson of Aesthetics MD providing the Botox.

Somebody broke the news to the owner of EsBee PR, whose new home is super fab, that this was not the Twin Cities' first Botox party. Participation was not required, and the people who were partaking didn't want their names mentioned.

Khay Outhonsack wasn't really considering getting an injection, but she texted the "admirer" who had purchased the dress she was wearing to ask whether she should have the toxin injected into her face. "Botox is not necessary for someone who is already beautiful," Outhonsack's "admirer" texted in reply.

There was talk about me having my scowl relaxed. I declined on the grounds that I liked my scowl because it scares people.

Underwater Adventure's Todd Peterson, a client of EsBee's, wasn't trying to get me to buy into Botox.

"You need one of these," he said, tugging as something on a rawhide necklace. "It's a shark tooth."

Aren't we both too old for this, I asked the Osmond family look-alike?

"You're never too old for this when you own an aquarium," Peterson said.

When the party announcement came about Botox injections being available on the patio, Peterson said, "I'm going to need some wine for this."

Just when you thought there was no way to distinguish Peterson from the Osmonds, here are two: The Osmonds don't drink, and they probably don't attend Botox parties, either."

the rest of life

two nights ago was the police concert. they were ah. may. zing. in seeing a legendary band reunited, you must keep your expectations low in order to avoid being disappointed. i know they have the tendency to get experimental and jazzy, but they flat-out rocked. they did all the great songs (my personal favorite was "synchronicity II," the second song in the set). although sting doesn't quite hit the high notes anymore, they sound remarkably like they did in their prime. there certainly were some cheesy moments, though. case in point: the skeletal dinosaur feet constantly walking on the mega-screen during "walking in your footsteps." a bit contrived, i must say. but no matter how cheesy things got, the fact that they are three incredibly talented musicians (way above the rock star sense) cannot be denied. stewart copeland is something else entirely. when i was younger, i fantasized about sitting down to a dinner with sting. i was certain we would be able to have deep, meaningful conversations. by comparison, i imagine meeting stewart copeland would be a whole lot more intimidating. he's got a lot going on in that brain of his. i would probably make a fool out of myself.

not to leave the fourth of july out, it was rather relaxing. al, chris, and i went to pepitos where i enjoyed a margarita and nachos. after that we went for a swim in lake calhoun as the sun set and we waited for fireworks. it was a pleasant experience, despite the pesky mosquitos using me as their own personal blood bank. after the fireworks i went home and peacefully drifted away to slumberland. wait, no i didn't. instead, i laid in my bed until 5 am because my neighbors were letting off fireworks of their own until about 3:30 in the morning. haven't they learned anything from those "i've been blinded by fireworks" news stories?

i shall return

it's official, i've decided to move back to korea this october. destination: seoul. i am going to take korea by storm and kick its ass this time around.

i've got a list of goals brewing, including: trips to japan, china, thailand, vietnam, and singapore; intensive korean studies; taekwondo classes; saving for grad school; and lots of inner-country hikes and sightseeing. i'm excited at the notion of living and getting lost in a huge city- minneapolis is nice, but small and not at all intimidating. seoul will be the perfect setting. to my surprise, i also found out that some old pals from korea will be returning (most likely to daejeon) around the same time.

things seem to be naturally working out. i was worried about finding pay in between leaving the cafe and leaving home for new york, but p.b.loco took me on for an aggressive wholesales campaign where i'll be working with salsa for a month. it will definitely be fun to learn some new aspects of business life, not to mention work and scheme with salsa and get paid for it.

i worked up the nerve to tell my family and al, and it went over well in both regards. my mom i'm sure isn't exactly thrilled about it but knows i'll probably always feel the need to travel and she gave me her blessings. my dad is thrilled that i really want to save money this time around. celeste said she figured she'd get that phone call sooner or later. although i feel bad about backing out on living with alisun, she says she's glad that i know what will make me happy and that i'm actually going for it. she knows i haven't exactly been happy here, for lack of really trying to make friends (like i said, i never fully felt like myself) and her not being fully available as a friend and roommate- and that's tough when you feel like you only have one friend in a city.

tomorrow is my last p.b.loco day, and luckily it's only for a short while- i just have to go in to make sure that shantel is fully comfortable resuming her role as manager. i have today off and it's been relaxing at that. i've surfed around looking for jobs and reading korean blogs and i went to the midtown global market. i have to remind myself that seoul is very much an international city, because i was kind of feeling like i had to relish in the range of diversity of the shoppers and international foods while shopping. but it's nice that i'll be in a city where most of the comforts of home will still be available to a certain (albeit more expensive) extent.

after tomorrow, i will have saturday-wednesday off, and i don't know what to do with myself! i'm imagining long runs, swimming in the lakes, and lots of korean research. i was spoiled by my school the first time around, and i would love to find a school in seoul with a similar working situation.

already, october seems far away when i start to daydream about returning to meals of kimchi dopbap, alcohol runs to 7-11 at any hour of the night, adorable students, anonymity, catchy commercial jingles, obsessing over cute fellow foreign boys, and the ultimate sense of freedom.

and so, kimchi will return to his motherland. i'm hoping he will have a complete 180 and become the sweet chihuahua he once was. maybe all he needs is a familiar setting: ondol floors, a cozy apartment, and just the two of us. maybe.