Friday, August 11, 2006

Soccer - The Non World Cup Way

The boy plays soccer. *refrain from any comments here* Twice a week, our vent group will hear him say, "Okay, I'm off to play soccer!". There's usually a chorus of "Good lucks!".

2 hours later, he returns all sweaty and smelly. Showers are mandatory. Then back on vent, the gang will ask "What was the score?" .. to which he will answer, "We lost 2 - 11".

But the boy loves his soccer. Here's an action shot for all you doubters (one of two games I actually attended). He's in the orange jersey #28 ... just covering the crap out of the guy in blue.

Now, I love my boy and he has mad skillz but let me say something about his league. It's not like watching the World Cup. BUT it is entertaining in it's own way.

~~~~~

I have a little nephew and niece whom I have yet to meet. Work or something has always gotten in the way of visiting and they're little people now. I missed their baby stage completely. Which might explain why I latched on to Eric and Jessica's baby Quin. Although, in all fairness to Quin, that kid's facial makeup is freaking adorable.

This is Nathaniel. He's pretty cute as well. Odd since my brother is so homely looking.

In Korea, after the first 100 days of a baby's life, there's a big celebration. Probably because the infant mortality rate was so high back in the "olden days". Hmm. That sounds right. I could call my mom and verify but then I'd have to listen to a long list of "Why don't you come up and visit anymore?" type questions. [ed. Okay, I googled this and I am indeed correct].

So, at the child's 100th day celebration, tons of people turn out, loads of food and gifts... and the kids are dressed in traditional Korean garb. This is the male version:

Pretty dorky. Actually, if the boy and I had gotten married in a traditional Korean ceremony, he would have worn something similar. Minus the little black hood. The hood is only worn by single men. And if you wear the hood backwards, it means you're gangsta cool or a"gangpeh".

This is what the traditional Korean wedding ceremony clothing looks like. How hot would my boy look in this?

It's always been a dream of my mom to host an official post-wedding party back in Toronto in front of all her friends and family (we did the Justice of the Peace thing back in 2000). Even though we've been married for over 6 years, she still talks about this... talking about what color would look best on the boy, what color I would like etc.

I suggested pale pink for the boy. *grin* My dress? I want black (of course), strewn with tiny, tiny white flower blossoms all over the bottom and trailing gently up. Mom says red needs to be in there though since it's a good luck color.

One day, one day. I made her a promise.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Return to Normal - Sorta

The things you take for granted - restful, sleep-filled nights, pain-free days ... even drinking a cup of coffee...

Everything can change in the blink of an eye.

My "vacation" was spent shuttling from doctor to specialist in between doing hours of work every day. My phone rang every single day with some work emergency - my home phone.

Gee. I wonder why I'm stressed.

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You know what I am strangely addicted to? Blog sites of Westerners living in foreign lands who write and post pics of daily life and cuisine in places like Vietnam, Malaysia, China etc. It's kind of like the Iron Chef but with a slice of culture and wittier commentary.

Some of the food looks wonderful while others churn my stomach (seriously, who would want to eat blood soup?)

Here's some of my favorites:

http://vietnamesegod.blogspot.com/ (written by a local)

http://www.noodlepie.com/ (written by a white guy who's been living in Vietnam for a while).

http://fatman-seoul.blogspot.com/ (this one takes place in Korea - my birthplace! And even I have to admit that some of the food is questionable ... but most of the time, it makes me nostalagic for my mom's cooking).

The lack of cleanliness in some of these countries gives me the heebie jeebies. Of course, my poor vegetarian, animal-loving husband would just about faint walking down any of these alleys littered with the wares from local butchers. So, they'll never be places we'll be able to visit.

But it's still fascinating, nonetheless. And it gives me perspective. Life is what you make of it. It can be great cooking on the side of a busy street making pennies a day ... and it can be great sitting in an air-conditioned office in less than perfect health.

Happiness is a state of mind - if you tell yourself that enough, the hope is you start to believe it.

Maybe I should do a slice of life blog about Portland? Gee. Unfortunately, it's not like Portland is soooo super exotic. It's probably one of the more wholesome places I've ever lived. Boooring. I tried to blog about WoW for a while but even that petered out. After all, there's only so much of the same thing you can complain about before you run out of material.

Maybe I can grab certain pictures or items from around the different blog sites and write about them here! A blog about blogs?! Hmm. I like that idea. Any comments?

From Fatman in Seoul:

I remember the first time I went back to Korea, I was 17. Overwhelming would be an adequate description. So would suffocating. New York has nothing on Seoul, Saigan, Hong Kong etc.

Yes, people do still sit on the floor. I haven't been back since I was a teenager, but there were tons of tables/chair restaurants as well. I guess it's more of a decor thing now. I remember growing up when we had huge parties, my mother would roll out this beautiful, round, giant laquered black table that would fold up (same height as the above tables) and about 15 people could sit around it.

Ah the food. I know a lot of people think that Korean, Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese foods are all similar. But they couldn't be more wrong. It's like saying that French food is just like Italian food because ... well, they're geographically close and the people are white. Ha~

Korean food comes with side dishes called "pan-chan". The quantity, quality and type will vary greatly from place to place. And they're free (or at least embedded in the price of the meal). You can, within reason of course, ask for free refills.

Don't ask me what all this stuff is - Fatman can do it better - but the usual suspects in most side dishes are kimchi (the pickled spicy cabbage), bean sprouts, spinach, some fish, potatoes etc.

This is my soul food. :)