Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Hey everyone,

Just a little public service announcement: Stories from Korea will be kind of sketchy at best and non-existent at worst for the next few weeks as we get packed up and move, at which point they will become equally ridiculous stories from the USA. The blog name and URL will remain the same for now. I'll try to spare you all a future sob sister post about how much I will miss all my Osan friends but I can't make any promises. Smell you later, Osan!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Junk Mail

Want to get rid of all that junk mail in your mailbox? The catalogs, the coupons, the 800 pieces of junk mail the average home receives every year? It's actually surprisingly easy. Contacting six or eight organizations will stop the vast majority of it. Heather at The Greenest Dollar has a great post up with directions on how to do it. Click here to read it, then spend a few minutes and save a lot of trees, emissions, and landfill space. And tell all your friends!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Pantry Scramble

As we get ready to move, cooking gets more and more challenging. Some of you might be familiar with the game of pantry scramble. The goal is to make edible meals out of what's left in your house, leaving as little as possible to throw away at the end. I am not especially good at it but am trying very hard to win. On deck tonight: tuna fish and garbanzo beans in barbecue sauce, wrapped up in tortillas and dusted with allspice, served with brussels sprouts and barley.

In what surely must be a bizarre coincidence, we are sick again. I was so sick, in fact, that I had to default on a margarita night at Chili's, and that's bad. Lucky for you, there is no poem this time. You're welcome. Not because of any particular empathy for my readers, mind you, but because the poem would be exactly the same, and where's the fun in that? But there's always a silver lining, right? Sure, it's a teeny, tiny, barely glimmering silver-ish lining, but it's better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick, I always say. And here it is: extra pantry scramble points, because I got to drink the ginger ale that had been hanging around in the fridge from the last time we were sick. Otherwise, it would have been doomed to the dumpster for sure. Hooray!

In other moving related news, I have been to the library for the last time. Lloyd has to check out at the library, and after that's done I can't check out any more books. Out of the last batch, 'Open' by Andre Agassi was definitely the best. At first I thought I wouldn't bother getting it because I had already seen the good stuff on the internet: his hair weave, the drugs, and the marriage to Brooke Shields. But I picked it up anyway and was glad I did. It's a really good read and an excellent primer on how NOT to raise your kid. A definite do-read if you get a chance.

And, here's a link to an American cartoonist living in Korea that my Osan friends might like called Roketship. If you don't live in Korea, you probably won't get the jokes. But if you've ever lived here, they are sadly hilarious. And that's all for this Sunday. I hope you are having a great weekend, free of vomit and full of delicious meals!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Last weekend Lloyd and I went flying. He has been going up occasionally but I hadn't been in ages. I don't really love flying; I get airsick easily and I don't like the ever-present thought of crashing. But he talked me into it, so we scattered some Cheerios on the floor for the boys in case we didn't make it home and soared into the wild blue yellow-gray yonder. We flew around the base and our little local town until I was pretty sure I had to vomit.

I tried to figure out how to put captions or mark on the pictures on my fancy Mac but had no luck at all, so here are a few notes:

1. Our apartment building is the tallest building in the top of the photo that also shows the airplane wheel.

2. The Korean man is the maintenance guy at the flying club.

3. Despite my professional-aviatrix-like appearance, I actually have absolutely no clue how to operate my own headphones, let alone any other airplane-related equipment. Including the seatbelt.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Lamest Thing Ever

You might remember a satirical little essay I wrote a while ago, called 'Tensions', about the ongoing battle between me and my jeans. At the time I found it quite clever and entertaining. Today, however, I am no longer amused. Today, I had to go to the BX and pay FULL CLEARANCE RACK PRICES for three pairs of new, next-size-up pants, mere weeks before I return to my Mecca, the land of plentiful Goodwills. I think this is the worst day of my life. I care not at all about needing bigger pants. In fact, I am surprisingly pleased with them. They're quite sassy. It's just that I had hoped to hold out until we got out of here, but the pants apparently did not get the memo.

I was down to four pairs: the ones that ripped at the library, a pair of baggy bleach-stained black sweatpants, and two pairs of five-year old Old Navy cords, of which one had paint stains. And, of course, the three pairs of jeans I can barely squeeze into and no longer want to wear because of the pinching. But those ones don't count. Well, okay, if I'm going to tell the WHOLE truth, the ratty cords were getting a little snug, too. Oh sure, I could take the pinching as a warning sign that something is seriously wrong and go on a crash diet sensible eating plan until the pants fit properly again. But I'm a practical girl, and that's really not gonna happen.

What really chaps my hide, besides pinchy pants, is that three new pairs of pants cost SIXTY DOLLARS! Outrageous! For sixty bucks I could get between eight and twenty pairs of pants at Goodwill, and some of them would still have the tags on. Then I wouldn't even care if I spilled paint or bleach on them, or if I busted out of them. In fact, I would welcome it, because then I COULD GO SHOPPING AGAIN. I know that an average of twenty dollars per pair of jeans/pants is cheap for a non-thrift store venue, and I have had good luck in general with finding clothes I like at reasonable-compared-to-other-new-stores-but-not-compared-to-thrift-store prices at the BX, so really I should just shut up and happily wear my sassy-larger-than-usual new pants. BUT I CAN'T.

I don't LIKE the BX, of course. Don't get me wrong here. I have plenty of complaints about AAFES: They run out of the most ordinary things like fluoride-free toddler toothpaste, number 10 envelopes or the crappy but only variety of water processed decaffeinated coffee available anywhere. Then it's weeks or months, or NEVER when they get restocked. AAFES is very weird and annoying, if you're not familiar with it. It's the retail service for the military (except for groceries, which is another freakish patron-screwing agency called DeCA) and it's part of the government with a General in charge and everything. They claim to return all their profits into base programs, but they'd just as soon hose you over as look at you. The local manager has little or no discretion about what to stock; they get a 'set' of goods that depends on how big the base population is and some little formula they use. So even though 95%+ of the Osan population lives in apartments, they have tons of space devoted to garden sheds, giant patio furniture, hoses and lawn mowers. And wait, I'm not done! There's WAY more!

Wow, I don't know how that happened. I started talking about my pants and all of a sudden I veered off onto a completely irrelevant rant about the BX. Hey, do you think maybe it's time for me to get out of here? Also, I DEFINITELY need some ice cream right now. So, anyway, I came home and put on one of my new pairs of jeans to go to the commissary. I used to wonder why people would go out and buy bigger clothes instead of just going on a diet so they could fit the ones they have, but now I know. Having new, slightly bigger clothes makes you feel nice and skinny, so you deserve that extra cookie and the third beer. Maybe even at the same time. AWESOME.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Let's see....

Let's see, let's see, what's going on at Osan these days? Oh yeah, I know! We've had another one of those THINGS that we regularly despise. You can read about one here but basically the military is practicing in case the VC overrun us or something. I'm not really sure; I don't really pay that much attention except as it directly affects my life. And it does, believe you me. Lloyd is working long and hateful hours, from the early afternoon until sometime in the middle of the night, leaving me in sole charge of dinner and bedtime. Then he sleeps the morning away, leaving me alone and in charge of breakfast, lunch and all other daily activities. This gets a bit onerous, as you might imagine. Surprisingly, no one here cares AT ALL what I think.

Since he has to be all fresh and perky every afternoon, I have to get up when Shane wakes up, and he has been waking up a ton all week, probably because he's not used to me doing bedtime. I have these big huge circles under my eyes and I am exhausted. Yesterday, I was laying down, trying to get Shane to take a nap. He wasn't going for it and got up to play. I didn't want to get up, so I didn't. I just laid there, sort of dozing, sort of listening to what they were doing. I guess my dozing was a little better than my listening, because after a while, I heard them down the hall arguing about who had locked the door. Then the doorbell rang. I still didn't want to get up, and usually they run to answer the door, so I waited a minute. When they didn't dash to get it, I heaved myself up, grumbling under my breath about who would be ringing my doorbell. I looked out the peephole and saw some little kids. Figuring they would be easy to get rid of, I answered it and saw my own two children out there, one of them naked. Turns out they had decided to go next door to return a drawing the neighbor kids had left at our house, and if they hadn't locked themselves out I never would have known. Luckily they didn't see anyone but our next door neighbors and they're unlikely to rat me out, because I have the goods on them. Sometimes they feed their children store-bought bread instead of homemade, AND I heard the kids bicker once, can you believe that!?!?!?!? And that's all I have to say about that, capische?

In other non-negligent-parenting-related news, I just read possibly the worst book ever: 'Trial by Fire' by J.A. Jance. It was truly awful. Interestingly, J.A. Jance has a blog at and I recently read this post about how she gets nasty letters from readers telling her how much they hate certain books, and what a waste of their time that is. When I first read it, I totally agreed with her. But if I had spent my hard-earned money on a hardback copy of 'Trial by Fire' instead of checking it out of the library, I might have written her an angry letter, too. I also might have slashed her tires; that's how bad it was. I was going to do a whole review with all the things that are wrong with it, but it's so bad that I don't even have the energy to start. It's just horrible; DO.NOT.READ.

And, on the cape front, my ever-so-helpful sister sent me this link to capes for sale on Etsy. Over 1,200 capes! I'm sure one of them would suit me. But then she said that capes were really more for willowy people and someone like myself might want to consider another solution for flattering ripped-pants coverage. I'm not really sure what she meant by that, are you? Oh well; she says weird stuff sometimes. Check out the Etsy link and help me pick out a cape!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Cape Fear

I really, really want a cape. That's not weird, right? Not a Dracula cape or some bogus magician's cape or a superhero cape, but a real George-Washington-Crossing-the-Delaware cape. Wouldn't that look AWESOME on me? Not in red and blue though; those totally aren't my colors. I was thinking more chocolate and cream, or chocolate and a soft apricot; what do you think? Ummm, chocolate and apricots, now I'm hungry. This isn't just some crazy whim, either. I have actually been coveting a cape for quite a while. I just happened to be reminded last night because I was watching the 'Seinfeld' where George's father is hanging around with a guy in a cape and Jerry and the gang all think wearing a cape is VERY strange. That's pretty rich coming from a guy that wears white sneakers with jeans every single day, now isn't it? But I'm a little nervous, because a cape IS a bit bold. I was thinking of having one made here. Right off base are a million tailors who will make anything you want. It's risky at best, though. This is the 'Land of the Not Quite Right' (I did not make that up, though I wish I had), and I have seen plenty of custom made garments that deserve the NQR label. I went to bed last night thinking about the cape.

And I woke up thinking about it. Then I got up and flipped on the TV so the kids would shut their gobs for twenty seconds and I could have some coffee and Facebook. To my dismay, there was a big warning not to drink the water. As it turns out, it was just a practice warning, and I felt a little sheepish for being worried about it. Baaaaaaaaah, baaaaaaaaaaaaaaah. But then I got to thinking: In a place where the water sometimes ISN'T safe to drink, where the elevators don't always work, where the washing machines have been known to catch on fire, and where the dryers eat holes in clothes, perhaps assuming the worst is a reasonable reaction. Oops, sorry! My short-timer's bitterness is showing again. I bet a generously cut cape would cover that nicely, though.

Once I found out that a shower probably wasn't going to poison me, I took one and went to get the mail and go to the library. The mail sucked: a crumpled up 'Redbook' magazine, which I barely even read anymore, and a reminder that I've been neglecting my Roth lately. So I don't get enough exercise, my hair has been out since 1989 and I'm going to die a bag lady, quite possibly soon. Blah blah blah, what else is new? Off to the library, where I returned 'Under the Dome' after reading about half of it. I still want to know what happens but not badly enough to slog through the last 500 pages. I'm sure I can find an outline of all the important spoilers online, and just for the record, I'm willing to bet there's cannibalism involved. I squatted down in front of the new book rack to pick up 'Bobby and Jackie: A Love Story' (every word true, no doubt) when I heard the terrifying and distinctive sound of my pants ripping right down the middle. Luckily, the book racks are always deserted so no one saw, but of course, I had to go home. Wearing pants with a rip down the crotch, in weather so cold that it turns snot into boogercicles. And me with no cape. I have never run so fast in my life.

Friday, January 8, 2010


Okay, FINE. This post will contain no gratuitous Dick Cheney jokes, I promise. Especially not about his colon; that's just cruel and unusual punishment, and there are enough ugly things to think about without adding that, am I right? It's just that he's such an easy, beady-eyed, sanctimonious, icy-hearted, hypocritical target. Funny, I used to think George was the dumb one but at least he has the sense to keep his mouth shut. Either that or Laura has chopped him up with an ax and stuffed him in the basement bunker at the ranch. Either one is cool with me. Doh! There I go again. Sorry! No George jokes, either. And, I KNOW: Domestic violence jokes = not funny.

But I DO really want to tell you how cold it is here. HOW COLD IS IT? It's so cold that Dick Cheney has to.... oh, wait. Never mind. Sorry! I promised, and I mean to keep my word. It's so cold that I got boogercicles this morning when I walked to the BX. For real, and that's no joke. Can you believe that? Icy snot chunks right on the edges of my nostrils! I wonder when one of those dogs that pee outside by my deck will freeze itself to the ground with a stream of urine; now THAT would be something to see. I'm going to sit by the balcony door with a camera and a bucket of hot water; let me know if you want to get some beer and come hang out!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


Sometimes when people update their blog, they have exciting news to share. Sometimes they have a fun list of new blogs to for their friends and readers. Sometimes they have words of wisdom for those who might be considering a liver or colon cleanse. And sometimes, the same old post at the top of their blog is driving them insane and they have no good ideas so they have to post whatever ridiculous foolishness spews out of their fingertips. Not wanting to be one of THOSE people, I thought I would give the other ideas a shot.

Exciting News: Today I purchased a carton of half and half that has an expiration date that comes AFTER the day we leave here. I have been waiting for this day FOREVER! It's ultra-pasteurized, of course, but STILL.

New Blogs: We all know I am a blogaholic and I am ALWAYS looking for new blogs to read. If you have one I don't already read or know of some I might like, please share in the comments. And here are some new ones I've been reading lately:

Liver Cleanse: This is the most disgusting thing I have ever heard. And I live in Korea. With two small sons. And a pilot. How does this sound for funsies?Fast for a day or two, then drink a bunch of epsom salts in water and olive oil mixed with grapefruit juice, then check out your poop for green globules that are supposed to be cholesterol and/or toxins from your liver. Ummm, epsom salts! You can find out the whole truth here, but if you don't want to read all the gross details, I'll give away the secret. The excreted green globules are actually the result of ingesting large amounts of olive oil mixed with grapefruit juice! And, if you are really brave, check out the colon cleanse post. Here's a handy tip: unless you are Elvis Presley or Lindsay Lohan, your liver and colon do a very nice job of cleansing themselves and they will thank you for leaving them alone to do it in peace. Oooh, or Dick Cheney. I'm betting he could use some help with his colon because there is for sure something up there. I think it might be a giant stick, though. The cleanse would probable be overwhelmed when presented with Dick's colon, and my dad always says to take the time to find the right tool for the job. This one definitely calls for a chainsaw. Or a skidder.

Sunday, January 3, 2010


So! I hope you are all having a fabulous new year. I am not a fan of resolutions, but I HAVE been trying to eat a little better and exercise more for several weeks now. The 'Osan 15' is a common phenomena here, so I am right in the thick of things. Well, let me rephrase that: I have heard rumors that perhaps I am not the only one carrying around a few extra margaritas, but I have seen no such evidence on any of my slim and statuesque friends, acquaintances or assorted Osan beauties. In any case, soon I will be in the land of Target and Goodwill and I will be ever so sad if I can't fit into the ratty cargo pants of my choice fifty-three times a week when I need to go shopping.

Tonight, Lloyd and I went to the BX and Chili's, which is the standard big night out on the town here at Osan. I sucked down my fair share of wings and a couple of margaritas, varying the position of the straw so as to cleverly avoid the tequila abrasion. When we got home, I virtuously pounded out some sit-ups, dips, push-ups, leg lifts and stretches. Don't I sound ATHLETIC? Hahahahaha, I totally have you fooled. You should see me, for real. Oh, how you would laugh. After that strenuosity, I didn't want to 'run' the stairs, so I jumped on the mini-trampoline for a while. And by 'a while', I mean about 2.5 minutes. But at least I wasn't smoking deep-fried twinkies, right? Hmmm, I wonder if anyone has tried that?

While I was jumping, Weston weighed in:

Weston: Mama, are you sure that trampoline is strong enough for you?
Me: Yes, I'm sure (pant, gasp)
Weston: Well, those springs have to work awfully hard. You're so HEAVY.
Me: It's fine.
Weston: But look how much they're moving! They go almost to the ground!
Me: Grrrrrrrrrr (pant, gasp)

Bring on the twinkies! I might as well load up; I'm going to die soon anyway. I didn't used to be so fatalistic but I recently had a VERY interesting conversation with Shane. He likes to rub my scars, scabs and rough skin with his grubby little paws. Yesterday he was trying to pick at a spot on my chin, and when I told him to stop, he replied, 'I'll pick your owies WHEN YOU'RE DEAD'. I'm not sure what he has planned but I might as well give up the jumping for the good of trampolinekind everywhere, since my days are numbered. I can see the headlines now: 'Police Baffled by Mysterious Scab Free Corpse; Trampolines Rejoice in Streets'. I just hope they don't try to pin it on the poor twinkies.