Jogging Dangers

I have been going for a morning jog since I officially moved into my dad’s house because his neighborhood is LOVELY and such a joy to jog around. 🙂 I usually switch up my route since I don’t want any possible stalkers to start following me. Right? I believe I have touched upon the subject of me being a desirable target of stalkers in another blog. Yes, I did and you can read all about it HERE!!! 😛  https://grasshoppergrrl.wordpress.com/2010/09/09/stalker-day/

The other day I was jogging but then felt fatigued, so I started speed walking to “take a break.” 😉 WELL. LUCKILY I decided to do that. And LUCKILY I was in a peaceful state of mind jamming out to some Kenny Rogers. Oh yah. I was listening to his song, Lady, and was singing softly along with Kenny when all of a sudden a CRAZED, ugly, ferocious, nutjob dog popped out of nowhere from behind me and was growling and jumping all around. It was *kind of* humorous seeing it jumping up and down on all fours, actually. Imagine a dog on a trampoline who has all of its knees locked in a straight leg. But the dog wasn’t that funny since he was snarling at me and just loco in the head.

I’m just so thankful I had stopped jogging! Imagine…me jogging…the nutty dog seeing me and then chasing me down the street! It probably would have pounced on my back and taken a chunk of flesh out of my neck. Jeez Louise. Needless to say, I have NOT gone down that street since the incident…and I was fuming when its owner was nowhere to be found <of course>. So, I was standing in the street (there aren’t sidewalks on many of the residential streets in my neighborhood) with my arms up in the air for a good 3-4 minutes…just waiting for it to get scared enough and go away from me. But, it kept on keepin’ on jumping and growling at me. Grrrr. So, I started yelling my best “RRRRAAAAAWWWWWRRRR!” at it.  After I did that a couple of times, it started jumping (on all fours) BACKWARD (LOL) to a yard behind it. La la laaaaa. Good times. Good times.

Thank goodness I have an aunt who told me (when I was a little girl) that if a crazed dog (actually I think she said Wolf–she was a backpacker :)) should ever start running toward me, I should SHOOT up my hands in a HOLD IT!/bad guy got caught position to make myself look bigger than I am to scare the dog/wolf. 🙂 WELLLLLL, her words came right back to the front of my mind  and I SHOT UP my hands and gave the dog “my eye.” Oh yah. You don’t want to get the CT eye. If you get it, you’ll turn the other way. 😉 Heh heh. Watch out dogs and people alike! 😛 And by golly…it worked. Whew. (Wiping sweat from my brow.)

Sort of like this lil’ guy…but without the smile on my face. And my arms were straighter and I was leaning forward at  my waist a bit…to give you a good visual. 😉

Head level! Look fierce! Arms straight! C'mon lil' guy--scare the dog!

I am so grateful that I got out of that situation alive and without blood spilled. So anyway, if you ever find yourself in a terrible situation like that…remember::: HANDS UP! LOOK FIERCE! BE READY TO ATTACK!

Don’t be scared in siutations like that. Just remember what the great Martin Luther King, Jr. once said…

“We must build dikes of courage to hold back the flood of fear.” Amen. Amen.

Advertisements

January 30, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , . High Desert Life, Uncategorized. 4 comments.

Pontoon

My old housemates used to listen to Garrison Keillor on public radio each Sunday morning (“A Prairie Home Companion”) while eating their gourmet breakfasts that they would prepare with great chef-like talent. I would come in from my morning run and grab a yogurt and fruit and watch them as they whipped up quiches, souffles, perfectly fried bacon and omelets, fancy COOKS-inspired french toast dusted with powdered sugar (made with morning fresh bakery bread…ahhh). And I would inhale the scent of their freshly brewed gourmet coffees from around the world. They sure did know how to appreciate the finer things in life. I’d be softly dipping my spoon into my soy yogurt cup, politely declining their offer to eat a side of a pig with them…even though it smelled suh good. 😛

So, I have them to thank for many things…expanding my horizon…teaching me about good food…not “Good/HEALTHY” food but fine foods…(they were Gelson’s shoppers…need I say more?) and I also have them to thank for Garrison Keillor. I wasn’t familiar with his show before I moved in with them  in 2003.  On Sundays when I didn’t have other plans, I would hang out around the breakfast table with them and listen to Garrison tell his Lake Wobegon stories. He’s a great storyteller and his delivery is perfect for his genre of stories (humor meets sarcasm). I bought his book Pontoon because of its opening line:  “Evelyn was an insomniac so when they say she died in her sleep, you have to question that.” Heehee. Witty, right?  I would recommend you to listen to one of his radio shows before reading any of his books, though. You have to be able to hear his voice, style and delivery…

But the book was a major disappointment and lacked focus, in my humble (oh-so-humble) opinion…I literally thumbed through the last few chapters since they seemed like they were just “filler” to make a whole book. He should have just stuck with a short story about Evelyn’s death. Instead, he starts talking about another character who’s getting married (perhaps as a way to show symmetry between life ending and two lives joining and beginning together?)  Dunno…I’m not a book critic. Eh. All I know is that I’m disappointed! I was expecting much more Garrison humor and really there are only bits and pieces sprinkled randomly throughout the book.

Another good line that is worth mentioning, though: “I do not wish to be embalmed and stuck in the ground to rot. I wish my ashes to be placed in the green bowling ball that Raoul also gave me, which somebody can hollow out (I’m told) and then seal it up and I would like the ball to be dropped into Lake Wobegon off Rocky Point where Jack and I used to fish for crappies back years ago when we were getting along.”

See…now why couldn’t the whole book be that enjoyable? Who knows. Perhaps all of those isolated lines from the story won’t mean much to you…I just think they’re well-written and entertaining.

There's the famous bowling ball! 😛

Even if you’re a Garrison Keillor fan…mmm…I wouldn’t strongly recommend this book as a MUST-READ! If you’ve got plenty of free time on your hands and you’re a fast reader…then by all means! Read it. 🙂 But if it’s between Keillor’s book and another book you’ve heard good reviews about, well… that’d be a no-brainer. 😛

“If you read a lot of books you are considered well read. But if you watch a lot of TV you’re not considered well viewed. —Lily Tomlin 🙂

January 16, 2011. Tags: , , , , , . Reviews of Stuff!. Leave a comment.

Miss List Korea

All right, I’m posting this blog even though I feel it’s an incomplete list. But if I wait to feel that it’s complete…I’ll probably be 50 years old, right? Who knows? Anyhoo! Here’s my list!

The time has come when I’m leaving Korea. Hmm. This time…possibly for good. Maybe not. Only time shall tell. But, until time DOES tell me…I’ve decided to write my “Miss List” since I think it would be a good way to say goodbye to the country.

I will start out with what I WON’T miss. 😉

  • Old men staring at me.
  • Old women staring at me. (it’s different)
  • Teenagers running up to me and screaming at the top of their lungs, “NICE TO MEET YOU!” 100 times in a minute. (Buuuut, I *will* miss that…it’s a love-hate relationship…what can I say? 😉
  • Seeing puke (yes, that’d be vomit) EVERYWHERE…even in my apartment building’s elevator.  Ew.
  • Loud music blaring in most areas. (a.k.a.  NOISE POLLUTION!)
  • The stinky fish/trash/gutter smell…especially in the summer and especially in certain areas (Itaewon by the Hamilton Hotel…Suwon near its namesake subway station…lots of alleyways in Seoul, actually.  I have an olfactory sense like a canine…so, yah. I’m sensitive to it. 😛
  • Seeing the pervy sex cards thrown everywhere in my neighborhood. It makes me feel like I’m living on Las Vegas Boulevard. 🙂
  • The gloomy, doomy gray skies during the winter! BLAH! Bleak and not for moi. 😛
  • Meeting/making new friends and them leaving the week after we meet. And rinse and repeat.
  • Waiting for the bus in a rainstorm. or a snowstorm.
  • Waiting for a bus for more than 20 minutes.
  • Going grocery shopping without a car…ah…the life of a lazy Southern Californian! Just gimme my car!
  • The lack of certain foods from home. Ya know…almond butter! veggie burgers! cheap avocados! young thai coconuts!  raw cacao. lucuma. the little things in life that keep me going. 🙂
  • The heaters being blown full blast on buses and subways  in the winter…having to wear 14 layers in the winter and then having to strip once I get on public transportation because of the boiling temperatures (or staying wrapped and suffering immensely). 😛
  • Being bumping into about 5-150 times per day (depending on which part of Korea I’m in)
  • People stopping DEAD in their tracks RIGHT in front of me as I’m walking down the sidewalk behind them. (Although, I have become very good at weaving and dodging “road blocks” because of the frequency in which this occurs. 🙂
  • Globs of spit everywhere. Double ew.
  • Having old people force me to do something I don’t want to do, eat something I don’t want to eat or go somewhere I don’t want to go (because they’re older and know better and I do my best to be polite).
  • Trash cans in bathrooms without lids with unpleasant odors (since you’re not supposed to flush toilet paper in most of the toilets in Korea). (ick)
  • Not being able to find clothes I like or shoes that fit. I can’t pull off cutsie bunnies and ribbons and I have a wide U.S. size 9 foot…

I WILL Miss: 😀

  • Being able to walk everywhere…things so conveniently located and nice walking paths…tree-lined streets. Nice!
  • Living within a one minute walk of five markets. 🙂
  • Rolling V.I.P. because I’m a foreigner and I stand out and Koreans love me. heh heh!!! 😀
  • Getting free stuff wherever I go. (a.k.a. “SERVICE!!”)
  • Feeling super rich—I’m a multi-millionaire in “Korean won”, afterall!
  • Being able to easily travel within Asia.
  • Great public transportation–on time like clockwork!
  • Cheap public transportation!
  • Safe public transportation! (OK…I DO like the public transportation…) 🙂 Especially the buses (but not when I have to wait more than 20 minutes!!).
  • The general safeness the country offers.
  • Not reeeaaaaallllyy needing a car.
  • Oh, I’ll miss my K-Pop! I will…I will… 😛
  • My sweet, polite, innocent, nutty, and fun students!
  • Sticker pictures!
  • Singing rooms! (Karaoke rooms/Norae bangs)
  • Being able to go grocery shopping at midnight. *^_^* (I know I can do that in America, too…but it’s different in Korea–it’s a time when the store is niiiice and quiet!)
  • Meeting people from all over the world.
  • All of the “me” time I was blessed enough to have. I appreciated it while I had it for the most part. 🙂
  • The Seoul Arts Center. There is *something* about that place… It’s my favorite place in the city and I truly believe it’s a magical place!  Ahhh, I will miss it. :*( …I’m not even talking about the exhibition halls…the grounds themselves are just…peaceful and lovely. And the weather is mysteriously perfect there all the time. Really. It is. Rain will not fall over that property. 😉 I have never seen a gray sky above the main courtyard…Ok..ok! Enough about the SAC…

It's a lovely place. I'll miss it.

  • Free water everywhere! At  grocery stores…the airports…dry cleaners…stationery stores…heh heh. I love free water!  😀
  • Free food samples at the grocery stores. 😛 Hey, what can I say? I like samples.
  • No tipping!!!!
  • Cheap taxis.
  • Korean rice cakes (a.k.a, tteok, pronounced like duck- talk…meet in the middle..dawk)…all right…I developed a slight addiction to tteok.

Yum, yum, yum. Rice with sweet beans inside. Chewy and soft. Ahh.

 

Sooooo, how do you like my lovely list? I like it. If something new pops into my head, I’ll do my best to write it down and then come back and add it to one of my lists!

Farewell, my darling Korea! If only for a little while…

“No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow.”  ~Lin Yutang   I know I wasn’t  “traveling”  traveling…but this is still fitting. 🙂

January 15, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , . Korea 2010, Seoul, Uncategorized. 4 comments.

Self-torture

It’s 2011.  I know you know this.  And I have made many a resolution, OF COURSE! Because I am CT and that’s what I DO. I make resolutions and lots of ’em. Heh Heh. Usually at least 14 or so. No. Just jokin’.  Seven is my average. And I usually end up keeping about four or five of them. Not bad, eh?  🙂 I say, the more I make, the more I’ll keep. It’s an interesting strategy. Give it a go for yourself and let me know how it works out for you. 😀

So, I learned that I have a wheat allergy three years ago. WOW. Time freakin’ flies when I’m getting health diagnoses… I spent hundreds of dollars for all of this fancy allergy testing (blood/skin pricking/urine/breath/hair/cell) I’m just being a dork about half of the tests…but my point is that it was very in-depth testing. 🙂 And expensive and performed at an actual hospital. Because I *thought* I had an ALMOND allergy (when I nearly went into anaphylactic shock one night in Korea…all I could peg it to were some almonds I’d eaten). Well, to my dismay…sort of…I was informed that no, I didn’t (don’t) have an almond allergy but rather I’m allergic to PEANUTS and WHEAT. Sighhhhhhh. I don’t think any person (EVER) wants to be told s/he’s allergic to wheat. What does that mean for lil’ ol’ me?

I CANNOT EAT ANY OF THESE FOODS ANYMORE.  Please::::call in 1,000,000,000,000,000 people to sit and cry with me for a very long time.

  • Bagels
  • Biscuits
  • Bread
  • Bread crumbs
  • Breaded anything
  • Bread pudding
  • Cake
  • Cereal
  • Croissants
  • Cookies
  • Crackers
  • Croutons
  • Doughnuts
  • Dumplings
  • Flour
  • Flour tortillas
  • Fried vegetables
  • Graham crackers
  • Veggie burger buns
  • Smart Dogs!!! Whaaaa? Sucks. They use wheat gluten to make fake hot dogs…  😦
  • Ice cream cones
  • Macaroni
  • Melba toast
  • Muffins
  • Noodles
  • Pancakes ❗
  • Pasta
  • Pastries
  • Pie crusts
  • Pizza crust
  • Pretzels
  • Rolls
  • Spaghetti
  • Stuffing
  • Tabbouleh
  • Waffles ❗
  • …and now for some shockers…
  • Beer
  • Beverage mixes
  • Candy (but many candies are gluten-free, so I need to read labels)
  • Canned baked beans
  • Packaged cereals, even corn cereals
  • Commercially prepared broth
  • Commercially prepared chocolate milk
  • Commercially prepared soup
  • Custard
  • Fruit fillings
  • Gravy
  • Gum:!:
  • Ice cream
  • Non-dairy creamer
  • Potato chips
  • Pudding
  • Root beer
  • Syrups
  • Salad dressing
  • Soy sauce
  • Vegetables with commercially prepared sauces

What am I to do? I don’t like this one bit. I KNOW that I am passionate about living on LIVE foods and eating a large amount of RAW foods anyway but just KNOWING that all of those foods cause me harm makes me mad. And I feel deprived when I see certain things (e.g., cooookieeesss) that I can’t eat without lousy consequences.  And what happens to most people when they feel deprived?? Exactly. It makes people want __fill in the blank___ even more. Sooo, I need to do something about these deprivation feelings. I KNOW that I am blessed enough to live in the United States where there are soooo many wheat/gluten-free options for most if not all of those above-listed items but jeeeezzzz….I just wanna be normal. 😦

“There is only one real deprivation… and that is not to be able to give one’s gifts to those one loves most.”–Mary Sarton

:*(   Oh, that’s so moving, Mary. Brings tears to my eyes.

January 14, 2011. Tags: , , , , , . Health, Uncategorized. 3 comments.