29 January 2009


I'm both flattered and a little baffled to learn that this here blog was nominated for a 2008 Golden Klog Award over at the Hub of Sparkle. Seeing as my last post was about pajamas, I feel a little sheepish mentioning that I've been nominated for the Best Personal/Diary Blog category.

I know that 2009 postings have been quite weak, but if you enjoyed reading my ramblings from 2008, then you may want to vote for Annalog on the Golden Klog survey. No hard feelings if you don't. [Who am I kidding? I will be devastated. That's right, Emo-bu. You better vote for me!]

The survey is split into two parts. My category may be found in Part I, but you should take a gander at the other blogs nominated.
Golden Klog Awards Survey: Part I
Golden Klog Awards Survey: Part II

21 January 2009

The PJs that Saved Me This Winter

Okay, that's a bit of an overstatement, but I don't think I could survive this winter without the thermal sleep wear from UNIQLO. Trust me, I usually sleep with three blankets. Winter may almost be over, but these fleecey jammies of magic and warmth are definitely worth buying -- especially now, since they're on sale for 19,000 won (regular price, 29,000). I'm not sure how long the sale will last, so don't wait too long.

There a number of UNIQLO stores across Seoul, including Apgu (across from the Galleria), Myeongdong, Kagnam, and the Coex. For additonal locations, check out the company website.

Teacher Annalog: What Makes a Person Smart?

Besides an ivy league degree?

Here's a response from one of my third grade students (a non-farting one). I had meant, what does it mean for a person to be smart, but he interpreted the question as "How does one become smart?" His response basically sums up most Korean moms' approach to learning...

What Makes a Person Smart.
Written by a Third Grader

A person becomes smart if he or she practices the same thing over and over again. Another thing to get smart is to pay attention in class and focus. Another thing to do to get smart is don’t be lazy on weekends or a break and work instead. Another thing to do to get smart is ask your mom to give you worksheets and ask your mom to get you math classes. The last thing to do is to do a higher grade level work.

Teacher Annalog: The Gas Man

This month, I'm teaching students from grades 3 to 8. I feel sort of like a schoolmarm from the prairie days. Because most of our students attend international schools, we're able to run our classes in a more western style. We're less grade or test score oriented, and more about helping students become thoughtful readers and articulate writers, as well as making learning fun. Lofty goals, I know, but we try our best.

I haven't blogged much about work. For one thing, my boss is my cousin, and my family reads this blog. Keke. Also, I don't know if I've become a better teacher or perhaps I'm just getting more cynical, but I don't have as many teaching horror stories to report this time around. This story, however, is one that I'm dying to share.

I just started teaching a class of 3rd grade boys a couple of weeks ago. Even though the class is draining, I enjoy the challenge, especially because kids will do or say the darndest things.

Last Friday, two of the boys began gagging and waving their hands in front of their noses. "Eww!" whined one boy. "Somebody farted." We all immediately turned to the one, silent boy.

"Sorry" he shrugged with a sheepish grin. "I farted. I couldn't help it."
My olfactory systems a bit off, but that's when the offensive smell seemed to pervade the classroom. I even had to stop one kid from seeking refuge in the storage closet. It was bit of a circus.

I have to give myself credit. Rather than gagging or giggling like a school girl, I managed to say in a firm, yet sympathetic voice, "Farting is a natural bodily function. I know that sometimes they can't be controlled. Next time, if you feel such an impulse and can't control it, please excuse yourself, and go in the hallway."

A hour later, we were in the midst of an activity when the Gas Man suddenly shot up from his seat and ran to the classroom door. Forgetting what I had said earlier, I said sharply, "Where are you going?"

With half of his body out the door, the Gas Man whispers loudly, "I have to fart."

"Oh, okay. Quickly! Go in the hallway."

Gas Man returns to the classroom with a gigantic, satisfied smile. I feel like I should pat him on the head or give him a liver snap. Instead, I just say. "Thank you."

17 January 2009

Let's Toast to the Snow

This past week has been near frigid, but thanks to some recent snowfall, temperatures have become more bearable.

Even though it usually results in icy sidewalks and an increase in traffic, an occasional snowfall is still pretty exciting to see. I don't even mind having to bundle up. I especially enjoy having a reason to wear my unattractive yellow snow boots.

Check me out. Here I am bundled up in five layers, trying to do a little sel-ca.

I've been meaning to post (not that I've done anything terribly exciting), but have been busy at work. I've also gotten lazy, and have started to leave my computer at the office. (Them macbooks are purty, but they're also a little heavy.)

Last night we went to the noraebang. My singing hasn't improved, but I did discover a new song. A few of you J fans may be interested in her latest single "Toast", featuring Humming Urban Stereo.

02. Toast (with. Humming Urban Stereo) - J

11 January 2009

The Cutest Puppy in Korea

I've seen a lot of cute puppy footage on youtube, but this has got to be the cutest puppy I've seen. As my sister commented when she sent me the link, "I would kill for this puppy."

Somebody needs to get this dog its own segment on 동물농장 (Animal Farm), or at the very least, a spot on Star King.

07 January 2009

Look,이모. It's Alex!

img src

Last year (just a couple of weeks ago) I attended "Sweet December" a joint concert between ballad singers Park Jung Hyun and Alex. Though I am a fan of both singers, I hadn't intended to go to the concert, especially since we were in the midst of winter intensive classes. But then, my cousin N's close friend and incidentally, mother of one of my students, Mrs. K. graciously invited me to the concert after hearing that I was a fan of Alex' music. It was an offer I couldn't refuse. Truly. It would have been rude.

Plus, she offered to take me back stage to meet Alex. How could I refuse?

Before the concert, thanks to Mrs. K's contact, we went backstage to meet Alex, and, by "meet" I mean say hello and then take a quick photo. He was scheduled to go on stage in 30 minutes, so our meet and greet was understandably rushed.

The only thing I can say after meeting Alex is that he's WAY smaller in person. I know that the camera adds ten pounds, but the WGM cameras must have added at least thirty, because I never would have guessed that he was so slim. Maybe the concert schedule had him running ragged, but Alex definitely needs some kim bap, STAT. His face was not much bigger than mine.

(This only leads me to wonder how small some of the really tiny actresses are in real life.)

The photo below does not adequately convey how small Alex is.

I quite enjoyed the concert. As typical of ballad concerts in Korea, the show was a little sappy, (The overarching theme of Sweet December, if I understood correctly, was about how relationships can be sweeter after a couple has broken up, and then gotten back together) but both artists performed some of my favorite songs.

The concert took place in the Olympic Fencing Stadium. I would have enjoyed the music in a more intimate setting, but I shouldn't complain. We had some pretty awesome seats. We were quite close to the stage. We could have rushed Alex if we wanted -- not that we would. Ballad fans don't really get out of hand. They usually just wave their glow sticks to the music. The only fan that got out of hand was an ajumma who ran up to the stage to get a photo of Alex in action. The security girls had to tackle her, and drag the woman back to her seat. Oh, that Alex. He makes the ajummas go crazy.

Though I like Alex's music, the highlight of the evening was probably Park Jung Hyun's aka Lena Park's performances. She has a very peculiar, almost nasal, singing voice, but it's also surprisingly powerful. One of those voices you either hate or love. I, for one, am a fan of her voice. She even sang one of my favorites. It brought me back to my sophomore year in college.

Thanks to my cousin N. and Mrs. K for inviting me to the concert, and gracias to my other cousin, VP for accompanying me.

05 January 2009

Korean Hip Hop - Translated

Please excuse all the forthcoming youtube links. Once a month I spend a number of hours surfing youtube, jumping from one "related video" to the next. Tonight was one of those nights.

In case you're interested in k-pop (particularly hip hop) you might want to check out The Asian Mission.

According to his or her youtube profile:

"[The Asian Mission] is not Korean, I'm white American living in Korea, self-taught in Korean. My Korean isn't perfect yet but my reading's fairly solid. A lot of my older translations could still use some touch-ups."

I came across TheAsianMission's videos while searching for Epik High's newest album. I have yet to check out all of his/her videos, but I like what I've seen so far.

This is one of my favorite songs from their previous album, Pieces Part One. It's called 당신의조들, feating Jisun. My limited Korean will only allow me to appreciate the general sentiment of a song, so I enjoyed reading the translation of the lyrics.

TheAsianMission also translated one of my favorite korean songs of 2008.
기억을 걷는 시간 by Nell


Just when you thought "Nobody" was starting to grow on you...
Girl's Generation 소녀시대 just released their new digital single "Gee."
I'm calling it now. This song is going to be everywhere. It's inevitable. You'll hear it blasting from the ABC Mart. You'll hear it tinkling from some middle schooler's new LG Ice Cream 2 phone. You'll hear it on some Dunkin Donuts commercial. You may as well embrace the song now.

Discovered via Coolsmurf

01 January 2009

Happy New Year!

I had to work on New Year's eve and am working on New Year's Day. That's right, everyone. Please feel sorry for me. Just kidding. New Year's Eve was quite low key. After work, I went to my cousin N's house to ring in the New Year. I don't have much to report today, but you'll have to stay tune in for next time, when I'll write about the Alex/Lena Park concert and how I got to meet Alex.

I hope this new year brings you peace, love, happiness, and good eats!

And now, I leave you with how I spent the first few minutes of 2009 (I can't help it! I'm like a moth to a flame...)