28 August 2009

Birthday Food

We prepared a feast in celebration of my birthday last weekend. Unofficially, the theme was "Dishes from the Fifties." Officially, the theme was "Dishes That Are Bad for Anna's chejil." So what if I'll have indigestion and clogged pores the next morning. It's my birthday, and I'll eat cheese if I want to!

Special thanks to Cyndi and Seong for helping with all the food and to Cousin VP for cleaning the apartment!

Let us now all revel in all the yellow/brown goodness of my birthday feast:

Lemony Spinach Almond Pasta Casserole

Cyndi's Mmmmmmmmeatloaf

Tuna Casserole

Potato Gratin

Deviled Eggs

Chips and Pico de Gallo

Cyndi's Cake Made Just for Me! -- Yellow Cake and Brownie topped with a sour cream chocolate frosting. (It was all made from scratch! Well, except for the sprinkles. And the birthday candles.)

I feared that we all might have eaten our way into a food coma, but we all managed to wake up the next day for the WATER PARK! I'll have to save details for another post.

19 August 2009

I think I've earned my Ellie Badge.

Seong and I have spent the past two weeks helping seniors with their college application essays. I know that we're both getting paid for our services, but sometimes I feel like I'm doing volunteer work. Both Seong and I are committed to maintaining some standard of integrity: We might prompt a kid with essay topics or offer them some generous assistance with their grammar and syntax, but we truly try to avoid writing the essay or explicitly telling students what to write. Trust me. That's much harder than it sounds.

High schoolers can't help it. They're just prone to writing what they think admissions officers want to see. Plus, it's really hard to think and write about yourself when you only have 17 years of life under your belt. We've become writing tutors/therapists.

At the end of the day, I go away feeling like we've succeeded in helping students showcase their best qualities without creating any yarns, but it is pretty exhausting.

To help me recover, I've taken to listening to the the soundtrack for Pixar's Up. It's like optimism in a bottle. It makes me believe for a moment that helium balloons could actually carry a fully furnished house all the way to South America.


06 August 2009


I like the Ssamzie Insadong Market in Insadong. It's always full of quirky little surprises. On our most recent trip, we came across a delightful little cart at the front of the market boldly selling 똥빵, poo-shaped bread filled with a sweet bean paste.

As far as sweet red bean buns, the ddong bread isn't anything to write home about. But, let's be real. Who buys ddong-bang for the taste.? You're buying it because it's shaped like poo!

The ddong bread comes with instructions on how to best enjoy the bread. Shall I share?
Let me warn you... It's a bit revolting.

1. Buy the ddong bread.
2. Nyam. Nyam. -- Savor the ddong bread.
3. Poo the bread out.
4. Examine your poo.
5. Put your poo in a bag (perhaps even the ddong bread bag!)
6. Save it.

(Translation by Cyndi)

Ddong bread is kind of like one of those Garbage Pail Kids -- an odd combination of cute and disgusting.

05 August 2009

"Super Magic" by Supreme Team

This song has grown on me. Despite the seemingly random string of English words (or maybe because of) I think I'm going make this my new song for the norae-bangs.
Lala. Lala. Lala.