Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Checking in from KOREA

Checking in from Seoul, Korea!  I plan on blogging during my business trip to Mongolia.  Unfortunately, laptop battery is dying and I'm pretty sure they're calling passengers to board for my connecting flight.

No big excitement yet.  LOVE Korean Airlines.  I had some delicious bi bim bop for lunch.

Been awake for 24 hours now, but not really feeling tired yet.  Expecting a crash soon.  Oh, wait.  Is that a bad airport joke?

Friday, September 2, 2011

If you love me, then you will click on this link.

Check out the newest post in one of my work blogs.

Yeah, I'm kind of an over-achiever.  Two work blogs.  I don't update my personal blog, but daggonit, I've got TWO for work!!!

Maybe if you follow one of the Culture Shock blogs I will get a raise.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Culture Shock:: ABCs of Beginning Your Journey as an International...

Culture Shock:: ABCs of Beginning Your Journey as an International...: " So you've decided to study abroad. What is the next step? How can you ensure a successful transition into your journey as an internat..."

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

My name's Emily. I haven't blogged in more than a week, and I'm feeling...

Hypthetical reader, be warned:  There is no all-encompassing theme or purpose to what you are about to read.  This is an I'm-feeling-guilty-because-I-haven't-blogged-like-I-said-I-would post.

My excuses:  was sick (true); nothing to write about (lie); busy at work (almost true); was playing Pokemon in every waking moment of free time (wish it were a lie).

My favorite exuse:  The weather made me do it!

It has been nothing but snow and ice in these-here parts.  Public school has been open maybe 3 days in the last 2 weeks.  My mom (middle school Spanish profesora) was complaining this morning that she only had a 2-hour delay.  This is what the snow does to us; it makes us lazy and tired and grumpy and I-don't-want-to-do-anything-y.

But anyway.


I can't keep a steady drummer in my life.  (That could be a funny pun.)  Who do I go to for band relationship advice?  Behind the Music seems like a bad choice.  Not that we would have been on VH1 anyway, because there were no drugs or fights involved.  Our drummer is trying to go back to school so he's taking time off from extra stuff to practice technique and all the drummish stuff.  Anyone play drums???

My brain is so not into this.

Guilty blog:  complete.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Fat Lady Sang

Over the weekend I took steps toward a more cultured, more sophisticated, more bourgeois me.  For the day, I forgot about my minimum-wage-paying place of employment (which I am not allowed to name, for I signed a waiver stating I would not publish any blogs, posts, etc. about my job), I left my childish video games at home, I put on big-girl clothes, and I even took a shower.  In the company of three couples (old enough to be my grandparents at the oldest and my parents at the youngest), I drove to Gettysburg to the Majestic Theatre to watch the Met's live transmission of Puccini's opera La fanciulla del West.   
Let me tell you, it was an experience.

We arrived at the theatre around noon, and so when my friend Pat asked if I'd like to have some wine with her, I thought, "Heck, yeah!  I'll have some wine.  It's after 12 p.m., so it's a perfectly not-wino thing to do."  So I did.  I had one little mini-bottle cup of wine - and got perfectly tipsy.  I should have considered that I'd had a very small breakfast.  And I should have asked beforehand if I'd be able to take my cup into the theatre or if I'd have to guzzle it down (I did the latter).  Whatever the cause, by the time I sat down for the first act, I had a pretty good buzz going on.

Act I was a little rough.  I had to read subtitles (the opera is written in Italian), and I was starting to get really sleepy; the wine didn't help out with either of these.  Plus, about half way through, I realized that I really, really, really had to pee.  (I was adding it up in my head:  huge cup of coffee, huge bottle of water, cup of wine...) 

But at the first intermission I got to pee, and the buzz wore off, and everything was fine for the rest of the opera.  And I even started to enjoy it, though it was a lot to think about.  Read the subtitles.  Notice the actors.  Listen to the singing.  Hear the underlying musical lines being played by the orchestra.  Try to understand the storyline.  Information overload.  But several things stuck with me.

Oh, but first, if you want to read a synopsis of the opera, click here.

Back to the several things:
1)  The opera slyly shows the racism felt toward Native Americans in the early 1900s.  (Think of some of the undertones in Oklahoma!, which appeared on Broadway some 30 years after Puccini's 1910 opera.)  There are two Native Americans in the opera - a woman, Minnie's servant, and a man, the father of the woman's child.  They appear only in Act II.  As the lights came up, the man was lying on the bed (with his shoes on), passed out, a bottle of liquor in his hand.  The woman is badgering him about getting married.
2)  The leading tenor in the show is called Dick Johnson.  That was hard not to giggle at, especially when I was a little wined up.
3)  The singer playing Dick Johnson was awesome.  Even if he was slightly cross-eyed.  In the words of Pat:  He is somewhat endearing because he "has a nice little twinkle in his almost-crossed eyes."

All in all, though, it was a pretty cool experience.  I'm going to try to go back so I can see Nixon in China.  Anyone wanna go?

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

I'm an Addict

I watch too much CSI.

And there's no denying it.  Several clues tipped me off:

First, I have found lately that - if given a little bit of down time to let my mind wander - I look around and think about how I would most likely be killed in the given moment. 

Example:  I'm lying in bed at night and notice the window directly in front of me.  It overlooks the roof of the garage, which is against the side of a hill.  The cat, my stepdad, or anyone else wanting to get on the roof can do so without any effort at all.  Simply walk from the grass in our backyard (on the hill) onto the roof of the garage.  Easy.  Easy for the cat, easy for my stepdad, easy for maniacal psycho-killers who want to break into my house and kill me.  So I look around my room.  What clues will be left for Nick (my personal favorite - so hot), Catherine, Sara, Grissom (also attractive in a brainy kind of way), and Warrick (okay, he's hot too) when they come to investigate?  They'll see the broken window, of course.  But will Pete (my cuddly, loving, soft Golden Retriever) have walked through my blood and trailed it through the house?  Will he have licked it up?  Will he have been a victim too?  Or, worst of all, will he be blamed for the crime?!  (There was an episode once about a Golden who would go crazy every time she heard a loud noise.  A gun shot set her off and she attacked and killed her owner.)

Second, I find myself believing that the characters in the show are real people.

Example:  I'm watching the news with my mom.  The reporter is talking about the latest murder story.  In my mind I think, "Awesome.  Griss and the team are working the scene right now."  Or - if it's a day like, well, today - I say aloud to Mom, "If Nick and Catherine were there, they would have solved it already."  She is nice enough not to mention that I am not fully grounded in reality.

Third, any time I see something even slightly suspicious my mind is immediately flooded with possibilities.  This, of course, is worse when a situation is more than slightly suspicious.

Example:  I am driving home from work.  Police lights reflect off of the 18-wheeler in front of me, and as I follow it around the turn I see not one, but four cruisers on the side of the highway.  They have pulled over a Greyhound bus.  I continue driving and in an instant the scene is behind me.  Scenarios come to me in a rush.  It is a drug bust.  It is a bus of convicts and they have hijacked the vehicle.  There was a murder on the bus-full of old ladies making their way back from a huge BINGO convention in the city.  (Hey, that one's pretty good, eh?)

Fourth, I am afraid.

Example:  I am walking to my truck from my house.  It is pitch black.  I wave my flashlight in every direction looking for movement.  At the slightest noise, I freeze and listen carefully until I'm convinced it was my imagination.  When I reach my truck, I jump in as quickly as possible and lock the door behind me.  I hesitate to turn on my headlights; there may be a body dangling from the top of my stepdad's shed.

No lie.  True story.  And clues 1-3 never really bothered me.  It's the fear that's not okay.  I don't believe in living in fear - it's the tool of an Evil one.  So I have a choice to make.  Can I battle the fear?  Or will I have to give up CSI?

Well, maybe I should give up watching entire seasons at a time. 

Yikes.  Addicted.

Monday, January 3, 2011

I'm a Thief

I was four or five years old when late one night - in my memory, it seems too late for a little girl to be out and about and awake - I accompanied my mother to the grocery store. At that time, the local Food Lion had a small display of comic books and character trading cards. It was to this mecca I escaped when Mom became good and distracted in the bread aisle.

The books and cards featured all of the usual heroes: Batman, Spider-Man, Donald Duck, Popeye... My attention, though, was on a shiny, plastic-wrapped pack of Darkwing Duck trading cards. "D.W." (Dark-wing), as his friends called him, was one of my favorites. I watched his show faithfully. These cards - I had to have them. Excited, I stuck the pack in my pocket and ran back to my mother to show her what I'd found.

But oh, woe is me and alas, Mother denied my request to purchase the cards! "You will have to put them back," she told me. (Words no four- or five-year-old wants to hear!) But I was an obedient child - go ahead, ask my mom or dad - and so I did not argue or complain. I slipped the cards back into my pocket so that I could return them to their shelf when we walked by to check out.

The rest of the trip was uneventful. I love my mommy, and I love food, so we probably just had a good ol' time walking through the grocery store. So let's fast forward through this part. (I know: my story-telling skills are admirable.)

When we got home, I helped Mom carry in groceries and put away the things whose cabinets and shelves I could reach. With this chore out of the way we made our way into the hall to put our coats in the closet. For whatever reason - maybe I was wearing gloves, maybe I was reaching for my Chapstick, maybe I was looking for loose change - I put my hands into my pockets before handing over my coat. As soon as my fingers felt the cool, smooth, crunchy plastic my stomach filled with panic. I yanked the pack of Darkwing Duck cards out of my coat and, eyes filling with tears, held them up in front of my mommy.

"Emily Morgen!" she must have exclaimed. "We did not pay for those. You were told to put them back. We do not steal. It is wrong."

Well, I was no dummy. I knew that. And Mom must have known I knew that as tears and snot ran down my face. "I didn't mean to!" I must have blubbered back to her. "I forgot to put them back!"

And it was true. I was horrified at myself. There are not many things I have concrete memories of from that time in my life, but this situation remains in my mind as clear as if it happened yesterday. I remember Mom telling me I would have to return the cards to the store - a thought that made me want to throw up it was so humiliating - but I'm sure she never made me go through with it. Whatever happened, though, I no longer have the cards.

So needless to say, I've never really been tempted to steal or shoplift. In real life, at least. Bear with me here.

See, my friend Aaron has this great pair of Nike 6.0s. They're black and gray with orange accents. A really hot pair of shoes. Unfortunately, his feet are a few sizes too huge for me, so even if he wanted to let me borrow them, it wouldn't work out. Last month, I had this crazy dream. I can't even recall what it was about anymore, but in the dream I was wearing Aaron's shoes. Aaron wasn't even in the dream, but in my dreamy all-knowingness I knew I'd stolen his sweet Nikes. No remorse. When I told Aaron the story, he asked me, "Did you take anything else?!" And that got me thinking: What all have I stolen in my sleepy slumber time?

There have been a few dreams in which I stole something from bad guys and they were chasing me for it. I'm pretty sure I've stolen a kiss or two. Maybe someone's boyfriend. Maybe an identity here and there. But I never feel bad about it when I'm dreaming it. Which makes me wonder...

What kind of person am I when I'm sleeping?! Goodness.

Man, I love Darkwing Duck.

And no, this post didn't have much of a point, except to tell y'all a little story or two.

Happy Monday!