Thursday, October 25, 2007

First Shop of Coffee Prince

You’ve heard it all before. Guy meets girl. Guy thinks girl is guy. Guy employs girl thinking she is a guy. Girl needs job and so girl allows guy to continue thinking she’s a guy. Guy starts to develop attraction to girl he thinks is a guy so guy thinks he might be gay. Girl develops feelings for guy who thinks he might be gay but fears guy might find out she’s a girl and reject her…him…her…whatever.

Our characters:

Go Eun Chan (GEC) – tomboy girl, heroine

Choi Han Keol (CHK) – Rich guy, hero

Choi Han Seong (CHS) – Rich guy’s cousin, sweet, cute

Han Yoo Joo (HYJ) – Other girl, nobody gives a sh*t

Ponder Angst – 20 points. The ponder angst in “Coffee Prince” was blessedly minimal. When there was angst, it was charged with emotion and struggle and you felt it. It was appropriate and good.

Love “ – “ Angles – Uhm, wow. OK, we actually have 7 angles here. GEC originally falls for CHS, CHS loves HYJ but HYJ broke his heart when she left him for DK (he doesn’t count, pay him no mind). Once GEC realizes CHS loves HYJ, she grieves and heals, but becomes attracted to CHK. HYJ comes to her senses, leaves DK for CHS. CHS decides to give the relationship another try, but has lingering feelings of mistrust and anger. CHK has secretly loved HYJ for years but out of love for his cousin, worships her from afar. CHK eventually becomes attracted to GEC, but struggles because he thinks she’s a he. CHS becomes confused after finding out that GEC had feelings for him and he begins to develop feelings other than friendship for her. HYJ despairs because everyone is attracted to tomboyish GEC, and no one likes her. She considers going back to DK. I’m not sure how I get 7 out of that, but that’s about all my brain can handle. Coffee Prince gets 28 points. It’s a crazy heptagon of love.

Sizzle – I’m going to give this a 17.85 for sizzle. The CHK man-angst and his struggle to fight the attraction he feels for GEC really heats up the screen. You ache for him when he finally gives in because he loves her so much AND because you know it’s only going to go bad when he finds out “he’s” a she. I don’t give it a full 20 because once our protagonists hook up, it can be compared to when Jeannie and the Master got married. I’m like, eh. Whatever.

Physical Intimacy – They get all 20 points here. The kisses were passionate, the intimacy was more than alluded to. There’s slam-er-against-the-wall passion, and a baby out of wedlock. No guessing is going on.

Tragic Heartwrenching Disease and/or Character Death from Same – Our constipation quotient (I just loving typing that). Amazingly, Coffee Prince only gets 5 points in this category. None of the main characters die, but someone does have a miscarriage. Gramma has cancer, but she beats it.

Going to the Beach – No bonus points. No one tries to commit suicide, no one even contemplates it. I was almost disappointed.

Overall, Coffee Prince gets an 90.85 out of a possible 100 points. And that’s about right. There was a great deal about this series that I liked. The honesty between all of the main characters was a big one. There were no palace machinations, no e-ville girlfriend on the make to get the rich guy. Even during the whole labyrinth of he likes her and she likes him but then falls for he/she, the characters were honest about it.

I was moved by CHK’s struggle with his attraction toward GEC. He fought it by trying to maintain a simple friendship, but his feelings were too powerful. When he tries to cast her aside, you could feel the pain that emanates from him. When he finally gives in, you could sense that he is at peace. It was all very well done and was very touching.

I’m such a tool of western television; once the protagonists declared themselves, some of the delight went out of the viewing. I thrilled that all the characters had happy endings; we came full circle for each one of them and the closure was lovely. Nice series. Will I watch again? Probably not.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

High School

Bee Gees Song of the Day: Spirits Having Flown

I'd like to take you where my spirit flies,
Through the empty skies
We go alone,

Never before having flown.

I am home today with a sick daughter and therefore, not posting what I had intended to post today. That will have to wait until tomorrow.

Interesting. My 25th High School reunion is coming up (dreadfully aging me for all my readers, I know). I have learned that some of my high school peers have found me on this blog and are reading what I write. It’s fine when one’s readership consists mostly of family or people overseas searching for anything on line about “Dae Jang Geum”. One feels safe and anonymous. It’s just the strangest thing. I feel somehow like I’ve been ‘outed’.

Not that I mind. I don’t write about anything for which I should be ashamed. All my deep inner ugliness is reserved and secreted within my private journal, WHICH is password protected and WHICH no one will ever see. Ever. Of course, my strange fascination with Korean Drama doubtless raises some eyebrows – it certainly raises my kids’ eyebrows. I’m waiting for the day my boys come down from New York with a therapist in tow to conduct an intervention. “Mom, we’ve been talking and we're a little worried…”

It makes me ponder though, what has changed in my life since my days as a Maroon Knight. The days where those relationships were the most important of my life. I’ve been married. I’ve been divorced. I’ve had three children whom I’ve raised, I miscarried two. I have one child married off, and am watching the other one work his way through college. My baby is 16 and this summer, grew up overnight. I have lived in no less than 13 different dwellings since my graduation, which means I have lost to time all my high school memorabilia. I still like the Bee Gees and was devastated when Maurice died.

I’m not quite the clueless goober I was when I was 17, though I’m still na├»ve. I’ll admit that that is finally wearing off and I’ve become rather jaded. I am a fan of chardonnay and prefer my martinis dirty with three olives. I cannot drink Irish Car Bombs. I still can’t do math and I will count on my fingers when a calculator is not accessible. I remember “Esta Susanna en casa? Si, esta con una amiga. Donde estan, en la sala? No, en la cocina.” And “On va a la plage!” I can say good morning (annyeong haseyo) and good evening (annyeong hi chumuseyo) in Korean now too. Bwahahahaaaaa!

I’m conservative in my views and still really Catholic. I’d buy a hybrid car if I could afford it, but only so I could drive in the HOV lane. I don’t watch many movies and I still love to read. I’ve had some crap hole bosses and I’ve had some incredible bosses. I have been called “the voice” and have been told I give good phone. I do not work for a 900 number. I can’t stand superior bank tellers and I love really old people. Except for really old men who grope. That’s just disturbing on all sorts of levels.

I miss everyone. Barb, Jackie, Nancy, Mary, Donna, Alesia, Gina, Karen, Ken, Dave, Dave, Mike, Dan, Lisa, Lisa, Joe, Sally, John, Floyd, Tracy, Mike, Joan, Pat, Frank, ...eff it, I could go on. Hell, I miss ‘em all.

We change. It would be a big ball of wrong if we didn’t. Yep. We change. But there are threads that still bind us.

If I close my eyes, I can still see Mrs. Reina, (she knew what an idiot I was at math), Mr. Chudy, Mr. and Mrs. Goodale, Ms. Tasovac, Mr. Frank, Mr. Dunadee, (I remember ‘helping’ Mike during that health class with eye blinks Mr. Spina, and

Poor, poor Mrs. Watson. We should have been shot for what we did to her. God, please bless her. May her fish always swim and her barn never crumble.

See? Threads.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Go mab seub ni da!

Jang Hyuk from “Thank You” fame previously mentioned. Just finished wrapping up his new movie “Dance of the Dragon” with Fann Wong and Jason Scott Lee. Due to release in the US in early 2008.

For my very Caucasian friends go mab seub ni da means "Thank You" in Korean.

Thank you, Jang Hyuk!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Post Script

Bee Gees Song of the Day: Melody Fair

Who is the girl at the window pane,
Watching the rain falling down?
Melody, life isn't like the rain;
Its just like a merry go round.

Saturday, I had a slew of errands to run to prepare for the homecoming dance that evening. I couldn’t start any of it before I knew what a tire was going to cost.

I took my car to a nearby auto repair shop. Bill was an absolute darling, listened to and understood my requirement (which was “I got no money Bill, make it cheap.”). The opposite of my freakish experience with Vacuum Man, Bill took no umbrage and did not immediately attempt to shove product down my throat. Flexible and full of suggestions, Bill offered to have someone look at my tire to see if it was repairable. I saw the treads on that tire and knew I needed new ones. But since I had to fit in all my running around, I acquiesced.

It was a broken stem valve or broken valve stem (whatever). They repaired it and mounted on my car for free. My expectations were exceeded and unlike Vacuum Man, they will get all my business in the future and I will send them customers when I can.

They paid it forward. I will continue to do so for them; Scott will remain in my prayers for his good health and happiness; and I will continue to offer up blessings for the single mom standing outside the Subway.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Good and Evil

Bee Gees Song of the Day: One More Look at the Night

I guess I've never been more on my own
And the thought of you makes me cry
'cause you made me feel like sunshine
There's a danger, you ain't forever
Watching the memory die

Interesting day today. I was exposed to both good and evil.

I think it started as far back as yesterday. I got a call from an old high school friend and in the course of the call, she admitted she had read my blog and had mentioned the Butterfly Effect blog that I had, for the most part, forgotten about.

Then earlier today, I went to subway for lunch. An old woman was standing outside Subway and she held up an index card. She alleged she could not speak the language. "I am a single mother of four children. I have no money for food. Please help me feed my children." Never faced with begging directly, I was moved and gave her money. I'm not telling you this to thank me and I'm not telling you this so you can tell me how irresponsible my action was. (She's just going to buy crack with it!") Berate me if you want. I did what I thought was right. I did it for the sisterhood, I did it for a single mom struggling to feed her kids; and even if it was for an old doxie trying to raise money to satisfy her pimp's drug addiction, I did it because I was moved enough to help her. I paid it foward.
That was it, end of story.

As I walked into Subway I thought that maybe the cosmos would reward me. Maybe someone would give me a boat load of cash. Eh. Probably not. I promptly forgot about it.

Later in evening, I was on my way home from work. Truth be told, I was on my way to a fledgling meeting of the Legion of Mary at a neighboring parish. I had wanted to be there to support the new group, being an active member at my own parish. The roads were damp having rained intermittently throughout the day. And at 7:00 pm, it was dark out. I was on Route 7 headed west towards Leesburg at on a Friday evening. Traffic was typical; heavy.

My front driver's side tire went flat.

Guess I wasn't going to make the meeting.

I pulled over onto an exit ramp. At least I was out of traffic (or so I thought). I found my jack (my boys, only weeks before had shown me how to use it to change the oil in my car, so I had some familiarity). As I was jacking up the car, I was approached by an angel wearing the guise of a shirt and tie. "Need some help?"

"That would be great." We introduced ourselves, found the lug wrench, pulled out the donut and Scott started jacking up the car. "I'd like to think that if my wife were in the same situation, someone would help her." God Bless him.

Be warned friends. Satan and his legions were obviously released from hell this evening; the apocalypse is upon us in the form of crap hole drivers! Though we both had our hazard lights on, I shone the flashlight between Scott and traffic - Scott so he can see what he was doing and traffic, so that they could see that people were on the road. The actual turn off to the exit was 200 yards up the road. Go around folks, go around.

Can you believe that some of the demonic sons of pigs or jackals or mastiffs actually pulled onto the exit ramp and came within inches of hitting us? WTF? Does NO ONE in Northern Virginia get tested on the definition and clear message that HAZARD LIGHTS mean slow the bleep down? When they see people squatting down by a car tire, is it so HARD TO INTUIT that someone has a flat tire or car trouble and CAUTION should be observed?

Scott finished putting on the donut, gave me some advice about how fast to drive, how to get back home, and how far I could adequately drive on the spare. He put everything back in my trunk for me and we shook hands. He would take no money and just wished me luck.

I had done someone a kindness earlier today. In turn, a kindness was bestowed on me. In the past, whenever someone has done me a good turn, I remember them in my prayers. I can go for years asking God to bless them and their families. I will pray for Scott, I will pray for the aging mother of four, and I will pray for the dangerously stupid who populate the roads of Northern Virginia.

They may not know they are evil, but I do.

Cambridge House - Days 2 and 3

Bee Gees Song of the Day: Don’t Throw It All Away (Our Love):

We can take the darkness and make if full of light
But let your love flow back to me
How can you leave and let this feeling die

You know, when I don’t have to go to work, I try to sleep in. Really I do. But even when I go away, I find that my body clock is as rigid as a nazi goose step. At 4:30 am, I’m awake. I could lay there and try to go back to sleep but my brain reminded me that I had an obligation to fulfill.

I had to read a book.

My friend Anne begged me to read James Patterson’s “You’ve Been Warned”, co-written with Howard Roughan. All she would tell me was that she needed to discuss the book with someone.

I’m not a fan of Patterson – never have been. And I've tried to be fair. He’s just not my cup of tea. I had this promise looming and so at 4:30 am, I decided I should try slogging through my obligation.

Breakfast was at 8am, after which we headed out to a village wide yard sale. Then we went to the library book sale and being the book whore I am, I splurged and spent $7 on 10 books. I picked up a book on Dianetics – they were giving that one away. What a surprise. I never would have paid money for it, but as a tool to see what Scientology is all about, it might be worth it.

Anyway, after a lunch of…you guessed it, “crab kebabs, crab creole, crab gumbo, pan fried, deep fried, stir fried. There's pineapple crab and lemon crab...” we headed into town for the sidewalk sales; I bought nothing ~ then. We eventually stopped by at a local Irish pub. It was there that Starbuck sheepishly recounted the story of the nickname. Suffice to say to my gentler audience, that a cup of Starbucks coffee works as a powerful laxative.

Once we got out of the pub, my self restraint was non-existent and I wound up buying a wrought iron lamp with birds on it. Birds. I have no bird motif in my home. I just decided I needed a lamp with birds. I still don’t know where to put it. Let this be a lesson to you all; don’t go shopping after a couple of drinks.

We gaily walked back to the B&B. Wine and cheese and goodies available in case we were sobering up from earlier and we just enjoyed the perfect evening and the company. We headed back to the pub for dinner…for more “…coconut crab, pepper crab, crab soup, crab stew, crab salad, crab and potatoes, crab burger, crab sandwich...” Afterward, we walked back to the B&B to play the game “Therapy” and…and…~ you know what? I can’t even remember what we played after that, I just remember that someone opened a bottle of champagne and not long after that, we went to bed.

Next morning, I woke up at 5:00 am, read more of my book, washed up, packed up and was ready for breakfast at 8am. Notably, no crabs were slaughtered in the making of that breakfast. We were on the road by 9:00 am. As I walked in the door at home, I saw that my daughter had the television on. And no lie, I heard:

“Shrimp is the fruit of the sea. You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, sautee it. There's, um, shrimp kebabs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo, pan fried, deep fried, stir fried. There's pineapple shrimp and lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad, shrimp and potatoes, shrimp burger, shrimp sandwich... That's, that's about it.”

She was watching Forrest Gump.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Homecoming Week

Bee Gees Song of the Day: Nights on Broadway

Here we are. In a room full of strangers
Standing in the dark. Where your eyes couldn't see me
Well I had to follow you, though you did not want me to
That won't stop my love for you
I can't stay away

I interrupt my narrative to talk about high school.

It is Homecoming Week. Sport Enthusiast Day, Pep rallies, bonfires. I remember those days. My graduating class, Frankfort-Schuyler's Class of 1982, due to the amazing artistic gifts of those talented people, our float took first prize every single year. It was such a fun time.

I haven't been a Maroon Knight for 25 years. Seriously, in one's personal novel of life, high school holds just a few chapters. But the color in those chapters is so diverse, so full of drama and yearning and pain and joy and fun that they are not to be missed or read over carelessly.

I went to my daughter's Powder Puff football game last night. The Junior Girls versus the Senior Girls. The Seniors won – that was sad. But what was wonderful was the energy and the fun that IS high school.

The Senior side of the football field was quiet overall. Parents coming to the event were sparse; few and far between. I strolled over to the Junior side of the field, weaving in between students holding hands, boys horsing around, girls talking about the boys horsing around, kids eating hot dogs, drinking soda, lined up outside the bathroom. As I approached the Junior side of the field, the noise level increased. The bleachers were full of parents. The crowd screamed and cheered. Six boys were on the track doing cheers, egging the crowd on. I named several of them. One was "Hairy" , which is self explanatory, as is "Knee-hi" and "Spaz". Knee-hi wowed the audience with his back flips. Nothing was spared in an effort to pump up the crowd. Spaz just kept running back and forth screaming.

At half time, four senior boys got on to the middle of the field and lip synced something that sounded like the Back Street Boys. It was cute. A young lady was then called to the field. "Will Melanie Blah Blah please go to the middle of the field?" Nothing more embarrassing than that. "TO THE MIDDLE" as she tried to stay near the sidelines. "Melanie, will you go to homecoming with Jason Blab Blab?" Squeals, shrieks, she covers her face. "Is that a YES?" She nodded, and everyone applauded. It was fabulous.

I got to meet my daughter's beau. I was sophomorically pleased at seeing how cute he was. My daughter's friends and I all squealed with delight at his cuteness. And it warmed me that her friends are so happy for her. I was introduced to the young man and was pleased at the clear and honest look in his eye. Indeed, I liked the cut of his jib. I tried to appear casual as they walked off the field together to get her bag. She's 16 now and according to house rules, able to date. I can now only hope that 16 years of drilling appropriate behavior and self-respect have done their job and she's prepared for this toe-dip-in-the-water foray into adulthood.

While I am thrilled and shrieking with delight at prospect of her first date, I'm already preparing for her first real heartbreak. As a parent, one has to be eight steps ahead of the ball. Her brothers and their friends will be down in mere hours to break his legs if he hurts her. I have it all worked out.

Homecoming game on Friday. Dance on Saturday. A young lady growing up. These are days that will fly for her. These are days I will never get back. So I write them in my book and I keep the pages special. I mark the chapters, so that if she ever comes back to read them after I'm gone, she will know how privileged I felt that she shared them with me.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Cambridge House

Bee Gees Song of the Day: My World

My world is our world
And this world is your world
And your world is my world
And my world is your world is mine

It’s been a long time since I’ve blogged, and I apologize. The muse left me for a while. To tell you the truth, I don’t think she’s back yet, but I’m sitting here filling in for one of the operators who is sick and I’m bored, and Lacie missed me, so I'm writing.

I’m hoping something comes to me before the end of this sentence. Sheesh. It didn’t. I am forced to recount my weekend.

2pm Friday; left work early, met my cousin The Guest Blogger and we headed out to quaint Cambridge, Maryland. We have friends out there who own a bed and breakfast and the occasion was to celebrate the October birthdays; one of which is mine.

Traffic sucked, but when doesn’t it down here? We used the time to catch up since we often lament that we don’t have enough time to talk. Guest Blogger did ask me for Halloween costume ideas for her husband. I am a person of little imagination and all I could contribute was the suggestion to wear a suit and tie, attach some toilet paper to the bottom of the shoe and going to the party as Senator Craig. He would, of course, need to walk around with a wide stance.

Not sure if it’s going to work. Probably need to attach a commode of some sort. I invite your comments and your suggestions for a costume.

We arrived in good time, traffic notwithstanding, and started with some wine and cheese. After a tour of the beautiful Cambridge House (I can't recommend this wonderful place highly enough by the way), we left for dinner. We went to a wonderful local eatery, which was within walking distance of the B&B.

I might as well tell you right now, it became a crab weekend. We frequently put our own twist on the famous Forrest Gump quote by saying, “Crab is the fruit of the sea. You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, sautee it. There's, um, crab kebabs, crab creole, crab gumbo, pan fried, deep fried, stir fried. There's pineapple crab and lemon crab, coconut crab, pepper crab, crab soup, crab stew, crab salad, crab and potatoes, crab burger, crab sandwich... That's, that's about it.”

We started with a crab sampler. I had some kind of local catch topped with crab. Crab. Crab crabbiness. We mostly had crab. Well, in between mini-shots of some sort of tequila. And glasses of wine and/or beer. It was that kind of weekend.

We retired to the Tiki Bar where we were all pressed into tequila shot consumption featuring the tequila of our choice. Since I am mostly ignorant of the genre, I went with the traditional lime/salt/swallow/lime/lick event. I find the older I get, the more crap like that just makes my stomach say, “Knock it off. You missed your chance in the 80’s to booze up because you had kids. Just forget it.” He (my stomach is a man), did not punish me severely, he just let me know he wasn’t happy with my behavior.

It was at this point, I began to suspect that my other cousin, I’ll call her Starbuck for reasons I will go into later, had a secret agenda. I began to sense that Starbuck wanted to locate me an obnoxiously wealthy Korean Catholic to service my needs for the weekend. Setting aside the fact that I’m not going to engage in recreational procreation unless I have spectacularly blacked out, Starbuck failed rather miserably when she started interrogating a rotund middle-aged Caucasian male who was losing his hair and had the nose of a man who spends a good deal of private time in the Tiki Bar. He didn’t even pass the Catholic test.

Having reached my limit after the one shot of tequila, I enjoyed watching the ladies enjoy themselves. We walked back to the B&B. It was 9pm.

By 9:30, Starbuck was sound asleep on the couch and found that I too was having difficulty keeping my eyes open. We all decided to call it a night. I was staying in the “Secret Room” off Dorchester. It was lovely.

More tomorrow.

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