Wednesday, June 28, 2006

The Attack of Appendicitis!!!!

So here's what Hil and I have learned so far:
1) bellyache + coke = bad
2) appendix + Adrian = bad (it was truly never meant to be)
3) doctors + (scalpel * stiches * gas) = Adrian going unconscious on an operating table with one of the doctors cheering on the Korean soccer team [last words I heard: "Day-haminguk" - "Go Korea!" Hmmm, yes go Korea, but please stay while you're operating on me]
4) Adrian's belly - appendix + pain killers = memorable times on the children's ward

So it's now official: I'm appendix-less. It all happened quite fast: my doctor in Junggye-dong told me to double check with a specialist at the hospital, and then the specialist told me I'd be on the table before 6pm. It was a little bit shocking, but when Hil and I came to grips with the fact that I'm getting surgery and so no Thailand :( we became better adjusted to the idea.
It turns out that Korean hospitals are EXTREMELY efficient!!! They had me hobble-wobbling around the place going from an ultrasound (I felt like a pregnant lady!) to an x-ray to the specialist to the surgery prep in no time! It was a blast (sort of). Thankfully, Hil passed on the news and Jamie, Jennica, Lydia and Nathan came to visit me over my time there, giving me support and many reading options. Our boss Park came and helped translate things (which was good, cuz I only trust hand signals for everything non-surgical.
But the operation went really well with no complications, and before I knew it I could see my heartbeat (on a screen) and I groggily came-to in a children's ward. Behold: me in the garb:

Thankfully I was never left alone too long with the children. Hilary was just awesome and came both before and after work to care for me and play cards. It was hard being away from home, but she made the hospital as good as it could be. She slept over at Jamie and Jennica's place (since they live right by the hospital) and we were very thankful for that. Again, a big kudos to the J's and the Skulls as well for the company, concern and Time magazines! I don't ever remember having such a great hospital stay!

So yes, a big thank you to all who emailed and called during my hopital-time -it was appreciated very much!!! I'm doing much better now -I was kicked out of the hospital on Friday morning and went back to work on Tuesday and although work was quite draining, I'm feeling stronger every day. The stitches are out and it looks like I have a sweet-monkey pirate scar on my belly. So cool.

So things are looking up and on the plus side, I'm never going to have appendicitis again! On that note, check out Sebas' blog at and his "Appendichimits" entry -it's got an amazing rendition of my now ex-corpus appendix in a pose that says it all.


Sandy beaches, blue skies, coconuts, mangoes and more coconuts...
THAILAND! It's exotic, spectacular and uber-spledid! That, at least, is what people have told us. We were booked, ready to fly, getting stoked and excessively hyper. But then, when we left Ilsan Lake, I just had to get a coke. It was refreshing, but when it hit my belly, things started going wrong: the pain began. "Argy-argh-ungh... me belly hurt, Hil!" was pretty much all I said that night and the next day and the next morning. Finally resolved to do something about my belly, I went to the doctor who spoke just enough English to let me know it was either an intestinal infection (sweet!) or appendicitis (dang). So acting like I had a choice in the matter, I was determined to let it be a mere intestinal infection. HOWEVER, last Tuesday morning my doc told me to go the hospital "just to make sure" it was simply an intestinal infection. It turns out there are only some things you can truly and voluntarily deceive yourself about -and appendicitis is not one of them. So Thailand, until we meet (for the first time), we hope your coconuts and mangoes will bloom always, and your beaches will remain free of clutter and dangerous objects.

There's a lake somewhere near here!

Who'd-a-thunk?! Of course, it's completely unnatural, but boy oh boy it felt sooooooooo good to have a breeze coming off the water...

The reason for the loverly excursion Northward was because Jennica decided it was time to have a birthday. So the gang was all (mostly) there... Hilary, Jennica, Jamie, Betty, June and I went for a little bike ride around the lake. After we reached this cool waterfall, Jamie and I decided to have ourselves a little race the rest of the way around. This is a picture of Jamie with his game-face on. We were pretty intense -we were very close to taking out MANY people on our tete-a-tete. Thankfully, no one was hurt and we both sorta won.We had a great time, played soccer (the girls kicked our butts), read, ate food, relaxed and saw the coolest mini bikes in the world. It was great.

But then, just as we were leaving, I got a coke and then our next adventure began...

Friday, June 23, 2006

Topia Just Got Older

So, like, on June 5th, the Megacorporation known as Topia got birthified a while back. As such, the hagwon shipped us out East to Gangchon Resort: t'was a lush little spot with fields, trees, a super-cool hotel thing and -oh yeah- free ice creams all day.

We played some b-ball and tried really hard to 'bring it'. Unfortunately, there was no 'bringing' and we lost by one point. This, of course, after they change the rules mid-game and tell us "only 3 foreigners!" like we have much of a choice in our 7-person team anyHOO. Hmm, I taste just a hint of bitter in that story...

We were able to huddle really well though and thankfully we got a picture of that moment.

There was also a soccer match that we green shirts also lost. But then came the tug o' war and we wollopped em goodly. T'was a monumental occasion. THEN we had the relay race: Ah yes, 12 runners on each team passing the baton - Hilary as the first runner for our team and I as the last. As soon as the whistle blew Hilary started makin' some serious tracks and left the other teams in her sprintly dust. It was SO cool to see her running (and also cool to see her kickin' some butt)!!! Me proud of wifey. She had taught us all prior to the race how to pass the baton so we were pretty confidant in our skills. It got pretty close some times and though we lost the lead on one lap, our second last runner made up the space and regained our lead. She passed it to me and I took off with me wee legs churnin' away. I was so thrilled about the possibility that we might actually win and maybe get some prize money that I kinda failed to notice the baton getting stuck in my pocket. Of course, the next second, it was flying through the air. I could just see all my fellow green-shirted tpoia-ites dropping their jaws as their hopes for gold were suddenly dead-ified. But I am not one to just give up -nor am I one who doesn't run away quickly when incredibly embarassed in front of 350 Koreans. So I grabbed the red stick, put the 'Chariots of Fire' theme in my head and ran like only big tall lanky white boys can. I ended getting 2nd instead of last so that was cool, and it was also a good reminder that pride cometh before your baton gets stuck in your pocket. Alas and alack.

The grounds there were pretty nice, but the ladies were FANTASTIC!!!!

After the games (we got 3rd place; you may not think it much, but let me tell you - no-one else got 3rd place. That's what makes us winners) they gave us free reign at the sauna and we partakedened muchly to our most esteemered joy. Then we had a beautiful dinner over-looking a scrumptious vista.

And then, there was 4 HOURS of strange entertainment, skits, karaoke and sing/dance alongs. Behind us there was a group from Samsung practicing a 80's-ish Star Wars space-dance routine. It was eclectic like only Koreans know how to do it.

A great Sunday though! We didn't win any prizes but we got some tupperware, hand towels and oodles of life experience. We are now better people for the world. Thank you Topia. Thank you for being born in an economical sense.

A temple-gym!

If you go North along the mountain by our place, you eventually come to a steep concrete path that we think is probably supposed to be a road. Low and behold, if you walk up you find yet another Buddhist Temple. I'm totally not griping about the temples here -quite splendid indeed they are! They just have the most unique/trend-setting real-estate agents! Who knows, maybe hard-to-reach places will be all the fad in 2050!!! I can't wait.

Complete with statues, bells, and -oh dearie me what is that?! Is it a welder's dream come true? No! IT'S A GYM!!!! Halfway up the mountain just past the temple -we just had to use it. Come to think of it, there is TONS of stuff 'halfway up a mountain'. The list includes: two gyms, a punching bag, two badminton courts, two temples, wells, and a restaurant. I can type no more -it's simply beyond me.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Head Shots!!!

So here in Korea, there's this crazy lil' TV show called "Surprize". We've seen it a few times on and off, and know someone who's actually in the show now and again. She told us that if we get her our head shots and resumes, then she'll pass them on to the Russian producers and from that point on, que sera sera... just like the Chipmunks said.

It happens that our friends Lydia and Nathan are a little bit goodish with pictures and the taking of them. So, after telling them that we like them and promising them many hang out times (really guys, we will spend time with you. Seriously.), we bribed them enough to take our pictures.

What follows is simply capturing genius in a digital format. Lo and behold, our head shots.

The judges are still out on this one. The angular stare has always been one of Adrian's best looks. However, there was a bit too much neck being shown, and we didn't want any producers getting the wrong idea.

"The Laughing Hil" was among the top-10 taken that fateful day. Here she seems to be mocking the world in general amid her lofty perch. Though quite fitting for her persona, we opted not to intimidate the producers, and have placed this one on our front door instead.

Rodin's "The Thinker" lacks only two things that impede perfection in its form: clothes and a background. Here, we have captured what Rodin only dreamed of attaining. Copies are $20 each.

This was a combination of Zoolander, Dr. Evil, and nearly every cute Korean commercial. There are no words to do it justice. Let your heart decide...

This one was more what the show was looking for and didn't make too many of our friends anxious. And she's real perty too! Gawsh.

After much deliberation there was truly one shot of Adrian that ruled all others. Unfortunately, in our excitement we accidentally erased it. So we chose this one instead.

As for whether or not we get on the show, well, we'll keep you updated.