Sunday, January 28, 2007

Some nights on the town...

Some nights ago, like in November, our friend Angelo invited us down to a gig he was doing in Itaewon. It was a fun evening: very good music by a very energetic band, good friends and good times screaming our heads off as we talked with our friends. They played a lot of Weezer, which was SWEET MONKEY for me, and -as it turns out- for this guy too:

He was a maniac -maniac- on the dance floor. He was dancing like he'd never danced before.

We decided to bring out our mad and varied skills, and we showed everyone who's boss: Colin was practicing mime the entire evening, and here he can be seen emulating a very happy sailor waving hello to his bonny lass on the shores of Newfoundland. He's a work of genius. Col (Han), you rule.

And yet another night, it was time to (properly) celebrate a HUGE accomplishment for my dear wifey: She is now an accredited Music Therapist by the Canadian Association of Brewers- wait a tick, no: Canadian Association of Music Therapists. That's probably the one. She found out in early December, and Caitlin, Colin, Anne and we dudes went to Jongno Tower to partake in its culinary delights. However, the place was packed like a Lipsett's Volkswagon and there was nary a place to place our tushies. So, that night, we settled for a cute little steak joint (with salad bar!!) just down the street. It was a very nice meal and great atmosphere, but I knew in my heart that Hilary and I must return to the Tower and indulge in its fineries. I mean, you don't get accredited every day!

January 12, 2007 rolled around (and this time I reserved) and we took off for Jongno Tower's Top Cloud restaurant. And oh my it was nice!

There was live music, an entree plus an AMAZING buffet -and a cheese fondue which we put on our salad! Soooo good! Lots of great and scrumptious food: Hil got a sampling of everything so we could choose what we like the best, but after sampling one of everything, we were too stuffed to eat anything more. So we had some deserts and then sampled the loos. And here is what we saw (from our separate loos):

I mean, really: if the view from the bathroom is THIS good, why would you want to leave the place?!?! I was taking a lot of pictures in the bathroom of the cityscape, and then realized, after 20 minutes, that this might be a little weird to see a dude taking pics of a bathroom... so I left. But it was fun while it lasted!
So, in the end, we celebrated Hil's wonderful work well. It was a long time in the coming, but then again, so is asparagus; but it's worth every second of the wait.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

A Korean Christmas - and New Years'!

With babies!!!!! Yes, everyone, we decided to come out with... our hidden child. Hidden to the world, that is, until her real parents also decided to crash our would-be parents' fun with their real parents' realism and oh... I must be too tired, this joke isn't working. Ah ze well!!! My good friend Jen from my CBC days and her hubby Allan got married a few months after I left college there and six and a half years later, with no face-to-face contact in between, here are their products!! (Amy, up there - year old cherub)

Oh, ji bo bo bo!!!

Oh ji?

Bo bo!!! (Baby is happy. In a jumble of Korean-English baby talk.)

This is Blake, 2 and a half years old I believe, Jen and Alan's eldest. And, we just found out, another one is on the way! Congrats you two!!!

New Years' Day: We took them to the coolest Japanese place that serves the best shabu-shabu we know of (thin slices of red meat that you cook in a tomato-esque broth with lots of greens and long 'shrooms thrown in). It's actually a three-courser that is all made from the same stuff: they give you udon noodles afterward in the same broth, then when you're finished that, they take your pot of broth, dump some of it out and mix fried rice in so that it makes a really yummy paste that you spoon off the side of the pot. Koreans are all about sharing. We like that.

And the family - probably the best shot we could get. Sorry, Alan, - I tried but the face - well it's a special facial shot, is it not?!

Pardon me, but I had to do New Years' first, it was too cute to pass up. Now for Christmas. And yeah, we didn't get too many shots of it but we liked our tree. Here's how it all started:

Et voila! Voici nos bon chances. Et apres ca, nous allons ecrire plus tard. Good French Lydia? Why thank you!

Friday, January 26, 2007

Our Long Lost Biker Dudes

One fine day in December, our dear friends Daniel and Pam got a wee bit tired of their 1,800-km bike trek through South East Asia. And so they thought, like any other rational human being would, "Why don't we go to Korea?" Good question guys; I like your think.
So, wonder of wonders, they toted their bikes and booties all the way from sunny Thailand to frigid Korea.

The bikes were a bit of an issue at first with the taxis cuz those lovely vehicles aren't exactly renowned for their trunk space. But we had a shoelace and some mad McGuiver skills so we worked it all out.
The following day it snowed something beautiful and our hood became a winter wonderland for the first time since last winter. Hil and I were enthralled, but I don't know if the feeling was shared by our dudes. Their tans sure stood out against the whitiness and -10 degree weather that awaited them in our homely little Asian home.

And what would be the perfect relief for such a sudden lack-of-beach? A tea house in the quaint back alleys of Insadong.

And what tea house would be complete with out a plexiglass-encased hexagonical meditation tank? Well, many as it turns out. But not THIS one!!! Pam and I both indulged and then my legs hurt so that was that.

Unfortunately, I was feverish for the entire 3 days they were here. Nevertheless, we had a great time chatting and laughing and catching up after a year-long separation.

It was a short and wonderful visit with awesome friends.

We also dragged them to a sauna and ate some patbingsu (red bean paste on shaved ice with whole milk, all topped with corn flakes, strawberry sauce, whey powder, and love). It was just a taste of Korea, but oh my what a taste it was, eh what? It was great to have them come and stay with us, but then we had to kick them out cuz they were getting rowdy. Then, after being rejected outright by about 15 taxis (again) we finally got them to the bus stop and sent them on their way home. C'etait merveilleuse mes amis! We love you guys!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Hey, didn't we run another race back in November?

It turns out we actually DID run a race! It's just been so hot-doggin' long that we almost forgot. But FEAR NOT! We forgot not! We just didn't post it.

But now, like the leaves of fall past, that will all change.
So we were thinking, if we're gonna run in a city, why don't we just go ahead and run in this one?!
It's got all the necessities: a river, tall buildings, sunshine (yes, this was taken on a sunny day), pollution, and -we can't forget- over 6000 citizens who love running more than 21km.
And so we made our way to the 4th Annual Suhpochuh (sports) Seoul Mahlatone (marathon) for 2006!It was a brilliant race, with plastic bags, freezing weather, a river that's too dang long and 6000 people surrounding you every step of the 21km!! It was like running for 2 hours in a packed mall. Beautiful.
So after a while, I pulled in at a personal best of 1:38 and some seconds. It was a huge accomplishment for me that could only be fully expressed with my tongue pushing through my cheek.
Nope, I'm not much for pictures when my heart rate is fluctuating between 180 and 35. Like the matching headband and gloves? Yeah, we do too.
And then our wonderful friends pulled in too!!!
Sara: Mighty Kicker of all things Pavementish and Yoga Queen:
Jennifer: Mrs. I'll-run-a-race-1-week-before-I-fly-back-home-cuz-why-not? (we miss you duder!):
Cory: Muscle Man, and Go-er Back to Training the Next Day:
And, wait a sec, who are we missing here.... RIGHT! My wife. 'Course, after running for 2 hours (and some seconds), Miss Photogenic Hilary's all smiles and giggles as she breezes by the feeble competition:
She had the best photos. I'm not jealous.
And so, after the race we (Sara, Adge, Hil, Cory, Jennifer and Brian -he did a 10km race after his rigorous training regiment of "a glass of wine last night") all went for an Indian Buffet in Itaewon and promptly stuffed ourselves silly. No judging though -it was fully necessary.
And oh, the fall...