Tuesday, February 28, 2006

A Smorgasbord of Minor Annoyances

My apologies in advance for what may be a whiny post, but sometimes, you just gotta get it off your chest -- and what better way to do that than on the internet, to total strangers?! I tell you, sometimes I think that blogging just may qualify as a symptom of a diagnosable mental disorder.

In Korea, today, March 1, is a national holiday called "Samil-jul." It commemorates the 1919 protest movement for Korean independence against the Japanese occupation that had started in 1910. At a designated time, people all over the country gathered, pulling homemade Korean flags out of their cloaks and protested. Independence didn't happen, of course, until 1945. For the March 1 uprising, scores were jailed, tortured, and killed; only some names are remembered. Any participant, though, is eligible to be buried in the National Cemetery in Daejeon (don't know how you prove it). And almost a hundred years later, their bravery is commemorated every year. Quite a commendable thing, don't you think?

Nice back story, and "national holiday" would normally mean a mid-week rest day for the family, together. Very Norman Rockwell-Kim, no? BUT, hubby's division at work decided they'd have a little overnight workshop/retreat for everyone. Koreans would never use a work day for such things. So I am at home with two restless boys until such time as he appears from this meat-grilling, soju-swilling, mountain-climbing "team-builder." And ugh, to this pregnant nose, he's gonna smell! (Admittedly, he'd rather be here than there -- none of those activities appeal to my dear man -- but I'm not above collecting the brownie points and whining a bit anyway. There's a fine line between cool wife and doormat that MUST be maintained.)

As if that weren't tough enough, it is COLD here! We even got a dusting of snow overnight. I know it's only the first of March, but there is something in the human animal that senses the coming of Spring instinctively. Son the Older begged me to wear shorts today. I, too, am very tired of winter, and being cooped up inside, but the Siberian winds here just do not allow for anything else. Over the weekend we decided to brave it and go to the playground, but after about five minutes, even the boys were saying they wanted to go back inside!

So inside it is today, and it ain't always peaceful. We can't do Play-Doh for a while because Son the Younger, who Knows Better, inserted a ball of it into his nose the other day (when?! I still don't know), which took two days to work its way out. (I take after my nurse-mother in the way I am maybe too not-hysterical about such things.) Markers and crayons went on the Thomas Trains, tracks, and the computer screen a week before. That leaves, what? Inviting a glue disaster? Rotting their brains with Nickelodeon, Disney Channel, and Cartoon Network all day? I am perilously close to undertaking another potentially disastrous collective baking project just to stay afloat. Someone stop me now!

Oh, and just one more to pile it on, we were very excited to find Rice Krispy Treats at Costco the other week. We hadn't eaten any in quite a while, and they're perfect for young son and pregnant snacking. So we bought the mammoth box. But guess what? There's no acounting for pregnant aversions, and the strong vanilla scent emanating from the first mouthwatering bite turned my stomach immediately and turned me off of food the rest of the day! WHY do they add vanilla? Now I want non-vanilla-ey Rice Krispy Treats, but Rice Krispies cost about $8 for a small box here at the import supermarket. And I'd have to get someone to send me marshmallows. And it's just not that important, but it sure is annoying. That nauseating box is just staring at me from the top of the fridge. C'est la vie.

So Happy March 1st to you. Give thanks for your independence, and that you probably didn't have to put your life in peril, or lose a family member, to enjoy it. Gotta go make peanut butter sandwiches now; naptime is coming, hooray!


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