“Oh, I love this song!” I say, turning up the radio. I sing along.

You make it easy,
as easy as one, two, (one, two, three, four)
There’s only one thing t[w]o do, three words fo[u]r you~
I love you!

“See? It’s a play on words! We must play it at the wedding!”

Good Man stares at me. “But isn’t that sort of…cheesy?

“Which is exactly why we need to play it at the wedding!”

(Il)legal Wedding

Me: Hi, I have a marriage license question.

Woman at the Circuit County Clerk’s Office: Um-hmm?

Me: My fiancé is a foreign national. Do we need to bring proof that he’s in the country legally when we apply for the license?

Woman at the Circuit County Clerk’s Office: Nope, just a passport or some sort of photo ID. He can be in the country illegally and you can still marry him.

Dear Korean Lady

Dear Korean Lady at the Korean Bookstore in the Korean Part of Town,

When you don’t have a book that you said you had over the phone, please do not waste 20 minutes pretending to look for it in the store. This is not Korea. You do not need to save face. You are wasting my time.

Additionally, when my fiancé asks you if we can order it, please do not say yes, then proceed to tell us that we should order it from another bookstore online, one which is more expensive. That makes no sense. Either order it for us or tell us to order it from your chain’s website. See above, re: this is not Korea, quit saving face.

Finally, yes I know the book is in Korean. You may have noticed that we are in…a Korean bookstore!

The Not-Customer Who Would Actually Like to Buy Something From You

Dear Mother and Father and Johnny and Ashley and Your Two Kids and Mom and George,

You are all awesome. Three-way conference video chatting was tonight so you could all meet was neat. But George, why didn’t you have any questions for Good Man?


Dear Good Man,

Please help me interpret things into Korean when we are all chatting because it is very hard for me to do it alone. Even though I mostly did an awesome job (except for when I ordered my mother to learn Korean).


Dear Father,

Thank you for almost making me cry when you said you’re happy to have me as a daughter-in-law. I really wish we lived closer together.

Almost Daughter-in-Law

Dear Principal,

Please let me take a personal day next Friday so we can do our thing.

Your Favorite New Hire

Super Funny Super So

I have read the following article four times and I still end up laughing until tears are in my eyes over a few sentences.

The Super Cow That Was Struck by Lightning and Survived
(A Very Motivating Article)

There are some classic Korean sentences in here.

소가 벼락을 맞으면 어떻게 될까?

What happens to a cow when it’s struck by lightning?

I’m sure you’re curious. What does happen to a cow when it’s struck by lightning?

보통은 산채로 통구이가 될 가능성이 높다.

Usually there is a high possibility that it will be roasted through.

Best. Korean. Sentence. Ever.

After mentioning Harry Potter (해리포터) and figuring out why Super 소 (Cow) survived, the article ends with this gem.

하지만 보통 소가 벼락에 맞는다면, 죽을 확률이 더 높다.

But usually when a cow is hit by lighting, there is a high probability that it will die.

Now. How in Super Cow kimchi can I manage to fit these sentences into my conversations with Mother? Hmm… I’m working on it…

Engagement Proofs

So last Monday, Good Man and I had our engagement photo session. I haven’t written about it because I wanted to see the photos first. We got the proofs today.

The weather was supposed to be nice, so we decided to go down to the Mall. The weather was not very nice though; it was rather cold. So we decided to head into the Asian Art Museum (actually called the Smithsonian Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery).

Good Man and I were both rather uncomfortable at first. Kissing each other in public? OK. Kissing each other in public while someone is taking photos of you? A little odd.

I’m glad we wore our casual outfits first, because by the time we got to the formal outfit ones, we were more relaxed.

[Engagement Photos]

If I Had Bling, It Would Show Here

Good Man and I laughed our way through most of the photos. Jeremy, our photographer (warning: automatic music at the link), tried to do those “woman’s head on man’s chest, eyes closed, left hand showing” photos, but I’m smirking in nearly every one of them.

[Engagement Photos]

“OK, now go at him like a cat.”
Apparently I am a laughing cat.

I really like our photographer, who was open to my posing ideas, and who got into some conversation about Nikons overexposing with me (while poor Good Man stood there, freezing—sorry, Good Man).

He does wedding photography as a second job, and his prices are reasonable for this area. He’s also not smarmy in that “ooooh, this day is so important, you are sooooo special” way that wedding vendors can be. Ick. And he handled my irrational mood yesterday well.

[Engagement Photos]

[Engagement Photos]

Dictator Good Man?

I pointed out that we both have engagement rings (yes, I do love that, and I think it’s hot as hell that he wears an engagement ring) and he got this shot.

[Engagement Photos]

Double Engagement Rings

Very happy with our photos, happy we got to practice kissing and loosening up in front of the camera. And now Sister can work on our invitations and announcements! We have the wording done, but since she’s a graphic designer, she offered to do the fronts of the photos.

Side: although the photos are marked 아만다, that’s only because they’re on my website. All copyright belongs to our photographer.

(Side to the ladies: bra tape. I can highly recommend this brand. It kept the green sweater from showing parts of my underwear I don’t wish to be seen, and it kept the ribbing on Heather from riding up. Completely worth the $5 or so I invested in it months ago. Very satisfied with it.)

Dreaming of Ajosshis

“Well… It’s Time to Be Married. I Will Be an Ajosshi, Soon.”
Said in a hotel we were checking out for our guests.

In the midst of a minor meltdown this morning…

“So Mom, I had this horrible wedding dream last night. I dreamt that it was the morning of the wedding, and Mother had decided she wanted photos of me in my hanbok eating an ice cream float? A sundae? But it couldn’t be at the wedding, no, it had to be in an ice cream parlor. So I had to call our photographer, but I couldn’t get a hold of him.”

Mom laughs and says, “You have time—”

“And we showed up to the wedding and there were no chairs and no food, but everyone was there, even though we hadn’t sent out invitations because our photographer hadn’t given us the photos from the engagement session yet, and they had no hotels to sleep in, so they all thought they were going to sleep at our house!” I can feel the panic rising in my voice. “And I didn’t know my vows in Korean, either! I kept saying ‘영원히…영원히…’ When I woke up, I actually had to check what day it was.”

Mom laughs on the other end of the line. Good Man gapes at me and says, with much disbelief, “You are freaking out over the wedding today because of a dream? What! That—that! That is so crazy!”

Sunday Walk, Friday Gift

Last weekend Good Man and I ended up going on a two-hour long, nearly four-mile long walk. We took photos in a cemetery, stopped somewhere for lunch, meandered about…

Amusing Sign


Backlit Bloom

Kim Jong Il?

At the very end of our walk, we passed the basketball hoops at the school near us.

“Can I play there?” Good Man asked.

“Yeah, when school’s not in session.”

“Why didn’t I know this before? Why didn’t I buy a basketball, like, eight months ago??”

Today, Good Man got a package. “That can not be, I did not order anything,” he said.

He opened the package and shouted, “야!~아!”

Happy Good Man

Korean Insanity

Last night I was reading a diary entry in Sogang 3B. Every sentence in this entry ended in -다. I’ve also seen this in books and in newspapers. I called Good Man into the room to ask him about it.

“What is this?”

“It’s a neutral form. You should use it when you blog.”


“Well…” Whenever Good Man says “well” like that, I know I’m in for something that’s going to make me say “what?”

After a brief pause, he started again. “Well…if you really respect yourself at a high level you can talk to yourself in -요 form, if your ego is that huge.”

“But why can’t I use banmal then?”

“Because it’s weird if you use every single day and every single minute. Even Koran bloggers eventually use -다 form, because it’s blogging. Even kindergartners write in -다 form.”

So tonight I wrote an entry in -다 form and then Good Man told me, “Well…in -다 form, you don’t have to talk down to yourself and use the 저.” 저 is a humble form of I.

“What? Why do I use 나?” 나 is the non-humble form of I. (Side: I only used “I” once in my short piece. This is a true sign that I am starting to “get” Korean. I used to struggle to drop pronouns. Now I do it without thinking.)

“It is in harmony if you use 나. Everything should be in harmony.” Good Man nodded.

And this, dear readers, is why I have chosen Korean. Because of the what? factor.

Junk and Perfection

Months ago, Good Man and I fought over whether or not we should give a TV. Good Man caved, but with the understanding that if he wanted a TV later, we’d get one.

A few months ago, out of the blue, Good Man said, “I like not having a TV. It’s nice.”

Tonight, Good Man watched some news program clip about saving money by getting rid of cable, borrowing video games from the library, trashing the land line, trading in DVDs, etc. When the clip finished, Good Man said, to no one in particular, “Why don’t you just not buy…junk?”

I was reminded of the TV incident. “Do you want a TV?”

“Why?” He pointed to his computer monitor. “This is 24 inches. And I have two. You can not multi-task a TV, but you can multi-task a computer.”

Yesterday I finally started writing about the inauguration in Korean. I asked Good Man to check out my writing for me, and after he had, I copied it to Lang-8.

Within ten minutes I’d had several corrections.

“Why didn’t you point these out?” I whined to Good Man.

“Let me see. I bet their errors aren’t even errors.”

Good Man took the paper I’d printed and pointed. I’d written “we ate dinner and prepared.” The person had corrected it to “we prepared dinner.” Good Man said, “See this? This, you know what this says?”

“Yes, so they misunderstood.”

“And this? This is a typo. This is not a mistake.”

I looked at him, “A typo is a mistake.”

Good Man said rather passionately, “The purpose of this writing is communication, everyone can understand this little typo. Everyone can understand this essay! You do not have to be perfect to communicate.”

I used to tell my students the same thing.

They didn’t listen, either.

“I Am Being Cute.”

Good Man dances into the kitchen, holding a shirt in front of him. “춥다, 춥다, 춥다!” I’m cold, I’m cold, I’m cold!

I stare at him. “Then put the shirt on.”

Good Man juts out his lower lip and blinks at me. “Noooooo, I am being cute.”

He is cute.