Perfect, Good, Vague, Thin, Births

Vague: Korean
Last night I was studying my new Korean lesson. I’m learning 모모했더니, which is related to 그렇다.

그렇다 is an evil word. It makes about 20 linking words in various forms. Think of it as the Korean version of “for” or “to.”

I frowned. “How come you use the same with a slightly different ending for so many words?”

“Well, you have many words in English, too.”

“Yeah, but they’re different. And, so, but, thus, therefore, then… They’re not all variations on the same root word.”

Good Man spread his arms apart and smiled. “The beauty of Korean is vagueness.”

Good: Our Marriage, So Says the Fortuneteller
Good Man and I chatted with Mother and she told she went and got 사주 (fortunetelling done with the four pillars) done on us. We’ve been expecting this for a while. I had assumed she was just not going to do it, since she’s Catholic.

Koreans traditionally use saju to help decide if the couple will get married. If the saju is bad, good luck getting the parents to approve.

Apparently the fortuneteller said our marriage will be good. I said, “사주 사람 저는 미국 사람 아셨어요?” Did the saju person know I was a foreigner? (Note: a very incorrect sentence.)

She laughed, “Yes, yes, and your marriage will be good.”

Good Man once told me if his mother had saju done and it was bad, he would pay for a more expensive, and hence “better,” fortuneteller to give us a good reading. So I asked if the fortuneteller was expensive. Apparently he wasn’t.

“Mother, you are a Catholic church person, and you did saju?”

She laughed, “I have to confess to the priest now.”

Births: Good Man’s
When Good Man was born, it was standard for babies to get an 애기수첩 (baby note) book (that may still be the case). There are notes about what to feed children (with pictures of squid and seaweed), what they should weigh as various ages, how much sleep they should get (Korean parents, you are robbing your 12+ year olds of 10 hours of sleep a night). The book is used to keep track of immunizations, length/height and weight, etc.

On the front of the book is the baby’s name. In Good Man’s case it’s “애기.” Baby.

I asked Mother about it. Apparently Good Man was simply “baby” for a month before he was given a name.

Since we were talking about births and today is my mother’s birthday (Happy birthday, Mom!), I asked when Mother’s birthday is. She told us and Good Man took notes. He also noted their wedding date—in January of 1981.

I looked at the date. I considered Good Man’s birthday. I laughed. “신혼여행할때 임신했어요?” Did you get pregnant on your honeymoon?”

She laughed and nodded, “어, 어. 아이고…” Yes, yes, oh my…

Good Man’s the ideal first child: he’s a male honeymoon baby. Go 애기 Good Man!

Thin: Clothing, A Rant
“I buy one or two pieces of clothes every season. It takes me three minutes to choose. That’s my style,” Good Man said.

And so we found ourselves looking at clothes.

Why are clothes so damn thin now? Good Man and I went to Target because he wanted a new polo shirt. We found him two polo shirts—both of which are fairly thin. I found a men’s V-neck t-shirt which I got for me (sometimes the V-necks for women are too deep—especially lately).

We went to the women’s section because I wanted a skirt and I wanted to check out the women’s shirts.

First off, dresses and skirts. The dresses were all sleeveless with spaghetti straps. Every single last one. What. The. Hell?

Second, the dresses and shirts were see-through skin-thin. Even thinner than the men’s stuff. I would like to wear a dress without showing off exactly what sort of bra and panties I’m wearing. I must be insane, I know.

Third, the skirts—ugly. Tons of ruffles, “maxi skirts” that should be cute but…too thin. Or really short skirts apparently made for easy access.

And the thin cloth thing isn’t just at Target and other cheap stores. It’s hitting the labels, too. Annoying!

I am tempted to buy some nice slips and knit myself a gored skirt. I knit a gored skirt in olive green and black several years ago. Every single time I wear it I get compliments. People complain that knit skits “cup out” at the butt, but that’s only if you make them too tight. They have to fit well in the hips, meaning they have to be loose.

Perfect: Black Cocoa Cookies
Today I had a craving for cookies, so I made some Black Cocoa Cookies. I got this recipe years ago, from a newspaper I think.

½ C butter, room temperature
2 C sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
1 T vanilla extract
2 C all-purpose flour
1 C unsweetened cocoa power
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 ½ C chopped walnuts, pecans, or hazelnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 F and lightly grease cookie sheets.

Mix butter and sugar in a bowl until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the eggs and vanilla. Mix until just combined; do not overbeat. Scrape down the sides of the bowl again and add everything else. Mix until well combined.

Place teaspoonfuls of dough onto sheet. Bake for 10 to 13 mins or until edges begin to firm up. For crisper cookies, cool on cookie sheet. For softer cookies, cool for 2 mins on sheet and then remove and cool completely. For these cookies it is especially important to cool the cookie sheet between batches!

I ended up using parchment paper for the first time ever and holy mother of cookies, what a dream come true. No greasing, they don’t spread out super thin (which is usually what happens to these cookies) and they crisped up wonderfully without overcooking. Clean up was super easy, too (which Good Man appreciated). I can’t believe this is my first time using parchment paper. I’m a convert.