Dojang Chins: A Moment in Korea

At Grandmother’s house, the night of the jaesa (ceremony honoring the death of Good Man’s Grandfather), I slept on a “health pillow.” This health pillow was filled with short straws. When I woke up in the morning, I had a dark, honeycomb-like bruise on my chin.

I joked that it looked like I’d used a Korean name stamp (dojang) on my chin. A name stamp is a stamp that acts like a legal signature in Korea. It has your name on it in pure Korean or in Chinese characters. You always use red ink with a dojang.

Several days later, it was still there. While out with Master, he asked what it was. Good Man explained for me since I didn’t have the vocabulary, but Master’s Daughter didn’t understand. She leaned over onto my lap and poked my chin.

“아만다, 뭐예요?” Amanda, what is that?

I smiled, “도장 찍었어.” I stamped a name stamp on my chin. I started stamping my chin.

Master’s Daughter’s eyes lit up and she started stamping her own chin. “찍어요! 찍어요!”

Stamp, Stamp

찍어요! 찍어요!

Behold, Age-Restricted Items in Vending Machines

We stepped off the plane in Minneapolis. Good Man looked around. “This looks like the airport in Denmark,” he said. Most of the employees at National were Latino. In Atlanta, African-American. In Minnesota, white.

“It’s true. Lots of Nordic blood here. Look!” I pointed to a vending machine, “You can buy iPods in a vending machine!”

“So strange,” said Good Man.

“Behold! Age-restricted items in vending machines!” I said, gesturing to a machine selling Minnesota scratch-off lottery tickets. “Give me five bucks.”

“What is this?”

I fed the money into the machine and looked for interesting looking cards. “You’ll see,” I said, punching “Fortune Cookie,” “Meat Raffle,” and “Heart of Gold.” I muttered to myself, “‘Meat Raffle,’ if that isn’t Minnesotan…”

I showed Good Man how to scratch off the tickets and match the numbers. We won $2 on Heart of Gold. 1:10 chance of that.

On Friday, on our trip to the Northern Shore, we traded in the ticket for another one. I was figuring we’d just play with the $5 we spent until we lost. No big deal. Just harmless fun.

We won another $2. (1:100 chance of getting two $2 winners in a row.)

On the way back to my parents’ house, we traded it in for another Heart of Gold ticket.

You get two winning numbers and scratch off ten more. If any of the ten numbers match either of the two winning numbers, you win the prize shown. My numbers were 5 and 24. I scratched of a 5. Oooh, $5! I uncovered a 24. Ooh! Another $5. I uncovered the entire card, which was covered in 5s and 24s for $5 each.

I showed the card to my mom, who had been teasing me about wasting money. She did the math.

I showed it to George. He did the math.

I showed it to Good Man.

I looked up the odds. 1:600 of winning $50. (1:60,000 chance of getting two $2 tickets and a $50 ticket. Someone correct me if my math is wrong.)

“OK,” I said to Good Man, “we’re done now.”

Saturday, after practicing driving for 90 minutes, we stopped at a gas station to hand control of the car over to Mom. Good Man cashed in the ticket.

“Oh, that’s a big winner, you know,” the attendant said.

Watching a Lamb Get Pulled Out of an Ewe

We were supposed to go to Duluth today to show Good Man the North Shore, but one of the ewes, Jelly Bean, went into labor.

It’s a good thing we stayed home because Jelly Bean’s first lamb was stuck with its front hooves pointed the wrong way. It was the first time they’d dealt with that. Mom actually pushed the lamb back into Jelly Bean to try and give it a chance to rearrange itself.

Didn’t work.

So George held Jelly Bean’s head, Mom gloved up, reached in and managed to free one hoof and then helped the rest of the lamb out. I lubed up Mom’s hands and took photos. (I never thought Mom would be asking me to help her lube up her hands.)

Second lamb came out the right way, hooves right under its chin.

Miracle of life was neat to watch, but holy kimchi, that’s just one more thing that makes me sure I don’t want kids…

Photos will be up when I can process the RAW images in LightRoom. Stay tuned!