Cheering for Dismemberment

I’m reading Half Magic (an amazing book by an author to deserves to be more well-known than he is) to my class. When I got to the part where the Black Knight cut the Red Knight’s head off, the class laughed.

When I got to the part where the Green Knight cut the tip of the Black Knight’s nose off, the class howled.

When I got to the part where the Green and Black Knights cut the head of the other off at the same moment? The class cheered.

And when their lifeless bodies slumped on the floor a few moments after their heads rolled onto the floor? Well, it was a near riot.

One of my admins popped her head in, “I love how excited your class is about reading, Ms!”

I smiled, “Me, too!”

When she left, I flipped to the back cover. “Ages 8 and up.” I breathed a sigh of relief. I was covered.

(The knights end up putting themselves back together from the pieces on the floor. My kids’ eyes lit up at that. One looked at the cover, “But Ms, they said his head was cut off and then his body fell over, so how come on the cover, he’s cut off at the waist?” Awesome attention to detail, kid.)

Ajumma Trick

“How long will dinner take?”

I smiled, “It’d go faster if you helped me.”

Good Man nodded, “OK, what will we make?”

And that, ladies and gents, is how Good Man learned how to make steamed green beans, a very simple potato salad, and biscuit dough. He used the dough to make pigs in a blanket and cinnamon crescent rolls.

I thought teaching him four things in a short period was a pretty slick Ajumma Trick.

Learning How to Make Biscuit Dough

Enjoying Dinner

Good Man did not “get” the idea of pigs in a blanket, but he enjoyed eating them. “The idea is stupid, but it is delicious!”

A True Korean Book

At the beginning of the year, I got rid of more than 100 books. My shelves had been bulging and it was time to admit that I just wouldn’t (re)read some things.

I was trying to declutter. In the meantime, apparently the county libraries were doing the same. I kept receiving Korean book after Korean book from a co-worker’s daughter. Wonderful! Such a great resource!

(A few weeks ago Diana said, “Amanda, if you don’t mind, Min Gi’s going to borrow some books from your Korean library.” I didn’t mind, of course. Diana laughed and said, “The funny thing is, it is your Korean library, not [Good Man]’s.” Damn straight.)

One of the books I’m reading right now is a fairly easy book, 난 이제 꼬마가 아니야 (I’m Not a Kid Anymore).

The book is Very Korean. Grandmother lives with the family and dreams about a baby—with a pepper!—riding on a dragon. So they name the baby boy 미르, which is apparently the very unknown pure Korean word for “dragon.”

One chapter is titled “Mother and Father Get in a Fight.” In the chapter, Father comes home at midnight. He’s had a lot to drink at a waysik and Mother is pissed! Hmm, I seem to recall having more than one argument like that.

Furthermore, Father goes to the bathroom and falls asleep in the bathtub! When I read that, I couldn’t stop laughing because Good Man did something very similar once.

I handed the book to Good Man. I didn’t tell him why I was giving him the book. “Read.”

He was as amused as I was.

He handed me the book and said, “Yes, it is very Korean.”

“If anyone gets killed in the last chapter, I’m giving up on your Koreans forever!”

Kimchi, Ajumma

“Amanda Ajumma!” Halaboji called out as he entered my room. We have two Korean custodians at my school. They share the same family name but are fairly different ages, so I call one Mr. Ajosshi and the other Mr. Halaboji.

“네! 안녕하세요!” Yes, hello!

“I bring you gift,” he said, hanging me a box of Korean strawberry/chocolate/cracker treats. “My wife usually cooks, but you made such good kimchi she worries. She thinks you are good cook, so she tells me to buy you food!”

I laughed, “I’m glad you liked the kimchi, sir.”

“Look! I bring you the jar back! It’s empty! We already ate all of the kimchi. You make very good kimchi, ajumma!”

Finding Money in the Dark

On the subway this weekend I watched a dime, or perhaps a nickel, fall out of a dress pocket when the man wearing the dress stood up.

“He just dropped a coin. A silver coin. It’s taking all of my self-control not to pick it up,” I told Good Man.

“Don’t pick things up from the subway floor,” he replied, “American subways are very dirty.”

I do wonder why they use orange, ugly carpeting. Why not make the floors mop-friendly?


Later, walking to Mark’s house, I stopped for a moment. I stooped over and popped back up, triumphantly holding a penny in my hand. “Found a penny!”

“In the dark! How do you find money in the dark?” Good Man shook his head, “I think you were money collector in a past life, you always find money.”