Just Two Frames!

Good Manism: Squirrel! Time to get up. Time to eat chestnut.

Reality: We were going to our bowling league.

Figure that that connection, folks.


Good Man and I were first place in our league for several weeks (eight or even ten?), but finally we’ve fallen to third place.

There are only eleven teams in our league, so if you’re up against team eight, you actually draw a number and virtually bowl against that team for points. (The drawn team will not win or lose points in the game, only the team going against team eight.)

We’ve been doing really poorly lately, and started off with both of us getting sub-100 games. But we got better as the night went on.

On the third game, I started with a strike. Then a spare. Then a strike.

Good Man looked at me. “What are you doing?”

“I don’t know. But I don’t think we should talk about it.”

On the fourth frame I got a spare. On the fifth frame, I got a strike. The people playing next to us started paying attention.

On the sixth frame, I got an 8, and couldn’t pick up the spare.

I figured the game would finally turn normal, but on frame seven, I got another strike. And a spare. And a strike.

Finally, on the tenth frame, I got a split 8. Ugh. And…I failed to pick up any pins. The people next to us groaned and I did, too.

But! I ended up with a 172, which is my highest score ever.

Since my first two games were eh, I didn’t end up with a 400 series, but I’m really excited to have a new best score!

Run for Wounded Warriors

Yesterday morning, Good Man and I woke up early (way too early) to do a 4.7-mile run around Burke Lake. The run benefited the Wounded Warrior Project, which helped my brother out when he was injured in Afghanistan.

I sent Good Man all of the info beforehand, and he approved of it, but I don’t think he actually read anything…

“Are some people running?”

“Most people are running,” I said, “but they’re walker-friendly. I emailed and checked.”

“So why are we here?” he asked.

It was early, and it was cold. I thought for a moment. Good question, Good Man. Finally I said, “Because we can either walk around our neighborhood or walk somewhere new and help a good cause.”

“OK, that makes sense.”

It was our first visit to the lake, and it was a nice little loop, albeit a bit muddy and cool. As we got to the finish line, the volunteers screamed, “Yeah!! Come on walkers, you can do it!”

Um, yeah, just because we’re not running doesn’t mean we can’t handle a 4.7 mile walk.

The Problem and Solution Skirt

Problem and Solution Skirt

This whole skirt was one problem/solution after another.

Problem: Sometime before 2006 I bought white, narrow-wale corduroy fabric. It sat in my stash in Atlanta, in Minnesota, and in Virginia.

Solution: Dye it a nice, autumnal wine color.

Problem: Although I wet the fabric completely, the dye pot was too small and the fabric dyed unevenly.

Solution: Make a gored skirt.

Problem: I don’t have a pattern.

Solution: Make a half-circle skirt in four panels to account for the unevenness of the fabric.

Problem: I don’t have enough fabric.

Solution: Do eight panels.

Problem: I can only do eight panels if I flip the pattern over and that makes the pattern pieces run in opposite nap directions.

Solution: Alternate naps in each panel, then any light differences will be intentional looking.

Problem: I sewed four pairs together, and then sewed two of those pairs together and now the down-nap is against the down-nap.

Solution: Make the nap alternate two by two and make sure to put the back zipper between two down-naps for better butt wear.

Problem: I did this and topstitched the seams, and some of the fabric didn’t get caught in the top stitching and I didn’t pink it beforehand.

Solution: Just tack the fabric down to the other seam with a blanket stitch.

Problem: Good idea, I’ll do that later. I need to insert my zipper and I always have a weird method for invisible zippers and no matter how much I iron, I can’t get my zipper to turn out.

Solution: Your method works, even if you have to stitch multiple times. The stitching will show on the wrong side, not right, so stitch it and move on.

Problem: I put in the zipper and discovered this skirt is one full panel too big for my waist. And I’ve already topstitching the seams and don’t want to rip stitches. In corduroy. Which I’ve never worked with before.

Solution: Baste and pull it up under the waistband.

Problem: Ah, yes, the waistband. I don’t have enough fabric to cut bias strips for a waistband.

Solution: Cut four pieces, line up the seams with every other gore, and move on with your life.

Problem: Great idea, but since one edge of each piece was bias, my hem is completely uneven.

Solution: You cut it long for a reason. Hang it up for a week, then use your chalk marker to do the hem.

Problem: The chalk marker keeps giving me different readings and now I’ve cut and I’m afraid I’m going to keep cutting and it’s going to be like a bad haircut—too short.

Solution: Fold the skirt on the center front and center back seam, and make sure the hems line up. Cut, and get over it if the hem isn’t perfect.

Problem: It worked! I have no more problems. Now what am I going to worry about?

Solution: Start sewing something else.


I finished this skirt last night (except for tacking down parts of the seams, which I’ll do later) and I wore it to work today. I got a dozen adult compliments and a half-dozen kid “compliments,” which tells me it’s a win.

Several people asked me where I bought the skirt. I told them I made it and they were rather surprised. When I explained that I did the gores to make up for the uneven dying, they told me they thought I bought it dyed that way.

I solved the white corduroy purchase mistake. I sewed on corduroy for the first time. I drafted a pattern for the first time. I’m pleased.

Problem and Solution Skirt
Why am I standing pigeon-toed? Don’t know.

Burger Time. Writing Time. Cathartic Time.

I forgot how much I hate the standard school-year calendar.

I might just spend most of my weekend perfecting my Burger Time game.

Mark told me he wanted me to do NaNoWriMo with him. I’m 1,000 words from reaching goal. I’ve been a rebel—I’m doing a slightly fictionalized memoir of my time in Korea.

The whole idea of writing a memoir about my time in Korea is entirely for me and I never want anyone else to see it, but writing about what Heidi did in Hong Kong was by far one of the most cathartic writing experiences in my life.

Meeting YJ, New Hanbok Shoes, 155 Grams! The Last Soju Meeting with Master

Tuesday was another whirlwind of activity. I’m so glad that Korea grants a visa extension until your plan leaves (up to 30 days I think) because I needed this time to get my life and my head in order.

Good Man and I met YJ, my language exchange partner (whom I haven’t seen in a Very Long Time) for lunch Tuesday. Although we haven’t met much recently, and I don’t write about her here much, I’m going to miss her. We get a long well, and she’s taught me a lot of Korean.

After lunch, Good Man and I headed off to Kyobo, where I picked up the rest of the Sogang series. I’m currently on 3A (and stagnating, because I just haven’t had time to focus!) but picked up all the books through 5B to study in the States. I also picked up some bilingual poetry books even though Good Man warned that the translations would be weird. I understand enough Korean to see how the structure is different, and I want to read some bilingual books.

We then headed back to the hanbok market, as I needed higher shoes because the hem hits the floor. Our hanbok guy was fantastic, and gave us the shoes as service. He also helped up choose a hairstick. Now I have everything I ever need to wear a hanbok!

Hanbok Hairstick and Shoes

Then we headed back to Jen’s to pack another box to mail home (I have collected so many books here!). We went to the post office and the box was 155 grams over the 20 kg limit, so we had to unpack it. In the meantime, the security guard was getting some free English translation service out of Good Man and I, which I think was worth a 155 grams. Oh well, I know they have to do their jobs. Note to anyone: don’t go over that 20 kg limit in any way, shape, or form. I blame the amount of packing tape we used.

Finally, all of our general errands for the day done, we headed down to Gwangmyeong to meet Master for one last dinner.

As soon as I walked in the door, I started crying. Good Man told me I have “too much jeong.” I laughed. Maybe he’s right.

Master gave me my second dan certificate and card, nicely framed. Because I have to find a new studio, he didn’t have a second degree belt made, which is fine. Master’s Mother or his Wife’s Mother (I suspect the latter) made me a lovely box with traditional Korean paper. It’s so pretty.

Handmade Box

Master and Good Man were talking and I was just sitting there, tears streaming down my face. ㅠㅠ Master said that you cry when things end, but we are not ending. Still, I was crying.


Master called the boys down from the studio and made them stand for a photo and bow out to me. I said something like, “Thanks Little Brothers and Sisters,” but they didn’t understand. I didn’t expect them too.

Taekwondo Studiomates

Master’s family, Sabumnim the Man, Sabumnim-in-Training (one of Master’s first students), Good Man and I went out for 닭갈비. We went to the nearby dalk kalbi joint, whose owners are the parent of one of our younger students.

Sabumnim-in-Training and Sabumnim the Man

Master’s Son

Master’s Son
In the last month he’s grown and lot and his legs and arms are now so lean.

Dinner was great, and I was able to keep most of my tears at bay. Sabumnim the Man asked how Good Man and I met. I told him and started describing our first date (I’m getting very good at doing that in Korean). Sabumnim the Man and Master were laughing and Good Man was just grinning. Then Master said something in Korean about how I had a crush on Good Man when he wrote my name in Hanja.

I’m so glad I was listening to Master, because I piped up, “아니요. 다른 사람이에요.” No, that was someone else.

Master looked shocked and a bit embarrassed and apologized several times while everybody else laughed. I thought it was rather funny, and Good Man was teasing me. “Who’s he?”

“아니요. 다른 사람이에요.”

I also asked how NewSabumnim was doing after her teaching stint in China. Master said something about how we became friends and I started going off about how much I hated her when I met her. Master’s Wife and Sabumnim the Man were laughing and then Master handed me the phone. It was NewSabumnim!

Sleeping Beauty

Master’s Daughter was so tired she slept through the entire dinner.

After getting drunk (취하다) on soju, we left just in time to catch the last train. Master tried to bow me out, but I was crying too hard.

It’s not over, but it’s different, and I’m really going to miss them. Master especially, of course.

Master and Amanda
Master made me lean forward while he leaned back, because apparently his head is too big.

Next Up…My Mind

Sunday (I think), I lost a hand-knit glove.

Yesterday I managed to leave my fantastic, awesome wool fliptops that I’ve had for more than 10 years on the bus. Both of them.

Today I lost 50,000 won. And I semi-lost my socks.

I may start crying soon.

A Host of Questions

One of the things I wrote about for 100 Words was finding pieces of lovers in your house. The good and the bad. A mislaid sock, a photo you thought you’d already destroyed.

Tonight I was picking up my house.

I just found four pieces of paper on the floor, in a stack, folded in half.

They were print outs of emails to a friend, written 9/21/2004 and 12/01/2004. We wrote each other all the time, so the 10 week spread was odd.

I read them, curious. They were about a long, long gone lover.

I certainly don’t have those emails in my inbox anymore and haven’t had them for years. I also don’t have a printer here.

I was very confused. I searched the papers, thinking perhaps I’d written notes on them. Nothing.

Since these were written, I’ve moved once in Atlanta, once from Atlanta to Minnesota, once from Minnesota to South Korea. In South Korea I have moved three times.

This raised a host of questions. What was so special about those two unconnected dates? Where did they come from? How did they get here? Why were they on my floor?

And why did I date him for as long as I did?

So very, very strange.