Well, happy Late Thanksgiving. Even if you're in America it's too late.
I haven't written in so long I decided that I will post tonight. I will write until Horyon says, "Come to bed, then I will finish the sentence I am working on, perhaps the paragraph, spell check and publish.
Yesterday was Thanksgiving, and we did the usual Westin Chosun Beach Hotel Thanksgiving Buffet with the Kyungsung University foreign faculty. It started at six, which is exactly the time Horyon got off work, so I drove yesterday. I picked Maxine up at Grandpa and Grandma's home, together with Grandpa. He had some time to ride with us and keep her company in the back seat. After dropping Grandpa off, we got to Horyon's school 20 minutes early. I was fairly proud of myself, as the traffic can get quite nasty by six.
My pride lasted about three minutes, which was, by some amazing coincidence, how long it took Maxine to get bored with sitting in her car seat in the parking lot. I moved into the back seat with her, and freed her from her restraints. I expected that like most damsels in distress she would be pleased with me, and perhaps offer me a kiss as a reward. Instead, she cheered up for about one minute, which was how long it took for her to realize that we were not getting out of the car. I offered her a tissue. It took her almost eight minutes to shred it into little pieces, some strips an inch wide, and some just big enough to grasp between her tiny thumb and finger. I allowed her to stand in the seat between me and her car seat. Less than a minute of entertainment there. I turned the dome light on and off, then left it on and waved my hand in front of it. Another fraction of a minute disposed of. The rest of the time was pretty much Maxine crying out loud to escape, and me crying in my mind to escape.
Once Horyon came out, Maxine cheered right up. Horyon showed her off to three or four coworkers who had finished an hour earlier, but waited around just to meet Maxine. Yeah, I'm living with a Diva.
Once we were on our way, Maxine remembered that she was unhappy being in the car, and started crying again. In a way this was satisfying to me, because Horyon was there and unable to make her stop crying. Sometimes Horyon has an effect on Maxine that seems almost magical, and I can't help feeling a bit jealous. Situations like this remind me that my wife is not cheating in any way, and that when she can't pull out her "magic weapons", she is sometimes reduced to my level of comfort-giving: ineffectual.
When we arrived at the hotel and got out of the car, Maxine cheered right up. We had a lovely evening. Maxine wandered around garnering compliments and a free little Teddy Bear from the hotel staff. Horyon and I took turns eating, though there were a few moments when we all ate. I had some steak, cajun chicken, Korean-style beef ribs, raw fish, boiled shrimp, olives (red, green and black, the real thing, not those pimento-stuffed martini jobs you can pick up at Safeway), crab legs, smoked salmon, fried shrimp, a dinner roll with a slice of lovely yet unidentified cheese, grilled tuna, fresh yogurt with a couple of raspberries in it, a little chocolate mouse, some pineapple, a little watermelon, and three or four glasses of wine.
The watermelon wasn't very good. Hardly surprising for November. But the wine was excellent, as was everything else on the menu.
I'm not sure what Horyon ate, but Maxine had some oo-dong (fat noodles), a crunchy bread stick, some crab soup and rice, some fruit, a few spoons of my yogurt, and whatever she picked up off the floor while we weren't looking.
This year there were no speeches, which was nice.
Horyon and I sat with Fernando and his girlfriend. Fernando is actually in the English department at Kyungsung University, whereas I am in the external affairs department. The difference between us is that he majored in English. You see, in America a degree in English is pretty much worthless, but here it gets a salary double what those of us with "useful" degrees earn. Later, Horyon and I agreed that it was a slightly strange conversation evening. I like Fernando, but he doesn't have any sense of humor that I have noticed.
I said to Horyon that I made some joke, but Fernando didn't laugh, proving that he has no sense of humor, because I am freakin' hilarious. She laughed at this, and I pointed out that she just proved my point because I made her laugh. I also pointed out that if she hadn't laughed, it would have shown that she agreed with me, also proving my point. A win-win situation for me. She pointed out that "clever" and "funny" are not always the same, but I chalked that up to sour grapes.
By the time we left, the wind was blowing and there was a bit of rain with it. When Maxine realized we were getting back in the car, she resumed her complaints, but she was sleeping within five minutes of pulling out of the hotel parking garage. Horyon drove us home, as I was not in the mood to drive with all of that wine and food in me.
I was completely stuffed, though I had only eaten two plates of food plus a little dessert plate. Last year I'm sure that it was four and one. I suppose this is good news, from a health standpoint. But from a buffet-connoisseur point of view, it was a minor disaster. I suppose that at this rate I will be satisfied with one plate of food by the time I'm forty, and by the time I'm fifty I'll be stuffed just from wandering around smelling it.
Horyon has called me, though not to bed, yet. I need to wash the baby bottles, as we will be traveling to Taegu tomorrow. For those of you not familiar with Korea, Taegu is an exotic, fun-filled paradise with many activities to amuse the mind, body and soul.
For those of you who are familiar with Korea, please don't talk to the people who aren't.