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Sunday, April 12, 2015

Sack Family Update

Spring has pretty much sprung, and the cherry blossoms are now mostly gone.  I did take a few photos, but this one of Maxine is the only one worth including.
"Don't take the picture while my mouth is open."
"Not possible."
Maxine was a bit upset that we didn't take a family picture with these beautiful blossoms in the background.  For her they still happen only once a year.  For me they happen every year.  Funny how the same interval can feel so different.

Maxine is in fourth grade now.  Which, by the way, just doesn't seem possible to me.  She sometimes has some big assignments to do.  Last weekend her teacher had the students figure out how much money they had spent, then count out one grain of rice for each won (the Korean currency, about the same as a penny) and bring it to class.
1,472, 1473, 1,744...  What?  DON'T TALK TO ME!
Horyon suggested that I could do that while she took care of Quinten.  I told her that I would figure out the best way to cheat, so let's think carefully about who is doing the helping on this one.  She spent almost 11,000 won that week, which was an exceptionally high amount.  I still need to ask her how the class went, because I didn't hear back about it.

As much as I like Maxine's school, they occasionally do things like this which make me cringe just a little.  Horyon explained that this was to help them understand the value of the money they spend.  I get that.  Not sure how this is better than just keeping track of what they spend and on what, but that's okay.  She also said that it is to help build number awareness.  I think that the two of them spent a total of three hours on this project.  To me, the time would have been better spent working on estimation, weighing, and figuring out real world ways to get around measuring rice grain by grain.

In the mean time, Quinten acquired three plastic discs (he calls them medals) that are accessories for a freakishly expensive Japanese toy that you wear on your wrist like a watch.  When you insert a disc, it makes a different noise.  The discs cost 1,000 won (a dollar) apiece, and the watch thing costs 60,000 won (conversion left to the reader as a math exercise).  Fortunately, Quinten has not asked for the watch thing.  He bought one disc, and the store keeper gave him two more.  A few days later he invented The Medal Game:  you flick your disc into your opponents disc.  If you knock it off, you get a point.  If they both fall off, it's a draw.  If they both stay on, your opponent gets to flick their disc into yours.  It is surprisingly similar to Carrom, which I first saw in Nepal.
Quinten consistently beat Horyon, but I totally beat him on this one.
 Speaking of Quinten obsessions, have I mentioned that we have a stag beetle?  It is Quinten's pet.  It will teach him a valuable lesson about death some day, just like the two beetles before it did.  But first it will scurry around, eat bug jelly, and be gross for a while.  I believe it's name is "Stag", in the same way that Maxine's turtle is called, "Turtle."  We are just not that good at naming pets in our family.
As if my existence weren't disturbing enough, I'm going to walk on my food.  Yum.
So the last few weeks have been rough.  Maxine and Quinten each spent time in the hospital (read about it here), and Horyon and I have both been fighting off low-level colds.  Friday mornings are usually free for me, so I clean up the kitchen to get a running start on the weekend.  This week I had an event at Maxine's school, so I couldn't catch up on my sleep or clean up.  Horyon was at school until after nine, so I decided that we would not eat at home.  Maxine and I discussed our options, and ended up at Pizza Mall in front of Kyungsung University.  Pizza Mall is a buffet featuring eight kinds of pizza, spaghetti, clams, fried rice, cream of mushroom soup, a decent salad bar, and a dessert bar with ice cream.  The kids were about $5 and $7, and I was $13, making for a very affordable dinner.  Even though it was Friday night at 6:30, we only had to wait about 5 minutes to be seated.
Pizza?  What pizza?  All gone already!
We enjoyed our dinner, then walked home.  On the way we had a small adventure, stopping to take pictures on a rock by the huge intersection in our neighborhood.  We tried for one of those jumping pictures, but my phone camera wasn't up to the low light levels.
A rare moment of cooperation.
Later we got off of the main street, away from the traffic.  We stopped at my favorite bakery, and Quinten was thrilled to find a store that sells skeletons.  Well, one skeleton, anyway.  He spotted it from the street and dragged us in, demanding to have his picture taken with it.
BFFs, no fibula!
I considered buying it, but it costs about $2,000.  That seems kind of steep to me, especially since it has never been inside someone's body (I asked.  I had to!)  Quinten will have to settle for his book about skeletons.

So if any of you have any skeletons in your closet that you are willing to share, let me know.

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A Brief Introduction

Roblog is my writing lab. It is my goal to not let seven days pass without a new post. I welcome your criticism, as I cannot improve on my own.

Here is a link to my cung post, which remains the only word which I have ever invented, and which has not, as far as I know, caught on. Yet.