Day 327

Saturday | January 19th, 2013


This is a day I’ve been looking forward to all week. I will drink tonight either alone or with company. Either way is fine, but since the camp and the other extras were finished yesterday, I went ahead and made a Facebook event for drinking at my house. I also did it because Meow is in Seoul until tomorrow. I have the house to myself, plus to dogs.

I was cleaning from the time I woke up, a normalish 12.30, until around 19.00. Two things happened right at this moment:

  1. Meow called to tell me that her father cancelled, so, no, no inlaws will be returning with Meow to Gyeongju. This means that although I’ve spent my first day of vacation cleaning the entire house to retentive MIL-spec, no one will notice. (Meow will notice, but that is not even in the same ball park of same, especially since she didn’t believe that I could clean the house this well or make things this spotless, which of course pissed me right the hell off and into an argument the day before.)
  2. Naughty, left alone in my room while I went inside to fetch my phone did what he did a few weeks ago and flipped the trash can. I returned to my room to find all manner of trash strewn about and a very Naughty pug chewing on some of it with a sort of, “Oh … would you like to chew on some trash, too?”

CLeaned all day. No inlaws coming. Kimchi resupply in doubt (this is a major crisis for both parties of the Cook-Kim household). Guests coming for promised free vodka. My room is no longer pristine. Gears spin and grind.

I grabbed the Tool of Dog Threatening which is the yellow and blue flyswatter which came with the house and procede to throttle this naughty, naughty, Naughty. When I see his pretense of shame and his faux, “OMG! Don’t beat me with that terrible stick you horrible man.” look, I realize that the flyswatter, while being excellent to threaten with, sucks for actual beating. I toss it aside and throttle him with my hand a few times, he yelps, I know he gets it. That is the proper exchange: owner angry + dog understando = round of forgiveness and love.

Meow calls back before I can do anything though. She tells me that her father sent her money to get home, but instead BIL will drive her back to Gyeongju—that’s like 9 hours in the car for him—but we will get our kimchi because MIL has been making it for us in the last few days. I relay the story about Naughty, she freaks out and says she’s coming straight home because I’ve killed the dog. That takes a few more moments to sort out, no, Naughty isn’t dead, just surprised that Daddy beat, as is Twitchy who always assumed I loved him more, they are both in the corner looking at me, there is still trash all over the floor.

Meow and I get it settled. She will come back tomorrow morning with BIL and all the kimchi. This will save us both from the horror of eating Gyeongsanbuk-do kimchi (in the simplest of kimchi couture, the farther south you go, the more fish sauce in the kimchi, and in some regions and families, the whole, raw fish is put in). I will have my party. I will drink. Before I do anything I will take Naughty’s picture and send it to Meow to prove he lives (see hero image and Daily Bullet).

Once the room is sorted again, I give both dogs tons of love and take their pictures more. Naughty goes for the trash can a second (third) time and I solve this by hiding the trash can. When LG comes, we set about emptying the house of the Belvedere that was taken as partial work compensation from the CEC (who at the point of my hiring in 2008 had six cases of twelve bottles each).

Belvedere isn’t a great vodka, otherwise the employees of the CEC would have found any occasion to drink a bottle. Mostly it just sat in whatever corner we could find to keep it in to “drink sometime”. Nothing ever came of it and towards the latter end of my career there I started would gather willing participants in my office for a shot of Belvedere before parting after intensives (a twice a year event when all hagwon teachers work 10-12 hours in a day). One year, I took six bottles home around Christmas. I intended to give them as presents, but only two left my possession that way. The other four bottles remained in my care. I sometimes had a drink from one of them, but it wasn’t until we came to Gyeongju that I made a bigger point to have a cocktail after work. This finally depleted the 4th bottle and let me start in on the 3rd, then the 2nd which LG and I polished off quickly.

After we’d cracked open the Smirnoff BM gave me for my birthday, AB and his gf, M, stopped by. Naughty, made for the opening in the gate and I had to grab him quickly and he yelped again. Too much aggressive Daddy grabbing for one day. With two more drinkers in the mix I thought we’d get through the Smirnoff then onto Belvedere, Absolut, or perhaps even the Grey Goose (which Meow picked up for me at the Paris airport five years ago when we were still dating and there was no Grey Goose anywhere in Korea, not even near the US bases). Before the Smirnoff was gone, everyone had left. I thought about drinking the rest, but it was already enough of a day.

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