Clark Griswold'ing

Korea just won't let me breathe easy until I'm there.  And even then I hear the air is pretty polluted (ba doop chhh).

I am jokey-jokey now, but this wasn't the case yesterday evening and all night.  I've had multiple Clark Griswold-esque meltdowns in the past 16 hours:

Praise Marty Moose, indeed.

After checking the tracking number online for those hard earned and patiently awaited (debatable) visa documents my recruiter was supposed to receive two days ago, I was told they were MIA.  G-o-n-e.  Never arrived, nowhere to be found.  That's something like $300 worth of documents and 4 months worth of time.  Fed Ex 24 hour service couldn't help me, nor did they seem to care that I was on the verge of suicide over it.  "That tracking number isn't in our system, we can't help you.  You'll have to contact the office you sent it from."

Since that office didn't open for 12 more hours, meltdown #1 of the evening was ignited:  Four months worth of waiting/worrying over this process imploded.  I cracked.  Tears were shed.  Ugly cry face activated.  All rationality made a quick exit out the window and dramatics entered.  Expletives everywhere.  All of this made the Fed Ex guy on the phone very uncomfortable.  So I hung up and helplessly wrote an angry email to Eagle Postal Center on Allen Street in Uptown Dallas (SO on blast) telling them to beware of my arrival the next day.  The wrath of Kate was coming.  My Clark Griswold was in full force.

Meltdown #2 occured when my recruiter reminded me (more than once) of the costs and losses the school would incur if I couldn't come to Korea.  I guess he couldn't sense that I was feeling bad enough already.  He and my boss then came up with this crazy loophole of a plan to get me to Korea anyway, re-routing me though a stint in Japan to get my visa there, then back to Korea, with Old Man Pops doing the legwork for new documents on this end in Dallas.  I mean.  Whaaat?  I don't want to go through Japan or for OMP to have to do any of this.

For lack of anything better to do but scream and pace wildly around the house, I dug through two bags of trash to find my receipt as if it was going to make any difference (it didn't).  Meltdown #3.  Then I showered because that was pretty gross.

I slept in 30 minute intervals for the rest of the night, imagining a cartoon image of my Fed Ex envelope going *poof* and trickling dust, planning my vengeance on the mailing center, wondering how to buy a gun and take this into my own hands, and asking myself all kinds of questions:  I sold my business for nothing?, I moved 20 miles north to suburbia to live with Old Man Pops for what?, Will Korea blacklist me?  Should I pick another country that doesn't require all this paperwork?  Should I just get up for breakfast now, I'm pretty hungry?

And then...!  At 5:45am, my phone blinked that trusty red 'you've got mail' light.  An email from my recruiter.  Could it be??  The package was found!  Somewhere in Korea, far from where it was supposed to be.  Korean detective work at its finest.

The God forsaken package is finally on its way now, making my '2 day priority shipping' more along the lines of '7 day stupid shipping.'  Come to find out, it has a totally different tracking number and everything is entered incorrectly (the city Incheon was spelled Ichcon), leading me to believe the guy who typed up the invoice is fully inept and the source of this whole mess.  Brace your britches, Eagle Postal Center on Allen Street in Uptown Dallas.  That wrath I emailed about is still coming. Probably with Old Man Pops in tow.  He didn't sleep either, being understandably concerned that I was going to off myself.

So, after a celebratory Skype session with my co-worker at 6am (you're welcome for that beaut of an early morning sight, new friend), I am relieved the debacle is over, though still totally mentally disturbed over the whole thing.  That was a lot of meltdown.  I am scary when I'm panicking.

I could climb a cactus with ease after this whole process.  One more month.


Happy Birthday, Old Man Pops!

Old Man Pops is *70 years old* today.  70 years old!  Here are 10 fun facts about the one and oldly (ha) Old Man Pops:

1)  OMP is SMART and knows everything.  I call OMP anytime I'm stuck on an obscure fact and he never fails to give the correct answer.  Forget Google.  We've got OMP.

2)  When asked "How are you doing today?" he'll respond with "Well, I may survive until tomorrow."  Every.  Single.  Time.

3)  OMP is a Master of Puns.  He's so damn punny and we're always getting pun-ked.

4)  OMP  has a penchant for C-rated sci-fi and martial arts movies.  Think Steven Segal.  I wish this were a joke.

5)  He is a GIANT genealogy buff and knows the history of every ancestor in our family tree (and probably yours, too).

6)  He plays Farmville on Facebook.  (I know).

7)  OMP is an incredible cook.  I may be 40 years old and still living at home just for this reason.

8)  He is frugal to the extreme and will tape the sole of his sandal together rather than buy a new one.

9)  OMP used to have a FULL gray beard.  He shaved it off when I was about 12 years old.  I didn't recognize him.  I might have screamed?

10)  When arriving to a surprise birthday dinner celebration, OMP will rock an 'Archaeology Magazine' t-shirt:

He's the greatest OMP that ever did live and I'm the luckiest that he's mine.  Happy New Decade, Old Man Pops!  Let's make it the best one yet.


A new superstition is born

"If I blog about it, it will come."

Unfortunately for Mikey, this delivery has resulted in even more song and dance, just to a new tune.


Three toed sloth stirs a superstition and tests my sanity

FACT:  The three toed sloth is the slowest animal ever.  It moves at a maximum of ten feet per minute.

FACT:  The FBI Records Requests Department works at an equivalent speed of the three toed sloth.

cute and slow


not cute and slow

Sometimes I am superstitious.  Only about a few things, and it's totally irrational, but God bless the person who tries to tell me otherwise.  For instance, I seriously believe that if I dream of something specific happening, the opposite will come true.  I know.  Crazy flag.  But really.  I cannot think of a single time I've been wrong about this.  So naturally, I am waiting for the dream about teaching in Korea at my new school in Ulsan.  It hasn't happened yet, thankfully.  Though I'm sure I just jinxed myself by putting it out into the universe and now I won't go to sleep tonight for fear of "the dream that would ruin it all."  <---see the craziness?  Someone please stop me.

All this to say I'm convinced something is going to go wrong.  I'm getting concerned about having signed for a job before my visa paperwork is in place.  I know the time frame and that I should be patient, but the FBI charged my card 2 weeks ago for my background check, so it's got to be coming soon, riiiiight?  I check the Fed Ex tracking number for my return envelope approximately 89714597 times a day.  You read that number right.  Kate = stalker.  I'm kind of losing my mind.  I can sit with my computer in my lap for hours at a time unproductively staring at all of my plans, obsessively tracking what steps are left, and generally stalking every detail about what to expect while living in Korea (read: you-tubing K-pop videos).  There just aren't enough distractions to keep me sane and patient while I wait.  I need an intervention.  Or a life.  I mean, the other day I sat and made up a song and dance dedicated to the FBI to the tune of a song from Grease to perform for Mikey.  I've never even watched that movie in full.  Mikey just stared at me with his ears back and tail tucked, probably wondering why I'm not on medicine.  I'm hoping that with FBI paperwork in hand comes regained mental stability.

Conversely, aside from my fixations and musical number, I have been somewhat productive.  I hauled my tooter to Austin this past week to get the Apostille for my certified diploma copy.  I also learned how to correctly pronounce Apostille.  It would have been a totally disastrous trip if not for my Friend of the Year who tagged along for the Day o' Fun (shoutout again, Homegrown).  Without his company and zen, the trip would have sent me over the edge for the following reasons:

1) I hit the road and noticed my oil was 900 miles overdue.  Yeegs.  Not wanting to put the trip off another few hours getting it changed, we dumped some "quality" $5 pint bottled oil into the...oil thingie.  M'bro is buying my car next month, so I'll let him deal with any ramifications from that decision (hi,bro,iloveyou).

2) I then learned the hard way that my credit card had expired three days earlier.  I still don't know where the new one is.  The Pony Express gets a failing grade for their mail forwarding.  Very luckily, Ol' Benji Franklin was nice enough to get my attention from deep inside my wallet and save the day.  But only after a kind of scary "WHAT DO YOU MEAN?" crazy person moment to/in front of/at the gas cashier person.  Apologies to the gas cashier person.

3) Thirty minutes outside of Dallas:  speeding ticket.  With an additional violation for not wearing my glasses.  I didn't know you could get a ticket for that.

4) Finally in Austin at the Secretary of State, the woman tells me my notarized copy of my diploma was done wrong.  So we wandered around downtown Austin to get it done all over again.  At a UPS store.  Because obviously they don't notarize documents at the Secretary Of State.

What I know:  hustlin' ain't easy.  Korea makes it difficult.  Just one. last. step.  Will my sanity hold up?  Three toed sloth, don't fail me now.