Mice advice

mice Just as I was settling down for a nice post-xmas, nerdy relaxation of watching back-to-back 24 episodes, red wine, and tax preparations, a little brown mouse darted past me from beneath our stove to under our hot pink living room couch. Eeek!! My friend Jenn actually befriend her mouse visitor, but for me, dude, it positively shatters the feeling that my apartment is a sanctuary.

What do you do? My husband asked that I look for humane traps, like a mouse motel, and while I don’t really want to pay extra for a mouse to enjoy duvet covers, I also don’t want to deal with dead little creatures. I searched for traps at my local Rite Aid. There’s a whole section for mouse solutions–mouse traps that have in Sspanish Mata ratones all over the packaging, there are gigantic blocks of mysterious green material that mice apparently nibble on and then just die. My husband, Buddhist that he is, cannot abide by ending a mouse life. Me? I can’t either, for entirely different reasons. Not for any motivation as lovely and profound as the transmigration of souls, but simply because I am squeamish. I can’t really bear to even kill bugs for this reason, so I’m cool with David politely escorting cockroaches out of our apartment without smooching them into squashed afterthoughts. (Eeeew. Even imagining this gives me the heebie jeebies. Do you see why I’m okay with a lack of nature in my life?) I shouldn’t have told my mouse tale to my parents, who react to my once-in-a-while coughs as a sign of like threatening illness, but things have been slow and they need something to fret about.

Please little mouse, just go hang out somewhere else.

I heart Koreans!

Koreans at the Olympics

Here’s a joke I heard at my 10th year college reunion:

So Will Smith and Tupac walk into a Korean restaurant. (Tupac–just so you know how old this joke is.) When the waitress comes over, Tupac says “I’ll have rice, kim-chi, and bul-go-gi.” Will orders “rice and kimchi.” When the waitress walks away, Tupac leans over to Will, whispering so as not to embarrass him, and says, “Will, you can’t just order rice and kim chi. You have to order rice and kim chi and something else, like I order rice and kimchi and bul-go-gi.” Will, in his normal confident stance, just smiled and sat back. “Don’t worry, Tupac,” he says, “I’m getting jigue with it.”

Jigue, for peeps who don’t know, is a Korean dish. My cousin Aimee stared at me with a straight face after I reported this one to her, as I started to fall off my chair, but I love this joke!!! She has certain paramaters with jokes–like they have to be really funny or something, in order to laugh. Me? Low standards baby! Especially if I’m telling them.


James Kim

Kim and kids So Monday night, I was all set to make my triumphant return to the gym (had been sick for a week), and decided to do one of my senior citizen routines, which entails like a walking machine and watching TV (I don’t think many calories are burned, but hey, I’m out there). I had been dimly aware of this story about a family stranded in the snowy woods, but saw the detailed beginning to end details according Paula Zahn. I’m sure you know the story — this family of four driving from Seattle back home to San Francisco after Thanksgiving took a short cut and ended up getting snowed in. After seven days, the father, 35-year-old James Kim, decides to try to get help. The mother and two girls are rescued, but James is missing for another two days.

You see this kind of story, I feel like, once a year, so you get numb to it. People lose people. It happens all the time, but for some reason, I feel devastated they didn’t find him in time. I thought they would. I don’t know if I related more to it because the guy is Korean, b/c the couple is my age, b/c his wife has a really cool haircut, b/c the kids are pleasantly pudgy-cheeked, b/c they seem like an adorable family or what, but I get upset when I think about it.

What gets me are particular details, the disappointment of search and rescue team–how the Sheriff Anderson of Josephine County abruptly walked away mid-sentence from the camera after he announced they found his body.

I think about the tremendous, powerful expression of James’s father’s love. This dude wanted to find him. He hired his own helicopter to search for his son, he arranged for care packages including clothing, food, and letters from family to be dropped from the sky, to give him hope that they would find him soon. And while all this was going on, this media frenzy, and his family working hard, James was wandering in the woods, actually slogging through cold water. Who knows what he was thinking. I can’t believe it didn’t work. I’m so disappointed. It should’ve worked.

Anyway, if you want to donate money, you can go to www.jamesandkati.com. (Yes, I am obsessive.) There are a lot of blog chats about pros and cons of James’ logic to get out of there, but I really don’t care about that part. I guess if I wanted to walk away with something positive about this situation there are a few things. I was heartened to see all these non-Koreans rally around this guy and not see race as a barrier (yay!) and I think it’s uniquely American when people pull out all stops to save one person. Remember Clinton with that teenage kid about to get his bum whipped in Singapore? Perhaps some would see us indulgent or impractical, but I choose to believe it’s because Americans care about each other.

God and Football

turkeyWe recently spent Thanksgiving in Kentucky with my in-laws. My in-laws, lovely people, are very Christian, so I try to clean up my language the week before. I already know, I shouldn’t say “God” or “Jesus” in casual conversation, and that I probably shouldn’t say “Sweet cheeses” either, but no matter how conscientious I am, something else pops out of my mouth that normally doesn’t. When my sister-in-law asked if it was okay that I watch her daughter (b/c Heather’s four and a turbo-force) I said “Sure, it’ll be baptism by fire.” Or when I woke up before 10 a.m. one day, I greeted everyone “I’m awake! It’s a miracle!” Are these no-no words? I don’t know. We have such starkly different beliefs, we really tip toe around that stuff.

It’s a different part of the country, people, from New York City, I mean. Creationism is a hot topic in the front page of the paper. Northern Kentucky U. just formed “NKU Students Against National Coming Day,” etc. It’s sort of like visiting the set of “Footloose.” No drinking, no cursing, no evolution, no taking the Lord’s name in vain, no dancing. I actually don’t mind those things, and though I think the creationism vs. evolution discussion is sad, I actually NEVER talk about evolution in my daily life, but no DANCING??? How do people decompress without wiggling their bums around the living room? And football–sports seems to be something that everyone is obsessed with in KY (well, everywhere really, but NYC, you can still watch Bette Davis flicks in theaters at least). While I happily eat hotdogs and drink beers at Mets games, I don’t actually pay attention to the event at hand. To do so reminds me of studying for the LSATs–I could get a handle on it, but it takes effort and doesn’t come naturally.

Still, it was maybe my sixth time down in the “land of sacred hunting ground,” as my husband calls it, and every time, I get more comfortable with his family. David’s sister is the best hostess. She makes sure there’s plenty for us to eat, so we snack every 30 minutes (yes!). She does our laundry, lets us do our laundry before we leave. She lets us sleep for hours. We get to recuperate from NYC life under her roof. The other thing about Kentucky is that it’s beautiful–lots of rolling hills and all that. In Louisville, there are exquisite parks designed by the same dude who did Central Park, but what I realized on this trip is that I really don’t need nature. I’m okay with concrete. I like the sidewalks of New York. Instead of trees and hills, we get to gaze at the landscape of buildings and skyline. This causes my poor husband great consternation for a number of reasons I won’t get into right now. He would like to live in Kentucky again one day is one reason, and while I enjoy our visits, I could never be happy there. It’s not just that the state has a microscopic population of Asians. It’s also because when I visit, I feel like a minority in terms of how I dress, how I think, what I like to do, eat, and see. Poor guy.