Category Archives: Friends

LuLu for Governor

Yesterday I got to visit the Wisconsin State Capital with my friend Ginnie and her kids. 4-year-old Louisa loved the place. We suspect she thought it was a palace. 

As I watched her, I imagined her years later, all grown up and governor of the state. Wanting to instill such a vision, I said: “You know, Louisa, someday you can work here!”

Louisa looked quite pleased and puffed up her chest. “Yes,” she said matter-of-factly. “I will work here when I am 5.” 

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Further Adventures With Kathy

Besides the adventure at Barnes and Noble, Kathy and I ran into an inordinate number of adventures on Wednesday. Perhaps I need to take the occasional half day from work more often. Or hang out with Kathy more. 

It started with the ice cream truck. I have not seen an ice cream truck since maybe grade school. But all of a sudden we heard the tinkling of music and the truck not only pulled into my apartment complex parking lot, it put on the breaks and turned off the engine as though it intended to stay for a while. Obviously, we needed to go buy some ice cream! ‘How handy,’ I thought. ‘A blog post for tomorrow! Only think, they still have ice cream trucks.’  

Then we went and painted pottery. A group of inner-city high schoolers, chaperoned by several weary looking adults, apparently rented the party room that day. They liked Very Loud Music. The owner of the pottery store kept walking around tut-tutting and asking if anyone very much minded the music. She would tell to turn it off immediately if we did. But it made them so happy…

So of course we said we did not mind. 

The students left and a very skinny man with a very large Adam’s apple came in. He was working on a coaster. A very, very detailed coaster. Apparently he came to the shop semi-regularly to work on it. A woman joined him a few minutes later. She walked around, decided nothing caught her fancy, and started cutting up square for a quilt. 

Minus the music, it quickly became painfully impossible not to listen to our neighbors’ conversation. And was there much to listen to! The woman carefully asked the man about his job (he nearly lost it recently and now one mistake could get him fired), his mental health (determined not to commit suicide, meeting with his counselor weekly, getting a new counselor, in fact, because old one retiring), and his social life outside of work (nil). We learned a great deal about him. It was almost embarrassing. Every now and then Kathy would say something to me so we could have our own murmured conversation and hopefully remind them of our existence. It did not work. 

We then had our Barnes and Noble excursion. But the adventures did not end. Going back, we got turned around and the GPS sent us on back roads. 

Now, I must blame the atmospheric thriller I am currently reading. It created a spooky atmosphere in my imagination. Madison did the rest. I thought I knew Madison fairly well. Turns out, I do not. We passed cemeteries and accidentally drove into a spooky arboretum and got turned into fancy subdivisions that looked like they belonged in rural, suburban neighborhoods. At one point, the hard, bright lights of a car shone behind us and instead of feeling glad we were not alone, I felt my nerves kick into gear. “This is the point,” I told Kathy, “where our car breaks down and that person murders us.”

But we did not. In fact, we made it to my apartment without much hassle. We then decided on a movie and went to the local Pick N Save for a Redbox movie. 

Even this did not go quite normally. Mind you, it is 9:30 pm at night and pitch black out. A lady with a sleeping child sat outside the store singing loudly as if to drown out the pop music. She smiled and by the time we left had gathered a small crowd. (Actually, they might have been with her and had no choice but to listen. Hard to say.)

The store smelled like dog food. We got Isn’t It Romantic because, duh, that’s my new favorite movie and if you haven’t seen it yet I will make you watch it. 

And so we did. 


Coming Over

Having waited a polite week or two, some friends have started hinting about coming over to see the new apartment.

Here’s the thing. I still only have books unpacked. I mean, they’re what is really important, right? But even I know that when someone comes over they should be able to see the floor. Probably.

Having ascertained my reluctance to host, friends then offer to help unpack. But this still puzzles me. Unpacking is boring. Organizing is awful. Why would I force anyone else into the misery?!

Of course, they don’t find it miserable. But it is. Oh, it is.


Moving Day

Today was moving day! Or, moving night, technically. Evening.

It didn’t get off to a great start.

My Dad drove my van and it died on the way to Madison. That left me with only one minivan. Traffic was terrible. I meant to pick up pizza before my friends arrived to help me move but couldn’t get to that part of town and back to unlock my apartment in time. 

Everyone ended getting caught up in traffic so we didn’t actually start moving till 7. It took about 2 hours to get everything moved. It took about 10 minutes for my mood to go from Stressed to Joyful. 

My friends were awesome. I’m so grateful for their flexibility and kindness. They rolled with everything and quickly had me laughing. I’m looking forward to being back around them! 


Hello Kitty House and Songkran

The Songkran festival is the Buddhist New Year and everyone goes around spraying everyone else with water. My friend flew in to visit and it coincided with the last day of the festival. The good news? She got to experience all the joys of being splashed with water wherever she went. The bad news? Almost all the themed cafes she wanted to visit were closed for the holiday. (RIP Mermaid Cafe)

Thankfully, the Hello Kitty House did not disappoint! It was…quite an experience. I am not anti-girly girl. Far from it. But even I started feeling vaguely ill after spending more than five minutes around all that pink. (Actually, it might also have been a reaction to how sugary everything was.) 

It was an experience. 

But if Hello Kitty is your friend’s thing, you go to the Hello Kitty themed cafe!


Kaylie Comes To Thailand

Meet Kaylie. 

Image may contain: Kaylie Staggs and Amy Buchmeyer, people smiling, sky, mountain, cloud, sunglasses, hat, outdoor, nature, closeup and water

She is my supppppeeeerrrrr awesome friend who traveled all the way to Thailand to visit me! 

We’ve been friends since our freshman year of college when we discovered we were the only two Midwesterners on our floor–and basically in our entire graduating class. (Michigan and Wisconsin!)  

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I stood up in wedding last year. (Of which there is almost no photographic evidence??)

And she in turn came to visit me this past month! We spent a day in Bangkok enjoying the Songkran Festival and then flew to Krabi. It was gorgeous. 

Prepare for lots of amazing photos. 

I had the most amazing time playing tourist and I’m so grateful for a friend willing and able to drop everything and join me! It was a little taste of home to get me through my remaining weeks here in Thailand. 


A Dream Come True

For as much as I hate on group projects, 7 years ago a group project basically changed my life

As a sophomore in college, I took Personality Theory (unfortunately, a class covering actual psychological theories and not personality tests like I thought.) The professor required group presentations and after we finished studying, my two group members asked if I wanted to stay and join them for, “a Korean soap opera.” 

And, oh, my life has never been the same since. 

We started with Dream High 2 but did not make it very far. 

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Korean dramas usually range from 16-20 one hour episodes. They are one season. After studying together, we would sit on someone’s bed and watch an episode. After giving up on Dream High 2, we switched to Personal Taste (the first drama I ever finished.) 

I remember vividly one scene where we squealed so loudly an RA came into check on us. (And by we, I probably mean me.) 

Meanwhile I started watching Boys Over Flowers on my own. I basically spent the entire Thanksgiving break that year binge watching.

And after that there was no going back. I became obsessed with Korean dramas!

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And I remain obsessed. 

Meanwhile, I began to get everyone around me into Korean drams. My sisters in turn discovered K Pop and quickly got me addicted! 

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Of course, you cannot watch a show about another culture without becoming obsessed with the food. I now consider kimchi more important than dairy. (And I love dairy.)

As for bulgogi, bibimbap, and tteokbokki…my mouth waters just thinking about them. Korean food went from a nonentity in my life to a dietary staple. 

All this to say, for the past 7 years Korea has influenced the food I eat, the shows I watch, the music I listen to, and even the clothes I wear. 

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And tomorrow, I get to visit one of the friends who got me addicted to Korean dramas…IN KOREA!

Can you imagine anything more amazing? 

 

 

 

(As I previously wrote, however, you will have to wait to hear about the experience till I am on a flight back to the U.S. Until then, enjoy the story of my vacation in Krabi with another college buddy!)