How to Usher in a New Year, Pt. 2

And what’s this good news about being sober enough to speak about THE WEATHER by the end of the night? Well, for one no hangover! (YAY)

And for two, it meant being a good wingman for someone (let me work my magic matchmaking ways in the Wonju social circle!!).

So I woke up with the knowledge of a job well done and the satisfaction of being selfless on New Year’s.

Anyway so hung out all morning chatting, lazing, learning (devastatingly) about Candy Crush (my life is officially gone and retreated into cyberspace).

Around five we decided it was time to eat dinner and see at least the ending light of day, so we gathered what troops weren’t feeling the keelhauled-across-barnacles result of the pirate bar’s liquor supply and headed for food.

Andrea and I have developed a term for the Korean gastronomical tradition to serve dishes that are smothered in a sauce redder than the Devil’s dick: firestew. It leaves your mouth, throat, esophagus, stomach, and all the proceeding intestines feeling like a volcanic snake of magma has slithered through your body.

It starts slow. “Oh, I can handle this,” you chuckle. The nearby Koreans will be looking at you with concern. “No, really,” you assure them. “I like spicy food.”

A few more bites and your face starts to get warm. You know you’re turning red because you can see the Koreans sneaking more glances at you than usual, as if trying to decide if they should say something. Or is that because your nose just started dripping?

Shit,  you think, and sniff it back. The tissue box is on the other end of the table so you slyly use the back of your hand, but it keeps coming. Sweat has beaded on your nose and upper lip.

Then comes the slow burn. Your mouth has been feeling the tingle, but now it’s a white heat and your lips start to sting. You use the back of your hand again to remove the agony of red sauce you know must be there. Nope. That’s just the spicy traveling from the epicenter of your tongue to the rest of your body. Your mouth begins to throb.

Now your eyes are watering. You’re trying not to let anyone see, but your determination to pretend like everything’s normal has you inevitably looking everyone in the eye.

“Why are you crying??” they ask.

“I’m not, I’m fine,” you choke. Your throat has constricted. You take a breath, and then –

Oh no O___O some saliva has stuck in your windpipe.

Play it cool, don’t worry, just cough delicately into your fist. It’s just a little tickle…

It’s too late.


Your friend on the right is the maniac who actually gets off on this spiciness.


Red faced, you cough til your guts come out.

That’s firestew.

And that’s what we had for dinner.

After mopping ourselves and our various excreted fluids from the floor (sweat and tears, guys, don’t be gross), we decided to see a movie. Ender’s Game, we all agreed, would do nicely. Andrea’d been wanting to see it for a while, and I figured, hell, I might as well see it first and read it after so I don’t automatically hate the movie.

And I’m glad I did, because I didn’t hate the movie at all. As is apparent from most adapted films, there was a lot missing: the plot went by in rapidfire, the characters didn’t seem to get enough screen time (namely the siblings), and events seemed crammed. That said, the story was still well-told, the development of what characters they did show was quite well done, and the conclusion was, I imagine, as powerful as it’s meant to be. And hey, it doesn’t hurt to say the special effects were great.

Almost immediately upon returning home, Andrea and I proclaimed a reading day (for what remained of it) and I downloaded Ender’s Game to my Kobo because I was thoroughly enthralled by the story.

I’d been meaning to read it before I left, but, well, there’s only so many pages I could tear through before time had its way with my departure date. Reading it now though is making me realize just how much I’ve missed sci-fi. Also has got me inspired to start writing again, which is always nice.

I have a stack of awesome books to read already, but for afterward what sci-fi books would you guys recommend? I’m always looking for a good mind-bender.


6 thoughts on “How to Usher in a New Year, Pt. 2

  1. I laughed out loud and smiled almost until it hurt reading your description of firestew. I want other people to read this, but not without your permission and credit to you. I’m thinking Facebook and maybe just some friends. Would that work for you?

    I’ll be thinking about sci-fi recommendations.


  2. whadda mean “. . . inspired me to start writing again.” what do you think you’ve been unconsciously writing for the last umm 6 months, an index?! Love your writings and experiences. Its viral stuff that makes me live vicariously through you – about you – and YOU YOU. Yes this is truly YOU stuff. I get to know you better this way even more, like I didn’t know you at all, huh. Yeah. . . wink wink nudge nudge say no more.Now that you’re inspired DO IT! and let us know when you got it done.So we can all read MORE MORE MORE . . . yeah yeah yeah ( apologies for being a fanoid )


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