26 Jul

sunday dinner at Browns Hill Bible Chapel

Who taught : Emily, Rachel and Liz

Cake for Leah and Zac's farewell dinner made by Mandie

When I knew that I am coming to the U.S., my father asked one of his friends who is a missionary from the U.S. to find out the church for me to go. He recommended Browns Hill Bible Chapel to my father and me. Since then, Jessy and I are going to the chapel and it has been such a blessing for us. If you are interested in coming, please tell me. We should go together.

A few weeks later from our first visit to the chapel, Debby asked Jessy and me after the church service, “Hey, do you guys want to have dinner together?” I responded, “OK! What time do you want to meet? Maybe around 5:30 pm?” She said, “No, it is now!” “But you said dinner,” I asked again. She then realized and explained to us, “Oh.. we use dinner for Sunday lunch.” I was quite surprised. I have always thought dinner is a meal we eat in the evening. Do you guys really use dinner, meaning lunch or something?

And, yesterday, we had a special Sunday dinner after the service at church to say good bye to our friends, Leah and Zac. They are moving to Spain because of Zac’s new job. They will be staying there for about 5 years and COME BACK to PGH. Right, Zac? They have to because we all miss them so much and I am pretty sure they will miss us too.

Right before the dinner, I was talking to some friends and Emily and Liz were talking to other friends. But we were pretty close. And for some reason, I felt that Emily and Liz were talking about me. When I looked at them, they were like, “Nothing! How did you know we are talking about you.” I said, “I do not know! I just felt it.”

Then, we sat down together to have dinner and Rachel was right next to me. So, I said to Rachel, “Hey, Rachel. You know what happened? Emily and Liz made fun of me.” And Emily said, “No, we did not! We were just teasing you.” At that time, I was kind of confused and thought about the previous post about “Popular VS Famous.” Again, make fun of someone and tease someone have the same meaning in English-Korean dictionary. Thus, it is hard to find out the proper usage of them in a proper context.

So, here is what I learned. Tease is pretty much same act as making fun of but it does not really involve a bad intention.

Am I right? I am still kind of confused. This kind of subtle difference in expressions is so hard to catch.

01 Jul

icing on the cake

Who taught: Andrew

Mandie's cake! How cute is it?

Mandi, one of my church friends, has magical hands for making beautiful cakes. Every time there is an event at my church such as baby shower or farewell party, she brings a beautiful cake. A few days ago, there was Leah’s baby shower at the church in which Jessy participated. She took a picture of the cake Mandie brought and showed it to me. That was awesome. Amazing thing is she has 4 little children. How could she make a cake surrounded by 4 children? Well, she taught them really well. Every time she is trying to make a cake, she tells the children, “OK! if you guys are gentle and not touching the cake while mom is making it, I will put more and delicious icing on the cake. If not, I will not put any! Do you hear me?” Well, they hear really well and, based on their experiences, they know that mom is telling the truth. So, they become so quiet and watch her making cakes. Isn’t it awesome? Mandie, I think you should run a business, customized party cake business. I can set up the web site for you and we can be co-founders. What do you think?

For your better understanding, here is the definition of ICING.

Icing is a sweet substance made from powdered sugar that is used to cover and decorate cakes.

Yummy! I love great icing but the most important thing is the cake itself. I mean if the cake is not really good, what is the point of having a lot of icing on it. I think it is the worst cake ever! Having this concept in your mind, icing on the cake is a good expression for you. The definition of the expression is ;

What makes a good thing even better, although it is not something essential.

Like I said, the cake itself should be good to make icing on the cake even better to have. Andrew used this expression the other day but I forgot in what context he used it. Andrew! Do you remember?

Hmm… What would be a good example for you? What about you are having amazing cup cake and suddenly I brought you a cappuccino. Would it be icing on the cake? Well, maybe, it should be icing on the cup cake??? 🙂

Korean equivalent : 금상첨화 (錦上添花) Geum-Sang-Cheom-Hwa. The literal translation is “flower on top of silk.” Silk itself is already beautiful but if you have flower on top of it, that should be really stunning.

23 Jun

upset the applecart

Who taught: Zac, Leah, Pat and Carol

do not upset the applecart

Suppose that you live in 100 years ago and, one day, organize a hand cart full of apples to sell them in your yard and suddenly I come in and upset the cart! You would be like, “Dude, what have you done? Everything was perfect and organized and now, all of it sudden, it is all ruined.” Yup! So, there is an expression, “upset the applecart.” Last night, Zac and Leah told me this expression and I looked at the origin of the expression. It goes pretty far back. Here is what I found from the Internet.

This phrase is first recorded by Jeremy Belknap in The History of New Hampshire, 1788: “Adams had almost overset the apple-cart by intruding an amendment of his own fabrication on the morning of the day of ratification” [of the Constitution].

So, as you can easily find out, this expression simply means, “to create a difficulty.”

A few days ago, Carol came to me to give me a book as a present. The title of the book is “Should you judge this book by its cover?” and the author is Julian Baggini. It is about 100 English sayings and quotations. I found one expression which has similar meaning to the applecart one.

“Let sleeping dogs lie!”

Interestingly, Pat used this expression a few weeks ago when he was talking about his work. Again, it means “do not make anything fine not fine.” Based on the book, this expression was first used in the late 14th century. The author also said,

Most people quite understandably do not like dealing with difficult problems and will seek any excuse to put off confronting them. It would be so much better if we could sort out our gravest difficulties when things are at their least, not most, tumultuous.

What do you think? Do you agree? In some sense, I do agree. But, I don’t know why, as I am getting older, I do think sometimes it is really better to let sleeping dogs lie. And, if you get lucky enough, there would be no bigger issues at all.