31 Oct


Who taught: Jessy and Ashka



Hey there! How have you been? I really wish all of you are doing well. Hurricane Sandy hit the northeast of the U.S. and a lot of people are without power now. Hope my friends are fine there.

I live in Pittsburgh, PA. A few weeks ago, Jessy and I were taking a walk and we talked about things we are missing, living in a small city. So, Pittsburgh is still a city with around 300,000 people. But, to me, that is nothing. Why? it is because I am from one of the cities near Seoul, Korea and my previous work was in Seoul.

The population of Seoul itself is around 11 million and if we consider the metropolitan area, the population is around 25 million. It is a huge city. To give you an idea about how big it is, it is bigger than New York City. There are a lot of things we used to enjoy, especially at night. Don’t get me wrong. We do like Pittsburgh a lot.

So, the thing we talked about is that it is very different living in Pittsburgh from living in Seoul. When we used to live in Seoul, we call people from small cities or towns “Chon-Nom(μ΄Œλ†ˆ)” in Korean. “What is Chon-Nom in English? What people call people from rural areas in the U.S.?”

Jessy and I did some researches and found this word, “hillbilly.” Let me guess its etymology! I think this is referring to a person whose name is bill (one of the most common names just like Joe) and who lives on a hill. How perfect is it? Hope my guess is correct.

Anyway, after that conversation, I thought I would remember it. But, I forgot.

Luckily, Ashka posted the picture that you see here on her facebook timeline. Wow! Wow! It was a moment of eureka for me. Thank you, Ashka, for posting this because this totally refreshed my memory. And, of course, I do need to thank Hillary and Bill Clinton. Than you guys! Because of you guys, now I feel pretty confident that I will remember this word.

What do you think? Actually, if you yourself are a hillbilly, then you should totally know this word. Hey, after all, I could consider myself as a hillbilly too. Pittsburgh is a small city. One may argue this but at least to me this is true. πŸ™‚

15 May

[Series 2] a story about sandwich

Who taught: Tami

Eggs Benedict (source: http://www.thekneadforbread.com/)

About a month ago, Tami and I went to New York City for a biz trip to visit some start-up companies. It was very exciting to see all of these small companies with big ideas growing very fast. We could feel it. After a busy day, we walked to a restaurant near the World Financial Center for dinner. Fortunately, there was a film festival going on at the same time so that we could ‘sort of’ watch a movie as we were sitting in the restaurant.

So, time to order food which is always tricky. It’s been 6 years for me to be here in the U.S. But ordering food is not that easy. I gotta really pay attention to a waiter or waitress when he or she talks about today’s menu. Anyway, we saw one interesting item on the menu. I cannot remember its exact name but I think it was like “mile high lobster sandwich.” Β Hey.. speaking of “mile high,” do you remember “mile-high club” that I posted two years ago? You should check it out. Initially, we thought that sandwich is related with this expression, mile high club. But, we need to confirm. So, Tami decided to ask what it is. Our waitress started to explain and she said something like this, “It is basically open-face sandwich with a lot of vegetables and lobster meat.”

At that moment, I was able to understand what open-face means. How about you? Can you get it, my friends? It is also called “open sandwich.”

It is a sandwich that has a single slice of bread at the bottom and put a lot of food items on top of it. A good example is eggs benedict. Do you know what eggs benedict is? You should totally try it. It is mostly considered as brunch food and delicious.

So, here is how I feel about this expression. Basically, all of the items you put inside a sandwich are your eyes, nose, lips and even hairs. Olives can be eyes and lettuce can be hairs. But, if you put another slice of bread on top of all of those, then you are closing your face. If not, your face is open so that we can all see it.

Hey, what can be considered to be nose? Any idea?

20 Oct

cop a feel

Who taught: Kelly and Phil

cop a feel (source: http://www.2pep.com/)

October 14, 2011 was a pretty normal day for me until I got this text message from Phil. Phil asked me this question, “Do you know the phrase, cop a feel?”

I know what “cop” is and also know what “feel” is. Cop is Police who catch criminals. Then, I should be able to feel this expression, right? I thought it is pretty easy for me to figure out. So, I texted back to Phil, saying it should mean “keeping a feel.” You know when you have a good feeling about something, you want to keep it as long as possible.

Huh.. Am I joking? I was far away from the truth.

Phil told me that it means to grab a woman’s breasts or butt without her consent. I was like who would do that? But, then I remembered that one time when I was a swimming pool with a few other girls. One of the girls was not good at swimming and she touched my thing (you know what I am talking about here, right?) while she was trying to get out of the water. But, I was not sure she was intentional or not. I asked Phil whether this is a good example of copping a feel. He said the most important thing is that it should be deliberate. She might try to cop a feel but not sure. Oops! Don’t tell Jessy about this story. Nothing happened after that. πŸ™‚

Based on my research, the best place to cop a feel is like New York City or an amusement park like Disney World where it is so crowded. But, I am sure this is a crime. So, please do not do this! Ironically, in this expression that basically describes an act of crime, there is “cop.”

Anyway, Phil said, “Kelly’s mind is in the gutter now. :)”

15 Feb


Who taught: Office

PDA (source: http://metropolitician.blogs.com/)

Back in Korea, my parents used to say to Jessy and me, “We have never seen a couple like you guys. You guys are so happy together and show love to each other well. It is great to see.” The reason why they said like that was because we did not hesitate to show our affection in front of them. We hugged and kissed a lot even when they were present. It sounds very normal in America, right? But, it is not in Korea. I am not sure how much things have been changed in Korea ever since we left but, when we were there, people did not like seeing other couples’ hugging and kissing in public places.

It was kind of socially and culturally prohibited. Sometimes, old people say some harsh words to young couple who are showing their affection in public places. For example, Jessy always wanted me to show my love in public places. Whenever we are in a subway train or a park, she was asking me to kiss her. Then, I was like, “Hey, this is not our home. Don’t you see other people here? We cannot kiss here.” Then, she became sullen till I really kissed her. To save her and me from that unhappy situation, I had to kiss her. So, I looked around and around and around to find a proper time, then, if no one was looking at us, I kissed her very quickly. Well, then, Jessy became happy again. As this happens again and again, Jessy asked me more. She wanted to me get bolder to kiss her even people were looking at us. I was so embarrassed to do it. So, what I said to her was, “OK, here is the deal. Since we know we are gonna move to America, I will kiss you in public places in America because people there would not care about it and all of them do kiss in public places, I think.” She accepted the deal.

So, when we got here, she wanted me to kiss her in Time Square of New York City. Well, I did it and Jessy was happy. Most of all, nobody cared as far as I remember.

A few days ago, there was an episode of Office TV show about this behavior. Do you know what American people call this kind of behavior? It is called, PDA. Let me guess! Now, you would be saying, “What? PDA? That is like a small mobile device, Personal Digital Assistant.” That is right. But, at the same time, PDA means “Public Displays of Affection.” Based on the episode I saw, it looks like American people do care about PDA and they are not really fine with seeing PDA. So, the question is how much is fine and how much is not fine? Maybe it was because PDA happened in the office? So, if it is in subway or park, it is fine? I need to know the answer because Jessy will ask me to kiss again in the central park of NYC. Somebody please tell me!!!

14 Jun

don’t judge a book by its cover

Who taught: Jerome

Brooklyn Bridge (1875)

Last night, I came back from my 4th New York City trip. The city is always fun to visit and spend a few days there. There are so many things you can do there. This time, Jessy and I decided to explore the places we have never been to, such as Greenwich village, SOHO, Middle East Side and Civic Center. On the last day, we went to the Brooklyn bridge. Initial impression of the bridge was not really good. You know, it looks like just a regular suspension bridge. (I have seen bunch of bridges in Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh is a city of three rivers and thus it is not a surprise at all to see many bridges.) After we walked to one of the towers of the bridge, we were surprised by many of stories related with the bridge. First of all, it was completed in 1883 (1883 is a long time ago, isn’t it?) and it is the first steel-wire suspension bridge. The most interesting part of the bridge was about the towers. There are two towers, one is Brooklyn tower and the other is New York tower. To build them, they used a hollow object which placed at the bottom of the tower and of course in the water, caisson, in which people actually go down to move mud and rock debris. To make people breathe, they supplied air into the caisson. And, most of the caisson workers suffered the same decompression disease of divers because they got back to the normal (decompressed) atmosphere too quickly from the compressed in caisson. Based on the record, all of the caisson workers experienced the disease and three people actually died and fifteen percent of the workers were paralyzed. That is why, the disease, bends, is now also called “caisson disease.”

So, if you go to New York City, you should really visit and walk the bridge. You also get a very nice view of the river and the city.

Speaking of the first impression of the bridge, I have a few questions for you? How many times have you ever judges people by their looking, especially by their first impression? Do you know anyone whom you thought really good and nice based on the first impression or looking but it turns out that he/she is really mean and arrogant, or vice versa? I have one person. When I first saw her, I thought she is really mean and fastidious. But, it turns out that she is very thoughtful and generous. Do you know who she is? Yeah, that is Jessica. Everybody loves Jessica.

There is a good expression you can use if your friend, not you, judges people based on their appearances. “Do not judge a book by its cover!” I mean, you can easily understand its meaning, right? But, you would be surprised that how hard to use the proper expression at a proper time if you do not know the expression. To be able to use any expression, I think you should at least hear and know and then also try to use it a few times even if you use it in a wrong context. That’s why you need good friends like mine because they will understand and help you out to correct you. Well, I can be your friend for that. So, please feel free to add any comments or questions if you have any! Remember! If you want to speak English, you should use it. You think you can speak without any practice and just thinking in your brain. That ain’t gonna work.