27 Mar

stop a clock

Who taught: Amber, Patty and Tami

Ugly face would stop a clock

Stop a clock (source: http://aarontodd.wordpress.com/)

Do you know what day is on Mar 17? It is St. Patrick’s Day which of course commemorates Saint Patrick who is credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland. It is a huge day for Irish people. In many countries including the U.S., there are parades on St. Patrick’s Day. I was in San Francisco with Amber, Patty and Tami this year and we all went out to see the parade.

The parade started at 11 am. So, we decided to walk to the Civic Center to see people and preparations for festivals. Oh boy! As we got closer to the San Francisco City Hall, we saw so many homeless people. After buying some souvenirs, we decided to walk back up Market St to see the start of the parade.

On the way up, I stopped by a restroom (nature’s call). As soon as I came out, Tami and Amber told me a new expression that Amber just used.

Amber said, “I just saw a face that would stop a clock.”

My first impression was that she must see someone very handsome or beautiful. In Korea, if someone is amazingly beautiful like Jessy, people say that she would stop a clock. You know what I mean? It’s like you saw someone so beautiful and all of a sudden time stands still for a while because your focus were solely on her and the whole world started to run around you and her.

Very very surprisingly, the meaning of the expression, stop a clock, in the U.S. is the opposite. If you saw someone whose face would stop a clock, that means his or her face is so ugly. It was hard for me to find its etymology. But, my guess is that even a clock cannot function properly because of someone’s face is so ugly and it is shocked by that.

What do you think, my friends?

My non-native English speaking friends, this is a good lesson for you. Be careful! Do not try to literally translate expressions that you used to use in your own countries! That can cause a huge trouble. ๐Ÿ™‚


20 Mar

shack up

Who taught: Patty, Amber and Tami

shacking up

Shacking up (source: http://www.cartoonstock.com/)

Hello there, my friends! It’s been more than a week without a new post. Sorry about that!

I was in San Francisco for a biz trip last week with my colleagues. Unfortunately, we did not have usual Californian sunshine but rain the whole week. But, we got to visit a few great companies and meet great people. We used public transportation a lot. During the time we sit in a Caltrain, we had a lot of talks about random things.

For some reason, we started to talk about me not wearing my wedding ring. Jessy also does not wear a ring. She actually does not have it at all. As we were talking about it, Patty said, “So, you guys are shacking up.”

Of course, I did not get what she said. Shack is a small and sort of dirty hut built from wood. Jessy and I bought a house and I can say that it is not just a shack in my opinion. Then, what is shacking up and what does it have to do with marriage or wedding ring?

If you shack up with someone, that means you guys live together (often while having sex) but not married. Why there is shack? My guess is that living together with someone else without marrying happens when people are young and, at that age, they cannot afford a nice place to live together. They usually end up being in a place like a shack. Don’t you think so?

So, literally, you live together in a shack which is “shacking up.” What do you think, my American friends? Am I right?

By the way, Jessy and I are not shacking up. We have been legally married for more than 10 years.

14 Mar

manicure and well-manicured

Who taught: Patty

Well-manicured (source: http://www.designelegant.com/)

It has been more than a week since my last post. Sorry about that! Last week, I went on a business trip to the bay area, specifically San Jose and San Francisco, and came back yesterday. I had a chance to meet my friends there. It was great to see some friends that I have not seen for almost 4 years. Cannot believe that it has been that long. Time really flies. It was funny because I enjoyed talking with them but Jessy said we all talked about something most people would not understand at all. Well, what can I say? All of my friends are CMU alumni and they are software engineers. I mean, literally, every single one of them is software engineer. How cool is it? It is awesome.

Anyway, during the ย trip, we either drove or took a train to get to meeting places. One of the things I noticed was that house style of the west coast is very different from that of the east. In Pittsburgh, houses are built mainly of bricks. But, I did not see any houses that are built of bricks there. They are usually one-story house that are painted with very different colors. It is actually very beautiful to see them. Along the bay, there are hills that have houses with different styles and colors. It was even more beautiful because of sunny sky and blue ocean. As we were passing by those houses, Patty said, “Some of the houses are really well-manicured. Don’t you think?” That’s an easy expression to understand but I did not know that we can use the verb, manicure, to describe houses that are painted. My feeling with the expression is that the color of a house should matter. It seems like the house should be painted with a vivid color like yellow or multiple colors. What do you think, my friends? Does my feeling sound correct? What if the inside of a house is painted well? Can I say also that the house is well-manicured?

I need to admit that the bay area is very beautiful but my heart is in Pittsburgh. It is my home. ๐Ÿ™‚

Oh, for your future trip to the bay area, I would like recommend you to visit Los Gatos downtown. It is a small but very lovely place to walk around and there are nice restaurants too. Speaking of restaurant, I went to this French restaurant called Le Garage in Sausalito. The food was amazing. You should check it out too.