Friday, February 12, 2016


From this link, the most difficult English grammar conundrums:

I or Me after a preposition and another person
The rule: Use “Me.”
Incorrect version: “She went to the store with Sally and I.”
Correct version: She went to the store with Sally and me.
Incorrect version: “Between you and I…”
Correct version: “Between you and me…”
“I tell people to imagine the sentence with only one person because that usually makes the pronoun choice clear,” says Mignon Fogarty, creator and host of the Grammar Girl podcast on the Quick and Dirty Tips network. So think of it this way: You wouldn’t say, “She went to the store with I,” right? “Adding Sally doesn’t change anything,” Fogarty says.

Effect versus Affect 
The rule: Effect is usually a noun, while affect is typically an verb.
Incorrect version: “The book really effected me.”
Correct version: “The book really affected me.”
Incorrect version: “The book had an affect on me.”
Correct version: “The book had an effect on me.”
“Mixing up ‘affect’ and ‘effect’ is one of the most common errors because not only do they sound alike, but they also have similar meanings,” Fogarty says. There are exceptions (such as “to effect change” or “a baffled affect”), but most of the time affect is a verb and effect is a noun, says Mary Norris, a page OK’er at The New Yorker magazine and the author of Between You and Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen.

Further versus Farther 
The rule: Farther refers to an actual distance, while further should be used for a figurative distance.
Incorrect version: “Macy’s is further away than Nordstrom.”
Correct version: “Macy’s is farther away than Nordstrom.”
“The traditional American thinking is that "farther" is for physical distance (e.g., "Macy's is farther than Nordstrom") and "further" is for figurative distance (e.g., "Don't bother me about this further"),” Fogarty says, “but in British English, people use the two more interchangeably, so that may be a reason that American speakers have trouble remembering the difference.
[The only one of these rules that I have some issues with is this one! I don't know why, but further and farther are just too similar for me.]

Lie versus Lay 
The rule: People lie, things lay.
Incorrect version: “I’m going to lay down for a few minutes.”
Correct version: “I’m going to lie down for a few minutes.”
“You lay an object somewhere, and you lie if you're taking action on your own,” Fogarty says. “I suspect people get confused because of the children's prayer "Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep."

Impact as a verb 
The rule: Impact is a noun, not a verb.
Incorrect version: “The story really impacted me.”
Correct version: “The story really influenced me.”
“Eek, screech, agh! Even educated people now use ‘impact,’ as a verb. I’m a purist,” Norris says. “Impact should stay a noun unless you are talking about having an impacted wisdom tooth.” She suggests saying “influence” instead. Fogarty says she suspects the root of the issue might come back to number two—people don’t know whether to use affect or effect, so they (incorrectly) use impact instead. Her fix: “You'll almost always have a stronger sentence if you explain how it affected you instead: ‘The story changed the way I think about seahorses,’ or ‘The story made me stop what I was doing and call my mother to tell her I love her.’”

Fewer versus Less Than 
The rule: Use fewer for countable items (with some exceptions).
Incorrect version: “There are less than three pieces of pizza left.”
Correct version: “There are fewer than three pieces of pizza left.”
“Typically, ‘fewer’ is for things you can count, and ‘less’ is for things you can't count, but time, money, and distance are exceptions to the rule,” Fogarty says.

There you have it, grammar issues for Americans!

We're in the middle of a move that isn't going well (the new place, which is in the same building as our current place, is going through a bit of a remodel that's taking longer than anticipated!) and the weather is still frigidly cold, so trying to get through this winter. Spring is just around the corner ... I think ... even though it rained all day today and will rain pretty much all day tomorrow. Sigh.


Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Summer Vacation! Jeju, Day 3

I really miss our summer vacation! It feels like it's been ages now, though that's mostly because the husband has been away for a shoot on-and-off for the past few weeks, so I've been alone and doing nothing but thinking about the fun we had during this vacation. Hee.

It's also been raining quite a lot in Busan lately, which is lovely (and makes me sad for L.A. with its lack of rain! Go to L.A., rain!) but also doesn't make me want to go anywhere, since I don't have a car. Thankfully, the gym is on the second floor of our apartment, so I don't have to go outdoors!

Here's Day 3 from Jeju!

We got up and took a ferry to U-Do (which I would have spelled Oo-Do, but whatever, Koreans), which is a small island off the much larger island that is Jeju-Do (Do means island, can you tell?? And it's pronounced "dough," not "do," which I think is so confusing!). There were either a ton of people on U-Do or the island was so tiny that the amount of people seemed staggering. Either way, lots of people and cloudy weather for the day! (Aww, the husband is carrying my bag for me in the photo above~ I love it when he does sweet things like that!)

Aww, they think they're beautiful! Honestly, I didn't think the island itself was beautiful ... it was just a teeny little island- so tiny that we rounded it in less than an hour on this little beauty:

That's right, we rented a little tricycle clown car! It was so cute! ... But it really didn't go very fast at all. Haha! It was fun, though, sitting in this teensy little car and vrooming around the island. We literally took the one "highway" (really, it was a road) around the island and did a loop and that that it.

Peanut ice-cream is really popular on U-Do, so of course we had it! Along with another popular U-Do (and Jeju-Do, for that matter) beverage, tangerine-ade. I love how Koreans add "ade" to anything and everything! All they do, really, is add carbonated water to syrup or concentrate. This ade was pretty good, though. And the ice cream! It was really good. I love peanuts, though, so of course I loved it!

We stopped pretty frequently as we saw things that we wanted to take pictures of, like this pretty cliff with ocean view. It was a cloudy day all day long with some sprinkling here and there, so the sky's not very picturesque, but it was still a lovely view!

Another mango juice place! This one was Rich Mango, I believe, which I thought was really similar to Mango Ray (which we had on our first night!), but slightly richer and with slightly more mango flavor. I love mangoes!

Then we took the ferry back to Jeju and went to Aqua Planet, the first aquarium I've been to in Korea that doesn't make me feel bad for the animals in it. It's really big and spacious, including the huge tanks for the fishies and sharkies and manta rays (I love mantas!).

Obligatory selfie at the selfie mirror inside the water tunnel. I loved the water tunnel! I've been to one before (I don't remember where, though ... Monterey Bay, maybe?) but I will always love water tunnels! We look tired because we were tired. It had been a long day full of exploring and traveling.

Sunset with wind turbines ... pretty! There are a lot of wind turbines in Jeju, but not that many on mainland Korea. Why is that?? 

Dinner was the delicious black pig of Jeju again, of course. I really didn't used to like this pork belly cut at all, because I don't like fat on my meat, but I've learned to love it while living in Korea.

Our room, panorama'ed!

Our room, panorama'ed from the other side!

The cutest little (huge!) ray there ever was at Aqua Planet. Aww, ray, why you so cute??

The seasons have definitely changed here in Korea. It's autumn now! And not that that's a bad thing, but it's really making me so tired. Yawn...


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Summer Vacation! Jeju, Day 2

Sorry about the delay in posting about our summer vacation! It's already been a couple weeks since we've gone and come back, actually, so these postings are testing my memory (and letting me re-live the vacation ... seems like it was so long ago!).

Day Two, here we go!

The photo above was taken, I believe, on the first night we were in Jeju. It was a good thing I took this photo, too, because they took the letters off the building the next day! (Ah, construction, always so fun...)

The view from our room. Not great, I have to say. I appreciated that the little house directly in front of us had a dog, but I felt bad for the dog because it was tied up the entire time I saw him. People in Korea are so much meaner to animals than people in the U.S. (I'm generalizing! Mostly it's like this!) And look at those clouds ... should have taken that as a sign, really, of tons of rain about to fall. (Click on the photo above for a larger version, as always!)

We woke up and drove over to O'Sulloc, (website in Korean), a famous tea plantation (are farms where they grow tea called plantations?? I feel like they should be!) and tea museum (the museum was meh, but free, so worth going, though there were a ton of people there!). They grow green teas, which I don't love but I drink a lot of, as it's supposedly very good for you. (No, I can't tell a difference at all between drinking tea and drinking water.)

The tea fields above are the first time I've seen tea in its raw state, and it was a little ... weird. Disconcerting, I suppose. It doesn't smell like anything, even like the tea you steep, and it's just ... leaves. It was really pretty, though! The fields were huge and, I thought, very lovely. (It was so hard to crop out all the people milling around!) Anyway, now I know- I love tea plantations!

It was raining, unfortunately, so I took about two photos of the fields and then we dashed inside to the museum. Ahem, the "museum," since I didn't really see how it was a museum! It didn't have any artifacts or anything, it just had a few teapots and teacups and a cute little diorama-thing (seen above). I don't know what those red creatures are, but they were cute!

This was right beside the loudest, most crowded cafe I've ever been to in my entire life! I think of tea and think of ladies, sitting and sipping and talking quietly. Not so with Koreans. They were shrieking, it felt like, and there was a LOT of insanely loud yammering. We had two very expensive tea drinks (that were really good, actually!) and high-tailed it out of there.

We went to the World Automobile Jeju Museum (website's in Korean), which had a lot of cars outside and a ton of cars inside. They also had deer outside!

That's not his tongue, it's a carrot! There was a sign that said we could ask for deer food to feed the deer, but it was raining and we were getting wet (we only had one small umbrella for the both of us!), so we dashed off to get to the car (and get dry).

Sorry my deer shots are so blurry; he was moving and I was in a hurry to get out of the rain! We got into the car and drove to go eat, because I was getting hangry again. (Recurring theme of this trip, I tell you!)

We went to a restaurant called Shillawon (website in Korean), which is famous for its horse-meat dishes. It sounds odd to me, as an American, to eat horse, but it's common in other countries (I just learned from that Wikipedia page that Koreans don't generally eat horse meat except on Jeju Island, and usually raw!)

Above is the raw horse-meat, which was the best of the three horse-meat dishes we had. It was so good! Horse-meat tastes a lot like beef (why don't we call it cow-meat??), but very, very lean. The leanness was probably what made it not very good when cooked, because it cooks up really tough and stringy, like chicken breast can get if you don't cook it well. Ah, the joys of fat-less meat... ㅎㅎ

The above is a photo of braised horse-meat, which was not very good at all. I like my meat braises to be sweet and salty, as they usually always are. This one was ... neither. It didn't taste like ... anything! It was so bizarre, because it looks just like braised beef, but it didn't taste like it AT ALL. Maybe we got a bad batch, where the cook forgot to add the seasonings?? Whatever the case, we ate all the meat, puzzling the entire time why it tasted so odd.

The whole table. That dish at the top right was the only pork we had, which was good (and seasoned!) but tasted really fatty after all the horse meat. We were having shabu-shabu with horse-meat when I took this photo, which is what's in the pot in the middle of the table. The shabu was okay, but not great. Again, horse-meat has too little fat to be eaten very well when it's cooked (though that braise...! Such a waste, it would've been so good if it had been seasoned properly!).

We took a drive through the middle of the island after lunner (that's between lunch and dinner, FYI) to check out the mountains. Jeju is a volcanic island, after all, so there are mountains here, there, and everywhere! 

In the mountains (this was at a rest stop, because I wanted this pastry that they sell at rest areas, but the store was closed!), it was cool and foggy and mysterious, which I LOVED. I love fog, I love cool, I do not like hot and sticky, and I love mysteries! It was so pretty, and this photo doesn't do justice to the landscape at all. 

We went back to the hotel afterward because I was pooped. I had gone to the hospital the day before we took off for Jeju, so I think I was rightfully tired! The poor husband just got nagged at the entire time we were on vacation ㅋㅋㅋ

After resting for a little while, we decided to go see Jeju LoveLand, (website in English has less information, the Korean version has tons more!), which is a racy theme park that people kept posting about online.

The entrance, which looked like an ice-skating rink to me, for some reason. The moon was either full or just about to be full, and the husband's looking a little weird in this photo, but oh, well!

We wandered around the park and saw all the sights (lots of sexual statues! Lots of sexual noises!), but I got rather chilled, because it got pretty frosty at nighttime, and we went around 9:00 or so. There were tons of giggling 20-somethings, which was funny, and a few buildings where we could go inside and see "artistic" renderings of things and lots of sex toys for sale. 

The pastries above were filled with Jeju orange paste, which didn't taste all that different from regular ol' orange paste, but they were warm, which was nice! The husband's finger is there for scale (though he has abnormally large hands, so I probably should have used my own hand!).

We got back to the hotel, where I filled in my journal for the day. I love having a Midori (well, two of them!) because it's so nice to have one place where I log my day, schedule my week, write down reminders, etc., etc. My hand is looking a little wonky in this photo...

And we had green tea lattes! The husband loved his green tea latte at the O'Sulloc Tea Museum, and they were selling them there, so of course we had to buy some! They're actually really good and not as many calories as I had feared (I think it's around 55 per packet), so I love these! (We also found them at a store near our apartment for only ₩500 (about 43 cents) more than what we paid in Jeju!)

The second day was tiring for me, for some reason- I think it was the medication I was taking for my tonsillitis. I miss our summer vacation, though! It was so much fun to do nothing and worry about nothing for a few days~

The third (and last full!) day coming ... soon-ish!