Category Archives: Slovakia

“Photographs and Memories”

NOTE: I had some another place that I blog and I decided to delete it, but I wanted to keep the memories. So Iā€™m combining everything on to this blog.

It’s been a long time coming…I think
Monday, March 16, 2009

I get a bit confused about what I wrote on my myspace blog and what I put in a facebook note. So here is a sample of the last 6 months of my life. In the past couple of months, I have:

  • Traveled around the middle of Italy, the seaport of Croatia, and to Medjurgorje.
  • Survived working with Stella and at SEV.
  • Had my heart bruised and somewhat hurt.
  • Been frustrated with the way that the world works.
  • Spent Christmas in Texas for the first time in countless number of years.
  • Spent New Year’s Eve with friends.
  • Tried to OD on rock shows, Tex-Mex, and boba before returning to Korea.
  • Sold a lot of books and still had a small library.
  • Had a meltdown in Japan – I think it’s because I’m Korean.
  • Ran into a fellow RPCV from stage in Peace Corps Morocco while in the Incheon airport.
  • Remembered why I dislike all American airlines, except for Southwest.
  • Spent time with friends I haven’t seen in like 3 years.
  • Sold my car.
  • Caught on most of the American television that I’ve missed in the last 5 years.
  • Tried to send everyone that I could think of a Christmas card (in Korean, of course).
  • Lost about 40 pounds in weight limits on international flights between Korea and the States.
  • Started to do daily Rosaries, honestly.
  • Reread a good portion of my books in my personal library.
  • GUILTY SECRET: Read the Twilight books and they’re worse than adult romance books.
  • Forgot to get a t-shirt from Connie and David.
  • Got called “Aunt Carrot” by one of my nephews, even though “Eun Sook emo” and “Karen” are easy to say, but not “Aunt Karen.”
  • Embarrassed myself while attempting to get over #3.
  • Moved back to Korea.
  • Now teaching at an public elementary school in Song-pa.
  • Moved in to a new apartment.
  • Moved all my stuff that I had stored around Seoul into my new apartment.
  • Started laughing more.
  • Was told that I was a terrible dresser and I need to go on reality tv to learn how to dress, wear makeup, and get my hair done properly.
  • Decided to go to Russia for vacation this year.
  • Tried to let go, especially of past hurts.
  • Was told that I wasn’t Christian.
  • Voted for McCain and got Obama instead.
  • Thought about getting a “What the FOCA” t-shirt but it was too expensive and I only had 100 pounds free on my ticket.
  • Probably needs to go through ESL classes again.
  • Still haven’t seen Breaking Benjamins live.


Sunday, December 7, 2008

So I’m trying to finally post all my blogs from my trip to the Mediterrenean. But I need to take a break, so here is a list of foods that I have missed over the past two and a half years, and in no particular order:

  • buttermilk biscuits
  • double chocolate fudge brownies
  • asparagus cheese casserole
  • steak
  • Texas brisket
  • Southern chili
  • good Mexican
  • limes
  • Lime and chili chips
  • Jalepeno cheese dip
  • pumpkin pie
  • mashed potatoes and gravy
  • Christmas cookies
  • non-alcoholic eggnog
  • soft pretzels
  • backyard barbeques
  • buffalo wings…preferably from Wingstop
  • cherry limeades
  • big pizzas
  • garlic bread
  • really buttery popcorn
  • beef hotdogs
  • chili cheese dogs
  • cheap American peanut butter
  • rasberry chipotle sauce
  • Marble Slab
  • cheese sticks with melted stringy cheese
  • plantains
  • candy canes

And of couse being able to have a wide variety of food every night.

Theresa Spooner

raspberry is the correct term. and you don’t want cheese sticks minus the cheese? šŸ™‚
Caroline Scherrer

When are you coming back Karen?
Karen Eun Sook Spooner

I’m Korean…do you hear a ‘p’? I don’t. :oP I’ll be back on December 20th sometime after lunch depending on traffic. Don’t worry I’ll be in the States for about 2 months…yeah!!!

“Game On”

The World Cup so far has been full of some bad officiating (the two disallowed American goals), some really terrible calls (Kaka getting a red card), beautiful sights, sobering memories, overwhelming sounds, disappointing play, inspirational stories, giant killers…all in all not a bad World Cup. One of the best moments, even though he calls it bad radio, was listening to Tony Kornheiser try to have his radio show while watching the US-Algeria game, sorry the US-Algonquian Nation, it was a perfect example of someone who’s not really a fan of soccer/football but still getting caught up in the moment.

I headed into the round of 16 with three countries to cheer for: Korea (obviously because that’s where I’m from), the US (the country that I live in) and Slovakia (I lived there for a year) and after Saturday, I was left with only Slovakia. And my back-up teams didn’t do so well either, Italy was eliminated in the group stage, as was Nigeria, North Korea didn’t have a chance of getting out of the group stage, and Mexico was eliminated on Sunday by Argentina. Ireland wasn’t here thanks to France’s handball (which I appreciated the irony of Henry complaining about a handball against his side), neither was Morocco, Russia, or Hungary. So Slovakia has to make it through or else I don’t know who I’m going to cheer for.

I borrowed this from a friend of mine of Facebook, yes, it’s about the team I want to lose, but it’s a great commercial for Nike:

an older Nike one:

an older Adidas one from the 2006 World Cup (apparently voted the best 2006 WC commercial):

a nod to Star Wars:

and Adidas’s 2010 World Cup intro ad:

I think the US did a good job for not being a true soccer/football nation, but at the same time it was disappointing, because this was the best national team that we’ve ever had and it was the round of 16 and out. The defensive hang-ups did us in really, constantly having to dig yourself into a hole is wearying and eventually you’ll run out of energy and magic. I don’t know if I necessarily agree that to get the US to be better, USA Soccer needs to start recruiting from the ghettos and other low income areas of the States and I also don’t believe that every European that plays football comes from a poor background as Klineman was trying to say on ESPN Saturday. Regardless, as I’m (re)filling out online application forms, I’ll be watching the games and enjoying every second of it.


I have really nice summer days so far. I wake up, turn on my computer and watch at least one World Cup game, thanks to ESPN3’s PIP.

Yesterday was a bit nerve-wrecking, knowing that England had already scored a goal, and the US-Algeria was a continuous stalemate. Thankfully there was enough stoppage time for Donovan to score a last minute goal, when Dempsey first shot the ball, I may have yelled ‘no,’ at my computer when it didn’t go in and then sat in stunned disbelief at Donovan running and belly-flopping. The reactions (not including Bill Plastcke’s “rational” one) were documented by the Times.

So now I have three horses in the knock-out rounds, Korea, the US, and now Slovakia. What I wouldn’t give to be in Slovak Pub right now, Slovakia has to be going insane, the first they have ever been in the World Cup as an independent country and they just knocked out Italy, the defending champions. Which was a bit sad for me because outside of the countries that I lived in, Italy was my next favorite country in the tournament.

But it’s such a great accomplishment for Slovakia, whose entire population could fit within Houston proper. Slovakia is usually overlooked, overshadowed by the Czech Republic, even ESPN’s little Amazon blurb about bestsellers about Slovakia are mainly about the Czech Republic. Oh well. I hope everyone’s enjoying a mug of koffola or a bottle of vinea, eating some bryndove halusky and are enjoying their wonderful win!