Uncertainty can be happiness

"Security is a false god," or running around the world as an FSO

Archive for the ‘Humor’ Category

The Little things in life.

Posted by quirksalight on August 2, 2010

I’ve been at Embassy Seoul for little over a month now, and it’s been a rollercoaster. From running around, planning visits, to meeting contacts, managing (actually, more being managed BY) the LES, and mentoring interns, it’s been a trip. For the most part very good, some low points of frustration and wanting to hit my head against a wall as I scrabble up the “learning curve”. Though, at times, it definitely feels like a cliff. But I’m getting it. And the little things makes me smile.

Getting up at 3am, running around on adrenaline and realizing at the end of the day, EVERYTHING was OK.
Laughing with a new contact as an introductory interview becomes more of a conversation between new-found friends.
Realizing that I CAN conduct at least a part of a meeting in Korean – well, it was about food, eating, Iftar and Ramadan – but STILL… no translator needed for that, and it was official, with some technical words and stuff! 🙂
Amazon delivers in a week – no extra shipping charges. I ❤ APO.
Yongsan has an amazing library; with better hours than back home!!!

And realizing that my creative skills weren't rusty – I make damn good mango-banana bread, and assembled my own pillow-top bed.


Posted in adventure, amusing, ancedotes, Books, Embassy Seoul, geek, Humor, Korea, Korean, language, meeting, Seoul, work | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Baby, it’s on!

Posted by quirksalight on March 28, 2010

‘Twas the night before A-100, and all through the 152nd class,
Everyone was stirring, including the brass.
The suits were pressed and hung with care,
Knowing that we’d be wearing them there;
Future FSOs nestled in their beds,
With bid lists and posts, dancing in their heads.
Bags packed with IDs and papers,
Documents which are our future-makers,
Eagerly waiting as the night ticks by,
Sleep eluding us, my, oh my!
When all of a sudden, we spring from our beds,
Holy crap, did we forget something about the feds?
Resolved, relieved, and our minds at ease,
We sleep, dreaming of posts that tease;
Of Poli, PD and Econ;
Management and Con……

The other verses will come as training commences! Whee!!!!

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Happy New Year!

Posted by quirksalight on January 2, 2010

Technically, it’s not the next decade yet. Considering the real start of the century was 2001, the next decade is in fact a year away. I guess it’s just sexier to call 2010 (Ooo, it has a zero at the end!) the next decade.

This is also the time when many people make resolutions for the year that end up being discarded by the wayside in a month or two, with the few that actually stick. So will you make a resolution this year? I’ve been thinking about it…. I usually don’t. I’ll probably just stick to the “Carpe Diem” attitude to try to live by. Oh, maybe patience. Though most of 2009 was a practice in patience, perhaps it’s something that I should stick to. 🙂

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Circling about is amusing

Posted by quirksalight on November 13, 2009

I used to be on the debate team in high school. In fact, the public high school I attended was well know on the national level for policy (team) debate, and my partners and I did quite well. (It also probably helped me get into college, but that’s another story or another time.)

A big part of policy debate was to have evidence to back up whatever argument or counterargument you were laying out (at an extremely rapid clip). So I and the other members of my high school debate team would spend many hours every week digging around, clipping and preparing evidence sheets for any and every argument we could think of that may have some tenuous connection to that year’s topic.
We always found a tie in to some apocalyptic scenario for every topic; don’t you see that changing the juvenile crime policy in the United States will cause a global nuclear disaster? 😛 Yes, seriously, totally.

Now, however many years later, in those same policy journals we read and clipped for evidence, I’m beginning to see some familiar names. Some of my fellow debaters are now publishing the articles in journals we used for sources way back when, and that the high school policy debaters are now cutting. How funny is that? Don’t know about you, but it definitely brought a smile to my face.

Posted in amusing, Bizarre, high school, Humor | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

So You Think You Can Douche | The Daily Show | Comedy Central

Posted by quirksalight on August 3, 2009

I ❤ the Daily Show

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Posted in amusing, Daily Show, Humor, parody, Politics, TV, US | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Mounds of Fabric

Posted by quirksalight on July 28, 2009

This pile of fabric represents a good portion of my future wardrobe.

I’m about to turn 30, and have never held a job that required me to wear business clothes, suits, etc, on a daily basis. (That what academia does to you) So, now that I’m facing the very likelihood of working for the government, I am faced with the classic, stereotypical problem of, “What am I going to wear!”

Ah, but I have a secret weapon in the clothing struggle, which is my mother. She’s a professional tailor, and has a store in Falls Church, VA called Tailor Lee.

The benefit of this is that I get custom designed, custom fit clothes, and my mother gets great advertising. The downside is, as my mother, she prefers her progeny to wear rather conservative clothing. I prefer more edgier and unusual designs than what she would like for me to wear. However, as a future government employee, maybe her more conservative ideas of what I should be wearing would be a good thing. (Damn! There goes the red and purple plaid…) 😛

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Posted by quirksalight on July 21, 2009

…aren’t really what you want to be wearing when Diplomatic Security stops by for a chat. Yep.

JR called me today to tell me that she just finished her interview with an investigator for my background check up in Long Island. As we were talking, the doorbell rings, and yep, it’s an investigator. And I’m in my pajamas and glasses, which is what I’m usually wearing when I’m not planning to go out.

Turns out the investigator had tried to reach me, but my cell didn’t go to voicemail. As he was interviewing the neighbors, he just decided to stop by. (I think) Kind of a pre-interview, as he had a list of things I need to get together for tomorrow’s interview and contact information for people in the area, not in the SF-86.

Oh, a random coincidence: Turns out he graduated from the same high school as I, and with the daughter of my next door neighbor. How odd is that?

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Posted by quirksalight on July 20, 2009

This past Sat was the first time I’ve been kayaking in a LONG time. Right at Fort Washington marina, we headed south on the Potomac and up Piscataway Creek for a guided nature tour. It turned out more just a guided tour and not so much on the nature bit, but was fun nevertheless.

A random bit of amusement happened, without me even knowing it. Turns out one of the “maybe” people had decided to come kayaking, and biked to the marina from DC. Unfortunately, he arrived a little late and snafus with the kayak rental staff prevented him from getting a kayak until we were already down near Piscataway Creek. So upon my return home, I find an e-mail with this photo:

with a commentary on the whole situation, including a summary of the conversation I was having with AW at the time. Highly amusing. I suppose JH will take a car instead of a bike next time. 🙂

Posted in adventure, amusing, ancedotes, commentary, friends, fun, Humor, Nature, outdoors, Sports, Washington DC | Leave a Comment »

An update!

Posted by quirksalight on June 4, 2009

It’s been a while, and I have no excuses. Well, I have plenty, if you really want, but I’ll hold off. (See, Cousin… it’s up!)

Readjusting to US life is an ongoing process. I have to admit the hardest thing to readjust to was the distance of places and things. The corner market doesn’t really exist in the suburbs and the bus stop is a mile away (I checked).

Basically, it’s the car factor. I sold my car when I left for Korea for several reasons, including that it was over 7 years old and I had no real clue if i’d be back in a year. So I’m currently carless, working out sharing times with other members of my family. Which means I’m home a lot more than I’ve ever been, which in it of itself is a major adjustment for me. 🙂

But it’s not bad. I’m working on gardening and trust me, there are plenty to mess with on the landscaping and plant raising at the familial pad. I’ve got my little garden (so tiny compared to my mother’s monster sized one!), and I’ll be using my engineering skills to save the future fruit harvest from the local wildlife. Apparently the proverbial most wanted in the garden are the squirrels and the birds. Totally nicked last year’s berries, peaches, persimmons, and pears.

And yes, the FSOA… June 15th! My own little D-day…

Posted in amusing, ancedotes, Engineering, gardening, Humor, Science | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

Rothenburg and poker

Posted by quirksalight on April 20, 2009

Wednesday (April 1, 2009) was our road trip to Rothenburg, a town about 45 minutes away and well known for their old town area, where entire structures and the city wall from the 1500s are still kept up today. Also, they have the medieval crime museum there.
Waking up is hard to do on anyday for me, but the later the previous night, the harder it is. I don’t think I went to sleep before 2am on any of the nights in Wurzburg, so getting going was a bit tough. Knowing this, and my penchant for being a grump, MH informed me that it was already 9:30am and that I had said that I wanted to be on the road 30 mins ago. (which was true, as it is a 30-45 minute drive to get there) Thinking, “Oh crap!” I jumped out of bed and quickly took a shower and dressed. Out of the shower, throwing my stuff together…only to see that it was then 9:15am. WTF?? I looked at MH and he’s laughing his head off. dork. 😛 Hey, if you’re reading this, I bet you’re still laughing. Just remember… there’s always payback. 🙂

The old part of Rothenburg was visually amazing. It’s been kept in great condition over the years, including the old city wall, which is still nearly encompassing the entire part of the old city. Scattered at regular intervals along the wall are towers, which also allow access up to the wall itself. Which is really nice, as you can walk along the city wall around the Aldstadt and get a great view of the old and new parts of Rothenburg. As you can see, MH is demonstrating that the ledge that you walk along is not all that high. 🙂 Walking around, several places had already put up decorations for Easter, which at this point was about 10 days away. There were plenty of evidence that the town were very focused on tourism, with the shops, decor, and the multiple tour groups roaming around in multiple languages. Though the shops were rather interesting. We saw a shop that sold replicas of medical armor and weaponry… man… there were some neat items there….and may be a little difficult getting on the plane back with.

The architecture is a mix of styles, but one that you see a lot is the Tudor style, from the late 1400’s – 1500’s, where you can see the contrast between the wall and the wood frames on the outside of the buildings. I do have to admit that I preferred the stone buildings with the statues, gargoyles, and carvings scattered about the exterior. Such character… and as some of y’all can attest to, I’ll stop and stare at the building for a while to take it all in. 😛

One of the things that I really wanted to see was the Medival Crime Museum, which is supposed to be the only museum devoted to crime and punishment in the medieval era. I heard a lot of interesting things about it, and one of MH’s friends, H, had been there before and told us that it was a really interesting. Which, yes, it was, but also very somber, as the chronicling of the past has some resonances throughout history to the present.

But, the peak of the trip (literally) was climbing to the top of the tower of the Rothenburg Rathaus and seeing the entire city and the surrounding lands. About 93 meters high, you have to climb a series of stairs to the very top of bell tower, the last two sets of stairs being more a ladder than stairs. Then, you pop open the hatch (seriously) and climb out to a very narrow ledge, right next to the large bell. I’m generally not afraid of heights, in fact, usually I love them. However, maybe it was narrow ledge, or the extremely brisk wind, but I definitely felt a bit wary of being there! MH commented that I didn’t let go of the railing much…. which was true. In all the pics of me up there, I have one hand on the rail!

And the food, of course. For lunch, MH and I sat in the main square at a Bavarian restaurant, and split a schweinehaxen, which basically is
roasted pig’s calf. (Yes, I noticed that it was the lower leg when there was a tibia and a fibula…. anyhow…) Rather large, and I was very glad that I split it, and was very yummy. The Trollinger I drank with lunch was rather sweet, and not really “trocken” (dry), which is what I do like. But the best part was the dessert we had later! Apparently the region is known for a pastry called “snowball”. It’s a long strip of sweet dough that been twisted and formed in to a ball, which is either fried or baked – I couldn’t tell. After, it’s dusted with sugar and/or covered with other toppings, such as chocolate. mmm….

Posted in adventure, amusing, friends, fun, history, Humor, museums, travel, traveling | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »