Growing Up Overnight

I was debating whether I would even discuss this because it's really me, airing out my dirty laundry and allowing myself to be completely transparent. This is the most difficult post I've ever written because I know people will judge me. I know my parents and loved ones might look at me in a different way. But I'll take it on. I decided I will only talk about him this once. I'm writing this at a time when all I really want to do is bury my head in the sand, but this is my pulpit of sorts and you are my loyal parishioners. Sometimes the preacher has to come clean. I'm here to listen today as well. As I re-tell my story of another love lost, I think I will see where I went wrong. But I'll also see my defining moment because character is what's revealed when the whole world is watching you.

*deep breath*

I was dating a married man.

It actually hurts to read that. In all fairness, he did not present himself in this way in the beginning. We met online and his status was clearly listed as "Never Married, No children", both of which turned out to be untrue. About a month into this whirlwind disaster, I found out about his 2 young daughters. From his "ex-wife". He had been divorced since October 2006, according to him. I cried when I found out about him having children and he did everything to console me so I decided to accept them. If I were really going to care about him, I had to care about the whole package. Most people probably would have walked away then, but I did not. A month and a half after I got to Korea, the other shoe fell. I found out through a website that he was still legally married. They were supposedly separated, living in different places, only keeping in contact for the children, etc. I threw a fit, felt betrayed, but he explained the situation and comforted me. He said they were going to divorce because he just couldn't deal with her, told me not to worry. Months passed and I struggled quite a bit with the reality of the situation. I cried a lot, lost a lot of weight, felt consumed with anxiety. The questions tore me up, his lies only confused me more. There was an obvious moral conflict raging inside of me because I just didn't think I'd ever be "that girl", the one who got with a married man. But there it was, staring me in the face every morning and night.

When I came home in February, he brought me to an apartment. I knew that this barely-lived-in place was not his. My antennae went up, but I ignored them. He would go days without contacting me and I got so anxious. I was crushed but he still claimed to love me. This past Monday, I found out he'd made some comments on his wife's pictures online and I LOST IT. I sent him a scathing email, threatening to expose him and his devious ways. After all, I'd had over 180 emails and voice messages we'd exchanged since August. I could destroy him. He wrote back saying that he was at my mercy. Yes, they had decided to work things out and yes, he was still in love with her. No, he hadn't meant to hurt ME per se but I was the object of the hurt and anger he felt toward his wife. He was so thankful to me for helping him want to resolve their issues.

In the midst of all of that, I found out that a close friend and brother from my HU family was murdered in a carjacking. I lost it again. More rage and anger. More hurt. A second bombshell in less than 24 hours. I sat in my apartment in a state of catatonia, tears streaming, eyes burning...heart numb. Brandon. Shot. Gone. His 25 years of life ground to a halt because someone decided it was his day to play God. In that moment, reflecting on my friendship with Brandon and the dissolution of another relationship, something clicked. I felt it. My best friend, always the feisty one, said "You're better than me. I would've told his wife."

But I didn't. And I won't. And here's why.

Just because we have power, it doesn't mean we have to wield it. Yes, I had the ability to destroy him single-handedly. I could've ripped his life apart completely, shattered him in an instant. But being an adult means considering the full consequences of your actions. My actions would have ignited a cataclysmic chain reaction for his entire family. His young daughters would have felt the brunt of everything. I did it for THEM and them alone. They did not deserve to have their worlds crushed because of MY broken heart. My compassion for his children is what stopped me. I realized that in exposing him, the problem would have become much bigger than just he and I. It would have spread to his children causing potentially lifelong harm. I had a choice and I chose to set aside my personal pain to spare an entire family's pain.

It is not my job to play God.

It would have been very easy to fire off an email to his wife, telling her what she didn't want to hear. But the right thing to do, in my heart, was to leave it alone, to walk away and never look back. My last words to him were, "You should disappear now, forget you ever knew me, and give your girls an extra kiss. From me." I think 50 or 100 years from now, I will still be okay with my decision. I try not to beat myself up too much about this situation. Even Oprah admitted to dating a married man in her early 20s. It's just one of those things you get caught up in, but once you're out it's like being able to breathe again. I'm thankful it's over and believe me, he knows exactly how I feel about him, lots of 4-letter words included. But I've learned over the years to direct my anger at the right source. I was not angry with his wife or his children or anyone in his family. That's how I want to live my life, being proud of my actions and not having regrets. I made an adult choice and not a childish one. I feel like I grew up overnight. Those moments where I thought about emailing her, blowing the top off of everything he loved, were my defining moments. If only Brandon's attacker had shown as much restraint, I would not have to write these words.

But I do and I will miss him dearly.
Heaven's got another beautiful angel. RIP Brandon (BMac)

"And now the end is near
And so I face the final curtain,
My friends, I'll say it clear,
I'll state my case of which I'm certain.
I've lived a life that's full, I've travelled each and evr'y highway
And more, much more than this, I did it my way."

~~Paul Anka~~

"You cannot make yourself feel something you do not feel, but you can make yourself do right in spite of your feelings."
~~Pearl S. Buck~~

Until then, J


Wait, Dog Sh*t in My Classroom??

I seem to be angry quite a bit lately, but I promise it's not my normal disposition. I'm very jovial. Joia the Jovial Woman. Yup. But just certain things have been grating on my nerves like nails on a chalkboard. I'll go ahead and get to my story because it's been fermenting inside my mind all day. So, there was another "incident" in one of my classes today. Yeah, a racial one with a different group of kids. Even younger than the first ones. And apparently, in the eyes of these little ones, brown-skinned people are even lower than monkeys. Everything was going fine. I'd just finished playing a game and everyone was laughing and happy. "Turn to page 25...Let's do Part A and..." But I never got that sentence out. Here they go pointing and laughing at THIS little girl. A perfectly normal child.

As I'd learned before though, absolutely nothing good was going to come from this confrontation. They weren't making monkey faces. Oh no...this time they kept saying "dog" over and over along with the Korean word for poop. I played dumb in an attempt to get further clarification.

"Teacher!!! Look!!" They pretended to squat and take a sh*t.

"Huh? What? I don't get it...." *blink*stare*blink*

"Girl...and...black...and...*Korean word for poop*...and...."

More confusion from Joia teacher on that one. Since they are so low level, they couldn't properly explain what they were getting at. So, they went ahead and drew me some pictures. Uh huh. Big ole piles of dog sh*t. And pointed to the little girl. Then back to the dog poop, then back to the little girl. One of them even pointed at me too and said, "Like Joia teacher!!"

WORD, you little twit? WORD??????

But I tried a couple of different things. After 5 minutes of this back and forth nonsense, I straight up cussed them all out. Without the cuss words. To paraphrase, I basically said that maybe you should bring your little behind to any other part of the world, outside your little homogenous bubble of Korean-ness and experience just a tenth of what you are so generously unleashing on everyone else!! Would you like it if someone made fun of your eyes or your nose or your rotted out teeth or your skin?? What if Joia teacher called you ugly because you're Korean?? What if you walked down the street and everyone stared and pointed and laughed at you?? How would YOU feel???!

Hmmm. A moment of reflection. After that they all looked at me with big eyes, wondering what in the hell I was rambling about and what they'd done to make me so mad. It was an empty release because I almost feel like I wasted a good cussing out on kids who won't really get the message. I wish my middle-schoolers would've said something like this because it could've really been breath well spent. I didn't make them write this time. They all just sat with their hands folded on their desks, not speaking or moving at all. I sat in silence staring hard at all of them. For 10 minutes. Ten minutes of nothingness is especially tortuous when you're 8 though. When I finally did speak again, my voice was very low. I found this to be more effective when getting my mood across. My body language gave off that energy and they were even afraid to say goodbye to me. They filed out of class, imaginary tails tucked neatly between their legs. And I went back to my desk and exhaled. I hate yelling at my kids. God, I really do. But I hate even more that they are being poisoned like this. It breaks my heart to know that this is the way their minds are being molded. Their mental filters are out of commission and so everything gets poured in and absorbed. I can only shake my head...and trudge on. Oh how I'd just love a word or 352014235987 with their parents...and a translator of course.

One other thing has been pestering me for the past couple of weeks. It's the issue of gratitude. Steve has been really great helping me out in Korea. I'd truly be lost without his kindness. Last month, he talked to the Directors about my pay during the January winter intensive classes. Basically, they were going to pay me a lot less than what I'd really worked because of how the schedules were set up. It's complicated so I won't get into it, but I was very thankful to him for doing that. I hadn't asked him to but he just did it. Fine. I had planned to treat him to dinner or something anyway to show my thanks. But what has really irked the mess out of me was that he actually brought up this whole idea of "owing him" every day SINCE he negotiated it for me!! I mean, it has been non-stop. He'd say things like, "Joooooiiiiaaaaaa, you know you owe me a big expensive dinner for getting you more money right??" Oh yeah, subtlety is a foreign concept with him. Everytime I turned around, he'd remind me of what I owe, like a bookie. I'm a firm believer in back-scratching and I have no problem bending over backwards for those who've done right by me. No question about it. HOWEVER, this idea of owing drives me nuts. And I hate it even more when people try to tell me how I should divvy up MY gratitude. I think it's in such poor taste. Of course I'm grateful that he got me the money but I didn't ask for it and I wasn't counting on it. But since I was getting it, I had made plans for it. But he seemed hell-bent on trying to spend the very money that he'd gotten for me and I dunno, it just totally rubbed me the wrong way. I never said anything to him about it. I just rolled with it. Today, I finally took him and the other 2 teachers out for lunch and a movie. I dropped about $70 so hopefully he'll leave me the heck alone now.

Well, that's all for today. Maybe I should change the name of my blog to "The Daily Pissivity" since I'm always pissed off....thoughts? Lol. Until then, J


Eliminating the Minimum Man*

* or woman...but since I only date men...ok, you get it...

Sooooo, it's that time of year again!!! Break-ups are running rampant. Call it spring cleaning or what have you, but it seems that many of my friends (heck, me too) are dealing with the emotional baggage left by the Minimum Man. Yes, you know him. One of my favorite blogs, Baggage Reclaim (it's on my blogroll), talks all about dealing with Mr. Unavailable and Emotionally Unavailable Men. Well I call him the Minimum Man because he will do exactly the bare minimum to sustain a "relationship" with you. That random text message that says, "I miss you..." or "Thinking about you..." is only a ploy, ladies. Because if he REALLY missed you, I'm pretty sure it's 2008 and phones are available. But MM realizes that is too much like EFFORT and hence too much work. So he won't...but he'll shoot you a quick text to make sure you're dragged back into that emotional vortex of ambiguity. It's amazing how your brain is able to recognize this BS, but your heart still clings onto the possibility that he'll come around and "be a man".

If we try to look at love rationally, which is a feat in and of itself, we'd notice the sheer insanity of our behavior. I can't name one person since the beginning of time who hasn't wilted under love's incessant, sharp arrows. Little pinpricks to your heart and soul leaving trails of blood and tears. I've had my heart split into pieces two real times. One was a two-year ordeal and the other one lasted nearly 5 years. That's a long ass rollercoaster. But the one tried and true method of getting over that heartbreak is the No-Contact Rule. For me, the Queen of the Drunk Dial, I've found the No-Contact Rule amazingly effective. Effective for moving on and getting on with your life. I also like to draft emails and then not actually send them to the guy. It's a way to get my feelings out and yet maintain my NCR.

Once I get past the sobbing, balled-up tissue throwing, crying-myself-to-sleep, sappy-movie watching, borderline-alcoholic phase (oh wait, is that just me???), I start to rebuild myself bit by bit. Sure, I have my angry breakup playlist on my iPod (Nikka Costa's Hope It Felt Good and Mary J's Not Lookin' included). But there are certain songs that kick my butt to get back on the horse. Once the hurt and resentment have started to fade, I'm left with just a skeleton of myself. And certain songs help put the meat back on my bones. Two of my favorite songs are India Arie's Strength, Courage, and Wisdom and Back to the Middle. These songs represent everything I am and everything I want to be. It works not only for break-ups but for anytime things aren't really going my way in life. So many of us cling to bad situations out of an irrational fear of the unknown and we're consumed by what if's. But these are not productive what if's. They're more like, "Well, what if I stop talking to him and then he never calls me again?? What if I don't respond to that text message and he's in trouble?" And my answer is, "So what?"



Can we please take a moment to say, "So what??" You know, if you say it enough, it starts to feel kinda nice. :) But my point is that even if you DO still care, you have to at least give the illusion that you do not. You have to be a ballbreaker. And I know this idea is counterintuitive because as a woman, nurturing anything and everything is second nature. You can call it a game but I call it survival. After my 15th drunk dial to an ex where I screamed and yelled at him for "screwing me over YET AGAIN", I think my friends had had just about enough. And I wanted my dignity back. I'm sure they kept thinking, "Damn, when is she gonna stop talking about this fool??" And I truly thank all my friends for listening to me whine for 5 years. When I look back, every break-up has led me to a breakthrough. In different parts of the world. Not that I need a reason to travel, but seeing a new crop of available men is more than enough motivation for me to hop on a plane. I don't know about you, but I like traveling for the constant reminder that there is life outside of my world. There are millions of potential mates out there, but it's difficult to believe that within your own walls of misery. Look, it's hard...I know. So much history with that person, so many promises and plans and visions for the future, so many good and bad memories. If you can stop cold turkey, you deserve an award! My supremely novice advice (since I'm practically still a chrysalis in the life cycle of love) is to just --- open the window. Let some fresh air in. You'd be surprised what happens when you finally are able to close the door on a past relationship. After all, it is Springtime...get cleaning! Until then, J


Kicking Old Ladies...

I've just about had it with these old ladies in Korea!!! They drive me UP the wall!! Ajumas are to Korea what The Eiffel Tower is to Paris. They just go together. It's basically the term for an older married woman. This is really one aspect of Korean culture that I could truly do without though. At first, I thought they were cute...like puppies. But NO!! Don't let the curly-permed hair and the hideous 1992 track suits fool you! These little angerballs are vicious and they will stop at nothing to get YOU, foreigner or fellow Korean, out of their way. My parents raised me properly. I always defer to my elders. I'll give you my seat, I'll open the door for you, and I'll even carry your luggage if I see you putting up a good fight. Especially in Korea, where old people are put up on pedestals anyway, what the hell is knocking everyone over going to accomplish?! But these old ladies are a different breed. First of all, they walk around with an unwarranted sense of entitlement. I understand that you're a dinosaur. You've lived your life. You've popped out some kids. You've raised them and married them off. You've made centuries worth of kimchi with your bare hands. I GET IT!

What I DON'T get is why you feel it's perfectly okay to elbow random strangers in the back when you're trying to get by!!!!! I've been elbowed and knocked around and damn near knocked over by 80-year old women!!! And not just ONE ajuma. Heaven forbid. They are like packs of polyester-wearing rabid wolves. If you hear any cackling and rapid foot shuffling, you best believe you've got an ajuma on your back. And of course they are only 3 feet tall. Well, today....I hit my breaking point with an old Korean lady. COULD...NOT...TAKE...IT...A-N-Y-M-O-R-E!!!!! Ok, now before you get all mad at me, I did not kick an old lady. I wanted to but I didn't. Here's what happened:

I was on my way home from lunch with a friend. It was a long train ride and I was standing up for most of it. Not a big deal. It was crowded but not to the point of suffocation. I was listening to the song in my head and having a great day. Next thing I feel is a really hard stab in my lower back. Naturally it jolted me out of my reverie. But I just knew it was a damn ajuma trying to bulldoze her way down the aisle. WTF???? I thought. So, pissed off Joia, nudged her back. Really hard. And do you know what SHE did??? She elbowed me AGAIN!!!!! HARDER!!!! So I did it back...again...and this time I used my bag to give it that extra umph. I heard her make a muffled, shocked noise. I thought to myself, "That's right, old lady! How do you like the taste of your own medicine?!" I guess it's an unwritten, unspoken rule that only ajuma can ever retaliate against each other. You only see old ladies knocking people around but I guess others, who are not named Joia, don't do that. WHATEVER....

Finally, she gets by and I turn around to look at her and give her my standard do-you-really-wanna-mess-with-me-today look and my mouth just drops....and I feel lower than dirt. WHY????


Oh Sweet Lord!! The ONE time I try to be assertive and stand up to a crazy old woman, I end up being the jerk and taking all my aggression out on a poor old woman who can't even see...I know there's a warm place for me in Hell for that one. Yup. I just hung my head. Shame. But dangit, why did she have to poke me so hard??? If you are blind, I know your other senses are heightened and where was her little walking stick thingy?????? She's just walking around molesting people...anyway ok, I won't try to justify my behavior. But next time, I will be sure to hit a real old lady and not a blind one. Hahahahaha...hmmmm... or should I just not hit old ladies?? I mean, I know I'm the visitor and all but even Koreans are annoyed by this and no one says anything! I wouldn't get as angry if an "excuse me" or "my bad" or a "coming through" prefaced the attack, but NO...nothing. Never. I guess I should grin and bare it....I've only gotta deal with it for 7 more months. But just once, I'm going to hit one of them back...not maliciously but just enough to jolt her. And that should satisfy me for a lifetime. :) Until then, J




I am SUCH an idiot!! A royal retard!!

Ok, I'll take a moment from kicking myself in the back of the neck and explain what happened. I was out at COEX Mall in Seoul today. Just hanging out. This place is gigantic. It has a hotel inside, an aquarium, a movie theater, and even a casino! Ginormous. So, I went to the bookstore called Bandi & Luni's. Great place. I could stay in there for hours. I was minding my own business when lo and behold, an absolutely gorgeous guy pops up in my area. I mean, breathtaking...as in, I couldn't really breathe properly. Instead of acting like a GROWN-UP and approaching this divine Korean creation, I proceeded to stalk him around the store. I never thought I was capable of such behavior but I'm learning something new everyday. I would like to mention at this time that it was nearly impossible for me to "casually browse" any damn thing because all the books were in KOREAN! If anyone passing by saw me nonchalantly flipping through these pages, feigning interest, they would be a fool. The object of my obsession stayed in one general area and for about 20 minutes, Margot (who couldn't stop hysterically laughing at my child-like behavior) and I were not too far behind. Let me see if I can describe him - tall (about 6'1"), tan, Yankees hat, red North Face vest with a gray hoodie underneath, washed and worn jeans, clean white sneakers. And he had a mole on his cheek, just like me. A perfect face and form. I think maybe he was a model. He must have been. But even more shocking, he was ALL ALONE!! No equally gorgeous model girlfriend-in-tow, no friends, nothing. Malls are social venues but not for this guy. He was just...hanging out! I couldn't believe it.

On several occasions, I was standing across the aisle from him and I'd glance up. He'd be glancing down. You should have seen me. I was actually peaking around corners and over bookshelves to get a glimpse of him. Just SORRY! Such a sad sight. So Margot, fed up with my punkassness, decided she was going to go talk to him for me. How junior high! And I bolted faster than you can say "kimchi", finding solace in some Japanese magazines. She was standing next to him in the check out line while I was motioning like a PSYCHO for her to stop it. "NO!! DON'T!! Let's just go! PUH-LEEEEAAASSSSEEE??!" I imagine he had no idea that two black girls were following him around. So, finally, he finished checking out and we were about 10 feet behind him. It was a perfect chance to say hi or practice my new Korean, anything just to make some contact so my stalking wasn't in vain.

But NO....I couldn't do it. I just...couldn't make a fool of myself. I was thinking a million things at once like, "What if he thinks I'm crazy? What would I say? He probably has a girlfriend right? And Korean guys that look like that certainly don't go for black girls right?" Guess I'll never know his answer. Totally psyched myself out. So I left the bookstore, feeling like I'd missed a great opportunity. In this huge mall, in Seoul, the chances of seeing the same person twice was so rare. So we left and headed to the other side of the mall. I couldn't stop thinking about how STUPID I'd been. I mean, I could've said hi or something. D'OH!!!

But it gets worse...

Someone looked down on me and said, "Joia, today is your lucky day. I believe in second chances so here it is...go get him, tiger!!"

Yup, I did see Mr. Model again. After my mind had already given up, I saw him about 30 mins later inside a little food shop. I stopped in my tracks, staring at his back. Ironically, it was mostly English foods (like Campbell's soup, Snapple, and Jelly Bellys). This should have perhaps given me some confidence to go and say hi, but NO!!! As soon as I saw that red vest and gray hoodie, I got nervous all over again. Sweaty palms, heart racing, blood drainage from the brain. I grabbed Margot so hard I'm pretty sure she still has bruising and I fled...again!! Margot stayed back to hang around near him while I bolted...AGAIN. When she found me, I was leaning against a wall, feeling like I'd aged 50 years and looking like I'd seen a ghost. My legs were ready to give out. How old was I?! 12?!!? I could NOT get a grip on myself. It was beyond embarrassing and quite frankly, I'm glad I didn't talk to him. I don't want anyone having that kind of effect on me! It's dangerous...life-threatening even.

To make myself feel better about having wasted a perfectly good opportunity (TWICE!), I've convinced myself that he is either married or gay. Yup, that's what I tell myself since I blew it. I guess this all points to the fact that I am severely out of practice with talking to the opposite sex. I've gotta do better, folks. I need some cojones. Big ones! I just have no idea who that Joia was today! I will talk to a rock...seriously. I can have full conversations with MYSELF so why, dear Lord, can't I say hi to one person?!?! Oh well... next time, I will definitely be more outgoing. The one thing that mitigated this titanic blow to my pride was buying another super cute bag! :) So, I welcome any advice for getting over this paralyzing fear...but note to self, COEX Mall is where all the hot Korean guys are! I'll be back there...even if it's just to hang around the bookstore :)

Until then, J


No Room for Vanity...

Every girl has her ugly moments. Some people would shudder at the thought of posting this kind of picture but I'm shameless!! This blog is not always about showing my best side all the time although of course, I want to look good. However, there's no room for vanity here, only opinions and laughter. So when I received some anonymous pictures of a certain someone knocked the hell out on a couch, I couldn't stop laughing. Tears streaming down and everything. In fact, I'm gonna post them. OK, I'm lying. I'm going to post ONE. The other is really just a close-up which I'm quite certain you don't need to get the full effect. I wasn't kidding about that jetlag when I was home. I fell asleep MID SENTENCE!! I especially love how my mouth is hanging wide open. Classic. That's how you know I was sleeping real good! But my friend didn't mind because she knew it was probably the best sleep I'd gotten in days. And it was...so, here you go. I'm on a roll for this month aren't I?! Three posts in a week?! Yeah, don't get used to it... :) Until then, J


Is "Crazy" Tattooed on My Forehead?


I'm so honored to bestow upon you more of my crazy. Think of it as my gift to you for your loyal readership...

I got an email today from a Nigerian man. I signed up for a website here in Korea...it's so aptly called iluvkorea.com. It's my attempt to make some new friends. I love my current friends, but you can never have too many. However, you can have too many crazy people contacting you so I think I may remove my information completely. I received said email from Mr. Nigerian Man today:


My name is TONY sound in education and also I felt so happy to drop this few words of mine letting you to know how I felt when I saw your contact Please permit me to ask you this question. Are you single? Advise me immediately on receipt of this mail, because I am so eager to have someone like you that is single whom I can call my baby till the end of time.

I look forward to reeciving your urgent reply Thanks and remain blessed
Bye for now.




I will give you $100 if you can identify and decipher what "sound in education" means*

Until then, J

* = I'm not giving you $100


Lowered Expectations?

Well, I got a guy's phone number yesterday.

You may be thinking, "Um, big deal..." However, this is Korea so YES, it's a big deal. But this was not just any guy. No, no. It was my Chinese food delivery man. Now, I order Chinese food everyday for dinner but it used to be some old, crusty man. The past few times have been this new guy. The first time he delivered the food, I said "Thank You" in Korean and he responded, in crystal clear English, "You're welcome.." *blink*stare*blink* THREW ME OFF...

So, the next day, he did the same thing. With a smile.

Yesterday, I actually talked to him. I was thinking either he is fluent in English and is holding out or he only knows a few phrases that he practices over and over again.

So, I said, "What is your name?" He told me but of course I don't remember.

"Ohhh. You speak great English!"


"Where did you learn?"

Then he just looked at me funny, head cocked to the side. Bingo...Steve translated the question for me but somehow I never got my answer. Before he left though, he grabbed a pair of chopsticks and a pen and wrote his number down.

"This is my number..." he said, with ANOTHER smile. What in the hell...?

"Oh! Thanks! Bye..." *blink*stare*blink*

A scenario like this playing out back home signals clear, unquestionable interest in another person. The exchanging of numbers has the potential to be the beginning of something. However, um, in Korea...I can't help but think he may just want to practice his English with me. After all, I don't get "hit on" by Korean men. In fact, I truly think Hell would have to freeze over for this to occur. So, I need to do some more research so I'll be ordering Chinese food again. He's actually good looking, underneath the helmet and heavy coat. I think. I don't know. Let me just end this post now before I get any more *blink*stare*blink* looks from my readers....will keep you posted! Until then, J

And yes, you know I have a picture of those chopsticks...