Tuesday, January 31, 2012

hello from sickland,

I’ll spare you the gory details, but K.Lo had strep Sunday/Monday, and N.Lo was up all.night.long. with a stomach bug last night. Worst nightmare. Luckily the universe allowed a nap for both of us this morning. I am however getting a little tired of the couch and aspire to sleep in myownbed tonight. Also, if you’re listening universe, and I know you do, even if you don’t always answer prayers like a genie-in-a-bottle (as you shouldn’t), it would be super rad if Management avoided same-sickness this week. Any form. Please.

Did you come up with an icebreaker activity for the littles? Favorite color game? Is who stole the cookie from the cookie jar too complicated? Probably. But maybe further down the road. Ring around the rosy? Hokey-pokey? Um, so how on earth do you explain things to them? Just wondering. I do love your k-in-k blog post, it rocks.

My hair continues to be stupid, although I wasn’t entirely displeased with a recent hair-falling-in-my-eyes moment. because that means it’s long enough to fall in my eyes.

I’ve caught up on Downton Abbey and now have to wait/watch each episode every week like a commoner.

I completely advocate the procurement of shows like ProRun in Korea by whatever means possible.

Some of the food you’ve eaten/logged sounds like Muppets. I hope you’re not eating Muppets.

I love that you brought your yellow umbrella. and sheer curtains for your room.

Am inexplicably craving Nutella/PB sandwiches. Although the iron content isn’t entirely shabby with this combo, so maybe that’s why. or maybe it’s because they’re awesome.

I saw an article about amazonian mushrooms that eat plastic! in an anaerobic environment! this excites me.



Saturday, January 28, 2012

to m on the island,

Oh, culture shock. What fun to witness. I find the internet cord dangling from your building appalling and yet somehow appropriate. I’ll need a picture of that. I mean, I assume the fancy camera made the luggage cut. Because I’m also going to need a picture of that most excellent dish soap, and any other awesomely tag-lined product.

My dish soap, for the record, smells like pet cleaner, and I hate it. It’s secured its place on the Aldi is Wicked Awesome but Dutifully Avoid the Following Items for Purchase list. Also on the list: sandwich bread (lacking in flavor and texture somehow – probably a lack of preservatives and/or dough conditioners), jerky (J.Lo doesn’t like it), men’s deodorant (ditto), toothbrushes and boxed mashed potatoes. That last one I don’t normally ever buy, regardless of the store, but I accidentally picked it up instead of au gratin. It was not a serendipitous mistake.

Your ticking stove reminds me of the running toilet pipe in my Chicago Bldg room. Oh dear.

As to the inevitable wants-creeping-in, perhaps you could picture each whatever-it-is as the Buddha statue I wanted to buy in that weird store in Chicago last February. And you’re me, and then you talk yourself out of it? Because it’s all just *stuff* after all…

So at the moment I’m semi-agitated after finding myself at Walmart over the weekend when I didn’t want to go. But there were food needs, and wrench needs. And whatever-else needs. Stupid ones, I feel sure. I did manage to thief some of those card “picks” from the flower department, so I can use them on K.Lo’s cake. They totally fit the bill for my idea. Which is a surprise, so you’ll have to wait.

Walmart isn’t the best place to feel great about mankind, however.

Also, I started watching “Waiting for Superman” this morning, and that doesn’t make one feel great about mankind, either.

Although allegedly we all belong to each other…

And so you belong to the new littles, and they to you. I hope you adapt well. When do you officially begin?

Other notes: I’ve been on a winter organizing spree, and have thusly conquered my closet, my drawers, our bathroom cabinet, the linen closet, K’s closet – which is now a reading space that I covet. The drawer in the children’s bathroom that was like an explosion of ribbon and sparkly lip gloss. The wrapping paper/gift bag stores. The refrigerator, which I might have previously mentioned in an equally boring post. And this is all building up toward A Conclusion in the form of organizing the craft area downstairs. Which is so overwhelming I’ve taken over a year to ponder it. But when it’s done I’ll also be setting up a table for this alleged sewing machine purchase projected to occur in the birthday month.

If I keep talking about it, someday it will happen.

love to you on jeju




My love,

I definitely need details. All the time. More and more. That'll keep me anchored as the haze wears off, when the ticking of the timer on this stupid electric stove i'm now stuck with drives me to my last end, or when the orangish street light shining in my room becomes intolerable or the shoddy wallpaper begins to peel for what appears to be inevitable come the humidity of summer. Or when, in the next storm, the cord keeping me virtually connected snaps and flies off into the ocean because it's precariously dangling over the street. Or when i become sick of rice, and no one speaking english or when my brain bursts from trying to cook everything without a microwave or oven. And for when all the wants creep in as they will, as they are... the abolutely brutal urge to make life "simple", which drives me to complexity and debt.

That is of course the problem with me- foreseeing just now the downslide, or fearing that the lingering gripes of teachers, or routine become mine. I really want to be anchored with a different attitude. I don't want the same as usual, or the well it's about time when... though i watch for the shadow falling anyway. But that is when God must be the better for me yes? He must.

Mostly I am supressing the panic of stepping into new routines- teaching young ones. I've only observed so far and they are all adorable and the teachers all make it look easy as they fly rapidly from one activity to the next- homework check, review, new activity, reinforce activity, game, repeat, repeat. I am constantly reminding myself I have time- time to get lost, to be confused, to get overcharged because my grocery bag is sub'ing as my laundry bag and that's why i've not brought it and so must buy a plastic one 3x already. And to find rhythms at work. Probably is why all my energy is going to decorating my place. My brain won't wrap itself around something it hasn't done yet, so it waits like a coiled spring. But here in my apt i've hung sheer curtains to seperate the kitchen, made a covering for the flourescent lighting, and put a sticker decal of camillia blossoms on my balcony/laundry area door. Ive made a 20item list at least and spent too much money on supplies, like ginger and plum vinegar and seasame oil, and a dishsoap called "Safe" that smells like grapes/wine, and has the tag line about adding pleasurable taste to your dishwashing experience.

I'm sorry about your hair. I hate that phase. Just think of me sticking out all over the place here and smile for the inability to disappear into the background- though of course i never did that much there either. I must have though. Here I don't know. Anyway by 10, 9 really- I become dreadfully tired. I think it probably is jetlag still. Sleepy enough to passout with the question of, why fight it? My teaching schedule has me ending at 830ish so it's hard to figure out when I'll be getting up and going. Remind me to tell you about the work drama. Really it needs no reminding but it's got to wait. More on the coming and going of me at KinK- maybe tomorrow.

My love to you on Jeju.

ps. I've eaten well pen, never fear. You'll have to search the following because if i take time to load the pics or find them, i never will- the horror of no easy camera phone is still singed into my finger tips too so it's going to take a bit to readjust- until i get some fancy local phone.

On the plane to Korea: Bibimbop,
Airport: Jamba Juice (Pomegrante Passion),
Dinner: Dokgalbi, Starbucks... it gets a bit fuzzy after that, but anything i missed assume i was eating almonds and 2 of my last clif bars.
2nd day: Tea, Starbucks, Bulgogi, Tea, McDonalds, Tea
3rd day: Coldish soup gone awry at airport with instant cup, apple, post airport: full korean spread: puree'd pumpkin, fish, rice with beans, sweet juice, sprouts of some kind? fern?, pork, random things i have no idea what they were but most all were good, then back to soup, and an apple, and a free shot of milkcoffee from a vending machine at the restaurant. suh-weet. had the same at the bank the next day.
4th day: apple, soup, rice, yogurt, instant korean bbq in a bag that i boiled to warm up- actually not bad... and some shared tuna rolls in the breakroom. forget what else.
5th day: eggs/rice, kiwis, fried rice thing and eggdrop soup bcs the teachers order chinese on fridays, apple, lots of oj in the last few days too, can't for the life of me remember dinner.
6th day- today- eggs/rice, apple, oj, some sort of sushi/roll with fresh ginger, fried chicken and a potato... done myself. oh yes, yes i did... i'll let you know how the kbbq marinade with pork goes tomorrow.... and the salad i'm going to make with random leafed vege and the dressing i'm going to make. mmm hmm. oh yes.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

p.s. ~

I got mail from you today! From America when you were still here. I love the bags, somebody’s mom! I will have to take pictures. And I have to ponder our epic blog headers/printsofus. Framed series? Collage? Make wallpaper for friend in Korea?

also ***very important*** I forgot to mention that my hair is at a highly awkward stage of growth. torment. I mean, they are not just badhairdays. they are stupidhairdays. very, very stupid. whatever, hair.

I got jehovaed this morning. bender barking ferociously in the background, was read an apparently prophetic bible passage. it’s all to be taken literally of course. in case you didn’t know. I took the literature Just Because. it’s very gloomy and presumably God never wants us to have any fun, ever? Yeah. I reallydontgetit.

oh and napoleon dynamite is a cartoon. on sundays. it’s kind of stupid but we keep watching. I mean I do appreciate that many of the characters are voiced by the original actors. at least. and it was all very cartoonish anyway…

tell me what you’re eating over there in jejubes. and more about methods of teaching these little people. and everythingelseinbetween.

while you’ve been out ~

Because I know you’re just dying without the mundane details of penelope’s life. In the meantime, I’m dying without photographical documentation of your journeying. And all the written details in between. Not that your emails thus far haven’t been magical. Love them. Papering your walls, what a clever idea! :-D You could also do blank paper and draw/paint on it. Depending on what you find. We’ll have to brainstorm over video chat.

So anyway, here’s a rundown of current events:

~ I strained my neck/shoulder in old-person Tai Chi at church over a week ago. Lame. It was clearly a waiting to happen crick, but goawayalready.

~ Book club Friday night, Mexi restaurant, a post-holiday reconvene discussing our various book-swap books. Which I didn’t read, because mine was a beachy chick lit book that turned out to be a cancer story. Completely unfair. There were only three of us, but the margaritas were tasty and I think I ate an entire basket of chips. This is not uncommon behavior.

~ Our friends came to visit this weekend, and beforehand L called specifically to see if it was supposed to snow, and I was all, oh – No no. We haven’t had nearly as much as last year, blah blah, forecast says sunny. And then it totally snowed. But it was sort of perfect and we think it was just for us. Because literally during the snow, the forecast still said sunny and there was nary a patch of radar-green within a hundred miles of us. It was just enough to entertain the children and melted by noon.

~ Also I love when good friends invite themselves to visit because I never seem to have to the gumption or wherewithal to make it happen.

~ N has been Mr. Crabby Pants.

~ K’s handwriting is becoming all neat, and she writes sentences. With kindergarten-endorsed “inventive spelling,” but still it’s sort of amazing.

~ One of my mom’s long-lost cousins wrote this book. What! Not like I haven’t been obsessed with that particular topic or anything.

~ I have 11 chapters left of Grain’s book. I love it. We have such talented friends.

~ Related theorizing, which happens every time I edit a friend’s fiction: though a writer, I lack the storytelling gene. Am more of a roundabout, let me take you on a spiral through twenty levels of emotion kind of girl.

~ Heidi and Seal have split.

~ Schrute is getting a spinoff. About life on the beet farm.

~ Ben Folds is reuniting with the Five of legend and lore to make a new album.

~ Have watched all of Downton season 1, am completely enamored. Waiting on season 2 as am feeling picky about the sound quality of PBS vs. Netflix. I know. #firstworldproblems

~ My college roommate is going to visit soon – have not seen in person since my wedding, I think? Awesomesauce. See above note about People I Like inviting themselves here.

~ Am obsessed with this blogger lately – Momastery. Oh, such divine wisdom!

~ Using app to explore Bible a little more. There are various reading plans to choose from.

~ Have picked up my crocheting again, the 6-year blanket that J.Lo has inexplicably deemed the Death Shroud. How rude.

~ Related: someone in this house is turning SIX. Is this okay? Not really!

~ Aldi is supposed to sell chocolateseasaltcaramels in a few weeks, a special buy for $2.99. WHAT.

~ We’re going to visit Ash in Athens in March! To see a concert! And the Hunger Games!

~ Scott has switched to decaf (epic), which means that a) I’m using the Keurig a lot more regularly b) I am drinking even more coffee because the there’s always decaf leftovers and it doesn’t make me all jittery and c) I may have a coffee problem.

love to you in Jeju -

(how glad are we that this rhymes?)


Thursday, January 19, 2012


  • mind constantly fogged and hazed, described as distracted, frazzled and preoccupied
  • games played within a month of my dad buying xbox: gears of war, gears of war 2 and portal. had to get my game on before it was gone. right? uh... yes. right. also really perfect brainshut off mental escape. coupled with mass over stimulation mode. shake off the fatigue! keep playing! go back to packing! go back to playing! solve the mission, kill the bad guy, find the war journals.
  • things i didn't think about while playing: packing, leaving, packing, packing, packing, details
  • overloaded on: love, friendship and things to pack.
  • things said: this is the most unprepared ive ever been for a trip, details of said trip, no i dont have a place to stay in seoul. and, "i'm going to miss you most of all"... said mostly to twist and marley.
  • sad i didn't pay attention to the yard or finish all my gf bread? yah, sad about it somehow.
  • eternal frustration: transferring music files
  • hoping to actually articulate more thoughts on the other blog about the coming and going of me.
  • and more letters to you of course.
i would stop short of even sending this, but ive got it typed out. as it is the final bits of packing are calling to me. must resist throwing in bottles and boxes and continue to condense and refine. i'm boring myself with the rambling alone.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

a (somewhat illogical) wringing of hands


Understandably it makes no sense that I’m preemptively filled with trepidation over your departure to the Jejubes Island. I mean, we already live more than 3000 miles and 3 time zones apart. So what if now you’ll be waking up around my dinnertime. There’s an app to tell me that, and rather than working out the math like a monkey on my fingers every hour of the day, I can instantly know – m is awake now. Asleep. Going to work. Eating breakfast. Living in tomorrow while I’m still in today.

And I’m totally excited for you! For this spectacular adventure. For solid employment and a substantial addition to your resume. For a beachview apartment – what! New food and new friends and Canadian cohorts. Absorption of a new culture. And what you’ll think of working with littles. We already know that you’re awesome with mine. And I feel like you’ll be getting to know a whole other side of God, somehow, and I look forward to living that with you.  Because obviously we’re pretty established at this whole long-distance friendship thing. And so where you go, I go.

I think that must be it – that in spite of physical distance, our lives are fairly entwined. So I’m not just bereft at the idea of not seeing you until, like, 2015 or something, omg. I can’t think about that yet. But I feel vicariously the anticipation of so many unknowns, the sting of temporary separations in your daily life, the landing in a completely. new. world.

It’s big.

So from 3000+ miles away I sit here anxiously wondering, worrying, waiting, expecting. Cheering. T-minus 7 days!

To Jejubes Island!

xoxox forever,


Sunday, January 1, 2012

love, served 3 ways

1. As referenced in Chapter 5 of TGABG, George Herbert’s poem, “Love (III).”

Love bade me welcome, yet my soul drew back,

               Guilty of dust and sin.

But quick-ey'd Love, observing me grow slack

               From my first entrance in,

Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning

               If I lack'd any thing.

"A guest," I answer'd, "worthy to be here";

               Love said, "You shall be he."

"I, the unkind, ungrateful? ah my dear,

               I cannot look on thee."

Love took my hand, and smiling did reply,

               "Who made the eyes but I?"

"Truth, Lord, but I have marr'd them; let my shame

               Go where it doth deserve."

"And know you not," says Love, "who bore the blame?"

               "My dear, then I will serve."

"You must sit down," says Love, "and taste my meat."

               So I did sit and eat.


Which all made me think of Christmas, and the ultimate gift of Love born. Is there really anything greater? How beautiful to celebrate it every year.


2. Also referenced in TGABG, Corinthians 13:4-8

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8 Love never fails…


Read at a lot of weddings, including possibly my own? I can’t even remember. I do remember reading it at my brother’s wedding. Love is at the root of mercy, grace.


3. Zooming us up to present day. The Herbert poem made me think of “The Ballad of Love and Hate,” by The Avett Brothers.

Love writes a letter and sends it to Hate:
"My vacation’s ending, I'm coming home late
The weather was fine and the ocean was great
And I can't wait to see you again."

Hate reads the letter and throws it away
"No one here cares if you go or you stay
I barely even noticed that you were away
I'll see you or I won't, whatever."

Love sings a song as she sails through the sky
The water looks bluer through her pretty eyes
And everyone knows it whenever she flies
And also when she comes down.

Hate keeps his head up and walks through the street
Every stranger and drifter he greets
And shakes hands with every loner he meets
With a serious look on his face.

Love arrives safely with suitcase in tow
Carrying with her the good things we know
A reason to live and a reason to grow
To trust, to hold, to care.

Hate sits alone on the hood of his car
Without much regard to the moon or the stars
Lazily killing the last of a jar
Of the strongest stuff you can drink.

Love takes a taxi, a young man drives
As soon he sees her hope fills his eyes
But tears follow after at the end of the ride
Because he might never see her again.

Hate gets home lucky to still be alive
He screams over the sidewalk and into the drive
The clock in the kitchen says two-fifty-five
And the clock in the kitchen is slow.

Love has been waiting patient and kind
Just wanting a phone call or some kind of sign
That the one that she cares for who's out of his mind
Will make it back safe to her arms.

Hate stumbles forward and leans in the door
Weary head hung down, eyes to the floor
He says, "Love, I'm sorry," and she says, "What for?
I'm yours and that's it, whatever.”

“I should not have been gone for so long…”

“I'm yours and that's it, forever. You’re mine and that's it, forever."


Which in so many ways is Herbert’s poem reincarnated. Except Love here is of this world. No greater Love exists than the Love of God. But we, too, can learn to know it.

May we all come to know Love a little more in 2012. Happy New Year!