Wednesday, May 30, 2012


You are transforming before our very eyes! A-mazing.

Camping was good. In spite of the following laundry list of Things That Happened:

*J.Lo threw out his back/shoulder.

*bug bites galore – nothing worked, not the homemade experiment of mine, not the laden-with-poison brand, not the anything in between.

*N.Lo scraped the bottoms of his toes while swimming and couldn’t walk for a day – by which I mean he screamed bloody murder if we so much glanced in the direction of his feet.

*late Sunday night I took K.Lo back to our tent for bed and a 4-foot black snack was crawling UP the entranceway mesh – I mean. yes. that really happened. I immediately dispatched a small crew to do away with thing, never thinking that it would end up dead, but apparently it got a little defensive and so that’s how it ended. 

Otherwise, no-yes, I do love camping. Saturday night was indeed packed full of campers, but the camping culture is basically chill and there’s something about meandering through the sites and the pop-ups with their little porch lights. and the stars and the campfires and the night sounds and everyone just doing their own thing. ah.

I like this campsite less than fairystone because the trails aren’t as awesome – or are they. We haven’t yet had a chance to explore, between swimming and whateverelsewedo. But the pet fee is sooo much less. Tradeoffs.

I’m reading (finished soul-selling, also another dishy YA, am onto a 9/11 book by my favoritest author EVER). I’m sewing – okay planning to sew. something. can’t decide? daydreaming about hammocks in the shade. avoiding FB bcs I’m in that phase of it’s-all-too-much, establishing my leadership with the new church council and attempting not to overthink it. which as you know for me is virtually impossible. and still dodging the phone number bullet, in spite of best efforts by the neighbor to lure us in to her drama. it’s one of those things that aggravates my “helping a neighbor” instinct – but no excessive drama allowed. like you know that line between someone who is in need and someone who really wants to be in need? I just can’t abide the latter and put up a wall to block it out. so when she comes a-knockin’ with her histrionics and asks J.Lo – who as we previously noted threw out his back – to help pick up her husband who fell, I’m more annoyed than sympathetic. which is sort of terrible and yet? gut instinct is that she’s clamoring for attention and not truly in need of help. gut instinct is that this is toxic and bullshit and a gateway to her calling in the middle of the night with worse “problems.”

so anyway it sort of delighted me that j.lo grumpily advised, “um, if you need to call an ambulance, call an ambulance.”

and did she? no. she found some other neighbors to drama-snare, and apparently everything was fine because not 10 minutes later she was walking her dog up the street. by herself. husband apparently inside and well.

gut instinct. just saying.

the garden is growing, including the encroaching and never-subsidable grass, as someone (me) forgot to layer newspaper below the mulch. need more tomatoes, some cucumbers and possibly corn. but where to put it all, hmm.

bookclub wants to read 50shades for july and I’m digging in my heels.

also. I’ve been fake-recycling since we’ve lived here? as discovered yesterday. and am still puzzling over why j.lo never mentioned that there’s no place to sort plastics, papers and glass.

I might have been enraged over this realization, briefly. or for a whole day.

um anyway. I need to freshen up the hummingbird sugar-water and boil up some weed killer. and sew another pair of shorts. or something? and other summertime things that i try not to loathe but just do.

love you,


Are You Up Yet?

translation of FB status: can't stay away from taking cabs and the lyrical flow of where and how to go-- it's the annyeonghaseyo, samyang- haesuyokjang, kah?seyo. aka. peace be with you (hello), take me to samyang beach, please. korean is really lyrical. i'm not kidding. ahn-young-ha-say-o, sahm-yahng, ha-sue-yoke-jahng-karh-say-o. plus everything ends in o's and e's and a's and what not. so that's nice. anyway i very minorly? documented my cab obsession. i should really put pimsleurs korean back on my ipod. i'm so used to being traumatized and above-it-all, and oh, learning being hard... and me being lazy... which as i watch my students i am reminded of yah, no, i wouldn't have done that for homework either. or studied. or done well on my language tests... except that here they really do push you on a "or else" basis... so.

i probably would've flourished in that context. especially if you knew that you'd be dragged in to an after class class where the test you bombed on was waiting for you to try try again. you'd learn something even if it was rote i feel. but back to cabs... yes cheap but it does add up after only $1 busride. i'm caught in the everpresent dilemma of my time being worth more than money... but that just gets me in to trouble.

in other news there's a stupid stain i can't get out. to which the russian curmudgon was like "take it to the dry cleaner"... as if i'm that proactive, or "grownup" or "rich"... not that it would be expensive but i might as well just throw the dress in the need to be tailored and un-/stained pile, along with the other clothes i no longer can wear... but when?

how is the time off going? and camping? oh and the phone number thing! ach. how do you dodgeit!? also the magnolia and the YA fic sounds fantastic.

i'm getting along better with my fitball. no serious accidents as of now. the only other thing going on besides baby plants sprouting- which i promised i wouldn't get, along with a cat because you know... turn around, is that i was looking at university jobs and feeling how i feel about jobs in general i think impossible- though that's literally at least 6 months from now at least. and today i was just tired- i thought i was tired tuesday but then my fatigue outdid itself with the ugh- work- UGH. @(*$&! work! days like today and i'm God please, I hope i make it. and it's not that the students were bad- i just couldn't focus or quite care that someofthem were misbehaving. if i couldve slept i would have. anyway. it also doesn't help ALL the energy of the teachers is mired in fatigue and general grumpiness. it just sucks you right under with it.

ok i've got to zone out. this was too much crazy focusing on words and staying upright stuff.
meanwhile i walked 5+miles wandering around a portion of jeju so that's something and maybe there's something on the horizon for the weekend... one can only hope.

xo, m.
ps. this was me on saturday? i think? or some such. i was trying to get a picture of the VB shirt and realized the awesome state of everything else so of course i had to capture it- like a life in my apt shot? not sure. i wear that beach dress alot- and i'm so very asian with those sandals that actually came with my apt. if i had track pants it'd be perfect or some really loud colored sneakers.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

notes while you slumber

I feel like I’m getting a pretty good sense of K? I mean as best I can without actually being there in the physical environ. I cringe whenever I hear about the work-cave and my shoulders sag at every tale of SG. And her demoralizing directives to grade so savagely, use less a/c, wear more flair. But then the beach v-ball and the Ohioan volcanic caves are pretty magical. And this wondrous losing of weight and adjusting of clothes in whatever way possible, with these random buttons and elastic and hand-stitching. But then the preposterous cultural commentary of you’re becoming pretty and a man-magnet, like can’t human beings come up with anything better to say. And the food seems yummy? And there’s access to lattes! 

My nosy-hag neighbor is really playing hardball for access to our phone numbers – something about going out of town and she has a nurse/sitter for her husband and wants us to check in – but every fiber of my being says noooo. and it can lead to no good. I mean ask a neighbor to grab the mail or whatever… but monitor your husband’s nurse? Humm. Anyway, I’m happy to rig up a couple of cans and a string if telecommunication is that important.

Went to a wine-tasting yesterday evening with book club peeps? Which was held in an art gallery full of naked-people sketches. I felt like yes, cultural things sometimes go on here. This is good.

Here is a magnolia that J.Lo brought home for me yesterday. It lives in a margarita glass.


K.Lo is on Summer Break and 5 hours in, it’s not so bad. I did draft a bucket list ICE, or ICILMM (in case I lose my mind). But mainly she wants her BFF to come over and play and asks every 5 minutes for me to call her friend’s mommy, whose number I fortuitously snagged at graduation. I mean as a phone-phobe I’m already performing a Great Feat by calling and leaving a message. So then it’s a waiting game. And an explaining game, that it’s not actually polite to keep calling and hunt a friend’s mommy down.


loud minutes



Camping trip on tap this weekend and I’m trepidatious of too many people, but will pack my blinders and wine. Also, J.Lo is being Mr. Doomsday about the projected heat, but doesn’t it cool off at night? Yes it does. However there’s this implicit suggestion that if we all suffer, and/or if the dogs incur heat stroke and die, it will be on my head. Because I’ve forced us all to camp on a hot holiday weekend. Whatevsss.

Also I lost control and made my own graham crackers yesterday? Who even does that. But maybe they’ll taste awesome or something.

I’m almost finished with the YA/Chicago/angel/demon/soul-selling book (which is rad), and procured 3 more up-nexts. And am listening to the Quiet book mentioned by somebodysmom on audio. Which so far is fascinating. How the whole culture of character vs. personality emerged over the last 100 years or so. Mainly it makes me angry, but I’m sure some positive reframing of perspective will at some point occur.

Otherwise, we’ll have to chat soon, like either your morning or my morning?




On over,

i feel i'm failing to relate this whole K experience. somehow i was reminded of this when i noted my stapler was labeled peace. it's on the top part in a standard cursive script. non assuming and almost as if it was accidentally labeled something it didn't mean to be. i look at it and ponder the implications all the time along with a 'prayer of abandoment' j sent me. which is how it feels when i enter the cave that is work everyday anyway. as today i was asked to try and conserve the a/c... *sigh. "try" she says. what else? i turned my tiny inadequate breadboard into a laptop laptop? is that the word. i'm putting elastic into two skirts. for obvious reasons which really- ever in the history of pen and m blogland. and i bought 10 nickle sized wooden buttons while tracking down the elastic. and they are charming. not sure what other fixes there are out there for my other items- i just dont know if i can elastize everything--  the students noticed i wasn't wearing stockings the other day which is yet another you know, daring thing i do... i won't expose my shoulders if i must but the leg thing- i just don't know. most of my skirts are long enough it doesn't draw attention as curious students brush their fingers against my legs is a bit distracting and i think- did i shave! i have managed to impress them with my blue glitter on plum colored nail polish. oh and i still haven't kicked the laryngitis thing. which 3+wks going is clearly awesome. who doesn't love the hurting when swallowing by the end of the day. i did notice at least the hacking cough has stopped. so. plus.

oh and my ward is in heat- again- shocking. the 3 nights of interrupted sleep. yea! i didn't mean for the letter to take such a sardonic turn. i'm tired. i should probably watch something and stitch the elastic into my skirt.


Thursday, May 17, 2012

rest assured

Your pratfall greatly amused my webcam-reticent self. I mean your feet! Vertical! Like a cartoon character on a banana peel! I really can’t stop laughing about it. Mwah.

I have by now caught up on Amazing Race, which – yawn… Same with Survivor, yawn… I’m sure it will be the same with ANTM, which I can barely watch knowing that Nigel, Jay and Miss J have gotten the axe for next season. They make the show dude. Tyra. I guess only one sparkly host will continue on to judge America’s Next Top Model. Booooo. So Amazing Race – probably the best part was when A&J nearly won due to R&D’s clue-less debacle. And then didn’t because of the effing sled? What? Was the problem. And then of course Big Brother always transfixes/entertains/appalls. Although I get the sense R&D might be equally dysfunctional and don’t know how she puts up with his giant baby-ness.

My nerves feel all out of sorts and unsettled this week but whats-bothersome I don’t exactly know.

I’m making a cake for K.Lo’s grad celebration – another Lalaloopsy cake, as specifically requested by the soon-to-be-1st-grader. Except this time I made marshmallow fondant to cut out the shapes and whatnot and holy moly that stuff. Not easy to make really. Well maybe if you’re a more coordinated individual unlike myself. It’s just. so. sticky. Butter, lots of butter, I get it. But still. I mean I was nearly claustrophobic with the stickiness. In the words of N.Lo, it gave me the shivers.

Yesterday I was asked to join two church councils (boundaries!), and I rejected one and accepted one. Wait no, I wasn’t asked to join, I was asked to coordinate. Um. Which is different. It’s the new Children’s Council and is a platform for all the kids’ stuff, like GodlyPlay and children’s church and Wednesday nights, and artwork display and a new library. So, leadership? And also I’m dancing around a lot about making a new library.

Okay I’m still processing. You’ll have to help me.

Also K.Lo’s joined the Girls Who Sell Cookies, and between this and the other thing I do constantly marvel at my child who embraces group activities like it is second nature and I still struggle with it everyday. When I think about group stuff as a child, including my own time with the Girls Who Sell Cookies, I remember a feelings of inhibition and resistance and relief when it was allover. But some (most?) people actually look forward to social events? It’s a wonder.

Loved the pics of your Ohioan cave crawl and the ponderance of post-apocalyptic life. Also, do you remember my Chicago plight with the chair? And options and noplacetosit? Clearly this is why we’re friends. I understand this plight.

Whatelse whatelse. Today = garden weeding, pool de-scuzzing, perhaps some straightening and dusting? Or not… could be over the top… Grey’s tonight, which I suppose I have to stay up for lest all of Facebook/Twitterland kill the surprise of which doctor dies. And reading my book about the teen internship with beautiful people at a glitzy Chicago hotel where they also happen to buy and sell souls. WHAT.

And maybe terrify a squirrel or two.

And pop a valium.

anyway. love.


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

While you were rising,


I'm eating organic corn puffs and sitting on my fitball [i can't belive i just wrote that-times they are a'changing] (i can't possibly inflate it properly with the handpump however), which thus puts me in an ergonomic conundrum via my desk. I'll try to manage but you know the difficulty. But I'd like to sit somewhere else besides the floor and the bed. I'm a slave to options I admit it. But the weirdo cat, the ward, she just looks at me when i put tuna, canned dogfood or even deliciously cooked chicken in front of her- I've been out of catfood you see, and i forgot again you see to get the cheap stuff or take the time to get the good stuff... horrible cat owner i know. So she's barely eaten. Tomorrow I vow to try again. (These corn puffs need salt.) Also i can't believe i'm even sitting on this given the pratfall I took the other day while webcamming with your rather 'i hate webcams but i'll do this bcs you're needy' face. I hope twas entertaining at least- and sidenote this MF($*&Q(#*&a computer keeps stalling while i'm typing midsentence- stupid blogger. Driving me cr--- azy...

Anyway i think i have laryngitis and you know how I love webmd- and that's what it suggested. The yellow dust from china and then complications. That's all it took. I don't know what else it could be what with the two weeks of sorethroat, hoarse voice, hacking, no other symptoms showing, could be... it starts getting bad by my last two classes and then completely horrible by right about now.

Did you say something about rucheing?
I love that you even used the word.
Also deerflies? What?! You and your weird bugs. I myself don't know what left the series of 6 little bumps on my upper arm a few nights ago that are still there. Sidenote: Dry cornpuffs are not good for a sore already raw throat. Dammit.

I'm tempted to reduce the next two paragraphs to status commentary or worse yet emoticons- like klo story : thumbs up "like" and cupcakes " : ( "... that's horrible. Bcs the desk  position is becoming awkward. I can see how this might be good for postcards if i ever write more but not for mr.waffles.) I've since moved the fitball parallel to the bed...

As it is I hate that things like cupcakes can bring us to a place of hotmessness and goo, but i equally rejoice in the beauty of theological dilemmas in children- and for n.lo to have the answer i had on my lips at the ready on his. For instance I thank God i meditated this morning for once again as i walk in the door, sg is appalled by my "easy" grading which she might terms awful or non-existant- and is baffled why i would give half credit to a sentence that leaves out the word "is" insisting they won't learn anything.  ie. "What -- she looking for?" Granted grammer is a weak point with me but why is an entire sentence entirely wrong with only one element wrong? And then she further directly wonders if i'm teaching them anything at all. aka. are you going over the grammer? (direct quote) and make sure you look over the examples so you know what they need to write. Granted I find them sometimes confusing even to me so i can't imagine what kids do when they look at the random pictures... but there you have it. I'm retesting the class. She insists somehow that I shouldn't do that, so I don't waste the time of the kids who did it right and I'm like well you want them to be good and get it right- aka it won't kill them. So i sat there and nodded, and did what the character joanna did when she worked at the restaurant- so you want me to add more pieces of flare? Ok. Calm. Calm. And i literally forgot about the incident until I decided to rant about it just now. Nevermind that she was chewing out my class again before i got there about speaking in korean- which i get- they're rowdy hellions or how she has at least 3x watched my class before via the 'cam' and caught them slacking off, and then threatened in my hearing that if they keep speaking korean she'll sit in on my class... awesomesauce. Calm calm. Meanwhile in the meeting today that sucked away my lesson planning time she insisted the school and the teachers were doing well...

Anyway, I cabbed it home after grocery shopping, and made fried chicken for a vegetable curry i'm making tomorrow. Because that's how i roll now... it's from a bag though- don't think i'm completely reformed. As it is, I'm the topic now of ever increasing weight commentary- which mostly i guess? i'm ok with? Except they say things like "you're getting so pretty". Cough. "every day i see you". Thank you? Given their background (the k peeps- you can't take it personally but thankgod those issues are mostly behind me) My cousin said something also via chat today and i was like "yes i have" after ignoring his commentary once, and then refused to expound on it when he said, "it looks substantial" or something like that. Shhhh people. My pants from seattle also, this morning at the beach ripped up the back of the leg at the calf-- i stapled it back together but an internet order might be in my future. Look at all this stuff i'm going on about- what's come over me! I better go to bed. (probably the coffee icecream/shake and chicken i ate tonight).


Monday, May 14, 2012

omg you’re probably up already

Where do the hours go!

I think I accidentally learned how to ruche today, which is awesomesauce. I love ruche-ing. And I love the way one of my shirts turned out, one I didn’t have a huge problem with in the first place, but now it’s even more awesome, all taken in and ruched down the sides and whatnot. And I did manage to fix my dress for church, removing the balloon skirt part of it and transforming to a regular hem. Although I nearly throttled the lining by the end of it. And then I took in another baggy shirt. I feel like that might be all I did today? Except make soup, which was onions, celery, chicken, broth, and rice noodles. With ginger and lemongrass and red pepper flakes.

I’m still working on your present, which is taking time due to technological slowness. Infuriating.

Whatelse did I not tell you during our chat. I was bit by a deerfly on Saturday. It’s like the horsefly’s cousin, and equally mean. It has stripey wings, and is attracted to dark colors, shininess, movement and sweat. So no wonder it was divebombing me as I walked around the lake in my all-black outfit and finally landed on my wedding ring to take a chomp. Still can’t wear my ring. My hand swelled epically. But otherwise you know. I’m still alive.

Oh my awesome K.Lo story. The other night before bed – when tensions often run high you know – she threw a fit about God. And incidentally St. Barbara, whom she claims did not protect her during a recent thunderstorm in spite of a prayer. But as she did not get electrocuted or even wet during said storm, I argued that she was indeed kept safe. God was a little trickier. WELL I NEVER SEE HIM. HOW DO I KNOW HE’S EVEN THERE! Oh K.Lo. The mind of a tortured adult in your 6-year-old self.  HOW CAN HE BE LISTENING IF HE’S NOT EVEN HERE. Like legitimately panicked in tone. We talked about where He lives, and how and when we can talk to Him, and tried to sort out that He doesn’t actually live now, in Bethlehem, in the form of Jesus. Although I see how that could confuse. Meanwhile N.Lo, who has weekly Bible time at church, brushed his teeth and interjected occasionally, matter-of-fact if not bored: "He lives in your heart, K.Lo…”


And I didn’t tell you about my ice cream cone cupcakes that I made for the Relay bake sale on Friday – figuring they’d sell for a dollar apiece, right? Nice $24 donation, potentially. I spent over an hour packing them to make sure they’d be all right, because you know they’re a little precarious. Top-heavy. Anyway, at some point after dropoff they completely bit it (tipped over, melted? etc.) and weren’t even sold. Was feeling a little hormonal about this news and nearly cried. Even though it’s no use crying over fubar ice cream cone cupcakes. But sometimes? you just have to anyway.

Okay love. Must tend to your happy birthday. Which you’ll maybe feel is worthy of all the sacrifices you’ve made, or maybe not. snarf.



Wednesday, May 9, 2012


i'm in to making smoothies lately- which is an old/new love. i'm becoming a touch daring since i'm throwing in lettuce too. i think probably i felt i needed to be reckless in my olderage. i would complain about the kids also maybe more attention then i want to give them since they already consume enough- LL says, just to live is holy, so sometimes i think, well i'd like to get to the point of laboring for God being a praise, but i have to start somewhere.... like the one who has that look in his eyes- contempt maybe? a different kid, if you can believe it who caused me to have the angel/devil talk. except he's in a class full of kids and i can't quite get at him unless i'm willing to have an all class confrontation. which it's getting to. sadly. but whatever kids. it's lame in its battles and contentions. i just despise however how they stick with you like a gash in your toe after a day at the beach.  fuckingkids. anyway, back to my kiwi, pineapple smoothie. it was really delicious. and now i'm ready to sleep. thanks to j who gifted me with the blender when she left.

tangentially, the kteachers brought up my weight again- saying i needed to eat more, or they wouldn't recognize me, and that they were saying to each other how pretty i've become/ am becoming, and that by the end of my contract i will have many boyfriends to chose from. there was more but thats the giest. gist? jist... from a western/or our objective angle what they said was fairly horrifying- you know, because i'm fat i can't find love (as if) or if i'm pretty for sure i will (as if) but as it was i took it kindly, and laughed because culturally that is how they define things and i suppose i chose to be flattered? like, aw thanks. you noticed. aw. mostly i think because they could just ignore me completely but that they care enough to be charming and to share their food with me signifies something..

if i werent so tired- aka ready to knockoff i think i'd make some correlation about skewed perspectives- contempt kid making life misery - ck needs love +, smoothies are awesome perspective shift not needed, k teachers showing attention + not damaging my self image - something something...

anyway love lets talk it out next time.
feel free to write me another, since you're sleeping, letter- LOVE.


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

well since you’re sleeping

I’ll eat my orange and tell you some things. Like thank you for your words that arrived recently via air mail. I ponder them daily. And the book, which arrived yesterday. There was a dedication from a former gift-giver on the inside cover that inexplicably, horrifyingly employed the word “moisten,” so I had to rip that page out. And I hated the author photo, so I threw the jacket out, too. Oh, are we talking about random acts of nonsensical by yours truly? Because I also experienced a 12-or-so-hour period of panic over the thought of having to shop for shoelaces today. But then J.Lo said it could wait, and I immediately felt better. I think it’s fallout from two consecutive trips to Walmart Monday/Tuesday. Someone should do a study on the psychological effects of big box stores. They could include those endcap TVs that loop a commercial over and over by the cereal aisle, and how they incite homicidal feelings. Thank your lucky stars they don’t have those in Jeju. I mean I’m assuming. They’re on par with the dog farms, I am telling you.

There was a nest filled with baby birds who cried cacophonously (loved) in the bush outside our door, but they are gone already. And the children found another nest with an empty robin egg under the trees. It all happens so fast – spring, eggs, born, boom. fly away, little ones. Go find the birdfeeder and jockey for position with the asshole squirrels. I hate those squirrels, btw, and I want a bow so I can learn to be Katniss. Right between the eyes! But until I learn to operate a bow without shooting the wrong thing or jamming the feathers in my hand (it’s happened. gym class, circa 1996), it’s Vaseline and cayenne on the feeder pole. Which works for like, a day.

Also, the ticks are back. I feel them crawling on my face, my leg, my scalp. But then they’re not there. Only sometimes can I find them. Brainless, bloodsucking creatures of the insect world – they are entomology’s zombies. Nature vexes me. As do zombies, which is why I had to reject my latest book selection, even though I liked it up until chapter 10. But also, the hummingbirds are back! So nature delights me too. And the library awaits this afternoon, so zombies be damned.

Time to go walk in said nature.

Love to you ~ sleep well in Jeju!