Thursday, August 30, 2012

Over Here,

There's a cool breeze coming across the ocean. It's as if a flipswitched into fall. I'm assuming more typhoons but maybe not warm ones? Is that possible? The other night, cuz you know, report cards... right? Lame. I still have one set to finish. So we went to a coffee shop and my flatmate wouldn't stop talking- so of course she says that didn't work. I was like, yes, because you kept talking. Which she does. But whatever. Then she got knicked by that car and Jin called the police and as we were standing there. Her talking. Me texting you. The rain came down in perfect drops so that it looked like spiders multiplying in a sci-fi film. Metallic spiders springing to life as the water hit the ground. It was lovely as they suddenly raced across the ground and then as if the spell had lost its potency they all quickly dissolved again.

I was so delighted by the thought- I actually wrote it down. Like a writer might who is always looking for details to use in a story. Some experience. I think it will be lost if it weren't here. I'd like to get back to the details again. The eye that i have to notice preying manti' and the turn of a head- to be good for creating something and not merely in passing. But i never did well at keeping those sorts of notebooks even in gradschool. A good thing. A bad thing.

But nevermind. It's friday. And it's coffeeshop time. I'm close to missing the bus though- Do i just take the later one. I guess I can. That will be allright. I'll probably end the day in another coffeeshop.

And aim for one on saturday and on sunday... and that is the way of thing here. And one more week till pay day. Perhaps a different nailpolish color. Some more beach time. Some book reading... we'll see.

xo, m.


What can I say about this week really, except that I haven’t yet left the OTA meeting. Straggler. The cookies are stale, we’re going to have to work on that. And occasionally someone brews the coffee without grounds, or sets the machine to percolate without water. (Recurrent personal nightmares, truestory.) Again and again I fall into the trap of “What I am NOT” as opposed to being all “I AM – “ #intuitive #merciful #perceptive #clever #introvert #winning #awesomesauce #etc. The goal isn’t vanity or self-adoration, it’s merely acknowledging in myself what I acknowledge in others. It’s like my golden rule should be, “Do unto yourself as you do to others.” Or “value fantastic qualities in yourself as you do others,” really, because let’s be honest I’m not perfect when it comes to things like patience. (Wait, I just put myself down again, didn’t I. Damn.)

Sidenote: I love Australian TV and British TV too really, because there’s a general air of, Yes, life is shit in a lot of ways, but we accept this and we banter wittily about it and sometimes it gets us down for sure, but mostly we don’t dwell. Whereas our culture is all, WE MUST FIX EVERYSINGLEONE OF OUR TINY LITTLE PROBLEMS SO THAT OUR LIVES CAN BE ABSOLUTELY PERFECT. And thereby attain some nonexistent level of happy and shiny so we can brag to all our friends.

I do feel a little bit more in gear at this point over camping, acknowledging that I was always going to get it done, because I always do, and those extra days of stressing about it probably weren’t necessary. And then I tried to quit my leadership position yesterday because it was feeling like an albatross, but the response was bafflingly supportive and let’s talk about this some more and not at all what I presumed it to be. (Or still presume it to be, untrustingly?) And I realized that possibly the albatross was/is the aforementioned trap of self-sabotage...

Basically, it is time to camp.

I have discovered at least that one of my buoys is humor and I ought never to let it go. Also there are, as always, beautiful things. Like that tomato of purply gorgeousness, OMG SO TASTY. Colorful peppers. Surreptitious Netflix marathons. And the delight of perusing both old and new books for my library. Illustrations from the 40s and 50s ROCK, as do Lego reenactments of Bible stories. Among other things.

love to you and now BLOGalready ;) …


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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

my name is pen,

And I Overthink Everything. Welcome to our first meeting! I was thinking instead of that arty thing I showed you earlier, perhaps this is a more appropriate representation of our plight:


But we’re still awesome, right? Even though you’re so calm you can’t possibly be calm, because WHY WOULD YOU BE CALM. And even though I understand the pre-discussed concept of buoying oneself above the fray, sometimes IT JUST FEELS IMPOSSIBLE. Because why isn’t such-and-such group of people especially friendly toward me, and why can’t I think on the fly, and why can’t people appreciate that I don’t think on the fly, and organizing things is my passion, but is organizing people? (Pretty sure, no.) And why were certain items of mine amended or omitted from the monthly newsletter, is there a hidden agenda lurking somewhere? And isn’t it completely selfish to just shut one’s eyes in the middle of the day for like, 20 minutes and block out the world. And then follow that up with 4 episodes of Dance Academy. I mean forgetting that it’s a salve to my soul. Shouldn’t I be assembling camping items? Or at least completed the grocery list? And THE COFFEE IS RUNNING LOW. What is going to happen when we run out!

These are the sort of things I need to load up onto a ship and send away from shore.

Are there cookies at this meeting? Or a bad pot of coffee at least?

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Bo la ven, Revisited,

Dear Pen,
I'm going to get back to report cards right after i post. *cough* I'd love to sign off from here with something cryptic like, the storms approaching. (ominous pause) I have to go. Upon which the airwaves crackle and the line goes dead or the power cuts- but with writing how could i possibly convey that in realtime and i do have to get back to work... And anyway the typhoon is being downgraded from last night to this a.m. As they went on about it I said- it's only a category 2. Granted I'm sure that's strong enough but whatever. So by then and now the panic and anxiety spread and hagwons were canceling classes, epik was canceling classes... and finally our hagwon was like that's it - we're OUT. The curmudgeon warned we might have to make up the lost 5 hours on some errant saturday but for now... I laughed and shouted into my apartment when i got home. I never get to come home from anywhere for weather- and thankfully the peeps at work were spared from my further dripping sarcasm- of which in crisis? situations it skyrockets thru that proverbially roof- and as meaghan said your blaise attitude makes us think you're serious... that's why its called dry humour whathave you. I mean I get it and yet- and then i forget they don't know me and how i like to poke bears. Ok i'm mean. Overly sincere people kill me. On friday i was joking about wrapping my camera phone in plastic and strapping myself to a pole to catch the impending storm- and they were like M, this is serious. Very dangerous. You haven't been through one- blah blah. To which i responded that if i didn't go out there then what kind of anti-climatic blog would that turn out to be? Just now the loud speakers across the way chimed for a longwarning i couldnt understand so i email the other M, making light of the fact a few nights before, a drunk guy got on the loudspeaker and was saying hello to the neighborhood- so smalltown! and funny-- and this is what my flatmate just emailed me: "M, public announcement one is drinking. Atmosphere is heavy, more police and two government officials. I know you saw it get downgraded, but they're still saying it's a category three. The surfers have even given up."

And this sort of pretension pisses me the fuck off. Like how dare you not be in a panic! It's like the nutmeg forest all over again. Nevermind. I know we should be respectful and, ach, slump- people lighten up...I just have enough anxiety in general without pondering my death or the catastrophic happenings of dear bo laven. All you can do is prepare- but for something that is approaching-- well do i have water, food? What else? people to call? and the answer is yes. So... And here it is downgraded... not that it won't be upgraded but she acts like i'm making it up.

Perhaps also at least a catastrophe, barring death obviously, is a break in the routine. I don't want my co-teachers horse to die or get blownaway or, for cars to flip out into the roads or for my windows to shatter, and yet events such as these remind me i'm called to a lasting peace, a different purpose, and while i want everyone to be safe i know i am not promised that and it helps me surrender better and more completely... where as walking to work brings me staggering and breathless to a place of abandonment. I can't say why but there is a difference.

She did just backpeddle to say that she was sad she couldn't go windsurfing. She is a bit of a thrillseeker so... she's staring at the waves too thinking-- aw, too bad. I'm sure we'll talk about the weather over some korean pancakes and soju... but for now.

Before I go i can say that the rains have come, and the wind is starting to whistle. And i see a preying mantis on my one sunflower. I'm going to move him to some place i think? is safer? We can only hope so. I dont' know how he made it to the 2nd floor of my apt anyway really- like- how did he get up there. The giant catepillar that disappeared ok fine.. i shouldve moved him too... but still.

Ok some chips and salsa are in my future. oh right and reportcards.

(oh weekend right: girls night? disorganized but salvaged with funky nailpolish colors, a facemask i could peel off- love!, fried chicken/kimbap and that horrible snowhitemovie, coffee house, long long long theological convo, no volleyball, trip to emart, sushi dinner, burgers for lunch... and there it went. and now today! hurrah! but at school long enough to have my classes planned for wed and started for tuesday. yes!)

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Friday, August 24, 2012


So instead of blogging I was watching Haymitch, and Katniss and Cinna and Peeta, and the thing is, were we ever out to impress Haymitch? No, we’re just trying to STAY ALIVE.
But then again, his thumbs up after the apple incident is priceless insofar as rewards.
I think I’d like to find some gold eyeliner and channel Cinna with it.
On the whole, I feel like the word TYPHOON trumps hurricane. in addition to the names. Stay safe, you! My cold has mostly dwindled into stuffy nose and malaise, but no more prickly skin so that’s good.
And what about this sprout growing out of my sink? the drainer side, which I swear I cleaned less than a month ago – conditions for an errant mystery side must have been ideal? I can only think about it so much before I get the shivers.
I’m prepping for camping, theoretically, which involves list-making (our favorite!) and vaguely watching the days tick by, wondering how it will all really come together. Because I have less than a week when I’d be more comfortable with two… Mainly I’m lacking recipes and food lists. The rest of it will pack itself I feel. Right? And we’ll totally find the place, which is what – 2, 2 1/2 (3?) hours away? Somewhere in there.
I feel like it’s going to rain this time. We’re overdue.
Also, even though the structure of *school* is in place and I am by nature more productive in these instances, I feel like there are things Needing to Happen that are Going to Creep Up on Me. Like consignment sale-ing, and library organizing. and this random brunch we’re having in a few weeks for a group of leaders at church? among other things. Maybe I need to launch a separate series of lists for checkmarking.
We did harvest our corn the other night and sure there were only 4 1/2 ears and that’s it for the year, but SUCCESS! for a first-year garden. Also, one of my purple tomatoes is turning actual purple. It’s very exciting. Next year: soil boosting. As long as no one takes our titles from that time we gardened in France…oh wait.
Corrie TenBoom must be on my list for someday. In the meantime I’ve been quote-questing for the library bulletin board, a quote about how reading or books allows you to imagine another’s experience would be ideal. but Mother Teresa quotes keep distracting me with their awesomeness, about the true poverty of the Western world lying not in lack of money but love – “There are many in the world dying for a piece of bread but there are many more dying for a little love.”

What is your weekend holding? Since you’re practically to Sunday by now!
Lastly, this is on my shelf, from my mom. :-D



I know i'm in the future and all so i get 'confused' easily but i'm pretty sure Haymitch wasn't talking to me.


reminder from Haymitch

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Typhoon Balven? is coming or somesuch?

Humidity at 100%. Everyones a bit grumbly but i dont mind the rain quite yet as we has a pretty dry summer by all accounts. I really do enjoy the new names that typhoons bring.(khanun for instance) I never was at all impressed by the US hurricane names. The russian curmudgeon thinks going through two of them is enough. And i wasn't particularly impressed with the first. A downpour yesterday left a good water spray puddle on my floor and a small moat in my double window sills...

I knew there was something more i had to say as i was about to pass out from boring myself- I tested negative for the 6 other allergans- like the things i eat everyday sort of thing. Besides chocolate which will come back soon? Or something? Anyway weeeee. Also i still have a higher level of whatever present which indicates something is still undectected. My rather ambivilant doctor stated that it "could be anything" and suggested that I just try and spend my time taking care of myself and relaxing. I can't fault that assessment. He says, life as a foreign teacher is very stressful- and intimated that i might be allergic to stress. I like it. Further "research" is required but the couple articles i've read  seem to suggest that stress can heighten allergic responses and prompt sensitive areas like sinuses and the skin to an allergic response- like hives, blocked airways, and excema- which i all occasionally have... so there you have it. Of course i could really be allergic to air or something but let that go. I'm not going to keep spending money on them not fully testing me for stuff. I already feel a bit like- ach, to that $80 i just spent on top of the $60 because of course it didn't find anything. Finding out i was allergic to pork and cockroaches..pretty priceless right? And though i need a chiro i'll probably wait until the states for one too. And do yoga like a goodgirl should? I dont know somebody remind me. The nerves still pinched and the neck feels like its about to go on strike. What do you mean that's all indicative of stress... hunched shoulders and the what knots.


What else. I'm reading that book on Corrie TenBoom. She's pretty frickin' amazing and pretty inline with what i'm discovering here. How much life is about Jesus and Jesus alone- LOVE. How to love through, because of... and all the rest. Though i don't really want to be at home with God anywhere at the moment. I'm usually all for that but right now... not so much.

Other than that i really should begin to plan the wheres and hows of going to SEA in Feb. Seeing you. Jobs? I mean at this rate though I wonder if i'll get my head in the right order to do any of that. I hope so. I'm sure I will but i'm too busy blogging, eating fruit, drinking lattes and working. And then there's all that relaxing i have to do.

You feel better you. And take care of yourself. Lots of the laughing and chocolate and the goodthings for you my friend.

All my love,
xo- M.
(here it comes, here it comes, look how it rains. it sounds over the radio and the repeat of csi. it says, i am all around you. i encompass. )

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

mind the gaps

I cannot even buh-lieve I didn’t keep you posted on the aftermath of J.Lo’s car after the accident a few weeks ago. I mean I guess it was anticlimactic, or at least relatively drama-free (thankyousomuchbabyjesus), and the accident causer’s insurance covered everything. And it’s all fixed and looks lovely again. All told it was $3300 in damage. But I’d like very much never to have one of those again, if at all possible.

Can I whine about my cold for a few minutes? Wonka wanted me to. It’s one of those horrible lingering ones, and I am only on day one and a half. *sob* J.Lo picked up a week and a half ago and still has it. K.Lo picked up what seemed to be a milder version and is feeling aiight. Only N.Lo remains unscathed. But thank goodness for Scooby-Doo library DVDs and a relatively quiet younger child, is all I’m saying.

Oh! and most importantly I loved your response. I’m still pondering it and yesterday my eye again caught the shadowbox you made for me and how the girl in it is reaching toward the light and here I’ll quote you back to you:

And upsprings from the broken bottle this epic figure. She alights herself upon the inkbottle at her foot and catches the bolt and fixes everything in the place it was seen hurdling from. But you see the antique autocar light isn't on, the latin inscription on the wine cork from which the light is hung is: 'let your light shine'... the internal you, never cease or stop, but continue on in this sparkling and vibrant way forever more. And it bears with the latin phrase "in omnia paratus": ready for anything/allthings...

Wicked awesome.

I’m all caught up on ProRun so let’s discuss. I sort of hate team challenges because I feel like every single designer is restrained from creating what they would normally create and while it’s obviously good to step out of one’s box or whatever, in these scenarios they are stunted by compromise rather than flourishing within a set of parameters. So it’s sort of a yawn-fest ultimately but I did love blonde chick’s dress and wouldn’t mind the black and white by Nathan either.

So now I need to, um, go tend to my cold. And children and dinner. Killme. But the dinner at least is pho, or something resembling it.


Tuesday, August 21, 2012


it's an undercurrent.

That's the feeling i get. It's always there. You just lose bouyancy and it catches you and you're swept up by it. To me there's a sense that there's some judgment that pulls you under, maybe some lack of worth of feeling you deserve to drown. I don't know. Is this too much for this august blog? Randomly, unrelated i had a dream my dad was withdrawing a large sum of money from an atm and then was followed back to the house and robbed. The young black guy was apologetic but still was going to do it. And so i emailed mom and she's like your father is going to the atm on monday to pay the electrician.

I know right?

Anyway, back to the pondering. I'm with you about the tension we live in- that potential vs. kinetic energy. And I think we must have both. We should float to rest after go go go but then we turn to self condemning? I hope for that balance in the next job. It feels good to work hard but for me is it the labor that satisfies, should it? Or is it just work? To me this is tied to very finely but not directly related to the swings we're talking about- which i think don't have to be so high and low. You're not letting go of something. Is there something down there in the current you're trying to hold on to? Discover? Or are you trying to bury it before your pulled further down stream? Staying down longer than you should?

I get what you mean about having both but it's like in that sense why would you want to play with the poisonous snake just to prove that it exists and is dangerous ... is more like a person who thinks they'll never be rid of the snake so they think they owe it some familiarity so as to come to terms with it? Which maybe we won't- to some degree be ever rid of it... But i think there is a further freedom to seek. And that i see the dark as that active agent very deliberately trying to extinguish your light. I think yes, those battle are inevitable- but not so long or hard or lifelasting maybe... there's some defense in the wall that's been breached, a wound that needs to be guarded and healed up- is how i would see it, and you need to bring stones, barriers and such to guard it so that the bridge isn't underminded. In the last folletnovel they talked about how the spacing btw the bridge points had to be wide apart so the current would be slower/the more narrow the stronger and more corrosive the current, and then in order to help the problem, the pile of rocks had to be around the pilings otherwise the current would undermine them at the bases even if it was moving slowly... which is what happened in the book of course and why the bridge, even the 2nd stone one almost collapsed. Bcs they just drove the pillars down and didn't put the loose rocks around the base because it seemed pointless but it totally wasn't. And though we can't see them they were important to the strutuctural integrity of what's seen on top. So my fish friend there is something to that NOT weak thought- it's what God calls us to... we were not meant to dwell in the dark or entertain it... and we know the light isn't effervescent bubbles- that's not quite what we mean...but you know. I had a dream about you too- the same night as my dads. We were in a house i often dream about in a room. I didn't tell you what was in the room, but it was something i had wanted you to see or notice. It wasn't a good thing... it reminded me of our ghostwalk... you and i. and the knowing and the seeing of things. and the choices we make.

Ok i'm going to go swimming and come back.
Also i'm eating a vitamin water popsicle... it's ok but not nearly as satisfying as the oj.

The swimming was an effort to make my mornings feel more expansive. I think they do a bit. And i said i'd avoid the coffee shop today but mwah... will i?

Sorry for the dramatic tone shift. I should go. I missed the 1020 bus and now... i have a feeling the next ones not coming for 20minutes ... but do i know that for sure? No.

Monday, August 20, 2012

I can tell I’m on the brink of an energy fizzle. This always happens when I get all uber ambitious and knock out a bunch of tasks in a short period of time and then wonder why I can’t be that way all the time. It would be so easy! And it keeps one energized, to be so energized! But then I never factor in downtime, or enough downtime, or underestimate its absolute necessariness and boom. So I get that you wouldn’t necessarily want to *be* a teacher because of the go-go-go requirement. We need to breathe. But maybe the teachers who need it find a way to breathe; surely they must?

Things accomplished today: Job application, sent. Church library wish list, transferred. Library troops, notified. Bed sheets, laundered and changed. Dinner, planned. Pool water, drained, refilled. Etc. Etc. And more.

I can also tell I’m about to crash when I feel overly optimistic in the midst of all that Doing. And wonder why I can’t be that way all the time. Doesn’t it come naturally! I think it does, but I also think pessimism comes just as naturally. It’s a battle of dark and light and when I am caught in the light I think I can stay there forever, why couldn’t I, why shouldn’t I. Is that a weak thought? The dark seems to see it that way, takes the moment of that thought as its cue to appear and extinguish all light.

Is a mix of light and dark at all times safer, or wiser? Can those levels be controlled? Should they? Shouldn’t they? Can I be any more abstract. I totally didn’t intend on spiraling down Philosophy Lane at the outset of this post and yet. I await your pondering response.


Sunday, August 19, 2012


Before I go to bed and forget it all, I supposed the weekend deserves a recap. Oh. The first thought that immediately and inexplicably came to mind was my Terribly Exhausting Dream last night in which I juggled several stressful situations: not being able to sleep, in the dream. Isn’t that the worst? Also, equally harrowing, a terrorist situation at some hotel? in which we stayed? And also, being commissioned to watch the neighbor’s dog and forgetting to feed it. Because all those things go together, absolutely.

Anyway, I was ridonk tired when I woke up, after all that. And went to Sunday school. Except no, I sent my children to Sunday school, thieved some breakfast specifically set out for Sunday school participants, and then hid in the library. My library, I mean. Bc I had to start cataloguing books, which is mercifully easier than it could be thanks to Steve Jobs and his cohorts. Thanks, Steve. There’s the not-so-small issue that many, too many, of the books lack bar codes and/or ISBN numbers, being so “ancient” as they are, but regardless, it’s all kept in a neat little system in the virtual ether, via a clever and free iPhone app.

Otherwise the weekend was blissfully lazy as intended. I mean other than that unwanted trip to Target for weed killer. We are apparently the only people on the block that do not tend to our ditch weeds. Which I normally don’t care much about – manicured what? pffft – but some odd copywriting job from yesteryear taught me all about stream flow and obstructions and I foresee that our ditch-jungle is potentially problematic in the scheme of things. 

Book club, in which None of Us Read the Book (I updated the FB event page to reflect this anomaly) was wicked fun in spite of the sushi place losing our reservation and then blatantly Not Caring about it. After nearly an hour of neglect we ditched it for the pizza place in the plaza next door. And incidentally we could actually hear each other there and the waitstaff didn’t radiate waves of surreptitious-arsenic-dispensing hatred, always a bonus.

Okay I’m totally going to sign out, m-style, and write more thoughts tomorrow. Like about meat – ah, good one. We all eat too much of it, don’t we. Anyway you do look amazing as ever, kg count aside. And I heart you.



soccer mom sympathy

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Wait, (is it me God or all You?)

Ok at long last. My inquiring minds friend. Not that other people aren't inquiring like my cousin and various other people brazen to ask about it on facebook via 'message'. Discreet then. Yes. I suppose my reticence to not post a daily update on every lb lost (shouting rooftop type thing though i think it would be fairly worthy) is my 'hey i'm me, and comfortable with me no matter what even though i do want to be thinner but lets not get vain or obsessed about this mortal time slaved body that is disintegrating before our eyes. Because really i loved me when i was like 70+lbs heavier and still saw myself as beautiful. And am i really even trying? NO. And still on occasion sabotage myself with over-eating and gross fastfood. (which i do generally abhor despite its delicious addictive properties)

There is the larger sense of coming into the mental picture of me that you mention. And that's when I get excited. That i can enjoy this a bit on earth before my full heavenly redemption of a taller, equally breasted woman, with no crowns on her teeth but on her head sort of thing. And equally how i get used to my body, surprised by it, used to it again. I think wow, it is making such a difference, more than i can see. Since others most definitely do see it as they glance at my face and notice such change. I notice how i can more completely enter into yoga moves and that's very cool (liberation). I am lithe-r? and more energetic when i play volleyball from when i played in may to again in july. True to my predictions my knees are hurting less though that compressed nerve in my lower back can @(*#&!!! And it's getting worse not better. Whatever.

So what else. What am i doing. I guess that's the common question? and where i'm almost a little bit more ho hum, lets not look at it too closely or it might get scared and runaway sort of thing? Not that people are asking that... but maybe its that self-reflective question of if i lose my weigh, how do i get back here to this glorious 5-10lbs down every month without trying sort of thing? Also i've never been here before? So there's a disbelief and a novelty about the whole thing that i dont think i'll fully allow myself to relish in UNTIL i a. get to some sort of "stopping place?" and b. can sustain this weight loss for more than 1year+. And i think wow it was a long road to get here... years of eating more and more healthy by degrees- less dairy, less processed food, less portion size, working out, frustration, food allergies, no wheat, losing weight on a trip, fasting (aka food losing its vice grip on me- my bloodsugar levels, my need and fear of needing protein constantly, which i count to be the most relevant, important? turning point?). Maybe my body needed a complete reboot of epic proportions to understand how much it was really freed from? Because i've never been this thin. And this isn't even "that" thin. If thin is a thing and it is.

Because I'm still a bit confused as to what i was failing to do at home and doing right here inadvertently. The major things are these:

-I walk a mile everyday, not even in one go- 10min up the hill to work, 10 min back down (that's it besides maybe every other week yoga, once every couple months volleyball, to a once a month hike or longer walk or very short swim... so you can see why i'm like really 1mile a day is making that much a difference? I guess? Yes. Because i'd say i'm less active here than i was in chi or la?)

-I don't eat baked goods or much gluten free stuff at all. (so no 'indulgence' food. that has to be major. i do flip out and eat icecream maybe once a month or have these coffeeshake things to go, but otherwise, besides lattes? and chocolate? no...)

-I eat way less meat. Definitely has to be a major factor and by association less fat. And even less dairy. The koreans are probably right about that one. People who are large here are said to "like meat" where as the more thin prefer rice or vegetables or speed...

-My portion sizes are way smaller then even in LA (which i dont mean to do on purpose but im not that hungry as i was) and besides fruit i dont really snack outside of the 3 meals? The two times i've noticed less than a 6 lbs weight loss is when i was super stressed and eating mcd's like 2x a week which when i was losing 10lbs a month i was still doing but just once a week... and the everysooften pringles binges. I think my lunch portions should be bigger anyway but work is making that really impossible so breakfast is eggs/potatos, latte, yogurt/fruit/nuts or other, dinner (protein/vege/rice?) and sometimes night snack of fruit, pringles, etc. Weekends i eat more extravagantly? Oh and not eating pork here helps since apparently i'm allergic to it?! So i guess eggs and sausage/eggs and bacon was not uh? condusive?

So it all adds up i guess. I was at about 275/280 and hovering upwards as i got more stressed about coming here. Prior to that I had maintained that weight for a good while. And now every month i'm down half a size. Inexplicable. Obvious. All at once. Dream come true. Let's hope it lasts? Back and forth. More to go. A lot already gone... etc.

Here i am at about 220/222ish. Or as i said before 100kg-101.5kg. Anyway this has to be the most dispassionate recounting of something epic ever. I apologize. I suppose I am that internally wary of it that I can't even articulate how fuckingRADitis! It's that not wanting to be let down or disappointed. And that new goal of well, i have at least 40+lbs to go if i were in fact going somewhere. Which i guess i am? Let's not talk about it or breathe about it or it might go away. Too much a slave to temporal reality opposed to the eternal work being done in me which is really where i am deeply in gratitude to God for bringing me to this place, setting me free, going with me down the road, and finding that otherside of myself i always knew was there, and that i didn't believe i would ever see in this life. Hopefully when this is all over i can be less dispassionate about it and more like- in your face fat! go FUCK! yourself and the evil place you came from! But for now, i'm all - head nod , and um yah, cool.


Friday, August 17, 2012

OK, weekend at Cafe Ti-amo.

Here I am. Obligatory beach rest. Lunch out. Coffee in. And coming up some more conveyor belt sushi, home and then to see what's on tv... of which maybe 3 channels are applicable. Ive had a grande latte so it should keep me going through any zoning out and time future lags that i'm experiencing here ahead of you.

I skyped with matt this afternoon and am reminded of being on the downward slope of my time here . Not to say there won't be another one- but by the time he gets here i'll have a volleyball tournament to look forward to, and then the dread of winter, then home? my current thoughts on that trend are percipitated by? influenced by a couple categories:

- Work!? Where do i find it!? Where do I look!? Where do I go!? When!? Ahhhh!
-LA is an X factor. You would not think so, and yet what if i am mired in the same bullshit i was for the three years proceeding this one? Will i regress? Will I gain back all the debt and weight? Will i slide back into the stupor before i decided on this adventure? (see above)
-Am i really fooling myself into thinking I can sustain something like teaching when i most likely am only being kept afloat because i have a sadistic need to challenge myself... ultimately i think there is some truth to this. I am most comfortable being around artists, being in art and working toward that end no matter how peripherally. I also like downtime. I need it. This go go go of teaching at this level is exhausting. Can i find a teaching/art/downtime gig?

-Here teaching jobs are a plenty.
-I would like to try teaching at the university level for the 2nd year. I hear it's possible. I don't know how and yet i think maybe? I ponder travel, then home, then trying again for a job at this level with a home stay of 6months to a year before i go out again... living on what? i don't know. Or do i just job search about now and see what comes up? (wouldn't hurt? i guess?) (+more time off, + more pay)
-I would even consider another hagwon try...
-Did i mention consistent regular pay?

Questions to God:
-Tell me where to hunt. (statement and yet still)
-Where is my provision? (more figurative and geographical)
-When will i inherit the land of my forefathers? (a little biblical but still-i'm a CA girl. and the question has everything to do with land and sustainability and the concept of being cast out and not being able to LIVE where i am HOME most.)
-Can I go home? (aka will there be work for me there or must i wander a bit more? or is this like perpetual? see:panic)
-Will the answer be as desisively displayed and executed like last time...? (pretty please). Ps: WHEN?!

Ok there was little to no zoning out. This coffee thing is working. I'm going to even blog one more time. Also- did you see... lists! m.

history channel assessment

Thursday, August 16, 2012

In regards to,

the green room... of perpetual uh, non finished... waiting room. re: weight loss and contract sentence ending. What to say what to say?

Hum.  Nothing seems to quite know where to start.

I'll have to get back to you on that.

What else... where did the time go. I really was going to sit down and blog and paint and luxuriate in time. And then there was the volcanic face mask, the copious amounts of oj pops, fruit... the shower, the shaving and now i'm all eh, lets go to bed. I mean it was a different kind of lolling around- and i've resisted going downstairs and getting pringles. Also, I've mentally vowed to return to the hospital after todays failed?ish? attempt... so i can get on with this allergy testing and get on with my list before i leave the island. So close that downward slope. I can't say I quite taste it yet but i'm waiting for it... but wait, more on that later. Which means no yoga or swimming but bus grabbing. If i go early enough i could theoretically suss out the imaginary chiro as well. I'm so boring i feel- everytime i set out to type. The different bits about work and love and all the rest so lost- that i wonder- i think i need to watch the happy clouds and youve got to believe again until i really do- so that i can say it...but who has the time with the recreating and working... until next time.



Wednesday, August 15, 2012

the color of futility

I think it’s a very pale shade of green. Yesterday I helped paint the church basement again, and that sucker ain’t ever gonna be finished. Oh sure, it will get done eventually. I realize that. But when you have in your head 2-3 days and at the end of the first day you barely have a first coat on most – not even all! – surfaces, it feels Sisyphean. There is just so. much. area. to paint.

But at least it wasn’t quite as hot/stale/muggy as the first painting escapade, which translated to me not feeling quite so much like death.

And I shopped for children’s church library books today. I feel like we were successful? And that I might understand why there’s no big box bookstore in D-ville? Because everyone just goes to Goodwill. Seriously could have spent the day looking through their books. But after awhile and before that another new-used hole-in-the-wall store that will never survive if they charge everyone as little as they charged us, I was running on vapors and had to quit. Note to self: ALWAYS BRING ALMONDS.

Whatelse. School is going swimmingly for K.Lo. She’s been processing her school days behind a closed bedroom door, playing teacher for hours. Really. It’s the most awesomest thing ever. J.Lo has a nasty cold that he’s trying to pass on to me. I’m waving around bunches of garlic but I’m not sure it’s going to work. I'm also pseudo job hunting again, very specifically for online something or other, for the moment. And it always sends me into a deep spiral about my abilities and inabilities and back to that pale shade of green. But I’ll buoy myself out of it dammit, at least to send in an application or two. RIGHT?

Or something.

Those PBS montages are just epic. Thank you for insisting I watch them finally, as I noted their presence on pinterest awhile ago and told myself to click on them but never did. I can’t even decide which is my fave. Eating, imagination and art. I mean. Let’s just embrace all three shall we. THE STUFF OF LIFE.

Also who wouldn’t embrace a random independence day that is highly symbolic. And go you with your epic weight loss! Someday perhaps you’ll blog more about that. And what you think home will hold, after your sentence contract ends.

I suppose it’s bedtime but I’m feeling noncommittal. I’d really like to usurp – is that really a word and am I using it in the right context – control of the television so I can finally watch ProRun, but I’m allowing the sickie to do some Netflix movie streaming. Which leaves me and my marginally amusing book club read, which no one else in the group has had the time or energy to even start, so the motivation has sort of dissolved very quickly. But we’re meeting at a sushi place on Friday night, so I’m looking forward to that part. Just not the reading part. Maybe I’ll forage for a new book tonight, hmm.

Also, all of my clothes suck, being baggy, or old, or appropriately summery. Basically I am ready to wear jeans. But perhaps I’ll be both ambitious and lucky tomorrow in revamping an old shirt or two to fit correctly. and not hideously. or pale greenly, by which I mean metaphorically, not literally.

that is all. goodnight.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Brown Bears, or Black Bears

Black bears. Obviously.

Last night i went to the Emart and spent too much money on fruit and some imported pesto. Pricey nonsense. I should spend less. And then there was the Bingsu (bing/ksu). Ice, cream, icecream, assorted bits, espresso... you'd think i'd have been up for staying up but it was all too much sugar and there was nothing to download and nothing on tv and i finished that follet novel... Today is liberation day. I think from Japan. Korea is still a bit sore about that whole occupation invasion thing. And i'm happy to capitalize on any liberation day of any country... i think? I won't look into it too deeply except to say thank god. The next one isn't for another 6 wks- by then Matt will be here and we'll be touring around the island. So i have that immense pressure to relax? And try not to think of tomorrow as monday but 2 days to Saturday. Meaghan and i have done some investigating and going out for Bingsu after school has definitely helped to lessen the work day blow/blues...

So today, so far so good- slept. check. ate a good breakfast. swam in the ocean. laid in the sand. floated in the ocean. laid on the sand. and now i'm back. Next strategy is to get lunch, find a coffee shop, go to a movie, go to dinner and call it a day. Or fit the beach back in there again depending. And then there's that going back to the doctor for more allergy testing thing- not today though everything is closed. I have vowed though- one of my first lists has emerged here- nothing tourist related but body related: cheap electrolosis, toe fungus (ew), chiropractor. and the allergans... weight loss is already ticking along. But there was a consequence of all that vaykay eating i was doing a couple weeks ago. I still managed to lose another few lbs though. Go 100-101.5 kgs ish. Because now i'm all --- ooo.

But back to you and blackbears, that church was amazing. I can just imagine the feel of the wood on the pews and walls. Delicious. And that car. Delight. Pure. Delight with those tires. And um yes, please- buried treasure! druglords! and that donkeys chase wolves away from cows!? The what! I love that your learning. Speaking of, I feel my imagination is out to lunch. Where has it gone? I did just watch three inspirational videos- which by the way epic: ... i'd almost watch mr.rodgers then bob ross and follow it with julia childs. but whatever order its pretty fantastic. I may have teared up about the happy clouds and trees and the you've got to believe on the bob ross refrain-- and been suddenly made ravenous by the julia remix. Which did i mention EPIC.

Anyway I hope my imagination comes back one day.
Chat you later love. To make up maybe i'll post again tonight (cough). I said maybe.

schrute interruption

Monday, August 13, 2012

so confusing.

grandma meme

Sunday, August 12, 2012

the ferm

So I organized this event for church, a trip to one of our members' farms - she (nicest lady EVer) had invited the families, and it was covered dish, and well anyway, did I really organize it? I had a part in it. I'm currently sweating whether or not I was gracious enough and did I help facilitate the event enough, even though I'd never been there and my liaison for the event who is way more familiar with the farm couldn't make it, blah blah. The rational part of my brain is telling me not to worry about all the things I'm not, like the type to be all, hey gang, let's eat! Or the type that is brimming over with honeyed Southern grace and charm and engrained potluck know-how. I'm quietly sweet in my expression of graciousness, right? And I take some cool pictures. It was seriously flippin' gorgeous out there, between the light and the trees and the strong hint of pre-fall air. And the coming together of all of us who made a point to take part. The truck bed rides down to the river and out to a teeny church built in the 1800s, complete with a balcony for slaves. And learning that donkeys chase coyotes away from cows. And that the land, all 600 some acres of it, was bought on foreclosure after it was seized from druglords or some such. And there's likely money hidden somewhere on the property. And oh look, that barn was built out of telephone poles. Honestly it was kind of randomly magical, which is my favorite thing in the world So shut up, socially neurotic mind. Because you have to go to bed soon and get up for THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL. Here are some pictures of the adventuring for you friend. xo

Saturday, August 11, 2012


to you on my Sunday and your Saturday, but now sunday morning to my monday morning... I'm eating a oj popsicle and half watching transformers? something? It's pretty awful. But I'm all clean and sparkly from my shower and the beach sand is mostly off me. I had a piece of pizza and fried chicken. Mwah. I felt pretty ill after but i think it's because the food is patently unhealthy and i'm sure my joints will flare but... I suppose i just needed to be reckless and remember then yet another reason why to say no to some things. But there was night swimming in the ocean and the beach lit up and they brought it all to us on the sand, so I had to wait for it, trying to capture something of the moment and of the summer. There was a man with a guitar on a distant deck of a restaurant, and people were setting off fireworks. A woman was searching for her son, and there were announcements about not drinking and swimming and i swear something about heartburn or a heartattack? i can't be sure. But i'm tired so i'm going to finish this tomorrow... am i... i must. There's something about you and that lawn mower- and spiedies. I remember. HOw did that go?

I got a ride home and am trying not to dread tomorrow. I still didn't go grocery shopping. And that crick in my back that's causing my leg to be all prickly and numb seems to be getting worse? All the standing i suppose? bending? hunching? I dont know. I've really got to find a chiro. Anyway i really should go to bed. Sleep itself is an unfathomable adventure. When i woke up this a.m. it was like my eyes were tuning back into this reality- complete with geometric designs and colors clearing before my eyes- as if dialing back into a different way of seeing. My heart was racing and i really did feel i was snapping myself awake with fingers as if coming back from a trance... from something unpleasant. A man looking in my direction wearing all black.... and something else too but that's all i remember.

MOre on the grass and humanity when i'm conscious.

Friday, August 10, 2012

oh the humanity

Aren’t we humans cute? It’s like that insurance commercial with the montage of stupid things human beings do in cars by virtue of our infallibility. It makes me laugh and sears my heart at the same time. Because it seems like we are collectively agreed that we aren’t, actually, imperfect. Or that over time humanity improves on its imperfection with, you know, its intelligence, its technology, its “knowing better” and its having learned from history. Which is simply another facet of that imperfection, the short-sightedness.

We are so hilarious!

Someone painted patches of our white church basement ceiling green earlier this week. Oops. And today I watched three men gouge two holes in the wall while moving, or rather lodging, a boxspring up a staircase. It was there for three. hours. Fabric was ripped, slats were broken. Heads hung in defeat. And then the landlord popped by and helped get it upstairs in two minutes flat. And then in the evening I mowed the lawn, and it’s been so long since I last mowed that section, and the grass is heavy and wet like the summer air, and I was so determined to Get It Done Right Then, the mower cut off from a clog for the first time all year. So J.Lo raised the wheels and I was on my way, until WHOOPS! ran over the culvert. Shredded the culvert. Completely foo-barred the mower blade till the machine rattled and shook and J.Lo waved his arms to STOP MOWING FOR GOD’S SAKE.

So my children will eventually wound themselves on the shredded culvert – it’s inevitable, no? even though the mangle has been somewhat pounded into place. And J.Lo’s out looking for a replacement blade (fast-forward to the next morning) and we are crossing our fingers the shaft isn’t foo-barred, too, because then we’ll need a whole new mower. Which ain’t in the monthly budget. And meanwhile, the lawn still is unmowed.

Also, I’ve been epically overscheduled. I think there’s eventually an end in sight? In theory? But for now we soldier on. I haven’t watched ProRun yet so no spoilers pleeease.

Saturday is Spiedie Fest. Wish me luck in all things. But mostly the mower situation over the cookoff.

love to you in jeju


Thursday, August 9, 2012


I greet you from the depths. I think icyhot does answer all. I think that thing with your back has to do with fatigue. Introverted fatigue. I don't know.... back to that in a min. I've showered. Read a bit and pondered making a list of possible allergen suspects.  Listening to itunesdj with a cup of iced tea to my left. The old man says it all. I feel they are highly appropriate and my love for you upon waking and seeing those strengthened as if i were right next to you and you had just answered my question without even hearing it. I do blame the time difference. It's tricky this future and past thing we're doing- on my side of tomorrow, your morning my night... I told cathy the other day i felt it. The strain. Not just the routine but the difference. Like psychically or something it feels farther to reach her. When i want to i have nothing to say. Her words are less to me. And i can feel jealous over details like luther knowing more about her backpack that was stolen then i do or danica's pingpong turney i heard from 2 people but not from her. It's nice but it reminds me of the distance.

Meanwhile I'm burned out everyday staggering on and staggering off the field. It kills me mentally to think i have another 6 months. I know as August ends it'll tip but I'm waiting. Meaghan said just this a.m. that sometimes I'm too stressful to be around... alternately at times too calm or too anxious. I can relate as I'm an emotional barometer as well but have zoned out lately at work due to -- wtf am i going to do about it, but x off the days. Ok immediately I heard the word pray.... so man i have to work on that- that LOVE thing... but man this being "on" thing. This work space thing has my mind churning at 8hours solid and i literally feel the 'too muchness' of it. To keep going. I'm sure in life we all have this, i want to stop and rest and alternately some aching task that has us keep laboring. It schools me in my too independent nature i suppose.

ANyway speaking of, volcanic- no. MIA. I mean even after that talk she didn't write... and i felt laying down the gauntlet of ... so forgiveness? Was the last word i had to say? Was there more to say? Is there? I mean it's bizarre. I just find myself thinking those things as it crops up and i shake my head. Baffled. I hope she hears it from someone else so that she can really "hear" what i said. Does that make sense? Because i mean, i want it to be about me being right BUT- and though i butchered the delivery-- a part of me senses God wants her to hear it too- the need for healing and all that-

Back to my absurd allergies- I mean i trust them in so far as i know my body is silly or rather doing silly things. I think the wheat and strawberries could be latent PTSD from childhood. That webmd made a sly mention of such things as i was reading up on diagnosis issues. So while I'm willing to let the here and there wheat in I feel the GF thing is probably ultimately more healthy for me? But yes, sg for sure or rather what is leeching out of... i do like lists and it rekindles my love of them as i contemplate all the various food things i can write down. Another to do maybe for the a.m. or before bed which should be soon given how intermittently or... consistently ? fatigued i've been. But yes- mysterious X... what is it... i'm hoping creative... or obvious and creative? I'm not sure. When i think of how much sausage and bacon i was consuming pre leaving... along wth my almost allergy to eggs i sort of gasp...

Totally- BH- spunk but no heart.
Ok i should go- what else. What do you need to know... There was something.
You-- i need to know what you're eating and the feel of the couch and the wood floors and about your patio and the way the light is hitting a favorite spot as the sun is doing whatever it does.

my love,

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

i feel like…

We both skipped a turn? Or something? But we’re also back in true form if we write anyway to check in belatedly, with promises to write more maybesometime…um.

WHOA with your meeting theme from above. Are you speaking with Volcanic yet? Is she there yet, will she ever be?

I have a slow-burn cold-hot ache across the middle of my back that just feels like sadness. Maybe some IcyHot? Does that cure all…

Today on a whim I decided to wrap Persephone’s earbuds a la a Pin I saw once and thought I pinned but apparently didn’t. Or I can’t find it on my boards, but that doesn’t mean anything. Except mine doesn’t look nearly as neat and lovely as it’s been at least a decade since my last friendship bracelet.

Also I have a meeting tonight for children’s council, which is going fine by the way, but I hate hearing myself talk, so I sort of have to power through that conundrum. Hm.

I made muffins… banana…

And I did laugh out loud at your pork and cockroach allergy. I mean… epic. Outside of a random Indiana Jones adventure, I don’t foresee many problems with the cockroaches, but have you sensed pork? And HOW are you not allergic to wheat, officially, after all your trials and tribulations with it? Do we trust this Korean assessment really, is what I’m asking. But I love that there’s still a ??? mystery allergy hovering out there. Ooo what could it be. (SG!) And allergic to dogs, however mildly – psshhh. I don’t know. I just don’t know.

The bookshelf is filled and is glorious.

I’m officially avoiding nosy-hag neighbor, who is simply going to have to fly on her own, little bird, fly fly. For my toxicity sensor is beeping wildly.

I ought to mow the lawn and refresh the hummingbird fare and water the plants. But it’s so wilt-y out there, whine.

And Bunheads is wearing on me with its lack of heart. Like it’s got the spunk, but…


ttfn – totes – boom


Have I already,

did i miss the boat already.. are we too behind? Let's keep going self Yes. self. I will type right now. I will blog right now.

but i skyped J instead and then zzzzzzzzz. I mean things to talk about to morrow am i promise... cockroach and pork allergy? and unknown X allergy... and going to a mtg with repressed volcanic girl where we literally talked about what destroys and builds relationships in the christian community and i had to sit next to her... super awkward, baffling, fascinating? not sure. God definitely. And then it's like ... well, ?...  oh and reading follet novel. swampy weather. rain. mosquitos still infiltrating despite net. must spray it.. ok what else? i mean work is ... ? and it's still a bit crazy but i suppose i should give you a run down... also conveyor belt sushi- coffee culture like crazy come to jeju, and go fast work week go... the days themselves seem to be dragging but then it's all over and i'm surprised it's going to be thursday.

love you friend,
and as we say, tell me of your world... the love of your bookshelf, spirals? and whatever else...

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


Monday, August 6, 2012


Sunday, August 5, 2012

5th day

I haven’t traversed any mazes lately with a Girl Named Volcanic Repression, but I did spend all day Saturday painting the ceiling of a mildewy basement. And felt completely ill for it, since heat rises and it was soupy heat and anyway. I might have tumors now, or at least a substantial lung disease brewing. It was for church and it’s fine, but let’s just say I’m not in any hurry to go back until the ceiling is done, at least. (It’s a giant, giant room.) I totally (totes) hope you go back to the maze so you can experience it by yourself and also complete the women’s maze because hello – awesome. It sounded pretty epic in spite of the subsequent friend-drama.

A new phone has been procured, secured, and I have named it Persephone. And you totally (totes) would have been proud of me when I sicced my upstate NY accented tirade on the AppleCare rep re: his ridiculous plan to have me send back a lemony device and wait 10 days for a replacement. My speech was long and loud enough to pass whatever escalation test was required by the cellphone carrier so that they intervened and were like, yes, we’ll swap it out for you. Sweet. I feel like I maintained a perfect balance of carefully restrained venom and persecuted customer-ness.

Neighborly shenanigans, you ask? So the nosy one to the right of us, the one who feels sorry for herself as a regular theme of conversation, the one with a vindictive streak who chucked dog poo in our flower beds last year instead of discussing the issue first? That one. Her husband went to the hospital last week after a fall (not the first fall), and I let the dog out while they were gone, and now she’s back and her husband has been transferred to a nursing home. Which was a long time coming, we all know that. And now she’s has this huge life transition in her lap, like what to do with herself, how to create a new life, how to be alone. I get that. I really do. I listen to these words empathetically. At the same time, the invitation to join a water aerobics class together had to be politely declined.

Disappointed smile

This is the show I went to Friday night. And it was pretty rad! I mean I could have done without the Santa song and why did we go back to the Flagmaker in the 1700s? I’m not sure. But otherwise. I got it, and it was inspiring. It’s a tiny theater brimming over with talent and heart and I love it. Totally (totes) want to go back.

And currently, I’m sitting in awe next to this super-tall bookcase crafted by J.Lo and my dad that is now a cornerstone of our living room. I have to fill it this week, and also make a giant stack of books-to-be-sold-and/or-donated. Because I just don’t want to hold on to them all. I know. Who is speaking here. But it’s totally (totes) me, Penelope.

love to you on the island -

Saturday, August 4, 2012


The day was going from one largest "of" to the next... one of the longest lava tubes, the longest? stone maze, the oldest tree on jeju, the biggest nutmeg tree in the world etc... the lava tube- was made yes, by lava cutting through the earth- discovered in 1947 by a school teacher collecting plants. It's massive and vast- and so very evocative. The whole day- evocative of mystery, of discovery, of wandering, of exploration and beauty. The caves a constant cold temperature, with intermittent drips falling from the ceiling at times you feel swallowed up, part of a government conspiracy, an apocalyptic society of survivors, of a dry and vast river with human fish cutting past you in the current. You ache as you hit the end and see the tunnel alluringly keeps going on though the walkway does  not. You have to watch your steps back over the uneven surface now that you are chilled you glance up frequently but can no longer stop and continue to gaze at each breathtaking surreal step of something that hardly seems real. Down to the dark volcanic rock looking like wet clay or the earthy colored and iron rusted top crust of the ceiling looking fragile and hollowed, to the grooves cut and left by intense repeditive movement. You emerge and hit the wave of humidity and heat rising against you with force. There is an audible murmur of surprise but you continue to climb up up up and out. There is something left with you like wanting to stay down there forever but understanding the inhospitable and impractical nature of living down in the dark at such a depth. You can't linger. But you want to come back.

The next place, mazeland- is made of three elements that jeju is most plentiful in- women, wind and stone. This is where i found out the one girl didn't like mazes and seemed alienated from the experience. She didn't tell me, until we were in the first- thinking that it was absurd to be lost in a place like a game and to try to find your way out. As if there should be some point or how it might  be different if there was some object or team... When people are like this in an activity or something you really enjoy you become how shall i put it.. resentful? as they become increasingly less helpful, more disconnected... to me i find mazes a fascinating enterprise in group dynamics. How impatient, leaderless, upset, competitive... i found Meg to be encouraging though wry and Dandelion to be like an altered personality so much that i rambled on about battlestar galatica and that scene where that one guy finds out the girl he loves is like an evil clone of someone who is someone who is someone. Why did you come!? Why didn't you say, hey not into it. But anyway we didnt have the strength to complete the 3rd as they both were underhydrated and weren't using their umbrellas to shield themselves as i constantly was- having learned my lesson from nearly dying the day before-- so we never completed the wilds of the women's maze. And the wind one, was peaceful and calming and circle shaped in a traditional cretian? form- where the stone one, the element i most related to had me thinking of david bowie and small talking worms and seemed more magical, less ethereal. The girl in me was positively thrilled and thought that her fun had been dangerously close to being spoiled. She thinks to herself- i'll come back without them. Another day and wander and imagine without them... she emerges from the place feeling satisfied but also like so little of the place was explored.

The third place was the nutmeg forest.  Where each of us had our own test of will and of spiritual something or other. The other two both seemed to think the buses had stopped running and that they weren't sure how we'd get home but they both kept walking. I didn't try to say they were wrong- i just thought oh... so? what should we do. But we kept walking. On down the road and into the forest. No one mentioned the sun setting or the prudency of entering the forest near to closing time. (apparently already after closing? according to the website). But that's thing. It was like it was meant entirely for us. The ticket lady took our money and let us wander off. Anyway at the entrance into the heart of the wander- We saw a woman washing her feet and it seemed something to be done. This walking barefoot across the beneficial red volcanic rock. So we did. It made the journey slow but we constantly glanced with wonder at the dappled sunlight cutting through the trees and the slight breeze. The sounds and the quiet. The intimacy of the road as the last of the people trailed out as we pressed deeper in. It was serene. None of us seemed to be saying we should turn back. So on the last portion when the stones became really big we still went on, in pain personally- but like something i had been mentally preparing myself for since I got here and decided to start stone walking (as they're in all the parks and resting places as a meditation and as a healing aid). Megs at one point said as she blithely numb to the pain due to high tolerance? or deadened nerves that I could just put my shoes back on. I took that as a challenge and only as we were 1/2 way in glanced at the time and how the sun had set and that we were losing light fast... but none of us put our shoes on. We all kept walking. I decided as i had some choice words to say at some sharper points that hit my feet that instead of just expressing this pain, as in life, i should give it to God and talk to Him about it. And that as we traverse as we traversed the cave- It was impossible not to keep your feet and eyes on the road bcs of the uneven surfaces. It made it impossible to consume the space unless you stopped. You couldn't just stroll through- it became a testament to a life lived not consuming idlly but purposefully pursuing something in the midst of both pain and pleasure. Glancing up and stopping because i needed relief and the trees some 100's of years old standing there fixed and timeless or a testament to life, and then glancing back down and trying to pick the smoothest path possible but still feeling every thing under your feet and enduring. So that by the time we reached the 800 year old tree. The oldest one on the island it was shrouded in dark, and seemed for such a time to be lost and searching and wondering- perfect to not be able to see it all- in its starkness- and because our journey wasn't over we could hardly stop to relish in it or contemplate it. This is where we finally put our shoes back on. I never moved so fast. I bolted past the two others. I felt light and free and unencumbered. And there was such a peace and sense of knowing and being as we finally arrived to an abandoned parking lot in the now dead of night.

Still- how to get home. The other two i dont know- what they wanted- it got weird. Whatever was in the forest seemed over or separate from the reality they experienced there where as i saw it as a continuation- that is the critical thing- the peace, the message, translated over to me- but for them reality came crashing- they had places to be, things to do, and i only saw a few options- sleeping in the forest, getting a taxi or getting rescued... and they felt suddenly burdensome, and stupid foreignerish, and foolish and irresponsible and while i felt- vaguely like i shouldve known better - i didn't. That this happens to us whereever we are in the world trying something new and risking... And found it impossible for me to feel at all bad for where we were since i felt with assurity that we would be able to get ourselves out. I wasn't phased.

But as you know when ones panic rises and the other calm meets it there is a clash... as I resented D for being remote in the maze or how as we walked out the heat was thick and shocking to the icy cold and quiet... we stood at polar opposites and i tried to reconcile the gap perhaps foolishly to get them to speak the same language i was experiencing but it wasn't translating. I came off careless and glib and unfeeling. This is where after all the mazes we wandered through, it finally broke us- the test- i came out carrying what i'd learned? maybe arrogant to state but we can't blog forever- maybe if i wrote it out more-- but they ate it and compartmentalized it. This wasn't a maze. This was life. This wasn't spiritual this was practical. It was serious. It could've been avoided. Shame on you. Shame on me. Shame on us.

I suppose if this were an imaginary story this is where i dissolve into the forest to go live and they cease to see the forest? It is as J said, very prince caspian... she related it to a story she is living but i see the parallel. Some people don't see the way out. They don't see Aslan. They wander lost and frustated and try to do life perfectly. They think it's them who is working out and solving everything... and so failure hits them more deeply and pride comes up. They don't see it though- so anyway, we were at a community center, there were lights and helpful young adults who were like WTF foreigners!?. A girl said a taxi wouldn't come. I didn't believe her.  If there is money i said to the very anxious M and to the grim D, they will come. A bit later a boy called and said a taxi would come... We were rescued some 30minutes later. It only cost us 5won each. (under $5) I said, God showed me how safe i was today. D laughed. Unkindly. As if i was mocking or ambivilant to the peril... but We caught the last bus into town ($1). And we got back to "reality" at 10pm after having some dessert at the beach convinience store and then found the lighthouse restaurant oddly closed. I went to bed hungry and D and i got into a fight which she didn't think was a fight and didn't really think she was mad that we might as well have been experiencing two seperate realities which we're still experiencing. It's my fault for emailing her back and cutting when i shouldve just capitulated... and then Megs brought me food. And i skyped and chatted and processed about the alienating differences and the aura of some spiritual transaction occuring. Of course we all want to go back there- or at least D does and I do. But I dont know if i would do it differently. She would- different people, better planned, on her terms. And now thinks she wants nothing to do with me. But either way it won't be the same. I still think... hmm, something happened out there. I wonder exactly what it was. But something broke btw friends. Something was mended. Other things fortified. A mixed bag but i suppose for my soul- transcendent.

(from the nutmeg forest)
(ok really i'm going to go get conveyor belt sushi)

Friday, August 3, 2012

here we go -

Oh you’re so right. Yesterday was my turn, and I told myself the whole day, blog something dammit. And it was right there on my brain. But I was dealing with my iPhone, which has turned out to be a lemon – it’s okay, I’ve already cried about it. I’ve turned it on it’s head so that it’s something hilarious. (It only wakes up from sleep mode when it feels like it? And occasionally jumps to life and takes an empty screen shot of itself? HAHAHAHAHAHA.) (Sigh.) (Sob.) And I’m going to the store today to amend.

So anyway, there was a lot of googling and finger crossing and restoring and conversing with customer service and tech support all day and night.

I’m dying for you to download the latest of ProRun and watch it immediately. So we can discuss. Because – gah. Just watch it. I enjoyed the candy challenge somewhat, marveling at the swirly gummy shark pattern, shaking my head at the falling apart pseudo-macaroni dress (seriously? just because it’s called pina colada twizzler does not mean it translates to visually awesome) and rolling my eyes at the designers who still, after TEN YEARS of fandom, do not understand that that unconventional materials challenge is about creating a fabric-esque illusion. And then sewing it into something bad-ass. You can’t just grab any existing material you see in whatever candy store or trash heap you’re thrown into and pretend that has anything to do with the price of eggs. Or, more horribly, take the challenge so literally as to craft a candy shop worker’s apron. What. Ugh.

I have some favorites so far – I like Ven’s designs, even if his personality’s sort of fuddy-duddy. I like the chick with the blue hair. I want to like Rooney Mara and probably would if she didn’t crumble under pressure and turn out things that are clearly way less than her best. And what about the crafty-kitschy lalala weeeeee! guy? Last night he said – without giving away anything major – something like, I just feel sad. And when I feel sad, I cannot work. I want to feel happeee. I think I love his spirit but ultimately raise my eyebrows at his design and craftsmanship.

Anyway… summer break is winding down. Mercifully. I mull my photographical and blogging hiatus – what has that been all about? Or maybe I should just not ponder and get on with it. Because picture-taking is ultimately this solid way of practicing gratitude for the beautiful things in my life…

I flippin’ love your maze pictures. I want to know more about that. And though we haven’t been blogging, let’s at least note we’ve been e-chatting regularly. So the disconnect is strictly limited to blogging. (Well and long emailing.) But we do need to remember that our letters to each other contain their own unique value not worth dismissing. Maybe our August sentence will be bring us back to that place where we know it.

Also, I laughed out loud at your appeal to – if only! – reach that place of contentment a la Peter Gibbons (yeah I had to IMDb that), sifting through the smoldering ruins of Initech. Ahahaha… Indeed.



Um, Pen

So day 2... i mean we didn't officially talk about it but i think that one belonged to you? I'm here at a coffee shop called cafe bene. I think my latte was made with half hearted interest, as ive become a connoisseur now of lattes being made with love or indifference or in my mind weak coffee. Eventually i'll have to give up and go on to cappuccinos. But never mind. The day has been idyllic despite sand blowing into my ears at the beach- puffy clouds, cool water, loveliness. Then a trip into town for food- the conveyor belt sushi belt place isn't open until later so I suppose if i stayed here a few more hours i'd have dinner there - but i don't know. I ate at burger king. Which i inherently feel bad about like it's food wasted, time wasted but nevermind.

Work is fighting it's way into my consciousness as it looms closer. With that feeling of dread of going back. And that need for a hobby it doesnt seem i have time for. The tension from loveliness to that feeling is making me not want to type- to give up and resume reading or staring into space. It's because I can't resolve it. It just is. What's to work out except to say, God, please I dont want to dread work. And why do I dread it... I know why... but why must i work in a place that makes me dread it.... is it possible like that mythical story officespace to arrive at a place of peace and be like "fucking A." as you clean up the debris of a burned corporate enterprise. I want to believe in a place like that- that i can reach that place....

So I'll go onto something else. I got an allergy test yesterday, four years or so in the making right? I can go into shin on tuesday and get the results. I'm curious. It seems so unneccessary and yet i do love tests and information that's directly related to me. Win/win right? I asked him about the numbquad thing i've had for the past 3 years and he said yes, it is probably related to your lower back and you probably should try a chiro first- and we are our own best doctors yes? Weight loss, correct posture. Etc. Yes. yes. Mmhmm. And i was already so exhaused by Megs freaking out over skin cancer and her irish ancestory and to the thick and heavy psychic energy surrounding hospitals in general that going back for any length of time whether xrays or "other" seems almost impossible to me.

It might be time to go back to tanning. The threshhold of thoughts being held delicately on... i may be in a foreign land but the thoughts are the same. The structure i find myself in new, but familiar. I'll try to talk about love and prayer in the other place or here. Someone ask me some direct questions.

Through timea nd space.

my love, m.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

dear one (long cat saga?)

greetings from a foreign land. it's hot today- 90+ with 80% humidity. i had the feeling i could tan by the beach all day but really i should be writing words. which have been sorely lacking in my letters to you. a disappointing trail of my time here which at times borders between epic, challenging and ridiculous but never not noteworthy. and now we'll barely remember exactly what i went through. though i know we grow reticent of recapping and commenting on life when we should be living it. i expected even on this vacation time to have more time - that my boredom would push me to write. am i so out of practice? nevertheless. here i am.

the title of my novel will be something like "the yowling cat, my yowling self"... i do like, param, the cat-my ward. as her full name. she's taught me a lot about love. I had that feeling when I was like-- God, can I ask for my money back, i thought, did my parents ever have that thought- the cost of this creature that they're responsible for. even the simple willingness of my parents to receive the cat is causing waves here- of the kind of people they must be. it speaks volumes. while i am ever amused that even across the rim of fire, an ocean, that i manage to still bring cats home. there must be some mythological concept, some deeply engrained genetic something that compels me- and simply home is safe, a refuge and at various times cats and friends need the safety of my home. and so why wouldn't i send everyone and everything there? it makes the most sense to keep things there also. i wouldnt have thought of it any differently.

but the adventure of the cat- since there seemed to be so many pieces was as overwhelming to me as moving to korea. i had that same point of shut down upon hitting the home stretch of not having a place to stay in seoul for myself or the cat. but before that- let's back up- God said to me, he really did- i have brought this cat to you and you're to care for it. you aren't to give it up. kris confirmed to me that as i had the cat stuffed in the backpack when i first found it on the way back from the vet. and that conviction stuck with me even as i calmly stared at my boss freaking out over the cat discovery of '012. to the cat's her freaking out again... to the cat's departure...but the meditation on love will have to wait) first she went to karma's. she's got a cat named Stella, and a husband who doesn't like cats. Also he's a light sleeper. And the ward was in heat at the time. And the buildings aren't insulated and and... after that, she came home for a couple days and got her shots and the vet kept her for a day and I gave him a pineapple as a thankyou. Then off to Eun-ju the hairdresser, who's never had cats before i'm fairly sure. So it was a shock to no one that she just barely made it a week- did we mention japanese bts are a "vocal" breed? I gave her box of cherries I'd just bought as a thankyou. Slightly resenting her inability to adjust or tough it out or i dont know what. There were sincere apologies on both sides as I left with the cat intow. Buses, taxi rides (insert here).

After that it was 2 possible leads that fell through and the turn toward shipping her to LA. She found refuge at the other vets office (once again set up and negotiated by kris), surrounded by small yappy dogs and i believe at least one vet tech who was clueless on how to handle cats. But there she was for two weeks in a crate. What to do. I guess the mainpoint i was freaking out on besides the cost was her non-spayed status and koreanair being all- we dont take cats that are in heat (which with param/i'dsayperpetual). I dont know why but I could see all the ways in which the whole situation might become a disaster that i was relieved at every turn of God's consistent mercy. But the cat herself was such a weighty overwhelming thing. So that by Thursday night i went to the airport and bought the ticket in person double checking on forms. I'd called the EastAir people and had two korean speaking peeps call them too, as well as emailing them, until i was certain they were sick of me and the other thing I found to panic about was that by the time i'd booked my ticket the earlier flight to jeju was sold out so I knew i'd just barely make it to work before the first class started.

What have you. So, on friday Kris said the cat place she thought of in seoul wasn't going to work out. She asked me, what are you going to do I said, (in the midst of planning both friday and monday classes), I don't know. I'll figure something out. At which point Megs and Kris were both like uh no. Which is the same thing Amber and D said when I was leaving for Seoul the first time without a place to stay. But mental capacity to take on new problems and issues was hit and there was no way i could find room to figure it out. And this is where in all humility I bowed to the kindness of people as Kris called her sister in Seoul who apparently has bad health and her husband allergic to cats, and asked her to take the cat for the 2 days I was in seoul. I was speechless.  K called me multiple times to make sure i was on the right subway, not running late, leaving on time, and midway btw points on my sightseeing calling me to tell me of the cats progress, behavior, meowing, puking, sleeping, playing and living ways- as K's sister hasn't ever had a cat before either and they have a dog. I can only imagine the calls btw K and her sister as they diagnosed the cats everystep. Apparently though they were up for the mystery and inconvinience, and again speechless and such a shock on the limits of my kindness and the capacity for it in us, others... I at one point didnt want to see her name pop up on my phone anymore but each time nothing was really wrong. So it was fine, more a humurous punctuation each day.

Meanwhile Saturday i pick the cat up, i can't manage to communicate to the vet that i have no where to put the litter box or food bowls and wanted him to keep them until i got back, i shoved them behind a hedge where i forgot them and then eventually though i haven't really checked, am pretty sure they're gone now. But anyway, then to the cab driver who didn't understand the charade motion for airplane and was circumspect of even my korean/english book with the word at my fingertip- but anyway- it's raining. This leg of the amazing race begins... The airline then stares at me blankly but after many words- i say- paper- cat- finally she understands i need something to fill out to take her on board. Not done and thinking i can get a quarantine certificate multiple calls are made to korean air, and my friend sarah and the help desk and then a trip to the cargo place and more calls and the annoyed guy and more calls to say- no it's saturday, you can't get that here you can get it in incheon. They're all confused that I'm flying the cat myself to gimpo and then to incheon. But anyway, off i go. The cat stays mostly quiet. An hour later were landed. Navigating my way to the airport subway and another 40min to Hongdae where i find the right exit and the one woman from nowhere running to me, with her sister kris on the line, and more needless translating as she looks at the crate, the soft carrier, the food and is like- ok. No, no, it's nothing. Don't worry. She asks if I have a place to stay- I lie. I have a few names but not a firm location. I can tell the way this is leaning that K is close to making me stay with her sister. I say no, no. I have a place, it's X. Which way is that? Ok? Ok. There's no way i can do that to them.

Meanwhile i duck into a tapas restaurant with free wi-fi and decide to find this one place over here on this map on this random street and leave before it starts raining again. For some reason as i am intremittently drenched during the weekend, I wouldnt' bring myself to buy a $2 umbrella and obstiantely wore my too large and illfitting bright red rain poncho-- garnering amused stares from couples if i were cupid or red riding hood I'm not sure. But anyway I found the place. I meet a guy named Andy who's a couple days in to teaching and talked his ear off about it and hopefully gave him some encouragement and then there was seoul to explore. Not really planned once again.

I wandered. I turned on a street I'd just happened to watch a video about. I stumbled on the location of a popular korean drama. I went to a cat cafe and petted some cats and thought it was slightly strange, depressing, and soothing all at once and went to the main castle-- palace? whatever? from another awesome korean drama that had me in tears back in march and i called it a day. Woken up intermittently with "oops. shh. i'm drunk. quiet. sorry guys. sorry. oh no. ouch. sorry guys" (party hostel alas)... the next day began... is this boring? sorry. Im a little brain dead but feel compelled to relate the rest...

The next day i found a churchservice and walked in on the last 20 or so minutes. Enough to ponder godly suffering vs. human suffering. Or was it Godly sorrow? Maybe. But meanwhile I got all choked up by the time we were singing amazing grace and was just done by the time the mens ensemble sang blessed assurance. A woman I met named Seung hyun said, I did a lot of crying today. It helps. She said. I wouldve talked to her more but we were being overtaken by a korean service starting apparently 2 min after- ala gilmoregirls- they boxed up those english hymns and put out korean ones in nothing flat. And i was again cut adrift. To wander through the art district, find my way down a set of stairs strangely reminiscent of my spiritual landscape to a coffee house called rousseau rousseau to an excellent latte. The day was solid until i started wandering around for a massage place and couldn't find. Exhausting myself with the irony of exhausting myself looking for a place to relax. It was entirely TOO metaphorical to ignore. I found a burger place instead. And eventually did wash all my cares away with a footmassage after three more failed attempts. And after that I was just bored with being alone. The more i travel the more bored I become at seeing just pretty and pleasing things. Without stories its just pointless. Without someone to share it with unless its extraordinary really difficult to enter into without just moving along and skimming the surface. After that i paid for a pricey persimmon bingsu and again an early night. To up way to early- my brain of late running on idle and not shut down.

To the cat exchange. To more calls. To the quarantine office and barely a glance at the cat to 10won and a paper and that was it. What! that was it! ALL OF THAT! WHAT! THats IT! To the cargo terminal being in the middle of nowhere i was ready to run across the swamp and at the last minute saw the free shuttle bus as i jogged with cat in hand onto the bus with relief. to being lost despite the map i forgot i had that the guy sent me- to korean air and eastair being all (*$&(*&! foreigner! from one building to the next, and then with disdain throwing away my $8w water bottle for the cat and giving me a new one, and packaging up the cat. to the ... we need cash ps. and i'm all uH!? thankfully i had enough and it was only 1/2 of what i thought- at about $250. they drove me to an atm. time ticking away. and then sat the cat back next to me as if i was going to give a tearful goodbye. i waved. i said, goodbye cat. and as minutes went by and i shrugged- finished? And he's like yes. And I'm thinking uh... ok?! And both the elder dudes didn't even say goodbye. They were so ready to be DONE. rude!

Anyway off i went again and found a random airport bus heading toward gimpo so i just got on it, not part of the plan but whatever and made it- for them to be all standby! anEYO! no. so... 1pm flight. And my knees, the space so tight that ive ever flown- the woman next to me was like, no, and complained for me to the attendent whose polite smile sliced like a dagger- the employees sitting in the front bay seats moved without a word and let me have the aisle seat. The lady ended up beating me off the plane and got the taxi first but i was second and there i was with 15minutes to spare before work having completed a record awesome feat of awesome. Totally had that jumping onto the mat feeling of success. Hurrah... ! Then of course my boss ruined it all by yelling at me on that wednesday in the middle of a typhoon- khanun but whatever. That's another story...

Thanks for putting up with this pen. Was there something else? I can hardly think what... i suppose i should head home from this coffee shop. It's probably nice at the beach now.