Sunday, September 30, 2012

epic photo addendum

books i chose from over lunch (hot spicy soup) one day
stencils i found after making the library bulletin board freehand (have owned for like 20 years)
photo-a-day challenge (padc): "love/hate"
padc: "under"
padc: "good thing"
book for k.lo, in honor of her four loose teeth
k.lo's new sunglasses, after she dropped hers in the intracoastal
padc: "fridge"
padc: "something i like" (three favorite bands mentioned in a single sentence)
picnic choice: mississippi mud brownies or cookie bars?
the book i chose first
the bs work that i'm very thankful to do (topic: teething without teeth. really.)
padc: "me, then"
k.lo art, in honor of clifford's birthday
padc: "near"
ben folds and the FRAGGLES, who are in a new music vid together
accidental closeup shot of my sweatshirt courtesy of my elbow
praying mantis on a boot
padc: "up" (kitchen light)
proving j.lo wrong by cleaning a car headlight with toothpaste
padc 2: "up" (through the sunroof after rain)
n.lo w/ requested spiky hair
padc: "framed" (downtown ILM on our mantel)
painting shutters! that's happening.
padc: "sometimes" (wallace shawn must stare incredulously at the world from behind my jacket)

Friday, September 28, 2012

cappuccino in my veins,

matt landed, and texted me before hand with what he was wearing, should infact lose sight of my 6'2 something white friend in small korea land. i got there just in time for him to be glancing left and right for me and we immediately went to rent a car as apparently everyone else was too. happy chuseok!everybody. i have to work tuesday though. pisses me off. anyway, then it was to get coffee, check into his pension, see my place, go get lunch and we still had time to kill before i had to be at work at one. we are moving way too fast. work fast obviously. this morning after a night of some more bingsu and out with the k teachers, and not being able to sleep coming or going i made breakfast, walked over to matts, then went for a walk and i even did that efficiently. thinking at least 30+ minutes must have gone by- maybe 20minutes?

it is a gorgeous day however. clouds, a breeze, blue skies. perfect for an adventure. kris is coming to meet us in samyang then i'm going to try and find this lunch place si-ja took me to months ago. and then off to a hill, gallery and folkvillage. let the games begin!

more on getting naked in a korean bath house LATER.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

and but so

I feel like there are multiple facets of knowing a person, maybe the chronos and kairos of a person, if you will. So even if you’re not completely, vigilantly up on the chronos, or day-to-day (which completely DOES have value, and I love fiercely that you’ve always demanded these details), there is also the kairos. the essence of a person that you know, in spite of those daily shiftings and emergings. and despite all chronos you’ll immediately recognize the kairos after however long apart.

You are MY shiny object. Other than you not being an object and the fact that I don’t really own you. Not really. But you know what I mean. Mine! Shiny! If I were the type to ever talk AT someone until their face fell off, you’d surely be the subject. And that means something, yo.

I feel like I’d struggle but ultimately would hold off on the slaying of words since she IS leaving soon and why leave sour. Her chronos is annoying the shit out of you, but I know her kairos held something.

Yay for the foreign curmudgeons! Like Viktor on ProRun, who I kind of love. Also, accents add something, like the curmudgeonliness is all the more appealing in its delivery. I adore the “things keep getting stranger” comment. And your student scenes, even if it feels like they’re being all unnoteworthy.

You’ve asked me before what I see for the end of your term-sentence, and I do see that obviously you’ll be home after the year, but for the return? I see a changed locale. Even if it’s mainland, but maybe it would be another country in SEA…

Am so sleepy today, could have slept even longer than the 8 or 9 hours I fell into magically last night. I feel slightly cold-ish, like maybe I picked up errant germs at the store or the consignment sale or something. Because no one else has brought it home to me. Book club was a delight as usual, with just three of this time and we spent maybe half and hour mentioning the book almost as an aside. Maybe because we all liked it. And there were no official discussion questions. And we were discussing other things, like children and schools and loose teeth (K.Lo has FOUR allatonce) our geeky pasts (presents?) and oh maybe some church politics. And the dynamic between the women who have been there all their lives and those of us who have chosen to be there, now. Mainly how they don’t talk to us and what is that all about. Is it their financial status or the fact of their comfort zone or maybe they’re just a-holes...? Just pondering out loud. Clearly there hasn’t been a need to expand their worlds beyond what they know. And it’s interesting – of course I’m completely projecting – that it ultimately ends up seeming the difference between having a static faith and a dynamic one. Actively seeking vs. sitting still and being perfectly fine with what is. never stretching beyond. I don’t think I’ve ever in my whole life fallen into static. Like it’s not even in my dna.

More chronos: shutter painting is happening soon. (shutters: black; door: teal.) Ice maker/water dispenser FIXED because of a penelope produced solution, after more than a year and a half I’m just saying. Point, penelope. Gloating, penelope… Potluck dinner at friends’ house tonight (same locale as bookclub), which frankly I’m hoping doesn’t last that long, although I realize I’m baiting Condescending Wonka to mock me and my pretend cold and my wearying introvert. And I want to upload some photo addendums. But then my phone isn’t saving them like it’s supposed to. Which is vexing. But I’ll see if I can figure that out.

love to YOU


P.S. the literal “fall” in the backyard, the gumball or acorn demonstration of gravity on the metal roof has evolved into a game of Kerplunk, louder, more echoey and insistent as imaginary sticks are removed. someone’s about to lose! anyway j.lo’s going to investigate this weekend what exactly it is that’s falling from the tree (and why this year but not last?). my money at this point’s on marbles.


I have no idea about musical notes- there must be something to dsharp but i don't know what it is. I want to know though. And obviously what sort of notes I would be.

Random assortment of:

Further thoughts on the flatmate: She has a way of talking when she's enthusiastic about something that makes you feel insignificant if you know what i mean? Her energy for other people, praising them loving them, seeking after their attention has a way of knowing that you are not a bright shiny object and though you wouldn't want to be, or pursued in that way to begin with makes you slightly annoyed and exhausted at the end of the time. It makes that introvert/extrovert thing shockingly apparent. And where you suddenly realize you are there just as an object to be talked AT and not with. It's the talking AT i can't stand. I think that must be it. Thank you. But can i say this without cutting her throat? I mean there's probably a fragileness there so as much as she has a know it all attitude about most everything can i really just slay her with the words- stop talking at me please. Or do i just stare at her until i'm not longer amused and leave? I guess.

Further thoughts on the flatmate (#3): His name is Edward. He looks middle-aged... which i am also strangely... almost? Pretty much there. There. Whatever. He doesn't look like marriage material, as I asked sg as a way to get her to talk about him. Also he's from the UK. He looked grumpy in his photo but aren't we all a little when taking passport photos. However we already have an almost middle-aged russian curmudgon who leaned over to Kris and said things just keep getting weirder and weirder around here. (Since as i said, sg and co are moving in upstairs and the 8 year old is watching the 1yr old). Also when i'm alone or Kris is alone sg takes that time to "ask us" about the other M. It's never when we're together. It's just so-- strange. As she then goes on to talk about how she wants to quit but her husband doesn't and other things that make me want to have a serious conversation but then the lesson planning at whateverelse make me dip down and out.

Besides the students haven't been doing anything really amusing- mostly just eyebrow raising. I mean the other day one did say that i was a pig in korean- now before we get all you know- it is bad, but mostly has nothing to do with my weight- as its usually an extremely derisive comment about being a "foreigner" which is usually entirely associated with being a white westerner... ah well. On jeju we are hard to miss. There aren't many of us. DId i already write you about this? This seems familiar. But this student HyunGyu who was called out about it by another student, then flipped through his english/korean phrase book he always carries (he's 10) said "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to offend you." (after i leveled him down close to expulsion from class.) but after that didn't work and i just stared at him with a AND, he then flipped through the book again and said, "Teacher, You are very pretty." (and then i marginally leveled him back up after laughing and obviously condoning his charming of me. Bad teacher. The other student who is a patent troublemaker in one of my older classes, who i'm mostly new to teach but already aware of, and who i give a wide berth so as it won't become a contest of wills- decided to write "fuck you" on a slate mini-board, thinking i wouldn't possibly write him up for that- i mean this is where being a nice teacher who has a fast boiling point for really serious infractions gets those kids in trouble who think they're going to "get away with it"... well to herr director he went, and him muttering "pig" definitely did mean something more serious than just grumbling frustration. I can't say that the kids have been other than that- just teetering on the brink and me hemming them in or bribing them. I'm just currently much too aware of all the moral and emotional decisions humming under the surface to be anything other than Oh, Lord, all the time.

Otherwise the last three weeks my energy has been holding steady. Negativity is brimming  in the shadows but i'm trying not to entertain those thoughts as it really wont be helpful at all to the rest of my time here. AND while 4 months is nothing much left, it's still a lot. I have switched over to talking about "when i leave and not if" but with the caveat and then "when i come back"... so we'll see how that all plays out.

Oh whatever, I didn't mean to go on about it.. there were other things floating around like cloudy days, getting time sucked away by being on the wrong bus twice, the chiropractor being closed, and sitting here with my large latte until i get over to Emart and a concert i dont want to go to but will just so i can get a $5 kebab. I did get all the saltoffmywindows this a.m. with some plumvinegar i had on hand, did laundry, dishes, and found things to throw away. So the day's not a wash but just a little underwhelming. I maybe should not have left the house but the internet has been out again. And like my students who need it like some definite addiciton-- they try and get away with texting while "listening" ... i find it more funny and like a habitat enrichement exercise- for example yoon song snuck these chocolate crunchy things the entire class and i let him do it because i thought it helped engage his mind and see if he could get away with it while doing class- i mean kids get bored right- if only ji yoon the entire class didn't keep saying TEACHER! blah blah! I can only convey nuance so well with a smile and eyebrow raises to a girl who thinks what he's doing is outrageous. Though yesterday i did finally take minjeong's phone away because i mean one text ok, a conversation NO. I do have limits.

Ok there's a smoking section in this cafe benes and it's only ok when i'm upwind or they dont open the door that often. So i'm out to get some fruit and dishsoap and maybe some greek yogurt.

Goodbye  love,

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

When we were,


We understood the value of detail like acorns or gumballs dropping on tin roofs. Magical. As the detail now goes out beyond us, to a memory of that one time on that one particular day in an approaching fall.We saw things and we communicated them with a breadth that would shock us now of what it was to describe the infuriating nature of salt build up on windows and how mildew almost destroyed a fragile pile of memories that rose up in conflicting bites of savory and sweet and bitter. I just found some on my bowling shoes. Not sure what to do about it. At least we did all that work before hand and the roots while sometimes i think they must be shallow are actually really deep. Not that our friendship is dying off, but that it's spread beyond is such a lovely thing. A canopy. A network I wish would outlive us. Is that my sole reason to want kids? Maybe.

But long distance is hard right? Let's get back to that. We seem close. Maybe just nextdoor away. But that's only because I can picture what you're putting on your eggs right now as i cook mine. We spent a couple years perfecting Chi-NC, We spent even more years managing NC to LA- for better and worse and less blogging and now KOR. what do we have if we don't have letters? or emails? or postcards? Especially if the details are lost. If we don't push ourselves to share them... because that's when we see the fragility and the strain and the sudden forgetfulness of really important things. Not just vacations, but shifts, across continents of what shapes us.  Of course we won't let that happen. I'm too neurotic. You're too sensitive. But we can see how suddenly our knowing of one another can in an instant cease to be.

But revisiting always brings about discovery and familiarity. And I love that. Anyway, you'll be spared from more meandering philisophic since i'm itching to just sit and stare into space and perhaps write a postcard or two as i nurse the last of my large iced latte in the atmosphere of the idyllic inbetween of approaching fall and reminents of summer as a Kpop soundtrack plays over head and the wind rustles a plant that looks like it is either dying from lack of water or is still traumatized from typhoon sanba. (Matt says he survived a typhoon but he was really only out and about in a tropical depression... I hope this lovely weather lasts through his coming too. Yesterday morning his mom emailed me and asked if i'd heard from him and i hadn't in the last week. I wasn't too worried but I was prepared to do some calling if I had to but he surfaced not 6minutes before I came home to check on his itinerary. Ah international traveling.)

And me, this sunday will mark my official 9months/36wks out. 19wks/4 months left.
I am wearing an emily shirt (an eddie bauer red and white pinstriped cotton longsleeved thing and black workout pants- luckily with working elastic) and flipflops. my toenails are hot pink. and i'm wearing my grandfathers wedding ring on my right hand. The layering in my hair is growing out pretty fantastically and i'm determined to do (unrelated to hair) more ab exercises to help strengthen my lower back... and volleyball this weekend... and who knows what else. good food i hope. and sitting by the shore.

Sending my love in your direction,

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

i mean it’s crazy

I was just looking for a picture of the dogs for N.Lo’s show and tell this week (pet themed. clearly.) and this box, which by the way is starting to smell a little mildewy from basement life, so I rescued it, contained photos from like, every era of Penelope. Except the most recent in which everything’s been captured digitally, of course. So me riding a tricycle was mixed in with me graduating college and me graduating grad school and then me at sixth grade camp and then in high school marching band and then oh – pictures of London scenery and Chicago scenery and that time I went to Myrtle Beach. Frankly it was alarming and odd and awesome all at once. I really ought to sort. I should catalog. I should provide you with an excellent photo montage. Right! That’s so going on the list of Projects Someday.

For now here’s us in 2001, at Heaven on Seven opposite our little crew (not pictured. duh). Love. Eet.


And the nuances we spoke of. It’s like. They are there and I’m not in the practice of expressing them. For awhile I was overjoyed at the idea of being a writer, because there was a form in which I could almost capture it all, communicate it. Whether in an essay or then a blog post or emails or whatever. But was it just a blip on the radar screen, that shining moment in time when longer forms and nuances were digested readily? Sought after for consumption even. Now we’re in the area of constant but superficial and/or insta-connection. So it’s like we’re always talking, but how deeply. And sometimes I tell myself, well no one wants to hear that. There is no time and space for it anymore. But is it just an excuse. Perhaps blogposts and emails are our anchor. How post-modern-retro-or-something of us, but still.

This past weekend, at the beach, for a moment I grasped my hand around certain slippery ideas like enjoyment and beauty and presence. They’ve wriggled away by now like the fish or other sea creature I happened to step on (what are the chances of an intersection of human limbs and such quickness, really), but their impression remains. Also impressed on my skin: a sunburn in spite of excess SPF 50 application? It pulses with heartbeat occasionally and will likely peel but otherwise isn’t the worst I’ve seen. A small price to pay for such a glimpse.

And the cool-weather soundtrack with our windows open, aside from the crickets and other nightlife: acorns falling on a tin roof. This didn’t happen last year, so I’m assuming it’s a tree that’s aged and/or a new shed (the pig house?), and maybe it’s pinecones or gumballs, not acorns. At first it sounded like the crack of a bb gun. But it’s regular intervals. Fall expressed as sound. And I kind of dig it.

I’m trying to think of weeklong plans to share lest I infer that Cath is a better friend (gasp! after all our years) but mainly it’s nothing. In a good way. Oh book club. And some more stupidbutnecessaryandalsoheavensent paying work. And handbells, which I learned today, via an imparted lesson from Sesame Street: play as though you’re holding an ice cream cone, and you don’t want the ice cream to fall out. My notes are D and E and sometimes D# – is there symbolism here? Discuss.

Also, your thoughts on Revolution? I was more or less engaged by the plot but felt they could have punched up the dialog with a bit more wit? I mean it’s JJ Abrams for heaven’s sake. My expectations are HIGH. And anyway, why would we bother otherwise. Don’t tell me the electromagnetic pulse zapped the humor from everyone’s souls, too.

xoxox to you on the island

(and point taken about the postcards…)


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Fries with that

babe. internet at home- out. went to yoger. their wireless is out. i dont know if they know. but now i've at least got the girl to fix the connection on their wired server whatevers. and its not the normal girl. but she made the latte just right. and strangely enough i was going to sit down and write postcards but am now here chattering anyway... bcs yah it's been a while, and i've been carrying them as a todo project for at least a month... but um, you've like never sent one to me. so it's totes onesided is all i'm saying. (ahem)

the stress thing... shoulders to neck thing. i dont know. it's teaching. it's work here. the whole thing i find stresses me out. so it's hard to say like i said whether or not it's just that i haven't or won't ever relax while teaching kiddos, a constant outofmydepth or feeling a constant stream of oh god, too much too much. emotionally i feel ok this last couple weeks despite, and i should take the doctors advice. so maybe some noraebang tonight... i say that and yet. anyway and it's the other M leaving followed as you say after Julia. And the ok take this class, here meet these new students, learn these new names, and the mood shifts and all of that- it's shallow breathing since i've been here. It's almost now that i think about it a constant allergic reaction whereas before i used to feel the anxiety really presently on my chest and wake up with dread and now my body is just constantly sighing. so not sure which is worse. i think the dread was worse. now at least lately i'm showing up and bearing up under the weight. the only other thing i can think of is the schedule itself and how my body is having to continue to radically adjust to the tyranny of time and clock watching.

prayer has really helped  the last couple times i've felt the sinking weight- autumn prayed for me then just a week or so ago cathy prayed for me and i feel stuff break off- fatigue from nowhere, despair- all of that stuff interfering with how i love... loving God, loving the kids. as i said, i think, to practice on God first is best because He's a safe place to try all the things corinthians 13 talks about. and by association in loving God i can love myself and others. I'm not sure i could the other way around. For instance i was talking to Kerry and i finally said, you're so good at loving others. You need to love yourself... and then i thought- well what's helping me is really examining how to love God... what is it to be kind to God, give him the benefit of the doubt, trust, hope, be patient and kind to Him... i like it. Anyway. so i said, love God first- try not keeping a record of wrongs, or boasting before Him before you try to love yourself.

It's raining lightly- sidenote yesterday i was like huh i really thought it wasn't going to rain that much and there it was raining and i thought for sure i'd be soaked by the time i left yoger and headed up the hill... so i went into daiso ( a dollar store) and bought a pricy 5,000 w umbrella and i opened it up and the handle is like only a foot long!? and it stopped raining literally 1minute later. Lame.

Ok maybe postcardsnow... .follow questions?
also agree re: typhoon.

much love, m.


Wall. Woo! We are there.

Holy crap with your super-typhoon. And I want to know more about your shoulders’ journey toward your shrinking neck, although I can appreciate that you’re in it, you’re there, you’re living it. So can it really be processed just yet. We’re not to the end of a thread. But I love that you’re also at the beginning of a thread with a new and male flatmate. What will that be like. The fact alone that it’s your third flatmate. Every three months like clockwork? I’m just saying.

So anyway, honestly my favorite part of this whole week was handbells. Do I know what I’m doing? No. But will I someday? I feel like I will yes, and I can’t want for you to visit and I’ll totally play for you, or at least show you the sunny wood-floored room where we practice. With the padded tables that dampen the sound. Cathy said it was very Star’s Hollow of me to join and I’m going with that. And now I feel like my church might actually be Star’s Hollow, but I haven’t worked out the entire cast of characters yet. And it would be better if I could walk there and daily meander the streets. But otherwise? Handbells! Holla.

Everything else this whole week has stressed me out. J.Lo and his nasty, inconveniently timed as always cold. The library came together in a wave of franticness, and then hardly anyone showed up. And only one book sold. But maybe more will sell on Sunday when I’m not there, who knows. I’m not worried about it, except for the whole having to haul several boxes of un-bought books at some point to Goodwill, when they could have sold and supported the library but whatever.

And also in a wave of franticness I finished tagging the approximate shit-ton of children’s things for the consignment sale. Now I’m clasping my hands, blowing on the dice and saying, Come on, Christmas money baby. Because that would be good.

Also, instead of weepily throwing the money away I figured out that I can sneakily divert some topics to next week and not give them all up after all. Because sorry but seven days is not long enough to write 10 articles, even if I had nothing else going on. Besides that those children, all three of them, are high maintenance! And I’ve already made a tiny pile of dough. Tiny, but significant somehow. The key voice element for this assignment is, magically, snark. I know. I was taken aback too. At my luck. Also bewildered that most of the writers on the board are like, wha? Snark? What is that. I’m like oh I’ve got this.  Totesies…

I’m still, embarrassingly, watching ANTM, because in spite of it all, the JaysAndNigel-less-ness,  it’s still good as a marathon once you accumulate a backlog. And here I am drinking wine and watching the latest ProRun, in real time, mainly because I can. Because J.Lo is out watching a football game at a place with a friend. (Yay. Friend!) And hi Mondo! my favorite designer EVer. And maybe I should at least sort out what I can finish writing tomorrow. If I get a chance. And how I can buy more time to complete the others. This is what it’s like when you’re starving, and everyone else is also starving, and you catch site of a few crumbs. You obsess, you plot, you hoard. And you claim little victories while you can, knowing the crumb supply won’t by its very nature last.

love you. may the super-typhoon hit at exactly the right time with exactly the right punch, which is to say that it will be exciting and school-canceling, but not disastrous. that’s the best approach to a nature event I feel. I’d say wear one white sock like you’re egging on a snowstorm, but maybe it would work better with a blue sock?


love to youuu.

p.s. I love your postcards. that’s random because it’s been awhile. but I do love them. they are happy random surprises in my mailbox and an entirely separate but related conversation with you somehow.

Behind the Times

new typhoon - aka "super typhoon sanba". following the same path as the last two. of course R and I are both like YES because it's maybe hitting monday. of course we should have more sense. but we don't. i don't. i mean it has the word super  in the name now. yikes. somehow, it does manage to inspire in my calloused self a certain amount oh shit, this is serious. not sure why. like supernova maybe? or out of control monster?megasupersomething... for some reason that does it. will have to ponder more. and of course my flatmate- soon to be exflatmate had to chime in that it's going to be downgraded to a two by the time it hits us. so there we have it. supermegadeathsomething no more.

so what's been going on since i was last on the scene... uh, hum...
bell choir? really?
hmm. ok. i mean, really? as the koreans say, chin-cha?!

it's like i can picture it and part of me wants to mock it but then i think of that scene from the new girl and i'm like well it is cool. and a good nonverbal activity of communal happenstancing so... i'd totally come see you play too and everything. i might snicker because of the obscurity and quaintness and all but then i'd be all yah man, it's deep andmeditativeandjoyfulandsomejunk.

what else... just yesterday cath asked me what was going on at work and i was like eh, not much. then went on to list all the changes that are my making the shoulders get way to friendly with my neck. which has by the way lost almost an inch- so that includes, threats to give my two oldest classes to the new teacher. granted they're more energetic/handful/monsters depending on the day, and it's a HE, only titillating possibility of being husband material for one of the 4 single women left at work. 3 of us over 36. and his coming in 2 wks maybe? if the paperwork works out and right he's going to be living above me soon, feeling like i'm going to be fired, eating in the hallway sans protection of bookshelf- must photograph... i think i blocked out more but i know that they told the office admin that M quit. not.  and i stress breathe everyday that i'm there- you know that deep inhale and quick exhale like you'd forgotten what it was like to be calm. it's possible i'd be doing this no matter where i was but meh. maybe not.

oh man i just got distracted... total coping mechanism and now i have to go to bed... here's a couple lovely emails:

보낸사람: M>
받는사람 : <doctor>
날짜: 2012년 9월 07일 금요일, 10시 41분 23초 +0900
제목: RE:

I will try to reduce stress and enjoy the life God has put before me. So hard sometimes.
Thank you for the kind email. It made me smile.

May God guide your hands and your heart today.

Dear M.
Thank you for your prayer.
I hope our words and works could be prayer to God.

For reducing emotional stress, opening the mouth could be help.
Using the method of closing the mouth is not suitable one,
such as thinking and thinking, reading a book, listening the music, eating food stuff, sleeping..
That methods makes emotional stress hiding inside more deeply.

How about this ways?
Exercise (we have to open our mouth as we need deep breath),
shouting (do not let people stand in front of us),
singing (do not need to be a good singer)
deep breathing (inhale through nose and exhale through mouth)..

There is no coincidence as the Lord is ruling over this world..

May God shine your every steps.

Steward Kim.
 so basically he's recommending noraebang (karaoke), primal screaming, and yoga? and i love also that reading, sleeping, eating and thinking make stress hide more deeply! must get to singing place asap. must also find standards i can sing asap... hum. anyway... i know it's not going to relieve stress but sleep is needed and a hot shower... the typhoon and my fried chicken craving are going to have to wait.


Sunday, September 9, 2012

photo addendum

Scenes from the week w/ conveniently unordered captions: unmowed grass, new mower shenanigans, bus stop pawprint, library glimpse, night photo, cookie infantry, tolerant creature, painty sky


And I was just thinking, I miss your words! And your world. But then you sent pictures and a post so complain I can’t. I don’t love this notion of getting fired a month before you’re done, like why should you even have to worry about that! But clearly. And I understand why M wouldn’t want to go to the labor board – she must be weary of it all at this point – but seriously. I feel like your employer needs a few slaps on the wrist from said labor board, that they couldn’t hurt.

But anyway. Now even I’m talking about it too much.

My world contains WAY too much this week. And I’m mildly freaking out about the fact that there’s no way it will all get done. It just won’t, and I know what will have to be sacrificed, but still I can’t help but wish/hope/pray. I’m trying to concentrate on the third element the most, and see what happens. And carry my towel and Don’t Panic.

Brief rundown of specifics to that vagueness, feel free to take a nap at this juncture: this morning was church. This afternoon is a church picnic w/ dessert contest. I made pumpkin spice blossoms, which are like those pb blossoms with hershey kisses, except they are snickerdoodle cookies with pumpkin spice kisses. Tomorrow is library day, in which I go into the library and (with help) finish the bulletin board, sticker the spines of over 250 books, arrange said books prettily on the shelves and set up a table with books for the sale. Oh and also brainstorm about the Children’s Sabbath service taking place in November. I know. Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday mornings I must seize the munchkin-free time and tag several boxes of kids’ consignment items for the sale next week. Some things they’ve outgrown a lot and they wouldn’t care, but some things would make their little eyeballs rolls out of their heads and I can’t deal with it. Wednesday evening is: the first practice for handbell choir. Which deserves its own post I’m sure but for now I’ll let you say, YOU’RE JOININING A HANDBELL CHOIR! WHAT. (Oh, if you’re still napping, wake up!) Followed by fellowship dinner, followed by the aforementioned library opening/book sale. Or maybe I didn’t mention it, but that’s the reason for the rush. Friday afternoon we’re going out of town for the whole weekend. So add in packing and planning that. And then here’s what has to be sacrificed – cringe: paying work. I managed to snag 10 topics, due Friday, and I know there’s no way in hell I can finish them all. Right? But 5 at least, hopefully? it’s like, the first thing I’ll have been paid for all year. and a miracle in and of itself, but I can’t actually write like the wind. but maybe it’s a good week to pretend I can. and to pray.


Buoyancy. Yes.

happy Sunday/Monday to you my friend! write soon and tell me more about the future. 



Here I am,

I keep checking the time as if i have somewhere to go. It disturbs me like its a betrayal of what i'm actually doing. It must be....

And i was all ready to have some deep thoughts with the rain coming down and me not being able to watch inception due to the stressful music...Then my flatmate came. For some chitchat and bordered on glad to talk to her but then resenting that we're having to process the trauma over and over and over, and just wanting to be by myself to being glad and then back to clock checking. I did somewhere in my enslavement of time manage to have a good weekend... there was the fauxpaux of not informing my one co teacher about the pork allergy and she deliberately chose this restaurant because of my now mostly off wheat allergy. Total yellow card. (because they are beyond accomadating) But then i got to try some really good hotstonepot bibimbap. Then there was the coffee and the naurebang--- aka karaoke. but don't call it that. Koreans are koreans And it is not karaoke. And then there was the beach in there too... and today church and it felt slightly offkilter like i spent too much time away from home and came back tired and spent too much, did too much feeling- even though i had lunch, coffee and went to emart and was home by 7. Too much. But the shopping was important. Vowing to feed myself. My flatmate says that though the weightloss is dropping its the same precentage etc... which rings true and i know to be true but still. And if i lost it any faster by now i'd be out of clothes too... the pant situation is already back to being pretty iffy. Though i do like shuffling around in my barely not pajama bottoms. And the work talk does take its toll. And i'm trying desperately to talk about other things with everyone- but it's so difficult to escape and so easy to slip into-- its the k drama everyone is tuned in to. Past and present teachers alike. Even the church peeps are like update me? And there's always some new nuance in flatmate drama, in my own M drama of what if they fire me a month before and how i probably would most definitely take them to the labor board. The real heinous thing here is if you win you have to go back to work but I figure i'd only have a month left AND i have the Lord on myside. So. I would do it. Where flatmate is just not up for that kind of torture. Having 7months left on her contract. And anyway last night it wass totally /totes getting on my nerves. I was like please can we stop talking about it. PLEASE. I get it... and i know i was probably as bad for something less traumatic like the cat situation which still gets mentioned as part of the saga of when sg turned against flatmate and kris and yet... all of it... let's just talk about the weather? What else... time to break out the 20questions book...

I'm not sure about your breaking things. That doesn't sound like a lot to me. But the getting out of work thing... well maybe. And that idea of needing to be perfect or to not have these things happen... sort of gravitates things like that toward happening. Just another thing to pull you under and make you lose bouyancy. Comical misshaps yes though. Humor yes. Complete shenanigans yes. Happenstanceness. That is all.

Also tonight i'm going to bed with that claymask on my face. Just because i can despite the mess. Even though i have a fan drying my clothes because the weather isn't helping. So besides, see you on the flipside and guard me while i sleep. So that tomorrow it's all going to be ok. And remind me of the doctor advice.

tell me more of your world. (ok drawing down the mosquito netting and signing off.)

Friday, September 7, 2012



Or more vexingly, why is everything breakable? Dammit. WHY CAN’T ANYTHING BE PERFECT?

We all know I broke the lawn mower like three weeks ago by running over the culvert. Still not fixed. Never going to be fixed. The lawn? still growing at an alarming rate. The blade replacement didn’t work, at least not enough for the thing to refrain from shuddering to a stop at random intervals. Not to mention I can’t start it up by myself anymore. So yeah. Busted. And the budget for a new, comparable self-propelled mower is not in fact upwards of $350 like the retail world wants us to spend. More like…$150? At best? So wish me luck today as I have my eye on a used one at a place where they fix lawn mowers (not ours. as mentioned: UNfixable). And maybe it will be awesome and priced right and I shall claim victory! Or at least land us back on mowed ground.

Also, I broke the vacuum cleaner the other day, almost. It just stopped sucking, out of nowhere! And it wasn’t the belt, which I looked at briefly, determined to be in fine shape, and then knocked off its place so that didn’t run right either for awhile. Later on, a world-weary J.Lo dislodged ten tons of furball and a pencil from the attachment hose. Seriously, a pencil! I have NO idea who vacuumed up a pencil without notice, but it couldn’t have been me. Oh wait it was.

And then last night while giving J.Lo a haircut, I pulled off the clippers’ blade guard and somehow broke that? Just a tiny rung of plastic, split, rendering the whole damn thing useless. I mean I guess we’re lucky I didn’t break his HAIR, or something. Because I can’t find a replacement for that on ebay. But I did find a guard this morning, thank heaven. Just under $10 shipped, which I feel is a bit extravagant considering the clearly fallible material at hand, and the fact that it probably cost 2 cents to make in China (not that that’s okay), but ebay can smell your desperation and will exploit it accordingly.

But maybe I’ve found my calling! Breaking things. Need something broken in stupid, epic fashion? Call Penanigans. At your service. With a perplexed but earnest smile.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

september blogging is all the fashion!

Honestly, I can't be-lieve your flatmate's tale, between the jaw and the surgery and the firing, the last of which is COMPLETELY unJUST. But as you said, I did go camping and the tale must be recounted accordingly. I did feel rather unwieldy in the planning this go-around, and learned the following lesson: writing/printing out/downloading an app for a checklist/what-have-you is all well and good, but is ultimately WORTHLESS without, um, actually checking said checklist. J.Lo uncomprehendingly said in response to things like: the flashlights! where are they! I thought you had a checklist. Well, I did. Doesn't mean I read it...

So we forgot, in no particular order: flashlights, dog leashes, sugar for coffee, milk, spatula, extra ziplocs, and I feel like something else...? Or several something elses? Flashlights for the kids and sugar for coffee were procured on a Walmart run by friends, who didn't want to feel like they were cheating, but none of us were going to tell the Camping Police.  We've never brought a spatula and J.Lo complains about it everytime, so the tradition continues. Dog leashes we never forget and rarely use, stared straight at before leaving and said, "Is there anything we need here on these shelves?" followed by I dunno? don't think so. And within half an hour of arrival, the park ranger said: leashes. all times. Because why not make things interesting. We did however have two new bundles of rope that each magically came with a clip on the end, so voila with the knife --> insta-leashes. Bender let strange children walk her around, it was amazing. K.Lo networked 6-year-old girl style and scored time in a sweet camper, a trip the nature center for a snake feeding, and free dinner. Also that's where she hid during the storm, but we'll get to that in a minute. 

The weather: blarg. Hot and humid and thundery. So the pool/water playground visit was cut short on Saturday from sky noise alone. But Sunday contained a window of sun and we were there 3 hours. Which I didn't mind, as the pool was lovely-cold, and there were two slides for grownups, too. Weeee! It's been years. The blue moon was fab, and I didn't even have to get lost to see it closer. The dynamic between our four groups worked well enough, with a general divide between old and new camping buddies, but it wasn't too awkward, I feel? We were all pretty chill hanging out wherever and cooking whatever and not discussing the fact that the screened-in awning, while great in theory, was way too stifling. Ahem. And we did convene for games occasionally as well, though I maxed out on Saturday learning three new, somewhat complicated games and on the last one I hit the wall. I don't play card games that involve bidding and turning tricks or whatever. Mainly because they make no sense. But Farkle on the other hand was good times, and the Western role-playing game might be fun after a few more run-throughs. All I know is that I was supposed to be shooting people in order to protect the Sheriff, and I'm apparently way too much of a pacifist for that. I thought standing silent guard was good enough.

Sleeping conditions: not so bad. J.Lo had procured a cot to accommodate his Robo-Back, and our air mattresses were a bit more substantial this time with the help of an electric inflating device, as opposed to a crappy battery-operated one. The first night my neck was all inexplicably cricked and the second night was not as horrible. Then came the third night, or late afternoon preceding, in which it rained, a lot. And very quickly all of our sleeping things were soaked and it was pretty clear the party was over. It came down to faulty rain-fly seams, which apparently there is a fix for? Some sealing product or somesuch. But we didn't know that at the time and it would have been too late anyway, so we broke down camp, shoved all the wet and gritty parts and pieces along with the children and wet dog-creatures into the car and headed home. On dark, wet, twisty roads that gave me another crick in my neck and a moderate but steady panic attack for the course of the journey. Because I just have zero depth perception at night, and that sucks. 

All our camp gear and accompanying laundry is now in varying stages of being dried out, cleaned up, brushed/hosed off, and packed away. The tent won't dry until it stops RAINING and being disgusto-HUMID, but that's out of our hands really. Glad to be home. And for 2/3 of the time, it was camping. And I like camping. This park was new-to-us and had a great layout for the sites, more secluded as compared to the last two parks. There were turning leaves (bafflingly - isn't it too hot, generally?) and acorn collections and a lotus flower scooped up on a kayak trip. And some curls that have been on a long hiatus but couldn't help return. 

Monday, September 3, 2012

large kopi latte

so we almost made it a month. i mean that 31st part is really irrelevant right anyway? you went camping. my flatmate broke her face. so we were distracted. it's the last days of summer. you got rained on. i spent it in the hospital. oh and today they decided to go ahead and fire her. so who doesn't want to be in the hospital - in the stroke ward- strangely... surrounded by old people in precarious health (literally dying around you, just yesterday), without family, with your jaw wired shut so you can only mumble and eat shit thru straws where you don't speak/sort of understand the language and then be told you dont have a job to come back to and that you have to find a new one to a. keep that all important insurance and b. stay in the country and c. pay bills. but whatever. oh and trying to find a job and talk to recruiters and employers is so easy when you're not able to speak. any-way.

what else.

i'm in yoger having now switched to large lattes. (despite the need to cutdowndairy).. i was going to fix up her apt for when she got back and now i'm like uh no. i just don't even know how to protect the next teacher coming in. it's a vicious cycle. and that atmosphere that was smoothing over? even now that we've been put into a hallway for a lunchroom? yah. sure. great. oh man. i was going to go on about other things. but well what to do. i am down to a size 16 from a 24. and that allergy to stress might be true as the other M texted me about the 30days notice she got and my chest started getting all itchy.

speaking of- i love that i keep running into christians. my doctor just sent me this:
Dear M.
It's a beutiful day and nice to see you again.
I am pleased to let you the last result.
The allergen test for cacao showed negative, that is no antibody against cacao.
 I'd like to recommend that you make your immune system healthy through regular excercise and proper healthy diet. Moreover, eliminating emotional stress..
It will help you..

God bless you.
 From S.Kim.
(Halla hospital)

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ,
and the love of God,
and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit
be with you all

Amen right? The other day Danica said she saw me on a meathook. Waiting. And only God can let me off of it. One of the verses that struck me that she sent was "Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD."... It's that whose trust IS the Lord. Like He Himself is trust. Embodies it. Is it. So to need trust, and to seek- is to seek the Lord himself. And i like that. It's not something I lack. Aw, you just blogged. Hi you. from the future.

xo, m.

september, state of