4.14.2014

Finally getting on the right track.

I'm happy to report that I successfully passed my first semester at language school, and have moved on to the next level. I won't lie -- this has been far more demanding than I ever expected it to be. This semester alone I have two debates, six presentations, three essays, three exam periods, three short novels to read and an entire volume of poetry to read and interpret -- every single poem, individually. All in Korean.

My program is amazing, and they've brought in a graduate of the masters program I hope to enter to teach an additional evening course (for college credit) on Korean literature for free. It's a shitload of work, but that, in addition to one other Korean lit class I'm taking, should give me a sufficient foothold in beginning to learn how to write about and interpret literature in Korean. If you had told me four months ago that I would be, at this point, writing essays interpreting poetry in Korean, I would have laughed you out of the room. But you only find out what you're capable of doing by trying, and you only become capable of doing it by.... well, by doing it.

I still stumble a bit through my daily life in Korean. Speaking will forever and always be my weakest skill, but sitting down to explain Frank O'Hara (for example) in Korean is bringing me a lot closer to the language in a very short amount of time. Studying has become less of a task and more of a longed-for return to writing about the things I really care about. And my critical writing was never very fancy-pants to begin with, so what I've realized over the past month is that there's really nothing that I want to say that I can't, with a little bit of editing spit shine put on it by a teacher or Busan.

These two courses alone have taken me from seeing the idea of entering a masters program in Korean literature as a ridiculous fucking notion to something that, with a little elbow grease and maybe more than a few all-nighters, there's really no reason I can't do.

So for now, my blogging will stay short, because I need my sleep where I can get it (I'm also now working a part time translation job). And I'll sit and wait for the results of the scholarship I've applied to. But one way or another, I can't see the road back to where I came from, from here.

3.07.2014

Lucky.

It's a funny thing. When you're an English teacher in a small neighborhood in a city outside of the big city where you encounter another foreigner approximately once every six months, it's much easier to keep a blog. When you're attending one of only a handful of language schools in the city where most other foreigners in Korea also dwell, you tend to get a bit more finicky about your privacy. Which is the exact opposite of what I expected to happen, once I stopped being a teacher. But there you have it.

I'm also really, really busy. Much busier than I expected to be. That's mostly because the crunch time is now. Everything I've been doing for the past few months has led up to this two week period. But it's weird -- now that it's here, it feels like everything is much more in hand than I expected it to be.

What I can say is that I am, at the moment, sitting at the double desk in my little "office", Busan on the other side working on his programming (he's finally given up the company life for good and begun free lancing for real -- which isn't to say he won't be in and out of offices -- he's just going to be in and out now, rather than simply... in). I'm about to finish up my "study plan", which is the last thing I have to do for my scholarship/grad school application, which isn't due in for another two weeks. I've begun pre-studying for my final exams at language school already, which also aren't for another two weeks, as they fall directly after my birthday, and nobody wants to cram on their birthday (although I probably will, anyway).

I got some of the best grades in my class for the midterms, despite turning the interview portion of my entrance exam into a plea to be placed in a higher level than the interviewing instructor thought I'd be capable of handling (my scores on the written exam evidently backed me up sufficiently enough to grant my request), and my speaking is, as I suspected, quickly catching up to my fellow classmates.  The point of this is not to brag, because after five years in this country, I'm really more relieved than proud (my classmates have only been here for about a year and a half), but instead to kind of remind myself that in general, in life, I tend to somehow rise to the occasion. It's something that I need to remember now, as what's out in front of me is intimidating. But I think people in general tend to meet the expectations they are confronted with. And at some point, it becomes your job to set your own expectations for yourself.

The last couple of days, as I fill out this application, which also requires writing to my old professors for letters of reference, which in turn has led to a lot of catching up and remembering my time in New York, I've been thinking a lot about how it was before I left my hometown.

It might sound stupid to a lot of people, but coming from the background and the place that I did, taking off for art school in New York at eighteen was fucking ridiculous. My family has always supported and believed in me, but I faced more than a few doubtful conversations before I left. Some people (who I love and respect even now) even went so far as to say that they'd bet the farm I'd be back in my hometown before the year was up. Not that they didn't respect me for trying.

But I didn't go back.

It's not much different now. I can see the doubt in the eyes of a lot of people when they ask me what I'm planning to do and I answer. The truth now is the same as it was then -- I don't have a fucking clue if I'm going to make it or not. And I don't have any kind of drive to "prove them wrong". They could be right. Who fucking knows? But fuck it, I'll try anyway. It's better than not trying. That's all I know for sure.

I've got Plan A, Plan B and Plan C. And the stakes are not as high as they were before -- I also have the ability and the privilege of being able to bow out at any time and go back to making money. Decent money. I'm going to be alright.

But for now, as I get ready to hand in this ridiculous dream plan of an application, I'm just trying to remember that more ludicrous plans of mine have panned out in the past. And you only get one go round. I may be getting older, but I'm not quite old enough to throw in the towel on moving forward just yet.

Today, I'm just enjoying the moment. The hard part (for this year) is almost over. B and I are not where we want to be yet, but we are exactly where we wanted to be right now. This year started off rough, but it's a beautiful day and we're here in our beautiful apartment working side by side on moving forward. That means I'm lucky.

12.14.2013

Suck it up.

Well. Here I sit in a back room of the family homestead here in Texas. It's not a small house, but throughout the day, at various times, it is full to the brim with three to four little ones, two teenagers, four adults and two dogs. Getting a moment of quiet that doesn't come in the middle of the night is no simple task. And even that must remain a quiet moment. Other people still have jobs.

I knew I had it good with the two adult, two cat, three bedroom situation. But I didn't realize just how good. Of course, a full house is a different kind of good, and one I don't get to enjoy very much anymore.

At any rate, getting any kind of tangible work done has been a challenge. And blogging itself has become a different kind of challenge over the past few months (year?).

But here I am.

Last night while looking into some things with the journal, I ended up on that last unconquered form of social media, Twitter. Since the thing came out sometime in my early university years, I've been confused by it. And I think in the beginning, it was confusing. But it's come into its own now, and I think that sunk in fully for the first time as I clicked through page after page leading to page after page of small and independent bookstores and presses and artist spaces and cafes last night, a whole treasure trove of the kinds of things I've known have been going on in Seoul, but which I haven't seen any trace of, in either Korean or English. Twitter, it turns out, might be useful. Especially as the 140 characters of Korean are much easier for me to conquer than the pages and pages of it I might face otherwise.

These are the places I need to be finding. I'm not writing off big and academic publishing for the future, because those things have the widespread reach that moves culture and, perhaps more importantly, the money. But I've always been a small press person. Maybe because poetry that's not more than 30 years old mostly happens there, or maybe because it's what I was "raised" on at university. But the fact remains that you just can't access these spaces in English. You have to do it in Korean. And so I find myself piling up the motivation it will take for me to stop whining (for another stretch, anyway) about flashcards and textbooks.

But I also find myself struggling with this ongoing question and psychological block I have with the language itself, which is figuring out when it's "enough". When do I have enough Korean to try to go into these places, and how do I get enough Korean to go into these spaces comfortably without just going into them, and figuring it out? When do I have enough Korean to read poetry without translation? When will I have enough Korean to start translating? Where's the exam for these things? The certificate, or the license? When do I deserve to give myself enough credit to do these things?

Talking to a friend about the Tweeter last night (one who has been very successful in his Korean studies, as it happens) he told me the website is a great resource for improving your Korean and that makes complete sense. Obviously. But when I think of getting online and pumping out even 140 characters worth of my Korean for all the world to see, I still get a sinking feeling that says, you're not ready for that yet. You're not good enough yet. But after five years.... really? How long am I going to fall back on what is becoming more and more of a bad excuse?

Those of you who have actually been successful at second languages will know that this is the wrong way to go about it, entirely, and I know that too, as a second language teacher. But I also know myself well enough to know that this kind of thinking will be my biggest struggle over the next few years. On the one hand, this obsession I have with being fully prepared has served my progress well. I didn't go into restaurants in Korea until I could do it without using English. I didn't start taking taxis until I could do it in Korean. The mindset that no one else should have to suffer because of a shortness in my ability-- a mindset the guy I first came to Korea with also shared, leading to an interesting first six months for us-- is less a self-righteous emblem of ethics and more a crippling, shame-filled reaction on the gut level.

But I think this is just going to have to be a year of sucking it up and getting over it. Because the truth is, you don't actually find out if you can order in a restaurant in Korean until you try it.

And I won't know if I can walk into those small press offices and have a conversation until I try that.

And I'm not getting any fucking younger.

11.25.2013

Turning it over and boys fighting girls.

What a gloomy day, here in Seoul. The way I'm feeling now is complicated. This is the week when it usually starts, the looming sense of lack and distance from home and family. Having been in the habit for five years of watching this week roll around and gathering foreign friends around who are all feeling the same things, making a makeshift version of the holidays with our makeshift families, and feeling a bit melodramatic at the dull ache that sets in as the days go by and the Koreans you know and love don't quite realize what these days really mean to you.

But I'll be home this time, and instead of all of that, I feel a bit sad that I won't be here to share the holidays with my people here. It's odd. You avoid even bringing it up, a thin layer of guilt covering over the conversation surrounding it, knowing it's not fair that you're the one who gets to go home. I've been on the other side of it. And also, feeling a bit like you're abandoning the people you love during the season when it's most important for you to be there for each other.

For some reason, I feel a bit nervous about going home this time around. I can't put my finger on it, but I think it has something to do with this apartment filled with furniture and pets and Busan, with weekly dates with friends that no longer take on a transitory tone. Something about this not just being the end of one year and the start of just one more, for now.

When I get back, it'll be go-time for a lot of things. Applications and interviews and exams and waiting periods. There's a lot of my life for the next few years that's resting in other people's hands, and the only thing I can do is do my best to earn a whole lot of different kinds of approval. It's been five years since my life was this up in the air.

And that's the other thing. Somewhere in all of the reading and studying and taking long bike rides with B through the autumn leaves, the shifting through submissions, the meeting up with friends for weeknight coffee dates at new cafes, the evening strolls with 붕어빵, the cooking, the writing, the endless phone calls that weren't rushed, for once, by time zones and work schedules that have made up this extended vacation, I realized that two five year anniversaries passed. Two, which put together, make up a decade of my life. The first was the ten year anniversary of leaving my hometown for NYC and the second, of course, was the five year of coming to Korea.

Without too much more prattling on, I guess the all of the thoughts and strange feelings I can't quite pin down come down to one main theme: It's time to start the next decade.

But in the meantime, would you like to hear a story? How about the story of the fight in the Secret Garden at Changdeokgung?

A while back I mentioned the fight(s) on boats at Hongdo, but I never got into the details. The first erupted between two middle aged men fighting over seats. The second involved a man who decided that in order to have a better view of something over the side of the boat, he needed to place both of his arms on the rails on either side of me and press his crotch against my ass. I guess I was expected to just accept that decision on his part without flinching, but suffice it to say, I reacted. Which was beyond all measure of good grace, as far as that man could figure. How dare I turn around in shock and give him a look when he, a complete stranger, pressed his dick against my body? What an insult to his pride! Words were exchanged, and he moved down to the other side of me where he decided the only way to right the wrong committed against him was to menacingly glare at me. I stared back, instead of looking down and acting afraid of him like I should have, at which point he attempted to start a fight with B instead. B remained calm, when the man demanded to know what my problem was, and just very matter-of-factly explained that I didn't like being touched by strange men.

At that point, I got really pissed, because I think if you start a fight with a woman, you should be man enough to own up to it and finish the fight with the woman, not go looking for the man responsible for her to start in with instead. What, are you tattling on me to my daddy? Having a word with my manager? So I went off in obscenity-laced English to B about how he was a loud mouth, had been gunning for a confrontation with people on the boat since before we even boarded, and to ignore him because garbage just wants to make other people smell dirty. B chuckled. The man realized I was not going to be managed, and moved -- grumbling, but at a good clip -- further down the boat.

The reason why I'm retelling this story now, all these months later, is because my perspective about what happened on Wednesday when B and I took a tour of the back garden at Changdeokgung is colored by how I personally feel when a man decides to take liberties with a woman's personal physical autonomy and then gets in a huff when she doesn't just lie down and take it.

I don't know how it started. Like so many of these situations, everything was fine until it wasn't. One minute we're listening to the lady explain about how the king had this building constructed so he could "experience life as a humble yangban", and the next, a younger woman and an older man are nose-to-nose, exchanging tense words. According to the woman, the man had been staring at her and making her uncomfortable, so she asked him what he was looking at. According to the man, she was an untrained crazy bitch from God knows where who needed to shut her fucking bitch mouth.

I don't know whether the man was staring or not. I don't know whether the woman was crazy or not. What I do know is that the woman was not shouting, but she was standing firmly in her place and refusing to take even half a step back as the man got in her face shouting obscenities. She spoke calmly, but firmly, and refused to look or move away. Which made the man even more furious, as all the older women around us began to click their tongues at him and wonder out loud how a man of such an age could use such language toward a woman in public. Which made him even more furious, to the point where he raised his fist and pulled back, as though prepared to strike. At that point, B let out a little sigh of resignation and rushed over to push the man back. A couple of the older women grabbed the woman and pulled her back to our side, and I positioned myself somewhere in between.

She stood quietly for a while, still staring across at the man,  but not moving or speaking, while he continued to push back against B's grasp and cuss and swear about how a woman like that could be a person. It got to the point where even I, being not involved at all, started to get aggravated by the things he was saying, and just as I turned away from the woman and back toward the man in shock to something he had said, the woman made a break for it and got right back in the man's face, calmly repeating again and again that he should apologize. We pulled her away again, and B got the man moved back toward the end of the trail with his wife, and with a big distance and every other person on the tour positioned between them, we rushed through what should have been the last twenty minutes in about five, and the tour guide and another woman saw the woman to the gate, while instructing the man and his wife to go walk around for a bit before leaving.

During this ordeal, B shocked me a bit by commenting that something was "wrong" with the woman, because she wouldn't just leave the situation alone. Hold up, B. First of all, Mr. Old Fucking Asshole back there is still running his mouth, swearing her up and down, but I guess that's just expected, because he's the man and his pride was injured? Meanwhile, she is very calmly and without a word against his character, repeating her request for an apology for him raising his fucking fist to strike her. Who is not letting what go? And who is the one who is acting crazy? Because let me tell you -- if it had been me he had raised his fist to, there would be no walking at a safe distance and finishing the tour. You would've had to haul me out by my collar. B said, but what if she gets hit? Isn't she afraid?

Fuck being afraid, B. How long are women supposed to walk around in public having our shit violated by entitled men because we are afraid? I'll get hit? Fuck it. Hit me. We'll go to the police station and I'll haunt your life for the next six months at least. Some things are worse than being hit, and on certain days in certain situations when you've just had enough, for women that can include backing meekly down to yet another fuckwit who tries to use his physical strength to make you understand that he gets to do or say whatever he wants, and there's nothing you can do about it.

For the most part, I think physical confrontation over pride is fucking stupid. There was a story a while back about someone getting killed on the subway in Busan because he was staring at someone else. There have been a flurry of similar, milder stories in Seoul in past months -- fist fights breaking out for the same reason. B himself has had it happen on multiple occasions that some alpha male has interpreted his quick glance as a challenging stare, and then some random man is up in his face asking him what the fuck he thinks he's looking at -- I've witnessed it myself more than once. And mostly, I just chuckle, because... well. As a foreigner, how would it go for me if I decided to get up in someone's face every time they gave me what I could interpret as a nasty stare?

But you know what? On some days, with the liberties some men take, looking me up and down and up again, moving from one seat to another to get a better look, I wish to God I could do what that woman did and just ask them what the fuck they think they're looking at, and why they think it's okay to stare at me like that, as if I'm public property. Because when women or children stare, it's whatever. But when a man does it to a woman, whether there's any malice behind it or not, it just feels different. It's threatening, and it makes your heart beat faster, as all the other times that stare has turned into something more serious come rushing back to you. And the indignity on the man's part that these kinds of things are met with, when women respond completely within reason to violations of their personhood that these same men would never tolerate without comment, make it all the more ridiculous.

So when I saw her, standing there at the gate with a determined look on her face, waiting calmly for the man to come out, part of me wanted to grab her hand and tell her it wasn't worth it. That there are a million more like him, and we'll never get anywhere if we try to take them all on. But the other part of me was cheering her on. Because there are too many people who will, without thinking, look at that situation and think, "What's wrong with her?" Her.

Just to finish this post, the last before home, on a bit of a brighter note, here are some photos of the last couple of months and what I've been up to.


B's pumpkin birthday cake with cream cheese frosting. 






Han River Park on early morning bike rides. 





Sunday afternoon hike up the mountain behind our apartment.  


Study buddies.  


The baby's obsession with food manifested on B's poor finger.


Saturday morning cinnamon rolls. 


Riding along the Hongjaecheon.


Pumpkin ale at Hopscotch. 





The infamous tour of the back garden of Changdeokgung, before things went south. 


The first snow. 

10.29.2013

Sunday and Moja.




These are the two new main things going on in my life right now. After taking a couple of weeks to adjust myself (and also get over the usual sinus hell created by the shift in weather), this weekend saw the acquisition of a new bicycle and a new little baby kitten named (by B -- I take no responsibility for it) Moja. 

Our apartment is about a ten minute walk from the Bulkwang Stream, which is something we were very keen on when it came down to choosing it, but also something we somehow lost track of in the midst of all of the moving/job finishing bustle. I'm more than a little sad that it took us until the tail end of October (and the warm weather) to get around to buying bikes, but I'm glad that we at least managed that. The Bulkwangcheon park itself is lovely, but the truly amazing thing about it is how... well, how dearly guarded the rules of pedestrian etiquette are within it. 

Let me be clear: I do not ride that fucking bicycle outside of the park. I can't. I hope to eventually get around to it, but I don't hold out much hope. I can't even manage to walk down a sidewalk most days without having three or four collisions in the span of half an hour, and crossing streets even on foot, even at appropriate crossings, leads to nearly being hit by a car at least half the days out of the week. So how am I supposed to manage on a bike? I'll take my fucking time with that, thank you. But in the meantime, I've been shocked to see how seriously the right/left flow of traffic, appropriate passing behavior and bikes-on-the-bike-path, pedestrians-on-the-pedestrian path rules are taken within the park itself. Certainly better than what I remember back in the US. 

Occasionally you have the odd grandmother blindly wandering out perpendicular into the middle of the bike path, or a middle-aged man striding out down the center of the bike path with his chest puffed out and a challenging, territorial look on his face, but the main annoyance inside the park is the fucking pigeons. As B and I attempted to make our way out of the park and the short distance down the regular streets to the Emart on Sunday, however, I gave up within five minutes. Although the sidewalks here are all equipped with built-in bike paths, they are all blocked with cars illegally parked on the sidewalk, and what parts aren't are full of illegal street vendors' goods and people milling about gazing into their smartphones waiting for a bus. After three or four near hits and nearly falling over from having to slow down so much to ride behind a college-aged couple with linked arms in armorous oblivion so strong it resisted even the sound of my bell, I just gave up. If this is how the sidewalk bike paths are, I'm not even willing to risk the street itself. 

But the good news is, we are just a short 15 minute ride down the stream to the Han Gang, and from there you can go as far as you want. Which is what I've been doing every morning since I bought the bike. I'm happy to say my mood and energy have greatly improved, since falling into a slump after finishing working. It's not easy to go from being on your feet surrounded by teenage boys all day to a quiet chair at a quiet desk in a quiet house. Without that boost of the walk to work in the morning, I was feeling as though I never fully woke up. So now, I wake up with B at his morning alarm for work and we share a cup of coffee while watching the news. I, so far, successfully emotionally blackmail him into carrying my bike down the five flights of stairs out of our apartment building, walk him the bus, and then off I go. 

It was on yesterday morning's ride, after I stopped off to grab a coffee and sit on a bench beside the Han for a while, watching the morning traffic slouch its way down the expressways over my head, that I realized how lucky I am at the moment. Two weeks ago I was on one of those buses at 7 am, the stress of the day having already started with a hope and a prayer that traffic would be light enough for me to make it to work on time. And it just got worse from there. 

In a way, I thrive off of stress. I've never done very well without it. But I think I'm old enough now that it's a good time to learn how to relax a little. How to take a two hour bike ride down the river in the morning, sit on a bench and have a quiet cup of coffee without doing anything. And how to appreciate that. Appreciate that, instead of being on one of those sweaty buses on my way to work, I'm going to get back on my bike and ride home to read, write and study. Do some gardening. Bake a loaf of bread. Take care of our energetic new little kitten. Call home. 

When you look at it that way, a couple of months doesn't seem so long. So I'll do my best to enjoy it while I can. 

10.20.2013

The first week after; a fine life.

I got a message from a friend in a different country yesterday, asking after my newly unemployed status, and if I was enjoying my new "freedom". The truth is, what I'm enjoying is not having to go to that job every day and wait for whatever steaming pile of other people's irresponsibility may be deposited upon my desk for the day. I'm enjoying not having to brace myself at lunch time to go down to the cafeteria to have to nod and smile my way through the most bizarre conversations possibly imaginable, as if they and the people inflicting them upon me were anywhere near normal.

I'm enjoying that. But as a rule, I do not enjoy being unemployed. I don't have much experience with it, and I quickly begin to feel listless and panicked about the meaning of life. While I'm sure Marx would have a mouthful to say on the subject, it is what it is, I guess. I can barely cope with a couple of weeks vacation, so the next few months should be interesting.

The way things are at the moment, I'm baking and cooking a lot. I'm introducing that terrible thing called exercise into my daily routine, for "health". I'm getting older -- I'm getting tired, and I'm getting headaches. I can't really seem to handle sugary or heavy foods anymore without feeling ill. If I refuse to pull back on the coffee and cigarettes (alcohol has already almost completely disappeared from life, save for the occasional beer with a friend or glass of wine with dinner), then I should at least try to do a healthy thing to counteract it a bit. Is that how it works? Anyway, I won't let go of those last two strongholds in my life before trying everything else I can think of.

I'm emailing and meeting up with a lot of people, getting out and doing things I didn't have the chance to do before, being obligated to spend most operational hours of the day out in Incheon. I'm slowly getting to know a portion of the foreign community that I feel I will kind of settle in with eventually, which is a nice feeling. I'm getting my Korean studying organized again for a major revamp, and getting myself settled into a number of other personal projects I've been looking forward to for a while, as well. I'm beginning to build myself a daily routine that doesn't mostly feel like pacing around, trying to figure out what I should be doing, until everyone else finishes work.

B and I are also adjusting. Finding a balance between spending time together and having enough time on our own to do our own things, when huge portions of all of our time is spent under the same roof. I have to say, although we thought the amount of space we ended up with in the new apartment was a bit ridiculous at the time (three bedrooms), it's helped a lot in that regard. There's no bickering over differing agendas, since we both have our own "rooms" to use. If the basketball comes on the tv, I can just head to my room to pull up in my arm chair and read a book. Doors are almost always open, but they can be closed, when they need to be.

There have been a few domestic squabbles, mostly due to differing concepts of "private" and "public", so to speak. For instance, I would prefer it if when B digs into the loaf of pumpkin bread I've made, he does not use his bare hands. I may want to eat some of that later, and I would prefer if it didn't look as though a rabid animal had gotten to it first -- use a fucking knife. Also, please do not put leftover food into the refrigerator in the container it was formerly being consumed out of, without any kind of cover. Please. Please. We have foil, plastic wrap and Tupperware overflowing from the cabinets. Choose one. You may not mind consuming food that's been, essentially, left sitting exposed to the elements for 24 hours, but I do. For his part, B's made it clear that demands of this type make me a "perfectionist -- let's live a relaxed life!"

On the other hand, when I settle in to read a book and finish the last bit of a bottle of wine that I bought, I'm having a hard time watching him swoop in and empty the remaining portion into his own glass. B's perspective: "There is no 'your' and 'my' -- there is only 'ours'!" Funny how often 'ours' consists of whatever I currently have in my hands. That wine sat there for a week without any interest from him. He brought home a new bottle of wine after work on Friday night, and then got very offended when I told him I wasn't really in the mood for wine. He sulked a bit as he poured his own glass, and then proceeded to carry on for fifteen minutes about how delicious it was, and how much I was missing out. He didn't even finish the glass. The bottle is still sitting, mostly full, on the counter, where I'm sure it will remain until I try to pour a glass and his interest in it suddenly returns.

It's all good, really. Life is soldiering on, and what's mostly dawning on me at the moment, is what a truly malleable thing it can be, when you have the right combination of opportunity and initiative. There was a truly exhausting conversation over on that other website this past week about ESL teachers being "trapped" in Korea. But I've been far more trapped in far worse circumstances in the past then just a job I really loved with coworkers I really, really did not. And trapped is not something I generally settle for. The conclusion I came to in an unrelated conversation with B earlier this week is that 'fine' is not really what I'm looking for out of life -- I would like to have much, much more than fine. But more than fine only comes when you're willing to put in the work and energy and sometimes time spent in very un-fine circumstances to get there.

So, the un-fine circumstances are behind me, and now it's time for me to spend some time opening my eyes to what opportunities there are, and doing whatever work I need to do to take advantage of them. To me, the most extraordinary life is one that consists of acquiring -- not things or money, but experiences and knowledge.  And now, it's just up to me, and that good old fashioned Protestant work ethic, to take things from 'fine' to better than.

10.08.2013

Untitled.

Look, I know I'm slacking on the blogging again. The truth is, between doing all the website/email related stuff for the journal, while at the same time finishing all the editing and page design for the kids' newspaper at work, I really don't want to spend too much more of my time looking at a computer screen. I even left the damn thing at the new place when I came back to Incheon for work this week because I don't even want to be tempted to look at it once I get home from work in the afternoons. Which means the Incheon apartment is pretty much just me, a bed, a cooking pot, one pair of chopsticks...

It's just not worth writing about. But by this time next week, I'll officially be finished with work. And set free out into the wide world, with nothing but time.

So hang in there. I guess.