so let's say the excitement of christmas was in getting a pretty shiny new watch (which i've needed for ages) and in telling my bros that they are coming to miami for the weekend in a couple of weeks. managed to not go to church this year, which was ok with me. mom and her bf went to holy hill's midnight mass again this year. i opted out b/c my back really hurt, and i didn't really want to go sit somewhere where i'd spend the entire time thinking about mike's mom. i'm not one for knowingly walking into emotional traps, and that seemed like a good enough reason for mom to not get vexed at my lack of participation in a church-related thing. *phew*
went to jess's annual boxing day celebration, which was followed by a wonderful overnight with jess and elise. there was lots of laughter, and lots of wine:
yes, jess, i put this picture in here :)
i've spent most of the rest of my time in WI sleeping, getting over my annual christmas cold. finally going out to madison to see wonderful people, today. should be fun, and i can finally give becky her birthday present from a couple months ago.
that's all i've got. new years post should be a bit more interesting..
but lately i seem to have a rash of things going poorly or getting out of control due to things others have done, and i'm left figuring out how to 'clean up the mess'. this has required a certain bit of tact in some situations, complete bluntness in others (ohh crazy spirituality lady! once i am not at FIU anymore i will tell your story to the internet world..) and picking battles with yet other situations. i think one of the things i'm learning is when to let go. when to say 'ok. whatever.. we're not communicating' or 'you're not worth the time/energy/emotional investment' and leave it be. this hasn't been easy for me. especially when i care very much about something or someone, i have a tendency to dive full force into the situation. which really leaves me pretty exposed to being hurt or, sometimes worse, having my energy sucked completely out of me. i've been burned a couple of times because of that. putting myself out there so fully, trying to salvage things, but being taken advantage of. used up, often with the situation still unresolved.
like i said. i've done a lot of learning with this. i think i still have a long way to go though..
annnd now i have to go help make dinner. it's good to be home.
going to see avenue Q tonight! super exciting.
"Our cookies are being stored in the cold on our front porch. A squirrel broke in through our mail slot. He/she/it tore through & ate a tupperwear full of chocolate kiss pretzels. A little part of me hopes he has a great holiday. A bigger part of me hopes the little bastard dies."
well said, sue.
i've decided my weekend will consist mostly of doing things that don't require my brain. it needs a rest. as does my body. i am going to sleep, and watch movies, bake tasty things, and look forward to going to NY and home. appreciated and a little bit necessary? definitely. indulgent? heck yeah. def. excited for this. :)
extremely frustrated with school stuff. with professors who don't seem to care, with projects that seem pointless and unstimulating.. my mood was pretty black for a couple of days.
things are looking up a bit. but this is me saying that at 9:30 as i'm just starting to write a paper that is due tomorrow. the black may return. am hoping not, as it's absolutely my least favorite feeling.. but cross your fingers. we'll see.
i have a site counter on NS. you might not have noticed it. it's a nice little box in the very bottom right corner of the page. isn't it cute? now, i initially did this just to see numbers, because sometimes it's nice to have my ego stroked a little. ya know. 'aww! yay! today, 14 people satisfied some morbid fascination with knowing about what goes through my brain!' the counter also does some neat things like tell me what words people searched with to find my site, as well as telling me their OS, browser and IP number. yes, dear friends, i could figure out a lot about you if i wanted to. lucky for you i am neither vengeful nor do i have any sort of computer expertise that would allow me to do something like that.
anyhow. for the last.. long time, lots of months.. there has been a mac user in madison, whom i refer to as MMM (myterious madison mac user), that has checked my site almost every day. funny thing is that none of the people who regularly let me know they are reading (by, say, posting comments ;) or talking to me about things i write) are mac users. this has led to lots of speculation on my part as to who this person might be. is it a bot who has become fascinated with my natural sweetness? or someone i know who just doesn't post? or perhaps just some random person who stumbled upon the site and maybe i'm in their daily blog checklist? not sure. all i know is that the MMM has hit 600 visits, and i feel this is commendable. so, congratulations MMM. i only hope it has been worth it.
we've entered into the 'holiday season' which.. to be perfectly honest, is not one of my favorites. feel free to bah humbug me. it's just the way it is.
however, thanksgiving is one of the better of the 'holy days' in the next month and a half, so far as i'm concerned, so i figured i would talk a little about some of the things i'm thankful for:
~ my absolutely amazing friends and family who have been there for me through thick and thin (especially during this last, rather difficult, year).
~ forgiveness and friendship that lasts despite mistakes.
~ my brain. it serves me well (and other people sometimes too).
~ my body. cuz it does so many cool things and is functional for the most part.
~ korea. i don't know if i'd be as sane today if not for the amazingness of that place.
~ my siblings.. for the little ones who are finally getting cool ;) and the big one who has always taken care of me.
~ my boss who keeps me grounded and focused even when things and people try to thwart my efforts.
~ the ROUNDUP. mecca. whatever you want to call it.
~ new friends who serve as excellent distractions :)
~ mail! because it often brings good things.
~ learning from mistakes and difficult interactions..
~ annnnd.. well. i dont know what else. lots of things.
there you go. i'm off to eat turkey. what are you thankful for?
in celebration, i baked a *homemade* red velvet chocolate cake. pretty tasty. have a couple things i'll change next time to make it even better, but not bad for a first attempt at a fairly difficult cake.
ALSO, as a lovely windfall.. i won tickets to the lonestar concert at FAU for friday night! yayy! my first time ever winning tickets for something! perfect timing for the texan's bday and very nice considering my somewhat barren checking account. i won it by having a local dj as my buddy on myspace.. i suppose that ridiculous site is good for something. :)
i'm so proud of squat.. she stood up to some obnoxious miami men who were staring at her and the texan at dinner tonight. there's a thing about people in miami that is kindof hard for us foreigners to handle. this concept that it is ok to leer at other people, and that it doesn't matter if you make them uncomfortable.
outside of miami, i have only experienced this phenomenon in korea. it makes more sense for people there to stare. as a tall, white girl, i stuck out like a sore thumb. in miami, not so much. so what gives with the staring? i know my friends are gorgeous, but they should be allowed to eat a meal in peace. it's not like they were dressed in any inappropriate way. and even then i would argue that it is within their right to be able to wear whatever they'd have wanted without fear of unruly gawking. there is no reason that anyone should feel it is ok to stare, and continue staring (even after being told very bluntly to stop) to the point that my friends are so uncomfortable that they leave the restaurant.
anyhow, squat stood up for herself and the texan, and did so quite wittily it seems. hopefully those men think a little bit before the next time they are so rude to people. kudos to her. sometimes, you just get frustrated and have to say something. extra bonus points for the witty retorts and excellent dealing with the situation, squat!
incessant staring will be added to the list of things i won't miss about miami when i leave. i have been thinking about making a physical list of things i will and will not miss, just to keep track for myself and have something to remind me of later. add to the list of things to do. pretty sad when the list of things to do includes other lists..
in similar news, here is an interesting report from npr on some events that have been happening in israel. i'm glad that the muslims and jews were able to find something to agree on, but i really wish it wasn't yet another discriminatory thing. they're already awful enough to each other.. there's no reason to single out another group to be hateful towards.
i get to house sit for one of my mentors at school, this weekend.. it means a weekend in a gated community, playing with a puppy, and running in the evening b/c it will actually be safe to do so. also, she doesn't really have internet, so i will have lots of time to concentrate on all the homework i should be doing. and she wanted to pay me for taking care of the house/dog... silly bean lady! i'm just excited to have such a quiet weekend of studying and relaxing ahead of me :) plus i just got an ipod, so i will be playing with that lots, too. yayyy!
not that it's really something i super get into, but jess and i made bat sugar cookies this evening for me to take to work tomorrow. they're not the prettiest cookies i've ever seen, but we sure did have a lot of fun making them :D will try to remember to take a picture of the bat blobs tomorrow.. sleepy time now.
my forearms look longer than normal today. it may be a combination of the angle they are bisecting lines on my desk, or that i have lost muscle on them due to not juggling as much, or it might just be that i am tired. regardless, they look a little odd to me.
my big bro told my little bros that if they learn the korean alphabet and some korean phrases, he will pay for them to fly over there to visit. discussing that with curly brother made me realize that it would be a *ton* of fun to go over there with all us kids (and maybe mom too). so curly bro and i have decided that we will try to make it possible for all of us to go for a 2 week or so trip to korea after i graduate in may. sounds like a good graduation present to me. :) though, too.. some friends and i have discussed taking a trip over to europe or a cruise as a graduation thing as well. mayhaps it will be a very travelling'ish summer? this of course all also depends on what i am doing after gradumation. so many cool things, so many things to consider...
so very little desire to do the homework it will take to get to the graduation part.
this is the project runway dresses i saw in NY. definitely a highlight of that weekend. :D
gloria and i on coming out day. the squares behind us are for the coming out quilt, an ongoing project for the year. people were invited to write coming out stories or inspirational/supportive quotes or comments on a square. in honor of FIU's coming out year of finally having LGBTQ programming.
annnd the lovely committee for the women's center sisterhood retreat. succulent women, all.
now the only thing is that it's still got a little squeak that i have no idea what it means.. will have to get my car-minded friend to listen to it. but. it's functional, and that's a Very Good Thing.
also, when arianna and i went to go to the grocery store tonight, my car didn't start! *big sad face* i have a friend coming over now who is going to look at my car to see if it's a big problem or something he can perhaps fix. cross your fingers. my budget can't handle major car repairs right now. heh.. or ever, really.. but really not now.
i feel like i've had a serious lack of actual thought lately. like.. i've just been running around so much doing things that i haven't really stopped to process much. i spent some quiet time staring at the water on the retreat after talking to tim before he left (he went back to korea this weekend) but that's the most actual thought i've done lately. am hoping that since things are getting a little more calm here i will be able to spend some time in my head. we'll see.
ok. here. a link of drool-worthy goodness. check out these glow-clubs! http://www.k8malabares.com.ar/flash_en/home.php
i'm off to see if the car will work. cross your fingers.
hah. enough of that. today was our coming out day celebration. YAYYY!!! technically, yesterday was national coming out day, but we had to celebrate it today b/c hispanic heritage had taken over the union (as if that's not the case every day.. but i suppose that's a whole 'nother train of thought).
anyhow, today was absolutely *fabulous*. we had tables set up, got 50 people to make quilt squares, and had an amazing drag show. and by amazing, i mean fabulous in the way that only drag kings and queens can do it. i still have no internet in my apartment, so i dont have pictures yet (BIG SAD FACE) but there will eventually be some.
tomorrow we are going on a retreat with the women's center for the weekend. have i mentioned lately that i love my life?
i have internet and am not running around like a chicken with my head cut off! (it should be noted that i initially wrote 'woman with my head cut off' before realizing that wasn't quite right. though sometimes it might be just about accurate)
and why, you may ask, do i have internet, and how it is possible that a mere 5 days before coming out day that i am not running around madly? i am in new york city (more specifically, currently on long island..) visiting my friend matthew. this trip is special for several reasons: i have never been to the NE states before. not ever. it has been over a year since matthew and i got to hang out just the two of us, and longer since we got to really spend significant time, and matthew and his roommate are both clowns. as is his roommate's girlfriend. that means that my company for the weekend is a group of hilariously funny people. not that my friends are home aren't funny.. because wow they really are.. but these people do it for a living. they're so funny they can make money for it. it's really very enjoyable.
i have lots of pictures from our wanderings yesterday and i'm sure there will be more from today.. as soon as i get back i will try to get some up here. theoretically, when i get home i will have internet in my apartment. they had actually started working on it right before i left (picture me packing for my trip with three maintenance guys standing in my room. yeah. a little awkward!) we'll see if they finally followed through!
there's a badger's game today. gonna go see if i can catch it. :)
my month of october is looking to be pretty excitingly full of cool stuff happening.. i'm visiting new york the first weekend, then there's coming out day and the sisterhood retreat, and the last weekend jess is coming to visit! hooray! so hopefully i should be able to start posting fun pictures and stories again soon. cross your fingers. :)
so my one story.. is that my box of souvenirs from this summer is currently headed back to korea. that's right. they sent it back. arianna and her dad weren't able to get to the post office soon enough, so the post office stamped it with a nice big 'return to sender' and it's headed back. SO, i am going to have to contact my boss in korea (whom it's headed to..) and ask her very nicely to pretty pretty please put it back in the mail again so it can come back this direction. hopefully i'll be able to give people souvenirs by christmas time. i don't even remember what is in the box at this point, so it will pretty much be a present to me as well :D arianna and her dad felt really bad about the whole thing. but honestly, i think it's kindof funny. not vexed at all. the whole summer was an adventure.. this is just one more way of extending it.
i still don't have internet in my room. the internet jack was ripped out of the wall and pretty much mutilated by the previous inhabitants of my room, so it's been nonfunctional. the IT guys came on friday to check it out, and when one of them walked in and saw it he said '..fuck.. er! sorry! shouldn't swear!' it was excellent. so supposedly someone else will be coming to fix it on monday, and then maybe i'll have more regular access? we'll see. until then, i get to listen to bandstand music and michael jackson in the union.
here's to the men we love, here's to the men who love us. here's to the men who don't love us.. f*** the men, let's drink to us! <3
also, i got to see some of my peer advisors the other day. which was *extremely* exciting. i knew i had missed them, but don't think i realized quite how much until i actually got to watch some of them in action, and get some of that good ol' PA love. yayy peer advisors!
and *also* i'm going home to WI on thursday. for 10 whole days! i haven't seen my mom since i was home in march. and a loooottttt has happened since then, so it will be good to sit and talk to her and my lil bros for a while. and all the other amazing wonderful people i plan on seeing while i'm home.
life is.. good right now. i've got a very pleasant sense of peace and excitement within myself. arianna keeps telling me that i glow. i think i like glowing ^^
heyyyyy! so i'm back in miami! made it safe, plane and train rides were an adventure, but i will write about that tomorrow. we just got back from the roundup. that's right, we went my second night here. wasn't the same without tara, but wow was it good to be back again!
jet lag.. is interesting. i woke up at 7am when arianna's alarm went off, and was wide awake until 2pm when i all of a sudden *crashed* until 5:30 when arianna got home from work. i think that going out dancing tonight should help me with the time adjustment though.. i am totally pooped right now.
tomorrow is 'go say hi to everyone' day! i get to see my student staff from last semester! yayyy!!
so hanging out at scott's is fun. HAPPY BIRTHDAY SCOTT! yeah. smelly mollusk that he is, scott is 24 today. we went out last night to a bar that played a ton of late 80s/ early 90s music, so it pretty much turned into scott's friends having our own little sing-along. good times. last night before the celebrations i bought a $5 shirt that says "grows power/ aventurea lover of adventure/ direction the car drove/ direction of toward the coast." it's very cute, and it amuses me. i kindof identify with it. what with the adventures of the summer and all..
i was browsing my usual blogs and found that one had posted her horoscope, which she said seemed very applicable to her life. so i checked out the site and this is what it said for me:
Some observers have expressed derisive opinions about Guy Boos, a Wisconsin man who hurled his washing machine down a flight of stairs and pumped it full of bullets with his .25-caliber gun. I, on the other hand, admire those who take out their frustration and rage on inanimate objects rather than on animals or other human beings. That's why I advise you to consider Boos' methodology if you find yourself on the verge of boiling over, Pisces. Don't repress your negative feelings, but find a way to express them that doesn't cost you anything more than a little money.
just kindof thought that was interesting, given that i am going back to miami on tuesday. a place that has not exactly been frustration-free for me. though it's possible that frustrations might not come from miami. i have a tendency to frustrate myself, so maybe i should be watchful of that. grant me the patience.. to calm the heck down and stop thinking so much. and also the focus to start really working on the things i want and need to focus on.
i went to visit the fortress in my city. it's basically a super long crazy cool wall that used to go around the city. it looks like something out of a video game. err.. things out of vid games were based on this? anyhow. i liked this. it was very.. mario brothers.
we had some fun with sparklers at the mud festival. my cam has a fireworks setting on it, which keeps the shutter open long enough to do some fun things. it's no comparison to picasso's bull, but it's kinda fun :D
we built a kickbutt sand castle on sunday. here is muddy me..
and here the triumphant builders pose by our creation. note the white flag of surrender, as the tide is coming in quite quickly!
i took a million pictures of my kids on the last days of school. this is my youngest student - 4 years old. she still walks like a toddler. can't tell from this picture, but she's a total hellion.
i had each of my classes write messages on the board so i could take a picture and have their notes.. they were very cute.
hello japan! this is from my first views of japan on the ferry coming in..
and this is matsue castle.. last wooden castle in japan. located in the port city near fred's island. one of the first places we went since i've been here. gorgeous, ne?
and with that, i am finished for today. it has taken me far too long to post all of this! more pictures will, of course, be up as i get them or decide to sit down to post. be well, and remember, "a towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have" ..
i am very, very tired. tsukareteimasu yo. oyasumi! (goodnight!)
alright. so i know it has been over a week. it's been a nutso week. we went to a mud festival last weekend.. it was amazing. right now i am packing to leave korea tomorrow (eek!) for two weeks in japan (HOORAY!!). not sure exactly when i will be uploading more pictures.. give me time. i'll get there. i have a TON of new ones. for now, entertain yourself with this: transformers goodness from penny arcade.
saturday we went to a place called naminara island. it's an island in the middle of a river, with all sorts of fun paths and random little picture-perfect places.
this is probably my favorite picture of tim from this summer..
this path is super famous in korea. a movie was filmed on the island and the town nearby, and apparently they used images of the path a fair bit.
there were lots of these flowers around the island.
voltron in the gift shop?!
as we started travelling on saturday, michelle and i both bought new hats! yayy hats! the piles of rocks behind me are wish-piles. there is a korean tradition that if you pile rocks on top of each other like that and make a wish, your wish will come true.
as we left the island saturday, we saw a tethered hot air balloon.. it took me almost 10 minutes to finally catch it lit up. pretty cool.
neat little guy.
pizza dispenser in the bathroom? hehehe
i took a picture as we left sunday.. this is the hallway in our sketchy mc-sketcherson motel.
this would be me juggling on the spot where i qualified 5 balls!! yayy!!
we spent sunday hiking up a mountain to a buddhist temple. along the way were lots of gorgeous waterfalls and nature-y spots.
this is the grave of a famous monk who served at the temple.
and this is from the interior of the temple.
each one of these globes has a wish for someone's family to have good health for a year.
here are more stone piles of people's wishes.. so many wishes.. i added two.
sunday night we ate dakgalbi.. aka korean chicken bbq. it was quite good. the place we went is in a city that is famous for its chicken bbq - they even have a street dedicated to it.
and there you go! the weekend, briefly, in pictures. it's time to go teach. only one more week!