Thursday, November 13, 2008


if we are NOT supposed to see color, then why is everybody so up in arms about a "black" man being elected to the presidency? (black in quotes on account of the fact that both his parents are not black...but people like to forget that in favor of his father's race as that is much more "attention getting" & "history making" than a "mulatto" man being elected...did i mention how much i hate that word?)

i've read posts about people getting their children up in the middle of the night to watch election returns & "history being made".

i'm sure i'll get a beatdown about this if enough people get ahold of it. yeah, ask me if i care. noncomformity seems to have always been my middle name, in one way or another. i may not please you. and? your point?

shouldn't we be more concerned about what will happen to the government of our country & the BELIEFS of the people running it than what color their skin is? are we supposed to think that because he is black...excuse me, half black...that he will be the be-all & end-all to the country's woes? is his racial background going to ensure that he can straighten out the mess that America is in? will his experiences as a half black man make it any easier to drain the cess pool that American has become?

but we're not supposed to see color. we should see the man who professes "change" for everyone. a man who promises that he will turn the country around for better for everyone. the man who has taken on one hell of a job. a man who needs more support for his job and less for his history making status.

yes, it is something different. yes, just the very fact of a man of color being elected to run America is something we've never, ever seen before. yes, to that end he has caused "change". but until he actually changes the climate of American politics, economy, day-to-day living, i'll have to pass him off as just another man. he'll garner a bit of my respect that is due his position. but if anyone is expecting me to profess him my messiah, to fall down on my face to him BEFORE i see any results? well, the whole messiah thing will never happen. neither will i worship a mere man. but neither will i put him on a pedestal just because he has overcome centuries of anger & hate. don't get me wrong. i'm glad he achieved a milestone. hooray for him. but if he does nothing more for the country than past leaders have done, then does he deserve to go down in history as any more than just another president? or will he always be upheld in front of the masses because he's half black?

it scares the hell out of me that a lot of people voted for the man based on his skin, rather than his values. i can't agree with most of what he stands for. i'll hold true to that-no matter his color.

Friday, November 7, 2008

and the cloud lifts...

i had gotten really close to the bottom. not like rock bottom where the druggies & such hang out but the bottom. feeling so low about lonely and homesick and way too much interaction with adolescents & toddlers and nowhere near enough with adults.

everything was suffering. NOT that i'm the nicest person in the world but whoa was i worse than usual. school wasn't getting the attention it needed-that is so bad for so many reasons. 1 probably wasn't feeling very loved around here. the house probably wasn't feeling very loved around here. i don't think anyone was feeling very loved around here. i just didn't much care about all that because i couldn't see around the black cloud that enveloped me in all ways.

and then i did that naked thing. (i'm not an elephant-see previous post). and had a good meeting with ladies who are of like-mind to me. (where someone prayed & thanked God for me as i have brought encouragement. me? encouraging? well, that's different!) and then went out & found a new restaurant. (is it ironic that i had NEVER had thai or indian food before i came to korea? i mean, wtf? guess when i get out of the box, i get out of the box!) and then had dinner with more lady friends where there was grown up conversation & laughter &, while there were kids in attendance, they weren't my kids so i wasn't the one putting kids back in seats & asking 7300 times about what they wanted to eat & reminding them to chew with their mouth shut & not poke their sister.

and i took a deep breath. and decided that maybe this place isn't so bad after all. and maybe there really is a reason i'm meant to be here. and that sometimes it is ok to let my guard down & put myself out there because not everyone is ugly. and that if sometimes i give it a chance, good things can happen. and it took me a year to become semi-satisfied with my current chapter but i think now i am. and now i can get back to a rhythm of life where everything isn't hopeless & cloudy & gray. and now everyone can have me back-me included. i've been in the hole before but last time it took some assistance to claw myself out. seems this time i've been able to do it on my own. maybe not quite on my own...let's say that i may have finally-after 32 years-discovered the power of prayer. and that i'm not ever truly alone. it took so long to get here...i think i'll stay for awhile.

Monday, November 3, 2008

yet another korean adventure

i went to a spa/sauna last night. except for briefly offending my western sensibilities a few times...oh my gosh it was AWESOME!

when you first walk in, you take your shoes off, pay & they hand you 2 towels & a set of clothes. it's really thin shorts & a top. i guess maybe like what i imagine a gym uniform to be (never had those when i went to school). your shoes go in a locker & you go into another room & get a key for a second locker. and then the fun begins!

you take off ALL your clothes. every single piece. um, yes, that includes your underpants. you can put a towel in front of you but it's about the size of a handtowel so it only covers right above your boobies & then falls right below your other stuff. yeah, that means your butt is NAKED out there for the world to see. then you take your naked self and your itty bitty towel into another room with lots of other naked people. this one had 3 hot tubs & one cold tub. i hear that the idea is you get in the hot tub & boil yourself for awhile & then you go jump in the cold tub & your very open pores squoosh shut & force out all the ick. fantastic visual, huh? we did that a couple of times (except i wasn't jumping-i despise cold water). then we went into the wet sauna rooms. those were nice unless you leaned back against the walls which are all rocks and/or mud. they don't use concrete because toxins leach out of it what with it being exposed to heat/moisture at such high rates all the time. and then you jump in the cold tub again (or ease in so you don't give yourself a heart attack). and then we went & sat in the hot tub again until the massage/scrub lady came to get us.

out of all the people in there, the massage/scrub ladies were the only one with any clothes on & that consisted of a black bra & black panties. possibly so that when they either sat on you or stood on you or leaned on you during the whole process, "parts" wouldn't accidentally be touched. apparently it's not just my western sensibilities affected by that. they lay you down on a table & throw a big old bowl of hot water on you. then they put on these mitten things (you know those round scrubber things that you use on dishes? they are plastic & usually some bright primary color? that's about the best way i can describe those mittens) & they scrub you all over. by all over, i mean all over. i don't think i've ever had my armpits scrubbed before. ok, well, i've never had one of those scrubbings before but i've had massages & stuff & no one ever touched my armpits. wow. yikes. but "yikes-er" was the part where they scrubbed my butt. yeah, the whole thing. they scrubbed everything. have you ever heard an old person say "wash as far as possible & then wash possible" when telling a kid to take a bath? well, they scrubbed as far as possible & probably on the very edges of possible. this wasn't in a private room, either, so the whole time i can hear everybody in the tub room & people keep coming in to "sign up" for a scrub & stuff. i'd have to say i was more exposed in the scrub room that i was while giving birth. at least then i had a hospital gown on the top half of me! after she scrubbed every small bit of dead skin off my body & quite possibly some live skin, too, she rinsed it all off & then i had a massage & a cucumber facial. the massage sure wasn't as terrifying as that last one i had here. it was pretty nice & she washed my hair afterwards to get rid of all the oil. and, like i said, i was stood on, squatted on & leaned on. and a few times i felt like i was gonna slide off the table from all the oil. the only thing holding me on was the hand towel she stuck under my back (kind of like you put a damp dish towel under your cutting board to keep it from running away?) apparently for that very purpose. and then i took a shower & put on my gym suit. and went off on another adventure.

we went to the common area. the spa has a men's side & a women's side & then they have a common area for everyone to go to. and everybody wears their gym suits in the common area so it's cool.

they have a restaurant, a snack bar, a computer area, a sleeping loft & then a big open area that (i think) doubles as a movie theater & has massaging recliners, tvs & some big tree trunks that double as seats. they are all polished & everything so there's no danger of splinters in your butt. oh and there are 3 dry sauna rooms & a freezer room.

we got a drink & checked out the dry sauna room. the rooms are all different temperatures so you can choose your poison depending on how hot you want to get. the floors are covered in woven mats & there are wooden pillows. it's like a 4 x 4 with a notch carved in it for your head. and of course it is sanded so you don't get splinters in your neck. they're really concerned with splinters, i'd say. we sat around in there for awhile & then went into the freezer room. it greatly resembles a walk-in freezer, for those of you familiar with the backs of restaurants or stores. there are wooden slats on the floor so you don't freeze your feet off & benches lining the room for you to sit on. the walls are iced-over elements. so again with not leaning back on there. apparently that follows the same philosophy of open your pores, close your pores, squoosh the stuff out.

we hung out in the common area for a good while, just talking. there were quite a few people there, including kids. you can bring your children to the spa. i was told that women can bring their little boys 5 & under into the ladies area but then they have to go to the men's area. we even saw a little baby! it's quite common to go the the spa & stay all night. if we had sat in the dry sauna room much longer, i would have fallen asleep. but i figured i should probably come home. there were people camped out all over the floor in the common room & in the recliners sleeping. there was a flight of stairs in the ladies spa area that led to a sleeping room with a really low light & some sleeping mats. it was like home away from home but with the added benefit that you didn't have to clean!

we left my house at 6:30, had to go pick someone up, got to the spa at about 7:45 (stupid traffic lights). we didn't get home until 2:30. 1 called when i was on the main road, almost home. "what are you doing?" i told him i was driving home & he was all "i didn't think you'd be there all day!" heck, neither did i! i'm used to a massage appointment taking 1 1/2 hours! we did go get something to eat afterwards b/c by time we were all finished, the restaurant was closed & we were hungry. we had a great time & have tentatively decided to try to do it once a month. it was an awesome girls' night out once we got past the naked part. we might even take all the kids (there are 7 between the 3 families) & make a family day of it. we just have to talk 1 into it. he's not so sure about the naked part.