26 August 2022

Overcoming Whiteness* | In Good Company w/ Meghan Markle, Joe Biden, &Annie Leibovitz

Where competency fails,

one's vanity prevails.

re Meghan Markle

What kind of woman, who considers herself ambitious, does not understand that to be an ambitious woman is a frown-able offense? I know, a woman who is not actually all that ambitious. 

Fact. Every little girl who is even remotely ambitious-adjacent understands that this is a bad thing. You know how she knows this? Well, quite frankly, because everyone around her calls her "Bossy," not a Bad Ass Boss ... Boss-y ... as if the girl is attempting to be a Bad Ass Boss, but this is unacceptable, and so, she is the devalued, feminized version with the -y added to it, which means it's "Girl-y." And to be "girly" is inherently valueless, except when in the case when that girl has a womb, then that womb is the property of the man who buys her, with a pet rock or a dowry; it's all the same. But I digress. 

My point is that Meghan Markle is not ambitious, not intellectually or in any way that threatens society at large. This is why she never knew that being an ambitious female was seen as unbecoming. Also, I feel like it's fairly well known that intelligent, outspoken women of history were put to death for their intellect. The women who were just social problems within gossip spheres posed no real threat until people started to listen to them, which was rarely, unless you wanted to be put to death. Thus, one assumes that it is not really her "ambition" (which I am generally requiring to be that of an intellectual nature, which I entirely understand to be unfair) that rubs people the wrong way. 

Being a social climber is ambitious. I'll give her that, but it's not the kind of ambition that creates an archetype out of a woman, except, I guess it does cause the Golddigger to exist, etc., but the archetype that Markle seemingly attempts to outline about the "ambitious woman" is one that is seemingly lost on her. 

Obviously, I didn't listen to the podcast episode because I do not listen to podcasts, nor do I support the streaming service of her podcast. I did, however, get a general understanding of the general aspects of the episode, and honestly, I only care in a very general sense. What I know is that the episode does not educate people on how to deal with embodying this "distasteful" archetype of the "ambitious female," etc. An episode to this effect would be something that I'd consider, helpful, feminist, educating. Instead, the episode seemed to focus on Markle's own experience of being labelled an "ambitious woman," which, as I've outlined, she is not. Sure, she's become ambitious, but this is not the same thing as being ambitious. 

A label is not an archetype. 

Historically, woman and ambition do not go hand-in-hand, and I can't seem to wrap my mind around the fact that Markle supposedly did not know this until entering a royal family. And thus, I do not believe her, which means that I do not trust her, which means that everything she says seems like a lie. She supposedly has a college degree. And she's a feminist. There are just too many examples like this wherein she cannot claim to have "not known," because it means that she's stupid.

And then I take a deep breath and remind myself that I only ever come across Markle in the entertainment section of my newsfeed(s), where she belongs, with Joe Rogan and Kim Kardashian. 

We don't scrutinize the latter because Rogan is a self-proclaimed idiot, and Kardashian only invites scrutiny of her vanity, cause, let's be serious, in this instance, brains and beauty have not coalesced, not that they can't coalesce, in fact, I'd argue that more often than not, the beauties among us are also well-endowed of mind; it's all symmetry. 

We scrutinize Markle because she proclaims to do good. She's a do-gooder, and we do not accept do-gooders who are not good doers. Take Ellen DeGeneres for example. Thus, Markle welcomes the scrutiny because she wants to be the ultimate good doer. And what's the problem, here? I don't understand why everyone has such a problem with Markle not only wanting and thus pursuing what she wants but also, that she invites scrutiny because she outright proclaims that she intends to do good. 

This is why Markle is impossible to tolerate. It's the thing that everyone refuses to say out loud. Markle is behaving like a White woman, because she is one, but she looks not-white. Thus, she's inherently a fraud. 

So sure, do I wish that Markle were everything that I want her to be? Of course. Am I upset that she's not doing more? Yea, duh. But do I understand the life that she's chosen to live? Absolutely. It's not a life that I would wish upon anyone, but at the end of the day, she's doing it, she's continuing to put herself out there in the name of do-goodery. According to them (the Sussexes, as a unit), their intentions are good. To us, their intentions could be anything. In the end, nobody's opinion of them affects them on a day-to-day, personal level. They're going out there trying their best to make as much money as possible so that they can maintain their social status as rich people who, thusly, ought to influence us on what to buy and how to think. "Doing Good" is merely their brand. Don't get it twisted.

They were never any different from the Kardashians and the Rogans of the world. They just seemed as if they were, but so far, they've been largely unable to launch their "intellectual" properties out of the entertainment tab. 

Finally, as an aside, I read that she shared some horrifying story about how the space heater in her son's makeshift nursery caught on fire, while he was not in the room. The incident shook her so much that she was then upset by the obligation she had to attend after being so shaken by her son being unharmed. This is some seriously whaack white-woman entitlement, here. But, I guess she is the one who married the prince of a historically racist, elitist, entitled, genocidal family, for fuck's sake. If that doesn't show you everything you need to know about how White she is, I don't know what will. Like seriously. If I were allowed to take time off from my obligations every time something almost happened, I'd never go anywhere, nor would I get anything done. If I were shook by the mere possibility that something terrible, almost might-could've happened, how would I live my life?  

Everyone talks about the historically hideous nature of the one-drop fallacy, wherein one drop of Black would "ruin" the whiteness of White, but what about its reverse? What about that one drop of White ruining Every Person, Place and/or Thing. If Markle could be less myopic and speak to the archetypes from a larger vantage point that includes more than just herself, it's possible that she might be able to overcome her whiteness.   

re Joe Biden

Leave it to a bunch of white elitists to forgive $10K of student loan debt that was taken on by a bunch of ... white elitists. 

The argument, I guess, is that it's an amount that will help basically no one. If you're making $80-125K and you can't afford to pay back your student loans, it's not because your loans are forcing you to pay too much. It's because a) your expenses are too high and b) you're an idiot. If you're making less than $80K and you can't afford your loans, it's because you don't know how to adjust your payments to match your income. The Dems are so out of touch that they don't even know that there are student loan borrowers who do not even make $50K. This "bailout" is not supposed to bring relief to those who are simply over-spending idiots. This relief is supposed to (in my book) forgive loans to those who graduated from college and entered the workforce to an employment market with zero opportunity for them. Those who are working hourly with a college degree, perhaps even two degrees. 

For these student loan borrowers, $10K is not enough. But how could you possibly know that if you assume that everyone who graduated from college has some $125K+ salary. And, like I said, if you are one of those who graduated, make over a measly $80K and still cannot afford your student loans, you're the idiot. 

re Annie Leibovitz 

I mean, it's more than possible that Leibovitz has never been any good at photographing people. Being white in white America helps to make the incompetent whites seem less so (and don't fucking come at me about how white Jews aren't white).  

*don't come at me about how racist this is. I know how racist this is. I was raised by two white people. I know what Overcoming Whiteness means. 

15 August 2022

Quote-Unquote Dancer—A Personal History

I guess the fact that I am an adult who does not identify as a dancer makes me sad. 

The sadness is most likely due to the fact that I'd identified as a dancer for, what felt like, the majority of my life. When I was little, I was enrolled in all sorts of dance, gymnastics, jump rope types of classes and activities. By the time I was in second grade, I was a pre-competitive gymnast and dicked around as a ballerina, dancing as a ginger snap for the local ballet company's production of The Nutcracker, etc. And I had to make a decision between ballet or gymnastics, because I was advancing in both, but doing both was unsustainable at the level that I was slowly creeping toward. And so I quit the tights and embraced the shorty-shorts. I never became a competitive gymnast, but I did compete, recreationally, until I strongly considered quitting after Meet Season at the end of my freshman year of high school. 

During the summer, I informed my parents that I wanted to quit gymnastics, cause, quite frankly, I was tired of being in pain. Between ankle sprains that have left my ankles so stretched out that I roll them, constantly, and feel no pain, the tennis elbow, hyper-extended elbows, ripped palms, and general aches and pains from being a gymnast, I was over it. My adopted parents responded by telling me that I could quit, but I couldn't do nothing. And so, my adopted mom enrolled me in some volleyball club during the summer while gymnastics classes were on hiatus until school started again in the fall. 

I hate volleyball. 

Let's just put it that way. I was plenty good at it, but it was so boring I thought I was going to die from boredom. No offense to volleyball players/athletes. They're fucking hardcore. This is no slight to them or the sport; volleyball simply is not for me. So, then, gymnastics started up again, but I only attended classes with the intent to never compete again. Meanwhile, my adopted mom signed me up for an adult jazz class at her gym with a dance instructor she'd known for years. And I loved it. And I was naturally good at it from the get go due to the lifelong training of using my body through gymnastics. And so, by the spring of my sophomore year, I had finally quit gymnastics and was enrolled in a ballet class, two days a week, and a jazz class two days a week. By the fall of my junior year, I was dancing six days a week, up and down the valley from whence I came, advancing quickly, and then I went off to college with hopes of continuing to dance for fun. 

At Baylor University, I enrolled in a ballet class as my physical education type credits. It was droll and boring, cause it was academic, literally. We hardly danced at all. But that class introduced me to the other ballet dancers on campus, and they also introduced me to the Baylor Dance Company. During spring semester of my freshman year, I auditioned for some theater major's thesis. Apparently, theater majors put on a theater production in order to graduate, and one of those majors was choreographing a dance number. I got a part and met even more dancers. And so, I feel as though I spent most of my time with the fellow dancers I met on campus. It was my main social outlet. Sophomore year was a bit dramatic as a friend of mine had lured me to a different dance company, a "xian" company, with exactly five people. I didn't like it, obviously, so I stuck it out for a week or two, and then I gave it my all for the Baylor Dance Company. By the end of my junior year, I was the historian and had choreographed a number of pieces for our end-of-year show. But I was falling into a deep depression and wanted to leave Baylor. Thus, I auditioned for the BFA dance program at the University of Texas (Austin, duh), cause I had a friend who transferred there, whom I met at Baylor. I got in, but then I needed something else, entirely. Yes, photos, videos and documents exist of all of this.

And then I dropped out of college, altogether, didn't apply to UT, and left Baylor, never to return.

Over the summer, my adopted dad informed me that it was fine that I was taking a break, but I couldn't do nothing. Luckily, my former ballet teacher heard I was in a predicament and informed me of an opportunity in Syracuse, New York, with another "christian" ballet company. Even though I knew that I no longer identified as a "christian," I hadn't really broken the news to anyone, cause my entire upbringing and social circle is ALL CHRISTIAN! Basically, I mean, I think there are some who are not really "christian," etc., but this is not about that. And so, like a "good christian," I lived as a hypocrite, posing as a "christian" within a "christian" ballet company. To be fair, I really thought I didn't have much else in the way of options, cause there was no way in fucking fuck that I was going to live at home all year. 

And then, after a year of torturing my soul (and moonlighting at night clubs all over the city, "dancing" my ass off on the dance floor), I had completed the trainee program to become a full member, and I left to go back to school. 

Back in Colorado, attending the University of Colorado (Boulder, duh, but ugh, I would've thrown up all over you back in high school if you told me that I ended up at CU! Lame!), I would run three or four times a week and danced on Saturday mornings at an adult dance class hosted by a local ballet company called something like Lemon Cheesecake? I can't remember, and I legit am not going to Bing it rn. The class was full of mostly the elderly, but they were really friendly to me (read, unintimidated by my "skill," which was severely lacking at the time) and expressed their delight that I was joining them. 

After graduating, the bodybuddy/lifemate and I moved to Denver, where we mostly worked out at 24-Hour Fitness. The one we went toalways after midnight cause, imho, it's always awesome to move through this world when it's like you're the only ones occupying the planet—had a studio space, and so, I would move from time to time, but I was so out of dance shape by that point that it would always make me depressed to see how not-awesome I had become. And so, I bought a punch card for a studio nearby, and danced a few times over the course of a few years. Lame. I was strong, don't get me wrong. We worked out like fiends in those days. And then we packed up and expatriated to Seoul. 

In Seoul, I morphed into a yogi, because, frankly, I was a bit ashamed of how much I felt like I had lost as a dancer. Plus, I was going through figuratively heavier identity issues at that time. My body did not look good dancing, and I was literally heavy. But by the time we left Seoul (to return, no worries), I was aching for a dance class, and so, when we arrived in Auckland, New Zealand, I signed up for one, and it was a huge disappointment. So, I tried another class, and it was exactly what I needed. And then, when we arrived in Seattle, I had returned to a concerted yoga effort. And yoga was my main body practice again. 

Until I kept on wrecking my shoulders/neck from not-strenuous postures. 

I could easily understand tweaking my neck &or shoulder doing some contortionist type posture, but I never actually hurt myself doing the crazy stuff. I tweaked my neck/shoulder twice doing a simple forward fold, and after the second tweak, only about six weeks ago, I quit yoga cold turkey. There's something about yoga that just does not jibe with my body (or perhaps it has something to do with white yoga practitioners who have ruined the whole endeavor). Obviously, I still "practice yoga," as I am a supporter of the meditative/mindfulness aspects of the practice, and so, yes, I still practice yoga, but I no longer attempt to keep up with white American yoga. Instead, I have returned to a ballet practice for my body. Ballet has always been very meditative for me, as it demands a lot of mental focus to accomplish, and so, practicing ballet is also a yoga practice, which I must admit, is awesome.  

Currently, the bodybuddy/lifemate and I have access to a private-ish gym in our apartment building, and like the nocturnal beings that we are—as of late—we very muchly enjoy utilizing the space in the dead of night when we know we'll be alone. It's great. The space is spacious enough that I have set up an area where I can do both some barre work and a little center movement. I love it. 

And soon, I will identify as a dancer, once again. It's been a long, slow process of building back ballet muscles, because I also have a bum left knee. During the summer between junior and senior years of high school, while performing at an end-of-intensive "showcase" during a summer ballet intensive I was attending at a "christian" ballet company in Jackson, Mississippi, I dislocated my knee, on stage, for all the world to see, and I "made a scene" as a veterinarian in the audience came up on stage to pop my knee back in place and drag me off stage. After an excruciating plane ride home, I had my left patella tendon screwed back onto my left shin with two titanium screws. Also, as a side note, not a single person from that fucking "christian" ballet company ever called to check on me. I don't want to call it racism, but ... if the shoe fits. 

Thus, I spent the fall semester of my high school senior year in a straight-leg brace, attending physical therapy multiple times a week, dancing to get back in dancing shape (I danced in The Nutcracker that December and then went back into surgery because my scar tissue had grown so much that I couldn't bend my knee all the way, and nobody wanted to forced it to bend while I was conscious), and striving to graduate first in my class (I didn't graduate first, but I won all the scholarships). Obviously, the knee is great these days. I danced pre-professionally for an entire year after the knee, and to this day, I run and exercise regularly. And so, I do not have concerns about the knee, I just know that I must not push it, and that I have to do it right, which means doing the work, at the barre, to get my legs and feet back. As all of my dance teachers have told me, there's only one way to build a ballet/dance body and that is by dancing, because there's nothing else that can use all the muscles you need in exactly the way that you need them. 

So, I'm doing the work, and I've decided to document my process over time.

Someday, I might even choreograph a little one-minute piece that I can actually do from start to finish without dying. In the meantime, here are some more dance vids of the ilk I've expressed above. 

Until next time.    

As a "Dancer"


11 August 2022

Feeling poetic after a priceless journey to a distant Korean market #HMartHaul | Sailor's Log No. 22.08A.01

Adoption Ignorance (of the Ignoring kind)

Sometimes she decides not to participate,
because what she may find, she may hate;
then the exercise becomes one that's supposed to cleanse,
but now all she can see is her life through that lens. 

"esse quam videri"

The regional bus system, RTD, in Colorado, is running a "Zero Fare for Better Air" initiative (via some grant), which means that our local/regional bus system is FREE for the month of August! Thus, we've decided to utilize this program and take the bus to places we can not reach on our bikes. We went to our nearest Korean market, HMart, last week, and on the way, we had to transfer busses in Boulder (our old college stomping grounds ;), and thus, we popped into Laughing Goat for a writing date with coffee&croissant. Yum. 

&then, she may wonder about how much Korean-ness she is entitled to?

All of it. 
Or none of it. 
Or some of it. 
Or any made up version of it.

Care not about those who dare to challenge you.

&so, she makes plans for the Korean ingredients she misses most, &eagerly awaits the launch of their rocket ship, which will make their dreams of living part-time in Seoul, their reality.

Aside from the house shoes I've needed since we left with a pair that I ended up not liking, thus, not wearing, and the absolute need for more "good" chopsticks, since the pairs we left with have been lost, broken or simply disappeared, we picked up the Korean ingredients for which we have been desperate. As car-less bikedestrians, our nearest HMart is quite far away, nevertheless, we typically purchase non-perishables online, but this time, we were able to get the good stuffs!

  • 떡볶이 칩 (ttokppokki chips)
    • Korean snacks are the #bestsnacks
  • 당면 (glass noodles)
    • for 잡채
  • Genmai Cha (green tea/brown rice tea)
    • 현미 녹차 (Korean style) was preferred but was much more expensive :/
  • 김 (gim)
    • for eating, as one will when eating sheets of gim
  • 마늘 (maneul [garlic])
    • cause it was a better price than our local (white) grocery store
  • 고춧가루 (gochutkkaru)
    • i'ma make more #kimchi
  • 서낵면 (Snack Myun [ramyun])
    • one of our favorite ramyun flavors!
  • 고추장, 된장, 쌈장 (gochujang, doenjang, ssamjang)
    • the Korean Trifecta of pastes/sauces
  • 배추 (baechu [napa cabbage])
    • an additional 2.5 kg to add to the 4 kg we picked up from our local (white) grocery store with which i will make a fresh batch of #kimchi
  • 무 (mu [radish])
    • with which i will use half to make #kimchi and 뒌장찌개 with the other
  • 막걸리 (makgeolli)
    • the bodybuddy/lifemate's "BBOAT" (best beverage of all time)
  • 콩나물 (kongnamul [bean sprouts])
    • for eating, as one will when eating sprouts of bean
  • 떡 (ttok [rice cake])
    • cause 떡볶이 is my favorite snack food ... favorite ... not Korean favorite ... just straight up fave.
  • 쌈무 (ssammu [pickled radish])
    • we will buy 삼겹살 and eat it 쌈밥 style 
  • 만두 (mandu [dumplings])
    • for frying and for 찌개
  • 유부초밥 (yubuchobap [fried tofu w/rice] mix)
    • a kit for making the delicious snack 유부초밥!



07 August 2022

Tofu Insecurities

The bodybuddy/lifemate and I emigrated (with intentions never to return, at the time) to South Korea back in August 2013, and in that country, we landed in a city in the mountainous center of the country where all of the beautiful Koreans are from because Daegu is the place where all the apples are grown, and eating apples makes one beautiful, so I’m told. And in that city there’s a neighborhood called Sinmae, where, by the time we left, had opened its first Uniqlo. And in that neighborhood there’s an open-air market that becomes especially lively on Thursday nights when vendors that usually vend elsewhere join the Sinmae party. And in that open-air market there’s a Thursday night vendor that sells tofu. 

For the first few months, we happily enjoyed the market on weekdays to pick up our weekly staples of fresh 야채들 (veggies), fresh 김치 (kimchi) and fresh 반찬 (banchan), and fresh 돼지고기 (pork shoulder), with Thursdays being especially special cause that’s when we’d chow down on plates of 튀김 (fried snacks) and pick up fresh 두부 (tofu) from the vendor that only came to town on special Thursdays.

On one of these special Thursdays, we approached the 두부 vendor, and there was a man standing there instead of the usual woman from whom we typically bought our 두부. And as we approached, we exchanged hellos and then asked, in Korean, for some 두부, the same way we always had, and as the man began bagging up our chunk, he pointed at the bodybuddy/lifemate and began speaking in a tone that was not what we considered friendly. And then he kept on going off in Korean, while we were giving him our won in exchange for the chunk of 두부. By the time he was finished, after pointing at us and making a scene, his assumed wife, the woman we typically bought from, appeared as other vendors looked on. She gracefully gave us our 두부 bag packed in a handled, black plastic bag and quickly whispered thank you, in Korean, as she shooed us away. 

It became apparent to us that the man was upset that the bodybuddy/lifemate appeared to be a white American (which he is), and I appeared to be a Korean female (which I am). This appeared to upset him, and we were not sure why, but obviously, I have my guesses, but they are all kinds of conceited, and the Truth is murky, at best. 

The reality, however, is that, yes, the bodybuddy/lifemate is a white American, and I was born in Korea to Korean parents, but then I was shipped to Those United States after I was abandoned upon the doorstep of an orphanage at the tender age of three. And so, I feel feels about that man, just like he feels feels about us. It’s life, and there’s nobody to blame, and there’s nothing to be done about the situation. The problem, for me, is that Koreans are aware of the fact that there are hundreds of thousands (about 200,000) babies of Korean descent, scattered around the white world. This is a harsh Truth, and it is True. 

Like all good marketing/advertising campaigns, people will find attractive and thereby mate with those with whom they have had the most exposure. 

And so, I was being blamed for mating or pairing myself with a white man, when the reality is that I was sent to go live among them, be raised by them, be one of them. So, I could just as easily be angry at that man for being a countryman of a country so poor that it exported its young. And that would be some petty-ass shit. 

But what’s to be made of those Korean-Americans who end up with white men and return to Korea only to be scolded for their choice? I can easily wiggle out of the situation, as I’ve just done above, but the Korean-Americans, the Korea-Koreans, what’s their excuse when confronted with a mean man scolding them for their interracial decision, etc.? 

Anywho, we continued to patronize the 두부 vendor, and the woman seemed embarrassed but not overly friendly. And some of the vendors, it seemed, felt bad for us. We were always charged only 5,000 KRW (about 5 USD) from our pork lady, and she would obviously fill our bag with about 10,000 KRW of meat, no matter how much we asked for. And the kimchi/banchan lady always added a banchan or two to our order (service) and would give me way more kimchi than I could eat in a week. One time, while I was shopping alone during the afternoon while the bodybuddy/lifemate was at the job, the kimchi/banchan lady fed me to my mouth, with her fingers. Not an uncommon move in Korean culture but felt oddly intimate to me, as a known, not-Korea-Korean-nor-Korean-American Korean. We harbor no ill feelings toward our time in Daegu, because we had some seriously good times there, and it was a great place to acclimate to our new life abroad. 

By September 2014, we were settled in Seoul. About three months prior, the bodybuddy/lifemate had to make a decision between two locations in Seoul or staying in Daegu. We made our decision and had a cat by November 2014 in our office-tel in Nowon. Obviously, we’ve since left Korea, and we had zero plans to be in These United States for three years, but here we are, trapped from a pandemic that has left us grounded (longer than most people, I think, because I simply will not fly, yet). And so, we have worked hard to build the type of life where we will be in Seoul part of the year and Honolulu part of the year, and eventually (maybe ten years or so), we will add Alaska to begin our dream of triangulating on a trimester sort of schedule, around the world. And then, I will finally be happy. As if happiness is sustainable. Fucking enjoy it when it sweeps through. When it leaves, it’ll be back again. 

For instance, I had the blessed fortune of being the private tutor to a wonderful Korean girl turned young woman. Obviously, we parted ways when I left the country back in 2018, but I’ve tried my best to keep in loose touch, because we (the bodybuddy/lifemate and I) have always had plans to return to Seoul, routinely. And so, I’ve done my best to keep tabs and be available, and we’ve kept in touch all these years. And then, I realized that she recently crossed an age milestone, and I was suddenly stoked with fear that I’m not cool enough! 

“I must up my game,” I announced to the bodybuddy/lifemate when I realized this realization. The urgency is that she is now in my wheelhouse, and so, the stakes seem so high now. She’s cool. She’s smart. She's friendly. She's beautiful. She’s like grown. She's a person! It’s crazy. And so, in my mind, I can’t just be like, you know, Tiffany Teacher. I need to be so much more. I need to show her that I am cool, too! That we can be friends! And I sound so fucking pathetic. Ugh. Teenagers. 

Don’t worry. I’m not freaking out.

My point is that she’s smart and adorable. In short, she’s my favorite Korean. Thus, I took a gamble about a month ago and sent her a video, a short little vlog of a shopping trip to the grocery store. As car-less bikedestrians, we bike everywhere, so I thought it’d be a fun little vid. It was. She liked it. And then, I won. I won it all! She asked me if I would like a video of HER “daily life”!!! I didn’t even know that that was what I wanted, but obviously, it was. And then, she sent the video last week!

But being the cool “older friend” that I am, I didn’t check the message or watch the video until today. “I’m busy.” I am busy, but I was also counting down the hours to watch the thing. And so, I watched her video this morning, and I cried from the overwhelming happiness her face brought to me. Aside from me discovering my Korean-self, being steeped in my Homeland and stoking the flame of my identity, meeting and getting to know my favorite-Korean has absolutely been the best part of our first move to Korea. Not to mention the joy of her father and kindness of her mother. They are, simply, the best family, and I feel so lucky and grateful that we have been able to stay in touch, and that they want to stay in touch with me (smiley emoji)!  

In the end, my favorite-Korean’s video brought up a lot of Korean feelings about our first time in Korea, and I remembered the account that opens this writing. I cried a lot in Daegu, because it was where we spent our first year in Korea, and obviously, being the adoptee that I am, I have a lot of ongoing issues that routinely need maintenance. It sucks, but that’s life. And mostly, it doesn’t suck, so there’s that. 

We have plans to return to Seoul, for about a month, this coming winter, so that we may celebrate my favorite-Korean. And that trip will set up our transition to the Seoul-Honolulu dyad. Until then, I’ll just be here being motivated by the paralyzing fear that I might not be “cool enough" ... sigh.  

02 August 2022

2022 JULY READS | Books 38-42/80

2022 JULY Month Goal: 5/6

Year Goal: 42/80

Nonfiction | 320.01 RYA v.1 | 2013 | 600 pages

2.  Let's Get Physical: How Women Discovered Exercise and Reshaped the World by Danielle Friedman

Nonfiction | 613.71 FRI | 2022 | 352 pages

3. Renegades: Born in the USA by Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen 

Nonfiction | 973.932 OBA | 2021 | 320 pages

4. The Creative Mind: An Introduction to Metaphysics by Henri Bergson

Nonfiction | 110 BER | 1934 | 222 pages

5. True Story: What Reality TV Says About Us by Danielle J. Lindemann

Nonfiction | 791.45 LIN | 2022 | 352 pages 

&In Images 

View The Complete List to see this year's ... complete list. 

a July 'Wrap-Up' & an August 'Manifestation' (right? i'm to 'manifest' my deepest desires? i'm not mocking, i'm legitimately curious, so please, please feel free to inform; if i hear nothing back, i'll assume i 'get it,' etc.) | Sailor's Log No. 22.07J05

Time Travel Setting: the Past | a July "Wrap-Up" 

I'm not even gonna lie. July was a fucking nightmare, and I am so fully grateful that I've not only survived, but that it is now August. The month started out as usual, except that the bodybuddy/lifemate and I were beginning to feel the stress of our life—neither of us had had a break from our work and day jobs since November 2019, for him, and December 2020, for me. And both of our families have been really wringing us emotionally (the bodybuddy/lifemate received a "birthday" card from his mother, which was just a foil for a nasty, long, handwritten letter she wrote, which, in short, basically made him feel like shit). Yes, I know that we only work three days/week at our day jobs, but we also work from home the other four days, which means that we literally work every day of the week, and we do not celebrate any major United Statesian holidays in any significant way. I AM NOT COMPLAINING. I am quite satisfied with my life theses days, so much so that we worked for, literally, 560 days before collapsing into a heap, at which point we finally called into our jobs and took two weeks off. And so, we had our first official vacation—staycation because I refuse to get on an airplane, at this time, and we would normally rent a car for a few days, but that felt irresponsible this year—since returning to these United States in late 2018.

A few days into July I tweaked some little muscle or tendon deep inside my left shoulder, and, given my neck history, the thing went into a full-blown spasm, and I was laid up for about a week. So, I missed two shifts early into the month. The following weekend, I was menstruating, but I survived the week of shifts. And then, we ate something that definitely did not sit with us well, and the Company has a policy that if you have certain symptoms, you cannot do your job. Thus, we called in sick, and while we were both breaking down on our living room couch, he missing the first shift of his life (literally, he's never missed a day of work since I've known him, and I met him at a job we both had in college back in 2008, and even then, he never missed a day at that job, and then, obviously, we got together, and I've never witnessed him miss a single ephing day of work, like so crazy), I missing the third shift of the month and the most shifts ever, meaning I'd been able to drag my ass into my job for every single shift for a year and a half before breaking down and requiring a break.

Obviously, I am not attempting to paint us like some super-workers or anything. Trust me. We are far from over-extending ourselves at our jobs because we know what it means to be hourly-wage laborers. We do, however, go too hard on our own companies. If anything, I am trying to share our misgivings, which is that you should not take a break once you finally break down and MUST TAKE A BREAK. You need to be more responsible than we are and know when you are getting tired and then, request a break. I am an irresponsible laborer because I failed to recognize the signs that maybe I'm getting a little tired, and so, I had to take a break on the cuff. I was scheduled the week that I called in to start my vacation, not a responsible move. Nevertheless, I work a day job, as an hourly-wage laborer, so I'm not beating myself up here, either. I could literally not show up for two weeks, and then just show up again, and nobody would say anything. So, I did the bare minimum and at least informed them that I would not be showing up for two weeks. 

And so, our vacation began in mid-July, and we were back at the job last Wednesday, the 27th. We did a lot of relaxing and emotional tending. We even took time away from our responsibilities at our own companies. Obviously, there are some things that must be maintained, and so, we are never able to fully unplug for more than about three days, but again, I AM NOT COMPLAINING. We have designed our lives, and this is the life we have built for ourselves. To be frank, I love it. I'm merely sharing (more like documenting for my future self) a reminder of the lessons that we learned this past month about how we need to continuously update our life/work structure so that we are always living as sustainably as humanly possible so that we may enjoy this human life/work for as long as humanly possible. 

So I quit yoga, cold turkey, and I've replaced that exercise with a return to my ballet roots. It's basically one of the best decisions I've made in a really long time. And I made a bunch of workout videos, but I am undecided at this time as to whether or not I'll continue to make these types of videos. I do find them highly motivating, and I genuinely enjoy video editing (even more than photo editing, but please do not tell my old photography site this). But again, I had a lot of free time during our staycation to make them easily. And since we're shooting for the kind of drive that's sustainable, I do not yet know if I can carry my typical work load and make workout vids. I will try, obviously, but if I quit or only do it sporadically, I hope you'll understand (that is, if you even like them *shrug*). 

What else. 

I lowered my book goal to six books, and I read five, so that was good. Mostly, I simply needed to read more than I read last month, which was pitiful, but also telling of the fact that I really needed a break, some rest.

And this, I suppose, brings to me my final point, which is that I realized that there are a lot of hourly-wage laborers who literally cannot afford to take a break at all. The Company for which I currently work, is unionized. I accrue vacation days and sick hours, whether I want them or not. I was able to cash in multiple such benefits, which means that I missed five shifts, but only missed two days of pay. We could have used vacation days for those other two days if we had scheduled that time off beforehand, but since we don't live paycheck to paycheck, missing two shifts of pay is insignificant. My point is that 90% of the hourly-wage population of workers do not have benefits like this where they can take a break, and this is why—after reading headline after headline about union votes failing—I know that the majority of workers in These United States, do not know or understand Unions. I would've considered myself part of that ignorant cohort a mere two years ago, but after having worked for a company that is unionized for the past year and a half, my tune has changed. But honestly, it's not something I'm going to write about, at this moment, but I have come to the realization that I should write about it in the near future. 

In the end, July was shit, but I feel really grateful that I could afford to take some time off for my own sanity.

Time Travel Setting: the very-near Future | an August "Manifestation"

Book Goal: 9 

Our transit district, RTD, in Colorado is running a “Zero Fare for Better Air” public transportation environmental program thing-a-ma-bob through the month of August, being car-less bike-edstrians (come rain, shine or snow, as we absolutely do not support the personal ownership of any type of vehicle that quickens the warming of this planet) we took a few bus trips around the Front Range, hit up Boulder and Denver.

I remembered to remind myself of my reminders.

I grew stronger by practicing gratitude and exercising my aging ballet body.

I strengthened my mind in mental preparation for the inevitable liftoff of our rocket ship. 

I found new sustainability in my work flow/life balance/drive sustainability.

I wrote my ass off and had a great time doing it. 

One of my creations went viral (either a writing or a video on theTube or KakaoStory, I can't say for sure) went viral (lol, and I laugh here cause I don't like make like the type of like stuff that like goes viral, etc., but I did! I went viral!)!

The bodybuddy/lifemate wanted me to start documenting his bakes, so I've done that, and I'm the official videographer/editor of his bakes vids, which is ironic given the fact that he is the one of us who, literally, has a BFA in film making, ugh. 

I realized that I'm doing it and that the initial liftoff force of gravity is no longer crushing me, even though I can feel it and all of its weight.

September is going to be a game-changer. Fact. 

Time Travel Setting: the Past Presently | last of the July Vids

I updated my "Sailing the Time Tide in Pictures" page, with this video:

This is the last of the July workouts video:

&this is a July ¨She Cooks! 먹방 (&eats)!¨ video that I didn't edit or upload until today: