29 October 2023

Another Monfri, because, well, let's just say, I met a 'The One,' and it was so totally fucking awesome, I am, wholly, a new person. I am me, unabashedly.

A few notable things happened last week, and as much as I'd rather not write it all out, right now, type it all down, right now, think it all through, right now, I feel as though I must. And so, I will. 

What I learned, first and foremost (for those who'd rather not read about my life and would rather simply find out what I learned), is that I need to come to terms with the fact that I need to trust myself, follow my gut, allow my intuition/instincts to guide me, etc., etc., &c., unabashedly, wholeheartedly. 


I was called into the manager's office by my two bosses (the store director and first assistant director), and every time I'm called into the office, I fill with dread, as if I'm in trouble. Never have I actually ever been in trouble at my job, generally speaking (I was first hired for a different store in Colorado, days before the January 6th insurrection, and on my first day at that job, that store director was informing my then-supervisor about how to share an unsavory video about Hillary on Meta. Obviously, I reported the incident to HR, and then, my entire time in that department became a nightmare of HR rounds between the three of us, etc.). And so, no, I've never really been in trouble because of something I've done, specifically, but I have had to deal with issues of retaliation and general ass-holery within this particular company. 

Nevertheless, I have not had to deal with these sorts of issues at this new store, and, generally speaking, I've never been called into any office because I was in trouble (except for that one time in like eighth grade when one of the notes being passed around class had been found and the subject of that note was the principal's daughter, etc., and I was hardly the solo culprit, etc.).

Thus, I do not know from where my association with being called into the office and getting in trouble came. During my childhood, aside from that one time (and I should, really, write an entire thing about that "incident" because a few years later, the principal and his associates were all busted for tax fraud, etc., so the nature of that note with regards to the principal's daughter, was not so untrue as just inappropriate to say out loud), the only reason why I was ever called into an office was to receive some sort of accolade, sometimes to receive something as small as my free Subway sandwich voucher for being a Super Student or as large as finding out I won a major scholarship, etc. 

The meeting was great, and the overall takeaway was that I need to talk to my managers more frequently, face-to-face. I write daily reports with job-specific information, but they want me to speak to one of them at the end of my shift. 

Fine. No problem. I am feeling more comfortable with them, generally speaking, and so, nothing about this really upset me. 


Went fine. Nothing special. But then a dawning dawned on me. I realized that I was growing. That I had reached some sort of growth point, and now, I would be feeling the pain of that growth. 


The pain. The growing pains of the past few weeks all sorta hit me at once, and I became so desperate that I reached out on Socials for help. I asked my friends to help, to send suggestions, if they had the energy, about how to ease my mind, calm my soul. 

I was genuinely surprised that anyone reached out, because, well, I don't get a lot of action on Socials, generally speaking. 

But one friend, an old college friend, reached out and gave me a suggestion to look into pranayama. I was supremely grateful, and I noted that I would, in fact, look into it. 

By the end of my shift on Wednesday, I was feeling better, more balanced, a bit uneasy, but dealing with the day alright. 

And then, I met a "The One."

The grocery store in which I job has a number of outside vendors, contractors who all come in and do jobs in the store but who do not job for the corporation for which I job. And one of these contractors I deal with directly, because some of the things they need in order to do their job falls under my purview. Thus, when they are finished with their job at the end of their day, I am the person who checks them out for having completed their job, if I am there while they are there. The grocery manager and even the directors do the checking out from time to time, but I am the main person who does the checking out. 

The checking out process is simple enough: the "Lead" finds me, we walk through the job that they did, and then I assign them a rating 1 through 5, sign two pieces of paper and fill out a few items on an app. 

When I was being trained, my trainer informed me to give them whatever score I thought reflected their job performance. She did not give me any criteria to keep in mind, nor did she give me any sort of instruction on what I should look for. And so, on that first day, months ago, I gave them a 3. The "Lead" rushed me through what they did, and the nature of their job means that I don't necessarily know how well they actually did until a few days later, when I have the time to pull new tags and see how well they actually did. And so, I thought a 3 was plenty fair when considering they went well beyond the time allotted to do the job, and they always make a huge mess of the aisles while doing the job, etc.

And then, I had a horrible experience with one of the jobbers, and I gave them another 3. And then, that person no longer showed up with the rest of them and a new "Lead" was in charge. They received a 4 from then on. 

The jobbing crew is made up of anywhere between half a dozen and a dozen jobbers who all come in to job together. By the end of their shift, the "Lead" and his assistant are typically the ones who are left in the store to do the walk-through with me. Sometimes there's a third straggler who gets a ride from the "Lead." And this third person is never the same person.

Last Wednesday, after giving them a 4 for doing a good job (I've been doling out 4s for about two solid months), one of the remaining three crew members (not the "Lead") looked at me and asked, "What do we have to do to get a 5?" 

I was blown away. In the moment, I looked at her and said, "You have to blow my mind." And she stood up to me and asked, "But like what do we have to do?" And I said, "I guess we'll know when my mind has been blown." She looked dissatisfied.

Once they left, I immediately went to find the grocery manager, and I asked him what he gives them when he checks them out. He said, "I always give them a 5 unless they really like needed my help a lot or if they were just too slow, then maybe I'll give them a 4." I was shocked. I told him that I've never given them a 5, and he laughed. 

The only thing weighing on my mind the rest of the day and that night was the fact that I was the only person who didn't give them 5s. 


I woke up and practiced two "simple" pranayama breathing exercises, and I kid you not, at the end of my last breath during that short practice my eyes shot open and my mind yelled at me, "She's a 'The One'!" I immediately was reminded of The One who asked me how to get a 5. 

And then, I sorta panicked, and got my ass to my job, because I knew that I would be seeing her again that day, and then, I didn't know when I would see her again (they job sporadically on an unset schedule, and they job multiple stores around the area).

As soon as I got into job, I found the "Lead" and asked him if I could talk to her for a minute that day. He said that was fine, but that she was on her lunch, so I asked if he'd send her to me once she returned. 

I was down an aisle when she came sauntering toward me. 

I told her about how she blew my mind by simply asking about how to get a 5, and so, I was going to tell her how to get a 5 from me. She explained that all of the other stores give them a 5, and when their bosses ask why they didn't get a 5 from me, nobody knows why. I was shocked. I asked her why the "Lead" never asked, and she didn't know. I asked her why she wanted to know, and she said, "Because the Lead doesn't ask." And so I outlined exactly what I was looking at and why they didn't get 5s from me. 

And then I told her that she knows why they don't get a 5, and she knows how to get a 5, and she's not even the Lead. Then I suggested that maybe she's outgrown her job. 

She smiled a big smile, and said that she was curious about applying to our store. So we talked about how if she wants, she could have my job; she just needs to apply for it. And then I explained to her my job.

And then I told her that she's a "The One." I explained it to her until I was confident that she understood what I was saying to her, "You're literally The One who asked about how to get that 5." And then I told her that I would give them a 5 today, and that they would be getting that 5 because of her. 

That night I fretted and worried into the morning, because I knew that my managers are cutting hours, across the board, and so, I knew that if The One applied, my backup would, essentially, be cut to part-time, because my department does not need three full-time jobbers. My department needs one full-time manager, and two part-time backups. 


Still fretting, I did my breathing exercises and decided to let my worries go. 

Sitting in my office, my backup literally skipped into the office waving a sheet of paper in her hand, thrilled that she finally gets to work part-time. I was shocked. She gave me two different schedule options for a three-shift schedule. I literally started crying, and I do not know if my backup knows why I was crying, but I was so happy I didn't have to cut her hours myself. I found out later that the First AD had informed my backup on Thursday, after I left, that they were cutting hours, so she needed to come up with a different schedule. 

Needless to say, I was stunned for the rest of the day, crying off and on out of happiness, sheer shock and disbelief. For weeks, I've been ringing my singing bowl and repeating my mantra/wish, "I will train my intelligent, hardworking helper until they are trained, and then I will quit my job." 

Obviously, I have no idea what will happen now. Of course, The One might not apply. Of course, The One might apply but then not want my job. Of course, The One might never show her face in my presence ever again. BUT it's also possible that she is The One for whom I have been begging the universe. It's possible that she is The One who will free me. It's possible that everything that I've been working so hard toward is actually going to be my reality, very soon. 

It's all seemingly possible. 

And then the bodybuddy/lifemate and I finished jobbing for the week to start our weekend, and we did what we always do on Fridays; we hit the beach. 

The Lesson

After simmering on the beach, I talked extensively with the bodybuddy/lifemate about how I cannot ever doubt my is-ness. I didn't know that the other FMs in the other stores around town simply doled out 5s to that jobbing crew. I had no idea. I was literally The One who wouldn't give them a 5, and in my opinion, I had good reason. My job involves the price tags around the store. The jobbing crew comes in and moves stuff around, so if I see a ripped tag in the sections that they work, what am I supposed to think? I obviously think that they ripped the tag, and they didn't replace it. That's not a job done at a level 5, in my book. And that's what I told The One. 

It was my judgement, my squeezing of them that forced The One of that group to reveal herself. This was not some master plan. I had no intention of squeezing them. I had no idea that I was holding them to some higher standard than everyone else. I was simply holding them to my standard, my gut, my intuition. And by doing so, I squeezed out the best performer from the group, The One who cared enough about getting a 5 to ask how to get a 5. And not only did I force the top performer to reveal herself, I found out that she has always been really curious about what I do in the store ever since I gave them that first 3. She couldn't understand what made me different, but she knew I was different. 

And so, my point to myself is that I need to lean even deeper into the person I am, because that is the only way I will attract the people I need in order to succeed at my personal business endeavors. I need to remind myself, constantly, to hold true to my standards, to not question my intuition, to believe that what I believe, what I know will get me where I am trying to go. 

I can do this. I can become the billionaire I wish to be. I will be the billionaire I am working so hard to become. BUT I will only get there by being 100% fully me. I do not have some master plan. I never have. I only have my gut and my intuition. I feel my way through this life, and I go with my gut when making decisions about how to get where I want to be. 

And now, after the last 72 hours of the past week, I am finally feeling confident in my mindset, my process, my ideology on how to become a billionaire. I need to be me, unabashedly. And so, I will. 

22 October 2023

Some yoga love + a garlic ginger teriyaki salmon recipe?

Yes, of course, the idea of taking a yoga class with an "instafamous" yogi who does all the crazemazing handstands and backbends and flash can be VERY intimidating, but I can assure you that class with @Journey2Antoinette is beautifully accessible and wonderfully foundational. 

I recently finished the second season of Foundation, and I realized how much Antoinette's approach matters. Yes, she can do all of the flashy yoga. Yes, she is crazemazing. Yet her approach to yoga as a teacher is all about the foundational postures, understanding that simply standing, with intention, works your body, that a seemingly simple tabletop is a posture for which we should be grateful to be able to do, in our bodies, with our bodies. Our physical abilities are not something that ought to be taken lightly. 

Antoinette teaches you this in her class. 

Antoinette emphasizes that you ought not take your body for granted.

Antoinette embodies the psychological ideal that we need to be thankful, wholly, for our bodies, what they can do, what they do do, and what they are able to do. No matter the ability of said body. 

You are your body. You are also so much more than your body.

I could go on about my own yoga journey, about how I could never find any satisfaction in the mainstream yoga-sphere, but I will not, because I do not want to dwell on the negative. I merely want to emphasize the importance of yoga teachers like Antoinette. 

Yes, of course, I am partial to my teacher, lol, because, well, she's my teacher, and obviously, I think she's amazing. But that's not the point. 

For me, the point is that we all need a strong emotional foundation in this life in order to both withstand the struggle that IS life, but also, we need to have a strong physical foundation in order to reach our greatest selves. This is the offering, in my opinion, that Antoinette serves up for all of us to learn and in which we can participate with her. She fulfills our emotional AND physical needs. 

Her class is like an hour-long hug. 

Not only that, but I've been asking (begging) the Universe for friends, friendships that I can both grow in and love to be a part of. In short, I love my yoga teacher, Antoinette, because she is a friend, and she is genius. Brains and beauty go a long way in my book. 

And so, thank you Universe, for giving us Antoinette, and thank you Antoinette, for teaching me how to love and appreciate the body that the Universe has given to me. And finally, thank you, body. 

this was a super-fun flow in today's class
which was all for me
bc, not to brag, but i book her for private classes

Garlic Ginger Teriyaki Salmon (for one)

The Shit You Need ::

frozen salmon filet about 4 -6 oz (or whatever type/amount of salmon makes you happy)

teriyaki sauce (again, whatever type makes you happy)

a thumb size chonk of ginger (or less or more if that's what makes you happy)

garlic (as much or as little as will make you happy)

butter or olive oil or canola oil, (or whatever type of edible greasy substance you have in your home), enough to lightly coat the bottom of your skillet

a spoon

a cutting board and knife that chops and slices well

one small bowl

a vessel wherein you can set your salmon when you remove it from its packaging

an oven-safe six-inch-ish skillet (stainless is what i use, so i dunno how it'll turn out in other materials)

do not put a skillet with a plastic handle into the oven!

a small plate/utensils to eat off of/with? (but you can also eat it out of the pan like we did today with some cold, leftover stuffing we made last night but didn't finish cause i fell asleep)

a stove top

an oven

an oven mitt

The How-To ::

If your salmon is frozen, make sure it's thawed. I've read differing instructions on whether to cook salmon frozen or thawed. I thawed it. If you need instructions on how to thaw food, uh, google exists.

Pre-heat your oven to 375 F

Peel your ginger with your spoon by "scooping" the light, thin skin off the ginger, cut off any unappetizing nubbins

Slice the ginger, hot-dog style, into very thin, flat disks

Slice each disk into thin slices

Then, hambuger-style, mince the ginger into the tiniest of squares

Throw the ginger into the one small bowl

Smash/Peel your garlic (i used about half a bulb, yea, i know, i can't get enough garlic)

Rough chop your garlic until it's also minced or the size you prefer (i prefer chonkier garlic)

Throw the garlic into the one small bowl with ginger

Open your teriyaki sauce and pour in three big glugs into the one small bowl with the ginger and garlic

Set aside

Once your oven has reached temperature ...

Remove your salmon from its packaging and set into the vessel set out for this purpose

Set the skillet on the stove and heat up your greaser (butter, oil, etc.)

Once your grease is hot, lay the salmon down, skin-side down, into the skillet

You should hear a nice sizzle

Pour the bowl of teriyaki + garlic + ginger over the top of the salmon in the skillet, this will smother out that sizzle

Turn off the heat from your stove top

Using an oven mitt, throw (gently place, if you're the type to read things a bit too literally) the skillet into the oven

Set a timer for 20 minutes

When your timer goes off, use your oven mitt and remove the skillet from the oven and set on your stove top to let it cool

Turn off your oven

Once your salmon is cool enough to eat (a different temperature to each person), eat it. 

Fixings or no fixings, it's delicious. 

I've made this recipe for the bodybuddy/lifemate &I twice now, cause we got a really good deal on two four-packs of frozen salmon last week. The first time, we ate it with some sauteed kale and garlic mashed potatoes. Today, like aforementioned, we ate it, standing in the kitchen, out of the pan, with leftover stuffing, also out of its pot. 



14 October 2023

I barely survived a very tough week at my stupid, ephing job, but survive, I did. &so, play we must. 'Carl!'

 It was the first of its kind, for me. Essentially (cause I dunno what I can/cannot should/should not share about the situation at my job, etc.), the store in which I job was the "out-of-town preview" store for the forthcoming 2023 holiday shopping season. And it was a rough forty-eight hours, but it also wasn't so bad (and I will not go into detail here, cause, I dunno where the line is, etc.).

Anyway, the big day fell on my adoption "Gotcha Day," and so, I obviously could not take the day off. I didn't even ask, cause... obviously. I wouldn't normally even think to take the day off, either, except that this relocation to Honolulu has been very stressful, and then the addition of taking on a whole new job has really been A LOT. Nevertheless, my point is that I would not, under normal circumstances, even think to treat myself with a day off for my adoption day. 

With that being said, I felt like with the stress upon stress upon stress and my ability to withstand it (even while crying most days and feeling so so much about every. single. little. fucking. thing. these days), I deserved to take a day to myself, especially after such a big two weeks leading up to the "preview." 

Thus, I requested a day off after the dust settled, and I did absolutely nothing productive.

The bodybuddy/lifemate got me a new light catcher, and so, we went to the beach, and I tested the thing out. Below are the best of the test bunch. 

My dream is to meet Carl, the turtle I am attempting, very patiently, to befriend in the little cove that laps at our favorite beach. I would love to be able to photograph Carl every week, because for the past three months or so, I've seen Carl from a distance, up pops Carl's little head for a breath of air, and I yell (literally, people look at me like I'm troubled), "Carl!" every. single. time. I see Carl's little head pop up out of the water. 

Carl has looked right at me a few times.

Some days, Carl's head pops up four to five times in a row, quite quickly and with each little pop-up, you'll hear me yell, "Carl! Carl! Carl! Carl!" repeatedly, like I'm really trying to get some paddle boarder's attention. 

I cannot express to you the deepness of my desire to meet Carl and be Carl's friend. *sigh*

Thus, the bodybuddy/lifemate heard my cries, and now I'm outfitted with an underwater light catcher! On my requested day off, I took some test shots, cause I've never had an underwater camera (yes, the gopro has a waterproof case, but I've never really used it as an underwater camera, except for in a pool that one boring time, cause we've never lived near water like we do now), and so, I am unfamiliar with its potential. I've also never had this specific camera, and so, I am unfamiliar with its potential. And so, play I must until I know wtf the thing can do. 

Happy Saturday.


[Untitled] Underwater Light Paintings I

[Untitled] Underwater Light Paintings II

[Untitled] Underwater Light Paintings III

[Untitled] Underwater Light Paintings IV

[Untitled] Underwater Light Paintings V

07 October 2023

An early 'Gotcha Day' present from Me to Myself &I

I got this shirt for myself for my Gotcha Day (the bodybuddy/lifemate ordered it for me, cause I hate spending money these days), and this time of year always makes me very reflective.

re Gotcha Day

I was adopted at three years and ten months of age, so I typically tell people that, "I was four."

As the story goes (as relayed through a college-aged interpreter), as told to me in 2005 by my birth grandfather, my birth father was in a motorcycle accident that left him unable to hold down a job. My birth mother was subsequently kidnapped by her family, since—being the extreme patriarchy that Korea is—a man who cannot provide for his family is worthless, etc. 

Thusly, in May of 1989, I was dropped off at an orphanage. My birth family took a picture of me on the stoop. If you need proof, go fuck yourself. If you're a friend, you'll probably see it someday.

By October 1989, I was living in the United States with a white couple, in a white town, in a white state, who had already adopted a Korean baby boy, who was, by this time, nearly six years old. 

This was my new family, my adopted family. 

It's a strange day to celebrate when considering my current estrangement from my adopted family, nevertheless, the day is as much about me as it is about my adopted parents and brother. 

In short, I'm an orphan. And orphans are strange people. I've written about this more extensively, and so, I don't like rehashing that which has already been hashed. I know plenty of them as a childhood attendee of a thing called "Korean Heritage Camp" and through my young-adulthood participation as a counselor at the same aforementioned "Camp." 

And yet, even among outliers (Korean adoptees), I am an outlier. I was adopted much older. I knew my family. I lived with my birth family for years. I suffered the trauma of my birth mother abandoning me. And then I suffered the trauma of being trans-racially adopted. 

I knew that my adopted parents were not my parents.

I've known a handful of other adoptees who were also not babies when adopted, and across the board, we are strange people. I think we see the world for what it is. We cannot be convinced of things that simply are not true. Unfortunately, for me, I find myself getting stuck in the Truth that I was abandoned. The other Truth is that I was also given an opportunity. 

And so, this year, I have really felt the weight of the opportunities being raised in the U.S.A. has given to me. Even though my life has always been a struggle, I am grateful, because so few things in life bother me. I've seen so much. I've experienced so much that the day-to-day is not something about which I feel overwhelmed. 

I was, essentially, forced to grow, evolve and cope in a pressure cooker, alone. 

I've also hashed out my issues with my adopted family, so I will not take the time here to re-hash that either. 

Instead, I'ma leave it at these pics, cause this is the most current reflection of who I am, these days. Our move here to Honolulu has also been an opportunity for growth, evolution and coping. And this is me on the other side of that pressure. 

I'm loving life in a way that I've never really loved before, and I am truly, truly hating life in a way that I've never really experienced before, also. 

Growth is painful. Evolution means moving beyond what used to fulfill you. And the thing that keeps pressing on my soul more than anything is that I need some new friends. 

I've also had to cope with the emotional/psychological/existential weight of the goals of which I am in total pursuit. 

I've changed so much this year—A LOT—that I hardly even recognize myself. 

And I sorta love it.

Sun v.10.07.23 I

Sun v.10.07.23 II

re The Shirt

My wish is for my final Act to be as a fashion designer. My adopted father's step-mother taught me how to sew when I was maybe six or seven years old. I know that I knew how to sew by the time I was eight, because I remember the first pillow I made. I've done a lot of sewing over the years, and I've even made some of my own clothes. I'm also filled with ideas for what sorta style I want (need) to embody. I've simply not given my time over to the pursuit of this dream, yet, because becoming a fashion designer requires a lot of physical tools, and I'm just too mobile right now to invest so much money into stuff that, essentially, doesn't pack up and move well. I've lived in seven cities in the past ten years. 

I do, nevertheless, try to stay current with the larger fashion world, and as an obsessive viewer of Project Runway (or Projway as it's known in our condo), I was thrilled with Laurence Basse's return for the latest season of All Stars

I loved her in her season, and my love only grew for her in this latest season. 

She's pensive.

She's a thinker. 

She's true. 

And so, when she didn't win, I fell even deeper in love, because I want her to succeed beyond anyone's wildest dreams, and through her success, I can wear her designs. 

I do not have the kind of budget for designer clothing, yet, but my entire life trajectory is spiraling me in that direction. And so, my dream, my wish is to not only be Laurence's client but also, her friend. 

Thusly, as an aspiring friend, I did the only thing I could think to do... make her look good. The only way to do that for a fashion designer?, wear her clothes. And since her t-shirts are really the only thing I can responsibly afford at this time, I did a little photo shoot in &of her shirt. 

All there is left to do, now, is wait for my Mark XXXVIII, cause I've asked the bodybuddy/lifemate for the "IUTGAF" shirt, which I cannot wait to have.

Laurence Basse online at laurencebasse.com on IG @laurencebasse

01 October 2023

some more still-life light paintings w/my fairies &a light catcher

* & **

*** & ****


bookmarking my spot in the novel Black Candle Women by Diane Marie Brown

*[Untitled] Light Paintings II.I
**[Untitled] Light Paintings II.II
***[Untitled] Light Paintings II.III
****[Untitled] Light Paintings II.IV