Beach Yesterday, Mountains today

We took our first trip to Haeundae Beach yesterday, one of the most famous in Korea. It was a great beach! We’ll go swimming in a couple weeks after I heal up fully from a minor medical procedure, and definitely go back for more craft beer and seafood.

Today, we took the cablecar up a mountain at Geumgang Park. It goes high above the city and gives you a great view. We could see Gwangalli Beach, Haeundae Beach, our neighbourhood, and many ones that we still need to explore. So excited to live in such a great place.

Little Things

When moving to a new country, I always bring little things to help my new space feel like home. We’re lucky that this time we moved to Korea in the Autumn. It’s the best time of the year in this country (in all countries?). When I moved here in 2012, it was much harder to adjust to the absolutely fucking freezing February weather.

This little Moka coffeemaker makes two shots of espresso. I bought it just after returning from living abroad for the first time in Italia, at McGuckin Hardware in Boulder. It doesn’t fit on our tiny stove, but I’ve MacGyvered it with a frying pan.

Little things. Baby steps. That’s how you live in a new place.


This is the Time – A letter to myself at 28

This is the time to do the things you want to do. This is the time to continue to do the things you know you are good at, even though they have been hard lately. This is the time, and there is no other time than now. Do these things now, and continue doing them, or you will be filled with regret. When it get difficult is when you have to keep going.

You fell in a river today when attempting to jump it. Jump a new one tomorrow.

You haven’t been writing enough lately. You haven’t been singing enough lately. You haven’t been learning languages and dancing and cooking enough lately. Now is the time to do the things you want to do, and to push through the feelings of not being good enough at them. Lots of people suck at dancing, but have fun doing it anyway. You (probably) suck less at writing than many people. So do some of it. Quit neglecting these things.

You finished a damn sweater this week, made with your own hands! Stop thinking that you are bad at everything. It looks professional. It’s the first garment you’ve made in a long time. It’s warm. You finished it.

Stop thinking that you aren’t doing enough. Just this summer you’ve learned to tie ropes for abseiling, driven rescue boats (coaxing the outboard motor to life for one of them), been called ‘The FireMaster,’ made empanadas, cleaned 400+ toilets, instructed archery,  swam in the Greenland Sea, and driven about 3000km in Iceland. Including the Highlands! Who does that? You do, explorer!

It’s all too easy to fall into that negative self-talk. You heard the patterns forming, clouds that seem innocuous enough now, in the talk of the eleven year old girls from your ‘home’ country. They said all the things you think about yourself, didn’t they? They built the fastest, hottest, and most efficient fire you’d seen children build unassisted all summer. But they couldn’t see how good it was.

“Just put it out! It’s terrible. It’s not a very good fire,” she said, while the flames reached nearly above her head, seated on the beach. Weren’t you confused? She couldn’t seem to see how good the fire was.

Isn’t it possible that you aren’t seeing your own fire? You don’t want to be this way. The best news is that you don’t have to be. You are changing it, right now. Once you’ve gotten a little more sleep, you’ll feel better.

Now is the time. Listen to your better self here, take a little rest, and let’s get going.

Time to go exploring once again.

Blowing Your Mind with the Political Compass

I first took this quiz, written in fairly shitty HTML that is nostalgic for all those in my generation, in maybe 2004. It was around the time that I first began watching the Daily Show. I was a leftie then, even at age 16. This was around the time I regularly wrote to my senators about the Iraq War (correctly stating more than once that this was a Hydra we couldn’t just carpet bomb into submission, and that worse and worse terrorist groups multiply).

A few important changes since then:

  • The death penalty is never justified, lacks internal logic, and risks killing people who didn’t commit crimes for which they were convicted.
  • A one-party system is more efficient (see China), but not necessarily preferable.
  • Sex outside of marriage is not to be frowned upon; abstinence-only preaching seriously endangers young people and old with misinformation and scaremongering.
  • National borders are like the lines children draw on the floor and say, “You can’t cross because I say so.” If not for the accident of my birth in Colorado to my particular parents, I could have been born anywhere to anyone. That random event shouldn’t decide things like whether I get to live and work in the same country as my husband.

In 2016, I’ve been listening to a ton of podcasts about the election. NPR’s Politics Podcast. The Political Junkie. Coverage on All Things Considered and Morning Edition. Grand Reportage from RFI. One in Italian that I don’t remember the name of presently. I read The Guardian, the BBC, Le Monde, La Nacion (Chile), The People’s Daily, and a few more periodicals. I’ve recently started looking at Red Feed, Blue Feed for balance.

I’ve been seeking out Trumpites and those with whom I actively disagree on Twitter, too. I feel very well informed about the political climate.

Screen Shot 2016-07-26 at 10.55.08 PM

Ugggggggggh. The disagree is so strong.

And yet, when people ask me about the main candidates, they are slightly surprised what I have to say. I tell them that Trump is embarrassing, and reminds me of Silvio Berlusconi. I tell them that political decisions have immediate impact on my life, since I live abroad and have to answer for all Statesian actions when people find out where I’m from. I tell them that Bernie Sanders never had a chance (but that I liked him since 2011!).

And I tell them that Hillary Clinton is a centre-right candidate. 

This blows my countryfolk’s minds. I often try to explain that if she held the views she seems to hold based on public remarks, she would be right of the current government of the UK in a few ways. I continue with the idea that politics in the US is skewed so far right that she seems reasonable compared to a Ted Cruz or a Jerry Fallwell Jr.

But this chart, released by the Political Compass based on public information from the candidates in 2016, makes my point much more clearly.

Screen Shot 2016-07-26 at 10.13.30 PM

For comparison, here are the rest of the candidates from the primaries. Bizarrely, Trump moved right on this one, indicating perhaps that he has adjusted his apparent views to suit a right-wing GOP slugfest over the last YEAR. Screen Shot 2016-07-26 at 10.13.36 PM

I took the test again today.

Screen Shot 2016-07-26 at 10.24.14 PM

Left of the Green Party…..WHOOOOOOOOO!

And for fun, here are three dictators, an economist, and Gandhi.  Of course, no implied connection to any current candidate. Ahem. Screen Shot 2016-07-26 at 10.24.07 PM

Does this change your thoughts about the 2016 Election? How do you feel about the 2016 election?

Want to talk on Twitter? I may be a mega-leftie, but I’m happy to listen and try to understand how you come to your opinions. Come find me!