Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Leapin' lords

Today (Wednesday) was election day, so in Korea we had the DAY OFF and there was no school/work. Awesome-nikka, eh!

I of course spent the day sleeping in to recover from last night's partying. Then I hit the beach at Pohang. It's about two hours to that coastal city from here. It was a lovely time. I had many great thoughts on the beach.

Tonight back in Daegu was more fun times at the commune.

I have a sore throat. Is that any wonder?

I shall try to post more coherently soon...

Monday, May 29, 2006

Twelve Drummers Drumming...

And truly, much like far-off drum beats, I can hear my approaching airplane and life back in the U.S.A.

Too weird!

But I have so climbed on board the party train.

This past weekend was amazing: I went to the mountain and I can see clearly now. Also there was the endless cast party in Yeoungcheon and just so much epiphanic goodness.

We get Wednesday off this week for election day; that's really getting me through Mon/Tues at this point.

Must sleep....

Monday, May 22, 2006

Out with the old, in with the new

Things are a-changin' here in Suseong Heights-suh!

That is the way we say "heights" here in Korea. There are some sounds that can't be the end of a syllable in Korean, so to an English-speaking ear it sounds like adding an extra syllable. Another example: if you say "E-Mart" you'll never get there, but tell the taxi driver "E-Mart-uh" and you're all set!

Anyway, so here I am, still really exhausted and about to drop into a blissful sleep -- the first night in I don't know how long I will be able to sleep more than a few hours and I am SO EXCITED -- and I can't possibly post and catch up about the play and everything just yet. But I really did want to just check in and mention that I am under the three weeks mark now 'til I am leaving the country! What!

It's so amazing and weird.

One of my English co-workers departed this past weekend. His replacement is an American girl. She got here Friday and started teaching classes today. She is still in the cheerful, wow-this-is-new-and-strange-and-tiring-and-look-at-me-I'm-in-Korea phase. It is decidedly bizarre to watch that phase now, with sooooo much distance between me and it.

My overall conclusion right now is just that this has all been so amazing! What a lucky soul I am to have experienced the things I've experienced in my life! On the other hand, I am rather glad to be going to law school this fall, because, quite frankly, I can see exactly how this experience gets addictive. It's such a great life to fall into, this expat teaching life. I might actually not have succumbed, especially in Korea, if nothing else because of the vegetarian food thing, but I have certainly been tempted. As with many things in life, you get sucked in. I have friends here who've been here 3 years, 5 years,'s crazy. It's so eminently possible to just drop out of "regular" life. Although, who's to say what's regular?

Well, I shall undoubtedly philosophize and ramble more about these things in the coming days, but for now, those glorious eight hours of sleep await.

Sunday, May 21, 2006


No way! It's been even longer than I thought since I posted. I can't even begin to explain all that has happened in the last two weeks but they have been two of the most amazing and life-altering weeks of my life.

The happened! It totally happened!

We performed Speak Truth to Power: Voices From Beyond the Dark in Seoul at the Korea Democracy Foundation symposium where we hob-nobbed with important political figures, human rights activists, et. al. Our lives were forever altered there, and it was an amazing way to spend my 31st birthday and usher in another year of life.

I will totally post more about that when I can collect my thoughts enough--it was astounding.

This weekend we had the play in Daegu. I can't believe it. I am so amazed by my cast and how wonderful they are. I will post about this soon when I get a chance, but I just have to sleep now. After tonight's show, the final one, my beloved cast of voicelets gave me a beautiful gift, a copy of the Speak Truth to Power book with all the photos and interviews with the human rights defenders, which they had all signed. And then we just sat around having a mini-cast-party-type celebration in the arts space drinkin' and singin' and jammin' on the guitar and just generally reveling in the beautiful moments of which our lives are made.

The work has just begun.

Sunday, May 07, 2006


Today I got in a conversation about the Stephen King/Stewart O'Nan book about the Red Sox' historic 2004 season, the book that we sold, oh, only about a billion copies of that Christmas, and I drew a complete and total blank on the title. It was flat-out weird. I kept telling my friend "it's something with an a two syllable word...about fans..." Very strange. I could see the cover and everything. I could HEAR my boss' voice saying, "We just got two more boxes of ,mgoirshguoj in the back." But tonight I came home and went on-line to look it up and literally as I typed in a certain bookselling web site it came to me that it was Faithful.

Man, I would stack dozens and dozens of copies of that book and then turn around two minutes later and they'd be gone. It was out of control. For that Christmas season, it was even more out of control than The Da Vinci Code, which remained out of control and from what I hear is out of control all over again with the movie. I think the movie opens here next week. Whatever, Da Vinci code. Oh, and by the way people, it's still fiction.

So, here's something worthwhile! We are in the final week approaching our play, Speak Truth to Power: Voices From Beyond the Dark. It is Ariel Dorfman's weaving together of the words of dozens of human rights activists from around the world, taken from the text of their interviews in Kerry Kennedy's book Speak Truth to Power. I have been very interested in this play since hearing of it a couple years ago, and I am so excited to have the opportunity to direct and produce it here.

Furthermore, in a display of the ever fortuitous and synchronicitous universe, the book has just been translated into Korean, and the Speak Truth to Power foundation is coming to Korea this month for a symposium in Seoul and the launching of a three-city tour of the accompanying exhibit. I have been in contact with the U.S. people for a couple months, and they put me in touch with the Korea Democracy Foundation, and so forth. We were invited to perform at the symposium in Seoul, so that has been really exciting, and we have been working very hard throughout April rehearsing and preparing.

Now, it's May and the symposium in Seoul is this coming Friday, May 12!! We will stay the night in Seoul, too, and you know what that means: I'll be in Seoul to eat Mexican food on my birthday! Wahoo! After we go to Seoul this weekend, we will perform in Daegu the next weekend May 20-21. The Daegu performances will of course be at the arts space I've mentioned before, where we've had poetry slams, etc., with our little Daegu artists' community renaissance.

I'm super busy and will try to post more about this, but in the meantime check out the web site:

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

El Segundo

May 2nd is not quite as exciting as May 1st. On the bright side, I may have solved my projector stress. Well, actually, my friend/co-producer/techinical vision assistant types may have solved my projector stress. I have been totally wigging about the fact that our Plan A for procuring a Power Point projector totally fell through, and we had planned on using it in the play for the unveiling of the names/ photos of the human rights activists that appear as the actors are delivering their words. But that may be OK now. Which means I am free to concentrate on lights, publicity, and a million other details that all must be attended to in the NEXT TEN DAYS between now and when we perform in Seoul.

I am aware that I may not be making a great deal of sense to everyone reading this. It's actually all rather exciting, especially about when/how/why we're going to Seoul to perform and so on, but I will just have to blog about it later. Really. Forgive me. I am pledging to do better updating this month, and I shall, but I must now finish final preparations for our tech rehearsal tomorrow.

Oh, and then there's this funny little thing called working my teaching job in between all this. Hello!

This week is the lunar calendar-based Buddha's birthday celebration, and it culminates this Friday, which also happens to be Children's Day. It's a national holiday and we get Friday off work; that's all I care about. A few of my friends might go off on a little weekend jaunt. I will definitely go off on a weekend jaunt if I get all this play stuff sorted out. And now off I go to do that.

p.s. What's up with everyone but everyone celebrating Shakespeare's birthday this year? I personally noted it because I usually remember him in any given year, and I like fellow Taurus peeps, and writers, and this year we had a birthday cake at rehearsal that day because one of my cast members had a birthday the next day, and so on...but I keep hearing about a million commemorative this-and-thats all around the world this year, more than in any ordinary year, it seems. Is it just me? Well, the play's the thing and whatnot.

Monday, May 01, 2006


I love May.

I love that it's May. I love the bright spring-ness in the air and the spring in my step this morning as I walked to work, despite having got very little sleep last night. (Let's just say we had an evening rehearsal for my play in a bar -- and the night went on from there.) I love the end-of-the-school-year feeling, and I love that I get to have it even though it's not actually the end of the Korean school year (and the hagwon school year never ends, besides). I especially love that this is the first time in many a year I haven't been wigging out in anticipation of my birthday! I've totally hated birthday approach the past few years, facing every May the same "another year over and what have I done?" sort of thoughts.

I don't feel like that this year.

I feel excited! I've loved living abroad. I've loved having this experience. I'm so thoroughly excited about going to law school. I have learned so many things here. And since reaching my escape velocity from Borders last fall, I have really had such a feeling of being on my path through life instead of desperately searching for it!

A random movie line keeps echoing in my mind these days. Some of you will surely roll your eyes, ye who don't appreciate the brilliance that is Pretty Woman. I know there are many Julia Roberts haters in the house. Whatever, man. Don't be a hater. I love when he asks if she can tell him how to get to his Beverly Hills hotel. Sure, she replies, for ten bucks. He balks. The price just went up to twenty, she informs him. He tells her that's ridiculous and she can't charge him for directions.

"I can do whatever I want," she says. "I'm not lost."