Sunday, December 31, 2006

End-of-the-Year recap

Was there ever another year in which I came so far as I have since the dawn of 2006...holy, holy, holiest of cows! I rang in 2006 with movies and meditative wanderings, and I am ringing in 2007 with much the same, but oh how I filled the space between. Let's indulge in some highlights, shall we?

And so this is Christmas...
"If I were Tsar, I would never wage war."
Cat! Cat! Cat!

The Good: There I was, living and teaching English in Korea, making friends, making enough money to pay my bills and many a debt, and making progress with my students. How delightful!

The Bad: Some of the people around me were a bit crazy, not the least of whom were the directors of the English academy where I taught. They thought nothing of making four of us teach extra classes (without extra compensation) all through January while they worked "very hard" on hiring a replacement fifth teacher, except that s/he couldn't be black, or of too rough an English or Australian or South African accent, or be any number of things that might upset the fragile concept of "Westerner" in the minds of The Parents of our precious DingDingDang children.

The Ugly: What possesses a girl to bail out her boyfriend back home financially when what started as a little creeping doubt about him deep inside has been expanding and bubbling to her surface?

Epiphany: It's all right.

Let them eat steak

The Good: I realized I had completely and totally established a life in Korea. Who knew?

The Bad: I really wanted to break up with G___, the aforementioned ASS. Why didn't I?

The Ugly: Pre-school graduation, including the harvesting of The Enormous Turnip.

Epiphany: I saw the future and it was an all-night karaoke room.

Be wary indeed!
Sparkling & Quivering

The Good:A new schedule, which included an earlier preschool and a much longer midday break that allowed me enough time to go to movies, watch the Oscars, or hold rehearsal/otherwise work on my PLAY! That's right, Speak Truth to Power was a go; I held auditions and cobbled together a fabulous English teacher cast! And I didn't even find them all on barstools, just one or two of them...

The Bad: There wasn't much bad, other than random Korean frustrations and the major frustration back in the U.S., who was constantly dropping off the face of the earth, yet erratically reappearing and somehow convincing me he was still into our relationship. (Method of convincing? I believe we refer to that as "lying.")

The Ugly: Hey, maybe I won't just drink at the Commune on foreigners' open-mic night Wednesdays! Why not get a head start on Tuesdays? Thursdays are nice for drinking, too. Oh, the gang's all there this Friday? Not much else going on Saturday night...or Sunday...repeat ad infinitum.

Epiphany: I had stuff in common with Jesus and a guy from Afghanistan.

April fools and living daylights
The Man Who Will Not Give His Name

The Good: Not only was I chugging along directing a play, and not only had we hooked up with the Korea Democracy Foundation, who were preparing for a Speak Truth to Power exhibit to coincide with the release of the book in Korean, and not only had they invited me to bring my cast to Seoul to perform at the banquet launching said exhibit in May, but my decision to apply to a lower-ranked law school in the hopes of getting a bigger scholarship had paid off handsomely!

The Bad: One friend left for Canada, unhappy at the end of her time in Korea. An actress in my play returned to England for medical reasons and dropped out. I gave two months' notice to my job, now that I knew I was for sure going to law school. I began to realize once again in life that things end. Things like this crazy-but-amazing Korea expat teacher life end. Relationships do too, so why for the love of god was I not ending the long-distance one in which I was entangled? I'd once believed it was magic--but magic, too, apparently ends.

The Ugly: The yellow dust blew in from the Gobi desert and deposited infections throughout my head, including my little eyeball creature.

Epiphany: "The powerful play went on..." And I could contribute a verse!

Out with the old, in with the new
Twelve Drummers Drumming

The Good: The play. Seoul. The exhibit. The cast. The cast party. The activists. The world. My birthday weekend. Yeoungcheon. The whole glorious adventure of it all.

The Bad: I was overwhelmed.

The Ugly: Wait! I don't want to go back to the U.S.!

Epiphany: "I went to the doctor, I went to the mountains, I looked to the children, I drank from the fountains, there's more than one answer to these questions, pointing me in a crooked line..." --indigo girls

But it's some free times!

The Good: I left Korea.

The Bad: I left Korea.

The Ugly: At long last, I could see the demise of my so-called relationship up close.

Epiphany: Every choice was worth my while.

Wait for no man
Go on, use "finical" in a sentence

The Good: Summer days on the balcony. The Artist's Way. Why hello, old friends! Hello to some new friends, too. And goodbye earthly possessions!

The Bad: Fidel Castro was sickly, and unlike the conservative factions in Miami, I was not ready for him to die.

The Ugly: It was high time to end my joke of a relationship, because it had clearly already ended, and now he was just depleting my money, patience, and self-respect. We basically stopped talking. Not a moment too soon.

Epiphany: I saw the future and it was the great creative force of the universe.

Peyton Place
Imagine no possessions!

The Good: I moved to New York to go to law school...

The Bad: ...but I had a lot to do to get ready first...

The Ugly: ...and I just wanted to get my Cuba journals back from that entirely useless ex and have another beer.

Epiphany: I'm not sure I had one. I was too busy. But it was good to be done with the evil ex and start seeing other people again; that was better than an epiphany.

I need to post more often, eh?

The Good: I really liked this law school thing. And it was totally doable. And I got to hang out with D.C. friends on the weekends!

The Bad: So why was everyone so palpably stressed all the time? It was like they had read somewhere that law school would stress them out, so they got stressed out. It was annoying. Where were the interesting people?

The Ugly: Just when I had rid myself forever of that awful relationship, his parting gift was a slideshow popping up in my e-mail of him and his "new" girlfriend and their adventures and relationship, all of which began months before he and I ended. And about which he had lied and lied and lied to me. The dastardly swine. Good riddance.

Epiphany: Manhattan is oh-so-accessible from Long Island. The Long Island Railroad(LIRR) became my new best friend. Because Manhattan--that's where all the interesting people were hiding!

Thou shalt have justice more than thou desir'st
Lust for Life

The Good: To everything there is a season...and with the onset of fall came quiet moments, healing, and even a way to make money!

The Bad: All of which distracted me from law school work sometimes. I had unfortunately discovered that law school assignments, like any assignments in life, can be procrastinated.

The Ugly: And the intervening hours can be filled by pouring alcohol into them.

The Epiphany: I read Irving Stone's Lust for Life, and I discovered that Vincent Van Gogh was alternatively amazing and a lot like me. The book and the experience of reading it blew my mind. "Just one canvas..."

To litigate, to mediate, to procrastinate...we all rotate...
A time for peace, I swear it's not too late!

The Good: Learning. Thanksgiving. Good friends. Insight. More healing. Productivity.

The Bad: So, so busy. And the pounding of the distant drums of finals could begin to be heard.

The Ugly: Had I really replaced one interpersonal demon of melodrama with another? Really? Then he, too, must go.

Epiphany: It was time for a revolution. A personal coup. A coup de moi. And so I staged it.

Ten finals lords a-leapin'
Seven Golden Globe nominations a-swimming (Or, Finals? What finals?)
Just One Mockingbird Canvas

The Good: I love Christmas! And vacation! And rejuvenation! And movies and hiking and enchiladas...

The Bad: Finals.

The Ugly: Insomnia. The night before each and every final. So uncool.

Epiphany: Turns out I learned something this semester! Many somethings, in fact.

Yes, indeed. If ever there were a year in which I learned and saw and experienced so very much as I did in This year may even have trumped 1997. And I definitely need these three weeks in Arizona to rest and recuperate after the exhausting journey. I am filling my days with delightful things and gearing up for a rip-roaring 2007 that is all kinds of happy, peaceful, and creative. And whatever happens, remember, you'll hear it here first. Or, if not first, at least once I get around to posting.

Happy New Year!

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