Freaking Achilles. That man and his use of alliteration cracks me up. :-)
I'm scheming again. :-) I can totally see Ant giving me that look after he reads this. But, no matter!!! Plans for Jes and Ant's Big Ol' Journey of Fun, Adventure, and Excitement are already underway!

There ain't no stopping a plan in motion! Woo Hoo!!!

My daydreaming time is being spent shopping for a standup paddle board. When it comes time for me to actually buy one (Jeez, I can't wait to get back to America) I'll probably end up with a decent used one, as these are all in the 2 grand range and I don't have that kind of loot to drop on one right now. I think the middle one is my fave, as natural materials always appeal to me more than synthetic, but it's ridiculously heavy and twice as long as Einstein. The bottom one is the first one I've seen that looks like a big fish (a whale?), so I thought it was cute.
It'd probably be fun to paddle on the Han. Doubt I can find a decent board that big anywhere in Korea, though. And there is that rumor of the Han River Monster...I definitely don't want to be swallowed up by any kind of river monster.

Got tricked into eating vegetables tonight when I came to the sad realization that those dishes really weren’t going to wash themselves. So, it was scrub down some pots and pans and cook up some flesh (Mmmm…flesh) or find something else. In the end, laziness won out and I threw together a salad with some veggies and hard boiled eggs that were taking up space in the fridge.

I told myself I would feel good about using the veggies, instead of allowing them to take their normal route, which is something along the lines of this: Carried home from grocery store --> put away in fridge with all sorts of yummy plans for them --> time passes --> “JES!!! What the F is this nasty shit in our fridge???!!!??? Wait…maybe this soft, bendy green thing is OK to eat – is it some kind of weird Korean vegetable?” “Uh…that was a carrot when I bought it.”

Anyway, you get the picture, it’s something pretty close to that – except Ant doesn’t curse that much. But whenever I do my Ant impersonation (which he looooves), I throw a bunch of swear words in.

Jeez. I’m rambling. So…thought I’d at least feel good about not wasting so much food (I really do hate wasting food) but it turns out I feel just like someone who had to force down a salad when they really wanted a burger.

Waking up early to run, 40 minutes of Bikram after school instead of my usual nap, and a salad for dinner?!? Dear Flying Spaghetti Monster, what the heck has happened to me?!?

Anyway, after a phone call to SF that probably cost me an entire man won, I got a text from my coteacher (coteacher is a totally legitimate word here in Korea) about having some beers. Being good – and broke – I declined, but then I got this gem of a text, “BOB THE HOMEROOM TEACHER IS HERE!!!!” Well, why didn’t you freaking say so?!?

Bob. Bob the homeroom teacher. The funniest man on the face of the planet. I’m not even kidding when I say he’s so cool that having a few beers with him was actually an item on my bucketlist. He even talked me into drinking soju by promising on his wife that I was better looking than any Russian prostitute in Korea. Nice, Bob. If I ever have a 3rd grader, she/he is completely in your hands!!

So, I’m home…a little tipsy but not full on drunk, and I’m off to bed.

But first, a message for my awesome buddy Achilles, who spent an entire evening with me last weekend speaking really, really bad Spanglish. Actually, I don’t even know if it could be considered Spanglish, since we mostly just added an ‘O’ to every single word. Kind of like this:

Me: No mas cerveza or shot-o, because-o mi es drunk-o. Ant-o will be mad-o.

Achilles: Ant-o es in the bathroom-o

Me: Bring-o it on-o!!!

So Achilles-o, here-o you go-o: Gracias por introducing-o mi to Florence-o and the Machine-o. I love-o them mucho mucho. And-o I also love-o you!!

Goodnight, everyone. I think morning is going to come way too quickly for me!
I normally wake up around 5 and try to haul my ass out of bed before 5:30, so when I say I got up retardedly early for my run today, it ain't no joke.

Map My Run says I logged a good 6.8 miles. I just know I ran until I didn't feel so fucking nuts anymore, then went home. Apparently, I've been hauling around 6.8 miles worth of crap bouncing around in my brain, mostly centering on not wanting to be where I am vs. trying to suck it up and just *be* where I am.

It was a gorgeous morning, and running so early meant there was actually some breathing room in the normally crowded streets of Seoul. I took advantage of the extra room and let not one, not two, but...SEVEN (!!!) snot rockets fly!


Ant's in SF for a bit visiting friends, family, and the Pacific. And the grocery store, with a long list of yummy food items to bring back for me (hello, Wasabi Wow trail mix and cinnamon frosted pop tarts!!!). His absence isn't so bad during the day, but nobody saying goodnight to me before I drift off makes me a little sad.

But, drift off is what I'm about to do. Most of you are just getting your Sunday started, and mine's over. I'll never get used to it.
I just managed to cut my right hand, and then simultaneously burn my left hand, mouth, and chin, all while making dinner!!

Who's totally smooth?

Oh yeah. That'd be me.

Ant took me to Everland, which is Korea's rip-off of Disney World, for my birthday. Only it was a week after my birthday, cause I actually felt like crap on the day of my birth. Anywho. We had a great time. I like amusement parks - I like the rides and the food and the energy and Everland is a great one! A two-headed turtle, a big, scary roller coaster, and brand spankin' new running sneakers. It's gonna be hard to top this one! Thanks, Ant!
So I just got finished with a project writing a few articles (occasionally people actually pay me to write shit for them, but it's usually topics I don't care too much about) on...wait for it...herpes. More specifically, on different treatments for herpes simplex virus type 1, which is the one that causes cold sores, not the "other" sores.

While researching, I read a bunch of crap that was designed to be a Q&A session, where people post questions about possible exposure or outbreaks, and the doctor answers them. I bet there's no way in hell they were answered by a real doctor, but that's not the point...

About 75% of the questions (which were primarily written by women, but again I think they're made up) started with statements like, "I had brief oral sex with a man for about a minute..." and "The oral sex was unprotected and lasted about 2 minutes total..." ONE MINUTE??? TWO MINUTES, TOTAL??? What the heck, people? Why bother? Who has oral sex for only one minute?!? [ed. note: except me, mom and dad. i'm not married so i don't do such nasty, filthy things, not even for only 1 minute. in fact, i had to look up what the term 'oral sex' meant.].

Jeez. No wonder I see so many unhappy people walking down the street. ;-)

Only one of those pictures is an actual giraffe, but I'm not telling which one.
And now...STRICTLY FOR YOUR VIEWING PLEASURE...Ladies and Germs, I present to you (drumroll, please)...


Ant thought they must argue all the time over every little decision that had to be made, but I just figured they solved any disputes in the typical Korean fashion: rock, scissors, paper.

This little dude lives at the COEX aquarium, which we went to as part of my birthday celebration. Ant went terribly far out of his way to make my birthday special, and I think he's totally awesome for it. Not only did we visit the two-headed turtle, but we got to hang upside down on some cool rides at Everland, too. Pics of that may or may not be coming, depending on my motivation level.
The trip to the aquarium was the second one we went to together, the first being Monterrey. I think I liked that one better, but only because Betty White approves of it, and they let you get your picture taken hatching out of an egg.

“Nature does not hurry,
Yet everything
Is accomplished.”
-Lao Tzu

I have always loved this quote, and lately more than ever before I find that it really applies to my running. Certainly, nobody who has seen me on any of my recent runs around town would think I was in a hurry to get anywhere. I am slow. Very steady, but slow. I know there are points during every single run I have where I could push myself harder, make my legs churn faster, my arms pump quicker, make it up that hill before the dude with the walker, but I don’t. I guess at this time of my life I prefer a steady, balanced pace as opposed to constant stops and starts, even if it does mean that it will no doubt take me longer to get to where I need to be.
I’m OK with that. I’m OK with being slow because I have realized that at the end of each and every run I go on, what needed to be accomplished has been accomplished. Even things I didn’t set out to do, or didn’t even know had to be done. At the end of every run, I find that the stresses I was not able to withdraw from have instead withdrawn from me. I find that I am physically stronger, and my senses are sharper. I am able to really listen, instead of just hear. Instead of wanting to close my eyes and make it all go away, I see nothing but beauty in this concrete jungle that at times seems more like an imprisonment than a living situation I chose to put myself in. And my voice is, without doubt, louder, clearer (though still lispy), and – foul language and all – totally my own. The other voice that takes all too much joy in reminding me of my insecurities, faults, illness, and past mistakes is silent, finally recognizing that there is a force within me that it just cannot stand up to.

I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I sometimes wish I were naturally faster – so much so that more than once I have worked out elaborate training plans designed to increase my speed, and I could probably quote from memory every workout described in almost every “RUN YOUR FASTEST 5K/10K/HALF/FULL MARATHON EVER!!” article. But then I hear someone mention the date and comment on how it will soon be getting cold, and I realize that I know this not because of the date on the calendar, but because of the two golden leaves that appeared overnight on the tree I run by every day. I know exactly how much progress they are making on the bike path they’re installing near our apartment - not because I saw the newspaper article or cruised by in a taxi, but because I run past there so often that the workers have actually waited for me during rainy weather to tell me that even though it wasn’t open yet, I could run on the finished part of the track in order to avoid the muddy conditions of the area surrounding it. I know, during those rare moments when the sky is visible through all the pollution, exactly where to look to see the first star of the evening, because at my speed you certainly don’t make it home before dark. If I were too focused on shaving seconds off my time, speeding ahead as fast as I could go, running would still have offered me these gifts, but I would not have noticed them.

Running in the slow lane will never get me Nike sponsorships and trophies or the ability to run alongside Kara Goucher and tell her personally how fucking cool I think she is (even if I did meet her, I could never keep up), but it has given me the gift of getting to know - and really like - myself again, and of learning to accept progress one slow step at a time.
I am never, ever, ever going to stop laughing about the fight Alex and Jordan just got into in the cafeteria.



Patrick Swayze AND Mary Travers?!? Sheesh. The stars of my childhood are dropping like flies!

I must be getting old.

Oh, that's right...I am. Just turned 33 on Monday. Thanks to all for the b-day wishes. Best part of my b-day was, no doubt, going to visit the two-headed turtle.

It's a good life, and I'm thankful to be where I am and grateful for all the awesome people and things I have.