Homecoming

I got back into Michigan last night, stiff and exhausted from the three and half hour bus ride to Incheon Airport and the thirteen hours stuck on an airplane, ready to stretch out on my own bed with my dog at my side. For thirteen long hours I slept. Nothing could wake me, not even a tornado.

That night the wind was picking up some, thunder rumbled low in the distance and as I was laying in bed reading before sleep the power went out, I took that as good ol’ Michigan telling me to go to bed. By morning the power was still out.

In the kitchen there’s a note taped to the fridge. “DO NOT OPEN, DO NOT OPEN.” My grandfather has a habit of saying everything twice. But still, this isn’t unusual for Michigan. We get thunderstorms that light up transformers and even bring down a tree or two on a fairly regular basis. A day long power outage isn’t out of the question in the heat of July, bringing the sound of a cleanup crew with it.

But these cleanup crews had a lot more to deal with. Outside it was apparent that this wasn’t a normal Michigan thunderstorm. The neighborhood looks like a giant trampled garden, trees plucked up and dropped like common weeds.

cleanupcrews

It’s hard to explain what it’s like seeing this little neighborhood my grandparents have lived in for more than 40 years being swiftly and violently re-landscaped. But thankfully everyone I talked to was alright, despite the fact that no siren went off – for a tornado that touched down for 10 minutes.

storm2

blogpost3

USER1100

blogpost

I still don’t have power, and I don’t have any more time to spend outside of my house to finish this post right now. More when electricity is returned.

 

Paradiso

In Korea farming takes place spontaneously, and ubiquitously. Everywhere you look food is being grown.

wpid-20140615_041810.jpg

Next to sidewalks, roadways, playgrounds, restaurants and banks. Rice steppes span out in all directions and most of the wild vegatation is left unchecked, growing verdant and lush. Not to delve into politics, but it’s a refreshing change from the largely unused land Stateside, where it seems to be getting harder and harder to have a backyard herb and vegetable garden. (Depending on where you live, of course.)

eunpalake2

We took a trip to Paradiso, one of the only Italian (read ‘Americanized’) restaurants to be found in Gunsan. It’s nestled on Eunpa lake in a little corner of the city that serves as a respite for the American tourist looking for food that hits a little closer to home.

paradiso3

paradiso2

Eunpa Lake is surrounded by a path that was bustling with walkers, joggers and bikers as the cool evening started to settle in. We arrived with dusk and while we enjoyed our meal Eunpa Bridge flashed and changed colors over the still waters of the lake – making it easily one of the best meals I’ve ever enjoyed with my husband.

USER0202

4 Levels of Retail Therapy

Yesterday my husband and I made a stop down to Lotte Mart – which is basically Gunsan’s version of a giant Walmart with wayyy better stuff in it – true to the Korean way of taking another idea and improving it exponentially. It’s 4 stories high, packed with bakeries, salons, toy stores, coffee shops, kiosks and of course a standard grocers on the first floor.

I purchased myself a camera just for this trip – so please bear with me while I try to re-learn the ins and outs after years of just having the camera stuck on the back on my cellphone. (And if you’re a photographer with tips or tricks that would help me, pleasepleaseplease feel free to leave them in the comments!)

Teeny shoes

lottefood

lottemartproduce

gunsanpreschool

Lost in South Korea

On Wednesday morning I boarded a plane and 13 hours, and a few awkward conversations with my seatmate later I landed in Seoul, ending a 13 month military separation between my husband and myself. I’ll be here for the next month exploring, attempting to like kimchi and enjoying a once in a lifetime cultural experience that I’ll be sure to bore my grandchildren to death with.

A trip to Gongguksa Temple in Gunsan, South Korea was first up on our travel itinerary, the temple is a small relic of the Japanese Colonial period of Korea’s history so it’s not technically a Korean temple, but we’ll get around to those later.

That would be my husband standing awkwardly off to the side.

That would be my husband standing awkwardly off to the side

I found myself a little preoccupied with the temple's dog

I found myself a little preoccupied with the temple’s dog

Stiff Upper Lip

This is going to be a quick post. Most of my writing energy has been poured into short stories recently, so I haven’t been up to spinning a good blog. But piercings and tattoos are things that slip from your mind very quickly and part of the reason I started this blog was to freeze frame some small snippets of my life.

I’ve wanted a Medusa piercing since having my septum done, I like how they look together and I just generally think the two are pretty piercings. I’ve seriously wrestled with the idea of this piercing – mostly because I was terrified of my family’s reaction. My grandparents had a large hand in my upbringing and their opinion means more to me than I like to admit. But I am tired of hiding my personality from them – because really, isn’t that unfair to both of us? That’s all I’m going to say about that in the context of this post.

Continue reading

And Another Thing

It’s been a slow day over here, but I am happy to announce I’m back in the mode of outward creation. I also have some burning questions about the Star Wars franchise.

Why can’t R2 units speak? 3P0 talks. All those droids walk around making corny jokes. In fact, most of those robots speak thousands of languages. But the only way R2 can communicate is through a series of boops and beeps? Is there a sinister background to the R2 units inability to speak?

…and another thing

When Luke loses his hand he’s hooked up with a new one that is exactly like a human hand. But Darth Vader still has to go on as a stumpy, charred remnant of a man in a suit? I understand the significance behind the Darth Vader visage, the foreboding breathing – all of that. But it must be part of the reason Anakin stayed Dark Side, having to wear an iron lung for the rest of your existence is more than enough reason to hate everything. I mean, there’s no way he’s getting laid, right?

That’s all I got for today folks, thanks for reading.