Thursday, December 29, 2011

501 Must-Read Books

List taken from Emma Beare's 501 Must-Read Books. Because I have too much time on my hands.

Chapter 1: Children's Fiction
Chapter 2: Classic Fiction
Chapter 3: History
Chapter 4: Memoirs
Chapter 5: Modern Fiction
Chapter 6: Science Fiction
Chapter 7: Thrillers
Chapter 8: Travel Writing

Children's Fiction

Little Women, Louisa May Alcott
The Complete Hans Christian Andersen Fairy Tales, Hans Christian Andersen
Peter Pan, J.M. Barrie
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, L. Frank Baum
The Last Unicorn, Peter S. Beagle
The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll
Pinocchio, Carlo Collodi (Lorenzini)
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl
Sophie's World, Jostein Gaarder

The Weirdstone of Brisingamen, Alan Garner
The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame
Children's and Household Tales, Jacob & Wilhelm Grimm
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Mark Haddon
Emil and the Detectives, Erich Kastner
Just So Stories, Rudyard Kipling
The Complete Nonsense Books, Edward Lear
A Wrinkle in Time, Madeleine L'Engle
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, C.S. Lewis
Pippi Longstocking, Astrid Lindgren

Dr. Dolittle, Hugh Lofting
At the Back of the North Wind, George MacDonald
Nobody's Boy, Hector Malot
Winnie-the-Pooh, A.A. Milne
Anne of Green Gables, L.M. Montgomery

Five Children and It, E. Nesbit
Tom's Midnight Garden, Philippa Pearce
The War of the Buttons, Louis Pergaud
Fairy Tales, Charles Perrault
The Tale of Peter Rabbit, Beatrix Potter
The Colour of Magic, Terry Pratchett
Northern Lights (The Golden Compass), Philip Pullman

Swallows and Amazons, Arthur Ransome
Jacob Two-Two Meets the Hooded Fang, Mordecai Richler
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, J.K. Rowling

The King of the Golden River, John Ruskin
The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupery
The Human Comedy, William Saroyan
The Misfortunes of Sophie, Comtesse de Ségur
Where the Wild Things Are, Maurice Sendak
And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, Dr. Seuss

Black Beauty, Anna Sewell
The Golem, Isaac Bashevis Singer
Heidi, Johanna Spyri
Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson
The Fellowship of the Ring, J.R.R. Tolkien (the first one)
Mary Poppins, P.L. Travers
Charlotte's Web, E.B. White
The Sword in the Stone, T.H. White

Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, Kate Douglas Wiggin
The Happy Prince and Other Tales, Oscar Wilde

Classic Fiction

The Epic of Gilgamesh, Anonymous
The Thousand and One Nights, Anonymous
Sense and Sensibility, Jane Austen
Old Goriot, Honoré de Balzac
Vathek, William Beckford
Lady Audley's Secret, Mary Elizabeth Braddon
Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë
Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë

The Pilgrim's Progress, John Bunyan
The Canterbury Tales, Geoffrey Chaucer
The Collected Stories, Anton Chekhov
The Man Who Was Thursday, G.K. Chesterton
Fanny Hill, or Memoirs of a Coxcomb, John Cleland
The Moonstone, Wilkie Collins
The Hound of the Baskervilles, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad
Robinson Crusoe, Daniel Defoe
The Christmas Books, Charles Dickens (A Christmas Carol)
Our Mutual Friend, Charles Dickens
Crime and Punishment, Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Middlemarch, George Eliot
Tom Jones, Henry Fielding
The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald
Madame Bovary, Gustave Flaubert
Howard's End, E.M. Forster
North and South, Elizabeth Gaskell
The Sorrows of Young Werther, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
The Vicar of Wakefield, Oliver Goldsmith
The Power and the Glory, Graham Greene
King Solomon's Mines, H. Rider Haggard
Jude the Obscure, Thomas Hardy
The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne
Moby Dick, Herman Melville
The Portrait of a Lady, Henry James
The Iliad, Homer
Les Misérables, Victor Hugo
Three Men in a Boat, Jerome K. Jerome
Kim, Rudyard Kipling
Bliss and Other Stories, Katherine Mansfield
Utopia, Sir Thomas More
Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque, Edgar Allan Poe
In Search of Lost Time, Marcel Proust
A Sicilian Romance, Anne Radcliffe
Clarissa, or the History of a Young Lady, Samuel Richardson
Waverley, Sir Walter Scott
Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus, Mary Shelley
The Red and the Black, Stendahl
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Robert Louis Stevenson
Dracula, Bram Stoker
Gulliver's Travels, Jonathan Swift
Vanity Fair, William Makepeace Thackeray
War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy (started - twice!)
Barchester Towers, Anthony Trollope
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain
Candide, or Optimism, Voltaire
The Castle of Otranto, Horace Walpole
The House of Mirth, Edith Wharton
The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde
To the Lighthouse, Virginia Woolf
La Bête humaine, Émile Zola


London: The Biography, Peter Ackroyd
Che Guevara: A Revolutionary Life, John Lee Anderson
The Hour of Our Death, Philippe Ariès
The Fall of Berlin, 1945, Anthony Beevor
The Mediterranean and the Mediterranean World in the Age of Philip II, Fernand Braudel
The Pleasures of the Imagination: English Culture in the Eighteenth Century, John Brewer
Frozen Desire: An Enquiry Into the Meaning of Money, James Buchan
Hitler and Stalin: Parallel Lives, Alan Bullock
The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy, Jacob Burckhardt
Daily Life in Ancient Rome, Jerome Carcopino
The Accursed Kings, Maurice Druon
The Age of Cathedrals, Georges Duby
The Stripping of the Altars, Eamon Duffy
The Rites of Spring: The Great War and the Birth of the Modern Age, Modris Eksteins
The Wretched of the Earth, Frantz Fanon
Colossus: The Rise and Fall of the American Empire, Niall Ferguson
Millennium, Felipe Fernández-Armesto
Pagans and Christians, Robin Lane Fox
The End of History and the Last Man, Francis Fukuyama
The Naked Heart, Peter Gay
The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Edward Gibbon
The Holocaust: The Jewish Tragedy, Martin Gilbert
The Cheese and the Worms, Carlo Ginzburg
God's First Love, Friedrich Heer
The Histories, Herodotus
Hiroshima, John Hersey
The Fatal Shore: The Epic of Australia's Founding, Robert Hughes
Pandaemonium, Humphrey Jennings
A History of Warfare, John Keegan
A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies, Bartolomé de Las Casas
Seven Pillars of Wisdom, T.E. Lawrence
Islam in History, Bernard Lewis
Chinese Shadows, Simon Leys
The Crusades Through Arab Eyes, Amin Maalouf
The Defeat of the Spanish Armada, Garrett Mattingly
The Story of English, Robert McCrum
The Ornament of the World: How Muslims, Jews, and Christians Created a Culture of Tolerance in Medieval Spain, Maria Rosa Menocal
The Women's History of the World, Rosalind Miles
Pax Britannica: The Climax of an Empire, Jan & James Morris
Medieval Cities: Their Origins and the Revival of Trade, Henri Pirenne
Parallel Lives, Plutarch
Flesh in the Age of Reason: The Modern Foundations of Body and Soul, Roy Porter
Citizens: A Chronicle of the French Revolution, Simon Schama
Leviathan and the Air-Pump, Steven Shapin & Simon Schaffer
The Decline of the West, Oswald Spengler
The Trial of Socrates, Isador Stone
The Annals of Imperial Rome, Tacitus
The Origins of the Second World War, A.J.P. Taylor
A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century, Barbara W. Tuchman
A People's History of the United States, 1492 to Present, Howard Zinn


Paula, Isabel Allende
Journal Intime, Henri Frédéric Amiel
Brief Lives, John Aubrey
Confessions, St. Augustine of Hippo
Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter, Simone de Beauvoir
My Left Foot, Christy Brown
The Autobiography of Benvenuto Cellini, Benvenuto Cellini
The Unquiet Grave: A Word Cycle by Palinurus, Cyril Connolly
Boy: Tales of Childhood, Roald Dahl
My Family and Other Animals, Gerald Durrell
An Angel at My Table, Janet Frame
The Diary of a Young Girl, Anne Frank
The Journals of Andre Gide, 1889-1949, Andre Gide
Poetry and Truth: From My Own Life, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Father and Son: A Study of Two Temperaments, Edmund Gosse
Ways of Escape, Graham Greene
Black Like Me, John Howard Griffin
84, Charing Cross Road, Helene Hanff
Pentimento, Lillian Hellman
Childhood, Youth and Exile, Alexander Herzen
The Diary of Alice James, Alice James
Memories, Dreams, Reflections, Carl Gustav Jung
The Diaries of Franz Kafka, Franz Kafka
The Story of My Life, Helen Keller
The Book of Margery Kempe, Margery Kempe
I Will Bear Witness, 1933-1941: A Diary of the Nazi Years, Victor Klemperer
In the Castle of My Skin, George Lamming
A Grief Observed, C.S. Lewis
The Towers of Trebizond, Rose Macaulay
Journal, Katherine Mansfield
The Seven Storey Mountain, Thomas Merton
The Pursuit of Love, Nancy Mitford
Borrowed Time: An AIDS Memoir, Paul Monette
My Place, Sally Morgan
Speak, Memory: An Autobiography Revisited, Vladimir Nabokov
Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books, Azar Nafisi
Memoirs, Pablo Neruda
Portrait of a Marriage: Vita Sackville-West and Harold Nicolson, Nigel Nicolson
Running in the Family, Michael Ondaatje
Down and Out in Paris and London, George Orwell
Autobiography of a Yogi, Paramahansa Yogananda
The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Samuel Pepys
Letters, Pliny the Younger
Confessions, Jean-Jacques Rousseau
The Words, Jean-Paul Sartre
Journal of a Solitude, May Sarton
Walden, or Life in the Woods, Henry David Thoreau
De Profundis, Oscar Wilde
Oranges are Not the Only Fruit, Jeannette Winterson
Autobiographies, W.B. Yeats

Modern Fiction

Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe
Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands, Jorge Amado
Le Grand Meaulnes, Alain-Fournier
Take a Girl Like You, Kingsley Amis
Winesburg, Ohio, Sherwood Anderson
Surfacing, Margaret Atwood
The New York Trilogy, Paul Auster
Tales of Odessa, Isaak Babel
Giovanni's Room, James Baldwin
The Sweet Hereafter, Russell Banks
The Regeneration Trilogy, Pat Barker
Herzog, Saul Bellow
Ficciones, Jorge Luis Borges
Nadja, André Breton
The Master and Margarita, Mikhail Bulgakov
Naked Lunch, William Burroughs
Possession, A.S. Byatt
If on a Winter's Night a Traveller, Italo Calvino
The Stranger, Albert Camus
Auto-da-Fé, Elias Canetti
Oscar and Lucinda, Peter Carey
The Kingdom of This World, Alejo Carpentier
The Bloody Chamber, Angela Carter
What We Talk about When We Talk about Love, Raymond Carver
The Horse's Mouth, Joyce Cary
Journey to the End of Night, Louis-Ferdinand Céline
Soldiers of Salamis, Javier Cercas
The Stories of John Cheever, John Cheever
Disgrace, J.M. Coetzee
Chéri, Colette
Victory, Joseph Conrad
A House and Its Head, Ivy Compton-Burnett
Fifth Business, Robertson Davies
Captain Corelli's Mandolin, Louis de Bernières
Underworld, Don DeLillo
Seven Gothic Tales, Isak Dinesen (Karen Blixen)
Berlin Alexanderplatz, Alfred Döblin
Once Were Warriors, Alan Duff
Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier
The Lover, Marguerite Duras
The Alexandria Quartet, Lawrence Durrell
The Name of the Rose, Umberto Eco
The Neverending Story, Michael Ende
The Sound and the Fury, William Faulkner
The Wars, Timothy Findley
The Good Soldier, Ford Maddox Ford
Independence Day, Richard Ford
A Passage to India, E.M. Forster
The Corrections, Jonathan Franzen
Birdsong, Sebastian Faulks
The Blue Flower, Penelope Fitzgerald
From the Fifteen District, Mavis Gallant
One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel García Márquez
Our Lady of the Flowers, Jean Genet
Lord of the Flies, William Golding
July's People, Nadine Gordimer
FerdyDurke, Witold Gombrowicz
The Tin Drum, Günter Grass
Hunger, Knut Hamsun
The Blind Owl, Sadegh Hedayat
The Old Man and the Sea, Ernest Hemingway
The Glass Bead Game, Hermann Hesse
Lost Horizon, James Hilton
A High Wind in Jamaica, Richard Hughes
The World According to Garp, John Irving
The Berlin Stories, Christopher Isherwood
The Remains of the Day, Kazuo Ishiguro
Ulysses, James Joyce
The File on H, Ismail Kadare
The Trial, Franz Kafka
It, Stephen King
The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Milan Kundera
The Leopard, Giuseppe di Lampedusa
The Diviners, Margaret Laurence
Women in Love, D.H. Lawrence
The Golden Notebook, Doris Lessing
The Periodic Table, Primo Levi
Changing Places, David Lodge
Memórias Póstumas de Brás Cubas, Machado de Assis
The Cairo Trilogy: Palace Walk; Palace of Desire; Sugar Street, Naguib Mahfouz
The Executioner's Song, Norman Mailer
God's Grace, Bernard Malamud
An Imaginary Life, David Malouf
The Magic Mountain, Thomas Mann
Embers, Sándor Márai
Life of Pi, Yann Martel
Cakes and Ale, W. Somerset Maugham
The Group, Mary McCarthy
The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, Carson McCullers
Enduring Love, Ian McEwan
The Sea of Fertility, Yukio Mishima
A Fine Balance, Rohinton Mistry
Cold Heaven, Brian Moore
Beloved, Toni Morrison
The Progress of Love, Alice Munro
The Sea, the Sea, Iris Murdoch
Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov
A House for Mr. Biswas, V.S. Naipaul
The Third Policeman, Flann O'Brian
A Good Man is Hard to Find, Flannery O'Connor
The English Patient, Michael Ondaatje
Where the Jackals Howl, Amos Oz
The Messiah of Stockholm, Cynthia Ozick
Gormenghast, Mervyn Peake
Mr. Weston's Good Wine, T.F. Powys
The Nephew, James Purdy
Interview with the Vampire, Anne Rice
Barney's Version, Mordecai Richler
Hadrian the Seventh, Frederick Rolfe
The Radetzky March, Joseph Roth
The Human Stain, Philip Roth
The Satanic Verses, Salman Rushdie
Pedro Páramo, Juan Rulfo
Bonjour Tristesse, Françoise Sagan
The Complete Short Stories, Saki
Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger
Staying On, Paul Scott
Austerlitz, W.G. Sebald
Last Exit to Brooklyn, Hubert Selby, Jr.
Unless, Carol Shields
The Magician of Lublin, Isaac Bashevis Singer
The Engineer of Human Souls, Josef Škvorecký
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Muriel Spark
The Man Who Loved Children, Christina Stead
The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck
Sophie's Choice, William Styron
Perfume, Patrick Süskind
The Confession of Zeno, Italo Svevo
Pereira Declares, Antonio Tabucchi
The White Hotel, D.M. Thomas
The Master, Colm Tóibín
Felicia's Journey, William Trevor
The Palm-Wine Drinkard, Amos Tutuola
The Accidental Tourist, Anne Tyler
Couples, John Updike
The Time of the Hero, Mario Vargas Llosa
In Praise of Older Women: The Amorous Recollections of A. V., Stephen Vizinczey
Brideshead Revisited, Evelyn Waugh
Voss, Patrick White
Memoirs of Hadrian, Marguerite Yourcenar

Science Fiction

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
Hothouse, Brian Aldiss
Brain Wave, Poul Anderson
I, Robot, Isaac Asimov
The Handmaid's Tale, Margaret Atwood
The Crystal World, J.G. Ballard
The Demolished Man, Alfred Bester
Who Goes There, John W. Campbell
The Invention of Morel, Adolfo Bioy Casares
Planet of the Apes, Pierre Boulle
The Martian Chronicles, Ray Bradbury
The Sheep Look Up, John Brunner
A Clockwork Orange, Anthony Burgess
Erewhon, Samuel Butler
Cosmicomics, Italo Calvino
2001: A Space Odyssey, Arthur C. Clarke
A Strange Manuscript Found in a Copper Cylinder, James De Mille
The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch, Philip K. Dick
To Your Scattered Bodies Go, Philip José Farmer
Neuromancer, William Gibson
Stranger in a Strange Land, Robert A. Heilein
Dune, Frank Herbert
Brave New World, Aldous Huxley
Two Planets, Kurd Lasswitz
The Left Hand of Darkness, Ursula K. Le Guin
Solaris, Stanislaw Lem
Shikasta, Doris Lessing
The Stepford Wives, Ira Levin
Out of the Silent Planet, C.S. Lewis
I Am Legend, Richard Matheson
Dwellers in the Mirage, Abraham Merritt
A Canticle for Leibowitz, Walter Miller, Jr.
Ringworld, Larry Niven
Time Traders, Andre Norton
Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell
The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket, Edgar Allan Poe
The Inverted World, Christopher Priest
City, Clifford D. Simak
Donovan's Brain, Curt Siodmak
Lest Darkness Fall, L. Sprague de Camp
Last and First Men, Olaf Stapledon
More than Human, Theodore Sturgeon
Slan, A.E. van Vogt
Journey to the Centre of the Earth, Jules Verne
Slaughterhouse-Five, or The Children's Crusade, Kurt Vonnegut
The Island of Dr. Moreau, H.G. Wells
Islandia, Austin Tappan Wright
The Day of the Triffids, John Wyndham


More Work for the Undertaker, Margery Allingham
Devil Take the Blue-Tail Fly, John Franklin Bardin
Trent's Last Case, E.C. Bentley
Trial and Error, Anthony Berkeley
The Poisoned Chocolates Case, Anthony Berkeley
The Beast Must Die, Nicholas Blake
Psycho, Robert Bloch
Double Indemnity, James M. Cain
Thus Was Adonis Murdered, Sarah Caudwell
Farewell, My Lovely, Raymond Chandler
No Orchids for Miss Blandish, James Hadley Chase
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, Agatha Christie
The Woman in White, Wilkie Collins

Unnatural Exposure, Patricia Cornwell
The Moving Toyshop, Edmund Crispin
In the Last Analysis, Amanda Cross
Rose at Ten, Marco Denevi
Vendetta, Michael Dibdin
The Glass-Sided Ants' Nest, Peter Dickinson
He Who Whispers, John Dickson Carr
The Big Clock, Kenneth Fearing
Blood Sport, Dick Francis
Quiet as a Nun, Lady Antonia Fraser
The Sunday Woman, Carlo Fruttero
Death in the Wrong Room, Anthony Gilbert (Lucy Beatrice Malleson)
Red Harvest, Dashiell Hammett
Suicide Excepted, Cyril Hare
Bones and Silence, Reginald Hill
A Rage in Harlem, Chester Himes
Smilla's Sense of Snow, Peter Høeg
Malice Aforethought, Francis Iles
Hamlet, Revenge!, Michael Innes
The Murder Room, P.D. James
The Sleeping-Car Murders, Sébastien Japrisot
Death of My Aunt, C.H.B. Kitchin
The Spy Who Came in From the Cold, John le Carré
The Mystery of the Yellow Room, Gaston Leroux
The Last Detective, Peter Lovesey
Final Curtain, Ngaio Marsh
An Oxford Tragedy, J.C. Masterman
The Steam Pig, James McClure
The Seven Per Cent Solution, Nicholas Meyer
How Like an Angel, Margaret Millar
The Red House Mystery, A.A. Milne
A Red Death, Walter Mosley
Deadlock, Sara Paretsky
Dover One, Joyce Porter
The Chinese Orange Mystery, Ellery Queen
The Man in the Net, Patrick Quentin
A Judgement in Stone, Ruth Rendell
Gaudy Night, Dorothy L. Sayers
The Engagement, Georges Simenon
The Laughing Policeman, Maj Sjöwall & Per Wahlöö
The Red Box, Rex Stout
The Man Who Killed Himself, Julian Symons
A Pin to See the Peepshow, F. Tennyson Jesse
The Daughter of Time, Josephine Tey
Above the Dark Circus, Sir Hugh Walpole
Born Victim, Hillary Waugh
The Bride Wore Black, Cornell Woolrich

Travel Writing

The Travels of Ibn Battutah, Ibn Battutah
The Scorpion-Fish, Nicholas Bouvier
The Road to Oxiana, Robert Byron
In Patagonia, Bruce Chatwin
The Voyage of the Beagle, Charles Darwin
My Journey to Lhasa: The Classic Story of the Only Western Woman Who Succeeded in Entering the Forbidden City, Alexandra David-Neel
On the Narrow Road to the Deep North: A Journey into Lost Japan, Lesley Downer
The Traveller's Tree: A Journey Through the Caribbean Islands, Patrick Leigh Fermor
Seven Years in Tibet, Heinrich Harrer
Kon Tiki: Across the Pacific by Raft, Thor Heyerdahl
The Purple Land, W.H. Hudson
The Last Place on Earth: Scott and Amundsen's Race to the South Pole, Roland Huntford
Video Night in Kathmandu: And Other Reports from the Not-So-Far East, Pico Iyer
A Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland and the Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides, Samuel Johnson & James Boswell
Eothen: Traces of Travel Brought Home from the East, A.W. Kinglake
The Seasick Whale, Emphraim Kishon
A Rose for Winter, Laurie Lee
Golden Earth: Travels in Burma, Norman Lewis
The Cruise of the Snark, Jack London
Arctic Dreams, Barry Lopez
Danube: A Sentimental Journey from the Source to the Black Sea, Claudio Magris
The Snow Leopard, Peter Matthiessen
Destinations: Essays from Rolling Stone, Jan Morris
Never Cry Wolf, Farley Mowat
Among the Believers: An Islamic Journey, V.S. Naipaul
A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush, Eric Newby
Roads to Santiago: A Modern-Day Pilgrimage Through Spain, Cees Nooteboom
La Salle and the Discovery of the Great West, Francis Parkman
Into the Heart of Borneo, Raymond O'Hanlon
The Travels, Marco Polo
Dead Man's Chest: Travels after Robert Louis Stevenson, Nicholas Rankin
Sailing Alone Around the World, Joshua Slocum
Journal of the Discovery of the Source of the Nile, J.H. Speke
Travels with Charley: In Search of America, John Steinbeck
Travels with a Donkey in the Cevennes, Robert Louis Stevenson
The Valley of the Assassins and Other Persian Travels, Freya Stark
The Great Railway Bazaar, Paul Theroux
Tschiffely's Ride: Southern Cross to Pole Star, A.F. Tschiffely
A Tramp Abroad, Mark Twain
On Fiji Islands, Ronald Wright

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Tuesday, November 01, 2011


I got off work early today, 2.5 hours early. I had plans to run three errands and go down to Songtan for Mismanagement, and all I accomplished was to run an errand that it turns out I didn't need to run and to fall asleep while reading the introduction to Frankenstein. Welcome to November. All I want to do is to make it to Christmas vacation.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

So, Courtnie and I went down to OBH3 yesterday, but it's a long weekend and there was construction and we were uber-late. I called Little Leaguer when we hit the bus station and she told me they'd just gotten on the subway to Sema Station and I should head straight there and try to catch up. I took a cab over but was at a minimum two trains behind the pack. Miraculously, I caught up to the runners and was about the fourth person in at the end. I'm absurdly proud of myself. Great circle, since there was a large contingent of visitors from the Mother Hash in Malaysia, and then surprisingly enjoyable evening in Songtan, very low key, with about 10 Steves (new OBH3 tradition - any NNer is a Steve now, because clearly we are all too lazy to remember their names. Makes for confusing conversations, but is amusing) and Thumper Humper and ToT, but the rest of the girls had all gone up to Seoul, which was actually probably why it was such a great night. Had very little sleep and made it back to Seoul just in time to "host" a barbeque on my roof - Gus and Gabby and Ally actually did all the work of getting meat and a bbq and cooking, so really all I did was provide the location, the hookah, and a bag of Cheetos. It was a great night but I am now ridiculously tired. Thank god tomorrow is a holiday. Taking April's aunt up Seoul Tower and then hopefully doing the hash at 2.

Big fail though - have possibly killed my phone with excessive boob sweat. Sigh. Am attempting to get it to dry out, but I'm not optimistic. I'll give it a few days, if it doesn't start working again I guess I'll buy a new one.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Leonard Cohen


The birds they sang
at the break of day
Start again,
I heard them say;
Don't swell on what
has passed away
or what is yet to be.

The wars they will
be fought again
The holy dove
be caught again
bought and sold
and bought again;
the dove is never free.

Ring the bells that still can ring.
Forget your perfect offering.
There is a crack in everything.
That's how the light gets in.

We asked for signs
the signs were sent:
the birth betrayed,
the marriage spent;
the widowhood
of every government -
signs for all to see.

Can't run no more
with that lawless crowd
while the killers in high places
say their prayers out loud.
But they've summoned up
a thundercloud
They're going to hear from me.

Ring the bells that still can ring.
Forget your perfect offering.
There is a crack in everything.
That's how the light gets in.

You can add up the parts
but you won't have the sum
You can strike up the march,
there is no drum.
Every heart
to love will come
but like a refugee.

Ring the bells that still can ring.
Forget your perfect offering.
There is a crack in everything.
That's how the light gets in.

- from Stranger Music by Leonard Cohen

Sunday, May 22, 2011

"homage to my hips"

these hips are big hips
they need space to
move around in.
they don't fit into little
petty places. these hips
are free hips.
they don't like to be held back.
these hips have never been enslaved,
they go where they want to go
they do what they want to do.
these hips are mighty hips.
these hips are magic hips.
i have known them
to put a spell on a man and
spin him like a top!

(Lucille Clifton)

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Door

The door swings open,
you look in.
It's dark in there,
most likely spiders:
nothing you want.
You feel scared.
The door swings closed.

The full moon shines,
it's full of delicious juice;
you buy a purse,
the dance is nice.
The door opens
and swings closed so quickly
you don't notice.

The sun comes out,
you have swift breakfasts
with your husband, who is still thin;
you wash the dishes,
you love your children,
you read a book,
you go to the movies.
It rains moderately.

The door swings open,
you look in:
why does this keep happening now?
Is there a secret?
The door swings closed.

The snow falls,
you clear the walk while breathing heavily;
it's not as easy as once.
Your children telephone sometimes.
The roof needs fixing.
You keep yourself busy.
The spring arrives.

The door swings open:
it's dark in there,
with many steps going down.
But what is that shining?
Is it water?
The door swings closed.

The dog has died.
This happened before.
You got another;
not this time though.
Where is your husband?
You gave up the garden.
It became too much.
At night there are blankets;
nontheless you are wakeful.

The door swings open:
O god of hinges,
god of long voyages,
you have kept faith.
It's dark in there.
You confide yourself to the darkness.
You step in.
The door swings closed.

- from "The Door" by Margaret Atwood

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Carnation Pens

Every year for Teacher's Day, I score at least half a dozen pens that have a felt carnation on the top and are wrapped in ribbon. They are sort of annoying to write with, so I've been regifting these things all over the place. It's a good thing I'm thinking this is my last year in Korea because I don't think there's anyone left to send one of these things to.

I also get a lot of socks and candy/chocolate, but those are considerably more useful.

Monday, May 09, 2011

One Day by David Nicholls

"He had mentioned it in passing, but only as a distraction and alibi. It seemed that as he ambled through his late teens his possibilities had slowly begun to narrow. Certain cool-sounding jobs - heart surgeon, architect - were permanently closed to him now and journalism seemed about to go the same way." Derek

"But at the best of times she feels like a character in a Muriel Spark novel - independent, bookish, sharp-minded, secretly romantic." Emma

The part of this book I liked best was that tiny bits of it were set in Edinburgh and I could totally picture Rankeillor Street (I lived just down the road from there) and Arthur's Seat is somewhere I went hiking up both drunk and hungover (and even sober) and I shopped at the grocery store on Nicolson Street that is mentioned for two straight years. I also liked the British slang - good job you, wahey, etc. But, it's not really enough that a book reminds you that your ex used to say wahey a lot or that it amuses you that Em and Dex sounds a lot like Ant and Dec (annoying TV presenters much like Dexter was in the novel). I didn't like Dexter at all as a character, so it was hard to care much about what happened to him. I did like Emma and occasionally identified with her life quite a bit. All in all, it was okay but would have been a much better read on a beach when I wasn't looking for much in the way of depth.

"These days grief seems like walking on a frozen river; most of the time he feels safe enough, but there is always that danger that he will plunge through." Derek

"'Live every day as if ti's your last', that was the conventional advice, but really, who had the energy for that? What if it rained or you felt a bit glandy? It just wasn't practical. Better by far to simply try and be good and courageous and bold and to make a difference. Not change the world exactly, but the bit around you. Go out there with your passion and your electric typewriter and work hard at... something. Change lives through art maybe. Cherish your friends, stay true to your principles, live passionately and fully and well. Experience new things. Love and be loved, if you ever get the chance."

Bright-Sided by Barbara Ehenreich

"What would it mean in practice to eliminate all he 'negative people' from one's life? It might be a good move to separate from a chronically carping spouse, but it's not so easy to abandon the whiny toddler, the colicky infant, or the sullen teenager. And at the workplace, while it's probably advisable to detect and terminate those who show sings of become mass killer,s there are other annoying people who might actually have something useful to say: the financial officer who keeps worrying about the bank's subprime mortgage exposure or the auto executive who questions the company's overinvestment in SUVs and trucks. Purge everyone who "brings you down," and you risk being very lonely or, what is worse, cut off from reality. The challenge of family life, or group life of any kind, is to keep gauging the moods of others, accommodating to their insights, and offering comfort when needed.

But in the world of positive thinking other people are not there to be nurtured or to provide unwelcome reality checks. They are there only to nourish, praise, and affirm. Harsh as this dictum sounds, many ordinary people adopt it as their creed, displaying wall plaques or bumper stickers showing the word "Whining" with a cancel sign through hit. There seems to be a massive empathy deficit, which people respond to by withdrawing their won. No one has the time or patience for anyone else's problems."

I loved the first chapter on positive thinking and cancer, but after that I was less impressed. The parts about business were really just a recap of Bait and Switch and the bits about religion and psychology felt a bit repetitive. Still, the main idea, that the emphasis on positive thinking in today's culture has a negative effect overall was a good one.

"Still, surely it is better to obsess about one's chances of success than about the likelihood of hell and damnation, to search one's inner self for strengths rather than sins. The question is why one should be so inwardly preoccupied at all. Why not reach out to others in love and solidarity or peer into the natural world for some glimmer of understanding? Why retreat into anxious introspection when, as Emerson might have said, there is a vast world outside to explore? Why spend so much time working on oneself when there is so much real work to be done?"

My time at RBS was an introduction into forced positive thinking. All that bullshit about people with negative attitudes but high production being "terrorists" in the workplace always pissed me off. Don't show me some stupid show about people happily singing as they work in the Seattle Fish Market and then think that I'm going to put on a happy smile whether I feel it or not. The rah-rah company events that are run like some sort of religious revival meeting merely pissed me off. I may work for you, but I am not you. And that should be okay as an employee.

"In the hands of employers, positive thinking has been transformed into something its nineteenth-century proponents probably never imagined - not an exhortation to get up and get going but a means of social control in the workplace, a goad to perform at ever-higher levels... With 'motivation' as the whip, positive thinking became the hallmark of the compliant employee, and as the conditions of corporate employment worsened in the age of downsizing that bgan in the 1980s, the hand on the whip grew heavier."

"This is the project of science: to pool the rigorous observations of many people into a tentative accounting of the world, which will of course always be subject to revisions arising from fresh observations... There seems to be an evolutionary paradox at work here: human survival in the face of multiple threats depended on our ability to live in groups, but the imperative of maintaining group cohesion can sometimes override realism and common sense, making us hesitate to challenge the consensus or be the bearer of bad news. So, after checking with others, it remains the responsibility of each individual to sift through the received wisdom, insofar as possible, and decide what's worth holding on to. This can require the courage of a Galileo, the iconoclasm of a Darwin or Freud, the diligence of a homicide detective."

"A vigilant realism does not foreclose the pursuit of happiness; in fact, it makes it possible. How can we expect to improve our situation without addressing the actual circumstances we find ourselves in? Positive thinking seeks to convince us that such external factors are incidental compared with one's internal state or attitude or mood...IT's true that subjective factors like determination are critical to survival and that individuals sometimes triumph over nightmarish levels of adversity. But mind does not automatically prevail over matter, and to ignore the role of difficult circumstances - or worse, attribute the to our own thoughts - is to slide toward the depraved smugness Rhonda Byrne expressed when confronted with the tsunami of 2004. Citing the law of attraction, she stated that disasters like tsunamis can happen only to people who are 'on the same frequency as the event.'"

Canyons by Gary Paulsen

"Brendan Cole lived in El Paso, Texas, and each afternoon after school he ran. He did not run from anything and did not run to anything, did not run for track nor did he run to stay in shape and lose weight. He ran to be with himself."

I liked the bits about running.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Blast From the Past - And Inaccurate

Amanda's Friendster Profile

Female, 33, In a Relationship, Great Britain (UK)More
My Friends (11)

Member Since:Oct 2003
Hometown:Bolton, Ontario
Other education:Queen's University, Classical Studies, 2001
What I enjoy doing:hiking, travelling, film and book addiction
Favorite Books:the No1 Ladies Detective Agency, Ian Rankin novels, Oryx and Crake, Manufacturing Consent
Favorite Movies:baraka, whale rider, the first two godfathers, anything with audrey hepburn, documentaries, buffallo soldiers, the diner
Favorite Music:radiohead, ani difranco, mull historical society, idelwild, the flaming lips, rem, u2, sleater kinney
Favorite TV Shows:haven't watched tv since i lived in scotland and probably won't own a tv in the next year
About Me: well, i'm sort of randomly wandering around at the moment, just back in Edinburgh, Scotland and from living in Vancouver and Korea. I have finally broken the horrible trend of working in banks.

Monday, April 18, 2011

A Warmer Spring Evening, Please!

Coop and I got quite wet running tonight. It's chilly out there.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Running Songs

Nickelback: Animals
Metric: Gold guns girls
Foreigner: Soul Doctor
Silverchair: Anthem for the year 2000
Bloodhound Gang
Mary J Blige: Family Affair

The King of Bedside Manor - Barenaked Ladies
Pump It - Black Eyed Peas
Me Against the Music - Britney Spears
Add It up - Violent Femmes

Just Can’t Get Enough – Black Eyed Peas
Up n’ Down – Britney Spears
Right Hand Hi – Kid Sister
Get Outta My Way – Kylie Minogue
Til the World Ends – Britney Spears
Backseat – New Boyz
Rolling in the Deep – Adele
More – Usher
Hey Baby – Pitbull
Yeah 3X – Chris Brown
Please Don’t Go – Mike Posner
Letting Go – Sean Kingston
Push Push – Kat DeLuna
You Used to Hold Me – Calvin Harris
Dirty Talk – Wynter Gordon
New in Town – Little Boots
Club Can’t Handle Me – Flo Rida
Flashback – Calvin Harris
Ridin’ Solo – Jason Derulo
Freeze – T-Pain
Calabria – Enur
Super Bass – Nicki Minaj

Sing, Sing, Sing - by Benny Goodman
Gorillaz: Dare
natasha beningfield, "unwritten"
"hip hop" by mos def
"sick" by the sneaker pimps
"survive" by hybrid
"fall into you" by soulstice
"passing me by" by the pharcyde
You Spin Me Round - Dead or Alive (Princess Julia Mix '03 is great)
Things Can Only Get Better - Dream
Don't Bring Me Down - ELO (more like 110 bpm)
It's My Life - Dr Alban
Life Is A Highway - Tom Cochrane
Lips Like Sugar - Echo & The Bunnymen
Right Here, Right Now - Fatboy Slim
"All these things that I've done" - the Killers
"Holiday" - Greenday
"Southside" - Moby
"Wild Wild Life" - Peter Gabriel
"Beat City" - the Raveonettes
"Such Great Heights" - the Postal Service
and, of course, "Born to Run" - Bruce Springsteen

-"Blue" by Elastica
-"Stutter" by Elastica
-"Kamikaze" by PJ Harvey
-"Cannonball" by the Breeders
-"Denial Twist" by the White Stripes

"Girls" - Beastie Boys
"Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See" - Busta
"Shake That" - Eminem
"In the Morning" - Junior Boys
"Sexyback" - Justin Timberlake
"Fantasy" - Ludacris
"Loose Control" - Missy Elliot
"Closer" - NIN
"Frontin'" - Pharrell
"Ain't Nothing Wrong With That" - Robert Randolph and the Family Bad
"The Way I Are' - Timbaland
"Where'd You Get Your Body From" -

M.I.A. - Bamboo Banga ("Road runner, road runner, going hundred miles per hour!"), Boyz, BirdFlu, 20 Dollar
Metric - Dead Disco, IOU
The Bravery - An Honest Mistake
Stone Roses - Fools Gold
New Order - True Faith
The Cure - Fascination Street
U2 - Lady with the Spinning Head, Fast Cars, Hawkmoon 269, Daddy's Gonna Pay For Your Crashed Car
George Michael - Freedom
Keane - Crystal Ball
Beyonce - In Da Club *blush*

The Who - join together
bush = machine head
Coldplay - clocks
eminem - dont know name of his songs but the one from the really bad movie hes in
r.l. burnside - its bad you know
pink floyd - run like hell
black eyed peas - hey mama
simon and garfunkel - cecilia, me and julio down by the school yard
johnny cash's but performed by dave mattews - long black veil
Potential Breakup Song- Aly and Aj
Crazy in Love- Beyonce and Jay-Z
Head over Heels- Boys Like GIrls
The City is at War- Cobra Starship
Guilty Pleasure- Cobra Starshit
Dance, Dance,- Fall out Boy
Put Your Money Where Your Mouth is- JET
Stronger- Kanye West
In Da Club (Dirty) - 50 Cent
Blister in the Sun - Violent Femmes
Don't Do Me Like That - Tom Petty
Ooh - Scissor Sisters
I Don't Feel Like Dancing - Scissor Sisters
SOS (Rescue Me) - Rihanna
Float On - Modest Mouse
Dead Disco - Metric
Mondo 77 - Looper
Outta My Head - Kylie Minogue
Uncle Jonny - The Killers
The Ballad Of Michael Valentine - The Killers
Andy, You're A Star - The Killers
Jenny - The Killers
The Sweet Escape - Gwen Stefani
It's My Life - Gwen Stefani
I Don't Wanna Be In Love (Dance Floor Anthem) - Good Charlotte
Crazy - Gnarls Barkley
Chelsea Dagger - The Fratellis
Under Pressure - David Bowie
Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger - Daft Punk
Tango shoes - Bif Naked

Einstein on the Beach - Counting Crows
Rain King - Counting Crows
Like a Prayer - Madonna
All These Things That I Have Done - The Killers
Mr. Brightside - The Killers
Caroline - David Gray
Under Pressure - David Bowie
Most of Matt Nathanson's fast songs
Send Me On My Way - Rusted Root
I'm Not Running Anymore - John Mellencamp

The Script - Rusty Halo
Kings of Leon - Sex on Fire
Kaiser Chiefs - Ruby
Lost Prophets - Everybody's Screaming
Paramore - Miracle
Kevin Rudolf - Let it rock

Long Train Runnin' - The Doobie Brothers
It Keeps You Runnin' - The Doobie Brothers
Running Down a Dream - Tom Petty
Running on Empty - Jackson Browne
Who Will You Run To - Heart
Born to Run - Bruce Springsteen
Band On the Run - Paul McCartney
Take It On The Run - REO Speedwagon
Take the Money and Run - Steve Miller Band
We Run This - Missy Elliott
Run to the Hills - Iron Maiden
On the Run - Pink Floyd
We Run - Sugarland
I Run for Life - Melissa Etheridge
Run Rudolph Run - Chuck Berry
Run to You - Bryan Adams
The Long Run - Eagles
Fox On The Run - Sweet
Ready To Run - Dixie Chicks
Run-Around - Blues Traveler
Run Don't Walk - Hey Monday
Young Hearts Run Free - Kym Mazelle
You Better Run - Pat Benatar
We Could Run Away - Needtobreathe
I Ran (So Far Away) - A Flock of Seagulls
Running On Sunshine - Jesus Jackson
Time is Running Out - Papa Roach
When The World Is Running Down - Police
Runaway - Bon Jovi
Runaway - Del Shannon
Runaway - Jamiroquai
Runaway - Janet Jackson
Runaway Train - Soul Asylum
2000 Miles - The Pretenders
Road To Nowhere - Talking Heads
Run Through The Jungle - Creedence Clearwater Revival
Walk This Way - Run-DMC
I Walk the Line - Johnny Cash
Don't Walk Away - Miley Cyrus
Walk Like an Egyptian - The Bangles
Walk Like a Man - Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons
Walk Away - Kelly Clarkson
Walk On - U2
Go Walking Down There - Chris Isaak
Bright Side of the Road, Van Morrison
On the Road Again - Willie Nelson
Middle of the Road - The Pretenders
Steppin' Out - Joe Jackso

'Back to Black'Amy Winehouse (2006)

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Monday, April 04, 2011

There Is No Me Without You by Melissa Fay Greene

When I was young, I thought people died of Ethiopia. I thought it was a disease, rather than a place. Since then, I'm ashamed to say, my knowledge hasn't grown too far beyond being able to find it on a map. This book has changed that. It taught me about Ethiopian history, as well as a great deal about the history of HIV/AIDS and ARVs.

There Is No Me Without You will break your heart into pieces. The end of the book, with a small number of orphans beginning ARV treatments and the lives of others in America with their adoptive parents described, will begin to put it back together, but nothing but hearing that since its publication the world had finally responded to the AIDS crisis in Africa would fix it entirely and we all know that not to be the case.

A quote in the book, about Haregewoin's visit to NYC reminded me why I travel: "Buildings full of the glowing windows marched one after another all the way to the horizon. Each building was like a lantern, radiating firelight through numberless openings. She understood: America has electricity in abundance. The only thing Ethiopia has in such abundance is dirt." I travel to understand the world, to escape the all too human tendency to assume that my experience is universal. To learn. To appreciate.

There Is No Me Without You opens with a scene that brought me right back to Kpalime, Togo, when Ortencia and I sat with her foster family, eating chocolate in the dark during a rainstorm: "On a dim, clattering afternoon in the rainy season, I sat in a crowded living room in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, stupefied by water. The rain drumming the tin roofs of the hillside district was deafening, as if neighbors on rooftops banged with kettles and sticks. The mud yard boiled and popped in the downpour."

If only we all reacted to the sorrows of our own lives by reaching out to others. The world would be a far better place. "It hurt most of all to see how blessed were all other mothers. They kept their daughters in life, while to her eternal shame she had failed hers at the only thing that mattered."

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Say What?

I translated a friend's Korean FB status update and this is what I got:

Goes round and in 80 foreigner grandfather and the feminine image English does a little marriage! of a Korean woman whom When gets married, the grandfather gives, cash billion 1,500,000,000 performance of a surgical operation gives…The thing receive, with the old man the grudge which will get married. Soup. There will be women? I Roh right ~ only result only will be anxious still!

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Fissured Vase

Le vase brisé
Sully Prudhomme

This vase wherein the vervain dies
A fan's light touch left a crack fine.
Soft blow it was to all the eyes,
And made no noise one would divine.

Yet slight as is the little bruise,
It gnaws at its crystal each day.
Unseen but sure in its slow cruise
Around the vase it makes its way.

Fresh water leaves in dribs and aught,
The flowers' soul will expire soon.
Though none has yet to suspect naught,
Touch not the vase for it's in ruin.

Thus often when the hand you love
Strokes light the heart yet breaks it so,
The heart shatters on its blest love,
The flower dies of its love's woe.

It looks whole to the world outside,
Yet feels the growth, and softly cries,
Of its wound deep and fine inside.
It is injured, touch not the vase.

Monday, March 14, 2011

"The saying, age makes us childish, is not true;
it only find us really children still."
- Goethe

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Le Lac

This poem reminds me strongly of the cottage my family goes to, in particular because it is a place I went to as a child and as a teenager, but is somewhere I've only briefly returned to as an adult. Where does the time go?

The Lake
by Alphonse de Lamartine (1790-1869)

And thus forever pushed to a newer shore,
In the darkness eternal carried ne'er to return,
Will we ever in the ocean of the ages
Cast anchor for one day more?

Oh lake! The year has scarcely ended
Than near the cherished waves she was to revisit,
Behold, on this stone I came alone to linger
Where you have seen her sit.

As you roared beneath these deep rocks,
Smashed your waters against their torn sides,
So the wind threw the foams of your billows
Onto her feet beloved.

One night, remember? As we cruised along silently,
One heard from afar on the waves under these skies,
Only the noises of rowers who struck in rhythm
Your harmonious waters.

Suddenly of the tones unknown to the earth
Of the charmed shore struck your echoes;
The waves grew attentive, and the voice to me dear
Thus spoke these very words:

"Oh time, suspend your flight! and you, blessed hours,
Delay your course!
Let us savor the fleeting delights
Of the happiest days of ours.

"Enough unhappy souls in this world implore you:
Flow on, and for them flow on;
Remove the days with the cares which consume them
And spare the happy ones.

"But in vain I ask for a few moments more,
Time evades me, and takes flight.
I say to this night, "Tarry." But the dawn
Will dissipate the night.

"So let us love, let us love; and the transient hour
Let's enjoy in a hurry;
Man has no harbor, time no shores;
It flows, we fade merely!"

Jealous time, can it be that these drunken moments
When love fills us with bliss to overflow
Fly from us at the same speed
As do our days of woe?

Alas, could we at least freeze their traces?
Why, gone forevermore? Why, lost forevermore?
This time that gave them, this time that kills them,
To yield them nevermore?

Eternity, void, past, gloomy abyss,
What have you done with the days you buried?
Speak; will you surrender the sublime ecstasies
From us you had ravished?

Oh lake, mute stones, grottoes, forests obscure!
You that time spares and rejuvenates,
Will you keep of this night, fair nature,
At least its memory pure?

Let it abide in your repose or your storms,
Beautiful lake, in the face of your smiling hills,
And in these dark firs, and these wild rocks
Which hang o'er your waters still!

Let it be in the zephyr that shudders in passing,
In the sounds of your shores and by them repeated,
In the silver-faced star that whitens your expanse
With its softened brightness!

Let the wind that groans and the reeds that sigh
The gentle perfume of your balmy air,
Let all that is heard or seen or breathed
All say: "In love they were."

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Sunday, March 06, 2011

On Wearing a Skirt

During my first year at Cheungwon Kindergarten, I wore a dress or skirt all of twice. The first time it was because I had a funeral right after work (followed up by a party at my place which involved me in a black dress cooking with flour - not wise) and the second time because I was over at April's, it was late, it was snowing, and I couldn't be bothered walking home, but I had no work clothing with me, so she lent me a skirt and I put on my running tights underneath. I was the picture of elegance, I tell you.

The funny thing is, both times my co-teachers, the principal and all of my students were absolutely and emphatically pleased with my attire. I got more compliments on each of those two days than on the rest of the days combined. They tell me I look far more beautiful in a skirt.

And so, since it seemed nice, I wore a skirt for the opening ceremony last Wednesday. After all, I had to go on stage and bow to the combined elementary school and kindergarten and all of their parents. There were performances by the elementary school orchestra, traditional drumming group and the belly dancing troupe. It was a fancy occasion and I dressed accordingly.

I may well dress up again for graduation, or parents day, or something similar, but I won't be doing it regularly.

Interestingly, I love to travel in skirts. If you've ever been driving along the roads in the mountainous region of Togo in a bush taxi, I'm sure you'll hit on why - it makes peeing so much easier, and I find them cooler too. Plus, when you're trying to pack light, skirts are simply more versatile - change the kind of shirt you're wearing and you change how dressy you look.

My main problem with skirts and dresses hits once the weather cools - I'm not fond of tights. I have never, ever been able to find a pair that really fit me properly. Fat or thin is not the issue - my height is. I'm just that little bit taller than the average size, but not tall enough to wear the tall sizes. It's a royal pain in the ass. I love leggings for that reason - I buy them 3/4 length and they fit just fine.

But, you know, if running tights are apparently okay under a skirt while teaching, it might be worth taking up dressier attire so that I can hit the streets faster after work!

Gay Stirfry

For about the last month, it feels like every gay person I know in Seoul has had one thing on their mind: eating at Bao, the tiny new stir fry restaurant in Kyungridan. I too have been trying to go and check it out, but every time I went, it was mysteriously closed. I was always with straight friends and I was starting to wonder...

Turns out, it's closed on Tuesdays. Good to know.

I finally made it tonight - with the Sappho Sisters book club. I hadn't read the book, but it was nice to meet everyone and the next book is one I'm dying to read (and one I already own) "Nothing to Envy", the latest book on life in North Korea. We stopped by What the Book afterwards, and then three of us dropped into Tartine's for pie and coffee.

I had a great night and Bao is fabulous - I'll have to get back to sample all the other sauces.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Goals. Alex Has Some.

I know a guy named Alex who has epic reading plans.

I'm jealous. But also lazy. I'd be tempted to start if all my old Classics books weren't on another continent.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Anthem by Ayn Rand

The Giver was a better book and it was written for children. Best thing about this? It's short.

And though it makes me dread my recent promise to a friend to read Atlas Shrugged before I watch the movie, I did like the marginalia I found in the book.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Not a Sonnet

[Sonnet] You jerk you didn't call me up

by Bernadette Mayer (1945 - )

You jerk you didn't call me up
I haven't seen you in so long
You probably have a fucking tan
& besides that instead of making love tonight
You're drinking your parents to the airport
I'm through with you bourgeois boys
All you ever do is go back to ancestral comforts
Only money can get—even Catullus was rich but

Nowadays you guys settle for a couch
By a soporific color cable t.v. set
Instead of any arc of love, no wonder
The G.I. Joe team blows it every other time

Wake up! It's the middle of the night
You can either make love or die at the hands of
the Cobra Commander


To make love, turn to page 121.
To die, turn to page 172.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Presently, My Life

Word of the Day for Thursday, February 24, 2011
hypnagogic \hip-nuh-GOJ-ik; -GOH-jik\, adjective:

Of, pertaining to, or occurring in the state of drowsiness preceding sleep.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Unholy Sonnet 1 by Mark Jarman

Dear God, Our Heavenly Father, Gracious Lord,
Mother Love and Maker, Light Divine,
Atomic Fingertip, Cosmic Design,
First Letter of the Alphabet, Last Word,
Mutual Satisfaction, Cash Award,
Auditor Who Approves Our Bottom Line,
Examiner Who Says That We Are Fine,
Oasis That All Sands Are Running Toward.

I can say almost anything about you,
O Big Idea, and with each epithet,
Create new reasons to believe or doubt you,
Black Hole, White Hole, Presidential Jet.
But what’s the anything I must leave out? You
Solve nothing but the problems that I set.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Thursday, February 03, 2011

World Cancer Day
This poem is a collaborative effort from Jack Kerouac, Neal Cassady and Allen Ginsberg.

Pull My Daisy

Pull my daisy
tip my cup
all my doors are open
Cut my thoughts
for coconuts
all my eggs are broken
Jack my Arden
gate my shades
woe my road is spoken
Silk my garden
rose my days
now my prayers awaken
Bone my shadow
dove my dream
start my halo bleeding
Milk my mind &
make me cream
drink me when you're ready
Hop my heart on
harp my height
seraphs hold me steady
Hip my angel
hype my light
lay it on the needy
Heal the raindrop
sow the eye
bust my dust again
Woe the worm
work the wise
dig my spade the same
Stop the hoax
whats the hex
where's the wake
how's the hicks
take my golden beam
Rob my locker
lick my rocks
leap my cock in school
Rack my lacks
lark my looks
jump right up my hole
Whore my door
beat my door
eat my snake of fool
Craze my hair
bare my poor
asshole shorn of wool
say my oops
ope my shell
Bite my naked nut
Roll my bones
ring my bell
call my worm to sup
Pope my parts
pop my pot
raise my daisy up
Poke my pap
pit my plum
let my gap be shut

Monday, January 31, 2011

Korean Content



by Lawrence Ferlinghetti

I didn’t get much sleep last night
thinking about underwear
Have you ever stopped to consider
underwear in the abstract
When you really dig into it
some shocking problems are raised
Underwear is something
we all have to deal with
Everyone wears
some kind of underwear
The Pope wears underwear I hope
The Governor of Louisiana
wears underwear
I saw him on TV
He must have had tight underwear
He squirmed a lot
Underwear can really get you in a bind
You have seen the underwear ads
for men and women
so alike but so different
Women’s underwear holds things up
Men’s underwear holds things down
Underwear is one thing
men and women have in common
Underwear is all we have between us
You have seen the three-color pictures
with crotches encircled
to show the areas of extra strength
and three-way stretch
promising full freedom of action
Don’t be deceived
It’s all based on the two-party system
which doesn’t allow much freedom of choice
the way things are set up
America in its Underwear
struggles thru the night
Underwear controls everything in the end
Take foundation garments for instance
They are really fascist forms
of underground government
making people believe
something but the truth
telling you what you can or can’t do
Did you ever try to get around a girdle
Perhaps Non-Violent Action
is the only answer
Did Gandhi wear a girdle?
Did Lady Macbeth wear a girdle?
Was that why Macbeth murdered sleep?
And that spot she was always rubbing—
Was it really in her underwear?
Modern anglosaxon ladies
must have huge guilt complexes
always washing and washing and washing
Out damned spot
Underwear with spots very suspicious
Underwear with bulges very shocking
Underwear on clothesline a great flag of freedom
Someone has escaped his Underwear
May be naked somewhere
But don’t worry
Everybody’s still hung up in it
There won’t be no real revolution
And poetry still the underwear of the soul
And underwear still covering
a multitude of faults
in the geological sense—
strange sedimentary stones, inscrutable cracks!
If I were you I’d keep aside
an oversize pair of winter underwear
Do not go naked into that good night
And in the meantime
keep calm and warm and dry
No use stirring ourselves up prematurely
‘over Nothing’
Move forward with dignity
hand in vest
Don’t get emotional
And death shall have no dominion
There’s plenty of time my darling
Are we not still young and easy
Don’t shout

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Shingles Hippo --> Gay Unicorn

I Have Folded My Sorrows
by Bob Kaufman

I have folded my sorrows into the mantle of summer night,
Assigning each brief storm its alloted space in time,
Quietly pursuing catastrophic histories buried in my eyes.
And yes, the world is not some unplayed Cosmic Game,
And the sun is still ninety-three million miles from me,
And in the imaginary forest, the shingles hippo becomes the gay unicorn.
No, my traffic is not addled keepers of yesterday's disasters,
Seekers of manifest disewbowelment on shafts of yesterday's pains.
Blues come dressed like introspective echoes of a journey.
And yes, I have searched the rooms of the moon on cold summer nights.
And yes, I have refought those unfinished encounters. Still, they remain unfinished.
And yes, I have at times wished myself something different.
The tragedies are sung nightly at the funerals of the poet;
The revisited soul is wrapped in the aura of familiarity.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Auspicious Books are the Best Kind

"...yet, somehow, the books that prove most agreeable, grateful, and companionable, are those we pick up by chance here and there; those which seem put into our hands by Providence; those which pretend to little, but abound in much." -Herman Meville

Thursday, January 20, 2011

unfinished, but whatevs

1. What did you do in 2010 that you'd never done before?

Completed the Couch to 5K program and ran my first ever 10K race. It was amazing.

2009 -I went to Africa! And started hashing back in February. I also bought purple underwear.

2008 - got divorced for real, barehanded ice fishing, thought I flushed my own keys down the toilet, went paint balling, ate beondegi (yuck!), flew a plane.

2007 - Hahahaha. I've already been asked this one. The Hong Kong incident. Got divorced (I think, anyway!) Taught kindergarten.

2006 - went on holiday with my sister, bought a red bra

2. Did you keep your New Year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I've kept a few, but not most. I will make more. Soon. Really. Plus, I'll need to make a new 101 in 1001 list at some point this year...

2009 -I'm still working on the 101 in 1001 List and I've rejigged a couple of them. I'd like to finish off those goals before I start any more. The biggest fail was the book ban (reinstated, let's hope I prove to have more willpower now.)

2008 - the 101 in 1001 List, maybe a couple more

2007- No and Yes. It's not the keeping of the resolutions that is necessarily important, I think, but the making of them. The taking stock.

2006 - I didn't make any last year. I will be making some this year, though. I like thinking about my goals and where I am and where I want to be. I was too depressed to want to think about my life last January.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

While there are lots of baby pics floating around my FB feed, no.

2009 - My high school friend Vanessa and Andrea & David. Congratulations!
2008 - If they did, it's escaping me, but it's also very late at night.
2006 - My childhood friend, Shannon. My brother's girlfriend. A couple of other people I don't know as well.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Yes, unfortunately.

2009 - No.
2008 - No.
2006 - No.

4. What countries did you visit?

Korea, Toronto, Korea. Not very exciting at all.

2000 - Kojedo, Jeonju, Rome, Ghana, Togo, Toronto, Vancouver
2008 - Boracay, Taiwan, Bamboo/Tea Plantation trip, Canada, Japan, Dokdo, North Korea
2007 - Thailand, Hong Kong, Canada, North Korea, The Philippines.
2006 - Scotland, Canada, Korea, Thailand. Only Thailand was for the first time.

5. What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010?

The same as last year, I guess.

2009 - A zero balance credit card, the ability to run hashes, a plan to leave Korea.
2008 - This one is going to remain secret, but there is something I'd like.
2007 - More of all the good things, less of all the bad, I guess.
2006 - I don't think there was much that I lacked entirely over the course of the whole year. There were lots of things I lacked during different parts of the year though. I guess I just want more of the good things, more often.

6. What dates from 2010 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

March 2nd - first day of my new job
September 23 - 38PH3 - for the hashing, and for something else, which we will leave off the internet.

2009 - Fourth Saturday in February - My first hash, the PMS MENstrual Run
August 22 - I started vacation!
October 5 - The day I started back at work.

2008 - January 3rd - finally divorced!
Friday, August 8th - the Ferraro Rocher countdown ended on my last day of work at Poly

2007 - April 10th - I left Heritage, thank fuck!
May 18th - Surprise arrival back in Canada.
August 10th - Back in Korea once more.
December 14th - All my loose ends were finally tied up!

2006 - February 14th, when I finally, really knew that I had to leave Alan. April 10th, when I flew into Seoul.

7. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

My 10K medal, for sure.

2009 - Going on vacation? I didn't really have any big achievements this year.
2008 - Well, I collected the entire set of Hello Kitty magnets. And found my own place in HBC.
2007 - Tying up those loose ends, perhaps.
2006 - Getting over the embarrassment of leaving someone only 5 months into marriage and doing it anyway because I needed to do it. Rebuilding my entire life all over again, in Korea.

8. What was your biggest failure?

This year, my failures seem to have been legion. I failed as a friend, I suppose. I trusted the wrong person. It's been a rough year.

2009 - Financial.
2008 - Also will remain a secret. But it's related to the other one.
2007 - Perhaps being so stressed by the Korea/Hong Kong decision.
2006 - Not listening to my instincts and the warnings of other people

9. Did you suffer illness or injury?

The rib. The suspected shin splints and other assorted aches that came with learning to run.

2009 - The mystery illness in Ghana & Togo - but Immodium cured that. Very nasty Yellow Dust cold. My toenail slowly growing back.

2008 - possibly I discovered I have a malformed eardrum, hairline fracture in my foot after dancing drunk in my apartment, Broken Toe Part I - The Sink, Broken Toe Part II - Martha's Dancing, recent sickness which is no fun, so we won't bother talking about it.

2007 - Nothing terrible. Did a transatlantic flight with a messed up ankle, did some North Korean hiking with pneumonia.

2006 - Yep. Some of the most notable - my first ever hickie and my now completely fucked up ankle. I'm a klutz, though, so there have been a few.

10. What was the best thing you bought?

A lot of books. Running shoes and winter running clothes.

2009 - Hair cut and straightening. New computer. Monitor which is also a TV. My students would claim it's my Transformers t-shirt.
2008 - new iPod, G-Whiz, North Korean honey
2007 - It wasn't what Oprah recommended ;) I'm not sure I've bought anything all that fabulous this year.
2006 - my laptop. my plane ticket out of Scotland.

11. Whose behavior merited celebration? Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

Samantha and April have become my rocks. Shar and Tim were a tough combo of fucked up to deal with, though Tim was also one of my mainstays.

2009 - Hashers are often pretty awesome and Ortencia was an awesome host. However, the two hashers running CHILD and their ridiculousness were fairly appalling.
2008 - Martha has been a rock star in the last couple of months! The pricks at Phillies being homophobic assholes and everyone who voted for Prop. 8 and like-minded resolutions appall me.
2007 - Many people's merited celebration. I find that sometimes the most surprising people will do fantastic things. Based on some info I recently found out, my ex is on the appalled list.
2006 - my friends and family, who have been very supportive of me. appalled: alan's. my own

14. Where did most of your money go?

The trip to Canada and running clothes.

2009 - New computer, six week vacation, books.
2008 - You got me! I guess the trip to Canada was the biggie, plus the shopping trip that resulted. The iPod.
2007 - Vacations!!! Clothes. Having fun in general.
2006 - into leaving Scotland.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Running, hashing, reading.

2009 - Rome with Jen, Ghana and Togo with Ortencia, home!, and then Vancouver, with the chance to see Andrea & David, Orin, and Martha.
2008 - Seeing my nieces. Going to a city in North Korea. Moving to Haebangchon. Teaching teenagers. Leaving Poly.
2007 - Hiking in North Korea. Seeing my nieces.
2006 - being single again, meeting new people, teaching again, knowing that I made the decision to live my life the way I want to, full of travel and adventure.

16. What song will always remind you of 2008?

I'm on A Boat by The Lonely Island.

2009 - Slung Low, Erin McKeown; I Got a Feeling, Black Eyed Peas (listened to it constantly in Vancouver); and Fuck It (I Don't Want You Back), Eamon and Barbie Girl, Aqua because they played in Togo while I was travelling.
2008 - Whatever You Like, T.I. but in particular, that one the kids made about voting however you like. Made me cry.
2006 - The Mercy of the Fallen, Dar Williams

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder?

The same?

2009 - Happier.
2008- happier
2007 - happier or perhaps about the same
2006 - happier

b) thinner or fatter?


2009 - Maybe a bit fatter.
2008 - same same
2007 - maybe about the same - I'm not sure, to be honest.
2006 - fatter, a bit

c) richer or poorer?

Same same, but different.

2009 - Moderately less poor.
2008 - moderately less poor.
2007 - Hmmmm. Again, perhaps about the same.
2006 - maybe about the same

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?

Travelling, for sure.

2009 - Saving money. Reading books. Travelling. Hashing. Time with the nieces.
2008 - beach holidays, time at home with the family, coffee with Jenn
2007 - Exercise. Travelling. Decisive getting-stuff-done.
2006 - laughed

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?

Wandering about on the internet.

2009 - Lazing around. Staying up too late. Social smoking. Negative self-talk.
2008 - overreacting, stress with friends over silly things, dealing with Korean immigration, teaching at Poly.
2007 - I'm not sure I regret too much from the past year. Maybe the odd drunken moment, but nothing in particular.
2006 - beating myself up for things I couldn't change and things that weren't exactly my fault

20. How did you spend Christmas?

I slept over at April's on Christmas Eve, popped back home on Christmas morning and then went back to April's for a fantastic Xmas brunch with her, Jeff, Samantha and Moniqa. Then I went over to Laura's for a turkey dinner around 3ish and finally, I went down to Songtan for a hash turkey dinner, a beer pong tournament (and no, I did not play), and stayed over in a hotel. Drove back to Seoul on Boxing Day for a Southside hash.

2009 - After dinner at Brian's on the eve, I ended up in HBC. When the bar closed, the random people still left, two people I knew, and I tried to go norae bang. When everywhere turned out to be closed, I invited everyone back to my place for a random party at about 6 a.m. Christmas dinner at Laura's was fabulous and we played pictionary, hilarious. I walked home with Christie and Lorraine, singing "White Christmas" as it flurried. Then I napped before calling home at 2 a.m. and chatting with the family. After, because of the nap, I stayed up to watch some episodes of The Big Bang Theory. On Boxing Day, the hashers had the "Santa's Sloppy Seconds" dinner and sat around singing to things WHAM DJed for us.

2008 - Eggs Benedict with Liz and Martha, Geckos with Brian, Cleo, Martha, Melissa, Rebekah, then Seoul Pub, then a taxi with a TV on the ride home!

2007 - Brian, Samarra and I went to see the Golden Compass, wandered around iPark, went to dinner at Geckos and then had drinks with people at Queen. Oh, and I got to talk to my adorable nieces :)

2006 - A turkey buffet at Geckos with friends and coworkers and later on some phone calls home.

21. Did you fall in love in 2010?


2009 -No.
2008 - Yes.
2007 - Hahahahaha. No!
2006 - i thought i did, I'm as subject to rebound relationships as anyone, i guess. didn't last long, which was for the best!

22. How many one-night stands?

I had another one-night stand (or so I thought) that resulted in a lot more.

2009 - More than zero.
2008 - A few. They can be one hell of a lot of fun.
2006 - I don't kiss and tell.

23. What was your favorite TV program?

Grey's, Private Practice, The Good Wife, Criminal Minds, The West Wing

2009 - Battlestar Galactica, 30 Rock, Big Bang Theory, NCIS (Don't ask. It's an obssession.), Six Feet Under
2008 - Big Love, My So-Called Life, Grey's and Private Practice, Ugly Betty, Brothers and Sisters
2007 - Grey's Anatomy, I think, though I am now equally into Private Practice. I've been watching the first season of Lost recently and been impressed since about halfway through. Flight of the Conchords is hysterical. Oh, and I finally got around to watching Buffy - it was really good.
2006 - America's Next Top Model in Korea, before that Alias/The L Word/Desperate Housewives

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?

No. But I'm hugely disappointed.

2009 - Nope.
2008 - This year homophobia has upset me more than usual - but I hate the game, not the players. No point in hating the haters.
2007 - No. I don't hate anyone at all right now, though there are certainly those I don't care for.
2006 - perhaps my boss, though hate is far too strong a word. i can't bring myself to hate my ex, though sometimes I think that might actually be kinda a step forward.

25. What was the best book you read?

2009 - Kathy Reichs and Lynsays Sands books, obsessively
1984 & Lord of the Flies (at work)
Bridge to Teribithia
The Great Influenza
Subject to Debate, Katha Pollit
Nickel and Dimed, Barbara Ehrenreich
Payback, Margaret Atwood
The Pollysyllabic Spree, Nick Hornby
Plainsong, Kent Haruf
Fox Girl, Nora Okia Keller
Life of Pi, Yann Martel
The Great Fortune, Olivia Manning
Pyongyang & Persepolis
The Omnivore's Dilemna, Michael Pollan
The Truth About Stories, Thomas King

2008 - S: A Novel About the Balkans, by Slavenka Drakulic
The Little Friend, Donna Tartt
This is Paradise! My North Korean Childhood by Hyok Kang
Dreams of My Father, Barrak Obama
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
Life of Pi, Yann Martel
Maus, Art Spiegleman
Kafka on the Shore, Murakami

2007 - "The Boy Who Loved Anne Frank" by Ellen Feldman. It was maybe the best power read - one of those I-can't-put-it-down novels.
"Eva" by Peter Dickinson was the best children's book and it was a reread from the Poly library.
"Oscar and Lucinda" by Peter Carey for the best I-should-have-known-but-didn't ending.
“The Friar and the Cipher” by Lawrence & Nancy Goldstone for best historical non-fiction.
“Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal” by Christopher Moore was the funniest.
“The Brooklyn Follies” by Paul Auster for introducing me to my newest fav author.
"Lucky" by Alice Sebold for the best sad book.
"A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of A Boy Soldier" by Ishmael Beah for the most gut-wrenching emotional response.
"Eat, Pray, Love" by Elizabeth Gilbert for personal resonance.

2006 - picking just one is so evil. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Everything is Illuminated, The History of Love and those are just the ones that come to mind...

26. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Florence and the Machine. Mumford and Sons.

2009 - Since I spent most of my year with no functional computer or internet, I've listened mostly to the same 200 songs that were on my iPod before Chester died. I've been downloading like crazy since, though, so I hope to discover new stuff that I love sooner rather than later.
2008 - The Genius button on iTunes.
2007 - Not sure. I love "Smile" by Lily Allen, and the new Alicia Keys album is pretty damn cool. Tons of stuff, really.
2006 - Jack Johnson. I had heard of him before, but never got around to listening until this year when I discovered downloading...

27. What did you want and get? What did you want and not get?

A new job - got it. A completed 10K - done. The last thing is still playing itself out.

2009 - I wanted a vacation to a new place and I certainly got that. I also wanted willpower (gym, financial, etc) and that didn't happen.
2008 - I'm not sure, but they are both wrapped up in the same thing.
2007 - I didn't get a job I wanted, though I suspect that worked out for the best, particularly from a financial point of view. I wanted a new wardrobe and I got that.
2006- What did you want and get? a computer, a job in Korea, out of a relationship, a trip to Thailand (I even got two!) What did you want and not get? an easy breakup

29. What was your favorite film of this year?

2009 - Amazing Grace, Hallam Foe, Milk, Frost/Nixon, Transformers (1&2)
2008 - Juno, Children of Men, Kung Fu Panda were the best, but nothing really moved me.
2007 - The Golden Compass, I think. I don't actually see many films, in the cinema or out of it.
2006 - Everything is Illuminated, Tsotsi, The Constant Gardener, Hotel Rwanda

31.What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

No Shar thing. No Tim thing. And a beach vacation at Christmas.

2009 - No debt.
2008 - A longer trip home.
2007 - A year long trip around Asia, with the magic ability to pop back in on the family for a couple of days at will.
2006 - if Alan had stayed in Scotland. if i had left him earlier.

30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I spent my 32nd birthday at a galbi restaurant and then at the Phillies Quiz with a great group of people - Nami, Gus and Gabby, Shar, Samantha, Tim, Ben. Ben got into an argument with Gus about those fish in the Amazon that swim up your penis.

2009 - 31. On the day of, nothing special. But I went out for dinner and dancing with friends the weekend before.
2008 - 30! I drank shots out of a porcelain penis. Then I skipped out on the big Saturday night extravaganza.
2007 - 29 in Hong Kong, went drinking and dancing.
2006 - I was 28. I went to TinPans and drank too much tequila, I went to Stompers and don't even remember being there, I met a cute boy.

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2010?

A lot of pants that ended up being too big, a lot of hash shirts and hoodies, lots of new fancy running clothes.

2009 - Before vacation, I usually maintained a big divide between work clothes and home clothes. Since I've returned, I've been a jeans girl at work as well as at play. I have some cool panya purses and a skirt from my trip.
2008 - Many t-shirts, but I will have to wear something Martha hasn't stolen!
2006 - a concept implies I was thinking about this in some sort of orderly way. The same 7 or so outfits to work (with flip flops in summer and black shoes in winter), the same 7 or so low cut tops to bars, and my fave comfy socks whenever I'm home

33. What kept you sane?

Samantha and April. Chocolate ice cream.

2009 - Blogging.
2008 - Martha and other friends. Pure stubbornness.
2007 - Who says I managed to stay sane? My coworkers, perhaps, when I was back in my old job. My friends. Lots of navel gazing.
2006 - a combination of good friends and too much booze.

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

2009 - Katee Sackhoff (Captain Kara 'Starbuck' Thrace, Battlestar Galactica)
Sasha Alexander (Agent Caitlin Todd in NCIS)
2008 - Hillary Clinton. Jennifer Beals.
2006 - i don't really fancy celebrities.

35. What political issue stirred you the most?

The Democratic primaries in the States and gay marriage. You know, back when I was saying that Obama wasn't very lefty and I prefered Clinton, everyone told me that he was progressive. But I'd read his books and I knew he wasn't as progressive as people thought and now it turns out that indeed, he isn't.

"Fidelity": Don't Divorce... from Courage Campaign on Vimeo.

2008 - Prop. 8, the Democratic Leadership Race, proroguement
2006 - i have been too busy navel gazing to really pay too much attention. Perhaps the possible nuclear weapons test by North Korea.

36. Who did you miss?

Once again, everybody not here in Seoul, but especially the nieces. Oddly, lately also my dog.

2008 - everybody, but especially Sarah, Emily and Chloe.
2006 - Most people. I live overseas!

37. Who was the best new person you met?

All the hashers!

2008 - Martha
2006 - All the new people I've met have mostly been amazing, though in totally different ways.

38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009?

Just keep following the trail marks and you'll make it to the goal.

2008 - Be stubborn. Love.
2007 - When travelling, follow the noise.
2006 - No one will judge me as much as I will judge myself. Trust your gut. People you don't expect to will do little things that will make you believe in goodness again.

39. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

Slung Lo, Erin MCKeown

I was slung-lo and
So gung-ho
For anything to get me to start
I had my rock
I had my roll
But I couldn't find my spark

A flip of the hi-fi
A glimpse of the good life
And the clouds began to fade
I'm turning this B-side
Around to a de-light
Blue skies are here to stay

"She was so down, look at her now
She's never been so high!
Everyone knows, give it some time
The clouds'll clear the sky!"

Light the radio
Til it explodes
I'm dancin' til I drop
One small step
First right then left
I'm never gonna stop

"She was so down, look at her now
She's dancin' til she drops!
Everyone knows, give it some time
You'll find what you have lost!"

It is my style to take awhile
To put the feeling down to page
I get around to making sound
When the fancy meets the phrase!

"She was so down, look at her now
She's never been so high!
Everyone knows, give it some time
The clouds'll clear the sky!"

I'm gonna burst
Right out of this world
And I won't do it alone
A kick to the heart
A lift for the charts
One listen and we'll be gone
And then who cares?
We're debonair
And we're dancin' our way back home

"She was so down, look at her now
She's never been so high!
Everyone knows, give it some time
The clouds'll clear the sky!"

2008 - 9 to 5, Lady Sovereign
Ok yo....
I wake up late every morning
managers calling I'm still yawning
Get up wake up hair and makeups
Waiting for you don't be sawing
This performance is important
I don't think I can put my all in
Hold on I was drunk last night
Now its all kicking in and I don't feel right
Gave my number to a breh who wasn't my type
Now my phones on silent I'm being polite
Now private callers get no love from me
Just let me be...

Oh my gosh my days are getting longer
There's no turning back cuz I'm working da 9 to 5
To keep my contract did I say 9 was getting of 1:30
I'm no early birdy I'm lazy dats all dat I can say
So make sure you heard me
And deres no turning back cuz I'm working a 9 to 5

2006 - The Mercy Of The Fallen
Dar Williams

"Oh my fair North Star
I have held to you dearly
I had asked you to steer me
'Til one cloud-scattered night

I got lost in my travels
I met Leo the lion
Met a king and met a giant
With their errant light

There's the wind and the rain
And the mercy of the fallen
Who say they have no claim to know what's right

There's the weak and the strong
And the bets that have no answer
And that's where I may rest my head tonight"