Ultimate Weekend Editon
January 4, 2011 § Leave a comment
[Sometimes I think this blog is just a formless junk drawer of my mind. In 2011, one of my goals is to make this blog smarter, prettier, and more charming and talented. This is the first of many experiments in newer, better blogging. You might notice I’m heavily borrowing from the format of my favorite radio show, This American Life.]
One of the unexpected negatives of the new job is that we have no proper winter vacation – just one day off for Christmas and two days off for New Year’s. The past few weekends had been busy with hiking trips and year-end parties and bidding people farewell, not to mention my first-ever skiing experience, and I decided to stay in Seoul and not do too much for New Year’s. I’m the sort of person who always overestimates the number of things I can do in a normal weekend, and my expectations grow exponentially on a long weekend. Seriously, where does the time go!? I should definitely have time for making illustrations, building my website, perfecting all my artdesignproductionpromotionlanguagegenerallife skills, marathon training, social engagements, side work, travel planning, showers, and sleep. So on Wednesday evening, there I was, at the beginning of a much-anticipated 4 day weekend with much ambition.
Act 1. Music
Upon arriving home from work on Wednesday, I decide that I’m going to spend the evening at home, working on some paintings for my newly arrived baby cousin Laurel’s nursery. This plan gets foiled by Hornsby’s Cider and my music collection. I’m in a bit of a musical rut lately, and it’s fun to dig up old favorites from the vault. Francoise Hardy, I’m From Barcelona, Can, The Zombies, Human Television, Jesus and Mary Chain, Joy Division, John Lennon, Yo La Tengo, The Magnetic Fields, The Velvet Underground, these songs are my old friends. They are bellowing enthusiasm, biting wit, licking wounds and pounding feet, sharp turns and fuzzy doldrums. I forgot how addicted to music I used to be.
Act 2. Self-Improvement
I don’t dilly-dally when taking care of the really important stuff of the weekend. My body, I’ve decided, is the thing that always goes by the wayside in busy and stressful times. Not anymore! This weekend I’m putting health and appearance at the top of my list. Thursday morning I’m up and at ’em early to meet Sara, one of my good friends from the running club. Sara might otherwise be known as Little Miss Gym Dominatrix. Despite two stress fractures in her foot, she kicks my ass with all sorts of wicked leg and core exercises. I follow up the workout with a haircut (satisfied) and tanning (jury still out). Later that evening I go to a neighborhood sauna with a couple of my coworkers, where we lounge in a wooden hot tub and try to forget the negative temperatures outside.
Act 3. Illustration
The other thing I am really, really, truly excited about this weekend is that I somehow believe that I’m going to have time to sit down and work on my illustration for an entire day. I’ve been working on these paintings for my new cousin for months now, mostly because its so difficult to find uninterrupted stretches of time in which to do it. It’s getting to the exciting part, and I really want to see these things through. I do manage to log most of Thursday, Friday, and Sunday afternoons, but still, I’m a ways off from being finished. Thankfully, my family is still being patient with me. At least I think they are.
Act 4. Stress
Last weekend, my wallet got stolen at the ski resort. It was found by the resort staff after I left the resort, and shipped to me on Monday. I was told that I would receive it within 3 business days, and on Friday afternoon I realize that I don’t have it yet. I have a mild panic attack. I have a long, confusing conversation of mostly hand gestures and single English and Korean words with my apartment superintendent. I decide to forget about it for the time being and withdraw money from my American credit card.
Act 5. Friends
This was another important point of the weekend. What my weekend lacked in wild, crazy New Year blowouts it made up for in good times with good friends. I got coffee and crepes with Laura in Apgujeong and we talked about the highs and lows of teaching and her upcoming plans to return to the states. Friday night I had dinner and hung out with Sara (of the gym) and her husband Adam and their neighbors, and later in the evening caught up with my coworkers. Saturday I spent with Kim, a friend from back home, and that night I had dakgalbi with Adam and Sara again and saw Alison, Tara, Shira, and Dominique at the bars in Itaewon. Sunday I went out to a museum and Thai food with Kate, my coworker who I am planning a trip to Taiwan with.
Act 6. Optimism
When the weekend is over, I naturally haven’t done half of the things on my ‘to-do’ list. I’m not sure what I would do if I finished the list, but I always feel a sense of ‘dang! If I’d only finished the list!” I have a lot on my plate for 2011 – I’m going to write about that later. The most important goal, though, is to keep a sense of optimism and reality.