Friday, June 15, 2012

Shake It Up...

...seems to fit my life pretty well. 

"Shake It Up" is a song by Florence + the Machine. It's a great song. Every time it comes on my iPod I repeat it several times.

Also, lots of changes are happening in my life, but more on those in a moment.

Chelsea's parents went home on Monday. It was a nice visit and I'm glad they came. I enjoyed spending some time with them. I hope they feel the same about me. 

We went to various places here in Korea. The DMZ, Seoul Tower, Namdaemun Market, and many others. 

The whole time I felt like I was under a microscope. I felt like I was being judged. And, based on a couple things Chelsea said, it wasn't just my overactive imagination talking.

I don't think my in-laws understand me. At all. And it makes sense. Chelsea, her parents, and both of her sisters are all extroverts, to one degree or another. Me? I'm an introvert, close to the far end of the scale. The only other introvert their family knows is the first son-in-law. And he's nowhere near as introverted as I am.

I've learned a lot about myself recently. Mostly that it's ok to be the way that I am and that it's ok to say, "I don't want to do that. I need some alone time," when I just can't be around people anymore. And by "people" I mean "more than just me and Chelsea." If I push it too much I get overwhelmed and will completely shut down. That's no good to anyone.

I could list specific examples of where I was judged and explain what happened, but that would have great trouble-causing potential. 

The in-laws' visit was fun. There were times I laughed with them. Times I laughed at them (gently, of course, and all in love). Times I just shook my head. Times I was extremely embarrassed. So, it was probably like any visit anyone has every had with their in-laws. Right?

Shake It Up.

The biggest change in my life is the decision to go home next month, rather than extend my contract with the English Village until October.

The principal reason for this decision is the health of my parents. My father is going into a care center on Sunday. My Mom can't take care of him for the next while as she is having her hip replaced on the 29th.

After talking with Chelsea, we decided it was best to be as close as we can, so we can help out a little. At least close enough that a visit is an hour's drive, not a 15-hour flight.

There are other reasons to go. Far too numerous to list. We feel it's the best decision and we're just working to make it happen at work.

Shake It Up.

Now we have to find an apartment. I need a job. I need to keep to a good writing schedule and find somewhere to get published. Then I need to apply for graduate school.

There's a lot that needs to happen over the next little while.

Hope I'm up to the challenge.


Sunday, June 3, 2012

They're Here!

Chelsea's parents came for visit for twelve days.

My mother was originally going to come with them until she discovered that she needed surgery on her hip as bone is rubbing against bone. It's very painful and she uses a walker to get around the house. Dashing madly through the airport would not have been fun. Nor would all the walking we are doing while Chelsea's parents are here.

They started having crazy adventures while still in the Las Vegas airport. Their flight from Las Vegas to San Francisco got cancelled, even though it was a full flight. So they scrambled madly to find another way so they could meet their connecting flight. 

Well, they didn't. They ended up flying to Los Angeles, while their luggage went to San Francisco. From LA they flew to Tokyo, with a continuing flight to Seoul. They finally got here, only 5 hours behind their originally scheduled arrival time. That's not too bad, considering the nightmare they went through just trying to get on the plane. 

Their luggage arrived the next evening. 

While they're here, we're going to try to give them as much of a taste of Korea as we can. Lots of walking, sight-seeing, and just having fun. That's the plan anyway.

It's nice to have them here. I've been in Korea long enough that I've kind of lost interest in trying to figure out what cool place to see next. I'm a bit of a homebody anyway, but getting settled in doesn't bring out the adventurer in me. 

Saturday, June 2, we went to visit the Korean War Memorial. There was some sort of benefit concert going on while we were there, so we got to hear lots of music. We didn't go inside the on-site museum, but we didn't really need to. There was plenty to see and do on the grounds, all free of charge.

The grounds are beautiful and arranged very attractively. What was probably most exciting thing for me were the displays of all the different vehicles used in the war. They had planes of every shape and size. Tanks in assorted colors and varieties. Rocket launchers. Machine guns. Even a couple of boats (along with a North Korean semi-submarine). As soon as I saw the myriad war machines, I knew what I was hoping to see. And I saw it:

Yeah, it's missing it's main rotors; they're lying next to the short fence near the trees.

That's right. I saw and took a picture with the M*A*S*H medical evacuation helicopter. Just like the ones you see in the opening credits of the TV series. The only thing that would have made the photo more of a geek moment for me would have been if I was wearing my M*A*S*H t-shirt. I might go back, just to take that picture.

I've really been enjoying this visit from my in-laws so far. Today we're taking them to Namdaemun, the outdoor market. I love that market and I'm excited to go back.

I'm sure there will be more on this visit later on.