The New Year

We’re getting close to the end, folks:

Eli sometimes says he’ll grow up and be Adult (responsibility-wise, not porno-wise) after the end of the world. I think that entails settling down, buying a house, and working a job with a dress code, or something. He also says maybe he’ll do this after he turns thirty-two. Both of which are slated to occur this year. (I’m thinking maybe he’ll need to find a new deadline…)

Here are my resolutions, in order of urgency:

1. FIND MY PASSPORT, OMG, WTF. I’ve torn my apartment apart looking for the blasted thing. I think it’s in with a big stack of papers at school. My co-teacher asked me a couple times to bring my passport back to school so the secretary ladies could…I dunno, make another copy of it. I don’t know why they couldn’t just use an old copy, since it’s not like it changed in the last year, and now I’m ultra grumpy because it’s totally THEIR fault I’m a disgusting mess and can’t find it. I’m hoping some kid didn’t just see it lying around and walk off with it as a souvenir.

2. On a related note, clean my work space – both at home and at school. Right now, on my table, I am typing next to: a double pack of batteries, a cake decorating kit, origami paper half-way fashioned into a 3d snowflake, an empty tin of cookies, a flyer for my students’ NYE rock concert (awesome!), a sock, credit cards, a knitting project, my winter camp roll list, and feminine hygiene products (not used. I’m bad but not Courtney-Love-levels of terrible). I can’t even fathom how I’ve managed to rack up so much clutter over the course of 15 months in another country. I might just have to set it all ablaze when I leave. (Maybe North Koreans will take care of that for me!)

3. Blog more often than once a century. I say this every year. Ha!

I definitely want to write more letters, but I feel bad forcing people to decipher my handwriting. Maybe I should include a kind of cryptogram key to help the receiver out.


4. Write more letters to people. Before I left for Korea, I bought vintage postcards, put my new address on them and distributed them out to my friends, to make it easier for them to write to me while abroad. Pasted on my wall are all these lovely missives from friends, which cheered me up at low points during the year, and filled my little apart-eu with warmth and character! For my part, I have repaid exactly 0% of what was sent to me. Yeah, so email and Facebook have rendered dead trees obsolete. There’s still something grand and lovely about receiving real mail, smelling of paper and of musty post offices around the world. Kids these days will never know what it’s like to experience delayed gratification, to have to wait with bated breath for the magical postman to deliver. (Maybe there’s an app for that – post your tweet and it won’t appear until five days later, and half of it will be missing)

5. Work on music. Part of the clutter I’ve managed to accumulate while here includes musical instruments (yes, more than one. I know, it’s sick). The guitar I strum with occasional frequency, but the keyboard…yeah, that thing. It’s been standing up on one end, gathering dust. Every now and then, I feel bad for it and rotate it so that it’s standing up on the other end. I think I’ll purchase a stand for it, and that will magically make me start playing it more, because buying more things is always the solution.

6. Learn more Korean, so that I can at least have one transaction in public that doesn’t descend into a terribly lengthy game of Charades or Pictionary. If I feel that I am leaving the impression of mere mild mental retardation, that will be a major success.

I’m sure there are more resolutions I can create and not follow, but six is a good number. Happy New Year, everybody! If you’re near a Koreatown, try and eat a big bowl of ddeokguk (rice cake soup) to herald the new year:

Simple and delicious! Recipe at maangchi.com.

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