Monday, October 20, 2008

Autumn Is Here, and Stephanie Is Back!

After being a lazy loaf on Sunday, I am happy to say that I am much better today. I feel my normal exuberance coursing through my veins again, and all is once more right in the world of Stephanie. Of course, my sinuses are still working overtime, but I can live with that. The thought occurred to me today that if only snot could be used as an alternate fuel source, I could corner the market and retire a wealthy woman. Ah well, I guess I'm much better off and much happier without all that excess money to worry about.

On Saturday I went to Daegu with my friends Diane and Beau. We ate a delicious lunch at Bennigan's, where I (believe it not, Mom and Dad) ate oven baked pasta that had an overabundance of random sea creatures in it. The shellfish were not to my taste, but the shrimp, crab, and tentacles were pretty good. After lunch, we journeyed over to Cosco (our friend Michelle was sweet enough to loan us her card). For a moment, I felt like I was back home at a Sam's Club and felt a twinge of nostalgia, which thankfully passed quickly. I got some wonderful over-priced western foods that I'll be carefully rationing for the next few months, and, best of all, I finally got myself an iPod Nano! I have wanted one for ages, especially after my previous MP3 player decided to die for no reason.

Sunday, as I already admitted, was spent doing absolutely nothing of consequence. I ate soup, stayed in my pajamas all day, and napped when it suited me. By nighttime, I was already starting to feel better. When I woke up this morning, I felt closer to great than I have felt in two weeks.

This afternoon, my new iPod and I had a wonderful hour-long walk out amongst the rice paddies. It was both peaceful and rejuvenating. The leaves are finally changing, and with the mountains, the sunshine, and the blue-beyond-belief sky, it is a gorgeous day here in Gyeongju. I am having a tremendous internal struggle right now over whether or not I really want to go back to the US in four months.

On Wednesday, dear little Jasper is going to have a life-changing event. He doesn't know it yet, but he's going to be a eunuch (in other words, he's getting fixed)! I'm pretty happy about it, although I'm sure he won't be.

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"Passage—immediate passage! the blood burns in my veins! Away, O soul! hoist instantly the anchor!
Cut the hawsers—haul out—shake out every sail!
Have we not stood here like trees in the ground long enough?
Have we not grovell’d here long enough, eating and drinking like mere brutes?
Have we not darken’d and dazed ourselves with books long enough?

Sail forth! steer for the deep waters only!
Reckless, O soul, exploring, I with thee, and thou with me;
For we are bound where mariner has not yet dared to go, And we will risk the ship, ourselves and all.

O my brave soul!
O farther, farther sail!
O daring joy, but safe! Are they not all the seas of God?
O farther, farther, farther sail!"

~Walt Whitman, "Passage to India"