November 29 - Late (journal excerpt)

So, it's been a bit of a while. I have been losing discipline in many areas. Not just writing in this journal but practicing guitar, writing songs/compositions, studying Korean; all have fallen to a gross slackening. I don't know why, I just find myself less focused. I need to discipline myself as I have too many things to accomplish and shouldn't dwaddle my time away. Maybe it's the feeling of Winter though. At Dragon Rises I learned about how the seasons have very strong characteristics that we often find in ourselves. If this is true, then maybe I feel Winter very strong right now to make up for only experiencing the two seasons that Florida sees; Summer and Cold Summer.

Well I want to reflect a few things from my memory onto these pages, so bear with me.

First, the oldest to catch up on is an event that happened at my favorite restaurant. I wish I could remember the name of it, but it always seems to evade me. In any event I was going to the restaurant around 3, maybe it was 2 before work. I turned down the street that the restaurant is on and began to hear the low murmurings of a distant argument. As i got closer I realized I was walking toward it and as I opened the door to the restaurant, I was suddenly washed in an intense barrage of Korean being directed at Lee Myung-ou, the husband that runs the restaurant.

There was this middle-aged woman standing in the middle of the restaurant shouting bloody murder at him as he was sitting down trying to eat lunch. I tried to close the door unnoticed, but the bells above the door betrayed me... Lee Myung-ou and his wife Pak Bok-hwa welcomed me with open arms and pointed to a seat for me to take, all the while this crazy woman was hollering. I sat down, following Myung-ou's confidence, and ignored the creature in the dining room whose throat must start bleeding at any minute. I was served very quick as usual; first the water and steaming hand towl, then the seaweed soup followed by the 16 some odd side dishes. Then the Korean pancake and finally the clay bowl with the Nokchitukpeigi...all the while this woman was going off on what at some times seemed nobody in particular. I tried my best to just follow Myung-ou's lead, whose smile never faltered and who really made me feel like everything was ok.

While I was being served, I realized that the middle-aged woman wasn't alone. I noticed opposite me in the restaurant, a husband or a father (it's hard to tell with Koreans, they age remarkably well) was eating quietly. It appeared that at one point they were eating together, one would assume, before the screaming began. I was served and eating in less than 5 minutes, and I don't know how these guys put up with this lady because she was really going all out. It was ridiculous. At one point the man she was with said something, I assume to shut her up, and it didn't work. She ended up throwing her chopsticks/spoon? across the room, without much reaction from anyone!I was there eating for about 25-30 minutes and this lady never stopped shouting. Never paused for breath, it was sort of admirable. I started to leave when I was done and Myun-ou insisted I not pay, but I finally gave him 5000 Won and ran out the door before he could give me change. I think he was sorry I sat through all that but I was more sorry he had to listen to that insane woman because she was still going at it when I left!

Totally unrelated to that even, and just as much a surprise, about 3 weeks later (today actually) I went and got my Nokchitukpeigi and towards the end of my meal they made me a mini meal of a sesame leaf/caviar sushi salad. It was amazing! They are very kind people, Myung-ou and Pok-hwa.

I also want to write about a day I had recently that was extra blessed, or at least made me feel that way. It was a Thursday and too cold to go rock climbing so i was relaxing at home. I had completely forgotten about a lunch i was supposed to have with Mr. Kang until he called me to apologize for it not taking place! My heart sank to my gut and shot back up in about the same half second. he was just outside when he first called and so i went down to say, Hi." He had to cancle because the lunch was going to be with all the Dongchun-dong employees but they were all called to some meeting. So he said he's let me know if we could grab lunch after the meeting, but that didn't work out either. I just really appreciated the sincerity that Mr. Kang had when he wasn't able to keep his word. I don't want to forget that. It makes me reflect because I often say things and forget completely and end up letting someone down . It's not that I don't want to, it's just that I forget and don't remember until it's too late. =,(

Before work today I was hungry and that's actually when I got the free mini-seafood salad that added to my height of cloud 9. Then I get to work and Mr. Koo lets me borrow two Kayagum CD's to listen to. Kayagum is like the Japanese Koto, beautiful!!

On top of all that I finally figured out a way to explain the hot/cold food energetic. Check it out. Cold weather forces the body to work harder at maintaining equilibrium body temperature. So the body is forced to generate heat. When cold food enters the body, it has to do the same thing!
[edit: so turns out I'm an idiot. Definition of a calorie per princeton.edu - "a unit of heat equal to the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of one kilogram of water by one degree in one atmosphere pressure." I fail.]

I must remember how much I am blessed. Everyday I wake up, I receive endless blessings and gifts from God and yet I somehow am always forgetting that. It's heartbreaking. If we experience, as humans, reflections of the emotions God has, I am stunned at how forgiving and patient He is towards us.

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