August 22, 2009

All Things New

The other day my friends and I met for sushi at Ichiban in Hillcrest. As we updated each other on our summer adventures, my friend Bobby exclaimed "New house and a car? It's like I don't even know you anymore!". Of course his statement was hyperbolic, but it got me thinking how much my life has changed in just a few months.

New Job- I just started a position with Campus Crusade at SDSU. I was involved as a student in college, and now I'll be a staff member on my alma mater's campus. I'm still raising support, and excited to get on campus in just a few days! Here's a blurb if you want to hear more!

New Car- The car isn't actually new, it's 11 years old with plenty of miles, but Honda Civics are reliable right? After 4, count it, 4 years without a car, I finally have wheels! I have a very special relationship with my bike and the SD Metro system, but for now our daily hangouts have come to an end. I could write a book with all the fun and frustration of living in California without a car, but I'll just say that I'm so very grateful for my little white Honda.

New House & New Housemates- I have four new housemates- Kate, Rianne, Shawn, and Emily and together we have found an incredible Victorian craftsman home in Golden Hill. It's an older place, with wood floors throughout and loads of 'fix-it' projects but we're all equally ecstatic to move in and start the process. My room was once the formal sitting room, so I'm researching solutions for a small room without a closet. Armoires from Craigslist and IKEA are options, but I'm still looking. My favorite feature of the house is the fully equipped wood shop in the basement! I can't wait to make picture frames.

New Neighborhood- After a year in 92101 (Little Italy) and a year in 92103 (Mission Hills), I'm excited to be a 92102 resident on Golden Hill. We're close to Balboa Park and walking distance to Krakatoa Coffee Shop. The neighborhood has character galore and super friendly neighbors.

Amidst all this new-ness, some things remain unchanged. I still listen to Rod Stewart, I still eat oatmeal almost every morning, and I'm still a self-diagnosed narcoleptic. Everything else is different.

August 5, 2009

Safely Home

I read an article today on about Laura Ling and Euna Lee being released from a labor camp in North Korea, and I cried. I'm not really a crier, but this story has been one that I've made a point to follow. I wonder why this story out of the thousands has captured my attention? Perhaps it's the intrigue of North Korea- the fact that the little we know of the country comes from aerial images from Google Maps. Or maybe because I've been in a few hairy situations in Asia- ones where I wasn't sure how the law would fall, and who might be watching. I think there's a hope when you're an American traveling overseas that there'd be a diplomat on the other side of the pond that would work on your behalf, if something went wrong.

After seeing the movie Brokedown Palace (about two Americans in Thailand) in high school, I wondered what it'd be like to be in jail in a foreign country. It would take the language and cultural barriers to an all new level. I love that Bill Clinton was the diplomat and that when the two ladies flew back into the US, he had them go first to be reunited with their families. He silently followed, minutes later, and didn't say anything to the press. For all his faults, if I were in a North Korean labor camp with a 12 year sentence, I'd want Bill Clinton to be the guy chatting with Kim Jong Il for my release.

The article ends with journalist Lisa Ling discussing her sister's return to the States. From

"She said her sister was looking forward to eating fresh fruit and food for the first time in four months, after many meals of rice that often contained rocks.

"I can tell she has gone through a lot," Ling said.

"My sister has an amazing, amazing spirit, and she's a little bit weak right now, so I think it's going take a little time for her to gather up her wits and be able to talk about what she experienced."

No doubt that Ling will be writing a book in the next few months, among some counseling and plenty of media interviews. I'll be picking up a copy, and interested to hear about her four months in North Korea. Note to self: Don't get 'lost' in China and wander into a country that Bush labeled in his "axis of evil"... there won't be a warm reception.