looking over my journal, the last month or so consist largely of 365 photos. i haven't been feeling focused or inspired enough to write and it makes me a tad sad. despite feeling wearisome and overwhelming on both academic and personal fronts, march has also been filled with wonderful moments that i would like to be able to look back on. school really does eat my brain. every week i read hundreds of pages of various fiction and non-fiction texts and write about 10+ pages in papers and projects. i find myself without time to read for pleasure and turned off at the idea of touching a pen and/or keyboard unless absolutely necessary. bah.
it's been a rather lazy 3 days.
on friday a couple friends, eloise, and i spent the entire day at the korean baths, soaking, steaming, and exfoliating. while trying to get eloise down for a nap in the sleeping area, a pregnant korean girl struck up a conversation with me. she was personable and sweet but a few comments she made left me dumbfounded. she has a 3 year old son and is due in may with a girl. she went on and on about how beautiful eloise is, and that aside from good health she's really hoping her baby will look just like eloise -- big eyes, long eyelashes, and eyelid creases. this was followed by a chat about her husband's height; at 6'2 "he never feels the [silent] competition that all korean men feel around white men". she also inquired about breastfeeding, leaning toward me to whisper that she was young and selfish when she had her son and chose to formula feed because she heard that breastfeeding will make her boobs sag. she had a c-section with her son and asked me if i had eloise naturally [vaginally]. she's going for a vbac with her daughter and asked me if her vagina will get really stretched out after giving birth. i didn't mind the birth/breastfeeding questions but i have to admit to being more than a little surprised by them because of her age. she was 25. i think my agespectations [it's a word now] need to be reexamined. as for the other comments, well, those served as an unpleasant reminder of the extent to which the idea of dominant western beauty still impacts our society. in 2009, in queens, a korean woman who's lived the last 10 years in the US wishes her daughter could be born with physical characteristics pertinent to a different race. sad. after we left the sleeping area and went back down to the baths, adge told me that to this day, whenever she visits the philippines, her well-off grandparents chase her with an umbrella in order to assure that she won't get a suntan and look like a peasant.
saturday morning i woke up with eloise and took her to her music together make-up class. eloise is in love with the saturday morning instructor. she sits on her lap during the class [she doesn't sit still for anyone. ever.] and hugs her non-stop. after class she asks seung-hee to pick her up and she'll stay in seung-hee arms forever, happy as a clam. she starts crying when i try to get her dressed to leave and seung-hee has to stand by her side while i dress her. when she's dressed and ready to go, seung-hee has to carry her outside and say bye-bye. it's cute and heartbreaking at the same time. after the class i took eloise out for breakfast and we took a walk around the neighborhood. she into pointing out every single animal she sees, real or a window display, so it takes a looooong time to walk 10 blocks. we came home, i put her down for a nap and took a 4 hour nap myself. for the rest of the day/evening i was a permanent fixture on the couch.
today ian let me sleep in. we went to 2 boots to get lunch, came home, and i settled right back into my butt imprint on the couch. i finally feel like i'm starting to unwind and it's back to monday again. joy.
i'm looking forward to spring break.
march 22, 2009. 46/365
eloise at two boots; a morsel of food rests on her ear.