Four days. Last night when I was trying (unsuccessfully) to get to sleep, I found myself composing text for one of my story ideas, and got up and typed out a few hundred words. This was promising on a couple of levels: first, it’s been awhile since text spontaneously appeared in my brain; second, my wrists appeared none the worse for wear after the half hour or so of typing I did.

My “things to pack” pile grows steadily larger. The luxury of being able to throw whatever I want into my car almost guarantees that I will bring twice as much stuff as I could possibly need. Will I need six pairs of shoes? No. Will I bring that many? Absolutely. And unfortunately I can’t get my old laptop working well enough to bring it, so I’ll be hauling my desktop.

Now I’m off to do some cleaning, so that the apartment will be nice and clean when I leave. Four days. (ack!)


  1. oh my

    I’m a grad of Clarion 05, and it’s so amazing to read the journals of the people who are standing where I was last year. I remember that first day so clearly, wandering around the sorority house picking out a room.

    It’s just the best experience.

    — Kris D.

  2. For me it’s five days, but… yeah. I’ve spazzed out so much in the last few weeks I can’t do it anymore — I’m just too exhausted. I’m hoping I can calm down and get some good, restful sleep this week so that I can start off the workshop feeling grounded.

    I still can’t believe it’s all going to start this weekend. *deeep breaths*

    • Yeah, I definitely want to try to relax a little bit before the workshop starts. If I can manage to get all my cleaning and errands done today, I’m sorely tempted to spend part of tomorrow at the local Korean-style spa. Nothing like soaking in hot water to get rid of the spazzies.

      • Korean-style spa? In the USA? Hahaha, I wonder what that means. I’ve never been in anyplace in North America like a spa here, but that doesn’t mean much. I wonder how similar it is to what they have here…

        I hope you’re feeling well today, too. I haven’t done any actual creative writing in a few days and I really feel awkward about it. I would rather have been writing all kinds of things, but I was so busy with work…

        Ah well. And yeah, I get the sense that reading next year’s Clarion blogs will be entertaining.

        • Since I haven’t ever been to Korea, I can’t say for sure how authentic it is. The website is here: if you’re curious. It might actually be relatively authentic–the women who run it are Korean. What are the spas like over there?

          • Actually, I have to apologize. I have lived here too long, and have started using Konglish words as English. Spa can be used in two senses in Korea: the regular, holy-friggin’-fancy kind of place that this Olympus place sounds like, and the more commonplace bathhouse with extra services, which is the only kind of thing I have experienced.

            The place you linked to sounds more relaxing than the average Jim Jil Bang, so maybe comparison is unfair, but here’s a basic picture:

            Room full of naked people of the same sex, walking around from shower to three or four different tubs full with hot, very hot, and HOLYSHITHOWDOPEOPLESITDOWNINTHIS hot water. A couple of wet saunas, both of them hot enough to induce heart attacks. A single, huge cold pool with a violently harsh shower and a jet on one side with handlebars so you can use the cold stream to massage your muscles. A few bins with hot beads at the bottom where you can lie down. A few open areas to lie down. A bench where a guy can perform the “Korean body scrub” on you — kind of a very harsh massage with an “Italy Towel” which indeed gets the dead skin off but isn’t so comfortable. Tons of sitting stations where you can scrub yourself. Invariably, a huge TV blasting either sports, news, or middle-aged entertainment programs (older people singing). Tons of kids running around, some of them pointing at the white person or checking to see if it’s true what they say about white peoples’ genitalia. There’s lockers for your stuff, and a big drying-off area, and another TV for naked people to sit ans watch as they get over the heat of the washing room. Old guy (or lady, in the womens’ side) selling toothbrushes and shampoo for a buck a pop.

            Then there’s the co-ed area. You get a pair of shorts and a T-shirt. There’s a big area with a fishtank or other such quiet thing, and square rubbery pillows. What else? Kids running around. A couple of dry saunas, invariably with one girl chattering or messaging noisily on her cellphone in each one. A small restaurant, a PC room with coin op internet access, a TV room, a few sleeping rooms, a chill room (friggin’ COLD), and a few quiet side rooms for no apparent purpose, but where groups can fall asleep together or whatever. Oh, and a room with a couple of burly women who massage, and charge about $40/hr, and twist you this way and that whether you like it or not. (Sometimes they also bust out the Oriental Medicine gear and do some heated suction cups on your back, or rub weird stuff on you. Also, permission semi-optional.)

            I’m actually describin the place I liked to go, and usually went to, when I was living in Jeonju. Some places are fancier than this (not many in my experience, though), and many places aren’t quite as nice as this. It all depends on the place.

            These places are actually well-known as cheap places to sleep. You can get in for the equivalent of about $7-10 and sleep a night there. Of course, you end up in a room with 50 other people all snoring and farting in their sleep, so it’s not such a fun place to sleep — one night when we were playing in Seoul, my band tried to sleep in one and finally left frustrated that they couldn’t drift off because of the noise and smell. That place, though, was really bottom-end.

            But I haven’t seen too much of the mud-wrapping and such. Maybe they have that in the women’s bathing room, I don’t know. (My girlfriend hates spas, so I can’t very well pump her for information.)

            • I think Olympus is a relaxing version of what you’ve described: the hot tubs vary in temperature, but even the hottest one is bearable. They also have a cold pool. The wet sauna as a sign on it saying to avoid it if you have heart problems, but I doubt it would actually induce a heart attack, so it seems like more of a liability issue. They do Korean body scrubs, which sound exactly like you’ve described. The women that do them see it as a challenge to get as much skin off as possible. It does make your skin nice and soft afterwards though.

              The main differences are it’s women only (and no kids), there’s no TV or cell phones, and they kick you out of the end of the evening. Oh, and it’s three times the price.

  3. Ooh, a manicure and pedicure sounds fun! If I’m still having trouble sleeping tonight, maybe I’ll paint my toenails :)

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