…there is no thought, “I have attained something.” When we have no thought of achievement, no thought of self, we are true beginners.
— Shunryu Suzuki, Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind

Now that I’ve spent over a year relearning how to program, it’s getting to the point that I can spend some spare time applying the system of shuhari to something I never learned: drawing.

The cynical me says if President George W Bush can do it, how hard can it be? But the real reason is I’ve always wanted to draw and admired and encouraged my friends who had the talent, but gave up trying myself around the sixth grade.

Later, I learned that “having talent” for something just means willingness to practice at it and fail, a lot. It was feeling embarrassment over the latter that kept me from seriously attempting to learn drawing.

Continue reading about my attempt to draw my eyes after the jump

Grandpa’s reunion

From my aunt’s e-mail thread.

Here is a picture of Grandpa Aboji with his family. To his right is his older sister. This was taken when Aboji went back to Korea for the first time in close to 20 years.

Aboji reunion with his family

My grandfather is in the middle foreground. He was recently commemorated on a postage stamp in South Korea.

한국의 과학 두 번째

The artist messed up. There is no reason for my grandfather to be wearing a sweater under his suit. 😉

Edit: Letter from my cousin

Oh man I love your blog posts. I scrolled quickly to the one on grandpa and thought you should know… he did frequently wear a sweater under his suit! I have strong memories of a camel colored one and sometimes a soft burgundy cardigan worn almost like a suit vest. To me, it was an extra suave, climate-prepared, and eccentric detail I was glad got captured in the stamp.

The pepper gives up the ghost

“Let me tell you why I want to visit the bookstore. The next thing I’m supposed to draw is a green pepper. But because of its shape, I’m having trouble getting started. I thought maybe I could find a different drawing book to distract myself until I can get the energy.”

“So that’s why you have that on our dining room table,” she noted. “You know it’s gotten to the point where the pepper has acne.”

“Heck, it’s much worse than just acne,” I observe.

“Yeah. Did you know that it’s a ghost pepper?”

“Oh? Then it must be really hot.”

“No, not hotter than a regular bell pepper.”

“But, green peppers have a Scoville rating of zero. Ghost peppers are supposed to be hot.”

“Well then not that. It’s a special pepper though.”

“The only thing special about that pepper is it has pepper leprosy. Maybe what makes it special is it’s got Pepprosy.”

I didn’t get a different book, but I finally got unstuck enough to finish the drawing. As I was dropping it into the compost bin, she informed me that it was actually a gypsy pepper .

Don’t worry, boo, I got enough Korean drama for the both of us

Her: Let me finish the episode of this Korean drama.

Me: Why you watching that? You have Korean drama right here! *points at self*

She laughed, so I had to tweet it. 🙂

I think the drama was Scarlet Heart: Ryeo, which she described as, “Kdrama version of Outlander.” All I could tell was everyone looks like a girl, and since all asians look alike to me, I wasn’t going to get my head in a knot watching it.