Posts Tagged With: North Korea

On Leaving

By Kiki Keane

A family member recently asked me, “Why can’t you stay home?” I know she was really asking me, “Why do you insist on going to places that are so dangerous?” I have a number of set speeches, which I recite passionately and which she rejects with equal passion. But that question–“Why can’t you stay home?”–has been nagging me for weeks. After delving into my past I came up with the following: First, I don’t really have a home. I have moved 20 times in 28 years and I’m about to move again. I am both an island girl and a mainlander and I don’t really fit in either place. I’ve lived in small towns and small cities and big cities and foreign countries. When people ask me were I’m from I say, “Well, most recently…”

Secondly, I’ve got the bug. Not just the journalism bug, but the travel bug. I get happy looking at a map the way other girls get when there’s a shoe sale. I get this wonderful ache in my knees when I trace the outlines of countries on my globe. The only thing on my Bucket List are places (except for the item “Read Anna Karenina”, which I have never been able to get through). Leaving and the idea of leaving is so much a part of me that the idea of staying anywhere for a long period of time makes me claustrophobic. I get sick and distant and, at times, down right mean. I have to keep leaving because staying might actually kill me.

Third, I like that I can shed my past every time I go somewhere new. If I don’t like who I am I can leave that person behind like so much sloughed off skin. Travel lets you reinvent yourself and, if you do it right, you will be changed.

I’ll end with this: “For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

Some News Items:


Egyptian elections and the ‘coup’

China’s first woman in space

And here is Richard Engel’s latest Hidden Planet (North Korea)

Categories: Adventure, Journalism, Life, Nerd, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Small Soap Box, A Boringly Awesome Day And Some News…

By Kiki Keane

Somedays I get caught up in feeling sorry for myself. Then something extraordinarily lucky happens, the universe similes and the world goes right again. Then the guilt sets in. I mean, really. Who am I to complain about anything? I am far better off than the majority of people in the world. Could things be better? Yes, of course. I could use a job, for one thing. But than things could be soooooo much worse, too.

Okay, off my soap box.

Yesterday was a good day. First, I found a season of Caroline In The City online. I forgot that I loved that show as teenager. I always hated the way it ended, though. Poor Richard. Did he ever get Caroline back? Then that awesome thing happened, which I can’t say just yet for fear of jinxing it. After that I got my guest library card for NMSU, which means I can check books out and read them in my pajamas in my papasan. Lastly, Richard Engel was on The Tonight Show. I’ll post the links at the end.

Here are some news stories I came across today:

1) Charles Taylor guilty in war crimes case

2) Latest in the ‘spy in the bag’ case

3) Latest on North Korea

And here is Part 1 and Part 2 of Richard Engel’s interview on The Tonight Show

Categories: Adventure, Books, Job Hunting, Life, Media, Nerd, Uncategorized, Work | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Blog In Which The Authors Tell Everyone Things They Probably Don’t Care About… Oh, And Some News Stuff

By Kiki Keane and Rachel Womek

Due to a scheduling conflict involving the watching of a certain show called “Game of Thrones,” Rachel is absent for this blog session. So, I (Kiki) will be doing it today.

Today is the one day a week that is eagerly awaited by all, I’m sure. It is goal day! The day that we humble bloggers take stock of our accomplishment (ha!) and failures.

I’ll do Rachel’s first:

Technically Rachel didn’t set any goals last week, or at least she didn’t post them. But this is what she wishes me to put under the “goals met” category: 1) Practiced photography 2) Read 4 books and 3) Watched a couple of movies (I think Hunger Games was one of them).

New Goals: 1) Read 1984 2) Survive the school week


What goals did I meet this week? Well…I’m tired of giving excuses (mainly because I’m running out of them) and I’m sure you’re sick of reading them, so I won’t waste the space. I accomplished exactly 1.5 out of 3. Actually, that’s better than last week! I did half of what I set out to do, so I won’t beat myself up to bad. I finished one book (Carrie, by Stephen King) and I worked on my novel (I won’t be winning the Pulitzer anytime soon).

New Goals: I am simply going to do a cut and paste from last week… 1) Finish at least one of the books I’ve started and read 1984 2) Work on my book 3) Watch a movie 4) Not panic or have a panic attack about any of the following: my unemployment/bum status, lack of funds for my upcoming move to Egypt/N. Africa/Mid-East, the fact that I am a single (not actually something I’m upset about), unemployed, soon to be 28-year-old woman with a cat who lives with her grandparents (don’t judge!).

Collective Goals: 1) Practice Arabic 2) Be blogging goddesses!

Newsy Things:

1) The latest on N. Korea: S. Korean government will be reduced “to ashes”

2) ‘Gaia’ scientist was an ‘alarmist’ about climate change

3) Sudan bombs S. Sudan; 3 killed — moving photos

4) Chinese Murder Mystery

Categories: Books, Destopias, Goals, Life, Media, Nerd, Photography, Uncategorized, Work | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

An Apology, “Sad” Brony News and Haiku, Or Why Rachel Will Be Fed Humble Pie…

By Kiki Keane and Rachel Womek

We are sorry!!! We know that we have been slacking and we apologize profusely! I (Rachel) have been caught up working, studying (end of school two weeks away!), cleaning, and trying unsuccessfully to adopt out my foster dog. I have managed to read a few books: a graphic novel, two haiku poetry books and one book on dog nutrition. Not exactly heavy reading!

I guess I Can’t make fun of Rachel for being lazy since she’s actually doing things. Me? I’ve been avoiding the computer like its got the plague. Productive? Nope. Not unless you call watching endless NCIS marathons productive. Oh. I did apply for a guest library card at the university library. Won’t get it tell next week, but I intend to wear it out while I’m still in the country. What else? Panicking. A lot. Unemployment does not suit my constitution. (In Rachel’s opinion unemployment suits few people’s constitutions! )

In Rachel’s opinion we should all dedicate some time to mainstreaming heavily armored shoes in children’s sizes because I keep stepping on Kiki’s teeny, tiny, feet!

In other news I don’t think I was approved for the My Little Pony forum. I guess the username: ManMareontheMoon sounds a little too pedophiliac for the forum’s taste. My undercover Brony dream is shattered! O.K I wasn’t that attached to it. After a brief mourning period I can move on with my life.

In other news, Rachel and I have decided to reread 1984 this week. Maybe we’ll watch the movie when we’re done.

Speaking of highly controlled societies, here is one last clip on Richard Engel’s trip to North Korea.

Rachel is trying to write a haiku every day. They aren’t very good, but perhaps I will let you read some soon! I want to get a little box so that I can write them on little cards and read them when I am in the mood to enjoy my own genius! (Don’t worry folks, I’ll make her eat some humble pie…) Well when I actually read them I may come to the self realization that I am not, in fact, a genius after all…

Categories: Books, Life, Nerd, Uncategorized, Work | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Goals, News and Pulitzers, Or A Really Long Post To Make Up For My Laziness…

By Kiki Keane

Okay, so Rachel and I have not been on the ball lately. It’s been a few days since we’ve blogged and we’re late on our weekly goals post (I’m sure you’ve lost sleep over it).  I guess we’ve been lazier than usual. So, this is going to be a combo post: goals and something…

Rachel hasn’t given me her goals or mentioned what goals she accomplished last week, so she’s going to have mention them on the next post she writes.

I am 1-5 this week, though it’s not for lack of trying. I applied for jobs, but to no avail. Apparently, I am too educated to flip burgers or run a cash register and too inexperienced to ________________ (fill in the blank). I tried to watch The Spy Who Loved Me, but the DVD was scratched, so I only got to the part where Jaws rips off pieces of the van with his bare hands (its not like I have seen it million times or anything…). I guess I could have found another movie to watch, but I was in a Bond mood and that was the only one I could find. Apparently, everyone in Las Cruces was in a Bond mood. I did not read a full book, but I think I read enough of several different books to say I read a full book… Still, I won’t count it. I did not work on the news/profile piece this week. I have no excuse for it. I did, however, work on my novel. Man is it bad! But it passes the time and what else am I going to do with all this time I have (don’t answer that!)?

I think it’s safe to say that I did not work on the collective goals either.

New Goals: 1) Finish at least one of the books I’ve started and read another one 2) Work on my book 3) Watch a movie 4) Not panic or have a panic attack about any of the following: my unemployment/bum status, lack of funds for my upcoming move to Egypt/N. Africa/Mid-East, the fact that I am a single (not actually something I’m upset about), unemployed, soon to be 28-year-old woman with a cat who lives with her grandparents (don’t judge!).

Collective Goals: 1) Learn Arabic 2) Blog

The Something: 

International News: I’ve still been riveted by the North Korea story. Here and here are the latest from Richard Engel. I believe he’s left Pyongyang.

Local News: People sometimes think I’m a bit weird because I’d rather not risk going out at night to walk, or at least not on my own. I know it’s crazy. I mean I want to report on one of the most volatile regions in the world, cover war, revolutions and disasters, but I don’t want to risk going for a walk at night in a small, fairly safe city because something, like rape, might happen. Well, as it turns out, according the New Mexico Department of Health, I live in the state that has the 5th highest prevalence of rape in the country. To break it down, 1-4 New Mexican women will be victims of rape and 1 in 20 men. They also say that the real numbers are probably much higher. And it’s not getting better. It’s getting worse. I know that we have more to fear from the people we know than from strangers, but still…

Books: So, the Pulitzer Prizes have been announced. The big news is that no award was given for fiction, which is the first time since 1977. I find I actually don’t care about that. I am really glad about the photographer who won for his photo of the little girl in the green outfit who is crying/screaming surrounded by people who were killed in a bombing in Afghanistan in December. It is a hard photo to look at, but I remember it very vividly. It so moved me that I splurged and bought the newspaper (it was The New York Times, which is very expensive for a Master’s student in Hawaii).

Also, I’m reading Carrie for the first time. I’m not a King fan. I love his ideas, but there’s something about his style that grates like nails on a chalkboard. However, Carrie seems to be fairly readable. I’ve only cringed twice.

Categories: Books, Goals, Job Hunting, Journalism, Life, Media, Nerd, Photography, Uncategorized, Work | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Blast Off! Or Not…

By Kiki Keane

I have been glued to the TV the last few days. So many exciting things have been going on in the news. Okay, really one exciting thing has been going on in the news: the North Korean rocket launch. It has been exciting because DPRK has let in some foreign journalists to cover the whole thing. Granted it has been a highly orchestrated affair, but it is still interesting and says a lot about how N. Korea wants the world to see them and how they see themselves.

Today, DPRK launched the rocket and it promptly failed. I can’t say I was surprised. What is surprising is that North Korea has admitted to its own people that the rocket failed. I don’t think anyone expected that to happen. The question now is whether DPRK will follow up with a nuclear test in a show of strength.

I mostly watch NBC and MSNBC so the following links are all from those websites. Richard Engel is the reporter.

Display of devotion at unveiling of Kim Jung Il’s mural  (April 9)

Inside North Korea’s capital (April 10)

Mission Control room (April 11)

Launch and failure (April 12)

There should be more reports coming. I’ve heard rumors of more tours in Pyongyang.

Also, if you would like to see some really interesting pictures of DPRK you should check out Richard Engel on Twitter (@richardengelnbc)

Came across this website. It was created by DPRK and KFA (Korean Friendship Association). It’s purpose, it seems, is to build international ties with DPRK.


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Goals Old And New and North Korea

By Kiki Keane

Normally Rachel and I would be doing our goal post together, but Rachel has come down with a cold, so I will be doing it on my own.

Here is how we did on our goals and what this weeks goals will be:

Kiki: I’m 2-4 this week. I worked on my novel and I watched a movie. Actually, I watched several movies: Indiana Jones and the Crystal SkullGreat Expectations (2012), Transformers and Her Alibi. I did not finish a book. I hardly read at all, which does not bode well for the book part of my 50/50 challenge. I also did not apply for my visa or passport card. To be fair, the reason I did not apply for my card or visa is because I do not have a job, though not for lack of trying.

New Goals: 1) Read a book 2) Watch a movie 3) Find a job 4) Write up the story I’m working on 5) Work on my novel

Rachel: I have no idea if Rachel accomplished her goals. I’m pretty sure she watched a movie and probably read a book. I know that she did not research vaccinations. As for photography…well, she took the camera to the interview, but I was not paying attention, so I can’t say for sure. We’ll say she’s 3-4.

New Goals: 1) Practice photography 2) Read at least one book and 3) Get over her cold

Collective Goals: 1) Practice Arabic 2) Blog about something new

I would also like to direct anyone who is interested to the following news stories. You are probably aware that North Korea will be launching a satellite this week. The world is a little nervous. Not about the satellite, but about the ballistic missile and the possibility that they are preparing for an underground nuclear test. North Korea has allowed a number of foreign journalists in to the country to watch the launch. Here are a few of Richard Engel’s dispatches.

Here they are:

1) U.S. skeptical of North Korea Launch

2) North Korea prepare to launch rocket

3) South Korea: Pyongyang reading for nuke test

4) North Korea missile poised to launch

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