Living in Wonju South Korea, These Many Long Years

Living in Wonju South Korea, These Many Long Years: Version 2.0!

Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year 1.1

For the last day of 2010 I stayed in the Wonj.

Who knows how the night will end.

I kinda wish that June and the kids were here now.

But I got an issue with bringing kids to a bar.

Still, wouldn't be so bad for em to be here now.

And this is Korea after all.

Instead, I get to listen to: where is your wife?

She decided to not get involved.

So Many kinds of Wrong

weird advertising:





New Year's Eve!

I'm pretty excited, although I'm still not sure what I'm going to do.

I suggested a bunch of stuff for us to do as a family, like rent a condo at a ski resort or near a beach, but June was pretty adament about not wanting to do anything due to the cold and sickness in the fam.

So I'm on my own.

Should I stay in Wonju, or go to Seoul?

Decisions, decisions.

Time for coffee.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Robots!

All over the waegosphere, people are talking about the new English teaching robots.

Even one of my favorite distraction sites had a write up about it.

What do I think?  Thanks for asking!

The general consensus around the waegosphere is that the robots are meant to replace native English teachers in the classrooms due to xenophobic attitudes by a large section of Korean society, mainly fueled by distaste towards non Korean males running around with Korean females.

To a certain extent, I'd have to agree.  There are a bunch of people out there who would do anything to stop marriages like mine from happening.  What they don't get is that my wife still wouldn't have married any of those losers if I hadn't come along.

Like most weird things in Asia, the Japanese did it first
These robots won't solve any of the problems native English teachers are supposed to deal with.

NETs are here to give the kids a chance to interact with non Koreans, to hear different accents, to get correct pronunciation and appropriate situational usage of English.  Tell me how an English teaching robot with an operator working from the Phillipines is going to help solve any of that?

All these robots do is make Korean educators look bad. 

Yes, we are afraid of NETs.  Yes, we have no clear plan for them in the classroom.  Yes, in a country renowned for starcraft addiction, people letting babies die due to playing video games, and people commiting murders and just well, dying from spending too much time in front of a computer, we think its a great idea to let the kids think that having a robot teacher to replace real life interaction is an a-ok fabulous idea!

I can't wait until they all start breaking down.

Obviously, the powers that be didn't really think this one through.

Lunch Time Tunes!

Crunchy.







Listened to Them Bones by Alice in Chains too, but couldn't find a decent vid to embed.

The Morning After!

Look Behind
I fell asleep on the train and almost missed my stop.

Luckily I was jerked awake by a halmoni sitting behind me.

I ended up brooding in a bar near the train station.

I couldn't find one with a dart board.

This morning I woke up to the kids bouncing on my head.  It was 7:30.

I usually get up around 5~5:30.

Luckily I wasn't late.

Mr. Kim didn't speak to me this morning.

That's fine.  All I can keep thinking about is Korean Wave, and how I hope to fuck the powers that be aren't actually obsessed about it.

But hey I read the papers.  I've lived here for years.  I know how that kind of thing works.  Seriously making money doesn't really matter when you throw that pride thing in the mix.

If it turns out that we end up following the same business plan, its not a complete loss.  I do take amusement and pleasure from my job.

But I gotta kind of wonder why they would even bother hiring consultants and what not to come in and give presentations that amount to the opposite.

Bah.

Time for coffee.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Country Bumpkin!

Goes to the big city!

It's true I don't get up to the big smoke often.

And tonight doesn't afford the opportunity to take full advantage of my situation.

I did a bunch of lame stuff: hit a book store, ate cheap kebabs, shopped around a bit.

Can't do much of that back in The Wonj.  I'm a country bumpkin, what can I say?

Now I'm going to shoot some darts and drink until the train leaves.  Maybe write some.

The presentation went fairly well, save for some idiot who couldn't seem to grasp the importance of studying overseas markets.

I won't bother reiterating some of the fucking tardo questions he asked over and over again.

I think he must be bucking for a promotion.  The big man in the room sat impassive, and he read it as disapproval.

I responded in a rather bemused fashion.

Hey, what else could I do?  If you're going to sell shit to foreign markets, you can't keep putting "Kitty the happy time" on your product.  Note to self: save that one for later.  Correction: been done.

His whole shtick seemed to be that the buyers will happily buy the same stuff we've been making here, since the whole Korean wave thing has hit the shores of the world.

I tried to explain that it would definitely appeal to hipsters and the like, who would see the irony of some whack Asian shit with crazed English on it at Walmart, but Nancy Average Smith and Joe Regular Jones would be like WTF? and toss it back into the bin after at best a little chuckle, at worst thinking bad about Asia.

What a tool.

Anyway, I ditched the pool boy escort by muttering about important business to take care of.  I'll deal with the fall out later.

Cheers!

On the Way to Seoul!

Mr. Kim picked me up this morning at a little after 7.  We're on our way to Seoul for the conference.

I was kinda psyched, but when I told Mr. Kim that I would be taking the late train back to Wonju, he became visibly upset.

Hey I have stuff to do.  What can I say?

I think he expects me to at least show my face at work once we get back.

Ain't gonna happen.  That would make no sense.  If anything, Wonju is closer to Seoul than work, so I'd just go home.

Stop stepping on my wave! 

He keeps trying to look over at what I'm typing.  Could we look at the road more please?

I'll try and ditch him after the question period.

The youngest is really sick.  Seems she's caught whatever bug June's been incubating.

June gave me a hard time too when I said I'd be home late.  She moaned about how she never gets to have fun.

All I know is that often in the early afternoons she goes shopping at the Outlet in Yeoju, has lunch parties with the ladies, plays her guitar. . . more fun in her usual day than in mine, so I feel no guilt.

I told her I'd bring her back a good book or something.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Janggi!

This afternoon I was a bit bored of sitting at my desk.

I took a wander around the various buildings.

In the maintenance rooms, I found most of the staff huddled around playing Janggi.

I guess they had cleared enough snow for this morning.  Everyone needs a break I suppose.

It took me a while to learn this game.  I learned back in my English teacher days, when a grade 5 boy kicked my ass.  I couldn't let that stand.

I'm not a bad player, but definitely no expert.

I played a few games.  I won one and lost two.

I didn't stick around; wouldn't do if someone on the totem pole wandered in and saw me hanging out with the maintenance staff playing chess.

Still, a nice distraction.

Holy Rage!

One of my favorite things to talk about is the strongest universal human constant, stupidity.

Stupidity can take many different forms.  A common one is thinking that in some way you are better than another person simply by being born into a particular community, whether it be ethnic, socio-economic etc. 

For some people, acting on this belief makes them feel better about themselves.  They get worked up into a holy rage, similar to the way they feel when they rally around the flag or their favorite sports team.

It's very seductive.

Especially if you aren't getting laid on a regular basis.

When I read stuff like this, I usually have two reactions: I laugh it off as the myopic ramblings of someone who is overly sensitive, or I think that every little bit helps.

Back in the day I'd get worked up and think "yeah well come live in Korea for a while buddy!  That shit happens here all the time too!"

I realized that wasn't a very productive way to live, seeing as you spent too much time being mad, which in turn cut you off from some potentially satisfying human relations.

Besides, I don't want my girls growing up thinking that way.

The real question is: will humans as a species ever reach a level of enlightenment that precludes tribal thinking?  My answer to that is no.

All you have to do is think of the family and the emotional bonds that are created, and how they are transposed onto the larger group.  It's a part of our socialization.

Does this mean that we shouldn't try to overcome this way of thinking?  It's too engrained?

Of course not.  But you shouldn't expect to see everyone get together and sing kumbaya anytime soon.

The issue of course is about trying to find another way to define the group, which is an ongoing process in many countries.

And of course calling out those who perpetuate an exclusionary type of thinking.

I do wish people like Steve Park would say something about life in the country of their origin however.  That would make me feel all warm and fuzzy.

Unfortunately, it wouldn't do that much, since many Koreans would simply see Steve as having adandoned his native community.

So it would be nice if I heard more Koreans in Korea speak out openly against stuff like this.

Sadly, that voice isn't very loud.

Hearing it from the likes of me or Steve certainly isn't going to change too many opinions.

Until people are ready to stand up to their own and call them out for their idiocy, the only thing you can do is be right with yourself and not spend too much energy on anger.

Thanks to Matt at Gusts of Popular Feeling and Ben Wagner for their research

Snow!

Driving to work this morning was treacherous.

A solid 6-8 cm of the white stuff has fallen since yesterday.  It's still coming down.

A couple of people slid out on their way in.  Luckily they showed up late with nothing more than bruised egos.

There is a monster hill we need to go up to get to work. 

This is Korea after all, monster hills abound.

But this morning they still hadn't gotten out to lay piles of calcium and sand.

Still, I made it despite a few close calls.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Math!

Tonight I helped the girls with maths.

I printed up a bunch of different worksheets from the net and used some flashcards I bought a while back.

The eldest did well in her class.  She came in second.

Basic stuff is not a problem for her.

I started her on memorizing the multiplication table.

The youngest still has some issues focusing for longer periods of time. 

She is still a bit young.  But I got mad when she asked to watch a movie.

We're supposed to follow a strict rule: TV only every three days.  Christmas was like a TV bonanza. 

She flipped and said that daddy was bad.  Then she buried her head under the pillow and refused to pay attention until I growled.

Anyway, she got the addition stuff pretty alright.  Need to spend a bit more time on her.  She's a handful.

As I was writing this, she took a tumble on the wet bathroom floor.  Usually she just gets right back up no fuss.  This time she fell hard on her side.

She's not having a good night.

I'll go read some stories and give her a big hug. 

Conference!

Word came down from the top today:

I have to give a presentation on Wednesday in Seoul.

It's the same presentation I gave back in November.

I acted all sore about it.  I've got work to do!  I'm a busy man!

Actually I'm elated. 

The presentation will be a cake walk.  I've already done the work and it went over well the first time.  Not much to tweak there.

Despite the driving time, I'll still have the afternoon to run around. 

I'm completely caught up on all my shit.  I don't anticipate being busy until after my vacation at the beginning of January.

Awesome.

Problem is, looks like I'll be picking my nose and playing solitaire for the next while at work.  Not much to write about with that. 

We'll see where it goes.

SAD!

So after some investigative probing from my end, it seems the only thing people are really hung up about today is life.

Must be the SAD.  It is true that the darkest days of the year do feel more depressing.

When I mentioned this to one of my waeg coworkers, he said I was probably unaffected due to the copious amounts of turkey I've been eating the last few days, ergo more serotonin.

Ah yes, the tryptophan defence.

I didn't want to point out that turkey really isn't that high in tryptophan compared to say, seaweed or soy.  Some people still use the tryptophan argument to explain their drowsiness after eating turkey, when really it has more to do with sitting around and eating until you're fit to burst.

A five minute google search gives you everything you need to know about that.

I just smiled and said yeah, you must be right.  You sure you don't want some turkey to boost your own levels?  I've still got a good 2-3 kilos of the stuff.  He said he was good.

Anyway, go out and get some sun, or go hang out somewhere that has a lot of HPS lights.

Time for coffee.

Despondency!

I went through my work space like a mini tornado.

Chucked reams of paper that didn't seem to serve any useful purpose.

It was better than talking to anybody this morning.

I know Christmas isn't such a big thing in Korea.

Most stores are open.  It's considered a young couple day generally.

But the mood this morning was. . . despondent.

I get it's Monday and all, but wow.

I'll have to go hang around the water cooler and find out what's up.

I'm feeling alright.  I signed my contract.  I pissed off at least two guys in the process.

I revealed certain connections in a way that could end up being inexpedient.

I didn't mean to tread on any toes.  It's just the way it turned out.

Hopefully they'll realize stupidity is the only human constant and won't hold it against me.

Something tells me this won't be the case.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Soup!

Soup's coming along fine.

Should be able to take the bones out in about 40 minutes or so. 

I've got two hungry girls who keep requesting updates on when the soup will be ready.

Not for another couple of hours at least.

Until then, enjoy these:






Update:




Tasty.


Clean Up!

Today I make soup.

But first I need to do some cleaning.

Then clean out the carcass. Boil the bones.

I had a turkey and stuffing sandwich for breakfast.

It was delicious.

The girls are playing with their window goo art.

June's asleep. She's still under the weather.

This morning I called my folks. It was nice to chat.

Time for coffee.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Eat, Drink, and Be Merry!


Dinner is awesome.

Despite the fact that I'm out of white Russians.

The food is good.

The company as well.

The kids are running wild.

Not a bad night at all.

Turkey!

Looks like the bird is almost done.

Give it another 30 minutes or so to get crispy on top.

I'll have to carve it up and stick it into a large pot to bring it over.

Make some gravy and we're on our way.

9 kgs of nom.

Christmas Morning!

The girls tore through their stockings as soon as they got up.

So far the biggest fun has been the yo-yos, the window art goo, and the bear 3d wood puzzle.

They now want to build their mechanical robot.

First lets have breakfast, then you should take a bath.

They'll be able to play with their bath toys that way.

Around 10 or so I plan on loading the turkey into the oven.

A couple of friends will show up earlyish in the afternoon.  We'll all head over to another waeg's house around 430.

June's going to drive, so I plan on beginning with the Christmas libations after noon.

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Specials!

I just got back from running around and picking up stocking stuffers.

I put on a few Christmas shows for the girls while I trucked around: The Grinch who Stole Christmas, Frosty the Snowman, Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer, and Home Alone.

The Grinch used to be one of my favorite shows when I was a kid.

The toy store I usually go to was packed.  I only went there for a few things anyway.

I bought the bulk of their Christmas stocking stuff at a massive stationary / craft store.

I prefer to buy them free form kind of stuff.  Things they need to build themselves.  A bunch of craft stuff, tubes of goo, puzzles. . .that kind of stuff.

June is passed out.  She's sick.  She always gets sick at Christmas.

I bought her a business franchise.  She got me an iPhone4.

Mine is more fun.

Here's hoping everyone has a safe and warm Christmas eve, and that you share the day tomorrow with people you like.

So Many kinds of Wrong

Warning!

NSFW!

If you are a young child or a sensitive adult, DO NOT WATCH THESE VIDEOS.

So many kinds of wrong


Klaxons - Twin Flames NSFW from BlindPig on Vimeo.


Yuck - Rubber from Yuck on Vimeo.



Health - We Are Water

Optima!

This morning I took June's car to work.

It's a 2006 Optima.

Driving it reminds me how much the famvan sucks.

I had it purring at 160 on the expressway.  It can go much faster than that.

I like this car.  I can't believe we got it so cheap.

Buying second hand from a relative is good for that kind of thing.

She's on vacation, and one of my husbandly duties is to check the fluids and tires.

I'll take care of it after lunch.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Syncretism!

This was a word I used to use to describe Korea.

I always knew the word itself was flawed.

But there aren't too many places where you can find folks who get married in a mix of Christian and Buddhist tradtions, observe Confucianist principles in everyday interactions, and practice ancestor worship and other forms of folk religion on different occasions.

There is definitely a lot of conflict between groups.  Google Korean Christians burning Buddhist temples for a start.  Or listen to a pile of Korean hip hop to counter the Confucianist slant.

But don't think about it too much.

That shit will just mess you up.

It does seem odd at times that a country that has such a diverse makeup in terms of ideology can be so ethnically oriented.  Maybe that's why the former can exist.

Humor!

Today was strange at work. 

It seems my sense of humor has been the subject of discussion around the water cooler.

At various points of the day I had different co-workers and interns coming up and telling me that they either liked my sense of humor, thought it over the top, or thought that it wouldn't hurt if it were a bit tamer but was just fine the way it was.

Weird.

All I could think was that in my line of work, a somewhat off kilter politically incorrect sense of humor is at times essential.

Besides, I usually avoid ribaldry.

Usually.

In a sense, I'm flattered.  Humor is something that is usually lost in translation. 

Learning how to understand the Korean sense of humor takes a while.

I guess I'm at least partially successful if I can get a good belly laugh out of most of my coworkers.

Christmas!

Pretty much every year since coming to Korea, I've hosted a Christmas dinner.

In the past finding a turkey was a lot more difficult.  It seems to get easier each year.  But then, that could be because I've gotten a better lay of the land.

It's a pot luck kind of thing.  I cook a bird with stuffing and a few other extras, and everyone else brings the fixings.

We do a secret santa, where everyone brings a gift worth about 2 manners and draws a number to get a different gift.

Looks like this year we'll be going over to another waeg's house.

I'll cook the bird and bring it over, but we won't have to deal with cleaning.

Awesome!

I've got Monday off, which is fine.  I've also booked 10 working days in January to spend around the house and catch up on some stuff.  Maybe I can finally get around to finishing the man den.

Pojangmacha!

Instead of watching the flick, I went out and met a buddy of mine.

We talked about how the real pojangmacha has pretty much disappeared from the streets of Wonju.

I'm talking the sit down variety that cook you up some dooboo kimchi and serve soju and beer, not these watered down versions that sell cheap street food.

I've had some of my best times in these makeshift tent bars.  Also got some of the worst diarrhea, but I digress.

What used to be one of the best areas for pojangmacha is now a major entertainment district housing the Lotte Cinema and Outback.

My friend joked about the lack of facilities when drinking at one of these tent bars.  When you needed to go, find a place in the field somewhere or hide between trucks.

If I knew what was going to grow from all that piss, I woulda saved it they said.  Or at least bought one of the cabbage fields.

That was pretty funny.

Time for bed.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Home!

Today was more hectic than I anticipated.

A bunch of unexpected stuff came flying my way.  I got through most of it relatively unscathed.

We're having spicy fish soup for dinner.  I love that stuff.

June made it.  I'd say her version rivals or even surpasses what my Mother-in-Law makes.

The eldest starts vacation tomorrow.  We plan on putting together a 1000 piece puzzle of Van Gogh's Starry Night then reading a few books.

After story time with the girls I plan on watching Black Swan.

I'm watching it for its artistic merit.

It has nothing to do with the fact that it stars Natalie Portman, and has some raunchy, racy scenes.

Not at all.

Red Bean Rice Porridge!

Today is the shortest day of the year, called Dongji.

To keep away all the bad ghosts tonight and for the rest of the year, it is imperative that you eat some red bean rice porridge.

If you don't, you will be more susceptible to their evil ways.

Ideally, you'd post a sign on your door which would basically say: we've eaten red bean rice porridge!  Ghosts fuck off!

I think you are supposed to write it in red, but I'm not sure.


Most people don't do the sign thing anymore, but eating the porridge is fairly common.

So go get some 팥죽 and eat it up!  Do it now!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Moon!


Truth be told, I'm bummed out.

The moon is where it is after all.

I've successfully quelled the urge to go howl at it tonight.

June's withholding affection and moping in her room.

Par for the course.

She really likes the fact that I work outside of the house.


When I ran my own business a few years back I made more cash for less work and less overall headache, except for the grief I got at home.

My as yet incomplete man den was my full time office.  I was home a lot.

I get you can't spend 24/7 with anybody. 

But when I hinted that I had some plans afoot for rekindling some of that, her response was far from encouraging.

I did learn my lesson from last time.

If it turns out I decide to be self employed again soon, I've already cased out a couple of places that would serve as an office.  I've worked out a deal with someone to serve as a part time secretary; all they have to do is answer the dedicated phone when it rings and make sure the right people get called.

I really like the work I do now. While I ain't usually proud, a man's gotta keep his pride sometimes if he wants to be able to face himself in the morning.

Let's see what happens over the next couple of days.

Done!

Amazing!

I burned through such a prodigious amount of paperwork over the last 36 hours even I'm impressed.

I have a couple of small little things left to finish, but all the end of year reports are finished, signed, sealed and delivered. 

And I actually did it all well to boot.  No half assed mockery of work from this waeg!

This calls for some downtime!  Seeing as I haven't had any since Thursday, I deserve a break today!

I'm going to dig around and find some apps for the iPhone, and maybe watch a flick. 

No beer!

I'm saving myself for Christmas. 

But there is that bottle of soju sitting there from the last time we ordered kamja tang. . .

Letter From a Concerned Reader!

A concerned reader sent the following letter:

"Hey Waeg!

What the hell is going on in Korea??  The TV here is all" war possible this weekend" and shit!!  CNN even sent Wolf Blitzer over there, and that's never a good sign!  How is everything, and what's up??"

I understand his concern, and I much appreciate the thought.

I responded in this rather rambling way:

"If its worth anything, they've been saying the same thing off and on for the last 40 years.  


North Korea likes to piss in South Korea's cornflakes because they can.  If SK refuses to give them free money or rice, NK attacks a few of their boats or sends over a sub.  They know SK has more to lose economically than they do, so its a form of blackmail: you can either give us the cash and the rice, or pay the price in a few dead dudes and a tumble on the stock exchange.  SK is hamstrung, since China is always lurking in the background.  China gets tons of resources on the cheap from NK, and the last thing China wants is a unified democratic pro American Korea. 


So it will continue to be stalemate after stalemate, until something gives.  Probably a coup in the North, but you just never know if some rogue general decides to start Armageddon.


Militarily, SK would kick NK's ass, even without the help of Uncle Sam.  Their stuff is just that much cooler.  Having a huge army doesn't amount to much if you can't supply it, or if half of it would be wiped out in a matter of days by superior firepower.  If it got down to shove, Seoul would be bye bye, but so would North Korea, a reality everyone is very aware of.  If China got involved, we're looking at WWIII.  China also has much to lose however, since it will basically own the world in about 20 years.


So. . .I'm not worried.  Except that my Korean and Chinese language skills need to be better."

If you have a question or comment, email is in profile.  Do it now!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Mr. Genesis!

For some strange reason, on my way home tonight I was passed zoomed by three different Genesis (Geneses?)

The last and the most harrowing was in town.  As I was about to turn off one main street onto another, this guy speeds past at about 110, pushes hard on the brake and makes his turn.

I nearly rear ended the tool.

It was a two lane street, so I cruise by him and lay on the horn: not cool tardo.

Guy completely loses his shit.

Starts flashing his lights, making like he's going to hit me, honking his horn.

I block him behind a car and roll down my window.  He does the same for the passenger side.

In the front seat is his wife holding a baby less than a year old.  In the back are two more kids.

Let that sink in for a moment.

He starts yelling at me that I need to slow down.  I promptly pointed out that he was the one who passed me in a crazy way, and that he should indeed be the one slowing down.  WTF?  Have you ever heard of a car seat?? You've got a baby in the front seat with mom and you're yelling at me for my driving??  You should be going 60 and being all sedate and shit.

He just yelled again you slow down!

Must be the moon.

Brain. Cooked.

Noticed earlier it was a full moon.

Maybe that's why I've been out of sorts the last two weeks.

Or it could have to do with contract stuff.

Shhh! Not allowed to talk about that.

Today it was resolved.  Interesting that I was also a paperwork machine today.

Now I'm cooked.

But I promised myself I wouldn't leave until I reached a certain point.  I sure could go for some chemical inducement, but I'm all out of magic green potion and don't feel like driving all the way to the nearest store to get some.

Guess I'll have to be satisfied with coffee.

Crazed Monday!

The chickens have come home to roost.

I've been seriously unmotivated over the last couple of weeks.

I let a series of stupid events get in the way of keeping up with the tons of paperwork I always need to do.  While I scored big and was extremely prodigious on some massive projects over the last few months, I let slide a lot of the regular stuff.

Well, a lot of that regular stuff needs reports and crap filed over the next three days.  Gaaaahhhh!!

Its alright, I'll hustle and grind, stay late, and get it done.  And I'll listen to some of this to keep me tame and mellow:

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Uijeongbu!

Today was pretty hectic.

June and I first went and availed ourselves of a 24 hour Homeplus grocery store in Uijeongbu.

We cooked breakfast for our and the Sister-in-Law's family: egg, ham, cheese on an English muffin served with tator tots and fresh strawberries.

Then we all went and took a walk in a really nice park near city hall.  There were even speakers playing Christmas tunes as we walked along the nicely groomed mountain paths!

We hit Costco and found turkeys.  Usually some enterprising Kim or Lee scoops them all up to sell at double the price.  We only paid 3.5 manners for a nice fat Australian one.

We still ended up spending 70 manners at Costco however.

Then it was on to ToysRus.  In retrospect this was probably a mistake, but I have no time to go all the way to Uijeongbu during the week.

The issue began with the youngest seeing a kitten.  She loves cats, and has been after us for months to get one.  The problems are that the eldest is allergic to them, June hates them, and I think it very anticat to keep one in an apartment.

The youngest totally lost her shit when we said she couldn't have one.  Full on tantrum in the middle of the store kinda thing.  I tried to reason with her, explaining that we said she could buy any toy she wanted, and that a cat wasn't a toy.  While I'm trying to deal with all this, June is letting herself be conned into signing up for a fucking credit card.

She got paid 4 manners to sign up with Citibank.  I immediately requisitioned her earnings to spend on more toys.  Ha!

The youngest's logic was that she and the cat would be both be unhappy if we didn't bring the cat home with us.

The eldest snorted and pointed out that the cat wouldn't be unhappy since she didn't know the youngest.  The youngest responded by saying that since the cat had seen her, and knew she would love her, ergo the cat would be unhappy.

I'm trying not to laugh during all this, which only serves to infuriate the youngest.

Long story short, she became the feared Grumposaurus until she fell asleep, and returned ten fold when we woke her up back home.

The girls got a bunch of cool stuff: Playdoh playsets, connect four, a couple of books, a sphere puzzle, some ABC spelling game for the youngest, a walking robot that will be fun to put together, and a microscope for looking at stuff.

iPhone madness!

Today I did the following with my iphone:

Posted four times to my blog

Found a shortcut out of heavy traffic by using google maps

Showed the girls and their cousins a couple of skateboard videos so they could see what the skatepark was supposed to be used for

Took a ton of photos and video

And more!

Life as I know it is about to end forever staring at this little screen

No more posts about my iPhone I promise

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Duck!

Tonight we ate duck.

It was delicious.

I could smell it on my clothes for more than an hour afterwards.

It reminded me of the scrumptious duck tang that we finished off with.

That's the awesomeness of Korean BBQ:

You don't forget anytime soon what it was you just ate.

Keeping!

If you're the type who likes a drink of something fairly fine, and you like to frequent the same Bar more than once every three months, then keeping is for you!

Many bars in Korea will keep a bottle for you if you find it inexpedient to drink the whole thing in one sitting.

Of course, if you decide to go for the keeping, be sure to go back and finish that puppy off!

Wait too long, and you could find that the place has gone the way of the dodo next time you get around to it.

Or worse, it tastes oddly weak.

But then that could be the 6 drinks you had before coming in.

Gorilla!


It seems fitting that my 200th post be made at Gorilla hof in Uijeongbu on my new IPhone

Cheers!

Something Light and Fluffy!

I need to listen to light and fluffy after the seriousness of this morning.

Let's just say it didn't involve the fam, but it was a serious bummer.

SO: Let's listen to something completely vapid!

Early Bird!

Last night I ended up crashing at about 9:30; woke up this morning at a little after 4.

What a lame Friday night.

For the best.  Today we're all going up to Seoul to visit the Inlaws.  The girls will be able to get crazy with their cousins.  We'll eat some duck, maybe drink a little beer, and hang out and chat.

After I pick up my Iphone4, I intend to be sucked into its caressing vortex of technicolor wonderment. 

On the way back we'll hit Costco and also grab a turkey.  When I went to Emart earlier this week I saw they were selling cooked turkeys for Christmas.  I wonder if they sell em raw, since cooking a turkey on Christmas is part of the fun.  June said she'd call later to find out about it.  That would save a trip to Hannam-dong.

Later.

Friday, December 17, 2010

So Many kinds of Wrong

Do you really need to buy it that badly?



Nice irreverance:



More irreverence:


Ducked and Covered: A Survival Guide to the Post Apocalypse from Nathaniel Lindsay on Vimeo.

Score!

IPhone4!

F5waeg, now with more pure awesomeness!

Now I have to go pick it up.  I'd leave work now, but of course my car is far far away.

f@k!

Tomorrow I will hold her sweet sweet tech in my loving hands.

Flat!

Last night I scooted down to get some cigarettes from the famvan. 

I usually keep my stash there so that the girls don't see them.

Luckily I did since I discovered I had a flat tire.

The problem was that the jack I have in the famvan completely sucks.  It would be more useful as a projectile than as a damned jack. 

The service guy will come by sometime today, although I imagine he'll be pretty busy what with the snow last night.

I texted one of my coworkers and snagged a lift with him this morning.  Cool.

Who reads this nonsense?

HMU

Let me know who you are.

Make it up if you feel the muse tugging at your sleeve.

Email in profile.

Get quoted!  Here and now!  Before I decide to walk away from this small endeavor and again put my energies into other things.

Do it Now!

For now enjoy some 1986.

And for the record I would totally go down on Natalie Portman.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Guilt!

I'm a firm believer that guilt is for suckers.

Now I couch it in the following terms: responsibility, foresight, experience.

I've dealt with my fair share of guilt trips.

But tonight I didn't push for the bar hop 2 cha.

Besides all the usual suspects were oddly absent.
janggu
I missed seeing the youngest play the janggu.  Tonight was also the variety show at the kindergarten.  I went and hung out for about 20 minutes, but I didn't stay.  I was on a mission.

That mission was to embarass myself royally by singing a song I wrote this morning while driving to work.

I decided not to sing the Korean tune.  I figured they had heard that one before.

Let's give them something they haven't heard.

I started out by making it like an Irish folk song.  By the time I was driving home it had a definite hillbilly twang to it.  Mainly due to a midday switch from 5 line verse to 4.

All the other waegs save one sang Korean tunes.  The funniest was when one dude got up and sang "this is going too fast, I don't understand Korean, but I'm singing" to the chorus of a fairly recent song.  In Korean.

That was pretty fucking funny.  

BUT. . .I bailed.  The head dude wanted us all to go to a singing room, but by the time I got out it was more expedient and wise to just GTFO.

Now I can keep up on my three post a day idiocy.

Eventually, I'll stop writing this shit.  It's supposed to be a slice 'o life kinda thing.

Till then.

Dionysian Revelries!

Tonight is shaping out to be full on.

The Christmas shindings usually are.

But coupled with this news is that one of the interns got offered a sweet position with a major corporation.

Looks like our department will be giving a little extra out.

The drunkest I've ever been in my life was at a work related dinner.  Back in the day I worked for a college that had an adjunct campus set up as part of a training center with one of the big chaebols.  Most of my students were assembly line workers, learning English to hopefully get themselves off the production floor. Most of them had no university degree and were in their mid to late 20s or early 30s.

I was repeatedly asked if I could drink well.  Not to brag excessively, but yeah I can put the sauce away.  During the membership training, I was called out by one of the guys who was renowned as the strongest drinker.

I had had about 4 bottles of beer and was feeling pretty good.  We sat down across from one another with only a paper shot glass and several bottles of soju.  What followed should have killed us both: we proceeded to do shot for shot, one after another, and in the space of about 45 minutes we had drunk nearly 6 bottles of soju EACH.

I kid you not.

The contest came to an end when all of a sudden dude in front of me just keeled over.  Literally.  One second he was up and trying to stare me down, then flop! over he went.

I remember everyone in the room having very frightened looks, but the rest of the night is very hazy.  Apparently, I went from room to room talking up a storm, being very animated, hitting on all the cute women, caging beer from anyone who had some.  I supposedly began stumbling more and more as time passed.  I'm not sure how long this went on.  I woke up halfway up the mountain behind the resort covered in leaves.  At least I had sense enough to make a blanket.

Oddly, I wasn't that hungover.

Guy was ok, although his pride took a serious blow.  Things between me and the rest of the students felt very odd after that.  There still seemed to be a hint of fear and apprehension in their eyes whenever I met them.

I guess many people had tried to take this guy down over the years, but I was the first to succeed.  My victory seemed somewhat hollow, seeing as everyone now thought I was some type of mythical liquor beast, or alcoholic.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Maintenance!

After work I went to the youngest's kindergarten to do some maintenance.

We needed to replace the insulation on all the pipes.  It was originally put in when the place was built about 12 years ago.  One of the dads who is in construction got some type of new pipe sleeve free.   Four of us replaced the insulation on both the hot and cold water pipes.

At one point we needed to rip away part of the outside wall, but it was fairly easy to replace.  My hands are still a bit numb.  We were done fairly quick.

It was supposed to happen this weekend, but two of the dads have to go do company stuff.  Seeing as its been damned cold the last few days, we decided that waiting longer would be a bad idea.

The insulation that was there wasn't in bad shape.  The new stuff is supposed to be very helpful for the hot water especially.

Apparently it will save the kindergarten a bunch of cash on the gas bill.

I'm just happy that we don't need to get at the ondol.

That is beyond our DIY capabilities me thinks.