Sunday, September 28, 2008


“as the sun sets over cheap Korean monster-movie scenery”

Having just concluded an IM chat with MAF who, as usual, cracked me up all over the place, I’m having a glass of some lovely wine. ( I place this lovely moment in the present tense, because that’s where I live). As I sit there pumping out semi-spam emails asking people to complete my Korean blogger survey, some old Japanese guy, with pretty good English, approaches me. He’s in his 60’s probably, maybe 70’s, and comes up and asks if I speak English. I’m still new at this trophy white guy game and not yet bitter, so I say yes.

He asks if I can give him some interpretation of English literature. This of course, is right down my alley, and since I still have half a glass of wine, I say yes. Unfortunately the work of “literature” he’s reading is from the goddamned “house on the prairie” series.

OAF would dig this, but if you’re trying to teach someone English, I question the approach. This shit is over a century old, and was intentionally anachronistic when it was first written. Old dude’s questions are all about phrases like, “down Arkansas way,” which don’t seem to be phrases that would be used much with Japanese visitors, or come up much in what I might characterize as “real” literature. Still, we work through two pages of questions, and the guy is pretty sharp.

The final question is on the phrase “before the kernel lit on the floor” and the old guy doesn’t have a psychotic fit (as I would have done) when he learns that this meaning of ‘lit’ is not only never used in any spoken English I’ve ever heard, but also has nothing to do with fire or written works. And, to be fair, it makes me think about the usage. It’s “lit” used as a verb to be, I think…

I lit out… (sort of like “go”, I guess)
It lit on the floor… (meaning “hit” or “was”, I think)

But no, I realize, these are just contractions of “alit?” So really just a version of “went” and not the verb to be?

I dunno, I don’t have any resources, including a dictionary, here in the land of the Rising Sun…

Something to look up when I get back home.

For no reason at all this makes me think about a similarly unusual use of “like”

There’s a pain in my heart
And it hurts
It’s like to tear me apart
And what’s worse
I knew it right from the heart and I know
That’s just no way to go.

All this thought just makes me want another beer.

For the moment, I’m eating onion rings (truly horrible – they seem to be fried in some kind of sweet oil) in the hotel bar, and waiting for my hamburger (arrived as I type.. side dishes fries and brocolli?). There’s doubles badminton on the TV (this is supposed to be a sports bar) and a buzzing in my head.

I’ll be happy to get back to the 2nd homeland….

More blather..

This morning I woke up broke and decided that the easiest way to get money was to rob a bank.

This plan came a cropper when I realized that I lacked the necessary Japanese to say “put the money in the bag, and no one gets hurt.” In fact, stripped of even my rather miniscule Korean, I am back to pointing and grunting when I meet someone who does not speak English. Annoyingly, I also find myself talking to the Japanese in the limited Korean I do know. It doesn’t achieve anything.

So, with bank robbery out, I took the shuttle bus over to the airport. Thank god I brought my passport with me, since there is a passport check as you drive INTO the airport. This was a new one on me and I wondered what would have happened to me had I not brought the passport. When I got to the airport I couldn’t find an ATM that would accept my card. Last night, in the lobby, I heard some Indian travelers complaining that they thought “Japan was modern and would have ATMs everywhere.” It’s weird, Korea is certainly better in this respect. So I changed my leftover Won and went downstairs to catch my shuttle back. Lo and behold, a Citibank ATM! I pulled out a modest amount and hopped the shuttle back. Out here in Narita the landscape reminds me a lot of Texas, albeit with a bit more bamboo and Chinamen. The hills roll slightly, and the houses are slightly run down but modern.

I also saw my old friend the KLM pilot (I also saw him last night, sitting in the bar and pounding beer. Alas, I could not join him as the bar is cash only and I was fresh out) and he was apparently headed for another drink.

So now, I sit in the hotel room (the weather looks to cruddy to head downtown) I’m watching Australian TV and, gosh, the journalists and politicians are erudite and clever and the least of them would crush the best of ours. And not it’s on to “Inside Business” which ought to be pretty…. (wait for it) …… rich (!).

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Too Many Words, no Pictures

Several things I like about this hotel. It has slide under drape tracks. That is, where the drapes meet in the middle of the window, one slides directly under the other so no evil light can pour through. This is an idea that all hotels should use. So says I! Also, the tap water is drinkable here. Not that I’ve had anything but beer, but still, should the need arise I will be prepared. Finally, they have the best TV thing ever.. the TV is bilingual. It has, I think, three languages and you just pick the language on the remote control and you have Japanes, English, and whatever the other one was. On the bad side, in this hotel, at least, no crazy porno channel.

I woke up to discover that I had missed the early bus to downtown Tokyo. Narita is like an hour out in the boonies. When I came back down to catch the second bus, I saw the alarming sight of two KLM pilots sitting out on the bench drinking. One was drinking one of the petite Heinekens they have around here, but the other was drinking wine straight from a bottle! His eyes were massively bloodshot, his skin pale, and his hair was matted. I tried to snap a picture with my cellphone, but I’m not sure it came out.

On the positive side, I met some Australian guy who apparently makes his living wandering around giving presentations on something or the other, and as he had been to Japan some years earlier, he knew how to navigate the trainlines and made my journey to Seisen quite easy. We chatted politics on the bus on the way over.

Tokyo (and so far all of Japan – the view out my hotel window was of rice-fields and hovels) looks a lot like Seoul, except I had no idea it was so laced through with waterways. I will say that the general level of English ability here is miles above Seoul. Not just at the hotels (to be fair I never stay at Western hotels in Korea) but on the transit system. Everyone seems to have good English and I’m going to be interested to see if this holds up. I paid my 20 bucks(!) for conference registration fees and now I’m sitting ig a typical classroom waiting for my presentation to begin. I’m scheduled for 50 minutes, which seems a bit excessive, but we’ll see what happens.

I don’t want to write too much here, cause I might need the computer for the presentation and though the outlets here are 110 volts, they are of the two-pronged variety (I had to unplug the Ethernet box at the hotel to free up an “end” outlet on an extension cord there. The extension cord was hidden in the box that held all the internet wiring and if the help had come in while I was casually moving refrigerators, desks, and pulling cables from their internet setup, I’m sure I would have been evicted.). Perhaps I should go in search of a three-pronged one.

The presentation went off without a hitch, if anything I was over-prepared. The conference was pretty much what I expected, the program was printed on 11x17 paper which couldn’t be folded in any way that made the conference start on the outside of the result and also go in the right time-order. The kid at the registration desk slept most of the time. The campus was an interesting mix of Harvard and Dumbledore and the crows in Tokyo were in fine form.

I only went to one other presentation, but the guy was relaxed right to the point of lost sphincter control, waved some handouts in the air, mentioned a few websites and then said, “well, I’ve finished early. Good, because there are some other presentations in this time slot that I’d like to see.” With that said, the guy did give me a couple good ideas for my listening classes. Anyway, I had a good audience that asked some good questions, and I also had a chance to talk a bit about the listening glass I’m creating for the Big Pink Business School (which, now that I think about it, has not one jot of pink anywhere in its decoration – probably a conscious effort at distancing the Business School from the reputation of the College/Uni).

Getting out was a bit more complicated as Seoul Station is under serious reconstruction and everything inside is covered in white plastic so you real do feel like a rat moving through an undifferentiated maze. You can’t get around the outside as it is blocked by tracks, so I spent some time wandering back and forth until I saw the sign the pointed the way. I had, of course, just missed a bus, so I had about an hour wait.

At night, Tokyo really comes alive and on the way back out I did notice that it seems to have a more relaxed and varied (modern) architectural style than Seoul. Seoul seems to hop from the Soviet to the funky, with little in between, and Tokyo definitely had more looks. And the water lacing through the place is a really nice touch as you drive through. Also, no one spits! I did not know that the Japanese rode on the “wrong” side of the road and thus that their driver’s side is our passenger side. Not a major thing, but it took a second or so before I assimilated it.

The ride back was cool, the town was lit up, and I almost got away with having an empty seat, but at the last minute two.. well, I’d call em ajummas in Korea, came in and snagged the seat next to me and the one in front of that. My white-guy repulso-powers were overcome by the power of companionship. I cursed the gods, since I could see there was one more empty seat in the bus and God rewarded me by, with literally seconds to go, filling it with an old lady who slumped back and kept rolling onto the kid she was sitting next to. Seeing the kid’s pain made me feel better, and I just watched the excellent scenery float by and soon enough I was back at the Radisson.

When I got back I was broke and this hotel has no ATM and no way to change cash, so I had to go to the restaurant for dinner as it is the only place that accepts credit cards. Bummer. ;-)

I hope to get back down to central Tokyo tomorrow, but it really depends on how much work I can get done on the WCTA paper – The rest of my stay could turn into some really expensive Hotel Medicine.

Nothing wrong with that, of course.

I hope some of my cellphone pictures come out and I also hope I can figure out how to email them to myself.

Cause I’m a retard, that’s why!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Why I'm like an outhouse at a Dead Show

Cause I'm overflowing with shit.

I went one more gate and there was the bar. Sure, it was exposed on three sides and well lit, but it was a bar.

The flight was uneventful. We flew over the East Sea (the map kept showing Dokdo and Ull ngdo islands and I wonder what that meant to the Japanese on the flight). We flew across the mainland of Japan, landed in Narita, and then proceeded to taxi half the way back to Dokdo. That's some long airport.

The van to the hotel was full, so they grabbed me and some stewardess (50, ugly, outweighing me and, thankfully, silent) a cab and we got here. Nice room and I fell in love with the place immediately when I saw the Sapporo Beer vending machine down the hall!

I was a bit less impressed when I discovered a 16-oz beer costs about 5 bucks. Oh well.. the taxi drive over, which was only about 10 minutes, would have cost 30 bucks (if the hotel didn't pay) and I'm starting to get the idea this place is a tad expensive.

New ad campaign for Korea. Sure, we don't have the snow-monkeys, colorful temples, or Mt. Fuji - but man are we inexpensive!

Also, on the ride over I did some good work on the next paper (got the theoretical section done, most everything should flow as a result of that) and also got a free Heineken. So, you know, win-win!

Tomorrow I'm told it's an hour to the college, and my quick looks at the subway maps here just confused the shit out of me - they are owned by separate companies (two, at least) and the map on the intarwebs did not seem to have any of the stops on the map that Seisen University gave me.

Oh well, that's what concierge's are for..

Some more reasons I like Korea (and one I don't)

The trip up to the airport was grand.. KTX, then the subway, and finally the airport train. Two out of three of these had grand views - and as two nights ago Fall, well, fell, everything is mild and lovely. ICN is a great airport and I'm always amused at how much easier it is to get on a plane here. They do all the same security, it just seems to work better.. Maybe it's the language barrier and I just can't tell that the security folks here are the same witless riffraff we have in the states.

But I don't think so.. cause it moves.

Then, I remembered one of the few things I don't like about Korea - no bars in the airports. This has jumped up to number two on my list of most disliked things in Korea (the heat and humidity of summer don't count because, really, how can you blame that on Koreans?). Number one, of course, is the promiscuous spitting. Number two used to be the crazy driving here, but then I realized that this is just something you get used to. If you were brought up here you'd know it by heart... look both ways.. three times. ;-).

I betcha the airport in Tokyo has a bar!

In any case.. a couple more hours and I should be Discovering Japan..

as the tears slid sideways down my face
I woke up speaking in the tongue of a different race
And as the plane touches down my watch says 4:02
But that's midnight to you!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Weak Ends....

A lovely third-day-of-the-weekend. Headed up to Seoul to get the cable I need to do a video presentation in Tokyo. Took the Saemaul (local) as the Mugungwha (milk-train) was already full. The Koreans are a frugal people!

It was a bit less than two hours up to Seoul and as usual I wrote away like a busy little beaver. I have no idea what it is about being on public transportation (or at a bar) that makes me focus on my readings and then write. The “U-base” folks were grand and they ordered me the correct cable which is scheduled to come land in two days or so. Plenty of time for the conference if I want to go visual.

It’s actually more important for my classes at the BPU biznezz school, which can’t seem to get its technology together. Can’t do much with videos I can’t play.

Anyway, whilst up at U-base I had to hand my laptop over to the tech and in that moment I realized exactly how filthy the keyboard was. ;-) The OAF had mentioned this before, but I hadn’t thought much of it. When I got home I pulled the cord and battery and cleaned the keyboard and deck. And then put it under a fan.

It was at that moment that I realized I probably should have backed up all of my brilliant paper-writing before getting my computer next to a rag that was even remotely damp. ;-)

It all turned out well.. the computer looks much more shiny, and the papers are safe.

And as there were no Saemaul or Mugungwha available, I took to KTX and sped back to lovely South Central.

As a bonus, over on Brian’s site, he had a picture of that advert for Korea complete with grammatical error and references that would mean NOTHING to any potential western tourist.

Solipsism to the max!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Various pictures of varied importance...

This bad boy was at the Ginseng Museum in Geumsan and it is possible I posted it before? But I found it on the camera card and had to try it just one more time...

Then there is this excellent drinking establishment of which, unknown to them, I am already a member!
Finally... with the paper-writing season almost over (the papers all need to be done by the end of this month so, ready or not, here they come) I can now turn to the delicious new books I've snagged on book-buying expeditions with the OAF.
There are only a few bookstores in South Central that sell any kind of used books in English, but I think the only people who visit these stores are the OAF, TMS, and me. So there's some good stuff. For whatever reason I'm all excited about reading again.

Friday, September 19, 2008

More from the front lines..

This week marked the beginning of my "Administrative" classes here at BPU. These are something like Staff Development classes in the states - employees take them to get some kind of credit with their managers. Employees get off work at 6 and are expected to be in class by 6:10.

The first day of my class, only 3 of my 12 students showed up, so I had a chance to talk to them pretty extensively. I went through my basic intro routine and then started asking them some questions. The first thing I said was that they wouldn't have to buy books. They nodded their heads in relief and one even said, "that's good." Which was why it was odd to discover, about 5 minutes later, that each of my students already had their books. As I followed up why that was the case, I discovered that the three doughty lads before me had taken this particular B level class, the one I am teaching them in now, last semester. They then launched into some rather personal attacks on the previous professor (who, of course, I knew) which gave me the disheartening feeling that they weren't inclined to like ANY professor. As I began asking about the missing students, who it turned out were missing because they know the first day of any class at BPU is administrivia, it became clear that ALL 12 of my students had been in the class at the B level the previous term. ALL 12 of them had also been in the class at the B level the term before the last one.

And, of course, they had all been through the exact same book in those two previous terms. I went for the inspirational speech; something along the lines of, "Well, if you've been in here two terms and you're in your third, now is the time for us to work together to move you up to level C."

You might have thought I had asked them to eat cold bricks of pig-shit without kimchi on the side. All three physically recoiled in their seats and two threw up their arms in front of themselves. Larry, Curly, and Moe all yelled, "no teacher!" in high voices and then hastily proposed various arguments as to why they were in the B level and that was where they were supposed to be, and that was where they intended to stay.

This was a bit dis-spiriting, though it did allow me to mentally start adjusting the bar.... down a bit.

The next class 10 students showed up and they all had books.... excellent! I began on my lessons and these guys were fast and accurate. When we did the readbacks everyone's answers were perfect. Which made me pretty suspicious, since they didn't understand English very well.

A closer look and, DUH!, after two semesters with the same books, they already had the correct answers written in them. ;-) Thank god I had some worksheets from the workbook to hand out. The class also demanded that the class end at 7:30, and I accomodated them in that wish.

Still, pretty emblematic of BPU and the Korean English Language Education Enterprise in general. The students are forced to be in my class because their employer "wants" them to learn English, but no one cares in the slightest if they are learning English.

Oh well, it won't be a tough class, but still...

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Worst Lesson EVAR!

I decided to try a couple of new things with my Chinese students, all of which failed miserably. There are three hours to fill, so I'm always looking to try something new. They wanted more conversation and listening, but I think all they'll go away with today is a group headache.
First I had them to read an article about China's increasing economic clout. They read it just fine, but trying to get a class of 18 students to discuss the thing was like pulling teeth. They wouldn't even answer simple questions like, "what makes China so powerful?" I had assumed that playing to their chauvinism would get them going, but instead in clammed them up like, well, clams.

I finally just punted on that part of the lecture (thank god there had been an institutional questionnaire to fill up 10 minutes of the first hour).

I returned to the second segmentof the lecture with the "What Am I" game, which went somewhat better, and the lesson was sort of back on track and I knew I had a strong finish coming because it was a video. To end the second segment of class I introduced the questions for that video. The video is from the "No Reservations" TV series by Anthony Bourdain. Bourdain talks quickly, and with a NY accent, so I wanted the kids prepped for each question. With 15 minutes to go until the computer HAD to be wheeled in, I was starting to get nervous and headed down to see where it was.

Turns out that all (by which I mean two) laptops had been checked out to other instructors, even though I had requested mine last week. The office did, however, have a projector.

I was too polite to ask what good a projector was without a laptop.

This was a non-starter, so I asked if a computer lab was available. It was, and I rushed up to it, to discover that it was unequipped to play mkv files. Not quite cutting edge. "No problem," sez I, as I quickly downloaded VLC and had that part of the puzzle fixed in about two minutes.

More alarming was that the connection to the ceiling projector was not attached to the computer, and there was no remote for the projector in any case. I hooked up the projector, but there was no way to operate it. Worse, the sound cables to the projector were RCA and there were only the standard 1/4" outlets on the back.

No video AND no audio for the complete win!

Now, I sit here with my students happily surfing the internet and not learning a lick of English.

Pretty much of a total disaster of a lesson.

Friday, September 12, 2008


I should just note that slightly over a week after quitting the Ramen, my BP has dropped 15/10 and is now back to my normal 'pre-hypertensive' state.

Also, here in the land of the morning calm, it is pepper season... so as I might have said before, the tarps (and roofs) are out...

Kim Jong-Il and My Best Friends.... ;-)

Some interesting commentary on what might happen post Kim Jong-Il over at Marmots.

On the totally bonus side MAF has moved up to MBF by sending me a lovely care-package of powdered diet beverage (the only diet drinks in Korea seem to be water, often advertised as "no calorie," and Coke Zero, which is good, but gets a bit old). I couldn't be happier about this. ;-) This also proves (as if it needed proving) that the school address is a good one.

Related, BKF has sent me a couple of recipes for healthy dinners that can be made from local ingredients. One is a kind of pizza - unlike most Korean pizza it seems to contain no corn, but it is based on rice and kimch! I LOLed.

A lovely Friday here in the Land of the Morning Calm, and I'm off to get me some coffee - black!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Kim Jong Illin? It's a Good Time to be in Daejeon

Hmmmm (from the Korea Times)...

South Korea’s top intelligence officer told lawmakers Wednesday that North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-il has undergone surgery for a stroke, but is not dead nor in a critical condition.

well, he's hit the first step in the trifecta, which is probably not good. There has been some speculation on the intarwebs about what will happen when Kim dies (here and here - the comments are also good to read) but I will say that if it happens soon I will be glad to be outside of Seoul. The phrase "lake of fire" pops unbidden to mind, and should something that bad happen it will be good to be in the countryside (and headed to Busan!) when it does.

Interesting times..

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Random Musical Thing -


There are very few (perhaps 4) cases in which I can absolutely remember the time I heard my first song from a band that came to mean anything to me. One of these bands was Husker Du.

Husker Du was the only US punk (if that is the word) band that mattered. I would have loved them if for no other reason than, upon hearing them MSM asked me if I was playing the record (yep, vinyl) at the right speed.

That kind of generational misunderstanding is priceless to a young man, and it made me love Husker Du even more than their trebly fury already had.

Sometime in my college years (as it took me over 20 years to get my B.S., this is an inexact measure) and somewhere in Berkeley, I was listening to KALX, the best college radio station in the world. It was pretty late and, as is my style, I was under the influence of something. I’m a fan of sleep, but it has never been a fan of me and I was sensibly medicating this… then this song came on… crazy rollicking rhythm track (wildly busy drummer), snarly-assed guitars that loped in crippled fashion, and (sometimes incomprehensible) angry lyrics.

Then, there was that funny chorus “59 times the pain.” This must have been written with college students in mind: All the angst one needs in a handy overdose of pain and a peculiarly specific number attached to it. This was made for young-angst.

I had never heard anything like it.

KALX had many advantages and one was that they played monstrously long sets. Another was that they back-announced everything they played. These two advantages kept me up that night. I struggledto stay awake as the set went on with songs from various unknown bands.

Finally, finally, the DJ back announced the song and I wrote the name down and then went to a lovely drug-induced sleep.

Next day it was off to Amoeba records to buy “New Day Rising” which proved to be packed with nifty slices of anger and despair.

Over the next couple of months I purchased their back-catalog (by the time I came upon them they had already released the seminal “Zen Arcade”) and each and every tape/recording was a winner. As I look at my current IPod collection I note that Husker Du is #2 in terms of number of songs. Losing that title to Elvis Costello is no shame (I’m a bit embarrassed by how well Elton John and Hanoi Rocks do!).

I suppose this kind of happy revelation is unlikely in the land of K-Pop.

Still, my little stop in Korea has allowed me the time to remember the songs I loved in previous days, and the bandwidth to “capture” (‘steal’ is such a loaded word) them.

Next up for download.. alla Nirvana and alla Iggy…

Monday, September 08, 2008

Ordinal Rankings, New Classes...

I went in and got my ordinal ranking this morning. I was the 7th-highest rated professor out of 58 here at BPU. That kind of sucks.. just outside being able to say I was in the top 10%. :-(

The new classes have begun and the familiar (well, ok, it is only my second semester) groove is settling back in. I have the Japanese Study kids, who I love, and some Chinese students who have really good English, the other class is BPU administrators, and it hasn't met yet. Rumour is that I might have to take some more of the Chinese hours.... Only downside to those classes is I have to wear a tie, which I kind of hate.

This week I'm teaching 19.5 hours, but it is pretty spread out... one nice thing about the next Uni is that it only has a 12 hour work-week. A lazy man could get used to that!

I always forget how fun the students are when you are really rocking a class. I subbed this morning for a great chemistry class and other than the fact that my fat self was drenched in sweat from the trip up the hill, it went perfectly.. high English levels in that class as well as students who didn't mind being there. Even the stupidity of the textbook didn't break the vibe, which is when things are really working.

That scamp House!

He did it again! Another cure, another disreputable performance as a human, and more droll wit.

My hero.

For some reason, “Story on O” channel is showing a House marathon and I'm down for the ride.

Well, when not freaking out about noise. This morning, as the OAF and I lay abed, the AC started cranking out some weird clicking noise and, of course, this made me super-paranoid all day. So, when the weird clicking noise went away, but the new “knocking walls” noise began, I even climbed up on the roof to see what it was.

Something in the vent system and it came on just as the clicking in the AC ended. Happily, after I climbed up on the roof and climbed back down, it went away.

Nonetheless, I will live in fear of a return of the noise for at least a week.

I’m neurasthenic enough about this that you could move me to the silent center of a massive glacier and I would eventually start to hear the ice melt on the outside of the thing. Something like Poe’s heart, but without any of the reason or drama.

I’m a remarkable sissy.

On another tack entirely, it turns out that the soup I had purchased for my new (healthier) breakfast was the wrong one. The OAF took me to show me the correct one, and it numbered out even better. So that’s a win.

I made the soup tonight and poured the rice in and it made a rather horrible and gelatinous mixture that shared all of the unfortunate aspects of maggots and rotted pancreases. Thus, I believe, I have created a new Korean food! ;-)

I was also amused to see, over at Marmot’s.. a picture of the horrible ammoniated-fish dish that was served at BKF and JAE’s wedding dinner. It was the Korean dish that has brought me closest to puking. Like all things, enough gochujang sauce covered it up and I survived.

I think that’s what my delicious new glop might need on the next go-round…..

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Two pics from the Ginseng Festival..

We all drank Makeoli from a big plastic bin...

The OAF prepared to kill, and kill again...

Friday, September 05, 2008


So, working on that pesky goals thing, I went to the gym today. This was a necessary step. I lost 27 pounds since I got here, which I credit to the lovely Korean diet*. And I’m certainly a bit more muscular since I’ve been walking around like a madman (props to OAF for dragging my ass out on weekends). But when I took the Blood Pressure test.

Oh my!

I won’t discuss specific numbers, since it would cause MSM to have some kind of syncopial moment about my impending syncopial moment. ;-)

But it has jumped up considerably since I arrived here, which I credit to the lovely Korean diet*.

It gives and it takes.

So I decided it was time to change the old diet and the first thing I looked at was breakfast. I normally start breakfast with a delicious bowl of Ramen and so I started there…


Each delicious packet of Ramen has just one serving. That comes with… well.. a death sentence, apparently.

99% of my daily 나트륨 (sodium) and is 500 calories of relative emptiness.

The OAF had introduced me to a lovely soup which I realized you can drop some rice into and have a lovely meal. So I ran the numbers…

One serving of the soup is 28% of my daily 나트륨 (still too much, but a massive improvement) and is only 105 calories

to this I add some pre-cooked rice.

1% of my sodium and, if I read it properly, 150 calories for half a bowl… So now breakfast is under 300 calories and not lethally salted…

so there’s breakfast..

I fear that lunch might have to include such sucky items as fruit and vegetables.. alas…

And, of course, the gym will help as I’ve done just about nothing to keep my cardiovascularity cut, flexible and powerful.

So there’s a step towards a plan…

*By which I mean my idiotic implementation of it..

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Some of that schedule love came crashing down this morning when I got to work and had a new schedule in my box. It gave me a class on 9 am on Wednesday morning. A class that was only on my schedule and not on the master schedule for the college, business school, university, or institute. Also, no building or room number, no book, no syllabus, no class description.

I went to the Uni and they said it wasn’t their class, I went to the college and it wasn’t their class, I went to the institute and it wasn’t their class. Eventually I tracked it down and it is a business class of Chinese students who were allowed to enter the business program without Korean or English levels that will allow them to learn anything. So, ultra-quick, these ‘retard’ English classes were tossed together.

They say the book will come in sometime next week. Nice.

And the class is three hours, not two, as my schedule gives me credit for.

So I tossed a few things together (the art of English instruction at BPUis often an improvisational one) and went downstairs and…. Well, of course.. since it is the second day of instruction.. the copy center is closed.. BPU is not world renowned for it’s organizat …. Oh, let’s just say it isn’t world-renowned or organized…

Which was also demonstrated when I checked and discovered my Uni class wasn’t on Tuesdays and Thursdays, as the schedule said, but Tuesdays and Fridays….

Oh.. and I work til 9 on Friday night…

Also, the new class ends at 12 and then I have a 5 hour wait until my next course back at the Institute. Oh well, this will turn into workout time, I imagine…

Working out my anger pounding Soju!
Anyway.. at the zoo we saw two slight mis-spellings… unless there actually is a person who is old, handicapped, and feedle… I fit two of these criteria.. ;-)

Oddly, in the direction that sign pointed we saw what must be the “feedle person” monkey..

Who could rather zip around…

Monday, September 01, 2008

As if Mad Cow Disease were not already Killing Millions!

The side of a delivery truck asks that we watch out for ----


What's next, Tuegi Terror?