Thursday, December 31, 2009

Live! Blogging! The! New! Year! Part whatever

It comes close...

we have a beer and a cider....

and the smell of cigarettes..

I blame the godammned Scotts... and Tennyson... and reliable clocks...

The bar has turned all the tvs to some kind of savage Korean NY clebarion with drums, fire, and people without faces...


I'm starting to feel better!

Live! Blogging! The! New! Year! Part 5 golden rings

Each ring lovingly left by a 400 cc glass of Cass beer...

Yvonne has retreated into "The Girl From Leam Lane," one of her books that show the reliability of horrible death for women.

It is reassuring to know that the Universe cares to that extent....

The bar is now all Korean, and we may not make it out alive, as Yvonne has been humming Japanese war songs from the 1940s.....

I think she has read too many books..

Live! Blogging! The! New! Year! Part 40 ounces!

I just kicked Yvonne of the "Snoopy" Facebook game...

she was bitter...

apparently the New Year will, like my first serious GF, never come...

and, of course, both will be my fault...

sigh...

where is the champagne?

Live! Blogging! The! New! Year! Part Trixie

The cleaning must have worked, as the trio at the next table continues to drink what looks like California wine....

New Year's may be, however, canceled, because far behind Yvonne two people have ignited cigarettes, and this makes Yvonne act as though she is slowly being strangled in a Khmer Rouge death camp....

The fights continue on the tube.. NY is about 1 hour 15 away..

Live! Blogging! The! New! Year! Part Tres

LOL...

the cleaning job must have been good..

a trio just came in, and have seated themselves at the table that was just covered in puke...

Man.. I love Korea...

1 hour 40 to go...

Live! Blogging! The! New! Year! Part Deux

Well.. the army dude straight-legged it back to the table next to us, puked violently, and then went face down on the table..

9:48 or so...

Yvonne has green tea latte all over her face, some K1 dude just got the nut shot of all time, and I'm getting another beer...

With some luck, I'll puke before midnight...

PS.. the "clean up the puke" process in this bar is efficient in ways snow response never is....

plastic bags, plastic brooms, disinfectant, and everyone in pink plastic gloves...

wow.. I may just be becoming aroused!

Live! Blogging! The! New! Year!

Delicious sogogi dinner..

we now sit in "The Library" drinking... next to a white dude and his Korean girlfriend who are engaging in a snogging session that would be pretty much inappropriate on this side of MTV...

Tea for Yvonne... Gin and tonic for me....

One soldier has just staggered out...

delicious side-dish of sugary nuts (Yeah, I got that!) nearly gone....

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Brrrr...

Clear but icy cold..

A nice change from Sunday and Monday's snow. Sunday night the snow hit and all the roads turned to silly mush. Koreans don't seem to have tires that deal well with snow, so the main road outside my neighborhood (which is on a rather steep hill) as a skating rink of cars fruitlessly spinning their tires and drifting here and there on the road and in parking lots. After seeing Yvonne off to the tube-station I sat outside for about 20 minutes and watched the show.

Monday morning, there were few taxis available and non on my street which was still snowy and (yes) still steep. Korean don't know how to drive in the snow, and there doesn't seem to be a civic response to snow at all. I did see some trucks driving around dropping off bags of artificial salt, but that seems to be the extent of the official response. Kind of lame, considering snow isn't exactly a surprise. Homeowners and shop owners do clean 'their' sections of the sidewalk, and sometimes the road, but that is an iffy response. Taxi drivers are not about to get up in the early cold and wreck their livelihoods, so in general on days like this they take an extra couple of hours of sleep. I had to walk all the way to Noksapyeong station to grab a cab.

The other thing that happens is that the large amount of polished granite, marble, and other stones used on floors, stairs, sidewalks, and entry halls, becomes incredibly slick with freezing. This is the season all the TV channels are running alarmist adds with halmoni and halbogee falling over and breaking their hips, but those ads are based in observance. Everyone except the very young tiptoes carefully about - everyone except the violently smashed Ajusshi I saw last night. Remarkably, his lurches, stutters and stumbles seemed to be equally met by the treachery of the ground, and although he could barely stand up when in one place, his semi-epileptic mode of walking seemed adequate to the weather.

Oh well - another storm may be coming in tomorrow, so we are all girding our loins and other historical phrases..

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry PaganMass! (A semi-re-run)

Rudolph the gamy reindeer
Had a very mangled leg
And if you ever saw it,
You’d say hey cripple get a peg

All of the other reindeer
Used to laugh and call him lame
They used to trip poor Rudolph
And keep him out of reindeer games

After a visit from the ADA
Santa came to say
I have to hire the handicapped
So won’t you come as my skycap?

Rudolph the wobbly reindeer
Wasn’t all that great at flight
And if it wasn’t for the ADA
He wouldn’t have been aloft that night

Rudolph the feeble reindeer
Wobbled weakly towards the sky
All of the other reindeer
Began to worry they would die.

Flying over icy wastes
Rudolph’s leg gave out
The sleigh began to tip and spin
Lines tangled and they corkscrewed in

All of the other reindeer
Screamed in fear and agony
As Rudolph the crippled reindeer
Brought the sleigh down into the sea

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

(in)Famous at Last!

Well,

Sort of. Korea.net ("The Official Website of the Republic of Korea") is featuring my blog on their front page. As that will be transient, I've taken a screen shot..


Sunday, December 20, 2009

All Over but the Crying..


There they are... symbols of slavery....

Mine is on the right and that horrible imperfection on it? Yvonne's looming head behind the camera..

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Absent Google

"Sad Hockery"

which I had to use since "Sad hoc" apparently has some meaning....

I know define my new phrase as meaning an argument made up on the spot, that despoils you actual point...

Monday, December 14, 2009

Besides, his artistic passion were busted in other fields like movie.."

Dear Seoul Art Museum,

Holy spattered excreta on a steaming shingle! It is an Andy Warhol exhibit, a pretty big thing. You obviously spent piles of money on the staging, which was totally brilliant, and much more just to get the art over to Seoul.

Why is it, then, that you chose to do your translation into English though Babel Fish? This was the worst set of translations I have seen in my life (you may click on the graphics for bigification).
"In works, he focused on to express public emotion that shares star not on star itself."

WTF is that, some kind of splattered Zen koan?

Ahem…

The lovely fiancĂ©e and I went downtown to see the Warhol exhibit. It was great. The art was much better than I had expected, and the museum did an astounding job of laying out the rooms. Luckily, particularly for an opening weekend, the place was nearly deserted. I don’t think Warhol is the kind of artist that causes parents to grab their kids and head to a museum. Consequently there were almost no kids in attendance, and the normal push-pull-squeeze was not in effect. There was, however, one totally cute little 5-year old wandering solemnly from piece to piece, writing something down in a little notebook.



There were no signs (that I saw, anyway) saying no photography, so I took some snapshots of the absolutely terrible translations. About 2/3 of the way through the exhibit I saw the docents stopping Koreans from taking pictures of each other, so I’m assuming it actually WAS a no photo zone. Maybe the docents just didn’t want to try to explain that to the weird foreigner who wasn’t even taking pictures of the art, just the explanations postered on the walls.

This exhibit is absolutely worth checking out – it makes the Renoir exhibit that came through a few months ago look absolutely lame. At only 8-chun and with unimpeded views and paths? Get down there!

And laugh at the English translations..

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Snowing in Seoul

With the semester coming to its usual tangled end, the snow is falling in Seoul. It looks nice and engenders the typical Seoul "oh mi Gawd!" responses to snow - freak out, get out the brooms(!), toss down some cardboard, halmoni and halbogee (and broken-footed me) walking at even more glacial paces, and cars with bald tires spinning out even on the little snow we have on the mild hills surrounding my house.

This must be shitty for the motorcycle delivery men, for more than one reason.

As to me, I'm still grinding out these writing things... 1200 words on Gyeongju is now off to 10 Magazine Asia and I turn to my photo essay for Education About Asia, which is due Friday. Last night was spent cranking out the last of 14 model essays for some high-school around here. Still, relaxed enough to come into work today for some coffee and strawberries.

Then time to think about re-writing next semester's classes...

Assuming I have the same classes this Spring that I had last Spring, I should be good to go. During the break I'm teaching one of my troublesome classes - "Discussion and Presentation English." The Presentation part is pretty easy - some peformance, some short speeches, and how to do Powerpoint properly.

Like a retard I was thrashing around on what the "Discussion" thing meant?

Last night a thought occured.

"Ok, maybe," decides I, "Discussion is like Converation.. only with... discussion?"

And Bingo.. now the class is writing itself in my head 8 weeks of discussion and 8 weeks of Presentation. Weird, almost like the name of the class!

LOL.. I'm stooopid

Saturday, December 05, 2009

On a Saturday..

It is freezing and beautiful in Seoul.

On the streets people are preceded by their condensed breath, and they walk briskly.

I can do no such thing.

After years of joking from my family about my injuries being gout?

They have brought it to me. LOL

Woke up two days ago with a swollen big toe... all the sam gyap sal and wine have turned on me. I wasn't sure what it was.. so I just iced it and it got better (read: I also went back to my semi-vegetarian foodstyle). Last night the lovely "someday-to-be-ex-wife" came by and wanted to go out for dinner.

BANG.. beef and soju and the toe is all swelt...

Crap.. if this continues I'll need to be concerned about my health!

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Down in Silla Town

Last Friday the family bundled up and off to Gyeongju. We took the train down and on the way I was amused to see the sister campus to where I work looming off on the horizon.



when we got to the yeogwan, Baxter assumed his customary position:


Outside in Gyeongju the evening was frightening:


But it was still autumn when the sun came up:



Squirels were standing on their heads



And the lovely Seokguram Grotto loomed ahead:


As did tumuli
And the harsh streets of Gyeongju (Picture courtesy of Danny):


We wandered through the "open air museum" that is Gyeongju, and ate alarming amounts of sam gyap sal...

You could say it was a good day...

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Waaaaaaaaaah!

The family left today and the house seems big and empty... :-(

Oh well, I'll see them all in February and have plenty of work to do...

We made it down to Gyeongju, which was grand, and scooted all over Korea in the cold (but not too cold).

A grand time was had by all and Jen made sure that the house is completely ready for the next overseas visitor .... ya'll come by now, ya hear?