Thursday, April 28, 2011

Yvonne will have to drag me out of Seoul in various leak-free bags

Ship to ship, in and out,
I give and they take.
I punch that clock,
And punch it hard enough to break
So join the rank
This is the rank
We are the rank
Oh rank and file and there is no denial
Rank and file
Join the rank and file
This is the Rank and File
And there is no denial!

After a day like today I fear returning to that shite in the US^^...

Switched my evening class and tomorrow morning's class away to my co-prof who will need me to cover her classes next week.

Took the "best class EVAR!!!!" down to the park for pizza.. these guys are super-duper-stars and the weather cooperated. This picture was taken at a critical part of our little party as you can see there is only one ("1"!) piece of pizza out there. It lay there forever, with no one wanting to take the last piece (after a nearly magical disappearing act on the previous 5 pizzas) until one of my male students grabbed it so quickly that part of the topping slipped off.

It was funny to watch what got eaten.... the pepperoni pizzas were gone first (Yay Globalization!), but my students being Korean, the potato pizza was the next to go (Yay Korean Exceptionalism!), with the bulgogi (beef) pizza coming in a sad, but eventually digested, last.

The woman giving the peace sign and pulling the horrible face is probably my best student, and that is NOT what her face really looks like. The woman behind her is a crazy dynamo... all these students rock.

I should note that the class switching noted above will allow the Lovely Wife and I to head south tomorrow and check out Seonyudo.. three linked islands of Gunsan.

Then it was off to gwangwhamun to visit the Ilmin Art Museum and take in the Black, White & Pink ( A decent title for a porno movie, now that I look at it) exhibit and the Urban Depth (Holy cow, two porno titles in a row?) exhibit.

Both really great.. but you'll have to wait and go over to to hear about that.

Then back home to put the "Rank and File" music I've downloaded into Itunes. And, yeah, I paid for that shit when it was vinyl so I don't give a rat's ass that I downloaded it.

Cause I'm a rebel like that.

The song "Rank and File" may be the loveliest (and countriest) song of desperation ever. Well.. no.. of course Johnny Cash did that one. So let's just say it's the best country-punk song of the country-punk genre, with horse-gallop drumming, some of the coolest lead treble-chorded guitar ever, and the best melding of vocals Rank and File ever did.

Now chilling at a home that the Lovely Yvonne cleaned in expectation of the podcast boys tonite.. That will entail having a drink, and cavorting brain-wise.

Outside the window the sky turns increasingly blue and clouds from a finger-painting hang, merge and reform.

I may just take a nap..... ;-)

Thanks, thanks a lot
I got a broken heart
that's all I got
You made me cry
And i cried a lot
Honey, thanks
Thanks a lot

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Weekend Wrapup

Spent Friday and Saturday morning prepping for my presentation at KATS (Korean Association of Trans.... something something) at Ewha. Hopped up on Saturday morning and ran to work, printed various things out, caught a cab and was at Edae in time for lunch.

Presentation went well.. I'm a bit off in the field, because I'm interested in data, marketing, and then there's that language I speak.^^ After I headed back on the subway and met my newish friend Paul, with whom I'm working on a new podcast project, The Korean Culture Report.

The rest of the day was spent chilling with him, then the lovely wife, and watching the Korean movie, Peppermint Candy (which will be reviewed shortly on the blog I just linked).

Today was spent working on the website, bookshopping with the wife, and relapsing on the cold front.

Anyway.. also looting the camera.. some pics of how beautiful the Uni is right now with the flowers blooming and the Buddha's birthday about to happen. The Uni ajusshi ring the Uni with lanterns, and as night fall it's something like Disneyland.

On the way to my office....

During the day...

As evening descends (like a SCYTHE!!! REAPING US ALL!.. ahem)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Hey look.. I'm even more famous than EVARz!


I got a feature article on Yonhap, at any rate

Catching up on a busy weekend

It was a very full weekend. After two years of talking about it, we finally booked a tour and headed up to see the DMZ. This was not a USO tour, so we didn't get to Panmumjon, but in some ways that was better as we didn't have to catch the bus until 9:30 AM and we were back in downtown Seoul by 5:30.

The DMZ focuses on trains a lot - because it is still one of the ways that the countries are connected: This lovely train below is the "peace train" and I could almost hear Cat Stevens singing as it left the station.
Then there was the somewhat confusing "suicide statue" which apparently shows two intrepid explorers about to hurtle to their death.

There was also the requisite commercialism:

And two idiots who went about acting fools. I got back to work on Tuesday and one of my colleagues asked, "were you on the tour with the Russian idiots?" I initially said no, because these guys were on the other tour bus, but as soon as my colleague said a tour-guide had yelled at someone on our tour for inappropriate behavior I knew it was these guys. I hadn't got close enough to them to hear their language, but have to confess I was pleased to hear they weren't from the US.

Here is the lovely wife posing:

And a detail from a somewhat poignant piece of art (The cities are Seoul and Pyongyang) at Dorasan Station:

Sunday, based on a similar premise as Saturday's trip - that is that we had never made it to see the cherry blossoms in our 3 years here, we headed to Yeouido to check out the last day of the Cherry Blossom Festival. It was quite crowded, but also quite pretty.

We got us some food -

I ate this terrifying thing, which I will never try again. It's a corndog deep-fried in an additional layer of something nasty that seemed to feature coconut. It was greasier than a horny Italian.

Some of the park was lovely

And we ended up walking down to Hangang Park and watching families play and kites fly.

This is that time of year when everything is ridiculously beautiful... Namsan is girdled in various flowering trees.. and I'm glad its midterm week so I don't have to ruin it with any work.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Dear "Open Office"

Please don't install your bullshit with the default that it opens docx files..

You shitheads..

Thank you very much..


Tuesday, April 12, 2011


For those of you who might want to listen to my nasally but grating voice deliver inaccuracies in broken grammar? You can go here where I have a lovely online podcasty-type-thing of my interview with TBS eFM about Shin Kyung-sook and whatnot.

On the written hand, my piece for Yonhap on Korean literature has been accepted, and the KLTI is having me write a short piece on humor in translated Korean literature.

Also, I think I forgot to link the article about me in the Herald. Again, Korean literature and whatnot. The whatnot includes my bizarre hairdo.

It's really, pretty much, all about the whatnot....

Monday, April 11, 2011

The AGUE slowly recedes..

The Lovely Wife, more troubled in voice than I, had to go to work.

I stayed at home and resolutely ignored the fact that I was supposed to have a paper done by this evening. I figured I'd give some bullshit excuse and pass it off til tomorrow.

So it was I could experiment with Henry's levels of carrot insertion (Google it, maybe?) and work on some tapes of interviews I did with the translator of "Please Look After Mom." You can be an idiot if I interview you, but I will delete all interlocutory sounds.

Cause that's the law.

That's why.

Then the call came, late in the afternoon, that I couldn't bullshit to the next day. Two hours of hard grind at the laptop, and I had a defensible 2000 words to send off.

Call from The Big Publisher about a meeting, wife comes home says no way she's going, I go off to meeting, meeting good - I get invitation to his wedding, back home, my wife asleep, me nearly in coma...

And so there you are.... another Monday (or something like that to you), in the land of tomorrow!

Saturday, April 09, 2011


A man just needs to play some Johnny Cash on the Digital Jukebox...

If he never does, he is less than a man. ^^

Friday, April 08, 2011

It's Just Like Facebook!

I took this test.. and what it said was

Thoughtful to the extreme, you are often obsessed with perfection and the rules governing your own personal interests. Your world is black and white. You love to work within a logical system, such as language, computer programming, or mathematics. Manipulating a system that can be completely understood is a distinct pleasure to you, because of your confidence in the underlying veracity of your belief system. Because of your appreciation for logic and order, those who speak or think in a sloppy manner are apt to generate more than their share of wrath. Although very amiable, you are not drawn to friendships out of a sense of personal need. You are just as happy by yourself with a good book or puzzle. Because you are so involved with thought, you will on occasion have difficulty dealing with the day-to-day problems of a normal life. Taking out the trash, doing the dishes, these are often left until the last possible moment, if at all.

Major (Le()AGUE Symptoms..

The ague hangs on tenaciously, though I am not nearly as affected as my lovely wife whose loveliness, I must say was dented by intense snuffling, liver-coughing-up, and couch-sprawling.

I was at least well enough to come out today - a lovely day.. and as it turns out the stage of vAGUEness I'm in is perfect for editing... the words do lovely little dances and, strangely, I can concentrate better.

Which is good as I'm doing some super interesting stuff for an upcoming literary conference. It's well translated and fun to read.. the current article has some Korean discussing the ongoing death of the novel, and since he begins with "A Modest Proposal" in his title, I'm waiting to see what kind of shoe drops at the end of the essay...

Four day weekend, since today was mountain-climbing day for the school...

Good times..

Off for some coffe and a bAGUEtte.....

Thursday, April 07, 2011

The (v)AGUE in the hizzy..

We are both hell of ill, as the hella cool, having hellish fevers, feverishly say...

Tomorrow is "climb the mountain" day for our lovely Uni, which we had planned to attend (the Uni is closed for the climg), but now we will likely lay at home moaning in pain.

the Herald piece has already netted two other ones.. List Magazine (pretty prestigious) wants a brief article from me on humor in translated Korean literature, and some "hip" LG online mag wants me for an interview subject.

Weird in its way, but if any of this ever leads to ANY Korean institution supporting the Wikipedia Project? I'm all for it.

At the same time (to use a Konglish trope), we're struggling forward on the planned book of essays from expats (Say fellah! that "essays for expats" is a pretty hip title! Wanna work on a book?)

Eh.. we went out for dinner tonight with two servings of Kimchi, soup, and tons of lean meat. Hopefully we get healed...

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Me in a Paper..

Look Ma, I'm famous! KTLIT, The Wikipedia Project and Me, in the Korea Herald:

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Dear NPR, your twee music sucks!

So I will be listening to KQED online.... they seem to prefer content..

Sunday, April 03, 2011


The big girl's joint (which is NOT the title of a porno) has a new quick editing gig...

Tons of work.. few days...


Saturday, April 02, 2011

Dentistry in the Land of Tomorrow?

Maybe it was bloody smock on the dentist, or the fact that, as a sole concession to cleanliness, she turned the spit-stained gloves she was wearing inside out before examining me?

But I was nervous.

And the crusty pick with the head like the ball of a mace? The one she was trying to cram into my mouth?

Did not make me any calmer.

I woke up screaming..

Cool.. day to go to the dentist and it began with a dream like that.

As a bonus, I had a cold. Class went by quickly and then I slammed down two Nyquil as the idea of drowning in a pool of my own snot while some strange woman had two fists halfway into my larynx was not appealing. Well, it was kind of appealing, but I had the feeling the actual dentist would be dressed and probably not have ambiguous genitalia.

I hopped into the subway and headed for the wrong station.

This meant that the map I held in my sweaty palm was pretty useless. I finally figured out I needed to hop back on the subway and got to the right station. Here, the map made much more sense, and I ended up at the dentist’s office.

Which was AWESOME. Super new equipment, English speaking staff, and the dentist is the wife of a friend of mine.

Some technology I had not yet experienced. The X-ray was taken all at once with a rotary X-ray machine and then went straight to the monitor in front of the chair I was in. They also took photos inside the mouth of all my fillings. When it came time to test my bad tooth, I held a metal rod in my right hand while some cool gizmo shot electricity into my teefs. The bad tooth felt no shock, so the pulp (or something) was dead.

Dentist says, “root canal” and I start preparing (I was a Boy Scout, you see) to pee myself. She looks at the clock and says, “it will take about 20 minutes, can you wait?”

I’m quite happy with that and say yes. They also give me painkiller without using a needle. I’m not sure how that was done, but it was the first time it ever happened to me.

20 minutes later and the whole thing is done.

I walk out and make another appointment (for there is more to do). The receptionist quotes the bill..

Wha?!?!!?…. I heard “man…” something, something… Holy crap! “man” is 10,000 in Korean and my brain can’t assemble a number (in Korea) that starts with “man” that isn’t the price of a major appliance.

I get the bill and I’ve heard her properly, just not how little came after the “man.” The bill is 11,800 …. Pennies!!! Won!

I just had all of this work done for $10, US.

Amazing… fast, efficient, clean, painless, and unbelievably cheap.

US dental care is fucked up!

Friday, April 01, 2011

Off to the dentist

After some time away..

this could be wrenching... ^^