Saturday, March 31, 2012

The House Continues to come together

We received delivery of our mattress today, which means that we are no longer sleeping on top of several thin pads (intended for use on an ondol floor) on top of a bedframe which is a bit rickety.

The bedframe was a gift of the Garbage Gods™. Someone had tossed an entire bed because the bedframe had a snapped off leg. I wasn't willing to grab a mattress that had been out in the street (and slept on by gawd knows who), but the bedframe was different, so I wrangled it up the hill.

My first attempt at improviso man included the original snapped off leg, but that was a bit dicey and so the leg was replaced by a plastic pot intended for flowers. Solid as a rock!

Now, with the mattress on top, it's a beautiful thing and I can go out and find some kind of bedside table to put the lamp, speakers, nasty plastic novelties, surgical tubing and my works.


Friday, March 30, 2012

Aaah.. Good Times..

2/3 of a cranberry/chicken sandwich for lunch with a cup of black coffee, sandwiched (see what I did there?) into two nice trips in taxis.. I love hurtling around Seoul in a taxi, particularly across the Han.

Also a good meeting with Arirang about my potential radio slot - some consternation when I explained my visa status with regard to payment, but I had such a tight presentation of what I/we could do on the show that they skipped over that straight to, "can you be in the studio Tuesday night?"

To which I said yes.^^

Two more late-afternoon classes, then it is the lovely three day weekend. Lots of reading and writing to do, but the first order of business will be to get a proper bed into the new apartment...

Also, perhaps, a lovely walk on Namsan, were green buds (DOWN Baxter!) and butterflies are already providing harbinger to spring.


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Radio Fame-ology?

I already do a short bit every Tuesday morning at about 10:12 Next Day Future Time. This is on TBS eFM's show 1013 Main Street and if you long to hear my alcohol-damaged, but still nasal and annoying voice, you can go here at that time and click on the "On Air" button to listen.

Like all Korean websites you will need to be fully kitted out with a Windows computer and probably an older browser.

But the good news is that, at least for a while, I'll also be doing a 30 minute segment on Arirang radio (this is, I think, international?) about Korean literature that will talk about a book, it's author, related music, movies, and what it all means with respect to Korean culture.

I have to write it, so it will be a bunch of work (also find the films and watch them), but I guess I have to consider this year a study year. Yvonne's grinding her butt off on her MS program, so I think it is only fair I suffer along.^^

When I have details of how you can listen to me (for the masochists out there), I will pass them along..

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

This and (deliciously tasty) that...

Some radio station called me today and wants the "expert on translated Korean literature" to do a 30 minute show. LOL.. I'm down, but I'm not sure I want to be called an "expert."

Also, for the second week in a row the mok-sam-gyap-sal truck was on the main street and I had to purchase some. Man-won (about 9 bucks) for a crapload of super tender (albeit pretty fatty) neck/rib pork that will work (and did work) splendidly with rice.

This may become a regular Tuesday thing, though it will need to be substantially cut with rice and vegetables... maybe stretch it over two or three days to avoid immediate heart-stoppage.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Anyone who doesn't like Community?

Better have a good explanation or die marked as retarded.

Just sayin...

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Mega-Everything Postology

I suppose I still need to finish up the trip to Hong Kong and Yvonne's nearly successful attempt to defect to the Macacoons, but so much has happened that I may never do it...

The big news here is that we have moved Bohemian Love Pads. The old one was good until the pipe system went all like my lower intestines and began backing up and even worse making hideous noises, randomly throughout the day and night.

This was, of course, no problem for Yvonne who will awake someday, alone on Earth, having slept through Gabriel's final trumpet call. But for me it was an issue, and apparently for other tenants as well. I gather that because one day the Ajummah came barging into the apartment and out to the veranda to bleed our heater (NOTE: Korean flats are like some English flats in that each one has an on-demand small boiler system that you turn on to heat the ondol, or to get hot water). Since I regularly bleed it myself, it began pouring water and she stormed off to invade the lives of other tenants, which I could hear as she went. Fun times, but it had no effect on the noise.

I had been idly discussing moving for some time, and like an idiot, in front of Yvonne. Yvonne has this powerful ability to take any random thing I mention and, in her head, transmute it into a solemn promise I have made to her. So the move thing kept kind of moving (hah!) into other conversations, and I kept an idle (which seems to be becoming a theme here) eye on the English Spectrum website, on which several 부동산 post.

A lovely place popped up and in the advert the landlord specifically asked for quiet tenants. With the mental reservation that I would have to curb the 'enthusiasm' of my faked orgasms, I showed the listing to Yvonne and told her that since I would be paying for everything she would have to organize everything.

Which she did, and when she saw the place had three bedrooms she immediately saw a future in which she could have her very own maze of bookshelves in which to play and eventually be buried (HINT: That is foreshadowing of a sort). So she ran up to see the place and rather liked it. The next day she dragged me up there and I rather liked it as well. It is ratty in the Korean Villa style, but much larger and lighter. It is second (top) floor with an elderly woman living below us. It also has a narrow deck running 2/3 of the way around it, with a big deck in back, and rooftop access for us alone. This will be a killer deal in Spring and Fall.

Also, we'd been at the old place for three years and, as they say, spare change is better than arrest. So I gathered all my spare change into one bank account and let Yvonne proceed. Thus it was, on the 9th of this month, that we signed a lease for the new place.

It was about 750 meters from the old place, so much of our moving was done ant-style - a backpack on each of our backs and a bag in each hand. There is one gnarly hill in the middle of the walk, which I came to hate more than the Dodgers. This process took about 10 days, more or less, at the end of which we hired an old man with a Bongo to take the big stuff up the hill and we were kind of in.

Yvonne began stacking her books against a wall, but began about a foot away from the corner, so the books weren't braced by the other wall.... as the stacks of books stretched to the right, they began to resemble the leaning tower of Pisa and, as I was diddling around in the kitchen, I heard the sound of one book falling, followed by two, then three, then, slowly, more and more books falling. I ran around to the room in time to see Yvonne, like the pirate King Raktabahhu attacking the sea, being slowly surrounded by a wave of falling books. Unfortunately I couldn't get the iPhone out in time to catch that.. but here is a bit of what the fallout (Hah! I kill me! Or will eventually.) looked like, although this doesn't truly capture it.

Then it was dropping another 500 bucks or so on furniture and we were in. We're still short a real bed... The Garbage Gods (Hallowed by their names!) provided me with an only slightly broken bed-supporting-thingie, the broken leg of which I improviso-manned with part of the leg itself and a plastic pot intended for growing flowers. It's not perfect, in fact it creaks rather alarmingly at times, but it will work for now.

The place is splendidly quiet - I have been going to sleep as early as 10 at night, which is brilliant.. at the old place I was never asleep before midnight and often had to drink myself nearly insensible to achieve even that.

The weather here (although it actually snowed yesterday) has been showing hints of Spring and I can't wait to get out onto the deck with a chair and a book.. The rooftop, I believe, will become a small weight-training area, completely appropriate for the small weights my old ass can lift. ^^

This last photo is the first piece of furniture we bought, our lovely collapsible dining room table.

Classes are going splendidly, as three years of practice seem to begin to be paying off and I've been tapped to be a colloquialist at the International Communication Foundation (ICF), Seoul's summer soiree..... it will be late June, so shouldn't interfere with ongoing plans to return to the Empire in Decline for a couple of months...

Next week I return to my doomed efforts to learn the huffed, grunted, screeched and chanted language of the natives, but without much hope it will work....

Which is all I have to say today, from the Land of Eternal Tomorrow...

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Friendessesses.. ;-)

The winter keeps getting colder
The sun keeps trying to shine
Each day, I get a little bit older
Each night, I'm in the same old bind

I drink to you, we'll drink to each other
And talk about the good old flames
When the bottle's gone, we'll buy another
Some things never change