Saturday, December 24, 2005

5th vlog, in a train

5th vlog

Pushing the limits of true boring blogging, I present the inside of a train in Seoul. The train is moving. I was not. A moment captured!
Watch the various people in the train. I think its fascinating. Each has a destination. Each has a story. Each has something in their mind. Thats a lot of thoughts traveling together.
(Nothing to do with the other blog entry of today, this was taken awhile ago.)

Drinking too much

My Japanese friend Takeya (who I call Bubu) inviting me to go drinking with some of his drinking freinds. Takeya speaks great Korean and many of his freinds can speak good Japanese, so even though my Korean is still quite bad, I was able to communicate by having him translate or using Japanese. We started out with yummy Korean BBQ (bulgulgi) and freindly conversation. Then we decided to start drinking shoju, a very strong (for me) traditional Korean drink. And like any irresposnible young people, we drank with drinking games. I was drinking with pro drinkers, people who have a lot of practice (and frankly since they were all older than me, a lot of years more practice) drinking. But I kept loosing the games. I ended up having something like 9 quick shots of shoju in less than an hour. Bubu was nice, and took me to the train station where I promptly fell flat on my face, swearing up a storm in Japanese. Waiting for the train I took the liberty of puking big chunks of the BBQ dinner down a drain, and on the station floor. The booze began to creep into my mind and fuzz my memories, and the next clear moment I can capture I'm feeling sick again waiting for Bubu's friends outside of a starbucks and he hands me a bag and I puke more wonderful chunks of goodness into the bag and then stumble after him as he goes into starbucks to meet his friends. I deposit my bag of puke on the counter (delivery service!) and follow him out the door once again. Then I'm in a train again. At my station. I tell Bubu I can get home, but him and his friend don't belive me after they find me wandering into the elevator for disabled people, leading to the train platform. They lead me to to my exit, number 8, get a taxi, I give drunken instructions, I'm dropped off to the relief of Bubu who was probably about to kill drunken and annoying me. That is a night of too much drinking, to bring in the new year I suppose.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Going to Hong Kong, not yet

So here I am again. Kim's Guest House. A youth hostel in Hapjeong, Northwest Seoul. I was here last year while waiting for a job, and I'm back here again waiting to go to Hong Kong. I find some sort of unity in that. I can't go to Hong Kong until I go to my friend's wedding. And she wont get married until January 7th. Oddly I decided to move to Hong Kong on the 15th.. Not sure why I have an extra buffer week in there. Maybe it's because I cant count. Same reason why I ended up having a ticket for 2 months in Hong Kong instead of my desired 3 months, because I cant count. Oops. Oh well. I'm sad to not see my students every day, but life moves on. I'm excited to head off into the unknown once again. Woosh. Thats the sound of me taking off. (for those of you who don't know but want to know: I plan to go to Japan via ferry from bottom of Korea, after my stay in Hong Kong.) DAAG!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

4th vlog - nakayama visits

Strange drunk people run around and introduce themselves. My Japanese friends (The Nakayama sisters) came to visit me in Korea. We were at an urban river. At night. Odd Japanese beatnicks rocking the night. Woo!

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

taxis & faces

Well, first I want to say a word about Korean Taxis. Scary! I was coming home from hanging out with the Nakayama sisters (which was really fun, by the way, they are cool women!) and I get in a Taxi with an old man. He asks me (in Korean) where I wanted to go, and I say (also in Korean of course) "Guri please." (Guri is the city I live in) and he says "Huh? Wheres that?" So I tekk him Walker Hill Hotel, which is close to me. He takes off, having a hard time accelerating smoothly. Like speeding up, slowing down, speeding up, a classic sign of an old person driver I guess. We get to Walker Hill Hotel and I say "Oh, not this. Go that way." in my bad Korean. He starts getting mad, saying I said the hotel and he doesn't want to go so far away or something. (Not sure why he was worried, he was making money from me! Further we go, the more money he makes!) And now he starts driving aggressively because he's angry. He pulls into a one-lane road, with an arrow pointing the opposite way. I think "Uh oh" and ahead we can see cars driving towards us! (It wasn't like the movies with thousands of cars on a highway though, just two cars stopped and honking at us in front of us.) He swears and drives over the median and into the correct lane of traffic. He's really mad now. Nonstop swearing, angry aggressive driving. We turn onto a bigger three lane road. Finally I think it's too dangerous to be in his car, so I decide to walk the rest of the way home, and I tell him (in Korean) "Here [stop]." He pulls sharply from the middle lane towards the side of the road. I instinctively look behind us, and see the headlights of a car and think "Oh sh--" but can't finish my thought as he SLAMS into the car and my head snaps to the left. Screeching sound of metal against metal and both cars stop. And in an instant both drivers (the other car was a taxi too) jump out and start yelling at each other. I get out, hand the money to the driver. I let the crazy old man keep the change. For a long way, I can hear their voices echo in the cold night air.

I was watching a show on CNN about the new face transplant surgery. And one of the reporters asked if they really needed to do the operation on the woman who had lost her lower face when a dog attacked her. And the answer was "Imagine a life where if you tried to talk to anyone they wouldn't be able to understand you. Imagine a life where whenever you went out, people would turn their heads and stare at you." And although I don't want to reduce her suffering, I was surprised how much that seems like my life in Korea. Most of the time people don't understand my English or Korean, and Koreans staring at me when I walk anywhere is quite common.

Monday, November 28, 2005

A geeky kind of post

I have been working on a textbook of sorts (details are not public yet) when I have had free time. The problem has been quite simply that I don't have a computer, so I can only type it at internet cafes. Luckly, Computer Rooms are everywhere in Korea. Unluckly, most of the ones I found didn't have Microsoft Word. I need good format tools, so I couldn't use the default windows notepad, and so my progress on my textbook had been really slow (less than 32 pages of simple sparse text) so I decided to try the software openoffice I heard about. I was hoping it would let me paste my Word document, hoping it wouldnt take long to learn, and hoping it would have atleast some good format options. OK, here comes the "geeky post" payload. OHMYGOD!!! I was shocked. It opened my Word document, no problem (slight spacing error on a few pages, nothing I noticed) there was NO learning curve it was all designed naturally, and heres what shocked me the most... it had smarter format options than word. It automatically adjusted to what I needed. Ohmygod! So sweet! and 100% free software I can download anywhere, in one sit down I was up to 50 plus pages, my productivity zoomed up. Mygod... Microsoft must be scared? I heard they will support this software's file format as default in their new version. Too late? OK. This is the end of my geeky post. Thank you, and good night!

Sunday, November 20, 2005

3rd vlog - leaves

3rd vidlog link
I'm in another park. This time with leaves. I mumble about having nothing to say, and then I get distracted looking at the pretty leaves.

Friday, November 18, 2005

odd dream

As Mr. Loi likes to remind me from time to time, I like to walk into the "Department of Too Much Information" sometimes, and maybe I'm walking there today? In any case, although it is not really to do with this dream, I thought I should mention I rarely have erotic dreams, never have horror dreams, and rarely have dreams about people I know. That might but weird (or it might be normal for you too?) but that is my dreaming pattern. Anyway, on to my dream. I was working in a secret factory. I lived in a society that was trying to capture all of it's resistance fighters, and so me and the other fighters were trying to transport the resistance fighters. Someone (before the start of the dream reality) had come up with the genius idea of transforming the Resistance Fighters into doll parts. So where my dream reality starts, I am in the assembly factory, pulling parts of dolls (down from small windows, where they are delivered) into the small factory room where three other works are working. We get the parts, but we have to piece the dolls together like a puzzle. When we do it correctly the dolls transform into people. Presto! Instant resistance fighter! (Who thenway walks down a hall, which I guess leads into the main room.) I encourage one of the workers to keep trying to fit the pieces together, and suddenly the last piece of the doll I'm working on snaps into place and transforms into a real person who kisses me on the cheek and walks quickly down the hallway.
Now thats an odd dream huh? Welcome to a brief moment in my sleeping reality.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

fall sweeps past

Fall colors in Guri - click for big version
Fall has returned to me again, the colors are here, on the trees. This time around I really enjoy watching as the wind blows and scatters the leaves.

A lot of churches recently. Last week I went to Mr.Frog's church. Turns out he was leading half the time in a few songs, while he played a guitar. Was fun to see him hop around and sing even if I didn't understand. I also got to meet some other nice foreigners like me (these guys were from Nigeria). Although our communication was slowed by my limited ability to understand Nigerian English (which is the offical language of Nigeria, by the way) so I need to hang out with more Nigerians.

And yesterday, my friend Seung One invited me to check out a service at a "megachurch" she goes to in Kangnam. I was waiting for Takeya, who never came (he sucks!), so I decided to check it out with her. They were pertaking of the "sacrament" of braking bread and drinking juice. This is called "drinking the blood of God" and I suddenly wondered if that would make most vampires Christians? ... was an odd random thought.

One last thought? Does anyone know Japanese Pocky? The little dry bread sticks dipped in choclate? Those are called Pepero here in South Korea, and I didn't know, but apparent 11/11 (November 11th) is "pepero day" which is a Korean version of valintines day... not that they don't already have valintines day in Korea too, and the pan-Asian white day, so that makes about three holidays for a single person to cry on!

Monday, October 31, 2005

2nd vlog - marykoh visits korea!

Here is a collection of some videos I took while my Japanese friend Marykoh was visiting me for a few days. Kind of random. Some hip hop dancers outside, living octopus at a restraunt, Marykoh giving us the finger, and a crazy taxi ride (yes, you can hear the Taxi driver whistling)... Sorry that it's not in Quicktime format, I put this together on a PC in an internet cafe, and PCs like to use AVI, I hope people can view it that way. The AVI format made the video look worse and made the audio more fuzzy. These are the moments though.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

first vlog - in a park

This is the "Hello world" video post. The start. The first entry. This is my jump into the world of videoblogging. From a dark park near my house. Not much to see, not a sparkly entry. But it's a start. I like the soft darkness of it.I think that neon crosses are quintessential South Korea. So this is a great start. Listen to my randomness. More to come.

Thursday, October 20, 2005


This is the "first" post. All blogs have those. The little dirty backend useless "hello world" kind of posts. The crazy thing is I haven't decided to use blogger again. I'm just posting here so that I can use it again if I decide to. Yeah. Hows that for wild?

Wednesday, October 19, 2005


The below entry was originally posted to a defunct web blog site, provided here as a record of previous events. Some content might reflect old server and not current server. The original post was dated the 20th, same date as my hello world post in this blog. For sake of clarity, I will mark this as the 19th.

I'm starting to get melancholy. Soon, very soon, I'll be moving off to another place and I wont see my cute/funny little students anymore. It's sad! I miss them all already and I haven't even gone anywhere yet. Tonight I spent hours making a quiz for one of my classes, I hope they like it. It's hard! But I want them to get interactive with English... so I made it like animated, so it'll be a computer quiz. Freaky me!

Korea is becoming really cold. I have woke up a few times with a runny nose (from the cold) so I need to use more blankets or start turning on the heat or something. Hows that for a useless comment? peace.

Monday, October 03, 2005

birthday blues

The below entry was originally posted to a defunct web blog site, provided here as a record of previous events. Some content might reflect old server and not current server.

=== Birthday Blues ===
Yeah. So I'm also a year older.
It's been making me grumpy I guess.
Well, it's more complicated than that.
But I've been a grumpy idiot recently.

I need to cheer up.

Tomorrow, or I guess that is today, is National Foundation Day. The day when some guy 4000 plus years ago is said to have founded the Nation of Korea. Wowsers. I wonder what they will do. My birthday (one of them, being that I have two) was on the foundation of Korea. Interesting.

Sky blue limits dont hold me back.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

being a teacher

The below entry was originally posted to a defunct web blog site, provided here as a record of previous events. Some content might reflect old server and not current server.

===Why its good/bad to be a teacher===

* students dont listen sometimes
* they are too noisy, they scream (kids)
* you take hours to make something they dont like
* sometimes no matter how hard you try, no one "gets it"
* if you have to teach something you dont agree with (the sexism in one of my current books being an example "He's a fireman. He's a policeman. She's a homemaker." WHAT?)
* moments of no respect

* when everyone does that they are supposed to
* the light in someones eyes when they "get it"
* when your students go out of their way to show you they care (two memories spring to mind: teaching aptitude test in my Teaching English as a Second Language class.. I was a Teacher's Assistant in a class full of punky young Japanese kids. They never listened, always made word puns with English sounding like body parts in Japanese, talking in Japanese, throwing papers, (these are college age students, mind you) and they were generally hard to manage. But on the day my teacher came to check on my skills, they were quiet, they lined up and sat at their desks, they answered all my questions, and were basically perfect students. it was so brilliant it almost brought tears to my eyes. the other time that comes to mind is recently when my kids and me were having a "finish book party" and were talking about what kind of snacks should people bring, and someone asked me and i said kind of randomly, "I dont know, I really like orange juice, something like that" and on the day of the book party, the first student opened his bag and pulled out a bottle of orange juice, the next student smiled, pulled out the same, the third laughed and also pulled out orange and eventually all five students revealed they had brought orange juice too. Awww!)
* when my students teach me something. as a teacher i am always learning, and i like to learn from my students too.
* sometimes I get respect from my students. totally cool.

I'm sure I forgot some of the bad, and some of the good. but thats what comes to mind right now!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005


The below entry was originally posted to a defunct web blog site, provided here as a record of previous events. Some content might reflect old server and not current server.

Or I guess it just turned the 15 on this side of the world. Here are a few moments captured:

My new room mate looking at a poster I made:
Roomie: Whats that say?
Me: uhm.. something like, Simply living makes me happy or something.
Roomie: Really? I'll ask my girlfriend and we'll see if you're right!
Me: huh? Oh? You're girlfriend is Japanese?
Roomie: No! Why?
Me: oh! She can read Japanese? cool...
Roomie: Oh.. that's not Korean? Its Japanese?

Kids say the craziest things. One of my students... about 12... we have an hour class, with only the two of us, so we often have short conversations, this is a real one:

Student: I'm Jesus.
Me: Oh, You're a god???
Student: No... I'm Jesus person.
Me: Ohhh! You're Christian?
Student: Uhh yes. I'm Christian.
Me: Do you pray in English or Korean?
Student: (Korean thinking word) I pray in Korean, all Koreans do. But Jesus is American. I don't know why we pray in Korean.

That's all for the moment. SAMPAI JUMPA LAGI

Sunday, August 28, 2005

shocking shower

The below entry was originally posted to a defunct web blog site, provided here as a record of previous events. Some content might reflect old server and not current server.

Ohmygod. This is a true story. At our house the shower is small. Imagine a closet, put in an old toilet with a broken seat, and then hang a small cracked mirror on the wall, with a small window looking out at a brickwall, and you have the basic idea of the shower room I use. It often gets a little smelly in there, and too steamy, so its common practice for me and my room mate to take a shower with the window open, and since it opens up facing a brick wall, there shouldnt be any harm in that. Right? So a few days ago I was taking a shower, I was about finished, I turn around and glance out the window to see if it will rain (should I bring an umbrella to work?) and I see an old man sitting about two feet from the window (on the fire escape?)... WATCHING ME. Just staring at me with a mean cold glare. Me totally naked, not a single piece of clothing touching my skin, him staring staring. I kind of get shocked, and gasp "what the hell are you doing?" in Japanese (I often speak Japanese when surprised) and this was even more creepy, he didn't move, just kept watching me. I shut the window. It was very very creepy. I think I'm scared of my neighbors now. ^O^;

In more "normal" news... its time to decide. My contract here in Korea ends in early December. I have to decide whats next. More Korea? Over to Hong Kong? Back to Japan? I can't decide! But I need to plan, so I need to make up my mind. Any ideas? Aaah! It's so hard to decide. DAAG

Saturday, August 13, 2005

three-day weekend

The below entry was originally posted to a defunct web blog site, provided here as a record of previous events. Some content might reflect old server and not current server.

Well, its just barely the 13 since its early in the morning just past 12:00 at night. Work is going good... most of my classes have finally started working with me, smooth as silk, easy going, as the word goes.
In Korea, this is a three-day weekend, in the words of one of my lower level students "Korea Japan stop Korea day" ... If you are saying "What?" let me explain. I think this is one of the many holidays associated with when Japan was an evil empire, and when they pulled out of Korea. Now Korea is on her own, the way Korea wants to be. If only both parts of Korea can be united, maybe Korea can slowly become whole-spirited again. That would be cool I guess.

I had things to say, but I'll write them next time, they aren't coming to mind now. DAAG!

Friday, July 29, 2005

denmark memories

The below entry was originally posted to a defunct web blog site, provided here as a record of previous events. Some content might reflect old server and not current server. For this specific entry there was no date listed on my post for this entry. Date is approximate.

My memories of my trip to Denmark are doing what most of my thoughts do: fade. I'm writing them here in an attempt to keep them in some sort of captured state.

On the airplane to Denmark I didn't sleep at all, for two reasons. First, I was sitting next to two talkative siblings and Second.... well, I have something to confess. I love airplane food. I know a lot of people will be screaming in shock and disbelief, because I've met so many people who hate airplane food. But I guess its like how some Japanese people are crazy about [|/ekiben/] (I kind of lunchbox you can buy near or on trains) However you explain it, I love getting the little packages of burned food, wrapped in endless plastic with a beautiful mix of food from where you are coming and where you are going. So how could anyone sleep? If you do, you might miss the airplane food!

As we got close to Denmark, I opened my window and I could see the shadow of the long airplane on the clouds below us. As the plane moved back down toward Earth the shadow, and the clouds, rushed up to meet us... growing and then we smashed into the thick clouds, cutting through them and rushing into the air above the city of Københvn. It was about 8:30 at night, and the sun was just starting to glide down a bright warm sunset glittering on a huge harbor below us, and then thousands of little buildings with red tile roofs, in strange patterns of squares and rows. The plane made a big swoop around the harbor and then we were on the ground hardly before I had a chance to realize it.

I walked through the airport, finally found the exit... and there were no customs officers, no one putting my bags through an xray machine. Nothing. I waited, and several people just walked out the exit, still that seemed to easy. What was going on? Finally someone came out of a backdoor and waved me forword through the exit. I'm not sure why, but that was the easyest entry into any country I've ever been to. It felt like going to Denmark from Korea was like being in America going from Washington to the next state over or something.

My friend from college, Diana, met me at the airport, and we went to the train station. She lives with her Denmark family (she is their nanny) on the island of Fyn. The train was bigger and more impressive than ones I'd rode in Japan or Korea, it seemed heavy. Right away I noticed that neon signs and technology wasnt as common as I was used to. Eventually I would notice that technology seemed to be as deeply prevalent in day to day life, but in a background sort of way instead of a foreground kind of way... atleast this was my impression.

The next day we went to the Hans Christian Anderson Kid's Musuem and stuff like that around the area she lived. The city Diana lives in is oddly named "Belinghe" which is close to my college town of "Bellingham"... Anyway, it was wet and rainy but not so cold.

The next day was about the same, just seeing the local area, visiting a shopping mall, and enjoying some local food (hotdogs come in bread-tubes, with the sauce inside) and walking around the total countryside near the house. In the evening I helped the family make some [korean food]. We made kimbap and korean style BBQ... and also some Korean silkworm bugs from a can (eaten by old korean people) it was fun to introduce this style of food to some friendly Danish people, although it didn't end up being perfectly like what I have to eat here.

The next day brought me and Diana into Københvn to meet her Korean-Danish friend Hye Jin (I forgot her Danish name, I have a bad memory) She was adopted to Denmark, but she has recently tried to learn some Korean and has been to Korea to try to connect with her birth family. After meeting her Diana got tired of hanging out with me so she went home. I didn't know where to find a cheap youth hostel, so I went to the airport to wait for my airplane the next day.

All in all, I had a fun trip and this LONG summary doesnt really capture all my thoughts but hopefully it will help me remember those moments. SAMPAI JUMPA LAGI

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

international weirdness

The below entry was originally posted to a defunct web blog site, provided here as a record of previous events. Some content might reflect old server and not current server.

Thinking about international weirdness. The camera I bought (Konica minolta) was made in Korea, and then shipped to it's parent company in Japan and then imported to Korea and sold to me. Weirdness.
More international weirdness. My mom emailed to tell me she has started learning Japanese. Her lessons decided to teach her pronunciation by teaching her borrowed English words, so she's learning English in Japanese, and she's having a hard time losing her English accent. So she's speaking English words in Japanese with an English accent. It's our international world.

Monday, July 25, 2005


The below entry was originally posted to a defunct web blog site, provided here as a record of previous events. Some content might reflect old server and not current server.

This weekend I was kind of frustrated about personal issues, and called Young-min. He was also having a few problems, so he agreed to meet me and help me buy my new camera. We went and got it (a nice and ugly red Konica Minolta 5 megapixel brute, but didn't get the Olympus so no more complaining~) and then we decided to go hang out at his campus. His college is in the countryside, in the state below Seoul state so it took awhile to get out there. In his computer lab we met his classmate Sam, from Pakistan, and talked about life in Korea. Young-min lives a million miles from me, so he offered to let me sleep at his house with his room mate (two guys sharing a small one room house, so they each only have to pay like US$150, not bad!) and so I crashed there. Next day, I got some awesome spicy Bulgulgi with him, and then went back "downtown." I called Suah because I wanted to talk to someone, and she invited me to see a movie with her and her friend Sunny. We saw Island. Hollywood movie. There I told you the plot with two words. That was another day. Number 8693. (Oh, In case you're new to this, I'll be uploading photos into the [|picture stream], so go look for those.)


Saturday, July 23, 2005

seven am

The below entry was originally posted to a defunct web blog site, provided here as a record of previous events. Some content might reflect old server and not current server.

Wondering why I am awake at 7:00 in the morning. I've been awake all night. I really need to brake this cycle... maybe going to Denmark will help. I'm all set, will be going in less than 5 days. Wooo! Should be fun... Looks like I might not get that camera since I have had major protests against (one friend even sent 3 messages to my cellphone begging me not to get it, saying it sucked that bad) so if I have time I'll just have to browse.
Forgot how I found this clump of info, but the [|optical eyetrick] is cool, and one can trace the path back to a cool blog too. Try it out, it works for me if you follow the directions. DAAG

Friday, July 22, 2005

early morning

The below entry was originally posted to a defunct web blog site, provided here as a record of previous events. Some content might reflect old server and not current server.

Well, its just barely the 22nd, because its 1 in the morning. I'm hungry, I should go home and make some dinner.
In less than a week I'll be in Denmark, if all goes well. Wow. I've never been to Europe, I feel like a little elephent in a big jungle-themed Broadway dance hit. Eh?

I've decided (I think) to buy the 5 megapixel [|μ-mini DIGITAL S] instead of its 8 megapixel sister. (And no, I'm not going for the 5 because I like lo-fi tech, I'm going for the 5 because.. well, its cheaper, duh.) I've been told the camera is ugly, but I've also been told I'm ugly, so I don't think I'll let the appearance of the camera stop me for buying it... its all weather design, I can film in the rain! Only thing I don't like is it cant use my SD memory cards, I'll have to invest in XD cards to make this little camera happy.

What? You want me to stop geekblogging? Bite me. Byte me. oh I'm so funny. Uh... South Korea is hot thesedays. Walking to work today I felt like a icecream cone in hell. Burning heat, and then when you step inside a building, ice cool air conditioned happyness. Yay....

Oh forgot. Go Indie Film Makers, Go! I ran across this group of fairly young dudes making a kickass geekfilm in Washington state. I wish them the best, check out their ongoing project [|Ideality]. Looks like they are trying hard... Anway, time to stop blogging .. DAAG!

Wednesday, July 20, 2005


The below entry was originally posted to a defunct web blog site, provided here as a record of previous events. Some content might reflect old server and not current server.

Tired. Work attacks the mind and leaves nothing but a quiet buzzing sound. I can hear the kids being noisy still, ahhh, the noise wont stop!
OK. I'm ok, I'm ok. Oh yeah, back to school again tomorrow.
Seen "Google Earth"? ...pretty cool little tool that lets you zoom in and out on Earth as if you were like a secret agent or something, fun but I couldn't see myself using it for any real searches.
I've been trying to sleep by drinking more beer, which has helped some but it makes me feel like I'm back in college, and that doesn't solve any of my problems in the long run, so I should just try to sleep with out any help I guess... Maybe its the heat? Maybe it's keeping me awake. Hmm.
This about finishes my thoughts that are kind of random and scattered all around. wooo DAAG

Sunday, July 17, 2005

no show

The below entry was originally posted to a defunct web blog site, provided here as a record of previous events. Some content might reflect old server and not current server.

Well, I bought a gift for the universe today. I went downtown because I thought I was buying a nice new 5 megapixel camera from someone off the net, but that didn't happen, they never showed. Anyway, I was downtown so I thought I'd walk around COEX... Seeing COEX on a saturday night, is a assault on the visual cortex, people spread like molten humanity, filling all gaps, bouncing randomly as they roll forward in nonstop undulation. No joke. Its a crowded mall, full of people. I saw a nicer camera at the Olympus store, and I might just get it instead, even though its more expensive and uses a different type of memory. But on to my gift for the universe. I went to book store that I know sells Japanese books, and I browsed, but they didn't have anything new that interested me so I told myself I should buy an English book. Its been a long time since I read an English book for fun, I thought. So I walked along, seeing what would catch my eyes. Insomnia by Stephen King was the first one that said pick me up, it was a perfect description of my current state. For whatever reason, I'm not sleeping good. Haven't slept much more than 5 hours in one night, in the last few months. I soon gave that one up though for a very interesting, but expensive, Murakami Haruki book. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. Seemed to be a good read, I bought it and headed back into the mall. Cut to two hours later, I'm walking toward the train station. Hey, where's my book? Somehow I put it somewhere that I couldn't remember and I no longer had it with me. Weird. So I have given my newly bought book to the universe, I hope the universe shares something with me in exchange.
I bought some beer and picnic food, plan to get drunk and eat yummy food tonight in an effort to battle my insomnia. Lets hope it works. DAAG!

Saturday, July 16, 2005


The below entry was originally posted to a defunct web blog site, provided here as a record of previous events. Some content might reflect old server and not current server.

Two of my friends surprised me today. I've been being kind of annoyed that some of my friends here seem to always wait for me to ask them to hang out, they never seem to ask me, or at least thats what I felt like. But two of my friends (they are friends from my exchange student program) called and were really proactive about hanging out today, which was cool. We didn't really do much. I just took them out to eat at this Japanese-style steak restaurant, really good pepper steaks, and [Japanese style chopsticks] for the rice! (I could write a whole entry about Japanese style chops sticks, and now that this is a wiki blog, I think I might do that.) Then we walked a little bit, went to a restaurant ordered some ice cream thing, talked, and went home. Not really what you would call a "wild night on the town" but fun none the less.

In a geekier note, every entry in my blog will now become a "Document" so I'm trying to think of names for each one, if I name them all random subjects it will be a horrible mess, but dates are boring? Hmmm. Oh the troubles of a techno-life---!

My best wishes go out to Aaron with his health problems right now, if you have a minute or two wish him well mentally. Positive energy flow, and all that. He's a cool guy, I wish him well too. Those Nymph Nodes can be a biyatch sometimes, huh man?

Thats all for my "blog" at the moment.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

a stupid guy

This was in a personal archive, date is a guess. (Year should be OK.) I couldn't find it on here, so providing it for posterity. Reposted: August 2013

Have you ever thought "why did I say that?" but kept talking? I hope that the guy sitting across from me tonight on the train thought that atleast once.

Setup: night time train, coming home, not so heavy traffic, a giddy pair of two young almost budding into could-be-hetro-lovers-someday-soon boy and girl sit down across from me. The girl clearly likes the boy, the boy clearly feels the same way. So its the moment for the questions to attempt to make this romance blossom.

Girl asks boy, "So how long have your parents been married?"

Boy, "Oh well, my mom has been married like 3 times, she cant seem to stay with the same guy, always with a new one... i mean, but that wouldn't be like how I would want to be, I would want to be with one girl forever, ya know."

Girl pauses, tries to make her hint more clear and change subject,

"So what kind of girls do you like?"

Boy, "I like lots of girls, I mean, I've had a lot of girlfriends, I mean cute girls are nice."

Girl dosen't know what to say so she just nods.

Boy keeps going, "I mean, smart is good too. I've dated a lot of stupid girls, thats for sure."

Girl nods, slower, still not sure what to say to that.

Maybe boy is nervous because of her silene or maybe he just likes saying things that will leave the girl with no comments, so after an uncomfortable silence he continues,

"My ex-girlfriend was really cute and smart too, I like her a lot, I mean liked her a lot, she was really really good. Well, I mean, except she had issues, problems."

Girl has stopped nodding, she isn't interested in this conversation and boy seems to have put a spike in the budding romance, but he can't stop.

"I miss her sometimes of course, but who can be with a girl who has problems? She expected me to try to deal with her problems with her or something."

And I got off the train about there. Yes, I really did hear that conversation. And I wont critize his stupidity, sexism or anything, I'll leave that up to your personal judgement.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

hong kong memories

This was in a personal archive, and the date wasn't clearly posted so this is a guess. The year should be right. This was reposted for posterity in August 2013



Already my memories of my vacation are fading into that strange mist of memory. I'll try to relate a few memories now before I loose all clarity of events. I got to Hong Kong in the afternoon, and once again the first thing I noticed is that it smelled different. I always seem to notice this no matter where I go, everywhere seems to have a different smell, different atmosphere. My friend Polly from college met me at the airport. It had been litteral years since I'd seen her, but it didn't really feel like that. We took a bus into the city, going from green leafy foilage to dense city. We started from an older part of Hong Kong, walking through stalls, small stores and along overflowing streets. It was packed, elbow to elbow, chin to chin, litterly. I'm not sure if it was because it was Sunday, or because it was near Chinese New Year, but I think it was fairly typical.


I enjoyed the mob of people, and when we got hungry we got some greesy fried gyoza and yams from a street restraunt. It was really oily, but I liked it, the gyoza was crispy the way I like it. After that, we went home to meet Polly's mom and brother. Polly's mom couldn't speak any English and Polly's brother only spoke a little so she was the translater for any communication.


Polly's mom made some wonderful food (boiled chicken, fried pork, shrimp in red sauce and some rice and veggie thing, with rice) It was really good, in a surprizing way a lot of it reminded me of the food my mom would make when I was a kid. Polly's brother knows a little Japanese, a language thats popular in Hong Kong I would find out, and so he tried to talk to me. He hadn't ever used the language though, so he was really rusty. He was able to ask (in Japanese of course), "Your name is what?" and say "I am Ryo [his taken Japanese name]." Among other things. He was a really nice guy, about my age, and I think he looked kind of like me! That night we went back out, met Polly's friend Joann, and went to Victoria Street New Year's Night Market. A market is a new years tradition I guess, and it was cool, so many groups of people selling all sorts of silly chicken toys and other new years stuff. Joann didn't speak much English so we mainly talked in my few words of Cantonese and silly faces. After that I went back to Polly's house, they were letting me sleep on the upper bunk of her brother's bunk bed. (The window over looked a big morning-mist covered hill, a memory that is held in my mind~)


The next day we went to Victoria Peak to look down over the massive city. And yes, it is truly endless. It always strikes me when looking down on big cities how long they stretch out, and so did Hong Kong, stretching into the edges of vision, buildings scattered like mighty lego blocks. Hong Kong is an active port, and boats floating in and out of the harbor as you watched the horizon added to the coolness.


After that we took a double decker bus (something that is everywhere here) with no roof down to a port, took a ferry to check out the bay, and then eventually met her cool friend Tom. Tom spent some of his early life in Thailand, and speaks great English. He was a nice guy, and took us to a hip bar called Fluid. The bar offered free snacks sometimes, and had a nice live band that did cover songs in fluent English. There were also a lot of so-called expats, it reminded me breifly of Roppongi (in Japan) but most of the people hanging around were a lot older I thought.


The next day we got up late, and met Tom again for a great brakefast-lunch, and then went to Karaoke for 3 hours. Karaoke in Hong Kong was great! The machine showed you the real music videos and played the orginal music (instead of MIDI synth music and stock footage that you often get in Japan and Korea). And seeing the orginal music video turned out to be a shock. I don't know a lot of American songs (well, I know the songs but not the lyrics) so I was trying to find a Japanese song I knew, but they mostly had anime and super pop songs like Utada Hikaru (I need to learn some girly jpop) so I thought I wasn't going to be able to sing anything. Then I saw a song by a band called the Ulfuls that I knew. I had never sang it before, but I knew the song (ashita ga arusa) and really liked it so I decided to give it a try. I turned it on and was shocked by a very very silly video and that I was able to sing the song with no problems (missed one kanji though, I think). After that me and Polly wandered the streets some more, looking for silly cheap things I could bring back for my Korean friends. Night pulled its arms around Hong Kong, and the neon lights began to glow. I loved the lights, and the glow, and how the signs literly grew up and over the streets.


In Hong Kong Japanese language and restraunts seem to be everywhere. I saw a YOSHINOIYA and a WATAMI among others. Although both of these are fairly cheap chain restraunts in Japan, they seemed to be more expensive and fancy over here. I decided to go to WATAMI for dinner, to see if it was different. They greeted us in Japanese ("Welcome, good evening.") and I don't speak good Cantonese and Polly thought it would be funny, so I tried to order in Japanese. The waitress just stared at me and shook her head no when I asked (In Japanese, of course) "I would like to place an order...but you don't speak Japanese right?" Afterwards the paradox of how she could show a "no" if she didn't understand began to bother me, but basically Polly had to do the ordering. The food tasted close to what it tasted like in Japan, although the okonomiyaki tasted more "bready" than in Japan. They also had special Hong Kong only cocktails, and I tried a "Hong Kong Sunset" which had blue at the top... is this a radioactive sunset?? After we took sticker pictures (purikura) again, we took it so many times while I was there, its fun!


The last day in Hong Kong was basically eating brakefest at this nice fastfood rice-roll place called QQrice (I know its only a matter of time until this idea spreads like fire in America, or atleast it should) and then going to the airport. My time in Hong Kong was complex, this is a quick review, but I hope it will help me keep alive the memories of my fun vacation!


until next time, SAMPAI JUMPA LAGI~

Thursday, February 10, 2005

to hong kong and back

Originally from an old server that is now gone. Reposted in September 2006.

sleepy update of my diary

|| one of the older Hong Kong streets ||
file missing

Wow. Hong Kong was amazing. A lot of great food, a massive multicultural city with billions of people, and lots of things to see. I had an amazing time. I was going to write a "day by day" review of what I did (not that anyone cares) but I am too tired right now. I'll do that later maybe. For now, I just want to say it was great. DAAG

07:26:00 | permalink

Sunday, February 06, 2005

living in the future

Originally from an old server that is now gone. Reposted in September 2006.

is it true that you are starting to get old when you feel like you are living in the future? I am updating this diary from a payphone. That feels weird to me. cool weird. Going to Hong Kong today!

On the way here, I could see the slice of the moon chasing the bus, as if tied to our side. Thin curved moon-blade cutting through clouds. I remember thinking the same thing in the bus going to Auckland.

aku di kata: SELEMAT JALAN!

08:40:00 | permalink

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

going to hong kong!

Originally from an old server that is now gone. Reposted in September 2006.

happy chinese new year

I wanted to go on a vacation, so I asked my bosses wife if she could take the price of a ticket out of my next pay check. She said "Sure, where do you want to go?" And I thought about it, and then said "Hong Kong!" and she instantly said "Oh, theres no tickets for under $1000" This seemed weird to me, because I could fly to America for cheaper than that. Although I understand that its a holiday season, it still seemed too expensive. I thought about it for a few days and then finally yesterday I told her I gave up, I couldn't go to Hong Kong. And then right after that she magically found one for half the price. It's still kind of expensive, but I need a vacation to recharge my mind. So I'm excited. And maybe I can try to use some of my bad Cantonese (I forget most of it).. uhm.. MGOI, MAI DAN! BIN GOH AH???! ^o^

I have an advanced class today, normally with three young girls who speak English really well. Recently the other two have been on vacation, so I have only one student. Its faster with one student, so I often make small talk with her, to take up time. I know she likes swimming, she goes three times a week, so I asked her "So, did you go swimming yesterday?" And her answer kind of caught me off guard. "No uhm, I didn't go because blooding was coming out, out" (she pointed down) "and my mother said I can't go this week." For a few seconds I thought she ment that she had got hurt, but then I realized that I think she had gotten her first period. I'm a liberal hippy I guess, because I don't think periods are gross, but I had already made a twisted face because I thought she had gotten hurt, but I didn't want her to think its bad, although I guess blood and all that can feel gross for a kid, so I just kept the "gross" face on and let the conversation glide to a different topic.

It was so cold today that on my walk home my fingers began to tingle, and even though my ears were inside the hood of my coat, my ears began to hurt. So cold! Where is the summer heat waves? I need very humid hot days or I'm going to turn into an ice cube! well...thats all for now.


21:47:00 | permalink

Saturday, January 22, 2005


The below entry was originally posted to a defunct web blog site, or somehow became missing. This has been recovered from an e-mail so it might not reflect perfectly the original post.

Self described boring entry. I ate, I tutored, I saw friends. That was
my weekend.

I had a weird dream though.

My friend and coworker in Japan, Nina, was talking to me in the
Japanese language. (Something she tried to do in real life, but never
really had a real conversation with me like in the dream.) And she was
telling me about how she thought of a way to improve the market for
those little machines that look like a car or something that you put a
coin and then it bounces you (or your kid) up and down for a few
minutes of mind numbing entertainment. (I don't know the English word
for these things, hope everyone knows what I mean.) Her idea, although
utterly useless, was really interesting to me. I thought "I should
write it down, so I can remember when I wake up." OK, so I know this
was a kind of stupid idea, because the pen and paper were in my mind,
and lets not mention the paradox of having a lucid dream about
someone's cool idea, that was really my own idea. Anyway, I started to
write down her idea but when I got to her name I couldn't write the NI
character right. If you don't know, its one of the simplest ones in
Japanese, its two horizontel strokes. Thats it. And even in the dream
I knew it was easy, but I couldn't do it. I kept making mistakes and
had to rewrite it. What a frustrating dream. Added to that, the idea
is a revelotion in the "bouncing kid entertainer machine" industry but
I'm not sure how to approach the market with Nina's idea. Well, I mean
my idea that my mind gave to Nina.

And thats all that was written.

All original content CC 2002-2012 BY NC SA - first design from dilarangmelarang altered by neonvirus and thunderbunny.