Wow. I fell asleep I must admit, eye-weary from result tracking, switching between browser tabs, comparing coverages. I woke up at 2am and I see that I slept through a historical moment (though I guess one may argue that every moment bears a small history to be made..), and that something that many might have thought impossible has happened. Craziness. I watched his victory speech, he seems a good orator, and I have a feeling that he pronounces the word "nuclear" correctly, so that's good. I dunno. Feels pretty good.

Saw this on ZeFrank's blog earlier today, found it to be the funny...



So lately this blog, ostensibly about Korea, is a blog about fishing. Not the case today, well actually it is, that is about fishing, but not catching. (If you fish, you know the old joke I reference there, and also, sorry if you've endured an over-reiteration of said joke). I fished from about 9am to 3pm today with absolutely no success. Makes me tempted to go out again tonight but I've been experiencing strange bouts of vertigo today, two memorable bouts occurring while driving to my fishing spot: not fun! Yeah vertigo is somewhat distressing, as I don't know what's causing it, nor do I have health insurance to find out (gotta love living in a so-called "superpower 1st-world nation" that doesn't have national health care.) I suspect, or rather hope, that my vertigo is along the lines of BPPV (benign paroxysmal positional vertigo) which is a disorder of little calcium stones in one's inner ear shifting about and sending false signals to one's brain, much like the pretty girl in the pub waving and smiling at some douchbag sitting behind you; and that it's *not* oh I dunno, inoperable brain tumors or low-level mercury poisoning (maybe it's a good thing that I didn't catch any fish today...)

Oh, on an aside, according to the handy little hit tracking map thing on the sidebar over there ---------->>>>> I've apparently had traffic from Australia, Columbia, Great Britain, Canada, Korea, and several places in the US! Surprising to me this is, as I don't really know anyone from Columbia or England, not to say I wouldn't want to meet anyone from these places, but you know what I mean. I guess what I mean to say is Welcome! Thanks for visiting, or mayhaps, thanks for accidentally clicking over to my blog... If you return and read this, feel free to comment about how you found my blog, or not, no pressure, but I'm curious is all...


recent activities

Wow, it's almost October... It's hard to mark the passage of time when the weather here stays consistently hot basically all year. All of this 80-90 degree weather makes me yearn for autumn, chill breezes, blowing leaves and warm apple cider.

Well lately I've been fishing some different spots, and I've had some new experiences with different species....

This isn't a pic of the fish I caught (mine was smaller than this) but I recently caught a longnose gar in brackish water:

and I've also caught my first barracuda:
So that's been good, it's nice to catch anything really, and when it's a new-to-me species, all the better.

I've also been able to repair some older reels that we have lying around, which is very satisfying as it would have cost over $40 to get them fixed or to replace them, and more importantly I have the knowledge now to do it myself, with under $20 invested in replacement parts.


Turtle: Origins

Okay, why did I get into blogs and blogging? It's kind of a disturbing story actually. When I first started researching teaching abroad, the first blog I came across about this subject matter was the Korea Life Blog by this guy named Shawn. I started reading it, and liked his writing style and food picture-heavy posts, so I went ahead and read his archives spanning back to prior his arrival in Korea. For close to 7 hours I was sitting in front of the comp, reading his blog from inception. As I got closer to current, I saw he was having issues with his girlfriend, and that he eventually left his position in Korea to move to China, where he started the China Life Blog. At this point, a week or so had passed from when I originally found Shawn's blog, and I was reading some comments on the Korea Life Blog, that hinted that Shawn's readers were upset and stating condolences and comments of that nature. I come to find out that a week or so after I had found KLB, and after reading a year's worth of posts, and basically getting to know and like this random english teacher in Korea/China, that Shawn, in a fit of depression, jumped off of his apartment building roof in China and killed himself.

I guess that's definitely kind of disturbing that this sparked my interest in blogs, because at that point, I realized the connection one can make with a generally anonymous and faceless audience, and sought out more blogs to read. Because as unfortunate any death is, a person I've never met before's death on the other side of the planet generally would have little to no effect on me, I mean people are dying every second, and I have no reaction to that knowledge, but through this medium, connections are forged and there is something to that I guess.

Wow, this post is kind of a drag, huh? Let's see.... in honor of Shawn, who was kind to stray cats in korea, is a picture to lighten the mood...


how NOT to cook korean pancakes (pajun)

Wow, if you've had real pajun prepared by an actual korean person, you'll see why this video made me /facepalm.

No offense to any Britishers out there, but man, that was pretty far out.


fried eggs and mayo

I see that look of incredulity spanning your visage as you read the title of this post. You have read correctly, however, and if you've yet to try this surprisingly good (and not necessarily good for you) combination, you may not know what you're missing out on. While others have suggestions contrary to this basic pairing (albeit tasty sounding suggestions), as far as ease of preparation and availability of necessary ingredients involved, few recipe choices can hold a cholesterol-infused candle to this tasty list:

Open faced egg and mayo sammy on wheat:
fry a couple eggs, either hard or over easy (dependent on time available for beard cleanup after)
toast, or not, several slices of whole wheat bread
spread some mayo on your bread
serve open faced, salt & pepper to taste

oh, it's good though


the Usual Suspects

I've been perusing the Korea Blog List some more the last few days... there are some clever folks over there in ROK I must say, hopefully I'll get to meet some of them once I arrive. However, I wonder if I'm fated to have such an analogous experience as what's represented in their writings: norae-bangs, late night soju-binges, partying in Itaewon... Not to knock those experiences, they sound like they can be a blast, at least on occasion, but as a routine, I don't know if I can take that. Then again, I know that any experience is what one makes of it, so if I try hard enough, I can make my stay abroad more varied and less alcohol-infused than many make it sound like it must be (? I don't know how well composed that last sentence was, but, whatever). hmmmmm.

Things I look forward to in Korea:
triangular kimbab
language immersion

Things I know will really bug me in Korea:
brand importance/vanity/materialism
xenophobism (?)
racism in kids (actually that bothers me no matter where I am)



Wow, I want and need to stay on top of this blogging thing. I read several other blogs, pretty much everyday, and I know how I anticipate new stuff to read, so when I don't post new entries for 20 days, I realize how a potential regular reader (of which I doubt I have any at this point) might be put off or also be made to anticipate or grow impatient with me. If you do check my blog, sorry it's been awhile. I'd like to report that my life is terribly interesting, and I haven't had a spare moment to compose a post about my activities, but truly, my life is kinda dull at the mo, and though I've had spare time aplenty, what is lacking is subject matter.

As an exercise in focusing myself and my intentions for this blog, let me queue up some topics that I'd like to expand upon:
fresh and saltwater fish species of Korea,
ssirreum (shillim) aka traditional korean wrestling,
the intricacies of the F4 (korean heritage) visa,
perspective of a foreign-raised korean (gyopo) teaching in korea,
perspective of a hairy foreign-raised korean teaching in korea,
seriously, I'm pretty hairy and I wonder how people will react to that,
acquisition and learning how to play a haegum (traditional korean violin, similar to the chinese erhu),
calligraphy painting,
Infinity of Sound aka Infinite of Sound aka I.S. who play this:

well hopefully that embedded video works...

There's more I guess that I want to talk about, but I should get some school and IG (income generating) work done, so that's all for now....


2 lbs of lead and a 2nd degree burn later....

So I spent the last 2 hours casting 1 ounce egg sinkers out of lead that I reclaimed from the lead line of an old cast net. Even though they sell aluminum die 's that produce nicely rounded, perfect egg sinkers of various weights, the way I look at it, the whole point in casting my own sinkers is to save money, not shell out $40 on a fancy die, so I made a couple out of Fimo modeling clay.

The result is admittedly kinda crude, so instead of this:

I end up with these, which are not pretty, but serve the function of having mass and making my bait sink, admirably well:

If you're thinking about pursuing a similar venture in thriftiness (cheapness? stubbornness?) keep a few things in mind. First, lead is pretty toxic, so good ventilation is a great idea. Also, don't pick your nose, eat, smoke, or suck your thumb while dealing with lead, unless you enjoy trips to hospital or the accompanying possible side effect of crazy psychosis sometimes associated with lead toxicity. Second, molten lead is pretty hot (around 620 deg F hot) so heavy leather gloves and other precautions are probably a good idea as well. Third, mixing hot things with cold things does not turn out well, especially in the case of molten lead and slightly damp Fimo molds, which, in my personal experience, can result in an exciting display of molten lead flying and popping out of the mold, much like water thrown on an grease fire, resulting in this:

For a fairly stupid move on my part, I got out of it with relatively little damage, and now I know to heat my molds first, and make sure they're absolutely dry before pouring lead.


Urgent Turtle

The causeway was deserted that fateful friday morning, the group of 3 that had been fishing all night couldn't have left at a better time. As the peristaltic pressure built in our hero's gut, and a dank gleam of perspiration glistened on his forehead and neck, his eyes grew frantic, darting to and fro, searching for the location of his impending befoulment.
With a throaty roar of triumph and relief, and the only witness to the horrible spectacle a great blue heron standing ankle deep in the nearby brackish waters, our protagonist mouthed a silent word of thanks and apology to the innocent stand of palm trees and scrub grasses to which he had literally laid waste.


Game Night, impromptu

Generally, I'm slightly uncomfortable around kids. This can be viewed as a negativism, since my intention is to surround myself with them, and try to coax them to absorb the information that I'm presenting to them. You see, I'm a big guy, and kids just look little and fragile to me. So when my folks invited their pastor over for dinner last night, and then he arrived with two little kids in tow (12 and 10 I think) I felt a mixture of perturbation (is that a word? oh well roll wit it), apprehension and hunger (that last one is probably unrelated to the kids haha).
Here's a precis of the night to follow:
chinese checkers against a 10 year old girl ( I won )
taught girl how to play chess (lost queen early due to distraction by 12 year old boy, came back to win it though)
gave tips on putting to the boy
about 10 games straight of mancala versus both kids
watched my pops and the pastor play Go
got challenged and subsequently schooled at Go by the boy, who cackled at my ineptitude the whole duration of the game

and that ate up 4 hours last night. Moral of the story? Kids like games? (duh) umm Sitting cross-legged for 1.5 hours playing mancala makes my ass fall asleep? Go is an interesting and sometimes frustrating game?


Mission Statement

So what is with this blog? What is my purpose, focus, muse, deal anyway?

I'm a gyopo with the intention of temporary repatriation under the guise and funded by teaching english to them as can pay in Korea. This is a couple years down the line, but, I figure, why not start a narrative now, which maybe will become an information source during the planning stages of this venture.

Topics I'd like to touch upon?
Well, aside from the usual topics of teachers abroad, learning korean language as a gyopo living in Korea, calligraphy painting, shillim, fishing in korea, and hopefully travel.

And also turtles, turtling and turtle heads.


Toilet humor is universal...

Is it ill-conceived to title a narrative after an act of elimination?

You could call it hubris...

...or urgency. or purgency. or pungency. or poogency. or number2gency.

Maybe you take it easy, bring a periodical.

Maybe you get quantitative, set up a clock, use the bathroom scale (bleh).

Whether you're shamed by your gastrointestinal trumpeting or it invokes hearty belly laughs and cheering, you can't escape

the morning turtle.

And if you could, who'd want to?