일요일, 10월 02, 2005

Moving Day...Internet Style

Early today I was playing around with the wordpress blogging system, and I'm finding it a lot more awesome than the services provided here at blogger, so it looks like I'm going to be moving off this website to a different server that has wordpress systems. For the time being I will still post updates here, and when everything is all set up here, I will actually make the move offical.

For the time being if you want to see what I'm working on check out the new page at http://sojuandi.blogsome.com.

금요일, 8월 12, 2005

百害無益: Hamburgers & Me (Day 14)

After the epic party that was last night, today I said my goodbyes and headed off to the airport to fly back home to Korea. The drive down to NYC was fairly uneventful (though the traffic was pretty bad around Queens).

At the airport I got some quick breakfast / lunch and then said goodbye to my mother, as she was the only one in my family who cared enough to see me off (I jest, I jest.)

We outta here baby!

My plane. I am probably boarding at this point. Credit to Mom for snapping this picture.

The flight home was a lot less annoying than the trip to America...it was also 2 and a half hours longer. This time I was actually able to sleep, but for some reason I couldn't sleep during Miss Congeniality 2...a movie I actually watched from begining to end.

I touched down in Seoul at 5:30 pm on Saturday...yup, I lost an entire day. Anyhow, as usually, attempting to go through immigration was a rediculously lengthy process...because people are stupid. The lines were long when I arrived, and slow moving. By the time I got close enough to the immigration desk I realized why things were going so slowly.

The man four people in front of me had put his passport in his carry on bag, and decided that at the counter would be the best place to dig through his bag to locate it. The woman three people in front of me had neglected to fill out the arrival card that stewardess ask you about a million times during the flight to fill out. So she stood there filling it out. The guy two people in front of me also couldn't locate his passport. The guy in front of me had all of his documents together, but was military so for some reason it took the lady at the counter longer to process him. I handed the woman my documents got another stamp in my passport and was off to baggage claim in 30 seconds. After collecting my bags, I went to go catch a bus. Arriving just as my bus pulled away. It was now 6:20.

6:40 another bus arrives. I get on sit down and ride. At 7:43 I arrive inside my apartment. Thus bringing an end to my whack American adventures. Thank you for reading, we now return you to your scheduled program.

목요일, 8월 11, 2005

百害無益: Hamburgers & Me (Day 13)

Back in the early 80's I had an epic birthday party. It was all about cheap soda, short shorts, and Star Wars action figures. Today we decided to relive the magic. That means birthday party time!

"Hi, I'm Tom Carvel, just in time for Wyatt's Fake Birthday we have Fudgey the Whale ice cream cake..."

So there was some cake. An ice cream cake. An ice cream cake shaped like a whale. It was awesome. There was cake and beer. And I got a Star Wars action figure...just like old times, only no one wore short shorts.

Birthday Party!!!

After the formalities, the real partying began. My friends and I headed into the city, back to Shane Jones' apartment where we proceeded to really get our drink on. What followed was completely random and the details are sketchy at best.

First off my friend Pete decided tonight was the night to test out his new "drinking schedule." The schedule went something like beer, beer, caffinated mixed drink, beer, water, beer. The plan was designed so Pete could keep himself at "peak level" of drunkeness without loosing his "I'm having a good time," edge. Needless to say the shot of vodka didn't figure into the plan and messed up the whole thing.

Somewhere during the course of the night we ended up at a karaoke bar where I sang "Hello," by Lionel Richie in front of a room full of drunks. I also danced my ass off to random people singing equally random karaoke jams. At some point all of my friends, save for one disappeared. Luckily he was my ride home.

So I got home, threw up pure beer (it foamed) and then hit the hay, praying I wouldn't be very hungover on my trip back to Korea.

화요일, 8월 09, 2005

百害無益: Hamburgers & Me (Day 11)

Today I went to go revisit my past, paying a visit to the taekwondo school I spent a good chunk of my life, and ultimately lead to me studying Korean (and by result ending up here). Visiting the school really made me feel old. It's one thing to see my brother (who was in high school when I left) turn into a man, as he didn't have far to go, but to see elementary school kids I last saw two years ago was bizarre. I think it was just as odd for the students as well. Kids would look at me and do total double takes and be like, "What?! Is that Mr. Dunn?! Oh my god!"

Anyhow I met with some people and then offered to take my taekwondo master and his wife to dinner after classes.

With my taekwondo master. He can kick all of our asses at the same time.

At dinner he laid down all manners of "here's what you need with the lady / your life" wisdom. Some of the high points that I remember include:

* Bring presents when meeting my girlfriend's parents. Boxes of meat, cow tail, and shin bones are all good choices.
* Also drink what is given to me...this contradicts the following.
* Stop drinking (and apologize for doing so) before becoming drunk.

As for my life, he is under the impression that I should open a business of my own...which is not really my cup of tea, as running a business is far to time consuming, and I for one work to live, as opposed to living to work.

Anyhow it was good to see him and his wife, and to be called "새끼야" without malice or spite in it's delivery. Good times.

일요일, 8월 07, 2005

百害無益: Hamburgers & Me (Day 9)

I've said it before and I'll say it again, my family is insane. Today's event was a cook out at my grandparents' home. "Wait Wyatt, that's pretty normal. Lots of people have cook outs with their families." Just you wait. Just you want.

The event started off normally enough. Some hamburgers. Some hot dogs. A couple of soft drinks. A vegetable platter. But things soon turned insane. The first event of the afternoon was the goofy glasses grab bag game. You see my father is an optometrist and therefore we have all manner of really insane glasses at my house. An assortment of this were put in a pillowcase and all of the participants had to sport said glasses.

Striking Korean middle school girl poses while wearing rediculous glasses.

Oh yeah, that's normal. Next up was the "Mr. Lucky" dance contest. "Mr. Lucky" is a really retarded jam by some 1970s band named, Fool's Gold. The song is rediculous and so was this entire event. I know you all want to see me dance, and who am I to disappoint.

Some kind of dance party. Why I look like Terminator is unknown. As is the item in my hand.

After the dance party it was time to head home for the day. Oh also this morning I saw the 1980s cartoon, The Littles. The Littles?! What year is it?

금요일, 8월 05, 2005

百害無益: Hamburgers & Me (Day 7)

"Let's Look At Some Dirty Animals"

That's me circa 1989 at a local zoo (about 40 minutes from my hometown). Since I departed America, my mother had put an incredible about of time and effort into organzing boxes of photos we had into albums chronologically. She was very proud of this work and insisted that I give these albums the once over as they were allegedly really funny. Looking at my hair and clothing in this picture I will say that yes, the photo albums were really funny, but I digress. When I was glancing over these trip to the zoo pictures, someone, perhaps me, suggested a random return trip to this zoo. Ha! Ha! Good joke...oh wait, we went there today, at least some of us did.

My nurse of a sister and father both had to work (chumps!) and were thus not able to make the trip to the zoo. My brother, on the other hand, did not have work, but refused to go on the grounds that he hates, "dirty animals." So my mother, my sister, and I trekked off to the Catskill Mountains, home to the Catskill Game Farm..."the family place to be!" (or was Hoffman's Playland "the family place to be?" I can't get my mid-80s local business tv spots right anymore). Anyhow after a brief drive through the lovely Catskill Mountains we arrived at the game farm...let the good times roll!

We are asses, and we bite.

My sister pontificating about the true essance of a rhinosaurus. Immediately after snapping this picture, the rhino laid down. As it did so, it snorted or grunted or made some kind of noise like a fat guy would make after owning an all you can eat buffett. Right when the rhino made this noise, some random kid proclaimed, "Hey Dad! That rhino made a fart!!!!" The dad, looked at us nervously, mortified at what his child had said, but since we are intelligent and realize that farts are funny we laughed at his child's tourettes style outburst and the nervousness faded. Good times...good times.

Hey assface, here's an ass touching an ass' ass.

Perplexed by a deer.

Confused by a camel.

Reliving our childhood. Back in the 1987 photo album my mother so proudly showed me, there was a picture of my siblings and I sitting on this same swing set. Here my mother attempted to recreate the photo with only her most awesome children by editing out a couple losers. (Elaine devil horn noise!)

Best creepy dinosaur bird ever. I don't remember what it was called, but it was hella creepy and basically looked like a dinosaur. Also it tried to eat my camera.

To wrap up our trip to the zoo, we saw the elephant show. Now back when I was a small child we saw the same elephant show, and to this day my family still talks about it. Not because the show was particularly good, but because there were whirling elephants. There was a bit in the show where the elephants stood up and spun like ballerinas. Only we caught the after lunch so as they spun they also shat. As the spinning elephants' asses passed the crowd the front row was all like, "WHOA!!!" and leaning way back to avoid elephant doots. This time there was no spinning or shitting for that matter, but we were subjected to the most moronic question and answer session ever. It went a little something like this:

AUDIENCE MEMBER 1: How old is the elephant?
TRAINER: He's 18 years old.
AUDIENCE MEMBER 2: How long are their tails?
TRAINER: Well elephants are like people. People have different length arms, elephants have different length tails.
AUDIENCE MEMBER 3: Uh how old is he?
TRAINER: 18. Yes, you sir...
AUDIENCE MEMBER 4: What his age in years?
TRAINER: Still 18.
TRAINER: I hope not. Next question?
AUDIENCE 5: How long are the tails?
TRAINER: They are different lengths. Last question.
AUDIENCE 6: But what is the age of that elephant...you know in years?
TRAINER: 18. Thanks for comming everyone, enjoy the rest of your day.

After that it, we'd had enough of the dirty animals and headed home for the day.

월요일, 7월 25, 2005

"Watch Out For Those Japanese Bastards!"

I have so many odd conversations due to the fact that I can speak Korean.

Yesterday in preparation for my trip home I headed over to 인사동 (仁寺洞 / Insadong) to pick up some assorted gifts for friends and family back home. On the way from the subway station to 인사동, I walked past 탑골공원 (塔골公園 / Tapgol Gongwon), and decided to head in and scope the scene out.

I had been here once before (roughly two years ago to the day), and had lost the pictures I had taken there of National Treasure Number 2 (a ten story pagoda). So I headed in, and snapped the photos below.

Korean National Treasure No. 2

Korean National Treasure No. 2 (from a different angle)

Monument of Wongaksa. (Treasure No. 3...not a national treasure mind you).

Afterwards, I was headed out, to carry on towards 인사동, but before I left I checked out the Korean Declaration of Independence. I was examining the original version (in 漢字 and 한글) when an older man approached me. The park was loaded with old men, and it was only a matter of time before one of them decided to speak with me.

This gentleman was clad in some less then elegant clothes, had one tooth, and extremely dark skin...all the signs of a homeless person in Korea. Upon approaching me, the man pointed to the English language version of the Declaration, and in fairly decent English said, "You can read the English Declaration over there." I explained to him in Korean that I can understand Korean, and wanted to see how much of the Korean version I could understand.

He was excited to hear that I could speak Korean and began telling me about the Korean Declaration of Independence and the events leading up to the it. After asking where I was from ("America...New York." "AH New York! [thumbs up]"). He then proceeded to tell me about how when he was in school (Japanese school mind you), he had to bow to a picture of the Emperor of Japan ("like he was God or my ancestors"). He told me about how Japanese cops would randomly force people to kneel in the streets with their arms raised above their heads. He also explain the best example of passive-aggressive behavior I have ever heard. He told me that in his class they would have to clean the picture and would use rags that had been used to wipe up their sweat to "clean" the picture of the Japanese Emperor. And then he offered me this warning, "일본놈 조심하세요," (Watch out for those Japanese bastards).

He explained to me that Americans needed to watch out for the Japanese, and be careful of being all buddy-buddy with them. He then thanked me for listening to his tale and we parted ways.

I then headed to 인사동 to nab some gifts for people. For those of you not in the know 인사동 is an area of 서울 (Seoul) that has countless traditional crafts, foodstuffs, art, and artifacts. So I picked up some gifts, shocked shopkeepers with my knowledge of Korean language, and then headed home.

Oh and I got Goonies on DVD for 1,000 won (a little less the USD$1) at the Korean version of Just A Buck (or insert you local $1 store name here). "HEY YOU GUYS!!"