Sunday, November 30



This is footage of the protests in Thailand where anti-government protesters have taken over two major airports. I kind of wish I was there to laugh and point in this fat American guy's face. I'd also like to invest in colorful plastic noisemakers.

Saturday, November 29

Delicious rice

Maybe it's the water

I find lint in my bellybutton like every time I look at my bellybutton, which is often. We had a beautiful drunken Thanksgiving last night at my boy Wayne's house. I ate mashed potatoes with chop sticks. There are pictures to prove it but my camera battery died and I guess my charger is somewhere on State Street.

Thursday, November 27

Coup d'etat

The dean has made voluntary winter vacation classes obligatory for all students. It's fucked. And the kids know it; the social unrest is palatable on the 10th grade hallway. If the revolution comes, I know which side I'm dying for.

Wednesday, November 26

2 months ago

On the flight to Seoul, I'm seated next to the only American soldier on the plane. He's nice but he has a deep, emotionless, Midwestern way of speaking. He never looks at me. He starts talking about places called 'juicy bars' where you go to watch girls from southeast Asia drink juice out of cups and I realize that he's a pervert. He gets upset that our TVs aren't working and halfway through the flight he switches seats with a Korean girl who gives me bread filled with meat and onions, and I fall in love with her.

Jeong Bum picks me up from the airport, and as I was warned, he didn't speak English. He gives me a cigarette and leads me to the bus that would take us to Cheonan. I sit and watch the sun go down over the Yellow Sea, silhouetting small mountain-islands with hazy pink light. Birds with long, curved beaks fly in groups of five or six. I try to decide how absurd my current situation actually is, but can't, and fall asleep.

Monday, November 24


I made a powerpoint presentation of Thanksgiving images for class this week. I used pictures of things like indians, turkeys, a cornucopia, pilgrims.I left out "genocide", "white devil", and "backstabbers". For part of the class, I make the kids write what they're thankful for. Most of them said the normal things like family and god and computers (?), but each class had kids that mentioned some things that you would just never hear in America. My favorite was one kid who said that he was "thankful for farmers because they have a hard job" and because of them he "can eat delicious rice." Another student said that he's thankful for time. He didn't elaborate.


I finally got me a tea pot. This has made me aware of the problem with Korean tea: they like to make it out of everything except for tea itself. There's buckwheat tea, corn tea, plum tea, jujube tea (I don't know), orange-honey tea, ginseng-honey tea, plain old honey tea. And most of the green tea has rice in it, but I found some without that smells exactly like lemon cookies when it steeps.

Sunday, November 23

Scandinavian love songs

I found a pack of papers stashed away in my wallet which made it possible for me to smoke a bali for the first time since I've been in Korea and now my vision is shaky and I kind of feel sick and I don't think I could make a lesson plan if I tried.

Also, I just discovered Lykke Li and I love her. No one can make pop music like the Swedes.

Friday, November 21

Omelettes and cigarettes

This is the face that Gabe makes when he knows for sure that he's doing something that will, at some point in the future, really piss someone off:

Harper's Weekly Review

Now that I live a life of no Sunday Brunches or Free Beer Wednesdays, it's probably my favorite thing that happens exactly once a week. I'm just gonna post it all:
Doctors in Berlin announced that they had cured a man of AIDS by giving him transplanted blood stem cells from a donor naturally resistant to the virus; other researchers cautioned that the treatment was of little immediate use, and justified in this case only because the patient had leukemia. “Frankly,” said Dr. Robert C. Gallo of the University of Maryland School of Medicine, “I'd rather take the medicine.”1 A German shoplifter with no arms stole a 24-inch television. “It's hard to believe,” said a police officer, “that the sight of an armless man walking along with a giant TV clamped to his body did not get anyone's attention.”2 A man in a motorized wheelchair robbed a Space Coast Credit Union branch in Merritt Island, Florida, telling employees that he was rigged with explosives; police caught him ten minutes later and recovered the stolen money from his prosthetic leg.3 Huseyin Kalkan, the mayor of Batman, Turkey, said that the town would sue Warner Bros. for a portion of the royalties from the movie The Dark Knight .“ ”There is,“ said Kalkan, ”only one Batman."4 A sixth severed foot washed ashore in Canada,5 and Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, who is expected to sign a $7 million book deal, was asked if she planned to run for president in 2012. “I'm like, okay, God, if there is an open door for me somewhere, this is what I always pray, I'm like, Don't let me miss the open door,” she said. “I'll plow through that door.”6 The Secret Service assigned official code names to President-elect Barack Obama (“Renegade”), First Lady Michelle Obama (“Renaissance”), and their daughters Malia (“Radiance”) and Sasha (“Rosebud”).7 8 In Chicago, a relaxed-looking Obama, who gained 700,000 Facebook friends since his election, met with Senator John McCain, who has lost 1,000 Facebook friends,9 10 and astronomers in Canada and the United States, observing the constellations Piscis Austrinus and Pegasus, captured the first images of distant, dusty planets orbiting young, bright stars.11

The price of oil fell below $60 per barrel, a 20-month low,12 and it was announced that a portion of the government's $700 billion bailout package may be used to pay year-end bonuses on Wall Street.13 Computer giant Sun Microsystems shed 6,000 jobs,14 and sales rose for Hormel Foods Corporation, which produces SPAM. “We are scheduled to work every day except Thanksgiving and Christmas,” said Darwin Sellers, a SPAM “formulator” who adds salt, sugar, and nitrates to rectangles of pork at a plant in Minnesota. “The man upstairs [would like] to get us to work eight days a week.”15 Barack Obama's chief-of-staff, Rahm Emanuel, apologized to the Arab community for remarks made by his father, Benjamin Emanuel, who told an Israeli newspaper that his son would “obviously influence the president to be pro-Israel. Why wouldn't he? What is he, an Arab? He's not going to be mopping floors at the White House.” 16 Assailants sprayed acid in the faces of 15 schoolgirls in Kandahar, Afghanistan,. 17 and an Indian high court dismissed arguments that homosexual intercourse should be banned for causing bodily injuries.18 India's space program landed a probe painted with the national flag on the surface of the moon.19

Nigerian police discovered a massive baby farm in the city of Enugu,20 and a grandmother in Ohio gave birth to her daughter's triplets.21 Officials in Nebraska were scrambling to change a “safe haven” law, whereby children can be legally abandoned at hospitals, because it failed to specify an age limit for the children. “Please don't bring your teenager to Nebraska,” said Governor Dave Heineman, responding to a spate of abandoned out-of-state teens. 22 Don Dollar, a City Hall employee in Vernon, Mississippi, said that anyone who was happy with Obama's victory should seek religious forgiveness. “This is a community that's supposed to be filled with a bunch of Christian folks. If they're not disappointed, they need to be at the altar.”23 Holocaust survivors demanded that the Mormon church stop posthumously baptizing Jews killed in concentration camps,24 and judges in Pleasant Grove City, Utah, were weighing a free-speech suit filed by adherents to the Summum church. Members of the church claim that the city is discriminating against them by displaying a red granite plaque of the Ten Commandments in a public park but refusing to display a monument inscribed with their own faith's Seven Aphorisms, which were communicated via telepathy from divine beings to a man named Corky Ra. Ron Temu and Su Menu, two Summum worshippers, argued that the Commandments were compatible with the Aphorisms, as both were handed down to Moses on Mount Sinai. “If you look at them side by side,” said Su Menu of the two monuments while sitting in a metal pyramid and drinking an alcoholic sacramental nectar beside a mummified Doberman pinscher, “they really are saying similar things.”25

Thursday, November 20

"Why is it snowing in the hallway?"

I caught myself asking that to no one today. It turned out that the hall windows were open at such an angle that the wind from outside was being forced upwards, causing the snow that it carried to appear to be falling from the ceiling. No worries. I still haven't lost my mind.

Wednesday, November 19

Winter Vacation

I don't have to teach at all for the months of January and February. I was going to maybe go home for a while, but I was looking at flights and it's like $600 cheaper for you to come here. So, yeah. Come sleep in my bed. We can drink soju and take a ferry to Japan.

Pretty things

I put my playlist at the bottom of the page. Go listen to it. I'll try to keep it updated with whatever I'm listening to that's not too embarrassing.

My dad and pirates

I'm more similar to the guy than I'd like to admit. He sent me a message today while I was at school saying exactly two things.

1. He's putting antifreeze in the car

2. "Today more pirates off the east coast of Africa took over a 1080 foot5 long super tanker sucessfully evading Nato and other5 ships there running the shipping lanes there and a freighter as well"

How does he know about my obsession with Somalian pirates? I'm starting to think that maybe I want to become one when I finish my year here. It's got to be the most romantic profession in the world. Romantic like riverboat captains or the way that Germans want to be Irish.

Pinkie toes

As I was trying to catch a ride home from school yesterday, someone told me that the biology teacher would take us out to dinner because he'd made some strange promise that he'd treat us to a meal for the year's first snow. I'm still confused about all that because it didn't start snowing for another 2 hours. How did he know? And was he trying to bet against the undeniable odds that it would snow this year? He took us to eat beef soup at a restaurant in Dujeong-Dong. And he got drunk really fast. We were drinking creamy rice wine called "mah-kuh-lee" out of soup bowls. The stuff is so good. They usually drink it when it's raining but snow is close enough. We started eating and the waitresses came by and put a live octopus in our each of our boiling pots of soup. When they stopped wriggling, the women came back and cut them to little pieces with kitchen shears. I had never seen this before and nearly got lost in a fit of manic laughter. It started snowing outside. The biology teacher was ranting. He loves for people to listen to him talk. Through a translator, he told me that Koreans have two nails on their pinkie toes and took his shoes and socks off to prove it. They're evolving! He also gave me a somewhat scientific explanation for fan death that I was too drunk to commit to memory. I remember laughing at the way that some of the teachers were talking to eachother although I had no idea what they were saying. I do this often. This made me realize that I have developed impressions of some teachers' personalities based solely on the way I feel when I listen to them speak. I started wondering which teachers I would hate if I could understand Korean. It stopped snowing and everything was white. The Koreans of course didn't give a damn but it made me want to call my mom and hug strangers. When I got home I had a note on my door from my neighbor. I'd gone out with the teachers and missed his birthday dinner:

I felt bad for missing the dinner. He'd reminded me several times. But really, who apologizes after being fucked over? It's like he's saying "Sorry that you stole my girlfriend." I can't tell if he was going for subtle passive aggression and blew it or if he's just a dick.

Monday, November 17

You don't fuck with fan death

I was drinking with some people the other day and I came up with this scheme to make students stop sleeping in class. My plan involved shutting all the doors and windows and bringing a fan to class which a would keep on at all times. My assumption was that their fear of fan death would outweigh their desire to sleep during my lesson. The next day at lunch I told my teacher all excitedly what I was planning to do. I don't know what I was expecting, but when I finished my explanation she said something like "Yeah, they might hate you." Then she went on to say something about dust particles. No smile or anything. Of course not. I should know better than to openly mock something that someone takes so seriously, regardless of how trivial it seems. This is especially true when that thing they take so seriously doesn't hurt anything. I even get pleasure out of it; the fact that people here think that sleeping with a fan on will kill them makes me enjoy my life more than if they didn't believe that. But how do I keep these little assholes awake in class?

It's happening

The news today was reporting that winter will start tomorrow. And I still haven't given my mother my fucking mailing address, so she hasn't been able to send me my winter coat. Actually, Jennifer Pearce... do you still have my address? I lost it. OH! The package came in. You make me feel so loved. I put the pictures up in the office. Everyone thinks my friends are beautiful and incredibly patriotic.

Sunday, November 16

Where I stay

I don't know how either of these things work.I have four pieces of silverware. The fork is useless but I like the way it looks.I hide empty beers above the stove.At first I thought that they skimped me on a shower. But this is how bathrooms are everywhere here. It's okay, but everything is wet for about 24 hours after I take a shower.It amazes me though how the toilet paper doesn't get wet.


reminds me of those fucks that were friends with Willy that told David on New Years Eve that the Walgreens in the 9th Ward sold whiskey and then laughed at him when he went to go buy some because they were lying and it didn't sell whiskey.

natalie portman's shaved head - sophisticated side ponytail from thatgo on Vimeo.

Saturday, November 15

Science Friday

Saturday Clubs

I went out this morning with the Sindang High School hiking club to a little mountain behind the school. The weather was nice and, luckily, I unclogged my toilet before I left for the hike. I did it with an empty water bottle.
At the top of the mountain there were hula hoops and a tire for us to hit with big sticks.
I can never remember what this game is called, but it's pretty much just a combination of volleyball and soccer. It's so big here that cities have professional teams and they show games on t.v. almost every night. I played for a while with some students after the hike. My team kept losing. And each time that happened, we had to turn around and face the brick wall while the other team took turns trying to kick the ball at our heads. They never hit me, but Donkey got it pretty bad.

Thursday, November 13

I don't know

How do I put this at the bottom of the page?

It hurts

My toilet is clogged and I don't have a plunger and I'm on the verge of having a poo attack. Does anyone know how you go about asking a neighbor, whose apartment you've never been in, if you can shit in his toilet?


It is said that: "When the blood and qi are both abundant and the yin qi is plentiful, the blood will be slippery so that needling will cause it to shoot out." On the other hand, "When much bleeding takes place with needling, but the color does not change and there are palpitations and depression, it is because needling the luo channel causes the channel to empty." The change in color that is anticipated occurs when the bad blood, which is described as thick and black, has been eliminated and normal red blood appears.

The number four pertains to the four seasons. When a person, after having been struck by one of the winds of the eight directions and four seasons, develops a chronic illness where the evil has invaded and penetrated the channels and connecting vessels [luo], then this condition is treated by the sharp needle....It has a cylindrical body and a pointed end of three blades and is one cun and six fen in length. It is used to drain heat and let out blood to dissipate and drain chronic diseases. Accordingly, it is said that, if the disease is securely housed within the five viscera, the sharp needle should be selected and draining technique applied to the well [jing] and brook [shu] points according to the seasons.

A friend of mine was telling me that she took an extracurricular class at her university to learn how to relieve indigestion with acupuncture. Your hand, she learned, represents your body and your brain is at the tip of your fingers and, for some reason, the brain is responsible for indigestion. So what she will do is prick the tips of her fingers when she has indigestion and the blood will come out black. When the color changes to red, the indigestion is cured. I have some other western friends that were once skeptical of acupuncture but now totally swear by it. My neighbor, for example, and I know that this is ridiculous, says that when he first got here, half of his face spontaneously became paralyzed. And that he tried all kinds of treatments, but acupuncture was the only thing that worked. In the meantime though, the fuckers made him continue teaching with only half of a working face. His students must have been terrified. Another guy I know told me some similar story about how his back was killing him after this incredibly long flight. And again, the only thing that worked was acupuncture. He said that when he went in for the treatment, there was a mirror in front of him. So he just laid there feeling really weird, staring at his own body that had hundreds of 12 inch needles sticking out of it. He said they even put needles in his forehead. I have health insurance now so I'm kind of thinking about going in to a doctor's office soon and saying that I don't poo enough, or something, to get an old Korean man to stick some things in me.


Tuesday, November 11


Pepero Day '08. The main difference between today and every other day is that kids were jacked the fuck up on chocolate dipped cookie sticks. All day. I was pretty impressed with the box of inverse pepero that one student gave me - somehow they dipped the chocolate in the cookie. Koreans have that technology.


I think the school has blocked my computer from updating my own blog. I don't know if it was intentional. But it's not going to make me work on lesson plans.

Sunday, November 9

In and around

I went to Seoul this weekend to go hiking with my friend Jimin.
About halfway up the mountain, there was a place that sold hot tofu and coffee.

This motherfucker was standing on the edge of the world. And behind me, Jimin was sitting down trying not to vomit because she had just realized that we were about to start walking back down the mountain. She hadn't warned me of her deathly fear of walking down stairs.

We got drunk later and found this park where the cool kids hang out.