Sunday, November 30
Saturday, November 29
Thursday, November 27
Wednesday, November 26
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
Sunday, November 23
Also, I just discovered Lykke Li and I love her. No one can make pop music like the Swedes.
Friday, November 21
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
Wednesday, November 19
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.
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
Sunday, November 16
natalie portman's shaved head - sophisticated side ponytail from thatgo on Vimeo.
Saturday, November 15
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
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.
Sunday, November 9
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.