Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Ee Ess Who?

So I got the missez enrolled in an ESL course here through an accredited US college.


She speaks English well, but wants to refine it and eventually take some business classes so she can maybe score a job should we [inevitably] return to the YouEss of Fucking Eigh, the greatest nation on the planet.

So I drop her off to the class, and there's a dude in there talking to one of the other girls taking the class.

And by "talking to" I mean "hitting on".

He wasn't even involved with the class. He just worked at the college. And he's in there hitting on the students. Blatantly. His game was, "If you need help in English, call me." Yeah, that's hot. If she's 26 years old and can get fooled by that, she deserves whatever funk or STD she gets from him. I also appreciated him speaking broken high school-level Japanese to her so it would be less obvious that he was hitting on her. Take off douchebag, you've overstayed your welcome.

So I dumped her off, came home, layed on the couch for 3 hours, and went to get her. Naturally I was curious about the topics covered, and was a little surprised at what I heard. I heard about Iraq, the national deficit, about how Al Gore would have been a better president, about how Al Gore won anobel peace price, about global warming. Amazingly enough, and hold onto your hats for this one, he also made sure to mention how quickly he received his BA, MA, and PhD. He's. Highly. Educated. You see.

Awesome. Part deux.

Weird -- I coulda sworn we registered for an English as a Second Language class, not some guy blathering about his political views to a bunch of Japanese women.

Then again, this shouldn't surprise me. When I was a student in Nagoya, I went to this company that sends (read: whores out)roundeye like me to places that need a roundeye in the class to speak roundeye. They didn't even interview me. They asked where I was from and what my visa status was. Blammo, hired, 3500yen an hour. So they sent me a fax with directions on how to get to this school, and I showed up to find a very hostile Canadian wondering why another roundeye was sent to his class. "I dunno man," the 19-year-old version of me said, "I just went where they told me to go." He looked at me in a way which could only be described as "What the fuck eh" and spent the next 2 hours interrogating me about past atrocities visited upon the native population of North America by the United States Government.

"Hey man, I just wanted to come here, speaky roundeye, and get some scrill."

"Negative buddeeh, not until you apologize for exterminating the Injuns eh."

I left there feeling like I'd been sodomized by a whooping band of Lakota phantasms. "Nice shirts guys, how'd that work out for you?", I cackled, as their ethereal forms heaved and ho'd in a strange display of fast-forwarded air buggery.

Seriously though. The Canadian was an asshole and made me dislike Canadians for a really long time, and the missez's teacher thinks an English improvement course is a forum for him to voice his opinions.

Yeah, I know. Both examples are pretty innocuous. A bunch of Japanese women and/or old people aren't really going to topple governments or change future policy based on what some dude with a pony tail, pot belly, and halitosis says to them really. really. slowly.


Consider, for a moment, what can happen to little kids.

Yes, everything above what I'm about to say was an introduction for what I'm about to say. And since I emailed most of the readers of this blog what I'm about to say, you should all be closing this window right about now.

That being said, there are these little islands between Korea and Japan called the Liancourt Rocks or, if you hate the Japanese, "Dokdo", and if you hate the Koreans, "Takeshima". These islands are highly disputed and the source of a lot of problems between Korea and Japan. When you see what they look like, you'll understand why.

I know right? Take another look.

Anyway, my buddy sent me a couple links to a forum that had some pictures from a subway in Korea. There were a bunch of drawings from middleschoolers and high schoolers all over the wall, and some of them were pretty entertaining.

And by "entertaining" I mean "disturbing."


Enjoy. Discuss.

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Monday, October 22, 2007


That's Adventurea, not Adventarrhea. Or worse yet, Adventorrhea. You know whaddamean.

Or maybe you don't.

Basically what happened last week, my Birthday week, is I went to Korea with the misses. Our mission? Food. Because one thing Korea has a lot of is Korean food, and everyone knows Korean food is teh sh1znit.

If you're a friend of mine there's a special message for you at the end of this post... If you don't know me, give it a peep anyhow. If you don't like me, take it to heart. But yeah, I decided to cheese out there at the last minute.

Stay with me.

Anywho, we planned our trip to begin with a visit to the Missez' family down in Mie Prefecture, so we loaded up the whip and headed down.

I know it's pretty gheytardit to post pics of your car, but I really love this car. I've never loved a car I owned before, but this car. Mmm. Love it. She's smooth and her engine purrs, just like you think when you hear an engine being described as "purring" in a book. That's the kind of shit I'm talking about here. When she gets on the open road, in addition to purring she hums, and by "hum" I mean "haul ace without you really knowing it". The missez took the first shift and I noticed the speedomoter at 150kph a couple times (93 mph). She seemed to be enjoying herself and was getting us from point A to point B most rikitick, so I didn't mention anything. Someone else did. No sooner had she waxed poetic about the love of the open road than a plain-clothed copper pulled us over.

My refusal to take anything remotely seriously kicked in and I giggled maniacally as we pulled into the rest stop, and I took a picture of her as she was escorted into the cop car.

She came back with a verbal warning, but informed me that it would have been around a $1000 fine if he cited her. I'm pretty sure that would have put the kibosh on my giggling fit.

So smooth sailing the rest of the way, until we hit about a 2 hour traffic jam. We kicked it in Mie for a couple days then cruised to the port and took a 40 minute high speed catamaran ferry across the bay, hopped on a plane, and less than 2 hours later it was Kimchi time. I think from her house to Korea was about 4 hours. Awesome.

We came in around early evening and got a bus to the hotel, which was located in Itaewon, which is a really great location and an area I was pretty familiar with. So here's a rundown with some pics. Click on the image for a bigger version.

The first night we went to Dongdaemoon, which is pretty cool looking at night.

The second day we went for a stroll, and came upon the Korean War Memorial just down the road. There are a lot of really cool static displays for you to goof around on and take pictures with.

The missez decided to get some on the Triple-A.

We didn't want to discriminate against the valiant North Koreans, so we posed in front of a Mig-19 that was taken off the hands of a defector.

The missez showed her Commie Pride by sporting a nice red scarf for most of the trip.

The museum had some amazing architecture, and a Vietnam Wall-esque area with the names of everyone killed during the war. Very somber stuff. And not to be out done by their Comrades Up North, some dramatic statues.

The enxt day we went on a DMZ Tour....Which wasn't so much a DMZ tour as much as it was a tour of things really close to the DMZ. I was really hoping to go to Panmunjom/The Joint Security Area so my wife could take a gander at it (I went there a few years ago), but instead we went to Dorasan Station, which is the last station in South Korea on the line that will "reunify the two countries", to the Dorasan Observatory, which is the highest point in the area with a really stunning view to North Korea, and the Third Tunnel of Aggression. Here are some pics.

View into North Korea. You couldn't take pictures from the front of the observatory, so I took this from above my head.

The missez hangin' with some ROK guards at the station.

My only complaint on the Really-close-to-the-DMZ-tour was that there wasn't really enough time to do anything at each stop. It was pretty rushed, but still worth the money to go if you're ever in town. Try and hook it up through the base, though, because that way you are sure to go to the JSA.

In between tours and photo-ops, we ate a great deal of Korean food and I believe I successfully negated about a month or two's worth of physical exertion. Back to the drawing board with my bloated ass....but it was soooooo good. At night we hung out with some friends of mine who I hadn't seen in a very long time, and who just happen to have ended up in Korea in the Army in the same unit, even though one of them was in the Marines with me and the other was a civilian living in Tokyo after I got out. That stuff happens to me all the time and it never ceases to be completely awesome.

We made the hour-and-a-half flight back to Nagoya, Ferried it back to Mie, and I had my 31st Birthday. Looks like I'm officially in my 30s. The not-so-white side of my family threw me a little party, and the wife and I went out for some drinks and converation afterwards. Great time and very relaxing. A few days later and back we came, minus the traffic jam and being pulled over, marking the end of an excellent trip.

I also mark this trip as the end of one chapter and the beginning of another in the volume of books representing my life. I see this past chapter as the story of the last 6 months, from the time I got married til now, marking a great deal of positive changes both personally and professionally for myself. This summer has been absolutely amazing, I've travelled off-island three times, and gotten to kindle, re-kindle, and stoke friendships with people I consider very close friends. It's an amazing feeling to know that the people I've seen over the past few months -- the people I respect and admire and aspire to be like -- I can call my friends. I look forward to the next chapters to come, when I can see more people I don't see as much as I should.

The next time you tip one back, give the people you love a thought -- a mental acknowledgement to the thoughts they send your way more often than you may realize -- and drink deeply. Maintain relationships with the people close to you and always remember why it is you're friends with them in the first place. Enjoy your time with them and send them gestures of thanks and gratitude, because you never know if or when you'll see them again.

Thanks for reading.

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Monday, October 01, 2007


...but let's keep it real here, my babies -- taidaima and okaeri are relative. But you knew that already didn't you?

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand SCENE!

Let's lighten it up a little bit, via some vids posted on my beloved AoSHQ. It seems SNL has done it again.

And when you're done digesting that, this one is quick but definitely good for the lulz:

So anyway, I'm back from the funniest country on the planet, the United States of America.
International travel gives me a great sense of accomplishment for a number of reasons, but what makes me feel proudest is how much I can contribute to thetransference of matter.

It may be just an urban legend, but some "scientists" like to say that matter is neither
created nor destroy, it just changes form. Carl Sagan used to like to say that we were "starstuff". Now we all know that both of these statements are a load of hooey, but it's fun to think about nonetheless, and maybe someday we can put them and thosepeople who think we "evolved" from "apes" in a "camp" where they're all "concentrated" together and we can make a little party of it.

Anyway, the highlight of my trip is to go to the east coast, eat beef from cows that were grazed on grass from the US of A, which was nourished from the feces and corpses of American animals, flying back to Japan, and contributing to the local sewage system. Can you think of a more puretransference of matter? In a hippie sort of way.

It sounded a lot better when I thought it up in the bathroom during the cathartic transferred matter delivery session I had after I got home...

It was an awesome trip. The people I hung out made me miss living in the USA, but the people I spend most of my time around (Americans I don't know) made me happy I don't. Thanks to everyone who took time out of their regularly scheduled broadcast to come out and hang, and I
can't wait to see you again. I hope you all make it out to Japan one of these years.

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