Monday, December 17, 2012

What's a Bigger Insult to People's Intellegence?

2012 may be the signal for the end of the world.  According to the Mayans it isn't really, it is just the beginning of the 13th Baktun, I think.  On the winter solstice the Mayan calendar will restart. 

2012 was an important year for shifting world powers.  South Korea is set to elect a new president.  Also the Americans re-elected Barack Obama.  I would like to examine which countries' government thinks that their citizens are bigger rubes.

Mitt Romney and Barrack Obama spent 2 billion dollars trying to become president.  U.S.A., U.S.A.

Rather than spend money on attack ads, pollsters, statisticians, door knockers, direct mails, robot-calls, or even bumper stickers, Korean politicians develop choreography and buy old women matching hats and jackets so that they can dance on sidewalks near intersections.  Score one for Korea.

Tea party - need I say more.

South Koreans have a front row seat to see how keeping it in the family leads to shitty government.  Three generations of crazy Kims has left their brothers and sisters to the north in starving and on the brink of war.  South Koreans also hated George W. Bush (Son of George H.W. Bush) so much that during his presidency Korea's number one popstar to wish for the deaths of innocent American women and children.  And yet they think that this lady is going to do a good job: 

 Prior to the U.S. election a crazy gunman shot a U.S. Senator and killed numerous other people at a political rally. On August sixth, seven people were killed in a shooting at a Sheik temple. On July 20th a crazy gun man killed twelve people at the release of "Dark Knight Rises." These were the some of the most famous shooting during the election. Mass shootings were never discussed during the U.S. presidential election. In fact candidates got street cred for talking about how much they supported guns.

South Koreans passed on Ahn Cheol-Soo as their candidate. The polls showed that Mr. Sleepy Mcironmypants was beating him so he dropped out. The problem with Moon Jae In is that nobody really gives a shit about him. Ahn Cheol-Soo captured the imaginations of the young people, and they were excited about his candidacy. Moon Jae in is boring. ACS also has the advantage of being an internet security expert. North Korea frequently uses computer viruses to attack the south. I think president Ahnlab could have helped bolster the cyber defenses of the country, or at least he could have dropped a crazy stuxnet onto the North to set back their nuclear program.
Exciting isn't he?

My hope for the 13th Baktun is for our leaders to start acting like adults and try to help people. I don't really care who wins the South Korean presidential election. Both Moon Jae In and Park Geun Hye seem better than Lee Jeong Hee. (Really? You are going to talk shit about a woman's dead father on national T.V. Have you no decency? Sure the guy was a scumbag, but if you expect to beat Park Geun Hye, beat her on policy, don't let people sympathize with her by acting like an idiot. Oh yeah, I saw the rally that you had in front of Gyeongsang Univeristy, all thirty people that showed up seemed slightly amused. I was watching from Starbucks, you didn't even have the decency to say something to the three cops who were shaking down that poor kimbab delivery man. Oh wait let's look at it another way. The three cops didn't give enough of a shit about you to not hassle the poor kimbab delivery man. They were fucking bored. Someone could have probably thrown a sledgehammer at you without them batting an eye. ) So I really don't know who treats it's citizens like bigger idiots.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Gangnam Style

Finally, I'll write something about Gangnam Style.   A lot of white people who live in Korea tend to hate K-pop.   In the venn diagram of things, the usual male English teacher in Korea hails from musical interests that tends to scorn anything top ten.  The constant bitch from people like us it that K-pop is just mass produced fake bullshit.  To some extent that argument is sound, but it is also a cliche and predictable refrain.  You can pre-empt any conversation about K-pop with a straight white guy in Korea by saying key words like: plastic, fake, crap, mass produced, corporate, and you can even test your opponent's sanity by dropping the i-bomb as in Illuminati. (Shit, I bet I'm going to get people who googled "Illuminati," dropping by now.)

Many people have already noted that Psy's success must be the utmost shit sandwich for anybody from the big Korean record companies who thought that one of their mini-skirt squads would make it big in the states.   Delusional thinking by S.M. entertainment prompted them to send over nine girls to get leered at by Dave Letterman, Regis Philban, and Bill Murray. 

My personal favorite case of schadenfreude is the one that Park Jin Young must be feeling.   He sent The Wondergirls over to America to become the next big thing, without understanding that girl groups are about fifteen years late in places that aren't Asia.  Besides that, there have never really been too many successful girl groups in America.  Sure there was Ace of Base and the Spice Girls.  En Vogue was pretty awesome but they only had three big songs.  (They also showed more skin in 1996 than the Wonder Girls will ever be willing to do.)  

Also what must be extraordinarily bitter for everyone on the the Wonder Girls and Girls Generation band wagons is the crazy positioning of Hyun-ah.   Hyun-ah, the former Wonder Girl.  Hyuna-ah, the girl who at 17 years old made the song "Change,"  the song that made the puritanical "Brian In Jeollanamdo," loose his shit and empty his lube tube.  Hyun-ah, who lit up the blogosophere again earlier this year with people calling her a stripper, for her role in the song "Trouble Maker."  (I have to admit to being a fan of "Trouble Maker," that whistle beat is pretty cool.)   I called it too.  Sure she has that whole sexy thing working for her, but the girl can spot an opportunity and follow through, and there she was in the "Gangnam Style," video, in the subway looking all hot and doing the horse dance next to Psy.   Where were the other Wonder Girls?  Where was Jessica and Taeyeon?  They weren't anywhere.  And now Hyuna, is the it girl in the number #2 billboard song.  Let me rephrase that - the Kpop song that isn't translated into English - that is also the number #2 billboard song.  Take that S.M. and J.Y.P. entertainment.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


Six or seven years ago, I used to complain about the situation of coffee shops in Korea.  Jinju didn't have too many proper coffee shops.  There were a few espresso bars that served the usual espresso drink without much love.  Americanos came with sugar syrup in them.  Brewed coffee couldn't be found anywhere except for McDonalds and Dunkin Donuts.  I always had to fight with the workers at Dunkin donuts, they had to be told not to add sugar to the coffee.  They also had to be told not to water it down.   There was also a period when McDonalds had some really great coffee for 1000 won.  It was a nice brewed coffee that had a balance of acid and bitterness.  That coffee lasted for only a few months.  Sometime in 2006 they changed to the Lavazza pod coffee that wasn't good at all.

I used to complain all of the time about the substandard coffee.   I compared it to the places back home where they roasted their own beans.   I compared it to my favorite college hangout the rocketstar cafe, a place that brewed great coffee, had a pool table, a pacman machine, a stained glass window that some local dude made, live bands, and to top it all off, local artist would hang their work on the walls for a few weeks.   That place was awesome.  It was owned by this one dude who was really into mopeds and coffee.  He used to work at another place that was run cooperative style called "The Space."  The Space got shut down because it had live music that pissed off a local urology clinic.  And of course you can't forget Kalamazoo's "Water Street Coffee Joint."  This was Kalamazoo's original hoity toity coffee place.  Located across the street from "Bells Brewery," "Waterstreet," eventually started roasting their own coffee and selling their brand in grocery stores.   Water street has been very successful in keeping Starbucks at bay.

Oh how I would bitch and moan about how terrible the coffee was. 

But these days coffee in Jinju has swung the opposite direction.  Around 2008 people really started to give a shit about coffee.   A place called the coffee flower opened.  Coffee Flower is a place where they roast their own beans.   My wife was interested in the place because they had a panini press.  We went there and ordered some coffee and paninis on time.  The coffee was okay, but we got a ham, cheese, strawberry, and kiwi panini.   Another place called August square opened.  They roast their own coffee too.  They had a prime spot in front of Gyeongsang University, but they moved over by MBCine.

These days in Jinju, coffee shops can be seen everywhere.  There are at least 4 barista training academies.  There is even a place that councils people on how to open a coffee shop.  I really don't think that the market can bear much more coffee.   I've been to a few places that somewhat angered me by how pretentious the lead barista has been.  Last Thursday I visited a coffee shop that had gotten some pretty high praise on the local facebook group.  

This place, the "Lee Dong Woo," coffee shop is for people who are absolutely serious about wanting to be seen as a coffee intellectual.  This is something that I have been absolutely guilty of in the past.  I wrote an 18 page research paper in college about the history of globalization and coffee.  I used to drink coffee from each country and continent and remark on the strengths and weaknesses of the brews.  Lee Dong Woo took it a step farther. 

I took a special trip to visit this place.  I took a 20 minute bus ride.  I walked for about ten minutes from the bus stop, and when I ordered a drip coffee to go I was told that I can't have one because the paper cup hurt the flavor or the coffee.  Eventually I convinced them that I was in a hurry, and had no time to sit thoughtfully and contemplate the unique flavor profile of my Guatemala Antigua.  I cared little that hints of apricot and black pepper could be detected in the aroma.  I took an hour out of my day to come and give them some money, the least they could do was pour some goddam hot water over some coffee grounds into a cup. 

At the end of that experience I found that the coffee was pretty good.  I don't know if I would go out of my way for it again, but the caffeine buzz I got off of it was pretty unique.   

I've had similar experiences other places as well.   Near by my house in Hadaedong, there is a place called the Advertist.  The head barista here has some certificates on the wall about him winning barista awards up in Seoul.  The interior of the place is nice.  There is a mural painting of some wings on the wall that you can get your picture taken in front of so that you can look like an angel.  But some aspects of the interior look a little cluttered.  A samurai action figure sits on top of a piano holds empty wine bottles. The espresso coffees are pretty good, while the prices are a little high. 

I went there one time last March to have some hand drip coffee.  The guy brought out some whole beans and a hand grinder.  I had to grind the beans myself. When it came time to make the coffee, I was forbidden to simply pour the water over the grounds...I had to do the little hand drip dance where you have to pour the water in a circle and lightly moisten the coffee.   Again, I don't like having to follow nit picky rules just to get a cup of coffee.

I also don't like all of the pretentiousness that goes into everything.  I know that coffee is great, and I know that it tastes different from different places, I just don't like it when people have to get all weird about things.  Jinju had some similar creepiness when it came to wine.  Back when I first got here, wine was hard to find.  Now it is quite easy and cheap to get.  Back in the day, I would get my wine fix from a local bar that served Franzia.  You know, box wine.  One day this Canadian dude walked in and ordered a glass of the stuff.  He saw the bartender walk over to the box and pour it into his glass, he new that that he wasn't getting any kind of high end stuff, but the dude still insisted on sticking his nose down the glass and then doing the whole wine guy slurp to find out how many "tannins," were in it.   This was completely unnecessary.  I really hoped for his sake that he got some kind of satisfaction out of being such a jackass.  My feeling towards wine people is that they are just alcoholics who like to say that everything tastes like black currents and chocolate.  But the same is true for pretentious coffee people as well.  You just have to say that something tastes like a fruit that nobody has ever tried, and people will think you know what you are talking about. 

A:  What do you think of this Ethiopian Sidamo? 
B:  Well it is obvious that the roaster was able to essentialize the choke cherry blossom arroma and marry it to the tart creamyness of ... of .. I want say paw paw, but then there is also that sweet service berry texture.
A: That is exactly what I was thinking.
B: I'm glad I found someone like you that I can share my coffee with.  I was just thinking about doing a piece for "Coffee and Edible Midwest Monthly."
A: Really that's amazing.  I loved their dandelion leaf salad and organic Timor pea berry vinaigrette. 
B: Don't make me salivate!!!

Monday, October 22, 2012

My Aztec Blog

I haven't written on this thing in a long time.  I'm in a slump of not really being interested in anything.  Wait, the whole Detroit Tigers in the World Series is pretty awesome.  To bad for Kalamazoo native Derek Jeter though.  That guy is true class.  He's a bright spot on the Yankees, I sold his dad newspapers a few times when I was working at the Michigan News.

Really, I spend my time thinking about this one mountain in Jinju that I want to climb to the top of.  I tried climbing it one time but I lost the trail when I found this creepy looking cave.  That was back in June, and I got a big rash from caterpillar fur.  I want to go back into the cave and see if there is any gold, Buddha statues, or bodies.

As far as blogging is concerned, it seems to be a dead art.  A lot of the big blogs aren't really publishing anything anymore.  

I was reading one of my other blogs: Three Stripes of Meat in Teotiuacan.  I should focus on that one.  It is much better than this one.    Here is the link:

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Other Jinju Bloggers Need to Step it up a Bit

Fun Times in South East Korea is the largest and least important blog about Jinju. That is why it is so important for the other Jinju bloggers to step it up. I have found two other blogs about Jinju. One is by my friend, called Indie Jinju. He hasn't posted anything in about a month. The other is a new one called Yo Jinju. Yo Jinju looks like it aspires to have important information on it. Meanwhile, if you read five posts on this blog your I.Q. will drop five points. If you fix yourself a nice drink, and read the whole damn thing, you will need to be committed. The alternative would be to get your Jinju information from a foreigner church website. I've been in many conversations with Korean Christians who try to get me to go to their church. They mentinon that there are other foreigners there. Saying that there are other foreigners in a church means that I actually have to understand what all of the god stuff. That is why I still have a small affinity for the Catholic church. Sure the leaders might be rape apologists, but Catholics never bother you to join up. In fact I briefly wanted to go to a Catholic church in Korea when one of my students, an elegant elderly woman, mentioned that the church bazaars at her church frequently sell wine. I suppose I could transform this piece of garbage into something useful, but that would take some commitment that I don't have.

New Rules

New Rule: If you have the courage to leave your house in a pink dress shirt and lime green pants, don't get all shy in English class.

New Rule: Let's have some more appropriate amounts of French fries. Fries and beer are great. I just want to stop hating myself. New Rule: Korea bloggers need to find something new to write about. Here is a basic summary of what the past few years have been like. Contracts don't mean anything. I'm lonely. Here are some pictures of a temple. Racism. I ate some weird food. I saw something about foreigners on T.V. that I didn't like. My Korean boyfriend. My Korean girlfriend. My students are so........ I don't like this blogger. I'm the most serious Korea blogger, others are losers. Human rights.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

New rules

New rules: Jason Mraz and Maroon Five suck. Lana Del Rey is awesome.

New Rules!

New rule: If you are going to walk on an escalator, walk the right direction. I'm not necessarily angry at Koreans for breaking this rule, just the two geniuses who did so today. This morning I was at Homeplus pushing my son around. I was Half way up the escalator when this idiot woman decided she needed something else, so she started running down the escalator. This prompted me to issue an audible "Aw for fuck's sake." this story wouldn't have been remarkable had it not been for the fact that the very same thing happened about five hours later in a department store. This time my wife was with me and I was holding my son when this strapping young idiot twenty something decided to start running up this crowed escalator. Again I issued a very audible "aw for fucks sakes" but this time the guy tripped and fell on his face. He writhed around on the floor for a minute then found his balance and apologized as he exited. Later I realized that this created a problem for me since my son is trying to learn how to talk. I need to learn more patience in public. I tend to swear at people here more than I would back home. I know that a lot of Koreans know English swear words, but people aren't accustomed to getting sworn at for minor infractions of impoliteness or obliviousness, so they usually just pretend not to notice. But anyway I need to stop when I'm with my son.

New rule: Watch where you are going. I hate smartphones. People should get tickets for walking and texting. I think I may accidentally kill a Korean person sometime. I'm a J walker. Many times J walking is safer than waiting for the signal since occasionally people people don't stop at red lights. I'm also suspicious of the occasional flash of psychopathic racism that might send me to the hospital sometime while crossing in front of a car. Anyway when I J walk, I'm usually pretty good at watching the traffic. Meanwhile someone who is smart phoning away might end up getting hit by a car when their peripheral vision catches my movement and they assume that the signal has changed.

New rule: I've got headphones on I don't want to talk to you.

New rule: I appreciate your adulation of my son, but when you follow me and say that he is pretty in Korean, and cute in English, I'm going to run away from you.

New rule: Pay me when you say you will, I'm talking to you dong joong. Did an after school class for my old middle school. The class started in March and I didn't see any money until July. Even then it was after I faxed them a bill. 청구서, very nice word to know.

New rule: Stop saying bye bye. When people see my son with me they blurt out their best English at him. The kid's mom is Korean, and he was born here. One time in Dunkin donuts I ran into a friend from work. He was playing with my son when a gang of what looked like college Christians stormed the place. (There's a look to them, believe me, and they can usually speak English pretty well.) Anyway this one turd muffin who looked a bit like Sasquatch really thought it was important for a one year old baby to know that his name (Sasquatch) was handsome man. Wtf? Bye bye.

Thursday, July 12, 2012


Haven't posted in a while. Sorry. I enjoyed my first garden tomato of the year. It was sweet and helped to complete an awesome tuna melt. Haven't had much to say,I've been busy. Also my computer is broke and it is a bitch to write blog posts on an iPad. I had some rage towards my former employer, but I got paid in the end. Word of the day: 청구서. It is a kind of bill. I faxed one to my old middle school after completing an after school program. They took about a month to pay me, but I sent them a bill and got my money the next day. I've been in Korea for about six or seven years now. It isn't interesting to bitch about the place anymore. Don't climb mountains in the summer. It is hot, and caterpillar fur itches like a bitch. About two weeks ago I went on another failed mountain adventure, by myself, and was itchy for a week. I thought it was poison ivy, but it wasn't. I found a cave though. This was on 방어산. This mountain is between Haman and jinju. It is pretty big and pretty remote. It tops off at an elevation of 500 something meters. I didn't make it to the top because I lost the trail shortly after I found the cave. I head never seen a cave before. They aren't common in Michigan. But I was like, shit, there's a cave. It was too dark to go inside and I didn't want a cave in, or find Sasquatch or a dead body so I just left. But shit, I saw a cave.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Gotye Really?

First of all.  I had no idea about this song until a few weeks ago.  Secondly, I haven't been to America in over two years.  I'm super homesick.  I don't think I'll be able to make it for another six or eight months either.   My impression of the place these days is that of an angry political smack down and a lot of people without jobs.  But for this to be the number 1 billboard song is a total surprise. 

Billboard gives me a kind of cringe reaction.  I guess I trained myself to be all alternative when I was a kid.  I would decry anything that was popular as being shit.  I still kind of do that.  I think that way whenever I see Maroon 5.  Maroon 5 is just that frontier of boring crap.  It is like a Dave Mathews Band hermit crab that died and Maroon 5 moved into the shell.   See....I get onto a stream of conscious that dregs up all kinds of venom. 

But damn, this song is so emo.  It has been viewed on youtube 300 million times.  I don't know what to conclude about my countrymen these days?  Are they politically divided and just super emo?  What the hell is going on?  And it sucks because I'm in Korea.  Kpop is so popular here that Koreans have deluded themselves into thinking that there are people in Nebraska bobbing their heads to The Wonder maybe one or two might be.  It sucks culturally to be in Korea and away from popular culture in America. 

My co-workers have all been in Korea for about the same amount of time as me.  Conversations always devolve down to shit that was said on the Chappelle Show.  I figure there are two reasons for that.  1 Dave Chappelle rules.  2. That's where culture stopped for us.

I posted on facebook about how deep this song is, and about how it is strange for it to be the #1 song.  I also mentioned how late to the party I was.  My friend a D.J. in the group "Flosstradamus," replied that the song had actually been out since 2011.  Trust me, Korea isn't going to catch on until a few weeks later.  They've got their own thing that they are dealing with now.   It's cool though, I heard this on Bae Chul Soo last week, so it will catch on eventually.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


I had a baby last year, so now I'm starting to do a bunch of family stuff.  Like having a small garden.


Basil Baby!!!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

My Son the Legend of Jinju

Today my son turned 13 months old.

After an incident at Pasta Bueno I realized that my son might be the half Korean Pootie Tang.

He looks both Korean and white.  There is a kind of beneficial racism that goes on for him when he encounters the college girls.   They go super stupid when they see him.  I will now partially fictionalize the romantic encounters of my baby, the cuteness cassanova - Korootie tang:

Around 2 months, we flew to Seoul to get him some U.S. citizenship.  We were in a Mister Donut around the U.S. embassy where he got mobbed by some Korean people.  A Japanese lady inside of Mister Donut lambasted him by shouting Kawaii Kawaii a bunch of times.

A few months later we were pushing him in a stroller around Jinju's freedom market.  He almost got kidnapped by some Ajumas who insisted that we let them watch him while we went shopping.

Fast forward to his first birthday.

We were in VIPS and a girl about his age walked up to him and gave him hug. (True story)

There have been several occasions in Dunkin Donuts where he has charmed college girls by smiling at them.

About three weeks ago we were in some fancy looking college kid slop house called Soga and Cook.  Upon seeing a group of college girls he turned and smiled at them.  When he noticed that they weren't paying attention to him he chilled a bit, but when they did notice him he smiled and reached towards them.

Today we were in this place called Pasta Bueno.  I took him outside while my wife had some food.  The kid stood by a bus stop bench and waved at cars.  Some girl with some candy materialized out of nowhere and tried to give him some.  He is still a bit too young for candy so I shooed her away.  Later I took him back up to the restaurant and wolfed down some cream risotto.  In that time my wife walked him around the restaurant a bit.  She went to get me a mountain dew.  At that point the employees got to see him so they all got smiled at by him.  I finished my cream risotto and took him outside so my wife could finish her spaghetti salad.  I let him play around the area between the stairs and the restaurant entrance.  One of the employees, a cute college girl with big glasses and pig tails, noticed him outside of the glass door.  She got down on her hands and knees and played peekaboo with him from behind the cash register stand.  He ran up and pounded his hands on the automatic glass door. 

I feared for this girl.  I didn't want her to get fired from her shitty part time job because she ignored her customers to play with a one year old.  On other hand, I think that would be awesome for him, to get a girl fired from pasta bueno.  He could totally be like, "Yeah when I was one, I got this chick fired from her job cuz she wanted me." 

I hope he enjoys it while it lasts.  I don't plan on sticking around here long enough for the beneficial racism to turn into real racism on the elementary school play ground, or the bathrooms of a middle school.  In the mean time, he is still learning how to talk, so I am trying to teach him how to say this: 천화번호 조.  (Give me your phone number.)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

New New Rule

New Rule:  If you are a university and you are hosting an event with a cool sounding title like "Technopia," the thing better be some kind of awesome expo of Korean high technology.  It shouldn't be a bunch of engineering majors taking three weeks to learn dance routines and then taking a week off to play soccer.  Last year when I heard that the university I work for has a "Technopia," every year, I thought that I could see pavilions with laser shooting robots or smart phone apps that can tell how much cholesterol is in food by doing a google photo search, but no Technopia isn't anything like it sounds. It is just a bunch of kids getting drunk and playing games...I guess that is what you are supposed to do when you are a university, but if you are a university in a country that prides it's self in it's technological advancements, at leaast don't get served by a real technopia that happened at my old high school.

Monday, May 21, 2012

New Rules

I like the Bill Maher Show.  I'm going to adapt his "New Rules." Segment for this blog with stuff about Korea. 

Here is the first one:

New Rules:  If you spent over 500,000\ on clothes for riding your bike, you can't go slower than a fat white guy in jeans with a leather briefcase dangling from his wrist. 

New Rules:  If Dunkin Donuts has Open 7:00 A.M. stenciled to their door, they might want to try opening at seven in the morning.  You can't tell me that Koreans are hard workers when you can't get coffee before ten in the morning.

New Rules: Come up with a different name for "Membership Training."  You can't have such an anti-communist country have such a communist expression for college kid drinking games.  Call it something more fun like "Major night out," or call it something more fitting like "Date Rape camping."

Finally New Rules:  Skinny awkward boys with colorful glass frames with no lenses who get their hair cut into the shape of a penis, cannot be considered fashionistas.   Just stick with the good old date night stand bye of stripy shirt with a black vest.  Maybe carry around a guitar too.

Korea Pharmacy Public Service

So you go to the doctor, and the doctor gives you a prescription.  You take the prescription to a pharmacy and they give you a few bags of pills and you don't know what the hell they are.

Well you can go to this website:  Just type in the inscription on the pill and a very detailed description of your drug will pop up in Korean. 

The chemical names will be in English, so you can just copy and paste into google, and wikipedia yourself into comfort or fear of what you are putting into your body. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

No Korea Stuff Here

Well folks, it has been a few weeks since I posted anything.  I'm kind of disapointed in the K-blogosphere.  There hasn't been much to read recently.  If I still worked at a public school it would be pretty difficult since there don't seem to be too many people bitching about their jobs anymore.   Actually I'm not dissapointed in K-blogland because of that.  I'm disapointed because I am the only blogger who seems to have mentioned the passing of the M.C.A.   I find that totally lame.  I've been rediscovering the Beastie Boys recently.  They are pretty awesome.

Anyway, check out this remix of an Usher song from my friend's D.J. duo Flosstradamus.  This shit is pretty tight.   I like to listen to electronic music in the spring and on rainy days.  I don't know why.  It makes me want to breathe the air or try self hypnosis or something.   It makes me remember people that I lost contact with.  I have a nasty cycle of moving on and I'm sorry to the people that I've let down.  But I don't think that anybody ever expected much from me anyway.   Yeah, check this shit out and start to feel all emo.

Saturday, May 5, 2012


I wouldn't be who I am today or where I am today without some inspiration from Adam Yauch and the Beastie Boys. They really had a large part in shaping my life. As I Develop The Awakening Mind I Praise The Buddha As They Shine I Bow Before You As I Travel My Path To Join Your Ranks, I Make My Full Time Task For The Sake Of All Beings I Seek The Enlighted Mind That I Know I'll Reap Respect To Shantideva And All The Others Who Brought Down The Darma For Sisters And Brothers I Give Thanks For This World As A Place To Learn And For This Human Body That I'm Glad To Have Earned And My Deepest Thanks To All Sentient Beings For Without Them There Would Be No Place To Learn What I'm Seeing There's Nothing Here That's Not Been Said Before But I Put It Down Now So I'll Be Sure To Solidify My Own Views And I'll Be Glad If It Helps Anyone Else Out Too If Others Disrespect Me Or Give Me Flack I'll Stop And Think Before I React = Knowing That They're Going Through Insecure Stages I'll Take The Opportunity To Exercise Patience I'll See It As A Chance To Help The Other Person Nip It In The Bud Before It Can Worsen A Change For Me To Be Strong And Sure As I Think On The Buddhas Who Have Come Before As I Praise And Respect The Good They've Done Knowing Only Love Can Conquer In Every Situation We Need Other People In Order To Create The Circumstances For The Learning That We're Here To Generate Situations That Bring Up Our Deepest Fears So We Can Work To Release Them Until They're Cleared Therefore, It Only Makes Sense To Thank Our Enemies Despite Their Intent The Bodhisattva Path Is One Of Power And Strength A Strength From Within To Go The Length Seeing Others Are As Important As Myself I Strive For A Happiness Of Mental Wealth With The Interconnectedness That We Share As One Every Action That We Take Affects Everyone So In Deciding For What A Situation Calls There Is A Path For The Good For All I Try To Make My Every Action For That Highest Good With The Altruistic Wish To Achive Buddhahood So I Pledge Here Before Everyone Who's Listening To Try To Make My Every Action For The Good Of All Beings For The Rest Of My Lifetimes And Even Beyond I Vow To Do My Best To Do No Harm And In Times Of Doubt I Can Think On The Dharma And The Enlightened Ones Who've Graduated Samsara

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Places to Eat in Jinju

The last post on this blog is a tribute to my friend's blog "IndiJinju," which is about "Independent" places to eat and drink in Jinju.  I have tried a few of the places on that blog.  Of course I have been to "Sound garden."  Sound garden is the hip joint in Jinju.  If you are a person who is visiting Jinju from out of town, it is the place to get krunk.  I don't want to call it a foreigner bar, because I don't think that the owner wants it to be a foreigner bar, but it is a place where non Koreans like to go.

The point of this post is perhaps to introduce some other places outside of gajwa dong that are pretty cool.  I find "Indi-jinju," to be a bit too centered around the Gyeongsang university area.  Most people in Jinju actually live in Do-dong.  Do-dong is the massive area that encompasses sangdae 1,2 dongs Hadae 1,2 dongs, sangpyung dong, and Chojundong.  

While the Gyeongsang university area is up and coming, I think that it is fair to say that Do-dong is the real "Manhattan of Jinju."   Down in the silk and steel factories of Sangpyungdong, you can find a lot of Russians, Central Asians, and Vietnamese people.  There are so many Vietnamese people that there are actually two Vietnamese owned Restaurants in the area. 

The first one is Que Huang, which means "Hometown."  You can get a bowl of pho here and some Vietnamese beer.  The pho is pretty good because it has cilantro and dried onions in it.  Vietnamese wives of Korean dudes like to go here to hang out and play cards. Que Huang is in the backstreets behind homeplus.   I introduced the place to my co-workers.  I believe that I am the first English teacher to have gone there.

I also believe that I am the first to have gone to Thay Quan.   Thay Quan is in Sangpyungdong across the street from the old education center.  This particular back alley is pretty awesome because Asia mart is there.  So is a Pakistani restaurant (Never been there) and power mart.  Power mart is pretty cool because it serves all of the countries represented in the area.  You can get Russian vodka, Thai beer, Vietnamese chili sauce, Pakistani curry and a lot of other stuff.  

Anyway I went to Thay Quan yesterday.  I thought that Thay Quan would be a Thai restaurant.  Now I don't know.  The owner or cook was some lady who didn't speak any English or Korean.  When I showed up she smiled at me and called to some guy who could speak Korean....I don't know if he worked there or not because he disappeared later.   I talked to the guy for a few minutes and I ended up getting some pho similar to the style that you can get at Que Huang.  This leads me to believe that Thay Quan is Vietnamese.  It doesn't matter, the pho was delicious.  The main difference between this pho, and the one that you can get at Que Huang is that this one had some kind of leaf in it that tasted like licorice.  It was fantastic. 

Enough of the foreign food though I want to talk Boon Shik.   I like my job, but the shitty thing about it is a shitty schedule.  I have to work a shitty split shift that makes it difficult to see my family.  Bandal Gom boon shik has come to my rescue many times.  This place is like a Kimbab Cheonggook but it is independent.  It is tucked back in Dong Bu market.  Despite it being out of the way, it seems to do some decent walk in business.  It also seems to do some thriving delivery business.   What makes it different from a kimbab Cheonggook is the amount of side dishes one gets.  When you order delivery for two people they bring a big tupperwear container that is filled with all kinds of na-mool and fruit salads.  The food is pretty good too. 

Also in Do-dong is Jang ha-ru.  This place is easy to overlook, because it just looks like some shack where you get a bunch of fried shit.  That's true, you can indeed get a bunch of fried shit there, but the inside opens up to a soup restaurant that specializes in beef soups: So gogi gook bab, Jangtuh gook bab, and seolung tang.  I have just had the Jang tuh gook.   It makes me smile, the stuff is great and the beef is really tender in it.

Finally I'm going to close with one bar that is in Do-dong called "Bino-pub."   I don't really frequent bars that often, but I do try to slip out for a sneaky beer every once in a while.  Bino-pub is owned by the local VIPs impersonator called "Babino."  At Babino, it is possible to get a pretty good steak and a competent oven spaghetti, both come with a salad bar.  The original Babino opened up across the street from the Hadae dong dunkin donuts.  Babino then opened a few other branches around town, and the Hadae dong branch moved across the street to from the Hadae dong top mart, to the second floor of a different building.  The restaurant that used to be there was this huge and awful Chinese restaurant.  Anyway the old location of the Hadae Babino, became Bino pub.  This also moved.  It moved next to the new Babino.   Anyway the Bino pub in the new location is pretty nice.  Standard Korean and import beers with some whiskeys by the bottle.  The bar food looks pretty good.  You can get fried chicken and pizza.  They are also having a sale on Kirin beers now.  You can get a bottle of Kirin for 4500 won.  The bottle comes with a 500 won coin strapped to the top.  When I went there last Saturday, they also served me some pretty awesome home made potato chips.  Bino pub was pretty good. 

That's all.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

New Jinju Blog

Another Jinjer that I know has started a blog celebrating independence in Jinju. Check out "Indie Jinju." Mr. Lion does a good job of celebrating one of the finest bars in all of Jinju - Soundgarden. Soundgarden was named after a Seattle auditory horticulture movement that failed miserably-so everyone just decided to get drunk and listen to music. Oddly enough, I've heard that there is a band named Sound garden too.

Anyway check out "Indie Jinju." I like linking to blogs of people who I know. People generally start blogs because they don't really know anybody and grow tired of shouting their opinions at children passing on their way to school.

Saturday, March 3, 2012


I'm turning into an ajoshi. Technically I am an ajoshi. I'm married and have a kid. That makes me an ajoshi. What else makes me an ajoshi is how I spent my vacation. I had a month off last February. The family and I didn't go anywhere because my wife didn't have any vacation, so I ajoshied it up pretty hard.

How so? You ask?

I climbed some small mountains!

My dream for when I turn forty is to return to college and eventually become a dietitian/martial arts instructor. One night I was bopping around on I-tunes U and found a five part lecture on sports dietetics. The lady giving the lectures made an interesting point about how hiking burns more fat than other exercises.

That information made me want to go out into the wild green foothills of Gyeongsangnamdo.

Unfortunately, I got out of bed too late to go to many far away mountains, so I just stuck to the Jinju-Sacheon area.

Down in Samcheonpo-eub of Sacheon city; there is a glorious mountain called Wa Lyoang San. The mountain has a few rocks and peaks and it stretches a length of about 20 kilometers. I wanted to climb it because it would have some great views of the ocean from up high. I attempted 3 times and failed 3 times. Every time I tried, I left my house too late in the day and had to come back before my wife got home from work. Also the last two times I attempted, I was stymied by the fact that I was alone and there were some super steep rocks. The third time I tried, a taxi driver warned me that I might break a leg.

Despite my failures I was right in assuming that the mountain would be beautiful:

Rocks and ocean; it doesn't get much better than that. Another cool thing about Wa Ryong mountain is the fact that there is an old gem mine somewhere on it. On my third expedition I tried to find the mine, but a foot wide path next to a perilous cliff made me retreat and try what I thought would be an easier ascent up the small peak seen above in the film....I was wrong.

A more successful expedition was to my father-in-law's hometown. His hometown is in a part of Jinju called Myeong Seok. At the top of a small mountain in Myeong Seok you can find an old Korean smoke signal called a bong soo dae. Bong soo dae are chimneys where fires were built to send smoke signals. In downtown Jinju at the top of Mangjin mountain you can see one of these. The one in my father-in-law's home town has three chimneys. This bong soo dae would be lit to transmit a signal to the one in downtown Jinju, or to receive a message from the one in Jinju. Here it is:

Another cool thing about this mountain was that it had a nice view of other mountains around Jinju. Here is the second or third tallest peak in all of South Korea: Jirisan's Chun Wang peak:

It is the one furthest back. That one is a bitch to climb.

So yes, here I am walking up mountains and taking videos of them. That is indisputable evidence of my ajoshiness.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Top 5 Korean T.V. Shows that Seem to Last Hours

Korean T.V. shows tend to start at odd times. My favorite show these days, "High Kick," goes from 7:45 to 8:10. The show is very entertaining but it is too short. Unfortunately there are a great many T.V. shows that make me want to run from the house screaming when there is nothing to do on the weekends.

1. Infinity Challenge

The show may have had its day a long time ago, but these days it seems like they are just killing time. How often can you watch guys driving somewhere? Or a bunch of guys running around Seoul doing some kind of scavenger hunt?

2. One Night and Two Days

See above, plus add guys playing rock paper scissors in the woods.

3. Challenges of Manhood

Okay this show had its moments. It was okay when they organized a choir....the first few episodes. It is kind of interesting that a new brand of Ramyeon came from this show. (꼬꼬면) But by and large this show is extraordinarily boring. It is so mind numbing that when the show comes on, it makes blogging look fun.

4. The Gag Concert

It's like Saturday night live with an entire cast of Cheri O'teri, and best of all, their microphones are taped to their faces!

5. Happy Together

What could be more fun than watching people wearing robes in a sauna locker room talking? Anything!!!!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Why Martial Arts Instructors Should Give Some Thought To Class Room Management

Well the good news is is that my Tae Kyon School seems to finally be taking off. I am no longer the only student. I got my black belt back in October or November, I don't know it was some month. Anyway I was in class today. 4 students me some middle aged man who I have never seen before. This kid who is like 6, and a college student. Mind you I am the highest ranking student in the school everyone else is pretty much a beginner.

So the master starts the class. We do a few warm up exercises, and then he tells the new old guy to go practice the few warm up exercises by himself for about 5 minutes. A few warm ups later he tells the 6 year old the same. 5 minutes later me and the university student end the warm up routine. I ask myself this, was it really necessary that he spend all that time with the two guys who already know what is going on?

Back in the day my taekwondo school was kind of like that. It still is, or was the last time I visited. Part of the problem was, was that classes were always taught without much distinction to ability. So someone who had studied for 5 years might be in the same class as the person who had studied for 2 weeks. So the instructor of the class has to try to appease everyone and give everyone a different assignment. Sometimes higher ranking students had to help lower ranking students. That's okay, but it kind of sucks when you pay someone money to learn something, and you spend the whole time teaching someone else. Luckily the Taekyon guy was finally able to give everyone personal attention, but I didn't think that he needed too. The college kid and I could have finished the warm ups our selves while the instructor, the old guy, and the kindergartener could have worked together.

Sorry More K-pop Stuff

I'm sorry to the handful of people out there who read this blog and who must think that I have gone completely crazy for K-pop. The truth is kind of. I don't like the majority of K-pop but I am culturally sensitive to it since I see the music shows pretty much every weekend. After I had a kid I have found myself pretty much confined to quarters on the weekends. It is especially bad in the winter since I don't really want to go outside anyway.

But now to get to the point. Earlier this week "Girls Generation," was on the David Letterman show:

A few comments:

9 Nine people on a tiny stage pretty funny.

I don't find Girls Generation very interesting, but hey Billy Murray was there. Bill Fucking Murray I love that guy. I linked to the Coffee and Cigarettes scene unintentionally, but I remembered that I always used to call Girls Generation the Wu Tang Clan of Kpop because there are nine of them. I love Wu Tang too. Seriously I just got on like a 20 minute Bill Murray youtube tangent. Bill Fucking Murray, and Regis. Dave Letterman, Bill Murray, and Regis, three creepy old guys and and some half dressed Korean teenagers.

I got nothing else.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Sunny Hill

Okay, I'm totally on this group Sunny Hill now. There are a few reasons why I like them. No it's not their song "Midnight Circus." That song is kind of annoying. Strangely I'm kind of attracted to this group because of the guy in it. This dude is totally pimp. He is the band's leader, but you never see him. Check out this video of their new song "The Grasshopper Song,"


The guy is the leader of the group, but he just pops out for like ten seconds, says a few lines and then disappears. (He also pulls off the Korean semi-traditional butt cut without looking like a tool.) Meanwhile four hot chicks dance around and sing. That's right, I'm man enough to call K-pop girls hot chicks. I'm not one of those bloggers who will bite his thumb at K-pop performers because it seems cool. Anyway that is totally pimp. I don't think that Kpop has many positive male role models for young kids. That is, I don't think that Kpop provides many male role models that act like men. Sure this guy Jang Hyun is wearing a lot of make up, but....he has some hot chicks around him.

The same thing can be said about that trouble maker kid. That trouble maker kid is singing a duet with a girl. It's pretty weak at the end of the song that they don't actually kiss, but hell it is a start. See positive male role models...not like teen top or boyfriend. The whole concept of having a boy band isn't very romantic when you think about it. If it is like five to twelve guys singing about one girl...I hope that girl has some pepper spray or numchucks or something.

No, but seriously, this Jang Hyun dude actually makes the music for the group, and I think that one of the girls...misun? writes the lyrics. That's cool when you think of Kpop. The cliched criticism that gets leveled at Kpop is that it isn't very creative and that it is mass produced. Sunny Hill was like that a few years back, but now it is like K-goth in style. In a previous post I mentioned their song pray...some nice talent there.

Also I checked out some unreleased songs from their Midnight Circus mini album. They have a song called "Puppet," or "Puppeteer," or something that is pretty cool. It reminds me of this album that was produced by Prince Paul and Dan the Automater Nakamura back in the early 2000s called "Lovage." "Lovage," was a parody album that parodied something...I'm not sure what it was a parody of, but the vocals were half provided by Mike Patton of "Faith No More." The songs were all these weird sex songs. D.j. Kid Koala also did some scratching on the album. "Lovage," is some strange shit, but the music is pretty nice.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Googled Korean Saturday Night Live and found This:

Right, hey N.B.C. Universal, don't renew the rights to to Korean Saturday Night Live, until those morons learn that they shouldn't pull this type of shit.

Beyond the black face.

Dear Korea:

Having comedy performers dance to popular songs just isn't funny. Seriously, is this the only joke you guys know?

Last week there was some kind of end of year gagman hoopla. Gagmen and women got on stage and did a perfect dance cover of Bring the Boys Out....or something I can't remember and I don't care. Anyway the point is...WHY THE FUCK IS THAT FUNNY? Please, spend some time learning how to write jokes, and less time practicing dance routines. Accents from places other than Seoul aren't that funny either. Grow some balls and poke fun at a politician, or North Korea, or something. Come on Kim Jung Un is hilarious, just look at him. Kim Jeong Ill was hilarious too. For fucks sakes he was a merciless dictator of a country and he looked like a fucking lunch lady. Not just any lunch lady, he looked like this one lunch lady who I had when I was in 3rd grade. I can't remember her name, but this crazy bitch would yell at you if you were on the ground. I saw a kid playing football who tripped and fell and was crying on the ground, and this stupid cunt blew a whistle and yelled "get up!"

Korean Saturday Night Live

Another post about shit I watched on T.V. like two whole weeks ago.

I saw the new Korean Saturday Night Live. This week's host was Park Karin. This lady should become a national treasure. She is wonderful. I think she rose to prominence last year on the "Men's Challenge," show where she helped the guys assemble an orchestra. You could see her coaching people on how to sing well. I thought she was just some kind of voice coach, but a glance at wikkipedia showed that she is just kind of an all around performing artist.

Anyway she stole the show on Korean Saturday Night Live. Apart from her performance, I didn't think that the show was great. I can't understand Korean well, but I could tell that some jokes needed to go farther. Also I don't know if it is wise for Koreans to copy an American T.V. show that is nearly forty years past it's prime. Well, Saturday Night Live kind of goes in waves. Some casts are good, others suck. It really sucked from like 81-90. Then it was pretty good. It sucked when they fired Norm MacDonald, and then I kind of stopped watching it.

What I like about this format compared to "The Gag," concert though, is that there are no microphones taped to people's faces. If I had money, I would donate some boom mics to the gag concert. Korean Saturday Night Live was nicely subtle compared to the gag concert though. Again, to compare it to American Saturday Night Live, the Gag Concert seems to have a cast that is almost entirely made up of Cheri O'teris.

But Korean Saturday Night Live fell short in one sketch that was mostly pantomimed. Park Karin showed up at a night club with a sleeveless dress and she forgot to shave her armpits. The sketch relied on her not raising her arms to deliver a lot of physical humor. She attracted the attention of a young hot guy who she had to share the elevator with. Here is where the sketch disappointed: She had to get onto the elevator and show her armpits. When the young guy saw he reacted in horror. The original Saturday Night Live wouldn't go for the obvious joke of a guy reacting in horror. The original would probably have the guy be into it, and you might see a scene where they are back up in his room shaving and making sweaters or something. I wonder if nobody thought of that, or if something like that would get censored. At any rate, I would like to see an episode of Korean Saturday Night live with some oversight by Lorne Micheals.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Kpop Post

I'm doing a post about K-pop. I'm not a big K-pop fan, but when you are married with a baby in Korea, there isn't much to do on the weekends other than watch music bank, music core, and inga.

A few weeks ago I watched the international Kpop festival. This thing was kind of crazy. Kpop fans from all over the world were flown in to Korea to share their Kpop performance skills.

The Korean government is really pimping this hallu stuff. This festival looked like it was sponsored by the Korean tourism association. This one guy who kind of looked like a Korean Steve Martin was prominently displayed. I think he was some important guy in the ministry of tourism.

Anyway, the event was kind of bizarre, and it kind of looked like a typical Korean tourism experience. About 50 people from different countries were shipped into Korea and they were bussed around to Korea tourism sites like Gyongbuk palace and I think I saw some footage of Kyonju. They got the chance to rehearse their pieces with acts like "Sistar," and "Secret," and then they had to do a live televised performance in front of what looked like 50,000 people in Changwon.

I would say that, that was an opportunity of a life time, and much to their credit none of the performers seemed at all nervous about performing in front of what looked like the entire population of Gyeongsang province. I can imagine though, that they might have been told at the last minute. "Wow, you have been really working hard, why don't you go on stage tomorrow at our talent show?"

"Really, that sounds great."

"Oh by the way, there will be a great sea of faces there, and the mayor will also come, so don't fuck this up."

What I really liked about the show, though, was how hard core a lot of the performers were. This one girl from Argentina, who looked a hell of a lot like Chrissy Hyde, did an obscure song by Yoon Ha. Yoon Ha had one popular song called Hye sung back in 2007. (I like that song it rocks.) But this Argentinian girl did some other song that I had never heard before. The same was true about three Russian girls. They did a song by "Sunny Hill."

If you are devout follower of Music Bank, you would know that Sunny Hill had a song out last summer called "Midnight Circus." They promoted the shit out of this song. They did the song for about seven weeks, but it never really seemed to catch on. The song was actually pretty annoying, but did the Russian girls do "Midnight Circus?" No they did this song:

As it turns out, this song isn't half bad, you could totally stick this in a Terentino movie.

The Voice:
Okay I used to hate this kind of show. I never found American Idol that great, but they started showing, "The Voice," at midnight on Mnet. This show is awesome it's got Cee Lo. Cee Lo was involved in the making of this:

Fuck that guy from Maroon Five. Fuck Maroon five, but I actually think that Christina Aguilera is pretty cool after watching this show. (Also why is that country guy the judge and Reba Macintire the helper?)

Korea bloggers like to find a subject and then do it to death. They find shit to be outraged about then a bunch of them all get together and write about the same subject. It seems that a lot of people have opinions about Hyuna. I like her. She is a hard worker. She tries to do different stuff. She also looks like a female rockstar......and how the fuck is the kid in this video not sporting massive wood throughout the whole thing? Dude seriously when you are a teenager, your job is to sport wood. This guy is either a super professional or a eunuch.