Archive for April, 2010

Excuses From Isolation Island

I’ve been seriously neglecting the blog lately. It’s not that I’m lazy or uninspired. As my buddy and I discussed last weekend: living in Korea leaves no shortage of quality stories to tell. So, I’ve got loads of stories packed away and plenty of instant coffee packets to combat the laziest modes. What’s the deal?

Here’s my list of excuses:

-For one, a bit of disposable income purchased me all sorts of distractions; notably a Nintendo DS w/ R4 card.

-I’ve been watching too much screen (Battlestar Galactica) and reading less. This doesn’t stimulate the writing centers too well. Especially when your plugged in to some of the world’s fastest IT infrastructure. When I’m reading I think more about writing. When I’m screening I think more about doodling.

-Many of my stories fall into NET(native English teacher) K-blog clichés. I have stories about festivals, drinking soju, awkward moments, problems at school, happy days, sad days, sunny days, and other common items I’m not too excited to rehash.

-Often times I question my motives for telling a particular story. The good times are like sunshine. I want to enjoy them, then go home and get a good night’s sleep. When times are grim all I want to do is fester. Festering usually means being inside on a rainy day, where I’d like nothing better than to prosaically rip a hole in something that pissed me off about Korea. Breathe. That would only make my blog read like the rambling of an intolerant asshole. I believe I’m not intolerant.

-I was too married to the idea of a linear narrative. I’m not an obsessive mind that will crank out daily posts to paint a vivid picture of day-to-day life. However, my goal for this blog was to let others know how I’m living. Instead of getting on about my life here, I’ve had a tendency for long infrequent posts on abstract topics. As if anybody really cares what I think about the Korean English curriculum and its content. My “Playing Ketchup” posts were an earlier attempt to get back into the swing, but I again fell victim to non-productivity.

-I really wanted to jazz this blog up with multimedia. Unfortunately I don’t have enough horsepower to edit the AVCHD I’ve captured on my new vid cam. I’ll probably get some pictures up instead. My girlfriend takes excellent pictures. The vid edit job will have to wait until I get back to the states or can get my grubbies on a HD vid editing PC.

-Hangovers and Sunday Sloth

It feels good to get some of that out instead of just talking about it. I’ve tried to not let this project become an egotistical rant, but sometimes it feels good.

So, for anyone whose interested: I’m held up in the chilly library at Nohwa-do JoonAng (meaning “central”) Elementary. I’ve got the morning free while the students practice for field day next week. The practice is for various Olympic style events and a group choreographed song/dance number. I resist the urge to compare it to Mass Games in North Korea. It’s not that sick and the kids seem to enjoy it.

My girlfriend broke her foot the weekend before last. The doc on call didn’t have any casting material or proper crutches (her trip via ferry and taxi for crutches is a whole other story). The broken bone shifted last week while she soldiered through school in a removable splint (Korean MO). A orthopedist in Wando said she’d need surgery to pin the bones back together. He was a dick by refusing our offer to use a translation service to communicate about the surgery and recovery (his English was not as good as he thought).  Everyone else at the hospital was awesome, but Kelsi decided to head back to the states for surgery. According to specialists in the USA Kelsi will not need surgery, but will need to stay in a cast, non-weight bearing, for 4 weeks. That leaves me with a long stretch alone on Nohwa-do.

Meanwhile, it’s day 3 on isolation island. I’ve held it together fairly well. My consumer distractions have helped a bit. I’ve also been entertaining myself. Years of bumbling about in my parent’s basement have taught me to find joy in simple things. Last night I made a coozy for the glass jar that I drink tea hot tea out of. I got tired of burning my hands. The project was a mild success. I later converted it into a hanging pen cup. Now I have pens next to the bed. This makes it easier to doodle during Nintendo breaks and internet video load times. I ran into this guy’s flash animation site which I really dig. I see raw talent, a keen eye for pop culture, and the guts to follow one’s goofy thought processes. Perhaps there’s a message in there. Props to Lord Zorgatron!


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