Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Revenge was defintiely served cold

In Korean bathrooms there usually is no bathtub. Just the faucet in the sink, and the shower is directly connected. There is a drain in the middle of the floor so the whole bathroom can get wet and everything drains nicely (makes cleaning easy). Anyway, if you turn a knob, that stops the flow through the tap and redirects through the shower. My fiancee always forgets to turn the shower off after she is done. This means when I go to use the sink I get a surprise spray of cold water to the side of the face and body right from that evil shower head. She has done this to me at least 10 times in the last 2 weeks. I'm usually pretty fast and turn it off before the water actually comes out, but recently I have been unsuspecting because for about 3 days, she remembered to shut it off and it was lovely.

To teach her a lesson I wanted to leave the shower on so she would get sprayed. Revenge, in this case, would be sooo sweet. Normally I would worry this might start a war, but I get sprayed almost everyday anyway, so there would be no difference. SO, I turned the knob for the shower. I was expecting she would come home, get hit, and maybe even scream. Then I would laugh, she would be mad, then I can make my point, and persuade her into forgiving me.

However, I forgot I'm slightly retarded sometimes. After I took a shower, I left it on. It didn't dawn on me that I might brush my teeth before she got home. Guess what, I did. And guess what, I forgot what I was planning. Now, as I am sitting here, my pajamas are soaked. Serves me right. I have to change clothes.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Table Pinball

I just went out to eat with my adopted Korean "sister" to a kim-bop place. For those of you who don't know, a kim-bop place is a smallish restaurant that you can order many different Korean dishes. It's usually small and cheap, but very tastey. The food is also ready with-in 10 minutes if not sooner. There was this little girl who was about the right age to be a level 1 student walking around the place. He parents didn't seem to care much because they didn't call her back once. It was unlucky for her that her head was the same height as the tables. Even more unlucky...she wasn't a very good walker.

I was at the table farthest from the door, and she started from 4 tables away, the closest to the door. SHE'S OFF, SMACK! into the first table with the left side of her head. And then as if she was flicked away by some invisible pinball flipper she smacked into the second table also head first, but this time the right side of her head made contact. Then, almost like there was no other possible way this could happen, left side of the head on the 3rd table, and then into my table to finish the round. She stood there next to me wondering what just happened. I almost shot a noodle out of my nose (it has happened before) I was laughing so hard. Without crying, she hurried back to her mother. Tough little girl...or soft tables?

Besides the pinball wizard, the meal was very satisfying.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Butt poking and sweatshirt bleaching

As if I don't get poked in the butt enough at school by my students, I have to guard myself at home too. My fiancee loves my tush. Not that I can blame her really, it's pretty nice. Many many years of dancing, rugby, and wrestling...well you get the point. I gotta be on guard 24 hours a day or I'll get the unpleasant poke in the butt. The kids are worse because they are about the same height as my butt, but my fiancee is not much taller, and she has great aim. I've gotten pretty good at dodging using my Hapkido skills, but this girl adapts quick. We spend a lot of the time chasing each other around our small studio apartment.

I told her that if she didn't stop I would be forced to blog about it. Needless to say, here we are. It might not stop her now, but she'll know people are reading about it! If I'm ever constipated you'll know it's not because of the 3 or 4 bananas I eat per day. And if you see her, beg her to stop. For my sake!

I've also had this white quicksilver (copywrite blah blah blah?) sweatshirt that I love. It's gotten pretty dirty over the years with all the places I've been. It was white and the lettering on the front, and inside of the hood were black. I say 'were' because when I came home today the sweatshirt was shining white kinda like one of those halogen headlights, BLINDING. But for some reason the inside of the hood and the letters were brown. I knew what happened. She bleached it. I asked her and she started laughing and so did I. At the exact same time we said "It's like a new sweatshirt!" It's actually pretty cool looking especially because it's now clean. Looks like it was supposed to be like that AND I didn't even have to pay for it. If we bleach it again will the hood get pink? We'll find out in a year or two.

New sytle, new schedule

Since people are reading this more now than ever before, I wanted to make it as nifty as possible. And not as retardalized (See the Jake-tionary) as it was before. Side note, thanks for checking back so often and reading. I've had about 500 hits in the last month. A lot of those are probably me seeing how the posts look, and my family, but thanks to all of you who aren't related to me(and of course those who are). Tell me what you think. If you think I should change a color of some text or whatever else, just leave me a comment please. Would appreciate some feedback. I'm no designer, but I'm not too upset with how it came out. I like orange, so shoot me.

SCHEDULE:
After class ended today it officially marked the beginning of my '4 classes a day' period of my life as an educator. I went from having 6 classes on Tuesdays and Fridays, AND going to a different school Monday and Thursday (an hour away by bus) after teaching two classes, to now only 4 classes each day in one school. I can't tell you how happy I am.

Also, I was observed today by a lot of people. The Language section of the school is going to adopt the program that my side of the school is using, The Meysen Program. It's pretty good. It gives structure to a commonly lax teaching enviornment, kindergarten. I had 3 foreigners and 3 Koreans in one class. The most difficult part was to keep the kids attention on me and not the 3 tall white dudes behind them (NO PROBLEM). I rocked it as always. All in all a good last 6 class day. Let us hope we won't have a repeat of that crazy schedule.

Thanks for reading, AND DON'T FORGET TO COMMENT ON THE NEW LAYOUT!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

THE BULL FIGHTING VIDEO!

FINALLY I CAN UPLOAD VIDEOS! Screw Youtube because they suck. I can't use their upload thing...at least from my apt.

Here is the bullfighting video.


Look below for a new post NOT about Korea!

Punctuality is DEAD. I blame you technology.

Do you remember those days when we didn't have the internet or cell phones?  When I was born they still weren't invented yet, or if they were, they were NOT mainstream what so ever.  Even towards middle school they weren't popular.  Beepers were (remember those??  If you had one you were apparently a drug dealer).  If I wanted to make a play date with a friend, I would have my mother call their mother.  When I got old enough to 'hang out', I would call them myself.  As was the norm back then, we would agree to meet each other at a specific place and time.  We would have to be there on time or else it would be way to confusing.  There was no way to call and tell someone they would be late, or while waiting, call the other person to find out where they are.  You made a plan and people got there.

People were late then and they are still late today.  I think it's some subconscious need for control and power over others.  But now, people who are ridiculously on time (like myself and my father) have to wait LONGER than ever because as new devices come out, people get more tardy.  Being punctual has become lax because not only can they call me,  but they can e-mail me, BBM me, text me...everything me...except MEET ME on time!  Faster internet, faster cars,  less waiting...everything to make things faster, but people get slower. 

I wouldn't hire more than half of the people out there in the world because of this.  You all will need help if I ever become a business owner.  I actually have to force myself to sit down at my computer or somewhere else so I can purposely be late for things because I know I'll be the first one to the party.

The only thing people are on still on-time for are movies.  And that is only because they are so god damn expensive you can't get your money's worth  if you miss anything. 

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Tissues have many uses

I couldn't even tell you how happy I was that a little one finally went up to the tissue box and folded the tissue like she was going to blow her nose.  I thought, wow, finally!  Maybe this will start a trend.  Then with tissue in hand, she started digging.  Oh well... I was going to say to stop, but it would fall on deaf ears.  I didn't want to draw attention to her. 

Monday, March 22, 2010

Bull Fighting!!


Alrighttttttt, last Saturday was AWESOME!  The local magazine, Daegu Pockets, sets up trips for foreigners and Koreans alike.  It's a good opportunity to meet new people that work in your city, and make Korea friends (switch that around if you are Korean).  This month they set up an awesome trip to the bull fights and a wine tunnel.  The wine tunnel is literally a tunnel owned by a place that makes their own wine.  You can call it a vineyard possibly, but the undergroundness of it all confuses me.  Anyway, about 150ish people met up and took 4 buses (which I was the captain of bus B, sweet bus.  Also got me free lunch and dinner!), and hit up the wine tunnel for some much appreciated tasting. I'm not a white wine fan, but this persimmon wine was decently tasty.  However, I didn't buy a bottle.  We were there for about an hour 1/2, after the hour they cut us off because we were drinking their whole stock. 

After we took a short ride to the bull fights.  It's not like a Spanish bull fight where there is a Matador.  It is two bulls fighting with each other.  Before you go all PETA on me for enjoying the shit out of this day, you need to remember that bulls do this in the wild all the time.  It's innate.  If they are going to be in captivity at least they get to exert their dominance like beasts should.  And oh boy did they exert.  THEY DO NOT KILL THE LOSER, NOR DO THEY DIE IN THE RING. I don't think they even served beef at the stadium.  I've posted a video so you can see.  It's very exciting.

So instead of sitting here and writing out how the matches work, just watch.  After was also very cool because they had karaoke on the bus ride back.  Well at least it was cool for me and a couple of others, I don't know how the rest of the people felt.  And I don't care.

Cheers guys.  And as always, thanks for reading (and more thanks for comments).


P.S- SORRY but I can't get the video of the bullfights up just yet.  Youtube isn't letting me. But I'll keep trying. Check back!

Thank you pants inventor

Quick story...and I'm sorry for the last posts being all about bodily fluids...


These kids put everything in their mouths, well my 3 year olds do.  So when they have a wet hand I don't think much of it.  I'll still high-five them and then hit that sink and soap.  I shouldn't do that so readily.  At the end of my class last Friday,  my student Justin decided to high-five me.  Of course I left him, if I didn't he would have cried.  It was a little wet but nothing I wasn't used to.  The smile on his face was too wide for anything to be wrong.  BUT we forget...nothing is wrong in their minds.  That class left right after the high-five and I realized that his spit smelled a little funny on my hand.  Then I noticed there was a puddle on my floor.  Yeah...he pissed his pants and touched me with it.

I definitely ran out of the room and washed not just my hand, but my whole arm.  And not once, but three times.  I didn't have to clean it up, nor would I have cleaned it up.  My friend that lives in Seoul teaches K too and he said it happens about 4 times a year.  It happened once last week and today I came in to no carpet on my floor because another kid had an accident on that.  But what could I really expect?  They are basically babies.  It won't be quite so disgusting when I have my own.  Or at least I hope.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Tomorrow tomorrow tomorrow.

I don't quite have time now to write this because I'm going to bullfighting.  Yes bullfighting.  Not like a Spanish bullfight, but an event where two bulls actually fight each other.  It's a little barbaric, but they use the loser for eating after.  I might have just lied to you but I wouldn't be surprised if there were beef samples upon departure. 

Tomorrow I'll be writing about the bull fight, and a post entitled "Thank you for making pants...now let's think rubber."  It's a wet one. 

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The greatest gift

I walked into work today and started to set up my classroom like any other day.  After I finished, I walked out to get coffee and was greeted by a little guy wearing a problematic face.  Almost as if he had a problem and he had no idea what to do.  I found out his problem.  He raised his pointer finger towards me as E.T did in the movie, but more like he was presenting me with an award.  On his finger was the biggest and most disgusting booger I have ever seen.  He WAS NOT my student so I just kinda looked around and walked away.  Of course, he followed me into the office, never putting his finger down.  There were other teachers in there so I pointed out the problem.  I was scared he was going to become SO desperate he would wipe it on me just to get it off his finger.  It was a gift I could not accept. 






As a post-story story...I have this student who is always drifting to sleep.  Not the nose picker, but in the same class.  He is good at catching himself and never really getting in trouble, but I think there might be a little bit of a problem after today.  I had them stand up prior to singing a song chock-a-block full of movement and while I was having them repeat the words they would be singing this kid's eyes start closing.  In slow motion he started to go down.  I knew what was going to happen so I got there before he fell...but he was falling asleep while standing.  Does anyone else think this is a problem???  I should tell the teachers to tell the parents maybe...I mean really, who falls asleep standing up besides that drunk guy I saw at 4am on the N.Y subway...but that is another story. 

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Adorable kids and St. Patricks Day

Today was St. Patricks Day at school and all of the kids on the ESL side of the school dressed in green. They were already really cute to begin with. Only 2 1/2 years old and always running around on the playground screaming and playing. Today was even cuter because they all had their faces painted with stickers everywhere. I would believe that their parents did that to them as a way to revert back to their childhood doll dress-up days; but I also wouldn't put it past the teachers to do while in school. It's very common to see teachers brushing their kids hair and fixing their shirts in the name of appearence. I am not saying that is good or bad, I'm just saying.

Anyway everything was green over there and it was entertaining to say the least. MY students aren't in green. They wear uniforms. The girls have grey skirts and the boys grey pants. They all wear a button down shirt underneath a purpuly maroonish sweater vest. Name tags seem to be an option. I can't tell you how many times these 3 year old girls come back from the bathroom with the backs of their skirts tucked into their stockings. They either don't care, or don't realize, but this is where the teachers jump to fix them. I don't fix anyone except if they are picking their noses or coughing in my face (if I'm sitting down they can reach...some of them).

Speaking of picking noses...Sometimes the kids will start to fall asleep in class, and almost ALL of the times they will be exploring for that unseen treasure. But yesterday I finally witnessed those two things rolled into one hilarious moment. This was an after lunch class so most of them were pretty tired and ready for home. I was reading them a story on the carpet and one kid was picking his nose hard core. As his eyes close more his finger slowed down, and when they were shut, there would be a split second his finger would stop moving and his head would start to dip. He would wake up slightly startled with his eyes only half open and, yup you guess it, the finger would start going again. This repeated almost 2 or 3 times before I started to laugh. I felt bad but I had to wake the poor kid up and make him stand because it was the 10th time or something I had to tell him not to fall asleep.

I was also called a diaper baby by a 4 year old. And elephant teacher, and dung teacher...I might want to re-think teaching these kids anything more...They are getting good.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

GET THIS

I just went to get a haircut. I went in with a text message of what I wanted in case they really didn't understand me. It turns out it wasn't necessary. The lady who cut my hair lived in New York for 15 years. What is even crazier is that she lived in Bayside, on Rocky Hill RD which is about 15-20 minutes away from where I live. EVEN CRAZIER is that her son went to the same school that my mother taught at. AND THE CRAZIEST OF ALL IS WHEN I SAID HER NAME HER MOUTH DROPPED AND SAID "I KNOW HER!!!!!"

What are the odds. Her English wasn't great because she worked in Korea Town, but still good enough where we had a decent conversation. It is crazy how coincidental things can get.

The iLL proposal


Before I begin let me say, for all of my lovely ESL friends, "ill" means good.

So last Sunday in Korea was what is called "White Day." Traditionally, on Valentines day, the girl gives a present to the boy. Then on White Day, it's time for the boy to give a present to the girl. Now enough with the traditional stuff and let's get to the juicy part.

As some of you may know I was thinking of a nice and original way to propose to my lovely girlfriend (now Fiancee'). Getting the ring was easy enough since I have such great great taste:) (At this time I would like to give a shout out to Markens Jewlers, who also happen to be my second family, the Strauss's, for helping me out. Also my cousin Annah for coming with and trying to make me spend more money!) But it's hard to think of a way to propose while still being original because it's been done so many times before. Now, my way might have happened before, and it will def happen again after, but I have never heard nor seen it...so if you have, shut the hell up.

I sneaked out of bed in the morning, while she was sleeping, and went to the bag where the ring was hid. The bag was about 2 feet away from Jin's head. Luckily she sleeps like a log, but I was still very nervous she would wake up. The zipper on the bag opens up to where the handle of the suitcase is stowed, so it's a very small compartment. The zipper itself is maybe 10 inches in length but it still took me about a minute to open. All the while I was looking back to make sure she didn't wake up. No noise, success. I then went to get the ring, which was in a case, which was in a box, which was in the noisiest plastic bag in the world. As my luck would have it, the ring was really wedged in there. I wrestled with it for about a minute before I got it and then immediately ran into the bathroom to hide like a kid stealing a cookie from the jar. That is the downfall of living in a smallish studio apartment with two people. You hear EVERYTHING.

I took the box out of the bag, the case out of the box, and the ring out of the case. I put the ring on my pinky finger facing inwards to my palm. I walked out of the bathroom and got back into bed. She was facing away from me so I snuggled up next to her. I don't think I've ever been that nervous. My heart was beating as loud as I've ever heard it. I kissed her on the cheek to wake her up but she wasn't having any of that. She obviously still didn't want to wake up on her Sunday morning off. Finally she started to come to and I told her I love her, and she said it back. I asked "are you sure?" She made a noise that I knew to be yes. With her eyes still closed I told her "Then I have a question for you." I slipped the ring on her finger and asked her if she will marry me. Her eyes opened wide and she giggled, hugged, and jumped on me. After about 15 seconds...I just wanted to make sure...I asked her "so is that a yes?" And, of course it was. I found out later it wasn't my voice or my kissing her cheek that woke her up. It was my heart beating. She felt it AND heard it. She was a little curious what was going on.

After we woke up, both of us still in disbelief, we went downtown to eat our favorite food. We went shopping for some stuff we needed for the apt, and then came back home to spend the rest of our Sunday together as an engaged couple. All in all, an excellent day.

SNAGS: When I got to Korea she unpacked all of my things and I thought she found the ring. She didn't. I also watched a movie called "The Time Traveler's Wife." It was one SHE downloaded...and in the movie he actually proposed to his girlfriend very very similarly to what I wanted to do. The movie came out in Oct of 2009. I've had this idea pre Sept 2009 and I have proof! So I was just scared that she watched it. That would have ruined everything. I knew she didn't because I asked her all sly like the night before if she saw it yet.

So yeah, that is the story. Sorry for the length, but you asked for details. There they is ya'll. Stay cool, PEACE.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

The man at the desk

I am writing this at my brand new awesome and wonderful desk. It is truly fit for a literary genius; so I guess I have some work to do. Korea is pretty well known for it's markets. If you ever need anything second hand (sometimes first hand) you can be sure you will find it at one of the many markets.

When you get there it's basically a maze of streets packed with people selling things. It's a flea market lovers dream. It's all organized so that the same things are next to each other. At the one we just went to we were dropped off right near the fish ladies. They are the oldest people I have ever seen, sitting on these mini stools, with there old lady perms and old lady clothes. I asked one of the old women (in Korean) where the furniture store was. I understood the pointing part but she just started ranting about the directions like it was the most difficult thing in the world. My girlfriend and I actually had to walk away from her after about 3 minutes of her going on and on. We walked to the end of the block and turned right. It was RIGHT there. Hardly worthy of a three minute speech. First store, good deal and free delivery. Also no taxi ride back needed. SWEET.

RE: Korean old ladies. Once you hit a certain age tradition dictates that you must get a perm and cut your hair short. You also apparently have to loose all fashion sense...not that I am particularly stylish myself. I have come to the realization that I HATE old Korean women. There sense of entitlement is ridiculous. They walk three or four wide, slowly, down the street, without the courtesy to realize that people want to get around then. If you are standing in their way, or they want to get onto a packed subway car, here come the elbows. They must go through training because they elbow you right in the kidney. Every time, direct hit. It's frustrating to say the least. Anyway, I'm desked up and I'm happy about my Saturday with some sunny weather. Stay cool. PEACE.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

I want to destroy my fridge. If it had a family I would end them too.

The title says it all. It's so bad that when the motor STARTS it get's quite. After it stops...forget about it. Pops from the cooling off, and then the worst 'bloop' 'bloop' 'bloop' draining sound in the whole world every 2 or 3 minutes for 20 minutes.

My school called a repair man to come and look at it. Of course when he showed up the fridge didn't make a single noise. Even after I explained it to him (with a little translating help) his response was that every fridge makes those sounds. And that it was just the model. I doubt Samsung makes all that money from selling loud home appliances. I've taken to sleeping with earplugs.

My apartment is pretty nice, even with the purple floral patterns on parts of the wall and the ceiling. But I want to throw my fridge out the window. It amazing how inanimate objects can frustrate people so much.

TOMORROW IS FRIDAY. Baby it's the freakin' weekend I'm gonna have me some fun. And by fun, I mean rest.


P.S- I found this sweet computer chair outside. Now it's inside under my butt. Free chairs. High five.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Why Cinder Block

It may or may not be important to know why this is called Cinder Block Diaries. I feel it my duty to share with you the joke that spawned this nickname. I don't know who originated this joke, but I would like to thank them for the laugh.

For those of you that don't know me, I'm not THAT bad:)


There were three girls in the back of a car on their way to a family vacation. On the way one of the daughters asked their parents, "Hey, why is my name Rose?" Her mother responded, "After your birth, when we were on the way home from the hospital with you, a rose pedal flew in through the window and landed on your forehead. So, we named you Rose."

The second daughter immediately wanted an answer to the same question. She asked, "Mom, why is my name Lilly?" Quickly, the mother answered, "well when we were on the way home from the hospital with you, a lilly pedal flew in the window and we named you Lilly."

The Third daughter spoke up and said, "DUUUUUURRRRRRRRRRRRRR!" To which the mother replied, "SHUT UP CINDER BLOCK!"

Kids: day 1

In Korea most people, depending on the time of year, are 2 years older than their ages in Korea. For example, I am 25 in America, but I am 27 here. This probably stops a lot of you older folks from coming to visit me. So when they told me I was teaching 5, 6, and 7 year olds I forgot to remember that they would really be 3, 4, and 5. They are really really small. Literally midgets. I have one student named Apple, who is such a little girl, she comes up to the middle of my thigh. What is most important to remember is that I am no giant.

My first day in school with the students I was only observing the class. While walking through the hall I was greeted in many different ways. Some foreseeable pokes to the butt, which plagues most foreign teachers in this country, and a whole lot of hellos. I even scared some of the 3 year olds into tears because they have never even seen a foreign person let alone been introduced to one. But perhaps the most memorable greeting came on the way to lunch. Apple, the tiniest of them all, opened her classroom door just as I was walking buy. Because she was right near me I stopped and said hello. She looked at me right in the eyes with a blank expression. "Hello", I said with a smile. While retaining her military like bearing, she proceeded to position her hand like she was holding up the number 4, and poked me right in the penis. Then, simply walked away, sat down, and continued eating.

Luckily for me she isn't very strong or she would have done some real damage. She will probably grow up to be a sniper, or even Moses. She defintely could part the Red Sea, so to speak. I was a little shocked but couldn't help laugh at the innocence of it all. She had no idea that it wasn't a kosher thing to do, but she didn't care. She thought it, and acted.

It is a little distressing to realize that most of my students thing like this, because one of my little dude students enjoys trying to kick, punch, prod, grab, and possibly telekinetically (probably not a word) destroy my private area. This I will say I don't enjoy too much, but the Korean teachers are helping me control him. I can't really complain because I have a feeling I would have done the same thing as a kid...or worse. Being moved to three different elementary schools in three consecutive years...you get the point.

Even with the pokes, these students give me joy. In the classroom and out, they hug me and tell me they love me daily. I am two days into teaching solo. I am sure I will have more stories.

Until next time ladies and gentlemen.

Cinder Block: OUT

Date: March, 2010. Mission: Kindergarten

Hello to you all. I've taken quite a long break since my last post, and an even longer break before that one. What can I say, when my job sucks, so do I. But that was last year, this is next.

I am back in the city where I first started; Daegu and I have taken a job at a kindergarten right outside one of the American military bases.

I have been back for about two weeks and I am into the second day of actual teaching. These kids are about 3, 4, and 5 years old and needless to say extremely cute. It's still a little hectic around here between getting accustomed to working at 9am and memorizing all of the lovely English songs that the kids will memorize. I have been working at it so much that I caught myself singing "Good morning to you" at the bar last weekend. It's actually kind of catchy. However, "Let's spin" is possibly the best song of the year...

Working with little kids has reinvigorated me and inspired me to start writing again. So here I am, back again for round 3. I hope you'll take the trip with me.